“Choco ration’s going up!”

When Parsons announces this rumor Winston Smith in 1984, he neatly illustrates the Orwellian concept of Newspeak. Later that day Smith’s work at the Ministry of Records requires him to edit past editions of the news so that the “current” ration becomes 20 grammes rather than the real ration of 30 grammes.

When the official news announces at the communal meal that the ration is “going up” to 25 grammes, everyone applauds.

Republican policymakers have learned that lesson quite well.

The secret here is to take a grain of truth, spin an elaborate lie about, say it often enough to make a talking point out of it, and then it takes on a “truth” of its own.


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Newspeak spoken here!

Remember how Michele Bachmann wanted to harshly cut veterans’ benefits, particularly benefits for disabled vets? She proposed $4.5 billion in cuts back in January.

But hey! that was January. Now it’s September, and it’s a different world. For Michele Bachmann, anyway. Speaking before the national American Legion convention last week:

“One point on my discussion list was a $4.5 billion proposal that would affect payments made to our veterans. That discussion point has received a lot of attention and I have decided to remove it from consideration. The problem of government spending must be solved, but not on the backs of our nation’s war heroes. I have always been a proud supporter of the United States military and I continue to stand with our veterans.  In the months ahead I look forward to working with our Veterans Service Organizations to ensure that we fulfill our commitments to those who sacrificed so much in their brave service for our country.” (emphasis mine)

When you live in 1984 she thinks you can say anything today, contradict it tomorrow, and get away with it. When she says, “I have always been a proud supporter of the United States military”, she seems to be really saying, “I’m looking for a way to suck up to the Tea Party, and here’s my latest poorly thought-out gibber. I will likely contradict myself the first time I can make campaign hay out of it.”

Paging the Ministry of Records!

In 1996 Barack Obama, then a candidate for the Illinois state senate, signed two questionnaires that stated his support for gay marriage, and that he would fight efforts to make it illegal.

So it seemed.

The hot news out of Netroots today is that the White House is now claiming that Obama didn’t sign those questionnaires. There was an inference that his signature had been forged.

Really?? Those questionnaires have been out there for 15 years. They’ve been written about several times between now and then, and the White House is just now getting around to denying them?? This is nothing like “change” or “hope”.

Maybe we’ve been at war with Eurasia all this time.