Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Martha Raddatz Forces Paul Ryan into a “Bela Lugosi Moment”

Sacrilege--a moderator who moderates! Show us the math, Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan does his impression of Dracula being faced down with a crucifix.

Everyone was talking last week about the Thursday night smackdown of Paul Ryan … by Martha Raddatz! About this across the board 20% tax cut … do you have the specifics? Do you have the math? Do you even know what you’re doing? (Well, not exactly the last one, but pretty close).

As Ryan averted his eyes and shielded himself from the glare of intense scrutiny with a more horrified scowl than Dracula being faced with a crucifix, Martha boldly advanced with her Holy Microphone! No No NO! I’m going to try to weasel around with some nonsense about Republicans reaching out for a bi-partisan solution (like THAT’S ever happened in the last 12 years). So Martha delivered the final blow: “Yeah–NO specifics!” BOOM! Score one for an objective TV journalist.

Joe Biden loved it so much, he laughed through the entire debate. Actually, Joltin’ Joe got enough solid wood on the ball to knock several so far out of the park–and Ryan along with it–that Andy Borowitz quipped that the Democrats now want Biden to take over for Barry in all the rest of the debates. Barry’s response was that he realized he gave a less than stellar performance the first time, and THIS time, he was actually going to prepare for the debate. Good move, Mr. President!

The Press–you know, the one with the so-called liberal bias–on the other hand, gave bad marks to Joe for laughing and eye-rolling at every one of Ryan’s glossing over of the facts and plain old mendacity. The same press that fell over itself four years ago to praise Sarah Palin’s winken-blinken-and-nod performance–you know, someone SHOULD have criticized her for making fun of the handicapped like that–calling it “fresh and spunky”. I guess the difference between “fresh and spunky” and “angry old man” is about 30 years. This from a press that seems to think “Moon–Green Cheese? Blue Cheese–an alternate viewpoint!” is a solid debate topic.

Anyway, now the ball is back in the big boy’s court. Let’s hope that President Obama has learned a lesson about not misunderestimating his opponent. Just because he’s a robot with a pretty hair-do for a brain doesn’t mean he can’t pack a wallop in a medium where you win by LOOKING GOOD. And that’s the way it is.

A sad note this weekend. Arlen Specter, the last Republican with a conscience, passed away after a long battle with cancer. If you want to talk about bi-partisanship, he was one of the last Republicans to believe in it. So much so that his party forced him to seek re-election as a Democrat. I didn’t always like his votes, but I had respect for the man. He–and his kind of politician–will be missed.

And if you’re wondering about my Dracula references–Hallowe’en IS on the way and my wife got me the Universal Horror Blu-Ray Collection for my birthday. Bela Lugosi is stunning in HD!

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And Mitt Romney wins the Piled Higher and Deeper Award

Romney wins by using the Gish Gallop

He won the Golden Shovel all four years of high school

By now, everyone has already reviewed and reviewed the first debate ad nauseam. The insta-pundits, naturally, awarded the “win” to Mitt Romney because he looked so good while Obama looked like he was sleepwalking. Then the fact checkers weighed in to reveal that the only factual statement that Mitt Romney made was that he was Mitt Romney.

The Daily Kos made the amazing discovery that there is actually a name for the debating technique Mitt used. It’s called the Gish Gallop.

The Urban Dictionary provides this definition for the Gallop…

“Named for the debate tactic created by creationist shill Duane Gish, a Gish Gallop involves spewing so much bullshit in such a short span on that your opponent can’t address let alone counter all of it. To make matters worse a Gish Gallop will often have one or more ‘talking points’ that has a tiny core of truth to it, making the person rebutting it spend even more time debunking it in order to explain that, yes, it’s not totally false but the Galloper is distorting/misusing/misstating the actual situation. A true Gish Gallop generally has two traits.

“1) The factual and logical content of the Gish Gallop is pure bullshit and anybody knowledgeable and informed on the subject would recognize it as such almost instantly. That is, the Gish Gallop is designed to appeal to and deceive precisely those sorts of people who are most in need of honest factual education.

“2) The points are all ones that the Galloper either knows, or damn well should know, are totally bullshit. With the slimier users of the Gish Gallop, like Gish himself, its a near certainty that the points are chosen not just because the Galloper knows that they’re bullshit, but because the Galloper is deliberately trying to shovel as much bullshit into as small a space as possible in order to overwhelm his opponent with sheer volume and bamboozle any audience members with a facade of scholarly acumen and factual knowledge.”

Or as we used to say in high school debate circles, if you can’t convince them with the facts (because you don’t have any), baffle them with bullshit. Ahh, how many times I personally was awarded the Golden Shovel–that gold-spray-painted trophy emblazoned with the words: PILED HIGHER AND DEEPER.

Now this does not excuse the President from his piss-poor performance. He seemed to be in a different room where someone was actually making points that Romney wasn’t even talking about. Al Gore opined that the problem was the altitude in Denver. But perhaps it was the altitude of Obama’s discourse. He simply couldn’t BELIEVE that so much bull was being thrown in his direction so instead he took the high road…only it went to a different city.

Paul Ryan, of course, did not want to be debating Joe Biden, because all Paul Ryan can do is vomit numbers that don’t mean anything, whereas Joe, bless his pointy little head, actually knows a thing or two about policy. And Joe is a fighter. But then next week, we will be subjected to another Obama-Romney duel. You can bet Romney will lie his ass off in this next one too–let’s hope Barry has the sense to say that he’s the President of 100% of the people, not the 47% Romney claimed.

But enough of that. A MORE IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT. Friday, October 12 is MY BIRTHDAY. Yes, I will be too old to want to say what my age is. But being as so many people in my life have shared this birthday with me, my dad, my uncle Gene, a former girlfriend, and several others, I want to WISH a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all COLUMBUS DAY-ERS! We used to only get a day off for the birthday some of the time but now we get a day off for it all the time–and 3 out of 7 years on the right day too! So HAPPY BIRTHDAY my fellow October 12-ers.

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