Archive for language

Video Overnight Thread- How Do You Say...

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Totally fascinating. Having spent part of my childhood up in N Indiana and part in S Florida I would see this firsthand all the time. Coke/Soda/Pop would totally mess me up. Via Sullivan.

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Sec. of State John Kerry speaks French? Mon Dieu!

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freedom fries eat crow

Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Kerry gets to let his Europhilia loose," March 2

I am continuously astounded by the ignorance and, yes, the stupidity of conservatives who "consider it unpatriotic and vaguely unmanly" to speak languages other than English. Not only are they holding the country hostage with their economic demands, now they are critical of educated Americans, one of whom is Secretary of State John F. Kerry.

I do wish these destructive people would crawl back into the woodwork.

Lynne Okon Scholnick

Long Beach

***

I think it is wonderful that Kerry speaks several languages and uses them in diplomacy. His skills will make communication with foreign leaders clearer, without the need for interpreters, and will show the world that we are not completely insular.

Do Kerry's conservative critics not realize that French men speak French, German men speak German and Italian men speak Italian? Are European men to be ridiculed for speaking English?

Julie May

Los Angeles

***

While Kerry had to practice his foreign language skills on his diplomatic trip to Europe, it would have been so much easier had he been a Republican. In that case all he would have had to learn to say was "no" in the various languages.

Bernard Rapkin

Los Angeles

freedom fries Congress

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Immigration Reform Watch: Lindsey Graham equates including gay couples with "taxpayer funded abortion"

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family values my ass

In their post McCain: Binational Same-Sex Couples Are ‘Not Of Paramount Importance’ To Immigration Reform, Think Progress included this gem of a Little Lindsey quote:

 tweet lindsey graham immigration gay rights

When one half of a couple is an American citizen and the other is not, even if they are *gasp!* gay, they still love each other and need to be together, just as all families do. That's called -- say it with me, Senator-- a re-la-tion-ship.

Try to process this, Linds: Same-sex couples are family who care deeply for one another. Deal:

There are “at least 28,500 same-sex couples in the United States in which one partner is a U.S. citizen and the other is not, and 11,500 same-sex couples where neither partner is a U.S. citizen,” the Williams Institute estimates.

But according to Graham, an amendment that would provide for binational gay and lesbian couples = taxpayer funded abortion.  If that didn't make sense to you, then you are a reasonable, sane, caring person.

Oh, now I get it! This must be an example of how the GOP is trying to soften their message in order appeal to more voters! See: Karl Rove said to the GOP: Just don’t *sound* intolerant, Bobby Jindal said, “If we want people to like us, we have to like them first,” and Yep, still a pig, Reince Priebus.

Family values my ass.

ICYMI: VIDEO: President Obama lays out plan for immigration reform. “We forget that most of us used to be them.”

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Yep, still a pig, Reince Priebus

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lipstick on a pig

Taegan found this quote at Politico from RNC chair Reince Priebus:

"It's not the platform of the party that's the issue. In many cases, it's how we communicate about it."

No, it's both, Reince. Good communication techniques are helpful, but first you need a message or twelve that, you know, resonate, or down you go again.

Priebus is now channeling Karl Rove, who said to the GOP: Just don’t *sound* intolerant.

Mitt Romney famously said, “It would be helpful to be Latino.” So he, too, was hoping to appear to be someone voters could relate to, but had no intention of changing his message. Not really. Whatever that message was at the moment.

And Bobby Jindal said, “If we want people to like us, we have to like them first.”

Again, it’s one thing to be introspective and see the error of your ways. It’s quite another to do an abrupt 180 and pretend you care, hoping nobody will notice that you’re pandering your ass off.

Here's what I wrote back in November, responding to Rove's inanity:

So as long as you don’t sound intolerant (or racist, or bigoted), as long as you can pretend you’re one thing while believing another, as long as you put on a good show, you’ll dupe Americans into voting for you. Never mind genuine outreach, just say the right words, sell the right product, be extra careful to couch your disdain in prettier language and voila!

Superficial fixes will pave the way to big election wins if they’re wrapped up real purty with a big bow. Those ignorami will never catch on...

Yet Reince Priebus still believes if his party members use appealing wording and the right catch phrases, yet adhere to the same anti-women, anti-LGBT, anti-voter, anti-civil rights, anti-economic growth, anti-Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security, anti-postal service, anti-union, anti-middle class policies, America will magically fall in love with them and reward them at the ballot box.

The GOP has learned nothing.

They still have no foresight or grasp of the health of our planet and want to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency.

They still want to do away with unions.

They still want to do away with the middle class.

They still want to do away with the Democratic party.

They still want to do away with free speech and expression.

They still want to do away with human dignity.

They still want to do away with civility toward anyone who is not like them, meaning white and/or Christian.

They still want to do away with health care for anyone but the wealthiest AmericansEspecially women’s health care.

They still want to do away with allowing two people who love each other to marry each other.

They still want to do away with privacy and freedom of choice.

They still want to do away with taxes for the very wealthy, not to mention productive spending and job growth at the expense of the health and welfare of this country.

No rewording can do away with all that.

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Karl Rove to GOP: Just don't *sound* intolerant.

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Via @MzYun

Republicans are struggling to reinvent themselves, but that's not going to be easy. They've stubbornly adhered to their extreme and/or small-minded conservative beliefs and policies, because that's who they are, at least for the most part.  Here are a few examples from a post I wrote back in 2011 during the Wisconsin protests:

The GOP has no foresight or grasp of the health of our planet and wants to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The GOP wants to do away with unions.

The GOP wants to do away with the middle class.

The GOP wants to do away with the Democratic party.

The GOP wants to do away with free speech and expression.

The GOP wants to do away with human dignity.

The GOP wants to do away with civility toward anyone who is not like them, meaning white and/or Christian.

The GOP wants to do away with health care for anyone but the wealthiest AmericansEspecially women’s health care.

The GOP wants to do away with allowing two people who love each other to marry each other.

The GOP wants to do away with freedom of choice.

The GOP wants to do away with taxes for the very wealthy, not to mention productive spending and job growth at the expense of the health and welfare of this country.

We need to do away with the extreme demands of the GOP.  We have no choice… but that’s exactly what they want.

Which brings us to 2012, when Mitt Romney famously said, “It would be helpful to be Latino.”

And Bobby Jindal said, “If we want people to like us, we have to like them first.” In that post I noted that it’s one thing to be introspective and see the error of your ways. It’s quite another to do an abrupt 180 and pretend you care, hoping nobody will notice that you’re pandering your ass off.

All these people who are professing to belong to the no-longer-divisive party are sadly laughable. Who did they vote for again? Who did they openly support? Oh yeah, the guy who wished self-deportation on undocumented immigrants.

Karl Rove is now saying something similar to what Jindal said. Notice the wording.

KFDI-FM: Rove said the Republican party is splintered because of intolerant and judgmental language and an unwillingness to acknowledge differences. He said the party needs to find the right language to talk about the issues without being judgmental or harsh, and it needs to have leaders who can create that kind of environment. 

So as long as you don't sound intolerant (or racist, or bigoted), as long as you can pretend you're one thing while believing another, as long as you put on a good show, you'll dupe Americans into voting for you. Never mind genuine outreach, just say the right words, sell the right product, be extra careful to couch your disdain in prettier language and voila!

Superficial fixes will pave the way to big election wins if they're wrapped up real purty with a big bow. Those ignorami will never catch on, right Karl?

You can listen to the short audio clip of Rove's mumbo-jumbo here.

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Screen Grab- Eric Cantor Tweets: Let's call a spade a spade: ObamaCare is a massive tax.

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Spade huh? It took me a few minutes to believe this was real, but apparently that's a verified account. Wow, they really don't give a shit what they say anymore.

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Study: “”The most ardent tea party Republicans” in Congress speak “at about an eighth-grade level.”

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Today's L.A. Times has an article that confirms what we all know: Congress is sophomoric. There has, indeed, been a noticeable "dumbing down."

What? You're surprised? No way, no how, no you are not, stop that! Not after all that GOP obstruction and tea tantruming about big bad Obama "taking away our guns," screaming about the dreaded, non-existent "death panels" and the endless and renewed jaw-clenching birth certificate blather. In fact, how have we EVER managed to survive President Obama’s evil presidency?

New research is showing that all that head-butting and speechifying has devolved to eighth grade levels, and no, that's not hyperbole:

Discourse in the House and Senate has dropped a full grade levelto the equivalent of high school sophomore, according to a new study. [...]

"Congress is changing as an institution, and what you see is more and more members gearing their speeches as sound bites or YouTube clips," said Lee Drutman, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, which compiled the study released Monday. [...]

In an analysis of floor debates over the last several years, the study found that newer lawmakers tended to speak at a lower grade level than the veterans of congressional speechifying.

Guess who scored the lowest! Go ahead, guess. I'll wait.

Give up?

[I]t should come as no surprise that the lawmakers at the bottom of the list, speaking at the lowest grade level, are among the most ardent tea party Republicans in the freshman class. Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Rep. Robert Woodall of Georgia and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky were the bottom three — speaking at about an eighth-grade level, the study found.

Californians ranked among the better spoken overall, and the No. 2 slot went to Rep.Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-East Los Angeles), at almost a 16th-grade level.

And because we try to be even-handed here at TPC, it's only fair to point out that it was Republican Rep. Dan Lungren who made it to number one with the highest level of speech. Kudos to him.

Communicating clearly and accurately, using proper language, and articulating carefully and meaningfully are all so important, especially in an era of 140-character tweets and rushed text messages. Can we at least expect our elected representatives to strive for the ability to do that at ninth grade levels?

Oh, but I kid. I meant tenth.

Now if you'll excuse me, Twitter calls.

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