Welcome back to Girls On The Bus, a series of short, but shrewd, analyses of Mrs. Todd P., Mickey B., and other assorted nut jobs causing weather disturbances here and abroad.

My partner in satirical and boldly biased analysis is wonder woman writer, feminist, and managing editor and columnist for Politicususa, Sarah Jones. 

LN: Speaking of abroad, Sarah, and no, I’m not saying “a broad” as in a tough lady (think: Maggie T.), I am saying abroad as in Europe, as in London, as in, how many ways are there to say “clinker” in British English?

SJ:  You must be talking about Rebekah Brooks, former chief of Rupert Murdoch’s media operations in Europe, who’s been arrested only days after resigning, as well as Sir Paul Stephensen, head of Scotland Yard who also just resigned.

LN: So many people, so little time. THIS NYTs LINK is a good way to keep all those illustrious players straight in our minds. 

SJ: After the select committee meeting it appears as if Rebekah Brooks will be taking the fall for the Murdochs. I’m still wonderig what was in the bag found in the rubbish bin outside of the flat she shares with her husband, who is good friends with the Prime Minister. I can’t make sense of how his bag ended up in the garbage bin and then taken to police. Was it a deliberate dump? Surely they would be smarter than to dump evidence in a bin near their flat. Or maybe there’s nothing in the computer bag….Who knows.

LN:  Well, we know there’s been the suspicious death of a key whistle blower in the case and now a pie throwing contest in Parliment. What troubles me most is not that someone tried to smear shaving cream all over Mr. Murdoch, but that his wife let loose the smackdown of all ages. Frankly, it’s one thing to leap up to protect your loved one, perhaps by  blocking a body or pushing away a pushy person.  It’s another to literally smack a man. What I saw was coiled rage.

SJ: I’m not clear on how someone carrying shaving cream on a plate got let into the meeting. If I were a more suspicious person, I would suspect this was a stunt pulled to garner sympathy for Rupert, which it certainly did. The commentary was all about how frail he appeared prior to that, and then the Right really got outraged over the incident. While I don’t support anyone accosting anyone, it was a shaving cream pie – he was never in harm’s way, and that’s not something he can say of his hacking victims. You’re right about his wife, I wondered about her reaction as well. I think it spoke volumes about how they deal with “opponents” instincitvely, and it was even more troubling the way pundits applauded what she did. Someone else had already stopped the guy.

LN:  England to me is the land of the RAF, Churchill, and Connan Doyle. Okay, and Daniel Craig, but I digress. The Brits are the ultimate sleuths, real men without guns, and yet they’ve gone and soiled the whole thing in my mind by taking freebies at spas and looking away while reporters stole a dead girl’s phone messages.  Yes, the tabloids over there have always been, well, so tabloidy but I didn’t think they’d all be in bed together. And now the PM tossing a tosser under the bus? Are there no fables left in our lifetime?

SJ: We’ve allowed media conglomerates to have such power that they have way too much control, access and power to our elected officials. We see that in Britian very clearly, but what remains to be seen is what was going on and is going on here. Until we see major changes to the regulations governing media conglomerates dominating an entire market, we have little chance of losing the inevitable cycncism that results from being lied to by the media (WMD). It’s so troubling and such a shame, that I had to make a list of hard-working, indpendent journalists in order to remind myself that there are still folks out there, doing the critical work that must be done to keep government in check. The Guardian UK and NYT deserve huge kudos for their work on the News Corp/News International hacking.

LN:  Well, this is giving me a headache. And you know what else gives me a headache? Mickey B’s migraines. It’s not that  Minnesota’s most famous migraine sufferer is to blame, it’s that Karl Rove is now calling for her full medical records so we can know if she’s fit to be president. Excuse me? So, we can now call for full disclosure on menopausal issues, yet a curiously conflicting account of a peri-menopausal pregnancy is off limits?  Sarah, explain to me how the wind blows in Roveland.

SJ: As if! There are no standards, it’s a matter of whom they support and whom they do not support. Bachmann is threatening their electable, viable candidates. The Daily Caller’s piece  on Bachmann’s “pill-popping” and “incapacitiated” state was so full of sexism it was gag-worthy, and believe me, I don’t relish defending Bachmann from sexism when she sells it every day.

LN:  What would I do without a good ride on the bus with you, Sarah.  I think you deserve a spot of tea for taking this time to talk with me and my readers today.

SJ: Thanks Laura, it’s always a pleasure chatting with you.

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((LN:  And now for something entirely different:  a few folks from the '70s, on their bus and havin' a ball. H/T dear reader who loves it when Sarah visits my blog)). 

Welcome back to Girls On The Bus, a series of short, but shrewd, analyses of Mrs. Todd Palin on her latest narcissist odyssey. Or movie madness trip. Or just-get-me-the-hell-away-from-home-tour.

My partner in satirical and boldly biased analysis is wonder woman writer, feminist, and managing editor and columnist for Politicususa, Sarah Jones. 

LN:  Sarah, the media now speculates and opines that the wheels have come off the Palin Family Circus bus. But Mrs. Palin tweets and shames the opinionators with her sarcasm, so then we wait and the thread changes:  will she/won’t she? Is messing with media’s collective minds the only power the quitter-twitter yields at this point?

SJ: It’s probably foolish to try to predict what an irrational, erratic person will do, but I think we can say with all certainity that Palin loves to be the center of attention and she’s been brilliant at manipulating the press to get that attention. The problem she faces is that if she does not announce, no one will care about her anymore. She thinks she is a celebrity, but she is not a celebrity even of Paris Hilton style. The only reason she ever got press was because of her potential impact on politics. She and her family are obviously striving to be the Kardashians, famous for being famous. I just don’t think any of them has the star power to pull that off for very long – though I should temper that by noting that the American public loves to hate reality TV stars, and the Palins certainly fall into that category.

They are catnip to the media, whose driving need is to push drama and conflict as “reality tv”. They like that people hate the Palins, because hate sells. That is not, however,  sustainable star power. Indifference, on the other hand, does not sell and that is the road Sarah Palin is facing. Imagine if she came out with a perfume line (e.g., Pole Dancin’ 4 Jesus Eau d’toilette, Fire In My Belly Man Magnet Fertility Spray, Cojones for Real Women in a Bottle, Wee-Wee’d Up with LameStream Pump, Feed My Hungry Market, Put  a Finger in the Dyke Snake Oil, Love Your Country Kick Out the Browns, Lovin’ Real America Repellant Spray, That’s My Money in Your Pocket Love Spray…..I’m sure your readers can come up with more suggestions.)  That’s a path to prosperity that I could support.

LN:  While Mrs. Palin was literally and figuratively filling her tank in Alaska, or Arizona, or where ever, the GOP trotted out their newest “false eyelashes and five kids” candidate: Michele Bachmann. Although I might take to calling her Mickey because, well, it’s just not real, is it? I mean, are we supposed to take this seriously?

SJ: I like that!  Sadly, I think we are supposed to take this seriously, which just demonstrates how low the Republican Party has gone. You can only pander to the nuts for so long before they demand a nut for President. I don’t think Bachmann could win the Presidency, but what kind of damage is her candidacy inflicting on this country in the world’s view? And here, every time she parrots her Oral Roberts revised history on national TV, our nations’ collective intelligence sags under the weight of mob ignorance.

LN:  Matt Taibbi pretty much lances the wound that is the Right-wing, Republican, and fecund beauty queen-turned-party babe in this article in Rolling Stone.  No kidding. I had to keep referring to the title to remind myself that it was Mickey B. he was writing about, not Sarah P.

SJ: Under the hood, the two are very similar. They share the same religious zealotry, the same blind following of the corporate agenda, the same pandering to the fundamentalists, and they are both being used as a pretty face to market damaging policies. This was a long term goal of the Republican Party – years ago, they made a huge push to run women at local levels to get them primed for a national audience- because it’s all about the exterior. Put a cowboy in front of the corporate carpetbaggers and the people swoon as they bend over.

LN:  Ooh, hurt me. Elsewhere on their site, Julian Brookes gives Rolling Stone readers this quiz.  I actually fared quite well because I do think there is a scintilla of sanity to Bachmann. And I was able to differentiate between the two women. Do you think that’s the whole idea:  drive us all mad so that we can’t really see what the puppet masters are up to behind Curtain Number One?

SJ: Is the tail wagging the dog? They’ve set themselves up for this and even the party elite know this isn’t going to win a national election, but to some extent they can’t stop using the crack because the hit is so instantaneous when they do. Boom! Got voters. But not enough….

Sarah Jones, it’s always my pleasure to ride this bus with you and get a spritz of your humor and political insight. You are always an island of sanity in this political landscape filled with crazy potholes.

Welcome to Girls On The Bus, a series of short, but shrewd, analyses of Mrs. Todd Palin on her latest narcissist odyssey. Or history field trip. Or just-get-me-the-hell-away-from-home-tour.

My partner in satirical and boldly biased analysis is wonder woman writer, feminist, and managing editor and columnist for Politicususa, Sarah Jones. 

LN:  So listen, Sarah, and you will hear, about the newest ride of Paul Revere. No kidding, guns blazin’, bells ringin’.  I grew up in Massachusetts and somehow missed that chapter in all our history and learnin’ books.

SJ: What disturbs me about this is the Right’s willingness to distort reality in order to cover for Sarah Palin. When basic history is brought into question, it’s as maddening as saying “black is white” and having the press begin to repeat it because it was said by someone famous.

This is a dangerous slope of managing reality, and given the press’ propensity to merely report what is said, I think it has an exceptionally negative impact on our culture. The Palin revisionists were arguing with Wikipedia that since Palin said it, she was a source. That’s some rather frightening circular logic.

In many ways, the modern day press has no time to debunk basic things, and so we find ourselves too often settling for cutting down the middle of two statements (no matter how untrue one of those statements may be) instead of finding the facts. “Fairness” is a dangerous game to play.

LN:  To what do you attribute this dire need to “cover for” a political figure or potential candidate? It almost says more about the folks rushing to her rescue than it does about the woman herself.

SJ: I don’t think the press has an agenda, but as far as the conservative operatives who are pushing the meme in papers that Palin was right about Paul Revere warning the British, how can they do anything but defend her? How can they start defending the truth when much of their platform is a lie, meant to bilk the people for the sake of corporations? If they start telling the truth about Palin, it might awaken the masses, and they can’t have that.

LN:  Edwards, Arnold, Weiner…it all seems so implausible - until it isn’t. The press, it appears, tiptoes at first, and then goes all relentless on these guys. But Mrs. Palin:  Snafu after FUBAR Snafu…and she just smiles and says she knows her American history. Just like she smiled for the cameras and said she was glad that the Branchflower investigation found her innocent of any abuse of power. Explain this to me, cause I’m all ears.

SJ: I wish I could. I’ll distinguish the sex scandals from Palin’s mishaps because there was hard evidence of them (pardon the pun). Palin is being elevated by some very moneyed interests. The problem for Palin is that she sells, so when she descends,  the press will hound her with the same devotion they do now. It will be relentless and inescapable. That’s the downside of being a celebrity who is disliked by the majority of Americans. They love to hate her.

LN:  Any predictions on when we’re likely to see the wheels on the family RV with paint all over it go round and round again?

SJ: I’m looking for a July 4 surprise because if there’s one thing Palin knows how to do, it’s play the holiday slow news cycle for all it’s worth. But this is Sarah Palin we’re talking about. Anything could happen.

LN:  Well, what ever historic sites Mrs. Palin sets her sights on, you and I will be right there to cut through the noise. And I know that you are already all over the Emails dump, including those critical of Palin.  Thank you so much, Sarah Jones. 

Welcome to Girls On The Bus, hopefully the first in a series of short, but shrewd, insta-analyses of Mrs. Todd Palin on her latest narcissist odyssey. Or history field trip. Or just-get-me-the-fuck-away-from-the-two-toddlers-tour.

My partner in satirical and boldly biased analysis is wonder woman writer, feminist and managing editor and columnist for Politicususa, Sarah Jones.

LN:  Okay, Sarah, you’re seeing red. Mrs. Palin and her personal posse hijacking the Rolling Thunder Memorial Day parade in D.C. has got you jacked up. Kind of like the 4-inch stilettos and that water-filled wonder bra she’s sporting here.  How old is she again?

H/T to Karen J commenting on Gryphen's blog

Oh, where to begin, Laura? The glee-filled narcissist’s glow or the helmet that is tipped so her hair can blow and her face isn’t shadowed for the cameras? This is a picture that says “It’s always about ME!” And that’s what drives people nuts.

LN:  That, and the merit badges on her jacket. The only badges of honor that should be visible at that rally were those on the Veterans. But something tells me Palin wasn’t there for them.

SJ:  She stole the thunder, literally. As for the shoes, may I for a moment point out that one does not wear heels like that on a bike for obvious reasons? Instead of modeling safety (a disdained concept of “big government”, no doubt), what we have here is right wing political porn.

LN:  That’s right. With the hooters to match! And in later photos she tossed on a cross for good measure in case she failed to pander to anyone.

SJ:  Let me ask you and your readers something, Laura. Would Esther ride a motorcycle wearing high heels just for the cameras on a day when we are supposed to be remembering those missing in action and left behind? Would Jesus dress up like Michael Jackson on such a day? Would Reagan? Joan of Arc? I’m trying to cover all of the myth-co-opting narratives. Help me if I left one out.

LN:  Trust me, I was no fan of Ronnie (who calls their wife Mommie?) but I never read where he was anything but nice to the people around him. Michael Jackson was troubled, but gentle. Joan? I wasn’t crazy about her taste in clothes, but I digress. The mythology is frightening to those who can pierce it. And it’s lifeblood for those clinging to the idea that America has done them wrong.

SJ: I just read a quote from the KKK that mirrored Palin’s quotes about how the troops are fighting for our freedom of speech. The self-aggrandizing  (notice the shared theme) “Imperial Wizard”  of a KKK branch said, "It's the soldier that fought and died and gave them that right to free speech.” That statement shares the false premise of Ms Palin’s misunderstanding about what we are fighting for. She has said repeatedly that the troops are fighting for her freedom of speech (aka: right to smear the President). No one is trying to take away her freeom of speech (much as we might wish she would stop weighing in on important issues with her simpleton’s odes to Poujadism), but we fight to defend democracy or a foreign aggressor. No one is giving their lives specifically for our freedom of speech. Freedom of speech hasn’t been threatened, but then, Ms Palin isn’t in the White House.

LN:  Exactly! But what Mrs. Palin doesn’t know is that her girls will not be the only girls on her bus. Because I am going to burn my bra, slip into some comfortable clogs, and pop some corn. I’m getting on that bus with her. And I’m taking you with me.

From here on out, wherever the Palin Family Circus Vacation Paid With Political Money But Not A Campaign Bus goes, we’re going too. You with me?

SJ:  So long as she has an impact on our political debate and continues to try to take women’s rights back to the age before suffrage, I’ll be there, whether I like it or not. But if you’re there, the ride will be much more enjoyable. And while I don’t wear naughty monkeys, I might be inclined to put on a pair of heels if that’s what it takes to show that modern feminism has nothing to do with the Right’s stereotypes of feminism. Solidarity!