Monday, July 27, 2009

Your Wingnut Monday: BuBye edition

Marshall: Cornyn Apologizes
Says he misspoke when he said the F-22 was necessary to fight America's coming war with India.
Marshall: Where's Batista?
Rep. Bachmann: Obamacare is like Castro's takeover of Cuba.
C&L: Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Good bye! Sarah Palin Says Farewell To Alaska's Governorship

I think there should be an amendment to the old adage "There's only two things that are certain: death and taxes" to read "The only certainties in life are death, taxes and Sarah Palin will make a convoluted word salad in lieu of a lucid speech."

I admit, I can't get more than three or four minutes in to one of her speeches before my eyes glaze over because she uses so many words and takes so much time to say absolutely nothing at all. Poor CSpanJunkie did the hard work and recorded her "Goodbye, Cruel World" speech:

Part 2 is here.

Apparently, Alan Colmes has a better ability to sit through such bizarre ramblings than I do (no doubt the practice he got from years sitting next to Sean Hannity):

In her bizarre farewell speech as governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin fed red meat to the right-wing, invoking patriotism and the military in her first sentence. It was unclear to whom she was referring when she talked about those who are “tearing down our nation”, “American apologetics” and unmentioned forces “suggesting that our best days were yesterdays.” How can that be, she pleaded, when there are volunteers willing to fight for our freedoms.

Next it was on to criticizing the press, lecturing them that soldiers “are willing to die for you,” so “quit making things up!” And the new governor, Sean Parnell, has a nice family too, “so leave his kids alone!”

After what sounded like a campaign speech for re-election, it was time to defend gun rights, and warn that “You’re going to see anti-hunting, anti-Second Amendment circuses from Hollywood.” This will be done by using “delicate, tiny, very talented celebrity starlets” who will “use Alaska as a fund raising tool for their anti-Second Amendment causes.” Luckily, “patriots will protect our individual guaranteed right to bear arms.” And “Hollywood needs to know we eat, therefore we hunt.”

Can you blame me for not be able to get through the speech? My buddy Jon Perr has come up with his own personal list of Palin's greatest hits, and that--in combination with her incredible popularity amongst the GOP-- makes me doubt Darwin.

Frankly, I wish that I could say this is the last we'll hear from Sarah Palin, but given how inexplicably popular Palin remains, I don't think we'll be so lucky.

  • Steve Benen adds:
    As expected, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) resigned yesterday, giving up her office half-way through her first term. Before officially handing over the reins to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell (R), Palin delivered a campaign-style speech at an event in Fairbanks, during which she predictably complained about the news media, her political opponents, and Hollywood "starlets."

    The former governor added that she "will be able to fight even harder" for her supporters, now that she has no office, no governmental power, no authority, and no influence over public policy. She didn't elaborate as to why.

    Arguably more interesting than Palin's bizarre decision to quit with 18 months to go in her only term is considering how, exactly, she changed as an officeholder. TNR's Suzy Khimm had a good piece the other day exploring "how national exposure changed" her, pushing Palin "much further to the right than she had been," to the disappointment of Alaskan lawmakers in both parties.

    There are plenty of similarities between pre- and post-campaign Palin. Both avoided details, and preferred over-simplification. Both found the unglamorous work of governing to be tiresome.

    But the Palin who was governor before the national campaign was something of a pragmatist, willing to compromise and engage opponents in the interests of advancing an agenda. By the time she returned to Alaska after Election Day, Khimm explained, Palin had become an inflexible, antagonistic ideologue, unwilling to work with almost anyone.

Marshall: "Elusive Middle Ground"

From the Politico on the birthers ...

But as if to illustrate the touchiness of the subject, Hoekstra quickly added: "Not that this isn't important."

Sen. Jim Inhofe has also tried to find the elusive middle ground.

"They have a point," he said of the birthers. "I don't discourage it. ... But I'm going to pursue defeating [Obama] on things that I think are very destructive to America."

You know things are getting good when Inhofe's at the 'elusive middle ground'.

  • Josh adds:

    Others have said this. But the best way to understand the 'birther' craze is as a proxy for people who don't want to accept a black man with a Arabic-derived first name as President of the United States. Really as simple as that.

    Little wonder that it pulls the Inhofes of Capitol Hill out of the caves.

If you've ever visited Capitol Hill in Washington, especially in the post-9/11 era, you know there's quite a bit of security. Visitors, staffers, reporters, and guests have to go through metal detectors, not only to get into the Capitol itself, but also to enter any of the congressional office buildings.

E.J. Dionne Jr. argued today that conservative lawmakers, loyal to the NRA, should at least try to do something about these security measures -- by fighting for their removal.

Isn't it time to dismantle the metal detectors, send the guards at the doors away and allow Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights by being free to carry their firearms into the nation's Capitol?

I've been studying the deep thoughts of senators who regularly express their undying loyalty to the National Rifle Association, and I have decided that they should practice what they preach. They tell us that the best defense against crime is an armed citizenry and that laws restricting guns do nothing to stop violence.

If they believe that, why don't they live by it?

Why would freedom-loving lawmakers want to hide behind guards and metal detectors? Shouldn't NRA members be outraged that Second Amendment rights mean nothing in the very seat of our democracy?

There's a tongue-in-cheek quality to Dionne's piece, but his argument is very compelling. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) insisted last week that Americans must "have the right to self-defense," and the more Americans are allowed to carry concealed firearms, the safer the public becomes. By that reasoning, Dionne explains, "keeping guns out of the Capitol makes all our elected officials far less safe. If just a few senators had weapons, the criminals wouldn't know which ones were armed, and all senators would be safer, right? Isn't that better than highly intrusive gun control -- i.e., keeping people with guns out of the Capitol in the first place?"

Dionne didn't mention it, but there is a history of gun violence in the Capitol -- incidents, I should add, that happened before metal detectors were installed -- but I suppose that reinforces Dionne's thesis. If conservatives believe American families are safer if more people are carrying concealed firearms, and there have been shootings on the Hill before, it stands to reason the right would demand that more people be armed in Congress. It's necessary for "safety."

Over to you, NRA.


CNN's Rick Sanchez has apparently been making some less than kind remarks about Fox News on his Twitter account. A Fox News spokesperson had an interesting response.

"Everyone knows that Rick is an industry joke, he shows that he's a hack everyday [sic]. And he doesn't have to worry about working at FOX because we only hire talent who have [sic] the ability to generate ratings."

I have to admit, reading a statement from Fox News spokesperson accusing anyone of being a "hack" and an "industry joke" is rather amusing. Sanchez isn't exactly my cup of tea, but Fox News exists to make a mockery of American journalism. If anything, Sanchez should be thrilled by this kind of criticism, and wear it as a badge of honor.

Stepping back, however, note how the Republican network responds to criticism from others within the industry. I remember in 2003, about six months after the war in Iraq began, Christiane Amanpour noted that in the months leading up to the U.S. invasion, CNN "self-muzzled," in large part because it was "intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News."

A Fox News spokesperson shot back, "Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."

Seriously. "Spokeswoman for al-Qaeda." Fox News wasn't kidding.

Similarly, last year, Jon Stewart described Fox News as "an appendage of the Republican Party." Asked for comment, an FNC spokesperson responded, "[B]eing out of touch with mainstream America is nothing new to Jon, as evidenced by the crash-and-burn ratings of this year's Oscars telecast."

It's not enough that the Republican network has given up on journalistic standards -- it has to be thin-skinned, too?
Christy Hardin Smith: Quelle Surprise: Dr. Tiller’s Murderer Links Himself To Operation Rescue

Scott Roeder, who shot Dr. George Tiller, links himself to Operation Rescue in a jailhouse interview. Color me shocked:

In a phone interview Friday, Roeder said he was upset at the president of Operation Rescue, Troy Newman, who had condemned the killing and said his organization had nothing to do with Roeder.

“He said that I never was a member and I never contributed any money,” Roeder said. “Well, my gosh, I’ve got probably a thousand dollars worth of receipts, at least, from the money I’ve donated to him.”

Do tell, Mr. Roeder. What other connections did you have with Operation Rescue through the years? From whence did you draw your inspiration to drive over to Dr. Tiller's church and shoot him in cold blood?

For a real taste of the illogical and convoluted internal justifications, the NYTimes Magazine had a lengthy piece on how Dr. Tiller's murder has diminished fundraising hopes for pro-life groups because some of their ardent supporters now think murdering someone for performing a legal medical procedure is the more effective solution.

Boo hoo, cry me a river, because that's both sane and logically consistent, isn't it?

Especially since Randall Terry, Operation's Rescue's attention-seeking mouthpiece, says he's not responsible for people thinking they are murdering for the lord. That's despite statements out of his own mouth, as recent as last week wherein Terry "exalt[s] in warning of “random acts of violence” and violent "reprisals against those deemed guilty"" for daring to think about putting reproductive services in a health care bill.

No contraception for you, slutty womenfolk. But the viagra is still a-okay!

McJoan points out the political non-penalty for Terry and his ilk:

There's a larger issue than just Terry's dangerous crazy here, though. He's doing the Republican's dirty work. If any liberal organization went anywhere near this crazy, you know Democratic members of Congress would be falling all over themselves to apologize from the floor of the House. Look what happened with MoveOn and the "Betrayus" ad. When are Republicans going to denounce this?

I'm not holding my breath. Because I'm not exactly seeing journalists -- or Democratic leadership, frankly -- asking about the GOP's accountability for using people like Terry to push their political agenda forward.

As always, Digby nails it:

Controlling other people's sexual lives and women's bodies is the agenda. There's no point in pretending otherwise. You can search for common ground but I can't find any with people who believe these things. And every inch you give them only encourages them to take another mile. It's a losers strategy.

It's no one's damned business what goes on in someone else's bedroom -- or what difficult choices individuals have to make in incredibly painful situations in their lives.

Those conversations -- be it about contraception, abortion, or viagra -- are between a woman, a man, a partner, a doctor, close family and God.

It isn't for me or you to judge. And it sure as hell isn't for Randall Terry to do so.

Especially given that he's fighting so hard to keep reproductive care out of whatever health care bill gets passed. Sanctimonious idiocy and illogical asshattery isn't a free pass for heaven, dude.

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