From a Housewife Hated by Sarah Palin for Defending the Librarian

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wasilla public library 1950s twn.jpg
(Wasilla Public Library in 1950s)
I’m about the last in the blogosphere to paste this balanced and sober historiography of Sarah Palin’s life and views — as told by a fellow resident of Wasilla, Alaska.
Anne Kilkenny, who has known Sarah Palin since 1992, is a Democrat — but this treatment of Sarah shows her to be a clear-minded, pragmatic centrist.
If you haven’t yet read this. . .it deserves your attention.


This forward ran in the Anchorage Daily News:

Posted by Alaska_Politics
Posted: September 4, 2008 – 12:11 pm
From David Hulen in Anchorage —
The e-mail below has been bouncing around the Internet since Sunday. It was written by Anne Kilkenny of Wasilla – stay-at-home mom, letter-to-the-editor writer and longtime watcher of Valley politics. She’s a registered Democrat. She was one of the delegates to the Conference of Alaskans in Fairbanks back in 2004. Her bio from the conference is here.
She e-mailed this letter over the weekend to family and friends Outside, and (despite her request not to post it) it went viral on the Internet very quickly, showing up on blogs and Web sites all over. Since then, Kilkenny has been inundated with phone calls and e-mails. She said she stayed up until 3 a.m. last night answering e-mails, and found nearly 400 new ones waiting when she logged on this morning.
It’s posted here with her permission.

And now the internet letter written by Anne Kilkenny from Wasilla, Alaska:

Dear friends,
So many people have asked me about what I know about Sarah Palin in the last 2 days that I decided to write something up . . .
Basically, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have only 2 things in common: their gender and their good looks. :)
You have my permission to forward this to your friends/email contacts with my name and email address attached, but please do not post it on any websites, as there are too many kooks out there . . .
Thanks,
Anne
ABOUT SARAH PALIN
I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992. Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my child’s favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the residents of the city.
She is enormously popular; in every way she’s like the most popular girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and won’t vote for her can’t quit smiling when talking about her because she is a “babe”.
It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents for seven months.
She is “pro-life”. She recently gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby. There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.
She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.
She is savvy. She doesn’t take positions; she just “puts things out there” and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.
Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin’s kind of job is highly sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything like that of native Alaskans.
Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters.
She’s smart.
Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents.
During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.
Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.
The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.
While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once.
These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.
As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.
In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today’s surplus, borrow for needs.
She’s not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who proposed them.
While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.
Sarah complained about the “old boy’s club” when she first ran for Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of “old boys”. Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal–loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the State’s top cop (see below).
As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla’s Police Chief because he “intimidated” her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska’s top cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure and she had every legal right to fire him, but it’s pretty clear that an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn’t fire her sister’s ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew her support.
She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’t like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.
Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her.
When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a gutsy fighter against the “old boys’ club” when she dramatically quit, exposing this man’s ethics violations (for which he was fined).
As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the “bridge to nowhere” after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.
As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of these projects–which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance–but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation as “anti-pork”.
She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a fiscal conservative.
Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah. They call her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her unbridled ambition and predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah’s mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.
As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of package of legislation known as “AGIA” that forced the oil companies to march to the beat of her drum.
Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to global warming. She campaigned “as a private citizen” against a state initiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams from pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State’s lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior’s decision to list polar bears as threatened species.
McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a heartbeat away from being President.
There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.
However, there’s a lot of people who have underestimated her and are regretting it.
CLAIM VS FACT
*”Hockey mom”: true for a few years.
*”PTA mom”: true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since.
*”NRA supporter”: absolutely true
*social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconsitutional).
*pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.
*”Pro-life”: mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation
*”Experienced”: Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska. No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.
*political maverick: not at all
*gutsy: absolutely!
*open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.
*has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
*”a Greenie”: no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
*fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
*pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.
*pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents
*pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla’s history.
*pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn’t make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.
WHY AM I WRITING THIS?
First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting programs in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny + Alaska), you will find references to my participation in local government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.
Secondly, I’ve always operated in the belief that “Bad things happen when good people stay silent”. Few people know as much as I do because few have gone to as many City Council meetings.
Third, I am just a housewife. I don’t have a job she can bump me out of. I don’t belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow in the future: that’s life.
Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah’s attempt at censorship.
Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to say anything because they were somehow vulnerable.
CAVEATS
I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in spending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor) from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City of Wasilla, and I can’t recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjust for inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossible for a private person to get any info out of City Hall–they are swamped. So I can’t verify my numbers.
You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the population of Wasilla, ranging from my “about 5,000”, up to 9,000. The day Palin’s selection was announced a city official told me that the current population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was 5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to 2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90’s.
Anne Kilkenny
August 31, 2008

— Steve Clemons

Comments

85 comments on “From a Housewife Hated by Sarah Palin for Defending the Librarian

  1. Juls says:

    Dear Ms. Housewife,
    I guess what all you liberals just can’t get is that you are so upset that a Christian believer has been chosen. Hey, if Sarah Palin was a lesbian/pro-lifer probably no one would care about her experience. It’s all about her conservative beliefs. Why don’t you take all your precious time that you have and go back and read the history books about how America was founded on Christian values and beliefs. God in the end will have His way in this election. If for some reason Obama gets elected, America will become as you want, a very liberal nation. Maybe it would be a good idea for you to read the book of Judges in order to see what happens when God’s people neglect Him and His principals. I know, you probably don’t believe that the Bible is relavant or true. You have posted a hate letter against Sarah Palin because really she holds conservative/Christian beliefs. Before prayer in school was taken out,libraries did hold more conservative beliefs that censorship was in the best interest of our children. Today, people like you, Obama and Hollywood want to make America “anything goes.” Just as you are issuing support for slamming Sarah, I plan on putting my energy in getting her elected. It too bad for you that your so jealous of a woman in your state that has achieved great things!

    Reply

  2. shari says:

    Please visit my website
    http://www.sarahpalinisajoke.com I’m not that nice and I’m not going to
    apologize
    Palin is a severely disturbed person who was voted into office by
    other severely mentally ill persons, and anybody who would vote
    for her is brainwashed by that lunatic church

    Reply

  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    This “booklist” thing is irritating. There is plentyu of evidence that Palin queried the librarian as ti how to go about banning books, and whether or not the librarian would support such an endeavor. But a very brief and cursury search of the internet would convince anyone with half a brain that no such “list” exists.
    Stories like this just serve to discredit those that are advancing very real and verifiable concerns about Palin’s suitability for high office.
    THERE IS NO LIST. SARAH NEVER PROPOSED A LIST OF BOOKS FOR BANISHMENT.
    Gads, aren’t her actions in regards to how, and why, she approached the librarian egregious enough? As well as how she tried to fire the librarian when the librarian did not support the idea of banning books?

    Reply

  4. Ethan says:

    I think that book list is bogus, it includes HP and the Goblet of Fire, which was published in 2000 – 4 years after she was elected and attempted to fire the librarian.

    Reply

  5. pauline says:

    imo, Palin’s early likability is totally unrelated to her capability in the WH as #2.

    Reply

  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “the situation we’re in right now, at war, not knowing what the plan is to ever end the war, we’re engaged in, understanding that Americans are seeking resolution in this war effort, so energy supplies being able to produce, and supply will be a big part of that … the plan for the war, you know, let’s make sure we have a plan here …” Sarah Pablum
    Egads.

    Reply

  7. pauline says:

    Sarah: I am so psyched about working with you, Joe. This is exciting!
    Lieberman: Glad to help, Sarah. It’s critical that we don’t allow the Democrat Party to win the election.
    Sarah: Totally. Oh my God. I hate them.
    Lieberman: OK, Sarah — let’s talk about Hezbollah.
    Sarah: Oh, I think your wife is just lovely.
    Lieberman: No, no, no. Not Hadassah — Hezbollah.
    Sarah: Sorry! Is she your daughter?
    Lieberman: Let’s move on. Do you want me to brief you on Georgia?
    Sarah: Nope, we’re good. I was at a governor’s conference in Atlanta last year.
    Lieberman: Alright. Well, what do you know about Iraq?
    Sarah: We’re on a mission from God.
    Lieberman: Well, that’s certainly true, but…
    Sarah: And it’s critically important that His will be done there.
    Lieberman: Right, but…
    Sarah: Are you a man of faith, Joe?
    Lieberman: Yes, very much so.
    Sarah: Where do you go to church?
    Lieberman: I’m Jewish.
    Sarah: You are?! I had no idea! God bless you!
    Lieberman: Thanks.
    Sarah: Can I take a minute here and tell you about a wonderful group called Jews for Jesus?
    from —
    http://firedoglake.com/2008/09/05/fdl-exclusive-joe-lieberman-tutors-sarah-palin-on-foreign-policy/

    Reply

  8. How Insane Is John McCain? says:

    I’d like to see more information on the Sarah Palin affairs.

    Reply

  9. Jason says:

    WigWam,
    I enjoy your comments, but at this point I think
    you need to come out and give your criteria for
    what makes a qualified President. My sense from
    your comments on Obama is that you have a more
    narrow view of what makes a great President than
    some people.
    How much value do you put on age? Years as a
    governor? Years as a senator? Breadth of
    knowledge? Depth of knowledge? Ability to inspire?
    Ability to manipulate others? Toughness?
    Pragmatism? A non-ideological way for governing?
    A shorter way of answering the question may be,
    “What is your definition of experience?”
    I’ve read enough about Obama and seen enough
    interviews in the past year to be very comfortable
    with him in the Oval Office. His young age is a
    reasonable concern, but he has shown good decision
    making and managerial abilities so far. He has a
    pragmatic, rational worldview that in my view goes
    a long way towards preventing the mistakes of
    Presidents like Bush, such as viewing the world
    strictly through ideology and undervaluing policy
    based on solid research.
    What issue or potential problem do you see Obama
    unprepared to tackle because of his age?

    Reply

  10. Linda says:

    The list above is the one floating around wwww, but it is just a list–absolutely no proof yet that Palin ever saw it or used it. I don’t have time to check and find it at http://www.ala.org every year they publish the names of all the books anybody tries to get censored around the country. So I suspect that’s what we have here.
    It does appear to be fact that Palin at least asked how one goes about banning books. And for me that alone is sufficient reason not to vote for a ticket with her on it.
    .

    Reply

  11. susan says:

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com
    Today’s Polls, 9/6
    Although the topline results don’t make it obvious, it appears that John McCain had a fairly strong night of polling in the daily tracking polls, which are the only numbers we have to look at today.
    The Gallup tracker now shows Barack Obama leading by 2 points, down from 4 a day ago. When I attempt to estimate the daily results from the topline numbers, however, I get the following:
    Wednesday: Obama +7.8Thursday: Obama +2.4Friday: McCain +4.2So Obama’s numbers are being propped up by a strong night of polling on Wednesday, which will cycle out tomorrow. He also held up relatively well on Thursday following Sarah Palin’s speech (note: our estimate of his Thursday numbers has been revised slightly upward from yesterday’s figures because of a methodological improvement I made to my tracking poll algorithm). But yesterday, McCain had a good night, most likely leading by somewhere in the range of 4 points. There is a good chance that tomorrow’s Gallup numbers will show a tie or a McCain lead.
    As for Rasmussen , it actually has Barack Obama gaining a point, and moving into a 3-point lead. However, it still looks like McCain may have had a relatively good night on Friday. My tracking poll algorithm will have more difficulty with the Rasmussen tracker than the Gallup tracker because Rasmussen uses a more complicated weighting procedure (i.e. weighting by party ID), meaning that we’re a step further away from seeing “raw” numbers. But with grain of salt, here is what I show:
    Wednesday: Obama +4.9Thursday: Obama +3.8Friday: Obama +0.3Once again, I would caution against overinterpreting any of this. Conventions should produce bounces — they are the equivalent of tens of millions of dollars in free advertising time. What we don’t know is how to contextualize these bounces. An average convention bounce is about 6 points, but we don’t know how the Democratic and Republican conventions interact with one another, particularly as it affects the timing of the respective bounces. Moreover, Fridays (and Saturdays) are tough nights to poll. My hunch, as I’ve stated before, is that whatever numbers McCain winds up with over the weekend, Barack Obama will probably be polling a couple of points ahead of those numbers by the end of the upcoming week.

    Reply

  12. WigWag says:

    John H, Sarah Palin would have put Orwell and Hemmingway on the list, but she never heard of them.

    Reply

  13. JohnH says:

    What? No Orwell on the list? I would have expected 1984, Animal Farm, and anything about the Spanish Civil War to be prime candidates.

    Reply

  14. Rochelle says:

    FYI ….. the infamous list of banned books (http://www.vadimuspost.com/the-dangerous-books-arah-palin-wanted-banned/):
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
    As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
    Blubber by Judy Blume
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
    Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
    Carrie by Stephen King
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    Christine by Stephen King
    Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Cujo by Stephen King
    Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
    Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Wil lhoite
    Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
    Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
    Decameron by Boccaccio
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck
    Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
    Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
    Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
    Forever by Judy Blume
    Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
    Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
    Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
    Have to Go by Robert Munsch
    Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
    How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
    Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    Impressions edited by Jack Booth
    In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
    It’s Okay if You Don’t Love Me by Norma Klein
    James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
    Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
    Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
    Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
    Lysistrata by Aristophanes
    More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
    My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
    My House by Nikki Giovanni
    My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara
    Night Chills by Dean Koontz
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
    One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
    One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Ordinary People by Judith Guest
    Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women’s Health Collective
    Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
    Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
    Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
    Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
    Separate Peace by John Knowles
    Silas Marner by George Eliot
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
    Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
    The Bastard by John Jakes
    The Catcher in the
    Rye by J.D. Salinger
    The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    The Devil’s Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
    The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
    The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
    The Living Bible by William C. Bower
    The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
    The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
    The Pigman by Paul Zindel
    The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
    The Shining by Stephen King
    The Witches by Roald Dahl
    The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
    Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Judy Blume
    To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
    Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
    Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween
    Symbols by Edna Barth

    Reply

  15. Sweetness says:

    Paul,
    You know the beautiful part of being not only Sweetness, but
    Wig, Questions, and, from time to time, Tahoe is that I can take
    time off from staring at the computer and battling the captcha
    and still stay in the game!
    See, while POA or Carroll or you have to put in the man hours,
    the sweat equity as it were, I can take plenty of time off. I
    disappear for whole weeks at a time and yet I’m still keeping up
    my end of the bargain. As soon as one persona gets a little tired,
    I slot in the next one and am good for another 12-hour shift.
    (You, with just one lousy persona, must have a helluva time
    especially with the time difference. I don’t envy you!)
    Meanwhile, we keep POA turning in circles. He doesn’t know if
    there are one of us, two of us, three of us–or none of us!–at
    any given time. He’s like Mickey Mantle, wearing off a hangover,
    trying to decide which of the three fast balls coming at him is
    real. Who should he swing at?
    For us, though, it’s fun, fun, fun. The boy keeps swinging for
    the fences, THINKS he’s got a piece of the ball, is sure he’s hit it
    out of the park, and yet fails to see that NO ONE is in the game
    except him. He’s playing offense AND defense AND he’s also the
    referee! The crowd has long ago gone home. And the clean up
    crew in the stands know that he’s insane, but harmless. They’ve
    nicknamed him Cosmo after that doddering bank executive who
    talked to ghosts.
    Anyway, one of us, and I can’t remember who, got a note from
    his wife or husband saying that she or he just looked up
    Obama’s legislative record on Thomas. Apparently, in his first
    term, Obama sponsored something like 150 bills, while McCain
    sponsored something like 30. In McCain’s first term in the
    House, he sponsored 7 bills.

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads, I’ve done a Tahoe scale sitting today, commenting on this saga.
    Interesting times.
    It certainly isn’t a United States I thought I would see in my lifetime.
    Damn.

    Reply

  17. WigWag says:

    To Dan Kervick:
    Speaking of Sarah Palin, you say,
    “Even if Palin is withdrawn – and I continue to expect she will be before long – the damage has been done.”
    My goal is not to be snarky, but actually I think it is equally possible that Senator Biden’s name will be withdrawn and Hillary Clinton’s name substituted in his place. Why? because despite all of his advantages, Senator Obama is not winning. This is the latest from Zogby.
    “The McCain/Palin ticket wins 49.7% support, compared to 45.9% backing for the Obama/Biden ticket, this latest online survey shows. Another 4.4% either favored someone else or were unsure.
    McCain-Palin
    49.7%
    Obama-Biden
    45.9%
    Others/Not sure
    4.4%
    In the two-way contest in which just McCain and Obama were mentioned in the question, the result was slightly different, with McCain leading, 48.8% to 45.7%.
    The interactive survey of 2,312 likely voters nationwide was conducted Sept. 5-6, 2008, and carries a margin of error of +/- 2.1 percentage points.
    Pollster John Zogby: “Clearly, Palin is helping the McCain ticket. She has high favorability numbers, and has unified the Republican Party. The striking thing here in this poll is that McCain has pulled ahead among Catholics by double-digits. On the other hand, Palin is not helping with likely voting women who are not aligned with either political party. The undecided independent women voters decreased this week from 15% to 7%, but those women went to Obama. Palin is also helping among men, conservatives, notably with suburban and rural voters, and with frequent Wal-Mart shoppers, who tend to be “values” voters who like a good value for their money.”
    McCain’s favorability rating increased from 50% favorable last week to 57% favorable now, a significant jump that indicates the GOP convention was a success. Among independent voters, 61% now have a favorable impression of him, compared to just 49% who said the same a week ago.
    Nearly half – 49% – said they had a favorable opinion of Barack Obama, while 50% they had a negative impression of him. Among independent voters, 47% gave him favorable marks, compared to 46% who said the same thing last week.
    Among the vice presidential candidates, 54% said they now hold a favorable view of Palin, while 42% hold an unfavorable view. While 49% have a favorable opinion of Joe Biden, 47% hold an unfavorable view of him.
    Just one week ago, 23% told Zogby that they did not know enough about Palin to make a judgment about whether they held a favorable or unfavorable view of her – but this most recent survey shows just 4% were unfamiliar with her – another indication that likely voters paid attention to the GOP convention this week, which won the highest television viewership numbers ever earned by an American political convention.”
    Labor Day has come and gone and the both conventions are over. It’s getting a little late in the game to claim that polls don’t matter anymore.
    Other polls show Obama/Biden with a small lead. But it is as clear as it is inexplicable, Palin is helping McCain more than Biden is helping Obama. This is just more evidence of how demented our political process has become. But it does beg the question, should Biden step aside in favor of Clinton. Anyone who actually wants Obama to win, needs to think about this seriously.

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.andrewhalcro.com/is_palin_tampering_with_witnesses
    Is Palin tampering with witnesses?
    I received two separate emails this morning from two very credible sources that have alledged that the Palin administration is interviewing employees at the Department of Public Safety to find out what they know about the Monegan firing.
    Here are the excerpts from those emails:
    “The governor has directed the AG to conduct an ‘under oath’ inquisition of everyone at DPS to find out what they know and what they might tell the special investigator. This is totally out of bounds. I won’t say illegal, but some folks I trust say it is illegal use of the AGs office by the governor. Cockerham has been tipped on this one, but I don’t know if the folks at DPS are willing to say anything.”
    “This is quasi public information now, but I thought I would pass it on:
    Dept. of Law has been interviewing individuals likely to be questioned by Branchflower.
    The interviews by law were conducted before branchflower could interview them and at least one, John Glass, was conducted with attorneys present for the interviewee. I was told they may have even been conducted under oath.
    Hollis has been informed. Apparently he is not pleased.
    This kind of stuff could be construed as witness tampering.”
    I have sent the following email to Sharon Leighow in Governor Palin’s office:
    Sharon,
    I have heard from several people that the administration is having the Department of Law interview people at DPS to find out what they know before the are interviewed by Branchflower.
    Is the Department of Law doing ANY investigating or interviewing potential Branchflower witnesses about the Monegan firing?
    Andrew

    Reply

  19. JohnH says:

    What I would like to know: IF PALIN IS SO DAMNED QUALIFIED, WHY CAN’T SHE GIVE A STANDALONE PRESS CONFERENCE? AND WHY ISN’T THE “LIBERAL MEDIA” PRESSING THE ISSUE?
    So far the “liberal media” is complicit in McCain’s game, letting him demonize his chums, people he has cultivated for decades.
    Why isn’t anyone stating the obvious: PALIN CAN’T GIVE AN INTERVIEW, BECAUSE SHE WOULD BE AN EMBARRASSMENT, revealing her almost total igorance of domestic and international politics and raising questions about McCain’s judgement.

    Reply

  20. WigWag says:

    “Damned scary stuff, if ya ask me.”
    I agree completely!

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    As Wigwag is attempting to draw parallels to Obama’s adoring fans and Palin’s, I challenge him to find an example of the dangerous religious fanaticism exhibited by Grant Swank’s article,(above) being used to fuel Obama’s popularity.
    Palin is not just pandering to these people for votes, while inwardly rejecting their fanatical religious zealotry. These fanatics ARE her people, she shares their fervor.
    Damned scary stuff, if ya ask me.

    Reply

  22. WigWag says:

    The vile sexism of the main stream media continues. This is Maureen Dowd’s column from the September 7 issue of the NY Times. Maureen Dowd is a sexist monster.
    Op-Ed Columnist
    Clash of the Titans
    By MAUREEN DOWD
    Published: September 7, 2008
    ST. PAUL
    You know what I’m thinking, because you’re thinking it, too.
    If Barack Obama had chosen Hillary Clinton as his running mate, we would now be looking forward to the greatest night in the history of American politics: the Oct. 2 vice presidential debate between Ma Barker and Sarah Barracuda.
    Now, alas, we’ll have to wait until 2012 when the two fiercest competitors on the trail will no doubt face off in the presidential debate, with Palin still riding high from her 2008 field-dressing of Obama (who’s now back in the Senate convening his subcommittee on Afghanistan).
    The two women are both aggressive pols who take disagreement personally, accruing a body count of rivals, and who have been known to exaggerate their accomplishments. But in ideological terms, the gun-toting hockey mom and the shot-swilling Warrior Queen of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits are opposites.
    By 2012, the 76-year-old John McCain will be on his way out. His vice president will wear him down, making him change the name of the White House to Rouge Cou — the name Sarah licensed in 2005 in case she ever got into business — and turn Camp David into a caribou hunting ranch. Then she’ll scare him, informing him that if he tries for a second term, she’ll challenge him in the primary.
    “How would you like this pit bull grandma to clean your grandfather clock?” she’ll tell President McCain in her flat “Fargo” accent. He’ll confide in his pal Joe that being a P.O.W. was nothing compared with being trapped in the White House with “that woman.”
    It’s delicious imagining the Debate of the Century between Big Mama, as Bill’s male aides called Hillary, and “Hottie Granny,” as People magazine will doubtless dub Sarah. ESPN will want in.
    PALIN: Before we start, Hillary, I want to honor your achievement in 2008. You nicked the glass ceiling. But in the end, as my friend Cheryl Metiva from Wasilla Bible Church said, I was more of a woman and more of a man than you, so I was the one who actually busted up the old boys’ club. Sorry I called you a whiner about sexism. That was before I realized how handy the victim card can be against the press wolves. In Alaska, we just gun down wolves from the air.
    CLINTON: I do give you and John credit, Sarah, for following my blueprint to reveal Obama as all cage, no bird. But now the Democrats have crawled back to me and I will close the deal. So pack up your snow boots and antlers and backwoods brood and scram.
    PALIN: I’ve got a little news flash for you, Hillary. Your night-shift, blue-collar-waitress, boilermaker routine didn’t fool me. It’s in your polls but it’s in my D.N.A. I’ve actually been up at 3 a.m. — gutting moose. While you got to go to your snooty Wesleyan, I had to switch colleges six times in six years. While you got to go to Yale Law, I had to enter beauty contests and turn my back to judges in a bathing suit to get scholarship money.
    CLINTON: I’ve got a little news flash for you, Annie Oakley. Dinosaurs disappeared a lot longer than 4,000 years ago. I admit you’ve had a profound influence on America, and I’m not just talking about all the women wearing up-dos and rimless titanium $375 Kazuo Kawasaki designer frames. You and John are now at war with four countries — Russia, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, even as Osama bin Laden has opened a storefront in a strip mall in Pakistan to make TV ads.
    PALIN: Those wars are tasks from God.
    CLINTON: You said you wanted to help women, but you’ve only hurt them with your silly mantra that women can have it all if they just work harder and pray harder. You put Medicare on eBay. You cut funding for special-needs children. The Dobson Supreme Court has outlawed abortion, evolution and gun control. With sex education banned, baby bumps in high schools are rampant. And the head of your Abstinence Outreach Program, Levi Johnston, has failed to force any other teenage fathers to marry their prom dates.
    PALIN: Life is always welcome. Unless it’s on four legs.
    CLINTON: When it comes to Big Oil, you make Dick Cheney look small bore. You had secret energy meetings to eliminate polar bears. You’ve turned Alaska into Kuwait without the sand. Gas is $50 a gallon and global warming has changed the Rose Garden into the Palm Court. Your only energy plan is to give tax credits to people who put do-it-yourself oil rigs in their backyards. You created a Department of Drilling and More Drilling and put double-dipping Todd in charge.
    PALIN: You’re chiding me about nepotism? At least I know how to control my First Dude. If you think that fake sniper fire in Bosnia was bad, wait till you get a load of my hunting rifle.
    CLINTON: Adios, Sister Sarah. You’re tough, but I’ve been tougher longer. Slide out of town on that oil slick you made on the Mall. And take that Grizzly throw with you.

    Reply

  23. questions says:

    Susan, today’s WSJ also had a piece on the op ed page by a couple of women arguing that the questioning of Palin’s mothering/work choices is NOT sexist! In fact, they argue, the questioning comes because Palin is behaving in ways this generation of mothers has rejected. Working women have chosen to alter work demands in ways that make work still quite productive and in return have time for children and family life.
    The bottom line, it seems to me, is that it’s okay to wonder about Palin’s attempts at either supermom-ness or rejection of family care in the name of work. And this is from the OP-ED page of a Repub paper. (Admittedly, post-Murdoch, Thomas Frank has a syndicated piece….) But maybe you’re right about some repubs’ being worried about the Palinization of Amerian politics.

    Reply

  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Look, heres a sampling of the wackjobs Sarah Palin has tittilated into slobbering adoration.
    Be sure to click on the link, to see what we are up against……
    http://www.theconservativevoice.com/
    by Grant Swank
    Evangelical Sarah Palin. Hallelujah!
    August 31, 2008 03:00 PM EST
    She was reared in the Assembly of God Church. But now she makes her worship home in any evangelical congregation she decides upon.
    Bottom line: She’s evangelical.
    She believes the Bible to be the revealed Word of God.
    She believers in Savior Jesus Christ.
    She believes in salvation through Christ’s shed blood on Calvary.
    She believes in biblical morality.
    She believes in the biblical definition of marriage and family.
    She believes in God’s abhorrence of sodomy and killing womb children.
    She believes in heaven and hell.
    She believes in America’s Judeo-Christian heritage being kept intact.
    She believes in the Judgment Seat of Christ.
    What more could America’s believers want in a leader?
    She is particularly aligned with the Wallisa Bible Church.
    The church’s theme is printed on its web site: ‘Enjoying God’s grace to the fullest measure … John
    1:16’
    Also: ‘Extending God’s grace to the farthest reaches …1 Peter 4:10’
    Those two verses accent salvation through Christ’s gift of grace extended to the repentant sinner. It also accents the missionary outreach globally, presenting Christ as personal Lord and Savior.
    Pastor Larry Kroon states on his site: ‘Our desire at Wasilla Bible Church is for everyone to experience the excellence of Jesus Christ in their lives.’
    Concerning Christ, Pastor Kroon states:
    ‘By God’s grace everything in the life of this church will revolve around the reality of Jesus Christ – who He is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do.
    ‘In the words of the early Church ‘He is Lord’ and will be recognized as such in this church with an absolute allegiance that lifts Him above all others in our hearts, in our homes, and in our congregation.
    ‘It is His commands that we will obey, His warnings that we will heed, and His promises that we will hold.
    ‘In every endeavor we will rely upon His power, cherish His presence, and honor His name. We will, in sum, love Him. (John 14:6)’
    Every evangelical worldwide will agree with this lifting up of Christ as the Answer to personal and world problems. This is what the John McCain running mates confesses as her personal faith.
    Sarah Palin is the exact opposite to the immoral Democrat Party platform and its advocates.
    The Dem Party is the party of death.
    It is death to biblical morality, womb babies, marriage, and biblical definition of sex.
    It is death to civility, the nation’s Christian heritage, freedom of religious expression, and reason.
    With the Dems committing themselves to open homosexual activity, homosexual ‘marriage,’ killing womb infants, meshing all religions as one, erasing the Judeo-Christian backdrop, wedding to secularism, political correctness as defined as immorality as prime, and fighting off every Christian voice left in the nation, Dems have become the evil warriors.
    Now the Republican Party has given America the chance to return to God—period.
    The Dems have buried God in favor of their own gods. The Republican Party in Sarah Palin now represents the God of the Bible.
    Without the God of the Bible, America will slide off the map, becoming a castoff due to God’s wrath settling upon the country. God’s anger will descend as never before.
    Yet in the face of this awful possibility, the righteous remnant has persisted in interceding on behalf of the Republic. This remnant believes that the effectual, righteous prayers are mighty before the eternal throne. Therefore, the remnant continues to continue and will never quit.
    With Sarah Palin as the Vice President alongside John McCain, America still has a chance for divine blessings.
    Otherwise, we are open to the curses beyond measure.

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “While Obama/Biden is better than McCain/Palin the thought of voting for either of these tickets should make a thinking person writhe with disgust”
    Hmmmm. Wigwag, I think you have finally realized the transparent bias of your blatherings, and have shrewdly morphed yourself, as I so recently predicted.
    Bottom line, you will have to vote for one camp or the other, or not at all, or a third party. Seeing as how a vote for a third party is a vote for McCain, as is refusing to vote, you seem to be faced with the same dilemma I am faced with.
    But out of love of country, I MUST vote the Obama/Biden ticket. Not to place Obama in office, but to keep Palin as far away from the nuclear trigger as we possibly can.
    Only a fool can fail to see that Obama/Biden represent business as usual, and thats bad. But McCain/Palin represent a grave threat to our national security, and thats worse.
    And surely, if the only mantra you can chant is this “inexperience” issue, than you must see that the scales of safe experience tip to the left, if only because of this mewling Washington fixture Biden’s presence on the ticket. He represents business as usual, but at least he isn’t so fuckin’ crazy he’s attributing God’s hand to the murder of a million Iraqi non-combatants.

    Reply

  26. WigWag says:

    Don S.
    “I take it you are equating Hillary with accomplishment, and Obama not.”
    Actually, I am not saying that exactly. All of the Democratic candidates except Mike Gravel were more accomplished than Barack Obama. In fact, several, (e.g. Biden, Dodd, Richardson)were arguably more accomplished than Hillary Clinton.)
    The fact that Senator Obama was nominated instead of any of these other candidates is, in my view, evidence of a deranged political culture.

    Reply

  27. DonS says:

    Wig wag,
    Your second post, anguished as it is, reflects a digust with politics that I share.
    Would that you could get over viewing it all from through the lens of a disappointed Hillary supporter, even more insight might appear ; )

    Reply

  28. DonS says:

    Wig wag: Regarding the points you choose to make.
    #1 It (press approval/lauding) doesn’t sound like pop psychology to me. I believe elections turn on intangibles and the “media” are the arbiters of what the public digests. On that we agree. It is a secular point.
    #2 I did not prefer Obama. I’m pretty much agnostic. True, Hillary didn’t light my fire either. Though I would question whether, versus Palin, Obama was “plucked from obscurity”, since he was groomed for greatness by the 2004 convention. Immediately far more of a resume than Palin.
    #3 As far as the press being “hostile to accomplishment”, I take it you are equating Hillary with accomplishment, and Obama not (though he is pretty accomplished in the ordinary sense of the word). I’m not convinced of this, except in the sense that the press reflects the general “anti-intellectual” bias of the popular culture that Heilbroner outlined so any decades ago. To me it’s a stretch to say Hillary is more accomplished than Obama. They’re both “minorities”, so I think it’s a wash.
    #4 “Unqualified, superficial people”. Here you are stretching things. To equate Obama and Palin — in terms of the national POLITICAL GAME doesn’t make sense.

    Reply

  29. WigWag says:

    And by the way, Don S, both the Obama campaign and the McCain campaign deliberately play to the American Idol pathos of this campaign. It is one reason why Obama wanted to accept his nomination in a stadium adorned by styroform columns (there were other reasons too). It explains the emphasis that the McCain campaign has placed on the fact that Palin likes to hunt and fish, thus recapitulating the theme that she is just an average gal who made good. And it explains all of the videos at both conventions highlighting the “compelling life stories” of all the presidential and vice presidential nominees.
    If you don’t think a Cinderella narrative is a necessary requirement for a modern presidential candidate, maybe you can explain to me the video at the Republican convention about the life of Cindy McCain. She is one of the wealthiest women in Arizona. The video couldn’t paint a picture of her humble beginnings so it presented a picture of her father and grandfather’s humble beginnings. Of course, the press was so wrapped up in talking about Sarah Palin’s rapid ascension from obscurity to stardom, that they didn’t even notice.
    The fact that American politics are becoming dumber and dumber is nothing any of us should be celebrating. The fact that the press has hijacked the political campaigns so that they are little more than reality shows themselves, is something we should all be distressed by. In my opinion, the selection of Obama and Palin shows that the political process has reached a new low. In fact, it’s hard for me to contemplate how either party could select candidates who could be worse.
    While the political process has always been dirty, corrupt and to use the cliche, akin to the making of sausage, it has never been relegated to just another form of entertainment. I guess Sarah Palin is this year’s Kelly Clarkson and Barack Obama is this year’s David Cook.
    While Obama/Biden is better than McCain/Palin the thought of voting for either of these tickets should make a thinking person writhe with disgust.

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Is-McCain-Campaign-Interfe-by-Rob-Kall-080906-401.html
    Is McCain Campaign Interfering In Alaska Troopergate Investigation of Palin?

    Reply

  31. Paul Norheim says:

    However POA,
    if WigWag presents us with one of her so called “dilemmas” once
    again – this time between the inexperienced and superficial Palin
    and the inexperienced and superficial Obama (“Hi folks, WigWag
    here… listen to me! I`m so confused and depressed: who am I
    supposed to vote for when both seem to lack experience and
    substance!”) – well, then I`m afraid I`ll get so pissed off that I`ll
    feed her distraction. We`ll see.

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    You know, this moose thing with Officer Wooten intrigues me. For those of you that don’t or haven’t hunted, heres the deal…..
    Every year, the fish and game department issues “tags” to hunters that wish to hunt certain kinds of game. There are “Deer tags”, “moose tags”, “bear tags”, etc. The numbers of tags issued is usually determined by the health of that certain animal’s population. Sometimes, tags are offered in “drawings”, when there is a limited number of tags available.
    I have no idea how many moose tags were offered when Wooten supposedly committed his “crime”, but I have to believe moose are hardly on the “endangered” list in Alaska. I imagine a moose tag can easily be had just by paying a fee, I may be wrong.
    Anyway, here is what Wooten was reprimanded for doing. His wife had pulled a moose tag. Subsequently, on a moose hunt, Wooten and his wife sighted a legal animal, and Wooten told his wife to shoot it. She refused, so Wooten shot the animal, and tagged it with his wife’s (Sarah’s sister), tag. Now, mind you, shooting a moose easily puts a couple of hundred pounds of meat in the freezer, (usually much more, but for the sake of fairness to these scumbag Palins, I will be conservative).
    Now, I can attest, after having spent my childhood and most of my adult life being a meat hunter, that the practice of filling a spouse’s tag is far from rare, and in fact is commonplace. So is the act of filling a fellow hunter’s tags, particularly in the waning days of the season. The last time I hunted elk, (over ten years ago), a friend of mine filled my tag. We were standing side by side, I was carrying an open sighted carbine, and my friend was carrying a scoped rifle. We saw a cow elk that I was not comfortable of being able to successfully put down due to the range, so my friend took the shot, and dropped the elk. This is so commonplace that it is rarely viewed as a crime. Even the game wardens are highly tolerant of this practice, as long as it isn’t blatantly waved in their faces.
    What is UNCOMMON, is someone to be so slimey that due to personal animosities, they rat out someone for engaging in this practice. I can guarantee you to such a despicable deed would get you banned from any and every “good ‘ol boy” elk camp I have pitched my tent in.
    But more importantly, why is it not being pointed out that Palin’s sister is every bit the criminal that Wooten is. In fact, if she did not report, immediately, Wooten’s crime, doesn’t that make her an accomplice?
    And what of Todd and Sarah Palin, who apparently concealed their knowledge of a crime until it behooved their vendetta to disclose it to the authorities? And its not a stretch of the imagination that Sarah and Todd sunk their choppers into the fruits of this “crime”. Eating the evidence?
    Listen, if Sarah and Todd have the outdoors history they claim, and I believe they do, I can GUARANTEE you that Todd Palin has filled tags that were not pulled in his name. If he has hunted for any length of time, thats just a simple fact of life.
    And how did this story get from Palin being reprimanded for drinking in a patrol car, (bear in mind, most rural officers take their units home with them), killing a moose illegally, and the idiotic act of fullfilling a kid’s desire to see what it was like to be tasered….
    …. to being a “wife beater”, like these lying sleazy mouthpieces like Hannity, or our not-a-troll Tahoe has asserted?

    Reply

  33. WigWag says:

    To Don S:
    The candidates that the press support almost always wins. This goes back at least as far as Kennedy versus Nixon in 1960. The press preferred Kennedy; he won. The press preferred Johnson; he won. The press preferred Nixon (both times); he won. The press preferred Carter; he won. The press preferred Reagan (both times); he won. The press preferred Bush (the first); he won. The press preferred Bush (the second) both times; he won.
    The only exception was the election of Clinton. Despite the fact that the press hated him, Clinton squeaked by twice with less than 50 percent of the popular vote because of the presence on the ballot of Ross Perot.
    Now with the new advent of cable news, the influence that the press always had in the general election has now bled over into the nominating process. It is no coincidence that the two candidates favored by the press, Obama on the Democratic side and McCain on the Republican side, were nominated. The candidate that you preferred was victorious this time, so you’re happy. But you probably weren’t so happy when the press handed the election to Bush instead of Gore and you could easily be disappointed four years from now.
    But an even more depressing reality is that both Obama and Palin are products of a popular culture that is hostile to accomplishment. In a certain way, this is not surprising. The Cinderella story is a powerful narrative that speaks to all of our desires to transcend what we have achieved in life. Both Obama and Palin were plucked from obscurity and thrust into greatness not on the basis of ability but on the basis of their looks speaking ability and charisma. The only difference between this election and the fairy tale is that in this election, the role of the Fairy God Mother is played by the press.
    And in just the past few years, reality television, especially American Idol, has given the Cinderella myth a new resonance with the American public. Choose which ever metaphor you prefer, Obama and Palin as Cinderella or Obama and Palin as American Idol competitors. Either way, it all form over substance. Both of them are about the sizzle, not about the steak.
    If this sounds like pop psychology to you, or if it just sounds ridiculous, remember that it is now generally recognized that Bush beat Gore because the American public preferred (hypothetically) to have lunch with Bush instead of Gore.
    If there is a better explanation about how two such unqualified, undistinguished people could have gotten where they are, I would be glad to hear it. They both excel at superficial things, but they both lack any evidence of substance. In this, they are alike.

    Reply

  34. questions says:

    A really nice kos diary on narratives and narrative disruption — worth the read…. Below is an excerpt. And rmember, plenty of people want books either banned or at least out of the reach of tender young children — and Palin is a “protector of children in a culture of life” — gotta watch the attacks….
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/9/6/182033/4061/448/589406
    But how do we deal with the Palin narrative? If we attack her, we play into the
    THEY’RE ATTACKING ME
    I AM LIKE YOU
    THEREFORE THEY’RE ATTACKING YOU TWO.
    Joe Biden has already solved this problem in that video yesterday, making this diary something of anti-climax, but coming as a relief to those who lived through the last two Presidential elections.
    Take a listen to this again, particularly at 1:57 in:
    Joe Biden says:
    SARAH PALIN NOT = HOCKEY MOM
    SARAH PALIN = POPULAR MEAN GIRL IN SCHOOL WHO PICKED ON YOU
    evidence: SARAH PALIN MEAN DURING HER BIG SPEECH
    Public thinks: Oh yeah.
    HOCKEY MOM Narrative = DISRUPTED.
    REPLACE WITH:
    MEAN GIRL narrative.
    Rinse, repeat, rinse repeat, rinse, repeat.
    The question is whether the Obama campaign knows how important that clip is. I think they do. But, for those of you running for office, or who might run for office some day, or working on campaigns, remember this.
    Sarah Palin, even if McCain/Palin loses–possibly particularly if she loses–will be around for a while.
    Republicans think:
    MCCAIN LAME
    PALIN COOL
    PALIN ONE OF US
    IF PALIN TOP OF TICKET, PALIN WIN
    STUPID MCCAIN
    NOMINATE PALIN INSTEAD
    NOW SHE GOVERNOR SIX/TEN YEARS NOT TWO YEARS
    VOTE PALIN!
    Make no mistake: Sarah Palin knows how to work tribalism, and narratives, very well. Yes, she has a number of–so far–minor scandals. But she & the McCain campaign may just have innoculated her against the media.

    Reply

  35. Paul Norheim says:

    Yes POA,
    we clearly see this differently – and if you still think that
    WigWag is identical with Sweetness, take a look at the latter`s
    posts regarding the US election. Sweetness`s position is, and
    have for a long time basically been this: “If you don`t vote for
    Obama, the horrible McCain gets your vote, and this is simple
    math, despite your motives or intentions.”
    (And Sweetness, if this is wrong, please correct me, because
    this was not a direct quote, but an interpretation, from my
    memory of your comments during several weeks, also while
    WigWag was busy bashing Obama.)
    But let me quote you, POA, directly, to illustrate how differently
    we approach some of our fellow commentators here (I omit a
    handful of words, irrelevant for the actual case):
    “Posted by PissedOffAmerican Sep 02, 11:21PM – Link
    Note that (…) Tahoe has been posting non-stop now for almost
    twelve hours. (…)
    Also, note that Wigwag posts during work hours, takes
    weekends off, and reappears in the same time periods as
    Sweetness does.
    Its all a coincidence.
    Uh huh.”
    ——
    As far as I can see, a lot of people tend to take a couple of days
    off during…eh… weekends.
    I don`t recommend you to spend more of your considerable
    energy, intelligence and rhetoric talent on guessing who is
    identical with whom at TWN. But I also know that you`ll not
    listen to my advice anyhow, and that`s fine.
    But back to the subject. WigWag should know very well that
    neither you nor I have been enthusiastic supporters of Obama. I
    think we both thought that he does not signal a convincing
    “change” on the crucial issues after 7-8 years with Bush – far
    from it.
    Regarding Obama as a US president, I`ll not speak for you, POA.
    But personally, I thought: Who knows? He may be a new Carter
    (well intended, but ineffectual), something much worse, or
    perhaps something better – we don`t know. His recent
    statements do not signal any substantial change of direction.
    But there is a huge risk that McCain may be much worse.
    I would not be surprised if you, POA, more or less shared that
    judgement. In any case, since none of us had high hopes
    regarding Obama, our anger when we saw WigWag and Tahoe
    bashing Obama non stop, did not come from a defense
    position, but because we saw a consistent biased attack that
    seemed both dishonest and out of proportions – when we
    compared their accusations with facts regarding Hillary C. or
    McCain.
    Now that the old gambler McCain has picked Palin as his VP
    candidate, and thus TRANSFORMED THE WHOLE ELECTION INTO
    A GAMBLE – especially for those who traditionally vote
    republican – by asking people to simply trust his pick of Sarah
    Palin, someone the voters don`t know, WigWag actually seem to
    agree with both your and my position. None of us have high
    hopes regarding Obama/Biden, but McCain seems to be even
    much worse than we thought before he picked Palin.
    WigWag can`t forget her disgust for Obama easily. And she
    clearly shows a lack of proportion above, with her comparisons
    between Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. But I don`t think she is
    a secret supporter of McCain. I would not be surprised if her
    disgust for McCain/Palin becomes more evident during the
    coming weeks. However, if we allow ourselves to be provoked
    by her current lack of proportions, she may retreat to her good
    old habits, and we`ll waste our energy attacking WigWags
    continued resentment against Obama. The same old story.

    Reply

  36. susan says:

    Remember this: Bush Played Religious Conservatives Like a Fiddle
    A former Bush aide claims that evangelical Christians were embraced for political gain at the White House but derided privately as “nuts,” “ridiculous” and “goofy.”
    The elites in the Republican party do not want religious conservatives anywhere near the levers of power. They just want the “nuts” to keep trudging to the polls and voting straight R tickets.
    Today, there are signs that the elites are getting ready to disown Palin. Here’s some proof:
    From the WSJ:
    “The biggest project that Sarah Palin undertook as mayor of this small town was an indoor sports complex, where locals played hockey, soccer, and basketball, especially during the long, dark Alaskan winters.
    The only catch was that the city began building roads and installing utilities for the project before it had unchallenged title to the land. The misstep led to years of litigation and at least $1.3 million in extra costs for a small municipality with a small budget. What was to be Ms. Palin’s legacy has turned into a financial mess that continues to plague Wasilla.
    “It’s too bad that the city of Wasilla didn’t do their homework and secure the land before they began construction,” said Kathy Wells, a longtime activist here. “She was not your ceremonial mayor; she was in charge of running the city. So it was her job to make sure things were done correctly.” (…)
    Last year, the arbitrator ordered the city to pay $836,378 for the 80-acre parcel, far more than the $126,000 Wasilla originally thought it would pay for a piece of land 65 acres larger. The arbitrator also determined that the city owed Mr. Lundgren [the owner] $336,000 in interest. Wasilla’s legal bill since the eminent domain action has come to roughly $250,000 so far, according to Mr. Klinkner, the city attorney.
    Mr. Lundgren has appealed the decision, arguing that the arbitrator should have awarded him more interest. “It has been 10 years; it’s just insane,” said Mr. Lundgren, who now lives in Panama. “All [Ms. Palin] had to do was close the transaction.”
    From Politico:
    “Palin, who portrays herself as a fiscal conservative, racked up nearly $20 million in long-term debt as mayor of the tiny town of Wasilla — that amounts to $3,000 per resident. She argues that the debt was needed to fund improvements.”
    From Powerline:
    “We conservatives have had a good time ridiculing the Obama phenomenon, especially its messianic feel — the willingness of its adherents to pour so much hope and belief into such an empty, or at least incomplete, vessel — and its elevation of “narrative” over substance.
    It turns out that we were dying to have basically the same experience.
    Indeed. The Republicans have been desperate for a conservative savior for a while now. In fact, the desire to find the next Reagan pretty much defines the entire GOP presidential campaign.
    In early 2007, the front-runners for the GOP nomination were Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, but those were both deemed non-starters by the Republican base. John McCain is a sanctimonious twit who conservatives can’t stand much the same way that Democrats hate Lieberman. Rudy excites the base with his 9/11-tourette’s, but he’s a serial adulterer who doesn’t hate gay people enough to excite the religious wing who still operate under the quaint notion that they’re the ones in charge of the Republican party. Faced with that dreadful choice and knowing that the Bush legacy was a surefire loser in 2008, the GOP began their search for the person who would save their party from another humiliating defeat.
    First up to the bat was Mitt Romney, who seemed almost as if he was designed to be a Republican politician. A generically handsome governor/billionaire who wears his religion on his sleeve, what’s not to like? Well, the fact that he’s from Taxachussets and has a history of pandering to liberals, for one. At least, that was enough to help Republicans to justify the real reason for opposing him, which is that he’s a Mormon. The religious right is all about religious freedom when it comes to their own religion, but they’ll be damned if they give their vote to somebody who wears the magic underwear.
    Okay, how about former Senator Fred Thompson of TV’s Law and Order? He’s an actor, like Reagan! Plus, he’s got that condescending southern drawl that voters find irresistible. On paper it seemed perfect, since the only thing Republicans love more than railing against celebrities is voting for them. Unfortunately for them, Thompson couldn’t pull off the biggest challenge of his career, acting like he wanted to be president. Huh? You want me to campaign on the weekends too?
    Then, out of the Iowa caucuses came a dark horse candidate, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Finally a guy who the Republicans can sink their teeth into. He’s funny, he talks about Jesus all the time, and he used to be fat. Unfortunately for the Huckster, when the Republican party bosses started paying attention to his record, they were struck with paralyzing fear. “Oh no, he really means this ‘compassion for the poor’ crap.” Needless to say, when faced with the choice between compassionate conservatism and lower taxes, Republicans always choose the latter.
    And so, with the primaries underway, the pendulum of Republican opinion swung back to John McCain by default. Though it seemed like a race for a while between McCain, Romney, and Huckabee, the winner-takes-all nature of the GOP primaries sealed the deal for our nation’s least humble POW on Super Tuesday. And with that, Republicans across the country woke up in a cold sweat on the morning of February 6th thinking “Oh shit! We just nominated John McCain.”
    Though they may be loathe to admit it, that’s pretty much been the thought in the backs of the minds of conservatives everywhere for the past seven months. The preferred euphemism is “enthusiasm” gap, but it really sugar coats the fact that Republicans seemed lost and had resigned themselves to the fact that their nominee was somebody they couldn’t stand. That is, until John McCain gave them their next conservative messiah, Sarah “Barracuda” Palin.
    She’s a regular lady, they boast to themselves, not like those minorities and city-dwellers in the DemocRAT party. She eats moose and calls her husband “dude”, what wonderful nuggets of authenticity that look great in a campaign ad! Plus, she’s so damn religious that we get all of the positives of supporting women without having to change our views in ways that would actually, y’know, support women.
    Which is where we are now. The Republicans have found a new crush, “the one” who will save their party and usher in a new era of conservatism. Once the glory of her gloriously sarcastic convention speech has faded, they’ll start finding reasons to dislike her just as they have every other conservative standard-bearer. Will her tax-raising ways, Which have drawn comparisons to GOP-bogeyman Hugo Chavez, prompt the oilmen who own the GOP to force her out? Or will the fundies get scared off by her knocked-up kid and the tabloid innuendo that surrounds her? Or will the GOP base start rejecting her when they realize that she’s just the more-likable frontwoman for that saddest of sacks, John McCain?
    Either way, if recent history is any guide, the honeymoon won’t last forever. Hell, I doubt it’ll last until election day.”
    Just a few days ago, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan and former McCain strategist Mike Murphy – were caught trashing vice-presidential pick Sarah Palin when they kept talking after they thought the audio was off during an interview on NBC. Noonan, who had praised Palin in a Wall Street Journal column in the morning, said, “It’s over,” and added, “Most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bull — about narratives … Every time Republicans do this, because that’s not where they live, and that’s not what they’re good at, they blow it.”
    Could the Republicans be in the early stages of destroying Palin?
    I think the answer may be yes.

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    It is irrelevant what books any politician seeks to ban, if they are in fact pursuing such an endeavor. It is the endeavor in and of itself that is dangerous, regardless of the focus of that endeavor.
    Personally, I feel my imagination can compile a pretty accurate picture of what types of books Palin would seek to banish. Her apparent religious leanings and church loyalties over the years would seem to underscore scientific, sociological and ideological schools of thought that she would find threatening.
    Rest assured, any books depicting Fred and Wilma Flintstone’s menagerie of livestock and household pets would surely enjoy a prominent presence on Palin’s dream library shelf.
    Unfortunately, so would any updated and neoconized copies of Mein Kampf.

    Reply

  38. Paul Norheim says:

    Questions,
    I didn`t take the list very seriously as such. But the point is
    obvious: watch out for politicians who visit libraries to find out
    “how one goes about banning books”. There are alarming signs
    of theocratic tendencies in Palin`s biography, and an attempt to
    ban books is just one of those signs.
    But it would be interesting to have a look, if such a list actually
    existed.

    Reply

  39. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA, you must have noticed that WigWag has been rather silent recently?”
    Yeah. Pretty amazing that he and Sweetness seem to take the same hiatuses, isn’t it? Must be some kind of sympathetic reaction.
    Actually, Norheim, I see it differently than you do. Unlike Tahoe, Wigwag is beginning to see the unwinnable aspects of certain bits of Palin’s resume, and tends to avoid engaging us when we point out the more indefensible parts of Palin’s resume, such as her religious leanings, her fiscal irresponsibility, and her obviously megalomaniacal and power-mad approach to governance. So instead, he resorts to nipping at the heels of our arguments, seeking to use our arguments to draw attention to Obama’s unsuitibilities, real or imagined.
    Tahoe simply digs in, and presents the same scripted litany of scripted horseshit, ad nauseum, that he has deposited here for months now. He seems to have little regard for truth or ethics when demonizing Obama and knighting Palin and McCain.
    Not that WigWag has any regard for truth or ethics in his arguments, but he is far more adept at subterfufge, and far more selective in regards to when he is willing to dart in and take a snap at our hamstrings. Like the MP of olden TWN days, I expect to see WigWag morph repeatedly in the coming months, presenting himself in whatever manner he feels best advances his arguments, whether accurate or not.

    Reply

  40. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag wrote:
    “The same thing could be said about George Bush 8 years ago. About his father 20 years ago. And about Ronald Reagan 27 years ago. I just can’t see that it means anything.”
    Well, obviously, there is almost nothing a candidate can do that will constitute an ironclad proof that the candidate is prepared to be a good president. You go with the best evidence you have, and by now a lot of evidence on Obama has been accumulated. But two of your counterexamples don’t seem very apt to me. Reagan and Bush Senior had many faults as presidents, but those faults don’t seem to have anything to do with them proving *unprepared* for the presidency. They both seemed to know what they were doing and what they were getting into, and hit the ground running. Although they didn’t achieve results that *you and I* may have preferred, the people who actually voted for them seem to have gotten roughly what they voted for. Neither of them turned out to be noticeably unprepared for office.

    Reply

  41. susan says:

    I think Wigwag is wrong; gays aren’t going to vote for McCain/Palin they are going to flock to Obama. Here’s why:
    Palin church promotes converting gays
    VP candidate hasn’t expressed views on ‘pray away the gay’ movement
    The Associated Press
    updated 7:08 p.m. MT, Fri., Sept. 5, 2008
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Gov. Sarah Palin’s church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer.
    “You’ll be encouraged by the power of God’s love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality,” according to the insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed since she was a child.
    Palin’s conservative Christian views have energized that part of the GOP electorate, which was lukewarm to John McCain’s candidacy before he named her as his vice presidential choice. She is staunchly anti-abortion, opposing exceptions for rape and incest, and opposes gay marriage and spousal rights for gay couples.
    Focus on the Family, a national Christian fundamentalist organization, has scheduled the “Love Won Out” Conference for Sept. 13 in Anchorage, about 30 miles from Wasilla.
    Palin, campaigning with McCain in the Midwest on Friday, has not publicly expressed a view on the so-called “pray away the gay” movement. Larry Kroon, senior pastor at Palin’s church, was not available to discuss the matter Friday, said a church worker who declined to give her name.
    Gay activists in Alaska said Palin has not worked actively against their interests, but early in her administration she supported a bill to overrule a court decision to block state benefits for gay partners of public employees. At the time, less than one-half of 1 percent of state employees had applied for the benefits, which were ordered by a 2005 ruling by the Alaska Supreme Court.
    Palin reversed her position and vetoed the bill after the state attorney general said it was unconstitutional. But her reluctant support didn’t win fans among Alaska’s gay population, said Scott Turner, a gay activist in Anchorage.
    “Less than 1 percent of state employees would even apply for benefits, so why make a big deal out of such a small number?” he said.
    “I think gay Republicans are going to run away” if Palin supports efforts like the prayers to convert gays, said Wayne Besen, founder of the New York-based Truth Wins Out, a gay rights advocacy group. Besen called on Palin to publicly express her views now that she’s a vice presidential nominee.
    “People are looking at Sarah Palin as someone who might feasibly be in the White House,” he said.

    Reply

  42. What Grief Is Good? says:

    When I “see” Obama, I see a man controlled by the Israel lobby.
    A man who will eventually “agree” to attack Iran for Israel, and
    who will continue our very recent ground invasion of Pakistan.
    In fact, Obama suggested sending ground troops into Pakistan
    months ago.
    When I see Obama, I see Biden, who was instrumental in getting
    the U.S. to invade Iraq. I see most of the Democratic party who
    ignored the voter mandate of 2006 to get our troops out of Iraq.
    So when I “see” Obama, I see folly on a World War III scale.
    However, Obama is saner than McCain. But that’s not saying
    much of anything, it’s enough though to hope that Americans
    are smart enough to not let McCrazy and Palin anywhere near
    the nuclear button.

    Reply

  43. questions says:

    Re BANNED BOOKS — NOT QUITE ACCURATE
    My understanding of this whole thing is the following — kos ran a diary that listed a common list of banned books from across the country — you know, like the anti-witchcraft folks go after Harry Potter and so on and library associations keep lists of books that public and school libraries have banned anywhere in the US. The kos post made it seem like this list was Palin’s list.
    Comments on the thread sniffed out the hoax-like nature of the post.
    I think what happened is that Palin went to the librarian to find out how one goes about banning books, but not with any specific list. The librarian refused the request for information. There may be more to the story than this, but I haven’t seen anything more definitive.
    So don’t go crazy on this one!!

    Reply

  44. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I haven’t ignored Palin’s substantive unsuitabilties”
    Then he writes a long post ignoring Palin’s SPECIFIC unsuitabilities, yet launches into a tirade about what he sees as Obama’s unsuitabilities. If WigWag can’t see the slant of his own perversly one sided derision, than I feel for him, as he is obviously obsessed to a deranged level in his inability to expand the focus of his political disillusionments.

    Reply

  45. Rochelle says:

    I have now read Anne’s comments several times, as well as information from a myriad number of sites, about Palin and McCain. And, I must be honest and say how frightened I am of the implications that Palin has been elevated to such a level of importance and possible influence if she becomes elected.
    I have worked with youngsters almost my entire life, volunteering with the physically disabled in high school and then the mentally retarded beginning during my college years. I then began as a special education teacher before becoming a school psychologist. My specialties were in family dynamics and psychoneurological testing. It’s the family dynamics part that kicks in big time with my distrust of this woman.
    I have read recently that dad is now a stay-at-home dad, and I would say that this would be a must given the birth of a special needs baby. Conveniently, Bristol has been home for several months due to mono, thus being able to be a surrogate mom so-to-speak to Trig. I cannot imagine Palin being able to manage such a large family and huge job if she weren’t getting a great deal of assistance. While Trig is not that demanding in his needs right now, I would like to believe that the family has been involved with guidance from the school system with respect to developmental issues that need to be addressed.
    Services are actually afforded to infants, and are very much needed, with respect to occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. You would be amazed at what can be done from almost day one to stimulate growth and developmental milestones. But, as all are just overwhelmed with admiration, no one is asking about what she is doing for this baby with respect to these issues.
    It is a full-time job to be a parent, and having a disabled child, while rewarding, is filled with much anxiety as well. I just cannot imagine this being a family placed in charge of a state, no matter what the population, and possibly, the US.
    I have a friend who has known Obama from before he announced his run for the Presidency. He has been most impressed, as most are at his skills and humanity. He has met folks who went to school with him at Harvard and asked them if Obama was like this then. They have all said the same thing. He has not changed. He is who he is, and he does not hide his intelligence or concern for others. I feel that warmth when I see him and the way he is around his family.
    But, I do not come away feeling that way about McCain or Palin. I see politicians who are sly and manipulative. I do not sense the same familial warmth from either. This is obviously just my opinion, and while it is based on many facts that have been clearly detailed by several folks in the media, it is also a function of my emotional sense, which is surely not objective.
    I tend to want to see the good in all but really am bothered by what I see from McCain and Palin. Yes, this election is really about issues and not personalities, so in my world, Obama and Biden always win. But, if it was about personalities, I would have to say that they also win here. And, not because they are rock stars. They are not. They both have always put their children first and done it in non-compromising ways.
    That is not true for Palin or McCain ….. in my opinion, looking through the lens of a family therapist.

    Reply

  46. ... says:

    dan kervick, i agree with much of what you say.. thanks for saying it… to poa as well – same sentiment…
    i think it is a very cynical approach to introduce a ‘new’ candidate into the mix very late in the election process, but i also see how the scapegoat party think they can succeed with this approach…no time to examine her, unlike obama who we have had plenty of time to get to know… i also think we will be getting some late game attempt an a slanderous type knock out punch very close to the end of october from this same gang of thugs representing the scapegoat party.. that is what a party does when they don’t have any merit driving them… the bush admin is republican… they have helped successfully drive the usa into the ditch…
    mccain is very cynical if he thinks he can brand himself as something apart from bush and the republican party.. looking for scapegoats is one thing the republican party work hard at..divisiveness is also something they work hard at cultivating… it is a very cynical approach they are taking.. the democratic party needs to fight back on their scapegoating aggressively…

    Reply

  47. Linda says:

    Wigwag,
    Thanks for the additional information. I live in lovely neighborhood that LBGT community gentrified–can’t find something I read recently that Atlanta had moved up this year to city with the highest % of LBGT of total population. In 2006, San Francisco and Seattle were first and second with Atlanta third.
    My neighbors just moved to their beach home in FL from ATL, from NYC originally and such big Hillary supporters that we had not talked politics since Super Tuesday, even though we wee each other, socialize, etc. I lived in or near WeHo (West Hollywood) for 30 years, but I never had a gay and lesbian couple as neighors–not like this couple who have been best friends for 30 years. She’s lesbian, and he’s gay. Well, when they dropped by to say farewell, he brought up that both were now solidly for Obama and really like him.
    Could not agree with you more that it makes no sense for any LBGT to vote for McCain.
    Paul, I’m not sure what “in the middle” means, but I assume in the middle of checking the banned book list out. If this is out on www, Kos, TPM, Huffington, etc. all are vetting or verifying it.
    Perhaps if I could ask all four people on the tickets one question, I’d want to know if each had heard of Atticus Finch.
    And does Palin want to ban only the books or also the movies based on the books?

    Reply

  48. WigWag says:

    To POA:
    “But ignoring Palin’s glaring SUBSTANTIVE unsuitabilities for the office of the Vice Presidency, while deriding, (therefore underscoring) the exposure of the more human and instinctual reasons to reject her candidacy does little to advance your credibility.”
    I haven’t ignored Palin’s substantive unsuitabilties. She is unsuitable. She is inexperienced. Her temprement is wrong. Her views on the issues are wrong. She may even be corrupt. In my opinion, she is far worse than Biden. I would feel very comfortable with Biden as President. I would literally fear for my country if Palin became President.
    But that doesn’t change the fact that Senator Obama is only marginally more prepared for the job than she is. He’s certainly smarter. He is obviously better educated. And he has thought about (and written about) issues pertinent to the presidency in a way that shows far greater sophistication than anything Palin has ever done. But in terms of experience, they are essentially equal. He is a one term Senator who hasn’t yet completed his first term; she is a one term governor who hasn’t yet completed her first term. He served several years as a State Senator; she served several years as a mayor of a small town. Based on evidence of accomplishment, neither of them has done anything impressive except for one thing, getting nominated.
    Three things convinced me to vote for Obama. McCain’s performance at the Rick Warren event offended me. The speeches at the Republican Convention reiterated for me how terrible I think Republican policies are. And most of all, the selection of Palin convinced me that we would not be safe if McCain is elected. I just can’t contemplate Palin’s hand on the nuclear button.
    But that doesn’t mean I think Obama is a strong candidate or that he will be a good president. He’s a weak, ineffectual candidate who might squeek by because he has the good fortune to run to replace one of the worst presidents in history. And the evidence that he is capable of dong a good job is nonexistent.
    To Dan Kervick:
    “Obama has succeeded in getting millions of people to vote for him during a very long campaign, and succeeded in winning his party’s nomination by grinding out a victory over the long haul, not by getting Democrats to do anything impulsive. He has been around quite a while now, and is ahead in the polls. His opponents continue to misunderstand and underestimate the secret of his success, which is the personal qualities of leadership and judgment voters see in him, not the celebrity superficialities and narrative.”
    The same thing could be said about George Bush 8 years ago. About his father 20 years ago. And about Ronald Reagan 27 years ago. I just can’t see that it means anything.

    Reply

  49. Paul Norheim says:

    BTW, somewhere behind the propagandistic areas of Tahoe`s
    head, I actually think that he`s rather worried himself, but
    perhaps for different reasons then most of us.

    Reply

  50. DonS says:

    !!!! Scratch my above statement (“Wigwag , you posited a comparison between Palin and Obam originally. I questionied it. You cam back as if you had positied a comparison between Palin and Obama”)
    Should read:
    Wigwag , you posited a comparison between Palin and Obama originally. I questionied it. You came back as if you had positied a comparison between Palin and Biden” Not fair.
    Sorry for my nonexistent proofreading.

    Reply

  51. Paul Norheim says:

    POA,
    you must have noticed that WigWag has been rather silent
    recently? There might of course be unknown, private reasons for
    this, but I think it`s quite clear that WigWag is as shocked and
    upset as anyone here (except Tahoe), seeing McCain picking Palin
    as VP.

    Reply

  52. DonS says:

    Wigwag , you posited a comparison between Palin and Obam originally. I questionied it. You cam back as if you had positied a comparison between Palin and Obama. That’s not a response we can believe in.
    But as to the same “political and social forces” resulting in Obama and Palin, sure, go ahead. I’m trying real hard here not to be cynical in advance.

    Reply

  53. WigWag says:

    “I’d like to see you try to explain that statement, except I think you would use it as a platform for extrapolating some foolish and specious equivalency.”
    So does that mean you want me to explain that statement or does it mean that you don’t want me to explain that statement?
    “And don’t you think there is quite a difference between a candidate chosen by a primary process, no matter how flawed you regard it, and a candidate chosen by — well we don’t know who — so let’s just insert Karl Rove or Karl Rove wannabe?”
    Of course there is quite a difference. Obama and McCain were selected after long, hard fought and expensive nominating fights. Palin and Biden were selected by the nominees relying on the advice of anyone they chose to listen to. That’s the way it always works (in modern times at least) for both parties.
    By the way, I like Biden and I can’t stand Palin. But they were both selected in precisely the same manner.

    Reply

  54. Dan Kervick says:

    Obama has succeeded in getting millions of people to vote for him during a very long campaign, and succeeded in winning his party’s nomination by grinding out a victory over the long haul, not by getting Democrats to do anything impulsive. He has been around quite a while now, and is ahead in the polls. His opponents continue to misunderstand and underestimate the secret of his success, which is the personal qualities of leadership and judgment voters see in him, not the celebrity superficialities and narrative.
    Voters have seen Obama in action for a few years now, and have heard him speak on just about every policy question facing the world and the United States. They see a person who is disciplined, organized and intelligent, with a capacious understanding of global and national affairs. They see a person with values and judgment they respect, and a clear agenda for putting those values into action, an agenda that he is able to communicate with clarity and verve. They see a man who has conducted himself and his campaign shrewdly and effectively, with steadiness of purpose, self-restraint and sobriety, and a disciplined adherence to long range goals. They have seen a man who has responded to several international crises with balance, strength and thoughtfulness. They have seen a person who is capable of organizing the energies of millions of people for large public purposes. What they have seen in action is all mounting evidence that he will be a good and effective president.
    The McCain campaign doesn’t get this. Along with much of the rest of the obsessively politicized Republican Party, they have lost track of substance, and are all about stunts, hype, manipulative marketing and cheesy packaging. So they assume that’s what everyone else is about too. They are frustrated because they *think* the whole secret of Obama is that he is black, young and handsome, with a good voice and compelling bio. So they try to respond to him on a very superficial, even demeaning level. So far that hasn’t worked at all.
    By the way, they appear to have drawn the same mistaken conclusion about Hillary Clinton. They have concluded that Hillary Clinton’s many supporters were not drawn to Clinton herself as an individual, and to her values, character and policy positions, but were only drawn to Clinton’s gender. So they concluded that many of them could just as easily go for Sarah Palin, an extreme right-wing Dominionist “hockey mom” whose values, national experience and intellectual capabilities are nowhere close to Clinton.

    Reply

  55. PissedOffAmerican says:

    WigWag. Hillary is past history as far as her candidacy goes. Really, when discussing Obama’s, McCain’s, Biden’s or Palin’s attitudes towards gays, WTF does Hillary’s attitudes have to do with anything?
    Tell me, WigWag, if your motive here is not to toot McCain’s horn, than what purpose exactly does your constant derision towards ONE SINGLE CANDIDATE serve. Oh, yes, occassionlly you offer some tepid trepidation focused towards McCain, but ALWAYS as just an aside to a far more forceful indictment of Obama. Are you really so obsessed with Hillary’s loss that you think you are exacted some sort of perverse retribution from Obama? I don’t think so, I think you are far smarter, and far more couched in subterfuge, than to be rationalised as such.
    But ignoring Palin’s glaring SUBSTANTIVE unsuitabilities for the office of the Vice Presidency, while deriding, (therefore underscoring) the exposure of the more human and instinctual reasons to reject her candidacy does little to advance your credibility.

    Reply

  56. DonS says:

    Wigwag states: “Dan Kervick is only partially right. It’s not one major political party that has acted foolishly, it’s both. The political and cultural forces that enabled the nomination of Palin as Vice President are precisely the same political and cultural forces that enabled the nomination of Obama as President.”
    I’d like to see you try to explain that statement, except I think you would use it as a platform for extrapolating some foolish and specious equivalency.
    And don’t you think there is quite a difference between a candidate chosen by a primary process, no matter how flawed you regard it, and a candidate chosen by — well we don’t know who — so let’s just insert Karl Rove or Karl Rove wannabe?

    Reply

  57. WigWag says:

    Paul Norheim, funny you should mention that. When I saw the list, I thought the exact same thing.

    Reply

  58. Paul Norheim says:

    Hi WigWag, questions and others,
    do you remember our list of recommended authors some weeks
    ago?
    Shakespeare, anyone? Boccaccio – wasn`t that one of your
    summer recommendations, Wigwag? And Marquez, as well?
    Lists of banned books are often very useful: check them out,
    and you`ll discover that at least 50 % of those on index are
    among the best you`ve ever read.
    Seriously, if your next VP don`t want you to read Mark Twain or
    Aristophanes or Vonnegut, you ARE in deep shit, folks!
    Thanks for the list. I would like to see more of it.
    (And BTW, Linda: according to Steve, we`re “in the middle”. Any
    comment?)

    Reply

  59. WigWag says:

    Linda, the publisher of both “Out” and the “Advocate” was a prominent supporter of Hillary Clinton during the nominating process. He has announced that he will not be supporting Obama and that neither of these two prominent magazines will be endorsing Obama.
    I am sure that the LBGT community is as diverse as any other community. And I find it hard to believe that overall, these voters won’t vote for Obama over McCain. With that said, I think it is fair to say that Hillary Clinton was as popular or more popular than Obama in the run-up to Denver. Senator Obama snubbed San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome (who is not gay)and wouldn’t allow his picture to be taken with him because San Francisco is considered by many to be a “gay city.” Senator Obama was also supported by clergy men from the African American community who have been hostile to gay rights. The pride with which Senator Obama accepted the endorsement of these anti gay clergy men offended some people.
    In my opinion, anyone who thinks that Senator McCain will be more supportive of this community then Senator Obama needs to have their head examined. But in Obama’s understandable need to triangulate, he has offended some gay Americans. Steve Clemons had a post a few months ago that suggested that Senator McCain has gay staff members and that he has been respectful and supportinve of the gay staff people who work for him, but I don’t know any details about this.
    Of course, like all Americans, LBGT people vote on lots of issues, not just issues that effect their community directly.

    Reply

  60. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I wrote the following post before reading Steve’s admonition about some of us labeling Tahoe as a “troll”. I am going to post it, as I strongly disagree with Steve’s admonition.
    Perhaps Steve and I would disagree as to the definition of a “troll”, and that is at the root cause of our diverging opinions on this issue. But out of deference to Steve, I will no longer refer to WigWag and Tahoe as “trolls”, or as “jackasses”, a termn that seems to be in disfavor with Steve as well, although he let it be known in a much more subtle manner.
    Steve, can I at least refer to Tahoe as a “Limbuaghmination”, or must I completely extinguish the expression of my disgust?
    Uhm, uh, just kidding. Really.
    ***********
    “Actually people who criticize him instead of responding substantively to what he says are the trolls”
    Oh bullshit.
    Whenever Tahoe is asked to substantiate his horseshit, he dissembles. You consider his portrait of Wooten as a “wife beater”, despite no evidence to support it, as “substantive”?
    And you, as far as “substantive” argument goes, take the same tack as this Tahoe troll does. You are quick to deride the people that question the validity of Palin’s personal story, yet you avoid the true “substantive” questions about Palin’s history, such as the lies, corruption, cronyism, vindictiveness, and fiscal irresponsiblity that have been outlined by many reputable sources. Further, you employ this slimey tactic of diverting attention to Obama, and the questions surrounding his meteoric ascension to Sainthood. One factor doesn’t negate the other, WigWaq. Your attempt to paint criticism of Palin as a parallel indictment of Obama is made entirely out of straw. You think by pointing out the weaknesses of Obama’s political history will serve to delete Palin’s weaknesses and insuitabilities.
    Yes, Tahoe is a script reading troll, Wigwag, and so are you. Frankly, I find your and Tahoe’s posting here poisonous and distracting. I have no more respect for you or Tahoe than I do for Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, or Karl Rove. I believe you serve the same masters, and I consider your input, your techniques, your subterfuge, your tactics, and the very essence of your being as no less than evil in every sense of the word.

    Reply

  61. Dan Kervick says:

    The pregnancy of Palin’s daughter is clearly a side issue. To the extent it has any relevance at all, its relevance lies in four areas: (i) what it might or might not say about the McCain campaign’s vetting procedures; (ii) the extent to which Palin herself might or might not have had a role in the young people’s decision to get married and have their baby, and what that indicates about Palin’s values; (iii) the degree to which the young people’s predicament is or is not a result of Palin’s own parenting, given the fact that she is a defender of abstinence only sex education; and (iv) the evident decision of the Republican party to parade the young couple before America as an example of family values in action.
    I think we only know enough about (iv) to say anything definite.
    What you think of the values dimensions of (i) through (iv) depends which side of various values debates you are on. If you are on the pro-life side of the debate, you might view a shotgun wedding as a satisfying re-affirmation of traditional community standards and the authority of elders over sex, marriage and childbirth, as well as a heartwarming statement of commitment to the inviolability of pre-natal life.
    If you are on the pro-choice side, like me, you probably view shotgun weddings as another tragic, ritual community sacrifice of the lives of two young people on the alter of religious ideology and patriarchal authority.
    Beyond that, I don’t see the point of the comparison between Palin and Obama’s mother. The crucial differences, of course, are that one of the events happened 47 years ago, and the other is happening now. The one that is happening now *might* involve Palin in a way that says something about *her*. In the one that happened 47 years ago, Obama was a bystander, so to speak, and say nothing at all about his own values or judgment.
    To the extent that his mother’s decisions are part of Obama’s own “compelling life narrative”, that is not because people say:
    “Obama’s mother got pregnant when she was 18, decided to keep the baby, and then split with the father not long after. That’s awesome!”
    They typically don’t say that. What they say is something like:
    “Obama had to overcome the fact that he was raised as the black child of a young single mother, in a mostly white community, and barely knewhis father. Impressive!”
    So maybe 47 years from now, Bristol Palin’s baby will have a compelling life narrative built around the youth of her mother. But that has nothing to do with the issues that concern Governor Palin’s attitudes and behavior *right now*.
    All of these questions about Palin’s family mainly relate to the values questions about her. They don’t bear on the question that I think is even more central – her unpreparedness for the vice presidency.

    Reply

  62. Linda says:

    Wigwag,
    Just one question about what you wrote: “important leaders in the gay community say they won’t vote for him.” I have not followed this at all, but if they are out in public, please provide names. Will Bower is the only one I’ve heard say that, and he seems to represent only organizations that he has created during this primary year.
    Sweetness,
    I’m not being coy with this banned book list–just want to see some verification and not create any more insanity about Sarah around www.
    So I will only list a few select authors: Madeleine L’Engle, William Faulkner, Judy Blume, Chaucer, Stephen King, Joseph Heller, Arthur Miller, Boccaccio, John Steinbeck, J.K. Rowling, Mark Twain, Maya Angelou, Maurice Sendak, Roald Dahl, D.H. Lawrence, Walt Whitman, Aristophanes, John Steinbeck, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, George Eliot, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., J.D. Salinger, William Shakespeare, and Harper Lee.
    People can have fun guessing which books are on this pretty standard laundry list for banned books 101. I seriously doubt that Sarah read many of them during her six years of undergrad school at five colleges or with her busy family and political life. If she ever appears in public again, I’d like to know which ones she’s read.
    So for now, I’ll remind everyone that Banned Book Week this year is September 27 – October 4. It’s a great time to donate used books to your local library. Also honor the librarians who not only work to keep all ideas on the shelves and open for our minds but also have been the most vocal in keeping the government out of our personal reading lists.

    Reply

  63. Lurker says:

    Steve, the example you set above in the comments is why I and
    many read The Washington Note.
    You are a steady hand that gets things done.

    Reply

  64. Steve Clemons says:

    For the record, this blog attracts people who have passionate
    views from across the political spectrum. Debate is fine with
    me.
    Tahoe Editor is not a troll….nor is POA….nor Linda…..nor
    Kathleen….nor karenk……nor arthurdecco…..nor WigWag.
    You folks just see the world and the political situation in very
    different terms. There are lots of folks reading TWN just to read
    the exchanges between Kathleen and POA on one side and
    Tahoe and Wig on the other — with Paul Norheim and Linda,
    and others, in the middle.
    So, let’s get back to the debate — I like the divergence. But
    none of the above are so-called trolls…..trolls of the real kind
    would not last long here.
    best, steve clemons

    Reply

  65. WigWag says:

    “We aren’t idiots here, WigWag. You are every bit the troll that Tahoe is.”
    I beg to differ, POA.
    I have been reading Tahoe Editors comments. Calling him a troll is just plain stupid. Actually, it’s (to use your word) idiocy. Especially lately, his comments have been very substantive. The fact that he doesn’t agree with you or with certain other Washington Note readers doesn’t make him a troll. It makes him a person with a different opinion.
    Actually people who criticize him instead of responding substantively to what he says are the trolls.
    come to think of it, a better word for them would be clones. People so identical in mind and spirit that they can’t tolerate differing points of view. People who are so narcisstic, that they would rather tell each other how smart and great they are, then engage in an intelligent debate.
    Oh wait, I forgot. You don’t think Tahoe Editor engages in intelligent debate. How could he? After all, he disagrees with you.

    Reply

  66. What Grief Is Good? says:

    Wig Wag,
    Since Palin is in seclusion how are we supposed to know what
    her policy positions are? All we know is that her knowledge of
    what’s happening in Iraq comes from local news and she doesn’t
    really know what a VP does.
    Well, we also know that she: is now AWOL; cut funding for
    pregnant teens in her state; has an Israeli flag in her office and
    has gone to “Rapture Christian” churches her entire life PLUS just
    went to audition in front of AIPAC; went to six colleges in six
    years; thinks we’re in Iraq on a mission from God; believes that
    birth control should be illegal, even among married couples;
    thinks that abortion should be banned even in cases of rape,
    incest and the life of the mother being endangered; is being
    investigated for abuse of power in her position as governor; left
    the tiny town she was mayor of in massive debt; lied about
    being against “the bridge to nowhere”; etc.
    Geez– I am no Obama fan, but he’s far saner than that.
    Now, we have the National Enquirer, despite the threat of legal
    action by the McCain campaign, possibly about to expose that
    Palin had an affair with her husband’s business partner. And
    even if the affair didn’t happen, the business partner and his
    wife and Palin appear to have had some sort of fraud going on
    using the state of Alaska. And the business partner has just
    asked the court to have the divorce records sealed.
    WOW.
    And you think Obama’s worse than that?
    Seriously, I was never a Hitlery fan, but since all the PUMAs have
    come out I think that she really brings in the crazy.

    Reply

  67. WigWag says:

    “During the intervening time, Obama presented himself and his views to the nation in 22 nationally televised debates, and appeared hundreds of times on weekend news interview shows, nightly cable news broadcasts, morning shows and afternoon shows, on radio and television. He subjected himself to many hundreds of hours of broadcast interviews. He was ubiquitous. Due to the extended nomination process, he campaigned across the entire nation and competed vigorously in almost every state. He is one of the most covered candidates in history, and has been the subject of mountains of journalistic investigation, print and broadcast, national and local. He has authored two best-selling books, including a revealing autobiography and another explaining his political philosophy.”
    Dan Kervick is certainly right that Senator Obama has been much better vetted than Sara Palin. By the way, so has Senator Biden. But is this really that relavent? President Bush was vetted as much as Senator Obama. So was the previous President Bush and President Reagan before him. I’m not saying the vetting process isn’t important, but in and of itself it proves nothing. George Bush was vetted, he was elected and he was awful. The same is likely to be true of Senator Obama. Smart people will hold their nose and vote for Obama reluctantly. The people who will vote for him with moderate or great enthusiasm are exatly like McCain/Palin supporters. That would be naive or to put it more bluntly, dumb!
    Dan Kervick says:
    “the damage has been done, because the world has already seen that one of our two major parties is capable of acting with an impulsive rashness and sheer stupidity that exceed all previous displays of incompetence and foolishness.”
    Dan Kervick is only partially right. It’s not one major political party that has acted foolishly, it’s both. The political and cultural forces that enabled the nomination of Palin as Vice President are precisely the same political and cultural forces that enabled the nomination of Obama as President.

    Reply

  68. Sweetness says:

    Wig writes: “But the real reason to criticize Palin is that she is too
    inexperienced.”
    Not true at all. Haven’t you been reading about what she HAS done
    and said? THAT is the real reason to criticize her. That’s the whole
    point of the Kilkenny article and many others. Good grief, man.
    I am glad to hear, however, that you will be voting for Obama. We
    need you Florida voters.

    Reply

  69. PissedOffAmerican says:

    ROFLMAO!!!!
    Wigwag, your BS is as transparent as the day is long. Why not just out yourself, and admit yuor a RW advocate for John Mcacin, misrepresenting himself as a disillusioned Hillary supporter?
    We aren’t idiots here, WigWag. You are every bit the troll that Tahoe is.

    Reply

  70. What Grief Is Good? says:

    Dan Kervick — your last paragraph makes me think that you’ve
    forgotten what George W. Bush had going for him when he was
    made a PRESIDENTIAL candidate.
    It was nada, nada y pues nada, besides his last name of “Bush” and
    the weight of the GOP, Karl Rove’s propaganda, and the neo-cons,
    all of whom recognized a drug/drink addled puppet when they saw
    one.
    The world already knows that the U.S. voting population is insane
    (if one believes that Bush won either election) Palin’s selection is
    just making the rest of the world laugh even harder.

    Reply

  71. WigWag says:

    McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin may be the most cynical, hypocritical and unpatriotic act of any Presidential candidate in recent times. The only thing that remotely compares to it in its stupidity, is the selection of Barack Obama by the Democrats.
    The most salient point in the letter from the Anchorage Daily News is the size of the city that Palin was mayor of; 5,000. Where I live, in South Florida, most of the retirement communities have more people than that. At one time, I lived in a retirement community called Century Village. 11,000 people lived there; I ran the condo association for four years. Does that mean that I could site that as a qualification to be Vice President or even President? The absurdity of this is self evident.
    What makes McCain’s selection even more repugnant is that given his age, there is a substanital liklihood that Palin will assume the Presidency even if McCain serves only one term. Anyone who is interested can look at the life expectency tables for themselves. There are several versions, most produced as actuarial tables by life insurance companies. There’s actually one available on the social security website. It says that a 72 year old man has a life expectency of 12.01 years. That means that half of the 72 year old American men now alive will die before they reach the age of 84 and half will live to an age older than 84. The risk of becoming disabled as opposed to dying is even greater.
    It is inconceivable to me that anyone would take the chance that this woman might actually become President. It tells me all that I need to know about Senator McCain that he would select her. He doesn’t care about his country, he cares about his victory. He’s not a patriot; he’s a selfish, self-indulgent old man.
    With that said, it is both entertaining and sad to see Washington Note readers trying to criticize Sarah Palin. They criticize her daughter’s pregnancy but they seem to think the fact that Senator Obama’s mother was 18 when she gave birth to him is part of his compelling life narative. They delight in calling her corrupt because she wanted her ex brother-in-law fired but they are silent about Obama’s relationship with Tony Rezko. They are happy to denounce the fact that she belives in creationism and is a “rapture christian” but they become indignant whenever someone brings up the Obama relationship with Reverend Wright or Father Pfleiger. They are contemptous of Palin’s opposition to gay marraige, but fail to mention the numerous slights to the gay community by Obama and they ignore the fact that important leaders in the gay community say they won’t vote for him.
    The McCain/Palin ticket truly has made itself the second coming of the Bush Administration. While the foreign policies of Obama and McCain would be substantially similar, the domestic policies advocated by McCain/Palin are so foolish and so inferior, that there is literally no choice but to vote for Obama.
    But the real reason to criticize Palin is that she is too inexperienced. Nothing in life is more predictive of whether someone will do something well than whether they have done it well before. By this standard, Palin fails miserably.
    But of course, so does Obama. That’s why the Palin critics have to spend all there time harping on things that don’t matter much and spend so little time critiquing what does.

    Reply

  72. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “This is sheer insanity. The startling spectacle this presents to the world is very worrisome, and damaging to the interests of the United States. Even if Palin is withdrawn – and I continue to expect she will be before long – the damage has been done, because the world has already seen that one of our two major parties is capable of acting with an impulsive rashness and sheer stupidity that exceed all previous displays of incompetence and foolishness. They see that an entire major American party is willing to rely on nothing but faith and impulse to advance a totally unknown quantity to the vice presidency, where she will have a significant actuarial probability of becoming president”
    And that paragraph should scare the shit out of any American that isn’t comatose or brain dead.
    Who wants this gal in there? And should John McCain fear for his life if he manages to be placed in the White House by another stolen election??
    Bear in mind, NOTHING has been done to secure the electoral process since the 2000 and 2004 fiascos.

    Reply

  73. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “It makes Gov. Palin sound like George W. Bush in a skirt, without the drinking and the father in the White House”
    Judging by the photos beginning to circulate on the blogosphere, poor Bristol drinks enough for the whole family. Gads, I feel sorry for that kid. My daughter, whom I raised by myself, exhibited some of the same behaviours in her teen years. Of course, I can probably place the lion’s share of the blame on myself, as having to raise her in a single parent household, juggling fatherhood and proffession. But I also believe my daughter’s teen travails were also in no small part due to the absence of a mother in the household. I wonder how much of Bristol’s problems can be attributed to the same phenomena?

    Reply

  74. Dan Kervick says:

    Events have moved so quickly over the past week that it is hard to grasp and appreciate the full stunning enormity, and utter barking madness, of the Republican Party’s actions. It is as if an entire political party has had a mass cognitive breakdown and collapsed into absurdity and antic nuthouse incoherence.
    Compare two candidates:
    Brack Obama was first presented to the nation July 27, 2004, as the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, and received his party’s nomination for the presidency on August 27, 2008. He has served in the US Senate under the national eye since January 4, 2005.
    Before he was nominated by the Democratic Party, he had to go through what I assume is the longest primary campaign in history His campaign for the nomination officially began on February 10, 2007, and the nomination was effectively clinched on June 3rd, 2008.
    During the intervening time, Obama presented himself and his views to the nation in 22 nationally televised debates, and appeared hundreds of times on weekend news interview shows, nightly cable news broadcasts, morning shows and afternoon shows, on radio and television. He subjected himself to many hundreds of hours of broadcast interviews. He was ubiquitous. Due to the extended nomination process, he campaigned across the entire nation and competed vigorously in almost every state. He is one of the most covered candidates in history, and has been the subject of mountains of journalistic investigation, print and broadcast, national and local. He has authored two best-selling books, including a revealing autobiography and another explaining his political philosophy.
    Because of very legitimate concerns about his lack of experience, the extended public evaluation and national vetting process was especially important. By now, most people have gotten to know him quite well.
    Sarah Palin was plucked from obscurity on August 29, 2008, and accepted her party’s official nomination on September 3, 2008 – less than a week from introduction to selection. She promptly retreated into seclusion. Only a few people know her well, and Republican convention delegates had to approve her selection on faith. And now, with only two months to go before the election, public curiosity about the views, character and competence of the person the Republican Party has offered to the nation as the backup president to their 72 year old presidential candidate is being stonewalled, by a party that seems determined to shield her from exposure.
    This is sheer insanity. The startling spectacle this presents to the world is very worrisome, and damaging to the interests of the United States. Even if Palin is withdrawn – and I continue to expect she will be before long – the damage has been done, because the world has already seen that one of our two major parties is capable of acting with an impulsive rashness and sheer stupidity that exceed all previous displays of incompetence and foolishness. They see that an entire major American party is willing to rely on nothing but faith and impulse to advance a totally unknown quantity to the vice presidency, where she will have a significant actuarial probability of becoming president.

    Reply

  75. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Alex, you misunderstood Steve, and the purpose of his comment, I believe.
    Steve will correct me if I am wrong, I would think.

    Reply

  76. Sweetness says:

    Alex…Steve’s writing was a bit unclear. The “her” in this case refers
    to Kilkenny, not Palin. I made the same mistake at first.
    Linda, would love to see the list of banned books. Lolita? Catcher
    in the Rye? A Separate Peace?

    Reply

  77. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, want a good laugh?
    Is this the level of competence we can expect from McCain/Palin? It seems that the picture behind McCain during his speech wasn’t Walter Reid Medical Center, as some incompetent jackass on his staff intended.
    It was actually a picture of a middle school in N.Hollywood, California.
    Ya know, you just can’t make this shit up.
    In the true Bush tradition, McCain should immediately give the idiot responsible for this an immediate promotion.
    http://ranprieur.com/index.html
    September 5. Thanks Betsy for the early tip: Last night during McCain’s big convention speech, they showed a mysterious building on the screen behind him. Josh Marshall solves the mystery: it’s Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California. Why would they show that? The only thing that makes sense is that they meant to show Walter Reed Army Medical Center to illustrate their concern for the troops, and somebody messed up. Marshall writes:
    At first I thought, No, that’s ridiculous. This is a major political party with big time professionals putting this together. Nothing is left to chance. I mean, is this the RNC or a scene out of Spinal Tap?

    Reply

  78. alex says:

    “this treatment of Sarah shows her to be a clear-minded, pragmatic centrist.”
    Steve, you need to expand on this a bit. After reading the letter, I get a very different impression of Palin. Irrational firings and fiscal mis-management, coupled with her hard-line religious beliefs make me think she is far from clear-minded or pragmatic. Can you explain which parts of the letter led you to describe her as clear-minded and pragmatic, because I am not seeing it.
    As far as I can tell, she kept her religion out of two or three public actions. Otherwise, I am am still skeptical of her supposed centrism.

    Reply

  79. Zathras says:

    Interesting account. It makes Gov. Palin sound like George W. Bush in a skirt, without the drinking and the father in the White House.
    Each of the major political parties has a lowest common denominator, and has throughout modern political history. The Democratic Party is dominated by a hierarchy of organized interest groups (trial lawyers at the top, environmentalists at the bottom) with specific policy agendas. For the Republicans, the lowest common denominator is satisfied completely in Presidential politics by candidates who appear as strong leaders who will stand up to liberals and the media. Candidates who are really good on the second condition get some leeway about the first among strong Republica voters.
    Sarah Palin is very like George W. Bush in being a pure LCD Republican. The McCain campaign has projected an image of her as a strong leader, and her convention speech made clear her eagerness to give the back of her middle finger to the liberals and the media. Her refusal to take questions from reporters will be seen by many Republican voters as a point in her favor. Lord knows periodic hostility toward and gibes directed at the media never hurt earlier national Republican politicians like Nixon and Reagan.
    But hostility to liberals and the media was never all Nixon and Reagan brought to the table. In George Bush’s Republican Party, things are different; sticking closely to the LCD is all you need, and for Bush Republicans Palin is perfection itself.

    Reply

  80. Linda says:

    POA, Steve,
    Just got back from lunch with some new friends, Obama supporters but members of American Socialists Party–and saw an e-mail from Chris with attached list of the books Palin wanted banned. It appears to have come from Alaska and then to someone at UCLA. I do not know if it has been verified, but if it is true, then she and McCain are toast. I had already seen all that is posted here and links in some of the comments, but this new stuff, if true, is the final straw.
    It’s probably premature to raise this, but who the hell would then want to run with McCain?
    POA, we happen to agree almost 100%, and you make me laugh a lot—sometimes with things I wouldn’t write but might be thinking. Actually being from LA, we think in movie metaphors–so driving to brunch, I was thinking that the only drilling I’d like to see is Sarah Palin replacing Dustin Hoffman in the dental chair in “Marathon Man.”
    Don’t care about her family or her religion or her hobbies. But that’s what I think of her positions on most issues.

    Reply

  81. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Looks like Tahoe might earn some overtime today.
    I hope Steve gets a commission for his charitable donation of advertising space for Palin, by continuing to abide Tahoe’s marketing efforts.
    And yes, Steve, I get the message, and will tone it down and stop calling Tahoe a “jackass”. I hope that your moderation will also include editing any posts of Tahoe’s that call me “Piss”.
    And, like always, Steve, my above comment is offered in good nature, and with respect. I appreciate your blog, as well as your sticking by your guns and allowing Tahoe a voice, albiet one that is obviously scripted, and easily as despicable as anything offered by Limbaugh, Coulter, Savage or Hannity.
    But I must confess to my dissappointment. On my long commutes to and from jobsites, I avail myself of the enlightening, albiet agravating, practice of listening to a number of RW talk radio personalities, such as Ingraham, Levin, Barks, Hannity, Savage, etc. (I cannot listen to Limbaugh, however, because he is such an unspeakable piece of shit that he ruins my entire day.) Anyway, after a day of listening to such a litany of ideological excrement and political propaganda, it is at times highly disappointing to sign onto your blog, (which in the past has been such a breath of political fresh air), only to find the scripted RW hogwash I had been listening to all day advanced here by Tahoe.
    But again, I respect your right to administer your blog as you see fit, and I respect Tahoe’s right to air his opinions. And perhaps, one day, Tahoe might actually do so. But until then, I guess we’ll just have to put up with his channeling of Rush Limbaugh.
    Thanks for posting Kilkenny’s letter. Palin is obviously dangerous, vindictive, narcissistic, power mad, corrupt, dishonest, prone to cronyism, and a religious zealot. Her placement in the White House would constitute a grave threat to national security.
    http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/09/03/wasilla-in-debt/
    As Mayor, ‘Hard-Core Fiscal Conservative’ Sarah Palin Left Wasilla $20 Million In Debt»
    The campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is presenting his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), as a reformer, fiscal conservative, and “tough minded budget cutter.” Other conservatives have latched onto this image – Phyllis Schlafly calls Palin “the total package” with “fiscal conservative credentials.”
    Palin embraces the title, labeling herself a “hard-core fiscal conservative,” whose “agenda was to stop wasteful spending.
    However, as mayor of Wasilla, AK, Palin “was not always the fiscal watchdog she has since boasted of being.”
    During her term in office, Palin cut property taxes and other small taxes on business. But as the Anchorage Daily News points out, “She wasn’t doing this by shrinking government.” During her tenure, the budget of Wasilla (population 5,469 in 2000) “apart from capital projects and debt, rose from $3.9 million in fiscal 1996 to $5.8 million.”
    Palin also successfully pushed through a sales tax increase in Wasilla, which went to fund a $15 million sports complex. However, a land dispute over the sight of the complex led to “years of legal wrangling” and cost Wasilla almost $1.7 million, “a lot more than the roughly $125,000 the city would have paid in 1998 if it had closed a deal to buy the property outright.” Wasilla is still facing budget shortfalls from the case today.
    When Palin left office in 2002, Wasilla had “racked up nearly $20 million in long-term debt,” or roughly $3,000 of debt per resident.
    But Palin’s approach actually brings her in line with McCain, whose own “massive tax cuts” “would recklessly exacerbate the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush Administration” and cause the largest deficit in 25 years.

    Reply

  82. What Grief Is Good? says:

    Palin went to six colleges in six years.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=5728215
    Palin’s also a “Rapture Christian” who believes that all Jews have
    to return to the “Holy Land” before Christ will return.
    If I were a Jew I’d be worried that McCain will kick it and Palin
    will start round-ups of Jews, like FDR did with Japanese-
    Americans, except Palin will shift Jews not to internment camps
    but over to Israel to ensure Armageddon (sp?)
    The GOP choosing her either means that Rove has lost it or
    McInsane is desperately trying to make sure that everyone
    knows how crazy he really is.
    And the man Palin is accused of having an affair with has just
    asked to have his divorce records sealed — this while Palin goes
    mysteriously AWOL when she should be on every Sunday talk
    show explaining her “policy positions” 😉
    See, Palin’s alleged affair should be none of our business, but
    the fact that she’s gaining traction among the “Christian” right
    as one of them, does make it our business. Because they want
    to turn the U.S. into a Christian theocracy — but not a theocracy
    based on the actual teachings of Christ –rather one mired in
    the Old Testament and the book of Revelations.
    They picked the wrong horse, because Palin, with all the
    personal scandals swirling around her, is not working out as a
    poster gal for Christian morals…
    There’s an Alaskan blog called Mudflat or Mudflats that also is
    very reasonable and gives the inside scoop on Alaskan politics
    and Palin.

    Reply

  83. JR says:

    “Sarah Palin will be missing from action Sunday a.m.”
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/09/sarah-palin-w-1.html
    Of course she will. Look at this glimpse of the McCain campaign strategy to keep Governor Palin from ever exposing herself to questions about who she is, what she knows, and what she believes:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/05/no-questions-palin-wont-t_n_124256.html
    Americans need to demand that Palin submit to press interviews with no preconditions. Call the McCain press office – (703) 650-5550 – and let them know they can’t hide her away until Election Day.

    Reply

  84. Bill R. says:

    As time goes on there will be more and more stories about the flawed personality that John McCain has chosen to be his successor and a heartbeat away from having a finger on the nuclear trigger. The significance of these stories is what they say about John McCain, and his impulsive and reckless judgment, his lack of vetting, his complete capitulation to the radical Dominionist wing of the Republican Party. James Dobson now owns the Republican Party and John McCain.

    Reply

  85. Bill R. says:

    I have a friend who is in state govt. who worked under Palin. This account and the character description by Kilkenny matches his perfectly.

    Reply

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