Alex Pareene

Why TED Is a Massive, Money-Soaked Orgy of Self-Congratulatory Futurism

In case you’re unfamiliar with TED, it is a series of short lectures on a variety of subjects that stream on the Internet, for free. That’s it, really, or at least that is all that TED is to most of the people who have even heard of it. For an elite few, though, TED is something more: a lifestyle, an ethos, a bunch of overpriced networking events featuring live entertainment from smart and occasionally famous people.

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Joe Scarborough's Insane Conspiracy Theory: The Census Is Fixed!

Did the Census Bureau change the way it counts Americans without health insurance as part of a deliberate plot by the Obama administration to fudge the numbers and make the ACA appear more successful than it really is? I don’t know! It’s not impossible. It’s a thing that could have happened. But it doesn’t seem very likely, and there is absolutely no evidence for the charge, at all.

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Why "Libertarian" Rand Paul Wants the Government to Have More Tomahawk Missiles

Sen. Rand Paul is a Different Kind of Republican. He will drag the party, kicking and screaming, toward a new kind of conservatism that appeals more to today’s youth, who embrace liberty and are skeptical of foreign intervention. The Millennials will flock to him. Rand Paul also would like you to know that the Pentagon must keep buying Tomahawk missiles.

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Hey, Bill O'Reilly and David Gergen! You Should Really Hear Abe Lincoln's Fart Joke

To the great shame of this once-proud nation, President Barack Obama went on a jokeman’s joke show and did jokes. All right-thinking Americans — which is to say, a number of white men above the age of 60 — were horrified to see the leader of the free world on “Between Two Ferns,” the web-based faux talk show hosted by “Hangover” star and alt-comedian Zach Galifianikis. Whatever happened to the dignity of the office of the presidency?

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Obama's Decision Not to Push for Social Security Cuts Has the Beltway Insiders Hopping Mad

You may be pleased that the president has (for now) abandoned his Very Serious proposal to cut Social Security benefits in order to Fix the Debt (and perhaps win nebulous concessions from an uncooperative Republican Party). Do you know who’s not pleased? Professional deficit scolds, a class that includes much of the supposedly objective American political press. They are dismayed. They are practically weeping into their cups of morning joe. Why, they are asking, can’t American politicians simply grow up and cut social insurance programs?

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How Ted Cruz’s Sulking Rage Could Impact the GOP

Republicans are stumbling toward the 2014 midterm elections fighting amongst themselves again. Democrats are happy to see it, because Republican disarray is one of the few things that could prevent another very good election for the GOP. We should all know the reasons for the Republican advantage by now: Midterm voters are older, whiter and more conservative than presidential election voters. Democrats have more Senate seats to defend. Republicans have a huge, baked-in advantage in the House, thanks to redistricting and the clustering of liberal voters in urban districts. So the great Democratic hope is that Republicans will sabotage themselves, by nominating unelectable wingnuts for Senate seats, and demoralizing the base with infighting. So far, Republicans seem to be cooperating.

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Why Congress Will Never Achieve Anything Like the Reforms the Public Might Wish for

As I wrote last month and also several other times over the past five or so years, “comprehensive immigration reform” — defined as a bill making it possible for currently undocumented residents to earn legal status and/or citizenship — can’t happen now because Republicans control the House of Representatives, conservatives control the Republican Party, and conservatives oppose granting legal status to undocumented immigrants. It’s a very simple calculation, and most discussions of the political status of immigration reform could start and end with some variation on that explanation.

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The 1 Percent’s Frothing Paranoia: Why Billionaires Keep Whining About Non-Existent Persecution

A funny prank would have been for Barack Obama to announce at his State of the Union address last night that he was going to confiscate all of Tom Perkins’ money and redistribute it to the masses. I mean, no matter what the president actually said in his speech, that proposal is what Perkins was going to hear. If our plutocrats insist on being paranoid cranks obsessed with their persecution fantasies, I say we might as well persecute them.

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The Republican Plot to Kill Democracy: Why It Wants To Neutralize the Vote

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration has released its report and recommendations, and reasonable people everywhere rejoice. The bipartisan commission was formed by Barack Obama following the 2012 election, which was a bit of an embarrassment for a nation that considers itself something of a model democracy. Across the country (but mainly in urban areas and black and Latino neighborhoods), Election Day featured hours-long lines, broken voting machines, inaccurate voter rolls and confusing ballots.

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5 More of the Most Awful Media People of 2013

In the media hack list below, Alex Pareene has channeled each media figure's "unique" voice -- and let them "write" their own entries. You can find the previous five hacks in Pareene's list here

#5 Hack: Washington Post's Richard Cohen

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5 of the Most Awful Media People of 2013

Salon's Alex Pareene skewers some of the most notorious media hacks and some that you don't quite expect, in his annual run down of what irked him the most. Today we give you 5.  On Sunday look for five more.
Hack List No. 10: Malcolm Gladwell(Credit: AP/Evan Agostini)
In the summer of 2012, the writer Jonah Lehrer resigned from The New Yorker. Lehrer, an author of books that translated complicated science into simple-to-understand life lessons, had “self-plagiarized” his own work, re-using his own sentences and quotations without attribution. He had also, more seriously, invented quotations in his book, “Imagine.”

The writer Michael Moynihan identified multiple quotes attributed to Bob Dylan in “Imagine” that did not exist in the form Lehrer had used. Some featured portions of actual Dylan quotes, stitched together to form new lines that supported Lehrer’s thesis. Some seemed to have been entirely fabricated. Moynihan also listed Lehrer’s prior documented instances of lapses of journalistic judgment, including one instance of plagiarizing another New Yorker writer, Malcolm Gladwell.

Hack List No. 9: Thomas Friedman(Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson/Salon)
Salon is running its annual Hack List this week. Also check out "winner" number 10.

A Visit to Friedman World

I was at a conference in Brussels last week and having trouble with my column. Thomas Friedman hadn’t changed as a writer or a human being for many years, and I’d written about him 100 times before. I took a walk down to Cinquantenaire Park to get some fresh air and clear my head. As I left the park, I stopped in a small cafe to order a coffee.

I happened to notice a young Palestinian man working behind the counter. When I ordered my coffee, he realized that I was American. “Ah, like Thomas Friedman,” he said. “Friedman, the great New York Times columnist who understands the needs of and challenges facing people like me, working-class Palestinians living in the European Union, because of how often he travels the world and how many brief but illuminating conversations he has with service industry employees. We are all grateful to be material for his columns and books,” he said, standing in for all people like him, by which I mean most foreign brown people.

As I wrote down what he said to use it in my column, it struck me that the world is changing. The world used to be flat. Now, everyone I talk to, everywhere I go, tells me something is bending the world into a new shape. This 4G, 401(k) world is gettingrounded. That scares a lot of people. But it doesn’t scare Thomas Friedman. Because while some old media dinosaurs are going extinct thanks to the asteroid of globalization and the giant dust plume of hyperconnectivity, Friedman is a cockroach. A cockroach made of stone. A cockroach made of stone that lives in The Cloud.

For a long time, the New York Times was vertical. It was longer top-to-bottom than side-to-side — unless you opened it up. Now, no one opens up the New York Times physically, they open it in their Web browsers. Suddenly, the New York Times is horizontal — until you scroll. That changes everything. Now the New York Times is horizontal and vertical. What does that mean for Thomas Friedman? It means fasten your seatbelt. You’re not going anywhere.

Thomas Friedman is an app. People who read Thomas Friedman, like President Obama and other rich Americans, are like teens using apps on their iPhones. Only this app doesn’t take a selfie, it takes a they-mie. See, Friedman’s a mirror, and like a mirror, he reflects. I call the people he’s reflecting “Friedman World.” In Friedman World, America is always saving Muslims from themselves by bombing them and columnists never learn any lessons from their worst mistakes. In Friedman World, the destabilization of America’s former middle class is actually an opportunity for formerly employed people to work on building their branded reputations.

I wish Thomas Friedman, House Republicans and Iran President Hassan Rouhani could all get together in a room and listen to the words of Winston Churchill, who once said, “The Hun is always at your neck or at your feet.” He was talking about Germans, but the Hun of today is runaway entitlement spending. Entitlement spending is also an unspecified number of cans. And young people are “the ones who will really get hit by all the cans we’re kicking down the road.” In Friedman World, cans that were kicked down a road somehow hit you when you reach them.

If we taught the citizens of Friedman World to code, would they create an Instagram or an Angry Birds? That’s the question that could decide the fate of the entire Middle East.

When I was in Singapore, I talked to hundreds of Asian college students, business people and diplomats, and while none of them said this to me, exactly, it’s basically my thesis andso I’m going to put it in quotation marks as a sort of “distillation” of things I probably was told by people: “Is everything going all right over there in America? How could the people who gave us Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, H.P. and Google also have so many people, many of them in positions of authority, who take a clown like Thomas Friedman seriously? Most of his columns are just nonsensical buzzwords he’s been repeating for literally 10 years and his foreign policy analysis is usually either incredibly facile or actively offensive to Arabs and Muslims. It’s actually terrifying how influential he is. Like it legitimately makes me despair of anything improving anywhere in the world for anyone but the super-rich. Also there is probably some Times rule about not putting ‘distilled’ quotes in quotation marks, right?”

When I heard that — or rather when I didn’t hear it but when I wrote it, just now — I thought “we’re gonna need a bigger boat.” And that boat better have Wi-Fi. Because Friedman World may be flat, but it doesn’t have an end.

Hack List No. 8: Peggy Noonan
(Credit: NBC News)
Salon is running its annual Hack List this week. Also check out "winners" number 10 and 9.

Declarations

Sometimes, the old things, the things you thought gone forever, come roaring back, and you notice them again.

It is early evening in Manhattan on Flag Day, and I’m walking along on Park Avenue just north of 59th Street, a street I know well, a street I never go south of, when I see something unusual. A person. A human person, a man, short, with dark skin and hair. He is, I think, Latin American, perhaps a Mexican. He is sitting in a strange box that contains hundreds of gaudy candies, and inside the box there is even a small refrigerator containing soft drinks. Beside the candy there were magazines of all varieties, and below the magazines were these funny stacks of paper. We called them newspapers. The box, I immediately thought, was America.

In the grand American tradition, the man was selling all of these things, as all immigrants have, as we once hoped — no, knew, in our bones — they always would. Now, we’re not so certain. Now we don’t know who will sell us candy and Pepsi Maxx on 59th Street, tomorrow.

I bought a newspaper from the man. The Wall Street Journal. I opened the Wall Street Journal and I read it. There, in the middle, or at the end of the first section, was a newspaper opinion column. The column said, “Hey, read me!” So I did. It was by Peggy Noonan, who used to write words for a president. Now she writes words for everyone who buys this newspaper. Peggy Noonan had a lot of things to say, about how the president is weak and uncertain, how Chris Christie is good at playing a game, and knows it’s a game, and is a winner, and how amazing it is that Peggy Noonan can ride on an airplane and type thoughts about JFK on a computer machine. Peggy Noonan is on airplanes, and in airports, a lot, in real life and in her columns.

Peggy Noonan asks, what would Bob Taft say about Republicans today? I ask, what would he say about Peggy Noonan today. If I called Peggy Noonan a communist, I think “Mr. Republican” would say, “Keep it up, Alex.”

There is an Old America and there is a New America. Peggy Noonan is of the Old America. The New America loves newness. It sees a new person, and it says, “Hey, look at that guy.” Old America says, “I don’t care for this new person.” Is there a place in the New America for Peggy Noonan?

Was Peggy Noonan ever a new person? Logic and science say yes. I’m not so sure.

The Elders still want to know what Peggy Noonan is thinking. They look at her, and they see wisdom. An ability to connect to America, to channel America. Peggy Noonan’s problem right now is that people think she is insightful. They think she’s plugged in, aware of reality. They think she has a firm grasp on the contours of our politics, a serious take on the state of the two parties. I fear that she doesn’t.

Ms. Noonan doesn’t know how things work. She doesn’t know that signs on lawns aren’t the same thing as scientific polls. She doesn’t understand which side of the political spectrum supports deficit-funded government intervention to create jobs. She looks at Pittsburgh, at its airport, and she says, “Hey, this is a depressing place.” She doesn’t know that American cities, not Washington and New York but the shorter, more honest cities in the interior, have neighborhoods, and hotels even, that aren’t by the airport. It’s outside of her experience. She lives in words, in parenthetical clauses within sentences. She says,“America is in line at the airport.” America says, most of us only ever fly over the holidays.

Commentators like to decry low-information politicians — they don’t know about anything except raising money. I think the real problem is low-information columnists.

* * *

That’s why, I think, so many people — I include literally everyone I know, and have ever met, and many others as well — fear that Peggy Noonan is not going to go away.

Stop reading this and ask whoever’s nearby, “Do you find yourself worrying about Peggy Noonan’s continued employment and omnipresence on the Sunday morning political talk shows?” I do not think you are going to get, “No.”

* * *

There’s a woman on a porch in eastern Ohio, and she has a dog, and diabetes, and a family, and seven grandchildren. The part of Ohio she lives in is vague, like so much of America, in Peggy Noonan’s imagination. There’s a swing on the porch, and a tree also has a swing, made of a tire. Americans used to swing freely on tires, and now we cannot even keep the lights on in Detroit, once such a grand American city, full of Big-ness and New-ness. Now this woman sees the tire swing, and she’s thinking, “Is that swing a metaphor?”

She sees this Peggy Noonan on her television, on “Face the Nation,” and she thinks, “That seems like a nice woman.” But then Peggy Noonan starts describing an imaginary woman on a porch in Ohio. The woman hears Peggy Noonan praise this woman’s common sense, and faith, and modest American wisdom. She thinks, “This sounds very condescending. Peggy Noonan knows next to nothing about the interior lives of Americans outside of her rarefied social and professional spheres.”

* * *

People are angry with Peggy Noonan. They’re mad. Most of all, they’re disappointed. They’re tired. Reading Peggy Noonan, and seeing her on television every Sunday, the Lord’s Day, when Americans, young and old, rich and poor, used to go to church, with their families, now just makes Americans feel exhausted.

But they’re optimistic. Americans are always optimistic They know Peggy Noonan will eventually retire.

* * *

Here I will say something harsh, and it’s connected to the thing about words but also images, and the combination of words and moving images.

Peggy Noonan spent a lot of time living in a house — a cabin, perhaps, or maybe a modest split-level ranch, with a golden retriever tied up out back — called Ronald Reagan’s brain. And it was comfortable in that house, the furniture was lived-in and the television only played “F Troop” and every night children rang the doorbell to trick-or-treat or sing Christmas carols, and it wasn’t long before Peggy Noonan just stopped leaving that house.

Now, though, the house is cluttered, and it needs to be painted, and architecturally it no longer makes sense in the neighborhood.

Peggy Noonan thinks the house is America.

Peggy Noonan thinks everything she sees is America. She walks into a hotel and she thinks, “This hotel is America.” She buys groceries and she thinks, “That cash register is America, and so is this lettuce.” She sees a child playing a Nintendo 3DS and she thinks, “Luigi is America.”

She says, “When Reagan came into a room, people stood: America just walked in.”

Peggy Noonan’s problem now is that she is still in Ronald Reagan’s brain-house.

But America is out here. America is saying, “Hey, look at us, we aren’t in that house, and we need people who have important opinion manufacturing jobs to not live in strange fantasy Reagan brain houses.”

America is saying, “What are you even talking about, ever?”

Can she hear us?

Hack List No. 7: Henry Blodget
(Credit: CNN/Salon)
Salon is running its annual Hack List this week. Also check out "winners" number 109 and 8.

I Was Confused by Some Things I Read That a Millionaire Wrote for His Financial News Website

A few months ago I was browsing the Internet, reading websites, when I clicked on a link to an article on a website called Business Insider. The article was about how a man named Henry Blodget flew on an airplane. He wrote, “I got a free pillow.” And then, under that, he posted a picture of the pillow.

Most of the post was pictures, like that.

“This Blodget guy writes like a child,” I thought. “Maybe like he is writing for children.”

It turns out, though, that Henry Blodget is a grown-up, and not only that, he is a rich and successful grown-up! He used to work on Wall Street, until he did crimes and they told him he couldn’t work on Wall Street anymore, ever again.

So he started a website. The website seems like it should be about business news, because it is called “Business Insider,” and the founder of the website probably knows a lot about business stuff from back in the day when he picked stocks and stuff. But that is not what the website is about, mostly!

Henry Blodget is very proud of his website. “Last month, this readership made us the third biggest digital business news publication, behind only the Wall Street Journal and Forbes.” But is Business Insider a business news publication? Some of the articles are about business, but a lot of them aren’t! Here are some of the articles I saw on the front page of the website when I looked at it last week:

How to Unroll an Orange Instead Of Peeling It

The 5 Worst TV Shows of 2013

Mesmerizing Time-Lapse Shows California As You’ve Never Seen It

George and Martha Washington Had a Super-Strong Eggnog Recipe That We Can’t Wait to Make

12 Sayings Only People From California Will Understand

So it seems like Business Insider is a website that sometimes has business stuff on it. Mostly it seems like Business Insider is a website that is about publishing anything at all that people will hopefully click on.

(In fairness to Business Insider, they have some smart people who write things for them, like Joe Weisenthal and Josh Barro. And maybe other people, too!)

The most confusing thing about Business Insider is when Henry Blodget writes things himself that aren’t really about business. Why does he do this? Maybe he thinks the people who read his website are dumb. There is a lot of evidence for this idea. His website has stupid headlines.

One thing they do a lot is take long stories they found other places and make those stories shorter and dumber, with more pictures. But everyone on the Internet does that sometimes, or all the time. What not everyone on the Internet does is write strange faux-naif essays about getting haircuts and riding airplanes.

Everyone agreed that the airplane story was very stupid, but is Henry Blodget is as stupid as he writes like he is? Sometimes, like in the haircut story, it seems like Henry Blodget is trying to be funny. He learned important business lessons at a barbershop! That’s funny!

Other times, though, Henry Blodget does not seem like he meant to be funny. The same funny voice that is funny when you are talking about newspapers is less funny when you are talking about institutional sexism or the history of antisemitism.

Sometimes when he writes articles like that he has to change them after he is done with them because people think they are offensive. But sometimes he changes them to be worse!

A little while ago, Henry Blodget went to a restaurant to talk with Nick Denton, a man who owns some different websites that are in some ways similar to Business Insider but in other ways different. Henry Blodget went to the bathroom at the restaurant. The restaurant is very expensive, so it is mostly for rich people. This expensive fancy restaurant had an employee whose job was to stay in the bathroom for his entire shift and then help people wash and dry their hands.

This man was paid a little bit of money by the restaurant, but he mostly worked for “tips,” which is extra money customers give certain employees who aren’t paid very much by their bosses.

The man whose job it was to stand in the bathroom all day made Henry Blodget uncomfortable. He forced Henry Blodget to think about things that maybe Henry Blodget didn’t want to think about when he was just trying to eat a very expensive lunch with his friend, who, like Henry Blodget, has a lot of money.

First of all, he had to think about the awkwardness of being in such close proximity to another man, a man whose job it is to serve you, while engaged in the intimate act of urination.

Second, he had to think about the ways in which an economic and social system we call “capitalism” had made people like Henry Blodget so wealthy that there arose both the demand for workers whose jobs it is to dry the hands of people like Henry Blodget and a large number of people willing to take those jobs.

This is how Henry Blodget wrote about it: “First of all, it wastes water. Second, it makes me feel like I’m the kind of guy who dreams of being rich enough to be able to pay someone to turn on the water for me.”

Henry Blodget doesn’t even know that he is already that rich! There was already a man doing that job!

He decided it would be better if those people just went away, so that Henry Blodget didn’t have to think about those things at lunch. So he wrote an article for his website that said there shouldn’t be people who do that job anymore.

The man who owned the restaurant decided he agreed with Henry Blodget and he said he would fire all the people who did that job. This was the logical response to Henry Blodget’s article, but it meant that now instead of having jobs that were maybe “bad,” now these people didn’t have any jobs.

(Later that man realized that firing all those people was probably bad “public relations” so he promised that they would all get different jobs.)

What do you think? Is Henry Blodget stupid? Is Henry Blodget trying to make everyone stupid? I think he thinks everyone already is stupid.

WIKIPEDIA ON HENRY BLODGET

Henry Blodget
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the 19th century U.S. federal judge, see Henry Williams Blodgett.

Henry Blodget on June 26, 2012, in New York City.
Henry Blodget (born 1966) is an American former equity research analyst who was senior Internet analyst for CIBC Oppenheimer and the head of the global Internet research team at Merrill Lynch during the dot-com bubble.[1] Blodget is now the editor and CEO of The Business Insider, a business news and analysis site, and a host of Yahoo Daily Ticker, a finance show on Yahoo.
Contents [hide]
1 Early life
2 Fraud allegation and settlement
3 Writing
4 Internet broadcaster
5 Books
6 References
7 External links

Early life [edit]

Blodget was born and raised on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the son of a commercial banker. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Yale University. After college, he taught English in Japan, then moved to San Francisco to try to be a writer while supporting himself by giving tennis lessons. He was also a freelance journalist and a proofreader for Harper’s Magazine.[1]

In 1994, Blodget joined the corporate finance training program at Prudential Securities, and, two years later, moved to Oppenheimer & Co. in equity research. He became famous in October 1998,[2] when he predicted that Amazon.com, an Internet stock which had been a public company for a year then trading at $240 and which many on Wall Street were bearish on, would hit what many considered an outrageously bullish one-year price target of $400. Three weeks later Amazon zoomed past it gaining 128%.

This call received significant media attention, and, two months later, he accepted a position at Merrill Lynch, where he earned as much as $12 million a year.[2][3] In those days he became a media celebrity and frequently appeared on CNBC and other similar shows. In early 2000, days before the dot-com bubble burst, Blodget personally invested $700,000 in tech stocks, only to lose most of it in the years that followed.[4] In 2001, he accepted a buyout offer from Merrill Lynch and left the firm.[1]

Fraud allegation and settlement [edit]

In 2002, then New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer published Merrill Lynch e-mails in which Blodget gave assessments about stocks which allegedly conflicted with what was publicly published.[5] In 2003, he was charged with civil securities fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.[6] He agreed to a permanent ban from the securities industry and paid a $2 million fine plus a $2 million disgorgement.[7]

Writing [edit]

He became the CEO, Co-Founder, and Editor in Chief of Silicon Alley Insider (http://www.alleyinsider.com/), where he was a frequent contributor to the Seeking Alpha website. Prior to co-founding Silicon Alley Insider, Henry served as CEO of Cherry Hill Research, a research and consulting firm, and contributed to Slate, Newsweek International, The New York Times, Fortune, Forbes Online, Business 2.0, Euromoney, New York, Financial Times, and other publications. As of 2012, he is the CEO/editor-in-chief of The Business Insider, a blog about Internet business trends and research. He is a frequent contributor to the magazines Slate, Newsweek and New York. He began writing for Slate in January 2004, initially covering the Martha Stewart trials. In July 2004, Blodget began writing a four-part, 13 article, series entitled “The Wall Street Self-Defense Manual” for the magazine.[8]

Blodget’s later articles for the magazine have focused on the return-limiting actions of individual investors, including listening to analysts and the financial media, and relying on active management such as mutual and hedge funds. His Slate articles about investing carry a seven-paragraph disclosure of potential conflicts of interest.[4]

He published The Wall Street Self-Defense Manual: A Consumer’s Guide to Intelligent Investing in January 2007.

He currently lives in Brooklyn.

Internet broadcaster [edit]

As of April 2011, Blodget co-hosts the The Daily-Ticker[9] broadcast with Aaron Task weekdays at Yahoo! Finance.

Books [edit]

The Wall Street Self-Defense Manual: A Consumer’s Guide to Intelligent Investing. Atlas Books, 2007. ISBN 0-9777433-2-2.

Hack List No. 6: Erick Erickson
(Credit: CNN/Salon)
Salon is running its annual Hack List this week. Also check out "winners" number 1098 and 7.

Erick Erickson has gravely betrayed conservatives everywhere.

I wish I could say that I am surprised. I prayed I wouldn’t have to write this, but here we are.

How can it be that Obamacare remains in effect despite Erickson’s so-called opposition? Did he do anything to halt its advance beyond writing ineffectual blog posts “demanding” that Republicans repeal the ACA? Did Erickson take advantage of the stunning political success that was the recent government shutdown to finally write the blog post that could have crippled the liberty-killing advance of Obamacare? No. He did not. This is, as I said, a grave betrayal, and a shocking dereliction of duty.

In fact, he and his entire band of cowards and sellouts remind me of, well, a gross word for a disgusting portion of the anatomy of ladies, who are gross. You know what I mean. A part that women have that I am deeply uncomfortable thinking about for some reason.

The establishment wants you to keep reading Erickson. They want you to close your eyes and ignore the truth and keep giving Erickson and RedState your email addresses.

I’m sick of excuses and I’m sick of sniveling equivocations. This is it.

Erickson should know that conservatives like myself will now devote themselves to doing everything in their power to remove him from his blog, unless and until he starts showing some results, or my bosses tell me to lay off of him.

This might upset the hysterical abortion rights advocates, who rely on Erickson to regularly reveal the misogyny underlying the conservative movement’s abortion position, but I don’t care. The feminist Cult of Death will have to untwist their panties and find a new personification of toxic modern conservative masculinity.

They can definitely do better. With his soft physique and his inexplicable belief that “blogger” is an appropriate job for a man who has a family to feed and protect, Erickson represents the epitome of the modern beta male. Can you imagine an alpha male in the animal kingdom “working from home”? Erickson is practically made of arugula.

While Erickson sits around collecting government benefits like the mortgage tax deduction, I work three jobs and actually contribute to society instead of leeching taxpayers dry like so many politicians. And unlike Erickson I don’t whine about what “society” or “the GOP” owe me.

So I know exactly how hard it is to make money in Erick Erickson’s America. Fortunately, there is someone who can help you invest your money who is as financially savvy and devoted to the free-market system as today’s Wall Streeters are financially illiterate and devoted to shaking down taxpayers.

His name is Mark Skousen, Ph.D., editor of the investment newsletter Forecasts & Strategies — and he just might be the smartest financial adviser working today.

Skousen, after all, launched his career by predicting, during the 1980-82 recession — and to the scornful laughter of nearly all the other so-called experts — that “Reaganomics will work.”

Boy, did he get that right. And boy, has he gotten it right ever since.

So please follow this affiliate link to sign up for Skousen’s newsletter for a low, low introductory price. And remember: Despite what the liberal media will have you believe,Ukraine has demonstrated its commitment to democracy.

Now I’ve just said a lot of vitriolic, mean-spirited things about Erickson, and obviously he deserves every one of them, but now is the part where I adopt a pious tone and talk about Christ and scripture for a paragraph. Christ teaches us to forgive our enemies, after you “joke” about the ones who were murdered by death squads.

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D.C. 'Centrist' Pundits Horrified That Senate Is a Little Less Gridlocked

Harry Reid, you may have heard lately, invoked “the nuclear option,” and eliminated the Senate’s much-abused 60-vote threshold for executive appointments and judges, the Supreme Court exempted. The response from a certain breed of pundit has been a sort of resigned sadness. “Oh, sure, it seems like a reasonable and justified response to unprecedented obstruction,” these pundits sigh, “but what a tragedy, for America, that this not-actually-that-old tradition of allowing a legislative minority to block all executive appointments and nominations for no reason has to end.” Three separate Washington Post columnists essentially wrote exactly this column.

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The JP Morgan Fine Is a Joke -- Wall Street Crooks Must Really Be Punished or They'll Keep Screwing Us

The “biggest fine in history” that is soon to be levied on JPMorgan Chase, the notorious usury and fraud organization, will not be as big as the headlines claim. Alan Pyke andDavid Dayen have made that clear. The tentative deal includes a fine of a mere $9 billion, with the bank on the hook for another $4 billion in “relief for struggling homeowners,” which often includes actions banks would’ve undertaken anyway.

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Ted Cruz's Brilliant Stupid Plan

Ted Cruz announced yesterday that he would filibuster Obamacare, and not stop until he could not stand anymore, or at least until his allotted speaking time was up. Thanks toMajority Leader Harry Reid, Cruz was given 21 hours in which to pretend to “filibuster” a Continuing Resolution until it was time for a cloture vote that Cruz has known all along that he would be unable to delay or block. Everyone knows this fun talk was entirely a waste of time. Everyone besides the people it’s actually aimed at: Right-wing Obamacare hating Fox viewers who don’t understand how the Senate works. To them, it’s an inspiring Mr. Smith moment, and they took down the names of every Republican who didn’t #standwithCruz.

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New York Times’ Hit Piece on Bill de Blasio Makes Him Look Better

The New York Times dropped a bombshell last night: As a young man, Democratic nominee for mayor of New York Bill de Blasio was… pretty left-wing. And he supported the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. And he once was in favor of democratic socialism. The Times presents this information as something they uncovered, as if de Blasio had somehow hidden it:

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TV Channel or Cult?: Fox News’ Paranoid PR Machine

Fox News fired its head of PR recently, an act that would’ve been a dry bit of news of interest only to cable news junkies and media reporters were it not for Fox News’s scorched-earth style of PR. Thanks to Fox’s own efforts, the story of the firing of a guy you’ve never heard of became proper news, discussed and analyzed by people who’d never notice if CNN fired some random suit. At Fox News, the conspiratorial paranoia on the screen often seems like a reflection of the conspiratorial paranoia in the offices.

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Amazon Billionaire Jeff Bezos Has Bought Himself a New Plaything, The Washington Post

Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon.com, has just bought the Washington Post. He spent less than one percent of his net worth on the venerable paper. For some reason he did not buy Slate or Foreign Policy. They remain owned by The Washington Post Company, which I assume will now be renamed something involving “Kaplan,” after the test-prep and private education company that has for the last few years unethically kept the lights on at the world-famous newspaper.

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Why the State Department's Embassy Warnings Give Us Ample Reason to Doubt the NSA

I hope you had a nice weekend cowering in your home, refusing to leave or answer the door, in accordance with orders issued by the United States Department of State. On Friday the department issued a “worldwide” travel alert, lasting until the end of August, sort of generally alerting traveling Americans that terrorists exist and intend to hurt us.

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Far Right-Wing Ted Cruz Does Not Care About Republican “Grown Ups”

A small contingent of the more Tea Party-ish Republican senators has decided to shut down the government unless “Obamacare” is “defunded.” (Or, at least, they plan to threaten to shut down the government.) Defunding Obamacare is not really as simple as it sounds. The ACA involves a lot of “mandatory” as opposed to “discretionary” spending, so you can’t really effectively repeal the program through the Continuing Resolution. (Here’s Karl Rove explaining the issue.) The plan was Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) idea, but its current most vocal proponent is Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a very smart man who purposefully talks like a very crazy man, because he understands how to become a celebrity in the modern conservative movement.

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Tearing Apart New York Top Cop Ray Kelly's Shameless Lies About the NYPD's Racist Policies

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who is, let’s hope, worried about his job security and hoping to be named the next Secretary of Homeland Security, wrote an editorial for the Wall Street Journal defending his record. Many of his points came directly from a speech given by Kelly to the black civil rights group the National Action Conventionearlier this year. Let’s address each of his claims one by one.

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Washington Post Columnist Richard Cohen: Black People Are Scary

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote an offensive, poorly reasoned column about racial profiling. In 1986. And also this week. And once or twice or let’s say perhaps a dozen additional times in the interim. The occasion of this week’s installment of “Richard Cohen explains why black men should be treated as second-class citizens for the safety of us all, which is to say rich old white men” is the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin. Cohen is very sorry that Martin is dead due to Zimmerman incorrectly assuming him to be a criminal of some sort based solely on Martin’s demographic profile — in other words, Cohen is sorry that Martin is dead because of racial profiling — but on the other hand, Cohen argues, racial profiling is correct and necessary because black people are scary, at least when they wear certain things.

Alex Pareene
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Dear ABC: Putting Anti-Vaccine Conspiracist Jenny McCarthy on “The View” Will Kill Children

Jenny McCarthy, a former model and comedienne, is set to be the next co-host of ABC’s The View, a popular morning talk show with an all-woman cast. She is replacing Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who recently jumped ship to Fox News, cable’s longtime home of attractive women who specialize in reactionary sneering.

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Antonin Scalia Misses the Days When It Was OK for Government Discriminate Against Gay People

Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in the Supreme Court case that declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional is, as expected, fun reading. It’s also quite representative of the current state of anti-gay marriage arguments in general: It is much more concerned with whining and raging than it is with actual argumentation.

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College Republicans’ Plan for GOP Rebranding: Seem Tolerant!

Today, the College Republican National Committee is releasing a report, based on a poll and focus groups, examining how and why the Republican Party lost the under-30 vote and what they could do to win it back. Spoiler: They will have to become an entirely different party with entirely different positions. Though that is sort of my interpretation of their findings. The College Republicans are still pretty sure it’s primarily a problem of “messaging.”

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How Policy Nihilists in the Senate Doomed LGBT Immigrants

The immigration bill crafted by the Senate “Gang of Eight” passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday evening, with a 13-5 vote. Every senator involved in the markup session leading up to the vote was very proud of him- or herself for how great the markup session was going. Especially after the senators bravely shot down a proposal to recognize the marriages of LGBT immigrants.

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Is This Guy the Biggest GOP Jerk in Congress?

Here’s Sen. Ted Cruz, Ted Cruzing it up, taking practically sole credit for killing gun background checks and trashing all his colleagues:

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Murdoch’s Horribly Irresponsible Tabloid is Doomed

Last week was not a great week for the New York Post. But then again, not many weeks are. Its front page last Thursday wrongly identified two innocent young men as the bombers of the Boston Marathon. (It did so without explicitly referring to them as suspects, just to ensure that they wouldn’t lose a lawsuit or have to apologize.)

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Libertarians' Idea of the "Most Free" State Is One of America's Most Woman-Hating

The Mercatus Institute, a libertarian-oriented — and Koch brothers-affiliated — think tank based out of George Mason University (a public university, for whatever that’s worth), regularly releases its ranking of American states in terms of “Freedom.” Their definition of “freedom” largely adheres to the standard American libertarian conception of “liberty,” which is to say it is oriented almost entirely around private property ownership and low taxation. As a result, America’s freest state this year turns out to be North Dakota.

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The Utterly Atrocious Grand Bargain

Washington has Grand Bargain fever, again. Thanks to the sequestration, Republican government-shrinking mania and Barack Obama’s apparently sincere desire to get some sort of huge long-term debt deal done, the Grand Bargain is looking more possible than at any point since the heady days of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility.

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GOP to Dems: Thanks For Caving On the Filibuster--Now We Can Destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Board

It was very fitting that pretty much immediately after Harry Reid ended the possibility of filibuster reform in the more-sclerotic-than-ever U.S. Senate, a Republican appointee-run court effectively killed the recess appointment. Reid cut a “deal” on filibusters that actually strengthened the 60-vote threshold, by legitimizing what had been widely seen by non-senators as unprecedented abuse of Senate rules. All the deal does is speed up the process of breaking a filibuster with 60 votes, making the act of forcing a 60-vote threshold on all Senate business — something that rapidly became the new normal — even more painless than it was before.

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Bold New Conservative Idea: Screw the Poor

The Republicans, we’re told, are going to have to start making some big changes if they want to start winning elections again. (Besides all the congressional elections they handily win.) Americans are tired of their stale rhetoric and old, white standard-bearers. The party needs fresh blood and bold ideas. It needs people like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a GOP rising star and highly regarded “ideas” guy.

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