The Occasional Tendown August 19-September 1 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dear Internet:

REM had a song about Leonard Cohen called "World Leader Pretend".

The takeaway from Eastwood's empty chair soliloquy at the Right Wing Convention was that the old man went off the reservation.  Instead of that, consider it as emblematic of the entire world in which the right wing lives.  The Obama who actually exists, the center/right President who has presided over this economy:

...who has expanded the War on Terror in a way endorsed by Dick Cheney; and whose singular domestic achievement, the Affordable Health Care Act, was a Heritage Foundation creation designed to permanently enrich insurance companies...

That's an Obama completely invisible to the right wing.  The guy who killed Bin Laden and saved the auto industry didn't exist in Tampa this week and hasn't ever existed in the right wing mind.

The guy they talk about, the radical socialist Kenyan intentionally trying to bring down the United States like a Batman villain, the guy who would fumble for a response in a debate with Clint Eastwood and have to resort to suggesting that Romney perform a sexual act on himself - that's the guy they see.  Dirty Harry wasn't talking to an empty chair; he was talking to who the right wing sees as the President.  Anti-business, anti-American, anti-Christian - that's the guy sitting in the chair.  It's Obama.

Sure, he's imaginary, but that doesn't matter.  They'll keep saying he's real on Fox and the right wing will keep believing it.

Tendown 138 is here. This is Tendown 139

1. Paul Ryan Admits to Lying

About that GM plant that closed before Obama took office?  No, not that one.

About Medicare?  You know, Ryan's only "accomplishment" is a budget plan that would take away the guarantee of health care to senior citizens and replace it with a coupon system, but somehow it's Obama who is threatening Medicare?  No, not that one.

Or this - when Ryan said this:

We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves. … We can make the safety net safe again.

When actually, his budget would set fire to that safety net in an unprecedented way in order to pay for massive tax cuts to the very wealthiest.

No.  Not that either.

It's this.  He said he ran a marathon in under 3 hours.  He didn't.  He copped to it.

2. 82 million bucks
In case you're interested in what groups have spent what dollars so far in the election cycle - here it is.

Conservative groups have outspent progressive ones by almost 4:1 and one group, Restore Our Future, has spent 82 million dollars.

3. 60 Million Bucks
A high school in Texas spent 60 million taxpayer bucks on a football stadium.  Here's what that looks like.

4. It Gets Better
The first MLB team to shoot an It Gets Better video was the Giants; the first NFL team - the Niners.

5. The War On Voting
Remember when Glenn Beck said Joe McCarthy was absolutely right?

The right wing has spent the last two years trying to rehabilitate Jim Crow.

From the Atlantic, Here's piece one.

Piece two.

Piece 3

6. In 29 States
... you can be fired for being gay.

And in 7 states...
7. What's the Most Trustworthy Font?

It's Baskerville.

8. Presented Without Comment.
Just like for profit prisons have grown.

percent by which enrollment at for-profit colleges grew between 1998 and 2008

average cost of a two-year associate's degree at a for-profit college
average cost of an associate's degree at comparable community college

percent of those enrolled in for-profit schools who take out student loans

percent of students at community colleges who take out student loans

amount of federal Pell grants given to for-profit colleges in 2009-10 school year

amount the for-profit education industry spent on marketing, recruiting and admissions staffing in fiscal year 2009

average compensation of CEOs at for-profit higher education companies in 2009

average amount publicly traded for-profit higher education companies spent on instruction per student in 2009
9. The Greatest Move in Reality Show History

I'm not a Dan Gheesling fan; he outed himself as a right wing zealot back in Season 10, and having been in the tank for Chilltown since 2001, I've been with Mike and Frank during BB14.

But Dan's move this week to free himself from certain eviction by burning down his entire alliance was, I'd suggest, the greatest strategic maneuver in the history of reality competition.  He's already moved to second place on my all time Big Brother list with his play this season, and if he can win the money again, he bumps off (sacrilege coming) Dr. Will to become the best US BB player ever.  

10. Told You So.   

My sports blogging career may now be complete.  6 and a half years later, they put the cuffs on Lance Armstrong.

I'll stop sending my annual unpublished letter to the editors at Sports Illustrated decrying their simultaneous deifying of Armstrong and burying Barry Bonds now.  I would not be surprised if they keep my correspondence in a separate file for cranks and miscreants.

If I can find another cause to rail against, I'll be back next time....if there is a next time...

Your pal,


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