Question Time

Slow pitch.June 23, 2009:

“Under which conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejad, and if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn’t that a betrayal of the — of what the demonstrators there are working towards?”

July 15, 2004:

“Last Friday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report that shows that Ambassador Joe Wilson lied when he said his wife didn’t put him up for the mission to Niger… Doesn’t Joe Wilson owe the President and America an apology for his deception and his own intelligence failure?”

The first question was asked yesterday at Obama’s press conference by Nico Pitney of the Huffington Post, who’s been liveblogging the Iranian protests from the start. The second question was asked of Scott McClellan five years ago by celebrated gigolo Jeff Gannon.

We contrast them here because of a Politico-inspired “controversy” over Pitney’s appearance at the news conference. Although the AP and Reuters conventionally have the privilege of first dibs at pressers, Obama inserted Pitney between them.

Pitney himself reports that the White House invited him to ask a question submitted by Iranian readers of his blog, and made sure he was within camera range. But the question itself wasn’t cleared in advance, nor was there a guarantee he would actually be called to ask it.

This of course is now being played as an example of Obama “manipulating the news,” which is much more fun to chatter about than the substance of the question or the response. And given how the national media has done an outstanding job of keeping its eyes off the ball in recent years, we thought it would be helpful to remind them what a real softball looks like.

Obama calls on HuffPost for Iran question [Politico]

Awwwwwww, this is just a huffy response by a useless spin/web outfit.

Gigolo? You quaint old-fashioned thing.

And yes I am avoiding work. Deal with it.

Sanford found!!!!!! He was in Buenos Aires!!!!!!


OK. Somebody else post something. Even the dogs are ashamed.

@Benedick: B.A. is a top plastic surgery destination. Check to see if Sanford’s eyelids look less droopy.

Seriously, this “controversy” is just as stupid as all the “controversies” that the right-wing has dreamed up. Nevermind that Obama was asked a tough question on Iran, that the question wasn’t vetted, that Obama had no idea what he was going to be asked. The mere fact that he gave a reporter a heads-up that he might be called upon to submit a question from an Iranian twitter user means that the whole press conference was staged, just like Triumph of the Will. This is almost as terrible as the time Obama asked for Dijon mustard on his hamburger. Oh what brave soul will step up and do something to stop this monster?!

@SanFranLefty: Maybe he was there for the wingshooting. His demographic would love to spend a few days blowing hundreds of birds out of the sky.

It won’t be easy, you’ll think it strange
When I try to explain how I feel
That I still need your vote after all that I’ve done

You won’t believe me
All you will see is a gov that once ruled
Although he’s dressed up to the nines
All eye tucks and chin lifts for you

I had to let it happen, I had to change
Couldn’t stand budgets with oppression
Dealing with that fake Muslin, forcing me to take cash

So I chose freedom
Running around, trying everything new
But nothing impressed me at all
I never expected it to

Don’t cry for me South Carolina
The truth is I never left you
All through my hikes
My mad existence
I kept my promise
Don’t make me spend the money

I’m sorry, but this Sanford story is the funniest thing I’ve seen in politics in years. He’s off writing a book. No, he’s off hiking the Appalachian Trail. No, he’s in Argentina.

One more turn of the screw (pictures of him doing blow off of a flamenco dancer’s back, for example) would take this to All-World levels, you know. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.

@chicago bureau: Can this be the sex scandal we’ve been hoping for? I have everything crossed.

P.S.: Please remember that Argentina has teh winter now. This was not a sun-and-fun getaway. Unless Mark was hanging around for a nice, warm day and was left waiting for six days before the game was up.

Benedick: I have everything crossed.

God. That must hurt.

Anyway: no kids and no wifey on the trip. And they did not know what was up. It is enough to say that dinner at the Sanford house tonight will be interesting.

@Benedick: @SanFranLefty: The prescient Princess Sparkle Pony speculated he was off having some work done.

@chicago bureau: You think so? I kinda got the impression from wifey’s remarks that she doesn’t really give a rat’s ass about Sanford. I think that’s part of the reason why people thought there would be a live boy or a dead girl involved. She’s got the ennui of an experienced beard. I mean, she didn’t even bother to try to make something up to make it look like all’s well in the Sanford household.

@Benedick, chicago bureau: Who needs summer for it to involve a 17 year old M-t-F Latina tranny, blow, and assless chaps? And Sanford in a flouncy tango dress.

@Jamie Sommers: Total G.O.P. beard – what’s up with that hat?

ADD: For Chrissake, the Sanford sons are named Marshall, Landon, Bolton and Blake

@Jamie Sommers: Ugh! Pttui! Ugh!


@chicago bureau: @Mistress Cynica: @Jamie Sommers:
I’m as corny as Kansas in August,
High as a kite on the fourth of July.
And you will note there’s a lump in my throat-
I’m in love with a wonderful guy!

I don’t know when anything has made me quite so happy. Yes, imaginary panda sex was special but this… this…! It manages to be boring, inconsequential, surprising and inevitable all at the same time! Plus it has suspense and with any luck will provide comedy fodder keep our trusty news teams busy for days.

What did we do to deserve this? And right before Pride weekend, too!

@SanFranLefty: As in “You Marshal my Landon while I Bolton Blake”?

One of my (many) favorite parts of this story – Sanford told the reporters he “felt like doing something exotic.”

Something or someone?

@Benedick: I was wondering if two of them were named after Michael Bolton and Michael Landon.

@Jamie Sommers: When I saw last night he had been indicted, my first thought was it was for muscial crimes against humanity. The fact he turns out to be a filthy rapist just confirms my belief that the song is truly the work of the devil.

@SanFranLefty: And he decided to go “on the spur of the moment!” Can you imagine what last minute fares to South America are? Oh please, let him have used state or campaign funds…something not just embarrassing but actionable. The Lt. Gov. hates his guts and will be all over this. Yay for summer fun!

I can hardly wait to hear what Michael Steele has to say about this latest ‘media circus’. Please let it be soon!!!!! Oh please oh please!!!!

@Mistress Cynica: Please oh please let the Flying Spaghetti Monster let the trip be funded by stimulus funds.

What do you think of Jenny’s hat?

Oh, and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) refuses to vouch for Sanford’s character.

@Mistress Cynica: 82 counts? Where have NY’s finest been on this one?

@Benedick: Sanford’s holding a press conference at 2 pm Eastern to ‘splain everything. I hope it’s streamed on MSNBC or CNN.

What are the odds that he’ll pull a McGreevey?

@SanFranLefty & others: I think I heard on the teevee last night serious speculation that his “Appalachian trail hike” coincided with the annual “hike the AT nekkid”. Now it has gotten really interesting…

@Mistress Cynica: Can Debbie Boone, Barry Manilow and Celine Dion be indicted for, well, co-conspiracy in the musical crimes? If so, I have a much longer list in my other jacket…

@Nabisco: Well, and his comment that he was “driving along the coast” in Argentina seems to be a geographical impossibility:

Trying to drive along the coast could frustrate a weekend visitor to Argentina. In Buenos Aires, the Avenida Costanera is the only coastal road, and it’s less than two miles long. Reaching coastal resorts to the south requires a drive of nearly four hours on an inland highway with views of endless cattle ranches. To the north is a river delta of islands reached only by boat.

@SanFranLefty: I know, I know!!! The dogs are all sitting in front of the tv now while it warms up. Biscuits and hot snacks all round!

The hat. Isn’t Johnny Depp wearing it in the new Alice in Wonderland movie?

@Benedick: Michael Steele – “The blame for the pain of dealing with the stress and pressure caused by this honorable man’s efforts to stem the rising tide of socialism lies at the feet of one man – Barack Obama. By forcing the great state of South Carolina to accept the tainted big government stimulus dollars from Washington, Obama was trying to break this man’s spirit, his home life and reduce his national standing to eliminate him as a threat in 2012. But thanks to his refreshing trip to America’s friend and ally Argentina, Gov. Sanford is coming back stronger than ever – and Obama better watch out! And so should Mrs. Sanford, if you know what I mean. [Pause for laughter]. Coz thas how we roll in da hood, y’all.”

Note: Perhaps Mr. Steele should consider closing with the phrase “Peace out, hippie” as a nod to the youth/skateboarding demographic we are trying to reach out to. Thoughts?

@redmanlaw: Excellent! But don’t you think Steele would work in an awkward Sanford & Son reference?

@redmanlaw: Excellent. You have a future in blather.

Note re: reaching out. Why not show the video of that poor kid traumatized by loss of WoW? I think that shows pretty graphically what happens when parents socialists gain unfettered power.

@Benedick: Gawker has a helpful list of things to do in Buenos Aires without your wife.

@SanFranLefty: More from Chairman Steele – “If Mark Sanford were Fred Sanford, he would look us in the eye and say – as only Redd Foxx could – ‘Go ‘way. I don’t wanna talk about it, you big dummy. And why we gotta take off in a plane? Why can’t we taxi all the way to St. Louis?’ We’d have a big laugh and Barack – er Lamont – would again get put in his place.

“But no. Mark Sanford is not interested in your junk. He is the leader of a great state of the great United States of America, the greatest nation on Earth. We need to support him in this trying time, not only on the front lines of preserving our freedoms by standing tall against the tyranny of Washington, but also as he shores up the foundations of his being – his core, his home, his family. Please join me in prayer for him now.”

Note: Have the Chairman throw in “his familia” in the second paragraph for the Mexicans.

@SanFranLefty: @Benedick: It took like 5 minutes for the site to load, as fashionistas across the web flock to mock Jenny’s fashion choices. I catalogued an early edition of Alice in Wonderland yesterday, and I do believe Jenny has stolen the Mad Hatter’s hat, featured on Depp inTim Burton’s new movie, as Benedick pointed out. I was also appalled at how she ruined a perfectly acceptable, if dull, coat and dress combo with a shawl from which pompoms dangle. Pompoms.
@Nabisco: Were I the Red Queen (keeping with our “Alice” theme), it would be “Off with their heads!”

OTOH, I think some of us would admire him if he up and admitted: “Look, the pressure got to me, so I spent 3 days in Buenos Aires with some Thai hookers and cocaine, and I’m going to expense the whole trip to the good people of South Carolina.”

@SanFranLefty: Those poor kids – they got the bat ears AND the ferret face.

@SanFranLefty: The hat appears to be something a Yankee thinks a Southerner would wear. I will, however, give her credit for the tan suit and burgandy accessories combo. It looks rather smart and not as cliche as you’d expect from a pol’s wife.

ADD: Oh Shit. I didn’t see the pompoms. I take it all back.
Instead, I’ll reserve my “say one nice thing” for the youngest boy who looks kinda cute in the navy cardigan. C’mere boy and let Auntie Jamie pinch your cheeks and deprogram you.

All seem to remind me of Damien (Omen) for some reason.

And his fellow SC Republicans are turning on him:

“Lies. Lies. Lies. That’s all we get from his staff. That’s all we get from his people. That’s all we get from him,” said state Sen. Jake Knotts, R-West Columbia. “Why all the big cover-up?”

Oh, and as for the “needing to get away from the kids to write”? Wife and kids were at the beach house on Sullivan Island. He had the Gov’s mansion to himself. Somehow, I don’t expect her to drive back to Columbia for his press conference.
I do hope we can count on this week’s Star to have the exclusive interview with his hot teen-age Argentinian rent boy.

@Dodgerblue: Ah, the Rush Limbaugh defense. Works for me.

@Jamie Sommers: She’s from Illinois, Georgetown finance background, seems to be the power behind the throne. Totally rocks the “mtn. biking in a tank top” look, btw.

@Mistress Cynica: I’m sure Colbert will have some choice things to say about the other native son of SC. Didn’t Sanford ridicule Stephen’s run?

@Mistress Cynica: So to clarify, a “Sanford” is a McGreevey with a twist-of-Spitzer?

@SanFranLefty: Doesn’t that depend on the gender and species that Sanford was involved with? For example, I have my doubts about “I am a pig-fucking American” as a trope.

@SanFranLefty: An impeccable source (commenter Karen Zipdrive on PSP) found that last minute airfare from SC to BA runs $7,000. That’s before accommodations, rental car (for driving up non-existent coast road), meals, hookers, and blow. He could actually outdo Spitzer in expenses, and if there’s one thing that pisses off your financial manager wife, it’s blowing tons of $$$.


God love you, you’re our own little ALW.

You are a lot more original than he is, though.

@Mistress Cynica: Say what you will about the state of the US but our politicians can bring a level of stupidity to the conduct of their affairs that the rest of the world can only marvel at. Pants off to the Republicans for setting the bar lower than we ever thought possible!

@Benedick: I love the smell of Republican flop sweat in the morning. Oh Schadenfreude, it’s been too long!

@Mistress Cynica: Not that much. I just checked Delta and you can get a coach ticket leaving Charleston tomorrow for B.A. and returning next Wednesday for $1073 roundtrip. It’s winter down there, cold and rainy.

ADD: Yes, I’d much rather check hypothetical airfares than do the work piled before me.

Ooo, here’s a fun little tidbit from Politio:

Katon Dawson, the former state GOP chairman, recalled when Sanford disappeared from the Republican National Convention last year in St. Paul, Minn. “He called me and said he was in back in South Carolina,” Dawson said. “He didn’t tell anybody.”

Mayhap someone was busy checking out the Larry Craig Memorial Stall for a while?

@Mistress Cynica: Good point. Business is $8400 RT for the same days.

@redmanlaw: Mark Sanford is not interested in your junk.

That has yet to be confirmed.

@nojo: Good morning Nojo! The Sandy Eggo office is joining us just in time for the press conference.

@SanFranLefty: CNN tuned in. I’ll be joining the festivities in the next thread.

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