Bipartisan think

Great post by Chait on the “bipartisanthink”/DC Centrism that I discussed yesterday, that I think just perfectly and succinctly diagnoses the problem:

Advocates of what Matthew Yglesias calls “BipartisanThink” have found themselves trapped between two impulses. On the one hand, they fervently believe that the country’s most vital priority is to pass a plan to reduce the deficit through a mix of cuts to retirement programs and reduced tax deductions. On the other hand, they believe with equal fervor that the two parties are equally to blame for the country’s problems in general, and the failure to pass such a plan in particular.

Their problem is that one party agrees with them completely, and the other rejects them. This creates a paradox between the two mental tentpoles of BipartisanThink. The solution is to simply wish away the facts, thus bringing them into line with reality.

Click the link to read about how David Brooks (and he’s far from alone) is guilty of this.


Lies and conservative lies

Do liberals really tell lies this bold, misleading, and destructive.  Nope.  But here’s Eric Cantor via Politifact:

House Majority Leader Cantor says Washington’s spending habits are so bad that they’ve entered the realm of fantasy.

“The National Science Foundation spent $1.2 million paying seniors to play World of Warcraft to study the impact it had on their brain,” Cantor, R-7th, claimed in a Feb. 19 news release identifying examples of what he said are wasteful spending…

We asked Cantor’s office where the majority leader got his information. Megan Whittemore, a deputy press secretary, sent us information about a $1.2 million grant by the National Science Foundation in mid 2009. The money was awarded to North Carolina State University [emphasis mine] and Georgia Tech to study whether computer games can slow the mental decline in elderly people and, if so, to develop specific “brain games” to achieve that goal. The premise is that the memory, problem-solving and strategies needed to master some online games may be beneficial to seniors.

The first part of the research involves seniors frequently playing Boomblox — a spatial puzzle game on the Wii entertainment system in which players knock down blocks. About 200 participants undergo cognitive testing before they are introduced to the game and then again at a later date to see if playing has produced any changes.

Hmmm, finding ways to use computers to improve cognitive function of the elderly.  Actually sounds like a great investment of federal money.  I know (a little bit) the Psychology professor who does this and he’s really bright and this is very useful research that could materially improve the lives of many elderly Americans.  And we get that turned into Cantor’s disgusting slander.

And sadly, totally typical Republican slander of good things that government is trying to do.   To go back to a theme, Cantor is either too stupid to understand what the research is about or too immoral to care about such bald-face lying.  Either option isn’t pretty.  In the bigger picture, it certainly does not good for our democracy to have Republicans as an everyday matter-of-course slander good things that our government does.

Photo of the day

A great set from Sony World Photography Contest via In Focus:

A greyhound ends first in his race, and although the lure is right in front of him, he’s looks straight into the eyes of the photographer (me) and continues his run. I had to jump for my life taking this picture. Photographed in Belgium.(© Rob Van Thienen, Belgium, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards)


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