Sunday, October 31, 2010

Donna Campbell: Fired Up

On Friday night, a debate was scheduled for the two major-party candidates for Texas's 25th Congressional District.  Unfortunately, it was well-known that one of the candidates, Democratic incumbent Lloyd Doggett, had no interest in debating or discussing his record, apparently.

KXAN covered Mr. Doggett's refusal to debate here, pointing out that Mr. Doggett, Donna Campbell, and Libertarian Jim Stutsman did all meet together at a candidate forum in Bastrop.  However, my understanding of that get-together was that Mr. Doggett placed severe restrictions on the format of the event, leading to a setup in which he was always able to have the last word, distorted or not, against anything said by Dr. Campbell.  The way it was related to me, it did not sound like a fair debate.

(And since someone will call me on this if I don't say it, I would have liked to see Rick Perry have a fair debate with Bill White as well.  With that said, I still prefer Gov. Perry's policies to Mr. White's.  But I digress.)

In any case, Dr. Campbell's invitation to debate, having not been the "gimmicky, last-minute attempt" that Mr. Doggett portrayed it to be (the invitation was made over a month ago), was pretty much blown off by Mr. Doggett, and so, as promised by the Campbell campaign, the would-be debate became a rally for Dr. Donna.

I got to be present at this rally, and I noticed a lot of people more fired up about an election in which Lloyd Doggett was on the ballot than I have seen, well, ever.  The convention wisdom, of course, says that District 25 is too blue for a conservative to overcome, but these people were excited.  Several people related stories of the responses they were getting in different areas of the district, including here in Austin.

And Dr. Donna, when she spoke, was pretty much radiating excitement (despite being hampered presently by a broken leg) about the campaign, about getting to work for the people of District 25, and about setting the record straight with regard to statements made by Mr. Doggett.

For example, she relayed a story about meeting a student at Texas State University this week who parroted the usual Doggett talking points ("she's too extreme", et al), and she got into a discussion with him in which she mentioned the Doggett Amendment, which will result in Texas losing $830 million in education funding.  The student refused to believe that Mr. Doggett was responsible for Texas losing the education funding in that way, and so Dr. Donna led him to Mr. Doggett, who happened to be on campus that day as well (he appears to be campaigning much harder this year than he usually needs to do), and she asked him whether he voted to cost Texas $830 million in education funding.  As she relayed it, Mr. Doggett's answer was first to try to duck the question entirely, and then, eventually, to turn his back on them while mumbling "it's Rick Perry's fault".  There needed to be more of an answer from Mr. Doggett to this question, which is certainly not as cut-and-dry as he would like to make it out to be.

And, of course, she talked about Mr. Doggett's other education attack, which this blog has discussed previously, that, of course, being his outrageous statement that Donna Campbell is against education funding.  PolitiFact, which has previously come under fire in this space for misrepresenting facts itself, got into the middle of this question, rating Mr. Doggett's statement "mostly true"

Whatever, PolitiFact.  Let's take a look at Dr. Donna's statement on federal funding, as presented in Mr. Doggett's ad, in answer to the question "Would you vote to end federal funding for education?"

Federal funding for education? Yes.

The clip abruptly cuts off there in Mr. Doggett's ad.  Obviously, then, Donna Campbell wants children to be uneducated!

Once again, the record must be corrected.  PolitiFact presents her answer in context:

Federal funding for education? Yes. Because ... it’s a job of the states. Choices need to be put back in the hands of the parents and state.

Dr. Campbell is not talking about shutting down funding for schools; she is talking about cutting the federal government out of the middle of it.  Her position is this:  why should we send a billion dollars to the federal government, just to get $830 million back (or not, thanks to Mr. Doggett)?  Is education for children any better because we have however many bureaucrats in Washington making rules about how our education monies should be spent, or how our children should be taught?

(And no, this is not just an Obama Administration issue...this blog has previously spoken about the travesty known as "No Child Left Behind", or, as Mrs. Snowed calls it, "Every Child Left Behind".  More federal government involvement is not a boon to education, regardless of who the president is.  Period.)

Before Dr. Campbell finished, she made a point of wanting to shake the hand of every person at the rally.  I had not met her before (although her team did give my blog its best traffic day in almost a year* by linking to this post), so I welcomed the chance to say hello to her.  She understood that my circumstances prevented my doing much more than writing a fourth-rate blog with only a few regular readers**, and so she personally asked me to write about the rally.

And in return, thank you to Dr. Donna for your energy, your stances, and your willingness to serve this district.  And best wishes for a quick recovery for the broken leg.

Please check out Dr. Donna's website here, and be sure to vote on Tuesday.

*It rather puts my political blogging in perspective when I admit that my biggest traffic day in the past year was due to a hip-hop station biting the dust.

**The author once again takes this time to say hello to his father.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Running Scared

Apparently the projected Republican landslide is affecting the campaign strategies of several Democratic incumbents from around the greater Austin area.  Some of these strategies are pretty much par for the course for some of these incumbents, but for others, they're quite new.

An example of the same-old-same-old strategies in use is District 47 incumbent Valinda Bolton, who has gone negative on Paul Workman, as she does to every challenger.  Her latest ad isn't up on YouTube yet (and it came out most likely too late to get the PolitiFact treatment it so richly deserves), but it appears to say that Paul Workman wants to impose a massive sales tax on everyone.  Haven't we heard this scare story before?

Oh, but Ms. Bolton's story takes the FairTax idea (which no one is actually proposing but some people like) to a new level:  Mr. Workman wants large corporations to escape paying property taxes!  Yeah, that is how a FairTax works.  And guess who else would no longer be paying thousands a year in property taxes:  you, Ms. Homeowner, and you, Mr. Renter.  (Again, see here if you believe renters aren't affected by property taxes.)

At this point, this author expects little else from Valinda Bolton, so let's move on.

Here's something no one would have expected to see two years ago:  Lloyd Doggett has a serious opponent in TX-25!  How serious is this race for Mr. Doggett?  Well, in over ten years in Austin, I have never seen a Doggett television commercial until this year.

The first Doggett commercial seemed a bit like Patrick Rose's first ad as well in that it presents Mr. Doggett as a friend of business:

(Incidentally, this video is unlisted for some reason...I wonder why.)

A couple of things jumped out for me:  first, "I said no to these big bank bailouts."  Well, yes, Mr. Doggett did vote against TARP.  That, at least, was good.  What wasn't so great were his votes later for things like the Porkulus bill and lots of other giveaways of our money.

And this leads to the second thing that I noticed:  "I can actually run a small business. I can create jobs because of Lloyd Doggett."  This was a statement by Michael Kuhn of ImagineSolar, which describes itself as "a world-class solar intelligence company and provider of solar training".  Well, that sounds good, right?

Well, things are not exactly as they appear.  Someone named Facetwitch, who sometimes blogs at RedState, did the digging on this one, and look at this press release they found:

AUSTIN – Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced nearly $100 million in green jobs training grants, as authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The Austin Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (AEJATC), in partnership with Workforce Solutions–Capital Area and ImagineSolar, received $4,842,424 as one of 25 projects selected nationally – and one of only three in the State of Texas.

For those who've forgotten, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was the original stimulus, or Porkulus, which Mr. Doggett voted to support.  That does rather answer why Mr. Kuhn was so eager to appear in a commercial for Mr. Doggett.  (As Facetwitch points out, there is nothing illegal about any of this, but disclosure would have been nice.)

But apparently things are still not going as well as Mr. Doggett would like in this campaign, and so, again for the first time that I can remember, he has gone negative on his opponent, Dr. Donna Campbell.  See for yourself:

Now I think I understand why his campaign ads are unlisted:  to make them difficult to find for bloggers who want to embed them on their sites.

This ad completely misrepresents the opinion of Dr. Campbell about education funding.  Yeah, let's cut those darned schools off entirely!  Come on.  There is a world of difference between cutting the federal government out of the middle of school funding (thus eliminating a lot of bureaucracy) and not funding schools at all, but Mr. Doggett hopes that you don't notice it.

And while we're discussing silly attack tactics, how about Patrick Rose lookalike Mark Strama in District 50?  Of all the things to say about his opponent, Patrick McGuinness, Mr. Strama says he blogs under "a fake name" (as if this is a very shady thing to do...insert your favorite insinuation about me here).  From there, Mr. Strama pulls items from his blog (The Travis Monitor) way out of context in an attempt to paint him as wild-eyed and hyperpartisan.  Mr. McGuiness, of course, had a very easy response, which I like to call "context":

My opponents [sic] is painting a false picture of where I stand on the basis of a few snippets, but the internet has the best memory and you can be the judge of where I really stand and what I really said. I have put links below of the items he went to.

It's worth a full read.

This season has seen lots of Democrats wondering if their seats are still safe and turning out lots of attack ads, lots of scare tactics...basically, a lot of junk.  Is it any wonder that I am ready for Christmas commercials after a season full of stuff like this?

Update:  Thanks for the link, Dr. Donna!

Is public broadcasting still viable?

From the "this story will eventually be given the attention it deserves" file:

Longtime Los Angeles PBS affiliate KCET has announced that it is giving up its PBS affiliation at the end of 2010.  Apparently the dues that PBS requires from KCET have become a bit too cumbersome:

Last year, the dues totaled nearly $7 million, or almost one-fifth of the station's $37-million net operating revenue. Station officials say that amount is far too high. PBS, fearing that a reduction in the sum could lead to demands for similar discounts from other member stations, refused to budge.

The back-and-forth between the two parties appears a little bit like a circular firing squad.

So where does this leave KCET?  They are losing the ever-popular Sesame Street (the last PBS program in production that actually predates PBS itself) and whatever other kids' programming they have now (and I've written recently about the popularity of at least one of those programs), as well as the PBS NewsHour, Nova, Masterpiece, Nature, and so on.  With that said, this doesn't leave KCET with no programming whatsoever, of course.  Per Al Jerome, president/CEO of KCET:

"As an independent public television station, KCET will be committed to investing in Southern California by developing, acquiring, producing and distributing content across all media platforms," he added. "We will continue to offer the KCET audience programming from leading national and international sources. Some of these series are currently on our air."

And, of course, there are many programs aired on public television that do not come from PBS, including a lot of British shows, most notably longtime favorites such as Doctor Who.  There is also a fairly large public television syndicator, American Public Television, which offers programs in just about all genres.

Suffice it to say, then, that KCET will not be at a loss for programming.  But will its members (and the literally millions of people in the LA area who are not members) be happy about these changes?  The response has been mixed, as per these two comments at the LA Times blog:

Al Jerome is a smart guy. I've known him for years. He once headed up the NBC stations. He's right on target for making this decision. PBS charges way too much for its programming--considering there are multiple PBS stations in the LA area carrying the same thing. KCET now has an opportunity to reinvent itself. They can still get many of the series that PBS carries directly from the program suppliers--who will do great deals because they want their programming seen in LA on the major (once) PBS outlet. 

Bad move. They've lost me as a loyal viewer and annual contributor.

PBS, meanwhile, is not without an outlet in the LA area, as they have multiple stations available there.  Orange County station KOCE is poised to become the primary affiliate in the area.  (KOCE's statement about the matter may be found here.)

But this situation leads to the question about whether the departure of such a cornerstone affiliate from PBS is an aberration or the beginning of something larger.  Public television has survived, thus far, in an era in which myriad viewing options offering similar programming to PBS are available to the viewer, but this seems unlikely to continue indefinitely.  The question has been raised, and is being raised more often now, whether PBS needs to be funded at all.  Would Sesame Street be different if it were on another channel, for example?  (And the answer to that, for several years, was no, Sesame Street was no different when it aired on Noggin.)

Another part of the equation, from my observation, is this:  pledges aren't going as far as they once did.  The PBS affiliate where I grew up had one pledge drive a year (Festival, they called it then, and for all I know they still do) in March, and then there were no more annoying interruptions for the rest of the year.  I know that there are now more pledge drives now in the area where I grew up, just as there are probably multiple pledge drives a year for most PBS stations.  This may relate to the previous example I gave; why give to PBS when the kids can watch Nick Jr, or whatever?  And why bother with my local station at all when I can watch just about all PBS shows online?  (This is where I think we're headed:  entertainment and/or instructive programming entirely on demand.)

And the last part, as evidenced by the recent firing of Juan Williams from NPR, is, of course, that public broadcasting has long been seen as partisan and liberal.  Already many (including one Sarah Palin) have called for federal funding for NPR to be killed, and some, such as Senator Jim DeMint, have included PBS in the defunding call for perceived (by many, including me) liberal bias.  (You wouldn't want to give federal funding to Fox News, now, would you?  Neither would I.)

So what is the answer?  Is public broadcasting going to survive?  I say least not in its present form.

And KCET and PBS's lose-lose situation is just going to accelerate the decline.

Austin Energy GreenChoice customers: your fuel rates may go up in March

If, like me, you got in very early on Austin Energy's GreenChoice program, you have received the benefit of a fuel price less than half of the present standard rate (1.7 cents per KWH vs. 3.65 cents), and as a result of this, you probably pay quite a bit less than your non-GreenChoice neighbors.

For some of us, that ends in March 2011.

You see, the "batches", or subscriptions, for wind energy in Austin come with expiration dates.  Batches 1 and 2 (the fuel price for Batch 2 is 2.85 cents) expire March 1, 2011, as Austin Energy released recently.  This leaves customers with a choice:  do you let your fuel charge return to the "standard", or non-green, rate of 3.65 cents, or do you sign up for Batch 6, which carries a fuel charge of 5.7 cents?

It's not as obvious as a choice as one might think, unless one is a militant environmentalist.  But even if you don't happen to make Mother Earth paramount in your life, Batch 6 might be a good investment for you.  With each batch, subscribers have started out paying more per KWH than the standard charge, and so far, the trend has been for the standard charge to continue to increase until it passes the GreenChoice fuel price.  As Austin Energy put it:

A batch 1 customer paying 1.7 cents per kWh and averaging 1,000 kWh per month will have saved about $1,300 when their subscription ends March 1.

Batch 1 and 2 subscribers may sign up for Batch 6 starting on January 3, 2011.  Based on the history so far (with the caveat that past performance is no guarantee of future results), it seems like a good move.

Friday, October 22, 2010

John Mellencamp: "Impressed" by Sarah Palin

In the past two years, there has been so much hatred directed toward Sarah Palin from the left (and some from the right as well) that it is a true surprise to find someone on the left who has respect for Governor Palin at all.  I particularly wouldn't have expected that person to be known liberal and rocker John "Don't Call Me Cougar" Mellencamp.

From the Washington Post via PalinTV:

The legendary rocker says that while he doesn't support her positions, he is impressed by the mark she's made on the country since the 2008 election.

Mellencamp says people get the wrong idea about her intellect "just because she says things and winks."

He says she "knows exactly what's she doing" and "she wouldn't be where she is today if she didn't."

Mellencamp gives Palin credit for handling the rough world of politics. He says "she's pushing the right buttons" and "you can't be stupid and do that."

Kudos to Mr. Mellencamp for distinguishing the person from the policy.  More of that is needed on both sides.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

HD-45: A Rose by any other name is still a Democrat

If you've watched local Austin commercial television in the past three weeks, you probably couldn't help but see one of several commercials from current Texas state representative Patrick Rose, who is running for reelection in District 45. What you might not have noticed from his ads is that Rep. Rose is a Democrat.  The reason for this confusion is fairly obvious to those of you who have actually watched the campaign ads this season (and for those who have, I feel for you):  he presents himself as more of a conservative than his opponent, Jason Isaac.

Let's take a look at Rep. Rose's conservative bona fides for a moment.  The first ad of the season that I saw from Mr. Rose shows that he is against taxes.  That sounds good, right?

Now, wait a minute:  why did Mr. Rose start his ad by raising the specter of "raising the sales tax on hard-working families, seniors, and small businesses"?  No one's proposing this right now, are they?  Of course no one is, but Mr. Rose would have you believe that Jason Isaac is such a tax fetishist.  See for yourself:

Now, is it just me, or does this ad come close to having every stupid political-commercial cliche in the book?  Let's take a grainy black-and-white video of your opponent, include an ominous sounding announcer telling you why your opponent is the spawn of Satan, and use rejected music from a very special episode of The Facts of Life, and voila!  Instant victory, right?

Well, not so fast, Mr. Rose.  Things aren't quite so black-and-white.  (SWIDT?)  Jason Isaac is not proposing in any way to raise the sales tax to 14.5%.  (He's also not the spawn of Satan, and that music sounded more like it belonged in an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger.)  Mr. Isaac's website puts Rep. Rose's out-of-context claim back into the context in which it belongs:

ISAAC FULL QUOTE: Jason Isaac believes that a consumption-based model is one possible solution, but there are limitations.  “If you just eliminated property taxes and if you wanted to make it a pure consumption-based tax, you increased the sales tax to 14.5% and you’ve got a wash.  It balances out.  You could eliminate all your property taxes, but everything you buy, you pay 14.5% tax on.  My thought process is if you get above 9.5% and you’re going to start driving people to the black market, out of state, they’re going to order everything off and I think you wind up losing state revenue.” (Texas Sons of Liberty Riders Radio Show, 8/17/2010)

Mr. Rose:  where, amidst the quasi-ominous/Western music and deep-voiced announcer statements about Mr. Isaac would I find the part about the replacement of the property tax, which is paid by everyone, whether they know it or not?  (Seriously, you who think you don't pay property taxes because you're renting, do you really think your landlord is eating those costs?  Of course not:  those costs are passed right on to you in the form of higher rent.)

But Snowed, I hear you cry, didn't Jason Isaac also distort a claim about Patrick Rose?  Well, according to the fact-checkers at KVUE, yes, he did.  To wit:

"(Rose) backed the largest tax increase in Texas history,” claims an Isaac ad.

The Isaac campaign is referring to House Bill 3 in the 79th legislative session.

It re-worked the state's franchise tax, a tax paid by businesses, and Rose did vote for it.

According to state estimates, that business tax collected about $3 billion in new tax revenue. That is about $1.2 billion less, than the tax bill passed in 1987, when the legislature crafted a tax package which yielded $4.2 billion in new revenue. To find a larger single tax increase you need only look to that 1987 tax increase signed into law 23 years ago by then-governor Bill Clements.

Somehow, stating that 3 billion is less than 4.2 billion (when both are admittedly rather large tax increases) doesn't seem to be as bad as taking a statement completely out of context and basing an entire negative campaign on it.  (It doesn't excuse Mr. Isaac's misstatement, though.)

So, where are we at this point in HD-45?  Well, both candidates have been called on the carpet for false claims.   A more recent Patrick Rose ad even cites KVUE as it saying Jason Isaac is lying about him.  (Paging one deep-voiced announcer...)  Of course, that ad goes right on to repeating the same claim about Jason Isaac and his eeeeevil intent to raise your sales taxes through the roof...yes, the same claim debunked by KVUE in the same article Rep. Rose cites.  (Rep. Rose's recent ads do not seem to be up on YouTube yet.  I wonder why.)

But the truth here is that both candidates are trying to position themselves as being the anti-tax, pro-business candidate.  Based on the traditional behavior of the two major parties, that would mean both are trying to appear to be Republicans.  The problem is that one of them isn't one.

Patrick Rose, no number of Jason-Isaac-is-evil commercials will change the fact that you are a Democrat.  Perhaps one of your ads should admit that.

Taking the Kids to the Texas Book Festival: The Good and The Bad

Last year, you may recall, I tried taking one of the kids to a political rally and ended up with some interesting observations.  This year, in possibly an attempt to do better, I took two kids to the Texas Book Festival.  Local PBS station KLRU had been announcing to anyone who was listening that popular Dr. Seuss character (when he isn't being played by Mike Myers) the Cat in the Hat* would be making an appearance, and so my mind was almost made up for me.

And so we found ourselves heading toward downtown, with the younger of the two children asking where the Cat was.  (The younger one needs a few lessons in patience.)  The festival's website very helpfully pointed out four parking garages that would be free for the weekend.  Since only one of them was on the west side of the Capitol, near the Children's Activity Tent in which the Cat would appear, deciding where to park was a fairly easy thing to do.  Unfortunately, a lot of other people apparently thought the same way that we did, and so we ended up on the seventh level, after lucking into a parking spot that had just been emptied.  And that was when we discovered that the elevator wasn't working that day.  Or, rather, it was working; it just hadn't been turned on, so that we all got to walk down six flights of stairs.

Having survived that, we crossed Lavaca and walked into the first tent we found, which turned out to have a good selection of adult's and children's books.  While I wasn't really looking for myself (this trip was for the kids), I looked around for a short while while the kids each picked up a book and started reading right there.  We tried to purchase a couple of books for the kids (one for each), but I discovered very quickly that only cash and checks were accepted.  (I probably should have realized that going in, but oh well.)  I was helpfully told that there were a couple of ATMs around that I could track down, but it was getting close to the time for the Cat to appear.  The promise of the Cat served as a good distraction to the children (though I did explain to them that we did not have the money to pay for the books right then).

From there, we walked up Colorado and through several tents.  The kids were distracted by the snow cones near the HEB booth, and thanks to the generosity of one of the workers who heard me say that we still did not have the money to buy one (three bucks...I had two**) and gave us one for what I had.

While the kids were working on a rather large strawberry snow cone (in a large cup), I was given a flyer urging me to vote for Proposition 1.  Really, the election is everywhere right now (including in several upcoming posts on this blog***)...can't we get a break?

Finally, it was almost time for the Cat in the Hat to appear.  We had already moved into the Children's Activity Tent in hopes of getting somewhat close to the activities, but, once again, everyone else apparently had exactly the same idea, resulting in a tent which, if it had been a bar on Sixth at 1 am, would have been closed in a heartbeat by a fire marshal for severe overcrowding.

Then the hour came, and the Cat was not there.  No, we found out, first all the approximately 12,000 children in the tent (give or take a few) would design their own "Cat" hat.  This resulted in pure pandemonium as they all scrambled for space on the five tables in the tent and grasped for red crayons, which, thankfully, were plentiful.  What wasn't plentiful were workers who held the cut-out paper plates that were to serve as brims for the hats being colored.  Somehow--and I really don't know how everyone managed it--most of the kids in the tent had a hat.  Some were even colored properly.

And so, armed with hats that might or might not look like the hat of the Cat in the Hat, the throng of children tried to fill in a 20'x20' space, where they were to sit when the Cat showed up.  And show up he did; there was much rejoicing by the children, and a fair amount by the parents, many of whom were crammed together near the edges of the tent and were ready to enjoy fresh air again.  But before they could, one of the workers, who, I presume, was from KLRU, sat down with the Cat and read a wonderful book to the children:  Atlas Shrugged.

No, he actually read The Cat in the Hat.  All the children did their best to sit still for the story and enjoy it, though some had their issues with doing that.  (One of them was mine.)  And then it was over, and parents were invited to take pictures of their children with the Cat.  Since I had not bothered to bring a camera (a good choice, I believe in retrospect), we moved back out of the tent, so that the kids could finish their snow cone. 

And, once the snow cone was almost gone, both of the children were ready to head home, satisfied with their experience at the festival.  Or at least they were, until we all were reminded that we had to climb those same six flights of stairs to get back to the car.  But we did all make it up (the younger child tried to count all the steps as we climbed, and while the child lost count, I determined that we climbed 96 steps), and we made our way back out of the garage and back home, having had (all in all) a good day.

But I did learn a few things, which I hope others will learn as well:

  • Garages that are indicated as free parking for large festivals would do well to make sure the elevator is actually running on the days of the event.
  • If you are actually planning to buy a book at the Book Festival, bring cash.
  • If you are planning a children's activity at a festival, and there is a famous TV character scheduled to appear, plan ahead and give yourself about three times the space next time.
Since the Texas Book Festival is over now, these will have to be lessons for next year.  I think we'll plan to go back.

* Warning: the link to The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, like all PBS Kids show links, has lots of audio.

** Hey, I wasn't expecting to buy a lot.  Sue me.

*** I hope.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Green Initiative We Can All Support

Obviously, there have been many ideas thrown out about how we can do our part to use less, waste less, and so forth.  These ideas have ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous (let's use just one sheet of toilet paper--yeah!).  Some ideas are reasonable, others, not so much.

But I like this one quite a bit:

The Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association is the trade association of yellow-page makers. They actually run a little known web site called Launched in 2009, you just plug in your zip code and find the opt-out pages for your local phone book providers. I did it here in DC, and was able to opt out, online from both of the big yellow book providers in just minutes.

Seems legit enough.  I very quickly got myself off the Yellow Book list, although I did stay on the AT&T Yellow Pages list for now, as we do actually use that one.  (I always thought anything that wasn't the "Real" Yellow Pages was rather useless, which speaks to the effectiveness of AT&T's marketing over the years...)

In any case, it's worth a look.  The site, again, is  Check it out!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Oh, look, it's time for another Sarah Palin rumor!

You've gotta be kidding me.  The new rumor apparently is that Sarah Palin is actively trying to follow the successful appearance of her daughter Bristol on Dancing With the Stars by competing on the show herself?

Give.  Me.  A.  Break.

Courtesy someone named Rob Shuler at some site called Popeater:

"Sarah was overwhelmed with what a great time she had at the show," an insider who was at the show tells me. "In fact she enjoyed herself so much that she mentioned to producers who greeted her that she would be open to competing herself next season."

 (Picture courtesy, used under "Fair Use" doctrine)

Something tells me that this insider is somewhat distorting the actual truth of the conversation.  (No, I wasn't there either, but come on.)  Perhaps this is one of the same "insiders" who had solid proof that the DWTS audience booed Governor Palin Monday night.

Seriously, gentle readers:  do you think that Sarah Palin is going to be stepping away from the 24-hour world of politics to devote multiple hours per day to dancing, particularly in the coming spring, which is traditionally (these days, at least) the time for presidential contenders (no, I don't know whether she'll run) to be throwing their hats into the ring?

This is what passes for news these days.

(Then why are you posting it, Snowed?  Because someone has to rebut these stories before they become truth in people's minds, that's why.)