A more frequent publishing of Rich Galen's take on politics, culture and general modern annoyances. This is in addition to MULLINGS which is published Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays at

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ask Me No Questions ...

Subscription Renewal is STILL Going On!

November is MULLINGS Subscription Renewal Month.

You would think that with the Federal government spending $1.3 Ga-jillion dollars on all sorts of things, that one Member of the House or Senate would see fit to insert an EARMARK into an Appropriations Bill saying approximately the following:

The General Services Administration (GSA) is directed to purchase a subscription to MULLINGS for every civilian employee of the Federal Government a the bargain-basement prices of $30 per employee.

But, nooooooo.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are just under 2 million civilian federal employees (not including the Postal Service). That one teenie tiny EARMARK would let the rest of you off the hook until the year 2527 when, one assumes, Zager and Evans would pick up the slack.

Seriously, please take a moment and go to the Subscription Renewal Page while I decide what I'm going to write about. You won't miss a thing, but you will help keep MULLINGS strong and independent.


From Ottumwa, Iowa

(Home of Walter O'Reilly)

  • One of the staples of campaigning in the "early states" is the tradition of candidates delivering remarks, and then taking questions from the audience.

  • In Newton, Iowa, the other day. Senator Hillary Clinton was doing just that. She made her remarks at a biodiesel plant and then asked for questions.

  • She called on a student from Grinnell University who asked her about global warming. Clinton warming to the subject, launched into her standard I'm-Greener-Than-Al-Gore riff.

    A D V E R T I S E M E N T

    Focus On Results! From product promotions to
    e-newsletters, your message will be right on target
    with email services from Focus Data Solutions.

    For more information, visit us online at or call


    Focus Data Solutions

  • Trouble is, the student reported to her university newspaper that a Clinton staffer had provided her with the question and then placed her in a position where Mrs. Clinton was likely to call on her.

  • Which, I'm surprised to report, Clinton did.

  • The Clinton campaign said "It's not a practice of our campaign to ask people to ask specific questions," which is a standard Clintonian non-denial-denial.

  • Later, of course, the campaign had to 'fess up because the Grinnell student had spilled the beans.

  • Fox News' Major Garrett called upon the John Edwards campaign to get its reaction to Plant-Gate. Edwards' communications director said:
    "In light of a weak debate performance, not to mention a persistent inability to answer the tough questions, it appears the Clinton campaign has adopted a new strategy of planting questions.

    "It's what the Clinton campaign calls the politics of planting."

  • Which is a pretty good line.

    A D V E R T I S E M E N T The industry leader in online fundraising.

    The political leader in Internet deployment.

  • To show how closely Iowans pay attention to this stuff, it was mentioned at both campaign stops last night. A man prefaced a question about education policy by saying the Thompson campaign had not planted it. And at the second stop, the woman who acted as MC asked for "non-planted questions" at the appropriate point in the program.

  • Hearty laughs all around.


    The other day I was did a segment on the Fox radio program "Brian and the Judge." I was asked why I thought professional conservative Paul Weyrich had endorsed Rudy Giuliani.

    I paused and said, "Global Warming."

    Hearty laughs all around.


  • While candidates planting their own questions with their own questioners is looked down upon, we had an occasion last week in New Hampshire when a questioner pointed out that Fred Thompson had once been a lobbyist and asked if he was still registered as a lobbyist in Washington, DC.

  • Thompson responded, "No one's offered me any work in that area, so the answer is no."

  • Then last night another plant, reading from a piece of paper, said that he was going to join the Peace Corps after college and wanted to know Thompson's position on AIDS in Africa.

  • Thompson answered and then thanked the student for his "spontaneous question."

  • Hearty laughs all around.


    Post a Comment

    << Home