Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Political Animals

It's good to know that Republicans have tax problems as well. In September, The Washington Post reported that then Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin had billed her home state for nearly $17,000 in meals and living expenses, while choosing to live at home in Wasilla, rather than in the Governor's Mansion in Juneau. When the money caused some political drama in the campaign, Palin's administration asked the government's financial offices to treat the money as income. And because of this, the IRS is sending Palin a new W-2 and a letter instructing her to pay back taxes on the seventeen large. Palin spokesman Bill McAllister told CNN that Palin, "will abide by all IRS regulations and rulings and will pay what she owes. That number, though, is not a matter of public record." And he's right. It doesn't matter what the taxes are as long as they're paid, and it sounds like Palin's doing the right thing here (after doing the wrong thing before, but still...). It's just nice to know that the Democrats aren't alone.

Speaking of Palin, The Common Man wouldn't feel right if he didn't praise young Bristol Palin for her interview on Fox News the other day. Palin discussed her decision to have her son, emphasized that being a young mom can be a slog, and broke with her mother's support of abstinence-only education. Bristol told Van Sustren that simply telling children to refrain from sex is "not realistic at all." The interview was Bristol's idea, and she told her parents about it the day before it happened and that she wanted to use the opportunity to be "an advocate to prevent teen pregnancy because it's not, like, a situation that you would want to strive for, I guess." The most disappointing part of the interview was Sarah Palin's intrusion. Apparently not trusting her daughter to answer the softball questions Van Sustren was lobbing in there, Palin shows up a few minutes into the interview and proceeds to refuse to give her daughter any opportunity to answer the questions. Look, The Common Man knows that parents are inherently protective of their young. And he knows that the governor has (marginally) more experience dealing with the media than her daughter. But if you can't trust FoxNews, Sarah Palin, who can you trust? You ended up standing awkwardly in a hotel room for 10 minutes, rambling, while your poor daughter had to sit there thinking, "God, Mom, stop embarrassing me on national TV." And seriously, Bristol was doing fine before you came in and turned the interview into a train wreck. But your paranoid need for spin control turned what could have been a triumphant moment for your daughter into another funny Sarah Palin clip. Good job. Bristol, Grandma there's ready for the home.

See! The Common Man totally told you so.

But Travis wasn't the only monkey causing trouble in the last couple days. The New York Post ran a cartoon today (click this link to see it, The Common Man can't find it to reprint here) that may or may not have been referring to Barack Obama as a monkey. The cartoon tried to combine the runaway Stamford chimp story from yesterday (already The Common Man can tell you that this cartoon is in bad taste. Dude, a woman got her face half-torn off. You stay classy, NY Post.) with the federal stimulus bill championed and passed by Barack Obama. The Common Man is willing to give the Post a pass on the racism charges, assuming they meant that the stimulus bill was so bad it had to have been written by a team of trained monkeys. Rather, the Post is guilty of bad satire. The two stories seem to have nothing to do with one another, and it takes a significant amount of explanation to get from one to the other. The cartoon isn't inexcusable because it's racist. It's inexcusable because it's terrible and opaque. Seriously, even the New Yorker's cartoons make sense if you think about them. This one, the more you think about it, the less it makes any kind of logical sense. Which basically reinforces two of The Common Man's sweeping generalities that he's going to assume are true in any and all cases: conservatives are not funny and the New York Post is for idiots.


Rainster said...

Does the Common Man have a comment on the latest rumors that Griffey is ditching the Braves to (re)sign with the Mariners?

The Common Man said...

The Common Man believes it's a nice gesture and he hopes that Junior is productive and gives the good people of Seattle a good show. That said, he doesn't think this is ultimately Seattle's year (The Common Man will begin his season previews sometime in the next two weeks), and giving 500 plate appearances to a league average (at best) corner outfielder isn't going to make the difference. His signing blocks Wladimir Balentien (who needs exposure to major league pitching to see if he's a solution going forward), unless Griffey gets hurt again (which seems awfully likely), in which case the Mariners aren't getting anything for their investment anyway. So, um, The Common Man hopes for the best, because he likes Griffey, but he expects not much out of the deal.

BillP said...

I actually don't think it was bad satire. I'm not a fan of political cartoons in general, but as they go, this one is, well, about average. What they're guilty of is somehow not having anyone in their entire content-generating team competent enough to put two and two together and think that maybe some people might take this association the wrong way. It's astounding to me, actually. Why have editors at all?

As kind of secondarily a Mariners fan, my feelings about the Griffey deal did a 180 once it actually happened. I don't think he's a useful player anymore (though I have hope--great players can sometimes do great and surprising things, even old ones), and unlike TCM I do think they have a shot to make some noise this year (I'd never pick them to win the division, but I think they'll surprise a lot of people with how long they stay in it). So swinging a deal for a more productive lefty DH would probably have been the way to go.

But since it's actually become official, I can't help but get a little swept up in the nostalgia of the thing. That said, he needs to leave his glove at home and strictly DH against righties. Clement can catch (well, he can't, but he can fill the catcher spot in the lineup) and Balentien can have his time in left and center. And I hope he's got at least a little more left than what he showed with the White Sox, because otherwise he's Joe Gibbsing himself (that's not a real thing yet, but it should be).