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September 02, 2008


It really is starting to look bad (by which I mean good - but bad for the McCain campaign). The media seems on the verge of a full on feeding frenzy, which would be lovely.

This could be an epic disaster in the making...

Barracuda, meet the media piranhas... This creationist is going to learn a little Darwinian lesson.

I think the press also should ask how Palin will be able to reform anything at all in DC from the vP chair. If that's her specialty, what will that take, a talisman and a secret spell using magic herbs?

And that secessionist story is literally the Wright story except that Wright was Obama's pastor with whom he shared no political views while Palin joined a POLITICAL PARTY whose chairman at the time expressed hatred for the United States.

I dont know how they are not f**ed. I mean, either she stays in and not only it looks ridiculous and McCains judgement will keep up front and center but literally all their attacks on Obama are ineffective (from "risky" to inexperience to not patriotic).

Or McCain dumps her which looks terrible for his judgement and will piss of the evangelical base that apparently loves her.

This is so beyond pathetic. I am loving it but wow. That man is dangerous.

That clip is brilliant! I, for one, didn't know that the governor was responsible for equipping the National Guard and deploying them overseas. I suppose that governors also dictate tactics to the troops on the ground as well.

(Mini-rant: What the hell is the National Guard doing in Iraq? Being in Baghdad doesn't nothing to guard us at home, unless they're destroying Saddam's secret weather control devices that wreak havoc at home.)

Kevin: Stop calling her a witch, you sexist!

Well, the pick had its intended effect.

Apparently she was the party secretary, not just a rank-and-file secessionist, but the best part is the party's motto: "Alaska first -- always Alaska". Beautiful. If the comedians don't pick up on that, well my opinion of them will sink to almost as low as my opinion of the media.

Well, the pick had its intended effect.

Not what the other polls show...

I must say, I'm happy with Obama's bounce from the Dem convention, but I didn't expect the lad to get one from the Rep convention too. This is all so beauteous.

Meh. I'm not expecting anything with Palin. Far more foolish things have been pushed through by Washington politicians.

byrningman: If the comedians don't pick up on that, well my opinion of them will sink to almost as low as my opinion of the media.

I promise you Colbert and Stewart are already cooking something up. And you know its going to be great too.

I'd also take note of this 'graph from the Times story:

[...] People familiar with the process said Ms. Palin had responded to a standard form with more than 70 questions. Although The Washington Post quoted advisers to Mr. McCain on Sunday as saying Ms. Palin had been subjected to an F.B.I. background check, an F.B.I. official said Monday the bureau did not vet potential candidates and had not known of her selection until it was made public.

To modify a question upthread, why is the National Guard STILL in Iraq? I mean that as a separate question from asking why the USA is there. When the country votes that it's going to war and needs a bunch of extra troops on short notice, well, that's why the Guard exists. So while I was against the invasion, I was not against using the Guard as part of it, given that it was going forward. But calling them up again and again for five years goes against their whole purpose, at least in my opinion.

I'm thinking I may have to retire my original theory.

With the confirmation that Palin belonged to the Alaskan secessionist group her nomination is looking more and more like a nefarious plot to put The Onion, The Daily Show, The Editors, and every other satirist in the country out of business once and for all.

It's either that or we really are living in a Coen Brothers movie...

"What the hell is the National Guard doing in Iraq?"

Because the Total Force Policy of 1973 integrated the Guard into a single integrated force with the active duty Army. As part of the elimination of the draft, the entirely Army was reorganized so that the Guard was integral to the Army. That was 35 years ago.

As well, the law was revised in 1987 so that governors could no longer object to any overseas deployment of the Guard -- there was a Supreme Court case that upheld this, and last year the law was changed so that the President could take over command of the Guard when they're deployed within their home state. This got a lot of attention and press, and various people, including all 50 governors, protested. That provision was partially repealed this year by the 2008 act:

[...] Creates a bipartisan Council of Governors to advise the National Guard for civil support missions.
It also reaffirms:
[...] The Committee authorizes an additional $1 billion for the procurement of critical, high-priority equipment to address National Guard and reserve component unfunded equipment shortfalls. The National Guard is no longer a strategic reserve component but is now considered an operational force.
In summary:
[...] If federally recognized, the member or unit becomes part of the Army National Guard of the United States [4][5], which is a reserve component of the United States Army [4], and part of the National Guard of the United States [4]. Army National Guard of the United States units or members may be called up for federal active duty in times of Congressionally sanctioned war or national emergency [1].

In a complete digression, I hadn't noticed this until just now:

[...] The Committee therefore, requires that all new ship classes of submarines, cruisers and aircraft carriers are built with integrated nuclear power systems, unless the Secretary of Defense determines it is not in the national interest to do so.
Just thought that was interesting.

More detail:

[...] The National Guard of the United States is a joint reserve component of the United States Army and the United States Air Force and maintains two subcomponents: the Army National Guard of the United States [1] for the Army and the Air Force's Air National Guard of the United States [1].

Established under Title 10 and Title 32 of the U.S. Code, state National Guard serves as part of the first-line defense for the United States.

U.S. Code:
In accordance with the traditional military policy of the United States, it is essential that the strength and organization of the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard as an integral part of the first line defenses of the United States be maintained and assured at all times. Whenever Congress determines that more units and organizations are needed for the national security than are in the regular components of the ground and air forces, the Army National Guard of the United States and the Air National Guard of the United States, or such parts of them as are needed, together with such units of other reserve components as are necessary for a balanced force, shall be ordered to active Federal duty and retained as long as so needed.
Total Force Policy:
The total force policy was adopted in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and involves treating the three components of the US Army - the Regular Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve as a single force. The primary architect of the total force policy was General Creighton Abrams when he was Chief of Staff of the Army. Believing that no president should be able to take the United States (and more specifically the US Army) to war without the support of the American people, General Abrams intertwined the structure of the three components of the Army in such a way as to make extended operations impossible, without the involvement of both the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.
Again, this was part of the end of the draft, and the prevailing wisdom of most of the Army and military leadership of the time, as well as many politicians, including Democrats.

Warren: I think viewing the Guard as a kind of insurance policy of extra troops overseas is okay, in case of genuine emergencies (maybe sending them over to Britain to defend against Nazi invasion). Using them in an invasion, though, is just something I can't get behind. As for why they're still there... If this administration thinks Iraq is so vital for our national security, but we don't have the manpower for it, why no draft? Sure it wouldn't be popular, but wasn't Iraq part of the 'Axis of Evil?' Are they not a big enough deal for us to ask our young people to sacrifice? And if not, what business do we have over there in the first place?

Gary: That is pretty nifty. I've always kinda wondered exactly how the Guard works in relation to the regular military.

I love what Campbell Brown did here. This is the kind of media I want.

I loved the bit where Tucker said commanding the AK National Guard was "foreign policy experience," because it was deployed abroad, and within 1 minute snapped that she "deployed" the Guard within Alaska (which actually I don't think she has, either.)

You know, those college debate team tricks don't really play so well on the national stage.

What the hell is the National Guard doing in Iraq?

Retroactively making Bush's National Guard service appear more dangerous?

Palin is ready as Commander in Chief because McCain was a POW. What's not clear about that?

Some knowledge details about certain things in America seem also have to eluded her:
http://uggabugga.blogspot.com/2008/09/mccain-campaign-should-worry-about-this.html>Palin and the Pledge

I promise you Colbert and Stewart are already cooking something up. And you know its going to be great too.

sorry, they're too busy trying to find new ways to rework the "Obama=messiah" meme. maybe they'll find time for this after Thanksgiving.

Cleek, Stewart already did a fabulous Palin bit with Samantha Bee on Friday.

I've got no problem at all with them finding ways to mock Obama as well. Comes with the turf. Though so far much of what they've mocked re Obama has been the dopey memes the Republicans have been throwing at him.

The Washington Post's op-ed page compared Palin to Caligula's horse this morning.

I'd say I don't see how she survives this, but I don't see how McCain can let her step down. Admitting the massive scale of the mistake he made would be the only thing worse than making the mistake in the first place. And there's not a single Republican with a shred of credibility who's going to want Palin's sloppy seconds. Maybe they can get Guiliani.

On the principle that the media will let McCain get away with anything (after all, he was a POW for five and a half years) perhaps the plan was all along to nominate Sarah Palin on Friday to take the news cycle away from Obama and the RNC and Gustav and September 11...

...and then ditch her on September 12, nominating the person McCain first thought of.

That fits with what we know of Rove's standards of loyalty.

Not sure if this is the best place for this, but I finally caught the 60 minute interview with Biden and Obama. While the whole interview is brilliant, when they spoke to him briefly immediately after the acceptance speech in Denver, I was just amazed at how cool and composed he was. If it had been me (I know, a stretch) after a speech like that, I would screaming 'boo-yah!' and jumping around like an idiot.

I also think their response to Palin's nomination is amazing, and I think that that response was immediately after the announcement, so the way that the anger at the Republicans and McCain ended up slopping over on Palin's pick (and I still think that the pick itself is a big raised middle finger to the American public as McCain pushes all his chips into the center of the table) is in no way reflected by their response.

I also liked this WaPo article about how warm the relationship between Biden and Obama is.

So far, Biden's role has been part father figure and part foil. He picks loose threads off Obama's jacket and warms up crowds with wisecracks and aphorisms. On Saturday morning, he and his wife, Jill, had French toast for breakfast with the Obamas. His grandkids hit it off with Obama's daughters and have already had one sleepover. At every event, he and Obama embrace and backslap each other, like a pair of long-lost brothers.

The note about the kids having a sleepover really makes me smile.

Dang, here is the link to the 60 Min interview

Someone on Charlie Rose's panel last night noted that the Mondale campaign couldn't believe how much life the Ferraro pick injected into his campaign.

Then, they noted, a few days after the convention, reality set in, and the rest is history.

The point being, the real test for Palin will come next week or even the week after next.

The Washington Post's op-ed page compared Palin to Caligula's horse this morning.

I hate it how they always tend to besmirch the service of the honorable senator Incitatus, very probably the least corrupt of the whole bunch.

very probably the least corrupt of the whole bunch

Indeed, no one could ever get him to change his vote. Always "neigh"....

(Yes, I stole that one from Lois McMaster Bujold.)

The joke is even older than the horse we are talking about. The ancient Greeks claimed that donkeys always said "no" (they heard the donkeys cry as "ou" = not/no). German donkeys on the other hand always say "yes" (I-a = ja = yes*).
And the joke about the lack of corruption was made at the time too iirc**.

*which was btw used for a very sophisticated philologist joke in the 3rd Reich about Hitler's plebiscites (that used billboards with "das ganze deutsche Volk sagt "J A" (All the German people says YES"))
**reusing a sarcastic remark by (iirc) Cicero.

And now the McCain campaign has pulled an interview with Larry King, angry over Tucker Bounds's treatment at the hands of big, bad Campbell Brown. On CNN, Roland Martin went off on the McCain campaign over the cancellation, and he gave quite a performance. I'd love it if someone could find the video of Martin. The text is here:

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