The Phony Campaign

2015-08-02 Update

[phony baloney]

The seers at PredictWise have decreed that John Kasich has a 2% shot at the presidency, so we're putting him in, bringing our field to (I think) ten:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 836,000 -88,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 395,000 -73,000
"Donald Trump" phony 308,000 +49,000
"John Kasich" phony 197,000 ---
"Rand Paul" phony 161,000 +4,000
"Joe Biden" phony 138,000 +2,000
"Scott Walker" phony 110,000 -2,000
"Bernie Sanders" phony 103,000 -2,000
"Marco Rubio" phony 95,900 -3,400
"Mike Huckabee" phony 77,100 -619,900

I note that Kasich has been flooding the New Hampshire airwaves with ads over the past few weeks. I've also seen some Chris Christie commercials. Maybe the other candidates have been scheduling their ads during Big Bang Theory reruns or something, but I haven't noticed them.

Anyway, on to the phony news:

  • We'll welcome Governor Kasich to the party with a Talking Points Memo headline: "Ohio Gov. John Kasich Criticizes Obama Tax Plan With Phony Lincoln Quote."

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), a possible contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, invoked a dubious Abraham Lincoln quote while criticizing President Barack Obama's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy during an interview on "Fox News Sunday."

    “You cannot build a little guy up by tearing a big guy down,” Kasich said. “Abraham Lincoln said it then, and he’s right.”

    TPM attributes this quote to William Boetcker (1873-1962), an American religious leader, it being (more or less) one of his "Ten Cannots", published in 1916. Which are:

    1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    2. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
    3. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
    5. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
    6. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
    7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
    8. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
    9. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
    10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

    These were published in a leaflet, titled "Lincoln on private property", which did include Lincoln quotes. But number two was from Boetcker's brain, and people shouldn't attribute it, or any of the other nine, to Lincoln.

    On the other hand, none of those things is any less true because Lincoln didn't say them. If you know what I mean.

    [For a table-turner, see Andrew Ferguson on Al Gore's deployment of an equally bogus Lincoln quote.]

  • Hillary is always good for an obvious phony op. After giving her premiere speech on climate change in Des Moines, where she bemoaned the usage of fossil fuels releasing gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere, which will kill us all dead…

    She climbed into a private jet to whoosh off to her next gig. It's estimated that the 19-seat Dassault model Falcon 900B burns 347 gallons of fuel per hour.

    Prof Bainbridge recalls a historical parallel:

    ZiL lanes (also sometimes called "Chaika lanes") are lanes on some principal roads in Moscow dedicated to vehicles carrying senior government officials. Known officially in Russian as rezervniye polosy ("reserved lanes"), they took their nickname from the black limousines produced by ZiL and the luxury Chaika cars that were used by officials of the Soviet Union as their official vehicles. ... The ZiL lanes and restricted routes caused considerable disruption to Moscow's traffic because of the absolute priority given to their users.


  • You might have heard that, in criticizing the Iran nuke deal, Mike Huckabee compared Obama to Hitler. A number of MSMites echoed the meme, giving it credibility. Only problem is, says Jonah Goldberg: that interpretation is clearly at odds with what Huckabee actually said.

    Now, I’ve never been a big fan of Huckabee’s style of politics — or policy. But a remotely fair reading of the statement strongly suggests that Huckabee was comparing Obama to Neville Chamberlain or some other member of the “Hitler is a man we can do business with” school. That’s the point of calling Obama “naive” for trusting the Iranians — the Hitler in Huckabee’s analogy.

    Clear enough, right?

    As a long-time Internet denizen (around on Usenet when Godwin's Law was first uttered), I'm aware that Nazi analogies and other reductio ad Hitlerum arguments is a sign of the shutdown of higher thought processes. I'm far from sure that comparing Obama/Kerry to famous Hitler appeasers is that sort of thing.

Last Modified 2015-08-03 7:02 AM EDT


[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Truth be told, I could have waited for the DVD, but (on the other hand) I chuckled all the way through.

This is an origin tale of sorts for the Minions, first seen in the Despicable Me movies. We are treated to their Darwinian evolution: a species inordinately attracted to evil bullies of whatever stripe, to offer assistance in whatever schemes they devise. Minions aren't evil themselves, mind you. Nevertheless, it's fortunate that they are so inept that their minionitic assistance more often than not works to the doom of their villainous masters.

Their disastrous service to a would-be world conqueror in the nineteenth century leads them to decades of arctic exile. Their society stagnates without servitude to some wrongdoer, so in 1968 they send forth three brave souls (Kevin, Bob, Steve) out into civilization to find a new bad guy to sign up with. This leads to many adventures, but eventually settles down to work for Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock) and a plot to steal Queen Elizabeth's crown.

I wonder how they reproduce. Do they reproduce? They all seem to be males, at least they have male names. But they don't seem to have … well, from what we can see, they're pretty smooth all over. They're very tough, perhaps they are immortal.