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Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Beck

Watch Out, Sarah Palin: Barbara Bush Is the Original Mama Grizzly

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Barbara Bush is the grande dame of the GOP.

And she finally has said something that a lot of Republicans – not to mention Democrats and independents – have been thinking about Sarah Palin. Barbara, never one to mince words, shared her opinion about Palin on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Monday night.

“I sat next to her once,” Barbara Bush told King. “Thought she was beautiful. And I think she’s very happy in Alaska, and I hope she’ll stay there.”

The former first lady’s sentiment touched a nerve in tea party circles on Monday. On Glenn Beck’s radio show, he hinted that her remark was shallow before calling her “oat meal box lady.” He attempted to backtrack by adding that Barbara was his “favorite Bush.”

Barbara Bush’s comments about Palin may have – intentionally or not – flamed a fire that could scorch through the Republican Party in the next two years, truly pitting the tried-and-true Republican establishment against Sarah Palin’s social network, grassroots movement.

As one GOP insider told me, “Sarah Palin can continue playing her victim card to rail against the Republican establishment.”

Then again, such discord might just trigger a White House run by Jeb Bush.

Palin is not likely to take Barbara’s comments in stride. While she may not tweet about them, she will likely get her media army, in which Beck ranks as an officer, to lambaste the Bush family. That may be a big mistake.

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For many, Barbara Bush has always appeared as the warm, cuddly grandmother who bakes cookies and plays with grandchildren. But she’s hardly such a teddy bear. She’s as hardcore and blatantly honest as an anarchist punk rocker. Remember what she said in 2005 after visiting Hurricane Katrina refugees in Houston’s Astrodome? “What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas,” she said at the time. “Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.”

Last week, former President George W. Bush told “Today” host Matt Lauer a harrowing story about how his mother suffered a miscarriage, placed the fetus in a jar and showed it to him.

“I never expected to see the remains of the fetus, which she had saved in a jar to bring to the hospital,” Bush writes in his new book, “Decision Points.”

He told Lauer: “The purpose of the story wasn’t to try show the evolution of a pro-life point of view. It was really to show how my mom and I developed a relationship.”

That’s honesty to a fault.

But as the late Marjorie Williams noted in her 1992 exhaustive Vanity Fair profile, Barbara Bush can be both old guard privileged in pearls and down-to-earth on the farm, but she pulls absolutely no punches. She didn’t when her husband was running for re-election against Bill Clinton, and she doesn’t now at age 85.

Williams, who died in 2005, wrote that even Barbara’s stepmother was fearful of her. Aides and staff who had worked with the Bushes over the years described Barbara as “difficult,” “tough as nails,” “demanding” and “autocratic.” A 1988 campaign staffer recalls that “when she frowned it had the capacity to send shudders through a lot of people.”

In the same profile, Williams wrote that former President George H.W. Bush would tell reporters who had angered Barbara with something they had written about her husband, “Look out, the Silver Fox is really mad at you.”

Is Barbara mad at Palin, the tea party and now Beck after his rant on Monday?

With a pedigree rooted in the conservative moneyed East Coast elite, Barbara Bush is the polar opposite of Palin, the tea party’s queen. Maybe the fractured Republican Party of 2010 reminds the Bushes of the 1992 election when third party candidate Texan Ross Perot assisted in costing them a second term in the White House.

In the same Larry King interview, George H.W. Bush said, “Well I don’t know what [the tea party] really is. Some of the ideas make a lot of sense. But how it fits in, I know it was in the paper today, they were talking about what the tea party would do to get the Republicans in Congress to do something. But these people have all been elected, whether they’re tea partiers or not, so I’m confused by it frankly.”

A lot of other people are equally unsure about the tea party movement. People are not mystified by the Bush family, however.

The Bush family is a known commodity, a political dynasty not to be dismissed. Former President George W. Bush is currently enjoying a resounding new surge in popularity thanks to his memoir. He’s on talk shows and at book signings around the country, attempting to polish his political legacy, like presidents before him. Then there’s Jeb Bush, the son who was supposed to be president but stepped aside for his brother.

Last week, Jeb Bush told CNN’s Candy Crowley, “I really have to stay focused on this goal of achieving some financial independence, financial security for my family.” He added, “You never say never about anything.”

Who knows their children better than a mother? No one. Barbara Bush may have been, consciously or unconsciously, laying the groundwork for a Jeb Bush White House run. Jeb Bush is seen by some Republicans as the only potential candidate who is the whole political package on policy and politicking.

Palin may have her Mama Grizzlies lined up, but Barbara Bush is the original Mama Grizzly with a dynasty to protect. As Palin writes in her new book out Tuesday in bookstores, “Grizzly bears — mamas or otherwise — are beautiful, ferocious, serious-as-a-heart-attack creatures. When you come upon one, you don’t give her a hug. You tread lightly. Because when the ones she loves are threatened, she rises up.”

It sounds like she’s talking about Barbara Bush.

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Written by suziparker1313

March 8, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Lady Gaga: A Political Tsunami, Waiting to Hit

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Lady Gaga is a political force.

Don’t laugh. Just consider her activism this year. She has taken on several political hot potatoes – the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, Arizona’s immigration law, California’s same-sex marriage ban, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

For all of Lady Gaga’s outrageous costumes and catchy dance tunes, the 24-year-old singer, known as Mama Monster to her fans, has alerted the Millennial generation to issues that otherwise may have gone under their radar screens.

With a social media network larger than any politician’s, including President Barack Obama‘s or potential 2012 presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s, Lady Gaga is one of the most influential, and powerful, people in the world. Forbes Magazine ranked her seventh in its recent 2010 list of most powerful women. She didn’t even make the list in 2009.

The Native New Yorker – whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta – has 21 million Facebook fans (Obama has 15 million, Palin two million) and nearly seven million Twitter followers. The numbers increase daily. Her videos recently hit a milestone with one billion views on YouTube. Her adoring fans, also called Little Monsters, track her every move and respond eagerly to her calls for political action.

When she appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards in September, retired gay military officers from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) escorted her down the red carpet. Her political statement: Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The SLDN received an instant public relations boost that money cannot buy. More than 100,000 people visited the group’s Web site within 72 hours. Nearly 93 percent were new visitors.

After the show, Ellen DeGeneres invited Lady Gaga to her talk show. Dressed in her now-infamous meat dress, she used the talk show to call for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to schedule a Senate vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” She also encouraged her fans to call Reid’s office. Naturally, she also tweeted, “CALL HARRY REID to Schedule Senate Vote.”

Reid returned the tweet, triggering a lovefest between the two: “@ladygaga There is a vote on #DADT next week. Anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so.”

The pop goddess continued to urge her Little Monsters to call their senators and ask them to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” She then challenged Sen. John McCain and other senators who opposed the repeal in a stark black and white video, where she also showed fans how to call their senators and what to say. She even headed to Portland, Maine, for a rally to try and persuade Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to support the repeal.

When the bill failed, Lady Gaga vowed to continue her fight for gay and lesbian issues. Her next album will be called “Born This Way” – a shout-out to her LGBT fans, and she recently recorded a duet with Elton John.

Celebrity activism is nothing new. Ever since Bob Geldof’s Band-Aid in the 1980s, Bono has become a dedicated political saint, leading the charge on myriad causes, including debt relief for Africa. In the 1970s, Jane Fonda spoke out against the Vietnam War, and Marlon Brando focused on the Civil Rights Movement and Native American causes.

But Lady Gaga has harnessed the potential of 21st Century social media unlike any of her musical peers or even Washington politicians who pay consultants big money to work social media magic.

“She’s like a tribal leader,” says Gordon Coonfield, associate professor of communication at Villanova University. “Tribal leaders have their own influence and are about bringing networks together. She has her own influence and technology and a new kind of network power that traditional politics can’t really afford to ignore.”

A lot of celebrities tweet, but as Coonfield points out, Lady Gaga takes it a step beyond witty updates and relationship drama. She tweets not only about the cocktail she drank at a bar but also about serious topics.

“We are talking about issues that could change the military and fates of people,” Coonfield says.

Imagine if Lady Gaga decided to lead a march on Washington with millions of Little Monsters in tow. Unlike Glenn Beck, Lady Gaga has a colossal global following. She would shed an international light on her cause célèbre, and her crowd might very well dwarf Beck’s and Jon Stewart’s.

Lady Gaga, who made $62 million last year, likely won’t leave her music career any time soon to launch a run for office. But what if she decided to create GAGAPAC to donate to progressive candidates? One tweet would likely result in hefty donations and free publicity for the candidate of her choosing.

On another front, Lady Gaga might also give Palin’s Mama Grizzlies a run for their fur if she decided to endorse candidates and campaign – even virtually – for them. Who knows? Harry Reid might be on safer ground today if Lady Gaga had helped him in Nevada against Palin-backed Sharron Angle.

First Lady Michelle Obama may be the most powerful woman in the world, but Lady Gaga is not far behind. After all, Lady Gaga is already ahead of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who ranks No. 11. If Lady Gaga maintains her star power into 2012, she could likely unleash her Little Monsters – many who may be voting in their first election – to become a progressive, liberal tsunami in GOTV efforts. And a real worry for conservatives.

Written by suziparker1313

March 8, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Sarah Palin on Facebook: Don’t Burn the Koran

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Sarah Palin was once accused of trying to ban books in her hometown library. But as for burning the Koran, she’s opposed.

On Wednesday, Palin wrote a Facebook post entitled “Koran Burning Is Insensitive, Unnecessary; Pastor Jones, Please Stand Down.” Book burning, she wrote, is “antithetical to American ideals.”

The post was in response to Gainesville, Fla., pastor Terry Jones and his church’s plan to burn more than 200 copies of the Koran on Sept. 11. Jones is the pastor of Dove World Outreach Center, “a New Testament, Charismatic, Non-Denominational Church,” according to its Web site. Jones and his church members believe “Islam is of the Devil.”

In her post, Palin said that people have the constitutional right to burn a Koran but that it is “insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero.”

Palin is a fierce opponent of the proposed mosque near ground zero. She has written Facebook posts and tweeted about it.

Palin’s Wednesday post sounded more tempered than some of her past ones targeting President Obama and her critics. She warned Jones and his supporters to heed caution against their plan.

“It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance,” the post said. “Don’t feed that fire. If your ultimate point is to prove that the Christian teachings of mercy, justice, freedom, and equality provide the foundation on which our country stands, then your tactic to prove this point is totally counter-productive.”

On Tuesday, Palin announced her own Sept. 11 event with Glenn Beck in Alaska. She wrote, “We can count on Glenn to make the night interesting and inspiring, and I can think of no better way to commemorate 9/11 than to gather with patriots who will ‘never forget.'”

Palin’s Koran post generated more than 1,500 comments in less than 45 minutes. Many of her followers did not support her post.

One wrote, “Dear Sarah, Maybe you are unaware of this man’s motives, I don’t think he is doing it out of hatred or to promote violence toward all muslims, I think he is just trying to show that the Koran and the teachings of Islam are evil in their nature and that they are against Christ. We as christians should stand with him and not go against him, going against him would mean going against God.”

Another wrote, “The RIGHT to FREE speach includes the right to offend!”

But many sided with Palin’s opinion on the Koran and the mosque in New York City.

One commenter said, “If they do this, they will be no better than the Islamic extremists. It is not our place to judge, that’s God’s job.”

Palin, who has often questioned Obama’s faith, also wrote in the post that freedom of religion is “integral to our charters of liberty.” She also encouraged readers to remember the Golden Rule — treat others as you would like to be treated.

Her closing question: “Isn’t that [The Golden Rule] what the Ground Zero mosque debate has been about?

Written by suziparker1313

March 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm