Archive for July 2011

Oh, boy, this ought to be fun…

Conservatives4Palin, fresh from pretending to fill empty seats in movie theaters suckered into showing THE UNATTENDED, has a great new twofer idea:

It sounds like enough of our non-Iowa readers plan on being in Waukee, Iowa at the time of Governor Palin’s tea party speech on September 3rd at Highland Antique Acres in Waukee, Iowa that we could hold an informal C4P gathering perhaps on September 2nd for dinner before the event and then a dinner after her speech on September 3rd for whomever is still around. .

What a blast!

I can’t think of a bunch with whom I’d rather have an “informal gathering for dinner before…and then a dinner after…for whomever is still around.”

These Palinists sure know how to throw a party: “dinner before,” then “dinner after.”

My tireless research staff here at ROGUE CENTRAL has unearthed the menus planned for both dinners.

DINNER BEFORE: Taco mix in Frito bag, Slim Jim stirrer sold separately.

DINNER AFTER: Taco mix in Frito bag, paper towels for cleanup sold separately.

AFTER DINNER ENTERTAINMENT: RV race to Dairy Queen at 220 Highway 6: The driver of the winning Winnebago gets free Banana Cream Pie Flaming Strawberry Chocolate Mocha Vanilla Blizzard, with optional Cranberry Heath Bar Tornado Surprise, Lemon Pez Topping only $1.99 extra.

See you there?

Actually, I’ll probably be just down Laurel Street, washing away the tractor dust at Mickey’s Irish Pub, in the company of the fine Irish Tea Party lassies
who’ve kicked off the “Suck Straws for Sarah in 2012” campaign.

Will she in Waukee?

I don’t know who these nice folks are, but you can find them on the city of Waukee, Iowa home page.

Waukee is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state of Iowa. Think of it as Wasilla, with Des Moines as Anchorage.

Don’t these young Christian patriots look all set to welcome Sarah to their home town on September 3, when she’ll arrive to speak at a Labor Day weekend Tea Party rally?

Her kind of people, fer sure. “Rill” Americans with small town values, not the motley assortment of colors and creeds to be found in demon-infested cities. According to a 2004 special census, Waukee was more than 96 percent white. Just the sort of place, in other words, to provide the perfect backdrop for, say, the announcement of a presidential candidacy by a politician whose supporters are also more than 96 percent white?

Does anybody remember September 3, 2008? Just three years ago? When a previously unknown governor of a state with only three electoral votes electrified a political convention with a speech that launched a thousand nightmares?

Sarah places great stock in symbolic dates. The third anniversary of her Republican convention speech comes only eight days before the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

So will Sarah seize the day?

Waukee, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

The Eight Worst Ways I’ve Ever Spent Eight Minutes

For this crown, there are all too many contenders, but I’ll give you the countdown:

8: The eight minutes I spent in Richard Nixon’s suite at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York the morning after he’d been elected president in 1968, watching Billy Graham walk around in his pin-striped suit and smug grin, saying, “We did it.”

7: The eight minutes I spent on Canadian national television, in a studio in Toronto, trying to explain–with the help of Sen. Eugene McCarthy, one of the greatest guys I ever knew–why the U.S. election of 1980 was decided the moment the polls closed, and why Ronald Reagan’s win over Jimmy Carter was so overwhelming.

6: The eight minutes I spent talking to the IRS on April 23, 1996–with my jaw still numb from my root canal–after they called to tell me that my tax returns for the previous five years were being audited.

5: The eight minutes I spent watching the top of the seventh inning of the Red Sox-Yankees playoff game on Oct. 2, 1978. Does anyone remember Bucky Dent?

4: The eight minutes I spent in an LA courtroom in 1995 between the time Judge Ito called in the jury to deliver its verdict in the OJ Simpson case and the time when I first heard, “Not Guilty.”

3: The eight minutes immediately following that verdict, during which I recognized the truth of what I’d been trying to repress for the previous ten months: the American system of trial by jury is only as good as the jury selected.

2: The eight minutes after the final episode of “The Sopranos,” during which I kept asking those who watched it with me, “Wait a minute: was that the end? After all these years? That was it?”
Then I realized that like life itself, the end comes when you least expect it.

1: AND THE WINNER IS: Sarah Palin’s eight-minute stint with Greta Van Susteren on Fox tonight.

I’m sorry, I can’t even comment on this.

My job is writing books.

I’ve written THE ROGUE.

I’ll be talking about it, and about Sarah, from late September through October. I think THE ROGUE says important things about Sarah, about religious extremists (especially Christian Dominionists), about how it’s possible to create a political identity out of a total lie, about mainstream media in America today, about racism (especially Sarah’s special brand), about the difference between image and reality (a question that has interested me since THE SELLING OF THE PRESIDENT 1968,) about what loving and raising–as opposed to using–children really means, about her whole story of her pregnancy with Trig and his birth, about hate and divisiveness and the shadows of violence that hang over our land.

I also say that Rev. Howard Bess, Walt Monegan, Gary Wheeler, and John Stein are among the coolest guys I’ve ever met, so it’s not all negative.

But right now I just can’t stand the sight of Sarah’s face or the sound of her voice. I’ve seen one and heard the other too much over the past three years.

And everything she said during those eight minutes with Van Susteren tonight indicates that she will, in fact, announce her intention to run for president. Why call President Obama a “fear-monger” who is “scaring the American people” with his “bizarre…immoral…unethical” pronouncements unless you wanted to reclaim the attention that MIchelle Bachmann has stolen from you?

Sarah will run because Michelle is running.

It’s a junior high thing, played out on a national stage to the detriment of our nation.

Not to mention that God still has Sarah on hold. I imagine that for her it’s like it was for me today calling Comcast because our phone was out of order (“due to a higher than expected number of calls, our customer service representatives are busy helping other clients: please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received.”)

We’ll get service restored no later than 2 p.m. tomorrow.

I hope The Big Guy can do at least as well for Sarah.

After all, she’s got fish to catch, moose to shoot, fences to mend, movies to promote, and presidencies to run for.

Plus, Bishop Muthee is expected back in Wasilla soon to show her how to stick pins into the voodoo doll one of her acolytes sent her, telling her it was a representation of me and my trusty frisbee.


Why my next book will be about Bruce Springsteen

No, I’m not happy about the concessions President Obama is making to the right wing in a last, desperate attempt to save us all from a constitutional and financial meltdown whose consequences most of us can’t even imagine.

The belligerent–and (though I think it’s juvenile to make fun of people’s names) boehnheaded Republican leadership represented by John Boehner (and cheered on from afar by newly-minted millionaire Sarah Palin, who wants to keep all she’s got) would be willing to sink the ship on which we all find ourselves in 2011 in order to drown the president in 2012.

There’s a word for that. The word is “treason.”

President Obama has been forced to abandon his hopes of moving us forward. Now it’s all hands on deck to save us from drowning.

Among those whom I’d guess are sickened by the way the Republican right has dragged us all into this Sargasso Sea of self-destructive selfishness is Bruce Springsteen.

It was my admiration for the way Springsteen has maintained his artistic integrity over forty years–even as he matured and came to see that rock and roll was not in and of itself a cure for the human condition– that first interested me in writing about him.
Not to mention my flat out love for his music, both with and without the E Street Band.

But what’s come to interest me about him more, the more I’ve learned, has been my growing awareness of his unwavering concern about the gap–now a chasm–between the glorious promise that America once offered and the sordid reality of 21st century capitalism and the blighted political system that supports it.

The extraordinary journalist/essayist Mikal Gilmore interviewed Springsteen almost twenty-five years ago for a story included in Night Beat: A Shadow History of Rock & Roll.

Here’s what Bruce Springsteen said, in 1987:

“The idea of America as a family is naive, maybe sentimental or simplistic, but it’s a good idea. And if people are sick and hurting and lost, I guess it falls on everybody to address these problems in some fashion. Because injustice, and the price of that injustice, falls on everyone’s heads. The economic injustice falls on everyone’s head and steals everyone’s freedom. Your wife can’t walk down the street at night. People keep guns in their homes. They live with a greater sense of apprehension, anxiety, and fear than they would in a more just and open society. It’s not an accident, and it’s not simply that there are ‘bad’ people out there. It’s an inbred part of the way that we are all living. It’s a product of what we have accepted, what we have acceded to. And whether we mean it or not, our silence has spoken for us in some fashion.”

How much worse is it now, almost twenty-five years later?

Boehner says sink the ship and Sarah says reload.

And even those of us who can converse on the internet are not the real victims.

The real victims are those who cannot.

Proof of Palin Film Flop: Rushed to DVD/On-Demand as THE ROGUE Rises in the East (and Midwest and West)

If it were almost anyone but Sarah, I’d feel sorry for her.

I’ve written highly touted books (The Dream Team, Heroes, The Last Brother) that for various reasons have had the commercial floor fall out from under them. Believe me, it’s a sinking feeling.

Sarah must be feeling that way about the belly flop she’s just taken.

There is no greater embarrassment or more comprehensive admission of defeat in the movie business than to have a heavily promoted new title tossed onto the scrap heap of DVD/On-Demand after only a two-week, limited distribution run.

But as Hollywood Reporter reports, that’s the dismal fate of the recent Sarah flick.

Thus, The Oft-Defeated suffers its worst, and its final defeat.

This news comes just as my publisher, Random House/Crown, tells me more about new bookings on national TV shows for September/October.

Contractually, I’m not yet permitted to share with you the ever-growing schedule, but I can tell you that this will be the biggest book launch I’ve had since The Selling of The President in 1969.

Please stay tuned.

I guess some would call it ironic that THE ROGUE is rising just as Sarah’s own star is falling.

I’ll settle for calling it poetic–or prose–justice.

Sarah’s movie going to DVD/On-Demand after two weeks?

No whiter flag has ever been raised.

My hope is that THE ROGUE will help raise the true Red, White and Blue.

Yes, Sarah, this land is my land, too.

May some higher power help us all

NYTimes update on Norwegian madman: Sarah, are you watching, listening or reading?

“OSLO, Norway — The Norwegian man charged Saturday with a pair of attacks in Oslo that killed at least 92 people left behind a detailed manifesto outlining his preparations and calling for a Christian civil war to defend Europe against the threat of Muslim domination, according to Norwegian and American officials familiar with the investigation.

“As stunned Norwegians grappled with the deadliest attack in the country since World War II, a portrait began to emerge of the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, 32. The police identified him as a right-wing fundamentalist Christian, while acquaintances described him as a gun-loving Norwegian obsessed with what he saw as the threats of multiculturalism and Muslim immigration.”

Calling Sarah Palin and Franklin Graham: can either or both of you demonstrate that this man’s beliefs differ from your own?

Will either or both of you do so?

Sarah, are you awake? Are you human? Can you feel?

Or do you think that, like Tucson, this has nothing to do with your rhetoric?

Can’t you see how much you’ve done to create a climate of intolerance and hate?

Well, maybe you can. Maybe you have. You’ve had nothing to say since the Norwegian catastrophe, but maybe you’ve at least Twittered about it, or had your Facebook ghostwriter draft a comment in your name?

Oops, guess not.

Here’s her most recent:

How about the rest of you “Christians?” Anything to say?

How come it’s racist, xenophobic, right wing “Christians” who go around murdering innocents in the name of their God?

When’s the last time a Buddhist slaughtered innocent people?

When’s the last time a Jew did?

Agnostics don’t leave a trail of blood behind them.

How come it’s organized religion–whether Christianity or Islam–that inspires hatred and violence?

“Maybe it’ll be great, maybe it’ll be crap”: Kevin Drum in Mother Jones re THE ROGUE

Kevin Drum says THE ROGUE “may rekindle a momentary, if unflattering, last hurrah for Palin.”

I remember Kevin from when he started blogging as Calpundit back in 2003. He’s always thoughtful and sometimes entertaining: there could be worse epitaphs for any of us.

So I’d like to assure him that while others will decide whether THE ROGUE is “great,” it’s not “crap.”

Must all books be either/or?

Kevin can decide for himself in September, but I’d also issue a friendly warning: don’t fall into the conventional wisdom trap.
It’s all too easy right now to say that Sarah is finished.

How many times have we heard this before?

Do you really think she’s not preparing a late summer/fall p.r. blitz?

Do you really think her ego, and her “mantling” and “annointing” by her God will allow her to just fade silently into our memories?

I’m still inclined to think she’ll announce that she’s running for president.

Of course, she might wait until September and then announce that she’s not running, in the hope that such an announcement will reduce interest in and publicity for THE ROGUE.

No, I don’t really think Sarah has made me her top priority as she plans her future, but I know that she’d like to hurt me in any way she can.

And I’m ready for that, whatever form it takes.

Personal to Kevin: let me know what you think when you read THE ROGUE. Better yet, let all Mother Jones readers know.

Guns, Guns, Guns: They kill more people than nuclear weapons. UPDATE//Sarah’s record in Wasilla


Crazed gunman kills at least 80 teenagers at summer camp on island near Oslo.

Why is a deranged person able to assemble his own arsenal, anywhere in the world?

I’ll leave it to the Norwegian government to answer that question in their own terms, after they bury their innocents.

But I’ll tell you why it happens in the USA: because our politicians are cowed by the gun lobby and the GOP, and any
crazy person who wants one can have himself or herself a gun almost overnight. And that’s legally.

Every time an innocent person is gunned down by a lunatic with a gun, spatters from the blood fall on the hands of U.S. political figures who blindly shout about “the right to bear arms,” as if this was 1776, not 2011.

Naming names? Who has been more outspoken about this than Sarah Palin?

Is she directly to blame for the catastrophe in Norway? Of course not. No more than she was directly to blame for the near-assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson.

But do she and her followers, who preach the virtues of private citizens owning firearms, have at least metaphorical blood on their hands every time a new madman shoots innocent people, whether children or adults?

You bet they do.

Will the Norwegian catastrophe change attitudes in the USA?

Might it move Sarah to say that maybe private citizens should not be allowed to build their own arsenals?

You bet it won’t.

Sure, people kill people. But crazed people armed with guns are killing more and more, every day, every month, every year.

Who’ll stop the rain?
11 Who’ll Stop the Rain


As I write in the THE ROGUE, during Sarah’s first campaign for mayor of Wasilla, she was in favor of two things:  allowing Wasilla bars to stay open until 5 a.m., instead of closing at 2 a.m., and allowing concealed weapons to be carried in bars and banks and on school grounds.

During her first term as mayor, she signed an administrative order that permitted the open carrying of weapons in the town library and in city hall.

Just so it’s clear:  Sarah has been talking her gunslinger’s talk and walking her gunslinger’s walk right from the start.

Palin Family Friend Jeremy “The Rat” Morlock Starts Squealing on Buddies to Save His Own Ass

That’s Wasilla’s own Jeremy Morlock holding the firearm, gleefully celebrating the murder of yet another unarmed Afghan civilian.

Jeremy got out of his prison cell yesterday to rat his brains out (not that he has many) as part of his weaselly deal to serve only seven  years in military prison before returning to Wasilla to  be Grand Marshall of the Fourth of July parade in 2018.

After all, he only murdered darkies, and they’re not real people anyway.

You think Wasilla won’t welcome The Rat home?

Before he went on his murder spree in Afghanistan, he’d already been charged with assault against his wife.

Maybe because she’d told him she didn’t want to go to bed with him at just the moment he threw a beer glass at her and pressed a lit cigarette against her chest?

In that case, he’d only been acting as a good Christian, according to the “thinking” expressed in a column published in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.

Yes, Sarah’s hometown paper–the same one that said last summer that Todd or Sarah would be justified in killing me if, as a neighbor, I’d ever stepped across their property line (not that I even fired a shot over Todd’s head when he came barging into my yard to try to scare me off)–has just printed a column in defense of spousal rape.

As Amanda Coyne notes in the Alaska Dispatch, the columnist writes:

The truth is that God has given to us physical needs we commonly refer to as a “sex drive,” and he has designed for these to be met within the bounds of marriage. The trouble comes when one spouse or the other decides to exact retaliation against the other because of some offense and withholds him or herself from his or her mate. This is wickedness, and such is a violation of the spirit of marriage on the part of the withholder. Thus, if these allegations of spousal rape are due to the wife withholding herself in attempt to control or punish her husband, she is out of line with God. And it doesn’t matter how many laws are passed, it will just be another reason why God will not bless America.

So the recession is all your fault, ladies, because you don’t put out for your drunken, violent husbands, who are merely acting upon the “sex drive” that God gave them. If only you’d lie back and think of the Queen, God would bless America again, and unemployment, high health care costs, and all other social ills would disappear.

Except maybe for Palin family friend, Jeremy “The Rat” Morlock.