Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Conway Con

Image result for inauguration trump

So is this how it's going to be ? First the White House Spokesman Sean Spicer glaringly misrepresents the numbers of the Inauguration attendance by saying the crowds were the "biggest ever". Now Trump's chief apologist Conway announces that the Spokesman gave "alternative facts" about the numbers instead of simply saying that Spicer was mistaken, or more simply, was wrong. That would have given this faux pas a fast, if embarrassing, arrest, but it creates more concern and justification for more scrutiny on these rascals. 

"Alternative facts"? This phrase pretty much reflects the magical and impulsive thinking of Trump's campaign rhetoric, where the first thing that came into his head at a speech was the next thing he said, without vetted proof of any sort, surreally incoherent declarations he would double, triple and quadruple down on when pressed as to their accuracy. There are, of course, no such things as "alternative facts". There are facts that are not accounted for, matters not yet discovered, recorded and verified, but all the same, there are no "alternative facts".  There are facts known and facts unknown, and if there are facts that demonstrably disprove that what previously thought was true, you change your assumption, you change your theory of how the world works. 

You begin to think that Trump's hallucinatory grasp of things is contagious among those who've been in close quarters to him for too long. Might this be a case of Elvis Syndrome, or Michael Jackson for that matter, where rich and deluded men are surrounded not by friends or concerned family but rather by hired henchmen who's job it is to reinforce the leader's slanted cosmology? It would a good time for us to re-read George Orwell's brilliant essay "Politics and the English Language", a trenchant piece that exposes how propagandist on the Left and the Right usurp common place words, phrases and concepts and find ways of using the language to advance their ideological goals.My worry about Conway's use of the phrase "alternative facts" comes that her use seemed reflexive, not performative. She sounded as if the distinction made any difference. You wonder if she knew the difference at all.  

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rand Paul's Rush Job

Rand Paul's campaign for Senate has received from legal representatives of the band Rush informing them that they are using some of the band's copyrighted music without permission. You'd link that it would part of that erstwhile libertarian's animal instinct to pay Rush the money required to lawfully use their music to sell his brand of anti-statist snake oil. I would imagine an intern, aiding a campaign advance man, cobbled together the soundtrack on the fly without a second thought to obtaining permissions, but the notion that creators should receive compensation for use of their work is such a bed rock belief in the firmament that you wonder how this slip, though minor, could have happened. The pun is obvious enough; who did the soundtrack preparations for the Paul campaign did a rush job.(Sorry.)Funny thing, since Rush are Ayn Randians. Unrestrained free-marketeers ripping each other off, go figure.Imagine a world ruled by people who take what they want with what ever cavalier strong arming it takes . Rush and Rand are a perfect match, by the way: the respective music and novels each has produced are big, clumsy, and chicken ranch dumb.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hit them back

Fox News has its collective under garment creeping into the their puckered private area because the Obama White House, from the man himself and higher staff members, have opined that the Murdoch channel isn't a news organization, but rather a propaganda arm for the Republican National Committee. Three cheers for the good guys; it's about times Democrats, be they liberals, progressives, moderates or blue dogs, talk back to the noise machine.

The American Left certainly wasn't afraid of offending political sensibilities while there was a Viet Nam war through which the ultimately unprovability of historical determinism could be obscured by a conflict whose obscenity over rode local matters. But with the end of the war, the left here abouts receded to theory, unwilling, I think , to realize something fundamentally decent about Americans and their sense of fairness to the right cause, and it seemed to matter little to the intellectual elite to deal with practical matters of policy , county, state and federal.

The left became generalized in theory and law, and reduced everything to an eviscerated discourse of euphemistic speech that was not allowed to defile a sense of neutrality: things ceased to have names, only vague descriptions , and in this atmosphere any talk about identifying problems about what sickens the Nation became impossible . Rather than take action to change social relations, real practice, a fight for change was reduced to a ideologically perplexed course in etiquette, the practice of which made humans confront each other in ways that were nervous, nervous, ultimately insane. The progressives were more interested in shoring up their tenuous gains since the start of the Civil Rights Movement, which suited Republicans just fine.

"Guts" comes to mind, courage, old fashioned and romantic virtues , but still ways to talk about the world, the city where we might live, and within in, a way to imagine and realize the ways to make it maybe make it more workable than it was then when we entered into it, knowing only hunger and the feeling of cold earth. The courage we speak has been demonstrated with the winning of both houses of Congress and the White House; what remains to be done , in a fair fight, is to pursue the cause and smacking down the grimy dogs who would bring us down.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

If Hillary can't withstand Olbermann's metaphor, why should she be President?

There's understandable concern that the longer Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battle for the Democratic nomination for President, the more it will help the Republicans in the November election; the longer the tussle, the harder it becomes for the Democrats to pull their act together and present a United Front with a plan for a Better America. But it's not enough, it seems, for Democratic politicians to pile on each other, it seems that Democrat -friendly pundits have to start smacking each other around in like fashion. Salon editor Joan Walsh, a smart woman and a welcome addition to the cable news cadre of Rotating Commentators, took a vague, niggling exception to a remark made by MSNBC's Keith Olberman regarding the attempts to have a party elder meet with Hillary Clinton in private to persuade her to drop out of the campaign. Olbermann subsequently apologized for his metaphor on the air, which subsequently set off a round of comic liberal self-examination. One wonders if somebody remembers that there is an election to win.

Keith Olbermann is one of my favorites if only because he was the first anchor on cable news who didn't cave in to the talking points of The Right Wing Noise Machine and rather talked back in terms they (and his audience) understood, loudly, clearly, emphatically, and armed with documented facts and precise, exact quotes, presented in context. It's little wonder why GOP activists dislike him. He might have been harsh with Hillary Clinton, but it's not as if she hasn't merited the scrutiny; her misleading statements about her record of public service, her flip flopping on issues, and her husband's ill-advised introduction of race into the debate are matters to be parsed and critiqued. It's ridiculous to take umbrage with Olbermann's metaphor, since the outrage is nearly a parody of the hypersensitivity of certain liberal constituents whom Rush Limbaugh takes so much joy lampooning. Hillary Clinton is wants to be President of the United States, and she claims that she’s ready for the job, whatever the job takes. If Joan Walsh thinks that’s true, she should stop fretting whether Olbermann’s remark was sexist and resist the urge to make women candidates a Special Class, exempt from the rough and tumble anyone else interested in the office has to suffer.