"People," Gail Collins asks in today's New York Times, "what is going on with governors in this country? Are we doomed to see them go bonkers one by one, state by state?"
As the President heads for Russia next week, he leaves behind troubled American statehouses, from Schwarzenegger's in California handing out IOUs like a busted riverboat gambler to those of Sanford and Palin, who resisted Washington's stimulus money and are now heading out of office, maundering about higher levels of arousal in Argentina and Alaska.
In New York, the legislature is being held hostage by Gov. David Paterson, who got the job after Eliot Spitzer resigned over professional stimulus, while former Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, awaiting federal trial for corruption, loses out to Palin for the Sitting Duck Award, granted annually to the most ridiculed newsmaker in the nation.
Affairs of the states have been roiled by collapsing economies and rising pressures on chief executives to manage their way through crises rather than primp for the TV cameras in search of higher office. For some, like Bobby Jindal after his disastrous rebuttal to Obama's address to Congress, that may be a blessing in thin disguise.
Meanwhile, the antics of Palin, Sanford et al are distracting millions of mourners who won't win the lottery for tickets to the Michael Jackson memorial next week. Compared to some governors, the Gloved One was a model of sanity and much more entertaining to boot.
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A step in the right direction.
Barack Obama is to give an interview to the Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta before his trip to Moscow on Monday, in the clearest sign yet that his administration will take an unexpectedly tough approach in its dealings with the Kremlin. Obama will talk to the editor-in-chief, Dmitry Muratov, and meet the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who co-owns the paper.
Novaya Gazeta is famous for its critical reporting of the Russian government. Its special correspondent Anna Politkovskaya is one of four reporters from the paper to have been murdered. A critic of the prime minister, Vladimir Putin, she was shot dead in Moscow in October 2006.
Formally, Obama is following in the footsteps of Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, who granted Novaya an interview in April. This week the paper published its own investigation into the origins of last summer's war between Russia and Georgia. The Kremlin blamed Georgia's pro-US leader, Mikheil Saakashvili. According to Novaya, however, the Kremlin planned its invasion of Georgia long in advance, sending columns of tanks.
Mark Sanford's book deal is down the drain:
"Sentinel has agreed to release Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina from his contract to write a book about fiscal conservatism, which was to be called WITHIN OUR MEANS and was scheduled for publication in March 2010," said Adrian Zackheim, president and publisher of Sentinel, in a statement released Thursday. "This is a mutual decision. We wish Governor Sanford the best."
Prior to revelations of an extramarital affair that effectively brought an end to his political career, the South Carolina governor had been preparing to publish a book outlining his policy beliefs.
Sentinel is the conservative arm of Penguin Group, so maybe they could switch to a different division, change the title from "Within Our Means" to "Within Her Jeans" and they'll have a blockbuster!
Simulposted at Daily Kos .Somewhere in the cold and empty and endless depths of space....there is a tiny oasis of life.It exists, perhaps by mere chance, in a narrow orbit around an undistinguished star. An orbit that takes it just close enough to keep[...]
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"In a sense all of America is liberalism."[...]
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(image courtesy of bjkeefe)
The right is collectively imploding over Sarah Palin's resignation, and as with any sort of passing there comes a period of grieving. Two major stages in that process are denial and anger, and the always-classy Erick Erickson of RedState is already showing signs of both:
1. Sarah Palin resigned, I think, to spare her family from more attacks. I don?t think it is a coincidence that Sarah Palin is doing this just days after a very nasty Vanity Fair article where folks like Nicolle Wallace and, according to Bill Kristol, McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt (though I?m told Schmidt is not involved), savaged her.
2. Unfortunately, by resigning, I think the left and national media will be emboldened to ritualistically engage in the metaphorical gang raping of conservative politicians, particularly those who are female and have children. They?ll decide savaging Palin?s family drove her from office, so the sky?s the limit on the next conservative with kids.
Finally, Erickson goes flat out delusional, comparing Palin's resignation to Obi Wan Kenobi taking one for the team and sacrificing it all to fight the dark side:
4. I?ve had this running thought all day, perhaps because I was watching it on TV in HD for the first time, that this is kind of like Ben Kenobi letting Darth Vader strike him down. Palin is not going to run in 2012, but by doing this she can now become Barack Obama?s worst nightmare, and help rebuild the opposition to Obama. How? Because were she to remain a 2012 contender, she?d keep having stories by anonymous McCain campaign staffers and other 2012 contenders going after her and her family. Take that ambition off the table and it neutralizes a lot of that. So she can focus on candidates and ideas without an ulterior motive focused on 2012.
Really? Erick, you know this wasn't about her children. She used them as political props all through the '08 campaign and continued to do it till the bitter end. And in the end, it was her ineptitude and ethical shortcomings that did her in. Perhaps the enduring lesson from this tragic political tale with be that going forward, politicians of all stripes should think twice about exploiting their children for political gain.
Is there an indictment coming for Palin? That remains to be seen, but one thing seems certain -- Sarah Palin is now toxic. She walked away from the people of her state when the going got tough and has shed any remaining crumbs of credibility she may have had left.
Before Democratic Gov. John Lynch re-appointed Republican Kelly Ayotte to a full second term as state Attorney General he had an understanding that she would serve the entire term, the governor's spokesman says. ...
But now Lynch's camp in joining the fray suggesting that if she does run she is going back on a promise she made just in April to complete the term through 2013.
"It was the Governor's expectation in reappointing Kelly Ayotte that she would serve her full term," said Lynch spokesman Colin Manning. "At the time of her appointment she told the Governor that was her intention."
Remember, before Judd Gregg pulled the plug on his nomination to run the Commerce Dept., John Lynch planned to appoint Gregg's equally conservative chief-of-staff as his replacement. So Lynch is not exactly a guy known for sticking his neck out on behalf of partisan causes. Again citing Dean, this must mean that Dems are at least somewhat concerned about an Ayotte run.
Now we wait for her response. If Ayotte doesn't bail, this is going to be an ugly albatross for her for the next sixteen months. And I suspect this issue will only further encourage former NH-02 Rep. Charlie Bass (R) to get into the race, possibly setting up a contested Republican primary. Fun stuff!
- by VG
I?ve been avidly following Blue America?s and Howie?s awesome efforts to make the Senate knuckleheads who take insurance lobby money as if it was their due and f*ck the people who really are hurting, suffer. And, everyone else in between. I read Howie?s latest, here and went off to read the July 4th (Independence Day) WaPo article he linked- and then... something about it made me do teh
The most recent WaPo article is by Ceci Connolly. And, as I discovered, she is quite a piece of work. I'm not excusing Obama, not one whit, but Ms. Ceci seems to have had an agenda...
From Howie's WaPo link here: Ceci Connolly sez- article linked above July 4:
Obama Urges Groups to Stop Attacks? Advocates Should Turn Attention to Promoting Legislation, President Says
In recent weeks, liberal bloggers and grass-roots groups such as MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, Service Employees International Union and Progressive Change Campaign Committee have targeted Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Arlen Specter (Pa.), Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.).
Health-Care Activists Targeting Democrats- Sniping Among Liberals May Jeopardize Votes Needed to Pass Bill
In recent days-- and during this week?s congressional recess-- left-leaning bloggers and grass-roots organizations such as
MoveOn.org, Health Care for America Now and the Service Employees International Union have singled out Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Arlen Specter (Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) for the criticism more often reserved for opposition party members.
A good sign of a totally bogus argument is reliance on contradictory presumptions of fact. When one is simply wrong, one can often make a convincing argument by inventing facts. When one is being absurd, one can fall into the temptation to invent inconsistent facts.
In this article in the Washington Post Ceci Conolly is being absurd. She argues that progressives (such as MoveOn) who attack Democratic Senators who don't support a public option are endangering health care reform.
She presents two arguments one stated in her own name in what is supposed to be a news article and one ascribed to an anonymous source whom she does not criticize.
Lieberman hailed the Democratic victory eight years ago as nearing the political promised land. In another allusion to Moses, he said: "You might say the Red Sea finally parted, and more Americans than ever before walked through be-hind President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore." Even Lieberman's new charter airplane--owned by Spirit Airlines--fit with the theme of the day. "The Spirit literally moved me," he said with a chuckle, describing today's maiden flight.
Incredibly, none of the three examples Connolly offered to highlight Gore's compulsion for exaggerating were based on fact. Eleven months later, and just three weeks before Election Day, the Post returned to the topic of Love Canal, reporting how Gore's "clumsy" statements "suggesting he discovered the Love Canal disaster" had made him an easy target for ridicule.
WaPo's Ceci Connolly plays Baghdad Bob to America?s health neglect system
Connolly was also instrumental in smearing Howard Dean in 2004 and misleading reporting about the debate leading up to the creation of Medicare Part D(eath). She is as bad as it gets. If you see her coming, cross the street to avoid her.
Another comment worthy of reflection. Almost all of us have similar family stories we could[...]
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I've been thinking about climate refugees for awhile, partly inspired by all those pictures of Dust Bowl refugees from the 1930s. Floods and famines have forced people to leave their homes for greener pastures throughout recorded history, and[...]
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