The Watering Hole, Monday, January 13th, 2014: Just for Fun

I thought I’d start the week off with some just-plain-silly stuff. It started when, on a couple of totally unrelated threads at Think Progress recently, mention was made of the New York Daily News newspaper. One commenter, in response to another who was using the NYDN as a source for some ‘evidence’, said “The NY Daily News is probably the closest thing to a rag sheet that is published on a daily basis in NYC.” So I says to myself, “hmmm, wonder where Weekly World News is published?”

Well, according to Wikipedia, WWN is no longer published:

“The Weekly World News was a largely fictional news tabloid published in the United States from 1979 to 2007, renowned for its outlandish cover stories often based on supernatural or paranormal themes and an approach to news that verged on the satirical. Its characteristic black-and-white covers have become pop-culture images widely used in the arts. It continues to exist as a website.”

I abandoned my search for lesser rags published in New York City (WWN had been published in Florida, anyway–why am I not surprised? Sorry, Florida!) and headed straight for the WWN website. A couple of “articles” from Friday included a few with sideways pokes at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (and had nothing to do with the GWB!):

First, did you know that the “God particle” was discovered in New Jersey?

“…Physicists have been trying to find the “God particle” (the Higgs boson) for over forty years, so it’s no real surprise that they finally did it. But what IS a surprise is it was found it in an abandoned bank depository in Camden, New Jersey. And it was found by singer-actress, Taylor Momsen…”

““Of course the universe began in New Jersey,” said Governor Chris Christie. “Everyone who lives here has known it all their lives. That’s why so many want to live here. They may not know it, but they are drawn to the universal source. It’s official now – New Jersey is the center of the universe.”

I’m sorry, but you’ll just have to read the rest for yourselves.

This one, titled “Hugging Banned in New Jersey” pokes fun at New Jersey, RWNJs, and Christie:

“We are a no hugging state,” Governor Chris Christie reportedly told reporters yesterday. “If we catch anyone hugging it will be a $100 fine for the first offense, $250 or the second offense and $1,000 for the third. After that, it’s jail.”

“…Christie got the idea from Matawan school district that decided that middle school children shouldn’t hug each other. “It’s not normal or natural,” said school superintendent John Jacobus. “If kids hug, then the next thing you know there having babies and we can’t have that happen in our school.”

“…Governor Chris Christie isn’t budging and it’s not because he “can’t” budge, he just doesn’t want to go back on his decision. “Hey, that’s the new law, get used to it.”

If you wish (proceed at your own risk), you can also check out the “World’s Biggest Butt”, read up on “The Moonshine Diet” (“You can flush out fat fast without pesky dieting or exercise, on the flabulous new Moonshine Diet!), or find out why the “End of the World [was] Postponed.”

Bat Boy, of course, is probably the most famous character(?) from WWN.

"Bat Boy" (photo courtesy of wikipedia/Weekly World News)

“Bat Boy” (photo courtesy of wikipedia/Weekly World News)

They even put together a Bat Boy “ancestral tree” – from wiki:

“According to the Weekly World News, the discovery of Bat Boy’s family tree on a genealogy chart recently stunned evolutionary scientists who used to think the famed imp was a pitiful, one-of-a-kind mutant – but now believe he belongs to a race of creatures who have interacted with humans for at least 400 years. In the tabloid’s account, the chart itself was written on vellum and found in the same Ozark Mountains cave where Dr. Ron Dillon, a biologist, rescued Bat Boy after he was trapped by a falling rock in 1992 (it should be noted, however, that the Ozark Mountains are nowhere near West Virginia). Carbon dating revealed the chart to be over a hundred years old.”

One Bat Boy “article” from April of 2013 teases with “BAT BOY UNCOVERED…Mitch McConnell discovered Bat Boy at a convenience store in Wisconsin.” However, most of the article references a “Mitch O’Connell, not the mutant-but-not-in-the-same-species-as-Bat-Boy Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Turtle/Human Hybrid.) It has not yet been determined whether Bat Boy and Governor Rick Scott (?-FL) share the same DNA; Governor Scott is known to have refused to provide a urine sample for testing.

Hard to tell 'em apart, huh? (photo courtesy of totallylookslike.com)

Hard to tell ‘em apart, huh?
(photo courtesy of totallylookslike.com)

For a few more laughs, check out this Bat Boy photoshop contest at freakingnews.com. And on the WWN website, the brief video montage of “Bat Boy: Going Mutant” “Breaking News” posted by Frank Lake in June of 2013 is fun, too.

This is our daily open thread–try to have a good laugh today!

The Watering Hole, Monday, September 3rd, 2012: Mitt, Mitt, and More Mitt – PLUS a Shout-at from Gramps McCain

Romney Channels GW Bush

We all know what a tactless, undiplomatic person Mitt Romney is, whether on the campaign trail (“You didn’t bake those cookies”) to his London Olympic visit and his fundraising trips to Israel and Poland. For today’s thread, I’m focusing on the viewpoints of other countries on Mitt’s abysmal diplomatic skills. Presenting a trio of recent pieces from Foreign Policy magazine regarding Mitt Romney’s “foreign policy”, or lack thereof.

First, an article by Josh Rogin which discusses Romney’s labeling of Russia as America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” An excerpt:

“Russia is a significant geopolitical foe. Governor Romney recognizes that,” Romney advisor Rich Williamson said at a Tuesday afternoon event hosted by the Foreign Policy Initiative. “They are our foe. They have chosen a path of confrontation, not cooperation, and I think the governor was correct in that even though there are some voices in Washington that find that uncomfortable…” “Russia is calling itself a democracy but it is not behaving like a democracy,” he [Williamson] said. “When is the last time we have seen Russia on the side of peace? When is the last time we have seen Russia on the side of humanity?”

Hmmm, I could ask the same about the U.S.

Next, from “A Dangerous Mind” by Bruce W. Jentleson and Charles A. Kupchan, a couple of insights:

“Whereas President Barack Obama has claimed the middle ground and crafted a strategy based on principled pragmatism, Romney is following in the footsteps of George W. Bush, relying more on bluster than strategy and veering to ideological extremes….Romney’s view of the changing global landscape rests not on a sober assessment of the world that is emerging, but on the same neoconservative myths that led George W. Bush astray. Like Bush, Romney seems to fixate on the wrong threats — and dangerously inflate them.”

“It is worrying that Romney pledges to reinstate a foreign policy of reflexive toughness just four years after Bush’s assertive unilateralism left the United States mired in Iraq and estranged from much of the world… The Republicans would do better to heed the wisdom of their own Robert Gates, the former defense secretary, who has warned that a president who wants to take the nation into another major war that is not absolutely necessary should “have his head examined.””

Of course, Republicans would argue that it is “absolutely necessary” to attack Iran on behalf of the U.S.’s BFF, Israel.

Last (for this post, anyway), here’s a few quotes from Uri Friedman’s “Russian Press Rips Romney and His Promise of Republican Hell“:

From Pravda:

“They [the Republicans] refer to Russia as a traditional rival of the United States along with North Korea, Iran and China…. To crown it all, Mitt Romney expressed his willingness to be the godfather of the Russian opposition and organize the training for opposition activists at American educational centers.”

From Voice of Russia‘s John Robles:

“Cold war thinkers have drawn up Mitt Romney’s foreign policy stance and it does not look good neither for the U.S., nor for Russia or the free world. Continuing the rhetoric that Russia is geo-political enemy number one and promising to confront and make Russia cow to U.S. interests the Republicans have once again proven their complete disregard for diplomacy.

and

“Whether or not the Republicans are just playing for their base or are seriously proposing such policies, they have proven that they will be force for more instability and conflict in the world.”

and

“To say that Romney and his Republican brethren are a danger to world peace would be an understatement. Their “ultra-conservative” views and stances on a number of issues will bring about another era of neo-conservative subjugation for the American people and the world and their backward thinking and confrontational posturing will destroy much of the delicate compromise that has kept the world stable for the last four years.”

Consider that, according to boston.com, “Almost all of Romney’s 22 special advisers held senior Bush administration positions in diplomacy, defense or intelligence. Two former Republican senators are included as well as Bush-era CIA chief Michael Hayden and former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.” (The article doesn’t even mention John Bolton, aka ‘Worst…Ambassador…Ever.) If Romney somehow manages to win this election, get ready for four more years of Dubya.

This is our Open Thread. Nostrovia!


O/T:
Don’t remember if anyone else posted this, but another old man has been rambling on at an imaginary President Obama. It’s long, and painful/aggravating to read, but…

The Watering Hole, Thursday, July 12th, 2012: Funny, or Frightening?

Last night on Rachel Maddow, Rachel did a segment about the Washington Post article on today’s Dick Cheney-hosted fundraiser for Mitt Romney. Rachel’s point, demonstrated by various quotes, was (more or less) that the article was just pap being spoon-fed to WaPo by the Romney campaign. After reading the entire article, I understood why. Some of the quotes from the article and from various spokesmen are laugh-out-loud ridiculous:

“By hosting the fundraiser, the former vice president — who in his retirement remains a powerful leader of foreign policy neoconservatives yet a deeply polarizing figure outside of the Republican base — will make his grandest gesture to pass a torch to Romney.”

“Deeply polarizing”?! Ya think? Cheney left office with a 13% approval rating; by all logic, even though Cheney has longtime connections in the upper eschelons of politics, corporate power, oil, oil, and more oil, Romney should avoid Cheney like the plague…yeah, right. And what’s this “grandest gesture” crap – Cheney never even made a “grand” gesture, how could his “pass[ing] a [completely non-existent yet still untouched by Cheney's hands] torch” be Cheney’s “grandest” gesture?

“…former congressman Vin Weber (Minn.), a veteran of the Bush-Cheney campaigns and a senior policy adviser to Romney, said, “At the broader advisory level, everybody who was around Cheney and Bush are around Romney.” He added. “They want him to win. And it’s inevitable that they’d have some influence, because they have the most recent Republican expertise in running the government.”

Yeah, “the most recent Republican expertise in running the government” INTO THE GROUND! Yeesh, they think that this is a plus for Romney? Actually, that quote is both funny and scary: “…everybody who was around Cheney and Bush are around Romney, and it’s inevitable that they’d have some influence”?? Oh dear. If Romney wins the election (bite my tongue), would we be in for another Cheney puppet show?

“Where Cheney’s beliefs and policies are rooted in conservative ideology, Romney’s tend to be driven by analytical problem-solving.”

Now, that’s a knee-slapper: Cheney’s “beliefs and policies are rooted” in greed and lust for power. Second, anyone who believes that Mitt Romney is an “analytical problem-solv[er] must have never heard Romney attempt to speak about policy…any policy.

Last, but IMHO the funniest:

“One George W. Bush administration official who has worked closely with Cheney and Romney said they are “very different.”

“They’re both very probing personalities in the context of policy discussions. They don’t let up. They really drill down. They’re both very smart and curious intellectually. [emphasis mine]” [T]he official…spoke on the condition of anonymity to be frank.”

*******************************************
On the other hand, I found a few bits of information to be interesting and oddly disturbing. Maybe it’s just me…you may have different reactions.

First, this one snippet was rather startling, and made me stop and think back:

“…Richard B. Cheney, the living thread connecting the past five GOP presidencies.”

Jeebus, Dick Cheney has been manipulating our country for his own interests since 1969? Here’s a brief summary from Wikipedia on just his early White House career:

“Cheney’s political career began in 1969, as an intern for Congressman William A. Steiger during the Richard Nixon Administration. He then joined the staff of Donald Rumsfeld, who was then Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity from 1969–70.[14] He held several positions in the years that followed: White House Staff Assistant in 1971, Assistant Director of the Cost of Living Council from 1971–73, and Deputy Assistant to the president from 1974–1975. As deputy assistant, Cheney suggested several options in a memo to Rumsfeld, including use of the US Justice Department, that the Ford administration could use to limit damage from an article, published by The New York Times, in which investigative reporter Seymour Hersh reported that Navy submarines had tapped into Soviet undersea communications as part of a highly classified program, Operation Ivy Bells.[20][21]

Cheney was Assistant to the President under Gerald Ford. When Rumsfeld was named Secretary of Defense, Cheney became White House Chief of Staff, succeeding Rumsfeld.[14] He later was campaign manager for Ford’s 1976 presidential campaign.[22]“

Keeping in mind this factoid that Dick Cheney has been involved in five GOP administrations from Nixon on, add in the following tidbit:

“…the hosts also include…Cheney’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth, a former State Department official.”

Am I being cynical, or could it be that Dick might be: A) making sure that he is connected to a sixth GOP administration; and/or B) grooming Liz to follow in daddy’s footsteps? Of course, that “former State Department official” job (wink, wink) under Bush/Cheney has already gotten Liz started with her own GOP presidential ‘firsties.’ (shudder) Now there’s a truly scary thought.

This is our daily open thread — c’mon, don’t be shy, say what you think!

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, June 20, 2012: Does it really Matter?

Ok, so for the next few months, if you’re in a “swing” State, you’ll be inundated with SuperPAC commercials designed to get you to vote against your own best interests. We will also be systematically bombarded with messages from the Mainstream Media designed to influence our thinking.

IT’S ALL A SHOW. IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER.

If the Powers That Be really want Obama out, all they have to do is raise gas prices to about $5.00/gallon. Instead, gas prices are going down, heading into the summer vacation season. That’s not to say they won’t go up between now and the election – but they are an accurate predictor of where our economy will head. So, pay attention to the pump, not the talking heads.

Ok, that’s my $0.0199 cents. And you?

OPEN THREAD
JUST REMEMBER
EVERYTHING I SAID
DOESN’T REALLY MATTER

 

The Watering Hole: Saturday May 12, 2012 – Funny Headlines

I love inadvertently funny headlines. In some cases, the people who wrote these headlines should really have taken a moment to see if they said what they meant them to say. Sometimes the headline is accurate, but the story itself is just too funny. Enjoy these.

I can think of better ways to spend a quarter-million dollars

Does he get a headache when he stubs his toe?

They needed a study to figure this out?

I wonder if they knew what a mausoleum was for before they demolished it.

Yeah, I didn’t care about the rally, either.

Um, I think they’ll find similar results for ages 20-24, too.

Were these guys working on a mausoleum earlier?

Because the helper monkeys just weren’t working out.

The NYPD is just getting completely out of control now.

There’s nothing as exciting as the sound of darkness creeping over the village.

He’s dead. It’s a miracle!

This is our daily open thread — discuss one of the above funny headlines, or whatever’s on your mind!

The Watering Hole, Thursday, May 10th, 2012: Need a Laugh?

Despite the saying “April showers bring May flowers”, here in southeastern New York these two months seem to have reversed. While our area, with its many reservoirs, definitely needed the rain after so little snow this past winter, the dreariness is starting to sink in. So here’s some items to perk up the spirits.

First, we can all poke fun at the expense of the gullible RWNJ anti-abortion crowd. Unfortunately, I have to thank one of their ilk for posting this crap in a comment at Think Progress:

Irony: Obama admin requires visitors at White House to register UNBORN BABIES babies as separate guests (PEOPLE in addition to their mothers!).

That’s not just IRONY; that is the quintessence of IMMORAL HYPOCRISY. NOT regarding prenatal babies as “legal persons” as justification for filicide, but insisting they be REGISTERED as separate persons for purposes of counting visitors to the White House!

NEVER ONCE DID THE SUPREME COURT DECLARE ABORTION ITSELF TO BE A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT! Instead the Supreme Court said:

“We need NOT resolve the difficult question of when life begins… the judiciary at this point in the development of man’s knowledge is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”

Then the High Court made a key admission: ***** “If this suggestion of PERSONHOOD IS ESTABLISHED, THE APPELLANT’S CASE [i.e., "Roe" who sought an abortion], of course, COLLAPSES, for the FETUS’ RIGHT TO LIFE IS THEN GUARANTEED SPECIFICALLY BY THE [14th] AMENDMENT.”

The fact is, the 14th Amendment couldn’t be clearer: “… nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.”

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/irony-obama-admin-requires-visitors-at-white-house-to-register-unborn-babie

Naturally, I did a bit of googling to see what this was about. The first dozen or so listings were all from sources of the same ilk as ‘lifesitenews’: rightwingnews.com, nation.foxnews.com, fosterfriess.com(!), etc., etc. Finally I found this article at Politifact. I responded to the nincompoop’s post at TP with this section of the Politifact article:

“Ed Donovan, spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, said people misunderstood the email. Schafer’s email, he said, was an explanation of how to fill out information for pregnant women who will bring their new baby on future White House tours.

“This refers to a pregnant woman providing information for a tour in the future that will include the new family member. So when a 7-month pregnant woman is providing information for a tour that is 4 months in the future, there is a ‘place holder’ for the new baby,” Donovan wrote in an email.

In a phone call, he acknowledged the procedure may seem “a little anal.”

“I know people are construing it as an unborn child, but the visit isn’t occurring (now). If a pregnant woman shows up at the White House, we don’t count two people. It’s sort of a way of expediting (the process) so no one gets hung up at the gate,” he said.”

Typical of these right-wingers, who obviously do not excel at reading comprehension, to go ape-shit over what they believed would help them overturn Roe v. Wade. Yeah, good luck with that, RWNJs.

And second, for more light-hearted giggles, titters and groans, here’s a bunch of either unfortunate or tongue-in-cheek newspaper headlines:

Wow – the miracles of modern technology!

Must’ve been SOME camouflage!

Hmm…really? Maybe they should check the next headline.

Has the pitcher been eating “Colon Blow”? Ohh, it’s pronounced “cologne”.

I hope for the second attorney’s sake that he’s not doing this pro bono.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, 1/11/12: And the Winner is…..

When I think of the commentary on the major networks as they announce the results of the primaries…trying to make the inane exciting…stretching on and on and on and on and… well, you know…. filling the time as they wait for those last few precincts to report (are there some precincts that delay reporting just to mess with the networks?) I am reminded of that most famous of all horseraces:

And the Winner is….!


Open Thread: On your marks; get set; POST!

Sunday Roast, November 6th, 2011: Current and Past Perspectives

The Marx Brothers

The Marx Brothers


The Opinion page of last week’s edition (October 28th) of our local paper, The Pawling Press, offered some interesting perspectives on today’s political scene:

First: the liberal columnist, Frank Matheis, used a song from the Marx Brothers’ Horse Feathers to describe today’s GOP:

“I don’t know what they have to say,
It makes no difference anyway.
Whatever it is, I’m against it.
No matter what it is or who
commenced it,
I’m against it.

“Your proposition may be good,
But let’s have one thing understood,
Whatever it is, I’m against it.
And even when you’ve changed it or
condensed it,
I’m against it.”

Next: the conservative columnist, Paul Keyishian, discussed “The fundamental role of government in a democracy”, putting forth his views on the differences between liberals’ and conservatives’ ideas of the role of the federal government, vis a vis what he called “legislative intervention.” (Note to self: remind Paul Keyishian that the current political battle going on is NOT between liberals and conservatives.) Here’s his closing summary:

“To put it succinctly, you might say that when liberals examine the federal government, they see an indispensable instrument of progressive sociopolitical legislation. When conservatives examine that same government, they see an inordinately costly and needlessly bureaucratic institution. And it’s incumbent upon us, individually and collectively, to ultimately decide which (if either) side is actually correct.”

Lastly: The Pawling Press has been running a weekly column called “Emphasis – U.S.A.”, which brings us “reflections from the archives of Robert McCormick, a noted NBC Washington correspondent…” (Note: I have tried to google Robert McCormick, but found little. However, the time frame here is during the formation of civil rights legislation.) The title of this “reflection” was “Southern Senators don’t debate, they heckle and bite.” I particularly liked this quote:

“The Southerners are always undiluted poison in a debate, and they are even more deadly in an argument over civil rights.”

McCormick then goes on to tell about a dispute between Senator Same Ervin (R-NC) and Senator Jacob Javitz (R-NY), over certain figures in the Civil Rights Commission’s findings. Ervin uses “a very old story that is current down [his] way about a Southern Mountaineer…”: Ervin’s story ends with “..Here are the figures; you know that figures don’t lie”, to which the ‘Southern Mountaineer’ replies, “I know figures don’t lie, but liars sure do figures”, to dismiss the Civil Rights Commission’s statistics. Sounds like Southern Senators haven’t changed much over the last several decades.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.

The Watering Hole, Thursday, October 27th: …and in other news…

After mulling over topics for today’s post, I decided to just present a mixed bag of ‘things that caught my eye on the internets during the past few days.’ The articles range from serious to tongue-in-cheek to outright ridiculous. The following are from Foreign Policy Magazine online and from Newsmax.

From FP: The title of Ryan Caldwell’s article, “An Islamist, a Liberal, and a Former Regime Loyalist Walk into a Cafe”, snagged my attention. The article gave an interesting presentation of the post-Gaddafi views of three Libyans of different stripes working together. Also, for some reason I found it just wondrous that the interview was done via Skype, from Caldwell’s home in California to a cafe in Benghazi. Plus I learned that ‘celebratory gunfire’ is called rasaas al-farah, which means, literally, “bullets of joy.”

From FP: In “Dumb Power: Republicans Introduce the “What Wouldn’t Jesus Do?” Foreign Policy”, David Rothkopf gives his reaction to the Republican debate on foreign policy.

From Newsmax: In the Newsmax “Breaking News” email, this article was billed as “Thomas Sowell: Herman Cain Is Real Black, Obama Not Typical“. The article includes such tidbits as:

“His prescription for fixing the economy: “I would love to have a constitutional amendment that says politicians are not allowed to intervene in the economy under any circumstances. I think there would be a boom following that.””

From Newsmax: The title of “Hensarling: Supercommittee Need Not Cut Entitlements” sounds hopeful, doesn’t it? Sure…read the whole article: Hensarling, the Republican co-chair of this “Supercommittee”, has some strange ideas. Here’s one:

“I would like to pick up the Internal Revenue Code by its roots and throw it into the nearest trash can. Having said that, realistically, that’s probably a bridge too far for this committee,”


From Newsmax
: And finally, Frank Gaffney being Frank Gaffney:

“Frank Gaffney warned in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview: “I’m afraid there’s a war coming, a very serious, perhaps cataclysmic regional war,” he said. “It will be presumably over, at least in part, the future existence of the state of Israel. It may involve all of its neighbors, as they have in the past, attacking Israel to try, as they say, to drive the Jews into the sea.””

Enjoy!

This is our Open Thread. I’m sure you can find something to say about any one of the above, so Speak Up!

The Watering Hole: March 18 – Science Fiction = Science Fact

Many should remember the fiction of Jules Verne. Much of what he wrote about is fact today, to cite but two – submarines and space flight. His methods seem today a bit primitive but cell phones in the 50′s weighed about as much as a toaster does today.

Now lets space forward to 1966 when Star Trek debuted. The Communicator represented the ultimate in an information device within the capacity of human imagination at that time.

Now we have both the iPhone and the Droid that each put that device to shame. Either can allow any individual to communicate with most anyone else in the World and to access the entire wealth of human knowledge.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.
Continue reading

Stupid in Short Supply

Wholesalers across the nation are reporting shortages in Stupid. With the demand for Stupid running at an all-time high, retailers can’t keep enough Stupid on hand.

“It’s flying off the shelves” said a spokesperson for retailing giant WalMart. “Especially in rural areas. People  just can’t seem to get enough Stupid.”

Rumor has it that media mogul Rupert Murdoch invested heavily in Stupid through the entire Bush Administration, severely draining the nation’s stockpiles. Then, just as supplies of Stupid were nearing historic lows McCain nominated Sarah Palin.

“That nearly did us in.” commented the spokesperson. “Our suppliers couldn’t keep up with demand. We were shipping in Stupid from Alaska faster than it could be produced.”

Fortunately, Arizona has come to the plate and increased its manufacuring of Stupid. But the price of Stupid remains high.

“So high” said the WalMart press contact, “that we’re seeing an increasing demand for Ignorance. It used to be Ignorance was priced out of the market for most families on a budget, but with the price of Stupid going through the roof, stocking up on Ignorance is a no-brainer.”

Market analysts are pinning the cause on Fox News, which goes through an incredible amount of Stupid each 24-hour news cycle. But other mainstream media outlets are reportedly using more than their share of Stupid as well.

With the Gulf Oil Crisis beginning its third month, retailers in the deep south are reporting they have totally run out of Stupid.

“We’re down to just plain Dumb, now.” said one unnamed merchant who’s store overlooks a tar-stained beach on the Gulf Coast.

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The Watering Hole: September 25 – Newspapers

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments.

On this date in 1690 the  Americas’ first multi page newspaper was published – Boston’s Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, published by Benjamin Harris. The first and only issue consisted of four pages, one of which was left blank for readers to insert their own feats into the news. The authorities, in “high Resentment” that Harris dared to report that English military forces had allied themselves with “miserable” savages, put him out of business a mere four days later.

Page 2 is here.

Page 3 is here.

Across the Pond – The Sunday Papers

It’s Easter and up to now political news is slow here in the old world. The British are wallowing in their newest scandal. In a time where political smear campaigns are slowly going out of fashion Damian McBride an aide to Britains Prime Minster Gordon Brown and a Karl Rove disciple, it seems, didn’t get it and sent out a few e-mails intending to start one against Tory leaders.

The ideas contained in the email include spreading several false rumours: that David Cameron had an embarrassing medical condition; that George Osborne took drugs with a prostitute – an old allegation in the public domain which Osborne has flatly denied; allegations of a sexual nature about the Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries, which she vehemently denies and has consulted her lawyers about; and about a Tory MP allegedly getting publicity for a firm run by his partner. There is no evidence that any of the claims are true. (read more)

Now the fat’s in the fire and McBride out of his job. Carole Cadwalladr from the Guardian revisits old scandals and reminds us of the hypocrisy which is the real scandal behind the stories. Alan Watkins of The Independent points out the futility of smearing campaigns in an environment that wants change above all:

Recent experience of this country’s politics, for what it is worth, teaches us that a change in the weather takes place every 15 or 20 years. It was so with the elections of 1945, 1964, 1979 and, yes, 1997. People waved little Union Jack flags outside No 10, and it was a bright May morning. Even Mr Alastair Campbell could not control the weather, but he did supply both the flags and the cast of extras, who had been conscripted predominantly from the staff of Labour Party headquarters. (read more)

The Times celebrates the demise of a Rovian political career:

THERE will be few tears shed over the departure of Damian McBride from Downing Street – his talent for making enemies was almost equal to his talent for spin.

[...]

Minutes after McBride’s resignation, Paul Staines, the political blogger who first obtained the e-mails and is a long-standing critic of McBride’s modus operandi, posted a simple message on his website: “Mission accomplished.” (read more)

McBride’s worries will most probably not be over with his resignation, says the Daily Mail and The Telegraph calls him a political assassin. The tabloid The Sun has other fish to fry. When it comes to smear campaigns, they’re the tops and you really don’t want to read stories like this one.

Der Spiegel from Germany takes a look back on predictions about the economy. So let’s have a small Easter Quiz who said this?

“There will probably be some bank failures. There are some small … banks that have heavily invested in real estate in locales where prices have fallen. Among the largest banks, the capital ratios remain good, and I don’t expect any serious problems among the larger banks.” (go see)
February 28, 2008
And this?
“The current financial crisis in the US is likely to be judged in retrospect as the most wrenching since the end of the Second World War.”
March 17, 2008 (look who’s talking)
There is really not much going on and, to be honest, I like some calm too. For those among you, who’d like to do some more background reading I recommend Spiegel’s interview with Ahmadinejad and  Nicholas Burns the former Iran negotiator.
I wish you all a very nice Easter weekend, some sun and warm weather and lots of nice things to eat. Take care.
~EV

Obama’s Teleprompter: Is this all the right has?

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The favorite right-wing meme of late is that President Obama is incapable of speaking without a teleprompter.    Are they trying to say Obama is too stupid to speak without one?  A Harvard graduate who was editor of The Law Review (a highly acclaimed honor only bestowed upon the brightest and best at one of the best ivy league institutions in the world), a man who authored two books and has spoken across this great land, in Town Hall fashion, taking questions outside of The Bubble, this man is unable to speak on his own? Seriously?

Let’s take a look and unpack this a little, shall we?  It’s fun, honest.  Click that Keep Reading link and…

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The OpEd Heard Around the World

President Barack Obama penned an OpEd which ran in the Los Angeles Times.

We are living through a time of global economic challenges that cannot be met by half-measures or the isolated efforts of any nation.

No one can deny the urgency of action. A crisis in credit and confidence has swept across borders, with consequences for every corner of the world. For the first time in a generation, the global economy is contracting and trade is shrinking. Trillions of dollars have been lost, banks have stopped lending and tens of millions around the globe will lose their jobs. The prosperity of every nation has been endangered, along with the stability of governments and the survival of people in the most vulnerable parts of the world.

We have learned that the success of the American economy is inextricably linked to the global economy.

My message is clear: The United States is ready to lead, and we call on our partners to join us with a sense of urgency and common purpose.

Through our example, the United States can promote a global recovery and build confidence around the world; and if the London summit helps galvanize collective action, we can forge a secure recovery, and future crises can be averted.

We must put an end to the reckless speculation and spending beyond our means; to the bad credit, over-leveraged banks and absence of oversight that condemns us to bubbles that inevitably bust. Only coordinated international action can prevent the irresponsible risk-taking that caused this crisis. That is why I am committed to seizing this opportunity to advance comprehensive reforms of our regulatory and supervisory framework.

All of our financial institutions — on Wall Street and around the globe — need strong oversight and common- sense rules. All markets should have standards for stability and a mechanism for disclosure. A strong framework of capital requirements should protect against future crises

I know that America bears its share of responsibility for the mess that we all face. But I also know that we need not choose between a chaotic and unforgiving capitalism and an oppressive government-run economy. That is a false choice that will not serve our people or any people.

What makes this so interesting is that this OpEd was published in more than 30 papers around the globe (h/t” AmericaBlog).
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Rupert Murdoch Apologizes for Offensive Cartoon

His apology coincides with critics calling for the Federal Communications Commission to cancel a waiver allowing Murdoch’s News Corp. to run two newspapers and two television stations in New York City. At the same time the NAACP is calling for the editor of the New York Post and the cartoonist to be terminated. Still, it’s an apology that reads, “We didn’t do it and we’ll never do it again.”

This “STATEMENT FROM RUPERT MURDOCH” appears in today’s edition of the New York Post.

As the Chairman of the New York Post, I am ultimately responsible for what is printed in its pages. The buck stops with me.

Last week, we made a mistake. We ran a cartoon that offended many people. Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted.

Over the past couple of days, I have spoken to a number of people and I now better understand the hurt this cartoon has caused. At the same time, I have had conversations with Post editors about the situation and I can assure you – without a doubt – that the only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation. It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such.

We all hold the readers of the New York Post in high regard and I promise you that we will seek to be more attuned to the sensitivities of our community.

More on the call for FCC action at the NY Daily News.

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The Non-Apology Apology From the NY Post

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The NY Post has issued a editorial statement about “That Cartoon”. Here is the text of the editorial by Col Allan, in full, so you don’t have to visit their site if you have ethical reasons for not wanting to. (I don’t blame you. I went there so you don’t have to.)
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Helen Thomas on the Inauguration speech

44 Takes Office with Blunt Rejection of 43

Looking westward into the sun and speaking to more than 1 million people on the Mall in front of him and to millions more around the world, President Barack Obama delivered a tough inaugural speech that must have made members of the outgoing Bush administration squirm in their chairs.

After thanking President George W. Bush for his service to the nation and for helping during the presidential transition, Obama veered sharply, offering no attempt at sugar-coating, no deeper genuflection toward the Bushes, who left the Capitol by helicopter soon after Obama’s blunt speech and headed for Texas.

Instead, Obama hit his theme early and often in his 18-minute address: The presidential inaugural oath is sometimes taken “amidst gathering clouds and raging storms.” Now is one of those times, he said.

Obama declared “we are in the midst of crisis” and recounted wars, a badly weakened economy that he blamed on greed on the part of some and “also on our collective failure to make hard choices.”

Homes have been lost, jobs shed, business shuttered, he recounted. Health care is too costly, schools fail too many students and we waste our energy.

There was no affable reference to Bush’s eight years in office or mention of the wonders of the Bush legacy, nothing warm and fuzzy. It was a putdown, a repudiation of the Bush years.

Obama was just warming up.

Aside from these “indicators of crisis,” the nation is on an emotional downer. Our national confidence has been sapped, Obama said, and there is a nagging fear “that America’s decline is inevitable and that the next generation must lower its sights.”

OK, having painted the gathering gloom, the new president told what was needed to get out of it. Citing past sacrifices by Americans, Obama declared: “This is the journey we continue today.”

While the challenges facing us are serious and many and will not be met easily or quickly, Obama defiantly proclaimed: “But know this, America — they will be met.”

Read the rest of her piece here.

History cannot save him

CommonDreams, by Helen Thomas

As he leaves office, President Bush is passing on to his successor two wars and a growing economic debacle. What a way to go!

Because of Bush’s policies, the U.S. also is complicit in the Israeli attack on the Palestinians on the Gaza Strip by providing a “made-in-America” high-tech arsenal for the assault and blocking a ceasefire for nearly two weeks, a move intended to help the Israelis consolidate their hold.

Not to worry, Bush says he isn’t concerned about how history will view his militant eight years in the White House, telling ABC News that he “won’t be around to read it.”

Well, they say that journalism is the first draft of history. So I am going to predict that those future historians will not deal kindly with the Bush presidency.

It’s true — as Bush and company point at their proudest achievement– there have been no new terrorist attacks on the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001.

But they fail to acknowledge administration mistakes before and after that fateful day, starting with the fact that White House and security officials ignored significant early warnings of an imminent strike against the U.S.

The second half of the double 9/11 mistake was the trampling of our constitutional system and American values by the administration’s infamous torture policies, illegal interrogation practices, including water boarding (simulated drowning), secret prisons abroad and U.S. run jails at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. Post- 9/11 Bush strategy also nurtured a climate of fear that enabled the self-styled “decider” to lead the country into a senseless war against Iraq, a calamity still underway as he leaves office almost six years after the invasion.

Add the administration’s pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and you have basis to dub Bush’s eight White House years as the “Bush error.”

He was to be the great “unifier” but instead he became a great polarizer.

While he remained stubbornly steadfast to his core social convictions, he did a 180-degree turn when it came to the role of government in the economy when he bailed out the collapsed giants of Wall Street.

He told CNN: “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market systems.” So much for all the anti-government rant of Republican conservatives.

After the 9/11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney and then-national security advisor Condoleezza Rice drummed up the fiction that Iraq was linked to the al Qaida attacks and sold that fable to a naive Congress and jittery American people. During the first crisis meeting after the 9/11 attack, neo-con advisor Paul Wolfowitz, said: “Let’s bomb Iraq.”

There were no Iraqis involved in the attack and no evidence that Saddam Hussein had any role in planning or executing it.

Other falsehoods that these officials peddled included the tale that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Cheney told his Sunday television audiences, “We know where they are.”

Official inspectors found none. The non-existent weapons were used to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Bush is not about to admit that his costly inhumane attack on Iraq was a mistake. How could he tell grieving families of more than 4,000 American service members that their loved ones had died because of his error?

Helen Thomas rocks.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — she MUST live forever.

Read the rest of her article here.

Thank you and good riddance

Over the last few months, I have been sketching out a new blog written specifically to deal with the mendacity and incompetence of the Oregonian‘s resident wingnut “editor” and columnist, David Reinhard. A few weeks ago, a rumor was being floated that he was finally leaving the newspaper and he himself finally announced that he was going. And going. And going.

Reinhard has been consistent throughout his tenure: consistently wrong, consistently shallow, and consistently pounding out the Republican talking point of the moment. For 12 years now he has never strayed from the neocon agenda, never offered a single independent thought contrary to the Bush/Cheney/Rove/Fox interpretation of reality. His editorials would not have been anywhere near as infuriating if they had shown even a glimmer of intelligence or thought.

Reinhard is also the jolly fellow who suggested that Republicans in Oregon switch parties for the primary in order to disrupt the Democrats, which was in clear violation of the law. After the fact, of course, he claimed it was all in good fun and not meant to be taken seriously.

At long last (fingers crossed), it appears that this stain on Northwest journalism is departing, at least leaving the pages of the Oregonian.

A couple of Sundays back I mentioned in a column on our uncivil political discourse that I would be leaving The Oregonian after the election. Some readers believed it was my final column and probably have wondered how they can miss me if I never leave.

Today’s column is my last. I’m leaving. I promise.

It is an odd thing to walk away from a job you once so longed to have. I wanted to a follow in the line of H.L. Mencken, Red Smith, Murray Kempton, G.K. Chesterton and Malcolm Muggeridge. I wanted to be what St. Augustine once called “a vendor of words.” I wanted to be a newspaper columnist in the worst way, and no doubt many readers would say I achieved just that goal early in my career here. But it’s time to move on.

I was brought here by a publisher Fred A. Stickel, who had the wisdom and marketing sense to see that The Oregonian needed its own conservative writer and that the paper’s editorial board needed some right-ward ballast. For the past 12 years, I’ve worked for an editorial-page editor, Bob Caldwell, who has always encouraged me to write the strongest opinions possible — even, often especially, when he vehemently disagreed with those opinions. We’ve gone at it hammer and tong many times, but he never spiked one of my columns. He’s now taking special pains to ensure that conservative opinion writers, national and local, will remain a regular part of the opinion section.

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David Frum goes all ironical

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In his op-ed piece in the Washington Post today, David Frum demonstrates a textbook case of projection.  His too little too late concerns about a possible Democratic Congress’ handling of Republican screwups like the financial meltdown and resulting bailout, checks and balances, and changing the rules to game the system are laughable, and frankly pitiful.

Frum begins with an understandable lament about how poorly the McCain campaign has been run, and the dubious nod to Palin as VP, and notes how no matter what they threw at Barack Obama, nothing stuck.  But (insert sad face here), the poll numbers are so depressing, we’d have to go back to the Watergate era to find worse. But there are worse consequences than losing the presidency…

McCain’s awful campaign is having awful consequences down the ballot. I spoke a little while ago to a senior Republican House member. “There is not a safe Republican seat in the country,” he warned. “I don’t mean that we’re going to lose all of them. But we could lose any of them.”

Senators in trouble are Sununu of New Hampshire, Smith in Oregon, Coleman in Minnesota, Collins in Maine, Warner in Virginia, Chambliss in Georgia, and Dole in North Carolina.  The RNC is pouring all it’s money into the presidential run (and Gov Palin’s fancy new duds), neglecting the Senatorial races, and is reducing or pulling it’s ads completely state by state.  Wow, that sucks, huh?

Frum almost had me feeling sorry for the poor Republicans, but then Frum has the unmitigated gall to write this about the impending Democratic Congress:

[T]he federal government is now acquiring a huge ownership stake in the nation’s financial system. It will be immensely tempting to officeholders in Washington to use that stake for political ends — to reward friends and punish enemies. One-party government, of course, will intensify those temptations. And as the federal government succumbs, officeholders will become more and more comfortable holding that stake. Continue reading

Anchorage Daily News Endorses Obama For President

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In Palin’s own state, where she still has a favorable rating, they are not blinded to the facts of who would be the best choice for President.  I have to say when I read this, I was a little surprised.  I figured they would not endorse either candidate.  Here is an excerpt of their endorsement for Barack Obama as President.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Sen. McCain.

Since his early acknowledgement that economic policy is not his strong suit, Sen. McCain has stumbled and fumbled badly in dealing with the accelerating crisis as it emerged. He declared that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong” at 9 a.m. one day and by 11 a.m. was describing an economy in crisis. He is both a longtime advocate of less market regulation and a supporter of the huge taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailout. His behavior in this crisis — erratic is a kind description — shows him to be ill-equipped to lead the essential effort of reining in a runaway financial system and setting an anxious nation on course to economic recovery.

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. . . and more endorsements.

According to Editor & Publisher, 26 newspapers that endorsed George W Bush in 2004 have endorsed Barack Obama this year. Four newspapers in the South that had endorsed Kerry in 2004 have endorsed McCain.


In California alone, the Obama-Biden ticket picked-up six newspapers that endorsed President Bush in 2004.

He also gained a few papers, such as the Los Angeles Times and Cleveland’s Plain Dealer that did not endorse either candidate in 2004.

Editor & Publisher has also been keeping a running total of newspaper endorsements for both candidates. To date, the score is 112-39.

The Obama-Biden ticket maintains its strong lead in the race for daily newspaper endorsements, by 112 to 39, an almost 3-1 margin, picking up 70 or more papers in the past three days, including (see separate stories), the Detroit Free Press, Buffalo News, Cleveland’s Plain Dealer, Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, New York’s Daily News, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, Portland’s The Oregonian, Denver Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Salt Lake Tribune, Kansas City Star, and Chicago Sun-Times.

….Obama’s lopsided margin, including most of the major papers that have decided so far, is in stark contrast to John Kerry barely edging George W. Bush in endorsements in 2004 by 213 to 205.

We have also added up the circulation of the papers endorsing each candidate. Here Obama leads almost 4-1: 13.4 million to 3.7 million.

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Associated Press Feels the Heat: Issues Talking Points on Fournier

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How sad it is that the once esteemed Associated Press had to release a set of talking points concerning their Washington Bureau Chief, Ron Fournier and his transparent bias towards John McCain.

MoveOn and Media Matters, along with many blogs, have been outraged by the AP branch of the McCain campaign for months. Emails and letters have been sent to various AP higher-ups, and apparently it is sinking in that their reading public are sick of the tactics they have taken.

In response, Ellen Hale, from the AP Corporate Communication department, issued the following:

Chiefs, RVPs, APME:

As many of you know, some political groups and left-leaning blogs have aligned to organize a newspaper letter-writing campaign against AP Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier. The campaign started this weekend with an email writing push aimed at Kathleen Carroll and Mike Oreskes, but has now moved on to urge newspaper readers to write their local editors. Below you will find some talking points to help guide you as this issue plays out. Please feel free to use them in talking with editors and readers and forward to other AP staff you think might find them useful. In addition, later this week, Corporate Communications will go live with a robust new Elections page on ap.org that will provide some real estate to deal with these issues. It will highlight our Elections Team, include an archive of Ron’s political analyses as well as those of other AP journalists and also have a FAQ that expands on the talking points below. This will be in addition to the elections and vote count background we normally post on the site.

Ellen Hale
Corporate Communications

AP Elections Coverage Talking Points

For Internal use only by Bureau Chiefs, RVPs, APMC By way of background, the campaign started after Ron wrote an analysis piece about Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden for a running mate. The original headline on the piece, which was labeled an analysis, read:

Biden pick shows lack of confidence. The analysis was similar in perspective, tone and content to what other journalists for major news organizations were writing or saying. Some of the same blogs now are also picking up the drumbeat of dissatisfaction with AP that some members have been voicing with the roll-out of Member choice, encouraging readers to write letters against AP in general. In doing so they grossly misrepresent AP in many areas, including how much AP content is contributed by members. For the record, member content comprises less than two percent of AP national and international content — the slice that is found on Yahoo, Google and other portals.

This small fraction usually involved a scoop which is credited to the member paper. On the AP State Wire, which is not distributed beyond members, about 45 percent of stories come from members.

AP has what arguably are the strict ethics and news values policies in the industry. They are closely monitored and adhered to. These guidelines lay out in great detail that AP reporters and editors must avoid any political activity, whether they cover politics or not. AP journalists may not perform any kind of work for politicians and may not donate money to political organizations or campaigns, or any other organizations that take political positions. They must avoid any activity or behavior that constitutes a conflict of interest. You can refer anyone to The Associated Press Statement of New Values and Principles at http://www.ap.org/newsvalues/index.html.

In addition, it may be important to remind members that The Associated Press has a long and continuing legacy of aggressively but fairly reporting on how government and politicians serve the people who elect them, regardless of political affiliation. AP fought to win the identities of those held at Guantanamo Bay detention center, for example, and Ron Fournier’s own coverage in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was extremely critical of the GOP Bush Administration.

To help you deal with questions that may arise as a result of the ongoing issues, here is some background and also what we’ve publicly said. You can use these in public responses to queries –Ron Fournier started in political reporting in Little Rock, Ark., covering Bill Clinton, who was governor at the time. He covered Clinton’s presidential campaign and moved to Washington in 1993, where he spent 13 years covering politics and the White House. He has a strong reputation among his peers for honesty and even-handedness. In 2000, Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz described Fournier as one of the “most dogged shoe-leather scribes around,” but one who “avoids the spotlight himself.” Fournier was AP’s chief political writer when he left in 2006 to edit Hotsoup.com, a site that was founded by a bipartisan group of prominent political strategists. He returned to AP the following year as online political editor, charged with developing new approaches to AP’s online political and election coverage and to lead new coverage on accountability and governing. He was named acting bureau chief in May and bureau chief on Aug. 1.

–The dual rule of AP Washington Bureau Chief and political writer has long roots in AP history, as well as that of other Washington bureaus. Walter Mears, who won a Pulitzer for his 1976 presidential coverage, served in both capacities from 1977 to 1984. As bureau chief he continued to write news copy, usually analytical pieces. Likewise, other leading news organizations have often had their bureau chiefs serve in both capacities.

–The blogs and political organizations have made much of an email from Ron to Karl Rove that surfaced soon after Ron was named acting bureau chief, and which involved the death of Pat Tillman. The email exchange between Ron and Rove occurred in 2004, while Ron was a correspondent for AP — long before he was named bureau chief. Ron has widely publicly said that the tone of the email was unfortunate, but that the contact with Rove was in the pursuit of a story. Ron has written both columns and articles that are critical of Rove. Here’s what Ron said publicly about the email: “I was an AP political reporter at the time of the 2004 e-mail exchange, and was interacting with a source, a top aide to the president, in the course of following an important and compelling story. I regret the breezy nature of the correspondence.”

–Blogs also have made much of Ron’s discussions with the McCain campaign regarding a position in it. These discussions occurred before Ron returned to AP. he also was considered for employment by Politico.com, the blog. Here’s what AP said about it, and what we continue to say in response to queries: “It is not uncommon for journalists to be approached by political campaigns, elected officials and government agencies about possible job opportunities. Ron Fournier was approached by the McCain campaign and turned them down, months before he rejoined AP in March of 2007.” (Paul Colford, Corporate Communications) The McCain campaign has made it clear that Ron was not interested in the position and that they never had any idea of his political leanings.

–It also has been claimed that Ron has a conflict of interest because he is listed as a possible speaker for a speakers’ agency. When Ron left AP, in 2006 to edit a Web site, he was briefly listed with an agency as part of a speaker’s tour to publicize a book he had written. This is routine practice for anyone who has written a book. He has not been involved with any speaking agency since before he returned to AP.The listings are outdated, and were to have been taken down by the agency but were not.

The Associated Press issuing TALKING POINTS?  Wow.  Proof of what the corporate media has given us.  And what about these talking points?  Is it just me, or are these seriously weak talking points?

What do you think?

Op-Ed’s Nationwide Take on Palin

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The following was written by Boyd Reed at Talking Points Memo. He did such a fantastic job of collecting various Opinion pieces from around the country, I just had to repost it in full. As a note, I am quite surprised by the sheer number of negative Op-Ed’s on Palin as McCain’s selection for Veep.

I haven’t changed a word of Mr. Reeds outstanding read, but I did change the order in which he listed them so that a couple of key Op-Ed’s (ABC, AP and NYT are above the fold). In total, Boyd lists a whopping 27 negative Op-Ed pieces.

So, McCain made his ground-shaking pick, and the media jumped all over it, as was presumably his design. McCain won his news cycle – but now, these MSM outlets have had time to fully digest the pick and its ramifications – and are finding all sorts of odds and ends while unleashing its vetting grinder on Palin. If these editorials are representative of the campaign’s new meme, McCain lost the election in the bargain.

Here’s a collection of various op-eds around the country that are, on the whole, not very flattering to the first-term Alaska governor.

I believe this media reaction will be critical to the Obama campaign’s strategy. They can just quote all this beautiful stuff here, and not have to get involved in hitting Palin directly.

Senator Straight Talk’s judgment is being bashed in these, too. It’s really beautiful when the media actually does its job and reports the truth, you know?

Happy reading!

ABC News (Jake Tapper – yes, THAT Jake Tapper!):

Palin doesn’t exactly scream “experience,” which is McCain’s main argument against Obama. For a decade she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, which has a population of approximately 8,471, which the Obama campaign says is less than 1/20th the size of his former state senate district. Palin has been governor for two years. Some might argue that in terms of experience she makes Obama look like Robert Byrd. In July, Palin told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow that “as for that VP talk all the time, I tell ya, I still can’t answer that question until, until somebody answers for me ‘What it is exactly that the vice president does every day?”

AP (Ron Fournier – yes, THAT Ron Fournier!):

She is younger and less experienced than the first-term Illinois senator, and brings an ethical shadow to the ticket. Just 20 months ago, she was mayor of Wasia, Alaska, a town of 6,500 where the biggest issue is controlling growth and the biggest annual worry is whether there will be enough snow for the Iditarod dog-mushing race… Palin’s lack of experience flies in the face of GOP charges that Obama is not ready to be commander in chief. McCain himself has said he was determined to avoid a pick like Dan Quayle, the little-known Indiana senator George H.W. Bush put on his ticket in 1988 in a choice that proved embarrassing…But, as McCain suggested himself, his 72nd birthday is a reminder that age and experience matter.

New York Times:

Governor Palin’s lack of experience, especially in national security and foreign affairs, raises immediate questions about how prepared she is to potentially succeed to the presidency. That really is the only criteria for judging a candidate for vice president.

There is much, much more below the fold.
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