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30 October 2010


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William R. Cumming

Jon Stewart is a serious person and perhaps it is time he put away childish things and spake as a man?

Patrick Lang

Amen. pl

ex-PFC Chuck

My daughter went to the affair via one of Arianna Huffington's chartered busses from New York. I'm eagerly awaiting her first-person report.


Jon Stewart gives me hope.

... perhaps it is time he put away childish things and spake as a man?

He did just that.



Did you go?

Paul Hartvigson, Denmark

It was inspiring to see someone go up against flaming rage and unreason. To celebrate wit and scorn simplicity.

Here in Denmark populist pary leader Pia Kjærsgård is calling for a ban of Arab language TV channels. Her representatives has kept the liberal-conservative goverment in power for almost 10 years, exacting the price that a policy of contempt against immigrants has been effected. Even the various socialists are afraid to challenge this facile bigotry, so pleasing to a mentally lazy majority of Danes.

I hope our comedians too will live up to challenging these tragic clowns.


But, but, it demeans something or someone or somesuch when he interviews the pres.
His employer is part of AIPAC.
He is a useful idiot, in the best Trotskyite sense of that compliment.
And the person who he has had on his show the most, given the most respectful attention and FREE airtime to, is John "6 crashed and counting" McCain.


"If we amplify everything, we hear nothing."
[Jon Stewart, 10/30/10]

Mark Gaughan

I found this at http://annamissed.com/. She linked to this piece at http://www.newshoggers.com/blog/2010/10/the-overton-window-and-allison-kilkenny-on-the-tea-party.html (I never heard of Allison Kilkenny or Newshoggers before.)

Allison Kilkenny:
"When I say the Tea Party is filled with extremists, I don’t think they’re all the type of people who are willing to take up arms against the gubment. However, they are much more likely to buy extreme theories and hold extreme positions. How else could they bear to watch Glenn Beck scribble on his chalkboard night after night as he absurdly links unrelated liberal groups and activists to each other?

Terrified people are looking to make sense of their world – to bring some order to the chaos of their lives. Even if what Beck is saying makes zero sense (as it usually does,) the fact that he gives the illusion of a plan brings comfort to the Tea Party. It’s sort of like if you were five and your crazy uncle tried to explain the mysteries of the universe to you. He might start talking about Zeus and lightning bolts, but you’ll probably buy whatever shit he’s peddling because it’s simply some kind of narrative. And he’s your uncle. And you’re five.

I imagine the 44 percent of likely voters, who say the Democratic Party is more dominated by its extreme elements, have been swayed by the “Obama is a Socialist” narrative, which by the way, was a narrative shaped by the Republican Party, but officially co-opted by the extremist Tea Party.

It’s pure genius. When the right’s policies (tax cuts for the wealthy, unending wars, etc.) completely fucked the economy, they shifted the blame to Obama who they labeled a Socialist – left of left. By osmosis, Obama (and all the ills of the country) became the fault of leftist extremists. Neat, huh? Like douche bag magic."

Yes, it is like you wrote a few weeks ago (You may have posed it as question.): It's the cynical manipulation of the bigotry of the ignorant. (It has become a favorite line of mine and some of my friends.)


Col. Lang:

And, if I remember correctly Stewart reported to the country (with a graphic no less!) that CBS, ABC, the AP and NPR told their employees not to attend the rally for fear that their presence would be interpreted as a sign of corporate support.

Nascent SA? Indeed!

Stewart may be a Virginian by education and taste but you must share him with the rest of us.

Medicine Man

Honestly I think he'll be taken more seriously as long as he uses humor intelligently. As others have pointed out, tis often enough that satire can lay bare the truth where the finer arts of persuasion may fail.

A quick question, Col. Lang: What did you mean by "nascent SA"? What or whom are the SA you allude to?


With all due respect, I think, perhaps, he did.


Stewart does use humor intelligently, as a means toward a desirable end that's "political" in the best, nonpartisan sense. The entire rally (I was there) was like that. The montages, awards, etc. tagged both extremes equally well. His closing speech is a masterpiece of old-fashioned Civics and worty of wide dissemination. The YouTube clip of the C-SPAN feed is at


Mark Gaughan

New Jersey!

Adam L Silverman

Mr. Gaughan: newshoggers is an excellent site. I've linked to them many times in some of my writings here on Iraq, Iran, Israel, and Afghanistan. One of their founders, Mr. Hynd, does very excellent analysis of all things irregular warfare. While the political leaning of the site may not be for everyone, the writing there is always first rate, well reasoned, and well researched.

Adam L Silverman

Medicine man: the SA were the sturmabteilung, the Nazi party paramilitary.

Patrick Lang


Maxims of the SA:

"Terror must be broken by terror"

"All opposition must be stamped into the ground"

Wiki on the SA

Sound familiar? pl


SA? Hint, hint, Ernst Rohm's old gang.

Stewart is a patriot and Virgina spirit alright. But I have issues with the speech. I think he dead wrong about some things. But...dead right about others.

William R. Cumming

Mass entertainment should never be confused with seriousness. I really like Jon Stewart but that brain needs to focus on solutions not quips. No doubt he can attract a crowd and educate in part through humor and intelligence. But as posted on my home blog, the TEA Party has arisen because it cannot write or think clearly, is unlikely to have any candidates succeed on Tuesday, and whose motivations are largely admirable but behind the scenes funded by the deep right wing. The frustrations of the average vote are justified. How deep that frustration goes may be revealed on Tuesday, and we will find out if the basic political philosophy current in American life is vote "The Ins OUT"! After all even hogs/pigs occasiolnally leave the feed trough.

FB Ali

Juan Cole has a somewhat different take on the rally:

"But with all due respect, I think Stewart’s statement mistook the problems as being solely ones of rhetorical imagery........Me, I worry about whether the Republic can survive a situation in which 1 percent of the population has over 40% of the privately owned financial wealth, or in which they take home a sixth of the nation’s income every year. I worry about tens of millions of unemployed, thrown out of work by deregulation and high-level criminality, and millions more of the working poor barely making ends meet. I worry about the end of commercial fishing and the droughts and dust bowls of climate change. And I think those things are worth getting a little hot under the collar about, and that what politics is is a way of attributing positive and negative traits to political ideas and officials, and making these judgments accessible to the public through affect. I don’t think climate-change deniers, anti-science ignoramuses, or laissez-faire capitalists who screw up the economy and put millions out of work are “nice.” And while I do believe we have to convince them and their followers they are wrong with reasoned democratic discourse, I think some snark and outrage is entirely called for".


Got A Watch

"His employer is part of AIPAC." Wow, he works for a large organization, and everyone there is equally responsible for their high level policy decision making. Sure they are.

Does that disqualify Stewart from saying whatever he says? I honestly don't know if he is pro-AIPAC or not, but the reality is if you say anything bad about Israel you get fired. If he wants to remain on TV, he has to toe a few lines.

I don't watch the guy often myself, but he is funny sometimes, though he can pound an issue into dust by over-talking it.

But that is not the point here.

A recent poll put Stewart and Colbert as the # 1 news source for young Americans. The web-savvy iPhone4 demographic that advertisers want to capture. They don't really believe the MSM any more, it's a cynical age. The rise of the Blogosphere has disrupted traditional media flows, the Government has lost control (WikiLeaks, cough).

That makes a statement in itself about the times, but in a way it gives me hope, because Stewart tells it pretty much straight up on many issues. The truth hurts both sides in a debate, and it is a politicians worst nightmare. The truth is hard to hide in an era where everyone has a cel phone camera.

The only way the US will 'recover' in any real sense is when the real issues get discussed and decided. Kicking the can down the road foretells the future, and it is Greece or Ireland, unless ways are changed in dramatic fashion.

The present financial crisis 'FraudClosureGate' is just another extreme example. Trillions of $ worth of Bank assets still carried at 90-95% face value maybe in fact worthless (MERS, cough)? The entire derivatives 'complex' is trembling now.

Or how about the radio silence in North America about the recent UK Budget, where austerity came home to roost? Seen any politician of any stripe propose a similar Budget in Washington? Serious reform of Social Security and Medicare? (not Obama's I mean cost CUTTING, not increasing ). Massive cuts to Defense? Laying off vast swathes of Federal employees? Eliminating many over-lapping Departments?(intelligence, cough)


"It's time to fundamentally change the way that we do business in Washington. To help build a new foundation for the 21st century, we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient, more transparent, and more creative. That will demand new thinking and a new sense of responsibility for every dollar that is spent.
Barack Obama "

Need I say more? The Change is coming on the 12th of Never.

Of course I am just a distant armchair observer, nobody listens to me.


Col. Lang:

Given the seemingly "nascent" if not "familiar" character of the SA in this country, a Post that compares and contrasts the origins of the SA in Hitler Germany with our own situation might make for a fascinating, if not provocative, read.

Norman Rogers

Oddly enough, many of these Tea Party advocates are the spitting image of one Ernst Röhm, right down to the dead-eyed stare.

That which puts the "working media" on notice and makes them uncomfortable is good for our discourse. Say what you will about Mr. Stewart, but he could have cashed in long ago and jumped to a major network (see Bill Maher, who could have been our national Jon Stewart but opted to become just another aging punk with a smirk).

patrick Lang


An excellent idea, any volunteers, David H, maybe. pl

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