Tag Archives: Sarah Palin

Beyond outrage

Up until this … before this outrage … I have thought of Sarah Palin merely as a joke.  Yes, she’s unqualified.  Sure, maybe even a little dangerous.  But all in all, I have considered her more a sick joke played upon the electorate by a cynical Republican party than the outrageous, hateful, despicable and dangerous politican I see her as this morning.  I’ll grant you that I’m running on almost no sleep and am prone to fits of hyperbole, but this from the Brian Williams interview has truly put me over the edge:

Brian Williams: Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist under this definition?

Sarah Palin: (Exasperated sigh.) There’s no question that Bill Ayers by his own admittance was one who thought to destroy our U.S. Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist. There is no question there. Now others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that it would be unacceptable to, I don’t know if you’re gonna use the word “terrorist” there.

In a diary on Daily Kos, Meteor Blades put it best:

Under the pre-Patriot Act definition of the law, William Ayers and many of his compatriots in the Weather Underground certainly qualify as terrorists. Unlike the abortion clinic bombers and assassins, however, subsequent to the townhouse explosion in which three Weathermen blew themselves up in March 1970, the Weathermen gave advance warnings of their attacks.

The anti-choice terrorists didn’t warn Dr. Barnett Slepian and Robert Sanderson (killed in 1998) or Dr. Jack Fainman  and another unnamed physician (wounded in 1997) or Dr. Hugh Short (wounded in 1995) or Dr. John Bayard Britton, James H. Barrett, Shannon Lowney and Leanne Nichols (killed in 1994) or Dr. Garson Romalis and five others (wounded in 1994) or Dr. David Gunn (killed in 1993) or Dr. George Tiller (wounded in 1993).

Nor did they give warnings in most of the more than 200 clinic bombings and arsons since 1993, the most recent an unsolved case in Albuquerque, N.M., in December 2007.

During the interview, as you can see above, John McCain sits with his hands folded. So does he agree with Palin? Does he interrupt and say anti-choice assassins and bombers are definitely terrorists? No. Can he not use the word “terrorist” when it comes to these murderers? No. Which should come as no surprise, because, 15 years ago, when he was still supposedly a maverick, he twice voted against a law to prohibit blockades, bombings and arsons at abortion clinics.


Many Americans oppose abortion and want Roe v. Wade overturned. They have pursued lawful means to obtain their ends. Extremists have pursued other means, willingly murdering and maiming in their crusade to crush women’s reproductive rights. Most law-abiding anti-choice Americans have condemned these extremists. But neither Sarah Palin nor John McCain will call them what they are. Palin is, in effect, giving these terrorists a wink and a nod. Pro-life, my ass.

I couldn’t agree more.



Filed under Sarah Palin

The Palin makeover, courtesy of the RNC

You may have heard by now that the RNC has dropped some major coin on revamping Ms. Sarah’s look (and apparently that of her fam, too).  Jeanne Cummings at Politico reports that they’ve paid $150,000 to high end department stores, including Neiman Marcus (at least $75k) and Saks Fifth Avenue (at least $49k).  The Politico also reports that the RNC spent $4,716.49 on hair and make-up … just in September.  Wanna bet that’s more than Joe the Plumber has spent at the barber in his lifetime? 

There are several angles we could explore on this:

1.  The RNC is walking the edge of legality on this one.  FEC rules prohibit these kinds of expenditures.  Now that they’ve been called on them, they’ve issued this statement from spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt, courtesy of the same Politico piece:

With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it’s remarkable that we’re spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses.  It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign.

I have to call bullshit here.  Would “all of the important issues facing the country right now” include such pressing topics as Bill Ayers?  Including whether or not Colin Powell’s endorsement was racially based?  With “all of the important issues facing the country right now,” it would seem that McCain would want to define himself instead of trying to redefine Obama over and over and over again.  Silly me.

2.  The expenditures provide a rather glaring contrast between the two campaigns.  As Politico reports:

A review of similar records for the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee turned up no similar spending.

You’ll recall that Michelle Obama shops at the Gap and White House / Black Market, where she purchased the $100 dress she wore for her appearance on The View.  Now, I’m not suggesting that Michelle doesn’t buy designer, but the DNC doesn’t do it for her.  And then, of course, there’s this famous pic of Barack:

Surely he’s gotten some new shoes by now.  But they clearly weren’t paid for by the DNC.

3.  Even if it were legal for the RNC to remake its candidate to be more marketable (and its absolutely not … no spending of campaign money on items for personal use allowed), it ought to be completely out of bounds to spend campaign cash … especially publically financed campaign cash, I should think … on members of the candidate’s family:

The entries also show a few purchases at Pacifier, a top notch baby store, and Steiniauf & Stroller Inc., suggesting $295 was spent to accommodate the littlest Palin to join the campaign trail.

An additional $4,902.45 was spent in early September at Atelier, a high-class shopping destination for men.

4.  Final question for Palin:  Is this how “real Americans” shop?

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Palin booed on ice?

You make the call:

From The New York Times hockey blog:

When Sarah Palin dropped the ceremonial first puck at the Flyers’ opener on Saturday night at the Wachovia Center, she was greeted by resounding (almost deafening) boos.

From FoxSports:

The City of Brotherly Love gave Palin a mixed welcome — some fans booed, some stood and cheered — at the Wachovia Center before the Flyers started their season against the New York Rangers.

By the by, how long do you think it will be called the “Wachovia Center?”

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Frank Rich: Call off the dogs

The calls for the McCain campaign to rein it in, to understand the violence they could be inciting, are growing from shouts to screams.  Frank Rich has an Op-Ed in the New York Times this morning raising the din.  He calls us to remember those ladies in the beauty shops in South Carolina who said before the primaries that they loved Sen. Obama, but couldn’t vote for him because they were afraid he’d be killed.  Their non-vote was to protect him; they’d pray for him instead.  He reminds us that Obama received secret service protection way earlier than any other candidate, in May 2007.  And then he reminds us how we all graduallly learned to accept that we had changed; that he was safe.

But that was then.  That was before the McCain campaign went racist.

From the start, there have always been two separate but equal questions about race in this election. Is there still enough racism in America to prevent a black man from being elected president no matter what? And, will Republicans play the race card? The jury is out on the first question until Nov. 4. But we now have the unambiguous answer to the second: Yes.

McCain, who is no racist, turned to this desperate strategy only as Obama started to pull ahead. The tone was set at the Republican convention, with Rudy Giuliani’s mocking dismissal of Obama as an “only in America” affirmative-action baby. We also learned then that the McCain campaign had recruited as a Palin handler none other than Tucker Eskew, the South Carolina consultant who had worked for George W. Bush in the notorious 2000 G.O.P. primary battle where the McCains and their adopted Bangladeshi daughter were slimed by vicious racist rumors.

And that was before the McCain campaign decided to try and convince the American people that Barack Obama, Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States, is a terrorist:

By the time McCain asks the crowd “Who is the real Barack Obama?” it’s no surprise that someone cries out “Terrorist!” The rhetorical conflation of Obama with terrorism is complete. It is stoked further by the repeated invocation of Obama’s middle name by surrogates introducing McCain and Palin at these rallies. This sleight of hand at once synchronizes with the poisonous Obama-is-a-Muslim e-mail blasts and shifts the brand of terrorism from Ayers’s Vietnam-era variety to the radical Islamic threats of today.

That’s a far cry from simply accusing Obama of being a guilty-by-association radical leftist. Obama is being branded as a potential killer and an accessory to past attempts at murder. “Barack Obama’s friend tried to kill my family” was how a McCain press release last week packaged the remembrance of a Weather Underground incident from 1970 — when Obama was 8.

The question now is what kind of country are we?  Are we the kind that rewards this kind of rhetoric?  Or are we the kind that shows we have, indeed, risen above?  I hope we are the latter.


Filed under Barack Obama, John McCain, McCain Campaign, Racism, Sarah Palin

John Lewis knows of which he speaks

John Lewis knows.  John Lewis was there.  When John Lewis speaks to issues of violence incited by racial hatred, people should listen.  John Lewis is speaking now, to the McCain / Palin camp.  Unfortunately, McCain is swatting him away like a bothersome fly.  He should not be so cavalier. 

Here is what John Lewis had to say, tried to remind us:

George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights.  Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.

Here’s McCain’s response:

I am saddened that John Lewis, a man I’ve always admired, would make such a brazen and baseless attack on my character and the character of the thousands of hardworking Americans who come to our events to cheer for the kind of reform that will put America on the right track.

And then McCain called on Obama to disavow Lewis’ remarks.  Character, Sen. McCain?  Where?

**Update:  Via spokesman Bill Burton, here is the Obama campaign’s response:

Sen. Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies.

But John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night, as well as the baseless and profoundly irresponsible charges from his own running mate that the Democratic nominee for president of the United States ‘pals around with terrorists.’

As Barack Obama has said himself, the last thing we need from either party is the kind of angry, divisive rhetoric that tears us apart at a time of crisis when we desperately need to come together. That is the kind of campaign Sen. Obama will continue to run in the weeks ahead.

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Filed under Barack Obama, John McCain, Racism, Sarah Palin

Report from Alaska

The Troopergate findings apparently show that Sarah Palin abused her power as Governor of the state of Alaska in the matter of the dismissal of Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.  While the bi-partisan board which conducted the investigation cannot prosecute the unlawful action, they can make a recommendation on criminal proceedings.  Commissioner Monegan now also has, it seems, plenty of ammunition for a wrongful termination suit, at the least.

The political implications of this are enormous.  We’ll see how it plays out over the next 24 hours.  Let’s all remember that the board which conducted this investigation was bi-partisan.  They unanimously agreed to investigate and they unanimously agreed to release the findings to the public.  That’s probably the end of the bi-partisanship in this matter, dontcha think?

**Update:  You can read the entire report here.

***Update:  I said yesterday that the decision to release the report was unanimous.  Apparently, that’s innacurate, based on reporting from MSNBC this morning:

After a court fight to block the report failed, the panel of lawmakers voted to release it — though not without dissension. The panel did not vote on whether to endorse its findings.

“I think there are some problems in this report,” said Republican state Sen. Gary Stevens, a member of the panel. “I would encourage people to be very cautious, to look at this with a jaundiced eye.”

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I’m buying beans

Yeah, pretty much.  I’m buying beans.  And rice.  And ramen.  And I think I’ll pull out that sewing machine and finally learn to use it.  I’m not kidding.  I’m freaking out.

The market fell an astounding 678.91 points today, putting us down about 40% from where we were this time LAST YEAR.  We dropped over 7% TODAY.  I’m not one to freak out about these things, y’all … really, I’m not … but I’m now officially freaking out.

GM hit its lowest in 60 years and is facing a possible credit downgrade.

Oil prices are the lowest they’ve been this year.  OPEC is planning an emergency meeting in November to deal with decreasing demand.

Let’s ask ourselves this, please:  who do we want dealing with this come January?  Do we want someone who graduated third from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy (that would be McCain) or a Harvard Law graduate (Magna Cum Laude) who was President of the Law Review?  Hmmm …. lemme think.  That’s just not a contest.  I’ll take the intellectual (yeah, Obama) ANY … DAY.  And do I want a VP who went to four different colleges before squeaking through or someone who made it through the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science?  Gee willikers, that’s a hard one!  Come on ….

When, pray tell me, did it become a crime in this country to be smart?  When did we decide that being visceral was preferable to being intellectual?  Do you see that bomb up there?  That’s your retirement and my kids’ college savings and maybe even our jobs.  We need someone with brains to deal with this.  We need a team of people who know more than we do, who are smarter than we are, who, frankly, are too damn smart to sit in a bar and have a beer with the likes of us to deal with this mess.  We don’t need John and Sarah, we need Obama and Biden.

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What would Hannity say?

I got an email this morning asking this:

Why is Bimbo Palin parading her pregnant daughter around on the stage while she campaigns? Is she trying to “reach out” to  America’s youth with this blatant exhibition?  
Can’t you just hear the shrilling of Limbaugh, OReilly and Shaun (sic) if Barack did that?
Those “family values” people have neither shame or morality. 

Thought, folks?

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I wish I had been right

You know how I said there was really nothing to talk about this morning ahead of the debates?  I wish I had been right.  From HuffPo this morning:

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank reported an incident at a Palin rally that should open America’s eyes to the central role violent rhetoric now plays in the McCain campaign. Milbank describes how Palin told the crowd in Florida that Obama has close associations with a terrorist who sought to bomb the Pentagon and the U.S. Capital, in response to which the crowd responded with a threat on  Sen. Obama’s life:

“Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers…And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'” she continued.

“Boooo!” the crowd repeated.

“Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.

“Kill him?”  At another rally, McCain asked, “Who is the real Barack Obama,” and received the answer, “terrorist” from his crowd.  This is, of course, the answer the right has been feeding its faithful for a year now.  No matter how many times these accusations are debunked, as HuffPo points out, with the current stump speech of Sarah Palin, they now have the endorsement of a US Governor and VP candidate.  This is irresponsible and wreckless and shows the lack of foresight, lack of seeing things out to their possible conclusions that we can ill afford in the country’s highest executives.


Filed under Racism

Here they are: Palin’s doodles

Courtesy of The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber, we have some of Sarah Palin’s doodles.  These were done in 1996 on the back of an old Wasilla city budget. 

The question, of course, is what this says about Gov. Palin.  Everyone seems to have their own opinion.  Here’s the breakdown from TNR:

… on the back of which Palin doodled and brainstormed her potential mayoral campaign themes (“time for a change,” “you would be my boss!”) and qualifications (“life-long alaskan,” “NRA supporter,” “taxpayer!”). Read the fine print on this 1996 document; it’s a fascinating glimpse into how she thought she could best present herself to the Wasilla electorate.

BAGnewsNotes draws an interesting line between these doodles and the VP debate:

If you notice, the passage not only relates to City Hall business, but specifically to the budget.  I’d be willing to bet — if a transcript could be found from that City Council meeting — that Palin spoke these three complete sentences out loud to the council after writing them down for herself.  Supporting the assumption, notice how Palin actually encloses the sentences in quotation marks; adds guidelines for emphasis with underlines and exclamation marks; adopts a rhetorical confrontational tone; and also ends with emphatic punch.

Now, compare the strategy suggested by this twelve-year-old sample with how Palin dealt with the Biden debate.

Given how Palin was eagerly writing almost every moment she wasn’t speaking; and given that she and Biden were allowed pen and paper but weren’t allowed to bring pre-written notes; and given that most of her responses also ended with an emphatic punch (or a “zinger,” as she called it); and also given that throughout the transcript of the V.P. debate, you can see instances where Palin sounds more coherent for a sentence or two before descending back into disjointed fragments or sentences without clear beginnings, middles or ends, it seems reasonable to assume that Palin — having some kind of confidence problem, perhaps — approaches most extemporaneous speaking by either a.) avoiding it altogether, b.) having everything written out in advance, or c.) relying on rote memory, and scripting as much as possible on-the-spot.

What’s your opinion?



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