Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sarah Palin - Still Takin' It Personally

Mrs. Palin, former part-term, part-time governor of Alaska, swung by Cal State University Stanislaus last Friday.  She called CSU Stanislaus president Hamid Shirvani a bold man for not withdrawing the invitation for her to speak, and made it clear she had heard about the issues her WSB contract created.

She managed to diss, hiss and piss at a whole slew of people but managed to also glorify Glen Beck, falsely credit Ronald Reagan with having grown up and gone to school in California, put down "lowly" Eureka College (Illinois), and confused our Constitution with the "Constitution of Liberty," an essay in which the author explains why he is not a conservative.

For the full video and a transcript of her speech, please refer to this Palingates article.  Here are the noticeable "mean girl" swipes I picked up in the speech:
  • She incorporated "bendy straws" into her routine, making it clear that she was upset that details about her contract were made public.  
  • She chided California's Attorney General "and friends" for bothering to question the CSU Foundation's practices and finances, duly brought to light by her contract. 
  • She pooh-poohed the protesters she never saw thanks to over a mile of chain link fence erected to keep anyone but invited guests off campus.  
  • She maligned the students who found an early version of her contract in the trash bin by calling them "dumpster divers" and insinuating that they were political operatives wasting their time. 
  • She went on to trash talk the student protesters further by quoting Ronald Reagan's dissing of hippies, the one about Tarzan, Jane and a Cheetah. 
  • She even got in a sideways jab at the professors at CSU Stanislaus whose e-mails expressing dismay in the Foundation's choice of a speaker went public. 
  • She still hasn't gotten over the fact that the "lamestream" media noticed the crib notes on her palm, so this too is part of her speech routine no matter where she goes.  
  • And last but not least, she couldn't resist bashing the president and all other elite broad minded intellectuals for seeing shades of gray when there is only black or white, for apologizing for America, for turning their backs on the war on terror and for respecting other cultures even when they are evil.
Any slight, no matter how small (discovering she demanded "bendy straws") or how large (losing the 2008 election), seems to gnaw at her immensely, and she can't help shooting venom at any and all who don't worship and praise her.  This simply can't be good for either her body or her soul.

Sarah, when are you going to stop taking everything personally?  I shudder to think of the new cabinet position you'd need and the huge staff required to keep track of all your "enemies" should you get into a public office. It'd be officer Wooten thousands of times over.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rachel Maddow for President (w/Video)

In her program tonight on MSNBC, Rachel gave what she had hoped would be President Obama's speech to the nation last night.

Quite frankly, it was incredible, and I am not using that word lightly.  I will link the video clip here as soon as it is available.

My only hesitation comes from observing that once people are actually elected to office, they seem to change -- were they always just a pawn, or were they bombarded by certain immutable truths about the way the world works after they gain office?  I wish I knew.

UPDATE: here's the video:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Alvin Greene - How Did He Win?

Alvin Greene
If you've watched or listened to any of half a dozen interviews with South Carolina's recently elected Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, your head is probably spinning just like mine is.  Here one interview with Fox News' Shepard Smith.  And here's another with the New York Times, and yet another with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann (YouTube). Be forewarned if you are not already up on this story, the videos are painful to watch.  IMO, Alvin Greene is hardly U.S. Senate material.

Vic Rawl
As Alvin Greene notes, "60% of the vote is not luck." So how did this fellow, who seems not to have campaigned at all for the position (no campaign war chest, no Web site, no rallies or events), wind up beating a much more legitimate contender, Vic Rawl?  House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) is calling for an investigation and suggesting that Mr. Greene is someone's "plant."  In other words, he questions how this unemployed veteran (who was let go by both the Air Force and the Army) who qualified as an indigent just a few months ago (Greene was assigned a public defender on a felony porn charge) was able to come up with the filing fee of over $10,000.

What to me is even more intriguing is how, apparently, 100,000 people voted for him.  Some suggest his name was on the top, alphabetically.  Others say that since you can vote for any candidate regardless of how you are registered in SC, there must have been a large number of Republicans who added to the vote total in an effort to get the most ineffective Democratic candidate possible to run against incumbent Senator Jim DeMint.

Bottom line, though, even if he was planted in the race, he obviously did not do what it takes to run away with the vote from an established politician.  Bradblog adds some very important, albeit disturbing, information to the picture:
But the "plant" theory doesn't explain the extraordinary numbers that Greene reportedly received at the polls on Tuesday, if not in the absentee voting. While it's possible all of this could be an issue of dirty tricks by Republicans who are allowed to vote in SC's open primary, there were, apparently, no known efforts by the GOP to push for Greene votes --- certainly not enough to account for the staggering 59 to 41 victory Greene reportedly sailed to on Tuesday.
Brad Friedman goes on to explain: 
South Carolina uses ES&S' 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, in this case touch-screen) voting machines at the polling place. The machines, also used in many other states (such as Arkansas, where we recently reported exclusively on the disappearance of thousands of votes on May 18th, which neither state or local officials are able to explain to this day) are both oft-failed and easily manipulated in such a way that it's almost impossible to detect the systems have been gamed.
Welcome to red flag time, as reported by Politico:
In Lancaster County, Rawl won absentee ballots over Greene by a staggering 84 percent to 16 percent margin; but Greene easily led among Election Day voters by 17 percentage points.
What could possibly explain why Rawl succeeded so swimmingly in the absentee ballots and yet failed so miserably in the votes supposedly cast on South Carolina's Diebold machines?  Politico goes on to report:
In Spartanburg County, [Rawl campaign manager Walter] Ludwig said there are 25 precincts in which Greene received more votes than were actually cast and 50 other precincts where votes appeared to be missing from the final count. 

"In only two of 88 precincts, do the number of votes Greene got plus the number we got equal the total cast," Ludwig said.
Please visit and support Bradblog and, who have been on the case of these paperless, record-free voting machines for a decade. What happened in the South Carolina Democratic primary may not have a significant impact in the overall scheme of things, since everyone seems to have confidence that Senator DeMint will win his re-election bid no matter who he runs against.  But our lack of attention or interest in how we vote and how our votes are counted invites unscrupulous partisans to mess with the voice of the people. Beyond figuring out who gave the 10G to Alvin Greene, let's make sure we figure out how the staggering disparities in this SC race happened.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Palin Moratorium - Possible Pros

I'm a frequent reader of HuffPo and other online outlets that publish stories about Sarah Palin. I regularly see comments along the line of, "Why are you giving this idiot any space? I just wish she'd GO AWAY!" That got me to thinking... could we help make her go away? She holds no elected position and has not declared that she is running for one (yet). She's touted as some sort of political celebrity cum Teabag leader but even the Republican establishment is wary of being too closely tied to this "rogue." So why does she get national coverage when she has someone post a controversial statement on her Facebook (ffs!) page? I think part of it is that many people publicly take issue with how ridiculous those posts are. She's a train wreck in slow motion and we can't help but watch and talk about it.

I realize that implementing this notion will take concurrence by many other people besides me, but if there is a general consensus that this experiment is worthwhile, I'll do my best to recruit others to honor a moratorium for a yet-to-be-decided time period.

Here are a few reasons it might be good to experiment by voluntarily engaging in a limited-duration moratorium on writing or commenting (or even reading) about her latest speech to the Bowling Ball association or her Twitters or Facebook rants.

  1. Starve the beast
  2. Take a break, get perspective
  3. Laws of physics

Starving the beast: we know for a fact that Mrs. Palin thrives on attention. What if we don't give her, for a brief period, the attention she lives for? My guess is she'll up the ante and say even more outrageous things than usual (or not, see Laws of physics below). We can keep track, make notes, and once the moratorium is over we will have lots of fresh material to work with and some extra time to do research and careful writing. Also, too, nature abhors a vacuum. If we don't call her out, maybe we'll create an opening for someone else who would not ordinarily do so. Remember, I'm only talking about a 10-day period here as an experiment. Let's also call this the "giving her plenty of rope" tactic.

Taking a break: many of us, myself included, swim in her polluted waters daily and our "OMG-NoSheDi'int!" meters have gone off the scale so many times that it may be time to recalibrate. There are a lot of other awful, sad, horrible and desperate events happening in our world. There are also other aspects of life worth rewarding, appreciating, and soaking up.  Taking a brief break would give us a chance to regain some perspective on the foulness of the wind blowing from her pie-hole and possibly regenerate the kind of energy that will support us in the months ahead.  I'm not suggesting we'll find her any less despicable, hypocritical, or ridiculous after a 10-day break. But we may be better able to articulate why she deserves calling out instead of just coming up with new ways to say, "This woman is an idiot."

Laws of physics: you've heard that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I think this can apply to the metaphysical world as well. That is, if we push back against her insanity, she feels the need to overcome that with something else. Our attention may actually be providing the incentive she needs to continue her crazy. It's a given that her die-hard followers are not swayed by truth or reason, so we might actually be vivifying her cult following by pointing out her routine inanities. After all, where would the Sea of Pee be without some of our more prolific bloggers to flog?

There are probably several possible cons to my suggestion, and I would happily host a guest post to give voice to those.  You'll find my e-mail address in my blogger profile—just drop me a note or write your comments here.

Don't forget to vote in the poll over there on the left at least!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Would This Help or Hurt? (POLL)

Like many of you I suffer from Palin fatigue now and again.  She is a nobody yet she finds a way to insert herself, via Twitter and Facebook, into every hot topic that comes along and the giant online echo chamber magnifies and multiplies her upside-down world screeching.  If nothing else is going on she'll make up something to be outraged about.

So the question is (please vote in the poll on the left): what if we set aside a week or two where we just didn't pay attention to any of her stupefying antics?  What would happen?  Would we explode?  Would she?

For my part, I'd promise not to blog about anything Palin, nor would I read or comment on any other stories that featured her.

Of course, if during that period she tries to be somebody again, say by running for public office, I think it would be my -- and all of our -- responsibility to remind everyone of who she's proven herself to be.

We could start a Facebook group to promote the idea and get buy-in: "Ignoring Sarah Palin for her own good!"  Or something like that... What do you think?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Yes, Now I Get It... NOT!

Extreme Greenies:see now why we push"drill,baby,drill"of known reserves&promising finds in safe onshore places like ANWR? Now do you get it?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Says Sarah, Adjusting Her Halo, "What Ugly Innuendo?"

McGinniss has followed us for some time now, from showing up on our doorstep last winter, bidding over $60,000 for a military charity auction dinner with me, writing the hit pieces, attending at least one Outside book event, etc. He has a right to pursue his subject, I suppose, and certainly has a right to live wherever he wants, but my family also has a right to expect privacy, and hopefully to enjoy peace this summer. Good fences do make for good neighbors. The fence is now up, and I hope that we can enjoy peace. The media sensationalizes the recent McGinniss’ tactic so the public will tune in to whatever the latest episode is, always with ratings in mind, and that’s unfortunate.
So wrote Mrs. Todd Palin in a Facebook note today. She's upset because NBC didn't blank out their own cameras to display this message while Matt Lauer interviewed Joe McGinniss on Good Morning America.  Let's take a look at what she's said.
  1. McGinniss has been following them for some time now. This is a "so what?" moment, isn't it?  Who hasn't been following the Palinpalooza for a while now?  I'm sure he's not the only one to show up on their doorstep.  In fact, I recall vividly Greta Van Susteren doing just that.  
  2. He bid on the charity auction she put up on eBay, the one where bids started at $25,000!  Oh my god, the nerve of the man!  She neglects to say that she reserved the right to eliminate people she didn't want to dine with, and that's what she did to Joe.  She should be happy that the dinner winner ended up paying more than 60K thanks to his bidding, which only further helped the charity.  
  3. Now we come to "the hit pieces."  I know of one piece titled "Pipe Dreams" that clearly pointed out the lie she'd been telling about having gotten a gas line project underway, supplying energy to the hungry markets in the lower 48, or some such.  It wasn't a "hit piece," it was a carefully researched article on the likelihood that the AGIA, which Sarah Palin touted as proof of her mastery of energy issues, would never be built in spite of her implying it was a done deal. Oh, and then there's the "hit piece" where Joe McGinniss noticed that the carefully crafted illusion of Palin's bus tour was, essentially, a hoax.  I guess if you print the truth and it happens to contradict the illusion Sarah Palin is trying to create, that makes you a despicable peeper and potential pervert.
  4. And for crying out loud, Joe McGinniss had the temerity to attend a book signing event during the months-long amazing bus tour?  How dare he tell the world about the bus hoax? 
As a gentle reminder to the wacky Wasilla witch, the media would have known nothing—nada—about Joe McGinniss renting the house next door, or even your fence-building, without you broadcasting it via your safely insulated Facebook page and following it up with your whining to Glenn Beck.  You created the situation, you incited your cult following, and should anything happen to McGinniss, you will be squarely to blame.  Do you really believe your own garbage?  From the same Facebook note, Sarah innocently muses,
I’m not sure what “ugly innuendo” was in my Facebook post or why it is so controversial to suggest that the presence of a hostile “journalist” writing a hostile book about me is an imposition on my children who simply want to enjoy their summer outside.

I am quite sure what "ugly innuendo" was in your Facebook post.  Did all the vile accusations and deadly threats from your followers towards Joe McGinniss come out of nowhere??? 

That you say you can't see it proves you are immensely dense or intentionally deceptive.  That you double down on it in this short sentence tells me you are still blowing the dog whistle for your faithful sarasites.  That a neighbor wants to write a book about you, how is that an imposition on your children?  Why do you ALWAYS drag your children out in front of you and use them as a shield?  You act much more like a sniveling, deceitful cur than a fearsome grizzly bear.