“THIS JUST IN: THE 21ST CENTURY IS FUELED BY IRONY” recently claimed a poster on the popular message board MetaFilter, and that does seem to be true. Case in point: Orly Taitz. It’s not enough that this Moldovan-American dentist and lawyer’s first name is an Internet meme for disbelief, or that she has spent years in and out of courts attempting to prove that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States. (This will convince nobody in the so-called “birther” movement, but for those of us still hanging on to a shred of sanity, here is Obama’s birth certificate).
Now, we’re not going to claim Taitz is mad; it would be foolish to do so with anybody as litigious as her. We will say that, when you type her name into Google, one of the auto-complete suggestions the search engine currently offers is “Orly Taitz is batsh** insane.” And we will say that she’s currently locked in a battle with a local painter who created a portrait of her with a pancake. Although, in fairness, it is an image of her moments after having given birth to a pancake. (We won’t link to the image, which is NSFW, but a quick Google search for Orly Taitz and pancake will quickly produce it). Mother Jones has the story: The painter is Dan Lacey, who’s actually somewhat obsessed with painting political figures with pancakes. Apparently, people have been forwarding the Taitz painting to her family members, and she believes it was “one of Obama’s powerful allies” who commissioned the painting, according to Mother Jones, and so is thinking of subpoenaing the artist to uncover the identity of his benefactor. Also, she believes the pancake in the image to be a placenta.
Some mornings, when you encapsulate the news, you find yourself doubting every single sentence you write. It’s all true, though.
In related news, somebody has created a Twitter account called Wingnut, MN, which promises to give a weekly award “to a local Tweeter who demonstrates the finest in crazy.” The first award will be offered today; we all wait with bated breath.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty made an appearance on The Daily Show Thursday, prompting host Jon Stewart to ask about his presidential ambitions; he ducked the question (“I’m going to run for president … of my youth soccer league”). Stewart then made a crack about Sarah Palin, which Pawlenty declined to respond to; it briefly looked as though Pawlenty’s actual experience was in dodgeball, rather than youth soccer. He did discuss, in depth, his political philosophy: “We use priority-based budgeting in Minnesota … just about everything else in Minnesota has been reformed or cut under my watch,” as an example. He neglects to mention that these priorities are unilaterally his and have been enforced through the second-biggest use of the governor’s veto in Minnesota history and an illegal line-item veto debacle from a year ago.
He also neglects to mention that under his watch, despite his supposedly sensible approach of cutting spending and keeping tax rates low, the state deficit has ballooned to a projected $4.57 billion and would be larger were it not for Palwenty’s extensive use of federal money to fill holes. Summaries are available at the Pioneer Press and from the Associated Press. They muse about how this appearance might help his presidential ambitions. But, then, Pawlenty hasn’t actually admitted he has presidential ambitions.
Perhaps it would be best if he didn’t gets his hopes up too high. In Iowa, for instance, Pawlenty is polling behind Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, as reported by Tom Scheck of Minnesota Public Radio’s Polinaut. We at the Daily Glean can’t remember a poll in which Pawlenty didn’t come in behind Palin; he laughed when Jon Stewart suggested maybe he should have quit being governor and started a Twitter account, but that joke cut pretty deep.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer appeared on MPR’s “Midmorning” Thursday, and found himself grilled by Kerri Miller, first about the nurses strike (he has opposed the strike). Miller tried to pin him down on whether he supports their right to strike; he waffled, merely saying they have the right to leave their job, which isn’t precisely the same.
Miller’s exasperation is audible in the interview, as Emmer repeatedly refuses to answer her questions the moment she hones in on specific details; he prefers the big picture, repeatedly discussing a major restructuring of state government but refusing to offer any specifics.(MinnPost’s Eric Black offers his analysis here.) “God bless Kerri Miller, because if I were interviewing Tom Emmer, I don’t think I could resist the urge to throttle him until his head pops,” one Twitter commenter said in response to the interview. And, if you’re bothered by this sort of thing, on several occasions Emmer refers to Democratic candidates as “Democrat” candidates, which is well-established as a pejorative; we at the Glean think it would have been appropriate for Miller to ask him if he expects civility in this gubernatorial campaign when he so casually engages in incivility.
In more Emmer news, WCCO’s Pat Kessler offered this bit of news via Twitter: “DFL says GOP Gov Emmer campaign ejected party’s video ‘tracker’ from Rochester ‘Freedom & Propserity’ event.” On MnPublius, Jeff Rosenberg responds: “While it can sometimes be annoying being filmed by the other side, trackers are an accepted practice in modern politics. I can pretty much guarantee you that the GOP has trackers following Margaret Anderson Kelliher.”
The Minnesota Nurses Strike is over — “but standoff resumes,” according to Jeremy Olson of the Pioneer Press. According to Olson, while the strike was disruptive, Minnesota hospitals were able to minimize the disruptions with temporary staff and volunteer labor; the nurse’s union claims the hospital’s success in minimizing disruption is the result of a temporary increase in staffing that is exactly what the union wants longer term: “Congratulations,” union spokesman John Nemo says in the story. “You just proved our point.”
In sports: A Minnesota man named Morgan Christian found himself banned from an annual bike tour in North Dakota, the Associated Press reports. What’s the problem? He objected to a prayer said in a public school prior to a meal.
This just in: Wingnutmn has announced its first winner, or, more properly, pair of Wingnut winners, as the awards have been divided by gender for no clear reason. We’ll note the male winner for the following astonishing non sequitur: “You know that everyone at OLSON reads your tweets, right?” “That’s right, guys. I’m bangin’ like a grizzly.”