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Friday, December 8, 2023

A Kiss of Death for Vaughn Ward and the GOP Young Guns

"I'm happy to support Vaughn Ward for Congress!" Sarah Palin.

1938 – The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its first session.

2004 – The New York Times publishes an admission of journalistic failings, claiming that its flawed reporting and lack of skepticism towards sources during the buildup to the 2003 war in Iraq helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.


“Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.” – – – – Sir Calvin N. Hobbes

“As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?” – – – –  Sarah Palin



Some might call it the kiss of death (The strong pre-election endorsement by Bible Spice), others may call it the GOP’s Shock and Awe.

I call it natural, from a Barnum and Bailey point of view. After all, today’s GOP is little more than a circus, but without the animals (Until the next family values congressman is found in bed with his favorite sheep).

Vaughn Ward was one of the annointed  GOP YOUNG GUNS (a group of 23 young über conservatives carefully culled, selected, vetted, and funded to be the future leaders of the GOP) when he first declared his candidacy for a congressional seat in Idaho. (A word of warning,  only Screeching Sarah is as annoying as Rep. Cantor’s voice on  the Young Gun website)

Vaughn Ward had everything going for him. Money, looks, decorated Iraqi vet status, massive GOP support, including the coveted American Conservative Union endorsement, TeaBagger excitement, even Wassilly Sarah’s personal endorsement and a touchie feelie campaign appearance with the Toddster.

After taking an early lead,  this Tea Bagger looked like he had this election in the bag. Instead, he kept finding himself dunking up and down in really hot water.

Maybe it was the 2004 speech he stole from Barack Obama. Maybe it was the word for word lifting of other conservative GOP position papers. Maybe it was his campaign manager being fired just two weeks before the election. Or, maybe it was Sarah Palin’s personal endorsement (known in some circles as the Kiss of the Locust, whose natural mating sounds are indistinguishable from the Quittah from Wassillah’s normal speech patterns).

Personally, I suspect that something else is at work here. As cute as their signage may be, (home skuling does have its rewards), the biggest worry about the Tea Baggers is that people are starting to listen to their actual message. Part of the problem is best described as Buyer’s Remorse. (A deep regret and repentance for a wrong committed; a compunction, the wrong being making an important choice or purchase.)  Another part is that  the Tea Bagger party is crazier than your average loon, under a fool moon, with all psychotropic drugs withheld. In years past, there was a a famous mental affliction called theStockholm Syndrome.

a term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors that appear irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims.

In recent times, it has been replaced by the newly discovered RAND PAUL Syndrome.

Rand Paul’s amazing meltdown in his first week as the GOP Senate nominee in Kentucky raises serious questions about media conspiracies – not because the network talking heads decided to ask him tough questions, but because they waited to pose those challenges until after he’d won his primary and the Republicans were stuck with him.

When the Tea Baggers were just a nascent political movement, (The Armey of Dick),  many desperate and suffering Americans felt that the movement also represented “change”, especially as an ever more moderate and conciliatory president managed to appear weak, despite a growing number of legislative victories. Maybe not the sanest kind of change, but change nevertheless. Like a new shiny toy, the Tea Baggers attracted plenty of media coverage (including a deliberate campaign by Fox News to promote and fund it). Now the wrappings are remove and the glitter has worn off,  people are finally taking notice of their actual positions and policy stances.  In other words, they see the Tea Baggers for who and what they really are. A collection of crazies. A boatload of leaks. A ripe, low-hanging bunch of conservative zealots who will never let reality interfere with their thought patterns.

At the forefront of this movement are the irrepressible and verbally incontinent Michelle Bachmann and the schreechie changie Momma of the Deep Oil Rig, Sarah Palin. By supporting Vaughn Ward, Sarah’s endorsement did little other than to highlight just how out of touch and unready Young Gun Ward really was:

He (Vaughn Ward) was accused of using position statements on his website that were identical to those posted on websites of Republican candidates in other states. Ward pulled the statements, but the flub led to the resignation of his campaign manager less than two weeks before the election.

He came under fire again last weekend for allegedly using statements in his campaign kickoff announcement in January that were similar to passages in the keynote address Barack Obama gave at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

“He was the front-runner, here we are, his empire starts crumbling. It’s kind of embarrassing,” said state Sen. Monte Pearce, a New Plymouth Republican and one of his chamber’s most conservative members.

It’s kind of embarrassing. Indeed.

– – – –


Two women have been arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle crystal methamphetamine inside a Bible to a Walker man jailed in the Livingston Parish Detention Center. Sheriff’s deputies told The Advocate that a 28-year-old woman allegedly delivered a Bible containing methamphetamine to the detention center on May 12. They said a 35-year-old woman allegedly gave the drug-containing Bible to the jailed man.

The intended recipient, a 30-year-old man, has been in jail since October on a variety of drug-related arrests.

The jailed man was booked with entering contraband into a penal institution, and the 35-year-old woman was booked with being a principal to entering contraband into a penal institution.

Read more:…

Heh. Within these words lays salvation.  Indeed.

– – –

C. The EPA finally finds its voice.

The Environmental Protection Agency moved Tuesday to end a long-running dispute with Texas over how the state regulates emissions, including cancer-causing toxins such as benzene and butadiene, from dozens of refineries that produce a third of the nation’s gasoline and billions of dollars of petrochemicals.

Change we can believe in. Finally. Texas refinery permits violate Clean Air Act.

– – – –

D. Mineral Management Service: “PARTY ON!”

Today’s sAINTS are not the Alaska MMS staff who held an office party with cake (the icing spelled out, “DRILL BABY DRILL!”  Rather, today’s heros were in both DC and Louisiana.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Staff members at an agency that oversees offshore drilling accepted tickets to sports events, lunches and other gifts from oil and gas companies and used government computers to view pornography, according to an Interior Department report alleging a culture of cronyism between regulators and the industry.

In at least one case, an inspector for the Minerals Management Service admitted using crystal methamphetamine and said he might have been under the influence of the drug the next day at work, according to the report by the acting inspector general of the Interior Department.

The report cites a variety of violations of federal regulations and ethics rules at the agency’s Louisiana office. Previous inspector general investigations have focused on inappropriate behavior by the royalty-collection staff in the agency’s Denver office.

The report adds to the climate of frustration and criticism facing the Obama administration in the monthlong oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, although it covers actions before the spill. Millions of gallons of oil are gushing into the Gulf, endangering wildlife and the livelihoods of fishermen, as scrutiny intensifies on a lax regulatory climate.

A LAX regulatory climate? With the hookers and parties arranged for MMS staff and top leaders, shouldn’t that read “climax” instead?

– – – –

E. Obama’s capitulation

I like this guy. I really do. And I plan to vote for him early and often in 2012. He comes from my state, and I think he is really trying. Burdened as he is with the infamous Chinese Curse (May you live in exciting times), he has repeatedly tried to reach across the aisle, to bring in GOP support for popular or necessary programs, and he has repeatedly failed in the process. Many on the left are angry because he is all too willing to cave in, even before the demand is made. (See generally, Health Care Reform).

But really, Mr. President. Look at the facts. Violence at the Arizona border has never been lower. If anything, there is no influx of Mexicans, but rather, a return by Mexicans to their homeland, because our economy is in such a shitter.

When Arizona passed into law its hideous, unconstitutional DWB (driving while brown) law, the initial reaction from the WH was appropriate. They called it what it was. Shortsighted, stupid, and doomed to fail. It also pissed off so many people of color, that the GOP’s future nickname will be The Albino Party.

Sending 1500 troops to “secure” the Arizona border is exactly the wrong approach. It lends credence to those who drafted and passed that stupid law. It makes it appear as though you support the theory behind the AZ statute, factually wrong as it is.

Mr. President, if you want to have a positive public impact, don’t do it by making a bad Arizona situation worse. And better yet, don’t send your EPA chief to New York, while you head to San Fran, both attending fund raisers. I have to tell you, that really looks bad, as though you really don’t care about the Gulf Coast. Actually, by being so oblivious to your image, you remind people of George W., as he flew over Louisiana, observing things at 30,000 feet.

Mr. President, you are a smart man. You have many talents. But your closest staff is not serving you well. You had better open up that bubble, and let others access your inner circle, otherwise, you will be doomed to one term in office. It is not too late, but damn. Two huge missteps in one day?

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