Lie to Us…Please

Back in the day, con men were wizards of the lie. If they weren’t they’d find themselves in a jail cell with a guy who robbed a 7-11 for a pack of filter-tipped Camels and a bathtub-sized Slurpee. Good con-men know the secret to a lie is a shade of truthiness. Con men these days aren’t so sharp – perhaps because they can no longer tell lies from truth or even believe their own grifty stories, which is the kiss of death to a professional liar.

Take politicians. They used to switch positions by citing subtle nuances in language or deftly changing the topic in such a way as to show the discrepancy was really the sign of a world-class leader who earnestly believes both sides are equally correct.

Then, Busheney – the antithesis of good liars – came along.

‘I Was For It While I Was Against It’
“I’m totally against Position A,” they’d say at one speech. A week later they’re saying, “I’m totally for Position A.” When asked about the discrepancy – usually including videotape showing there was no ambiguity in either statement – they simply answered, “Yeah, what’s your point?”

This isn’t just a public sector problem either. Most big corporations have finally realized the world really does belong entirely to them. Look at BP.

From Day 1, BP has misappropriated the phrase, “We’ll be here until we’ve made things right.” First, BP showed their commitment to the slogan by having their CEO, then an Executive VP, and now an “operations coordinator” tell us how swell they are and how we’re lucky this whole oil leak didn’t involve another oil company.

I mean who knows what might have happened if it was an Exxon well. I know I’m counting my blessings.

Every day they issue a statement or agree to a rule or some other vitally important matter only to reverse course the next day when someone catches them looping the camera feed or preventing reporters from being on “their” beach.

If there were no lame attempts, there’d be no attempts at hiding the lie at all. Oh yeah, they do that too.

Surprisingly, I used to feel more comfortable when they made the effort to cover their tracks. I am a man who admires craftsmanship and telling a good lie is about as crafty as it gets. When they deftly lied, it made me feel I was important in my own small way. If I, the little cog in the big machine, was vital enough to be lied to, I must be important somehow.

If you Must Lie, Lie Big

It’s something like buying a used car and waiting for the Big Shoe Lie to drop. If it doesn’t, you’re more leery than if they had lied. You almost feel cheated. “I’m gonna get this car home and the tranny’s going to fall out into my driveway, isn’t it?”

I implore all you professional liars out there to take pride in your work. Politicians, tell us a whopper. CEO’s, tell us you’d give the big bonuses back if only the company would accept them. PR flaks, call oil spills, “marginally demonetized drilling operations with opportunities for enhanced change and profitability.”

Lie to me. Go ahead. I can’t take the unvarnished truth anymore.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Just tell the truth, idiots

Supreme Court nominee = political lightning rod.

They voted against her for the same reason Obama co-attempted to block the confirmation of Samuel Alito--policy disagreements.  Everybody who had to or just wanted to vote against her collectively decided to give nebulous, stupid-sounding reasons.  

"She's a bigot."   "She doesn't understand the Constitution."    "She's an activist judge. (What judge isn't?)"

It's bullshit now just like it was when Bush was in office.  Since everybody knows it's crap, projection takes over; they read into the vote their own preconceived notions.

They should have just come out with it--"I voted against Sotomayor because she's pro-choice, anti-death penalty, pro-affirmative action (or pro-quota depending on one's perspective)."

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What We Still Don't Know About Torture

To support the formation of a Truth Commission on Torture, please join our Facebook group.

Senior Bush administration officials - like former Vice President Dick Cheney - continue to insist that the use of abusive interrogation techniques like waterboarding has saved American lives.

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If I were Obama ...

and you were a lady, would you marry me, would you have my baby?

Or perhaps I should better say `If I had Obama's ear'... While you wrestle with that question, you might find some welcome relief in glancing at the strategies, lines, and arguments which I would urge if I were Obama (or had his ear), and which I've freshly transferred from the margins of the papers I've been neglecting this past week.  I've been heartened by what I've seen lately, especially the recent ads, so some of these might amount to slight variations on what the Obama camp is already doing. But I don't think any of us should feel hesitation to throw our two constructive cents in: The collective wisdom of all Democrats at least equals whatever belongs to the political professionals, however relatively concentrated their talent. Of course, most of us have neither the time nor access nor stomach to keep as abreast of all the developments (not to mention commentary) as actual professionals, but in terms of forensic judgement, in all its forms, the idea that the professional class represents the final result of some meritocratic process is wishful thinking, and the last few elections (for Democrats) is irrefutable proof thereof. So, with all appropriate apologies to those who may have said exactly the same thing (often), my two (constructive) cents:

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Do Not be discouraged and Do Not be scared...

"Be outraged, and be loud about it."

That line and the following came from a female friend mine. She is very active in politics and in the community. She also works in a law office as a legal aid. She is smart, she is feminine and she is tough!

Pelosi and Clinton and Palin ...  women currently have a MANDATE to go get aggressive and make sure we're taken seriously as contenders who won't back down from our demands, from our outrage.

Obama can't get out there and swing - he can't be seen as scary.  Biden might do it - but he's pretty courtly...

It's up to women this year.  I strongly believe this.  We are in a cycle right now that might be hard to see, but it must culminate in a change in women's forcefulness and place in politics and ownership of our society.   We don't have the luxury of remaining moderately involved and passively concerned.  Things are screwed up, and you-know-who typically does clean up, right?

Last Saturday at a favorite watering hole, I sat by some nice liberal guy having a moderately heated debate with 3 less-than-liberal guys at the counter.  I tried to stay out of it, I really did.  But as he did his typical logical liberal thing, I watched these 3 guys clearly get more and more aggressive, and less and less interested in his opinion, and more and more condescending.  They'd heard it, and they'd heard it just like this, before.  All he was doing was reinforcing an old argument that they have never had to give up.  Everybody knew their lines.

Because you see, nice Western Washingtonians, most Americans find that sort of communication boring, weak, non-convicted, and unconvincing.  We are a country of chest beaters.

So, when this guy resorted to "America, love it or leave it," I almost leapt across the bar at him.  (Seriously.)  I scolded this guy, loudly.  I didn't let him retort.  I wasn't trying to debate.  I blamed him.  I castigated him.  I didn't tell him I "think" he's an idiot.  I told him in no uncertain terms that he IS an idiot and that he was an embarrassment to human beings and to shut his polluting mouth.  I did what THEY do - offense as defense.  I went for the kill.  It got ugly.  Oh, the humanity.

This guy - after telling ME that this great country can only offer two options to its citizens - was really only left with two options his damn self.  He had to come over and punch me in the face for aggressively and publicly insulting his brain cells, evolution, and lineage - or leave.  They left, and they didn't have anything else to say.   Not that I would have let them get a word in.

Now this watering hole I speak of is not a mecca for progressives or brainiacs.  But I got its equivalent of a standing ovation.  Not because they necessarily like my politics.  But because, in the opinion of the masses, I had WON.

Undignified?  These people speak in tongues and play with snakes and watch Jerry Springer - they're not impressed with dignity. Not pretty? I don't care.  Not playing fair?  I don't care.   Resorting to their playbook?  I don't care.  This is WAR.  Go fight, women - we're finally ready for it, and I frankly think they're expecting us.  And it's about time, too.

Elizabeth - do not be discouraged and do not be scared.  Be outraged, and be loud about it.

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