Showing posts with label Palin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Palin. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sarah Palin's short-bus fascism

Every time Sarah Palin opens her mouth, I have to fight the urge to fire off an email to Vladimir Putin reminding him that Alaska was once part of Mother Russia.

Here's why. A United States with the former Alaska governor still in it -- and still commanding the attention of too many who are too dumb to know any better -- is a United States that loiters a few steps too close to deciding that vee haff veys uff dealink vith zem.

Or you.

Palin talked about "them" and "they" a lot Saturday at the National Rifle Association convention in Indianapolis -- just watch the whole video above if you can stand it. "They" are threats to you . . . unless, of course, you are one of "them." Then you're an enemy of baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and market capitalism. And Sarah Palin hass veys uff dealink vith you -- just like she does  any other "enemy," like jihadists:
Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.
THUS the harebrained wonder from Wasilla revealed herself not only as a particularly pathetic specimen of Demagogus Americanus but as something of an antichrist as well.

No, she's not the Antichrist, but an antichrist, who in equating the sacrament of baptism with torture -- and gleefully so -- profanes and mocks a faith she allegedly professes.

Days later, she remained unrepentant:
According to a report by NBC, the backlash against Palin’s remarks, even within the religious community, have fallen on deaf ears.

"Would I make it again?” Palin told NBC News in response to the criticisms of her metaphor. “Why wouldn't I, yeah, absolutely. Terrorists who want to annihilate Americans, innocent Americans, our children — whatever it takes to stop them. If I were in charge, I'd be stoppin' em."
DEAR GOD. Joseph McCarthy may have cringed a little from the grave. 

The red-baiting U.S. senator from Wisconsin may have been evil, but he wasn't stupid. Palin is showing herself to be both -- yet we very nearly put this woman a heartbeat from the presidency in 2008.

It is a deadly serious thing to become an unserious people. Saturday, Sarah Palin (and the mob who loves her) gave us a glimpse into the abyss. How close we are to disappearing into it might be measured by exactly how radioactive those politicians who accept this malevolent nitwit's embrace become.

I'M REFERRING to you Pete Ricketts (candidate for Nebraska governor). And to you Ben Sasse (Nebraska candidate for U.S. Senate).

HAT TIP: Rod Dreher.

Monday, September 26, 2011

With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps

The above video contains not-so-adult language. NSFW.

Apparently, this video was the big thing on the Internets last week.

Today, the big thing on the Internets is a debate on whether last week's big thing on the Internets was all a big set-up for the benefit of Bristol Palin's reality-TV show. That's TMZ's and the Today show website's story, and Bristol's co-star is sticking to it.

Today's blog, The Clicker, posts the above video and warns "The following video contains adult language." Trust me, there's nothing adult about any of it.

There's nothing adult about Bristol Palin cashing in on being an unwed-mother daughter of a flaky Alaska politician with national pretensions. There's nothing adult about doing the above clad in an "Empowered" sweatshirt (Phil. 4:13) with a "lightning" cross.

There's nothing adult about a half-drunk guy yelling whether Bristol rode baby-daddy Levi Johnson like the mechanical bull she was on. Or adding that "Your mother's a f***ing whore! She's the devil!"

THERE'S NOT a thing adult about Bristol -- wrapped in the cross Jesus Christ hung and died on -- getting in the guy's face and asking "Is it because you're a homosexual?" (Oddly enough, she apparently jumped to the correct conclusion.)

And there's nothing adult about this confrontation going on and on, with a camera crew to record the whole thing and put it on the Internet . . . and later, television.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

NOPE. Nothing adult to be found in TMZ tracking down the profane heckler to get the "scoop" on whether it was all a put-up deal, and nothing adult in Stephen Hanks justifying his bad behavior with his passion for politics. There, however, was plenty ironic about his saying he was originally from Louisiana and, therefore, knew white trash when he saw it.

Probably in the mirror every day. Just a wild guess on my part.

Finally, I wonder whether there's anything adult about my giving all these people an extension on their 15 minutes of fame. I wonder whether there's anything adult about adding to our nation's cultural and media dysfunction by highlighting all this bad behavior going on in the name of ratings and revenue.

I tell myself it's because it's all so metaphorical. That it somehow sums up who and what we've become as Americans today.

I fancy myself as being the "adult" here. The adult pointing and yelling
"Look at the freaks! Look at the freaks!"

Lord have mercy, I think we all may be "the freaks" here. May someday we be "Empowered"
(ZAP!) to just stop.

After all, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I predict tomorrow's Post

I'm not much of a psychic friend, but I think I can predict the cover of tomorrow's New York Post, given the National Enquirer's spilling of the beans about the racy stuff inside Joe McGinniss' new tell-all biography on bodacious tea-party babe Sarah Palin.

Here's what the Miami Herald has come up with thus far:

A new book about tea party darling Sarah Palin has a salacious revelation about her sex life involving a well-known Miami sports star.

According to The National Enquirer, which obtained an advance copy of a book about Palin by investigative writer Joe McGinniss — Palin and former Miami Heat player Glen Rice had a one-night tryst back in 1987.

At the time, the former Alaska governor, now 47, was single, just out of college and working as a sports reporter at Anchorage TV station KTUU.

Rice, 44, who lives in Coral Gables, was a promising junior basketball player at the University of Michigan.

Their encounter occurred while Rice was in Anchorage attending a basketball tournament and Palin apparently covered the event. Months later, in 1988, Palin eloped with her high school sweetheart Todd Palin. The two are still married.

Quoting from the book, the tabloid said that at the time, the 23-year-old Palin had a “fetish” about black men.

WHO THE HELL needs to pay for The Playboy Channel when we have saucy, smokin' hot right-wing firebrands and a lifetime of Blazing Saddles jokes floating around our heads?

Film at 11. Then again, maybe not.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The idiot is coming! The idiot is coming!

I don't understand why the YouTube video ended before we got to Conan O'Brien's joke about Sarah Palin.

What? Really? That wasn't the straight video of her interview? It was edited for comedic effect?

Life is so much more complicated today in the post-satire era.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's a bird! It's a plane!

It's a frog!

A frog?

Not plane, nor bird, nor even frog . . .
it's just little old her . . .

The Alaska publicity hog.

I guess I could write 500 words on tea-party morons and idolatry, but I think I'll just go with
"homina homina homina homina," instead.

Good grief.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TV Blow-Up, or . . . shootin' like the King

This might be the sanest thing anyone in America has done in the last year, and look what it gets the guy.

Besieged by the SWAT team.


Written up in all the newspapers.

ALL BECAUSE of a completely sane, rational response to the politician who not only won't go away, but tells all her no-account kinfolk to come over, too. Here's what The Associated Press put out on the wires, but you be the judge:
A rural Wisconsin man blasted his television set with a shotgun after watching Bristol Palin's "Dancing with the Stars" routine Monday night, saying he was fed up with politics and Palin wasn't a very good dancer, according to court documents.

Steven Cowan, 67, of the town of Vermont, about 15 miles west of Madison, then pointed the gun at his wife, 66-year-old Janice Cowan, who escaped and called police, authorities said. A SWAT team surrounded the couple's farmhouse, and officers were able to talk Cowan out Tuesday morning after an all-night standoff.

Cowan had been drinking before he sat down to watch "Dancing with the Stars" and suffers from bipolar disorder, his wife told officers. He was charged Tuesday with second-degree reckless endangerment, and could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Cowan was expected to make his initial court appearance Wednesday in Madison. Online court records show that the state public defender's office was appointed to represent him, however the office said it had no record of him as of Wednesday morning.

Dane County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Elise Schaffer said Cowan works as a landlord, but that she didn't know where he owned property. He has a clean criminal record, she said.

"It's kind of sad, actually," Schaffer said.

YEAH, IT'S SAD that y'all put the poor man in jail after his spontaneous fit of rationality. That's what's sad.

But that's just my opinion. Let me know if anybody's interested in starting up a defense fund for a true American patriot.

AFTER ALL, if the King can shoot a TV set -- and get away with it -- for less provocation than a Palin, there just ain't no justice for the common man.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The nut from the north

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Who's America's biggest political rock star right now?

Who's the woman good Christian people are counting on to swoop in and make America more good . . .
and Christian?

Why, it's an unhinged dingbat diva with a violent temper, a reputation for ruining people who get on her expansive bad side and a growing army of brownshirts to help her do it. It's kind of like if Richard Nixon were meaner, ignorant and people were hopelessly devoted to him.

We learn all this from a blockbuster profile by Michael Joseph Gross in the latest
Vanity Fair. Palinistas are calling it a hit piece; the author is saying it's anything but -- he actually wanted to like the woman and went into the story with some sympathy for her, but facts quickly dictated another narrative.

HERE'S an excerpt (and, according to Gross in the MSNBC interview above, the really shocking stuff got left out):
The intensity of Palin’s temper was first described to me in such extreme terms that I couldn’t help but wonder if it might be exaggerated, until I heard corroborating tales of outbursts dating back to her days as mayor of Wasilla and before. One friend of the Palins’ remembers an argument between Sarah and Todd: “They took all the canned goods out of the pantry, then proceeded to throw them at each other. By the time they got done, the stainless-steel fridge looked like it had got shot up with a shotgun. Todd said, ‘I don’t know why I even waste my time trying to get nice things for you if you’re just going to ruin them.’ ” This friend adds, “As soon as she enters her property and the door closes, even the insects in that house cringe. She has a horrible temper, but she has gotten away with it because she is a pretty woman.” (The friend elaborated on this last point: “Once, while Sarah was preparing for a city-council meeting, she said, ‘I’m gonna put on one of my push-up bras so I can get what I want tonight.’ That’s how she rolls.”) When Palin was mayor, she made life for one low-level municipal employee so miserable that the woman quit her job, sought psychiatric counseling, and then left the state altogether to escape Palin’s sphere of influence—this according to one person with firsthand knowledge of the situation. The woman did not want to be found. When I finally tracked her down, her husband, who answered the phone, at first pretended that I had dialed the wrong number and that the word “Wasilla” had no meaning to him. Palin’s former personal assistants all refused to comment on the record for this story, some citing a fear of reprisal. Others who have worked with Palin recall that, when she feels threatened, she does not hesitate to wield some version of a signature threat: “I have the power to ruin you.”

Palin’s public voice is an instrument of great versatility. In a few moments, she can turn from kind to hateful, rational to unhinged. At her best Palin can be folksy and pungent. But she needs outside help to give her voice its national range. For messaging strategy, Palin relies on William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, and Fred Malek, who was an aide to Presidents Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush. The lawyer Robert Barnett, the most successful literary agent in Washington—his clients range from Hillary Clinton to Dick Cheney to Tony Blair—negotiated Palin’s reported $7 million advance for Going Rogue, and he helps oversee her speaking schedule, which is arranged by the Washington Speakers Bureau. The small inner circle that shapes Palin’s voice day to day includes lobbyist Randy Scheunemann, a director of the neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century, who advises Palin on foreign affairs, and Kim Daniels, a lawyer with the Thomas More Law Center, which has been called “the Christian answer to the A.C.L.U.,” who advises her on domestic issues. Palin’s speechwriter is Lindsay Hayes. Doug McMarlin and Jason Recher, both of whom did advance work for George W. Bush, serve as body men and confidants. Both Hayes and Recher were on Palin’s 2008-campaign road team, and both were known for indulging her whims, according to their colleagues. (When John McCain decided to pull out of Michigan, a decision Palin disagreed with, Recher and Palin hatched a plan one day to make an early-morning drive to Michigan anyway. The Secret Service, becoming aware of the plan, asked the McCain campaign what it should do. The answer came: “Shoot out the tires.”) Campaign e-mails indicate that Recher was disrespectful of field staff and support workers. “Our volunteers don’t want to do Palin trips because of the way they are treated by Recher,” wrote one of his supervisors. Of all those who have professional relationships with Palin, only Robert Barnett is generally considered to be at the top of his game, and he is basically just cutting deals, as he would for any client.

Palin’s most unconventional hire is a novice media consultant, Rebecca Mansour, a 36-year-old Los Angeles resident who has been identified in news stories as a screenwriter. Mansour has said that she volunteered for Obama early in the 2008 campaign and then became disillusioned. Not long after the election, with Joseph Russo, a then 23-year-old college student from New Jersey, who would also go to work for Palin, she co-founded the most popular pro-Palin blog, Conservatives4Palin, known informally as C4P (and not to be confused with the “adult swingers” Web site of that name). C4P functions as a hybrid news service, discussion board, and field headquarters for a virtual army of Palin supporters, who pride themselves on brute devotion. “Who We Are and What We Stand For,” a post written by Mansour, declares, “We’re ordinary barbarians here. No one controls us. We’re a horde.” A prominent C4P contributor, Nicole Coulter, told this summer, “We would literally walk across hot broken glass for this woman… She’s our family, and you protect your family; it’s like the mafia.”

On C4P, any journalist or public figure who questions Palin in any way is flicked off as a “creep,” a “hack,” a “loser,” a “storm trooper,” a “liar,” or as just plain “slime.” “I assumed the governor was above that,” says Jay Ramras, an Alaska state legislator who has been a frequent target of the site. “Or at least that there was a Chinese wall between her and these people. But then they crossed over—she hired them.” Mansour’s words have continued to appear on the site occasionally, even after she was formally taken on board by SarahPAC. She used to police C4P message boards for dissenters from the party line and, under the name RAM (her initials, shortened from her earlier, more descriptive handle, RAM Hammer), rip them mercilessly: “Now you are banned for life, you sick son of a bitch.” In one comment string, a woman named Sandra wrote, “I wish Sarah would tell us more about what is involved with caring for Trig. I understand there are many professionals involved in his education and training. If we knew more about this there would be more support for organizations that are involved.” Mansour shot back, “Sandra, what are you implying?,” and the comment string went dead. The nastiness on C4P exists alongside an idealization of the former governor, as displayed in the closing lines of “Who is Sarah Palin?,” an 8,000-word posting by Mansour: “C4P has your back, Governor. And when you finally ride out from the north with your banner lifted high, we’ll rally.”

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Schools aren't St. Helena's cup of tea

Welcome to Tea Party America.

When Mr. Beck goes to Washington to proclaim a Christian revival and preach the gospel of self-reliance and responsibility, in places like St. Helena Parish, La., that translates into "God helps those who help themselves." And in Louisiana, that may not mean what you think it does.

For example, in St. Helena Parish, God helps white parents who "help themselves" -- and their kids -- to private-school educations, oftentimes across the parish line. The Almighty also helps blacks -- who make up 95.1 percent of public-school enrollment despite comprising 53 percent the parish's population -- to facilities with crumbling walls, exposed wiring, filthy lunchrooms, sewer lines lying in open trenches . . . and snakes in the restroom.

Conditions are so bad that a federal judge has ordered parts of the parish's three schools cordoned off. And the state fire marshal wants fire alarms and electrical wiring fixed in 30 days.

THE PARISH'S civic culture (if you can call it that) is so dysfunctional that voters have shot down four school-tax measures in three years. This has led U.S. District Judge James J. Brady to consider raising the property tax by fiat.

Tea-party types are, of course, outraged. Not about children attending class in fetid, dangerous conditions, but instead about "taxation without representation," says the Lincoln Parish News Online blog:
St. Helena Parish is about to form a tea party to fight precisely what our forefathers fought over 200 years ago – taxation without representation. Alton Travis, a 12-year St. Helena school board member, has begun preliminary efforts to organize a group. “I’ve made some phone calls and I’m putting together a contact list,” Travis said.

Mr. Travis spoke earlier today with Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) from his home near Kentwood.

Last week, LPNO had reported about U. S. District Judge James Brady’s plans to impose a tax upon St. Helena residents without a vote. Brady is the former chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party.

Travis said he has been in contact with the Baton Rouge Tea Party (BRTP) for help in organizing a group in St. Helena Parish. “I really don’t know why we’re talking about this,” said Travis in reference to taxes imposed by a judge contrary to voter’s wishes. “Things like that shouldn’t even be contemplated.”

Parish voters had previously turned down several attempts to pass new school taxes. On May 1, parish voters rejected a 55 mil property tax by a 62% margin. The tax issue has gone back over twenty years, according to Travis, and has been voted upon at least a dozen times.

Some have tried to portray a negative vote on school taxes as a racist vote, but as the parish is 52% black, it is clear that many blacks voted no on the tax. LPNO readers will recall how last fall’s defeat of a Baton Rouge tax was painted as “racist” by The (Baton Rouge) Advocate.

LEAVE IT to tea partiers to talk of "responsibility" to others while abdicating responsibility wholesale in their own back yards. The problem here is not a rogue federal judge potentially usurping beleaguered citizens' constitutional rights; the problem here is that selfish, irresponsible citizens hide behind self-government guarantees to carry out racially disproportionate child neglect, and do so with impunity.

The problem in Southern cesspools like St. Helena Parish, La., is not that the constitutional order has been usurped. The problem is that, in the wake of the Civil War, the feds ended Reconstruction about 50 years too soon.

Shame is a scarce commodity in St. Helena, and the latest story from
The Advocate is proof:
A report from the fire marshal is one of three reports from state agencies citing problems in St. Helena Parish public schools.

Air vents are causing contamination in the cafeteria of St. Helena Central Elementary School, a report by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals states.

A state Department of Environmental Quality report cites problems of asbestos, mold-like substances and ceiling leaks in parish schools.

Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered inspections and reports on the schools.

The condition of the schools has become an issue in a 57-year-old desegregation lawsuit involving the St. Helena Parish school system.

Daisy Slan, the superintendent of parish schools, said Monday afternoon she needs help — mainly in the form of modular classrooms — as quickly as possible.

She said she is trying to get contractor quotes, but doesn’t see how she can meet the Fire Marshal’s deadline.

In addition to the age and condition of the main high-school structure, Slan said, “the problem is that we have buildings scattered all across the campus.”

Some of those buildings aren’t suitable for use as classrooms in their current condition, Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning said Monday.

The fire alarms and electrical issues are serious problems, he said.

The high school is being allowed to continue to operate for 30 days as long as it conducts regular fire watches and keeps logs of those fire watches, Browning said.
LISTEN NOT to what Glenn Beck and Friends proclaimed on the same Lincoln Memorial steps Martin Luther King spoke from 47 years before. Watch instead what the audience to whom they pander does when no one is looking.

Like neglect its own children -- or at least black children -- leaving them to languish in rotting buildings, amid all manner of contamination and be taught by grossly underpaid teachers.

Unsurprisingly, test scores are in the toilet. Along with the snakes.

Down there in Tea Party America.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Not 'recognizing his version of Christianity'

Mighty big talk for an alcoholic Mormon former pot- and cokehead, whose religion is a mishmash of at least two of the big early-Christian heresies filtered through -- according to Joseph Smith, at least -- a resurrected ancient Indian in New York state:
Conservative commentator Glenn Beck voiced sharper criticism of President Obama's religious beliefs on Sunday than he and other speakers offered from the podium of the rally Beck organized at the Lincoln Memorial a day earlier.

During an interview on "Fox News Sunday," which was filmed after Saturday's rally, Beck claimed that Obama "is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology, which is oppressor-and-victim."

"People aren't recognizing his version of Christianity," Beck added.
THAT'S THE first part of a piece in today's Washington Post outlining exactly how much nerve the crew-cutted one possesses. But wait . . . it gets better:
Beck, on his Fox News show last Tuesday, said that liberation theology is at the core of Obama's "belief structure."

"You see, it's all about victims and victimhood; oppressors and the oppressed; reparations, not repentance; collectivism, not individual salvation. I don't know what that is, other than it's not Muslim, it's not Christian. It's a perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ as most Christians know it," Beck said.
YEAH . . . and if Mr. Beck keeps up his cable-TV perversion of Christianity in the name of ratings, profit and politics, he may just find out that hell is a lot more permanent than his religion would have us believe.

if Hurricane Earl smacks into Washington, D.C., and drowns the whole place under a 25-foot storm surge right up the gut of the Potomac, can we assume it's because God is quite irate over Beck's little "revival"? You know, just like He wiped out New Orleans because of its debauchery.

Just asking.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The jawing of an ass

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Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck as the inheritors of Martin Luther King's legacy?

Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck as the catalysts for the moment America "begins to turn back to God”?

Something smells. And I "refudiate" it.

Because the gospel according to Palin and Beck is what "refudiate" is to "repudiate," and it comes off just as ridiculously.

Leave it to Glenn Beck to trumpet how his gigantic publicity stunt -- and profit generator for Beck, Inc. -- is the beginning of a grand American revival, all the while publicly "refudiating" large parts of the gospel of Jesus Christ as "socialism" or "Nazism" -- or both, as he seems to view social-justice doctrine.

For example,
this was Beck in March:
"I'm begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!"
AND THIS is the Catechism of the Catholic Church (and has been for a long, long time):


1928 Society ensures social justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.


1929 Social justice can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of man. The person represents the ultimate end of society, which is ordered to him:

What is at stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator, and to whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly and responsibly in debt.35

1930 Respect for the human person entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. They are the basis of the moral legitimacy of every authority: by flouting them, or refusing to recognize them in its positive legislation, a society undermines its own moral legitimacy.36 If it does not respect them, authority can rely only on force or violence to obtain obedience from its subjects. It is the Church's role to remind men of good will of these rights and to distinguish them from unwarranted or false claims.

1931 Respect for the human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that "everyone should look upon his neighbor (without any exception) as 'another self,' above all bearing in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity."37 No legislation could by itself do away with the fears, prejudices, and attitudes of pride and selfishness which obstruct the establishment of truly fraternal societies. Such behavior will cease only through the charity that finds in every man a "neighbor," a brother.

1932 The duty of making oneself a neighbor to others and actively serving them becomes even more urgent when it involves the disadvantaged, in whatever area this may be. "As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."38

1933 This same duty extends to those who think or act differently from us. The teaching of Christ goes so far as to require the forgiveness of offenses. He extends the commandment of love, which is that of the New Law, to all enemies.39 Liberation in the spirit of the Gospel is incompatible with hatred of one's enemy as a person, but not with hatred of the evil that he does as an enemy.

IT GOES ON like this for some number of pages. Including this:

1939 The principle of solidarity, also articulated in terms of "friendship" or "social charity," is a direct demand of human and Christian brotherhood.45
An error, "today abundantly widespread, is disregard for the law of human solidarity and charity, dictated and imposed both by our common origin and by the equality in rational nature of all men, whatever nation they belong to. This law is sealed by the sacrifice of redemption offered by Jesus Christ on the altar of the Cross to his heavenly Father, on behalf of sinful humanity."46
1940 Solidarity is manifested in the first place by the distribution of goods and remuneration for work. It also presupposes the effort for a more just social order where tensions are better able to be reduced and conflicts more readily settled by negotiation.

BUT NO, this imminent -- but not eminent -- Christian revival is going to be sparked by a screwball demagogue who denies whole parts of the Christian gospel that answer the question "How shall we live, then?" Him and the tea-party darling, a gun-totin', babealicious Alaskan dingbat whose mind freezes up every time she's called upon to use it, and whose mangling of the king's English makes Yogi Berra sound like Sir Lawrence Olivier.

Don't believe me, however. Believe what's in your morning newspaper, in this case
The New York Times:
An enormous and impassioned crowd rallied at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, summoned by Glenn Beck, a conservative broadcaster who called for a religious rebirth in America at the site where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech 47 years ago to the day.

“Something that is beyond man is happening,” Mr. Beck said in opening the event as the crowd thronged near the memorial grounds. “America today begins to turn back to God.”

It was part religious revival, part history lecture, as Mr. Beck invoked the founding fathers and the “black-robed regiment” of pastors of the Revolutionary War and spoke of American exceptionalism.

The crowd was a mix of groups that have come together under the Tea Party umbrella. Some wore T-shirts from the Campaign for Liberty, the libertarian group that came out of the presidential campaign of Representative Ron Paul, while others wore the gear of their local Tea Party group, or of 9/12 groups, which were founded after a special broadcast Mr. Beck did in March 2009.

But the program was distinctly different from most Tea Party rallies. While Tea Party groups have said they want to focus on fiscal conservatism and not risk alienating people by talking about religion or social issues, the rally on Saturday was overtly religious, filled with gospel music and speeches that were more like sermons.

Mr. Beck imbued his remarks on Saturday and at events the night before with references to God and a need for a religious revival. “For too long, this country has wandered in darkness,” Mr. Beck said Saturday. “This country has spent far too long worrying about scars and thinking about scars and concentrating on scars. Today, we are going to concentrate on the good things in America, the things that we have accomplished, and the things that we can do tomorrow.”

Mr. Beck was followed on stage by Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate and former Alaska governor, who said she was asked, in keeping with the theme of the day, not to focus on politics but to speak as the mother of a soldier.

“Say what you want to say about me, but I raised a combat vet, and you can’t take that away from me,” said Ms. Palin, whose son Track served in Iraq.

But Ms. Palin did not steer entirely clear of politics. In a veiled reference to President Obama and his pledges to fundamentally transform America, she said, “We must not fundamentally transform America as some would want; we must restore America and restore her honor.”

Many in the crowd said they had never been to a Tea Party rally, but they described themselves as avid Glenn Beck fans, and many said they had been motivated to come by faith.
RESTORE AMERICA? Restore her honor?

Just what the Holy Ghost does that have to do with "turning back to God"? The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a utilitarian scheme -- and it just may be that the divine purposes of the Almighty involve humbling America and destroying her "honor."

And obviously, the honor-obsessed Mr. Weepy is unfamiliar with the term "the scandal of the gospel." Or, as Paul wrote to the church in Corinth long, long ago:
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside."
Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?
For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
THOUGH ONE certainly can argue that Beck and Palin -- and any number of tea-party types-- be pluperfect fools, when we go to the videotape, the record hardly shows Caribou Barbie and this cable-TV equivalent of a carnival geek to be "fools for Christ."

Actually, Jesus Himself warned us about what we witnessed in Washington on Saturday. Look in Matthew -- or, as I learned through hard experience to tell Catholics teens in youth group,
the first part of the last third of the Bible:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them.”
OR by their fruitcakes, as the case may be.

Somehow, the following seems like it wasn't just 47 years ago, but also a billion miles away:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It pay$ to be a $crew-up

Isn't it funny how some of the best political criticism ever comes quite by accident and unawares -- in this case, into an open mike?

The scene was a Sarah Palin address Friday night at a Cal State -- Stanislaus fund-raiser. You can see some of that above. Afterward, unawares into the open mic, an unseen reporter utters the money quote of the year in political analysis:

"Now I know the dumbness doesn't come from just soundbites."

THE ASCENT of Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate, says something really bad about America today. And I'm not necessarily talking politics; I'm talking about things moral and culture here.

How is it that the biggest thing in the Republican Party right now is a woman who, judging the YouTube evidence, was a pretty horrible sportscaster on Anchorage TV? This before going on to be equally bad at everything else.

After tanking as a TV sports babe, Palin went on to be mayor of a little Alaska city, then parlayed that into the governor's mansion.

In Juneau, she served as an unexceptional (and basically unknown) chief executive, before being plucked from obscurity by Sen. John McCain to be his running mate in 2008. In that role, she was an woefully unprepared, extraordinarily gaffe-prone veep candidate who excited crowds by playing to their worst instincts.

And, unsurprisingly, the woman who sowed as much division inside the McCain-Palin campaign as she did among the electorate became a
failed vice-presidential candidate when the Republicans went down in flames. This was before, less than a year later, she became a failed governor -- resigning her office amid a flurry of media scrutiny and state ethics investigations.

MEANWHILE, some point out that the woman isn't doing so hot at parenting, either.

But there is one thing at which Sarah Palin is really, really good -- promoting herself. And by extension, making money --
lots and lots of money -- off that self-promotion.

In a Salon column by Joan Walsh, we learn this about that "fund-raising" speech Palin gave in Turlock, Calif.:
Palin's entire appearance was controversial. Raising money for California State University-Stanislaus, she reportedly charged a $75,000 speaker's fee and asked for another $18,000 or so in expenses, including first class plane travel for her entourage and luxury accommodations. Although CSU is a public university, its leaders didn't disclose Palin's demands -- saying a private foundation was raising the funds, and was thus exempt from public disclosure laws – and we only know about them because intrepid student journalists found the contract in a dumpster.

In her speech Friday night, the vengeful Palin trashed the students as "dumpster divers" with her trademark meanness: "Students who spent their valuable, precious time diving through dumpsters before this event in order to silence someone ... what a wasted resource," she told the crowd. "A suggestion for those Dumpster divers: Instead of trying to tell people to sit down and shut up ... spend some time telling people like our president to finally stand up." CSU student journalists were barred from the speech.
IT TAKES a special lack of integrity to make the kind of money Palin does for being such a colossal f***-up. For being such an ill-informed, unprepared doofus. For being such a political failure, not to mention a quitter.

It takes a special kind of gall to charge $93,000 to give an awful speech at a fund-raiser for a cash-strapped public university.

It takes a special kind of moral disorientation to be the public embodiment of Sarah Palin, Inc.

And we're just the kind of morally disoriented country to let her get away with it.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Trig Palin: Political football

Sarah Palin not only isn't fit to be president, I'm starting to have second thoughts about whether she's fit to be Trig's mom.

The mother of a Down Syndrome child thinks Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's chief of staff, isn't fit to hold the job because -- in a fit of pique -- he called Obama's critics on the left "f***ing retarded."

IN FACT, Palin was in high dudgeon over the whole thing:

PALIN: Special-needs parents reached out to me and obviously they know me well enough to know that I am sincere in my efforts to make this world a more welcoming place for those with special needs. I made that commitment during the GOP convention speech. They knew that they could come to me and ask and I was happy to do it, I'd do it again in a heartbeat and I'm not politically correct, I am not a word police person but there are some things, especially coming from the most powerful office in the world, in the free world, the chief of staff in that office being so demeaning and degrading to those with special needs. And remember too it's not as benign as the White House wants to spin this into. He didn't just use the r-word applying it to a plan, he called opponents of a plan f'ing retards. That's demeaning, degrading, it's beneath the dignity of the White House. That alone should I think make the president ask for that do-over with his chief of staff.

Q: Obama made a Special Olympics crack about a year ago.

PALIN: Yeah he did, and so that pattern there --

Q: Did you say anything then?

PALIN: I sure did, I did. I was the governor then and I made a statement saying you know, insensitive, come on, coming from the most powerful man in the free world, you should do better than that, Mr. President. Yeah I made a statement about that and was criticized for that too, but I don't care -- I ‘m not gonna sit down and shut up. I'm gonna tell people that this pattern of not just the insensitivity, but the flippant way of perhaps looking at those who are less fortunate and are not part of that elite crowd there in Washington I'm sick of it and I'm gonna stand up and I'm gonna say something about it because I think I'm speaking on behalf of others who are concerned about it.

ON THE OTHER HAND, she also thinks conservative talk-show emperor Rush Limbaugh was doin' just fine when, after full reflection and deliberation, he said this:

I think the big news is the crackup going on. Our politically correct society is acting like some giant insult has taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards.

I mean, these liberal activists are kooks. They are loony tunes. And I'm not going to apologize for it, I'm just quoting Emanuel. It's in the news. I think the news is that he's out there calling Obama's number one supporters effing retards. So now there's going to be a meeting. There's going to be a retard summit at the White House, much like the beer summit between Obama and Gates and that cop in Cambridge.

IT'S NICE TO KNOW up front when a politician is so craven that she'll sell out her own child's honor to avoid offending someone she thinks it's important she not offend.

Trig is her child; he suffers from a condition marked by mental retardation -- now more commonly referred to as "developmental disability." But in the warped moral universe of Sarah Palin, using "retarded" as an insult is a bad thing only for Democrats.

Prominent Republicans -- well, at least the ones she thinks are of use to her -- can use the term, as well as the even nastier "retard," and it magically becomes brilliant satire.

Someone here is retarded, and it's not liberal Democrats, cynical radio talkers or even baby Trig. The only "retard" in all this -- a profound moral "retard" -- would be the woman who just might want to be president.

God help us.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Sarah Palin thought "this was neat."

"You need a little bit of levity in this job," she said, after "pardoning" an Alaska turkey before Thanksgiving. "This was fun."

I thought it was fun, too . . . snort, guffaw. Really, do watch the video.

In a dissenting note, all but one of the turkeys saw nothing fun about any of it. And that bird probably now has a hell of a case of "survivor's guilt."

Note well, some Republicans think this woman ought to lead their party and, someday, be president. If that were to happen, also note she would be surrounding herself with staffers just as smart as the one who OK'd her doing a "fun" interview, with gobblers meeting their mechanized end as a backdrop.

In a battle of wits with the governor and her posse, my money's on the expired turkey.

I'm with Rod Dreher at Crunchy Con. If Sarah Palin didn't exist, the Monty Python gang would have had to conjure her up. Better yet, the real one writes her own material.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

McCain is shocked, shocked. . . .

Republicans: "But what about us?"

America: "We'll always have . . . no, never saw you before in my life."

THAT'S PRETTY MUCH where John McCain and Sarah Palin find themselves -- if the journalistic consensus is to be believed -- pretty much doomed to lose, perhaps badly, to a Democratic candidate who would have been pretty much unelectable a presidential election or two ago.

It's not that America has become much more liberal. It's that the GOP has messed things up that badly of late.

And now, McCain and Palin have been reduced to playing Captain Renault -- only not nearly so well as Claude Rains -- in the waning days of their allegedly doomed campaign. After all, when you have precious little to say for yourselves, what's a little hypocrisy to get in the way of slinging mud at Barack Obama, as pointedly noted by The Associated Press:

Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin accused the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday of protecting Barack Obama by withholding a videotape of the Democrat attending a 2003 party for a Palestinian-American professor and critic of Israel.

The paper said it had written about the event in April and would not release the tape because of a promise made to the source who provided it.

McCain and Palin called Rashid Khalidi a former spokesman for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, a characterization that Khalidi has denied in the past. Both candidates said guests at the party made critical comments about Israel.


McCain also has ties to Khalidi through a group that Khalidi helped found 15 years ago. The Center for Palestine Research and Studies has received more than $800,000 from an organization that McCain chairs.

On Wednesday, McCain said 1960s radical Bill Ayers had attended the same party in 2003. McCain and Palin have criticized Obama for his ties to Ayers and questioned what the videotape of the party might show.

"Among other things, Israel was described there as the perpetrator of terrorism rather than the victim," Palin said at a rally in Ohio. "What we don't know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he professes to support."

In a story published in April, the Times said Obama spoke out at the event on the need for common ground on the Israel-Palestinian issue. Obama has said during the campaign that his commitment to Israel's security is "nonnegotiable."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pot's been decriminalized in Alaska, right?

Some reality-based journalism from the Telegraph in London:

Sarah Palin's husband was warned by a top police official to stop trying to have her ex-brother-in-law fired, it has emerged.

John Glass, Alaska's deputy commissioner of public safety, told him the move could result in "an extreme amount of discomfort and embarrassment," a state inquiry into the so-called "Troopergate" incident found.

Mrs Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, was found by the inquiry to have abused her power in personally pushing for the dismissal of Mike Wooten, a state trooper and her sister's ex-husband.

The report discloses a warning given to Todd Palin by Mr Glass in the spring that disciplinary action had already been taken against Mr Wooten and that "we could not fire him".

"I also warned him that it was going to cause some extreme amount of discomfort and embarrassment for the governor if they pursued this and it should never have become public," Mr Glass told the inquiry. "That it would just be not good for the governor if it continued, and that they needed to cease and desist."

The inquiry was sparked by Mrs Palin's dismissal of Walt Monegan, Alaska's Public Safety Commissioner, which he claimed was due to his refusal to sack Mr Wooten.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Robbing Peter to play politics

I think some of my fellow Catholics would vote for the devil himself if he said he was "pro-life."

The past couple of elections, we've come close. And the pattern seems to be holding among orthodox Catholics in 2008.

"AHA!" some of you are saying. "This Favog crank is a pro-abort Obama fanatic! A real Catholic in Name Only type."

You haven't
read this blog much, have you?

NO, I AGREE with the much-maligned Catholic bishop of Scranton, Joseph Martino, that a Catholic faces some high hurdles indeed before he (or she) can vote for an abortion supporter with a clean conscience. What troubles me greatly, though, is "conservative" Catholics' assumption that means they can vote for John McCain.

Because the same reasons that keep a believing Catholic from blithely voting for the abortion enthusiast, Barack Obama, also keep him from blithely voting for the candidate who supports an unjust war, backtracks on his formerly unequivocal opposition to torturing "enemy combatants," remains silent when supporters cry out for Obama's death . . . and supports embryonic stem-cell research.

Embryonic stem-cell research. The increasingly superfluous "science" you can't carry out without murdered fetuses or cannibalized embryos. McCain's support of that little shop of horrors is kind of like condemning the Holocaust while bathing with a fresh bar of
Jew soap.

But that doesn't stop all manner of my fellow Catholics from robbing Peter to play politics . . . badly. I think
this slice of life from the Scranton Times-Tribune pretty much sums up the mess Catholics have politicked themselves into. The scene . . . in line outside an arena, waiting to get into a rally featuring GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin:

The line outside Riverfront Sports has dwindled to a a few hundred. Reporters at the scene said it appears that everyone who wants to attend the Palin rally will be able to get in.

One man walked the length of the line shouting out "reminders" to those waiting that " loaded firearms are not allowed inside."

Two vans full of students from St. Gregory's Academy in Elmhurst were juggling and performing as they waited to go through security.

17-year-old Ian Costello, a student from Oklahoma, said that he believed much of the student body was supporting the McCain/Palin ticket.

"McCain, definitely. Everyone is for McCain."

Matthew Schultz, a rhetoric teacher at St. Gregory's, said he had two reasons for bringing the students to the rally.

"To show support for Sarah Palin with regards to her pro-life stance. As Catholics, we support our bishop in his stances. I'd like the boys to see some rhetoric in action."

When asked about some of the anti-Obama outbursts from people at previous Palin/McCain rallies, Mr. Matthews said " It's not what a gentleman or a Christian should do."
I WONDER WHAT Schultz's opinion is of politicians who work the yahoos into a homicidal frenzy? How "pro-life" might that be?

The boisterous crowd, estimated at around 4,500, interrupted her speech several times with chants of, "Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!"

There were no incendiary outbursts from the crowd about Mr. Obama during Mrs. Palin's speech, as there have been during other recent McCain-Palin rallies.

However, someone did shout out, "Kill him!" during Republican congressional candidate Chris Hackett's remarks before Mrs. Palin took the stage.

The outburst came during a round of booing from the crowd after Mr. Hackett said Mr. Obama should come to Pennsylvania and learn what the state's values are.
AT LEAST the McCain-Palin-loving Catholic schoolkids got "to see some rhetoric in action."

And the rest of us got to see how the tomfoolery some Catholics put up with in the name of voting "pro-life" buries that cause
under a mountain of hypocrisy and does real, lasting damage to the Church's witness. It does violence to the gospel, and to those who have staked their lives upon it.

It comes down to this: God don't like ugly.

Catholic moral theology posits that we may not do evil in the hope good might come out of it. That applies to voting for abortion enthusiasts.

That also applies to backers of cutting apart frozen human embryos to fix what ails us former embryos . . . who support unjust wars . . . and countenance expressions of hate and homicide from newly minted mobs they've whipped up in the name of acquiring ultimate political power.

"Catholic" schools that can't grasp that aren't worth a dime's tuition, and a Church that compromises its witness for a sack of empty promises may yet prevail against the gates of hell . . . but it's going to be close.