Monday, March 20, 2006

Lying Language

Bush Using Straw-Man Arguments in Speeches
Not just Bush but Faux News, and, well, just about all of the television news channels along with ALL of Shrub's administration use this rhetorical trick. And a "trick" is exactly what it is. It is dishonest and is corrupting the real political discourse needed in this country.
"When the president starts a sentence with 'some say' or offers up what 'some in Washington' believe, as he is doing more often these days, a rhetorical retort almost assuredly follows."

Bush routinely is criticized for dressing up events with a too-rosy glow. But experts in political speech say the straw man device, in which the president makes himself appear entirely reasonable by contrast to supposed "critics," is just as problematic.
A specialist in presidential rhetoric, Wayne Fields of Washington University in St. Louis, views it as "a bizarre kind of double talk" that abuses the rules of legitimate discussion."It's such a phenomenal hole in the national debate that you can have arguments with nonexistent people," Fields said. "All politicians try to get away with this to a certain extent. What's striking here is how much this administration rests on a foundation of this kind of stuff."
But I thought Clinton was the word parsing, double-speaking, definition of "is" is, Slick Willy snake oil salesman. That's how the Repugs defined him. Let's take a historical look back at the Clinton administration right before the Republican forced impeachment:

Poll: Clinton's approval rating up in wake of impeachment - December 20, 1998
"AllPolitics, December 20) -- In the wake of the House of Representatives' approval of two articles of impeachment, Bill Clinton's approval rating has jumped 10 points to 73 percent, the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows.

That's not only an all-time high for Clinton, it also beats the highest approval rating President Ronald Reagan ever had.

Despite concerns that public calls for Clinton's resignation would rise after his impeachment, the number of Americans who want Clinton to resign has remained statistically unchanged. Only 30 percent want Clinton to resign; only 29 percent want the Senate to convict Clinton and remove him from office.
Clinton had a higher approval rating than REAGAN! So let's check in on Dear Leader's numbers as of last week. A Dear Leader who SHOULD be impeached:

Bush's Ratings Slump
A bitterly divided electorate gives President George W. Bush an approval rating of only 36 percent in the latest NEWSWEEK poll, matching the low point in his presidency recorded last November.
Oh, and let's check out how folks are using language to define Bush:

Bush battered by US pessimism, leadership doubts:
"A majority of Americans, 56 percent, believe Bush is 'out of touch,' the poll found. When asked for a one-word description of Bush, the most frequent response was 'incompetent,' followed by 'good,' 'idiot' and 'liar.' In February 2005, the most frequent reply was 'honest.'
Out of touch, idiot, liar, incompetent... I couldn't have said it better myself.

The current holder of the Democratic Party's Balls (apparently there is only one set that must be shared amongst the Demos), Russ Feingold enlightens us a bit more on language and how the Republicans/Fox News manipulate it instead of creating real policy that works for Americans as he defends his censure movement:

Feingold on Truthiness:
"FEINGOLD: It seems to me appropriate, when the spin machines are out there and people are using various language, to come out and reiterate my reasons for doing this.

I think that the press decided immediately that somehow this was a bad thing for Democrats and a good thing for conservatives. The facts don't bear it out. You don't have the polls to prove it. The way my colleagues are responding to me suggests to me they're thinking about this, that they feel that there has to be some accountability.

So the instant decision about what the story is, actually, I think is going to backfire on those who made up the story. I don't get the feeling that I had on Monday about this -- yes, people were concerned -- I'm not getting that.

And if the right wing really believes in this country that -- Rush Limbaugh and others -- that they can somehow turn the president's reputation around by saying, 'You're darn right he violated the law, and it's a good thing,' I think they're just as confused as they are about their Iraq politics. People aren't buying it anymore.

So not only do I not regret it, I felt an absolute obligation to do it."
Damn it's nice when someone takes truthiness and uncovers it for what it really is. Thanks Russ!

But what do you expect from the conservative "whiny-ass titty babies" as Atrios so articulately defines them. Check out this study done by researchers that will have Hannity, Limpballs, Ann Vultour and the rest acting, very soon, like, well.. "whiny-ass titty babies".

How to spot a baby conservative:

"Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative."

At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals.
Oh, I can hear them sucking the blood from bat fetuses now in preparation for the "Ward Churchilling" they are about to bring down on these researchers.

I see that Alabama is moving at its normal pace of change in correcting wrongs:

Ala. Segregation Arrests May Be Pardoned

Yeah, great. 40 fucking years to correct the record.

But, wait! Them Damn Yankees don't seem to be much quicker. They're just now starting to teach kids that slavery didn't just happen in the south.

Shedding light on slavery in the north:
"'Many people are surprised when you talk about slavery's existence in New York,' Carter said. 'They're surprised because it's taught as something that happened in the South.'"
But our hero for today is Mudcat Saunders. I love this guy. I posted about him previously. Here is a man who knows language and specifically knows how to talk to Southerners.

Mudcat crashes the Party:

"Can a guy who sleeps under a Confederate-flag bedspread really be the answer to the Democrats taking back the White House?

Can someone who says the only people he hates more than Republicans are opera-listening Northeastern Democrats persuade country folks to vote for Hillary Clinton?"
This is the same Mudcat who, as a young sportswriter, asked NFL quarterback great Johnny Unitas why he dried his privates before his face after a post-game shower.
"It's unbelievable that Democrats can't figure out that what we're really worried about is health care and jobs, that Mama's got to get a second job and how we're getting Junior to the dentist.

"To me, as far as gays are concerned, ... what's two queer guys gettin' married got to do with me losing my job?"

There is hope, yet!

And finally today:

Chili's Heat Kills Prostate Cancer Cells
This is good news but I'm a bit worried as to how the application works.

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