We noted that yesterday Politico posted a stand-alone news story about the fact that Sarah Palin had posted some tweets about grizzly bears.....That's it. That was the news.
So we'd be remiss if we didn't also note the Politico effort this week to document the ways Obama was losing his "cool." Wafer-thin barely begins to describe the piece, as well as the 'proof' used to back up the pointless enterprise.
The first item:
It started on Monday. Speaking at the White House, Obama was just getting into a sharp defense of his economic agenda when one of the teleprompter screens holding his speech crashed to the floor and shattered into pieces.
Got that? Obama was at some official function and using a teleprompter and then the teleprompter, untouched by Obama, fell over and broke. That's the Politico's first, best evidence that Obama was losing his "cool factor."
And in one more embarrassing incident this week, Obama, a stickler for pronunciation, stumbled over the name of his surgeon general-designate's hometown – and had to ask Dr. Regina Benjamin for help pronouncing "Bayou La Batre."
Oh my. At another one of Obama's endless public functions, he mispronounced the name of a very unusual and foreign sounding town. That was his "embarrassing" incident.
Trust me, after reading this piece it's not Obama who comes off as embarrassing.
Members of the media continue to do their best to portray Sarah Palin, post-resignation stunner, as being "popular." The latest is Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. And yes, you might want to keep in mind that Van Susteren's husband has served as an adviser to Palin.
From Van Susteren's program last night:
And she's still popular! Some think very soon to be former Governor Sarah Palin could be eyeing a run for the White House in 2012. If so, a new Gallup poll is good news for the governor. In a poll of Republicans and right-leaning independents, 72 percent of those polled have a favorable opinion of Governor Palin. That being said, when given six choices of possible presidential candidates, Governor Palin comes in second, with 21 percent listing her as the top choice. In first place, according to the poll, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Like the New York Daily News did previously, Van Susteren built her case for Palin's popularity around partisan polling that only sought the opinion of people who were already predisposed to liking her. Namely Republicans and right-leaning independents. Honestly, why would Palin not be popular among them?
But in the broader Gallup survey that Van Susteren cited to prove Palin's popularity, when voters across the political spectrum were asked about Palin, a majority indicated they would likely not vote for her for president. And that included a clear majority of independent voters who suggested they wouldn't vote for Palin.
Sort of a new definition for "popular," no?
And just curious, why did Van Susteren run a Palin-friendly, she's-still-popular segment last night when the polling data used as the hook for the discussion was nearly a week-and-a-half old?
Witness his attack last night on The Rachel Maddow Show, in which he claimed he graduated from Georgetown University "as high as [Sotomayor] did" at Princeton, and added, "I'm not qualified for the United States Supreme Court. And neither is she."
But in his 1990 book, Right from the Beginning, Buchanan wrote that after being arrested and expelled for assaulting police officers and subsequently allowed to return after his father, "by personal pleading, had the expulsion reduced," "I was graduated cum laude" [original emphasis] from Georgetown in 1961.
Sotomayor graduated in 1976 summa cum laude from Princeton.
On Wednesday, Media Matters posted a clip from Glenn Beck's radio show in which Beck "Lose[s]" his "mind" and screams at a caller: "Get off my phone you little pinhead!" The clip is burning up on YouTube and is currently ranked the #5 video overall with more than 250,000 views.
The video has even spawned a very funny remix titled: Glenn Beck "Get Off My Phone" Radio Freak Out (Twilight Vampire Metal Remix). Check it out:
Be sure to check out the original clip.
Because apparently it's for sale to the highest corporate bidder.
Politico reports today that the influential ACU solicited a $2-3 million payment from FedEx in return for the "grassroots" group's support:
The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a check for $2 million to $3 million in return for the group's endorsement in a bitter legislative dispute, then flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay.
For the $2 million plus, ACU offered a range of services that included: "Producing op-eds and articles written by ACU's Chairman David Keene and/or other members of the ACU's board of directors. (Note that Mr. Keene writes a weekly column that appears in The Hill.)"
Talk about naked pay-for-play. The fact that that goes on is one of the worst kept secrets on K Street. But the arrogance of the ACU's demand does seem shocking. And more troubling is the idea that Hill columnist David Keene may be in the business of auctioning off his efforts to the highest bidder.
How will The Hill justify publishing Keene's column in the future?
Yesterday, I asked what a Republican Senator would have to do to make Chris Cillizza's list of Sotomayor confirmation hearing "losers." Well, today's edition of Cillizza's "Winners and Losers" is out, and we still don't know the answer.
Cillizza went to great lengths to avoid naming a Republican one of the losers of Day 4 of the hearings; his "losers" list included "The Third Round of Questioning," "Analogies," and Michael Bloomberg, for mispronouncing Sotomayor's name. Bloomberg, of course, was a Republican until leaving the Party in 2007. Combined with Cillizza's choice of Arlen Specter among yesterday's losers, it seems the best way for a Republican to make Cillizza's list really is to leave the GOP.
Strangely, Cillizza named New Haven firefighter Frank Ricci one of yesterday's "losers." Why? Because "Ricci's statement was entirely devoid of controversy (or any mention of Sotomayor) and the follow-up questions to him produced no drama either."
See, that seems to me like a failure on the part of the people who decided to make Ricci their star witness and hype his appearance for a week, then failed to elicit anything interesting from him during questioning. You know, the Republicans who serve on the Judiciary Committee.
Ricci isn't a Senator, he isn't a lawyer, he isn't a legal scholar; all he could do was tell his story. He shouldn't be blamed for not being entertaining or illuminating enough for Cillizza; his hosts bear responsibility for putting him in that position, and for wasting the committee's time with a witness who, according to Cillizza, added nothing to the proceedings. Blaming Frank Ricci for that seems like awfully poor form.
Coming in the wake of the Sotomayor hearings this development is especially confusing. Conservative media outlets have been emphatic that identity politics, especially when practiced by African-Americans and Hispanics, is abhorrent and should be avoided at all costs.
Yet when a pro-business African-American appeared before Congress and called a prominent Democrat a racist, The Weekly Standard, as well as the rest of the right-wing blogosphere, cheered. They seemed to want to see more identity politics like that.
Suddenly it's a good thing for a minority, when pressed with tough questions, to complain that his questioner is being "racial." It's a good thing when Harry Alford, CEO of the pro-business National Black Chamber of Commerce, who was invited by Republicans to testify against environment legislation, exploded during a rather pedestrian give-and-take with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA).
Confusing times, indeed.
UPDATED: Did we mention how Bizarro World this sudden love of minority identity politics is from the right-wing during a week when we saw attacks on Sotomayor that didn't even try to mask ugly racial stereotypes?
Justice Malaprop? [Ed Whelan]
Judge Sotomayor says "eminent" when she means "imminent," "providence" instead of "province," "story of knowledge" instead of "store of knowledge," and so on. Does the fact that she is a Latina immunize her from attention to that sort of (admittedly not uncommon) foible?
UPDATED: RedState, of all places, is suddenly deeply concerned about "racism" in politics. Who knew?
UPDATED: State classy Jawa Report, that bastion of racial sensitivity:
Senator Assmaggot Gets Bitchslapped