Take Five (Iron Lady Down edition)

ONE: The 5.8-Percent Solution

Who better to eulogize the execrable Margaret Thatcher than the abysmal Sarah Palin? And so she has, in 1,002 suspiciously articulate words that appeared under Palin’s byline Monday courtesy of virtual fishwrap National Review Online. As Bob Cesca’s very entertaining dissection of the eulogy makes clear, Palin (or whichever staffer wrote this C-minus boilerplate on her behalf) is essentially paying tribute to Palin here, with telling lines about media persecution, ceilings (both glass and class), and misty-eyed praise for Thatcher’s supposed populism, her superhuman imperviousness to “childish attacks” from her political foes, her noble fetish for liberty, her salt-of-the-earth leadership, and her general maverickitudinous maverickosity.

With Thatcher now en route to meet her Maker for a lengthy and probably awkward discussion about the destructive effects of her policies, Palin seems to be banking on the dubious notion that conservatives everywhere yearn for a new Iron Lady. If she really aspires to assume the mantle, she might want to rethink her PAC, a widening sinkhole for the misdirected dollars of the faithful.

While SarahPAC describes itself as “dedicated to building America’s future by supporting fresh ideas and candidates who share our vision for reform and innovation,” its parsimony in supporting Republican candidates stands in garish contrast to its lavish disbursements on consultants and ancillary expenses, all of which adds renewed resonance to Palin’s longstanding reputation of pronounced carefreedom with other people’s money.

The PAC’s FEC filings for 2012 show that it spent $5,186,777, of which $80,000 was donated to Senate candidates, $213,500 to candidates in House races (including $10,000 to Allen West’s failed reelection bid and $2,500 to an Ohio Democrat, convicted felon Jeffrey Johnson), along with another $5,000 to the Romney campaign. If you’re interested in where the remaining $4,888,277 went, John Avlon provides some helpful details, after quoting Palin’s high-minded, cast-out-the-moneychangers rhetoric at this year’s CPAC:

“Now is the time to furlough the consultants, and tune out the pollsters, send the focus groups home and throw out the political scripts, because if we truly know what we believe, we don’t need professionals to tell us…”

Palin’s chief PAC consultant, Tim Crawford, pocketed more than $321,000 this election cycle in direct payments alone… Aries Petra Consulting was taking in between $6,000 and $8,000 a month for speechwriting and “grassroots consulting”—something that sounds like an oxymoron, but ended up costing north of $160,000. C&M Transcontinental racked up $10,000 a month in management consulting, which is hard to imagine for a PAC whose job is simply to raise money and spend it on candidates.

I do have to take issue with that last point. Given that this is Sarah Palin’s political action committee, it’s hard to imagine that things could have gone any differently.

TWO: Hanging Party

The Alaska GOP’s Anchorage headquarters, a building with all the curb appeal of a bait shack or a three-for-the-price-of-one taqueria, last week became the epicenter of what one insider described as a “civil war for the soul of the Alaska Republican Party.”

Sweet.

The war actually began back in January when chair-elect Russ Millette was ousted by the party’s executive committee a day before he was due to begin his term. The position was then assumed by vice-chair-elect Debbie Brown, whose political skills seem to fall just a tad short of making friends and influencing people. Whatever the machinations over the span of the last weeks, Brown eventually alienated a sufficient proportion of the executive committee that she felt it necessary to have the locks at 1001 West Fireweed Lane changed, while she hightailed it out of the state. The committee then organized an impromptu meeting in the parking lot of the shuttered HQ before deciding they looked too ridiculous there. After moving the meeting to the boardroom of an engineering firm, they deliberated for nearly five hours and finally voted Brown out.

But this isn’t over yet. Failed GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller yesterday posted a scan of a letter from Alicé Leuchte, party secretary, affirming that Brown’s April 8 removal was invalid. Meanwhile, in her capacity as state party chair, Brown is attending the RNC’s spring meeting in California, as is Peter Goldberg, whom the executive committee installed in her place. The new locks at 1001 West Fireweed Lane are apparently still virgo intacta, and the Alaska Republican Party is still reeling.

Isn’t it obvious what they need to do? If she’s not at home in Wasilla or Scottsdale, the executive committee might find Governor Palin speeding down the wrong side of the road somewhere between Land’s End and John o’Groats, stumping to overthrow David Cameron. The Alaska Republican Party’s Iron Lady awaits, unless of course the British outbid them.

THREE: Far Out

In a week where President Obama, with apparent seriousness, described Margaret Thatcher as “one of the great champions of freedom and liberty” and unveiled a budget that calls for the implementation of a chained CPI framework for future Social Security increases, I suppose nothing else should seem shocking. Yet I was shocked just the same to see WND’s Joseph Farah offer up an alternative to war on the Korean peninsula:

I say forget about talking to Kim.

I say forget about considering plans for invading North Korea.

I say there’s an alternative to bombing the country’s nuclear installations to prevent a future holocaust.

Let’s try bombing the people with support.

Let’s try carpet-bombing North Korea with food, with small arms and munitions and the instructions they need to overthrow the little despot who keeps them in chains.

Let’s try extending our hands in love to the people of North Korea…

Holy crap! Farah had better watch his step; if he ever advocates carpet-bombing poor, hungry Americans with food, WND’s zero-information readership will overrun his offices, brand his buttocks with the words “Filthy Hippie” and push him out of a helicopter somewhere over Marin County. Continue reading Take Five (Iron Lady Down edition)

Make Room at the Kiddie Table this Thanksgiving

Look, I like kids as much as the next gal. I raised two – and survived. They can be cute, disarming, and have a penchant for saying the darndest things. But when they get to be adults and are still acting like children, it’s time to seat them at the Kiddie Table where they can spout their immature ramblings without interference, leaving the adults free to engage in more serious discussion over turkey with all the fixin’s.

The honor of being seated at the head of America’s Kiddie Table this Thanksgiving undoubtedly goes to Mitt Romney. After insulting those who cooked the turkey (or his goose during the election, as the case may be), he will regale the attendant youngsters with tales about how he could have been president, were it not for all of those unfair grown-ups who insisted on facts rather than his fictions, and voted accordingly.

He will also remind the other kiddies that if they find healthcare reform under the Christmas tree next month, it is not a matter of legislation meant to benefit all Americans, but is merely another “gift” to the undeserving 47% who voted for the guy who is willing to cram all of that “free stuff” into their stockings.

The next Kiddie Table honoree to be seated is John McCain, always welcome among his fellow foot-stomping non-adults who enjoy throwing temper tantrums at the holiday dinner table – and pretty much everywhere else. Despite a propensity to chase kids off his lawn on a regular basis, McCain will undoubtedly be revered by those same kids for having the balls to up-end the Candyland board at the end of the evening when he realizes that the game is not going his way.

Surely there can be no dispute that Allen West has more than earned his place at this year’s Kiddie Table. His whining refusal to accept reality will undoubtedly strike a chord with his fellow kids who believe that when you wish upon a star, it makes no difference who you are – and you should win an election even if you only garnered the support of Three Pigs, Seven Dwarfs, and a crazy lady in Tampa who once owned a bunch of Dalmatians – and has the coat to prove it. Perhaps West’s premature electionation was prompted by the fact that Pinocchio was at the top of the ticket and, all things being equal, he should have been able to at least win by a very, very long nose.

The next to be seated are the My guy didn’t win, so I’m seceding kids. I can’t help but remember my son packing his Matchbox cars, his Superman pajamas, and two peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches when he decided to “secede” from the family due to the enforcement of bedtime rules he didn’t agree with. He had an excuse for his childish behavior, in that he was three years old at the time. I keep wondering what excuse for such childish carryings-on the secessionists are relying upon – other than the obvious excuse of never having intellectually advanced beyond a pre-kindergarten mindset. Is there any doubt as to their rightful place at the if I hold my breath until I get what I want, I will actually GET what I want table? Continue reading Make Room at the Kiddie Table this Thanksgiving

Take Five (squirmish edition)

ONE: A Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

With exquisitely unfortunate timing, the Oxford English Dictionary announced its most recent update a week ago, adding overdue words such as “biker” and “taquito” along with newer Internet-based coinages such as “LOL” and “OMG” and at least one word whose 15 minutes were up some time ago (“wassup”).

Four days later, failed Vice-Presidential candidate and scandal-plagued half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was inexplicably asked for her opinion on US involvement in Libya.

Palin’s most immediate issue seemed to be what to call the action:

Do we use the term “intervention”? Do we use “war”? Do we use “squirmish”? What is it?

Palin probably didn’t intend it this way, but “squirmish” is accepted by other language watchers such as Wiktionary and the Urban Dictionary. The latter added its first definition of “squirmish” more than four years ago:

physically manifesting an emotional reaction to something perceived as disgusting; recoiling uncomfortably from something perceived as offensive; combination of squirmy and squeamish

Quite. Finally I’ve found a word to describe my reaction to Sarah Palin.

Palin then riffed on the President’s mention of the North Star in his speech on Libya, working in asides about Alaska’s state flag and state song, and finishing with this gravity-defying verbal chassé:

He kind of wandered off again, and allowed more of the inconsistencies and the questions and kind of the dubious rationale being used. More of that just was being revealed.

And if anyone reading that can decipher it, please contact the good people at the Oxford English Dictionary. Stat!

TWO: Unsavory Sundays.

Every Sunday since 2005, volunteer organization Savory Sunday has been setting up in the basement of the Wisconsin statehouse and serving a hot meal to the homeless of Madison. Every Sunday, that is, until Governor Scott Walker‘s Reign of Error turned the capitol into a combat zone.

Capitol Police want to meet with meal organizers “to see if they can accommodate them,” Carla Vigue, a spokeswoman for the Department of Administration, which oversees the Capitol Police, told me Friday afternoon. The “cafeteria” area in the basement where the group serves the meal, was used as a staging area for police during the peak of the protests, but is less in need now, she says.

But meal organizer Tom Barry tells me that Capitol Police told him Friday that the group could resume serving on April 3. The arrangement would be week-to-week, Barry says, depending on the number of protesters at the Capitol.

And, everyone entering the Capitol for the meal would have to have all their belongings screened at a checkpoint, like everyone else entering the building these days.

“That’s disturbing,” Barry says. “Most of the people who come have everything they own in a backpack. Being subject to screening is going to deter people.”

Clearly, Governor Walker wants the homeless to eat what he’s been trying to make public sector workers eat. The supply of it, after all, has been plentiful in Madison since the day he was sworn in. Continue reading Take Five (squirmish edition)