Monday, September 28, 2015

A Counterfactual

In 2000, the "Butterfly" ballot is not printed, but a more clear standard form is used.

Al Gore becomes president.

When warnings of an Al Qaida attack surface, the Gore White House goes on alert, asking for any scrap of intelligence, and reminding all agencies to be on full alert, just as the Clinton White House did in 1999 when the millennium threats arose.

The Al Qaida plot is nipped in the bud.

Gore calls a press conference to announce the thwarting of a plot to hijack four airline planes and crash them into the twin towers, the Pentagon, and the Capitol.

The reaction from the press:
"There goes Gore, exaggerating again."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Another Press Fail

At Donald Trump's town hall meeting, one person  stood up to say:
"We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims. We know our current president is one. He's not even an American."

"We have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That's my question. When can we get rid of them?"
What he had to say was clearly absurd, but the press reports of what he said are almost as absurd. The questioner is clearly asking when can we get rid of the (in reality non-existent) "training camps".  (It may not be as clear in the transcript, but is certainly clear from intonation and emphasis in the person's speech.) Yet he is reported to have asked when can we get rid of Muslims, which he clearly did not.  (Though he probably would like to get rid of Muslims, given the tenor of his statements.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Another Missed Opportunity

On Stephen Colbert's first Late Show, Jeb Bush said this of the Iran deal:
"I think President Obama's being naive to trust the Ayatollahs."
To which a follow up question could have been:
"But this isn't just an agreement between the United States and Iran. It's an agreement between Iran and the United States, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China. Are you calling the Prime Minister of Britain, the Presidents of France, Germany, Russia and China, are you calling all of these people naive?"
Would Jeb! really want to go on the record as calling them all naive?  But if not, how was he going to justify singling out Obama as naive?   He would clearly be exposed as the hack that he is.

Darn it, Stephen, you missed a great opportunity there!  (I realize you were following a script, but you could have veered from it for a moment to ask this question.)

You may think a member of the main stream press could pick up on Jeb!'s foolish statement and ask the question I'm suggesting?  Hah!  I'm not holding my breath.