…laments my neighbor Tony Piel, former director and general legal counsel of the World Health Organization:In this new age of global war on democracy, it’s best first to silence your political opponents, and then be “free” to do as you like. Everyone is doing it, some more successfully than others. But warning: You too may be targeted.
If, as a “progressive” activist, you find yourself “accidentally drowned” in your own bathtub, or victim of some other form of “suicide,” a U.S. agency or team probably did it. That’s what happened to democratically elected former Guatemalan President Arbenz Guzman and former Chilean President Salvador Allende, to name two. They were deemed too socially democratic to continue in office, let alone in life. Of course, these happenings may just be deniable “fake news.” We wouldn’t really do something like that, would we ?
The U.S. has an impressive past history of political assassinations, usually carried out by passionate, self-righteous or demented individuals, almost always by gunshot, thus re-affirming our inalienable Second Amendment right “to bear arms” (and use them). The four best-known examples of this predilection for guns are: (1) the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth using a .44 Derringer, (2) the assassination of President James Garfield in 1881 by Charles Guiteau using a Bulldog handgun, (3) the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901 by Leon Czolgosz using a .32 revolver, and (4) the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald (and others) using a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle (or so the Warren Commission believed).
The U.S. historical record of successful domestic assassinations of public officials comprises some sixty targeted political figures, including a number of State Governors, City Mayors, Congressional Legislators and a few Court Judges. Fifty-four of them (or some 90 percent) were by gunshot, a distinctly American preference. Were these killings an exercise in Second Amendment rights, or something else ?
So, it isn’t as though we Americans are entirely lacking in success in assassinating our own political figures and perceived opponents. But what is missing in our record to date are examples of government-sponsored assassinations or killings ordered by the head of state to achieve a personal goal such as to get elected or re-elected to the highest office in the land.
That’s where the Russians are clearly ahead of us. Lately, the Russians have shown a marked preference for poisoning. In this category, former KGB agent Vladimir Putin’s Russia has us all beat by miles. If you find yourself shot or poisoned to death for political reasons in almost any city anywhere in the world, Russia probably did it. Of course, Putin will deny involvement in any secret, national and international poisonings and assassinations. Here’s some recent examples of note:
Putin critic Yuri Shchekochikhin dropped dead from a then-unknown poison in 2003. Putin’s political opponent Alexander Litvinenko died of Polonium-210 poisoning in London in 2006. Independent journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead in her own Moscow apartment in 2006. Putin critic Boris Nemtsov was fatally shot near the Kremlin in 2015. Opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Musa was poisoned in 2017. Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with Novichok nerve toxin in Salisbury, England in 2018. Current opposition candidate Aleksei Navalny has been poisoned by an as-yet unidentified toxin in 2019.
The U..S. is currently lagging behind Russia in the sophistication and volume of successful “snuff jobs” to silence the political opposition. But the current White House Office of Legal Counsel and Department of Justice have given us renewed hope for catching up. They have announced that, thanks to executive privilege, a sitting U.S. president can never be indicted or prosecuted for anything. Thus a president could snuff out, not just a few, but all of his critics and opponents, beginning with those calling for his impeachment, without the encumbrance of due process and the rule of law. How “great” can you get ? Even Putin’s Russia hasn’t thought of that one !
To save you the trouble of googling, here’s a link from the New York Daily News to the transcript of Sarah Palin’s endorsement of that other free spirit, Donald Trump. Long, sure — but what a wonderfully perfect specimen of incomprehensible, irrepressible, and innocently ignorant logorrhea! In a child it would be cute. Put her on the ticket, please, pretty please. Oh, I know, but can’t a boy dream?
From the Facebook of a major political party’s pick to be vice president of the United States:
I have never and will never let the shroud of victimization cover me — God’s given me way too many undeserved blessings to dishonor His goodness by wasting time crying “victim” — but I’m happy to recall the hundreds of Palin-centric false reports if it helps America understand you must never trust JournoList-types. (Well, not exactly “happy” to do it, but willing — all the whilst throwing up a little bit in my mouth, believing the reason the harshness perpetuates may be for others’ edification.)
From Fox News:
Former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin is saying she is “seriously interested” in running for president in 2016, injecting some intrigued into next year’s race and the already crowded field of potential GOP candidates.
Palin — also a former vice presidential nominee and a perennial potential candidate — has twice told reporters over the past several days that she is interested in running.
The 50-year-old Palin made her comment before speaking on Saturday at the Iowa Freedom Summit, the first big conservative gathering of potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates.
Palin first told ABC News, while serving wild boar chili on Thursday to the homeless in Las Vegas, that she is interested in the 2016 presidential election.
…watching the Louie Gohmerts or Sarah Palins or Glenn Becks of this world. From Psychology Today:
Fremdscham describes the almost-horror you feel when you notice that somebody is oblivious to how embarrassing they truly are. Fremdscham occurs when someone who should feel embarrassed for themselves simply is not, and you start feeling embarrassment in their place…
Besides the emotional response, Fremdscham-inducing events and items … also usually cause one to ask this question: “how on earth can these people be unaware of how stupid they are being right now?”.
And more than to lecture you about the beauty of the German language, I want to write about a classic psychological theory that laid the groundwork for addressing precisely this question of how people remain ignorant of their ignorance.
Dunning and Kruger often refer to a “double curse” when interpreting their findings: People fail to grasp their own incompetence, precisely because they are so incompetent. And since, overcoming their incompetence would first require the ability to distinguish competence from incompetence people get stuck in a vicious cycle.
“The skills needed to produce logically sound arguments, for instance, are the same skills that are necessary to recognize when a logically sound argument has been made. Thus, if people lack the skills to produce correct answers, they are also cursed with an inability to know when their answers, or anyone else’s, are right or wrong. They cannot recognize their responses as mistaken, or other people’s responses as superior to their own.”
From Aljazeera America:
On Tuesday, Wisconsin began allowing the hunting and killing of wolves that had, until 2011, been protected by the Endangered Species Act. But scientists say the change is premature and could lead to the devastation of the gray wolf population in the state…
I’ve got no problem with this in principle, as long as it’s a fair fight. The hunters have to use their teeth.
How can I not pass along the news that Sarah Palin ran a faster marathon than Paul Ryan?
Almost enough to make a fellow sorry for Sarah. Almost:
“…We looked online for the latest movie playing,” Jessie added. “But all the Harry Potters were sold out, and then we saw ‘The Undefeated.’ We don’t even actually know what we’re seeing.”
“Well welcome to California,” I said. “You’re about to see a documentary about Sarah Palin.”
“Oh, really?” they said, and started giggling again. I think they were expecting an action flick. When I returned to my seat, I thought maybe I’d talk to them after the movie, and get the perspective of two people who went in with no expectations. But they only lasted 20 minutes before walking out.
After that, it is strictly accurate to say that the theater was empty, except for me. On screen there were clips of a younger Sarah Palin helping to reform Alaskan governance. “In politics, you’re either eating well or sleeping well,” she said. I jotted this down: “And which of those are you doing now?”
Shortly before the end of the film, a young couple entered, walked to the back row, started making out, then interrupted their session and left (spoiler alert) as Andrew Breitbart, who made one of several guest appearances, started talking about eunuchs. Then I was alone again, working. Instead of researching civil liberties violations, or the war in Libya, or the contest to elect the next president of the United States, I was both a journalist and the only member of the public willfully paying attention to Sarah Palin, as if standing in for the pathologies of my profession…
Sarah Palin had this to say on the subject of Paul Revere:
He who warned, uh, the ... British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.
But here's what really pisses me off: Paul Revere's ride had already been distilled down to its simplest possible terms. It was already shorthand. It was already a cartoon. It doesn't require an explanation of any kind. And Palin doesn't know even that.
It's as if she was trying to explain what Bugs Bunny looks like, but doing so by describing Daffy Duck.
When I use the brush tool in Photoshop most of the time it comes out with a circle. And then suddenly it turns into a crosshair, which is very annoying. Why?
If the image is sized such that there are currently 100 pixels of the image currently visible, and your brush is set to a diameter of 300 pixels, then the circle of that brush will be too large to display within the image area. In that case, the brush will be shown as a crosshair rather than a circle.
In case you thought they were surveyor’s marks…
I pass along this from Robert Paul Wolff so you won’t have to waste any more of your time reading crap about Sarah Palin’s presidential prospects.
Back in the early seventies (when the late unlamented Richard Nixon was as yet an undisgraced president), I was sitting around with several UMass colleagues gossiping, as was our wont, about a mutual friend. He had just been elevated from the faculty to a Deanship, and we were speculating about what sort of administrator he would be. Since he had not even served as a Department Chair, we had no track record on which to base our speculations, so we were very much at a loss.
Then Zina Tillona, a Professor of Italian in the Romance Languages Department (since phased out as part of a long, tragic world-wide assault on the Humanities) offered a bit of folk wisdom that, with the benefit of many years of hindsight, I now recognize as truly profound.
“Well,” she said, “most people do most things the way they do most other things.”
At first, what she said struck me as being very close to tautological, but as I reflected on it, I began to realize the deep insight of that simple remark. People have styles of behavior, modes of interacting with the world, that are grounded in their character, and a person’s style of being manifests itself in small things as much as in large.
If a person is perpetually late, lingering with a student in her office rather than promptly moving on to the next student on her appointment list, she will probably continue to be late when it is Deans and Provosts she is dealing with. If a professor’s desk is neat and cleared of all papers, with six pencils lined up in a row, their newly sharpened points exactly aligned, then he will almost certainly be punctilious, precise, and obsessively complete in his scholarly work.
I thought of Zina’s maxim when trying to puzzle out the political ambitions and intentions of Sarah Palin. Would she run for the Republican presidential nomination? Did she even want to be president? One of my sons, to whom I had long since passed on Zina’s folk wisdom, recalled it for me, and went on to suggest that it held the answer to my questions.
Palin has held three significant positions in her life: mayor of Wasilla, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission, and Governor of Alaska. She walked away from the second and third, each time because she saw an opportunity to maximize her fame and personal wealth. She clearly had no interest in actually being Governor of Alaska, nor is there the slightest indication that she wanted actually to be, or even had any idea what was involved in being, Vice-President of the United States.
Since most people do most things the way they do most other things, she will almost certainly run for the nomination, because that is the best way to remain famous and to develop new money-making opportunities without working for them. But should she have early successes in the 2012 primaries, as well she may, she will find some way, before the nomination process is complete, to drop out of the race, presenting herself as a victim of all manner of plots and prejudices.
Indeed, even if she secures the nomination, it is a virtual certainty that she will quit the race before she is defeated on election day. That this will cause chaos in the Republican Party will be of no concern to her, for at no time in her entire career has she ever exhibited the slightest loyalty to anyone or anything beyond her own immediate interest.
First, appearances are everything. To be a good Republican you have to look like a good Republican. Which is not so easy these days. It used to be that a good Republican looked like a small-town banker — an agreeable Kiwanian with a prosperous paunch, dressed in a dark gray suit, a white shirt and a red tie drawn at the neck into a carefully constructed knot. If he had an adventurous bent, the banker might essay a triangular Windsor knot. Winter or summer, he always wore a hat.
The Windsor knot, by the way, is said to have originated with the Duke of Windsor, whose only other contribution to the world was to demonstrate just how thin royal blood could get. Before the war started, the newly minted Duke and Duchess made nice with the Nazis on one of their endless trips to nowhere, and were eventually shuffled off to the Bahamas by an exasperated British government. The Duke spent the war years perfecting his knot and studying the tango. Had he been an American citizen, there is no doubt the Duke would have been a Republican.
Republican women used to look like the banker’s wife, who was considered a style trendsetter and a model of sensible, plump American womanhood. She subscribed to family values before the phrase was invented. She was chairwoman of the annual bake-off fund-raiser for the hospital and wore a silver fox stole in the winter. She also wore a hat with some sort of bird feather in it and thought New York City was the home of the Devil. She was an enthusiastic Republican because her husband was an enthusiastic Republican. That’s all there was to it. She would have thought the Tea Party was inhabited by dangerous lunatics with terrible manners, sort of like the Hell’s Angels.
But all that was a long time ago, before everything got so confusing. Now where does a good Republican look for inspiration and guidance? Where once there was Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater and Dwight Eisenhower, all earnest and boring and utterly unsurprising, now we have John McCain, Michelle Bachmann, John Boehner, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich? Oh, what a rich choice! But first…
No matter how you knot your tie, as a good Republican you will want to keep your eye on the donut. You will want to embrace the essence of Republicanism, the spirit of conservatism; you must long for the way things used to be, or at least say you do, before Big Government came along and ruined everything. You will want to have at hand a few phrases about fiscal responsibility, self-reliance and the American Way, even if you don’t quite know what the American Way is. If you happen to have one of the old GOP handbooks, go through it and cross out Communism wherever you see it and substitute Terrorism with a capital T. Cross out Roosevelt and insert Obama. Cross out New Deal and replace it with Bad Deal. Make sure you’ve got the words of the “Pledge of Allegiance” and “God Bless America” down pat and memorize the First Amendment.
Now you’re ready to adopt the GOP style that suits you. Which do you like best? Boehner or Bachmann, Palin or Gingrich? And don’t forget the Old Pilot. Maybe the bolts have popped out of his wings but he’s still flying the plane, more or less. How about Orrin Hatch? Now there’s a guy knows how to knot a tie. He can do it one-handed while the other hand is busy wielding the scalpel. How about Mitch McConnell? Isn’t he cuddly cute? Nobody said this was going to be an easy choice.
Perhaps it would be easier to make a selection from a list of GOP adjectives and construct your very own Republican persona. Here are a few descriptive words to help you: smug, hypocritical, selfish, greedy, hawkish, myopic, negative, reckless, stupid.
And, finally, let’s not forget wrong.
This story, shyly hiding on page A15 of today’s New York Times, unarguably exposes the Glenn Becks, the Rush Limbaughs and the Sarah Palins — among so many others — for the filth they are. And ignorance, as in Palin’s case, is no excuse. The truth is out there, Sarah, hidden in the pages of books and the tubes of the internet. Go look.
As for the Becks and the Limbaughs and the Congressional troglodytes of both parties, a just Lord would, as their ends approached, bring each of them before life panels. There they would be sentenced to death by modern medicine — weeks or months entombed in dead bodies kept warm by pumps and tubes as the tenants cursed their own cruelty.
In a study that sheds new light on the effects of end-of-life care, doctors have found that patients with terminal lung cancer who began receiving palliative care immediately upon diagnosis not only were happier, more mobile and in less pain as the end neared — but they also lived nearly three months longer…
It shows that palliative care is the opposite of all that rhetoric about ‘death panels,’ ” said Dr. Diane E. Meier, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and co-author of an editorial in the journal accompanying the study. “It’s not about killing Granny; it’s about keeping Granny alive as long as possible — with the best quality of life…”
Those getting palliative care from the start, the authors said, reported less depression and happier lives as measured on scales for pain, nausea, mobility, worry and other problems. Moreover, even though substantially fewer of them opted for aggressive chemotherapy as their illnesses worsened and many more left orders that they not be resuscitated in a crisis, they typically lived almost three months longer than the group getting standard care, who lived a median of nine months.
NEW YORK — Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston say they're engaged and hope to get married within six weeks in Alaska, an abrupt turnaround for the couple that just months ago was fighting over child support and Johnston's critical comments about the family…
The couple is ready to get married but Palin told the magazine they'll probably see a marriage counselor, Schaefer said, adding that Plain made it clear that Levi will have "a lot of work to do."
Asked whether the magazine paid for the interview, Schaefer would not discuss details of the arrangement except to say that the magazine paid for the expenses of the photo shoot.
The Rude Pundit straightens Sarah Palin out on why the President shouldn’t do a sit-down with Tony Hayward, the silver-tongued CEO of British Petroleum:
In her latest Facebook posting (which is exactly where Thomas Paine would write Common Sense today so he could only reach people who “like” him), Palin takes Barack Obama to task for not having spoken to BP CEO Tony Hayward directly: “The current administration may be unaware that it’s the President’s duty, meeting on a CEO-to-CEO level with Hayward, to verify what BP reports.” She says that she was “a CEO” when she was governor of Alaska.
Now, while Palin may look at the words “chief executive” in reference to a governor or president and think it’s the same thing as “Chief Executive Officer” in a corporation, it’s that very analogy that has fucked us over. The government ain’t a company. The president ain’t a CEO…
See, a CEO’s job is to make money for the corporation. That’s it. Shit like laws and taxes and safety are impediments that must be dealt with on the way to making money. A CEO has to be a greedy bastard, a cuntish conqueror who doesn’t give a fuck what has to be done to get more money. The second you say that the President of the United States is on an equivalent level with a CEO is the second you reveal that you don’t know fuck-all about government and you degrade the presidency. The logical leap to President-as-CEO is a callous manipulation of the expectations of the governed, and it turns citizens into selfish shareholders…
You’d expect this sort of thing from the Rude Pundit or the Huffington Post. But the Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson’s new cybersheet?
Sarah Palin took a leave of absence from her Russia-watching post in Alaska to become a Fox News contributor. Who could have seen that coming? She represents diversity on Fox as that network’s only non-blonde correspondent…
Sarah Palin does have charisma and a certain following. A woman resembling her once walked into a Florida breakfast place and nearly caused a riot. Folks soon realized she was not the former Alaska governor when she started reading a newspaper.
From the Huffington Post:
Closer inspection of a photo of Sarah Palin, during a speech in which she mocked President Obama for his use of a teleprompter, reveals several notes written on her left hand. The words “Energy,” “Tax” and “Lift American Spirits” are clearly visible. There’s also what appears to read as “Budget cuts” with the word Budget crossed out.
To see Ms. Palin sneaking an actual peek, start paying attention about 45 seconds into the clip:
Emanuel Rahm’s “retard” has become an increasingly complicated political bankshot: from the White House to Sarah Palin to Rush Limbaugh, back to Palin and now to Connecticut’s Senate race:
One of the two candidates, Linda McMahon, was the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment — and it turns out that there was a mentally handicapped WWE wrestling character who was savagely beaten in a steel cage and worse. And in light of the flap over Rahm, I’m told that McMahon’s opponent, Rob Simmons, is going to demand that she account for it…For your viewing pleasure (h/t Greenwich Time), here’s Eugene:
“Eugene” is the stage name of a mentally handicapped wrestling character who performed on WWE’s “Raw” brand. When he was introduced in 2004, according to press reports at the time, viewers complained to WWE, forcing them to issue a statement saying they intended him to be portrayed as a “hero” who would inspire “other people with disabilities to strive to achieve their dreams.”
But there’s footage all over the internet of Eugene getting savagely stomped and beaten, and even demeaned, and one storyline even ended up with him getting savaged in a steel cage. And the Simmons campaign is going to demand that McMahon account for this.
Republican congressional candidate from Alaska Andrew Halcro:
Palin has “what any politician out there would kill for,” said Andrew Halcro, who competed against Palin as an independent gubernatorial candidate in 2006 and is challenging U.S. Rep. Don Young in the Republican primary this year. “And that is the ability to make substance irrelevant.”
The snippets below are from a survey of the Right of the Right, carried out by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. Not much you didn’t know, perhaps, but the words are often interesting even if the tune is familiar.
Most fascinating to me was the way the respondents talked about President Obama himself. They thought he was a socialist, Manchurian candidate control freak, sure. But it kept peeping through that they couldn’t help respecting and admiring the guy — maybe even liking him. Most peculiar, Obama…
For the complete text, download file.
The conservative Republican base represents almost one in five voters in the electorate, and nearly two out of every three self-identified Republicans…
Asked about the issues of greatest importance to them in choosing a candidate for Congress, health care ranked sixth among the Republicans, below issues such as tax cuts, immigration, and a candidate’s personal values and faith; but for the independents, health care was number one…
—I think it is another media attack on people who have views other than their own… It almost makes you think they are trying to create some kind of a divide… Tearing us up. Fabrication to prove the point that they want to prove that may or may not be truth. It is relative to their need to get a headline and they are stupid if they think we’re not seeing this stuff. They’re stupid if they think we’re so stupid.
—There’s a school of thought that if you overload the system with programs and bailouts and all that, that it will create an opportunity, some people believe it started in the 60’s with welfare and Medicare and Medicaid; if you load the system down enough till it totally collapses it, I mean, I know it sounds kind of like a conspiracy theory, but it opens the door for this whole new way of governing. I’m not saying he’s a sleeper or anything like that, but it is something to think about…
—I think [Glenn Beck’s] brilliant. No one goes after him because he does his homework. He checks, double checks, triple checks and he says he refuses to put it on the air unless it’s been checked a hundred different times. So when you can’t get at him, you start calling him names and start digging into his past.
HONG KONG, China (CNN) — Former U.S. Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will be in Hong Kong this week to address about 1,000 investors from around the globe in what is billed as her first speech outside North America…
“What we look to do is invite our keynote speakers who we feel are opinion makers, who are newsworthy and who we feel our clients — a very broad international client base — would be interested in hearing from,” Wheeler said Monday, noting that CLSA is a politically neutral, independent brokerage…
Past keynote speakers include former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, rocker and activist Bob Geldof, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former U.S. Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan, Wheeler added.
As usual the Rude Pundit nails it, it being Sarah Palin’s despicable lies about President Obama’s plans to bring affordable health care to the country.
As usual, most of the RP’s rant fails to meet our high standards for public decency, but here’s a portion suitable for tender ears except for one little word. Pretend you didn’t see it.
From the Columbus, Ohio TV station WBNS, here’s a story about Margaret Druko, a woman with a four and a half year-old child with Down’s Syndrome. Druko had to quit her job because child care centers wouldn’t take her daughter. The only insurance she could get was for catastrophic care at $5000 a month. “Margaret said insurance companies told her Emily was considered a death risk. Without health insurance Margaret couldn’t afford to pay for Emily to continue with her physical and occupational therapy. The Drukos go without medication for themselves because it’s just too costly.” The final fuck-you-Sarah? That story is from two weeks before Palin made her statement.
Or, in other words, ex-Governor, the death panel is there. It’s called “the profit margin.” Indeed, if the Grukos were a bit poorer, they’d qualify for government-run health care. Which would ensure that their daughter gets the care she needs. Denial of private insurance coverage because of Down’s syndrome is unsurprisingly common. That’s called “rationing.”
It appears the article by Todd Purdum at Vanity Fair might have helped poor Sarah decide that the public has asked too much of her, and as a dedicated servant of that public, she must needs skedaddle.
Onetime supporters have become harsh critics. Walter Hickel, 89, a former two-term governor and interior secretary, and the grand old man of Alaska politics, who was co-chair of Palin’s winning gubernatorial campaign, in 2006, now washes his hands of her. He told me simply, “I don’t give a damn what she does.”
Palin is unlike any other national figure in modern American life — neither Anna Nicole Smith nor Margaret Chase Smith but a phenomenon all her own. The clouds of tabloid conflict and controversy that swirl around her and her extended clan — the surprise pregnancies, the two-bit blood feuds, the tawdry in-laws and common-law kin caught selling drugs or poaching game — give her family a singular status in the rogues’ gallery of political relatives. By comparison, Billy Carter, Donald Nixon, and Roger Clinton seem like avatars of circumspection. Palin’s life has sometimes played out like an unholy amalgam of Desperate Housewives and Northern Exposure.
Another aspect of the Palin phenomenon bears examination, even if the mere act of raising it invites intimations of sexism: she is by far the best-looking woman ever to rise to such heights in national politics, the first indisputably fertile female to dare to dance with the big dogs. This pheromonal reality has been a blessing and a curse. It has captivated people who would never have given someone with Palin’s record a second glance if Palin had looked like Susan Boyle. And it has made others reluctant to give her a second chance because she looks like a beauty queen.
Here’s a terrifying look into the mind of McCain, excerpted from a Politico posting. One wonders — well, one doesn’t really wonder — just how far out of the ball park Governor Palin’s answers were.
John McCain’s lead vice presidential vetter said Friday that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin “impressed” in her interview, knocking the senator’s most important questions “out of the park.”
A.B. Culvahouse, a powerful Washington lawyer and former counsel to President Reagan, told an audience of Republican lawyers that for McCain, selecting a vice president came down to three questions: Why do you want to be vice president? Are you prepared to use nuclear weapons? And the CIA has identified Osama bin Laden, but if you take the shot there will be multiple civilian casualties. Do you take the shot?
“She knocked those questions out of the park,” he said at an event held at the National Press Club by the Republican National Lawyers Association. “We came away impressed.”
A few days ago I put up a brief bio of a pathetic specimen named Wayne Anthony Ross who is Sarah Palin’s choice to be the next attorney general of Alaska. Remember, you read it here first. Because now there’s more. Lots more.
As a general rule, you can assume that a draft dodger who drives around in a red Hummer with vanity plates reading WAR is bound to be a giant anus and you would, in this case, be spectacularly right. Palin can sure pick ’em. (As can, of course, McCain.)
Not enough attention has been paid to Sarah Palin’s choice for attorney general of Alaska, a lacuna which I intend forthwith to fill. First of all his name is Wayne Anthony Ross, giving him the initials W.A.R. It is not clear whether his father, a Milwaukee insurance man, saw the significance of this. But the day must have come when the boy realized that his initials spelled “War.” The epiphany changed him forever, sort of.
Not enough to actually make him want to go to “War” himself, although one was handy when he graduated from Marquette University in 1965, and remained within easy reach when he graduated from its law school in 1968.
Instead he moved to Alaska, where he adopted bolo ties, high-heeled boots and a cowboy hat and became a civilian trial lawyer. But the dream never died. He went to gun shows. He shot animals, no doubt wishing they could shoot back. He became a director of the National Rifle Association.
And he pulled an 11-and-a-half year hitch in the Alaska State Defense Force (a 240-man “government-approved state militia”), rising to become its inspector general with the rank of colonel. He also became vice president of the 49th Territorial Guards Regiment, Inc., which guards territory.
Twice knighted (by Poland and the Vatican), Sir Wayne holds the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.
As if that weren’t enough the colonel has also received awards from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Daughters of the American Revolution (for patriotism), as well as being a recipient of the NRA’s Award of Merit for the Promotion of Gun Collecting.
But want to know the best thing of all? Another dreamer of martial dreams was appointed president in 2000, and Colonel Ross finally got his chance to go to war.
He scored this really keen red Hummer to tool around Anchorage in, with these totally awesome license plates that say “WAR.” Eat your heart out, kids.
Oh, yeah. He stands right with God, too:
‘‘I feel I have a good relationship with the good Lord but if I could overturn Roe vs. Wade, I figure I got my ticket.”
Sarah Palin notes in a new right-wing propaganda film that the media employed search and destroy tactics against her: “We are going to seek and we are going to destroy this candidacy of Sarah Palin’s because of what it is that she represents.”
Palin is right that the media deployed a search and destroy strategy against her, and that this was every bit as poor a strategy as it was in Vietnam. Like the Viet Cong and the NVA, Palin has simply retreated to her base areas, where the media have been unable to effectively pursue her, and keeps resurfacing at times of her choosing to harass and entrap media forces. The NVA called this strategy “clinging to the belt” of the enemy, engaging them only when one has a temporary advantage, then melting away in the face of counterattacks.
What the media needs to do is shift to a “clear and hold” counterinsurgency strategy, creating secure Palin-free zones where citizens can pursue their interests in peace and safety, and allowing Palin to sit out in her bases — the mountains, the deep jungle, the tunnel complexes — as her strength gradually withers until she is no longer a threat.
Going to Maine this weekend, hence light blogging. Meanwhile, for all you fans of the absurd, here’s a holiday blend of cinema verité and cognitive dissonance : Sarah Palin and the Turkey Bleeder:
Ever wondered just what the hell a petard was anyway? Here’s a hint: “ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French pétard, from péter ‘break wind.’”
This clip, courtesy of Outta the Cornfield, was made at a GOP rally in Denver.
More good news for Obama, from Sarah Palin and her team of mavericks:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Gov. Sarah Palin’s signature accomplishment — a contract to build a 1,715-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48 — emerged from a flawed bidding process that narrowed the field to a company with ties to her administration, an Associated Press investigation shows…
Despite Palin’s boast of a smart and fair bidding process, the AP found that her team crafted terms that favored only a few independent pipeline companies and ultimately benefited the winner, TransCanada Corp.
The leader of Palin’s pipeline team had been a partner at a lobbying firm where she worked on behalf of a TransCanada subsidiary. Also, that woman’s former business partner at the lobbying firm was TransCanada’s lead private lobbyist on the pipeline deal, interacting with legislators in the weeks before the vote to grant TransCanada the contract. Plus, a former TransCanada executive served as an outside consultant to Palin’s pipeline team.
Under a different set of rules four years earlier, TransCanada had offered to build the pipeline without a state subsidy; under Palin, the company could receive a maximum $500 million…
From the Caucus blog at the New York Times:
Some of the fashion experts consulted Wednesday, for instance, about the $150,000 in purchases that appeared on Federal Election Commission records were puzzled by where all of that money had gone, given what they had seen of Ms. Palin’s wardrobe.
Consider also the $4,902.45 charge at Atelier New York, a high-end men’s store, presumably for Ms. Palin’s husband, Todd, the famous First Dude.
Karlo Steel, an owner there, said he had gone through the store’s receipts for September, twice, and found no sales that matched that amount, nor any combination of sales that added up to the total.…
The store carries expensive cut-up T-shirts and tricky suits from avant-garde designers, like Raf Simons, Yohji Yamamoto and Ann Demeulemeester, none of whom typically create beltway-appropriate attire…
From The Guardian:
Two hours later, they had filled the centre of the 8,500-seat stadium (though there were still empty seats in the stands) and were kept stamping their feet in the damp cold — first to a Christian rock group and then to Hank Williams, Jr, who sang one populist tune after another, some of them tailored to the current election.
In the original version of his song, Family Tradition, Williams defended his hereditary penchant for drinking Jim Beam and smoking dope. But rewritten as “McCain-Palin Tradition,” the song encourages voters to ignore the “leftwing liberal media” and support the Republican ticket “cuz they’re just like you and ol’ Hank.”
He goes on to explain the causes of the financial crisis: “The bankers didn’t want to make all those bad loans / But Bill Clinton said ‘you got to!’ / Now they want to bail out, what I’m talking about / Is a Democrat liberal hoodoo!”
Williams’s tribute in song to Sarah Palin compared her to a “mama bear” who could be counted upon to “protect your family’s condition” because “If you mess with her cubs, she’s gonna take off the gloves, / That’s an American female tradition.. It ended with a musical question to the vice-presidential candidate: “How can you be so smart and be such a good lookin’ dish?”
Sarah Palin’s M.O. during her brief political life has been to cozy up to some unsuspecting mentor, then knife him in the back and step over him. Now she’s at it again. Colin McEnroe spells it out:
Palin is pretty clearly running a double campaign these days — one for Nov. 4 and the other for her future position as a leading Republican voice during the Obama era.
It was most noticeable when she openly questioned McCain’s decision to pull out of Michigan. What kind of language do you think McCain used when he heard about that one? This is not a guy who reacts well to being crossed or second-guessed, especially by a woman he yanked out of obscurity five weeks ago.
Since then Palin has announced a bare-knuckles strategy of denouncing Obama as a strange guy with terrorist pals and Stokely Carmichael attitudes. She has again questioned McCain’s tactics — this time his reluctance to brawl and spill blood and bring up Rev. Wright — and openly announced that she will advise him to follow her lead.
Do you not see a little needle directed at her boss in the way Palin worded this? Particularly the phrase “I guess”:“I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more,” Palin said, “because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character.”
“I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up,” Palin added.
You guess? That, my friends, is classic passive-ag[g]ressive criticism…
So that’s at least twice that Wilderness Woman has told her boss to man up. First she called him on the cut-and-run from Michigan. Then she told him to knock off the soft stuff. My guess is that McCain is steaming. He’d send her home if he could. No wonder he renewed his vows to Joe [Lieberman] last night.
Meanwhile, Palin’s no dummy. She can read polls, and she knows that a loss is more likely than a win. She has become a favorite Republican of Republicans…
If they lose this election, the GOP will probably want to get her out of Alaska and into a Senate seat where she can be closer to the limelight and more able to speak out for the loyal opposition. She knows this, and that’s why she’s running two races. McCain may go down, and, if so, she’s not going down with him.
If I were the New York Times I’d be ashamed of myself. Here’s William Kristol, billing and cooing with Sarah Palin during an intimate conference call with his sweetie and her minders:
I asked at the end of our conversation whether Palin, fresh off her own debate, had any advice for McCain. “I’m going to tell him the same thing he told me. I talked to him just a few minutes before I walked out there on stage. And he just said: ‘Have fun. Be yourself, and have fun.’ And Senator McCain can do the same.” She paused, and I was about to thank her for the interview, but she had one more thing to say. “Only maybe I’d add just a couple more words, and that would be: ‘Take the gloves off.’ ”
And maybe I’d add, Hockey Mom knows best.