Lawrence O’Donnell Takes Off The Gloves: National Defense Authorization Act, Soft Journalism, and the Spoonfed Two Party System

Taking a cue from the pages of Superman, Lawrence O’Donnell lambasted the mainstream media Wednesday night for their failure to cover the Third Parties debate and for failing to address this little nightmare:

Imagine if Congress passed a bill that the president signed that allowed indefinite detention without charge or trial. That would be issue one at any presidential debate, wouldn’t it? The media’s favorite debate moderator, Martha Raddatz, would have forced a full discussion of that one at the vice presidential debate, wouldn’t she? Well, Congress did pass that law last year and President Obama signed it and he never mentioned it on his list of his accomplishments in any of the debates. And he was never asked about it, not by the media’s second favorite debate moderator, Candy Crowley, and not by Mitt Romney. It never came up at the two-party presidential debates.

Watch the video here.  It starts with the drug war (I’m not for legalization, but am for reform), and if that bothers you, fast forward to the part about the National Defense Authorization Act.  I kind of like how someone on Examiner.com put it:

But in the most shocking segment, O’Donnell laid out a serious charge against President Obama and the failure of the media and the public to hold him responsible due to a certain law that he signed called the National Defense Authorization Act, which according to O’Donnell will allow the government to detain, interrogate, prosecute or just make people who it suspects to be terrorists disappear without a trial of any kind, and this includes American citizens! O’Donnell then blasted all of the moderators of the three presidential debates between Obama and Romney for not bringing this issue up, and then he blasted the cowardly Mitt Romney for also being to [sic] sheepish to ask President Obama about this issue, instead of crowing about how he would repeal Obamacare, when he should be repealing this monstrosity.”

O’Donnell encouraged people to vote for third party candidates, especially in swing states.

Good for you, Larry.  Even if you were a few hours late to the party:

Bill Clinton Has Obviously Never Seen “The Big Lebowski”

From October 25, 2012.

Matt Bai says Bill Clinton’s advice to frame Mitt Romney as an extreme conservative rather than the nihlist voters believe him to be was a mistake (here in The New York Times).

Crux of the piece:

“The bottom line here is that one can over-think this whole notion of framing your opponent. Ninety-nine times out of 100, the line of attack that works best is the one that really rings true. In the case of Mr. Romney, whatever his stated positions may be, the idea that he’s a far-right ideologue, a kind of Rush Limbaugh with better suits and frosty hair, just doesn’t feel especially persuasive.

On the other hand, the notion that Mr. Romney isn’t centered in any philosophical impulse — that he will say or do whatever it takes to win — seems more plausible, given his contortions on a range of policies, and given his excessive caution as a candidate.”

Yesterday, Andrew Sullivan said that Romney’s singular skill at reversing positions whenever it seems expedient (or, to be generous, right) could be understood in the context of his mid-century Mormonism.  Mormons believe in continuing revelation, Sullivan says, pointing out that Africans and African Americans were classified as cursed in the LDS until 1978.   He quoted Mormon leader Bruce McConkie’s statement that year: “It doesn’t make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June of this year, 1978.” (Sullivan also points out that for close to 40 years, Mitt Romney remained active in a racist church, and that no one is raising that issue the way Obama’s connection to Jeremiah Wright was held up for all to see).

Sullivan claims that it’s okay to use Mormonism, “the only consistent intellectual thread in Romney’s life,” as a kind of decoder.  Readers accused Sullivan of not understanding what Mormons believe about the efficacy of continuing revelation.

Is it possible that Romney’s left-to-center-to-right-to-center-to-right-to-center dash of the last 18 months is simply the candidate’s inner life lived out in public?  Maybe.

And then there’s the belief, which Bai basically says most voters hold, that Romney is a manipulative nihilist.  The Lebowski Problem come home to roost.  Unfortunately for Barack Obama, Bill Clinton was otherwise engaged when Walter Sobchak instilled in us a deep distrust for that particular non-ethos.

Third party!

Your Moment of 80’s Baseball Zen

Philadelphia Phillies fans
Philadelphia Phillies fans (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Wally Joyner to join the Phillies as assistant hitting coach.  Good for you, Wally!

Now, can anyone tell me where the urban legend of Joyner owning Fleer started?  Don’t tell me it was just something my cousin made up.