Saturday, October 6, 2012

Something a little different,

Emmylou Harris receives the ACM Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award. Rodney Crowell and Buddy Miller lead tributes.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Gish Gallop

I didn't know Willard's debate technique had a name. I thought it was just a mishmash of talking points, lies, and flip-flops artfully applied. Kos. Links at site.

As fact checkers busily highlight the myriad number of lies and distortions offered by Mitt-Etch-A-Sketch-Romney during last night's debate, and the spinners spin their polls with impunity, I find it interesting that the debate tactic itself has not yet been discussed nor properly analyzed. In fact, the lies and distortions offered by Romney in last night's debate are the very ESSENCE of his tactic -- and is therefore quite pertinent to the discussion. Romney used a debate tactic known as the Gish Gallop.

The Urban Dictionary defines the Gish Gallop thusly:

Named for the debate tactic created by creationist shill Duane Gish, a Gish Gallop involves spewing so much bullshit in such a short span on that your opponent can’t address let alone counter all of it. To make matters worse a Gish Gallop will often have one or more 'talking points' that has a tiny core of truth to it, making the person rebutting it spend even more time debunking it in order to explain that, yes, it's not totally false but the Galloper is distorting/misusing/misstating the actual situation. A true Gish Gallop generally has two traits.

1) The factual and logical content of the Gish Gallop is pure bullshit and anybody knowledgeable and informed on the subject would recognize it as such almost instantly. That is, the Gish Gallop is designed to appeal to and deceive precisely those sorts of people who are most in need of honest factual education.

2) The points are all ones that the Galloper either knows, or damn well should know, are totally bullshit. With the slimier users of the Gish Gallop, like Gish himself, its a near certainty that the points are chosen not just because the Galloper knows that they're bullshit, but because the Galloper is deliberately trying to shovel as much bullshit into as small a space as possible in order to overwhelm his opponent with sheer volume and bamboozle any audience members with a facade of scholarly acumen and factual knowledge.
On a happier note, please allow me to share this joke floating around the internet today:

Snow White, Superman and Pinocchio are walking along.
They see a sign: "Contest for World's Most Beautiful Woman." Snow White goes in, later comes out smiling, wearing a crown.

They walk along and see another sign: "Contest for World's Strongest Man." Superman goes in, later comes out smiling, wearing the belt.

They walk along and see a sign: "Contest for World's Greatest Liar." Pinocchio goes in, later comes out with his head down crying.

"Who the hell is Mitt Romney?" Pinocchio sobs.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The "Christian Crank" Poll

I saw this at my local 7-11 but I don't buy coffee out except at breakfast, but millions more people do than take conventional polls.

From Slate.

The most unscientific poll this election season might also be one of the most accurate.

Not very scientific maybe, but after last night's debate I needed a pick-me-up.

How Repugs Roll

Raw Story

Mexican cafe gets death threats after refusing Romney visit
The Mormon owners of a Mexican cafe in Denver says that they have gotten death threats, hate calls and fake orders after refusing to allow Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to make campaign stop at their restaurant.

“One person who called said, ‘Watch your back. We know where live and we’re going after you,’” Oscar Aguirre, the son of the owners of Rosa Linda Mexican Cafe, told KMGH New Media Producer Wayne Harrison. “We just didn’t want our business used as a campaign stop.”
Assholes, as if there was any doubt.

The Debate

Via Seniors for a Democratic Society.

The Rude Pundit

1. If Republican Mitt Romney had an actual plan that he could describe without lying about it, last night would have been a game-changer. Since he doesn't, well, he put on a good show.
Shorter: Willard "won" the night by delivering his Repug talking points, lies, and flip-flops beautifully. Obama was a lump. He was good on facts but short on killer instinct. I wonder what his Stealth Ninja Jedi strategy really was. Probly to let Willard roll and see how much of his bullshit comes back and bites him on the ass. Maybe it'll work longer term, but in the frenetic 24-hour news cycle centered on last night he clearly lost by not being exciting enough, purely on optics.

So say the gasbags and pundits who opine on that shit. I thought he did fine, but then I go for substance over style. That's not the TV way. If it was, Kim Kardashian wouldn't be a celebrity. I guess if you're a big enough ass, you win.


Romney Goes On Offense, Pays For It In First Wave Of Fact Checks
That would be good news if facts mattered over perception.

Update il due:

Thanks to YubaNet.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Humor As Prescience

Via The Christian Left. Watch it!

MADtv Predicted the Rise of the Tea Party in 2006 in this Eerily Accurate Skit!

Quote of the Day

Mrs. G was watching House Hunters International and got this jewel, roughly translated from Dutch:

"Just be yourself. That's weird enough for us."


Headline of the Day

And a post you might enjoy. His music speaks for me better than I can a lot of the time.

Bring on Your Wrecking Ball: The Politics of Bruce Springsteen

Right-wing racial panic

Joan Walsh, a smart and HOT liberal babe I adore on the desperate attempt by the wingnuts to flog an old video of an Obama speech as something ... Other. A totally fizzled bombshell.

I’m promoting a book that says we need to give most white people the benefit of the doubt: Most of us aren’t in revolt against multiracial America, or the president who heralded its arrival before many were ready.

But sadly, some white people are just that crazy, and Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson are their Pied Pipers, leading them off a cliff.
I'll help! Lemme scramble down there and sharpen those rocks for them!

Mainly, their complaint came down to: How dare a black president (or at the time, presidential candidate) talk to a black audience about black poverty and suffering! And the legacy of slavery, and the endurance of racism! Has he no shame?
Yeah, the damn Kenyan Muslim commie!

It pains me to pay attention to Carlson and Hannity. They’re hucksters and I mostly ignore them. And Matt Drudge too, who hyped the video much of Tuesday evening. They’re all trolls. But they’re singing from a GOP hymnal that we’ll hear more from before Nov. 6. It’s getting uglier, but it’s also getting dumber. They’re losing, and they know it.
Fuckin' A they do, and not just the election. They know why too, but they'll never admit that they're just plain wrong about everything. The ideology that white people rule is too ingrained. Or inbred.

The demographics of the country are changing, of that there is no doubt. Very brave, and ofttimes desperate but hopeful, folks have uprooted themselves and come to the United States for centuries. This is the best place in the world for people to have a good shot at starting over and getting ahead and making a better life for themselves and a better future for their children.

The trouble as the ideologues see it is that they're not as white as they used to be and there are getting to be enough of them that they're starting to gain a little political power and upset the traditional - and arrogantly egotistical and mistaken - God-given Eurocentricity of the society.

This ain't Tiananmen Square and that tank is going to roll right over them.

Love in the time of bitumen

If it's Wednesday it must be Morford expounding on the Alberta tar sands, politics, and what's going on in techtopia, all to a yoga backdrop. The kid's been busy.

I have fabulous news: Few things will bitch-slap your long-term, life-is-wonderful, all-is-as-it-should-be spirit better than reading all about the immeasurable horrors, complicated politics and dazzling ethical apologetics that make up the infamous, almost unbelievable big-oil mega-spectacle known as the Alberta tar sands. I know! Exciting!

Stay with me for a second. Surely you know of the tar sands? Those massive, land-raping, multi billion-dollar oil developments now decimating vast swaths of Canada? The brutal gouge-and-extraction processes by which sticky, black-death bitumen is blasted and pounded and ripped from the Earth like Satan tearing into a steaming burrito of pain, massive underground strata of black rock which are then hauled by trucks five stories high to massive, jaw-dropping facilities that belch enough poisons into the sky to black out the sun?

Such as: an item about just what a Mitt Romney-shaped Supreme Court might look like (three words: worse than Bush). Or that little piece about how violently Romney’s energy policy differs from Obama’s, particularly in how Romney fellates the oil companies, hates the environmental movement and will give your kids cancer from all the rollbacks, gutted protections and worship of projects exactly like the tar sands.

Would a Mitt Romney presidency ruin American? Of course not. Would he make it much nastier, bleaker, far less conducive to the healthy progress of the species? You know the answer.
Yes, you do.

What Obama Should Say, 2012 (Rude Version)

El Rude-o on what Obama oughta say in the debate tonight and of course has better sense but I like it.

"I want to say this to you, Jim and to all Americans: Mitt Romney is the biggest pussy in the world. He is a pussy of such incredible proportions that it'd take a dildo the size of the Hancock Tower to fuck him. Look at what this craven, greedy motherfucker says about health care: he's proud of it, but other it's mighty fine if other states just let people die or go to emergency rooms because otherwise we may as well all be fucking our own asses with Karl Marx's femur. What about that is in any way presidential? You can't even say, 'Hey, I've got this great idea to get people health insurance.' Fuck, that's gotta sting. I don't know shit about Mormons, but the number of lies you've had to tell to get this far in your crazy-ass party has gotta be gettin' your soul all prepped for some fiery doom, man. Or maybe you just give more cash to get out of it.

"Governor, you won the primaries for two reasons: Because you have more money than the rest of your opponents combined and because you are the bottom bitch of the GOP. And you are damn happy being the bottom bitch. I can hear you saying, 'What's that? Sheldon Adelson wants to jizz on my face and call it kosher? Sure, Shel, and I'll call your ass "The Wailing Wall" and press my face against it and pray. What's that? A crazed evangelical is angry that I gave a job to a gay guy? Then I'll fire that gay dude and call Bryan Fischer "Sir" while he paddles my balls with his bible.' Goddamn, you mustn't be hungry after all the right-wing chowder you've gobbled.
Much more!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Republicans: Getting the Most Bat-Shit Bang For Their Buck

Another quick read from The Political Garbage Chute.

The polls aren’t biased, clearly. It’s not like everyone in the media got together last year and decided this would be the year they started tabulating all the swing states for Obama. The truth is that Romney-Ryan is selling a load of bullshit, and a lot of Americans just simply aren’t buying it. The Republican argument is pretty simple. Let’s go back to handing all the money to the rich people and then it’ll magically float down from heaven upon the serfs. But here’s the thing: it didn’t fucking work. What they’re hoping is that country as battered wife syndrome; that we know how bad for us the GOP is, but we can’t quit them.

We are quitting them; the polls show it…and they’re scared.
'Bout fuckin' time they get scared. Your turn, wingnuts. How does it feel? Like I give a shit. Run, you bastards, run.

Headline of the Day

Michele Bachmann's Chicago Synagogue Visit Drives Attendees To Leave, Donate To Her Opponent
Bwaoyoyoyoy! What'd she do, blow the shofar? Old joke. Sorry 'bout that, chief.

Quote of the Day

From a post on the upcoming Presidential debate at The Political Garbage Chute:

It’s about to get really fun, but then again any time Mitt Romney opens his mouth, comedy ensues.
Only when whatever he says - and he'll stand behind it, waaaay behind it - has no chance whatsoever of coming to pass, which is always.

Colossal Earth-Shaking East-West Blogger Meet-up!

l-r: me and him

Fixer and I have been friends with deuddersun for years through our blogs and now on Facebook. His real name is Chris (no last names, man). He was Out West Here to rescue his lovely daughter Melissa from a notorious cult - UCBerkeley - and when we figured out he was bookin' it back to Philly on I-80 and would pass a mile from my house, even us two dumb ol' Jarheads realized it was an opportunity we better not pass up.

As luck would have it, they booked a room for the night about three blocks from my house, so we basically never got off the block. They were driving a Penske truck and towing a trailer (think climbing the Sierra Nevada at 38MPH. Yawn.) so we went and picked them up and Chris took us to dinner at our local Young Gentlemen's Drinking & Fighting Establishment. It was a nice quiet evening there except for football on about 20 TVs, so the brass knuckles stayed in our pockets.

Side note: Usually our pups ride in the back seat of our Tacoma, and figuring that Chris and Melissa wouldn't want to curl up like they do, I reconfigured the dilithium crystals to accommodate human beings. It was a special occasion so I even Febrezed!

Chris is one fast-talkin' city slicker and charmed our waitress into taking these pictures. Offering to up her tip from the usual 50¢ didn't hurt. She was a jewel of a young lady.

l-r: Chris, Melissa, Mrs. G, moi

After dinner (Philly cheesesteaks in honor of Chris's hometown) we went over to my house and visited for a while and, both of us being motorcyclists, toured the World's Most Exclusive Motorcycle Museum (my garage).

I drove our honored guests back to their digs and we visited there for a while and I was administered a special glaucoma treatment.

The hour was getting late and they had a lot of miles to cover the next day so the time came to part. Chris walked me outside and we smoked 'n joked for a bit and we parted ways. I went over to where I had parked the truck and ... no truck. I figured out pretty quick, considering the glaucoma treatment, that Chris had walked me out the door on the other end of the joint from the one we went in by. Tried to fool Pierre! Gotta watch out for these big city guys! Heh.

We had a great time. These kind of opportunities don't come along very often and I think we're both glad we took advantage of it. I felt like I was seeing an old friend I hadn't met before. I look forward to the next time.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oh, the irony...

My other posts were just killing time 'til these guys showed up at work. Ironic Times.

Worldwide Bacon Shortage Reported
Also, glut of unsold lettuce, tomatoes.
Apple CEO Tim Cook Apologizes For New iPhone Mapping App
After driving his Tesla into Lake Tahoe.
I hope they make him pay for draining the lake (enough water to cover California a foot deep) and cleaning the new car smell out of the water. Heh.

SAT Reading Scores Hit 4-Decade Low
Frtnly thy cn rd txt.
After the grid goes down, texting shorthand will help save on pencil lead.

Many more.

Headline of the Day

Obama the cage fighter and Romney the delicate puncher
¿Quien sabe? One-two punch or tear his throat out? Depends on who brung what and who gets in the best shot. My money's on the one who looks the best in Speedos.

Memo to Ann Romney: You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

Crooks and Liars knocks it outta the park:

Asked what her primary worry would be should her husband succeed in defeating President Obama on Nov. 6, Mrs. Romney replied, "You know, I think my biggest concern, obviously, would just be for his mental well-being."
While it's true that your husband, if elected, would be unlikely to suffer the barrage of underhanded slams at his race, or at his place of birth, life will not be a cakewalk for you, because governing this country isn't all about the economy, nor will you two reign as king and queen.

It's about 3 AM phone calls, and a Congress that can't seem to get anything done. It's about a Tea Party group funded by billionaires who will constantly put Mitt under pressure to produce his digits for appropriate bill-signings, show up at state dinners, and do little else.

It's about bankers and a crappy mortgage/housing recovery which your policies won't help at all. Wait till the bankers tell you it's not acceptable to simply let the housing market "bottom out."

Just you wait until your husband tries to reach across the aisle to get something done. He'll find a few Democrats ready to listen, but that's not who he has to worry about. The tea party groups will call for his head on a platter. That means he'll never be able to reach across the aisle without risking insane people in the Senate blocking bills, and if he moves too far right, he'll have those of us on the left pushing back and you know what, Ann? We'll win those battles.

So honey, if you're worried about his mental health now, just you wait. Better yet, just go ahead and take a seat over there and watch President Obama win the election. I'm certain Michelle Obama has no such concerns for Barack's mental health since he seems to take it all in stride quite well. Maybe it was those kids throwing stones at him in Indonesia, or maybe he's got a heart.

I'll stick with the guy who's proven himself. Don't you worry your pretty little head about Mitt. I'm sure you both will have a lovely retirement together, starting November 7, 2012.
Fuckin' A ... men.

Netanyahu blinked

This Can't Be Happening

Israel is not Calling the Shots in this US Election
Ol' Bibi tried, but...

Netanyahu blinked.

That’s the takeaway from the goofy address (complete with Spy vs. Spy-style cartoon bomb held up to the audience) by the right-wing, Cheltenham, PA-raised, MIT-educated Israeli prime minister to the United Nations General Assembly Thursday.

Prior to that address, Netanyahu had been virtually campaigning for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, hinting repeatedly on US television interviews of a pre-election attack by Israel on Iran’s nuclear fuel-making facilities, criticizing incumbent US President Barack Obama, and demanding that Obama and the US draw a “red line” on how far Iran could go in refining nuclear fuel before it would be considered essential for the US to join Israel in destroying Iran’s military infrastructure.

It was the most blatant attempt by a foreign leader to interfere in a US election in memory, but it was a bust.
I have no idea what Hillary whispered in his ear but I bet it made everything shrivel up. Heh. Maybe something like, "You wanta start a war with Iran to get Willard elected? Go right the fuck ahead. We'll send FEMA in a year or so to help the Arabs clean up Israel so it's livable". That "clunk" heard 'round the world was Bibi's nutsack hitting his tonsils.

Analysts are now suggesting that Netanyahu has backed off or been called off, even complimenting President Obama and giving him a valentine -- an endorsement before election day of sorts--saying in his UN address, “I very much appreciate the president’s position, as does everyone in my country.”
A valentine, huh? I suppose a blow job was outta the question...

Go read. here's a teaser:

With Obama’s re-election looking increasingly likely, and with even a Democratic recapture of the House of Representatives looking at least possible, there is a chance that AIPAC will finally be defanged. [...] Similarly, if Obama and the Democrats discover that despite refusing to cave in to Israeli demands or AIPAC threats, they can still be elected, while those favored by AIPAC and Israeli leaders like Netanyahu go down to defeat, AIPAC will no longer be able to intimidate US political figures in the future.
With friends like AIPAC and the neocons, who needs enemies?

On an Obama victory

Good post at A Politicalocalypse!

Poor Conservatives. Throughout history they’ve done everything in their power to stand in front of societal evolution and block it. Conservative Southern farmers wanted to preserve their agrarian lifestyle with its built-in cost saving measure known as slavery. Conservatives in the early 20th century tried to keep women and black people from voting. And Conservative Democrats (remember that party affiliation means nothing once a party changes its platform) in the 1940s and into the 1960s tried unsuccessfully to keep interracial marriage illegal and the races separate but equal. Conservatives lose these social issue battles because they are on the declining side of the important issues.

If by the time the 2014 midterm rolls around the GOP is still dragging their feet, having been completely exposed as obstructionists in this election, it will be like 1998 all over again. In case you forgot, in 1998 the GOP had its ass absolutely handed to them after they spent the better part of the year chasing the Monica Lewinsky Blowjob in the White House scandal. The message was clear, work for us, or get out. Look for a repeat of that message, perhaps even in this election, if the Democrats are able to either hold or even slightly expand their majority in the Senate.

The one economic theory the Romney-Ryan ticket has been pushing is Supply Side economics. It makes sense since that’s what their party has bought into entirely. They are firmly entrenched in their belief that you should pool as much wealth at the top as possible and allow those benevolent job creators to shower down the droppings onto us all. Unfortunately for them though, a Barack Obama victory would mean that the country, by and large, calls “bullshit!” on Trickle Down. An Obama victory means that most Americans do believe that food, shelter and medicine are basic human rights, and that yes, Mittens, we are all entitled to them. Maybe we’re not entitled to champagne and caviar, but we’re entitled to not starve on the streets.
Those fuckers'll keep the voodoo economics going as a talking point forever even though they know it doesn't work because it keeps the money at the top despite being thoroughly discredited. It's how they roll.

From Silent Majority To Silent Minority
This last point is probably the most scary for Conservatives. This is what they’re really fighting for Romney for. They don’t like him so much as they truly fear their way of life being threatened. But the truth is that the country is already starting to marginalize them because of how extreme and obstinate they are. I don’t begrudge anyone their spiritual faith. But the fact remains that this country was founded on the idea that religious sycophancy will not take the place of reasoned debate and legislation. An Obama victory means an important statement on social issues. Birtherism will die finally, or at least be so marginalized that it’ll remain the topic of conversation in hushed circles of out-of-touch rednecks and ignorant fools who bought the conspiracy theory, hook, line and sinker.
Silence?! From the wingnuts?! We should be so lucky.

BTW, I think birthers are the worst of the worst of what we don't like about the fringe loonies. I've lost friends over it. Maybe I'll get 'em back if they sober up. It's on them.

Much more at the site.

Debate Could Test Two Romney Weaknesses

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—With the first Presidential debate just two days away, G.O.P. nominee Mitt Romney has been working intensively on two skills that have eluded him throughout the campaign: talking and thinking.

According to one aide, much of Mr. Romney’s debate preparation has involved rehearsing a slew of prepackaged “zingers,” with mixed results: “We gave him what we thought was a foolproof line about the budget deficit and he somehow turned it into a crack about gay Mexicans.”

Reportedly, Mr. Romney’s practice debates have gone worse than expected, with the former Massachusetts governor getting trounced by a variety of opponents, including the Apple personal assistant Siri.