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.”
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)
ONE: Middle Age Queasy
The Conservative Political Action Conference turns 40 this year, but don’t expect maturity from a gathering where the speakers include Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Artur Davis, Dick Morris, Wayne LaPierre, Rick Perry, Allen West and Donald Trump.
The coveted keynote slot will provide a generous 33 minutes for Cruz to prevaricate, obfuscate, fabricate, fulminate and regurgitate. Organizers have allotted the second and third longest slots to Palin and Trump, respectively, though why Palin needs 16 minutes and Trump 14 to recite “me, me, glorious me” is a mystery only slightly less mysterious than either of them being invited to begin with. I suppose The Donald and The Sarah deserve grudging credit for realizing that Fitzgerald’s dictum about American lives having no second acts is irrelevant now that first acts can simply be prolonged indefinitely.
Over and above her CPAC gig, Palin manages to keep busy just being Palin. She devoted at least part of Monday to crafting a tweet celebrating the overturning of New York City’s ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces:
Victory in NYC for liberty-loving soda drinkers. To politicians with too much time on their hands we say: Govt, stay out of my refrigerator!
Yes, because nothing says “liberty” like 17 ounces of carbonated water, HFCS, artificial color, artificial flavors and caffeine. But it’s not all freewheeling Twittery for Palin; her latest higher calling is nothing less than saving Christmas:
The former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor has a deal with HarperCollins for “A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas,” scheduled for November.
HarperCollins announced Monday that the book will criticize the “over-commercialism” and “homogenization” of Christmas and call for a renewed emphasis on the religious importance.
Wow! Only 48 years after A Charlie Brown Christmas definitively addressed the very same issues. And Palin’s so versatile that she even wrote the first review of the not-yet-written book:
“This will be a fun, festive, thought provoking book, which will encourage all to see what is possible when we unite in defense of our faith and ignore the politically correct Scrooges who would rather take Christ out of Christmas.”
That’s what cutting edge is all about, Charlie Brown. You betcha. As for Trump, he’s taking his cues from none other than Charlie Brown doppelganger Newt Gingrich, who last Friday tweeted his brainstorm to save White House tours recently suspended under sequestration:
Donald trump should offer to pay for the white house tours. He can afford it and it would show who cares more for American students
This was followed two minutes later by:
Trump and president obsma both golf but trump doesn’t charge the taxpayers $920,000 for a golf weekend in florida.
Yeah, damn that obsma anyway! Two minutes later, Gingrich found some more meat on that bone:
If trump offers to pay for the White House tours what will President Obama’s excuse for punishing visiting school children be?
Trump was nonplussed about all this until he joined Fox and Friends by phone on Monday:
“I think it’s so nice of Newt to suggest that,” the media mogul said, adding that Gingrich and his wife are members of his club in Washington. “But it sounds reasonable to me. Why not?”
Gingrich is also speaking at CPAC, so he and Trump have a readymade opportunity to discuss the idea in detail, assuming the Gaylord National Hotel has a room large enough to accommodate both their egos simultaneously.
TWO: In Through the Out Door
CPAC drew criticism recently for barring GOProud, an action that prompted the Log Cabin Republicans to withdraw from the event in solidarity. The groups have now gained some exceptionally unsavory company: notorious Islamophobe Pamela Geller.
Geller devoted a recent appearance with Christian radio host Janet Mefferd to throwing a tantrum about the CPAC snub:
… I’ve always held events there even though I wasn’t warmly welcomed because of the influence of what can only be described as Muslim Brotherhood facilitators or operatives like Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist… This year I could not get an event, I was banned…
What are they doing at CPAC? Essentially they are enforcing the Sharia. Under the Sharia, the blasphemy laws, you cannot say, you cannot offend, you cannot criticize and you cannot insult Islam. That is effectively what they’re doing, they are enforcing the Sharia.
Also joining GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans, albeit voluntarily, is MSNBC’s resident purveyor of flapdoodle, SE Cupp. She recently tendered her regrets, publicly:
“… as a proponent of gay rights, CPAC’s decision to sideline GOProud and Log Cabin Republicans makes me increasingly uncomfortable… It seems like we’re hardly in a position to be marginalizing any kinds of conservatives, let alone ones who have been so courageous in the face of adversity… until the conference stops shaming some of its most valuable advocates, it’s unfortunately not an event I can take part in.”
Cupp’s calmly reasoned position prompted a fretful rant from Mr. Unreason himself, Joseph Farah. Sensing the black helicopters of tolerance hovering over his pinched and pusillanimous reality, WND’s founding father lamented:
This little brouhaha with Cupp comes at the same time dozens of Republicans – including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress – have signed a legal brief arguing in favor of same-sex marriage…
Farah went on to shake a querulous finger at Meg Whitman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Richard Hanna, Stephen Hadley, Carlos Gutierrez, James Comey, David Stockman and Deborah Pryce, noted conservatives all. Or not:
What do all these people have in common?
They are not conservatives.
Ah. Good to know, I guess. Farah finished with a flourish of hyperbole worthy of a pilled-up teenager posting on a message board at 4:00 AM:
The Conservative Political Action Conference is for conservatives – not for people who seek to undermine the Judeo-Christian basis of Western civilization with one of the most radical ideas considered since child sacrifice.
Keep it unreal, Joe.
THREE: Hot Air Apparent
CPAC 2013 will also feature John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, who recently stuck his head up out of the ground to find out whether he would see Mitt Romney’s shadow. Bush is ostensibly in the public eye these days because he’s hawking a new book, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, but of course what he’s really hawking is the idea that the GOP will be desperate enough to nominate him in 2016. To that end, Bush has been appearing on various talk shows, casually trying to convince conservatives of his viability with a string of inane observations. Continue reading Take Five (CPAC Up Your Troubles edition)
ONE: Say It Ain’t Joe
Joe Arpaio has had one hell of a run. Twenty years as sheriff of a county now comprising 3.8 million people is no mean achievement, especially if said sheriff has a propensity to bend, bludgeon or break the law routinely.
It would be foolish to assume that his run is necessarily over, no matter how things seem to be unfolding for Arpaio, but I’m pleased to see that things seem to be unfolding rather badly for him. As buzzards circle over Maricopa County, John Dougherty (who has covered the sheriff from the beginning) notes that Arpaio is running out of friends:
The latest Arpaio political supporter to fall is former Maricopa County attorney Andrew Thomas, who was disbarred April 10 for engaging in unethical conduct to intimidate and smear his and Arpaio’s political adversaries…
Thomas’ disbarment comes six months after Arpaio’s closest ally in the state Legislature was recalled from office. Angry voters ousted former Senate President Russell Pearce for his leading role in passing Arizona’s controversial immigration law, SB1070… Pearce was once Arpaio’s chief deputy and is credited with coming up with the idea 20 years ago of housing thousands of county inmates in tents.
Arpaio has also lost key support staff within his office, including his longtime chief deputy David Hendershott, who was fired last year for his role in an unfolding Arpaio campaign finance scandal that is the subject of another federal criminal investigation.
The Thomas disbarment, in particular, should make Arpaio sweat, since the Arizona Supreme Court disciplinary panel:
… said there was enough evidence to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the sheriff and three of his closest allies participated in what the panel believes was federal crime in December 2009.
Uh-oh. What with the campaign finance probe, an ongoing DOJ investigation into possible civil rights violations, and speculation mounting that a three-year grand jury investigation into abuse of power allegations will soon result in criminal charges, it’s tempting to think Arpaio might be stopped before he can win a sixth term this fall. Which would be terrific, not least because Arpaio’s buddies over at WND would surely gnash their teeth and rend their garments in hilarious fashion were old Joe to be brought down. Until or unless that happens, WND frantically continues to lobby Congress to follow the lead of Arpaio’s cold case posse:
PETITION DEMANDING THAT CONGRESS OPEN AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF BARACK OBAMA’S CONSTITUTIONAL ELIGIBILITY TO SERVE AS PRESIDENT, IN LIGHT OF THE FIRST OFFICIAL LAW ENFORCEMENT PROBE INTO THE MATTER DISCOVERING “PROBABLE CAUSE” THAT BOTH OBAMA’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND SELECTIVE SERVICE REGISTRATION FORM ARE FORGERIES.
WND claims that 47,321 people have already signed the petition. It seems that the way to a birther’s heart is through the caps lock key.
Every stinking time God turns around, some politician is invoking Him or justifying an ill-chosen career by blaming its every detail on poor old omnipresent God.
“God says vote for me.”
“God told me to support all that bad legislation.”
“God told me to run again and act like all that bad legislation I supported is something to be proud of.”
“God says vote for me again.”
As if to demonstrate his political bona fides, first-time Congressional candidate Samuel Wurzelbacher – AKA Joe the Plumber – doesn’t think God is on his side, he knows it. Just like he knows a bunch of other things that are also false:
Obama’s ideology is un-American, I say that every day, and I won’t shut up about it.
Obviously he won’t.
His views are socialist. He’s been hanging around with them for a very long time. It’s connecting the dots, it’s very simple. It’s not conspiracy theory, it’s not a bunch of hoopla, it’s real. And people have to call it out, and not be afraid of the media slapping them down. I won’t be.
Hey, God – may I call You God? – if You’re really on Samuel Wurzelbacher’s side, as he claims You are, could You please inspire him to pick up a book and learn something about socialism? Or plumbing?
THREE: No True Hairpiece
When Donald Trump and his entourage swept into the Scottish Parliament yesterday morning, a stiff breeze barrelled down from the Edinburgh crags and threatened to lift the famously thin but coiffured locks from the American entrepreneur’s head.
As it did so, a bemused bystander remarked quietly: “Aye, now we know why he doesn’t like the wind.”
America’s bilious billionaire blowhard was at Holyrood to renew his threats to take his marbles and go home if Scotland doesn’t cancel a proposed wind farm adjacent to Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf course. Trump had planned to add a resort hotel and luxury housing to the course, which is slated to open in July, but maintains that he will cancel the expansions if the 11-turbine renewable energy project goes ahead. His testimony before the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee was, let’s say, quintessentially Trumpian:
At one point he was challenged to provide evidence that building thousands more wind farms would destroy Scottish tourism. “I am the evidence,” he bluntly retorted. “I am considered a world-class expert in tourism.”
Trump accused former First Minister Alex Salmond of misleading him during a 2007 dinner meeting in New York:
Mr Trump said the First Minister had “scoffed” at the idea the offshore wind farm would get planning approval, citing the Ministry of Defence’s concerns about its effect on radar and it blocking shipping lanes…
“So after I’ve invested this tremendous amount of money, all of a sudden this really obnoxious and ugly wind farm appears,” he said. “It’s going to look like Disneyland, except a bad version of Disneyland. I felt betrayed.”
After leaving Holyrood, Trump did what Trump does best. He strutted:
As he strolled out, smirking in pleasure and waving, anti-wind activists hailed his support and his enemies hurled abuse. Police officers rushed into the crowd and surrounded Trump in a protective cordon as the property baron tried to touch hands with admirers crushed behind a crowd barrier.
What a pity that Scotland can’t relocate the wind farm over Trump’s mouth. Renewable energy just doesn’t get more renewable than that. Continue reading Take Five (Mooks’n’Mamalukes edition)
ONE: Hateful Twitch
Apparently it’s just not good enough for Michelle Malkin that Trayvon Martin is dead; she wants him vilified, as well.
Last Sunday afternoon, Malkin’s new “Twitter curation” site Twitchy posted a graphic featuring two photographs, one of a smiling George Zimmerman in jacket and tie, looking every inch the fine, respectable young man his rap sheet suggests he’s not, and the other of a shirtless, droopy-trousered African American kid flipping double birds at the camera.
In a crude attempt at sarcasm, some text below the photos reads:
Because nothing says fair like putting a mugshot looking photo in “county orange” next to a 5 year old picture of the victim as a child. But hey, two can play that game.
Here’s Twitchy’s considered wisdom on this, as it now appears:
Recognize these two people? If you don’t, we’ll help you out. The man on the left is George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering the boy on the right, Trayvon Martin. The mainstream media won’t show you these two photos because they convey a message that no one else wants to take into consideration.
Why the strike-throughs? Because the person in the second photograph is not Trayvon Martin. The photo was quickly exposed as a fake, one that might have originated at the infamous neo-Nazi site Stormfront. Twitchy accordingly struck through its assertions and added this flaccid “apology” Sunday evening:
Correction, 8:56 pm ET March 25, 2012: We made a mistake. The photo on the right is not of the Trayvon Martin who was shot by Zimmerman. We apologize to our readers and to the Martin family.
Oh, hey, no sweat! After all, Twitchy wasn’t the only site to run the graphic and end up exposed as a purulent sleazepit; the right-hand side of the web is full of bigoted, deceptive, hate-mongering little shitholes. Although few seem to be quite as unjustifiably smug about themselves as Twitchy:
If it’s news, we’re on it. If it should be news, we’re ahead of it.
And if it’s rank horseshit deliberately intended to imply that Trayvon Martin might have deserved being shot to death, they’re fingerpainting with it.
Since I’m being generous, though, I’ll admit I have no idea whether Malkin herself had any involvement in posting this reprehensible trash, or whether one of her “kinetic staff of social media junkies” was the (ir)responsible party. But since Twitchy is just another monument to her gargantuan ego and she’s its “Owner, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer” I’m just going to go ahead and assume the worst about Michelle Malkin personally.
Twitchy has since moved on to fretting about why a Twitter account advocating the assassination of George Zimmerman is still up. I’m not going to link to her site; you can Google it, or simply follow its virtual stench.
(And to the cretin who came up with the graphic in the first place, the reason that ubiquitous Zimmerman pic you refer to is “a mugshot looking photo in ‘county orange'” is because he was wearing county orange and it is a mugshot. It was taken in 2005 after Zimmerman was arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence. If you’re going to “play that game” you might want to make sure you can do so without making a goddamned fool of yourself.)
TWO: “This is a real hate crime…”
As morally impoverished and ideologically imbecilic as Malkin and her “kinetic staff of social media junkies” might be, they’re pikers compared to the freak show over at WorldNutDaily, where the likes of John Stossel, Pamela Geller, Jack Abramoff, Jerome Corsi, Herman Cain, Pat Buchanan, Chuck Norris, Dennis Prager, Phyllis Schlafly, Ann Coulter, Alan Keyes, Pat Boone and Mychal Massie, among others, work tirelessly to make the nation suck.
It’s de rigueur for WND to look at reality through the wrong end of the telescope, but site founder Joseph Farah ditched the telescope completely with his comments on the killing of Trayvon Martin:
… when the race hustlers like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and race hustler-in-chief Barack Obama started exploiting the incident, I began to think we were being conned once, again, by the vicious, biased, America-hating, leftist-controlled press….
… the national news media are a hopelessly broken cultural institution.
They were ready to lynch George Zimmerman, who now appears to be no more than an upright Hispanic gentleman concerned about suspicious activity in his neighborhood – someone who probably did what he had to do in a very trying circumstance.
Farah goes on to regale the reader with the story of Allen Coon, a white 13-year-old in Kansas City who was purportedly chased and set on fire by two 16-year-old African Americans, one of whom allegedly said, “This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy.”
Notwithstanding a number of questionable aspects to the story, it has quickly become a popular touchstone for the right, a handy way of excusing Trayvon Martin’s death, because, golly, “Black people are bigots too!” You can even find videos of television news coverage of the attack posted on YouTube under titles like “Discrimination Against White People in America Exposed part 3.”
And Farah’s delight over the Kansas City attack is palpable: “This is a real hate crime…” Having arbitrarily drawn in the dots, Farah then goes on to connect them, equally arbitrarily (this is how it’s done, Michele Malkin):
By the way, it is entirely plausible, though it is too early to assume, that the perpetrators in this hideous attack were actually inspired by the media’s drummed up hysterics about racism in the case of Trayvon Martin.
If only the Kansas City incident hadn’t occurred a mere two days after the “upright Hispanic gentleman” killed Trayvon Martin and long before the national media picked up on the story, sure, it’s entirely plausible.
THREE: Birth, Wind and Liar
Happily, WND also has its lighter moments, one being its foundationless fixation with Barack Obama’s supposed ineligibility for the presidency. For no other reason than sheer devotion to America, and the ability to make a few bucks from this scam, WND contributor Jerome Corsi has tirelessly covered Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s cold case posse investigation into the President’s birth certificate.
WND’s first live-streaming video event was its coverage of the posse’s press conference on March 1. The site claims the stream drew “72,076 unique viewers” which is tough to believe; I’ve commented previously that the stream was so wretched I had to switch over to an ABC Phoenix live stream to watch the press conference. Joseph Farah, however, is just tickled:
“I expected this to be a big event,” said Joseph Farah, founder of WND. “But the final numbers surprised even me…”
Farah said he is encouraged with the experiment and plans to seek out other opportunities for live-streaming little-covered news events…
Elsewhere on the birther beat, WND has been reporting diligently on one Adam Eugene Cox of Tennessee, who made some pretty nasty threats against Arpaio in what was ostensibly intended to be a defense of the President from the birth certificate posse. While a more obscure rightwing trash site describes Cox as an “Obamunist,” WND is content to simply call him an “Obama fanatic” and giddily quote the man’s threats multiple times:
“I plan to kill Arpaio first. He will be filled with a thousand bullet holes before the year is out. I promise you this. He won’t f**k with Obama. He will be buried 10 feet under and his whole family will be murdered along with him.”
On March 14, justice caught up with the “Obama fanatic”:
Cox pleaded guilty to harassment of Arpaio, and was immediately sentenced to serve nearly a year in a “bootcamp”-style program similar to probation, as well as ordered to pay court costs.
In any case, Arpaio still has his loyalists. One of them is Donald Trump, who printed out an AP report about the March 1 press conference and scribbled a quick mash note to the sheriff on it:
“Joe – Great going – You are the only one with the ‘guts’ to do this – Keep up the good fight – Donald Trump.”
Buoyed by this outpouring of billionaire support, Arpaio averred to the Arizona Republic that he’s in this for the long haul:
“I’m not going to drop this,” he said. “You don’t think I did a press conference and let it die? I’ll make a decision real quick where to send the evidence we have. There are not many options. You do know this is complex. Many conflicts of interest from the White House to the Attorney General. I can go on and on.”
Yes, you can, Sheriff, and even the National Review – of all organs – is getting a little sick of it:
Republicans who have chosen to associate with the birthers have done their party and their country a disservice. And as Sheriff Arpaio settles comfortably into that political mental ward, the same must be said of those Republicans who choose to associate themselves with him more broadly.
Ouch. Continue reading Take Five (Asshats en Regalia edition)
ONE: Dinner Is Swerved…
Readers will, I’m sure, remember the ugly incident in Phoenix when Barack Obama commandeered an entire airport to land his gas-guzzling private jet, then jumped out of it, ran over to Governor Jan Brewer’s outstretched index finger (which was minding its own business on the runway) and aggressively confronted it with his face.
Energetically wagging the digit in a desperate evasive maneuver, Brewer was nonetheless unable to escape Obama’s patently rancorous smiling and nodding. Following this terrifying experience, she commented: “I felt a little bit threatened, if you will…”
Brewer courageously ventured to Washington last weekend for the annual National Governors Association meeting and once again found herself antagonized, this time by an invitation to a black-tie dinner at the White House. In contrast to the Phoenix fiasco, though, on this occasion she was not caught off-guard by the wily Kenyan’s impudence:
Brewer said in an interview… that she had a scheduling conflict.
“I’ve just decided I wasn’t going to be going because I had some other commitments I had to attend to,” Brewer said…
Obama’s liberal media running dogs predictably refused to take Brewer’s dignified explanation at face value and pressed for more details, but to no avail:
A spokesman, Matthew Benson, declined to say whether the conflict was state business or personal.
“We’re not going to get into our schedule,” Benson said.
Bravo, Mr. Benson! This transparency stuff could easily get out of hand. Best to nip it in the bud, just like your boss did:
Brewer, who dined at the White House last year and will attend a policy discussion with other governors and Obama… laughed when asked to identify her scheduling conflict.
TWO: Posse Comatose
Thursday afternoon, I waded into the fever swamp that is WorldNutDaily to catch their live video feed of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s press conference announcing the results of his cold case posse’s investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate. After enduring two or three choppy, incomprehensible minutes – memo to Joseph Farah and the WND techs: streaming video is supposed to, you know, stream – I opted for Phoenix’s ABC 15, whose feed was perfect.
The press conference didn’t disappoint. It was just the sort of stupendously dumb display of rank birther hokum I’d been hoping for. Arpaio spoke first, and let’s just say he’s as good a public speaker as he is a sheriff. He opened by saying that he had “felt the investigation could clear President Obama’s name,” but – surprise! – it didn’t. He believes probable cause exists to indicate forgery and fraud may have been committed. Arpaio “cannot in good faith report” that the long-form birth certificate and Selective Service registration released by the White House are authentic. History was unfolding, right before my eyes!
Arpaio then turned the microphone over to Mike Zullo, the posse’s lead investigator. Zullo noted that he would be presenting a series of videos to assist with his muddled remarks concerning multi-layer PDFs and OCR software, but took pains to point out that they were “draft videos” rather than final versions, and contained some typos. Hey, that’s perfectly understandable! After all, the posse’s only been at this for five and a half months. My favorite typo: “all that ailes the long form birth certificate.”
And Zullo (who, when asked, later confessed to being a Republican, although he denied being a Teabagger) made it clear that he and the other members of the posse (former police officers, attorneys, graphics experts and forensic document examiners) have done a lot more than just misspell words. Zullo insisted that the posse members “were not willing to merely speculate or engage in conjecture” and that the birth certificate “failed every test we put it through.” At one point, he paused, looked around the room, and said in a sepulchral voice, “This is serious. This is very serious.”
He noted that the posse tried but failed to obtain passenger manifests for incoming flights from Kenya at around the time of Barack Obama’s birth. They did obtain microfilm copies of INS records from the National Archives, 685 rolls, 10 years’ worth, but to their shock and awe, the records from August 1 to August 7, 1961 – the very week the President was born… somewhere – were missing.
Zullo turned briefly to the Selective Service document, which he described as “not just forged, it’s poorly forged.” He concluded that “there’s no question” a criminal investigation is needed, and casually added that the posse has identified a person of interest in the forgery of the birth certificate. Jeezum crow!
Swift Boat Liar Jerome Corsi was up next; I still do not understand why. He said something about the death of “fellow reporter” Andrew Breitbart and noted that Breitbart had interviewed Arpaio the night before, or asked to, or something.
Carl Seel, a Republican who represents District 6 in the Arizona House of Representatives, spoke next; again, I still do not understand why. He muttered something about having a bill pending, presumably to prevent Kenyans from making the ballot in Arizona, then said he had to get back to the Legislature to get some stuff done, or something. He commended Sheriff Joe, and concluded with: “Thank you very much. God bless America.”
Arpaio returned to the podium, noting that a lot of media were present and commenting insightfully that some might say his investigation is “pointless, silly, trite.” Having spent over an hour essentially accusing the President of the United States of being a criminal, Arpaio was adamant that he was “not accusing the President of the United States of any crime.” He was refreshingly candid about his ignorance of civics, confessing that he doesn’t know who has jurisdiction over this matter. He’s considering asking the State of Hawaii to get involved, but doubts that they’ll help. Maybe he’ll talk to Congress instead. Maybe not. Who’s to say?
Zullo spoke again, citing “numerous sworn affidavits” attesting to something or other. Then he related a puzzling anecdote about a retired government employee who had a conversation in the ’80s with Barack Obama in the front yard of Bill Ayers’ mother’s house. The future President was introduced as a foreign student. Or maybe it was the government employee who was a foreign student. Or maybe it was Bill Ayers, or maybe his mom. History is terribly confusing.
Arpaio, being the stand-up kind of guy he is, took a few questions from the press. A reporter asked if he wasn’t essentially accusing the President of living a lie. The sheriff clutched his pearls and tut-tutted: “I’m not accusing him of any lying or crime… I didn’t say that… I never said that… he can present other information proving he was born here… it’s not my problem they came up with this information and documentation… I’m not accusing anyone of anything until we find out who may have committed these alleged crimes…”
Last word goes to a reporter who prefaced one of the final questions in the news conference with: “None of us are stupid in this room.” Continue reading Take Five (Birth of a Vexation edition)
ONE: And arrest his ass if he dares to campaign in Maricopa County!
On a hunch, I just did a Google search using the words “sheriff idiot” and six of the first 10 results referenced Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the shame of Arizona’s Maricopa County. In fairness, one of the six used the word “idiot” only to describe some protestors that Arpaio squared off against last year, and in another hit, idiot status was actually being conferred on Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County, though Arpaio was heavily featured in the article.
Still, my little search is a testament to just how famously objectionable and objectionably famous Arpaio is. “America’s toughest sheriff” (as he likes to describe himself) has been offending people for nigh on 20 years now, but according to fellow idiot Jerome Corsi of WorldNutDaily, he’s just found a way to raise his game to a whole new level:
… Sheriff Joe Arpaio told WND he has assigned a five-member “Cold Case Posse” to investigate the authenticity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate…
“This investigation does not involve politics,” Arpaio told WND. “I listen to all the residents of Maricopa County who come to my office with complaints, regardless what their politics are.”
Yes, you read that right. A county sheriff in Arizona has assembled a team to sniff President Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate. I guess the oddest thing about this is that it doesn’t seem odd at all these days. Since the right wing has devolved so far down the food chain that it now ranks below plankton, this seemed almost inevitable.
… Arpaio is responding to a complaint brought to his office by representatives of the Surprise Tea Party in Surprise, Ariz., who have expressed in writing their concerns that the voting rights of Maricopa County residents in the 2012 presidential election could be compromised if Obama were to use a forged birth certificate to establish his eligibility under Article 1, Section 2, of the Constitution.
I surely do wish Sheriff Joe had been on this illegitimate president thing 11 years ago, but at least he’s on it now. His crack(ed) team consists of – whoa, not so fast, bub! Their names are secret:
The identities of the five individuals assigned to the Cold Case Posse investigation of the Obama birth certificate are being withheld from the public, in order to protect the individuals involved from both public reaction and from questions that are certain to arise from the media.
Well, whoever the hell they are, Corsi reports that the team consists of:
… volunteers with professional experience in conducting investigations, including individuals chosen because of their professional backgrounds in law enforcement, as well as lawyers who have participated in criminal or civil cases and individuals with specialized skills in fields ranging from accounting to conducting criminal forensic examinations.
Godspeed you, then, anonymous sleuths! You follow in the shambling, frustrated footsteps of intellectual titans like Donald Trump and Orly Taitz, and you are the last faint hope for all those who like their presidents 100% white.
Oh, and because this operation has 501(c)3 credentials, you can actually donate to the effort, dear reader! Corsi helpfully provides a mailing address for just that purpose. Or you could just take that money, shred it, burn the shreds, collect the ashes, put them in an urn, shove the urn off a cliff, sweep up the ashen shards, drop them down a mineshaft, seal the shaft with cement, then take the shuttle and nuke the whole thing from space. Your choice. Continue reading Take Five (True Lies edition)
ONE: Optics… Ur Doin’ It Wrong
Shrewdly sensing that a recession-weary electorate loves nothing more than mindlessly ostentatious displays of wealth, Mitt Romney has decided to tear down his $12 million La Jolla home and replace it with a new house four times larger.
The Romneys bought the house three years ago, apparently based on Mitt’s unstoppable hankering for the sound of waves:
“I wanted to be where I could hear the waves. As a boy, we spent summers on Lake Huron and I could hear the crashing waves at night. It was one of my favorite things in the world. Being near the water and the waves was something I very badly wanted to experience again.”
Just like being a failed presidential candidate again, I guess. After his last waste of time, money and energy on a presidential run, Romney divested himself of several properties:
Romney and his wife, Ann, sold for $3.5 million the 6,500-square-foot colonial home in Belmont, Mass., where they raised their sons. They also sold a 9,500-square-foot home at the Deer Valley ski resort near Park City, Utah, for close to its $5.25 million asking price, according to a 2010 Associated Press report.
The couple still maintain a vacation home along Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, as well as a townhouse outside Boston that they consider their primary residence.
So after all that downsizing, why the sudden upsizing?
A Romney campaign official confirmed… the Romneys want to “enlarge their two-bedroom home because with five married sons and 16 grandchildren it is inadequate for their needs. Construction will not begin until the permits have been obtained and the campaign is finished.”
If only they had realized that they have five married sons and 16 grandchildren before they got rid of all that real estate, they could have saved themselves millions. Continue reading Take Five (Various Disasters edition)
And how is it that we are all supposed to marvel at FDR’s overcoming paralysis to become president, but not delve into whether his crusade to expand the nanny state wasn’t his way of turning a nation founded . . . → Read More: TSW #17
ONE: Close to the Edge (and Beyond)
I don’t want to brag here, but I’m beginning to suspect that Take Five can count a certain big celebrity among its avid readership. I’m talking, of course, about the scintillating Victoria Jackson, internationally beloved for reciting poetry while doing handstands back during the ’86/’87 season of Saturday Night Live.
How can that be, you say? Just why would Victoria Jackson – the Victoria Jackson – waste her time on this obscure little column? Well, here’s my thinking. Last week, Take Five featured snippets of the preposterous ravings of WorldNutDaily contributor Mychal Massie. It was a whole heaping helping of wackadoodle wingnuttery, and – I modestly submit – it made a powerful case for Massie being the most out-there Obama critic in all the land.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Turns out Victoria Jackson – the Victoria Jackson – is also a regular contributor to WorldNutDaily! It’s true! And the very day after Take Five showcased Massie for the edification of our left-leaning audience here, who comes along and posts the single most ludicrous, paranoid, nitwitted, outright idiotic column ever posted at WorldNutDaily? Victoria Jackson! That’s right, the Victoria Jackson! Move over, Mychal. Victoria’s in the house, and she will not be upstaged.
She begins by listing the three scariest things about President Obama:
- private army (like Hitler)
- socialist (like Hitler)
- media control (like Hitler)
Just a hunch, but I’m guessing that these items could be boiled down to: black man (like Hitler). Yes, I know that doesn’t make any sense, but try to get into the WorldNut groove here. Jackson then gets all factish on us:
A clause hidden in the Obamacare bill, which is now law, gives Obama the right to form a private army…
Which clause, you say? Yeah, I figured you traitors would ask that. It’s hidden, people! Can’t you read? Jackson then compares Obama and Hitler in detail, and finds so many eerie similarities I’m beginning to wonder if they aren’t the same person. I mean, have you ever seen Obama and Hitler together? And why do you think that is?
Next up is something about the Muslim Brotherhood and President Obama’s shameless courting of same. Then, without warning, she segues (that’s entertainment lingo, suckaz) into a meditation on HR 973, that classic example of the sort of bilge Republicans spend their time on in lieu of actually, you know, governing and stuff.
What is H.R. 973? This is a bill designed to protect Americans from being forced to comply with foreign laws we did not enact. The motivation for this bill is to keep judges from using Shariah law, but it would apply to any foreign law judges might use to subvert the Constitution. Let’s call Congress about it: 202-224-3121. I can’t believe I’m even typing this! What’s going on?
I can’t believe you’re typing it either, Victoria! What’s going on?! Up next is something about Muslim books being sold at the President’s former Chicago church, then something else about Islam equating to Nazism. And then, at last, she gets to the point, I think: Barack Obama controls the media. Well, most of it, anyway:
We have one TV channel with glimpses of truth on it, Fox News. The government controls all the rest. NBC left “under God” out of the pledge. Harry Reid left “under God” out of the pledge. Last week, I was a citizen journalist and caught Park Rangers in D.C. on video lying about our national monuments. Now, the government wants to take over radio with fees and fines, and the Internet with a new creepy thing, “The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace,” that will track our every move.
Remember, Cuba voted in Castro, and Germany voted in Hitler. If America votes in Obama for the second time, we deserve a dictator.
Whew! Hang it up, Mychal Massie. You simply cannot compete with that. If there’s a person in America who can, I just hope he or she has already been locked up. Continue reading Take Five (Thin Soup edition)
ONE: Life During Wartime
A few months from now, we’ll have flushed away 10 years occupying Afghanistan for reasons that still don’t pass the smell test, and it seems that, just maybe, the shared wartime sacrifice called for by neither George Bush the Lesser nor his Oval Office successor has become unavoidable, at least in some jurisdictions.
The New York Post reported last week that toilet paper was apparently being rationed by bathroom attendants in the women’s rooms at Coney Island:
Regina Ballone, 25, of Brooklyn visited a boardwalk bathroom at West 16th Street Wednesday and was “grossed out” at the thought of someone else handling her toilet paper.
“Never in my life have I experienced anything like this,” she said. “I walked toward a stall, and a bathroom attendant stopped me by shouting, ‘Hey, mami! There’s no toilet paper here,’ and she whipped out a big roll for me to grab some.”
However, the initial report was quickly deemed crap by the Parks Department:
The Parks Department refused to say how much it budgeted for toilet paper and other supplies, with a spokeswoman saying only, “Bathroom supplies are stocked daily, and our budget for these supplies is consistent.
“There’s no need to ration, and we’ll make certain our staff does not do so,” added the rep, Meghan Lalor.
Staff were demonstrably not doing so in the men’s rooms, at least:
Toilet paper rationing isn’t an issue in the men’s rooms — but only because they apparently don’t have any to ration. The toilet paper was gone whenever a The Post reporter went to inspect the men’s rooms.
The following day, the Parks Commissioner more or less un-denied the prior denial and came clean on the whole nasty affair:
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe ended the rationing of toilet paper at Coney Island yesterday — admitting that The Post’s potty exposé left him flush with embarrassment.
“We don’t know why [some workers] decided to ration toilet paper. Clearly . . . it was a mistake,” Benepe said.
“The economic conditions are challenging, but not that challenging. If you go there today, you’ll find toilet paper in every stall,” he said. “It’s our business to help New Yorkers do theirs.” Continue reading Take Five (Precious Bodily Fluids edition)