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Frank Luntz writes a defense of his swarminess in the LATimes.
The Lexicon of Political Clout:
"They say I'm manipulating the debate in an attempt to obscure the true effect of the policies I advocate. Yet this lexicon genuinely seeks to establish a common language for a pro-business, pro-freedom agenda."
I think that speaks for itself. The man no longer grasps the concept of telling the truth.
Admittedly, in these times, most political language has taken a partisan tone. But my suggestions are meant to help reach that critical, nonaligned swing voter, just as product advertising is designed to appeal to nonaligned consumers.
Great. Have you seen that new ad where the hot chick on rollerskates glides around while her Diet Whatever spews sparkling bubbles?
For example, why not use the term "death tax" for the taxes paid on an estate?
How about "estate tax"? Not everyone gets taxed at death, just people that have large estates. Saying death tax implies that everyone will get taxed when they die, just for dying. Not true.
What is the event that triggers it? I pay a sales tax when I am involved with a sale, and I pay income tax when I earn income. And when I die, if I'm successful and forget to hire smart accountants, I may pay a tax. What else would you call that other than a death tax — a "permanent sleep tax"?
A fucking ESTATE TAX you slobbering moron!!!
To me, calling for a "cleaner, safer, healthier environment" and supporting helicopter rides over the Grand Canyon and, yes, snowmobiling in Yellowstone Park is not a contradiction.
And when seals wash up onto shore covered with oil, we can clap our hands and say "Ooooo, shiny seals!!!"
Conservationists are mainstream and environmentalists are extreme.
Fuck you. (Yeah, I know I'm really digging deep here, but he pisses me off!)
Even under the most innovative reform proposals, the vast majority of your Social Security contribution (12.4% of your income up to the first $90,000, just in case you had forgotten) would remain completely unchanged and untouched, so Washington can continue to spend your retirement savings on other programs and you can continue to collect that great 1.6% return on your Social Security "investment."
Funny, I have my W-2 right here in front of me and when I plug in the numbers I pay only 6.2% of my income to Social Security taxes. And for that amount I get a guaranteed income from the day I retire till the day I die. Sounds like a pretty good "investment" to me. And if the problem is that big bad Washington keeps spending that money, I think maybe that should be the problem we fix, not cutting the value of my investment.
In the end, this ongoing battle over language is more about comprehension than articulation.
In other words, we seek to get you to believe what we want you to think, not to inform you about the actual facts of our policies. We want you to feel, not to understand. We want you to make connections between feel-good words and the truly wrongheaded policies we seek to implement.
Next week we'll discuss the "Apple Pie Amendment".
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