Posted on 18-07-2011
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Alaska’s half-term quitter’s latest “look at me” attempt – the laughably mistitled hagiography “The Undefeated” – was telecast in selected cities this week.  The response appears to have been underwhelming.  The Sarah Palin fan club led by bullshit artist Andrew Breitbart promptly saw a conspiracy.  Others made laughable attempts to tout six people attending a showing of the propaganda flick.

Meanwhile, Palin like many other celebrities before her has got the Downfall treatment.  Video below:

Inside Palin Campaign HQ – Launch of ‘The Undefeated’ Fails from Moosehelmet Films on Vimeo.

I still have a hard time seeing Palin launch a credible campaign for President.  Her fellow loony tunes seeking the Presidency have not had a great couple of weeks either.  In a week where large chunks of the Republican party embraced insanity by welcoming an American default, the fringe candidates added their mite too.

  • Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann jumped at the opportunity to sign a controversial family values pledge.
  • Bachmann’s husband drew attention for his controversial counselling to cure homosexuality and now she may have to answer questions about her health.
  • Herman Cain took his anti-Islam bufoonery to new levels.  Video below:

  • Mitt Romney who should be able to brand himself as the adult of this bunch draws so little enthusiasm that a large section of the Republican party is still seeking a white knight (whose spouse will permit a presidential run).  With Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie not running, Rick Perry is up next.  It remains to be seen whether Perry’s accounting gimmicks that have created a fiscal disaster in Texas and other skeletons in his closet will hold up under the scrutiny of the national media.

It is a pity Jon Huntsman is gathering no traction in the menagerie running for the Republican nomination. Heck, Romney has no principles but I will take him (or Huntsman) over the rest of this lot.

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Posted on 23-02-2011
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Alaska’s half-term quitter is having a rough year.  First the panicky Republican establishment worried that she might actually win the nomination started waking up to her lack of curiosity, temperament and qualifications for the job.  Then after taking heat in the aftermath of the Arizona shootings she botched an opportunity to engender sympathy (and look presidential) with a thin skinned aggressive response.  Her poll numbers are sinking in the early Republican primary states and her media strategy to prevent her 15 minutes of fame from running out caused the snarky Wonkette blog to run the headline: “Desperate Sarah Palin Hinting Hard She’s Running For President.”  Now comes a tell all book from a former aide who claims he has access to reams of emails.  Then comes the even more damaging hit (again from Wonkette) that Sarah Palin may have a second Facebook account to praise Palin on her official Facebook account.  I have no doubt of Palin’s narcissism, but can she really be this pathetic?  For the record Palin has denied having a second Facebook account (and some doubt the denial).

This was grist to the mill for MSNBC’s Chris Matthews (no Sarah Palin fan) and the quote for the title of this post comes from Cynthia Tucker in the video below:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Posted on 17-11-2010
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Lisa Murkowski appears to have made history.  The incumbent Alaska Senator who was caught napping by tea party challenger Joe Miller in the Republican primary, took advantage of Alaska’s lack of a sore loser law to go ahead and run in the general election.  However, unlike the sore loser senior Senator from Connecticut 4 years ago she had to wage a write-in campaign.

The last Senator to win a write-in campaign was Strom Thurmond in 1954.  Yet Murkowski appears to have pulled it off.  As the votes were counted Joe Miller displayed signs of sore loseritis by challenging all spelling mistakes on write-in ballots based on a strict interpretation of state law.  At the same time he demanded that any write-in votes for him (there were not many) should count as votes for him even though he was not a declared write-in candidate (as required by state law). The state conceded his request under the intent of the voter standard that Miller objected for Murkowski votes. Now that seems to be a moot point since Murlowski has a lead in properly spelled out ballots.

Rather than conceding gracefully, Miller has succumbed to acute sore loseritis, wanting a recount because of Alaska’s allegedly flawed computer counting system.  With the margin more than 0.5%, Miller would have to pay for any such recount.  It is not clear whether his donors are willing to fund this quixotic challenge.  Miller ultimately has only himself to blame.  His campaign imploded after revelations of his ethical misadventures, his willingness to mooch off the public trough and his odd fascination with East German security methods.

Murkowski deserves credit for one of the most impressive voter and spelling education jobs in American political history (after an embarrassing flub by her own campaign).  In recent days as her victory started seeming more certain she has also started taking pot shots at her family bête noire – the half term quitter turned TV personality from Wasilla.  Video below:

Murkowski’s win must be galling for Sarah Palin who helped Miller win the primary only to see him rejected in the election that mattered. Round III in the Palin-Murkowski clan slug fest should be entertaining.

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Posted on 29-10-2010
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

What would we do without YouTube.  As an ugly election cycle winds down Tea Partier Joe Miller is being slammed…by someone who wants to caucus with the Republicans – incumbent Senator and sore loser Lisa Murkowski.  The ad slams the self-proclaimed constitutional conservative for having his goon squad arrest a journalist asking pesky questions about his ethical lapses, his odd praise for the East German Stasi’s methods of immigration control and his supporters parading in a campaign rally toting assault rifles.  It then cuts into brighter tones around Lisa Murkowski.  It is hard not to see this ad and wonder what would have happened if Murkowski had taken the Miller threat seriously and gone after him harder in the primary.  Video below:

Meanwhile, Alaska’s half-term quitter showed up in Anchorage to rally support for a stumbling Miller campaign and take pot-shots at Murkowski.

Murkowski’s ad is a contrast from the type of corny yet good humored ads run by Democratic nominee and huge underdog Scott McAdams – who has the added burden of raising his public profile.  The ad below also pays homage to the rich Alaska tradition of pork and to one of the finest practitioners of the art of bringing home the bacon – the late Ted Stevens.

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Posted on 07-10-2010
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Sarah Palin’s enforcer, her husband Todd, breathed fire last month when her protege Joe Miller (the Republican Senate candidate in Alaska) allegedly dissed her qualifications to run for President.  After the emails got leaked, Todd Palin walked back his comments claiming it was based on a miscommunication and this was much ado about nothing.  Wonder what the Palinites think of Miller’s subsequent painful performance on the Republican Pravda below:

A few thoughts come to mind:

  1. Is reciting the constitutional qualifications for the Presidency the best Miller can come up with for the half term quitter’s qualifications for the Presidency?  Even this youthful, albeit graying, blogger satisfies that criteria.  Perhaps I should try to get a similar endorsement from Miller.
  2. As Ben Smith noted this is another example of Palin’s unparalleled ability to alienate an ally.  The shrill reaction to a fairly innocuous statement does not bode well for the long term success of the Palin political machine.  It also explains Palin’s rocky relations with so many of her erstwhile mentors and staff.
  3. Todd Palin’s overbearing role as Alaska’s “First Dude” and in this email exchange highlight a sexist tinge to our political culture.  It is unlikely that the wife of a male politician could get away with this.  The last 25 years have shown a hostility to an independent strong willed spouse of Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates.  As Hillary Clinton infamously put it, the political class, the media and probably a large portion of the American public would rather the First Lady stayed at home and baked cookies.  It is good to see that the Second Lady without much fanfare returned back to her teaching job after inauguration.  I look forward to the day where the First Lady will not feel compelled to put her career on hiatus to serve a largely ornamental role.

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This is brilliant (via Andrew Sullivan):

On the value of education

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The New York magazine has a long excerpt from John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s book Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime on the inner workings of John Edwards second attempt to run for president.  See link.

Nobody connected with the campaign comes out looking good.  John Edwards comes off as a narcissistic ego maniac (the ego-monster in the title of the article).  The sainted Elizabeth Edwards comes off as nasty, delusional and unbalanced.  Others have excoriated the staff of the Edwards for not getting it through to the candidate, on how the Rielle Hunter affair would be an albatross that would destroy an Edwards led ticket in the fall.  While the staff presents its side of the story in the article with generous amounts of back biting against the Edwardses, they still do not account for this signal failing.

John Edwards’ political career was truly meteoric.  Within a span of 10 years he blazed to the Vice Presidential nomination and burnt out into well deserved political oblivion.   The emergence of Barack Obama cut off his political positioning as the anti-Hillary candidate.  The Hunter affair was the coup de grace.

On a personal note, I was never a supporter.  Edwards talked a good populist game (which does not endear a candidate to me to begin with) but it was hard not to question the judgment of a candidate who spent a mere 6 years in public office and then apologized for having voted the wrong way (as far as the Democratic base was concerned) on almost every major issue put to vote in his one-term Senate career (bankruptcy reform, the Patriot Act, the Iraq war, assorted free trade agreements, banking reform etc).  Freed of the requirements of running for office in North Carolina he seemed to slither into the populist cloak too easily.

The Democrats lucked out in not having a candidate who would have scuppered a sure thing in the Presidential election.  Assuming he still felt the need to make such an irresponsible Vice Presidential choice, the country also experienced a fortuitous escape from a Vice President Sarah Palin.

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Posted on 09-01-2010
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

John McCain’s campaign manager comes out swinging on Sarah Palin’s issues with the truth.  This Sunday’s 60 Minutes could be entertaining.  Also read about previously disclosed emails regarding the Alaska Independence Party.  Alaska blog Mudflats has a great read of just how Palin could make stuff up with a straight face.  See link.

For the last 15 years or so the mainstream media has generally been awful in calling out politicians on their bullshit, acting as stenographers reporting stuff verbatim.  Fox News (when they are not making stuff up) is an extreme example of this when it comes to the Republican Party.

With the media not doing their job emboldened politicians up the ante. This was evident the last couple of weeks when Republicans (including Mr. 9/11 himself) started peddling the fiction that no domestic terror attacks occurred George Bush.  At least this time the media did step up.  See link.

Andrew Sullivan has compiled a fairly thorough list of Palin’s odd and often easily disprovable lies since she hit the national stage.  It is hard not to lose respect for John McCain for trying to position a truth averse clueless neophyte a 71 year old cancer survivor’s heartbeat away from the presidency.

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Posted on 01-01-2010
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Link to the strip below is here.

Doonesbury strip

Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau January 1, 2010

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Posted on 19-11-2009
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

I have tried to stay away from the Sarah Palin media extravaganza, but the Jon Stewart clip below was too good to pass up.  Conservatives often try excusing Palin for the often excessive cult of personality around Barack Obama.  A few obvious differences should come up right away apart from basic intellectual attainments.  One politician has actually thought about the issues and when challenged on a hostile forum like Bill O’ Reilly can defend them  The other delivers garbled sound bites and complains about mean Katie Couric.  Then there is the weird resignation half way into her term, not for a transition to higher office or because of a prison conviction

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show: The Rogue Warrior
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis
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Posted on 09-11-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs, Numismatics) by Rashtrakut

After death panels, Sarah Palin has moved on to the currency.  This time the target is the now abandoned move of the phrase “In God We Trust” to the edge of new dollar coins.  Left out in the speech was the fact that this change was approved by the Republican controlled Congress in 2005, signed by President Bush into law and has already been reversed in 2007.  Also unadressed is the fact that the phrase has not been present on American coins for a large part of the nation’s history and did not become mandatory until 1955.  Luminaries like Teddy Roosevelt opposed the inclusion of the phrase as a cheap political stunt.  Yet another item overlooked in the search for the latest controversy to fire up the base is the benign artistic rationale for the change, to allow more dramatic artwork similar to earlier American coinage.  But why let facts come in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

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