Small earthquake in la-la land, or, Why is Sarah Palin Smiling?

There is a great story about the journalist (and Communist) Claud Cockburn that while working at The Times in the 1920s, he won a competition for devising the most boring headline that actually made it into the paper. His winning entry: “Small Earthquake in Chile, Not Many Dead.” According to Wikipedia, the story is apocryphal, but I long ago placed it in the sacred category of “too good to check.” Besides, when I first heard it, Cockburn won the competition while at The Observer, even though (as far as I know) he never worked there.

Anyway, notwithstanding the veracity of the story, I find myself often reminded of it. Just today, for example, when a friend sent me a piece on Sarah Palin from the Huffing and Puffing Post, sometimes known as the Huffington Post. It’s by Stefan Sirucek, “independent journalist and foreign correspondent,” and bears the arresting title “EXCLUSIVE (Update): Palin's Tea Party Crib Notes.”

So what startling revelation does Stefan Sirucek, International Man of Mystery, impart?  Why, that Sarah Palin, when she delivered her speech to the National Tea Party Conference last night had actually scribbled a few words on her left palm.

Stop the presses!  What a scandal. According to HufPo’s  intrepid reporter, Palin’s notes to herself are ominous, ominous:

Closer inspection of a photo of Sarah Palin, during a speech in which she mocked President Obama for his use of a teleprompter, reveals several notes written on her left hand. The words "Energy", "Tax" and "Lift American Spirits" are clearly visible. There's also what appears to read as "Budget cuts" with the word Budget crossed out.