Posts Tagged ‘Charles P. Pierce’

‘Cabal, intrigue and corruption’

December 11, 2016
He's not president yet.

He’s not president yet.

Charles P. Pierce engages an Airbnb in The Neighborhood of Make-Believe from which he discusses one way in which we might yet be spared the dubious gold-plated presidency of Donald of Orange.

It’s not entirely unbelievable. While Der Trumpenführer may have powerful friends in Russia (Делайте Америку великой ещё раз!), he has made more than a few comparably powerful enemies right here at home. And given that the the swamp has its own long-established and deeply held notions about governance and personal enrichment, it would not astonish me to see the Electoral College hand the whole sordid mess over to the Congress and say: “Here, you deal with it. We’re off to the pub for a stiff drink or six.”

The House would then pick a president and the Senate a vice president, and then the fun would really begin.

Charlie cites Federalist 68, which says, among other things, that the Electoral College was intended to avoid just the sort of mess in which the Republic finds itself.

Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?

Brother Pierce continues: “We are a month away from inaugurating a manifestly unqualified and ethically unfit man as president of the United States, a man who has lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes, who already is reneging on almost every promise he made while campaigning, who steadfastly refuses to be transparent about who holds the note on his finances and who is on his way to raising conflicts of interest to stratospheric levels, and who now may very well be the willing bobo for a foreign dictator.”

He also says that the matter “is the most stark challenge to a free people that has arisen in my lifetime,” and I agree. Whether we’re up to meeting it is another matter altogether.

Rest day

November 21, 2016
The Irish should not be entrusted with any technology more advanced than the hoe and wheelbarrow.

The Irish should not be entrusted with any technology more advanced than the hoe and wheelbarrow.

Looks like I picked a good day to ignore the news in favor of fiddling with the dark corners of GarageBand (yeah, take cover, you might have to endure another podcast before much longer).

The homepage of The New York Times looks like the mounts of all Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse shat on it in a driving rain, which oddly enough is what we’re experiencing at the moment here in Duke City. The rain, not the horseshit, though that can be had aplenty too, if I am not otherwise occupied, which I am.

Even Charles P. Pierce is starting to make me nervous. When the headline is “Saddened, Angry, Sickened, Defeated,” it’s a solid tip that the guffaws will be few and far between.

Me, I’m just glad I don’t have any pressing deadlines. It was tough to bring the funny for the final Bicycle Retailer of 2016, and while delving into the mysteries of GarageBand is giving me a headache, it is in a largely unused corner of what remains of my brain.

 

Chill

November 10, 2016
Baby, it's cold outside.

Baby, it’s cold outside.

This morning the furnace fired up for the first time this fall.

If this had happened Tuesday evening, I might have considered it an omen. But on Thursday? It’s November, man. It had to happen sometime.

And so, too, probably, did Donald Trump.

Maybe Wisconsin should have been our canary in the coal mine. This former case study in the practical application of progressive politics has turned into its Bizarro World doppleganger, inexplicably clinging to its numbnuts Gov. Scott Walker like some sort of smelly security blanket and telling Russ Feingold to go fuck himself.

Walker the presidential candidate didn’t even make it to the Iowa caucuses, dropping out of the race in September 2015, and we all had a good laugh about how his lame little act wasn’t ready for prime time.

And then Insane Clown Pussy made it all the way to the finish line.

You’ll find any number of analyses for why this played out the way it did, but I find myself agreeing with Kevin Drum and Charles P. Pierce, who think it has a lot to do with what Drum politely calls “racial and cultural identity,” Pierce calls “nativist racism,” and I call “assholes.” (Hey, I don’t have any advertisers to take offense.)

What does it all mean? There are plenty of deep thoughts about that floating around too, and I imagine you’ve already seen, heard, read or had many of them.

But for starters, it means that once again the GOP has done an “Exorcist”-style about-face on just about everything it’s claimed to hold dear whenever Democrats are in charge: Filibusters are bad; the Electoral College is good; and only “spoiled crybabies” dare question the legitimacy of a duly elected president.

What do we do next? Pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back after it — hopefully a little wiser for the experience.*

As E.J. Dionne writes: “(W)e cannot allow fear or anger to drive us from the field. If ever our nation needed a determined, thoughtful and creative opposition, it is now.”

* Speaking of “thoughtful and creative,” let’s not burn any flags, OK? Bad optics, don’t you know. I thought that shit was stupid even when I was a hippie.

 

Just before dark

September 16, 2016
Good thing I gave up the acid before moving to New Mexico.

Good thing I gave up the acid before moving to New Mexico.

Here’s a snap from around sundown, taken from the entryway to El Rancho Pendejo. Lots easier to look at than the news lately.

As James Fallows notes at The Atlantic, “the effective merger of the entertainment and political-campaign industries” continues apace with Der Trumpenführer making a playful appearance on “The Tonight Show.” Host Jimmy Fallon and executive producer Lorne Michaels — who also arranged a ha-ha handjob for Agent Orange on “Saturday Night Live” — deserve public dick-punches for enabling this particular fool.

Blue skies, white clouds and green chile. Yum.

Blue skies, white clouds and green chile. Yum.

Also at The Atlantic, David Graham wonders just why The Hildebeast is running for the presidency. A little late for this sort of thing, but yeah. And a great lede: “Hillary Clinton is back on her feet. Now, what does she stand for?”

Elsewhere, the media scrambled to cover “a major announcement” from Agent Orange that was nothing more than free publicity for his new DC hotel. No link because, duh.

“Like a five-buck violin, cable news. Like a five-buck violin,” tweeted Charles P. Pierce (@ESQPolitics).

Added Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias): “All future presidential campaigns will be lightly disguised infomercials for hotel chains.”

Meanwhile, here in the Duke City, the forecast is for puffy clouds followed by sunshine and a high in the 70s. We got that and green chile. Don’t tell the media.

The news just repeats itself

August 19, 2016

Now and then I miss working in a newsroom. This is not one of those times.

Most days, daily journalism is like any other gig, only more so. Hours of tedium interrupted by moments of pandemonium.

But news in the era of what Charlie Pierce calls He, Trump, is a whole other ballgame. It’s like trying to sip delicately from a fire hose hooked to a septic tank. It can’t be done, and nobody should have to try, not even for money.

And certainly not for free.

Instead I’ve been trying — and mostly succeeding — in paying attention to the bicycle, may God save her and all who sail in her.

There’s Bicycle Retailer‘s big 25th-anniversary celebration, for example. I need to dash off a column and cartoon on that topic, which shouldn’t be too much of a stretch, seeing as I’ve had 25 years of practice.

And I’ve ridden four different bikes in four days — Sam Hillborne, Steelman Eurocross, Soma Saga, Jones Steel Diamond — and loved every minute of it. Well, not every minute — the Steelman’s low end of 36×26 is a tad tall on steep, sandy single-track for an auld fella — but still, it beats perching in front of the Mac, letting the shit monsoon wash over me.

This morning I got up, grabbed some coffee, and when Herself went out to walk The Boo, I shut off NPR’s “Morning Edition” and started playing some John Prine instead. Sometimes a fella needs a little country to restore his faith in a bigger one.

All the news that fits, we print

November 29, 2012

Extry, extry, read all about it!

The inimitable Charles P. Pierce gave us a heads-up yesterday about the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to “streamline and modernize” rules governing media ownership, which Charlie rightly calls the prelude to “sheer unadulterated brigandage.”

For starters, the streamlining and modernization would give his old boss, Rupert Murdoch — yes, that Rupert Murdoch — a chance to get his paws on what remains of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

Beyond that, it would give media conglomerates the opportunity to get your local media by the plums with a downhill pull. How would you like to have ol’ Rupe or someone like him running your “local” newspaper/website, radio station and TV channel all at once?

Credo Action followed up with an online petition drive, and there’s something similar going on over at Free Press. Adding your name to the chorus against the FCC’s holiday giveaway can’t hurt and might even help.

Meanwhile, take a quick look around your own media landscape and figure out who the player(s) are. It can be eye-opening to see just who controls your local flow of information.

Here in Bibleburg there is only one locally owned newspaper, the weekly Colorado Springs Independent, which also owns (and shares some staff with) the Colorado Springs Business Journal. I didn’t bother to look up all the radio stations, because I only listen to one — NPR affiliate KRCC-FM, a.k.a. Radio Colorado College — but I did check out the TV stations I can get via rabbit ears. Following is a breakdown of who owns our “local” media.

Newspapers

Gazette — Freedom Communications, Irvine, Calif.

www.gazette.com

www.freedom.com

Colorado Springs Independent — locally owned

www.csindy.com

TV

KKTV (CBS) — Gray Television Inc., Albany, Ga.

www.kktv.com/home

phx.corporate-ir.net

KRDO (ABC) — News-Press & Gazette Co., St. Joseph, Mo.

www.krdo.com

www.npgco.com

KOAA (NBC) — Evening Post Publishing Co., Charleston, S.C.

www.koaa.com/home

www.evepost.com

FOX21 (FOX) — Barrington Broadcasting Group, Schaumburg, Ill.

www.coloradoconnection.com

www.barringtontv.com

KTSC (Rocky Mountain PBS) — Pueblo, Colo.

www.rmpbs.org

Radio

KRCC-FM (NPR) — Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO

radiocoloradocollege.org

Election Day 2012: Real-time snark ‘n’ bark

November 6, 2012
I voted: Nov. 6, 2012

Another feeble blow against Fascism, more properly described (by Mussolini himself) as Corporatism.

Chores will take me away from the iMac from time to time during the day, but I’ll pop in irregularly to provide my own personal lack of objective perspective on the big doin’s throughout This Great Land of Ours®. Posts will be listed below, with the most recent at the top and the least so at the bottom.

In the meantime, keep an eye on Charles P. Pierce’s Politics Blog. He’s going at it hammer and tongs over there.

And if you haven’t done so already, vote.

More below the fold: ↓

(more…)

The real Tampa Bay buccaneers

August 29, 2012

The chefs and proprietors of The Local enjoy a chuckle despite it being 91 outside and at least twice that in their Chevy Step-Van.

Oh, Lord, am I ever glad that the likes of Charles P. Pierce, Ed Kilgore and Steve Benen are following this Floridian fuckery so I don’t have to.

There is something excruciatingly discordant in the keening of pirates who, after scuttling the Ship of State with pointless warfare and the dispensation of booty unclaimed from same to all their mates, have the effrontery to dress down the colored fella we hired to police up this mess for his failure to immediately raise the wreckage from the Mariana Trench in which they left it, tow it to drydock a la Jack LaLanne and then promptly outfit it as a luxury yacht for honkies who make extravagant bets with each other using other people’s money and call that work.

Thus after a quick whiff of the same old bullshit I sailed away on my Nobilette for a cruise through the Broadmoor, then fired up the Vespa for a voyage to the Colorado Farm and Art Market to take a few pix of a nifty startup, The Local.

This food truck is manned  (womaned?) by a couple of lively U.S. Air Force vets who are bringing tasty Mexican-American-Asian cuisine to the landlubbers here in Bibleburg. I’m talking burgers on a pretzel bun with bacon jam — yes, bacon jam — and Korean barbecue tacos.

I shot the pix for The Farm Beet, one of the many sombreros worn by my friend and colleague Hal Walter of Hardscrabble Times, and I don’t imagine that he’ll object if I post one here.

No May flowers in jobs report

June 1, 2012

One wonders what goes through the president’s mind as he awakens each morning. Probably something like, “Aw, shit.”

The May jobs numbers suck, thanks in part to the Elefinks’ relentless croaking of anything resembling actual job-creation measures.

Here in Bibleburg, the unemployment rate nudged up to 9.2 percent in April, considerably worse than the statewide average of 7.9 percent, which is only marginally better than the 8.2 percent rate nationwide. The figures indicate that more than 28,000 of my friends and neighbors were looking for work, while an unknown number have simply given up the hunt.

And the folks who are supposed to be empowered to have a go at doing something about this? They’re too busy running for office, running from their records, or simply running their mouths.

As Charles P. Pierce notes: “We have 300,000 long-term unemployed who, all evidence indicates, their government largely has abandoned, and about whom their country’s corporate landlords could care even less. Perhaps this isn’t the best time in history for the president to be boasting regularly about how much federal spending he’s cut.”

Charles, a wiser and funnier man than I, warns that the prez “cannot win re-election on the merits if he’s mixing pale middle-class nostrums with deficit-hawk snake oil.” Troo dat, Brother Pierce. If enough Donks and indies get depressed, say “Fuck it” and stay home on Election Day, leaving Teh Crazy to jerk levers from San Fran to Savannah, we will be enjoying the tender mercies of President Romney come 2013.