Genius at PolitiFact: Rick Perry not Actually Louis XIV!

Tuesday, I laughed at Harold Cook’s blog about PolitiFarce. Now, I’m ticked off about his target — PolitiFact.

That’s because the geniuses behind PolitiFact chose to truth-test the following Boyd Richie quote about Rick Perry: “He’s spending Texans’ hard-earned money to live like Louis XIV.”

Man, have you ever seen such a withering, scandalous and altogether outrageous attack? That Boyd Richie sure is playing rough. Or maybe not.

Though the truth test acknowledges the statement’s rather-gentle humor, precious ink and bandwidth were, nevertheless, wasted Wednesday on a literal analysis of its truth. We’re told about Louis’s 20-room house, the gardens, the orange trees and the theater – all of which are denied to poor old Rick. The piece concludes with a rating of Pantalon en Fue, or Pants on Fire. That’s their designation for a whopping lie.

Since I’m completely unfamiliar with French, I’ll butcher some Spanish for my thoughts on this: Caca de caballo!

Literalism is the refuge of a twit. Very often, it’s a defensive maneuver designed to hide one’s inability to formulate a reasoned response to another’s argument. Or, in this case, an inability to find some better use for one’s freakin’ time.

Moreover, PolitiFact’s literal analysis was as deep as a baby pool and, shall we say, just as pristine. Did Louis’s house, circa 1715, have indoor plumbing and bathrooms? How big was his fridge? How loud was his stereo? Did he have one of those fancy, color-coordinated washer-dryer combos? Did he have a freakin’ Food & Wine subscription? Should we give a rat’s ass?

Still, it wasn’t the literalism that set me off. Nor was it the shallow reasoning. I don’t really care about that stuff.

It does make me a little mad that PolitiFact is trying to suck out the last particle of humor left in politics, but that didn’t inspire me to spew invective.

What I do care about and what really torqued me is that this is the second time PolitiFact has provided cover for Perry by diverting the debate off-point.

Remember Rick’s “act of God” line about the oil spill? Did PolitiFact challenge that? Nope. Instead, they tested Perry’s explanation that came after the controversy boiled over. And sure enough, PolitiFact said he was right.

Never mind that Perry isn’t a lawyer and probably didn’t know “act of God” was a legal term of art. Never mind the irony “act of God” clauses being used to deny insurance payments to people like those poor souls on the Louisiana coast.

Boyd Richie and the Democrats are making this point: Rick Perry is living high on the hog at the taxpayers’ expense while average Texans are struggling through a recession that, if you will recall, our Governor once said didn’t exist.

Moreover, Perry is living his taxpayer-funded lifestyle of the rank and fatuous after becoming a millionaire himself over the last 20 some-odd years in politics. How in the hell did that happen?

Perhaps Perry will say getting rich was also an act of God. Who’ll join me in betting that PolitiFact rates it true?

Godzilla v Mothra II: The Tangle On The Tube

Godzilla03When we last checked in on Godzilla and Mothra – AKA Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison – they were skirmishing with their histrionic and hysterical press releases.

Since then, they have continued sniping at each other, though few are paying attention now.  That’s because both rolled out the big guns: TV spots.

Muddled Mothra

KBH was the first to escalate.  In her 30-second ad, she explains that she has once again changed her mind and is not, as she had indicated before, resigning from the Senate prior to the January 4 filing deadline.  Instead, she is going to stay in the Senate to “do everything (she) can to stop the government takeover of healthcare” Read more to find her ad, and more.

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So What’s the Purpose of Politics?

Raphael_PlatoAndAristotleWell of course the conversation started in a bar. Don’t they all?

It was the start of a happy hour for Glenn on his birthday. He and Tom Block, who also blogs the Dog, were seated across from me. As usual, Glenn was nursing a water, neat. I had diluted mine with scotch, and I suspect Mr. Block was on a similar beverage plan for the evening.

We began bantering about the rapid approach of Glenn’s golden years and then, of course, politics. Earlier in the day, a thought had drifted into my head, and I decided to try it out:

To me, politics is supposed to be about amassing political power and using it to enact the policies you support. However, it looks like we now have it backwards. We’re making policies to further the politics.

I argued further that this kind of thinking is what leads a Democratic Senator, for example, to oppose the public option. He’s thinking about re-election, not helping the people that he has repeatedly promised to help.

It’s also what leads a Republican Senator to attack Obama for wanting more troops in Afghanistan. He too is thinking about the next election, not the hypocrisy of criticizing a president for fighting a war the Senator had started.

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Rick v. Kay, or Godzilla and Mothra on the Mall

Godzilla03Today we begin a new educational feature: Fun with Rick and Kay. The series will provide a continuing look at the antics of our favorite cheerleaders, engaged as they are in a “watermelon watermelon watermelon rind” yell fest with one another. Guest writer whiskeydent launches the series.

Reporters and headline writers are pulling out all the warfare metaphors to describe the Rick and Kay race.

The Washington Post calls it a “Big-Name Showdown.” Politico says it’s a battle between “Two GOP heavyweights,” a description that I’m sure Sen. Hutchison appreciated.  There are so many other pugilism references that I can’t pick just one.  That said, I think “Godzilla vs Mothra!” best sums up the race.

At the moment, the campaigns’ primary weapons are press releases, most of which quote breathless, bombastic spokespersons who are anything but big names.  A reviw of their September literary efforts suggests this race is really being fought out in a sand box instead of a boxing ring (Most of the releases can be found here.)

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