PA Laughs at Fox News

Fox News just can't get a break this cycle.  In this video a reporter takes a poll of the room and only Obama supporters respond.  He reports "an even split here," to which people guffaw:

It's never good when your subjects laugh at you on camera.

Anchorage Daily News on TrooperGate

Anchorage Daily News, skewering Palin with her own words on TrooperGate.  Brilliant video from a local news organization.  Thank goodness for ADN.


Awesomest Post Debate Poll EVER

This is teh most awesomest evah!
This is a fascinating nugget:The CBS poll of undecideds has more confirmatory detail. Obama went from a +18 on "understanding your needs and problems" before the debate to a +56 (!) afterward. And he went from a -9 on "prepared to be president" to a +21.


Competing Visions of Debate Prep

This is just precious.

McCain's going to prepare for the first debate with a nap, and Obama will prepare with a workout.

George Will Blast McCain Again

When George Will is attacking the Republican candidate, you know there's something badly wrong:
Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated. This childish reflex provoked the Wall Street Journal to editorialize that "McCain untethered" -- disconnected from knowledge and principle -- had made a "false and deeply unfair" attack on Cox that was "unpresidential"

In any case, McCain's smear -- that Cox "betrayed the public's trust" -- is a harbinger of a McCain presidency. For McCain, politics is always operatic, pitting people who agree with him against those who are "corrupt" or "betray the public's trust," two categories that seem to be exhaustive -- there are no other people.

Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either.

It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed? "
I've always loved George Will.  It's nice when he reaffirms that affection with his brand of sane, old-school conservatism.


Powell Smacks McCain

Powell says that Georgia provoked this conflict foolishly, and if they had been advised differently by the people they were talking to it might have been avoided.  Remember, McCain was talking to the Georgian President "every day."

He says that "one of our candidates" jumped in on one side of the conflict "inappropriately" and "emotionally."

I can't wait for his endorsement of Obama.

Uncovered - The Truth about the Iraq War

This documentary chronicles many of the reasons I was against the Iraq War before it began.

Released in 2003, most of this stuff was publicly knowable within hours of Powell's UN presentation.


McCain Supports Torture

Let's remember that, despite the credit Obama wants to give McCain on the issue, McCain does support torture.  As long as the right people are doing it.
While McCain deserves credit for the landmark 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform bill, the only other major law on which his office says his "name appears" (Palin's standard) is the "McCain Amendment" prohibiting torture in the armed forces. But that has little meaning because of a bill this year, supported by McCain, that allows torture by the CIA. Under longstanding government practice, military intelligence officers can be temporarily designated as CIA officers ("sheep-dipped" is the bureaucratic lingo) when they want to go off the Army field manual. In other words, the government can still torture anyone, any time. McCain caved on an issue he insists is a matter of principle.
Obama is far too gracious on this point.  Of all the issues McCain should be an expert on, torture is the most viscerally personal.  A man that gave a false confession under torture should know better.

Cry me a River!

Wow.  This guy needs some political lessons on the subject of playing on people's sympathies.
"A lot of those people will have to sell their homes, they're going to cut back on the private jets and the vacations. They may even have to take their kids out of private school," said [Robert] Frank. "It's a total reworking of their lifestyle."...."It's going to be very hard psychologically for these people," Frank said. "I talked to one guy who had to give up his private jet recently. And he said of all the trials in his life, giving that up was the hardest thing he's ever done."
"Of all the trials in my life, giving up my private jet is the hardest."  Wow.  Just wow.


Hagel Smacks Palin and McCain Around

Good old Chuck Hagel:
WASHINGTON - Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel said his party's vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, lacks foreign policy experience and called it a "stretch" to say she's qualified to be president.


Could Palin lead the country if GOP presidential nominee John McCain could not?

"I think it's a stretch to, in any way, to say that she's got the experience to be president of the United States," Hagel said.
Listening to him is like reminiscing about the days when Republicans were sane, before the Christianists and NeoCons took over.
McCain and other Republicans have defended Palin's qualifications, citing Alaska's proximity to Russia. Palin told ABC News, "They're our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska."

Hagel took issue with that argument. "I think they ought to be just honest about it and stop the nonsense about, 'I look out my window and I see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia,'" he said. "That kind of thing is insulting to the American people."


Book Banning confirmed.

Despite Palin's assurances to the contrary, we've got confirmation that she sought to ban books from the Wasilla library.
Witnesses and contemporary news accounts say Ms. Palin asked the librarian about removing books from the shelves. The McCain-Palin presidential campaign says Ms. Palin never advocated censorship.

But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book "Daddy's Roommate" on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.

"Sarah said she didn't need to read that stuff," Ms. Chase said. "It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn't even read it."
Well of course she didn't read it. Being gay is a choice, remember, so you must insulate yourself from any exposure, lest the siren song of homosexuality lure you into Teh Gay!


They Lie about EVERYTHING

It's all mythology with these guys. This is just like the Palin teleprompter lie.
Senator John McCain has drawn some of the biggest crowds of his presidential campaign since adding Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to his ticket on Aug. 29. Now officials say they can't substantiate the figures McCain's aides are claiming.

McCain aide Kimmie Lipscomb told reporters on Sept. 10 that an outdoor rally in Fairfax City, Virginia, drew 23,000 people, attributing the crowd estimate to a fire marshal.

Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it. Wilson, in an interview, said the fire department does not monitor attendance at outdoor events.

In recent days, journalists attending the rallies have been raising questions about the crowd estimates with the campaign. In a story on Sept. 11 about Palin's attraction for some Virginia women voters, Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher estimated the crowd to be 8,000, not the 23,000 cited by the campaign.

``The 23,000 figure was substantiated on the ground,'' McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said. ``The campaign is willing to stand by the fact that it was our biggest crowd to date.''

``Since day one, this campaign has been consistent that we're not going to win or lose based on crowd size but the substance of John McCain's record,'' Bounds said.

Town Hall Meetings

Until Palin, 44, joined him on the campaign trail, McCain, 72, had limited his political events to smaller town hall meetings and rallies of a few hundred people. His Democratic rival, Barack Obama, an Illinois senator, routinely draws thousands of people to his speeches, a phenomenon McCain has tried to use to his advantage by labeling Obama, 47, a celebrity.

That changed on Aug. 30, at Palin's first big public appearance after her nomination. The McCain campaign said 10,000 people showed up at the Consol Energy Arena in Washington, Pennsylvania, home of the Washington Wild Things baseball team.

The campaign attributed that estimate, and several that followed, to U.S. Secret Service figures, based on the number of people who passed through magnetometers.

``We didn't provide any numbers to the campaign,'' said Malcolm Wiley, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service. Wiley said he would not ``confirm or dispute'' the numbers the McCain campaign has given to reporters.

They are pathological liars. They lie even when they must know they'll be caught. I ask you, why would the fire marshall care about a gathering outside?

McCain Says Palin is Unqualified

McCain says mayors and short-term Governors are not ready to be President, smacking Palin in the process:

This was during the primaries, of course. After the pick of Palin for VP the experience argument has really been off the table.

Palin's Lies about Travel

My god. I think we're far into territory where any Democrat would be branded "pathological."

When the McCain campaign was first asked about Sarah Palin's foreign policy credentials one of the questions was what international travel she had done? What countries she had visited in the one year she has held a passport? They listed four countries. Iraq, Kuwait, Ireland, and Germany.

We found out first that she only refueled in Ireland. I myself have been through Narita a half dozen times, but that does not mean I've visited Japan.

Well, it turns out we can strike another off the list. The commander of the Alaska National Guard unit that facilitated her visit says she never went into Iraq.  So during her "trip to Iraq" she never actually crossed the Kuwait border. Fully half of her stated visits to other countries were lies.


Palin Admits Lying about Bridge

Palin even lies in this little clip! At 25 seconds in she says she was wearing a shirt with a zipcode of the community. But it also says NOWHERE. It's a shirt supporting that earmark, plain and simple.

One Heartbeat Away

She hasn't spent any time in the last 7 years so much as thinking about international issues. She's been more worried about making sure Alaska was a strong state for the endtimes. You know, attempting to ban books about The Gay, making sure she knows how to shoot a gun and field dress a moose, and being anointed with protection from witchcraft.

McCain's choice for VP is the most reckless in presidential history.  He is temperamentally unfit to be President.


Lying about Factcheck! Wow.

McCain is now airing an ad saying FactCheck called Obama's attacks dishonest.  Of course, FactCheck was actually on Obama's side, not criticising him.
A McCain-Palin ad has FactCheck.org calling Obama's attacks on Palin "completely false" and "misleading." That's what we said, but it wasn't about Obama.

Our article criticized anonymous e-mail falsehoods and bogus claims about Palin posted around the Internet. We have no evidence that any of the claims we found to be false came from the Obama campaign.

The McCain-Palin ad also twists a quote from a Wall Street Journal columnist. He said the Obama camp had sent a team to Alaska to "dig into her record and background." The ad quotes the WSJ as saying the team was sent to "dig dirt."
It's stunning arrogance, thinking that you can lie about the organization whose job it is to call out lies.

Palin and Rape Kits

We now have some confirmation of the story of Palin's town charging victims of sexual assault for their own rape kits.
"There was one town in Alaska that was charging victims for this, and that was Wasilla," Knowles said

A May 23, 2000, article in Wasilla's newspaper, The Frontiersman, noted that Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies regularly pay for such exams, which cost between $300 and $1,200 apiece.

"(But) the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests," the newspaper reported.

It also quoted Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon objecting to the law. Fannon was appointed to his position by Palin after her dismissal of the previous police chief. He said it would cost Wasilla $5,000 to $14,000 a year if the city had to foot the bill for rape exams.
Protection from the law based on your ability to pay for it.  Free market police forces!  Wait... doesn't that sound a lot like the Mob?

Reinvigorated Militias

Counting my chickens before they hatch, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that by this time next year a swath of the political right will realize the horrific thing they have given birth to by supporting President Bush's expansion of Executive Authority. Revoking Habeas Corpus for American citizens renders all other rights moot, for you cannot exercise them from jail. As Churchill said, holding a man without charge or trial "is the foundation of all tyranny."

Remember the Militias from the 90s? Remember how those rugged individualists stockpiled weapons and acted all menacing? Remember how it all culminated with the most deadly terrorist attack on American soil to that point - the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma by a small group of right wing zealots.

They will be back. Here's hoping the first thing they agitate for is the impeachment of George W. Bush. That's the only way they'll be able to win their liberty back for themselves. Barring that we'll have to rely on Obama being the rarest of Presidents - one who diminishes the power of his office.

Whistleblower on McCain and Cindy

Oh dear. The full writeup is here.

Short version: McCain intervened to prevent a federal investigation into his wife's protracted theft of prescription medication from a charity.

Latest Bush Admin Scandal - Sex and Drugs for Oil

There have been so many scandals during the Bush Administration that no one pays attention anymore. We just found out yesterday that the Bush Administration Department of the Interior has been engaged in widespread corruption. You'd think that trading sex and cocaine for oil leases would raise people's eyebrows.

I'm sure the rules will be the same under an Obama Administration.

Update: Yglesias ads that these are the same people who will be overseeing our new plan for energy independence, offshore drilling! Woooooo, offshore drilling! $0.08 discount in 20 years! Woooooo, energy independence!

Our Liberal Media

Joe Scarborough, former Republican Congressman, on the supposedly liberal MSNBC:
MATTHEWS: Now, it'll die, as we said, it'll jump the shark. Two days ago, no, we're all talking about -- you're waving the tabloids around, come on. Two days from now -- I want to ask you, what will we talk about two days from now?

SCARBOROUGH: Whatever the McCain campaign wants us to talk about, because the McCain campaign is assertive.
That's about right.

Kevin Drum Reads National Review

It's a morning full of right-wing blog reading! We do it so you don't have to. Kevin Drum:
Just now, however, I happened to surf over to The Corner for the first time in a day and it was....instructive. The very first mention of lipstick-gate was a brief link at 6:53 pm. This was followed by a couple of straight reax posts and then this from Yuval Levin:
Does anybody really think Obama meant to call Sarah Palin a pig? Come on. Can this really be worth anyone's time?
Of course not! That's just dumb! This was then followed by an avalanche of 31 separate posts on the subject in less than 24 hours. Turns out it was worth NR's time after all. And make no mistake: after a couple of hours of momentary confusion about whether they could get away with it, they decided that Obama had indeed meant to call Sarah Palin a pig. By early this morning everyone was obediently on board, the chum was in the water, and the moral dudgeon was so thick you could stir it with a stick. In fact, their only real argument was over how Palin should handle things: attack back or play it cool? (For the most part, they decided cool was the way to go.)

And that, my friends, is how it's done in the big leagues. It's the noise machine at work.
What do you bet that Charlie Gibson asks Palin about this lipstick thing in her first interview with the media? There goes 2 precious minutes of question time. Tack a question about sexism to that, and you've got 4 minutes controlled!

RedState Check-in II

I know, I'm going for a lot of punishment today:
Just yesterday, Obama's "lipstick" remark came at the end of a riff he swiped from Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles.
That link goes to NewsBusters, which, I assure you, is above bias. /sarcasm. There the claim is made that Obama used the quote without attribution, even though the only reason I know Toles' name is from hearing it from Obama's mouth. NewsBusters uses as its source the Free Republic - the original Republican online forum where they can "freely express themselves" by calling people fags, spics, and generally unAmerican. Good stuff.

At the Free Republic thread referenced by this "News" organization, they are shocked, shocked to find that other people have used the phrase "Lipstick on a pig" before Obama did! Clearly, Obama plagiarized this line!

Or, you could do just a bit of critical thinking, remember Occam's razor, and postulate that maybe "Lipstick on a pig" is just a colloquialism that millions of Americans know and use. Either that, or Obama is plagiarizing from millions! We report, you decide!

RedState.com Check-in

Under the title: Everything You Need to Know About Why Voting Obama is a Crap Decision.
The survey of 16,063 people in 17 nations found majorities in only nine countries believe al Qaeda was behind the attacks on New York and Washington that killed about 3,000 people in 2001.
More than 22,000 people were questioned by pollster GlobeScan in countries ranging from Australia to India and across Africa, Europe and South America. The margin in favour of Senator Obama ranged from 9 per cent in India to 82 per cent in Kenya, while an average of 49 per cent across the 22 countries preferred Senator Obama compared with 12 per cent preferring Senator McCain. Some four in 10 did not take a view.

That's the entire post. I'll leave it without comment.

Palin's Book Banning

"She never actually banned any books." That's right, because the librarian wouldn't cooperate and was fired for it. A massive local outcry caused the librarian to be reinstated, her lack of "full support of the mayor" be damned. Therefore, no actual book banning was accomplished.

Matt F-ing Damon has More Sense than the Entire GOP

How have we come to this? Our empty-headed celebrities are the voices of reason!


Palin the Liar

Oy.  This from the Wall Street Journal.  I'm not sure that branch of the conservative establishment like her much.  She's catnip for the snakehandlers, not the stockbrokers.
WSJ: In confidential letter, one-time Palin ethics advisor warned her that Trooper-gate scandal was "grave" and recommending she and her husband publicly apologize for their actions.
She's Dick Cheney all over again, but minus the competence-in-evil.

McCain Flops without Palin

Without Palin, McCain couldn't even complete an event. He got mobbed by Obama supporters because Palin's thousands weren't there to drown them out. Pathetic performance on his very first campaign event without her by his side.

Bush Gives Order Allowing Attacks in Pakistan

This is yet another instance in Foreign Policy where the Bush Administration has come around to Barack Obama's view:
President Bush secretly approved orders in July that for the first time allow American Special Operations forces to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without the prior approval of the Pakistani government, according to senior American officials.
Remember that McCain mocked Obama for exactly this policy. I wonder, will he be grilled on whether or not he supports this latest move by the increasingly realist Bush Administration?

GOP is Limbaugh's Party - Redstate.com

Redstate is all up in arms that Obama called Palin swine by using an idiom that anyone can understand. Putting lipstick on a pig is a classic Midwestern idiom that I knew from childhood, and obviously doesn't have anything to do with actual pigs.

Redstate says this is absolutely intentional, and cites this historical example of Obama making personal affronts, embedding a video of Obama "flipping off Hillary."

That's two fingers, ladies and gentlemen.  Every picture you see of it, from every angle except the straight-on camera that Fox News used to stoke the story.  It's yet another transparent lie.

Everything they can do to piss off liberals and avoid talking about the issues, they do.  They're terrified of a legitimate debate.  It's Limbaugh's Party.

Life in the Lab

Here's our (almost) proof of abiogenesis.

Palin the Child Abuser

Wow.  Newsweek reports:
Court documents show that Judge Suddock was disturbed by the alleged attacks by Palin and her family members on Wooten's behavior and character. "Disparaging will not be tolerated—it is a form of child abuse," the judge told a settlement hearing in October 2005, according to typed notes of the proceedings. The judge added: "Relatives cannot disparage either. If occurs the parent needs to set boundaries for their relatives."

"It is the mother's responsibility to set boundaries for her relatives and insure they respect them, and the disparagement by either parent, or their surrogates is emotional child abuse,"He added that: "If the court finds it is necessary due to disparagement in the Mat-Su Valley for the children's best interests, it will not hesitate to order custody to the father and a move into Anchorage."
Court records obtained by NEWSWEEK show that during the course of divorce hearings three years ago, Judge John Suddock heard testimony from an official of the Alaska State Troopers' union about how Sarah Palin—then a private citizen—and members of her family, including her father and daughter, lodged up to a dozen complaints against Wooten with the state police.

As the divorce case dragged on, the judge's concern about family "disparagement" appeared to deepen. In an order signed Jan. 31, 2006, which granted Palin's sister and Wooten a final divorce decree, Judge Suddock continued to express concern about attacks by Palin's family on Wooten. The judge even threatened to curb Palin's sister's child custody rights if family criticism of Wooten continued.
Are there any among you who would still doubt that this pick was made without vetting, and solely on the basis of politics?


TPM on Bridge to Nowhere

A takedown of this cynical lie with full documentation. Beautiful work, guys.

McCain Promotes a General for Lying for Her

Via DailyKos:

Honoring military service by trading promotions for political favors, eh?

The Republican way.

VoteVets' Brandon Friedman has the story:

Sunday 31 August 2008: Major General Craig Campbell, Adjutant General of the Alaska National Guard, tells the AP that:

he and Palin play no role in national defense activities, even when they involve the Alaska National Guard. The entire operation is under federal control, and the governor is not briefed on situations.

The quote is used against Palin throughout the media for several days.

Then Brandon points out that three days later, General Campbell says it again, in the Boston Globe:

[T]he Alaskan governor is not in the site's chain of command and has no authority over its operations, according to Maj. Gen. Craig E. Campbell, the adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard who commands the roughly 3,800 state militia members.

But then...

Friday 5 September 2008: Only two days later, Campbell's story has completely fip-flopped. Now he's suddenly praising Palin, appearing on Fox News to gush about what a superb commander-in-chief she is:

"I'll tell you, in the last few days, I've been watching the press, and I've not been very pleased with what I've been seeing about the chastising of the National Guard by having it diminished by the insinuation that a commander-in-chief of the National Guard doesn't really control the military. The National Guard has 500,000 people in it around this great country, serving in states and overseas. National Guards are state military forces run by governors, and Sarah Palin does it great."

Result? Cha-ching!

Monday 8 September: After the weekend--and after his complimentary remarks--Major General Campbell is promoted within the Alaska National Guard to the rank of Lieutenant General. The promotion is not recognized outside the state of Alaska, but he is promoted with his third star, nonetheless.

Sign on the dotted line and get a promotion, General. Hell, you had no choice. You know she'd fire you if you didn't.

Only McCain Understands the Military

What a charming slip. But don't worry. It's OK if you are a Republican (IOKIYAR).

Palin: McCain-level Academics

Ooooh. This is embarrassing. It turns out Sarah Palin went through at least five colleges in five years before earning her bachelor's degree in sports broadcasting. Maybe six. Oy.

Is this better or worse than placing 894 out of 899 at the Naval Academy?

WSJ calls Palin a Liar

Even the enormously conservative Wall Street Journal is getting in on the Palin act. They don't use the word "liar," but that's what they're calling her.

Taxpayers Pay Palin to Stay at Home

The governor's daughters and husband charged the state $43,490 to travel and many of the trips were to and from their house in Wasilla and Juneau, the capital city 600 miles away, the documents show.
Per diems also cover food costs, and sleeping costs. For her own house.

Then, in amendments, she tries to cover her trail:
She wrote some form of "Lodging -- own residence" or "Lodging -- Wasilla residence" more than 30 times at the same time she took a per diem, according to the reports. In two dozen undated amendments to the reports, the governor deleted the reference to staying in her home but still charged the per diem.

Liberals Are Good for America

Bob Herbert, on Liberals:
Without the many great and noble deeds of liberals over the past six or seven decades, America would hardly be recognizable to today’s young people. Liberals (including liberal Republicans, who have since been mostly drummed out of the party) ended legalized racial segregation and gender discrimination.

Humiliation imposed by custom and enforced by government had been the order of the day for blacks and women before men and women of good will and liberal persuasion stepped up their long (and not yet ended) campaign to change things. Liberals gave this country Head Start and legal services and the food stamp program. They fought for cleaner air (there was a time when you could barely see Los Angeles) and cleaner water (there were rivers in America that actually caught fire).

Liberals. Your food is safer because of them, and so are your children’s clothing and toys. Your workplace is safer. Your ability (or that of your children or grandchildren) to go to college is manifestly easier.

It would take volumes to adequately cover the enhancements to the quality of American lives and the greatness of American society that have been wrought by people whose politics were unabashedly liberal. It is a track record that deserves to be celebrated, not ridiculed or scorned.
Good to keep in mind.  This is why, conservative though I feel, I have never despised liberals.


Lies to Nowhere

Why do they keep repeating something that is so obviously a lie? Not a shading of the truth, or typical political spin, but flat-out, repeatedly debunked lies.

Obama Love IV - McCain and Change

I love it how he fleshes out their side of the argument as well.  I've always wondered why we never do that.

Thank you, Obama. You've been strong and steady through this entire thing, while many of the rest of us have been quaking in our boots.  I myself had a funky day after seeing that Gallup poll that had McCain up by 10.  Let not your hearts be troubled!  We're on track.

The New Morans

We all remember this brilliant addition to the pre-war debate on Iraq... what little debate there was.  Guys like this basically dominated the discourse, since they're real men:

Here's another picture from the same counter-protest:

"There are still too many Iraqis."  Because the point of the war to was to kill Iraqis.  Sigh.

Nice to see that McCain has the same caliber of supporters Bush had.  Four More Years! 

Of course, this isn't actually fair.  Everyone has some proportion of idiots supporting them.


The RNC Allows itself to be BarackRolled

Well done, McCain campaign.  Demonstrating that even though the only thing Republicans are good at is getting themselves elected, they still managed to mess up a search for Walter Reed Medical Center, causing the rest of the photo-montage to be cancelled and replaced with a beautiful blue sky.  In other words, they put a blue-screen behind John McCain.

Once again, McCain had issued a challenge for the  internet to make him interesting.  HtMaltin knocked it out of the park, below.

It's called a Rick-Roll.  If you haven't heard of it, I'll describe the internet tradition this way.  I post something to a thread saying something to the effect of "Click this link for the most awesome web video you've ever seen.  Whatever you personal desires are, this video fulfills them in ways you've never imagined possible.  It is all you need in life to remain happy.  Have you clicked it yet?"  It turns out to be a video by some obscure 80's guy.  You've been Rick Rolled.  And so has the Republican National Convention and John McCain.  He probably thinks the video behind him is part of the google.  He would totally fall for a Rick Roll... but then, so have we all.


Palin Divisive in Wasilla

More divisive politics. Even in a mayoral race! Dividing a country is bad enough, but dividing a town is downright dangerous.
But in the first major race of her career — the 1996 campaign for mayor of her hometown, WasillaPalin was a far more conventional politician. In fact, according to some who were involved in that fight, Palin was a highly polarizing political figure who brought partisan politics and hot-button social issues like abortion and gun control into a mayoral race that had traditionally been contested like a friendly intramural contest among neighbors.
Enough of this! Let's move beyond hating each other. Let's be brothers and sisters again! OBAMA!

Palin the Tax Hiker II

Here's that excellent writeup of Palin's windfall profits tax on the oil companies:
Last September she proposed a new state tax plan called ACES, and by November she had successfully pushed it through the Alaska legislature in a special session. ACES had two goals. First, it replaced a year-old plan called PPT that was mired in corruption and was widely distrusted. No problem there. Second, it was designed to increase revenue. PPT had raised revenues by $1 billion, but that was still less than everyone expected. So Palin's plan increased that by another $700 million.

But it gets even more interesting. ACES, of course, is a tax on the oil industry, since that's how the rugged individualists up north fund themselves. (In addition to massive infusions of federal cash, that is.) And it had three basic provisions:

  • An increase in the basic tax rate on oil company profits from 22.5% to 25%.

  • A windfall profits provision. When oil prices went over $50/barrel or so, the tax rate would rise 0.2% for each dollar.

  • A tax floor. If oil prices fell below about $40/barrel, oil companies would still have to pay 10% of the gross price of the crude they produce.

Palin was especially dedicated to the windfall profits provision, or "progressiveness," as she calls it. For example, here's an op-ed she wrote about how the various pieces of her plan work together:

Progressiveness is the additional share we capture when oil prices and profits are high. I chose to set the progressiveness knob [i.e., the windfall profits tax] at a relatively low level in exchange for more security when prices are low. We accomplished this through a gross tax floor at our legacy fields. If the Legislature chooses to discard that floor, then the knob on progressiveness needs to be set higher — to make sure we capture a more equitable share when prices are high and profits extraordinary.

In the end, the Alaska legislature took Palin's plan and ran with it. The final version twiddled the knobs and ended up producing not $700 million in additional revenue, but more like $2 billion or so. Palin proclaimed herself delighted with the result and said she had no problem with signing an even bigger tax increase than she had originally proposed: "When I rolled [ACES] out," she said after the final version passed, "I had said I was so anxious to work with lawmakers to make this even better."

Now here's the thing: as near as I can tell, Palin actually did a pretty decent job of working with a fractured state legislature to produce a new tax regime in a short period of time. But a tax hike is a tax hike. Here, for example, is the reaction of cranky conservative Anchorage talk show host Dan Fagan:

Most folks think the oil industry with its so-called obscene profits can absorb a 2 1/2 percent increase in taxes. But even the 2 1/2 percent rate increase the media focus on, represents a 10 percent hike in the 22.5 percent production tax. But there is so much more.

Here's what most who rely on the mainstream media for information would be surprised to know. The governor's tax represents a 400 percent increase in the amount of production taxes paid. Four hundred percent increase, not 2 1/2.

....But where the Palin money grab really affects future investment is with the marginal tax rate. At today's oil price, every new dollar the industry earns in our state, the government takes a mind-boggling 85 percent.

Etc. If Palin were a Democrat, this is the kind of jeremiad you'd be hearing from Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist, but instead of talk about looting American businesses and destroying incentives to invest, we get crickets. Norquist doesn't even mention taxes here and Limbaugh, who's been talking up Palin for a while, doesn't either. "Babies, guns, Jesus. Hot damn!" was his reaction yesterday.

So: one of the first things Palin did after she took office was to propose a big tax increase that included a windfall profits tax on the oil industry. I don't have a big problem with that, and I'm sure the McCain campaign will eventually treat us all to a blizzard of spin about why her tax increase wasn't really a tax increase. But facts are stubborn things, and somebody really ought to poke the conservative anti-tax intelligentsia a little harder about how they feel about this. Grover? Rush? Newt? Sean?

UPDATE: It turns out there's more! "Hockey mom" Sarah Palin, when she was mayor of Wasilla, was the prime advocate for a sales tax increase to fund a huge new sports complex there. What's more, she bungled the land acquisition, which meant the city ended up paying $1.7 million for the land instead of the planned $146,000. That's fiscal conservatism we can believe in!


Biden on Fire

This is why I was always a Biden-for-VP supporter.

Go, Joe!

Obama's Not the One Full of Himself

Hilzoy does the lexigraphic analysis that I had wished out loud that I was paid to do.
There were a total of 271 sentences in the speech [...] Of those 271 sentences, a remarkable 147 (54%) were devoted to telling us about John McCain himself: his past accomplishments ("I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon"), his qualifications for the job ("I know how the world works"), his family and childhood ("When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house..."), his time as a POW ("On an October morning, in the Gulf of Tonkin..."), his patriotism ("My country saved me"), and so on. Another 8 sentences focused on Sarah Palin. This leaves only 116 sentences (43% of the speech) to discuss the topics that one might otherwise expect to constitute the majority of the speech: the state of the nation, his policy positions, future promises, differences between his positions and Obama's, and so on.
Too many projects in the day to do them all...


The Biased AP

Bad Ron Fournier! Why didn't you take that job with McCain instead of screwing up what's left of our objective press?

Last week, in an apparent effort to paint Sen. Hillary Clinton as self-absorbed, the AP's Ron Fournier counted the number of times she used "some variation of the pronoun 'I'" in her convention speech. Fournier came up with 17. Media Matters checked his work, and found 21 such uses. But Fournier's point was undermined by the fact that at least 13 of those uses of the pronoun were about Clinton's support for Obama, the importance of the 2008 election, or what matters in the election.

So ... when can we expect Fournier to tally up the number of times John "cause greater than self" McCain used the pronoun "I" in his convention speech? It's well over 100 -- and that doesn't even count variations.

Or has Ron Fournier suddenly realized that such an exercise would be pointless? He'd be right, but you have to wonder about the timing of his epiphany.


Politics of Resentment

This does seem to jive with observation:
I don't think the GOP's sudden affection for drilling is any great mystery. Drilling may not work to solve our oil prices or bring down costs, but liberals really hate drilling, and that's enough. Folks have talked before of the GOP's affection for the politics of ressentiment; this is a policy of ressentiment.

That, at least, is what makes it a base unifier. What makes the policy politically effective is that it's extremely intuitive. Not enough oil? Drill some more. The rejoinder that "a Department of Energy analysis shows that such drilling would have an 'insignificant' effect on oil prices" isn't quite as snappy. And meanwhile, liberals really don't want to drill up every available inch of land, so the GOP has actually found an energy policy that can be their own, even as they pretend to support liberal attempts to get us away from oil. It's a political winner all around: Liberals hate it so the base loves it, liberals don't support it so Republicans can slam them with it, and it makes intuitive sense. That it also demonstrates either a total ignorance of energy policy or a total contempt for the intelligence of the electorate is really neither here nor there.

Is Tom Ridge Bitter?

Man, there have been a lot of those Bush/McCain Freudian slips recently, haven't there?

Or is this because Ridge was passed over for VP in a very public manner? And for who? She's a recent mayor of a hamlet who pioneered new frontiers in pork, flirted with secession from the Union, hired a Washington lobbyist for a town of six thousand, started building a rec center before she owned the land, creationism-in-schools, bridge-to-nowhere-loving, power-abusing hot librarian.

Ouch. That's might make me lash out too.

So Much Incompetance

Well, maybe the Red and White flag symbolism wasn't done on purpose after all. Anyone else wonder what the deal was with showing this behind McCain? I know to us on TV it just looked like the infamous green-screen speech reprise, but this is what the hall saw:

I saw a flash of it, and thought, "What, is that one of McCain's homes?" I was pretty convinced.

It turns out, however, that this is a picture of Walter Reed Middle School, somewhere anonymous in California. Why should a middle school deserve such an honor? The school itself has no idea:
TPM's Kate Klonick just got off the phone with an official at the school who confirmed this. "We didn't know anything about it until it showed up last night," Cathy McLaughlin, the school's office technician, told Klonick. She confirmed that multiple media outlets have been calling and that a statement would be forthcoming from the school.

There was nothing particular in that stretch of McCain's speech that would explain why this particular image was used.
Of course there was no reason to feature some obscure middle school at that point in the speech. Obviously, the remarkable thing about the place is its name. McCain's visuals people were told to get an image of Walter Reed (the military medical center), and they got a Walter Reed, alright.

Of course, the current Republican administration forgot about the troops at Walter Reed, leaving them to moulder in... well, mold. It's fitting that the new batch of Republicans would be equally clueless.

Ratings Trouble for Me and Mine

Not the type of news we should be seeing:
Just-released Nielsen estimates say that McCain drew slightly more viewers than Obama, possibly because he appeared right after the end of a football game on NBC.
Here's what Nielsen found:
  • More than half a million more people watched John McCain’s acceptance speech (38.9 million) than Barak Obama’s the week before (38.4 million).
  • Regarding the gender gap, significantly more men (17.9 million) watched McCain’s speech than Obama’s (16.2 million), while more women watched Obama’s speech (19.9 million) than McCain’s (19.2 million).
  • More than 5 million more white viewers watched the McCain speech (32.2 million) than the Obama speech (27.0 million). Among African Americans, the reverse was true, with 4.5 million more African Americans watching Obama (7.5 million) than McCain (3.1 million)
Come on, people! Don't give me this head-in-the-sand crap about McCain's speech being right after a football game! You can't convince me we're not doomed! Doomed. We're going to lose! WHY GOD?!

Palin: Jet Did Not Sell on Ebay

Palin only said that she put the jet on eBay, which she did. It did not sell on eBay, but rather to a private party months later. McCain, however, is lying about it like crazy to make up for her honesty:
While Palin only fudged the truth by omission, John McCain is working heartily on embedding a falsehood derived from that omission: "You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor and sold it on eBay -- made a profit," he said, introducing Palin.
That aint true. In fact, not even close. They bought the jet for 2.7 million, put it on the market for $2.3, and sold it for $2.1. Liar on two counts.

Catch up with History?

Josh Marshall:
I've been wondering about this phrase from McCain's speech: "We have to catch up to history." So much was going on tonight at the office that I didn't get a chance to really focus on it. In the back of my mind, though, I was thinking, what does he even mean?

But is this really a catch phrase you want to be using if you're an older guy who doesn't use email and hasn't learned how to log on to your own website?

I mean, John, we're already here, speak for yourself.
I thought the exact same thing.

Obama Love III - Community Organizers

Slather that man's brain with butter. This is the type of democrat we need! Where have you been all my life?!

"They're talking about the three years of work that I did right out of college as if I'm making the leap from two or three years out of college into the presidency."


Palin's Earmarks

I thought she hated earmarks. Odd, that the Republicans would lead me to believe something untrue.

McCain himself has criticised Palin's earmark fever:
Three times in recent years, McCain's catalogs of "objectionable" spending have included earmarks for this small Alaska town, requested by its mayor at the time -- Sarah Palin.
We've got her handwriting on the earmarks, and she's so happy about it:

"We did well!!!" At America's expense!!!

Also, beware people that use too many exclamation points. It's the sign of a fevered mind.

Palin: Lies about the Teleprompter

Rush Limbaugh spent all day talking about how the teleprompter kept going during the applause lines of Palin's speech, and so by the end of the speech it was significantly past the portion she was currently speachfying. Anyone familiar with teleprompters, of course, knows this is bunk. To think that at the Republican National Convention they couldn't find a teleprompter tech who was familiar with the concept of applause lines defies the imagination. There's simply no way they are that incompetent.
Sarah Palin delivered a powerful speech last night, but she did not "wing it." ... This claim has been picked up on Drudge and could quickly enter into the insta-mythmaking about a speech that need not be embroidered.

Perhaps there were moments where it scrolled slightly past her exact point in the speech. But I was sitting in the press section next to the stage, within easy eyeshot of the teleprompter. I frequently looked up at the machine, and there was no serious malfunction. A top convention-planner confirms this morning that there were no major problems.
Conservatives need pleasing lies told about them so they can feel good about themselves, I guess. I think she did fine without the mythology, but I guess the Republicans aren't as convinced.


Palin's Speech Written Before Palin Chosen

Why is this not surprising::
There was a flutter of attention when McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told a group of Post reporters and editors yesterday that his team was having to rework the vice presidential acceptance speech because the original draft, prepared before Gov. Sarah Palin was chosen, was too “masculine.” While we all wondered to ourselves what might make a speech masculine or feminine, no one batted an eye at the underlying revelation: that the campaign was writing the nominee’s speech before knowing who the nominee would be.
So, her speech had nothing to do with her actual views.  Good to know.

"Bitter Americans"

Obama catches a lot of crap for his quote in San Fran about smalltown Americans clinging to their guns and religion because of hard times. But this convention is providing the proof for that poorly-worded statement. Things are tough out there in America right now, and the GOP still hasn't mentioned the economy. Its all culture war stuff. All red meat. You can't campaign this way, dividing the country, and then govern effectively.

Palin's TrooperGate E-mails

They've leaked, of course. And they're not pretty:
"This trooper is still out on the street, in fact he's been promoted," said a Feb. 7, 2007, e-mail sent from Palin's personal Yahoo account and written to give Monegan permission to speak on a violent-crime bill before the state legislature...
"He's still bragging about it in my hometown and after another cop confessed to witnessing the [moose] kill, the trooper was 'investigated' for over a year and merely given a slap on the wrist," the e-mail said. "Though he's out there arresting people today for the same crime!"
"He threatened to kill his estranged wife's parent, refused to be transferred to rural Alaska and continued to disparage Natives in words and tone, he continues to harass and intimidate his ex. -- even after being slapped with a restraining order that was lifted when his supervisors intervened," the e-mail said. "He threatens to always be able to come out on top because he's 'got the badge', etc. etc. etc.)"
Palin has not told the truth so far:
Palin has said previously that she discussed Wooten with Monegan only in the context of security concerns for the family. Monegan has said that Palin never directly told him to fire Wooten but that the message was clearly conveyed through repeated messages from Palin, her husband and three members of her Cabinet.
"To allege that I, or any member of my family . . . directed disciplinary action be taken against any employee of the Department of Public Safety, is, quite simply, outrageous," Palin said in a statement in mid-July after Monegan's dismissal.
In August, Palin acknowledged that "pressure could have been perceived to exist, although I have only now become aware of it."
This is just going to keep on trickling, especially since she will no longer cooperate with the investigation.

Stonewalling a legitimate investigation into an actual abuse of power... can the country really be up to another 4 years of this same crap?

Open Mic Danger

Those two voices you hear are Republican strategists, destroying McCain and Palin.  Ouch.

Palin Speech Reaction - Election Not about Issues

First, there were basically no issues discussed in that speech.  It was all lying-bio on herself and scurrilous-attack on Obama.  All saccharine and sarcasm.  And after Rudy's hyper-divisive barn-burner?  I wonder about how this tone will play at home.

She lied multiple times in discussing her bio.  The Bridge to Nowhere?  That's been destroyed by the press.  She supported it fervently, and only "opposed" it after Congress cancelled it and it became a national laughingstock.  Why would she feature a lie so prominently?

The convention hall still doesn't look full in the top tiers.  Embarrassing.

And most importantly, WTF is with that gigantic video screen behind her?  I mean, it's beautiful and all, but why show only the red and white parts of the American Flag?  Why exclude the Blue?  I know this will seem like I am reaching, but literally no symbolism is left to chance at these things.  Where Barack Obama speaks of the United States of America, the Republicans are only interested in the Red and White America.  It's time for a change, America.  You can't campaign this way and then govern as a uniter.

With the Palin pick directed at the base it is clear that this campaign is now all about running the Bush-2004 campaign of rallying the base.  That's insane in this political atmosphere, but they know that their tribalism is so deeply ingrained that there would be an explosion if he had gone the maverick direction and picked someone like Ridge or Leiberman.

Her speech was almost entirely culture war stuff: that liberals hate conservatives, and want to destroy their way of life.  They're victims of those dastardly and all-powerful liberals.  Has she not noticed who has been in charge these last eight years?  And even if the Democrats were in power, do they really think we sit around thinking about how much we look down on the red states?  If that was true, Obama wouldn't be the sensation that he is.

The McCain campaign manager just said recently that issues wont decide the election.  That strategy is what this speech is all about.  This campaign is about personality, it's not about substance:
Rick Davis, campaign manager for John McCain's presidential bid, insisted that the presidential race will be decided more over personalities than issues during an interview with Post editors this morning.

"This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."
That's how the GOP runs their elections.  They're all about our personal views of the candidates, because if people voted for their actual values as embodied in policy, the Republicans would never win another election.

final update: A guy from Alaska just said that she gave the best speech she's ever given tonight... that's right.  That's because it was written by presidential speech writers, before Palin was even picked.

McCain's Vetters

About right. And pretty funny.

Palin: Thinks the Jews Deserve Terrorism for Rejecting God?

Wow.  From The Politico, we learn more about Sarah Palin's crazy church.  She was in the pews for this sermon, about how the Jews deserve the violence and terrorism directed against them since they refuse to see the light of Jesus:

... two weeks ago, Palin’s church, the Wasilla Bible Church, gave its pulpit over to a figure viewed with deep hostility by many Jewish organizations: David Brickner, the founder of Jews for Jesus.

Palin’s pastor, Larry Kroon, introduced Brickner on Aug. 17, according to a transcript of the sermon on the church’s website.

"He’s a leader of Jews for Jesus, a ministry that is out on the leading edge in a pressing, demanding area of witnessing and evangelism," Kroon said.

Brickner then explained that Jesus and his disciples were themselves Jewish.

"The Jewish community, in particular, has a difficult time understanding this reality," he said.

Brickner’s mission has drawn wide criticism from the organized Jewish community, and the Anti-Defamation League accused them in a report of "targeting Jews for conversion with subterfuge and deception."

Brickner also described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity.

"We love the Jews.  We just think they're wrong about their religion, and are going to burn in hell, that's all."  How could the Jews be offended by such a position?  Cry-babies.

Here's the "jews deserve what they get" part:
"Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It's very real. When [Brickner's son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can't miss it." 
Oh yeah.  Let's get some video of that.  They've got video of Palin addressing the church.  I bet they record all their special guests.  What are the odds some news org will have it leaked to it?  Out of little ol' Wasilla?  I sorta doubt it.

This should be the end of the "Obama is a scary/radical black man" stories.  Of course, it wont be.

Ann Coulter has said basically the same thing.  She just wants to see the "Jews Perfected."

Palin Bounce

This bounce definitely started during the convention, but there's no doubt Palin has helped accelerate the trend in Obama's direction.

Palin: Lies about her Vetting

In the McCain camp's furious attempt to not concede the obvious - that Palin was a hasty, unvetted first presidential decision - they have just been lying left and right.  These lies have been so blatant, is makes me wonder, "are they even trying?"  Are they even making an attempt at running a serious campaign, or are they just playing to win every individual news cycle, no matter the ridiculousness of their arguments?  The latest lie about the Palin vetting?  They had the FBI do a background check on her!

Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager and the person at the point of the vice presidential process, said there was no abrupt change of course in the final hours. Nor, he said, was Palin selected without having gone through the full vetting process that was done for other finalists. That process included reviews of financial and other personal data, an FBI background check and considerable discussion among the handful of McCain advisers involved in the deliberations.

This was not true:

The Washington Post reported Sunday, citing an interview with campaign manager Rick Davis, that the vetting process "included reviews of financial and other personal data, an FBI background check and considerable discussion among the handful of McCain advisers nvolved in the deliberations.

"In general, we do not do vetting for political campaigns except as it might regard investigations needed for security clearances," said John Miller, the chief FBI spokesperson.

The FBI did not participate in a vet, nor did it run a background check of Gov. Palin as part of the process.

Palin might already have a clearance that relates to her duties as governor. But the FBI can't speak to that, and in any event, those investigations wouldn't be accessible to the McCain campaign anyway.

There go the Republicans trying to use public resources for their political purposes again.  They're always reaching for that government-enforced permanent majority.  It's the DoJ all over again.  McCain is more of the worst parts of the same.

Palin: Lawyered Up, and Ready to Obstruct Justice!

Sure enough, the lawyer hired for Palin by the McCain/Rove campaign has moved to block the independent investigation, leaving only Sarah Palin's three special appointees investigating the crime. Does that sound familiar to anyone? This is exactly what we want to change away from.

... Steve Branchflower, the lead investigator, began trying to arrange a deposition of the governor days before her veep selection. And despite claiming executive privilege to shield requested emails, up until that point Palin had promised full cooperation with the probe.

Now, however, she is refusing to submit to questioning by Branchflower unless he and the legislative committee that appointed him agree to relinquish control of the investigation and turn it over to a state review board made up of three Palin appointees.

Yesterday, Palin took the unusual step of having her lawyer, Thomas van Flein, file an ethics complaint against her with the state's Attorney General. This, she hopes, will lead the AG to give the investigation to the aforementioned state personnel board. Unless that happens, and Branchflower agrees to close down his investigation, she will refuse to testify.

These are lawbreakers, who believe they can simply do whatever they want with the power they are given. This is the culture of corruption that has systematically built itself inside the Republican Party, rearing its head once again.

The talk radio will continue saying, "Wow, what a stand up lady. She's started investigations of herself! What kind of politician would do such an honest thing?" That's my next Boortz call.


"Hookers and Blow"

So much for "toning down" the convention in respect for the suffering of the Gulf Coast, eh? A truly hilarious 2:50. Hilariously sickening. McCain, of course, doesn't command the respect of his political troops because they know he's going to lose. "Might as well keep drinking! Life is short!"

When Obama, however, says that none of his people will mention the Palin's children, we march in lockstep. Even the diarists at DKos have remained basically silent, and when a diary is posted that uses the children, they get shouted down by commenters and rated into the dirt.

Of course, if I were a political operative, I'd have a stockpile of usernames with long (but extremely sparse) history to use in just such occasions. Amazingly, the original "Sarah isn't Trig's Mother" rumor was started by just such an account. Surprise!

Palin: World Travel

Palin has been to two whole foreign countries! And refueled in a third! Wow!

Palin CinC of ANG? Not Really

The last vestige of experience they are calling on with Sarah Palin is her year and a half of time as Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard. Here's what the ANG has to say about that:

Maj. Gen. Craig Campbell, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, considers Palin “extremely responsive and smart” and says she is in charge when it comes to in-state services, such as emergencies and natural disasters where the National Guard is the first responder.

But, in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, he said he and Palin play no role in national defense activities, even when they involve the Alaska National Guard. The entire operation is under federal control, and the governor is not briefed on situations.

So there. Let's stop bringing up the Alaska National Guard as if it has anything to do with her real qualifications.

Palin's Church

Governor Palin has a church with a very conservative ideology. At that church, she said two interesting things:
1) "I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that."
2) "Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."
Interesting. In response to 1), I love it when people claim God on their side in a secular argument, don't you? It's the most awesomest debating tactic evah! 2) Yes, let's do pray to Jesus to help us occupy a Muslim country. But lets be careful with the crusade talk when there are mics around, k?

Palin Lie #3 from Intro Speech

McCain said she was against earmark spending:
McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, hailed Palin as a politician "with an outstanding reputation for standing up to special interests and entrenched bureaucracies -- someone who has fought against corruption and the failed policies of the past, someone who's stopped government from wasting taxpayers' money."
Indeed. Palin added:
"As governor, I've stood up to the old politics-as-usual, to the special interests, to the lobbyists, the big oil companies, and the good-ol'-boy network."
"I have championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by
But it turns out that Sarah Palin was responsible for earning $27 million in congressional earmark spending for her tiny town of Wasilla while she was Mayor. For a town of five to six thousand people, she brought home the bacon big-time.

And just to have something to contrast these numbers with:
In fiscal year 2002, Wasilla took in $6.1 million in earmarks -- about $1,000 in federal money for every resident. By contrast, Boise, Idaho -- which has more than 190,000 residents -- received $6.9 million in earmarks in fiscal 2008.
Remember to adjust the $6.1 million for Wasilla upwards for inflation. Those are 2002 dollars, before the Bush Administration tanked our dollar so thoroughly.

So how'd she do it? How did she get such an avalanche of federal money into her little hamlet? By bringing in one of those people from the good-ol-boy network that she said she had railed against. Who was Wasilla's lobbyist? Indicted Senator Ted Stevens' chief of staff.

Palin Not Miss Congeniality? Say it Aint So!

This is just getting ridiculous. There's a woman who says she was the real Miss Congeniality in Wasilla, 1984! McCain's choice of VP has reduced us to talking about a village's 1984 congeniality contest! He has successfully sucked all the remaining smarts out of the press and this election. We're running this election on pure stupid!

If this was Al Gore, this would be the final straw. There's enough of a track record of her being genuinely deceptive that this slightly funny example would break through and become the dominant narrative of Sarah Palin's personality. Then again, all of these revelations have occurred over less than a week. Maybe it needs to be more spread out than that to really take off.

Palin Pledge Ignorance

Oy. She's a gaffe machine.

Q: Are you offended by the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

PALIN: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance

First, the Pledge of Allegiance didn't always exist. We all know that, but just how wrong is she? A quick google reveals it is a thing of the 20th Century, being declared our official national pledge in 1942. The "under God" clause she is so valiantly defending wasn't added until 1954, because we wouldn't be strong enough to beat the Reds without a little divine intervention. America has always proven herself to be a weak nation, after all, without the will to do difficult things.


Obama Love II

The crescendoing climax of this speech will knock you down.

Yup. I'm off the market.


Palin: Monegan Speaks

Monegan, the center of the Troopergate scandal, speaks to local news:

... and Monegan calls the Governor a liar.

By the way, Palin lawyered-up in the case just today. I thought conservatives had told me that if you didn't have anything to hide, you didn't need privacy. Let's see if her new lawyer can get the release-date of the investigation pushed over the Nov. 4th horizon. November 4th was the sole reason for her elevation, after all.

Wow. Little Piper is becoming a woman. Google Image Search is a disturbing thing.

Palin Lie #2 from Intro Speech

Sarah Palin made a big deal about being divorced from the corrupt good-old-boy network in Alaska - a state known for massive corruption in its tiny congressional delegation (AK has only one congressman). Conservative commentators piled on, making a big deal of her repudiation of Ted Stevens.

Unsurprisingly, we find that she wasn't actually divorced from the local political culture:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began building clout in her state's political circles in part by serving as a director of an independent political organization organized by the now embattled Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.

Palin's name is listed on 2003 incorporation papers of the "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.," a 527 group that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors. The group was designed to serve as a political boot camp for Republican women in the state. She served as one of three directors until June 2005, when her name was replaced on state filings.

Palin's relationship with Alaska's senior senator may be one of the more complicated aspects of her new position as Sen. John McCain's running mate; Stevens was indicted in July 2008 on seven counts of corruption.
She ran his 527 for years. She campaigned for his reelection in 2008 (although the video has been scrubbed), the year of his indictment. This is just one more fib in her introduction speech.

I suppose you might think you can get away with lies like this when the Presidential candidate doesn't actually vet his VP pick. "If he didn't care, why should anyone else?"

Oh. Come. ON! Palin is a Successionist?

ABC News is now confirming that Sarah Palin was a member of the Alaska Independence Party:

Officials of the Alaskan Independence Party say that Palin was once so independent, she was once a member of their party, which since the 1970s has been pushing for a legal vote for Alaskans to decide whether or not residents of the 49th state can secede from the United States.

And while McCain's motto -- as seen in a new TV ad -- is "Country First," the AIP's motto is the exact opposite -- "Alaska First -- Alaska Always."


She doesn't know what Palin's position was.

"It never came up in conversation," Clark recalls. "But when she joined the party our platform was right under her nose."

No kidding it was right under he nose. Their entire reason for the party's existence is emblazoned all over their website's front page:

A belief that there should be a vote on Alaskan secession, since the Alaskan people were not given the required slate of choices back in 1958.

Their founder, a man named Joe Vogler, famously said, "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions." The same man also said, "[T]he fires of Hell are glaciers compared to my hate for the American government."

To polish it off, we have the following greeting to the AIP Convention for 2008.

Did McCain know that she had sent a love letter to a secessionist group this very year?

Of course their defense will be, "AIP members don't want to secede from the union... the just want the option to vote to secede from the union. Those are totally different things!"

Scarborough: "Palin Will Not Work"

Remember, Scarborough was a Republican Congressman. This video is dated in the period between McCain confirming he wasn't picking Pawlenty and before Palin was picked. Pat Buchanan gives her a couple good jabs too.


Palin the Tax Hiker

Did McCain know Palin supported Obama's $1000 energy rebate? Did McCain know Palin passed a huge tax increase that took the form of a windfall profits tax on the oil companies?
Earlier this month, Gov. Palin praised parts of Obama's energy plan. The link to the press release was not working as of 12:30 p.m. ET. But Google saves everything.

Palin Pleased with Obama's Energy Plan

August 4, 2008, Fairbanks, Alaska - Governor Sarah Palin today responded to the energy plan put forward by the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

"I am pleased to see Senator Obama acknowledge the huge potential Alaska's natural gas reserves represent in terms of clean energy and sound jobs," Governor Palin said. "The steps taken by the Alaska State Legislature this past week demonstrate that we are ready, willing and able to supply the energy our nation needs."
Governor Palin also acknowledged the Senator's proposal to offer $1,000 rebates to those struggling with the high cost of energy.

"We in Alaska feel that crunch and are taking steps to address it right here at home," Governor Palin said. "This is a tool that must be on the table to buy us time until our long-term energy plans can be put into place. We have already enjoyed the support of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, and it is gratifying to see Senator Obama get on board."
Everyone loves Obama... until they're getting paid to hate him.

As for the windfall profits tax on the oil companies, I found a better writeup somewhere, but it's lost into the Blog Ether. This, form the Seattle Times, will have to do:

Republicans in Congress this June united to defeat a proposed windfall tax on oil companies, deriding it as a bad idea that would discourage investment in U.S. oil exploration.

Things worked out far differently in the GOP stronghold of Alaska, a state whose economic fate is closely tied to the oil industry.

Over the opposition of oil companies, Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and Alaska's Legislature last year approved a major increase in taxes on the oil industry -- a step that has generated stunning new wealth for the state as oil prices soared.

The Norquist tax-jihadist crowd can't be happy about this, can they?