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Member Since 02 February 2012 - 12:55 PM
Offline Last Active Sep 18 2019 01:21 AM

Topics I've Started

Talk Radio Made Today's Republican Party

21 August 2019 - 02:45 PM

This Atlantic article traces the behavior of talk radio (and later tv) hosts over the years.


In its early phases, conservative talk radio had exhibited a pragmatic streak that would sound foreign today. In 1994, Limbaugh cautioned against singl- issue voting. He advised television viewers—he had a TV program from 1992 to 1996—not to oppose Mitt Romney, the Republican then running as a moderate against the liberal senator Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. As Limbaugh explained, electing Romney, despite his lack of conservative fervor, would be a step “in the right direction.”
Hosts never loved moderates, and never hesitated to criticize them for actions out of step with hosts’ vision for the country. But they understood that such figures were crucial to securing a majority, without which their preferred agenda had no shot.
But this detente started to break down as the 2000s progressed. In one 2005 harangue prompted by Republicans who voted against oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Limbaugh declared, “There’s no such thing as a moderate. A moderate is just a liberal disguise, and they are doing everything they can to derail the conservative agenda.” He deemed such behavior “unacceptable” and read listeners the names of those Republicans voting no. Even so, Limbaugh still crucially refrained from calling for those Republicans to lose.

But as time went on:


In the fight for a devoted audience, allies became foes. Former House Speaker John Boehner explained what that meant for Republicans, telling Politico, “‘I always liked Rush [Limbaugh]. When I went to Palm Beach I would always meet with Rush and we’d go play golf. But you know, who was that right-wing guy, [Mark] Levin?”—Levin launched in New York in 2002 and entered national syndication in 2006—“He went really crazy right and got a big audience, and he dragged [Sean] Hannity to the dark side. He dragged Rush to the dark side. And these guys—I used to talk to them all the time. And suddenly they’re beating the living shit out of me.”

Talk radio sucks...and Fox "News" too.

President is a little displeased with Fox News

30 July 2019 - 05:17 PM

All is not well in the mutual admiration society:


The president has also told multiple associates that he sees Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch’s sons as “very liberal” and has quizzed former and current Fox personalities about what they think of them and if the Murdoch kids can be trusted. (Rupert Murdoch also doubles as a prominent informal adviser to Trump, often taking calls from the 45th president.)

I guess he's upset when people like Chris Wallace give Mick Mulvaney a hard time about racist comments about Baltimore.

It's official. Gerrymandering based on political party affiliation is ok.

27 June 2019 - 10:54 AM

Roberts, writing for the majority didn't quite put it that way, but the practical impact of the 5-4 decision is simply that.

It is up to people in the states to use the initiative process, if they have one, to institute rules guiding redistricting and maybe an independent redistricting body. States that are narrowly blue or purple might have legislatures that have the will to do the same thing.

The Illiberal Right Throws a Tantrum

15 June 2019 - 12:27 PM

Adam Serwer at the Atlantic has a really interesting think piece on an argument between different factions within the right. He points out that some on the right just don't like democracy as manifested by our current government because they don't get to keep control over everything and contrasts that with the reactions of African Americans through the Civil Rights era, Japanese Americans post internment camps and Latino Americans since forever. Most of the latter groups worked through the system though a few advocated blowing it up.


Undetectable in the dispute on the right is any acknowledgment of the criticisms of liberal democracy by those who have been fighting for their fundamental rights in battles that are measured in decades and even centuries; that the social contract implicitly excluded them from the very rights white Christian men have been able to assert from the beginning. Perhaps to do so would be to acknowledge the fundamental immaturity underlying the American Orbánists’ critique: that what they describe as a crisis of liberal democracy is really just them not getting exactly what they want when they want it.

Serwer is the guy who wrote that cruelty is the point of Trump's and his supporters' actions.

Take a look at what Finland is doing to combat "fake news"

19 May 2019 - 03:41 PM

Imagine this...teaching "media literacy" and "critical thinking skills" to the population.


As the trolling ramped up in 2015, President Sauli Niinisto called on every Finn to take responsibility for the fight against false information. A year later, Finland brought in American experts to advise officials on how to recognize fake news, understand why it goes viral and develop strategies to fight it. The education system was also reformed to emphasize critical thinking.

Maybe such a technique could be used to teach Americans the same things! Maybe our political leaders could bring in these American experts! In the words of Theodoric of York...Naaaaaahhhhhh! That would involve education which is not valued anymore unless it leads to making money.