Hoax quote collections: Quote mining Hillary Clinton

October 17, 2007

We’re past the political equinox in the political hemisphere (not to be confused with any real equinox anywhere), and we’re coming down to silly season in the presidential race. Soon the hoax quotes will start appearing in full breeding plumage, to be beaten to death by unsuspecting candidates who wish to instill fear in voters, and by partisans who would rather give a tweak to someone they don’t like, rather than get their facts straight.

Remember when the oral faux pas of former Vice President Dan Quayle went around the internet — attributed instead to Al Gore? Yeah, that’s the sort of bird we’ll see. (To be fair, we should note that some of the Quayle quotes are invented, and they were also attributed to George W. Bush, and then to John Kerry; watch for them sometime in 2008.)

How do I know the misquote mocking birds will sing? I’ve already seen one bird, with sightings claimed by dozens of non-thinkers in the blogside. Hillary Clinton’s victory at the 2008 Democratic Convention is so much assumed that people are already staking claims on quote mines, pulling out nuggets of disinformation. In one “quiz,” quotes are listed, and the reader — that would be you or me, Dear Reader — is asked to select who might have said the disgusting thought, Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, Nikita Kruschev, the Devil Himself (just kidding), or “None of the above.” Each quote’ s “correct” answer is then revealed to be “none of the above,” because Hillary Clinton said it.

SEn. Clinton at Iowa rally, January 2007 - Reuters photo

For those who may doubt, a date is attached to each “quote.”

  • Photo: Sen. Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally in Iowa, January 2007 – Reuters photo.

You can see this one coming from miles away: Clinton’s quotes are true quote mine nuggets, ripped out of context, disguised with odd dates and no other details, and edited so a discerning reader cannot track them down to expose the fraud by the makers of the quiz (who was identified as Neal Boortz in one piece I saw but I haven’t been able to find his version).

We’ll take a more rational, hoax-debunking view below the fold. You can bet that Hillary Clinton didn’t take the Idi Amin-Stalin-Mao-Hitler view. You can take that to the bank.

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Why read the Constitution?

October 17, 2007

Every Member of Congress needs someone to read the Federal Register daily, the Congressional Record each day, and the Constitution regularly.

The Federal Register records agency actions, many of them quite obscure, but all of the agency actions that affect a member’s state or district. Sometimes an agency will try to sneak something past a member, and sometimes they’ll simply fail to notify the member of something that really deserves a lot of attention. The Congressional Record does the same thing for Congress. It’s a difficult read, but someone who knows it well can tell when conditions are ripe to get action on some measure.

Al Kamen at The Washington Post gives an object lesson on why knowledge of the Constitution is important. In this case, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Constitution experts invoked the clause that prevents a president from making recess appointments.

This may be inside baseball to most people. Kamen’s story demonstrates why a party will elect someone like Reid as their leader. He may not be as suave and funny as Jack Kennedy on camera, but he knows where the buttons are that open and close the automatic doors of power.

The detente the two sides reached over the Senate’s August break — which saw the Senate approve dozens of nominees in exchange for a no-recess-appointment pledge — is over.

That deal was reached in part because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) dusted off an old weapon — the pro forma session — which would mean theoretically that the Senate would never be in recess. When both sides negotiate anew, that weapon looms large.

Turns out the pro forma session originally had nothing to do with recess appointments. It comes from Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution, which says neither the House nor Senate may be out for more than three days while the other body is in session, without the consent of that other body.

But neither chamber wanted to seek “permission” from the other one for anything. Bad form and all that.

Did you know what was in Article I, Section 5?

Perhaps more important, this was covered by the much-maligned-in-blogdom “Main Stream Media” (MSM). Can you find a blogger who broke this story before Kamen? I’ll wager you can’t.

1956 airline disaster at Grand Canyon

October 17, 2007

Another piece of history of the 20th century often overlooked: June 30, 1956, two airliners collided over the Grand Canyon.

The newsletter of the Grand Canyon Association featured a good, concise story with photos this summer. It’s in .pdf format.

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