Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June 12th, 2017

Bullshitter

Ok. I wrote it. Commentary normally doesn’t spell it out completely, but since the Chron printed it yesterday in Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg’s column, I decided to print it today. She used the word to describe Donald Trump.

Here is from her column:

If you win an election fairly, as Trump did through the electoral college, why concoct a story about “illegal” voters depriving you of the popular vote? Why claim thousands in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks when they didn’t? Why say there’s no system to vet refugees when there is? Why repeat that America is the highest taxed nation in the world when anybody with a smartphone can just Google it?

And why call an intelligent, well-respected man with lots of intel on you and your associates a “nut job?”

Then, after he testifies under oath that you tried to thwart a criminal investigation, where do you get off tweeting that you’ve been “vindicated?”

We may never know the answer. The emerging theory, based on the earlier work of philosopher Harry Frankfurt, now a professor emeritus at Princeton, is that Trump is not so much a classic liar as a bullshitter. Frankfurt wrote that BS was a greater enemy of truth than lies are.

It was a darn good column and here is all of it: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/Comey-s-testimony-reminds-us-about-the-importance-11211009.php.

Commentary then tweeted this:

Marc Campos‏@MarcCommentary 1h1 hour ago

 

First time I have ever seen “bullshitter” in print in the @HoustonChron. Honest take from @ChronFalkenberg

With a link to her column and I sure did get a lot of retweets and likes – cool.

When I was reading Falkenberg’s column yesterday I kind of did a second take when I ran across the word. I can’t recall ever seeing it in print in the Chron. Maybe this was a first – maybe.

Nice job, Lisa!

Classic liar or BSer, he still never tells the truth. Those GOPers who stand by him blindly are in for a disappointment. They stand by Trump but Trump will never stand by them. Chumps if you ask me.

It looks like NBC News is in for a bad week and deservedly so. I was at my parents yesterday evening and the flat screen was on in the background. Megyn Kelly was on and I saw her promoting that Alex Jones fella from InfoWars for her show next Sunday evening. I kind of thought that Kelly left Fox news so she wouldn’t have to put up with that trash but it turns out she brought the trash with her to 30 Rock.

Here is from HuffPo:

NBC News and Megyn Kelly are under fire for giving airtime to far-right radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

In the past, Jones has claimed that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job.” He also said the parents of the 20 students murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 were actors and the deaths of the children as well as six school employees were all faked.

Kelly was criticized on social media for what some saw as an attempt to normalize Jones and his outlandish and untrue claims. She defended herself by saying President Donald Trump had praised Jones and appeared on his show. She also noted that Jones’ InfoWars was given credibility when the site received White House press credentials.

Many don’t know him; our job is 2 shine a light,” she wrote.

But that didn’t slow the outrage. Some viewers even called for a boycott of the network over the upcoming interview. Here’s a sampling: 

@mattmfm @megynkelly @NBCNews My nephew survived Sandy Hook. I am not tolerating this. Will never watch @megynkelly or @NBCNews again if they choose to air this.

And:

20 children dead at Sandy Hook and @megynkelly is giving voice to the man who suggested it was a hoax.

This is beyond shameful, @NBCNews. https://twitter.com/megynkelly/status/874053387389513728 …

NBC News deserves all the bad PR in the world this week. A very dumb move indeed. This fella gives scum a good reputation.  NBC News should pull the show.

I wonder what Tom Brokaw has to say about this?

Let me give a big thank you to @evan7257 for providing us pics of the open carry folks out at Hermann Park this past Saturday. They sure did make the folks who supported open carry look real stupid.

Commentary received this on Friday:

A few points to address Bill King’s lengthy op-ed:

1) HFD’s pension board agreed to most of the cuts that were made, their biggest point of contention is that cuts went deeper than originally agreed to, both sides issuing ample press releases of questionable credibility as to the specifics. As various people have been pointing out, all the while HFD employees were denying the truth throughout the legislative session, their fund was not in as good shape as they claimed. As a result, without changes the city would have to contribute around 50% more this coming fiscal year and likely similar amounts to maintain their superior benefits, their pension board finally admitting they needed to reduce their discount rate to 7.25%. Despite the suggestion to the contrary, the “cuts” merely slowed down the growth of benefits for retirees, experts claiming nobody would get a lower check moving forward than what they were already getting.

2) As I stated yesterday, had the legislature intended that the city could not issue pension bonds moving forward, they would not have had a start date of July 1 in the lengthy bill.

3) The corridor requires three years of the pensions not making their target returns in a row, that being done to smooth out the ups and downs of the markets. While experimental, it is my understanding that the specifics were worked out by business sector experts trying to protect taxpayers, the Arnold Foundation and Kinder Institute suggested as the primary drivers of the idea. It should be noted that if the pensions do not make their needed returns, there is no specific requirement forcing employees to contribute more so much as allowing that and additional benefit cuts such as lower COLAs. I think that’s a very fair provision for employees to share the risk when their investments do not perform, not too unlike Mr. King’s desire for defined contributions where all risk is foisted upon employees. And once again, it should be noted that finance experts point out only making changes to new employees will not work given the amount of built up liabilities to date. King’s mock surprise does no one any favors but most employees working for the city right now, other than HFD of course, are under already cut benefits, this second round made as a necessity, HFD’s larger cuts only reflecting the lack of previous cuts like the others took.

4) In 2004, Houston voters passed an opt out election that specifically allowed the city to cut benefits. The suggestion some legal experts are pushing is that this trumps the actuarial assumption aspect of previous provisions. Further, since the HFD pension board is suing only regarding their own portion of the bill, a bill passed by the state and not the city mind you, the bond election shouldn’t matter since they receive no benefit from the proceeds and their cuts remain no matter the outcome while the other two pensions are no longer cut is voters turn down the bonds.

5) Mayor White’s pension reforms cut the benefits of police and municipal employees while leaving the superior benefits of HFD alone. The reason why liabilities increased is because he started paying both pensions far, far less than was needed to sustain even the lowered benefits and of course the market crash we’re all familiar with. Had he been a responsible leader, he would have set city payments to the yearly needed amount from the beginning but he was eyeing the Governor’s seat so he had to make city finances look artificially good for a short period of time. We all know how that played out. The type of benefits had little to do with the liabilities, just like any ongoing expense, when you put off paying it, the amount snowballs over time. – Steve Houston

Got it?

44-20 is not bad. The Rangers are in town for three. Get well soon, Dallas Keuchel!

Read Full Post »