With almost all the drive-ins closed, Joe Bob Briggs is still busy. Way back, when I used to read his reviews in some long-forgotten free newspaper, he was very concerned with his credibility. If he said "Heads will roll" then you could be sure that there would be a head, unattached to a body, rolling across the screen.
Joe Bob Briggs is a pseudonym, and the reviews are comedy, but he insists on maintaining a level of credibility, despite some blowback regarding his Basket Case endorsements.
Pause for random Kate Beckinsale breast picture.
At a much lower level, propagandists try to hang onto some shreds of credibility.
Megan McArdle spent most of last week in unaccustomed labor. She was out to prove that the summary document of the Heartland policy was a fake. What she meant by fake was never really clear - it mostly seems to be proving that it was a summary or draft, not something contrary to their general plans. Her explanation was:
I should also probably note that I disagree pretty strenuously with Heartland's position on global warming. I not only believe that anthropogenic global warming is happening, but also support stiff carbon or source fuels taxes in order to combat it. While I've expressed some dismay at the behavior revealed in the leaked Climategate memos, they haven't changed my mind about the reality, or the danger, of global warming. I'm not defending Heartland's stance on climate science; I'm mostly interested in this because I have a longstanding fascination with fake quotes and documents.
Is there away to judge intent? Consider the law of Domicile. A lot depends on establishing intent to make your new home your permanent home. "Intent" sounds quite subjective, but can be inferred from actions. Do you establish new ties, move your goods, sell the old house? Or do you have a small apartment you don't use much and spend most of your time hanging with the old gang & looking for a job back home? Home is where the heart is, unless the heart is removed from the body & rolling down the sidewalk in a drive-in movie.
So Megan believes in Global Warming, but does she care about it? (That she is an undying warrior for accuracy is too farcical to consider) There is no evidence. We have a fairly good idea what her priorities are: Maintaining her image, keeping the peasants down, new drugs, protecting banks and drug companies. By a strange coincidence, keeping the peasants down & protecting drug companies are the main tasks of the Heartland Foundation.
Which brings us to the black hole of credibility : Willard "My first name is Mitt" Romney. There is simply nothing to found him on. When he produces an emission like:
“This week, President Obama will release a budget that won’t take any meaningful steps toward solving our entitlement crisis,” Romney said in a statement e-mailed to reporters. “The president has failed to offer a single serious idea to save Social Security and is the only president in modern history to cut Medicare benefits for seniors. I believe we can save Social Security and Medicare with a few common-sense reforms, and – unlike President Obama – I’m not afraid to put them on the table.”
you can only marvel. He attacks Obama for benefit cuts that were actually expense cuts. Then he attacks him for not cutting expenses. Then he mixes up Social Security with Medicare, fearmongers a well funded program, and lies about his own proposal. What would we get if we elect him? A rapacious plutocracy? Mormon dystopia? Nuclear war? All we can be sure of is that we'd get a liar. Credibility level: