Daily Archives: September 3, 2010

Palin Too Chicken To Rebut Vanity Fair In The Mainstream Media?

Sarah Palin - Dead Grizzly

Image by smiteme via Flickr

In my opinion, Sarah Palin will never go to the mainstream media to rebut anything.   She has set a plan in motion that other tea partiers seem to be following(my interpretation):

  1. Stay away from the “lame stream media” at all costs. 
  2. Only go on “tea party” friendly news programs
  3. Lie to your heart’s content, our followers don’t care and the others don’t matter.
  4. Stay away from press events that include the “lame stream media”.

That’s just a few.  I’m sure there are more de facto rules for Tea Party candidates.

If you noticed, Rand Paul, Sharron Angle, Jan Brewer and others of their ilk have all followed those rules in some form or other.  This should be called The Palin Doctrine: “Just say no to the lame stream media!”

News Hounds

Just a few days after media coward Sarah Palin whined that Obama should get tougher questions from NBC, she took to Sean Hannity’s radio show (where she was assured of nothing but sympathetic air time) to complain about a scathing article about her in Vanity Fair. Did Palin rebut any of the allegations in the article? Not that I heard. Instead, she came up with new insults about the media, calling them “Impotent, limp and gutless.” Yet who’s running from whom?

It’s Palin who demands pre-approved questions, who won’t allow the media to record her for more than three minutes and can only use the footage as B-roll and it’s Palin who won’t do any interview except with a friendly outfit while tossing Facebook bombs from the safety of knowing that no follow-up questions will ensue.

If she’s really half as tough as she likes to present herself as, she’d be clamoring to go mano-a-mano with such impotent losers.

So, Sarah, why aren’t you?

You can tweet her with this question or any other comments at @sarahpalinusa

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Brewer: No more debates – period

“Move along folks, nothing to see here.”   This is just another example of Tea Party candidates dumbing down the electoral process in our country.  The unnerving surprise though, is just how many folks in this country identify with those candidates.

Keith Olbermann spoke of this very thing on Countdown last night.

The ‘dumbing down of America’, indeed. 

Arizona Daily Star

PHOENIX – Arizona voters won’t be seeing any more debates between the top gubernatorial contenders.

Incumbent Republican Jan Brewer said Thursday she has no intention of participating in any more events with Democrat Terry Goddard. She said the only reason she debated him on Wednesday is she had to to qualify for more than $1.7 million in public funds for her campaign.

“I certainly will take my message in a different venue out to the people of Arizona,” she said.

Brewer said she has been in elective office for 28 years, and Goddard has held office for nearly that long. “I think it’s pretty defined what he stands for and what I stand for.”

Anyway, Brewer said, she believes the debates help Goddard more than they benefit her.

“Why would I want to give Terry a chance to redefine himself?” she said.

Brewer conceded that her performance in Wednesday’s debate, and her refusal to answer a question from reporters afterward, was not well-handled. That includes an opening statement when she lost her train of thought and went silent, and walking away after the event rather than answering questions about her prior statements about headless bodies in the desert

‘Why would I give Terry a chance to redefine himself?’  Continue reading…

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The Unlisted Phone Number Scam

After reading this article, I had to share it.  This is how corporations get us, by “nickle and diming” us into obscurity… Mother Jones

 David Lazarus complains about one of his favorite bugaboos today, and since it’s one of mine too I’ll quote him:

 This month, Time Warner Cable more than doubled its fee for an unlisted number to a whopping $1.99 a month, or nearly $24 a year….That’s a recurring fee — now one of the highest of its type in the telecom industry — for something Time Warner isn’t doing for customers.

….Time Warner’s fee is all the more remarkable because the company doesn’t produce its own phone book. It pays Sprint to compile all its customers’ names and numbers, and to then pass them along to whichever phone company dominates a particular market for inclusion in that firm’s directory. Just to be clear: That’s $1.99 a month not to be in a phone book that Time Warner doesn’t even publish.  AT&T’s and Verizon’s fees are a little more understandable. After all, they make extra cash selling ads in their phone books. The more people who choose not to be listed, the less valuable the directory becomes to advertisers, so the phone company wants to discourage people from leaving.

  But Time Warner isn’t in the phone book business. Its recurring fee for unlisted numbers is a money grab, pure and simple.

 This is one of my pet peeves not because I have to pay this fee — my phone number isn’t unlisted — but because it’s symptomatic of the looking glass way that we treat privacy in this country. Lazarus points out that the cost of unlisting a phone number is basically zero since it’s just a matter of flipping a flag in a database, and that the only reason Time Warner gets away with charging so much is because that’s what the market will bear. People who want unlisted phone numbers are willing to pay $24 per year in protection money to get one.

  For fly-by-night operators, this is annoying but fine. They have the right to collect information and publish it, whether it annoys me or not. But phone companies are regulated monopolies. If I want phone service, I have no choice but to contract with a tiny number of suppliers who then have privileged information about me. Should I also pay them protection money for withholding my Social Security number or my date of birth from their phone books? After all, their access to that data is all due to their privileged position too.

  As a society, we value privacy. We shouldn’t allow regulated utilities to decide who gets it and who doesn’t. Let the phone companies make money by selling services, not protection.

  (Also worth noting: as cell phones and Skype and Google Phone become more popular, the only people who will have to pay for unlisting their phone numbers are increasingly likely to be the old and poor. Do we really want to endorse what’s basically a $24/year tax on the most vulnerable segments of the population?)

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Unemployment Falls for Third Month in a Row

The Daily Beast – The Economy

The private sector added a net total of 67,000 in the month of August, according to Labor Dept. figures out Friday morning. The number is less than the 107,000 companies added in the previous month but made August the third month in a row that jobs were added, immediately sending stock futures trading higher.

Analysts were expecting 41,000 jobs to be added. Between July and August the jobless rate rose from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent as 54,000 temporary Census job positions came to an end.

In August, over 500,000 Americans re-entered the job market and re-commenced their searches, pushing the unemployment rate up (unemployed workers who are not looking for work are not included in statistics charting the jobless rate). Said economist Ryan Sweet: “We really need private businesses to step up and begin to hire more aggressively for this recovery to really gain momentum.”

Read it at Reuters

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America’s 9 Worst Demagogues

The Daily Beast

The fervor of Glenn Beck is nothing new. Wingnuts author John Avlon tracks the history of righteous, paranoid populist appeals, from Huey Long to Joe McCarthy.

Demagogues always do well in economic downturns.

A look through American history shows that divisive populist appeals during times of economic anxiety have a long history. They have come from politicians or media figures, hammering home their point on a soapbox or over radio waves. Now via satellite they can reach every home, but their appeal is always the same: promising followers solutions to all their problems by providing someone to blame. It is an “Us against Them” vision of America.

Ours is not the first time “the paranoid style in American politics,” as Richard Hofstadter famously called it, has reared its head. We’ve seen these faces and forces long before the likes of Glenn Beck.

Conor Friedersdorf: Glenn Beck’s Online FlopThe Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s was anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic while waving the American flag, ultimately dubbing itself “the American Party.” During Reconstruction, politicians and marauding citizen militias imposed segregation on post-slavery South. President Theodore Roosevelt coined the term “lunatic fringe” to describe the violent anarchists in his day who assassinated his predecessor William McKinley.

During the Great Depression, divisive demagogues like Huey Long on the left and Father Coughlin on the right were hugely popular. Anger at the bankers who acted like gangsters and earned the term “banksters” became the focus of Main Street outrage.

They surfaced again in the paranoid anti-communism of Joe McCarthy and the John Birch Society. Wingnuts were flapping their wings when far-left liberals got all misty-eyed talking about “Uncle Joe” Stalin. In the ’60s, pro-segregation White Citizens Councils in the South pushed citizens’ “massive resistance” to desegregation while far-left radical groups like the Black Panthers responded with violence in the name of a very selective vision of “the people.”

Each of these groups were influential in their time and capable of intimidation. Each time, America beat them by standing up and calling out their paranoia, hate, and political excess. They shrank back into the shadows when confronted by the common sense and common decency of the moderate majority of the American people.

They air emotional grievances, articulate anxieties without ever posing practical solutions.

Racial and ethnic divisions are often exploited, as well, allowing people to blame the “other” for their inability to get a job, identifying a group of people as a symbol of the change they’re afraid of—and which seems to be taking their idealized old America away from them. Hate is a cheap and easy recruiting tool, but it can be murder on democracy.

“The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know,” Harry Truman once said. The study of history can offer perspective on our problems today. Here’s the good news: We have faced down forces of demagoguery before. The damage they do can be limited by our determination to call them out, standing up to extremes wherever we see them, stopping the politics of incitement before it leads to something ugly and indelible.

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Glenn Beck’s George Washington Whopper (Video)

This is no surprise.  Beck, Palin, et al have been telling whoppers since they came on the political scene.  What the heck, it’s par for the course for Republicans to lie consistently.  Incidentally, the portrait of Beck morphed into George Washington is by one of my favorite contemporary artists, Mario Piperni.  

Mother Jones 

The Fox host says he held the inaugural address of the famously truthful founding father. Yeah right, says the National Archives 

During his much-ballyhooed “Restoring Honor” rally on Saturday, Glenn Beck told a whopper involving the founding father who was supposedly unable to tell a lie: George Washington. 

Speechifying at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, the controversial Fox News host highlighted the legacy of the nation’s first president to drive home his claim that encouraging honesty and integrity was a main aim of the event. Beck even told attendees that “the next George Washington” was “in this crowd. He may be 8 years old, but this is the moment. This is the moment that he dedicates his life, that he sees giants around him. And 25 years from now, he will come not to this stair, but to those stairs. And he can proclaim, ‘I have a new dream.’” 

Beck also invoked Washington while describing the inspiring experience of visiting famous tourist destinations around the nation’s capital. “I have been going to Mt. Vernon,” he explained. Holding out his hands for emphasis, he declared with emotion, “I went to the National Archives, and I held the first inaugural address written in his own hand by George Washington.”  Continue reading…

  

  

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Filed under Glenn Beck, Glenn Beck Delusions, Glenn Beck Lies, Uncategorized

Vanity Fair’s Sarah Palin Profiler: ‘The Worst Stuff Isn’t Even In There’

Huffington Post

The author of the blistering Vanity Fair profile on Sarah Palin says he wanted to write a positive piece, but was shocked by what he learned as he researched his story.

“The worst stuff isn’t even in there,” Michael Joseph Gross said on “Morning Joe” Thursday. “I couldn’t believe these stories either when I first heard them, and I started this story with a prejudice in her favor. I have a lot in common with this woman. I’m a small-town person, I’m a Christian, I think that a lot of her criticisms of the media actually have something to them. And I think she got a bum ride, but everybody close to her tells the same story.”

In the profile, Gross paints Palin as an abusive, retaliatory figure with an extreme ability to lie.

“This is a person for whom there is no topic too small to lie about,” he said. “She lies about everything.”

Asked about Palin’s political future, Gross said it depends on what the media lets her get away with.

“If we decide to let her keep lying and getting away with it, she’s gonna still be around,” he said. “But if we start returning to the standard that a politician has to talk with people, and a politician has to tell the truth, then she’s outta here, because she can’t stand up to that.”

Gross added that he takes exception to criticisms that he wrote a “hit piece” against Palin.

“I started this with every good intention toward her,” he said. “I was just shocked and appalled at every step at what I found. And I wrote this story sort of against my will. It wasn’t what I wanted to write, it wasn’t what I wanted to find. It was what was forced on me by the facts.”

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Joe Republican

There are times when you run across something so astonishingly accurate that you must share it.  This piece was written almost ten years ago, yet the relevancy to today’s political and cultural climate is astounding.  Sometimes we just need to be reminded of these things.

August 29th, 2004 9:38 pm
Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican
by John Gray

Watch the video:

Or read the words…

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.
Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural
Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. [Joe also forgot that he doesn't have to worry about dad's medical bills because his father is on Medicare. sg] After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.

He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have”.

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Gainesville Clergy Speak Out for Love in the Face of Hate

Firedoglake - By Jim White

Clergy of many faiths came together in Gainesville, Florida today to speak out about the planned burning of the Quran. A press conference was held on the steps of City Hall at noon. Rev. Larry Reimer of United Church of Gainesville opened the press conference and then representatives of various faith communities came forward to make statements.

This is an important response to the “Burn a Koran Day” at Dove World Outreach in Gainesville, scheduled for September 11. As first reported by The Creative Seminole, the Gainesville faith community decided that “If they can burn it, we can read it”. Today’s press conference provided more information on the plans for the interfaith community’s response to the planned burning. Gainesville’s clergy were prompted to this action in part because the planned burning is seen in some international communities as emblematic of the attitudes of many Americans (led by conservative politicians) and all Christians toward Muslims. In fact, these perceptions are even believed to fuel terrorist recruitment.

Video of the press conference is broken into three segments below. The audio is a bit weak at the beginning of the first but improves as it goes on. Part 1:

Part 2

Part 3

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Filed under Hate - mongering

Justice Department Sues Sheriff Joe For Not Cooperating With Investigation

Joe Arpaio is the sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ.   Arpaio has been under investigation by the Department of Justice for violating certain civil rights codes when disciplining his prisoners or implementing “new rules”.

Talking Points Memo

The Justice Department on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona for refusing to fully cooperate with the department’s investigation of alleged national origin discrimination in the course of immigration enforcement.

DOJ has been looking into whether Arpaio is in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act since March 2009. The controversial Arpaio passed a deadline last month to provide DOJ with the documents they requested, and his lawyer met with DOJ last week.

The Justice Department said at the time it was “hopeful” that Arpaio would cooperate following the meeting, but in a statement said on Thursday that it had “[exhausted] all cooperative measures” to gain access to the requested documents and facilities.

DOJ is unaware of any other police department of sheriff’s office that has refused to cooperate with an investigation in the past 30 years, making Maricopa County “an extreme outlier,” said the department.

“The actions of the sheriff’s office are unprecedented. It is unfortunate that the department was forced to resort to litigation to gain access to public documents and facilities,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.

Arpaio’s lawyer Robert Driscoll, when reached by TPM, said he was still reviewing the filing and had no comment.

Late Update: Arpaio has responded to the federal lawsuit, saying he was disappointed to hear of the suit because he thought they were close to resolving the issue.

“I’m not going to be intimidated by the federal government going to court against us,” Arpaio said.

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