April 12, 2011

Remembering when this used to get you fired

Back in a time when news media wasn't leashed by its own corporate parents, legitimate journalists might have questioned why the star/producer of a major television show was stoking racist sentiment against the President of the United States to garner ratings.

Seriously, how is this not being asked of the heads of NBC? Like, at all? There are literally only two options here: either Donald Trump believes what he is saying, which makes him a racist crazy person, or he is merely pretending to be a racist crazy person in an effort to get more people to watch him on television.

In either case, NBC is paying a racist crazy person. Maybe people should start repeating that over and over until NBC says whether or not they explicitly approve of it.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:45 AM

April 11, 2011

"Serious, With Kittens"

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I spent much of last week conversing with different friends and acquaintances about the Ryan budget plan. Usually when you first react to something, everyone tells you to calm down, take a breath, sleep on it and then in the morning you'll come back and be able to discuss it more rationally. Well, with things like the Ryan plan, it's the exact opposite. When friends started posting the usual statements: "Well at least he's offering an idea..." "I don't see a Democratic alternative..." "At least there's a Republican willing to seriously look at the deficit..." I found myself waking up the next morning even angrier, as if you bought a car the previous day and woke up the next morning with the total clarity of how much the salesman just screwed you over.

The Ryan plan is horseshit. It is financially and factually impossible, created from a very careful blend of incorrect numerical claims and a spontaneous belief in magic. It was written, quite specifically, because the author is both too smart and too chickenshit to admit that he wants to do, well, exactly what this plan says it does: completely gut most of the country's social safety net and use the extracted funds to let CEOs buy bigger yachts.

It is not only evil, it is wrong. And I don't mean morally wrong, but literally incorrect. It would be generous to say that Paul Ryan shitted this plan into a napkin. It is as if he merely tried to write the word "shit" on a napkin and ran out of room while misspelling it.

While Paul Krugman has spent the week doing the yeoman's work on pointing out all the ways that the Ryan plan is fiscal Scientology, John Cole and his team have spent much of the same time chronicling the stupidity of the so-called "serious" punditry--none more stupid than Andrew Sullivan.

The first victims of the Ryan plan, of course, are the several thousand or so people who would literally die if it was ever actually enacted. Following that in a distant but significant second should be any rational belief that Sullivan is a person who we should listen to. I have had many fights with friends over this man. I have almost lost friendships over refusing to accept defenses of this man, and at this point, there is no longer a fight. I refuse to allow one any more. You are not a serious person if you take him or his factual inaccuracies or his condescending childishness or his Heathers-like pseudo-"awards" akin to a goddamn junior high slam book "seriously."

Ryan, Sullivan, Brooks, everyone involved in this charade: You aren't a serious or intelligent person because you're completely wrong about everything but use big words and snotty comments while being completely wrong, all the time.

To stave off the oh-so-clever comments, yes, I suppose I could be aware of the situational irony of that last statement. However, I'm not paid hundreds of thousand of dollars a year to pull shit from my ass and call everyone who disagrees with me an idiot. Like a true progressive, I believe in providing a public service.

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Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:43 AM