On the Art of Judging a Book by Its Cover

alex01thumbI’m going to channel Will Ferrell in Zoolander for a moment: “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” Why? Because I woke up yesterday, turned the TV on, and happened to catch Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) on tour promoting his new book, Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America’s Slide into Socialism. One of these things is not normal, and it’s me waking up in time to catch the end of Morning Joe and staring balefully over my bagel with the distant hope of going back to bed and waking up when the world is a little less idiotic all around. Since I don’t have a cryogenic sleep chamber yet, that idea was neatly shelved in favor of boggling at the TV tube instead. Particularly one image on it.

You see, I’m a firm believer that the maxim “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, when taken in relation to real books, is complete tosh at least 85% of the time. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve picked up a book in the store based on the cover/title alone. Granted, it’s a marketing thing – a shiny, interesting, punchy cover will sell more books, even if they have bizarre and boring-sounding titles (and suck). In the modern world of publishing, it’s a race to grab a potential reader’s attention. And boy, is the cover of Saving Freedom attention-grabbing. I saw the cover larger than life on my TV screen and the first thing I thought of was the “Freedom Isn’t Free” song from Team America: World Police. Continue reading

New Palin Emails Show She Tried to Get McCain Campaign to Lie

Update: I changed my headline from “New Palin Emails Suggest She Tried to Get McCain Campaign to Lie” to “New Palin Emails Show She Tried to Get McCain Campaign to Lie” because so many people challenged the original headline.  The emails do more than suggest she was trying to get the campaign to lie.  She clearly was.  My mistake.

So the facts are: Gov. Palin was not a member of this third-party (“Alaska First — Alaska Always”) that wants Alaskans to get a vote on whether or not the state can secede from the U.S. But her husband was a long-time member, and at least two AIP officials recall her attending the 1994 convention, though she says she did not attend.

A new set of Sarah Palin emails has been leaked that could do serious damage to her long-term political prospects. CBS News has obtained a string of communications, between Palin and McCain chief strategist Steve Schmidt, that suggests that the Alaska Governor tried to quash the story of her husband’s involvement with the secessionist Alaska Independence Party with an incredible assertion:

“(Secession)’s not part of their platform and (Todd) was only a ‘member’ bc independent alaskans too often check that ‘Alaska Independent’ box on voter registrations thinking it just means non partisan,” Palin wrote. “He caught his error when changing our address and checked the right box. I still want it fixed.”

Schmidt’s reply was unequivocal: Continue reading

“Washington Post For Sale” Bombshell Good News/Bad News

What a disappointing day for journalism.  Not minutes after I revisited the dark Playboy saga, I got an email from Lee Stranahan with his video parody of a story I hadn’t even heard yet:

Apparently, WaPo’s publisher hatched a half-baked scheme to pimp the paper’s staff, and the Obama Administration, for huge wads of cash: Continue reading

Media Lizzy Dismissed by Politics Daily:Playboy’s Hate F*** List Strikes Again


For those of you who followed the saga of the Playboy “Hate F*** List,” it’s deletion by Playboy (then by Politico), my firing from Politics Daily, and its Editor-in-Chief’s campaign of lies to cover it up, there is a newer, sadder, much more unjust wrinkle to this story.  You may recall that Media Lizzy played a pivotal role in outing Melinda Henneberger as a liar, providing a smoking-gun email that detailed Politic’s Daily’s internal decision not to address the Playboy story at all.

Now, a month later, Melinda Henneberger has struck again.  From Lizzy’s new site: (bookmark it!)

I was informed yesterday by the (Politics Daily) Hot Seat editor that our relationship was being terminated.  Zero notice.  No reason given.  Nada.  Gee, do ya think it could be because of the Playboy controversy – and publicly outing Melinda Henneberger for lying about her relationship to the firing of Tommy Christopher?

As of this writing, Politics Daily hasn’t explained the dismissal.  I checked with other Hot Seat contributors, and none of them have been let go, although that may change if Melinda wants to cover her tracks again.

There are multiple ironies here, but chief among them is that this is an achievement of the Playboy article’s mission, to harm and marginalize conservative women.  In this case, it has managed to do so to a wonderful woman who was spared inclusion on the original list.

Along with the injustice, I object to the cowardly manner in which this was done, quietly, a month after the fact.

I take comfort in knowing that, although the intent here was not benevolent, my friend Lizzy will feel less harm from this than Politics Daily will.  Disagree with her as I might, it won’t be a tango without her.

Senate HELP Committee Releases $611 Bil. Bill With Public Option


I think President Obama and the “Good Democrats” may have punk’d opponents of the public health care option, and of the President’s vision of health care reform.

The Senate Committe on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (originally Pensions, Labor, Education, and Health, but PLEH didn’t sound as good) has released a health care reform bill that’s going to be pretty tough to argue with when compared with the version that the CBO originally scored.  That incomplete bill carried a 10 year pricetag of over $1 trillion, and only covered about 70% of Americans.  The new bill?

The plan carries a 10-year price tag of slightly over $600 billion, and would lead toward an estimated 97 percent of all Americans having coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and Chris Dodd said in a letter to other members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

I’m not complaining, but it sure looks a lot like that earlier version, and the White House’s sparring with the CBO, were a classic rope-a-dope.  After the outcry over a $1 trillion plan that didn’t cover everybody, this one looks like a TKO. Continue reading

Michael Jackson and the Rise and Fall of American Idols – by Christina Cedeno


(Ed. note: Please welcome our newest contributor, Christina Cedeno from Yes to Democracy.  She’s not in the system yet, hence the erroneous “Author” listing.)


It can be said that since the dawn of days- when dogmatic theories about our motives here on

earth were in development, deities to wash the feet of were bore-or when man began to worship at their knees-the “idol” was created.  We have chiseled out pedestals to place said idols on and bow down to.  Kings, Pharaohs, Emperors, Presidents, and in modern culture, celebrities.
Continue reading