22 May 2013 1 Comment
20 May 2013 4 Comments
News agency calls behavior ‘unprecedented intrusion’ and demands all records be destroyed
By Jon Queally
Obama’s Justice Department is under fire following revelations revealed by the Associated Press that the government secretly obtained two months worth of private phone records from the news agency in 2012 during what appears to be a brazen attempt to discover the source of an intelligence leak.
“Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy, and that freedom often depends on confidential communications between reporters and their sources.” – Ben Wizner, ACLU
Calling the seizure of records a “massive and unprecedented intrusion,” AP itself disclosed the events on Monday after being informed by a US attorneys office on Friday:
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.
In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
In a sharply worded letter, AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt protested the government’s action, saying it was a direct assault on the freedom of the press.
“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters,” the letter stated. “These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”
“We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news,” Pruitt said.
“The media’s purpose is to keep the public informed and it should be free to do so without the threat of unwarranted surveillance,” said the ACLU’s Laura W. Murphy, director of the group’s Legislative Office in Washington, DC. “The Attorney General must explain the Justice Department’s actions to the public so that we can make sure this kind of press intimidation does not happen again.”
So far, the DOJ has refused to explain the reasoning or a more detailed account of why the records were seized. The White House on Friday pushed off all responsibility and directed all questions regarding the matter to the DOJ.
“Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney in a statement. “We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department.”
But press freedom advocates were quick to align this latest incident with a pattern of behavior by the Obama administration in which aggressive campaigns against whistleblowers and a severe lack of transparency have made a presidency that promised openness instead one of the most secretive.
As The Guardian reports:
Although Obama was elected on a liberal ticket in 2008 and again in 2012, his administration has mounted a sustained campaign through the courts and other means against whistleblowers, particularly in relation to what it claims are sensitive intelligence matters.
Media organisations and civil rights groups complain that many of the cases it appear to have to do with administrative secrecy than matters of national security.
The Obama administration has brought six cases against people suspected of leaking classified information, which AP described as being more than under all previous presidents combined.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which focuses on protecting civil liberties in the digital age, said that US citizens and press advocates should be upset at the new revelations, but that it should be seen as an expected development given the pattern of behavior by law enforcement and government intelligence agencies in recent years.
Overall, the group said in a post on their blog, “this revelation of government’s secret access to huge amounts of calling records as part of its leak investigation should not be such a surprise. The DOJ has long maintained that no one has any privacy interests in their call data records and has also engaged in unprecedented and aggressive prosecutions around government leaks.”
As AP noted, “Prosecutors have sought phone records from reporters before, but the seizure of records from such a wide array of AP offices, including general AP switchboards numbers and an office-wide shared fax line, is unusual and largely unprecedented.”
On the specifics of the intrusion, the AP explained:
Among those whose phone numbers were obtained were five reporters and an editor who were involved in the May 7, 2012 story.
The Obama administration has aggressively investigated disclosures of classified information to the media and has brought six cases against people suspected of leaking classified information, more than under all previous presidents combined.
Justice Department published rules require that subpoenas of records from news organizations must be personally approved by the attorney general but it was not known if that happened in this case. The letter notifying AP that its phone records had been obtained though subpoenas was sent Friday by Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney in Washington.
Spokesmen in Machen’s office and at the Justice Department had no immediate comment on Monday.
The Justice Department lays out strict rules for efforts to get phone records from news organizations. A subpoena can only be considered after “all reasonable attempts” have been made to get the same information from other sources, the rules say. It was unclear what other steps, in total, the Justice Department has taken to get information in the case.
But Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, said the description of what occurred so far amounts to nothing less than an “abuse of power” and an assault on press freedom.
“Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy, and that freedom often depends on confidential communications between reporters and their sources,” he said.
20 May 2013 Leave a Comment
When the Justice Department began investigating possible leaks of classified information about North Korea in 2009, investigators did more than obtain telephone records of a working journalist suspected of receiving the secret material.
They used security badge access records to track the reporter’s comings and goings from the State Department, according to a newly obtained court affidavit. They traced the timing of his calls with a State Department security adviser suspected of sharing the classified report. They obtained a search warrant for the reporter’s personal e-mails.
The case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, the government adviser, and James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for Fox News, bears striking similarities to a sweeping leaks investigation disclosed last week in which federal investigators obtained records over two months of more than 20 telephone lines assigned to the Associated Press.
At a time when President Obama’s administration is under renewed scrutiny for an unprecedented number of leak investigations, the Kim case provides a rare glimpse into the inner workings of one such probe.
Court documents in the Kim case reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist — and raise the question of how often journalists have been investigated as closely as Rosen was in 2010. The case also raises new concerns among critics of government secrecy about the possible stifling effect of these investigations on a critical element of press freedom: the exchange of information between reporters and their sources.
“Search warrants like these have a severe chilling effect on the free flow of important information to the public,” said First Amendment lawyer Charles Tobin, who has represented the Associated Press, but not in the current case. “That’s a very dangerous road to go down.”
Obama last week defended the Justice Department’s handling of the investigation involving the AP, which is focused on who leaked information to the news organization about a foiled plot involving the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen. AP executives and First Amendment watchdogs have criticized the Justice Department in part for the broad scope of the phone records it secretly subpoenaed from AP offices in Washington, Hartford, Conn., and New York.
“The latest events show an expansion of this law enforcement technique,” said attorney Abbe Lowell, who is defending Kim on federal charges filed in 2010 that he disclosed national defense information. A trial is possible as soon as 2014. “Individual reporters or small time periods have turned into 20 [telephone] lines and months of records with no obvious attempt to be targeted or narrow.”
The president said press freedoms must be balanced against the protection of U.S. personnel overseas. According to the office of Ronald Machen Jr., the U.S. attorney for the District, its prosecutors followed federal regulations by first seeking the information through other means before subpoenaing media phone records. Machen’s office is investigating both the Kim and AP cases. The Justice Department said in a statement that in both cases it had abided by “all applicable laws, regulations, and longstanding Department of Justice policies intended to safeguard the First Amendment interests of the press in reporting the news and the public in receiving it.”
The Obama administration has pursued more such cases than all previous administrations combined, including one against a former CIA official charged with leaking U.S. intelligence on Iran and another against a former FBI contract linguist who pleaded guilty to leaking to a blogger.
President and Michelle Obama both delivered commencement speeches at historically black colleges worthy of praise
20 May 2013 Leave a Comment
BY MARY KATHARINE HAM
It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes I agree with the president. It happens even less often, but sometimes I agree with the president and his wife in one weekend. But President and Michelle Obama both delivered commencement speeches at historically black colleges worthy of praise.
First, President Obama spoke with the all-male graduating class of Morehouse College in Atlanta. There were, of course, parts of the speech I didn’t like—for instance, the rather transparently stump-speechy pitch for Obamacare, which came off even more cheesy when contrasted with his more eloquent observations. But what struck me is that parts of this speech read like the counter-argument to his terrible commencement speech at Ohio State University. The Ohio State speech exists in a universe where citizenship is almost entirely a function of one’s interactions with the government and its leaders, where avoiding cynicism means avoiding skepticism of government, where accomplishment is something we do together, by which he means with government. He offers lip service to the idea of the individual— mostly to caution against letting it overcome one’s ability to serve— but notably never offers any stories of individual triumph or the power of plain old charity, sacrifice, and community (the one that’s not just a stand-in for government).
The Morehouse speech was different. It had the usual Obama pablum, but it allowed the individual to take responsibility, to soar, to achieve, and in so doing bring the community with him.
But along with collective responsibilities, we have individual responsibilities. There are some things, as black men, we can only do for ourselves. There are some things, as Morehouse Men, that you are obliged to do for those still left behind. As Morehouse Men, you now wield something even more powerful than the diploma you’re about to collect — and that’s the power of your example.
More on personal responsibility:
“We know that too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices. Growing up, I made a few myself. And I have to confess, sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down. But one of the things you’ve learned over the last four years is that there’s no longer any room for excuses. I understand that there’s a common fraternity creed here at Morehouse: ‘excuses are tools of the incompetent, used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness.’ We’ve got no time for excuses – not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they haven’t. Not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; that’s still out there. It’s just that in today’s hyperconnected, hypercompetitive world, with a billion young people from China and India and Brazil entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything you haven’t earned. And whatever hardships you may experience because of your race, they pale in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured – and overcame.
“You now hail from a lineage and legacy of immeasurably strong men – men who bore tremendous burdens and still laid the stones for the path on which we now walk. You wear the mantle of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, Ralph Bunche and Langston Hughes, George Washington Carver and Ralph Abernathy, Thurgood Marshall and yes, Dr. King. These men were many things to many people. They knew full well the role that racism played in their lives. But when it came to their own accomplishments and sense of purpose, they had no time for excuses.”
I appreciate his namecheck of Booker T. Washington among the pantheon of African-American heroes. When I was coming up in largely black public schools in North Carolina, it was en vogue to denounce Washington as a sell-out too willing to go along to get along with the white population of the south. To be sure, Washington’s famous philosophical debate with W.E.B DuBois, who contrasted his more active approach with Washington’s, is an important one but I never thought recognizing the disagreement made it necessary to denigrate or dismiss Washington’s legacy. I’m glad the president doesn’t either.
Obama also tells the stories of impressive individuals— an element missing entirely from his Ohio State speech:
One of today’s graduates, Frederick Anderson — where’s Frederick? Frederick, right here. (Applause.) I know it’s raining, but I’m going to tell about Frederick. Frederick started his college career in Ohio, only to find out that his high school sweetheart back in Georgia was pregnant. So he came back and enrolled in Morehouse to be closer to her. Pretty soon, helping raise a newborn and working night shifts became too much, so he started taking business classes at a technical college instead — doing everything from delivering newspapers to buffing hospital floors to support his family.
And then he enrolled at Morehouse a second time. But even with a job, he couldn’t keep up with the cost of tuition. So after getting his degree from that technical school, this father of three decided to come back to Morehouse for a third time. (Applause.) As Frederick says, “God has a plan for my life, and He’s not done with me yet.”
And today, Frederick is a family man, and a working man, and a Morehouse Man. (Applause.) And that’s what I’m asking all of you to do: Keep setting an example for what it means to be a man. (Applause.) Be the best husband to your wife, or you’re your boyfriend, or your partner. Be the best father you can be to your children. Because nothing is more important.
And, Leland Shelton:
When Leland Shelton was four years old — where’s Leland? (Applause.) Stand up, Leland. When Leland Shelton was four years old, social services took him away from his mama, put him in the care of his grandparents. By age 14, he was in the foster care system. Three years after that, Leland enrolled in Morehouse. And today he is graduating Phi Beta Kappa on his way to Harvard Law School. (Applause.) But he’s not stopping there. As a member of the National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council, he plans to use his law degree to make sure kids like him don’t fall through the cracks. And it won’t matter whether they’re black kids or brown kids or white kids or Native American kids, because he’ll understand what they’re going through. And he’ll be fighting for them. He’ll be in their corner. That’s leadership. That’s a Morehouse Man right there. (Applause.)
And, he spent some time on family and fatherhood in particular:
“I was raised by a heroic single mother and wonderful grandparents who made incredible sacrifices for me. And I know there are moms and grandparents here today who did the same thing for all of you. But I still wish I had a father who was not only present, but involved. And so my whole life, I’ve tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father wasn’t for my mother and me. I’ve tried to be a better husband, a better father, and a better man.
“It’s hard work that demands your constant attention, and frequent sacrifice. And Michelle will be the first to tell you that I’m not perfect. Even now, I’m still learning how to be the best husband and father I can be. Because success in everything else is unfulfilling if we fail at family. I know that when I’m on my deathbed someday, I won’t be thinking about any particular legislation I passed, or policy I promoted; I won’t be thinking about the speech I gave, or the Nobel Prize I received. I’ll be thinking about a walk I took with my daughters. A lazy afternoon with my wife. Whether I did right by all of them.
“Be a good role model and set a good example for that young brother coming up. If you know someone who isn’t on point, go back and bring that brother along. The brothers who have been left behind – who haven’t had the same opportunities we have – they need to hear from us. We’ve got to be in the barbershops with them, at church with them, spending time and energy and presence helping pull them up, exposing them to new opportunities, and supporting their dreams. We have to teach them what it means to be a man – to serve your city like Maynard Jackson; to shape the culture like Spike Lee. Chester Davenport was one of the first people to integrate the University of Georgia law school. When he got there, no one would sit next to him in class. But Chester didn’t mind. Later on, he said, ‘It was the thing for me to do. Someone needed to be the first.’ Today, Chester is here celebrating his 50th reunion. If you’ve had role models, fathers, brothers like that – thank them today. If you haven’t, commit yourself to being that man for someone else.”
He is, of course, uniquely well-suited to give this message to the black community, and I always appreciate it when he does. I think one of the greatest forces for good the Obama presidency can boast is the example of Obama himself as a man who married the mother of his children, and sticks around to love and raise them. In his own example and in these excerpts, Obama is advocating a solution that is not entirely tied to a government program. In other speeches, he alludes to the existence of such things, but rarely advocates for them.
The author also speaks of Michelle Obama
13 May 2013 19 Comments
The IRS and AP controversies spell trouble for Obama and Democrats
Trust in government is a key factor in how people vote in midterm elections. All of that is heavily at stake now for 2014
Barack Obama at a White House press conference. Photograph: Larry Downing/Reuters
The Justice Department has “secretly obtained” two months of conversations between Associated Press (AP) officials in a move called “unprecedented”. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Cincinnati office singled out new conservative groups for extra scrutiny over the past couple of years. One of these controversies alone would have caused a headache for the Obama administration, but the two of them together could spell big trouble for the Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections.
Historically speaking, trust in government has been tied very closely to how people view the state of the economy. When consumer sentiment is up, trust in government goes up. When consumer confidence goes down, trust in government goes down. Pew Research has a very nice chart that illustrates this relationship.
You can see how the two lines generally flow together. This especially the case after 1970 – before which time trust in government was higher than it’s been over the past 40 years. Right now consumer confidence is 76.4. That’s down from earlier this year, but it’s up significantly since 2010.
Trust in government isn’t, however, always linked to the consumer sentiment. After the Watergate scandal, trust in government remained in a relatively low stable position through 1977, even as the economy improved. Trust in government fell in response to the House banking scandal in 1992 and Whitewater controversy of 1993 and 1994, as consumer confidence climbed. Finally, the economy was improving, but trust in government fell off its post-9/11 highs through the early part of the first decade of this century as Americans angered over the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina that pounded the Gulf Coast.
Put another way, scandal can negatively impact how much Americans trust. It has to be a big scandal though. Benghazi, for instance, is likely not going to do it. Most Americans aren’t paying attention to it, and as many Americans think the Republicans have gone too far as handled it appropriately.
The tax scandal, however, can play that role. My friends at NBC’s First Read note
“The IRS story packs a bigger political punch… [and] will trigger new congressional hearings and new questions for the president and his team. More significantly, the IRS news is a political gift to a Republican Party whose base was strained on immigration.”
The idea that the IRS would go after conservative groups, who hate the IRS, specifically seems to make a lot more sense than a president not wanting to create a foreign policy crisis in which be could benefit from a rally around the flag effect.
The obtaining of AP records likewise probably makes more sense in the voters’ eyes. Obama has been critiqued for not doing enough press conferences or interviews with White House reporters. As one Democratic strategist put it, the “AP phone records thing just sealed the deal for what the newest narrative around Obama administration is going to be”.
Indeed, these stories are coming at the perfect time for peak scandal coverages. Brendan Nyhan notes that scandals more often happen when the president is detested by members of the other party, as Obama is. Likewise, they are more likely to become big news when there aren’t other news stories like the Boston bombings. Finally, scandals are more likely to take place in the beginning of the second term.
Trust in government and number of House Seats..
Therefore, the question is whether declining trust in the government has historically played a major factor in midterm elections. It turns out that it does. When trust in government falls, the party in the White House tends to do worse in midterm
Trust fell dramatically in the lead up to the 1974 midterms thanks to Watergate, and the Republicans lost nearly 50 seats. Trust absolutely tumbled in the lead-up to the 1994 midterms, and Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party lost over 50 seats. Democrats took back the house in 2006 as Americans trust in the Bush administration dropped. And although it isn’t on the bottom chart, Americans trust in government, as seen in the top chart, was bad in 2010. Republicans gained 63 house seats.
13 May 2013 Leave a Comment
WASHINGTON — Washington’s latest political scandal involves a little-known unit of the Internal Revenue Service that determines which groups don’t have to pay taxes. Staff in that unit had singled out conservative political groups for greater scrutiny of their applications for tax-exempt status, an IRS official said last week. President Obama said Monday the IRS must not be “anything less than neutral in terms of how they operate … I have no patience for it. I will not tolerate it.”
The IRS inspector general is likely to report this week on what the agency was doing, but here is what we know:
Q: What exactly has the IRS apologized for?
A: The IRS says it subjected Tea Party-affiliated groups to additional enhanced scrutiny based solely on the name and stated goals of the organization. Often, those groups were asked invasive questions about their donor lists, affiliations and contacts with the media — questions not routinely asked of other groups.
Q: What prompted this?
A: The number of applications for tax-exempt social welfare organizations doubled from 2010 to 2012, to 3,400 a year. That’s largely because of a surge in politically oriented groups before the 2012 presidential election and in the wake of favorable court rulings, the IRS says. In response, an IRS unit in Cincinnati began to sort politically oriented groups into a separate “bucket” of applications. IRS Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner said this was done for consistency and is not unlike what the IRS has done with special treatment of other groups that raise new tax law issues, such as credit counseling agencies and non-profit news organizations.
Q: What is the normal process for seeking tax-exempt status?
A: The organization files an application and answers a 36-item questionnaire on its structure, purpose and activities. Based on those answers, the IRS may seek additional information. An organization can skip the recognition step and simply file a tax return.
Q: Is this like an audit?
A: No. The Tea Party groups were seeking tax-exempt status even before filing a tax return. Tax-exempt groups accused of violating tax laws by directly engaging in political campaigns can have their status revoked — but that’s a separate process conducted by a different IRS unit in Dallas.
Q: How many Tea Party groups were affected?
A: Lerner said about 300 groups went into a “bucket” of applications getting more scrutiny. About a quarter of them were groups that had “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names, she said. The others may have drawn scrutiny based on broader criteria that pulled out groups whose issues involved government spending or debt, or whose goals were critical of the government, according to a timeline provided to members of Congress.
Q: This happened at the IRS office in Cincinnati. Were groups in other parts of the country affected?
A: Yes. The Cincinnati office handles the intake of tax-exempt applications for all organizations in the country.
Q: When did the targeting of Tea Party groups begin? When did it end?
A: According to a timeline compiled by independent IRS investigators, the IRS first began searching for Tea Party-related groups in March 2010. The policy underwent several revisions through 2011 and 2012 and now involves only organizations with “indicators of significant amounts of political campaign intervention.”
Q: How were the Tea Party groups harmed?
A: The additional scrutiny held up tax-exempt applications for months, although the IRS says no applications have been denied. Groups caught in this process did not receive IRS documentation, which can provide legitimacy and assist with fundraising. Some conservative groups say their rights to freedom of association were violated through invasive questioning.
Q: How has the IRS attempted to fix the problem?
A: The IRS says it has destroyed any donor lists that were improperly obtained. It says it has begin to clear out the backlog of tax-exempt applications, approving about 130 of the initial 300. About 25 groups have withdrawn their applications.
Q: Who at the IRS was involved?
A: Lerner said Friday it was “low-level” and “front-line” employees who made the initial determination. The timeline shows that Lerner herself was briefed in 2011 and that lawyers and managers from several units were involved. It’s unclear when IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman — appointed by President George W. Bush to a five-year term in 2008 — first learned of the practice. Shulman stepped down in November. The acting commissioner is Steven Miller. Lerner said she never discussed the issue with the Department of the Treasury or the White House. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the White House counsel first learned of the investigation last month, and the president learned Friday.
Q: What happens next?
A: The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says it will release its report on the matter this week. The chairmen of the tax-writing committees in the House and Senate have promised hearings, the first of which will be before the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday.
07 May 2013 19 Comments
As I sit here on a Tuesday afternoon doing a few bills, thinking where is Spring? I have a local talk radio show on for more than background noise because I like the host and appreciate his political humor and straight forward commentary. He was talking about today’s news headline..
Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland kidnapping hero. What a heroic and awesome thing he did! That’s a whole other blog!
So I hear the host do a promo for his guests coming up this week. Sarah Palin for Senate steering committee chair! He’s opening up the airways for sycophant and delusional people to perpetuate Palin into a position of power, again! I personally cant believe there are still people out there that willingly defend the indefensible! Sarah Palin even now is highly incompetent and a classless woman. Déjà vu
28 Apr 2013 7 Comments
Sarah Palin has her knickers in a twist again, taking to Twitter — having been out of politics for five years now, she has no other public platform left besides social media — after the White House Correspondents Dinner to complain using very classy and dignified (she’s really presidential, isn’t she?) language, about not being invited to the ball:
Unfortunately for the half-term halfwit — who, it must be mentioned, isn’t working any body part off, as her main employment since helping President Obama get elected in 2008 has been embarrassing herself on reality shows and that income stream dried up a while ago — the intertubes have a long memory. Here she is looking quite pleased indeed to be part of the selfsame “pathetic” event (at the Vanity Fair afterparty, no less) in 2011:
Oh, and later that night she kicked up her saucy black heels at — wait for it — the MSNBC afterparty, where she happily mingled with bartender Rachel Maddow.
Perhaps if one of her so-called BFFs at Fox “News” had asked her to the prom this year, the former belle of the ball wouldn’t be reduced to sitting home eating ice cream in her sweats, pitifully whining on Twitter about how lame it is. Jealousy really is an ugly emotion.
24 Apr 2013 18 Comments
A forthcoming cover piece from The American Spectator will tell the story of how Sarah Palin, the half term Alaska governor and one-time vice presidential nominee, “has racked up an impressive record electing conservatives.” She’d better! According to the Daily Beast’s John Avlon, her political action committee, SarahPAC, gave a mere “$298,500 to candidates,” while a cool $4.8 million was spent engaging the services of political consultants. You remember her position on consultants, right? They were part of a parade of horribles she criticized during her CPAC speech, in which she called out “the big consultants, the big money men, and the big bad media,” for their crimes against humanity.
As the American Spectator’s piece has yet to be published, one can’t take a look at how the magazine covers the story. What we can take a look at is how the magazine got covered, and in this case, they’ve apparently decided to “go blue.” Via FishbowlDC:
As Peter Ogburn points out:
This wouldn’t be the first time that a publication has cashed in on Palin’s sex appeal. The former V.P. hopeful famously accused Newsweek of sexism when they showed a picture of her (that she posed for) in running gear.
If you remember this incident, Palin complained, and the Washington City Paper’s Amanda Hess was not impressed by those complaints.
Some context, though! While Palin did pose for that picture, she did so for Runner’s World, not Newsweek. But speaking of! Newsweek ended its long run as a print media mainstay with a series of weird covers that reliably earned it more scorn than readers. I’m no prude. I like a good risque joke and the one that the Spectator references — Palin’s “Todd’s got the rifle, I’ve got the rack” quip at CPAC — earned her laughs and thus did its job. I hope that the American Spectator’s decision to go full “trollgaze” here works out better for them than it did for Newsweek.
22 Apr 2013 1 Comment
“sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love
(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in
are winging in the blossoming)
lovers go and lovers come
but any two are perfectly
alone there’s nobody else alive
(such a sky and such a sun
i never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes)
not a tree can count his leaves
each herself by opening
but shining who by thousands mean
only one amazing thing
(secretly adoring shyly
tiny winging darting floating
merry in the blossoming
always joyful selves are singing)
sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love”
― E.E. Cummings