Malacandra.me

The Rough Draft of Liberal History—Professional Left Podcast #475:  Supplemental Reading.


For our ninth anniversary show, our two original fake sponsor -- “MacGuffin’s Muffins” and Dukakis Khakis (Michael Dukakis’ line of sensible men's pants) have returned for a victory lap.

MacGuffin’s Muffins: builds strong plots 12 ways.

Dukakis Khakis: They’re not so good for running in.

This week we turned to The Hunt for Red October for inspiration. Specifically, scene where the computer identifies a sound it couldn’t identify as “Magma Displacement” but “Jonesy” (Courtney B. Vance) tapes it, cleans it up and replays it a 10 times normal speed. When played that fast, it’s clear that the “magma displacement” is something mechanical. Man-made. And headed in a specific direction.

So this week, we did what most other podcasts can’t do because most other podcasts haven’t been on the air for nine years. We moved quickly through our own show notes -- things that caught our attention or that we just felt like talking about -- from around October of 2010 until we ran out of time.

The following is rough and largely unedited. Proudly subjective.  There are no links. And as long as it is, it represents only about 20% of the ground we actually covered over the last nine years.

This is our very rough draft of Liberal History.

So, for example, in October 2010 we were broadcasting live from inside the vortex of Juan Williams’ Shame Spiral … (this was in reference to William’s getting canned by NPR for things he said on Fox News)

We talked about how we never grieved properly or took honest stock of what happened during the Bush Admin. We should not have had a President for at least a year. The house was on fire, so it was all hands-on-deck and Obama went into “Reassure” mode. By the time we looked up, the Teabaggers were blaming the firemen and celebrating the arsonists.


In June, 2011 we were at at Netroots Nation right next to the Right Online conference...
There was a distinct feeling that the party had move on.
Noticeable lack of A-Listers
Virtually zero media
The only tv camera I saw was Fox 9
Since the beginning we remind you each week that we love hearing from you and that we might used your letter on the air unless you say otherwise. Here’s an excerpt from a letter from December 2011
Just a quick anecdote, my dad is a diehard conservative, and it's very frustrating to argue with him. The thing is that every time he comes out with some bizarre screed (like "Will Ayers is Barry Obama's best bud!" or "ACORN is a criminal organization") I have to already be familiar enough with the lie to debunk it. This is not entirely difficult, since I read far too many blogs and think browsing Media Matters is fun, but often he's read something on Drudge Report that's far below my notice (like how expensive muffins are) while I'm too preoccupied with things that are actually, you know, relevant to national security. I'll be blindsided with these faux-stories, and can only counter them with "that sounds like total horseshit". 
Honestly, the biggest problem is that, when we really get into the nitty-gritty of the argument, deconstructing why he thinks a certain thing and why it's not true, we keep bumping up against facts. Impossible to deny, real, concrete facts, like budget numbers, or percentages, or what Obama has actually done instead of what Fox News says he has done. My dad (and he is typical of all Tea Party folks in this respect) simply refuses to accept these. He doesn't reject the premise of the fact, or argue with the interpretation, or say the numbers themselves are true but their collection and framing is biased. He just straight up does not believe me - he lives in another world. 
This is distressing to me, since he is a smart, caring man, and I love him. But the things he believes are simply lies, no way around it. And they often rely on racist premises (really Dad, our health care costs are rising because of illegals? It's not structural problems with a for-profit system?) The worst part of all is admitting that the country simply will not make any progress on these very serious issues until people like my regressive father are no longer a part of the conversation. I don't mean that in an Ann Coulter sort of way, I'm not advocating violence. But a huge chunk of America will fight tooth and nail over things that are clearly not true in the least. And it is this No-Nothing group that prevents us from getting medical care that works, properly funding public services, ending messy military adventurism, or dealing with the very real and very scary aspects of global warming. It's just a damn shame that nothing can move forward on these issues until those poor saps die off (which is about the same time the worst consequences of ignoring these problems will come back to hurt us).
That week the internet kitties were pissed because they almost had Herman Cain as the Republican nominee. And they would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids!

From Episode 109 -- January, 6 2012:
  • Willard Romney also teaches us a valuable lesson: That even the most die-hard members of the Republican base are afflicted with terminal Strategic Forgettery.
  • And that if you have enough money, you can just lay siege to their denial until it collapses.
  • Romney is the triumph of $$$ over Democracy.

From May 25, 2012:
What of you had a bomb in your head? And if you ever apologized -- ever admitted you were wrong -- it would explode and kill you? Welcome to being a Conservative
From August 2012:

  • “I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Thank you to Joan Walsh for allowing blue gal to interview her.

From August 31, 2012:
Our Dumb Media: Last Sunday’s Meet the Press -- David Gregory fulfilled his corporate function and laid down for Team Romney. It was embarrassing as it was 100% predictable. As was Mark Halperin’s “Both Sides” bullshit on Hardball.

From September 14, 2012:
The media is a circus run by people who contend that the Right is never wrong, and people who counter that the Right is wrong half the time. Notice what’s missing?
From September 14, 2012 -- Ep 146 was entitled 47% and Mitt Romney’s Political Sister Wives. Mittens He has two political wives who hate each other and who each hate him every time he appears to be siding with the other one.
Last Sunday’s Meet the Press -- David Gregory turned the keys to “Meet the Press” over to Bibi Netanyahu and Peter King. I tried to get away, but the next channel over, there was Tom Friedman! Further down the dial, Paul Wolfowitz! Further still, Liz Cheney! Holy cats!
The week of September 28th I finally closed on my condo and departed Chicago for the Cornfield. After fees, taxes, etc I netted about $5 on the deal, which put me ahead of millions of my fellow citizens.

October 12, 2012 -- Ep 149
We got a letter that read, in part, " I guess I am writing this email because you often call out people who say "yes, but the democrats are just as bad". I feel that this is an accurate statement. It's hard for me to differentiate between the 2 parties."

Back in 2012 my reply was As to "both sides", my point has never been that Democrats are pure: it is that, regardless of the issue, when GOP malfeasance or fraud exposed (which happens every day) our media instantly rushes in to reflexively assert that Democrats or Liberals are "just as bad", virtually always with no supporting evidence and no one challenging it. It's actually creepy how pervasive it is. [LIKE SAY TOM BROKAW]

In 2019 I would ask Are you still having that problem? Is it still hard?

From December 14, 2012:
A month after Romney getting trounced, David Brooks predicting a “Republican Glasnost”. This was the latest iteration of his long-running “Reasonable Republican Renaissance” scam he has been running since 1990s, this time led by Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. 
Of course, before that David Brooks predicted such a revolution in 2010 led by Rick Perry. Before that it was Meg Whitman. In 2009, it was John Thune. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO JOHN THUNE?! 
"Republicans are still going to have to do root-and-branch renovation if they hope to provide compelling answers to issues like middle-class economic anxiety. But in the meantime, people like Thune offer Republicans a way to connect fiscal discipline with traditional small-town values, a way to tap into rising populism in a manner that is optimistic, uplifting and nice." 

In 1999, George Bush and John McCain were on the verge of creating a One Nation Conservatism.

In 2001, we were “entering a period of competent conservatism and reactionary liberalism.” 
In 2002, he predicted the “Re-emergent Republican Majority”
And on and on...

January 4, 2013: Many wild votes all in a row. Fiscal cliff, sequestration, Violence against women, Hurricane Sandy filibuster. Coming up next Sequestration II: Sequester Harder. And, of course, the Debt Ceiling -- the pointless Big Red Self Destruct Button that you must never push that we have wired into our economy for no earthly reason.

The internet kitties were selling slightly used “Fiscal Cliff” Sham-Wows in the gift shop.

January 10, 2013: The Right has invented a secular religion, complete with a heaven (fame, political office, the regard of the Limbaughs), a Hell (being called a Liberals, being primaried), a dogma that no sane person can live with, and indulgences you can buy when you sin to get you back into their good graces (It’s okay if you’re a Republican)
We’re undergoing a national divorce. Thing is, once you have given Crazy Spouse every break and every opportunity to stop being crazy, you have to sign the papers and cut them loose.

This was the week we took up "GO POSTAL UNIONS" as the unofficial motto of the Professional Left with prompting from Jeffrey, a "proud US Postal Service employee.

January 25, 2013: Was Obama's Second Inaugural. Lovely, hopeful speech. Four years later, Trump would be snarling about American Carnage.


February 1, 2013: We announce we are perfectly happy to talk deficits and entitlement reform with anyone who didn’t vote for George W. Bush


February 15, 2013: Was the SOTU.  Obama gives list of things people like, Republicans say no.


February 22. 2013: Subtlety is no fun: It was easy to say “Fuck Bush”. But what do you do with a whole suite of policies, some of which you hate, some of which you love, some of which you say “Sure, but not enough!”

March 15, 2013 we had a spicy piece of listener mail about what a misogynist douchebag driftglass is:
Today is March 6, 2013, and today, after having listened to most of your podcast for March 6, I shut it down. I doubt that I will ever listen again, I say this after having listened weekly for the last nine months, and also after having sent to you a small donation, initially thinking that your podcast was important and should not die. But now, I no longer care, for I can no longer tolerate Driftglass and his obvious inability to allow his wife to finish a thought before interrupting and turning the dialogue into a never-ending monologue. It is bad enough that he repeats the same few notions week and week. How he worked for large organizations, had enormous responsibility, and knows all about bureaucracy. How the dominant media, in maintaining that both sides do it, act as enablers for the destructive GOP. That no matter the issue, concept, or situation under discussion, some science fiction writer had already had occasion to use it as substrate for their tale. All interesting the first few times we’ve heard it, but the not hundredth. But this is not the worst. The man simply never, ever shuts up. In my mind’s eye I can see him sitting there, mouth agape, while Bluegal speaks her few short sentences, watching, waiting for her inhale so that he can, in this nanosecond of silence, jump in, grab the microphone, and never surrender it. No doubt Driftglass thinks that what he has to say is fresh, interesting, and that we desperately need to hear it, despite that fact that we’ve heard it a hundred times already. No doubt he is of this opinion. But what he should be thinking is that I am a bore, and a rude bore at that. And that it is past time that I shut up and allow my wife to express herself.

I predict that this marriage will last no more than nine months. If Bluegal were subservient, or slow witted, she perhaps would hang on, as slow witted, subservient wives tend to do when married to egomaniacs. But Bluegal is neither subservient nor slow witted.

Too bad.
Also during this time many of driftglass Liberals “friends” were cutting ties with him because he was a drooling jackbooted O-bot who did not appreciate how completely awesome Glenn Greenwald was.

This was also the week that David Sirota lectured Goldie Taylor on privilege “Nothing more distasteful than privileged US elites telling everyone not to care about people we're murdering abroad”

March 22, 2013:
 Iraq 10 years on and who is on teevee talking about it? Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz. Michael O’Hanlon. Dick Cheney. David Brooks.

Freshman Republican reveals that Ryan Budget's is ‘A Pretend Vote’:  Freshman Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) told a roomful of reporters Wednesday that the upcoming House vote on the Paul Ryan budget is all for show, with no real consequences, because the proposal is "dead on arrival" in the Senate.

Ryan's budget -- which destroyed Medicare and rolled back Obamacare -- passed the House 221-207 with every Democrat & 10 Republicans voting no.

April 2013: The First Bible Bitch!

Here’s a fun, mystery quote quiz. Who said "And only when we see our current president kick our friends and kowtow to our foes can we fully appreciate a president with strong personal bonds with leaders and fierce determination not to appease our foes?"

It was Jennifer Rubin talking about Obama and Bush.

May 10 2013: Sunday Shows were a mess. Newt Gingrich. Jim DeMint. Harold Ford Jr. Cokie Roberts. Rich Lowrey? All the undead were there.

May 17 2013:
Roger Ailes wins the Bradley Prize as a 'Visionary Of American Journalism'. Past winners include John Bolton, Bill Kristol, Michael Barone, Paul Gigot, and Charles Krauthammer, all Fox News contributors.

The Clinton hangover: Dems were so maimed by backing their President to the hilt against real right wing attacks only to have him sell them out that we’re loathe to do it all over again
June 28, 2013: CNN plans to revive Crossfire with Newt Gingrich and S.E. Cupp.


July 5, 2013: We were in the thick of the Edward Snowden thing
The “Not a Dime’s Worth of Difference” caucus was loud and omnipresent.

And if your goal is to bring down the entire status quo in one shot, every crisis is a good crisis. Every argument is a chance to weaken your opposition, It’s fine to genuinely believe that the problems of the poor and weak and minorities and women are trivial compared to your goal of blowing up the two-party system (Rand Paul 2016!) but then don’t be surprised if everyone else looks at everything else you do through that filter.

July 26, 2013 was the week of Carlos Danger!
Carlos Danger (Unlike Clinton, there is no vast Conservative conspiracy to take Weiner down. He generates no sympathy because he is such a pure asshole.) Also the internet kitties that week couldn’t figure out why Anthony Weiner’s owners don’t just have him fixed

Harold Ford Jr. danced the Both Sides tango all over the teevee this week

Another listener letter from "Catherine":

I have to take a break from your podcast. I am heartily weary of you telling me I should like the current shit sandwich because it's tastier than the other shit sandwich.

driftglass in 2019:  (How's that sammich tasting now?)

And Driftglass, yes, you do stomp over Bluegal on the audio. I am your age, and since I graduated from high school at 16, I've been dealing with mansplaining longer than the term has existed...

August 2, 2013: Much of the show as about jobs and underemployment -- The new normal is making people sad and angry. And hopeless.

August 9, 2013 -- ep 192:   Rick Santorum says liberals make it uncomfortable to shower at the YMCA.

August 16, 2013:   Tbogg and Jennifer Rubin

Tbogg quits the internet. Quitter! Blogging has changed. Group blogs have replaced singles. Ad revenue was going to make all the collectives rich...until Google ads killed that idea. Comment sections used to be the wild west. Like the internet itself, the original idea has been lost in the scramble to build institutions on top of it.

Jennifer Rubin celebrates the bright political future of John Bolton. 
Patrick Pexton, who served as The Washington Post's ombudsman until March of this year, wrote an open letter to incoming Post owner Jeff Bezos in which he calls on him to make editorial page editor Fred Hiatt fire Jennifer Rubin, one of the paper's conservative columnist and future doyen of the Never Trumpers.

"Have Fred Hiatt, your editorial page editor — who I like, admire, and respect — fire opinion blogger Jennifer Rubin. Not because she’s conservative, but because she’s just plain bad," Pexton writes in the letter, which was published by Washington City Paper.

"She doesn’t travel within a hundred miles of Post standards," Pexton argues. "She parrots and peddles every silly right-wing theory to come down the pike in transparent attempts to get Web hits. Her analysis of the conservative movement, which is a worthwhile and important beat that the Post should treat more seriously on its national pages, is shallow and predictable. Her columns, at best, are political pornography; they get a quick but sure rise out of the right, but you feel bad afterward."

August 23, 2013:

...Clint Murphy, a long-time Republican campaign staffer who supports the Affordable Care Act for a pretty simple reason: he wants health insurance, but as a cancer survivor, his pre-existing conditions make that impossible.

But there was something about this story that I found hard to understand. Murphy, who tries to explain to other Republicans that they're crusade against "Obamacare" is literally bad for his health, also said he's supporting right-wing U.S. Senate candidate Karen Handel in Georgia next year, despite her intention to destroy the federal health care law and take away his insurance opportunities
Republican state legislators across the country were busy rolling back of voting right, women’s rights.

The week of September 13, 2013 ...
...found House Republicans trying to cut $40 billion in food assistance for the poor, double the amount previously sought by conservatives.

Also Republicans were threatening to blow up the government over ... getting rid of Obamacare.

From Jonathan Chait:  Debt-ceiling threats now appear more likely, too. One of the things the ultraconservatives are demanding, in addition to their plan to shut down the government over Obamacare, is that the leadership go along with a backup plan to default on the national debt over Obamacare. And the more House leaders have had to wrangle votes for its fake-Obamacare-defunding plan to not shut down the government, the more they’ve had to pledge to use the debt ceiling instead.

Of course, defaulting on the debt would be far more dangerous than shutting down the government. House leaders don’t want to do that, but they don’t seem to have any plan beyond getting past the next obstacle in front of their face. As Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan report, “In private discussions, GOP leadership aides acknowledge they have absolutely no idea how they’ll lift the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling.”
September 20, 2013: 
 The Newsroom. Dear God... So bad.

Want to know how we got Trump? This was the week that Chuck Todd stated categorically that it was not the media's job to call out the GOP when they lie.

September 27, 2013.   Breaking Bad! All Hail the King!
This weeks ep was entitled “Granite State” -- Motto of which is “Live Free or Die’

Parallels to Lear.

Parallels to Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

What are the rules of tragedy?

Everyone is in Hell.

Walter White doesn’t have cancer: Walter White is cancer.

Continued in October 2013, during our 200th episode:

The ethical structure of the Breaking Bad Universe.
I did it for me.
I liked it.
I was good at it.
And, I was really... I was alive
Gov't shutdown: Once again, the real enemy is Both Siderism

Debt Ceiling is here!

Obamacare is open for business

We are now paying the price for letting Right off the hook before, and before, and before.

October 18, 2013:
Betting pool is now open on which fake Conservative “crisis” will be trotted out to distract the media this time. Flag burning? English-only? Contraception? The field is wide open

No it’s BENGHAZI

November 1, 2013: 
The government shutdown is now behind (and ahead) of us, the idiots who rule us are racing to get back to their Both Sides happy place.

We get letters from our atheist friends.

We explain why the GOP cannot reform itself no matter what Andrew Sullivan, Rich Lowry, Ramesh Ponnurru or any other goof thinks. Because Conservatism defines itself as opposing the Liberal bogeyman at all times on all issues.

It’s November 15, 2013 and ...
Everybody’s got a book. Rodent-like Scott Walker. Crazy Allen West (“Guardian of the Republic”). Scarborough. Doris Kearns Goodwin. Chris Matthews. A book is now as essential a part of your resume as...your resume. Which means paper-and-ink book publishers have a lot of leverage.

Like Mary Matalin!

November 22, 2013:
 Elizabeth Warren needs to stay in the Senate forever. That said, if she runs, we’re decamping to Iowa to knock on doors for her.

Illinois got whammed with tornadoes. We did not. We’re lucky.

Back in December of 2013, Minecraft was a Big Deal.

December 20, 2013:
The "Obama Is As Bad As Bush” beat enters Year Five. Ron Fournier in the National Journal and James Poulos in The Daily Beast both hit the same theme in the same way.

January 10, 2014: 
 David Brooks talks to The Youth about pot. Oh yeah…

Chuck Todd proposed that both Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid step aside. Because their relationship is “in the toilet” and at this point getting the relationship between party leaders is more important than “figuring out who is to blame.”

January 17, 2014: Our Fourth Anniversary Show!
Senate Republicans voted against reinstating long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans -- including more than 200,000 military veterans -- even after Democrats agreed to offset the costs to meet Republican demands. Harvard economist Lawrence Katz says that the denial of these benefits will cost the economy up to $1 billion a week.

January 24, 2014: 
 Glenn Beck wishes he’d been more of a uniter when Roger Ailes was paying him to whip up the Pig People. Joe Scarborough responds with, OMFG, Beck makes soooo much fucking MONEY! Which is soooo awesome. And now he’s feigning a little, mumbly contrition too! What a fucking hero!

Joe Meatpuppet doesn’t think that there has been anyone more harshly critical of Glenn Beck over the years than him. And anyway, Joe Squint doesn’t think there is any market for nice-talk because “foaming at the mouth” is what sells “on both sides of the aisles”.

Actual Scarborough Quote: “People watch shows on the Left, and they watch shows on the Right, and there’s a lot of nonsense -- ideological nonsense -- spewed out there. And to Mike’s point, people on the LEFT and people on the Right follow people who peddle extreme messages like sheep. And they follow them over the cliff. Because it reinforces their pre-existing stereotypes that ‘I’m right and everybody else is wrong’. -- and there are people RIGHT NOW who are doubling down on the extreme talk on the Right and the Left. And this guy’s a powerful, powerful force out there and I’m glad he’s saying what he’s saying. “

January 31st 2014 Poverty Thought Experiment.  Also Nepotism.

Interesting things happen when you start swapping “Unemployed” for “Gay” in popular culture.

On the Right, nothing changes: both signify moral failings and both can be cured by making the person suffer more.

On the Left, however, you will never see people competing to cater your poor marriage. You will never hear “We’re here. We’re Poor. Get used to it.” being chanted at a rally or a “Poor and Proud” tee-shirt. The Poors don’t have their own flag. They have a terrible marketing department (Nobody thinks of poor people when they see “Silence = Death”.) They don’t have a huge a network of lobbyists and influencers and wealthy benefactors. In fact, Poor people have no network at all. You can’t call up your fellow Poor and get a job. Nobody put the Poors on teevee in breakthrough roles. Sure, lots of poor people work hard to hide their poverty, but having no money makes that virtually impossible.

And, most importantly, nobody wants to be poor or stay poor.

This week Matthew Continetti -- a 3rd generation wingnut welfare moocher -- was angry about Liberal nepotism!
During the week of February 7, 2014:
Disgraced blood-drunk monster Bill Kristol hired by ABC News no questions asked...

Dana Loesch subbed on “The View” ...

James Carville was hired by Fox News...

Driftglass sez: "Look, if Glenn Greenwald is not the story, then stop making Glenn Greenwald the story."

Andrew Sullivan shifted to a subscription model and appears to be morphing into Andy Rooney and Charles Kurault hybrid who never actually travels anywhere.
Mid-February 2014 we read listener mail, including this one...
GS from Michigan writes: On a long car trip, a number of months ago, I listened to your podcast while my wife read. Barely 15 minutes into the show, my wife was asking if what the two of you were speaking about was true, or simply for shocking purposes. She was referencing the crazy shit you were discussing that the GOP was doing/saying/thinking. I told her that it was my experience with TPL that they facts were not made up, simply discussed. Since that podcast she has paid more attention to our local government, the issues our area faces, as well as paying attention to the national politics. You two were able to get someone involved, my wife, with something she never cared for before. This is long overdue, thank you for what you do. Thank you for your time, and for the educational and entertainment you provide each week. I wish you all the best, and truly appreciate all that you do.

During the week of March 7, 2014:
 Our own ACA nightmares were whiplashing us.

We checked in on CPAC 2014 and it was every bit the freakshow you imagine it to be. There were two separate tributes to Andrew Brietbart. A John Bolton book signing. And this Climate Change panel:
“Moderated” by Joe Bast, President, The Heartland Institute -- One of America’s leading Climate Change denial, Libertarian think tanks and employer of Ben Domenech!
Murray Energy Corporation -- The largest private coal company in America.
Competitive Enterprise Institute -- Another of Libertarian Think Tank -- “Over its 25-year history, CEI has played a critical role in preventing the worst of the left's utopian nightmares from becoming reality, and in undoing some of the damage those policies have created.”
Frontiers of Freedom
-- Yet another Libertarian Think Tank and climate change denial scam that reprints the emails your Crazy Uncle Liberty sends you as “news”
Climate Depot -- Still another professional climate change denial outfit that reprints Frontiers of Freedom junk 
Abundant Power about which I can’t find anything substantial.

March 14, 2014: Cynicism and apathy and purity tests on the part of liberals is what gets Republicans elected.


March 28, 2014:

Donald Rumsfeld -- on Fox News -- whined about the Obama administration’s handling of Afghanistan, saying a “trained ape” could have done a better job in diplomatic relations with the country.

Paul Wolfowitz -- on Fox -- going all rearview mirror and Nazi on Russia:

INGRAHAM: I was a big supporter of the war in Iraq. And I understand there are a lot of complexities there. But the American people are looking and going, where is the bang for the buck? That's what they're running into, in the Democratic and Republican Parties.

WOLFOWITZ: You can't do this in the rearview mirror. The problem is --

INGRAHAM: You've got to learn from the past, Paul, right?

WOLFOWITZ: Yes, I know. But one of the things to learn from the past includes, unfortunately, the past of 1930s, is that if you don't deter this sort of moves early, when you can do it without military force, you end up in wars. And that's what we're trying to avoid here.

David Brooks -- on Meet the Press -- phoned it in from an alternate Universe where the Iraq War never happened.

The first is, you don't have spheres of influence. Russia can't say, "We sort of control everything. We control everywhere where our people are." The second is that you don't go invading other countries, breaking down the laws. It's complicated, but you basically have some stability. And within that stability, you can have global trade, you can have free movement of people.
David Gregory -- host of Meet the Press -- also took up residence in the alternate Universe where the Iraq War never happened.
But this is what Putin is counting on. And by the way, he made the same calculation in 2008 about President Bush. But it's interesting. Think about the world when Saddam Hussein took over Kuwait. And that President Bush said, "This will not stand." The international world order was a very different thing. What does it take for the U.S. to singularly use its influence today as opposed to in earlier years?

It is the week of April 18, 2014: and we remain in terrified ACA Limbo


May 16, 2014: It's All Benghazi all the time now.

Ben "The Reasonable One" Sasse won the GOP Senate primary in Nebraska (my dad’s home state). In addition to wanting the get rid of health insurance for millions of American...Ben Sasse said: 
"This election must be about saving our country from the establishment, dismantling Obama's failed socialist policies and disrupting the current system," he argues. "Then we can fight the real conservative battle: protecting our values, traditional marriage, the right to life, the Second Amendment, stopping the rampant borrowing and spending, even taking on the Supreme Court if that's what it takes."
May 23, 2014: We note that the Republican “civil war” is over. The South won. The broad consensus about the recent off-year Republican mini-primaries which almost no one cared about was that the GOP has harnessed the power of its lunatics by becoming lunatics.


May 30th, 2014 -- ep 234: Bible Bitch's Christian feminist dialectic continues to bring all the boys to the yard!


Our June 6, 2014 episode… Housekeeping!
Junior Dude's friends arrived interrupting our recording after 15 minutes.
After 27 minutes the sound cut out.
At the 53 minute mark, Youngest Child burst in needing immediate attention
All in all, pretty typical grin
Beau Berghdahl was the big story this week. Tom Ricks on Twitter noted that if we're trying people for causing the deaths of soldiers, I know of a lot of people more culpable than a depressed private.

“Deserters” are every congressman who voted to cut the VA. Every keyboard commando who cheerleads with “FOX ROCKS!” in Iraq and forgets that there WERE NO WMDs..., and oh, Liz Cheney, a mother and a patriot, who’s all-important defense of America thinktank “Keep America Safe” which has not only disbanded but has been scrubbed from the internet. (co-founded by...wait for it… Bill Kristol!)

July 11, 2014:
Dinesh D’Souza was busy blaming Google because googling “America” doesn’t take the internet straight to his movie listing.  He shoulda called it “Happy Birthday Dad I’m Going to Jail.”

Also David Brooks dreamed up a new species of Conservative called "Reformicons" who were going to fix everything! Oh boy!

The Sunday Shows get more bleak and wasteland-ish every week.

The Triumphant Return of Ahmed Chalabi!!!

July 18, 2014: Bible Bitch: Christianity and Truth are not consumer products.


September 5, 2014: Get ready for two years of nuthin'. Best case, two more years of the House killing everything in its tracks. Worst case, a GOP senate gives Obama nothing to sign but XL Pipeline and ACA defunding bills and shuts the gov't down every time Obama vetoes anything. Or sneezes. Also impeachment. It’s a terrible way to govern, but a terrific civics lesson for future generations.


September 12, 2014:
David Brooks blames ISIS on Woodstock. Really.  Look it up.

Even David Letterman notices that Chuck Todd is terrible.

September 19, 2014.
Republicans block Elizabeth Warren’s bill to help save college students from crippling debt:

The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, would allow more than 25 million people to refinance their student loans to today’s lower interest rates of less than 4 percent. Warren paid for the bill with the “Buffet Rule” — a minimum 30 percent income tax payment from people who earn between $1 million and $2 million.

Republicans oppose the bill because it would raise taxes on the wealthy. They also accused Democrats of trying to force political show votes ahead of the November election.

“The Hard Left is clearly in the driver’s seat on the other side. That’s clear every time the Democrat Majority ignores the concerns of our constituents to turn to yet another one of their so-called ‘messaging bills,’” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday. “And it’s a shame.”

This was the week that Congress began a 7 week vacation after coming back from 2 month vacation.

The recently-unemployed David Gregory ... headlined a No Labels event ... and bitched about how “lazy” the media has become and what a shame it is that it just passively promoted the conventional wisdom narrative.

September 28, 2014: Andrew Sullivan begins to suspect that -- quite possibly -- Republicans aren’t 100% serious about the deficit.

October 10, 2014: The number of Patriot groups, including armed militias, skyrocketed following the election of President Obama in 2008 – rising 813 percent, from 149 groups in 2008 to an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012.

November 21, 2014: The Tragedy of Liberalism is Memory. Doomed to remember. Doomed to debate those who do not.


January 2, 2015: Chuck Todd accidentally tells the truth: “We all sit there, because we all know, the first time we bark is the last time that they do the show. You say something, and sometimes it is last time they will ever come on your show. There is that balance.”


By March 20, 2015 we were already rebalancing the show to to give Science Fiction University a bigger role. Little did we realize...


Also March 20, 2015:

 Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson both leave the GOP ... because the GOP wasn’t crazy enough. Yet. (Spoiler: They both came back.)


This was also Week Two of America Held Hostage: “Have You Noticed That No One Is Talking About Bill O’Reilly Anymore?” O’Reilly had been caught flat-out lying on teevee. Worse lies than the one which gotten Brian Williams sacked. Roger Ailes fired back that O’Reilly’s ratings were awesome so fuck you!


This is exactly the same line Donald Trump would take two years later. Facts are irrelevant because my poll numbers are amazing!

Mickey Kaus discovers there is a Club...after it smack him upside the head. (“Can't criticize Fox. I work there!” sez Tucker Carlson) This is the Tribe that Rubs Shit in its Hair. Kaus was so deep into the crazy that he stopped seeing it as the cult/scam that it is.

On April 10, 2014 our show was Recorded live just outside the Appomattox Courthouse because we are always just outside the Appomattox Courthouse,...


April 17, 2014: After Governor Hedgefund broke the Autism Network here in Illinois, a commenter on DG’s Blog said that there were plenty of people in the Autism Parenting community who voted for Rauner because he was going to go after those bad Chicago people and leave US alone.


May 15, 2015 
We recorded live from the Sterling, Cooper and Draper LLC’s going out of business sale.  
 Jeb Bush was busy being stupid. Joe Scarborough was lying out of both sides of his mouth.

Stephanie Miller said this week that she would no longer do their “Right Wing Watch” feature...because it was getting so repetitive. The same reason I only lightly touch on the Sunday shows these days. Because it’s a machine, being operated by people who never feel the need to answer to people like us.

March 29, 2015
New Yorker review of David Brooks’ book boldly IGNORES every single thing her has ever written about politics.

NY Times announces that “Democratic Party becoming too liberal at their PERIL!”

Bruce Bartlett “Fox news makes Republicans Stupid”

Joe Scarborough insists that Elizabeth Warren must attack Amtrak unions to be taken seriously.

Ann Coulter goes full racist.

June 5, 2015: 
Science Fiction University breaks down The McGuffin.  The McGuffin is a plot device that when used by a clever writer can propel the story to great heights. Sometimes, however, it can kill a story. What do you think of these six, or seven stories and how they use the McGuffin?

Mike Huckabee wished he was transgender so he could shower with the girls.

Rick Santorum said the Pope (who by the way has a Master’s degree in Chemistry) should leave climate change to the scientists.

June 26, 2015:

Bill O’Reilly was such a dick this week that we are forced to once again remember that he has not been fired for lying on the air.

Ann Coulter is a Klansman.

Notorious Birther Donald Trump loses Miss Universe contract from Univision because sometimes racism still has consequences.

July 3, 2015: Bree Newsome snatches down the South Carolina Confederate flag


July 10, 2015: Donald Trump takes over the Republican party and gets a call from Reince Priebus. Says he won't commit to backing the Republican nominee should it be someone else...


July 17, 2015: David Brooks talks to America’s Youth about Colored People.  Oh joy!

July 24, 2015: True Detective II was stinkin' up the teevee. We were back to playing ACA musical doctors. Exhausting. Tearful.


July 31, 2015:
"It’s been a great summer for attention whores and violence." Steve S on Facebook

Conservatives used up all the moderate-to-raving rhetoric over the last 20 years: all they have left is the unhinged Nazi crazytalk

We remember those stories the media decided to seal up in a barrel and sink into the sea. Bill O’Reilly the liar. David Brooks public disgrace. Swiftboaters.

This week in Both Sides Do It: Paul Krugman’s epic column which went nowhere

WTF? How did Camille Paglia sneak out of the Phantom Zone?

Meet the Press trotted out America's Third Most Dependable Both Siderist, Ron Fournier, to explain that while Bernie Sanders is not like Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders is also just like Donald Trump. And (at no additional charge to you the customer!) also explain that Hillary Clinton is sneaky, aloof and possibly a criminal.

Bruce Rauner is the overlap in the Venn diagram of Bad Ideas and Limitless Money

August 7, 2015: 
 We discussed the first GOP debate and the last episode with Jon Stewart.

Fox tried to take down Trump and failed. The GOP base is building up resentment against Fox because, after all, they promised Romney would win.

August 14, 2015:
Primary season is pretty much the only time anyone pays attention to Liberals, so everyone is grabbing for the microphone.

Ferguson’s Radical Knitters! The Yarn Mission!!! had 40 girls sign up at a local elementary school in the Ferguson-Florissant school district for our first after school program

Megyn Kelly’s real transgression: dredging up the past. It caused a chain reaction that had Erick Erickson showing his ass all over the Twitter.

Trump promises Iraq III: This time we’ll blow up the right stuff. Take their oil!

For a moment, the masks fell away and we could see the Fox News thingie as a negotiation between two mob bosses: Ailes and Trump

Digby predicts “The Demise of Ann Coulter”. That did not age well

The Sunday Shows were a hot mess, as was our local paper, which ran a JENNIFER RUBIN editorial as page 2 news

August 21, 2015: 

 Trump proposes building a giant spaceship and firing undocumented immigrants into space. Every other Republican candidate proposes a slightly smaller spaceship.

Bernie Sanders teaches journalists how to do their job.

As Trump began taking over the media, our August 28, 2015 episode was recorded live from breakfast with Trump, Egg, Sausage and Trump

MSNBC now just runs Trump and Hillary wall-to-wall.

Roger Ailes as Lando Calrissian (h/t commenter MedicineMan55). Trump is a Ferengi.

Trump: I have altered the deal, pray I don't alter it any further!

Ailes: This deal is getting worse all the time

Trump’s supporters are deranged, but not stupid. They know they were lied to by FOX. (Megyn Kelly was the one to walk down to the counting room in her fuck me pumps and tell everyone that for real Romney lost after two weeks of PROMISING a landslide.)

They know that one of the reasons they lost is The Obama Coalition. No one will tell them it’s also because Republican ideas are TERRIBLE. Choosing zombie eyed granny starver as your running mate was also TERRIBLE.

They want to win so badly they’ll take endorsements from Stormfront and David Duke.

September 4, 2015: Trump hires to ghost of Lee Atwater


September 18, 2015:

Debates -- So much stupid. So many HUGE lies.

This was another banner week for Both Siderism…

David Brooks in the New York Times

Chuck Todd on Meet the Press

JC Watts in the “debate” pregame...

MSNBC has two stories -- Hillary is a monster and Trump is amazing. It was also one of the two questions which Conservative Intellectual Heavyweight Hugh Hewitt’s squeaked out last night.

October 9, 2015: Trump is everywhere. The Democrats are starting to spend money on "Benghazi Fraud" ads.


October 16, 2015:

Marco Rubio is now the chosen savior of the GOP field...

Trump, Trump, Trump

“No Labels” -- Joe Liebermann introducing Donald Trump.  Jesus.

November 6, 2015: The election is now one year away.

The return of Value Voters and the end of the Republican Party.

Republican Debate Debacle -- Trump understands the purpose of the debates. Ratings

Democrats may end with with two Spanish-language debates?

Mark Halperin gives the grovely-est interview ever.

November 20, 2015:
Ben Carson flunks foreign policy and geography.

Nina Turner speaks like a g-ddamn Democrat

The David Brooks $120,000 vacation (for income equality)

December 11, 2015: New Republic article entitled "Trump Proves Liberals Were Right All Along."


December 18, 2015: The shock and horror grows...

The Washington Post tells us that blocking Trump “is just another example of how we isolate ourselves online”

Thom Edsall article “Can This Really Be Donald Trump’s Republican Party?”

Philip Klein (Washington Examiner) "A Trump win would validate liberals' caricature of Republicans”

DG takes the lads to see Star Wars.

January 1, 2016: 
Pod Save America is now one year away from existing and we are up to episode 317.

Spotlight looks promising, as does The Big Short

The Professional Left Podcast is reviewed glowingly at Daily Kos.

Sponsors? What are those?

February 2, 2016:
Bill Kristol is now retweeting crap from PowerLine about Obama the Scary Muslim Sleeper Cell...and then still pretending not to understand why Donald Trump exists.

“Trump-and-Sanders” is now the official Beltway Electoral Narrative. The Extremes on Both Sides!

By February 26, 2016...
The Both Siderists had barricaded themselves inside a Motel 6. They sent Jon Huntsman out to negotiate but he never came back…

The Kasich people called No Labels a bunch of parasites...

Trump’s Nevada and South Carolina wins have finally scared the GOP establishment into agreeing that someone should do something.

Charlie Pierce made Michael Steele sweat right through his expensive suit on the Lawrence O’Donnell show.

Tom Friedman got in on that sweet “Trump and Sanders and The Extremes on Both Sides” action.

Trump, Scarborough and Mika’s got caught having some very embarrassing off-camera chatter.

March 11, 2016:

Trump continues to pay no price within his social circle for his fascist soap opera.

Blue Gal: Trump anxiety -- WaPo article we are the sane ones

What happens now that the GOP voters and the GOP establishment all have disavowed the GOP...

Rubio’s No-Win Scenario

Chicago’s “revenue cameras” are in trouble with the law. Gonna cost them millions.

March 18, 2016: 
 Ewick Ewickson wants to start a 3rd party. We suggest the “No True Scotsman” Party?

Republicans led by Orrin Hatch snuff out the Merrick Garland supreme court nomination because they are lawless thugs.
Election results. There is no need to read tea leaves anymore.

Trump tells Fox he will not be attending their stupid wingnut kegger, which means kegger’s cancelled because Trump was supposed to bring the beer.

Lindsey Graham wakes up and smells the Trump Steaks on the grill.

David Frum suddenly turns into a Liberal blogger from 2006.  Continues to pretend that actual Liberals do not exist.

March 25, 2016:
Soon-to-be disgraced sexual predator Les Moonves announces that “Trump is bad for America but great for CBS!”

Illinois is coming apart at the seams -- massive buyer’s remorse. Every day, the paper reminds Republicans what “big government” actually means. Roads. Meals for seniors. Museums. The auto show. Tourism. Low income housing. Job training. Autism programs.

April 1, 2016:

Letter from listener "Zach" which read, in part...

Now, I am finally in the same place that you appear to have been for some time - that this brand of conservatism needs to be swept out of our political system for anything worth doing to be accomplished.

But even though I say that, I must still have had some internal reservations that it could possibly be that bad. Until today. I'm always wary of creating my own liberal bubble, so this morning I decided to turn on the local conservative talk radio. First, let me note I have no idea how anyone deals with the never-ending string of ads - I seriously had to listen to 7 solid minutes of advertising (including two Trump ads and one from the American Petroleum Institute) just to get to the show. And the callers to the show {were as follows] During a discussion about Trump's latest plans to punish abortions, the first caller said he wanted to talk about "the real issues", reeling off "rebuilding our military", "cutting taxes", "repealing that Obamacare", and "completely deregulating businesses" as issues the show should be discussing. I was laughing at this ridiculous right wing bingo I'd just heard when a second person called in to wonder why the hosts weren't talking about how Hillary was just as bad and corrupt as the Republican establishment, so you have to vote for an outsider no matter what (Trump). I was agog. Wingnut bingo followed by both-siderism in consecutive calls! It all made me realize just how this stuff seems to be irreparably baked into the conservative hive mind.

All of this is to say, you guys are fighting the right fight and pointing out the right issues, and I'm only sorry I didn't catch on sooner.

Sincerely,

Zach


PS - I recently finished my PhD (you'd be surprised how much of my dissertation was written listening to the Professional Left. And yes, I'm totally bragging) and it turns out postdoc money is WAY better than grad student money, so I've decided to become a monthly contributor. Keep up the fantastic work, and Happy Spring!
April 8, 2016:
On the same week that MSNBC put Ann Coulter on the air, and the same day that they brought us Bill Kristol unironically, MSNBC heralded the return of Andrew Sullivan. And David Brooks! Oh boy!

April 15, 2016:  Your contributions to Donor's Choose bought a bunch of science fiction classics for needy school kids. Yay you!

April 22, 2016:    Joe Scarborough finally admits there never was a Tea Party.


April 29, 2016: 
 We called for kindness and generosity between Dems now that the primaries were over.. Give people who are tantruming a wide berth. Give people who are broken hearted your support. We liberals are not a serene people. BUT pushing for justice requires the vigilance of a calm heart.

Last ditch effort: Ted Cruz teams up with Carly Fiorina to go full Agnew.

May 5, 2016: Trump wins.


May 13, 2016:
Good ol' Chuck Todd is interviewed on the Keepin’ it 1600 podcast.

Erick Erickson can’t support Donald Trump because Trump is a Sekrit Liberal and Liberals are just like ISIS.

Seeing Paul Manafort and Ann Coulter on the same show on MSNBC was very exciting!

May 20, 2016:

Calling me a douchebag sellout for being a registered Democrat was not the smartest thing Senator Sanders could have done.

Donald Trump voters are just the same old Republican assholes who have voted Republican since Reagan stole their tiny, tiny hearts. And Independents aren’t really independents.

In his quest to find Real Murricans who will talk to him, David Brooks heads West to the home of his very good friends, the Resnicks. Who are billionaires. Jesus, it really is Sullivan’s Travels.

The Breitbart cult sicced the anti-Semitic dogs on Bill Kristol. Even the police began to sit up and take notice.

Peggy Noonan got in touch with her Inner Tom Friedman.

Megyn Kelly did what she does best: suppresses her gag reflex in exchange for money.

May 27, 2016: 
 All The Way With LBJ is terrific.

Gerson, Noonan and Brooks all continue to unravel in public.

Andrew Sullivan returns to lie about the past some more. You can SEE the Beltway Party Line taking shape in real time. Trump is sui generis. All madness began with him and will end with him

June 3, 2016:
Bill Kristol vs Eric Erickson -- The Conservative People’s Front of Judea splits with the Conservative Judean People’s Front over who is pure enough to be slaughtered as a third party sacrificial lamb.

Michael Gerson, Kathleen Parker, et al continue to be shocked at what a shithouse their beloved GOP suddenly became in the last 10 minutes.

David Brooks gives up and goes back to what he was writing about literally 20 years ago.

June 10, 2016:
Trump is driving all pundits back to their default settings. Michael Gerson -- Both Sides. Tom Friedman -- 3rd Party. Joe Scarborough -- Shouting Real Loud. David Brooks -- meandering blather. Mark Halperin -- whitewash

As we have been saying since he came down the escalator, Trump is the Perfect Republican: A loud, ignorant thin-skinned bigot who goes ballistic whenever anyone does not agree 100% with his ridiculous ideas. He also has no regard for anything he said yesterday, because the only people he talks too are like minded assholes like himself.

Since nobody cares what Liberals think anyway, we might as well enjoy watching the Conservative Brain Caste squirming like slugs in a bucket of salt.

June 17, 2016:
Chris Matthews bites Hugh Hewitt on the leg, which I thought would make him a white walker too, but apparently not..

Team Trump goes to full-scale war with linear time and the English language.

While Kathleen Parker is once again stunned to discover that the Republican party is full of Republicans.

June 24, 2016. "The Lobster" is just … bad. So, so bad.


July 15, 2016: 
 Never doubt for a minute that this election is a moral conversation.

Both Siderism is back baby!

July 22, 2016: 
The Republican Convention was ... OMG. Two Minutes Hate that ran for days. Plus Melania plagiarism. Plus Russians all over the place.

Hugh Hewitt was blabbing about how Trump would make the “pivot” from plagiarism to perjury because Hillary Benghazi Emails!

July 29, 2016:
The Democratic Convention was the mirror opposite of the GOP.

DAY ONE Media Desperate to portray both sides equally bad. Family fight versus oh my god where did my brother and his wife go? Al Franken and Sarah Silverman...

DAY TWO Media can’t buh-lieve their own ears at Trump attacking a Gold Star family.

DAY THREE Liberal rope-a-dope, especially the gun violence.

The speeches left me speechless. Remember Early Obama when we were all just thrilled to have a president that spoke in complete sentences?

Dave Weigel tweet: If Obama lives as long as Jimmy Carter, He’ll be giving speeches at the DNC until 2052.

August 5, 2016
Apres les Deluge: Some Republicans are positioning themselves to be ready for the post-Trump spoils.

Trump can’t even hire competent liars -- Lewendowski, Katrina Pierson

Voting rights making a comeback -- 5 states

USA Freedom Kidz vs Donald J. Trump

Rigged elections!! Is the new thing.

Michael Steele/Mark Halperin are desperate to give Trump props for correcting one of his big dumb lies

August 19, 2016: Our fifth wedding anniversary week!


August 26, 2016: Two months before the election, and Meet the Press was already cleaning up after the soon-to-be failed Republican Party with a News Special: GOP: MEET THE PRESS - BEYOND TRUMP.

September 2, 2016: Meet the Press was among the worst I have ever seen. The media is now clearly complicit in the Trump-ening, up to their chins.

September 23, 2016: The next great struggle will be to memorialize our times.


September 30, 2016 -- Ep 356: -- High Anxiety

Even after Trump got his ass handed to him in the "debate", Trumpshirts are still unmoved. Undecideds are still pouty that the Unicorn Party is still unavailable in this area. “Both Sides” is still the coin of the realm.

Hillary now has a base that is much larger than Trump’s and has the endorsements of more Republican newspaper editorial boards than ever in history.

Why are we so tired? Because we’re carrying the weight for BOTH parties. And our party is the only one big enough for every atheist listener to this podcast, and Rev William Barber.

There was a shooting this week, at a South Carolina elementary school. 14 year old boy killed his father and injured a teacher and two students. His parents had bragged about giving him a gun.

October 7, 2016:   This was not a real debate. In a real debate, if you just lie your ass off for 90 minutes you lose.


October 14, 2016:
Sex Tape and Aftermath -- Let's definitely re-litigate the past. All of the past.

Strategic Forgettery Dementia has set in.

October 21, 2016:   Blue Gal's Mom became very ill.

The Wacky Waving Inflatable arm flailing tube man in their heads.

Hugh Hewitt casts his lot with the worst people in America

Chris Hayes agrees that all of this will be stuffed down the memory hole.

October 28, 2016:
Operation Memory Hole: How many different ways will there be to pretend that none of this is happening?

Respectable Republicans like Nicolle Wallace and Jennifer Rubin are suddenly very upset because now they’re starting to be treated like dirty Liberals have always been treated.

November 4, 2016:  If Trump wins...expect the worst of 2000-2007 on speed-up.


November 9, 2019: The Worst Case Scenario:
We’re just going to talk today.

Donald Trump won and w