To Refudiate or Not to Refudiate, That is the Question

Last week, an aide in the Mitt Romney camp suggested that Sarah Palin wasn't a viable contender for the 2012 GOP nomination. "If she's standing up there in a debate and the answers are more than 15 seconds long, she's in trouble," said the unnamed aide cited in a widely circulated article by Time's Mark Halperin. Methinks that might have been a tad too generous. As if on cue, St. Sarah of the Self-Immolation has once again graced us with her own curious penchant for political self flagellation. True, to her crazed followers, St. Sarah of the Tea Party is worthy of veneration no matter the transgression, in this case largely linguistic though there is a political angle as well, because, after all, all one needs in life according to the gospel of St. Sarah is conservative commonsense. The rest is just pesky details like facts, hard economic data or the historical record. 

This weekend St. Sarah self-immolated in less than 140 characters via her Twitter account.

Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.

If at first you don't succeed, well, delete and try again:

Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real.

Yeah, refute means to "prove (a statement or theory) to be wrong or false; that is to disprove" or "to deny the truth or accuracy of a statement" as in to refute an allegation. Perhaps if I used it in a sentence: I cannot refute the fact that Sarah Palin is a moron for every time she opens her mouth she doth prove it. And what's with the "peaceful" New Yorkers? Are there war-like New Yorkers? Or if one is for this mosque, which isn't on the World Trade Center site but rather near it, does that then mean one isn't "peaceful"? 

Well, the third time is surely the charm.

Peace-seeking Muslims pls understand. Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing.

It might serve St. Sarah of the Unlearned to learn that there have been Muslims in the United States since early in the colonial period, certainly before 1700 and probably as early as 1630. Of the approximately 388,000 Africans who landed in American ports during the colonial period, almost 92,000 (24 percent) were Senegambian Muslims most of whom were forcibly converted to Christianity. The most celebrated case of a Muslim in colonial America is that of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (also known as Job ibn Solomon Dgiallo), a well educated Muslim merchant who was kidnapped and enslaved in the early 1730s. The scion of an aristocratic clerical Fulani family, he was captured in 1730 near the mouth of the River Gambia and shipped to Annapolis, Maryland in 1731, where he was delivered as chattel to Mr. V. Denton who then sold Diallo to Mr. Alexander Tolsey of Kent Island, Maryland. While in Maryland and after attempting to escape, Diallo wrote a letter to his father. The letter came to the attention of James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia and at the time the director of Royal African Company, who then purchased Diallo's freedom for ₤45. Oglethorpe also secured for him a passage to London where he stayed for two years before returning home to work for the Royal African Company in the Senegambia. Through the publication of his Memoirs in 1734, Diallo had an important and lasting impact on Europe's understanding of West African culture, black identity and Islam. Advocates for the abolition of the slave trade and of slavery would also later cite Diallo as a key figure when assserting the moral rights and humanity of Africans. It might also served St. Sarah of the Willfully Ignorant to know that Diallo sat for a painting by William Hoare, a painting that the National Portrait Gallery in London is currently attempting to acquire for its collection because of its historic importance.

Or St. Sarah of the Profanely Intolerant and of the Gloriously Obtuse might care to know that several hundred Muslims died in the attacks of September 11. Do Americans of the Islamic faith not have a right to share their grief on "sacred ground" or are some religions preferable to others? Seriously, Sarah heal thyself and get thee to a library.

But let's go for four! How much worse can it get?

"Refudiate," "misunderestimate," "wee-wee'd up." English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!

So now she thinks she's St. Sarah of the Bard. You're not helping your cause. In linguistic terms, what St. Sarah is attempting is a blend, a word formed from parts of two or more other words. But let's face it, St. Sarah just ain't that bright or that clever a wordsmith. No doubt, she is certainly savvy in her manipulation of the hapless, dumb and dumber crowd that forms the electoral bedrock of American conservatism but to suggest that she is coining a new word here stretches credibility. A blend has a certain flair for the obvious like breakfast + lunch = brunch. Here, it's all too easily discernible that St. Sarah the Dumbass cannot distinguish between refute and repudiate. Refute, by the way, is an eighth grade reading level word. 

Then again, this isn't the first time St. Sarah of Uncommon Nonsense has made no sense.

Her answer is so unintelligible that it requires a transcript.

Bill O'Reilly: Let me be very bold and fresh again, do you believe that you are smart enough, incisive enough, intellectual enough to handle the most powerful job in the world?

Sarah Palin: I believe that I am because I have common sense and I have I believe the values that I think are reflective of so many other American values, and I believe that what Americans are seeking is not the elitism, the uhm, the ah, a kind of spineless, spinelessness that perhaps is made up for that with some kind of elite, Ivy league education and, and a fat resume that is based on anything but hard work and private sector, free enterprise principles. Americans are could be seeking something like that in positive change in their leadership, I'm not saying that that has to be me.

There's more...

Idaho Republicans hate the word “fiesta,” demand repeal of the 17th Amendment, and require loyalty oath

Even when ID-01 is in Democratic hands, Repubs still know how to steal the show. Two inane stories the past couple weeks. First, at their state convention, the party voted to enshrine repealing the 17th Amendment (direct election of senators) into their party platform, as well as demand that all Repub candidates sign a party loyalty oath. Second, the Bonner County Republican Party is outraged, OUTRAGED! that their county’s fair has chosen “Fiesta” as this year’s theme. This is America and we speak American, gulldarnit!

Let’s think about that party platform for a second: signing a loyalty oath to support repeal of the 17th Amendment. That means that if you’re pro-life, think Obama is a socialist, want to get rid of social security and the income tax, and can’t wait to drill baby drill but also think that people should have their right to elect their own representatives, then you are not right-wing enough for the Idaho Repub Party. By the way, that 17th Amendment? It was originally co-sponsored and introduced by an Idaho Republican in 1911, Senator William Borah.

From the Idaho Democratic Party:

It is now clear that the "new" Idaho Republican Party is interested not in governing but in ruling our state and its people...

Some of these extremist proposals included disbanding all Idaho public schools, creating a state militia, forbidding closure of poorly run publicly-funded charter schools that are drowning in red ink, and rejecting school-based vaccination clinics (vaccinations were called "unnecessary drugging of our children").

"The Idaho Democratic Party welcomes all well-intentioned voters to join us in finding solutions to the problems this state now faces. We embrace a wide range of views and voters. At the same time, the Idaho Republican Party is quickly moving to the extreme right, far away from its traditional, moderate center," stated [Democratic Chairman Keith] Roark.

To Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)’s credit, he refuses to sign the loyalty oath.

But that’s not even half as crazy as one of the county parties. Just north of my home in Kootenai County, Repubs are furious that a Spanish word - "fiesta" - was chosen (way back in January) as the theme for this year’s Bonner County Fair. In protest, they have declared that the theme of their booth will be "celebrate," and they have written to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to ask if she has any Arizona license plates she could spare for them to decorate their booth.

The Twin Falls Times-News titled their responding editorial, “A bigot is a bigot, in any language” and said that Repubs should “avoid insulting 10 percent of your political constituency.” But my favorite line from this whole affair comes from Fair Board Chairman Tim Cary, who asked of the food court, "Are we supposed to change the name of a burrito to something in English?"

Small wonder that CQ just upgraded ID-01, once the national Repubs’ top target, from "toss-up" to 'leans Dem."

Update 3:49 EDT: Per Boise Weekly, the Bonner County Democrats have responded to the fiesta flap. Chairwoman Laura Bry says they will have donkey piñatas at their booth.

I should also point out that Sarah Palin was born in Bonner County.

Is Brewer replacing Palin as Fox News darling?

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer seems to be replacing Sarah Palin as Fox News’ right-wing darling du jour. Brewer was just interviewed -- again -- for Fox News, making this at least the 5th time Fox has pitched softball questions at Brewer since she signed SB1070.

Maybe it was inevitable. After all, Brewer and Palin have a lot in common, and not just the faux border security website they launched together in May that features singing sock puppets. Brewer and Palin also share a knack for extreme rhetoric. And a gift for ignoring the facts.

Case in point: On June 16, Brewer told interviewer Greta Van Susteren that SB1070 is “another tool for us to be able to use in order to get our borders under control.” (Fact check: In April, Brewer admitted on TV that SB1070 “has nothing to do with securing the border.” See for yourself.)

There's more...

Is Brewer replacing Palin as Fox News darling?

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer seems to be replacing Sarah Palin as Fox News’ right-wing darling du jour. Brewer was just interviewed -- again -- for Fox News, making this at least the 5th time Fox has pitched softball questions at Brewer since she signed SB1070.

Maybe it was inevitable. After all, Brewer and Palin have a lot in common, and not just the faux border security website they launched together in May that features singing sock puppets. Brewer and Palin also share a knack for extreme rhetoric. And a gift for ignoring the facts.

Case in point: On June 16, Brewer told interviewer Greta Van Susteren that SB1070 is “another tool for us to be able to use in order to get our borders under control.” (Fact check: In April, Brewer admitted on TV that SB1070 “has nothing to do with securing the border.” See for yourself.)

There's more...

Slippery When Wet

We can’t impede progress in the name of environmental action that yields little for the environment and even less for our people.. and we should look at the environment as an economic opportunity. – Meg Whitman

As we enter the 60th day of the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico it has been amazing to me the outcry that has occurred from all camps concerning the responses to the crisis. The one which has troubled me the most has been the criticism which has been directed at the president. Let us be clear this disaster was masterminded and created by the profit seeking British Petroleum and they should be held responsible for all aspects of this disaster. My concern is with those who believe unrealistically that this or any president can somehow plug up a hole in the gulf that is 40 miles off-shore and a mile deep. Or that we have the technology to respond to such a disaster somewhere on a shelf somewhere and we are just not using it. The truth is that the majority of this country has been asleep on the possibility of a disaster like this because of our dependence on fossil fuels and the marketing of big oil.

Many of the critics have suggested the President institute special powers such as the war powers given during a state of attack by foreign powers or terrorists. The problem with these suggestions is that they ignore the reality of our current political state or the current state of our judiciary, specifically the Supreme Court which has shown recently its propensity for corporate bidding. Have these critics so easily forgotten the mantra of the right for the last two years that President Obama is a socialist looking to privatize all industry and undermine our way of life. Now they are suggesting that this same president seize BP to insure their compliance even temporarily is absurd. Not to mention the fallout from the oil industry lobbyists and their congressional minions. Does anyone think that this Supreme Court would allow such tactics without taking action to prevent it?

I understand that this is an environmental disaster of monumental proportions but let’s not be naïve enough to believe that the criticism from the teabaggers stoked by their Astroturf benefactors would somehow be silent because this is a national disaster. While for most Americans this is a tragedy of historical proportions for these folks it is just another opportunity to fault the President and his administration for not safeguarding our country. Unfortunately when disasters of this magnitude occur many folks are unable to get their heads around it and so they become overwhelmed and desensitized to the suffering of others. As a nation we have become more regional and isolated from each other and so if these types of things don’t directly affect us we tend to compartmentalize them as someone else problem and so it is difficult to craft national responses or national outrage. While those in the gulf and environmentalists understand the depth of the disaster there will be those who will attempt to minimize the human and environmental toll on this nation.

The tragedy in the gulf demonstrates our false reliance on technology or our belief in technology and how we have convinced ourselves that technology can and will solve all of our challenges. Many critics believe we have the technology to plug a hole in the ocean as if it were some hole in the bathtub to be plugged by so much silicone. Should we have had in place safety precautions to deal with this tragedy? Of course we should have been more vigilant in holding these corporations to higher safety standards, but let’s not forget that for years we have allowed these corporations to skirt safety and write their own rules. The answer to this disaster is not to criticize this President but to put in place the regulatory mechanisms to prevent future disasters and to hold BP responsible for the entire restoration and financial liability for this one. But let’s not kid ourselves into believing that those forces who want to keep us dependent on fossil fuels will go quietly into that good night.

Here are a few quotes that demonstrate the willingness of these paid clowns to sacrifice the rest of us for their short-term gain.

"What better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I'm just noting the timing, here." —Rush Limbaugh

"Extreme deep water drilling is not the preferred choice to meet our country's energy needs, but your protests and lawsuits and lies about onshore and shallow water drilling have locked up safer areas. It's catching up with you. The tragic, unprecedented deep water Gulf oil spill proves it." —Sarah Palin

"From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented." —Texas Gov. Rick Perry

If the firms that employ an increasing majority of the population are driven solely to satisfy the owner's greed at the expense of working conditions, of the stability of the community, and of the health of the environment, chances are that the quality of our lives will be worse than it is now. - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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