21 October, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's (late) opining on the public discourse.

Right, my darlings. I do apologize for abandoning you all for work and a liberal-minded coworker. Thankee kindly for allowing me to slack off on my duties.

I am back. I am informed. And now, let the smackdown begin.

Sarah Palin makes What Not to Wear green with envy over the green she lets the Republicon National Committee spend on her hair, makeup and clothes. She also seems to have a strange idea of how to go about "end[ing] the culture of self-dealing:"

She does seem to have a talent for getting other people to pay for things, though. And while I don't mind when she charges the RNC, I might be a bit annoyed if I were a citizen of Alaska:

"Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters' 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.

Alaska law does not specifically address expenses for a governor's children. The law allows for payment of expenses for anyone conducting official state business.

As governor, Palin justified having the state pay for the travel of her daughters -- Bristol, 17; Willow, 14; and Piper, 7 -- by noting on travel forms that the girls had been invited to attend or participate in events on the governor's schedule.

But some organizers of these events said they were surprised when the Palin children showed up uninvited, or said they agreed to a request by the governor to allow the children to attend."

Where I come from, when you say that your kids were invited and they weren't, that's called "lying." And when you amend expense reports to say they were on official business when they weren't, that's called "falsifying documents." No doubt that's because I don't come from Real America, and haven't absorbed nearly enough of its timeless moral values.

I've noticed that Republicon ethics seem to follow these guidelines: Democrats must never ever engage in remotely questionable ethical behavior, but Republicons are free to indulge in the most flagrant of ethics violations as long as they're a) robbing somebody blind and b) have a flimsy excuse handy.

They also have an incredibly hard time a) remembering the outlandish things they've said and done (probably because there are so many) and b) understanding that other people have longer memories and recording devices:

On Saturday, Republican North Carolina Reps. Patrick McHenry and Robin Hayes warmed up the crowd at a rally for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) by throwing red meat to the right-wing audience. As ThinkProgress noted, the New York Observer’s Jason Horowitz reported that Hayes “accused Obama of ‘inciting class warfare’ and said that ‘liberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God.’”

Yesterday, the Politico’s Ryan Grim contacted Hayes’s spokeswoman, Amanda Little, who said that the congressman denied making the comments:

Hayes spokeswoman, Amanda Little, says that Hayes absolutely denies making the comments that appear in the Observer article. She noted that other national reporters were at the event and didn’t pick up on what the Observer reported. […]

Hayes spokeswoman Little is still denying it and accuses The Crypt of “irresponsible journalism.”

Horowitz stood behind his story, saying that the reason most national reporters didn’t cover the remarks is because they weren’t there; the national media’s plane hadn’t yet arrived. “I wasn’t on the plane,” explained Horowitz. “I don’t know if they were aware the national press wasn’t there, but they were staying stuff.”

Audio of the event recorded by Lisa Miller of WFAE in Charlotte, NC now definitively shows that Hayes has been lying about not saying that “liberals hate real Americans.”

It's crystal clear audio, too. Have a listen:

Beyond priceless, isn't he? That exaggerated hick accent, those loathsome views - a true man of the mob, that.

The whole sorry saga, including Hayes's lame attempt to explain his way out after being caught in a blatant fucking lie, is at Politico, and it makes for some truly entertaining reading.

Poor memories abound in the Republicon party. I'm sure someone explained to Sarah Palin just what a Vice President does after her epic fail in July, but the lesson doesn't seem to have been absorbed:

Yesterday, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) sat for an interview with KUSA, an NBC affiliate in Colorado. In response to a question sent to the network by a third grader at a local elementary school about what the Vice President does, Palin erroneously argued that the Vice President is “in charge of the United States Senate“:

Q: Brandon Garcia wants to know, “What does the Vice President do?”

PALIN: That’s something that Piper would ask me! … [T]hey’re in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom.


Article I of the Constitution establishes an exceptionally limited role for the Vice President — giving the office holder a vote only when the Senate is “equally divided”:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

Moreover, the U.S. Senate website explains that the modern role of Vice Presidents has been to preside over the Senate “only on ceremonial occasions.” ThinkProgress contacted Senior Assistant Paliamentarian Peter Robinson, who also disputed Palin’s characterization of the Vice President’s role:

In modern practice the Vice President doesn’t really control the Senate. … If anyone has a responsibility to try to govern the Senate, it’s the responsibility of the two leaders.

Has anyone given this woman an MRI to see if she has a functioning brain? I'm afraid it's only air in there. This, my darlings, is the person whom John McCain in his infinitesimal wisdom has decreed is ready to become our President if he should croak: a woman who doesn't even know what the job is nearly two months after she was nominated for it.

No wonder so many conservatives are fleeing the Republicon party:

There have been more than a few "Obamacans" this year -- the group of relatively high-profile Republicans and conservatives who, for a variety of reasons, are supporting Barack Obama. We've seen some from current and former lawmakers (Leach, Gilchrest, Chafee), some Republican officials (Powell, Kmiec), and some well known political observers (Buckley), and even some conservative scholars.

But it never would have occurred to me that Ken Adelman would throw his support to Obama.

Ken Adelman is a lifelong conservative Republican. Campaigned for Goldwater, was hired by Rumsfeld at the Office of Economic Opportunity under Nixon, was assistant to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld under Ford, served as Reagan's director of arms control, and joined the Defense Policy Board for Rumsfeld's second go-round at the Pentagon, in 2001. Adelman's friendship with Rumsfeld, Cheney, and their wives goes back to the sixties, and he introduced Cheney to Paul Wolfowitz at a Washington brunch the day Reagan was sworn in.

In recent years, Adelman and his friends Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz fell out over his criticisms of the botching of the Iraq War. Still, he remains a bona-fide hawk ("not really a neo-con but a con-con") who has never supported a Democrat for President in his life. Two weeks from now that's going to change: Ken Adelman intends to vote for Barack Obama. He can hardly believe it himself.

Adelman told George Packer that he's basing his decision largely on questions of "temperament" and "judgment." As Adelman sees it, McCain faced a temperament test when the financial crisis began, and McCain failed under pressure, becoming "impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird."

McCain's judgment test came when choosing a running mate, Adelman argued, and he failed that one, too.

Funny. That's what most of the others said, too.

And, finally, we come to the "reap what ye sow" portion of our program. I hope you're as amused as I am:

Remember all of those right-wing 527s that were going overwhelm the political landscape? As it happens, the conservative financiers have lost a lot of money lately.

"After the [GOP] convention, things looked good," said Phil Musser, a Republican fundraising consultant. "Major donors interested in issue advocacy were tuned in, political juices were flowing, polling looked good, and then, blammo! Most donors lost 20 or 30 percent of their net worth in eight days. With few exceptions, that pretty well shut down the money discussion for a lot of folks."

Four years ago, groups operating outside the party structure invested more than $130 million in television commercials, often carrying the kind of negative messages that the candidates themselves wished to avoid. This year, total spending by such groups is at about $17 million so far, with no single organization playing a dominant role, according to Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group.

There were reports earlier this year, for example, that Freedom's Watch was prepared to amass a quarter-billion dollar budget for the 2008 campaigns. Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson was expected to help bankroll the operation -- that is, before he saw "$4 billion of his personal fortune evaporate as a result of the slumping national economy, and that was before the slow-motion stock market crash."

Democrats, of course, aren't feeling the pinch. They're swimming in cash and cashing in on the failing economy, because the majority of Americans know it takes a Democrat to fix an economy the Republicons have fucked nearly to death. For once, there is poetic justice.

Feels soooo good.

Thanks to all who sent links whilst I was off gallivanting. There will be a special trip to the woodshed with the Smack-o-Matic in hand for your viewing pleasure - once I've had me nap.

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