The next Congressional sex scandal?

After all, why just send boring cellphone pix?

Sarah Palin and the Case of the Disappearing Bus Tour 1

JISHOU, HUNAN — Like a moth to a flame, I can’t resist reading about the latest Sarah Palin escapade. The Attention-Monger with a Short Attention Span™ has put her cross-country bus tour on hold and canceled a well publicized trip to Sudan. For jury duty. ** [UPDATE: In case you’re worried, she hasn’t been told to report yet, according to the Alaska Dispatch.] ** The only way anybody gets any news from the Palin camp is through her Facebook page. Her bus tour itinerary is kept more secret than a presidential motorcade’s timetable. So after the bus tour abruptly stopped, the media immediately began to wonder if she had quit the tour in midstream. Not that she’s ever quit anything in midstream before … Palin then ran to the ramparts and shot off one of her folksy Facebook updates. Imagine our surprise when reading media reports today that the “One Nation Tour” has been cancelled. Why didn’t anyone tell me? Oh, wait, that’s because it hasn’t been cancelled. (Good ol’ media… you never cease to amaze!) As I said myself at the end of the east coast leg of the tour, the summer is long, and I’m looking forward to ...

Bachmann wants schools to teach religion in science class

JISHOU, HUNAN — CNN reports the not-very-surprising news that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) favors teaching Intelligent Design (religion made science-y) in schools, right alongside evolution (actual science). It’s not surprising, because Bachmann (and most of the other candidates for the GOP presidential nomination), are stubbornly in the Science (and History) Ignoramus class. Global warming? Liberal nonsense! Evolution? Atheist nonsense! Separation of Church and State? It was never there! Intelligent Design is religious belief, Creationism with a different label, and the federal courts — most recently in 2005 — have ruled it cannot be taught in public schools, especially in science class. Period. Yet, Bachmann and others stubbornly insist ID must be taught in public schools. Don’t they read the newspapers? Here’s what she told CNN. “I support intelligent design,” Bachmann told reporters in New Orleans following her speech to the Republican Leadership Conference. “What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don’t think it’s a good idea for government to come down on one side of scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides.” WRONG!! There is no “reasonable doubt” about evolution, at least among sensible people and ...

A little sensitive, are we?

JISHOU, HUNAN — While tracking down Magician Joe (see previous post), I logged into my Twitter account for the first time in eons. For jollies, I follow Sarah Palin on Twitter, just to see what wacky things she’ll say next. For a politician, she sure is touchy about things people say. Take this tweet, for example. Setting the Record Straight: About False Quotes Attributed to Governor Palin Posted on June 10, 2011 An absurd opinion piece in Politico includes a quote attributed to Governor Palin that is a total fabrication and yet is deliberately written to appear as if it is a legitimate direct quote. By any standard this is unacceptable even for an opinion piece. This puts us in mind of a real quote of something Governor Palin actually did once say to the media: “Quit making stuff up.” The “absurd” piece in question is “Will rivalry make Sarah Palin run?” by Politico writers Paul Goldman and Mark J. Rozell, who suggest that the popularity of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) may convince Palin to quit being a tease and run for the GOP presidential nomination. Apparently, an editing mistake made something look like Palin said something egotistical, when in ...

Erase. Rewind.

JISHOU, HUNAN — Sarah Palin erred in one way. Wikipedia got “corrected” in another. Somehow the twain met and still exposed the weaknesses of both. If the current Wikipedia page about Paul Revere is to be trusted (the citations look solid, anyway), Paul Revere did in fact warn the British about the Massachusetts militiamen ready to fight them. But he didn’t do it at all like Palin said he did. Predictably, Palinites are declaring victory for Saint Sarah, ignoring that the truth that she’s still embarrassingly wrong about a well known moment in American history. Here’s the play-by-play. At a rally Friday in Boston, Palin told the crowd that Revere rode through town, firing shots off like John Wayne and ringing bells like Bing Crosby, to warn the British (the British –OK?) that the red-blooded colonists were not going to give up their arms to any Redcoats without a fight. Here’s the exact quote, complete with her folksy diction: “He who warned, uh, the…the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringin’ those bells and um by makin’ sure that as he’s ridin’ his horse through town to send those warnin’ shots and bells that ...

Paul Revere and Palin’s Raiders

[UPDATE: Since I wrote this post, people have also revised the Paul Revere entry at Andy Schlafly’s Conservapedia to match the Palin version of history. And the battle at Wikipedia is still going on, it seems.] JISHOU, HUNAN — Can American politics get any stranger? Alleged presidential contender and full-time media hog Sarah Palin recently mangled the story of Paul Revere in a public address, and soon after some of her fans went to Wikipedia to change the Paul Revere entry to match Failin’ Palin’s version. Because, they said, Palin is a “reliable source,” so her imaginary version of events entitles them to rewrite history. One imagines if Palin told them the Moon was made of green cheese, they’d try to rewrite its wikipedia page, too. Dumb and dumberer. In case you missed the gaffe, Palin told a crowd in Boston on June 2 that native son Revere rode through the streets toward Concord ringing bells and making a lotta noise to warn the British. “He who warned, uh, the…the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringin’ those bells and um by makin’ sure that as he’s ridin’ his horse through town to send ...

Amy, the Bachmann Slayer 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — I haven’t blogged about high school students lately, I guess because I’m not in the high-school teaching biz anymore. But Amy Myers’ story caught my eye today. She’s the high school sophomore from Cherry Hill, NJ, who has challenged Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) to a debate about the US Constitution. The challenge, issued publicly, is noteworthy in and of itself. But even more newsworthy is the reactions against Myers from Bachmann’s rabid fanbase. And I do mean rabid, as in snarling, drooling, yelping dogs. Bachmann is the darling of the right wing, a conservative Christian who is at once outspoken and photogenic, and who frequently gets her facts wrong. It was her declaring in a televised speech that the Battles of Lexington and Concord happened in New Hampshire, and that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to abolish slavery that got Myers’ dander up. Figuring her knowledge of US history and the Constitution was superior to Bachmann’s, she issued a public challenge to a debate. The response from Bachmann has been “no response.”. There have been plenty from Bachmann’s adoring fans, though. Here are a few samples from Free Republic, which houses quite a few rabid dogs. Remember ...

Mike Huckabee, “historian” 3

OK, class. Time for a discussion question. What, if anything, is wrong with this picture? The graphic comes from a website — Learn Our History — touted by potential Fox News commentator and no-longer-a-GOP- presidential-wannabe Mike Huckabee for the edumacation of the youngsters in This Great (Christian) Nation™. Huckabee’s been palling around with revisionist “historian” David Barton, whose whole shtick is to convince people that the Founding Fathers (like Franklin, Reagan and Washington, above) really and truly intended the USA to be a Christian Nation run under Biblical Principles. All that stuff about separation of Church and State is a just a lot of hooey, Barton says. Since the sample videos on Huck’s site are hosted on Youtube, I can’t watch them from here in China. Thankfully. I heard they’re awful. Maybe you can check them out for me, and report back. (500 words, double-spaced, MLA style, due next class) Here’s another critique of the vids, with the cartoons embedded. Just in case you’ve been taken in by Barton and Huck’s sideshow history lessons, Chris Rodda has written a book, Liars for Jesus, that meticulously takes apart every one of Barton’s claims. What scares me is that a lot of ...

Rand Paul, idio(cra)t 4

Kentucky, what the F were you thinking when you elected this guy? Here’s what the junior Senator said about health care in Congress yesterday. PAUL: With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses. Basically, once you imply a belief in a right to someone’s services — do you have a right to plumbing? Do you have a right to water? Do you have right to food? — you’re basically saying you believe in slavery. I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to health care. You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be. Link. Major logic fail. So, in ...

Mighty peculiar, if you ask me 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — It seems potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who was governor of Arkansas for 12 years, had all the hard drives in his office wiped clean of data and then physically destroyed. Supposedly, backups of the data are with one of his associates, but their whereabouts are unknown. Additionally, Huckabee, a former minister for 12 years, has also destroyed records of his ministry and blocked access to videos of his sermons. No, I ask you, if someone is trying so hard to cover his tracks, does it suggest he’s feeling guilty — or at least nervous — about something? And he wants to be president someday. I guess he’s a graduate of the Richard M. Nixon School of Political Transparency. If you don’t know what I mean, Google “nixon tapes” sometime.

Chinese censors suppress news about Egypt

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY — Al Jazeera reports that the net nannies in China are blocking discussion about the democratic movements in Egypt on a popular micro-blogging service. Chinageeks.org reports official news sources are keeping mum about the reasons for the protests, if they carry any reports about them at all. Apparently, China is also blocking Al Jazeera’s live video streams and sanitizing discussion forums as quickly as anyone posts. Maybe the leaders in Beijing are a little worried. One wonders why.

I am fed up with Sarah Palin – again, also 7

JISHOU, HUNAN — I wish she would just shut up, go back to Alaska and do whatever she did before being picked as Sen. John McCain’s running mate. Oh, wait, she can’t. She quit that job. Well, you get my point. Days after the shootings in Arizona, after a number of people remarked on her use of gun-friendly terminology and metaphors, Sarah came out of her Lower 48 igloo to post a long-winded video on her Facebook page. Here is the text, with my commentary in all-caps. I apologize in advance if I offend anyone. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Like millions of Americans I learned of the tragic events in Arizona on Saturday, and my heart broke for the innocent victims. No words can fill the hole left by the death of an innocent, but we do mourn for the victims’ families as we express our sympathy. HOLE? POOR CHOICE OF WORDS FOR GUNSHOT VICTIMS. “WE” — ARE WE QUEEN NOW? I agree with the sentiments shared yesterday at the beautiful Catholic mass held in honor of the victims. The mass will hopefully help begin a healing process for the families touched by this tragedy and for our country. BLAH BLAH BLAH — ...
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