It’s pronounced learnd

From The Learning Channel, which brought us the Sarah Palin reality show, comes this latest exercise in pointless tedium:

Watch Extreme Couponing: Midnight MadnessSunday, Jan. 29 @ 10/9c to see four couponers battle crowds to get the best savings on Black Friday.

Extreme Couponing follows savvy shoppers as they plan and plot their way to unbelievable savings.

Witness amazing shopping skills and shocking stockpiles of merchandise, as everyday people go to extremes in pursuit of extraordinary deals.

 America 2012.

The culture of hyperbole

By now you’ve heard about the tarmac confrontation between President Obama and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (who sounds like she’s spent one too many nights at Johnny’s Hideaway).

Brewer said Obama was “uh, a little tense”. She said she tried to show respect but that Obama acted “thin-skinned”, and complained about how she described their earlier meeting, in which Brewer made clear how little time she was given to speak, and how Obama condescendingly lectured her about immigration reform, and did not want to hear about border violence and the costs of illegal aliens to Arizona.

(Really well-written paragraph there.)

Brewer even told some reporters she felt “a little threatened,” red meat for right-wing harpies like Michelle Malkin, defender of Japanese internment.

So, it turns out that the cool cat billed as “No Drama Obama” by his sycophants is actually quite the drama queen. While the White House publicly pretends to ignore conservative detractors of his administration, Chief Touchy-Touchy seems to be personally consumed by our critiques. Yes, mine included.

On Wednesday, the president had himself a mini-”Toddlers and Tiaras”-style meltdown with Arizona GOP Gov. Jan Brewer after landing in Phoenix for a post-State of the Union dog-and-pony show.

Then there’s reality.

Out of the three officials who met President Obama on an airport tarmac near Phoenix earlier this week, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is now the only one who has characterized the president as anything other than cordial.

One of the other officials is a Republican.

The other politician on hand to greet the president, Republican Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Ariz., told TPM on Thursday that the discussion between the president and governor was an “awkward moment” but little more than that.

Awkward when Gov. Cougar was pointing her finger in the president’s face, no doubt. Imagine how the right would’ve reacted had Pat Schroeder wagged her finger at Reagan.

Same script, different villain.

Nike founder Phil Knight: Paterno the real victim

“Whatever the details of the investigation are, this much is clear to me: There was a villain in this tragedy. It lies in the investigation, not in Joe Paterno’s response to it,” Knight said, prompting a prolonged standing ovation from the crowd in the Bryce Jordan Center on the Penn State campus.

The attempted absolution of Joe Paterno is obscene. He may have done many admirable things but don’t believe those who say judge not lest you be judged, at least not in this case.

If I was told that one of my charges had witnessed a colleague raping a 10-year-old my reaction would’ve been swift and certain. You would do the same, assuming you’re not a coward more concerned with your legacy than the health and welfare of defenseless children.

Paterno’s inaction speaks for itself. And as Victor Fiorillo points out, Paterno’s claim that he didn’t comprehend the concept of “rape and a man” is ludicrous.

Paterno was 75 in 2002. Are we really expected to believe that in those 75 years of life that he had never heard of men sexually abusing boys? Keep in mind that in the weeks prior to Paterno learning of the allegations against Jerry Sandusky, the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal in Boston was blowing up all over the national news. In the days leading up to Paterno’s revealing meeting with Mike McQueary—the one where McQueary told him about the disturbing event he had witnessed in the shower—every major newspaper in the country and every television network was covering the tragic events in Boston. There’s no way that Paterno, a lifelong Catholic, was oblivious to these stories.

There was one person at Penn State in a position to put a stop to Sandusky’s alleged abuse of children, and that person was the most powerful, most well-regarded, most respected person on campus: Joe Paterno. But he didn’t. He “turned it over to some other people,” as he told the Post. I give him credit for fessing up to his failure when he said in a recent statement, “I wish I had done more.” But that only goes so far.

MLK Jr. scions never fail to disappoint

Creative Loafing notes more revolting developments from King Inc.:

At the same time the King Center board brought on Bernice, it also placed control of the center in the hands of King Inc., the for-profit corporation run by younger brother Dexter King. That arrangement will make it easier for Dexter, Bernice, and the other family members who make up the board to squeeze every ounce of profit from the King Center, which has historically operated as a charitable foundation. Martin hints that his kin bounced him from the CEO’s job and replaced him with Bernice because he objected to the plan to monetize his father’s tomb.

Readers with long memories will recall the King kids’ previous efforts to turn the MLK legacy into cold, hard cash. The early warning came in 1993, when they sued USA Today for reprinting their father’s “I Have a Dream” speech on MLK Day without first paying them off. The speech has since been removed from school textbooks because the authors couldn’t afford the royalties. And yet, when their price is met, no use seems inappropriate: i.e., using the speech to advertise Cingular cell phone service in 2001. …

And, just last year, the foundation creating the MLK National Monument in Washington, D.C., was forced to pony up $800,000 to the King kids in order to license the Civil Rights leader’s likeness and words.

Never trust a sanctimonious egomaniac

Via Politico:

After nearly a week on the defensive, CNN’s John King reports tonight that Newt Gingrich’s claim about offering witnesses to ABC News in his defense — to rebut the network’s interview with his second wife, Marianne Gingrich — was not true.

“Tonight, after persistent questioning by our staff, the Gingrich campaign concedes now Speaker Gingrich was wrong — both in his debate answer, and in our interview yesterday,” King said on tonight’s edition of John King USA. “Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond says the only people the Gingrich campaign offered to ABC were his two daughters from his first marriage.”

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A hipster stereotype fulfilled

The school marm look is all the rage among male hipsters who’ve adopted the “man bun”:

Alexander Kellum, 31, a fine-arts painter and yoga teacher who lives in Williamsburg, bends forward and pulls his long chestnut hair in front of him; then he performs a twisting and wrapping motion until his hair is firmly tucked into a knot at the back of his head. Sometimes he’ll let a little hair poke out for an “abstract expressionist” flourish, he said.

Travel & Leisure readers don’t know what the f—- they’re talking about

I’m sorry, was that rude? Can’t help it — apparently I’m from the nation’s 7th rudest city, according to readers of Travel & Leisure magazine.

As one Atlantan told the AJC, we’re 7th “because we have so many people who have migrated here from the 6 crabbier places.”

That would include Boston, which somehow only ranks 5th. I lived in Massachusetts for about 10 days back in the 90s. That’s all I could stand (sorry, Norma).

If you don’t believe me go to Turner Field the next time the Red Sox show up.

State budget finds room for fishing ponds, football stadiums

Having already subsidized a fishing museum in former Gov. H. Dumpty’s backyard the state of Georgia is now helping fund a unnecessary new football stadium for the Falcons and its billionaire owner.

This month, [Gov. Nathan] Deal included $15 million in his proposed 2012 budget for the GWCC Authority to purchase the old Herndon Homes property next to the potential stadium site from the Atlanta Housing Authority.  GWCC spokesman Mark Geiger said the property could be used for a marshaling yard, for GWCC expansion or parking, or for a stadium.

Last March AJC columnist Kyle Wingfield detailed what the $400 million the state is expected to kick in towards constructing an open-air stadium could go to instead:

With $400 million, the city could erase more than a quarter of its $1.5 billion pension funds deficit. Or it could pay for a big chunk of its continuing, $4 billion water and sewer infrastructure repairs. Those costs are inescapable. Why pass them on to unborn Atlantans when visitors could help us pay them down now?

Just to get a full grasp of what $400 million will buy, let’s look outside the city limits. For that money, we could pay the rest of the cost of deepening the Savannah port, which would benefit the entire state. It would also fund a large part of an outer perimeter or new north-south expressway allowing cargo trucks to bypass Atlanta.

Or we could hedge our bets in the water wars by building new reservoirs to fulfill our water needs in the event we lose access to Lake Lanier.