Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Countdown: Smoking Gun Found in Troopergate!

More Day till the Palin-Biden Debate!

Mudflats: Smoking Gun Found in Troopergate Investigation

Hold onto your britches, boys and girls, the crap is about to hit the fan. According to AKMuckraker, whose site went down yesterday*, a witness has come forth with what appears to be proof that the Palins did, in fact, act improperly in the Troopergate affair. It's serious enough that AKMuckraker predicts it will put an end to Palin's political career.

* - The site is still down, but the old Mudflats site is still up: www.mudflats.wordpress.com. The article is found there

From Mudflats:

I've been waiting for this one. One of the witnesses called by Stephen Branchflower (independent investigator of the legitimate Troopergate investigation) put herself in a tricky spot.

Murlene Wilkes, owner of Harbor Adjusting Services, and holder of a $1.2 million/yr. contract with the State of Alaska to handle workers compensation claims, apparently told a big fat fib. When Branchflower asked her if the governor's office had ever asked her to deny a workers compensation claim for Palin's ex-brother-in-law Trooper Mike Wooten (the trooper in "Troopergate"), she said no. Never. Really.

Mike Wooten, of course, is involved in a bitter custody dispute with Palin's sister Molly. The Palins do not like him. Some say they have made a vengeful and personal sport out of ruining his career.

Problem is, that there are actually honest people in the world....and one of them works for Murlene Wilkes at Harbor Investments. This unnamed worker made a little phone call to the tip line that Branchflower set up at the beginning of the investigation. According to the tipster, yes indeed, the governor's office DID put pressure to deny the claim.

Hard evidence contradicting sworn testimony has a certain effect on people. Murlene Wilkes, faced with this situation, decided to change her testimony according to a report in The Public Record <http://www.pubrecord.org/>. Now, with the little extra incentive of avoiding perjury charges, she has admitted that she *was* asked to deny the claim - *at the direct request of Sarah and Todd Palin.*

*chin hitting desk* (a moment of stunned silence)

Full Article

Countdown: Another Palinism

More Days till the Palin-Biden Debate

Here's more proof that Bush has got nothing on Palin when it comes to near incomprehensibility. "The new energy?"

Palin on Biden

From the latest Katie Couric interview:

"He's got a tremendous amount of experience and, you know, I'm the new energy, the new face, the new ideas and he's got the experience based on many, many years in the Senate and voters are gonna have a choice there of what it is that they want in these next four years."

Countdown: Is it a Ploy??

More Days till the Palin-Biden Debate

I'm not usually given to paranoia, but the thought just struck me that Palin's apparently empty-headed cluelessness in recent public appearances could be a ploy. The previous post seems to suggest this. Her nom de plume, Baracudda, also hints as such. This is a capable, savvy politician who has clawed her way to the top of Alaska politics. Can she be so
clueless as to not understand how idiotic she appeared in the Couric interviews? Perhaps. But not likely.

Here's what might be the case. From the outset the RNC has been claiming victim status for Palin. The establishment press is out to get her. She is being vilified by rabid liberals.

When she came across as wooden and defensive in the Gibson interview (he of the establishment press) her Rovian handlers realized that this was their trump card. Let her come across as vapid and out of touch with international affairs in the Couric interview, which is McCain's strong suit anyway. Let the press continue their assault. Then at the debate, when expectations are lowered to a Loch Ness level have the assertive, self confident Sarah Palin we met at the Republican National
Convention, suitably prepped , re-assert herself. Have her go on the offensive against Obama's liberalism with a self confident (yet charming) bluster. Prod Biden into blowing his top. Put on her best "I'm a pit bull hockey mom maverick who feels the pain of middle America" act and watch the disaffected independent voters line up behind her.

It would be a brilliant tactical move as in one fell swoop she would: A) confirm the essential meanness of the hated liberal press B) gain the sympathies of the swelling numbers of Americans who are angry and fed up with politics as usual. "Here's someone we can relate to," they will say. "She hates the establishment press and politicians just as much as we do. Let's get em back by putting this woman in office!"

And the ghost of Karl Rove will continue to haunt us.

It's just a thought. . . . An awful thought.

Countdown: What It's Like to Debate Sarah Palin (from a man who did it!)

From the Christian Science Monitor:

An Article by Alaska state representative and gubenatorial candidate Andrew Halcro

When he faces off against Sarah Palin Thursday night, Joe Biden will have his hands full.

I should know. I've debated Governor Palin more than two dozen times. And she's a master, not of facts, figures, or insightful policy recommendations, but at the fine art of the nonanswer, the glittering generality. Against such charms there is little Senator Biden, or anyone, can do.

On paper, of course, the debate appears to be a mismatch.

In 2000, Palin was the mayor of an Alaskan town of 5,500 people, while Biden was serving his 28th year as a United States senator. Her major public policy concern was building a local ice rink and sports center. His major public policy concern was the State Department's decision to grant an export license to allow sales of heavy-lift helicopters to Turkey, during tense UN-sponsored Cyprus peace talks.

On paper, the difference in experience on both domestic and foreign policy is like the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing a bullet. Unfortunately for Biden, if recent history is an indicator, experience or a grasp of the issues won't matter when it comes to debating Palin.


Countdown: McCain as Palin Handler and Grandpa

More Days Till the Palin-Biden Debate

Just in case you missed it last night: Palin AND McCain with Couric. Note McCain's attempt to extract Palin's foot from her mouth. Painful to watch . . .

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sarah Says: Bring it on!

More Days Till the Palin-Biden Debate

from the Christian Science Monitor

Finally Someone who Gets it: Straight Talk from Newsweek Columnist

More Days Till the Palin-Biden Debate

Palin is Ready? Pleeeeeeeeeease.

Senator John McCain likes to characterize himself as a "straight-talker." Then he says: "I'm John McCain and I approve this message" for political ads that are blatant lies. Then he chooses Sarah Palin for his running mate. And she is only allowed to repeat memorized talking points. So much for the "straight talking express."

There's some talk that this could change at the debate, that they're going to "let Palin loose" and be herself. But that's what happened with the Katie Couric interview. We know how well that went. This "straight talking express" is a train wreck waiting to happen.

Finally the mainstream press is getting it. One of my favorite columnists, Fareed Zacharia who often writes for Newsweek and Time, more or less makes that point in a hard hitting article that will appear in this week's Newsweek magazine. This is the kind of straight talking we need.

* * *
From the October 6th issue of Newsweek Magazine:

Palin Is Ready? Please.

McCain says that he always puts country first. In this important case, that is simply not true.

Fareed Zakaria
From the magazine issue dated Oct 6, 2008

Will someone please put Sarah Palin out of her agony? Is it too much to ask that she come to realize that she wants, in that wonderful phrase in American politics, "to spend more time with her family"? Having stayed in purdah for weeks, she finally agreed to a third interview. CBS's Katie Couric questioned her in her trademark sympathetic style. It didn't help. When asked how living in the state closest to Russia gave her foreign-policy experience, Palin responded thus:

"It's very important when you consider even national-security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America. Where—where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to—to our state."

There is, of course, the sheer absurdity of the premise. Two weeks ago I flew to Tokyo, crossing over the North Pole. Does that make me an expert on Santa Claus? (Thanks, Jon Stewart.) But even beyond that, read the rest of her response. "It is from Alaska that we send out those …" What does this mean? This is not an isolated example. Palin has been given a set of talking points by campaign advisers, simple ideological mantras that she repeats and repeats as long as she can. ("We mustn't blink.") But if forced off those rehearsed lines, what she has to say is often, quite frankly, gibberish.


Countdown: She's Really a Good Girl

More days till the Palin-Biden Debate

Palin's Parents Say She's a Good Girl!

Here's a surprise: Sarah Palin's parents think she's a swell gal and they don't like the media questioning that.

That's what they told CBS news yesterday. And CBS news thought that was actually news-worthy. But isn't that what parents are supposed to say? Wouldn't Biden's mom say the same thing about the dirt the Republicans have been digging up about him, or Obama's parents, if they were still alive, about him? And would CBS news have a special report on that, as well?

Here's what Palin's parents need to understand. When a person runs for the second highest office in the land they open themselves up to an intense scrutiny that is sometimes fair, sometimes not. Too much is at stake for a candidate simply to be allowed to let their parents or their bowling buddies tell us who they are. We need to hear from everyone who knows them and examine everything they have ever done. And because this is politics and not the PTA there will be many who will be out to discredit this candidate because the party whose candidate they oppose will be doing the exact same thing to their candidate.

Information that reporters have dug up on their daughter suggest, in fact, that this is how Sarah Palin has gotten to where she is today - by dissing anyone who gets in her way. She, in other words, is just as good at digging in the dirt as anyone else. While I would rather see no one engage in this kind of politics, its much harder to feel sympathy for someone who does it themselves.

But here's what Palin's parents really need to understand. What the press is doing for the most part is helping us understand whether or not their daughter is qualified for the second most important political position in the most powerful country in the world. This has nothing to do with how nice she is. This has to do with her qualifications for national office. We are willing to believe that she is a good mother and a hard worker. We understand that she is extremely talented and a natural leader. All of these things that her parents wish us to understand about her, we do understand. What we don't understand is why Senator McCain thought she was qualifed for this position.

In the few times she's been allowed to respond to questions with her own thoughts she has evidenced a pitiable lack of knowledge about the very things a vice president needs to know. I don't care how quick a read she is, there is simply no way that she can get up to speed within two or three months. This is not an SAT exam. This is holding responsibility for the administration of the world's most powerful country. No major corporation would even begin to consider someone with insufficient experience or knowledge to be a vice president in their company. Why should we consider putting in office someone with as thin a resume as their daughter?

Mr. and Mrs. Palin: we think you have a fine daughter. She is charming and charismatic and has gone far with grit and determination. She is a gifted leader on the local and state level. She has a wonderful family; a model for working mothers everywhere. But she is not qualified to be vice president of the United States. That more than anything else is what the investigative reporting you are so critical of has determined. She is not suitable for this position. I hope you understand that this is not personal. It's the truth.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Palin Look-alike

More Days Till the Palin-Biden Debate

A Young Palin look-alike gets ready for the debate (from the New York Daily News):

Not everyone is a critic of Sarah Palin. Victoria Sahadi, 7,
dressed up as the Alaska governor/Republican vice presidential nominee,
looks ready to debate Joe Biden Sunday in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Countdown: Women Who Hate Sarah

More Days till the Palin-Biden Debate

While we wait for the debate it may be good to ponder a few interesting developments in the Palin saga. One is the almost visceral hatred certain women have for Governor Palin. And, according to columnist, Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune, it is only tangentially related to her conservative political bent. More to the point is what she symbolizes. Here's what Schmich says:

From: "Tracing Source of Women's Hate for Palin"

I relate to the betrayal, insult and worry the choice of Palin as John McCain's running mate stirs in many women. Do the guys who picked Palin in the hopes of nabbing Hillary Clinton supporters really think one size fits all? We've waited so long for a woman to make it to the White House and the closest we can come is one who can't volley with Katie Couric? And what if Palin's deficiencies make it easier to claim that women aren't fit for high public office? At its most logical, the hatred many women profess for Palin is rooted in the feeling that she has ascended to power she hasn't earned and that she could turn that power against the beliefs and best interests of most women. But the way some women talk about her risks making us look like the very thing she is sometimes accused of being: mean girls. Palin is an ambitious, smart, energetic woman, who through work, luck, pluck and, yes, a ruthless streak common to politicians, has invented an uncommonly full life, which includes being governor of Alaska. There's a lot to admire. If she'd also been wise and humble, she would have said, "Not yet," when she was asked to play in the big leagues. But what gutsy woman would have said no? By the end of last week, even a couple of Palin haters I know had softened, slightly. It hurt to watch her fumble through her interview with Katie Couric and pose nervously with Henry Kissinger. Her weak week was enough to make at least a few people recognize that the real bad guys were the folks who seduced her for their political gain into thinking she was ready.

Tina Fey Does Sarah Palin . . . Again!

More days till the Palin-Biden Debate

Check this out. Tina Fey nails Sarah Palin yet again. Hillarious!

From NBC's Saturday Night Live (9/27/08):

Countdown: Predicting the Palin Strategy

More days to the Palin-Biden

As the time for Sarah Palin's political trial by fire looms closer I thought I would whip out my crystal ball and make some predictions about how she (actually her handlers) might play this.

The key factor in making these predictions is noting what the Telegraph (UK) article cited: that Palin is being prepped for this debate by the same neo-con crowd that developed the Bush strategy in the 2000 and 2004 elections (so much for saying that she and McCain are mavericks. This is business as usual.).

This neo-con crowd is desperate to keep their discredited ideology on the front burners. And now they think they've found a way to do it - by imprinting it on the blank slate which is Sarah Palin. Here's a woman who is clueless about foreign policy, yet desperate to prove she isn't. What better foil to keep the neo-con message alive.

Based on this I think we can expect several things:

  • Palin will play the fear card that the neo-con's have played so effectively in past Bush campaigns. Get ready for something subtle that will attempt to stoke the paranoia surrounding Obama's African/Muslim roots. If not that, then something else which will make people question his patriotism.
  • Related to this will be Palin's constant reminders that she, with her small town roots and "aw shucks" demeanor, is much more in tune with authentically patriotic American values than urban organizer, Barak Obama. She'll probably be wearing something that will remind people of the flag to underscore this point.
  • The ill-advised statement Obama made about guns and religion will be repeated as many times as she can get it in for the same reason listed above. "He's not one of us," will be the underlying theme.
  • There will be constant references to what the McCain team is claiming to be Obama's extreme liberalism. And somewhere along the line there will be a mention of Obama's neighborly friendship with unrepentant 60's radical , Bill Ayers. Another attempt to say "he's not one of us."
  • Although her neo-con handlers may want her to do so, I have a feeling Palin will be hesitant to drop in a reference to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright mainly because she would prefer that her ties to another kind of radical Christianity stay out of the spotlight. But somehow she'll try to leave the impression that Obama is not a good Christian like her.
In reference to this last observation, check out this video filmed in Palin's former church when Palin was not only present, but came up to have hands laid upon her:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Countdown: Five Days to the Debate (online opinions)

More Days to the Palin-Biden Debate

Here's the buzz from the net about the upcoming debate. Regular updates to follow:

From CNN:

Advisers to Palin were reportedly worried that format could put the Alaska governor -- a relatively inexperienced debater -- on the defensive most of the evening.

The agreed-upon format for that debate now includes an abbreviated two-minute discussion period during which the candidates can engage each other.

From Donklephant:

Between Palin’s slim grasp of the facts and Biden’s inability to keep his brain in sync with his mouth, factcheck.org may need weeks to sort out the vice presidential debate.

From The Telegraph (UK):

As The Sunday Telegraph has reported previously, prominent neoconservative thinkers are seeking to shape the foreign policy views of Mrs Palin, whom they regarded as largely a "blank page" on international affairs.

From UPI.com:

Advisers from the Bush administration are prepping Gov. Sarah Palin for her vice presidential debate with Sen. Joe Biden, U.S. political strategists say.

Palin's coaches are tough political operatives who helped George W. Bush become president of the United States, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

For the sole vice presidential debate Oct. 2, the Alaska governor is being coached by Mark Wallace, Bush's deputy campaign manager in 2004 and Tucker Eskew, a Republican strategist at the forefront of Bush's primary battle in 2002 against Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the current Republican presidential nominee.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Debate is over, so Now Let's Hear from Biden and . . . . .

OK, the debate's over and the choice is clear. And it's not the Palin-McCain ticket.

When the debate finished I started flipping through the channels to see what the pundits had to say. Turned to NBC (which is what I have on right now -- wondering if the Republican respondee was watching the same debate I was) and heard this:

"When we come back we will have Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, give his response to the debate. And . . . . .. . . . (are you expecting the same thing I am? ) from the Republican side . . . . . . . . former New York mayor, Rudolph Giulliani."

What? No Sarah Palin? Why no Sarah Palin? Has she gone back to Alaska? Taking care of her family? Out on a hot date with her hubby?

What's becoming clear is that Sarah Palin is an embarrassment to the Republicans. Like that crazy uncle our folks try their best to shield us from at family reunions, the Republicans are keeping Sarah's public meetings to a bare minimum. After last week's astonishingly bad interview with Katie Curic, they are especially desperate to make sure she doesn't embarrass them again.

How she'll do at the debate on Thursday night is anyone's guess. Or maybe she'll find some reason not to be there. Something like having to rush back to Alaska to sort out an economic mess. Oh, no, that was Senator McCain's ploy, wasn't it? It almost worked for him. Maybe they'll try it again . . .

Stay tuned.


Palinisms: Another from the Couric Interview

Here's one I missed first time around.

This woman is a veritable treasure chest of the kind of incomprehensibility we thought only George Bush could pull off.

Read it and weep or laugh. Both responses are appropriate.

* * *

Palin Trying to Explain Obama's Surge in the Polls: (I dare you to try and figure out exactly what she's saying without having your brain explode)

From the CBS News Katie Couric Interview:

I’m not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who’s actually done it?

Conservative Commentator: Palin Needs to Go!

So now it's clear that the Palin effect has become so ineffectual that even conservatives are turning on her. She's an embarrassment to them. One columnist has gone so far as to suggest that she should pack her bags and go back to Alaska. "It was fun while it lasted," she says. "But now its time to call it quits."

Here's what she says:


Palin Problem
She’s out of her league.

By Kathleen Parker

If at one time women were considered heretical for swimming upstream against feminist orthodoxy, they now face condemnation for swimming downstream — away from Sarah Palin.

To express reservations about her qualifications to be vice president — and possibly president — is to risk being labeled anti-woman.

Or, as I am guilty of charging her early critics, supporting only a certain kind of woman.

Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick — what a difference a financial crisis makes — and a more complicated picture has emerged.

As we’ve seen and heard more from John McCain’s running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.

Yes, she recently met and turned several heads of state as the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York. She was gracious, charming and disarming. Men swooned. Pakistan’s president wanted to hug her. (Perhaps Osama bin Laden is dying to meet her?)

And, yes, she has common sense, something we value. And she’s had executive experience as a mayor and a governor, though of relatively small constituencies (about 6,000 and 680,000, respectively).

Finally, Palin’s narrative is fun, inspiring and all-American in that frontier way we seem to admire. When Palin first emerged as John McCain’s running mate, I confess I was delighted. She was the antithesis and nemesis of the hirsute, Birkenstock-wearing sisterhood — a refreshing feminist of a different order who personified the modern successful working mother.

Palin didn’t make a mess cracking the glass ceiling. She simply glided through it.

It was fun while it lasted.

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.


New Palin-Biden Poll: Alaskans Don't Trust Her Either

First of all, be sure you change the address for our favorite blogger in Alaska - AKMuckraker - who has a new site at a new address. When you go to the old site this is what you'll see:
Same good stuff. New address.

Second, on this new site is another brilliant post about an interesting new poll that has been done in Palin's Alaska and Biden's Delaware. Those who continue to support Palin's ill-begotten candidacy will speak about her off the chart poll numbers in Alaska. Someone that popular has to be good, right? Well, compare her numbers in Alaska to Biden's numbers in Delaware related to confidence in their ability to handle an international crisis (which is a fairly important ability for a VP to have these days) and a different picture emerges. Turns out Alaskans aren't sure about her qualifications either.

Below is a pie-graph showing the numbers. The story about the chart on the Mud Flats site.

Palanisms: One More

Here's another to add to the list:

Comparing the Russian leader, Putin, to a horse (from the Katie Couric interview):

It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where - where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Palinisms: The First Collection

From the Katie Curic Interview on CBS News:

On consulting crystal balls and tea leaves:

The way that I have understood the world is through education, through books, through mediums that have provided me a lot of perspective on the world.

(OK, I was a bit naughty here. This is not what she meant . . . . . But the rest of this is verbatim.)

Say what?:

1. And I asked President Karzai, "Is that what you are seeking, also? That strategy that has worked in Iraq that John McCain had pushed for, more troops? A counterinsurgency strategy?" And he said, "yes."

2. That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land — boundary that we have with — Canada.

3. It — it’s funny that a comment like that was — kind of made to — cari — I don’t know, you know? Reporters —”

The kind of answer you never want to give on a diplomatic civil service exam:

Diplomacy is about doing a lot of background work first and shoring up allies and positions and figuring out what sanctions perhaps could be implemented if things weren't gonna go right. That's part of diplomacy.

From the script of a bad John Wayne movie:

It is obvious to me who the good guys are in this one and who the bad guys are. The bad guys are the ones who say Israel is a stinking corpse and should be wiped off the face of the earth. That's not a good guy who is saying that.

The Sarah Palin Cult

The cult of Sarah has begun. Devotees worship her image in a cornfield in Ohio. No, really. It's true . . .

Here's proof:


I just realized why the McCain camp is desperate to keep Sarah Palin away from awkward unscripted encounters with the press. It hit me while I was watching a clip from the Katie Couric interview where Palin was struggling to justify earlier statements she had made about Alaska's proximity to Russia giving her good foreign policy experience. It was painful viewing, kind of like watching one of the less talented performers on American Idol, the kind that get booted in the first go. I mean, what came out of her mouth was nearly incomprehensible.

Here's the reason for sequestering Sarah: Palinisms; which would be the Alaskan version of Bushisms, those comic-ly entertaining malaproprisms that flow so freely from our beloved leader's mouth. I have a feeling, in fact, that stand up comedians are drooling over a Palin vice-presidency. I figure Jon Stewart may even vote for McCain to get her in office given the kind of material he'll have handed him on a platter with Palin's ascendancy.

I intend to start a collection. Hopefully others will, as well. Who knows, this could get to be a new cottage industry. PALINISMS!

Sarah Palin and American Exceptionalism (from the New York Times)

Once again the New York Times editorial staff has hit the proverbial nail squarely on its proverbial head. It's Roger Cohen this time. What he writes about is yet another reason why Sarah Palin is yesterday's news.

Check it out:

September 25, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

Palin’s American Exception

Sarah Palin loves the word “exceptional.” At a rally in Nevada the other day, the Republican vice-presidential candidate said: “We are an exceptional nation.” Then she declared: “America is an exceptional country.” In case anyone missed that, she added: “You are all exceptional Americans.”

I have to hand it to Palin, she may be onto something in her batty way: the election is very much about American exceptionalism.

This is the idea, around since the founding fathers, and elaborated on by Alexis de Tocqueville, that the United States is a nation unlike any other with a special mission to build the “city upon a hill” that will serve as liberty’s beacon for mankind.

But exceptionalism has taken an ugly twist of late. It’s become the angry refuge of the America that wants to deny the real state of the world.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

David Letterman Says: Give Us Sarah Palin!

Look out, folks. David Letterman is pissed. McCain dissed him tonight. Preferred looking "presidential" with Katie Couric. Things are far too serious to be yukking it up with Letterman. Far too serious even to be debating the issues with Senator Obama. Apparently McCain thinks the country is waiting for him to save us. Without his presence in Washington at this very moment the whole business is going to go down the tubes. Save us, Senator McCain. Oh, please save us!

What Letterman says is, "OK, maybe it's a good thing for McCain to go to Washington. But why suspend the campaign? He's got a pinch hitter. That's what a vice president does. Let McCain go to Washington. Give us Palin instead..

Yeah, right. Like that's going to happen.
Here's Letterman. Never seen him so steamed . . . .

Sarah Palin with Katie Couric

All that coaching and she still isn't ready for prime time. Certainly not for prime time in the White House.

McCain's "Protection" of Sarah Palin: Sexist??

CNN's Campbell Brown goes on the attack accusing McCain's camp of sexism in its sequestering of Sarah Palin.

Could be on to something here . . .

Commentary from Newsweek:

Sarah Palin: The Great White Hope

One of the most powerful productions of the late '60s was a play written by Howard Sackler (later made into a film) which fictionalized the drama surrounding the first black heavy weight boxing champion, Jack Johnson. At the heart of the drama was the inability of many in America to accept the prospect of a black champion, either in boxing or any other field.

We like to believe that we've moved beyond this. And in many ways we have. But scratch the surface of what remains a thin veneer of racial civility and this darker side of the American psyche is ready to re assert itself.

Sarah Palin's appearance at the Republican National Convention was a stunning moment in American political history for any number of different reasons. Most stunning to me was the reaction of the predominantly white middle to upper middle class convention crowd. You would have thought that they were Catholics greeting the pope or Dead Heads surging the stage at a Grateful Dead concert. And this for a woman who very few in that crowd knew anything about other than that she was a working mother from a small town whose values harked back to the era when white privilege was the predominant paradigm. The surface had been scratched; the veneer peeled away.

This hasn't been explored much in the national press. For good reason. It would be hard to substantiate given the reluctance of many white Americans to acknowledge racial prejudice.What makes this even more difficult to pin down is the fact that what is on display here is not the same kind of blatant racism that Jack Johnson encountered. Rather it has more to do with the threat that diversity poses to many white Americans, blue collar for the most part, but not exclusively so.

Much is made of Sarah Palin's small town values and "aw shucks" demeanor. What isn't said is how that contrasts with the savvy cosmopolitanism and multi-culturalism represented in the biography of Barak Obama. He is the face of the new America where race and ethnicity matter, but not as the great barriers they once were. In a growing number of social circles, in fact, diversity is celebrated.

Obama's popularity among younger university- educated voters underscores the contrast. To them he represents not just the future, but their own reality in a way that the 72 year old McCain (who keeps bringing up that war that this generation is sick and tired of hearing about), and lily white Sarah Palin (have you ever seen any people of color in any of her photos?) cannot.

Sarah Palin and, in different ways, John McCain, are the great white hopes. The question that needs to be asked is whether this represents America's best hope. Given our growing diversity and need to engage a global economy, I think not.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

President of Georgia Tries Hard to Say Something Good about Palin

So this is what we have to look forward to if Sarah Palin is our VP. World leaders trying hard to find some redeeming quality in her. "Well, she is a nice lady. . . "

Wasn't eight years of embarrassment enough?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Florida: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Much has been made of what a difference Sarah Palin has made to the Republican ticket. Her selection, they say, found white folks, especially female white folks, flocking to her like lemmings to a cliff.

But now it seems that that old saw is true. Familiarity breeds contempt.

Rather than driving folks towards McCain, Sarah is driving them away. That, at least, is what an informal study done by the St. Petersburg Times discovered. That's St. Petersburg, Florida; one of the states McCain has to win to keep the Bush party in power.

Looks like the Republicans should have kept Palin under wraps just a little bit longer.

From the St. Petersburg Times:

ST. PETERSBURG — Five weeks ago, the St. Petersburg Times convened a group of Tampa Bay voters who were undecided about the presidential election. Their strong distrust of Barack Obama suggested it was a group ripe for John McCain to win over.

Not anymore. The group has swung dramatically, if unenthusiastically, toward Democrat Obama. Most of them this week cited the same reason: Sarah Palin.

"The one thing that frightens me more than anything else are the ideologues. We've seen too many," said 80-year-old Air Force veteran Donn Spegal, a lifelong Republican from St. Petersburg, who sees McCain's new running mate as the kind of "wedge issue" social conservative that has made him disenchanted with his party.

"I'm truly offended by Palin,'' said Republican Philinia Lehr, 37, of Largo, a full-time mother with a nursing degree who voted for George Bush in 2004. Like Palin, she has five children and she doesn't buy that the Alaska governor can adequately balance her family and the vice presidency.

"You're somebody's mom and what are you going to do, say, 'Excuse me, country, hold on?' … She's preaching that she's this mom of the year and taking that poor little baby all over everywhere. And, you know, what she's doing to her 17-year-old daughter is just appalling.'' Lehr said she's bothered by the way Palin's pregnant daughter has been brought into the national spotlight.

Of the 11 undecided voters participating in the discussion one recent evening at the Times — four Republicans, five Democrats, and two registered to no party — only two Republican men applauded the selection of Palin.

Nobody had finalized a choice, but seven of the panelists said that McCain's running mate selection had made them more likely to vote for Obama, and in several cases much more likely.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Republicans have the Wrong Palin!

Seen on an Alaskan Cruise Ship (from Mudflats)

No comment needed. Story here.

The Latest from Alaskan News Sources

Given how little we continental 48 staters know about the unique perspective of the most surreal state in America (that would be Alaska), it's important that we take the time to read what Alaskans themselves are saying about the phenomenon which is Sarah Palin. Here are a few recent pieces from Alaskan news sources:

From the Juneau Empire:

Lawmakers: Politics 'hijacked' Alaska

From the Anchorage Daily News:

Pale Shade of Green (Palin's poor record on environmental issues)

Abdictation by Palin: When Did McCain Take Over the Governor's Office?

Palin: Fiscal Conservative?

Partisan Diversion (op-ed on Palin's stonewalling)
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