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September 10, 2008

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for reasons best known to herself and Sen. McCain's speechwriters, she made this claim, despite the fact that she requested for Alaska, and received, more earmarks per capita than any other state.

Come on, hilzoy. The reasons aren't hard to figure out.

1. Earmarks are unpopular - they stand for "wasteful govt spending."

2. Therefore attacking earmarks is a good way to get votes and sound like a reformer.

3. No one is going to really dig into the issue the way you do. The press is going to play its usual balancing games, so the fact that the supposed "reformer" has sought and gotten lots of earmarks is not going to be widely publicized or known.

4. If (3) is wrong you can always lie about it. Plenty of people will help, and the press can be counted on not to look too closely.


There. Now you know the reasons as well as the McCain campaign.

Everyone was so upset that Obama's patriotism was questioned. Is anyone upset that McCain's honor is now questioned by the Obama camp?

Bill Burton, Obama's press secretary, responded in a statement: "It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls - a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds. Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn't define what honor was. Now we know why."

For some reason, I think no one here will be able to grasp the comparison.

Wow, from the text of the bill itslef:

"Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV."

Those darned McCain lies...

rtt, (1) Obama's folks are impugning McCain's honor because McCain is engaging in an escalating series of lies and misrepresentations that in this case includes portraying Obama as wishing to introduce small children to explicit and inappropriate material. (2) Regarding your apparent inability to comprehend written English, I don't really have the patience to go through all that again. Please see last night's thread entitled "Sex, Lies, and Videotape".

Those darned McCain lies...


Don't be an idiot. Stop treating us like idiots. Do us the favor and read the site before you drive by.

Wow, from the text of the bill itslef:

how curious of you to leave off the entire rest of the bill. innocent mistake, i'm sure.

Regarding Palin and earmarks, don't miss this new viral video courtesy of TPM.

Also courtesy of TPM, in addition to the money for seal genotyping, there was $2 million to study crab mating. And they're underwater arthropods, not even charismatic megafauna. Maybe McCain will ask whether there's a paternity issue involved?

hilzoy: "One of the mysteries of all this is why Sarah Palin claimed that she had 'championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress' in the first place."

No mystery: It plays into the McCain/Palin ticket's theme of two mavericks for the price of one.

To a certain extent, just being a female governor gives you some maverick cred, especially as it appears Palin had to fight that state's corrupt old-boy network in getting to the statehouse.

However, McCain/Palin have taken that feel-good story and embellished and/or distorted it to the point where fair-minded Democrats who once applauded John McCain are now repulsed by the Arizona senator.

Any last benefit of the doubt I gave McCain's honor was squashed with this latest manufactured "lipstick on a pig" controversy -- especially after "Hardball" tonight showed it's been one of McCain's favorite sayings in the past.

What a hypocrite.

Palin keeps saying she was against the Bridge To Nowhere and against (and aghast!) at earmarks and on and on. So make that two hypocrites for the price of one.

Yet the adoring crowds she speaks to eats it up when she says her and McCain can't wait to "shake up Washington." They truly believe it.

Other than this site, I don't make a habit of surfing the nets. I can report that cable news -- let's give credit where credit is due -- has been consistently exposing Palin's true stance on the Bridge To Nowhere and on earmarks.

A revived Republican electorate is so enamored with Palin that they simply won't believe any of that -- it's "attacking" Palin. Democrats are disgusted. And one can only wonder what undecided voters must think of all this back-and-forth.

I can understand hilzoy being "Palin-ed out," especially when it seems like undisputable facts simply aren't taking hold. Prior to this, I spent five minutes on Ob-Wi this afternoon and logged off. Other than Hardball -- where Chris Matthews made a McCain spokesman look like a fool -- I stayed away from cable today , coming down to the computer just now after seeing that Larry King was devoting his whole program tonight to Lipstickgate. Enough.

It really is sad. But what's the answer? She ain't going away.

Good night.

I believe Obama's campaign should run ads and make speeches at this point against McCain/Palin - asserting that "McCain/Palin have supported spending millions of dollars on studying the genetics of harbor seals," etc. Tie him to anything she has done and force him to try to distance himself from it or her.

Let's see: for the bridge before she was against it, but kept all that lovely money, demonstrably the Gov/Queen of Pork, actually didn't sell the plane on Ebay, nor fire the chef. And now the sweet irony about the seal DNA. Regardless of why she fired the Public Safety Commissioner, it's clear that she lied about having pressured him about firing her ex-brother in law.

I am so effing tired of being lied to by my government.

Charlie, although I don't think earmarks are the right way of setting priorities and making these decisions, I really wouldn't want to give the impression that there's necessarily anything wrong with using federal money to study seal DNA or crab mating. The point is just that McCain made a nasty crack about an earmark to study grizzly DNA, but his Maverick Hero Governor Veep got an earmark to do the same with seals. It's the hypocrisy, not the DNA.

Charlie: "Tie him to anything she has done and force him to try to distance himself from it or her."

One last response before calling it a night: This is fine. But, above all, they need to get back to tying McCain to Bush.

Remind people that McCain/Palin is a clever way of trying to make us forget that we'd be in for four more years of McCain/Bush.

Come right out and ask: Are you better off now than eight years ago?

charismatic megafauna?

Have you ever seen, or more relevantly smelled, a harbor seal?

That ain't teen spirit, no indeed. And it sure ain't charisma.

On topic, the grizzly studies are quite important because grizzlies are the huge, furry canaries in Glacier's coal mine. But mocking knowledge and science is just what Republicans do, because they pride themselves on being ignorant.

rrt:

Coming from Illinois, we had a very structured (but brief) sex education curriculum. In 2nd, 5th, and 7th grades, we went on trips to a local science center and got age appropriate instruction on what sex was.

2nd grade, was basically cartoon outlines of male and female, and the knowledge that the male part went into the female part, and the baby grew in the woman.

5th grade was a little more explicit (but not as explicit as the talk on the schoolyard) but also covered consequences.

7th grade filled in a lot more details (with the attendant embarrasment) and again covered consequences.

Now contrast that to those I encountered coming from parochial schools, who weren't taught at all. (Data is not the plural of anecdote, but...) one kid even thought that urine caused pregnancy until he was in high school.

There's a lot to be said for age appropriate coverage of the topic.

But mocking knowledge and science is just what Republicans do, because they pride themselves on being ignorant.

As do much of black culture, disdaining it as "acting white."

Need I point out the irony?

Um, gwangung, yes you do need to, if you care to be understood. At least, it went right by me.

It just strikes me that both groups are arriving at no-nothing, anti-intellectual, anti-learning attitudes and stances form different places. Their attitudes towards rationalism, science and learning seem to be effectively the same.

Of course, no one else may find that remarkable, so...

It's the hypocrisy

Having closely observed the American politics of the last thirty years, I hasten to remind you that

- people who vote Republican do not regard hypocrisy as a vice, and

- Republican polititicans treat hypocrisy as a core competency. (I think they must go to seminars or workshops or something, to pick up tips from the pros)

nice work, hilzoy.

this is beside the point, but we should spend a lot more money on DNA (and fossil) research of North American bears.

and I'll tell you why. : )

because like humans, they're plantigrades who eat anything. And it could be that they had a speciation event during the last the polar shift, as Vrba claims antelope and hominids did in Africa.

but for her evolutionary theory to be true, it must universal.

bears in North America are the best place to look to see if a polar shift can impact our survival as humans.

the next shift could be as soon as 2012.

so I think that Obama should use this little earmark example as scare tactic and rhetorical vehicle to leap into the virtues of science.

put the pea brains in their place.

gwanggung:

It just strikes me that both groups are arriving at no-nothing, anti-intellectual, anti-learning attitudes and stances form different places.

Remember, one of the immediate predecessors to the Republican party were the Know-Nothings, so they are really getting back to their roots.

gwanggung:

It just strikes me that both groups are arriving at no-nothing, anti-intellectual, anti-learning attitudes and stances form different places.

Remember, one of the immediate predecessors to the Republican party were the Know-Nothings, so they are really getting back to their roots.

One of the mysteries of all this is why Sarah Palin claimed that she had "championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress" in the first place. She wasn't a member of Congress; she was Governor of Alaska. She had no power to reform Congressional earmark spending.

Seems obvious to me that the speech was written with someone else in mind, someone who was a Senator or a Congressman, who was to be portrayed as an enemy of earmarks regardless of their actual record. But with the usual attention to detail shown by the McCain campaign, when the person the speech was originally written for (if they even got that specific) became untenable and Palin became the replacement, the line remained in the stock speech that was given to Palin to read even though as a governor she couldn't have "championed" anything in Congress. It's a non-sequitur because it was part of a fill-in-the-blank speech originally written for someone who was in Congress.

Jacob Davies: I hadn't thought of that. But once you say it, it makes a horrifying sort of sense.

"Remember, one of the immediate predecessors to the Republican party were the Know-Nothings, so they are really getting back to their roots."

I'm a staunch Democrat, but as an amateur student of history, I suggest that while there's some truth to that, it's rather misleading, and not a particularly fair statement, really. It's defensible, but such a simplification of a distinctly complicated set of circumstances that it's pretty much just a cheap shot not really worth making, save to give people a fairly distorted version of history.

More here.

To amplify redwood's point, McCain talks about researching bear DNA as if his audience sees it as self-evident that studying bears is wasteful spending. I would really like to see someone come out and discuss that spending money on science is not a waste.

As one example out of dozens that come to mind, developing a green economy is going to require a lot of science to be done fairly quickly--and most of it will be funded by government grants. Unless McCain's tepid enviromentalism is just a pose, then I suppose he'll have been against "earmarks" before he was for them.

The more people focus on the obvious lie, the less attention is focused on the damaging truth that Sarah Palin was on McCain's own pork lists 3 times in recent years.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-earmarks3-2008sep03,0,2482434.story

That campaign commercial writes itself.

it appears Palin had to fight that state's corrupt old-boy network in getting to the statehouse

It's beginning to look to me that her husband was, to some extent, governing by proxy. If that was evident from the start of her campaign, it could have been how she was able to "fight" the old-boy network.

====================

Larry King was devoting his whole program tonight to Lipstickgate

Good grief. McCain ran from his show like a little baby, and he's still shilling for the creep? Yuck.

Gary,

I am also an amateur student of history (college minor)--when I ran into the mindwashing of both College Republicans and Democrats, and became a staunch independent. Obviously, it is unfair to claim that political stands scores of years ago have continued unchanged into the current time.

However, when the current holders of the mantle of the "party of Lincoln" try to claim that they hearken back to that heritage, do they really understand what that heritage is? When supporters of an imperial Presidency try to claim that they take their lead from Jackson, is it not important to compare and contrast then and now? (I think that was Yoo.) La plus ca change

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