In three tidy paragraphs, Politico neatly packages this year's "hip-hop" flavored CPAC so far:
The Conservative Political Action Conference may not have A-list Govs. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) or Bobby Jindal (R-La.) this year, but it has Samuel Wurzelbacher.
Wurzelbacher, better known as "Joe the Plumber," is getting the rock-star treatment at CPAC, mobbed by attendees seeking autographs, handshakes and photos.
"Oh my god, there he is," one flustered young woman shouted, holding her hand over her mouth upon spotting the McCain campaign icon.
Michael Steele's hilarious attempt at "off the hook" and Joe Wurzelbacher's meteoric rise into the Jindalsphere highlight this year's conference, which could mark the Republican Party's final, rigor mortis-generated hurrah. By all accounts, CPAC has been a circus befitting of the GOP's clownish efforts to remain relevant. From the plumber's own mouth:
After a post-Obama performance that made Sarah Palin look like Hillary Clinton, Bobby Jindal was universally derided by conservatives, liberals and everyone in between. The usually-mild CNN website offered this unflattering roundup of reaction from across the political spectrum:
In a recent interview with Politico, California's Governor graciously offered to take the stimulus money that dingleberries such as Jindal, Sanford and Pawlenty (in direct conflict with the interests of their state's citizens) may or may not reject.
California, mired in a budget crisis of biblical proportions, could certainly use the money. So Schwarzenegger, revealing some of his former superhero glory, offered a deadpan quip worthy of "You're a funny man, Sully, I like you. That's why I'm going to kill you last" status:
"Everyone has their own way of thinking," Schwarzenegger said of those governors in an interview with POLITICO at the National Governors Association's annual meeting. "I just hope they give me their funding."
Schwarzenegger supports President Barack Obama's $778 billion stimulus, but four Republican governors have said they may reject some of the stimulus funds.
Socks, the former first cat under President Clinton, has died of cancer. The Clintons have released the following statement:
Socks brought much happiness to Chelsea and us over the years, and enjoyment to kids and cat lovers everywhere. We're grateful for those memories, and we especially want to thank our good friend, Betty Currie, for taking such loving care of Socks for so many years."
Presidential "Pooties" follow.
The abbreviated phrase reached the height of its prominence during the second Bush presidency. It came to describe a pointless, disastrous war. Americans relied on it to make sense of debacles such as Abu Graib and Alberto Gonzalez. And it was a collective reflex for the millions worldwide who witnessed Bush's gut-wrenching, chewwithopenmouth, expletive-dotted and incoherent diatribe courtesy of a G8-summit's hot mic.
The phrase reached its pinnacle thanks to the Bush administration and, now, it fittingly and succinctly defines the same catastrophic presidency.
But, since Obama entered office, he has been systematically overturning Bush's infamous acts of WTF. Here are just some examples from the past month, as chronicled by you, my esteemed fellow Kossacks:
I'm watching the Senate blowhards with my seven year old, Ibrahim. In response to the "BREAKING NEWS" banner hogging up a third of the screen, he inquired, "Is this really happening? Is it really 'breaking news'?"
Savvy news-watcher that my son is, he must have learned to associate "breaking news" with trivial stories packaged in an ominous headline intended to hook viewers. But, I explained to him, "No, Ibrahim, it's really breaking news this time."
Then I proceeded to lecture him on the situation with the economy, how dire it was, and how it's been over sixty years since America has been in such a terrible spot. I was starting to lose him, but I caught his attention as I told him about how people are losing their jobs. And having trouble keeping their homes and feeding their kids. He wondered, "But can't they get new jobs?"
"No," I replied, "That's why Obama is trying get the people to pass this law. It's supposed to make new jobs to help Americans who've lost their old ones."
Clearly moved, he impressed me with the following:
Assmussen Reports just released a poll describing Americans’ expectations for our elected officials to put partisan douchebaggery aside for the sake of tackling the enormous challenges before us. In a sign of an increasingly conscious electorate that is finally waking up from 6-8 years of intellectual hibernation, 42% of the voters polled responded that the President is governing in a bi-partisan manner. Conversely, 22% agreed Congress is returning the favor.
So I'm suffering through Morning Joe a few minutes ago as a consequence of my kid's school being snowed in, and Chuck Todd and some geezer are discussing the financial crisis. I couldn't help but think how bizarre it was to watch this guy not discussing an electorate map. Chuck promptly disrupted my ponder by speculating that, by Tuesday, Obama could set up a bad bank. "Bad bank?" I wondered, foolishly expecting Chuck to break into an explanation. Instead, he remarked something to the effect of, "I'll let the folks at home figure that one out."
With Google's help, I came up with the following:
Back in 2004, an Al Arabiya journalist covering the streets of Bagdahd was killed by US helicopter fire. In an interview with Democracy Now, the journalist's colleague described the harrowing scene:
Sunday marked on the bloodiest days of the US occupation of Iraq where over 100 people were killed. One of the most terrifying incidents came when a US helicopter opened fire on a crowd milling around an abandoned Bradley armored vehicle that the Pentagon says had been attacked.
At least 13 people were killed, including children, in the US helicopter attack on the crowd. Reuters footage showed the crowd was of unarmed boys and men, two of whom were standing on top of the Bradley. The US strikes also killed a journalist from the Arab TV network al Arabiya. The network broadcast harrowing footage of its correspondent, Mazen al-Tumeisi, reporting from the scene when he is hit by shrapnel.
After being hit by shrapnel, Mazen al-Tumeisi doubles over and his blood splatters on the camera lens as he screams, "I’m a journalist. I’m dying, I’m dying." Moments later, he was pronounced dead. He was 26 years old.
As Icebergslim notes in her popular diary, Obama recently educated Republicans on the wisdom of ignoring Rush Limbaugh. Yesterday, Limpaugh responded by spewing the following verbal diarrhea (click link at your own risk) from his sullied pie hole:
There are two things going on here. One prong of the Great Unifier's plan is to isolate elected Republicans from their voters and supporters by making the argument about me and not about his plan. He is hoping that these Republicans will also publicly denounce me and thus marginalize me. And who knows? Are ideological and philosophical ties enough to keep the GOP loyal to their voters? Meanwhile, the effort to foist all blame for this mess on the private sector continues unabated when most of the blame for this current debacle can be laid at the feet of the Congress and a couple of former presidents. And there is a strategic reason for this.
Yesterday, a light brighter than the sun on most days foiled my efforts to pictorially document the Wilmington stop of Obama/Biden's inauguration whistle stop tour.