Friday, April 29, 2011

Tumblr Quote Of The Day

“Say “excuse me…” one more time, motherfucker… That is what I want one of these interviewers to say to him. I’m really upset about the lack of integrity the media has shown towards their reporting on Trump. You might say to me that I shouldn't’t worry and that he’s done this all before and he’s not really gonna run and it’s just a publicity stunt. Regardless of whether this is some sort of ego-maniacal piece of performance art or a legitimate campaign, he is hurting us with the things he says. Everyone in the media should be holding this fucker’s feet to the fire and insisting that he answer questions. I find it hard to believe I’m saying this, but he’s worse than Bush. He either needs to open himself up to the same scrutiny he is requiring of others, or he needs to be ignored. I mean, seriously, this shit has got to stop.”

I totally agree with this sentiment. Ever since the arrival of Fox News on the scene, reporters seem to have given up their ages old purpose of speaking truth to power. Truth used to be the goal of ever journalist but this is no longer the case.

Individuals like Donald Trump or Glen Beck or any of the other talking heads representing the Right have been given a free pass to just make up facts to support their own narrative. Since Obama became President, the tendency to use fear and misinformation has not only cheapened the political discourse but has prevented real change from occurring.

The Right have taken a page out of the old Nazi playbook - "repeat the lie enough times and it becomes the truth". When reporters can't or won't challenge the garbage that comes out of the mouths of racist teabaggers or self-serving carnival barkers, the common person is left with no alternative than to believe the lies they are spoon fed.

They become conditioned to use only the rhetoric of one side of the spectrum (The Right) to form their political beliefs. When this happens, voters reject en masse the political ideas of the Left (regardless if the Left presents good ideas or not) and can be easily convinced to vote against their best interests.

A perfect example of this can be seen in the recent debate over tax cuts for millionaires. You would never expect people without wealth to fight for the right of the rich to pay less than their fair share in taxes. This, however, was exactly what happened.

Lately I have seen reporters fighting back against this trend. Lawrence O'Donnell and Chris Mathews have openly challenged 'birthers' on the air leaving these liars no place to run for cover except to Fox News and shows hosted by Bill O'Rielly and Sean Hannidy. There they are given leading softball questions that only serve to legitimize their dishonest 'beliefs'.

I don't think that Donald Trump has any doubt that President Obama is an American and was born on American soil. He is just pushing that issue to court the approval of that part of the Republican base who will NEVER believe Obama is anything other than the illegitimate leader of their country. He is playing directly into the fear racist whites have over a black man being President.

Trump is a joke. Fox news is a joke. Conservative talk radio is a joke. When the fifth estate (the press) give up on their responsibility to challenge the lies that are being told they are just as guilty in perpetuating the side show as the individuals who seek to gain from the spectacle.

I can only hope that the fall of Donald Trump will be just as interesting a story to the media as his 'ascendancy'. In fact I know it will be. I just don't want to wait too long for those lies to be written about. You sewed the seeds Mr. Trump. Now get ready to reap the whirlwind.


M. D. Jackson said...

It's not just on this issue. The Fifth Estate has long since abrogated their responsibility to inform in favour of pandering to corporate interests. This is true of Fox News, CNN, ABC, CBS, and the rest. You no longer get the truth if you watch TV news. You get a convenient fiction that plays into political of corporate interests.

If you only watch TV or read the big newspapers you have NO IDEA what is really going on in your own country. No, I'm not talking about Libya, I'm talking about America, Great Britain, Canada... all of them. Left or right, it doesn't matter, none of them are telling you the truth.

It used to be different. Journalistic integrity used to mean something and individual journalists used to hold that ideal as sacrosanct. Not any longer. Journalism is not what it once was.

You want the truth? Find it out for yourself and QUESTION EVERYTHING.

As for tax cuts for the rich -- the problem is so much bigger than that. Take a look at the numbers and percentages of the US deficit and compare that to how much the democrats and republicans want to cut out of the budget. Neither party is serious about it. Despite all their bluster, if a politician whether from the left or the right, truly understands the situation he or she will be pissing themselves in fear.

Okay, end of rant.

Kal said...

You are right of course that it doesn't matter which news outlet you speak of, they all have dropped the ball. I cracked yesterday listening to how Fox treated the news of the birth certificate finally being released. They gave Trump another opportunity to continue the birther nonsense without hardly skipping a beat. I am just so sick of him and his attention seeking bullshit.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Today we have 24-hour news coverage and no investigative journalists turning over rocks to see what crawls out.

Kal said...

If only a few journalists would expose the worst offenders, it might send the rest of the rats scurrying for cover. But with no one watching over what the politicians are doing, they feel they have been given a free pass. Oil companies make record profits even when they caused many millions of barrels to leak into the Gulf of Mexico. There is no one keeping these stories alive after the initial news cycle.

Sam G said...

Ignorance IS bliss. For myself I just turn off the news. It's just too much.

Lazarus Lupin said...

Sorry Kal, you'll never get far with the "Pay your fair share," argument. Try to figue out what is a fair share is as impossible as Solomon splitting a baby.

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

Paladin said...

The news sucks - regardless of which flavor you're watching. Donald Trump is interested in one thing, and one thing only - Donald Trump. He isn't a conservative. Luckily, there is plenty of time between now and the primaries for people to discover exactly what he is.

As for people without wealth coming out against trying to solve our budget woes on the backs of the "wealthy" - that isn't because of conditioning or brainwashing. Its because a growing number of people are realizing exactly how dangerous the debt situation is - and they are aware of what will and will not affect the outcome and avert disaster.

Its hard to grasp exactly how bad the situation is, and its difficult to accept that there isn't a vault of money somewhere that we could use to solve the problem if only we could get at it.

The Government outspends our means in the US to the tune of 4 billion dollars - EVERY FUCKING DAY. People that moan about cutting funding to Cowboy Poetry competitions or Sesame street don't get it. Republicans that do a little happy dance over cutting a couple of billion dollars from the budget by accounting tricks don't get it. People that rail against wimpy little cuts as "Draconian" or make comparisons to Nazis have absolutely no grasp of reality in regards to what is necessary to pull up from this.

And people who think we can eat the rich and solve this problem don't get it either. Want to know why it won't work?

Bill Whittle does a much better job of explaining it that I ever could. Its very simple math, and its less than 10 minutes long:

President Obama knows all these facts. Demonizing the "Super Rich" and claiming to be able to solve our debt crisis by going after them serves one purpose: Building a voter base via class warfare so that he can get re-elected.

I don't love the super rich any more than I love anyone else. I'm largely prepared to go about my business not giving a shit what someone else does, or doesn't do. I don't want my Government wasting time on a "plan" that won't solve the problem though - any more than I would appreciate the efforts of someone who honestly believes he can save our sinking boat by ladling water out with a spoon.

Kal said...

That was very well argued Paladin. You gave me food for thought especially with respect to the way that both parties are using fear to appeal to their respective bases. One side fears the legitmacy of a black President and the other hates corporations and millionaires who don't pay their full share of taxes.

Paladin said...

Pay their full share?

The top 10% of income earners in the US paid over 70% of the taxes taken in by the Federal government in 2008, while over 35% of US households pay effectively ZERO federal income taxes at all.

Who is it that isn't paying their full share again?

Ignoring that fact, our problem still can not be solved by milking the rich.

The Obama Budget proposes 3.7 Trillion Dollars in spending for the year.

Even if you take:

ALL of the profits from ALL of the Fortune 500 Companies in the US, just take it all
+ ALL of the ad revenue from every super bowl ever played (45 of them)
+ ALL of the salaries of every professional sports athlete in the country
+ take ALL of the cash earned by people in excess of $250,000 each year.
+ Recall the troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and use the money that we would have spent there to fund our yearly budget instead
+ take every cent made by the Star Wars Franchise (movies, toys, licensing, etc.)
+ confiscate every home in Beverly Hills and sell it for current market value
+ take ALL of the money and assets held by "Billionaires" - don't just tax it. Take it all.
+ cancel all foreign aid across the board

Even if we were able to do all of the above, it still does not equal the spending proposed in the budget for a SINGLE YEAR in the US.

Want to make it up next year? You can't - because this is a one off plan that destroys the goose that laid the golden egg. The rich are no longer there to bleed after this has been done - and the most important point of all is ITS STILL NOT ENOUGH to pay for everything.

The Bullshit about our budget woes being due to the wealthy not paying their full share is ridiculous on its face and it doesn't stand up to simple math.

Bailing the boat with a spoon is not effective.

Kal said...

The budget also cannot be balanced on the backs of the poor and the disadvantaged. Universal healthcare would reduce prices by gettng more people in the system. Also by taking mandates to provide such care away from employers they are free to hire more workers which increases the flow of tax dollars into the system.

Tax loopholes need to be closed and the tax system needs to be more fairly administrated.

I appreciate your argument and would like to know how you would fix things.

Paladin said...

I typed out a long detailed responsed, but blogger ate it. Here's a Reader's Digest version:

1. Constitutional amendment limiting spending to a set percentage of GDP. Strict guildlines for when we can break that ceiling - like in times of war. Has to be structured so that it can't be easily manuevered around by politicians.

2. Dump the current tax code nightmare and go flat tax. That's flat tax on EVERYONE - regardless of income. Having a tax code so freakishly complicated that it takes a team of lawyers and accountants to navigate it makes it possible for the loopholes you mentioned. The fact that over 30% of people pay NO FEDERAL TAX AT ALL would also be addressed.

3. Federal Government needs to get the hell out of people's lives. This nation was founded on the premise of limiting interference by the Federal Government with its citizens lives. Try to name any area of your life where the Government does not affect you in any way.... I guarantee you can't, unless you're Amish. Funds currently circulating for redistribution through the Federal Government need to stay in the states where they can be spent, or not, as the states see fit.

If you fuck up your state through mismanagement to the point that you can't make it without bleeding the other states - my advice to you is to suck less.

4. Entitlements need to be reformed. This will cause wailing from the left that Republicans hate old people and want poor folks to die in the street. What I'm telling you is that if we make changes NOW, there's still time to do so without screwing the current retirees and people that are truly in need. If we waiver, the system MUST COLLAPSE and it will take all those folks and most of the rest of us with it.

RE: The wonder that is universal healthcare - Free to you does not mean its free. If Obamacare is so wonderful for business and hiring - why have 733 companies already been granted waivers to opt out on the grounds that it would destroy their business and harm employees? Its very telling that McDonalds was one of the first to be granted a waiver and has since gone on a hiring binge that the Administration is hailing as a sign the economy is bouncing back.

Kelly Sedinger said...

Yes, let's just dust off the same laundry list of Republican wet dreams that they've been pushing for over thirty years, under the premise that the same old ideas are suddenly the only possible fix to a series of problems that were largely created by -- guess what! -- Republican policies in the first place.

Seriously, these are old ideas that have been rejected many times, because they're crappy ideas. A flat tax is a stupid idea (and the very wealthy have already become so adept at minimizing their taxes that for all intents and purposes, we already do have a flat tax). So is indexing the budget to GDP, which would have disastrous effects in times of economic or other crisis. Bleating about people who didn't pay any Federal income tax at all is cute when we ignore just why lots of folks found themselves in the position of not having to pay in the years in question. And I like that last one -- pretending that Obamacare and "Universal Health Care" are one and the same thing, and that Obamacare somehow "proves" that Universal Health Care can never ever ever work (even though the world is chock-a-block full of countries that have made it work way better than we have).

But at least now the Right is willing to openly admit that their big plan for social welfare in this country is to take care of the old people right now, but let the ones to come fend for themselves in that great Wonder of Wonders that has never screwed anyone in the past, The Free Market! Hooray!

(By the way, Cal, don't take seriously anybody citing Bill Whittle as a serious source of economic wisdom. Trust me. Whittle's nothing more than a source of verbose Right-wing lunacy. I remember when he first burst onto the scene as an Iraq War "Bomb the entire Middle East back to the stone age!" warblogger.)

Paladin said...

And another joins the list of those that will never get it.

No solutions offered, just criticism of what's gone on in the past. No acknowledgement of the depth of the problem, just platitude solutions that can never, and will never work.

Kick the can down the road. It won't change the fact that the system as currently in place can not be sustained. Take solace in your compassion for the poor and down-trodden and ignore the fact that failing to make changes now will result - not in a reduction in public assistance - but in a total absence of it.

Which one of us is truly concerned about the future?