The Phony Campaign

2015-02-15 Update

[phony baloney]

Rand Paul has leapt to the lead with a near-twentyfold increase in his Google phony hit count. I assume this is yet another Google glitch, but stay tuned…

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2015-02-08
"Rand Paul" phony 3,380,000 +3,206,000
"Jeb Bush" phony 981,000 +175,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 360,000 -37,000
"Scott Walker" phony 139,000 +29,000
"Chris Christie" phony 132,000 -8,000
"Elizabeth Warren" phony 91,600 +3,700
"Marco Rubio" phony 91,300 +6,800

The week in phoniness:

  • Scott Walker got jumped on for telling the story of Megan Sampson, a teacher who was laid off by her Wisconsin school district in 2010 under then-onerous last-hired-first-fired seniority rules. Typical headline: "Scott Walker's laid-off teacher story turns out to be a phony".

    Walker's sin (as near as I can tell), was referring to Sampson as someone who was "honored as the outstanding teacher of the year in my state". She actually got the Nancy Hoefs Memorial Award, given for "an outstanding first-year teacher of the English language arts."

    Meanwhile, a different teacher, Claudia Klein Felske, who also got a "Teacher of the Year" award was pretty bothered by Walker's remarks to the extent that she penned an "open letter" to the Governor.

    You failed to mention these details as you used Sampson’s lay-off from her first year teaching position as an opportunity to bash Wisconsin schools on the national stage. You blamed the seniority system for Sampson’s lay-off when, in good conscience, you should have done some serious soul searching and placed the blame squarely on your systematic defunding of public education to the tune of $2.6 billion that you cut from school districts, state aid to localities, the UW-System and technical colleges.

    Only problem (as many people have pointed out): Sampson’s layoff notice came in June of 2010. And Scott Walker wasn't Governor until 2011.

    Ms. Felske is a "language arts" teacher; my guess is that this doesn't involve pesky things like facts and dates.

  • Obama advisor David Axelrod wrote a book. The big story was his admission that then-candidate Obama lied and hid behind his (alleged) faith in 2008 when he was asked for his position on gay marriage.

    So, yes, Obama was, is, and always will be a huge phony. A slightly more odious one for dragging religion into it. But Colin Campbell of Business Insider notes that Axelrod makes similar unflattering observations about Hillary:

    Despite offering effusive praise for her elsewhere in his book, Axelrod also tore into Clinton for her allegedly phony embrace of Obama's 2008 "change" message.

    Axelrod is quoted:

    She had pressed her advantage on Washington experience and gamely parried our call for change by embracing the word. Yet the 'change' Hillary was offering was not much change at all — certainly not a move away from the raw, divisive politics that had come to define Washington. Rather, she seemed to revel in those politics. ('So if you want a winner who knows how to take them on, I'm your girl,' she boasted.) The change she was offering was not away from Washington's habit of parsing words and passing on tough issues. (She habitually sought safe harbor.) The change she was offering was not away from a system dominated by PACs and corporate lobbyists. (She had taken their money and vocally defended their work.) The only real change she was offering was in political parties, and that simply wasn't enough. … In the memo, we said our task now was to 'create a distinct and sustained contrast in all of our communications: …. Hillary Clinton is a prescription for more of the same, meaning that our shared goals will once again be frustrated by Washington's failed politics.'

    Yeah, thank goodness Obama won and spared us the "raw, divisive politics" … oh, wait a minute.

  • Campbell also summarizes an incident with a New Hampshire connection from Axelrod's book: the dustup caused by (now-Senator) Jeanne Shaheen's husband, Billy, asked out loud whether Obama sold drugs in his addled youth. Good times, man. Good times.

  • Elizabeth Warren won't support Rand Paul's bill to audit the Federal Reserve. Comments Robby Soave:

    So the next time anyone talks about Warren in the context of a populist hero, remind them that the senator from Massachusetts believes the activities of the most powerful money-related institution in the country should be hidden from public scrutiny.

    Why it's almost as if all her class-warfare rhetoric was just boob-bait for the (left-wing) bubbas, just a tool to grab onto political power.

Out of Range

[Amazon Link]

Book number 5 in C.J. Box's series about Joe Pickett, a game warden working for the State of Wyoming. It helps to have read the previous ones. I can't say enough good things about the series.

In this one, Joe is tasked with filling in for the Jackson Hole game warden, Will Jensen. Joe had always looked up to Will, so it's very disturbing for him to learn that Will had gone crazy, taking his own life. Jackson Hole is also fast-paced, high-pressure, and very upscale compared to Joe's normal station. There's a meat-is-murder group not only trying to get hunting shut down in the area, but also opposed to a real estate mogul trying to establish a "pure meat" development. The developer is trying to railroad Joe's approval of his plans, and his comely wife seems to have an independent interest in Joe. Is she just a sucker for his game warden uniform?

But the overriding mystery is: what happened to Will? Is Joe in danger from the same nefarious forces? (Hint: yes, he is.)

Meanwhile back home, Joe's wife and kids are being harassed by anonymous phone calls. Joe's friend-with-a-mysterious-past, Nate, has pledged to look after Joe's family, but he has problems of his own: a guy from out of town is trying to track him down, and it's not to give him flowers.

Mr. Box does his usual fine job of describing the spectacular beauty and (sometimes) danger of the Wyoming countryside. Unlike many genre heroes, Box's Joe is quite human: he makes mistakes, he gets scared, he's a little slow on the uptake. He and his wife have believable strains on their marriage.

Sometimes I gripe about books getting padded out to contractually-obligated lengths. I didn't get that impression here, even at 384 (paperback) pages.


Last Modified 2015-03-12 6:39 PM EDT