Babington’s Babel of Babble
Babington Babels Babble, read all about it!
Sometimes things just jump out at you in awe inspiring mush. You almost have to duck, what with what is flung. That it should be flung at me at breakfast is all the more rude. Here today our Advocate paid one Charles Babington to utterly twist fact and figure into wild fantasy – and do call it news. As I say, awesome mush. Then you reread, and again, and yep, still mush.
The article, entitled “Poll, public wants unity,” is accompanied by a small graph with color bars showing actual number percentages linked to spiffy comments and the question. Answers for three questions are presented. How many questions were asked is not said. So three it is. One presumes that the data, I.e. the poll numbers, would be reflected in the paid-for article. After all, the numbers are there, and the man is, again presumably, an educated journalist of the finest sort. Alas, you would presume wrong. That it is so blatant is, again, awe inspiring. It takes a certain amount of bravado to write this babel, present it for payment, and pull it off. I congratulate Charles, I do.
I do wonder about the Advocate, though. For they seem to have a Washington correspondent, one Gerald Shields, somewhere, and too they have other staff, editors even. And one would presume on a matter of such constant discussion, ad nauseum et nunc finito, and national importance bar none other by the president’s own admission, aka, “health care,” that our Advocate would live up to its bold claim for being the independent voice for me here and A) do its own reporting, B) use the numbers at hand C) refuse to run Babington’s Babel. In fact, they should demand their money back, if you ask me. But no, they the editors do publish it – right there, mush mashed with explosions of chocolate poptart from mouth to paper as I read this:
Babs: “… and only 4 percent say it shouldn’t be changed at all.”
Survey says: “15% — leave the health care system as it is now.”
And so, 15 to 4, um, a flight of fancy? Pee poor posturing? Bizare babeling in drunken rage?
It could be this latter one, or all three, for look, Babs says: “Many of his allies are baffled, because Americans clearly want change, and some individual components of the Democrat’s health care agenda seem popular.” We know who “his” is, eh? So, bafflement – yes, apparently – Survey says: 68% “Keep trying until they are able to make a deal with the Republicans.” So, yes, his allies, and he too apparently, are baffled that 68% want a somewhat more Republican plan. Perhaps even a mostly Republican plan, aka the Ryan Plan. Or maybe they want ½ and ½. Who knows? We have no info for that. But it is the Democrat’s agenda that the public doesn’t want. Note, it’s not even a bill any more, or a proposal, or an amorphous melange of mush more blobby then the newly discovered blob fish of the deep abyss. Which is very blobby, indeed. But an agenda. Yes, well, Marx had an agenda, too. Groucho to make us laugh, Karl to make us cry.
I guess once the bafflement is accorded with, and accepted, the Democrats will march right over to the Republican caves and find out what might be their plan. No, Ryan gave it to the Democrats right there at Blair House. The president say “harrumph” or something and got back to his “I won” speechifying. Still, if the Dems had left their closed door sessions they might have inquired of Republican concerns, backed up by 68% of the people, and said, “ah ha, so that’s what the people want! We did not know that.” Or even they might have consulted their laptops and blackberries and looked up the Republican plans on line, one does presume congress is wired, a hot spot as it were, indeed. But, no, Babs does tell us, with complicity by our Advocate, in a statement unsupported by any given fact or figure, and contradicted by the facts and figures given – he tell us, right there in the second paragraph, that the poll “suggests that President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies have a political opening to push their plan. Half of all Americans say health care should be changed a lot or a ‘great deal‘ …”
Yah, so, 68% say go to Republicans and find out what the people want, and Babs says “half” want change. But if 68% want change, well, obviously 50% want change, but still, where is the difference on the score card when 68% drops to 50%? Why, it’s for talking to the Republicans. Still, Babs goes off to the swamp, in manner that’s most mushful. Then the “…” leads back up there to that 4% – 15% thingy I mentioned just before.
Babs’ entire premise of opinion – and it is opinion if you “suggest” something. It certaintly isn’t an objective fact, and certainly not the way Babs writes. Suggestions never are. That’s the whole point of the concept – leaning towards, possibly, perhaps, maybe, pointing to, you know, could be maybe if, just a hint, of, well, the suggestion is followed or idea presented, you know, like Dali and Escher sort of suggest reality, no? Where was I? Yes, well, his premise is that “half of Americans want change,” but 4% don’t want change. Which leaves some 46% missing in action. The polling date presented don’t give any figures about this somewhat mysterious group of Americans. Or do they? They don’t don’t want change, but neither do they want change a lot or a “great deal,” I guess. And what is a lot versus a great deal? Seems sort of a mushy barrier between the two that a tadpole could muzzle through. And why is “great deal” (which I put in italics) set off within quotes in the writing of Babs as if it is the words of this person or that, and yet no attribution is given? Nor do the words appear in the data given in the little box so plainly visible just a smidge to the right of Babs Babel.
Now, even more awe inspiring mush sort of concludes the article, if one could call this bit of expository expression of emotion an article, ’tis more like a letter to a friend who you are trying to sway to your cause to bail you out of jail, but you know, he doesn’t need to know too much about the matter, nor get all the facts, or even use the reality right there in front of him, but just, you know, com’n cooperate already, we’re trying to get something done here:
Survey says: 41% scrap the agenda and 15% leave alone, which is sort of you know, scrap the agenda, for the agenda is change, and leave alone is not. So, 56% say, clearly, NO, to this agenda spoken of loosely. And 43% say “keep working to pass a health care bill this year.”
Yes, well, what exactly does “keep working” mean? Does it suggest, say, the agenda isn’t quite right yet and thus no vote should be taken? No numbers on if the public wants a vote taken today, tomorrow or sometime soon. Or does it mean that every and any skulduggery sort of parliamentary maneuver under the desks of congress be used to mash this into the faces of the 68% which survey says don’t do it! Or you could use the less robust oppostion of 56% survey says don’t do it! Or, being suggestively creative, one could argue, with the question actually being: “What do you think the president and congress should do about health-care this year?” That those 43% who want to keep working on the bill want the Democrats to keep working on getting the Republicans into the game? Good grief, look: So exactly 100% of the people either want A) to do nothing but keep working on this version, B) do nothing but work on some other version, or C) just do nothing.
Which sounds like the unanimous conclusion of the American people in Associated Press assembled: We do NOT want anything like the Democratic agenda to come to pass. 100% NO! Wow! What unity! The poll is right, almost – for the headline says – public wants unity! But Lo! We have unity! By this polls questions, by this polls answers, and by the simple analysis of the simple English and lowly numbers (no triple digits, or 12 or 15 zeros, mind you,) we can conclude: We Have Unity in NO!
Obama is to be congratulated, and offered a Mr. Congeniality award immediately, for having unified the country to a degree not often seen, and usually only on over which ocean the sun sets or rises and the colors of the flag.
And what is the concensus? NO! Tell it on the mountain and shout hallelujah, the nation says NO as one. In other news, Obama is off blaming them and those, he or she, and perhaps we and they, or us and you, and well, everybody but himself. He is the yes to our no. He is the Ying Yes, and we the Yang No. Which even a Chinese Communist can tell you ain’t going to work. Though, Babs goes down swinging, as a good eunuch does for his emperor, clothed or not, as the “president heads to St. Louis today to press his case” — such hope he has! “even as major business launch multimillion dollar ad campaign to undercut the legislation” which, hey, Babs, (whisper, whisper) 68 percent of the people, nay, 100% of the people say NO. Or as Victoria Jackson sings “There’s a communist in the White House.”
Meanwhile, in international news it snowed some 20 inches in Barcelona, Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea’s palm lined beaches, in the very Florida of Europe, just two days ago, in further utter fact on the ground refutation of global warming. Al may or may not have said “but it still warms.” But if no one is around to here his babel, does he make a sound?
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