Re: If she can beat off the frothing Newsweek/MSNBC/New York Times inbred rabid wolves, and do it with the grace she has shown so far, she will fill a deep yearning among Americans for someone like her.

1

"I think, in your comparison scenario, if the tough-talking black kid was there because he was going to be a man, marry the daughter and raise his child, that would be seen as a great credit to Barack and Michelle Obama..."

Even ignoring the palpable absurdity of this assertion, why? Shouldn't it be seen as a credit to the "kid" and, arguably, his family?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:00 AM
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I can't wait to see what they say when Palin kisses the decapitated head of Terri Shiavo full on the lips and announces their intention to gay-marry.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:02 AM
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"I think this really shows her commitment to life."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:03 AM
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If the Obamas had a 17 year-old daughter who was unmarried and pregnant by a tough-talking black kid, my guess is if that they all appeared onstage at a Democratic convention and the delegates were cheering wildly, a number of conservatives might be discussing the issue of dysfunctional black families the end of the fucking world.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:03 AM
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I am losing my mind by thinking about this. Sarah Palin wants to make it illegal to do anything but have the child, even in cases of rape. And she stands up there with her daughter and the guy who I'm sure both really want to get married and are totally prepared to do so and this is a big tribute to life and living one's values. Fuckity fuck fuck fuck fuck. I have to tap out. I can't take any more.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:06 AM
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Labs, you just don't understand the true nature of real freedom, which in its essence is all about having people like Sarah Palin be able to tell you what to fucking do all the time.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:11 AM
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5: it remains to be seen if she'll be true to her principles by kicking them to the curb after the baby's born.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:12 AM
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Mmm. It's kinda difficult to preserve a position of 'don't judge the personal choices of a teenager who didn't ask to be put in the spotlight' when her mother is dragging her into the spotlight and demanding that those personal choices be found admirable. Still, nothing decent to do about it but stay as quiet as possible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:19 AM
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I really can't figure out if Palin is supposed to be some sort of Jedi mind trick to the Beltway types, or if McCain just doesn't give a shit. You know, I would have thought that the Chinese would have manipulated this better. I mean what good is having a Manchurian Candidate if he sabotages the deal by his VP pick.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:20 AM
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I've heard that "strange things are done 'neath the midnight sun" and all that, but this practice of "beating off wolves" is a disgusting perversion that loneliness, isolation, and sexual frustration cannot excuse.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:23 AM
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Against my better judgment, I actually looked at that VDH link. There's so much wrong with it. What I love about conservatives is that they identify yokelism with being "working class". When I see VDH describing Alaskans as living " a life of action in an often harsh natural landscape, where physical strength is married to intelligence to bring us food, fuel, and progress," isn't he calling them noble savages, admiring a way of life that he has exactly zero interest in living himself.

When I heard that they were going to drag Johnston to St. Paul, my first thought is that they want a Prime-time "Luke and Laura" marriage. They won't do that, will they? They aren't really that devoid of decency, are they? Are they?


Posted by: alex | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:23 AM
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Still, nothing decent to do about it but stay as quiet as possible.

Agreed. Decent hasn't had much place in US politics for decades, it seems, but that's a different issue.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:23 AM
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Couldn't choose between "frothing" and "rabid"? Use both!

Also, "beating off"?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:24 AM
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When I heard that they were going to drag Johnston to St. Paul, my first thought is that they want a Prime-time "Luke and Laura" marriage. They won't do that, will they? They aren't really that devoid of decency, are they? Are they?

It turns out that Johnston is...the long-lost illegitimate son of...John McCain!


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:24 AM
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7: oh God, I know, that's the last straw isn't it. I love the way the article ends. "'Ahhh, I think I support the president's policy,' McCain said."


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:24 AM
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Apparently, the national enquirer is on the job.

The ENQUIRER has also learned that Palin's family is embroiled in a vicious war that is now exposing her darkest secrets, threatening to destroy her political career. Palin's ongoing war with her ex brother-in-law Mike Wooten, a state trooper, has caused multiple sources to come forward with shocking allegations about the governor.

They were also the ones who broke the pregnancy story.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:24 AM
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Still, nothing decent to do about it but stay as quiet as possible.

I don't remember the precise wording, but there is an aphorism attributed to Sun Tzu that goes something like "When your enemy is destroying himself, take care not to interupt him."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:25 AM
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If the title were just a little longer, you could just remove the plural from Recent Comments.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:26 AM
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See, I never bought that line about how there is no red America, and no blue America, there's just a United States of America.

The Dems cannot win this game the way it's been set up, the rules are rigged against them. But this game is not the entire election. Don't let them draw you into a game you cannot win!

Get out the vote.



Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:28 AM
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Funny-

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2008/09/im-freaking-governor-of-alaska-i-didnt.html


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:31 AM
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admiring a way of life that he has exactly zero interest in living himself.

Take care not to get VDH started on his life tending the vines of Fresno.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:35 AM
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[this comment redacted, even though it did contain a use of the "del" tag]


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:39 AM
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The North is weird, with like a vocal third identifying as survivalist frontiersmen (and women) and like three quarters living directly off welfare. I wonder what Palin's interactions with reservations and tribal politics were like.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:39 AM
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I don't follow VDH, but did he really work on vines in Fresno?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:40 AM
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First comment: "That was great! Conservatives have such a fantastic sense of humor. Democrats, not so much."


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:41 AM
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Er, 25 to 20.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:42 AM
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He's a family farmer, yeah. He taught Classics at Fresno for a long time while also running a farm producing mostly raisins. Hence the obsessive interest in the Greek hoplites and their willingness to defend their land. His early stuff on The Western Way of War is really pretty good.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:42 AM
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I wonder what Palin's interactions with reservations and tribal politics were like.

This is no help, because the reference was vague and I can't remember where I saw it, but some comment somewhere in the last couple days characterizing those interactions as very weird.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:45 AM
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24: He used to. He failed to defend them from being burned down by a rampaging War Nerd, and was thus pwned as badly as any Helot.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:46 AM
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27. His book about that experience, Fields without Dreams: Defending the Agrarian Idea (Free Press, 1996; paperback, Touchstone, 1997)
is really depressing. I read it before he became an NRO star, and was really surprised when he became "popular".


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:47 AM
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28: well, for one thing, her nominal excuse for firing the police commissioner was that he didn't do enough about "rural bootlegging", which is presumably related to tribal issues.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:48 AM
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Huh. Now I'm all curious about what water district he was in and how he trellised his vines. Furrows? Drip? Perhaps his book would tell me.

I am not particularly curious about his views on politics.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:50 AM
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Alaskan Natives are even less monolithic in their political affiliations than the tribes of the Lower 48. Which is why we're not hearing much about the issue (that and nobody cares): it's too complicated.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:54 AM
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32. I don't remember him upgrading to drip. Lots of griping about how produce don't get no subsidies, and how raisins pile up when they don't sell, and special deals for foreign raisin producers, etc. I think he was happy to put it all behind him, but for a nostalgic longing for a lost way of life. Personally, I could tell he just didn't have the guts to be a farmer.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:56 AM
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he didn't do enough about "rural bootlegging"

Jesus Christ. Up in the North, and particularly in Alaska, people often get from town to town in dinky little private airplanes. And they're iced in for eight months of the year. Unless there was a massive distribution-network for bathtub gin that blinded people or actually killed them or whatever, I just can't see rural bootlegging as a major priority.

My relatives in the Yukon were the first people I'd ever heard of who distilled their own cordials and whatnot.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:58 AM
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Jeez, Br*st*l and now Levi must be loving being allowed their privacy and not becoming some kind of political sideshow.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:59 AM
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Levi reminds me of Steve Holt! rather a lot.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:02 PM
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Mmm. A warm&fuzzy human interest interview with him about the wedding plans would seem perfectly appropriate, if he's posing for pictures with the family, but in practice I think it would be, and would be perceived as, cruel.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:03 PM
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I suppose it's right that Obama, his surrogates and decent people everywhere stay away from Palin's newest son and pending grandchild, but this strikes me as an awfully good point. If Palin's daughter was permitted to make her own choice on her pregnancy, why shouldn't other pregnant women be permitted to choose?

In a country with a more functional media, it wouldn't be necessary for Obama to ask questions like this. The New York Times would be asking.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:03 PM
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This long post title has made the left column look really weird.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:04 PM
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A warm&fuzzy human interest interview with him about the wedding plans would seem perfectly appropriate

"So what were you doing when you found out you were going to marry her?"


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:04 PM
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33.---But isn't some vast part---like, half to two-thirds---of the Alaskan Interior controlled by various tribal governments (in cooperation with the Federal Department of the Interior)?

Arguably, this could be a talking point for the Republicans: Sarah Palin has foreign policy experience! She's coordinated her state's policy with the sovereign Nations inside its borders! Not that anybody on a national level really understands tribal policy or is comfortable even reminding voters of tribal sovereignty: it's too complicated and depressing, mostly.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:05 PM
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Molly just sent this to me, which explains it all. John McCain is a cylon. To be precise, he is Saul Tigh.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:06 PM
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His early stuff on The Western Way of War is really pretty good.

Bob Bateman would beg to differ.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:07 PM
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Personally, I could tell he just didn't have the guts to be a farmer.

It is really hard to be a farmer. I'd be willing to concede someone a fair amount of guts and still not enough to be a farmer.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:07 PM
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Reading Althouse comments is, unsurprisingly, like looking into an alternate universe.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:09 PM
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Actually, here's a better link to Bateman's series on VDH.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:10 PM
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20 is depressing, but I didn't see the video and instead just read a fair number of the comments.

Kind of hilarious how the more extreme people on each side sees the media as biased the moment it starts focusing on their candidate. Can't we all just get together and declare the 24-hour news cycle a demolitions squad in constant search of a target?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:11 PM
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37: God that's funny. I'm going to think of that every time I see a picture of him. (Which I would like to think would be never again after November 5th, but I suspect he will live on in tabloid infamy.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:12 PM
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OK, I laughed.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:13 PM
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My favorite comment on NPR this morning was from a conservative Christian who said that she believes in, and likes that Palin believes in, abstinence-only education, but that she doesn't blame Palin for her daughter's pregnancy because, hey, they're teenagers and you can't control what teenagers do when your back is turned. SO WHY NOT TEACH THEM SOMETHING IN ADDITION TO ABSTINENCE AND GIVE THEM CONDOMS, YOU STUPID TOOLS?

(I know Palin doesn't believe in any kind of contraception, but that's an extreme position even within the abstinence-only crowd.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:14 PM
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It became clear that VDH had gone round the bend when he co-authored Who Killed Homer?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:14 PM
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Palin doesn't believe in any kind of contraception

To be scrupulously fair to her, I don't think she's unambiguously taken this position.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:15 PM
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Who Killed Homer?

Another Greek of the same name?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:16 PM
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I'd be willing to concede someone a fair amount of guts and still not enough to be a farmer.

No argument there. I read Masumoto's Epitaph for a Peach http://www.masumoto.com/epitaph-for-a-peach.htm

just before Hanson's book, so I am biased. Of course, I was running the family farm at the time, and thought Hanson was a whiner. Lucky for him he had options.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:17 PM
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To be scrupulously fair to her

So, so odd.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:17 PM
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53: Damn liberal press, spreading lies again. If she does think it's okay, then it's her own damn fault that her daughter is pregnant.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:19 PM
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40: Good point. Looking at a map and doing some informed guesswork, it appears much closer to 2/3 than 1/2. But how many people control that territory? I'm guessing fewer than 30,000. So it might not be such a useful talking point, after all. The real issue, I think, is that most Americans have no idea that Native people still exist (except for those fatcat Injuns that control casinos). The idea of a vanishing race did the trick even if the race(s) didn't actually vanish.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:20 PM
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50 is funny.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:21 PM
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Are family farms hard to sell, or rent? I've known several people who owned farmland that they rented out, and their tenants or other people were always trying to buy.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:21 PM
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This site is actually sort of useful. Sort of.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:22 PM
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And geez... yeah, tribal reservations are a whole 'nother super-depressing thing to talk about. In Alaska, the American Dental Association managed to successfully block the training and licensing of tribespeople as "dental technicians" or something similar who would pull teeth, fill cavities, and pretty much do all the basic care that needs to get done to avoid excrutiating pain and/or massive infection. It claimed it was doing this to protect its members and the Alaskan population from poorly trained backdoor dentists, but of course it's not like any licensed dentists are actually willing to work in these super-rural areas. Blargh.

It then bragged about this to its members. I really hope it caught hell from them, but it's hard to say.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:26 PM
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Serious question: LB, can you explain to me why you feel the need to be scrupulously fair to Palin? I mean, I'm with you on avoiding talking about the kids. But her issue profile doesn't seem to demand kid gloves. She's pretty clearly a wingnut. Or, to be scrupulously fair, she's pretty clearly one of the most conservative politicians ever to run for national office in this country. Whether she's just to right of or left of Tom Coburn seems beside the point; she's a very scary extremist on all manner of issues.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:26 PM
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53: My extensive Google research shows a lot of people claiming that she's pro-contraception, a lot that she's anti, all citing one another.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:26 PM
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I think it's important to remember in the great Bristol Palin pregnancy fiasco that you really can't link Bristol's pregnancy with Palin's position on abstinence-only education. For all we know, Bristol knew all about contraception and was, in fact, using it. People do become pregnant that way.

The only real fodder that Bristol can provide, if any, is that Palin and McCain and the rest of the right are praising Bristol (and SP herself) for making choices that they think no woman should be able to make. And that Palin-McCain advocate for policies that will put more and more teenage girls in Bristol's difficult position.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:27 PM
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5: Hmmm, might it be better if the Palins privately demanded their daughter have an abortion while publicly decrying the practice as genocide, like normal wingnuts?

I also notice they're happily deploying their 19-year old son to Iraq. Being in the Palin family must be fab.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:27 PM
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52: oudemia, I read that book when I was kind of angry with classicists for being too philologically oriented. It was clearly cooky, although his co-author seemed less nuts. I actually e-mailed one of them, because I was angry about the ad hominem attacks they made on CPS, claiming that he was selfish for taking lots of grant money. That's not really relevant to their claim, but it's simply not true. He was one of the most personally generous people I've ever met.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:28 PM
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64: She supports abstinence-only education. Or at least she has claimed that's her position. She may have claimed other positions as well. I don't know.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:29 PM
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Are family farms hard to sell, or rent?

Depends on where, and what crops. Of course if you sell or rent it, it is no longer the family farm, and you are either a filthy feudal landlord with serfs working your land, or a fatcat land speculator.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:30 PM
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It's not so much about being scrupulously fair, as not making flat statements of fact that aren't well supported. My understanding of the evidence available on Palin's position on contraception is about what Kraab's is -- there isn't an unambiguous statement from her one way or the other I've seen quoted.

I don't want anyone reading here who's going to get into debates about Palin to rely on "she's opposed to all contraception" because they read it on Unfogged and we're mostly pretty well informed, and then get hit as ignorantly prejudiced against her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:30 PM
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||
Blarg. The library has completely redone its user interface and I can't figure out what I am doing. Did I just recall that book? Who knows? Not me! Grr.
|>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:30 PM
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Are Pentecostals against contraception, even within marriage?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:30 PM
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70 makes sense. Thanks.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:31 PM
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It is definitely true that she only supports abstinence-only sex education in schools, as reported in her fucking Eagle Forum questionnaire.

God, that woman is a disaster on so many levels.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:33 PM
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Pentecostals aren't Catholics. There is no set orthodoxy, or hierarchy to set one.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:34 PM
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66: Being in the Palin family must be fab.

Sense of humor, DS, sense of humor. Different strokes for different folks, etc. etc. Else you'll have to check out, screaming, as Labs apparently needs to do.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:35 PM
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31: her nominal excuse for firing the police commissioner was that he didn't do enough about "rural bootlegging",

Nominal indeed, since she had praised him for that work a short time earlier. Also the old buddy she replaced him with had to step down shortly thereafter due to an earlier sexual harassment complaint. And also, "Shut up JP, since folks are right above that there is on need to push any of this". (See this overview at TPM of despicable slimeball Steve Schmidt basically planting the more outrageous non-published rumors into the press so he can cpomplain about them.)


... but I can't stop.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:35 PM
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I think it's important to remember in the great Bristol Palin pregnancy fiasco that you really can't link Bristol's pregnancy with Palin's position on abstinence-only education. For all we know, Bristol knew all about contraception and was, in fact, using it. People do become pregnant that way.

I was being hyperbolic about it being Palin's fault, but the link is fair in it shows -- for the gazillionth time -- that abstinence-only education doesn't work.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:36 PM
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70: I appreciate the correction, as I am fact based.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:37 PM
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What is wrong with teaching abstinence to teenagers? If you fuck, oh fertile youth, you have a very high likelihood of getting pregnant or of getting an STD. Condoms break. The only 100% way of not getting pregnant is no fucking. Sorry. (Psst, I know with all of your raging hormones it seems impossible not to try, boys and girls. It is difficult, but not impossible).


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:39 PM
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77: I'm not sure the link went where you meant it to go.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:39 PM
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75: I know they aren't Catholics. I've always been a little bit fuzzy on Southern Baptists, but they aren't supposed to be hierarchical, and yet they do have a lot of position statements. I know that Catholics are against BC and that evangelicals are really into abstinence and marital purity, but I didn't know whether other protestant wingers opposed oral contraceptives as abortifacients or if they were against condoms within marriage too.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:40 PM
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The talk about Palin's opposition to contraception for anybody is based on her involvement with Feminists For Life, an organization that does oppose contraception as one of its secondary planks. Palin herself has never explicitly voiced this opinion though, as far as I know.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:40 PM
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What is wrong with teaching abstinence to teenagers?

Nothing. Teaching *only* abstinence to teenagers is fucking stupid, is what's wrong with it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:40 PM
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Being in the Palin family must be fab.

I predict Giuliani-level desertions by the Palin children in the few years ahead.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:41 PM
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Palin's Reverend Wright Moment:

"The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government," [Alaskan Independence Party founder Joe] Vogler said.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:42 PM
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What I meant is that the terms "Pentecostal" and "evangelical" are extremely fuzzy ones that cover a really huge spectrum of beliefs, and pretty much the only thing they all have in common is the whole personal relationship with Jesus thing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:42 PM
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86: well, one of many. There's also her actual pastor's statements.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:43 PM
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65.1: "Wasilla High School's health curriculum pushes abstinence, and the school is barred from distributing contraception, Probasco said."


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:43 PM
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81: 77: I'm not sure the link went where you meant it to go.

U R RITE! Here is the correct one. I've done that several times, pick up the link below the TPM item instead of the top.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:43 PM
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86: Geez, Palin's HUSBAND was in the treasonous Anti-American secessionist movement, not Palin herself.

Thankfully Joe Biden is from a slave state so he won't be out of step with Americans on this issue either.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:44 PM
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86: Geez, Palin's HUSBAND was in the treasonous Anti-American secessionist movement, not Palin herself.

Well, no documentary evidence has yet surfaced that she was, in any case.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:44 PM
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What is wrong with teaching abstinence to teenagers?

The controversy is over abstinence-only education, which means pretty much what it looks like, versus comprehensive sex-ed, which teaches abstinence (of course) in addition to birth control methods. Every option includes abstinence education.

Of course, none of it works particularly well, so it's all sort of a moot point.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:45 PM
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86: I thought it had been determined that Palin was not a member of the AIP, but that her husband was. Via hilzoy, I seem to think.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:45 PM
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BG, none oppose contraception qua contraception, that I'm aware of. Some oppose the pill as a supposed abortifacient, but even they are very few.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:46 PM
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but the link is fair in it shows -- for the gazillionth time -- that abstinence-only education doesn't work.

I really don't think it does. First of all, Alaska is not one of the 28 states that receives federal funding for abstinence-only education. So it's not clear what kind of sex ed standards they have. Or maybe Bristol went to a private school, where they can teach whatever they want.

Second of all, teenagers do manage to figure out about contraception even if it's not taught in schools. I'm obviously a strong, strong advocate of comprehensive sex education, but like I said before, it's possible that Bristol was in fact, using contraception, or hell, maybe she intended to get pregnant! Teenagers certainly do that, too.

No one specificpregnancy, unless it comes from the mouth of the teen herself that "I didn't know I could get pregnant/I didn't know about contraception/some other misinformation", can be blamed on abstinence-only education.

I just think making an example of her, or using her to prove a point, is a wrong move. Not to mention a logically flawed one.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:46 PM
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pwnd, I see.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:46 PM
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I was taught abstinence in my high school. I was also taught the real statistics on condom breakages and birth control failures, as well as information about a variety of different non-penetrative pratices, and of course all about STDs. But we were scrupulously told that the only 100% safe protection against STDs and pregnancy was abstinence.

I never got to see the famous condom-on-a-banana demonstration that people in public HS talked about. We had boring statistics and vocab lists instead.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:46 PM
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91: Yeah, but gave a speech to their convention, which is exactly the same thing, obvs.

The link in 43 is spooky.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:47 PM
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94: the AIP chairman seemed to think she was not so long ago.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:47 PM
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83: Still no. From Feminists for Life's website: "Feminists for Life's mission is to address the unmet needs of women who are pregnant or parenting. Preconception issues including abstinence and contraception are outside of our mission. Some FFL members and supporters support the use of non-abortifacient contraception while others oppose contraception for a variety of reasons. FFL is concerned that certain forms of contraception have had adverse health effects on women. "

Given the rest of her beliefs, including on abstinence-only sex ed, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that she opposes contraception, or defines any non-barrier contraception as 'abortion', but she's not out-and-proud with any position like that, and neither is FFL.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:47 PM
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^she


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:48 PM
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94: Right.

Not being registered as an AIP member did not keep some Alaskans from being supporters of the party and its aims. Jack Coghill, the lieutenant governor of Alaska from 1990 to 1994 and a candidate for governor in 1994 on the AIP ticket, told Mother Jones that being friendly with the AIP and a registered Republican was "common" in the 1990s. Might Palin had had a similar relationship with the party? Given her husband's long-time membership in the group, Palin was likely aware of the group's tenets. And in 2008, as governor, she submitted a welcoming video to the AIP convention in Fairbanks. "Your party plays an important role in our state's politics," she said. "I've always said that competition is so good, and that applies to political parties as well. We have a great promise: to be a self-sufficient state." She closed by saying, "Good luck on a successful and inspiring convention. Keep up the good work, and God bless you."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:48 PM
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Teaching *only* abstinence to teenagers is fucking stupid

Fucking stupid, or stupid fucking?

It occurs to me that with the reported rise of STDs in the teenage population we will soon have in reality the fiction of the 1950's, in which one "waited" for marriage to another virgin, or disease and heartbreak are the only options.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:48 PM
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we will soon have in reality the fiction of the 1950's

Not a chance. People have sex. Teenagers are people.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:50 PM
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The controversy is over abstinence-only education, which means pretty much what it looks like, versus comprehensive sex-ed, which teaches abstinence (of course) in addition to birth control methods. Every option includes abstinence education.

There are two different definitions of "teach" in play. Comprehensive sex-ed "teaches" abstinence insofar as it mentions that if you're not having sex you're much less likely to get pregnant, but it doesn't "teach" abstinence as "the best and greatest path to ultimate sexual fulfillment and the only way to make your eventual spouse truly love you, and you your spouse, as God intended", which is what the abstinence =only folks mean when they talk about "teaching" abstinence.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:51 PM
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Palin's Reverend Wright Moment:

"The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government," [Alaskan Independence Party founder Joe] Vogler said.

Not a Rev. Wright moment. For some Americans (and these are the kind of voters that Palin can reach), hatred for the American government = God Bless America!

I had no idea Alaska was so odd. I'm learning a lot from this campaign.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:52 PM
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104: P.S. Most STD's are curable.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:52 PM
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I think TLL was saying that a world where disease was inevitable in the absence of double-virgin marriage would be the reality of the fiction of the '50s -- not that teens wouldn't have sex, but that all the teens who had sex would have diseases.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:52 PM
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Also, teaching about contraception works better at preventing STDs than parents refusing to admit their kids are going to have sex regardless of how much they scream horror stories at them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:54 PM
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So this weird "fairness" is kind of driving me wild; who the fuck cares if she had an AIP membership card? She was friendly with the party and sympathetic to their aims, and she's going to try to cover that up now. Also, who the fuck cares what her personal views on contraception are? She supports only abstinence-only education in public schools; ergo, she is uninterested in helping prevent teenage pregnancy by any means other than a hopelessly moralistic and ineffective route. You can see in her own family the fact that moralistic conservatives are not, in fact, very good at preventing teen pregnancy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:54 PM
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103: I'll say it again. Is this stuff being reported in the mainstream media? I know, I should just go check. Choking down our bile in the blogosphere is well and good, but if Joe Sixpack isn't hearing about it, it doesn't exist for practical purposes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:54 PM
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So this weird "fairness" is kind of driving me wild why a halfwit like Karl Rove managed to eat our lunch for the last decade while promoting policies a majority of the country disagreed with.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:56 PM
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At another site, I just about lost my mind reading a conservative commenter asserting that Palin's family choices are private choices, nobody else's business, that it's unseemly to second-guess what other people choose to do and so on. I was like, yeah, that's pretty much the position of pro-choice advocates. Nice to hear that you--and Sarah Palin--have come around to that argument. What, you haven't? You still support the state making it illegal to make any choices except for those made by Sarah (and Bristol) Palin? So how are their choices private, nobody else's business, not a matter of public debate?

I mean, I have no problem with such matters being private, and as a matter of political tactics, I think this case especially should be so because I think it's a distraction, but come on: you don't get to be in favor of private choice only on the one day, one time, one moment where it's to your advantage.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:56 PM
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112: parsimon, you should go check, because trying to make your points while still admitting that you're unwilling to take the time to see if they have any validity makes you look like somebody who isn't worth listening to.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:57 PM
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113: I'll say.

114: and meanwhile, McCain's getting his hugs in on national TV.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:58 PM
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107: Yeah, but he also said, ""And I won't be buried under their damn flag." As any true patriot knows, you can hate anything about America except the flag.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 12:58 PM
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109. LB's got my back.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:01 PM
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I dunno if this qualifies as OT, but:

One member of the audience asked how Mr. Obama "would keep this election from being stolen," prompting laughter and applause.

"Well, it helps that in Ohio we've got Democrats in charge of the machine," Mr. Obama said, to more laughter. "But look, I come from Chicago. Let's be honest. It's not just Republicans who monkey around -- in the past, Democrats have too. People try to tilt things in their direction," he said, noting he would push for a non-partisan voting rights division in the Department of Justice.

I don't know how to feel about this sort of thing. Is it disarming in the sense of taking weapons out of your opponents' hands, or is it unilateral disarmament? I mean, this is a big part of Obama's schtick, and if he's going to get millions of Bush voters on his side, he can't be beating them up. OTOH, he can't just let's pretend that the last 8 years have been business as usual, or tit for tat. JFK didn't actually steal the election in Chicago, and anything that reinforces that myth is bad for Dems.

Speaking of myth reinforcement, Obama should have placed a condition on Casey Jr. speaking at the convention: debunk, once and for all, the myth about Senior not being allowed to speak b/c he was anti-choice.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:02 PM
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111: Dude, the only point of the kind of 'fairness' I'm talking about is to guard against a gotcha! moment. She spoke at an AIP convention and her husband was a member -- she treated them like a legitimate, sane, political party. That's damaging enough, but when you say she was a member and she wasn't, you lose points.

Again, supporting abstinence-only education is out of the mainstream and kind of nutty, and that's fair. Saying she's got a clear position on contraception generally when she doesn't makes you look like you're telling lies about her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:03 PM
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JFK didn't actually steal the election in Chicago, and anything that reinforces that myth is bad for Dems.

Um, he didn't?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:03 PM
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Yeah, but he also said, ""And I won't be buried under their damn flag." As any true patriot knows, you can hate anything about America except the flag.

Unless, you know, you're a Southern conservative, in which case flying a flag associated with treason and violent opposition to our flag turns out to be OK. I don't know if that amounts to hating our flag, but it seems like it's in the area code.

This is just another example of IOKIYAR.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:04 PM
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115: Understood. My larger point was that this "fairness" thing that drives you wild is exactly what the public hears. "Oh, she actually wasn't a member of the AIP, so that's okay then."

You see. But I'm not in the mood for your company when you're bitchy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:04 PM
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119: Crappy voting machines should be a bipartisan issue. Obama's choice to frame it this way means that, under his frame, anybody who opposes reform is partisan, by definition.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:06 PM
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121: Nope. He won by more than IL's electoral votes, for one: flipping just IL wouldn't have lost him the election. And he offered a Chicago recount in exchange for the Nixon campaign's agreement to a downstate recount -- Nixon refused, presumably because the shenanigans would have balanced out.

There was almost certainly significant misbehavior on both sides, but there's not anything like a clear "Nixon would have won cleanly if Kennedy's campaign hadn't cheated in Chicago" story.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:06 PM
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114: Barney Frank made that point on NPR/WBUR this morning.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:06 PM
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120: but look, that's all lawyerly; politically you score points with brevity. If they can get you to back down to equivocating statements like those, they've defused the attack. She supported the AIP's goals, and she does not support contraception -- in practical result, if not in specific niggling little ways. If that's not an accurate statements of her positions current and past, let her fucking prove it, and let her prove it more strongly than saying "oh, well, I didn't have a membership card, and contraception well mumble mumble hedge hedge feminists for life is burble burble ban abortion."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:07 PM
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86: Geez, Palin's HUSBAND was in the treasonous Anti-American secessionist movement, not Palin herself.

This would make an excellent subject for a New Yorker cover.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:08 PM
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125: well, okay, but Kennedy's campaign (or rather, their Chicago machine backers) did cheat. I'm not sure the 2004 election meets your burden of proof for being "stolen", either.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:09 PM
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127: But when you're making the initial statement, it doesn't hurt anything to make the punchy attack literally true, rather than pretty close. Which means knowing what's literally true is important.

Once you've fucked up and said 'member of AIP' when she wasn't, being unapologetic about it because it doesn't make any difference to your point it probably a good tactic, but better to not fuck up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:09 PM
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80: Depends on who is doing the teaching. Republicans don't understand that abstinence makes the hard grow fonder.


Posted by: shpx.ohfu | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:09 PM
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129: I'm not sure about the 2004 election. If there were one-sided shenanigans in Ohio, though, that's stronger than Kennedy, because Ohio's electoral votes swung it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:10 PM
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130: I have seen no convincing evidence that it's not literally true, and plenty of convincing evidence that it is. The fact that they might be able to conceal the documentary evidence necessary to conclusively prove it doesn't matter to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:10 PM
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I think the meta-level attack on Palin which is really not "unfair" and does not get mired in the technicalities is: "What the freak is up with bunkerizing her for days after her selection? Since when has any national political figure been allowed to do that*? How can you face Putin if you can't face Katie Couric?"

* OK, Cheney.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:11 PM
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In Chicago, there's definitely been tampering, but I'd guess it's mostly affected primary elections where the machine Dem used the fillip to take out any reform-minded challengers. It's very difficult for something like that to swing a national election, since it would require not only a close state vote, but also a fairly close EC vote as LB said.

Politicalfootball has it right in 119. The point of this framing is to show that you're being a sensible advocate of proper governance, rather than a foot-stamping sore loser partisan. Knowing who wins for sure is more important than who wins, provided you're a committed procedural liberal.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:12 PM
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117: I missed the flag part. Okay, that does have possibilities...

I'm not advocating fairness, by the way. I'm saying, don't put all your energy into a fight you cannot possibly win.

It's a trap. I think Emerson called it the grievance trap. Stay away from the daughter, unless you want to walk right into the trap. Look at those mean liberals, they say they're for choice, but look how they treat a poor girl who chooses to Do the Right Thing (yes, I know. I'm not saying the rules are fair, but I am saying the rules of this game are rigged against you).

Push the AIP connection. Depict Palin as a meanie who wants to kill all the polar bears. There are so many other ways to not be scrupulously fair, that don't get you into that politics of resentment that Democrats always lose.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:12 PM
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I have seen no convincing evidence that it's not literally true, and plenty of convincing evidence that it is.

I might be wrong about the evidence that's out there on any given point. If the evidence you've seen is good enough for you (I'm not sure if we're talking about AIP or contraception), go crazy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:13 PM
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Once you've fucked up and said 'member of AIP' when she wasn't, being unapologetic about it because it doesn't make any difference to your point it probably a good tactic, but better to not fuck up.

I think you're right in this instance, but I don't think anyone opposed to him regrets the "Obama is a Muslim" meme. In the end, I suppose it depends what demographic group you are fighting for.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:14 PM
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Of course, the British way of sex ed probably wouldn't work, either.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTMlZSKEu-Y


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:15 PM
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121: Nope. He won by more than IL's electoral votes, for one: flipping just IL wouldn't have lost him the election.

Therefore he didn't steal IL?

"I couldn't have robbed that store, Your Honor; I have more than enough money in the bank to cover rent."


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:15 PM
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136: believing in "the grievance trap" is itself a trap. Do you think that any conservative ever has said "well, wait, if I say this, people might think conservatives are mean. I oughtn't." They appeal to your better instincts as a way to neuter you, and it works like gangbusters.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:16 PM
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parsimon, the idea that you or Mary Catherine or me or Jetpack or anyone else here has any idea what the American public takes away from these stories is just silly. And not just because we're all so far outside the mainstream, but also because there's no normative American public.

That said, I really think that most uncommitted voters are not likely to feel warm and fuzzy about a presidential candidate who taps as his running mate an anti-choice candidate who talks about the choices her daughter is making re. her own pregnancy, a straight-talking governor who lied during her introduction to the American people, a reformer with close ties to Ted Stevens, a conservationist who hates polar bears, and a proud patriot with secessionist sympathies. I'm as sure that I'm right about this as I am of anything I can think of. And if I'm wrong, well, then, it's time to admit to myself that racism is so deeply woven into the nation's fabric that I might want to live elsewhere.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:17 PM
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140: Kennedy didn't steal 'the election', where 'the election' refers to 'the Presidential election of 1960' in Chicago, because whatever happened in Chicago was insufficient to change the outcome of the election. Doesn't mean he didn't do anything wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:17 PM
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141: That's insane. It's not an appeal to your better instincts, it's an appeal to your pragmatic, self-interested instincts. "Don't steal because it's wrong" is different than "Don't steal because you'll go to jail."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:18 PM
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Politicalfootball has it right in 119

Hey!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:19 PM
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They appeal to your better instincts as a way to neuter you, and it works like gangbusters.

It's still possible to have better instincts -- to be truthful, and not unnecessarily cruel to innocent people, and not appeal to or exploit wrongful beliefs -- and not be neutered.

You're right that worrying too much about who's going to think we're mean is a mistake, but considering whether what we're going to do is right or wrong isn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:20 PM
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Politicalfootball has it right in 119

Hey, indeed. That was 124 where I had it right.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:21 PM
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abstinence makes the hard grow fonder hard-on founder.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:21 PM
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And yes to 144: Threats of political consequences should be ignored when they're coming from people who don't have our best interests at heart, but that's different from setting aside our own actual better instincts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:21 PM
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Early returns from Chicago in 1960 helped sway western states, I had read. Mike Royko had a few great books describing how the Daley machine worked-- frequently via very aggressive get-out-the-vote tactics, and if you registered to vote but didn't pull the lever yourself, that was OK. Most precinct captains were pretty careful; I don't know the geographic extent of the graveyard vote, but a cheat that crude wasn't really necessary.

Not knowable seems like the cleanest judgement on this one.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:23 PM
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It's still possible to have better instincts -- to be truthful, and not unnecessarily cruel to innocent people, and not appeal to or exploit wrongful beliefs -- and not be neutered.

Reminds me of a line from Good Omens about Aziraphale: "Just because you're an angel doesn't mean you have to be a fool."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:24 PM
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145: Sorry JRoth, I meant that politicalfootball got it right in 124.

Also, this is a pretty nice "gotcha" on the issues for the Sarah Palin pick. Turns out McCain's semi-regular list of "Most Egregious Pork" included projects for Wasilla, AK requested by Palin as mayor on 3 separate occasions.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:24 PM
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Analyses of the vote count in Cook County, coupled with eyewitness testimony, demonstrate unequivocally that the Daley machine went absolutely nuts for Kennedy. Also, Nixon was arguably more gracious in defeat than LB is allowing above. The theories vary: he put country over party, he was too tired to fight more, he knew that he'd run again and wanted to appear to put country over party, etc.

All of this can be found in Jim Patterson's Grand Expectations, which is quite a good book though too heavy to bring on a plane.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:25 PM
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You're right that worrying too much about who's going to think we're mean is a mistake, but considering whether what we're going to do is right or wrong isn't.

Hmm. This seems different from what MC was saying above. My apologies, Sifu. You were right. I don't, OTOH, think you have a good response to MC, whom I think is pretty much right on this.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:26 PM
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Also, Nixon was arguably more gracious in defeat than LB is allowing above

Still actively contesting the vote in Hawaii in December, wasn't he? So, not terribly gracious by Bush v. Gore standards.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:26 PM
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147: OK, I had actually missed your 124, so I was all the more baffled by being written out of 119.

I agree with the principle in 124, but Obama doesn't say much of anything about voting machines - he's talking about political machines that steal elections, and election fraud. In the past 8 years, 99% of these activities (on the national level) have been coming from one side.

Even if Obama's way leads to the elimination of all election fraud, I'm still not 100% convinced that it's a good thing that the guilty parties not only get away with it, but also get effectively exonerated ("Let's not argue about who's been stealing elections from who...").


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:28 PM
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That said, I really think that most uncommitted voters are not likely to feel warm and fuzzy about a presidential candidate who taps as his running mate an anti-choice candidate who talks about the choices her daughter is making re. her own pregnancy, a straight-talking governor who lied during her introduction to the American people, a reformer with close ties to Ted Stevens, a conservationist who hates polar bears, and a proud patriot with secessionist sympathies.

Is the public hearing any of that, though, or is it all BABY BABY BABY?


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:28 PM
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if you registered to vote but didn't pull the lever yourself, that was OK

Yeah, but then there's other fun stuff like my mom still being registered to vote in Chicago even after 10 years outside the city and 2-3 requests to be removed from the voter rolls. Still, you're right that much of the machine vote was done through an incredible patronage system where the thousands of city workers got election day off in order to round up all their friends and neighbors to vote for the proscribed ticket. Nothing necessarily illegal, but pretty damn shady.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:28 PM
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155 is right, and 153 is nuts. Maybe not the Cook County part, but the BS myth about the graciousness of Nixon. He quit because he couldn't win, told everyone he was being gracious, and 50 years later good liberals are still parroting it.

No offense, ari, but it makes me sick.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:30 PM
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NAP*: Unsurprisingly, James Wolcott has the best lines on the Lieberspeech:

Lieberman's speech redefined unctuosness. He lubricated unctuosness with his own brand of smiling smarm.

Not About Palin.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:31 PM
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"Proscribed" is the opposite of "prescribed", PiMP.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:32 PM
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Not knowable seems like the cleanest judgement on this one.

Again, Chicago is a moot point - that's why LB smartly began her 125 by noting that IL didn't throw the EC to Kennedy (and spare me arguments about "swaying" - it's the whispiest of threads on which to hang a serious argument: a farmer in Idaho sitting by his radio, eager to hear how many votes JFK got in Illinois so he'd know which way to vote). Even if JFK won IL by shenanigans - and again, there's plenty of evidence that Nixon got 1000s of bogus votes downstate - he still won the rest of the country without Daley's help.

And this is what I mean about perpetuating the myth. That poor Richard Nixon, victimized by perfidious liberals!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:34 PM
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157: Is the public hearing any of that, though, or is it all BABY BABY BABY?

From what I have seen there has been some pretty decent attempts by some commentators (and even cable news) to mention the other stuff. It is the McCain campaign that is now pushing "BABY BABY BABY", to exploit it, to whine about it, and to try to push the other stuff out of the dialogue. Strange to watch.

What the public is hearing? Who knows.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:36 PM
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I don't think Palin's daughter's pregnancy shows a damned thing about her abstinence-only policies, any more than Malin Obama getting pregnant in six years would show that Democratic policies concerning the availability of contraception and sex-ed don't work. Not a damned thing. That's why we support research to see the effects of policies. And research says: abstinence-only means you're a little older when you first have sex, but eventually hormones win out so instead of being 16 and horny, you're 18 and horny and not using condoms. If Bristol Palin hadn't gotten knocked up, would we be saying this proves that Palin's policies work?

I think MC's right. Attacking Palin here is a game that Democrats can't win. There's maybe some hay to be made with 'They say Bristol had a choice but Palin's policies would mean that no one had a choice' but that sounds like little bitchery gotchas to me, even if it's a good point.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:37 PM
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161: Ah fuck. It just feels so weird to write "prescribe" in a non-medical sense.

Also to those worried about these more substantive and spending-based hypocrisy claims getting national press, the link in 152 is to a story by Los Angeles Times authors in the Chicago Tribune, which is typically right-wing. It's pretty unequivocal, too. Not written like a hit piece, but it doesn't try to dance around the facts of the case.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:37 PM
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Is the public hearing any of that, though, or is it all BABY BABY BABY?

Maybe those of you who can stomach cable news could give us an occasional report on this. I'll happily return the favor with a blow-by-blow account of the next season of "Survivor."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:40 PM
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159: You might want to take a deep breath and read 153 again, though I'm not offended at all by your comment.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:43 PM
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Also, Nixon was arguably more gracious in defeat than LB is allowing above.

Ari, this is the part that I don't get. By what standard was Nixon gracious in defeat?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:47 PM
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Swayed in the sense that fewer people bothered to go vote in LA and SF than in the subsequent election; at least that's what I read. Since big-city returns get reported first, more than just the aggregate IL difference matters. Daley was an autocrat, not a liberal. My claim is that either definite answer is wrong, that the extent of Chicago corruption's effect is not knowable rather than definitely large or definitely small.

The connection to current politics is tenuous IMO. The biggest variable in my mind is also unknowable: how many poorly-informed voters will just refuse to vote for a black man? I expect sharp age divides in results, and IMO motivating college kids to register somewhere is really important for this one, so it's great to read that Ohio Obama is well-organized. For whatever it's worth, I would personally photocopy the GWB-McCain hug photo and staple it to lampposts in swing districts. If there was a photograph demonstrating McCain's economic incompetence, that woul be good.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:48 PM
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I'll happily return the favor with a blow...

For the briefest fraction of a second as I read that, I was steeling myself to start watching CNN.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:50 PM
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He didn't demand a recount. Again, though, there are many explanations for why he didn't make that demand. My point was just that LB's ironclad assertion above is not shared by one of the historians of record for the 1960 election. And Patterson is a pretty liberal guy, an FDR Democrat if ever there was one. He positively loathes Nixon but remains relatively sympathetic, or at least not decisive, on this point


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:51 PM
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but that sounds like little bitchery gotchas to me, even if it's a good point.

I think this is right, at least as to how it sounds to most Americans, but I don't really understand it. Why was Kerry's reference to Cheney's daughter treated as an offense? Perhaps because one couldn't even bring up the subject in any way without seeming rude, given the Republicans' manifest hypocrisy in the matter and the personal nature of Cheney's relationship with his daughter.

Likewise, Sarah Palin's views on her daughter's pregnancy are so despicable/hypocritical that pointing out this simple fact is somehow beyond the pale. It's too mean. I guess the rule is that one ought not to apply politics to the personal lives' of one's foes, but that's not a rule the Republicans seem to feel any need to honor.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:56 PM
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My ironclad assertion was that Kennedy didn't "steal the election in Chicago", not that Nixon wasn't gracious (although I wouldn't think of the statement that Nixon was gracious as noncontroversial). The "Kennedy stole the election" meme bothers me because it gets stated as if it were incontrovertibly proven -- a neutral historical fact -- and it really isn't. (It's a neutral historical fact that Daley messed with the Chicago election returns, but not that such behavior was unique to the Democratic side in 1960, or that it flipped the election.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:58 PM
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Oh, so that was a grenade I had in my hand. Huh!

Um, so, can't really participate in the fight I started. I agree that the pregnancy thing is probably played out, although I think there's a hell of a lot of room to hit them on total hypocrisy.

But mostly I want more attacking and less worrying. If there's anybody who should be launching mean-spirited, full-throated attacks against anybody running for anything GOP anywhere, it's bloggers. We're the attack dogs, and should grow comfortable with that. Our counterparts on the right sleep fine at night.

But I have work to do at this exact moment, so the castle will have to remain unstormed for a bit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:58 PM
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Does anyone have any evidence that their judgment of what will play well with the voting public is any good?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:58 PM
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Sarah Palin's views on her daughter's pregnancy are so despicable/hypocritical that pointing out this simple fact is somehow beyond the pale.

Huh?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 1:58 PM
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Dammit, I guess I'm going to have to read this thread. And I had work to do, too.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:00 PM
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My point was just that LB's ironclad assertion above is not shared by one of the historians of record for the 1960 election.

I think LB acknowledges that Nixon didn't demand a recount. Is there some ironclad assertion here that I missed?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:00 PM
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I really think that most uncommitted voters are not likely to feel warm and fuzzy about a presidential candidate who taps as his running mate an anti-choice candidate who talks about the choices her daughter is making re. her own pregnancy, a straight-talking governor who lied during her introduction to the American people, a reformer with close ties to Ted Stevens, a conservationist who hates polar bears, and a proud patriot with secessionist sympathies.

FWIW, Palin was the last straw for my PUMA-esque aunt. After threatening to vote for McCain all summer, she's decided/resigned to vote for Obama. She's not an independent, exactly, but she is one of the voters Palin was supposed to appeal to, I think.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:01 PM
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I don't see how they're hypocritical. She's pro-life. Her daughter is pro-life. The kid got pregnant and is having the baby, which is the option when one is pro-life.

Oh, the 'choice' gotcha? It's really easy to read 'choice' as 'we talked about having an abortion, and Bristol chose life!' but it's also really easy to read it as 'the subject of abortion never came up because Bristol loves life, we didn't force her to do anything. And, after all, she did have a choice now, in this immoral country, and she resisted the easy way out. We're so proud of her morals.'

The first can sound like haha-hypocrite, but the latter is how everyone who is pro-life is going to hear it: Bristol's fine with having the baby. She's not praising her daughter for having a choice, she's praising her daughter for making the right choice, like you might praise a kid for not doing hard drugs even though tempted.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:03 PM
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judgment of what will play well with the voting public is any good?

I don't.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:06 PM
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like you might praise a kid for not doing hard drugs even though tempted

Don't laugh. After I showed my parents the cost-benefit spreadsheet that proved I'd get a better bang for my buck out of switching to heroin, they chipped in for my pot until I got a job.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:08 PM
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We're the attack dogs, and should grow comfortable with that.

Yep. However, now that the Enquirer and US Magazine are all over the babies (and I do believe we don't yet have the full story on that weirdness), there's no real need to expend energy on it. It's their natural beat anyhow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:09 PM
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She's not an independent, exactly, but she is one of the voters Palin was supposed to appeal to, I think.

I really want to conclude that Palin was supposed to shore up the base and not even McCain's gang of clowns seriously thought she would appeal to Hillary voters. But if that's what they wanted, why didn't they choose Jindal, who is just as bat-shit religious crazy and non-white-male as Palin but not so obviously unqualified as to make Richard fucking Cohen take notice?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:11 PM
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Ha HA.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:11 PM
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She's not an independent, exactly, but she is one of the voters Palin was supposed to appeal to, I think.

NO, no, no, NO. Palin was not supposed to appeal to any PUMAs. That would be stupid. She was supposed to appeal to the base, along with any conservative-leaning "independent" women who might have been inclined to go for "change" (Obama), but would like to see a woman in the White House. Some of these same women might have happily voted for Hillary, but they were more assuredly not the active and engaged Hillary supporters.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:11 PM
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180: That makes sense to me. I wonder if Palin will be asked (Dukakis-murdered-wife-style) what she would do if her daughter had chosen an abortion.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:13 PM
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I think it is very sporting of the hockey goon to claim to be the father when we all know the father is really... John Edwards.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:13 PM
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Cala is totally right. Palin's views on reproductive rights should be an issue, but her daughter's pregnancy should not, at all.

Also, I've reconsidered my response to the "who's your hero?" question. Dustin Pedroia is my hero.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:13 PM
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182 and 185 are both awesome. As to 184, my guess is that Jindal had more sense than to hitch his star to a weak candidate in an election year where the indicators are not really in the Republicans' favor.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:17 PM
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Dustin Pedroia is my hero.

Reminds me of Eckstein in how he really looks like he is trying hard on every play and every plate appearance. No natural ability, all guts.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:18 PM
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You might want to take a deep breath and read 153 again, though I'm not offended at all by your comment.

My objection is mostly to the middle bit in 153 (although I dislike the weight thrown on Chicago in the first part, as if that were the only substantiated vote-rigging), the claim of graciousness. I can't fight your cite because I read the relevant histories almost 8 years ago, so I don't recall the sources, but they were reputable (ie, not something from Bartcop). And part of what they said was that Nixon investigated a recount, even though he didn't end up demanding one. There's nothing "gracious" about failing to start an argument you know you can't win. Nixon sought a path to winning the post-election of 1960, discovered that there was none, and then patted himself on the back for not wrecking the country over it. Not "gracious."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:19 PM
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182: I laughed.

Does anyone have any evidence that their judgment of what will play well with the voting public is any good?

I must confess, I have not a shred of hard evidence to back up my own impressionistic perspective on the whims and vagaries of the voting public. I believe this makes me more than well-qualified to play political pundit on the internets.

Seriously, I don't know. The public/private thing is tricky, because it's now expected that presidential candidates present their family as part of the package (they're running for the First Family slot, after all). But I still think it's important to insist on a zone of privacy, even though the family is in the public eye. So if someone said, it's now okay to declare open season on Obama's wife and daughters because he had them up on the stage with him at last week's convention, I would object quite strenuously. But of course, the Republicans don't play fair with this one, and it's quite frustrating and unfair.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:22 PM
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So, I think atrios nails the weird hypocrisy of this here:

Values update: Unplanned teen pregnancy is now a good thing.

I mean, really, they're all about consequences and making the right decision and how having sex means your life will be over, and now they're all cheering wildly for a 16 year old who got knocked up?

Hypocrites. Judgmental hypocrites.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:22 PM
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191: yeah, with the difference that Pedroia is good at playing baseball.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:26 PM
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I mean, really, they're all about consequences and making the right decision and how having sex means your life will be over, and now they're all cheering wildly for a 16 year old who got knocked up?

I think you're pushing too hard, Sifu. The choice to not have an abortion is the only thing being cheered, which is not hypocritical, as much as you want it to be.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:27 PM
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I mean, really, they're all about consequences and making the right decision and how having sex means your life will be overyou might become a parent, and now they're all cheering wildly for a 16 year old who got knocked up is dealing with those consequences and, in their mind, making the right decision.

Oh come on. Fixed.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:27 PM
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194: It doesn't strike me as hypocritical. Maybe i've just seen it too much. Bristol's fitting into a pattern: have sex, get pregnant, keep the baby, fit in just fine at church. She made a bad choice to have sex, so the story goes, but she's now making the right choice by not punishing the ickle baby and dealing with 'the consequences.' It's too late to make the kid not have sex by berating her now.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:27 PM
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Likewise, Sarah Palin's views on her daughter's pregnancy are so despicable/hypocritical that pointing out this simple fact is somehow beyond the pale. It's too mean.

One of the things that Republicans have discovered in the last 10-25 years - and it's kind of a corollary to the Big Lie - is that voters intuitively reject ugly truths. Do you all recall that, during the 2004 election, some outfit did focus groups in which they found that the people simply refused to believe accurate descriptions of Republican policies? They were so much a caricature of plutocratic Republicans - cutting funding for programs for the poor, lowering taxes on the ultra-rich - that people just shut down and denied that those could possibly be the actual policies?

To some extent, these absurd personal situations are in the same category - the anti-gay pol with the out daughter, the pro-abstinence pol with the knocked-up daughter, the Christian Coalition leader stealing money from one set of gamblers to benefit another group. They're so over-the-top that people find an honest discussion of them to be rude and uncomfortable.

FWIW, there's also at least some evidence that Americans across the board aren't as sanctimonious as their leaders and their press - people responded to impeachment by loving Bill more than ever, even tho he'd not only done something (privately) wrong but also made a big deal lying about it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:28 PM
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Oh come on. Fixed.

Let's just state for the record that that is not the traditional version of their argument.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:32 PM
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To follow on 109:

I think that the net effect of all this baby stuff is going to be minor in and of itself. A few people will feel more empathetic, almost no one will reject her for it. But, as long as Obama and Biden keep it classy, I just don't see a real backlash. I don't think the Republicans can gin up a backlash out of Unfogged comments.

Furthermore, while the baby stuff distracts from the real problems with Palin (not even the ideological ones, but the lying and abuse of power and secessionist ones), it also contributes to a sense that this person is not a serious national figure. And that is a fine result. Dan Quayle was effectively neutered, despite many on the right boo-hooing about his treatment at the hands of the lieberal media - no one in the general public reads it that way, because they firmly consider him to be a joke. You can't mistreat a joke.

On Friday I said that Palin has 2 months to prove herself a formidable pol for the future. She can still pull it off, but the odds are much longer than they were 5 days ago. Among other things, note that the whole RNC is off-stride, meaning that even a pretty good speech tonight won't have the impact it would as part of a well-oiled PR machine.* I think there's a very good chance that Palin's future lies exclusively on the wingnut welfare circuit as someone who was done wrong by the MSM, but the general public just won't care.

* It's a machine that moves by striding.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:36 PM
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Reminds me of Eckstein in how he really looks like a short white guy, who is thus "scrappy". Only, as Sifu notes, he's a good ballplayer.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:37 PM
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Sifu isn't that far off: see this rather romantic Nordlinger post. Unwanted teen pregnancy might not be good, per se, but all the focus is on the wonderful family that's going to bloom, rather than the derailed life plans.

This isn't really hypocrisy, just incredibly warped perception (but what should we expect).


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:37 PM
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Laura Rozen:

Thanks to a live mike, you can now hear what Republican strategist Mike Murphy and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan really think of McCain's pick of Palin. (....Murphy: "It's not going to work" ... Noonan: "It's over." .... Murphy: "Is she the most qualified woman they could have picked?" Noonan: "Most qualified? No. I think they went for this - excuse me - bullshit - about narrative. ..." Murphy: "You know what's really the worst thing about it? McCain's supposed to be this non cynical politician. This is cynical. ....") Ouch!! (Presumably, Steve Schmidt will blame the media).

Does anyone have any evidence that their judgment of what will play well with the voting public is any good?

I thought Al Gore came off like a dick when he sighed and winced when Kerry said "global test." Also, I watched a gawd awful amount of "Step By Step" and "Just Shoot Me" voluntarily. OTOH, I hated "Titanic."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:38 PM
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The link in 200 is the point I was trying to make.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:38 PM
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201 is a follow-on to 199, in case that wasn't obvious.

I have nothing to add to 109.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:41 PM
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I think that the net effect of all this baby stuff is going to be minor in and of itself. A few people will feel more empathetic, almost no one will reject her for it. But, as long as Obama and Biden keep it classy, I just don't see a real backlash. I don't think the Republicans can gin up a backlash out of Unfogged comments.

No, Schmidt is just going to treat every question about Palin -- who is now stating that she will refuse to cooperate with the (Republican) legislative probe into her abuse of power in Troopergate -- as though it were about Bristol's bump and nasty reader diaries on Dailykos. Why was Wasilla on McCain's pork list? LEAVE BRISTOL OUT OF THIS. Did Palin attend AKIP conventions, as AKIP leaders say she did? LEVI AND BRISTOL ARE NOT PUBLIC FIGURES, YOU FILTHY LIBERAL BLOGS. Why did Palin pose in a "Nowhere, AK" shirt if she was so opposed to the Bridge to Nowhere? HAVE YOU SEEN THESE LOVING KIDS CHOOSING TO MAKE A COMMITMENT TO ONE ANOTHER AND TO LIFE?

Amazingly enough, Republican spin seem to have fallen through some sort of Schwartzschild radius where even the dopes on cable teevee aren't stupid enough to fall for it.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:42 PM
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She can still pull it off

Maybe I'm just having a spasm of optimism, but I've been thinking, in the immortal words of Dr. Peter Venkman, this chick is toast.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:47 PM
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I thought Al Gore came off like a dick when he sighed

When did you think this? When he sighed? Or the umpteenth time it was played on Cable News? Pundits and public alike were fine with his debate performance until the Repub talking points got incorporated into the media narrative. No one really gave a shit about "global test" when he said it. (And that one never really took hold with the public.)

Granted what you are doing is being good at predicting items that the Repubs will be able to use to crank up the media freak show.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:47 PM
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204: Titanic objectively sucked donkey balls.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:47 PM
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Cala is totally right. Palin's views on reproductive rights should be an issue, but her daughter's pregnancy should not, at all.

Normally, I'd be with you 100%, but shipping the boy out here for the convention kind of changes that. Without the scandal, he's not there.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:48 PM
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"Just Shoot Me"

David Spade excepted, I loved this show. I don't like most sitcoms.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:49 PM
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Without the scandal, he's not there.

KLo over at the Corner tells me that many of their readers believe that Bristol should introduce her mother tonight.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:50 PM
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When he sighed? Or the umpteenth time it was played on Cable News?

No, when he sighed. I don't know why people find this so hard to believe. It's irritating. We've all known people who argue like that, and we hate them. At least Real Americans do.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:50 PM
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207: Yep. A noun, a verb, 9/11 -> A noun, a verb, POW -> A noun, a verb, leave Bristol Palin alooooone.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:51 PM
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No, when he sighed. I don't know why people find this so hard to believe.

Because focus groups that night didn't mention it, and polls showed him winning the debate until there'd been a couple of days of cable 'news' coverage of it. You might have been irritated in real-time, but there's pretty hard evidence that not many other people were.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:53 PM
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212: David Cross in his recurring role of younger brother Donny was the funniest thing I'd seen in forever.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 2:54 PM
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shipping the boy out here for the convention kind of changes that. Without the scandal, he's not there

However the McCain campaign makes hay of it, it should still be off-limits. Facing parenthood and marriage at 17 isn't going to be easy, and the scrutiny and pressure they're getting isn't going to make it any easier. Plus, it's only been five days, and there appears to be more than enough in her background to work with.

Addendum to 208: actually, this chick is toast, but that's neither here nor there.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:04 PM
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My problem with Al Gore's debate performance had to do with his beta male earth tones: they just seemed too aggressively earthy, really, and therefore almost alpha. It might have been a problem with the picture tube, though.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:05 PM
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214, 216: Yes SCMT, and clearly others noticed it as well, even if only within the Repub oppo research team. This is the problem when the refs are "biased", there is always *something* they can pick on. For example, it was interesting(infuriating) that Edwards got by pretty well with the "whose daughter is gay" remark, while Kerry got creamed on "lesbian" a short time later (including the absurd charge that he "outed" her). A lot of reasons why the one took and the other did not, not worth rehashing. (And I *did* cringe at that one.

This is one reason why the progressive blogosphere has appropriately spent so much time on meta issues of media coverage. That is has had some (small) effect is one reason that folks like Schmidt are so "outraged" right now. At least you get some mainstream mention that the Repubs are "working the refs".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:06 PM
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I mean, really, they're all about consequences and making the right decision and how having sex means your life will be over, and now they're all cheering wildly for a 16 year old who got knocked up?

No, they're for Not Meddling With God's Punishments. They don't want teenagers getting off scot-free for having sex; they're fine with suffering consequences.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:07 PM
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How in the heck did I miss this?!:

Palin's gubernatorial disclosure filings also reveal her involvement in another failed startup -- a marketing business which was to go by the name Rouge Cou

Rouge Cou!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:10 PM
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and polls showed him winning the debate until there'd been a couple of days of cable 'news' coverage of it.

I thought--and still think--he won the debate. You can believe both. I don't know enough about the way focus groups are run to really respond to the first point.

Facing parenthood and marriage at 17 isn't going to be easy, and the scrutiny and pressure they're getting isn't going to make it any easier. Plus, it's only been five days, and there appears to be more than enough in her background to work with.

Right. You don't take shots at some guy not on the ticket when he's faced with a choice we all hope to avoid because you'll come off like a dick. We already have enough other material to work with, and,perhaps, the Enquirer and Us and People will do any other useful work.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:10 PM
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Speaking of people being punished for having sex...how are you feeling Heebie?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:11 PM
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ok plz to explain a subtlety to a londoner (from longer version of the noonan "bullshit" discussion, cp-ed off tpm):

PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --
CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.
MM: I totally agree.
PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it.

what does noonan mean when she says "narrative" is not "where they live"?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:11 PM
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224: haha. I'm feeling fine, but still a little anxious. Really not looking forward to "limited activity" for the next six weeks, but at least it's not bed rest.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:12 PM
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I fully agree with Cala, LB, and leblanc in this thread.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:15 PM
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I think "narrative" means "candidates with appealing biographies" and "not where they live" means "a style that doesn't suit them." But I don't speak media, so I could be wrong.

It's true that the less either republican says about policy the better for them, I think.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:15 PM
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Palin's daughter's pregnancy is best handled with a whisper campaign. A full on assault will trigger a huge defensive response.

On a similar topic I heard some caller to NPR saying (essentially) that now she is going to vote for McCain because some people on TV were being so mean to Palin, a working mother.

To NPRs credit they got the caller to acknowledge that it was not Obama or his campaign that was being mean, it was some talking heads on TV, but that didn't seem to matter to the caller.

Somebody was mean to someone she identified with and she'd vote against her own interests to defend herself.

Very twisted, and very strange, but very real.

We should let the tongues wag and the whispers and innuendos take care of this situation.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:15 PM
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214: You can't hear it over the internets, but that comment made me sigh audibly.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:17 PM
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The thing about Tripp's NPR caller is that I think there are a lot of them. And that they might have made up the group that certainly would not have voted for Obama, but they might have actually stayed home. But hell no, not now.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:18 PM
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because some people on TV were being so mean to Palin, a working mother

Interesting. We were watching House last night on Fox and "coming up next" on the Fox local news was apparently a segment of horror stories from mothers being treated badly at job interviews. Seemed odd to me that Fox would give a shit, but perhaps this is the "narrative."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:18 PM
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Which Peggy Noonan do you believe:
This one?

Because she jumbles up so many cultural categories, because she is a feminist not in the Yale Gender Studies sense but the How Do I Reload This Thang way, because she is a woman who in style, history, moxie and femininity is exactly like a normal American feminist and not an Abstract Theory feminist; because she wears makeup and heels and eats mooseburgers and is Alaska Tough, as Time magazine put it; because she is conservative, and pro-2nd Amendment and pro-life; and because conservatives can smell this sort of thing -- who is really one of them and who is not -- and will fight to the death for one of their beleaguered own; because of all of this she is a real and present danger to the American left, and to the Obama candidacy.
She could become a transformative political presence.
So they are going to have to kill her, and kill her quick.

Or this one?

PN: It's over.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:19 PM
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It's the narrative alright. The right has discovered sexism.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:20 PM
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yes it's what "narrative" means that loses me really -- i understood "not where they live" (as in "not their natural element"); but not why dems live there but the gop don't


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:20 PM
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Palin's daughter's pregnancy is best handled with a whisper campaign.

What are you going to whisper? Nearly every high school in America has a pregnant teenager in it. There's nothing remotely newsworthy about it.

Very twisted, and very strange, but very real.

Eh, maybe real.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:21 PM
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We already have enough other material to work with, and,perhaps, the Enquirer and Us and People will do any other useful work.

What? Heebie's got Unfogged working in conjunction with the Enquirer on this story?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:22 PM
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Amazingly enough, Republican spin seem to have fallen through some sort of Schwartzschild radius where even the dopes on cable teevee aren't stupid enough to fall for it.

This remains to be proved, but the signs are auspicious. Nobody, not even a Republican, can count on being let off the hook when sex is somehow involved.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:24 PM
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233- Can I wait for a third option?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:24 PM
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Eh, maybe real.

That is to say, I've seen a whole truckload of "I was going to vote for Candidate X until mean mean liberals said something and now I'm going to vote Candidate Y." I'm sure there are some number of those people out there (it's a big country, after all), but I tend to regard most of that as bullshit intended to spook your opponents.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:24 PM
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It's the narrative alright. The right has discovered sexism.

I'm intrigued. Will the right's cynical attempt to jump about the gender equality train actually advance the cause? Will they end up twisting what equality means so that we're totally fucked?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:25 PM
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The thing about Tripp's NPR caller is that I think there are a lot of them. And that they might have made up the group that certainly would not have voted for Obama, but they might have actually stayed home. But hell no, not now.

Women who are suspicious of men in general and are reflexively defensive about any women who may in any way be under criticism? I think the nomination of Palin won them over, no matter what happened subsequently. There was bound to be criticism of some sort.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:26 PM
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she is a woman who in style, history, moxie and femininity is exactly like a normal American feminist and not an Abstract Theory feminist;

All of a sudden there are normal American feminists? I thought feminists were heartless antifamily manhaters. My head hurts.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:26 PM
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but not why dems live there but the gop don't

Because in order to be a GOP operative, as Noonan is, you have to be able to suppress all cognitive dissonance. Of course the GOP is all about narrative, and as oudemia points out, Noonan is an active participant in crafting that narrative.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:26 PM
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about aboard


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:27 PM
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apo,

I'm not getting you.

Because group loyalty is so great with authoritarians the way to express disapproval is by innuendo and tut tutting. The authoritarian busybodies will take care of that, although we can join the tut tut chorus if we want.

If we outsiders start a frontal assault it will be "man the barricades" and then the whispers will be suppressed.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:28 PM
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241: I think Fox has always been OK with the promotion of women, as long as they're extremely attractive.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:30 PM
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233.1: It's really remarkable that they can be writing things like that having heard Palin say, what, less than 1000 words on national television? Less than 1000 words total, most likely.

Perhaps these last few days would have been uglier had Palin been out in front for all of it, but it is bizarre that Republicans have allowed the media to entirely define her, apparently saving her voice for tonight's speech. It makes their overflowing joy at the Idea of Palin quite pathetic.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:30 PM
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the first noonan quote is interesting because it basically says "wow this is too complex to call, the side that defines it wins" -- which i guess is what i was trying to say a few nights ago when i was squeaking "wedge issue" all over the place: the complex jumble of cultural markers opens up this really unusually wide field of potential things to disagree about in nearly all micro-constituencies; it puts a highlight marker over nearly everyone's cognitive dissonances, in ref. the allegiances they can usually find ways to paper over -- it doesn't just put a cat among liberal pigeons, it seems like it puts dozens of cats among everyone's pigeons


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:31 PM
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||
OK, my MIL wanted to know what time the Palin speech would be tonight, so I went to the RNC website. Are you ready for this?

Washington is broken and the Original Maverick will fix it
[I inferred the capitalization]

These people are just pathetic. Do you remember "Prosperity with a Purpose"?

Also: Do you think the times they're giving are CDT, or what? Don't you think it should say somewhere? It says Rudy! and Bristol are scheduled to speak between 9 and 10. That's earlier than the Dems, but then these are Republicans. It's probably a sin for a married woman to be on TV after 10 pm.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:34 PM
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Bristol?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:37 PM
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How... Do I... Reload This... Thang? WHAT?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:38 PM
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I have no idea how big the group is of people who will vote for McCain against their own interests just to spite the people who attack Palin. All I know is the woman on NPR sounded sincere and I wished I could ask her "So are you really saying you would cut off your nose to spite your face?"

Maybe she was thinking that it is noble to sacrifice yourself when defending another but I don't think that was it. I think it was not a rational process. I think it was about feelings, and it was about doing something stupid because it feels right. Like invading Iraq. I really dislike those kinds of people selecting who runs my country.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:38 PM
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244: yes that would explain why i didn't understand it, that noonan was either talking self-deluded nonsense or dishonest nonsense; i was assuming the "caught on a live mike" aspect of tpm's presentation meant she was actually saying something she believed to be true (and not meant to be public), which is that republicans can't "do narrative" as well... in which case i was interested what she thought she meant, bcz i don't quite get it


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:38 PM
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I'm intrigued. Will the right's cynical attempt to jump about the gender equality train actually advance the cause? Will they end up twisting what equality means so that we're totally fucked?

I think the annual ritual of "Dr. King would have been horrified by affirmative action" that we get every January 20 or thereabouts should tell you everything you need to know.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:38 PM
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255: or whenever the hell MLK Day falls.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:39 PM
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It has to be CDT - the networks are still reserving the 10 PM hour only.

I'm starting to get worried - the media has made the Palin speech Must-See TV, and I suspect she's going to deliver. She used to be on television for a living, you know she can read prompter.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:41 PM
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All I know is the woman on NPR sounded sincere and I wished I could ask her "So are you really saying you would cut off your nose to spite your face?"

Aren't people who call into radio shows often pretty nutty?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:41 PM
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Amazingly enough, Republican spin seem to have fallen through some sort of Schwartzschild radius where even the dopes on cable teevee aren't stupid enough to fall for it.

Palin's nomination has brought forth a vigorous response from both cable and even the networks wrt not only the tabloid stories but also her more substantive problems. I'm not sure why her, why now. (I suspect that the media powers that be will not cotton someone who may, through a very probable series of events, actually make the White House a pulpit from which to dispense inanities about creationism, book banning, and whatever other backward ideas this true believer has in store.)

On the one hand, this is a rare opportunity to enjoy turning on the news. On the other, it is damning evidence of the media's failure to play its watchdog role for more "acceptable" atrocities (torture, domestic spying, politicization of DOJ/IMF/EPA/etc.).

She will do boffo tonight in her speech. I take this as a good thing since it will foreclose the opportunity to ditch her from the ticket in a reasonable amount of time.


Posted by: lurky lou | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:42 PM
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How... Do I... Reload This... Thang? WHAT?

You see, real American feminists don't even know how to reload a simple hunting rifle. They get their menfolk to show them how. All republicans know this.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:46 PM
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257- A nomination needing a home run from a VP speech? That's got to be a first.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:46 PM
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Bristol?

Just a little joke.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:49 PM
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Just a little joke.

Ah, you got me. My jaw hit the desk.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:52 PM
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After I showed my parents the cost-benefit spreadsheet that proved I'd get a better bang for my buck out of switching to heroin, they chipped in for my pot until I got a job.

I would like to highlight this statement and ask if it can possibly be true.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:54 PM
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that noonan was either talking self-deluded nonsense or dishonest nonsense; i was assuming the "caught on a live mike" aspect of tpm's presentation meant she was actually saying something she believed to be true

Bear in mind that Noonan is an especially nutso brand of Republican operative - she's most famous for talking about how the first time she ever met Reagan, she fell in love with his loafers (maybe brogans?), and of course how magical dolphins saved little Elian Gonzalez and brought him to Miami so he wouldn't have to live in Cuba.

Which isn't to gainsay the more cynical explanations above, but she's definitely one who has embraced the cognitive dissonance and made it an existence.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:54 PM
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why her, why now

one reason could be that it's actually her novelty, as new and different* evidence, that opens up a way for the Village to get off the (crashing?) train they're beginning to grasp they've been on a lot too long, without straight-up admitting they've been idiots (it's also an excuse to avoid facing their own complicity in building first bush and then mccain up)

*it isn't different, but "newness" is her branding


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:54 PM
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262- Nah, that's plausible. A little joke would be saying that the wedding would be held after the speech.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:55 PM
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266 is genuinely insightful. If you think how suddenly the media turned on Bush after Katrina, you see a similar pattern. It's not so much a Kuhnian moment as a Kruschevian one: when everyone looks around and realizes that it's OK to say what they've been thinking for a long time, without getting shot.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:58 PM
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it isn't different, but "newness" is her branding

Yeah, no obvious link to the Bush administration is a big selling point. Also, I think they made the calculation that it had to be somebody solidly anti-abortion, and the only other GOP woman holding significant office (that I can think of off the top of my head) who fits that Bill is Elizabeth Dole. Who is in deep danger of losing her should-be-safe Senate seat already and is a month older than McCain, to boot.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 3:59 PM
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I think lurky lou mostly gets it right in 259, although I think that the 'spurned lover' explanation* for the media's turn against Palin has some merit.

I don't actually think her speech will be very impressive tonight; but I think she'll be graded on a curve, just like W, and she'll pass. Part of the reason I don't think she'll do "boffo" is that she's reading a speech that was originally written for a Generic Male VP, and is now being revised. It'll have lots of pat biographical stuff that will make the delegates swoon, but there will be little connection between her and her words.

* Basically, that McCain hung the press up to dry with this choice, because they had no prep done for Palin, and because they probably recognize that she's a bad choice that makes McCain look foolish, which makes their McCain crush look pretty foolish.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:00 PM
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Which Peggy Noonan do you believe:

Oh, I believe the same one Noonan herself believes, but I'm grateful for the other one's massive contributions to the great tradition of utterly surreal right-wing discourse. "She is a feminist not in the Yale Gender Studies sense but the How Do I Reload This Thang way" is an all-time classic.

to be scrupulously fair, she's pretty clearly one of the most conservative politicians ever to run for national office in this country.

Not sure I agree, but she's certainly the most conservative on a major-party Presidential ticket since WWII, in the fundamentalist Christian sense of conservatism. That should be pointed out.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:03 PM
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i'm still having trouble grasping the actual thing noonan is claiming -- or the reasoning she thinks she's making claim to, whether cynically or bcz she's nutso: what is it she is claiming to be the case about the gop that makes "narrative" not where it lives? what are the outlines of the actual myth she is appealing to: what's wrong with "narrative"? (or with the gop, if it was genuinely a not-meant-to-be-overheard criticism, of tactics they don't do well...)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:04 PM
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||

This AFL-CIO flyer contains a gem of an attack on McCain: that he proposes to make your company-provided health insurances taxable income. All the wonkish criticisms of McCain's health care policies, warranted as they are, don't pack the wallop of this simple (and, by the standards of campaign rhetoric, true) charge.

I'd like to have this repeated about 50 million times between now and November.

|>


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:09 PM
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272: Noonan believes that the GOP is all about authenticity. The fact that authenticity is a constructed narrative is completely outside of her head, whether intentionally so or not. Therefore, to Noonan, if Republicans will just be their authentic selves, they will succeed through the Power of Authenticity. She evidently views Palin as in some way inauthentic, and her selection an attempt to buy into a bogus, by-definition inauthentic "narrative" (whether of feminism or maverickeyness or "new"ness).

I think that, even tho Palin appears to be authentically a rightwing nutjob (and therefore to be authentically appealing to the party's base of rightwing nutjobs), her selection by McCain is so transparently calculated that her authenticness becomes irrelevant - she may as well be a phony like Romney.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:11 PM
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I would like to highlight this statement and ask if it can possibly be true.

Well, I'm eliding a lot of other discussion here. They initially claimed my discount rate was excessively high, I had to point out that risk-seeking behavior is typical and even rational when living at a borderline sustenance-level, etc. Eventually I convinced them with the argument that no government regulation existed to put a Pigovian tax on my heroin consumption, thus according to the Coase theorem, they'd have to provide a subsidy to bring us all to the societal optimum.

Did I mention that my dad's Tyler Cowen?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:13 PM
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274: What's nice about that is that it reveals the confusion in the Republican party about the nature of the Republican party. That is, it really might be Palin's party now, but Noonan doesn't get it because she thought that they were just using the fundies.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:15 PM
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in the fundamentalist Christian sense of conservatism

IOW, the extremist conservatism.

270: Well, we *know* that she'll do boffo in the hall, and all the fresh-faxed talking-point repeaters will chime in exultantly. The press will deem her to have cleared the bar (which they'll pretend was heightened). That's all that is needed to keep the train(wreck) on track.


Posted by: lurky lou | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:19 PM
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ah! thank you jroth -- yes, i get it now, i sorta assumed it was some kind authenticity thing, but couldn't work out how ever you actually show-and-tell authenticity to the world without a story


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:20 PM
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273 is indeed a good attack for those with decent health-care at their jobs. Hell, just let people know that the McCain plan would most likely be a giant wealth transfer from those in their 40s and 50s to those in their 20s (provided, of course, that any of that income is given back to the workers instead of shareholders). I figure that the 20-somethings are safely enough in the Obama camp, and there are far more 40-60 year old voters anyway.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:21 PM
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The press will deem her to have cleared the bar (which they'll pretend was heightened).

I'm sort of terrified that this is going to be what happens in the debates.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:21 PM
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Some of the media snit is just that, a "process" snit for:
1) Surprising them with Palin.
2) Locking her up for days afterwards.

I think these have also contributed to the overall cooling of their maverick love and ties in to larger trends, but the immediacy of the "insult" is giving it added vehemence.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:22 PM
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278: Yes, it is still hard to say what Noonan "really" thinks. The mic off thing rips off another peel or two of the onion, but there are certainly more to go. Rove chatting in a TV studio even if he thinks the mic is off is different than him roaring in his office "We'll fuck 'em! We'll fuck 'em like he's never been fucked before!" about some poor soul. (As overheard by a reporter in the hall.)

I suspect Noonan is utterly cynical about the "Republicans aren't narrative" thing in truly unguarded moments; I think she would have to be to craft some of the insidious things she has written ... but by that time you are probably deep into the psychology of "belief" territory. Are they actually all Roy Cohn's deep down? I don't know.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:31 PM
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I think Fox has always been OK with the promotion of women, as long as they're extremely attractive. and/or `know their place'


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:40 PM
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My mother on Palin: "Now, she seems a bit scary...All those guns! Of course, it is Alaska..."


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:48 PM
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274: She [Noonan] evidently views Palin as in some way inauthentic

Despite that, the authenticity theme seems to be it. I heard a dreadful NPR interview with someone who sounded to be the current governor of Arkansas who couldn't emphasize Palin's authenticity enough. Truly idiotic, insofar as he insisted that her experience, or lack thereof, was not nearly as important to the office for which she now runs as is the fact that she's ... uh, really who she is. And the American people know that that's really what's important, otherwise they'd be electing the smartest person at Harvard, but we don't do that, do we? Do we? No.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:54 PM
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How nice of CNN to provide informative facts like "Mary Leavitt opened a flag shop when her son was sent overseas and she couldn't find an adequate flag supplier".

Also, I did not want to turn on the television and see Wolf Blitzer just after reading the title of this thread.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:55 PM
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If she can beat off the frothing Wolf, she will have run a harrowing gauntlet on her way to a positive public image.


Posted by: Satan Mayo | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 4:57 PM
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She will do boffo tonight in her speech.

To live up to the hype, she'd have to do something like wrestle a grizzly bear and win. It's going to be sadly pathetic and she'll have to step down very soon. To save her family from evil doers or something.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 5:00 PM
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Are they actually all Roy Cohn's deep down? I don't know.

Yes, they are. But worse.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 5:01 PM
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To live up to the hype, she'd have to do something like wrestle a grizzly bear and win.

What scares me is: she might be able to do that.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 5:15 PM
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I dunno. Grizzly Man didn't seem to put up much of an obstacle.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 5:33 PM
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Maybe she's going to beat off a grizzly bear on live TV.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 5:36 PM
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289 was me

249 was very good

PN: Every time the Republicans do [narrative], because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it.

This is actually very interesting. Noonan may be talking about using signs & symbols in discourse as opposed to narrative. Elian & the dolphins is more an image than a story. The other example was what, Reagan/s loafers? 9/11 wasn't a story, it was gut-level images, slogans, symbols. "Obama isn't important" so much as the pictures of grunts shooting machine guns...doesn't matter much what they are shooting at, i.e., narrative doesn't matter.

Very interesting.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 5:37 PM
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293:damn fuck it to hell

Of course I meant "Osama isn't important" the Bush quote. How did that happen?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 5:39 PM
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294: How did that happen?

subconcious narrative

The signs and symbols thought is interesting. I usually just lump that in with implied narrative or narrative reinforcement, but it is really at a different level.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 5:43 PM
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-


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 5:48 PM
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Bob, S'okay, it's not like your his running mate or anything.


Posted by: lurky lou | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 5:49 PM
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It's so infuriating to hear this woman on CNN saying that she's voting for McCain even though she supports abortion rights and gay rights because abortion rights can't go away.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 5:57 PM
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My interpretation: I've mentioned Way Out There In the Blue, Frances Fitzgerald's history of the Reagan-era Star Wars program, before (it's great, I thought), I think. Fitzgerald does a really good job conveying one of Reagan's most effective rhetorical techniques: the man was a tireless collector of factoids and anecdotes, and could pull something appropriate out for any occasion. I suspect what Noonan means is not so much that the Republicans are running on narrative -- surely she knows somewhere in her shriveled heart that her boy Ronnie was almost nothing but narrative, in both his positives and his negatives -- but that McCain isn't crafting the narrative. He's not steering the conversation; I think she sees him chasing an already present narrative (PUMA PUMA PUMA!), which I don't think is the case but is a plausible interpretation of what she said.

Or maybe she's just repeating what the magical holy dolphins told her. Who knows, man?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:00 PM
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298: I'd love to go on TV as the counterpoint to that. "I know I should support McCain, because I'm white, kind of arrogant, my household makes over $250K a year, I'm totally into military technology, but, y'know, Obama... I could just lick him all over. I mean, the guy is smokin' hot. So I think I'm gonna have to vote for him."


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:02 PM
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"Ethnic Catholics"? The hell are you talking about, Ed Rollins?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:03 PM
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"Ethnic Catholics"? The hell are you talking about, Ed Rollins?

That means "Irish and Italians".


Posted by: Satan Mayo | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:07 PM
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It's so infuriating to hear this woman on CNN saying that she's voting for McCain even though she supports abortion rights and gay rights because abortion rights can't go away.

What? They can't? What?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:07 PM
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The hell are you talking about, Ed Rollins?

See, if this sort of assessment were true NJ and RI would always go Republican.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:09 PM
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I quoted the wrong bit, but you see where I am going.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:11 PM
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303: I suppose it's too much to expect the interviewer to follow up by asking if the interviewee knows who appoints Supreme Court justices.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:11 PM
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303: What? They can't? What?

That seems to be about the size of things, b-wo. I'm going to have to check out of political junkie mode, I think. Can't take it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:13 PM
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Digby Declares a Culture War ...maybe her title "Orthogonian Joan of Arc" is better

Let the Battle Begin ...Obama is the one declaring the Culture War anyway, with a pro-choice commercial.

But McCain is Declaring War on the Press?

hilzoy shows the PN video ...and 'von' comments. Another of OBsWi other pet Republicans, 'ocsteve' also thinks Palin means McCain wins.

By my count, this is 18 of the last 20 posts on Palin. Sullivan is worse (and verging on the clinically insane w/r/t the Jews for Jesus angle). There is certainly room for criticism of Palin, but what I'm getting now from the Obamosphere is fear. And a degree of short-sightedness.

Palin is going to give a good speech tonight. Based on past media interactions, she's no Dan Quayle: she's going to speak her mind. I've also now heard/read her deliver more than a few quick-witted, cutting remarks. If the Obamosphere approaches her the way it has, it's going to get decimated without even realizing what's happening.

You're going to disregard this advice. That's OK.

Posted by: von | September 03, 2008 at 07:08 PM


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:18 PM
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"Mortgages once thought to be safe are now threatened." What? Is that from the point of view of the bank?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:18 PM
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Meg Whitman: "It would be foolish to deny... our economy is struggling." Who's a whiner now?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:19 PM
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I wish the republicans would stop forcing me to think about sex all the time. It started with Ken Starr's report, which meant that every time I saw Bill Clinton I'd think about Monica Lewinsky, and you know where that led. Now every time I see McCain I'll think of Sarah Palin, which will remind me of Bristol Palin, and sex. It's all too icky.

Whatever happned to traditional values such as don't ask, don't tell - and more importantly, I guess it's okay if people have sex, they just shouldn't be shoving it in my face.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:19 PM
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and you know where that led

A-yup.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:21 PM
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-


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:24 PM
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What the DFH's found out in the last full-out declared Culture War is that the other plays for keeps, and shoots to kill. Literally. Weatherpeoples tried to make it a fair fight, but liberals couldn't hack it.

von & ocsteve may just be projecting their own fear onto hilzoy, but if hilzoy isn't scared, she is blinded by her Gandhi complex. Psst...the right isn't like you, hilzoy. See Iraq.

I'm fucking scared. Shit, I know Palin = dead folk in America.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:27 PM
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311: I guess it's okay if people have sex, they just shouldn't be shoving it in my face down my throat.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:28 PM
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-


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:30 PM
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More Palin emails in Troopergatereleased it seems.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:34 PM
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"Longstanding commitment to protecting our environment," my ass.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:44 PM
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It sounds like there are 27 people there.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 6:45 PM
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I should probably take the number of times I've just shouted "Fuck you, Mitt Romney!" at the television as a sign to turn the thing off.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:03 PM
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The Secretary of Defense briefed the new President this morning. "Madam President," he said, "Three Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq." President Palin collapsed on her desk, head in hands and visibly shaken, almost whimpering. Finally, she composed herself and asked the Secretary of Defense, "Just exactly how many is a brazillion?"


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:03 PM
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But really, it's telling that he thinks giving prisoners constitutional rights is a liberal value.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:04 PM
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Does anyone know what time Palin is scheduled to speak? C-Span is not helping me.

Did she already give her speech? Did she wrestle a grizzly?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:04 PM
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Did I just hear Mittens say "It's time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother"?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:05 PM
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323: sometime between 10 and 11 PM Eastern time, I think.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:06 PM
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325: Thanks. I'm not expecting her to flop, btw. I suspect she'll do reasonably well (as measured by whoever gets to measure such things). She's not stupid.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:09 PM
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I should probably take the number of times I've just shouted "Fuck you, Mitt Romney!" at the television as a sign to turn the thing off.

I'm with essear. BR just suggested that maybe we shouldnt watch it bc I am yelling too much.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:10 PM
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Jesus, Romney is terrible. No wonder he didn't get the nomination.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:10 PM
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Regarding the media's treatment of Palin, don't underestimate the pack instinct among journalists. Careerist reporters and editors know that there's nothing more dangerous than deviating from the conventional wisdom. Palin and McCain simply didn't offer any kind of positive narrative - her manifest problems were simply too interesting at the outset.

I don't see Palin digging out from under this - maybe if she becomes president in a crisis, the media will be forced to rewrite the narrative, but that's what it would take. The key for her and McCain is for her to lay low.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:10 PM
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You know, we're often pretty hard on mcmanus, but if Sarah Palin shoots him we'll feel pretty bad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:12 PM
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326: I'm curious how you know she's not stupid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:14 PM
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331: I'm curious why it bothers you that I think she's not stupid. I don't know one way or the other, of course, but so far, everything I've seen and heard makes me suspect she's not stupid.

She seems to come from a small-town, lower-middle class background. It's hard to get from that point to a state governorship while being stupid. So I suspect she's smart (note: I don't mean intellectual), with lots of drive and ambition.

I'm not saying she's not a wingnut, of course.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:20 PM
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What's so funny about Romney's speech is how it illustrated how weirdly adrift the GOP is. Romney was digging back into the greatest hits from the '80s and '90s about how the Democratic Party is the party of big government, big brother, big taxes, etc. And then he goes on to tell us about all the wonderful things a GOP-led government is going to do for us (improve the environment, provide healthcare, etc.).

So, the GOP is against the idea of big government, even though it wants to promise the people the things they clearly want from government.


Posted by: the bear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:23 PM
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I'm listening on the radio--did they just take Mike Huckabee and replace him with Barack Obama?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:24 PM
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everything I've seen and heard makes me suspect she's not stupid.

I'm not saying she's not a wingnut, of course.

Perhaps we need to define 'stupid'.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:24 PM
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"Not without a certain low cunning"


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:29 PM
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326: I'm curious how you know she's not stupid.

Perhaps we need to define 'stupid'.

She might be ignorant, but she's clearly not stupid. If you're not in the power structure by birth or marriage, you don't get to be governor of Podunkia by being stupid.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:29 PM
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I'm fucking scared. Shit, I know Palin = dead folk in America.

Get back in your skull, Bob.

I expect Palin will do fine. Short of actually falling down and speaking in tongues, she almost can't fail to give a well received speech. Thing is, though, she's already sucked all the air out of McCain's convention. Regardless of the success or failure of her performance, everyone's talking about her not, you know, the presidential candidate.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:29 PM
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It's like the Palin nomination was made just for Labs, isn't it?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:31 PM
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Just watching Romney's speech my jaw is still hanging open. The guy would have came over more credibly if he'd walked out dressed in a papier-mâché head-dress shaped like a cock and gurgled for 5 minutes.

Huckabee seems to be dipping into the same barrel of concentrated wrong but at least with a tad more panache.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:31 PM
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everyone's talking about her not, you know, the presidential candidate.

Actually, Levi Johnston's gotten a lot of good press. I think this has been a great way to introduce him to the American people.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:31 PM
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335: Well, I think Huckabee's a wingnut, but I absolutely do not think he's stupid.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:32 PM
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Veterans bought us schooldesks?!???! WTF?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:33 PM
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337: As my father was fond of saying, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:34 PM
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332: it hardly bothers me, I'm just curious how you could know, given that we've heard about 300 words from this woman. I'm sure she's not as stupid as, say, Bush, but otherwise Rfts's impression seems apt to me. She certainly seems to have managed to do some pretty boneheaded things here and there.

Actually, I don't really know what this has to do with the speech she's reading tonight, which was written by somebody else for somebody else.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:34 PM
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Did governor's-son Mitt Romney (M.B.A., Harvard), the former venture capitalist and governor of Massachusetts worth some $400 million dollars, really just accuse Barack Obama of being an Eastern elitist?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:35 PM
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339 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:36 PM
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16: Thanks, Enquirer. All is forgiven re. Edwards now.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:38 PM
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Did governor's-son Mitt Romney (M.B.A., Harvard), the former venture capitalist and governor of Massachusetts worth some $400 million dollars, really just accuse Barack Obama of being an Eastern elitist?

Why shouldnt he? McCain (son of admirals and husband of heiress) has been doing the same about Obama. Utter ridiculousness.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:38 PM
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346: it's not about how much money you have, who your parents were, where you're from, where you were educated, or who you married. It's about what party you're in.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:38 PM
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What is wrong with teaching abstinence to teenagers? If you fuck, oh fertile youth, you have a very high likelihood of getting pregnant or of getting an STD. Condoms break. The only 100% way of not getting pregnant is no fucking. Sorry. (Psst, I know with all of your raging hormones it seems impossible not to try, boys and girls. It is difficult, but not impossible).

The problem is that saying that abstinence is "the only 100% way of not getting pregnant" is not, in fact, true. Or at least, it's not supported by any actual, you know, studies. If you are using abstinence as birth control, then, like *any* birth control, there is going to be a difference between its efficacy with perfect use (probably close to 100%) and its efficacy with *typical* use, which seems--according to the data on abstinence-only education--to be quite a bit lower.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:40 PM
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340 is great, and I wish I could watch this thing from nattargrcmmatt's distant perspective. The thought of my daughters growing up with this Soviet-level Orwellian reality-bending is starting to depress the fuck out of me.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:43 PM
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Also, abstinence doesn't get you laid.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:43 PM
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Did governor's-son Mitt Romney (M.B.A., Harvard), the former venture capitalist and governor of Massachusetts worth some $400 million dollars, really just accuse Barack Obama of being an Eastern elitist?

Would a member of the eastern elite tie a dog to the top of his car and then drive six hours? I rest my case.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:43 PM
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340, 352: Although I'm kind of bemused that nattarGcM is watching the RNC. Americans do it out of horrified fascination and a sick, guilty, feeling of responsibility, but why would you do it if you didn't live here? What's up with that, ttaM?


Posted by: Lizardbreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:46 PM
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I think Fox has always been OK with the promotion of women, as long as they're extremely attractive.

Making them exactly like everyone else. Thanks, patriarchy!


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:46 PM
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did they just take Mike Huckabee and replace him with Barack Obama?

Yeah, 3/4 of his speech seemed to directly undercut the Republican message and bolster the Democrats. But I don't think he even realized it. I think the GOP really is going to try to run against the Washington they've controlled lock, stock, and barrel. Best of luck with that, guys.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:48 PM
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If you are using abstinence as birth control

I think your general point is right, B, but this formulation gets it off to a confused start. You only need birth control if you're having sex.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:49 PM
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Good luck on the market, Blume.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:50 PM
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re: 355

Oh, I was sitting up late reading. The BBC has been running live stuff from the two conventions at 2am, so I popped it on for a few minutes before heading to bed [via this computer].

The Republican one is so far beyond caricature it'd never pass muster as comedy here. It goes beyond every piece of second-rate crude political comedy I've seen about the American political scene and into something so surreal it's hard to turn away.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:51 PM
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In short, Best Country Ever to watch from a safe distance.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:53 PM
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Those were some mighty fine shots of the Palin daughters. I had no idea.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:54 PM
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Thanks, Ben. Crossing my fingers first that there are even any good jobs to be had... list comes out in a month or so. In the meantime, I'm writing a one-page statement of teaching philosophy. All my years of grantwriting drivel have not prepared me for the preparation of this blasted document.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:55 PM
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"So! They'll laugh at my boner, will they?! I'll show them! I'll show them how many boners the Joker can make!"


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:55 PM
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I'm trying to convince Blume to emphasize her opposition to the bridge to nowhere in her c.v.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:57 PM
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The teaching statement is perhaps te worst component of materials preparation. For me anyway. God I am dreading that list's release.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 7:59 PM
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If you are using abstinence as birth control, then, like *any* birth control,

Abstinence is not really like *any* birth control, though. I don't think they mean something like the rhythm method. I think they're saying something like, Sign the pledge and commit to being a complete teetotaller about sex.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:00 PM
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I've come to a momentous, life-changing, decision. I will make an honest woman out of Bristol Palin. The rest of you aren't man enough to do it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:00 PM
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HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:00 PM
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In short, Best Country Ever to watch from a safe distance.

How's the weather on Saturn?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:01 PM
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B's point is that people who advocate condom use generally don't get to use the "sign the pledge and be a complete teetotaller about using condoms correctly and every time."


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:02 PM
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Not you, Walt. It's Rudy who must die.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:03 PM
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Guiliani:"So [Obama] got elected to the State Legislature and 130 times he couldn't decide to vote yes or no. It was too tough."

That's a good line, and fits my concept of Obama to a T.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:03 PM
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So I suppose that, given everything, it would be unfortunate if "Bristol Palin'" ended up as some kind of euphemism defined on urbandictionary.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:03 PM
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Skin is literally prickling right now, I can't believe I am watching this guy. Thank god I started smoking again.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:04 PM
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I'll remove myself to the speech thread now.
HATE HATE HATE.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:04 PM
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374: I've already had a "Right, that's not rhyming slang, that's the kid's name," moment.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:04 PM
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Shut up, Bob.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:06 PM
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367: Of course that's what they mean. Nonetheless, it's still true that *as birth control* abstinence is subject to failure rates that are apparently higher than most other forms of birth control

Let's say you're using abstinence as b.c. And you "slip" once, but then you regret it and you go right back to using abstinence as b.c. I mean, you can use condoms as b.c., and then "slip" once and not have one or whatever--that's part of the failure rate for condoms with less than perfect use. Just like forgetting a bcp is part of the failure rate for bcp with less than perfect use. It doesn't mean you're "not using abstinence" if you have sex once--it just means that, on this particular occcasion, your use of this method of not getting pregnant was imperfect.

And god fucking forbid you get raped. Or have the terrible bad luck to get pregnant from, say, mutual masturbation combined with finger fucking, or from "not putting it in" or whatever other excuse you want to make for how you didn't actually "have sex" while nonetheless providing a possible route for disease/sperm transmission.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:06 PM
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Why does Rudy always do that pleading thing with his hands?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:06 PM
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372: maybe he really died on 9/11 and the last eight years have been Donnie Darko-esque time warp where he was given the chance to fix everything he'd fucked up, except he blew it 'cuz he's an asshole.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:06 PM
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Wow, I guess McCain's going to step down from the nomination in the face of Palin's superior executive leadership experience.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:07 PM
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I'm writing a one-page statement of teaching philosophy. All my years of grantwriting drivel have not prepared me for the preparation of this blasted document.

Oh yeah, that thing. You have to keep writing them too, e.g., for tenure. I went with the Simpsons-in-Vegas and "I am Plato; My philosophy is -- enjoy."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:07 PM
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I continue to be astounded by drilling suddenly becoming a populist chant. It's like what they did with the estate tax == death tax.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:08 PM
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384: You'd probably just leave the orphans to freeze to death, Scrooge McLiberal.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:10 PM
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September 11, 2001! Everyone take a drink.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:10 PM
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DRILL, BABY, DRILL!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:11 PM
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368 really challenges my resolve not to indulge in snide liberal-condescension snark. Okay, I laughed.

371: I get B's point. My point is that some people really do see these issues in a whole other framework of meaning, where condom use and rates of efficacy are not relevant. I'd prefer that B's people win the big battles, but I do have some sympathy with (or, at least, I'm not outraged by) that other framework.

I miss ogged.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:12 PM
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384: It's the logical end-point of the policy goal slide from renewable energy to alternative energy to energy independence. To the extent Democrats have been complicit in that, it's upsetting, but then I don't know if they could have resisted it.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:13 PM
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389: It's really not the "logical end-point", because drilling isn't terribly useful even for energy independence. At any rate, I agree that this slide is upsetting. 1000 ppm CO2, here we come!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:17 PM
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388: Sure, I know people don't see it that way. But that's because they're being wilfully stupid.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:17 PM
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Hmmm, AP already out with their post-speech story. (Seriously ...)

"Palin mocks Obama; McCain claiming nomination"
A very pregnant important semi-colon.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:18 PM
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Never mind the convention, everyone go watch/listen to this fascinating TED talk by Sugata Mitra, discussing his "Hole in the Wall Experiments" on children, technology, and self-instruction.

Experiment: Put a computer with touchpad in a literal hole in a wall, and leave it for children from rural India who have never seen one before to find. Count how long it takes before they figure out how to browse the web. (Eight minutes.)

Experiment: Responding to criticism of your prior experiment (namely that it assumed the children already knew English), bring a "hole in the wall" kiosk to a remote area where there is no English teacher, and leave it. When you come back three months later, observe that the children are not only using the computer and the games that came with it, but have acquired a vocabulary of 200 English words, which they use in daily conversation.

Go watch it.

(It's 20 minutes; the best bit happens around 11 minutes in.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:18 PM
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Is it just me, or is Giuliani killing it right now? Argh.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:18 PM
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Go Blume! Kick some ass, in a pedagogical way appropriate to the situation!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:18 PM
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The problem is that saying that abstinence is "the only 100% way of not getting pregnant" is not, in fact, true.

The nuns has embedded doctrine so deeply into B's brain that she has internalized The Virgin Birth.

As a side note, fucking even once is no longer abstinence. It is the rhythm method, and not applied very well. As for getting pregnant from the toilet seat, or other random non penetrative fun, shit happens.
For the record, I am aware than teenage sex occurs, having once been an avid proponent. Condom availability should be the norm. But teaching that anything other than TOTAL abstinence will be 100% effective is a lie, too.



Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:19 PM
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But teaching that anything other than TOTAL abstinence will be 100% effective is a lie, too.

Good thing nobody anywhere has ever made that claim then.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:20 PM
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Witt, how could you have written that entire comment, and not made a single McCain Internet joke? Have you taken a vow of McCain-joke abstinence?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:21 PM
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I heard fragments of the RNC on the radio while driving home tonight. I thought I heard Rush Limbaugh bellowing "THIS WOMAN HAS HUNTED MOOSE!" but maybe it was someone else. Each ten second snippet forced me to scream "Fuck you!!!" and turn off the radio until my heart slowed down again. Murderous Republicans are trying to give me a stroke.

I'm with Sir Kraab: HATE HATE HATE


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:22 PM
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Christ, are we really wondering whether Palin is stupid? Take a wild guess where creationism + "global warming is a myth" intersects on the old IQ curve.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:22 PM
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391: Fuck your "useful," liberal. America invented oil, and we're gonna get what we can out of it until we invent the next oil!

Seriously though, it's the optics (did I just use that word?) more than the utility that matters. It's hard to advocate energy independence and then argue against exploiting every possible resource here.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:23 PM
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394: Explain "killing it".

And 392 is not a Rickroll or an xxxroll of any kind. It seems "legit", tot he extent a pre-written article can be.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:23 PM
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See above. I think that is exactly what Bitch, PhD said.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:23 PM
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397: Of course not having sex = not getting pregnant. But that's not birth control. That's not having sex. And we know for a fact that teaching that "TOTAL abstinence" is "100% effective" . . . is ineffective. So.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:23 PM
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See, instead I watched some of Fox's fine network programming. From this, I learned that a woman should sleep with a man who's good in bed, even if he sleeps with lots of other women. It was favorably compared to climbing Everest.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:23 PM
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"THIS WOMAN HAS HUNTED MOOSE!"

I shot a moose once. I was hunting in upstate New York and I shot a moose.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:23 PM
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402: Get down with the youth, dood.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:25 PM
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393: I love those experiments. They were some of the original juice behind OLPC, I believe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:26 PM
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404. Comity

406. In your pajamas?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:26 PM
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From the link in 407: doing esceptionally well

I think this is the first time I have seen that spelling in print.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:26 PM
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411

406: For real?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:26 PM
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406: You monster!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:28 PM
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406... And the joke was on them, because the club was restricted!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:28 PM
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406: Totally.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:29 PM
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406: Gonerill, our next vice president! But only if you skinned it and ate its heart on the spot.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:29 PM
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411: Totally.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:30 PM
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406: Gonerill = Woody Allen?


..sorry


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:31 PM
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418

She's killing. Also her second youngest is fucking adorable. Damn her.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:31 PM
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Oh yeah, that thing. You have to keep writing them too, e.g., for tenure. I went with the Simpsons-in-Vegas and "I am Plato; My philosophy is -- enjoy."

Yeah, but you were a spousal hire.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:32 PM
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326,331,400,etc.: this discussion already happened over at BPhD. For some reason m. leblanc refused to buy creationism + "global warming is a myth" == stupid.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:32 PM
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But that's not birth control. That's not having sex.

Yes, but I think this is the main point of abstinence-only education, no? The threats about only abstinence being 100% guaranteed not to get you pregnant are just a side thing. Not defiling your body, sinning, etc etc are much more important in this mindset than not getting pregnant.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:34 PM
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412: Sexist.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:34 PM
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is Giuliani killing it right now?

The only thing Giuliani ever killed is own his political career. I am a little surprised (ok, I'm not, really) that Rudy invoked September 11th so stridently. Attendees might believe that a President Palin will save them from another 9/11, but expecting the rest of the country to feel the same way is a long shot.

I'm getting a real Ghost Dance vibe from this convention.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:34 PM
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But that's not birth control. That's not having sex.

Yes, but this is the main point of abstinence-only education, no? The threats about only abstinence being 100% guaranteed not to get you pregnant are just a side thing. Not defiling your body, sinning, etc etc are much more important in this mindset than not getting pregnant.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:34 PM
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Yeah, but you were a spousal hire.

You'd better hurry up and get married.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:35 PM
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But that's not birth control. That's not having sex.

Yes, but this is the main point of abstinence-only education, no? The threats about only abstinence being 100% guaranteed not to get you pregnant are just a side thing. Not defiling your body, sinning, etc etc are much more important in this mindset than not getting pregnant.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:38 PM
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427

-


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:38 PM
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428

That comment was me and not Tweety. He's not trying to bait B this time, really!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:38 PM
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It's good to see that Blume and Sifu are of one mind here.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:41 PM
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That comment was me and not Tweety. He's not trying to bait B this time, really!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:41 PM
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429 was submitted long before 428 existed, but my internet situation (and the server situation, tbh) conspired against me.

You'd better hurry up and get married.

That's actually part of my dissertation prospectus.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:43 PM
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If the point is to not defile your body, etc. etc., then why the repeated claims that "abstinence is the most effective method of birth control"?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:45 PM
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Witt, how could you have written that entire comment, and not made a single McCain Internet joke?

Whoops, I only just saw this comment. You know, the line I hesitated over was "children, technology, and self-instruction," because I figured that was dangerously low fruit to dangle in front of this crowd.

I myself hate enough kinds of new technology that I feel a certain sympathy for people who struggle to keep up. And more importantly, I can't bring myself to make lame ridicule of a torture apologist. Outright condemnation, sure. Ageist insults...why bother?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:48 PM
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416: For a moment there, you reminded me of some of my cousins. No, not the ones in southwest Cork.

(I don't really have any moose-hunting cousins, btw. But some of them hunt deer. Or, at least, they go up to the deer camp in the fall and pretend to be hunters. Beer hunters, maybe. O God, Sarah Palin makes these guys look likes wussies. Okay, I'm scared now...).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:48 PM
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-


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:50 PM
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She was going really strong until she started laying into Obama with the usual wingnut framing. Thank the FSM she's going all freeper.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:50 PM
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Incidentally, I am moderately interested in whether 419 expresses a belief you actually hold or just an effort to get a rise out of me.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:51 PM
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437: if the latter, it was successful, in its belated way.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:54 PM
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433: But McCain not using how to use the Internet is sloth, not old age. It's not that hard to familiarize yourself with it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:55 PM
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438: Er, no.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:55 PM
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I don't ask you if your remarks about me are in earnest or jest, Gonerill. And either way, would I be likely to come out and say?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:58 PM
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439: Don't tell me that; then I'll have to admit that my ineptitudes are really slothfulness.

Btw, the quotation in the other thread is fabulous. But it can't possibly be Ambrose Bierce, can it? Caustic sounds like him, but the sentiment sounds at least 40 years later than his era...?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 8:58 PM
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You don't know how to use the Internet?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:02 PM
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I don't ask you if your remarks about me are in earnest or jest, Gonerill. And either way, would I be likely to come out and say?

You should save that one up for the first question after the job talk.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:03 PM
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The Internet attributes it to Bierce, which probably guarantees it's really by someone else. I'd always assumed that it was about World War I, but according to Wikipedia he disappeared in 1913.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:07 PM
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You don't know how to use the Internet?

Dude, I taught classes in how to use the Internet. In 1997, even.

But I can't put a call on hold on my cell phone, find the mute button on said phone, or figure out the controls on the stupid thingy that you plug my B-I-L's iPod into. So I'm definitely a poster child for sloth.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:07 PM
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The Internet attributes it to Bierce, which probably guarantees it's really by someone else. I'd always assumed that it was about World War I, but according to Wikipedia he disappeared in 1913.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:09 PM
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448

You should save that one up for the first question after the job talk.

I'm flattered you think I'll get one.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:11 PM
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449

I'm flattered you think I'll get one.

Your reputation precedes you to such a degree that search committees will fly you out just to see you work the crowd in person.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:16 PM
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Aha. Quote Verifier says not Bierce. Who on earth is Paul Rodriguez? Standup comedian from the '80s?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:18 PM
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If the point is to not defile your body, etc. etc., then why the repeated claims that "abstinence is the most effective method of birth control"?

Suuure. Because we know these people are always upfront about their real motivations.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:19 PM
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451 was me, blast it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:20 PM
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449 is why I'm going to change the comments database here and at waste to remove my last name at least a year before I even think about going on the market.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:23 PM
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449 is why I'm going to change the comments database here and at waste to remove my last name at least a year before I even think about going on the market.

I had someone email me at Another Blog the other week asking for the same sort of excision for the same reasons, as an intemperate string of comments from himself a few years ago was the #2 Google result for his name.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:27 PM
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B, the thing is, if someone accepts/already shares all of your underlying assumptions about selfhood and sexuality, then most, if not all, of your explicit sociopolitical aims will occur to that person more or less 'naturally' (as in: doesn't need to be spelled out, because it just makes good sense) from that set of assumptions which you both already share. In which case, yes, that person is being wilfully stupid who rejects your argument for reality-based birth control education.

Problem is, not everyone already shares your fundamental aims and assumptions in the first place. Calling such persons 'wilfully stupid,' while admittedly gratifying while playing pundit on the internets, doesn't really do much to bridge the (perhaps unbridgeable) divide. (And if it's just what people want, or want to want, without calling upon a higher authority: well, good luck with that, frankly. Whereas, if you need to call upon a higher [transcendent?] authorization of what people should want to want, well, don't they already have God on their side?).

And yes, that divide may well be unbridgeable. So: pass the popcorn! and bring on the next round of the American 'culture wars.'

Is this the weirdest experiment ever in the history of attempts at self-governing polities? God bless America! just now I'm all about its deep and abiding absurdity, which really does approach the sublime.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:28 PM
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Who would have thought there were so few people named "Cranky Observer" that it would get him into trouble?


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:29 PM
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456: Oh I thought you were that Boutros-Boutros Gali.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:31 PM
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Boutros Boutros-Ghali, actually.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:32 PM
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Gonerill obviously doesn't know that the real Boutros Boutros-Ghali knows how to hyphenate.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:34 PM
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Q$^$!&^@$^ you, Ben.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:34 PM
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Boutros Boutros-Ghali, actually

Nope.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:34 PM
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We've replaced his Boutros Boutros-Ghali with Folger's Folger's-Crystals.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:35 PM
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That person doesn't have any hyphens, Gonerill, so I don't see how it helps you.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:36 PM
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Jeez, me and Mr Gali go way back in the non-profit sector. You people are so presumptuous.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:36 PM
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I have no idea what 462 is talking about and still it made me laugh. Obviously time for bed.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:36 PM
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When you're friends as long as we've been, you get to drop the hyphens. It's a West Palm Beach thing. You wouldn't understand.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:37 PM
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Mr Gali

Now you're just flaunting your lack of punctuation. Flaunting, I say!

(I honestly don't know -- are the Irish and the English the same when it comes to not putting the dot for Mr. and Ms.?)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:38 PM
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(I honestly don't know -- are the Irish and the English the same when it comes to not putting the dot for Mr. and Ms.?)

If the abbreviation ends in the same letter as the abbreviated word, then no dot. (This really is the UK rule. Or was.)


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 9:40 PM
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455: I'm not *trying* to bridge the divide in this comment thread, but it *is* stupid to say both that "abstinence is the best form of birth control" and then to turn around and deny that it's birth control. I mean, really.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 10:59 PM
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Does "Ms" need a dot? It's not really short for anything. Is it?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:02 PM
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471

Adding iodine to your water is a very effective way of avoiding giardia, but so is not going camping in the first place.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:02 PM
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Is it?

"Manhater", so it gets a dot.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:03 PM
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I know that 472 isn't funny, but I don't care.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:03 PM
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Ben, do you have the runs again?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 3-08 11:04 PM
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But really, it's telling that he thinks giving prisoners constitutional rights is a liberal value.

It is in the broadest sense of the term. Not left, but definitely liberal.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 5:09 AM
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Problem is, not everyone already shares your fundamental aims and assumptions in the first place.

Exactly. For a certain sector of the religious crowd, abstinence is the goal and not a strategy. Any talking about it as a strategy (i.e., as the perfect birth control) is the attempt to make a pretty unpopular goal (celibacy) more attractive.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 8:31 AM
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There is a birth control method that uses periodic abstinence in order to avoid pregnancy. It's called NFP, and because the people using it are having sex, it can be tested for pregnancy rates with perfect use and typical use.*

Abstinence-only education, however, doesn't advocate abstinence as birth control; it's not something you do to prevent pregnancy while having sex. There are no studies that talk about typical use and failure rates for abstinence, because that makes no sense. There are studies that show how likely one is to keep to an abstinence pledge made before one had a girlfriend, there are studies that show the effects of abstinence pledges.

The abstinence-only stuff isn't just about pregnancy. It's about not having sex plus the whole rest of the religious baggage thrown in. They don't want kids to learn about condoms because they're afraid then they'll think they can have sex without it resulting in a baby.

*If they say NFP is as good as the pill, they're comparing perfect use in the former to typical use in the latter, and you should call them a liar, but not at one's marriage prep.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 9:00 AM
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NFP appears to be somewhat of an umbrella term used in Catholic circles, per wikipedia, that includes FAM and the rhythm method and etcetera.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 9:04 AM
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479

461: I'm totally inviting Boutros to join my network.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 9:21 AM
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If they say NFP is as good as the pill, they're comparing perfect use in the former to typical use in the latter, and you should call them a liar, but not at one's marriage prep.

Rhythm method = bad. FAM = good.

I'm always reluctant to go on the internets and start talking up FAM, because I'm afraid it's gonna jinx me into turning up pregnant the next month. But really, FAM is as good as the birth control method you're using during your fertile period.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:58 PM
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NFP reduces the expected family size from 11or 12 to 4 or 5. Using NFP you don't decide to have kids or not, or when, or how many; you just follow the program, and God decides. But God decides to give you fewer kids when you use this method.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:03 PM
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478: They were using 'NFP' just to mean FAM, I think. There was talk of charting and all of that. The Catholic version would require abstinence during the fertile periods. (Not cool.) 10 days per month? Urg.

480: Non-Catholic FAM is basically fertility monitoring plus occasional barrier methods, right? Pretty sure the typical use failure rate is greater than that of the pill, which is all I was committed to earlier. It sounds great if you can make it work. No hormones, at least.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:10 PM
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FAM is as good as the birth control method you're using during your fertile period.

Isn't that very dependent on the user, in terms of biology rather than skill? I'd understood that you could get good results with FAM if you were very regular, but that if the length of your cycle varied at all, you either needed to define your fertile period as about three weeks long or it probably wasn't going to work for you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:10 PM
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Isn't that very dependent on the user, in terms of biology rather than skill? I'd understood that you could get good results with FAM if you were very regular, but that if the length of your cycle varied at all, you either needed to define your fertile period as about three weeks long or it probably wasn't going to work for you.

That's what all the wacky charting stuff is for. You don't just figure out what your cycle length is and then say "oh, every 29 days my fertile cycle will begin again!" Instead you monitor various physical indicators of where you are in your cycle (mainly your body temperature immediately upon waking and the consistency of your vaginal secretions), and track these over time. This is what the "charting" stuff mentioned above refers to.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:14 PM
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In conclusion, charting.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:15 PM
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It is pretty nifty from a science geek perspective.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:20 PM
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Yeah, but I'm still remembering charting as depending on a certain amount of regularity. Isn't the pattern (and I looked into this once years ago, but have never done it, so I may have it all wrong) stable temperature during the infertile period, and then a jump when you ovulate, but the problem is that if you had sex in the two days before ovulation (when you hadn't gotten the temperature signal yet), the sperm lasts long enough to get you pregnant? I could have sworn that the unambiguous temperature signal was a day or two too late to be useful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:23 PM
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It is pretty nifty from a science geek perspective.

Yea, geeky science stuff gets BR in the mood too.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:24 PM
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Yeah, but I'm still remembering charting as depending on a certain amount of regularity. Isn't the pattern (and I looked into this once years ago, but have never done it, so I may have it all wrong) stable temperature during the infertile period, and then a jump when you ovulate, but the problem is that if you had sex in the two days before ovulation (when you hadn't gotten the temperature signal yet), the sperm lasts long enough to get you pregnant? I could have sworn that the unambiguous temperature signal was a day or two too late to be useful.

Yes, it is easier the more regular you are, and this is why monitoring temperature alone is only so useful: monitoring secretions helps a lot with this, as that does give you warning. (We don't use FAM for birth control, I have just messed around with the charting now and then to see what it revealed about my body and its mysterious ways.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:27 PM
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That colon should be a semicolon. I'm so embarrassed.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:27 PM
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Oh, RFTS, I still like you just as much with a colon!


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:31 PM
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