A Word of Caution

Watching the reaction on the blogs to the Republican Convention and especially to the last night I can not help but find myself slightly disturbed. Lots of crowing over how great the Clint Eastwood bit was and how “teh people” get it.

I had to step back and figure out what was going on- as I did NOT get it at first. And all the rah rah in the world does not help the fact that I am just an average person, who perhaps follows politics a bit more than average. There was plenty of glee about how the Eastwood bit “Must Have Worked!” because the talking heads on MSNBC and CNN were having fits. Uh Huh.

We have been railing against the bought and sold Obama ass licking msm for going on what? 5 Years now? And part of what pisses us off is that the average Jane and John voter out there gets most of their info and opinions and voting instructions from that very same MSM.

If the MSM is telling people that the Eastwood thing was crazy, that Clint is senile- or whatever other message they are promoting- chances are enough people will believe it.

I heard he was aiming that message at the elderly- and OMG! the twitterverse blew up with the empty chair! Uh Huh.

How many of the elderly do you think have Twitter accounts? Or Facebook? Think about it- where do they get their news? The MSM. TV and newspapers.

Also keep in mind that the conventions are not watched by the average voter.

Neilsen says 33 million watched.

The numbers made Thursday the most-watched evening of the Republican convention this year. However, the audience was about 17% lower than it was four years ago when nearly 39 million viewers tuned in to see U.S. Sen. John McCain accept the Republican nomination.

So let’s not be imputing our level of engagement to the voting population at large. Not everyone is a political junkie. And believe it or not- not everyone follows TV sitcoms or dramas or goes to the movies. Seriously. Really.

Not everyone “Got it.”

Some even, GASP!, thought it was very very disrespectful. Don’t faint or get pissed. I called a couple of friends- and no they did not watch it live- but they saw it on the news and thought that the Republicans had disrespected Clint Eastwood. Yup. That the R’s disrespected Clint. Or as one friend put it- “That would be like putting my poor Mom up on a stage in front of people who only knew her when she had all her faculties. Why would I put my frail old Mom up there to stumble through her speech so people could make fun of her?”

(Disclosure- when my friend said that I knew what it was that had perturbed me. I GOT what my friend said. It was like watching my Mom stumble through a song, unable to remember the words. Frightening and sad. Because I remember my Mom when she had a strong clear voice and could belt out any tune with confidence and presence.)

So let’s not be all gleeful and thinking the R’s pulled off some master stroke of magic. It is and always has been about who has the best spin machines. And if the MSM is spinning it in a bad light- that is what the voters are “getting.”

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77 Responses

  1. So true about the msm. I remember my first glimmers, before my true awakening in 08. In 2000 watching the debates between Gore and Bush. My husband and I giving each other high fives saying how Gore really beat W and how terrible W did…..then we’d watch the commentary afterward and the talking heads would be saying how great GW did!!! We couldn’t believe it! We were like: were they watching the same debate as us???? The msm promoting the run up to the war…..the “waves of steel” the embedded reporters….you were a traitor if you protested the Iraq war……I look back now and see that they were really always like this, or at least for a long time anyway. I used to think that only Fox news was bias. Now I see that they all are bias. They should be forced to have disclaimers at least.

  2. Actually, Eastwood’s speech was a copy of a Bob Newhart skit where Newhart talks to an empty car seat.

    Eastwood is not losing it – if you advance to about 3:20 on the video below, you’ll see what the perspective is really all about

  3. Anthony- thanks for that vid- but kind of sort of proves my point. I am not a tv watcher, never have been a follower of any particular show- and so I had no way to make that connection. I had never seen that Bob Newhart thing. I saw the show a few times way back- but again- I had no idea Clint Eastwood was doing a sort of parody.
    Whether Clint Eastwood is losing it or not is not really at issue. It is how it appeared to those who get only what the MSM feeds them. And how it appeared to those who saw it live and had no frame of reference for it make sense.
    xoxoxo

  4. how it appeared to those who get only what the MSM feeds them. And how it appeared to those who saw it live and had no frame of reference for it make sense.

    Agree and agree. I’ve never watched Newhart, but I somehow ‘got’ what Eastwood was doing. I do believe that comedy should be left to comedians, but I did love his being the Greek Chorus, singing (slinging?) what many of us think but never say aloud at the invisible POTUS. I seldom wait for the MSM or even critics to ‘tell’ me how I should receive material. I did think it was funny (in a naughty way), and did anticipate the MSM hysteria afterward.

    That said, Conventions are designed to rally the faithful base. I can’t wait to hear the boatload of BS that’s going to be spewed during ObamaFest 2012 this coming week.

    All is well among those who love, and all is well here.

    XO (xoxo)

    • Replenishing the liquor cabinet for that bs fest! Though I can’t wait to hear the Big Dawg!

      • Clinton’s speech is the only one I’m interested in. I’m sure it will require a few drinks before and probably several shots during. Sadly, I think he’ll be a good Democrat and not take any shots at Obama.

        • LOL Maybe not any open shots at Obama- but the digs will be there I am sure. I read something somewhere that he is refusing to share the content of his speech with the Ocamp. BWHAHAHA! That alone must have them shitting bricks. Wonder what color tie he will wear??

        • I expect that his speech will be largely for the benefit of down-ticket Dems (particularly Clinton Dems) given that we have a right wing SCOTUS and a right wing executive (no matter who wins). He will have to thread a very fine needle to pull this off because everyone is looking for his coded message, the right as well as the CDS left.

          He might even actually endorse Teh One on the basis of the SCOTUS. It’s a tired play but Ginsburg is 80 and looks more frail than ever. 6-3 is a downright scary proposition.

  5. Great post Mom. Really good points. I’m the only political junkie in my very large family, the rest all get their news from msm, or maybe even word of mouth. Also, as I mentioned on the last thread, many in the movie biz believe Clint is in early dementia. I remember watching a few Newharts when I was young but have no memory of that skit. Either did my mom, who had no idea what he was doing. Agree with your conclusions.

  6. Does the Green Party have a convention? That might be good for a few laughs also.

  7. This article is completely mind blowing. One of the most stunning and horrible things I have ever read.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829

    • Socal- I will read it- but with a very very jaundiced eye. Rolling Stone is not the most unbiased source imo. I promise I will read it though.

    • Went to their front page and clicked on “Politics”

      A bunch of Romney hit pieces, and one piece on Obama and why he (instead of Harry Reid) should be going after Romney on his tax records.

      Read the Taibi piece – can only say that it is more than just a little biased. Like TOTALLY biased against Romney.

      I think RS should stick to music, and not politics. Might as well be reading MSNBC commentary

  8. Ugh. Sorry I promised to read it. Matt Taibbi. Obot from hell.

    • Obots lost all credibility with me in 08, obviously. Obama’s a corporate guy, he’s just never run one….he’s only been completely bought and paid for by them. Why doesn’t RS do an article about Obama’s corporate ties? His off shore, illegal contributions? If there were any, I mean any balance I would be interested in reading their article, not that it matters. Come January, either an empty suit owned by a corporation or a man who ran corporations will be sitting in the Oval office no matter how I vote.

  9. I’m already pissed and haven’t got past the first page. First it’s a dig at the “white boys”- the typical obama meme of white people suck. The there is the obligatory sexist ignorant remark about Sarah Palin.

    But where McCain bet on a combustive mix of clueless novelty and suburban sexual tension named Sarah Palin,

    CLueless? Did Matt ever bother to look up Governor Palin’s accomplishments? And I am not even commenting on the frat boy bullshit in the rest of the sentence.

    • Yep, that’s all they’ve got. They’re still running against Sarah Palin, the only woman in town they can bash. Hillary is off to the Cook Islands as far away from the Obot creeps as she can get! Smart woman!

  10. Ok I just skimmed through it. Matt, as usual, uses rhetorical flourishes and few facts. Of the hundreds of companies Bain HELPED, matt could find exactly- NONE. But he found a few losers.
    I will go back and read it again and try to pretend it was not written by Taibbi. Maybe it will seem objective on the second read through s/

  11. What really Ps me off is that I’m not defending vulture capitalism or outsourcing or greed. I’m just really really sick of the hypocrisy. Obama is, IMO, the worst president ever. He isn’t a leader, he caves. Why didn’t RS or Matt push for a challenger to Obama???

    • ^^ What she said. In all the articles Matt did on the Vampire Squid, he never mentioned one connection to Teh Precious.

  12. Taibbi has gone after barky before. And he mentions Staples (a Bain success) in the article I linked. I spent some time googling and I couldn’t find hundreds of companies that Bain helped.

    Read what they did to KB toys and dunkin donuts. I knew that corporate raider stuff was sick and unsavory, but this is mind blowing. I can’t believe that this is legal, its out and out thievery, and even more so, that the public has been so blind to what has been going on for so long. This is about the bailouts.

    They put 5% of Bain money down on a company they want to take over (51% of stock), get the Wall St banks to loan them the rest, bribe the company bigwigs with multi million $ payouts, then pay themselves huge consulting fees, and the company is left being the responsible one to pay off the loans that Bain took out to finance their acquistion??? wtf?

    And then to top it off, move their profits to offshore accounts. This is not capitalism like we learned about in High School. Nothing is created here, its not like Apple or Microsoft where products and services are created with a solid and growing customer base. This is taking over a company, draining it of money, walking away, and leaving the company (and ultimately the taxpayers) saddled with the debt.

    Thats what he’s talking about in the article. That romney is the ultimate hypocrite, running on and on about government creating debt, when romney himself made a fortune creating debt.

    Between the leveraged buy out schemes…no make that scams, and the ponzi scams, and the bad mortgage bundling scams, its amazing there’s anything left of this country. Our government is guilty as hell for allowing this crap to continue all these past three decades.

    Taibbi points out that at least during the Golden Age, the great robber baron types at least built great companies that have employed people for a hundred years, and towns, and railroads, and libraries and other great public entities.

    • Amen- it is a wonder there is anything left of our great country!( And as far as I know Dunkin Donuts is doing great! Though I wish we had one closer- best coffee ever!)

    • I found this in an artilce about the horrors of Bain as relating to DUnkin Donuts

      mentioned that because she was earning two dollars above minimum wage when Bain took over, she became responsible for opening the store only to be sent home once a lower-paid replacement could take over later in the morning. She’d get up before four to take a cab to work (the buses weren’t running yet), then work for just three hours. When the company stopped reimbursing her for the ride in, she actually started losing money working the shift. She’d been part-time for the past 15 years, supplementing her income with other jobs; she finally decided to quit as the few perks she had were slowly eliminated, including a 401K discontinued in 2007.

      http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/106820/dollars-donuts-dunkin-employees-take-tampa-protest-romney-and-bain?page=0,1

      Having been in the restaurant business almost all of my working life- I can state unequivocally that what happened to that woman has nothing to do with Bain and EVERYTHING to do with business as usual in the food service industry. It is, sadly, extremely common. As food, beverage, utility, labor and tax costs rise (along with all the other controllables, fixed and unfixed costs) the owners do all in their power to maintain their own personal salaries and lifestyles. The only place left to cut is labor. I don’t eat in restaurants anymore except during peak hours- as I know during slow times the waitstaff is doing dishes, cleaning restrooms and doing prep. Maybe different in the real high end restaurants- but that is the reality in every chain restaurant in America.

      • true in so many small businesses where the owners (and their families) are raking off the top for their personal expenses, barely paying enough for employees to get to work, no benefits, no paid holidays, poor equipment and outdated programs, making idiotic decisions – far more about being the “Boss” than working with their bright “subordinates” to be successful. If it comes down to paying a “valued” employee or making payments on the BMW, you’re dispensible. In my experience, too many small businesses fail their suppliers, their clients and their staff because they’re putting on the dog about how prosperous they are, when they’re in credit card debt, behind on the 2nd mortgage, are on a CASH UP FRONT basis with suppliers and don’t appreciate how relieved their employees are to be fired so they can collect Unemployment.

    • Taibbi is totally in the tank for Obama, regardless of past shots against him. If he wasn’t, his piece would’ve been far less biased against Romney. Sorry socal, but I don’t have a dog in this fight. I call it as I see it, and the Taibbi piece is far from neutral

  13. I think George W Bush is the worst prez ever, starting a huge unnecessary war that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people but made his and Cheney’s and their war industry cohorts filthy rich. And screwing the economy. Obama’s an amateur, an idiot. He was stupid for wanting to be prez after the disaster that Bush left. If he’d had any real brains, he’d have waited and let Hillary fix things first.

    But I think Reagan got things rolling, the huge transfer of $ to the upper echelon, with his deregulation of everything, union busting, and his corp favoring laws. He set the stage for what we have today. I worked for a company that was taken over by a corp raider in the 80’s, so I know whats it like. A great job at a fantastic company that had always turned a profit, suddenly heavy in debt and can’t pay its bills (and I was the Accounts Payable person) while the raider sucked it dry, let it go bankrupt, and hundreds of people lost their jobs.

  14. Here are a couple of articles where Taibbi goes after bark. I don’t think he’s an obot, I think he’s an old fashioned liberal. He has a book out about how current economics are destroying the country.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/matt-taibbi-on-obamas-economy-20091201

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/why-obamas-jobs-act-couldnt-suck-worse-20120409

    • Beg to disagree. Matt Taibbi hated Hillary and wrote vile vile things. He comapred Hillary to Nixon iirc. I have not forgotten how his determination to see Hillary did not win the nomination was one of the contributing factors to the mess we have in teh White House today.
      Matt Taibbi. Progressive or obot? Same shit, different day.

      • Here’s a gem from Matt back in 08:

        After Obama’s win in Iowa, everyone familiar with the Clintons and how they operate could have set their watches by the Hillary camp’s inevitable decision to start reminding America of the dangers of electing a black teenager on coke.

    • could taibbi be part of that “professional left” the Carney was bashing a few months ago? Guess he expected something in return for his unethical cheerleading and these articles are a tiff when he didn’t get any

  15. “Why didn’t RS or Matt push for a challenger to Obama???”

    I don’t know. I don’t know that he hasn’t. He’s criticized barky plenty. But that’s not the point of this article, the point is explaining how Romney made his fortune, and how that makes him a hypocrite, he helped create the problem he insists that only he can fix.

    I don’t like Taibbis writing style btw, waaay too long. He could make his point in half as many words. He’s an egomaniac in love with his own writing. But that doesn’t mean he’s wrong.

  16. I’m in moderation?

  17. You know, this is what I’m talking about. I’m a life long Democrat. I lived through the 80s too. I saw it all. I know all about it. So Matt Tallbi doesn’t need to school me on corporate greed. This is not new!!!! So I’m not going to get all upset about Bain Capital. I’m not gonna start saying the Robber Barons were better. I’m not voting for his Messiah Obama either! Suddenly this is all-so important to Matt??? Really? No, it’s important to Matt on Sept 2, 2012 because he’s worried his guy, Obama is not going to get re-elected. That’s all this is about.

    • Missed this earlier…

      The corporate greed of the 80s was Gordon Gecko greed. Even Gordon Gecko (fictional character that he is) was disgusted with what had happened in the financial community by the time he got out of jail.

  18. Alrighty. It was new to me, the details of how it worked, and I am really shocked, so wanted to pass it on. There are a lot of these companies as he points out. I found it deeply disturbing and wrote letters to my senators, etc. I get now why I always like Russ Feingold and the elf looking guy from Ohio!

    • Yes. Socal, my dad was a die-hard liberal Democrat all his life. He was also a finance guy. He hated Reagan and back in the eighties we had many discussions about the corporate world. He predicted exactly what has happened and the sad state this country is in now. I wish my dad were still alive. Among other things, I’d love to hear what he had to say about Obama.
      P.S. He loved Hillary too! He didn’t live to see her as a senator or presidential candidate I’m sorry to say. I went to a Clinton rally back in ’96 and brought him a Hillary 4 First Lady button! He loved it.

      • My Dad was also really looking forward to voting for Hillary, which amazed me, becuz he was a typical old fashioned macho type. His Alz was really taking hold in ’08 and he was confused about who obama was. He kept saying he was voting for Hillary and I had to keep telling him she wasn’t running. It was sad. My Dad loved Bill.

        • 😦
          My dad loved the Clintons too, as I said, especially Hillary. He couldn’t stand the Reagan, then Bush (the elder) administrations. He had a bottle of Bushmills Irish Whiskey on the fireplace mantel that he kept there for years without opening. He said he was saving it for when Bush was out of office. When Clinton won he poured himself a shot! (only one, he wasn’t much of a drinker!)

  19. Socal- it is an interesting read- as it gives me a heads up on where the bots are going next. I dislike Taibbi, and have ever since he was on the crucify Hillary team.
    Matt needs to step up and accept some responsibility for the frankenstein he and the other frat boys created.
    Life is not going to be better under Obama- it is going to get worse and worse and worse. I am not expecting miracles from Romney- but at least he has a clue about how it works.
    Corporate greed is. It just is. Romney/Bain had companies that thrived and some that tanked. We had a Dunkin open in Erie about 6 months ago- and it is going gangbusters- because they have better coffee and far far better donuts and their prices are HALF what Starbucks charges for that mud they sell with fancy names.
    It is a fact here in America that only one in ten business start ups make it past the first year.
    I am not a Romney fan, but the choices are, realistically, Obama or Romney.
    I am not voting for Obama, ever. So far it looks like PA will stay obotblue. And as long as PA looks like going in the D column, I will do my best to strategize my votes so we don’t end up with one part rule in DC. Whoever it looks to me is going to win the White House, I am voting the opposite down ticket.

    • I dislike Taibbi, and have ever since he was on the crucify Hillary team.

      BINGO!!!

      Amazing how many people forget that. That’s why I read the article and took it for what its is worth (nothing, if you haven’t figured that out yet). Matt Taibbi is as biased as any right wing nut job.

    • Matt Taibbi was a real d!ck during the primaries and I will never forgive him for that. I wish I could say his spot-on Goldman Sachs pieces redeemed him, but they didn’t. Although, I did appreciate them and they were real journalism. This Romney article–I know Taibbi’s in the can for Obama, but it doesn’t make the financial part about Bain untrue. I am very happy that I am liberated enough to vote for neither.

  20. He’s an asshole for going after Hillary. I didn’t know that, cuz I rarely will look at Rolling Stone, they have pissed me off in many ways over the last couple of decades. My interest here is purely in the info about the Leveraged Buy Outs, which was news to me. I am no fan of Taibbi or Rolling Stone.

  21. I’ve never been a Democrat btw; altho, I certainly lean left on most issues. My parents were republicans, when I was growing up, my Mom turned liberal in the 70s and my Dad in the 90s. My Mom advised me to stay independent, and I have.

  22. I’ve never been in a dunkin donuts. There aren’t any around here, but I don’t often drink coffee and never have donuts. I have high blood sugar, so on the rare occasions I eat something sweet, it has to be well worth it! Like some great ice cream, or…a great pie.

    • Did someone mention PIE?
      🙂

      • I’ve been making fruit cobblers and crumbles that are sugar free and wheat free, and they’ve been great. Not as good as my grandma’s pies, but you can’t get the old fashioned wheat she used anymore.

  23. Never been to a Dunkin’ Donuts either. But I did work for a franchise called “California Donuts” back when I was 16! Well…I worked there for 2 days….actually quit on the second day. I had the early morning shift. Worked 8 hours with no real break because there was no one to relieve me. The owner justified it because there were often lulls in during the shift with no customers, but I couldn’t leave the store! He also said it was okay because employees were allowed all the free donuts and soda they wanted to eat! My second day a guy came in, bought a pack of cigarettes from a machine in the store. Then he came to the counter and pointed to the donut he wanted. When I started to get it for him he jumped over the counter and grabbed the donut himself and walked out without paying. That’s when I decided to quit. I didn’t like being in the store all alone. When I called the owner, he yelled at me and said he’d mail me my check. When I got the check it was only for a few dollars because he had deducted the cost of the my uniform use! I learned an important lesson that day about how some businesses worked.

  24. barky is defintely a corporate stooge. He had two years with a majority and what did they do to stop this crap? Taking over a company with borrowed money, taking out a hundred mil for consultaiton fees and then making the company pay for the loan and the fees. Sick. I knew they drained money out, but I didn’t know how.

  25. I want to see that movie about the Nabisco takeover now. I think it has James Garner in it.

    • Barbarians at the gate is the name of the movie.

    • There was a movie about it? I didn’t know that. There was a cookie factory in the Valley, Sunshine I think. You could smell the cookies from the 405 freeway! (It was also near the Anheiser Busch Brewery)

      • Sorry, I’m getting all nostalgic about donuts and bakeries of my youth! I’ll stop now!

        • We had Mister Donut and Dunkin Donuts. Dunkin beats every donut maker I have ever tried. Best coffee evah! I have no clue why people actually pay ridiculous money for that swill Starbuck’s sells. Nastiest stuff. Blech. Swill. Mud. And for what they charge for a small (what is that phoo phoo word they use for small?) I could buy a pound of coffee and brew my own- that would taste better too! If Starbucks was the last coffee shop left on the planet, I would give up coffee permanently. Nasty.
          Here is an old Dunkin Commercial

  26. Hiya Somebody!
    I am pathetic with pop culture. I saw all the Harry Potter movies- Mom and Grandma duty. Other than those I can’t remember the last movie I went to see. I don’t listen to pop music either. sigh.
    Just a heads up- so you don’t call me if you are on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. lol Or is that show done too? (I am not a big tv fan either- though I do love to watch NFL football- go figure lol)

    • I believe that particular movie was actually an HBO production. I don’t think it ever played in the theaters, but I could be mistaken. I’ve seen it a couple of times, but I haven’t seen it in years. I don’t remember the particulars but I do remember parts of it made me angry. We little peons truly have no idea what goes on in the world of high finance or on Wall Street.

      As for Dunkin Donuts coffee you can buy it at many grocery stores now. That was probably part of the plan to get them back in the black.

      As for Bain, I’m sure they did some things that I probably wouldn’t have. Which is probably why I’m not a gazillionaire! To be fair, from all accounts overall they were typically very successful at turning companies around. Depending on which talking head/political hack you listen to their success rate was somewhere between 82% and 88%. Even taking the lower figure that’s still pretty darn good.

      Remember these were companies on the skids, if nothing had been done then those companies would have failed. I can’t speak as to whether or not Bain’s fees were reasonable or not. I have no earthly idea how much companies like that charge, but I bet they don’t come cheap. Hell just a good attorney can set you back a fortune.

  27. This was pretty funny. The Daily Show presented the biographical video of Mitt Romney, narrated by Leonard Nimoy.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-30-2012/rnc-2012—the-road-to-jeb-bush-2016—mitt-romney–a-human-who-built-that

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