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128 posts from August 2008

Aug 31 2008
Sarah Palin = Thomas Eagleton Comments (3)

41978707 Libertarian candidate Bob Barr just openly said on CNN that Sarah Palin may be an Eagleton, which obliquely refers to the pregnancy scandal. People, this shit is real.


Meanwhile, here is an excellent post with all the facts and all the speculation laid out.

The sad thing is it could be swept under the rug as a she said/everybody else said. However, since some law or other was probably broken (falsifying a birth certificate works), that can and will lead to an investigation, which can and will lead to people being sworn to tell the truth. The daughter can be counted on to lie, but could the doctor?

Then there is all that National Enquirer money floating around.

Something will pop on this. This week. Before she is confirmed as the nominee. The Republicans will either decide to brazen it out, assuming she's telling the truth/they will get away with it, or they will decide she is damaged goods and as bad as it is to pick another VP, will just brazen it out that way by saying the evil lib'ruls forced this and that poor, poor, wonderful lady...blahblahblah.

 
 
Pregnant Pause Comments (2)

I have to say, as crazy as it sounds, I really do think this loopy storyline about Palin pretending to be pregnant to help her daughter save face is at least...credible. In the above video, in which she "hikes" to work, she is at least seven months pregnant. And the stuff about her daughter, all that conjecture, was brought up in Alaska at the time—it's not the Democratic equivalent of all the Obama smears.

The main argument against this being plausible is: No way, the Republicans would've caught that!!! But don't forget—a Hail Mary pass is awfully hard to catch.

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Sarah Palin was...seven to eight months along here???

Please visit this site, where I got the above video. The nice guy is very fair-minded in saying Palin was a doll and yet that he didn't see any indication she was pregnant. Read the comments. If you think this pregnancy conspiracy theory is going away anytime soon, you're bonkers—yup, yup! There are reports that Bristol is the one always carrying the baby and that Bristol was with the baby during his naptime (feeding?) on the campaign trail).

UPDATE: The doctor who delivered Trig was given an appointment to a prestigious board by Palin. This same physician—Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson—is the person quoted in Alaskan media defending Palin's indefensible decision to continue giving a speech in Texas in the afternoon after having amniotic fluids leaking at 4:00 a.m. and then to fly back home to Alaska and drive allll the way back to their hometown of Wasilla for the delivery...


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The "smoking bump" photo; no idea when it was taken.

527361959_01cfb2ce17 Josh at Talking Points Memo had a one-word post the other day—"Eagleton." This refers to the disastrous choice of Eagleton as a running mate for George McGovern in the '70s. Eagleton was not vetted carefully because nobody wanted the job. So after accepting, it turned out he'd had mental-health issues and had gone through shock therapy. It was a killer, and he resigned from the ticket.

UPDATE: Here is an AP photo of Sarah pregnant with her first child. NO images of her during the final month of her pregnancy show her anything close to this large. In fact, NO images of her taken during her secret first seven months of pregnancy approach anything like this: FURTHER UPDATE: THIS IMAGE VERY LIKELY SHOWS PALIN ON THE LEFT, NOT PREGNANT. THE PREGNANT WOMAN IS LIKELY THE CURRENT MAYOR OF WASILLA. ODDLY, HER FAMILY PROVIDED THIS IMAGE TO THE NEWSPAPERS. PROBABLY, THEY ARE OLDER AND JUST THOUGHT THAT WAS THEIR DAUGHTER, GREAT WITH CHILD?)

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Debunked photo, above (Palin on left, not right).

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Wasilla's current mayor, Dianne Keller, who has not changed a bit—not even her clothes!

If this is what is going to happen with McCain, the upside of that is PHEW! I'd really be much happier with disgusting Tom Ridge, vacuous Tim Pawlenty, smarmy Mitt Romney or even back-stabbing (but liberal) Joe Lieberman on the ticket, if only because if they won, I would not have to kill myself. The downside of this is that McCain could try to claim the poor lady was drummed out of town for sexist purposes.

March 2008 immediately before announcing her pregnancy. Seven-plus months pregnant here, leaning forward with her legs crossed.

Here she is looking somewhat more pregnant (overnight!) after she announced she was expecting.


But the final word on how it would play out is she'd leave the ticket, someone else (who would have to be dumb at this point) would join it, Obama and Biden would just have to keep questioning McCain's rash judgment and we'd win anyway, by even more.

Amd_faye-palin I always felt McCain had lost it. But I can't take credit for ever having guessed he'd lost it by this much!

Speaking of babies and moms...Sarah's own mother-in-law refuses to endorse her! "I'm not sure what she brings to the ticket other than she's a woman and a conservative. Well, she's a better speaker than McCain!" OUCH!
 
 
Brothers In Arms Comments (3)

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Anthony Gayton's "Médina" in PREFmag (Juillet-Aout 2008) is an Arab fantasy (and a hair-lover's dream):

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Legally Brunette Comments (0)
Just one more, that I made myself:

Legally brunette sarah palin

Alaskans are in disbelief, and even Republicans there are saying things like, "She's old enough. She's an American citizen." They're also confirming she was never vetted.

Oh, and Palin's second speech was booed for praising Hillary Clinton.

Oh, and here's a great argument about how her unpreparedness will make every speech and every word out of her mouth a potential landmine.

Oh, and Mitt Romney is making no pretense that he thinks McCain has a chance.

(And I can't promise that Elle will be my last "Palin comparison"—it's like when a senator or congressman promises they're in favor of term limits but runs again and again anyway...) 
 
 
Down-Hill Comments (5)

 

So much fair criticism is piling up against Sarah Palin just within her first few days, it's hard for me to believe that even some of the unfair criticism will bring her enough sympathy votes to help McCain take the presidency.

Then again, this is America, where engaged voters chose Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks out of sympathy with or empathy for their utter lack of talent in spite of the fact that their medium was a talent show. So who knows!

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The first polls about her are extremely discouraging for the right. She could easily improve her standing with more public appearances that showcase her family and her plucky sense of humor, but I would think the first snapshot of her might even be the (glass) ceiling of her approval, based on excitement that a young woman was chosen.

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One of the few side-by-sides I hadn't seen yet—Judy Tenuta!

McCain and Palin may make their speeches from the disaster zone when Gustav strikes. This would seem to be as desperately obvious a pandering move as Palin's selection; we'll see if the public rejects it. It would be too easy for the Democrats to remind everyone that when Katrina hit, George W. Bush and John McCain were laughing it up and sharing McCain's birthday cake. Still, Palin could gain a lot from an impassioned, folksy speech.

Will she get Hillary's voters? Anti-choice, pro-guns...Not. Bloody. Likely.

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Alaska's leading papers have not only come out against Palin, they've said she is "not qualified" for the vice-presidency, let alone the presidency. 

Meanwhile, Obama and Biden are taking the high road for now, strategically avoiding trashing Palin while underscoring that which makes her selection ridiculous in Obama's answer for why he chose Biden:

 
 
Aug 30 2008
Nothing Comes Between His Calvins And Me Comments (0)

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PREFmag (Juillet-Aout 2008) offers Aaron Bruckner by Bell Soto as its coverboy. I can't tell if I'm older because I'm lusting after a 20-year-old, or because I mostly admire his full head of hair:

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Spiro Agnew + Harriet Miers = Sarah Palin Comments (8)


Some important facts to remember about Sarah Palin:

Mccain_palin3 How much does she let her religious point of view run her life? For context, note that she was a supporter of Pat Buchanan. Buchanan is a far-right-wing religious extremist out of step with most Americans (even most religious ones). Robert Wexler has pointed out that Buchanan has a terrible record on Israel, and could fairly be called a Nazi sympathizer for his opposition to trials for former Nazi officers and for once calling Hitler someone of "great courage." Should play great in Florida. Is it too late for Madonna to update her tour slideshow?

She favors the teaching of Creationism in public schools. The logic there is the world is sooo amazing to us, it must have been created by God

She is a member of the Assembly of God church, which for context would ring a bell to Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker fans. (This is also the church of the enormously popular Jonas Brothers, whom I know personally and like very much, but whom I would not necessarily vote into public office. Though with Sarah Palin paving the way, they might be tapped next cycle. I'm hopeful they won't endorse or appear to endorse her.)

She is, of course, the subject of a criminal probe. She may even be deposed soon. The results of the probe will come out in late October. If they are unfavorable, there would be no time to leave the ticket. But if they were very unfavorable and she still won, as some DailyKos commenters have suggested, she could resign as vice-president and that would allow McCain to have one of his original choices. 

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Can I get this as a T-shirt?

Palin also was the subject of a scandal when she replaced the man she fired with a man who had been guilty of sexual harassment in the past. Adding to the problem, she later admitted she'd known of the harassment charge, but hired him anyway:



She is anti-abortion. She may make an exception if the mother's life is in danger, but she does not make an exception for cases of rape...or incest. She may—and I can't find any evidence other than the fact that she's 44 with five kids—even be against birth control; there's a lot of conjecture about this already. But we already know her running mate is against it.

She was the mayor of Wasilla, a town of approximately 9,000. Juneau-parody She left the town in debt. In fact, she left the town with a debt equivalent to $3,000 per person. Her track record there has been somewhat white-washed already.

One of the first questions I had about Palin, after seeing her speak about having met McCain, was how well they know each other. Turns out they had met exactly one time before he invited her to one of his homes in Arizona, where he offered her the slot on his ticket. He's one good, hard cough away from leaving America in the hands of someone he's only met one time, who was never seriously (a few days' worth) vetted and whose experience consists of running a tiny town of a few thousand and 18 months as governor of one of the least-populated states.

People Magazine asked her if she's ready to assume the presidency if she has to: "Absolutely. Yup, yup. Especially with a good team around us."

There's no good reason to believe true conservatives like this selection. Case in point, David Frum of the National Post is not on board. Another case in point, the talking heads yesterday (for example, Kay Bailey Hutchison) could scarcely conceal their true feelings over this folly.

She is rabidly pro-gun, and pro-hunting. But she is also in favor of hunting brown bears at Katmai National Park, which is a place where bears have learned to trust humans (who visit them to photograph them daily). It's like shooting sitting ducks. Where is the sport in this?

She doesn't believe global warming is man-made.

Palin strongly opposes the classification of polar bears as "endangered," fearing it will get in the way of drilling for more oil in Alaska. How much does she believe in this? She sued the Bush Administration to try to get the polar bear off the list.

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Well, that's one explanation.

She has no idea what a vice-president does all day. McCain's campaign sees the vice-presidency—literally—as on-the-job training: "She's going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years."

She acknowledges sexism in the media coverage of Hillary Rodham Clinton, but still feels that for a female candidate to object to that very real sexism is "whining."

Issues
She has no strong opinions on Iraq, but would be a heartbeat away.

Her Wikipedia page was edited "68 times" the day before she was announced...all by the same person. Wouldn't it be so cool if it could be determined she did it herself? (One of the things deleted—her anti-gay stances are noted, but a notation that she has said she has gay friends was deleted.)

Most humorously, there is the possibility that her latest child—born with Down's Syndrome even though she knew he had this, bolstering her anti-abortion cred—may actually be her granddaughter. Shades of Chinatown.

Some conjecture:

Diddly If McCain thought he had a shot in hell of beating Obama, he never would have gone for this Hail Mary pass. This is noteworthy, because very few Democrats felt Obama had it in the bag prior to the Democratic National Convention. Hell, many still doubted him right up until this choice was made. (Of course, there is still doubt, but less.) He had at his disposal plenty of sane, solid Republican choices. If he were dead-set on a woman, he had Hutchison of Texas. My guess is he hated Mitt Romney too much, and that it had nothing to do with Romney's Mormonism, to invite him onto the ticket. I'm not sure why he went against Pawlenty, other than the gender thing. Others, including Hutchison, may very well have been asked and said no. But the fact remains, this was not a bold, maverick move—like choosing Joe Lieberman and pissing off the Democrats forever—this was naked desperation.

Think McCain was 100% behind her? Check him out as she spoke:

McCain Fidgeting As His Ridick VP Pick Speaks

It seems that Karl Rove got to McCain and showed him that the fundamentals of this cycle are so negative to Republicans that his only shot was to rile up the right-to-life and pro-gun lobbies. Those lobbies are single-issue voters. As long as they have their babies and their shotguns, they could not care less about national security, the economy or anything else that is all in God's plan. He may well gain some of their support, but I believe that after an initial, "Aw, leave the nice lady alone!" bump for her, as voters realize she is a religious nut with ethics issues on top of it, it will become even more crystal clear that she's just another neocon kook, and is indeed "more of the same."

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"Sorry...you're just not old enough for me, Sir."

Finally, I believe this risky selection shows another thing—there is no way that Karl Rove or anyone else connected to the McCain campaign has any truly juicy October-surpriseworthy news about Obama that they're sitting on. That means that no "whitey" tape, no Wright video, no homosexual affairs, none of that is currently sitting in a vault waiting for release. If that stuff were in hand with the McCain campaign, they would have no reason to go against McCain's personal wishes and choose Palin. He could have selected Tom Ridge (and lost the anti-abortion vote) or Joe Lieberman (ditto times 10), as he wanted to. So unless any damaging Obama material surfaces in the next 66 days—which could happen—I don't see a big, well-planned October surprise.

Part of the problem for the Republicans is they've already thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Obama, having assumed Reverend Wright and Michael Ayers and Tony Rezko would be enough. They were not, and now they're old news. Is it possible Obama has relatively few skeletons in his closet? Sure, why not. And maybe having fewer skeletons is what passes for what cynic label the Second Coming.

I, of course, _44971942_1697efc7-c3ab-4e46-a05c-06f3333f1b6c as an intelligent person despair at the fantasy of Sarah Palin in the White House. Even as a guest! But also as an intelligent person, I have to say I feel good about her selection. Polls will go up and down, but in the end, her partisan positions are not in line with the country's mood and her non-partisan flaws (inexperience and scandals) will outweigh her non-partisan virtues (down-to-earth, funny, relatable).

I don't think Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin will win or come close.
 
 
Guydar: Sweet 16 Comments (3)

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That Outfit Suits You Comments (2)

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"Men At Play" by Victor De Mello in Attitude (August 2008) has sexy businessmen modeling spiffy duds while perched on suitcases. It's an open-and-shut case:

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Aug 29 2008
Joe, Please Fill 'er In Comments (0)