Friday Mashup (11/27/09)

  • 1) I don’t know if anyone else noticed that the New York Times was able to discover some typos on the menu for the state dinner the White House recently held for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and his wife, Gursharan Kaur (with CNN taking note here).

    However, what would really impress me would be if they weren’t quite so brainless in their feature writing (here), to say nothing of acting as a propaganda conduit for global warming denialists (here).

  • 2) Also, get a load of the latest from U.S. House Minority Leader John “Man Tan” Boehner here…

    At every turn this year, Republicans have offered better, fiscally-responsible solutions to tackle the immediate challenges facing the American people, including an economic recovery plan that would have created twice the jobs at half the cost, a budget that would impose strict caps to limit federal spending on an annual basis, and the only health care bill that would cut the deficit and consistently reduce federal spending on health care over the next two decades.

    When Boehner is referring to “fiscally-responsible solutions,” would he be talking about the budget alternative noted by Nate Silver here (the one with, like, no actual numbers in it)? You know, something containing all the worst ideas from right-wing “think tanks” (here)?

    And when he’s talking about an alternative health care bill, is he referring to the one noted here, with “eight or nine ideas” posted on the RNC web site?

    Yes, busting on Boehner in this way is like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel, but he makes the temptation irresistible when he continues to peddle such obvious nonsense.

  • 3) And finally, former Dubya speechwriter Michael Gerson laments the demise of journalism today in the WaPo (here – hint; as far as Gerson is concerned, it’s the fault of those darned U.S. bloggers who mostly don’t report from war zones and cable TV).

    Oh, and by the way, what exactly are the “lies” of Dan Rather to which Gerson refers, I wonder (here)?

    Such pontifications are actually funny from someone like Gerson, who, as noted here, ignored a speech President Obama gave to evangelicals and then accused Obama of not reaching out to them.

    And as noted here, Gerson said Obama should “come out strongly for policies reducing the number of abortions,” even though did just that. And this tells us how Gerson inflated his role in the development of his former boss’s AIDS initiative in Africa, otherwise known as PEPFAR, which, as I noted here, had strings attached all over the place.

    Oh, and this discusses the phrase “pulling a Gerson” (linked to the post)…

    “Gerson is a ‘planner,’ not a ‘plunger,’” a 2005 National Journal profile noted, “meaning that he makes a meticulous outline, which he consults during the writing process.” This is true, and equal care and intensity went into crafting the Gerson image. Colleagues were not in the outline, nor were the normal standards of discretion in White House speechwriting. People have a way of disappearing in Mike’s stories. The artful shaping of narrative and editing out of inconvenient detail was never confined to the speechwriting. (The phrase pulling a Gerson, as I recently heard it used around the West Wing, does not refer to graceful writing.) And though in (Gerson’s book) Heroic Conservatism (ugh!) Mike has doubtless offered a kind word or two for speechwriting colleagues, no man I have ever encountered was truer to the saying that, in Washington, one should never take friendship personally.

    And as noted here, Dubya and his pals (including Gerson) “came into office determined to tightly control the flow of information,” which is the life blood of any decent journalist (a stretch in Gerson’s case, I know).

    So the next time Gerson decides to go “tut-tut” over the “slow, sad death” of the profession to which he claims to be a member, he ought to take a good, long, hard look at himself in the mirror first before he ever decides again to waste our time with such sickeningly self-righteous drivel.

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