Category Archives: Language

Both sides of p0rn, thru the Fairness Doctrine

Congratulations, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), you’ve said what may well win you the Single Stupidest TV Sound Bite of the 2008 Election Season award. And that takes some doing.

The very same people who don’t want the Fairness Doctrine want the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] to limit pornography on the air. I am for that… But you can’t say government hands off in one area to a commercial enterprise but you are allowed to intervene in another. That’s not consistent.

So Senator Schumer believes that you can’t regulate hardcore smut flicks and, at the same time, not regulate mainstream conservative talk radio, because that just wouldn’t be “consistent.” You see, it’s all or nothing when it comes to government intrusion. You can’t hide your kids’ eyes from a degrading cable goatsex simulcast, and still leave them free to turn the radio to Laura Ingraham. For the love of all that is sacred, Think Of The Children!™

Which side of this inconsistency bothers you more, Sen. Schumer? That mainstream conservative talk radio may be inappropriate and harmful to minors or those with delicate sensibilities? Or is it that bondage reels won’t give sufficient “equal time” to the submissive party for rebuttal?

More here, here, and here.

UPDATE: Barack Obama has won the election. First, congratulations, Mr. President-elect. Second, I ask that you resist Sen. Schumer’s entreaties for an appointment as your new Minister of Information.

Biden Gaffe Watch: “What Biden gaffes?”

Well, that’s a novel approach: answer critics of your gaffes by declaring they weren’t actually gaffes.

“I think we’ve run a really good campaign,” Biden said Monday. “And for all the stuff about gaffes, I don’t think there have been any real gaffes,” Biden said. “I mean, I don’t see anything in your polling data demonstrating any of that stuff you guys love to write about.”

“I never make any big, big gaffes,” he added. “I mean, you guys love saying that about me, but I tell you what, just look at the numbers. I don’t have any problem with what I’ve said and there’s nothing I’ve said that I would back off of.”

Republicans have ripped numerous Biden remarks over the past few months, with Sen. John McCain calling him “the gift that keeps on giving.”

And there you have it: the Biden Gaffe Watch’s first “Biden meta-gaffe.” It takes a true gaffemeister to commit a gaffe about your own gaffes.

UPDATE: Following close on the heels of Biden’s first meta-gaffe is Biden’s first “gaffe sandwich” (my own phrase), which is what I call a rare moment of lucidity enclosed on either end by incomprehensible blather. The moment of lucidity?

“I shouldn’t be going off like this, but…”

The rest of the gaffe sandwich? Well…why don’t you check it out for yourself.

Will you be rich come Inauguration Day?

No, I’m not talking about Gwen Ifill’s book-selling prospects in the event that Barack Obama wins.

I’m talking about the sinking bar for the Democrats’ definition of “rich” as it pertains to the threshold income level at which Obama’s tax plan would really pack a wallop. Where do you step out from beneath the protective umbrella of the hallowed, untouchable middle class and graduate to state cash-cow status? Are you safe from the Obama harvesting machine if you make less than:

  1. $1,000,000
  2. $250,000
  3. $200,000
  4. $150,000
  5. $120,000
  6. $70,000
  7. $41.500
  8. All of the above

Well, if Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, any number of various Obama campaign bigs, and Obama himself are to be believed, the answer can only be “All of the above.”

During the Democratic primaries, where class envy was an easier sell and solid economic plans were not yet necessary, Obama contented himself with railing against “millionaires,” which had more of a personal touch than “corporations” and allowed for comparisons of personal income. Same bugaboo, different tax form.

After Obama’s nomination, he released his tax plan to the public, declaring (as he did in July at a gathering in Georgia), “If you make $250,000 a year or less, we will not raise your taxes. We will cut your taxes!” This figure came up repeatedly during the debates. And there was much rejoicing among the acolytes.

Last weekend, the Obama campaign released a TV ad in which their candidate assured us, “If you have a job, pay taxes, and make less than $200,000 a year, you will get a tax cut.” The candidate said this would apply to “95% of working Americans,” a figure I and others (including the AP and CBS News) have said numerous times is a mathematical impossibility.

Then came Tuesday, when Obama’s running-mate, Sen. Joe Biden, lowered the bar further to $150,000. It was at about this point that the serial bar-lowering turned into a great ad opportunity for the McCain campaign.

There’s more lurking in the background, however, that the campaign had to leave out for time’s sake…it looks like he’s been shining us on all along. In an interview in 2003, toward the beginning of his Senate campaign, Obama pegs the middle-class upper income limit at $70,000. How thoughtful…looks like he’s just slipping lower and lower numbers by us so that he might ease us into our newfound “richness.”

At least that would go some way toward explaining his recent loyal support and vote for the Democrat-crafted budget bill for FY 2009, which slapped a tax hike on individuals making as little as $41,500. I can just see all those middle-class folks basking in their newfound patriotism as they join the ranks of the nouveau riche.

Oh, hell, I feel richer already.

UPDATE: The McCain campaign’s “Slippery Slope” ad (referenced in the $150,000 paragraph above) has been updated to include the Richardson clip. Unfortunately, it’s way too long for a 30-second spot, and looks to be restricted to Web-ad status.

Sharing toys vs. Redistributing them

As if it weren’t eye-popping enough for Joe Biden to get in Katie Couric’s face and insist that paying higher taxes is a “patriotic” act, now Barack Obama is taking that ball and running with it, equating opposition to redistributionism with “selfishness”:

John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic. You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness. You know, the next thing, the next thing I know they’re gonna, you know, find evidence of my communistic tendencies because I shared my toys when I was in kindergarten.

If I’ve said this before, I’ve said it a thousand times: there is nothing selfish or inhumane about opposition to higher taxes and government-mandated wealth redistribution, especially given the history of both. Sen. Obama is a contemptible demagogue for trying to pass off this doctrinaire statism as virtuous in comparison.

Explanation, including a more apt vision of little Barack in kindergarten sharing his (and other people’s) toys, below the break.

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Bill Clinton, always eager to help

Two weeks after Jesse Jackson did his part in promoting Obama with a jubilant announcement to an international audience in Europe that an Obama administration would put Israel in its place diplomatically, now Bill Clinton is pitching in with some “help” of his own.

Clinton was in Florida with Obama for a mend-the-fences rally (full speech text here), and Clinton proudly declared to the crowd that the great thing about Obama’s performance during the early days of the financial meltdown is that he was completely clueless:

“I haven’t cleared this with him and he may even be mad at me for saying this so close to the election, but I know what else he said to his economic advisers (during the crisis),” Clinton told the crowd at a Wednesday night rally with Obama in Florida. “He said, ‘Tell me what the right thing to do is. What’s the right thing for America? Don’t tell me what’s popular. You tell me what’s right — I’ll figure out how to sell it.’”

Now, I don’t expect Obama to have all the answers, any more than I do McCain. As Allahpundit points out, even Alan Greenspan was caught unawares by the severity of the collapse. However, I do not expect a prospective president to run around like a headless chicken, shouting “What’ll I do?? What’ll I do??” And what’s that about “you tell me what’s right, I’ll figure out how to sell it”? Who is this man now, Joe Isuzu? It would be one thing if Obama had collected an ad hoc brain trust and brought along some ideas of his own for a brainstorming session, or at least some core economic and philosophical guidelines to keep his thoughts on track. Instead, Clinton tells a story of a greenhorn pleading for a script and a TelePrompTer.

Clinton ticked off a list of people he says Obama called:

I knew what he was doing. He talked to his advisers, he talked to my economic advisers. He called Hillary. He called me…

And now we get down to the real message. Barack Obama is an awesome pick because he goes to the Clinton Brigade first.

You know, I really do believe that the former president was genuinely trying to pay Obama a sincere compliment. That’s the worst part. Bill Clinton appears constitutionally incapable of saying anything without making it all about Bill Clinton (although, as in the above quote, he’ll occasionally throw Hillary a bone). He wants to make Obama look good, but by boiling Obama’s thought processes down to “you tell me what’s right, I’ll figure out how to sell it,” Clinton turns him into the textbook definition of an empty suit.

Killing the messenger: Out for Joe’s blood

Predictably enough, the Associated Press and similar outlets have declared war on Joe Wurzelbacher, AKA “Joe the Plumber,” AKA the guy who dared ask Barack Obama an uncomfortable question when people were watching.

Questions have been brought to light about Wurzelbacher’s status as a plumber, his tax returns, his income, his voting history, and the size of the business he wants to buy.  The New York Times had a whole medley of sinister tales from the underbelly of the Wurzelbacher household in yesterday’s edition.  Joe himself has come under more scrutiny in the last two or three days than the press has bothered to exercise on Sen. Obama for two years.  All the result of a question Joe had the temerity to ask Obama before the senator could set up his TelePrompTer and focus-group the potential answers.

The Associated Press and its cohorts have missed the story yet again; they can villainize “Joe the Plumber” to their hearts’ content, but Obama’s response to him in Ohio still has a life of its own.

Looking back, Obama’s off-the-cuff answer to Joe’s worry that his taxes would rise under Obama’s tax plan is one he would doubtless like to “revise and extend.”  The senator slipped smoothly into professor mode and lectured the t-shirt-wearing “average guy” archetype in front of him on the virtues of “spreading the wealth around” through hideously lopsided taxation.  If Obama didn’t know it then, he surely has learned now that a blue-collar worker trying to pull his way up the economic ladder by the sweat of his own brow is probably not the ideal audience for a high-flying ode to the virtues of redistributionism.

The aftermath of Obama’s gaffe was the last thing he needed in the last 24 hours before the final debate.  Joemania — and I don’t mean Obama’s running mate — was front and center at Hofstra University as each candidate fought to yank away the mantle of “Champion of Joe the Plumber” (the man does have a last name, guys, by the way).  John McCain seemed to wear that mantle much more comfortably, as Obama spent most of his Joe-wooing time trying to persuade the audience that he didn’t really tell Joe what the videocamera says he told him in Ohio.  The post-debate consensus that McCain came across as Joe’s better bet of the two was confirmed in the new effort to discredit Joe Wurzelbacher as…well, it’s hard to tell, but the point appears to be that Joe’s question doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t have been asked, or something.

Lost in all of this new personal infodumping about Evil Joe Barackbane is the substance of his original conversation with Obama.  Here’s the thing:  what hurt Obama about that conversation isn’t who Joe is; it’s what Obama told him. His “spreading the wealth around” comment provided a rare insight into Obama’s feelings about the role of government in directing the economy and the relationship of the government to private citizens who work for a living.  Overtaxing businesses and individuals for the purpose of passing on the proceeds to the less fortunate, executed on a governmental scale, is a recipe for economic disaster.  It’s been demonstrated in the past, and it’s part of long-established American conventional wisdom.

The ominous “spreading the wealth” rhetoric was the weapon McCain brought to the debate against Obama, not “Joe the Plumber,” which was no more than a pleasing marketing package.  Tearing down Joe Wurzelbacher doesn’t change a thing about that unscripted glimpse into Obama’s fascination with redistributionist economic doctrine.  In fact, the tarnishing of the “Joe the Plumber” brand will force McCain to rely more on the phrase “spreading the wealth around,” which goes more to the heart of why the home video of that exchange in Ohio went viral so quickly and led to so many second looks at Barack Obama.

It’s not about who likes “Joe the Plumber.”  It’s about who supports the government’s “spreading the wealth around.”

UPDATE: Captain Ed has more insight on the perils of questioning The Anointed.  Miz Michelle christens “Operation Destroy Joe the Plumber” (I’m a little disappointed…she couldn’t have come up with something better?  Operation Rip Out the Pipes?  Operation Plumbing New Depths?  Operation Kitchen Sink?  You’ve got gold here, Michelle, c’mon…)

UPDATE II: Oh, good gawd.  Daily Kos and other leftward blogs (none of whom I’ll dignify with a link) are soiling themselves over unconfirmed reports that some relative of Joe Wurzelbacher’s is Charles Keating’s son-in-law and a GOP donor.  (Joe’s reported response: “I don’t know anything about that.”)  So what would this mean?  That Obama worked his way along a rope line and picked himself a McCain plant for a question?

Sarah Palin is a… WHAT??

“Civil rights icon” Rep. John Lewis made news recently by drawing a parallel between John McCain and segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace.  Sen. McCain was understandably gobsmacked, and Lewis subsequently (and unconvincingly) backtracked in the face of anti-race-baiting backlash, but Lewis’s point was that the tone of McCain’s and Sarah Palin’s recent campaign rhetoric was “sowing the seeds of hatred and division,” and that McCain and Palin were “playing with fire” and “playing a dangerous game.”

Want to see a “dangerous game” played with “hatred and division?”  Check below the break.

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