Monday, February 1, 2010

National Public Radio Runs A Half-Hour Infomercial For The Tea Bag "Party."

Today, I listened to a segment on National Public Radio's (NPR) “Talk Of The Nation,” hosted by Neal Conan.

Conan's guests were Mark Skoda, the founder of the Memphis Tea Party, and Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor.

Mr. Skoda was the first guest, and after giving a brief rundown of his own “conservative Republican” background, he trotted out “the politicians aren't listening to the people!” meme.

Skoda went on to say that the Tea Party (while not a “party per se”) differed from the two major political parties because they want to “hold both parties accountable for fiscal responsibility,” etc. etc. etc., of course very quickly glossing over the fact that the it was his pals, the “conservative” Republicans, under the leadership of “conservative” George W. Bush, that spent us into the hole we're in today.

Skoda was followed by Mr. Elving, who waxed eloquent about How Very Very Important™ the Tea Party Movement is, and for fun, Elving threw in a few derogatory innuendos about the Tea Party anger against “the establishment” and “the elite” (smart people = elitists = bad).

Long story short: The segment was a half-hour commercial for the “we're mad as hell, and we're not gonna take it anymore” Tea Baggers.

Obviously pre-screened, there wasn't a single caller who was not part of the Tea Party movement.

Yeah, I know the show was about their “convention,” but what the hell? Not one person who might have a differing view was allowed to participate.

Neil Conan did not once ask a caller if they had a suggestion, idea, or proposal.


I'm guessing that it's because if he's nothing else, Neal Conan is always polite.  If he'd asked for a specific, the callers would have sounded like even bigger idiots.

One of the callers DID catch my attention: “Mike” from Wausau IN, a Tea Party member who said “we're tired of not being listened to."

There you have it.  That's it.  That's pretty much the Tea Party's platform, in a nutshell. "We're mad 'as hell cause no one's listening!"

Their solution to that problem?   Shout real loud.  Swarm town hall meetings and shout at your elected representatives.  Let loudness drown out logic and lucidity. 

Civility is for pussies!

Here's a suggestion for you, Mike in Wausau:

Come up with something that's worth listening to.
Stop going to town hall meetings and screaming incoherently at people.
Maybe learn to spell, even.

To Neal Conan and NPR:
I'm disappointed.

Your network was the last bastion of responsible journalism out there, and you've now become like the rest of the mainstream media, encouraging and cheering on stupidity from all walks of life.

Dang.  Why didn't you have the “convention's” keynote speaker, Sarah Palin on air to talk? Her incoherent word salad of “common-sense solutions, you betcha” would have capped the half hour off perfectly.

Oh, wait.

You would have had to clear that with Fox News, and Mara Liasson wouldn't want you cutting in on her action... since she still works for both NPR and Fox, doesn't she?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Senator Al Kookesh: The Luca Brasi of Sealaska, Inc.?

Well, State Senator Al Kookesh's heavy-handed threats against the community of Craig are not an isolated incident, despite Sealaska CEO Chris McNeil's efforts to smooth them over by saying Kookesh's remarks were "incongruous" and made in an "unguarded moment."

Kookesh seems to have a history of making Mafia-like threats to Southeast Alaska communities that might step out of line and oppose Sealaska.

According to Jack Ozment, Assembly Member of the City and Borough of Sitka, Senator Kookesh made very, very similar comments in a 2008 meeting in Sitka.  The Assembly was considering a resolution opposing the Sealaska lands bill.

Kookesh "reminded" the Assembly that
"... as a state senator I’ve done a number of things that benefit Sitka. And I just want to remind you of it because I’m an Alaska Native and I’m doing good things for Sitka."
Senator Kookesh also reminded the Assembly that every year, he votes on the budget for Mt. Edgecumbe School (a state-supported boarding school in Sitka for rural Alaskan students)... and that it would be devastating for Sitka if Mt. Edgcumbe were to close again. (emphasis mine)

Pretty subtle, Albert.

Unlike his comments to the Craig City Council, Kookesh DID try to cover his ass a little with a "clarification":
“I’m a state legislator. I’m a member of the state Senate. Those comments I made about helping Sitka are the same comments I would make to any community in Southeast Alaska. I would not, no matter what you do on this resolution, do anything to hurt Sitka. I’ve got family members and a lot of cousins and relatives who live here. So my commitment of course is to Southeast Alaska.”
(As an "enforcer" for Sealaska, I'm pretty sure Southeast Alaska = Sealaska in Albert's mind.)

Here's the problem with that, Senator:

The damage has been done, and it's obvious that you've run around making Southeast Alaska communities an "offer they can't refuse."

With these sort of tactics, your political career, like the fictional Luca Brasi, could wind up "sleeping with the fishes."

Just sayin'.