August 27th Roundup: A Birthday and Sarah Palin Flakes?


oakley waiting for steve.jpg(Oakley the Amazing Weimaraner waiting for Steve to get home for the surprise birthday party)
Good morning all. Today, we are 47. Well, I am actually. Today is not only my birthday but it also marks the 150th anniversary of the first commercial oil well in the world — in Titusville, Pennsylvania on August 27th, 1859. Global oil and energy guru Daniel Yergin shared that cocktail chatter about today’s date a few weeks ago with me.
We also share this birthday with New School President and former US Senator Bob Kerrey, with whom we have organized a few collaborative events in the past; Pee Wee Herman, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, my junior high school pal and Spencer T. Videon Funeral Home Boys Choir lead soprano Nick Scogna (Nick and I both went to the same middle school — Beverly Hills Middle School in Upper Darby, PA — that Tina Fey attended), an old college running friend and engineering genius Brian Strom, and a couple of my office colleagues — Benjamin Katcher who regularly posts on TWN and Jonathan Wallace who is the right hand apparatchik of Steve Coll at the New America Foundation. For years, I thought Mother Teresa also shared a birthday with me — but actually, she was technically born yesterday but as she was baptized on August 27th, she used to insist that her birthday was really today.
Speaking of Tina Fey. . .Thanks to Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire, I caught this bit on Sarah Palin either flaking out on speaking at events at which she agreed to speak — or to give her the benefit of the doubt, organizations that had wrongly reported that they had secured Palin as a speaker. If it is the former, then progressive non-profit organizations that have an IRS responsibility to demonstrate non-partisanship could check off that box by inviting her — and then counting on her not to show up. Just a thought. . .
From the Anchorage Daily News:

Organizers of an Anchorage event that has been billing Sarah Palin for weeks as a star speaker were left scrambling Wednesday after learning that the former governor won’t be there for tonight’s event and claims to have never been asked.
It would be at least the fourth time in recent months that an anticipated Palin speech has fallen through after Palin and her camp disputed they had ever confirmed it. That includes the brouhaha over whether she’d speak at the annual congressional Republican fundraising dinner in Washington, D.C., this summer.
This time it’s an event promoting an Alaska ballot measure aimed at making it illegal for teens to get an abortion without telling their parents. The Alaska Family Council has been advertising that Palin would give a speech and become the first official signer of the ballot petition tonight at ChangePoint, the Anchorage megachurch.

This kind of thing is not going to help her $$ receipts from speaking fees that she hopes to rake in over the next few years. Count me happy about this.
More soon.
— Steve Clemons


20 comments on “August 27th Roundup: A Birthday and Sarah Palin Flakes?

  1. bangzoom14 says:

    Best wishes to you for a great year ahead! And thank you for all your great work.


  2. Amy says:

    Virgos rock!
    I share with the late Michael Jackson and am mid-40s also. Thanks for all you do Steve.


  3. Outraged American says:

    Leave Steve alone. Anyone who can stand that close to Wolfowitz
    without ramming his foot down Wolfies’s esophagus deserves…
    well, I don’t know what Steve deserves except a round of
    applause for letting us play on his site, at probably some risk to
    his career.
    And as for “name-dropping,” that’s Steve’s world. He’s allowing
    us a glimpse.
    I just have to admire Steve’s incredibly admirable ability to pal
    around with mass murderers.
    And his ability to travel non-stop. He’s like the Paris Hilton/
    Victoria Beckham of the political world.
    Steve, remember to give that dog some food. Next time you see
    Richard Perle, stab him, carve him up, and feed Annie, Oakley
    and Buddy for years.


  4. arthurdecco says:

    mickster’s post brought back to mind John Raulston Saul’s astonishing and prescient early 1990’s book, “Voltaire’s Bastards – The Dictatorship of Reason in the West”. Specifically Chapter 4, which I just re-read. …It’s title? “The Rational Courtesan”.


  5. mickster says:

    Trivial Observation: your posts often mention you and who you
    know in sort of an overt way that smacks of name dropping at a
    cocktail party I have never been to but imagine as scene from an as
    yet unmade Woody Allen movie. So la di da.


  6. Reggie Davis says:

    Happy birthday Steve. Sarah Palin is not worth the free conversation and article you’ve written about her. We already know where she stands…
    government grants for women to start a business
    government grants for women


  7. ... says:

    hey steve.. happy birthday.. i have a good friend born the same year but on the 25th who is a great saxophone player…


  8. Greg Land says:

    Happy Birthday Steve! Feels like yesterday when you and I met at
    UCLA orientation! You’ve been a great mentor and someone to look
    up to! Enjoy your day! I may be in DC with my students this
    summer, so we should get together!!


  9. David says:

    I have you by a mere score years. Happy natal day, and many, many more. You are one of the bright lights.


  10. questions says:

    Well I feel so young! Except I suddenly need bifocals. Hmmm. All the better to read my computer screen at a reasonable distance.
    Happy birthday! And remember, you’re the perfect age to have enjoyed orange shag carpeting to the fullest extent possible!
    Your childhood was a time of great and innovative interior design!
    This year, I will not attempt to “draw” a birthday cake. But you may imagine the one that could have been.


  11. Outraged American says:

    Happy birthday Steve! Fer Gawd’s sake, feed that dog! I have a can
    of Alpo sitting right here that I can Fed Ex you.
    He was probably sitting there patiently because he was waiting to
    eat you.


  12. Mr.Murder says:

    Happy birthday, Steve!
    This one item needs to have an Executive reference on the health care debate.
    Polio vaccine is proof that a social construct of government provided care can be cheap and effective.
    Use the success of polio vaccine in fighting such disease as an example of government provided care that works.
    When will the GOPer operatives demand we halt all socialized medicine uses of the vaccine program?


  13. erichwwk says:

    Happy birthday!!
    Please disconnect the following comment from my sincere best wishes when you write:
    “Today [is not only my birthday but it] also marks the 150th anniversary of the first commercial oil well in the world — in Titusville, Pennsylvania on August 27th, 1859.”
    Typical American ego inflation.
    While one can claim accuracy by defining “Commercial” in such as way as to exclude all but “American” resource production and distribution, under a more neutral definition the Pennsylvania well was over 2200 years too late to gather than honor. Try “Salt:A World History” for a fascinating account of these early Chinese wells, dug up to 800 deep with bamboo extract oil as a fuel to evaporate sea salt, or wikipedia under “Oil wells” to learn how untrue that statement is, and how widespread oil wells were in time and space prior to the first USA oil well.
    I am surprised that “Global oil and energy guru Daniel Yergin”, who should certainly know better, passed on such “cocktail chatter”.
    Perhaps the lesson in this is to distinguish between sober and “not so sober” comment.
    Thankfully most of your reporting is of the sober variety, detailed, fair, and accurate.
    Am glad it was a celebratory day. You deserve it!


  14. Chari says:

    Happy Birthday, Steve! I’ll catch up with you in October.


  15. Linda says:

    Happy Birthday! Birthdays arrive reliably every year! You betcha! You can count on that and wish you many more!
    As for Palin, totally quixotic and unreliable!


  16. Dan Kervick says:

    Happy Birthday, Steve. It turns out I share an August 12th birthday with the noted Gilded Age glutton, “Diamond Jim” Brady, and also with our noted contemporary master of the universe, “Diamond George” Soros. More to my taste: I was born on the same day as Erwin Schrödinger.


  17. WigWag says:

    Steve, I hope you have a very Happy Birthday!
    By the way, you look much younger than 47.


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