Thursday, May 28
WE'VE spoken several times, you and I, about the effect the American Right's decision to talk only to itself for thirty-some-odd years has had on its rhetorical abilities, on recognizing or parsing opposing arguments, let alone responding to one. And there must be a chapter in there somewhere about naming conventions designed to hoodwink, not their exclusive province but one they've taken to enthusiastically enough. Y'know, like how The Safe and Clean Eco-Friendly Institute for a Greener America is actually a consortium of offshore drillers, or The Fresh and Wholesome Food Council lobbies for pesticide producers, and how the code names of our military operations--which used to be "code names" we gave to "military operations", but now serve as cover stories for wars we're too chickenshit to declare--all sound like Operation Righteously Justifiable Homicide an' such. Obviously, the only way these things fool any objective observer is by the addition of the shell-corporation game designed to prevent one from finding the boilerplate; once you realize that Americans for Fair Wages is funded by manufacturing groups the duvet is off the bloodstained mattress.
So I'm watching local "news" last night, wondering if I can get a bet down on when someone first discovers a kerning problem with Sonia Sotomayor's birth certificate--by the way, they unveiled a new--to me, anyway--graphic entitled "Bright Spot" while trudging out the exciting news of a couple hundred telemarketing jobs opening up in the state, which made me want to ask whether "Dark Stain" would be a regular feature of economic reporting if things got better, features spotlighting the Asshole Boss of the Week, or Wal*Mart's latest timecard-doctoring scheme--when one of the telepromter readers fluffs me for a report on that afternoon's "Energy Summit" in Indianapolis which was "looking into" the effect "President Obama's Cap and Trade Plan" would have on "Midwestern states like Indiana", by which I understood her to mean "such as" Indiana, since there's no place like it, although there may be other Midwestern states where remaining representatives of the thoroughly disgraced Republican party can still draw camera time to pathetic mass photo-ops revolving around their swapping lies just like the Good Ole Days.
No, I wasn't at all surprised that the American Energy Solutions Group would turn out to be a group of Republican Congressmen seeking Solutions to impending Socialist regulation of law abiding, campaign-war-chest-filling industrial polluters. I wasn't surprised to learn the panel consisted of Mike "Holy of Holies" Pence, Dan "Watermelon Man" Burton, Steve "Leave of Absence" Buyer, and some freshman from Ohio where most days they actually have to breathe in the shit Indiana hurls into the air. It was no surprise that one of the featured expert speakers was the Bonzai Governor himself, Mitch "The Spork" Daniels (h/t: dg), now entering the second week of his whirlwind My Restatements of Repudiated Claims Are Better than Other People's Facts Because of My Huge Brain (Not A) Presidential Campaign Tour, which began in the Wall Street Journal, where he not only lied through his teeth (both a redundancy and a requirement for inclusion in the Journal Opinion section) about the cost of Cap and Trade, but managed somehow to get away with calling himself "humble", which is the lexical equivalent of giving the unsuspecting rider in front of you an amateur proctological exam, without warning, while your elevator is between floors.
Rather, I was wondering exactly how it was that a collection of reliable, lockstep-marching business mouthpieces, who could have met in D.C., where most of them are actually being paid to work, * or at any of the area's fine golf courses, if they really needed Burton's keen insight for some reason, comes to be called a Summit. Isn't summit what we call a meeting of heads of state, or, at least, heads of various concerned departments? These guys are more like the dregs of state. And it's bad enough that local "news" saw fit to parrot the term; did they have to fluff the "solutions" angle? Last year at this time Hoosiers were all breathless an' shit about our (Democratic) primary "meaning something". I guess that did not include the idea of "meaning" meaning something, or else it didn't survive the winter.
This is, by the way, the same Mitch the Spork who, when he was busy raffling off state property and high-handing counties which had the audacity to try to set their own clocks, was sold as A Man of Forward-Looking Vision and New Solutions You Bumpkins Are Too Backward To Grasp. Three years later he's apparently determined to be Horatio at the Smokestack.
ADDENDUM: The political folks at the Racist Star, normally surefire consumers of whatever animal waste product the state GOP puts in front of them, started balking at further helpings of Dan Burton during the last election cycle, and actually excoriate the gang in an editorial this morning. But they manage to leave Burton's name off the list altogether. Like he might give rank Republicanism a bad name.