Tag Archives: Ayn Rand

Take The Fox News-heads Bolling

Fox News: as Harry Shearer puts it, “Nice people doing nice things.”

Now it’s Eric Bolling, who since Bill O’Reilly’s departure has become the channel’s most favored blowhard, has discovered that you just can’t reach out and grab ’em by the pussy—or make send them pictures of what NPR, the nation’s maiden aunt who whispers whenever she’s talking about sex (and also a national treasure that must be funded), primly describes as “unsolicited photo of male genitalia” (or, as I imagine he calls it, his “Bolling pin”).

That makes three of Il Douché’s high-profile Fox News defenders who have been forced away from the station over sexual harassment. Roger Ailes and O’Reilly preceded him out the door before him; a fourth—Bill Shine—has been touted as a replacement for Anthony Scaramucci). That qualifies as a trend, doesn’t it? And tells us something of the mindset of Tr**p supporters. Jesse Watters, an overgrown frat boy who looks like the kind of guy who doesn’t believe date rape exists, had better start erasing his browser history. Or ask Tr**p about that computer “acid washing” he goes on about.

What about Sean Hannity: Presidential Proctologist? I don’t think he’s capable of sexual feeling. He probably masturbates to videos of Tr**p rallies. Instead, he forces his employees sit through that movie he produced and is flogging on his show, a turgid God-fearing melodrama called “Let There Be Light.” Going by the trailer, the movie—the tale of the “Muhammad Ali of outspoken atheist celebrities” (how awful is he? his book is titled “Aborting God”)  whose non-faith is tested by a family tragedy—combines of the subtly of Ayn Rand, the clunky plotting of the “Left Behind” movies, and acting inspired by “Davey and Goliath.”


The Shadow of Grenfell Towers

Today’s New York Times long read on the Grenfell Towers tragedy is heartbreaking, maddening, and frightening.

Heartbreaking because those who lived and died there trusted government to have  their safety as the paramount objective; maddening because both Tory and Labour governments put the profits of business ahead of the safety of their citizens; frightening because Tr**p and his  rapacious Randian Cabinet are gleefully taking a machete to all manner of  regulations.

Nearly every time he opens his mouth—after reminding everyone of his glorious electoral victories and executive order signings—he crows about how many regulations he has manfully stricken from the books. Scott Pruitt has turned the EPA into the “Excessive Polluters Association,” the mentally ill have their inalienable right to buy firearms restored, and every federal agency has been directed to look at regulations with an eye on meeting his campaign promise of cutting 75%.  At the moment, United States housing codes are strict enough that a Grenfell-type tragedy is unlikely here.

But safety rules are already in Tr**p’s sights. He’s already rescinded The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rules put in under President Obama.  As Brian Martin, the top UK civil servant in change of drafting building safety guidelines said, requiring that builders make sure the exterior of a building non-combustible “limits your choice of materials.” And when Il Douché laughed at the size of the scroll charting the rules and regulations he says builders have to follow “just to build a road, “how many of those have to do with safety? I mean, building a highway that can withstand earthquakes, storms, droughts, and the wear and tear of gas guzzling SUVs riding over them also limits your choice of materials.

So it can’t happen here…yet. But in the world that Il Douché and other “free marketers” imagine, Howard Roark wouldn’t have to blow up a housing project to protect the purity of his design; he’d just have to make sure they use the cheapest, most flammable materials  possible, and wait.


Peggy Noonan Needs A Hug….

Peggy Noonan is the dotty, slightly out-of-touch grandma of the Wall Street Journal editorial page. She shows up on the Sunday morning chat shows, her voice soft and breathy, a little sing-songy, offering conservatives a lap to climb up on, while she coos gauzy, comforting platitudes. Famous for coining the phrases “a kinder, gentler nation,” and calling forth “a thousand points of light,” she also attempted to calm GOP fears during the 2012 election, predicting a Romney win because of the optimism she sensed a rallies and saw more Romney lawn signs while driving through suburban communities. Given the awful track record of other right-leaning pundits, she has kept her job, continuing do dole out optimism scented like home-baked cookies while scary uncles such as Charles Krauthammer darkly warned of Tr**p’s deficiencies and the ranting brats of Breitbart were undisciplined second cousins, running through the halls, gleefully knocking over display cases.

But in Friday’s Journal, she’s concerned. Before the election, she wrote “Imagine A Sane Donald Trump,” a  nostrum as syrupy as patent medicine, and nearly as effective.  Sure, he’s nuts, but look at his good side:

…his broad policy assertions, or impulses, suggested he understood that 2008 and the years just after (the crash and the weak recovery) had changed everything in America, and that the country was going to choose, in coming decades, one of two paths

Those paths: the Yellow Brick Road of moderate populism (Tr**p), or being left in the forest of socialism, where a witch who looked suspiciously like Hilly Clinton would toss you in a caldron of universal healthcare and relative stability.

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 2.30.29 PM

Il Douché, she discerned (always a dangerous word in Noonan’s hands) understood what she understood,  that America wanted government

supportive and encouraging of business but willing to harness government to alleviate the distress of the abandoned working class and the anxious middle class; strong on defense but neither aggressive nor dreamy in world affairs; realistic and nonradical on social issues while unmistakably committed to protecting the freedoms of the greatest cohering force in America, its churches; and aware that our nation’s immigration reality was a scandal created by both parties, and must be redressed.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it—except for the church part. While I’m not as dismissive as religion as Bill Maher or the late Christopher Hitchens (I love gospel music too much for that, and the food is usually pretty good, too) the last forty years has shown the power of religion to be divisive.

But he’s disappointed her. Like an indulgent grandma she was willing to overlook his twitter-storms, his lack of politesse,  because he was fundamentally right. It took  the heath-care debate for her to realize this.

And what was it that tipped her off? “He doesn’t understand his base (nevermind that , according to some Republican legislators he met, he didn’t under the bill).

But she doesn’t understand Tr**p’s base either. Because he doesn’t have a base, per se. He has bases, with different desires. The working class voters in West Virginia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, the bloc who put him over the top, electorally, saw him as a right-win Roosevelt, a man of wealth (if no taste) who had the common touch, and would work for their interests, regardless of the fact that he was a Reality TV version of a billionaire, a serial scam artist who had not previously shown the slightest understanding of their plight. But the Breitbart true believers have no interest in helping anyone. The site’s stories cheer on the “Freedom” Caucus, and even a short time reading the site’s comment section is enervating. It’s an unkempt nursery where the smell of soiled diapers is overwhelming,  anyone showing even the slightest doubt about Tr**p is booed down as a troll, Alex Jones and Sean Hannity are lauded as truth-telling deep thinkers, Sarah Palin and Louis Gohmert are looked to for political guidance, and the conservative bona fides of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio  are rudely questioned and branded as RINOs.  It’s aroom filled with tinpot revolutionaries,  a mob whose only interest was upending the furniture, tearing the house down, salting the fields,  with no interest in rebuilding. They view themselves to be potential tenants of Galt’s Gulch, but irony is that, in  Randian terms,  Steve Bannon is their Ellsworth Toohey, the mooching architecture critic in The Fountainhead who demands the mob take down the flawed tabloid publisher, Gail Wynand, after his paper supports the hero, Howard Roark, who selfishly blows up a housing project.

But for Noonan, their biggest problem is that…they’re not Peggy Noonan. In speaking to them, she realizes

…(we) brought different experiences to the table. I had worked in a White House. I had personally observed its deeper realities and requirements. Their sense of how a White House works came from news shows and reading, and also from TV shows such as “House of Cards” and “Scandal.” Those are dark, cynical shows that more or less suggest anyone can be president. I don’t mean that in the nice way. Those programs don’t convey how a White House is an organism demanding of true depth, of serious people, real professionals.

 She worries that Tr**p, when faced with a real crisis (“Maybe the mad boy-king of North Korea will decide it’s a good day to see if his missiles can hit Los Angeles. Maybe a sleeper cell of terrorists will decide it’s a good day to show it’s woke,” she frets) Trump will react like the spoiled child he is. It’s certainly a real concern,  but she worked for the Bush family, who gave us W. And that administration. W, perhaps even more than Reagan, let people believe that the idiot spoiled children of the powerful can occupy the White House.  Instead of placing wagging her finger at her ignorant children, Noonan might want to look inward.


%d bloggers like this: