46 Responses

    • Good link McWing. I had been thinking about that topic for a couple of days after reading a passing reference to it at Ace.


  1. We can’t discount the Gregory, or Armitage Exception.


  2. Orin Kerr has two long posts about the Swartz case. Part 1 was about the law itself; part 2 was about prosecutorial discretion.




    • McWing:

      But I’m sure he’s “objectie” in his day job.

      The MSM has never really been objective, but they did used to at least pretend. Now they barely even do that, which is, I suppose, refreshing in its own way.


  3. Thanks for the huffpo link, troll. I see this as the public face of the power grab potential in the NDAA detention authorization, not to mention the Patriot Act provisions.


  4. For those who haven’t seen this, it’s one of the better post election analysis I’ve come across.



    • Good one, JNC.

      George, I guess there was a time when a news director kept his politics to himself and did not publish his personal opinions elsewhere. Back when the wall between “reporter” and “columnist” was a high one.

      It is a fair assumption that opinions seep into straight reporting, especially on TV, and we have to take it all in with a skeptical eye. We cannot be lazy and assume the news we agree with is objective. It is a trap for the unwary, and a good reason to have interactions among people as divergent in views as you and YJ.

      Scott and I had a long discussion in which I assumed the force of fundamentalism in American politics was growing and he assumed it had declined. His examples were good: much of what fundamentalism would oppose, like same sex marriage, was agreed to by main stream thought in America not long ago, so fundamentalists didn’t have a political agenda that was visible. I, on the other hand, have been dealing with the rising tide of creationism on the TX School Board, when creationism was never an idea that would have been posed for a HS biology text when I was in HS. So I saw this change through a different prism than Scott and now I see this history more than one way.

      I still come to the same conclusion that I did: that fundamentalists are a rising voice in the R Party. But thanks to Scott I see that not for same the reasons I assumed. I now see fundamentalists as a group whose views were shared on many issues and who were not moved to activity but who now think of what they hold dear as under siege and see the R Party as their only current refuge.

      None of this could have come to me from media news reports alone.

      So let us stay skeptical.


  5. So let us stay skeptical.

    Amen. I believe we would all do well to approach media pronouncements with which we are inclined to agree with the same skepticism we approach those with which we are inclined to disagree.

    But, mark, I’m curious about your view that “fundamentalists are a rising voice in the R Party.” I don’t know that I have viewed it as declining, but I definitely have not viewed it as rising (rather that it has reached its zenith). Totally subjective view, of course, so I need to re-examine it. Anecdotally, in the 2012 election cycle I saw a great deal of disgust from otherwise committed R voters regarding continued R pressing of cultural issues. In a number of cases the disgust was palpable enough to cause the individual to vote D for the first time in their voting lives. This most definitely included issues perceived as denial of science for religious reasons.


    • Okie, I hope it has reached its zenith! I am still thinking textbooks, mainly. But one of my close R friends had his wife and daughters vote D this time, so I guess that is the sort of thing you are referring to.


  6. Yes, your friend’s family is the type of thing I refer to. I think my curiosity was piqued though because the textbook issue is not new, it’s been an issue for years. Or has it intensified even more?


  7. Great link, jnc.


  8. Probably worth checking out:

    “The Untouchables
    Coming January 22, 2013

    FRONTLINE investigates why Wall Street’s leaders have escaped prosecution for any fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages”



  9. The MSM has never really been objective, but they did used to at least pretend. Now they barely even do that

    You’re right, all they do most of the time now is false equivalency in the attempt to appear objective. Better that they would call a spade a spade, but that would probably drive Republican politician’s poll numbers down even lower.


  10. OT completely:

    Now this is cool! Science geeks unite!

    NASA’s famed “Mohawk Guy” Bobak Ferdowsi will march in the Presidential Inaugural Parade on Monday along with life-size replicas of the space agency’s Mars rover Curiosity and Orion space capsule.

    Ferdowsi is a flight director at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory whose unique hairdo catapulted him to Internet fame after the spectacular Mars rover Curiosity landing last year.

    “The things we do, the exploration we do, is not just about learning about other planets. It’s about understanding our own. NASA gives us a chance to travel outside our world as a way to look back and learn about ourselves as a species — as people. There’s nowhere else in the world where you get to do that,” Ferdowsi said in a statement.

    I heard him and Adam Steltzner (“Elvis Guy”–the flight engineer in charge of landing Curiosity on Mars) on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” on NPR and they were quick, funny and smart. . . things all us geeks would love to be on NPR.


  11. “ScottC, on January 20, 2013 at 7:07 am said:

    Seems like a reasonable comparison to me.”

    It is. Drug use is even better.


  12. “ScottC, on January 19, 2013 at 9:43 pm said:

    Probably worth checking out:

    I look forward to Frontline putting actual names on these “Wall Street leaders” (Blankfein? Dimon?) and presenting court-worthy evidence of actual fraud. I’m guessing they’ll do neither.”

    They’ve done a good job in the past, and the preview makes clear that they will have people from the Justice Department, specifically Lanny Breuer making the case that there was in fact not enough evidence to bring criminal charges.

    Their previous piece on Ken Lewis and Bank of America was one of the first places where I saw the reporting on how the Federal Reserve forced Lewis to go through with the Merill Lynch deal after he wanted to back out.



  13. Yeah, false equivalency, that’s the problem.


    For what it’s worth, I think Martin Bashir, Ed Schultz and Lawrence o’Donnell should be daily mandatory viewing for all voters. Really.


    • McWing:

      Yeah, false equivalency, that’s the problem.

      Heh. The idea that the media’s lack of objectivity is somehow generally beneficial to R’s is, well, let’s just say it is certainly a novel take on things.


  14. I’m also for the media getting rid of false equivalency.


  15. JNC, see Simon Johnson on the coming issues for the Federal Reserve, including handicapping the choices to replace Bernanke:



  16. Thanks. Also new Steve Pearlstein piece. Hopefully rumors of his “retirement” were greatly exaggerated.



    • JNC – Agree in principle with the article but I think Biden and even Boehner can remember when the Congress was not the Civil War in miniature and are not lost causes.


      • From the transcript the Inaugural Address is not a policy speech. It is similar to a valedictorian’s address. A good valedictorian’s address.

        Because he is stuck with the R HoR and they with him, the State of the Union address will be more revealing.

        Careful maneuvering between reward and punishment is required to negotiate for any agenda in this environment.

        On immigration reform, if he will go for resetting all immigration to national needs rather than family reunification, he will find some, perhaps many, allies among Rs. That might be a place to use rewards to cooperative Rs.

        It will be tricky.


  17. Ranking the different think tanks by efficacy.


    • This is gonna leave a mark.

      How so? Not everybody would agree with it.


      • Who is Josh Marshall? Why does anyone care either what he thinks or what someone else thinks he thinks? Is he some sort of journalist? Self-identified liberal? Who is protein guy? Some sort of journalist? Self-identified alpha male?

        I hope they leave marks on each other. Although I still won’t recognize them.


        • mark:

          Why does anyone care either what he thinks or what someone else thinks he thinks?

          A question that might be asked, I suppose, of virtually any article linked to here at ATiM.


  18. Mike, your link at 11:21am is not working for me.


  19. okie:
    Yeah, that happens to me a lot. I’d better start changing the way I link in my comments. It should be fixed now.


  20. This is gonna leave a mark.

    Seriously? “Josh Marshall is wrong because he is a pussy”? I’ve heard better insults on the playground.

    Mark, this is Josh Marshall (the guy behind Talking Points Memo)


    • Thanks, Mike. Marshall’s piece was not ridiculous. Was that what protein was ridiculing?

      I read this source [“TPM”] cited all the time. Is it this one guy? Where did he come from?


  21. Thanks, Mike, the link works now.

    Mark, that is the Marshall piece that was being ridiculed. That piece and the pushback piece shriek to me of urban/rural divide more than anything else. I have no idea who the protein guy is. Marshall is editor & publisher of TPM, but it has many reporters. It is generally respected on the left and automatically discounted on the right.


  22. I guess, my “leave a mark” comment was in regards to Goldstein’s rather effective fisking. I thought it was funny, though Josh’s piece was funnier.

    For example I thought this part was funny by being overwrought, ”Needless to say, this experience made an impression on me. And it sticks out as one of relatively few early childhood memories going on 40 years later. How would my life have been different had I pulled the trigger? I pointed the gun basically point blank at the little girl’s face. (Now, why the hell did I do that? No idea. Little boys are idiots. But it sounds a lot less dramatic if you think it’s a toy.) I’d have been a murderer at age 4 or 5. Be stigmatized and traumatized for the rest of my life. Probably spend at least some time in the juvenile justice system, if only to adjudicate the fact that it was an accident. Of course, the girl’s life would have been snuffed out before first grade.”

    Uh, ok Josh, but are we really sure it was a real gun? I’m not, remember, his playmate was the same age, 4 or 5, it could have been a “real” cork gun or bb gun. Also, assume it was real, and assume it was loaded, was there a round in the chamber? Was there a safety, and if so, was it engaged? This is a household with a 4 or 5 year old daughter, and they just leave a loaded, round in the chamber, safety-off gun around? But more importantly, he would consider himself a murderer? I guess I have a different understanding of that word than he does. A 4 or 5 year old doing time? I suppose he means court process, police investigation, but I think he wants to leave the impression that he would be in jail. Like I said, it’s funny and overwrought.

    Then there’s this, “A big part of gun versus non-gun tribalism or mentality is tied to the difference between city and rural. And a big reason ‘gun control’ in the 70s, 80s and 90s foundered was that in the political arena, the rural areas rebelled against the city culture trying to impose its own ideas about guns on the rural areas. And there’s a reality behind this because on many fronts the logic of pervasive gun ownership makes a lot more sense in sparsely populated rural areas than it does in highly concentrated city areas.”

    I know a lot of people in big cities that own handguns because the likelyhood of crime and slow police response times are high than those who live in rural areas. And further, the way he envisions a “gun culture” is, to me, just bizarre. Yes, there are enthusiasts, just like there are car enthusiasts and kitchen utensil enthusiasts. I suspect though, that most gun owners are not enthusiasts and have one for various reasons, like protection or hunting. I never owned a weapon until two years ago, when I was given a shotgun as a gag gift. I’m glad I have it, but I’m also glad I have a blender and a set of crescent wrenches. But to Josh’s way of thinking, I’m part of the gun tribe, the same as the blender makes me a foodie and the wrench makes me a tool nut.

    Then, like our President, he starts the genocide on strawmen. For example, ”But a huge amount of the current gun debate, the argument for the gun-owning tribe, amounts to the gun culture invading my area, my culture, my part of the country. So we’re upset about massacres so the answer is more guns. Arming everybody. There’s a lot of bogus research (widely discredited) purporting to show that if we were all armed we’d all be safer through a sort of mutually assured destruction, pervasive deterrence.” Yeah, there are some, I’d say an small minority, that parrot the more weapons answer. But “a huge amount of the current gun debate” is made up of this along with the”bogus” research? Really? The families of the slaughtered strawmen weep.

    Ultimately, Josh has a rather two-dimensional view of gun-owners, despite his disclaimer because I don’t think he believes in his own disclaimer. Nor do I think that, if after all the emoting over New Town, there ultimately is no legislation or legislation that doesn’t do enough (in his mind) Josh would consider that a “conversation” has occurred. It’s the same thing with the desire on the left over a “national conversation on race,” unless every white American admits to past and present racism and emotes remorse, than that conversation has not taken place.
    Finally, for whatever reason, Josh’s sense of self and, frankly, virtue, is wrapped up in not owning a gun. Ok, bully for you, I happen to think that’s weird, but everybody has their own opinion. The fact that I am now a gun owner fills me, and probably most other gun owners with, well, nothing. I have no “tribal identity” in owning a gun.


    • troll, all I can say is that you picked a link that IMO expressed something other than the things you just wrote.


      • But what George wrote is how I would have criticized Marshall, too. George did it better than I would have, but far better than protein.

        To me, the notion that I am in “the gun culture” because I have a shotgun for skeet is silly. I don’t believe there is a “gun culture” and a “tribe” of “anti-gun culture”, except at places like PL. There are gun enthusiasts, and there are even obsessive ones who can be labeled pejoratively. But they are not most of us who are gun owners. And I’ll bet most Americans do own guns. So the true anti-gun crowd – the “liams” who actually want to take away my Remington – are fringey, as well.


        • Mark, I agree. I own a gun myself for self-protection, but I don’t pack it with me everywhere I go. Which concerns me greatly; when I see someone armed on the street, how do I know if they’re a “good guy” or a “bad guy”? Wait until they start shooting?

          Having grown up in a household that did not own guns is I guess why I sympathize with Marshall’s position. I do not find it ludicrous and would probably still be in that mindset myself if one incident had not changed me. People who own guns who in a crisis would either shoot wildly at everything or on the other extreme would freeze and do nothing put all of us in danger IMO.


        • Krugman’s latest again assumes that FDR’s New Deal created the large middle class that he thinks is dwindling.

          I think WW2 and the GI Bill and VA loans and the postwar boom fueled by the fact the USA was the only game in town was the driver. I’ll give the New Deal credit for keeping men from starving and certain basic skills sharp during a bad time, and I think it might have ended the depression but for bad monetary policy so adeptly explained by Milton Friedman.

          Further, I am not so sure the middle class is dwindling. However, I will concede that for many it takes two incomes to be “middle class”.

          So Krugman eludes my grasp again.


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