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September 02, 2008


All the McCain campaign really has to do is send her up in a zeppelin and let it meander lazily around the globe, allowing her to absorb the ambient expertise.

hilzoy, I just want to let you know that lines like that are why I love you.

Wow, just like the way Neo got all Kung Fu uploaded into his brain after Morphius and Trinity rescued him from the Matrix.


i wonder how much "substance" Palin has in her... a day or two ?

Following Gaffney’s —ahem— logic, if proximity confers expertise, does that mean that if I live next door to an auto repair shop, I’m qualified to repair your car?

"I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."

Luckily, God is focused on the war in Iraq, so Sarah Palin doesn't have to be!

less than one hour later and grandpa fred tells me she's qualified because she can field wrestle a moose, what ever that means

I feel so much better knowing that I am not the only one watching grandpa simpson--I mean-- fred.

i wonder, did Gaffney buy Hillary's argument that her time as first lady counts as "experience" ?

Can we please have an open thread to discuss Grandpa Fred? I want to talk about his description of how John McCain underwent enhanced interrogation.

it was facinating to watch him pretend the last 8 years have been peachy, except for those pesky liberals

I watched Arthur Branch. He needed Dick Wolf, badly. If he said a darned thing that wasn't about the politics of resentment, some quite ugly, I sure missed it. He did wake up after he'd given 2/3 of his speech, though

Joememtum's on, lying his posterior off. And he claims to be a democrat, and the only honest one. Also, I'm really sick of that one guy shouting "yeah!" next to the crowd mike. But amused by the polite applause for Joe's lies about McCain on immigration and global warming.

G O P = Grand Osmosis Party?

I'm almost afraid to ask, but what has John McCain been absorbing by osmosis all these years? Arizona is right next to Mexico after all...

Yeah, br: I also was wondering about Ol' Fred's bizarre (for a political convention) excursion into torture porn: the weird[er] part was that he didn't even seem to be into it all that much: just reciting the words.

Hey, Sarah Palin doesn't know that foreign stuff or that military stuff, but she did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

Boston, where I live, is presumably on the all-out war target list, so....Tom Menino for VP! He KNOWS what's at stake!

Also, I'm really sick of that one guy shouting "yeah!" next to the crowd mike.

You beat me to it. There's a guy at the Phillies' home games just like that. Very annoying.

I must admit that I found Fred's speech to be the most interesting out of a lot of not-very-interesting speeches. The torture stuff was sort of gripping as a story generally, though I had no idea what it had to do with someone making a good president.

May I just say: if I were the sort of person who held what people's guest pastors say in their churches against them, which I'm not, I might be really bothered by this (from here, 8/17/2008)

"When Jesus was standing in that temple, He spoke that that judgment was coming, that there’s a reality to the judgment of unbelief. He said “I long to gather you, but...” what? “You were unwilling.” God never forces His way on human beings. And so because Jerusalem was unwilling to receive His grace, judgment was coming. (...)

Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It’s very real.

When Isaac was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment—you can’t miss it."

Luckily, I'm not. But anyone who was bothered by the things said in Obama's church should be.

Having no taste for the cocktail of boredom, anger and outrage that the RNC serves up, I’ll take it all on faith; but if Senator Fred guy spent any time talking about torture (a subject seemingly gone underground during the campaign; disappointed, I can only hope the Dem campaign is saving it for a knockout punch) the Pubbles are now well ahead of the Democrats.
A few good people have taken note of how little it came up in Denver. A reference in Kerry’s and W Clintn’s and Rear Admiral Hutson’s speeches, but never no nothing else, certainly no focus.
I take it Gramps was ameliorating the severity of the whole idea and that’s pathetic and outrageous. But it does point up the failure of the DNC to bring it up.

felix, it was mentioned by several others. In fact, I am sure that Obama mentioned it himself.

I don't think Obama mentioned it.

But Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and Bill Richardson all did. (Did Gore, explicitly? I know he made a 'rule of law' reference that got an approving roar from the crowd.)

I was expecting nothing, so what happened was actually a pleasant surprise.

Felix, surely the torture being talked about at the RNC is McCain's experience as a POW (you probably didn't realize because he so rarely mentions it). I doubt there's going to be any mention of Abu Ghraib or other US prisons. I don't think Thompson would be "ameliorating the severity of the whole idea" in that context.

meanwhile, the LATimes is reporting that,

WASHINGTON -- Amid rising tensions over Georgia, U.S. officials are increasingly concerned that Russia is moving to rebuild one of the most dangerous features of the old Soviet Union's security structure -- its alliance with Cuba.

the story goes on to specify : (1) Lourdes, (2) refueling Russian naval ships, and (3) building a plant that manufacturers nuclear bombers.

don't panic, Gary. offering up the nuclear bombers is just to extract the refueling.

I asked the reporter to find out if the Chinese lease Lourdes, which was a listening station the Soviets used and abandoned when oil prices were low.

If I'm right that the Chinese have rights now to Lourdes, they'll never let the Russian out bid them.

but the live wire is the refueling. since the Chinese manage the Panama canal, US reactionaries are not going to stomach Russian warships in the caribe.

(don't ask me what the connection is, presumably something about seeing Red.)

Seriously, the problem is Raul Castro.

If the Russians want to refuel there--and their doing so would surely lighten the expense for Venezuela, which is footing the bill for the Cienfeugos refinery and much of Cuba's infrastructure redevelopment--If the Russian want it, Raul will cut a deal, even if that means bringing the temple down on us all.

you see, more than any other Cuban leader, Raul abhors the US presence in Guantanamo. Indeed, Fidel stopped him from going to war in the eighties over a reckless Reagan skirmish.

There's no way Raul (or any Fidelista) will let the US deny them the right to host friendly warships, when they must host enemy ones.

so there's a deal to be cut, but can (or would) either of these Republicans cut it?

And when is anyone going to condemn Condi for having so grossly botched things with Russia?

I had no idea it was possible to do it by osmosis, though on reflection that would explain the large number of grizzly bears who are up to speed on Sino-Soviet relations.

I love it. :-D

"she's qualified because she can field wrestle a moose, what ever that means"

I would have to see that to believe it.

Field DRESSING, however is the partial butchering of an animal such as a moose while you are still in the woods. She may know how, but I would, again, have to see her do it before I could believe she is able. Maybe, after the election there could be a jamboree/rendezvous on the White House lawn with demonstrations and lumberjack events. (regardless of who wins)

Is she can acquire knowledege/expertise by osmosis that means several different things.
1) Her brain is semipermeable, so other stuff is kept out (which stuff? I guess science or logic)
2) For osmosis to work the level inside has to be lower then outside or very strong pressure is needed to get the stuff in (and keeping it there!) => She must be an empty shell expertisewise
3) from 2) follows that the expertise will be lost again, should she not be kept under pressure or the level of expertise outside her must be kept higher than her own. => she will dumb down, if not permanently in the company of people that know more than her.

We need a leakproof president that can act reasonably even without permanent expert support. the Pail One is not the one 8and neither is the Son of Cain).

As far as bad arguments go, I am amazed at how readily guys like Orrin Hatch will belittle Obama's speechmaking his abilities and then talk up just how hard it is to be a mayor of 6,000.

Do they believe their own ...?

I just made the mistake of watching a little of Joe Lieberman's speech. Did he really promise in August not to knock Obama in his speech? Because what I just heard was a point-by-point recitation of what Joe considers Obama's bad points, all in comparison to the glory that is McCain.

Lieberman makes me want to get my foreskin reattached.

At least Zell Miller had entertainment value as a ranting lunatic. Lieberman is simply mealymouthed.

Speaking of which...I know that lots of Southern politicians switched from D to R after Lyndon Johnson, but has a sitting Senator from the Northeast ever gone to the Dark Side this way?

Oh, and then: (I'm not sure *what* thread it belongs in, but this is the latest Palin thread, so....)

Today's NYT article on Palin's early political career has this (I'm editing fairly heavily): "...1996, the year Sarah Palin ran for mayor and Wasilla got its first local lesson in wedge politics.... the year Ms. Palin, then 32, challenged the three-term incumbent, John C. Stein.... Mr. Stein, who lost the election: “But [what got her elected was] abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I’m not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: ‘We will have our first Christian mayor.’ ”

“I thought: ‘Holy cow, what’s happening here? Does that mean she thinks I’m Jewish or Islamic?’ ” recalled Mr. Stein, who was raised Lutheran, and later went to work as the administrator for the city of Sitka in southeast Alaska. “The point was that she was a born-again Christian.”
[end quote]

I'm not particularly kneejerk about these things, but, boy, does that at least *sound* like an anti-Semitic tactic. *Did* Palin think he was Jewish? Did she know he wasn't, but thought that others might, because of his name?

Maybe Stein is right that it was "just" her not considering non-Born-Again types as real Christians. I mean, in a town that small, it's hard to believe that people wouldn't know the religious affiliation of the longtime mayor.

I'd really love to know if this was an actual line she used when campaigning. (Googling got me nothing but references to the NYT article.) Cause it sounds a lot like an anti-Semitic appeal to me. (Not that Stein's take on it makes her sound so great, either.)

A real antisemite would try to use Sarah Palin's and her son-in-law-to-be Levi's name against her.

Goodness: 17 out of 20 posts since the announcement are about Palin. I think we're all falling into a trap set up by the McCain campaign. Jonathan Freedland sums up:

Would even America's trashiest daytime soaps dare squeeze that much action into just the first four days of a new storyline?

The McCain campaign has done it, thereby achieving in an instant one of its key objectives. At last people are talking about the Republicans, after months in which all the excitement had been on the other side.

Ever since McCain introduced Palin to a stunned, unprepared political world last Friday, Obama has barely had a look-in. From conservative talk radio to celebrity gossip websites, there is only one topic: it's all Palin, all the time.

If osmosis worked I’d understand women better – or at least my wife anyway. ;)

"Sarah" isn't a particularly Jewish name in America, Hartmut; it's just a common name; there have to be a thousand times more Christian Sarahs than Jewish ones.

In fact, it's the 23rd most common female name. And particularly see here.

So suggesting that it's a Jewish name wouldn't remotely fly.

Y'know, the more I read these kinds of attacks on Palin, the more I think that McCain is crazy like a fox. If the argument is over "who's the most experienced," McCain wins. And comparing VP to P doesn't help the P, even acknowledging McCain's age issue.

N.b., I thought that this post by Hilzoy was pretty funny.

Audacity of audacity watch:

[...] As the news spread across the arena, the Republicans canceled their daily news briefing. Spokesman Tucker Bounds, in a laudable bit of spin, explained how Palin now "may be the most qualified expert on any campaign on family issues."
And John McCain can learn by osmosis!

You realize this means that after a few months sitting at the foot of the master, Sarah Palin will also have been a P.O.W.

If the argument is over "who's the most experienced," McCain wins.

Yes, because he was a POW for five and a half years. After that, according to Rush Limbaugh, he became "a skirt-chaser... a gigolo" with a "sugar daddy wife"; and according to Ann Coulter, he's "a kept man. He lives off the money made by other men and left to their daughters or wives."

McCain also has the experience of helping crooks get away with their crimes, which the Bush administration undoubtedly feels is essential for the next President; and McCain also supports torture and extra-judicial imprisonment, no doubt from his experience with both. You feel this is the kind of experience you want for the next President, and who can gainsay you - if you enjoyed the past 8 years, you have a right to look forward to the next 4 being just the same.

Y'know, the more I read these kinds of attacks on Palin, the more I think that McCain is crazy like a fox.

Well, yeah. Media distraction during the campaign - that's what a VP does, right? You think McCain nominated Palin because he knew all these scandals would come out in a week he wanted media attention elsewhere?

I swear there was a Kos diary by one of the front pagers (or maybe it was Billmon) that made the exact same point Gaffney made, only the diarist was mocking them. They're beyond parody.

he wanted media attention elsewhere

As for example: the arrest of Amy Goodman.

Every so often, I run across an argument so manifestly absurd that I think: wow, this isn't just spin and deception, this is performance art.

Sometimes I think that the usual suspects among the conservative pundits, along with maybe the White House press staff, have a standing bet to see who can launch the biggest, most insanely improbable whopper into the public discussion.

To win, it has to be picked up and discussed without mockery by NPR, the Post, and the NYT.

No fair stealing ideas from the Onion. Dating Judith Miller to get your stuff in the Times used to be allowed, but was later ruled out as being too easy a tactic to be sporting.

They email and text each other on their Blackberries each week to pick the winner. Whoever was first to float it gets dinner at Morton's in downtown DC, and his or her choice of cigars from Limbaugh's private stash.

They collect clips of the winners being discussed on radio and TV and, each year, burn them on a DVD as a holiday party favor.

Rove has the whole set.

That's the only sense I can make of it.

Thanks -

"As for example: the arrest of Amy Goodman."

Which I linked to video of here.

Snicker, btw.

"Media distraction during the campaign - that's what a VP does, right?"

They don't start shooting friends until they're in office.

My favorite line from Chait’s New Republic piece cited by Gary:
in fairness to him, tnr has not yet gotten around to calling his office for comment, what with all the interesting things to read on the Internet.
Darn fine snicker all round.
The final sentence:
Then, however, the book turns to general ruminations about decision-making and tough decisions made by other great men of history, and the question of what happened after he was shot down is left unanswered.

In some finer world.

From an article in the WaPo titled
“Palin Scrubbing Turns Up an Undeclared Car Wash”

On April 3, 2007, the state went further and issued a "certificate of involuntary dissolution" because of the car wash's failure to file its report and pay state licensing fees.

Palin's gubernatorial disclosure filings also reveal her involvement in another failed startup -- a marketing business which was to go by the name Rouge Cou, which evidently is a literal French translation of "red neck." On the 2005 form, Palin describes the firm as one for which she secured a license but did not conduct any business
(h/t Southern Beale)

Executive experience to believe in. Reminiscent of Dubya’s.


I've lived in the bible belt before, and saying someone is "Christian" generally means that they have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior (i.e. been born again).

I don't think there was any antisemitism involved--on the contrary, jews have a special place in most evangelical ideology...wish I could find the awesome video I saw before of a mega-church blowing a shofar and singing hava nagila...absolutely priceless.

Wouldn't any Alaskan then be just as qualified as Palin? Or possibly an actual moose--an animal whose roots in Alaska are deeper than hers--would be even more qualified?

As to the state governance--I think that's a lot of the problem with this pick, and it was reflected in the common Alaskan response of "We like her, but I'm not sure she translates." Alaska has a very unique set of issues, loads of oil money in place of taxes, and apparently a few secessionists. It's no Delaware or Kansas. There's no evidence that she has thought about national and international issues in the way we expect of someone who could become president January 21, 2009. I think it's reasonable to expect her to have a clear opinion on all the significant policy questions by the end of the week--that's a reasonable request of anyone whom we have but 2 months to vet. Instead she's been hidden away.

Yeah, isn't the Jews' "special place" where they finally accept Jesus or something? I'm vague on the details because I'm allergic to people who worship Armageddon.

a marketing business which was to go by the name Rouge Cou

For crying out loud in a bathtub, it's "cou rouge".


There goes the Louisiana vote.

Thanks -

The cliches of convention coverage are beginning to breach my levees. Does anybody doubt that, no matter what Palin tells the adoring crowd tonight, one Republican interviewee after another will tell us afterward that she "hit it out of the park"? Or that commentators will opine that the campaign "dodged a bullet"?

Our civic discourse is growing more pale and tired by the minute.

What Gary said about "Sarah". And "Levi" isn't a common name, but I think the stereotypical impression would be more "backwoods" or "pioneer", and definitely Christian, rather than Jewish.

Jeezus, Gaffney's explanation would have been more plausible if he'd said that the Knowledge Fairy slunk in one night and sprinkled missile defense policy experience dust into her ear.

For crying out loud in a bathtub, it's "cou rouge".

There goes the notion that she could pick up conversational Russian from Berlitz tapes in the next 2 months and be ready to tell Putin to cut out the bullsh!t.

a marketing business which was to go by the name Rouge Cou

which isn't too far from "Rouge Coup".

she's a commie!

It's about time to bring in the "backlash" and "comeback" storylines. I imagine Cuttle is right, and we'll see coverage of the speech benefiting from low expectations and turning things around, unfortunately. McCain's base in the media is not going to let this go on too long.

And "Levi" isn't a common name, but I think the stereotypical impression would be more "backwoods" or "pioneer", and definitely Christian, rather than Jewish.
Or Mormon.

OT: KCinDC, I saw the new Kratovil ad last night with Gilchrest’s endorsement. It was on FNC during the middle of the convention! It struck me as a pretty powerful ad (front page of his website). I was flipping back and forth between FNC and CNN as the networks seem to have mostly decided not to cover the convention. I thought the placement and timing was evil (in a good way) with Lieberman on endorsing McCain last night.

Pretty much OT, but a piece by Cliff Schecter via truthout on McCain’s wretched record on veteran’s issues, which IMHO should be a prime target for the Dem campaign.

McCain’s wretched record on veteran’s issues, which IMHO should be a prime target for the Dem campaign.

Absolutely. Last night the Repugs "saluted" veterans, including POWs and GHW Bush, but never said they'll do a damn thing for them. Obama has voted for military support, and Michelle has visited with military spouses, to see what their needs are. Let's make homeless vets, Walter Reed, all that, front and center as McCain tlaks about "supporting the troops".

tell Putin to cut out the bullsh!t.

"Mr. Putin, it is time to cut the sh*t out of the bull!"


Thanks -

Just when you'd had your fill of bathtubs and convention cliches... a bit of comic relief. (With apologies to Amy Goodman).

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