Harold Hill, Esq.

Any drone that has ever toiled away in insurance defense or appellate work is only too familiar with the following scenario:

Partner hands you an utter shit salad of a case:  Claimant successfully sues/sued for injuries for which your client is clearly and unequivocally liable and has absolutely no serious defense in fact or in law. Partner now tells you to draft responsive pleadings/responsive appellate briefs – a task that is fraught with peril, given that if one sticks to the actual facts of the case and applies the actual law, your response is likely to incur the wrath of the judge and result in sanctions.

I was in this position approximately eleventy billion times over the course of my mini-career as an associate. After a while, you actually learn how to analyze a set of facts and law to find the tiniest snag so that you can pick it open and blow it up, conflate it into something favorable to you, and then use semantics, tone, and rhetoric to guide your reader/listener to a conclusion that you are unquestionably correct, even though the law, facts, reality, and common sense would dictate otherwise.

I actually developed some serious skills in crafting viable arguments in the face of such factual/legal paucity. And yes, I actually won a few times. More than a few. I can’t tell you how proud I was to be the Queen of Pulling It Out Of My Ass.

So believe me when I say, I know the difference between an argument grounded in reality and an argument grounded in ‘holy shit I can’t be wrong because I told the client I could win this and now I’m totally fucked and this whole argument is bullshit and I should just admit I was wrong but there is no way in hell I am going to do that so I suppose I will just bellow even louder in the hopes that people think that I *must* be right because if I weren’t I would have shut up long long ago.’

This, readers, would be the latter:

Sarah Palin: Extreme Enviros: Drill, Baby, Drill in ANWR – Now Do You Get It?

Sarah Palin’s Notes  Yesterday at 3:17pm

This is a message to extreme “environmentalists” who hypocritically protest domestic energy production offshore and onshore. There is nothing “clean and green” about your efforts. Look, here’s the deal: when you lock up our land, you outsource jobs and opportunity away from America and into foreign countries that are making us beholden to them. Some of these countries don’t like America. Some of these countries don’t care for planet earth like we do – as evidenced by our stricter environmental standards.

With your nonsensical efforts to lock up safer drilling areas, all you’re doing is outsourcing energy development, which makes us more controlled by foreign countries, less safe, and less prosperous on a dirtier planet. Your hypocrisy is showing. You’re not preventing environmental hazards; you’re outsourcing them and making drilling more dangerous.

Extreme deep water drilling is not the preferred choice to meet our country’s energy needs, but your protests and lawsuits and lies about onshore and shallow water drilling have locked up safer areas. It’s catching up with you. The tragic, unprecedented deep water Gulf oil spill proves it.

We need permission to drill in safer areas, including the uninhabited arctic land of ANWR. It takes just a tiny footprint – equivalent to the size of LA’s airport – to tap America’s rich and plentiful oil and gas up north. ANWR’s drilling footprint is like a postage stamp on a football field.

But it’s not just ANWR; it’s our Petroleum Reserve, too. As Governor Sean Parnell noted today in the Wall Street Journal:

“Federal agencies are also now blocking oil development in the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska.

Although familiar with ANWR, most Americans are less likely to know about NPR-A and how vital it is to our energy security. Given recent developments, it’s time to elevate the position this area holds in our national discourse.

NPR-A, a 23 million acre stretch of Alaska’s North Slope, was set aside by President Warren Harding in 1923 for the specific purpose of supplying our country and military with oil and gas. Since 1976 it has been administered by the Department of the Interior, and since 1980 it has been theoretically open for development. The most recent estimates indicate that it holds 12 billion barrels of oil and 73 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

In addition to containing enormous hydrocarbons, NPR-A is very close to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which means that there would be relatively little additional infrastructure needed to bring this new oil to our domestic market.

But even here, progress has been stalled.”

Radical environmentalists: you are damaging the planet with your efforts to lock up safer drilling areas. There’s nothing clean and green about your misguided, nonsensical radicalism, and Americans are on to you as we question your true motives.

– Sarah Palin

Ahhh, clever work, Ms. Palin (or should I say, Nameless Peon Whose Thankless Job It Is To Manage Sarah Palin’s Facebook Page). I see you have chosen my favorite weapon – the ‘I Know You Are But What Am I?’ nunchucks.  “Extreme enviros” are actually out to destroy the environment – such delicious irony! Oooo – and the exquisite (if ubiquitous) knife in the gut accusation of being unAmerican.  “Using semantics, tone, and rhetoric to guide your reader,” indeed.

So, well played Nameless Peon Whose Thankless Job It Is To Manage Sarah Palin’s Facebook Page. And don’t worry about being out of work when Ms. Palin’s crazypants float off into the rainbow sherbet sunset of lost dreams – you have a bright future ahead of you in appellate insurance defense.

Not Helping...

Up With People (Who Hate)!!!

So, as everyone is probably now aware, the SPLC report on conservative American hate groups is now out.

The number of hate groups in America has been going up for years, rising 54% between 2000 and 2008 and driven largely by an angry backlash against non-white immigration and, starting in the last year of that period, the economic meltdown and the climb to power of an African American president.

According to the latest annual count by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), these groups rose again slightly in 2009 — from 926 in 2008 to 932 last year — despite the demise of a key neo-Nazi group. The American National Socialist Workers Party, which had 35 chapters in 28 states, imploded shortly after the October 2008 arrest of founder Bill White for making threats against his enemies.

At the same time, the number of what the SPLC designates as “nativist extremist” groups — organizations that go beyond mere advocacy of restrictive immigration policy to actually confront or harass suspected immigrants — jumped from 173 groups in 2008 to 309 last year. Virtually all of these vigilante groups have appeared since the spring of 2005.

But the most dramatic story by far has been with the antigovernment Patriots.

And already the SPLC and the NFMSM (NonFoxMainStreamMedia) are being called terrorists by RightSideNews for “blaming” such AWESOME!!! American Patriots ™ as Dobbs, Beck, Bachmann, Palin, and Teabaggers as people responsible in part for encouraging and/or irresponsibly causing some of the very scary mess.  Nice one – the old ‘I know you are, but what am I?’ defense.

Choaking From Rage

Grassroots Gold Mine

“If there is any profit, the money will go toward furthering the cause of conservatism.”

Sherry Phillips, Tea Party Nation founder, on the whopping $549 it will cost a person just to get into the Teabaggin’ Clustersnuggle.  From today’s NYTimes. Note that Phillips also refused to discuss the reported $100,000.00 (yes, one hundred thousand dollars) that Palin is receiving to preach fist pump spew garbled homilies hopefully just show up speak. WTF people?

A hundred grand can do a LOT of *real* good. Hell, $549.00 can do a lot of good. You know, the kind of good that doesn’t involve shelling out one’s hard-earned dollars to be crammed in a hotel with a bunch of confused and angry white people who are being scammed by money-grubbing opportunists into thinking that the soggy chicken kiev they are eating is chock full of tasty patriotism. All while certain people are making BUCKETS and BUCKETS of money off of you.

WHY?

How ‘grassroots’ is that?

Couldn’t YOU do so much more with your money? Seriously, even if charity isn’t your thing, then for the love of whatever you consider holy, KEEP your dollars and either spend them on yourself and your loved ones, or donate it to a REAL candidate of YOUR choice.

And yes, I know that not all TEAfolk are white, angry, and confused. Likewise, I know that not all white, angry, and confused people are TEAfolk. But I think we can all agree that the TEA functions aren’t exactly a shining example of irenic diversity.

You can read more about the quickly disintegrating “organized” total TEA whatever here or you can read more of my mockery on the subject of teabaggery, Palin or other such shenanigoats by pretty much picking a post at random.

No thanks. I'm married.

What a Non-Surprise!

In completely unsurprising news, it appears that Sarah Palin is going to be (kind of sort of) joining the team at Fox News.

I write ‘kind of sort of’ because there aren’t a whole lot of details yet, but it looks like she won’t have her own show but will instead be a Fox Guestie. Of course, she may always change her mind, but I would think that Fox is smart enough to lock her into a solid contract. She will be BIG money/ratings for Fox. And I fully expect that this news has the GOP powermachine all anxious.

While I obviously am not a Palin fan, I don’t think that anyone can deny that the idea of Palin has become almost metaphysical. And not just to her supporters. “Palin” now represents, in a strange way, the ultimate expression of democracy. The sticking point there being, of course, that we are not a democracy. But the idea that anyone (yes, even YOU) could control the shots, combined with the idea that anyone (yes, even YOU) can override the current party system and define the country, pretty much has resulted in Palin-the-Idea.

However you look at it, it is a pretty empowering concept, which is why I don’t think that there is anything Palin (the person) could do to damage Palin (the idea). And that applies to both a pro-Palin sentiment AND an anti-Palin sentiment. Because what the meta-Palin represents to me is the fact that the conservative use of a social pyramid scheme (‘we the powerful will convince the powerless masses to support us against their better interests by pretending that they could one day be us’) has gone terribly awry. And, given, history, it was only a matter of time.

The conservative power base didn’t pick Palin. Well, they didn’t pick her to be the new face of the GOP. I don’t think they EVER intended for her, alone, to be able to wield ANY power. Instead, they picked a puppet VP candidate who looked, sounded, and worshipped like a big chunk of their voters, perhaps thinking that this would keep that chunk satisfied and willing to continue to support the Republican machine. My *personal* theory is that the GOP intentionally picked an uber-conservative woman to pander to the far right conservative voters because they thought there was no chance in hell that people would actually prefer an unqualified far-right female to a moderate male.

Oops.

First, Palin was WAY more charismatic and acceptable than the GOP could have expected. I am guessing that they had no idea (see, e.g., Liddy Dole, Hillary Clinton, etc) that their voters would identify so absolutely with a female leader. So that when so many people IMMEDIATELY got on board with the idea of Palin as VP, the GOP machine must have just thought they had managed to placate their ubercon base. They had given the ubercon base a pawn in order the get the base to accept McCain as king; what the GOP didn’t realize was that the ubercons would make that pawn their queen.

Second, the ubercon base identified with Palin in a very personal and intimate way. She reflects their values. And she was very much a real outsider. I think that a lot of people looked at her and saw what they themselves might have been if they had been just a little smarter, luckier, or more ambitious. And I think that it was the ambition, surprisingly, that a lot of people respected. And so the people came to “own” Palin. So much so that when she refused to let the GOP pull her strings (even when she probably should have), the idea of Palin took hold. The idea of the rogue everyman. People had so internalized the Palin idea that any perceived insult or attack on her was personal and thus, unwarranted and unfounded. So that even when Palin did or said things that were simply objectively “bad” for politicians, there was always a justification for her existence. And usually that justification was the very fact that she did or said something completely wrong.

Third, the GOP machine made the mistake of thinking that they could shut Palin down. Thinking, perhaps, that if they didn’t give her the support and handlers that she needed, the public would see her as grossly incompetent and her star would fade. Instead, it just made McCain staffers look like tools. And make the ubercons take their queen and leave.

So, while I may not like Palin or Palin-the-Idea, I certainly appreciate that she represents the power that a particular group of voters can have in its party. While I don’t really think that she has the support to get elected in 2012, and I think that eventually the ever canny GOP will get its shit together and rein the ubercons back in, I’ve got to admit I’m a little jealous. I really wish *my* particular subset of people-who-vote-dem could get it together like that and force a uberlib on the Democrat Party.

FEINGOLD/BALDWIN 2012!!!

Wouldn't YOU Like to Help ME Become President?

Conservative Gift Basket Ideas

Need to give a gift to a dear conservative friend/relative/newspaper delivery kid, but have NO idea what they are into? Never fear – SFL has got you covered. I suggest you go with the “gift basket” approach – because who DOESN’T love opening up one gift, only to find that it is actually many gifts. Well, maybe this guy. But most people – yes, even conservative – are delighted to receive a vessel full of gifts that have been thoughtfully hand-picked to thrill, amuse, and inebriate the recipient.

First, you will need something to delight the eye. In light of the holiday season, I suggest something red:

Note I said something “red,” not something “read.” I know that this is made even more confusing by the fact that, technically speaking, this is a “book.” (note the review by the very excellent J.C. Patriot). But from what I read, it would appear that this isn’t so much a book, as it is an idea of what a book should be as dreamed up by people who generally do not like books, facts, logic, editing, or character development. Much like Ms. Palin isn’t so much a leader as she is an idea of what a leader should be as dreamed up by people who generally do not like books, facts, logic, editing, or character development.

Okay, good.

So now that we have dazzled the eye, how ’bout a little something for the brain?

At last! Something for those who miss the good ol’ days of Bush I and Nixon AND appreciate the good ol’ challenge of a puzzle, unlike some nasty liberals who have to make fun of everything. This challenging mind-game is based on a lovingly-rendered painting of our treasured Republican presidents in the style of that calendar guy and the guy who totally captured the good ol’days that we never actually experienced and now never will thanks to socialism.

Now we need a little treat. How about something that reminds us of the reason for the season?

Yeah – I know. These are totally awesome. But unfortunately, they are not yet available for commercial purchase. I suppose you could go with the OFFICIAL Jesus cookie, but I think it would be nicer and more thoughtful if you rolled up your sleeves and made your own cookies.*

And, of course, no holiday gift basket is complete without booze:

just awesome.

And last, something to make them laugh.

Might I suggest that you avoid the audio version, as I understand that just the sound of Gore’s voice is enough to fill people with rage and crazy.

*NOTE:  While most of the gift ideas in this blog are sprinkled with snark, the cookie suggestion is straightforward. Baking, in any literal form, rules, and there is nothing nicer than taking the time to actually MAKE something for someone else.  Also, I must point out that I really really like that cookie cutter set.

Grand Ol’ Clustersnuggle

Well, I can’t say that I am surprised to read this:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will speak at the first-ever National Tea Party Convention this upcoming February.

The announcement of plans for the conservative lawmaker to attend the Tennessee event came from Tea Party organizer Sherry Phillips via Twitter Tuesday.

Bachmann, who has emerged as a champion of the Tea Party movement, will join ex-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin at the convention for the “purpose of networking and supporting the movements’ multiple organizations principle goals.” Palin will be the “special keynote speaker” at the event, which is taking place at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Press will be allowed in a designated section of the lobby of the convention only and will not be allowed inside the convention,” reports the Nashville Post. “There will be no media allowed for the banquet with Sarah Palin.”

You can read the full Huff Po article here. Or, if you prefer your crazy full-on, maximum strength and utterly undiluted by reason, you can check out the superawesome teabaggerific site here. I want everyone to take a moment and let this sink in: The teabagger national convention is taking place in NASHVILLE. As in, Tennessee.  As in, WHERE I LIVE. Oh sweet science – does this mean we have to flee the state? Or does this mean we have to attend the event? Wait…

…I actually kind of want to go. Who wouldn’t like to experience a “media-free” Palin banquet? But then I read that tickets are $549. SERIOUSLY? What the FUCK people? You want to bitch about “those” people getting a penny of your money, but you are flush enough to fork over five hundred and forty-nine fucking dollars to watch a circle jerk of a clown car train wreck greed-fueled beauty pageant clusterfuck of a vortex of evil suck all that is good and smart and kind out of life?

HOLY SHIT my head just exploded.

So, here is my proposal. If you, good people of the interwebs, would like me, your southern female lawyer friend, to go and witness this shitacular event, I will add a PayPal donation function to this blog – and if I get $549 in donations, I will GO TO THE TEABAGGERAMA. For real. And I will blog the hell out of it. Pictures and all. And, I will have a sign contest and you all can design a sign for me to tote around. Comment and let me know if you want this to happen.

Good Ol' Choaking

 

Signs of the Apocalypse

Oh yes. What a hoot it would be if this happened: