Now that the President-elect elected to select the unelectable Rick Perry to direct the Department of Energy — the very agency he infamously tried, and failed, to inform voters he would shut down if they made him President of these United States — I thought now might be a good opportunity to instruct the media on word choice.
I turned on my computer last night with the intention of watching an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. But the internet alerted me that a Republican debate was in progress, so I tuned into that instead. Luckily, I came just in time to catch the exchange between Chris Christie and Marco Rubio that will live in infamy.
I don’t need to summarize what happened, but I will anyway. Slash, I’ll let Politico do it for me:
They called it Super Bowl 50 so you’d forget the “L” stands for “lies”.
During this year’s Super Bowl pre-game ceremony, the broadcaster mentioned that the league was celebrating the “fiftieth anniversary of the Super Bowl”. As it happens, you can listen for yourself in the very first few seconds of these official NFL Super Bowl highlights:
When he accidentally referred to Libya as Lebanon on Saturday, Rick Perry was putting himself in good company — he’s now the second 2012 Republican Presidential primary candidate who can’t keep the country straight, after Herman Cain famously self-immolated when asked to comment on Obama’s policy there. Here’s one account of Perry’s speech:
It’s late at night and I’ve already written about today’s incident at Lone Star College, but I do want to address one other argument that’s bound to come up in the wake of today’s incident: Lone Star’s campus is a gun-free zone.
If only someone on campus had been packing heat. I mean, we talkin about Texas: just look at what happened to the coyote who tried to mess with Rick Perry’s dog.
The reason I suspect Lone Star’s gun-free status will come up soon — if it hasn’t already — is that this is not the only recent incident in the same location. On January 22, a shooting injured four people (three were shot and one suffered a heart attack) on the campus of the same institution of higher education. And the reaction in certain sectors went — imaginatively — something like this:
[Update: It has come up! Some samples: 14 Students Attacked and Wounded in Texas “Gun Free Zone”, It Should Have Been a DGU: At Least The Campus is Still Gun-Free Edition (DGU, for the uninitiated, stands for Defensive Gun Use), 14 People Stabbed in Texas Gun Free Zone, MASS STABBING ON TEXAS CAMPUS WITH WEAPONS BAN, Multiple students stabbed on gun free Lone Star College campus (this last one being my favorite because it appeared in something called the The Tygrrrr Express — a right-wing nutjob truly after my own heart).]
And maybe all these pundits have a point. After all, what are the odds that a single organization would experience two attacks in quick succession? Could the Lone Stabber have been encouraged by the knowledge — trumpeted around the media less than three months ago — that no one else on campus would be packing heat?
I’ll certainly allow that such a narrative is plausible… but consider this account of the attack, and then try to imagine adding guns on the scene:
Hearken back, if you can, to the early days of October – or as I call it, Funkyzeit mit Romney.
Barack Obama was coming off a lackluster first debate that let Mitt Romney back into a race he’d seemingly dropped out of. Romney’s post-debate ‘bounce’ was just beginning to show up in the polls. The president was desperate for some good news.
And on October 5, he got some: the Labor Department announced a drop in the jobless rate from 8.1 to 7.8 in September. The drop below the 8% threshold was significant, and provided a shot of energy to the Obama campaign. As the New York Times put it:
Mr. Romney was deprived of a favorite line of attack, mocking the president for “43 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent.”
Of course, you probably remember the response on the right.
And it wasn’t just Jack Welch with his crazy conspiracy theory. Chances are you won’t click on that tweet (why would you?), so I’ll tell you: it was retweeted over 5,000 times. The Huffington Post compiled some of the other responses (you can skim this huge block of text to get the idea, or just take my word for it):
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) joined the trutherism on his Facebook page. “I agree with former GE CEO Jack Welch, Chicago style politics is at work here. Somehow by manipulation of data we are all of a sudden below 8 percent unemployment, a month from the Presidential election. This is Orwellian to say the least and representative of Saul Alinsky tactics from the book “Rules for Radicals”- a must read for all who want to know how the left strategize.”
The right-leaning Americans for Limited Government released a statement saying, “Either the Federal Reserve, which has its fingers on the pulse of every element of the economy, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics manufacturing survey report are grievously wrong or the number used to calculate the unemployment rate are wrong, or worse manipulated. Given that these numbers conveniently meet Obama’s campaign promises one month before the election, the conclusions are obvious.”
Economic journalist Stuart Varney said on Fox News, “There is widespread distrust of this report.”
Conn Carroll, of the Washington Examiner, tweeted, “I don’t think BLS cooked numbers. I think a bunch of Dems lied about getting jobs. That would have same effect.”
Rick Santelli, the CNBC media personality, yelled, “I told you they’d get it under 8 percent — they did! You can let America decide how they got there!”
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC primarily backed by GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, launched a robocall attacking vulnerable House Democrats over the figures.
And while many of these sources are hardly mainstream conservative voices, the Wall Street Journal did publish a Jack Welch editorial even after he admitted on-air to Chris Matthews that he had absolutely no evidence for his allegations:
Unfortunately for those who would like me to pipe down, the 7.8% unemployment figure released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last week is downright implausible. And that’s why I made a stink about it.
And the front page of FOXNews.com briefly looked like this:
“How is Mordechai’s Verizon petition on Change.org doing?” is a question exactly no one is asking, but oh my god I just watched The Daily Show, and that ad played back to back to back and it has to stop. Maybe I should start a new petition to celebrate Mother’s Day one week early this year.
Meanwhile, Change.org has been doing its best to make sure I stay on top of things. It’s nice to see the website maintain so much enthusiasm for a campaign that currently has fewer supporters than The city of Healdsbug California: Make the intersection of North and Fitch into a four way stop intersection* or Rick Perry (but more than other worthy causes, like Barnes and Noble: Stop shoving smut in our faces! or Bloomington Herald-Times: Stop using your newspaper to promote the KKK! or Hills Shire Council: To create a Youth centre in the Hills district for the youth to come to** or Judge Rotenberg Educational Center: Please Stop Painful Electric Shocks on Your Students):
Not sure why I’m even bothering to link to the video in question:
You don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.
Now, I know we’re near the border, and it all happened a really long time ago, but I seem to recall that being pretty much all we did in high school.