Posts Tagged Fox News Channel
MAY 16, 2013
REPUBLICANS AGREE TO STOP USING WORD “SCANDAL” IN EVERY SENTENCE IF OBAMA RESIGNS
POSTED BY ANDY BOROWITZ
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Arguing that the American people are sick and tired of hearing the word “scandal,” a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers said they would stop using the word “scandal” in every sentence if President Obama resigns from office immediately.
“Mr. President, for the past week, the American people have heard nothing but scandal,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California). “Scandal, scandal, scandal, and more scandal.” “You have called for investigations to get to the bottom of these scandals,” he added. “But the American thing to do is to quit.”
Agreeing that America was suffering from “scandal fatigue,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S. Carolina) said, “If even one of these scandals turns out to be real, it will be bigger than the creation of the universe,” adding that he and his fellow Republican senators were prepared to take turns standing in the well of the Senate chanting the word “scandal” until President Obama steps down.
“Rand Paul has personally offered to say the word ‘scandal’ for eleven hours,” he said.
On Fox News Channel, host Sean Hannity said that the American people were weary of hearing “nothing but scandal, scandal, scandal,” noting that Fox personalities had used the word “scandal” no fewer than thirty thousand times in the past four days.
“The only way President Obama can bring these scandals to a satisfying resolution is by resigning from office. Otherwise, he’s subjecting the American people to the ugly spectacle of scandal upon scandal upon scandal,” he said, adding, “Upon scandal.”
- Top Official Resigns Over IRS Scandal (huffingtonpost.com)
- IRS Acting Commissioner Resigns (Updated) (pjmedia.com)
- House Democratic Leader Defends Obama In IRS Scandal (huffingtonpost.com)
- In Two Hours Obama Destroys the GOP’s Benghazi and IRS Scandals (politicususa.com)
- US tax chief resigns amid scandal (bbc.co.uk)
- Boehner on IRS Scandal: Who’s Going to Jail? (breitbart.com)
- Will Republicans Let Obama Have His Scandal? – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Boehner reacts to IRS scandal: ‘Who’s going to jail over this?’ (theblaze.com)
- Obama fires IRS acting chief over ‘inexcusable’ tax targeting scandal (guardian.co.uk)
- IRS: 2 ‘Rogue’ Employees Responsible For Targeting Of Conservative Groups (newyork.cbslocal.com)
Here’s hoping there’s no new black in 2013. Gray worked as the new black for a while. And, sure, November’s big Latino vote meant brown was the new black, but, really, making anything else the new black in the New Year would be, you know, so 2012.
I’m wishin’ that in ’13 broadcasters will stop droppin’ their g’s. Linda Cohn of ESPN, I’m talkin’ to you! No more goin’ to the hoop and scorin’.
Politicians should resolve to never again say, “The American people want…” Are they claiming that every single American contacted them personally with a detailed explanation of his vote? Really? (And, Seth Meyers of SNL, thanks, but we’re done with really.)
MSNBC folks, it’s OK for the president, but the rest of us should quit sayin’ “folks.” More pressing: stop adding “sort of” to each sentence. That affect is spreading among progressives — especially on your show, Melissa Harris-Perry! — sort of every 30 seconds.
Mr. Blitzer, you and the others at CNN have to stop crying wolf — or, as you refer to it, “Breaking News!”
Now, Sean Hannity of Fox News Channel, you’ve fallen into a habit of starting sentences with “Now…” Check the tape.
Bob Shieffer of CBS, let me ask you this question. Why do you begin questions on “Face the Nation” by saying, “Let me ask you this question”?
Radio traffic reporters: Why the right-hand lane and the left-hand lane? There’s no “hand” involved. Also, ask your perky colleague who does the weather to stop saying, “There’s rain for your Thursday, but it should dry out on your Friday.” Saying “your” doesn’t make weather more personal.
Attention hosts on QVC and HSN, we get it: you have your own way of saying just about everything. But must you always refer to prices as “price points”? Why is a color a “coloration” and fabric a “fabrication”? Also, is it really necessary to hype sales by warning, “When they’re gone they’re gone”?
In the real fashion world, phrases change as fast as styles, so in ’13 terms like manthropology and Gangnam style will be, you know, so Kelvin.
Diane Sawyer of ABC, nice try, but “As we come on the air tonight” just isn’t up there with “And that’s the way it is.”
TV reporters, as you write your makeshift scripts in the New Year, please refrain from using the term makeshift.
Jon Stewart, your “Daily Show” is the funniest thing on TV. Time to drop the faux bleeps and the overworked f-bombs.
Basketball announcers, how did “score” become “score the basketball”? Baseball announcers, why is it that all of a sudden every pitcher is concerned about “arm slot”? Football announcers, just because Jon Gruden says “down and distance” when he means just one or the other, don’t rush to copy him, and just because Chris Berman favors “come on, man” doesn’t mean you have to obsess over it.
Ambassador Susan Rice: Sorry, but you now own the term “talking points.” Throw the phrase off the linguistic cliff.
Right after Election Day we began cleansing words like Romnesia, Obamalarky, and Romney Hood from the lexicon. However, Mister President, in your second term please gin up a new expression to replace “gin up.”
Some annoying catch phrases take years to trickle down. So, at the end of the day in 2012, only guests on Sunday talk shows are left saying “at the end of the day.” They should throw the phrase under the bus. Or, kick that can down the road.
Bottom line (although we’re probably finished calling it that): say what’s on your mind in 2013, but please, don’t tell us there’s no there there.
- Biased About Bias (Guest Voice) (themoderatevoice.com)
- Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – ” It’s You (mbcalyn.com)
- $25 QVC e-Card Only $20 (+ Great Deal on HSN Gift Card for My Coke Rewards Members!) (hip2save.com)
- Peter Funt: Americans suffer poll withdrawal (appeal-democrat.com)
- Loose Ends: The Joke’s on Whom? (nytimes.com)
- RIM Seeks to Prime Pump with BlackBerry 10 Ready Program (cio-today.com)
- Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – ” Political Reality TV (mbcalyn.com)
- Political Reality TV (Guest Voice) (themoderatevoice.com)
- Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – ” Man for the Moment (mbcalyn.com)
- Peter Funt | Lindsey Stoned and Pilloried (yubanet.com)
Free Wood Post – (Hot Mic) Bob Costas: Availability Of Fox News Leads To Uninformed And Stupid Americans
(Hot Mic) Bob Costas: Availability Of Fox News Leads To Uninformed And Stupid Americans
December 5, 2012
By Sarah Wood
Recently Sports Anchor Bob Costas caught a lot of flack from conservative critics who were disappointed that he would use his football commentating position to go after gun ownership. He said after the murder/suicide of Kansas City Chiefs Jovan Belcher that “the availability of guns makes mayhem easier.” Costas was quoting a Jason Whitlock column and seemed to agree with the sentiment.
Now with as many arguments that can be made from either side of the gun issue, there is a new opinion from the sportscaster which also seems to be getting him into a bit of hot water with conservatives as well.
Costas was talking with some of the crew-members during a commercial break of his segment during halftime of Sunday Night Football. Apparently, he failed to turn off his mic during the break (or maybe he forgot it was on) and started on a rant about Fox News. His producers overheard the entire conversation with one reporting the story directly to Free Wood Post.
Costas was heard saying, “What the hell is with Fox News?! I mean really. Who the fuck do they think they are to always come in on the wrong side of history? Did you see this past election? All they did was deny the fact that Obama won until they couldn’t deny it any longer. They’re pathetic. Their viewers are pathetic. All they are is an extension of the Republican Party. Seriously, the availability of Fox News leads to uninformed and stupid Americans. It should be banned. They are dumbing down our nation. I see it when I travel in every airport, bar, and hotel lobby. It’s as if they are turning Americans into mindless drones to screw them over with Republican messaging that they have no clue is horrendously damaging for them…. What? We’re back on if five seconds? Okay… “
It seems the NBC producer of Sunday Night Football is an avid Fox News supporter and was outraged at Costas’ comments. He is staying anonymous, but wanted to make sure the American public knew all about the opinionated mayhem Costas seems to be bringing these days. Whether it be able to be criticized or not.
- Bob Costas is an Idiot (stuphblog.wordpress.com)
- Costas shoots himself in foot, again – on O’Reilly (wnd.com)
- Bob Costas gun control commentary at halftime gets notice (tbo.com)
- Fire Bob Costas for what? Gun defenders disrespect free speech (voices.kansascity.com)
- Judge Napolitano: Bob Costas, Jason Whitlock Have ‘No Basis’ for Bringing Gun Control Into the Jovan Belcher Tragedy (foxnewsinsider.com)
- Bob Costas Defends ‘Sunday Night Football’ Gun Control Speech (sfluxe.com)
- Costas gun control commentary gets notice (news.yahoo.com)
- Bob Costas Continues to Bury Himself Over Anti-Gun Comments (redalertpolitics.com)
- Costas gun control commentary gets notice (miamiherald.com)
- Right-Wing Media Shout Down Costas’ Attempt To Discuss “Gun Culture” In Wake Of NFL Murder-Suicide (mediamatters.org)
Ninety-one percent of Americans are suffering in the post-election period without a daily polling fix, according to projections based upon my computer analysis of a nonexistent Gallup poll.
David Fitzsimmons / Arizona Daily Star
Other key findings in the average of all polls not conducted: 92 percent of college-educated adults hate polls, but spent an average of 43 minutes per day during the presidential campaign reading poll results and sharing them via social networks. The figure is almost two points higher among unemployed, gay, female Latinos in swing states.
Roughly two-thirds of all Americans say they no longer rely on individual polls, preferring instead the analysis by aggregators like Nate Silver of The New York Times and Dick Morris of the planet Zebulan. Of that group, half say they don’t read the aggregators work directly, but rely on aggregated summaries of the aggregators’ findings on websites such as The Huffington Post, or LiberalsareScum.com.
In a yet-to-be posted blog, Mr. Silver projects that if the 2016 election were held today, polling companies would lose 98 percent of total revenue that they expect to collect from news organizations and political parties during the next four years.
How desperate are we for polling data? In an actual poll taken just before the election — and I apologize for mixing fact with fiction, although it seems routine among many pollsters — the Des Moines Register asked Iowans, “Why do you go to Dunkin’ Donuts?” A solid 22 percent said they go for the doughnuts, but a staggering 45 percent said they don’t go to Dunkin’ Donuts at all.
My analysis of this data reveals an unmistakable shift in America — from that of a predominantly white, middle class population, to a nation of stat-starved poll lovers.
Immediately following the election, pollsters scurried to fill the polling void by conducting surveys on the most obscure questions. Gallup issued this actual news release: “Americans spend less time doing what they do best on Sundays compared with other days of the week — averaging 6.7 hours compared to 7 hours on most days.” In a startling revelation, Gallup’s crack analysts determined that “Americans use their strengths the most on Thursdays.”
Full disclosures: Gallup says the margin of error in its poll of the days on which Americans “do best” is 1.2 percent, although no one seems to know what that means. Also, Nate Silver found that Gallup’s projections in the recent election were the worst among two-dozen polling organizations he evaluated.
In another actual piece of landmark pulse taking, Bill O’Reilly polled his viewers on Fox News Channel on the question of whether his program had been “fair” in covering the election. A stunning 80 percent of O’Reilly’s own audience said the coverage was, indeed, fair. The remaining 20 percent should be ashamed of themselves for even thinking that O’Reilly’s program contains some sort of political bias.
My own poll, conducted by e-mail between Nov. 6 and 8 among 14 self-described independents, with a sampling error of plus or minus 14, shows that 91 percent of Americans are suffering during their withdrawal from political polls, while another 91 percent say they couldn’t care less that polling has subsided following the election.
Asked to explain this apparent contradiction, Dick Morris would undoubtedly say, “We experts refer to this as being ‘six of one and half a dozen of another.’ It’s why Americans don’t care if polls are right are wrong — they just love getting the data. Trust me.”
- Gallup Takes A Not-So-Subtle Shot At Nate Silver (businessinsider.com)
- Gallup Takes A Swipe At Nate Silver (joemygod.blogspot.com)
- Without Gallup’s Crappy Polls, Nate Silver Is Nothing, Says Gallup (wonkette.com)
- Nate Silver vs. the Gallup Poll (delong.typepad.com)
- Making sense out of Gallup and other presidential polls (news.yahoo.com)
- Rasmussen And Gallup vs The Rest (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- Obama’s approval rating jumps in post-election poll (thegrio.com)
- Gallup Defends Pre-Election Polling, Takes A Swipe At Nate Silver (mediaite.com)
- Crowds Are This Election’s Real Winners (bloomberg.com)
- President Obama’s Approval, Popularity Ratings Jump Post-Election (oldschool945.com)
Romney Gracious In Defeat Due To Frequent Practice
November 7, 2012
By Eric Hetvile
The United States 2012 Presidential Election concluded with a gracious concession speech in which Mitt Romney passed well wishes on to President Obama and his family.
“It seemed really sincere, ” said Vice President Joe Biden. “Though can you really believe anything that lying bastard says, though?”
“Look guys, I’ve been losing elections for years. I’ve had great practice. I know what I’m doing. This is exactly how you lose. I have a 54 point plan for losing elections, ” declared Romney. “You say a bunch of bad stuff about the other guy. You change your positions frequently. And when people catch on and vote for the other guy, you wish him well.”
“Hey, losing is still pretty lucrative. I crashed a ton of companies at Bain and still got paid. No worries, my friends. And I assume after this, Fox News will be calling to sign me up for something. Heck, they gave that Palin lady a job. Though I hope they didn’t hear me say those nice things about the President. That might be a deal killer.”
No details existed for a Fox News job offer to Romney at the moment this piece went to press.
- Free Wood Post – Romney: Obama’s Promise of Storm Aid Will Just Encourage More Storms (mbcalyn.com)
- Free Wood Post – “It Reminds Me of When I Was a Child and Had To Clean My Room” (mbcalyn.com)
- Romney’s concession speech was not gracious (salon.com)
- Free Wood Post – Romney to Boycott Debates After Learning He Won’t Be Debating an Empty Chair (mbcalyn.com)
- Free Wood Post – Comments Were Absolutely Wrong, Says 46.4 Percent More Accurate (mbcalyn.com)
- Free Wood Post – People Are Really Hurting With the Stock Market Closed Again, Says Romney (mbcalyn.com)
- Free Wood Post – Romney Accuses Obama Supporters of Hassling Good People of Ohio Door-to-Door (mbcalyn.com)
- Free Wood Post – Romney to Boycott Debates After Learning He Won’t Be Debating an Empty Chair (mbcalyn.com)
- Free Wood Post – After Oil Is Discovered Under Sesame Street, Mitt Romney Calls For As Much Funding As Needed (mbcalyn.com)
- Free Wood Post – Romney: China Wanting To Take All Our Jobs Is Selfish Considering I’ve Already Given Them So Many (mbcalyn.com)
Mr. Romney Needs a Working Calculator
Published: October 15, 2012
To the annoyance of the Romney campaign, members of Washington’s reality-based community have a habit of popping up to point out the many deceptions in the campaign’s blue-sky promises of low taxes and instant growth. The latest is the Joint Committee on Taxation, an obscure but well-respected Congressional panel — currently evenly divided between the parties — that helps lawmakers calculate the effect of their tax plans.
Last month, the committee asked its staff what would happen if Congress repealed the biggest tax deductions and loopholes and used the new revenue to lower tax rates. The staff started adding it up: end all itemized deductions, tax capital gains and dividends as ordinary income, and tax the interest on state and local bonds, along with several other revenue-raisers.
Mitt Romney says he can lower tax rates by 20 percent and pay for it by ending deductions. The joint committee’s math makes it clear that that is impossible.
The analysis doesn’t include every possible tax expenditure, leaving out, for example, the tax break employers get for providing health insurance. But because Mr. Romney refuses to raise capital gains taxes and wants to end the estate tax, it is hard to see how he could do much better than 4 percent.
This is why Mr. Romney has refused to say which deductions he would eliminate, just as Representative Paul Ryan refused when asked a direct question in last week’s debate. Specify a deduction, and some pest with a calculator will point out that it doesn’t add up.
Even Fox News isn’t buying it. Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign,said on Fox News Sunday that Mr. Romney would work out those details later with Congress. As the program’s moderator, Chris Wallace, pointed out, that’s like offering voters the candy of a 20 percent tax cut without mentioning the spinach they will have to eat.
The Romney campaign claims it has six studies proving it can be done, but, on examination, none of the studies actually make that point, or counterbalance the nonpartisan analyses that use real math. Two of the studies, for example, were done by the same Republican economist, Martin Feldstein, an adviser to the Romney campaign, who said it would require ending all deductions for everyone making $100,000 or more. But Mr. Romney has explicitly said he would not do that.
It is increasingly clear that the Romney tax “plan” is not really a plan at all but is instead simply a rhapsody based on old Republican themes that something can be had for nothing. For middle-class taxpayers without the benefit of expensive accountants, the bill always comes due a few years later.
- Fox News Turns on Romney and Criticizes His Impossible Tax Cut Math (politicususa.com)
- “Sentimental Storytelling”: Beware Of Mitt Romney’s “Softer Side” (mbcalyn.com)
- Fox News vigorously challenges Romney’s tax cut lies (americablog.com)
- Even Fox Is Calling Out Romney for Dishonesty (alternet.org)
- Even Fox News doesn’t buy Romney’s “six studies” on tax policy (salon.com)
- Romney campaign admits ‘independent’ analysis of tax plan math came from ‘right-leaning think-tank’ (dailykos.com)
- CONN CARROLL: Romney’s Best Ad Yet. “Mitt Romney’s campaign wasted little time in capitalizing o… (pjmedia.com)
- A Study of Mitt Romney’s Six Studies Validating His Tax Plan (news.firedoglake.com)
- Gillespie: Romney tax plan specifics will come after election (thehill.com)
- Romney’s Unraveling Claim That Six Studies Validate His Tax Plan (tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com)
Paul Ryan claims to be a descendant of Jesus Christ
September 6, 2012
By Sarah Wood
In a recent interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Paul Ryan discussed his deep faith and what it was like growing up within a Catholic home. He said it was especially meaningful for him to attend mass every week because he was not only worshipping Jesus, but appreciating an ancestor whose blood line flows through his veins this very day.
“Listen Bret, my relationship with Jesus is not only that of gratitude for what he did for me and the rest of civilization, but also of knowing that he’s family. The blood of Jesus lives inside me. There are very few individuals who can say they are a direct blood relative of Jesus Christ, but I’m one of them. I’m one of the lucky ones, and now my children are as well. Just think, Bret. Just think… if I’m able to become Presi… I mean Vice President of the United States of America, we will not only be a nation of holy dwellers, but be able to say, Jesus is truly in charge… Wouldn’t that be swell, Bret… wouldn’t it?”
Puzzled, Bret Baier asked Ryan how he knew he was a direct descendant of Jesus Christ.
“You just know these things, you know? You just feel it in your gut. I know that not only is Jesus in my heart, but he’s blood.”
Baier said, “You do realize you can’t just go around telling people these sorts of things. People are going to think that you are full of yourself, and slightly crazy.”
Ryan replied, “That’s just the risk I’m going to have to take. The truth is for those that feel it, not for those who know for certain what is or isn’t.”
We’ll have to see in the coming weeks before the election if Ryan’s new admission of being related to Jesus gives him and Mitt Romney a boost at the polls. Only time will tell. People seem to believe anything these days.
- Paul Ryan claims to be a descendant of Jesus Christ:”What Is He Talking About??” (psilentinfo.wordpress.com)
- Jesus would vote for Ron Paul (surfer53.wordpress.com)
- Jesus Christ Is Standing At the Door Of Our Hearts (bummyla.wordpress.com)
- If The Pope Declares An Image Of Jesus Christ To Be A Miracle; Who Am I To Question? (truelogic.wordpress.com)
- Blind and Deaf (citizentom.com)
- Jesus Christ is Everything (justificationbygrace.com)
- Oh, to Know Jesus! (devotionislove.wordpress.com)
- Atheist Protester: “If Jesus Returns, Kill him Again” Right Here In America (themadjewess.com)
- Dems remove God, Jerusalem from party platform; Dick Durbin lashes out at Bret Baier (twitchy.com)
- Philippians 2 (bummyla.wordpress.com)
The Republican convention raised two key questions for swing voters. Does form trump substance? Is fiction more compelling than fact?
Compressed into three nights, the GOP event was the most carefully staged and artfully executed political gathering in U.S. history. Every touch — from the dynamic lighting that made each speaker look younger and healthier, to the emergence of future conservative stars like New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, to the glorious singing of BeBe Winans — made for compelling viewing. Free of distractions, such as arguing over nominees or writing a platform, the event was a brilliant execution of the type of marathon marketing presentation that political conventions have become.
John Cole / Scranton Times-Tribune
It’s too bad that more viewers didn’t choose to watch on C-SPAN, where the coverage was uninterrupted and unfiltered. The over-spun and commercial-laden versions on Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN were insufferable.
Seen in its nearly 18-hour entirety, the convention used engaging themes — “We built it,” “We can change it” and “We believe in America” — to anchor each evening. Most of the speakers stayed on point, citing apparent failures of the Obama Administration, reminiscing about the bootstrap-tugging days in their past, and seeking above all to paint a fuller picture of Mitt Romney’s life-long dedication to faith, family and business.
There was plenty of sizzle and very little steak. That’s neither surprising nor unacceptable in light of what conventions have become. But the event was also a test of just how far political operatives can go in the era of modern communications when it comes to falsifying facts and distorting arguments.
For example, both Romney and running mate Paul Ryan were determined to push the notion that the Obama Administration siphoned $716 billion from Medicare to “pay for” Obamacare. That’s seriously misleading; moreover, it fails to mention that it is almost identical to the approach advocated by Ryan himself.
Then, too, Ryan blasted the president for failing to adopt the economic recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles commission without mentioning that Ryan was a member of the panel, and voted against its findings.
Romney maintained that he had rooted for Obama to succeed in his first term. Yet he never disavowed the strategy by his colleagues, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to do whatever they could from day one to thwart the president’s efforts. Ryan zinged Obama for a downgrade of the nation’s credit rating, without so much as acknowledging the role Republican brinksmanship played during the lengthy debt-ceiling debate. And so it went.
But as theater, the GOP convention was a boffo hit. That’s why it was particularly disappointing that the event’s renowned showbiz representative, Clint Eastwood, struck such a sour note. Clint and his family are acquaintances of mine, and I have deep respect for much of what he has achieved in films, business, and his many charitable endeavors.
Clint and I differ in our political views, but so what? He’s entitled to his opinion and he could have been a commanding presence at the GOP convention. Instead, he tried a risky adlib gimmick of “interviewing” an empty chair and the result was uneven, unsettling and, at one point, unacceptably crude.
Overall, however, the Romney campaign is certain to get a boost from this well staged event. Democrats will face a stiff challenge in mounting an equally entertaining convention in Charlotte.
But if the Obama forces skip the Roman columns, resist the temptation to rely heavily on their own roster of Hollywood heavyweights, and remain fair with the facts, they have a solid opportunity to gain the upper hand. While most Americans enjoy a good show, they also know that the urgency of the moment requires more than smoke and mirrors — or, for that matter, empty promises and an empty chair.
- RNC gospel singer BeBe Winans slammed with racist, hateful Tweets (theblaze.com)
- Bebe Winans: Republican convention performance not a Romney endorsement (thegrio.com)
- Democrats’ Convention Challenge Is to Repeat 2008 – New York Times (nytimes.com)
- Gospel legend Bebe Winans inundated with hate for singing at RNC (twitchy.com)
- Gospel singer Bebe Winan forced to defend RNC appearance (illinoisreview.typepad.com)
- The Vacuum Behind the Republican Political Slogans – NYTimes.com (mbcalyn.com)
- GOP Battles DNC for Voter Attention (foxnews.com)
- Media isn’t Calling Out Ryan on Lies He Tells About Obama (2012thebigpicture.wordpress.com)
- Aberdeen delegate attended GOP Convention – AberdeenNews.com (aberdeennews.com)
- Bouncing BeBe (powerlineblog.com)
AUGUST 30, 2012
RYAN LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN THEME OF LYING ABOUT EVERYTHING
POSTED BY ANDY BOROWITZ
TAMPA (The Borowitz Report)—In his speech to the Republican National Convention last night, Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan test-drove what the Romney-Ryan campaign says will be a major theme for the 2012 Republican campaign: “lying about everything.”
“The question was, how many whoppers could you pack into one speech?” the campaign adviser Tracy Klugian said. “All I can say is, when Fox News accuses a Republican of lying, you know you’ve witnessed something historic.”
Mr. Ryan pronounced himself pleased with his performance, noting that he only strayed into the truth when he recited the names of his wife and children.
“That won’t happen again,” he laughed. “Call it opening-night jitters.”
As for Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, he said he was working “around the clock” to add additional lies to his speech tonight: “I’m no Paul Ryan, but, darn it, I’m going to do my best.”
- Paul Ryan’s Inaccurate RNC Speech (alan.com)
- Paul Ryan Republican National Convention Speech: V.P. Candidate Leads Assault on Obama (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Paul Ryan razes Obama’s record but offers few concrete plans (blogs.desmoinesregister.com)
- Did Paul Ryan’s Republican National Convention Speech Deliver? (usnews.com)
- Republican National Convention Schedule, Day 4: We Believe We Can Lie (dailykos.com)
- Fox News: Paul Ryan Is A Lying Liar (joemygod.blogspot.com)
- Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Convention (itmakessenseblog.com)
- Paul Ryan Obscures His Koch-Backed Agenda With a Pack of Lies in Convention Speech (alternet.org)
- What could go wrong: Paul Ryan to use one of Sarah Palin’s speechwriters (freakoutnation.com)
- Paul Ryan Reviews Prove Reagan Was Only Republican President Ever (reason.com)
Matt Miller: Recognizing Paul Ryan’s ‘tell’ when he is trying to avoid something – The Washington Post
Recognizing Paul Ryan’s ‘tell’ when he is trying to avoid something
In poker a “tell” is the physical giveaway or tic that lets you know someone is lying about his or her hand. In politics it’s the mode of evasion a politician chooses to sidestep a truth he or she doesn’t want to admit or to avoid saying something against self-interest. In his debut interview with Fox News’ Brit Hume Tuesday, Rep. Paul Ryan’s “tells” were audacious and revealing. They suggest an opening Democrats would be wise to pursue.
Ryan (R-Wis.) tried to cloak himself in his supposedly charming “wonky-ness” to sidestep two simple questions from Hume: When does Mitt Romney’s budget reach balance, and when does Ryan’s own budget plan do the same? Ryan pirouetted because Hume’s queries threatened to expose his famed “fiscal conservatism” as a fraud.
It’s worth parsing Ryan’s tactics in this exchange because it shows the brand of disingenuousness we’re dealing with. So let’s go to the videotape. Have a look at the relevant two-minute portion of the clip (excerpted on this CNN video) and then we’ll dissect it.
Okay, you’re back. Hume started with a simple question: “The budget plan that you’re now supporting would get to balance when?”
Now, for context, recall that in the last era of epic budget smackdowns, 1995 and 1996, Newt Gingrich would have had an equally simple answer: in seven years. President Bill Clinton’s failure to embrace the goal of a balanced budget at all was a major political liability that Clinton finally (and shrewdly) erased when he came out with his own 10-year plan in mid-1995. (It’s worth underscoring that a 10-year path to balance was viewed then as the outer limit of credibility — pledging to end the red ink any further than a decade out didn’t pass the laugh test.)
Since Ryan knows that Romney’s bare sketch of a plan never reaches balance, he stumbles momentarily before trying to move the conversation to his comfortable talking points about Romney’s goal of reducing spending to historic norms as a share of gross domestic product.
But Hume grows quietly impatient. He practically cuts Ryan off.
“I get that,” Hume says. “But what about balance?”
You can see Ryan flinch. He doesn’t know, he says. Why not? “I don’t want to get wonky on you,” he says, recovering, “because we haven’t run the numbers on that specific plan.” But that’s not “getting wonky” at all. As common sense (and the Gingrich/Clinton approach) suggests, there’s nothing arcane about this subject. You decide on a sensible path to balance as a goal and come up with policies that achieve it. All this means is that Romney hasn’t done what a fiscally conservative leader would do. Trying to evade this as a matter of not “getting wonky” is Ryan’s tell. He’s betting Hume is too dumb, uninterested or short on time to press the point.
Ryan then adds that “the plan that we’ve offered in the House balances the budget.” But he immediately stops short of saying when — you see his eyes dart to the right at that moment, his next tell — because that would mean admitting it reaches balance in the 2030s. And Ryan wants to get through this interview without saying that, because he knows it doesn’t sound good. After all, what kind of “fiscal conservative” has a 25-year plan to balance the budget? Instead, in a practiced maneuver signaled by his telltale sideways glance, he moves to a contrast with President Obama, who he says has never offered a budget that ever reaches balance.
This is true — but is a plan to balance the budget when Ryan is nearly 70 really different enough to make Ryan the “deficit hawk”? Please.
Meanwhile, Hume’s quiet baritone presses on.
“Your own budget . . . when does that contemplate reaching balance?” Hume asks.
There’s no exit. Not until the 2030s, Ryan finally admits, looking uncomfortable — but then he quickly adds, making a face, that’s only under the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring rules, implying that they’re silly constraints every Fox News viewer would agree are ridiculous (instead of sensible rules meant to credit politicians only for policy proposals that are real). Ryan adds that “we believe” if we get the economy growing, “it would balance in 10 years.” But that’s supply-side faith-based budgeting again — exactly what we ran an empirical test on in the 1980s. (And the truth is, if Ryan’s big tax cuts were properly accounted for, his plan’s real date of balance would push well beyond 2040).
Why am I harping on this? Because it’s impossible to overstate how central the unjustified label of “fiscal conservative” is to the Ryan brand and the GOP’s strategy. As Clinton understood in the 1990s, “fiscal responsibility” is a values issue important to the voters who decide modern presidential elections.
The point: Democrats can’t afford to let Ryan/Romney’s phony image as superior fiscal stewards survive. And Hume’s interview shows how swiftly this charade can be exposed if Democrats and the press zero in on simple questions like Hume’s. If the press is primed to cover this more intelligently, such queries will also expose the big Republican lie — the idea that you can balance the budget as the baby boomers age without taxes rising.
Let me be clear. The most important issue facing the country isn’t when we’re going to balance the budget. It’s how to get growth and jobs reignited in the near term and how to renew the country’s promise and competitiveness after that (an agenda in which long-term budget sanity is just the ante). But if Democrats spend all their energy on Medicare — and don’t knock out the GOP ticket’s undeserved reputation for fiscal responsibility — they’ll find themselves in unexpected peril as the race heads to the fall.
- Oh, Mr. Ryan, Do Get Wonky On Us. Please. (I.e., thank you Brit Hume and Matt Miller.) (businessinsider.com)
- Paul Ryan on his budget, “I don’t know exactly what the balance is, we haven’t run the numbers” (freakoutnation.com)
- Ryan mocked in media for inability to defend his own budget plan (rawstory.com)
- Eric Boehlert: Fox News completely barren of actual journalism (rawstory.com)
- Romney’s Whiteboard Presentation Proves ‘Wonk’ Is a Meaningless Word (theatlanticwire.com)
- Fox News’ Brit Hume Praised On MSNBC For Exposing Paul Ryan’s Medicare Lie (mediaite.com)
- Ryan’s first VP flip flop (salon.com)
- Run the numbers (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- Paul Ryan admits ‘We haven’t run the numbers’ on Romney-Ryan budget plan, but trust him, it’s great (dailykos.com)
- Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread (3chicspolitico.com)