Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Two Faces of Conservative David Keene

The right-wing festival of nonsense known as CPAC met this week in Washington. This year's event featured lots of Obama-bashing, of course, including another suggestion by one nutty activist that Obama really isn't a citizen.

Our friends at Think Progress also noted that David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, has had a major change of opinion on the Bush presidency in recent months.

Here's their report from D.C. highlighting the Keene hypocrisy:
David Keene, the chairman of the CPAC-organizing American Conservative Union and a former aide to Bob Dole,…suggested that conservatives have been frustrated with Bush for years. He said criticism of Bush was “consistent with the belief we've had for some time."

Keene has a short memory.
Last year, he expressed his “delight” that Bush would be attending the 2008 conference, calling it “a great opportunity for thousands of conservatives" to “evaluate the accomplishments of his administration.” As for the conservative community, when Bush stood up to speak, the entire audience rapturously chanted, “Four more years!"

Friday, February 27, 2009

Despite Conservative Predictions, Obama's Poll Number Jump Up

Earlier this week, AltTulsa poked fun of the ravings of a certain conservative commentator (Joan Swirksy) for her boneheaded comments (published locally on the Tulsa Today blog) about the president's stimulus plan and his supposed plummeting poll numbers.

We questioned those numbers, for which we found no evidence. Now we have additional support for our position, courtesy of the Gallup Organization:
PRINCETON, N.J. -- In the days immediately after Barack Obama's nationally televised address to Congress on Tuesday night, his public support has increased significantly to 67% in Feb. 24-26 Gallup Daily polling, and is now just two points below his term high. This comes on the heels of a term-low 59% reported by Gallup on Tuesday.
So much for Swirky's reverence for facts. But, hey, when you're a right-wing nutjob, it's so much easier to ignore the truth and make things up.

300 Conservative Tulsans Turn Out for Anti-Stimulus Rally

Of course they would.

In a Republican County in the Reddest of the Red States©, it's no surprise that a group of anti-everything protesters would turn out to make noise.

This "tea party" idea has been all over local talk radio and the conservative blogosphere and all they can get is a small crowd. Three hundred people, tops. Yawn.

When you have no ideas and no plan of your own, make noise. It's not very effective, but it might distract a few Tulsans from actual problems that somebody else will have to solve.

The usual suspects were there: State Sen. Randy Brogdon and radio blabber and Republican also-ran Chris Medlock.

The event was so uneventful that the complete story on KFAQ's website was (count 'em) two sentences. Two! Over at KRMG, the staff managed to put together three sentences to cover this rally.
As we said: no ideas, no plan, just noise.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Talk Radio and Lowbrow Conservativism: How the Right Went Wrong

From the pages of The American Conservative (no kidding):
Thus a liberal like E.J. Dionne can write, “The cause of Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Robert Nisbet and William F. Buckley Jr. is now in the hands of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity. … Reason has been overwhelmed by propaganda, ideas by slogans.” Talk radio has contributed mightily to this development.

Barack Obama: The Anti-Christ? Or Hitler? The Daily Show Investigates

Tulsa Today Still Pushing Wingnut Agenda

Actually, "agenda" is far too kind. The radical right, assisted locally by the moronic Tulsa Today blog, has no coherent agenda—it just likes to whine, or, more frequently, scream.

"The sky is falling," they say, over and over again.

Here's part of a screed Tulsa Today had the bad judgment to publish earlier this week. The writer is Joan Swirsky, a New York commentator who has absolutely no connection to Tulsa.

But like a lot of wingnuts, she can whine with the best of them:
From the moment Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20th, the leftists who control Congress have – at his behest – gone on a drunken binge of runaway spending vis-à-vis an $850-bilion [sic] faux “stimulus” program that rewards failure and punishes success. It is already clear that The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act should be renamed The American Relapse-And-Needs-Resuscitation Act, as is evidenced by both the simultaneous plunge of the Dow and the president’s polling numbers, as well as an epidemic case of buyer’s remorse.
Couple of minor problems here. First, who are these Congressional leftists? Our writer names none. Second, a government stimulus bill is, by definition, spending. In any case, it's far too early to declare the plan a failure. In fact, it's barely begun.

Third, the Dow Jones average is not an indicator of the success or failure of this or any other government program. Fourth, the president's polling numbers have not plunged, nor does the polling indicate a significant shift in Obama's popularity.

Other than getting almost everything wrong, Swirsky's analysis is spot on.

Good work, Joan. And kudos to Tulsa Today for advancing the cause of inane right-wing whining.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Jindal Bomb: Krugman on the GOP Governor's Disappointing Response

Princeton economist and Nobel Prize-winner Paul Krugman on the Bobby Jindal speech last night:
[L]eaving aside the chutzpah of casting the failure of his own party’s governance as proof that government can’t work, does he really think that the response to natural disasters like Katrina is best undertaken by uncoordinated private action? Hey, why bother having an army? Let’s just rely on self-defense by armed citizens.

The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.
No matter how you slice and dice it, Krugman makes a devastating critique of the Republican response to the Obama Administration's political and economic initiatives.

Fox News Panel Underwhelmed by Gov. Jindal's GOP Speech

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is a rising GOP star. Or he was until last night, when he delivered an unimpressive speech in response to President Barack Obama's address to a joint session of Congress.

The speech was so weak that even the hacks and partisans at Fox News couldn't figure out a way to make Jindal look good.

Here's a sample of the Fox reaction (h/t to Talking Points Memo):
Brit Hume: "The speech read a lot better than it sounded. This was not Bobby Jindal's greatest oratorical moment."

Nina Easton: "The delivery was not exactly terrific."

Charles Krauthammer: "Jindal didn't have a chance. He follows Obama, who in making speeches, is in a league of his own. He's in a Reagan-esque league. ... [Jindal] tried the best he could."

Juan Williams: "It came off as amateurish, and even the tempo in which he spoke was sing-songy. He was telling stories that seemed very simplistic and almost childish."

GOP Liar of the Week: South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford

FalseThe wingnut lies about the stimulus bill keep on coming. This week's winner is none other than Mark Sanford, Republican governor of South Carolina.

Thanks to the fine folks over at PolitiFact, we can fact-check Gov. Sanford's charges that the stimulus will make the U.S. economy worse.

Here's the truth about Gov. Sanford and his latest unsubstantiated charges:

In an op-ed in the Washington Post on Feb. 23, Mark Sanford, the Republican governor of South Carolina, wrote that the bill would not only fail to boost the economy, but that it would actually make things worse.

"Now that the so-called stimulus plan is law, we're left with one question: Will this package help us or hurt us? Unfortunately, I believe it is the latter, for a few reasons," wrote Sanford.

"First, this package will ultimately mean less, not more, economic activity. The Congressional Budget Office has found that this bill will lead to a real 0.1 to 0.3 percent reduction in gross domestic product by 2019. That translates into our economy losing tens of billions of dollars."

When we asked Sanford's communications director to provide the source for his data, he pointed us to a Feb. 4 letter from CBO director Douglas W. Elmendorf to senators and House members that projects the impact of the stimulus bill.


Sanford is quoting the number out of context and neglecting to point out that it is a reduction from the baseline, which itself was going up. So he gives the impression it is a decline in the real GDP, when it's really a decline in GDP growth. Big difference.

To say Sanford is cherry-picking the letter would be too generous. He has taken one number from a letter that seems to support his thesis and distorted it. And he's ignored several more prominent measurements that show the stimulus bill would help the economy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Recent Reading: Sherman Alexie's Story Collection 'Ten Little Indians'

AltTulsa likes contemporary fiction writers, including those with an edge.

That explains our interest in Sherman Alexie and his short story collection, Ten Little Indians (Grove Press, 2003). Alexie, a Native American writer from the Pacific Northwest, is a gifted storyteller who displays a powerful intelligence.

The stories in Ten Little Indians are set in and around Seattle and feature many Spokane Indian characters who regularly defy stereotypes. The book's first story, "The Search Engine," follows the quest of a college student named Corliss who seeks out a mysterious and forgotten Native American poet.

Alexie's stories are intelligent, irreverent and sometimes heartbreaking. Get yourself a copy of Ten Little Indians and see if you agree.

As we have previously noted, Alexie will be in Tulsa April 23 at 7 p.m. to talk about his writing. His visit, sponsored by the Tulsa Library Trust and American Indian Resource Center, will include a public talk and book signing.

Read him now and hear him in person when he speaks in April in T-town.

Oklahoma Senators Vote Against a (Horrors!) Pro-Labor Secretary of Labor

Who would have thought the U.S. Secretary of Labor would be in favor of working people and labor unions?

Certainly not Oklahoma's two anti-labor senators, Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn, who were among the 17 senators to vote against Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor.

The Republican objection to Solis seemed to be that she has a record in favor of supporting labor.

Heavens! How could we have such a person in charge of the Labor Department? Why it's downright un-American to look after the interests of the working class.

Here's a summary of today's vote from our friends at Americablog:
Earlier today, GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell canceled the GOP filibuster against the confirmation of Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor. That meant no cloture vote.

A few minutes ago, the Senate confirmed Solis by a margin of 80 - 17.

This is a huge victory for progressives and, especially for working men and women. They'll have a Secretary who is on their side. And, it's also the first victory in the campaign to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. The Republicans made this nomination about that legislation -- and Solis won big despite their repeated efforts to block her.

UPDATE: The 17 GOP no votes are pretty much the worst of the worst, including the GOP's leading voice, David Vitter.

Lies of the Right: The $30 Million Mouse That's Really a Myth

Congressional Republicans and the right-wing blogosphere have been foaming at the mouth recently about Nancy Pelosi's $30 million project to preserve an endangered mouse.

That's right, Sooner fans, a mouse. It's an outrage! A travesty! Too bad it's just not true.

Here's the real story from a non-partisan fact-checking outfit, Unlike the hysterical blowhards on the Right, these folks explain that there is money in the stimulus plan for wetlands restoration, a project that has a number of environmental and flood-control benefits. But it's not about a mouse.

To hear Republican House members tell it, you'd think House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stuffed $30 million into the stimulus bill to benefit an endangered mouse in her district.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa called it an earmark and "a pet project" while pointing to a sign he made that said "Pelosi's Mouse slated for $30 Million."

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio opposed the bill and asked how money "for some salt marsh mouse in San Francisco is going to help a struggling autoworker in Ohio?"

And Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana said on Fox News that there was "$30 million in there to protect mice in San Francisco."


[I]t's a serious distortion to say there's money in the bill to protect San Francisco mice. The bill doesn't even list the San Francisco projects by name. And the funding agencies — the Corps of Engineers or NOAA — could still decide to fund the projects or not. The bill passed a final vote in the House on Feb. 13, with no Republicans supporting it

So Pelosi did not put an earmark in the bill to save the mice. In fact, there's no money in the bill for mice. For this reason, we rate Pence's remark False.

Lies, lies, and more lies.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Idiotic U.S News Poll: Which Female Leader Would Run the Best Daycare Center?

The editors at U.S. News have apparently run out of actual ideas.

As Think Progress has noted, U.S. News posted a poll on its website asking this burning question: Who would run the best daycare center?

In the first place, the relationship between running an daycare center and political leadership seems a bit obscure. (How would, say, Richard Nixon fare in such a vote?)

In the second place, the magazine's four choices are all women (!) and, in the third place, the poll includes action-figures dolls (see below) of Michele Obama, Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi.

Try as we might, we couldn't work up the energy to give a crap about this poll. Frankly, we can't imagine that anyone with half a brain—even the boneheads at U.S. News—could give a crap about this nonsense.

Sally Bell to Lead Tulsa County Republicans; Tulsa Democrats Celebrate

It's a good time to be a Tulsa County Democrat.

That's because Tulsa County Republicans elected Sally Bell to head the GOP in Oklahoma's second largest county. Meeting for their convention Saturday, Tulsa Republicans gave Bell the nod over rival Bryan Osborne.

Bell, former vice president and chief financial officer of the now defunct Bell's Amusement Park, told the Tulsa World that she was pleased that the party had a civil debate. "Now we can move on…to build this party," Bell said.

Yet the election of Bell puts Tulsa Republicans increasingly out of step with the public, even with Republican voters. Bell, after all, is a proud John Birch Society member and it's a safe bet that few GOP voters under 40 have ever heard of John Birch.

Bell's Ron Paul connection is equally problematic since the deservedly obscure Rep. Paul proved to be a colossal dud among GOP primary voters last year. (How many primaries did Paul win?)

Then there's the losing record of Bell herself, defeated in her race for county commissioner in a heavily Republican county.

Add in her ties to GOP has-been Chris Medlock, former city councilor who lost a race for mayor and the state legislature, and you have local Republican leadership so hapless, cranky and right-of center that anyone even remotely interested in sensible public policy is likely to flee to the Democrats.

As we said at the outset, with Sally Bell in charge, it's a great time to be a Tulsa Democrat.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Right-wing Nut Case of the Day: Alan Keyes

AltTulsa never tires of the rants of right-wing loonies. One of the best is Alan Keyes, full-time zealot and one-time Illinois senate opponent of Barack Obama. (Keyes lost by a 40-point margin, as we recall.)

Speaking yesterday in Hastings, Nebraska, Keyes went bonkers on Obama, claiming that he's not a citizen (of course!) and that he's a communist (naturally!) and much, much more.

Here's a sample of the latest Keyes manifesto:
Keyes also has some very strong opinions about President Obama. He ran against Obama for U.S Senate in Illinois back in 2004. Keyes doubts Obama is a U.S citizen and said he will ruin the country.

"Obama is a radical communist and I think it is becoming clear. That is what I told people in Illinois and now everybody realizes it is coming true. He is going to destroy this country and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist," said Keyes.
Back on earth, actual facts matter. Just because you believe it, Alan, doesn't mean it's true.

Check out the video:

Fox Host (Surprise!) Plays Fast and Loose with Presidential Facts

Gotta love the folks at Fox News, whose hosts rarely stray from the Official Party Line, even when they have to stretch the truth to do so.

Here's a recent sample, courtesy of our friends at Think Progress.
Last night, Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren aired an interview she conducted with former president Bill Clinton. Clinton praised Obama for taking his message about his recovery plan “out into the country,” but Van Susteren objected, saying Obama had visited only states he won. “He’s hit…Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Colorado,” she said, which have “recently become Democratic state.” “It looks like a reward,” she complained.
The problem: Obama also visited a fifth state, Arizona, John McCain's home state and one that Obama did not win. Moreover, Think Progress noted, Obama lost every county where he has appeared.

Using that metric, Obama has reached out to five Republican-leaning counties, which means there's hardly a political reward here.

Fox News: We Distort, You Decide.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tulsa County Republicans Prepare for Convention Mud Fight

Tulsa County Republicans are meeting Saturday for their big county convention and, from what we hear, sparks will fly.

Republican activist and local blogger David Arnett weighed in this week with an attack on the Sally Bell faction of the party, including her allies, blogger Michael Bates and radio host Chris Medlock.

Writing at Tulsa Today, Arnett unloaded on his fellow Republicans. We don't have a dog in this fight, but the tone of Arnett's comments was downright nasty.

We seem to recall something about Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment, which had to do with not criticizing fellow Republicans. So much for that notion.

Here's an edited sample (though we don't vouch for any of this):
This [factional] difference is significant because of the ongoing divisions within the Party inspired by what is called here the “three blind mice of public policy debate - Michael DelGiorno, Michael D. Bates, and Chris Medlock." All three...[claim] to be conservative republicans most well known for attacking elected republicans. They have repeatedly used fringe media to allege conspiracy where none has been proven.... Drawn to their banner are Ron Paul supporters, John Birch Society Members, and others most charitably called “anti-government folk” that during the last Republican State Convention tried to seize control of Oklahoma’s national delegation to benefit Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. A vocal leader of that rebel effort was Sally Bell’s husband, Bob Bell.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Republican Nut Case of the Day: Minnesota's Michele Bachmann

We have no clue what's up with Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. But it is clear that she is, well, goofy.

In a radio interview today, Rep. Bachmann uttered this incredible statement, which we quote exactly:
We're running out of rich people in this country.
Earth to Rep. Bachmann: This statement is utter nonsense. And one other thing: It might be a good idea to check in with reality every now and again.

Oklahoma Political Note: If Rep. Bachmann keeps this up, she might be flaky enough to qualify for the "Sally Bell Wingnut Branch" of the Tulsa County Republican Party.

Reading Darwin: A Favorite Quote

Charles Darwin was born 200 years ago on the same day and in the same year as Abraham Lincoln.

In honor of Darwin's birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, we present (thanks to the NY Times) a favorite quote from the book itself.

Needless to say, most people have never read a single page of this book. But some smart people have and one of them is Neil Shubin, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago.

The Times asked Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish, to pick a favorite quote from the book. Shubin selected this provocative sentence:
What can be more curious than that the hand of a man, formed for grasping, that of a mole for digging, the leg of a horse, the paddle of a porpoise, and the wing of a bat should all be constructed on the same pattern and should include the same bones in the same relative positions.

Gotta Love Those Hypocritical Republicans

Our nomination for head-spinning Headline of the Day, courtesy of the hypocritical Republican House members: 
GOP Fighting For Money From Stimulus They Opposed

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bristol Palin on Teen Sexual Abstinence: 'Not Realistic at All'

The Right loves it, or least they say they do. The "it" is abstinence education, the faint hope that teens will use good judgment and refrain from early sexual activity if they only take a "no sex" class.

Good luck with that.

Up in the Frozen North, Republican Gov. Sarah Palin is a supporter of abstinence education. Press reports note that the Anchorage schools teach an abstinence program.

The problem, of course, is that abstinence education doesn't seem to work.

Evidence for its ineffectiveness can be found in the person of Bristol Palin, the governor's then-pregnant 17-year-old daughter. (She's 18 now and has a healthy baby boy.) In an interview with Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren, Bristol spiked the whole notion of abstinence:

Here's the quote:

VAN SUSTEREN: I don’t want to pry to personally, but I mean, actually, contraception is an issue here. Is that something that you were just lazy about or not interested, or do you have a philosophical or religious opposition to it or…

BRISTOL: No. I don’t want to get into detail about that. But I think abstinence is, like — like, the — I don’t know how to put it — like, the main — everyone should be abstinent or whatever, but it’s not realistic at all.

Right-wing Split: Pat Robertson Slams Rush

Speaking to U.S. News, conservative religious leader Pat Robertson (really!) put country before politics, a refreshing change from the partisanship of many Congressional Republicans (Sens. Lindsay Graham and John McCain, for example).

Here's the quote from the magazine:
Q: So you don’t subscribe to Rush Limbaugh’s “I hope he fails” school of thought?

ROBERTSON: That was a terrible thing to say. I mean, he’s the president of all the country. If he succeeds, the country succeeds. And if he doesn’t, it hurts us all. Anybody who would pull against our president is not exactly thinking rationally.

AT doesn't usually sing the praises of Robertson, but in this case, we couldn't agree more.

New Financial Scandal May Ensare Texas Sen. John Cornyn

As we noted in the previous post, the Securities and Exchange Commission today went after Texas financier Allen Stanford.

Now we learn that Stanford was well connected in Texas. Here's a posting from TPMmuckraker that sheds light on Stanford's political pals, including Republican John Cornyn.

So we already knew that Allen Stanford -- the Texas banker charged by the SEC today with running an $8 billion "fraud of shocking magnitude" -- had some pretty impressive political contacts with both parties.

But it looks like his relationship with one of his home-state senators, Republican John Cornyn, may have been especially cozy.

According to Cornyn's Senate disclosure reports-- posted on the site, which tracks privately financed trips by members of Congress -- the Stanford Financial Group paid for the Texas senator and an unnamed companion to take a November 2004 trip down to Antigua and Barbuda, the tiny Caribbean nation where the company has its headquarters.

Yet Another Major Financial Scandal

We like to think that people are basically honest and play by the rules. But we could be wrong. 

The latest reason for our growing cynicism about high finance comes from today's AP headline: 
SEC charges Texas financier with 'massive' fraud 

Headline of the Day: Obama's GOP Supporters

While Congressional Republicans continue to marginalize themselves in the economic debate, the GOP's governors are singing a different tune. Here's the headline from today's New York Times
Obama Gains Support from G.O.P. Governors

Monday, February 16, 2009

More from the Bates Retraction Letter

As many Tulsans know, blogger and Urban Tulsa Weekly columnist Michael Bates published a column last month attacking the Tulsa World's circulation numbers and practices.

The World was not amused, especially since they had the facts on their side.

How do we know? We know because Bates admitted as much when the World dropped its libel suit against Bates last week and Bates signed a letter "to set the record straight."

Here are a few more highlights from the Bates letter of February 10:
My suggestion that Tulsa World circulation was 20% higher in 2005 than in 2006 was incorrect.

Accordingly, the suggestion that Tulsa World circulation was "inflated" is incorrect. There is absolutely no evidence to support this claim.

Upon being presented with the Tulsa World's information, I now realize the extreme action that they took in suing me and Urban Tulsa Weekly for defamation and disparagement and do not disagree with the Tulsa World's need to set the record straight. My research was flawed and information in my story was false and inaccurate, and I retract those incorrect statements.
In his response to the libel action, Bates originally defended his research on his Batesline blog. Indeed, he seemed prepared to fight the defamation charges. (That post has since been removed.)

UTW backed away from the story quickly, leaving Bates in an extremely awkward position. Last week, Bates signed the letter quoted above acknowledging "numerous errors."

Whatever else the Bates letter may represent, it certainly reads like a complete humiliation of Bates in his war on the Tulsa World.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Worth Reading: Pundit Nails GOP Hypocrisy

Commentator Andrew Sullivan sums up the Republican response (especially Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn) to the president's stimulus bill:
From the outset, the Republicans in Washington pored over the bill to find trivial issues to make hay with. They found some small funding for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases prevention; they jumped up and down about renovating the national mall; they went nuts over a proposal - wait for it - to make some government buildings more energy-efficient; they acted as if green research and federal funds for new school building were the equivalent of funding terrorism. And this after eight years in which they managed to turn a surplus into a trillion-dollar deficit and added a cool $32 trillion to the debt the next generation will have to pay for. Every now and again their chutzpah and narcissism take one’s breath away. But it’s all they seem to know.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

OU's Darwin Celebration Getting Flack in Tulsa

You might think that 150 years after the publication of On the Origin of Species, the overwhelming scientific support for evolution would be enough to convince even the skeptics of Darwin's legitimacy.

You'd be wrong.

Right here in River City (aka Tulsa), the Tulsa Beacon, a conservative weekly, is fuming over the University of Oklahoma's celebration of Darwin and his ideas. Why to hear the Beacon tell it, some of your tax dollars are going to recognize a Godless heathen, a man who would deny everything good in the world.

But they'd be wrong.

Yes, OU is celebrating Darwin and they may even be using some tax dollars to do so. But Darwin wasn't wrong about the origin of species and he wasn't against everything good.

In fact, Darwin was, by all accounts, "a humane, gentle, decent man, a loving husband and father, and a loyal friend," as Olivia Judson noted this week in the NY Times.

Moreover, Darwin was opposed to slavery, unlike many of his contemporaries. In the Times, Judson provided this illuminating passage from Darwin's travels:
Near Rio de Janeiro I lived opposite to an old lady, who kept screws to crush the fingers of her female slaves. I have stayed in a house where a young household mulatto, daily and hourly, was reviled, beaten and persecuted enough to break the spirit of the lowest animal…. It makes one's blood boil, yet heart tremble, to think that we Englishmen and our American descendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and are so guilty.
Stirring language, and yet another reason to celebrate Darwin.

Bates Apology Letter Makes Good Reading

The apology and retraction letter from Tulsa writer and blogger Michael Bates is chock full of interesting tidbits regarding his charges against the Tulsa World.

As Tulsa readers will recall, Bates used his January 15-21 column in Urban Tulsa Weekly to question the World's circulation figures.

So far so good—unless Bates got the facts wrong, which was exactly the claim made in the World's subsequent libel suit against UTW and Bates.

UTW quickly folded, issuing a retraction in its very next issue.

Good news for UTW, not so good for Bates, who remained a defendant in what appeared to be a losing legal position.

That position was confirmed this week when the case was settled and Bates admitted to "numerous errors" and issued a letter, available on the World website, making "the following corrections, clarifications and/or retractions."

Here are some selected highlights of the Bates correction letter dated February 10, 2009:
My column suggests that the Tulsa World was not audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulation for nearly a decade. This is false.

My suggestion that they withdrew from ABC for any nefarious reason is unfounded. I have no knowledge or information regarding the reasons for their withdrawal from ABC.

My statement that the Tulsa World retained "consultants" to provide circulation information is inaccurate and misleading.

My suggestion that the actual circulation numbers were somehow "concealed" for a time is incorrect.
This is quite a retraction. Careful readers will recall that news of the World's libel suit provoked howls of outrage among a segment of the Tulsa blogosphere.

This week, however, they seem to have fallen silent, unwilling to acknowledge the many errors that Bates himself admits.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Time to Eat Some Delicious Crow! Bates Backs Down in World Libel Suit

Tulsa writer and political blogger Michael D. Bates is eating crow today. Tasty!

The Tulsa World went after Bates last month with a libel suit when his column in Urban Tulsa Weekly claimed that the World had doctored its circulation figures to disguise a declining circulation.

Urban Tulsa, also named in World lawsuit, quickly backed off the story, pulling it from its website and publishing a retraction in its very next issue, leaving Bates as the sole defendant.

Bates has now reached the same conclusion, writing a letter of apology to the World and admitting his circulation claims were wrong. The World has dropped its lawsuit.

Here's one meaty morsel from the Bates letter: "My research was flawed and information in my story was false and inaccurate, and I retract those incorrect statements."

A link to the World story on Bates and his letter of apology is here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tulsa Republicans: Party Like It's 1959

Tulsa County Republicans will meet February 21 for their county convention and it promises to be, well, different.

The Tulsa World reports that a fight is brewing in the Oklahoma GOP between the "mainline" Republicans and the wingnut branch, also called the Ron Paul faction.

In Tulsa, the wingnuts are represented by Sally Bell, recent loser in the county commission race. Despite that loss (and in a heavily Republican county, no less), Bell is running for chair of the county GOP.

"She appears to have the backing of a former Tulsa city councilor, Chris Medlock," the World reported. Medlock, you may remember, left the council and went on to lose a race for mayor and the state legislature.

Bell, of local amusement park fame, is well known for her antiquated political views. For one thing, Bell is a proud John Bircher, still hoping to defeat the rising influence of Mao, Stalin, Fidel and—well, Fred Harris—among Oklahoma school children. It's so-o-o-o scary!

We're with you Sally. If this were 1959, you'd be a winner. Too bad you and the ole gang are just about 50 years out of date.

Oklahoma Observer's Hamilton Kicks Some Legislative Butt

Arnold Hamilton, the new editor of the venerable Oklahoma Observer, posted a column today that takes dead aim at the boneheads in the Oklahoma legislature.

Hamilton, formerly with the Dallas Morning News, calls 'em as he sees 'em—and it's a gloriously refreshing critique of the boneheads in the Oklahoma legislature.

For example: He calls out the fear-mongering reactionaries who have tried to whip up a frenzy over the (highly unlikely) prospect that radical terrorists from Gitmo might be housed in Oklahoma.

A special dishonorable mention goes to the pandering Rep. Rex Duncan of Sand Springs—whatta guy.

There's more, and it's worth reading. Find it here.

Now It's Republican Lindsey Graham Who Is Spinning the Stimulus

Top Republicans just hate the massive federal stimulus. They hate it.

That's why South Carolina's Lindsey Graham has been one of the most vocal opponents of the package. Speaking on CNN, Graham complained that the bill gave too much money to states.

I’m not for $75 billion slush fund for states that can be spent on anything they want to spend it on including budget problems because we’ve got our own budget problems and you’re rewarding states who have done very little to trim up their own budget.

So when Wolf Biltzer asked Graham whether South Carolina should take the federal money, Graham declared that it should not, consistent with his conservative principles.

What's that? He didn't? Graham changed his mind?

Here's Graham's exact quote:
I think that, yes, from my point of view, I — you don’t want to be crazy here. I mean, if there’s going to be money on the table that will help my state, but I’ve got a job to do up here, and that is to try to help people and not damn the next generation.
One more rock-ribbed, highly principled (Ha!) conservative lawmaker changes his tune.

Suddenly, GOP's Duncan Loves the Nanny State

Ah, those brash conservatives, always battering the Democrats for their socialistic "nanny state" approach to just about everything. 

Take former Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan of Kentucky. Just last month Duncan slammed the new liberal leadership in Washington:
The Democrats mean to use this opportunity of unchallenged power to explode the size and scope of the federal government, to take control of entire sectors of our economy…. The goal is to indoctrinate a generation of American children to the gentle comforts of the nanny state….
Today we learn that this very same Mike Duncan has taken a job with—wait for it—the Nanny State, the Tennessee Valley Authority, to be exact. 

That's the same TVA that was established by Roosevelt's New Deal, the same TVA that competes with private power companies, the same TVA that employs thousands of workers in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and other Southern states. 

Hey, Mike! How about living up to rock-ribbed conservative principles and resigning from your new and highly paid Nanny State job? 

If you don't, you too are obviously—to put it in your own terms—indoctrinating "American children in the gentle comforts of the nanny state." 

Happy Birthday, Honest Abe

As every American should know by now, today is Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. 

On behalf of AltTulsa and all its readers, happy birthday Mr. President. We, who are in your debt, salute you. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Steven Colbert on the GOP: Follow the Taliban (Yikes!) Model

Steven Colbert, the fake commentator and star of Colbert Nation, picked up on the bizarre comments of Texas Congressman Pete Sessions with this devastating critique:

Nation, the GOP must find a way to thrive. For two years the Democrats have occupied Congress but not everyone is willing to surrender. Like Texas Republican Congressman Pete Sessions, who told the National Journal last week that to fight the Democrats "insurgency may be required".

Now, before this man gets taken out of context, he was not saying the GOP should model themselves after Al Qaeda. That would be offensive. No. He was just saying the Republicans model themselves after the Taliban. That is a meaningful substantive difference.


Now this insurgency, this insurgency shouldn't be too hard for the Republicans. They have a quite a bit in common with the Taliban. Neither, neither one of them is all that big on women's rights. They both want God in government. Both were in favor of the U.S. invading Iraq. And of course they both follow shadowy leaders who communicate through poor-quality video.

Republican 'Fun Quote' of the Day: Warping History to Blame FDR

Leave it to the Congressional Republicans to make up the facts to suit their political purposes.

Hey, George Bush and Dick Cheney did it, why can't the congressmen?

Here's today's unintentionally funny make-believe history. Ohio Rep. Steve Austria said this to the Columbus Dispatch:

When (President Franklin) Roosevelt did this, he put our country into a Great Depression,” Austria said. “He tried to borrow and spend, he tried to use the Keynesian approach, and our country ended up in a Great Depression. That’s just history.

Too bad that the Columbus Dispatch had a command of real, historical facts:
Most historians date the beginning of the Great Depression at or shortly after the stock-market crash of 1929; Roosevelt took office in 1933.

Paul Begala Nails the GOP Stimulus Response

Writing on, Paul Begala describes the GOP response to fixing the economy with a stimulus bill:
The Republicans, on the other hand, have honed their economic message: Denial, Delay, Do Nothing.
Sure, Begala is a Democrat. But he is is spot-on in his critique of Oklahoma's two clones of Herbert Hoover, Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn.

Eye-popping Bonuses at Merrill Lynch

No wonder Merrill Lynch lost money last year. Here's the lead from a story in today's New York Times: 
Merrill Lynch paid out bonuses of more than $1 million each to 696 people last year, according to Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York. 
We admit to being mathematically challenged, but we can figure out that these bonuses alone came to more than $700 million. 

Even Wall Street terms, doesn't a $700 million payout in bonuses seem a teeny bit excessive? Doesn't this smack of financial irresponsibility? Or, in plain language, greed?

For our part, we say "Bring on the regulators!" 

Wall Street Execs Grilled in Congress

Finally, some public accountability from the high fliers on Wall Street. They are testifying today in Congress. Here's a quick summary from Bloomberg:
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, acknowledging "broad public anger" at the financial industry, said many people think "Wall Street lost sight of its broader public obligations."
Public anger at Wall Street? You think?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Celebrate February 12! It's Darwin Day (OK, It's Lincoln Day Too)

For those of you keeping score at home, this is a big birthday week.

Exactly 200 years ago this week, on February 12, 1809, two great men were born: Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. That these two men were born on the same day is a coincidence, of course, but it is an interesting coincidence.

From humble beginnings, Lincoln rose to the presidency and became perhaps the greatest president of them all, successfully leading the war against the Confederacy and saving the Union.

Darwin's circumstances were much more fortunate (his family was well-to-do), but he was no less influential. Indeed, as the New York Times reports today in "Science Times," "Darwin's theory of evolution has become the bedrock of modern biology."

This quote, from writer Nicholas Wade, continues: "It is a testament to Darwin's extraordinary insight that it took almost a century for biologists to understand the essential correctness of his views."

Lest the popular focus fall too heavily on the man himself, another Times piece argues against the cult of Darwinism and in favor of a broader and more powerful understanding of evolution and how this idea came to be.

As Times writer Carl Safina points out, many earlier naturalists and scientists contributed to the development of evolution, including Darwin's own grandfather and the genetic experimenter, Gregor Mendel.

In short, evolution is bigger than Darwin, Safina argues, and a overemphasis on Darwin is far too limiting. Indeed, evolution itself as changed a great deal since Darwin's original thesis, which is why Safina argues that "Darwinism Must Die So That Evolution May Live."

This Thursday, raise a glass to the 2ooth birthday of two great men, President Abraham Lincoln and one of the most brilliant minds in all of scientific history, Charles Darwin.

Even the Biggest Box Store Is Shedding Workers

You know the economy is weak when you see layoff stories like the one we found today on Bloomberg: 
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, plans to eliminate 700 to 800 jobs at its corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, as U.S. growth slows. 

Minnesota's Norm Coleman Provides Republican Fun Quote of the Day

God is definitely a Republican. Why none other than Minnesota's Norm Coleman just made that point the other day.

Coleman, who is still behind in the contested vote count to Democrat Al Franken, invoked the Lord in a radio interview last Friday.

Here's a summary of the story we found on a Midwestern political blog:
When asked about the recount and how it is affecting him personally, Coleman said he starts every day with a prayer and that he knows “God wants me to serve.”
Oh really? That seems just a tiny bit presumptuous to us. It is certainly self-serving.

Maybe Coleman misunderstood. Maybe what God was saying is that He doesn't want Coleman to serve, which is why Franken remains ahead in the vote count.

Monday, February 9, 2009

GOP's Jon Cornyn Skips Out on Senate Stimulus Vote

Gotta love those highly principled Republican senators. Take Texas Sen. Jon Cornyn, for instance, a major conservative blowhard on the Obama stimulus proposal now before the Senate.

So when the cloture vote came tonight, a reasonable person might expect Cornyn to vote "no." But Cornyn was nowhere to be found.

Oklahoma's Republican senators, Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn, voted the wrong way, of course, but at least they voted.

Here's how reported Cornyn's disappearance:

Cornyn was the only no-show -- except for Commerce Secretary nominee Judd Gregg, who recused himself.

So where was Cornyn?

"He had a long standing commitment and since it was cloture vote and no vote is like a "no" vote, he stuck to it," wrote spokesman Kevin McLaughlin in an E-Mail to Politico. "Obviously [he] is against [it] and will vote no on final."

We followed up, wanting to know why Cornyn skipped what we described as an "enormously consequential" vote.

"It was a cloture vote," McLaughlin replied, "How was it 'enormously consequential?'"

Three Democrats -- Ted Kennedy, Tim Johnson and Robert Byrd -- all suffer from infirmities that limit their mobility, but made it to the chamber for the 61-36 vote that cleared the way for an up-or-down vote on the package.

Unlike Bush, Barack Obama Holds Open Town Hall Meeting

As candidate and then president, George W. Bush was routinely protected by his handlers.

When he met with the public, audiences were carefully screened to keep out Democrats and others who might ask embarrassing questions.

Fortunately, Barack Obama doesn't have to be protected from the public. Just today, Obama appeared in at a town-hall meeting in Elkhart, Indiana, a place that voted for John McCain.

Courtesy of the, here's a summary of the Obama's brave new strategy:
President Obama heads into the belly of the beast today, leaving Washington for a depressed city in Northern Indiana with the highest unemployment rate in the nation.


In a dramatic contrast to former President Bush's town-hall meetings -- which were held almost exclusively in party strongholds, with tickets distributed primarily to supporters -- it was first-come, first-served in Elkhart on Saturday. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained on Friday: "I've watched the President do town halls from 2004 through 2008, and the audience has never been hand-picked, and neither have the questions. And we're not going to start any of that on Monday."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tulsa's Batesline Wins Okie Blog Award

We see today that fellow Tulsa blogger Michael Bates was voted Best Political Blog in the annual Okie Blog Awards. Congratulations, Michael.

AltTulsa doesn't always agree with Bates (in fact, we disagree with him a lot), but he is a long-time Tulsa blogger who isn't afraid to take a stand. Besides, he's a passionate advocate for his causes, which is a good sign. Here's the link to the Batesline announcment.

We were pleased to be nominated in the political category again this year and we were going to do some self-promotion to improve our odds.

But we forgot. Really. We never even mentioned our nomination until, well, now.

We've been busy. Maybe next year.

New RNC Chairman Michael Steele Faces Federal Investigation

The former lieutenant governor of Maryland, Michael Steele, has only been chairman of the Republican National Committee for a matter of days.

But things aren't going so great for Mr. Steele, as the Washington Post reported yesterday:

Michael S. Steele, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, arranged for his 2006 Senate campaign to pay a defunct company run by his sister for services that were never performed, his finance chairman from that campaign has told federal prosecutors.

UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, Steele is disputing the allegations. Here's the lead of the CNN report posted today:
WASHINGTON– New Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said Sunday that payments to his sister’s company by his 2006 Senate campaign were proper.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Recent Reading: Sherman Alexie's 'Flight'

AT likes to keep abreast of contemporary American writers, which is why we spent a few hours recently with Sherman Alexie's 2007 novel, Flight.

It's a good read—an energetic and imaginative story about a troubled Native American boy in Seattle and his search for a stable and meaningful life. The first line of the novel gives you a hint of Alexie's protagonist: "Call me Zits," he says.

Alexie is a smart, fierce and funny writer whose work includes many volumes of poetry, fiction and screenplays. He is perhaps best known for the screenplay for Smoke Signals, a popular 1998 movie.

By the way, Alexie will be in Tulsa April 23 at 7 p.m. to talk about his writing. His visit, sponsored by the Tulsa Library Trust and American Indian Resource Center, will include a public talk and book signing.

The title of Alexie's talk is
The Business of Fancydancing: Poems, Stories, Punch Lines and Highly Biased Anecdotes.”

Check out (literally, at the Tulsa City County Library) Sherman Alexie's many books. He's the real deal.

Here are a few of Alexie's books we are recommending: Novels: Reservations Blues and Indian Killer; stories, Ten Little Indians, The Toughest Indian in the World and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.

Bush Incompetence Lives! U. S. Overpaid for Wall Street, Bank Assets

Read it and weep: More evidence that Bush and his team were clueless when they weren't incompetent. From the AP this week:
The Bush administration overpaid tens of billions of dollars for stocks and other assets in its massive bailout last year of Wall Street banks and financial institutions, a new study by a government watchdog says.

The Congressional Oversight Panel, in a report released Friday, said last year's overpayments amounted to a taxpayer-financed $78 billion subsidy of the firms.

The findings added to the frustrations of lawmakers already wary of the $700 billion rescue plan, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Congress approved the plan last fall, but members of both parties criticized spending decisions by the Bush administration and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Ignoring History: Rightwing Pundit Hemingway Forgets A Previous President

Conservative pundit Mark Hemingway this week cited Al Franken for inspiring actor Val Kilmer's turn from acting to politics.

"What Al Franken Hath Wrought," Hemingway wrote over a National Review link to an AP story on Kilmer's possible run for governor of New Mexico.

So it's Franken's fault that actors are running for office? How convenient.

Hey Mark: Ever hear of Ronald Reagan? Or Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Inhofe and the GOP (Surprise!) Support Bankers and Wall Street Fatcats

You can always count of the Country Club Republicans to favor the rich. If you're a GOP legislator, apparently, unregulated capitalism always works, even when it doesn't.

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, of course, is one of those Republicans supporting the Robber Barons.

Here's an cogent analysis of the GOP position from Ryan Grim, writing on The Huffington Post.

Wall Street bankers, with their $18 billion in bonuses, private jets and gaudy conferences, are causing headaches for the GOP.

President Obama has proposed capping compensation for executives at banks that take taxpayer bailout money at $500,000. Republicans hate the idea -- a position puts them uncomfortably on the side of people currently about as popular as child-porn producers and subprime mortgage brokers.


"What executives have done is troubling, but it's equally troubling to have government telling shareholders how much they can pay the executives," said Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL).

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said that he is "one of the chief defenders of Obama on the Republican side" for the president's efforts to reach across the aisle. But, said Inhofe, "as I was listening to him make those statements I thought, is this still America? Do we really tell people how to run [a business], and who to pay and how much to pay?"

Democrats argue that banks that take government money must accept any rules the government decides to send with it.


It's not a novel concept, and it's one the GOP supports -- when applied to welfare recipients, at least. "We demand that welfare recipients do an honest day's work for their checks.

Wall Street Execs Charge Prostitutes to Corporate Credit Cards

This is rich. Or, more accurately, disturbing and sad. It certainly doesn't inspire confidence in the well-heeled corporate executives who run the nation's financial sector.

ABC News is reporting that the high-flying corporate players on Wall Street have been using corporate funds to pay for sex.

On the program 20/20 tonight, the network will air an interview with a woman who has pleaded guilty to running an exclusive New York prostitution ring. The story also takes on the Manhattan district attorney for looking the other way.

Here's the lead of the story from

Wall street lawyers, investment bankers, CEOs and media executives often used corporate credit cards to pay for $2,000 an hour prostitutes, according to the madam who ran one of New York's biggest and most expensive escort services until it was busted last year.

But prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney's office chose not to pursue any of the corporate titans, says Kristin Davis, who pleaded guilty last year to charges of running a prostitution business that used more than a hundred women.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bush Official Andy Card Still Flogging Relaxed White House Dress Code

Earlier this week, AT noted that Andy Card, former Bush White House chief of staff, had criticized President Obama and his staff for their relaxed dress code in the Oval Office.

Card remains upset. He's gone on television again, once more criticizing the White House's new informality.

Oh, the horrors! Card thinks it's disrespectful to work—as Obama sometimes does—in his shirt sleeves. Sometimes Obama even appears without a tie!

Really, Andy. This is a matter of national concern? We have an major economic mess and two wars to fight and a medical crisis to solve and this is your big issue?

If this is all Card can say about the new administration, no wonder the Republicans (and the country) are in trouble.

UPDATE: AT isn't the only party to note Card's obsession with appearance. MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked this question the other day: "Isn't former Bush chief of staff Andy Card getting a bit dainty?

And then there's this: President's Ford, Carter and Clinton were photographed in the Oval Office without jackets. Oh, and one other president too: George W. Bush.

Damn You, Charles Darwin: America's Moral Decline Is All Your Fault

The University of Oklahoma will be celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species in 2009 with a series of lectures and other special events, including a speech by British author and well-known atheist Richard Dawkins.

In conservative Oklahoma, OU's focus on Darwin and his revolutionary ideas about biology has ruffled some feathers. The conservative Tulsa Beacon, for example, weighed in this week with an article called "Monkey Business," which attacked Darwin and the idea of evolution.

The Beacon featured Oklahoma-based Christian educator named G. Thomas Sharp as the chief critic of evolution. Unsurprisingly, Sharp lowered the boom on Darwin and his malicious influence on, well, just about everything.

Here's a sample:
"The doctrine of Darwinian evolution gained the imagination of the college-set by the turn of the century, an event which ultimately culminated in the overthrow of America’s Hebrew-Christian culture by 1962-63,” Sharp wrote on his website, “From that time the moral decline in American society (church and all) is a sad matter of real history."

"As a Christian worker and professional educator for the past 40 years, I have been keenly aware that every aspect of life in America has been negatively influenced by the subtle and godless philosophy of evolutionism for some time."
This is quite an indictment, one so sweeping that it happens not to be true.

As Sharp would have it, America's moral decline began in the 1960s and it's been downhill every since. Really? So everything that's happened in the U.S. since the 1963 has been bad? And Darwin's fault?

Let's check out some "real history" since 1963, shall we? Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980 and served for eight years. Was America's most famous conservative leader was part of "the moral decline in American society"?

We don't buy it. We don't think the American people buy it. Love him or not, Reagan never seemed influenced by "the subtle and godless philosophy of evolutionism."

On the international stage, what about Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the conservative British leader and fast friend of Ronald Reagan? Like Reagan, Thatcher wasn't much of godless evolutionist.

Outside of politics, what about the rising life expectancy in the United States since the 1960s? This is a good thing. So how does this square with evolution's evil influence on American morality?

Or what about the fact that a huge majority of Americans believe in God and that suburban mega-churches are growing by leaps and bounds all over the nation? Rick Warren, anyone?

Sharp is arguing that all this—and much more—is bad, a sign of evolution's evil influence and America's moral decline. We beg to differ.

Livin' Large on the Public Dole: Obama Caps Bailout Salaries

Rightly noting rising public anger, President Barack Obama this week announced a $500,000 salary cap for executives at companies that take federal bailout funds. 

"This is America," Obama said. "We don't disparage wealth." But Americans do resent "executives being rewarded  for failure," Obama continued, especially when the failures are being supported by the taxpayers. 

Good point, Barack. 

It is worth pointing out, too, that C.E.O. salaries are way over the top. According to figures we found, compensation for C.E.O.s of the largest companies in 2006 was—brace yourself—364 times the pay of the average worker. In 30 years, the gap between top and average salaries grew nearly tenfold.

In the case of the bailout funds, it doesn't seem too much to ask for top executives to scale back their pay to a measly half million until such time as they can, say, turn the company around, pay back the taxpayers and, yes, make a profit. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sen. Coburn's War on Rotating Lights and Zero-Gravity Chairs

None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available under this act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, arts center, or highway beautification project, including renovation, remodeling, construction, salaries, furniture, zero-gravity chairs, big-screen televisions, beautification, rotating pastel lights, and dry heat saunas.

The explanation for Coburn's ire: As Talking Points Memo has reported, Coburn is ticked off at the Centers for Disease Control, which last year spent $35,000 to add zero-gravity chairs, lights, and a sauna to its Atlanta employee gym.

As TPM puts it: The moral of the story is, do not piss off Sen. Coburn.

Honesty in the White House: Unlike Bush, Obama Admits Mistake

George Bush could not say it. When he was asked about his mistakes in office, Bush could not think of one.

It's refreshing, then, that Barack Obama is honest enough to admit his mistakes and accept responsibility.

Here's how our friends at Think Progress summed up the difference between the two men:

President Obama said last night that he had “screwed up” with his nominees who withdrew over tax issues yesterday. “I've got to own up to my mistake, which is that ultimately it’s important for this administration to send a message that there aren’t two sets of rules,” said Obama. Andrew Sullivan notes that “it has taken Obama two weeks to say something that George W. Bush couldn't manage to say in eight years.”

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

OU Celebrates (Gasp!) the Ideas of Charles Darwin

Those evil secular humanists down in Norman (read: Sin City) are rubbing our noses in —Yikes!—evolutionary science.

That's right Sooner fans, in honor of the 150th anniversary of (brace yourself!) Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, OU is celebrating the world's most famous naturalist and the father of (again: brace yourself)
the theory of evolution.

This is no small celebration either. OU is hosting several months of lectures and events on Darwin and his ideas, including events that involve (Heaven help us!) OU students, young minds that will be forever warped by exposure to Satanic and alien ideas.

Imagine that: University students (right here in the Heartland) exposed to Darwin and evolution. Next thing you know, they will be reading Marx, drinking wine and thinking impure thoughts!

Those evil OU administrators and professors (and—who knows?— even coaches!) will even be hosting the infamous nonbeliever Richard Dawkins for a lecture.

He's an actual atheist, and no atheist should ever speak in Oklahoma, much less at OU. That might cause all of us believers to question our faith in God, Republican politics, and—Heaven forbid!—Sooner football. And, let's face it, fellow Okies: We can't have any of that.

If you dare, you can read more about OU's Darwin Project here.