Saturday, December 25, 2021

It's Christmas! Let's roast some media chestnuts!

Through the years, the true spirit of Christmas never changes!

It's time to roast the chestnuts!

By Isaiah Thomas
Chair, Board of Editors

Jack Frost is nipping at our heels here in Massachusetts, and when Mr. Frost starts biting, it makes us think (for some reason) about roasting chestnuts over an open fire.

2021 has brought a bumper harvest of chestnuts served up to us by all media savants. They've dished many of them up for years, but to be fair they've also brought forward some new ones.  We can't let Christmas pass without roasting a few of the most fatuous ones hawked by the usual media suspects.

1.  Finally, the Former Loser Grifter Alienates His Base.  We'd have to vote this 2021 number one chestnut if only because it blew up so quickly.

Let's go back 1,000 years ago to January 2021, when a defeated President hatched any number of stratagems designed to topple democratic government in the United States.  After terror, death, and bloodshed, the violent insurrection was quelled by brave outmatched police forces and the election results ratified by the Congress.

It was clear to the meanest intelligence (by which we mean Republicans) that although many whack jobs had a hand in the mayhem, it was propelled and supported by the Tangerine-Faced Traitor himself.  As the entire nation recoiled in horror, we were told that this outrage had finally sundered the enduring romance between the depraved corrupt orange bigot and the Republican Party.  Here's The New York Times reporting on how the plutocrats who had profited so richly by investing in the GOP were now abandoning the party:

They'll never support violence, amirite?

But last week seemed to be a breaking point. Big business could evidently tolerate working with Mr. Trump despite his chauvinism, his flirtations with white nationalism and his claims of impunity, but the president’s apparent willingness to undermine democracy itself appeared to be a step too far. [Thanks, fellas – Ed.]

“This thing was a little different. I mean, we had sedition and insurrection in D.C.,” said Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase. “No C.E.O. I know condones that in any way, shape or form. We shouldn’t have someone, you know, gassing up a mob.”

The fallout has been swift. After the president exhorted his supporters to march on the Capitol, chief executives used their strongest language to date to repudiate Mr. Trump, and some of his longtime allies have walked away. Ken Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot and an ardent supporter of the president, renounced Mr. Trump, telling CNBC, “I feel betrayed.”

Oh, did he? But then a funny thing happened:

On Friday, supporters of Mr. Trump swarmed Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, at...National Airport, calling him a “traitor.”

“You know it was rigged, you know it was rigged,” a woman yelled as he was ushered away by a security detail. “You garbage human being. It’s going to be like this forever, wherever you go, for the rest of your life.”

A similar scene unfolded Tuesday night in the Salt Lake City airport as Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, sat waiting to fly to Washington. A maskless woman approached and called him a “disgusting shame” for not standing with the president. Once on board, Mr. Romney was greeted by supporters of Mr. Trump chanting “Traitor!” 

And when rabid Republicans lean on spineless empty suits like Graham and Romney, well, you know the rest

Republican revulsion toward the riot was, however, short-lived. Arceneaux and Truex, in their paper “Donald Trump and the Lie,” point out that Republican voter identification with Trump had “rebounded to pre-election levels” by Jan. 13. The authors measured identification with Trump by responses to two questions: “When people criticize Donald Trump, it feels like a personal insult,” and “When people praise Donald Trump, it makes me feel good.” 

As a result, the formerly outraged Republicans lined up to cover up the January 6 insurrection and pretend it never happened. This cover-up continues today, powered by the same angry white supremacist base that has kept the Republicans in office since 1968.  

Well, that media chestnut has been roasted to ash.  Let's look at one that's perpetually on the grill.

2.  Republicans are Angry Because Coastal Elites.  How can the Republican base hold on to views as insane as vaccines are really Bill Gates's microchips or the 2020 election was stolen?  It can't be that their views are warped by unjustified grievance and frustrated white supremacy.

It has to be the fault of those coastal elites.  And this media chestnut flourishes because you can get ancient Democratic hacks like Mr. Mary Matalin to parrot it:

Which coast was Viola Liuzzo from?

But if you’re asking me, I think it’s because large parts of the country view us as an urban, coastal, arrogant party, and a lot gets passed through that filter. That’s a real thing. I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks about it — it’s a real phenomenon, and it’s damaging to the party brand.

Let's ask somebody who has actually studied real data instead:

Racial attitudes among all Americans best explain the gap in vote choices between rural and urban areas. Controlling for racism denial, the gap in vote choice between rural and urban Americans drops to just eight percentage points. In other words, the different rates of racism denial among rural and urban Americans appears to explain about three-quarters of the urban-rural gap in voting for Trump. 

So it's white racism that accounts for the Republican love of extremist grifters like the FLG?  Not those chardonnay-sipping coastal elitists blithely trying to get health and child care for all?  Better get that media chestnut off the grill.  It's toasted.

3.  The Search for the Good Republican.  Some people search for decades for Sasquatch;  others for intelligent life in the universe of Real Housewives.  For the media, it's the search for the Good Republican, by which they mean any white man in a suit who can talk without spitting and screaming.  Over the decades, the search party has discovered a wide variety of corrupt or reactionary clowns from Nixon to – John Thune.

And yet the search continues.  Here's a recent example from that Niagara Falls of Conventional Wisdom, Das Politico.

The flaming responses to this ludicrous puff piece reduced this particular chestnut to a cinder:

That would be Stuart Stevens, who spent his adult life trying to elect Good Republicans. Let's just say his views on this one have a great deal of – validity. But we'll make one prediction: wait 10 minutes, and some media ham-and-egger will announce that he has finally, after years of searching, found The Good Republican!  

4.  Don't Worry, He'll Go Quietly.  This media chestnut was served up repeatedly in 2020, right up to Insurrection Day, 2021, whereupon it self-immolated.  Here's an example from the boy no one would have lunch with in Leverett House (and really can you blame his housemates?):

5.  Technology Will Save Us!  This chestnut has been served up since the days of DDT [No one will get that reference – Intern] and it continues today, along with lionization of the lucky white men who made hundreds of billions out of it, whether through timing, inheritance, rapaciousness, or some combination of them all.

Time Magazine, in a year when humanity was saved by tireless health care workers and researchers, had the audacity to make one of the most odious tech bros its Man of the Year.  Elon Musk, an exploitative employer and a terrible human being, offered this vision of the future:

In the future Musk envisions, no one tells you what to do. Robots perform all the labor, and goods and services are abundant, so people only work because they want to. “There’s, like, plenty for everyone, essentially,” he says. “There’s not necessarily anyone who’s the boss of you. I don’t mean to suggest chaos, but rather that you’re not under anyone’s thumb. So you have the freedom to do whatever you’d like to do, provided it does not cause harm to others.” 

And Time duly printed these chestnuts.

In addition to robots, rockets, and cars that drive themselves off the road, the latest tech miracle is the Metaverse, which means you and others making cartoon avatars of yourselves and then doing whatever it was you were doing.  This is supposed to usher in a new exciting era some touts are calling Web3.  Kara Swisher (who actually knows tech and reports on it) isn't so sure:

Web3 is supposed to be anathema to kings and other powermongers. But before you start imagining some digital utopia, many (with some justification) think the Web3 movement is also rife with hype, windbags and more than a little grift.

Despite the utopian chestnuts proffered by Silicon Valley brown-nosers, we'll agree with Ms. Swisher.  Our guess is that the Metaverse, like the Internet itself, will be a boon to three basic human instincts: (1) porn, (2) grift powered by anonymous untraceable fake currency, and (3) more billions for Lord Zuckmort made by strip-mining every movement and utterance you make in his metaverse for ad dollars.

And that's just a few of the chestnuts the media expected us to swallow without question in 2021. There were so many more: the fake battle about cancel culture, the meretricious assault on “wokeness,” and the supposed Republican concern, vanished after the Virginia election, about “education.”

Please enjoy these roasted chestnuts as our Christmas gift to you, at least while you're waiting for the Chinese restaurants to open.  Don't worry; next year there will plenty more chestnuts to be roasted, courtesy of the media gasbags desperate to gloss over the plight we are in.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Good and Dead: Destroyer of Boston Neighborhood Who Gave A Bit of His Loot to Harvard

The obituary page of The Massachusetts Spy

By Luke Reschuss
Obituary Editor

A very rich man died recently in Boston.  His name was Jerry Rappaport.  From the first obituaries, you would think that he was the embodiment of righteousness and generosity.  Here's the fatuous Boston Globe eulogy:

Barely into his 20s, Jerry Rappaport was an academic prodigy who had finished Harvard College and Harvard Law School in about four years when he helped John B. Hynes defeat James Michael Curley in the historic 1949 mayoral election that changed the course of Boston history.

Though he quickly moved into powerful government posts, Mr. Rappaport soon realized his true path lay elsewhere — as a developer reshaping the city’s neighborhoods and skyline.

A whole neighborhood was destroyed
to enrich Jerry Rappaport

“Early on, I decided there’s a limitation in changing politics that I couldn’t do,” he said in an interview three weeks ago. “It was easier to rebuild the city than to change its politics.” 

That's one way of putting it.  Another way would be to describe how he actually made his fortune.  Joan Venocchi of the Globe summed it up pretty well:

When he died earlier this month, at 94, Jerry Rappaport was hailed as a great philanthropist who also played a key role in developing a gleaming new Boston. A more complete picture of his legacy can be found at the West End Museum at 150 Staniford St.

The museum...tell[s] the story of a neighborhood demolished in the late 1950s in the name of urban renewal. This home to working-class Bostonians was ultimately replaced by Charles River Park, the luxury housing complex developed by Rappaport. A young Rappaport won the bid to redevelop the neighborhood after a stint in the administration of Mayor John Hynes. Afterward, .. the city allowed the Rappaport team to change the project terms. A set-aside for affordable housing was eliminated; instead, all units were designated for luxury apartments. To build them, about 53 acres of land were taken by eminent domain, and some 7,500 West Enders were displaced, in what is now considered a textbook case of urban planning gone bad.

Pre-Vulcan, he grew up in the West End.

That seems ... different.  A political insider finagles his way to destroying a thriving neighborhood for personal gain by lying about building affordable housing. 

Indeed, if you want to see Rappaport's monument, swing by Charles River Park, which, true to the original grift, was build like a public housing project with pastel balconies glued on.  It's as hideous today as when it was built in the 1950's.

What was the West End, anyway?

The West End Museum remembers:

The history of the West End is one of a largely immigrant neighborhood displaced or destroyed by ‘Urban Renewal‘ in a campaign that saw a third of Boston’s downtown demolished between 1958 and 1960, but it’s also the history of a diverse community that produced several influential people, boasted a unique culture and included many places of historical significance. 

If a diverse vibrant urban community had to be sacrificed to enrich a greedy ruthless pol from . . . the Bronx, well, that was a small price to pay.

With the fortune that he made by mobilizing the power of government to line his own pockets, Rappaport devoted himself to passing himself off as a beloved philanthropist who gave millions to among other schnorrers Harvard for the study of, wait for it, state and local politics, which he had manipulated so expertly to his advantage.

With the fawning that accompanies any scoundrel who tosses a little pelf its way, Harvard remembered the old grifter thusly:

Harvard, working hard for the money, went on:

In the 1980s, Rappaport found himself in a position to pay it forward. As he noted: “I sent a letter [to Harvard] saying that I wanted to establish a Rappaport Fellowship for an elected official from Greater Boston…. I wanted people to understand that it was extremely important to understand how to create and implement public policy. Shortly after, I expanded the fellowship to include appointed officials. And the Kennedy School picked up and expanded this effort.”

This was the beginning of his significant philanthropy to Harvard, which also included funding to establish the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston in 2000. The University-wide entity, housed at the Kennedy School, works to improve the governance of Greater Boston by strengthening connections among the region’s scholars, students, and civic leaders.

You've got to hand it to Jerry: He was shameless. Even John D. Rockefeller didn't endow an institute for the study of predatory monopoly. 

Harvard did take a pass at describing rather incompletely the sordid source of Rappaport's largesse:

Charles River Park, a 48-acre development that broke ground in 1960, later became contentious because it razed a neighborhood and displaced low-income residents. He told Nantucket Magazine last summer that “[t]here was a sense of community that could have been handled better. But you have to understand that there wasn’t any experience with relocation at this size or scale.”

Nantucket Magazine? *chef's kiss*

Rare photo of Jerry Rappaport prior
to Boston City Council vote

By the way, lots of urban renewal projects involved destroying thriving urban neighborhoods.  But in most cases at least some public housing was built on the ruins so some of the former residents had a place to live.  But razing a neighborhood and replacing it with rich white people?  Truly that had never been attempted on the scale of Jerry's Charles River Park. Or with such brazen disregard for the interests of those who lived there.

We can't prove it but we suspect that Jerry Rappaport provided the inspiration for Mel Brooks's great villain, Hedley Lamarr, who wanted to destroy the village of Rock Ridge to make money from a new railroad.  He explained his problem to his loyal henchmen, which was the exact same quandary Jerry handled so deftly:

Unfortunately there is one thing standing between me and that property - the rightful owners.

And if you thought Harvard would ever spend one penny to compensate the victims of Rappaport's campaign of urban annihilation, then you're as clueless as the residents of Rock Ridge.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Republican Pestilence: A New Disease or Just a Variant?

By Political Editor Izzy Stone
and Health Correspondent Vincent Boom-Batz, M.D.

America will shortly reach an appalling tomb – [Surely, milestone? – Ed.] in the COVID pandemic: 800,000 lives lost, most unnecessarily.

Every real scientist has told America that the best answer is mass vaccination: if everyone is vaccinated, then the ability of the virus to kill, injure, mutate, and spread is crippled.  Further, the vaccines have proven to be almost utterly devoid of threatening side effects.

And that's why every single Republican Senator voted last week to cripple the mass vaccination program by blocking President Biden's rule that large corporations must ensure, among the other rules that apply to them regarding the health and well-being of their employees and consumers of their products, that their employees are either vaccinated or tested weekly.

Every single one.  That includes lovable moderates like Senators Wilfred M. “Profiles in Courage” Romney, Susan “He's Just Playing With It” Collins, Lisa “It's Grim Up North” Murkowski and even Republican Senators who have decided to hang it up and thus cannot blame their votes on political cowardice, like Senators Portman, Burr, and Toomey.

How could an entire party vote to prolong the nation's pandemic agony and promote an agenda that if allowed to take effect will kill tens if not hundreds of thousands more with no offsetting benefit?

Let's ask the man with all the wrong answers:

This week, he put down his sopprasata sub long enough to agonize in the Atlantic about the broader related question, which was what happened to the rich philosophical world of American conservatism.  Let's just say his concern is pretty rich itself.

He starts out with a tired trope: the failure of (many) postwar housing projects as a symbol of the failure of liberalism and the endorsement of the conservative program to address poverty with “benign neglect.”

These initiatives failed according to the Conservative Mind because  “Human society is unalterably complex....If you try to reengineer it based on the simplistic schema of your own reason, you will unintentionally cause significant harm.”

Of course, that's not what was going on at all.  Chicago public housing was segregated by order of well-known liberal Mayor Richard Daley. That same lovable liberal and his henchpersons did nothing to address the systemic racism that had blighted the lives of the Black tenants in Chicago public housing. Instead they perpetuated it. So when the buildings, but not the systemic racism, crumbled, it was a triumph of Conservatism!

In Brooks's fanciful and fatuous retelling, “I was enchanted by their [Conservatives, apparently] way of looking at the world. In conservatism I found not a mere alternative policy agenda [which was what? – Ed.], but a deeper and more resonant account of human nature, a more comprehensive understanding of wisdom, an inspiring description of the highest ethical life and the nurturing community.”

He must have been deeply impressed when the Conservative Messiah, St. Ronald of Bitburg, offered inspiring descriptions of the highest ethical life and nurturing community by inveighing against “welfare queens” and “strapping young bucks buying T-bone steaks with food stamps.”  Or when Crooked Dick Nixon's designated Deep Conservative Thinker, Pat “Just leave the bottle ” Moynihan proposed to replace discredited Great Society programs with – nothing.  

If you get the impression that the Conservative thought project had no room in its nurturing community for a critical examination of race and class in America, and how they worked together to oppress and immiserate communities of color, then we'd like to buy you a Italian cold-cut sandwich, unless you are a lower-class minority group member in which case you get a taco instead.

When American Conservatism had good ideas.

Now that you, the humble Atlantic reader, have grasped the beauty and ethical rigor of Conservative ideology, you can share Brooks's shock at seeing what it has become: “what passes for the worldview of “the right” is a set of resentful animosities, a partisan attachment to Donald Trump or Tucker Carlson, a sort of mental brutalism. The rich philosophical perspective that dazzled me then has been reduced to Fox News and voter suppression.” 

Because one thing you can say about Republicans like Dick Nixon and Spiro Agnew or their intellectual flacks like William Safire: they never trafficked in “resentful animosities.”  If you forget about the Safire/Agnew attack on the free press as “nattering nabobs of negativism,” or Nixon's celebration of the National Guard execution of unarmed protesters at Kent State, or white construction workers who attacked antiwar protesters on Wall Street, etc., etc.

In fact the Republican Party and its Conservative deep thinkers have done nothing but promote “resentful animosities” since 1964.  They called it the “Southern Strategy,” and like most Conservative ideas it was simple: stoke the anger of white racists, causing them to transfer their loyalty to the party that embodied their racist “nurturing community.”

And of course a well-educated observer of politics and society has figured out the linkage between the racist Republican appeal of the 60s, 70s, and 80s and the insanely violent white backlash insurrection that is the Republican Party of our time.

If that's the answer you wrote down, no sub for you!

Brooks instead is doubling down on the conservative drivel of his youth, while being careful to isolate its words from the reality of white racism and unregulated predatory capitalism:

I recently went back and reread the yellowing conservatism [sic] books that I have lugged around with me over the decades. I wondered whether I’d be embarrassed or ashamed of them, knowing what conservatism has devolved into. I have to tell you that I wasn’t embarrassed; I was enthralled all over again, and I came away thinking that conservatism is truer and more profound than ever.

Oh, boy.  Let's skip his efforts to trace American Conservatism to 1562 (as it more properly dates from 1619).  Let's cut right to what Brooks sees as its last stand:

Mitt Romney?  What's that glorious salmon in the great stream of Conservative Thought up to these days? 

It seems like a long time since this piece began, but we think he's the same Mitt Romney who we  met earlier voting against a vaccine-or-test mandate scientifically designed to limit the carnage of a pandemic that has removed 800,000 Americans from their nurturing communities.

It's also the same Mitt Romney who has refused to back the revival of the Voting Rights Act to protect democracy from the unrelenting white supremacist attack that will stop at nothing, legal or otherwise, to establish its perpetual dominance of American government despite the inconvenient fact that most people don't share its views.

So on two of the life-or-death issues of our time, that pillar of Traditional Conservative Values is firmly on the side of death, disease, and disenfranchisement.  If he's your best advertisement for your values, either you need better PR or, more likely, your values always sucked.

The lost Burkean glory days of American Conservatism

It's pretty to think of American Conservatism as Hamiltonian unicorns and Jeffersonian rainbows gamboling in the Burkean flower beds, but in a deeper sense it's pretty disingenuous.  Does Brooks really think he can overlook 421 years of institutionalized racism, including Jefferson's own slave labor colony, and we won't notice?  It's not his first marriage, it's history.

He must also be oblivious, or hope that the rest of us are oblivious, to real American Conservative thought articulated by real Americans (unlike Burke whom we remember as an English fellow).

We remember William F. Buckley, Jr., widely hailed as the Plato of modern American conservatism, arguing against the 1964 Civil Rights Act on the basis of pure racism.  

We remember the strain of paranoid conservatism embodied in the John Birch Society that saw Communism behind every drop of fluoridated water and every chord of a Pete Seeger concert.  

We remember how American Conservatives sought then (and now!) to destroy public education because it was either Socialist or the kids might learn something (like slavery was a bad thing, no matter how adorable Scarlett O'Hara was).

And we also remember how in the 70's and 80's conservatives used jibber-jabber about the absolute importance of culture to blame poor people for their own plight, an almost weekly argument put forward in proud Brandeis grad Marty Peretz's wretched New Republic.

But guess what – that particular bit of American Conservative nonsense Brooks remembers:

Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s brilliant dictum—which builds on a Burkean wisdom forged in a world of animosity and corrosive flux—has never been more worth heeding than it is now: The central conservative truth is that culture matters most; the central liberal truth is that politics can change culture.

(Maybe if Pat didn't kill off a fifth of Johnnie Walker every night, he wouldn't have suffered from so much corrosive flux.)

Culture matters most was the attack line used to destroy the welfare state on the grounds that the poors were so uncultured they would just waste public assistance on beer and Doritos, so let them rot in underfunded and unmaintained public housing. This blaming-the-victim argument held sway for decades in American life.

If only the poor were cultured, like Marty

Unfortunately for this overripe bit of misdirection, we have learned that the culture of the non-poors, most recently exemplified by their attack on the U.S. Capitol and their attempted lynchings of the Vice President and the Speaker of the House, leaves something to be desired as well.

It also turns out that culture doesn't create poverty, but poverty and hopelessness create all the terrible things American Conservatives warned us about, although when white people do them, somehow it's not so bad.

For all that, Brooks and his fellow American Conservatives were on to something, although they of course got to the exact wrong answer.  A culture of racism, of misogyny, of unearned white male grievance, of gun violence, and of predatory capitalism manipulated by billionaires acting out of insatiable greed and vanity does resist all political efforts to change it and improve the lives of those harmed by that culture.

At its extreme, such a culture chooses authoritarianism over democracy, mob violence over the rule of law, and pervasive disinformation over educating its young. In its current insane incarnation, American Conservative praxis is now engaged in sacrificing the lives of hundreds of thousands of American lives by opposing worker safety regulation in a time of pandemic.

So David and Pat may lift a glass (in Moynihan's case, the entire bottle) to the supposedly great tradition of American Conservative thought.  But when we think of the lives lost, ruined, and at risk today thanks to the modern expositors of that very tradition, like Mitt Romney, we'll skip the celebration.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

News from Zontar: 20 years of progress and democracy

Editors’ Note: Every so often the Spy Deep Space Desk gets a transmission from the mysterious planet of Zontar, located in the Remulac galaxy millions of light years from Earth. The planet is apparently populated by a race of intelligent alien life forms whose communications, while largely incomprehensible to those of us here, may shed some light, however dim and distant, on the thought patterns of these bizarre creatures. In the spirit of cosmic understanding, we present the most recent data from – [They get the drift – Ed.]

By Luke Reschuz
Obituary Editor
The New Zork Times 

Ralph Zader, the consumer rights crusader whose selfless decision to pull out of the 2000 Presidential race led to the election of President Al Gorz, died today. He was 482. 

Zader, widely criticized as a spoiler in the race, decided in late October that the country could not afford the consequences of electing George Z. Bush and urged his supporters to vote for then-Senator Gorz. As a result, Gorz carried New Hampshire and went on to a successful two-term Presidency. 

Chief Justice Zonia Zotomayor hailed Zader as a “visionary leader whose unselfishness led to two decades of social progress in this country, including universal health care, paid parental leave, enactment of the Equal Rights and Electoral College Abolition Amendments, protection of voting rights, and enshrining the rights of women to control their own bodies into law.” Asked if she agreed with Chief Justice Zotomayor, Justice Zanita Hill said only “Me, too.” 

The new home of the Supreme Court

President Zillary Clinton called for a National Day of Mourning in honor of the passing of what she called a “truly courageous and principled Zamerican patriot.” She spoke at the opening of the new National Capitol Childcare and Family Services Center, located across the street from the U.S. Capitol in the imposing marble building that once housed the Supreme Court, until it was relocated to the former Youngstown Sheet & Tube steel mill in Youngstown, Zohio pursuant to President Clinton's “Spread the Jobs” program. She was joined by D.C. Governor Zusan Rice. 

“Can you imagine what might have happened had George Z. Bush been allowed to eke out an Electoral College victory despite decisively losing the popular vote?” she mused. “We could have been saddled with a Supreme Court dominated by religious zealots that would have destroyed generations of political progress and human rights in this country.”

“Who knows what would have happened to protecting the rights of all Americans to vote and have their vote counted in fair districts? And the fundamental right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy, instead of being available to all women at no expense thanks to President Zobama’s universal health care initiative, could have depended on whether the woman had the bad luck to live in a s***hole like Zexas instead of Mazzachusetts,” she said. 

Clinton then excused herself, saying she had to prepare for the upcoming signing of the Ziran-Ziraq-Zaudi Arabia Peace and Cooperation Treaty, which her Administration had shepherded through years of tortuous negotiations. “There’s no such thing as being too prepared,” she said with a laugh. 

In gracious remarks, George Z. Bush interrupted his toe painting career to hail Zader as a “true patriot.” He admitted that it was “just as well” that he lost the 2000 race because he would not have been able to foil the al-Qaeda terror ring before it could wreak havoc in the United States, as President Gorz had done. 

But not all the comments from Republicanz were as measured as Bush’s. During a break in his most recent sex-trafficking and rape trial, bankrupt supplement huckster Donald Drumpf said that Zader had paved the way for the destruction of the American way of life, citing the election of a black President as further “proof” of his widely-ignored conspiracy theory of “stolen” elections.

Had Republicanz taken over the Supreme Court,
women would have become second-class citizens.

Around Drumpf, a small claque of supporters and hangers-on echoed similar deranged extreme views. Drumpf’s driver, disgraced former Supreme Court Justice Clarenz Thomas, who was removed from the bench for lying during his confirmation hearings, called Zader “the pubic hair on the Coke can of life.” 

Drumpf’s lawyer, former Third Circuit Judge Sullen Sam Zalito, muttered, “Zader started it all. If he had stayed in the race, we could have transformed the country into the reactionary Catholic theocracy intended by Torquemada and the other founding fathers.” 

The press generally lauded Zader for his service, although discouraging notes were heard, even in the pages of this esteemed publication. Columnist Maureen Zowd complained for the 281th time that Gorz’s victory paved the way for Clinton’s, who turned her down for an interview in 1995. Her colleague Ross Zaywhat mourned the genocide of 1,400,000 embryos and fetuses a year and wondered why the women who committed these murders in cold blood failed to appreciate his brilliant irrefutable arguments against abortion rights. 

In the Senate, the session opened with a moment of silence for Zader, led by its Presiding Officer, Sen. Pat Zillman (R – Arizona), who was not killed by his own troops in a senseless war of lies.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Bad News for Biden: The Spy's Ace Political Pundit David Bloviator Piles On [Surely, Weighs In? - Ed.]

Editors' Note:  450 million vaccines administered.  Historic legislation passed despite Republican obstruction.  Stock market thriving.  Unemployment down.  Economic growth high.  It all spells one thing: bad news for President Joe Biden.  Why, you ask?  Fortunately,  the Spy's peerless political prognosticator, David Bloviator, who has covered Democrats in Disarray since 1964, is ready to serve up steaming hot helpings of conventional wisdom.  We caught up with him back at his Washington listening post – the National Press Club bar. 

TMS:  Mr. Bloviator, it's a pleasure to welcome you back in person after almost two years of virtual prognostication.

DB:  Yes, it is.  I'll take a real double Chivas rocks and make it snappy.

TMSComing right up.  Mr. Bloviator, you and the rest of the Washington punditocracy have stated that the Democrats are facing big political problems.  Why is that?

The Spy's David Bloviator says
Biden is in trouble

DB:  I can give you the answer in one word.  Inflation.  And wokeism. 

TMS:  Those are two words, actually.  What's the situation with inflation?

DB:  It is skyrocketing.  It is soaring.  It is flying to the moon on gossamer wings, just like one of those things. Pricing are rising at an unprecedented pace.

TMS: Actually, they're not.  Inflation was much higher in the 70's and 80's. 

DB:  Don't tell me what life was like back then.  That was before you were born.  But my God families who are buying 5 gallons of milk a week are spending $42 a gallon.

TMS Are you sure you haven't got it backwards, and you're thinking of a discredited CNN report about a family buying 42 gallons of milk a week at $5 per gallon?

DB:  Stop quibbling.  The price of milk is exploding. 

TMS You don't know how much a gallon of milk costs, do you? 

DB:  Never touch the stuff.  Gives me the wind.  Unlike the Chivas that should be in this glass.  Fill it up like a good lad.

TMS: Right away, Mr. Bloviator.  

DB: Speaking of inflation, did you know that the price of a bottle of Chivas has reached $90?

TMS: Who told you that?

DB: I ran into my old buddy Mark Penn '75 at the No Labels Third Way Agenda conference sponsored by Charlie Koch and he said that's how much he was charged by the Four Seasons. 

TMS: But that's the hotel markup which I think Charlie Koch can afford.  If you buy it at a liquor store, it's like $35.

DB: Why would I buy my own liquor when everyone is willing to give it to me for free?

TMS: Let's take another tack.  If Biden must take the blame for rising prices, doesn't he get the credit for a soaring stock market and creating millions of jobs?

DB: Sorry, no.

TMS: Why not?

DB: Messaging.

TMS: What about the messaging?

DB:  It's in disarray.  

TMS: Isn't that because the media spend all their time and pixels focusing on a few recalcitrant Democrats and not on the substance of Biden's legislative agenda?

DB: No it's because the White House doesn't have a message.  That's why the Republicans romped to victory in Virginia.

TMS: Are you sure it wasn't due to a lackluster retread candidate and a clearly racist message about public schools?  

DB: I'm glad you asked.  The Democrats are facing an electoral catastrophe, cataclysm, calamity, apocalypse and/or reckoning next year because they are too woke.

TMS: Can you define what it means to be too woke?

Another Biden failure

DB:  No but the electorate can.

TMS: And what is it?

DB:  It's extreme positions like defund the police, mask mandates, and far-left social programs.

TMS: Can you name a single Democratic officeholder or candidate who supports defunding the police?

DB: That's not the point.  The point is that people are afraid of having their traditional liberties being taken away by the state.

TMS: Which freedoms?

DB: You know, traditional freedoms like marching through a demonstration with a high-powered assault rifle.  Or the freedom to not be vaccinated or wear masks.

TMS: After 785,000 deaths with another 1,000 plus every day, don't you think that a society has the right if not the duty to protect itself from a lethal pandemic?

DB:  And they must do it in a bipartisan fashion.

TMS: But the the two key tools to ending the pandemic are 100% vaccination and masking, and Republicans oppose both.

DB: Dammit, man, just read The New York Times.  Jon Weisman said this week

As cases surge once again in some parts of the country, Republicans have hit on a new line of attack: The president has failed on a central campaign promise, to tame the pandemic that his predecessor systematically downplayed 

TMS: But he was just transcribing a Republican talking point, from the party that utterly failed to protect us from COVID when they were in power.

DB:  You're falling into the Republican trap, as Weisman told you if you would only listen:

But Republican strategists and pollsters say Democrats should not be so quick to brush off the criticism, even if many Covid-related deaths this year were among those who ignored Mr. Biden’s entreaties to get vaccinated. 

TMS: So protecting Americans from a lethal pandemic over Republican opposition is too woke.  What else you got?

DB: What about Maureen Dowd's brother Kevin?  We haven't heard from him in years.

TMS: That racist liar?  

DB:  See, you're cancelling him.

How come we haven't heard from Kevin Dowd lately?

TMS: What's the difference between cancelling someone and pointing out that their ideas suck?

DB: None.  That's the problem.  And what about poor Bari Weiss?

TMS: What about her?  She's living huge on right wing finagler money and self-professed martyrdom.

DB:  She was driven out of The New York Times by wokeism.

TMS: You mean her colleagues criticized her pisspoor whining masquerading as political commentary?

DB: Exactly.

TMS: Isn't all this talk about wokeism just a smokescreen to conceal the traditional Republican appeal to white racism?

DB: Now you sound like that 1916 girl.

TMS1619? Girl? You mean Professor Nikole Hannah-Jones? That's a great compliment.  Thank you, Mr. Bloviator. 

DB:  Are we done?  How about one more Chivas-rocks for the road?

TMS: No.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

The Path of Whiteousness

The Spy's Religion Section

By Leo Frank
Religion Editor

Those appalled and offended by the spectacle of a white punk getting away with strapping on a lethal assault weapon during a protest against white supremacy, and then shooting and killing anyone who perceives him as a threat might be tempted to take consolation in religion.  Especially one of the religions that stress moral behavior, mercy, and peace.  You know, like Judaism, Islam, or Christianity.  Right?

Pump the brakes, Crusader.

It turns out that not all religions are, um, created equal.  Well, maybe they were created equal but some of them seem to have drifted a few leagues away from their professed ideals.

The recent election in Virginia has exposed the real face of what is normally described as white evangelical Christianity, according to The Washington Post:

Evangelical white Christianity at work

For decades, White evangelicals have gotten riled up over issues ranging from evolution to desegregation to prayer in schools, and in Virginia’s latest gubernatorial race, the culture wars in schools were front and center. Ahead of Election Day, Youngkin railed against critical race theory, often using CRT — an intellectual movement that examines the way policies and laws perpetuate systemic racism and is not part of the public school curriculum — as a way to describe schools’ efforts to teach children about race and racial disparities.

That message energized White evangelicals, who flocked to Youngkin.
The National Election Pool exit poll found Youngkin won White evangelicals by 89 percent — a higher percentage than President Donald Trump, who won White evangelicals in Virginia in 2020 by 80 percent.

Did you know that a core tenet of Christianity was covering up a 400-year history of white racism?  We didn't!

But perhaps that's due to our own ignorance, because white supremacy and unearned resentment has been baked into the white evangelical Twinkie for a very long time:

So what then were the real origins of the religious right? It turns out that the movement can trace its political roots back to a court ruling, but not Roe v. Wade.

In May 1969, a group of African-American parents in Holmes County, Mississippi, sued the Treasury Department to prevent three new whites-only K-12 private academies from securing full tax-exempt status, arguing that their discriminatory policies prevented them from being considered “charitable” institutions....

On June 30, 1971, the [Federal] Court...issued its ruling .... [upholding] the new IRS policy: “Under the Internal Revenue Code, properly construed, racially discriminatory private schools are not entitled to the Federal tax exemption provided for charitable, educational institutions,....”

The...ruling ... captured the attention of evangelical leaders, especially as the IRS began sending questionnaires to church-related “segregation academies,” including Falwell’s own Lynchburg Christian School, inquiring about their racial policies. Falwell was furious. “In some states,” he famously complained, “It’s easier to open a massage parlor than a Christian school.”

So the white evangelical movement was built on a hypocritical campaign to subvert school desegregation. Where in Christian Scripture is that?

We remember reading tons of happy horse***t about the Moral Majority in its heyday and we don't recall word one about how it was founded to advance and protect white racism.  It's almost like 30 years ago the media was afraid to call out white racism.  Isn't it great that those days are over?

The white evangelical mission of promoting white racism ought to be enough reason to deny it a legitimate position in American political life and discourse, but of course when entitled white people are allowed to run rampant without consequences, there's so much more, in addition to the body count in Kenosha.  Here's the views of one pardoned felon:

Christian soldier Gen. Michael Flynn

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn's call for "one religion" in the US to win the battle of good versus evil has garnered sharp backlash from a range of critics. Flynn, who was subpoenaed last week by the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack, made the comment during a speech to a conservative Christian audience on the ReAwaken America tour in Texas this weekend. "If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion," he said. "One nation under God and one religion under God, right? All of us, working together." His message -- the latest in a lengthy history of outlandish remarks -- appears to be an inflammatory contradiction of the First Amendment, which protects freedom of religion. Flynn has previously drawn backlash for controversial comments....

...[F]former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN Sunday. ".... He is clearly unhinged here with this kind of public statement."

Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, a national security analyst for CNN, similarly cast Flynn's remarks as "an embarrassment to the US Army & an aberration to those of us who have proudly worn the cloth of our country."

"His words are disgusting," Hertling said in a tweet.  

Outlandish?  Gen. Flynn, not known as a particular creative thinker, didn't make this s*** up. He's simply parroting a common view among white evangelicals known as “dominionism:” 

Though it’s seldom mentioned by name, it’s one of the major forces in Texas politics today: dominion theology, or dominionism. What began as a fringe evangelical sect in the 1970s has seen its influence mushroom — so much so that sociologist Sara Diamond has called dominionism “the central unifying ideology for the Christian Right.” (Italics hers.) That’s especially true here in Texas, where dominionist beliefs have, over the last decade, become part and parcel of right-wing politics at the highest levels of government.

So, what is it? Dominionism fundamentally opposes America’s venerable tradition of church-state separation — in fact, dominionists deny the Founders ever intended that separation in the first place. According to Frederick Clarkson, senior fellow for religious liberty at the non-profit social justice think tank Political Research Associates, dominionists believe that Christians “have a biblical mandate to control all earthly institutions — including government — until the second coming of Jesus.” And that should worry all Texans — Christians and non-Christians alike....

Top Texas political figures have had links to dominionism for years. In 2011, the Observer covered then-Governor Rick Perry’s ties to a branch of the movement, the New Apostolic Reformation. Since then, the relationship between dominionism and right-wing politics has become even cozier.

Case in point: Ted Cruz. Although Cruz is too politically savvy to openly endorse dominionism, key figures on his team are explicit dominionists.

The most important may be his father, evangelist Rafael Cruz, a frequent surrogate for Cruz on the political stage.
Is Cancun the Promised Land?  Ask Reb Cruz!

Cruz père espouses Seven Mountains Dominionism, which holds that Christians must take control of seven “mountains,” or areas of life: family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business and government.

Even this perversion of Christian doctrine does not teach that when your people are freezing in the dark, a true Christian runs off to Cancun, so Ted can't use that excuse. 

But here's the disturbing part: not only are these Christian dominionists intolerant, ant-democratic racists.  A good chunk of them are child abusing sadists.  Talia Lavin, who recently went incognito to expose the frightening world of the on-line reactionary insurrectionists in her book Culture Warlords, is back with her latest dispatch from the battle fronts of indecency:

The emergence of evangelicals as an active right-wing political force on the American scene came into full force over the subsequent decade, largely as a backlash to the civil-rights movement and school integration....

“In the last half-century, Conservative evangelicals were coalescing as this partisan political movement and coalescing around a particular cultural orientation, and childrearing is right at the center of that,” Kristin Kobes du Mez, historian...told me. “Out-of-control children were unravelling the social fabric of the country.... In the 1970s, disciplining children became thick with meaning in evangelical spaces, as part of this political mobilization but also more fundamentally as part of this oppositional cultural identity.”

By the 1990s, propelled by the success of Dare to Discipline and its sequels (The Strong-Willed Child, Temper Your Child’s Tantrums), Dobson’s ministry, Focus on the Family, was a media empire. Its radio programs, educational materials, and newsletters became, as du Mez puts it, “a fixture in the homes of tens of millions of Americans.”

Bring child abuse home for the holidays!

Legions of imitators followed, some more sadistic and others more faith-centric than Dobson’s unnervingly folksy persona. They continue to shape evangelical parenting culture by impressing the perils of “sparing the rod.” Dobson popularized a vision of parenting as a battle whose goal was the complete subjection of the child’s will, with pain a central tool in an ongoing spiritual war. His successors include Michael and Debi Pearl, whose work through No Greater Joy Ministries includes the infamous To Train Up A Child (1.2 million copies sold), a work that I can best describe as a child-abuse manual. There are also gurus like the pastor Tedd Tripp, whose Shepherding A Child’s Heart erases completely the line between physical abuse and parental love. Tens of millions of children have been raised with these principles, and this pain. At least three killings have been linked to the parenting doctrines of the Pearls: between 2006 and 2010, Sean Paddock, 4, Lydia Schatz, 7, and Hana Williams, 13, all died brutal deaths at the hands of parents who owned copies of To Train Up A Child. 

Jesus Christ!  Makes you wonder if all the Q-Anon bs about Hillary Clinton abusing children in the nonexistent basement of a Washington pizza parlor was as usual a projection. 

So what is to be done about Christian dominationists?  First, let's not pretend, like Sullen Sam Alito, they are acting on bona fide religious motives.  Let's not pretend they are either Moral or a Majority.  Let's not pretend that they are interested in “education” or “traditional values.”

While we're at it, let's make it clear that their values and views are bad, if not evil, and are unworthy of respect or political representation.

And for the sake of all that is good and holy, let's not blame progressives for failing to “reach out” to these violent hatemongers.

At least until they put down the AR-15's.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Do Not Forget the Greediest: The Plight of American Employers

The Spy's Report on Recovery

By Finance Editor Samuel Insull
and Labor Correspondent Joseph Hill

If it's a day ending in “-day,” it must be bad news for Biden. Never mind that any idiot who has invested in a vanilla stock market index fund has seen results like this since the election: 

Source: Morningstar

That a 36% rise in the stock market.  Also forget that since Inauguration, the shattered economy has added 5,600,000 jobs.

But a great wailing is heard in the land, at least according to The Washington Post:

Businesses have hired millions of American workers since April 2020, ... But workers have remained remarkably mobile, quitting jobs for a variety of reasons and often with little notice. Many businesses are so strapped to find and retain workers that they are dipping into budgets to offer higher pay and bonuses, creating the most worker-friendly labor market in recent history. 

Those mean workers! How dare they!

This crisis is usually described, including in the Post story, as a “labor shortage.”  It could also be described as a wage shortage, or a benefits shortage, or a childcare shortage, or a health and safety shortage, as we'll see.

Why are workers abandoning their strapped employers in their hour of greed? [Surely, need? – Ed.]  The Post piece actually provides a few clues, citing workers tired of endangering their health by being forced to work too close to unmasked unvaxxed colleagues or students.

Fortunately, the not-incompetent or corrupt Biden Administration has at least a partial fix: a new rule requiring large employers to institute a uniform test-or-vax mandate to protect workers from the occupational hazard of catching a fatal disease at work.  Problem solved.

Not so fast, Federalist Society breath.  A bent panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has stopped the rule from taking effect, in part on the grounds that the Administration's justification for the emergency rule is lacking:

“The mandate’s stated impetus — a purported ‘emergency’ that the entire globe has now endured for nearly two years, and which OSHA itself spent nearly two months responding to — is unavailing...”

A pandemic that has taken 750,000 lives in less than two years and continues to claim them at the rate of a 9/11 every three days is a “purported emergency?”  We hope these these reactionary clowns will tell us when a real ‘emergency’ shows up.  We could also hope that our elected leaders will protect us from death by unpacking the Fifth Circuit with seven new judges, but that would require something more than a “purported emergency.”

But let's return to those cheeky workers no longer willing to toil endlessly for peanuts.  What else are they whining about?

Of those who were seeking the ability to work from home, 85 percent said either workplace safety concerns (50 percent) or child-care/family-care needs (35 percent) were driving their decisions — data that indicates how many people are attempting to switch industries in hopes of being able to work from home. 

You mean the lack of affordable child care is keeping parents from entering the work force, either because there are no slots available or after paying child care, the marginal benefit of working is close to zip? Fortunately, the Biden Administration has a plan for that:

Who could oppose affordable child care when businesses are saying they are desperate for workers?

Follow that Maserati!

The child care provision is part of the Administration's omnibus Build Back Better bill, but Maserati Joe Manchin (D – Coal) isn't on board (he's staying on his luxury yacht instead).  His excuses vary, the most recent one being that inflation is too high even though no real economist believes that the BBB package will make inflation worse.

So the two most logical ways to motivate people to take and keep jobs – protecting them from death and making it possible for them to work without leaving their children alone in front of the tube – are, as usual in American life, being blocked by unprincipled a******.

What else might work?  One possibility would be not to focus on the whiners who can't find workers to hire, but instead try to learn from employers who seem to be able to attract and retain qualified workers:

For those of you who live west of Worcester (and why?), Market Basket is a beloved Boston-area supermarket chain owned by a family (or the branch of the family) that believes in treating its workers and customers well.  As a result, it's the market leader in the region and, according to this WCVB report, seems to be able to keep its 71-year-old cashiers happily employed.

It helps that Market Basket has not been stripped and flipped by private equity finaglers eager to scavenge every last quarter from the corporate carcass (like poor sad Stop & Shop).  So maybe the problem isn't a labor shortage, but a surplus of greedy, cruel, rapacious owners who are finally getting just what they deserve.

Of course, if all else fails, maybe it's time to exhort the proletariat to exert themselves in a Great Leap Forward:

Let's ask former Former Loser Grifter flunky and friend of China Elaine Chao for her deep thoughts on how to solve the “labor shortage:"

Oh, you're being far too modest, Elaine.  Who are you, really?  In addition to being the trophy wife of dreamy Sen. Mitch McConnell, that is.  When Mrs. Mitch was serving as the FLG's Transportation Secretary, she also managed to advance her family's interests by cozying up to the Chinese Government, whose labor policies are known for their, um, effectiveness:

No labor shortages in Elaine Chao's paradise

In China, the Chaos are no ordinary family. They run an American shipping company with deep ties to the economic and political elite in China, where most of the company’s business is centered. The trip was abruptly canceled by Ms. Chao after the ethics question was referred to officials in the State and Transportation Departments and, separately, after The New York Times and others made inquiries about her itinerary and companions. “She had these relatives who were fairly wealthy and connected to the shipping industry,” said a State Department official who was involved in deliberations over the visit. “Their business interests were potentially affected by meetings.”

So it's not surprising that she proposes to motivate American workers not with better wages, working conditions, safety standards, or child care, but with patriotic exhortations to overproduce for the greater glory of the Motherland, or in her case, one of her Motherlands.

And it wouldn't be much of a Great Leap Forward for the former sweetheart of Syosset High to propose a truly Chinese Government solution to a lack of available labor.  Hint: it's working just great now in Xinjiang Province.

By the way, her bosses from her last two stints at the Washington trough are to all appearances unemployed.  Here's hoping she'll have success persuading George W. Bush to wait tables at a Dallas barbecue pit.  As for her other boss, we don't think he could pass the drug test.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Media in array: Dems in Disarray


By A.J. Liebling
Meta-Content Generator

It's been a rough week for the Democrats.  We know this because the media have been telling us all week it's been a rough week for the Democrats, what with maladroit retread insider Terry McAuliffe losing in Virginia and progressive Phil Murphy winning in New Jersey.  Here's a typical example of the Conventional Wisdom from The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Reeling from a barrage of unexpected losses, an array of Democrats on Wednesday pleaded with President Biden and his party’s lawmakers to address the quality-of-life issues that plagued their candidates in elections on Tuesday from heavily Hispanic San Antonio to the suburbs of Virginia, New Jersey and New York.

Although they had braced for a close race for Virginia governor, Democrats were caught off guard by the intensity of the backlash against their party in major off-year elections. Republicans claimed all three statewide offices in Virginia, will likely take control of the state’s House of Delegates and came close to upsetting Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, whose re-election had been presumed safe by officials in both parties. . . .

The scope of the party’s setbacks illustrated that voters were fatigued from the demands of the still-continuing coronavirus pandemic and angry about the soaring prices and scarcity of goods they were confronting every day.

Never mind that the Republicans didn't in fact come anywhere near upsetting Phil Murphy:

51-48?  How close is that in this country?  Just a reminder that President Biden was elected 51-47 and no one thought that was close.

Or that Boston, which a generation ago brought us white hatemongers like Louise Day Hicks and Dapper O'Neill, elected:

Yeah, we'd agree with The Boston Globe that a 30-point victory margin is “not close.”

We'll get back to the pithy analysis of what Demos did wrong, but interrupt this torrent of drivel to bring you something truly loathsome.

You'll recall that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his husband adopted two babies last month, after which Buttigieg took advantage of the Biden Administration's parental leave policies and left the Department of Transportation in the hands of the career civil servants.

This decision was cruelly mocked by frozen-food heir and Nazi-curious white supremacist Fried Chicken with Country Gravy Carlson:

More Fox comedy gold!  Even funnier, it turned out that the baby had a serious health crisis requiring a lengthy stay in the newborn intensive care unit:

A week on a ventilator. 

We'll let you know when Fish Sticks and Tater Tots Carlson apologizes to the relieved parents and when wild bears discover the joys of National Park comfort stations.

No.  Just no.

By the way, what happens to parents whose critically ill infants are placed on ventilators but they don't have paid family leave?  We mention this not only to give you an idea of the toxic media environment facing Democrats seeking to behave decently or even a bit of mercy in times of need, but also because it ties into the Conventional Wisdom's prescription for Democrats in Defeat.

Nobody asked them but the New York Times Editorial Board, which despite extensive reorganization and new hires continues to just suck, had the answer:

But Democrats, looking left on so many priorities and so much messaging, have lost sight of what can unite the largest number of Americans. A national Democratic Party that talks up progressive policies at the expense of bipartisan ideas, and that dwells on Donald Trump at the expense of forward-looking ideas, is at risk of becoming a marginal Democratic Party appealing only to the left. 

What bipartisan ideas did the Times have in mind?  Was it removing great literature from schools whenever it offends the sensibilities of white racist and professional Republican rabble-rousers, as Republicans stressed in Virginia? Or just doing jack sh*t about any social issue at all, which has been the Republican position for 40 years?  Others have pointed out that Times Editorial Board said just the opposite a year ago, but that's the least of it.

Are those progressive ideas espoused by Democrats really so toxic?  We could look at a few, um, facts, like polling data showing that the elements of the Democratic plan are approved by only two out of three voters.

The particular elements of the plan are hardly the platform of the Supreme Soviet. Take the supposedly most controversial item, paid family leave.  180 other countries, including Country Ham with Applesauce Carlson's utopia, Hungary, have paid family leave, so parents don't have to choose between paying the rent and comforting their baby as it fights for its life in the Intensive Care Unit. 

Just today, the Times tells us that voters are supposedly in a sh**** mood, despite 4.6% unemployment, 561,000 new jobs last month, the stock market at record highs, and the widespread free availability of life-saving vaccines.  If you read the piece, you find that Democrats are seething because the progressive agenda the Times said was so toxic has been blocked by Republicans and Maserati Joe Manchin.  You also get the sense that a pandemic that has claimed the lives of 750,000 Americans over the past 18 months has a bit of a depressive effect.

What you don't find is the prevalence of armed and dangerous white supremacy, which tried to overthrow our government on January 6 and last week in Virginia  used the fake issue of teaching Critical Race Theory in public schools to express their racial guilt and resentment.

In response, CBS News to its shame asked:

As you might expect, the replies were en fuego:

But let's let George Takei have the last word:

Maybe media coverage that doesn't highlight the importance of white resentment and unearned privilege isn't really covering the political reality of our country at all. Maybe it's time once again, as hedge fund plutocrat Glenn Youngkin insists, to stress the importance of “education.” 

Of reporters that is.