the suzi parker files

Politics, Pop Culture and Ponderings

Posts Tagged ‘john mccain

Sarah Palin Steampunks Her Way Into Comic Book Universe

leave a comment »

The cult of Sarah Palin knows no bounds.

Antarctic Press, based in San Antonio, Texas, has published the “Steampunk Palin” comic, which features a vampy Palin holding a brass ray gun contraption with goggles perched on her bumpit and a canister on her back.

Steampunk, according to Wikipedia, is “an era or world where steam power is still widely used — usually the 19th century and often Victorian-era Britain — that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy.” The genre’s popularity has surged in recent years with role-playing games, art, fashion and books. It’s often related to the genre of cyberpunk.

This sexed-up version of Palin is as buxom as the old-school Wonder Woman. In one scene she even sports a tongue ring. But it’s her mission that counts, right? Like all superheroes, Palin finds herself faced with a massive world problem – an energy catastrophe in the immediate aftermath of a war that has destroyed all the Earth’s oil.

Mad Max Sarah to the rescue.

The 15-page comic is a creation by artist Ben Dunn, the initial founder of Antarctic Press, Brian Denham, who drew the cover and some interior pin-ups, and Jim Felker, a Canadian who wrote the story.

“We’ve been doing politial satire comics over the last few years or so and they have been very popular,” Denham, a former Marine, says. “With the popularity of steampunk and Sarah Palin, it seemed like a perfect fit.”

The promo copy for it says: “Massive oil spills, nuclear meltdowns and more leave us desperate for viable energy sources to rebuild global society and technology. Inspired by a little tea party, Sarah Palin hits upon the answer: steam power!”

Hence, her entry into the steampunk universe, which is in black and white to reflect the Victorian era. Palin, ever resourceful, creates the “Steam Initiative” to promote geothermal energy. She fights the bad guys of big oil and nuclear power. Not to be a spoiler – in case you want to add this to your Palin collection — but the story also includes Palin in a coma, waking up six months later to find that 60 percent of her body has been replaced with steam technology.

In one frame, Palin says, “I can already feel the power this armor has coursing through me.”

Sen. John McCain, with a robot arm, and President Barack Obama, now part-robot and re-named “Robama,” also make an appearance. But Sarah saves the day, telling Obama, “Obama, don’t even think of getting in my way.”

As more energy enemies close in, never fear – Palin dons steam-powered armor and grabs a modern gun. Whew!

Antarctic Press also publishes a comic featuring one of Palin’s favorite dead politicians. (No, not Ronald Reagan.) Rather, Abraham Lincoln. The comic series Time Lincoln also goes steampunk with required brass goggles and time travels. In one adventure, Lincoln is threatened by Void Stalin, the greatest villain of all time instead of John Wilkes Booth. In another, he saves Obama from a squadron of Time Fighters. The newest Lincoln comic lands him in 1952 China.

The press also published a strange comic called “Obamouse,” a likeness of Obama with a tail and big ears who takes on “Owl Kaida” and crew of skeptics named Hen Beck, John McCrane, Sarah Penguin and Ratt Limbaugh. It also published a series of books called “President Evil” in which Obama fights a zombie army.

But Palin, too, seems to be a growing favorite at the company, which Denham says consists of both Republicans and Democrats.

There’s another Palin full-color comic called “Rogue Warrior,” with Palin wearing a stars-and-stripes bikini and a cross around her neck while holding a semi-automatic weapon. It is described as “a pulse-pounding plethora of pin-ups & stories, all featuring the hottest item ever to come out of Alaska, Sarah Palin” and showcases the “swimsuit sagas of the mighty maverick herself.”

The big question: Is Palin’s next stop at Comic(Neo)Con?


Written by suziparker1313

March 10, 2011 at 3:19 am

Princess Diana and Sarah Palin: Mirror Images?

leave a comment »

Sarah Palin is the political Princess Diana.

That’s what one GOP source told me recently. “Let’s be honest. If she didn’t have looks, we wouldn’t be talking about her. You wouldn’t be covering her. She’s like Princess Diana.”

Shallow? Yes. But isn’t there truth there?

Princess Diana captured hearts at age 19 when Prince Charles selected her as a bride. Sarah Palin hit the scene when Sen. John McCain picked her as his running mate, although she’d already had a spread in Vogue as Alaska’s governor.

Princess Diana, for the most part, was a celebrity who used her power for good. Sure, she visited the White House and danced with John Travolta. She engaged in charity work, especially in the areas of AIDS and leprosy. She wore stunning clothes but gave very few interviews. She seemed unapproachable, like a China doll to be admired but not touched, even in the last year of her life when she lobbied in a high-profile crusade against land mines.

Palin was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, but then gave up her governorship to spend more time in the lower 48 states. Palin’s charity work comes in the form of SarahPAC. She shows up, and candidates raise a lot of money for their campaigns. Many politicos agree that Palin hasn’t done much as far as resume building, say like Hillary Clinton, who served eight years in the Senate, for a White House run.

Ed Rollins, a veteran Republican consultant, said this week that Palin is “a media star and a great curiosity” but is lacking on political credentials. Rollins said on CNN, “You were plucked out of political obscurity because of the whim of presidential contender John McCain, who didn’t know you and made you into an overnight sensation. You performed well for three weeks in the campaign, did better than expected against Joe Biden in the debate, and then you self-destructed.”

Rollins may have gone a little far by using “self-destruct” to describe Palin. If anything, she has reinvented herself much in the vein that Diana did after her divorce from Prince Charles. Palin has carved a path in Republican politics using SarahPAC and social media. If Diana were alive in the 21st century, she might very well give Palin or Lady Gaga a run for their tweets by engaging with her fans online.

Diana made headlines just for crossing a street or wearing a designer gown — or even a pair of blue jeans — with paparazzi in tow. In this modern age of microscopic details, Palin gets attention every time she tweets, posts a Facebook note, signs a book or appears on a radio or television show. It doesn’t matter if she is commenting on WikiLeaks, North Korea, Alaska or her daughter Bristol’s recent appearance on “Dancing With the Stars.” Women want Palin’s upswept hairstyle and her glasses.

Trendsetting aside, Palin shares with Diana a must-have job skill to catapult to the celebrity stratosphere — working the media — including, these days, social media.

It may seem like Palin talks a lot, but, in fact, she doesn’t. Like Diana and the royal family, Palin tightly controls her own message with the help of Rebecca Mansour, a mystery woman who is communications director for SarahPAC. Mansour allegedly tweets and posts Facebook notes for Palin in the former vice-presidential candidate’s unyielding, and at times snarky, tone. Palin has even created her own show about Alaska to further enhance an image of a Mama Grizzly who takes no prisoners or animals. Or fish!

Palin only appears on television shows that are “Sarah friendly,” which don’t play hardball or ask her questions she doesn’t want to answer. Diana often did the same thing.

As some outlets reported at the time of her death, Diana indulged in a passive-aggressive love affair with the media. She favored reporters who helped create her image of a golden goddess in a “loveless marriage.” She, along with a press secretary (a royal version of Mansour) and later solo, used the media to sculpt her image through favored media contacts.

As PBS’ “Frontline” reported in 1997, one editor invited Diana to lunch at The Sun. Diana let him know she knew all about him. She teased him with “I hear you are a friend of Camilla’s.” As the “Frontline” story says, “The truth is that the princess had been colluding in her own coverage at least since March 1991.”

Sound familiar? Palin coined the term “lamestream media” to call out those who don’t play her game.

It only helps that, like Diana, Palin has great hair, a marathoner’s body and a telegenic face. The Learning Channel isn’t exactly rushing to sign Sharron Angle for a show about Nevada.

Even after Diana’s death, the royal spotlight shone on the royal family. Diana’s son, Prince William, and his impending wedding to Kate Middleton will keep all eyes on all things royal for months to come. Palin, in the same vein, is using her family to keep herself in the news.Through her reality television show, Palin introduces audiences on her own terms to her immediate family, as well as nieces and nephews.

It’s as if Palin is creating her own royal family since America doesn’t have one.

Diana wanted to seem more like a commoner after her failed marriage. Palin, a political commoner, wants to show the world that she isn’t a blue-blood living in a mansion — while making the money so she could. So far, she’s doing very well at the game.

Lady Gaga’s New Video: A Message to Senators on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

leave a comment »

Lady Gaga is back at political activism.

On Monday night, Lady Gaga released a two-minute black-and-white video via YouTube to update her fans on the status of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“Right now, we’re looking at tomorrow being a very important day for you guys all to really be paying attention,” she says, sitting on a couch in what appears to be a dressing room.

She adds: “Senators you have been put on notice by me and by the people of this country. You said you would debate and address this law when the Pentagon returned with a strategy and tomorrow morning you will have. Will you keep your word?”

Pentagon officials hit Capitol Hill on Tuesday to hand out advance copies of their study regarding DADT. They will brief staff members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee in the morning. Supporters of the DADT repeal have urged Congress to allow the defense authorization bill and its repeal of DADT to come up for a vote once the study is released during the lame-duck session of Congress.

In a short bobbed blond wig and black sunglasses, Lady Gaga says that it is crucial that the Senate vote this week on the bill “otherwise it could take years for it to happen.”

“Social repression is currently running rampant in this country as many of you know,” Lady Gaga says in the video. “Kids are being led to believe that it’s OK to hate and condemn based on our differences and this recent horrific news of gay suicides is really proof of our social repression and ultimately government repression that is killing our youth.”

Lady Gaga says that the law should be repealed because it “reinforces discrimination” and “is setting a bad example” for this country’s youth.

The international pop star has been behind repealing DADT for several months. In September, she invited retired gay and lesbian service members to escort her to the MTV Video Music Awards to bring awareness to the issue. She also got Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s attention when she called him out on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

This is Lady Gaga’s second video on the issue. In September she also released a video telling her fans, which are called Little Monsters, to call their senators and ask them to support a repeal of DADT. She targeted Sen. John McCain of Arizona in that video. He is likely again to be a roadblock in this latest DADT battle.

Lady Gaga also traveled to Maine in September for a rally to persuade Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to vote for the repeal. They voted against it.

Lady Gaga informs her Little Monsters to go to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network website for information on contacting senators.

In the end, Lady Gaga, 24, defends her role in the cause: “Political activism when you’re a pop singer can be kinda trivial but in truth I feel very close to all of you and … you’re screaming, ‘Please end this law.’ Equality for all.”

Written by suziparker1313

March 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm

John McCain Reponds to Lady Gaga’s Effort to Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

leave a comment »

Two senators responded Friday to Lady Gaga’s campaign to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which included the release of a YouTube video featuring the pop star Friday morning.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told a radio station he hopes Lady Gaga realizes the repeal effort is “a pure political ploy” on the part of Democrats, and Sen. Kirsten Gillebrand (D-N.Y.) tweeted she opposes the 17-year-old law that bans gays from serving openly in the military and is “helping lead the fight to repeal DADT.”

Earlier Friday, Lady Gaga posted a seven-minute video aimed at McCain, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) — as well as “youth all over the world who are watching.”

In a stark black-and-white video, Lady Gaga, wearing a black pants suit, white shirt and a black tie, sits in front of an American flag and asks the senators to repeal DADT.

She accuses the Obama administration of failing to protect 400 service members who have been discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Lady Gaga, who has become a serious and powerful advocate for LGBT rights, says DADT forces those in the military to “hide and keep private” their sexuality in order to serve. She says the law is being used to profile gays in the military, and that superiors are going through their private e-mails and belongings.

“Gay soldiers have become targets,” she says. “In short, not only is the law unconstitutional, but it’s not even being properly or fairly enforced by the government.”

On Thursday, Gaga tweeted to her 6.3 million Twitter followers: “SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN is attempting to stop the DON’T ASK DON’T TELL repeal vote this Tuesday, with a filibuster.”

She offered her version of a virtual Civics 101 lesson, with a bit of spin: “A Filibuster is a way to obstruct the Senate Floor from discussing or voting on a given LAW, + is essentially a tactic to hijack our debate.” (In fact, filibusters do not stop discussion, only the vote itself.)
Friday, McCain responded to Lady Gaga in an interview with KFYI in Phoenix. “I hope she’ll continue to pay attention, and to watch the debates on the Senate floor, and understand that this is a pure political ploy on the part of [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and Democrats who see their majority slipping away.”
McCain added, “They’re politicizing national security. People like Lady Gaga need to understand that the military is a unique institution,” he said.

“I am here to be a voice for my generation,” she says. “Not the generation of the senators who are voting, but for the youth of this country, the generation that is affected by this law and whose children will be affected. We’re not asking you to agree with, or approve the moral implications of homosexuality. We’re asking you to do your job, protect the Constitution.”

She continues in the video to tell stories about military men and women who have been discharged because of their sexual orientation.

At its end, she tells viewers how to call their senators through the Senate switchboard. Lady Gaga attempts to call her senator – Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) – on her Blackberry. The phone rings and she gets a busy signal. Lady Gaga smirks. She tries to call the other New York senator, Kirsten Gillebrand, whose voice mail is full.

She urges viewers to call Friday and explains what to say — vote with Sens Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and oppose McCain’s “shameless filibuster.”


Later in the day, Gillibrand wrote to Gaga on Twitter: “Thx for calling. I couldn’t agree more and am helping lead the fight to repeal DADT. Do you have a moment to talk later today?”The Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday that McCain may move to block the upcoming DADT repeal effort. It said that activists from Arizona-based Human & Equal Rights Organizers stood up during a Senate hearing on the security of the Korean peninsula and held signs with images from the civil rights era. One protestor’s sign read, “Senator McCain, repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ do you want to be the next George Wallace?”

McCain, a former Navy pilot, was a prisoner of war for more than five years in North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

Lady Gaga’s activism on GLBT issues took center stage this week after she appeared on Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards program escorted by four gays from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. Media also noticed her back-and-forth tweets with Reid on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repealer, which is part of the Defense Authorization bill.

Her fans went into overdrive just minutes after Gaga tweeted her call to action. They retweeted her missive to thousands. One fan tweeted, “. . . #DADT needs to be stopped. Prejudice is a disease.”

Another tweeted about what McCain may expect in the days leading to the vote: “McCains VM box=full, so lets send a million tweets/emails telling him 2 allow the Vote on DADT.

Written by suziparker1313

March 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Sarah Palin’s Dark Universe: Vanity Fair’s Profile

leave a comment »

Sarah Palin is a 21st century enigma.

She posts on Facebook and within minutes hundreds of people have either clicked “like” or left a comment, usually incredibly flattering, about Palin’s message. She Tweets, the media writes.

She has turned a losing vice presidential run into superstardom, becoming a political rock star in the vein of Bill Clinton. Palin could very well be pondering a presidential run. She visits Iowa later this month to headline the Iowa Republican Party’s annual fall fundraiser.

Vanity Fair, a haven for profiles of presidential wannabes, now gives Palin her turn. In the magazine’s October issue, writer Michael Joseph Gross explores the complicated days and nights of Sarah Palin.

Gross had his work cut out for him.

Palin has a circle of defend-to-the-death loyalists, including some of the folks in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, business partners and staffers. Gross writes that people who know her well would not talk about her on the record, some out of loyalty others “because they fear she will exact revenge” as he put it. Some “political strategists, longtime Palin friends and political associates, hotel staff, shopkeepers and hairstylists, and high-school friends of the Palin children” dished about Palin on the condition of anonymity. He wasn’t able to talk with Palin herself.

It’s not a flattering portrait of a woman who may very well want to be this country’s next president.

“There’s a long and detailed version of what they [Palin’s associates] had to say, but there’s also a short and simple one: anywhere you peel back the skin of Sarah Palin’s life, a sad and moldering strangeness lies beneath,” Gross writes.

Some highlights: Palin, always control-happy, has a big temper. She does not tip well, if at all. She has a short attention span. She’s a poseur when it comes to hunting. (Never has hunted, said one family friend.)

Even before she was plucked out of Alaska by presidential candidate Sen. John McCain to be his running mate, Palin had a sense of entitlement “fueled by persistent feelings that she was under appreciated,” Gross writes. She has become accustomed to the glamorous life. She flies in private jets and drives a “gleaming new Escalade ESV with tinted windows.” Oh, and FOX News may be building a studio on her property.

Her political empire is shaped by loyalists who include lobbyist Randy Scheunemann, a director of the neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century, and Kim Daniels, a lawyer with the Thomas More Law Center. Two male staffers who worked for George W. Bush serve as Palin’s confidants and personal assistants. Palin uses a code name, “North Star.” Wherever she stays, hotel personnel know to direct hair stylists to “North Star’s” room and she sprinkles the North Star reference throughout her speeches, which are booked by NorthStar Strategies. Gross writes, “An store called the North Star Group, maintained by a Palin blogger, ‘sells Governor Palin’s books, and numerous products she has referenced or is known to use,’ such as the red Naughty Monkey Double Dare pumps she often wears.”

In Alaska, her relationships with some former aides have either deteriorated or are non-existent although Gross couldn’t land interviews with any of them. Within her family, Palin controls the message. She has told her parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, to never speak to media — ever — without her permission. When Gross attempts to do so at a July 4th parade, he’s quickly told he is not following orders.

On an intimate level, Gross paints Palin’s universe as one with increasing isolation from her friends, family and even her husband, Todd. One frequent former Palin houseguest told Gross that “Todd would often joke, ‘I don’t know how she ever gets pregnant.’ ”

Another friend said Sarah and Todd once got so mad at each other that they took all the canned goods from the pantry and threw them at each other. The refrigerator looked as if “it had got shot up with a shotgun.”

The same friend told Gross, “As soon as she enters her property and the door closes, even the insects in that house cringe. She has a horrible temper, but she has gotten away with it because she is a pretty woman.” The friend also hinted that Palin has used her sexuality to get her way, telling Gross that Palin once told her, “I’m gonna put on one of my push-up bras so I can get what I want tonight.”

Even Palin’s children seem disenchanted by their mother from time to time. A former campaign aide recalled to Gross, “You’re just putting on a show. You’re so fake,” one of the children said when Palin made a point of praying in front of other people. “This is not who you are. Why are you pretending to be something you’re not?”

Gross never meets Palin through his travels with her on the road or in Alaska, but he does end up in front of her house, where a metal North Star on a gate points upward.

Written by suziparker1313

March 8, 2011 at 8:56 pm