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GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

SCHWÄRTZESTES HERZ
IN ALEMANIA


Meet John Tamny.



While he looks like Tim Matheson's only competition for "Aging Fraternity Brother Dad" roles, he's actually much more in-depth. A contributor at Forbes, an editor at RealClearMarkets (right-wing leaning finance website), occasional contributor to American Spectator (extremely right-wing), John has a problem.

He's kind of loving stupid.

I first found John in a frontpaged Yahoo article, a link to this Forbes column, which is a somewhat Friedman-esque tangle of logic.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntam...rican-cars-did/

His thesis is that the cars made by the Big 3 nowadays (most of which aren't even made in Detroit) are so good and reliable that...they're the reason Detroit went bankrupt. Yep.

Oh, and also fiat currency.

quote:

Those who rent cars are increasingly aware of the high quality vehicles manufactured by wrongly bailed out U.S. automakers. [Ed.- noted Friedman-esque "a thing happened to me on a business trip" lead] More on the bailouts later, but the fact that American cars drive so well today paradoxically helps explain why Detroit filed for bankruptcy last week.

Longtime readers of this column might note the presumed flip flop here. For the longest time the argument made here to explain Detroit’s demise was the dollar. It still can’t be dismissed. Figure American carmakers are best at producing muscular, noisy, gas guzzling rides (think GM’s Suburban, Cadillac and Corvette, Ford’s Bronco and Lincoln lines), but with President Nixon’s mistaken decision (one oddly encouraged by American carmakers) to delink the dollar from gold in 1971, the demise of the Big Three began with great speed.

That was the case because a fiat dollar in the ‘70s coincided with a weak dollar, oil is priced in the latter, and with the dollar in freefall, gasoline prices naturally soared. Expensive petrol prices made that way by faulty U.S. monetary policy robbed the Big Three of their market advantage. Nominally expensive fuel made American cars unattractive to cash-conscious consumers, at which point fuel efficient foreign cars that often looked and drove better increasingly captured market share.

The Reagan ‘80s and Clinton ‘90s during which monetary policy was mostly sound gave the Big Three a renewed lifeline (oddly former GM CEO Rick Waggoner lobbied for a weak dollar), but their revival proved short lived. The George W. Bush administration, staffed by mercantilists of the Paul O’Neill variety, questioned the importance of sound money on the way to a falling greenback, high gasoline prices, and a sagging Big Three; Chrysler and GM in such bad straits that they required bailouts nearly five years ago.

Two things jump out here, besides the sudden unexpected RON PAUL: one, he makes a statement that good cars killed Detroit, blames the fiat dollar in the 70s, without mentioning the....bad cars from the 70s that accelerated the decline of the US auto industry. Also, Reagan's sound monetary policy? What were his deficits again?

quote:


The weak dollar made the Big Three uncompetitive, and the bailouts simply added gasoline to the fire. If GM and Chrysler had at least been allowed to go bankrupt, they would still be making cars today; albeit as part of Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, or some other carmaker with a clue. If so, they’d be able to attract somewhat better talent. But having been saved by a federal government that never hands out billions for free, they’re now a creatures of a meddling Washington, D.C. (a for-profit business not indebted to politicians would never have made the Chevy Volt) and a dying union movement. Since they are, is it any wonder that the best and brightest avoid the Big Three for employment, and by extension, Detroit?

It takes balls to completely re-write publicly known facts. Oh, and by the way, the Chevy Volt was the baby of Bob Lutz, who is not a Washington bureaucrat, but GM's longtime car design guru.

quote:

So yes, a weak dollar followed by corporation-enervating bailouts laid the groundwork for the demise of the Big Three and Detroit in a major way, but arguably the biggest factor has to do with the quality of American cars. At present they’re very good as anyone who has bought one or rented one can attest. And that’s the problem. High quality American cars signal that automobiles in a general sense have become easy to manufacture.

No doubt some readers remember that particularly in the ‘70s Ford’s nickname was “Fix or Repair Daily,” and just the same, GM and Chrysler were similarly known (the latter bailed out in the late ‘70s) for their low quality output. It was owned by the British government in the ‘70s, but so bad was Jaguar that some leasing companies wouldn’t even offer the product line stateside.

Of course, what the above signaled was that there were still profits to be had in the automobile sector. If so many big names were so incapable of manufacturing cars that started each day, then it was certainly true that there was a market for carmakers capable of producing that which was stylish, and that would start. The Japanese proved particularly adept at the latter by virtue of manufacturing reliable, high gas mileage cars, and the Europeans proved skilled at the former while also producing very reliable autos for the upper end of the market.

Fast forward to the present, and seemingly all cars are good. No doubt some can point to outliers, but in general if you buy a car today you can rest assured that it will start tomorrow, a year from now, and five years from now. Those who purchased new cars in the last five years know this intimately, that the modern auto generally doesn’t break down all that often. In short, cars are simple, prosaic, and easy in a modern sense to manufacture well.

But because they’re easy to produce, there’s little advantage to be had in manufacturing them for the middle market. Unions can be blamed, and no doubt the $1,500 per car cost of union labor will be trotted out a great deal in the coming weeks, but the facts are that unions or no unions, mid-range cars are yesterday’s innovation.

Precisely because they’re yesterday’s innovation the profits in the space aren’t sufficient to attract talent or investment. If anyone can produce reliable cars, why be in the business? No doubt Americans could if they chose to manufacture great tube socks, toothpicks and paperclips, but why produce what anyone can? If anyone can produce something, the margins are naturally going to be small. Cars today fall into the ‘anyone can produce them’ category, and the fact that they do explains Detroit’s demise more than anything else.

Some readers might point to computers as similar in the above regard, but unlike the Big Three, Silicon Valley’s technology firms have long outsourced the manufacture of their technologies overseas. When Apple AAPL +0.46% Inc. puts out ads about how its goods are ‘designed in California,’ the tech giant is speaking volumes about Detroit’s problems.

Put simply, Michigan and its city most known for the rise of the automobile clung to a business – car manufacturing – that was long ago rendered yesterday’s commercial news. And just as Silicon Valley would be destitute too if its companies used limited U.S. labor to manufacture computers that anyone can make, Detroit is bankrupt because its biggest employers still manufacture – as opposed to simply design – cars that anyone can make.

The mainstream punditry will talk about unions, crime and high taxes as the causes of Detroit’s bankruptcy, but the real answer is rooted in something far more basic: cars are easy to make, and Detroit’s biggest employers make cars. Detroit will revitalize itself once its biggest employers migrate toward that which isn’t so simple.

Try to re-read the bolded parts again. It's a treat trying to figure out how his brain works. Anyone can make cars, so why bother*? If anyone can make it, how can you make a profit? Good cars are everywhere, so what's so special about them? Oh yeah, and uh, that's why Detroit is bankrupt!

It's like reading the first draft of a crammed essay due in six hours. The difference is at least maybe the student will have another Code Red and take a swipe at editing it. Tamny just hits Submit.

*Anyone with the billions of dollars in infrastructure required










I missed the original hack writing thread, so I made a new one. Please don't bog it down with dumb off-tangent slapfests (which killed the last one). Dumb, bad, professional writing.

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GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

SCHWÄRTZESTES HERZ
IN ALEMANIA


By the way, Steve Forbes himself drops in the comment section to defend that piece, although, since it's Forbes, the public comments are less "where the gently caress did you learn to write" and more "rarrrr what do you mean unions didn't destroy every bit of Detroit".

Here's more Tamny silliness:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntam...one-percenters/

Yes, another "these people are special and deserve their wealth" 1 percent defense piece. I highlight it only for this beauty of a fragment:

quote:

1 percenters generally have the nerve, drive and self-assurance that the rest of us could only dream of. We see where they are or were, but what the envious among us never consider is what they did to get there.

Former Congressman Richard Gephardt once said that the rich, far from having achieved wealth through hard work, had simply won “life’s lottery.” The story of the Rolling Stones as told by guitarist Keith Richards exposes Gephardt’s musings as patently absurd.

Indeed, as Richards noted about the band’s early days, “Benedictines had nothing on us. Anybody that strayed from the nest to get laid, or try to get laid, was a traitor. You were supposed to spend all your waking hours studying Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson. That was your gig. Every other moment taken away from it was a sin.”

Yes, that's right. He uses a Keith Richards quote that would be hilarious to you or me (because of the context of everything else Richards is famous for), and completely, earnestly dives in to support his argument with an example of Keith Richards'.......monkishness.

foot
Mar 28, 2002

whazzzzzzzuuuuuuuppp

That Richards' quote is amazing because he is admitting the Stones became richer than God by stealing from poor black musicians.

A Winner is Jew
Feb 14, 2008

Shabbat shalom motherfucker!

foot posted:

That Richards' quote is amazing because he is admitting the Stones became richer than God by stealing from poor black musicians.

Wasn't that mostly Elvis that stole from poor black musicians so that Tom Parker could be richer than god, where the Stones studied the hell out of them to inject a poo poo load of blues into there mostly original rock music?

A Winner is Jew fucked around with this message at Jul 22, 2013 around 16:34

Ytlaya
Nov 13, 2005


GD_American posted:

Yes, another "these people are special and deserve their wealth" 1 percent defense piece. I highlight it only for this beauty of a fragment:

It kinda annoys me how these people (and the people who listen to them and believe the same things) can't understand how "the 1% are rich because they are better/more hard working than us" is literally equivalent to saying "white people are superior to black people" (along with a lot of other nasty stuff). It is logically impossible to simultaneously claim that the rich deserve their wealth without at the same time claiming that the demographics that make up most of the rich are inherently superior to the demographics that are poorer. Granted, I'm sure plenty of these folks actually do believe terrible poo poo like this, but many of them honestly don't seem to see the connection. This is the sort of thing that is instantly apparent and obvious to me, but I guess it needs to be spelled out for some people (though even then they don't seem to understand it).

I've mentioned this before probably, but I went to one of the top undergraduate business schools (I think our undergraduate finance program was ranked #2 or something) in the US, and we had to read Friedman's "The World is Flat" in a junior year international business class. Having shithead free-market capitalist views is one thing, but Friedman is just plain bad at writing. Even if a lot of business/finance academia consists of morally questionable or not-particularly-smart people, they're at least mostly competent at writing things that sound intelligent. But Friedman doesn't even sound intelligent. His writing is full of metaphors that don't make sense and irrelevant anecdotes. I wish I knew what was going through our professor's head (or whoever in the department made the decision to have students read that book). How could an adult with a phd read "The World is Flat" and think "mm yes, this will teach our students something important and useful."

I mean, it seriously fascinates me how bad Friedman is. There are a lot of awful op-ed writers, but most can at least write decently, even if they have dumb opinions.

Ytlaya fucked around with this message at Jul 22, 2013 around 17:21

tiananman
Feb 6, 2005
Non-Headkins Splatoma

That car piece is utterly ridiculous and lazy - because it's abundantly clear why GM (especially) went bankrupt to anyone who looked at their books. It had nothing to do with the quality of their cars either, really. Let's face it, GM has made some terrible cars in the past, present, and I'm sure they'll make some lovely cars in the future too. They also have great cars, like the Cadillac line, corvette and most of their truck lineup.

They just had way more debt than they could afford - not helped by the fact that they sold their banking division (GMAC) for peanuts and still guaranteed ALL of the loans on the books. It cost them billions at a time when they were already broke.

They had over $80 billion in long term debt obligations - and weren't profitable.

And you know what? If you want to rail against how union liabilities kicked them when they were down, you'd have something resembling an argument, but to ignore the decades of mismanagement coupled with huge debts... just lazy.

Luigi Thirty
Apr 30, 2006

Emergency confection port.


A Winner is Jew posted:

Wasn't that mostly Elvis that stole from poor black musicians so that Tom Parker could be richer than god, where the Stones studied the hell out of them to inject a poo poo load of blues into there mostly original rock music?

You're probably thinking more of Pat Boone who literally just made white covers of black artists' songs but since he had a wholesome family-friendly image he could sell to conservative white people. They haaaated Elvis because he was too "black".

Luigi Thirty fucked around with this message at Jul 22, 2013 around 17:29

MadMattH
Sep 8, 2011


A Winner is Jew posted:

Wasn't that mostly Elvis that stole from poor black musicians so that Tom Parker could be richer than god, where the Stones studied the hell out of them to inject a poo poo load of blues into there mostly original rock music?

The Rolling Stones first couple of albums were mostly covers.

The Warszawa
Jun 6, 2005

Say my name.


The ethics of cultural appropriation in music have always been fascinating, since there's the act itself and then the conduct in doing so (the extent to which originators are consulted, collaborated with, and respected with regard to profit and opportunity), and the latter is really where the difference is.

Musical lifting was basically the post-Empire empire for the UK, though, what with the Stones, the Beatles, and the Clash.

White Kid Polo
Mar 28, 2006

you must take me to taco bell and i am not kidding

How did Thomas Friedman even become a widely-read writer? (only semi-rhetorical, but sometimes I'm genuinely curious). His writing reminds me of something that an idiotic college freshman would write after taking 60mg of adderall. I generally avoid his stuff, but I remember skimming through something he wrote about some amazing future where Ukrainian teenagers might be designing vaccines online or some poo poo like that. What?

New Division
Jun 23, 2004

I beg to present to you as a Christmas gift, Mr. Lombardi, the city of Detroit.


White Kid Polo posted:

How did Thomas Friedman even become a widely-read writer? (only semi-rhetorical, but sometimes I'm genuinely curious). His writing reminds me of something that an idiotic college freshman would write after taking 60mg of adderall. I generally avoid his stuff, but I remember skimming through something he wrote about some amazing future where Ukrainian teenagers might be designing vaccines online or some poo poo like that. What?

Friedman made his name as a journalist covering the war in Lebanon during the 1980s. I never read his work on the subject, so I don't know if it is legitimately good or crap but that's basically where he became a famous journalist and managed to parley his fame into a cushy job writing commentary for the New York Times.

Badger of Basra
Jul 25, 2007
Don't tell Maliki!

New Division posted:

Friedman made his name as a journalist covering the war in Lebanon during the 1980s. I never read his work on the subject, so I don't know if it is legitimately good or crap but that's basically where he became a famous journalist and managed to parley his fame into a cushy job writing commentary for the New York Times.

I read his book when I was a senior in high school and from what I remember it was decent, but then again I was a senior in high school. I seriously don't understand that would make even the best writer qualified to be a business/economics columnist though.

Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010


Friedman is such an awful hack that Matt Taibbi put on a hilarious "Thomas Friedman Porn Title" contest a few months ago. You're never going to guess who won.

Original article outlining the contest

Article revealing the winner

colonel_korn
May 16, 2003

Good Nuz, Everyone!

Here's one that's been stirring up some fuss here in Canada: http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinio...8866/story.html

Backstory: Glee star Cory Monteith died of a heroin overdose while staying at a hotel in Vancouver. Vancouver happens to also be the home of a supervised injection site called InSite. An editor at a major paper in Calgary decides that these two things are related, producing the following truly incredible editorial column. I should note that this hits kind of close to home as the clinic has basically proven to be effective at saving the lives of people who OD and at encouraging people to enter rehab, yet has been relentlessly attacked by conservatives and even recently had to survive a court case brought against it by the (conservative) federal government.

quote:

Ask any informed Vancouverite where you could pick up a bit of heroin and they’d be able to tell you. Everyone from teetotalling old ladies with blue hair to a straight-A student in elementary school — all know if you want hard, illicit drugs, just go to the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and heroin will be as easy to acquire as chewing gum.

Heck, ask virtually any informed person across the country and they’d be able to tell you that if you want to go on a seedy trip of your choosing — be it a heroin holiday or a crack cocaine carousal — just head down to East Hastings Street and you will find what you’re looking for with no risk of arrest.

Which brings us to the heroin-alcohol overdose death of promising young Glee actor and singer, Cory Monteith.

The Calgary-born actor, who was raised in Victoria, was found dead Saturday in his room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, which is a five-minute cab ride away from the Downtown Eastside, but worlds away in terms of ambience.

It’s unlikely that the 31-year-old would have risked bringing hard drugs across the border from his home in the United States, so it’s safe to assume he either picked some up himself or had a gofer do it for him by visiting InSite, the government-sponsored and funded safe injection site at 139 East Hastings. The next step is easy. Wait for an injection drug user to show up, ask them to score you some heroin, grab a few clean, free needles and distilled water, and you’re set.

So the question is, if Monteith were visiting virtually any other city in Canada, would he have been able to find heroin? Would he have died? I think the likelihood is much lower.

Proponents of safe injection sites argue that such harm-reduction strategies save lives and that’s inarguably true. After all, if an injection drug user overdoses in the safe injection site, then a nurse is on hand to offer assistance and call an ambulance. This has happened numerous times.

But no one ever asks how many people have died of drug overdoses who use the safe injection site as a legally safe place to procure drugs.

Several years ago, while partaking in one of my addictions — the double crunch sushi roll at Midori Japanese Restaurant on 17th Avenue — I overheard a group of three young people talking excitedly about how on their upcoming trip to Vancouver, they intended to drop by InSite to try heroin for the first time. I have since long wished I had butted into their conversation and intervened.

There will be some people reading this who will assume that finding heroin in any major Canadian city is an easy thing to do, so InSite really doesn’t make things that much easier for first-timers to find and partake in their inaugural heroin hit, or for people like Monteith — who had a history of drug use, to find some easily. But an anecdote, dating back many years now, proves this wrong.

Back in the early 1990s, I was assigned to cover the growing heroin trade in Toronto. I had great police contacts then and they told me to head down to the Parkdale neighbourhood and ask virtually any of the street prostitutes I saw if they would talk to me.

Sure enough, the first working girl I approached was Sam — whom we called Jackie for the article — who along with her boyfriend, Danny, had to make enough money daily to support their $600-a-day heroin habit.

Sam and I hit it off. We shared a lot of laughs and some tears as I injected myself into her messed up life for a week and then we stayed in touch. I made sure she had my home number as well as my work phone number, and one night, months after the story ran, she phoned me in a panic from Montreal.

She had left Danny for a regular customer and had run out of heroin in Quebec. As she entered into the agony of withdrawal, she begged me to drive to Parkdale that Saturday night, find Danny and get him to put some heroin on a Greyhound bus for her, as she couldn’t find heroin in Montreal.

I told her what I’d do instead was call the Montreal police and ask them if they knew where the heroin users and dealers hung out. I didn’t have any Montreal police contacts, but called the on-duty sergeant. He didn’t know and neither did the various other police officers I was transferred to.

In other words, show up in most North American cities and even a heroin junkie can’t necessarily find their poison. Even police don’t know where to go in their own city to find the stuff. But ask my strait-laced 82-year-old mom in Vancouver, and even she knows.

Would Cory Monteith still be alive had he been visiting Halifax, Toronto or Calgary instead of Vancouver? In my view, it’s highly likely.


InSite is well meaning. But the time has long passed for an independent investigator to really study how many people are using it as a gateway into hard drug use and a legally “risk free” way to procure an illegal substance.

After she got totally blasted online for this embarrassing article, she reflected a little bit and then let loose with this gem when asked about it:

quote:

Asked whether she thinks it was appropriate to link Monteith’s death to the debate over Insite, Corbella paused for a few moments before answering yes. “I think it’s appropriate in the sense that I think there’s a connection between the very huge ease of access to heroin in Vancouver that everyone knows where you can go get it,” she said.

Corbella, who was born and raised in Vancouver, said she likens the city to a “gorgeous, vibrant person,” but described the Downtown Eastside and its population of drug users as a “cancerous lesion” that “needs to be surgically removed.

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

SCHWÄRTZESTES HERZ
IN ALEMANIA


White Kid Polo posted:

How did Thomas Friedman even become a widely-read writer? (only semi-rhetorical, but sometimes I'm genuinely curious). His writing reminds me of something that an idiotic college freshman would write after taking 60mg of adderall. I generally avoid his stuff, but I remember skimming through something he wrote about some amazing future where Ukrainian teenagers might be designing vaccines online or some poo poo like that. What?

His entire academic career was in Middle Eastern studies; he started as a journalist then got hired on by the Times, and made his bones covering Lebanon back in the worst of its civil war. He got lost in the Washington coverage shuffle for a while after that, but in the 90s re-invented himself as the lovely English-language-strangling general futurist Alvin Toffler type he is to this day. It's worth noting that it was an incredibly smart career move, as there's a definite market for this type of generic future-is-connected horseshit he's been mining (see what I did there) for years. The NYT certainly isn't tiring of it, and judging by the reading list at my business school, management gurus loving love him. The problem is that either from the start, or somewhere along the line, he bought into his own legend.

There was some star-loving there too of course (he married into an ungodly wealthy family that owned billions in shopping malls), but that's his general career arc.

I'd actually thought about reading some of his earlier stuff to see if he could write coherently once upon a time and fell apart, or if the NYT was just asleep at the switch for thirty years.

Luigi Thirty
Apr 30, 2006

Emergency confection port.


The Warszawa posted:

Musical lifting was basically the post-Empire empire for the UK, though, what with the Stones, the Beatles, and the Clash.

It's been going on longer than that, here's a calypso song from the 50s about Jamaicans going to Britain and posing as authentic Trinidadian calypsonians. It contains one of my favorite verses ever:

quote:

If you want to see what I say is true
Just call a Jamaican singer to you
And ask him to sing extemporaneously
You will see he hasn't that ability

Luigi Thirty fucked around with this message at Jul 24, 2013 around 05:37

Cream_Filling
Sep 11, 2005

ASK ME ABOUT RACISM BECAUSE I KNOW A WHOLE LOT MORE ABOUT THEM COLOREDS THAN YOU

GD_American posted:

His entire academic career was in Middle Eastern studies; he started as a journalist then got hired on by the Times, and made his bones covering Lebanon back in the worst of its civil war. He got lost in the Washington coverage shuffle for a while after that, but in the 90s re-invented himself as the lovely English-language-strangling general futurist Alvin Toffler type he is to this day. It's worth noting that it was an incredibly smart career move, as there's a definite market for this type of generic future-is-connected horseshit he's been mining (see what I did there) for years. The NYT certainly isn't tiring of it, and judging by the reading list at my business school, management gurus loving love him. The problem is that either from the start, or somewhere along the line, he bought into his own legend.

There was some star-loving there too of course (he married into an ungodly wealthy family that owned billions in shopping malls), but that's his general career arc.

I'd actually thought about reading some of his earlier stuff to see if he could write coherently once upon a time and fell apart, or if the NYT was just asleep at the switch for thirty years.

The sad thing is how incredibly and consistently wrong he is even about his supposed area of expertise, the Middle East. Like, we know the 'Pauling effect' of experts stepping into uncharted waters and somehow becoming retarded, but every single thing I've ever seen by Friedman on the Middle East is just so bad.

The Monkey Man
Jun 10, 2012

HERD U WERE TALKIN SHIT

I liked From Beirut to Jerusalem, but I read it a decade ago.

Has Friedman responded to any of Taibbi's criticisms? I'm kind of hoping for something as entertaining as the Greenwald/Ames feud.

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

SCHWÄRTZESTES HERZ
IN ALEMANIA


S.H.A.M.E. Project (side project by the ex-eXile, now NSFWCorp folks) just put up a new piece on Radley Balko.

http://shameproject.com/profile/radley-balko/

Xandu
Feb 19, 2006


It's hard to be humble when you're as great as I am.

GD_American posted:

S.H.A.M.E. Project (side project by the ex-eXile, now NSFWCorp folks) just put up a new piece on Radley Balko.

http://shameproject.com/profile/radley-balko/

This sounds about right, but he's never hidden his political affiliations. It's why I had to stop reading his blog even though I like his criminal justice stuff. And I'd hardly call his work on police a "recent turn."


That being said, this part below confuses me. Is he trying to insinuate that Balko advocated for Maye because of Stand Your Ground legislation?

quote:

In late 2005, Balko began “advocating” for a Mississippi death row inmate named Cory Maye. At the same time, Mississippi lawmakers began considering “Stand Your Ground” legislation written by ALEC. The death row conviction of Cory Maye posed a threat to “Stand Your Ground” because he had plead not guilty, arguing “self-defense,” and lost. Balko took up Cory Maye’s cause at the same time that the powerful DC law firm Covington & Burling — Eric Holder’s law firm — announced it was taking on Cory Maye’s case “pro bono.” [ 9 ]

Covington succeeded in overturning Cory Maye’s conviction, thus protecting Mississippi’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Balko has taken nearly all the credit for saving Maye’s life, which he's exploited to bolster his credibility with progressives and to negate all the years he spent advocating for toxic corporate interests. [ 10 ] [ 11 ]

Balko’s employer, the Cato Institute, has been a leading proponent and defender of “Stand Your Ground” laws; another Koch lobby outfit, ALEC, is responsible for writing the “Stand Your Ground” model legislation passed in Mississippi. Balko himself has personally defended “Stand Your Ground” and “self-defense” laws, most recently in the Trayvon Martin murder case.


edit: Okay looking back at this again, Balko's writing of the case is what initially attracted Covington & Burling to it, so it wasn't exactly "the same time." It wasn't quite about SYG, although you could make the argument for it being about the Castle Doctrine, but the more conventional framing of the story has to do with no-knock raids.

Xandu fucked around with this message at Jul 28, 2013 around 01:10

Corek
May 11, 2013

SMG Macklemore Fanclub

Xandu posted:

This sounds about right, but he's never hidden his political affiliations. It's why I had to stop reading his blog even though I like his criminal justice stuff. And I'd hardly call his work on police a "recent turn."


That being said, this part below confuses me. Is he trying to insinuate that Balko advocated for Maye because of Stand Your Ground legislation?

Yes. In the NSFWCorp article just put out he goes into how he took all the credit from the actual lawyers.

https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/r...3f3e4a40da8d58/

Xandu
Feb 19, 2006


It's hard to be humble when you're as great as I am.

I guess. No one is really denying that he's the one who initially brought people's attention to the case, and there's worse crimes than marketing your brand.

www.liberty.edu/champion/2011/10/liberty-alumnus-gets-man-off-of-death-row/ posted:

Abram Pafford, 38, a lawyer at Pafford Lawrence & Ross PLLC, was the lead lawyer for the case of Cory Jermine Maye, who was sentenced to the death penalty in 2001, but, less than three months ago, left a penitentiary in Mississippi a free man.

Pafford, who graduated from Liberty in 1996 and then attended law school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. until 1999, has gone on to work in the legal field at a variety of different institutions and companies, including Fried Frank LLP and Covington & Burling LLP in D.C. In the fall of 2010, after Pafford had left Covington & Burling, he, along with Bill Lawrence and John Ross, also Liberty alumni and former members of the Liberty Debate Team, started their own law practice. According to Pafford, it was at this firm that he heard the final results of Cory Maye’s case.

“Where we ended up compared to where we started is just extraordinarily rare,” Pafford said. “The odds are always against any defendant appealing a conviction.”

According to Pafford, he first got introduced to the Maye case in 2005 after reading an article about it by Jonathan Adler on the National Review website. The article also had a link to a blog by Radley Balko, currently a full-time reporter for the Huffington Post, who indicated that something did not seem right with the Maye case, especially considering that Maye had no prior criminal or arrest record.

edit: Even the link he gives to Covington's website mentions a Reason.tv published documentary

http://www.cov.com/news/detail.aspx?news=1645

Xandu fucked around with this message at Jul 28, 2013 around 01:18

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

SCHWÄRTZESTES HERZ
IN ALEMANIA


Xandu posted:

This sounds about right, but he's never hidden his political affiliations.

There's a lot of folks out there that don't understand anything about HuffPo's workings (or awfulness), and just think if they see it on HuffPo, it's written by a progressive. In that respect, he probably deserves attention, and while his libertarian beliefs have always been fairly open, it's easy just to peg him as "cop militarization writer" and ignore some of the garden-variety libertarian horridness like supporting Bob Jones U's right to discriminate.

Nick_326
Nov 2, 2011

History's Latest Monster


This thread could use more content.

I wasn't sure if I should post Richard Cohen, as he has a pretty well-known history of being awful, but then I found out he was a finalist for the "Commentary" category of the Pulitzer prize four loving times.

http://www.pulitzer.org/faceted_sea...s/Richard-Cohen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richar...%28columnist%29

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...ry.html?hpid=z2

quote:

Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled—about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York—a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts—but not all—of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.

Cue Ta-Nehisi Coates with the sweet, sweet takedown:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics...context/281426/

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

SCHWÄRTZESTES HERZ
IN ALEMANIA


Jesus. I didn't realize Cohen went guns-out defending Roman Polanski, of all people.

ThirdPartyView
Mar 7, 2005

Always bet on Duke!

Good to see that Cohen is literally one of those 1950s (early 1960s?) anti-miscegenation people from that infamous photo that always gets posted.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Obligatory mention that Andrew Sullivan, who's done a great job of being an absolutely terrible person yet able to see when the winds are shifting and convince people he's some enlightened intellectual actually believes racial eugenics is a real thing and continues to play the asking questions line since no one does any serious research into the subject.

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

SCHWÄRTZESTES HERZ
IN ALEMANIA


NSFWCorp (the ex-eXile crew's new media experiment, familiar to those from the previous Hack thread who leaned on their SHAME project) just folded into PandoDaily.

NSFW editor Paul Carr and Glenn Greenwald, longtime antagonists, are engaging in a hilarious game of "lefty journalist attacking the other's billionaire sugar daddy" this morning about it.

MisterBadIdea
Oct 9, 2012

Anything?


GD_American posted:

NSFWCorp (the ex-eXile crew's new media experiment, familiar to those from the previous Hack thread who leaned on their SHAME project) just folded into PandoDaily.

NSFW editor Paul Carr and Glenn Greenwald, longtime antagonists, are engaging in a hilarious game of "lefty journalist attacking the other's billionaire sugar daddy" this morning about it.

I am far more on Greenwald's side that eXile's, but holy crap the man can be astoundingly petty.

Zeroisanumber
Oct 23, 2010

You're underestimating the power that our bloated military budget has given us.

MisterBadIdea posted:

I am far more on Greenwald's side that eXile's, but holy crap the man can be astoundingly petty.

Yeah, that guy gets bogged down in so many tedious Internet poo poo-fights that I occasionally swear him off as an annoying tool, but then he gets something like Snowden into the media and I'm all in love again.

ClancyEverafter
Sep 6, 2003

steady innovatin' despite the hatin'

I just canceled my NSFWcorp sub. I saw Paul Carr as a cancerous-yet-neccessary part of getting my Mark Ames/War Nerd fix, but this is just sad loving hypocrisy after they rode Greenwald's rear end so hard. It was patently obvious when Ames and Carr's take on Snowden was all about Snowden, not the information. Ames tried to redeem himself a little with a good piece on the history of the NSA being exposed in the 70s, but immediately switched back to knives out Greenwald-hating right after. The naked professional jealousy is not a good look.

And Carr's relentless penis insecurity is just too much. "GOOGLE ME".

ClancyEverafter fucked around with this message at Nov 25, 2013 around 18:50

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

SCHWÄRTZESTES HERZ
IN ALEMANIA


I'm on the verge of cancelling mine; they swear they're going to make the (now-quarterly) print edition a bigger, more expansive, slicker produced piece (which...is like half of what I wanted and half of what I specifically did not want), so I'm going to wait and see what their first few pieces are like. If it's Silicon Valley tech-wag horseshit, then pfffttttt.

I agree with you on Carr; he's a tech journalism jerkoff who loves to play little Silicon Valley insider gently caress-gently caress games, and I subbed to NSFW in spite of him, not because of him. If Ames or Levine leaves, I'm probably done with them.

SedanChair
Jun 1, 2003

SOMEONE REPORT ME TO THE FTC BECAUSE I HAVE A MONOPOLY ON SHITPOSTING


At what point does this just become the doges of two neighboring principalities hiring court poets to write snotty poems about the other guy?

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

SCHWÄRTZESTES HERZ
IN ALEMANIA


SedanChair posted:

At what point does this just become the doges of two neighboring principalities hiring court poets to write snotty poems about the other guy?

Around 8 am this morning.

eSports Chaebol
Feb 22, 2005

Support the International Campaign to Ban Spider Mines

NSFWcorp has been fun to read but almost everything they've written, while informative in its own right, has been an ill-conceived hit piece in the vein it's actually presented: e.g. writing about how insane Chabad-Lubavitch or Robert LeFevre is, but billing it as being about Cory Booker or Charles Koch. It's almost like a left-wing version of stories about Tony Rezko and Jeremiah Wright (for real this time instead of just everyone claiming that's what the MSM is)

eSports Chaebol fucked around with this message at Nov 25, 2013 around 19:19

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

SCHWÄRTZESTES HERZ
IN ALEMANIA


Fun game for those of who have been in and around the workplace a few times: try and spot the general tone of this letter-

https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/w...ny-has-it-been/


If you guessed "excited memo from up top that buries a single mention of layoffs near the end, right before upbeat close", you guessed right!

Gorn Myson
Aug 8, 2007


I was going to subscribe to NSFWCorp based on the podcast until I realised that a good chunk of the episodes were mostly about Paul Carr either desperately trying to get Leigh Cowart on the show so he can relentlessly fawn over her, or were hour long rants about the person he was currently having a Twitter slapfight with.

The pieces I've read have been great, but Carr and the never ending articles that end up being about the Koch's put me off.

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

SCHWÄRTZESTES HERZ
IN ALEMANIA


Basically wherever Levine ends up, I'll keep tabs on. Carr will go back to settling personal hash in more Silicon Valley slapfights that nobody outside the tech industry gives a poo poo about, Ames will turn out good work inbetween tilting at the Koch Brothers windmill farm, Cowart was already gone and will probably get grabbed up by Gawker or a Gawker clone, who the gently caress cares where War Nerd ends up, and I can't think of any other writers there worth noting.

e- now that I think about, I changed my mind and cancelled. gently caress them, why throw another 7 bucks at them for nothing?

GD_American fucked around with this message at Nov 25, 2013 around 20:08

Thermite
Aug 16, 2006
Huzzah!

I was really bummed to see Cowart get dumped. Aside from the weird halloween-themed stuff she did recently her articles were great. Levine and Ames where the only others I really followed. I'll give the new version a chance as long as they stay on board but at this point I'm not too hopeful.

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pangstrom
Jan 25, 2003



GD_American posted:

Fun game for those of who have been in and around the workplace a few times: try and spot the general tone of this letter-

https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/w...ny-has-it-been/

If you guessed "excited memo from up top that buries a single mention of layoffs near the end, right before upbeat close", you guessed right!
Well, in their defense the layoffs happened/were announced a couple weeks ago.

I admit I only have read 5-ish things by her but I thought Cowart was mostly worthless. I like Ames and Dolan, Levine is OK.

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