Take it from the Grey Hag

The Gray Lady hastens to remind readers that our elections are won by the party with the best slogan, a winning market-driven vision that encapsulates a compelling narrative in a single phrase, MAGA, for example, or, even better, Q.

It follows that a political party does not win an election by highlightting a wide range of policies they’ve enacted, against determined, lockstep opposition, to help millions of Americans, they do it by using effective single-issue branding and messaging.

So, according to the Grey Lady’s top headline a day or two back, top Democrats are hissing at each other because, once again, they’re going to lose because they’ve concentrated on the wrong metrics to win, instead of picking one (like “Make America Great Again”) in a majoritarian democracy where money is speech, time is money, and the citizens’ attention spans are two and a half seconds long.

If it is not a single idea that fits on a baseball cap, and it doesn’t inspire blind single-minded purpose, the battle is lost, in the considered opinion of the Grey Lady’s headline writers.

They also had a top headline that Joe Biden made two verbal gaffes at a recent campaign stop. Imagine that! MAGA GAGA, NYT. I don’t know why you do it, but nobody does it better.

Top Democrats Question Their Party’s Strategy as Midterm Worries Grow https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/01/us/politics/midterm-elections-worrying-democrats-strategy.html?unlocked_article_code=AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACEIPuonUktbfqYhlSVUbAibIRp8_qRmHmfnE2_s5h3PiITKQDDtGwu8JAo-G4ALSYrB5dto10HGXSdpGO6UmWOc31fNFNlBgRBjuooeBnN5NBRQJnr-JfzF82YPRD_d_-CX2b2K9JaByzefj40_cOn28CKPZzXEhIAx6qMZgJUWh3iAMzvvFRrEh39FuzLx2UMABMDQKYSeAu_HtCgwve4nVK0GBtXRlHr1RSjrRntWD67ofcQ00CljOSHJ34WlU-8oLcZpMf_65d0h8DZK41bYBCWVoL5OqB4kyQ-XUlbZtuL3Or3-c2aVHIphJmuuQVoWn6X1P6OU

NYTimes: How Disinformation Splintered and Became More Intractable

I’m going to wait to read this groundbreaking article in the New York Times, but I’m putting a gift link below for anyone who wants to read it. The finding that self-regulated social media, which runs most lucratively on the viral spread of things that piss people off, has somehow tribalized people by constantly confirming their faith in things that are manifestly untrue, seems like a tragically belated headline for the Gray Lady. But let’s give her the benefit of the doubt shall we? I’m sure their presentation of the weaponization of hateful conspiracies will be supremely well-balanced.

Here’s the sub- headline:

Ahead of the midterm elections, the proliferation of alternative social media sites has helped cement false and misleading information as a defining feature of American politics.

Oh boy…

The spread of Mr. Trump’s [stolen election] claim illustrates how, ahead of this year’s midterm elections, disinformation has metastasized since experts began raising alarms about the threat. Despite years of efforts by the media, by academics and even by social media companies themselves to address the problem, it is arguably more pervasive and widespread today.

“I think the problem is worse than it’s ever been, frankly,” said Nina Jankowicz, an expert on disinformation who briefly led an advisory board within the Department of Homeland Security dedicated to combating misinformation. The creation of the panel set off a furor, prompting her to resign and the group to be dismantled.

The creation of the panel set off a furor, prompting her to resign and the group to be dismantled.

More like the creation of a panel to combat right-wing disinformation set off the Führer. Death threats forced Jankowicz to resign, the threat of widespread violence by American lynch mobs caused the closure of the Homeland Security Department to combat disinformation. Come on, Gray Lady!

This is some alarming shit:

“We believe at Parler that it is up to the individual to decide what he or she thinks is the truth,” Amy Peikoff, the platform’s chief policy officer, said in an interview.

She argued that the problem with disinformation or conspiracy theories stemmed from the algorithms that platforms use to keep people glued online — not from the unfettered debate that sites like Parler foster.

On Monday, Parler announced that Kanye West had agreed in principle to purchase the platform, a deal that the rapper and fashion designer, now known as Ye, cast in political terms.

“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial, we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” he said, according to the company’s statement.

God save us from bigoted assholes with mountains of fucking money.

How Disinformation Splintered and Became More Intractable https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/20/technology/disinformation-spread.html?unlocked_article_code=AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACEIPuonUktbfqYhlSFUZAybJUNMnqBqCgvfeh7A9nX74Ii-PTD9ezuMTRpOY4UrEaexje943lXy9deN2DYUOFrZ03_MNeAtkURWpqZ-J35hVeX9ro9jtGzM7hMOIAOwzrnrjZDPjbbYgmuzjsRzXOzToWrfNkiF0fHYTqppjc1Ct2XIK1_2FRrYzgo8iqK9nUpNqRj4AZz2Jvu3oC3h8P9aGahLc4momSr0TGGGTzZPHteV2IEgFAknGTXh__W4_9NpaXdoTN634JBQiE9HstQOz_tBYKWVEFaX2SF5BXw

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?