Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cheap shots 9/9

Saint Willard of Bloomfield Hills, feast March 12, patron of corporate persons.
Bored man of the chair

Clint Eastwood is a retroactionary! It's been months since I heard such a clear case as this from his celebrated performance piece, of which the text has been kindly transcribed by the Washington Post:
I remember three and a half years ago, when Mr. Obama won the election. And though I was not a big supporter, I was watching that night when he was having that thing and they were talking about hope and change and they were talking about, yes we can, and it was dark outdoors, and it was nice, and people were lighting candles.

They were saying, I just thought, this was great. Everybody is crying, Oprah was crying.... I was even crying. And then finally -- and I haven’t cried that hard since I found out that there is 23 million unemployed people in this country.
Now, the implication here seems to be that Eastwood wept when he heard that there were 23 million unemployed, did not weep so hard again for some time, and then wept again, with Oprah, on Election Night 2008. * However, he could not have learned that number for the unemployed until around May 2012, which is when Romney began using the phony statistic.** So it makes sense only if you assume that he can experience life in reverse time.

*Compare, "The RNC was totally bizarre; I haven't been so weirded out since Fellini died."
**Actually, there are about 12.5 million unemployed; you get 22 million by adding on those who have part-time jobs and would like to work full-time. May is when an ad using the number 23 million was released by the Romney campaign, the earliest use I have been able to find.
Chair Dance I. By JennaisFine.
Annals of copy editing

From Friedman's Sunday column:

It's a bizarrely un-Timesian copy editing mistake that makes you wonder what Obama is supposed to have done—tried and failed to fund the DNC? Presumably there was a proposal in support of technical training that got blended in the Friedman mind with the floating mantra to which it corresponds and the copy editor just got lost: that collision between comma and parentheses (one or the other has to be deleted) is his or her distress signal. Mantra overboard!
Manta ray by Roman Sock.

Is he dumb?

Digby (in a piece you should bookmark for its breakdown of the Obama vs. Romney tax plans) notes this comical response (via) and asks one of those questions:
On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Romney dodged multiple questions about which deductions or credits he’d target, saying only that he’ll get rid of “some of the loopholes and deductions at the high end” while seeking to “lower the burden on middle income people.”

Pressed for one specific example, Romney replied, “Well, the specifics are these which is those principles I described are the heart of my policy.”
Is it possible that Mitt was just a figurehead at Bain? Because he just doesn't seem like he kind of guy who put together complicated deals to me.
Yes, it's possible. Or a rainmaker, with his high-class connections. That's certainly a Palinesque sentence structure there.

But I think it's a mistake to think of the Big Men as putting together the deals in any case; they've got servants for that. They fly around from lunch to lunch, strut in front of the TV cameras, and make Tough Decisions, they play golf and work on their autobiographies, they leaf through the deals and peer at the budget, looking for lines to quarrel with ("What is this $75 for refreshments, you're giving them caviar?").

They're the ones who bully and whine the loudest while others focus on efficiency or elegance or skirting the law; they are the spirit of Plausible Deniability. They may not be dumb, technically, but they're very, very limited.

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