Friday, September 28, 2012

The Debates: Romeny Camp Seeks to Lower Expectations

As reported elsewhere, the Romney Camp is seeking to lower expectations about the debates.

Romney campaign advisor Beth Meyers, in a meeting with reporters, asserted that we should expect President Obama to to "go out there and eat Romney's lunch."

"Look, President Obama is just a lot smarter than Governor Romney," Meyers said. "I mean, like, a lot smarter. Seriously. They're not even close."

"Plus," Meyers added, President Obama "knows, like, ten times as much about policy."

"Any time actual knowledge of public or foreign policy is at issue," she said, "President Obama has to be the clear favorite."

Expectations should also be adjusted, she asserted, given that Obama's policies "just make a helluva lot more sense than ours," making them much easier to defend in a debate. "Look, people need to realize that it's going to be a lot easier for Obama to defend, for example, his Medicare policies. I mean, our numbers don't even add up. How are we supposed to defend that?"

"This kind of stuff matters in debates," Meyers added.

Other Romney advisors and surrogates voiced similar thoughts.

Campaign Manager Matt Rhoades described the debates as "No contest."

Columnist George Will predicted "a bloodbath," suggesting that the debates will "make the battle of Agincourt look like a White House Easter-egg hunt."

Prepared comments from strategist Stuart Stevens described Romney as "totally f*cking toast."

"Realistically," Meyers argued, "The American people should be prepared for Governor Romney to flat-out embarrass himself."

"The American people should expect Governor Romney to run off stage in tears after about fifteen minutes, while the President gives a lecture on the role of Pareto efficiency in tax policy and does back flips," Meyers insisted. "Anything less than that should be regarded as a resounding victory for the Republican candidate.

 If Romney can convince even one or two people that he won "outside those lackwits at the Corner" and "the Kool Aid-guzzling sycophants on Fox and Friends," she said, it will be constitute a major victory.

"President Obama has brought the country back from the brink of economic disaster, restored our standing in the world, ended the catastrophic war in Iraq, and orchestrated the elimination of Osama bin Laden," Meyers said, adding: "Seriously. What has Romney ever done?"

Expectations and predictions about their future accomplishments, Meyers argued, should be adjusted accordingly.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Conservatives Losing Touch With Reality vs. Liberal Media Bias: A Wee Experiment

As you know, it is now a theme among some conservatives that the polls have a liberal bias (warning! TownHall link! Not an actual source of information!)--largely, apparently, because many of them are done by allegedly liberal media organizations such as the WaPo.

Of course it's rather hard to see what the incentive would be for polling organizations to lie... Not only would it mean intentionally ruining their own reputations, it's not at all clear what they could hope to accomplish. Pumping up Obama's numbers is more likely to hurt Dems than help them. But I digress...

The interesting thing is that this provides us with the opportunity to do a little experiment. With the election coming up, we'll be able to get some idea who was closer to being right, the preponderance of polls, or Rasmussen and Hew Hewitt.

Of course with [respect to just the Presidential popular vote] it's just one case. But if we take the polls state-by-state, add in Senate and House polls, and then ask, after the results are in, who was closer to being right [in more cases], we'll be able to bring [significant] experimental evidence to bear on the question.

If the consensus of non-Rasmussen polls are right, Obama wins by (on current predictions) around 2-3%, and wins by close to the predicted margins state-by-state, then this is evidence that the relevant folks on the right were wrong, the polls were not biased, and charges that they were were unwarranted. If, on the other hand, Romney wins by around 7%, and so on, this is evidence that the polls were biased.

Personally, I'm willing to not only put money on this, but willing to stick with the results of the experiment, and loudly proclaim likely media bias if the experimental results confirm Hewittesque predictions.

I wonder how many on the right are willing to make an analogous commitment?

Polarization Watch: Inter-Party Marriage

People are increasingly against it, of a certain party.

I don't think this stuff is trivial. I think we are on a trajectory to become a truly divided country. I also believe that this is largely the work of Rush Limbaugh and his progeny, Fox "News" et. al.* Limbaugh stumbled onto the fact that he could get rich, be revered, and get to feel important by spewing vicious, hate-filled non-sequiturs. That shit is like crack to a certain type of person, and the market for it grew until you get what we now have: one deranged party, and the other increasingly fed up with and derisive of the other's derangement.

When I was a lad, Republicans used to say that one of America's virtues was that our political culture was more British than French--that is, more staid, mutually respectful, fond of compromise. (This was, in part, a way of dissing Democrats, who used to have an alarming habit of taking to the streets in protest.)

Yeah, that view is gone. Now the GOP pursues a scorched-earth policy...and, what's worse, a scorched-mind policy. They are willing to adopt the propaganda tactics of Limbaugh, polluting their followers' minds, in order to achieve their political goals. And, worse, they're not just feeding them false beliefs, they're cultivating irrationality in them, making them more inclined to act irrationally, less likely to reason responsibly.

Limbaugh and his heirs have created a monster. Everybody else seems to think that this monster will not destroy the nation. I worry, in my darker moments, that it will.

*Yes, yes. It's funny that I basically say "we're too polarized--it's their fault." I've written about that point before. But, in any country in which one party has gone nuts, the non-nutty parties will be put in the position of having to say things like that. Such things are not infrequently true. To harp on that point is to act like we're high schoolers in debate class.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Contra Greenwald, The Drone Campaign Is not Terrorism


Two relevant facts:

1. I can't stand Glenn Greenwald's spittle-flecked, sanctimonious horseshit.

2. I'm worried sick about the use of armed drones.

I sometimes learn things when I read Greenwald, though I can seldom read him because of his overbearing, dogmatic, hyperbolic, sanctimonious bullshit. I do think that he often makes good points. However, his evidence is often far less strong than he thinks it is, and his points less obvious than he is convinced. It's really too bad that he's so annoying, because he does sometimes have important things to say. I can usually hold my nose and read someone obnoxious if I think I can benefit from it. Greenwald is a little too much for me, however.

Consider this, for example:
In other words, the people in the areas targeted by Obama's drone campaign are being systematically terrorized. There's just no other word for it. It is a campaign of terror - highly effective terror - regardless of what noble progressive sentiments one wishes to believe reside in the heart of the leader ordering it. And that's precisely why the report, to its great credit, uses that term to describe the Obama policy: the drone campaign "terrorizes men, women, and children".

Which is not to say that this is not bad--and perhaps even terrible--policy.

But it isn't a "campaign of terror."

And to say that it is is hogwash. To call it a campaign of terror--which is tantamount to calling it terrorism--is to say that the goal is to terrorize the civilian population. Anyone who believes that this is the goal is a fool or a loon. The goal of this campaign is to take out terrorists, not to terrorize civilians. One might argue that the two things are equally morally bad--and I'd be willing to listen to that argument. But they are not the same action, and are prima facie in different moral categories.

Oh, and don't miss: "...the people in the areas targeted by Obama's drone campaign are being systematically terrorized. There's just no other word for it." [my emphasis] Well, actually there are lots of other words for it. In fact, 'terrified' seems to be much more accurate. They are being terrified. And, unfortunately, we are terrifying them. That in itself is awful enough.They are terrified--and who wouldn't be? But to say that they are being terrorized is to strongly suggest that that's what we've set out to accomplish, and it isn't. Does any sane person seriously believe that we want to have this affect on civilians? Can anyone doubt that Obama would snap his fingers and make the terrorists, and only the terrorists, evaporate, leaving innocents unharmed, were this in his power?

I do think that it's important to take a broader view here. We are in something resembling a war. When that happens, innocent people are going to be killed--and terrified, and sometimes even terrorized. Given that never engaging in military action is simply not an option, the question that faces us is not "does this form of military action harm the innocent?", but, rather, "Does this form of military action harm the innocent less than the relevant alternatives?"

Greenwald is filled with anti-Obama vitriol. One can speculate about the sources of that, but I'll pass. Of course, if we're able, the thing to do is to try to focus on the specifics of the various arguments without regard to the personalities involved. I do not agree with everything Obama has done, and I am particularly concerned about the drone war. But it is rather hard to be dispassionate about the disagreement when there' spittle all over everything...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Poll-arization: Induction Has a Liberal Bias

A general principles:

Any reason to believe a proposition that conservatives do not like is a product of liberal bias.

Behold: polling modified so as to make Republicans happy.

You really, really couldn't make this stuff up.

(via Sully)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stupid Academic Tricks: Beer As A Person


(Via Sullivan)


No, "we" (Americans anyway) do not speak of someone we met on the airplane half an hour ago as a friend. (On rare occasions, someone might say something like "my friend here...", using the phrase ironically. Presumably that's not what they mean.)

No, no one--ever--speaks (much less thinks) of beer as a person. We talk a lot about beer...but we never think of nor talk about it as a person.

It's truly baffling the bullshit that pours out of academia sometimes. It's really super-baffling that linguists studying English would be so bad at English. But, then, they're not really studying English, are they? They're making up quasi-literary speculation about culture, which is what about 75% of the people in the humanities and social sciences are doing these days.

Egad, stuff like this really does need to be laughed out of the academy.

Quoting the story summarizing the "research":

...Dr. Lantolf notes that “friend” has become a very loose term in English; we call someone we met on an airplane half an hour ago a friend. “We speculate,” he writes with Bobrova, “that these commercials, most likely unintentionally, display an aspect of the American concept of friendship as superficial and transitory.” To illustrate, they give the example of a Budweiser commercial currently up on Youtube under the name “Magic Beer.” A young man sits alone at a bar, opening a bottle. He pours it into his glass, but, miraculously, once the glass is full, beer continues to spill forth. Quickly, he pours some of the excess beer into the glasses of the men next to him. In the next shot, the bar is packed with carousers dancing to a live Scottish band as beer continues to gush from the magic bottle. The erstwhile lonely young man dances between his new friends, a beatific look on his face. Then he drops the bottle. It smashes on the floor, and the flow of beer trickles to nothing amid ghastly silence. The outraged people around him glare daggers. Those closest to him turn and walk away.
It seems that not only do Americans see beer as a person, they see beer as a person other people like better than them. In this scenario, beer is the cool friend you bring to the party who makes you popular by association. As soon as your cool friend leaves, no one wants to hang out with you anymore.
Uh, no. See...and I haven't even seen the commercial...the beer is not being represented as a friend. The beer is being represented as a resource. People quit hanging out with the dude in the commercial because he has no more free beer. They leave because he's no longer giving them beer. They do not leave with the beer and go somewhere else. They do not, say, go have a beer with the beer. If people hang around you because you are giving them money, and then you are no longer rich enough to give them money, so they leave...this does not mean they think of money as a friend. It is rather, because they like free money, and don't particularly like you, except as a vehicle to free money. Liking something and viewing it as a friend are not the same thing. I like sunshine, but I don't think of it as a friend. I like Barack Obama, but do not view him as a friend--I've not even met him. I like the internet, but it is not and cannot be a friend of mine.

My God this is idiotic stuff.

You really can pretty much say anything and get published in some disciplines.

Undecided Voters Have Questions

What? Is SNL funny again? When did that happen?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Is Sarah Palin the Biggest Idiot/Most Shameless Self-Promoter in the Country?

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Derangement of American Conservatism: Selective Evidence: Recent Polls Edition

As C.S. Peirce liked to note, it's harder to be dogmatic by brute force, and easier to do it with the assistance of carefully-selected evidence.

Here's Electionate with all the recent and relevant poll results at a glance.

As you can see, there is overwhelming consensus that Obama is ahead.

And here's Dan Spencer at RedState, picking out the poll that makes him feel good, the recent Gallup, the one Nate Cohn describes as "so far out of line with the rest" that he doesn't even know what to say about it.

Here's the thing, conservatives: you have to look at the preponderance of good evidence. We can predict with great certainty that, with respect to any complicated question, there will be at least some evidence that points toward the wrong conclusion. Rational inquirers are prepared for that, and, hence, know not to make too much of it. It would be permissible to say something like "the recent Gallup results give Republicans hope," or whatever. But if you think it proves that Obama is not ahead, you're just being ridiculous. Heck, who knows, the consensus of polls could shift tomorrow, and the race is likely to tighten. But right now, you can't pretend Obama isn't the favorite.

And, of course, this is the way conservatives have been treating evidence about global warming, evolution, the stimulus, Obamacare, etc.

Look, American conservatives. Do humanity a favor. Just fess up and admit that you aren't using the evidence. Admit you are allowing your desires to determine your beliefs. That does way less harm than fanning the flames of irrationality by helping establish a culture of evidence-distortion. Straight up arationality is better than an insidious irrationality that encourages people to use reason in the service of unreason.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Romney in "Brownface"?

People are talking...

No way, dude. The guy's bad in a bunch of ways, but I can't believe anyone would do something like that. Wouldn't his make-up be done by people on the show, anyway? I mean, he wouldn't bring along his own make-up crew or anything, would he? Hell, maybe he would. I don't know how these things work.

Anyway, even if this were true--which it isn't--it would be so crazy that mentioning it would backfire against the Dems. There are more substantive issues to criticize Romney on than we'll ever be able to get to in 47 days. Let's leave this thing alone.

Michelle Malkin Is About to Start Throwing Cats

Her grip on sanity has never been too firm, but MM sounds like she is just about to lose it.

When Nooners isn't true-believery enough for you, you're way past tinfoil chapeau territory...

Pawlenty Abandons Ship

Ho-lee crap.

Um...this is big, right?

I mean...I don't really know about such things, but to the untutored ear it sounds like Pawlenty is bailing out before what he thinks will be a fiery wreck.

PEC: Odds of Dems Retaking the House: 74%

Hard to believe...but awesome if true.

Can We Help American Conservatism Regain Its Sanity?

I think about this question quite a bit...but I fear that the answer is 'no'--not because there is nothing that can be done to redeem conservatism, but, rather, because there is nothing we can do to help.

On the other hand, I often wonder whether we might help by throttling back on our ridicule. It seems to me that there is little that fans the flames of anger more than ridicule. However...they are doing and saying an astonishing number of ridiculous things; and ridicule is the appropriate response. Also, humor can skewer irrationality in a way that even careful, sustained argument sometimes can't. When they're constantly sending us slow pitches down the middle, it's really hard not to hit them out of the park. But perhaps the value of kindness in this case outweighs the value of humor. Maybe--just maybe--if we toned down our ridicule, their hackles would settle down at least somewhat.

OTOH, it seems fairly clear that it's conservative anger, irrationality and dogmatism that got all this going; ridicule is more an effect than a cause of their problems. OTOOH, even if that's true, it might be worth throttling back on the ridicule somewhat. OTOOOH...maybe it wouldn't.

I suppose I'm with those who think that sustained electoral victories offer us our best shot at helping the right de-derange itself. However, defeat itself fans the flames of irrationality. And Rush Limbaugh et. al are like irrationality machines, pumping pure, uncut crazy into the minds of many on the right. So long as e.g. Fox "News" is beaming lunacy at a huge percentage of conservatives every day, it's going to be really hard to help them get their cognitive feet back under them.

Still, I can't help thinking there should be something we can do.

I consider the derangement of the right to be the biggest challenge that faces us as a nation, and I think we should spend more time thinking about how we might at least mitigate the problem.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Borderlands 2 First Impressions

1. The intro is, IMHO, even better than the intro to BL1. One of the great things about BL1 was the great music, including "Ain't No Rest For the Wicked," the opening song, which is really exceptional for a video game. I never thought they'd be able to match it, but I'd say BL2 has topped it--a completely different genre, but even better than the first one. And the opening vignette is, again IMHO, also better.

2. The new characters look great at first glance, Zero and Axton look especially awesome to me, but the other two, Maya and Salvadore also look pretty sweet. I reckon I'll be playing Zero in our little group, but Axton is still a real possibility.

3. The game looks just fantastic.

4. The engine is smooth and a pleasure to play.

5. BUT CO-OP MODE IS UNPLAYABLE. Jebus, Gearbox, you are awesome, but people play Borderlands primarily for the co-op...and friends can't join up in BL2. This is a major glitch. We finally got Statisticasaurus Rex into my game, but my brother never could get in. And everybody everywhere seems to be having the same problem with private co-op. C'mon, guys. I know this stuff is hard, but this problem should have been fixed before release. Not even any acknowledgement of the problem yet from Gearbox. I am disappoint, Gearbox. I am very, very disappoint.

Kaine Over Allen 51-43

Thank you, gods of polling.

For those of you not of the OD, Allen is dumb as a sack of hammers, and apparently not a particularly nice guy, neither.

Come on, blue team. The country needs a big win.

Why You Should Not Be a Conservative: Apologizing for America (1)

It is very common for conservatives to believe the following:

(1) If you ever admit that the United States has ever acted in a less-than-exemplary manner, then you are apologizing for America.

So...were you to admit that slavery was bad--or even that it fell to some extent shy of perfection--then you, my friend, are a sniveling turncoat. You are an apologizer.

If you think that women should have been allowed to vote earlier than they were, or that we treated American Indians less well than we should have, or that we have ever made an error of any are an apologizer.

Now, to admit error is not to apologize. So they're just wrong about (1).

But let's give them their best case. It is not apologies, after all, that they really care about:

It's admissions of error that they care about.

They complain about "apologies" because--on the supposition that you've done nothing wrong--apologizing is worse than admitting error. Apologizing, after all, requires both admitting error and apologizing for it. So they take rhetorical liberties and wail about apologies, but even admissions of error are verboten on their view.

The problem here is exacerbated because they also hold that:

(2) One should never apologize for anything the United States has ever done.

(1), combined with (2), basically entail:

(3) You should never admit that the United States has ever acted less than perfectly.

Now, this is insane, as it means that you should never admit what is a plain fact, that every sane person knows to be true--to wit, that the United States has not always acted perfectly.

We might also point out, ad hominem, that it's a damn weird thing for a bunch of people who hate the U.S. government to believe. The political faction that spends the most time criticizing the U.S. also demands that it never be criticized.

The delusion of American perfection is one of the things that drove me away from the Republican party early in my political life. And it has gotten something like an order of magnitude worse since then.

Is there anything more irrational, revolting and just plain stupid than a person or a group that refuses to admit error? This loathsome tendency alone is enough to make American conservatism a non-option for rational people.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Romney Talks Tough

Oh...and I see that it did not, in fact take long before Republicans-in fact R-money himself-trotted out the old NoOneWouldHaveDaredAttackUsIfARepublicanHadBeenInOffice bullshit.

These people are dangerously delusional. This nonsense is so utterly daft, so radically divorced from reality, that it neither requires nor deserves refutation. In short: uh, no. You people are not particularly tough, and the bad guys do not fear you. 9/11 happened on your watch. And then you not only let its perpetrators get away, you said that you weren't interested in finding them...AND attacked an enemy of the guys that attacked us, using 9/11 as a pretext, and doing more harm to us than the original attacks did.

In short, you people are dangerous idiots, and if anything, our enemies probably rejoice when you are in office, since there is good evidence that your stupidity, dogmatism, hubris, and irrationality typically inflict more harm on us than anything anyone else can do to us.

And who do you think OBL copycats would rather have in office...someone Bush-like?  Or Obama?

The delusion that Republicans are tough and intimidating is just another part of the frighteningly delusional world-view of conservatives. 

I don't know how to break it to you guys, but the only people you scare are rational Americans and our rational allies...

Yo From Reykjavik

It's cool. No chance to see any crazy Iceland stuff yet, but built in a day after the conference.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Double-Standard Watch: Romney Attacks Obama After Embassy Attacks


If a Republican is in office, and the U.S. is attacked, then we are to rally 'round the President;
If a Democrat is in office, and the U.S. is attacked, then we are to attack the's probably his fault.

I'm surprised and impressed that few Republicans are backing Romney up on this. Currently, it seems to be only the looniest of the loons--Palin and Gingrich, notably. But I'm not willing to call it yet.

Anybody want to make any best about what's being said over at, oh, say RedState right about now? Me, I don't have the heart to look.

How Long Before the Right Blames Obama For Embassy Attacks?

Actually, I'm thinking of a certain class type of conservative attack template, specifically:

X would have not dared to do Y to the U.S. if [Democratic President] had not been in office.

Liberals don't employ such crap against conservatives, but conservatives seem to deploy this type of attack no matter what happens, and no matter who the Democratic President is--even if he's, say the one who got OBL when the tough-talkin', carrier-landin' Texan, Dubya, failed.

So I expect a wave of "our embassy was only attacked because Obama was a wimp" posts to go up in the fever swamps.

Mark it down...

Dick Cheney, World's Biggest Asshole

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't Give Up Your Day Job: Paul Ryan Edition

Bush Administration DID Ignore Warnings About Attacks Before 9/11

Link (NYT)

My God these people were incompetent and dishonest. Turns out that the PDB "bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside U.S." was not the relevant PDB, and that seems to have been waved around as a decoy specifically because of its general and historical nature. The point was to show that it merely said that bin Laden wanted to attack the U.S. at some point--but that it didn't clearly concern an impending attack.

However, that PDB followed several others in which the CIA basically begged the administration to take seriously threats of an impending attack. When those warnings were ignored, "bin Laden Determined..." was produced to give some background. Layers upon layers of dishonesty...

It turns out that the Bush administration was warned, and they did ignore those credible warnings.

If this had been a Democratic administration, they would have been impeached if not imprisoned, and the Democratic party would have been devastated for years to come. The GOP, however, turned it all into a short-term political victory, covered its tracks long enough to escape any meaningful criticism, and continues to sell itself as the tougher of the two parties, more competent on national security issues.

My God. The devastation the election of 2000 wrought upon the nation...  It's almost unfathomable.

Monday, September 10, 2012

15% of Ohio Republicans Think Romney More Responsible for bin Laden's Death Than Obama

...and 47% aren't sure who's more responsible...

Yet more evidence that the GOP has become deranged. Their leaders need to stop fanning the flames of irrationality in them. This level of wingnuttery is a danger to the nation.

Friday, September 07, 2012

America the Torturous

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Checking In On K-Lo's House of Crazy

They're getting desperate down on Crazy Corner.

I'm not even linking to any particular post...crazy permates it, and the stink of desperation is not making it any less nauseating over there...

Lessee, there's a piece about the outrage of Obama's unprincipled bowing...TWO pieces on Sandra Fluke, one on what an outrage it is that she is (internet) famous, and other complaining about Obama's unprincipled criteria for calling American citizens...there's Ponnuru trying to argue that Clinton's speach was NBD...

Needs more Nooners/magic dolphins, though, by my lights...

Oh man. You don't want to be anywhere near the Big House O' Crazy on November 7th...I'm kinda afraid they're gonna go all Heaven's Gate over there...

The Big Dog Slaps 'Em Down


I'd almost forgotten--almost--how amazing Bill Clinton is when he is on. The GOP simply has nobody who can even think of competing with him. The ability to make a detailed (by the standard of such speeches, anyway) policy discussion sound like a really engaging chat...well, that is a rare gift indeed.

And it all had the added virtue of being true...

The convention contest thus far is a bloody route. The listless, aimless, vague, cheesy, phony, mendacious, rather embarrassing RNC, versus the vibrant, disciplined, energetic, engaging, detailed DNC. If this were a fight, Clinton would have just TKO'd the opposition. If Obama can turn in a 'B'-level speech tonight, the Dems will come out the clear and overwhelming winners of the convention contest.

Er, when did the Dems become the competent and organized party, anyway? Anybody know?

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

NR Cruise: Hell Is the Absence of Reason

Looking for something to do this November?

How about the cruise from hell...?

This shit is going to be basically the Bermuda Triangle of reason...where valid arguments vanish without a trace, never to be heard from again...

RedState Freaks Out

If you want to know how desperate conservatives are getting, witness this tantrum by Erik Erickson.

I don't know which is more gratifying, watching him characterize a homey video about government helping people as a Soviet propaganda film, or hearing his desperate cries that the Dems have "removed God" from their platform.

They're losing and they know it. They've freely allowed themselves to become crazier and crazier, and now they are going to freak the f*ck out when they lose.

I wish things were different...but they certainly have earned their agony.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Obama Victory Will Not Break GOP Fever

Unfortunate, if true...

Though of course they'd say this...

However, repeated drubbings will eventually force them to change. All we can do is take it one election at a time, and try to whip them every time until they have no choice but to move back toward the center.

My favorite bit in the link is the suggestion that GOP intransigence constitutes a reason to vote for Romney: with a GOP president, at least something will get done, whereas, with a Democratic President, the Republicans will block everything... And I thought that, by this point, nothing could make me less sympathetic to the GOP...

Monday, September 03, 2012

WaPo Enables GOP "You Didn't Build That" Lies


The headline on the the front page this morning is:

Will Obama Face Anti-Business Charges at DNC?

Uh...ok...this sounds as if they're suggesting that there is some chance that Obama's own party might get in on the "you didn't build it" act. WTF? Really?

No. Not really.

Click on the link, and you get a slightly less sensationalist headline:

Obama facing mounting questions over ‘you didn’t build that’ remark.

Huh. So...not necessarily Democrats, then...but...what? Some kind of general pressure is mounting? The attacks are working, then?


In the first 'graph, we read that Obama is really:

"...facing mounting questions about how he will respond to charges that he is hostile to free enterprise." [my emphasis]

Wow. This is pretty weak. What's really going on is that Democrats are (allegedly) wondering how he will respond to attacks they already recognize to be false and scurrilous--that is, they're wondering about a kind of tactical or rhetorical question. The headlines, however, make it sound as if Democrats are buying the criticisms and wondering whether Obama has anything to say for himself.

Not cool, WaPo. Not. Cool...

Sunday, September 02, 2012

WaPo: Obama Did Not Change Washington

Worth a read.

I suppose I'm still inclined to think that the GOP attacks on him for this basically come down to:

Obama said he'd change the tone in Washington...but we refused to be even minimally reasonable. So that counts as a lie, right?

Nooners's Imaginary World; RNC 2012 Edition


Is Nooners hitting the communion wine a little too hard again?

Would it be irresponsible to speculate?

I think you know the answer to that question...

First, at the other end of the link, there's some BS hearsay from some politician or other who guesses that 10-15% of voters have not yet made up their minds. This prompts Nooners to call the race "wide open"...

As you know, Nooners's wishes and mystical flights of fancy are better than, y'know, data...which, in this case, tell a very different story...

But my favorite bit is this:

Telling us that Romney must use humor...which is roughly similar to telling him that he should use his feminine wiles...or a magic wand...or his psychic powers...or some similarly non-existent means...Nooners adduces three reasons, the final of which is:
...President Obama can't stand to be made fun of. His pride won't allow it, his amour propre [sic] cannot countenance a joke at his own expense. If Mr. Romney lands a few very funny lines about the president's leadership, Mr. Obama will freak out. That would be fun, wouldn't it?
Yet again, conservatives attack imaginary Obama...a pure figment of their imaginations. Nothing Obama has ever done suggests anything like this. In fact, his recent response to ridicule strongly indicates just the opposite...

Nooners, I'd guess, is projecting... Imagine the vainglorious, grandiloquent, unctuous Peggy coming face-to-face with the ridicule she so richly deserves...would her amour-propre endure it? One (as she might put it) thinks not... One thinks she might freak out. That would be fun, wouldn', wait...who would even be able to tell...?

Obama Did Not Promise to Slow the Rise of the Oceans


Romney, as usual, is lying.

Obama did not "pledge" nor "promise" to slow the rise of the oceans.

Rather, he exhorted us to be the people who will be looked back upon by future generations as those who began to slow the rise of he oceans.

There is no similarity between "let's be the people who stop the rise of the oceans" and "I promise to stop the rise of the oceans."

Again, old man yells at imaginary Obama...


Here's a 'graph from the HuffPo that seems to be more precise about his quote:

Back in 2008, Obama remarked in his nomination acceptance speech that if willing to work for it, "We will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment ... when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

Whatever this is, this is no promise.

It's cool that everybody is calling R-Money a douche for ridiculing global warming...but it's also important to note that he is, again, simply lying about what Obama said.]

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Benen: Romney: 533 Lies in 30 Weeks

GOP's Ohio Voter Suppression Effort Thwarted by Court

Good guys win this round.