Few people under 50 can grasp what the last seven years of the Vietnam war was like.  It had cost over 21,000 American lives, far more than that in casualites and permanent disabilities, and generally tore America apart, socially, politcally, and spiritually. It was one of the most traumatic periods in our history, and in many respects, we are still reliving and resolving issues stemming from it.  Modern conservatives still hang much of their pro-military rhetoric on the canard that "we didn't fight to win in Vietnam."  Well now it seems that the conservative hero of that era, Richard Milhaus Nixon, on his way to the presidency, actually conspired to prolong the war to damage Democrats for their part in waging it, and allowing him to "win it." 

Days before the 1968 election, the nation had been greeted with the news that the end of the war might be nearer than anyone thought possible during the so very nasty presidential campaign between Nixon and Hubert Humphrey (President Johnson, so politically damaged by the war, had decided not to run for another term).  A deal had been struck between North and South Vietnam, a jubilant American people were told, and that peace was finally imminent.

But just days later, the nation's hopes were crushed as it was told that the deal had collapsed and the war would go on.  The  campaign momentum that had been shifting back toward Humphrey on the news of a peace deal, swung right back to Nixon. Tricky Dick went on to win the election, and the rest, was to become a very dark and ugly history that we are still paying for today. Rather than end the war, as Nixon promised during the campaign, he went on to expand it into Laos and Cambodia where still thousands more people died, while here at home, he set the tone and substance of the "imperial presidency" that many allege, not wrongly, we still endure today.

Old news for most of us; grim details of nearly a half-century gone by that many of those who prospered in the boom times that followed would probably rather forget. But others are far too damaged to ever forget.  Whether you agreed with the war or not, you had to have been affected by it. I was in high school at the time, and it pretty much defined me, my clothing, my friends, teachers, school work, family life, and my later views and philosophies as they evolved. I still so clearly remember my mother's anguish as she anticipated my brother's pending draft number as it was about to be announced in the selective service lottery.  My father, a WWII war hero who was awarded the Distiguished Flying Cross, sent his medals to Nixon to protest the war.   The Vietnam war was everything and everywhere throughout the American existence. If you didn't live through those times, you can just take the Iraq war fiasco, and multiply it by 100. That was Vietnam.

And it still won't go away. Vietnam is the war that will never die.  And now we learn that almost a third of it was prolonged because 1) Richard Nixon was a monumentally traitorous scumbag, and 2) Johnson lacked the courage to admit to the American people that his knowledge of just how big a scumbag Nixon had been was inhibited by the fact that the knowledge came via an illegal wiretap. How ironic that it would be Nixon's own wiretap efforts that would destroy him, but one still has to wonder how different the world might have been if Johnson could have admitted to one wrongdoing in order to reveal an even greater one. A wrongdoing that cost so many people their lives, ruined or reshaped their survivors, and probably permanently altered the trajectory and ultimate governability of the American experiment. 

There is no outrage because outrage is now a tactic, not an emotion. 

Today is the 10th year anniversary of the Iraq war. Seems like a pretty good time for bloggers and the media to remind us that it wasn't the first unnecessary, or unnecessarily long war, by hammering on this Nixon story hard.. Yet if not for Rachel @maddow (again), and perhaps a few Twitterers like me, the U.S. media would scarcely give this incendiary story more than a passing glance. We've become so accustomed to outrage being a tactic in our politics, or for link-baiting a blog site, or for driving a hashtag campaign, that all the genuine emotion has been sapped from the word, as well as its utility in shaping our national discourse. Who has the time or emotion for one more outrage? Especially one that is now 45 years old.  

I do. And I really think that you should too.  

Now prepare yourself

Because this story may and should upset you on many levels.

First, the basic outine:

LBJ Tapes Show Richard Nixon May Have Committed Treason By Sabotaging Vietnam Peace Talks

Next, the larger context and relevance…

Once again, courtesy of Rachel @maddow, whose team is just so damn good at that:

Rachel Maddow: History shows war a tool for political opportunists

 

Related

 

Update #2 (and Summary)

Since August 6th, 2012, I have been savagely attacked on Twitter by a clique of people who have lied,libeled, manipulated and concealed agendas and events in order to assassinate my character, both on twitter and in real life, mostly to cover up a very bad thing they did that compromised the #StopRush effort, and exposed personal information about its volunteers to allies of Rush Limbaugh.  

This clique was led by Imani Gandi (@angryblacklady), and her associates, co-bloggers and associates, including @heatherEchase Darshann Simon Padilla (@honeneybadgerLA), Jessica Delahunty (@vdaze), @miltShook, Andrew Wienick (@dvnix), @allenbrauer, @thescottfinley, @jc_christian, @theXclass, @gottaLaff, @jennjinx, @tllanes, @themanknownasX, @quadcitypat, and many others with a direct or indirect connection to Gandy and her agenda.  Most of them all have different versions of this saga and their reason for being involved, because Gandy, Chase and Delahunty have told them different versions over the many months that this saga has unfolded, and more and more evidence amassed against them. Many of these same players have axes to grind with me going back many years, mostly because of an equally ridiculous whisper campaign against me conducted by a blogger named Gottalaff and her friend, a disgraced journalist named Jason Leopold and their allies. Despite their once defending me against the Gottalaff-led attacks, Gandy, Chase and Delahunty enlisted them early on in their own attack on me under the old saw that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

While there are many documents below (and elsewhere) that describe different aspects of this drama that has plagued me and my friends since August of 2012, all you really need to read are these posts to understand most of it.

The Streisand Effect: Synopsis of a Twitter Drama

How TeamUterati Founders Fell for a Right Wing Con Artist (by Osborne Ink) — the main work that explains the real motive behind most of this madness.

An FAQ about the Twitter Brigade and Their Attacks On Shoq (under construction).

 

Update #1

Well, it's taken well over 6 weeks for this complete story to emerge. I am so grateful for the long hours so many have spent helping to piece together a timeline and trail of evidence spanning hundreds of people and thousands of emails, messages, and tweets. Evidence counts. As more of it mounted, people started stepping up and telling what they knew. Some perhaps, with a hope of mitigating any liabilities they may have, but others because they felt it was the right thing to do. If you've never known of this story, please read the four links (in order) immediately below. Then if you really want to know the whole grizzly backstory about how and why a "Twitter Brigade" of people smeared me viciously for 8 weeks, you'll find all the key links (in order of importance) further on down the page in the original post.

How can you know most of what is reported here is true? By the simple fact that two key players are both attorneys, officers of the court, who know the process of discovery,  the power of their own statements, and the trail of evidence that they've left behind. They know that what is reported here did in fact happen, and if you pay attention, you will not see them actually denying it. Blowing a lot of angry smoke to distract and deflect the damage it will do to their reputations, sure, but not denying it. They know that making still more false or misleading statements will only compound their problems if this goes much further.

Why didn't we say all this weeks ago? Because there was no way we could tell the story without the facts, the subplots, and the compilation and distillation of  the hard evidence. We all have jobs. It takes time.  So I had to just eat a heaping crap sandwich every day for all these weeks, being savaged by friends and foes alike, while we methodically unraveled the real story for any thinking person to see.

There is a morality tale to tell here, but I am loathe to spend any more time on this until after the November election. There is much more to say and do. And it will be said and done. If for no other reason than to restore the reputations of people who have been harmed. But it will also be to help insulate future progressive efforts against similar con men, and the stupidity that greed can bring to worthy progressive efforts when ambitious people cross over lines of decency.  I will probably never get an apology from any of them, nor from many formerly mutual friends whom they misled by pretending they were motivated solely by the need to "stand up for women" and to an "abusive bully" who left an angry message on his girlfriend's answering machine last January. Am I sorry I ever had such an outburst? Of course. But reasonable people always knew it was hardly the kind of offense to justify such a massive, two month hate campaign against me enjoined by hundreds of people. Their instincts were correct.

How their friends will reconcile such a vulgar deception, done for such selfish reasons is ultimately their business. I just want them to know that I don't hold grudges. Well, not for very long, anyway.  We all make mistakes, and we all want to believe our friends are being decent and honorable with us. No one likes being conned or used. But it happens. Lots of stuff happens. All we can do is learn, grow, and move on. Some will also choose to forgive. That's usually been my choice.

"Who can't relate to the idea of leaving one chapter behind and moving on to the next?"  - Mike Shinoda


Original Post

New:  A chance for shoq's army of accusers to Bring Their Evidence against him!

I promised friends, family, co-workers and supporters the facts about a months' long campaign to assassinate my character by a small clique with overlapping agendas. They've never had a shred of evidence beyond a single angry voice mail I left a cyber-girlfriend 8 months ago.  They have kept their many relationships to, and histories with me, as well as their ulterior motives, deeply concealed below the radar of noise generated on Twitter since they kicked off their smear campaign on August 6th.

No, @Shoq didn't "abuse" a bunch of women.  This nonsensical gossip derives from a 3 year old, very tired narrative co-created by @gottaLaff and @nicoleSandler who have been running a vendetta against me for years (because I once hurt Gottalaff's feelings).  Recently, this stupid, fact-free narrative has been given new life by @angryblacklady (ABL), @heatherEchase (HEC), @vdaze, @miltshook, @dvnix and a clique of other people with very mixed agendas, not the least of which is their own self-promotion. They rely on assist from people like @tymlee, @jennyjinx, @nadiaArtist, and @ttlanes and other @gottalaff supporters who have obessively tweeted about me for years (just search their names on Twitter). Since everyone loves gossip, these memes gain and hold traction easily.

This latest chapter is all about a plan by at least two key people (and possibly more) who wanted to use all this pent up 'abuser" rhetoric to bury me with an avalanche of lies, half-truths, inuendo and gossip, hoping I would just disappear. That way, they hoped, I could never reveal certain embarassing or damaging things that I knew about them, their past, and their activities.  They've assumed most are too naive, lazy or trusting to actually probe what was true and what wasn't. Now, with just a few facts shown below, their stories, narratives and agendas are melting away under a spotlight that they've brought upon themselves. As a result, people disgusted by what they are doing to me and my reputation, purely for their own self-interest, are starting to come forward and explain what they've done—and why. And they are getting very nervous.

If you have supported these people in the past, I strongly urge that you stop, or you risk personal or professional embarassment later as still more facts are released. I am sorry for their board and advisory members, and other innocents who never signed-on for this drama, borne of their paranoia—and a concealed motive that will be divulged shortly. Unlike their viscious smears and Milt Shook's transparent smoke screens, accurate and responsible narratives take time.

There is no shame in being conned by people you trusted.  I hope those fooled by this fraud will have the courage to admit that they judged me with scant evidence, and return to my stream where we can all focus on what matters.

Below are key posts I would like my friends to read, especially the one **marked**.  

There are plenty of examples of these attacks in the Smear Index above, but a few examples are posted herein below.

Thank you, to all who have believed in me and stood by me through this bizarre and destructive ordeal no matter how many bottles and bricks were thrown your way. Anyone who spoke up in my defense has been treated with a bitter ruthlessness that few have ever witnessed on Twitter. I am deeply grateful and honored to those of you who braved that onslaught, and proud to call you my friends.

And a special thanks to the hard work of  some bloggers and other supporters who have helped me compile the facts and tell the story. And finally, and monumental thanks to those who stood up for me despite the relentless bullying you brought upon yourselves.  I am forever in your debt.

Shoq, aka Matt
 

After you've read the facts, please read on

I think the evidence presented above speaks for itself.

Unlike the hundreds of people attacking me with every charge imaginable, who have no evidence of any kind but for a loud and abusive message I left on an ex-romantc interest's voicemail (which I apologized for many weeks ago, publicly).  Reasonable people can decide for themselves what has really gone on here, and who has really been "abused" more:

  • The woman (@vdaze) — who had to listen to an angry  voice mail last January… and not sends totally unrelated politically-based activities information to the FBI, or
  • Shoq   — who has been had his character malciously and wilfully assassinated by a mob of cooperating band of women and men who have conducted a massive smear campaign against him all over Twitter, damaging his reputation, relationships, friendships, and business interests.
  • Shoq's Friends and Supporters —who have been relentlessly bullied and harassed until many of them have no choice but to unfollow me (in some cases, after following me for 5 years).

After they decide, they are free to follow or unfollow me as their conscience dictates.  I am hoping many whose minds get changed will reach out to some of the hundreds of other people who were poisoned by this coordinated yarn spinning, and ask them to follow me again so we can all use Twitter for more productive things.

It ain't over until it's over

I had been hoping this drama would have ended over 2 months ago when it started, but that wasn't in my attacker's plans.  What was postured as an organic "speaking out" by a an "abuse victim," was actually anything but that. Most have seen me trying to keep this all off Twitter, while oblivious to how much the real attackers only pretended to (we rarely see who we don't follow).  I am hoping the documents above will change that perception.  As long as these attacks continue, will we debunk them and the people behind them. And with a lot more detail than they will be comfortable with.

Don't judge me or this drama by what YOU see on Twitter

You only see what your timeline sees (those you follow). You don't see this:

  1. What gets addressed to specific names, e.g.  "@barackObama — @shoq is a vicious bully and should be fired as a supporter. http://j.mp/somelink"
    Such addressees can get messages about me all day long but unless you follow them, you will never see them. This is a favorite tactic of these Twitter bullies.
  2. Protected Tweets — When bullies protect their timeline so only their followers can see their tweets (and they don't show up in searches).  Another popular tactic.
  3. Direct Messages  — sent to hundreds of people every day, to anyone they can get to follow them so they can direct them to one attack website or another.
  4. Phone calls — between the core group coordinated this campaign, but which are obvious, or indicated or reported in various ways.

I will still not be speaking about this on Twitter 

I've had a few notable lapses since I promised to exit all this, but mostly I have tried to keep my word and focus on this election.

It's easy for partisan players to bitch and moan about how easy it is to "just ignore it," but until you've been attacked by a few hundred people (and thousands of their friends) in unison, each and every day for months, no matter what you do or say, well…  I respectfuly ask that you:

  • Read the documents above and get some kind of clue about what this all about, and the extent of this campain, and then…
  • Please stand-down and try not to comment and appear aligned with these people because you really have no concept of what has really transpired and look ridiculous to those of us who do. Moreover, you will  be connected with their smear, which may have unintended consequences as the names of anyone that does becomes set in Internet concrete for eternity.

The Short list of attackers

The complete list will be continually updated on the  Shoqvalueexposed: Smear Exhibits Page. Searching a site like topsy.com for any of these names and "@Shoq or @vdaze" will show you just how active all of these accounts have been during this epic smear campaign. When these people speak to you, please know their agenda concerning me.


The Nucleus group

These are the people who have organized this campaign, or have been central to perpetuating it daily

  • @vdaze, @angryBlackLady,  @honeybadgerLA, @vdaze, @heatherEchase,
  • @jennyjinx, @shopaholic_918, @semishark, @luthorCEO 

The Point People

These people engage in the attacks almost daily, for whatever neurotic or obsessive motives compel them

  • @gottalaff, @tymlee, @nadiaArtist , @jasonleopold, @tllanes, @cody_k, @wendylefty, @tosfm, @iboudreau, @brandibax
  • @TheXClass,  @themanknowasx, @jc_christian, @DudeImAnEgg, @raine1967, @lyssophobe

The Echo Chamber

Followers, sychophants and trolls who RT and/or echo the Nucleus and Point people almost daily (or hourly)

The Conversative Bloggers

The right wing extremists who have plenty of political reasons to perpetuate this pointl

A Few Attack Examples

Warning: Many of these tweets are Not Safe For Work (NSFW)

  • @vdaze’s “Dysfunctional C**t” Tweets  — the first “meltdown” of August 6th, 2012, hours after an email exhange with shoq (vacationing in Canada at the time) discussing how they could fix their relationship. Shoq heard about a rant, but never actually saw the tweets until weeks later.
  • @vdaze Retweeted — While she protects her Twitter stream, she cannot prevent (nor did she really  want to) a huge number of her tweets escaping into the wild. These represent only  a small percentage of what her private feed had actually been seeing on a daily basis week after week after week.
  • Collection of tweets — These are just a sampling over a few days of time, showing the tweets of  the three antagonists who both originated and promoted an ongoing smear campaign consisting of tweets, direct messages and blog posts from August 6th thru late September of 2012 (and continuing). The tweets are explained in various narratives below under “Related Posts”
  • DudeImAndEgg has been pimping and promoting any anti-shoq narratives since April  2011, as can be seen in 1300 consecutive tweets from 4/7/ 2011 until 9/27/2012
  • #AbusiveFuck Tweets — (18 pages of them) — wherein key players engage in repetitive hashtag attacks for days.
  • @angryblacklady Tweets — over only a 24 Hour Period on 9/21/2010, 7 weeks after drama began
  • @AngryBlackLady Tweets Mentioning Shoq  — over 6 week period. All parties involved have deleted many tweets, but they are captured in various forms.
  • @honeybadgerLA Tweets — Again, many key tweets deleted, but captured elsewhere.Far more listed on the:  Smear Exhibits Page

I'm collecting articles and videos that examine many of the key problems facing Progressivism in the United States. I grow weary of tweeting them individually, so I thought I would combine them here. Where appropriate, I sometimes link to introductory blog posts which I felt might properly frame or augment the work. I also toss in a much older post on Conservatism… because  I can. If you like this sort of compendium, you may also may want to see my Rants & Primers page. I hope you will please pass them on via the Tweet button below.

Scroll the Table of Contents to see all the titles. Click the bold & underlined title above each blurb to read the essay.

Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America ^

by Sara Robinson

This is now my number one must read on this page and is likely to remain so for quite some time. It's a brief and concise primer on just what the cultural forces have been at play for 400 years, which have led to this rank devolution of the American experiment.  A demotion from which will probably never recover until we fight a more honest Civil War; one that addresses the enemy''s true nature and motives, and not merely the digestible political ploys and pretexts of the day, as we experienced in the 1860s.

It is No Mystery: The Real Reason Conservatives Keep Winning ^

by Joe Brewer

I am much happier when Brewer focuses on things like this, rather than trying to persuade me that merely playing with words and "frames" will change anything.

Have you ever wondered why it is that Progressives repeatedly lose ground in American politics? We almost always have the facts on our side. The experts agree with us. Hell, a lot of us are the experts. And yet history clearly shows that Conservatives have the best political game in town. They dominate political discourse, establishing which frames shape the most important issues of the day. 

What’s going on here? Why is it that Conservatives are so good at winning and Progressives produce a lackluster resistance at best? The answer comes from a fundamental insight from evolutionary biology. Stated simply, it goes like this:

When two groups compete, the one with the most social cohesion wins in the long run.

Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem. ^

By Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein

Few articles like this have ever been written in the history of American politics. And the book from which it comes is an extremely important read.

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition

Land of Promise^

by Michael Lind

Let's stop with the obsolete Left vs Right labels, which just confuse people, and mean less and less as this battle goes on.  Conservatives and Liberals are basically in a duel to the death over which two philosophical outlooks should prevail: The Jeffersonian or the Hamiltonian views of government. This is a must read book, but this article gives you a taste of it.

“But that would not be true,” he continues. “What is good about the American economy is largely the result of the Hamiltonian developmental tradition, and what is bad about it is largely the result of the Jeffersonian producerist school.”

Hamiltonian development built the Erie Canal, the transcontinental railroad, the land-grant universities and the Interstate highway system. In the process, the United States became a giant, interconnected market, a place where companies like Standard Oil, General Motors, John Deere and Sears Roebuck could thrive. The government — and the American military in particular — also played the most important role in financing innovation at its early stages. The industries that produced the jet engine, the radio (and, by extension, the television), radar, penicillin, synthetic rubber and semiconductors all stemmed from ­government-financed research or procurement. The Defense Department literally built the Internet.

How Ralph Nader’s Sins Set Trayvon Martin’s Killer Free^

The Powell Memo is still not fully understood by far too many Americans—especially on the Left.  Jonathan Alter frames it all quite perfectly here. If you have never seen the entire Powell Memo, do so after you read this introduction to it.  You will have a clearer understanding of how just how a dangeous conservative extremism has managed to seize control of America

^

By Michael Kazin

You just can't understand where the American Left is now,  unless you really understand where it was, and how it got here. Michael Kazin is an historian, and long-term observer of the Left, its expectations, its successes, and its more recent wallowing in failure.  This piece is essential reading. In discussing it, RedEarth at Democratic Underground writes:

The liberal triumph of the 1930s was in fact rooted in decades of eloquent oratory and patient organizing by a variety of reformers and radicals against the evils of “monopoly” and “big money.”

Sadly, that triumph has been all but obliterated by a Left that assumed it had won the broader economic war, and set out to win every cultural war on its agenda. The impact was to dilute its ranks, obfuscate its purpose, and minimize its power.  We must get it back.

How Obama's Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics^

By Andrew Sullivan

Sometimes it takes a conservative to explain Obama's long game strategy to progressives, who have never been very patient (see next essay too)

 But given the enormity of what he inherited, and given what he explicitly promised, it remains simply a fact that Obama has delivered in a way that the unhinged right and purist left have yet to understand or absorb. Their short-term outbursts have missed Obama’s long game—and why his reelection remains, in my view, as essential for this country’s future as his original election in 2008.

When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable?^

By Jonathan Chait (Introduced and augmented by Bob Cesca)

Former New Republic editor, Jonathan Chait explains a basic fact: Liberals have always been dissatisfied with the Democratic presidents they elect, and then mythologize them after they leave power.  He details how modern liberals are ignorant or unwilling to look at those presidencies as a mix of some successes, and a whole bunch of failures, yet still posture as if all those disappointing white presidents should still be the measuring stick for our only black one.  I don't feel he gets into just how much of this national liberal malaise is actually promoted by a very small cadre of liberal bloggers and the "professional left."  Take away Glenn Greenwald, Jane Hamsher

Related:

Of Broken Clocks, Presidential Candidates, and the Confusion of Certain White Liberals^

By Tim Wise

This is simply a must read. It not only debunks Ron Paul as anything like a serious option for progressives, but he destroys ridiculous pseudo progressive rationales from people like Glenn Greenwald that pretends he has anything to offer them at all:

I want those of you who are seriously singing Paul’s praises, while calling yourself progressive or left to ask what it signifies — not about Ron Paul, but about you — that you can look the rest of us in the eye, your political colleagues and allies, and say, in effect, “Well, he might be a little racist, but…

http://www.timwise.org/2012/01/of-broken-clocks-presidential-candidates-and-the-confusion-of-certain-white-liberals

President as Piñata^

By Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times

Kristof always comes around to making the big observation when it most counts. If liberals don't recognize who the real enemy is (radical conservatism), and soon, we're all in for some pretty rough water ahead:

"In this economic crisis, Obama will face the same headwinds. That should provide a bracing warning to grumbling Democrats: If you don’t like the way things are going right now, just wait."

Health Insurers Now Have To Take Their Medicine^

By Karoli

Despite the best efforts of Jane Hamsher, and all the other professional left demagogues who have torn it down, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) had a very big time-bomb inserted into it. One that was too wonky to even be understood by the media, and most of the left taken in by all the "sell out" narratives which polluted our national health care dialog. Read here just how the ACA was always designed to eventually change our health care system forever by deconstructing the very financial appeal of private health insurance.

What if Obama Loses?  Imagining the consequences of a GOP victory.^

Compendium of Essays Assembled By Washington Monthly Magazine

"But there’s also a widespread assumption that extreme positions taken in the primaries will fade in the general election as candidates “move to the center,” and will disappear entirely once the serious business of governing begins. Surely President Newt Gingrich would not get rid of child labor laws. Surely President Perry would not seek to eliminate three cabinet departments.

 

We don’t think that this year, with this GOP, those assumptions are warranted. And so we asked a distinguished group of reporters and scholars to think through the hitherto unthinkable: What if one of these people actually wins?"

Christopher Hitchens, Glenn Greenwald, and the War of Ideas^

By A. Jay Adler

It is no secret that I find the overread and overrated blogger Glenn Greenwald to be a pretentious phony and rather an insult to a long tradition of progressive thinkers and writers with whom too many other overpaid pundits mistakenly associate him. He doesn't discuss ideas, he flogs political demons as a career objective, upbraids government and chief executives for sport, and continually masks whatever emotional monsters compel him to lash out at his growing numbers of critics, such as yours truly.  Why should we care? Because his thinly disguised, poorly formed libertarian agenda, and vicious attacks on Democrats (and anyone in power) are often taken seriously by a growing sea of 3rd-rate pundits writing way outside their weight class. He provides them with easy polemical diatribes mixed with tendentious word salad that provides them with rich and controversial content they can report on, rarely bothering to vet it for facts or relevance.  If it bleeds it leads and Greenwald's prose drips with the blood he drains out of any public figure or action he chooses to gut with his digital pen. And he has a famous habit of trying to badger and browbeat his critics all over the internet with shrill accusations of corrupt motive, egregious malice, or any one of several pet forms of bad faith. Often his more scholarly critics will risk accusations of cowardice, simply because they resent his uncivil and intellectually dishonest manner of discourse. His popularity (at least until this year) says far more about our vanishing standards for thoughtful writers than it says about his modest intellectual stature. It is a continuing shame that so few writers with intellectual firepower will take him on as forcefully as this one does.

The author of this essay is a Professor of English at Los Angeles Southwest College. But from this profile you can clearly see why he can so easily dissect Greenwald. He's a real human being, with rich life experiences, who can discuss politics and philosophy in the context of his — and our — lives.  If you read Greenwald much, you know there is no life in anything he writes about. His words are acerbic, glum, and dispiriting. His common goal is to paint incendiary and dehumanizing portrayals of anyone who has ever sought to serve in government.  He never has his own expertise or solutions to bring to his narratives. The goal is to always tear down someone else, and drive his readers into pitchforked frenzies of ideological zeal.  He does it so well that his screeds will suck all the oxygen from the national conversation whenever he drops a new one at Salon.com, the Guardian.co.uk, or whichever venue is giving him space that day.

To some minds, including mine, he is a viciously judgmental person with no real beliefs to be found outside of the palpable hatred he exhibits for the powerful people who control the nation he left (he now lives mostly in Brazil). He writes manipulatively, mostly to advance himself and whatever agenda he rationalizes in his own head (he never writes of any goals or objectives for himself or society, except in the broadest possible terms that can never be challenged by any self respecting liberal), until the topic has been exhausted in the media. When challenged, he is lightning fast in responding with a tweet or a blog comment that avoids any response to the criticism, deflecting with some shrill label for his accuser like "cultist!" or "mentally deranged sycophant!," or some other churlishness that would embarrass him if serious people were paying as much attention as they should be. Once he's milked his subject for a few weeks, often distracting the entire nation with it, he drops it like a stone and moves on to his next equally vitriolic contrivance. He is the anti-government, anti-social, and anti-joy blogger, who does nothing to help America battle its way back from its slide into the radical conservatism that has consumed it, choosing instead to be a high profile careerist lobbing spitballs at the powerful from the comfort of his not-very-cheap seats in Rio de Janerio.

After seven years of getting by with very little real criticism, many are finally coming to see just how Glenn Greenwald operates, and how fragile his intellectual stature really is. Hopefully, this essay will be the first of many to take a swing at his glass jaw. I found it brilliant.

Proud To Be A Liberal^

By Brian Elroy McKinley

Excellent overview of some of the most misunderstood (and misrepresented) aspects of Liberalism, and why it's always been seen as sitting at the very base of American values (according to almost any non-partisan historian or political scientist).

^

By David Frum (Introduced and commented on by @shoq)

Former Bush speechwriter, David Frum explains why his precious Republican party and much of conservatism have devolved into a trade fair for ideological and personality marketing.  The takeaway from this is that these are not responsible people, are sociologically reckless, and are incapable of anything like what we once thought governing was supposed to be about.

Note: Mediamatter's Jamison Foser has urged me many times to see Frum as a manipulative phony quarterback who routinely fakes left, but runs right, blowing a lot of pseudo-moderate smoke to steer Republicans toward his preferred (only slightly less crazy) candidates such as Mitt Romney. I realize there may be a lot of that in Frum's motivations, but that doesn't mean some of his analysis is not on-point, nor useful to the left for its indictment of so many aspects of this Republican noise machine run amok.  Read his take on Frum here.

The Professional left^

by Rootless_e, ThePeoplesView.net

A good introduction to the professional left, and why many of us feel it's hurting Progressivism and America.

Fight the People: 40 years and counting of left wing failure in America^

by Rootless_e

Progressives vs. the President^

by Bob Cesca, Blogger

Bob is one of the few bloggers from the glory years of progressive blogging whom I find myself in agreement with most of the time. That's partly due to our similar pragmatic bent, and partly because he's a lot smarter and more eloquent than I am.  Bob was a front-line blogger when the American left was duking it out over Obama, Clinton and Edwards in the primaries, and knows first hand that most of the so-called Progressive left never supported Barack Obama in the first place. Most of them were John Edwards supporters. And yeah, that judgment worked out well for us, eh?  Below are some other must read posts from Bob that are well worth the read by anyone who wants to more clearly understand where so much of this misplaced anger at Obama really comes from, and how it gets memed all over the Internet, often with very destructive effects on broader progressive narratives, interests and goals:

Has American-Style Conservatism Become a Religion?^

by Joshua Holland, Alternet

Josh is one of the most even-handed, level-header journalists writing today. This essay is a must read to grasp the forces at work inside the often overlapping Conservative and Republican machines.

What is Conservatism and What Is Wrong With It?^

By Philip E. Agre

Liberals in the United States have been losing political debates to conservatives for a quarter century. In order to start winning again, liberals must answer two simple questions: what is conservatism, and what is wrong with it? As it happens, the answers to these questions are also simple:

How Bullshit Magically Turns Into Fact^

By @Karoli

My good friend Karoli takes on a topic that has consumed both of us, and our friends, for years: how the entire angry political blogosphere, whether right, left or libertarian, seems to need to magically transform bullshit into fact.  If you like this essay, you are sure to enjoy these other work of hers, each hitting a different bullseye on a different target, but all on the same shooting range of social justice.

Barack Obama and the myth of the progressive ‘majorities’^

By Joy Ann Reid

I continually point out that I think Joy is one of America's best political analysts working today. Here she completely guts the ridiculous assertion, so often made by disaffected liberals, that President Obama squandered huge progressive majorities that he never actually had.

List of Liberal Achievements that Made America a Great Nation ^

By Shoq Value

They pretty much speak for themselves.

How I Left The Left ^

By CitizenK (Blogger)

"It's an article of faith among the left that its harsh — and often brainless and naive — criticism of President Obama puts it squarely in line with the left wing "insurgencies" (as Katrina Vanden Heuvel wrote) that pushed Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson to the great reforms of the New Deal and the Great Society. This might be a fair point if it bore any actual relationship to reality."

George Carlin on The America Dream^

I often like to discuss the difference between diagnosing a problem, and treating one. George never spent much time on the latter, but when he engaged in the former, few could match his brilliance.

Why I am Not Disappointed by President Obama^

By Jake Lamar

On October 8, 2011, Democrats Abroad France held an event titled "Voices for Obama" at the Nikki Diana Marquandt Gallery in Paris. One of the speakers was the American author Jake Lamar

Journalists Swing The Tire. ^

by prolefeedTV

A VERY important short video about how our precious Fourth Estate is now little more than a yard sale. But hey, and least there's a swing in the yard!

A Progressive Mission Statement: Positive Goals to Move Progressives Forward^

by Milt Shook

My friend Milt has a gift of making the complicated sound simple. But then, some things are simple to start with, such as most of his rather intuitive bullet points as listed here.

The Rise of the New Global Elite^

by Chrystia Freeland

F. Scott Fitzgerald was right when he declared the rich different from you and me. But today’s super-rich are also different from yesterday’s: more hardworking and meritocratic, but less connected to the nations that granted them opportunity—and the countrymen they are leaving ever further behind.

Why Obama hasn’t closed Guantánamo camps^

But Congress has made it nearly impossible to transfer captives anywhere. Legislation passed since Obama took office has created a series of roadblocks that mean that only a federal court order or a national security waiver issued by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta could trump Congress and permit the release of a detainee to another country.

See Also

People are using Flat Tax vs Fair Tax interchangeably. And as usual, our congenitally lazy media is happy to oblige any and all misunderstandings by virtue of not understanding it themselves. So here’s a few links that will help you have this annoying discussion with anyone, especially wingnuts who won’t understand any definition you give them until Fox News tells them what they think they understand.

I am only going to rough this in, for now. If you have good debunkers or definitions to add, please post them as a comment, and/or Tweet them to @shoq. If you have time for this now, just read this, and help stamp out moronic tax propaganda and gimmicks from the radical right.

Flat Tax vs. FairTax

Neither the flat tax nor the FairTax plans are radically new ideas. The U.S. implemented a flat income tax for a short time after the Civil War. Many states and countries use a flat tax today, but the specific plan for the FairTax is relatively new and dates back to the mid-1990s. Read more from Marshall Brain’s “How Things Work.”

Tax Definitions and Debunkers

  • Definitions

 Demagoguing Those Flat and Fair Taxes

See Also”

 

Grey Parker is one of those bloggers you stumble upon when someone in your stream says "you gotta read this."  I did that some months ago, and ever since, I eagerly snap at his posts like a Venus Fly Trap that just got lucky.  Today, Grey decided to respond to the execrable new Tokyo Rose of right wing propaganda, Dana Loesch, the oh-so hot and sassy queen of fabrication and faux-facts, who @CNN had the unmitigated corporatist's gall to make a "contributor."  As if we hadn't had enough of these pugnacious media sociopaths, such as her bilious boss, Andrew Breitbart, this gussied-up raconteur of packaged hate aimed at anyone but the elites who butter her daily bread has all the charm and grace of a hand grenade tossed into an infant care ward. 

Despicable Dana (DD), as I call her, had posted the following within one of her more scurrilous screeds over at bigJournalism.com (a site so misnamed that still makes me throw up a little in my mouth each and every time I see it),

"I loathe when American conservatives define themselves as “right wing” anything, even in jest — just as I loathe when the liberal press uses it as identification for American conservatives — because it is an inaccurate use of the term."

Spotting yet another professional hit job on the truth, worthy of anything Jonah Goldberg, the Right's minister of mawkish meanderings about whatever fake histories appealed to him on any given day might have contrived, Grey proceeds to educate DD on her grotesque misunderstandings and misrepresentations of history, as well as her felonious overreliance and misuse of Wikipedia.  Thankless job of evisceration that it was, Parker works his words like a righteous saber, leaving little more than entrails and eye shadow on the floor.

Enjoy reading it: Here You Go, Dishonest Coward 

For posts such as that…

…I have added Grey to my growing list of writers who demonstrate great understanding and insight when explaining the history and precedents of what brought America to this increasingly sad and sinking ship of state where fallacies get more attention than facts, and the fancy-faced, canard-spewing carnival barkers like Loesch get rich by advancing any misinformation that benefits the very worst class of elites the world has seen in modern times.  

Fairly soon now, I hope to deploy this small army of articulators in a unique way, well before the 2012 election, with this attenuating hope that there is still enough respect for truth left in America that basic facts can still have a bit more influence than complete and utter falsehoods. An inventor by trade, I didn't actually want to spend my creative time finding and popularizing new ways of correcting the lies and distortions in the Right's public narratives, but it's been increasingly clear that someone has to do it. When the time comes, I sure hope Grey will join me.  My gut says he will, but to even my surprise, I'm wrong  a lot :)

And now this:

I know it's been a long while since my last post. I just have too many projects and too little time. But as important and real as that excuse is, another is that I've really come to enjoy tweeting the thoughts and ideas of other people saying what I might have wanted to say, but who say it far better than I would have.  We all have our talents and passions. At this time, I am content that one of mine is promoting those whose stable of skills at informing and truth telling are a good deal deeper than my own.

Since Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the brain while doing her job representing the people of her Arizona district, a lot of disingenuous noise has rung out across the land from the right wing, in an aggressive effort to deny that there is any such thing as right wing violence or extremism in this country.

If they bother to acknowledge it at all, Fox News, and its many proxies in the Republican Party, are quick to offer up their favorite "both sides do it" defense.

Oh really?

I challenge my readers on the Right or the Left to present me with anything from the Left that even remotely compares to this horrific list, compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and entirely from the public record.

Here are the stories of plots, conspiracies and racist rampages since 1995 — plots and violence waged against a democratic America. 

Read: Terror from The Right

 

Hat tip to my friend @serpentine202 for sending me this article.

PLEASE RETWEET THIS using the button below. It's the kind of evidence the American media and the American people should see, read, and understand, before anyone dares to discuss this topic in public again.

Related

Who's fueling the anger – Joy-Ann Read (Miami Herald)

End Game

This issue has been mostly concluded for dozens of news organizations and Keith Olbermann. So who am I to wonder why no one is now interested in this "Ed Snider" person who makes big investments in right wing networks, allowing them to borrow his parent company (Comcast)'s name for their early marketing.

I'm just a silly blogger and Twitter cat.

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO MOST RECENT UPDATE, concluding this issue, (for now), or:

Read on to start from the beginning…


 

Been here before? This page is being updated regularly as it unfolds. Jump to Updates.

The Next Dose Of The Purely Outrageous

In the most despicable and arrogant gesture since the Citizen's United decison itself, Comcast (-Spectacor*) is now partnering with Tea Baggers to create a purely right wing, cable and Internet outlet called the "Right Network." This PDF shows you just how ambitious these professional propagandists are.

How appalling, given that conservatives already outnumber liberals by 3-1 in the general media, and 20-1 on talk radio. And of course, they already have that 24×7 Fox news channel. A right network seems rather redundant, eh?. But that won't stop them from playing the same old "we just have to balance the liberal media" lie. Sort of like how they had to put a stop to those "activist judges," by installing the most activist judges in history.

This "network" will be a nonstop, wingnut bullshit megaphone. A Hulu of hooey. These people are ruining America, in the name of saving it, and until the left wakes up and does something about it, these selfish billionaire-stooge zealots will own what they've wrecked. But that won't make anyone feel better about it.

@Karoli tells the (early part) of the story at Crooks and Liars

Comcast is fighting its way through a battle to acquire NBC and related assets (including MSNBC) without being deemed a monopoly (which they are, and should be barred from owning NBC). For a preview of how dangerous it is to have one corporation control access to the Internet and cable TV, have a look at their new joint venture: RightNetwork.

 

Updates Posts are date &time ordered, most recent posted last.

Update 4/18/10 — @karoli: Who funds RightNetwork? Looks like the usual suspects.

Given the enormous costs to fund production and broadcast of a network startup — especially in the early days — some fairly hefty money has to be underneath it. So I started digging.

Also: Don't miss @karoli's same-day post about Koch's funding of Tea Party organizations.  It's entirely possible that soon she will find the connections between Koch and RightNetworks. I am willing to bet it's there.  Koch Industries denies funding tea parties, official filings say otherwise

Update 4/19/10 Politico: Comcast says no plans to acquire right-wing network

Gee, how often does a major media company respond to a lowly blog story like this, eh?  Oh, and the PDF mysteriously vanished yesterday, too.   Of course, someone had the good sense to save it, so you can still see the original :)

Update 4/19/10 — It has been pointed out to me by @KeithOblermann,

that the involvement with RightNetwork is by Comcast-Spectacor's Chairman, Ed Snider, and not Comcast itself. Given all the rest of the circumstantial connections, and he fact that Comcast owns 63% of Comcast-Spectacor, I strongly suspect this is a veiled sham to shield the network from this venture until it's established and proven, and they can ascertain the risks of extending their public profile (and equity) with it.  Even so, I apologize for not making the distinction clear.

Update 4/19/10 —  NY TImes: Comcast Denies Connection to RightNetwork

Comcast denied reports Monday that it is a partner in the RightNetwork, a red state start-up that promises “content that reflects and reinforces their perspective and worldview.”

Curiously, Brian Stelter leaves out the PDF text "On television, through partners including Comcast, RightNetwork delivers…"

Update 4/19/10Karoli Responds:  Comcast denies involvement in RightNetwork

Misleading? The sales material clearly states the intention to launch on television, web and mobile in the summer of 2010. Here's an image as it was in their PDF "lookbook" on the RightNetwork website before it was pulled last night.

Update 4/19/10 Having been reminded of the details by Karoli's response,

I am sorry I changed the title on my post (this one you are reading), when Keith Olbermann tweeted me about it. @Karoli has a 100% defensible position in calling it a Comcast partnership, The RightNetworks PDF explicitly refers to the comcast partners. Here's a screenshot of the relevant image where the text clearly trumpets "Comcast partners."

Update 4/20/10 — Crooks & Liars issues a fairly predictable statement to a displeased behemoth which feels it deserves all the respect that money can buy. It's so brief, i will include it in its entirety here:

Comcast says they will have nothing to do with RightNetwork

Comcast responded to this post, which caused quite a stir in the media yesterday. Their response confirmed to me that they have nothing to do at all with Kelsey Grammer's new right-wing outfit, RightNetwork.

Here is a statement from Comcast to clear up any confusion:

    "We have no partnership with this venture and have no plans to launch or distribute the network. As we have done with hundreds of other content providers, we have met with the network’s representatives. We do carry a number of independent networks on Comcast representing a wide variety of interests and diverse viewpoints.”

Keith Olbermann called RightNetwork liars for making a connection between the two.

    Olbermann: A head of one of its subsidiaries has some of his own money in the thing, so RightNetwork starts by lying about who's backing it….

As far as I'm concerned Comcast's answer is fine. We'll also definitely be keeping an eye on RightNetwork. It's got a fishy smell to it.

http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/comcast-says-they-will-have-nothing-do

Update 4/20/10 — Jamison Foser from MediaMatters is the first to point out that Karoli's reporting about this matter was 100% accurate. She reported what was clearly stated in the marketing materials of a professionally produced, big budget multimedia presentation by a company invested in by a senior Comcast executive. What about the words "Partners with Comcast" can't some people understand?"

So, at least for now..this issue has been mostly concluded for dozens of news organizations and Keith Olbermann. So who am I to wonder why no one is now interested in this "Ed Snider" person who makes big investments in right wing networks, allowing them to borrow his parent company (Comcast)'s name for their early marketing. I'm just a silly blogger and Twitter cat.



So If You Think This Sucks…

Just wait until Comcast merges with NBC. We MUST stop this.  So please try to do one or all of these things:

  • PLEASE use green button to RT for this post.
  • Ask everyone you know to sign this petition

  • Tweet your displeasure.  Remember, comcast has huge social networking monitoring operations on Twitter and Facebook. Fill their databases with tweets like these:

    • Dear @COMCAST: Your right wing ploy just DOOMED your merger hopes. This WILL NOT STAND http://bit.ly/9kTs9u (ps RT)
    • Dear @COMCAST: Like we didn't have enough right wing hate RUINING our nation? http://bit.ly/9kTs9u #p2

Background

  Action-Oriented Stories

   Back Stories

   Commentary

Related

   Media Watchdogs and Concerned Players

   About Comcast

   About the Comcast/NBC Merger

   About Media Consolidation

'The Big Short' By Michael Lewis

Probably The 'Best Piece Of Financial Journalism Ever Written'— Felix Salmon

Even if you have no intention of reading this important book by this brilliant writer, see the video of Michael Lewis appearing on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart below. See it, and then get angry about this shit. Because if you don't, they're going to do it again. And soon.

Reviews

Appearances by Michael Lewis

Related

New America Foundation's Barry Lynn (author of Cornered), has a very important article in Washington Monthly called:

"Who Broke American Jobs."

In my view, all of our problems, from campaign financing, to media consolidation, to the government dysfunctionalism and hyper partisanship that is breaking down anything that ever made American a worthwhile experiment, can all be seen as breaking not just American Jobs, but America itself.

A rampant, unchecked monopolization of nearly everything has powered a winner-take-all, crony Capitalism Gone Wild environment that infects every aspect of this nation and our world.

And the giant corporations behind it all are perfectly happy to have us shrug, feel it's beyond our control, or just some containable by-product of an invisible hand that will sweep us along and everything will turn out well in the end. Uh, ya..  good luck with that.

So inform yourself:  Watch the video of Barry on Washington Journal today.  Force other people to watch it. Capitalism provides useful tools for providing the basic goods and services of our civilization.  But this criminally stupid conservative myth that capitalism can only exist in this totally unregulated state is as childish as it is reckless and irresponsible. Only a suicidal culture would allow it to continue this way, especially after a global economic meltdown has just illustrated nicely just how bad things became while we were playing video games, listening to iPods, learning how to blog, and building Wal-Marts and Starbucks on every god damn street corner.

We have to understand this basic change to how things are now working and find some way to make them work differently; to reinsert some of the checks and balances that once existed. Nothing less than the future of this country depends on it.

Video

On C-Span's Washington Journal, March 8th 2010 — Barry Lynn Discussing the national and global monopoly problem, and how Wal-Mart and other big US corporations are driving our bus, and how we might stop them.

There IS hope: Be absolutely sure to see the end, where he discusses how WE have the power to control the corporations.

Other reading

Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction

Through stories of real people and real industries, Barry C. Lynn shows how monopolies threaten independent businesses, squelch innovation, degrade the quality and safety of basic products, destabilize our most vital industrial and financial systems, and destroy the very fabric of democracy. Avoiding the partisan cant that has poisoned virtually every important American debate in recent years, he explains how, over the past three decades, leaders of both parties and thinkers across the political spectrum have encouraged and enabled the growth of monopolies.

US Chamber Builds Political Operations

The LA Times reports today on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s growing “large-scale grass-roots political operation” that is being “funded by record-setting amounts of money raised from corporations and wealthy individuals.” In 2009, the Chamber spent $144 million on lobbying and grassroots organizing, “well beyond the spending of individual labor unions or the Democratic or Republican national committees.”

About Barry Lynn

Barry C. Lynn is a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. He has written for Harper's Magazine, the Financial Times, the Harvard Business Review, and the American Prospect, among others. He has appeared on National Public Radio, CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Fox News, CBS, MSNBC, the BBC, and C-SPAN. He is the author of End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation.


This is the very essay I was going to try and tackle this week. These fine folks have done a superb job of writing it for me.  You must read it, and then see my note that follows:

How To Do Effective Political Activism: What Always Worked And What Never Did — by Peterson Park Blog

While young liberals and progressives were sitting in coffee shops tweeting, emailing and updating their Facebook status, embracing the tools of the “new activism,” tea baggers were disrupting town hall meetings and staging credible rallies and marches on the halls of power. While the left embraced the delusion that new media technologies have changed the rules of political and social activism, mossback conservatives and libertarians were effectively applying the same techniques of political protest that have worked and worked and worked since the dawn of history.

Now please..

Don't just read the above essay, maybe make a bookmark, and then promptly forget it. Take a few minutes and think about how many you might share it with by employing just the smallest amount of effort.

I don't just mean Retweeting it. Got email lists?  Got phone? Got a neighbor? Got a blog?

The social side of social media makes it so easy to organize voices, but it's getting those voices into the streets where they are really heard by politicians, employers and the media that will really make the difference. And that's the hard part. But social media makes it so much easier than it ever was before.  It provides the multiple megaphones with which we can drive the herd, and the herd can provide the warm bodies in the streets. But that herd must still go there when called upon. And the only way it will, is when it's been educated, enraged, engaged and excited. That's where YOU come in.

You personally may not be able to take to the streets, but you can compensate for that by making so much noise that it helps fire up so many others who might.

Wingnuts get active, and it's why they win. Even when they don't hit the streets, they keep their conversations and narratives alive with constant regurgitation and redistribution, which reinforces all their memes and messages.  It sinks in. The left–and all of us on it–must learn to do this too.

It's not that we don't all want to do it. It's that we simply DON'T do it.  We simply have to find a way to change that.  And very, very quickly. The only way we can start… is to just start.

Look at what @MLsif just do with #demandQuestionTime. That entire effort, as described here,  http://bit.ly/9uTPTU took just a few days. Yes, it's only an online effort at present, but he could very easily issue a call to action which might translate into action offline. It's just one small example of the powerful weapons we have. We just need to start using them. 

SO DON'T JUST NOD YOUR HEAD. 

  • Do your part. (Any part is better than no part at all).
  • Tell someone. Educate, Enrage, Engage and Excite someone
  • Make our narrative happen (and stop echoing theirs so often).
     
  • PROGRESSIVE PASSIVITY is what allowed the right to seize this county.
  • Change that, change our world.