Friday Mashup (11/27/09)

November 27, 2009

  • 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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    An Ungodly Intrusion

    November 28, 2008

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    Earlier this week, Fix Noise (among others) made a big deal out of the fact that President-Elect Barack Obama apparently hasn’t attended church services in the last few weeks (as if that’s any of my business one way or the other – the obligatory takedown from Media Matters is here; President Brainless has been praised as a person of faith for years by minions such as Michael Gerson, even though Dubya continues to condone torture, turn basically a blind eye to the catastrophic refugee crisis he created by virtue of his war of choice in Iraq, and wage war on both the environment and this country’s neediest citizens, who grow in rank by the hour due to his lazy, incompetent “stewardship”).

    And to illustrate to me what continues to be the rank hypocrisy of news organizations commenting on matters of spirituality, we have Cal Thomas (of all people) here at the Washington Post (registration required) telling us that…

    Presidents who desire a “normal” worship experience (if anything a president does can be said to be normal) can find a way to have one if they wish. The standard for modern presidents is Jimmy Carter. I was fortunate to attend First Baptist Church in Washington when Carter was president. His regular attendance when he was in town established a type of normalcy that removed what might have been a disruptive experience had he only been an occasional visitor. While a pool of reporters always attended with him (and having reporters in church is a good thing!), they were respectful and did not intrude on the Carters’ worship experience.

    Well, call me just a filthy, unkempt liberal blogger, but I don’t know how Thomas could pretend to have a “worship experience” with a man about whom he also said the following (here)…

    Jimmy Carter thinks he is doing God’s will by “loving” his enemies. The expectation behind that biblical instruction is that such an act will soften the heart of the enemy. But evil does not respond this way. What evil does is to take these acts (evil people know the commands, too, because they have studied us more than we have studied them) and use such notions to achieve their objectives. They will tell us whatever we want to hear in order to get their way. They believe the Koran allows them to lie to “infidels.”

    Why won’t we understand this? Converts from Islam regularly warn us. Why do we persist in believing their lies when the only thing they have been consistent at is lying? If Carter trusts Hamas, whom else would he trust?

    Nothing stinks as badly as a perishable item that has passed its “sell-by” date. That describes Jimmy Carter. His foreign policy was a failure when he was president, most notably his approach to Iran, which toppled that regime and gave us what we face now. Now, as ex-president, he continues to cause damage and undermine his country’s foreign policy.

    Yes, Carter was wrong not to somehow surmise the danger in Iran at the time of the crisis, but such hostage-taking was and remains an act without precedent in its brutality by an alleged nation-state (if the phrase “no one could have foreseen this” applied anywhere, it could have applied to this). And yes, Carter screwed up the rescue attempt, but he poured everything he had into obtaining the release of the 52 Americans held in Tehran (and that doesn’t even take into account this act which is tantamount to treason by The Sainted Ronnie R IMHO).

    But what about the Camp David Accords and the Panama Canal Treaty? How about showing the same “respect” to Carter’s legacy as you do to his “worship experience” by simply telling the truth?

    Give me a fracking break, people (and in other news of the Almighty, U.S. House Dem Tom Riner of Kentucky is trying to invoke Him in that state’s mission statement for its Department of Homeland Security here…with people like this professing to speak on behalf of my beliefs, sometimes I wonder if there’s merit in becoming a Druid).


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