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WaPo starts Goring Hillary Clinton -- 29 months before election day 2016!

chezmadame alerts us to a new series from old-school blogger The Howler (Bob Somerby) who, for readers who came in late, owns the story of how our famously free press constructed a (false) narrative around Al Gore in 2000 -- remember "Al Gore invented the Internet"? Disinformation! -- and how they are using the same well-worn playbook against Hillary Clinton. I'm going to quote most of it so those of you who aren't familiar with The Howler can get the flavor:

Part 1—Balz on board: With the death of his mentor, the late David Broder, Dan Balz is sometimes considered the dean of the Washington press corps.

In yesterday’s Washington Post,
Balz affirmed the instant narrative his own newspaper created last week. In the process, he raised a question which can only be answered by the anthropologists who emerge, on the rare occasion, from within his own corrupt guild.

A pause to remind readers that the Howler originate the "media critique." He's the original, and still the best. (Media Matters, by contrast, is a funded Democratic talking shop, not some guy in Baltimore like Somerby.) Read below the fold...

Another blinding flash of the obvious

Hobby Lobby converted ObamaCare defender Michael Hilzick to single payer. Now, something -- general suckitude? -- has converted Ryan Cooper to the MMT position that deficits are too small:

Ever since 2009, when the recession and the stimulus package pushed the annual budget deficit to a peak of nearly $1.5 trillion, it has been falling steadily. Last year it came in at $680 billion; this year it is projected to total $492 billion.

This is an absolute disaster. It is President Obama's single greatest failure, representing the fact that he, and the rest of the American government, did not adequately respond to the Great Recession. It means that millions of Americans were kept out of work, that trillions in potential output was flushed down the toilet, and that the American economy was very seriously damaged, probably permanently, for no reason at all.

Simply keeping government employment on the Bush-era course would have directly created 1.5 million more jobs, and hundreds of thousands more through the multiplier effect, in which jobs beget jobs through increased consumer spending. Another stimulus would have had us at full employment years ago (and possibly would have even paid for itself in fiscal terms).

Instead, we've slashed spending and fired hundreds of thousands of government workers.

Of course, the situation is not entirely Obama's fault, given the pressure he was under from all sides to lower the deficit. His major failing was threefold: underestimating how dangerous undershooting the stimulus would be (despite being warned at the time), banking on a Grand Bargain to shore up his bipartisan credentials in the run-up to the 2012 election, and failing to understand how irresistible austerity would be to Washington insiders. Think of austerity as a big shiny bag of crystal meth, and D.C. elites as a bunch of jittery speed freaks who haven't had a fix in weeks.

As Mike Grunwald convincingly demonstrated in his book, it was "centrist" senators like Arlen Specter who negotiated the stimulus down to $800 billion for no reason. However, that Obama didn't even try to win a bigger stimulus through a much bigger ask, or implement other mechanisms like a trigger that would keep spending flowing so long as unemployment was high, demonstrates his commitment to fixing the economy was weak at best.

Because after the stimulus was passed, Obama pivoted immediately to austerity, trying repeatedly to strike a Grand Bargain with Republicans. It was only total GOP intransigence that repeatedly saved our threadbare social insurance programs from being slashed.

For my money, the crazed bipartisan panic over the budget deficit that swept the political class in 2010 is the single most contemptible [a very strong word] political event of the Obama era.

In a time of many, many contemptible events. Read below the fold...

DCblogger's picture

A blinding flash of the obvious

The Hobby Lobby case proves the necessity of single-payer healthcare

I don't know anything about Hiltzik, so I don't know if he just hit upon the obvious, or has been pushing to single payer all along. Either way, it is good to see the point made in a large circulation newspaper. The Hobby Lobby has revived the push for HR 676, Medicare for All. Read below the fold...

In the garden: First Black-Eyed Susan

Soon there will be many, many!

Read below the fold...

As Thousands Mourn Netanyahu Escalates Ethnic Cleansing

Was there ethnic hatred at the bottom of the deaths of three innocent Israeli teens recently? A good chance of that.

Is that an excuse for ethnic hatred or politically and militarily empowered acts of mass murder or incarceration, the unleashing of even more of a vendetta program to perpetrate “ethnic cleansing” against an entire Palestinian population? Also a most convenient excuse at the same time to destroy the recent efforts for empowerment and social justice for Palestinians under a hyper-oppressive occupying Israeli governance? Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

In the garden: Wildflowers bloom

Perhaps not very thrilllng, but the whole sea of green is wildflowers, so perhaps there will be many more shortly! Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

In the garden: Rose cuttings

OK, so where do I cut this stem so more flowers grow? I've always been confused about that, and the online images all seem to be well-bred roses, not my messy -- and very fragrant -- rosa rugosa.

Read below the fold...

Hysterical Democrats

I guess they must be bringing in the bucks. But ... Wowsers.

Read below the fold...

Why stay in college? Why go to nightschool?

Look at this chart from Reuters:

Productivity up, wages flat. So why bother to work harder or better? Oh, the title: Read below the fold...

One more thing to worry about: Ebola

A friend of mine has given up following "the Great Game" being played on the Black Sea and around the Mediterranean basin in favor of following an Ebola outbreak on the former Slave Coast of Africa:

Since March, medical professionals in western Africa have been battling a raging Ebola epidemic. Now, it has officially become the most deadly outbreak of the virus ever.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the epidemic has so far killed more than 390 people and afflicted more than 600 in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where the current outbreak originated. That's deadlier than the virus's first outbreak in 1976 near the Ebola River in the current-day Democratic Republic of Congo which killed 280 people.

Resources are also wearing thin. "The epidemic is out of control," Bart Janssens, the director of operations for Médecins Sans Frontières (the French version of Doctors Without Borders) said in a statement. "We have reached our limits. Despite the human resources and equipment deployed by [Doctors Without Borders] in the three affected countries, we are no longer able to send teams to the new outbreak sites."

Here's a map; I've helpfully indicated the international airports: Read below the fold...

Bill & Hillary’s 6-Figure Speeches NOT for Personality!

Thread: 

Zaid Jilani for Al Jazeera America has written a very disturbing article entitled “The Clintons web of wealth/Where did Bill and Hillary get all their money?”

Hillary Clinton has been making noises lately that she knows what it is like to have money stress. That she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House and they were forced to give six figure a piece speeches. Read below the fold...

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