Saturday, August 8, 2015

Frank Luntz Vs Donald Trump And/Or The World

It is sometimes surprising who generates animus. Pollsters, by the very nature of their work, would seem to be above the fray. Screaming at a pollster is like terrorizing an accountant or the guy who gets to decide if a bad hop results in a hit or an error. Then again, if the accountant is auditing your firm...

Penn and Teller had a sometimes amusing show on Showtime called "Bullshit". Some of their targets were deserving of their scorn but it sometimes seemed like they were in search of enemies. The "Numbers" episode aired May 29, 2006. It seemed strange at the time that they would so viciously attack Frank Luntz but I thought it was funny nonetheless. Here is a cleaned up version of the Luntz segment.

Fast forward to 2008 when Ron Paul is seeking the GOP nomination. I am not going to tell you all the reasons Sean Hannity and Fox News and The Republican establishment HATED Ron Paul and his supporters. But HATE they did. The Paulists believed, which much justification, that Fox News was trying to sabotage Ron Paul's campaign before it got off the ground.

Luntz appears at the 3:03 mark. An aside: I would later meet one of the men in this very group. He was a Romney supporter who liked to smoke cigars and observe political activity. He was respectful of the Ron Paul supporters and seemed to be a real affable guy.

Things heat up a few days before the primaries when Hannity and Luntz stumble out of a Manchester diner. The Paulists scream "Fuck you Frank" and "Fox News sucks" at the infidels. It might have been intimidating but I don't believe anyone actually threw a snowball. A few people tossed loose snow--yes there is a difference--and somehow the Fox Fat Cats survived the ordeal.

I posted another version of this before but that vid is long gone from Youtubopia. This one captures the essence of the event and the pervasive animosity well enough.

There are parallels with Ron Paul and Trump if only that they were/are both despised by the Republican establishment and the news media and targeted by Frank Luntz. But Trump is much more resilient than Ron Paul. Here is our man Frank shrouding the Trump Campaign twenty days ago.

Here the Dynamic Duo seem willing to acknowledge Trump's appeal. Leading the goat to slaughter?

Here Luntz shrouds the Trump Campaign a second time. I suspect Luntz has yet to deplete his pallet of burial cloths.

Note: I am fairly neutral about Donald Trump but I am amazed at how passionate people happen to be about the man and his campaign. This will not be our last Donald post.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Brief Reflections On So-Called Debate

I could not watch The Fox Event live but I watched the rerun with a few interruptions.

As previously stated, the fine minds at this blog have already come up with a superior format. It's tough being ahead of one's time but let's put that aside for now. Yes, 10 is too many but it's in the history books now.

Quick observations:

1. As I suspected, Trump will reveal himself over time. Yes, he is plain spoken and disdainful of the political class but he is also pro-abortion, pro-nationalized health care, pro-tax, anti-dollar...If he can get other candidates to stop sounding like consultants he will have contributed greatly to the discourse.

2. I never thought I would use the words wise and Huckabee in the same sentence. The governor put aside the Aw Shucks routine to remind us how far our culture has fallen. There is some gravitas I have not seen before.

3. I hate to dismiss Ben Carson as an amateur. I genuinely respect the man and he seems to grow in stature. This year's Herman Cain? I don't think so. I liked Herman but Carson is on a different plane. If not a contender, certainly a viable VP nominee.

4. Cruz might be dismissed by the likes of Larry Sabato but I am not writing him off just yet.

5. I don't think Jeb Bush really wants the job.

6. If Rubio can ever get the Gang of 8 gum off his shoe he might be a contender.

7. As much as I respect Rand Paul he comes across as catty. I side with him ideologically but in the exchange with Chris Christie I found myself being taken in by Christie's presentation. In an argument between a lawyer and a doctor, the lawyer usually wins.

8. Kasich looked polished.

9. Was Walker on the stage? If I was a betting man I would bet on Walker to win this race but somehow he seemed to get lost in the crowd. I later saw a snippet where he gave a good answer but he was almost the Invisible Man last night.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

In Praise Of Lion Killers

It's not often that I link to NYT. Then again, they don't always feature clear-headed thinkers like Goodwell Nzou.

So sorry about Cecil.
Did Cecil live near your place in Zimbabwe?
Cecil who? I wondered. When I turned on the news and discovered that the messages were about a lion killed by an American dentist, the village boy inside me instinctively cheered: One lion fewer to menace families like mine.
My excitement was doused when I realized that the lion killer was being painted as the villain. I faced the starkest cultural contradiction I’d experienced during my five years studying in the United States.
Did all those Americans signing petitions understand that lions actually kill people? That all the talk about Cecil being “beloved” or a “local favorite” was media hype? Did Jimmy Kimmel choke up because Cecil was murdered or because he confused him with Simba from “The Lion King”?
Eulogy for Cecil continues here: