Steve Kroft, Are You Dick-Drunk?

From Political Machine’s Mark Impomeni:

The president’s demeanor in discussing the economy was so noticeably inappropriate that interviewer Steve Kroft confronted him about it, asking if Obama was, “punch drunk.” (13:34) Obama explained his jokes at the economy’s troubles as, “a little gallows humor to get you through the day.”

Yeah, Mark, he was fairly leaping on the couch and donning lampshades.

No, the reason this is a story is that Steve Kroft is a dick.  Are you punch drunk?  What kind of question is that?

The problem is, if an interviewer says something dickish, the President can’t call him out.  I woulda been like, “Punch drunk?  You mean from the punches I’m about to put upside your head?”

Punch drunk.

There are Laws Against Fornication?

Maybe I don’t really know what that word means.  Fornication.  Isn’t that just, like, a longer version of the F word?  Let’s find out.  I’m looking it up now.   This is exciting.

for·ni·cate (fôrn-kt)

intr.v. for·ni·cat·ed, for·ni·cat·ing, for·ni·cates

To commit fornication.

Well, that was no fornicating help at all.  Let’s try Google Images.

6288

I like the way they think, but still, not that helpful.

See, I wrote this story at AOL earlier:

Barney Frank Calls Justice Antonin Scalia a ‘Homophobe’

And it contained this quote from Antonin Scalia:

He went on to conclude that “the Texas statute undeniably seeks to further the belief of its citizens that certain forms of sexual behavior are immoral and unacceptable, the same interest furthered by criminal laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality and obscenity.”

So, if that means what I think it means, I’m in big trouble.  I’m the fornicating equivalent of Tim Geithner.

Back to our search for meaning.  Let’s try Wikipedia:

Fornication is a term which typically refers to voluntary sexual intercourse between persons not married to each other.

What the fornicate?  Since when is that a fornicating crime?  That’s just doin’ it the smart way!  Just let them try to arrest me.  From my cold, dead fingers!!

NSFW:How Bad Does Your Beer Have to Taste For You to Put Tits on the Bottle?

One doesn’t naturally follow the other, but doesn’t it seem a little desperate?  From TastyBooze.com:bottles

Three buddies in Australia came up with a unique way to market their bottled beer called Skinny Blonde. Instead of using cutting edge ink technology to turn some bullshit mountains blue the guys at Skinny Blonde make a pin-up girl’s top disappear as the bottle warms up. Yep, you read that correctly, not only do you get a bottle of beer but you get boobies as well. That is what I call a win, win situation

I would normally put a picture like this below the fold, but hey, it’s a DRAWING.  Chillax.

I have a few problems with this. First of all, you’d have to be Australian in the first place to give people an incentive to warm their beer up.  I guess we could run a pool to see how long it takes for some impatient horndog to be the first guy to microwave a beer.

Now, the girl on the bottle is hot, for a cartoon, but I wouldn’t call her “skinny.”   I realize that’s a play on the low-carbedness of the beer, but they’re alienating a large population of guys for whom “skinny” does not equal awesome.

In the US, I’m sure they’d be accused of misogyny by people who didn’t say shit when Budweiser had a horse fart in a girls face during the Super Bowl.

The Truth About Barack Obama’s TelePrompTer!

The Truth About Barack Obama’s TelePrompTer!

I wrote a piece over the weekend debunking the hot new Barack Obama TelePrompTer narrative, and sure enough, this attack is gaining legs all over the blogosphere. The heat on this story derives from both The Drudge Report’s linking last week to the recently-launched “Barack Obama’s TelePrompTer’s Blog,” and the President’s subsequent gaffe on The Tonight Show.

Due to the explosive popularity of this rather simple-minded meme, I think a more thorough examination of the fallacies, misconceptions, and outright lies from which it springs is in order.

There’s an unintentionally ironic post up at Redstate now that perfectly sums up my analysis of this attack:

Obama and his teleprompter are big news lately. As Vodka Pundit noted in his weekly summary, the right-o-sphere saw the meteoric rise of a new star, Barack Obama’s Teleprompter’s blog last week. Also last week, an hilarious twitpic by Right Scoop (see photo upper right) made the rounds, even garnering an approving mention by Maja Rushie himself.

I think Maja Rushie is righty pillow-speak for “Rush Limbaugh.” Then, there’s this video:

This all kind of proves my point. They cite a made-up blog, a photo-shopped “humor” picture, and a video made up entirely of made-up photos. This narrative springs from the imaginations of people who see no better way to oppose Barack Obama than to attack his strength.

I’m going to break this down into 3 parts: Lies about the President and the TelePrompTer, unsupported (or barely supported) claims about the President and the TelePrompTer, and fallacies about the President and the TelePrompTer.

Let’s take care of the lies first.

Lies about the President and the TelePrompTer

There are two oft-repeated lies about the President’s use of the TelePrompTer, most notablypublished on the Fox News website, and never corrected.

The first is that, at the President’s first televised news conference, he used the TelePrompTer during the Q&A, not just for his opening remarks. I was there, and anybody who was can tell you that the devices lowered into the floor after his opening remarks.

The second lie is that the White House is planning to install a special video screen in the President’s podium, so he can be coached during press conferences. Although the claim defies reason, I checked with the White House, and the story is completely false.

Unsupported (or barely supported) claims about the President and the TelePrompTer:

Legitimate news organizations like Politico and the New York Times have run stories claiming that President Obama uses the TelePrompTer more than other Presidents did, under a wider set of circumstances.

While I don’t necessarily dispute this, none of these stories provide detail, relying on anecdotal data. Does he use it 2% more, 20% more? Did other Presidents give more, less, or any speeches outside the “normal” use of TelePrompTers this early in their terms?

Additionally, both articles point out that when the President does use the device, it is in situations where others would use it as well, or use notecards. Nobody is claiming that Obama uses a script where others did not. The TelePrompTer is, in essence, a high-tech notecard.

What disturbs me about this is that I think the only reason these stories were even written was so these outlets could show how “balanced” they are. This is how the right continues to drive the news in this country. they accuse the media of a liberal bias, then feed them right-wing garbage like this to prove they’re not biased.

Fallacies about the President and the TelePrompTer:

I alluded to this in the last paragraph, but this entire scheme is meant to give the impression that Barack Obama is a mindless puppet. If that’s true, then every President is a mindless puppet, be it to the TelePrompTer or their prepared remarks. I covered many speeches during the campaign, for example, and followed along with the advance notes put out by the campaigns. None of the candidates diverged from their prepared remarks by more than a few syllables.

The other fallacy, the big one, is that the Special Olympics gaffe, or occasional verbal stumbling at a town hall meeting, are evidence that the President is helpless without the TelePrompTer. The argument is ridiculous on its face, and is only given propulsion by the previous lies I’ve mentioned. Barack Obama spoke extemporaneously at more than 20nationally televised debates, doing well enough to sweep John McCain in the 3 Presidential debates and win a landslide electoral victory.

Also missing from this comparison with other politicians and Presidents is the fact that, no matter what the speech is read from, Barack Obama writes far more of his own speeches than any other. These are his own words, to a much greater degree than those to whom he is compared. If he is a puppet, it is to himself.

Finally, comparing Obama to other Presidents is dishonest. While the technology has existed for about 50 years, it has become much more portable, and much more flexible to interface with, even in the course of the last President’s term in office. Given that fact, it is reasonable to think that other Presidents would have used it more had those benefits been available to them.

The right has 4, maybe even 8, more years to throw things like this against the wall. The media has a duty to make sure that only legitimate things stick.

Sarah Palin ‘Special Olympics Hypocrisy’ Argument Unfair

Sarah Palin ‘Special Olympics Hypocrisy’ Argument UnfairAlaska Governor Sarah Palin issued a relatively mild rebuke of President Obama’s Tonight Show gaffe, but some are trying to paint her as a hypocrite on the issue. The narrative springs from a paragraph in this Anchorage Daily News article:

The biggest single chunk of money that Palin is turning down is about $170 million for education, including money that would go for programs to help economically disadvantaged and special needs students. Anchorage School Superintendent Carol Comeau said she is “shocked and very disappointed” that Palin would reject the schools money. She said it could be used for job preservation, teacher training, and helping kids who need it

So, a portion of a chunk of the money would have been used to help part of a subset of children with special needs. What a monster.

Just as many pointed out that Palin had no unique claim to be the “best advocate” for special needs children simply because she has one, neither can that fact become the prism through which all of her policy decisions are viewed. Her decision on the stimulus should be criticized on the merits, not on its “butterfly effect” on special needs children.

On the merits, her decision plays like political opportunism:

The news Thursday drew anger from those who accused Palin of putting her national political aspirations ahead of the state’s interests, and admiration from others who say she has courage to turn down money that would expand government. The state Legislature will have an opportunity to override her decision.

Ah, won’t it be a shock when the legislature overrides her, and she gets to keep the money and the political points for turning it down? I can’t wait for the outraged statement she types up while counting the bills.

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