Wednesday, October 15, 2008
at Hofstra University's Hofstra Arena in Hempstead,
New York, moderated by Bob Schieffer, CBS News chief Washington
correspondent and host of Face the Nation. This debate will focus on
domestic and economic policy.
RockTheVote's list of voter registration deadlines. Here are
some upcoming dates--forward this on to your friends in the appropriate
states (swing states in bold):
- Monday, Oct 6: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, DC,
Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Tennessee, Texas, Virginia.
- Tuesday, Oct 7: Illinois, New Mexico
- Wednesday, Oct 8: Missouri
- Friday, Oct 10: New
York, North Carolina, Oklahoma
- Saturday, Oct 11:
- Tuesday, Oct 14:
Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon
- Wednesday, Oct 15:
West Virginia, Wisconsin
If you're voting absentee, you may have to get your ballot in weeks
before the Nov 4th Election date. Declare Yourself has
links to each state's voter information page where you can find out how
to get your absentee ballot.
October 5, 2008 "The Lesions of History Edition"
News from CNN: Joe Biden's mother-in-law, Bonnie
Jacobs, died on Sunday. Biden, who had been conferring with doctors as
to her care shortly before the bailout vote last week, had already
canceled his campaign appearances this weekend to be with her and his
wife Jill. Indiana Senator Evan Bayh filled in for him on stops in
Joe Biden talks about that choked up moment during his debate with
Sarah Palin: "in the moment, he 'could picture Beau in the
bed' after the 1972 car accident that killed Biden's first wife,
Neilia, and their baby girl and critically injured his young sons. Now
Beau, the 39-year-old attorney general of Delaware, was off to war, a
judge advocate general traveling to obscure regions of Iraq, where the
road isn't exactly the safest place to be. The memory of being a
single parent mixed with worries about Beau to create 'a lot of
bundled emotions. It surprised me. I was hoping nobody noticed.'
Only 70 million or so did."
The Lesions of History
Palin's disturbingly blithesome reply during
the vice-Presidential debate, to the question, "Do you believe as Vice President
Cheney does, that he and his army of Necromongers and Quasideads must
hold sway over the Universe and all it contains?" has sufficiently
moved the NY Times to write in an editorial Saturday, "It is
hard to tell from Ms. Palin's remarks whether she understands how
profoundly Dick Cheney has reshaped the vice presidency — as part of a
larger drive to free the executive branch from all checks and
Nor did she seem to understand how much damage that has done to
American democracy. Mr. Cheney has shown what can happen when
a vice president — a position that is easy to lampoon and overlook —
is given free rein by the president and does not care about trampling
on the Constitution.Mr. Cheney has long taken the bizarre view that
the lesson of Watergate was that Congress was too powerful and the
president not powerful enough. He dedicated himself to expanding
President Bush's authority and arrogating to himself executive,
legislative and legal powers that are nowhere in the Constitution."
In his NY Times blog, Paul Krugman takes us back to the Reagan
quote that Palin invoked at the debate: "It was Ronald Reagan
who said that freedom is always just one generation away from
extinction. We don't pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we
have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that
they shall do the same, or we're going to find ourselves spending our
sunset years telling our children and our children's children about a
time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free."
Krugman notes: "When did he say this? It was on a recording he made
Operation Coffeecup — a campaign organized by the American
Medical Association to block the passage of Medicare. Doctors' wives
were supposed to organize coffee klatches for patients, where they
would play the Reagan recording, which declared that Medicare would
lead us to totalitarianism."
On Meet the Press' roundtable,
Gwen Ifill had some observations about the debate (after
watching a clip from SNL's sendup of the debate --more on that below).
Ifill laughs about Palin's averred plan to ignore the moderator's
questions, "She blew me off, I think is the technical term..." David
Gregory notes that Palin "made a decision to be rhetorical and not
substantive on the issues. Her primary job was to excite the
conservative base. Joe Biden made a decision not to take her on." It's
not on this particular clip, but during the same discussion, Peggy
Noonan observed, "I think she showed that she is a woman of great and
natural competence about the show-business of politics, if you will:
the ability to look over the camera, to think that the camera is your
friend, all of that stuff. But there are questions about other areas."
The whole episode was pretty interesting, so if you have time,
it's worth a watch.
Palin, Footloose and Fancy Free
"Sarah Palin may be making new friends
as she campaigns the nation, but at home, she's making new enemies.
She better get elected vice president.
If she returns to Alaska as governor, the reception will be frosty --
and not because winter has arrived. In the last month, Palin
has become something inconceivable during her first two years as the
state's chief executive: A polarizing figure rapidly emptying the
storehouse of good will she accumulated."
an interview with Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron, Palin claimed
that Couric's questions -- which produced a series of staggeringly
embarrassing responses -- put her in a lose-lose position. "The
Sarah Palin in those interviews was a little bit annoyed," she
said. "It's like, man, no matter what you say, you are going to get
clobbered. If you choose to answer a question, you are going to get
clobbered on the answer. If you choose to try to pivot and go to
another subject that you believe that Americans want to hear about,
you get clobbered for that too."
Back on the trail, Palin headed onto some dangerous ground by going
back again to the nature of Obama's connection with the Vietnam
War-era domestic terrorist William Ayers of the Weather Underground.
Douglass Daniel at the AP notes that it may backfire on the McCain
campaign. "By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is 'palling around
with terrorists' and doesn't see the U.S. like other Americans, vice
presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering
And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her
attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that
John McCain himself may come to regret."
And the gaffes just keep coming. I think
it's sorta just a habit for them now. "Palin
regaled the cheering crowd with a story about how she was reading her
Starbucks mocha cup yesterday, which featured a quotation from
former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. 'Now she said it, I
didn't,' Palin said of Albright. 'She said, "There's a place in Hell
reserved for women who don't support other women."' The crowd roared
its approval, but according to several sources, Albright actually
said, 'there's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't help
Albright replies: "This is yet another
example of McCain and Palin distorting the truth, and
all the more reason to remember that this campaign is not about
gender, it is about which candidate has an agenda that will
improve the lives of all Americans, including women."
Campbell Brown is fast becoming my favorite TV news anchor: "As journalists, and
certainly for me over the last few years, we've gotten overly obsessed
with parity, especially when we're covering politics," Ms. Brown said.
kept making sure each candidate got equal time — to the point that it
got ridiculous in a way. So when you have Candidate A saying
the sky is blue, and Candidate B saying it's a cloudy day, I look
outside and I see, well, it's a cloudy day," she said. "I should be
able to tell my viewers, 'Candidate A is wrong, Candidate B is right.'
And not have to say, 'Well, you decide.' Then it would be like I'm an
idiot. And I'd be treating the audience like idiots."
(I'm not making this up, you know.
Some days this stuff just writes itself...) "Sen.
John McCain's senior foreign policy advisor cites a steamy romance 50
years ago with a Brazilian babe among the things that illustrate the
candidate's decades-long interest in Latin America. Speaking
at an Americas Conference panel discussion Friday on the next U.S.
president's Latin American policy, McCain advisor Richard Fontaine
started out by mentioning an old Brazilian flame of McCain's,
who recently emerged in the press."
From the photo she's
holding, looks like Maria Gracinda used to be a ballet dancer--and you
know about ballet dancers...
''Talking a little about his personal
experience, he was famously born in Panama and has traveled all over
the hemisphere for many years.'' Fontaine said. ``In fact, I saw, I
guess it was last week, that his old girlfriend in Brazil has been
found from his early days when he was in the Navy and was
interviewed. She's a somewhat older woman now than she was then, but
it sorta speaks to the long experience he has had in the region --
in the most positive terms.'' Asked afterward about whether he was
suggesting that McCain's fling with a Latin hottie counted as Latin
America foreign policy experience, Fontaine said: ''The only thing I
was trying to convey was that his experience goes back a long way,''
Fontaine said. ``He was born in Panama, which illustrates a lifetime
spent in Latin America. He has known a lot of people. The thing
about the Brazilian girlfriend was in his first memoir, and it stuck
in my brain. Look at the two candidates and contrast his extensive
experience. That's the only point I was trying to make.''
Wow, I guess that means that guy who makes the Girls Gone Wild
Ultimate Spring Break DVDs, Joe Francis has TON more experience in
foreign policy. Maybe HE should be running for President.
Oh, no wait, he's too busy doing his "community service."
Ah the irony.
And, of course, "enquiring minds want to
when are Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston tying the ole' knot?
Apparently, it's not in October, as much as Mommy and that funny
Senator McWeird might want it to be...."The two have been considering
getting married next summer, 'but that could change,' [Johnston's
mother] said during a short interview outside her Wasilla home. The
baby is due in late December.'
Sunday Morning Quarterbacking
A round up of some of the best commentary and humor from this weekend:
At the top of the list, as always,
Saturday Night Live. Tina Fey should be Palin's biggest fan,
seeing as how
Fey can expect another Emmy for playing the Contestant #8 to such
excruciating perfection. SNL has hit video gold with
LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Senator Palin.
Address your position on global warming and whether you think it's
man-made or not."
FEY AS PALIN: "Gwen, we don't know if
this climate change hoozie-what's-it is man-made or if it's just a
natural part of the 'End of Days.' But I'm not gonna talk about that
I would like to talk about taxes, because with Barack Obama, you're
gonna be paying higher taxes. But not with me and my fellow
maverick. We are not afraid to get maverick-y in there and ruffle
feathers and not got to allow that. And also, too, the great Ronald
And tell me we're still playing the
Drinking Game! Fey, as Palin, finishes up with: "I liked being here
tonight answering these tough questions without the filter of the
mainstream gotcha media with their 'follow-up questions,'
'fact-checking' or 'incessant need to figure out what your words mean
and why ya put them in that order.' I'm happy to be speaking directly
to the American people to let them know if you want an outsider who
doesn't like politics as usual or pronouncin' the 'g' and the end of
words she's sayin' I think you know who to vote for.
Oh, and for those Joe Six-packs out there playing a drinking game
at home -- Maverick."
I love YouTube mashups. Sarah Palin
meets Francis McDormand in Fargo.
You betcha, yah. You think I have too much time
on my hands?
Letterman also gives us
Palin...in her own words.
Bill Maher notes that Pakistan's
president Zardari got into hot water for gushing over Palin and
hugging her, "The people in his home country of Pakistan, the
Islamists, they issued a fatwa on him for being too flirty. And
when Sarah today was told that Zardari had gotten a fatwa because
of her, she said I know I felt it when he hugged me."
Maureen Dowd at the NY Times has
another go at translating Palin's mushy-mouthed Frontier Baroque
back into English: "Sometimes, her sentences have a Yoda-like —
'When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not' —
splendor. When she was asked by Couric if she'd ever negotiated with
the Russians, the governor replied that when Putin 'rears his head'
he is headed for Alaska.
Then she uttered yet another sentence that defies diagramming:
'It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye
is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are
right there'... She dangles gerunds, mangles prepositions, randomly
exiles nouns and verbs and also — "also" is her favorite vamping
word — uses verbs better left as nouns."
And then there's Frank Rich, "After the
debate, Republicans who had been bailing on Palin rushed back to the
fold. They know her relentless ambition is the only hope for saving
a ticket headed by a warrior who is out of juice and out of ideas.
So what if she is preposterously unprepared to run the country in
the midst of its greatest economic crisis in 70 years? She looks and
sounds like a winner.You can understand why they believe that.
She has more testosterone than anyone else at the top of her
It's true, Palin does have her appeal to
the people that love her. This debate review, from Rich Lowry at the
National Review, reminds me of that episode of the Partridge
Family, the one with that gorgeous blonde girl who can't sing a
note, but all the men in the room think she's fantastic. (The family
has to stage an intervention, Keith finally hears her on tape and he
realizes that when he isn't looking at her, she's a horrible singer.
With Palin, it's the same effect you get when you read her
"A very wise TV executive once told me
that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It's one of the
keys to the success of, say, a Bill O'Reilly, who comes through the
screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the
screen like crazy.
I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped
her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said,
"Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the
end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling
it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the
screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a
quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you
don't, and man, she's got it."
So I've run into several people now who
actually believe that Obama has never authored legislation in the
three years he's been in the Senate. It was a crack made by Sarah
Palin at the RNC back in early September, if you recall, so one
might wonder why ANYone would believe something Sarah Palin said.
John McCain should have CRINGED because Obama has co-sponsored
legislation with him in the Senate. But the question of authoring
legislation actually came up much earlier in the year, during the
primaries, and oddly enough in an email forward supporting Obama and
levelling an attack on Hillary Clinton's record. Nevertheless, more
than one person now has said to me, "Oh, Obama's never written any
legislation," and I feel it's up to us to get the truth out there
While it's true that Obama has not been
in Congress long enough to have a list of enacted legislation as
long as McCain's or Biden's or Clinton's, he has an extraordinarily
impressive and prolific track record. In just three years in the US
Senate, Obama was the sole original sponsor of 129 bills and
co-sponsored an additional 427.
FactCheck.org covered this issue fairly thoroughly back
in February during the primaries, so I'm only including a shortlist
of legislation Obama has authored on this convenient
wallet-sized version--you can look up a
complete list of co-sponsored bills at the
Congress. (Feel free to print it out, fold it
up and carry it with you.)
Charles Peters in the Washington Post also examines how
Obama developed bipartisan support
at the state-level
for a controversial law mandating videotaping
for police interrogation. \
October 3, 2008 Contestant #8 Edition"
Palin's best line from the debate: "I personally believe that U.S.
Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our
nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like
such as in, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq and everywhere like such
as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the
U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa and should help
Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future
for our children."
What? Oh.... um... hang on.... oh, yeah.
I guess that wasn't Sarah Palin, that was Ms. South Carolina at
the Miss Teen USA 2007. But you really thought it was Palin for a
second, didn't you?
video and the transcript of the debate from the NY Times,
bite-sized pieces from Politico.com. Also.
So what I saw was in bits and pieces traveling from home, listening
in the car, plugged into an old fashioned Sony Walkman with one earbud
in discreetly hidden (I was at an event at the Dolby Theater) and
finally in the screening booth at Dolby. But from what I witnessed, if
your word in the Debate Drinking Game was "maverick," "change," or "nu-kular"
you are now recovering from a wicked hangover. Also if you had
the suffix "-in'"--as in "wishin'" and "hopin'" and "thinkin'" and
prayin'" --you are STILL three sheets to the wind. You English majors,
if you took a drink every time she incorrectly employed a gerund phrase
or preposition, you are now, as to drinking, also to the toilet hanging.
Some random notes from last night:
No, Palin didn't tremble and burst into tears, or flame out as she
did her other appearances last week, but she certainly didn't shine
either. As I noted to some of you already, Palin is really good at the "Contestant
#8, Sarah Palin" Beauty Queen style. Bright, charming, lots of
teeth. Her handlers gave her a tight script, and (I think) crossed their
fingers and hoped that the answers would kinda match the questions. But,
I thought it was interesting that as the debate wore on, the beauty
queen smile and confidence seemed to ebb away. We lost the charming
tics, the smile took on tension, her words came more quickly and less
coherently, and there were long pauses before she launched into a
response--you could almost see the little rat inside her brain running
around in desperate circles. At one point, I thought maybe her little
notecards had gotten shuffled, or maybe that my brain had skipped a
neuron somehow, the way that old vinyl records would skip.
The 90-second/2 minute time limit helped Palin a lot, in my humble
opinion. She had some good soundbites, and if you loved her before the
debate, you probably thought she came over brilliantly. (Did
she ACTUALLY wink at Joe Six-Pack?)
Plus, as HuffPo notes, for a woman who says "I didn't blink, you can't
she blinked. A lot. Noticeably. Thing is, frequent blinking
is a subtle non-verbal cue that most often is subliminally interpreted
as shifty, it's the sort of thing that says to people, "I'm uncomfortable
and I'm lying."
At the Post, Tom Shales notes, "Commentators
on many of the networks marveled at Palin's insistence on avoiding
substantial comment on issues and on simply ignoring questions she
couldn't answer convincingly. Palin basically stated early in
the debate that this would be her strategy. She said she wasn't
necessarily going to respond to the questions of the moderator or
charges from Biden, but instead, 'I'm gonna talk right to the American
people.' Since this was billed as a debate, not a speech, her remark
came across as arrogant, and as an admission she would duck tough
questions. " Yup. Yup.
Occasionally, Ifill would remind her that she hadn't actually um..
answered the freakin' question?: "As Vice President, there's nothing
you've promised as a candidate that you would take off the table because
of this financial issue?" Palin: "There is not, and how long have I been
at this? Like five weeks?" Yes, dearie, we know.
Her only major gaffe of the night seem to have been
Palin's reference to the commander in Afghanistan. As
usual, I feel like, sure, it's not a guy whose name I know, but hey,
you brought him up, so shouldn't you know his name? HuffPo
notes: "The commanding general in Afghanistan didn't merely state that
Surge tactics won't work! He also said that tribal involvement in the
COIN strategy wouldn't work either! Absolutely right on infrastructure
in Afghanistan though! Know what they really need in Afghanistan to
enhance security? ROADS. Palin thinks our commander in Afghanistan is
someone named "McClellan." It is, I believe, McKiernan. And Palin is
DEAD WRONG. He absolutely said that tribal involvement in Afghanistan
COIN strategy would not work."
Biden in my opinion pretty much eviscerated her on the question of "Do you believe as
Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold
complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it it is also
a member of the Legislative Branch?" Palin perkily answered, "Well, our
founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the
Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice
president..." But Biden came back in a great, forceful reply with, "The
idea he's part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by
Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive and look where it
has gotten us. It has been very dangerous." And
as Arianna Huffington pointed out, "The loudest ovation of
the night -- at least in that ballroom (granted, not the most
representative-of-America crowd) -- came when Biden said that Dick
Cheney was the most dangerous VP in history." See, Sarah, people don't
so much like Cheney...
At one point, when Biden said "just because I am a man" he didn't
understand what it was like to wonder whether or not a child would "make
it" in recovering from a life-threatening medical situation,
he choked up and I fretted about how people would react to this
moment. All around though,
it was seen sympathetically --everyone seems to know the
story of his wife and daughter-- and I thought was a great counterpoint
to Palin's confusing and insincere reference to his Biden's wife ("Her
reward is in heaven...")
In the end, I think Biden accomplished his goal, which is to focus in on
McCain and how he's linked to Bush. "The issue is:
How different is John McCain's policy going to be than George Bush's?
I haven't heard anything yet," he said. "I haven't heard how his policy
is going to be different on Iran than George Bush's. I haven't heard how
his policy is going to be different with Israel than George Bush's. I
haven't heard how his policy in Afghanistan is going to be different
than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policy in Pakistan is going
to be different than George Bush's."
Generally, it's only been a few hours since the debate, but
the consensus is a big win for Joe Biden.
He was crisp, he was informed, and stayed on top of disarming
all of her accusations and distortions, which wasn't easy. Her replies
were often scattershot, and if you watched the debate as a whole, it
kinda looked as if she had an earpiece in with someone whispering cues,
but then halfway through she started tuning in the wrong station.
46% of the CBS Focus group gave the debate to Biden as a win, only 21%
though Palin won, and 33% thought it was a tie. Over at CNN,
Biden 51%-36%. James Fallows at the Atlantic tacks
this little observation at the end of his quick analysis: "Of course
Biden did a far better job --
he answered the questions rather than moving straight to talking
points, he drew on a vastly broader range of factual references,
he attacked his opponents in ways that were relevant to the subject
under discussion. But this is not how the event was being watched or
scored." My stars, how cynical we are, James.
Still, Adam McKay at HuffPo marvels that he's found a Dem candidate he
COULD have a beer with. "He was masterful tonight. Biden is a stone cold
pro in a world where most politicians just become cold or stone-like.
Joe Biden managed to communicate on every issue in a clear and laser
focused way. The happiest person on the planet had to be Barack
Obama's gastroenterologist. Because when Obama has to go under for his
colonoscopy as president this Doctor will not have to rush, lest the VP
drop the ball while in charge for those forty-five minutes. Obama's GI
will even be able to take a second lap around the large intestine to
The NY Times analysis leads off with the "first do no harm"
approach:"Gov. Sarah Palin made it through the vice-presidential debate
without doing any obvious damage to the Republican presidential
ticket." But John F. Harris and Mike Allen at Politico
were a bit more pointed in their views, "she got out alive,
though there were white-knuckle moments along the way."
vlog intallment from "Sarah Palin," assessing her debate
In other late-breaking news... "Cash for Crap" is now officially
headed to the White House for a signature.
Now that EVERYBODY's pet project has been funded amply, it passed in
the House this afternoon, "At 1:21 p.m., applause and cheers
echoed through the House chamber as the number of "aye" votes crossed
the threshold needed for passage with just seconds remaining in the
official 15-minute voting period. The vote was 263 to 171."
Why, oh Why, oh why-oh. Why McCain SHOULD Leave Ohio
You want to know what I think is the big news?
John McCain is pulling up campaign stakes in Michigan. Says Marc
Ambinder at the Atlantic, "The move away from Michigan reflects the
abandonment of any pretense that McCain can spend freely to expand the
map for Republicans this year, and
it's a sign that the campaign recognizes how the past two weeks have
erased nearly all of McCain's gains since August. Instead,
McCain's playing defense in states like Florida, Virginia and North
Carolina, although his advisers do not consider the latter state as
close as public polling suggests."
And the NY Times' Michael Cooper says,"
Ceding Michigan is a major blow to the McCain campaign, which
had spent heavily on television commercials there and where Mr. McCain
had campaigned repeatedly in the hopes that he could appeal to enough
blue-collar voters, so-called Reagan Democrats and independent voters,
to bring the state back into the Republican column in November."
Sarah Silverman exhorts the
Jewish brethren to embark upon the Great Schlep to Florida.
Yes, Sarah's got a potty mouth, but yes, it's soooo funny.
October 2, 2008 "Palindrome Edition"
thought we'd never get here.... Yes, it's Thursday, and I am offering a
Very Special Sarah Palin Salute to Schadenfreude.
But First, the News...
this morning has Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia in Obama'
corner, PLUS Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico! AND McCain is losing
ground in Indiana and Missouri! Even Georgia, Mississippi and TEXAS?
Real Clear Politics, the more conservative estimator, the
news is even BETTER: If you go to the scenario with no toss-up states,
they give 353 electoral votes to Obama.
Princeton Election Consortium show Obama with a "safe" 273
electoral vote today, and Obama is retaining his 6-point lead at
Gallup Daily tracking is holding.
I do hasten to remind everyone that Obama's been at this level before,
over the summer. And we've seen this kind of lead take a dip.
However, we are only 33 days out from the election, AND in some states
millions of people have been voting already by absentee ballot
-- to avoid the problem of impossible lines at the polls on election
day. Most people assumed this would be an advantage to McCain, but I'm
not so sure...
Sittin' Here on Capitol Hill
the Senate passed it. The bill -- the BILL. And they
passed it with such little drama that you wondered if everyone was
the Roll Call.
[Dusts off hands] Done. What? That's it. Just vote, pass,
done? Where's my haranguing? My filibustering? I want my high-drama
House Republicans? Over to you.
France figures, if American's are going to try it,
maybe the Europeans might buy it too... "France heaped pressure on
Gordon Brown last night by
floating an ambitious plan for a 300 billion Euro (£237 billion)
bailout fund to rescue crippled banks across Europe. As the
world held its breath on the fate of America's $700 billion bank bailout
plan, President Sarkozy was seeking the backing of European leaders for
his own lifeboat...Amid the confusion and bickering between governments,
France denied at first that it had put forward a proposal for a fund at
all and then, after admitting that it had done so, denied that it would
cost ¤300 billion. Paris said that the figure had come from the Dutch
Government. Officials in The Hague said that they had no idea what the
French were talking about."
Debatable, Part Deux
So McCain's new strategy is to discredit Gwen Ifilll: "On the eve of
Thursday's vice-presidential debate in St. Louis, the
McCain campaign is voicing confidence in moderator Gwen Ifill's
professionalism while simultaneously sowing doubts about her ability to
be fair after learning that she is working on a book about a new
generation of black leaders called, 'Breakthrough: Politics and Race in
the Age of Obama.'" For her part Ifill responds somewhat slyly--maybe
it's the painkillers for her broken ankle talking. "Ifill
questions why people assume that her book will be favorable toward
Obama. 'Do you think they made the same assumptions about Lou
Cannon (who is white) when he wrote his book about Reagan?' said Ifill,
who is black. Asked if there were racial motives at play, she said, 'I
don't know what it is. I find it curious.'"
Long and Winding Road....
You know, I'm quite amazed when I think that a month
ago we barely knew Sarah Palin. Now we know more than we could ever
possibly want to know about Sarah Palin. I know I know, she shouldn't
be the focus in this very important election, she should be beneath
focus, but obsessing over her is like a good, juicy trash-novel-- I know
I shouldn't waste the time, but it's a nasty, delicious indulgence.
Talking Points Memo did a nice 5 minutes "Greatest Hits" video
which is disturbing and I think has damaged my eyeballs.
I thought on this day, of all days, it might be fun to
recall how much we've learned about Sarah Palin. A little trip down
July, 31 2008: The Prologue
- "As for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I
still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is
it exactly that the VP does every day?" says Gov. Sarah Palin, in an
interview with CNBC's "Kudlow & Co."
Draft Sarah Palin for VP.
No...really, John, this person ISN'T your Vetting Team.
- "When they were vetting her for this job, like
three seconds ago, she said, quote, I'm not making this up, 'What is
it exactly that the VP does every day?' Let me field that for you,
Sarah. They start wars, they enrich their friends, they subvert the
Constitution, and they shoot people in the face. That's what the vice
president does." –Bill Maher
August 29: Who?
Layne--who coined Sarah Palin's moniker "America's Hottest
why McCain has "dragged this nice lady he doesn't even know into
his doomed campaign...Already the TV commentators and op-ed
writers are calling her a dimwit, an amateur, a hapless tool. McCain
is such a cruel creep that he's making Sarah Palin debate
Joe Biden." (Political Machine)
McCain calls Palin "partner & soulmate":
ME: Is anyone else creeped out? Some guy you met once at a convention
gets your number and six months later calls you up and says you're his
"partner and soulmate." (Politico)
- Never mind Sarah Palin, Erik Ose asks ,"Is
John McCain mentally fit to be president?" (HuffPo)
- Snap! Folks in Alaska aren't sure is Palin
is ready for the national ticket. Even Palin's mother-in-law still
hasn't decided which way she'll vote: "I'm
not sure what she brings to the ticket other than she's a woman and a
conservative." (NY Daily News)
Little Known Facts about Sarah Palin There's so little out
there about her, that helpful, civic-minded Netizens are filling in
the gaps for her. (Did you know it was actually Sarah Palin's voice
singing "Ode to the Motherland" at the Opening Ceremonies of the
Olympics in Beijing?) (Wonkette)
Sarah Palin's newborn son Young Trigg scrubs her Wikipedia entry.
Isn't that just the cutest? (Wiki)
first-term Alaska governor told reporters she was having fun in her
"It's great to see another part of the country," she said.
Maureen Dowd is in "sheer heaven." (NYTimes)
Robert Elisberg lays out why Palin is a
horrible choice. (Huffpo)
- And so does
Jonathan Alterman: "She is a far-right conservative who
supported Pat Buchanan over George W. Bush in 2000. She thinks global
warming is a hoax and backs the teaching of creationism in public
schools. Women are not likely to be impressed by her opposition to
abortion even in the case of rape and incest." (Newsweek)
- Visit Wasilla, Alaska and
see the town where Palin got her vast experience in
Ted Stevens endorses Palin: "Whoops, gotta get that off the
campaign site!" (Youtube)
Did ANYone vet this woman? (NYTimes)
- Humorous take on a
Theory of Proximity/Absorption Intelligence Design, i.e.,
Sarah Palin governs Alaska which is close to Russia, therefore she has
foreign policy experience. I recently ate Chinese food, which makes me
an expert in US-China relations. Try it at home, kids!
- "Alaska Gov. Sarah Pallin is John McCain's choice.
Here's what we know about her: her name is Sarah Palin." --Jay Leno
Sept 1: Getting to know her... getting to know
all about her...
- On Friday we said, "Who the heck is Sarah Palin?"
On Monday we said, "Dang. I know WAY too much about Sarah Palin now."
On Tuesday, it's: "Okay, I know all I need to know about Sarah Palin..."
Early Gaffe Alert: Palin also confused on the Pledge of Allegiance:
"If it was good
enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me," she says of
the Pledge, written in 1892. (Daily Kos)
- YouTube daggers:
What do mothers think about the Palin pick?
- "Dick Cheney told reporters this week there's no
reason why Sarah Palin cannot be a successful vice
president in the McCain administration. In fact, not only can she
shoot a lawyer in the face, she can field dress him." -Jay Leno
2: Family (De-)Values
- Why is there disbelief and speculation about Trig
Palin's parentage? Palin's own account of the birth: she says she
sensed her water broke while she was in Texas the morning before an
important speech. Although she was aware the baby had Down Syndrome
and she was then only eight months pregnant, she gave her speech and
then made a 12 hour trip from Houston, Texas to Wasilla, Alaska. With
two flight connections. I suppose that's to show us how tough she is?
Humorous Palin decision map.
- Palin, seven months pregnant, in the photo
at right... You tell me. (And no, I will not let this go.)
Palin announces that her
17-year old unmarried daughter is pregnant. "Bristol Palin is
about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry
the father, the Palins said in a statement released by the campaign of
Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
(UK Independent) 'Cause,see,
that PROVES that Trig couldn't be Bristol's baby...
- THIS is 7 months pregnant. To the right, Demi
Moore --seven months pregnant-- in a Vanity Fair cover shot by
Annie Lebovitz. (No, I will not let this go! )
- McCain's aide says statement should refute
internet speculation that four-month old
baby Trig is actually Bristol Palin's child. (Daily Kos)
Update: The Kos link has been scrubbed and is no more. Read
Gawker for more.
- Levi Johnston,
Bristol Palin's fiance, to appear at GOP convention.
- "Speaking of Sarah Palin, she said she's a
life-long member of the National Rifle Association. Which may explain
why she's in favor of shotgun weddings." --Conan O'Brien
Sept 3: Conventional
- Republican National Convention,
America's Favorite Small Town Barracuda, Sarah Palin, who's
such a maverick and a reformer that she's
reading a speech written by Matthew Scully, former speechwriter
for George W. Bush: "I've learned quickly, these past few
days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington
elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for
that reason alone... Here's a little newsflash for those reporters
and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good
- HuffPo says: "Here's a little newsflash for Sarah
Palin, to paraphrase her speech:
The media isn't writing about you to seek your good opinion
— they're writing about you to serve the people of this country."
(HuffPo) See Liberal Media above.
How Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan and Republican Wall Street
Journal columnist Mike Murphy really talk when they think no one's
looking: "The most qualified? No. I think they went for
this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives. Every time the
Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and that's
not what they're good at, they blow it." (HuffPo) The morning
- "Earlier tonight, I don't know if you saw it,
Sarah Palin gave a tremendous speech to the Republicans, though some
are claiming it was actually her daughter's speech." --David
Sept 8: Gaffe-talk Express takes off
Sept 9: Have you seen the little piggies...?
Sept 12: Media Access
- And speaking of the
Palinista--SHE SPEAKS! Palin finally answers questions
from what McCain was really, really, really hoping would be a
sympathetic and softball Charlie Gibson on ABC. I know, Most of
you don't even want to watch-- you can
read the excerpts.
- Was Charlie tough enough? Ehn, coulda been more.
Did Sarah stumble?
She made Charlie a little testy, it's true, but she also
had her lines pretty well memorized. Still there were some obvious
bumps in the road. She kinda declared war on Russia (calling the
Georgian invasion unprovoked--um, those Georgians are nice and all,
but....even I wouldn't say "unprovoked"), couldn't figure out what
Bush's doctrine was, and yes, she STILL says "nukular."
Gloria Steinem compares the Palinista to Phyllis
Schlafly. But she also reminds us
"the culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of
change-envy, or a belief that women can't tell the difference
between form and content, but the main motive was to please
right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or
ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not
the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice
president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine." (LAT)
- If you watched TV last night, you know that
Charlie Gibson did something John McCain has never done: interviewed
Sarah Palin. --Jay Leno
Sept 13: Tina Fey Leads the Multimedia
Sept 17: An EXPERT on Energy Policy
- Heard at a town hall meeting, Grand Rapids,
MI--from Sarah Palin's lips:"Oil and coal? Of course, it's a
fungible commodity and they don't flag, you know, the molecules,
where it's going and where it's not. But in the sense of the
Congress today, they know that there are very, very hungry domestic
markets that need that oil first. So, I believe that what Congress
is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a
degree that it's Americans that get stuck to holding the bag without
the energy source that is produced here, pumped here. It's got to
flow into our domestic markets first."
Sept 20: Speed Dating Diplomacy and
Delusions/Illusions of Grandeur
Sept 23: Free Sarah Palin!
- Relations with the press have totally
deteriorated for the erstwhile "Straight Talk Express," McCain's
folks decided today that they wanted the world to see
photos of Palin looking presidential-like while meeting with
world leaders at the UN, but they didn't want any pesky
reporter-types actually asking her questions or going editorial
about her meetings. So they banned the editorial pool reporters from
covering the event, and planned to allow only a cameraperson.The
Media, who've been kept on a short leash around Palin, finally
rebelled. CNN (who had the designated pool cameraperson)
threatened to pull their crew entirely before McCain's
campaign relented. (NYT/HuffPo)
Palin worked her way up to answering FOUR whole questions from
Brown goes OFF on the McCain camp's sexism in shielding Sarah Palin
from the Big Bad Media: "Tonight I call on the McCain
campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower
that will wilt at any moment...you claim she is ready to be one
heart beat away form the presidency. If that is the case, then end
this chauvinistic treatment of her now."
Fox News reporters are starting to get testy about the
Palin Media Shutout.
- Though we saw an awful lot of
Joe Biden after the debate, commenting on how Barack
where was Governor Palin weighing in with her commentary
on her running mate's performance ?
- The National Review's blog "The Stump"
quotes Wolf Blitzer on CNN: "We've been getting some emails
from viewers out there wondering why we spent some time interviewing
Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee and not
Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee. We
would have loved to interview--we'd still love to interview
Sarah Palin. Unfortunately we asked, we didn't get that
interview...We're hoping that
Sarah Palin will join us at some point down the road."
- Why does Sarah Palin wear skirts whenever she's
campaigning? Because all her pants are on fire.
Sept 24: Mean Girl
not that we didn't know this about Sarah Palin, but David Talbot at
Salon recounts how
Palin's mayoral election in Wasilla took on tones of nastiness
that echo the current campaign. "According to some political
observers in Alaska, this pattern -- exploiting 'old-boy' mentors
and then turning against them for her own advantage -- defines Sarah
Palin's rise to power. Again and again, Palin has charmed powerful
political patrons, and then rejected them when it suited her
- Oh, and in case you're not
outraged enough about Palin's utter insensitivity as a
human being, note that while
Palin was mayor in Wasilla, the town began
charging rape victims for the costs of their own rape kits.
- Sarah Palin Troopergate Update: The Plank
pointed out that even the
AP newswire is getting snarky, putting out this lead in a story
covering the investigation: "Less than a week after balking
at the Alaska Legislature's investigation into her alleged abuse of
power, Gov. Sarah Palin on Monday indicated she will cooperate with
a separate probe run by people she can fire."
- The National Enquirer, which we never believed,
until they nailed the John Edwards story, releases the next "-gate"
on Governor Family-Values:
an affair with her husband's business partner.
- Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic sticks to
his guns on the
Twelve Lies of Sarah Palin. "Just for the record, I asked
an intern to go back and double fact-check the twelve documented
lies that Sarah Palin has told on the public record. These are not
hyperbolic claims or rhetorical excess. They are assertions of
fact that are demonstrably untrue and remain uncorrected."
- Craig Ferguson pointed out that it is very
strange that Sarah Palin had a tanning bed installed in the
governor's mansion, because the Republican Party is usually focused
on making their candidate as white as possible.
Sept 25: Ow. Hurts Brain.
BIG interview, with Katie Couric of CBS playing "Stump
the Candidate." Particularly delicious is the moment when
Couric asks Palin to cite "specific examples in [McCain's] 26 years
[in the Senate] of pushing for more regulation."
- More of
Katie interviewing Sarah Palin: COURIC: You've cited
Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy
experience. What did you mean by that? PALIN: That Alaska has a very
narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our
other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It--
it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I
don't know, you know? Reporters-- COURIC: Mock? PALIN: Yeah, mocked,
I guess that's the word, yeah. (HuffPo)
the special irony:
Alaska's governors DO often enjoy more contact with Russian
officials because Anchorage is the base for the
Forum, an organization representing leaders and
sub-leadership from countries around the Arctic Circle including
Russia, Finland, Iceland and Canada, Japan, China and South Korea.
The Seattle Times reports: "Yet under Palin, the state
government — without consultation — reduced its annual financial
support to the Northern Forum to $15,000 from $75,000, according to
Priscilla Wohl, the group's executive director. That forced the
forum's Anchorage office to go without pay for two months. Palin —
unlike the previous administrations of Gov. Frank Murkowski and Gov.
Tony Knowles — also stopped sending representatives to Northern
Forum's annual meetings, including one last year for regional
governors held in the heart of Russia's oil territory." Great.
Twenty years of glasnost down the drain. Plus, she
doesn't even have the brains to mention that this organization
exists when the Russia question comes up.
- The LA Times reports: "Soon after Sarah
Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she
startled a local music teacher by
insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on
an Earth created 6,000 years ago -- about 65 million years
after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct -- the teacher
said." That's TOTALLY true. I saw it on TV once.
Palin, going for the all-important Sleestack vote. It's paying off:
McCain is now polling at 52% among Sleestacks likely to vote.
- Is Sarah Palin qualified?" poll on PBS NOW's
I sent it out, and many of you have sent it to me. Well, the poll,
which only ran a week in early September on PBS' homepage,
became the single most viewed page on their entire site, even though
nothing links to it now that the homepage link is gone. But it's
remained so popular via email that
PBS was moved to post this notice. As many people noticed,
voting "da Chicago way" seemed to be entirely possible, and
apparently was until yesterday, when they embedded cookies so you
can only vote once per computer.
- "Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has many
views. She says she's opposed to same-sex marriage. Did you know
that? Yeah, Palin says everyone knows marriage isn't for gay people;
it's for pregnant teenagers." --Conan O'Brien
Sept. 26: Out of the Tank for Palin.
the National Review's Kathleen Parker, once "in the tank"
Sarah Palin, now says, "As we've seen and heard more from
John McCain's running mate,
it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick
study or not, she doesn't know enough about economics and foreign
policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should
conditions warrant her promotion."
- Over on Leno,
Wanda Sykes goes OFF on Sarah Palin. "They say, 'Oh, she's
meeting with the world leaders.' But there's no reporters. I'm like,
is she meeting with the world leaders, or did you take her to the
Epcot Center? Let her drink around the world? You know, because I've
done that. Maybe I should be Secretary of State..."
- "Well, it's a very strange political campaign. I
mean, out on the campaign trail, John McCain and Sarah Palin are
talking about how they stood up to the Republican party, they fought
the Republican establishment, and they battled Republicans. Their
message: vote Republican." --Jay Leno
Sept 28: Point/Counterpoint
- Whoopsie. McCain appeared on
George Stephanopoulos' show on Sunday on ABC, and um...
had to retract the statement his esteemed running mate made the
night before: "Saturday night, while on a stop for cheesesteaks in
Palin was questioned by a Temple graduate student about
whether the U.S. should cross the border from Afghanistan into
Pakistan. 'If that's what we have to do stop the terrorists from
coming any further in, absolutely, we should,' Palin said."
- Hmmm, that sounds familiar... wait, what was it
Barack Obama said during
Friday night's debate? "If the United States has al Qaeda,
bin Laden, top-level lieutenants in our sights, and Pakistan is
unable or unwilling to act, then we should take them out."
- At that point,
McCain, you might remember, said testily, "Now, you don't
do that. You don't say that out loud. If you have to do things, you
have to do things, and you work with the Pakistani government."
McCain, gently corrected Palin's statements:
"She would not…she understands and has stated repeatedly that we're
not going to do anything except in America's national security
interest," McCain told ABC's George Stephanopoulos of Palin. "In all
due respect, people going around and… sticking a microphone while
conversations are being held, and then all of a sudden that's—that's
a person's position… This is a free country, but I don't think most
Americans think that that's a definitive policy statement made by
- Palin is still PERKY [read, "adorably catty"]
Thursday's debate with Biden. "I'm looking forward to
meeting him, too. I've never met him before, but
I've been hearing about his Senate speeches since I was in, like,
in on the growing chorus of aghast conservatives, Ron Dreher, the
Crunchy Conservative, says, "Palin is mediocre, again, regurgitating
talking points mechanically, not thinking. Palin's just babbling.
She makes George W. Bush sound like Cicero"
- "Palin and McCain are a good pair. She's pro-life
and he's clinging to life." - Jay Leno
Sept 29: Pre-Debate
McCain and Palin, together again, fighting Gotcha
- Palin is safely tucked away prepping for debate
someplace in one of the McCains' three or four homes in
Sedona, AZ out of the
ten McCain homes
- In the Wall Street Journal they report
that "the McCain campaign aims to halt what it sees as
a perceived decline in the crispness and precision of Gov.
Palin's latest remarks as well as a fall in recent polls."
"'It's time to let Palin be Palin -- and let it all hang out,' said
Scott Reed, a Republican strategist."
- McCain' spokeswoman saying essentially that
if Gwen Ifill comes up with questions that are 60% foreign policy
and 40% economy that it's unfair to Palin.
Mitt Romney joins in with a backhanded defense:
"Look she wasn't selected by John McCain because she's an expert on
foreign policy." [Yeah. We got that.] "John McCain's the
expert on foreign policy..." [Um...he is? John, can you say "Ahmadinejad"
one more time?]
- And for flat out sputtering outrage, watch
Cenk Uygar go off on Palin's answer to Katie Couric regarding
Hamas. Cenk--who's admittedly on the biased side, like
me--is convinced Palin has NO IDEA who the Hamas is, and dontcha
know, I'm inclined to agree. He also suggests that if you put a map
in front of her, she couldn't tell you where the Gaza Strip is.
Entirely possible. Cenk wishes selecting a VP candidate were more
like gymnastics where you get a big ZERO score if you flub your
vault. Don't we wish.
- Still, Andrew Halcro, who debated Palin in the
governorship race in Alaska, warns ,"she's
a master, not of facts, figures, or insightful policy
recommendations, but at the fine art of the nonanswer, the
- Governor Sarah Palin began preparing Saturday for
Thursday's vice presidential debate against Senator Joe Biden at
Washington University in St. Louis. She has no intention of coming
in second. This time she's going to wear a two-piece swimsuit.
Sept 30: She's An [Nearly Illiterate,
Below-Average] American Girl (but she
- As part of their "media blitz" this week, Palin
went on the radio telling America about how she's just average
working class..."Todd and I, heck, we're going through that right
now even as we speak, which may put me again kind of on the outs of
those Washington elite who don't like the idea of
just an everyday working class American running for such an
- As HuffPo notes, it was the bastion of
conservativism, The Washington Times, that pointed out that
Palin is hardly working class: "A
check of financial records, though, shows the Palins live anything
but a common life when compared with their fellow residents of their
hometown of Wasilla. Their combined income of nearly a
quarter-million dollars last year was five times the median
household income for Wasilla's 7,000 residents. They own a
single-engine plane, two boats, two personal watercraft and a
half-million-dollar, custom-built home on a lake that is worth three
times the average of other homes in town. For the future, they also
have a 401(k) retirement account compliments of Todd Palin's years
as an engineer with oil giant BP." Hmmm, that wasn't what I meant by
- ANYway. Yes, it's true, just by reading my daily
rant, YOU can become More Qualified to Be Vice President than Sarah
Palin. From HuffPo: "Asked
what newspapers and magazines she reads, Palin - a journalism major
in college - could not name one publication. "I've read most
of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the
media," she said at first. Couric responded, "What, specifically?"
"Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all
these years." "Can you name a few?" "I have a vast variety of source
where we get our news," Palin said. "Alaska isn't a foreign country,
where it's kind of suggested, 'wow, how could you keep in touch with
what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up
there in Alaska?' Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of
America." Vast variety,eh? No, honey, _I_ have a vast
variety of sources. You have People Magazine.
- But with all the trash-talking about elitist
media, Palin had a little problem embedded in that question
(besides the obvious problem of being completely incurious about
Oct 2: Gotcha.
suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old rancher whose hand was
caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a
conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to
Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President.
The old rancher said, 'Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.' Not
being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post
The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road and
you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a
The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he
continued to explain.
'You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up
there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and
you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin
Memories...hurt the corners of my mind...
Beyond the Palin
ABC's recent poll indicated that
60% of Americans think Palin does not have the experience needed
for the job. 46% think she "understands complex issues," while
49 percent think she doesn't. Who--WHO are you,
you 46% who thinks she understands complex issues???? Even in her home
state, America's most popular governor is slipping, as everyone begins
to figure out that she's ignorant AND obnoxious. "McClatchy
reports today that her approval rating in her home state has tumbled
to 68% -- still high but surely not the country's best. The
poll by a local firm that works for both parties was taken Sept.
One more time before we go... I just LOVE looking at
that electoral map.
It occurs to me again, and with greater force how well Obama has
picked his team and how poorly McCain has chosen his. In the last
four weeks, Obama has sent his wife Michelle Obama to Allentown, PA
with Jill Biden, to Saginaw and Clinton townships in Michigan, to
Greensboro, NC. And of course, while he and Joe Biden have been
campaigning together in Virginia, he's also sent Joe out to major
swing states by himself -- because he can. I haven't seen Sarah Palin
(forget Todd) or Cindy McCain out there in Wisconsin stumping for
John--I don't think the campaign could possibly trust any of them out
So actually, it's no surprise (although it is
really, really pleasant to see) that Obama is opening leads in
key swing states. As reported yesterday, he's over 50% in Ohio,
Pennsylvania and FLORIDA according to Quinnipiac, but new polls from
CNN/Time reflect the same trend.
- Florida: Obama
51%, McCain 47%
- Minnesota: Obama
54%, McCain 43%
- Missouri: Obama
49%, McCain 48%
- Nevada: Obama 51%,
- Virginia: Obama
53%, McCain 44%
Obama is polling at his highest ever in the CBS/NYTimes poll: 49%
to McCain's 40%. This is the first statistically significant
lead he's taken in that poll. "The election cycle is entering a time
when voters historically begin to make final judgments; this year, in
fact, many of them are actually beginning early voting in states."
October 1, 2008 "Social Life Edition"
So with the House of Representative in
disarray, the Senate has decided to give things a go today. Obama,
McCain and Biden will be headed back to DC to vote on their version of
the bill I so carefully outlined yesterday. "I'll
see your $700 thousand million and raise you an FDIC limit of $250,000."
A few of my
favorite items for today-- always knowing there will be more tomorrow!
Stewart on The Daily Show
grabs the conch and goes OFF about Congress' inability to get
this bill done and that they're out for the Jewish holiday: "Listen up,
Congress! Get the F**K back to work! For the 'Jewish holiday' for God's
sake? How many Jews are even in Congress? Wall Street is open-- I'll
guarantee you they got more Jews on Wall Street than in Congress. I'm
here, The Daily Show is on, and I guarantee we have more Jews at
The Daily Show than Congress. So, get back to saving the economy
if you have to do it without Feingold and Lieberman so be it.
How about this? The Congressional delegations from Florida
and New York can sleep in. How about that? I mean seriously--Utah?
You're not coming in for Rosh Hashanah? Wyoming? My rabbi doesn't even
have the balls to take two days for Rosh Hashanah."
If you're looking for a little "laughing
while I'm crying moment,
here is McCain, versus McCain.
for flat out sputtering outrage, watch
Cenk Uygar go off on Palin's answer to Katie Couric regarding Hamas.
Cenk--who's admittedly on the biased side, like me--is convinced Palin
has NO IDEA who the Hamas is, and dontcha know, I'm inclined to agree.
He also suggests that if you put a map in front of her, she couldn't
tell you where the Gaza Strip is. Entirely possible. Cenk wishes
selecting a VP candidate were more like gymnastics where you get a big
ZERO score if you flub your vault. Don't we wish.
Here's a YouTube nugget I missed earlier
this year, a consumer calls up customer service to ask about the
Iraq War Charge on her bill.
And this morning Paula Poundtone put a homespun touch on the
financial crisis: "Gee, this stuff is hard to follow. I don't think I
even know how many zeros are in a trillion. But after listening to the
I realized I can't count on the powers that be to explain the nature
of the financial crisis, and it will be up to me to inform myself.
So I turned to It's A Wonderful Life for background on
liquidity and solvency, which would have filled me with hope if I didn't
have a bad feeling that we've already spent George and Mary Bailey's
Okay, this one's not really funny, per se, but it is very very
Five economists discuss the crisis at Princeton. (Hyun Shin,
Markus Brunnermeier, Harrison Hong, Paul Krugman, Alan Blinder) It's an
hour long, so don't click on this if you're in a hurry. But it's
extremely enlightening and well worth the time...
Hoisted with Her Own Petard
Rescue the post turtle. No,
no, no, not Sarah Palin, he mean the poor little turtle in the picture.
I love the joke. ('You know she didn't get up there by herself, she
doesn't belong up there, she doesn't
know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of
dumb ass put her up there to begin with.') But even so, it's becoming
clearer and clearer that the problem with comparing the turtle with
Palin is that the turtle didn't put herself up there... Sarah Palin did.
Free the Real Post Turtle.
little advance taste of the Thursday's event: a photo of Palin in
Sedona, prepping for the debate with a practice run with Randy
Scheuneman. In my fertile imagination, I picture this photo being
snapped in the long silence after a Palin answer, and then Randy
saying, "What the hell was that? Okay, okay [shakes head] ya
gotta focus, Sarah, ya gotta frackin' FOCUS IN."
Princeton Election Consortium points us to
a site where some technological whiz has created a
Markov chain-based model of Sarah Palin's interview answers. It uses
her existing public statements to construct a computer model of what
words/phrases would be likely to follow one another, then uses that
model to generate random answers. Kind of like a Sarah Palin Mad Lib.
It's frighteningly good.
Ask her a question!
But beware of falling down the rabbit hole...
So the real question, though, is how will Palin "play" in her debate
with Biden tomorrow? So far, consensus is that her performance in
interviews has been someplace between abysmal and disastrous. BUT
The New York Times has an interesting look at her previous debates.
(They also examine Biden's style, noting he'll have to guard againt
being "overbearing or condescending." Sorry, Joe, I know that's
nigh-on impossible given Palin's utter lack of any brains, but please
try.) While they see echoes of the peripatetic blather we've seen
before ("I can't tell you how much that will reduce monetarily our
health care costs, but competition makes everyone better, it makes us
work harder, it does allow reduction in costs, so addressing that is
going to be a priority."), there also hints of an "average person who
understood the average person's needs and would not be expected to
have detailed policy prescriptions." Lord help us. Why would we WANT
an "average person"? Should we want an ABOVE average person? Or is
that too intimidating?
Still, Andrew Halcro, who debated Palin in the governorship race in
Alaska, warns ,"she's
a master, not of facts, figures, or insightful policy recommendations,
but at the fine art of the nonanswer, the glittering generality."
As part of their "media blitz" this week, Palin went on the radio
telling America about how she's just average working class..."Todd
and I, heck, we're going through that right now even as we speak,
which may put me again kind of on the outs of those Washington elite
who don't like the idea of
just an everyday working class American running for such an
Up is down. Black is white. Thursday is Tuesday. As HuffPo notes,
it was the bastion of conservativism, The Washington Times,
that pointed out that Palin is hardly working class: "A
check of financial records, though, shows the Palins live anything but
a common life when compared with their fellow residents of their
hometown of Wasilla. Their combined income of nearly a
quarter-million dollars last year was five times the median household
income for Wasilla's 7,000 residents. They own a single-engine plane,
two boats, two personal watercraft and a half-million-dollar,
custom-built home on a lake that is worth three times the average of
other homes in town. For the future, they also have a 401(k)
retirement account compliments of Todd Palin's years as an engineer
with oil giant BP." Hmmm, that wasn't what I meant by "above average."
Former Dem strategist Paul Begala offers his ten rules about debates
on CNN (Thanks, Jackie for sending that along!) It's a sobering
reminder that actually knowing something isn't necessarily a
prerequisite oto good debating in this case. He observes:
"Politicians are a lot like Little Leaguers (although I don't think
I'd trust them with aluminum bats). They crave confidence.
And the more confident they are, the better they're likely to do."
To me, the question is not if Palin has confidence--she has loads...to
start with. But in just about every interview she's done thus far, we
see the same thing. At the outset, she's just dumb enough to think
she's smart, but then as you watch her keep on talking, you can also
see that she's just smart enough to gradually realize that she's dumb.
Yes, it's true, just by reading my daily rant, YOU can become More
Qualified to Be Vice President than Sarah Palin. From HuffPo: "Asked
what newspapers and magazines she reads, Palin - a journalism major in
college - could not name one publication. "I've read most of
them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media," she
said at first. Couric responded, "What, specifically?" "Um, all of them,
any of them that have been in front of me all these years." "Can you
name a few?" "I have a vast variety of source where we get our news,"
Palin said. "Alaska isn't a foreign country, where it's kind of
suggested, 'wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of
Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?'
Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America."
with all this
trash-talking about elitist media, Palin had a little problem embedded
in that question (besides the obvious problem of being completely
incurious about anything):
See, the problem with being your kind of maverick is that you don't
have any friends now--no lifelines, no one to help you, no one whose
name you'd be allowed to mention.
Hoisted with your own petard.
And is the McCain Campaign going "Jeff
Gillooly" on this debate? "PBS'
Gwen Ifill has broken her ankle
after tripping and falling down stairs at her home last night, a
NewsHour insider tells TVNewser. We're told Ifill had been
walking up a staircase, carrying research related to her moderating
duties at Thursday's Vice Presidential debate in St. Louis, when she
took a wrong step.We are also told the show will go on: Ifill is
planning to travel to Missouri for the big event." Stay tuned-- if
someone takes a whack at Gwen's knees, you know what happened.
Meanwhile, in the "Keep Your Eye on the Ball" Dept.:
Voter Fraud-- it's not just a slogan."You know it's going to be a
heated election when a state attorney general sues his own state agency for
not cracking down on voter fraud. But that's just what's happened in
Wisconsin. It's indicative of the kinds of legal challenges now being
brought in hotly contested states around the country. The outcomes of those
challenges will decide whose votes get counted and whose don't — and in a
race as close as this one, that could make all the difference."
Folks, I'm happy to see more and more projections turning North Carolina
in Obama's favor. The vaguely right-leaning RealClearPolitics has
quietly flipped it over to Obama with a 0.3 point lead, but I
think given Wachovia's fire sale to Citigroup last week, he may take a more
sizable lead in coming weeks. Wachovia's headquarters were in Charlotte,
and with 20,000 employees, they were the second largest employer in the
the Quinnipiac poll numbers are up in the most delightful way in three
big swing states: Ohio (50-42 Obama), Pennsylvania (54-39 Obama) and
Florida (Sit down for this, 51-43 Obama). But all this only says to me that
depserate parties will be working on desperate measures. It's time for
I leave things with this head-shaking moment from PunditKitchen:
September 30, 2008 "Oy Gevalt! Edition"
to the madhouse.
Bush is irrelevant.
McCain is irrelevant. Conservative Republicans are running wild
uncontrollable flash mob.
The Dow is in freefall.
US lost $1.2 trillion in market value. The
Nikkei plummeted 544 points on opening.
House Minority Leader John Boehner blames Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
John McCain blames Barack Obama. I'm thinking that I need to
start looking for John Galt's hidden valley in Colorado. I hope it's not on
a McCain property.
Oh, and McCain was all too happy to take the credit for "saving" the
bailout... until the vote failed and the Dow took a death dive 777 points. "Shortly
before the vote, McCain had bragged about his involvement and mocked Sen.
Barack Obama for staying on the sidelines. 'I've never been afraid
of stepping in to solve problems for the American people, and I'm not going
to stop now," McCain told a rally in Columbus, Ohio. "Sen. Obama took a very
different approach to the crisis our country faced. At first he didn't want
to get involved. Then he was monitoring the situation.' McCain, grinning,
flashed a sarcastic thumbs up."
Well, sadly for McCain, it seems Obama's demeanor is actually um... gaining
him points...Liz Sidoti of the AP weighs in with her analysis: "Barack
Obama's calmly assured response to the economic crisis and solid debate
performance have bolstered the view among voters that he is ready to be
chief executive, a crucial threshold he needs to cross to win the
Bedfellows, bugaboos and bailouts
As usual, the
New York Times comes up with a terrific graphic that
pretty much gives you all you need to know about who voted "no" and where
they come from. Scroll down to the recall, and note where the "no" voters'
districts are, and then compare to this
subprime meltdown and foreclosures map. I don't see as much
correlation to "swing states" as others do. I think it's more a
matter of how the bailout would play with your nearly-homeless
constituency. On the hand, those
voters don't have permanent addresses now and can be challenged at the polls,
so who cares what they think?
In the accompanying article they say ominously, "The collapse of the
proposed rescue plan for the teetering financial system was the product of a
larger failure — of political leadership in Washington —
at a moment when the world was looking to the United States to contain
the cascading economic crisis." Great. The whole world was waiting
for us and we screwed it up AGAIN.
So of course, like everyone else, I've been wondering about the
Andrea Mitchell reports that Newt Gingrich may have been up to his old
shenanigans (and Mike Barnicle hints perhaps
"Turned-Him-into-a-Newt" is thinking about a 2012 Presidential campaign...?)
but can we believe Andrea? I mean, she's obviously
"in the tank" for Alan Greenspan...oo-oof. I still think that
matchup is so weird. Even Ayn Rand called Greenspan "The Undertaker."
Man, I am so confused about this bailout bill. I'm American. Ordinarily, I
don't pay attention to actual details with more than .05% of my brain.
Usually, I can use the "Oh, I love/hate that movie critic" method. You
know, "Mick LaSalle loves that movie, so I know I'm going to hate it..."
So, call me knee-jerk, but that's how I generally grok political positions
too: Bush is "ag'in" it? I'm for it. Newt Gingrich is for it? I'm against
it. But this whole financial bailout issue has blown my logic circuits.
Here's a sampling of what I've gathered so far about this bailout proposal:
I am so confused.
Where is this bill?
Where's the text? [heavy sighing and eyerolling.] Aw
dang. I'm going to have to actually read the thing, aren't I? Where are
the Cliff Notes?
From Reuters, a summary of financial rescue legislation that circulated
among lawmakers on Sunday:
SUMMARY OF THE "EMERGENCY ECONOMIC STABILIZATION ACT OF 2008"
- Stabilizing the Economy:
The Emergency Economic
Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) provides up to $700 billion to the
Secretary of the Treasury to buy mortgages and other assets that are
clogging the balance sheets of financial institutions and making it
difficult for working families, small businesses, and other companies
to access credit, which is vital to a strong and stable economy. EESA
also establishes a program that would allow companies to insure their
- Homeownership Preservation: EESA requires the
Treasury to modify troubled loans - many the result of predatory
lending practices - wherever possible to help American families keep
their homes. It also directs other federal agencies to modify loans
that they own or control. Finally, it improves the HOPE for Homeowners
program by expanding eligibility and increasing the tools available to
the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help more families
keep their homes.
- Taxpayer Protection: Taxpayers should not be
expected to pay for Wall Street's mistakes. The legislation requires
companies that sell some of their bad assets to the government to
provide warrants so that taxpayers will benefit from any future growth
these companies may experience as a result of participation in this
program. The legislation also requires the President to submit
legislation that would cover any losses to taxpayers resulting from
this program by charging a small, broad-based fee on all financial
- No Windfalls for Executives: Executives who made bad
decisions should not be allowed to dump their bad assets on the
government, and then walk away with millions of dollars in bonuses. In
order to participate in this program, companies will lose certain tax
benefits and, in some cases, must limit executive pay. In addition,
the bill limits "golden parachutes" and requires that unearned bonuses
- Strong Oversight: Rather than giving the Treasury
all the funds at once, the legislation gives the Treasury $250 billion
immediately, then requires the President to certify that additional
funds are needed ($100 billion, then $350 billion subject to
Congressional disapproval). The Treasury must report on the use of the
funds and the progress in addressing the crisis. EESA also establishes
an Oversight Board so that the Treasury cannot act in an arbitrary
manner. It also establishes a special inspector general to protect
against waste, fraud and abuse.
Okay, I'm with you so far. What are the objections?
200 economists signed a letter outlining the following problems with
the bailout bill:
- 1) Its fairness. The plan is a subsidy to investors at
taxpayers' expense. Investors who took risks to earn profits must also
bear the losses. Not every business failure carries systemic risk. The
government can ensure a well-functioning financial industry, able to
make new loans to creditworthy borrowers, without bailing out particular
investors and institutions whose choices proved unwise
- 2) Its ambiguity. Neither the mission of the new agency nor
its oversight are clear. If taxpayers are to buy illiquid and opaque
assets from troubled sellers, the terms, occasions, and methods of such
purchases must be crystal clear ahead of time and carefully monitored
- 3) Its long-term effects. If the plan is enacted, its
effects will be with us for a generation. For all their recent troubles,
America's dynamic and innovative private capital markets have brought
the nation unparalleled prosperity. Fundamentally weakening those
markets in order to calm short-run disruptions is desperately
Other objections to the bill:
- No enforcement provisions for the oversight group that would monitor
Wall Street's spending of the $700 billion
- No penalties, fines or imprisonment for any executive who might
steal any of the people's money. No salary caps for executives of firms
that take taxpayer money
- Not enough protections for homeowners in this bill--it would not
force banks and lenders to rewrite people's mortgages to avoid
- Ambiguous language, using words like "suggested" when referring to
the government being paid back for the bailout. Vague language around
taxpayers getting equity; my guess is that many firms would get taxpayer
money without giving up equity.
- Automatic additional funding unless blocked by a supermajority. If
this is a bipartisan solution, why not require affirmative Congressional
action for additional funds?
Frankly, I'm exhausted. It's a good thing it's Rosh Hashanah. I need the
time just to catch my breath! I'm also really tired of sorting through
the lingo and the numbers and trying to wrap my brain around the whole
enormity of the concept. So I have some proposals of my own.
Mary Ellen's Emergency Financial Language and Concept Stabilization Act
Section 1. ORDER OF MAGNITUDE CLARIFICATION: We shall no longer refer to
1,000,000,000 dollars as $1 billion. This word has been so casually
tossed around that I believe the concept of a "billion" has become
conflated with a "million" in many peoples' minds. Going forward,
"billions" shall be called "thousand millions," so that we are all clear
that a "billion" is a MUCH MUCH larger number than a "million."
Section 2. MEANINGLESS NAMES MAY NO LONGER BE BESTOWED UPON RIDICULOUS
CONCEPTS: For example, "Credit Default Swaps", "Collateralized Debt
Obligations." If the "thingie of value" that you are talking about is
not actual paper money or coins, but is instead theoretical, then you
must name it using words that I can understand. Conceptual thingies of
value will now be termed "Woo-Woo Money."
Section 3. DON'T RUSH ME: If I need time and further explanation to
fully understand what's going on, Congress, the Preident and any elected
officials shall take HOWEVER MUCH TIME IT REQUIRES to explain it until I
understand. All night if need be. And into Rosh Hashanah.
Some of the
many cool interactive graphics I found at Portfolio.com on my
way through this rant:
Sarah Palin Salute to Schadenfreude
Couric's ratings at CBS MUST be going up.
This time, she gets Palin AND McCain -- and it's EVEN WORSE.
McCain says, "But,
look, I understand this day and age of "gotcha" journalism. Is that a
pizza place?" A pizza place. See? He shows that he understands
"gotcha" journalism by giving us a "gotcha" moment. I take it that
they're going to keep going on Katie's show until Sarah correctly connects
a subject with its appropriate predicate. Or at least until she can
connect any subject and predicate, forget about the right ones.
So, apparently, Katie Couric has even more footage of Palin and
she's holding out! Politico reports: "Of concern to McCain's
campaign, however, is a remaining and still-undisclosed clip from Palin's
interview with Couric last week that has the political world buzzing. The
Palin aide, after first noting how "infuriating" it was for CBS to
purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response
to a question about Supreme Court decisions.
After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss
any major court cases. There was no verbal fumbling with this
particular question as there was with some others, the aide said, but
rather silence." Oh COME ON! Free Sarah Palin!
while you're thinking about how TOTALLY READY Sarah Palin is to be a
heartbeat away from the presidency, consider Paul Krugman's 3 A.M. phone
call scenario. "It's
3 a.m., a few months into 2009, and the phone in the White House rings.
Several big hedge funds are about to fail, says the voice on the
line, and there's likely to be chaos when the market opens. Whom do you
trust to take that call?" Well, apparently you can't even trust
Sarah Palin to order a cheesesteak.
Ruth Marcus at WaPo thinks maybe McCain should debate Palin.
"McCain's fundamental argument in pursuit of the presidency is that he has
the background to do the job. He made this point again and again Friday
night. 'I've been involved, as I mentioned to you before, in virtually
every major national security challenge we've faced in the last 20-some
years. There are some advantages to experience, and knowledge, and
so therefore I picked a running mate who didn't have a passport two years
ago? Asked about that by Katie Couric, Palin explained that 'I'm
not one of those who maybe come from a background of, you know, kids who
perhaps graduated college and their parents get them a passport and a
backpack and say, "Go off and travel the world.'"'
Sarah Palin Vote of No-Confidence Lightning Round
- David Frum, conservative columnist: "I think she has pretty
thoroughly — and probably irretrievably — proven that she is not up to
the job of being president of the United States...Dan Quayle never in
his life has performed as badly as Sarah Palin in the last month."
- Jim Greer, the Republican chairman in Florida: "I think the Katie
Couric interview shows that she needs to be briefed more on certain
- Ron Carey, chairman of Minnesota's Republican Party: "Thanks to the
mainstream media, quite a low expectation has been created for her
- Mike Murphy, former McCain adviser: "She has the opportunity to undo
some of the damage with a very strong debate performance," he said.
"That's plausible. We'll just have to wait and see."
- Rick Wilson, a Republican consultant: "I think they ought to toss
her into the deep end from the outset; let her get it over quickly.
Everything else after that is, you've seen the elephant."
Traister at Salon and I agree: "I
guess I'm one cold dame, because while Palin provokes many
unpleasant emotions in me, I just can't seem to summon pity, affection or
remorse...When you don't take your own career and reputation seriously
enough to pause before striding onto a national stage and lying about your
record of opposing a Bridge to Nowhere or using your special-needs child
to garner the support of Americans in need of healthcare reform you don't
support, I don't feel bad for you. When you don't have enough regard for
your country or its politics to cram effectively for the test -- a test
that helps determine whether or not you get to run that country and
participate in its politics -- I don't feel bad for you....I don't want to
be played by the girl-strings anymore. Shaking our heads and wringing our
hands in sympathy with Sarah Palin is a disservice to every woman who has
ever been unfairly dismissed based on her gender, because this is an
utterly fair dismissal, based on an utter lack of ability and
readiness. It's a disservice to minority populations of every stripe whose
place in the political spectrum has been unfairly spotlighted as mere
tokenism; it is a disservice to women throughout this country who have
gone from watching a woman who -- love her or hate her -- was able to show
us what female leadership could look like to squirming in front of their
televisions as they watch the woman sent to replace her struggle to string
a complete sentence together."
Happier news from the LA Times. "Though more voters still see McCain as more knowledgeable,
Obama was seen as more "presidential" by 46% of debate-watchers,
compared with 33% for the Arizona senator. The difference is even more
pronounced among debate-watchers who were not firmly committed to a
candidate: 44% said they believed Obama looked more presidential, whereas
16% gave McCain the advantage. The Republican candidate also has lost
ground on several measures of voter confidence, including trust. After the
debate, 43% of registered voters who saw the event said Obama had more
"honesty and integrity," compared with 34% for McCain. A week ago, the
same voters were evenly divided, with each candidate winning the trust of
40% of respondents."
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Archived Political pages
Morning Cup of Sadness, but laughter
(in their own voices)
Plan for Change Ad: "For many of you, our
troubled economy isn't news."
DNC Acceptance 2008: "What the naysayers don't understand is that
this election has never been about me; it's about you."
Speech in Berlin: "People of the world – look at
Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history
proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as
Racism: "I chose to run for the presidency at
this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the
challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless we perfect
our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold
Launching his campaign: "By ourselves, this
change will not happen. Divided, we are bound to fail. But the life of a
tall, gangly, self-made Springfield lawyer tells us that a different
future is possible. He tells us that there is power in words. He
tells us that there is power in conviction. That beneath all the
differences of race and region, faith and station, we are one people. He
tells us that there is power in hope."
DNC Keynote 2004: "There's
not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United
States of America.
There's not a black America and white America and
Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America."
Al Gore: "We have a candidate whose
experience perfectly matches an extraordinary moment of transition."
"Like millions of Americans, they're asking questions as -- as
ordinary as they are profound, questions they never, ever thought
they'd have to ask themselves."
- Bill Clinton:
"People the world over have always been more impressed
by the power of our example than by the example of our power."
"We cannot let this moment slip away. We have
come too far and accomplished too much."
"All of us driven by the simple belief that the world
as it is just won't do, that we have an obligation to fight for the
world as it should be."
Ted Kennedy: "The work begins anew. The hope
rises again. And the dream lives on."
"From its very birth, our party has been grounded in
the notion of service, community, self-reliance..."
Sarah Palin: "I've learned quickly, these past few days,
that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite,
then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that
reason alone... Here's a little newsflash for those reporters and
commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion."
Mitt Romney: "What do you think Washington is right
now, liberal or conservative? Is a Supreme Court liberal or
conservative that awards Guantanamo terrorists with constitution
rights? We need change all right — change from a liberal Washington to
a conservative Washington."
Mike Huckabee: "Heck, I was in college before I
found out it wasn't supposed to hurt to take a shower."
"At exactly the right time, John McCain said, "We're all Georgians."
Joe Lieberman: " The
Washington bureaucrats and power brokers can't build a pen strong enough
to hold these two mavericks."
Fred Thompson: "She
has run a municipality and she has run a state. And I think I can say
without fear of contradiction she is the only nominee in the history of
either party who knows how to properly field-dress a moose."