Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Newt Loses Again: Gingrich Finishes a Distant Third in Louisiana

Destiny's heroic political leader—America's Great Visionary and Ultimate Savior—has failed again. 

Yes, Sooner fans, Newt Gingrich finished a distant third in Saturday's Louisiana GOP primary, well behind that faux conservative Mitt ("Secret Liberal") Romney. Rick Santorum won the day with 49 percent of the vote, well ahead of Romney's 26 percent and Gingrich's 17 percent.

This result, mind you, was in the Deep South, where Gingrich should have been competitive. The fact that he wasn't is a sign of how far his fortunes have fallen.

Gingrich once topped the polls in Oklahoma, but he couldn't beat Santorum in the Sooner state. 

As we have been saying for weeks, Newt is history. He never had a realistic chance at the Republican nomination and he will never be president.

But Newt, being Newt, certainly won't go away quietly. Oh no. With an ego the size of Georgia and an unending supply of half-baked ideas, he'll be around for years. Unfortunately.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tulsa Democrats Call Out Oklahoma Republicans

Oklahoma Republican leaders did themselves and their party no favors this week when they snubbed President Barack Obama on his first official visit to the Sooner state.

Instead of offering a hearty Oklahoma welcome for a sitting president, Gov. Mary Fallin disappeared—and thus appeared petulant and small-minded. 

The same goes Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, Sen. Jim Inhofe and Rep. John Sullivan—all of whom seemed determined to be hyperpartisan.

There's a proud tradition in American politics of putting the nation's interests over party politics, a test that state Republicans failed this week. 

No one expected local Republicans to suddenly become fans of President Obama. But we did expect civility and common decency, which are values that Republicans claim to support.

Instead, they were extraordinarily petty, which says a lot about their character and the kind of party they lead in Oklahoma.

Tulsa Democrats, among others, took notice. One of their leaders, Michael Whalen, issued a statement apologizing for the actions of the Oklahoma Republican Party. The letter read, in part:
Mr. President, I want to apologize for the lack of respect you were shown by our Governor, Senators and statewide elected officials.  For many Oklahomans, it was heartbreaking to see our leaders put petty politics over manners and common decency. 

Politics aside, it is an honor to have had a visit from the President of the United States. The office of the presidency is to be respected. To do otherwise is rude, not to mention unpatriotic.  I assure you that most Oklahomans are taught from a young age that respect and hospitality are a part of the fabric of our great state. 

I hope that the warm faces in Cushing gave you a better taste of what it means to be an Oklahoman. True Oklahoma hospitality is far better than the welcome you received.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wrong Again: Gloating Sen. Jim Inhofe Thinks He's Won Climate Debate

Sen. Jim Inhofe is not the sharpest Crayon in the box. But Inhofe has never suffered a lack of confidence, even when that was totally unwarranted. 

That's exactly the case now that the Oklahoma Republican is flacking his book, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future. (The book is published by WND Books, the folks who keep insisting that Obama's birth certificate is a fake, which explains a lot.)

The book—and Inhofe's continuing verbal baloney—about global warming and climate change has earned the former Tulsa mayor (sigh) the ire of environmentalists and activists, some of whom have called him names. Poor Jim!

Inhofe being Inhofe, this name-calling is now a sure sign of the senator's victory. In a statement published today in the Tulsa World, Inhofe says "you know you've won the fight" when you've been criticized by the Hollywood elite and the leftist environmentalists. 

That's more baloney, of course. Inhofe is throwing mud, returning fire again the usual suspects, the evil liberals. More importantly, this sort of argument completely ignores actual science, which is where the real debate will take place.

Sen. Inhofe can crow all he wants about his environmental "victory," but he hasn't won—and won't win—if the science doesn't support his position.

On this score, the senator is losing.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Yee-Ha! Okie Republicans Go Ga-Ga over Guns

In their on-going efforts to turn Oklahoma into a Bright Red Conservative Paradise, state Republicans have scored another gun victory.

This week, the state senate passed an open carry bill that will allow citizens to openly carry firearms. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Anthony Sykes of Moore, said the law works well in other states. "They are doing fine," Sykes told the Tulsa World.

We are not reassured. Nor should anyone else be reassured.

No, Sooner fans, this is more GOP pandering to the NRA and gun lobby.

Democratic Sen. Jim Wilson of Tahlequah has it right. He pointed out that the law will put more guns in public in the hands of amateurs, some of whom will be "trying to intimidate people."


But logic and common sense are no help in our Red State Paradise. Our Republican leaders are far more wedded to the right-wing agenda and than they are to the safety of Oklahoma citizens.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cowboy Up! Mike ("I'm a Man!") Gundy Scores Big

We don't do a lot of sports on this site, but we couldn't help but notice a story in the Tulsa World yesterday, one that says far too much about priorities in the Sooner state.

The headline was straightforward: "Gundy's contract tops $29 million." 

That's right, Cowboy fans, the coach is raking in the dollars in a new eight-year contract. It's good work if you can get it, and, to be fair, Gundy has proven to be a winning coach.

But given the slash-and-burn budget cutting of the state's GOP leadership, it's more than a little ironic that a football coach can cash in while other state priorities such as public safety, education and health get cut. We don't need no stinkin' state services for—dare we say it!—the sick, the infirm, the poor.

Oh well, at least we're all clear on the state's priorities. Go Cowboys!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Another Tuesday, Another Newt Primary Flop

Newt Gingrich is nothing if not egotistical. He's confidently predicted—more than once—that he will win the Republican nomination. No matter that he's only won two states, South Carolina and his home state of Georgia.

Tonight, Newt is flopping again. In the Deep South states of Alabama and Mississippi, both of which had their primaries today, Newt is losing.

Yes, it's still early. But it looks like Newt can't—and won't—pull off a convincing win in the South. It's another nail in Gingrich's political coffin.

Let's face it, Sooner fans, Newt is history. He couldn't win Oklahoma (Saint Santorum of Pennslyvania won handily) and he can't even manage a big win in the Very Red States like Alabama and Mississippi.

Bye-bye, Newt. People aren't buying the horse hockey you are selling.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Birthermania Lives! Florida GOP Congressman Still Flogging the Nonsense

Yes, Sooner fans, it's more nuttiness from your friendly neighborhood Republican.

Not content to disagree with the president's policies, the Wingnut branch of the GOP keeps pretending that Barack Obama is not a real American. 


It's more world-class baloney from a conservative movement with few ideas and even fewer scruples. Hey, when the president is a secret Muslim from Kenya, who needs old-fashioned values like truth or honesty?

That corny ole crap is for loser liberals.

Meanwhile, Florida Republican Rep. Cliff Sterns keeps up the baloney. The link is here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gotta Love Newt's Southern Values

So we're listening to a Fox News Radio reporter a few minutes ago explaining Newt Gingrich's appeal in Georgia.

Our intrepid commentator notes that Georgia is in the South and Southerns share the same values at Good Ole Newt. 

Ah yes, those traditional family values. Newt's got 'em. Or maybe not.

Let's see: Ethical problems leading to his ouster as Speaker of the U.S. House? Ouch! Infidelity? That hurts! Two divorces, three marriages? Ugh!  

An ego the size Georgia? True! Nutty ideas like a moon base? Dumb! A wife that 23 years his junior? Okay, we'll give you that one.

Oh man—love me some good, old-fashioned Southern values!

KRMG Radio Calls Oklahoma for Santorum in Two Minutes

Yes, Sooner fans, Rick Santorum has won Oklahoma's presidential primary. Whoo!

How do we know? KRMG told us so—a whopping two minutes after the polls closed. 

The votes weren't tallied then, of course, but that didn't stop the pollsters from making their exit poll predictions.

They were right, of course, but we found it curious that KRMG cited no numbers whatsoever when they made their 7:02 prediction. No percentages of precincts reporting, no raw vote tallies, no nothing. Only a Fox News report calling the state for Saint Rick of Pennsylvania.

On wait, that explains it. The 7:02 report came from Fox News, home of free-floating "facts" that—flip a coin!—may or may not be true.

Oklahoma GOP Votes for Santorum, But Will It Matter?

The AltTulsa crystal ball is usually hazy on such matters, but we feel confident on this Super Tuesday in predicting a big GOP win for Rick Santorum in the Sooner state.

We also predict that Santorum's win in Oklahoma won't matter because Mitt Romney will carry the day. 

Like it or not, Oklahoma is no Ohio—and Ohio counts in a way that Oklahoma doesn't. Ohio is a more important state with more clout on the national stage. So even if Santorum wins big here, the significance of that win will be overshadowed by a Romney win in Ohio. 

 Moreover, Santorum is losing ground as the national GOP gets behind Mitt, even in Deep Red Oklahoma.

In fact, Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn has endorsed Romney. That endorsement won't help him much today, but it's another sign that Santorum doesn't have the money or the organization or the popular appeal to reach the Republican nomination.

As for Newt Gingrich, he's toast. He can win Georgia and maybe do well in other states. But Gingrich has been losing steam for weeks and we don't expect he'll get his mojo back today. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

538 Blog: Calling Oklahoma for Santorum, True Believer

Rick Santorum was in Tulsa yesterday promoting his presidential bid, a move that appears very likely to pay off. 

Nate Silver, the Five Thirty Eight election numbers guru at the New York Times, is projecting Santorum with a whopping 91 percent chance of winning Oklahoma.

We don't have any new numbers, but our guess is that Santorum will be the likely winner. He's a professed Super Conservative, after all, and that plays well with Oklahoma's Far Right GOP voters.

Never mind that Santorum's brand of conservatism is anti-birth control, even anti-sex. Never mind that he has denigrated mainstream Christianity. Never mind that he lost his last senate campaign by double digits to a Democrat. Never mind that Sen. Tom Coburn has endorsed Mitt Romney. 

None of that matters when you can spout doctrinaire conservative talking points that fire up the base even when they make little sense. That's Rick Santorum, True Believer.

For the Five Thirty Eight projections, details are here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Music Break: Broken Arrow's Kristin Chenoweth on God, Comedy and Dolly Parton

Everybody loves the hometown girl who makes it big. Which is why we love Broken Arrow's own Kristin Chenoweth, the little lady with the big, big Broadway voice.

Of course, a lot of folks are fond of Chenoweth, which explains how she turned up earlier today on NPR. She's talented and funny, altogether charming. (Color us smitten.)

But back to business: A link to the NPR interview (with audio) is here.

The Incredible Shrinking Newt: Gingrich Fading Fast

Not all that long ago, Newt Gingrich was riding high among Oklahoma Republicans. If memory serves, he was the top choice of 33 percent of the state's GOP voters in December.

No more. Newt is now polling third behind Mitt (Mr. Moneybags) Romney, and Rick (I'm holier than you!) Santorum. 

Newt's cavalry—J.C. Watts and Herman Cain—will be riding into Tulsa Monday to save the day, but we suspect is too little too late for Gingrich.

Newt peaked in the South Carolina primary and his fortunes have fallen ever since. After his ill-advised space pandering in Florida (a cool new moon base, anyone?), the former U.S. House speaker has had a hard time being taken seriously.

Plus, there's the whole ethical mess from Newt's last days in the House, not to mention the business of his two divorces and three—count 'em!—marriages. Oh, wait, we forgot to mention Callista, who is, ah, just a few years younger than good ole Newt. (Twenty-three years, to be exact.)

If we were the betting type, we'd put our Sooner dollars on Santorum in Tuesday's primary election. After all, he's got the winning Oklahoma trifecta down cold—God, guns and gays. Yee-ha!  

Friday, March 2, 2012

Art Break: Susan Stamberg Reports on Richard Diebenkorn, California Abstract Painter

 The AltTulsa crew appreciates a variety of culture pursuits, including such rarefied pleasures as poetry (heavens!), literary novels (oh my!) and painting (really?).

We're even interested in—dare we say it?—abstract painting. You know what we're talking about, those canvasses covered in lines and shapes and squiggles and such, the stuff "regular" people love to ridicule.

With that warning, then, let's proceed to today's art break, a story on Morning Edition by one of our favorite NPR reporters, Susan Stamberg. Ms. Stamberg's story this morning was about the paintings of Richard Diebenkorn.

No, we had not heard of him either, but we listened to Ms. Stamberg and, with an open mind, took a look at his work, which he began in the 1960s. It's soft in color, and geometric, not exactly what we were expecting.

Diebenkorn may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the paintings we saw began to grow on us. Listen to Stamberg's story (and see some of his paintings) by clicking here.