Grey Lady breaks more bad news for team Trump

Great reporting, headlined: Trump Lawyer Told Justice Dept. That Classified Material Had Been Returned, with a sub-headline only the NY Times is capable of:

Raising questions, indeed, about precisely how forthcoming Trump’s lawyer signing a false sworn statement was!

Trump Lawyer Told Justice Dept. That Classified Material Had Been Returned https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/13/us/politics/trump-classified-material-fbi.html?unlocked_article_code=AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACEIPuonUktbfqYhkQFUaACbIRp8_qRmHmfnE2_sgnGL7NG2eTT9Z1OUbAoWMvkLEead5ZtI3mjqRRZlBLLorDrRU_9NoAnZMGUOus4fW39MMOTk0ooa-GTg4hJ7AU-totGXjMTj8dbYnmPjusUrXdTa5D6bU0yYlc15joYB3Ng3_gQx-zabDFO9y2td8zK1hUsg8HWFcEXHM6_r4CBx-O8GEZwXf6GQ2W-JZWTLSlb2M-u5KMVUSWR-dEiQJsStr48hcOdgXIK_1MxUlHcH9ir4SAWFqR5y7sESlbyo8Kx90zFsLYdD8-g

Grey Lady, doing it as only she can

It’s not that a Democratically controlled Congress reversed a 14% tax slash for the wealthiest tax paying corporations, imposed by McConnell and Trump, by recocilation in 2017 when they reduced the top corporate tax rate fom 35% to 21% as part of a generous tax gift to the wealthiest among us.

What we learn here, from the vaunted Grey Lady, is that in making it unlawful for billion dollar businesses to not pay 15% in tax (in a nation where many of them currently, legally pay 0%) — well, here’s the inimitable fucking New York Times

Get it?

If the crime don’t get you, the cover up will

Watchdog Informs Secret Service of Criminal Inquiry Into Missing (Secret Service) Texts, reads the NY Times headline. The story begins:

WASHINGTON — The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security directed the Secret Service to halt its internal search for purged texts sent by agents around the time of Jan. 6 so that it does not “interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation,” according to a letter reviewed by The New York Times.

“To ensure the integrity of our investigation, the U.S.S.S. must not engage in any further investigative activities regarding the collection and preservation of the evidence referenced above,” the Homeland Security Department’s deputy inspector general, Gladys Ayala, wrote to James M. Murray, the director of the Secret Service. “This includes immediately refraining from interviewing potential witnesses, collecting devices or taking any other action that would interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation.”

The Times article makes only the obliquest reference to the Trump appointed DHS Inspector General’s months’ long cover up of the Secret Service’s destruction of evidence, a particularly egregious bit of law-skirting by a federal law enforcement agency bound by law to preserve all records for the federal archives. The popular right-wing British tabloid The Daily Mail had as its sub-headline:

Sources who worked under Trump-appointed Inspector General Joseph Cuffari claim watchdog didn’t report February findings to Congress about the purge.



(the article includes, and emphasizes this damning detail).


Meanwhile, a Washington Post report on Tuesday reveals that the DHS watchdog agency did not alert Congress in February when it learned about the Secret Service purge that deleted nearly all text messages from around January 6, 2021.
Two whistleblowers within the DHS Inspector General’s office told the Post about the previously unreported months-long delay in the watchdog office flagging the erased Secret Service cellphone messages to Congress.

The Grey Lady reported it more succinctly, with characteristic anodyne understatement.

The inspector general, Joseph V. Cuffari, who has for months conducted a review of the Secret Service’s actions on Jan. 6, first raised the issue of the missing texts last week with the House select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol.

All the news that’s fit to print, I guess (and don’t bother clicking that link, not very enlightening.) The quick Times reference leaves open the suggestion that Mr. Cuffari himself may have only recently discovered the mass deletion of possibly incriminating evidence from Mr Trump’s Secret Service detail, most of whom recently hired private counsel to represent them, now that Trump’s personally loyal bodyguards who innocently permanently deleted their texts from the day before and during the riot are all targets in a criminal probe.

The uniform, reflexive pattern of every single one of Trump’s associates, lackeys and appointees invariably breaking laws, bending rules, burying evidence, abusing descretion, obstructing investigations, delaying required procedures (recall that fucking Bill Barr buried the credible, urgent whistleblower complaint and transcript of Trump’s perfect phone call with Zelensky for a long time after he was legally required to take action on the referral), using government appointments for financial (Jared and Ivanka) or political gain (fucking Wilbur Ross and his maddening bullshit with the Census[1]), dismissing inspectors general, bringing frivolous lawsuits and appeals to dominate the news, harass enemies and run out the clock on accoutability, with quid pro quo pardons, if all else fails. The uniform corruptness of how these motherfuckers operate makes it infuriating that the paper of record remains so opaquely fucking dainty in reporting the facts.

Just sayin’…

[1]

Almost exactly a year ago the DOJ declined to prosecute Wilbur Ross despite a watchdog finding that he made misrepresentations to Congress about adding census citizenship questions. His real purpose in adding that question, of course, which they fought all the way up to the Supreme Court, naturally, was to intimidate minorities from answering the census to reapportion money and political representation (House seats) away from minorities and integrated urban areas and toward white, rural, faithful Republican voting areas. As you do, when you have discretion to abuse and you work for an autocrat.

Grey Lady omits key word in summary

Jeffrey Clark: Federal investigators searched the home of the former Trump Justice Department official, who was central to an unsuccessful effort to strong-arm the nation’s top prosecutors into supporting claims of election fraud.

Or, more accurately and more to the fucking point:

to strong-arm the nation’s top prosecutors into supporting false (disproven, debunked, unfounded, baseless, lying, etc.) claims of election fraud.

WTF? Paper of record…

On discussion in a zero sum culture

This piece, When Every Conversation Becomes a Game, We All Lose, from a recent New York Times is a very insightful discussion of the difference between a conversation, where both sides listen to and hear each other, and respond reasonably, and the more common American cage match where two adamant rivals are pitted against each other, will do anything to dominate the other, and only one can be declared the “winner”. The second style of discussion is, sadly, the dominant form of discourse in a nation of angry assholes.

Part of American Exceptionalism is, frankly, mass bullying by a handful of the wealthiest white men alive at any given time. Don’t want any more ten year-olds massacred by enraged young white men with legally acquired military assault rifles with high capacity clips? Then shut the fuck up about it, losers… there’s nothing your deadlocked, weak, historically unpopular, “democratic” Congress can do about it, and if they try — FILIBUSTER. It worked to protect slavery, white supremacy, lynching .. so what is your goddamned problem?

Grey Lady– don’t get your hopes up on curbing gun massacres, nonMAGAs

You might be hoping at this point, with 20+ mass muders since Uvalde, that people are against the slaughter of elementary school children that has become so regular in this country, but as the Grey Lady helpfully points out “broad public support on the issue may not be as broad as polling shows or Democrats hope.” Good to know.

Where can I get a fabulous second vacation home with only an $800,000 budget, Grey Lady?

Mass media and the soul of America

From progressive media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, the opening of their most recent podcast, Counterspin:

Ten human beings were killed and three wounded in Buffalo, New York. By the killer’s own admission, he sought to kill Black people because they are Black, and he is a white supremacist who believes there’s a plot to “replace” white people with Black and brown people, a plot run by the Jews. If you’re news media, you could go all in on media outlets and pundits and political figures whose repeated invocations to this white replacement theory are the obvious spurs for this horrendous crime. Or you could be the Washington Post, and tweet that Joe Biden “ran for president pledging to ‘restore the soul of America.’ A racist massacre raises questions about that promise.”

A press corps that wanted to go down in history as doing better than pretending to raise questions about the “soul of America” would be busy interrogating the structural, economic, political relationships that promote and platform white supremacy. They’d be using their immense and specific influence to interrupt business as usual, to demand—not just today, but tomorrow and the next day—meaningful response from powerful people. They would not be accepting that mass murder in the name of white supremacy and antisemitism is just another news story to report in 2022 America, film at 11.

https://fair.org/home/matt-gertz-eric-k-ward-on-the-buffalo-massacre-replacement-theory/

Leave it to The Washington Post to put everything into perspective in a tweet. Of course, in our profit-driven, corporate advertising-driven mass media, the 18 year-old avowed racist’s racially motivated mass murder spree in Buffalo a few days ago is old news, wiped off the front page as pundits and politicians argue about whether it was right or wrong for Texas law enforcement not to intervene for an hour while another enraged 18 year-old mass shooter used his brand new legally acquired military assault weapon to shoot his grandmother in the face and massacre children and teachers in a Texas elementary school.

And the GOP’s united, incoherent talking point is always the same, cannibal socialist pedophiles are trying to politicize this terrible, horribly regular (27th school mass murder in 2022 so far) tragedy that can’t be avoided in the greatest country in the world has ever known. And that Biden, like slippery, illegitimate Obama before him, is too weak to make good on his promise to fix hundreds of years of racist custom and practice in this country and bring everybody together as he lyingly promised.

But tip of the yarmulke to Jeff Bezos and the influential liberal media outlet he owns, for the helpful framing of the ineptly managed ‘fight for America’s soul’. Good job, Jeff!

A wee taste of the liberal mass media

A taste of the Grey Lady’s famous objectivity, from a piece entitled 

Democrats Fight Headwinds in Georgia and Beyond: ‘The Problem Is Reality’

Or as I read it:  Democrats likely fucked in Georgia, and elsewhere, with only selves to blame.

The piece stresses that Democrats, in disarray, its wide coalition unable to agree about anything (rather than clinging to the narrowest of majorities and unable to accomplish anything due to unified obstruction and the filibuster created to defend white supremacy and slavery), will probably lose the upcoming midterms, as so many pundits predict, as data from past midterm elections show almost always happens, because, you know, “reality” is against them (however you’d like to interpret that highly objective term). 

The battle being described is not between democracy and a robust debate about public good versus a drooling rush to American fascism, it’s, ya dig, radical socialist Democrats fighting pragmatic centrists, yo, plus reality:

“The problem is not messaging — the problem is reality,” said Representative Ritchie Torres, Democrat of New York, citing inflation as the “greatest obstacle to retaining the majority.”

The reality that giant corporations, who profit much more handsomely from a corporately run government are able to drive prices as high as they like,  while reaping record profits, in order to oust a president whose party favors making them pay fair taxes?   While liberal media drives the obvious story about inflation being a heavy burden to citizens and harmful to the incumbent president, no matter that no president is able to do much about it when it happens, particularly if the inflation is global. 

Plus, weak Democratic messaging is a huge part of the problem with famously meek Democrats who are clinging to a majority too slim to accomplish any change, no matter how urgently that change is needed, Ritchie.

The greatest hope for Democrats appears to be potential Republican acts of self-sabotage: the party nominating outside-the-mainstream candidates or failing to coalesce after divisive primaries.

In Washington, much of the Biden agenda is frozen in a congressional morass. The party’s left wing and centrists are busily blaming each other for the state of affairs and clashing over what to do next, with student loan forgiveness emerging as one divisive flashpoint.

Or, more accurately, much of Biden’s agenda is being obstructed by a lockstep reactionary party united in its fear of a vindictive former president and his angry, violence prone base, reluctant to possibly alienate their super generous corporate backers, and eager to weaken Biden and take back power, whatever harm they may do to millions of Americans, including their own voters, who favor large parts of Biden’s agenda.  With a one vote majority in the Senate, all you need to buy are two corrupt members of Biden’s party to see an enemy president’s agenda “frozen in a congressional morass”.   Ms. Synema, when she is voted out, will immediately settle into her comfortable five million dollar a year job for any of the industries whose interests she loyally protected by opposing any carve-outs to the filibuster, for any reason or, in the case of Ms. Symema, none but brazen selfinterest.

I don’t have the stomach to review all the ways this article sickened me, but it is as good an example of the trouble with “objective” “liberal” corporate media like the New York Times as any I’ve seen recently.  Of particular note, the confirmatory quote selected from Bernie Sanders himself, to wit:

“The Democratic base is quite demoralized at this moment,” Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, one of the party’s leading progressive voices, put it bluntly.

Just one more:

Ms. Abrams has emerged as a national star among Democrats. But privately Democratic strategists fear that her high-water mark might have come in 2018, when she lost in a Democratic wave year.

In a state where her opponent, then Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, disenfranchised ,(purged) many times more likely Democratic voters than his slim 50,000 vote margin of victory over Abrams.  But, that has nothing to do with anything, Democratic strategists fear, in a state whose independent Republican state legislature has made it much harder for minorities to vote in the wake of Trump’s unsuccessful call to Georgia to just find him a stinkin’ 11,780 votes, one more than he needed to win.

Oh, yeah, just one more. This nice objective summary of the debate on student loan repayment (mine, borrowed to pay a state law school, is locked in at a historic low 3.75% interest rate)

The party’s left wing and centrists are busily blaming each other for the state of affairs and clashing over what to do next, with student loan forgiveness emerging as one divisive flashpoint. .

. . . That issue, in particular, has divided the White House into factions — including Mr. Biden himself who has both expressed opposition to perceived giveaways to college-educated elites and said he was considering wiping out some debts. Progressives have pushed for sweeping loan forgiveness to motivate the base.

Fucking objective, omniscient, elite New York Times, what don’t you understand about the destructiveness of this kind of seemingly objective, mealy mouthed reporting that plays so reasonably into the dominant right-wing narrative/reality? 

If what you predict is inevitable, enjoy your last few months of not being sued over and over again, and repeatedly subpoenaed to Congress, by powerful hate-filled maniacs with armies of lawyers paid by taxpayer dollars, literal fascists who will eventually send mobs to chase y’all with pitchforks, torches and guns.  Because you are, of course, in a sense often challenging to succinctly explain, real enemies of the People.