by Deb Cupples | The good news: house foreclosures were down nearly 10% in January, compared to December. The bad news: more than 315,000 homeowners got foreclosure-related notices in January.
The good news: the nation's unemployment rate fell about one-third of 1%. The bad news: the unemployment rate is still 9.7%, and more than 14 million people are out of work.
The good news: a recent Washington Post/ABC poll indicates that 71% of Americans see Sarah Palin as not fit to be president. The bad news: ABC and the Washington Post are still doin polls about Ms. Palin.
by Bill Kavanagh: Massachusetts Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown has been the beneficiary of a superficial look at his political history, since until around two weeks ago, he wasn't even given a chance of becoming the next Senator from the Bay State. Now that media attention has turned towards him, a series of statements and positions at odds with the genial, GMC truck-driving independent persona Brown has created in his campaign have begun to surface. Whether this information will be pivotal in deciding whether the surge for Brown in the polls continues or crests is anyone's guess at this point.
What is becoming clearer by the day, however, is that Scott Brown hasn't always been the friendly, reasonable personality he's been working the cameras as. Beyond the conservative stands he made with the Republican minority in the Massachusetts State Senate on more than 90% of votes, Brown's distance from the extreme right is called into question by his 2008 comments on television about President Obama's (then candidate Obama) parentage. In a live commentary during which he was defending Sarah Palin from comments about her daughter Bristol's pregnancy out of wedlock, Brown said, "Quite frankly, Barack's mom had him when, when she was eighteen years old..."
Brown was interrupted by another panelist, who commented, "... and married."
Brown then continued, laughing, "Well, I don't know about that, ha ha... but more importantly, (then segued back to Bristol Palin)..."
This comment seems to place Brown in the company of right wing conspiracy theorists who claimed Barack Obama was some sort of plant from Kenya, a meme that was common among the far right during the 2008 campaign. In 2009, Brown has kept his distance from Palin, realizing she is kryptonite in Massachusetts.
This time, before he was regarded as a serious contender, Brown kicked off his Senate campaign by taking a "no new taxes" pledge, lining up with the Republican leadership on opposing the stimulus package, and opposing healthcare reform in a state which already has a similar plan. His espousal of tax cuts, opposition to a Wall St. bank levy, and Tea Party-style economic positions is all well to the right of most Massachusetts voters, but his economic platform has been less examined than his opposition to "the machine" and his shots at President Obama's response to the meltdown as "big government."
Will Brown get a pass from Massachusetts voters, who are looking to show their anger at the status quo? We'll know by Wednesday morning.
"A man was arrested for throwing tomatoes at Sarah Palin during her book signing on Monday at the Mall of America.
"Jeremy Olson, 33, allegedly threw two tomatoes from the second balcony, however did not come close to hitting Palin.
Police report that Bloomington Commander Mark Stehlik was struck in the
face with one of the tomatoes and may face charges for assaulting a
police officer. Olson was booked at the Bloomington jail. He was
arrested for suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct."
Oooops! I know a few cops, and not one of them has ever demonstrated a tendency to laugh off being unexpectedly hit with a piece of food.
Perhaps Mr. Olson could have avoided arrest had he practiced a bit more beforehand with his pitching arm. No, probably not: throwing objects at people -- even at politicians with whom one disagrees -- tends to be a crime.
At least Mr. Olson was considerate enough to choose a soft fruit that would have a softer impact than, say, an apple or a cantaloupe.
by bartleby the scrivener | Congratulations to Tina Fey!
Fey received an Emmy Award on Saturday for her impersonation of
Republican vice presidential contender Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night
Accepting her trophy for best guest actress in a comedy, Fey thanked
"SNL" producer Lorne Michaels and her parents, "who are lifelong
Republicans, for their patience." (HuffPost)
Employing her award-winning Palin-speak, Fey then issued
some serious dish at the departed governor of Alaska: "Mrs. Palin is an
inspiration to working mothers everywhere because she bailed on her job
right before Fourth of July weekend. You are living my dream. Thank
you, Mrs. Palin." (Geoffrey Dunn)
But with no disrespect to Tina, the following video ("Bridge to Nowhere") -- by Harry Shearer's wife, Judith Owen, will always be my favorite Sarah Palin impression (because: singing mooseheads!):
by damozel | In Britain, where health care has long been free, my 85 year old father-in law --
who has cancer of the vena cava -- had three major operations in a single weekend to keep him going awhile longer, including -- though not limited to -- replacement of the cancerous vein. That was Christmas before last, and he's still ticking along, with the government continuing to defray the costs of his treatment.
In fact, he's vacationing right now in Southern France. Here -- without money to cover the costs of three major surgeries and their prolonged aftermath -- he'd be dead. Say it with me, "There are no "death panels.""
Sensible conservatives know this to be true. Honest ones admit it. Conservative columnist David Brooks said, ""the crazies are attacking the plan because it will cut off
granny. That is simply not true, that simply is not going to happen."
(Media Matters) Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia conceded on Bill Maher that it's all "a scare tactic." (Steve Benen)
Think Progress sums up the lies, including Sarah Palin's.
by Teh Nutroots | The top gossip for today, courtesy of The Alaska Report, is that Todd and Sarah Palin are to divorce. Akmuckraker at The Mudflats has the story of the story. Palin's spokespeople who, after all, have access to first-hand information, deny the rumor.
For what it's worth, the report -- which seems to have originated with this blogger -- is as follows:
A National Enquirer story exposing previous affairs
on both sides led to a deterioration of their marriage and the stress
from that led to Palin's resignation as governor of Alaska last week.
The Palins were noticeably not speaking to each other for most of last Sunday's resignation speech in Fairbanks. Sarah ditched Todd (MSNBC) right after the speech and left without him. Sarah removed her wedding ring a couple of weeks ago.
Sarah has recently purchased land in Montana and is considering moving the family there. Sarah Palin is originally from Idaho. (The Alaska Report)
I don't actually give a damn either way, but it's the story of the day, and I didn't want to be left out.
by bartleby the scrivener | CBS has got the story on Sarah Palin's farewell to the governorship, wherein she lashed out at the media.
In her nearly 20-minute speech, which directly preceded incoming
governor Sean Parnell's swearing in, Palin had only a few words to say
about her successor, but she had plenty of advice for journalists.
"You represent what could and should be a respected, honest
profession that could and should be a cornerstone of our democracy,"
she said. "Democracy depends on you, and that is why-that's why our
troops are willing to die for you. So how about in honor of the
American soldier, you quit makin' things up."
..The heated tenor that Palin employed to lash out at the press and
others who she said were "hell-bent on tearing down our nation," was
the exclamation point on a dramatic turnaround in her relationship with
the media, which had once been something close to symbiotic.
"Since announcing her resignation, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been
pummeled by critics who have called her incoherent, a quitter, a joke
and a "political train wreck."
And those were fellow Republicans talking....
"'I can't tell you one thing she brought to the ticket," said Stuart K.
Spencer, who has been advising GOP candidates for more than 40 years.
"McCain wanted to shock and surprise people, and he did -- in a bad
That's a typical type of reaction from some of the elite members of the Republican party. Many ordinary Republican voters seem to see it differently:
by Deb Cupples | Note that to the left is the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, written in stone on the outside of the Newseum in Washington, DC. Not all image-conscious politicians seem to have much respect for this amendment.
While I was enjoying the holiday weekend, the Washington Post (and scads of other media, no doubt) reported that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin plans to resign. I suppose that's one way for a fading politician to keep her name in the headlines.
Apparently, some people suspect that Ms. Palin is quitting because she's under criminal investigation -- something to do with corruption involving contractors back when Ms. Palin was mayor of Wasilla. I'm not clear on the speculations or facts.
by Damozel | With all due respect to Deb, I'm all for continuing scrutiny of any potential candidate in the next election cycle. Here's why:
Since Election Day, Palin has made only infrequent jaunts to the Lower
48 and has no public plans to cross the political Rubicon into Iowa or
New Hampshire. But her oftentimes dysfunctional campaign experience
does not seem to have swayed her from seeking national office.
In a recent interview
with "Runner's World" magazine, the avid long distance runner was asked
if there was a part of her that would have been reluctant to leave
behind the Alaskan landscape and move to Washington, D.C., had the
outcome in November been different. Notably, Palin did not use the past
tense in her response. She was instead rather blunt in acknowledging
that a future move to the nation's capital is something she can
"Alaska would be hard to give up because it is such a part of who I
am. So much of my life revolves around the great outdoors that that
would be kind of tough," Palin said. "But on the other hand, I think of
being in D.C. and in a position to promote physical fitness and the
benefits of making good decisions health-wise and being an example to
others, and I know that could do some good for our country." (much more at cbs news)
Anyway, Palin's too richly entertaining to leave to her own devices. On with the show!
by Deb Cupples | Today, The Politico ran a story entitled "Palin Story Sparks Family Feud," which is about a recent Vanity Fair story that reportedly "has touched off a blistering exchange of insults among high-profile
Republicans over last year’s GOP ticket – tearing open fresh wounds
about leaks surrounding Palin and revealing for the first time some of the internal wars that paralyzed the campaign in its final days."
What dramatic, attention-grabbing words: "blistering," "insults," "wars." But is there really a fresh story here?
A year ago, numerous big Republicans were downright distraught over Candidate McCain's bizarre choice of a running mate. Whenever Ms. Palin did a televised debate, you could hear the thunderous sound of Republican operatives, nationwide, simultaneously slapping their own foreheads silly when Ms. Palin attempted to address issues of national importance.
by Teh Nutroots | In other words, Palin's the clear choice for the GOP's next presidential candidate! The Politico reports:
The complaints run the gamut, ranging from the governor’s use of state
funds and staff to the workings of her political action committee and
even to a jacket she wore to a snow machine race involving her husband.
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how many complaints have been filed
because the state doesn’t keep count and the complaints are kept
confidential by the attorney general’s office unless the state moves
forward with a public accusation of wrongdoing. But in total there have
been more than a dozen, and most of those have surfaced in the last
While the anti-tax sentiment of the protests may have been sincere,
the images pulled from the events have often been offensive,
embarrassing, or politically problematic.
It is a development that has tripped up the GOP before. The rallies
outside McCain-Palin events included some of the same bile that was
seen at the tea parties: charges of fascism, terrorism and other
malicious criticisms leveled at Barack Obama. And it did the Republican
ticket little good in its efforts to bring moderate voters to the cause....
by Deb Cupples | A blogger at the Alaska Daily News ran this headline yesterday: "Palin Rejects Federal Stimulus Money," which certainly gives the impression that Gov. Sarah Palin is standing John-Wayne tough against the stimulus package. Here's what the first paragraph (below the updates) says:
"Gov. Sarah Palin just told reporters that she’s accepting only 55
percent of the federal economic stimulus money being offered to Alaska.
The governor said that she will accept only about $514 million of the
$930 million headed to the state."
In what universe does accepting half a billion dollars qualify as "rejecting" federal aid? Yes, she is rejecting some of the funds, but even a half-full-type person with a simple calculator can figure out that she's accepting more federal funds than she's rejecting.
The more accurate headline would be "Palin Accepts Federal Stimulus Money." What is it with some so-called journalists these days?
Apparently, Gov. Palin is determined to continue reappearing on the national stage and spotlight her hypocrisy, double talk, and near-complete lack of principles. Memeorandum has commentary.
"The omnibus spending bill that President Barack Obama signed on Wednesday includes earmarks that [Alaska Governor] Palin sought.
"The $410 billion bill has been lambasted by Republicans and a few
Democrats for being loaded with nearly 9,000 earmarks covering $7.7
billion in projects. Senator John McCain, Palin's former ticket-mate,
has blasted Obama for supporting the earmark-laden legislation. ('So
much for the promise of change,' an angry McCain howled from the Senate floor.) But earmarks in the bill are quite generous to Palin's state. According to Taxpayers for Common Sense,
a Washington-based watchdog group, Alaska will receive more money, per
capita, from the bill's earmarks than any other state. (Alaska will
pocket $209.71 for each state resident.) One hundred earmarks in the bill, worth a total of $143.9 million, are tagged for Palin's state."
Yes, that's the same Sarah Palin who, just months ago, traipsed around the nation in high-end designer clothing (paid for by GOP donors), bellowing about the evils of earmarks and styling herself as the mavericky superhero who could wipe them out.
by Damozel | Ha ha, is there anything funnier than a Republican "rising star" when he or she actually succeeds in getting people to listen -- that is, really listen? Exhibit A being, of course, Sarah Palin.
Exhibit B would be Bobby Jindal, who made a nationally televised speech in response to Barack Obama's that got him compared to Kenneth the Page. For his pains, he has been "roundly panned" -- and not just by Democrats. Can even Rush Limbaugh, who defended him, save him now?
Conservative commentators were among the harshest critics, calling Mr.
Jindal’s delivery animatronic, his prose “cheesy” and his message —
that federal spending is not the answer to the nation’s economic
problems — uninspired.