Month: August 2012

Questions from the presidential campaign debate moderator and how Lawrence O’Donnell has it so wrong

Moderator with hot air balloon for a headOn the subject of tax returns, Lawrence O’Donnell, with whom I often agree, has the whole idea of the question the debate moderator ought to ask specifically of the Romney/Ryan side…all wrong. To challenge the secrecy of the Romney/Ryan camp, O’Donnell wants to grossly oversimplify with the one word question, “Why?”

To be fair, he did expand the question a bit, but I still think he misses the boat. Why, however framed, is still the kind of open-ended invitation to hot air that the candidates will thrive on.

Governor Romney, given the fact that you found it perfectly reasonable to release twenty-three years of your tax returns to the McCain campaign four years ago when they were considering you for the vice presidential nomination, and given the fact that you demanded to see several years of Paul Ryan’s tax returns to evaluate his fitness to serve as vice president, why shouldn’t voters be able to see your tax returns and Paul Ryan’s tax returns to make the same judgment you did about candidates fitness to serve? (more…)

A few words on the subject of abortion…or, what do words even mean, anyway?

Humpty Dumpty
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

Just the other day I encountered a euphemism for abortion that I hadn’t seen before: “the death penalty for accidental trespassing.” But honestly, I had no earthly idea what that meant. Is the fetus “accidentally trespassing,” i.e., didn’t mean to be there, but, voila, there it is anyway? That’s the only thing I could come up with, considering it’s the fetus that gets the “death penalty.”

As it turns out, in searching for that exact phrase using Google, I located precious few references to it. One was to the comment on a blog article by Russ Wellen here at Scholars & Rogues where I first spotted it (see comment #4 by one Tangle Eye Blues). Another was to a CBS News article about Sarah Palin (where the phrase does not actually occur, alas, not some cranky Palin-ism). A third was to the comments page for that CBS News article, where the phrase actually appears(more…)