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Lazy Saturday Morning Lighthearted News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians! It’s been a tough week for me personally and I’m sick and tired of depressing news. I hope you’re forgive me if I stick to lightweight and/or humorous stuff this morning. Feel free to post links to serious stories in the comments.

First up, the President’s golf game. It’s seems he’s “no Jack Kennedy,” who was
“the best golfer to ever inhabit the White House.” I heard the whole painful story on NPR’s “Only a Game” this morning in an interview with Elizabeth Williamson. She’s the author of a story that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on November 25, Quietly, the President Finds That Golf Is No Slam Dunk. The interview on the NPR sports program featured much laughter from Williamson and host/interviewer Bill Littlefield. From the WSJ story:

One day last summer, Gene Mulak, observing carnage in the sand trap, decided it was time to rescue the Leader of the Free World.

“Open the clubface more!” the golf pro yelled to President Barack Obama. A rank of bodyguards stiffened when they heard the shouting, but the commander-in-chief continued to hack away, sand flying, recalls Mr. Mulak, a resident professional at the Vineyard Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Mr. Obama waved off the guards and welcomed Mr. Mulak into the pit. The pro says he gave the president tips on his golf stance and his swing, both of which were conspiring against him. “He would have had trouble getting out of any bunker in the country,” concludes Mr. Mulak.

Williamson writes that Obama’s golf handicap (said to be in the mid -20s) is considered a top national security secret, and that the President has huge security team following him around on the course in order to prevent onlookers from seeing how bad his swing is. Williamson:

A recent anonymous posting on Golf.com comes from a golfer who claims to have caught some of the action: “I had the misfortune of being stuck in a group on the same course as the Prez and his buddies and watching them play one hole in the time it took our foursome to play 3 was painful. The only thing stopping us from telling them to pick it up was the incredibly large security detail he had with him.”

The talk around Washington and Chicago is that the White House has thrown the Secret Service under the bus after the party-crashing scandal in order to protect WH social secretary Desiree Rogers.

A committee investigating how the Salahis did it want to talk to Rogers.

That’s not likely to happen.

So far, the White House has dug in its heels — ignoring threats from members of Congress that if Rogers doesn’t voluntarily talk to them, she will be subpoenaed.

Why is Rogers being protected even though she is clearly the one who fell down on the job–not the Secret Service agents, who are not the ones who are supposed to be checking off names on the guest list?

For one thing, Rogers, who once headed up Peoples Gas and was the Illinois Lottery lady during former Gov. Jim Edgar’s administration, is so socially connected, who would dare humiliate her publicly?

As an early supporter of the Obama campaign, and the BFF of Obama insider Valerie Jarrett, Rogers has been instrumental in hooking up the first family with the right benefactors.

Truth be told, Rogers — who was a leading member of Chicago’s business and philanthropic community when Obama couldn’t rent a car with his credit card — is the one who brought the Obamas to the party, not the other way around.

That’s how it works in the Obama White House: the rich and connected are insulated from criticism, while less powerful Secret Servicemen get the axe.

Greg Mortensen, author of the best-selling book Three Cups of Tea has some advice for President Obama on Afghanistan. He

…urged the U.S. to include input from Afghani tribal elders in the Pentagon’s expanded military effort in the region, or risk failure, …. [saying that] “there were nine meetings held behind closed doors, in secrecy, between Obama and military leaders but Afghanistan’s provincial elders were not considered in any of those meetings — even though they are the real power in the country.”

What was being discussed in all those secret meetings then? The blog Library Grape has the answer. They have posted the military’s plan for Afghanistan, or as they refer to it, “the whole frickin PDF in all its psychedelic glory.” Here is just one of the complex diagrams in the document.

As Library Grape puts it:

I shall rest easy now, secure in my knowledge that all the world’s extremist mullahs are quaking in their sandals—demoralized by their impending doom at the hand of the world’s most powerful flowcharts.

Oh no!! Senator Max Baucus–the guy who helped to destroy America’s chances of getting real health care reform–is in trouble for “nominating his girlfriend for U.S. Attorney.”

Baucus’ office confirmed late Friday night that the Montana Democrat was carrying on an affair with his state office director, Melodee Hanes, when he nominated her to be U.S. attorney in Montana.

According to a source familiar with their relationship, Hanes and Baucus began their relationship in the summer of 2008 – nearly a year before Baucus and his wife, Wanda, divorced in April 2009. The Senator had informally separated from his wife in March 2008 and they were living apart when he began dating Hanes, according to Baucus’ office.

It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy, IMHO.

Finally, in another case of just desserts, Glenn Beck’s new live show The Christmas Sweater–A Return to Redemption “bombed in New York, Boston, and Washington, DC,” according to Raw Story.

In New York, Beck sold 17 tickets. In Boston, another 17. And in Washington, D.C., the hotbed of political activism, his tearful film drew only 30, Raw Story has found.

So what are you reading this morning? Please post links in the comments–and more lighthearted stories among the serious ones would be appreciated–at least by me.


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101 Responses

  1. Ayayayay! I don’t like ANY of Obamas friends and retainers but when it comes to Rogers, let’s be careful about who is driving this bullshit. Bob Somerby had a post the other day about MoDo and her crusade against Rogers. It’s the Sally Quinn brigade all over again. They’re trying to flex their muscles again. MoDo’s attitude is “how dare these trailer trash crash our party. Don’t they know who we are?!” The bitches are back, BB.
    Frankly, I don’t know who is more responsible for this problem. It’s no big deal, really. I’m guessing people manage to slip by security all of the time. We just don’t notice it becaue MoDo and her friends aren’t around. That being said, the whole lot of them can’t get their asses back to Chicago fast enough for my tastes.

    • I don’t really think it’s a big deal either–just reporting what is being said. Apparently, it is the WH people’s job to check to invitee list. But maybe someone is trying to through Rogers under the bus. I’m not really that up on social secretary stuff.

      • As for Modo, I’ve completely stopped reading her. I just can’t stomach her oh-so-clever meanness.

      • You may be interested to know that Desiree Rogers is a Republican, as was her mother, Jewel Lafontant. Lafontant was named Deputy Solicitor General by Nixon, and Rogers was a Repub presidential convention alternate. Rogers is supposedly best friends with Valerie Jarrett. Lots to think about.

        By the way, People’s Energy, of which Rogers was CEO for a couple of years, has been my natural gas provider for the past eight years. Fortunately, the company is now owned by WI Public Service and the rates have become much more reasonable since the days when Rogers was an executive.

    • No spontaneous “wave ’em throughs” should have happened. Ever.

      • And background checks were done for every visit. Not just a once and done thing. What happened is a real concern. If security processes have deteriorated to a point where people can “crash” a party there, we the people need to demand that it is addressed.

        I’ll bet some of the problem can be traced to Bush cost-cutting measures. But then again, why would a sitting president reduce their own protective services? It doesn’t make sense.

        • I think they were somehow invited but turned out, after they were noticed in a big way, to be people who might embarass Obama. Thus the crashers were thrown under the bus first, then everyon else followed.

          Those published photos of Obama from ’05 lead me to think that, plus general sneakiness.

          • Real Housewives is on Bravo, Bravo is owned by the National Barack Company. I bet someone at the WH cleared a pretend party crashing publicity stunt ahead of time, thinking it would only be used for publicity when the show airs months and months from now and it wouldn’t be a big deal then, you know, ‘this happened once, a year ago, security has been improved since,’ etc.

          • Yep, there is something really fishy about that whole deal.

          • Jeff Immelt, the CEO of Bravo was an invited guest in attendance.

  2. This is not very important, but you can go to Tiger Woods’ homepage if you feel the need to add your voice. There are close to 20,000 comments already responding to his admission..some in Swedish which may not be very nice. I for one am done with Tiger.


    • Isn’t Tiger Woods a golf player? Who cares about golf players. I could care less what he does or doesn’t do. I just don’t get why anyone cares.

      Perplexity yours,
      — A non golf player

      • And that begs the question, why do they make so much damn money???

        • Yes. Tiger is a one billion dollar business all by himself, before we even get into the PGA Tour and the media and advertising investment stakes. There is arguably no other athlete on earth who would take down more people’s jobs if he were to completely meltdown. So it has been surprising to many that the Tour and Tiger’s own management and PR people were as casual about his reckless behavior in his personal life. Yes, he deserves privacy in his personal life. But he also makes a ton of money from the public display of his talent and his image as a role model for kids, diversity, sportsmanship, etc.

      • Well, I usually tend to care about what happens to young children–even the children of celebrities. But I’m a bleeding heard liberal with a Ph.D. in Human Development, so I guess I focus on kids more than most people do.

    • So, he screwed around on his incredibly beautiful wife. He’s a stupid jerk. And a human being.
      BFD. Why exactly is this so newsworthy?

      • After Halle Berry’s husband cheated on her it became clear that there’s no woman so beautiful an egotistical freak won’t screw around on.

        • Yeah, I believe it. I think that’s why Bruce Willis dumped Demi Moore. He said something like, there are plenty of beautiful women. Eventually you get tired of them.
          Sooooo, let this be a lesson to young women.

          • Ha. who had the last laugh in that breakup? Have you ever seen some of Kucher’s modeling pics. That dude is hawt.

          • Screwed around on his wife and two small kids with three women who have come forward so far, and there are indications that he regularly solicited women while on tour.

          • Billy Bob Thornton said something remarkably similar about Angelina Jolie, arguably the most beautiful woman in the world.

    • The problem I have with Tiger is his less than gracious behavior…many times. I remember when Fuzzy Zoeller made a remark about the dinner at the Masters the first time Tiger won it….something about fried chicken…a joke but seen as racist. Zoeller appologized profusely, but Tiger let him hang out to dry for a while before he sort of accepted the appology. (sort of his likeable enough type remark). Then there was the time Tiger went out of his way to prevent his Stanford University roommate from getting an exemption from the PGA to ride in a cart because of a congenital leg deformity. (That was the most unforgivable moment for me). Then there was the snubbing of Bill Clinton when he asked Tiger to attend a baseball game with him honoring Jackie Robinson. Tiger was too good to sit with the President. There are a few more but this gives you a flavor of why Tiger’s comeuppence is so sweet. Gracious, not Tiger.

      • I heard he was a lousy tipper. As a former waitress, that did it for me a long time ago.

        • Agreed. Back in my dating days (am so glad those are done), if a guy was a bad tipper or a jerk to the waitress? DONE.

    • I have to admit to NEVER having watched or played golf. I would prefer to watch paint dry.

      But, I love that she didn’t just take it. She beat his asscot with a golf club – that is awesome.

    • ME TOO!

      What will the next ad say; ‘American Express, a serial cheater never leaves home without it?’

  3. Rachel Maddow tore it apart the other night also.

  4. That’s weird. I could swear I posted a comment.

    • I have no idea what happened, but I found two of your comments in the spam. One would think that WP would have a way to prevent that happening to blogowners!

  5. There is a great picture of the front cover of the next Golf Digest featuring—-Tiger Woods and Mr. President, together on the cover. Bound to be a sell out, in more ways than one. I understand it is photoshopped but the timing could not be more fun.

  6. On beck’s ticket sales: that is karma and justly deserved for his diss of palin and his weirdo views. One of the things I like about democracy best is that when the public gets to make real choices they generally choose to do the right thing.

    • I didn’t think of that. But the low sales could be exactly because of the Palin dissing.

      • That would be ironic, because a lot of the comments on that article are talking about Sarah and advising ‘Glenda’ to buy a sexy skintight dress to capitalize on sex appeal like Palin allegedly does. Once again, the Becks and Obots of the world agree more than disagree.

  7. Ok, one more time. The reason that the Villagers have their knickers in a twist over Desiree Rogers has very little to do with the security risk. The problem is that there was a staffer who used to check off the names and she was let go. This person was apparently a Villager favorite. According to Dowd: “As Michael Isikoff wrote in Newsweek, Rogers sidelined Cathy Hargraves, the East Wing staffer whose job it was to go to the East Gate portico and check off the names of each guest from a printout.”
    It’s the Village Bitches pulling their shit all over again just like they did in the 90’s against Clinton. Their in high dudgeon because someone supposedly crashed their party and it was a security risk. But in actuality, they are sharpening their knives for a new round of death by pseudoscandal. If they weren’t such nasty evil beings (notice I didn’t call them human), I’d be rooting for them. I can’t stand Schmoozer in Chief Obama or his smarmy retinue. They can’t get their MBA-loving, golf teeing, totally without any sense of principles and completely feckless asses back to Chicago soon enough.
    My feelings on this are conflicted.

    • Very interesting. Thanks for the info!

    • Naw, doesn’t sound conflicted at all. ITA.

    • Cathy Hargraves quit after her duties had been minimized.

      I am amazed that so little has been mentioned about the security (or lack) aspect of this incident. This kind of exposure of the PM of India/wife is reprehensible.

      They can’t go back to Chicago soon enough for me.

  8. For once I have some sympathy for the 0. I, too, am left-handed and the golf course has ever been my nemesis. It is really hard when all the visual images you see about how to golf are turned around and you wind up fighting yourself. He needs to get a left-handed coach and then hope for change and a miracle.

    • Fantastic article. My favorite money quote:

      And everybody nevertheless takes these contradictory, irreconcilable statements seriously, as they parse, analyze, scrutinize Obama’s every word for some kind of coherent meaning. The president is like the character Chance in the novel and movie Being There, whose every fatuous utterance was celebrated for its profundity.

      Some of Obama’s defenders chastise his exasperated listeners for their inability to detect the president’s “complexity.” But a fantasy of universal popularity that panders to every conflicting interest simultaneously is not the same thing as “complexity.”

      • That is fantastic. And the Chance Gardner comparison is so on the money.

      • Two other accurate sections:

        It’s often their status as powerful men in their realm that keeps them honorable in their own eyes. “I am all this, and no contradiction will stand in my way.” In Obama’s case, he is still being enabled by starry-eyed hope-addicts who at the same time don’t want to give up on their investment in his historical uniqueness. His constituents have become co-dependents.

        Maybe one day, we will have a president who does not merely reflect who we are, but rises above us. Until then, we will have to suffer through another three years of a frivolous man who knows how to perform seriousness the way his weak and irresolute predecessor knew how to perform resolve. Either way, as the golfers put it, the country is in the rough.

        • Yes. I liked those, too–especially the “co-dependents” and a president able to rise above who we really are.

  9. mabey the golden child should consider takeing up goofy golf

  10. BTW, morning boomer! Thanks for the newz.

  11. This is interesting and troubling about the Comcast CEO endorsing the healthcare bill one day after announcing the merger with NBC Universal where he’ll need the administration to back off in order to pass antitrust muster. Excuse the source, but the information seems straightforward.


  12. Millbank examines Obama’s fall from grace, and then blames the people who believed him and excuses Obama & his team, because his record belied the truth. Oh really? Where was Millbank with that examination of his record last year?

    Obama the mortal

    It was bound to happen eventually. Obama had become to his youthful supporters a vessel for all of their liberal hopes. They saw him as a transformational figure who would end war, save the Earth from global warming, restore the economy — and still be home for dinner. They lashed out at anybody who dared to suggest that Obama was just another politician, subject to calculation, expediency and vanity like all the rest.

    Certainly, Obama gets some blame for encouraging the messianic cult as he stumped for change and hope.

    But at least as much blame for the disillusionment goes to progressives who simply expected too much of him.

    This is what happens when true believers mistake a mortal for a messiah.


  13. Bernanke does a bad, bad thing
    By Paul Krugman

    I cut Ben Bernanke a lot of slack. But this was really bad:

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday threw cold water on efforts to push a major new fiscal stimulus package.


  14. Just looked at Violets “reclusiveleftist” site everyone that can may want to read her post. Seems she is getting stiffed by a client and could use some help. Sorry if this is not kosher to post.

  15. Jane Hamsher is now has always been a single payer advocate. And her first step is to ban the people at FDL that have always been single payer advocates?

    She expects everyone to donate to Jonathan Tasini (who is running against Kristin Gillibrand) because “otherwise nobody is ever going to pay attention.” If you don’t donate you don’t really support single payer.


    • Armando’s post on her blast at Harry Reid makes it clear she’s not too lucid right now.

      • Corrente has been all over the single payer sell-out. Those best and brightest A-listers with insider access fucked up. They thought they were soooooo smart but they got played.

        • That would definitely include Armando, if he’s an A-lister.

          • Armando/BTD is a Type 2 Obot.

            Type 1 is the true believer. Type 2 is the cynical pragmatist.

          • Both groups got played.

          • He may be a Type 2 Obot, but he’s a Type A jackass. Nobody did more STFU you’re intolerant guilt tripping over Casey than he did, or mocked the idea that he could do any harm more than he did, and as we speak Casey is helping draft the Senate’s Stupak. The last thing he should be trotting out now is his same old routine.

          • I think he’s just an amateur political consultant who doesn’t care a whit about policy. He just wants to win like it’s a football game. Yea, team!

    • Her heart is finally in the right place, but her head appears to be jammed up her butt. SNAFU, in other words.

  16. Mid-20s my ass! No one who can’t get our of a bunker shoots less than about 120, or at least 48 strokes over par.

    Remember how much shit Bill took when the story came out that he took Mulligans?

    Unlike the golfer who was intimidated into silence, I’d yell for the doof to pick up the ball every time he whiffed.

    The *first* rule in golf is that you respect your fellow golfers, by staying with the group ahead. The marshal would be all over a group that acted like Obama’s and clogged play for all the groups with later tee times.

    “Open the club face more?” What a doof.

    I’m hoping at least one of Tiger’s top ten tips for Obama are about playing out of a sand trap.

    • Obama should spend his time on a driving range and not clutter up golf courses.

      • No shit, or maybe spend a little time with a chipping net. It’s not like he doesn’t have room for it next to the victory garden.

      • Practice is really the best part of Golf.I took Golf in college as a PE class. It was one of the best college courses! But the practice is the most important part of golf — the driving range where you can focus on one skill at a time. Golf is made up of different shots — and really it is a very healthy sport — swinging the club helps to keep your shoulders loose.

        Hitting the course without doing any practice — and not consulting with instructors is just arrogant. But then arrogance is 0bowma’s middle name.

        I think that 0bowma was thinking –how hard is it to hit a small ball into a hole — why any idiot can do that. (Even an 0bowma).

        I’m a practice golfer — and I use this for exercise — I don’t go to the course — it is enough for me to work on my swing (loosens my shoulders and gives my body flexibility) and then working on accuracy and putting. 0bowma could have a mini practice set up on the WH Lawn — so that the press could watch and record his progress. That would bore everyone and then the press might get back to their jobs — which is reporting the NEWS.

        Does it surprise me that 0bowma even lies about his golf score?? ha ha ha ha ha ah. no.

  17. How does Library Grape get to post all this? You’d think it would the state secret of the year! If it’s real, it ought to saved in all kinds of places for posterity.

    Did Krugman always entitle his column “The Conscience of a LIberal”? I didn’t remember that.

  18. I think we ought get together a tournament were PJ and O can play. Frankly, this sort of 1950’s elitist good old boys club mentality is getting way too much reinforcement these days. And why? Because we finally opened up the sport for other flavors of men? Or because, it IS still the sport of men? Elite ones too. And don’t tell me it’s now a woman’s sport or O would be playing with one of these folks:


    At least basketball is a little more populist. Kennedy’s family football fit the bill too.

  19. Help! Spammy got me!

  20. What about Eisenhower? I kind of associate him more with golf than JFK. Ike liked it, but wasn’t too good?

  21. Yes, I saw Ike tee off in Palm Springs. In the 50’s and 60’s the whole desert sport thing with all the parades of stars and presidential groupies was something. You know, men walked or rode around the course discussing manly things like war or the economy and developing national alliances, while the women were in the clubhouse discussing the tablecloths. Not to say that tablecloth discussions weren’t important in a sidereal sort of way.

    • Apropos of nothing, a weekend in Palm Springs sounds SO SO wonderful right now. I am freezing my ass off up here.

  22. Via Pacific John:

    Of the 376 people the Obama White House announced, nominated and confirmed in those top-tier administration jobs, only 32 percent have been women. In comparison, 46 percent of Clinton’s Senate-confirmed nominees in 1993 were women, as were 26 percent of Bush’s first-year nominees, according to a year-end study in 2001 by the Brookings Institution.

  23. I’m still not real sure why anyone would want to hit a small plastic ball with one of a set of extremely expensive sticks until it finally disappeared into a hole in the ground. There’s no component for improved health, no potentially useful skill that will transfer off the course. Not one of Scotland’s better exports.

  24. I guess it comes down to how much you can swallow and digest before exploding. I don’t want to be like one of those koala bears the Aussies find starved to death with a stomach full of indigestible old eucalyptus leaves. I’d like to use info like that to grow some new shoots.

    I’m sorry BB, I don’t seem to be able to put lightheartedness on the table. I have to go pound some nails in a roof. The rain is coming. Maybe, after I work out some of this rage I’ll be better this afternoon. I always like rain, especially when my roof doesn’t leak.

  25. “The View” Discusses Tiger Woods Affair–Whoopi walks out

    • Not on that clip she didn’t. Who’s the lady in the middle? I kind of love her.

    • What is up with Whoopi lately? First she defends Polanski, because it was not “rape rape,” and now she’s pleading for Tiger’s privacy. The problem I have with situations like this, is that Tiger makes $100 million A YEAR on endorsements, based on his beatific image. He PROMOTES it. Just like Obama did–and then when they turn out to have feet of clay, they cry for their privacy and humanity. Can’t have it both ways. You sell your soul for power and fame, then deal with the consequences if it bites you in the a*s. Ask Faust.

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