Monday, October 31, 2011
The other stills at the slideshow are from: Nosferatu, The Phantom of the Opera, Psycho, The Birds, Rosemary's Baby, Night of the Living Dead, The Exorcist, Jaws, The Omen, Carrie, Halloween, Alien, The Amityville Horror, Friday the 13th, The Shining, Scanners, An American Werewolf in London, Poltergeist, and The Thing.
The Washington Post's article is "From ‘Paranormal Activity’ to ‘Nosferatu,’ a look at the scariest movies of all time." Interestingly, a still from Paranormal Activity isn't included in the slideshow, but there is a link to "‘Paranormal Activity 3’: Is the found footage horror movie played out?"
The Los Angeles Times has "50 Creature Features," "Celluloid mutants, werewolves and blobs -- the stuff of nightmares. Play the videos, and vote for the greatest monster movie ever."
I like the Childs Play movies, which didn't make either list. "Chuckie" is scary!
I'll watch 1994's Ed Wood, which received an Academy Award for Martin Landau's makeup. Landau played Bela Lugosi.
"NBC News is not disclosing the name of the woman nor characterizing who she is." ...
See "NBC confirms one Cain accuser received cash settlement."
Update: Politico has a story, "Herman Cain accused by two women of inappropriate behavior."
Young Turks (VIDEO) and L.A. Times on Rick Perry's Donors + Bonus full "drunk" video -- Twofer VIDEO!
The L.A. Times' original reporting referred to at the beginning of the video is "Gov. Rick Perry's big donors fare well in Texas."
Here is a complete video of Perry at a fundraiser for New Hampshire's Cornerstone Action, "an advocacy group that has been pushing for repeal of the state's same-sex marriage law." He doesn't appear to be "drunk."
TIME Magazine has "Tongue-Tied Texan: The New Rick Perry Sounds a Lot Like the Old Rick Perry."
Friday, October 28, 2011
We cannot wait to see Game Change, HBO's adaptation of the book of the same name about the 2008 presidential election.There are a couple of interesting video's at the E!Online story: Ted Casablanca's "Pissed List: Bristol Palin," and "Levi Johnston Spills Palin Secrets." I would have embedded one of them, but it autoplayed when it was embedded.
Julianne Moore plays Sarah Palin. If what we've seen and heard is any indication of things to come, her portrayal is downright freaky.
Sarah Paulson, who plays Republican strategist Nicole Wallace in the film, says Moore could easily pass for the failed vice presidential candidate.
"I will say there were several times where I'd be standing there on set and she would walk by and I would see her peripherally," Paulson told me while promoting her new awards season favorite, Martha Marcy May Marlene (in theaters now). "I'd take a quick glance and I'd be like, 'Why the hell is Sarah Palin on our set?' It's so weird.["]
According to Pop2it's "Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in 'Game Change' first-look photo," Game Change will also include "Woody Harrlson as Steven Schmidt, McCain's senior advisor, "CSI's" Larry Sullivan as Palin's deputy chief of staff Chris Edwards and "Temple Grandin's" Melissa Farman as Bristol."
There are two hotel room scenes from Game Change that should be in the movie: 1) the morning of the Katie Couric interview, on page 398 and 2) debate prep, on pages 401-2. On page 401, Sarah Palin tells Nicolle Wallace, "If I'd known everything I know now, I would not have done this." Those were clues that she'd never run again. Don't miss the movie!
They're spying on you! A new website reveals that "Sarah Palin’s 683,681 Twitter followers are likely to be religious married parents who like reading books." That may be true, but "Charlie Sheen’s Twitter 5.1 million-strong audience are iPhone users, tweet a lot and 'like to party'." Take that! Sarah Palin. -- From "New site lets celebrity Twitter users ‘know their followers’"
SarahPAC finally got it's act together and obtained an SSL certificate for sarahpacdonate.com. An earlier certificate expired on 10/21; the new one was issued on 10/25 and expires on 10/24/2012. This time, they might set a reminder in their calendar/appointment software. Set it, forget it, then a reminder will go off before it expires ... Organization 101.
The circus news seems to be going the way of the hard news. With the Palins in hiding, there isn't much going on, so enjoy a palin-free weekend! Week? Month? Year?
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Kay cites two examples: a video made by "left-wing filmmakers" at a Sarah Palin book signing, and a video made by "Lazy conservatives who instinctively are repelled by the Occupy Wall Street movement, but can't be bothered to intellectually engage with the issue, ... ."
Kay goes on to write:
... I'm old enough to remember the early 1990s, a time when starry-eyed futurists believed the Internet would make all of us smarter. We would learn new languages, surf newspapers from around the world, cultivate international pen pals, become more enlightened people by exposing ourselves to different opinions. Twenty years later, it turns out that all this was starry-eyed nonsense: All we want from the web is to have our own ideological biases read back to us in the most hysterical and entertaining form possible - preferably with neat little YouTube links that we can pass around to our friends.Is "confirmation bias" a problem? Somewhere, I've read that the internet is appealing because people can get their "news" on the internet without ever encountering a disagreeable opinion.
Experts call it the "confirmation bias" - our natural psychological attraction toward data or anecdotes that serve to support our pre-existing attitudes and bigotries. It's something that always has been part of human nature. But the combination of social media with cheap online video technology has turbocharged the confirmation bias to the point where rational political dialogue is in danger of extinction. ...
I never expected to learn new languages with the internet. I am able to read several newspapers. Years ago, the internet wasn't widely used; now it's available and used by a lot more people. The audience has expanded.
If it's any consolation, the "left-wing" video has been viewed almost 2,000,000 times; the "lazy conservative" video has only 200,000 hits, so far.
Jonathan Kay's complete post is here. By the way, the woman speaking in the "lazy conservative" video was a substitute teacher in L.A. She has been fired.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
British and American lawyers might be inclined to disagree over the legality of the Declaration. But why? The Declaration had fifty-six signers, many of whom were wealthy, and the last sentence of the Declaraion reads, "... for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
It's apparent that the signers were aware -- assuming they read the document -- that they weren't signing a simple petition; they were aware that they might lose their lives, fortunes and honor. So, it's fair to say that they were aware that what they were doing might be treasonous. Of course, because the revolution was successful, trying the signers for treason wasn't an option. In fact, by signing the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the British recognized that the United States of America was an independent nation.
Does anyone know why we're continually subjected to these faux "debates?"
... You don’t have to be a truther or a birther to enjoy a conspiracy theory. We all, at one point or another, indulge fantasies that make the world seem more dangerous, more glamorous and, simultaneously, much more simple than it actually is. But then most of us grow up. Or put down the bong. Or read a book by somebody who is familiar with both proper historical methodology and the facts. The errors in “Anonymous,” I should point out, do not require great expertise to identify. Any undergraduate who has taken a course in Early Modern Drama, and paid attention, should be able to spot at least 10. (That might make a good exam, come to think of it.) ...Fun, huh? There is much more to Marche's article at The New York Times. The post's "comic strip" was obtained from the New York Times' article.
... The Shakespeare controversy, which emerged in the 19th century (at that time, theorists proposed that Francis Bacon was Shakespeare), was one of the origins of the willful ignorance and insidious false balance that is now rotting away our capacity to have meaningful discussions. The wider public, which has no reason to be familiar with questions of either Renaissance chronology or climate science, assumes that if there are arguments, there must be reasons for those arguments. Along with a right-wing antielitism, an unthinking left-wing open-mindedness and relativism have also given lunatic ideas soil to grow in. Our politeness has actually led us to believe that everybody deserves a say.
The problem is that not everybody does deserve a say. Just because an opinion exists does not mean that the opinion is worthy of respect. Some people deserve to be marginalized and excluded. There are many questions in this world over which rational people can have sensible confrontations: whether lower taxes stimulate or stagnate growth; whether abortion is immoral; whether the ’60s were an achievement or a disaster; whether the universe is motivated by a force for benevolence; whether the Fonz jumping on water skis over a shark was cool or lame. Whether Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare is not one of these questions. ...
Monday, October 24, 2011
This morning, there was this exchange in the comments of his post 'Ears, camera angles, and the "null hypothesis":'
Brad posted 'Ears, camera angles, and the "null hypothesis"' at his own blog, after posting at Political Gates.
From Ghostbuster's comment, the hypothesis is "the images we have access to can prove this point one way or another," and its null hypothesis is "the images we have access to cannot prove this point one way or another."
An alternative hypothesis is "the images we have access to cannot prove this point one way or another," and its null hypothesis is "the images we have access to can prove this point one way or another."
Sharlott wrote of the first hypothesis, "Exactly. That being true, you would be ill-advised to push the argument that there are different children involved. That is precisely the point I want everyone to take from this series I have done."
It appears as though Sharlott concurs with Ghostbuster's assertion that he (Sharlott) presented a "false dilemna."
Would Sharlott say of the alternate hypothesis, "you would be ill-advised to push the argument that there are not different children involved?"
Couldn't Sharlott conclude that it would be ill-advised to decide anything about the baby count with just one of those hypotheses? Either of them? Both of them?
The hypotheses are easier to understand written this way:
1) The images we have access to can prove this point, and its null hypothesis is the images we have access to cannot prove this point.Here is an even easier way to grasp the concept of hypothesis (and null hypothesis). Hypothesis: Otomorphenanan is an effective ear analgesic; Null hypothesis: it is not an effective ear analgesic. It is a concept used in drug trials, but the first time I've seen it used to identify a person was at Brad Sharlott's post.
2) The images we have access to cannot prove this point, and its null hypothesis is the images we have access to can prove this point.
Whatever your opinion of the foregoing may be, there is one very important hypothesis that should have been tested first, before the post at Political Gates appeared: Does ear shape individually identify a person? Like fingerprints? DNA? Even facial features? Isn't the post at Political Gates dependent -- assuming for the sake of argument that the pictures appear to be pictures of the same baby -- dependent on an assumption that ear shape individually identifies a person? Even if that hypothesis could be established with 95% certainty, would the pictures presented at Political Gates be adequate for an analysis under that hypothesis? Are they sufficiently sharp? Are they controlled for camera, lens, sensor, camera and lens settings, lighting, camera distance from the subject, camera shift and camera rotation relative to the subject to draw any conclusions using a hypothesis (if it could be established) that ears individually identify a person?
With these hypotheses, it can be said that we cannot be absolutely sure, using the published pictures, whether there was one baby or more than one baby. And, of course, before using any pictures, we would have to be certain that ears individually identify a person. And then, of course, we would need to be sure that our pictures were adequate for analysis based on that hypothesis.
The cat that should be out of the bag is that Brad Sharlott doesn't know how many babies there were, even though he appeared to be arguing at Political Gates that there was only one baby.
Note: In his post at Political Gates, Professor Sharlott attacked the blogger whose post began the more-than-one-baby discussion. This morning, that blogger expressed his ideas about Sharlott's post, here.
That's my $0.02. I suppose we're going to see more slow Palin-news days.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Yesterday morning, I learned that the SSL certificate for sarahpacdonate.com would expire that afternoon:
This morning, the certificate has indeed expired:
What does SarahPAC's certificate provider say about this?
That last image was obtained by clicking on the Trustwave "Click to Validate" button at sarahpacdonate.com. To do that, you will have to override your browser's warning that sarahpacdonate.com hasn't a valid certificate. Not recommended! If your browser doesn't warn you, something may be wrong with your browser.
What's the takeaway? Without a certificate issued by a Certificate Authority (CA), there are these problems: 1) No CA verifies that SarahPAC operates sarahpacdonate.com; 2) No CA has records indicating that SarahPAC is a valid entity; 3) Users of sarahpacdonate.com cannot be sure that their credit card and identity information are secure.
There may not be a lot of readers of this blog who are SarahPAC donors. If you're not a donor, there is no need to worry -- it may even be good for a laugh. It certainly indicates that SarahPAC is disorganized.
Don't trust sarahpacdonate.com without a valid certificate. Wait! What am I saying? Don't trust it even if it renews its certificate, unless you want to pay for Palin family vacations! Hahaha.
Note: All of the images can be enlarged by clicking on them.
For comparison, here is what clicking on the Trustwave "Click to Validate" button yielded yesterday when the certificate was valid:
Update: 27 October, 2011 ... sarahpacdonate.com appears to have renewed its certificate! What took them so long?
Friday, October 21, 2011
WASHINGTON — President Obama said Friday that the last American soldier would leave Iraq by the end of the year, bringing to an end a nearly nine-year military engagement that cost the lives of 4,400 troops and more than $1 trillion, divided the American public, and came to define America’s role in the world.There are about 40,000 U.S. non-combat U.S. troops in Iraq now. The 3,000 to 5,000 troops that might have remained as trainers could be replaced by contractors willing to operate under Iraqi law. We shall see.
Mr. Obama said that as of Jan. 1, 2012, the United States and Iraq would begin “a normal relationship between two sovereign nations, and equal partnership based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”
In a videoconference on Friday morning with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Mr. Obama told him of the administration’s decision, which grows out of an inability of the United States and Iraq to come to an agreement on leaving a few thousand military trainers in the country.
The United States had earlier agreed to exit Iraq by the end of the year and leave 3,000 to 5,000 troops in Iraq as trainers with some members of Congress advocating for a remaining force well. But after Iraq’s Parliament refused an American demand to give soldiers immunity from legal prosecution, the Pentagon changed in plans in recent weeks, scaling back even that meager number. ...
The war in Iraq was financed off-budget: "The Bush administration has chosen to finance the war by off-budget emergency supplemental appropriations, rather than include Iraq spending in the budget sent to Congress." In 2009, early in his administration, President Obama announced that the financial ruse set-up by the Republican administration of George Bush would no longer continue; see "Obama: No More War Spending Tricks."
Here is a CBS News video of the announcement, found here, where the 40,000 non-combat troop count was obtained. I believe that there are no U.S. combat troops in Iraq at this time.
Next year, Afghanistan! Germany! Japan! Korea! Where there are about 90,000, 50,000, 35,000 and 28,000 troops, respectively.
... God showed Sarah the door.Click the post's title to read Hightower's article at The Colorado Springs Independent.
In breaking the news of her departure from the political stage, the Fox-made millionaire trotted out her family again, declaring that she decided not to run out of respect for them.
Uh-huh... and out of respect for polls showing that only 21-percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of her. Also — get this — three-fourths of Republican primary voters said they did not want her in the GOP presidential race!
But let's give her credit. Yes, she's shown herself to be an incoherent, frighteningly unqualified, and far-out political figure, but without her, the door would not have opened for Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and other incoherent, frighteningly unqualified, and far-out Republican contenders. ...
For some new, same-old, same-old news about Sarah Palin, see Mudflats' "After Three Years, the State Requests Another Extension for the Palin Email Release."
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Joe found a reason why some may care, in "Sarah Palin's Next Media Stunt: Who Will She Endorse?" He doesn't seem to think anyone should care, and neither do I. Here are my reasons why Sarah Palin is dead, politically:
She quit.That's my $0.02.
She won't have any delegates at the convention, so she won't have a single bargaining chip.
Her fans remember a "draft Eisenhower" campaign that succeeded, but they fail to realize that Sarah Palin is no Dwight Eisenhower.
Her fans are so stuck on her that they're likely to sit out the election, even if she endorses someone.
She is so polarizing that the eventual Republican nominee may well cringe at the thought of being endorsed by her.
This post's title is a quote from Joe McGinniss' post.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Mitt Romney said he liked Herman Cain’s “chutzpah.” He laughed, mirthlessly, when Rick Perry accused him of lying about hiring undocumented workers in his home. And he really didn’t enjoy being interrupted. Mr. Romney put a hand on Mr. Perry’s arm, space invasion of the first kind, and said, “I’m speaking, I’m speaking, I’m speaking, I’m speaking.”
False praise, forced laughter, high dudgeon: All that was missing in Tuesday’s Republican showdown was someone tossing a glass of chardonnay across the set.
People keep saying the primary debates are like a reality show, as if disputes over tax plans and immigration were akin to elimination rounds on “Dancing With the Stars” or “The Amazing Race.”
But those are not the right kind of reality shows. The ones that Tuesday’s event mirrored revolve around casting, not competition. Debates showcase personality far more than policy positions. ...
It's an amusing, well written article and includes an eleven-picture slide show as well as a wrap-up video. Click the post's title to read the entire article at The New York Times.
The post's photo was taken in Las Vegas, where the debate occurred. It is cropped from one of the article's slideshow photos.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Oh my: She's Tupelo bound! I know a song about that.
I first encountered Nick Cave as a writer of Ute Lemper's "Little Water Song," so I got The Best of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, which has a "Tupelo" track. Its sonic landscape seemed like a train relentlessly bearing down on Tupelo; perhaps because the band's vocalization of "Tupelo-o-o" sounded like a train's whistle in this and other parts:
Distant thunder rumble. Distant thunder rumbleThe song may actually be about a big storm headed for Tupelo. Gonna be a flood ... a flood of lies.
Rumble hungry like the Beast
The Beast it cometh, cometh down
The Beast it cometh, cometh down
Wo wo wo-o-o
Tupelo bound. Tupelo-o-o. Yeah Tupelo
The Beast it cometh, Tupelo bound
In the CD's liner notes, it's said of the lyrics of "Tupelo" that Nick Cave is speaking through the character of a visionary southern preacher articulating a warped Old Testament logic. The notes go on to say: 'These metaphorical figures, and others like those in "Saint Huck" and "The Carny" (the latter included here), are both blessed and blighted: beautiful losers, holy fools, cast out of the light. Like the similar cast of characters who would appear on 1996's Murder Ballads, they tend to be consumed by extreme, often literally murderous, emotions; adrift or else drowning, at odds with themselves and the world.'
Sarah "will be sharing her personal testimony of faith on Saturday afternoon at each of the conferences." She may be that visionary southern preacher, or that beast. "The Beast it cometh, Tupelo bound." Be careful, Tupelo!
Looka yonder! Looka yonder!Here are Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds singing "Tupelo:"
Looka yonder! A big black cloud come!
A big black cloud come!
O comes to Tupelo. Comes to Tupelo
The quoted information about Sarah's appearance in Tupelo was found at "Extraordinary Women Conference Adds Governor Sarah Palin to Three Additional Events."
The lyrics for "Tupelo" were found here. They may not be 100% accurate.
The YouTube video of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds singing "Tupelo" is the same length as the track that appears on The Best of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds CD, but I haven't compared the lyrics. Compressed and heard through tinny PC speakers, it isn't quite the portent of doom that it is on the CD.
Monday, October 17, 2011
... Over the past three years, it became apparent to all but a handful of cultists that her only interests were money and celebrity. She had no concept of public service, and no capacity to serve even if she had wished to do so. Soon even those last cultists will quietly abandon the argument. We talk often these days about makers and takers. Sarah Palin was the ultimate taker. She abandoned her post as governor of Alaska to cash in on lectures and TV. She squeezed her supporters for political donations and spent the money on herself. To adapt an old phrase, she seen her opportunities and she took ‘em.
In the end, she exploited, abused, or embarrassed almost everyone who had believed in her. Most embarrassing of all: she was never even a very good con artist. Everything that was false and petty and unqualified in her was visible within the first minutes of encountering her. The people she fooled were people who passionately wished to be fooled. ...
Click the post's title to read David Frum's post of the same title. Frum is a conservative.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
From the Post's article:
President Obama and his team have decided to turn public anger at Wall Street into a central tenet of their reelection strategy.
The move comes as the Occupy Wall Street protests gain momentum across the country and as polls show deep public distrust of the nation’s major financial institutions. ...
... Obama aides point to recent surveys that show anger at Wall Street spanning ideologies, including a new Washington Post-ABC News poll in which 68 percent of independents and 60 percent of Republicans say they have unfavorable impressions of the big financial institutions.
But the strategy of channeling anti-Wall Street anger carries risks. Many of Obama’s senior advisers have ties to the financial industry — a point that makes Occupy protesters wary of the president and his party. ...
... And many on the left have attacked Obama and his administration for its ties to Wall Street, arguing that the financial regulatory overhaul fell far short of an industry makeover that many critics believed necessary.
Much of his top economic team has roots in the financial services industry, and in recent months [Chief of Staff William] Daley and top campaign aides have devoted much of their time [to] improving the relationship with big-dollar donors on Wall Street. ...
To be fair, it should be noted that Republican candidates also have relationships with "big-dollar donors on Wall Street."
The Post's article notes that President Obama has been critical of Bank of America for its plan to collect $5/month for the use of a debit card; however, with or without its plan, that bank will remain a sick bank. The Democratic national convention will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, headquarters of Bank of America.
BBC has a story about the Occupy Wall Street movement becoming a global movement: "'Occupy' protests at financial crisis go worldwide." The article notes, 'Witnesses blamed attacks on cars and businesses on a small number of masked militants, dubbed the "black blocs" because of the colour of their clothes.' This post's photo (taken in Rome) was obtained from that story.
Update: This morning, there is an AP story, "From Florida to Alaska, thousands join NYC protest against corporate greed," (via Washington Post (with slideshow)) about OWS developments.
Update: AlterNet has a story: "Andrew Breitbart's Pathetic Attempt to Smear Occupy Wall St."
Update: The Daily Beast has "Anarchists Hijack Rome Protests," which has some more information about the "black bloc."
Update: OccupyWallStreet has a definition of a "black bloc." OccupyWallStreet's website is here.
Friday, October 14, 2011
He spoke with Seattle's KIRO:
The interview can be downloaded at '"Rogue" author Joe McGinniss chats with Ron and Don.'
Joe also spoke with Chicago's WGN. That interview can be heard at "John Williams 10/12/11: 2:00p-3:00p WIll The Real Sarah Palin Please Stand Up?"
He posted about the conference he mentioned during the KIRO interview at "Chicago Ideas Week."
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
"Q&A with Sarah Palin's Chaperone" is an earlier post about Nicolle Wallace's book and contains a link to an earlier post with links to excerpts of the book and video of Wallace's statement about the inspiration for "Tara" on Rachel Maddow's show.
The post's video was found at "Nicolle Wallace: Palin ‘Incredibly Withdrawn’ as VP Candidate; Sparked Talk of Removal from Ticket."
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
On Thursday, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted fifty students for the Let's Move soccer clinic, which was held on the South Lawn of the White House:
On Wednesday, she worked in the White House kitchen garden, with students from Bancroft and Tubman elementary schools:
You can follow some of the First Lady's activites at Mrs. O, which has been "following the fashion and style of First Lady Michelle Obama since 2008." Mrs. O is a style/fashion blog and its photos are taken at public activities the First Lady attends; it can be found on the blog's sidebar, filed under "Interesting Stuff."
Photo credits appear in the photos's links and at Mrs. O.
Friday, October 7, 2011
- After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States.
- As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country.
- My decision maintains this order. My decision is based upon a review of what common sense Conservatives and Independents have accomplished, especially over the last year. I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office -- from the nation's governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency.
- We need to continue to actively and aggressively help those who will stop the 'fundamental transformation' of our nation and instead seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional republic based on the rule of law.
If you'd like to undermine Axelrod's credibility, consider his last two sentences, "I knew she wouldn't run when I discovered that she had quit a bevy of colleges before she ever earned her degree. That's a fundamental character flaw and those things can never be transformed." Some might say that she transferred rather than "quit." In "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin," Joe McGinniss states as fact that she completed a degree at University of Idaho.
On the other hand, if you're inclined to agree with Axelrod's assessment of those snippets, you're probably aware of what a blunder it might be to claim that Sarah Palin didn't write the statement, as in "It was ghostwritten."
By the way, I think "word salad" can be parsed. I read a Wall Street Journal story and knew before anyone else that Sarah Palin had finished "seriously deliberating" whether to throw her wig into the ring. She gave it away with her verb tense in "This is a serious decision, and I’ve engaged in serious deliberations." That article is "Sarah Palin's dilemma." She had already made her decision when she made that statement.
Update: Sarah Palin's quit-the-tease statement can be found on Facebook, here.
Update: The Washington Post has "For Sarah Palin: God, family, then country?"
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
If you've got champagne, now might be a good time to open it. I got a can of Asahi "Dry" from my neighbor, an arch-conservative; he doesn't know what an evil "socialist" I am. If only he knew. The can contains 33.8 fluid ounces, about three times as much as an ordinary beer! I'm sipping it slowly, because I don't weigh a lot and should finish this post before the room starts spinning. Woohoo!
Sarah could have called major media outlets. There might have been a global, news-making press conference. But she didn't want to answer their questions. Instead, she had a conservative radio host read her statement, then she answered questions that he carefully framed for her, so that she could take one last parting shot at her critics. She phoned it in.
I'd like to think my post of this morning, "Uh-oh. Sarah doesn't have a campaign committee," finally smoked her out, but last Saturday's "Requiem for a Wannabe Queen" may have played a part.
Talking with Mark Levin, Sarah Palin rambled on-and-on about President Obama, and she thinks she'll have a role to play doing this: Sniping (for any reason, real or imagined).
If she does that, there will continue to be things to post about Sarah Palin. But there are more interesting things to write about, especially about politics and especially about politics and its intersection with economics. Many have been taken for a ride and have consistently voted against their best interests. I may start another blog for that or write about that here; those stories aren't difficult to associate with Sarah Palin, but there's something declasse about writing -- even reading -- about Sarah Palin. We'll see. Tonight, I feel like I got my life back.
The bare, unadorned text of Sarah Palin's announcement can be read at Mudflats' "Sarah Palin Will Not Seek the Presidency in 2012 – Country Comes Third."
Several media outlets have stories: Anchorage's Daily News has "Palin announces she won't seek GOP presidential nomination." ABC News has "Sarah Palin Will Not Run for President." The New York Times has "Palin Says She’s Not Running." USA Today has "Sarah Palin won't run for president." Last but not least, Fox News has a story pimping -- what else? -- Sarah Palin's appearance, tonight, on Greta Van Susteren's show.
You can hear Mark Levin reading Sarah Palin's statement at "BREAKING NEWS: SARAH PALIN'S 2012 ANNOUNCEMENT."
Hasta la vista, Sarah.
Update: Sarah finally got around to posting her statement on Facebook, here.
Update: AP has a story, "Palin statement on decision not to run," which simply quotes Sarah Palin's statement.
Update: It's the morning after. I drank about one-half the Asahi and put the rest in the fridge for later. Joe McGinniss wrote "Arrivederci, Sarah!" for The Daily Beast.
Update: ABC News has "Sarah Palin’s Die Hard Supporters ‘Stunned,’ ‘Disappointed."
Update: Fox News has "Palin Opts Against 2012 Presidential Run," which has video of Sarah Palin's appearance on Greta Van Susteren's show, last night.
Update: Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch has "Sarah Palin will not run. How will comedy survive?"
TIME Magazine has published an interview with Nicolle Wallace. The magazine asked questions (and made one statement) in order to get Wallace to talk about her book:
- This novel reads like a lighthearted novel for people interested in politics, but it's also a pretty big indictment of how the political process works. Where were you going for with this book?
- In the book, the vice presidential character, Tara Meyers, is completely unfit for her job.
- When you were working on the McCain campaign, what about Sarah Palin alarmed you so much?
- You have a line in the book where the vice president is talking about why the American people love her. And she says, "The person they admire isn't me, it's the idea that I'm them." Why do we need to have our politicians to be just like us? Do we really need to drink a beer with the President?
- There are so many women in these high-powered positions in this book, but they're talking about men and clothes and food. The female President was eating a bowl of fat-free yogurt. Why were they eating all the time?
Nicolle Wallace also appeared on Rachel Maddow's show recently, where she said that Sarah Palin inspired the "Tara" character and where she made the "cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" remark. You can see a video with Wallace's remarks on Maddow's show at "Sarah Palin inspired Nicolle Wallace's character "Tara," a "Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" Vice President." That post includes links to places where excerpts of "It's Classified" can be read.
... [C]alls were made on behalf of a mystery candidate to various early states to determine presidential filing deadlines.The drop dead date -- Sarah's self-imposed drop dead date for deciding was September 30 -- for a New Hampshire filing is October 28. But here's the fly in the ointment -- the deal breaker -- a candidate has to pay a filing fee and that fee must come "from a federally registered presidential campaign committee."
The calls were made by representatives of the law firm Baker Hostetler - a firm that employs lawyer Mark Braden, who represents Sarah PAC, her political action committee.
As Ken notes, while he nor representatives of Palin’s campaign would comment on the calls, Palin is the only GOP politician eying the presidential race who is represented by the firm. ...
Sarah doesn't have such a committee. She's never even bothered to form an exploratory committee. "Unconventional" candidates do need to do conventional things.
It may be possible for Sarah to get her ducks in a row by the 28th, but it might be best for her to file before then. Remember, Sarah's trademark application was initially rejected because it hadn't been signed. A presidential primary filing is trickier than a trademark application.
Bonus: Politico's Alexander Burns writes, "Sarah Palin hasn’t closed the door yet on a presidential bid. But few Republicans appear to be waiting for her answer. ..." in "GOP looks past Sarah Palin for 2012."
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
... This tactic of inducing public distrust of government is not only cynical, it is schizophrenic. For people who profess to revere the Constitution, it is strange that they so caustically denigrate the very federal government that is the material expression of the principles embodied in that document. This is not to say that there is not some theoretical limit to the size or intrusiveness of government; I would be the first to say there are such limits, both fiscal and Constitutional. But most Republican officeholders seem strangely uninterested in the effective repeal of Fourth Amendment protections by the Patriot Act, the weakening of habeas corpus and self-incrimination protections in the public hysteria following 9/11 or the unpalatable fact that the United States has the largest incarcerated population of any country on earth. If anything, they would probably opt for more incarcerated persons, as imprisonment is a profit center for the prison privatization industry, which is itself a growth center for political contributions to these same politicians. Instead, they prefer to rail against those government programs that actually help people. And when a program is too popular to attack directly, like Medicare or Social Security, they prefer to undermine it by feigning an agonized concern about the deficit. ...
... Republicans are among the most shrill in self-righteously lecturing other countries about the wonders of democracy; exporting democracy (albeit at the barrel of a gun) to the Middle East was a signature policy of the Bush administration. But domestically, they don't want those people voting.
You can probably guess who those people are. Above all, anyone not likely to vote Republican. As Sarah Palin would imply, the people who are not Real Americans. Racial minorities. Immigrants. Muslims. Gays. Intellectuals. Basically, anyone who doesn't look, think, or talk like the GOP base. This must account, at least to some degree, for their extraordinarily vitriolic hatred of President Obama. I have joked in the past that the main administration policy that Republicans object to is Obama's policy of being black. Among the GOP base, there is constant harping about somebody else, some "other," who is deliberately, assiduously and with malice aforethought subverting the Good, the True and the Beautiful: Subversives. Commies. Socialists. Ragheads. Secular humanists. Blacks. Fags. Feminazis. The list may change with the political needs of the moment, but they always seem to need a scapegoat to hate and fear.
It is not clear to me how many GOP officeholders believe this reactionary and paranoid claptrap. I would bet that most do not. But they cynically feed the worst instincts of their fearful and angry low-information political base with a nod and a wink. ...
Mike Lofgren's article should be read by everyone. What's wrong with the Republican party has probably never been so thoroughly described, so succinctly, anywhere else. The article was so good that it was difficult to decide what to excerpt. The article appeared at Truthout.org and was classified as News Analysisis. The article is "Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult." Although Lofgren mainly concerns himself with the problems of the Republican Party, the Democratic Party doesn't escape his scorn.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Interestingly, the article is written in such a way that it doesn't allege that Koch Industries broke the law in its dealings with Iran; it may insinuate that they broke the law, and with an uncareful reading of the article some may infer that the company broke the law. Bloomberg Markets provided the article to Koch Industries prior to publication in order to obtain their comments. Regarding sales to Iran, Koch's Director of Corporate Communications, Melissa Cohlmia, e-mailed this to the article's publisher:
Regarding sales to Iran, she wrote, “During the relevant time frame covered in your article, U.S. law allowed foreign subsidiaries of U.S. multinational companies to engage in trade involving countries subject to U.S. trade sanctions, including Iran, under certain conditions.”The article claims that Koch Industries "sidestepped" a trade ban with Iran; however, the evidence the article cites for that claim could just as easily be construed to be an effort to comply with the law, and there is nothing sinister about that.
Indeed, In April of 2008, Koch Industries hired a compliance and ethics manager for Europe and Asia, Ludmila Egorova-Farines, who immediately traveled to Koch's corporate headquarters in Wichita to attend an internal compliance conference. Egorova-Farines then traveled to France, in May, where she discovered that a subsidiary in Arles had paid bribes to obtain contracts. When she notified headquarters of what she had found, Koch sent investigators to look into her allegations. By September of the same year, those investigators had found evidence of violations of criminal law (bribes to obtain contracts) in six countries, beginning in 2002.
Egorova-Farines was removed from the investigation in August, 2008, and she was terminated for incompetence in June of 2009. She sued Koch-Glitsch, a Koch Industries subsidiary, for wrongful termination, but Bloomberg Markets' article does not state whether her suit was successful; however, it does state that a letter from "Koch Industries," written on December 8, 2008, was entered into evidence at a French trial, and states that the letter became public in a French civil court ruling in September of 2010. Perhaps the letter was entered into evidence during Egorova-Farines wrongful termination suit. Perhaps the French court's ruling was that Egorova-Farines was not improperly terminated.
The "smoking gun," mentioned by Sara Sun Beale, was found, apparently, in the letter made public by the French court. Apparently, but we're not sure, the letter is about paying bribes to obtain contracts. Did Koch Industries pay a bribe to obtain an Iranian contract? All we know at this point is that the investigators found evidence of bribery to obtain contracts in "six countries." If the company did pay a bribe to obtain business in Iran, was the business that it obtained forbidden by law? There are two separate issues there.
One of the greatest realizations of human thought has been this: If event A preceeds event B, it doesn't necessarily follow that event A caused event B. It wouldn't be wise to conclude that Egorova-Farines was fired because she found evidence of bribery to obtain contracts. Neither should we conclude that she received any training about spotting bribery when she attended the internal compliance conference before she went to France and discovered the bribery.
Ranting about the activites of one company doesn't address the real problem. Let's put things into some perspective: if the estimate of Koch Industries' revenue of $100 Billion per year is correct, and if the estimate of $100 Million Koch Brothers' gifts to right-wing causes is correct, then they have only spent one-thousandth of the company's one-year revenues on those causes, if their $100 Million donation occurred in just one year. Those donations represent 1 dollar for every 1000 dollars in revenue -- just one tenth of one per-cent, if the donations occurred in one year only. To put it further into perspective, the revenues of Koch Industries are but a fraction of the revenues of all corporations, many of which lobby for regulatory reform.
The real problem is that many businesses are opposed to regulation, and some would like to tear down existing regulatory law. A letter to your members of congress ranting about Koch Industries won't get far. Congress isn't interested in making laws against any corporation; Congress is, however, keenly interested in business regulation and over the years has enacted regulatory law and has delegated some of its authority to various agencies which have made administrative law. An argument based solely on the activity of one company is a poor argument. Remember that the Koch Brothers' gifts are derived from Koch Industries revenues which are but a small part of all corporate revenues. If your member of congress were to respond to an argument based solely on the activites of Koch Industries, he or she might reasonably ask you to provide additional examples, examples of how other companies have behaved. Unfortunately, no one can argue from "illegal activity" without knowing that a law has been broken. So, in order to take this problem up with members of congress, a better approach is to advocate for retaining existing regulatory law or to argue for strengthening regulatory law. Arguments for retaining, even strengthening, existing regulatory law aren't difficult to come by, and it's easy to send a letter to your representatives, but a letter should be written by you. Congress can be old-fashioned, but its members are quite capable of screening their incoming correspondence for astroturf, mass e-mail and fax campaigns ... whatever you'd like to call it.
If it's any consolation, if the Koch Brothers have donated to the Tea Party, then they have made a poor investment. The Tea Party fell into disrepute over its don't-care-if-we-default attitude during the debt ceiling negotiations. So much so that Sarah Palin went to Indianola, Iowa to deliver what she billed a "full throated defense of the tea party." That was a dud, too.
Whether an action over the evidence, if any, contained within the letter made public by the French court ever occurs will be interesting to learn. If it happens, we shouldn't assume that it was precipitated by Bloomberg Markets' article. Remember about event A and event B? In fact, Department of Justice should be given credit for knowing about a lot of things before anyone else does. The article makes clear that a department spokeswoman would not confirm or deny the existence of any investigation.
Did I miss anything? Do I need to go read the "prebuttals?" I don't think so. I can think for myself.
Justin Elliott's tout is "Koch brothers spooked by forthcoming story."
Bloomberg Markets' story is "Koch Brothers Flout Law With Secret Iran Sales."
A New Yorker story is "Covert Operations," which is Jane Mayer's article about the Koch brothers. The $100 Billion and $100 Million figures, used above, were obtained from that article.
Update: Koch Industries has issued a press release, "Koch General Counsel Mark Holden Responds to Bloomberg Markets Magazine," which includes a link to an Engish translation of the French court's decision, mentioned above, as well as affidavits filed by Koch Industries. I haven't had time to read them, but they may be interesting. Now, don't have a knee-jerk response and assume that I am defending Koch Industries anywhere in this post. I am not. My post is simply legitimate criticism of the article posted by Bloomberg Markets, and it suggests how the larger problem of corporations' desire for regulatory reform can be addressed.
Update: Reading from the decision of the French court, this was the courts decision on grounds for termination:
The Tribunal note that several times the employer strived to find the compatibility between its needs and Mrs. EGOROVA-FARINES ’ skills.From the court's decision, too:
Mrs. EGOROVA-FARINES interpreted this search for compatibility as a challenge of both her personally and her skill. This likely led to some misunderstanding which became more acute month after month. (And probably to a deterioration of her health).
Given the impossibility to communicate which arose between the employee and itself, the employer was forced to draw conclusions: i.e. terminate Mrs. EGOROVA-FARINES .
The Tribunal dismiss of all Mrs. EGOROVA-FARINES ’s claims.
Egorova-Farines alleged in her wrongful termination suit that she had been terminated "for having reported (in May 2008) alleged facts of corruption at the Company." There is not an admission of criminal activity by Koch there.The article states that Koch's termination letter to Egorova-Farines contains a "smoking gun." It quotes, “Those activities constitute violations of criminal law,” without any context, presumably from Koch's termination letter of December 2008 to Egorova-Farines. Egorova-Farines probably has the letter; she was a source for the article. How did Sara Sun Beale, who states, "The payments to win contracts documented by Koch investigators may violate U.S. law," obtain the letter? Does the letter contain a "smoking gun?" Something that would damage Egorova-Farines credibility? The article's omission of the disposition of Egorova-Farines suit and failure to quote more from the termination letter is troubling, because it doesn't permit the reader to evaluate important parts of the story's background, and it doesn't permit the reader to evaluate the credibility of one of the story's primary sources -- "Egorova-Farines says," "she says," ... .
The article's statement:
Egorova-Farines wasn’t rewarded for bringing the illicit payments to the company’s attention.is disingenous in light of the French court's verdict. I suppose that if that was the extent of her relationship with her employer she might have been rewarded; however, the "reward" for doing one's job is often only that one gets to come back tomorrow.
In the first affidavit,
"On or about May 30, 2008 when the allegations of possible bribery ... ." There is not an admission of criminal activity by Koch there.Is the article's statement "By September of that year, the researchers had found evidence of improper payments to secure contracts in six countries dating back to 2002, authorized by the business director of the company’s Koch-Glitsch affiliate in France" accurate?
Update: Pro Publica -- "Journalism in the public interest" -- has posted "What Are the Latest Revelations About Koch Industries?"
Sunday, October 2, 2011
What will it take to get Chris Christie to say yes and run for the GOP nomination?Aside from echoing Herman Cain's "come on down" idiom, it isn't until the article's last paragraph that Williams explains why (he thinks) Christie would get in, if Palin gets in:
Come on down -- Sarah Palin.
All the talk about Palin has the Republican political establishment seeing red. They fear losing control of the nominating process and the whole party spiraling down, sinking into a sea of far-right polarization and the cult of personality around Palin if “Sarah Barracuda” – her nickname as star high school basketball player -- swims into their waters and begins eating up Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and the other current Republican candidates.It isn't difficult to imagine Sarah Palin, who considers the Republican primary process to be a quasi-reality show, standing on a debate stage and asking, whenever one of the other candidates disagreed with her, "When did you stop beating your spouse?" So, yes, there may be some concern in the "Republican establishment" that she would turn the process into a circus.
But what is this "Republican establishment?" Who are its members? I can only think of Republican governors, members of congress, former high office holders, and a few pundits, like Karl Rove and, perhaps, Juan Williams. Collectively, they are incapable of preventing Sarah Palin from running. How could they force Chris Christie to run? Would Christie run, if Palin runs? He has said that he won't run.
Sarah Palin will ignore these establishment guys and run, if she wants to run. She might run to spite them, now that an enemy has been identified for her. I know: poles are for strippers, so she might also easily ignore polls that indicate that an overwhelming number of republican voters -- not establishment guys -- are concerned about their candidate's electability and are looking to nominate someone, anyone but Sarah Palin.
Sarah Palin has done Sarah Palin in, so no one should blame her problems on the republican establishment. Of course, Sarah Palin may do just that. Her fans will be angry, if she announces that she won't run. But by blaming the establishment she could deflect their anger away from her and onto the establishment. Who knows? They might sit out the election!
Juan Williams wrote "Opinion: If Palin Enters the 2012 Contest, Christie Will Too."
Herman Cain says, "Come on down," in CBS News' "Herman Cain: My supporters "do not defect."
Sarah Palin called the republican primary process a quasi-reality show during an appearance on Fox Business News, an appearance in which she complained that her colleague, Juan Williams, had said something "nasty" about her. The Wall Street Journal's "Palin: Wait a While Longer" quotes Sarah Palin's quasi-reality show remark, which was made when she attempted to walkback her statement that Herman Cain is "flavor of the week." If I remember correctly, Sarah complains about Juan's "nasty" remark in Lawrence O'Donnell's "Sarah Palin is on thin ice" video, which can be viewed at "Requiem for a Wannabe Queen."
P.S. I'm off for the rest of today and tomorrow, unless Sarah makes an announcement.
- "She sounds stupid and she is stupid, so that part is real," McGinnis told CTVNews.ca in an interview, when asked whether there's any truth to the old-fashioned, American values image that has been crafted for Palin.
- "This folksy, family values kind of thing, it's just the opposite. She's not folksy, she's not warm, she's not personable, she's not just the girl next door. She's a vengeful, mean spirited, somewhat paranoid woman who's also a religious fanatic."
- McGinnis said Palin, the former governor of Alaska and former mayor of Wasilla, still draws a lot of water in her home state, and many sources would only speak anonymously for fear of retribution.
"A lot of people have said if you quote me by name at the very least I'm going to lose my job and it could get worse, look at the things she did to you, the things she said about you, and all you did was move in next door."
While he admits this isn't ideal, he said he only used information he could corroborate with several sources and often had to weed through rumours and innuendo that simply didn't turn out to be true.
As much as 80 per cent of the material he collected wasn't used because he was unable to meet that standard of corroboration, McGinnis said.
- Palin has been ambiguous about whether she plans to throw her name in the hat for the Republican presidential nomination.
McGinnis, however, said he believes Palin has decided against it.
CTV Edmonton's article is "Palin 'vengeful,' says author who moved in next door."
The complete "Canada AM" interview may be available in two parts, here and here; however, lately, the video hasn't been viewable -- a we-are-experiencing-technical-difficulties error occurs.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Hey! "Herb" Cain forgives Sarah Palin and explains that he isn't "iced milk," but "Black Walnut," a flavor with substance.
Sarah Palin called Herman Cain the “flavor of the week” when he won a closely-watched straw poll in Florida, but the former Godfather's Pizza executive said Friday his particular flavor has substance.
“I happen to believe there’s iced milk, and then there’s Haagan-Daas Black Walnut,” Cain said on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". “Substance, that’s the difference. I got the substance. I’m the Black Walnut. It lasts longer than a week.”
It was left to Jay Leno's viewers to decide who, if anyone, is "iced milk," and which of the Republican candidates (any of 'em? all of 'em?) don't have any substance. What might Sarah say? She might say, '"Herb" is nuts.' That follows from "Black Walnut," doesn't it? But then Cain's statement may confirm her belief that the Republican primaries are a "quasi-reality show" and that the 24/7 news cycle is a "fast movie." (See the previous post for the context of those statements made by Sarah Palin.) Whatever! ... "Herb" has proven that a news cycle can last longer than 24 hours.
'Cain also forgave the former Alaska governor for mistakenly calling him Herb Cain: I’m going to forgive her, doesn’t know that only my enemies call me Herb,” Cain said. “I’m going to forgive her this time."'
See CNN's "TRENDING: Cain: My flavor is Black Walnut."
I know. I know: Some say that the mainstream media isn't doing its job, but, on the other hand, some might consider whether the mainstream media is assuming that its audience is reasonably intelligent and doesn't want to be told what to think.
News can be made through comedy, and comedy can be subtler than the newspapers. Not to digress too far, but The Washington Post has been called "Pravda on the Potomac," a Cold War reference. Perhaps, some should learn to read between the lines. Sigh. Someday, I may post "How to read a newspaper."
The rush to hold the first vote throws a wrench into Sarah Palin's "serious deliberations" which, by the way, aren't serious at all, and to top it off, Sarah Palin is skating on thin ice at Fox News. Lawrence O'Donnell delivers that news:
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire obtained a preview of Sarah Palin's remarks on one of the Fox shows O'Donnell talks about. In their story, they note that "Ms. Palin is a paid contributor for Fox, which is owned by News Corp., as is The Wall Street Journal," so they may well be writing of what they've been told by a highly placed source in News Corp when they write: "Ms. Palin, who has taken no serious steps toward a run, ... ." The article states that Sarah Palin DID call Herman Cain "flavor of the week," and it goes on to quote what she would later be heard saying on Fox Business Network in an attempt to walkback that remark. She dug a deeper hole for herself by calling the Republican primary process a "quasi-reality show" and by quipping that the 24/7 news cycle is a "fast movie." A quasi-candidate and a former reality show participant would know, right?
Sarah Palin hasn't even formed an exploratory committee. The Atlantic's Chris Good wrote an informative article about what serious presidential candidates do. His article is "What's an Exploratory Committee?"
The Washington Post's story about the rush to move-up the primaries is "As Florida moves to January, New Hampshire threatens December primary."
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire story is "Palin: Wait a While Longer."
Some say that it's hopeless to attempt to parse "word salad," but I'm not so sure. Considering her grammar, Sarah Palin has told us that she is NOT seriously deliberating about a run.