I’m as terrified as you to learn that I apparently agree with Sarah Palin

by lestro

So let’s just get this out of the way: Sarah Palin is not only one of the Dumb, but Dumb Royalty. She’s a Queen of Dumb, with her folksy aw shucks-isms and half-misremembered facts and pure unadulterated bullshit, all in front of reality tv cameras that few seem capable of turning away from.

I mean, I really don’t see her appeal.  And I’m from “Real America,” straight down to the three dairy farms on the road where I grew up.

Because she is Dumb.  Not just willfully, but straight-up Dumb.  (As opposed to Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry, who appear to be more willfully Dumb than actually Dumb.)

So imagine my surprise to find out that when you set your decoder ring on ‘guano,’ Sarah Palin is actually saying some of the same things I have been saying about politics.

She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).

That’s, um, difficult for a progressive punk rocker to disagree with.

“Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done?” she said, referring to politicians. “It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed — a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.”

I mean, fuck; she’s not wrong.  That is EXACTLY why nothing gets done.

I mean:

“This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk,” she said of the crony variety. She added: “It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest — to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners — the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70 percent of the jobs in America.”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s difficult to not read those quotes in her overwrought squeak-accented cheerleader cadence and  then simply dismiss it as sarcastic pandering to the downtrodden, but somehow reading it on the page…  I mean, if I didn’t tell you it was Sarah Palin, you’d have never guessed.  Never.

You’d have probably guessed I was throwing a curveball and trying to trip President Obama up with something Candidate Obama said.

But it’s Sarah Palin.  The candidate who invented “death panels,” is qualified to be president because Russia is right over the border and can’t name a Supreme Court case other than Roe v. Wade with which she disagrees.

Go ahead, go back and re-read those quotes in your best Zach de la Rocha voice instead of Tina Fey’s, and they sound, you know… like the change we kind of hoped for.

Now, obviously I disagree greatly with Sarah Palin on the solutions to these issues and can never, ever support her to be anything more than a guest at the White House, but the idea that she could consider this whole anti-corporate thing an issue worth talking about puts her ahead of most of the candidates on either side.

So something tells me there is a wire crossed here, a context or something that is missing.  I mean, there’s no way Sarah Palin is out there waving one of those Adbusters corporate america flags, especially given the policies she has supported – a much more realistic indicator of the type of Dumb she would unleash across this great nation.

But maybe that’s a language difference and there is common ground that can be found.

Then again, maybe the reporter is simply over-thinking Palin, with the hope of finding something more than the empty-headed celebutard she appears to be, and thus justifying all the attention we pay her.

Personally, I think this only further proves the theory that “Sarah Palin” is a performance artist a la Andy Kaufman or Borat, just fucking with us to see how far she can push it before we call her on it.

Now more than ever, it’s the only logical explanation.

Right?

The old ways are the best ways

by lestro

On June 17, 1972, five guys working for then-president Richard Nixon’s political henchmen (known as “the Plumbers” because they “plugged leaks”) broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. and fix the taps the Republicans had put on the Democrats’ phones during a previous break-in. The burglars were wearing blue surgical gloves and had their pockets stuffed with hundreds…

This time, however, a security guard noticed the tape the burglars had put across the latches of the locks on the doors and called the police.

The resulting scandal eventually forced Nixon to resign the presidency and slink back to California bathed in the stench of shame and flagrant assholery. It also gave rise to the now ubiquitous “-gate” ending for any and every political scandal and reinforced the journalist’s role as a watchdog for the people (thank you Woodward and Bernstein).

So?

Well, here we are 37 years later and the right wing still hasn’t learned a goddamn thing:

Four people were arrested on Monday for allegedly posing as telephone technicians and trying to tap the phones of Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, in her New Orleans office.  [...]

All four of the people arrested in New Orleans were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony. At least two of the four people were dressed in telephone company work clothes and construction hats when they were arrested.

go team! I guess those who fail to learn from history ARE doomed to repeat it.

Among those arrested was James O’Keefe, most known for his law-breaking, vigilante-style videos at offices of the organization formerly known as ACORN, with himself dressed as a pimp trying to get some financial advice with one of his whores (Hannah Giles) and appearing to depict ACORN workers “giving advice about tax evasion, human smuggling and child prostitution.”

His disguise in the first video was definitely better though.

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an Ellie Light list

by twit

The Ellie Light phenomenon was first reported by Sabrina Eaton of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, by way of the Drudge Report:

“It’s time for Americans to realize that governing is hard work, and that a president can’t just wave a magic wand and fix everything,” said a letter from alleged Philadelphian Ellie Light, that was published in the Jan. 19 edition of The Philadelphia Daily News.A letter from Light in the Jan. 20 edition of the San Francisco Examiner concluded with an identical sentence, but with an address for Light all the way across the country in Daly City, California.

Variations of Light’s letter ran in Ohio’s Mansfield News Journal on Jan. 13, with Light claiming an address in Mansfield; in New Mexico’s Ruidoso News on Jan. 12, claiming an address in Three Rivers; in South Carolina’s The Sun News on Jan. 18, claiming an address in Myrtle Beach; and in the Daily News Leader of Staunton, Virginia on Jan. 15, claiming an address in Waynesboro. Her publications list includes other papers in Ohio, West Virginia, Maine, Michigan, IowaPennsylvania and California, all claiming separate addresses.

and then there were more.  and more.  and more.  and then I found a new one (and another) (and another).  I checked and organized links from the Cleveland Plain Dealer articles and the Paterrico posts (including the comments) to look at all this and get a sense of the unfolding story.

so it appears to begin, much like everything else, on the Internet…

Internet

January 7, 2010. Politico. no address.

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the internets at work

by twit

In Zimbabwe, most people cannot afford to buy a newspaper because of the hyperinflation and most people cannot afford an independent newspaper because of the “luxury tax” on the sale of imported newspapers, including The Zimbabwean, which is printed in South Africa for distribution in Zimbabwe.

according to the internets, this flickr stream is a response, and it includes at least one billboard

update:  from The Zimbabwean on March 31, 2009:

To call attention to thew deplorable situation in Zimbabwe, TBWA\HUNT\LASCARIS collected trillions of dollars worth of worthless Zimbabwe currency to create billboards, flyers and wallpaper. The purpose of the campaign is to support The Zimbabwean newspaper which has been slapped by the Mugabe regime with a 55% luxury duty tax making the paper unaffordable to most citizens.

The campaign is running in England and South Africa where it is hoped people will buy the newspaper to support its ongoing coverage of the country’s plight.

and TBWA\HUNT\LASCARIS is an ad agency

Making the case for newspapers

by lestro

Today, the Seattle Times reaffirms exactly why newspapers are important and necessary with an in-depth, investigative report of the city’s response to the snowpacalypse.

West Seattle, home to the mayor and transportation chief Grace Crunican, received an inordinate amount of attention right before Christmas, records show. Ten employees spent a total of 76 hours over two days clearing sidewalks, landings and bus stops in West Seattle, with the largest crew dispatched to the Admiral district where Mayor Greg Nickels and Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis live.

No such emphasis was accorded other neighborhoods, although special attention was given to the private Lakeside School in Northeast Seattle, where a truck sprayed de-icer around the grounds, and a loop of streets in Laurelhurst that were plowed even though they’re not among the city’s list of priorities for snow cleaning, according to department records…

Transportation crews described confusion and delays in dispatching plows when the snow first began falling, making it harder to stay on top of the game. Meanwhile, the records show trucks hopscotching around the city, attending to special requests or remaining idle while the city announced it was plowing “aggressively” and clearing main routes that residents swore had yet to see a plow.

The story is fantastic and complete and a serious indictment of the wastes, excesses and abuses of government that only a newspaper can provide.  Reporters reviewed more than 2,000 documents in order to put together this piece. Let’s see a blogger or TV station pull that off.

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Newspapers are not dead yet, they have just forgotten how to be newspapers

by lestro

In an article about the demise of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, as well as other prominent newspapers leaving their cities as one-newspaper towns, the New York Times continues the industry doomsaying with a prediction of no-newspaper towns.

But even in this incredibly pessimistic piece, the Times stumbles across the great truth, but still somehow misses the main point:

The Tribune Company, for instance, owner of The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and other papers, filed for bankruptcy in December, largely because of its debt load. The reality is that even though the economic climate is hard for newspapers, without their debt payments the publishers in bankruptcy would still make money, as do most newspapers around the country.

Now the outlook is by no means good, as the next couple paragraphs point out, but the general problem is not the business model itself, but the fact that it was being run by greedy screwheads who just kept gobbling up all the little profitable city papers and lumping them under one giant multi-national media empire run not by newspaper people, but bean counters more interested in lining their pockets and keeping the giant beast fed.

So they trimmed the newsroom and started sharing content among the whole chain.  No need for every paper to cover an event when one guy can do it for the whole company.

Then, with the total homogenization of news and the newspapers’ fear of television, combined with the constant attempt to copy the TV news style of more headlines with less news, readers began to realize that their paper offered them very little that they couldn’t get from other sources.

When newspaper people stopped running the industry, the newspapers lost focus and forgot how to be newspapers.

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a “pleasurably tactile experience,” interrupted

by twit

so close!

image via Rhodia Drive

From a PBS interview with the founder, Joshua Karp:

In theory, the paper would be able to cater to the demographics of each neighborhood and the readership would become the editor (he would then be able to sell cheap, hyper-local advertisements)

so close!

The idea is to print not one uniform issue but to allow the readers in each of the paper’s distribution neighborhoods to vote online on which blog content they prefer.

um… you have to read it online, then vote for it, so you can print it out and read it again? or take your chances that the local social media community has found blog posts that you want to read?

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Speak slowly!

by twit

Sarah Palin is trying to listen!

From the Editor’s Blog of the Anchorage Daily News on January 12, 2009:

Gov. Palin’s press office claims that she has pointed out errors in Daily News coverage that we have refused to correct. The only such complaints of which I’m aware are below, in an email from Gov. Palin to the publisher and me.

I posted a portion of these two emails last week in a naïve effort to explain that the newspaper never took seriously the conspiracy theory that the governor did not give birth to her son Trig, but that recently we had made an effort to document his birth in pursuit of a story about why the Trig rumors, while baseless, are apparently so widespread and persistent.

The earlier post sent a number of adn.com readers off the deep end, including some websites and bloggers who denounced the paper for our “anti-Palin story.” I had to chalk that up to a reading comprehension problem, since no story was ever published.

Some readers seemed wildly offended that we would dare to ask questions about Trig’s birth, even if our assumption was that the answers might finally put the conspiracy theory to rest.

and from CNN on January 13, 2009:

“Bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie annoy me…  I’ll tell you, yesterday the Anchorage Daily News, they called again to ask — double-, triple-, quadruple-check — who is Trig’s real mom,” she said, in an interview to be published in [Esquire] magazine’s March issue.

“And I said, Come on, are you kidding me? We’re gonna answer this? Do you not believe me or my doctor? And they said, No, it’s been quite cryptic the way that my son’s birth has been discussed. And I thought, Okay, more indication of continued problems in the world of journalism.”

don’t worry, Sarah, your number one fan is out there trying to fix journalism:

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Joe the travesty

by twit

hey Joe, what did you learn today?

partial transcript via Think Progress:

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think journalists should be anywhere allowed war. I mean, you guys report where our troops are at. You report what’s happening day to day. You make a big deal out of it. I think it’s asinine. You know, I liked back in World War I and World War II when you’d go to the theater and you’d see your troops on, you know, the screen and everyone would be real excited and happy for’em. Now everyone’s got an opinion and wants to downer–and down soldiers. You know, American soldiers or Israeli soldiers.

I think media should be abolished from, uh, you know, reporting. You know, war is hell. And if you’re gonna sit there and say, “Well look at this atrocity,” well you don’t know the whole story behind it half the time, so I think the media should have no business in it.

and confidential to Joe: we support our troops here.

Memo to Eric Schmidt

by twit

It really is quite simple…

I wish I had a brilliant idea, but I don’t.

ERIC SCHMIDT, Google’s CEO, on how the search giant could help rescue the struggling newspaper industry

just make an option on Google to search “newspapers only.”

It would make Google searches much more useful for people who want original information produced by professional journalists.

As an added bonus, sites like The Huffington Post wouldn’t profit as much from re-printing entire newspaper articles without permission.  An ability to avoid a bottom-feeder like HuffPo would really be nice, considering how much that site clogs up the top of search results…

And for those who want to wade through hundreds of useless indirect sources, there’s always the traditional Google search option.

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The New York Times gets punk’d

by twit

It has been quite a long week for the New York Times.

On December 19, 2008, The Nation takes a big swing at the New York Times coverage of the Georgia/Ossetia conflict, suggesting that “the Times engaged in the sort of media malpractice that it promised its readers wouldn’t happen again after its disastrous coverage of the lead-up to the Iraq War.”  Then, the Standards Editor for the New York Times responds with a “defense” that ultimately seems to support the point the Nation was making.

On December 21, 2008, the New York Times publishes the article “White House Philosophy Stoked Mortgage Bonfire,” which plays into the delusional meme of George W. Bush simply being a well-meant fool.  Overall, it was a long and dull piece that still manages to be a nice reminder about how lucky this country is that Bush didn’t get his way on Social Security privatization.

But then, the article gets some of the spice it was missing when White House Press Secretary Dana Perino issued a snarly response and stated, “We make no apology for understanding the concept of regulatory balance.”

Today, however, brings this tiding of good cheer:

The New York Times admitted Monday it published a fake letter purportedly from the mayor of Paris criticizing Caroline Kennedy’s Senate bid as “appalling” and “not very democratic.”

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Our faithful Bush Administration

by twit

is keeping us safe by declaring “mission accomplished,” while standing in front of a backdrop far more brutal than a Palin Thanksgiving special.

via the Associated Press world news Dec 4, 12:11 pm (ET):

AP IMPACT: Pakistan police losing terrorism fight
BADABER, Pakistan (AP) – Brothers Mushtaq and Ishaq Ali left the police force a month ago, terrified of dying as their colleagues had – beheaded by militants on a rutted village road before a shocked crowd. They went straight to the local Urdu-language newspaper to announce their resignation. They…

Rice satisfied with Pakistan’s anti-terror stance
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday she is satisfied with Pakistan’s commitment with its readiness to pursue any lead in the attacks in India that have sharply raised tensions between the two nuclear powers. Pakistan’s young civilian government, she said…

just 47 “joyous” days left of the Bush Administration…

… according to the Daily Show on December 3, 2008.

The NY Times flunks its own Electoral College editorial

by lestro

Every four years, newspapers around the country roll out editorials condemning the electoral college based on specious reasoning that shows an incredible lack of understanding about the nature of our government, the world of the founding fathers and a contempt for the very structure on which this nation is built.

As a rule, editorial boards make their case by completely ignoring the main reasons for the creation of the electoral college as well as the inadvertently spitting on the Great Compromise that helped create the Constitution.

And the NY Times, one of the greatest newspapers in the world, is no exception. Thursday’s editorial “Flunking the Electoral College” not only trots out the same puns we always hear, but repeats the same bullshit reasons for ditching a system that has served our nation well for 200 years.

Calling for its demise shows an incredible lack of thought about the system as a whole and the consequences of such actions. It also shows a total lack of understanding about the role of the College and who controls it.

In essence, the Times is guilty of exactly what they rail against: Flunking the electoral college and supporting a system that would do exactly what they say they are trying to stop. The only difference is that under their new system, they would be sitting prettier… Read more of this post

a definition of an “Eisenstadt”

by twit

Specifically, when you make things up out of thin air, and it turns out to be true… see what you want to see…

For example, the idea that Palin didn’t know that Africa was a continent:

was a hoax apparently true based in some reality, but smeared with an Eisenstadt.  According to the New York Times on November 13, 2008:

It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.

Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.

And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months. MSNBC, which quickly corrected the mistake, has plenty of company in being taken in by an Eisenstadt hoax, including The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times.

What is so funny is that before the rumor was exposed as a hoax, Palin’s campaign staff confirmed that it was true there was a basis for the rumor.  ABC News reports on November 14, 2008:

Longtime Palin staffer Meg Stapleton told ABC News’ Kate Snow that Palin had fumbled over an Africa comment, but that it was a misspeak not worthy of the press coverage it received.

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Liberal media, my ass

by lestro

This time it hits home because it is coming from one of my very favorite newspapers, The Philadelphia Inquirer (as reported in the NY Times):

Over the weekend, the Philadelphia Inquirer joined the many newspapers that have endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president rather than Senator John McCain, contributing to the 3-to-1 advantage that Mr. Obama already has in newspaper support, according to Editor & Publisher.

Yet the Philadelphia Inquirer also endorsed Senator McCain. That’s not a typo.

On the same page that the newspaper published a 901-word editorial supporting Mr. Obama, it ran just beneath it a 391-word dissent in support of Mr. McCain.

Seriously. They actually did that. What the fuck? Officially, of course, nothing happened:

Brian Tierney, chief executive of the company that owns The Inquirer, Philadelphia Media Holdings, and who sits on the newspaper’s editorial board, would not say. In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Tierney would only say, “We don’t talk about what goes on on the editorial page.”

But the Times has its ways:

But another member of the Editorial Board, who asked not to be identified because of possible repercussions, said that it was Mr. Tierney who pressed the case for Mr. McCain. After arriving at the meeting, the board member said, “we went around the room” and Mr. Obama was the “overwhelming winner.”

At that point, the person said, “Tierney weighed in and made the case for McCain.”

Mr. Tierney, an advertising executive who in the past had been involved in Republican politics, was among a number of business executives who bought the Inquirer and its sister paper, the Philadelphia Daily News, from the McClatchy Company in 2006 for $562 million.

So let me get this straight: It was actually the REPUBLICAN forcing his view on the newsroom and using his power and influence to try and sway an election?

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“the incredible shrinking man”

by twit

Zing.  From Editor & Publisher on October 12, 2008:

Barack Obama picked up at least 16 newspaper endorsements this weekend, including six in swing states Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Missouri. John McCain, as far as we know, gained just two.

The Wisconsin State Journal and The Sun of San Bernardino had backed Bush in 2004. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called Obama’s opponent, John McCain, “the incredible shrinking man” who had made a horrific pick for his running mate.

Could the economy have something to do with it?

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American racism: Not dead yet

by twit

update: Frank Rich writes for the New York Times on October 11, 2008:

At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and “Off with his head!” as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist.

On October 10, 2008, TPM takes a look at recent news coverage related to the tenor of recent McCain/Palin rallies:

The news orgs are beginning to weigh in with big takes on what is unquestionably one of the most important stories of Campaign 2008: The pathologically-unhinged tone that McCain-Palin supporters are displaying at rallies of late.

The New York Times has a write-up here; The Washington Post has one here, and The Politico has one here.

Salon has a related story on October 11, 2008:

It’s no accident McCain stood up after several honorable Republicans and former McCain supporters began to speak out about his campaign’s hate-mongering. On Friday Michigan’s former GOP governor William Milliken started backing away from the guy he endorsed.

“He is not the McCain I endorsed,” Milliken told a local paper. “He keeps saying, ‘Who is Barack Obama?’ I would ask the question, ‘Who is John McCain?’ because his campaign has become rather disappointing to me.

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Eight-year shitburgers, 6-year-olds playing soccer and the truth

by lestro

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert get jiggy with it in the new Entertainment Weekly.

So says Stewart:

“The press is 6-year-olds playing soccer; nobody has a position, it’s just ”Where’s the ball? Where’s the ball? Sarah Palin has the ball!” [Mimes a mob running after her.] Because they can only cover one thing.”

Stop being so mean to Sarah Palin!

by twit

She’s not qualified to run for vice president, stop treating her like she is!

Shame on the press, trying to do its job!

Ms. Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, is scheduled to meet Tuesday in New York with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, and former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.

But the McCain-Palin campaign’s sharp limitations on coverage of the meetings have sparked a mini-revolt – and a threatened boycott — among the press corps.

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The Bridge to Sarah Palin’s lies

by twit

This “Bridge to Nowhere” issue seemed kind of boring until Sarah Palin started lying about it.

via TPM, here is Chris Matthews going to town on Palin’s claims about the “Bridge to Nowhere” and the stunning spectacle of the misleading statements continuing to be told, even after the media did the most basic investigation and found Palin’s story to be misleading and untrue:

TPM has details:

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Remember this symbol

by lestro

Something tells me we are going to be seeing a lot of it in the next few weeks…

A student carries a sign board reading disaster after she took part in the Mianyang leg of Beijing Olympic torch relay outside the Jiuzhou stadium on Monday in Mianyang of Sichuan Province, China. The three-day Beijing Olympic torch relay held in the quake-hit Sichuan province, the last relay leg before Beijing.

(August 04, 2008) Getty Images via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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The Holy Grail of Florida and other media hallucinations

by lestro

I have read a couple of stories over the past few days that have really irked me because they are perfect examples of the media perpetuating myths that are not true.

The first was about third-party candidates polling at the 3 or 4 percent level and how that can be dangerous. They cite Nader’s 3 percent in Florida in 2000 as handing the election to Bush. Which is fucking stupid because what really handed Florida to Bush was the stupid fucking butterfly ballot that led a whole fucking mess of old Palm Beach Jews to vote for Pat Buchanan.

Come on. Patty Patty Buke Buke? I think fucking not.

It was not Nader, but the idiocy of these old voters and the horrible butterfly ballot (not mention Gore’s cardboard personality, seeming lack of vision and inability to win his home state) that cost him the election, not Nader.

Today, there is another Florida story in which Obama announced his plan for $1,000 rebates based on an windfall profits tax to energy companies. It’s a much better plan than the offshore drilling, especially considering ExxonMobil once again had a record-setting profit last quarter, despite coming in under predictions.

If times are so tough and oil is so expensive yet the world’s biggest oil company is making more profit than ever (profit, mind you, not just revenue), they must be gouging. How else can it be explained?

Honestly. If you know, I’m listening.

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is McCain confused, stupid or just an asshole?

by lestro

The McCain camp launched its first Swift Boat-style negative attack of the season this past week. The Republicans are going all out in their attempts to paint Obama as unpatriotic and unfit to serve because of a cancelled visit to a military hospital:

The attacks are part of a newly aggressive McCain operation whose aim is to portray the Democratic presidential candidate as a craven politician more interested in his image than in ailing soldiers, a senior McCain adviser said. They come despite repeated pledges by the Republican that he will never question his rival’s patriotism.

The essence of McCain’s allegation is that Obama planned to take a media entourage, including television cameras, to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany during his week-long foreign trip, and that he canceled the visit when he learned he could not do so. “I know that, according to reports, that he wanted to bring media people and cameras and his campaign staffers,” McCain said Monday night on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”

But the allegations are not true and this time around the press is actually doing its job.

In fact, there is no evidence that he planned to take anyone to the American hospital other than a military adviser, whose status as a campaign staff member sparked last-minute concern among Pentagon officials that the visit would be an improper political event.

Technically, Obama canceled the trip for political reasons – he didn’t want the visit to be paid for by the campaign because he didn’t want it perceived as a campaign visit. It is certainly a political decision (because visiting injured troops is really never wrong), but it is a political decision from a good place.

But it is not the ugly political reason McCain is making it out to be. Which makes McCain’s attack a lie, which unlike in 2004, the voters now seem in no mood for. It makes him look like an asshole who just has nothing to offer so he has to try and kneecap the popular kid.

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McCain vs. The Truth

by twit

Why look, a new McCain commercial:

Using the line that was debunked two days ago:

“This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for,” adding: “I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.”

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McCain vs. Every Damn Journalist

by twit

You know your shit stinks when every damn reporter calls you out, even the entertainment ones:

McCain’s latest attempt at discrediting his handsome, photogenic young rival particularly galls stars and executives with a memory, because only eight years ago, McCain was a fixture in Hollywood fundraising circles when he tried to raise money from the very people his ad now ridicules.

At the time, dozens of people in Hollywood — including Lear, Harrison Ford, Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy and Michael Douglas — gave to McCain because they thought he was a Republican celebrity ƒè with a great personal story. And, dare we say, some celebrities, namely Warren Beatty, even became friends with the Arizona senator.

But the truth is most of Hollywood won’t return McCain’s calls nowadays because many of the stars and executives he initially impressed now believe the maverick stance they found so attractive was just a pose. Hollywood doesn’t object to a good pose — unless, of course, it doesn’t work.

… The fact of the matter is that for all his popularity in the entertainment industry, Obama has kept Hollywood at a friendly but slight distance. He’s hardly waded into the scene with the sort of relish that Bill Clinton did in the 1990s.

The press kicking the crap out of McCain is not going unnoticed the recent tirade from the Wall Street Journal is definitely special – as I read it, I found myself worrying that the writer was going to accidentally choke on his tie because of how upset he seemed while writing it.

However, in “Dick Move of the Week,” Jon Stewart is our new Secretary of Awesome.

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Kid delivers LSD-laced cookies to cops. Actually, nevermind, the cops were just trippin’

by twit

When I first saw the article about the teenager accused of going to several police stations in Texas and delivering batches of cookies that smelled like pot but were actually laced with LSD, I figured it was another illustration for the “children left behind” files, the part of the chronicle where representatives from the upcoming generation are doing things that sound completely insane yet also so jaw-droppingly stupid.

But now it turns out that the allegations were actually the product of overactive imaginations of law enforcement officials (and their preliminary drug tests), and the charges have been dropped.  What we actually have here is an episode of the “romper room,”  featuring children of all ages left far, far behind:

On July 8, 2008, the Associated Press first reported:

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A teenager is suspected of delivering baskets of drug-laced treats to about a dozen police departments in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to police who charged him Tuesday with LSD possession. At least three officers have gotten sick.

The 18-year-old man was arrested after taking cookies to the Lake Worth police station, said Brett McGuire, the suburb’s police chief. Officers there had been tipped off that someone was falsely claiming to deliver treats on behalf of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“Our officers took a good whiff and thought they smelled like marijuana,” McGuire said, adding that preliminary tests instead detected traces of LSD.

Christian Phillips was taken into custody and later charged with possession of the powerful hallucinogen, although the charge may be changed, McGuire said.

The suspect denied trying to contaminate the goodies or harm anyone and said one of his friends might have been smoking pot while Phillips was baking, McGuire said.

The suspect is not affiliated with MADD, the chief said.

which is what I had cut and pasted after I first read the story. Much of this clip has been scrubbed from the link where the article first appeared.

but then! On July 10, 2008, CBS in Dallas/Ft. Worth reports:

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McCain 2008: Everything is fine, shut up, you’re the crazy one

by twit

The McCain camp wants us to know that this recession thing, it’s all mental:

Former Sen. Phil Gramm, a top economic adviser to presumptive GOP nominee John McCain, referred to the economic slowdown as “a mental recession” and called the United States “a nation of whiners.”

The comments, in an interview with The Washington Times, could hurt the campaign’s efforts to convince working-class Americans that McCain feels their pain.

The comments, in an interview with The Washington Times, could hurt the campaign’s efforts to convince Americans from all backgrounds that McCain is not a crazy old man.

The Times quoted [Gramm] as saying: “You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession. … We have sort of become a nation of whiners. …

“You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline. … We’ve never been more dominant; we’ve never had more natural advantages than we have today.”

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The art of propaganda

by twit

The AFP got a photo from the Iranian government “the Web site of Sepah News, the media arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, on Wednesday,” with a teensy alteration

INSERT DESCRIPTIONINSERT DESCRIPTION

Top, the image that Agence France-Presse obtained from Sepah News on Wednesday. Below, another image that The Associated Press received from the same source on Thursday.

and the next day, the Associated Press got an almost-the-same image from the Iranian government…

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Memo to the Bush Administration: Sex sells

by twit

So CBS Correspondent Lara Logan went on the Daily Show on June 17, 2008, and you can watch the entire episode here.

//www.nypost.com/seven/06262008/photos/new05a.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

In response to Stewart’s question about whether we have lost our humanity, Logan answers “yes.” One might infer that she is not impressed with the limited war news coverage generally available to Americans.

And now we get to learn that there are sex scandals. What a coincidence.

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LOL Journalism

by twit

From the Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank on June 4, 2008, a detail from Hillary Clinton’s June 3, 2008 speech:

Terry McCauliffe, the campaign chairman, took the stage and read the full list of Clinton’s victories, from American Samoa to Massachusetts.

Introducing Clinton, he asked: “Are you ready for the next president of the United States?”

This brought laughter from the reporters in the back of the room, but Clinton induced the crowd to boo the “pundits and naysayers” who would have run her from the race.

The New York Times reports from the future

by twit

As far as I can tell, it is still Tuesday around here, and it is hardly Wednesday enough on the east coast to be referring to it as “early morning,” yet the NYT says this:

Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton talked early Wednesday morning by telephone. He congratulated her…

which is hilarious on its own, but still…

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morning cartoons

by twit

Koons 2

via Delicious Ghost

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Bubba Gone Wild

by twit

A magazine that managed to make Angelina Jolie look like a porn star has written a long and sexified analysis of Bill Clinton. Yesterday, reports started up about Bubba’s reaction to the piece:

The Office of President Bill Clinton responded with fury Sunday to a Vanity Fair article that attacks the former president and suggests he is out of control personally and consumed by “cavernous narcissism.”

and reporters started trudging through the boring mass of fluff to find the tidbits of what we already knew:

More devastating is Purdum’s claim that about 18 months ago, a former Clinton aide tried an intervention with the former president because he was hearing so many complaints about inappropriate behavior.

According to the article, the aide believed “Clinton was apparently seeing a lot of women on the road.”

Today, the Clintons angrily continue to deny that Bill Clinton is an angry kind of guy:

The Clinton camp responded today to Vanity Fair’s long article on Bill with its own 2,476-word memo, which includes attacks on the magazine’s “penchant for libel,” on editor Graydon Carter, and on writer Todd Purdum and his wife, former Clinton aide Dee Dee Myers.

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Denver left behind

by twit

Is there really so little news out there that an omg-space-alien-in-the-window story gets this much coverage?

A video you can watch by clicking on the pic is the local news channel doing a fairly oblivious caricature of itself, at least from the twit’s perspective.

Some more oblivious than others, perhaps…

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help us Jon Stewart, you’re our only hope

by twit

according to The Telegraph on May 2, 2008, these are the top ten “most influential” political pundits in America:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/00667/pundits-10-1-404_667250c.jpg

why yes, that is Karl Rove named as the number one ‘pundit’ in America. imagine that.

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