Just a few noteworthy news stories and comments thereon that have been orbiting the galaxies this past week.
BREAKING NEWS: There was an interesting moment on MSNBC’s Hardball With Chris Matthews this week. The guest was Republican strategist Todd Harris. He was asked by Matthews to name just one thing that the Republican party has done for the country in the last 15 to 20 years. He could not come up with one thing.
MATTHEWS: I just wanted to get the Republican bragging points straight here. So the Republican Party has kept us safe, except for 9/11. Is that the argument? No, really, because you had the worst attack on the American homeland in history, but you`re bragging about your ability to defend the country because you say — you defended America, except for 9/11. That`s your defense, right?
HARRIS: Look, Chris…
MATTHEWS: That`s the bragging point of the Republican Party for the last — I asked you to name one thing they`ve done for this country in 15 to 20 years. I`ll keep going back further. And you`re having a hard time giving me an answer. What has the Republican Party…
HARRIS: No, no. I`m…
MATTHEWS: … done for the country?
HARRIS: I`m not…
MATTHEWS: I`m just — it`s a good question.
HARRIS: Chris, I`m not having…
MCMAHON: Squandered the surplus.
HARRIS: … a hard time giving you an answer.
MCMAHON: Don`t forget, squandered the surplus.
HARRIS: When I decide to write a book about the history of the last 20 years of the Republican Party, I`ll be happy to talk to you about that.
MATTHEWS: No, just give me one…
HARRIS: My job is to win elections — my job is to…
MATTHEWS: Just give me one.
HARRIS: … win elections in 2010.
HARRIS: And I`m going to keep my eye on the ball.
MCMAHON: He doesn`t have one. He doesn`t have one!
Yikes. Harris provided a whole lotta nuthin’.
THIS JUST IN: John Michael Farren, who served as deputy legal counsel to President George W. Bush, has been charged with strangulation and attempted murder after allegedly choking his wife and beating her with a flashlight. It is believed that Farren felt pressure to one-up Dick Cheney’s crime of shooting his friend in the face.
BREAKING NEWS: If the mainstream media is truly liberal, it has done a good job of hiding that fact this week. Most every televised news program at some point this week drew attention to Democratic Party Senators Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan’s announced retirements and concluded that the party is in real trouble because of the number of vacated seats. The problem is that the media has failed to report the true facts. Those facts are that the Republicans have six Senate incumbents that are not seeking re-election (compared to the two aforementioned Democrats) and fourteen House members doing the same (compared to ten Democrats). Final score: Republicans vacating twenty congressional seats and Democrats vacating twelve. Looks like the Republicans have some real trouble of their own.
THIS JUST IN: Would someone please tell Liz Cheney that nobody cares what she has to say. This week the daughter of the former face-shooter in chief, Dick Cheney decided that she should give her opinion on how the Obama administration should handle terrorism. She should be reminded that she has absolutely no qualifications to comment on that subject. She would be better served by accompanying the Bush twins on the party scene. Then again, she is probably not very fun to be around.
BREAKING NEWS: This week’s edition of “Republicans Eating Their Young” features Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele and wealthy Republican contributors. It appears that the contributors’ lack of faith in Steele is manifesting itself in a dearth of contributions to the RNC. Steele has responded to his Republican critics as follows in an ABC interview:
I’m telling them and I’m looking them in the eye and say I’ve had enough of it. If you don’t want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program or get out of the way.
Sounds like the Republican Party is in need of an intervention.
THIS JUST IN: Does anyone else find it a little ironic that although Hanes has terminated actor Charlie Sheen from his endorsement contract as the result of his pending spousal abuse charges, the underwear manufacturer continues to sell “wife-beater” undershirts?
BREAKING NEWS: This week’s edition of “Don’t Sugar Coat It, Go Ahead And Tell Us How You Really Feel” features Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic.com who says of Sarah Palin,
But it became almost immediately clear that she knew nothing about anything, had a private life that you usually see hashed out on Judge Judy, covered up her total lack of governing competence with so many lies they were hard to keep track of, and had next-to-no knowledge of any domestic or foreign policy issues, including energy. Isn’t that enough to regard her nomination as a total farce, the biggest insult ever delivered to voters since … well, Dan Quayle, who was far more informed, smart and serious than Palin ever was.
The idea that this person was qualified to run a country in one of its most serious crises, economically and militarily, beggars belief. The recklessness it revealed in McCain showed that he too was simply unqualified for high office, gambling with the core security of the US for cheap tactical advantage.
THIS JUST IN: Vice President Joe O’Biden says to the unemployed Sarah Palin, “Stay away from me lucky charms!” More on the sorry former ex-quitting governor of Alaska tonight on 60 Minutes which will feature a scathing synopsis of the 2008 Palin campaign by McCain campaign official Steve Schmidt.
BREAKING NEWS: This week’s edition of “We Can’t Seem To Get Our Heads Out Of Our Asses” features those dimwitted curmudgeons known as Tea-Baggers. In December 2009, the group known as “Tea Party Support” announced the it would be sponsoring the National Conservative Symposium from January 22 – 24 in San Antonio, Texas. The speaker lineup included Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin and Laura Ingraham. The event was reported to be a symposium for “true” conservatives and would compete directly with the more celebrated annual CPAC conference which Palin has elected to shun. The price for attendance at the Tea Party event was announced to be $ 749.00.
Unfortunately, the group ran into a little trouble on the way to Texas. The event has now been canceled with no reason for cancellation announced by the group. This is noteworthy because it is the first event that has quit on Sarah Palin before she could quit on it. The cancellation also marks the most recent disaster of the Tea-Bagging campaign. Their “Die-In” event in Washington last December was remarkable only for its lack of attendance and they cannot seem to define what the heck their planned January 20th “strike” or “boycott” is supposed to be. Somebody better read their tea leaves and soon.
OOPS, ALMOST FORGOT: Here We Go Packers, Here We Go !!!
THIS JUST IN: This week’s edition of “Honesty Impaired Fox News Hosts” features Sean “The Cowardly Waterboarding Evader” Hannity. His most recent lie is that the CIA is diverting counter terrorism resources in an attempt to prove the existence of global warming. Hannity said,
The CIA director redirects manpower to monitor climate change, but is it all the cost — at the cost of our security, your security, your family’s security? In the wake of the attempted Christmas Day terror attack, you would think the spies at the CIA, that they would have their hands full securing America. But, believe it or not, assets at Langley are being used for other projects.
Hannity then quoted a National Center For Public Policy Research (NCPPR) press release which said,
As terrorists continue to infiltrate America, the Obama Administration is tasking some of our nation’s most elite intelligence-gathering agencies to divert their resources to environmental scientists researching global warming.
Of course Hannity failed to disclose that the NCPPR is sponsored and funded by the global warming denying Exxon Oil Company. Additionally, he failed to provide the CIA’s response to the ridiculous claim which is,
The monitoring program has little or no impact on regular intelligence gathering, federal officials said, but instead releases secret information already collected or takes advantage of opportunities to record environmental data when classified sensors are otherwise idle or passing over wilderness.
That is OK Mr. Hannity. Do not let the facts get in the way of a good lie. You just go on living in your Faux News fantasy world.
Please remember to click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along with today’s song parody.
Dear Mr. Fantasy song link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxVlN-LzIks
DEAR, MR. HANNITY
(sung to the Traffic song “Dear, Mr. Fantasy”)
Dear, Mr. Hannity you are a goon
Some even say you are daffy
Your nightly show is just like a cartoon
Hit that bong, chug that jar
You are the one that just makes us all laugh
Unlike Glenn Beck, you don’t go to tears
You should be sad that you do not have your gonads
You could face waterboarding fears
Oooo Ahhhhh Ahhhhh
Dear Mr. Hannity you’re no Brit Hume
Although, he too is unhappy
Insanity prevails throughout Fox News
Always wrong, that you are
Oh so crappy
Dear Mr. Hannity go back to your room
That would just make us all happy
Do anything, take us out of our gloom
Sing a song, play guitar
Make it snappy
We all just watch you to have a good laugh
We haven’t laughed so hard in ten years
You are one sad excuse for a real college grad
Just like all of your poor Fox News peers
Sarah Palin’s ghostwritten memoir officially crawls out from its dark, moldy underground tunnel and presents itself to the masses today. The work of fiction however, has already been released in advance to certain members of the media and from there its contents have leaked almost everywhere. What have we learned thus far? Well, it appears that most objective reviewers and many of those folks written about in the book believe it to be filled with much more fiction than fact.
For instance, John McCain’s former campaign manager, Steve Schmidt has labeled the book, “total fiction.” Another McCain campaign aide said, “The book fully reveals her. Dishonest, small and petty.” Ouch!!! That same aide told Politics Daily,
“It’s like, ‘What’s she so angry about?’ She was picked to be vice president of the United States. She had an exceptional opportunity. Everything is someone else’s fault. There’s no accountability. It’s mean-spirited. But if you look at the record, it is what it is.”
The Associated Press has gone so far as to publish a researched fact check of claims made by the former ex-quitting governor of Alaska and it is not flattering. Here are some excerpts,
PALIN: Says she made frugality a point when traveling on state business as Alaska governor, asking “only” for reasonably priced rooms and not “often” going for the “high-end, robe-and-slippers” hotels.
THE FACTS: Although travel records indicate she usually opted for less-pricey hotels while governor, Palin and daughter Bristol stayed five days and four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House luxury hotel (robes and slippers come standard) overlooking New York City’s Central Park for a five-hour women’s leadership conference in October 2007. With air fare, the cost to Alaska was well over $3,000. Event organizers said Palin asked if she could bring her daughter. The governor billed her state more than $20,000 for her children’s travel, including to events where they had not been invited, and in some cases later amended expense reports to specify that they had been on official business.
PALIN: Boasts that she ran her campaign for governor on small donations, mostly from first-time givers, and turned back large checks from big donors if her campaign perceived a conflict of interest.
THE FACTS: Of the roughly $1.3 million she raised for her primary and general election campaigns for governor, more than half came from people and political action committees giving at least $500, according to an AP analysis of her campaign finance reports. The maximum that individual donors could give was $1,000; $2,000 for a PAC.
Of the rest, about $76,000 came from Republican Party committees.
She accepted $1,000 each from a state senator and his wife in the weeks after the two Republican lawmakers’ offices were raided by the FBI as part of an investigation into a powerful Alaska oilfield services company. After AP reported those donations during the presidential campaign, she said she would give a comparative sum to charity after the general election in 2010, a date set by state election laws.
PALIN: Rails against taxpayer-financed bailouts, which she attributes to Obama. She recounts telling daughter Bristol that to succeed in business, “you’ll have to be brave enough to fail.”
THE FACTS: Palin is blurring the lines between Obama’s stimulus plan — a $787 billion package of tax cuts, state aid, social programs and government contracts — and the federal bailout that Republican presidential candidate John McCain voted for and President George W. Bush signed.
Palin’s views on bailouts appeared to evolve as McCain’s vice presidential running mate. In September 2008, she said “taxpayers cannot be looked to as the bailout, as the solution, to the problems on Wall Street.” A week later, she said “ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy.”
During the vice presidential debate in October, Palin praised McCain for being “instrumental in bringing folks together” to pass the $700 billion bailout. After that, she said “it is a time of crisis and government did have to step in.”
PALIN: Says Ronald Reagan faced an even worse recession than the one that appears to be ending now, and “showed us how to get out of one. If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes and slay the death tax once and for all.”
THE FACTS: The estate tax, which some call the death tax, was not repealed under Reagan and capital gains taxes are lower now than when Reagan was president.
Economists overwhelmingly say the current recession is far worse. The recession Reagan faced lasted for 16 months; this one is in its 23rd month. The recession of the early 1980s did not have a financial meltdown. Unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent, worse than the October 2009 high of 10.2 percent, but the jobless rate is still expected to climb.
PALIN: Criticizes an aide to her predecessor, Gov. Frank Murkowski, for a conflict of interest because the aide represented the state in negotiations over a gas pipeline and then left to work as a handsomely paid lobbyist for ExxonMobil. Palin asserts her administration ended all such arrangements, shoving a wedge in the revolving door between special interests and the state capital.
THE FACTS: Palin ignores her own “revolving door” issue in office; the leader of her own pipeline team was a former lobbyist for a subsidiary of TransCanada, the company that ended up winning the rights to build the pipeline.
PALIN: Writes about a city councilman in Wasilla, Alaska, who owned a garbage truck company and tried to push through an ordinance requiring residents of new subdivisions to pay for trash removal instead of taking it to the dump for free — this to illustrate conflicts of interest she stood against as a public servant.
THE FACTS: As Wasilla mayor, Palin pressed for a special zoning exception so she could sell her family’s $327,000 house, then did not keep a promise to remove a potential fire hazard on the property.
She asked the city council to loosen rules for snow machine races when she and her husband owned a snow machine store, and cast a tie-breaking vote to exempt taxes on aircraft when her father-in-law owned one. But she stepped away from the table in 1997 when the council considered a grant for the Iron Dog snow machine race in which her husband competes.
PALIN: Welcomes last year’s Supreme Court decision deciding punitive damages for victims of the nation’s largest oil spill tragedy, the Exxon Valdez disaster, stating it had taken 20 years to achieve victory. As governor, she says, she’d had the state argue in favor of the victims, and she says the court’s ruling went “in favor of the people.” Finally, she writes, Alaskans could recover some of their losses.
THE FACTS: That response is at odds with her reaction at the time to the ruling, which resolved the long-running case by reducing punitive damages for victims to $500 million from $2.5 billion. Environmentalists and plaintiffs’ lawyers decried the ruling as a slap at the victims and Palin herself said she was “extremely disappointed.” She said the justices had gutted a jury decision favoring higher damage awards, the Anchorage Daily News reported. “It’s tragic that so many Alaska fishermen and their families have had their lives put on hold waiting for this decision,” she said, noting many had died “while waiting for justice.”
PALIN: Describing her resistance to federal stimulus money, Palin describes Alaska as a practical, libertarian haven of independent Americans who don’t want “help” from government busybodies.
THE FACTS: Alaska is also one of the states most dependent on federal subsidies, receiving much more assistance from Washington than it pays in federal taxes. A study for the nonpartisan Tax Foundation found that in 2005, the state received $1.84 for every dollar it sent to Washington.
Perhaps the most biting comment of all however, was made by David Brooks on ABC‘s This Morning last Sunday. He was asked what he thought of Palin’s soon to be released book and he said, “She’s a joke. I just can’t take her seriously.” He then went on to say, “The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it will never happen. Republican primary voters are just not going to elect a talk show host.”
If the book is receiving this kind of negative criticism before its official release, how will it possibly hold up under widespread fact checking after others have had the opportunity to comb through its greasy contents? It appears evident that Palin’s autobiography is a work of fiction. If you are interested in being entertained by a more truthful account of the rise and fall of Caribou Barbie, please enjoy today’s song parody. remember to click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along with the parody.
The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald song link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U219P_zs7w
THE WRECK OF THE SARAH L. PALIN
(sung to the Gordon Lightfoot song “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald ”)
The legend lives on from the North Slope on down
To the town they call Sandpoint, Idaho
The Heath’s one would say, had a daughter that day
Why they kept her, I must say, “I don’t know”
They loaded up the truck and they tested their luck
When they moved to Wasilla, Alaska
Sarah enrolled in school and was nobody’s fool
On the court they called her “Barracuda”.
In 1982 she left for Honolulu
Off to Hawaii Pacific College
She did not last long there nor at anywhere
In her quest for some meaningful knowledge.
She finally did see a journalism degree
After stints at 5 or 6 safety schools
Sometime in between she was a pageant queen
Then she worked in TV for KTUU.
She met up with her fate sometime in ’88
When her TV career was a failin’
And everyone knew, as her parents did too
She would soon be the Bride of Todd Palin.
Long before she did wed, she conceived in his bed
That was the end of her abstinency
While laid out on her back, she gave birth to Lil’ Track
The result of an unwed pregnancy.
She was now in a lurch cuz of her right wing church
But she carried on without a care
She had a beehive hairdo, but had nothing to do
That all changed when she became the Mayor.
She appointed some crooks then she banned some good books
No one lasted if they weren’t on her team
Wasilla’s deficit grew, kids fired-up on homebrew
Not to mention the methamphetamine.
She became the next Guv and to show the state love
She proposed to unite remote shore banks
But once in a bind she politely declined
To the bridge she said,”Thanks but no thanks”.
John McCain now you see had to choose a VP
His campaign was certainly failin’
He wanted a she that was trés “mavericky”
So he chose Alaska’s Sarah Palin.
But poor press reviews of her live interviews
With Couric and Gibson oft replayed
Showed she could not spar with the nightly news stars
Let alone outperform Tina Fey
The election was lost and poor Sarah was tossed
From her seat on “The Straight Talk Express”
She went home and did pose in her new store-bought clothes
But Alaskans were not now impressed
She’s no longer a saint due to ethics complaints
She has nobody left now to wink at
Her appointees ignored and her actions abhorred
She’s reduced to shilling for “Arctic Cat”
She gave Levi some lip about visiting Tripp
And Todd’s sister is facing some jailin’
But paternity laws might be the final straw
For the wreck known as Sarah L. Palin