Category Archives: sarah palin

Your Monday* Random-Ass Roundup: Heard ‘Em Say

Believe it or not, I’ve been known to be a jackass. Ask anyone who had the misfortune of knowing me in college. Or a couple years ago. I really hope President Obama isn’t asked about it anytime soon:


Anyway, lots of things have happened since our last Monday roundup. Here’s a few of them, a week and almost a full day later than usual. Sorry. I blame it on death panels and creeping socialism:

1. As you all probably know, President Obama called Kanye West a “jackass” for his behavior at the VMAs. But that moment was supposed to be off-the-record, and so Terry Moran, the ABC reporter who tweeted the comment, took it down. ABC has apologized. (G.D.)

2. Alyssa agrees: maybe Kanye really does need a break. (Blackink)

3. One picture tells a million – or two million – lies. Politifact gets to the truth about the latest “tea party” in D.C. (Blackink)

4. A new poll says that 73% of doctors want a public option. (G.D.)

5. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich attempts to bring some sanity – and facts – to talk about the public option. (Blackink)

6. But even if there is a public option, Obama has plans to go beyond language in a House bill to make sure no public money goes to pay for abortions under health care reform. Why? (Blackink)

7. Speaking of health care reform, file this under everything is always good for Wal-Mart. (Blackink)

8. The FDA just approved a new vaccine against the H1N1 virus that causes swine flu. (Blackink)

9. Despite evidence to the contrary, many people, especially Southerners, think crime is on the rise. (Quadmoniker)

10. 50 Things being killed by the Internet. (Belleisa)

11. In eight states and D.C., being a victim of domestic violence is a pre-existing condition. No, really. (Blackink)

12. As if South Carolina tourism officials didn’t have a hard enough sell, a number of people have indicated they’ll be staying away from the Palmetto State following GOP Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst at President Barack Obama. (Blackink)

13. From Jonathan Chait’s fantastic review of a new biography about Ayn Rand: “‘She wrote of one of the protagonists of her stories that “he does not understand, because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people’; and she meant this as praise.” Well, that explains a lot. (Blackink)

14. This is rich: President Bush thought Sarah Palin was underqualified to serve on the national level. Well, he would know best. Also, he thinks Hillary Clinton has a “fat keister.” Classy. (Blackink)

15. Wow. A study in England found that when heroin was given to addicts in supervised clinics, drug use and street crime dropped dramatically. (Blackink)

16. Sort of related: Newly released FBI numbers show that we’re nearing epic fail in the “War on Drugs.” (Blackink)

17. Call it “The Chinese Dream“: a number of Africans are migrating to China in search of economic opportunity. In fact, a 10 square kilometer area in Guangzhou has been dubbed “Chocolate City.” (Blackink)

18. After years of being the envy of the nation, California’s higher education system- if not the state itself – could face a bleak future if it follows through on a plan for a large fee increases. (Blackink)

19. Reports of sexual misconduct of federal inmates by prison staff members have doubled over the past eight years, according to The Washington Post. In many places, as Matt points out, being sentenced to prison is a form of abuse itself.

20. A video of Quentin Tarantino’s best movie picks since 1992. And “Friday” made the list. (Belleisa)

21. Racewire calls Michael Moore’s latest film, “Capitalism, A Love Story,” his best work yet. (Blackink)

22. This post, from Booker Rising, is disgusting. And not even close to funny. There will be more on this later. (Blackink)

23. From Jacket Copy, the LA Times book blog, a site called Slaughter House 90210 which mixes pop culture images with literary captions. (Belleisa)

24. Is anyone really surprised that Jay Leno’s new show was not that funny? (Blackink)

25. The Face of Foreclosure: a Planet Money listener offers up aLink series of photographs outside the foreclosed home of Minneapolis woman Rosemary Williams. (Blackink)

26. South African runner and unfortunate international curiosity Caster Semenya has now been placed on suicide watch. I strongly agree with Pam: “She deserved — and deserves — so much better from the collective us than what she’s received.” (Blackink)

27. Michael Jordan will never let us forget that he was better than everyone else. Not even as he’s being inducted into the Hall of Fame. (Blackink)

28. And give it up, New York. LeBron ain’t playing for the Knicks. Unless, of course, he somehow tires of playing on a winning team. (Blackink)

Told you I was a jackass.

* It’s actually Tuesday.

The Real Death Panels.

Via Digby, Southern Beale gives Sarah Palin a lesson on “death panels”:

In your free market wonderland everyone somehow manages to get healthcare, even those who are poor or live in isolated areas, though the poor and isolated in your own state required assistance from the federal government.

And despite all of this, you appear blithely unaware that the free market healthcare system we have now does, indeed, have “death panels.” I’ve been part of a death panel conversation. I know about death panels.

You have no idea what it’s like to be called into a sterile conference room with a hospital administrator you’ve never met before and be told that your mother’s insurance policy will only pay for 30 days in ICU. You can’t imagine what it’s like to be advised that you need to “make some decisions,” like whether your mother should be released “HTD” which is hospital parlance for “home to die,” or if you want to pay out of pocket to keep her in the ICU another week. And when you ask how much that would cost you are given a number so impossibly large that you realize there really are no decisions to make. The decision has been made for you. “Living will” or no, it doesn’t matter. The bank account and the insurance policy have trumped any legal document.

If this isn’t a “death panel” I don’t know what is.

Is it possible that Palin didn’t already know this? Or is she a liar? With her, it’s almost always hard to tell where the ignorance ends and the dishonesty begins.

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: The Low-End Theory

Hey, has anyone else seen that picture of President Obama ogling that 17-year-old girl’s ass at the G8 summit in Italy?:


Of course you didn’t. Because there’s no such picture and he wasn’t doing that. Silly rabbits.

And without any further ado, your reading material from the weekend:

1. On Friday, the Washington Post reportedthat Leon Panetta, the head of the CIA, killed a secret intelligence program started in 2001 that had been hidden from Congress and that he himself only learned about in late June. This, understandably, kicked up a major shitstorm, with Senate Democrats saying they want to investigate the program (and indications from Eric Holder that he wants to go after the Bush administration on torturedespite Obama saying that he doesn’t want to “look back”). As of now, no one even knows what exactly the program entails, but yesterday, the New York Times reported that the program was kept secret on Dick Cheney’s orders.

Seriously, after wiretapping Americans without warrants, authorizing the torture of detainees, and sending others to secret prisons in other countries to be tortured, what other nefarious shit could the Bush administration possibly have thought up? The Washington Times quotes an anonymous source who hinted that the program involved assassinations overseas — which it bears mentioning, is against the law — which is sort of what Seymour Hersh reported earlier this year.

2. The White House has been getting Sonia Sotomayor ready for the confirmation hearings, which start today. What to expect: a whole lot of bluster and self-aggrandizement from senators, a whole lot of “I cannot answer that question lest this issue come before me on the bench” from Sotomayor, a lot of feeble attempts by Republicans to make her look crazy on abortion and discrimination cases, and an easy confirmation.

3. Speaking of SCOTUS, Emily Bazelon sits down with Justice Ginsburg, who has been a vocal advocate for more women on the court. “I always thought that there was nothing an antifeminist would want more than to have women only in women’s organizations, in their own little corner empathizing with each other and not touching a man’s world. If you’re going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers.” Like Sotomayor, she makes no bones about the fact that she benefited from affirmative action. And like Sotomayor, she’s a sparkling example of how it’s supposed to work: Harvard Law (one of five women in a class of several hundred), while raising kids and caring (and taking notes) for her husband who was stricken with cancer. She made law review before transferring to Columbia and graduating first in her class. Please believe it: she’s a beast.

4. Also, a new poll from C-SPAN shows that 54 percent of Americans can’t name a single Supreme Court justice but two-thirds know Obama has picked a Hispanic nominee for the current vacancy on the panel. Behold our idiocracy.

5. a. The NYT takes a look at the events that led up to Sarah Palin’s resignation. After the campaign, Republicans from across the country tried to help her get her affairs in order for her to remain a national figure; as is her wont, she disregarded their advice. She got bogged down in petty fights with Levi Johnston and David Letterman. Her schedule got lighter and lighter, and she took a trip to Indiana for an antiabortion event while the state’s budget was up in the air. Now she’s saying she wants to campaign for conservatives across the country — even conservative Democrats — and fueling speculation that she wants to start her own party.

b. Want to hear more about Sarah? I know you do. Check out this smart post from Anonymous Liberal about the Village’s role in the ascendancy of Palin, likening it to the Hans Christian Andersen classic, “The Emperor Has No Clothes.”

c. Dahlia Lithwick and Frank Rich also offer their own takes on the Quitta from Wasilla.

d. Thanks but no thanks. GOP politicians facing tough elections in 2010 would prefer she stay far away, roughly somewhere in the vicinty of the Bridge to Nowhere.

e. According to a Mudflats reader, Sarah Palin became the member a very exclusive group of state leaders when she announced her resignation the other week. She joined Jim McGreevy and Eliot Spitzer as only three of about 1,200 governors in the U.S. since 1900 to quit in their first term for no apparent reason. That’s quite an accomplishment.

Ok. That’s plenty.

6. As the economy worsens, thousands and thousands of families are joining the ranks of the homeless. Also interesting but disheartening: 20 percent of homeless people live in Los Angeles, New York and Detroit.

7. ABC News lists the 10 states in the worst budget situations. The West is in particularly bad shape. California tops the list, with Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington also facing significant shortfalls.

8. Despite being in the middle of a shitstorm for condoning racist comments on her Facebook page – and defriending the folks who called her out on it – Audra Shay was elected chair of the Young Republicans. Of course she was. Because, as Michael Steele might say, this is all strategic.

9. With California crumbling under the weight of its deteriorating economy, The Economist asks if Texas is ready to lead the U.S. in the 21st Century? The answers are unclear. But in many ways, Texas represents both the best and worst of our country. And quiet as kept, Texas seems well on its way to becoming a blue state.

That said, we should all fear for the schoolchildren being held captive there by an increasingly partisan educational system. The state’s Board of Education has put together a six-member committee to help develop new curriculum standards for social studies classes and textbooks. Among the members are a couple of conservatives who believe that Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall receive too much credit under the current curriculum. Also, Gov. Rick Perry is considering a rock-ribbed, right-wing conservative to lead the state’s Board of Education. Which wouldn’t be a problem if not for the fact that she argued the country’s founding fathers created “an emphatically Christian government” and that government should be guided by a “biblical litmus test” in her book, One Nation Under God. She also calls public education a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion” and home-schooled her own children.

Heckuva job, Ricky.

10. Lou Dobbs does not want you to hear this: “If you want to find a safe city, first determine the size of the immigrant population,” says Jack Levin, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. “If the immigrant community represents a large proportion of the population, you’re likely in one of the country’s safer cities. San Diego, Laredo, El Paso—these cities are teeming with immigrants, and they’re some of the safest places in the country.”

11. SEK at The Edge of the American West pens a beautiful takedownof right-winger Andrew McCarthy, who spent an awful lot of time during the fall complaining that it was impossible to learn anything about Obama’s allegedly radical days at Columbia. Well, the New York Times managed to get the goods. So says SEK: “If you believed that a trip into the city and an afternoon in an archive would spare America four years of tyranny, would you do it? Would you fly into the city, rent a room, borrow a library card, request a day-pass under false pretenses, and spend an afternoon in an archive if you believed that doing so might save the world from nuclear destruction? Or would you whine because no one will silver-platter you a smoking gun?” Please, read it all.

12. No, MLK was not a Republican. And don’t let anyone or anything tell you different.

13. Wendi Muse at Racialicious wonders: can interracial porn not be racist? Short answer: not really.

14. James Kirchick at The Advocate wonders how “half-literate typist” Perez Hilton has “become one of the most prominent gay people in the country?” It’s a fair question.

15. Jamaican sprint star and Olympic champion Usain Bolt is still fast.

16. The rise and fall (and rise) of Stephen A. Quite frankly, I disagree with the author’s contention that Smith might be our next Al Sharpton. No thanks. One is plenty.

17. Eating watermelon and fried chicken and drinking Kool-Aid? It’s the Black Olympics, with your host, Dallas Cowboys tight end and all-around buffoon Martellus Bennett. You see, stereotypes are funny. Remind to tell you all this joke about picking cotton later.

18. Joey at Straight Bangin’ reviews the first half of the year in hip-hop. He liked the new joints from Mos, Puba and, miracle of all miracles, U-God. Can’t say the same about the latest from Hov, Eminem and Maino.

Some of you folks are going to have to hang out somewhere else this summer. I’m worried you’re changing the complexion of this blog.

Also, we have only one rule. Tell’em Kobe:

Palin’s Pass and Fail.

Via Deadspin:

PalinPress

As a result, I bet Malcom Gladwell thinks Palin’s epic fail proves that all liberal bloggers should use a full-court press against fading Republican governors. That means you better have someone working with you on that ball-handling, Sanford.

No punchline. It’s too easy and downright cheap.

And in other Palin news, someone should tell her that there is no federal Department of Law.

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: One Day It’ll All Make Sense.

1. When Steve McNair was drafted by the Houston Oilers out of a tiny black school, and earned a reputation as one of those dudes who would regularly suit up on Sundays with cracked ribs and a bruised thumb. In 2000, he took his team to within inches of a Super Bowl victory. He won the MVP in ’03. His teammates loved him for his work ethic, his charitability and his cooking. He was, as the corny sports formulation goes, a “good character guy” — and not insignificantly, a trailblazer for black quarterbacks — which makes his tragic untimely death in an apparent murder-suicide with a lover who was not his wife all the more unsettling. (blackink will have more on this later.)

2. So why did Sarah Palin take her ball and go home?  She’s not under federal investigation, which no one really reported until she told her lawyer to write a letter warning a bunch of news outlets not to do so, which as Ben Smith writes “pretty much compelled everyone… to write about the rumors in the course of reporting on the letter.” (This sort of egregious P.R. mistake makes much more sense once you realize that her spokesperson apparently nibbles on paint chips.) A note on her Facebook page doesn’t really elucidate matters, but the state’s lieutenant governor said she stepped down because of the legal costs she accrued fighting a tsunami of ethics investigations.

2b. Among other things, Sarah Palin seemingly could not be bothered to address Alaska’s dismal foster care system. It’s yet another reason why the 49th state might be better off in her absence.

2c. MoDowd goes in.

2d. Oh, and remember that one time Sarah Palin criticized Hillary Clinton for whining about bad press and not sucking it up?

3. Leigh points to a group of whistleblowers who said that Bank of America employees were taught to prey on low-income Latin@ customers. “There’s some evidence to support the whistleblowers’ claims, and the fact remains that BOA has very profitably seemed to prey on low-income, new American communities.  Furthermore, BOA recently settled a class-action lawsuit in which they did not have to admit any wrong-doing but were nonetheless shown to be maximizing fees unlawfully – whether in spirit or to the letter.”

4. Adam Serwer mulls the aftermath of the Ricci case and “colorblindness.”

5. The Supreme Court postponed its decision on whether to hear the case of Troy Davis, who, as Cara writes, is “on death row for the murder of a police officer despite his maintained innocence, no physical evidence tying him to the crime, and seven out of nine witnesses having recanted.” But as she notes, it’s still a longshot: the Court hasn’t granted a motion like Davis’s since 1925.

6. Robert McNamara, the powerful, cocksure secretary of defense and a principal architect of the Vietnam War, died at at the age of 93. (And if you haven’t already seen Errol Morris’s excellent Fog of War, you should.)

7. The Obamas head to Moscow, where the president hopes to patch up an expiring treaty on nuclear weapons. Then it’s on to Ghana, where the president is “expected to deliver a major speech in which he may lay out his administration’s agenda for Africa.” After that a break. The Obamas, not being all cakey until recently, don’t have a vacation compound like the Bushes or the Kennedys. And while the location at which the Obamas will kick it during their first presidential vacation is officially listed as classified, it’s really not that much of a secret. (Think The Inkwell but with the Secret Service.)

8. Pictures from the first 167 days.

9. If you are poor, old, blind or otherwise disabled and live in California, you’re out of luck for the immediate future. Unless your grocery store or pharmacy or day care accepts payment in the form of IOUs. This is the kind of mess the state’s governor has to deal with, which has the NYT wondering why anyone would want the job.

10. Marion Barry was arrested for stalking a woman who is apparently his ex-girlfriend. Of course he was.

11.Steve Martin may have been born a poor black child. But that child was certainly not Michael Jackson. The most notable difference is, of course, in the dancing.

12. OMG! Teh Negroes took over Twitter! There goes the neighborhood.

13. My homie Justin Porter does the math on the 52 blocks, a secretive streetfighting style meant for use in tight spaces — like prisons.

14. The Story of Prisoner F95488. Or, the tale of Eric Frimprong’s “journey from soccer hero to convicted felon.”

15. Fuck, fuck, fuck, m’lady: Jane Austen via Jimmy McNulty.

16. Michael Jackson’s secret lover?

17. Al Franken, secret wonk? (Related: What’s with Minnesota’s habit of electing weirdos?)

18. And weren’t you wondering whatever happened to Loon?

The Engagement’s Off.

mccain-bristol-palin-levi-johnston

Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston have apparently ended their engagement:

It’s surprising because in an interview just last month with FOX’s Gretta Van Susteren, Bristol said the 19-year-old Levi is a hands-on dad and that they planned on marrying after finishing their education.

But in a new interview with Star Magazine, Levi’s sister Mercede Johnston says Bristol actually broke up with Levi more than a month ago, is not attending school and rarely lets her baby daddy see their young son. Mercede also says Bristol even told him that she hates him and, when she learned she was pregnant, wished the baby wasn’t his.

Sad teenage parent drama aside (and believe me, this post isn’t exactly schadenfreude), what do you think would be happening if Sarah Palin were our vice president? Would Bristol and Levi be married by now? Frankly, I suspect not.

Since words like ‘white trash’ are being thrown around in reference to the Johnstons, I think the GOP would have found a way to moralize their beloved vice-president’s daughter out of a shotgun wedding to the high school dropout son of an alleged drug dealer.

Palin’s Campaign Wardrobe Stuffed Into Garbage Bags.

Stay classy, GOP.