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The Most Pathetic Sentence in the History of the English Language


Let’s check the sure-to-be-fascinating election coverage at Trainwreck Media:

On a conference call this afternoon, Dick Morris predicted a Mitt Romney victory…

Wait, what was that?

…conference call…Dick Morris

Really, isn’t this the point where you consider a more respectable career, like cold-calling widows to steal their Social Security numbers or selling expired baby food?

The sad thing is that the reaction from the wingnut second-stringers and punters when Romney fails to win Pennsylvania and Michigan will be to blame ACORN and the New And More Powerful Than Ever Black Panthers while the people who conned them gleefully cash their fat paychecks.

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  • Dan

    OMG, LGM has been taken over by Romney-Ryan ads! That Dick Morris must have some strategy in the works.

    • Anderson

      I’ve been enjoying watching their campaign waste money on misplaced web ads. Not very much $$, I fear, but every discarded dollar helps.

      • somethingblue


      • Stan Gable

        I’ve clicked on maybe 100 of them out of spite, so I see them everywhere I go. Worst media buy ever.

        • Warren Terra

          You can always do some incognito browsing (that’s the Chrome name for it, I think all the browsers have their own word; it’s the version where no enduring cookies or history can be generated), so as to spend their money without permanently skewing the selection of ads presented to you.

          Incognito browsing is also a way to read the New York Times for free, or so I’ve heard.

          • Stan Gable

            I consider it a win every time they waste an ad on me.

      • Hogan

        I got robocalls from Anne Romney and Rick Santorum today (to be fair, the call from Anne was a wrong number–there’s no one named Brian here). It’s like saturation bombing–we don’t need no stinkin targets, we have all the money in the world.

        • NonyNony

          We had 7 robo calls today from Romney and the RNC. Seven. On a Saturday. The first coming at 9 freaking AM (on a Saturday) and the last came just after 8:30 PM as I was telling bedtime stories to my son.

          7 robo calls. All of them from Republicans urging us to vote. One of them is the same goddamn exact call that we’ve gotten every single day for the last two weeks. To a phone number that hasn’t had a registered Republican at it in well over a decade.

          Honestly my only explanation for it is that the Romney campaign decided to pay their robocallers by numbers called per day or something. Because I honestly have never had this many calls from a single campaign ever that I can remember. (We always get a lot of robocalls to our landline during election season but it’s usually different freaking campaigns not one campaign that just calls with the same message over and over and over again – this is really weird.)

          • Anderson

            Does anyone not resent a robocall? I guess lonely sr citizens are their target.

          • cpinva

            you would think, this being the romney/business guy campaign, if those robocallers were getting paid by the numbers dialed, that it would require they be discrete numbers, and that calling the same number repeatedly would garner them no profit.

            i mean, supposedly, romney is this whiz bang business genius. paying to have the same number called, repeatedly, wouldn’t seem particularly cost-effective, not to mention, pissing off potential voters.

            • swearyanthony

              Grifters gonna grift. Others have noted how St Karl of the massive campaign funding has been pissing other people’s money up a wall. And hell Romney is still paying out massive bonuses to his loser staff.

    • I personally will be using my share of the Romney ad proceeds to pay for some voter fraud. I’m going old-school of course, using only those with large beards and then shaving them a bit after each time through the polls so they can present themselves as different voters.

      • arguingwithsignposts

        Does the Romney ad buy not pay well enough for a few New Black Panthers?

      • Real old-school requires a barrel of whiskey

        • Scott Lemieux

          Well, that’s where my stimulus is going…

          • Anderson

            Where can I get a good blue-state whiskey?

            • Corey
              • Anderson

                Thanks! Looks yummy.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  We visited Finger Lakes Distilling this summer. Great stuff! Their gin is very good too.

            • John

              Do we have to buy stupid craft whiskeys because they’re located in the Northeast? Really?

              This is like when my conservative friend started to market and sell his own ketchup to gullible conservatives in 2004.

              • Hogan

                No, “we” don’t. Really.

            • jon

              Berkshire Mountain Distillers. Rum too.

              • Davis X. Machina

                No love for Aroostook County potato vodka?

              • Scott Lemieux

                Greylock Gin — strongly recommended. Their bourbon isn’t bad but Mackenzie is better.

  • Icarus Wright

    Is it just me or shouldn’t ‘Tattler’ have two ‘t’s?

    Not one, but two. Not zero. Three is right out…etc etc…

    • Bill Murray

      no tattler has 3 ts — two consecutive and the big T

    • Warren Terra

      I can’t figure out what this comment is in response to, but I’ll give it a go.

      If by “tattler” you mean “one who tattles”, i.e. “one who engages in petty gossip or informs on others”, it should have three t’s (two consecutive t’s).

      If by “tattler” you mean the name of a magazine, there’s a three-hundred year history of English-language magazines named “Tatler

      • Hogan

        There’s a section of PJ Media called “PJ Tatler.” I’m not sure how it’s different from any other section; maybe you’re supposed to read it to yourself in an English accent.

        • Warren Terra

          While beating the houseboy and discharging the groom, no doubt.

          • ckc (not kc)

            …better than grooming the discharge

            • And my chop suey dinner loses some luster…

            • Anderson

              Beating the houseboy until one discharges.

              • cpinva

                i believe that’s what karl rove does in his spare time.

                • BigHank53

                  Nope, you’re thinking of his dad.

                  God, I’ve been waiting to use that link for years.

          • Hogan

            “What are those frightful Bolshie chaps up to now, Lord Reynolds?”

  • Anderson

    Here’s my valentine to Nate Silver and all the rest who keep me checking the polls 50 times a day.

    Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Electoral College Map

    Among twelve swinging states,
    The only moving thing
    Was the Electoral College map.

    I was of three minds,
    Like an Electoral College map
    In which there are three pollsters.

    The Electoral College map whirled in the autumn polls.
    It was a small part of the pantomime.

    A man and a woman
    Are one.
    A man and a woman and an Electoral College map
    Are one.

    I do not know which to prefer,
    The beauty of polling averages
    Or the beauty of margins of error,
    The Electoral College map on Election Day
    Or just after.

    Polling averages filled the computer monitor
    With particolored glass.
    The shadow of the Electoral College map
    Crossed it, to and fro.
    The mood
    Traced in the monitor
    An indecipherable result.

    O thin men of Gallup,
    Why do you imagine national averages?
    Do you not see how the Electoral College map
    Trips up the feet
    Of your likely voters?

    I know noble models
    And lucid, inescapable algorithms;
    But I know, too,
    That the Electoral College map is involved
    In what I know.

    When the Electoral College map turned all to tossups,
    It marked the edge
    Of one of many scenarios.

    At the sight of an Electoral College map
    Glowing in a purple light,
    Even the bawds of punditry
    Would cry out sharply.

    He rode over Ohio
    In a glass coach.
    Once, a fear pierced him,
    In that he mistook
    The shadow of the 47%
    For Electoral College maps.

    The polls are moving.
    The Electoral College map must be shifting.

    It was four days till the election.
    It was polling
    And it was going to poll.
    The Electoral College map refreshed
    On the smartphone.

    • Hogan

      [standing ovation]

    • Bravo l’artiste

    • somethingblue


    • CD


  • commie atheist

    Swing it, sister…

    • Anderson

      That is awesome.

  • Derelict

    Dick Morris is certainly mock-worthy, but he does stand as a living illustration of the gullibility of people on the right. Even the most casual parsing of what he says shows it to be complete bullshit. But I think we now have a solid and substantial body of evidence demonstrating that people who are true rightwing believers simply lack the mental capacity to detect complete bullshit.

    The continued employment of Morris is exhibit A. The continued parade of Conservative “thinkers” on the Colbert Report–and all of those “thinkers” believe that Colbert is himself conservative–is both exhibit B and a constant verification of their lack of discernment.

    • laura

      Yeah, to some extent, Morris is just making an easy living. These people exist to be conned by people like him. If he wasn’t doing it somebody else would be.

    • Davis

      As every con man knows, if they want to believe, they’re an easy mark. And boy, do they want to believe.

      • This.

        These are people who use evidence the way George Bush and Dick Cheney did re: Iraqi WMDs.

        As long as they can find some evidence that suggests what they want to believe, they can hang their hat on it, and it doesn’t matter what the rest of the evidence says.

        They aren’t looking for the truth from the evidence. They’re looking for permission.

    • The right-wingers can detect bullshit when they want to. But they believe in the lies and legends of their tribe because they need to believe them. Something in their identity or worldview requires it.

  • laura

    Somewhat relatedly (and somewhat OT, sorry), I visited Unskewed Polls for the first time the other day. Wow. You get the impression these sites are created for people who don’t really know how the internet works, or how a well-designed site should look. The sort of ad on the site is also a pretty good indicator of what sort of IQ and “spending power” is visiting — i.e. people who will believe anything.

    I’m also tickled whenever I accidentally click the page at The Corner and a Internet Poker spam page pops up. They act erudite (or some approximation of it) and beg their readers for cash but clearly additional money can be made off people who visit for a dose of Michael Walsh’s august wisdom and discover in the process “WOW, I can GAMBLE online!!!”

    • Anderson

      I imagine their audience is the same as the one for those adverts selling a $59.99 disc that will run defrag on one’s computer.

    • Davis

      The widow of the assassinated finance minister of Nigeria would like their emails. She needs their help in disposing of USD2000,000,000 that sits in an account in the Central Bank.

    • You might think that’s a bit of a joke, but Rick Perlstein connects those dots in the forthcoming issue of The Baffler: “The Long Con: Mail-order conservatism

      • M. Eric Gourmand

        Thanks, Jeremy, that’s a great link.

  • joejoejoe

    Mmm…vintage Gerber from 1994. Tastes like toes!

  • jon

    Obama made a fatal miscalculation when he failed to grovel to the toe-sucking voter demographic. I’ve got your math right here, also.

  • As long as we’re lovin’ the 90s here, can I point out that there’s no way Obama would have a chance at winning this thing if not for those illegal fundraising calls from the White House, combined with his rental of the Lincoln Bedroom for Washington Redskins football weekends?

    • Uncle Kvetch

      illegal fundraising calls from the White House


    • mds

      Ironic, given that Obama’s secret second-term agenda includes forcing the Redskins to change their name to the more politically-correct “Washington Death to Christianity.”

      • LPBB

        Dang, I wish. I totally would support the ‘Skins if that was their name. And I say that as a girl who grew up right outside of Baltimore and still bears a grudge over the 12 years we were forced by the NFL to watch the Redskins after the Colts left town.

  • Anon21

    So let’s talk a bit about right-wing self-delusion about the polling.

    Take this NRO hit on the NBC/WSJ/Marist polls in Ohio and Florida today.

    Ohio shows Obama +6 and above 50 percent. Ooh, ouch. That kinda stings, three days before the election, huh? But wait: the poll shows Democrats with a nine-point turnout advantage over Republicans. Inconceivable, says Jordan! Why, in the wave election of 2008, Democrats only held a five-point edge over Republicans. Are these fraudulent, traitorous pollsters telling us that Obama will “almost double” his margin? It is to laugh!

    But, hold on now. Something’s a little odd here. Jordan tells us the difference, but he doesn’t tell us the actual figures–that is, what percentage of the electorate is expected to be Democrats vs. what percentage Republicans. I’ll go ahead and tell you–Marist’s party ID figures (page 9) are 38 D, 29 R, 32 I.

    And how does that compare to the (entirely infallible, just by the way) exit polls from Ohio in 2008? Well, that year, turnout was… 39 D, 31 R, 30 I.

    So, first, I’m not sure where Jordan is culling that five-point 2008 Democratic edge figure from.

    But second, what this seems to show is that both parties have sloughed off a bit of their support into “Independents,” who presumably have continued to vote more or less the same way they did before. Nationally, it looks like this has affected the GOP more. Basically, a bunch of Republicans now want to say they’re Tea Partiers or Severe Conservatives or whatever. And basically none of these poll truthers seem to have engaged with this evidence, which would fully account for seemingly weird party ID splits. (It would also account for why Rasmussen, which does weight by party ID, is so far from consensus.)

    I think I’m done worrying that this people have any special insight into polling bias. This thing is Obama’s to lose.

  • Warren Terra

    Can’t we just be generous and assume that, as no-one is so monumentally stupid to call into a conference call in order to receive the wisdom of Dick Morris, Dick Morris simply called into someone else’s conference call, and was able to make himself heard?

    Or maybe it’s someone else named Richard Morris. There have got to be a bunch of them, they’re common names. And the political judgment of the average Richard Morris would surely be an imprtovement on that of the famous Dick Morris.

  • The Dark Avenger

    Whenever Richard Morris went down town,
    We people on the pavement looked at him:
    He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
    Clean favored, and imperially slim.

    And he was always quietly arrayed,
    And he was always human when he talked;
    But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
    ‘Good-morning,’ and he glittered when he walked.

    And he was rich – yes, richer than a king –
    And admirably schooled in every grace:
    In fine, we thought that he was everything
    To make us wish that we were in his place.

    So on we worked, and waited for the light,
    And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
    And Richard Morris, one calm autumn night,
    Went home and called the election for Romney.

    • Sev

      You’ve clearly got something there in your first and last lines- the rest need some work.

  • Sev

    Ok so I took a crack at it.

    Whenever Willard Romney went downtown
    He privatized the sidewalks as he went
    Enjoying the fulsome praise of Dick the clown
    And from the rest of us extracting rent.

    And he was always quietly above
    The miseries of our predicament
    But still he cherished giving us a shove
    While pitying us, the 47 percent.

    Oh he was rich, yes richer than a thief
    And admirably schooled in every ruse
    For hiding wealth, in brief
    For winning even when he ought to lose.

    So on we cursed, and watched our pay decline
    Only growing older and more tired
    While Willard in one morning’s bright sunshine
    Gathered us to tell us we were fired.

    • RhZ

      Oooh that’s good!

      • c u n d gulag

        Yes, indeedy!

        • The Dark Avenger

          I do better when I have a popular song as my inspiration. Here is a bit of Walk on the Conservative Side:

          Annie came from New Cannan, C.N.A.
          Hitch-hiked her way across the USA
          Plucked her eyebrows on the way
          Shaved her legs and then he was a she
          She says, Hey babe
          Take a walk on the wild side
          She said, Hey honey
          Take a walk on the wild side

  • Emma in Sydney

    You people really want to head over to Making Light where poetry blog slamming is a thing. A big thing.

  • Next up: Dick Morris on climate change

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