Fox News contributor Erick Erickson enjoys MSNBC when he is not being an ideologue

Erick Erickson, FOX News commentator, radio host and editor and chief of redstate.com, professed his undying love for MSNBC at symposium held at Troy University on Friday.

Actually, that was a blatant overstatement, which I felt was appropriate given Erickson’s professional history.

For the last two weeks I had been familiarizing myself with Ericksons incite-full body of work, and had prepared myself for a deluge of nastiness.

I think I had a few reasons to believe that was a possibility. Allow me to give you the short list of his—his finer moments in nastiness.

But I also had reason to believe that reason was lurking amongst the dark, dark shadows of his thoughts.  This reason can be witnessed when he speaks about how the conservative anger is perceived by those outside the conservative bubble.

“I think conservative media is failing to advance ideas and stories…  The echo in the chamber has gotten so loud it is not well understood outside the echo chamber in the mainstream press and in the public. It translates only as anger and noise, neither of which are conducive to the art of persuasion.”

This might have been a good sign of a turning point in his career and a move towards fostering reasonable dialogue, but within the weeks following the statement he had already made the statement  from above about the pope, as well as alienated libertarians by calling them smug in regards to their views on same-sex marriage.

For a man that has proven himself cognizant of what techniques are persuasive, it appears he has no interest in practicing those techniques. I suppose it’s a case of “do as I say, and not as I do.”

Curious to dig deeper into his ability to discern what reasonable dialogue is, and what is not, I formulated a question to prod his brain.

It’s a very complex and well thought out question, so prepare yourself.

The question:

“Who do you believe are good representatives of reasonable dialogue?”

I was astounded as four of the people that he named are also people I’d consider reasonable: George Will, Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes.

I know the list was just off the top of his head, but I found it  interesting  that three of the five people he named were MSNBC hosts. He also named CNN’s Paul Begala.

I found myself impressed, but after I had more time to think about it, the more it upset me.

His picks indicate to me, quite clearly, that he understands what is reasonable. Therefore he should be capable of conduct himself reasonably and without these incendiary incidents.

I have thought of an analogy for the way this experience made me feel.

Imagine you have a misbehaving child. You can be frustrated with the child, but at the end of the day you can reconcile that the child is behaving as a child.

If one day you were to discover the child had the capacity of an adult all along, then the behavior becomes something wholly inexcusable.

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Unmarried, 51-year-old Ann Coulter says marriage is “the most important institution.”

Anne Coulter went on a squawk fest against John Stossel tonight, attacking libertarians and at one point branding them as “pussies.” Don’t be afraid to click that. It’s just a link to an article with the video.

Most interesting was her choice to preach the importance of defending marriage against the homosexual scourge. 

“Marriage is the most important institution to civilized young people,” said Coulter. She goes on to add that “liberals want to destroy the family.”

Interesting beliefs for someone who has neither married nor established any variety of family.

Disingenuous Economics 101 with Stephen Moore

Wall Street Journal opinion writer, economics journalist and right-wing ideologue paid a visit to Troy University on Wednesday.

As a general rule, I don’t appreciate being painted an incomplete picture of a subject I’m not the best at by someone with superior knowledge. I appreciate it even less when I’m able to identify that it’s happening.

[PURPLE PROSE ALERT]
The day prior to Moore’s presentation I read a few of his articles, and viewed some of his television appearances online, so I was well prepared for the grinding of his ideological ax and the weaving of his economic obfuscations.

Despite a few attempts during the course of his presentation to assure the audience that he was somehow non-partisan in his conclusions, I knew better.

So it came as no surprise when the deluge his stat, figures and faulty conclusions began. By keeping a critical eye on his many graphics, I was able to pick out a number of things that didn’t jibe with reality, or that merely partially jibed with reality.

I will cover two of those things with the aid of a YouTube video of him performing the same presentation at another school, and the graphics I lifted from a copy of his PowerPoint slides I found with the almighty Google.

Thing 1:
In this portion of the video Moore makes the argument that the Bush tax cuts on the top 1 percent of earners created increased federal tax revenues from the 1 percent: http://youtu.be/3tHO-j4xTHs?t=32m15s

Click here for a clear image of the graphic he is using.

In arguing that tax breaks on the highest earners caused them to pay more in tax revenue, what he conveniently fails to state is that Bush’s $1.35 trillion tax plan also did other things. Most importantly, it lowered taxes on all other tax brackets, and raised the child tax credit from $500 to $1000.

Where is the shocker? When the people with the least amount of disposable income have more money to spend they spend it. Naturally, those in the 1% are the greatest beneficiaries of such a boon, and thus the increase in their tax contributions.

Their tax contributions increased not because of their tax rates being slashed, but because everyone else’s rates were as well.

Imagine the revenues that would have been picked up had the 1 percent’s taxes not been lowered.

Thing 2:

In this portion of the video he pretends that the education and health care industries are somehow comparable to industries that produce software, computers, apparel and vehicles: http://youtu.be/3tHO-j4xTHs?t=44m50s 

Click here for a clear image of the graphic he is using.

“Look at the two areas of the economy, setting aside energy, where we’ve had the biggest increase in prices over the last ten years,” Moore urges. “Health care and education, health care and education.”

He then insinuates the soaring costs in those industries are because of government involvement.

While I’m willing to concede that the public and private loan industries are not conducive to making universities competitive price-wise, it’s not enough to make me think the costs would be much lower sans government involvement.

How exactly are these industries subject to the same market forces? You can’t outsource: nurses, doctors, surgeons,  emergency medical technicians, teachers, administrators, janitors, lunch ladies, you get the idea.

Moore is just comparing industrial apples to oranges.