Too Loathsome To Loathe. But I’ll Try.

Michael Brodkorb said it best in his headline:  PAWLENTY HATER NICK COLEMAN HITS NEW LOW.

First came his first, deeply stupid column on Friday, which blamed the “No New Taxes” pledge for the disaster as rescuers were still frantically combing the wreckage for survivors, roughly 12 18 months before the NTSB actually expects to know what actually happened.

Then, his – I’ll be charitable – scabrous and incoherent appearance on MSNBC.

And now, Saturday’s column, an apologia for the politicizing of this tragedy, and an attempt to seize “moral authority” on behalf of the likes of Coleman – fact-free politically-motivated ranters – from people who actually stayed awake in math class, went to engineering instead of J school, and actually have to deal in facts and science for a living.

The column distills everything that make Nick Coleman America’s worst working columnist into a melange of gutless lying that is almost too depressing to fisk; indeed, I’ve almost given up critiqueing Coleman, since under normal circumstances he’s become an irrelevant self-parody.

But people are dead, and this – I’m done being charitable – gutless illiterate habitual-liar political hack is trying to use this catastrophe to bully the ill-informed into accepting his deeply, abidingly stupid politics.

According to the pundits, the president’s response to the disaster at our end of the Mississippi is an effort to be seen as more compassionate than he appeared in 2005, when he just looked out the window of Air Force One after the levees broke in New Orleans.

Minnesotans will welcome the president. We need presidents to be comforters, and leaders, at times such as this…But let’s not pretend his visit isn’t all about politics, too.

Everything about this disaster — except the heroic efforts to rescue and recover the victims — has been steeped in politics. And the most calculated political effort has been the posturing and spinning by public officials trying to act commanding while making sure they don’t get pinned with responsibility for the collapse.

Alternate – and as it happens, factual – explanation:  They’re working their asses off to get ahead of the lies that people like Nick Coleman are telling about the situation; lies that are contradicted in Coleman’s own paper; lies that can only be aimed at swaying the gullible and ill-informed (i.e., Nick Coleman’s entire audience) into taking a desired action at the polls.

If you think everyone should play nice about it, you are living in Pollyanna Land. We are in a bare-knuckled political brawl in this country, and the government is in the hands of government haters who want to starve it or, in the alleged belief of presidential ally Grover Norquist, want to “drown it.”

You can’t drown government. It is people who drown.

Again, Coleman lies.  Not only does nobody this side of Ron Paul seriously discuss dismantling government, but one of the things tha so irritated wahabbi-DFLers like Coleman before this tragedy was their “myopic” focus on…roads and bridges, as opposed to boondoggles like the Ventura Trolley.

Friday, the Taxpayers League — the heart of the No New Taxes beast — called on us not to point fingers. They probably disconnected their phone and took down their sign, too.

Actually, sources tell me they were inundated with hateful calls, likely as not from people inflamed by ignorant  moral vermin like Nick Coleman.  Unlike Nick Coleman, the Taxpayers League took the phone calls, and responded.  Try calling Nick Coleman sometimes; he may sound like a stroke victim (no offense to stroke victims or, for that matter, vermin), but he can sure dish out the verbal abuse.  I have the voicemail tapes to prove it.

No New Taxes is not a slogan that works anymore.

We wouldn’t know, would we?  Remember – this bridge was first drawing red flags under the Moe Ventura Administration, when the DFL was spending the surplus like a crack whore with a stolen Gold Card.

That means don’t blame the people in charge for letting 140,000 vehicles a day — 1.7 every second –cross a bridge that wasn’t fit for traffic.

And again, Coleman is not just a gutless, cynical liar, but an illiterate, ignorant one too.  He repeats the lie that the “50” rating implied a “50-50” chance that the bridge was going to collapse, or that it wasn’t fit to be driven on.  His own paper iterated that, in fact, it was a rating; a rating that caused a response (more inspections, more scrutiny, and a focus on the year 2020, when the bridge was scheduled for major reconstruction or repair).  These were decisions made by engineers, people who deal in fact, calculation and empirical conclusions.  The opposite of Nick Coleman.

No one knew it might fall? Give us a break. What do you need? They were talking about bolting plates on it to keep it up. Maybe duct tape was next.

Nick, you lying, illiterate numbnuts:  You state this (“bolting plates”) like it’s some kind of anomaly.  That’s how you maintain bridges – indeed, any big steel-girder construction – when you have neither the option nor the need to take the whole shebang out of service.

And, in the opinion of engineers who do this for a living and for whom it is a matter of empirical science rather than ill-informed opinion, they didn’t need to take it out of service.

If they were wrong, it was not a matter of insufficient money.

The rest of Coleman’s paper doesn’t seem to have a problem getting that fact out there.

Why does Coleman?

Bottom line: It fell.

At least he got one fact right.

Is it political to be angry about that? So be it. Everything is politics. Politics is not a dirty word by itself. Politics builds bridges and schools and hospitals. And politics can make them fall down.

Catch that?

It sums up the problem with people like Nick Coleman.  “Politics” doesn’t “build” anything.  It decides how things like taxes are gathered, and how government budgets are spent.  Since we live in a “democracy”, that process is going to be bumptious and imperfect.  Perhaps Coleman would prefer a dictatorship?

But politics doesn’t build anything; engineers, ironworkers, carpenters and masons do.

And barring the odd war here and there, it doesn’t “destroy” anything either:  wear and tear does.  Time does.  “Acts of God” do.  Traffic does.  Design flaws and construction errors and undetected flaws in material do.   More often, confluences of all of the above do; the Titanic wasn’t sunk by an iceberg or a design shortcoming (un-capped watertight compartments) or faulty assumptions (that only three compartments would vent to the sea) or misplaced arrogance (doing flank speed at night in an ice field); it was the combination of all of them that doomed the ship.

Likewise, it’s every bit as likely that some combination of material flaws or deterioration combined with decades of heavy use and occasional abuse, construction practices, heat, weight of traffic, and undetected material faults caused this catastrophe as it was the nonexistant “lack of money”.

When Pawlenty vetoed the transportation bill in May, “Commissioner” Molnau was beside him, smiling. Dear, Minnesota. A transportation commissioner who grins while her department is being knifed is not a transportation commissioner.

Could we please follow this logic into the newsroom?  A “journalist” who makes s**t up as he goes along isn’t a “journalist”.

Now, a bridge has fallen and people are dead. The buck has to stop somewhere. Molnau was in China when it happened. She probably kissed the Minnesota turf when she got back. Because a Chinese transportation commissioner whose bridge collapsed might lose her head.

And a columnist who gang-rapes fact to chase a further his politics should certainly not be working in a town that values “fact”.

Jay Reding also guts Coleman like a fish.

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28 thoughts on “Too Loathsome To Loathe. But I’ll Try.

  1. I’m an “early to bed early to rise guy”, I used to watch the Channel 9 News at 9. That is, until they started have segments from Minnesota’s Angry White Male #2(sorry Nick, Garrison Keillor is #1). He is so bitter and full of bile I can’t stand him anymore. He really must be mad because Air America Radio here locally dumped him because he couldn’t be civil. It’s just a matter of time that the sinking ship we call the Star Tribune will have to throw some more dead weight overboard and Nick will be gone.

  2. “Perhaps Coleman would prefer a dictatorship? ”

    Don’t all committed Leftists?

  3. A) Most of us mainstream conservatives don’t want to dismantle gov’t, we just want its massive growth to be in line with inflation and population growth.

    B) It’s because of people like Nick Coleman that I’m doing my part to make sure layoffs continue of the Star-Tribune (I’ve boycotted that paper since they ran the cartoon attacking Vietnam veterans in the fall of 2004).

    C) Garrison Keillor. Isn’t he moving to Norway or France or something? I wish all angry bigots would move away. Of course I’m not saying NPR’s subsidy is causing bridges to collapse or anything like that.

  4. I can not remember the last time as was as angry as I was when I read Saturday’s diatribe from the hate-filled one. He didn’t even have the decency to wait until all the bodies were recovered and then, when called on his insensitivity (aren’t we conservatives supposed to be the “insensitive” ones) he had the audacity to try to defend it.

    I feel sorry for him though. With the compassion he has shown here, I highly doubt he will get any compassion should the day come when he gets his karmic due.

    LL

  5. From the comments on MDE:

    9. RamseyRep Says:
    August 3rd, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    I read on another website a fitting statement. Nick Coleman is logic’s retarded cousin

    Now if that isn’t a perfect bumper sticker slogan….

  6. This was a better comment (Mitch knows ‘The Doctor’, BTW):

    “”# The Doctor Says:
    August 4th, 2007 at 11:31 am

    As a conservative Republican and one who voted for Tim Pawlenty and overall think he has done a great job, I was very disappointed in his off hand way he dismissed the gas tax increase and lack of interest in the Transportation bill. What’s 5 cents a gallon when we get 25 cent swings a day sometimes in a gallon especially when the need to fix our roads and bridges are so great. Now we know how great that need is.

    Coleman raised valid points, I feel his anger at Tim’s lack of leadership and foresight and general attitude on the part of Republicans at that time. The sacred “no new taxes” mentality (dude you won re-election) on this contributed to self interest political decisions I am sure he and many others now regret it, not that it would have affected this tragedy.

    As for you Michael, you are political spit, and blaming Coleman or others for “politicizing” this event when in fact you are the one doing it and using terms like “hater” in the banner to sensationalize it just confirms what I hear on both sides of the aisle is that you are a political hack, running a hack rag and and as a conservative you embarrass me and make me want to distance myself from people like you.

    The Doctor””

  7. Nothing that Nick Coleman wrote even comes close to the crap out of Amy Klobuchar’s.

    “”We’ve spent $500 billion in Iraq and we have bridges falling down in this country,” Klobuchar told MSNBC. “I see a connection between messed-up priorities.””

    No, no politicizing there, eh Flash?

  8. I think T-Paw remembers the Bush 41 setup. After saying “no” for a long time, he finally agreed to compromise with the Democrats and signed their tax increase. If I recall correctly, it wasn’t as much as the Dems wanted. He met them partway.

    They then used it against him. Remember “Bush lied….he said he wasn’t going to raise taxes”. I was in college at the time and that’s all I head. This is why I hate…..yes hate…dumbf*cks like Nick Coleman. If Pawlenty would have raised the gas tax, then Coleman would have written columns calling the governer a “liar” for dropping his no new tax pledge.

    Any one disagree? I would like to hear a Democrat say that would not have happened.

  9. Master…Amy’s rant on Cities97 Friday morning was worse. The hag said it is Bush’s fault that the levee in New Orleans failed. Not paraphrasing, she said levee failed because of President Bush.

  10. Check out this pdf:
    http://www.budget.state.mn.us/budget/summary/hist_exp/070122_hist_exp.pdf
    In 1989, the last year I paid Minnesota state taxes, the state gove’t had receipts of a little over 9.1 billion. In 2007, receipts were over 26.2 billion.
    That’s an increase of 287% in 17.5 years. What’s Coleman complaining about? Almost tripling the amount of state gov’t receipts does not supply enough $ to keep Minnesota’s bridges in good repair? What the heck is the state doing with the money that it feels is more important?

  11. “What the heck is the state doing with the money that it feels is more important?”

    How much time do you have? It could be quite a list.

  12. Another link, this one showing federal governemnt receipts & expenditures:
    http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:zSp4r2YPWrgJ:a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/15feb20061000/www.gpoaccess.gov/eop/2006/B78.xls+federal+receipts+by+year&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=us
    Federal government outlays in 1989 were over 1.2 trillion. the 2007 estimated outlay is over 2.7 trillion. That’s an increase of 254%.
    Why don’t Nick ask how the government can take more and more of our money and still not fund a core responsibility?

  13. My neighbor has a new motorcycle. Although the shingles on my roof are curled and cracked, the water isn’t actually leaking into the living room today.

    Replace the roof? Hell No! I’ll check the ceiling more often (increased inspections), but I’m buying a new motorcycle.

    And a Twin’s stadium.

    And a train on University Avenue.

    Priorities, people. There’s plenty of money – it’s all about priorities.

    Nick and Amy identify the problem and they’re even willing to follow the logic to the obvious conclusion – focus spending on basics instead of frills. We just disagree on what constitute frills. I didn’t notice Nick or Amy railing against the stadium or against the train until AFTER the bridge fell down. That strikes me as opportunistic instead of principled.

    ‘Course, they are DFLers, so I’m not surprised.
    .

  14. Something else interesting about that table of federal receipts & outlays.
    Receipts were 1.853 trillion in 2002, when Bush’s tax cuts went into effect. Projected receipts for 2007, 2.416 trillion. increase in receipts==30% in 5 years. Expenditures went from 2.011 trillion to 2.770 trillion, an increase of almost 38%.

    Bad ol’ Bush, depriving the government of its desperately needed revenue!

    FYI, I should rephrase my two earlier comments:
    Minnesota government revenue did not increase 287% in 17.5 years, the 2007 number was 287% of 1989’s number, ditto the federal government’s receipts were 254% of 1989’s receipts.
    Knew those ‘increase’ numbers didn’t look quite right.

  15. Nate’s been listening to Garage Logic.

    Soucheray suks, for the record. I’ve never heard a radio host who has more disdain for his callers than the Sooch.

    I listened on Friday for a while on the way back from a trip.

    It’s amusing to hear people making the points they learned on his show as if they were their own.

    Yes Nate, I’m talking to you.

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  17. Bad news, JB. I haven’t listened to daytime talk radio since I quit working for myself and landed this day job two years ago. It was hard to give up Rush and Joe, but in the office setting, talk radio doesn’t work.

    So no, I didn’t steal Joe’s ideas to pass them off as my own. Perhaps somebody on his staff reads this blog and stole mine?

    More likely, great minds think alike, though separately. Synchronicity – it’s a beautiful thing.

    Apology accepted.
    .

  18. “but in the office setting, talk radio doesn’t work”

    Nate, they have this new invention called “headphones”.

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