Learned watching cable news, #1

Week of January 9, 2012

1.  Mitt Romney and I have one thing in common (CNN).  Neither of us cares about his family dog.

2. Libertarian Ron Paul and I have one thing in common (Maddow, MSNBC).  We are against the regulations we don’t like and for the ones we like.

3.  According to O’Reilly and Ben Stein on Fox, Republicans are ridiculed by talk show hosts because Hollywood is biased against Republicans, not because Republican talking points are easy to ridicule.

Democrat talking points are easy to ridicule, too; but Democrats aren’t as disciplined, unified, and uniform as Republicans.  You gotta love Republican discipline — following the orders of Rove, Cheney and Norquist for eight years, culminating in the crash of the American economy.  Republican presidential candidates are now claiming they know how to improve the economy.  I must have missed their knowledge about how to build and maintain a thriving economy, when they were in power between 2000 and 2009.

4.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Maher, HBO) thinks urination-gate reflects poorly on her belief that we are “the greatest country in the world.”   She condemned the Marines’ act, saying  she wants the world to know she represents many fine 18-year-olds in her Florida district.  Did she look at other countries and determine that they have fewer fine 18-year-olds or more corpse urinators?  Or is her belief that “America is the greatest country in the world” just a belief?

“Cut the Crap” Category Kick-off — Ben Stein’s Crap

Blogs in this category cite language that obscures the truth. Then they “cut the crap.”

This first one takes issue with Ben Stein’s commentary on CBS Sunday Morning. Here is the link:


Let’s look at how Ben’s language obscures the truth more than it enlightens.

Ben: “I am about to have my taxes raised dramatically.”

Let’s cut the crap: “Dramatically,” Ben? What is the actual amount? Using “dramatically,” instead of the actual amount, obscures the fact that the number may be large (in the thousands), but it is small, compared to all the thousands you make over $250,000.

Ben: “There is no known economic theory under which raising my taxes in the midst of a severe recession will help the economy recover. It isn’t part of any well known monetarist or Keynesian theory.”

Let’s cut the crap: Ben, we don’t need economic theories here. It is a simple idea, one I am sure you learned from your frugal parents–don’t spend money you don’t have. Your taxes are being raised so the government can cover more of its expenses. No fancy economic theories needed here, just the need to get out from under a crushing debt. Those of us with houses “under water” are a metaphor for the American government’s situation. We understand, so “cut the crap.”

Ben: “I tried to be successful, which is what I thought I was supposed to do. When did it turn out that was a crime to be punished?”

Let’s cut the crap: Punished for success, Ben? Again — bad choice of words, and this crap is real stinky. Evidently all those “unsuccessful” people who recently lost jobs are sneaky — getting laid off to avoid the “punishment” you are left to endure. This is not punishment. It is how an imperfect system works. We are all taxed at different levels. It is not punishment for you to be taxed at a certain rate any more than it is punishment for me to be taxed at my rate. Punishment? What crap!

Furthermore, Ben, a commentator who obscures the truth is not successful. If you are being punished (as you claim), it must be for something other than being “successful.”

Two Final Notes

Bill Maher took issue with Ben Stein’s commentary for these same reasons in his September 24 New Rules.

Readers should go to the transcript link to read other thoughtful responses to Ben. Evidently, many Americans want to “cut the crap” that came from Ben Stein’s commentary.