Stovepiping EVERYTHING!

Digby had a post recently, "Stovepiping The Legal Findings" reflecting on how John Yoo had been just "a mid-level attorney in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel" (as reported in the New York Review of Books article by  David Cole.  (Cole, btw, is the real deal. A brilliant analyst of how constitutional law works in the real world.  See, for example, No Equal Justice:  Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System. Cass Sunstein is not worthy of even serving milkshakes to Cole.  But I digress...)

Digby observes:

"I hadn't realized that Yoo was not a senior officer in the justice department. I guess I just assumed that he was quite high level. This makes me wonder if we are looking at another case of stovepiping and cherry-picking."
Indeed, we almost certainly are witnessing another such case. In fact, "stovepipping/cherry picking" is actually SOP for conservatives.  It's their institutional answer to how to avoid critical thinking without really trying.  Before the Enlightenment and all the trouble it's caused, things were much, much simpler: they controlled everything, and critical thinking simply wasn't allowed. If it somehow happened anyway, they had bonfires for the books, and the authors too, if they were still alive.

Nowadays, though, they're reduced stovepiping.  Which brings to mind my recent diary, "'Liberal Media' Myth Goes 'Scientific'", since it, too, involves a situation in which contradictory critical voies have been assiduously avoided--an aspect that I did not focus on originally.  And that example opens the door to much, much more...

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David Moberg on The Republican Crack-Up

David Moberg of In These Times has a fairly cogent year-end wrap-up of how the GOP fell apart this year, "The Republican Crack-Up".  We're still a long way from gaining even a single house of Congress (I think we can get two!) and there's a lot of hard work ahead.  But Moberg reminds us that a lot of grass roots hard work went into getting us this far.  It didn't just fall into our laps.

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Against 'Moderation'--Marketing vs Positions

We've just been subjected to another wave of so-called "moderate" chest-beating here at MyDD. And seeking relief, I found myself wandering the corridors, when what did I spy but this totally brilliant diary at Corrente: "Right Wing Target Marketing".  This is how they win elections, folks, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with our "taking positions that are too liberal" for the voters in East Runamuck, Georgia.

Go read it NOW! We'll talk below the fold.

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'Liberal Media' Myth Goes 'Scientific'

From My Left Wing

Nothing is more crucial to the right wing than the myth of "liberal media bias." It is, quite simply, a one-size-fits-all, best-defense-is-good-offense response to anything that threatens to get in their way.  Witness Bush's attempt to shift blame to the New York Times for (very belatedly) spilling the beans on his wanton lawbreaking with countless illegal wiretaps.

The problem is, the myth, for all its propaganda power, is just that--a myth.  Which is why there's a crying need to dress it up as "fact."  Conservatives have been trying to do this for quite some time, with unconvincing results, to say the least. But now they've upped their ante with a new study promoted by UCLA's media office, in a press release ("Media Bias Is Real, Finds UCLA Political Scientist") that could have been written by a rightwing think tank.  And the study itself, it appears, virtually was, despite the fact that one of two co-authors--Tim Groseclose--is a UCLA professor.  It's already getting out there in the rightwing blogosphere, so let's do some debunking, shall we?

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NYT's Matt Bai Cannot Think (But You Can!)

Josh Marshall is far too politic to come right out and say it, but that's the clear implication, and flat-out truth behind his latest observation at TPM about Bai's no-think take on Social Security--not to mention at least two other examples of Bai's attitude, which collectively give the term "knee-jerk" a bad name.

My sister teaches at a community college, and it's no exaggeration to say that Bai reminds me of some of the horror stories I've heard from her over the years.  He appears to not even realize why supporting arguments are deemed important---and, of course, the editors at the NYT.... well, do they actually have editors at the NYT anymore?  Haven't they all been replaced with Karl Rove's errand boys?

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Reality-Based: Bush Not 'Least Popular' President

A recent Reuters story has been cited both by Atrios and by SusanG in a DKos frontpage post saying that Bush is least popular of the last ten presidents. The problem is, the data given, though incomplete, clearly show this to be false.  And our precious reality-based community appears to be too innumerate to notice--which is really dangerous to our health.

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Schwarzenegger Is Going To Hell--There Is No Religious Right

It's not me saying this. It's the Bible. Matthew 25, to be specific.  There is no "religious right." It is 100% sham:

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The Biggest Scandal Ever--NOT!

The top-rated diary at DKos is everything the enemies of blogging could hope for--a complete validation of their disparaging claims about rampant conspiricism and wild, unsubstantiated charges, taken on faith because it feels good.  Worse yet, it is an example of rightwing thinking masquerading as in-your-face progressive truth-telling.  

And now, Gary Boatwright, who I probably agree with more often than all other commentators combined here at MyDD, has posted his own diary here promoting this misguided mish-mash.

This has to stop, and we have to be the ones who stop it.  It is deeply dangerous to what we ought to be doing here.

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A Conservative Working The "Balance" Myth

It's long been my contention that one of the key elements of conservative dominance is the "balance" myth, usually articulated by the SCLM.  It has many forms.  For example, conservatives spend 50 years complaining about the "liberal media," quite often doing so on the SCLM.  Then for a nanosecond we get to hear a reality-based critique that the media actually tilts to the right.  Before the critique can be fully articulated, this is quickly cut off by the univrsal pundits' observation that "both sides are criticizing us, so we must be doing something right."

A recent book mentioned by Chris, Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy takes on the balance myth as applied to the phenomena of political polarization. It argues, in effect, that both sides don't do it, that Republican's have moved to the extreme right, while Democrats have remained fairly much where they were all along.

Well, it's hardly surprisingly to find a conservative columnist this week, pushing the "balance myth" on this very same topic. It's "The Elite Divide" by Maggie Gallagher.

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Alito Against Democracy

Look for Harry Reid to open up on Alito today as well--Chris

Believe it or not, the same document that reveals Samuel Alito's opposition to Roe v. Wade has an even bigger bombshell: He's opposed to a basic principle of democracy--one person, one vote.  

As pointed out by NathanNewman in a Dkos diary, in his 1985 job application, Alito himself says that he was drawn to judicial restraint in part because of the Warren Court's activism in re-apportionment--the very cases that Earl Warren himself called the most important in his tenure.  

This is a reference to two landmark cases--BAKER v. CARR and REYNOLDS v. SIMS--that together overthrew the undemocratic system that prevailed in most state legislatures, giving equal representation to underpopulated rural districts and highly populated urban districts.

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