What do you get when you cross Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign with a Harlequin Romance? The steamy new, sure-to-be best-seller Fires of Siberia, that’s what! Yes, gawd help us, Michele Bachmann has managed to inspire a lot of things since she burst upon the national scene a few years back, and she has now managed to inspire a romance novel. (A sexy-time romance novel, kids!) Full of danger, passion and steamy, steamy red state sexy-time in the tundra. (Did we mention steamy?)
Inspired by the life of Tea Party leader and Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, “Fires of Siberia” is an old-fashioned bodice ripper romance that brings the heat for the 2013 summer beach reading season. Presidential candidate Danielle Powers, full of firebrand pluck and red state sex appeal, has the country in a tizzy. But on an international tour to beef up her foreign policy experience, disaster ensues—her plane explodes over Siberia. Miraculously, Danielle survives, along with one other passenger—a mysterious stranger named Steadman Bass. Trapped in a wilderness of snow and ice, the two begin a journey that pushes Danielle to the brink. There she must confront her deepest self and choose between civilization and a wild, primitive ecstasy. [Press Release - Badlands Unlimited, publisher]
Coming June 1st to Kindles and iPads, all 153 pages can be yours for only $2.99. (I’m pre-ordering now!) Publisher Badlands Unlimited has provided some excerpts:
“…If you could tell me just one thing about yourself, something that has nothing to do with politics, what would it be? What makes you Danielle Powers?”
Danielle looked pensively at the reporter as they approached the airport. For once she felt appreciative of the question. Everyone was always nettling, trying to make her slip on the banana peels of her own responses. (Who cares if it was John Wayne or John Wayne Gacy.) It was nice to be asked about who she was rather than what they wanted her to be.
From the duffel bag Steadman retrieved a pair of sandwiches and two nips of Chivas Regal, and there was the snow for them to slurp as drinking water. He laid down a plastic tarp and three wool blankets. They ate and drank in silence.
Afterward, the fatigue caught up to her. She crawled under the blankets to warm herself.
“We’ll need to use each other for body heat,” Steadman said.
Cover art aside, the creepiest part about this has to be knowing that Sarah Palin is probably watching the whole thing from her house.
Here’s the thing: the Republican Party, as evidenced by the 2012 election, has serious problems. They are long-term, systemic problems exacerbated by a sea change in U.S. demographics. Following the shellacking they took in November, the party was going to do some soul searching. Soon, they abandoned soul-searching for re-branding. Now they’re just going for diversion . Much as they did with Bill Clinton in the 90′s, they seem bent on trying to build themselves up by tearing the other guy down. It didn’t work in 1998 and it’s not working now.
CNN reported on Sunday that 53% of people questioned in the survey said they approve of the job the president is doing, with 45% saying they disapprove. The president’s approval rating was at 51% in CNN’s previous poll, from early April…
The new numbers indicate that Obama remains popular, with 79% of Americans saying the president is likable.
But views of the GOP have moved in the opposite direction. Fifty-nine percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party, tying the all-time record for negative views of the GOP. That’s a five-point increase since March, and raises the possibility that the public approves of the GOP’s actions on IRS and Benghazi but might be put off by the way the party has been making its point. Favorable ratings for the Democratic Party are up six points in that same time. [CNN]
These results, mind you, are coming in the midst of scandalmania – “the worst case of executive branch corruption ever” — bigger than Watergate and Iran-Contra combined, with whipped cream and a cherry (and probably some Kenyan Muslin terrorists) on top!
How can that be? Is it that the public just isn’t getting the stories from the bad ol’ lamestream media? Is the media sugar-coating it and spinning it in the President’s favor? Actually, polling says no. The public is aware of the scandals and thinks they are serious. They just don’t seem much to care.
You see, the GOP has been turned up to 11 since the day Obama took office. If you’re constantly screaming at the top of your lungs, fomenting faux outrage over faux scandals for 4 1/2 years, people tend to tune you out. They discount your intentions. Which is why the American public views every cry of dismay from Republican lips as political opportunism.
It may also not have passed notice that Republican obstruction is responsible for the complete lack of anything-getting-done. The public generally doesn’t want more hearings on Benghazi! or the IRS. They would, however, like to see something done to create jobs, address immigration, fund schools, fix the remaining issues with the healthcare bill, secure food safety, keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, make college affordable, support working families, address climate change, guarantee truly secure retirement for seniors… You get the idea. There are dozens of areas in need of legislative effort. Instead, we get bupkis on legislative output and more scandal screaming, more impeachment calls, more hysteria all the time.
The result, unsurprisingly, is a party at the nadir of its popularity. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” These words have often been mis-attributed to Albert Einstein, but no matter who said them, it’s an apt bit of advice for today’s GOP. Time to go back to some soul-searching.
You know what they say: when it rains, it pours — the way things are going right now, Michele Bachmann might just be looking around for a Marine with an umbrella. Things have taken a turn since late 2011 when Bachmann hit the apex of her political career, winning the Ames Straw Poll, and then appearing, against all odds, coherent in a handful of televised GOP presidential debates. But by January the shine was gone, and after finishing 6th in the actual Iowa caucus, she relinquished her presidential ambitions. By November, she managed to barely eke out a win to retain her congressional seat.
For Bachmann, the more prominent she becomes on the national stage, the more difficult it is for her to hang on to her House seat. For all her TV histrionics calling for an investigation into the Anti-American activities of liberals; for all her protests over the tyranny of health care reform ; even for her establishment of a Tea Party Caucus — nothing raised her national profile as much as that presidential campaign. So it is perhaps a tad ironic that it’s the presidential campaign that may just end her career.
Already under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics, the Federal Elections Commission and an Iowa state Senate ethics committee, the FBI is now joining the probe of the Bachmann campaign. In Iowa, an ethics committee is looking into whether the campaign improperly paid a state senator. The FEC and Office of Congressional Ethics are looking into ”a range of allegations related to Bachmann’s failed presidential campaign, including charges that she improperly used campaign funds to promote her book, that her campaign “launder[ed]” money, and that one of her staffers stole an email list from a home-school organization.” The addition of the FBI into the mix means we’re looking at not just ethic violations, but possible criminal activity, as well.
It remains to be seen how the investigations will pan out, but they are already taking their toll on Bachmann’s reelection prospects in 2014. Democrat Jim Graves, who Bachmann defeated by a skin-of-her-teeth margin of fewer than 5000 votes last go-round, is now polling ahead of Bachmann by two points.
The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling showed Democratic hotel magnate Jim Graves edging Bachmann among voters in Minnesota’ Sixth Congressional District 47 percent to 45 percent. Graves announced recently that he will challenge Bachmann once again next year after falling to the tea party champion in a close race last year. (TPM)
So keep your fingers crossed, boys and girls! Enjoy the patented Bachmann-style calls for impeachment while you can — we may not have ol’ Crazy-Eyes Bachmann in the House much longer.
Yesterday the President held a press conference with visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. There was a light rain. A Marine Corps corporal held an umbrella over the Commander-in-Chief.
For most of us, this would pass unnoticed, except perhaps to wonder why they didn’t just move the presser indoors. But the good folks over at Tucker Carlson’s bastion of jounrnamalism, The Daily Caller, discovered a dark side to this otherwise innocuous event.
Obama breaches Marine umbrella protocol
According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations chapter 3, a male Marine is not allowed to carry an umbrella while in uniform. There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella.
Not even the President of the United States can request a Marine to carry an umbrella without the express consent of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, according to the Marine Corps Manual.
Uh huh. Two things:
- The regulation doesn’t expressly state that “not even the President” can ask a Marine to carry an umbrella. It generally states elsewhere in the manual that no officer or official can order a Marine to go against the rules in the Marine Corps Manual.
- There’s a big difference between carrying an umbrella in violation of the Marine Corps dress code and holding an umbrella as a tool in the course of your service (for instance, to serve and protect the President.)
But also, who the flip cares? Well, it would seem an awful lot of visitors to the Caller’s site. At present, the story has been tweeted 1,213 times, received over 42,000 Facebook likes, and has 1,710 comments. How many of these ‘likes’ and tweets are ironic is unknown, but the majority are surely from true-believers in the caricature of Obama as an evil despot with little regard for our men in uniform, let alone respect for our august military institutions.
But what is most amazing about this whole thing is that if that Marine Corps corporal had been female, this story wouldn’t exist.
3035. UMBRELLAS (Female Marines). Female Marines may carry an all-black, plain standard or collapsible umbrella at their option during inclement weather with the service and dress uniforms. It will be carried in the left hand so that the hand salute can be properly rendered. Umbrellas may not be used/carried in formation nor will they be carried with the utility uniform. (Marine Corps Uniform Regulations)
That’s right. Only female Marines are permitted to carry umbrellas with their uniforms. Nothing like equality of the sexes in the Military, eh?
UPDATE: Not worth a separate post, but amusing enough to tag on here — Sarah Palin chimed in on the emerging Umbrellagate scandal on her Facebook.
“Mr. President, when it rains it pours, but most Americans hold their own umbrellas.”
This post relies upon your familiarity with a “hashtag game” on Twitter. Just in case you’re unfamiliar, here’s a quick rundown: “A ‘hashtag game’ is just a topic or theme with a “#” in front of it that basically functions a bit like a Letterman Top 10 list, except written by the whole world. Someone tags a tweet (e.g. #JewishHorrorMovies), others join in (“This, You Do With Your Summer?”), and Twitter magically sorts all those tweets onto one page.”
Now that you’re in the know, let’s move on.
In the political world of Twitter, Republicans like to think they “win” a lot of hashtag games. Apparently, this analysis is based upon the sheer volume of tweets, rather than actual cleverness, but I digress. The hashtag #ObamacareInThreeWords is not new. A quick search shows a rousing game played just last June. It is undoubtedly the creation of Republicans, as it unnecessarily wastes four precious Twitter characters by using the word ‘three’ rather than the numeral ’3′. But again I digress…
To commemorate the GOP House’s eleventy-ninth vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they took to the Twitters today to resurrect #ObamacareInThreeWords… …
Darrell Issa got us started.
#ObamaCareInThreeWords –> Can’t Fund Itself.
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) May 16, 2013
Eric Cantor pushed it.
Speaker Boehner chimed in.
#ObamaCareinThreeWords –> Repeal for jobs
— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) May 16, 2013
Progressives and Democrats soon joined the fray.
GOP’s white whale. #ObamacareInThreeWords
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) May 16, 2013
Mitt Romney’s Idea #ObamaCareInThreeWords
— Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) May 16, 2013
A few people didn’t quite get the concept.
A satanist is not evil enough to spend all his life screwing the poor. Conservative Christians are better at that. #ObamaCareInThreeWords
— John (@linnyitssn) May 16, 2013
And then the White House won the game.
— The White House (@whitehouse) May 16, 2013
— Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader) May 16, 2013
Wasn’t that fun?
Oh, there was also this via the Facebook today.
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) May 16, 2013