It’s always heartening to see someone understand one of life’s eternal verities at such a tender age. Yes, Luke, you’re right: women are unable to understand reason, only emotion. I’m pretty sure this isn’t a fake feed, but sometimes I’m not sure:
Too good not to share. Jon Chait at NYMag raises the question, “Since When Did Paul Ryan Become A Liar?”
… Ryan’s Tampa speech, while pretty dishonest, was not especially so by Ryan’s standards. Here you can see why Ryan must view the sudden attack of the truth squad so bewilderingly. Ryan has been saying things like this, and worse, all along. The bit where he sadly shakes his head and blames President Obama for the failure of the Bowles-Simpson deficit commission that Ryan killed himself has been a staple of the Ryan shtick for two years. Reporters usually bat their eyes and coo sympathetically. Now it has become evidence of his duplicity.
Ryan seems to have fallen victim to circumstances he didn’t quite foresee. The Romney campaign has spent the last several weeks practically daring the national press corps to call out its lies. Well beyond the usual exaggerations of a national campaign, Romney has built its entire message around two accusations — “you didn’t build that” and “just send them a check” — that are obviously false. A day before Ryan’s speech, a Romney adviser told reporters, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” The media that had spent the last two and a half years nuzzling gently in Ryan’s lap had been prodded with sharp sticks and reacted in the predictable fashion, though probably not predictable to Ryan himself.
The thing about Ryan is that he has always resided in a counter-factual universe. He is a product of the hermetically sealed right-wing subculture. Many of the facts taken for granted by mainstream economists have never penetrated his brain. Ryan burst onto the national scene with a dense, fact-laden attack on the financing of Obama’s health-care bill that was essentially a series of hallucinations, pseudo-facts cooked up and recirculated by conservative apparatchiks who didn’t know what they were talking about or didn’t care. His big-think speeches reflect the influence of fact-free conservatives and collapse under scrutiny.
During the last couple of years, Ryan took his act to the big city, expanding beyond his Washington conservative movement base and pitching himself to a broader audience as a straight-talking avatar of fiscal responsibility. That he managed to pull off the feat was completely incredible….
Apart from applauding the much-deserved downfall of our enemies, and awaiting the latest updates from our team in Charlotte, what’s on today’s agenda?
This made me laugh out loud:
I can’t speak for the delegates or ther foreign dignitaries, but many of the journalists I have spoken with here are appalled at the accommodations in Charlotte to which they were assigned by the DNC. National Review was assigned to two Knights Inn properties. Everyone who saw them fled immediately across state lines to an available Marriott in South Carolina rather than stay there. As one of our political correspondents reported:
The Knights Inn was the worst hotel I have ever seen, and I’ve stayed in many bad motels in my life. Two guys were dealing drugs in the room next to me, and a prostitute was working out of the parking lot. And this was in the early afternoon. The room itself was dirty, full of other people’s stuff, etc.
I have never requested a hotel change in 3 years at NR. This was the first time I felt absolutely compelled.
It’s not as if the DNC couldn’t have figured out something was wrong with the properties. TripAdvisor had these recent comments on one of the Knights Inn properties: “wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy,” “scared to death,” and “pimps and prostitutes at night.”
Nor was National Review singled out. Staff members from Politico and the Hill abandoned their assigned hotels, too. Staffers from the Hill found refuge in a cheap Microtel and considered it a comparative oasis.
I have no idea if they intentionally placed the wingnuts in shitty hotels (btw- Knights Inn is not a hotel), but I love it nonetheless. And maybe, since you weren’t singled out, they just put you in the best place they could find you. Regardless, maybe it is time to reflect on the value of union run hotels in other cities… I mean, this is your free market at work, Mr. Fund.
As an aside, one thing I discovered yesterday is that free drinks and buffet tables are the lifeblood of political reporters and bloggers. No one makes plans based on what place would be fun to go, but all I heard from everyone everywhere was “Let’s go to this party, they have an open buffet table.” And then, when the buffet table closes, they load up into cabs and move on to the next place. Must be a DC thing.
BTW- We’ve been calling this the Murder Hotel, but in all actuality, after you get over the fact it isn’t a Westin, it isn’t too bad. The WIFI is the best of any motel/hotel I’ve ever stayed, probably because I am the only one using it. Plus, even though this is allegedly the hood (something the guy running a restaurant next door told me), everyone has been super friendly and nice. Much nicer than the usual stuck up assholes I run into in elevators and the hotel bar when I travel and stay and luxury hotels. I was standing on the balcony looking out, and my neighbor came out, we chatted, I offered him a glass of wine, and we sat and talked for twenty minutes, he hooked me up on some great BBQ places to go, and it was just really pleasant.
It’s also kind of weird (for me, at least) being really the only white person around. I told Imani that now I know what it must be like to be black in West Virginia, and she told me – “No, now you know what it is like being black almost everywhere.”
If there is one narrative to anchor what often feels like a plotless 2012 campaign, it is media disillusionment. Reporters feel like both campaigns have decided to run out the clock with limited press avails, distractions, and negative attacks, rather than run confident campaigns with bold policy platforms or lofty notions of hope and change — leaving the media with little to do but grind along covering the latest shallow, sensational item of the day.
“Until the candidates restore joy, it’s impossible for us to be joyful,” NBC News senior White House correspondent Chuck Todd told POLITICO. “The campaigns are trying so hard to manipulate us, to work the refs, to withhold access. If these candidates were comfortable, the campaign might be joyful to cover.”
Todd also bemoans the fact that the campaigns aren’t talking about the economy, so the press corps can’t either.
I say horseshit to all that. My diagnosis of Todd’s existential ennui is based on a couple of factors. First, he’s sad because the Republican lying shows that they have absolutely no respect for the press, and it’s Republican respect that the DC press has always craved. Second, the limited access to actual live candidates makes clear the stenographic nature of the Chuck Todds of the world. It really does hurt deep down when some reporter from the NBC affiliate in Toledo or Wilmington is more likely to sit down with Romney or Obama than the senior White House correspondent. Hopefully this little Politico piece, and maybe a good cry into his softest pillow, will get Chuck back on track and he can do his fucking job without further whining.
Actually, the only coordination was when the RNC worked with the media to allow Ryan to speak before a nationally televised audience. As predicted, he then spent his time in the limelight lying his ass off, and this is what happened:
An army of fact-checkers swarmed around Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech last night, and the verdict was swift and unanimous: lies, omissions, a sweeping rewrite of recent history. But there’s one question no checker can answer: Why was it necessary to lie in the first place?
Mr. Ryan could have made a sharp critique of the Obama years without changing the underlying facts. That he chose not to do so suggests he isn’t sure the facts are on his side.***
With a few tweaks and a little more courage, Mr. Ryan could have made a speech that wouldn’t set off truth-meters and might have explained the foundations of the party’s thinking. The only conclusion to draw is that he really doesn’t want the public to know what he’s thinking.
More broadly, this is what is happening:
Look- I’m as shocked as Jay Rosen that even the Washington Post Editorial Board and other media outlets that normally roll over and play dead whenever Republicans blatantly lie are finally coming out and calling a lie a lie.
But if Republicans want to stop being called liars, they should probably stop lying about everything. But they can’t, because every time they are honest about their beliefs, people look at them like they are the three-headed spawn of Satan. Ask Rep. Akin.
Tonight is a major test for our national media. The Republicans are going to go on stage and lie their collective asses off about Welfare, a not so subtle dog whistle pulling from their tradition of talking about welfare queens and big screen televisions and young strapping bucks buying t-bone steaks with food stamps, and I don’t think they are up to the challenge. Do you? I doubt anyone other than Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow will even notice.
Not to mention, the entire “We Built It” premise is based on utter bullshit. Not only did Obama not say what they are claiming he said, but when they say “We Built It,” they mean private industry, and they are lying. Yes, “We Built It,” but the we is the American people, not a few Galtian overlords:
Despite the fact that the Republican National Convention is held in a stadium that was financed with $86 million in public funds, the theme this year is “We built this!”
The theme is designed to be an affront to President Barack Obama’s supposed claim that those with successful businesses don’t deserve credit. The Romney campaign has dug in with an attack ad that says Obama’s message to business owners is “you didn’t build that,” despite the full context of the quote, which he used in a Virginia speech in July.
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help,” Obama explained. “There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
And the theme has been taken to heart by numerous candidates and delegates invited to speak at the convention. Looking at the prepared remarks for Tuesday alone, a number of speakers skipped over ways that their accomplishments had been supported by the government.
They are shameless liars, all of them, and our media is failing us. I don’t have the strength to watch, and instead will sit on the back porch and watch the hummingbirds at the feeder, enjoy my beautiful sunflowers, and wait for the geese to do their nightly migratory fly-by (they fly directly over my house on a SW route every night for about a month and a half this time of year). I’ve got better things to do than raise my blood pressure listening to the same old lies over and over and then listening to Halperin and the rest of the hacks justify them or just display gross indifference. Because, you know, both sides do it.
So the right-center establishment consensus on Ryan is that “hey, you might not like the details, but at LEAST HE HAS A PLAN”. Remember the last time we were told that there was a big threat and that we should support an ill-planned audacious role of the dice to deal with it?
With Iraq, we were told that there was a great national debate about taking the country to war or some bullshit like that. We’re being told that now about vouchercare. Greg Sargent absolutely nails it:
Ever since Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan, it’s been widely claimed that this ensures a “great debate” pitting two starkly different ideological visions over the future against one another. But it’s now clear that the GOP ticket doesn’t want a great debate at all. Their entire strategy is designed to obscure the true ideological differences between both sides.[….]
How on earth is this a great debate? It’s actually an effort to avoid one. Anyone who continues to grant Romney and Ryan the presumption of being serious about engaging in a great clash of visions is only helping them avoid accountability for the true nature of their actual vision.
I still think Ryan was a bad pick because any discussion of vouchercare — no matter how inane and propagandist — is likely to help Democrats, especially when the other option is talking about the economy. An “honest debate” would make Ryan’s policies even more politically toxic. But there will be none, of course, and Republicans counted on that with this the same as they counted on that with Iraq and all the others.