Monday, November 29, 2010

Sarah Palin Blames Obama For Wikileaks, Can't Get Her Facts Straight In Doing So

It seems that the Alaskan Claptrap, Sarah Palin, has decided to chime in on the newest release of classified documents by a Swedish-based website run by Australian Julian Assange - the website goes by the name "Wikileaks."

Using the worlds most sophisticated communication service, Twitter, Palin decided to send out the following message of disapproval to her fans: "Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book 'America by Heart' from being leaked, but US Govt can't stop Wikileaks' treasonous act?"

Sarah Palin's dual claims are interesting. First, she claimed that she won a court battle involving the leak of her book, and second, she claimed that what Wikileaks did was "treasonous."

In regards to Palin's leaked book, HarperCollins, the publisher of Sarah Palin's book "America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag," had reportedly settled with - the website that leaked several pages of Palin's book. While the terms of the settlement have not been disclosed at this time, Gawker editor Remy Stern commented on the settlement stating the leak probably bolstered Palin's book sales.

"[It] generated a good deal of press for Ms. Palin's book in advance of its publication . . . Now that the book is out and destined to appear on the best-seller list, we're pleased that HarperCollins proposed settling this case as is, thus avoiding lengthy litigation for both sides," Stern noted.

So, given the fact that HarperCollins, not Palin, settled with, it would appear Palin's claim that she single-handedly stopped her book from reaching the internet seems to be false.

Now onto Palin's second claim that Wikileaks committed a "treasonous act" by releasing the numerous documents.

In case you missed the first paragraph of this article, let me reiterate an important fact - Wikileaks is not American. The website is hosted in Sweden and it is run by an Australian. Unless Sweden and Australia are one of the 57 states Palin thanked in her retaliation against her North Korean gaffe, then it looks like Palin followed up her last gaffe with yet another bigger gaffe.

In addition to her twitter comments, Palin also took to her other preferred method of communication - Facebook. Palin released yet another note blasting the administration for failing to act after the first Wikileaks release and urging the government to pursue Wikileaks founder as a terrorist - a position top Republicans wish to do. Palin claims Assange is an "anti-American operative with blood on his hands," but she, nor any other critic of Wikileaks, have been able to prove any recent event stemmed from the first leak of information.

While designating Wikileaks a terrorist organization is an interesting way to deal with the embarrassment of diplomatic cables being released to the public, it is a far more dangerous action, then say, anything Glenn Beck claimed "communist" Obama has done or plans to do. The GOP could potentially label any group they disagree with as a "terrorist organization" and act with virtual immunity.

Palin pondered just what exactly America did to prevent these leaks from happening, raising a couple questions of her own.
What if any diplomatic pressure was brought to bear on NATO, EU, and other allies to disrupt Wikileaks’ technical infrastructure? Did we use all the cyber tools at our disposal to permanently dismantle Wikileaks? Were individuals working for Wikileaks on these document leaks investigated? Shouldn’t they at least have had their financial assets frozen just as we do to individuals who provide material support for terrorist organizations?
Does Palin even understand what she suggests?

NATO, or The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is an intergovernmental military alliance (thank you Wikipedia) where member states agree to a mutual defense in respond to an attack from an outside party.  Did Wikileaks launch a military attack against America, and would Palin suggest NATO allies march troops into Sweden to take down Assange's servers?

Does Palin not realize that Sweden is militarily neutral?  Would she suggest action similar to that taken by Adolf Hitler during World War II?

"Let's invade Sweden!"
Let's go back to Palin's "treasonous acts" comment for a second. 

Wouldn't a person have to be a citizen of a nation first in order to commit a treasonous act against that nation, and if it was a treasonous act, then why would Palin want to involve foreign nations in the dealing of a domestic problem?  Why would NATO respond to an act of treason?  If that was the case, would Palin support foreign troops on American soil?

Palin also asks if individuals working for Wikileaks were investigated?  Investigated by who?  I think Sweden may be outside United States jurisdiction, or maybe Palin is trying to prolong the spirit of the Bush Doctrine - you know, that thing that was the subject of that "gotcha" question asked by Charlie Gibson, which involves such concepts as preventative war and the right for America to secure itself against countries that harbor or give aid to terrorist groups.  Being that Palin claims Julian Assange is an anti-American operative, would Palin argue America has the right to enter European countries that are complicit with Assange's actions, like say, hosting his websites or allowing Assange to take up residence?

Palin also wants the assets of anyone involved in this most recent leak frozen.  Being that she believes Assange committed a treasonous act, would she then afford these individuals the right to due process - the same due process the right wingers felt the federal government deprived computer pirates and counterfeiters of when they seized thousands of piracy websites?

Palin also seems to ignore legal precedent - Meena Hartenstein wrote the following for The New York Daily News:
Though it remains to be seen whether the government will pursue legal action against WikiLeaks, precedent indicates it's unlikely.

In September, the Congressional Research Service released a report concluding that, "leaks of classified information to the press have only rarely been punished as crimes, and we are aware of no case in which a publisher of information obtained through unauthorized disclosure by a government employee has been prosecuted for publishing it."
Maybe Palin's handlers should have spent a little more time teaching Palin some foreign policy because it appears she still doesn't have the capability of understand the intracacies of, well, anything...

Tea Party, GOP More Inclined To Oppose DADT Repeal

The Huffington Post's Emily Swanson reported on a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that showed a majority of Americans support the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," except for those who align themselves with the tea party and the Republican party - those individuals opposed any repeal of the 17-year-old discriminatory law.
The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, shows that 58% of adults favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly, whereas 27% said they opposed allowing it. A majority of both men and women, as well as both Democrats and independents also support allowing open service.

Currently, gays and lesbians are permitted to serve in the military under the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy only if they do not publicly reveal their sexuality.

According the poll, Republicans are divided on whether to allow open service by gays and lesbians -- 40% of Republicans favor it and 44% oppose. Perhaps as important, key groups likely to have an influence on Republican policies are even more opposed to allowing open service. The Pew report notes that among those who said they "agree with the Tea Party" only 38% favor and 48% oppose allowing open servece. Similarly, only 34% of white evangelical Protestants favor and 48% oppose allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly. Lack of Republican support could prevent the Obama administration from ending the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, especially if Congress doesn't vote on ending the policy before the end of this year's lame-duck session.
Is this any surprise?

The tea party, which claims to represent tha majority, is actually in the minority on not only this issue, but many other issues.  I also find it interesting that they are supposedly for less government intrusion yet they support this unnecessary government regulation...

Sarah Palin Mocks President, Media In Newest Facebook Note

Sarah Palin has decided to respond to criticisms over her recent mistake of calling North Korea an American ally, and she did so in typical Palin fashion by attacking the media, claiming victimization, and mocking the president.

In Palin's newest Facebook masterpiece, she opens with a paragraph ripping from some of the many verbal errors that Obama has made over the past two years.  For example, she starts her note by sending a Thanksgiving message to all 57 states.

"Of course, the paragraph above is based on a series of misstatements and verbal gaffes made by Barack Obama," wrote Palin.  "If you can’t remember hearing about them, that’s because for the most part the media didn’t consider them newsworthy."

I thought this was interesting.  Palin is attacking the media for supposedly not reporting on some of the president's verbal gaffes.  This argument is nothing new - conservative site Newsbusters posted the same story two years ago when Obama made his "57 states" comment, claiming the media failed to report on his error, while in comparison, they dedicated much time making fun of Republican vice-president Dan Quayle for misspelling the word "potato" in a 1992 elementary school spelling bee.

I want to focus on the "57 states" comment for one reason - it is perhaps the most popular Obama gaffe amongst conservatives.  It has appeared all over right-wing media and the internet for over two years, with conservatives even using the mistake as an attempt to link Obama to Islam - even Rush Limbaugh tried to used the gaffe to insist Obama visited 57 Islamic states in one of his numerous media tweaks.  I remember having to dismiss claims from coworkers at the time that Obama was a crypto-Muslim and they would reference his Islamic slip.  I wonder why.

Now consider this - all of these mistakes that Palin references in her Facebook note are examples of Obama errors that the mainstream media supposedly did not cover, but non-traditional sources of news did.  These same non-traditional sources are the ones that also tried to paint Obama out as a secret Muslim, claimed Obama was trying to set up a civilian army, and insisted he bowed to foreign leaders (and the mayor of Tampa) as a sign of American subjugation - there are plenty more examples that I have yet to mention.

So basically, the point I am trying to make is that Palin criticizes the mainstream media for reporting on things that the non-traditional media traditionally reported on... and then goes on to praise non-traditional media over the mainstream media - her only problem is that they have decided to focus on her.

I am not trying to put down blogs and online websites, but I found Palin's statements to be very hypocritical.

Also, the president never claimed that one of the "Axis of Evil" was our ally on cable television - I think that screw up trumps not being able to name that thing people with asthma use (inhaler) or saying you visited 57 states.  Palin constantly tries to draw comparisons to others in proving that she is right, but she constantly fails - it reminds me of that great Peggy Noonan piece that called Palin a "nincompoop." 

Why does Palin always have to blame someone else for her problems?

An easy solution for Palin would be to actually take the time to become educated about a subject instead of rattling off a bunch of lies and crying on Facebook and Twitter.  Doing so would reduce the amount of material critics can use against her.

While reading Palin's note, I decided to check out her other recent Facebook proclamatations to see what other pearls of wisdom I was missing out on.  I thought her feminism rant from her "America By Heart" book was worth mentioning because it highlight's just how delusional Palin is.

Palin wrote that "some people are calling the emergence of these successful conservative female leaders a new phenomenon in America."  By "some people," Palin means herself.

Also, Palin wrote the following: "The women’s groups and mainstream media have greeted the rise of the conservative mama grizzlies in much the same way they treated the vice-presidential campaign in 2008: with disbelief that people so alien to them could win the support of the American people."

In this public opinion poll from earlier this year, 55 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of Sarah Palin, meaning Palin was only able to win support from a minority of Americans.

Who is Palin trying to fool?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pick Of The Week

Its that time again for the weekly review (more like bi-weekly since I forgot to do one last week).

Monday, November 22nd

Three Things We Learned From Alaska's Senate Race

We learned three things from a CNN piece discussing Lisa Murkowski's win in Alaska - closed primaries don't work, Sarah Palin isn't all that of a political kingmaker, and the Republican primary needs to move closer to the center to be victorious!

The primaries picked a really conservative candidate that the general electorate overwhelmingly refused by actually making history, sending incumbent Lisa Murkowski back to Washington on a write-in bid.

When it comes to a Palin endorsement, you may be better off flipping a coin - half her picks lost!

Tuesday, November 23rd

Bold HIPA-CRIT Bill To Force GOP Hand? 

Democrat Gary Ackerman proposed a bill to repeal healthcare to force GOP legislators to make good on their promises.  The bill was called HIPA-CRIT (Health Insurance Protects America—Can't Repeal IT).


The Daily Show Political Party - Vote For Me!

 I had an idea - have a media outlet fund and promote an electoral campaign to illustrate just what is wrong with Fox News and their relationship with the Republican party.  What better channel/program to ask for help from then Comedy Central's The Daily Show...

Wednesday, November 24th


Big Government Attacks Business-Strangling Regulation At Time Of Record-Breaking Corporate Profits

Wayne Crews from Big Government decided to write a piece about anti-business Obama choking businesses with countless regulations.  Crews seemed to time his piece nicely with reports that American companies had their best quarter ever, posting trillions in profits - $1.66 trillion to be exact.

What again about that crippling regulation, Crews?

Thursday, November 25th

Glenn Beck's Coworker, Andrew Napolitano, A 9/11 Truther

Glenn Beck's coworker and frequent guest, Andrew Napolitano, had made comments revealing that he believed there was some sort of government involvement/cover-up when discussing the collapse of one of the World Trade Center buildings. Surprisingly, Glenn Beck hasn't called for his resignation.

Sarah Palin's "Blue Blood" Hypocrisy

The Alaskan Claptrap had decided to open her mouth once again to attack someone else who criticized her.  Barbara Bush, the former first lady and mother of Obama's predecessor, made a comment that she "hoped" Palin would stay in Alaska.  Palin responded by attacking "blue bloods."

"I think the majority of Americans don't want to put up with the blue bloods -- and I say it with all due respect because I love the Bushes -- but the blue bloods who want to pick and choose their winners instead of allowing competition to pick and choose the winners."

This is interesting considering Palin is backing loser Joe Miller's legal challenge to the election in Alaska, where competition did pick the winner - just not her winner.

Saturday, November 27th

TSA Anger Manufactured By Libertarian Activists

Detailed reports are now trickling in, revealing this whole citizen uproar over TSA body scanners and pat-downs are really manufactured stories from libertarian activists tied to the billionaire Koch brothers and organizations they fund.  The report cited also shows a possible connection between private corporations and Florida Representative John Mica, who may be acting to dismantle the organization he helped create to help funnel money to special interests.

Al Gore Regrets Corn Subsidies, Glenn Beck Should Listen

Al Gore recently made statements regretting his support for government ethanol subsidies, which have reached $7.7 billion last year with ethanol demand putting a squeeze on corn crops and food stocks, all while food prices are going up.  This story reminded me of another reason why Glenn Beck's belief that inflation is going to destroy the commodities market is just a bunch of crap designed to convince his listeners to buy into a sham food insurance company Beck is now hocking on his programs.

Also, I had an interesting thought - in a post-apocalyptic world, does Glenn Beck really think his insurance agent will be able to give him a helping hand?  Does he believe his pocket full of gold coins from Goldline is really going to help him?  Has Glenn Beck ever watched movies like Waterworld or Mad Max?

Big Government's Mike Flynn Supports Piracy By Underplaying Links To Terrorism

This article was extremely interesting (and perhaps my favorite for this week), and I'm not just saying so because I wrote it.  Big Government's Mike Flynn wrote a piece attacking the Department of Homeland Security for seizing several piracy websites that were involved in illegal downloading and counterfeiting.  According to Flynn, the government wasted its time focusing on purses instead of handbags.

Flynn aparently missed the memo by organizations like Interpol that have linked piracy and counterfeiting to terrorist organizations like Al-Qeada - these groups have to get their funding somehow and they don't seem to concerned about the legalities of their actions.

When Flynn's fans were confronted with the fact that their counterfeit Guccis may contribute to terrorism, they were more upset that the government put a stop to the illegal websites because they believed it violated the "due process" clause of the Constitution, but their evocation of the clause was surprisingly absent when Pakistani-born American terrorist Faisal Shahzad was caught after trying to detonate a bomb in New York's Times Square - I believe they called for some pretty extreme measures in that case.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Big Government's Mike Flynn Supports Piracy By Underplaying Links To Terrorism

If you are one of the many people who download media from the internet illegally, you may have been met with this image:

The message is pretty self-explanatory - these websites were actively participating in the theft of intellectual property and were shut down by the government, much like a Somali pirate ship operating off the coast of Africa steeling oil tankers and being confronted by the American navy.
The U.S. government has launched a major crackdown on online copyright infringement, seizing dozens of sites linked to illegal file sharing and counterfeit goods.

Torrent sites that link to illegal copies of music and movie files and sites that sell counterfeit goods were seized this week by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the Department of Homeland Security. Visitors to such sites as,, and found that their usual sites had been replaced by a message that said, "This domain name has been seized by ICE--Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court."

"My domain has been seized without any previous complaint or notice from any court!" the owner of Torrent-Finder told TorrentFreak, which listed more than 70 domains that were apparently part of the massive seizure.

DHS representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The seizures came after a Senate committee unanimously approved a controversial proposal earlier this month that would allow the government to pull the plug on Web sites accused of aiding piracy. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) allows a Web site's domain to be seized if it "has no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than" offering or providing access to unauthorized copies of copyrighted works.
Not everybody agrees with the government's decision right-wing website Big Government sides with the pirates - sort of.

Mike Flynn wrote an article for Big Government admitting that he knows nothing about the websites in question (a bit reminiscent of Obama's "acted stupidly" comment?), but he has no problem defending their illegal activities because they are not deadly terrorists (more on that in a bit).
Okay, so each of the domains seized is probably breaking the law. Knowingly violating someone’s copyright is rightfully against the law. I don’t know anything about these sites, but, for now, I’ll assume they were selling knock-off goods as the real thing and not as some kind of faux Louis Vuitton. Still, this part of the article bothers me:
The owner of an affected site told TorrentFreak that his domain was taken over without any prior complaints or notification from the court.
So, the sites were seized before the site’s owner heard any charges or had the chance to submit any counter evidence in court. The owners of the sites had their property seized without being allowed to defend themselves. I successfully avoided law school, so I don’t know the exact legal term, but this strikes me as an overstep in their enforcement authority.

But, the article begs an even bigger question: What the hell do fake Guccis have to do with homeland security?

I can appreciate that trafficking in fake goods and music piracy inflict substantial economic harm on the branded companies and labels. But, I do appreciate also that this has nothing to do with protecting the country from foreign or domestic terrorists. We still have a Justice Department, right?
Mike Flynn believes that fake purses are a matter to scoff at and believes the government has overreached its authority, but I would like to reference an article from The Sunday Times from 2005 that may connect the dots for Flynn, who would most likely prefer to live in his bubble of ignorance.
TOP designers, including Burberry and Louis Vuitton, are warning that profits from cheap fakes sold on the high street and the internet may be used to fund Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organisations.

The warning — backed by Interpol — comes amid rising concern about the number of counterfeit items imported into Britain. Seizures of fashion copies have more than tripled since 2001.

The designers are urging customers to think about who profits from the sale of fake goods. Intelligence experts believe that terrorists and organised crime syndicates are increasingly using counterfeit goods to raise money.

Stuart Lockyear, director of intellectual property at Burberry, said: “The links of counterfeiting with terrorist organisations, including Al-Qaeda, are becoming much clearer...

Customers who snap up cheap replicas of luxury brands may be sceptical of the motives for such a warning. Interpol has confirmed, however, that the counterfeiting trade has been exploited by Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

John Newton, an Interpol officer who specialises in intellectual property crime, said: “North African radical fundamentalist groups in Europe, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah all derive income from counterfeiting. This crime has the potential to become the preferred source of funding for terrorists.”

Earlier this year police raided two factories in Faisalabad and Gujranwala, Pakistan’s two leading industrial cities, and arrested the owners who were producing replicas of Boss and Lacoste clothes. The fake products were due to be shipped to London.

In addition to the donations to mosques, Interpol says there is direct evidence of Al-Qaeda’s link with the counterfeit trade. In 2002 customs officers intercepted fake perfumes and other counterfeit goods en route from Dubai to Britain and later established it had been sent by an alleged member of Al-Qaeda.

In the same year in France, three suspected members of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, which has links to Al-Qaeda, were arrested for involvement in counterfeiting. Seventy boxes of fake clothes were seized.
What was the name of the terrorist organization that was behind the September 11th attacks?

Was it not "Al-Qaeda?"

Of course, the whole purpose of Flynn's ignorant ramble is to prove the Obama administration is transforming the government into a police state, abusing the Department of Homeland Security along the way.  Flynn also believes crimes other then those linked to terrorism should be overlooked by the Justice Department.

"In the aftermath of 9-11, when the creation of DHS was being debated, would your opinion have been swayed if you knew that, within just a few years, the proposed agency would be seizing websites peddling fake purses?" asked Flynn in his post.  Flynn seems to not only suffer from ignorance, but also amnesia - those were the exact concerns American's had when the DHS (and Patriot Act) was created.

I am not defending Flynn's criticisms of the DHS's actions to prohibit piracy, but I just want to point out that people like Flynn like to play naive when it comes to homeland security and then write as if they invented these concerns against the department when obviously these opinions have existed for a long time.  Flynn claims to be a policy expert in his bio, but why would he ignore the fact that counterfitting and piracy have been linked to terrorism?  

Could it be Flynn is trying to promote his agenda and is willing to leave out some facts to scare people into agreeing with him?

Al Gore Regrets Corn Subsidies, Glenn Beck Should Listen

Recently, Al Gore lamented supporting corn subsidies during the nineties, citing political reasons for the policy.
Now he tells us. Al Gore says his support for corn-based ethanol subsidies while serving as vice president was a mistake that had more to do with his desire to cultivate farm votes in the 2000 presidential election than with what was good for the environment.

"It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol," Gore said at a green energy conference in Athens, Greece, according to Reuters. First generation refers to the most basic, energy-intensive process of converting corn to ethanol for use as a motor vehicle fuel additive.

On reflection, Gore said the energy conversion ratios -- how much energy is produced in the process -- "are at best very small." "One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee," he said, "and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president."

Federal ethanol subsidies reached $7.7 billion last year, Reuters said, and the bio-fuel industry faced criticism in 2008 as food prices rose with ethanol consuming ever more of the corn crop and drawing down feedstocks. Gore now favors second-generation ethanol, using farm waste and switchgrass to produce the fuel.
Why should Glenn Beck pay any attention to the words of former Vice President Al Gore?  Because Glenn Beck could learn another reason why his food commodities conspiracy is just wrong.

Glenn Beck had claimed earlier this year that food markets were about to collapse as a result of crippling inflation, and that his followers should purchase food insurance from a sham corporation he promotes.

Here was Glenn Beck's shameless plea:
I'm going to share with you in a couple of days -- General Mills is saying that they're going up. I think their food's going to go up -- what is it? Eight percent? Fourteen percent? Already, food has gone up for the manufacturer, and it's already starting to go -- milk, I think, is up 18 percent in the last month. It's bad. It's bad. They'll tell you there's no inflation, but it is, and it's coming.

Please, I beg you. I beg you. Do it any way you have to do it. But please, if you have extra money now, please buy extra food, just in case. If you're a grandparent, please, if you have extra money, buy it for your kids if they can't afford it. Make sure that the family is taken care of.
I had originally pointed to a price war between General Mills and Kelloggs as a contributing factor for any price increase in the grocery store, but I thought the article referencing Al Gore brought to light another contributing factor to increased prices - farm subsidies.

If there are subsidies to produce ethanol from corn, and ethanol is consuming more of the corn crop, then wouldn't it make sense that the supply of corn for manufacturers of products like Corn Flakes would decrease, and as we all know from economics courses (not Glenn Beck since he never went to school), when supply drops, prices rise.

I also just noticed something about Glenn Beck's comments that demonstrate Beck's ignorance on the matter - he calls for his listeners to horde food, because in his opinion, the price of food is going to increase exponentially so people better buy now while they still can.  These actions can also contribute to decreasing supplies - just think of this holiday's Black Friday sales and how 40" television sets and inexpensive Wiis flew off the shelves because there was a limited supply at a lower then average cost.

Maybe Glenn Beck should do a little more research at his local library before he comes up with another half-assed conspiracy that will benefit his advertisers.  Here's a thought - just what exactly will Glenn Beck's listeners be able to buy with their food insurance and overpriced gold coins from Goldline in the future apocalypse?

♪♫ Like a good neighbor... ♫ ♪

Last time I watched Mad Max, nobody called their State Farm agent when they got into a car accident...

TSA Anger Manufactured By Libertarian Activists

I thought this was extremely interesting - an article by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine for The Nation details just how this new uproar over is coming from libertarian activists linked to Koch-funded organizations.  The article goes into great length about the other TSA protesters who did not want agents to go near their "junk" and just how exactly they are linked to the Koch Brothers.
So now let's take one more look at the TSA hysteria, and re-evaluate if we should continue to simply accept the surface narrative, or consider what we might learn by looking beneath the surface. Because everywhere you look, the alleged victims' stories often turn out to be false or highly suspicious, promoted by lobbyists posing as "ordinary guys," and everywhere the cast of characters is always the same: drawn from the cult-ish fringes of the libertarian movement, with trails leading straight to the billionaire Koch brothers' network of libertarian think-tanks and advocacy groups.

We could take it all at face value and just trust that they're all "ordinary guys." Or we could ask, "Who profits?"

One person who seems to have the answer is Rep. John Mica, the Florida Republican who is set to chair the Transportation Committee. Mica co-wrote the bill establishing the TSA in 2001, just over a month after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC. A little-known provision in that bill allowed airports to "opt out" from the federal agency's security umbrella and to instead hire private contractors. As Media Matters pointed out recently, the whole reason why the TSA was formed was because private contractors paying airport security minimum wages were considered a big part of the reason why the 9/11 terror attacks were allowed to happen. Since the formation of the TSA, not a single terror attack originating from an American airport has taken place. But apparently that's not nearly as relevant as the complaints of a few libertarians.

The links between Mica, the libertarians, the Kochs, and the TSA scandal are only now emerging, and we hope more journalists will dig deeper. So far, we have learned:
  • Mica's longtime chief of staff, Russell Roberts, lists the Koch-backed Mercatus Center as the top sponsor of Roberts' privately financed travel expenses, according to Congressional travel disclosure forms. Roberts stated in his form that he participated in discussions related to "transportation policy."
  • In 2005, Mica reportedly came out in favor of backscatter X-ray machines, or "porn scan" body scanners, which he now opposes.
  • Immediately after the launching of the "National Opt-Out Campaign" by Washington grassroots lobbyist and "ordinary citizen" Brian Sodergren, Rep. Mica sent out letters to the heads of at least 100 airports across America advising them to "opt out" of the government-funded TSA program and hand over the job to private contractors. One of the first airports to sign on to Rep. Mica's privatization program, Orlando's Sanford Airport, happens to lie in Rep. Mica's district. The airport also happens to be a client of Rep. Mica's daughter, D'Anne Mica, who is listed as a partner in two lobbying/PR firms consulted by Sanford Airport. One of Ms. Mica's PR firms, "Grasshopper Media," boasts of its "history of success in organizing strategic and comprehensive grassroots campaigns." In other words: astroturfing.
  • According to a recent AP article, "Companies that could gain business if airports heed Mica's call have helped fill his campaign coffers. In the past 13 years, Mica has received almost $81,000 in campaign donations from political action committees and executives connected to some of the private contractors already at 16 U.S. airports." ("Airports Consider Congressman's Call to Ditch the TSA")
While so far there is no "smoking gun" linking Rep. Mica to the anti-TSA campaign, there is clearly enough evidence to call into question the official version of events as a "spontaneous" outbreak of anti-TSA hysteria carried out by "ordinary guys" that it claims to be. Instead, there is plenty of evidence of a coordinated campaign for purposes that are only just beginning to emerge—a campaign with a profit motive and a political objective. What we should not do is assume that, in the midst of the worst recession in decades, when untold thousands of families are being thrown out of their homes in fraudulent foreclosures, that the biggest most pressing issue facing Americans is the "porn scan" at airports.

But don't ask us, ask Americans themselves: a recent CBS poll found that fewer than one in five Americans object to the TSA's use of scans and pat-downs. Nevertheless, like the Tea Party libertarian protests that "erupted" "spontaneously" in February 2009, the protests against the TSA, and the media coverage of the spectacle, grips the nation.
I find these connections to be very interesting because they illustrate just why these news stories are not representative of the majority, yet they intend to lead the majority into thinking they are majority-held opinions - much like what we saw during the past few years and the most recent elections.

Its only a matter of time before these astroturf organizations find another trivial story to promote to national emergency...

Friday, November 26, 2010

New Wikileaks Release To Pose More Threats?

I saw this story by Haaretz Service and The Associated Press that I thought was interesting:
The Obama administration is condemning the expected release of classified diplomatic cables by the Wikileaks website and warning that it will endanger lives and interests.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Friday that the administration is continuing the process of warning governments around the world about what may be in the documents. He said the U.S. and its allies are bracing for what may be coming.

The release of hundreds of thousands of State Department cables is expected this weekend, although WikiLeaks has not been specific about the timing. The cables are thought to include private, candid assessments of foreign leaders and governments and could erode trust in the U.S. as a diplomatic partner.
While many are focusing on the possibility that these leaks may cause further embarrasment for America, as well as other foreign nations, I had thought the response from the administration to be interesting - like the previous leak, the government is claiming this new release "will endanger lives and interests." 

I can only ask this question: "Has there been confirmed incidents arising from the previous Wikileaks release?"

While the government is claiming these leaks will cause harm and embarrasment, it does not seem there has been any real harm, which leads me to believe they only fear the latter... 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sarah Palin's "Blue Blood" Hypocrisy

I thought this was interesting - in an interview with Laura Ingraham on her radio talk show, Palin made some interesting comments in response to recent comments made by former First Lady Barbara Bush, in which Bush stated she hoped Palin would remain up north.

"I sat next to her once, thought she was beautiful, and I think she's very happy in Alaska," Bush said, "and I hope she'll stay there."

Palin's response: "I think the majority of Americans don't want to put up with the blue bloods -- and I say it with all due respect because I love the Bushes -- but the blue bloods who want to pick and choose their winners instead of allowing competition to pick and choose the winners."

Why is this interesting?

Sarah Palin backed right-wing candidate Joe Miller for Alaska's senate race over Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski.  While Miller beat out Murkowski in the Republican primaries, Murkowski was victorious as a write-in candidate, beating Miller and the Democratic contender in the general election.  Miller, being the sore loser that he is, filed a lawsuit with federal courts, and then state courts, in order to block Murkowski from being validated so he can contest the election results and try to dig up some more votes for him (as well as throw out more Murkowski votes).  Palin through her political action committee, SarahPAC, contributed money for Miller's recount battle.

It would appear as if Palin is the one who wants to pick and choose the winner instead of allowing competition to take place...

Glenn Beck's Coworker, Andrew Napolitano, A 9/11 Truther

Glenn Beck wrote the following about September 11th "Trutherism" and why Van Jones should be fired back in September 2009:
I've been talking about Van Jones, a special adviser to the president, because he's got the president's ear and he's an admitted communist; a radical who wants to fundamentally change America.

On Thursday we learned Jones is also a 9/11 Truther.

If you don't know what a 9/11 Truther is, let me quickly tell you about them. Here's a statement from a 9/11 Truther group; after the attacks they demanded: "A call for immediate inquiry into evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur."

They also have a list of questions on their site that, I guess, is supposed to peak your interest in the conspiracy theory that the Bush administration let the attacks happen on purpose.

I too had a lot of questions shortly after 9/11, but none of them had anything to do with the "alleged" Flight 77 that "allegedly" blew up at the Pentagon. Nor was I asking if steel can melt or anything like that...

If you believed our own government was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, right there on the 9/11 Truther statement, you could proudly sign your name along with such luminaries as:

No. 2: Ed Asner, actor, activist

No. 31: Janeane Garofalo, actress, comedienne, talk show host, Air America radio

No. 51: Mimi Kennedy, actress, "Dharma and Greg," progressive activist

No. 62: Cynthia McKinney, five-term congresswoman from Georgia

And coming in at No. 46: Van Jones, executive director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

So on top of all the radical, progressive and communist nonsense coming from Obama's green jobs "czar" Van Jones, you can now add "thinks the Bush administration blew up the World Trade Centers and covered it up."

Do you know what people are saying about me on the Internet — that I'm a conspiracy theorist? If you actually believed this stuff — forget green jobs — wouldn't you want to find out who was trying to kill innocent Americans? Wouldn't that be a top priority?
I'll ask the question again: Did President Obama know about all of this before appointing Van Jones (and other radical advisers and czars)?

As of now the White House has been silent on this. As soon as they respond, we will bring that to you.
Why is this interesting a year later?

Glenn Beck's coworker, Andrew Napolitano, is a "truther." 

On Tuesday, Napolitano told 9/11 conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that the attacks "couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us."

In response to Jones asking Napolitano on his opinions of the collapse of Building 7, Napolitano said the following:
"It's hard for me to believe that it came down by itself...I am gratified to see that people across the board are interested. I think twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us."
As Ben Armbruster pointed out for Think Progress, Beck's thoughts on Napolitano are relevant because Beck hosted the judge on his radio program yesterday.

So Glenn Beck - will you call for the immediate resignation of Andrew Napolitano?

Barack Obama Defends Real Mama Grizzlies

Sarah Palin should be very thankful with the president and his administration this Thanksgiving - the administration is setting aside 187,000 square miles in Alaska as a "critical habitat" for polar bears.
Matthew Daly wrote the following for The Huffington Post:
The total, which includes large areas of sea ice off the Alaska coast, is about 13,000 square miles, or 8.3 million acres, less than in a preliminary plan released last year.

Tom Strickland, assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks at the Interior Department, said the designation would help polar bears stave off extinction, recognizing that the greatest threat is the melting of Arctic sea ice caused by climate change.

"This critical habitat designation enables us to work with federal partners to ensure their actions within its boundaries do not harm polar bear populations," Strickland said. "We will continue to work toward comprehensive strategies for the long-term survival of this iconic species."

Designation of critical habitat does not in itself block economic activity or other development, but requires federal officials to consider whether a proposed action would adversely affect the polar bear's habitat and interfere with its recovery.

Nearly 95 percent of the designated habitat is sea ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off Alaska's northern coast. Polar bears spend most of their lives on frozen ocean where they hunt seals, breed and travel.

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell and the state's oil and gas industry had complained that the preliminary plan released last year was too large and dramatically underestimated the potential economic impact. The designation could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost economic activity and tax revenue, they said.
While Palin would mostly likely attack the administration's move as being anti-states' rights and immediately damaging to the Alaskan economy, I thought the article points out something very interesting - the Obama administration compromised yet again.  The original plan called for more.  Alaska asked for less.  The federal government compromised and designated less land as a critical habitat then originally called for.

The only problem I have with this compromise is that the oil and gas industry complained that the preliminary plan involved too much land and would potentially negatively impact economic development - was there any immediate plans to grow business in the now designated areas?

This would be like the federal government declaring parts of the Everglades in Florida a critical habitat and Floridian officials fighting back that doing so would hinder potential growth in the sugar industry - with the expiration of the Sugar Act at the end of 1974 and the elimination of production controls, the sugar industry expanded into sensitive ecosystems.  While trying to reverse damage done by buying up land, the state has suffered some setbacks and United States Sugar will still be allowed to operate.  Imagine if the federal government declared the area surrounding Lake Okeechobee a critical habitat - would sugar growers claim potential damage to their business because it will be hard for them to expand in the future should they ever decide to, even though there are no signs of immediately doing so?

Lisa Murkowski Responds To Joe Miller's Loser-Lawsuit

I found Lisa Murkowski's response to Joe Miller's lawsuit to be very interesting, and one that Joe Miller should praise:
Attorneys for Murkowski said her seat will be vacant and Alaska will have only one senator if she's not seated on time.

"There are numerous critical issues facing our nation and Alaskans deserve to have full representation in the United States Senate," attorney Scott M. Kendall wrote in a motion to intervene in the lawsuit.

He warned that Murkowski would have a gap in service if she's not seated and she would lose her seniority.

"She would go from her current rank of 43rd to 100th," he said.
Joe Miller's frivolous lawsuit is threatening Alaskan representation, and not only that, Miller appears to be delusional, insisting that he could win - he has claimed everything from voter fraud to smiley faces invalidating ballots.
Miller claims he still has a chance to overtake Murkowski. He has raised allegations of election fraud, claiming voters may have been allowed to take ballots even if they did not have identification or were not personally known by election workers. He said that in several precincts, handwriting samples indicate the same person or a small group of people wrote in names on multiple ballots.

Murkowski attorney Kendall argued in his motion that Murkowski deserves to be a party to the lawsuit and has already defeated Miller.

Miller, he said, had observers at each counting table as well as attorneys and supervisors in the room. Miller representatives were able to challenge ballots for any reason, he said, and for no reason.

"Only some of Miller's challenges were based on a misspelling of Sen. Murkowski's name," he said. Others were challenged because voters wrote "Murkowski, Lisa," or added the party affiliation "Republican," or wrote "L. Murkowski."

Some ballots were challenged, he said, because they included an extraneous mark, such as an exclamation point, a heart or a happy face, or because of any correction on the ballot – a misspelling crossed out and then correctly spelled.

Some ballots were challenged because of what Miller observers deemed "poor handwriting," Kendall said.
Joe Miller - Alaska has spoken.  Shut up and go away!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Big Government Attacks Business-Strangling Regulation At Time Of Record-Breaking Corporate Profits

I thought this was too funny to pass up - Wayne Crews wrote the following words for Big Government:
On this Thanksgiving holiday, the economy itself might be thankful if Congress would take a machete to the regulations strangling business and job creation.

From transportation to trade, from communications to banking and from telecommunications to technology policy, policy makers of both parties have at times challenged the moral legitimacy  and economic rationality of federal regulatory intervention. For example Democrats helped spearhead transportation deregulation decades ago; both parties rolled back unfunded mandates in the 1990s.

Regulations are frequently anti-competitive and anti-consumer, annually costing consumers hundreds of billions of dollars. The Small Business Administration, in a study by Mark and Nicole Crain, peg today’s cost at $1.7 trillion. Policymakers still largely do not know the full benefits and costs of the regulatory enterprise. Meanwhile, regulatory agencies grow in power and budget; simply look at EPA carbon-dioxide regulation campaign, FCC’s net neutrality hunger, and the rules-to-come from the health care and financial reform bills.
Now read this excerpt from a Derek Thompson article for The Atlantic:
American companies just had their best quarter ever, raking in profits at an annual rate of $1.66 trillion, Catherine Rampell reports in the New York Times. Corporate profits have been on a roll for the last year, but the unemployment rate is frozen between 9 and 10 percent. What gives?

There are all sorts of credible explanations for why profits are recovering faster than jobs, including but not limited to: (1) Unemployment is a lagging indicator anyway, because companies don't hire in big batches until they have a dependable flow of income; (2) Executives have become more obsessed with earnings reports since their compensation became more tied to stock prices in the 1990s; and (3) Technology and globalization have nibbled away at middle-education, middle-pay positions.
If you read Crews' article, you get the impression that regulation is destroying business and job creation, but if that was the case, why have businesses had their best quarter ever?

I also thought it was interesting that Crews stated that "policymakers still largely do not know the full benefits and costs of the regulatory enterprise," meaning he doesn't know anything good about regulation but he can surely theorize many bad things about them.  Policymakers may not know the full benefits of the "regulatory enterprise," but I think the quarterly profits of $1.66 trillion is a good start.

Thompson went on to write the following:
In order for big companies to add millions of workers per year, they need money. Lots of lots of money. More huge quarters like this one, on the back of rising consumer spending and falling productivity growth, will force companies to add workers to keep up with demand. More workers working will grow demand get even more workers working.
What kind of intelligent thing does Crews have to add?  Nothing.

Crews believes the fault lies solely on government regulation and that needs to be reformed, despite lacking any kind of facts to back up just why any regulation is bad .  He fails to look at any of the causes of slow job growth, like what Thompson quickly pointed out, and relies on anti-regulation rhetoric to carry his piece.  I suggest Crews go back and do some research if he wants any new converts...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Daily Show Political Party - Vote For Me!

I am formally requesting assistance from The Daily Show on Comedy Central to sponsor my candidacy for elected office in 2012 to compete against newly-elected Republican Daniel Webster. Should Comedy Central take up my offer, I would run on The Daily Show Party ticket and campaign on a platform of rationality, civility, and sanity.

What better way to not only restore sanity to Washington, but to illustrate the hypocrisies in the media, such as Fox News, who have consistently misrepresented facts, when facts were present, to push their own agenda and their preferred political candidates. Just consider the relationship some legislators and candidates have shared with Fox News in the past, such as Palin becoming a paid employee of the broadcaster and failed politicians like Christine "I Am Not A Witch" O'Donnell who refused to talk to any media outlet but Fox News.

I am not only requesting The Daily Show to prop up my candidacy, but candidates all across the nation. We can combat the GOP's Young Guns, or any other quirky-named political group with our own - The Sane Train. We can roll on into Washington to help put an end to partisan bickering, which in the end only causes Americans to suffer.

I have three basic principles that I would run on - if elected, I would be willing to take a pay cut from the average salary a representative makes, I would always vote alongside my constituency, not against them, and I would only meet with the people (voters) I represent - not special interests.

Can you imagine debating against those principles? If an opponent were to criticize how I would vote, they would be criticizing a majority of their own constituency. Would they be willing to take the same pay cuts? Would they be willing to only meet with people who can vote for them?

This is just the basics of my theoretical campaign (as well as potentially hundred of others), but I would love to turn this into a reality - a movement of sorts!

What do you think?

Bold HIPA-CRIT Bill To Force GOP Hand?

I thought this Julian Pecquet article from The Hill was worth mentioning - Democratic legislator Gary Ackerman from New York has vowed to introduce a series of bill next week that are aimed to repeal health care reform.

In case you think you misread that above - a Democrat proposing a bill to repeal health care reform - you read it correctly.  Pecquet wrote the following:
Using a somewhat unusual tactic, Ackerman, a strong advocate for the healthcare reform law, vowed Tuesday to introduce a series of bills next week that would roll back some of the most popular provisions of the law.

The congressman said the legislation — all titled the HIPA-CRIT (Health Insurance Protects America—Can't Repeal IT) — will give Republicans a chance to "put up, or sit down" on their campaign promise to repeal the eight-month-old law.

"This will be the big chance for Republicans to do what they've vowed to do," the 13-term member said. "These bills will be their chance to at long last restore liberty and repeal the evil monster they've dubbed 'Obamacare.' "

Ackerman has begun circulating a letter to fellow lawmakers telling them to "Go ahead, make my day. Become a cosponsor."

"The Affordable Care Act contains these and many other foolish protections for our constituents," the letter states. "So, join other Members of Congress who want to deprive their constituents of these silly safeguards from the big insurance companies. You can cast your courageous vote on a series of SIX bills to do it. Feel free to call it the HIPA-CRIT Act when you explain your vote."
This is a bill after my own heart - a "Sit Up or Shut Up" bill designed to illustrate just what kind of hypocrites the GOP really are.  Some of the consumer safeguards provided by health care reform that Ackerman's bills seek to destroy are the elimination of lifetime limits and annual coverage limits, banning the practice of health care plans for rescinding coverage and denying plans for individuals (and children) with pre-existing coverage, and requiring insurers to retain the children of policy holders until they are 26.

I expect two things - either the GOP to defend these provisions, claiming that they are against the other aspects of health care reform that they are against, or, they refuse to address or vote on such legislation proposed by a Democrat by defining it as a trap, forcing any Democratic-born repeals to fail.  Should the second option take place, Democrats should pounce on the matter, framing the failure of the repeal effort as proof Americans want reform, and not just any reform, but their reform.  My only criticism of Ackerman's bold move is that he should wait until the new batch of representatives arrive in Washington so he can quickly paint them as hypocrites and move on - with repeal legislation out of the way.

Body Scanners - Another Minority Position Held By The Minority Right-Wing

I thought this was interesting - despite all the criticisms coming from right-wing websites like Big Government (remember my article covering Chuck DeVore's statements regarding the TSA?), according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, a majority of Americans actually support the "naked body scanners."
Nearly two-thirds of Americans support the new full-body security-screening machines at the country's airports, as most say they put higher priority on combating terrorism than protecting personal privacy, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

But half of all those polled say enhanced pat-down searches go too far.

The uproar over the new generation of security technology, and the frisking of those who refuse it, continued Monday with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano saying the new measures are necessary for public safety.

"There is a continued threat against aviation involving those who seek to smuggle powders and gels that can be used as explosives on airplanes," she said. "The new technology is designed to help us identify those individuals."

According to the Transportation Security Administration, less than 3 percent of travelers receive the pat-downs.
Did you read that?  Two-thirds support the full-body security-screening machines, fifty percent approve of the pat-downs, and only 3 percent ever receive the pat-downs, yet this seems to have become the new right-wing pet cause.  Figures the right-wing fringe would take on a minority-held opinion and try to make it the overall narrative for the nation...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Three Things We Learned From Alaska's Senate Race

There was an interesting opinion piece by John P. Avlon on CNN that I thought was interesting - in discussing the Alaskan senate race that saw incumbent Lisa Murkowski win a write-in bid (the election results are being contested by sore loser Joe Miller), Avlon states three things the race highlighted: closed primaries are problematic, Sarah Palin isn't really a political kingmaker, andthe GOP needs to move to the center.

On closed primaries, Avlon wrote the following:
Murkowski's win is the latest evidence that closed partisan primaries are distorting our democracy -- and creating a particular problem for the Republican Party. Primary elections in which only those enrolled in a party can vote, empower candidates who appeal to hardcore party activists and ideologues, but not the electorate at large.

Palin said Murkowski "reneged on her primary vow to not contest the will of the people" -- but she makes a fundamental mistake. The primary does not represent the will of the people, it represents the will of the party, and the two are not the same.
Avlon is absolutely correct and the political scholar Sarah Palin was absolutely wrong.  If you want another example of the failures of a closed primary, look at Florida's senate election, which saw moderate Governor Charlie Crist run as an independent - while Crist may have lost in the general election, more people voted for Crist and Kendrick Meek then they did for conservative candidate Marco Rubio, who was backed by the tea parties.

Closed primaries gave us other losing candidates like Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Carl Paladino.

On Sarah Palin's power:
The Palins are media celebrities at this point, but their political power is overstated outside her passionate conservative populist base. The reality is that Palin is deeply polarizing in the Republican Party and even in her home state.

Murkowski's win was a direct repudiation of Palin's chosen nominee, Joe Miller. And while the Murkowski and Palin families have a political rivalry that resembles the Hatfields and the McCoys, it's still significant that the newly elected Murkowski is speaking out against a possible Palin 2012 run in terms you rarely hear in Washington.

"She would not be my choice," she told CBS News. "I just do not think she has those leadership qualities, that intellectual curiosity that allows for building good and great policies. You know, she was my governor for two years, about two years there, and I don't think that she enjoyed governing. I don't think she liked to get down into the policy."
While many in the media have focused on the victorious Palin candidates like Nikke Haley, calling Palin a political genius, the fact of the matter is that only half of Palin's picks won.

Palin is about as effective as flipping a coin.

Also, consider this non-scientific poll from The Daily News that shows how polarizing Palin really is:

On the GOP's need for it's centrists:
Murkowski was attacked as representing the "center-right" by Sarah Palin in the primary, and even called an "out of touch liberal" -- from the far-right's perspective, anyone who doesn't agree with them 100 percent of the time on social and fiscal issues is often dismissed as a liberal.

Murkowski now stands as one of the leaders of Republican centrists in the Senate alongside Massachusetts' Scott Brown, Illinois' Mark Kirk and Maine's Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. It is a distinguished but dwindling tradition, but Murkowski's win is a reminder that it is important to the GOP's long-term success. And for those who foresee nothing but gridlock from the closely-divided Senate, these GOP centrists, working together with Democratic centrist senators, could hold the balance of power and allow bipartisan legislation to move forward.

Not incidentally, all these GOP centrists are pro-choice (and most are more fiscally conservative than the bring-home-the-bacon Murkowski). In contrast, it's worth considering that of the five statewide candidates the Republican Party put forward who opposed abortion even in the cases of rape and incest, four went down to defeat in an otherwise overwhelmingly Republican year: Joe Miller, Nevada's Sharron Angle, Colorado's Ken Buck, and New York's Carl Paladino. The bottom line is that the GOP needs both wings to fly in the future, not just the right wing.
After the 2008 elections, I heard many right-wing pundits call for the GOP to become more conservative because they believed the GOP became to liberal and that is why they had lost.  They viewed the tea parties to be their answer.  Considering the Alaskan senate race, where in the face of the right-wing tea party, in a right-wing state, a candidate ran a write-in campaign with a moderate message and won - that is extremely historic.  For such obvious reasons, the right-wing media has been very quiet on the Alaskan election - where are all the enws reports from Fox covering their darling Joe Miller's defeat?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Hypocrisies From Sarah Palin's "America By Heart"

After reading some excerpts of Sarah Palin's newest book, "America By Heart," I found a couple more things that I thought were worth mentioning.

On spirituality, Palin wrote the following:
Most of those who write for the mainstream media and teach at universities and law schools don't share the religious faith of their fellow Americans. They seem to regard people who believe in God and regularly attend their church or synagogue as alien beings, people who are "largely poor, uneducated and easy to command," as the Washington Post once famously put it."
In the above passage, Palin is claiming that liberals don't have the same religious convictions as conservatives.  She doesn't explicitly say "liberal" or "conservative," but considering her criticisms in the past of there being a liberal bias in America's media and schools, then it is pretty safe to see just what Palin is implying.  Palin is guilty of what she accuses those liberals of doing.  In her last sentence, she claims those on the left accuse those on the right of being easily manipulated because they have religion, but she seems to be attacking liberals for being manipulated for lacking religion.

On movies, she criticized movies like American Beauty for glorifying drugs and apathy while praising movies like Juno.
A European movie might have had Juno get her abortion in the opening scene and then spend the next hour and fifteen minutes smoking cigarettes and pondering the meaning of life. It would have been depressing and boring. Not here. Americans want to be entertained, but we also want to see people do the right thing, even when it's hard and there is no prospect of being rewarded. Hooray for some in Hollywood for occasionally letting us see that.
It sounds as if Palin is basing her opinions off of the typical stereotype of French cinema, and having seen many French movies, I can say that Palin is wrong.  I also thought Palin's cheering of Juno was interesting - do you suppose Palin knew the movie's author, Diablo Cody, was a stripper who enjoyed stripping?  Maybe Palin should read Cody's other works like her Pussy Ranch blog or her memoir, Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper.  (Check out Palingates for a great post regarding Palin's criticism of Hollywood)

Towards the end of the book, Palin had this bit of introspective hypocrisy towards the end of the book:
Had I listened to those who suggested it would be political suicide to hand the Governor's reigns over to my lieutenant governor entering my lame duck last year in office -- a choice I made so that I could fight for Alaska, and America, more effectively in a different venue -- then my state would have suffered from the obstruction and paralysis of my office by the politically motivated attacks that began the day I was announced as the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2008.

Had I listened to the politicos (even some within my own political action committee) and shied away from endorsing candidates I knew were best for America -- people such as Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley, Doug Hoffman, Joe Miller and Karen Handel -- I wouldn't have been using my position in the best interests of the country I love.
Again, Palin is doing what she criticized others of doing.

"There is a narcissism in our leaders in Washington today," Palin wrote earlier in her book.  "There's a quasi-religious feeling to the message coming from them. They are trying to convince us that not only are they our saviors, but that we are our saviors... as candidate Obama proclaimed on Super Tuesday 2008, 'We are the ones we've been waiting for, we are the change that we seek.'"

She criticized Barack Obama for a "quasi-religious" message trying to convince America that he is our savior and knew what America needed, but in her own book she writes that she knew what was best for America, and need I point out that of the five candidates that Palin knew were best for America, three of them lost in the general election.  Hoffman not only lost once, but thrice - he lost last year and again in this years primary and general election.  It appears a majority of Americans did not agree with Palin's picks, but Palin doesn't care because she knows whats best...

And don't forget Palin's attack on NASA while forgetting her personal hero, Ronald Reagan, did the same exact things.

What is interesting is that these excerpts are only a small portion of Palin's book yet they represent some pretty big hypocrisies...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sarah Palin's Hypocrisy About NASA-Muslim Outreach In New Book

With pages of Palin's new book leaked on the internet, first appearing on the Sarah Palin watchdog website Palingates, Palin's content has quickly come under the scrutiny of the world wide web, ranging from her attacks against the president and his wife to criticisms about American Idol and its contestants, but there was one attack that I found very interesting - Palin wrote on page 164 attacking the president for using NASA for diplomatic purposes with Muslim nations.

I thought this was interesting for one major reason - for all the time Sarah Palin spends praising Republican President Ronald Reagan, Palin seems to have forgotten her hero's own use of NASA for diplomatic outreach with the Middle East.  Check out this Jon Stewart clip from back in July, where he addresses this hypocrisy found deeply entrenched in the right-wing:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Wish You Weren't Here
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

I also thought it would be interesting to cite Debbie Schlussel, who is known for her anti-Islamic writings - I had commented on her articles in the past, like her one claiming the president laundered money to Hamas or another attacking the Miss USA pageant for selecting an Arab-American (Schlussel claimed Rima Fakih was linked to terrorism because she shared a last name with some members of Hezbollah).

What did Schlussel have to say about NASA?

Back in July, Schlussel wrote the following:
I’m surprised everyone is shocked that Barack Obama’s NASA Chief, Charles S. Bolden, Jr., announced that one of his three primary missions at NASA is Muslim outreach.

In fact, the Obama administration is not the first to waste tax-funded NASA resources and space program on Muslims. Ronald Reagan and his VP, George H. W. Bush, were. But they just wouldn’t say so publicly. At least Obama’s people are finally open about this outrageous behavior that isn’t new to his administration. Sad, though, that it took Al Jazeera to get it out of them...

When I was an intern on Capitol Hill in the summer of 1985 and still in high school, Saudi Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud held a giant party for all of the young interns on Capitol Hill. He and the Saudi Arabian Embassy rented out the Capitol Center and hosted free food, music, belly dancers, and other entertainment, trying to reach out to America’s future leaders and convince them of the modernity, hipness, and “appeal” of Saudi Arabia. The was the real purpose. But the ostensible purpose was to celebrate Prince Sultan’s trip into space, courtesy of NASA–Ronald Reagan’s NASA. While ultimately this was Reagan’s move, it was carefully orchestrated by then-Vice President George H.W. Bush, a close friend to the Saudi Royal family.
The reason why I point to Schlussel's comments is because she really hates Muslims - enough to point out that Reagan did the same thing Obama is doing.  "Conservatives" like Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, or Glenn Beck, like to put blinders on and only interpret what they view as helping their agenda.  If the founding fathers say something they did not like, they simply forget about it and spend more time focusing on a quote that they can interpret in their favor.  The same goes for crap like what is found in Palin's book.

Sore Loser Joe Miller Refuses To Give Up

The votes have been counted and it appears as if Lisa Murkowski has made history by becoming the second person ever to win an election as a write-in candidate - the first was Strom Thurmond in 1954.  Ron Hogan wrote the following for Popfi:
It’s taken a week of hand-counting and lots of legal squabbling from both sides, but it looks as if Lisa Murkowski is going to become the first write-in candidate elected to the United States Senate in 50 years. The write-in ballots were outnumbering those cast for the major party candidates, but nobody could say for sure that Murkowski was winning until they were all counted. Well, the votes have been counted, and Lisa Murkowski is Alaska’s new Senator.

There are still some 8153 disputed ballots, but they don’t matter. Murkowski is roughly 10000 votes ahead of Tea Party candidate Joe Miller, and the 700 or so uncounted ballots won’t make a difference in the race. Murkowski is officially one of two Senate representatives to Alaska.
Now you would think Joe Miller would make good on his promise and concede, being that he had stated in the past that if the math did not add up, he would forfeit the race to Murkowski, right? Well, it looks as if Miller lied.

Eve though Lisa Murkowski has more then enough votes to win, even after taking into consideration the ballots challenged by Miller, Miller believes that it is not impossible for him to win - his new argument claims ballot counting started a week early forcing him to cobble a bunch of untrained observers to monitor the elections, therefor missing some ballots he could have contested.

"Consequently, my campaign team and I were forced to pull together volunteer observers at the last minute, and did not have time to adequately and fully recruit and train them before counting began," he said. "As a result, an indeterminate number of ballots with candidates' names misspelled were counted without being challenged during the first several days of counting."
Once Miller finds his theoretical contestable ballots, he would then file a lawsuit in the courts to try and have all contested ballots thrown out.  I guess that if Miller's team were properly trained they would not have challenged ballots that spelled the candidates name correctly or listed her last name first, but then again, maybe Miller is hoping his ragtag bunch of volunteers can disenfranchise even more voters who know how to spell.

Miller's refusal to lose is interesting considering the GOP, which has backed Miller throughout the entire campaign, is now supporting the election results, calling on Miller to step aside.  The Republican party knows Miller is dead in the water and Murkowski has already stated that she will caucus with the Republicans so they are just trying to secure all of Murkowski's future votes - if they supported their candidate, they may turn off Murkowski when she returns to Washington, making her more willing to buck leadership.

I am interested to see how this unfolds, because like his mentor Sarah Palin, who was another sore loser, I do not think Miller plans on staying out of the limelight.