Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue

September 29, 2009

By Adele

Sarah Palin’s publisher, Harper, claims she did have enough thoughts in her head to fill 400 pages — in 4 months, no less.

The vacuous ditz will stop at nothing to parlay her 15 minutes of fame into a fortune. First she dumped unfinished that pesky governor’s job with its unsatisfying little paychecks. She had no reason to stay after they cut off her unlimited bonuses from bogus travel expenses.

She’s smelled gold in the lower 48 with the morons Rush LimpPaw and Glenn Beck have been priming, so Palin refocused like a laser to finish ASAP her autobiography, Going Rogue: An American Life.

She’s only 45 years old and can count on one hand the number of years she’s done anything significant outside Wasilla, so the writing couldn’t have been too taxing. The question is why it took 400 pages.

Harper is rushing copy-editing and fact-checking to put 1.5 million copies on the market November 17 so good little neocons will find Sarah and her backwoods BS under their Christmas tree.

Harper’s got to be cutting corners on quality, and it won’t be the printing. When you consider that Palin still thinks it’s “nucular,” the book’s bound to be riddled with misstatements, factual errors, and boners in English usage that her detractors will gleefully pounce on.

But the more ignorant Palin’s book is, the more the rubes who comprise her loyal base will identify with it as they slowly sound out every poorly worded, inane sentence.

Bourdain Sightings Here and There

September 28, 2009

By Karen

On September 25, Anthony Bourdain was at the Louisville, Kentucky, IdeaFestival and sold out the house, according to the Courier-Journal. He also seemed to have some fresh material. At least, I’ve never heard him deliver this line:

“The filet mignon is the Paris Hilton of meat — lean and completely without personality. This is not the way to a chef’s heart.”

And here’s a photo.

An anecdote about Bourdain visiting Vancouver called “Light My Fire” that’s a few years old has surfaced, but it’s still worth reading.

It appears we’re in for another New York episode of No Reservations. Bourdain recently spent 5 days in the Hudson Valley. Fortunately, he brought along his pal, Michael Ruhlman, who always livens things up.

For the Love of Food met Bourdain and Ruhlman when they dropped in on Bourdain’s alma mater, the CIA, during their road trip. (That’s the Culinary Institute of America, not the spy agency, if you’re a new Bourdainiac.).

Ruhlman blogged about the trip, which sounded strange, to put it mildly. And he says Bourdain talked a lot about his cat, which his readers seemed to fixate on. Bourdain even weighed in with a comment in defense of the cat.

What I found most jarring was the report of Bourdain selling No Res T-shirts to CIA students from the trunk of his 1965-vintage rental convertible, as noted by the local Times Herald-Record.

Signing books is one thing, but…

Dumbest Murder Investigation Ever?

September 26, 2009

By Cole

The death of census worker Bill Sparkman in a rural Kentucky cemetery is a terrible story, and I’m afraid that if the feds don’t step in, justice will never prevail.

Local authorities are saying they haven’t ruled out the possibility that Sparkman’s death was suicide or an accident. But after reading these details, what would any reasonable person (or cat) conclude?…

On September 12, Sparkman was found hanging from a tree in the cemetery by a family visiting deceased loved ones. He wasn’t completely off the ground, and he was naked except for his socks. His clothes were in the bed of a pickup truck parked nearby.

Sparkman’s hands and feet were bound with duct tape, with more tape around his neck and covering his eyes. He was gagged with something red. His Census Bureau ID was taped to his right shoulder, and the word “FED” scrawled across his chest with a felt-tip marker.

He hung from the tree by a rope around his neck. Coroner Jim Trosper determined the cause of death was asphyxiation, and said it was clear Sparkman’s death wasn’t natural.

Gee, Trosper, what tipped you off?

In the absence of clearer evidence of a crime, the police think it’s possible Sparkman may have stripped, written on his own chest, taped his ID to himself, blindfolded and gagged himself, bound his own hands and feet, climbed the tree, tied the rope to a branch, and then jumped or fallen.

While the police determine whether or not Sparkman acted alone, any family he has must be in utter despair, and his killer planning his next “perfect crime” between fits of laughter.

Sarah Palin Does Hong Kong

September 25, 2009

By Adele

In her first paid speech since abandoning her job in Alaska, Sarah Palin spoke to more than a thousand investors and bankers at an annual investment conference in Hong Kong on September 23. The obvious question is: Why would these people want to hear a self-professed “hockey mom” talk about high finance?

As you might expect, Palin took the intellectually low road, saying, “I’m going to call it like I see it, and I will share with you candidly a view right from Main Street, Main Street U.S.A.”

For what Palin’s small-town experiences are worth in the grand scheme of things, they could have invited me to speak on pet futures and gained as much insight.

Palin yakked for 90 minutes, allowing only 10 minutes for pesky questions. The media was barred from the event, reportedly at her request.

And now they’re calling it her first big “foreign policy credential” for a 2012 presidential run.

Attendees told various media outlets, as reported in Time, that Alaska figured prominently in her speech:

“She rambled on about the place for ages,” says an Indian banker with a major U.S. firm. “Palin even talked about Alaska’s land bridges with Asia and how animals once went across.” Based on a recording it reviewed, the Wall Street Journal says Palin invoked her husband Todd’s Eskimo heritage as a sign of shared “bloodlines” between the continents.

You can catch a few illegally captured moments at HuffPost and watch Nobel-Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman dismantle Palin’s ridiculous assertion that government regulation caused the Wall Street melt-down, which she supported by citing various lax legislation, and then concluded that banking needs even less oversight.

In railing against big government, Palin is setting herself up to run for leader of nothing. No laws, no regulations, no safety nets for anyone. So what’s her point?

As always, she’s too stupid to realize she doesn’t have one.

Are You Sick of Swine Flu Yet?

September 23, 2009

By Yul

Since cats don’t get swine flu I’m just an observer, but enough’s enough. The media is going overboard with this H1N1 thing. They admit swine flu is unpleasant, but runs its course in about a week, then they talk like it’s about to wipe human life off the planet. Which is it?

And who needs a shot? How many shots? In the arm or up the nose? Who will get sick? How sick will they get? Anybody got a crystal ball?

Flu happens every year. Some people get sicker than others. Unfortunately, some even die. Scaring the crap out of everybody over SWINE flu, whose porcine name makes it sound dirtier and more sinister (which the pork lobby  protests) is stooping too low.

People will be walking around with snot on their sleeves from sneezing into them. The French have even banned cheek-kissing.

Call me cynical, but I wonder if this isn’t some Big Pharma scam to score one last bonanza before Congress slams the lid on the cookie jar. It’s not hard to imagine the boardroom conversation:

“Why stop at one shot this year? There’s this icky new pig flu out there. Let’s make a separate vaccine for it so people need 2 shots this year.”

“Why stop there? Let’s say swine flu is so deadly, one shot won’t be enough. Then we can bilk ‘em for 3 shots!”

Whether people ultimately need 2 flu shots or 3, I predict that hype-induced confusion will result in fewer people than ever being vaccinated at all. Swine flu will make the rounds, most people won’t know which flu they had, and it will be remembered as the biggest non-event since the computer melt-down predicted for the millennium.

Congrats to Emmy-Winning No Reservations

September 21, 2009

By Karen

I didn’t watch the Emmys last night, so I don’t know if Anthony Bourdain attended. No Reservations was nominated for Outstanding Nonfiction Series. It lost to American Masters. (Tony was robbed, I say!)

It was with some difficulty I finally ferreted out the results on the show’s third nomination this morning. The Emmys seem like some cheesy carnival game, with dozens of bizarre, obscure categories to ensure “If you play, you win!” — for something — eventually.

This isn’t to detract from Tony’s win. I’m just saying, when you see ALL the nominations in one place, sheesh! How have they missed having a whole set of awards for Outstanding Typing of a Script in every category?

No Res: Laos was nominated for Outstanding Editing, but lost to This American Life. Is isolationism at work, since No Res got beaten by shows with “American” in their title in both categories?

However, Laos DID win for Outstanding Cinematography last week, so No Res has earned well-deserved bragging rights as an “Emmy-award-winning series.”

Personally, I’d like to see Bourdain win for Outstanding Writing in Nonfiction Programming. Haven’t those Emmy people been listening to him at all?

In case you missed it, Cats Working reader Cindy put us on to a gallery of Getty photos of Tony and his wife Ottavia at the New York Emmy ceremonies earlier this month, the premier of Julie & Julia, and other events.

Even though Season 5 wrapped up last week in Sardinia, Bourdain’s popping up all over the Internet again. His summer vacation is definitely over.

Josh Ozersky at Feedbag did a podcast with Tony on September 11 about the upcoming New York Wine & Food Festival from October 8-11, where Tony will be appearing with David Chang. Tony waxes eloquently profane on mixologists vs. bartenders.

Nikki Metzgar at Houston Press provides great descriptions of some things Bourdain ate in Sardinia. I was particularly interested in what that cracker-like bread was all about.

Sarah Kelley at Leo Weekly got an advance interview with Bourdain before he appears at the Idea Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, on September 25. He’s still talking about spending a year in Vietnam, and he took another swipe at Sandra Lee.

Jimmy Carter Dares to Say “It”

September 17, 2009

By Yul

Humans are hung up on black. Black cats and dogs in shelters are often last to find homes. And now, in his dotage with nothing to lose, former president Jimmy Carter is stepping forward with the guts to condemn the not-so-subtle racism toward President Obama.

We’ve seen it twice lately. When Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) yelled “You lie!” during Obama’s healthcare speech. And when many school districts last week refused to let kids watch Obama’s back-to-school speech, because having him tell kids to work hard and not drop out would be brainwashing.

In neither case was Obama saying anything inflammatory, so the only rational explanation for the disrespect is bigotry. They think Obama is inferior and not worth listening to.

Unfortunately, Obama can’t agree with Carter. To admit, “Yeah, they’re probably picking on me ‘cause I’m black!” would just signal to the bigots they have succeeded in “putting him in his place.”

Wilson is the new racist poster child, raising more than $1 million since he mouthed off. He’s so proud, he’s refused to publicly apologize for acting like town hall trash in front of his fellow Congressmen and the nation.

Republicans have clearly shown during the healthcare debate that they just want to destroy anything Obama touches, no matter what the consequences for Americans. And as long as Obama keeps turning the other cheek, pretending he’s not dealing with irrational hatred, he only emboldens them to diss him at every opportunity.

Jimmy Carter is right. But if winning the majority of the vote to become president didn’t earn him at least a little respect from the bigots, I don’t know what else Obama can do. We’re showing the world that the U.S. wasn’t ready for a black cat in the White House after all.

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