Palin, pancakes, and the straight talk express
September 14, 2008 5:32 AM   Subscribe

Have the wheels come off the straight talk express? At least one sleeping giant woke up today: the NYT finally gives Sarah Palin a thorough vetting and the results aren't pretty. The McCain campaign's aggressive - and many say dishonest - tactics in promoting Palin may have sparked the beginnings of a media backlash. Camp McCain's reaction: We don't care and intend to stay on offense. And about that offense, they will soon have some help: Group With Swift Boat Alumni Readies Ads Attacking Obama. How low will things go? At this week's Values Voters Summit, 'Obama Waffles' with racial stereotypes were all the rage.
posted by madamjujujive (1755 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite

 
The white war hero would never tell a lie. He has too much Honortm.
posted by billysumday at 5:44 AM on September 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


The flat out lie approach to politicking seems to be a new one, even for a presidential election.

Unfortunately it seems to be working.

What a mess.
posted by Lord_Pall at 5:45 AM on September 14, 2008


Yay McCain! He lifted an overturned truck off a trapped baby many years ago–THAT BABBY WAS ME!!!11!

Also he has eerie mind powers.

On a serious note, what's the deal with emigrating to the Netherlands? Is there a height requirement?
posted by Mister_A at 5:51 AM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Someone should ask Lou Dobbs if his wife really did love the waffles.

Oddly enough, the Lou Dobbs post disappeared from the waffle makers' blog shortly after Think Progress originally reported on it. Highly specific and coincidental server failure, I guess.
posted by maudlin at 6:00 AM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Meh.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:01 AM on September 14, 2008


So, I went to Drudge this morning, also Google news...guess the rest of the news media hasn't noticed the Time article yet.
posted by konolia at 6:01 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good.
These vile people need to be driven forcefully back into the darkness, and barring that into the sea.

I want her to slink back to the hole she snarked her way out of and spend tending to nothing more pressing than whether to let the liquor stores stay open a little longer during nightday.

Put them on their heels and dont let up.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:02 AM on September 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


spend the rest of her days that was sposed to read.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:02 AM on September 14, 2008


From this AP article:
"But in the last two election cycles, the very notion that the facts matter seems to be under assault," said Michael X. Delli Carpini, an authority on political ads at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. "Candidates and their consultants seem to have learned that as long as you don't back down from your charges or claims, they will stick in the minds of voters regardless of their accuracy or at a minimum, what the truth is will remain murky, a matter of opinion rather than fact."
posted by davar at 6:04 AM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, Obama is floundering and can't raise enough money -- oh, wait.

Senator Barack Obama raised $66 million in the month of August, making it his best month ever and the best in American political history, an aide said Sunday morning. ...

An Obama aide said the campaign added 500,000 new donors to its rolls in August. The new figure -- shattering his previous record of $55 million -- also demonstrates how the increasingly heated, nasty race has energized Obama's fundraising, and raises expectations that he will raise that much or more in the next two months.

posted by maudlin at 6:05 AM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Why doesn't Barrack Obama lie more often?
This is exactly what's so puzzling about Obama's strategy — why is he paying any attention to the fact-checkers? So far, McCain has seen little blowback from lying. Polls show that he's perceived as more "honest and trustworthy" than Obama and that the public believes his claim that Obama would raise taxes on the middle class. When MediaCurves showed the Obama-called-Palin-a-pig ad to a focus group of women, many came out thinking that Barack Obama had a gender bias.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:11 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


There are no lies, just many truths.
posted by mattoxic at 6:16 AM on September 14, 2008


I hope that the American electorate has finally had enough of being taken for granted as mindless and spineless, and I hope that we have learned to see through the ridiculous double-speak of our politicians, where "straight talk" means carefully crafted public statements, clandestine policy meetings, and paranoiac control over public information. The question I am fairly certain we will hear from Sen. Obama, while he may paraphase it, is this: "Are you better off today than you were eight years ago?" There is no getting around that obvious answer, and there is no way for the Republican party to disavow responsibility for the dreadful state of this country. That is the question that won the election in 1980, and may well turn this year's election. Obama is smart, and he will get on the stump and remind the voters that voting for the elephants brought the disasters of the last eight years.
posted by Mister_A at 6:16 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh joy. If the national campaign is going to head to the bottom like this, I can't wait to see what bile the local party droids are going to roll-out "unofficially".
posted by Thorzdad at 6:17 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why doesn't Barrack Obama lie more often?

Because that's not the campaign he's running, and I respect him for it.
posted by graventy at 6:18 AM on September 14, 2008 [12 favorites]


Alaska rallies against Sarah Palin.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:22 AM on September 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


Pretty weak stuff, that Times piece. The Times supports the Obama campaign not be directly influencing voters -- no swing voters actually read it -- but by trying to create pro-Obama story-lines for the television news that swing voters do see. Television news has already decided that their viewers like Palin. They could undecide that, of course, but it would take more than this sort of inside-baseball to make that move.

I doubt that the Times doesn't recognize this, which is why they dumped the story so early. I'm sure they're devoting a lot more time to figuring out how Obama will be best served by the big Keating 5 piece, the big how-nasty-is-the-Arizona-beer-business piece, and the create-internecine-conflict piece on the nasty things McCain has said about Bush and social conservatives.

As it should be, McCain's strategy needs to be to ignore it all and keep directing polite fire on Obama while third parties direct the more impolite fire. Television news likes a winner, and as long as Obama keeps weak, they won't pile on McCain the way the Times would like.
posted by MattD at 6:23 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hope that the American electorate isn't actually mindless and spineless. I fear it may be.

Both sides have spent a long time picking on John Kerry and Al Gore for what worthless, wimpy candidates they were. We're beginning to do the same with Obama. Here's the problem: The American people made the wrong decision. They chose the worse candidate in 2000, and for poor reasons. Then they did it again.

The collective thought process of our nation is chaotic, gut-level, poorly reasoned. I accept it at a root level that there is some core wisdom in the American electorate, that truth will out and the good guys will win someday. But what if it isn't true? What if Gore and Kerry weren't wine-sipping nancy boys and brainiacs but were actually good people who lost to worse ones?

I think of Obama as the best presidential candidate of my lifetime. Democrats are rushing to be the first in line to be ashamed of him.
posted by argybarg at 6:25 AM on September 14, 2008 [18 favorites]


oh, look
posted by pyramid termite at 6:26 AM on September 14, 2008


Speaking of TV, you'll know that Obama is well and truly toast if Oprah is forced to reverse herself and invite Palin onto the show before the election. Not saying that will happen, but Oprah didn't get as rich as she is by riding a losing horse all the way to the finish line.
posted by MattD at 6:26 AM on September 14, 2008


One picture of Sarah Palin's face undoes 10,000 words of expose on her goofy governorship. The woman looks fantastic. Her face is the perfectly proportioned expression of the "golden mean." The eyes, the cheekbones, the mouth, the neck have a powerful appeal that make objective or hostile reaction very difficult. I think she's a nut, but I can't get enough of her. That face is like food. Its proportions must fit some atavistic emotional receptors to a T. And speaking of food, if Democrats can somehow get her to gain 15-20 pounds over the next month or so, her candidacy will drop like a stone. Fatten up that face. Those are the cheekbones and jaw of a naturally heavyset gal. Fifteen pounds is all that stands between goddess and glob, lovely and loutish. And for heaven's sake MSM, keep her picture out of the papers and off TV!
posted by Faze at 6:29 AM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


Alaska rallies against Sarah Palin.
Here is a blog post with pictures.
Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn’t honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn’t happen here. [...] So, if you’ve been doing the math… Yes. The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was significantly bigger than Palin’s rally that got all the national media coverage!
posted by davar at 6:29 AM on September 14, 2008 [17 favorites]


The problems seems to be that no matter what comes out of a candidate's mouth, a certain proportion of the population only hears one thing. For example Sarah Palin's interview would sound like this to some:

Gibson: What is your insight on Russia...

Palin: Abortion. Abortion..... Abortion.

Gibson: Do you think you're ready to step in to the Presidency if needed considering your experience?

Palin: Abortion. AborTION.
posted by Eekacat at 6:32 AM on September 14, 2008 [11 favorites]


Her face is the perfectly proportioned expression of the "golden mean."

The proportions might be golden, but the eyes and mouth are definitely mean.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:39 AM on September 14, 2008 [24 favorites]


Speaking of TV, you'll know that Obama is well and truly toast if Oprah is forced to reverse herself and invite Palin onto the show before the election. Not saying that will happen, but Oprah didn't get as rich as she is by riding a losing horse all the way to the finish line.

Are you kidding? Oprah actually inviting her on would be a critical hit. The entire angle the McCain camp is pushing is whining that "the media" is against Palin. They don't actually want anyone to interview her.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:41 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


YouTube Compendium of McCain Lies
McCain on the View
Pork
Bears, Crabs, Seals
Alaskan news covers the Bridge to Nowhere
More Here
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:47 AM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Eekacat, you're right about the single-issue right-to-life voters, but they aren't the problem; that ship has long since sailed for the Dems. The problem is that other people who by and large support choice, do not run international oil conglomerates or play major league baseball, and spend a huge portion of their income on energy and healthcare may vote once again for the wrong guy because He's Not Black™ and because they actually believe in the winnability of the various Wars on Concepts™, most famously the War on Terror®.

That's what happened in 2004, but I really do think that the fact that people are paying through the nose for energy and healthcare changes the equation; regular, non-political people are hurting financially and they know who to blame, even if they don't know why. If Obama wins, it will be largely on "throw the bums out" sentiment.
posted by Mister_A at 6:48 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know I shouldn't be dumbstruck by a fact of human nature, but I am. McCain can look like a lump of oatmeal-cookie dough and no one is particularly moved to comment except in passing, even though he's far from the George Eads type he was way back when; no one seems to pay attention to the fact that Obama has the physique of a runner and a slightly neotenous face, but Palin happens to have cheekbones she didn't earn and people go all gobsmacked and ignore her incompetence, croneyism, ignorance, and extremism. Just put a Harriet Miers mask on her (or, if you prefer, Madeline Albright) and see if it makes a difference to your tihnking.
posted by Peach at 6:49 AM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


This is exactly what's so puzzling about Obama's strategy — why is he paying any attention to the fact-checkers? So far, McCain has seen little blowback from lying.

McCain is not heavily supported by fact-checking blog readers. Many of those Obama supporters would stay home if he started behaving as McCain is. Losing your base is just as damaging as losing the middle ground. McCain's base sees lying as a necessary and courageous tactic to gain power.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:51 AM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Are you kidding? Oprah actually inviting her on would be a critical hit. The entire angle the McCain camp is pushing is whining that "the media" is against Palin. They don't actually want anyone to interview her.

Nope. Oprah shouldn't have Palin on unless she has all the candidates on. If she has Palin only, she'll look, well, deferential, no matter what questions she asks. And Palin doesn't get her dessert until she's talked to a few more real journalists, like the hosts of The View. Then they can loan their pairs to the rest of the media.
posted by maudlin at 6:52 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Washington Post also has a front page expose on Palin today: "As Mayor of Wasilla, Palin Cut Own Duties, Left Trail of Bad Blood"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:52 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


The American Idol candidate... Thumbs down from Ebert, I guess.
posted by jaronson at 7:00 AM on September 14, 2008


Obama reports he has raised $66 million in August. This is more than any campaign in American history.

Interesting of note is that, while we were all talking about the way Palin inspired us to donate to Obama, Palin was selected on August 29. Which means that save the first two days, these numbers do not even factor in the response to Palin on McCain's ticket.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:01 AM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


The central issues of this campaign have become: A) Sarah Palin is totally hot; and B) Sarah Palin stands up for kick-ass smalltown values.

My aunt says: "Isn't she great? She's just out there with her guns. She's a breath of fresh air." That's about it. Like watching reality TV.

There may be some way of compelling people who think that way to move towards making reasoned decisions. It would certainly take more time than we have in one election cycle, that's for sure. In the meantime, the Stupid Party wins again, it seems.
posted by argybarg at 7:02 AM on September 14, 2008


Forgot to add: No one, including my aunt, would think she was a "breath of fresh air" if she looked like Janet Reno or Claire McKaskill. Our collective faith in the power of beautiful people to make the world beautiful is boundless.
posted by argybarg at 7:07 AM on September 14, 2008 [30 favorites]


I would like to see real campaign reform–deliberately spreading lies about your opponent on national TV is not something you should be allowed to get away with. This is one more reason that McCain, who made his national reputation fighting for campaign reform, disgusts me more than Bush II. It's the hypocrisy, stupid.
posted by Mister_A at 7:08 AM on September 14, 2008


The bad news: FiveThirtyEight's meticulously-crafted electoral predictor says Obama is significantly behind, following a post-convention bounce for McCain.
The good news: FiveThirtyEight says that this McCain bounce almost exactly follows historical trends for post-convention bounces, and when things return to equilibrium Obama is likely to have drawn even.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:10 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Isn't she great? She's just out there with her guns. She's a breath of fresh air."

your aunt forgot to add:

"Brought to you by Carl's, Jr.™"

As to the Times article, in GOP v. 2008 fashion, while it may be true that Palin did throw out the old bums when she assumed her post as Governor, which establishes her "maverick" bona fides. However, they neglected to mention that she filled many of this well paid and powerful positions with her high school buddies from Wasilla. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

I'd say she's less like George W. Bush than she is the second coming of Dick Cheney, who despite his (ahem) massive failings, at least he had a set of cronies that were nominally qualified to manage large government bureaucracies.
posted by psmealey at 7:10 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Forgot to add: No one, including my aunt, would think she was a "breath of fresh air" if she looked like Janet Reno or Claire McKaskill. Our collective faith in the power of beautiful people to make the world beautiful is boundless.

Yes, I haven't seen talked about much how the choice of Palin addresses Obama's attractiveness advantage over McCain.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:10 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bush did not win the election fair and square either time. The majority of the voters, not to mention eligible voters who did not vote, never wanted Bush. That said, Palin's pat answers to everything and her self-described small town thinking doubtless strikes a chord with many people.

"What you and I know is that anyone who actually wants to be President of the Galaxy must by all means be prevented from doing so." - The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy (paraphrased).
posted by AppleSeed at 7:13 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


In the meantime, the Stupid Party wins again, it seems.

In what respect, Charlie?

Time to trade in my old thread for a younger, faster-loading one.
posted by cortex at 7:14 AM on September 14, 2008 [7 favorites]


Palin is an absolutely ridiculous person, and the stories of her actual governing style are chilling. Still, I have to say, I'm worried by the effect she is having on the race in the final stretch.

We're still going to win this, right? Right?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:15 AM on September 14, 2008


FiveThirtyEight says that this McCain bounce almost exactly follows historical trends for post-convention bounces, and when things return to equilibrium Obama is likely to have drawn even.

The bad news: Given the opposing candidate, the drawn out war, and the collapsing economy, Obama should be ahead by 15%.

McCain is the weakest candidate the GOP has fielded in a very long time, and the political and economic situation is a disaster for the GOP.

And yet, discounting bounces, McCain is running neck and neck.

Sports analogy: Number #1 Michigan is going into the 2nd half tied with Division 2 Appalachian State University. You don't celebrate the tie at the half, you seriously look at how many wheels have fallen off the bus.
posted by eriko at 7:22 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


While we are panicking it is worth remembering that the debates have not occurred yet. At some point Obama and McCain are going to stand on a stage together, and I'm guessing that will be a very widely viewed event. I envision massive milkshake drinkage will be the result.

And around the same time, Palin will have to appear opposite Joe Biden, another person with bona fide small town down-home cred and three times her IQ.

I believe the end of McCain's chances will be dated from that point.
posted by localroger at 7:23 AM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


Great job assembling this post. It ought to be put into the wiki as an example of how to properly post politics to mefi.

As for the substance, I think it is clear that we are getting more Karl Rove and less John McCain. Even a lot of Republicans I know are disgusted with McCain. It's not like they are going vote Obama or anything, but they are quite shocked and dismayed at his recent tactics. He promised a clean campaign and given how he has run previous campaigns many people believed him. This incredible willingness to outright lie is not good.
posted by caddis at 7:25 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


"We're still going to win this, right? Right?"

Well, here's my answer to THAT question...

Not a damn thing is going to change as a result of the time and energy I put into talking about this on the internet....

We're "still going to win this.." if we put our time, energy, and money where our mouths are...
posted by HuronBob at 7:25 AM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Eriko, I think I agree with you on your implicit point -- that a combination of factors has made the election a referendum on Obama, and that McCain himself won't be terrifically important in the outcome of that referundum.

However, it's a bit difficult to argue that "McCain is the weakest candidate the GOP has fielded in a long time" -- George H.W. Bush went from 90% approval ratings to 38% of the popular vote in 19 months, Bob Dole was wrong-footed from the beginning, and George W. Bush had massively worse favorable / unfavorable ratings in 2004 and went on barely to beat Kerry.
posted by MattD at 7:31 AM on September 14, 2008


We're still going to win this. Elections are won on fundamentals and organization, and they're both on our side.
posted by EarBucket at 7:32 AM on September 14, 2008


That’s the kinda sound I like. (Just don’t wanna miss anything.)
posted by ijoshua at 7:34 AM on September 14, 2008


Given the opposing candidate, the drawn out war, and the collapsing economy, Obama should be ahead by 15%.

Should, yes. But this is America, and our "fundamentals" are not those of the general electorate:

McCain is a war hero; Obama is a black man with an Arabic first name, an Osama-like surname and a Muslim father. Despite media saturation, a significant percantage of people still think he swore his oath on the Koran. Personally I think he's doing a heckofa job in a hostile anti-intellectual environment. (I just donated.)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:35 AM on September 14, 2008


McCain is the weakest candidate the GOP has fielded in a very long time.

Not true. Yes, he's old and he's a poor public speaker. But he comes with three massive advantages (two of which he's eagerly sawing off and burning for a little extra heat): 1) He has a tremendous back story, one of the best in political history. For low-information voters who tuned into the convention, the emotive details of McCain's POW days were probably a revelation. 2) He has a long-standing tradition as a flinty, tough-talking, no-BS kind of guy with a great sense of humor -- a politician for people who generally don't like politicians. 3) He looks the part: Nice simple name, done his time in Washington, older white guy with a military background.

In many ways, this is a made-to-order candidate. If he were ten years younger with better speech delivery, he'd be elected King of the Galaxy if he wanted.
posted by argybarg at 7:36 AM on September 14, 2008


The mindlessness of McCain's campaign deserves some special attention. What is this confluence of guns, hot wars against "our enemies" and Christianity, for starters? We all know the Commandments and "love thine enemies", so how do fundamentalists square these stark contradictions?
And how about "drill, baby, drill"? As I understand it, all of the readily useful oil reserves, when they finally come on line optimistically ten years from now, will satisfy around 15% of the demand. So we get a drop in the proverbial bucket at a very steep cost to the environment and we're still nowhere.
The Pentagon and intelligence agencies have been saying for years that the one thing we could do to reduce terrorism is to reduce our presence in Iraq, yet McCain and Palin, clinging to an undefined "victory", mention only military conflict as the solution. Meanwhile, large corporations stand to profit from war and the last gasps of light sweet crude.

This lack of rigor is not so much a logical "disconnect" (I don't care for that term), as it is an inability to think in any depth, to see beyond one step. Isn't that a form of insanity?
posted by AppleSeed at 7:37 AM on September 14, 2008


keep directing polite fire on Obama

What planet do you call home? Polite?

Amazing the lengths to which people will go to rationalize pathologically ugly political behavior.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:37 AM on September 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


I think I like this self repeating media meme better than the last self repeating media meme.
posted by Artw at 7:37 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wish everyone would dismiss this hick as a joke already, but I must admit that she's catalyzed a sentiment of hate in what appeared to be a sleepy election.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:38 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Heretics! Long live The Thread!
posted by Flunkie at 7:42 AM on September 14, 2008


how is drill babby drilled
how girl get president

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:43 AM on September 14, 2008 [25 favorites]


Not true. Yes, he's old and he's a poor public speaker. But he comes with three massive advantages (two of which he's eagerly sawing off and burning for a little extra heat): 1) He has a tremendous back story, one of the best in political history. For low-information voters who tuned into the convention, the emotive details of McCain's POW days were probably a revelation. 2) He has a long-standing tradition as a flinty, tough-talking, no-BS kind of guy with a great sense of humor -- a politician for people who generally don't like politicians. 3) He looks the part: Nice simple name, done his time in Washington, older white guy with a military background.

You could almost be describing Bob Dole here. I think McCain is incredibly weak. Whatever his "experience", and "straight talk", those are empty claims. In his 30 some odd years in Congress, legislatively, he's known only for three things: Keating 5 corruption; McCain-Feingold, which has ultimately been an abject failure; and The Torture Bill, which despite his conviction, he rolled over on it.
posted by psmealey at 7:43 AM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


psmealey, he's known for those three things to you because you know a bit about politics. To 80%+ of voters he's either "which old guy was he again?" or "that maverick guy, straight talker." Very few people can name anyone's legislative accomplishments.

And yes, Bob Dole lost, but Bill Clinton was the incumbent in decent economic times. Dole might have won in 1988 or 1992.
posted by argybarg at 7:49 AM on September 14, 2008


Here is the funny part, and probably no one will agree. The first thing you have to do is win the White House. McCain has shown incredible prowess at peaking at the right time. This time last year he was a week away from quitting for lack of financial support. At the end of this I think everyone knows that Obama would have won had he chosen Hillary as a running mate. Had he done so McCain probably would not have chosen Palin and Obama would have coasted to a win. Obama perhaps arrogantly and perhaps naively assumed he had the win when he chose Biden, a friend.

I can hear Bill Clinton sipping his bitter coffee right now muttering under his breath, “That punk assed kid should have listened to me.” No one has yet said that Obama’s choice for VP is his greatest blunder. If he loses I think it may come up in conversation. Face it, if Biden caught cold and bowed out and Hillary stepped in to save the day the left would sleep better at night between now and November.

This conversation should not be about the choice McCain made but the one Obama fumbled. This election has never been McCain’s to win it has always been Obama’s to lose. You can deny it, but you would be lying to yourself.
posted by MapGuy at 7:49 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Lipstick on a pig. And here's the video...

(this is nonpartisan cuteness.)
posted by konolia at 7:50 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: massive milkshake drinkage.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:51 AM on September 14, 2008


If he were ten years younger with better speech delivery, he'd be elected King of the Galaxy if he wanted.

He was, if you recall, but he also fathered adopted a black bangladeshi baby out of wedlock pity. And you know how those Values VotersTM get all fired up about black folks, so much so that he subsequently lost to the well-connected, combat avoiding, idiot son of an asshole. Maverick my ass.

Why do people keep framing these elections on concepts of fairness, dignity and common sense? Wasps simply don't want to give away the power they've held in this country since the first plantation, and they'll do anything to keep it, regardless of which moron they choose to be the figurehead. If McCain starts slipping in the polls, Obama better get himself a blast-resistant PopemobileTM.

Hope it ain't so, but these animals people are vicious.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:58 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


MapGuy:

A black Democrat named Barack Obama cannot be the default choice for president in the present-day USA. Slightly more than half of Democrats were willing to welcome him, but mainstream USA is a tougher sell. I think he'll probably close the deal, probably during the debates. But I'm sure lots of people get the willies just saying his name.
posted by argybarg at 7:59 AM on September 14, 2008


From the NYT article:
But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.

“Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,” Ms. Chase said. “It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.”
I know the evil librul blogs have been saying this all September, but now that we have a confirmed citation: WTF AMRIKA?! WTF WTF WTF?!
posted by the cydonian at 8:00 AM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


I love MapGuy and Konolia, just jumping and waving and trying to distract - look over here! Don't look at Palin's lies! Look over here! No no, don't look at McCain's lies and distortions, look over here! Get distracted!
posted by cashman at 8:01 AM on September 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


Here's what I get from Palin. She's a cypher, much in the same way Bush was a cypher. An attractive figurehead for the hard-right. She obviously hasn't any real policies or opinions of her own. Rather, she's an attractive proxy for whomever the power-brokers behind her are.

It just makes me wonder what sort of deal was brokered with McCain to get her on the ticket. Those guys are far too Machiavellian for it to be simply a "This'll confuse the hell out of the Obama camp" move. I have to wonder if it wasn't something like "We'll let you be President for a year, John, then you'll have to step-down for 'health reasons', and we'll take it from there."
posted by Thorzdad at 8:04 AM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


"Are you better off today than you were eight years ago?"

This is exactly right. After 8 years of Republican rule, are you better off? Is The U.S.A.? Is The World?

Do you want to continue the policies of Bush and Cheney? If so, vote McCain.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:05 AM on September 14, 2008


The problem with the "Obama should have picked Clinton" line is that it ignores the fundamental order of events - if Obama had chosen Clinton, there's no way McCain would have still gone with Palin. It was a game of rock-paper-scissors, and Obama had to announce his choice first.
posted by 0xFCAF at 8:05 AM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


MapGuy: I agree. VP picks matter.

I don't think Hillary was the best choice, because of the bitter divisiveness she drummed up all through the primaries. If I were in Obama's shoes, I sure as hell wouldn't trust her.

So, he needed a VP pick that would have sparked a national or regional interest. The Smiler discounted himself with an ill-timed scandal, and he didn't help Kerry all that much the last time 'round. I don't think there are any hidden candidates that could have whipped up the kind of interest Palin did - except for maybe Gov. Sebelius. I think the possibility for a backlash for having both a woman and a minority on the ticket would be a bit too much to overcome reservations by more traditionalist voters... one monumental change at a time.

This leaves regional winners. Bob Graham was the obvious choice: senatorial and gubernatorial experience, popular with centrist voters and even more popular with union voters, and, most importantly, never lost an election in Florida. Tim Kaine was the obvious choice: Virginia, signed sealed and delivered. Strickland. You get the gist. The election would not be won or lost in Delaware.

Now we're stuck until the debates, and I have a hunch McCain might back out of them altogether. Why shouldn't he? The lies and mudslinging are working very well, and both Obama and Biden are savagely good orators. There's no advantage to an honest debate.

If he does go through with them, remember, Ronnie Ray-Gun was well behind the peanut farmer until the debates. Obama will mop the floor with McCain, and get as big a bounce as the convention.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:09 AM on September 14, 2008


She's a cypher, much in the same way Bush was a cypher.

She's Bush without the money: ambitious enough to hold office, but unqualified and unaccomplished enough to be maleable by the powers that be, and nasty enough to punish those who point out that very fact.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:11 AM on September 14, 2008 [9 favorites]


All I see is an 8 year old child, pretty enough to lead a clique, smart enough to try to hide her cruelty from the teachers but not quite smart enough to do it effectively. The sort whose mother threw expensive birthday parties at which she threw tantrums because they weren't perfect. A spoiled, petty and ultimately cold-hearted child who thinks that love is less about trust than about power, and is forever trying to control others to make sure she cannot be hurt.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:15 AM on September 14, 2008 [44 favorites]


“It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.”
I know the evil librul blogs have been saying this all September, but now that we have a confirmed citation: WTF AMRIKA?! WTF WTF WTF?!


IIRC, the member of parliament (A former teacher, mind you) in the riding I grew up in supported the removal of Lolita from a local school's library when he was mayor. 'AMRIKA' does not have a monopoly on ignorance.

And its usage makes you look as goofy as people who write 'Fukk Micro$oft!11!1"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:20 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


However, it's a bit difficult to argue that "McCain is the weakest candidate the GOP has fielded in a long time"

You are citing evidence that there were weaker candidates from the viewpoint of moderates and liberals. Quite possibly true. But that's not nearly as important as what a weak candidate he has been to the GOP base, who, frankly, hated McCain.

One of the core factors -- possibly *the* core factor -- in the selection of Palin was to appease the base, and so far, it seems to have worked splendidly, esp. with the lovely bit of jujitsu that was taking "lipstick on a pig" out of context, miming it as an attack on Palin, and then counterattacking on it. End result? The GOP is united by McCain/Palin, and far too many democrats are trying to say that Obama didn't say that, didn't mean that, etc.

Hint: The *only* political defense that works is the riposte -- dismiss the charge with a filp remark and counterattack. The Democrats spend far to many times trying to prove attacks are wrong, by the time they get the evidence lined up, the attack is now a meme.

The correct response was:
"Really? Well, given as much lying as McCain has done in the past two weeks, I hardly consider that a reliable source, but come to think of it, Lipstick on a Pig is a pretty good description for McCain/Palin. We'd like to thank the McCain campaign for it, and we'll have shirts printed by Tuesday. We'll be sending the McCain campaign a check for the royalties -- besides, they could use the money."
posted by eriko at 8:21 AM on September 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


The democrats need to get over their smugness - and quick - if they want to win this election. What everything boils down to is this: Democrats come across as "knowing what's best for you" and Republicans come across as "holier than thou".

For better or worse the last 30 years has proven America will take the "holier than thou" candidate over the "we know what's best for you" candidate. Do you hear me, Al Gore and John Kerry? This is why you lost, and if Obama isn't careful, he will too.

Obama may look better, may have a better world view and may sound better than McCain, but he's also a fairly liberal, black Democrat whom the media has appointed the chosen one to save us all. For the God fearing members of the US's flyover states, this is simply unacceptable and reason enough to vote against the man.

This is the schtick I hear time and again from talking with family, friends and business counterparts who live in that vast expanse between San Francisco and New York. And guess what - they managed to get GWB elected twice. Just sayin'...
posted by tgrundke at 8:22 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


An interesting and even-handed opinion from Ezra Klein:

The McCain campaign's decision to lie about, well, everything, really needs to be understood as more than the outcome of John McCain's consuming ambition. It is a rational and obvious response to the rules laid down by the media. Indeed, McCain's spokesperson Brian Rogers says this directly to The Politico's Jonathan Martin. "We ran a different kind of campaign and nobody cared about us. They didn’t cover John McCain. So now you’ve got to be forward-leaning in everything."

And it's true. Earlier this year McCain made poverty tours and offered policy speeches. No one cared, Obama retained his lead. It was only when he began offering vicious attacks and daily controversies that he began setting the pace of the coverage. The McCain campaign learned something important about the media: It's an institution that covers conflict. If you want to direct its coverage, give it more conflict than your opponent. And so they have.

None of this, of course, absolves McCain of what he has done. He has sacrificed his honor and dignity with astonishing enthusiasm. He has become much worse than "just another politician." He is a politician who was once more than that, and used that reputation to go lower than the rest. But the fact remains that he wouldn't be doing this, that no one would do this, if the media ignored or sanctioned the behavior. If lies were covered as lies and an allergy to substance was treated as evidence of an unfitness to govern, the tenor of campaigns would lift. These are, at the end of the day, rational beasts, and they hunger for good coverage. THe McCain campaign has found its best coverage comes from its worst campaigning. And so they are following the incentive structure laid out by the media.

posted by neroli at 8:23 AM on September 14, 2008 [25 favorites]


McCain wanted to base his campaign on the success of the surge and our ability to stay in Iraq for "100 years", but reality conspired against him, Maliki and then even George Bush signed on to a time line for withdrawal, which had been Obama's position, making McCain look ridiculous. McCain criticized Obama for wanting to go into Pakistan, and now Bush is doing it. Again, McCain looked ridiculous.

So, since reality has conspired against McCain, the McCain campaign has decided to campaign against reality itself. And rather disturbingly, it seems to be working for the moment.

That said, I don't see this as a sustainable strategy. That "Obama wants to fuck your kids" is ordinarily the kind of thing you would run on Nov 2nd, but by running the completely false advertisements this far out, McCain can be branded as a total liar, and if comes up with something totally off the wall in November, people won't be as apt to believe it. On the other hand, Obama, who isn't being as dishonest could just make up something at the end of the election if he wanted too, and probably get away with it. (but that's a risky strategy with so much early voting going on these days, which is actually a good thing now)
Why doesn't Barrack Obama lie more often?
Why would he need too? Seems like there's enough factual badness emanating from the McCain campaign, I mean Charlie Black was once a lobbyist for Jonas Savimbi(!?!?!)

Obama just set up this website to go over McCain's deep connections to the most corrupt lobbyists in the country.
Speaking of TV, you'll know that Obama is well and truly toast if Oprah is forced to reverse herself and invite Palin onto the show before the election
That doesn't make sense. Who could "force" her to do anything? She'd been friends with Hillary Clinton for years and didn't invite her on the show.
Not saying that will happen, but Oprah didn't get as rich as she is by riding a losing horse all the way to the finish line.
And she's as rich as she needs to be. I mean, the woman is a billionaire, no one can push her around. Besides, given Palin's apparent fear of being interviewed, what makes you think Palin would even want to go on the show? And given Oprah's support for Obama, what makes you think Oprah wouldn't lay into her on issues like Rape Kits, Abortion, Equal pay for women (which McCain supports the Ledbetter scotus decision), troupergate, and all the other crap emanating from the McCain campaign. it's not like she's required to give "nice" interviews.
posted by delmoi at 8:23 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


No one has yet said that Obama’s choice for VP is his greatest blunder. If he loses I think it may come up in conversation. Face it, if Biden caught cold and bowed out and Hillary stepped in to save the day the left would sleep better at night between now and November.

I'm really sick of hearing this. It's unproven and unprovable. Yes, if Obama picked Clinton as his running mate, obviously McCain would have not picked Palin. That's pretty much the limit of what we can actually confidently say. But it's really grating how the sudden appearance of Palin has seemingly made every rational reason why Clinton would have been a terrible pick for Obama magically disappear.

I like Joe Biden and I've already covered a few times why I think he's a great pick for Obama. My only dismay with the campaign is that they're not using Biden enough (or honestly at all, which I truly do not understand) but that is monumentally different than saying he was a "bad choice." He is a far more suitable compliment to Obama and would be a much more effective vice president than Clinton.

Palin being abhorrent does not alter the reality of Clinton and Obama being fundamentally incompatible as co-candidates in any way whatsoever. Picking Clinton would have been as blatant and cynical a maneuver as McCain's pick of Palin, and it's depressing that so many Democrats become hypocrites in the blink of an eye when they start whining that Obama wasn't as calculating as McCain. McCain's selection of Palin is the greatest indicator of his lack of judgment and single-minded focus on winning for winning's sake; why you want Obama to be the same type of person is tragic.

Obama's greatest blunder was NOT the selection of Biden; It was making his selection of a running mate a goddamn American Idol special that wasted two weeks of media time on "is it Hillary? OMG IS IT HILLARY OH SHIT MY PANTS HAVE ASPLODED" instead of just giving even a few days' lead time prior to the convention to go over Biden's record and personal story.

You know what I'm really sick of? Other Democrats telling me how I would have been happier with Clinton. The most angering and obnoxious people I experienced this cycle were the Hillary holdouts who dared to call forcing Hillary onto the ticket the "Unity Ticket." As if they had a better idea of what made a good ticket than I did because they voted for... oh you know, the loser. If I wanted Clinton in the White House I would have fucking voted for her. There's a reason I didn't; see if you can work 2+2 on this one.

And none of that- none of that- even gets into the truly perverse and filthy tactics used by Clinton surrogates against Obama in the primaries. And if you're a wavering Democrat who now wants to pretend that this type of racial and social demagoguery didn't occur then I am truly ashamed of you. The calculating, desperate political cynicism of the waning days of the Clinton campaign don't deserve any more positive recognition than the calculating, desperate political cynicism of the McCain campaign.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:27 AM on September 14, 2008 [25 favorites]


Slap*Happy and the debate issue:

You should rephrase that: Obama *should* win the debates handily as the contrast between the two candidates is so stark, particularly their style and presentation.

Remember: John Kerry and Al Gore *should have* mopped the floor with George W. Bush, but as history is our guide, Gore came away looking like an ass ("we know what's best for you, you simpleton Americans") and Kerry came away looking like the wishy-washy-flip-flopper-liberal that the Bush campaign made him out to be ("we need to involve the UN more!").

McCain's staff knows he is the underdog, they also learned from the debates of GWB. You can be damned sure that the McCain team will make things uncomfortable for Obama. Witness the disaster that was Obama's presence at that Congregation a few weeks ago (cannot recall the name). He waffled on the abortion issue, looked generally uncomfortable and was clearly sweatin' bullets.

The man ain't impervious to looking bad in a debate and assuming he'll win and trounce McCain just reinforces the Conservatives who view Obama as "annointed" and "holy".
posted by tgrundke at 8:29 AM on September 14, 2008


Some good news for honesty: in this morning's Chicago Tribune there were two articles going after McCain for his recent behavior. Steve Chapman (who's nationally syndicated) broke out the L-word to describe the pig 'controversy' and an article in Metro described the sex-ed ad as 'vile' and 'sleaze'. A few seconds of Meet the Press this morning had Gulliani getting called on his convention BS as well as some of these ads.

Soon it will be enough for the ad series "Liar". "Blah: lie. Blah: lie. Blah: lie. John McCain thinks that he can buy your vote with 30 second lies on TV. I'm BHO, and I approve this revelation unto the people."
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:31 AM on September 14, 2008


While working the other day I heard a group of older women talking about how cold it was. One of them said something like "Well, imagine if you were Sarah Palin. Think of how cold it gets up by her." That was it. No politics. Just talking about her as though she was an old friend.

Fuck.
posted by brevator at 8:31 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


if Obama had chosen Clinton, there's no way McCain would have still gone with Palin.

So your saying it is Obama's fault Palin is on the ticket. That may well be true but I don't think you will find a liberal that will admit it or want's to hear it. Talk about distraction.

I now think it is to Biden to win or lose the election. The VP debate should be a lovely piece of American Political Cinema. I am making popcorn.
posted by MapGuy at 8:32 AM on September 14, 2008


And speaking of Hillary, she wasn't willing to be vetted along with other candidates, supposedly. She only wanted to be vetted if she was going to be picked, which would have put Obama in a difficult position.

If he had put Hillary on the ticket, things would be different, but we don't know if they'd be better. Rather then picking Palin, McCain would be digging up every deal that Bill enganged in post-presidency and claiming it was a scandal. There would be all kinds of nonsense, there would be stories every day about how well Obama and Clinton were getting a long, it would be a soap opera.

And who knows, he might have picked Palin anyway.
posted by delmoi at 8:34 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


These lies, are they similar to untruths?
posted by chunking express at 8:35 AM on September 14, 2008


brevator nails it. Those women who were talking could relate to Sarah Palin, they cannot relate to someone named "Obama" who spent time in Indonesia, who has family in Africa and who was a 'community organizer' in Chicago ("Isn't that code for Communist?").

We may find his story refreshing, offering a new perspective on the world. America sees his story as foreign, of coming with divided loyalties (Christian? Muslim? American? Black? White?) and representing a world that is *not* America. As Camille Paglia said in a recent Slate article, (paraphrased), Palin represents the pioneering woman who settled the old west, the woman who gets up every morning at 5:00am, fixes breakfast for her family, gets the kids on the bus, goes to work, comes home, cooks dinner and somehow finds time to hunt, fish, take care of her man and get to the hockey game on time.

Middle America moms can relate - and those disparaging her look like Hillary Clinton in 1992 when she said she didn't want to be one of those stay at home moms. That interview/quote pretty much defined her for a large section of America to this day, and they will never forgive her for it.
posted by tgrundke at 8:37 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


So your saying it is Obama's fault Palin is on the ticket.

No, I think I'm being very clear that it's McCain's fault Palin is on the ticket.

That may well be true but I don't think you will find a liberal that will admit it or want's to hear it. Talk about distraction.


What? Can you find me a single mainstream liberal pundit who isn't saying that McCain picked Palin just because Obama didn't pick Clinton?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:38 AM on September 14, 2008


tgrundke - Spot on.
posted by MapGuy at 8:40 AM on September 14, 2008


keep directing polite fire on Obama

ah, yes, polite: "country first" (code for "he's a foreigner"), "he'd rather lose a war than lose an election", ie he's a traitor, the "celebrity" ads (code for "he's uppity"), the sex ed ad ("he's a paedophile"). if that's polite for you, well, I guess McCain has not actually worn a noose lapel pin yet, so that must count for being polite in some quarters.

anyway, more examples of politeness in history, collected by Mr. Spike Lee.

If he were ten years younger with better speech delivery, he'd be elected King of the Galaxy if he wanted

George W. Bush wiped his ass with this alleged King of the Galaxy back in 2000. George W. Bush, not Thomas Jefferson or FDR or 1980's Reagan: George W. Bush. so much for the "McCain is underrated" argument. he's not. he's a mediocrity. but he's white in an electoral year that makes this fact a very, very big asset.
posted by matteo at 8:40 AM on September 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


And around the same time, Palin will have to appear opposite Joe Biden, another person with bona fide small town down-home cred and three times her IQ

I was about to say that all Palin's cliche mongering* is going to leave her wide open for a filet-of-Quayle moment a al Lloyd Bentsen. Whether that'll have any effect on the outcome of the election is open to question.


*The most fun part of watching her interview on 20/20 was hearing her repeatedly blabber on about 'taking on the good old boys,' and shouting unprintable responses at the TV.
posted by jonmc at 8:42 AM on September 14, 2008


Yep, the MSM so desperately wants Obama-Clinton conflict drama that they spent many hours and bytes of news trying to invent it. The facts are that after conceding in June, Clinton gave Obama historically unprecedented repeated support.

At any rate, I spending my political action funds on the ballot measures in Florida, Arizona and California. If the Dems want more than a vote while holding my nose this year, they can kiss my ass.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:42 AM on September 14, 2008


I mean Charlie Black was once a lobbyist for Jonas Savimbi(!?!?!)

I call bullshit on this categorically unfair and daring indictment of ONE relationship betwix an American lobbyist and a foreign agent. To use just one instance would certainly downplay the importance of the Roosevelt Corollary and American foreign policy since its implementation. I demand a complete list of tinpot dictators, strongmen and trouble makers that we, the people, have supported since our imperialistic objectives moved into high gear in 1898.

And please don't ask Palin about the Monroe Doctrine, cuz that's just uppity Ivy League stuff.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:43 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure I buy that McCain peaks at all the right times. This feels like an early peak to me. The Palin contribution to his ticket ain't getting any stronger over time.
posted by NortonDC at 8:43 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


just reinforces the Conservatives who view Obama as "annointed" and "holy".

Oh, no you don't. No controlling the talking points for YOU. No can haz. Such conservatives are idiots and in the minority. A much louder camp are the Hillary boosters who can't or won't let it go. I will start referring to any self-identified democrats as the "Screaming Yellow Zonkers" if they keep bringing up the words "smug", "annointed", or "overconfident" into the conversation without a lot, and I mean a lot, of corroborating evidence.

Steadfast support of your candidates and their campaign is not overconfident, smug, cult-like or a Bad Thing by any stretch of the imagination. Worrying and pacing in circles and sounding a hue and cry because you actually believe the fibs foisted off on you by the slime-oozing pustules employed by the other side is a very, very bad thing.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:46 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was about to say that all Palin's cliche mongering* is going to leave her wide open for a filet-of-Quayle moment a al Lloyd Bentsen. Whether that'll have any effect on the outcome of the election is open to question.

I want this to be true but I really don't know anymore. I mean, the fact that Obama says "uh" in his responses- you know, a sign that you're actually contemplating your answer- is an indicator of weakness against Palin's manner of speaking, in which she says five words over and over again. Against Biden, there's going to be nothing but blather about Biden's body language. Is he trying to be intimidating? Is his smile fake? And so on.

I love Biden but he's the one who is stereotyped as being the "gaffe guy." And the media LOVES it when they can validate their preconceived notions about someone. Palin is less likely to say something stupid because she doesn't say anything at all.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:47 AM on September 14, 2008


My Palin baby name is Gamebird Kelp Palin. What's yours?
posted by fixedgear at 8:48 AM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


I love Biden but he's the one who is stereotyped as being the "gaffe guy."

Actually, the 'gaffe guy,' thing kind of helped make Biden a good choice in terms of wooing uncommitted Middle American voters. It's Obama saying "I won't hold the occasional verbal gaffe against somebody if their heart's in the right place."
posted by jonmc at 8:52 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Slap*Happy: I'm not disagreeing with you, in fact, you just reinforced my ultimate point: a very large swath of America doesn't care about the overwhelming evidence you request, they work based upon how they 'feel' - that's why so many marketing campaigns work: they reinforce subtle feelings/beliefs you already had about something ("why yes, I *do* feel safe driving this Volvo, let's buy it!").

You can have all the evidence you would like, it's not going to sway anyones' opinion. The reality is that this is the way Obama has been framed by and for a large section of the electorate. Al Gore was similarly framed as being smug and a know-it-all. Instead of Gore trying to move past that, he ended up reinforcing the issue by not going after the other guy hard enough.

It's like that kid in grade school who gets a crappy nickname for farting in class, being overweight or the for being the A/V kid. Everyone remembers and refers to you as that, even at the 10 year high school reunion. The question becomes - did that kid get past the framing and evolve into Bill Gates or the Unibomber?
posted by tgrundke at 8:53 AM on September 14, 2008


Alternet article on a church Palin attends when in Juneau.

Apparently, it puts forth a doctrine that the Assemblies of God considers "Deviant Teachings".

A quote: That we disapprove of Latter Rain doctrines and practices such as "impartation," "birthing," "Joel's Army," and the "five-fold ministries" taught as "offices" with "predictive prophecy," and other extraneous teachings "which, being unfounded scripturally, serve only to break fellowship . . . and tend to confusion and division."

Assemblies of God could be considered conservative fundamentalist. If this article is accurate about the doctrine Palin is practising, then this is a genuine move toward theocracy in America.

"Palin's Churches and the Holy Laughter anointing" (YouTube)
posted by dragonsi55 at 8:56 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


!00 comments over here already? Wow. Still got the fire, eh?
posted by NortonDC at 8:56 AM on September 14, 2008


I want this to be true but I really don't know anymore.

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I think it'll help. The repetition thing annoys just about everybody and Biden, whatever else you want to say about him is a pretty sharp guy, plus she comes across as overbearing and smug, whereas Biden comes across as likeable.
posted by jonmc at 8:56 AM on September 14, 2008


(and yeah, I realize that in a perfect world, how someone 'comes across' shouldn't matter in an election, but we don't live in a perfect world.)
posted by jonmc at 8:57 AM on September 14, 2008


Actually, the 'gaffe guy,' thing kind of helped make Biden a good choice in terms of wooing uncommitted Middle American voters. It's Obama saying "I won't hold the occasional verbal gaffe against somebody if their heart's in the right place."

I agree with you 100% (in fact that's one of the reasons I thought Biden was a great pick) but this is a very different context.

My point is that in the debate, Palin will lie, but do so in five words and a smile. Biden will tell the truth, but perhaps give a "lipstick-on-pig" line that will immediately be jumped on as a gaffe, because hey, that's what we've decided Joe Biden is all about.

Result: Caribou Barbie is now smarter than a guy with 35 years experience. So says the men on the teevee.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:59 AM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


they work based upon how they 'feel'

God, if this is true then it really is a problem of race, or frame of references too divergent to reconcile with each other. Because when I see Barack Obama speak or interact with people my visceral gut reaction is of integrity, intelligence and trust, and when I see McCain do the same thing my gut reaction is one of unwell, unpredictable weirdness.

This morning Obama was interviewed by Telemundo or Univision, and it was on in the restaurant as we had breakfast. I kept catching glances and Obama just looks TOGETHER. I mean, I couldn't understand a word because it was overdubbed in Spanish, but he still SEEMED presidential. They'd show brief bits of McCain and he seemed doddering and unhinged.

Surely there is some confirmation bias, because those two senses basically match my more thought out opinions. But still.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:03 AM on September 14, 2008


Hillary supporters for McCain - (NSFW language)
Because we don't think!
posted by madamjujujive at 9:05 AM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


Youtube collection of the signs as Alaska rallies against Palin. About half way through, Mefi gets a shoutout (or at least that comment, which I thought originated here).
posted by cashman at 9:16 AM on September 14, 2008


This morning Obama was interviewed by Telemundo or Univision, and it was on in the restaurant as we had breakfast. I kept catching glances and Obama just looks TOGETHER.

I contrast that to the enduring mental image I have of McCain on Jon Stewarts, show, hunched over, his hands balled up in fists and quietly mumbling his Iraq talking points over and over again while not answering a single one of Stewart's questions. He just seemed such a pathetic character at that moment, I was sure he was done.

Given the power of the office of the President behind him, this is truly a dangerous man.
posted by psmealey at 9:18 AM on September 14, 2008


Hillary supporters for McCain - (NSFW language)
Because we don't think!


<waltersobchak>See what happens?! See what happens Larry?! This is what happens when you FUCK A STRANGER WITH A RAT!</waltersobchak>
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:23 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


The basic problem: it's not a rational democratic process, no more than high school elections are "democratic" in the pure sense. It's about likes, looks, and money, not competence. It's been that way in the US for the last 50 years.

It's not important that you like your leader. It's not important that he (or she) be handsome. It is vitally important that he is a good motivator, communicator, and organiser; that he is intelligent, and can respond creatively to crises. Most importantly, perhaps, he is someone who will hold the reins of power lightly and responsibly.

The sheer mass of visual adulation and myth-making around Presidential contenders doesn't make it impossible that someone with these qualities can rise to the top; it simply makes it unlikely. Unfortunately, at the same time, voters are becoming less likely to be able to clearly articulate policies, positions, and platforms, or to understand the potential consequences of each. It's too much cognitive overhead : they default to "like / don't like".

Even worse, they do not learn. On the Republican side, these are the same people who voted for W in 2000 and 2004 because they thought he "shared their values" and was "someone like them". With the exception of the most willfully blind, that is now recognised as a gross error in judgement - yet they appear to be doing the exact same thing again in regards to Sarah Palin.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:25 AM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wonky-stuff-that-unfortunately-won't-mean-a-damn-thingFilter--

Sponsored legislation enacted: McCain vs. Obama

posted by neroli at 9:28 AM on September 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


Bottom line: it does not matter who is getting better coverage in the New York Times.

“This is a new experience for Obama — facing a Republican who will do and say things far different from the Democrats he has faced. Republicans don’t care what Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd or establishment media has to say about them.”


From what I can tell, Republicans have been telling the faithful for over a decade now that the "media", "MSM", mainstream media outlets are not to be trusted. Tune in to Rush, if you can hold your lunch, and invariably he will come down hard against the lies, bias, of the mainstream media, meaning essentially anyone who fact checks.

So once you establish your sucker with a distrust of the only reasonable place to get real information (excluding the internet, which is still sort of like the wild west for those not familiar with it) then your con is set up.

The next step is to make them like your candidate. Don't talk about issues, get a war hero and a pretty mom that touches all the dendrites in a pleasurable way.

So these two things can be assessed as
1. Paint the media as illegitimate sources of factual information
2. Make the voter personally like your candidate

The third thing to do then, is lie. Lie every single day until the election. If you don't bother with the facts, and you trust the candidate because you believe the ruse, then the lies work. They are the facts. She really did say, "Thank, but no thanks" and the media is just biased and sexists for saying otherwise.

Lying every single day until the election appears to be working.
posted by plexi at 9:28 AM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


From the Washington Monthly piece linked above:

Bills Placed On Calendar, 110th Congress: (I included these for the 110th Congress, since it's not over yet, and these are the bills most likely to be acted on.)

Obama:

S. 453: A bill to prohibit deceptive practices in Federal elections.

S.2433: A bill to require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

McCain:

S. 84: A bill to establish a United States Boxing Commission to administer the Act, and for other purposes.

posted by neroli at 9:32 AM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Lying every single day until the election appears to be working.

Especially when they have their own TV stations to keep replaying them.
posted by mothershock at 9:37 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Err, posted too early. Not to say the rest of the article sounds scary as well. I know it's election season and things become more sensationalist than before, but heck, that was a chilling read.

I just have to say this. At this point, US politics is all but a dystopian, The Dark Knight-like Prisoner's Dilemma. "Regular" folk versus a group of hardened, the devil-may-care thugs: who'll blink first? Who'll survive? Will the superhero, on whom everyone's pined their hopes beat a chilling, seemingly-undefeatable baddie? Can the general populace ever stop being cynical and believe in truth, justice and all that? Can they _please_ shut that thumping Zimmerman score?
posted by the cydonian at 9:37 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


From Wikipedia, but still true, because I watched it with my own two non-lying eyes and heard him say this with my own two pointy ears:

Another notable moment occurred on April 4, 2006, when Stewart confronted his longtime friend, US Senator John McCain, about his decision to appear at Liberty University, an institution founded by Jerry Falwell, a man who McCain had previously denounced as one of the "agents of intolerance".[36][37] In the interchange, Stewart asked McCain "You're not freaking out on us? Are you freaking out on us, because if you're freaking out and you're going into the crazy base [politics] world— are you going into crazy base world?" McCain replied "I'm afraid so." The clip was played on CNN and created a surge of articles across the blogosphere.[38][39]

He as much as admitted that he would say anything to win on national TV. Mr. Straight Talk died for me in that moment. I had actually been one of those liberal white educated male independent voters who found McCain's mix of plain language and proven ballsiness (specifically around campaign finance and immigration, he lost me completely on the war) to be interesting, if not compelling evidence of some sort of human life on planet GOP. But when I heard him say this, the scales fell away.

Personally, I think this is perfect campaign ad material. McCain was for being a lying scumbag before he pretended to be against it.

I can't seem to find the clip online. Perhaps a better google-meister can dig it up. McCain had a priceless look of humiliation on his face as he gave the money quote above. I saw it again when Whoopi Goldberg asked him if she should worry about having to be a slave again since he favored appointing judges who would "not change" the constitution of the founding fathers' era. (That was the most sizzling moment of the "View" session, which I found stunningly powerful all around, but I haven't seen Whoopi's zinger blogged yet. McCain's eyes dropped, his body drooped, and he conceded that she had a point, in a weird off-message moment of visible shame.)

I will continue to have faith that Americans will rise to the occasion and vote their own best interests this time. One can see clearly what a catastrophic mess McCain/Palin will make for the US on the foundations Bush has laid for them. We're going to be underwater in a Category 5 shitstorm by 2012.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:40 AM on September 14, 2008 [9 favorites]


We're "still going to win this.." if we put our time, energy, and money where our mouths are...

I feel this whole heartedly. I've donated already (pre-Palin) to the Obama campaign, and I will soon be calling my 84 yo Southern Baptist grandfather in Mississippi, and telling him why I am supporting Obama. He's been sick of Bush, and is likely going to sit this election out. But maybe I can make a difference for him. If I wasn't completely derailed by health issues, I would be out campaigning for Obama like I did for Dean. But as it is, I'm still going to have a few heartfelt conversations with my fence sitting relatives in TN and MS.

As for Palin, the Dems have got to shift the spotlight back on McCain. He's hiding in her shadow. The best line to take on Palin is to ignore her as the political non-entity she is. Let the NYTimes and media keep digging, but the Dem's need to refocus, and quickly. They are letting the GOP messaging machine (Rove, Luntz, et al) get the upper hand yet again.
posted by kimdog at 9:43 AM on September 14, 2008


Palin happens to have cheekbones she didn't earn

Am I reading you right? I hope I'm not reading you right.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:46 AM on September 14, 2008


tgrundke--you keep referring to "flyover states" and "large swaths of America", but I think you need to learn how to generalize a little better...

Today's Iowa Poll: Obama opens double-digit lead
posted by jaronson at 9:47 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Even worse, they do not learn. On the Republican side, these are the same people who voted for W in 2000 and 2004 because they thought he "shared their values" and was "someone like them".

Which is why I don't understand why the left didn't bash the "guy you'd like to have a beer with" meme into the ground so as to kill future application. See the bear? Taste the food. Guy you'd like to have a beer with? W. Remember how well that turned out?

Until you kill the deep-seated anti-intellectualism in America, how exactly are you going to keep the cream from sinking to the bottom, every single time?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:51 AM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


jaranson: True, and forgetting that those "flyover" states gave the Democrats a congressional and senate majority in 2006, along with record-breaking fundraising and primary voting. What doesn't get counted in the polls is the fact that this election year, the Democrats have had a much better record getting new voters to the polls.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:52 AM on September 14, 2008


Palin has accomplished one thing: she made the election far more about personality than it had been before. Which is not to say that it hadn't been about that before - elections are always about personality, and Obama and McCain both have written best sellers about their personal histories which were meant to convince you to vote for them - but until Palin, there was at least a pretense of debate about competency. The anti-Obama ads accused him of being inexperienced, a criticism which is, after all, relevant to the position he's seeking, and the anti-McCain ads were about how he says he doesn't know much about the economy, changes his opinion about relations with Russia regularly, flip-flops on whether or not we'll increase the payroll tax depending on whether you ask him about taxes or about balancing the budget, or about how he plans to carry on with many of Bush's less successful programs... and all of those criticisms are relevant to the position he's seeking. Now, however, the debate has become: is pointing out that being the mayor of a city of 9,000 isn't the same as being President of a nation of 250 million automatically against small town America and its values? Which is a patently absurd question that some people are taking very seriously.

If Obama wants to win - and I am very serious about this - instead of attacking Palin, he needs to just ignore the shit out of her, and keep up what he has been doing - attacking Bush. At this point, Bush has been the least popular President for the longest period of time in polling history. Anymore, being against Bush isn't even a position; its just common sense. But pointing out Palins flaws just reinforces her personality, which is her strength; you'll force people to choose sides, and that won't necessarily go well for you. Saying "she doesn't know what she's doing" - which is backed up from recent quotes from her to the effect that she doesn't actually know what the Vice President's job entails, or recent quotes that made it clear that she has no idea what the Freddie Mae / Fannie Mac buyout is about, or quotes that makes it clear that she thinks going to war in Russia is a good idea - well, that attack is going to make some people think "when they say she doesn't know what she's doing, they mean a woman isn't fit to be president" or "they think that just because she's from a small town she has to be dumb", or whatever. It will make her appear incompetent to some, but sympathetic to others.

For awhile, I was waffling about whether or not adding Palin to the ticket was a wise move, but I think that its a given that the issues don't really speak well for McCain at the moment (since as I said, many of his issues are Bush's issues, and people want a change), but I've finally decided that picking a likeable personality who could make the election about personality instead of the issues was a brilliant move for him. For the first time in months he's in an actual position where he could win. For Obama to counter-act that, then, he can't play the personality games McCain started. That's a losing proposition. He can either try to reinforce whatever small-town American values that he and Biden can represent, or he can try to negate her personality by shackling it to very unpopular personalities like Bush / Cheney. But he can't retreat to the issues now that its about the cult of personality, and he can't let her personality seem more American / friendlier / whatever than his personality is. Its that simple.
posted by Kiablokirk at 9:55 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, lets not get distracted by facts.
posted by MapGuy at 9:55 AM on September 14, 2008


Palin is still repeating that bridge to nowhere line. She's a marathon liar.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:59 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


FYI, the Jesus Christ was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor thing got airtime on Meet The Press this morning. (Brokaw showed a pin with that slogan on it and asked Guiliani to comment on it.
posted by anastasiav at 9:59 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


neroli- I totally see your point. I can't believe McCain waited 20 years before ever taking any action in the Senate. How did he ever get re-elected? Now how about actually comparing the experience that the candidates have. I mean only if, you know, it is not too inconvenient a truth.
posted by MapGuy at 10:02 AM on September 14, 2008


Obama can regain the serve by running a one word commercial, with the word "dishonorable" over McCain's face and a running scroll of what so many thoughtful people are saying this weekend below, for 30 seconds.

Make McCain respond to that. Pull a Rove and make his "strength" his weakness. Without honor, McCain is a western-state version of a ward pol, and Palin just another trick.

Because now Obama has a singular advantage: the worst thing he can say about McCain is the truth.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:06 AM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


"I am not among those who have said 'earmarks are nothing more than pork projects being shoveled home by an overeager congressional delegation.' [...] My role at the federal level is simply to submit the most well-conceived earmark requests we can. [...] For better or worse, earmarks, which represent only about 1 percent of the federal budget, have become a symbol for budgetary discussions in general."

--Sarah Palin, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, March 5, 2008
posted by neroli at 10:07 AM on September 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


Since you brought it up Here is the group Obama tied his kite string to. Imagine if Palin had been running with this crowd, you would be screaming it from the mountain tops. Just sayin'. But let's not get distracted.
posted by MapGuy at 10:07 AM on September 14, 2008


Mapguy - Holy crap. That's a real goddamned article? Like he's serious? Honest to god dead pan serious?

From the article -

In his 12 years as a law school professor, Obama failed to publish a single item, an oddity in the world of academia, especially when you consider that, since 2006, when he decided to run for president, he has published seven times.

Politically, Obama spent eight years in the Illinois Senate and joined the U.S. Senate in 2005.

Palin, on the other hand, served four years on the Wasilla, Alaska, City Council and six years as the mayor/manager. She became the first woman governor of Alaska in 2006. He private-sector management experience includes helping her husband run his commercial fishing business.


Fishing business. In a serious article. About someone who could potentially be the NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!?!?!

We're fucked. Every last one of us. We've descended into some fucked up dystopian precursor to Idiocracy 2 : The Handmaid's Tale.

I can't even begin to get my head around any of this. 8 years of the worst government this country has ever endured. 8 years of a political party that has done everything in it's power to dismantle 200 years of what made the country great.
And we've got 52% of people thinking "Hey, I like the cut of this Guys jib. Reminds me of someone else though. anyhoo.."

AARGH!

I'll still fight the good fight, but we've really maxed out the fuckedupitedness meter.

Also, I'm slightly worried about the fact that there is a very nasty economic endgame set up based off of whether the world community decides if we're fit to run the world anymore.

Russians in Venezuala, Control over Georgian Pipeline + Willingness to face down over Iran = Energy balls in a vice
Chinese ready to drop the hammer on dollar divesture = Currency balls in a vice.

They're just waiting to see if we can elect someone who isn't incompetent or batshit insane to office.
posted by Lord_Pall at 10:09 AM on September 14, 2008 [13 favorites]


Get Out The Vote.

The batshitinsane portion of the USA is not the majority, they're just highly motivated to get off their asses and vote.

If you do not want the batshitinsane to become the deciding factor in this election, then get out the vote. Make damn sure you and all your not-batshitinsane friends and acquaintances get to the polls on election day.

This truly is a historic election, in which I think it's going to be very fair to say the USA will get the President it deserves.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:09 AM on September 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


Andrew Sullivan has a nice catch from the Times piece:
And four months ago, a Wasilla blogger, Sherry Whitstine, who chronicles the governor’s career with an astringent eye, answered her phone to hear an assistant to the governor on the line, she said. “You should be ashamed!” Ivy Frye, the assistant, told her. “Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now!”

[to which Sullivan adds]

Now I begin to understand the intimidation I have been subjected to for simply asking questions. All I can reassure my readers is: I'm now more determined than ever to reveal the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about this dangerous, vindictive Christianist cipher being foisted on the United States.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:09 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


But let's not get distracted.

By all means, let's not. But with all due respect, linking to blogs written by a couple of right wing hacks isn't helping us stay focused.
posted by psmealey at 10:16 AM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


This week's financial news is going to be all Lehman Bros. going bankrupt. If I recall correctly, these were the guys who were given a massive federal gift of monies in return for taking over Bear Stearns. I can't help but feel this was a purposeful move to shift citizens' wealth (in the form of tax income) to the ultra-elite who own and operate these businesses, but I suppose that's neither here nor there.

Anyhoo, looks like the US banking industry, and possibly the entire financial industry, is going straight express to hell.

What do McCain and Obama plan to do about this? Of all the issues facing the USA today, surely the financial crisis is the most significant.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:20 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think McCain's falling into a trap. Here's the rope-a-dope.

Narrative thread one, which has been running since June or so: "McCain=Bush", we all know the tune by heart: John McCain votes with Bush 90% of the time. McCain supports every Bush policy: tax cuts for the rich, Iraq, oil industry perks, not a dime's worth of difference. His campaign and his White House are run by the same crazy warmongers and lobbyists who have been a disaster for the past eight years. He is out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans and is just as clueless as Bush on the economy, housing, jobs, etc. Obama is the future, McCain is the past.

Thread two, which is just ramping up now: "McCain/Palin= dishonorable liars": John McCain (and his clueless, dangerous second Sarah Palin) are unrepentant liars. Note examples one thru seventy...Bridge to Nowhere lies, never been to Iraq lies, foreign policy cred lies, proximity to Russia nonsense. McCain has exposed himself as a dishonorable liar with highly questionable judgment who sacrificed his sacred honor for a shot at the Presidency.

(note well the use of that term "dishonorable", it's no accident, it's McCain's "fuck you" button. If he loses his temper in public, it's all over. But I digress.)

How to close the argument? How do these teeth come together in the end, like a zipper? How is John McCain most like George Bush? How do you remind people of why change is so very necessary, and tie McCain to the last eight years of failed policies and unaccountable government? Here's how. After making an impassioned plea that ideas matter, that the truth matters, that change is crucial:

America cannot afford four more years of corrupt Washington insiders like George Bush and John McCain covering up the repeated failures of the status quo with their coordinated campaigns of lies.

Bonus points if you can say it to McCain's face during the debates.
posted by edverb at 10:20 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin represents the pioneering woman who settled the old west, the woman who gets up every morning at 5:00am, fixes breakfast for her family, gets the kids on the bus, goes to work, comes home, cooks dinner ... &c.

But the fact remains that these are not qualifications for V.P. Republican women in office (Snowe; Hutchison; &c.) did not get there on SuperMom credentials. Palin's appeal among that base you describe holds true yet is an insult to the well-qualified female politicians who earned their rank and built their careers, perhaps in tandem with a family & children, but not *because* of them.
So if these neo-pioneer sector indeed reflects Paglia's laundry list of relatability-appeal, it says more about the impact of "American Idol" type image-driven messages than about their (in)ability to distinguish who belongs at the helm of the PTA vs. at the helm of the country's highest office. Their unblinking acceptance of the *lack* of Palin's credentials undermines the muck Snowe, Hutchison & other have endured to legitimize women's credibility within a male-dominated establishment. It borders on hypocrisy to manage their children's environment with an eye for careful judgment but not the position of their country's leadership and who belongs there. And it doubly undermines the integrity of female politicians' willingness to endure scrutiny and bias, for said pioneer-hearkening moms to cry 'Foul' and whine as their Idol is called out on questionable records, same as any male counterpart ought to be.
It's further baffling me how disproportionately men, more so than (even these) women, poll approvingly of the choice. Have Americans really become that impoverished in distinguishing style from substance? Then it's *my* turn to plead ignorant -- that phrase so frequently deployed on The Thread -- only in this case I've been totally ignorant of the extent to which many of our citizens' ability to map the terrain of political discourse has eroded.
posted by skyper at 10:21 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mister_A, in my comment above, I was perhaps being too subtle, or obvious. Simply put Palin is a distraction from actual issues. There are many examples of this other than the obvious 1 issue voters. Some mentioned earlier in this thread. Some people relate to her as the Hockey Mom they try to portray her as. Others for her Religious beliefs. "A breath of fresh air." I work with a few men that probably masturbate to her.

What's common in all those cases is no matter what comes out of her mouth, or comes out about her, it's the one thing they think of when they see her, and they forget everything else.

Certainly McCain has shown some excellent slight of hand here.
posted by Eekacat at 10:23 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


We're still going to win this, right?

Jesus Christ, no, we're not. Honestly, the situation reminds me of nothing more than bullying on an elementary school playground. Bully calls you a 'dork' or a 'fag' or something like that, maybe pushes you down. Now you have three options:

a) call him a 'dork' or a 'fag,' try to push him. But this doesn't work because your heart isn't in it: you know better than to be so offensive and brutish. Plus he's bigger and badder than you. He just laughs at your futile efforts, and so do all his friends. Bully wins.

b) take the high road, fight back with something like, "well, you're just a mean and immoral scoundrel. And besides, there's nothing wrong with being bookish (or gay), in fact my superior intellect will one day propel me into a top university, while you will flounder in a backwards job for your life, simply because you don't share my value in education." You sound defensive and even more 'dorky,' in fact you just confirm the bully's initial taunts. Bully wins.

c) you ignore him, walk away, while his friends continue to point and laugh. You concede defeat. Bully wins.

Eventually, elementary school ended. I moved away from such people, did go to a good school, got a good job and a good life where the moral code involves mutual respect and consideration. I was elated to find that 'real life' was not mean and petty and maddeningly impossible for 'nice guys' to succeed in. I thought I'd never face such a maddening, frustrating, hopeless, totally humiliating situation again.

But now I see what this election is like, and, with a sickening feeling, the analogy that keeps coming back to my mind is that Obama is the 'dork' on the playground, and McCain and his gang are the big bullies. And Obama has no way to stop them: he can't fight back because it's not in his constitution to be a bully, he can't take the moral high ground (focus on the issues, promulgate the facts) because he just comes off looking pathetic and defensive, and he can't ignore it, because then McCain gets to define the whole narrative. Mark my words, Obama has no escape. Hopefully someday he can find a more civil circle in which to revolve, a more civil profession. I hear the U of C needs a good Consitutional Law Professor...
posted by notswedish at 10:24 AM on September 14, 2008 [9 favorites]


fourcheesemac: here is that video.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:24 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lord_Pall well technically speaking what he says is true as absurd as it may sound. Go ahead look up the word executive. I guess you could count Obama's time at Harvard as executive experience, what was president of the student union or somethng? Was that when he was smoking weed, or was that before?

And as I understand it Obama was affiliated with a group that is engaged in and has been or is being prosecuted for widespread voter fraud. I would not have mentioned it but some one brought up the Jesus Christ community organizer thing. Again if were McCain or Palin, what would you say. So we will give Obama credit on the executive experience at Harvard if you will allow that his work with ACORN was spent supporting the work of a criminal organization bent on stealing elections.

Hey, I would love to stay here all day and do this but NASCAR is on and then football. And Tina Fey was totally hot as Sarah last night, she nailed it. My God did you see the way she cocked that gun. The crowd just went wild. Have fun guys. Truth is the whole thing is absurd. I bet Ron Paul ain’t looking so bad about right now.
posted by MapGuy at 10:29 AM on September 14, 2008


America cannot afford four more years of corrupt Washington insiders like George Bush and John McCain covering up the repeated failures of the status quo with their coordinated campaigns of lies.

Repeated for emphasis. You know what else we can't afford? Another election season dominated by non-issues based on personality and culture wars.

For all the pro-life noise coming from the republicans these last 30+ years, what have they actually done to further that cause?

These small-town values voters really need to take a hard look at themselves and what they are voting for (or against) and ask themselves if they are behaving in a morally correct way by being taken in by these charlatans, while the nation's financial and physical infrastructure crumbles, and impoverishes us all.
posted by psmealey at 10:29 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


But let's not get distracted.

By another article from a self-loathing racist twerp like Malkin? Yeahno, her attempts to insinuate herself into mainstream American conservatism through her hysterical, childress rants fail right from the start: she's Filipino, not a real American.
posted by jsavimbi at 10:30 AM on September 14, 2008


So Palin runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy, circumventing both the laws and the facts whenever those prove inconvenient. Sound like anybody else we know?

It infuriates me that it's taken two weeks now for some degree of reality-checking of the new face of the McCain campaign to just start gaining traction in the mainstream media and the mind of the general public. I guess we needed "The View" to break the ice and make it acceptable to call a lie a lie?
posted by Robin Kestrel at 10:31 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


And as I understand it Obama was affiliated with a group that is engaged in and has been or is being prosecuted for widespread voter fraud.

As you understand it from Michelle Malkin's hit piece. ACORN is a community organization one of whose objective is getting out the vote in low to medium income areas. The mud that you help sling alludes to "allegations" and "implications", but nothing with respect to convictions. Of course such an organization, based on its mission, will end up on the receiving end of numerous and scurrilous lawsuits, given the charged times we live in.

Thanks for playing, you really helped clear things up.
posted by psmealey at 10:34 AM on September 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


Oooh, scary, a "media backlash" against the McCain/Palin campaign. The media can say anything they want about Palin, and it will not change the outcome of the election - the "morans" who vote for the Republican ticket most likely don't even read all that much.

And besides, voting booth shenanigans and blatant disenfranchisement (remember Florida? remember Ohio?) will have more effect on this election than anything else.

Americans, your country is in trouble.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:34 AM on September 14, 2008


notswedish: Both Obama and Biden have gone on the counter-offensive multiple times.

But, and here is something everyone is missing here, all we are talking about is perceptions of the relative status of candidates as presented in the mass media.

The same mass media who dragged on a story that was dead in early June into the Democratic convention.

The same mass media that spoke to Bill Clinton during a commercial break in 1992, "Ted Turner changed the world. He would serve you, you know what I mean?"

A basic problem is that the game is rigged by a third party, and neither Obama or McCain have more than a token control over the how the debate is framed.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:37 AM on September 14, 2008


Almost 150 comments already? Man, I haven't even finished reading the first Palin thread yet.
posted by box at 10:41 AM on September 14, 2008


I guess we needed "The View" to break the ice and make it acceptable to call a lie a lie

I am proud of The View.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:42 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


MapGuy, if Sarah Palin had real experience, they wouldn't have to resort to the claim that Alaska's proximity to Russia makes her an expert.

How it must feel for Republicans to go into a battle for the nation's soul armed with such pathetic, absurd, desperate bullshit. "Alaska and Russia are close to each other! You can see it from one of our islands!" Yep, she's a regular Dwight D. Eisenhower.
posted by edverb at 10:47 AM on September 14, 2008


I am proud of The View.

I wish they'd frozen Kronkite's head and thawed it out every four years. It's sad that the only people on public television with any balls left are a panel of women on the downside of their careers. Come to think of it, that's all we need: a bunch of no-hope, dead enders to frame the discussion. "Born to Lose" tattoo? Here's your microphone.
posted by jsavimbi at 10:47 AM on September 14, 2008


Here's what I get from Palin. She's a cypher, much in the same way Bush was a cypher. An attractive figurehead for the hard-right. She obviously hasn't any real policies or opinions of her own. Rather, she's an attractive proxy for whoever the power-brokers behind her are.
You kidding? Palin is Nixon with a pretty face. She's "manipulated" to the extent that she doesn't really care about policy in the first place, but she's clearly lusting for power and surrounds herself with loyal incompetents.
For better or worse the last 30 years has proven America will take the "holier than thou" candidate over the "we know what's best for you" candidate. Do you hear me, Al Gore and John Kerry? This is why you lost, and if Obama isn't careful, he will too.
Do you really think a black guy could have gotten elected 30 years ago? Things change, and we have a dramatically different situation then even 2000. I mean, I think the American people would be happy to vote for someone who has some idea of 'what's best' rather then incompetents with no clue. Neither Kerry nor Gore fought effectively. Kerry sucked, and Gore didn't really bring the heat either (of course we had no idea how bad things would get, so it was a different situation)

Finally 2000 was a coin flip that Bush won that coin-flip (with help from his brother and Katharine Harris) proves nothing about the electorate. Kerry was a horrible campaigner, but came very close to winning anyway. If it hadn't been for the swift-boaters and his tepid response, he'd probably be president. Saying those essentially arbitrary events "proves" anything about American politics is sort of absurd.
Since you brought it up Here is the group Obama tied his kite string to. Imagine if Palin had been running with this crowd, you would be screaming it from the mountain tops. Just sayin'. But let's not get distracted.
Ah yes, noted racist Michelle Malkin, obviously her characterization of ACORN is spot on, after all someone with the penetrating insight to say, in the 21st century, that Japanese-American internment during WWII a great idea is obviously someone we should take seriously.
posted by delmoi at 10:49 AM on September 14, 2008


We're still going to win this, right?

Jesus Christ, no, we're not.


This kind of panic is unbecoming and unhelpful.
posted by effwerd at 10:50 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


How low will things go?
good question but what was babs thinkingthat she and could rattle Strabo
i.e. 'The View' interview.
and why won't Barrack have town halls with or this that just guff. Apollo desended into Flint the other day and challenged Strabo (McCain) to a talk in Flint but that is a difficult one.

maybe barrack wants to hold a "war council", in Flint, like his friend Bill Ayers did, wanting TO SELL THIS COUNTRY AWAY FOR SLAUGHTER.
but that was then....
this election has been tame Madame with respect to your post.
:)
posted by clavdivs at 10:54 AM on September 14, 2008


To be specific with ACORN, what happened is that they paid people to register voters. One of their employees faked some registration forms in order to get paid more, in other words, to defraud ACORN (actions which would have no effect on the election). ACORN cooperated with the FBI during the help prosecute the fraudsters.

In other words, ACORN was the victim of the crime, not the perpetrator, but because ACORN's mission is to register lower-income people to vote, the republican slimeballs are willing to say anything to discredit it.
posted by delmoi at 10:55 AM on September 14, 2008 [32 favorites]


...as a law school professor, Obama failed to publish a single item, an oddity in the world of academia....

He wrote Dreams of My Father (1996) with support of the University of Chicago. They provided him with a fellowship to do so.
“Mr. Obama was given an office to write in at the University of Chicago through a surprising connection. Douglas G. Baird, a professor who was head of the law school’s appointments committee, had learned of Mr. Obama from Michael W. McConnell, a conservative constitutional scholar then at Chicago whom President Bush would later make a federal judge.

Professor McConnell encountered Mr. Obama during the editing of an article he wrote for The Harvard Law Review, Professor Baird said recently. ‘He sent a note saying this person is really brilliant, we should have him on our radar screen,’ Professor Baird said. Professor Baird called Mr. Obama at Harvard and asked if he was interested in teaching.

‘I don’t remember his exact words, but it was something to the effect that, ‘Well, in fact, I want to write this book.’ What he really wanted was the Virginia Woolf equivalent of a clean, well lighted room.’ So Professor Baird got him one, a small office near the law library, along with a law school fellowship that Professor Baird hoped might later lead to his full-time teaching.”
He did not become a full-time professor, but a lecturer while being employed as an attorney at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 12-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development from 1996 - 2004.
posted by ericb at 10:57 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh sorry. Oh wait maybe I was wrong. Oh crap, it was Seattle. Anywho you cant trust those crazy blogs. Can you? Freakin blogers.
posted by MapGuy at 10:57 AM on September 14, 2008


MapGuy, If Sarah Palin were the kind of person to support ACORN, a lot less people would have a problem with her. ACORN isn't a criminal organization, it's a community oriented advocacy group.
As for voter fraud, 15 individuals. Not the organization, 15 people in separate cases across the US who worked for or volunteered for ACORN, a group with over 350,000 members, have committed voter fraud. In multiple of those cases ACORN officials caught the individuals and turned them in.
So no I wouldn't hold support of ACORN against any candidate.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:58 AM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


"Alaska and Russia are close to each other! You can see it from one of our islands!" Yep, she's a regular Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Never forget that when we Canadians are wading knee-deep into some American issue thread. We're experts, every one of us. Not because of the media saturation. We're all cuddled up against your border. (mmm, North Dakota. Warm.)

Except I think we have a baker's dozen split between North Bay, ON, Churchill, MB, and the Queen Charlottes.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:59 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


New Evidence: Palin Had Direct Role In Charging Rape Victims For Exams

Did Palin consider "rape kits" a form of abortion?
posted by homunculus at 10:59 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Go ahead look up the word executive. I guess you could count Obama's time at Harvard as executive experience, what was president of the student union or somethng?

President of the Harvard Law Review, actually. If you're going to mock his work at least get it right.

As to that hack piece of "journalism" you linked to, "community organizer" means bringing disenfranchised people into the democratic process. Something, IMHO, that is pretty fucking noble.

It says a lot about the people who mock him, and how afraid they are of poor people voting.
posted by kableh at 11:00 AM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


I am sorta loosing the count of... wait did you just say it was just one guy?
posted by MapGuy at 11:00 AM on September 14, 2008


Argumentum ad echo chamber.
posted by edverb at 11:05 AM on September 14, 2008


MapGuy, Google Republican Voter Fraud... you may be surprised to find out that there are Republicans who have committed voter fraud over the years.
posted by MrBobaFett at 11:08 AM on September 14, 2008


I wish they'd frozen Kronkite's [sic] head and thawed it out every four years.

Walter Cronkite is alive and well and enjoying his summer on Martha's Vineyard.
posted by ericb at 11:10 AM on September 14, 2008


One picture of Sarah Palin's face undoes 10,000 words of expose on her goofy governorship. The woman looks fantastic.

Holy crap, what a country. Does it count for nothing at all what happens when her whiny voice begins to work? I mean, "hockey mom" can fuck right off when she's hectoring you to clean up your room, and that's exactly the note Palin hits.
posted by bonaldi at 11:12 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am not mocking him; I just can't be bothered to look it up because it is such a minor point and I know you will self righteously correct me, while missing the point of the argument entirely. Just because something is true does not make it necessarily relevant. But while we are on the subject does Obama have any executive experience? Does, McCain? Does Biden?


Are you suggesting that I am afraid of poor people voting? That is bullshit.
Here is a hint. I believe in the rule of law. I believe in the Constitution.
Here are a few rules I try to follow.

Never assume you have the high ground moral, intellectual or tactical.

Never assume you are being told the truth, by anyone.

Listen not to what you want to hear but to both what is being said and what is not being said.

Listen to all sides very carefully.

Assume everyone has an agenda.

Assume it is mostly self-serving.

Assume you may very well be completely wrong.

If you become emotive you have already lost the argument.

Look it up.
Good luck.

I don't always get it right. But then neither do you.
posted by MapGuy at 11:15 AM on September 14, 2008


MapGuy, Google Republican Voter Fraud... you may be surprised to find out that there are Republicans who have committed voter fraud over the years.

There are basic differences, though.

Democrats commit voter fraud at the retail level, with gargantuan efforts involving production and transmission of fraudulent ballots and convincing inelligible voters on a one-by-one basis to attempt to register. These efforts are very labor intensive, and usually result in arrests and are largely ineffective.

Republicans commit voter fraud at the executive level (owning companies that develop voting machines that do not provide paper trails, purging voter registration rolls, and engaging in widespread intimidation in democratic areas). These are very effective, and hardly ever result in arrests of any kind.
posted by psmealey at 11:15 AM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Since Walter Cronkite is still alive, we don't even need to thaw his head!
posted by lukemeister at 11:16 AM on September 14, 2008


You're cute when you froth, MapGuy.
posted by Eekacat at 11:16 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


We're still going to win this, right?

Jesus Christ, no, we're not.

This kind of panic is unbecoming and unhelpful.


Exactly.

AP: Number-crunching pollster sees decisive Obama win
"A pollster whose mathematical model has correctly predicted every winner of the White House popular vote since 1988 is banking on a decisive victory for Democrat Barack Obama in November.

Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz said Wednesday that according to his 'time for change' model, Obama would secure 54.3 percent of the popular vote against 45.7 percent for Republican John McCain.

That margin would virtually guarantee a crushing victory for the Democrat in the state-by-state electoral college that actually selects the next president, Abramowitz said."
posted by ericb at 11:18 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


MrBobaFett - Nothing supprises me with respect to the ability of human beings to betray one another.
posted by MapGuy at 11:19 AM on September 14, 2008


Walter Cronkite is alive and well and enjoying his summer on Martha's Vineyard.

Sonnavabitch, Thou shalt not use teh Googles. I'd like to ammend my comment to read "I wish they'd frozen Kronkite's [sic] head back when he was relevant and thawed it out every four years."

MapGuy, don't listen to these people hassling you with "facts" and stuff, you know the right way to feel. Keep linking to those blogs, they're making for an interesting read.

Is it bad to be curious?
posted by jsavimbi at 11:19 AM on September 14, 2008


does Obama have any executive experience? Does, McCain? Does Biden?

Yes. For the past 18 months, Obama has run an incredibly smart, effective and successful Presidential campaign with a high degree of street level organization, and a fund-raising capability that's second to none. At the same time, he has been subjected to a level of media scrutiny and vetting that few among us could withstand, let alone come out the other end of it unscathed.

I might have agreed with the lack of experience thing in 2006, but he has proven that he is an effective leader, organizer and driver of an extensive, national organization, and has still got a lot of gas left in the tank. The guy can flat out manage and execute, not to mention communicate.

I put this executive experience up against anything you've got. Being mayor of a 9,000 person town and 650,000 person state (that's propped up by the largesse of the federal govt) doesn't even come close to Obama's recent experience.
posted by psmealey at 11:20 AM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


Eekacat Dude I am siting here laughing. I enjoy the debate. I can not be bothered to get upset about this.
posted by MapGuy at 11:21 AM on September 14, 2008


Honestly, the situation reminds me of nothing more than bullying on an elementary school playground...

I think you are right. Strategists like Karl Rove (and Lee Atwater et al before him) understand that appealing to base emotions and instincts help energize their base. I call it "Playgound Politics." It evolves over time to "High School Student Center Politics" and sticks with many people.

Wht the Democrats could use is a pissed-off Ralphie going all apeshit on Scott Farkus...with the bully bloodied and sniffling as he retreats from the crowd.
posted by ericb at 11:25 AM on September 14, 2008


psmealey and How about McCain? Jesus, you must know by now I don't start something I can't finish.
posted by MapGuy at 11:26 AM on September 14, 2008


Man, why are they always "laughing"? Can't they just be sitting podding away at the keyboard, bored like the rest of us? No, it has to be laughter that leads to their screeds.
posted by bonaldi at 11:26 AM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


McCain bankrupted his own organization and had to go through three reorgs before the Bushites bailed him out. Not to say he hasn't been an effective candidate, but he almost blew his chances with his inept management before finally having the wherewithal to hand the keys over to the pros.
posted by psmealey at 11:28 AM on September 14, 2008


And his military experience would be....?
posted by MapGuy at 11:30 AM on September 14, 2008


bonaldi I wish I could do that Dr. Evil laugh, that would be cool.
posted by MapGuy at 11:31 AM on September 14, 2008


And his military experience would be....?

Crashing five jets with the last earning him a place at the Hanoi Hilton.
posted by ericb at 11:32 AM on September 14, 2008 [11 favorites]


The democrats need to get over their smugness - and quick - if they want to win this election. What everything boils down to is this: Democrats come across as "knowing what's best for you" and Republicans come across as "holier than thou".

For better or worse the last 30 years has proven America will take the "holier than thou" candidate over the "we know what's best for you" candidate. Do you hear me, Al Gore and John Kerry? This is why you lost, and if Obama isn't careful, he will too.


Quoted for truth.

Ah yes, noted racist Michelle Malkin, obviously her characterization of ACORN is spot on, after all someone with the penetrating insight to say, in the 21st century, that Japanese-American internment during WWII a great idea is obviously someone we should take seriously.
Michelle Malkin happens to be Asian American. What was that about her being a racist?
posted by konolia at 11:32 AM on September 14, 2008


And his military experience would be....?

Undistinguished. Other than his famously being imprisoned by the Vietcong for almost six years, the rest of his military career was relatively undistinguished... about the same as Don Rumsfeld. Never managed any critical assets or squadrons and topped out at as Captain (not bad for some, but hardly the thing of legend).
posted by psmealey at 11:34 AM on September 14, 2008


And his military experience would be....?

And yours is? I'm proud of mine, but in no way does it qualify me for anything other than a cop, fireman or hobo eradication specialist. That's grasping at straws, as Saint Ronnie, Little Geroge and Uncle Dick already proved.

So if you want to debate the military qualifications of a man who managed to use his family's influence to further his career up to the point where he didn't get a star and was advised to retire, by all means, please do.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:36 AM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Go look up VA 174. Here is a hint; it was at the time the largest squadron in the Navy.
posted by MapGuy at 11:38 AM on September 14, 2008


Thank god the media is finally waking up and exposing the lies we've been reading about for weeks.
posted by agregoli at 11:38 AM on September 14, 2008


Guys, there's a lot of good stuff in this thread. Don't let it turn to shit.
posted by neroli at 11:39 AM on September 14, 2008


...hobo eradication specialist..

I think this thread could use one of those.

I keed. I keed.
posted by ericb at 11:39 AM on September 14, 2008


An organization Obama was involved with at one time was involved in some sort of voter fraud.

An organization that John McCain is still actively involved in is directly responsible for war crimes, geneva convention violations, false cassus belli, invasion of a sovereign nation under false pretenses, destruction of New Orleans, cronyism, corrruption, and general skullduggery.

Sorta puts the whole thing into perspective, huh..

Lipstick on a pig my ass.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:40 AM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


konolia: Being non-white does not give anyone a pass on racism any more than being female gives anyone a pass on sexism. I am ashamed to have Malkin as a member of my demographic.
posted by casarkos at 11:44 AM on September 14, 2008 [17 favorites]


Lord_Pall Are you referring to the US Senate? If that is the case I think you may have a problem.
posted by MapGuy at 11:45 AM on September 14, 2008


Are you suggesting that I am afraid of poor people voting?

Yes. Why else would you slander a group like ACORN, who registers poor people to vote, based on bullshit posted on the craziest of crazy wingnut blogs?

Michelle Malkin happens to be Asian American. What was that about her being a racist?

Michelle Malkin is a racist, that's correct. She isn't Japanese, so I fail to see how being Asian grants her a pass on supporting Japanese internment, and she's also totally racist against Arabs and Muslims in general (which is not technically a race, but you get the idea)
posted by delmoi at 11:48 AM on September 14, 2008 [7 favorites]


Did it ever occur to you that I am trying to help you clarify your argument. No, didn't think so.

All you're doing is spouting nonsequiters and insults. I recommend you be ignored for the rest of the thread.

I don't think he's "trolling" specifically, rather he simply lacks the intellectual heft for a real discussion.
posted by delmoi at 11:51 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


MapGuy somehow reminds me of another far-right-winger I occasionally debate with. Trollish in general, but claims to be "fair and balanced" and not trusting of anyone, including the GOP. Delights in getting EV1L LIBRULS all frothy, and uses weak rejoinders to cover his tracks. Becomes sullen and snarky when cornered on a point or is clearly losing a debate. Ignores counterpoints to his arguments when those counterpoints are unassailable. All-in-all, someone with "values."

But I'm just a barely-right-of-centre Canuckistani who thinks Stephen Harper's government needs a steel-toed kick in the arse, so what do I know?
posted by illiad at 11:52 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


It is best to ignore MapGuy, who still thinks that two cellphones can boil an egg.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:52 AM on September 14, 2008 [22 favorites]


Well, you might not like her opinion on internment, granted, but is it on racist grounds or something else?

(Although I have no trouble at all believing that in the 40s there WAS racism involved in the idea of internment camps-after all, I don't remember reading about German internment camps. )
posted by konolia at 11:54 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whoops~!
posted by furtive at 11:55 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Do you mean to say that the WSJ is slandering ACORN. that newspapers in Michigan, Misouri and Seattle are the craziest of crazy wingnut blogs? Because that is what I linked to. If I show you something that is widely reported in the Media as being true why is that slander? I believe I was asking a legitimate question, that I take you do not wish to answer. That's cool, I will go watch NASCAR and football. And no I don't hate poor people.
posted by MapGuy at 11:55 AM on September 14, 2008


Michelle Malkin happens to be is Asian American. What was that about her being a racist?

It's not by accident, her parents are Filipino and her daddy inseminated her mommy's vagina and produced an offspring. Her race wasn't assigned to her via lotto prior to being taken away by the stork to deliver to a [married by the church] couple at random. Oh, and if you think that people of Asian extraction can't be racist, then please explain to me why, as a gringo, I always get a fork and a glass of water at dim sum and my Asian tablemates do not? Huh?

Dim sum is a way of eating Chinese food with tea. It's not to be confused with tapas. Those are Spanish. Just a helpful FYI

And while you're at Google "Malkin racist" and "navy attack squadron VA". One will produce numerous instances of her proxy gutter talk, the other will return information regarding where second-rate naval aviators reside, along with their fourth-rate brethren who finagled a job in a fixed-wing, non-support squadron with a little help from Daddy's friends.

"But he was a POW." So was Vonnegut. Dammit Konolia, educate yourself. Please.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:55 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Michelle Malkin happens to be Asian American. What was that about her being a racist?

Ummm.... she's an Asian American racist?

Can you seriously explain what the fuck this meant?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:59 AM on September 14, 2008 [7 favorites]


I don't keep up with Naval aviation (although I did live in Pensacola quite awhile. Got to watch the Blue Angels practice whilst sunning myself on the beach. It was nice.)

(I'm not following what you guys are discussing re McCain as I already know flying and leadership are two different things. I have a son in the Air Force.)
posted by konolia at 12:00 PM on September 14, 2008


Well, you might not like her opinion on internment, granted, but is it on racist grounds or something else?

I don't think you can say "lets round up every single Jap/Arab/Jew and put them in prison for an indefinite length of time, without a trial" and have it not be racist. If you know of a way to have internment camps filled with people who are there for no reason but for their race, please let me know. I look forward to your illuminating response.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:00 PM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


My friends --in all seriousness, for five years I starved in a box in the Hanoi Hilton, a prisoner of the Vietnamese Communists.
posted by OldReliable at 12:02 PM on September 14, 2008


Garrison Keillor writes on "straight-talk" hypocrisy, distraction from bigger issues, and the implied insult to those of us who "didn't just fall off the coal truck."

here's hoping his message will reach those who need it most.
posted by skyper at 12:04 PM on September 14, 2008


OldReliable If this is true. Then please speak. Your voice deserves to be heard.
posted by MapGuy at 12:05 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Michelle Malkin happens to be Asian American. What was that about her being a racist?

Doesn't mean she's not racist. Including against Asian Americans.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 12:05 PM on September 14, 2008


What basis do you claim to call me either a sociopath or a dick?

Explained here.

Did it ever occur to you that I am trying to help you clarify your argument. No, didn't think so.

Only insofar as your punching me in the stomach is helping me forget my headache.

I'm off to watch NASCAR and Football as well, but I'll be killing babies and eating tempeh burgers and drinking a mochaccino as I do it.
posted by psmealey at 12:06 PM on September 14, 2008


That is so cool how do you get it to blink?

Gosh, you're the ITT Tech graduate, why don't you tell me? As a matter of fact, why not go back down into your basement, figure out how to make two cellphones boil an egg - an assertion you are still unable to defend, remember - and then come join the discussion here when you're done?

Why would anyone genuinely listen to what you have to say when you happen to be wrong about everything else you've posted?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:06 PM on September 14, 2008


And by the way, I'm not saying Malkin is Racist against Japanese people in general, Rather she's racist against Arabs and other "brown" people from Muslim countries. The reason she praised internment in WWII was because she thought it was a good model for dealing with Arabs/muslims in the US during the "war on terror."

One of the U.S. attorneys prosecuting ACORN was none other then Bradley Schlozman, a notorious rightwing hack and expert vote suppressor. here he is testifying in congress about those 'prosecutions'
posted by delmoi at 12:09 PM on September 14, 2008


What Would Todd Do?
"In voting to issue a subpoena to Todd Palin in an investigation of the firing of the Alaska public safety commissioner, state lawmakers on Friday signaled that Mr. Palin, the husband of Gov. Sarah Palin, might have played a central role in one of the most contentious episodes of her governorship.

While that suggestion goes beyond the image presented of Mr. Palin during the Republican convention as a blue-collar family man and sportsman, it echoes a widely held understanding among lawmakers, state employees and lobbyists about Mr. Palin’s heavy engagement in state government.

In the small circle of advisers close to the governor, these people say, Mr. Palin is among the closest, and he plays an unpaid but central role in many aspects of the administration of Ms. Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president.

Mr. Palin’s involvement in the governor’s office has prompted an irreverent quip by some capital staff members when decisions are to be made that might affect the governor: 'What would Todd do?'

Mr. Palin has encouraged lawmakers to support his wife’s agenda, helped her review budget items and polish speeches, surprised some lawmakers by sitting in on meetings and received copies of top administration staff e-mail messages."
posted by ericb at 12:10 PM on September 14, 2008


Speaking of Racism-- how about John "I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live" McCain's racism?

John McCain repeatedly voted against creating a national holiday commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. Now, of course, Mr. "Straight Talk" has flip-flopped and is in favor of this holiday.

Looks like the people of Memphis remember his original position, though.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:13 PM on September 14, 2008


Confirmation bias is a hard thing to point out, because everybody wants to believe that they're making solid well thought out unbiased decisions. But There's a healthy amout of confirmation bias that is at the heart of this election, and it's results are quite interesting.

I'm not talking about regular "I support candidate A, so i will view everything through that lens" bias. That's normal and to be expected. But what this election has that is unprecedented is an overriding bias that both sides share. The preconception the Barack Obama can't win.

The common wisdom among all Americans before this election was that while having a Black President was something that we as a country would see as a good thing given our history, it wasn't something that would happen in our lifetime.

The biggest problem with this bias is that it is NOT racist. You'll notice that whenever Obama's rae is brought up in this election, it;'s through the prism of "racist voters who won't vote for him because of his skin color" this is not where the color of his skin actually hurts him. We already have an established "overcoming racism" narrative that we can all tap into.

What we don't have is a Black Man as president narrative we can tap into. As a result even people who are for Obama 100% are still biased against him in this subtle, but overwhelming way. Even Obama's successes look like failures when deep down you think he can't win. Even if you really really WANT him to win. Remember how Hillary Clinton kept insisting that Obama couldn't beat McCain, and everyone ignored the fact that she couldn't beat Obama?

There's that old saying, "When the map doesn't match the ground, it's the map that's wrong"

So much has been completely counterintuitive about this election, but everyone insists on filtering it through previous models, completely ignoring every piece of evidence that says things are different this time. Remember how everyone kept asking every primary why he couldn't "put Hillary away", and in hindsight we can clearly see he wrapped things up on Super Tuesday?

There's this saying among a certain segment of Black America that is pretty much accepted as gospel truth, and this election seems to be proving it.

"You have to be twice as good to be considered equal."

This idea could be interpreted as grievance, but it really isn't. The base idea is that you actually can actually achieve equality. It doesnt matter if the world ignores how far over the bar you have to jump, a long as you clear the bar.

This election is still a tossup, but so far Obama has cleared every bar in unprecedented fashion. He's working harder than anyone ever has, and everyone is mad because he's making it look easy.Every time he clears a bar, everyone assumes that bar wasn't important, because hey, he can't really win, can he?

Two things to consider.

1) Following the announcement of Palin as VP, Obama collected $10 million in one day. The first 24 hours. This was before any of the rumors, allegations, vetting concern, polls or anything. Everyone looked at that banner day through the lens of Palin reaction, when in reality he was going to get that money anyway. As long as everyone continues to underestimate the machine, nobody's going to figure out a way to beat the machine.

2) Go back to Electoral-vote.com. Their numbers are causing all sorts of hand-winging when viewed as proof that Obama is losing. But look again at McCain's numbers as compared to Bush's numbers in 2004. He may be ahead of Obama in some key states, but he's behind Bush by more than a few points in most of those states. And these are pre-debate convention bounce numbers. Meanwhile Obama is close to or excceding Kerry's numbers.

Maybe it shouldn't be as close as it is at this point. But as this race goes into it's last laps, it may be a tie, but one guy is driving a rickety old bus as fast as it can possibly go, and the other guy is in a Ferrari and is just kind of cruising along.

It's still anybody's race, but is anyone really looking at the Straight Talk Express right now and saying "wow, look at that thing go!"
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:16 PM on September 14, 2008 [14 favorites]


McCain: Racist, Bigot & Homophobe
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:20 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Doctors call on McCain to release complete medical records (video).
The report says that 4 bouts of melanoma were among the various types of skin cancer McCain has experienced. His most recent Stage 2 melanoma occurred in 2002. By the charts, there is a 66% chance of recurrence within 10 years, and 6 years have already lapsed. MDs say that treatment for a recurrence would be so toxic and so difficult, he would be incapacitated from fulfilling his responsibilities.

And his backup is Palin & her sidekick, First Dude? Horribile dictu! Mere contemplation is the stuff of nightmares.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:25 PM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


What would Todd do?

I cannot speak intelligently on the decision making habits of one Todd Pallin, part-time oil worker cum snowmobile racer and all around shunner of contraceptives, but I will say what nimrod like himself wouldn't do: let his little lady run around making decisions without consulting him first.

Maybe my services as a hobo eradication specialist may not be needed in this thread, but we could sure make good use of a trailer park mediator: Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!

kolonia, I'm amazed that all these years of military living haven't rubbed off on you enough to tell the difference between one and the other. Did you have no other interests in the world around you other than sitting on the beach? That's sad, it really is. I'm not knocking your beliefs, just your apparent ignorance as a human being. It's a pet peeve of mine to see people on this Earth, for the short time they're here, act completely unaware of their surroundings. Please tell me that at least you're better travelled than Todd's missus.
posted by jsavimbi at 12:25 PM on September 14, 2008


I would love for a reporter to ask Sarah Palin how she feels about John McCain's Rape Joke.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:25 PM on September 14, 2008


Got to watch the Blue Angels practice whilst sunning myself on the beach. It was nice.

Given your incuriosity about the Iraq war, I wonder on which beach you've been sunning yourself the past few years.
posted by troybob at 12:29 PM on September 14, 2008


The bad news: Given the opposing candidate, the drawn out war, and the collapsing economy, Obama should be ahead by 15%.

Actually, that's not true. According to this article by the economist Douglas Hibbs, who is known for his "bread and peace" model of presidential election forecasting, the level of income growth in the U.S. and the amount of Iraq War casualties leads to a prediction of Obama winning narrowly by a 51.8% share of the two-party vote, while the Republicans gets 48.2%. I think most of the other forecasting models also have Obama winning but by a small margin.
posted by jonp72 at 12:32 PM on September 14, 2008


It's a pet peeve of mine to see people on this Earth, for the short time they're here, act completely unaware of their surroundings.

My SO, who is from the U.S., is dismayed by the lack of worldliness found in much of her homeland. I don't have the data in front of me, but an astonishingly low number of Americans have ever had a passport and far fewer keep their passports current. While working a bit north of Seattle, her co-workers were amazed at how often she crossed north to Vancouver. The cultural similarities between Seattle-ites and Vancouver-ites are legion, but crossing the 49th into Canada was viewed with as much awe as travelling to, say, Mongolia. They're both foreign countries, after all...

The usual line she'd hear as to why being aware of one's surroundings and the "World Outside" wasn't necessary was: "We can travel across the U.S. -- what more do we need?"
posted by illiad at 12:38 PM on September 14, 2008


[few comments removed - take dick name calling IMMEDIATELY to metatalk or email, thakn you]
posted by jessamyn at 12:39 PM on September 14, 2008


Michelle Malkin is a racist, that's correct. She isn't Japanese, so I fail to see how being Asian grants her a pass on supporting Japanese internment, and she's also totally racist against Arabs and Muslims in general (which is not technically a race, but you get the idea).

The Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II makes it perfectly plausible that a Filipina-American woman like Michelle Malkin might have an ax to grind about the internment of Japanese-Americans. Asians are just as capable of hating on other Asians as the non-Asians are.
posted by jonp72 at 12:40 PM on September 14, 2008


Since when do facts matter in US politics?
posted by Vindaloo at 12:43 PM on September 14, 2008


Keep living in the bubble people. I mean if you don't like McCain's campaign tactics that's fine -- but the idea that the media hasn't been hard enough on her or that embarassing NYT story which is a bunch of overheated language attached to mighty thin gruel amounts to a "thorough vetting" is kind of pathetic. It's an embarrassment for the the Times which isn't a sleeping giant so much as a giant on life support, because of obviously biased crap like this. NEWSFLASH: She made some enemies in local politics -- B.F.D. Of course she's a Governor now with an 80+ percent approval rating but OMG STOP THE PRESSES we found some people in Alaska that don't like her!

Instead, it will likely stoke the narrative that the media is cheerleading for Obama -- something surveys show that most people now believe. You may despise McCain-Palin but you have to admit that a major reason why Obama is now slipping is because the media fell down on the job and prematurely and unfairly rushed to bury her. And now, because the NYT initially rushed to print page one stories about her that they had to retract (her alleged membership in the Alaska Independence Party) and they began demanding paternity tests on the basis of a vicious and anonymous Kos diary -- Palin is largely bulletproof to media attacks.

In the meantime everyone should read this and chill the hell out.
posted by Heminator at 12:47 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I should clarify -- it wasn't the NYT but another media outlet that irresponsibly demanded a paternity test...
posted by Heminator at 12:50 PM on September 14, 2008


Heminator, I'm really unsure what bubble you seem to be outside of, but perhaps you should come in because it has oxygen.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:52 PM on September 14, 2008


You may despise McCain-Palin but you have to admit that a major reason why Obama is now slipping is because the media fell down on the job and prematurely and unfairly rushed to bury her

Dude, they haven't even talked to her yet.
posted by The Straightener at 12:52 PM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


As for voter fraud, 15 individuals. Not the organization, 15 people in separate cases across the US who worked for or volunteered for ACORN, a group with over 350,000 members, have committed voter fraud. In multiple of those cases ACORN officials caught the individuals and turned them in.

Yeah, this is pretty much B.S. Organizations like ACORN cannot be held responsible if one of their canvassers tries to get extra money by trying to register "Mickey Mouse" and other nonexistent voters. ACORN's the only victim here. They get swindled out of money by canvassers registering phony voters. It doesn't have an effect on the election, because "Mickey Mouse" is not going to suddenly materialize and show up at the polls. It's just Republicans suppressing the vote with phony "voter fraud" charges to cast doubt on Democratic electoral victories.

Seriously, we need to change the whole framing of the voter fraud issue, so that Republican efforts at suppressing voter turnout are understood as the real voter fraud.
posted by jonp72 at 12:53 PM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Got to watch the Blue Angels practice whilst sunning myself on the beach. It was nice.

Holy cats! You've SEEN the jets? By Palin logic, you're qualified to run either the air force or the NTSB. Take your pick!
posted by John of Michigan at 12:53 PM on September 14, 2008 [21 favorites]


I should clarify -- it wasn't the NYT but another media outlet that irresponsibly demanded a paternity test...

Actually, it was an unspecified "members of the A-list media" that asked if the campaign had plans for her to undergo tests...according to Steve Schmidt.
posted by neroli at 12:58 PM on September 14, 2008


My SO, who is from the U.S., is dismayed by the lack of worldliness found in much of her homeland.

From a social standpoint, yes, I'm dismayed that a lot of my fellow Americans are donkeys when it comes to the world outside of their living rooms, let alone outside our borders. But not from a financial standpoint. I clean up pretty well in comparisson to my peers, so I'm not trying to educate them that much. After all, being the lone gringo in an office where all of the talent is imported has its benefit$.

It's hard to knock what we have in the US. Foreigners come here and are culture shocked into submission with our style of living, everthing from the availability of consumer goods to the level of customer service and the facilities that we build for ourselves. Not to mention that our McMansions, empty or not, far outclass any available new construction anywhere in the world. Hands down. It's not a bad place to live and the opportunities are endless for anyone with a little hussle, just ask Todd's missus.

That being said, there are plenty of people in other countries who never leave their homeland, let alone go far beyond their local area unless pressed into it. Even though it's easy to encounter nouveau riche tourists on a junket in most major American cities, travelling to remote areas for recreation is still an activity of the elites, or the soon to be, and I don't hold it against anyone for not venturing far beyond the beach at Punta Cana.

But to list a refueling stop in Shannon?, Ireland as foreign affairs experience betrays a complete and utter lack of curved Earth understanding. As in being laughed at and annointed a numbskull.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:01 PM on September 14, 2008


The woman looks fantastic. Her face is the perfectly proportioned expression of the "golden mean." The eyes, the cheekbones, the mouth, the neck have a powerful appeal that make objective or hostile reaction very difficult....

??

She has "crazy eyes". I see a complete wackjob/twit when I look at that face.
posted by Zambrano at 1:01 PM on September 14, 2008


The collective thought process of our nation is chaotic, gut-level, poorly reasoned. I accept it at a root level that there is some core wisdom in the American electorate, that truth will out and the good guys will win someday. But what if it isn't true? What if Gore and Kerry weren't wine-sipping nancy boys and brainiacs but were actually good people who lost to worse ones?

Here's the conclusion that I've drawn: Americans back the strong. Less simply, Americans support people, organizations and causes that project strength and support a perception of strength.

Intellectualism is seen as weak; where is the strength in looking at multiple points of view, asks the average American. Strength is in taking one position, whether true or not, whether valid or valuable or destructive, and holding onto it with both hands. Not merely holding onto that point of view, but attacking all contrary points of view.

Negotiating with enemies is weak. Accepting or adopting a religious view that does not mandate a hierachy is weak. Being different from your neighbour means that you're undermining the fortress of his ego; that cannot stand. He is in a position of strength; surely those who are different must be attacking him.

The rich are strong, and Americans dream about becoming stronger. Taxing the wealthy is punishing the strong. Telling an American that he will never be rich is a coward's tactic. Of course I don't support taxing the wealthy, America says -- that's a weasel's way of fighting the strong and supporting the weak. But you're lower middle class, argues the intellectual, and I want to lower your taxes. The American then bristles at being labelled weak or told that he is not likely to ever be strong in that way.

If the weak succeed in war, it is only because they have acted dishonourably. Guerilla warfare. Terrorism. Improvised explosive devices. If the strong fail in war it's because the peace-loving weaklings held us back. We have the greatest military might in history; if we failed it's because we were stopped by weaklings who used trickery to stem our budgets or dishonourably hurt morale.

We punish people as a show of strength. Rehabilitation is a sign of weakness. We want to punish women who left the house and got themselves raped by not letting them abort. We punish weaklings who dare to step outside of the free speech zones. Showing mercy to mentally disabled criminals is weak: no exceptions. You kill your enemies. You don't coddle them.

"But your candidate is lying." Fuck you, you little weakling. Can't take it? Quit. If you write that we're liars in the paper, it's because you're cowards and can't stand up to a fair fight and have to use the media to fight your battles for you.

Given the choice between a bully and a nerd, America will pick the bully every time. Sadly, I don't think this election is going to be any different.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:11 PM on September 14, 2008 [22 favorites]


The Palin-Whatshisname Ticket
posted by homunculus at 1:13 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


I should clarify -- it wasn't the NYT but another media outlet that irresponsibly demanded a paternity test...

No media outlets asked for a paternity test, in fact, it doesn't even make any sense, Palin is the mother and paternity tests determine the father. It was just a dumbass rumor floated by the McCain campaign, which lies about everything.
posted by delmoi at 1:26 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Got to watch the Blue Angels practice whilst sunning myself on the beach. It was nice.
>Holy cats! You've SEEN the jets? By Palin logic, you're qualified to run either the air force or the NTSB. Take your pick!


Nerts to that, I got a goddamn airshow flying over my house, and the other 364 days of the year, I'm directly below the approach path for landings.

I'M KING OF THE SKYYYYY!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:30 PM on September 14, 2008


I would love for a reporter to ask Sarah Palin how she feels about John McCain's Rape Joke.

The victim in this joke? Did she have to pay for her own rape test kit?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:31 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama ad - His Administration.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:32 PM on September 14, 2008


Of all the discussion-worthy, interesting things that could be said about the election as it stands the single most important one by far, IMO, is what five fresh fish said:

Get Out The Vote.

It's not just a slogan, people. If you as a people, as a nation can manage to get as many people as possible to simply tick a box, press a button, all these students in Virginia who are being misled into believing they cannot register to vote at their college address, all these "bitter" voters in, say, Hocking County, Ohio -- and let's ditch the quotation marks now, okay, because many of them are bitter and who's to blame them, I'd be if I was goaded time and again to vote against my economic interests just because the Republican candidates have usually done a better job of speaking to these people's visceral sense of identity instead of summing up the issues and running campaigns like policy briefings as Democrats have been wont to do -- and yes, hell why not, even the masses and masses of black people from Alexandria to Atlanta who have never once voted in their lives because well, what's the point?, do you think a Republican would ever in the foreseeable future win another presidential election?

I imagine Plouffe will agree that running a successful US Democratic presidential campaign is all about the three Ts: Turnout, Turnout, and Turnout.

So start today. Register. Learn how to vote early in your state. Learn how to vote from abroad. Know your registration deadline.

Take notice of these things even if they do not apply to you directly, and pass them on to those to whom they do.

Get. Involved. Knock on a few doors. Make some calls. Drive people to the polls.

And most of all: vote. Even if you're not registered in a swing state: imagine the (appropriate) constitutional crisis if another candidate were to win the electoral college while losing the popular vote, by a few million instead of half a million like that one time, if you remember. Imagine the clout it would lend to those pursuing electoral reform.

I wish I could help beyond merely discussing this on the Internet and trying to shout motivation into my American friends, but I can't, because I'm not American. Many of you, however, can.

So act, and then we'll have all the time to discuss and lament or celebrate how it went from November 5th onward.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:33 PM on September 14, 2008 [21 favorites]


Democrats come across as "knowing what's best for you"

Translation: Knowing what's best for you = "won't let me say n*gger in polite company"
posted by jonp72 at 1:38 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin Bags a Big One -- portrait by Zina Saunders
posted by bonobo at 1:41 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Unfortunately it seems to be working.

What a mess.


Only, it's not working. Not only did Obama just have a history-making fund raising month, but as MSNBC recently reported, those signs of a turn-around for McCain we've been hearing so much idiotic chatter about? Yeah, well, maybe not so much. Among many other blatant falsehoods (like how Palin never requested any earmarks as governor--a clumsy, outright lie that the record easily shows up), it's been revealed the McCain campaign has actually been lying to the press even about the size of the crowds at its rallies!

Given the choice between a bully and a nerd, America will pick the bully every time. Sadly, I don't think this election is going to be any different.

No offense, but you're huffing a little too much overpriced gas if you think a guy that can make a three point shot like this is a nerd. Obama's the best of both worlds: An accomplished intellectual extrovert. And that's why he is going to be the next president.

Well, that and the McCain people have actually crossed over into crazy Katherine Harris land now, and don't seem to be coming back. A few photo-shopped images of Palin's face on a hooker's body passed around by email aren't going to change that, I'm afraid.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:44 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


See also: Sarah Palin, by the Book from Zina Saunders.
posted by bonobo at 1:46 PM on September 14, 2008


No offense, but you're huffing a little too much overpriced gas if you think a guy that can make a three point shot like this is a nerd.

No offense, but you're huffing gas if you think Obama's the bully.

And that's why he is going to be the next president.

If artificial conflict didn't sell newspapers, I might agree.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:47 PM on September 14, 2008


McCain is the weakest candidate the GOP has fielded in a very long time,

Bob Dole, 1996. If the Clinton campaign that year was a car, all they needed to do was put a brick on the gas pedal and tie some kite string around the steering wheel.

and the political and economic situation is a disaster for the GOP.

Yes, yes it is. Which is why Obama needs to ignore Palin and other petty distractions while continuing to hammer the McCain = Bush drum from now until November.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:49 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not to mention that our McMansions, empty or not, far outclass any available new construction anywhere in the world.

I reckon 'class' is the wrong expression here.
posted by dydecker at 1:50 PM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


No offense, but you're huffing gas if you think Obama's the bully.

He never said he was, he's pointing out that Obama doesn't fit so snugly in the nerd's locker of public opinion as some folks may like.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:51 PM on September 14, 2008


Notice interesting parallels between the Democratic primary and this election? Hillary drove news cycle after news cycle. What did she get? A reputation as a dirty campaigner who flirted with racial imaging and had trouble telling the truth about her experiences in places like Bosnia.

And what do we have here? McCain driving news cycle after news cycle--but building up a reputation for lying about Obama and his statements, lying about Palin and her so-called opposition to the "bridge to nowhere."

Coincidence? I think not.

The news media believes that whoever is providing its content and driving the news cycle is winning. For them to believe otherwise would mean they are less important then they think.

Reporters are often the last to detect large-scale change. They are wrapped up in the-day-to-day, a perspective that is not the best for observing larger changes. Predictions of such change are very risky for reporters to make.

There's no doubt that the current paradigm of cheap shot attacks and untruths will give way to another way of campaigning. What form that new paradigm will take is unknown. I'd say the last major change was the "battleground states" methodology. We will see if Obama is on to something new or not.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:52 PM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Also, from the waffle piece:
On the back of the box, Obama is depicted in stereotypical Mexican dress, including a sombrero, above a recipe for "Open Border Fiesta Waffles" that says it can serve "4 or more illegal aliens." The recipe includes a tip: "While waiting for these zesty treats to invade your home, why not learn a foreign language?"
The grunting, drooling, pig ignorance of these people astounds me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:53 PM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


Palin represents the pioneering woman who settled the old west, the woman who gets up every morning at 5:00am, fixes breakfast for her family, gets the kids on the bus, goes to work, comes home, cooks dinner ... &c.

Palin represents the woman with a $150,000 seaplane who has her kids raised by a nanny, laughs at female cancer survivors, bills the state government for meals she had at at home, and lies about firing the state chef. What Palin "represents" is a media-constructed lie.
posted by jonp72 at 1:54 PM on September 14, 2008 [9 favorites]


Given the choice between a bully and a nerd, America will pick the bully every time.

This is just flat out false. Not that I'm knocking your insight. I think you make interesting points, however there's one small problem.

2000 was a tie, and Al Gore won the popular vote. In that election Bush ran as a moderate, "compassionate" conservative. Despite tipping their evil hand in the primaries, they waited until after they won to really start pbeing total dicks.

2004 came down to Ohio, and that states votes were highly suspect. Swift Boating and all, Kerry came as close as he could without winning. He got 9 million MORE votes than Gore got 4 years earlier. Considering Bush was the incumbent, we were at war, and they had already started stacking the govt. with shills fully empowered to unfairly use their positions politically...it shouldn't havebeen that close

America only loves it's winners in hindsight. Or more accurately in the case of the past 8 years, America is like a rube getting hustled by a three card monte hustler on some streetcorner. Rather than admit they got hustled, they keep throwing good money after bad, despite the fact that the crowd has turned, and everybody's whispering that the fix is on. If McCain loses, his biggest mistake will have been running away from Bush rather than toward him. I think the people would have been willing to throw one last dollar in that pot to save face.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:54 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Did y'all see Obama's interview will Bill O'Reilly? Dude is not a wimp. He went head to head with Bill and earned his respect. If the storyline is "Obama is a wimp" just because he's not taking cheap shots, wait until the debates. He will crush McCain.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:56 PM on September 14, 2008


This is pretty much why I never post to Metafilter anymore regarding anything political. I offered up an eminently sensible anaysis -- I even liked to Kos for crying out loud to make a point. You don't have to agree with me, but Republican=lying fascist gets really, really fucking old. You'd have to blind as a partisan bat not to agree that the MSM has really screwed up the Palin coverage -- such that we've reached a point where even legit criticism can't get through because the media isn't trusted. Which is bad for Obama.

I sure as hell didn't make up the fact that the NYT rushed to print with a page one story about Palin that was bogus and numerous other examples of discreditable conduct abound -- including the ones breathlessly cited above, but somehow suggesting that respectable media asked for a paternity test is ridiculous? Hardly. (If you read the original Kos diary accusing Palin of covering for her daughter's alleged pregnancy you'd know why they requested it.) As for the paternity test request, I have damn good reasons to believe in fact real, but I have no interest in convincing anybody here otherwise.

My basic point was simple: piling on Palin entrenches anti-media prejudice and drowns out Obama's message. That's a pretty sound point to make, no matter what political perspective you're coming from. But thank God we have Metafilter's ideological praetorian guard will shut out all dissent and make sure I don't get my conservative cooties on anyone.
posted by Heminator at 2:03 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


The McCain campaign must know that Obama and Biden will demolish the GOP ticket in a debate. McCain's advisers must be sweating bullets right now.

McCain isn't known for a lack of cojones though. I can see him arguing that he'll just present the "honest, unvarnished" John McCain behind the podium and hope that courage and "values" will win the day. Of course, this would be like trying to win at chess using Stratego tactics.
posted by illiad at 2:04 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't remember reading about German internment camps.

Both Italians and Germans - first-generation immigrants, mostly, but a few citizens - were held in camps in the U.S. during WW2. About 60% of Japanese people held in U.S. internment camps were U.S. citizens. The percentage of such was lower among Italians and Germans.

According to some first-hand history I've heard while birding in the Klamath region in California - where the Japanese-American internment camp at Tule Lake was, the Germans held in the region had far more freedom. They were able to leave their compounds, drive cars around, go visiting, etc. Pretty much the first thing our birding group was told by our local guide was "Don't ask about the Japanese camp. It's still a sore subject."

posted by rtha at 2:09 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


major reason why Obama is now slipping

Or else it's a convention bounce, an acknowledged fact of politics that always happens and always dissipates in a few weeks. Every single time.

Good look with that self-fulfilling prophecy though.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:10 PM on September 14, 2008


Also for anyone freaking out about McCain/Palin, please note that people like MapGuy and konolia are merely agents of Rove's "keep the opponents in turmoil" strategy. MeFi doesn't ban concern trolls, so I suggest you ignore them (please, even if I fail to do so) and go donate money or time to the Obama campaign.

Remember that if McCain is elected, and he is incapacited, then Palin will be President, and within a few years a rapist will be able to choose which woman is going to bear his child. I want you to think about that for a moment. You or your mother or sister or daughter or wife would be forced to bear her rapist's child under a Palin presidency.

Please donate and volunteer today.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:10 PM on September 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


I offered up an eminently sensible anaysis -- I even liked to Kos for crying out loud to make a point. You don't have to agree with me, but Republican=lying fascist gets really, really fucking old. You'd have to blind as a partisan bat not to agree that the MSM has really screwed up the Palin coverage -- such that we've reached a point where even legit criticism can't get through because the media isn't trusted.

Your "eminently sensible anaysis" aside, people will, from time to time, disagree with things you say. Try not to take it too personally. Let's look at what actually happened: There were some premature shots fired at Palin early on, but these came mostly from the blog world which Team McCain then brought the whole world's attention to by crying about it in the MSM. They then used this as an opportunity to say the media itself was attacking poor defenseless Palin, that tireless public servant, and that therefore the media would have VIP Only access to her. Anyone who pushed to hard about her background and her record was "attacking" her or being sexist, and it continues to this day with that ridiculous lipstick kerfuffle.

I do however agree Palin is best ignored and that we need to stay on point with a very simple message to win this thing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:14 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


2000 was a tie, and Al Gore won the popular vote

In fact, the democrat has gotten more votes in 3 of the last 4 elections. If not for the historical fluke of 9/11 it would almost certainly be every election since 1992. And yet some on the left still can't stop waiting, hoping, cheerleading for the sky to fall, so they can feel like elite minority lost among the philistines.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:15 PM on September 14, 2008


My basic point was simple: piling on Palin entrenches anti-media prejudice and drowns out Obama's message.

I think that's absolutely true. What's going on is that Obama supporters of all stripes are frustrated/outraged/anxious about Palin being touted as this "breath of fresh air" that has "energized the Republican Party", after delivering an incredibly negative and sarcastic speech at the RNCC, and then making all sorts of claims on the stump that have turned out to be demonstrably false.

When you see the level of excitement created by something that after only a bit of digger looks to be completely phony, it triggers a visceral response that's hard to suppress.

That said, you're right. The longer the discussion stays on Palin, the longer Obama is off his message.
posted by psmealey at 2:18 PM on September 14, 2008


why Obama is now slipping

Well, a compilation of data from numerous polls actually shows the gap closing at the time of this posting. Looks like the bloom is off the rose.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:21 PM on September 14, 2008


No offense, but you're huffing gas if you think Obama's the bully.

Oh, I don't think for a minute he's the bully--he's more like that rare, well-loved high school jock, who just happens to also be captain of the debate team and the regional chess champ. He's a likable over-achiever, not a nerd.

The world isn't just divided into groups of bullies and nerds, you know. In fact, one thing bullies and nerds have in common is that both exist on the fringes of normal social life, never fully achieving the popular acceptance they so desperately seek. Obama--unlike McCain with his infamously quick temper--can make headway in popular circles because he's not a nerd or a bully.

(And I'm not huffing gas right now, because it really is too expensive here in Florida.)
posted by saulgoodman at 2:22 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Michelle Malkin happens to be Asian American. What was that about her being a racist?
posted by konolia at 11:32 AM on September 14 [+] [!]


What the hell?

I'm Asian American, and I know plenty of Asian Americans who think other Asian Americans are filthy and would much rather spend time with the much superior white race.

Do you not know, say, a singular woman who says sexist things? I'm a tutor, and a mother told me that she wanted me to tutor her daughter because her daughter's high school math teacher is female, and that women should not be allowed to teach math. Oh, and by the way, this mother is a professional accountant, but she considers herself a very special exception.

Are you not aware of the complexities of, you know, being human?

.
posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 2:26 PM on September 14, 2008 [9 favorites]


My basic point was simple: piling on Palin entrenches anti-media prejudice and drowns out Obama's message. That's a pretty sound point to make, no matter what political perspective you're coming from.

I'm not scared of your conservative cooties. I wholeheartedly agree with you. However,I also believe that Obama being out of the spotlight for a few weeks, helps him. Don't forget that while Obama has dominated the news attention this election, most of the news has been negative, misleading, and completely off-point. Up until the Palin pick this election was purely an Obama referendum. Now it's quickly becoming a Palin referendum. That helps Obama. It's not like his campaign is on hold just because he's not the lead news story. He's still out there shaking hands and kissing babies. And now he gets to do so without anyone looking over your shoulder asking "are you sure you want this guy kissing your baby?"

Ask yourself this. What was the main Obama story last week? It was the lipstick/pig remark. What WASN'T the main story? The scary black man wants to talk dirty to your kids ad. If the news was all Obama all the time, there would have been room for both stories.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:27 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Favorited for "conservative cooties".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:38 PM on September 14, 2008



What's bizarre to me is how the media can continue to portray the Republicans as the "family values" party with a straight face. Their candidate is an adulterer who married his mistress. The mistress-now-wife is an ex-junkie who stole painkillers from a charity and destroyed a doctor to get her fix. The VP candidate is a career woman so driven that she made a speech while leaking amniotic fluid, rather than ensure the safety of her baby.

If these folks were dems, don't you think we'd be hearing about the "character issue"?

I'm not saying we should be judging people on those things, but if the Republicans are going to judge Democrats on them, it's only fair that the media point out their double standard.
posted by Maias at 2:39 PM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


I wish they'd hurry up and work through those subpoenas on Palin's husband and aides and get on with the indicting for corruption and abuse of power.

Of course, if she's indicted *after* the election, and found guilty, but McCain wins, he could just pardon her. 'Here he comes to save the day...'
posted by jamstigator at 2:43 PM on September 14, 2008


Neoconservatives whose influence had been waning in Washington have hitched their colours to rising star Sarah Palin in a bid to shape US foreign policy for another decade.
posted by homunculus at 2:47 PM on September 14, 2008


Ironically, given the"celebrity" ads, the McCain camp have stumbled on the fact there's no such thing as bad (as long as it is not overtly about moral or sexual transgression). Obama needs to get himself in the news. Something controversial - something that will shift the focus
posted by Neiltupper at 2:49 PM on September 14, 2008


He could shoot a bear?
posted by Artw at 3:22 PM on September 14, 2008


It's surprising how many people are expecting Obama to crush McCain in the debates. Unless McCain has an exceptionally bad day, this won't happen. Did you see the Saddleback "faith forum"? McCain did a nice job earnestly delivering simple applause lines, while Obama seemed to get bogged down by providing real answers.

Expect in the debate to hear McCain hammer Obama continuously on whether the surge worked and how well it worked, and how foolish it was not to listen an old ballsy warrior like gizzly McCain. McCain will do well by exceeding expectations.

But my money is still on Obama, for a few reasons. For one thing, there's a reason why deception and negativity are usually avoided by campaigns until immediately before elections. As a result of McCains's lies, we're likely to see his numbers begin to drop as polls catch up with the steady erosion of his brand that we've seen in the last few days.

Moreover: Palin will not be a miracle-worker. Despite her demographical attractiveness, she's a poor speaker when off the teleprompter, whose lack of knowledge can't easily be hidden. The story, which has already shifted from her prettyness to her lies, will focus more and more on her mistakes.

Finally, Obama's organization can help him win. It's well put-together, and effective at raising money. Speaking of which, I'll be donating (again) on Tuesday, once my paycheck arrives. Hopefully others supporters of Obama here will also consider upping the level of time and money that they've been willing to provide thus far.

(One final note: did you see in the Times that now, a couple months before the election, that Bush has suddenly authorized US troops to go into Pakistan looking for Bin Laden and his associates? The odds of a real "October Surprise" are looking a little higher.)
posted by washburn at 3:25 PM on September 14, 2008


psmealy: Yes. For the past 18 months, Obama has run an incredibly smart, effective and successful Presidential campaign with a high degree of street level organization, and a fund-raising capability that's second to none.

Well, this argument is a non-starter. About 70-80% of what the president is responsible for goes through the Senate in some form or another, from budget bills, federal laws, to top-level appointments. Senators have a much better understanding of how the federal government is structured than any governor or small business owner.

And I'm a broken record on this point. But Obama can strike back on the "experience" by pointing out that the worst policy disasters of the last decade have come from promoting putting political hacks and yes-men into key advisory positions.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:25 PM on September 14, 2008


Obama needs to get himself in the news. Something controversial - something that will shift the focus.
Great let’s talk about actual executive experience. Let’s talk the actual number of bills worked on in twenty-two years in the Senate vs. four. Let’s talk about when the hell Biden is going to step up and shore up his party’s position in this election. As I said before it has never been McCain’s to win, it is Obama’s to lose. As I said before the VP debate will decide this election.
posted by MapGuy at 3:30 PM on September 14, 2008


Great let’s talk about actual executive experience. Let’s talk the actual number of bills worked on in twenty-two years in the Senate vs. four.

Please stop with these non-sequitirs. We've moved so far past that, it's not even relevant any more.

Let's look at the actual choice. You have a young, vigorous man with reasonable plan to tackle the next four years and the myriad problems staring us in the face, against an old, tired, embittered man who has been repeating the Bush call for tax cuts (which now Greenspan says we can't afford) and has been banging the drum for war with Iran for two years (which we cannot fight).

If it's not about experience, issues, or personality, it's got to be about judgment and vision. McCain's judgment is poor at best, he's sold out his core values for one last shot at the brass ring, and for vision, he can't seem to think past next week, and all he has is parroting the same old GOP slogans that have been around since Reagan ran against Mondale.

I don't see how any reasonable, clear thinking person picks McCain over Obama, despite whatever edge you can give to McCain on leadership and experience.
posted by psmealey at 3:47 PM on September 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


Did y'all see Obama's interview will Bill O'Reilly? Dude is not a wimp. He went head to head with Bill and earned his respect. If the storyline is "Obama is a wimp" just because he's not taking cheap shots, wait until the debates. He will crush McCain.

If there are debates. If McCain's team frames it right, I can see them taking a pass on it as 'politics as usual' and coming out smelling like a rose. This is one of my great worries. Even more than the presidential debates, the Republicans don't want to see Palin debate Biden; that would be disastrous. They're working on a way to prevent that debate from happening at all.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 3:47 PM on September 14, 2008


Obama needs to get himself in the news.

His supporters in Alaska deserve to be a starting point. 1400+ were estimated in attendance at this anti-Palin rally on the same day as Palin's kick-off, both in Anchorage. Among the banners mentioned: "Hey Hockey Mom -- stay the puck out of D.C."

More to the point: the Alaskan blogger ("mudflats.wordpress.com" some might recall from The Thread) who attended both events was startled to find the anti-Palin rally attendees significantly outnumbered the Welcome Home bash on the other side of town.

From her report:
"anyone who needs to know that Sarah Palin most definitely does not speak for all Alaskans. The citizens of Alaska, who know her best, have things to say."
posted by skyper at 4:08 PM on September 14, 2008


By the charts, there is a 66% chance of recurrence within 10 years, and 6 years have already lapsed.

So if McCain makes it to 9 years and 364 days cancer-free, would you then run out screaming, "Oh my God, there's a 2/3 chance that McCain will develop melanoma TODAY!"?
posted by notswedish at 4:17 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


MapGuy, cool it or take it to Metatalk.
posted by cortex at 4:36 PM on September 14, 2008


He could shoot a bear?

No, no. A wolf - from an airplane!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:41 PM on September 14, 2008


Let’s talk the actual number of bills worked on in twenty-two years in the Senate vs. four.

Or we could talk about the last three sessions.
posted by dogrose at 4:53 PM on September 14, 2008


So, so many thoughts running through my head, and so much hate lathering up about Palin and McCain and the lies and...

Still, here's the deal - all of the hate, all of the endless discussion about Palin that we just can't get enough of, is what's hurting Obama right now. Two weeks ago we were discussing whether she was a brilliant pick because she's a woman and Obama didn't pick Hillary and all that, or whether she was a stupid pick because of all the obvious pandering to women and the fact that she's just an on-the-face-of-it ridiculous choice. Now that the dust has cleared somewhat, it seems to me that she was a brilliant pick because she strikes at two of Obama's greatest strengths.

1. I don't think there are nearly as many voters out there who are against Obama strictly because of his race, and I think that 95% of any of them were going to vote for McCain anyway. Palin, however, has given them cover to be proud about it. Anybody who felt guilty about voting against Obama when the election was essentially a referendum on Obama's appointment (and that's how the news was covering it for months) could now come out in the open and say that they really like Palin. So that's strike one.

2. This is the more important strike, and the one that we're helping along: McCain has taken over every news cycle for the past two weeks, which is deadly to Obama. When Obama is on the news, it always helps, because he's so demonstrably the better candidate in these times. With Palin, McCain has managed to make the last two weeks (an eternity in politics at this point in an election cycle) be all about "well, what do I think about this McCain fellow and that Attractive, personable woman at his side?" Before Palin, McCain was seeming like an also-ran, a footnote before the election officially happened. It's not that Obama's heart isn't in it to fight back, it's that he can't get a news cycle where anyone is paying attention to him right now.

What Obama needs more than anything right now is a stunt. Palin was one of the most precipitous stunts in the stunt-riddled history of U.S. politics, and too much time has already been wasted on it. Every minute McCain dominates the news is another minute that Obama is unconsciously seen as "the other guy." Additionally, McCain and Palin are lying through their teeth at every given opportunity, and Obama can't afford to let it slide. I'm taking my idea here directly from a West Wing episode, but damned if I don't think it's a good one.

Obabma puts out a new ad, using the record-shattering amount of money he's got now, where he just faces the camera for two minutes and says something along the lines of the following:

"My fellow Americans, in this seemingly endless election year, I have done my best to remain positive and tell you all about my policies, and to convince you all about why this is the kind of change that America so badly needs right now. I intend to keep doing that, but my opponent, Sen. John McCain, has simply made too many false claims about himself, and too many baseless attacks upon my campaign, for me to let them stand..."

And then he will, succinctly, lay out McCain's lies and the truth behind them. At the end:

"As President of the United States I will throw out the policies which have devastated this nation for the past eight years. This country needs change, and Sen. McCain has promised not to deliver it. I'm Barack Obama, and yes, I approve this message."

With this bold moment, the news outlets will play segments of it ad nauseum, while bringing in pundits and strategists from both sides of the aisle as they are wont to do, but the story will be, "Is John McCain a liar?" With any luck, they'll also incidentally talk about things such as the Obama tax plan, because to discuss whether McCain has been lying about it (and he has) they'll need to discuss its merits as well. Presto: the MSM has a new sexy topic and it's one inherently damning to McCain.

If there are any Obama staffers on MeFi, all I can say is that I'm waiting.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:55 PM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't see how any reasonable, clear thinking person picks McCain over Obama, despite whatever edge you can give to McCain on leadership and experience.

Reasonable, clear thinking people are not a plurality in most states.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:04 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


"The state elections agency is investigating complaints about a massive campaign mailing Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign has directed toward Wisconsin Democrats and other voters."

"A McCain campaign spokeswoman said in a statement the mailing mistakes are "certainly not intentional" but she wouldn't answer questions. The statement also said the mailing went to "potential supporters across the spectrum."
posted by cashman at 5:07 PM on September 14, 2008


and found guilty, but McCain wins, he could just pardon her

You, jamstigator, apparently ignore the savvy of The McCain. He's been burdened with this garbage. Burdened. She represents the class of people that the real McCain's would instruct their help to deal with. The toilet's broken? Tell Manolo to find someone to take care of it. She's an albatross around his neck. Socially and politically. At the first [politcally expedient] chance, he'll lose her. Can you imagine the Palins parking their hooped-up pickup truck in front of Cindy's condo[s]? Pahleese.

Biden brings very little to the table, aside from whitey looking over Baracks' shoulder, but just how much trash can the real GOP endure before it becomes too embarassing?

Oh, and as far as fencing is concerned, don't count on it. American businesses cannot survive without the cheap labor. That. Is. A. Fact. Is your so-called natiopnal tongue that important to you, hausfrau? Try asking Germany, France, Italy, The UK and Spain about cheap, foreign labor and how to make them feel comfortable enough at home to achieve relative production output at work. No habla now, honky? Yeah. No.
posted by jsavimbi at 5:10 PM on September 14, 2008


but somehow suggesting that respectable media asked for a paternity test is ridiculous?

Again, the reason it's ridiculous is because "paternity" means "fatherhood". Look, the person who made the claim is a notorious liar, who's been spouting pure bullshit to for weeks. Because he's such a liar, what he says can be discounted, and thus there is zero total evidence that anyone in the MSM was asking for any kind of parenthood testing on Trigg, paternity or maternity.
Well, a compilation of data from numerous polls actually shows the gap closing at the time of this posting. Looks like the bloom is off the rose.
I think you mean the lipstick is coming off the pig.
posted by delmoi at 5:16 PM on September 14, 2008


The Spalding Group, the official Republican store, is pushing 'Girl Power' in their Sarah line.
posted by geekyguy at 5:18 PM on September 14, 2008


What is Metatalk like time out?
posted by MapGuy at 5:20 PM on September 14, 2008


It's a big sign that reads "LURK MOAR."
posted by stet at 5:27 PM on September 14, 2008 [9 favorites]


2. This is the more important strike, and the one that we're helping along: McCain has taken over every news cycle for the past two weeks, which is deadly to Obama. When Obama is on the news, it always helps, because he's so demonstrably the better candidate in these times.

That doesn't really make too much sense. There had been some polls out showing people were "sick" of hearing about Obama. Overexposure isn't that great if people get tired of you.

And also, the elections are not won or lost on the basis of news cycles. If they were, Hillary Clinton would be the nominee today. She essentially lost the Nomination after the Texas and Ohio primaries (if not Wisconson), yet she continued to drive the news cycles week after week month after month until her final defeat.

Winning news cycles is not the same as winning elections. The media treats the election like a game of entertaining them, but that's not actually how it works. Get out the vote, voter outreach, etc are what's going to do it.
posted by delmoi at 5:28 PM on September 14, 2008


More attempts by Republicans to block voters. Orlando Sentinel:
Here we go again, with Republican election officials making decisions that disproportionately will affect Democratic voters in a crucial election now rated as a tossup in the polls.

Why is there a need to suddenly throw this in the works at the last minute?

The verification law, commonly called "no match, no vote," first was approved by the Legislature in 2005.

...

this week, the Florida Department of State suddenly announced it will begin enforcing the law. This comes as we face an Oct. 6 registration deadline for the November election.

I don't believe this is some evil plot. But I do believe it looks bad with newly registered Democrats -- many of them minorities -- far outnumbering Republicans in this voter-registration cycle.

And if past elections are any indication, an even larger crush of registrations is expected in the weeks leading up to the deadline.

So why pick now to begin enforcing this law?

...

Maybe I've lived in Florida too long to believe this will work.

Those voters who aren't contacted in time or don't see the letter will show up to vote only to be given a "provisional" ballot. To make it count, they will have two days to get to their county elections office and show identification.

Of course, low-income people with no transportation might be at a disadvantage here.

People need time to adjust to a law like this. And right this minute is not the right time.
Miami Herald
Voters whose information doesn't match the databases may still show up to vote on Election Day, but they will be given a provisional ballot. Their vote will then be counted only if they verify their identity by showing a valid idenification card, a social security care or a Florida driver's license to election officials within two days of casting the vote.

Charles Lichtman, a Fort Lauderdale attorney who's heading the Democrats' Election Day statewide legal team, said attorneys will be available at polling stations to fight for voters whose names don't appear on the registration rolls.

''Florida voters don't want to show up at the polls and be told you can't vote a regular ballot or you can't vote because of a crazy technicality,'' he said.
posted by cashman at 5:32 PM on September 14, 2008


Metatalk is this place. You need to either chill out in here (no more hyper-responsive taking-on-all-comers comment sprees in this thread, period) or if you have a problem with that you need to take it up over there.
posted by cortex at 5:37 PM on September 14, 2008


McCain Handbook v 1.0 (c. July 2000):

1. A noun. A verb. POW.

McCain Handbook v 2.0 (c. September 2008):

1. A noun. A verb. Sexism.

2. If #1 fails, try a noun, a verb, and POW.
posted by scblackman at 5:51 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


A round-up of articles/editorials (19 in all) from the past few days calling out McCain on his outright lying in this campaign: Lies.
posted by ericb at 5:57 PM on September 14, 2008


cortexv - What exactly is it that you have a problem with? That I disagree with one sided half arguments?

That I pose legitimate and perhaps uncomfortable questions and point out when someone refuses to answer and starts name calling and attacking my character without basis? I didn’t realize this was an Obama only bash a conservative rally.

Are you inviting me to leave the discussion because you don’t like what I have said, you don't appreciate having flaws in an argument pointed out or because you just don’t want to hear a different opinion?

I did not realize when I signed up that it was required that one leg be shorter than the other.
posted by MapGuy at 6:00 PM on September 14, 2008


oh yes. popcornpalooza.
posted by bonaldi at 6:07 PM on September 14, 2008


MapGuy, I'm inviting you to take what is increasingly an argument about your behavior, not your views, to the part of the site where that sort of thing is allowed.

I don't care about your politics and I'm gladder than you might believe to have a mix of voices on the site, but your behavior in here earlier was manic to the point of producing more noise and distraction than substance.

If you have a problem with this, take it up over there. We've already had to delete some comments from this thread, from you and from people responding to you, and I'm pretty much done dealing with that. If you keep with the shit-stirring behavior over in here, yes, you will get a timeout, and it hasn't got a thing to do with Obama or McCain. So chill out or take it to metatalk, but enough with the antagonistic stuff in here.
posted by cortex at 6:10 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


kolonia

I spell it konolia.

And fwiw I guess I am a bit more travelled than Palin; I spent a couple of weeks in Thailand a decade ago. Not that it would make me more or less qualified for public office.

But I digress....this afternoon I had to go to a fish fry for a local Republican running for reelection as a county commissioner. While there much of the talk turned to Palin. Everyone was excited about her; no one, and I repeat, NO ONE even brought up the NY Times article. They did mention the ABC interviews, and they all thought she did well, and that Charlie Gibson "was mean to her."

And these are educated people, who surf the net, who watch the news, some of whom hold-or have held- public office, many of whom work in education.

If THEY weren't talking about it, I doubt very seriously the man or the woman on the street have even heard about it.

One man gleefully showed my husband a clipping from today's Sunday classified ads. The clipping was a want ad for paid Obama campaign workers. He chortled, "They have to PAY people to campaign for him!" The ad stated no experience needed. Apparently they will be paying people to hold up signs...during the primary, there were folks standing on streetcorners holding signs for Hillary and I remember assuming they were paid to do so (if it matters, they were African American.)

But Obama wasn't really mentioned much at all. For that matter, neither was McCain. It was all Palin, Palin, Palin.
posted by konolia at 6:11 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Breaking news: people at a Republican fish fry are Republicans
posted by neroli at 6:16 PM on September 14, 2008 [18 favorites]


If THEY weren't talking about it, I doubt very seriously the man or the woman on the street have even heard about it.
Everyone I've talked to thinks Palin is a nutbar, but I don't know any swing voters.
One man gleefully showed my husband a clipping from today's Sunday classified ads. The clipping was a want ad for paid Obama campaign workers. He chortled, "They have to PAY people to campaign for him!" The ad stated no experience needed. Apparently they will be paying people to hold up signs
They're paying people to go out and register voters in democratic heavy areas. I wouldn't be so flip if I were you.
posted by delmoi at 6:31 PM on September 14, 2008


I spent a couple of weeks in Thailand a decade ago.

Me too!! We're so alike. Was it Pattaya Beach? I hope so, because then we could share stories about soapys at Sabailand II (I went twice in a row!, different girls), Marilyn's A Go Go, eating street food and sitting on the can for a week straight afterwards. Ah, the good ol days.

Charlie Gibson, mean? Shame on him. He should stop doing interviews. He should stop doing interviews right now! I hate when that happens. It detracts the conversation from what really matters: nigg*rs getting paid to hold signs. How was the fish fry? Was the fish procured from an environmetally safe fishing ground, or just pulled out of the Sound? Heavens, those mercury levels. Trans fats? For shame.

So, back to Thailand. Any insight on their social/political/economic systems? How does the baht measure up to the other Tiger currencies? How many Thai nationals secretly consider themselves Chinese and collect Hummels? Do you know that Bhumibol and I were born at the same hospital? Coincidence? Perhaps, but I still love me some chicken Pad Kee Mao. Even though now it's all spicy eggplant with chicken, spicy eggplant with chicken, spicy eggplant with chicken. Fucking specials.

konolia, this is part of your education: do you know what kind of people carry newspaper clippings around with them to social gatherings? Yeah, those same people who forward chain letters. Avoid them.
posted by jsavimbi at 6:35 PM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


konolia: no one, and I repeat, NO ONE even brought up the NY Times article. They did mention the ABC interviews, and they all thought she did well, and that Charlie Gibson "was mean to her."

Okay... You've established that where you live, people you consider "educated people, who surf the net, who watch the news, some of whom hold-or have held- public office, many of whom work in education" don't pay any attention to the fearsome EM-ESS-EM.

Quelle surprise, as Jodie Foster might say.

Since you HAVE been exposed to the dreaded NYTimes article, would you care to comment on its contents? Or are you maintaining solidarity in ignorance?

konolia: It was all Palin, Palin, Palin.

Lovely. Are the buzzards already circling around McCain, McCain, McCain?
posted by dogrose at 6:43 PM on September 14, 2008


Well, delmoi, my husband has been going out for free and registering voters at the local gun shows for years.

Lots of churches hold voter registration drives-again, by volunteers-before every election.

Oh, I see-I have the ad in front of me-it's Move On.Org.

BTW, if you are registering voters, it's a felony if you refuse to allow them to register for the party of their choice. MoveOn.org can certainly pay folks to register voters, but they cannot refuse to allow those voters to register Republican if they so choose.

(Which of course is why my husband always does voter registration at gun shows. )
posted by konolia at 6:45 PM on September 14, 2008


It's hard to knock what we have in the US. Foreigners come here and are culture shocked into submission with our style of living, everthing from the availability of consumer goods to the level of customer service and the facilities that we build for ourselves. Not to mention that our McMansions, empty or not, far outclass any available new construction anywhere in the world. Hands down.

Um, you do know that Canada and Australia have just about the same material culture right? We have our McMansions, and grocery stores with aisles of selection, and the customer service. Not that these things actually contribute to a higher quality of life - of all the places I've lived, I thought living just outside a small city in England, three people in a tiny two bedroom house, was one of the nicest places to be.
posted by jb at 6:46 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I do have to say--I really wish we had fish frys up here in Liberal Elitesville.
posted by neroli at 6:47 PM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, if we're going to trade "I went to a fish fry" stories, my husband went to a barbecue today -- it wasn't full of people clucking over mean old Charlie Gibson or tsking about the nerve of black people holding up signs, but there were a few people there who were still "undecided" about who they should vote for. My husband and some colleagues talked with them and asked them questions and listened to what they had to say about the candidates, and then those people asked my husband and friends questions and listened to what they had to say about the candidates, and -- wouldn't you know it -- by the end of the conversation, those undecided folks had decided that actually they would be voting for Obama in November. One reason for this may be that those undecided people at the party weren't racist, rabid anti-choicers, or fucking insane.
posted by mothershock at 6:48 PM on September 14, 2008 [7 favorites]


So, back to Thailand. Any insight on their social/political/economic systems? How does the baht measure up to the other Tiger currencies? How many Thai nationals secretly consider themselves Chinese and collect Hummels? Do you know that Bhumibol and I were born at the same hospital? Coincidence? Perhaps, but I still love me some chicken Pad Kee Mao. Even though now it's all spicy eggplant with chicken, spicy eggplant with chicken, spicy eggplant with chicken. Fucking specials.

I spent my time in Chiang Mai. I like Tom Kha Gai, myself. And of course, Pad Thai. Sticky rice is the greatest thing since sliced bread, tho. And that's a Northern Thai thing.

The Northern Thai are a different group, with a slightly different dialect, from the folks who live in Bangkok. There are also many different hill tribes in the area, and if you go far up enough, you can find yourself over the border in Burma if you aren't careful. Not a good idea.

All I really need to know about Thailand is this-do NOT insult the King. Aside from making people very very angry, you will go to jail. They love and revere their leader.

Yeah, much different from here.
posted by konolia at 6:51 PM on September 14, 2008


weren't racist, rabid anti-choicers, or fucking insane.

We didn't have racists at our fish fry. There were actual real live black people there, for one thing. The only reason I mentioned the African American sign holders is -I am pretty sure those guys were voting for Obama when they were done. Even a few local Republican black people are choosing to publically support him. Which is certainly their right. Were there any local black people supporting Hillary? Possibly- but I didn't know any.
posted by konolia at 6:55 PM on September 14, 2008


BTW, if you are registering voters, it's a felony if you refuse to allow them to register for the party of their choice.

but no one suggested they were or that they should - nice passive/aggressive accusation based on nothing, konolia
posted by pyramid termite at 6:57 PM on September 14, 2008


I think the USA needs a new border. There's a part of the country that really would be better off if they seceded. The rest of us would see it as hell, but it sure seems the people who actually live there are enjoying the fish fries. Maybe they ought to be allowed to get all up in your uterine, on that side of the border, they claim it's what they want. The sane people will flee to the authentic USA, the one that the forefathers dreamed about.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:58 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Um, you do know that Canada and Australia have just about the same material culture right? We have our McMansions, and grocery stores with aisles of selection, and the customer service.

Um, yeah, I realize that you have the same culture. After all, we're practically brethren, scots/irish/criminals + injuns/abos/moaris. Not a bad innings, eh? But I'd like to take this moment to point something out: while your government frets about replacing your old F-111's, we've already researched, developed, deployed and sold a whole new generation of aircraft. In large numbers. Unsurmountable numbers. Ourselves. Out of the blue. We project power as a matter of fact. You send us some of your gap year kids.

Here, in the US, the availability of ten different brands of toilet paper is taken as a mere formality, not a right, a wish or a pipe dream. And that is something that most non-Americans don't get: in our minds, we can live without you. And theoretically, we have for a very long time. In simpler words: the average American couldn't find Australia on a map, never mind give a crap about what happens there. That is the mentality you're up against.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:04 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


jsavimbi: please, please, please (and you're simply the most recent of MeFites to make me want to say this) do not treat Konolia like another frothing-at-the-mouth conservative. Disagree with her, sure, I know I do, but I haven't seen her perpetuating any slurs or bile in this thread, or any other for that matter. She was relating on-the-ground experience with people most of us aren't close with. Why do we feel the need to:

(a) Assume any racism on her part or the part of her friends (e.g. "nigg*rs being paid to hold signs")

(b) Assume that she necessarily agrees with all of the views she was reporting

(c) Assume that, because she holds a minority view here, that anything she says is thread-shitting?

She shares a different view. She is polite about it. Let's try to be as civil in our disagreement with her as she is with us, please?

(Konolia, I know that you're cool enough to not need me to have your back, but I've got it anyway. Also, please forgive us here. Most of us are simply desperate to make sure that the Bush policies stop as soon as possible, because the nation is aching from them, and we just tend to get a little sensitive about it.)
posted by Navelgazer at 7:10 PM on September 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


damn, this thread loads quickly.
posted by ryanrs at 7:11 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


We didn't have racists at our fish fry. There were actual real live black people there, for one thing.

Quite frankly, it's not a fish fry unless there are some black people there. White people too. Fried fish brings people together.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:24 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


fff I think the USA needs a new border. . .

Jesusland.
posted by mlis at 7:29 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer, I'm not treating konolia as anyone other that a mefite commenting in a thread. Personally, I think she's making everything up, and subsequently, I'm having fun with it. If she's not making it up, then gob bless her, at least she's entertaining. And I mean that.

konolia, if I'm being too, um straightforward in describing the true nature of todays republicans, please let me know. I have plenty of euphamisms that I can use to describe those other people who don't act/look/worship like us.

But Navelgazer, if this election isn't going to be about race, please tell me why The McCain has given up on any pretense at this point?
posted by jsavimbi at 7:31 PM on September 14, 2008


I have never met anyone who showed me a newspaper clipping from their wallet. I would fear for my safety if I did.
posted by maxwelton at 7:38 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


ne man gleefully showed my husband a clipping from today's Sunday classified ads. The clipping was a want ad for paid Obama campaign workers. He chortled, "They have to PAY people to campaign for him!" The ad stated no experience needed. Apparently they will be paying people to hold up signs...during the primary, there were folks standing on streetcorners holding signs for Hillary and I remember assuming they were paid to do so (if it matters, they were African American.)

Are you suggesting that Democrats don't volunteer? I spent four hours today canvassing in a neighboring town, and tomorrow night will be making phone calls from the local HQ. When I show up to do these things, I meet two or three paid campaign staffers, and twenty or thirty volunteers, each time. It's not likely that people you see holding signs and canvassing are being paid. It is likely that the campaign office is paying staffers to keep the lights on and doors open twelve hours a day, run to the copy center, pay the bills, and greet the volunteers who continue to stream in - a boom of them in the last few weeks, beginning with the convention, and sharply increasing again at Palin's nomination.

We know that when you register for voters, they can register any way they choose; and when they can vote, they can vote any way they choose. When we canvass, we can see their party affiliation, and we can refer to their voting record in the last few elections. So we know that often, registered Repiblicans are supporting all or part of the Democratic ticket, and vice versa, and that unaffiliateds support one or both parties too. We believe that this is a good thing. As Democrats, we want people to make a fully informed vote and to exercise their right to vote. We believe in mobilizing, not suppressing, the vote; we want a high turnout. Republican strategy tends to depend upon limiting turnout, and about limiting registration activities to venues in which there is some form of social control - fraternal organizations, churches, etc. That way, the party faithful will turnout, but there's a low risk of bringing out independents or Democratic voters. On the opposite side, we'd rather talk to a wide variety of voters, make sure they are well-informed (in canvassing it's absolutely shocking how many people are ill-informed, completely ignorant of current events, as the people at your event were, konolia), make sure we have heard their views and they have heard ours, and urge people inclined to vote Democratic to get out to the polls.

I think it simply unconscionable to support a Republican ticket this year, and I'll say so directly, without a lot of games. The recent administration has taken us from a $300+-billion budget surplus to an average 400+-billion dollar annual spending deficit. The national debt is crushing. The Republican party has been taxing the hell out of us; they just haven't collected yet. That debt will fall on our children. Meanwhile, the dollar continues to devalue, we continue borrowing monthly from China and India and other trade partners, and at some point, our creditors are going to refuse our failing currency. The tax will be collected then, and it won't be a nice place to be any more. This isn't patriotism. No amount of right-wing ideology or talk about babies or guns has any bearing at all on this economic reality. What Obama is planning for a financial strategy will improve economic conditions for 60-80% of Americans - households making less than $250,000 are going to see tax relief. Don't think this message isn't opening eyes and minds when we talk to regular people. This isn't about moose and sexy glasses. It's about your children's and grandchildren's future, and about a country we'd like to restore to strength and a proud position among nations. Let's get off this shadow-dance of conservative blogs and authors. Of course the financial elite of the hard-right Republican party wants to continue the status quo - it's working very well for the country-club sector of fat cats and muckety-mucks. They're betting that Americans are too stupid to look hard at a dishonest, self-serving, inexperienced pol like Palin. Well, we're talking to them. And they're not quite that stupid.
posted by Miko at 7:39 PM on September 14, 2008 [45 favorites]


We might stop sniping at one another long enough to note that the game changer of the coming weeks is unfolding tonight, and will hit the financial markets hard tomorrow morning. It's being discussed upstairs, in fact.

At which point Palin-mania will begin to recede and the GOP may well be swamped by a wave of financial system events that will sow fear in the land and pain in the provinces like we have not yet seen in our generation.

I think the invisible hand is about to put "the issues" back at the center of this election, where they belong, no matter how much theater of the absurd bullshit the GOP throws up as chaff. It will hurt them badly that Palin is even more clueless about the economy than McCain. It will hurt them worse that they have spent two weeks trying to change the subject to the usual divisive culture war bullshit and seeing how much they can get away with before being caught in their own web of lies.

I suppose the Bushies could reel in Bin Laden in Waziristan (as they are apparently trying hard to do before election day) or nuke Iran and change the subject back. But we're about to look down and realize we've been running in place over nothingness for a while now in this big Road Runner flick we call the global economy.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:39 PM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


And like McCain does not have paid campaign workers?

I'm with Maxwelton: anyone who pulls a newspaper clipping out of his wallet to make a point is in automatic Grampa Simpson/Lyndon Larouchie territory for me.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:41 PM on September 14, 2008


And his military experience would be....?

Crashing five jets with the last earning him a place at the Hanoi Hilton.


I'm a little late to this party here, but I feel like this needs to be said: Can we please stop with the attacks on McCain's military record?

I voted for Kerry in 2004, and I can remember how sickened I was by the Swift Boat advertisements. We were all pretty disgusted with the Republicans for attacking a decorated war veteran. How is saying "McCain couldn't even keep his plane in the sky" any more honorable than that?

He served--in combat--and spent time as a POW. We can't unwrite that narrative, nor should we. Can't we just acknowledge that and focus our energy on attacking the candidate's myriad legitimate shortcomings?
posted by DeWalt_Russ at 7:42 PM on September 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


jsavimbi: if this election is to be about race, then it means that Obama is doing a piss-poor job controlling the message. White racists were going to vote republican anyway, I think, and it's inevitable that more of them will actually make it to the polls when the Democratic candidate is black. That doesn't mean that all conservatives or republicans are racist, however, and I think that such a generalization drags down those who make it.

As a very liberal person myself, I can't claim to understand why roughly half the country votes Republican, but I've known enough republicans very well to know that in most cases it isn't about race. Sometimes it is, but not nearly all the time.

I'm willing to bet that almost all vegans are liberal. I eat so much meat that I barely qualify as omnivorous. Would being liberal make me as good as vegan? I hope not. I love me some bacon.

If the Obama campaign can pull itself back into the news and let itself be heard again, this election will be about the economy, because it is at red-alert crisis levels like has never been seen at least in my lifetime. If it's about race then all of America is just that stupid, I guess, and we get what we deserve.

But it's not about race. It's about the economy, and Palin is just a side-show attraction that we all keep paying to see.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:43 PM on September 14, 2008


They did mention the ABC interviews, and they all thought she did well, and that Charlie Gibson "was mean to her."

If Charlie Gibson is too mean for Palin, how do you think she'll handle Vladimir Putin?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:44 PM on September 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


You know who else energized the base?
posted by muckster at 7:44 PM on September 14, 2008


anyone who pulls a newspaper clipping out of his wallet to make a point is in automatic Grampa Simpson/Lyndon Larouchie territory for me.

Hey, have some sympathy! When you have to make it through the A section, the Week in Review section, the Opinion page, the Business & Finance section, the Health section, and the funny pages all the way to the want ads to find the one piece of information about the election that doesn't put your party in a negative light, well, you gotta use it.
posted by Miko at 7:46 PM on September 14, 2008 [24 favorites]


You or your mother or sister or daughter or wife would be forced to bear her rapist's child under a Palin presidency.

Paging Dr. Goebbels. Paging Dr. Joseph Goebbels....

That has got to be the dumbest thing I've read in this thread (and there's been a lot of dumb shit said in this thread).
posted by MikeMc at 7:50 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Crashing five jets with the last earning him a place at the Hanoi Hilton.
I'm a little late to this party here, but I feel like this needs to be said: Can we please stop with the attacks on McCain's military record?


One of those jets is the one where he purposefully flamed-out while warming up the jets, to freak out the pilot behind him, practical-joke style. Completely disallowed when on-deck, of course. No one expects a big gout of flame shooting across the deck before everyone's in go-mode.

Anyhoo, said flame-out set off the missiles on the jet behind him. All hell broke loose, with the ship catching fire and a whole bunch of fellow crew members killed. One helluva mishap, the kind of thing that would end a person's career. Practical jokes are great, but when you fuck it up, you usually lose your career. Especially when people die.

Well, one thing leads to another and here we are today, where you seem to say that McCain's military record should be kept off-the-paper, while I'm saying that perhaps it reveals something about the man, his common sense, his risk-taking, and his backing by powerful political forces.

It speaks to me of a President who will be controlled from behind, continuing down much the same path as we've seen from the office of the current President-in-name, not-in-presence. More of the same, what a good idea that would be. Foot, meet bullet.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:53 PM on September 14, 2008


I don't trust ANYONE RUNNING-not McCain/Palin, not Obama/Biden, re the economy.

NONE of them.

Can you all persuade me that Obama would be better than Carter, for instance? Jimmy Carter had quite a lot to do with me deciding I didn't trust Democrats when it came to the White House.
posted by konolia at 7:58 PM on September 14, 2008



FFF, do you have a citation on that flame-out story? I started googling to see what I could find and found the following:

No "Wet Start"


A special note is in order here. We have seen some baseless claims that McCain was somehow responsible for the Forrestal disaster. One incorrect but widely quoted theory has him triggering the Zuni missile with the exhaust of his own plane by "wet-starting" – deliberately dumping fuel into the afterburner before starting in order to shoot a large flame from the tail of the aircraft. This is a preposterous notion. For one thing, the tail of McCain's plane was pointed over the side of the carrier and away from other planes at the time, and the F4 Phantom fighter that fired the missile was facing McCain's plane from the opposite side of the deck, as shown in a diagram in Freeman's book (p. 281)



From "Sailors to the End," p. 281 Copyright 2002 by Gregory A. Freeman, used with permission.

Furthermore, a painstaking Navy investigation into the disaster concluded that the Zuni had been touched off by a stray electrical charge, not by a jet exhaust.

Freeman (p. 250): The investigation revealed that the rocket (fired) because a freak surge of electricity jumped through the plane's system at the moment the pilot switched from the outside electrical generator to the plane's internal power system. The voltage surged through five sequential safety devices designed to prevent just such a stray charge from reaching the rockets.

Unfortunately for McCain and the men who died, some safety precautions that could have prevented the electrical surge from igniting the rocket had been ignored or suspended in the wartime pressure to get planes launched quickly.

Freeman also has posted an item on his own Web site flatly stating that McCain was in no way responsible for the accident. "McCain was never suspected of causing the fire because investigators determined immediately that the rocket misfired from the other side of the flight deck," writes Freeman.

Update, Feb. 8: A former military pilot messaged us to point out an even more convincing reason why the "wet start" story must be false. The A-4 Skyhawk did not come equipped with an afterburner in the first place. We've confirmed that elsewhere. According to the Military Analysis Network site maintained by the Federation of American Scientists, the A-4 was powered by a "Single, Pratt & Whitney, J-52-P-408A non-afterburning, turbojet engine." The manufacturer's description of the aircraft also describes the powerplant as "One 11,187-pound-thrust P&W J52-P408 engine," with no mention of an afterburner.

posted by konolia at 8:05 PM on September 14, 2008


That has got to be the dumbest thing I've read in this thread (and there's been a lot of dumb shit said in this thread).
posted by MikeMc at 7:50 PM on September 14


Read the link, hoss. Palin opposes abortion even in the case of incest or rape. She would appoint Supreme Court judges who agree. She would sign a bill that criminalized abortion even in those cases. And there you have it. McCain kicks the bucket faster than W. H. Harrison, Palin takes over, a few justices buy the farm, Palin appoints them solely on their opposition to Roe v. Wade, it gets overturned, and hey look at that coming out of the Republican Congress of 2010: a bill banning all abortions without exception. Why is that so hard for you to understand?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:05 PM on September 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


But it's not about race.

Hi everyone, meet the new boss: he's black, hasn't put his time in and to be quite honest, thinks he knows better because of the educational opportunities that he somehow enjoyed yet we missed out on. You know, affirmative action and all. Oh, and once his office is refinished with the new paint job, he's going to bring in all of his black friends to help run things. Maybe some women too. Black ones. Competent or not, they're the new bosses, so get used to it. Oh, and don't forget you little muslim hats next week. The new boss likes them.

Navelgazer, brethren of the bacon, that is one pill that the average white male is going to have a very, very tough time swallowing. And even if modern economics, driven by wealthy white men, competent or not, have been down on majority white lower-middle/working class people in this country, it takes very little to stir up the racial animosity that lies very close to the surface.

You think it doesn't exist, that it's limited to certain areas of Dixie that need quarantine? Ok, peace be with you, but I know otherwise, and I'm framing this election from a racial point of view. The wasps simply cannot let go. And if I were one of them, I'd honestly find it hard to do as well.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:06 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Charlie Gibson was mean to Hillary Clinton.
posted by Zambrano at 8:07 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain's Lying Has Gone Too Far, According To ... Karl Rove!
posted by homunculus at 8:09 PM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Can you all persuade me that Obama would be better than Carter, for instance? Jimmy Carter had quite a lot to do with me deciding I didn't trust Democrats when it came to the White House.
posted by konolia at 7:58 PM on September 14


Here you go. The huge budget surpluses and economic growth under Clinton should have changed your mind, as well. Democrats focus on long-term economic solutions and cut taxes for the poor and middle class. Republicans cut taxes for millionaires. Did you know that you and your husband would pay fewer taxes if Obama were elected? It's true. Here is a graph. The source of the data is the non-partisan Tax Policy Center.

Incidentally, konolia, you never answered when I asked a) how Sarah Palin will handle Vladimir Putin is Charlie Gibson is too "mean," or b) how you can imprison people based on their race without being racist. Looking forward to your response. Thank you.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:13 PM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


One of those jets is the one where he purposefully flamed-out while warming up the jets, to freak out the pilot behind him, practical-joke style. Completely disallowed when on-deck, of course. No one expects a big gout of flame shooting across the deck before everyone's in go-mode.

Listen, I'm all for finding McCain to be somehow responsible for the death of 134 sailors aboard the USS Forrestal, and I know that the McCain wet-start story has some traction, but I think it's the sort of thing we need to be pretty damn certain of before we start discussing it as fact. We are not swift boaters.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:14 PM on September 14, 2008 [8 favorites]


Can you all persuade me that Obama would be better than Carter, for instance? Jimmy Carter had quite a lot to do with me deciding I didn't trust Democrats when it came to the White House.

That was more than thirty years ago. That's like me saying Nixon is the reason I don't trust Republicans.

Obama doesn't need to be "better than Carter." Carter and his world are long, long gone. He needs to be better than his opponent, McCain, and he is, by far. One of those two choices is going to send us into a downward economic spiral, extend the war indefinitely, do nothing to improve the health care system, and pack the Supreme Court with conservative judges, ending the debate and discussion that is a key force in the nation's judicial equilibrium. The other is going to address, not ignore, the fact that 47 million adult Americans have no health insurance or regular medical care; continue to reduce American activity in Iraq and work toward self-governance on an expedited timetable; appoint judges that will restore a balanced point of view to the Court, and provide tax relief and limits on corporate welfare so that more wealth is freed up to move through the country once again. McCain's far too in the pocket of lobbyists to handle the economy fairly; his personal wealth, many homes, and lifetime of moneyed political connections have taken him far, far away from the frustrations, concerns, and difficulties of regular people struggling to buy first houses, educate kids, take care of families. He's not going to improve conditions for the middle and working classes; we're not paying his bills! His interest lies in protecting the corporate and financial elite, and he shows no signs of thinking differently. He's a far worse choice, at this moment in American history, than a more fiscally conservative, more thoughtful, and less bought-and-paid-for constitutional lawyer who's motivated centrally by a desire for public service and a sense of personal imperative - we're at a crossroads, and things have to change, or the nation and its economy are going right down the drain.
posted by Miko at 8:16 PM on September 14, 2008 [13 favorites]


One of those jets is the one where he purposefully flamed-out while warming up the jets, to freak out the pilot behind him, practical-joke style. Completely disallowed when on-deck, of course. No one expects a big gout of flame shooting across the deck before everyone's in go-mode.

I call bullshit on this. Please look at the flight deck film recorded at the time of the incident. McCain's aircraft was parked side by side to where the accident happened, not in front. I served on two carriers, not as a sailor mind you, and if there's one thing I can say is that the Navy takes care of its own. For McCain to be breathing today would mean that the Forrestal Fire was no fault of his. Had it been, he would've never made it back home, regardless of the ship. Unlucky and incompetent? Sure. Criminally negligent? I doubt that.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:19 PM on September 14, 2008


Katha Pollitt: Lipstick on a Wing Nut
posted by muckster at 8:21 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Palin energizes right-wing republicans. Her presence has encouraged republicans who were considering sitting this one out to vote for McCain.

But that's not going to be enough this time. Palin brings no new voters to the table. Her impact on the polls is because the enthusiasm republicans show for her has an outsize effect on likely voter screens which are ver susceptible to these effects. These polls are often working off of 2004 party affiliation data--something that has changed siginificantly in the Democrats favor.

In essence, Palin appeals to Republicans because they like to defend her against people they don't like--they are voting for emotional effects. Just go over to the NRO's the Corner--they have a whole cottage industry going on over there defending her.

The polling data I'm seeing shows Palin's impact is disproportionately positive amongst white males, a group that hasn't gone as a majority for Democrats since 1964. She's not making inroads on Obama supporters--shes getting right-wingers to support McCain. Not the same thing as winning the middle--which is what this election is all about.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:21 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


What was wrong with Carter? I mean, he brokered peace in the Middle East and tried to wean us off our dependence on foreign oil. He was a good man, he was an honorable man, and he was a good Christian. Today he builds houses for the poor. Sure, the economy was bad then, but Republicans love to tell us that the president has nothing to do with the economy -- at least, that's what they tell us when the economy is bad.

And Carter made you not trust Democrats in the White House, but the succession of lies, cronyism, raiding the public coffers, mismanaging crises, and general incompetence and boobery has you convinced that Republicans are trustworthy? I mean, come on, Konolia. Next to George W Bush, Carter was St. Peter.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:23 PM on September 14, 2008 [19 favorites]


Jimmy Carter had quite a lot to do with me deciding I didn't trust Democrats when it came to the White House.

Can you explain that more? What did Carter do or not do that turned you off to Democrats?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:23 PM on September 14, 2008


The wasps simply cannot let go. And if I were one of them, I'd honestly find it hard to do as well.

I think it's pretty easy for people to use an imagined Other racist as an excuse. Sure, white males over a certain age are a noticeable voting bloc. Sure, some racists will not vote, or will vote McCain, or will write in, rather than vote Obama. But they are not a majority and not a monolithic bloc. The only vote you have control over is your own; don't fret about how someone else somewhere might vote. Instead, move on, and find three or four new voters who are ready to step up and take on a role in the democracy. White racists are scary in the imagining, but the truth is, they won't be terribly hard to outnumber. If each of us concentrates on our own sphere of influence, and if we keep our eye on the fact that whatever discomfort you might have with a black person is really not worth selling out your country's and your grandchildren's future for, there's no reason to fear that sector. Their power is waning.
posted by Miko at 8:24 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


jsavimbi, I am a white anglo-saxon protestant male, and I've lived all over this land, in areas both ultra-conservative (Houston, Tx.; Bartlesville, Ok.) ultra-liberal (NYC, DC) and extraordinarily divided (Crested Butte, Co.; New Orleans, La.) and have never met anyone, WASP or otherwise, whose vote I can imagine being swayed in the way you describe. I'm not saying that thought isn't out there, but I can only imagine it in the Ditto-heads and the like who are looking for other justifications for voting against Obama and have now found that in Palin.

I know racism exists, but I also know that almost everyone I've met in my life hates it, even as they see some subconscious aspect of it in themselves sometimes, and I think (hope?) that a lot of people see Obama's race more as a positive step forward for America, if anything. I know anecdotally that in 2004, the first time my Oil-Baron (kind of) father voted in the democratic primaries, he voted for Sharpton, because he thought Sharpton was the most honest and forceful of the candidates.

Personally, I think most people don't consider Obama's race much at all anymore, as the "story" is so played out by this point. When Tiger Woods became the greatest golfer of our time, the story of "the black golfer" was a thing for a while, and then everyone stopped caring and he just became "Tiger Woods, the best golfer." Will Smith similarly stopped being the "black top box office draw" and simply "the most bankable actor in Hollywood." Denzel Washington stopped being "The first black Best Actor winner" and became "Denzel, the great actor."

The experience issue, by the way, is a canard. Nobody really gives a shit about it except for the sake of argument and confirmation bias. The next seven weeks are about who actually seems like they can be president. The person who holds the news cycles (without making a major blunder) will win the day in this regard. Also, the economy, but Obama's got that issue locked down. We just need people to listen to it.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:26 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


how Sarah Palin will handle Vladimir Putin is Charlie Gibson is too "mean,

Sarah handled Charlie just fine; I doubt she'd have trouble with Putin. I was referencing how OBSERVERS saw the interview.

What was wrong with Carter? I mean, he brokered peace in the Middle East and tried to wean us off our dependence on foreign oil. He was a good man, he was an honorable man, and he was a good Christian. Today he builds houses for the poor. Sure, the economy was bad then, but Republicans love to tell us that the president has nothing to do with the economy -- at least, that's what they tell us when the economy is bad.

He was an ineffectual man and I don't like him. I lived thru his administration. Inflation was horrible. The economy was horrible. Jobs were hard to find. And do you remember the Iranian hostage crisis?

I am truly glad he works for Habitat for Humanity; that is honorable work. Let's leave it at that.
posted by konolia at 8:31 PM on September 14, 2008


Why is that so hard for you to understand?

Gee, maybe because the scenario you just outlined is a tad more complex than your original "OMFG Palin is gunna make yur momz a baby factory for rapists!111!1" assertion. A lot of shit has to happen for that to come to pass but please, don't let reality stand in the way of your fear mongering. I've heard that claim made, in one form or another, about every GOP presidential candidate for the last 20 years. For some reason the term "crying wolf" comes to mind...
posted by MikeMc at 8:32 PM on September 14, 2008


Can you explain that more? What did Carter do or not do that turned you off to Democrats?

This is something that has always puzzled me as well. Political effectiveness aside, Jimmy Carter is one of the most fundamentally decent people in public life. It's amazing that fundamentalist right-wingers, devoted to placing moral values over actual effectiveness, vilify him so often as the devil. Meanwhile, under Reagan, poverty, drug use, abortion, and teen pregnancy rates all increased dramatically, and he's considered a god.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:32 PM on September 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


What's Your Obama Tax Cut?
posted by neroli at 8:33 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, it's especially easy to imagine the other as racist when they developed the Southern Strategy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:33 PM on September 14, 2008


He was an ineffectual man and I don't like him. I lived thru his administration. Inflation was horrible. The economy was horrible. Jobs were hard to find. And do you remember the Iranian hostage crisis?

ANd that's how politics goes as one grows older. If we replaced the word "ineffectual" with "incompetent" and "Iran Hostage Crisis" with "War on Terror" or "Hurricane Katrina Disaster" we'd get a pretty good idea of what I think of Bush and why I'll never likely vote for a Republican in my life.

I almost did with Bloomberg a couple years ago in New York. He was the better candidate and I knew it. I still couldn't bring myself to do it, though, so instead I voted for Macmillan, of "The Rent is Too Damn High" party. Because you know what? The rent is too damn high.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:37 PM on September 14, 2008


Can someone explain to a foreigner why it is that voter turnout is so low? This thread is great for seeing passionate people arguing for their sides, but I have a hard time understanding the mind set of the people who just don't vote. Do they honestly not care one way or the other? Do they not realise how much of an effect this election will have? I'm genuinely curious to know what's going on there.
posted by twirlypen at 8:37 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


He was an ineffectual man and I don't like him. I lived thru his administration. Inflation was horrible. The economy was horrible. Jobs were hard to find. And do you remember the Iranian hostage crisis?

And what specifically did he do to cause the economic problems? Carter is the bugaboo of the right -- they point to him like we're all supposed to agree he was horrible, but, when pressed, all discuss the economy under him. So let me know how it's his fault.

Yes, the Iranian Hostage Crisis. I remember. I was alive then too. And considering how Reagen had no trouble playing fast and loose with the law and with other people's lives, I'm inclined to believe the October Surprise was his doing. Even if not, I'll take a bungled hostage crisis over an illegal international war built on lies any day.

The right has smeared and tarnished a good man, an honest broker, and a man who dedicated his life to the betterment of those around him, and, had we followed Carter's energy plan, instead of scrapping it under Reagen, we'd be in a better world. So I don't feel like leaving it at that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:38 PM on September 14, 2008 [13 favorites]


Reagan, rather.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:39 PM on September 14, 2008


Well, it's especially easy to imagine the other as racist when they developed the Southern Strategy.

Like I said, I don't doubt that racists exist and can (and will) be exploited politically. What I doubt is that the existence of racists, in this election, is going to spell failure for the Obama campaign. His strategy has taken the Republican one into account, and he's already registered (and turned out) large numbers of new voters who support him, which I believe will negate the effect of racism on the smallish number of white male racist voters who might have otherwise considered a Democratic ticket. It's a bugaboo, but not one to fear. What I don't like to see is the concern about other racist Democratic voters being used to provide cover for people who are themselves racist but would rather not admit it. So I like to try to get people focused on whether they themselves have a prejudice that would prevent them from supporting the ticket. If they don't, and if they can find a couple of other family members or friends that don't have enough prejudice, or can overcome the prejudice, the racism factor can be neutralized. If it continues to be raised as an objection, my suspicion is that the person him or herself is harboring some racist fears.
posted by Miko at 8:46 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, Astro Zombie, the problem is that I think Obama won't do any good for the economy either. I think he won't be ABLE to do the things he is promising. I think in the effort to do them he will wind up damaging the economy more, not less.

I think Obama is a much NICER man than Jimmy Carter is, for what it's worth. He's definitely a nicer man than McCain. But that quality in itself does not a good President make.
posted by konolia at 8:48 PM on September 14, 2008


1400+ were estimated in attendance at this anti-Palin rally on the same day as Palin's kick-off, both in Anchorage.

Bah. They're just a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots.
posted by homunculus at 8:49 PM on September 14, 2008


He was an ineffectual man and I don't like him.

So you're admitting that you base your politics on whether or not you feel chummy around a candidate, and not on the policies? I don't like the guy I voted for up here in Canadia, but his policies were a heck of a lot more sound than his opponent's.

If the U.S. goes completely into the shitter because voters vote for "the guy I like" instead of "the guy with the right angle," well, there isn't going to be a lot of sympathy floating around.
posted by illiad at 8:49 PM on September 14, 2008


What was wrong with Carter?

Jimmy was a pussy. So was Dukakis. That's why people were turned off from Democrats for a time period expanding all the way back to LBJs' only election. Make no mistake about it, America wins the wars that she undertakes vs. Fuck, the Ayatollah holds our people hostage and Kitty is drinking vanilla extract again. I remember those days, sadly enough. Say what you want, but our masculinity as a society must be fed. That's why the repubs use terms like appeasement, negotiation and concensus as references to Chamberlain, Carter and Kerry's perceived weaknesses. It's simple psycology that hits to the core masculine traits. It's not rocket surgery.

I think it's pretty easy for people to use an imagined Other racist as an excuse.

I'm being completely honest here in my assertion that swing voters will have a hesistancy at the right moment to vote on racial lines. Why? My perception of human behavior. Nope, not an expert of any sort nor claim to be. Matter of fact, I don't even have a batshitinsane blog reference to back me up. But after observing people for the better part of two decades, I can surmise the following: when push comes to shove, people will stick together first based on politics, secondly on nationalism and then on religion. And when things get really tough and a choice has to be made, they will do so on race.

Tiger, Denzel and Will Smith don't have a say in who runs things. Neither did Joe Louis, Meadowlark Lemon nor Hank Aaron. None of them were elected to anything other than the pantheon of a self-congratulating business concern. Be realistic, please.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:54 PM on September 14, 2008


In other (current) VP news, the Washington Post is running excerpts from a new book on Cheney:

Conflict Over Spying Led White House to Brink

Cheney Shielded Bush From Crisis
posted by homunculus at 8:55 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


He was an ineffectual man and I don't like him. I lived thru his administration. Inflation was horrible. The economy was horrible. Jobs were hard to find. And do you remember the Iranian hostage crisis? -- konolia
You can't be serious, all those things are true now except rather then inflation, people's incomes are decreasing. It seems like every week a major financial institution dies. We have a 6.1% unemployment rate and... do you remember a little thing called The Iraq War!?

Rather then trying to convince us that Obama wouldn't be another Carter, you should be trying to convince us that McCain wouldn't be another Bush. I mean seriously, it's the same fucking people!

In the other thread, you were saying that "we would all be OK" no matter who got elected. Now you're saying you're worried about economic policy. Well which is it? Does it matter whose president or not?

If you want to vote as a single issue anti-abortion voter, go for it. But don't pretend like this other B.S. is true. Come on.
Gee, maybe because the scenario you just outlined is a tad more complex than your original "OMFG Palin is gunna make yur momz a baby factory for rapists!111!1" assertion. A lot of shit has to happen for that to come to pass but please, don't let reality stand in the way of your fear mongering. I've heard that claim made, in one form or another, about every GOP presidential candidate for the last 20 years. For some reason the term "crying wolf" comes to mind...
Dude, Sarah Palin opposes abortion even in the case of rape and incest. It's not fear mongering to tell people what her actual policy would entail even if she might not be able to pull it off. it's what she wants to do. For fuck sake, she charged rape victims for their own treatment while she was mayor of Wasilla, it these are her real, professed positions, not some left-wing fantasy. That is what she is saying she'll try to do.
Can someone explain to a foreigner why it is that voter turnout is so low? This thread is great for seeing passionate people arguing for their sides, but I have a hard time understanding the mind set of the people who just don't vote. Do they honestly not care one way or the other? Do they not realise how much of an effect this election will have? I'm genuinely curious to know what's going on there. --twirlypen
Well, for one thing, in states which lean heavily democratic or republican, votes actually don't make much of a difference (except in extreme cases). It would be more informative to look at votes in swing states.
posted by delmoi at 8:58 PM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Some perspective on the "Alaska is next to Russia" spiel, with numbers (self-link, propaganda, youtube)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:59 PM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Well, Astro Zombie, the problem is that I think Obama won't do any good for the economy either. I think he won't be ABLE to do the things he is promising. I think in the effort to do them he will wind up damaging the economy more, not less.

It would hardly be possible for him to damage the economy more. Seriously. He'll be going from profligate spending and running up debt to conservative management. The Republican strategy has just been to push off the costs we're running up until some future date. Those costs have to be settled at some time. If we continue to mount them higher, the resulting crash will be the worst in history.

But I do want to ask: why do you think he won't be able to do the things he plans to do?
posted by Miko at 9:00 PM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


If the U.S. goes completely into the shitter because voters vote for "the guy I like" instead of "the guy with the right angle," well, there isn't going to be a lot of sympathy floating around.

That's the way elections usually go. People didn't like Carter not only because the economy sucked but he also projected weakness and didn't seem like the guy who could fix it. Along comes a candidate who is optimistic and projects strength (Reagan) and suddenly it's "Jimmy who?" Policy wonkery will lose to charisma and confidence every time (see Kennedy/Nixon) that's why this a a Obama/Palin race because McCain has neither great policies nor great charisma.
posted by MikeMc at 9:00 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm being completely honest here in my assertion that swing voters will have a hesistancy at the right moment to vote on racial lines. Why? My perception of human behavior. Nope, not an expert of any sort nor claim to be. Matter of fact, I don't even have a batshitinsane blog reference to back me up. But after observing people for the better part of two decades, I can surmise the following: when push comes to shove, people will stick together first based on politics, secondly on nationalism and then on religion. And when things get really tough and a choice has to be made, they will do so on race.
Yeah, it's a shame that nice Obama fellow lost the democratic primary, I bet he'd be doing really well. Hillary is getting her ass kicked.
posted by delmoi at 9:01 PM on September 14, 2008


A lot of shit has to happen for [rapists being able to choose the women who will bear their child] to come to pass

That is true. A lot does have to happen. It may not happen. But I never thought we'd bomb Iraq because a bunch of Saudis killed 3,000+ people, and hey, we did. And I'll tell you this: the only administration in which it's possible - in which victims of rape would be forced to bear their rapist's children - is a McCain/Palin administration.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:01 PM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Can you all persuade me that Obama would be better than Carter, for instance?

He doesn't have to be better than Carter. He just has to be better than McCain.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:04 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Here, in the US, the availability of ten different brands of toilet paper is taken as a mere formality, not a right, a wish or a pipe dream.

Did you read my comment? Despite the fact that I find it hard to imagine that anyone actually wants 10 different brands of toilet paper as "a right, a wish or a pipe dream" (personally, my rights have to do with things like free speech and my pipe dreams are about world peace), we have the same selection. I can waste the same 20 minutes in Canada trying to decide what ^%%$£ brand to buy, just as I do where I currently live in the United States. And at the end of that twenty minutes, I always still buy the same cheapest store brand, just like I did from the store in Britain where I think I only had *gasp* six or seven brands to choose from.

But I'd like to take this moment to point something out: while your government frets about replacing your old F-111's, we've already researched, developed, deployed and sold a whole new generation of aircraft. In large numbers. Unsurmountable numbers. Ourselves. Out of the blue. We project power as a matter of fact. You send us some of your gap year kids.

Yes, you have some fine miltary hardware. We have universal health care (in Canada at least - Australia is different). You also have some serious national debt; until recently, the Canadian government was running a budget surplus.

And that is something that most non-Americans don't get: in our minds, we can live without you. And theoretically, we have for a very long time. In simpler words: the average American couldn't find Australia on a map, never mind give a crap about what happens there. That is the mentality you're up against.

Now, this is a good point, though it seems to have nothing to do with your earlier ones, and most non-Americans who read American media and/or have travelled or lived in the United States are very aware of this fact. The United States is a an economic, cultural and political metropole and, like all metropoles, it doesn't look out to its provinces.

But that kind of ignorance is nothing to boast about. Americans should understand that the American lifestyle is extremely similar to that in other settler-based ex-colonies, and different from but not better than the lifestyles in most other developed countries on the planet. You don't need to be perpetuating the misunderstanding.
posted by jb at 9:07 PM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


it's what she wants to do

It's what they all want to do (GOP candidates that is)! What makes anyone think Palin is any worse on this issue than W? We heard these same things in 2000 and 2004 but still abortion is legal. How long until waving the coat hangers doesn't work anymore? Abortion is a great fund raising issue for both sides but to be honest I think the majority of the American people like things just as they are and I don't see Roe v. Wade getting overturned anytime soon (at worst the issue will go back to the states).
posted by MikeMc at 9:08 PM on September 14, 2008


Listen, I'm all for finding McCain to be somehow responsible for the death of 134 sailors aboard the USS Forrestal, and I know that the McCain wet-start story has some traction, but I think it's the sort of thing we need to be pretty damn certain of before we start discussing it as fact. We are not swift boaters.

I did not realize this was swiftboat bait. My apologies. I'm a dummy.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:09 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


And I'll tell you this: the only administration in which it's possible - in which victims of rape would be forced to bear their rapist's children - is a McCain/Palin administration.

I don't see McCain taking any action on abortion if he wins. Think back a few months when the right leaning pundits were calling McCain a "RINO" (Republican In Name Only), he doesn't really fit the GOP mold but hey, he won, they have no choice but to back him. If he wins I think he'll be a "one and done" president with no real legacy (much like Bush I) because I don't think he has any issues that he's actually passionate about.
posted by MikeMc at 9:13 PM on September 14, 2008


Do they honestly not care one way or the other? Do they not realise how much of an effect this election will have?

Certainly a little of both - but even more than that, we're not a well-informed nation. Despite our many media outlets, few do a good job of educating the populace. And those that do have a hard time getting any attention, because they're perceived as boring. We're over-entertained, I'm afraid, and our secondary-level civics education is pretty bad. People are often told that their votes don't make a difference, and many have come to believe it. Another ill is the idea that there's no difference between the major parties - the policy platform difference is vast and has tremendous long-term effect, of course, yet some people see them as equivalents. The Republican Party has not traditionally encouraged a wide turnout, because it is a more tightly run ship that organizes through networks. Getting to those unregistered and less-aware voters is a task that tends to fall to Democrats.

More factors: The general lack of interest in civics makes local elections often a "gimme" for whoever does the mobilizing (Presidential election turnouts are generally a much higher percentage of the population than local elections!), and if you aren't politically involved more than once every four years, it's hard to stay abreast of anything other than the sticky sound-bites and glancing cable-news appearances you happen to catch. Then, too, we don't have anywhere near as comprehensive a system for registering all eligible voters as we do for, say, draft registration. States set their own registration processes, so it varies from state to state - in one state you might register during your senior year of high school, if you make it that far, while in another it might not be offered in school. Some states have tried "Motor Voter" laws, where you register to vote as part of your driver licensing, but again, that only reaches people who are applying for a license to drive. Since there's no consistent clearinghouse to catch every eligible voter, about 25% of people have never been registered at all (that number is higher among minority populations), and of those, 20% or so are inactive voters. Transportation to the polls is an issue for some. For working people, finding time to vote can be challenging - especially when, in some polling places, lines easily exceed a 2-hour wait.

Still, it's pretty damn shameful, when I think of our forebears who actually offered their lives to secure the right to vote. The women who starved until the government force-fed them in prison; the civil rights activists who fought Jim Crow , dealing with fines, poll taxes, and the threat (and actuality) of lynching in order to cast ballots....
posted by Miko at 9:17 PM on September 14, 2008


I have a hard time understanding the mind set of the people who just don't vote. Do they honestly not care one way or the other?

you've got two types - those who don't care, period - and those who are convinced that no matter who wins, the same bastards behind the scene will keep running things anyway and will never listen to them
---

What was wrong with Carter?

he didn't perform - part of that was circumstance, part of that was he was above his level - and part of that was the american people preferred being lied to than led

---

the problem is that I think Obama won't do any good for the economy either.

when he attempts to do something about it, he will have the common people more in mind than that guy with 7 houses will - frankly, i wonder if anyone will be able to deal effectively with what may come and that the next president of the usa is going to be remembered as the next herbert hoover ...

but i'm certain, especially after the dirty tricks of the last two weeks, that mccain will not be able to govern, if elected - i thought he was merely wrong, but decent a month ago - now i can't give him the benefit of that doubt anymore - and there are a lot of people who feel the same way

he's blown it with his tactics, even if he gets elected - he'll be YOUR president, not mine
posted by pyramid termite at 9:18 PM on September 14, 2008


It's what they all want to do (GOP candidates that is)! What makes anyone think Palin is any worse on this issue than W?

Even President Bush is okay with abortion if a 14 year-old girl is raped by her father. Sarah Palin is not. Sarah Palin's stated objective is to criminalize abortion so that a rape victim would be forced to bear her rapist's child.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:20 PM on September 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


lost the democratic primary

Feh. Now there's a contest I couldn't be arsed to vote in. Intraparty horseshit. Boy, did I get the vote out on that one. I don't even know if my mother was a delegate this year, because I couldn't be bothered to ask. (Hillarly won here, btw)

Non US citizens: the inception of the electoral college means that we vote on state lines. Every state is assigned certain number of electoral votes based on their respective populations, which are already forecasted by the number of each states' representatives in the whorehouse we call a congress. Certain states, like my beloved Massachusetts, which is a commonwealth, not a state nor a plantation, vote Democrat. Regardless of the candidate. We do this with the conviction that we're better than everyone else, even if it means being the only state to do so. Google Red Sox, Patriots or Celtics if you don't believe me. So if any North Shore or Western Mass republicant decides they want to take time out of their day to represent their views at the ballot box, it's all for naught, because the sane people in the Greater Boston Area (>50% of the Mass. populus) have already sorted it out for them. Same goes for tradionally Republican states. So there's a lot of disenfranchisement due to the misperception of one man, one vote.

The only interesting aspect about the US presidential elections lie in the so-called swing states, also known as places where they can't make up their goddamn mind. This is where all the rhetorical nonsense comes from as candidates try to appeal to most voyeuristic of voters by downing boilermakers and cheesesteaks. Basically, they have to beg for votes from people who think a clean pair of sneakers are an introduction to polite society. Eighteen months of masturbating people who can't balance a checkbook. That's what we call democracy. There's room for more, btw.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:21 PM on September 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


People are often told that their votes don't make a difference, and many have come to believe it.

Well, the Electoral College doesn't help there. Were I a Republican voter in New York or a Democrat in Texas I would be sorely tempted to avoid the polls on election day and save myself the bother of waiting in line.
posted by MikeMc at 9:25 PM on September 14, 2008


Basically, they have to beg for votes from people who think a clean pair of sneakers are an introduction to polite society. Eighteen months of masturbating people who can't balance a checkbook.

and yet, they can figure out how to feed the country, and you can't
posted by pyramid termite at 9:26 PM on September 14, 2008


after observing people for the better part of two decades,

I think that's in the eye of the observer. It tells me more about what observations you have taken in than about the world itself. And the lack of evidence you admit is the same thing I hear from others who propose this view - "it's not me I'm worried about, I just think America's racists are going to circle the wagons." I'm not worried about America's racists. Let them have a nice campfire. I'm worried about the person I'm talking to right now.

I have observations, as well: I'm also oldish, I've been active in politics and civic life for a long time, and I've been active in the Obama campaign since December. When I attend his events, I see that there are people - a whole, large lot of people - who make other choices than banding together upon identity points. I see men, women, seniors, youth, middle-aged people, whites, blacks, asians, etc. A quick review of campaign events will reveal his crowds as more representative of America's makeup than any other candidate's. There is a certain portion of people who are able to take a broader view, especially when a cogent argument is made. Hell, I'm a woman. I've been voting for men most of my life; had to. I didn't run to support Hilary or Palin based on gender. I'm not retreating to gender - why should we expect anyone to retreat to race? That kind of thinking about exploiting surface divides is, I think, a strategy ready to go the way of all flesh; the electorate has changed with the advance of milennials to voting age and the dying off of the greatest generation, as well as with shifts in economic status. Americans today have more in common than bloc identity, especially when the writing is so clearly on the wall about the nation's future.

I don't see McCain taking any action on abortion if he wins.

He probably won't, but he won't have to; his Supreme Court replacements will likely take care of that. If he thought of himself as "one and done," then he might appoint more liberal justices; but if he plans a second term, he can't afford to alienate that fraction of the base that he needs Palin to bring in. Of course, a desire for a second term is totally hypothetical - he'd be 76 upon assuming a second term. It would take him, if he lived, to the age of 80. Not sure he's got it in him.
posted by Miko at 9:27 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Were I a Republican voter in New York or a Democrat in Texas I would be sorely tempted to avoid the polls on election day and save myself the bother of waiting in line.

Thus contributing to the public misperception that Texans are either all Republicans or totally apathetic and that New Yorkers are all Democrats or totally apathetic, while discouraging qualified candidates from running in your district, telling the media not to pay any attention to political activity in your state, allowing the dominant party to control the message and continue to snowball more support, and influencing the appearance of a mandate or popular vote landslide for your opponent as well as shortchanging your local elections on the same ballot.
posted by Miko at 9:32 PM on September 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


Thanks for all of the great perspectives, people. The U.S. federal election system is a bit of a fog to us Parliamentary types, so the analyses posted here can be really enlightening.

Having said that, I'm mildly astonished that the U.S. electorate faces such difficulty with voter registration and getting out to vote. Here (.ca) the registration process is simple, and you have various ways of getting your registration in to Elections Canada. And over the last 20 years of voting in one of the bigger cities in British Columbia I have never waited more than 2 minutes to cast a ballot. Ballots here are still done with pencil and paper, by the way. No hanging whatsits.
posted by illiad at 9:35 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


And that is something that most non-Americans don't get: in our minds, we can live without you. And theoretically, we have for a very long time. In simpler words: the average American couldn't find Australia on a map, never mind give a crap about what happens there. That is the mentality you're up against.
Now, this is a good point, though it seems to have nothing to do with your earlier ones, and most non-Americans who read American media and/or have travelled or lived in the United States are very aware of this fact. The United States is a an economic, cultural and political metropole and, like all metropoles, it doesn't look out to its provinces.

But that kind of ignorance is nothing to boast about. Americans should understand that the American lifestyle is extremely similar to that in other settler-based ex-colonies, and different from but not better than the lifestyles in most other developed countries on the planet. You don't need to be perpetuating the misunderstanding.
Frankly I have no idea what jsavimbi is going on about. I think he's just jealous that McCain is hogging all of Charley Black's time. Americans are well aware of Canada, the average American thinks about Canada the same way they would about, say, California or New York. There was a poll a while back that showed Americans think about Canada as being more like another state in the U.S. then another country. And we also get a shitload of Oil from Canada. Savimbi is spouting a lot of weird nonsense in this thread, frankly.

And by the way, the standard of living is how higher in the U.K. then in the United States. Yes, that's right People are richer in the U.K then in the U.S., people there now have even more brands of toilet paper -- so to speak.
I don't see McCain taking any action on abortion if he wins. Think back a few months when the right leaning pundits were calling McCain a "RINO" (Republican In Name Only), he doesn't really fit the GOP mold but hey, he won
Yeah, and how long until he eats a mysteriously poisoned moosburger?
posted by delmoi at 9:35 PM on September 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


Yeah, and how long until he eats a mysteriously poisoned moosburger?

Well, you've got me there. Thats +1 on the favorites.
posted by MikeMc at 9:39 PM on September 14, 2008


Were I a Republican voter in New York or a Democrat in Texas I would be sorely tempted to avoid the polls on election day and save myself the bother of waiting in line.

You... you understand people vote for other things on Election Day as well, right?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:44 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


But that kind of ignorance is nothing to boast about.

You don't get it. Please allow me to explain this to you using caps:

THE AVERAGE AMERICAN DOESN'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU, WHERE YOU'RE FROM OR WHAT YOU THINK. ARE YOU AVAILABLE TO WORK? That's all they care about.

(personally, my rights have to do with things like free speech and my pipe dreams are about world peace)

Confirmed: you really don't get us. I sympathize with your point, but aside from certain sectors, nobody in the US cares about that nonsense. If we did, we wouldn't have had a fascist government for the past eight years. We do our bitching in forums, not out in the street.

I think that's in the eye of the observer.

Exactly. I'm not making any widespread claims, and I'm certainly not going to get upset about a sambo depiction on a box of waffles at a losers' seminar. It's par for the course, otherwise it wouldn't be allowed, right? There's nothing scientific about framing my view of the election based on the microcosm I live in, and I don't extrapolate it to anyone else's.

If he thought of himself as "one and done,"


You nailed it right there. I think he's betting on a quickie and is willing to eat shit to get it. He's come too far for too long to let his one chance get away, hence the nod to the religiosos. He'll disemvowel that Bangladeshi kid to do so.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:45 PM on September 14, 2008


There was a poll a while back that showed Americans think about Canada as being more like another state in the U.S. then another country.

That's an interesting result, delmoi. I'd be keen on finding the details of the study just for personal edification. The results runs diametrically to my own personal experiences: most U.S. citizens I know just south of the border in the Pacific Northwest seem astonishingly put-off by the idea of taking a day trip into Vancouver. Foreign country and all that.
posted by illiad at 9:47 PM on September 14, 2008


Can you all persuade me that Obama would be better than Carter, for instance?

konolia - I very much disagree with you on Carter. Most of the popular understanding of his administration has been heavily coloured by a very negative campaign against him by Reagan. His admistration did happen during a really bad economic period for the whole world (not just the United States), and this vilification of him makes just about a much sense as deposing a king who couldn't magically make the rains come. I think he was a serious thoughtful president in difficult times, and he refused to lie to people and tell them everything was okay. And they liked him for it - his approval rating went up after the so-called "Malaise" speech. But being honest - which we claim to like in a candidate, but don't really - was used against him by his political enemies who preferred rhetoric to substance.


--------------------------------------

What I would say about Obama is that as fair as I can tell he has both rhetoric and substance. He has given serious thought to his policy. He has been very active in the Senate. I was especially interested to note that one of his bills was about the Democratic Republic of Congo; it's a very bad situation over there, but not headline-grabby. It is, however, one of the most serious international relations problem in the world today, and one of the most intractable.

He's really tried to think about what policies might improve education and health care, and here his previous experience really matters working in education in Chicago, seeing what did and what didn't work). And even the quite right leaning Economist has been flattering about the kind of cutting edge economic research he's tapped into, though as pro-freetraders they have tsk-tsked the Democrats for giving into political expediancy and coming out as pro-protectionism when campaigning in manufacturing areas.

His tax cuts are certainly much more directed at working Americans than McCain's. I'm not actually pro-tax cuts (I like good services and fiscal responsibility), but McCain's tax cut plan provides much larger percentage of tax cuts to the very wealthiest Americans than it does to middle class Americans. It's fiscally irresponsible and seriously socially regressive. Obama's provides the largest cuts to those at the bottom and middle. You should seriously check out the comparison chart. If your family makes under $112,000 a year, you will get a larger tax cut from Obama than McCain is proposing. Diplomatically, I believe that he will also be more judicious than a McCain administration. That is seriously needed right now.

Governments can't change the world. They can't make global warming go away, or make international commodity prices like oil fall, well, not without nationalizing the production or price manipulation. But in difficult times, their policies can mitigate these problems. It's like piloting a ship through stormy seas - you can't make the storm go away, but you want to chart the best course or it all could get much worse.

I don't like everything on the Democratic platform - and I can't vote anyways. But I think it is a better thought out platform than the current Republican platform. But you may not believe me, because I also like Carter.

All I can suggest is that you should do your own research. You should look and listen to independent assessments of their platforms - not just pundits, but articles that provide specific details and talk about what they mean. Read serious newspapers and magasines from multiple editorial stances. I actually suggest The Economist, a British/international (because they have writers from all over) centre-right magasine about world issues and economics. I disagree with them on many things, but I respect their analysis.

And most of all -- read the candidate's websites and listen to their stump speeches. I don't know about McCain, but Obama and Biden have many speeches on their Youtube channel. (This was the first I heard about Obama supporting highspeed rail, which is a big pet issue of mine - it impressed me since it's just not usually talked about at all in North America.)
posted by jb at 9:49 PM on September 14, 2008 [14 favorites]


You... you understand people vote for other things on Election Day as well, right?

I will be so bold as to say that most voters only turn out for presidential elections, anything else on the ballot is gravy. Just take a look at look election turnouts, there are important things on the ballot but most registered voters don't give a shit. And just for the record I do take voting seriously and I rarely miss an opportunity to cast my ballot I'm just saying I would be tempted to stay home.
posted by MikeMc at 9:50 PM on September 14, 2008


most U.S. citizens I know just south of the border in the Pacific Northwest seem astonishingly put-off by the idea of taking a day trip into Vancouver.

It's those nosy ass Canadian Customs guys. Seriously, who brings fucking painted turtles into Canada anyway? Now, maybe things have changed since the last time I drove into Canada but those guys wanted to see my cash, credit cards (WTF???) and all sorts of shit. Hell, the station on the U.S. side was rarely staffed (Pembina,ND) and they usually just waved you through anyway.
posted by MikeMc at 9:56 PM on September 14, 2008


Just take a look at look election turnouts

local election turnouts
posted by MikeMc at 9:58 PM on September 14, 2008


I think things have probably changed, MikeMc. It's getting to the point of rubber gloves when crossing south of the 49th and you're not a U.S. citizen.

I've never had a problem with being questioned at the U.S border. After all, I'm not a citizen and entering the country is a privilege, and not a right. This isn't fully understood by some of your fellow countrymen however; apocryphal stories of Americans crossing into Canada on vacation being outraged that there's a different set of laws up here.

Canada/US border protection joke: When crossing south into the U.S., you're checked for links to terrorism. When crossing north into Canada, you're checked for how much they can tax your ass.
posted by illiad at 10:00 PM on September 14, 2008


I don't trust ANYONE RUNNING-not McCain/Palin, not Obama/Biden, re the economy.

These economists disagree.

I know that the Republican party has claimed to be the party of good economics, but they haven't been in a very long time. Their policies are based on out of date economic theory which is being overturned by current research.
posted by jb at 10:01 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, are tattooed killers still voting Palin or not?
posted by maxwelton at 10:05 PM on September 14, 2008


Canada/US border protection joke

Interestingly, on my last trip north, I was grilled way harder going into Canada than coming back in.
posted by maxwelton at 10:06 PM on September 14, 2008


Frankly I have no idea what jsavimbi is going on about.

I've been drinking Guinness since 4pm EST. So neither do we. 'Night.

Charley Black, my ass. Why don't you pick on Mobutu, Doe, or Obiang?
posted by jsavimbi at 10:07 PM on September 14, 2008


It's always going to be that way. If you're not a legal resident or citizen of the country you're visiting, you can expect way more of the Spanish Inquisition at the border. Assuming anyone expects that.
posted by illiad at 10:08 PM on September 14, 2008


Can someone explain to a foreigner why it is that voter turnout is so low?

(1) Registration has historically been inconvenient, though this has changed recently.
(2) Voting isn't particularly convenient.
(3) The only time your individual vote matters is if it breaks or makes a tie. Otherwise, the outcome is whatever it was going to be anyway.
(4) Politics isn't hugely salient to most Americans.

Against that you have:

(1) Americans are socialized to feel good about voting and bad about nonvoting.

Put it all together, and you get a whole bunch of people who decide that going home and hanging out with their family will make a bigger expected improvement to their lives than going to vote will. And they're not even wrong.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:10 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's always going to be that way. If you're not a legal resident or citizen of the country you're visiting, you can expect way more of the Spanish Inquisition at the border. Assuming anyone expects that.

Naw. Biscotti, who is a Canadian person, gets much more shit going to Toronto than she does coming back to B'lo.

We figure that the Americans see the green card and mentally go "Ah, fuck it."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:12 PM on September 14, 2008


Just a wild guess here, but Biscotti doesn't look even marginally middle-eastern, does she?
posted by illiad at 10:13 PM on September 14, 2008


Palin for V.P. : What a cunning stunt.
posted by telstar at 10:54 PM on September 14, 2008 [11 favorites]


Barack Obama continues to play the risky role of "incognegro"

Doug Wilder, 77, still meets people who wanted to vote for him when he stood for governor of Virginia back in 1989 but found they just could not do it. They said they would. They even thought they would. But when it came down to it, they just could not vote for a black man. "I've had people who tell me 'I didn't vote for you for lieutenant governor or governor. I wish I had that chance again'," he says.

On the eve of his election he led in the polls by 9%. On the day he won by less than 0.5%. They call it the Wilder effect - the shortfall between white voters' professed support for black candidates and their propensity to actually vote that way. They also call it the Bradley effect, after the Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley who stood for California governor in 1982. Back then the deception continued even after some had cast their ballot. Bradley's exit poll lead was so significant that early editions of the San Francisco Chronicle projected his victory. He lost by just over 1%.

The question over the next two months is: will there be an Obama effect? And if so will it end like Wilder, in victory; or like Bradley, in defeat? At its heart lies the issue of how America understands the relationship between race and racism, and the degree to which claims of his post-racial candidacy have been misconstrued.

The issue here is not whether racism will cost him the election, but whether the race we think we are watching is in fact the race that is taking place.

posted by Rumple at 10:55 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't trust ANYONE RUNNING-not McCain/Palin, not Obama/Biden, re the economy.

These economists disagree.


I would like to say I'm sorry, I misread the comment from konolia that I quoted. I thought you had said you didn't trust anyone who was NOT McCain/Palin, but now I see that you are saying you don't trust either party. Which I understand, and to an extent agree with. The economy is like a weather-system - anyone who claimed they could fix it would be about as believable as someone who said they could control hurricanes. But there are things you can do to nudge things, and to set up institutions which are robust and mitigate the worse of the ups and downs, and those links I put above will explain why some economists think that Obama will do a better job managing that kind of stuff than McCain (or Clinton as well, in the first link).
posted by jb at 11:16 PM on September 14, 2008


the other day i was driving behind an early-90s chevy suburban, jacked way up high on off-road suspension and big mud tires, and sporting two USMC window decals, an NRA sticker and a Bush-Cheney '04 bumper sticker. scrawled across the rear window in orange grease pen were the words "Gov. Sarah Palin has real executive experience, supports drilling for oil in ANWR, and her wrists are bigger than Obama's."

just throwin' that out there.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 11:23 PM on September 14, 2008


I don't trust ANYONE RUNNING-not McCain/Palin, not Obama/Biden.

I only trust Gladys and Snowy. Gladys/Snowy 2008!

I should go to bed.
posted by homunculus at 11:41 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


OC McCain kicks the bucket faster than W. H. Harrison, Palin takes over, a few justices buy the farm, Palin appoints them solely on their opposition to Roe v. Wade, it gets overturned, and hey look at that coming out of the Republican Congress of 2010: a bill banning all abortions without exception. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

I think they would also get rid of that pesky wall between Church/State.
posted by mlis at 11:52 PM on September 14, 2008


400!
posted by cgc373 at 12:25 AM on September 15, 2008


THE AVERAGE AMERICAN DOESN'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU, WHERE YOU'RE FROM OR WHAT YOU THINK. ARE YOU AVAILABLE TO WORK? That's all they care about.

Interesting that American wingnuts seem to care very, very much about this column. 770 vitriolic hate-filled comments worth in fact. I guess it's because it hits on a simple truth: never before have non-Americans been so united against one candidate & pro the other.
posted by dydecker at 12:58 AM on September 15, 2008


And that is something that most non-Americans don't get: in our minds, we can live without you. And theoretically, we have for a very long time. In simpler words: the average American couldn't find Australia on a map, never mind give a crap about what happens there. That is the mentality you're up against.

I think you overestimate what most non-Americans think of your compatriots grasp on reality and geography.
posted by jacalata at 1:16 AM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not true. Yes, he's old and he's a poor public speaker. But he comes with three massive advantages (two of which he's eagerly sawing off and burning for a little extra heat): 1) He has a tremendous back story, one of the best in political history.

Huh. So now the part of the Keating 5 is "best in political history"?

For low-information voters who tuned into the convention, the emotive details of McCain's POW days were probably a revelation.

When was the Keating 5 mentioned by the GOP? Or, perhaps using the GOP as a fair and balanced news source about the guy heading the top of the GOP ticket is

2) He has a long-standing tradition as a flinty, tough-talking, no-BS kind of guy with a great sense of humor -- a politician for people who generally don't like politicians.

No BS kinda guy? BS means?
Tough talking - I'll give ya that if you concede that his talk has failed to match his actions many times. (Then one has to ask - which is more valuable - talk or action in a politician?)

Humor? This is your 'strong point' - someone can tell a joke? There are comedy clubs fulla presidential timber a-waiting the axe of the voters then.

3) He looks the part: Nice simple name, done his time in Washington, older white guy with a military background.

So this, his looks and name, is your 'top 3' argument?
posted by rough ashlar at 3:41 AM on September 15, 2008


The economy is like a weather-system - anyone who claimed they could fix it would be about as believable as someone who said they could control hurricanes.

In 2025, US aerospace forces can "own the weather" by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies to war-fighting applications.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:48 AM on September 15, 2008


Yeah, and how long until he eats a mysteriously poisoned moosburger?
posted by delmoi


If the boffins can make chemicals for dope'n athletes that are undectable, I'm sure that there will be no mystery over the burger - as no one will be able to find the poison to HAVE a mystery over who did it.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:21 AM on September 15, 2008


Mapguy: I bet Ron Paul ain’t looking so bad about right now.

That explains a lot.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:28 AM on September 15, 2008


Looks like we'll be needing my long thread reader again.
posted by cillit bang at 5:01 AM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Salon article today: Palin did ban abortion in local hospitals when she was mayor. She was sued on behalf of a woman who had to travel to Seattle to get the procedure.
posted by 8dot3 at 5:11 AM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


For one thing, there's a reason why deception and negativity are usually avoided by campaigns until immediately before elections. As a result of McCains's lies, we're likely to see his numbers begin to drop as polls catch up with the steady erosion of his brand that we've seen in the last few days.

This. Obama's played rope-a-dope in every single campaign of his political life. McCain's people are obsessed with the present, with capturing the daily news cycle, while Obama's staff is patiently putting the pieces together and hitting their marks. Anyone tempted to panic needs to go watch this.
posted by EarBucket at 5:14 AM on September 15, 2008


New Obama ad, titled, "Honor."

Plus Biden's continuing this tone with a speech this morning. Palin isn't even mentioned.

Good.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:19 AM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


8dot3, are you getting those specifics from another source? Salon just says this:

Soon after the book controversy, Bess found himself again at odds with Palin and her fellow evangelicals. In 1996, evangelical churches mounted a vigorous campaign to take over the local hospital's community board and ban abortion from the valley. When they succeeded, Bess and Dr. Susan Lemagie, a Palmer OB-GYN, fought back, filing suit on behalf of a local woman who had been forced to travel to Seattle for an abortion. The case was finally decided by the Alaska Supreme Court, which ruled that the hospital must provide valley women with the abortion option.

It's not even clear that Palin was one of the evangelicals who took over the community board. There certainly was no unilateral declaration of an abortion ban by the mayor (which would not even be possible anyway, as the mayor does not have that power.) And it is not stated that she was named in the lawsuit.

If she was part of the group that pressured and stacked the hospital board, fine, that's one thing. What you've claimed is way beyond that.
posted by maudlin at 5:22 AM on September 15, 2008


New Obama ad, titled, "Honor."


Oooh. I am all powerful!

(Or David Plouffe is reading the thread?)

I guess it was an obvious idea. But it's exactly what I pictured -- a single b&w photo of McCain looking down sheepishly (that "humiliated" look I mentioned above) with quotes calling him dishonorable and a liar flashing on the screen.

Great ad, if I do say so myself.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:05 AM on September 15, 2008


The Times supports the Obama campaign not be directly influencing voters -- no swing voters actually read it

Oh please. Lots of conservatives are more intelligent than the New York Post and read the Times for news, the same way many liberals read the Journal for business news. Anyone who lives in the NYC area who fails to read the Times probably isn't too smart.
posted by caddis at 6:39 AM on September 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


I guess it was an obvious idea. But it's exactly what I pictured -- a single b&w photo of McCain looking down sheepishly (that "humiliated" look I mentioned above) with quotes calling him dishonorable and a liar flashing on the screen.

Great ad, if I do say so myself.


One reason I think it's a great ad is that it will make McCain mad. McCain is from a Scotch-Irish military background (similar to that chronicled in Jim Webb's Born Fighting), which would make him heavily invested in a conception of himself as a defender of "honor." Anything that threatens that self-conception of honor will probably make McCain go ballistic, which will lead him to make more mistakes. I don't think this is totally coincidental, because Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic convention included some subtle, dog-whistle references to McCain's fondness for casino gambling ("a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?") and his hotheaded temper ("If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.") that I think were calculated to get John McCain mad. Making McCain mad hurt Barack Obama in the short run, because it led McCain to unleash a barrage of mean-spirited negative ads that reduced Obama's standing in the polls, but it may help Obama in the long run, because the ads can produce a backlash that establishes a narrative about how McCain has sold out his honor, because he's a slave to his temper and his ambitions.
posted by jonp72 at 6:47 AM on September 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Sarah Palin, Anointed: Do pentecostals, charismatics, and other evangelicals view Palin as "the anointed one"?
posted by jonp72 at 7:22 AM on September 15, 2008


McCain wouldn't define the word "honor" in his recent "prickly" interview with Time. Was he unable to because he knows he's running a dishonorable campaign and violating his pledge to "run a respectful campaign based on the issues"?

That's like me saying Nixon is the reason I don't trust Republicans.

Nixon is the reason I don't trust Republicans, or at least a big part of it. Nixon's administration, and every Republican administration since, has been actively criminal and abused government power, usually with the same actual criminals involved.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:35 AM on September 15, 2008


The economy is like a weather-system - anyone who claimed they could fix it would be about as believable as someone who said they could control hurricanes.

That's absurd of course. You don't think if we elected communists, it would effect the economy? In that case, why wouldn't electing the reverse-communists (steal from the poor and give to the rich) in the republican party effect the economy.
posted by delmoi at 7:42 AM on September 15, 2008


The polling data I'm seeing shows Palin's impact is disproportionately positive amongst white males, a group that hasn't gone as a majority for Democrats since 1964.

I'm on a listserv for Obama supporters in Northern Virginia. One of our posters recently went to a rally for Sarah Palin in Fairfax, Virginia, while keeping silent about his support for Obama. In his write-up of the rally, he said he found at least six white guys who would say that Obama was "sexist," then follow up by talking about how Palin was a total MILF with a hot "mooserack." We can't underestimate the contribution of white guy's libidos to the "Palin effect" on McCain's polling numbers.
posted by jonp72 at 7:49 AM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


After the Palin announcement, it seemed like Obama's team was shocked an unsure how to react. Now, it looks like they're getting their footing, and have a firm and effective plan.
posted by drezdn at 7:58 AM on September 15, 2008


One reason conservatives and evangelicals don't like Jimmy Carter is because they felt betrayed by him. They thought they'd get one of their own in the White House, and he'd be essentially what GWB is now. When he turned out to be thoughtful and compassionate, and well, librul, they've demonized him. He's ok when he does that nice housing work, but don't you believe him when he talks about Israel.

So, it's not policies or anything logical like that, it's him

In contrast, Ronald Regan spent 30 years seducing the Religious Right, and it paid off in 1980. He told them what they wanted to hear, and got into office.

I read all this in a book that I can't seem to find now - a companion to the pbs series that I also can't seem to find now. I lent the book to my dad and I can't find the title and he's long since given it away. Memory says it was done by or with Bill Moyers.

But here's a gem from the man himself:

When we read on our currency, ‘In God We Trust,’ whose God do we mean?
posted by lysdexic at 8:14 AM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


duh! Kisses to Younger Brother:

With God On Our Side
posted by lysdexic at 8:22 AM on September 15, 2008


Drezdn, actually, I think Obama was following the OODA loop touted by military strategists as being used by McCain's campaign with far more skill and nuance than the GOP could ever hope to muster. By not reacting suddenly in the heat of emotion but waiting to see McCain's entire hand, Obama could carefully lay his own cards down one by one for maximum impact.

As far as battlefield tactics go, waiting for one's opponent to commit himself fully to a major course of action before responding to it gives one numerous advantages: time to think, time to calculate, time to plan, and time to execute with precision and adroitness -- while the enemy is strategically paralyzed by his own inertia.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:25 AM on September 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm honestly confused about something.

I've been very out of the loop for the last 3-4 weeks, having missed both conventions in their entirety except for hearing Obama's speech on the radio and seeing McCain's (without the sound however). I'm also aware that he picked Palin as his running mate and that it seems everyone acknowledges she lacks experience and might possibly be a dummy. For my part, I'm certain that she's a dummy, but I couldn't provide any documentary support to back that up at the moment. I also haven't been watching or checking the news sites much, nor have I been checking mefi much eaither.

What I don't understand is that when I checked the poll numbers at realclearpolitics.com, they show McCain ahead of Obama and getting a surge sometime in the last couple of weeks.

My question is, did I miss some scandal or something? Is there some dirt about Obama or Biden that the republicans dug up? I really don't understand how he could lead in the polls simply because he picked Pailn, because I would have thought she'd be a liability.

I'm usually up on this stuff, so if anyone could fill me in, that'd be great.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:28 AM on September 15, 2008


Agreed, lysdexic; Andrew J. Bacevich briefly touches on Carter's prescience and contrasts him against Reagan's irresponsibly profligacy in this interview with Terri Gross (Around the 31:00 minute mark, but the whole interview is pretty good.).
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:29 AM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


My question is, did I miss some scandal or something? Is there some dirt about Obama or Biden that the republicans dug up? I really don't understand how he could lead in the polls simply because he picked Pailn, because I would have thought she'd be a liability.

This is the post-convention, post-Palin bump. It has been a larger bump than most expected due to the combination of extremely negative and deceptive campaigning from McCain and the culture war revival of the Palin pick. But this is probably the best it's going to get for McCain.
posted by effwerd at 8:48 AM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


A blast from the past: Prosecute Kerry
posted by lysdexic at 8:49 AM on September 15, 2008


Maudlin: Blergh, that's what I get for blindly posting. No, I have no other sources on that one, but I will be doing some digging. Point taken.
posted by 8dot3 at 8:49 AM on September 15, 2008


After the Palin announcement, it seemed like Obama's team was shocked an unsure how to react. Now, it looks like they're getting their footing, and have a firm and effective plan.

This constant focus on determining who's "winning" by watching the news has gotten a bit silly. The news cycles are determined by who the news Orgs choose to cover, which is in turn based on how "interesting" the candidates are. If McCain gets in a good insult, like with the "celeb" ad, does that really effect anything, or is that just what the media wants to talk about?

And anyway, why should they have reacted before they knew anything about Palin? And just to clarify they did send out a press release bashing her for being inexperienced before backtracking and congratulating her.
posted by delmoi at 9:10 AM on September 15, 2008


What's odd about Carter is that, though his technocratic, micro-managerial style was ill-suited to the Executive, he was the last President that spoke truth to the American people as it concerned shared sacrifice and the true meaning of patriotism... and he's been skewered for it non-stop for nearly 30 years. This became a refrain of every presidential candidate since then: do not tell the truth about the economic position of the US under any circumstances.

The United States became a debtor nation for the first time during the Ford Administration, thanks, in large part to the enormously expensive Vietnam War. If any of you remember the late 70s, it felt like the country was coming apart at the seams. Heavy industry and manufacturing were dying, crime in the inner cities skyrocketing, and the nation's infrastructure was crumbling).

Reagan's people then launched an orgy of borrowing and spending (but not investing and retrenching the economy, but enabling its transformation into a service economy, the ultimate ponzi scheme) whose effects are only now being felt severely.

When I heard hardcore Christians go on about how much they "hate" Carter, I have to laugh and ask myself how they will account for themselves on their own day of reckoning. (For my own part, I'll see them in hell... but I've always been curious how the jingoistic, me-first, divisive politics of the far right meshed with the collectivist, compassionate message of the Gospels)
posted by psmealey at 9:22 AM on September 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


Greenwald on the new book about Cheney: What illegal "things" was the government doing in 2001-2004?

It would be nice if some journalist would ask Palin about her opinion on warrantless wiretapping, assuming she ever does another real interview.
posted by homunculus at 9:48 AM on September 15, 2008


Do pentecostals, charismatics, and other evangelicals view Palin as "the anointed one"?

Apparently the neocons do.
posted by homunculus at 9:51 AM on September 15, 2008


Really, really strong speech by Biden today. I hope this is the direction the Obama campaign is going in.

Governor Palin says all senators do is vote. Well, just imagine what the country would look like if John’s votes had become the law of the land.

In John McCain’s America, we wouldn’t guarantee that more of energy would come from wind, solar, and other renewables. The minimum wage would still be $3.35 an hour. There would have been 100,000 fewer police on the beat. There would have been no national domestic violence hotline for the 1.5 million women who were in crisis and needed somewhere to turn.
Over 160,000 members of the Guard and Reserve who answered their country’s call and served more than one tour in Iraq or Afghanistan would get no credit towards an education for their additional sacrifice. Fewer parents would be able to afford to send their kids to college. And women who were discriminated against on the basis of pay would more difficulty making their case. Thank God that’s not the America we live in.

posted by neroli at 9:54 AM on September 15, 2008 [9 favorites]


This is Your Nation on White Privilege.
posted by lunit at 10:10 AM on September 15, 2008


No, this is This Is Your Nation on White Privilege.
:)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:12 AM on September 15, 2008


Since the Palin threads, I never check the front page anymore. oops.
posted by lunit at 10:17 AM on September 15, 2008


Can anyone explain the Scenario Analyses in the lower right hand corner of http://www.fivethirtyeight.com, below the ROI index? I can understand the scenarios themselves, obviously, but I can't tell what the percentages mean or how they're gathered. Is it just polled data? I.e. 21.87% of people polled think "Obama will lose OH but win the election"?
posted by Pantengliopoli at 10:46 AM on September 15, 2008


Roveian Push-Poll Targets FL Voters to Smear Obama
posted by homunculus at 10:50 AM on September 15, 2008


Pantengliopoli: Their simulation methodology is a little complex.

From a weighted average of the polls in each state, there is a baseline for that state.

Next, if you look at the demographics of a given state (say, OH) you can that its polling tends to move with states "like it" (such as MI, PA) more than states not "like it" (such as AL, GA, OR). You can also see how its polling tends to move with the national polling. What Nate then does is simulate a bunch (10,000 per day) of movements in the electorate demographics and see how those would affect each state. For each simulated movement, you have a possible outcome of the election. Each possible outcome is examined for a) the EVs b) popular vote c) those scenarios etc.

How does he come up with the movements to simulate? He's looked at datasets from previous elections with regression analysis. That doesn't mean that they're right, just that they're plausible in a way.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:55 AM on September 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Really, really strong speech by Biden today.

Not so strong speech by McCain today: "The Fundamentals Of Our Economy Are Strong"
posted by homunculus at 10:55 AM on September 15, 2008


Can anyone explain the Scenario Analyses in the lower right hand corner of http://www.fivethirtyeight.com, below the ROI index?

538 runs ten thousand simulations based on their latest numbers each day. Those percentages reflect the number of times that scenario occurred in the simulations. So in this case, the percentage is the number of times Obama lost Ohio (6992 out of 10000) divided into the number of times he lost Ohio but still won the election (1529 out of 6992). 21.87%.
posted by EarBucket at 10:56 AM on September 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Meat-Robot and EarBucket, thanks -- that makes more sense now.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 11:14 AM on September 15, 2008


Whoa, the fivethirtyeight.com numbers are looking rough.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on September 15, 2008


Artw: Contrary to Nate's inclination, they aren't in any way adjusting for the convention bounce. The sims went from 70-odd% Obama to high-50s% McCain in a week. Nate himself thinks that you need to wait a bit before polls become believable again. If you look at the electorally-significant states, the polls haven't been too bad for Obama. It's the national trackers which have driven a great deal of the swing.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 11:35 AM on September 15, 2008


Waiting it out is doing my nervers no good whatsoever.
posted by Artw at 11:50 AM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


If it helps, there are factors which polling doesn't do a good job of catching. For example, in NC democrats have gained 160,000 in voter registration over republicans. That's probably not going to win NC (their BOE has obsessive and easy to access numbers, which is why I used them), but there are similar results in closer states. Most pollsters also use a likely-voter model, which Obama's ground game hopes to change (ie, get turnout among youth, minorities).
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:20 PM on September 15, 2008


Oh, and that 160,000 is since January.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:21 PM on September 15, 2008


Do pentecostals, charismatics, and other evangelicals view Palin as "the anointed one"?

Apparently the neocons do.


That's not a coincidence. The neoconservatives were always stronger as an intellectual movement than as a political movement with a base of mass support. The only way they get that mass support is through making coalitions with the Christian Right, because the two groups share the goals of a hawkishly nationalist foreign policy, a confrontational stance toward the Muslim world, and unquestioning acceptance of Israel. Some neoconservatives are positively drooling over the Sarah Palin sideshow, because it allows them to use a set of "noble lies" about motherhood and small-town values to prevail in a foreign policy debate that they can't win on the merits.
posted by jonp72 at 12:34 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


In the interest of truth and fairness:

-Biden did mention Palin today, multiple times in fact.
-And I don't agree that polling has been "not too bad" for Obama since the conventions. I'm not a doomsayer and I expect the numbers to pick up in the coming weeks as well, but when you're seeing a negative spread in Ohio, double-digit GOP advantages in strategically useful wildcard states like MT and NC, and Obama up by only 5 in New freaking York, I don't see any reason to lean back comfortably, not for now at least.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:39 PM on September 15, 2008


Waiting it out is doing my nerves no good whatsoever.

Volunteer! Seriously, I can't stand the waiting either, nor the knowledge that if we had only done a little bit more in 2000 we could've been waving goodbye to a President Gore right about now (He lost NH and its delegates by only 6000 votes). It drives me nuts to just read polls and news stories and be consumed with hope and concern without actually doing anything. Getting involved feels a lot better. Give your local campaign office a call - now's the time - they have events that you can help with, you can call or canvass or check lists or do data entry. It feels really good to be in a room with a bunch of likeminded, hardworking, hopeful people as opposed to being alone with TV and fretting the evening away. Plus, they often have pizza. If you don't want to leave home, Obama has a cool thing on his website (look for "get involved" or "volunteer" or some such link) where you register and then get a pre-selected voterlist of 25 neighbors that you can call to explain your support and discover whether they're inclined to support or volunteer. You can do it any time of day (though of course, reasonable phone hours) and in bits and pieces, from the comfort of your own home.
posted by Miko at 12:40 PM on September 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Sarah handled Charlie just fine; I doubt she'd have trouble with Putin.

What do you mean, Vladdie?
posted by jonp72 at 12:46 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


washburn : (One final note: did you see in the Times that now, a couple months before the election, that Bush has suddenly authorized US troops to go into Pakistan looking for Bin Laden and his associates? The odds of a real "October Surprise" are looking a little higher.)

This would be a pretty big surprise, but not one that necessarily works well for the Republican machine. I could see people perceiving Bin Laden in custody as meaning that America is no longer at risk from terrorists, and that takes that particular boogieman away from the Right as a method of scaring people into voting for them.

And fear is really the currency of the Republican party.
posted by quin at 1:41 PM on September 15, 2008


WTF is up with Washington state? Even given that Eastern Washington is going to lean republican, i'm pretty sure that it always has done without putting the state in play.
posted by Artw at 1:47 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah handled Charlie just fine; I doubt she'd have trouble with Putin.

Sarah Palin could "handle" Charles Gibson, because professional American men (like Charles Gibson) are simultaneously expected to be both feminist and chivalrous to women at the same time. In Putin's case, neither feminism nor chivalry would deter him from acting like a sexist rat bastard in pouncing on Palin's ignorance of basic foreign policy questions.
posted by jonp72 at 1:48 PM on September 15, 2008


This is unrelated to the thread as a whole, but it kind of just bubbled up based on what I have been thinking about Palin since she was named as the VP pick. I can finally put a name on why we hate her so much, and why a certain type of person in this country is so excited about her pick.

Sarah Palin is white trash. She is white trash with money, but she is white trash all the same. Assembly of God church, hunting, snow mobiles, small town, hockey mom, pregnant teen daughter, Oxycontin sniffing son who joined the military, too many damn kids, good-for-nothing husband, brother-in-law custody drama. This is trailer park shit. Just as someone said in THE THREAD "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!" She is nothing more than white trash. And that is why she got picked. This is identity politics at its worst. McCain wants to capture his base's vote: poor white trash. And man are they eating it up. It is having the exact effect that he wanted it to have. White trash look at her and see themselves and they are pumped. And that is why we hate her. Because we have seen our country taken over by poor ignorant white trash since Nixon's Southern strategy and this is just the latest most blatant example of pandering to the worst type of person.

Why would we allow these people to pick our leaders? They think the earth is 6,000 years old because they were behind the school smoking Pall Malls during science class and they don't know no better. We are either current or former Methodists and Presbyterians and Lutherans and other respectable religions. They grew up in families too drunk or ugly to go to church, and learned about religion from Televangelists in shiny suits with wives with tranny make-up, so now as adults they go to non denominational tongue-talking mega-churches where they can be told anything, because the poor damn methheads never read the bible a day in their life so what do they know about what the real message of Christianity is. They don't give a damn about making America a better place. They just want their guns and their Budweiser and their wrestling on TV. They have no understanding of American democracy or civil rights or history or anything, the dumb fucking bumpkins. They want a king to come in and make the towelheads and the beaners and all the rest understand their place, and who cares if it infringes civil rights cause they don't really know what those are. America! Love it or leave it!

This is also why we hate Bush so much. Sure he is really an east coast blueblood, but he puts on the hick accent and cuts brush and pretends to be a good ol' boy. But at least we know he is one of us. Palin is the real thing! White trash in the white house! It is just too galling. She is the culmination of the last 40 years of Republican strategy. The George Wills and the William F. Buckleys must be kicking themselves. They got in bed with Bubba and all they had to do was promise not to do anything to help the blacks and they could just count on the rednecks to go and vote for them every 4 years and then crawl back to the shotgun shack that they sat around in drooling and popping out more babies than they could feed. The republican elite could then put toxic waste dumps in Bubba's backyard and ship his job overseas and feed him tainted food and give themselves tax cut after tax cut while keeping him poor, but Bubba put up with it cause the republicans kept promising him that any day now they were going to get around to stopping the evil liberals from killing those poor babies (silly Bubba, thinking that a clump of cells was a baby and crying for it in his warehouse church. Reminds one of that gorilla that would pet that little kitten). But now Bubba, in his infinite ignorance, is actually cottoning on to the fact that the republican party has been tricking him for the last 40 years and he ain't voting for no McCain if he picks a jew or a Pennsylvanian as a running mate. Bubba wants to come to dinner, and come in the front door! Oh, the horror!

That is why we good middle class Metafilterians hate her and why some love her. "Hey, I got a pregnant teenage daughter and don't know shit about the world I live in too! Yee Haw! I'm gonna vote for her! Maw, turn off Dancing with the Stars and get the PT Cruiser pulled around! We got to go put Cletus in the white house!"

Look in your heart Metafilter and embrace the hate. It will make you strong!
posted by ND¢ at 1:52 PM on September 15, 2008 [18 favorites]


ND¢ - That would certainly seem to be teh Republican parties view of things. We can always hope they're wrong, eh?
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on September 15, 2008


I was all set to pull out the Howard Dean Confederate flag stuff, then I noticed who posted.

Hat's off man, hat's off.
posted by lysdexic at 2:20 PM on September 15, 2008


Official at Center of Trooper Gate: Sarah Palin Lied to ABC

I blame the media. She wouldn't have had to tell an untruth if Gibson hadn't been so darned mean.
posted by homunculus at 2:22 PM on September 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I love how sky-is-falling democrats are worried when things are not as close as they like in Montana and North Carolina, states which haven't gone democratic for decades.

they don't realize that it is the sky-is-falling fear that causes us to lose. Get some balls people. What good does spreading fear do? It hurts the cause. Republicans vote for emotional effects. Democrats lose because they fear being emotionally hurt by a loss and they are, again and again.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:26 PM on September 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


"We need to go on offense. Our theme is that Barack Obama is too old for the job and that the public needs a younger, more vigorous brand of leadership. OK, here are some scripts we're looking at."

"Wait, wait, wait. Wait. Do you need time off? I can give you a few days. Take some time. You've earned it."

"No, Senator. If you'll just look at these scripts --"

"Steve, April Fool's Day is seven months off. You want me to say Obama is too old to be president and I'm not?"

"Yes."

"I'm younger than Obama?"

"Not younger, exactly. More youthful. You have more, um, youthiness. What is 72? That's just a numeral. Same two digits as 27. It's ink on a driver's license. You have the adventurous spirit of youth. You're the innovator, the reformer. You may be older in years. You're older technically. But you're younger in qualifications. That's the age that really matters. Qualificationswise, you're entering your prime, and you have the experience to prove it. You're like Reagan, although you're even younger, though not technically.

"Whereas your opponent? Tired ideas. 'Bitter.' Same old fresh face as in 2004. His best days are already behind him and he never accomplished anything. Peel back the public-relations front and the media hype, and he's over the hill."


[satire]
posted by neroli at 2:29 PM on September 15, 2008


Dean's confederate problem
posted by lysdexic at 2:32 PM on September 15, 2008


WTF is up with Washington state? Even given that Eastern Washington is going to lean republican, i'm pretty sure that it always has done without putting the state in play.

I suspect it's three things: Its proximity to Alaska, its relatively low black population, and a significant dissatisfaction with its current Democratic leadership. But I also suspect than when it's all said and done, Washington state's electoral votes will go to Obama by a comfortable margin.
posted by Balonious Assault at 2:43 PM on September 15, 2008


Polar Palin flash game
posted by caddis at 2:46 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain, Obama & Wall Street "Reform": The Good, Bad & Ugly
posted by homunculus at 2:47 PM on September 15, 2008


There you go again!

Palin cut funding for Alaska Special Olympics.
“Campaigning in Colorado today, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) promised renewed attention to kids with special needs. She declared, ‘Ever since I took the chief executive’s job up North I pushed for more funding for students with special needs,’ and cited her own family’s experience with the issue. [video | 01:31]

It’s a stretch to say she ‘pushed’ for any policy improvements. Though Palin did sign a law increasing special education funding in Alaska, ‘she had no role whatsoever’ in its development, according to the bill’s author, Rep. Mike Hawker (R). Moreover, as governor, Palin vetoed $275,000 in Special Olympics Alaska funds (Page 100, SB 221 with vetoes), slashing the organization’s operating budget in half.”
posted by ericb at 3:18 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, are interviews across the country going to get tougher as common resume padding techniques get exposed? Nit that I'd ever inflate my role in a project or handwave like crazy when called on it.
posted by Artw at 3:27 PM on September 15, 2008


non denominational tongue-talking mega-churches where they can be told anything, because the poor damn methheads never read the bible a day in their life so what do they know about what the real message of Christianity is.

I think someone needs to take a day or two and start googling non-denominational. And realizing that while that someone was busy doing whatever they do, that these sorts of churches have become the mainstream. And are full of people from all walks of life to include middle class and upper-middle class along with solid working class and the poor.

If the Democrats think insulting this group of individuals is a good thing, they are making a major miscalculation. Because there are Democrats who go to these churches, and independents as well, who might not appreciate the characterization.
posted by konolia at 4:02 PM on September 15, 2008


Sarah Palin could "handle" Charles Gibson, because professional American men (like Charles Gibson) are simultaneously expected to be both feminist and chivalrous to women at the same time. In Putin's case, neither feminism nor chivalry would deter him from acting like a sexist rat bastard in pouncing on Palin's ignorance of basic foreign policy questions

First, I doubt she'll be ignorant. Second, we women are very used to dealing with "sexist rat bastards" so, no problem.
posted by konolia at 4:05 PM on September 15, 2008


we can live without you

without the Aussies, yes. without the Chinese who own your monster debt, no, not really.
posted by matteo at 4:07 PM on September 15, 2008


these sorts of churches have become the mainstream.

No, they haven't. Not by a long shot.

I do however agree that it's important to show tolerance for all faiths, and it would be really unwise to mock anyone based on what house of worship they go to. Fortunately, I'm not seeing either candidate openly or even subtley mock the faiths of others, so it's not really an issue.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:22 PM on September 15, 2008


# “First, I doubt she'll be ignorant.”

She is ignorant now. What do you think will change that in the next 7 or 8 weeks? From the NYT article:
Not deeply versed in policy, Ms. Palin skipped some candidate forums; at others, she flipped through hand-written, color-coded index cards strategically placed behind her nameplate.
She’ll be the Cliffs Notes version of Dick Cheney. Or, as I read earler today, she’ll be like Dick Cheney, only evil. And ignorant.
posted by ijoshua at 4:39 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


First, I doubt she'll be ignorant. Second, we women are very used to dealing with "sexist rat bastards" so, no problem.

I call bullshit. If Hillary Clinton had displayed a similarly ignorant response on a foreign policy question with a coquettish "What do you mean?", you'd be the first to say that she was unqualified to defend America.
posted by jonp72 at 4:40 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


"What do you mean?"

The line is "In what respect, Charlie?" Had she said something as honest as "what do you mean" when asked about something the meaning of which she could not produce, that would have been a much less mind-wrenchingly dismaying moment.
posted by cortex at 5:02 PM on September 15, 2008


Other than his famously being imprisoned by the Vietcong for almost six years, ...

psmealey, I'm going to correct this minor error with no condescencion or disrespect meant, just because it bothers me every time I see it and this is the first place I can respond :)

The Viet Cong (aka VC, Victor Charlie, Charlie) were the South Vietnamese communist army; it was their allies the North Vietnamese who captured and imprisoned McCain.

posted by nicwolff at 5:03 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I do however agree that it's important to show tolerance for all faiths, and it would be really unwise to mock anyone based on what house of worship they go to.

You sure about that? There are churches in the US and elsewhere, for instance, that have (and MOST had at one time) racial supremacy as a core belief.

Why is it that any other mode of philosophical thought is open to criticism except those that have some sort of invisible being floating on a cloud somewhere? (Well. Except Scientology.)

I'm sorry but religion does not get an automatic bye on mockery. Especially when the religious seem so keen on sectarian mocking— and killing— themselves.

When you set aside any identity group as beyond reproach you will inevitably get a fortress that shields corruption. It's the same scam with "patriotism." Only with an infallible God instead of the flag. There for it's potentially MORE dangerous.

And BTW people congratulations on yet again making another Palin/McCain thread about the frigg'n religious troll. Way to go.
posted by tkchrist at 5:16 PM on September 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sarah Palin's stated objective is to criminalize abortion so that a rape victim would be forced to bear her rapist's child.

It's also the Republican Party platform, which "will not allow for exceptions in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother."
posted by kirkaracha at 5:17 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


You sure about that? There are churches in the US and elsewhere, for instance, that have (and MOST had at one time) racial supremacy as a core belief.

Right, I'm not talking about The Church of Jesus Christ, Christian here. There are obvious exceptions. But I personally don't give a shit if people want to handle snakes, speak in tongues or run barefoot over hot coals as a part of their religious services. I was just trying to burn the "well the Dems better not mock the megachurch" strawman.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:21 PM on September 15, 2008


If the Democrats think insulting this group of individuals is a good thing

it's all about shame, with you, isn't it -- how big an inferiority complex you guys have? if the libruls are so cruel and misguided as you say they are, what the fuck you care about what they think about you? God knows I don't give a shit what you think of me -- if anything, I take your disapproval as a badge of honor.
posted by matteo at 5:22 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


The GOP insults a large group of Americans in its platform: thinking people.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:33 PM on September 15, 2008


non denominational tongue-talking mega-churches

Tongue-talkers aren't non-denominational, they're pentecostal.
posted by goo at 5:39 PM on September 15, 2008


So much for honesty, transparency and the 'rule of law:' McCain spokesman: Gov. Palin won't speak with 'Troopergate' investigator.
posted by ericb at 5:40 PM on September 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


If the Democrats think insulting this group of individuals is a good thing, they are making a major miscalculation. Because there are Democrats who go to these churches, and independents as well, who might not appreciate the characterization.

I agree. You know who said something similar?

"We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states."

See also: "I came to see my faith as being both a personal commitment to Christ and a commitment to my community...There are millions of Americans who share a similar view of their faith, who feel they have an obligation to help others."
posted by neroli at 5:41 PM on September 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


First, I doubt she'll be ignorant.

On what basis do you doubt it, konolia? She has been ignorant, and she is ignorant now; even if she's tutored, she lacks the independent lifelong interest in and study of foreign policy that makes a person not ignorant on this subject. She could parrot policy stances, but she would not be informed.

I'd love you to answer, seriously, but am not that optimistic since I'm still waiting for you to answer the question I asked above, about why you think Obama might not be able to improve the economy.

I wish you would answer the questions you get asked, because when you don't, you are vulnerable to the impression that you have no answers, that you just keep moving from point to point and never have to account for your statements, cite evidence, or report sources. It's definitely a time-honored strategy for the right, but it makes you seem evasive and/or ignorant. How about standing and squarely arguing for your points of view?
posted by Miko at 5:44 PM on September 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


...these sorts of churches have become the mainstream.

No, they haven't.


In the event that konolia didn't click on Marisa Stole the Precious Thing's link, let me highlight the facts/statistics:
1. Roman Catholic Church: 67.2 million.
2. Southern Baptist Convention: 16.4 million.
3. United Methodist Church: 8.2 million.
4. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 5.5 million.
5. Church of God in Christ: 5.4 million.
6. National Baptist Convention USA: 5 million.
7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: 4.9 million.
8. National Baptist Convention of America: 3.5 million.
9. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): 3.2 million.
10. Assemblies of God: 2.7 million.
What say you, konolia, in response?
posted by ericb at 5:44 PM on September 15, 2008


Anybody who is following "Troopergate" should read this piece by Alaska congressman Les Gara. It really gets at what's important here--not so much Palin's ethical lapse, but the insane counter-reaction to the investigation by the the McCain camp.

Until August 29 "Troopergate" was a small state investigation Governor Palin, and every Republican and Democrat in a Republican-led Legislature, had agreed was appropriate. But things changed the day Governor Palin joined the McCain ticket. His handlers went ballistic that the Governor agreed to an investigation they now needed to stop.

[...]

I don't begrudge the Governor for not liking her brother-in-law. I don't really like him either, from what I've read. I do begrudge those who'd attack Commissioner Monegan, a quintessential public servant who's worked for both Republican and Democratic heads on the state and local level.

I stood on the sidelines when this investigation started. When Governor Palin fired Commissioner Monegan, my advice was to end the flap and just hire him back. He does good work. He's well respected. Unfortunately, my advice sometimes isn't that good, and the Governor didn't agree.

Then McCain's staff of outsiders came to town. And they began to launch personal attacks on people I respect. They started proving that the same old politics that have caused dissatisfaction with Washington insiders these past eight years are going to be the bread and butter of the McCain campaign.


posted by neroli at 6:12 PM on September 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


What say you, konolia, in response?

What do you think?

She will never "respond." At least not to, or with, facts. Okay. She will only regurgitate the same ol' goofy emotional nonsense. I think we have established that by now.

Jeebus you guys.

I tell you what. Why don't we just put together a Magic Eight Ball script of Konolia responses for you and have it automatically trigger when ever the post tags have Palin, McCain, Obama, or Religion in them. It will save us all a great deal of time.

Can we just ignore her on these topics? PLEASE.
posted by tkchrist at 6:17 PM on September 15, 2008


Go back and google where the church growth is.

What do you mean?"

The line is "In what respect, Charlie?" Had she said something as honest as "what do you mean" when asked about something the meaning of which she could not produce, that would have been a much less mind-wrenchingly dismaying moment.
posted by cortex at 8:02 PM on September 15 [+] [!]


She had it right the first time. There are at least four versions of the Bush Doctrine. And again, Obama was asked the same question last year, and did not give the same answer Charlie did. So is Obama stupid or is Charlie just playing gotcha with a moveable question?

Tongue-talkers aren't non-denominational, they're pentecostal.

Goo, there are two types of "tongue-talkers." Pentecostal (to include but not limited to Assembly of God) and Charismatics, to include both denominational and nondenominational types. I personally am nondenominational and have been a member of two different nondenominational churches. Both were charismatic in doctrine-as are many if not most nondenominational fellowships. And yes, I do speak in tongues. So does my pastor. So do a lot of folks at my church. But not in front of YOU.

I'd love you to answer, seriously, but am not that optimistic since I'm still waiting for you to answer the question I asked above, about why you think Obama might not be able to improve the economy.

Because he will wreck it with his particular health care plan, and other spending plans. He will tax the heck out of businesses, or try to, which will not be conducive to growing jobs or to growth in the economy. He promises tax cuts, and I believe he thinks he can offer them, but in the meantime, the businesses that provide the paychecks the taxpayers are taxed ON won't be doing so well. His vision of expanded government is not my vision. My vision is for people to be cared for by the private sector, by people who know what they are doing and can do it cost-effectively, not by a bloated government bureocracy. My parents used to work for the government, and I understand quite well just how much of our taxes are wasted by a system that operates on other people's money.

And for those calling Palin ignorant?

I haven't heard Hillary do it yet.
posted by konolia at 6:24 PM on September 15, 2008


Hockey Moms for Truth. Palin gets Hockey Mommed.
posted by schyler523 at 6:26 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


And for those calling Palin ignorant?

I haven't heard Hillary do it yet.


There's a good reason for that. If Hillary Clinton attacks Palin directly, Chris Matthews will practically drool all over himself to create a media sideshow about an alleged Clinton/Palin "catfight." The carnivalesque nature of media coverage of the presidential election would even get further and further away from any discussion of reality.
posted by jonp72 at 6:33 PM on September 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


And for those calling Palin ignorant?

I haven't heard Hillary do it yet.


Hillary is not the only woman in politics. Debbie Wasserman Schultz from Florida certainly had plenty to say on Face the Nation yesterday:

She really knew very little about domestic policy. Quite honestly, the interview that I saw and that Americans saw on Thursday and Friday were similar to when I didn't read a book in high school and had to read the Cliffs Notes and phone in my -- and phone in my report. She's Cliff-noted her performance so far, and all of that is fair game. The American people deserve better than that. They don't deserve more of the same, which is what they're getting from John McCain and Sarah Palin right now.
posted by neroli at 6:35 PM on September 15, 2008


What does Hillary Clinton have to do with any of this? I’m offended at the notion that some comparison can be drawn between her and Palin.
posted by ijoshua at 6:35 PM on September 15, 2008


*WARNING: tkchrist, skip to the next comment*

Go back and google where the church growth is.

Ha! This is fun.

We don't need to Google, because on the same page I posted is this table, where you can see that church adherence per denomination has been more or less stable with two exceptions - Southern Baptists and smaller Protestant groups, who've lost members. So, mainstream? No, and not approaching it, either.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:36 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


(By the way, Schultz and Claire McCaskill are totally kicking ass out there on the stump and the interview shows. Worth watching.)
posted by neroli at 6:39 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


My vision is for people to be cared for by the private sector, by people who know what they are doing and can do it cost-effectively

So how do you deal with the fact that private sector has utterly failed to do this? That this vision doesn't work - or it would have done so already, having had now 30+ years of a free market in which to do it?

By the way, Obama is not looking to expand government, but actually to cut programs using a line-item review. Bush (with help from senators like McCain) has led the federal government through an unpredecedented expansion - actually, a ballooining - which is drawing more heavily on the tax base than we can sustain. McCain's continued work in this direction sounds like it would be exactly antithetical to what you wish to see.

It's hard to see how increased taxation on the top earners and on major corporations is going to hurt job creation. they've been getting a free ride for eight years at least, and where are all the jobs they've created? Mostly overseas!We're hitting the bottom - we were promised jobs "created" by the openings of box stores and service outlets. Well, those jobs were not created, they were substitutes for displaced, better manufacturing and skilled jobs that were allowed to leave this country for other shores. They existed only as long as enough cash was circulating for Americans to continue shopping - now that the house of cards of our economy is falling in -- we're in a trade deficit! We don't make anything! We don't export anything! -- there are no further resources to draw upon. No one can go shopping to support the newly "created" jobs in the new service and retail economy, because there are fewer and fewer customers with the wherewithal to shop, every single day, People are losing their homes. And you think the solution is to extend business even more permission to divest and pull profits away from the economy? Asking corporations to return their fair share to a polity in which they benefit from a literate American workforce and publicly funded infrastructure is only appropriate. We need some new ideas. The same old, same old ancient Reagan idea has shown, over 30 years, that it totally fails to build a strong and sustainable American iconomy. It just doesn't work. I know it's an idea people really loved, but it just doesn't work for Americans. That economic model doesn't take care of our nation. There is no way the private sector can meet the needs of people who are unable to buy what it offers for sale, konolia.

There are at least four versions of the Bush Doctrine.

Can you provide a link describing these four versions? Never heard this one before, and I'd be interested to see someone list them.

And again, Obama was asked the same question last year, and did not give the same answer Charlie did. So is Obama stupid or is Charlie just playing gotcha with a moveable question?


Anda again, can you show us the source in which Obama was asked the same question, so that we can see and evaluate for ourselves what his answer was and whether or not it was more informed than Palin's? You were asked that yesterday and failed to provide a cite.
posted by Miko at 6:40 PM on September 15, 2008 [9 favorites]


Palin purchased $35,000 tanning bed to install in the Alaska governor's mansion. Pioneer woman, huh?
posted by jonp72 at 6:41 PM on September 15, 2008


“Can you provide a link describing these four versions?”

Charles Krauthammer’s WaPo editorial.
posted by ijoshua at 6:45 PM on September 15, 2008


Ijoshua beat me to it.
posted by konolia at 6:48 PM on September 15, 2008


Obama: Clinton Would Continue "Bush Doctrine"
Share July 26, 2007 11:21 AM

ABC News' Rick Klein Reports: Sen. Barack Obama lobbed another verbal grenade at Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday, continuing a feud that first erupted at Monday night's Democratic presidential debate.

In a conference call with reporters, Obama said Clinton would continue the "Bush doctrine" of only speaking to leaders of rogue nations if they first meet conditions laid out by the United States. He went on to suggest that being "trapped by a lot of received wisdom" led members of Congress -- including Clinton -- to authorize the war in Iraq.

"The Bush administration's policy is to say that he will not talk with these countries unless they meet various preconditions -- that's their explicit policy, and that was the question that was posed at the debate," Obama said. "This is the assertion that she made during the debate and subsequently, was that she would not meet with various leaders unless certain preconditions were met. Now, if that's not what she means, then she should say so, but that was the question that was posed at the debate."

posted by konolia at 6:50 PM on September 15, 2008


My Catholic Faith Pushes Me To Obama:

At last, I realized that to be a good Catholic had nothing to do with being a good Republican, and that in fact there is a proud tradition of a Catholic Left. And so someone smashed in my car window and ripped off my "What would Jesus bomb?" bumper sticker, my small protest
against the Iraq war. My peers called my house "the liberal nest of sin." At parties people sometimes asked me how I could even call myself a Catholic.

It is those voices that I hear again in the enthusiasm over "pro-life" Gov. Sarah Palin, whose views on criminalizing abortion seem to trump her well-documented personal record of corrupt and cronyistic bullying. So for those of you who insist on being "single issue"
voters this election, I suggest that you may do well to dig under the tired rhetoric of Republicans feverishly seeking your votes and consider the following.

Why, in 12 years of a Republican-controlled Congress (1994-2006), 6 of which with a supposedly pro-life Republican President (2001-2007), has no human life amendment to outlaw abortion come up for a vote? Could it be that the GOP may have some motivating interest in keeping abortion legal indefinitely as an issue to galvanize voters at election time, winning Republicans easy
votes?

And if you actually want to reduce abortions, you may do well to note the findings in the 2008 study by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, showing the role that economic factors have on the decision to abort, and also how addressing those factors actually reduces abortions.

If, after all this, you still want to vote for Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin - well, then, by all means do. Freedom of conscience is an important aspect of the Catholic teaching, too. But please stop acting like it's the only authentically "Catholic" way to vote; even the U.S. bishops disagree.

posted by schyler523 at 6:52 PM on September 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


C'mon, the "four versions" thing is disingenuous. She didn't ask: "Well, which of the four versions that have been enunciated do you mean?" She said, "His world view?"

It was obvious that she didn't have a friggin' clue what was being discussed.

Please. You can do better.
posted by neroli at 6:53 PM on September 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yeah. Still bullshit. The third one is the only one that means anything to anyone; the fact that Krauthammer floated the phrase about the Kyoto protocol has little relation to what is called the Bush Doctrine today - the only one the Bush administration itself uses. In any case, it's fairly pathetic justification for what was clearly a caught-out, disingenuous confusion on the part of Palin.

After all, she didn't say "Which Bush Doctrine are you referring to, Charles - the one posed by Charles Krauthammer with regard to the Kyoto accords, the initial response to 9/11, the policy of preventive strikes against foregn combatants, or the overarching strategy of enforcing democracy worldwide?" that would be an informed response.

"In what respect, Charlie?" was a buying of time and fishing for hints on a question she thoroughly did not understand.

So I'm looking forward to the responses to my other questions, too. If you need another 24 hours to ask around and look some stuff up, go for it.
posted by Miko at 6:55 PM on September 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


500 comments? Does someone have a greatest hits summary or wiki to sum up the most telling nuggets? Attention-grabbing stuff that can't be interpreted away?
posted by NortonDC at 6:55 PM on September 15, 2008


The republican response to Palin's lack of knowledge of the bush doctrine is laughable. Every politician was able to answer the "do you believe in the bush doctrine" before her and now it's suddenly confusing. The power doctrine isn't anything Colin Powell ever said, the Monroe Doctrine isn't any idea Monroe every articulated, and the Bush Doctrine has a pretty stable meaning.

But now that Palin illustrated she doesn't even recognize the term, it's suddenly a confusing every shifting mishmash of everything Bush ever thought.

The republicans behave as they always do, when things don't go their way, they just bend reality to their will. Of course, Hillary did the same thing, trying to claim that Obama was never a war opponent, that she was shot at in Bosnia, etc. It's obnoxious behavior from any candidate.
posted by delmoi at 6:58 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


My vision is for people to be cared for by the private sector, by people who know what they are doing and can do it cost-effectively, not by a bloated government bureocracy.

It has been repeatedly cited on this blog that state-based single payer health care is substantially more cost effective than the health care in the private sector.

New England Journal of Medicine:
In 1999, health administration costs totaled at least $294.3 billion in the United States, or $1,059 per capita, as compared with $307 per capita in Canada. After exclusions, administration accounted for 31.0 percent of health care expenditures in the United States and 16.7 percent of health care expenditures in Canada. Canada's national health insurance program had overhead of 1.3 percent; the overhead among Canada's private insurers was higher than that in the United States (13.2 percent vs. 11.7 percent). Providers' administrative costs were far lower in Canada.
Note that's 1.3 percent for overhead for the "inefficient" government health care -- and between 11.7 and 13.2 percent for the private sector.

Now, if you wanted to point out that the patchwork proposal put forth by the Democrats isn't as cost efficient as just having a proper National Health Care system, that would be a good point. Except that the Republicans have offered no solution to the health care crisis in the US, so patchwork is the best you are being offered.

But don't pass on lies about so-called "bloated government bureocracy". Sure, your parents saw waste. No system is perfect. But it's absolutely false to claim that the private sector is any more efficient when it is substantially less cost-effective.
posted by jb at 7:04 PM on September 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Catholic: 50,873,000ppl = 24.5% of US population
Baptist: 33,830,000ppl = 16.3% pop
Methodist: 14,150,000ppl = 6.8% pop
Lutheran : 9,580,000ppl = 4.6% pop
Presbyterian: 5,596,000ppl = 2.7% pop
Pentecostal/Charismatic/Foursquare: 4,407,000 = 2.1%
Population of USA: 207,980,000
The USA may be a Christian nation, but it's a distinctly Catholic nation, with only one other significantly-numbered variant of the Christian faith.

Every non-Catholic, non-Baptist faith counts among multitudes of miniscule minorities. Pentacostals are a very noisy, very fringe group.

They're also probably a lot like the MetaFilter cultural subgroup. They have an echo chamber environment, too; and like us, they think they're way more important to the interests and direction of the IRL ("in real life") world. Just like the Frothing Pentmaticsquares, we occassionally make IRL media news. Just like us, we get into heavy discussion about the political scene. Not quite like us, they think God is damning the USA. Maybe that makes Bush God's tool.

Anyhoo, point being that if you Catholics, alone, get out the vote, your numbers of newly-registered voters would dwarf the entire population of theocratic wannabes.

Someone should tell the media.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:27 PM on September 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Four versions of The Bush Doctrine, and Palin didn't know anything about any of them.

"Yes, Sarah Palin didn't know what it is."
--Charles Krauthammer

Then came 9/11, and that notion was immediately superseded by the advent of the war on terror. In his address to the joint session of Congress nine days after 9/11, President Bush declared: "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." This "with us or against us" policy regarding terror -- first deployed against Pakistan when Secretary of State Colin Powell gave President Musharraf that seven-point ultimatum to end support for the Taliban and support our attack on Afghanistan -- became the essence of the Bush doctrine.

Obama clearly understands this aspect of The Bush Doctrine, as is clear from the link konolia posted above.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:27 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


It has been repeatedly cited on this blog that state-based single payer health care is substantially more cost effective than the health care in the private sector.

Bah. Those are just facts, and facts have a well-known liberal bias.
posted by homunculus at 7:29 PM on September 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the cite on the "confusing" doctrine. I'm just as happy to agree that it has meant general "Bush policy" at some times and specific policy at others - but never "His worldview?"

I can understand the tactics it takes to defend a struggling pol that you want to stand up for. What I fail to understand is Why? to what end? Is it really worth it, in the minds of right-wingers, to go to the mat for a weak and inexperienced politician and an aged, hypocritical, and worn-out politician, just to get them in a position where they will continue to bankrupt the public trust and run the country into the ground? How will McCain's and Palin's defenders sleep comfortably, retire comfortably, celebrate Thanksgiving comfortably, when they know they've supported policies that are going to bankrupt their own children and grandchildren? When they know that they're daily mounting up a federal debt that makes less cash available for building our own economy? When every day under these economic policies means fewer student loans, higher fuel and grocery prices, less likelihood that your children or grandchildren will own homes, or that they'll be able to afford a dental visit for their kids, or enter the military with the expectation of benefits and pension?

It's awfully hard to argue that privatization is working, and that corporate welfare and policies that benefit the top 1% of the wealthiest in the country at the rest of our expense, are working for America. If it were true, the evidence would be on that side. We don't have the evidence. We have an economy that is circling the drain, families struggling to balance the needs for food, heating oil, gas, and education, and an enormously fat and swelled budget deficit that gets worse every year. Looking at that, you have to know if it doesn't stop your kids can kiss social security and college loans goodbye. Government pensions will have to go. Health care through employers will have to go - we'll all have to buy on the private market, and even more than the current 1 out of 7 of us will go uninsured. I'm just not sure how you can claim you have the best interests of America at heart, the best interests of your children's and granchildren's futures at heart, the most patriotic values of our founding fathers at heart....and still vote Republican. They just don't go together. If there was ever a time to let the old stories go, it's now.
posted by Miko at 7:31 PM on September 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


...forgot to mention, while the percentages reflect the proportion of people who self-identify as belonging to religion X, only half are so faithful as to attend church.

America is no where as religious as it thinks it is. Only about one in three people is going to church regularly. The two-thirds should wake up to that.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:33 PM on September 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


How will McCain's and Palin's defenders sleep comfortably, retire comfortably, celebrate Thanksgiving comfortably, when they know they've supported policies that are going to bankrupt their own children and grandchildren?

Well, hopefully you'll have taken a photo of their house and yard, proudly displaying the election sign for the disaster they helped put into power.

And you'll make sure that photo gets into their mailbox every month.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:35 PM on September 15, 2008


So is Obama stupid or is Charlie just playing gotcha with a moveable question?

Obama is not stupid. "Charlie" isn't playing gotcha. He's doing his job. He's a journalist who asked a question-- a question which, when Palin was unable to answer, revealed the deep ignorance of a person running for national office.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:35 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


MikeMc writes "Now, maybe things have changed since the last time I drove into Canada but those guys wanted to see my cash, credit cards (WTF???) and all sorts of shit."

US customs always asks me to _prove_ I'm not moving to the states to work. How do you prove something like that?
posted by Mitheral at 7:36 PM on September 15, 2008


I just keep hoping, as you all do, your fellow countrymen will surprise us all in November. I am watching the race quite fervently, as you all are doing; and can't help but think of the national election that was held here last year. Obviously there are many mitigating factors that clearly distinguish the race here then and your race there now, but I can't help seeing a few general similar aspects between what happened here and what is happening there:

In the red corner, arch conservative John Howard. In power, old old dude, and in favour of the status quo which he himself had worked hard to implement. Anti-immigration, anti-Kyoto, pro-Iraq, pro-Bush, deregulated and privatised everything in sight. Most assuredly our version of a Republican politician.

In the blue corner, young progressive star of the labor party Kevin Rudd. Chats to Hu Jin Tao in fluent Mandarin. Promises change. Promises to ratify Kyoto and getting working on climate change issues. Promises education reforms. Promises to reverse the recent industrial relations reforms of the Howard government (this was probably the deciding issue on the election, but I digress.)

It was a hard fought election. The claws were out every step of the way. It got ugly. No one was sure which way the people would sway.

The result? Rudd won in a fucking landslide. Howard lost so badly he lost his own seat in Parliament and promptly retired.

I offer up this post as a glimmer of hope. Wishful thinking yes, but my fellow citizens suprised me, and yours may suprise you. Keep the faith, Obama will make it.
posted by nudar at 7:43 PM on September 15, 2008 [9 favorites]


McCain’s Pathological Lying Creating a Cottage Industry
posted by homunculus at 7:49 PM on September 15, 2008


Christian Science Monitor Editorial Board: Palin’s “whatever it takes” attitude is “the same amoral existentialism that terrorists use.”
posted by ijoshua at 8:15 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


500 comments? Does someone have a greatest hits summary or wiki to sum up the most telling nuggets? Attention-grabbing stuff that can't be interpreted away?
posted by NortonDC


See here.
posted by Sailormom at 8:24 PM on September 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


tkchrist, could you get off the cross, please? I know konolia responds a certain way. She's not my audience. If I had great beefs with her, I'd take it to MeMail. Tons of people are lurking and watching to see how we respond to her and people like her. If we're going to say we're the grownups, we're going to need to act like it.

konolia, I really wish you'd research more than townhall.com. You've gotten all kinds of links and leads here. You're not the only kind of conservative out there.

posted by lysdexic at 8:25 PM on September 15, 2008


Only about one in three people is going to church regularly.

While the remaining two-thirds are fags, liberals, hippies and "ne'er do wells" who are going out for elitist brunches in "cosmopolitan" cafés (yes, my inclusion of the acute accent [accent aigu] is intentional. "Look at me, I'm using a French word!").
posted by ericb at 8:26 PM on September 15, 2008


I am surprised at the effort people make to maintain disingenuous arguments, which must somehow be self-deceptive or disingenuous beliefs. Palin has really triggered a festival of disingenuousness. I was struck by this watching Bill Maher last week, when John Fund was on the panel (along with Salman Rushdie and Janine Garofalo). At one point, Maher really nailed it when he said, after laying in to Palin's obvious level of ignorance, uncuriousness, and lack of experience, that he might be a snob for disdaining this champion of the little people, but Fund and his GOP elite buddies were worse because they could sit there spinning her "qualifications" (with bullshit like Krauthammer's "four Bush doctrines") while in real life they would never meet with such a person or take her seriously were she not a vice presidential candidate, and then he brought it home by pointing out that being disingenuous means you think the people you're trying to convince are *stupid.* And that is far more condescending and "elitist" than calling ignorance or dishonesty what it is, no matter what sort of person it comes from, but especially when it comes from a person who will be, as they say, one 72-year old heartbeat away from the fucking nuclear launch codes.

If you honestly believe Sarah Palin parsed Gibson's question and was trying to refine which of several "Bush doctrines" he might have meant, after seeing that clip, then either you are very easily fooled or you are disingenuous, or both. There have to be reasonable standards of evidence, and there's no way to interpret her comment in context, and especially given all the other evidence that she is paper thin with respect to experience or knowledge of the world beyond Wasilla and Juneau, as evincing anything other than a failure to remember one of her flash cards.

Lay down with liars and you wake up with people like Bush and a situation like the one we're in now in this country.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:30 PM on September 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


She had it right the first time. There are at least four versions of the Bush Doctrine.

Yeah, I read that Washington Post oped too, konolia. She didn't have anything right, no matter how much post hoc handwaving someone feels like doing re: what the Bush Doctrine was meant to refer to—she had no idea how to answer Gibson's question, and instead of acknowledging that she bluffed, badly. It would be an embarrassing thing to see from a mayor, but from the potential VP of the US it's absolutely wretched. It's gutting.

You've been a mother; you've watched your own children lie, badly, as they grew up and grappled with truth and truth-telling. You're not blind. I have a hell of a time believe you actually watched that interview and could not see the desperate hope on her part to lie her way out of admitting ignorance there.
posted by cortex at 8:36 PM on September 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


Wow.
posted by agregoli at 8:46 PM on September 15, 2008


Sarah Palin Interview -- "Bush Doctrine." [video | 01:05].
posted by ericb at 8:46 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin, The Bush Doctrine, and Why It's Smart To Be Dumb
“It's one of the most cringe-worthy moments in recent American political history:

‘Do you believe in the Bush Doctrine?’

The awkward pause, then the smug, patronizing comeback.

‘In what respect, Charlie?’

Charlie Gibson, taken aback, perhaps realizing that this is The Moment for which he'll be known for the rest of his career.

‘The Bush -- w-w-well, what do you interpret it to be?’

And then the painful, filibustering non-answer that I can hardly bear to watch without feeling embarrassed for Sarah Palin, John McCain, and this great nation of ours.

I'm not saying that every American besides Governor Palin knows what the Bush Doctrine is. Hell, I wasn't sure I knew what it was until Charlie Gibson confirmed it for me. But then again, I'm not a Republican governor who's running for national office.

Now, if Joe Biden had said this on national TV, the election would be over. Obama would either be calling Hillary Clinton and begging her to take over the #2 slot or he'd be busy getting to work on his concession speech.

But these are the Republicans, they of vaunted attack machines and vast right-wing conspiracies. Masters of spin, purveyors of semi-libelous commercials, wizards of righteous indignation and instigators of class warfare. If Sarah Palin doesn't know what the Bush Doctrine is, well, my goodness, neither do a lot of hardworking, God-fearing hockey moms out there in the heartland. They don't have time to read those fancy city newspapers with lots of big words explaining the Bush Doctrine. They're not eggheads like Barack Obama and Joe Biden, those elitist intellectuals who sit around studying doctrines while raising taxes on hardworking Americans like you and me.

You think Governor Palin is going to waste her time reading books about the Bush Doctrine? No, she's busy with the responsibilities that come with being governor of the great state of Alaska. She's got moose to field-dress, bridges to nowhere to say ‘No’ to, jets to sell on eBay. Maybe community organizers have the time to talk about the Bush Doctrine. But Sarah Palin's too busy trying to reform Washington. By way of Alaska.

Before long, Obama and Biden will have to defend themselves against accusations that they're smart. They'll start claiming that they not only didn't know what the Bush Doctrine is but that they were unaware that Bush was even president. ‘We thought we were running against his father,’ they'll say. ‘We were too busy going to church and shooting animals and saying 'No' to lobbyists to pay attention to any of that Washington election nonsense. Hell, we don't even know how to read.’

And the election will become about who's dumber and more ignorant.

And you know which party's going to win that one.”
posted by ericb at 8:50 PM on September 15, 2008 [11 favorites]


I am surprised at the effort people make to maintain disingenuous arguments, which must somehow be self-deceptive or disingenuous beliefs.

Well put, and it's a pretty risky tack to take, too - because if you wish to defend Palin's ignorance or McCain's dishonesty, you have to act like you don't perceive it - which means the rest of the world, watching you, has to conclude that you are either also hopelessly dimwitted not to perceive something so abundantly clear, or that you are so cynical about other voters that you think they can't tell that you don't believe in what you're saying.

But in the case of two candidates this egregiously bad, it's really hard to do that much convincing, so the only conclusion that makes sense is that the most important thing in the minds of the defenders is just protecting the status quo.

This is where the old directive "Don't piss on my leg and try to tell me it's raining" comes in.
posted by Miko at 8:51 PM on September 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Howdy Miko -- good to run into you here

Yeah, I left out the word Stewart used to counter Fund's sputtering about it being "elitist" to laugh or be appalled at Palin's ignorance. That word was "cynic."

And like Maher, I'd rather be an elitist than a cynic. And after 8 years of cynical leadership which came to power by trashing intelligence as '"elitism," I'm still going to bet the American people have this one figured out, and will get back to realizing it as soon as the lipstick wears off the pig.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:55 PM on September 15, 2008


My vision is for people to be cared for by the private sector

the private sector doesn't exist to take care of people, it exists to make money - if only they could manage that

by people who know what they are doing and can do it cost-effectively

and here we come to the most pernicious myth of the last 30 years - that these people in the private sector know what they are doing and they can do it cost-effectively

really? is GM doing that? what about bear stearns? lehmann? merrill lynch? enron? aig? freddie mac and fannie may? what about the people i work for?

i have news for you - i've observed those people close up and they DON'T know what they're doing and they DON'T do it cost-effectively and the entire economy is being run by MBA know-nothing, experienced-little people who, instead of having to make something work, fudge the figures and shove the responsibility on to the next guy, who does the same

it's a myth - and it's a myth that is just about ready to bite us fully and savagely where we sit down - our whole country - our whole system - our whole private sector is being run by incompetents and fools and they are running out of cheats to cover up their confusion and lack of ability - and they are the same people who are the business base of the republican party

how odd that you place your faith in the works of man like that ...


not by a bloated government bureocracy.

the private sector is full of bloated bureaucracy too - it's just that no one writes newspaper exposes about it
posted by pyramid termite at 9:10 PM on September 15, 2008 [19 favorites]


and while i'm ranting let me say something else - that saying that we should render to caesar what is caesar's and render unto god what is god's

well what do you do when caesar wants it all?

i know what much of the evangelical church and republican party has done - they've given it all to caesar and pretended they were giving it to god

god's not fooled
posted by pyramid termite at 9:14 PM on September 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


I really, really, really hope all of the Dems here (or anti-McCain/Palin types) will be helping drive the votes for Obama when it comes time. Because if not, all of your wailing and gnashing of teeth over the GOP ticket will be for naught, and in future others may wonder why you were wasting your time here instead of knocking on doors and getting people out to crush the GOP.

In the meantime, I'll be helping my incumbent MP remain in power, even if I think the PM and the Minister of Industry need to be punched in the neck a few times each.
posted by illiad at 9:15 PM on September 15, 2008


This is how you win elections, everybody.
posted by neroli at 9:16 PM on September 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


A longtime McCain fan has had enough.

the John McCain of old is unrecognizable. He has become the sort of politician he once despised.

posted by Bookhouse at 9:17 PM on September 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Miko for US Prez. And I think a committee of various MeFites for VP and her cabinet.
(Heck, I don't get to vote in your election, but I can pick my own dream-team, can't I?)
And what nudar said at 5.43 am. I worked on the Rudd election campaign in my small way, and I was really worried that the stupid people would all vote Howard in yet again (we have compulsory voting here ...) and the media were backing up my perceptions of just how daft the electorate could be. Seems I underestimated my fellow Australian citizens. I can only hope that your sensible voters do the same for the US.
posted by Megami at 9:24 PM on September 15, 2008


I'd rather be an elitist than a cynic.

And not only that (of the two, at least one is genuine and principled!), but I'm also done tacitly letting the "elitist" tag get thrown out there. It's absolutely ridiculous to call people elitist for having the common sense God gave geese. And again, it's a distraction technique. Who are the real elitists? An "elite" is a group of people with some outstanding characteristic - "elitism" means that you believe people with that characteristic should govern. Who's the elite in this scenario? The conservatives have just as many Ivy League degrees as the liberals in this world. The key difference is that they also have the vast bulk of the wealth - and that's the elite we need to be talking about. They run in circles and utter cries about lattes and Volvos and arugula, hoping to call enough names of others to distract us from the fact that they are the true elite, the private-jet and sports-team owners, the oil barons, the country-club and golf club members, the back-room deal-makers, the ones who could hop a quick flight to a third or fourth home in Outer Fabulosia if things took a nasty turn in the US, and let the rest of us eat cake. They want to talk about the elite? I'd love to. Bring it on, folks: let's talk about the elite. Let's talk about what an elite really is, and who's in it. And guess what? When it comes to the elite Bush, Cheney, McCain, and Co. have a lifetime membershipn in, a couple of liberal Chicago lawyers making a few hundred grand a year are no way wealthy or connected enough to be in it.
posted by Miko at 9:25 PM on September 15, 2008 [28 favorites]


OMG DID YOU JUST COMPARE SARAH PALIN TO A GOOSE? NEXT YOU'LL BE PUTTING LIPSTICK ON THE GOOSE OH THE HUMANITY OH NOES!
posted by Artw at 9:27 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


America is sick of polish.

America is sick of Ivy League theorists spinning their vast and glorious plans by way of the fawning media machine.

What America wants-at least the America I know:

An end to corruption in politics.

An end to government waste.

An end to Washington business-as-usual.

And they are desperate enough to get the above that they are willing to take a chance on a lipstick-wearing, beehive sporting, mooseburger-eating, mother of five who only a few short years ago was just in the PTA.

THAT IS HOW UTTERLY DESPERATE THE AVERAGE AMERICAN IS.

There is a saying in the Bible; that to a hungry man even the bitter tastes sweet.

The America I know?

Is THAT DESPERATE.

McCain? A grumpy old man whose main attraction is that he isn't a Democrat. But that grumpy old man knew exactly what so many Americans were desperate for. And that grumpy old man, who has been to hell and back, who really doesn't give a rat's hiney what anyone thinks anymore, had the utter gall, the chutzpah, the cojones, to go up to Alaska and do the one thing no one ever dreamed he'd do.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I guess we'll see how it turns out, in November.
posted by konolia at 9:53 PM on September 15, 2008


There are at least four versions of the Bush Doctrine.

Ah, yes, the Charles "Pompous Ass" Krauthammer talking point. Very good, konolia, you've gotten the memo. And it would work, too, konolia, had not every informed person listening to the interview known exactly what Gibson was referring to. Everyone knew, including you, konolia, were you not too disingenuous to admit it. But, nice trykonolia; it's sweet the way you come to her defense, because, baby, she needs it. She's a boob, konolia, who just happens to parrot your favorite lines.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:03 PM on September 15, 2008


A grumpy old man whose main attraction is that he isn't a Democrat. But that grumpy old man knew exactly what so many Americans were desperate for. And that grumpy old man, who has been to hell and back, who really doesn't give a rat's hiney what anyone thinks anymore, had the utter gall, the chutzpah, the cojones, to go up to Alaska and do the one thing no one ever dreamed he'd do.

A grumpy old man that rolled over and let the more conniving operatives in his party choose Palin? More proof he doesn't have the cojones, isn't it?
Really konolia, you are saying this like it is a good thing. Really?
posted by Megami at 10:05 PM on September 15, 2008


doesn't give a rat's hiney what anyone thinks anymore

That just seems less and less true with every passing day.
posted by Artw at 10:05 PM on September 15, 2008


...that grumpy old man, who has been to hell and back, who really doesn't give a rat's hiney what anyone thinks anymore...

Keep believing that if you want to. I really feel like, as of today, Obama and Biden have figured out to tell a different story about John McCain--a truer story, in my opinion. They've found their words.

John McCain, like Bush before him, has managed to package his style in way that speaks to a lot of people: yeah, he's that great no-bullshit old guy at the bar, the uncle at Thanksgiving who tells dirty jokes and war stories. And it's effective because everybody knows that guy.

But he's not your salty uncle--he's your boss. He's the worst boss you ever had at the crappiest job you ever worked. He's the boss with the shiny new car who acted like a pal when he hired you, then made you work overtime, kept your tips, called you a fuck-up, then fired you the first time you called in sick.

Everybody knows that guy, too. And that's why I think Obama can win.
posted by neroli at 10:06 PM on September 15, 2008 [10 favorites]


Look, I know Americans are fond of the desperate last stand using unexpected methods against overwhelming odds that somehow succeeds - it is a time-honored trope of war films and Friday night Disney family movies. Desperate last stands in the real world happen because one side is losing so badly they will do anything to stay alive. Mostly they go on to lose.

Everyone in "the America you know" wants the heartwarming story of a small-town kid/scout leader/hockey mom who suddenly has to go to the big city/become senator/run for the vice-presidency, and after all the snotty city kids/press corps/librul media beat down on them a bit for Being The N00b, they suddenly Remember Their Roots and school everyone with their folksy wit/idealistic filibustering/moose rifle.

Unfortunately, Hollywood isn't "the America you know" either.
posted by casarkos at 10:10 PM on September 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


An end to corruption in politics.

An end to government waste.


I lol'd, because those two seem to do a decent job of describing Sarah Palin's record.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:11 PM on September 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


had...the cojones, to go up to Alaska

I think McCain had Palin *flown* down to the lower 48, actually.

The scenario you describe rings a bell -- some movie, I think. It sounds like ad copy pitched for a made-for-tv/miniseries voice-over.
posted by skyper at 10:12 PM on September 15, 2008


I have no illusions about McCain.

I personally know a woman who used to babysit his three oldest kids. Nuff said.
posted by konolia at 10:18 PM on September 15, 2008


America has been here before and elected a rough man of the people, Andrew Jackson, and he was one of our worst presidents ever. I'll take the Columbia and Harvard educated Obama over miss multiple colleges and senator dementia any day.
posted by caddis at 10:19 PM on September 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am surprised at the effort people make to maintain disingenuous arguments, which must somehow be self-deceptive or disingenuous beliefs. Palin has really triggered a festival of disingenuousness. I was struck by this watching Bill Maher last week, when John Fund was on the panel

I just finished watching that episode (Real.Time.With.Bill.Maher.S11E03) and it was great.

John Fund looked to me like a man who is going to develop an internal cancer. His body language was so unhealthy and the way he worked so very, very hard to pull off a complete 180° so as to not lose face... wow. That sort of behaviour is not healthy.

I hope American citizens do their duty and vote in droves. This is one election where it is really going to count.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:21 PM on September 15, 2008


What America wants-at least the America I know:

An end to corruption in politics.


Konolia, you and I couldn't agree more. We are nearing the end of eight years of possibly the most corrupt administration in our country's history. I sure hope the next guy doesn't bring in the same old people to continue the party! (Hint: if you're thinking McCain is the guy who will break it up, just look at who has been staffing his campaign...)

An end to government waste.

Ditto. Namely, bloating of the government in the form of questionable, intractable war(s) is the chiefest waste of them all. It's like, what, a billion dollars a day now? And how many lives? Not to mention the credibility of our leadership as a nation is pretty much in the toilet because we don't listen to our allies or the global community anymore.

An end to Washington business-as-usual.

Agreeing more and more. I think one sure way you can tell how a person will lead when they are in office is how they campaign to get there. It's really revealing.

And they are desperate enough to get the above that they are willing to take a chance on a lipstick-wearing, beehive sporting, mooseburger-eating, mother of five who only a few short years ago was just in the PTA.

Funny thing, that. Putting Palin within 10 miles of the DC line is a sure way to make sure none of the above will ever pass.

THAT IS HOW UTTERLY DESPERATE THE AVERAGE AMERICAN IS.

I hear you, sister. Lots of Average Americans started chomping at the bit for this nonsense to be over years ago, which is why people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton siezed the opportunity and got a good running start. What does it tell you when good, qualified people throw their hats in the ring a good year before they needed to? And what does it say when somebody seasoned, who ought to know better, who prides himself as a 'maverick' (or is it mavrick?) plucks some silly bint out of obscurity two months before election day to be his running mate and nearly half of our beleagured nation eats it up like free candy?

...Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The times are desperate, I can't disagree one iota. But our solution doesn't have to be a desperate one. In fact, it can be a perfectly sane one. The part that kind of stuns me the most is that the left/Democrats, who by rights are the only ones who ought to be insane now after eight years of continuous conservative bullshit (ten if you want to count the congress during the last 2 Clinton years), appear to have their act together. It's the GOP and their supporters who have pretty much lost their heads.
posted by brain cloud at 10:23 PM on September 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


And they are desperate enough to get the above that they are willing to take a chance on a lipstick-wearing, beehive sporting, mooseburger-eating, mother of five who only a few short years ago was just in the PTA.

I too read something in the Bible once, something about foolish men and houses built on sand.

But that grumpy old man knew exactly what so many Americans were desperate for. And that grumpy old man, who has been to hell and back, who really doesn't give a rat's hiney what anyone thinks anymore, had the utter gall, the chutzpah, the cojones, to go up to Alaska and do the one thing no one ever dreamed he'd do.


First of all, he didn't pick Palin. That is so blindingly obvious now it's funny. She was picked for him. He spoke to her on the goddamned phone, once, a long time ago, prior to the veep announcement. I bet he didn't even know she was on the selection table.

Second of all, that "knew exactly what so many Americans were desperate for" sounds an awful lot like you think the Republicans picked Palin as a manipulating agent to win them the election, and serve not much else in the way of a purpose. Unless you think beehives and mooseburgers are what's needed to get your country back on track.
posted by nudar at 10:27 PM on September 15, 2008


beehives and mooseburgers

It's the bitch clip that churns my butter.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:33 PM on September 15, 2008


A grumpy old man whose main attraction is that he isn't a Democrat. But that grumpy old man knew exactly what so many Americans were desperate for. And that grumpy old man, who has been to hell and back, who really doesn't give a rat's hiney what anyone thinks anymore

Yeah, that's the "main attraction" alright. Exactly what we need - a president who just doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks. What a breath of fresh air that'll be, in sharp contrast to the past eight years.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:39 PM on September 15, 2008 [9 favorites]


An end to corruption in politics.

"Bills Placed On Calendar, 110th Congress:
Obama:
S. 453: A bill to prohibit deceptive practices in Federal elections.

Amendments Passed, 110th Congress:
Obama:
S.AMDT.41 to S.1 To require lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they collect or arrange contributions, and the aggregate amount of the contributions collected or arranged.

An end to government waste.

Amendments Passed, 109th Congress:
Obama:
S.AMDT.3810 to H.R.4939 To provide that none of the funds appropriated by this Act may be made available for hurricane relief and recovery contracts exceeding $500,000 that are awarded using procedures other than competitive procedures.
S.AMDT.4624 to H.R.5441 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available for expenses in carrying out the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act may be used to enter into noncompetitive contracts based upon the unusual and compelling urgency exception under Federal contracting law unless the contract is limited in time, scope, and value as necessary to respond to the immediate emergency.

[Could be filed under both an end to corruption and waste:]
Amendments Passed, 110th Congress:
Obama:
S.AMDT.3073 to H.R.1585 To provide for transparency and accountability in military and security contracting. (Note: requires that various agencies (State, DoD, intelligence, etc.) provide information on the companies hired to do contract work in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of people employed to do such work, a way to track the number killed or wounded, and the cost of those contracts. Also requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report detailing his strategy for ensuring that contractors do not perform "inherently governmental functions", and are not placed in supervisory positions over US personnel.) (The underlying bill was vetoed by the President; amendment included in the bill that ultimately became law.)"

This was linked earlier (thanks, whoever linked it). Go ahead, compare McCain's record during the 109th and 110th Congresses and see how much he contributed to ending corruption in politics or government waste. Compare their concern for making the lives of vets and their families easier, while you're at it.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:44 PM on September 15, 2008 [11 favorites]


I personally know a woman who used to babysit his three oldest kids. Nuff said.

I personally know a woman who used to sleep with Johnny Mac. She says he can't get it up unless you beat him with a bamboo cane and yell at him in Vietnamese while he chants his name and serial number. But you go ahead and give that man the launch codes. Nuff said.
posted by humanfont at 10:46 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Konolia, very sad. You do know McCain also had the balls to leave his disabled wife for Cindy, don't you? I mean, that's some cold shit right there. That's not all either. Palin? Long silence there. She's close to Russia, and she knows how to play chess(not).
posted by Flex1970 at 10:46 PM on September 15, 2008


It's absolutely ridiculous to call people elitist for having the common sense God gave geese.

Repeated for truth.

What America wants-at least the America I know: An end to corruption in politics. An end to government waste. An end to Washington business-as-usual. And they are desperate enough to get the above that they are willing to take a chance on a lipstick-wearing, beehive sporting, mooseburger-eating, mother of five who only a few short years ago was just in the PTA.

If I don't laugh, I'm going to cry.

You're concerned about corruption in politics, so you are going to re-elect the men who have stolen trillions of dollars through no-bid contracts and war profiteering?

You're concerned about government waste, so you are going to re-elect the men who reported a $25 billion "unreconciled transaction" in government spending? Who have put your country trillions and trillions of dollars into debt? Who have never passed a balanced budget?

Seriously?

You're concerned about "business-as-usual", so you are going to re-elect the men who are bought and sold for the pound on the open lobbyist market? The men who held closed-door meetings with corporate executives to decide how your public lands and resources should be divvied-up for their benefit?

I mean, seriously? You've got to be kidding.

And then you pitch the idea of "PTA President" — a naughts version of the "CEO President" you supported the last time around. Yeah, let's have a poorly educated, untravelled backwoods citizen represent the country to the global economic, political, and social markets. I'll just bet US foreign relations are going to improve when someone with no sense of history goes blundering through the global leaders summits.

I don't think you can be serious.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:52 PM on September 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


That's all well and good, fff, but you're forgetting the most important thing: McCain isn't a Democrat.

Checkmate.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:55 PM on September 15, 2008


I personally know a woman who used to babysit his three oldest kids. Nuff said.

What on earth is that even supposed to mean? That "nuff said" means that there's something dark about his parenting or his children that you dare not speak its name? That by having a friend of a friend connection to the children of McCain, that you are an accurate judge of McCain's wisdom, common sense, and humility? That you have special insight as to the truth of McCain, though a tertiary connection?

Please, what was that tidbit supposed to tell us. What did it mean? Please, decipher it.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:03 PM on September 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


America is sick of Ivy League theorists spinning their vast and glorious plans by way of the fawning media machine.

Oh for fuck's sake. Enough with the bullshit talking points, already.
posted by homunculus at 11:11 PM on September 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I personally know a woman who used to babysit his three oldest kids. Nuff said.

What? No, it's not! WTF? Are you an Eliza program?

I'm wearing a wristwatch. 'Nuff said.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:13 PM on September 15, 2008 [10 favorites]


My vision is for people to be cared for by the private sector

Funny thing about the private sector, they usually have their private interests as a priority, rather than the public good. Hope you got good insurance by the way, your vision seems a little blurry, probably want to get that checked out.

Dammit, why the hell did I fall for it?

Assembly of God church, hunting, snow mobiles, small town, hockey mom, pregnant teen daughter, Oxycontin sniffing son who joined the military, too many damn kids, good-for-nothing husband, brother-in-law custody drama.

Oh, indubitably, Probably what pisses me off most about white trash is that they're, well, white. They should know better than the rest of the trash, right?
Fucking embarrassments to the rest of us spiritually enlightened, educated, clean-living urbanites with perfect white families.

Palin's personal hypocrisy is most certainly fair game, but your comment is ugly and pathetic and certainly isn't indicative of any ideas worth fighting for or representative of the people actually fighting for them.

The Republicans on the other hand, love that sort of shit. Their bread and butter. I hear they're looking for volunteers, they'd love to have you.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:31 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


America is sick of polish.

America is sick of Ivy League theorists spinning their vast and glorious plans by way of the fawning media machine.

What America wants-at least the America I know:

An end to corruption in politics.

An end to government waste.

An end to Washington business-as-usual.


First of all, if you don't like elites, why are you posting on metafilter? I'm not saying you should leave or anything, I'm just pointing out that you obviously like talking with intelligent people.

Secondly, Washington has been run by anti-elitists for the past 8 years and they fucked everything up. Frankly, I'd love to see this country in the hands of slick elitists who know what they're doing. For fuck sakes, what's wrong with that?

I'm also curious why you think being stupid or uneducated is likely to make someone more effective at ending 'corruption' and government waste.
posted by delmoi at 11:56 PM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


And they are desperate enough to get the above that they are willing to take a chance on a lipstick-wearing, beehive sporting, mooseburger-eating, mother of five who only a few short years ago was just in the PTA.

For the people who are happily supporting Sarah Palin, they're doing the opposite of "taking a chance". She's comfort food. She's the next incarnation of Dubya who the evangelicals were gaga over in 2000, but since has fucked up so much no one wants to be associated with him anymore. Enter Palin. No one's taking a chance on Palin, they're just confirming their worldview that God has chosen one of US to take the country back to Jesus. There's zero risk in a right-winger's eye.

And that grumpy old man, who has been to hell and back, who really doesn't give a rat's hiney what anyone thinks anymore, had the utter gall, the chutzpah, the cojones, to go up to Alaska and do the one thing no one ever dreamed he'd do.


Except he's doesn't have that independent streak any longer--he's folded to the Republican base on just about every single issue you can name. Think he picked Palin? That's a good one.
posted by zardoz at 12:30 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I personally know a woman who used to babysit his three oldest kids. Nuff said."

You know, the ones from his marriage where his wife was crippled in a car accident, and was better dealed for a beer baroness after McCain's extramarital affairs came to light.

Those three kids? "Nuff said" my ass.
posted by clearly at 1:55 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


"And yes, I do speak in tongues."

Nuff said.
posted by clearly at 1:58 AM on September 16, 2008


America is sick of Ivy League theorists spinning their vast and glorious plans by way of the fawning media machine.

What America wants-at least the America I know:

An end to corruption in politics.

An end to government waste.

An end to Washington business-as-usual.


Up is down, freedom is slavery, have some Victory Gin, brothers!!

I suspect that this may be one of the most intellectually dishonest things I have ever read on this site. An end to Washington business-as-usual movement spearheaded by the guy whose party has been in power since 1992, and whose answer to every economic travail is "tax cuts" and ever diplomatic flareup is military intervention?

I don't think Bill Kristol could have written any better than this.
posted by psmealey at 2:19 AM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Pentecostal (to include but not limited to Assembly of God) and Charismatics

Sorry for continuing this derail, but regardless of who you do it in front of, if you emphasise glossolalia you are pentecostal. You can be a charismatic pentecostal, just as you can be a charismatic anglican, baptist or catholic, but if you believe in the gift of tongues as in Acts and 1 Corinthians you are pentecostal.

An end to corruption in politics. An end to government waste.

Yes! So why advocate for those with a record of corruption, waste and mismanagement?

And Miko, as usual, is spot on.
posted by goo at 2:58 AM on September 16, 2008


Sorry for continuing this derail, but regardless of who you do it in front of, if you emphasise glossolalia you are pentecostal.
I know a Roman Catholic convent/monastery that does the talking in tongues thing. There is a Charismatic Movement in mainstream churches that is different from Pentecostalism but that does believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, like glossolalia.
posted by davar at 3:32 AM on September 16, 2008


America is sick of...

Right? Who has been driving this bus for the past fucking 8 years, anyway?
posted by dirtdirt at 4:18 AM on September 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


A grumpy old man whose main attraction is that he isn't a Democrat.

Yes, thank goodness that we'll finally get that terrible Democrat George W. Bush out of the White House. He's really been screwing things up these last eight years. We need something different. A change!
posted by EarBucket at 4:29 AM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Probably what pisses me off most about white trash is that they're, well, white. They should know better than the rest of the trash, right?

Really? Cause what pisses me off most about white trash is that a bunch of people that objectively suck at life want to tell me how to live mine based on what some former insurance salesman tells them the Bible says during their weekly run-around-a-high-school-gym-looking-building-speaking-gibberish-and-listening-to-terrible-music session. What pisses me off about them is that they take the teachings of Jesus and distort them to fit their ignorant hate filled world view because they never bothered to read the book at the center of their religion, they would really just prefer to hear the gist of it. What pisses me off most about them is that they allow themselves to be led by the hand by whatever authority figure happens by and tells them "Its okay. Life is simple. You don't have to think." What pisses me off most about them is that they want to do away with every bit of progress that mankind has made since the Enlightenment and replace our democracy with a theocratic fascist state. And its not even a reasoned decision! If someone sat around and compared the various forms of government and decided, "Hmmm. I really think theocratic fascism is the way to go." then okay, fine. But they are just so fucking pig-ignorant and uninformed about the world that they just don't know any better. They are too fucking stupid to be allowed to vote for American Idol, much less for president.

That's what pisses me off most about white trash.

You want to try to reason with them and get Republican talking points and "Jesus said so" back at you, then fine. But if it makes me ugly and pathetic to call a spade a fucking spade then so be it.
posted by ND¢ at 4:50 AM on September 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


I personally know a woman who used to babysit his three oldest kids. Nuff said.


Would those be the kids he abandoned when he left his first wife for a younger, prettier, and much richer model?

As for the "America you know," I know that America very, very well. And I have news for you and some other people in that America: you don't own the country, and people who think and live differently are just as "American" as anyone in a small town or a Christian church. We're people of all faiths, all colors, all sexual persuasions. And we're sick of being told we don't count as Americans.

The exact problem here is a lack of understanding, sympathy, or respect for the America you *don't* know. People who live in small towns, go to church every week, and want to set the clock back to a nostalgic fairy tale that never existed are, get this, a *minority* in the US. A minority utterly caught up in the need to prove that everyone else is a "minority."

Konolia, you are no better an "American" than anyone else who votes in this country.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:05 AM on September 16, 2008 [13 favorites]


America is sick of Ivy League theorists spinning their vast and glorious plans by way of the fawning media machine.


Ah, so you're sick of Bush (Yale and Harvard) spinning vast and glorious plans ("the war on terror," the extension of executive power) by way of a fawning media (Fox News, CNN) machine?

Good.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:07 AM on September 16, 2008 [10 favorites]


E. J. Dionne's Washington Post column nails the elitisim vs. reg'lr folks bullshit today. We're not going to change the mind of someone truly parochial and invested in self-righteous defense of parochialism (hint, hint). But for those with half a concept of reality, there's a lot of soul searching going on.

And nothing more exposes the hypocrisy of financial elites riding the coattails of those who revere small-town religious values than a downturn that highlights the vast gulf in power between the two key components of the conservative coalition. Even cultural conservatives will start to notice that McCain's tax policies are geared toward the wealthy investing class and Obama's toward the paycheck crowd. Even the most ardent friends of business have begun to argue that a re-engagement with sensible regulation is essential to restoring capitalism's health.

For some time, McCain's strategists figured they could deflect attention from the big issues by turning Palin into a country-and-western celebrity and launching so many ill-founded attacks on Obama that the truth would never catch up. The McCain strategists' approach reflected a low opinion of average voters, and some Obama supporters began worrying that their opinion might be right.

But those so-called average voters understand the difference between low- and high-stakes elections. They develop a reasonably good sense of who is telling the truth and who is not. And though it sometimes takes a while -- and a shock like this week's economic news -- these voters almost always turn on politicians who manipulate cultural symbols as a way to escape the consequences of their policies.


Now that, "my friends," is 'nuff said.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:17 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, wow. And even that first-rate tool of the country club GOP set, David "what me, make shit up?" Brooks has abandoned McCain/Palin today. I don't think he bought "In what respect, Charlie?" either. Mind you, he still manages to snark about elitism on the left, but he's lost his faith in Saint McCain:

Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she’d be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness.

The idea that “the people” will take on and destroy “the establishment” is a utopian fantasy that corrupted the left before it corrupted the right. Surely the response to the current crisis of authority is not to throw away standards of experience and prudence, but to select leaders who have those qualities but not the smug condescension that has so marked the reaction to the Palin nomination in the first place.

posted by fourcheesemac at 5:22 AM on September 16, 2008


Konolia, very sad. You do know McCain also had the balls to leave his disabled wife for Cindy, don't you? I mean, that's some cold shit right there

McCain was no choir boy. Yeah, I knew all that.

You do know that same abandoned wife has a vote for McCain sticker on her car? And is friends with him now?

See here's the thing. This ain't my ideal ticket. Really. But you see, these wonderful awesome Democrats of yours? The ones you all think are going to usher in a Brand New Day? They don't believe that human life is worthy of protection in all its stages. Obama in particular doesn't believe that a baby who manages to be born alive after a late term abortion is worthy of medical care.

Speaking of cold.

No matter how smart or how polished or how presidential the Democrats are this year, they still are Democrats. Who believe in Democrat economic policies. Who still believe that abortion should be legal. Who are not thrilled with my second amendment rights to keep and bear arms. Who think that half the electoral populace are white trash and idiots. How disrespectful. Maybe someone needs a reminder that calling people white trash is not too far removed from calling people the N word.

I cannot vote for them. I will NOT vote for them. And I won't throw my vote away on a third party candidate with no chance, either.

And as for McCain = Bush, that is nonsense. They hate each other. McCain's record is really pretty bipartisan.
posted by konolia at 5:26 AM on September 16, 2008


Personally, I just want to say that I think tossing around "white trash" and other such epithets is NOT HELPFUL to the cause here.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:28 AM on September 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


Obama in particular doesn't believe that a baby who manages to be born alive after a late term abortion is worthy of medical care.

That is such bullshit. Konolia, stop flailing wildly and listen to yourself. You're not defending McCain in this crowd, any more than any of us are convincing you to stop being a single issue voter.

That's your right. But you can't just make stuff up and throw out the nastiest right wing spin talking point bullshit and NOT expect a strong reaction here.

Obama does not oppose medical care for babies born alive. That's GOP spin through and through, and absurd on its face. It's a total red herring, meant to smear his character and not characterize his policies. McCain dropped bombs on little children from an airplane. Shall we make that into a talking point as well? He supported and supports a war that has killed *hundreds of thousands* of innocent women and children and babies (and men too). Does that make him a baby killer?

As for the ex with the bumper sticker, here's the difference: Obama doesn't have an ex-wife who needs to forgive him. He's still married to the same woman and raising his own kids with her.

You are not going to convince any of us; and we aren't going to convince you. But there is *some* obligation to be truthful and fair, and you have tossed that obligation overboard. THAT is the problem: on the facts, your candidate has nothing to offer but more of the same culture war BS. The smears and hysteria over things that aren't real (how many late term abortions do you think result in a live birth? For that matter, how many of them are abortions of convenience and not abortions to save the life of a mother or terminate a pregnancy where the fetus has a masive and fatal developmental problem?) are desperate deflections.

We've had the same, damn abortion debate in this country for 30 years. It may be an important issue to you, and fine if so. But there are other issues of far more importance to most of us.

Gods Guns Gays Terror . . . . Later Rinse Repeat and squeeze your eyes tightly shut to avoid war, economic crisis, global environmental catastrophe, and all the rest. It's been the GOP way since Reagan.

As Barack says (and McCain has now taken to stealing, along with every other good idea Obama's campaign has, up to and including website design):


ENOUGH!
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:39 AM on September 16, 2008 [13 favorites]


And as for McCain = Bush, that is nonsense. They hate each other.
posted by drezdn at 5:52 AM on September 16, 2008


McCain's record is really pretty bipartisan.

Ahaaa... hahaa.. HAHAHAHA.. BWAAAHHHHAHAAAAAA... no really, stop, hee heee...

Honestly, konolia I sometimes feel sorry for you but then you just drop crazy lines like that and my eyes just bug out. Unbelievable.
posted by like_neon at 5:59 AM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Does that make him a baby killer?

I should add that of course these weren't American babies. So I guess Iraqi and Vietnamese babies don't count in the "culture of life."
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:02 AM on September 16, 2008


Obama in particular doesn't believe that a baby who manages to be born alive after a late term abortion is worthy of medical care.

Ok, full stop. Konolia, you have opinions that I don't always agree with, but mostly I can understand where you're coming from. Saying worthless and baseless shit like this tells me your a real creep of a human being, or your whole persona on this site is a big shaggy dog joke (one for which we're still waiting for the punchline). This is just shit you're spewing now, and I don't get it at all.

I certainly don't want to censor you like others on this site, but saying absolute nonsense like this just doesn't help things.

I propose you either provide specific evidence of this...statement of yours, or retract it. Can you do the former, and if not, have the guts to do the latter?
posted by zardoz at 6:11 AM on September 16, 2008


Thanks for the cite on the "confusing" doctrine. I'm just as happy to agree that it has meant general "Bush policy" at some times and specific policy at others - but never "His worldview?"

Palin's reference to Bush's worldview might have been a dog-whistle code word for Religious Right audiences.
posted by jonp72 at 6:16 AM on September 16, 2008


Obama in particular doesn't believe that a baby who manages to be born alive after a late term abortion is worthy of medical care.

...

Desperate times call for desperate measures.


Indeed. For example, you pretend that you're a Christian despite the fact that Christ himself would weep at what a spectacularly vicious lie that is.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:17 AM on September 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's too late for the likes of konolia. She's fully endoctrinated in the Democrats = Evil (my own mother cannot explain why she hates FDR with a passion, even though she was born in 1932 and only 16 years old when he died), just that she does.

Focus on the next generations.
posted by psmealey at 6:19 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


tossing around "white trash" and other such epithets is NOT HELPFUL to the cause here.

Something can be both true and unhelpful, and I am judging people based on their actions, not their race, but in an effort to avoid offending anyone who believes that I am going to hell and wants to force me to live by their version of Sharia law, let me take the racial component out of my condemnation. Instead of "white trash," allow me to change that to "the religious right" or "Christofascists" or "people who don't have the sense to know that glossolalic speech is a material phenomenon which has physical and psychological patterns" or just generally "the incurious" or "the willfully ignorant." I agree that it very well may not be helpful to insult people who don't agree with you. I personally think that there is a segment of the population that is just never going to get on board with modern secular democracy and that it is better to call these people out than to just sit there and let them hit you again and again and never hit back. The intolerant must be tolerated but only insofar as they do not endanger the tolerant society and its institutions. These people want to live in the dark ages, that is fine with me, but the moment they want to drag me and mine down with them, that is the moment they lose the right not to get their precious feelings hurt.

You think people won't vote for Obama cause I called them "white trash"? I say they were never going to vote for him anyway, and it is better to let others know that there aren't two equally valid viewpoints here: one that thinks the Republicans have been in power for eight years and driven the country to the brink of disaster and another who think McCain/Palin are reformers who are going to clean up the system. There are people who base their decisions on reason and logic and reality and there are faith-based liars who will say anything, no matter how untrue, no matter how racist, no matter how inflammatory, to convince people to put them in power so that they can impose their religious code on everyone.
posted by ND¢ at 6:22 AM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


An interview with Reverend Howard Bess claims that Palin not only put his book, Pastor, I Am Gay, on a hit list to be banned, but that Palin participated in anti-abortion pickets aimed at shutting down the gynecologist, Dr. Susan Lemagie.
posted by jonp72 at 6:26 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


We're talking about abortion here now? I guess this is now the official Palin thread. Maybe you guys will convince Konoila she's wrong, and do it fewer than 2000 comments. Good luck! Or you know, you could ignore her because her ass is crazy and she's not interested in facts you can't look up in your gut. Last I checked, neither McCain or Obama is running on a More/Less Abortion ticket. I don't know why people let these threads get derailed. And these are long ass threads. It takes a special kind of hard boiled trolling to derail them.
posted by chunking express at 6:34 AM on September 16, 2008


They don't believe that human life is worthy of protection in all its stages

Or, to be more accurate, they DO believe that human life IS worthy of protecting in ALL its stages. Unlike your team, who couldn't be bothered to protect anybody outside of the womb (except where "protect" means remove rights willy-nilly and/or bomb back to the stone age), and will only 'protect' those in the womb cynically and rhetorically, and just long enough to get into office.

Better sex education, safe and legal abortion, a curtailing of random jingoistic wars, and an economic climate where unexpected children are not a financial apocalypse will do vastly more to protect human life in all its stages than trying to overturn Roe v Wade.

Fuck. I'm feeding the... troll? That isn't quite right, but it's pretty close.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:34 AM on September 16, 2008


Fuck. I'm feeding the... troll? That isn't quite right, but it's pretty close.

No, you're feeding the troll. There's nothing close about it. You're arguing with the lady that WILL NOT BEND!!11! What exactly are you hoping to get out of this? What does anyone here hope to accomplish.

When Konoila actually has a say what you can do with your va-jay-jay, then arguing with her and trying to refute her crazy talk might be worth your time. While she's blathering on the Internet about Obama eating aborted babies, not so much.
posted by chunking express at 6:45 AM on September 16, 2008


Palin's reference to Bush's worldview might have been a dog-whistle code word for Religious Right audiences.

I think that's a little over the top. Palin may have heard the word a lot in church, but that doesn't mean she thought it had some secret dog-whistle meaning. I mean "worldview" doesn't actually mean anything different to evangelicals then it does to secular people, and besides her entire candidacy is one giant dog whistle, why bother adding more too it.

Anyway, the conservatives have got a 5/4 majority in the supreme court now. There's no reason to think that they won't be able to eventually overturn the court. If McCain gets in the people picking his judicial nominations will be at least as crazy as those who picked his VP.

Those who want to end abortion really are on the cusp of success. It make sense for them to support this ticket.
posted by delmoi at 6:48 AM on September 16, 2008


OK, let's stop stereotyping small town people, Christians, hunters, and rural people. And in fact, let's stop stereotyping small town Alaskans.

I spend a lot of time in a small town in rural Alaska. Native Alaska, to be specific.

And my Native friends are supporting Obama. Just to counter the konolian version of "America," let' be clear: these are small-town Alaskan hunters, churchgoing Christians (Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, or non-denom charismatics), gun owners (as in even 7 year old girls shoot like military marksmen) and mostly staunchly anti-abortion. They are extremely family-centered people. They have an unbelievable record of military service and heroism. They believe oil exploration on the North Slope is necessary and can be done carefully. And almost to a one, they are supporting Barack Obama because they are thinking, intelligent people who can see the big picture. The Palin nomination was charming to them for a week, because everyone knows her up there (indeed, I met her for a handshake back in June). But now they are busy sorting out their reactions and it has moved from surprise to astonishment to foreboding.

I thought of this because an Inupiaq buddy sent this to his email list this morning:

http://turtletalk.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/palin-on-tribes/
Palin on Tribes
From Lloyd Miller & Heather Kendall Miller
Sarah Palin’s Record on Alaska Native and Tribal Issues

--- And here are the highlighted topics. Complete and detailed (and footnoted) cases for each of these points can be found at the link above. --

1. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Subsistence Fishing
2. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Subsistence Hunting
3. Palin has attacked Alaska Tribal Sovereignty
4. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Languages

Sarah Palin's husband is part Yupik; no one is alleging that she's an anti-Native racist (I know people that say she is, in that casual way that so many white Alaskans are). She certainly has fans and advocates in the Native community. But her policies have been anti-Native, and the policies of the GOP in Alaska have been systematically anti-Native, and pro-big-oil, which hates having to go through sovereign Native political institutions to get its paws on the black gold under the tundra.

Haven't heard much at all about this stuff on the news, so I hope this is interesting to some folks. Mind you, konolia, I've been to church with these people -- my friends on the North Slope, almost all people of very modest means -- dozens of times, said grace with them over meals, and gone hunting with them on the sea ice. I've said the pledge of allegiance with them on the 4th of July. I've debated the morality of abortion (and many other things) with them in a spirit of open and honest intellectual exchange. They believe a lot of what your "Americans I know" believe about salvation and grace and guns and patriotism.

But they are appalled by the pick of Sarah Palin and strongly supportive of Obama, still, almost to a one.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:55 AM on September 16, 2008 [13 favorites]


I have no illusions about McCain. I personally know a woman who used to babysit his three oldest kids. Nuff said.

Well, good for you! I just spit out my breakfast laughing.

I have a neighbor whose sister-in-law's brother's best friend once shook hands with President Bush before he was president. She had no illusions about Bush!
posted by ericb at 6:57 AM on September 16, 2008


You think people won't vote for Obama cause I called them "white trash"?

No, I think it forecloses an end to the polarization of this country to use language like that to stereotype people of very diverse views and characters.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:59 AM on September 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


By the way, Obama is not looking to expand government, but actually to cut programs using a line-item review. Bush (with help from senators like McCain) has led the federal government through an unpredecedented expansion - actually, a ballooining - which is drawing more heavily on the tax base than we can sustain. McCain's continued work in this direction sounds like it would be exactly antithetical to what you wish to see.

Right you are, Miko. I still haven't figured out why the Obama campaign isn't all over this in the press--this is the central tenet of modern conservative political philosophy, the 'small government' flag that Goldwater ran up the flag in the 80's and that a huge swath of the conservative base continues to insist (against all logic) is what characterizes the Republican party. It's clearly not the case; the last 8 years has seen the biggest increase in federal budget outlays since WWII. If you consider times of peace (and it would be a serious stretch to analogize the GWAT to WWII), the increase in federal spending under Bush (just under 55% between 2000 and 2007, if Wikipedia's and the White House's numbers are to be believed) is the largest since Roosevelt's tenure (just over 38% between 1934 and 1940, by the same sources). The difference there, of course, is that Roosevelt used that massive spending increase to create billions of dollars in infrastructure investment and drop the unemployment rate by double digits. Since the Republicans have taken over, they've used their monstrous budget hikes to kill 600,000 brown people and create an entire new branch of federal government, with the net effect that we have to take our shoes off when we get on an airplane.

Seems to me that if the Democrats were to take this and run with it, they could absolutely crush McCain on anything even vaguely shaped like the economy--a 55% expansion in government, and they have the DHS to show for it. And you're worried Obama is going to raise taxes?
posted by Mayor West at 7:01 AM on September 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


tossing around "white trash" and other such epithets is NOT HELPFUL to the cause here.

Something can be both true and unhelpful, and I am judging people based on their actions


ND¢, I get what you're saying here, I do, but as a girl who was raised in the South I can tell you that the term "white trash" is a spectacularly loaded phrase -- in the same realm as the N-word, although with only a fraction of the baggage, of course. Regardless, it's a shitty thing to call someone -- much less as a tool to generalize about an entire swath of the population -- no matter how much you think they've earned it, and it's certainly not a term to throw around so cavalierly.

If anything, it's less about hurting the feelings of the people in question and more about undercutting the weight of your own argument. A racial epithet, regardless of the race at which it's directed, is beneath you, and I'd be grateful if you could knock it off.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:02 AM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


And on preview: what fourcheesemac said.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:02 AM on September 16, 2008


So the liar has turned this into an abortion thread too, eh? Swell.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:03 AM on September 16, 2008


America is sick of Ivy League theorists spinning their vast and glorious plans by way of the fawning media machine.

You know who else went to Harvard? Yep -- Bill O'Reilly, spinmeister galore!
posted by ericb at 7:05 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I personally know a woman who used to babysit his three oldest kids. Nuff said.
What on earth is that even supposed to mean?


It means Konolia will be qualified to run the Department of Health & Human Services in the new administration! Congratulations!
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:05 AM on September 16, 2008 [7 favorites]


"Those who want to end abortion really are on the cusp of success. It make sense for them to support this ticket."

The people who want to end LEGAL abortion think they are on the cusp of success. Illegal aborters are on their own. konolia said it - if death is a consequence of ILLEGAL abortion, so be it.

Abortion is not supposed to be the solution for all the problems we can think of. It's for the situations we can't even imagine.
posted by no, that other sockpuppet at 7:06 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


America is sick of Ivy League theorists spinning their vast and glorious plans by way of the fawning media machine.

If you have a problem with academics pushing untested theories, have a problem with the party that follows such flawed research. The theorists who never test their theories and continue to insist upon them despite evidence to the contrary are working for the Republican party.

If you have a problem with people just for having gone to university and worked hard and studied, well, all I can say is that I respect people who work hard and who try their best no matter what they set their hands or mind to.
posted by jb at 7:24 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin's reference to Bush's worldview might have been a dog-whistle code word for Religious Right audiences.

OMG DID YOU JUST CALL EVANGELICALS DOGS??1!!ONE111!
posted by contessa at 7:29 AM on September 16, 2008


shiu mai baby and fourcheesemac: you are probably right. Deserved or not, it is not me putting my best foot forward or a good way to win over others. As for growing up in the South shiu mai baby, I grew up in a town in South Carolina (I still live in the state, but not the town) of around 20,000 people with a per capita income average below $15,000 and went to public schools for my entire education. I know of what I speak and I know the connotations of it. That being said, consider it dropped.
posted by ND¢ at 7:30 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Forget lipstick, mooseburgers and beehive hair-do's. It's the economy, stupid.

New Obama Ad: John McCain Doesn't Understand the Economy Is Broken.

The campaigns took a detour on 'identity politics' and is "back-on-track" with a focus on issues.
posted by ericb at 7:41 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


*and are "back-on-track*
posted by ericb at 7:42 AM on September 16, 2008


That's a damn good ad.
posted by neroli at 7:45 AM on September 16, 2008


I hope the Obama campaign drops bad ads like the "McCain can't use a computer" and sticks to stuff like this. The worm is turning. Just watch. Something is up, with people like Brooks and Cohen turning on McCain. Should be an interesting week. (And month).
posted by Bookhouse at 7:47 AM on September 16, 2008


John McCain yesterday: "The fundamentals of our economy are strong."

Uh-oh -- Goldman Sachs Earnings Fall 70%. Hmmm...Freddie, Fannie, Lehmann Brothers, AIG ... and piss poor performance from the largest investment banker. Things are looking good. We're all just a nation of "whiners!"
posted by ericb at 7:49 AM on September 16, 2008


"The fundamentals of our economy are strong."

McCain must mean "ours" = "my family." Makes sense. With over a $100 million, 7, 10, 12 homes, a private jet, etc. the McCain family is doing just okay.
posted by ericb at 7:51 AM on September 16, 2008


Yeah, that's one of the things yesterday that just made me want to tear my hair out: on the day of one of the biggest drops in the DJIA, when Lehman Brothers, that old stalwart of the banking world, went broke, and Merrill Lynch on the verge of becoming a Bank of America property, John McCain has the brass ones to say that "the fundamentals of our economy are still strong."

Holy shit, that is some seriously out-of-touch speechifying right there.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:52 AM on September 16, 2008


Joe Biden:
"My lord, take a look at what — who got us in this hole, whose policies. This has been a Republican philosophy of letting Wall Street do what they want and the middle class be damned. It's about time we change it. If I sound like I'm angry, I am fighting mad for middle-class people who have been the scapegoat of this economy because of the policies of the McCains and the Bushes."
posted by ericb at 7:55 AM on September 16, 2008


Another new Obama ad, on equal pay.
posted by neroli at 7:55 AM on September 16, 2008


You want to try to reason with them and get Republican talking points and "Jesus said so" back at you, then fine. But if it makes me ugly and pathetic to call a spade a fucking spade then so be it.

Why would I want to argue with a social caricature you've exaggerated to justify your bilious nonsense? How could I?

Instead of "white trash," allow me to change that to "the religious right" or "Christofascists"

I don't think the primary actors in that movement get the majority of their funding from Bubba redeeming his empties.

Here's a CNN demographic breakdown of exit poll results from the 2004 election, which featured the highest turn-out since 1968. While Bush got most of the white, Protestant, socially conservative vote, only 36% of the voters whose income is less than $15K (8% of the total) voted for him compared to Kerry's 63%. Bush leads when income gets above $50k and the divide between he and Kerry gets wider as the income bracket widens.

So, not poor uneducated white trash.

In regards to education, Bush and Kerry split the 4% of voters who didn't graduate high school, and then Bush narrowly leads among the 80% of voters who completed high school, attended college, and completed college. Kerry wins the post-grads, but the spread's only 11%

So, not uneducated white trash.

78% of Jesus freaks went for Bush, but that is only 78% of the 23% who self-identified as evangelical/born again. They aren't kingmakers, they're motivated voters. Blame the 44.7% who didn't vote. Odds are a chunk of that 44.7% is a lot closer to your vapid imaginings anyway (Disenfranchised, uneducated, poor), but keep tilting at those windmills and enjoy your imaginary culture war, hero. The grown-ups will do the real work.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:02 AM on September 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


Something else the Obama people need to get out there--

From a Bob Herbert column today:

A study coming out Tuesday from scholars at Columbia, Harvard, Purdue and Michigan projects that 20 million Americans who have employment-based health insurance would lose it under the McCain plan.

(Of course, probably some of those so-called "scholars" like arugula, so they don't count.)
posted by neroli at 8:04 AM on September 16, 2008


Another new Obama ad , on equal pay.

Yep. Back to the issues. Why waste breath on Palin? The Obama/Biden campaign will stay focused on issues from this point forward. McCain/Palin will try to distract with dirty politics, sleaze and identity politics.

Many, if not most, Americans are concerned about what this economic downturn (heck, yesterday was the worst day on Wall Street since 9/11 with $700 billion in shareholder wealth erased) might mean to them: the stability of their jobs, the general health of their retirement plans, consumer prices, gas/oil prices, etc.

The average American has no time to split the hairs on what the Bush Doctrine means.

The headlines now are: McCain has become a liar, is "out-of-touch." Tell us, McCain, how can you truly be the agent of change? Obama, tell us your plans for aiding the current crisis.
posted by ericb at 8:05 AM on September 16, 2008


neroli -- would you please stop posting fancy-pants research and elsewhere facts! And, yes, those elitists just spin those numbers every which way to scare us!
posted by ericb at 8:07 AM on September 16, 2008


Hey, did you hear that McCain invented the BlackBerry? He also invented these delicious fries, and luscious chocolate cake*, and oh, yeah, insulin. Yeah, that's the ticket.

* A lie.
posted by maudlin at 8:09 AM on September 16, 2008


John McCain yesterday: "The fundamentals of our economy are strong."

John McCain (January 2008):
"'The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.'

...'I don’t believe we’re headed into a recession,' he said, 'I believe the fundamentals of this economy are strong and I believe they will remain strong.'"
His words instill confidence and inspiration, don't they?
posted by ericb at 8:14 AM on September 16, 2008


A funny piece on Palin in the New Yorker.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:16 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain Admits He's "Divorced" From Reality: "It's easy for me to go to Washington, and frankly, be somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have."

Palin's Favorability Numbers Eroding
posted by kirkaracha at 8:19 AM on September 16, 2008


Even Mitt Romney is calling McCain a liar!!!. But actually I'm pretty sure that video is from the primary campaign when McCain lied about him and claimed Mitt opposed the surge.

It's kind of interesting how Romney had the same issues with McCain that Obama does now. McCain was lying about him, and Romney was complaining that McCain's campaign was full of lobbyists. Except no one cared because everyone hated Mitt Romney.
posted by delmoi at 8:24 AM on September 16, 2008


Krugman: Phil Gramm [McCain economic adviser and “odds-on favorite to be the Treasury Secretary”] would be ‘just the guy’ to lead us into a Great Depression.
posted by ericb at 8:25 AM on September 16, 2008


Yo, Gramm -- Suggestions Welcome
"Given that Enron-linked former senator, McCain economic advisor, and mortgage-industry-specializing banking lobbyist Phil Gramm has been credited as mover and shaker behind the very law that allowed the current financial meltdown to happen, I'd love to hear what McCain and Gramm think should be done to solve this crisis.

As of yet, of course, their only response is to deny that any of it is significant. No problem, everything's fine. Sure, people are losing their homes to foreclosure; sure, investors are being wiped out. But hey, aside from that, everything's peachy.

Nonetheless... since McCain has indeed pegged Gramm as 'one of the smartest person in the world' when it comes to economics, I'm dying to find out what Phil Gramm thinks should be done to fix the problem that Phil Gramm and the other lets-deregulate-everything Republicans helped create.

Maybe drilling will fix it?

Maybe more deregulation will allow the free market to something something something?

Maybe if we had poured all our Social Security into these institutions, this would never have happened, because the free market dictates that private retirement investments always go up. Just like how dropped toast always lands on its edge?

Maybe the Republicans have invented a machine to convert bullshit into gold?

Maybe Lehman Brothers should have sold more stuff on eBay?

No, seriously -- I'm all ears. What's your advice to America this time, Gramm? McCain?"
posted by ericb at 8:29 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Have the wheels come off the straight talk express?

Yep. Big time!
posted by ericb at 8:29 AM on September 16, 2008


the McCain health plan would treat employer-paid health benefits as income that employees would have to pay taxes on.
The net effect of the plan, the study said, “almost certainly will be to increase family costs for medical care.”

Under the McCain plan (now the McCain-Palin plan) employees who continue to receive employer-paid health benefits would look at their pay stubs each week or each month and find that additional money had been withheld to cover the taxes on the value of their benefits.

Yet another radical element of McCain’s plan is his proposal to undermine state health insurance regulations by allowing consumers to buy insurance from sellers anywhere in the country. So a requirement in one state that insurers cover, for example, vaccinations, or annual physicals, or breast examinations, would essentially be meaningless.
More proof that McCain is an arrogant bastard who has no idea of how regular (i.e. non-millionaire, non-congress) people live in America. Right now the "free market" has screwed tens of millions, charging them outrageous amounts because they have prior medical conditions such as...cancerous melanomas or caesarians or chronic ear infections. Ten years ago the Repulicans were able to scare people off the idea of Nationalized Health Care Coverage, but the last 10 years have made the situation more dire and most Americans are just begging for relief.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:37 AM on September 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


Much as I hate to bring the abortion derail to this thread, I am still astonished that people who vigorously debate konolia on this subject apparently do not even know the biggest problem that pro life people have with Obama: the fact that he voted against a law that sought equal treatment for babies who survived premature inducement for the purpose of abortion and wanted babies who were born prematurely and given live-saving medical attention. Obama has since nuanced his opinion (he now says that he supports the new federal law that essentially says the same thing), but still, his voting shows he is not just pro-choice, but much more pro choice than most people. The reasoning he gives ("it is such a burden to the doctors who have to care for the children that are born alive after an abortion attempt") also does not sound very compassionate. I truly support Obama, and I consider myself pro-choice but I vehemently disagree with him on this.

This article makes excellent points. The fact that abortion is such an all or nothing debate in American politics at the moment is not a good thing.
posted by davar at 8:43 AM on September 16, 2008


The net effect of the plan, the study said, “almost certainly will be to increase family costs for medical care.”

Under the McCain plan (now the McCain-Palin plan) employees who continue to receive employer-paid health benefits would look at their pay stubs each week or each month and find that additional money had been withheld to cover the taxes on the value of their benefits.



Right now a lot of people have no idea how much their employer's contribution is. They think that the amount that comes out of their check pre-tax is the amount they pay for insurance. You wanna see public perception of the health care situation and the best way to fix it change real fast, this will do it. Let 'em see how much this stuff really costs and watch how they react if it's an acknowledged part of their pay. But yeah, it would be pretty painful.
posted by dilettante at 8:46 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I really hope the Obama campaign brings the health care debate into the foreground and pushes back hard against McCain's plan. I think it's one of the most powerful things he's got, and not just because of the facts.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been reading the various comments threads attached to the NYT articles and editorials. (I know...I've gone insane...I admit that.) Whatever the topic of the piece, the responses have been more or less the same: McCain people shouting McCain talking points, and Obama people shouting Obama talking points. (Granted, the latter have a curious tendency to be supported by facts.) The responses to the Bob Herbert editorial are different. Suddenly people are telling their own own stories. They're talking about medical problems they've experienced and seen close up, and how they've been screwed over by the insurance companies. It's powerful stuff.

We need to hear more of these stories. I think there are a lot of people who, when they hear the Republican line (privatization makes things more efficient, what's good for business is good for America) have an automatic tendency to believe it--but just in the abstract. When they're asked to think about their own encounters with big business, they can come up with plenty of stories about being ignored, taken advantage of, and run ragged.

This is the way to make populism work for the Democrats.
posted by neroli at 8:47 AM on September 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Suddenly people are telling their own own stories. They're talking about medical problems they've experienced and seen close up, and how they've been screwed over by the insurance companies. It's powerful stuff.

If anyone hasn't seen Michael Moore's 'Sicko' [trailer], I highly recommend seeing it!
posted by ericb at 8:53 AM on September 16, 2008


With the passing of David Foster Wallace, I was reminded of his piece in Rolling Stone covering the Straight Talk Express during the 2000 primaries. It is a long read, but worth it.

What is amazing is just what a 180 McCain has done pretty much on everything. McCain is using the exact same tactics against Obama now that were used against him in 2000. The man that ended each of his stump speeches with "I. Won't. Lie" is now doing the complete opposite.
posted by birdherder at 9:16 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Now, let us discuss the Élites. There are two kinds of folks: Élites and Regulars. Why people love Sarah Palin is, she is a Regular. That is also why they love me. She did not go to some Élite Ivy League college, which I also did not. Her and me, actually, did not go to the very same Ivy League school. Although she is younger than me, so therefore she didn’t go there slightly earlier than I didn’t go there. But, had I been younger, we possibly could have not graduated in the exact same class. That would have been fun. Sarah Palin is hot. Hot for a politician. Or someone you just see in a store. But, happily, I did not go to college at all, having not finished high school, due to I killed a man. But had I gone to college, trust me, it would not have been some Ivy League Élite-breeding factory but, rather, a community college in danger of losing its accreditation, built right on a fault zone, riddled with asbestos, and also, the crack-addicted professors are all dyslexic."
posted by homunculus at 9:16 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the New Yorker article linked above:

"[What's] the difference between a dead moose with lipstick on and a dead moose without lipstick?

Lipstick.

posted by yeti at 9:24 AM on September 16, 2008


Something is up, with people like Brooks and Cohen turning on McCain. Should be an interesting week.

And also Ross Douthat (from 'Conservatives Turn On McCain-Palin'):
"Now that we've seen the entirety of the Palin-Gibson tete-a-tete, I concur with Rich Lowry and Rod Dreher. The most that can be said in her defense is that she kept her cool and avoided any brutal gaffes; other than that, she seemed about an inch deep on every issue outside her comfort zone. Yes, the questions were tougher than the ones that a Tim Kaine or Tim Pawlenty probably would have been handed, but they were all questions that a vice-presidential nominee needs to be able to answer. And there's no way to look at her performance as anything save supporting evidence for the non-hysterical critique of her candidacy - that it's just too much, too soon - and a splash of cold water for those of us with high hopes for her future on the national stage."
posted by ericb at 9:26 AM on September 16, 2008


Maybe you guys will convince Konoila she's wrong, and do it fewer than 2000 comments. Good luck!

You're right. After all, convincing konolia that she's wrong is about as likely as convincing you that people might have reasons for debating her other than changing her mind.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:35 AM on September 16, 2008


Dirty radio pinkos Fresh Air compare and contrast the candidates' health care proposals.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:40 AM on September 16, 2008


Hey, did you hear that McCain invented the BlackBerry?
"Asked what work John McCain did as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee that helped him understand the financial markets, the candidate's top economic adviser wielded visual evidence: his BlackBerry.

'He did this,' Douglas Holtz-Eakin told reporters this morning, holding up his BlackBerry. 'Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce committee so you're looking at the miracle John McCain helped create and that's what he did.'
Isn't Research in Motion, the maker of the Blackberry, a Canadian company?

...former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt...: 'John McCain is so out of touch that his economics adviser thinks he deserves credit for creating a Canadian company.'"* posted by ericb at 9:44 AM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


konolia: What the does this mean?

America is sick of Ivy League theorists spinning their vast and glorious plans by way of the fawning media machine.

Who are you referring to? And what plans proposed by Ivy league theorists have been instituted in the last 8 years that Americans are sick of?
posted by batou_ at 9:55 AM on September 16, 2008


Right now a lot of people have no idea how much their employer's contribution is. ... Let 'em see how much this stuff really costs and watch how they react if it's an acknowledged part of their pay.

I just happen to have my last pay stub right here in front of me. My employer is forthright enough to have a little box near the bottom which tallies up all the things they pay out of pocket on my behalf -- retirement account, disability insurance, life, health & dental. It's good info to know. Lets me know what I'm really "costing" them to employ me.

For the good of the group, I did a little bit of math to demonstrate how much the McCain health agenda would affect someone like me. This is just my health insurance costs, mind you. I have no idea if his ill-concieved plan would have an effect on other supplemental plans like Dental. At my place of work, the employee contribution toward the health plan is scaled depending on how much your annual salary is - the less paid pay a smaller proportion, and higher paid pay higher. Pay and rate-wise, I'm somewhere in the middle of the range; I contribute about 20% of the cost. Also, we are self-insured, meaning my employer actually has some sort of fund set aside to pay medical claims, but there is a third-party administrator in there somewhere to help coordinate the plan, so I'm sure that's not cheap.

Oh, also, it's not even really great insurance. Thank god I've never gotten very sick (so far).

Total cost of my annual health insurance: $6698.88

Amount of the above figure paid by my employer per year: $5435.76

Which means, under McCain's plan, I would be taxed on $5435.76 as additional income. This is no small amount to me; it represents almost a 10% bump in my taxable income.

But, ho-ho! What's this? I get a $2500 refundable tax credit? Dude. That still leaves me holding the bag to pay income tax on $3000 more "income" than I never had to pay before.

And what about the contribution I make? Right now I'm able to do that pre-tax. Is it safe to assume that would also be a thing of the past under McCain? After all, how could he justify taxing me for the part I don't even pay from my salary, but still giving me the option to pay my portion pre-tax?

Bottom line: we are fuxed if McCain wins.
posted by contessa at 10:05 AM on September 16, 2008 [10 favorites]


wielded visual evidence: his BlackBerry

Maybe he got the notes wrong and was supposed to hold up a blackberry. I mean, McCain is pretty old. He could have invented the "bramble raspberry".
posted by quin at 10:06 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, did you hear that McCain invented the BlackBerry?

This idea probably started with part of McCain's response to ScienceDebate2008, "Under my guiding hand, Congress developed a wireless spectrum policy that spurred the rapid rise of mobile phones and Wi-Fi technology..."

You'd think they'd be more careful, considering the great fun the pundits had with a similar statement made by Al Gore.
posted by gruchall at 10:13 AM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


davar: the biggest problem that pro life people have with Obama: the fact that he voted against a law that sought equal treatment for babies who survived premature inducement for the purpose of abortion and wanted babies who were born prematurely and given live-saving medical attention

More info on this from FactCheck: "At issue is Obama's opposition to Illinois legislation in 2001, 2002 and 2003 that would have defined any aborted fetus that showed signs of life as a "born alive infant" entitled to legal protection, even if doctors believe it could not survive. . . . It is worth noting that Illinois law already provided that physicians must protect the life of a fetus when there is "a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb, with or without artificial support." . . . many . . . people – perhaps most – think of "infanticide" as the killing of an infant that would otherwise live. And there are already laws in Illinois, which Obama has said he supports, that protect these children even when they are born as the result of an abortion."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:18 AM on September 16, 2008


From Ben Smith at Politico:

McCain supporter Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, seemed to veer off message for a moment on St. Louis's KTRS Radio, when she made the case that Sarah Palin may be qualified to run Amerca -- but certainly not to run her old company.

"Do you think she has the experience to run a major company like Hewlett Packard?" the host asked Fiorina.

"No, I don’t," she replied. "But that’s not what she’s running for. Running a corporation is a different set of things."

posted by fourcheesemac at 10:22 AM on September 16, 2008


the biggest problem that pro life people have with Obama: the fact that he voted against a law that sought equal treatment for babies who survived premature inducement for the purpose of abortion and wanted babies who were born prematurely and given live-saving medical attention. Obama has since nuanced his opinion (he now says that he supports the new federal law that essentially says the same thing), but still, his voting shows he is not just pro-choice, but much more pro choice than most people.

This is a reference to an act passed in the Illinois state legislature with the inflammatory title of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which included several objectionable provisions that promoted government interference with women who had life-threatening prenancies. Here's a column by Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, a Catholic conservative who voted for Goldwater, that convincingly debunks the infanticide smears being leveled against Obama by anti-abortion extremists. According to Stevens-Arroyo, here's the meat of the issue:

The legislation would have required the state to provide health care to children born alive after an abortion. Now, existing Illinois law already covered all children. But the BAIPA [Born Alive Infant Protection Act] was intended to create a special status for the survivors of abortion – mostly late-term abortion. The BAIPA clarified that these survivors were “children.” If that was all the law intended, I think it should have been passed and Obama’s self-identified faith should have led him to vote for it.

But things are not always as they seem. Although phrased in legalese, there were three additional and problematic provisions. First, the BAIPA would have immediately usurped the rights of the parents without any hearing or legal process. Second, the act would have mandated taxpayer funds be used for the health care as long as the needy child was alive,
administered by still another government bureaucracy. Third, it gave a green light to trial lawyers to sue just about everybody on two legs. Catholic teaching always protects the rights of parents against big government. Moreover, I have enough of my Barry Goldwater vote left in me to be wary of lining the pockets of trial lawyers.


Stevens-Arroyo also said:

If Obama is guilty of infanticide for opposing mandated health care in the relatively few cases of abortion survivors, then isn’t McCain guilty of far worse by denying government mandated health care to 46 million Americans? I reject this logic: McCain’s plan does not amount to genocide of the poor and Obama’s vote is not infanticide. With his characteristic
serenity, Senator Obama refused to descend into the mud of accusations, demands for retraction, etc. That kind of old politics produces tribalistic hatred rather than participatory progress and it's so unChristian!


There's nothing to apologize for about wanting to save parents from having to deal with pro-life extremists who want to force a Terri Schiavo-style intervention on little babies, regardless of the parents' wishes. If you have ever known anyone who has had to deal with a miscarriage or stillbirth in their own family, you should understand.

In other words, it's not about being "extremely pro-choice." It's about being pro-freedom, period.
posted by jonp72 at 10:29 AM on September 16, 2008 [9 favorites]


But you see, these wonderful awesome Democrats of yours? The ones you all think are going to usher in a Brand New Day? They don't believe that human life is worthy of protection in all its stages.

neither do the republicans - and that goes for the abortion issue - they cry and cry about the poor dead babies and you people lap it up and then when they get elected they sit on their asses and do nothing about it - or just enough to be credible, and no more

john mccain is not really pro-life - he's pro-talk-about-being-pro-life-to-get-elected - and you're falling for it

palin, of course, probably is sincere

we already know bush wasn't
posted by pyramid termite at 10:45 AM on September 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Good editorial: The Ugly New McCain

After all, convincing konolia that she's wrong is about as likely as convincing you that people might have reasons for debating her other than changing her mind.

I'm sorry. I guess I define debate differently than you. Please, continue talking past each other.

posted by chunking express at 10:47 AM on September 16, 2008


Well, shock of shocks! A 527 group focusing on the "infanticide" smear, Born Alive Truth, has popped up and is already filling the airwaves in Ohio and New Mexico with misleading attack ads.

And the Obama campaign's response:

"The recent attacks on Senator Obama that allege he would allow babies born alive to die are outrageous lies. The suggestion that Obama -- the proud father of two little girls -- and others who opposed these bills supported infanticide is deeply offensive and insulting. There is no room for these kinds of distortions and lies in this campaign.

What Senator Obama's attackers don't tell you is that existing Illinois law already requires doctors to provide medical care in the very rare case that babies are born alive during abortions.

They will not tell you that Obama voted against these laws in Illinois because they were clear attempts to undermine Roe v. Wade.

They will not tell you that these laws were also opposed by pro-choice Republicans and the Illinois Medical Society -- a leading association of doctors in the state.

And they will not tell you that Obama has always maintained that he would have voted for the federal version of this bill, which did not pose such a threat.

The bills Senator Obama voted against in Illinois were crafted to undermine Roe v. Wade or pre-existing Illinois state law regulating reproductive healthcare and medical practice, which is why Senator Obama objected to them."

posted by Rhaomi at 10:47 AM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hey, did you hear that McCain invented the BlackBerry?

You'd think they'd be more careful, considering the great fun the pundits had with a similar statement made by Al Gore.


The pundits weren't clever enough to come up with "Al Gore invented the Internet" all by themselves. The meme developed out of Republican National Committee press releases. It only dissipated through the media, because lazy TV pundits needed to fill airtime and lazy print journalists needed to fill the "news hole."
posted by jonp72 at 10:49 AM on September 16, 2008


Rich. When asked, Palin proponent Carly Fiorina said she doesn't think Palin is experienced enough to run a major company.

I guess the country isn't as important as a company.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:52 AM on September 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, what Fiorina actually said was that Palin wasn't experienced enough to run her former company, HP. And she should know, given what a bang-up job she did herself.
posted by neroli at 11:01 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


To be fair I tend to agree that running a company requires a different set of competencies and skills than running a country and that being able to run one does not automatically qualify someone to do the other. Sure there's a lot of overlap, but there are significant differences too.

It would have been more interesting if Fiorina went into detail about what specific qualities Palin lacks to run a major company. My guess is though that this would have exposed qualities that are also necessary to run a country.
posted by like_neon at 11:01 AM on September 16, 2008


America is sick of Ivy League theorists spinning their vast and glorious plans by way of the fawning media machine.

Oh, it is to laugh. Let's look at this.

I'm getting a little worrn out on hearing the Ivy League implicated as shorthand for the liberal boogeyman. Firstly, I'm not sure how many people even know what the Ivy League is - it's an athletic conference, made up of only eight schools: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. The linked article does an excellent job of how we ended up lumping them together - they are the oldest schools in America, they generally have Prtestant origins, they have been playing one another in sports for hundreds of years (though the conference was only formalized in the 50s), they are all academically selective, they are all well endowed and wealthy, and they are all in the East. Historically, West Point and the Naval Academy have been lumped in with the Ivies, sharing many of their characteristics. Also equivalent to them in many respects are other highly selective private colleges: Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, MIT, University of Chicago, Notre Dame, Stanford, Georgetown, Washington & Lee, etc.

If you think of Ivy League as "educated at an elite, selective, moneyed, private institution of higher learning," then it certainly takes in a large swath of our public servants, most of whom find that an advanced degree is necessary to gain the education and make the connections that will allow them to get and understand policy jobs.

But even if you think the eight colleges in the Ivy League themeselves are poisoning the public with softheaded, communist ideas, and that you need to rid government of their graduates and their thinking, you're still not going to be able to vote Republican. Both the Bush Administration and the McCain campaign are lousy with the graduates of these supposed hotbeds of unAmericanism. I've been having a little look around and have compiled this list of Ivy League graduates, and other graduates of elite non-public institutions, in the Administration and the campaign. It looks as though both Bush and McCain rely upon the kind of thorough, world-class scholarship this institutions provide - McCain, in particular, is drawing upon the knowledge of a great many advisors currently in the academy in these very institutions.

I wonder what it's like when they get together for roundtables? When they compare college rings and ties, and discuss who was in what honor society and who had who for constitutional law, laughing about old times on the ol' campus, and then watch their candidates malign "Ivy Leaguers" and "elitists?" to the public? I guess they laugh it off. They believe they know better than the rest of us, after all, and if takes misreprenting yourself and your advisory teams, letting the public think you're a lot less well-off and well-educated and well-connected than you are, then so be it. At the Faculty Club victory party it'll all be behind you. All's fair in politics, right?

So here's a list. Please note that this is just a sampling. I stopped not because I ran out of Ivy and other elite graduates to look up; I stopped because I got tired and there was no end in sight. I think this is enough to make my general point.

Ivy League Graduates in the Bush Administration
Dick Cheney, VP: Yale (dropped out)
Michael Mukasey, Attorney General: Columbia and Yale Law (editor of Yale Law Journal)
Elaine Chao, Labor Secretary: Harvard Business School, Mt Holyoke, Dartmouth, MIT, and Columbia
Samuel Bodman, Energy Secretary: Cornell, MIT
Mary Peters, Transportation Secretary: Kennedy School of Government at Harvard
Henry Paulsen, Treasury Secretary: Harvard MBA, Dartmouth
Robert Gates, Defense Secretary: William and Mary, Georgetown
Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security: Harvard and Harvard Law
James Peake, Veterans Affairs: West Point and Cornell
Josh Bolton, Chief of Staff: Princeton, Stanford, taught at Yale Law

Bush Administration Graduates from Other Elite Private Institutions
Condolleeza Rice: Notre Dame
Steve Preston, HUD: University of Chicago and Northwestern
Susan Schwab, US Ambassador and Trade Rep: Williams, Stanford, George Washington
Steve Johnson, EPA Head: George Washington

Ivy League Graduates on McCain's Campaign Staff
John Huntsman, Campaign Co-Chair: University of Pennsyvania
Tom Ridge, Campaign Co-Chair, Harvard
Frederick Smith, Campaign Co-Chair, Yale
Fred Malek, Finance Director, National Leadership Team: Harvard
Gerald Parsky, Bush Team: Princeton
Kevin Hassett, policy adviser: University of Pennsylvanie
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, policy adviser: Princeton, teaches at Princeton and Columbia
John Thain, policy adviser: MIT, Harvard Business School
Max Boot, foreign policy adviser: Yale
Niall Ferguson, foreign policy adviser: Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, teaches at Harvard
Alexander Haig, foreign policy adviser: Columbia, Georgetown
Robert Kagan, foreign policy adviser: Yale, Kennedy school at Harvard
Bill Kristol, foreign policy adviser: Harvard
James R. Schlesinger, foreign policy adviser: Harvard
George Schultz, foreign policy adviser: Princeton, MIT
R. James Woolsey, foreign policy adviser: Stanford, Yale
Jeff R. Brown, economic policy adviser: Harvard, MIT
Steve Davis, economic policy adviser: Brown, has taught at MIT and Stanford
Melissa Kearney, economic policy adviser: Princeton, MIT
Adam Lerrick, economic policy adviser: Princeton, MIT
Ken Rogoff, economic policy adviser: Yale, MIT, has taught at Princeton and Harvard

[I lleft out a long list of graduates of West Point and the Naval Academy]

Graduates of Other Elite Institutions on McCain's Campaign Staff
Charlie Condon, Campaign Co-Chair: Duke, Notre Dame
Robert Mosbacher, Chairman, National Leadership Team: Washington & Lee
Phil Levy, economic policy adviser: Stanford, Michigan
Luke Froeb, economic policy adviser: Stanford
Carly Fiorina, "Inner Circle": Stanford, MIT
Ron Weiser, Bush team: University of Michigan
Nicole Devenish Wallace, Bush team: Northwestern
Lisa Graham Keegan, policy adviser: Stanford
Bernard Aronson, foreign policy adviser: University of Chicago
Stephen Biegun, foreign policy adviser: University of Michigan
Lorne Craner, foreign policy adviser: Georgetown
Gary Schmit, foreign policy adviser: University of Chicago
Michael Green, foreign policy adviser: Johns Hopkins, MIT
Carlos Bonilla, economic policy adviser; American, Georgetown

...do you think it's just possible we might be able to agree tht there is a use for people with what is likely the world's best education - world-class, elite, demanding, thorough higher education - especially at the advanced degree level - in both political parties, when they're asking to do something as important as leading the government of the world's most powerful nation?
posted by Miko at 11:02 AM on September 16, 2008 [62 favorites]


But there is *some* obligation to be truthful and fair, and you have tossed that obligation overboard.

McCain needs to hear that.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:07 AM on September 16, 2008


I *heart* Miko and her ninja research skills.

Wanna know what would be an even better list? All the staffers, hires and appointees under Bush who are alumni of barely credible, non-elite, non-ivory-tower institutions such as Bob Jones University, Liberty University, or Regent University.

I wonder how many of them will be sticking around to work for McCain/Palin?
posted by contessa at 11:13 AM on September 16, 2008


McCain Gets Testy On Morning Joe -- Watch it.
posted by ericb at 11:15 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


"McCain openly sparred with ['Morning Joe' co-host Mika] Brzezinski, whom he accused of being an open supporter of Obama. Asked by the host to assess whether an ad attacking him on the economy was out of bounds, McCain replied: 'I'll leave that for the American people to decide. I still say to you, and I know you are a supporter of Senator Obama, if you would urge him to come and do town all meetings with me as I have asked him to do time after time the whole tenor of the campaign would change.'

The charge created an awkward and tense environment for the rest of the segment, with Brzezinski forced to note (as she has done in the past) that one of her brothers works for the McCain campaign (another brother works for Obama, and her father was once an adviser).

'Senator,' she said, 'as a characterized Barack Obama supporter, I take objection. I'Il just say, take care of my brother working at the campaign.'

'Thanks,' replied McCain, 'that was a cheap shot.'

But the issue clearly hung over the rest of the morning. Later in the show, Brzezinski addressed it once again.

'In light of the John McCain interview, I feel I need to say not only does my brother work for the McCain campaign, but he worked for George Bush for six years,' she said. 'I'm proud of him.'

Meanwhile, Republican strategist and former McCain aide Mike Murphy was left to explain away the Senator's humor, albeit adding that he thought the campaign's antagonism to the media had crossed a line.

'I don't think he meant it as an attack,' he said. 'There's definitely become a mentality inside the McCain campaign which is very hostile for anybody in the media they think is at all favorable to the other side. I think that's mistake. I think they overreact. I think doesn't do McCain well to have that mentality in the campaign. I don't really understand it because it's not his natural way.'"
I think we are starting to see McCain's (in)famous temper showing through, especially now that he is being called out for his lying and dishonorable campaign style.
posted by ericb at 11:21 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Miko, your amazing list needs to go viral.

Anybody want to register ivyleagueelitists.com and put it up there?
posted by neroli at 11:27 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


the fact that he voted against a law that sought equal treatment for babies who survived premature inducement for the purpose of abortion and wanted babies who were born prematurely and given live-saving medical attention. Obama has since nuanced his opinion (he now says that he supports the new federal law that essentially says the same thing), but still, his voting shows he is not just pro-choice, but much more pro choice than most people. The reasoning he gives ("it is such a burden to the doctors who have to care for the children that are born alive after an abortion attempt") also does not sound very compassionate. I truly support Obama, and I consider myself pro-choice but I vehemently disagree with him on this.

That doesn't make any sense at all. Babies cannot be aborted past the time of viability, which means any "baby" which would be "born" during a botched abortion attempt would be un-viable, and have no chance to live no matter what kind of "medical care" it got.

A late term abortion, which remember we're still talking about fetuses who could not survive outside of the woomb, involves crushing the skull (as pro-lifers remind us all the time) and then cutting up the fetus. What kind of "medical attention" should be required if somehow the heart was still beating in that situation!? First of all, I can't imagine it being "alive" in the first place and I also can't imagine anything could be done to help it.

So why on earth should a law mandate that you should? It's obviously a bogus law designed specifically to screw with pro-choicers. And furthermore, I think this is the law that obama voted "present" on, and got dinged by Hillary as bing pro-life during the primary. His pro-life opponents call him pro choice on the basis of this vote, and his pro-choice opponents call him pro-life based on the same vote.

A vote that was complete nonsense to begin with.

(now, reading the rest of the thread, there is apparently already a law in place in Illinois that would require treatment. But how often does that actually happen, where a baby is "born alive" during an abortion attempt?)
posted by delmoi at 11:29 AM on September 16, 2008


if you would urge him to come and do town all meetings with me as I have asked him to do time after time the whole tenor of the campaign would change.

Is that some sort of weird threat? Is he actually saying that the nasty "tenor" of his campaign is because Obama isn't wasting money on a completely impractical activity a month before the elections? Seriously??
posted by like_neon at 11:29 AM on September 16, 2008


This Week in Blackness #4 - about The OBAMA WAFFLES
posted by homunculus at 11:37 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Humorous Palin Venn Diagram
posted by schyler523 at 11:39 AM on September 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


'Senator,' she said, 'as a characterized Barack Obama supporter, I take objection. I'Il just say, take care of my brother working at the campaign.'

'Thanks,' replied McCain, 'that was a cheap shot.'

But the issue clearly hung over the rest of the morning. Later in the show, Brzezinski addressed it once again.


Her father is an Obama supporter though.
posted by delmoi at 11:40 AM on September 16, 2008


Dems sue to block Michigan GOP from barring voters who lost homes
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on September 16, 2008


McCain is a wimp (politically) and can't take the attacks, it seems. If the Obama campaign wants to win, they'll find a couple of soft spots and just attack them over and over again until someone cracks.
posted by cell divide at 11:42 AM on September 16, 2008


Humorous Palin Venn Diagram

But... but... it doesn't all join up in the middle! Scarface is just a random blob!
posted by Artw at 11:48 AM on September 16, 2008


And they will not tell you that Obama has always maintained that he would have voted for the federal version of this bill, which did not pose such a threat.
This is not true. On all the pro-life blogs I read, people do know that Obama said he would have voted for the federal version (I said the same thing in my comment) but they maintain that this federal version was virtually the same as the Illinois version that he did oppose.

What Senator Obama's attackers don't tell you is that existing Illinois law already requires doctors to provide medical care in the very rare case that babies are born alive during abortions.
So, what was the purpose of the new law and why did Obama vote against it, and said that it was such a burden for the doctors? I know that he feared it would undermine Roe v Wade, but still, even NARAL said that it did not oppose this bill. Are NARAL pro-life extremists now? If there already was this law, why did the nurse in the hospital (Jill Stanek) discover that those babies were left to die in a utility room or thrown in the trash? (I know that the article I link to is inflammatory, but the nurse did testify and I have no reason to doubt that she is speaking the truth about what she found).

If Obama is guilty of infanticide for opposing mandated health care in the relatively few cases of abortion survivors, then isn’t McCain guilty of far worse by denying government mandated health care to 46 million Americans?
Well, yes, he is. So? This is not about McCain. This would mean that you could justify everything Obama does and says, because McCain always comes out worse in the end. I support Obama, but I think he is wrong on the topic of late term abortion. I don't know why that makes me a pro-life extremist or an Obama attacker. Surely many of you also disagree with some parts of his policy?

A late term abortion, which remember we're still talking about fetuses who could not survive outside of the woomb, involves crushing the skull
We're not talking about fetusus who cannot survive outside of the womb. These are very late term abortions. Apparently, they don't always crush the skull in those abortions, since there is a form of abortion called "life birth abortion".
posted by davar at 11:48 AM on September 16, 2008


Fiorina clarifies: ‘I don’t think John McCain could run a major corporation.’
"Earlier today, McCain spokeswoman Carly Fiorina told a St. Louis radio program that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) was not qualified to run a business. This afternoon, she reiterated her comments on MSNBC [video | 00:47], this time clarifying that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) — or any other presidential candidate — couldn’t run a major corporation either.

...Similarly, this morning campaign spokesman Douglas Holtz-Eakin seemed to suggest that McCain’s understanding of the economy was not important, since he’s 'not running to be treasury secretary.'

Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor responded: 'If John McCain’s top economic advisor doesn’t think he can run a corporation, how on Earth can he run the largest economy in the world in the midst of a financial crisis? Apparently even the people who run his campaign agree that the economy is an issue John McCain doesn’t understand as well as he should.'"
posted by ericb at 11:57 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Apparently, they don't always crush the skull in those abortions, since there is a form of abortion called "life birth abortion".

No there isn't. Leaving babies to die is a crime in and of itself. The language used in many of these "partial birth abortion" discussions is not the language of doctors, it's the language of people who want to control doctors. World Net Daily is not a reliable news source. The baby Jill Stanek is highlighting on her blog claiming it was "born alive" post-abortion was from 1977.
posted by jessamyn at 12:18 PM on September 16, 2008 [8 favorites]


On all the pro-life blogs I read
Clarification: I don't read any pro-life blogs. I meant: blogs from religious people who are pro-life and mention the topic sometimes.
posted by davar at 12:19 PM on September 16, 2008


On her blog, Jill says: In 1999, I discovered babies were being aborted alive at Christ Hospital. I testified before a Congressional committee in 2000 and 2001. I was fired in 2001. Obama opposed IL's Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 2001, 2002, and 2003.
posted by davar at 12:26 PM on September 16, 2008


On all the pro-life blogs I read, people do know that Obama said he would have voted for the federal version (I said the same thing in my comment) but they maintain that this federal version was virtually the same as the Illinois version that he did oppose.

Federal abortion laws and state abortion laws are inherently different, even if their wording is exactly the same, because the Supreme Court, our Constitution, and our federal system of government gives the states more latitude in regulating abortion than the state government. A state law can be used in a Supreme Court test case much more easily than a federal law, because Supreme Court precedent still gives most of the prerogative to regulate abortion to the states. A state law with the wording of the Illinois anti-abortion act can be used to undermine Roe v. Wade, even though a federal law with the exact same wording would not.

Now, davar, is there anything else you want to say in defense of allowing anti-abortion extremist busybodys to jam feeding tubes down the throats of nonviable infants, despite the parents' wishes?
posted by jonp72 at 12:30 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama campaign files suit over “voter-foreclosure” plans
posted by effwerd at 12:42 PM on September 16, 2008


Miko for the slam dunk.

Yes, that needs to go viral. And I don't say that just because I'm a grad of one Ivy and faculty at another (in between there were large public universities in the west for grad school and early career).

One stereotype that is quite pernicious persists here -- that people who vote Republican are primarily working stiffs without fancy educations, and people who vote democratic are monied and educated elites. The majority of people educated at these schools goes on to work in business, especially the financial industries (chuckle, grimace). The alumni donor pools for these universities is quite conservative.

The democrats don't need to win a majority of working-class Americans. They just need to win a slightly bigger majority than they have in recent elections. The populist/evangelical appeal is directed at the *margins* of the American lower middle and working-classes, an attempt to peel of a few million by appealing to cultural hotbutton issues, stoking racialized resentments. And I don't think it works this time.

In the long run, people are forced to be pragmatic realists or die resisting it. The question is not if we're turning left and toward the liberal agenda, but whether the big turn happens in this election or waits another 2 or 4 years. McCain and Palin are each historical relics, of slightly different political eras that are connected by the thread of Nixon's Southern Strategy and the Goldwater campaign. Palin will never -- mark my words, never -- be president even if she wins the VP slot this time. It may take another 4 years of GOP malfeasance to run this country fully into the ditch, but my gut tells me most American voters are going to see that's what they get with McFourMoreYears and the Bride of Bushenstein when they're in the booth at the moment of decision.

As for Ivy League bashing, you act like working-class people don't deserve or want a good education. You might be interested to know that a student from a family of what would be solid-middle-class standing (between 40 and 60K/yr depending on school) will pay *nothing* to attend any Ivy League school. If s/he has the grades and the drive, the doors are (at last) pretty wide open.

Of course, there are deeper reasons than tuition why such students are rarer than hen's teeth in the Ivies, and increasingly rarer in the major and elite public universities too.

I remember many years ago, I had dropped out of my Ivy League college to make a go of it as a musician. I fell into a really blue-collar world, and the a brilliant blue collar Irish girl I was then involved with said to me one day "you know, you gave up what I wish for more than anything in the world." She didn't mean it as a compliment, either.

She was working for it, too. She went on to get an Ivy League PhD and is now a very prominent economist for a conservative think tank. Me, I bummed around a while longer before I realized she was right. I went on to focus my life's work on working-class issues and communities (and students).

Mocking the educated, or the pursuit of education at a high level, is a piss poor way to make a positive case for a political ideology. Which is not to say that the "meritocratic" American education system is not a system for reproducing class conflict and divergence, because of course what you mean when you say "Ivy League" is a) rich and b) condescending. And yep, I've known plenty of rich and class-condescending students in my combined 15 years or so in Ivy League institutions. To a one, though, they've been young Republicans. And they aren't anything like a majority.

The funny thing is that Dick Cheney and John McCain are trying to convince people like konolia that they respect her and her community and Barack Obama and the democrats don't. The truth of the matter is that most of the architects of the GOP agenda, most of McCain's advisers, most of the Ivy-educated staffers and policy wonks who work for him, would not spend 10 minutes talking to konolia, or to Sarah Palin sans power. That's why I quoted that Bill Maher routine above.

When someone pretends to like you and your ilk because they want your vote, you should be offended, not honored.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:54 PM on September 16, 2008 [21 favorites]


(Clarification -- by "you act like working-class people don't deserve a good education," I meant to address konolia's original use of "Ivy League" as an insult)
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:56 PM on September 16, 2008


You might be interested to know that a student from a family of what would be solid-middle-class standing (between 40 and 60K/yr depending on school) will pay *nothing* to attend any Ivy League school. If s/he has the grades and the drive, the doors are (at last) pretty wide open.

But if you have neither the grades nor the drive, you can still get in anyway...as long as you pay full freight and your last name rhymes with "Smush."
posted by contessa at 1:03 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


from 1977.

And that's another of the rhetorical tricks used by the right -- focus on some totally marginal, almost non-existent, possible outrage or contingency, and then move it right to the center of the debate. "Partial birth" abortion is an exceedingly rare procedure, used as a last resort in medically severe situations, not as a casual solution to forgetting to take one's birth control pill. People do it when they discover a genetic defect in late pregnancy, or the mother's health is compromised by cancer chemotherapy. But somehow the Illinois legislature needs to take up a bill specifically to deal with a contingency that almost never happens? What kind of insult is that? Who thinks that bill was meant to address any actual situation with a wise and compassionate and pragmatic policy? It was pure political symbolism, which makes it no better than the other lies being told in this election.

And then people act like being in favor of passing totally symbolic laws crafted to stir outrage and make hay for the anti-choice cause is somehow justifiable? Or that how a state legislator votes on such bullshit "legislation" is a moral litmus test? What, so if Obama didn't support this crap law, that means he would like to see more partial birth abortions?

ENOUGH. If you believe that shit, as I said, you're either disingenuous or easily misled because you're stupid. Or both. Can we not pretend we don't see the obvious, when a trick is a trick, a lie a lie, a fact evidence?

Meanwhile, no one gets nearly as worked up at the way thousands of babies -- actual born ones -- and children die in bombing raids, or have their lives stunted by industrial pollution, or live in poverty, and on and on and on. We're all worked up arguing about something on the rare end of almost never, which only happens under conditions that are none of anyone's business but the suffering family and their doctors. They jam the law down the throat of the doctor/patient relationship, stick their science hating fists right into the debate about science policy, and lie by extremely inflammatory and exaggerated turns of phrase.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:08 PM on September 16, 2008 [8 favorites]


Miko: you may also want to include this Yale B.A./Harvard M.B.A. grad on your list.
posted by hangashore at 1:12 PM on September 16, 2008


I also want to amend this statement about class-condescending Ivy League students:

"To a one, though, they've been young Republicans."

Actually, on reflection, of course that's not true. I've heard some ignorant condescension toward poor and working people from self-styled liberals and progressives too.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:14 PM on September 16, 2008


Don't forget the libertarians.
posted by box at 1:18 PM on September 16, 2008


Ahmadinejad Wants McCain and Palin in The White House
posted by homunculus at 1:20 PM on September 16, 2008


Evidence surfaces the John McCain did invent the Blackberry.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 1:22 PM on September 16, 2008 [7 favorites]


But back to "in what respect charlie". I had a look at Wikipedia, which Charlie K. says credits him with first naming something the "Bush doctrine". Sure enough, that's what it said today when I went to look at it today. Here's the problem: before the Charlie Gibson interview with Sarah Palin, it didn't talk about this "pre-9/11" Bush Doctrine. As you might expect, there was a real storm of edits to this page starting the night before I heard the "in what respect" line on the morning news. After spending way too much time digging around in the wikipedia changes, it looks like the first addition of that text was on September 12, 2008 at about 8:07AM Wikipedia time (see here), though without looking at all the revisions I can't say whether it had surfaced earlier. If Charlie K. wants to use Wikipedia to support the notion that the bush doctrine is a hopelessly muddled term, he should look to wikipedia as it was before this interview, not after. As far as I can see, the last legitimate This seems to be the revision of August 8, 2008.

Now head back to the Gibson interview. After Palin's initial response, he says as a clarification of his question, "the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002 before the Iraq war". If the problem was indeed that she did not understand which of the "four Bush doctrines" she was being asked about, it should be clarified at this point.

After letting her respond again, he says "the Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self defense. We have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us".

Let's compare this with what Wikipedia said on August 8: On three out of the four of those, I think Gibson's full question is a good match for Wikipedia's description of it.

So in conclusion, let's get beyond "In what respect, Charlie". Let's concentrate on the part where, after the interviewer has said "Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine, enunciated September 2002 before the Iraq War? The Bush Doctrine, as I understand it, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self defense. We have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us". Listen to the interview again from that point forward, and try to form a new opinion as to whether she's really giving a good answer to Gibson's question, once it's fully stated. I was going to end with my own opinion on that, but I think I'll skip that part and leave it to each of you.
posted by jepler at 1:22 PM on September 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


if you would urge him to come and do town all meetings with me as I have asked him to do time after time the whole tenor of the campaign would change.

Obama countered McCain's proposal for 10 joint town-hall appearances with an offer of five joint appearances (including the three traditional debates between the presidential candidates), and McCain rejected the counteroffer.

To be fair I tend to agree that running a company requires a different set of competencies and skills than running a country and that being able to run one does not automatically qualify someone to do the other.

In 2000 then-Governor Bush was touted as an MBA PResident that would run the United States like a CEO.

Ivy League Graduates in the Bush Administration

George W. Bush. Yale University, BA History, 1968. Harvard Business School, MBA, 1975.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:23 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't believe Governor Palin had any understanding of the phrase "Bush Doctrine" before the interview.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:28 PM on September 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ahmadinejad Wants McCain and Palin in The White House

Tomorrow's Republican talking point: You see? Even life-long liberals like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are coming to the realization that John McCain is the right man for the job!
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:31 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


isten to the interview again from that point forward, and try to form a new opinion as to whether she's really giving a good answer to Gibson's question, once it's fully stated.

and when you're done doing that, listen to Joe Biden on Meet the press a couple of weeks ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj0bEzW7v1E

Opinions about the issues and candidates aside, Does Sarah Palin give a "good" answer that shows any sort of depth of understanding of foriegn Policy?
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:34 PM on September 16, 2008


McCain: Bomb. Bomb. Bomb.
posted by homunculus at 1:45 PM on September 16, 2008


Palin and experience.
posted by konolia at 1:58 PM on September 16, 2008


What an enlightened choice: Sarah Palin: Dominionist Stalking Horse Why don't the Democrats shoot this once and for all or is America really a theocracy.? In neither of the two Palin threads has the word dominionism appeared. Is the elephant really behind the curtain?
posted by adamvasco at 1:58 PM on September 16, 2008


I think we're well aware that she's some kind of wedge issue spooky scarey person.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on September 16, 2008


Even Fox News calls out McCain campaign on lies [video | 04:23].
posted by ericb at 2:07 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain Described The Economy’s Fundamentals As ‘Strong’ At Least 18 Times In 2008.
posted by ericb at 2:10 PM on September 16, 2008


Yeah, konolia, Truman sounds like he had the same “unblinking” attitude and confidence in himself (read: blind ambition) as Gov. Palin. From Wikipedia:
Shortly after taking the oath of office, Truman said to reporters:
“Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now. I don't know if you fellas ever had a load of hay fall on you, but when they told me what happened yesterday, I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.”
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 2:12 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


In what respect are the economys fundamentals strong?
posted by Artw at 2:14 PM on September 16, 2008


McCain: Bomb. Bomb. Bomb.

No Bomb-a-nation!
posted by lysdexic at 2:15 PM on September 16, 2008


Yeah, konolia, Truman sounds like he had the same “unblinking” attitude ...

The Daily Show: Sarah Palin Won't Blink [video | 08:35].
posted by ericb at 2:17 PM on September 16, 2008


I think we're well aware that she's some kind of wedge issue spooky scarey person.

Nah she's just a good ol' fashioned rootin' tootin' hockey mom. Just momin' some hockey all the live long day! When she's not saying "Thanks, but no thanks" for bridges as the talent portion of her administration she's out having babies to play more hockey and ride their snow machines straight to reform the bejeebers out of Washington. Golly gosh! I can see Russia!

Fucking Fuck America!
posted by ND¢ at 2:21 PM on September 16, 2008


"Fuck" is not a verb in that last sentence. "Fucking Fuck" is an interjection and then "America" is the subject of the interjection. Like if you had a friend named Bill and he said to you "You know, I rented that movie The Hottie and the Nottie the other day and it was actually pretty funny." and then you said "Fucking Fuck Bill!" because you could not believe that Bill, who is your friend and who you care about, despite the really dumb things he has done in the past, would actually find something that appears so blatantly idiotic and aimed at the lowest common denominator appealing.
posted by ND¢ at 2:34 PM on September 16, 2008


Fucking Fuck America!

Feeling annoyed? Republican insanity got you down? Spate of lies and blatant dishonesty that's even getting called out by Karl Rove and Fox News making you want to slap somebody?

Well we've got just the thing for you. Registering a voter or two! Guaranteed to pick you up. Whether it's meeting an actual real life republican who isn't like a certain someone you know who just dodges questions, or meeting a Democrat or independent who feels like they can't vote for the liars, you'll feel a lot better!

Voter Registration™. In these times where you'll want to yell obscenities at polarized conceptions of people based on one or two question avoiding nonbending superstallers, Voter Registration™ puts you in front of real people, who will likely listen to your informed and well thought out views on why McCain/Palin is a horrible choice.

Act NOW and you'll receive the added benefit of feeling like you made a difference, instead of spending countless hours responding to somebody who is by and large ignoring you.


Try it today!

Offer valid for only the next couple of weeks when the deadline to register voters hits. If you're not an American citizen, you can take all the time you want and argue until kingdom comes. I'm cashman and I approved this message.
posted by cashman at 2:41 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


You're not saying fuck Bill. Because Bill is your friend. You wouldn't say that about him. You are say "Fuck! Bill. What the fuck man? You just rent terrible movies and sit around in your sad little apartment and watch them by yourself in your pajamas and chuckle when "the nottie" farts on some dude or whatever happens in that terrible movie, but I am sure that is probably what happens? Is that how you want your life to be Bill? There is a whole world out there and you are sitting around eating an entire sleeve of oreos and watching a movie written for Paris Hilton?! Come on Bill! YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS! I believe that you are better than this. I love you Bill. I do. I love you."
posted by ND¢ at 2:44 PM on September 16, 2008


'Fuck' is not a verb in that last sentence. 'Fucking Fuck' is an interjection and then 'America' is the subject of the interjection.

Actually, I think you need a comma (or maybe an exclamation point) after "fuck."

I spell it konolia.
And it's "Democratic Party." Please make a note of it.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:47 PM on September 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Boy oh boy, Andrew Sullivan keeps bringing it on. From Robert F. Kennedy Jr on HuffingtonPost:

"Fascist writer Westbrook Pegler, an avowed racist who Sarah Palin approvingly quoted in her acceptance speech for the moral superiority of small town values, expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that "some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in pubic premises before the snow flies." It might be worth asking Governor Palin for a tally of the other favorites from her reading list," - Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Can you imagine if Obama had quoted, say, Malcolm X in his convention speech? The uproar would still be going on.

Double Standards R* Us.

* "R" for Republican
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:50 PM on September 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


Palin and experience.

If you liked that one, here's some more straight talk from Bret Stephens:
Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the mass hysteria phenomenon known as global warming. Much of the science has since been discredited. Now it's time for political scientists, theologians and psychiatrists to weigh in.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 2:54 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here was the Pegler quote from Palin's convention speech:

"We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity", she said, a Pegler quote that also appeared in the book "Right From the Beginning" by Pat Buchanan. "

Now, either Palin herself thought to dig for a Pegler quote, or McCain's speechwriting team did. I'd like to know which, and if it's the former, I'd like to know her opinion of Pegler's other documented opinions, not just his opinion that the assassination of a presidential candidate would be fine, but his virulent anti-semitism (so much so that he was *kicked out* of the John Birch Society, probably the only person ever to be so, for being such a blatant anti-semite). President Truman, whom Palin also cited positively, despised Pegler, and vice versa. Pegler was a very bad person, a McCarthyite and a flaming far right nationalist and racist - he makes Limbaugh and Hannity look like Shields and Brooks.

I ask again: if Obama had quoted an obscure Black nationalist radical writer, or a not so obscure one -- if he had invoked Malcolm instead of Martin in Denver -- this race would be so over it would be time to start planning for the super bowl party.

Yet this gun bunny approvingly quotes a near-Nazi writer (someone still beloved by American Nazis) and the only people who call her on it are Thomas Frank and Frank Rich? Tell me again that media is either balanced or has a liberal bias.

What. The. Fuck.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:59 PM on September 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


Sorry, the quote and context above come from the Wikipedia article on Westbrook Pegler, which is seeing a fair bit of action at the moment.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:00 PM on September 16, 2008


Palin and experience.

so, that's the argument? - that she's another calvin coolidge?

phffffft - talk about damning with faint praise
posted by pyramid termite at 3:02 PM on September 16, 2008


Tell me again that media is either balanced or has a liberal bias.

Hint: it's not the media (moves in very close and starts to whisper), it's America.
posted by cell divide at 3:05 PM on September 16, 2008


I like umbrage as much as the next guy, but I'm sure Palin has no clue who Pegler is, and I would bet the Bush hack who wrote the speech doesn't know either. Someone saw the line in the Buchanan book, and thought it would be a Maverick-y thing to put it in. That's it. Doesn't prove anybody is a frothing anti-Semite. It's a non-issue.

Would the McCain camp make a big fuss if the situation were reversed? Oh sure, absolutely.

But that's why we don't like them.
posted by neroli at 3:12 PM on September 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


(Well, I mean Buchanan's an anti-semite...but everybody knew that already.)
posted by neroli at 3:15 PM on September 16, 2008


We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity

oh, bullshit - people in small towns are just as dishonest, phony, and buffoonish as anywhere else, and many of them are not good people - they're mean, nosy and prone to judge a person by who his relatives are and what church they go to

and since when is minneapolis a small town? (1890 census - 164,738) - and mr pegler wrote for that small town rag the chicago tribune?

i come from a town that has about 50,000 people - and a school district that had a high school class of less than 100 people - so westbrook can just forget telling me what people in small towns are like

and who the hell names their kid after a shopping mall? did he have siblings named eastpointe and southland?
posted by pyramid termite at 3:18 PM on September 16, 2008


No point in blinking when our eyes are already closed, amirite?
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 3:28 PM on September 16, 2008


Well, gee, this isn't partisan at all. GOP lawmakers try to derail Troopergate investigation...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/7802801
posted by clever sheep at 3:34 PM on September 16, 2008


McCain doesn’t know what his own committee does.
“With Wall Street’s financial institutions in turmoil, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) argued in a series of interviews today that his experience on the Senate Commerce Committee meant he knew ‘how to fix this economy.’ ‘I understand the economy. I was chairman of the Commerce Committee that oversights every part of our economy,’ McCain told CNBC’s Squawk Box [video].

But, as the Washington Post points out, the Commerce Committee doesn’t oversee ‘every part of our economy,’ let alone ‘the very areas now in crisis’:
‘In fact, it is the Senate Banking Committee that has oversight of “banks, banking and financial institutions; control of prices of commodities, rents and services; federal monetary policy, including the Federal Reserve System; financial aid to commerce and industry and money and credit, including currency and coinage.”

According to its Web site, the Commerce Committee oversees 13 areas, beginning with the Coast Guard, and continuing through “regulation of consumer products and services … except for credit, financial services, and housing” — the very areas now in crisis.’
It’s not that surprising that McCain is confused about the Commerce Committee’s economic responsibilities, considering that he freely admits, ‘The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.’”
posted by ericb at 3:35 PM on September 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


"We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity"

Like on Twin Peaks.
posted by mazola at 3:38 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Harry Reid lambast McCain on his statement that the "fundamentals of the economy are strong" [video | 07:38]
posted by ericb at 3:40 PM on September 16, 2008


*lambastes*
posted by ericb at 3:41 PM on September 16, 2008


McCain backpedals on all the talk shows this morning [video | 04:00].
posted by ericb at 3:43 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Like on Twin Peaks.

Dukes of Hazzard more like.
posted by Artw at 3:45 PM on September 16, 2008


Is he now saying that it's the medias fault that he clearly has no clue what "fundamentals of the economy" actually means yet?
posted by Artw at 3:46 PM on September 16, 2008


"the fundamentals of our economy are strong"
--John McCain, September 15, 2008

"The fundamental business of the country, that is production and distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis." -- Herbert Hoover, October 1929

We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity

And a lot of horseshit. Or Miracle-Gro.

so much so that he was *kicked out* of the John Birch Society, probably the only person ever to be so, for being such a blatant anti-semite

That's like Shane MacGowan getting kicked out of The Pogues for drinking too much.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:50 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


"We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity"

You know what I learned growing up in a small town? That the cops are easy to ditch. This led to my friends and I discovering the value of breaking and entering, trespassing, improvised explosive fabrication, theft, and probably a hundred other things that I won't go on to mention. Small towns are not some bastion of morals and righteousness, there are a lot of judgmental assholes and misanthropic troublemakers, just like you find in cities.

This is a stupid theme, and they should stop using it.
posted by quin at 3:51 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Especially since Wasilla, Alaska is the state's meth capital.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:57 PM on September 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


I read "small town values" as this election cycle's gay marriage replacement- it's code for bigotry. It's not acceptable to be openly bigoted anymore. Beating the drum about gay marriage was getting stale, so they found a new doublespeak term for it.
posted by ambrosia at 4:03 PM on September 16, 2008


What is it exactly that the VP does? Sing along!
posted by madamjujujive at 4:04 PM on September 16, 2008


will spatter his spoonful of brains in pubic premises before the snow flies

Yup, sounds like a Kennedy. Got his head stuck in someone's pubics.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:10 PM on September 16, 2008


Especially since Wasilla, Alaska is the state's meth capital.

This morning Garrison Keillor described Wasilla as a series of intersecting strip malls.
posted by Artw at 4:10 PM on September 16, 2008


Wasilla: Come for the Cristal Meth, stay for the Rape.

Small town values!
posted by delmoi at 4:22 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Come for the Cristal Meth

I can't afford that French shit. I just buy the regular meth.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:26 PM on September 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


So are you guys saying you're too good to do meth like the rest of us?

Fuck elitists. I bet you've got some sort of Ivy League education...
posted by defenestration at 4:32 PM on September 16, 2008


I hear they charge for the rape.
posted by Artw at 4:46 PM on September 16, 2008


... kits.
posted by jessamyn at 4:50 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


...the McCain health plan would treat employer-paid health benefits as income that employees would have to pay taxes on...

Journal Disputes McCain’s Health Care Claims
"Senator John McCain’s top domestic policy adviser, former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas J. Holtz-Eakin, recently said in a conference call with reporters that Mr. McCain’s health care proposal would 'put 25 to 30 million individuals out of the ranks of the uninsured, into the ranks of the insured.' In an article [in the journal Health Affairs] released Tuesday, a panel of prominent health economists concludes that Mr. Holtz-Eakin’s projection is off by, well, 25 to 30 million."
..prominent health economists... Pfft. What does a panel of experts -- likely educated at those elite Ivy League institutions -- really know? They just spin facts and figures.
posted by ericb at 4:53 PM on September 16, 2008


...Wasilla, Alaska is the state's meth capital.

Yep.
posted by ericb at 4:56 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hi, just checking in since it's been like two days and I was kind of hoping konolia had figured out how to explain how Michelle Malkin isn't racist because she's Asian by now.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:09 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think we established that Asian people are White, and therefore racist, in the Tim Wise thread. It hasn't been established which Black people are White yet though.
posted by Artw at 5:12 PM on September 16, 2008


By the way, the Tina Fey Palin SNL skit was totally sexist you guys!
posted by ND¢ at 5:13 PM on September 16, 2008


Oprah, SNL, The View... They're really playing this media victimisation thing to the hilt, aren't they? The big crybabies*.

[* NOT BABBYIST]
posted by Artw at 5:16 PM on September 16, 2008


By the way, the Tina Fey Palin SNL skit was totally sexist you guys!

So says McCain surrogate Carly Fiorina who also said today that neither McCain or Palin have the experience to run a U.S. business.

Countdown begins to see when Fiorina joins Phil Gramm as "former" economic adviser to John McCain. 5...4...3...2...
posted by ericb at 5:28 PM on September 16, 2008


Hi, just checking in since it's been like two days and I was kind of hoping konolia had figured out how to explain how Michelle Malkin isn't racist because she's Asian by now.

Don't hold your breath.
posted by ericb at 5:28 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think we are starting to see McCain's (in)famous temper showing through, especially now that he is being called out for his lying and dishonorable campaign style.

I have every hope that McCain will actually snap on-air very soon. It would be icing on the cake.

Even Fox News calls out McCain campaign on lies [video | 04:23].

Holy mother of God - what the hell was that!!!?
posted by odinsdream at 5:32 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


This may be an inappropriate thing to say, on many levels, but...

...I have a HUGE crush on Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
posted by neroli at 5:36 PM on September 16, 2008


That Fox News video...

The McCain rep I'm-rubber-you're-glued every lie leveled at them. It was totally pathological.

My brain hurts.
posted by defenestration at 5:45 PM on September 16, 2008


Thanks neroli. That video made my brain feel a bit better.
posted by defenestration at 5:51 PM on September 16, 2008


"We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity"

Oh barf. Every time I remember this moment from her speech I just want to reach out and smack the smug bitch. Anybody with half a brain growing up in a small town skeddadles at the first opportunity.

I live in a small town. We don't have a single bookstore, not since the Christian bookstore closed down. We don't have a non-chain restaurant (aside from the Toot-N-Tell and trust me, you don't want to go there.) We don't have a museum. If it weren't for the county library we wouldn't have a thing in this town to feed your brain or broaden your horizons. What we do have is lots of WalMarts and every other crappy chain you can think of. Lucky for us, Raleigh is only a 15 minute drive, otherwise this place would be intolerable.

I guess the whole idea of bringing up your children where they might get some culture is a foreign concept to Palin. Too Frenchified. Oh I forgot, the Palin kids get all the culture they need down at the big, fancy hockey rink, because looking at paintings from other times and other countries might make them dishonest, insincere, and undignified. And unwed, pregnant 17-year-old girls are so dignified and honest!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:02 PM on September 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Pinocchio Politics.
posted by ericb at 6:05 PM on September 16, 2008


Toot-N-Tell
Nu-uh! It is not called that. Is it? It's called that? Is it next door to the Smelt-it Dealt-it Lounge?
posted by Bookhouse at 6:07 PM on September 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's called the Toot-N-Tell because it is right next to the train tracks, which explains the "Toot" but not the "Tell." It's been around forever. And just so you know exactly what small towns are really like, there used to be an ice cream shop on main street and the old lady who ran the shop sold cigarettes and a few staples like bread and milk. But the Toot-N-Tell is two blocks away and the owners complained to the city council that this was cutting into their business, so the ice cream vendor had to remove her other stock. The ice cream shop folded not long after, leaving those of us who live in the area with no place to buy a loaf of bread within walking distance.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:22 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I really like Debbie Wasserman Schultz too!

Just got back from an organizing meeting for volunteers for Obama in my town of 208...people are scared enough to work really hard.
posted by schyler523 at 6:41 PM on September 16, 2008


Lucky for us, Raleigh is only a 15 minute drive, otherwise this place would be intolerable.

I'm shaking my head....you have the benefits of a small town lifestyle (and there are some, here in NC) and you are FIFTEEN MINUTES from Raleigh, which means you are also near Chapel Hill and Durham, which means you have art museums and science museums and history museums and large universities and dance companies and on and on and on....for that matter I just checked your profile and you are in a Raleigh suburb.

As for Palin and where she brought up her children, can you think of a more magnificent landscape for one's backyard than Alaska?

Back to your point-I understand why you think where you live is intolerable. You live near people who are probably a lot like my cousins-heck, it's possible you DO live near a cousin of mine, for that matter. They aren't like me. I like art and dance and theater. They like Nascar and country music and visiting relatives and the occasional cigarette. And they love their little Baptist church and the covered dish suppers and the ball games and going fishing and so on and so forth.
And Raleigh is only 15 minutes away.

Oh, the horror.
posted by konolia at 6:45 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm really wondering how the financial meltdown is going to play in the election. I mean, from where I stand, the difference in substance between what Obama is saying and what McCain is putting out is just ASTONISHING.

If you want to see the full deal, take a look at the speech he gave today in Colorado: 1, 2.

It's long, and it's kind of wonky, and he definitely runs out of steam a bit in the middle--but the mix of passion and information seems like the kind of thing that could be really effective right now.

Hardly anyone really gets what's going on with all the bank failures. Nobody knows what it's going to mean for them. People want to understand.

The thing about Obama's background that--according to the Republicans--was laughable, now seems more important: he's a teacher. And this is exactly the kind of situation where people might turn to a teacher before they turn to a soldier.

If he could only prune it down a little, put out the radio edit instead of the extended dance mix, I think he might really have something that could win people over.
posted by neroli at 7:04 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


And they love their little Baptist church and the covered dish suppers and the ball games and going fishing and so on and so forth.

I think you've confused your relatives with the cast of the Andy Griffith show. No Worries...It could happen to anyone. There weren't any Black People in Mayberry, so my pretend family is The Huxtables. This game is fun! Let's play again!

2008: the year Republicans discovered sarcasm.
posted by billyfleetwood at 7:06 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


...can you think of a more magnificent landscape for one's backyard than Alaska?
posted by neroli at 7:07 PM on September 16, 2008


Yikes, this thread has been busy.
posted by agregoli at 7:08 PM on September 16, 2008


I have a HUGE crush on Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

I'm pretty impressed myself. She annoyed me n end when she was a Clinton surrogate with her case for counting the Florida delegates, but those same pitbull qualities (with lipstick, no less) are a heck of lot more appealing when they're deployed for the side you're on, and I'm glad she's been such a solid team player -- unlike a few . She stays on message like nobody's business. We need that.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:19 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


As for Palin and where she brought up her children, can you think of a more magnificent landscape for one's backyard than Alaska?

I don't think anyone here would argue against the splendor and beauty of the outdoors, but I'll wager what was being referred to was the lack of culture that small towns have. Or rather, that a monoculture exists in small towns, and for many this is stifling, to put it mildly.
posted by zardoz at 7:22 PM on September 16, 2008


We don't have a non-chain restaurant (aside from the Toot-N-Tell and trust me, you don't want to go there.)

Am I missing something here? It's like the name of that restaurant is bragging about how it will give you flatulence. Not trying to be condescending. I just don't see the attraction in it, that's all.
posted by jonp72 at 7:32 PM on September 16, 2008


If you want to see the full deal, take a look at the speech he gave today in Colorado: 1, 2.

The whole speech is posted one Obama's own youtube channel, sans annoying graphics. It's a pretty impressive 38 minutes, very worth listening to.

McCain also has a youtube channel, but it seems to have less stump speech coverage, more ads. I like the stump speeches - they are much more informative on policies than ads (duh).
posted by jb at 7:34 PM on September 16, 2008


Am I missing something here? It's like the name of that restaurant is bragging about how it will give you flatulence. Not trying to be condescending. I just don't see the attraction in it, that's all.

"We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity and great rumbling farts that would make city folk tremble in their Prada boots"
posted by neroli at 7:39 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


konolia - earlier you asked about Obama and the economy - I strongly suggest you listen to the speech which is heavy on substantive policy.
posted by jb at 7:39 PM on September 16, 2008


I think you've confused your relatives with the cast of the Andy Griffith show. No Worries...It could happen to anyone. There weren't any Black People in Mayberry, so my pretend family is The Huxtables. This game is fun! Let's play again!

I don't understand. I'm describing actual relatives.

By the way, Aunt Sharon's quite the cook. You'd love her coconut pie.
posted by konolia at 7:39 PM on September 16, 2008


Alaska is a magnificent backyard. So full of riches and beauty. So let's kill the beauty and plunder the riches!

Wolf and Polar Bear hunt from airplane after we convince people to Drill BABY DRILL!
posted by tomierna at 7:39 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't believe Governor Palin had any understanding of the phrase "Bush Doctrine" before the interview.

I wonder whether, when Palin heard the word "doctrine," she was thinking that "doctrine" referred to Bush's religious beliefs. It would make sense. Most of the time when we say "doctrine" outside of a foreign policy context, we use it to refer to religious doctrine. This would make Palin's reference to Bush's "worldview" more comprehensible. It also might explain why she paused and said, "In what respect, Charlie?" Palin was obviously prepped to take on questions about her religious views, as her attempt to deflect the "Is the Iraq War the will of God?" question with an Abraham Lincoln quotation might suggest. Instead of realizing that the question was about foreign policy, Palin may have thought it was an attempt to draw her into making statements that compared her religious worldview with George W. Bush's religious worldview.
posted by jonp72 at 8:05 PM on September 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


"Black Comic Introduces McCain"
posted by neroli at 8:08 PM on September 16, 2008 [7 favorites]


McCain reportedly ‘furious’ with Fiorina, campaign adviser says she will ‘disappear’ from TV.
posted by ericb at 8:11 PM on September 16, 2008


...can you think of a more magnificent landscape for one's backyard than Alaska?

New Mexico. I absolutely relished that mountain view I had every single day on my walk to work, with those brilliant blue New Mexico skies. And that drive down the hill, facing the mountains near Santa Fe, especially in the winter? Aww, I fucking miss New Mexico. And they have way better food. I lived in Los Alamos for three years, and you know what? Republicans though they are, even they don't think the small town in New Mexico is the be-all-end-all of America and encourage their kids to rise above their small town experience and experience the rest that this great country, and frankly great world has to offer.

But then, most of them have those "worthless" PhDs, many from the "useless" Ivy League schools. I guess they don't count in the American Experience.

But it's funny. All my fish-fry, covered dish, church-going (mostly Methodist and Catholic, though, not "real" Christians) family are voting for Obama. Those that aren't, just can't stomach voting for a black man. I'm sure your proud to have them on your side. And you know what? Every one of them, including my mother, who can't (yet) bring herself to vote for a black man, is deeply proud of my academic accomplishments. My Dad (God rest his soul) called me his hero. My grandfather went around bragging to everyone he could about my "astrology" (astronomy) degree.

I'm sure you have too much time bearing false witness towards Barack Obama, along with your pals John McCain and Sarah Palin, like the good Christians you are, to really care what some "worthless" fellow American with a PhD thinks. But this particular "worthless American" thinks you can take your hatred, your bigotry, your lies, your proud stupidity, and shove them right back up your ass.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:16 PM on September 16, 2008 [11 favorites]


Grand Moff Palin.
And no, not Photoshopped.
posted by EarBucket at 8:21 PM on September 16, 2008


Well, I've spent a lot of time in New Mexico, which is indeed sublime country, and less time in Alaska, but while on sheer beauty they can be fairly compared, on wildness, there's no question Alaska is orders of magnitude more impressive.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:22 PM on September 16, 2008


Damn, neroli, that was hilarious. Highly recommended humor link alert.


While we're cracking ourselves up, here's a comment I saw on ThinkProgress tonight (where the news is that McCain has busted Carly Fiorina down to buck private rank in anger at her comments):


"it sure is getting crowded under the straight talk express."
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:26 PM on September 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


I think you've confused your relatives with the cast of the Andy Griffith show.

i think you've confused your television with your brain
posted by pyramid termite at 8:38 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


At least John Sidney McCain, III isn't a Democrat.

on preview: LOL, fourcheesemac
posted by lysdexic at 8:50 PM on September 16, 2008


I'm really wondering how the financial meltdown is going to play in the election.

It's a huge plus for McCain. As the only candidate to have barely escaped indictment in a scandal involving a massive bank industry failure brought about by corrupt lobying of the Senate, and the subsequent $150+ billion, largely taxpayer funded bailout, he has the experience to guide us through this one. Expect to see his ads about that tomorrow. Or, wait, no.

Why isn't anyone talking about this? Did we forget?
posted by The Bellman at 8:54 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


So that WSJ article by Bret Stephens attempts to justify Palin's inexperience by comparing her to three former VP picks who it argues were also inexperienced. Let's compare the three records [facts courtesy of Wikipedia]:

Calvin Coolidge

Stephens says:
When Coolidge was named to Warren Harding's ticket in 1920, he had been governor of Massachusetts for less than two years. Aside from a largely powerless stint as lieutenant governor and other smaller legislative posts, his chief previous government experience was as mayor of Northampton, to which he was first elected in 1910 by a Wasilla-like margin of 1,597 to 1,409.
Survey says:

Graduated from Amherst, practiced law in Amherst, MA
1896: Campaigned for McKinley
1897: Became chair of Republican Committee
1898: Opened own law office
1898: he won election to the City Council of Northampton
1899: he declined renomination, running instead for City Solicitor.
1900: Elected for a one-year term in 1900
1901: Re-elected , and reelected in 1901
1901: Selected for clerk of county courts
1906: Nominated for election to the state House of Representatives. He won a close victory over the incumbent Democrat. In his freshman term, Coolidge served on minor committees and, although he usually voted with the party, was known as a Progressive Republican, voting in favor of such measures as women's suffrage and the direct election of Senators
1907: Served in the session of the Massachusetts General Court.
1909: Ran for mayor of Northampton. Defeated his challenger by a vote of 1,597 to 1,409.[29] During his first term (1910 to 1911), he increased teachers' salaries and retired some of the city's debt while still managing to effect a slight tax decrease.[30]
1911: Renominated, defeating the same opponent by a slightly larger margin.[31]
1912: Ran for State Senator and won by a large margin. Served on arbitration committee that settled the "bread and roses" strike.
1913: Served another term as state senator, serving as chairman on railroad committee
1914: Coolidge elected again to state Senate and unanimously elected as President of the Senate.
1915: Coolidge runs for Lieutenant Governor and wins.
1916: Coolidge is re-elected as Lt. Governor
1918: Coolidge runs for Governor and wins, quashes major police strike
1919: Coolidge runs for governor again, winning by an even larger margion, leading to His suggestions that Coolidge should run for President in 1920.[
1920: Coolidge is nominated by the Republican Party to run as Vice President.

Teddy Roosevelt


Stephens says:
TR, as a former assistant secretary of the Navy, had more foreign policy experience than Mrs. Palin, though one wonders what today we would make of a candidate whose proud boast was that he had killed an enemy soldier "like a jackrabbit.
Survey says:

1880: Graduated graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude (22nd of 177) from Harvard in 1880, and entered Columbia Law School.
1881: Ran for New York Assemblyman, won. Authored more bills than any other state legislator.
1882: Wrote an influential history book on the war of 1812.
1884: Left Senate.
1887-96: Wrote six more books, including a four-volume History of the West
1888: Campaigned for Benjamin Harrison
1888-1895: Served in the US Civil Service Commision, to which he was nominated by Harrison
1895-97: Served as head of NYC Police Commisioners, totally reforming department
1897: Served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, apppointed by President McKinley
1898: Formed and led volunteer regiment of "Rough Riders" in Spanish-American War. He was nominated for, and posthumously awarded, the Medal of Honor, the only American President to be decorated with the highest military honor in the nation.
1898: Elected Governor of New York.
1900: Republican Party pressured McKinley to take him on as running mate.
1901: Roosevelt takes on Presidency after six months as VP after McKinley dies of a gunshot wound.

Harry S Truman

Stephens says:
"Then there is Harry Truman, to whom Mrs. Palin compared herself at the Republican convention. "He had only to open his mouth and his origins were plain," wrote David McCullough... "It wasn't just that he came from a particular part of the country, geographically, but from a specific part of the American experience, an authentic pioneer background, and a specific place in the American imagination."

The Truman comparison seems especially to rankle Mrs. Palin's critics, perhaps because in many respects it rings true. Take vetting. John McCain may have met Mrs. Palin only once before he offered her the job, but Franklin Roosevelt admitted "I hardly know Truman" in July 1944, the same month the "Senator from Pendergast" was put on the Democratic ticket.

Or take foreign policy experience. It's fair to say that Mrs. Palin has none, and the McCain campaign should drop the transparent pretense that Alaska's proximity to Russia, or her nominal responsibility for the state's National Guard, gives her some.

Then again, what did Truman know? "Truman had no experience in relations with Britain or Russia, no firsthand knowledge of Churchill or Stalin," writes Mr. McCullough. "He didn't know his own Secretary of State, more than to say hello. . . . Roosevelt, Truman would tell [daughter] Margaret privately, 'never did talk to me confidentially about the war, or about foreign affairs or what he had in mind for peace after the war.' He was unprepared, bewildered."

Truman, it's true, had served bravely as an army captain in World War I; he knew the nature of war. But his chief recommendation as a U.S. senator was as a good-government type who bucked his home state's machine politics (though not so frontally as Mrs. Palin bucked hers) and fought waste, fraud and corruption in military spending."
Survey says:

1905-11 Served in National Guard
1917-19 Appointed an officer commanding an artillery brigade
1922: Elected County Judge
1926: Elected Presiding Judge for the county court
1930: Re-elected Presiding Judge. Coordinated the "Ten Year Plan", which transformed Jackson County and the Kansas City skyline with public works projects, including an roads, construction of a new County Court building, and the dedication of a series of 12 monuments honoring pioneer women.
1933: Appointed Missouri's director for the Federal Re-Employment program (part of the Civil Works Administration)
1934: Won election to US Senate by more than 20 percent
1940: Succeeded in winning contested re-election to the Senate
1941: Headed a US Senate committee examining wastefulness in the military; saved $15 billion and as a result was nominated Time's Man of the Year in 1945
1944: Nominated Vice President

Those are some pretty impressive resumes by individuals who dedicated their lives to public service, paying their dues by gaining experience in important elected offices. Let's see whether Stephen's comparison of their resumes to Palin's holds up.

Sarah Palin

1982-1987: Attends five different colleges, eventually graduating from the University of Idaho
1984: Won Miss Wasilla Beauty Contest and second runner-up in Miss Alaska Beauty Pageant.
1988: In 1988, worked as a sports reporter for KTUU-TV in Anchorage, Alaska, and for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman as a sports reporter. Also helped in her husband’s commercial fishing family business.
1992: Elected to City Council of Wasilla on 530 votes. to opponent's 310.
1995: Elected to City Council again, 413 votes to 185
1996: Quits council term to run for mayor of Wasilla, population 6300. Wins.
1999: Elected to second mayoral term. Elected president of Alaska Council of Mayors.
2002: Term limits prevented another run for mayor. Runs for Lt. Governor, loses.
2003: Appointed to Oil and Gas Commission as "ethics supervisor." Resigns in less than a year, citing "lack of ethics" among commission members
2003-05: Served as one of three directors of "[later indicted] Ted Steven's Excellence in Public Service, Inc.," a 527 group s designed to provide political training for Republican women in Alaska. [Palin told the Anchorage Daily News that she had decided not to run for the U.S. Senate that year because her teenage son opposed it. Palin said "How could I be the team mom if I was a U.S. Senator?"]
2006: Elected as Governor.

And there you have it! Looks like it takes one of those stretches of epic proportions to compare Palin's skimpy record with some of the most influential politicians of the last century - people who dedicated the bulk of their careers to public service, giving government the serious attention it requires, and making sure they had abundant experience in military service, law, committee work, and governance before allowing themselves to be nominated for the second-highest office in the land. Good thing TR was so experienced, since McKinley kicked the bucket only six months after he attained the VP desk.

In their days, people believed that a demonstrated history of serious public service, the ability to lead, and qualifications were required before they would grant their votes to someone seeking office. Stephens takes a pretty huge risk invoking the names of three prominent and experienced Republicans of the past century - I know he means to shore up Palin's case, but anyone who looks at the records of the three people he names can't help but notice the glaring differences between their qualifications and hers. Maybe not such a smart gambit.
posted by Miko at 9:00 PM on September 16, 2008 [33 favorites]


As for Palin and where she brought up her children, can you think of a more magnificent landscape for one's backyard than Alaska?

The scorched, barren deserts of a post-WWIII apocalypse, amirite?
posted by cortex at 9:02 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Grand Moff Palin.

Oh look what Sarah Palin is wearing now: It’s an Imperial death smock.

I literally laughed so hard I snorted!


not piggist
posted by cashman at 9:04 PM on September 16, 2008


[sexist]Yet another Bush We Can't Trust[/sexist]

via my GF on Ravelry
posted by schyler523 at 9:05 PM on September 16, 2008


I don't understand. I'm describing actual relatives.

You could just as well be describing my actual relatives. They live fifteen minutes drive from a town of people... in the mountains. Even for BC, they're hicks. Seriously, even for BC.

The basic mathematics and self-evident logic of the theory of evolution as a good and often predictive research tool, is beyond them; let alone that the formula for evolution as a motive force lacks any ability to pass judgement on the theory of godhead.

But, still, they're mostly harmless. They're probably not one-issue voters. And even if they were, it's not like we have batshitinsane rape-baby mommas and alzheimer daddies running our political parties.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:05 PM on September 16, 2008


Miko is amazing!
posted by schyler523 at 9:12 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Miko is amazing!

Nah -- just tired of the bullshit! We're a better country than this. I'd like to believe.
posted by Miko at 9:14 PM on September 16, 2008


The Truman comparison seems especially to rankle Mrs. Palin's critics, perhaps because in many respects it rings true.

Yes, but (as a native Missourian) in the "I knew Harry Truman, and you're no Harry Truman" sort of way.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:18 PM on September 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


The scorched, barren deserts of a post-WWIII apocalypse, amirite?

Apparently AoG are into a pre-tribulation rapture, so after bringing about the proper conditions for the Apocalypse Palin and family get to go chill with Jesus while the unsaved suffer all the nasty shit. Then they get to come back for a triumphant battle with the demonic forces (I suspect Palin shall snipe from a helicopter) and the thousand-year theocracy followed by the Last Judgment.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:26 PM on September 16, 2008


Miko, wow.
posted by cashman at 9:30 PM on September 16, 2008


Full disclosure: I'm voting for McCain.

Double Full disclosure: Most of you will *forget* to vote because you'll be too busy furiously adding to threads like this.

In another 20 years you'll smarten up.

Maybe.

PS I know "smarten" isn't a word, but post away, that's your prime directive(that's something sci-fi that makes you guys do things, right?)
posted by Rafaelloello at 9:43 PM on September 16, 2008


Bob Barr lawsuit seeks to bar (pun intended) Obama and McCain from Texas Ballot.
posted by schyler523 at 9:44 PM on September 16, 2008


Smarten is, in fact, a word. Jane Austen was using it two hundred years ago.

Plus, Oregon has vote-by-mail, so I can participate in democracy without having to leave the house my mother's basement.
posted by cortex at 9:58 PM on September 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


Why isn't anyone talking about this? Did we forget?

The Rachel Maddow Show had David Sirota on.

...McCain's fortmative economic experience was in the last crisis, the S&L crisis, where he was one of the Keating Five. In that scandal, he was somebody who used his senate position to effectively intervene and press regulators to not get involved and regulate that scandal.

And I don't know if that second (video) link will work. It should be the McCain-omics video. And you will have to sit through an ad.
posted by effwerd at 10:12 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


you'll be too busy furiously adding to threads like this.

Right, whereas you'll be adding your bon mots to threads like this, or were those 17 posts in the original Palin thread by another Rafaelloello?

Seriously, dude, not many of us here who can vote will be "forgetting" jack on election day.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:23 PM on September 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Full disclosure: I'm voting for McCain.

No, Rafaelloello, not you! (Who are you, anyway?) Anybody but you! (Honestly, who are you?) I don't believe in nothin' no more now that you've decided to exercise your constitutional right as you see fit! (Seriously, it's cool, but y'know, what do you want, a medal?)

I get that to someone who leans Right such a pronouncement in a overwhelmingly Centre-Left community like this one may feel akin to coming out to your Lumberjack/Marine dad, but aside from a couple of wacky folks, I'm betting that most who read your earthshattering revelation will shrug their shoulders and say 'Well, at least he's voting'.

Because that's sort of how democracy works.

Full disclosure: Canadian, making his first political donation EVAR to Obama.
I just wish I had done it before the dollar went below parity.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:50 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


You're right, dude. I'm totally going to forget to vote. Totally going to forget to make sure a bunch of people I know vote too. Yup, yup.
posted by cashman at 10:56 PM on September 16, 2008


Full disclosure: Canadian, making his first political donation EVAR to Obama.

Uh, no you're not, because that's illegal.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:57 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


And to think you were on my short list of potential fronts, dirigibleman.
*Shakes head*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:03 PM on September 16, 2008


Double Full disclosure: Most of you will *forget* to vote because you'll be too busy furiously adding to threads like this.

Oh, Rafaelloello, thank you for the best laugh I've had all day.
posted by palomar at 11:16 PM on September 16, 2008


Caligula for President: Better American Living Through Tyranny
posted by homunculus at 11:18 PM on September 16, 2008


"...and I was told I would be addressing you alone."

Well, that would have been interesting...

Also: Alaska's Attorney General blocks subpoena of state employees in Troopergate probe

jonp72: "I wonder whether, when Palin heard the word "doctrine," she was thinking that "doctrine" referred to Bush's religious beliefs. It would make sense. Most of the time when we say "doctrine" outside of a foreign policy context, we use it to refer to religious doctrine. This would make Palin's reference to Bush's "worldview" more comprehensible."

But that just raises a different set of concerns. I mean, is it not troubling that someone with a very real chance of becoming president would immediately interpret an ambiguous term like "doctrine" in its religious sense rather than the diplomatic one?

To put it another way, when vetting an aspiring chemist it is not a very encouraging sign to hear him say "yoon-yen-ized" instead of "un-eye-on-ized".
posted by Rhaomi at 2:02 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, Rafaelloello, thank you for the best laugh I've had all day.

Sure, and when you wake up at your desk on November 5th, the impressions of the keys from your keyboard on your face, and you realize you forgot to vote because you were too busy posting on the internet, then who'll be laughing, eh wiseacre? I personally intend to set up a desktop widget that reminds me to vote. That's what we science-fiction folks do. Nanoo-nanoo! Smarten up!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:11 AM on September 17, 2008 [8 favorites]


I think Rafaelolleo whatever felt inspired to come out to us Marine/Lumberjack types, and that can't have been easy or felt very safe. For whatever reason, at the time he needed us to know he was going to vote, and not for the guy most MeFites are supporting. I can see where reading a thread like this you'd start to feel like you were a freak, the only one of your kind (other than konolia, who is a kind in her own right).

I'd like to give him (?) a group hug. We'll all get through this, you know. As a family. And we still love you Rafaelolleo. We don't care if you do have a thing for pigs in lipstick. You're one of us.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:30 AM on September 17, 2008


Also: Alaska's Attorney General blocks subpoena of state employees in Troopergate probe

This is my surprised face.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:19 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, wow, this is spectacular:
Colberg, who was appointed by Palin, said the employees are caught between their respect for the Legislature and their loyalty to the governor, who initially agreed to cooperate with the inquiry but has increasingly opposed it since McCain chose her as his running mate.

"This is an untenable position for our clients because the governor has so strongly stated that the subpoenas issued by your committee are of questionable validity," Colberg wrote.
The Republican Attorney General- appointed by Sarah Palin- is telling state employees who were subpoenaed not to testify because the governor- Sarah Palin- think they shouldn't have been subpoenaed.

We're all so fucked, aren't we?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:33 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Republicans begin efforts to suppress the vote in Florida and California, via "We have you registered as a republican" mailers with "Do Not Forward" stamped on them. Election officials criticize the efforts.
The piece, paid for by the Republican National Committee and authorized by McCain, tells voters it is seeking to double-check their "unconfirmed" party affiliations while asking for money. A letter signed by McCain tells the Democrats: "We have you registered as a Republican."

Two top Florida elections officials, both Republicans, faulted the GOP mailing, calling it "confusing" and "unfortunate" because of a potential to undermine voter confidence by making them question the accuracy of their registrations.

"It is unfortunate, because it does put a lot of doubt in people's minds," said Secretary of State Kurt Browning, the state's top elections official.

After his office received dozens of calls, Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland issued a media alert that his office had nothing to do with it. "They were upset folks and they were very concerned," said Holland, a Republican. "They mainly said their party (listing) was different than it was."

Some Democrats suspect a motive beyond raising money. The first-class GOP mailing has a "Do not forward" instruction on the envelope, meaning they will be returned to the GOP if a recipient has had mail forwarded, perhaps to a summer address, or has moved.

Letters returned as undeliverable can be compiled into "challenge lists" of unverifiable addresses and can be used to challenge voters' eligibility during early voting or on Election Day. The vote suppression technique is known as "vote caging."

The letter asks recipients to note changes on an "RNC File Card" and return it to the party by Sept. 26. The card shows a nine-digit "voter ID" number, but the supervisor of elections in Jacksonville's Duval County said the numbers are wrong and do not match the state's voter database.
This is sickening.
posted by cashman at 5:35 AM on September 17, 2008 [8 favorites]


You know, at the beginning of all this, back when Obama and Clinton were still death-matching but McCain had already been chose, I thought, "You know, this could be so much worse. I like Barack a lot, Clinton pretty well and McCain, while I'd never vote for him, I do think he is an honorable man. The sanest Republican anywhere near national office, even, and maybe things will be OK no matter what happens"

Boy was I out to fucking lunch. We are in a scrap with crazy, wicked people. A hell of a scrap.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:16 AM on September 17, 2008 [14 favorites]


The Sarah Palin Phenomenon Is Doomed -- "The Media Live To Build You Up, Then Knock You Down."
posted by ericb at 7:10 AM on September 17, 2008


Full disclosure: I'm voting for McCain.

Don't tell me, Rafaelloello: you personally know a woman who used to babysit his three oldest kids, as well? Nuff said.
posted by ericb at 7:14 AM on September 17, 2008


It's a real shame these voter-repression techniques werent made illegal during the past four years.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:14 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bob Barr lawsuit seeks to bar (pun intended) Obama and McCain from Texas Ballot.

Not Bad Bob Barr? Bothersome Bob Barr? Bob the Butcher Barr?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:24 AM on September 17, 2008


The Sarah Palin Phenomenon Is Doomed -- "The Media Live To Build You Up, Then Knock You Down."

Except comparing Sarah Palin to a celebrity fascination like Britney Spears is actually frightening. Britney Spears is the most-searched individual on the internet. People have been obsessed with her and will continue to be for years. It doesn't matter that's it's an Anna Nicole-style freakshow; they are fascinated with seeing what wacky thing she'll do next.

That's what makes Palin so profitable for McCain. They truly do not care that she's criminally inept and unfit to be in the White House. People will keep watching her.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:33 AM on September 17, 2008


The Palin Bounce Fades for McCain -- "Polls show Obama gaining strength on doubts over GOP's VP pick and McCain's economy flip-flops."
posted by ericb at 7:40 AM on September 17, 2008


Oh, by the way, the Lieutenant Governor of Alaska is running for Congress in a still-contested primary against Don Young.

If Lt. Gov. Parnell wins the primary, he will likely win the seat in a heavily-red district. This would mean, per the Alaska constitution, that if Sarah Palin is elected vice president, the Attorney General- you know, the one who just essentially blocked all witnesses from testifying in the corruption investigation against her- would become Governor.

I'm sure that doesn't mean anything, though.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:40 AM on September 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Four More Years! Four More Years!
"For much of this year, Mr. McCain has seemed to struggle to strike a balance between conveying the optimism that many voters want in their leaders, and the I-feel-your-pain empathy that they crave during hard times. His task is complicated by the tension between his plans to continue many of the economic policies of the unpopular incumbent Republican president he hopes to succeed, and his pledges to improve the American economy and shake up Washington.

As recently as January, Mr. McCain argued at a Republican debate that Americans were better off than they were eight years ago; by this summer he had released an advertisement that said 'we’re worse off than we were four years ago.'"
posted by ericb at 7:49 AM on September 17, 2008


Ghah, in light of the six(!) irate/upset e-mails accusing me of criminality I woke up to following my Canadian-donating-to-Obama comment, I should probably clarify that no, I did not actually get a front; an American friend purchased a handsome mug from Obama's website, rounded up his donation, and in the spirit of the free trade and friendship which binds our nations together, sold said mug to me at the price he paid for it.

No fraud or funneling of funds, no grounds for accusations of foreign influence, no untoward shenanigans that would reflect badly upon the candidate. So please accept my apologies for any misunderstandings my glibness caused, and stop sending me e-mails saying I'm going to end up in American jail. 'Cuz that's just not funny.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:02 AM on September 17, 2008


I'm going to hope and pray Obama is elected.... I doubt we can afford 4 more years of Bush.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:04 AM on September 17, 2008


I'm shaking my head....you have the benefits of a small town lifestyle (and there are some, here in NC) and you are FIFTEEN MINUTES from Raleigh, which means you are also near Chapel Hill and Durham, which means you have art museums and science museums and history museums and large universities and dance companies and on and on and on....for that matter I just checked your profile and you are in a Raleigh suburb.

Are you willfully obtuse or do you just have trouble with reading comprhension? My point was that small towns are limiting by virtue of their smallness and if you want anything that is out of the ordinary you have to leave the small town and go somewhere else.

As for Palin and where she brought up her children, can you think of a more magnificent landscape for one's backyard than Alaska?

If I could have a second home in Alaska that would be fine for family vacations. Or if I wanted to bring my child up to become a big game hunter or the best hockey player in the world then Alaska might be my choice. But if I wanted to bring her up to appreciate fine art and fine dining, and expose her to different cultures, languages,and music so that she became a well-rounded person then Alaska would not be on my list, no. Within driving distance of Paris, London, or New York would be ideal.

Back to your point-I understand why you think where you live is intolerable. You live near people who are probably a lot like my cousins-heck, it's possible you DO live near a cousin of mine, for that matter. They aren't like me. I like art and dance and theater. They like Nascar and country music and visiting relatives and the occasional cigarette. And they love their little Baptist church and the covered dish suppers and the ball games and going fishing and so on and so forth.

First of all I said it would be intolerable if I could not go to five star restaurants in Durham, the theater in Chapel Hill, and the museums in Raleigh. Second, visiting relatives, going to church, and fishing are great activities for middle age folk who have given up on straining their brain at all. I'd be willing to bet that they love the all-you-can-eat buffet at The Golden Corral and Disney films. People who stay in their comfort zones and never get exposed to anything out of the ordinary, anything they might have to think too hard about, love small towns and small town activities because it is just so comforting. Liked mashed potatoes. But I fail to see why that makes them more honorable, dignified, or more sincere than people who live in the city. What it does make them (often, not always) is intolerant of other lifestyles. And it also makes them boring.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:10 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I forgot to add that since I have now learned that Alaska is the Rape Capital of America and that Wasilla is the Meth Capital of Alaska, I would most assuredly NOT choose to raise my daughter in Wasilla.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:17 AM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


People who stay in their comfort zones and never get exposed to anything out of the ordinary, anything they might have to think too hard about, love small towns and small town activities because it is just so comforting. Liked mashed potatoes. But I fail to see why that makes them more honorable, dignified, or more sincere than people who live in the city. What it does make them (often, not always) is intolerant of other lifestyles. And it also makes them boring.

This kind of crap just makes it harder to communicate across party lines -- much as I feel the sentiment you're getting at, it's not helpful and it feeds the troll.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 8:43 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Further on the "Catholic country" business, back in April, Douglas Kmiec -- a staunch Republican and Reagan Justice Dept. official -- was *denied communion* by his Catholic church for having endorsed Barack Obama.

In a world where laws were taken seriously, this would cost the Catholic church its tax exemption. But since we live in a virtual theocracy, almost no one has even heard about it.

If I were a Catholic Obama supporter, I would not put another dime in the collection plate until I heard an apology for this.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:46 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here is Kmiec's own account of being denied communion on BeliefNet. Makes your blood boil.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:48 AM on September 17, 2008


The same thing happened to Joe Biden, according to this NY Times article I read this morning. In that case, it was due to support for abortion rights.

But then his local bishop plunged into the fray, barring Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, from receiving communion in the area because of his support for abortion rights.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 9:05 AM on September 17, 2008


McCain has mocked the Obama fundraiser that Barbra Streisand hosted last night in L.A. (forgetting that McCain was feted at a Hollywood fundraiser last month).

An oldy, but a prescient goody! -- McCain Sings Streisand [video | 02:40]
"I've been in politics for over 20 years, and for over 20 years I've had Barbra Streisand trying to do my job. So I've decided to try my hand at her job...My new CD is a must for all Barbra Streisand fans, as well as Log Cabin Republicans...A portion of all sales will be used to damage Alaskan Wildlife Preserves."
posted by ericb at 9:12 AM on September 17, 2008


Palin credits electoral success to witchhunter
As I was mayor and Pastor Muthee was here and he was praying over me, [...]
“And I'm thinking, this guy’s really bold, he doesn't even know what I'm going to do, he doesn’t know what my plans are," she continued. "And he’s praying not 'oh Lord if it be your will may she become governor,' no, he just prayed for it. He said, 'Lord make a way and let her do this next step. And that’s exactly what happened.'"[...]
In 1988, Pastor Muthee and his wife traveled to Kenya after being "called by God." Setting up shop in the basement of a grocery store, they claim to have brought 200 people "to God" and away from the town's "spiritual oppression."

The source of the oppression? Witchcraft, Muthee says. When researching the community, they found that a woman named "Mama Jane" ran a divination clinic that drew a large following in the town.

“We prayed, we fasted, the Lord showed us a spirit of witchcraft resting over the place,” Pastor Muthee said.
This kind of crap just makes it harder to communicate across party lines

Actually I don't know how much communication across party lines is possible:
A new study out of Yale University confirms what argumentative liberals have long-known: Offering reality-based rebuttals to conservative lies only makes conservatives cling to those lies even harder[...] In a paper approaching publication, Nyhan, a PhD student at Duke University, and Reifler, at Georgia State University, suggest that Republicans might be especially prone to the backfire effect because conservatives may have more rigid views than liberals
Do I believe in this study? I'm reserving judgement until I see more evidence from further studies. However, it is hard to deny that when offered facts the immediate reaction of many Republicans is to a) ignore the facts offered, b) counter the facts with irrelevant arguments such as "Clinton did it too," and c) offer up anecdotal evidence as to why the facts are wrong.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:20 AM on September 17, 2008 [8 favorites]


In a world where laws were taken seriously, this would cost the Catholic church its tax exemption.

I'd like it better if the church made its position loud and clear to all of its bishops, priests and followers. Dionne points out:

The priest's actions are almost certainly out of line with the policy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In their statement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," issued last November, the bishops said: "A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter's intent is to support that position."

Kmiec clearly wasn't basing his support of Obama on where he stood on abortion, therefore the priest had no basis to deny him eucharist.

I agree, more Catholic democrats do need to hear about this, because there is a groundswell of the wacky superconservative membership who (like some of their nondenominational counterparts) openly equate voting Democrat to sinning.
posted by contessa at 9:25 AM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Obama smeared by Taheri on Iraq Troop Withdrawals; Journalist Notorious for False Story on Iranian Jews
posted by homunculus at 9:26 AM on September 17, 2008


Cognitive Dissonance and Politics.
posted by homunculus at 9:29 AM on September 17, 2008


Palin said she has smoked marijuana -- remember, it was legal under state law, she said, even if illegal under U.S. law -- but says she didn't like it and doesn't smoke it now.

"I can't claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:31 AM on September 17, 2008


Another doozy -- Despite Claims Today He Warned of this Crisis, McCain in December 2007 Said He Didn't See This Crisis Coming.
posted by ericb at 10:01 AM on September 17, 2008


New Obama 2-minute ad about the economy -- it's good.
posted by ericb at 10:02 AM on September 17, 2008


CNN Demolishes Every McCain Campaign Lie [video | 05:12].
posted by ericb at 10:09 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, is it possible that the choice of Palin is really meant to woo Catholics who otherwise might have seen little difference between McCain and Obama on the abortion issue? As noted upthread, I think, Catholics are about 25% of the electorate, far more than any other denomination, and yet I haven't seen the Palin choice characterized other than a sop to Evangelical protestants. This is especially likely since Catholics may be disproportionately represented in marginal states in the NE, Midwest and SW (Hispanics) whereas the evangelist base is strongest in Red states anyway.
posted by Rumple at 10:18 AM on September 17, 2008


Since December 2007 McCain has consistently claimed that our economy's fundamentals are strong.

Video of McCain: Our Economy’s “Fundamentals are Strong” (18 instances) [video | 02:33].

After watching that, I'm dizzy!
posted by ericb at 10:21 AM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, is it possible that the choice of Palin is really meant to woo Catholics who otherwise might have seen little difference between McCain and Obama on the abortion issue?

For what it's worth, Catholics are not quite the single-issue voters that evangelicals are. You've got some that vote anti-choice, or vote against gay marriage, to be sure, but then there are those driven by the principles of peace, i.e., anti-death penalty, anti-war. Their voting is as complex as their demographic - from working class Latinos to New England blue bloods - so it's not that easy to pin them down. The one consistency is, they vote for the winner. Catholics have supported the winners of the last nine presidential elections - five Republican and three Democratic presidents, and one popular-vote-winning but presidency-losing Democrat, Al Gore - so, pretty much a 5-4 split in slight favor with conservatives. Last November, bishops outlined a statement that more or less outlines "voting Catholic", Besides the church's rejection of abortion, the document asks that society help the most vulnerable, respect the rights of workers, support migrants, be peacemakers and care for the environment.

So McCain choosing a rabidly anti-choice running mate does not necessarily tip the Catholic vote in his favor - Catholic Hispanics tend to vote Democrat, and Obama and McCain are pretty much tied among white Catholics. Also, 41% of Catholics identify themselves as independents. Long story short: still way too soon to tell either way.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:48 AM on September 17, 2008 [5 favorites]


via Waxy: Sarah Palin's yahoo account hacked ; More info on WikiLeaks ; also on Reddit.
posted by chunking express at 10:55 AM on September 17, 2008


A good recent New Yorker piece dealing with the Catholic vote.
posted by Miko at 10:55 AM on September 17, 2008


yuck:
LYNN FORESTER DE ROTHSCHILD, MEMBER OF DNC PLATFORM COMMITTEE, ENDORSES JOHN MCCAIN

ARLINGTON, VA -- Today the McCain-Palin campaign announced the endorsement of Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter and member of the Democratic National Committee's Platform Committee.
"In an election as important at this, we must choose the candidate who has a proven record of bipartisanship and reforming government, and that's John McCain," Rothschild said. "We can't afford a president who lacks experience and judgment and has never crossed party lines to work for meaningful reform. Amid tough economic times and foreign policy concerns, we need someone who is ready to lead. Although I am a Democrat, I recognize that it's more important to put country ahead of party and that's why I support John McCain."

Rothschild, an attorney and businesswoman, supported Sen. Clinton during the Democratic primaries. She will campaign for Sen. McCain through Election Day.

posted by Rumple at 10:57 AM on September 17, 2008


I can accept that people don't have the same views as I do, but what mystifies/enrages me is the doublethink. When Richmond mayor/Virginia governor Tim Kaine was being considered as a running mate for Obama, Karl Rove said he wasn't qualified because Richmond was a small city and Virginia was a small state. Then they pick Palin and Rove says she's qualified. How do these ignorant motherfuckers' heads not explode from the cognitive dissonance?

McCain has mocked the Obama fundraiser that Barbra Streisand hosted last night in L.A. (forgetting that McCain was feted at a Hollywood fundraiser last month).

McCain Mocks Obama Fundraiser, Doesn't Mention His Own. McCain had held two fundraisers this week when he criticized Obama.

Alaska is the Rape Capital of America

Then charging for rape kits makes mavericky budget-balancing sense.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:58 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin's yahoo account hacked

Holy shit.

There's a joke about Scientology in here, but I don't have the energy to make it right now.
posted by cortex at 11:03 AM on September 17, 2008


I have to say, the yahoo account getting hacked thing made my day. That may make me a bad person, but I'll have to live with that.
posted by 8dot3 at 11:07 AM on September 17, 2008


Sarah Palin's yahoo account hacked

I called it.

posted by Bookhouse at 11:10 AM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just like a /b/tard, not getting all the data off before announcing. Someone competent would have never announced this until control of gov.sarah could be parlayed to compromise gov.palin, and a tarball of everything put on a server in Indonesia.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 11:12 AM on September 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


And kudos to Bookhouse, who pondered the possibility of a hack 6 days ago.
posted by 8dot3 at 11:15 AM on September 17, 2008


The other thing I'd add to the question about Palin wooing Catholics is the flip-side, at least from the evangelical POV: A large number of evangelicals are cool, if not outright hostile, towards Catholicism, which is regarded by many as only slightly better than Mormonism.

In spite of the relatively recent rise of the Evangelical Catholic, you'll find among the self-proclaimed "spirit-filled" Christians opinions on Catholics that range from "our misguided brothers in Christ" to "followers of a false faith." The worship of the Virgin, the canonization of saints, and the view of priest-as-communication-conduit-to-God are just three of the biggest issues that evangelicals have with Catholicism. (I can provide links to those assertions, if needed, but I really don't want to throw the traffic to the crazy folks that espouse such attitudes if I can help it.)

Anyway, knowing all that, I find it weird if the McCain campaign expected Palin to help win over the Catholic vote. I mean, there's definitely the common ground on the anti-abortion stance, obviously, but if I were Catholic and I knew that many churches similar to Palin's had only marginal (if that) respect for my faith? I'm not sure I'd be sold on the ticket.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:16 AM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Dickishness abounds.
posted by Artw at 11:17 AM on September 17, 2008


Lynn Forester de Rothschild in 2007: "I think if history is our guide, we've had stronger economies, more wealth creation, under Democratic presidents than we have under Republican presidents."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:22 AM on September 17, 2008


LYNN FORESTER DE ROTHSCHILD, MEMBER OF DNC PLATFORM COMMITTEE, ENDORSES JOHN MCCAIN

That's Lady Lynn Forrester de Rothschild to you buddy. You know--wife of Sir Evelyn, mistress of Ascott House. The one who just called Barack Obama an "elitist."
posted by neroli at 11:26 AM on September 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Just like a /b/tard, not getting all the data off before announcing. Someone competent would have never announced this until control of gov.sarah could be parlayed to compromise gov.palin, and a tarball of everything put on a server in Indonesia.

Seriously, looks like some /b/tard had massive epic win on their hands and turned it right into epic fail. Just imagine: Anonymous taking down the McCain/Palin campaign, had there been something really good in there.

EPIC FAIL, /b/, EPIC FAIL.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:31 AM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


A good video by the Obama campaign on why you should give, give, give.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:33 AM on September 17, 2008


Yeah, it's kind of a waste/stupid that they hacked the account and publicized things before actually doing anything of use. Dumbaclots. This could have been a much more interesting story.
posted by chunking express at 11:34 AM on September 17, 2008


That's assuming the hack story is true, though it seems to be.
posted by chunking express at 11:43 AM on September 17, 2008


Who the f**k is /b/?

This would seem like either a brilliantly well-executed hoax of magnificent proportions but foul intent, or one of the great moments in internet history.

Wow. It's hard not to look at the stuff on wikileaks, but I am resisting. I need this confirmed by the NY Times or something before I'm gonna fall for something that smells so strongly of Rove.

Man is Alaska what it is. The governor uses a Yahoo email account? Can't wait til they find her Bebo page.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:47 AM on September 17, 2008


As requested, the memetic force of Miko's Ivy League Elitist list can now be experienced at Ivy League Elitists.

As mentioned in the MefiProjects post, any ad revenue from this will go to a recipient of Miko's choice.
posted by tomierna at 11:48 AM on September 17, 2008 [14 favorites]


I mean, there's definitely the common ground on the anti-abortion stance, obviously, but if I were Catholic and I knew that many churches similar to Palin's had only marginal (if that) respect for my faith? I'm not sure I'd be sold on the ticket.

Yeah, Catholics tend to take umbrage when you liken the Pope to the Antichrist.

Also, there's this: Roman Catholics for Obama.
We hope you'll spend time reviewing all of the material housed or linked from here. But if you read just two documents, please make them the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship -- which explains why "[t]here may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate's unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other grave reasons" -- and Barack Obama's Blueprint for Change, which outlines all of Senator Obama's positions and is, we think, reflective of why he is the candidate whose views are most compatible with the Catholic outlook.

On this website, we have collected and linked to documents from the Church and from Church authorities that reflect on the importance of civic participation motivated by all of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching: Life and Dignity of the Human Person; Call to Family, Community, and Participation; Rights and Responsibilities; Option for the Poor and Vulnerable; The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers; Solidarity; and Care for God's Creation.

Even though we do not agree with all of Senator Obama's positions, we believe that he is the best candidate for President. He is able to inspire and appeal not only to committed Democrats, but to independents and Republicans too. He has a way of bringing people together that can only help our country as well as our country's relationship with the rest of the world. We desperately need a President who will give voice to our better angels. Senator Obama resists succumbing to partisan or divisive rhetoric and will look for common ground in addressing some of the most pressing needs of our time -- among them alleviating poverty, protecting the environment, making peace and, we believe, creating a culture of life.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:48 AM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


That's Lady Lynn Forrester de Rothschild to you buddy.

Is she technically a Lady? Bazillionaire Sir Evelyn Robert de Rothschild was married to second wife Victoria Lou Schott when he was knighted in 1989. He divorced in Schott in 2000 after twenty years of marriage and married Forrester - over twenty years his junior - in November of that same year, two years after they were introduced to one another by agent of Eros, Nixon crony, and all-round regular guy Henry Kissinger.

Do ex-wives have to hand the mantle of Lady over to the new wives? Are they called Ex-Ladies? Do they change the radio station when that Lyle Lovett song comes on? These are burning questions!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:48 AM on September 17, 2008


TED video: the moral roots of liberals and conservatives
posted by lysdexic at 11:50 AM on September 17, 2008


Wired has the hacked Yahoo account story and appears to be confirming a bit.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:07 PM on September 17, 2008


Hacking story to a new thread, say witnesses.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:12 PM on September 17, 2008


The caps from the Yahoo account don't strike me as particularly damning, or even interesting for that matter. They don't even jive with Anonymous' supposed prime directive of doing something "for the lulz" (I physically cringe to write the word "lulz"). Pretty boring stuff that doesn't really help or hurt. Unless agrieved Scientologists cast sympathy votes in her favor or something.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:17 PM on September 17, 2008


Lies about lies

But you can't have an argument with people who play according to these rules. They enforce no code of decency upon themselves, and no one exists to enforce it. The "objective" media? Stop joking. They're powerless to stop it; all they really do, as NPR did this morning, is give more air time to the victim-playing about the lies about the lies.
posted by Artw at 12:17 PM on September 17, 2008


Sarah Palin's yahoo account hacked

When the hell is it that 4chan has become such a source of WTF news with regard to this kind? I mean Anonymous going after Scientologists, then /b/ supposedly gaining access to Palin's email?

Though I have to admit, it was kind of a "maverick" thing to do.

(I do fear the inevitable internet security theater that will undoubtedly follow if this is true.)

Who the f**k is /b/?

This.
posted by quin at 12:26 PM on September 17, 2008


Have the wheels come off the straight talk express?

Harry Reid rips the fenders off the Straight Talk Express [video | 03:47].
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


The conservative argument for Obama.

Well put.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:13 PM on September 17, 2008


Lady Lynn Forrester de Rothschild is going to support Thurston Howell III John Sidney McCain III because Barack Obama's an elitist? Boo hoo.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:24 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


fourcheesemac writes "Man is Alaska what it is. The governor uses a Yahoo email account? Can't wait til they find her Bebo page."

People in executive/management positions using weak ass public web mail systems is disturbingly common. Usually with easily hacked passwords to boot. I've had discussions on this so many times with said individuals that I've practically got a standard speech prepared. Including a counter to the inevitable whine that they don't like using the company's system because we make them change their password regularly and enforce strong passwords.
posted by Mitheral at 2:26 PM on September 17, 2008


FWIW were I something to do with the obama campaign I wouldn't go near the yahoo thing with a long shitty stick.
posted by Artw at 2:39 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


FWIW were I something to do with the obama campaign I wouldn't go near the yahoo thing with a long shitty stick...

And I bet they won't. They've stayed away from the discussion of the Palin kids, rumors, etc. The Obama camp is riding the high-road and focusing on McCain and the issues, as they should. Attack the McSame/Bush record, etc.
posted by ericb at 3:00 PM on September 17, 2008


Senate Democrat Raises Keating Five, Rips McCain On Economy, Palin
“One of the Senate's most progressive members ripped John McCain on Tuesday for offering a phony populist self-portrayal in the wake of the current crisis in the financial markets. In the process, Sherrod Brown of Ohio raised the Republican nominee's involvement in the Keating Five scandal as evidence that voters couldn't trust McCain's record on both the economy and ethics.

‘It is not so much his economic proposals but his economic record,’ Brown said of McCain. ‘His main adviser is Phil Gramm -- he was his mentor in the Senate -- and you just tie it all together. Of course John McCain supported the oil industry, he has oil lobbyists working for him. Of course John McCain supported these trade agreements, he has got Wall Street people working for him... It is all wrapped up together. John McCain is a creature of these interest groups in Washington. He is no maverick and, from the Keating Five on, his ethics have been questionable. He's not a maverick and Barack has got to just keep hammering on that.’”
posted by ericb at 3:12 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


White House won’t side with McCain on ‘fundamentals’ of economy being ’strong.’
posted by ericb at 3:15 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain Makes Sharp Right Turn on Stem Cells
posted by homunculus at 3:31 PM on September 17, 2008


Huge Voter Protection Effort To Be Launched Today
posted by homunculus at 3:35 PM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain Makes Sharp Right Turn on Stem Cells

IIRC They've previously accused Biden of being a liar when he said they'd limit stem cell research.
posted by Artw at 3:37 PM on September 17, 2008


But I fail to see why that makes them more honorable, dignified, or more sincere than people who live in the city. What it does make them (often, not always) is intolerant of other lifestyles

So you get to be intolerant of theirs?

I hope, while you are educating your children about art and culture, you are also teaching them how to be good human beings. Which would include not being snobs.
posted by konolia at 3:58 PM on September 17, 2008


Small town Americans == SAINTS! or you are a snob.
posted by Artw at 4:17 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh for pete's sake, konolia. How is esteeming small-town life as some sort of mythic Mayberryesque bubble of morality over life in the big cold cities any less snobbish than what you just quoted?
posted by shiu mai baby at 4:18 PM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Tolerating intolerance is not a virtue; despising intolerance is not snobbish. Intolerance is not a "lifestyle"; it's a character flaw.
posted by nicwolff at 4:19 PM on September 17, 2008 [9 favorites]


I hope, while you are educating your children about art and culture, you are also teaching them how to be good human beings. Which would include not being snobs.

I'd say you're treading on extremely thin ice with this self-righteous proclamation of yours regarding how people may or may not be raising their own children to be good human beings, and I'd strongly suggesting backing up off of this train of thought.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:22 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


"strongly suggest" of course
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:28 PM on September 17, 2008


If Senator McCain's experience as a POW 40 years ago counts in his favor, than his Keating Five involvement 20 years ago should count against him. In light of this week's events on Wall Street it's interesting that "Keating had made contributions of about $1.3 million to various U.S. Senators, and he called on those Senators to help him resist regulators."
posted by kirkaracha at 4:29 PM on September 17, 2008


I hope, while you are educating your children about art and culture, you are also teaching them how to be good human beings. Which would include not being snobs.

I'd say you're treading on extremely thin ice with this self-righteous proclamation of yours regarding how people may or may not be raising their own children to be good human beings, and I'd strongly suggesting backing up off of this train of thought.


No, I don't think so.

See, although I myself enjoy art and music and "culture" I understand that in some sense these are personal preferences. My parents certainly didn't raise me to appreciate art-now, they did have an awesome LP of Rhapsody In Blue that I played over and over and over again as a child, but I was not raised to "be cultured."

I think that it is far too easy to talk about how boring and obnoxious a small town is (even one fifteen minutes away from Art and Culture) without realizing that there are other values that are even more important to expose one's young to. Values like looking after each other (neighbors in small towns are really good at that.) Values like treating people right. Values like "remembering where you came from."

In small towns, the cardinal sin is "being stuck-up." Now, to bring it back more to what this thread is talking about, you have a whole subset of Americans who are openly showing their disdain for a whole other subset of Americans-simply by virtue of the fact the first group feels superior. Well, depending on what you use for a measuring stick, in some ways group one could be characterized as "better." But what Group One is missing is that in the eyes of Group Two, they have shown themselves to be arrogant, snobbish, and totally lacking in basic decency.

If you are trying to persuade Group Two that they need to vote for Group One's candidate, this leads to Major Fail.
posted by konolia at 4:51 PM on September 17, 2008


Would one of those groups wear $300,000 outfits and $500 shoes, have so many houses they can't keep track of them, and take nine-car motorcades to Starbucks?

there are other values that are even more important to expose one's young to

How about values like not lying? Almost every qualification Sarah Palin has presented is a lie. She's lying in the job interview. Shouldn't that disqualify her? (I documented the leading examples in the other thread, and you ducked the issue.)

Keating 5 corruption

It'd be interesting to revisit his involvement with Vicki Iseman. McCain lucked out when people focused on the allegations of an affair, which were pretty sketchy, and ignored the pretty clear evidence that he acted improperly on her behalf.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:57 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Values like treating people right. Values like "remembering where you came from."

Values like not posing false dichotomies. Values like not insuating the possibility that anyone here would not teach their children to be decent human beings. That should be a given to you, and I'd hope you'd offer the sort of respect that most people have been bending over backwards to give you here.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:03 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Would one of those groups wear $300,000 outfits and $500 shoes...

That was Cindy McCain's convention outfit.

And now we have Sarah Palin's -- Hockey mom outfit worth $2,500 -- just for the top. Regular small-town Mom!
posted by ericb at 5:07 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


But what Group One is missing is that in the eyes of Group Two, they have shown themselves to be arrogant, snobbish, and totally lacking in basic decency. If you are trying to persuade Group Two that they need to vote for Group One's candidate, this leads to Major Fail.

Seriously, either group could be group one and two here depending which outraged costituency you represent. There are better ways to explain why you think your side is right and the other side is wrong. I love my small town, but it's also full of child rapists. Nothing is perfect.
posted by jessamyn at 5:08 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't believe you can consider yourself to live in a small town if you are within fifteen minutes drive of a big city. You are in a suburb of the big city, is what you are.

In fifteen minutes, you can walk across my town.

Oddly, though, we have an art gallery, two live theatres, a couple arenas, music in the parks, etcetera. It's not exactly a cultural dead zone... and it's not like Art and Culture are the be-all and end-all: we have world-class nordic and alpine skiing within a half-hour drive, a humongous lake for sailing, endless hiking and biking trails, a half-dozen world-reknown golf courses. All things that you pretty much don't get in a big city.

One of the values I like in my small town is "ain't nobodies business if you do." We don't have pinheads trying to stop people from marrying, having sex, smoking dope, whatever. That's probably more of a Canadian cultural thing than a small town thing, though...
posted by five fresh fish at 5:09 PM on September 17, 2008


Which would include not being snobs.

Can you please define "snob" for us?
posted by ericb at 5:10 PM on September 17, 2008


In small towns, the cardinal sin is "being stuck-up."

Gosh, that could be a euphamism for so many things.
posted by Artw at 5:10 PM on September 17, 2008


I think that it is far too easy to talk about how boring and obnoxious a small town is (even one fifteen minutes away from Art and Culture) without realizing that there are other values that are even more important to expose one's young to. Values like looking after each other (neighbors in small towns are really good at that.) Values like treating people right. Values like "remembering where you came from."

I've lived in small towns, and big cities. I've gotten treated well - and poorly - in both.

None of the things you mentioned are specific to small towns, or found in every small town. For every idyllic Mayberry, there's a meth-crazy Wasilla. And insularity is not a virtue - ever.

In small towns, the cardinal sin is "being stuck-up."

Or being different.

Now, to bring it back more to what this thread is talking about, you have a whole subset of Americans who are openly showing their disdain for a whole other subset of Americans-simply by virtue of the fact the first group feels superior.

I think that insularity, unwillingness to acknowledge reality, willingness to make other people behave the way you think they should - those things are worthy of my disdain. I don't care where you live. Those things should be worthy of your disdain too, but instead you embrace them and call them "small-town values." That's bullshit.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:11 PM on September 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


Values like looking after each other (neighbors in small towns are really good at that.) Values like treating people right. Values like "remembering where you came from."

Defines the small town/village where I grew up in Connecticut.
posted by ericb at 5:11 PM on September 17, 2008


Now, to bring it back more to what this thread is talking about, you have a whole subset of Americans who are openly showing their disdain for a whole other subset of Americans-simply by virtue of the fact the first group feels superior.

In what way do you feel "inferior?" In what way do the "others" appear superior to you? The fact that they back up their arguments/statements with facts? Or, what?
posted by ericb at 5:13 PM on September 17, 2008


fff: What is the name of your town so I can move there one day (especially if McCain wins)?
posted by brain cloud at 5:38 PM on September 17, 2008


I love my small town, but it's also full of child rapists.

Okay, that was not the second part of that sentence that I was expecting. "But the movie theater isn't very good," maybe, or "but it's hard to find a salsa-dancing partner." I did not see "but it's also full of child rapists" coming.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:40 PM on September 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


Alaska senator accused of causing flight ruckus
State legislator kept texting, threw water when refused alcohol, police say


They're all mavericks in Alaska!
posted by lukemeister at 5:45 PM on September 17, 2008


brain cloud,

Sadly, fff has already closed applications for Canadian refugee status.
posted by lukemeister at 5:51 PM on September 17, 2008


If you are trying to persuade Group Two that they need to vote for Group One's candidate, this leads to Major Fail.

I think it's helpful to understand that for some of us, "changing your vote" isn't the goal. There is value in the discourse. It motivates us to take part in the process. It distracts us about our worries about an uncertain future. Some of us hate the echo chamber and find too much agreement lulls us into intellectual slumber. I personally find arguing about politics to be fun.

I also trulywant to understand things that aren't readily obvious to me. When I ask a republican "How can you vote republican after the past 8 years of malfeasance?" I'm not attacking his beliefs, I REALLY want to know.

In this election especially there really is an aspect of uncertainty on both sides that whoever wins may not be able to get us out of this mess. If someone on the other side sees some light at the end of the tunnel, i wanna see it too.
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:52 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


In this election especially there really is an aspect of uncertainty on both sides that whoever wins may not be able to get us out of this mess. If someone on the other side sees some light at the end of the tunnel, i wanna see it too.

I can appreciate this sentiment, and I want you to know that I emphatically agree with discourse between right and left. But the "Group 1 and Group 2" being posed by konolia here are the good, honest, small-town folk who raise their children to be decent human beings, and the big-city arts-and-culture snobs who may or may not teach their children to be good people - caricaturesque, mean-spirited and inaccurate depictions that simultaneously insult both rural and urban alike. Remember, in Konolialand, rural people don't care about the arts, and anyone who shows an interest in culture might be of weak moral fibre. In other words, you might be wasting your time with this particular conservative if honest and engaging discourse is what you're after.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:03 PM on September 17, 2008


Regular small-town Mom!

Oh, forgot to mention that Sarah and Todd Palin own three houses and have their own private sea-plane.
posted by ericb at 6:06 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Poll: McCain struggles with Bush link -- "NYT: John McCain is seen by voters as far less likely to bring change than Barack Obama."
posted by ericb at 6:07 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


NYT: John McCain is seen by voters as far less likely to bring change than Barack Obama.

Yeah, he lets Cindy handle the finances. McCain never was a good tipper anyway.
posted by lukemeister at 6:09 PM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh hi, looks like the Palin bubble burst - the gap between McCain and Obama, which saw McCain surge temporarily forward since the RNC and has been steadily shrinking since, has officially closed at the time of this posting according to data compiled from numerous nationwide polls.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:14 PM on September 17, 2008


...anyone who shows an interest in culture might be of weak moral fibre...

And most likely gay and/or "cosmopolitan," as Rudy Giuliani sneered and flapped his wrists during his speech at the RNC Convention.
posted by ericb at 6:19 PM on September 17, 2008


First of all let's get this whole definition thing out of the way. When my town, Garner, was incorporated 102 years ago it certainly was not a suburb of Raleigh. It was a small town with its own train station and its own Main street and its own businesses-- mostly agriculture and rock quarries. I won't deny that with the increasing sprawl of the Triangle (Raleigh-Chapel Hill-Durham) we are becoming more of a bedroom community as are all the other small towns in the area: Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs. In point of fact a suburb can be defined as:
Town or unincorporated developed area close to a city. Suburbs, since they are largely residential, are usually dependent on a city for employment and support services and are generally characterized by low-density development relative to the city. However, considerable industrial development has occurred in many suburbs so that their dependency on a city has been reduced.
While the train doesn't stop here anymore, we still have our own police force, and several large businesses. For example, not far from where I live they produce Slim Jims (on Jones Sausage Road) and when you drive by you can smell em.

This whole "small town" discussion arose because the Republicans chose to make it a theme of their convention. To hear Rudy Guliani, former mayor of the greatest city in the world, sneer out the word "cosmopolitan" was one of the strangest moments in politics that I can recall. And then Palin followed that up with "We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity." Some of us felt like "small town America" was not the be all, end all of perfection. So the question arises, do people in the cities not have honesty, sincerity and dignity? Is there something about small towns that makes them the bastions of dignity? Are small towns inherently better? Sounds like Five Fresh Fish lucked out with his small town, on the other hand Sarah Palin once thought that Wasilla was lacking in a few areas:
"Sarah Palin, a commercial fisherman from Wasilla, told her husband on Tuesday she was driving to Anchorage to shop at Costco. Instead, she headed straight for Ivana. And there, at J.C. Penney's cosmetic department, was Ivana, the former Mrs. Donald Trump, sitting at a table next to a photograph of herself. She wore a light-colored pantsuit and pink fingernail polish. Her blonde hair was coiffed in a bouffant French twist. 'We want to see Ivana,' said Palin, who admittedly smells like salmon for a large part of the summer, 'because we are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.' <>

And Konolia the number one most important trait I have tried to impress on my daughter is empathy. Far from being a snob and looking down her nose at people different from herself, she embraces people who are gay or ugly or poor or Latino or religious or disadvantaged. If she doesn't become a kindergarten teacher, I hope she will think about social services because she would be very good at it.

posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:37 PM on September 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Values like treating people right. Values like 'remembering where you came from.'

I remember where I came from. I grew up outside Clifton, Virginia (pop. 85). As a kid I spent the summers on my grandparents' farm outside Mountain Grove, Missouri (pop. 4,574), where my dad was from (mom's from Harville, Missouri, which is so small it doesn't rate a Wikipedia page). I went to college in Fairfax, Virginia (pop. 22,407), then I lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (pop. 54,492). Then I moved to San Francisco (which is a small "big city," pop. 764,976) and get to see people from small towns in red states slur me and my neighbors with slanders and stereotypes. I remember where I came from, all right.

I learned about treating people right at Vacation Bible School in Mountain Grove. I learned that Jesus said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." John McCain, the guy you're supporting for president, laughed it up with President Bush while people drowned in the streets of New Orleans. The party you support mocked Barrack Obama for turning his back on a Wall Street fortune so he could go door-to-door in the bad parts of Chicago and try to make people's lives better. John McCain, the adulterer you're supporting for president, dumped the wife who stood by him while he was a POW for a younger woman. Sarah Palin, the hypocrite you're supporting for vice president, gave her daughter a choice she wants to deny to other women, charged rape victims for rape kits and forensic exams. That doesn't seem like treating people right to me.

And most likely gay and/or 'cosmopolitan,' as Rudy Giuliani sneered and flapped his wrists during his speech at the RNC Convention.

Leave it to a cross-dressing guy with gay roommates to mock others for being "cosmopolitan."
posted by kirkaracha at 6:44 PM on September 17, 2008 [20 favorites]


In other words, you might be wasting your time with this particular conservative if honest and engaging discourse is what you're after.

Oh, I know...It's pretty much like a bizarro world version of this old bloom county comic at this point.
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:48 PM on September 17, 2008


But the "Group 1 and Group 2" being posed by konolia here are the good, honest, small-town folk who raise their children to be decent human beings, and the big-city arts-and-culture snobs who may or may not teach their children to be good people - caricaturesque, mean-spirited and inaccurate depictions that simultaneously insult both rural and urban alike. Remember, in Konolialand, rural people don't care about the arts, and anyone who shows an interest in culture might be of weak moral fibre. In other words, you might be wasting your time with this particular conservative if honest and engaging discourse is what you're after.

That's not what I wrote.

What I wrote had to do with people who felt that just because THEY like art and dance and theater, that they are superior to people that don't. And that people who do that might consider that people who aren't into the arts but who ARE polite and decent might be worthy of more respect than the arts and croissant crowd who are rude and look down their noses at the Nascar crowd. And of course, there are polite folks in the arts and croIssant crowd, but these are not the folks I am presently discussing.

And please, do, recall that I myself LIKE art and dance and music and croissants and the occasional glass of white wine. Even though I was raised by people who like Nascar.


Let me point out that stereotypes in general sometimes have grains of truth in them but often are simply functions of prejudice and lazy thinking. I have seen quite a number of comments in this thread that were demeaning and hateful towards certain types of people. Those particular people are not stupid, they know when they are being looked down on, and they have very long memories. And a lot of them (unBiblical as it is) are the kind to hold grudges and hold them a long time. Those are not the folks that I as a politician or as a supporter of a politician would want to piss off (in the American sense of the phrase.)
posted by konolia at 6:52 PM on September 17, 2008


Those particular people are not stupid, they know when they are being looked down on, and they have very long memories.

Yet they still voted for the current administration twice.

You're right. we shouldn't be looking down on these people. Irony at that level deserves NEA grants.
posted by billyfleetwood at 7:12 PM on September 17, 2008


So it appears that McCain- he's the one on the ticket who is stronger on foreign policy, mind you- either doesn't know the leader of Spain, or thinks the leader of Spain is an enemy of the United States.

To be fair, you cannot see Spain from Arizona.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:47 PM on September 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


XQUZYPHYR,

Wow, I had given McCain the benefit of the doubt, thinking he was mad about the Spanish troop withdrawals from Iraq, but now I see it's just Zapatero, Zapatista, whatever...
posted by lukemeister at 7:57 PM on September 17, 2008


hey, c'mon---they're easy to mix up.
posted by neroli at 8:10 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Distraction Alert. You Know It's Coming.
"Given the current state of the McCain/Palin campaign (it's crashing) -- and the horrible state of the economy (it's crashing) -- you have to know some major distraction is in the pipeline from the GOP. McCain has to do something to change the subject. So, expect some vintage Rovian trick. But, this one will have to be extra ugly...In any case, possibly as soon as tomorrow, McCain's going into Red Alert distraction mode. You've been warned."
posted by ericb at 8:11 PM on September 17, 2008


LYNN FORESTER DE ROTHSCHILD, MEMBER OF DNC PLATFORM COMMITTEE, ENDORSES JOHN MCCAIN

New McCain Royalty Surrogate, Her Royal Highness Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Calls Voters "Rednecks"
'The people out, you know, who are the rednecks or whoever, are bitter.'

- McCain surrogate Her Royal Highness Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, CNN, 9/17/08
Ah yes, nothing shows that John McCain understands the plight of working Americans like a woman with a royal title and $100 million referring to American voters as 'rednecks' in the middle of an economic crisis." [video | 00:15].
posted by ericb at 8:16 PM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've lived in small towns and big cities. There are wonderful people and heinous assholes in both small towns and big cities. Small towns offer many advantages in quality of life. So do big cities.

Let's remember that this election isn't about who's better, small towns or big cities. We're all Americans, and most of us will experience both positive and negative aspects of both environments in some way or another. We have many bigger fish to fry. It's another false division, meant to draw us away from identifying common goals and interests.

Palin's weakness is not that she comes from a small town, nor is it a strength. It is a valid experience, but not a particularly impressive one. As governor, she represents more people, but her time in office is so short that she really hasn't accumulated much seasoning or even had to contend for a re-election (which is doubtful that she'd win, given what Alaskans are saying about her). It's fine experience to start with, but even small-town Harry Truman picked up some leadership practice during 14 years in the National Guard and reserves and as captain of an artillery corps in World War I France, and served two Senate terms before he had the temerity to accept the veep nomination. Another 14 years in local office preceded his two Senate terms. His small-town background may have given him a particularly helpful outlook and rapport with many voters; but I'd wager that the wisdom gained from all those long years of public service gave him a lot more, and what's more, may have improved his skill at working with people whose backgrounds diverged from his own.

Again, let's pull the identity issues out of this. No one is going to tell anyone else where to live. The question at hand is whether another four years of the Bush trajectory will leave anyone's small town or big city in any kind of shape to support its residents, educate its students, pay its bills, bring home its soldiers, keep its hospital doors open and police on the beats.
posted by Miko at 8:19 PM on September 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


In small towns, the cardinal sin is "being stuck-up."

Yep...and Bristol Palin is expecting a child after having been "stuck up" unprotected by Levi Johnston -- a babby formed out of wedlock!
posted by ericb at 8:24 PM on September 17, 2008


Those particular people are not stupid, they know when they are being looked down on, and they have very long memories.

Yet they still voted for the current administration twice.


Seriously. These ... people, politicians, they do not respect you. All of you. John McCain and George W. Bush don't give two shits about the lives of fetuses. If it was possible to press a button and reveal their heart of hearts I'd lay down a bet that they're pretty solid atheists/agnostics. Illegal immigration? They're stealing our jobs? They love when illegal immigrants "steal" jobs from Americans, because that's more money to them and less money spent due to those pesky minimum wage and other regulations.

But they'll use these things. Talk about outlawing abortion, enacting abstinence-only sex ed. Actually enact these policies or not? Doesn't matter too much. Their kids will be taught to use a condom and, should it be necessary, will be able to receive a safe abortion, legal or not. Their homes will be cleaned by illegal immigrants, though in the off chance they're caught they certainly had no idea at all that there was any irregularity. The troops? "Support the troops" means "support the war." Ain't none of them doing jack shit to actually provide for the troops - they're getting electrocuted in the showers because decent electrical work isn't even being paid for and veterans are getting the short end of the stick just like always.

Your Democrats aren't much better, though. Right now Barack Obama is hocking a FIRST EDITION Obama-Biden car magnet. I eagerly await the Obama-Biden limited edition collectible decorative plate for only 3 easy installments of whatever.99. Obama has a pretty face, so let's plaster it all over the damn place. Hey, let's do a gimmick of saying we'll announce the VP with SMS so now we have everyone signed up for text message spam. He should have a record, if not jail time, for weed and coke, but he doesn't solely because he wasn't caught. I'd love to see him either state that he'd be better off with an arrest record or admit that he's a hypocrite. The best possibility I see from Obama is that he's playing these games, he's treating the populace in manipulative fashions and with bullshit, with some paternal or patronizing interest in sullying himself with this bullshit while still planning to act righteously, in the best interests of the people, once he's president. That one I'll buy when I see it.

These people are not on your side.

Sarah Palin is an interesting case. McCain and the Republicans played to these things so much that it looks like he ended up stuck with someone who it seems actually believes in them. I bet John McCain hates Sarah Palin's guts.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:30 PM on September 17, 2008


And please, do, recall that I myself LIKE art and dance and music and croissants and the occasional glass of white wine.

Oh my. So does art, dance, music, croissants and white wine = "superior" culture? Or, what?

konolia -- can you please define "culture" for us ... and, as asked above, "snob," "inferior" and "superior?"

Do are those who race in NASCAR different from those who enjoy watching the races? Is there a cultural divide between the wealthy sponsors and the multi-millionaire race car drivers from the middle-class spectators?

To repeat -- in your mind how is enjoying "art, dance, music, croissants and white wine" different from preferring NASCAR, Dunkin' Donuts and Budweiser?
posted by ericb at 8:42 PM on September 17, 2008


FWIW -- I enjoy some art, music, white wine and Dunkin' Donuts...not so much dance, croissants, NASCAR and Budweiser. Give me a seat at Fenway for the Sox and a locally-brewed Sam Adams or Harpoon.
posted by ericb at 8:45 PM on September 17, 2008


The best possibility I see from Obama is that he's playing these games, he's treating the populace in manipulative fashions and with bullshit, with some paternal or patronizing interest in sullying himself with this bullshit while still planning to act righteously, in the best interests of the people, once he's president.

That sentence doesn't make any sense.

That one I'll buy when I see it.

I dunno, I think it's kind of hard to see calculatedly laying the groundwork by spending your entire life and career in community and public service just so you could pull one over on the populace at the last minute. Obama's been working toward this for a long time, not playing games, but playing to win. You've got another imaginative stretch going on there.

Who are you planning to vote for? And why?
posted by Miko at 8:46 PM on September 17, 2008


*Are those who race in NASCAR...*
posted by ericb at 8:46 PM on September 17, 2008


While the train doesn't stop here anymore, we still have our own police force, and several large businesses. For example, not far from where I live they produce Slim Jims (on Jones Sausage Road) and when you drive by you can smell em.

Big whoopie.

Not far from where I live is... nothing.

That's what makes this a small town: it's small, and it's relatively isolated. To get to the nearest city with more than a hundred thousand people, I have to drive five hours. To get to the nearest city with more than fifty thousand people, it's a half-hour. To a town with less than twenty-five thousand people, another twenty minutes. And in between: nothing. Houses on acreages, and a lot of farmland or forest.

Wasilla is a small town. Garner is not a small town.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:50 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyone seen the economy lately? The government is looking for it.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:54 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyone seen the economy lately? The government is looking for it.

No. But, McCain/Palin are actively looking for the next lipsticked pig distraction.
posted by ericb at 9:01 PM on September 17, 2008


Sarah Palin, the hypocrite you're supporting for vice president, gave her daughter a choice


I don't think getting abstinence only sex ed and being raised with one's faith pounding it in that using birth control is as huge a sin as having an abortion is really being given much of a choice.
posted by brujita at 9:02 PM on September 17, 2008


Obama supporters can now unclench.

Until the major distraction comes tomorrow.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:08 PM on September 17, 2008


That sentence doesn't make any sense.

I let them get too damn lengthy or just plain run-on sometimes. Let me try to be clearer: I don't, overall, see the Obama campaign acting in a pure or fully respectful fashion towards the American people. I would not, for example, market "first edition" cheap consumer branding trinkets to anyone I respected. Given that Obama seems to be participating, more or less (less than McCain, certainly, I'll admit) in this sort of thing, I see him as playing a corrupt game. (I'll quite readily admit it may not be possible to run a high-level campaign without corrupting oneself, which introduces a can of worms I'll leave for another day.) With my viewpoint that he's pandering, manipulating, etc., the best possibility I see is that he is sullying himself with this nastiness but is taking an ends-over-means position, planning to work for the good of the people once the bullshit has gotten him into office.

Obama's been working toward this for a long time, not playing games, but playing to win.

I definitely think he's a bright guy. With that in mind, the whole "community organizer" think could be straight-up honest work for the good of the people. It could also be a planned entry-level, political-resume-building step to build up cred before he begins his political career by kicking all his opponents off the ballot. I know people with vague intimations of political aspirations and some of them were starting themselves off with college student government positions.

Who are you planning to vote for? And why?


I am planning to vote for Obama. The other day I sent in my voter registration. The system is set up to realistically allow two choices, so, there you go.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:33 PM on September 17, 2008


To repeat -- in your mind how is enjoying "art, dance, music, croissants and white wine" different from preferring NASCAR, Dunkin' Donuts and Budweiser?

Well, I like Dunkin Donuts too. Plus their coffee is pretty tasty.

Budweiser is nasty. I don't drink beer now but when I did it was Miller.

But to answer your question, all of it is just personal taste. I like art and music and dance but I'm not exactly Junior League material.

However I am aware that people are invested in liking certain things as being markers of social class. Which means I'm the kind of person who will mess up all their nice neat categories.
posted by konolia at 9:34 PM on September 17, 2008


FFF: So your definition of a "small town" is a) it must be small and b) it must be isolated. That means anyone living in a small community in say Connecticut or Southern California or New York can't think of themselves as living in a small town. That's a pretty strict definition you got there. You and I are going to have to disagree on this point.


Those particular people are not stupid, they know when they are being looked down on, and they have very long memories. And a lot of them (unBiblical as it is) are the kind to hold grudges and hold them a long time. Those are not the folks that I as a politician or as a supporter of a politician would want to piss off (in the American sense of the phrase.)

So is holding grudges a small town value or is it more like a Southern value? I guess there is nothing that says you can't be an honest, sincere, dignified person who holds grudges. Doesn't sound too Christian, though.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:50 PM on September 17, 2008


You're a straight-up independent thinker, you are!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:50 PM on September 17, 2008


Sorry, that was directed one-above, SLoG.

"You're a straight-up independent thinker, you are, konolia!"
posted by five fresh fish at 9:51 PM on September 17, 2008


America needs more culture that highlights the values of our small towns. Where have you gone, David Lynch, our nation turns it lonely eyes to you...
posted by NortonDC at 9:53 PM on September 17, 2008


So it appears that McCain- he's the one on the ticket who is stronger on foreign policy, mind you- either doesn't know the leader of Spain, or thinks the leader of Spain is an enemy of the United States.

It seems obvious that he must have confused Zapatero with Zapatista.

But he thinks that Zapatista is a dude, and not an organization? That's also pretty fucking far from comforting.

Well, I like Dunkin Donuts too. Plus their coffee is pretty tasty.

You GOTTA get up north where there's at least one Tim Horton's on every intersection. It's like Dunkin Donuts, but with sammiches and soup and chili. Double-double and an old fashioned, yeah.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:04 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


FFF: So your definition of a "small town" is a) it must be small and b) it must be isolated. That means anyone living in a small community in say Connecticut or Southern California or New York

Won't speak to CT or SoCal, but NY is a large state and there is plenty of room for isolation. Everyone lives in NYC, Long Island, or slightly north of NYC and besides that it's rural with a few population centers spread about.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:11 PM on September 17, 2008


McCain’s Pro-Vet Image Clashes With Record
posted by homunculus at 10:15 PM on September 17, 2008


So your definition of a "small town" is a) it must be small and b) it must be isolated.

Well, d-uh. Otherwise Burnaby is a small town: it only has 200000 people.

And it's in the middle of a 2 million person metropolis. But, hey, it's incorporated and has its own police and everything! Never you mind that it's a seamless mass of houses and businesses and malls from the heart of Vancouver all the way to the far side of Surrey. It's a small town!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:25 PM on September 17, 2008


Oh, I came back here to post this:
But, in fact, the economy's weaker-than-expected performance, along with other "technical" factors that are beyond policymakers' control, account for less than a fourth of the $1.3 trillion deterioration in the budget. The other three-fourths -- $1 trillion's worth -- is due to actions by the White House and Congress since 2001 -- specifically, the tax cuts and spending increases they enacted.
Some dude at Huffington. YMMV.

Seems that better fiscal management would have allowed the Republican administration to at least come close to breaking even.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:27 PM on September 17, 2008


That's not what I wrote.

Ah, bullshit, konolia. Let's look at the statement to which I refer - you said:
I hope, while you are educating your children about art and culture, you are also teaching them how to be good human beings. Which would include not being snobs. ... See, although I myself enjoy art and music and "culture" I understand that in some sense these are personal preferences. My parents certainly didn't raise me to appreciate art-now, they did have an awesome LP of Rhapsody In Blue that I played over and over and over again as a child, but I was not raised to "be cultured."

I think that it is far too easy to talk about how boring and obnoxious a small town is (even one fifteen minutes away from Art and Culture) without realizing that there are other values that are even more important to expose one's young to. Values like looking after each other (neighbors in small towns are really good at that.) Values like treating people right. Values like "remembering where you came from."
First of all, the statement "I hope you are also teaching [your children] to be good human beings" is an insuation that there is a possibility that some of us are not, and that those who are not fall under your "urban snob" category. That is a shameful charge to level at another human being.

Second, you manage to simultaneously insult rural and urban simultaneously - rural people are by no means any distance "away from Art and Culture", any more than urban people are any distance away from "values like treating people right". Do you understand how not cut-and-dry the world is? How there are different shades between black and white?

Talking about your love of white wine and croissants doesn't change a damn thing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:12 AM on September 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


Budweiser is nasty. I don't drink beer now but when I did it was Miller.

Ah, the good stuff.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:29 AM on September 18, 2008


Wow. From reading the NYT this morning, I learn that McCain and Palin have begun using "Fanfare for the Common Man" as their walk-on music at rallies.

Just amazing. Gail Collins has a fine little column today about the many faces of McCain, in which she dispenses a few jabs worthy of Maureen Dowd, such as:

" . . . he [McCain] had just morphed into a new persona — a raging populist demanding more regulation of the nation’s financial system. And since McCain’s willingness to make speeches that have nothing to do with his actual beliefs is not matched by an ability to give them, he wound up sounding like Bob Dole impersonating Huey Long."
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:42 AM on September 18, 2008


he wound up sounding like Bob Dole impersonating Huey Long

I'm starting to wish either one of them was the GOP candidate. You know, to restore some dignity to the party.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:49 AM on September 18, 2008


It's not indecent. It's highly moral, Majesty. It's full of proper small town virtues.

Excuse me, Majesty, but what do you think these could be? Being from New York, I'd love to learn.

Well, tell him, konolia. Name us a small town virtue.

Love, sire.

Oh, love! Of course, in New York we know nothing about love.
posted by yeti at 6:30 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


America needs more culture that highlights the values of our small towns. Where have you gone, David Lynch, our nation turns it lonely eyes to you...

Apropos the "small town" discussion ...

Simon and Garfunkel -- 'My Little Town.'
posted by ericb at 6:50 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yesterday, McCain Event at GM Factory Becomes Obama Rally.
posted by ericb at 7:04 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


NY Times Poll: McCain Widely Viewed As "Typical Republican" Would Continue Or Expand Bush's Policies.
posted by ericb at 7:21 AM on September 18, 2008


Barack Obama and Small Town People
posted by konolia at 7:24 AM on September 18, 2008


Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) On Palin: ‘I Think It’s A Stretch To…Say She’s Got The Experience To Be President’.
posted by ericb at 7:25 AM on September 18, 2008


I would not, for example, market "first edition" cheap consumer branding trinkets to anyone I respected.

For one thing, you're assuming that people don't want the trinkets. They do. At my local campaign office, we can't keep Obama gear in stock. Why? His campaign understands the power of symbol and the need to demonstrate wide and visible support. It's the same reason that FDR commissioned artists to create posters, murals, and buttons during the New Deal and World War II - the images spread the message and lend supporters a sense of inclusion in the work of the party.

And for another, they're an important source of revenue. Obama's campaign began by swearing off some categories of support that traditionally go to major party candidates, and has emphasized small-donor support. So to make up for some lost income, the campaign has designed and sold great-looking swag to bring cash into the coffers. It absolutely is unrealistic to think you can run a campaign without attending to the bottom line of what is a nonprofit business with a limited lifespan (that was one of Hilary's mistkaes). Dollars equal reach and resources; I much prefer doing something direct and honest, like selling gear supporters want, than raising those funds by other means.

the whole "community organizer" think could be straight-up honest work for the good of the people. It could also be a planned entry-level, political-resume-building step to build up cred before he begins his political career by kicking all his opponents off the ballot.


So what? Does it matter? It was an instrtuctive and important experience. Obama seems to have wanted a political career from the beginning. His choice to begin it with community organizing, though, is telling. Most people on his trajectory spend those years working as a Congressional aide or in a judge's chambers, building their connections and experience entirely within the halls of established government. If you read about Obama's organizing years, either in Dreams From My Father or any of the profiles that have been published, you realize how very different a task he set himself. He inserted himself at the intersection of established government structures (schools, social work agencies, housing project administrators, police stations, the district offices of city and state reps) and neglected communities, finding ways for people to access democracy to improve their lives. Regardless of his reasons for doing it, he learned quite a bit about the difference between government as practiced in voting chambers and government as lived and experienced by regular people in their own neighborhoods. I don't doubt that he was always ambitious; I'm thankful - telented people should aim to do as much leadership as they can. But I respect his choice to begin his education in civic life in this manner, which is so very different from the ways in which most politicians start out.
posted by Miko at 7:32 AM on September 18, 2008 [8 favorites]


That article is pretty old hat, konolia.
posted by Miko at 7:33 AM on September 18, 2008


Obama on the "bitter" remark:
There has been a small "political flare-up because I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois, who are bitter," Obama said Saturday morning at a town hall-style meeting at the university. "They are angry. They feel like they have been left behind. They feel like nobody is paying attention to what they're going through."

"So I said, well you know, when you're bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people, they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country."

After acknowledging his previous remarks in California could have been better phrased, he added:

"The truth is that these traditions that are passed on from generation to generation, those are important. That's what sustains us. But what is absolutely true is that people don't feel like they are being listened to.

"And so they pray and they count on each other and they count on their families. You know this in your own lives, and what we need is a government that is actually paying attention.
Critique the gaffe. But listen for the substance.
posted by Miko at 7:40 AM on September 18, 2008 [9 favorites]


OK, this is really bizarre. McCain was giving an interview with a Spanish news channel and was asked about the prime minister of Spain, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. He gave a weird answer in which he seems to be confused either about who Zapatero is or (less likely, although this is the way the Spanish press is interpreting it) whether Spain is in Latin America or Europe.

The exchange in question is at the end of that interview, and it's not clear to me exactly what's going on, but he sounds very confused. It comes across to me as something of a senior moment that could be very damaging if it gets traction in the US media.
posted by EarBucket at 7:43 AM on September 18, 2008


More here:

John McCain didn't appear to know that Spain was in Europe, or that the leader of Spain was named Zapatero, even after he was told that Zapatero was the leader of Spain.

When asked about Spain and Zapatero, by a Spanish reporter for a Spanish newspaper, McCain responded about Mexico and Latin America. A reader suggested something that Josh had already considered, that perhaps McCain thought the reporter was talking about the Zapatistas in Mexico, the guerilla group. But that's not possible as the reporter clearly said she was talking about Spain and Spain's leader, Zapatero. She told McCain this twice. Let me tell you exactly what she asked McCain (per the translation):

"Senator, finally, let's talk about Spain. If you're elected president, would you invite President Zapatero to meet with you in the White House?"

McCain then gives this odd answer about America's friends and America's enemies. He also, oddly, talks about Mexico (why Mexico? The question was about Spain) and how he'd invite friendly leaders to the White House. She then asks him again, would that invitation include President Zapatero? He says again that he'd have to review relations first, blah blah. She then says again, "so you'd have to wait to see, so would you meet with him in the White House?" He again repeats his weird statement about friends and enemies. McCain also throws in, oddly, to the Spanish reporter, when she's asking him about meeting the Spanish president, a line about the importance of our relationship with Latin America (this is now the second time he answered a question about meeting the president of Spain with an answer about Latin America). She then says to McCain one last time:

"Okay, but I'm talking about Europe - the president of Spain, would you meet with him?"

This time, there was no room for confusion. McCain then gives this very bizarre answer:

"I will meet with any leader who has the same principles and philosophy as us in terms of human rights, democracy, and freedom and I will stand up to those who do not."

posted by EarBucket at 7:44 AM on September 18, 2008


The Palin/RNC bump has eroded.

Candidates Back to Where They Were Before Conventions, and Palin Pick
"Polls taken after the Republican convention suggested that Mr. McCain had enjoyed a surge of support — particularly among white women after his selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate — but the latest poll indicates 'the Palin effect' was, at least so far, a limited burst of interest.

The contest appears to be roughly where it was before the two conventions and before the vice presidential selections: Mr. Obama has the support of 48 percent of registered voters, compared with 43 percent for Mr. McCain, a difference within the poll’s margin of sampling error, and statistically unchanged from the tally in the last New York Times/CBS News Poll in mid-August."
posted by ericb at 7:46 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Konolia, did you seriously reach all the way back to freaking April to revive the infamous "bitter" comment as your sole evidence that Barack disdains small-town America (even as you conveniently ignored the explanation, quoted by Miko, that the man himself gave soon thereafter).

I mean, really? That's all you can come up with? Because it's pretty damned lame, frankly. Surely you can do better than that.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:49 AM on September 18, 2008


High Turnout, New Procedures May Mean an Election Day Mess
"Faced with a surge in voter registrations leading up to Nov. 4, election officials across the country are bracing for long lines, equipment failures and confusion over polling procedures that could cost thousands the chance to cast a ballot.

The crush of voters will strain a system already in the midst of transformation, with jurisdictions introducing new machines and rules to avoid the catastrophe of the deadlocked 2000 election and the lingering controversy over the 2004 outcome. Even within the past few months, cities and counties have revamped their processes: Nine million voters, including many in the battleground states of Ohio, Florida and Colorado, will use equipment that has changed since March.

But the widespread changes meant to reassure the public have also increased the potential for trouble."
posted by ericb at 7:51 AM on September 18, 2008


I mean, really? That's all you can come up with? Because it's pretty damned lame, frankly. Surely you can do better than that.

I'll bet dollars to donuts (Dunkin', that is), she can't.
posted by ericb at 7:52 AM on September 18, 2008


It's kind of hard to evaluate that McCain in Spain story without reading an English transcipt, which doesn't seem to exist yet (my high school Spanish isn't up to the task). If one turns up, would someone please post? Thanks!
posted by Miko at 8:06 AM on September 18, 2008


@ericb That will just get spun on the news as, "Look at all these long lines! So many people love to Vote. Democracy at work!" America needs some serious help when it comes to running elections. Serious ass help.
posted by chunking express at 8:09 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I feel compelled to weigh in on the small town issue.

I won't go into much detail except to say that as a social scientist, one of my research specializations could be reasonably described as the study of American small-town culture, and that I've logged more hours than most professors, I would venture, sleeping in single-wide trailers, worshipping in evangelical churches, playing country music in dangerous beer joints, drinking and talking shit in roadside garages, trailing along on hunting trips, and -- to the main point -- having open political and cultural and religious discussions in which I have almost never disguised my own liberal, agnostic, cosmopolitan identity from people who, almost to a one, identify as conservative, Christian, and "small town." (What, you don't have friends with whom you disagree politically?)

And that experience is one major reason I am so supportive of Barack Obama. Of everything he stands for, for me it all goes back to "we don't live in a red America or a blue America, we live in the United States of America." When he said that at the '04 convention, a chill ran down my spine and I knew -- in that moment -- he would be president one day. That argument goes beyond liberal or conservative, beyond the racial essentialism that lies behind "cultural" arguments for political identity. It is the "enough" in this election. Enough of this red/blue bullshit; we need to form a national consensus and we need a sense of community. We're facing challenges the likes of which we have never seen and there is no time to argue about who's more virtuous than someone else. Enough.

Because can't you see, konolia -- or anyone on the other side tossing around stereotypes of small town communities -- this is how corporate power dominates us? It's as simple as this: we have been turned against each other as a nation (and not for the first time) in the service of an agenda to rule, not to move us forward as a nation. The evidence is so abundantly clear -- there is no legitimate ideological "conservatism" to the practices of the right in this country, other than the conservation of corporate power. The rest of the agenda is bread and circuses, a sop to the useful idiots whose votes can be bought for a little broadly applied fear and outrage every four years, stoked by backward looking cultural nostalgia for a time that is *not* coming back. And by "useful idiots" I mean to say that's how Karl Rove and his pals think of people like konolia and my small town friends, whose votes they nearly take for granted (the same way the Dems have taken African American votes for granted, and that's another subject worth exploring).

The only way to start undoing decades of culture war smokescreen for class war reality is to undercut the discourse of polarization of values on which it depends. Demography is, in part, doing that for us, as is technology, as are the routinized crises of the global economy. But the simplest step to take is simply to stop accepting these categories -- "small town" and "cosmopolitan" as descriptions of anything but ideological fantasy figures, as themselves productive of the "reality" of these distinctions.

The Obama campaign has made impressive efforts to do this. They could go further, I think -- a lot. But especially those of us who support Barack Obama need to internalize the message discipline because it's a message of *truth.* People are people; everyone is parochial in her/his own way; all of us are easily led to fear and hate someone else on some level because that's human nature, adaptive on some level in earlier times; there are good people and bad people in every community, of every ethnicity, in every social class. The bad people win if they can keep us at each other's throats.

That means we can criticize what's wrong with small town politics, the problems facing small town communities, and the limits of the application of small town nostalgia to contemporary social problems and issues without stereotyping the people who live in those communities. And vice versa for cities and urban communities.

Indeed, consider that Metafilter is in many ways a small town. All of our problems, and all of the things we love about this site, are the problems of community, and a community in which anonymity is not an option (not real-world, but locally -- we're a reputational community, a basic diagnostic feature of "small town" social life).

Anyway, I know it's not easy. I fight it myself because outrage and anger are powerful emotions, and so much seems at stake in this election. And I think tolerance has its limits -- I personally hit the line at racism, overt theocratic ideology, and science-denial. But those are extreme positions, and they are marginal in America, whether in cities or small towns (and they are found in both). They can be decried without being used to stereotype the much larger number of basically decent people. Politicians say things about America as a "decent" nation all the time, and my own view is that they are right about the broad national character, but they take supreme advantage of that very decency, and what we've gotten is an indecent spectacle for a politics, in the service of an indecent agenda of war and repression and greed. And that hypocrisy has fostered a tone of brutal indecency in our political discourse.

But the thing about Obama is not only that he can win, but that he can win without playing the old game of divide and conquer. *That* is the meaningful victory within sight here -- a transformation of the GOP Southern Strategy model that has had us by the short hairs for decades and that has *crippled* the ability of government to actually govern in rational and consensus-based ways. An end to the depressing cynicism of our public life. And end to distracting culture wars that keep us from coming together.


Yes we can.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:25 AM on September 18, 2008 [50 favorites]


It's kind of hard to evaluate that McCain in Spain story without reading an English transcipt

Transcript + recording.

It sounds to me like he wasn't listening and/or had trouble understanding the question, and just kept going on autopilot.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:25 AM on September 18, 2008


High Turnout, New Procedures May Mean an Election Day Mess

Vote early.

...and vote often.
posted by clearly at 8:25 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


chunking express, you're absolutely right about that. Whether or not you believe election fraud was at work in 2004 in Ohio, you don't have to go as far as fraud to understand that our election committees are often so unprepared and poorly run that if they'd occurred in a new third world democracy, we'd be sending observers. I've seen it in my own districts - running out of ballots (WTF?), lengthy delays due to broken machines or the Xeroxing of more ballots, an inadequate number of voting booths for the tunout, misinformation making its way through long lines. Shameful stuff that totally undermines the basis for a representative democracy.

Your comment has prompted me to do what I can do at the state and local level - I'm going to email to my town clerk and state election commission, cite this article, and ask what preparations are being made. A letter to the editor wouldn't hurt, either. I urge others to do this too. Voting needs to be a smooth and convenient process in this day and age of intense schedules, commutes, and more than one job per person.

I'm a campaign volunteer, and they've also urged us to remind people that they're entitled to vote absentee if they don't think they'll be able to vote at the polls. All you have to do is contact your Town or City clerk's office to request an absentee ballot. They mail it to you, you fill it out in the comfort of your own home at your own convenience, and mail it back any time before Election Day. That's another way to avoid mess-ups at the polls.
posted by Miko at 8:28 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
posted by kirkaracha at 8:30 AM on September 18, 2008 [11 favorites]


Do any of the candidates or VP picks speak any foreign languages? Have we ever had a bilingual president?
posted by iamkimiam at 8:31 AM on September 18, 2008


Future President Jeb Bush is fluent in Spanish.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:36 AM on September 18, 2008


High Turnout, New Procedures May Mean an Election Day Mess

Vote early.


The Early Voting Information Center at Reed College.

"31 states allow no-excuse pre-Election Day in-person voting - either early voting on a voting machine or in-person absentee voting."


Can anybody find a good chart or a list of early voting dates for these states?
posted by cashman at 8:37 AM on September 18, 2008


I wish I could favorite that comment a hundred times, FCM.
posted by Miko at 8:40 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I remember George Bush speaking some Spanish during the 2000 campaign. Then it became unfashionable for Republicans to speak anything but good old-fashioned Murican, and we haven't heard much about it since.

Jimmy Carter speaks some limited Spanish.

James Garfield could write in Latin with one hand and Greek with the other--at the same time.

Martin Van Buren's first language was Dutch.

Thomas Jefferson could read, at least, in Greek, Latin, French (I believe he spoke French fluently), Italian, and Spanish, with some dabbling in German, Arabic, Gaelic, and Welsh. But he was an elitist.

It's likely most of the founding fathers had at least some Latin and Greek, as anyone with any education at the time would have.
posted by EarBucket at 8:44 AM on September 18, 2008


Do any of the candidates or VP picks speak any foreign languages? Have we ever had a bilingual president?

Obama: “I don't speak a foreign language. It's embarrassing!"
posted by ericb at 8:46 AM on September 18, 2008


Yeah, the transcript was helpful. He did misunderstand what he was being asked, made the mistake of assuming it was about South America, mentioned a few South American issues, but was clearly unsure and retreated to vagueness ("we will meet with our friends"). He wasn't tracking fully.
posted by Miko at 8:53 AM on September 18, 2008


More on Thomas Jefferson:
"Thomas Jefferson was indeed accomplished. Not only did he master English (of course), but he also learned Latin, Greek, Spanish, Italian, French and more than twelve Native American dialects. Approximately 18 altogether."
On his language education in college:
"I was educated at William and Mary college in Williamsburg. I read Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, and English of course, with something of it’s radix the Anglo-Saxon."
Regarding French, in particular:
"The French language is unquestionably an important object of education. The habit of speaking it can only be acquired by conversation. This may be done either in France or Canada (for I learn here that the French of the genteel Canadians is very pure). While learning the language in France a young man's morals, health and fortune are more irresistibly endangered than in any country of the universe: in Canada he would be acquiring a knowledge of the country and it's inhabitants which cannot fail to be useful in life to every American. On this point I have long ago made up my mind, that Canada is the country to which we should send our children to acquire a knowledge of the French tongue."
posted by ericb at 9:02 AM on September 18, 2008


He also, oddly, talks about Mexico (why Mexico? The question was about Spain)

Well they speak Spanish in Mexico-- so.... close enough. Just like after 9/11 when those Arab guys attacked us, we attacked Iraq. Close enough.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:06 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Department of Daily Blowback:

Joe Klein, who has been increasingly fierce (and who used to be a real McCain booster) in Time Magazine today:

John McCain has raised serious questions about whether he has the character to lead the nation. He has defaced his beloved military code of honor. He has run a dirty campaign.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:19 AM on September 18, 2008


From Ear Bucket's TPM link: The story is already getting picked up pretty quickly in the Spanish press. And the way it's being interpreted in the Spanish press is that McCain got confused about the fact that Spain is a country in Europe, rather than a rogue state in Latin America.

I love that idea of Spain as a rogue state in Latin America. I see a mustachioed Spain roaming around, unpredictable, robbing the estate of a wealthy land owner and then giving it all away to a little peasant girl in the street. Maybe spending the night between red satin sheets with a prostitute with a heart of gold before leaving at dawn to go fight a duel with an arrogant police captain who grinds his boot into the face of the poor. Oh wait. Am I confusing "Spain" with "Zorro"?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:20 AM on September 18, 2008 [10 favorites]


From reading the NYT this morning, I learn that McCain and Palin have begun using "Fanfare for the Common Man" as their walk-on music at rallies.

Heh. Isn't that the same bit of music that Bill Clinton used during his first Inauguration, for which the right-wing mercilessly derided him?
posted by contessa at 9:23 AM on September 18, 2008


Boy... he really is in the habit of running his mouth of on subjects he knows nothing about with great authority, isn't he?
posted by Artw at 9:23 AM on September 18, 2008


McCain Slights Spanish Prime Minister: according to a McCain foreign policy advisor, "there is no doubt Senator McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred," and it was a deliberate snub.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:24 AM on September 18, 2008


How McCain Lost Me, by Elizabeth Drew, author of the very complimentary 2002 book Citizen McCain.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 9:28 AM on September 18, 2008


He wasn't tracking fully.

Yeah, that seems exactly right.

The actual embarrassing thing here is that the McCain people, instead of just saying that, are now claiming he meant exactly what he said. Randy Sheunemann: "Senator McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview."

Way to dig yourself further into a hole, Randy. And BTW, it's Prime Minister Zapatero.
posted by neroli at 9:29 AM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Shhh ... Aaron Copland was gay.
posted by lukemeister at 9:31 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thomas Jefferson: "While learning the language in France a young man's morals, health and fortune are more irresistibly endangered than in any country of the universe..."

"Franklin, I'm looking in your general vicinity."
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:36 AM on September 18, 2008 [8 favorites]


The Big Whisper: What's Up With John McCain?
posted by ericb at 9:37 AM on September 18, 2008


That Elizabeth Drew piece has a quote from McCain's 2002 memoir that should get some more exposure:

I didn’t decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . . . In truth, I’d had the ambition for a long time.

Well, that's some Straight Talk, at least.
posted by neroli at 9:38 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


And BTW, it's Prime Minister Zapatero.

In the Spanish press, Zapatero is referred to as "the president" -- el presidente Zapatero.
posted by ericb at 9:39 AM on September 18, 2008


Have you seen where Palin told Hannity that she watched Tina Fey's impression of her "with the sound off"? But that she "nailed it"?

Seriously. That's what she wants you to believe. That she was parodied on national television but chose to watch it with the sound off, because, you know ... well, because if she admits that she listened to the audio she could be asked about the actual skit instead of Tina Fey's appearance and then what can she say?
posted by Bookhouse at 9:40 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain people, instead of just saying that, are now claiming he meant exactly what he said

Pretty much like he knew what he meant by "Fundamentals of the economy".
posted by Artw at 9:41 AM on September 18, 2008


"Senator McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview."
"That's rather odd, since in April, McCain did an interview with the same Spanish newspaper saying bygones were bygones, it was time to 'look to the future,' and that he'd welcome Zapatero visiting him in the White House. So, why the sudden change now? We're seriously to believe that McCain just decided, 6 weeks before the election, to bash the entire nation of Spain when 5 months ago he said he was happy to meet with the Spanish leader?"
posted by ericb at 9:42 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . .

UNBLINKABLE!
posted by Artw at 9:42 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


And BTW, it's Prime Minister Zapatero. In the Spanish press, Zapatero is referred to as "the president" -- el presidente Zapatero.

But a McCain spokesman should indeed refer to him as Prime Minister Zapatero.
posted by ericb at 9:44 AM on September 18, 2008


Oh my ... there you go again!

The Fish Oil Salesman: McCain Pushes Offshore Drilling Because Fish ‘Love To Be Around’ Oil Rigs
posted by ericb at 9:45 AM on September 18, 2008


In the Spanish press, Zapatero is referred to as "the president"

Thanks for the correction, ericb.

"It's clear that neroli knew exactly what he was saying. He doesn't need some effete 'Spanish' press to define his terms."--neroli's camapaign manager
posted by neroli at 9:48 AM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


It looks like the McCain camp is going with the spin that he meant what he said. But that doesn't make any sense. Lay aside for the moment the fact that Spain is a close ally of the United States and that making belligerent statements about its prime minister makes you look kind of nuts. If McCain knew he was talking about Spain, why on earth would he ramble about Latin America?

It's clear to me that he made a mistake--probably he just misheard the reporter, because of her accent and/or because his hearing's not what it used to be. But what does it say about his campaign that they're not willing to admit that he made an error? Is it a matter of pride? Or are they scared that voters will think he's going senile?

This would have gone away a lot faster if he'd just admitted he misspoke.
posted by EarBucket at 10:08 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Life begins at rape... ask Mayor Sarah Palin
posted by homunculus at 10:15 AM on September 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


The Delicate Subject of McCain's Marbles:
At Wednesday's town hall -- his first with Sarah Palin -- he topped himself with this explanation of her credentials "She has been commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard. Fact. On September 11 a contingent of the Guard deployed to Iraq and her son happened to be one of them so I think she understands national security challenges."
Which is fine except:

The governor of Alaska doesn't command the National Guard in combat overseas.

Sarah Palin didn't deploy anyone anywhere on September 11th. She was a guest speaker at an Army deployment ceremony.

Track Palin isn't in the National Guard; he's in the Army.

Sometimes it seems like it's more than John McCain can handle, just keeping all the lies about Sarah Palin straight in his head. Tomorrow he'll say she's in the Air Force herself, on a plane she bought on eBay, bombing the bridges at Toko-Ri.
And here is where I, SLoG, add a nice little funny bit, except I'm laughing too hard to think of anything
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:25 AM on September 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


geez, homonculus, that essay made me physically sick. I can't imagine being raped and then being presented with a bill for $1200 for the collection of the evidence that would allow me to prosecute the criminal. And I'd known about her decline to fund the rape kits, but not that she fired the experienced police official who put them in his budget. Or that Alaska has the highest per-capita rate of rape in the US.
posted by Miko at 10:30 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


A Culture of Violence Against Women: More Than Rape Kits
posted by homunculus at 10:48 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's a catchy song for you.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:23 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Guys, really...stop arguing with Konolia. She doesn't even pass the Turing test. It's a construct for fuck's sake. Quit it.

As to small towns...lived in teeny little towns in the deep South for a goodly part of my life. You know what there is to do in a teeny little Southern town? Drugs. Lots of drugs. Sex....lots and lots and LOTS of sex. Build race cars and shoot at things. Cause there's fuck all to do there otherwise.

Don't give me this Victorian romantic bullshit about the morality of small towns. I've known more swingers, drug addicts and law breakers in small towns than I've ever met in Dallas, London or Amsterdam.
posted by dejah420 at 11:23 AM on September 18, 2008 [8 favorites]


I really have a yen
To go back once again,
Back to the place where no one wears a frown,
To see once more those super-special just plain folks
In my home town.

No fellow could ignore
The little girl next door,
She sure looked sweet in her first evening gown.
Now there's a charge for what she used to give for free
In my home town.

I remember dan, the druggist on the corner, 'e
Was never mean or ornery,
He was swell.
He killed his mother-in-law and ground her up real well,
And sprinkled just a bit
Over each banana split.

The guy that taught us math,
Who never took a bath,
Acquired a certain measure of renown,
And after school he sold the most amazing pictures
In my home town.

That fellow was no fool
Who taught our sunday school,
And neither was our kindly parson brown.
We're recording tonight so I have to leave this line out.
In my home town.

I remember sam, he was the village idiot.
And though it seems a pity, it
Was so.
He loved to burn down houses just to watch the glow,
And nothing could be done,
Because he was the mayor's son.

The guy that took a knife
And monogrammed his wife,
Then dropped her in the pond and watched her drown.
Oh, yes indeed, the people there are just plain folks
In my home town.

My Home Town
Tom Lehrer
posted by Grangousier at 11:34 AM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Here's a catchy song for you .
posted by Bookhouse at 11:23 AM on September 18 [1 favorite -] [!]


¡MARIACHIS NOT MCCAIN!

[via Projects]
posted by neroli at 11:47 AM on September 18, 2008


Hey, I guess we better quit. Turns out Sarah Palin has been annointed by God to smite the unbelievers.

Sorry, God!
posted by Bookhouse at 11:54 AM on September 18, 2008


Konolia, did you seriously reach all the way back to freaking April to revive the infamous "bitter" comment as your sole evidence that Barack disdains small-town America

I don't doubt he disdains small-town America. I certainly know from observation his supporters do.

I'm not claiming small town people are any better than big city people. The latter are certainly more...polished. My main point is that if Obama supporters don't get that their disdain is visible and noted by those small town types, that Obama just might have his butt handed to him in the upcoming election. But, hey, that's fine with me.
posted by konolia at 11:57 AM on September 18, 2008


I don't doubt he disdains small-town America.

That's silly.

their disdain is visible and noted by those small town types

Get over it. Welcome to the real world, where some of us face disdain just by walking down the street. No really, get over it.
posted by cashman at 12:10 PM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't doubt he disdains small-town America. I certainly know from observation his supporters do.

I think you have "small town" confused with "ignorant" here.

And ignorant people live everywhere. (I'm not calling you one, or calling all religious people ignorant, or anything of the sort, not even trying to imply that, so stay with me to the end here please...) Don't try to deny that there are ignorant, small-minded people living in small towns. You know they exist. Everywhere. Small towns, too.

Do Obama supporters disdain ignorant people? Ignorant people who continue to repeat ignorant viewpoints like "Obama must be a Muslim because of his name" or "I'm not votin' for any colored black man" or "Those terrorists came from Iraq, that's why we're going to bomb them back to the stone age!" Absolutely. And I'm betting that you do to, because your answers over time have proven again and again that you value education and progress for your children and grandchildren. That you want them to be informed, thoughtful people, because that's really the only way you succeed in the world.

But ignorant people aren't limited to small towns, and small towns aren't full of ignorant people.

I live in Maine -- a state that is nothing but small towns strung one after the next. I can't think of a single person I've ever met here -- Republican or Democrat -- who feels "distained" by Obama's supporters because they live in a village or small town. How could they, when those supporters are living next door to them in the same small town, living those same small town lives?
posted by anastasiav at 12:12 PM on September 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


Vote Early

This site has voter registration deadlines, availability of early voting, and early voting start dates on a State-by-State basis.


Somewhat interesting, Nevada closes voter registration on Oct 2 (this is the earliest), while Vermont closes on Oct. 25 (this is the latest date). Make sure you are registered, you only have about two weeks in some states.

Also, availability of early voting or absentee voting varies quite a bit by state. Check your local rules to make sure you are eligible for early voting, some states require a reason to vote early or as an absentee.

Good luck, and make sure your chads are fully punched.
posted by clearly at 12:12 PM on September 18, 2008


Make sure you are registered, you only have about two weeks in some states.

Six states (Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming) allow same-day (ie: Election Day) voter registration. One (North Dakota) does not have voter registration at all.
posted by anastasiav at 12:17 PM on September 18, 2008


I'm not claiming small town people are any better than big city people. The latter are certainly more...polished. My main point is that if Obama supporters don't get that their disdain is visible and noted by those small town types, that Obama just might have his butt handed to him in the upcoming election. But, hey, that's fine with me.

I feel sorry for you. I honestly do. You are being lied to, repeatedly, and you're not examining the information you're receiving with a careful eye for inconsistencies. At all.

The people that hate you, that talk about people like you behind closed doors are not the Democrats. Really.

Really. Wake up.
posted by odinsdream at 12:18 PM on September 18, 2008 [9 favorites]


Seriously. And disdain? Disdain??? I believe that was what we all saw on display at the RNC. Utter and complete disdain. It was ugly, and it was appalling.
posted by mothershock at 12:21 PM on September 18, 2008 [8 favorites]


Hey, I guess we better quit. Turns out Sarah Palin has been annointed by God to smite the unbelievers.

Excerpt from the e-mail: "Last week at Obama's acceptance speech, that spirit exalted itself in front of a Greek temple-like stage, and to a huge audience like in a Roman arena. Obama was portrayed as god-like. His voice thundered as a god's voice."

Wait a minute—highly charismatic speaker, huge audience, football stadium, booming voice of a god—I see what they're implying: Barack Obama is Billy Graham!
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:22 PM on September 18, 2008


Can I Vote

Find out if you are registered to vote, where you are registered to vote, and the polling location that corresponds with your registration.


I just found out I am registered as a Republican. Weird.
posted by clearly at 12:24 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


The schism between rural and urban is attributable to both valid criticisms and specious preconceptions and prejudices. There's definitely disdain for the other on both sides, but what else is new? It's a bullshit nonsense red herring.

You can't convert the ignorant, you can only educate them if they want to be educated.
Stop wasting your breath and time, people.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:25 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


And after it rains
Theres a rainbow
And all of the colors are black
Its not that the colors aren't there
Its just imagination they lack
Everything's the same
Back in my little town
Nothing but the dead and dying
Back in my little town

posted by Meatbomb at 12:30 PM on September 18, 2008


I just found out I am registered as a Republican. Weird.

Cool, that means they'll let you vote!
posted by Grangousier at 12:32 PM on September 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


Six states (Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming) allow same-day (ie: Election Day) voter registration. One (North Dakota) does not have voter registration at all.

Little known fact: In Rhode Island, you can register to vote the same day ONLY for Presidential elections (it's a limited ballot, too). But you have to go to City Hall to register, and then go to your polling place to cast a vote. Takes a bit of dedication, but the loophole is there. [For all other elections, sadly, you need to register 30 days before.]
posted by lunit at 12:37 PM on September 18, 2008


I feel sorry for you. I honestly do. You are being lied to, repeatedly, and you're not examining the information you're receiving with a careful eye for inconsistencies. At all.

And that's just in church!
posted by mrnutty at 12:37 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


From the Alaska Dispatch:

From Pep Rallies to secret emails and troopergate - a Sarah Palin Primer

Palin got help from corrupt oilman during her first run for state office
posted by dejah420 at 12:41 PM on September 18, 2008


1001??
posted by anastasiav at 12:48 PM on September 18, 2008


I certainly know from observation his supporters do.

Which supporters? What have you observed? All supporters, or just a subset? Please give evidence for "Obama's supporters disdain people from small towns." I currently live in a small town. I'm a supporter.

I'm not claiming small town people are any better than big city people. The latter are certainly more...polished.

When was the last time you visited a big city? Did you see only "polished" people? In the last few months I've been in Minneapolis, Rochester, San Francisco, Manchester NH, Portland Me, and Philadelphia. I sure saw a lot of poor people, a lot of working-class people. I saw a lot of immigrants, a lot of people with young children. People waiting for the bus, working in sub shops and dry cleaners, cleaning houses and hotel rooms. I saw middle-class people streaming in to work at Kodak and Target and Wells Fargo, heading for jobs doing data entry, accounting, inventory management, HR paperwork. I saw corporate executives in shiny black cars. I saw kids playing on playgrounds and students going to classes. I saw twentysomethings gathering in coffeehouses and watering holes and moms in parks with young kids. I saw long lines outside movie theatres. I saw Little League and basketball games being played in neighborhood lots and courts. I saw blowhards pontificating in bars, and city councillors headed for meetings with big sheaves of paper in their hands. I saw firefighters and police officers. I saw soldiers. I saw street vendors and minimum wage retail clerks.

Just who is it you're imagining living in cities? Some television version of wealthy young hipsters? Regular people live in cities. They live there because there are jobs, and there's housing, and you might be able to save a buck getting by without a car, and there are things for you and your family to do, and there's opportunity to move up in your field, move around in your industry, get back to school and retrain without uprooting yourself. Sometimes people live in a city because it's their hometown; their family, heritage, church, and community life is there. Sometimes they live in a city because they want to help the most people, as doctors or teachers or social workers, and cities are where the most people are. Sometimes they live in a city because they enjoy variety and neighborliness, because they want to meet and get to know a lot of different kinds of people.

Please let this false division die. People in cities are no more a monolithic bloc than people in small towns. They are individuals, with diffeerent lives and incomes and different voting inclinations. If you believe they are different at heart from other Americans, you must ask why? Who has told you that? Do you know it firsthand, or is it an idea that has been repeatedly suggested so often that it seems it must be true? Because it's not true. My family of small-town Texas Democrats knows it's not true, as do my small-town Democratic Maine neighbors who work in defense in the Naval Shipyard and volunteer on the fire department and First Aid squad.. The gold traders and insurance brokers in Manhattan know it's not true, and know how to vote the side that's buttered, as well.

America is both more complex than this simple division suggests, and has more in common than it suggests, as well. I won't assume that reasonable people of goodwill all vote the same way according to what sort of municipality they're in. Voting records tell a different story. We aren't divided along clean lines, because we can think for ourselves. What I have hope for is that reasonable people can find we agree on most of our basic principles and hopes for the country, if we stop falling for rdiculously simplistic depictions that reduce us to one or two surface qualities..
posted by Miko at 12:50 PM on September 18, 2008 [85 favorites]


Time to return the favor -- Miko, I wish I could favorite *that* 100 times.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:04 PM on September 18, 2008


Miko:

Thanks for not giving up on konolia.
posted by hifiparasol at 1:07 PM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ever find yourself wondering when John McCain gave his last press conference? Lost track of the time lapse between Sarah Palin's selection and her very first press conference? Fret no more, my friends - it's the McCain Press Watch!
posted by bmarkey at 1:21 PM on September 18, 2008


Wow. The world (not to mention this thread) need more thoughtful people like Miko.
posted by gruchall at 1:23 PM on September 18, 2008


A Method To His Madness? McCain Could Be Making Bush’s Grudge Against Spain Official U.S. Policy
posted by homunculus at 1:36 PM on September 18, 2008


The Virginia GOP is holding a minority outreach rally Saturday. Among the featured speakers: former Senator George "Macaca" Allen!
posted by EarBucket at 1:43 PM on September 18, 2008


No, John McCain will not meet with the terrorists who sank the Maine on 9/11. NEVER FORGET.

Besides, wasn't Spain considered Transalpine Gaul when John McCain was growing up?

***not agist, but definitely confusionist***
posted by lukemeister at 1:57 PM on September 18, 2008