Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Palin pranked 


Article. The DJs' web site, which is really slow right now.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Terra Lawson-Remer on Palin's energy answers, Herbert on Palin's seriousness 


You said during your debate with Joe Biden that "I'm not one to attribute every activity of man to the changes in the climate". Huh? Well I would certainly agree. Not sure how this is relevant, but I do agree. You emphasized that "We have got to clean up this planet. We have got to encourage other nations also to come along with us with the impacts of climate change". I guess I am confused again. The U.S. has only 5% of the world's population, but we consume 25% of the world's fossil fuels. This doesn't seem to me like leadership in cleaning up the planet.

I add that if Palin doesn't think Man is responsible for climate change, how can anyone "encourage other nations also to come along with us with the impacts of climate change"?

Bob Herbert

But after Senator Biden suggested that John McCain’s answer to the nation’s energy problems was to "drill, drill, drill," Ms. Palin promptly pointed out, as if scoring a point, that "the chant is 'Drill, baby, drill!'"

How’s that for perspective? The credit markets are frozen. Our top general in Afghanistan is dialing 911. Americans are losing jobs by the scores of thousands. And Sarah Palin is making sure we know that the chant is "drill, baby, drill!" not "drill, drill, drill."

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Snap poll - and mavericks don't engage in self-aggrandizement 


On the question of the candidates' qualifications to assume the presidency, an immediately 87 percent of those polled said Biden is qualified and 42 percent said Palin is qualified.

In the context of a vice-presidential debate - and the wide media coverage of Palin's abysmal performance in the few interviews the McCain campaign has granted her - 87-45 is close enough to parity with current public sentiment so as to not be moving in the horse race. I believe, as mentioned below, Palin's answers didn't immediately lay bare her failure to grasp and comprehend policy issues - as her presentation far exceeded expectations.

The substance of Palin's answers will drive the narrative in the following days. Her desire to come off as an agreeable and optimistic candidate were at odds with several McCain positions. Which will only reaffirm the focus on the McCain campaign's non-existent rudder.

Saying I'll veto the first bill that comes across my desk with pork attached to it "and you will know their names" is great if the intention is to cue audience applause, but Americans in general are mindful of self-aggrandizement. Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken would have had a field day with this stuff (granted, current satirists are surely in the midst of a writing block).

The substance of McCain's running mate's performance was awkwardly inserted as non-sequiturs - she tried but failed to convincingly segue her responses into campaign talking points. Far from coming across as the maverick she promoted herself as, she revealed that she was only interested in addressing topics for which she had a prepared answer.

"I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear," Palin defiantly declared early in the debate. And certainly she didn't.

By my count Palin called her campaign "maverick" at least four times. Actual mavericks don't heed much attention to their maverickism. If one has to promote one's self as a maverick, it rather negates the point.

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Immediate reaction 

Palin babbled only once and sort of babbled another time. Much better non-babble quotient than I would have put money on.

However, it was clear to political junkies and will become clear to casual observers that Palin answered few of the actual questions. And - without looking up the actual facts - I suspect Palin contradicted or changed multiple McCain/Palin policy positions.

All in all, Palin far exceeded my (and I believe most) expectations on presentation, but believe her fallback onto prepared responses and refusal to answer actual questions will reinforce the perception (and truth) that Palin isn't experienced enough for the job.

Biden won the debate hands-down on presentation and substance. But as Palin far exceeded the low expectations for delivery it won't register at all in the horse race.

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Live blogging debate 

Palin first to ignore Gwen's question (a request to respond to Biden's criticism about McCain's deregulation mania).

Second time Gwen has asked Palin to answer question about McCain's call to deregulate health care. Third time Palin talks about taxes instead of regulation.

Biden just sort of answers the question about cutting back on campaign promises and shifts to what they're not going to not do. Palin doesn't even make attempt. Gwen again asks Palin to answer question. Again Palin doesn't.

Surprised that it took this long for Palin to fall into complete babble.

Palin is again not babbling, but informs Gwen she's not going to answer her question on allowing allowing judges to rewrite mortgage terms ("we do support it") but instead go into a memorized answer about energy.

"Barak O'Bama and Senator O'Biden". Heh.

Palin claims, "We do have a plan for withdrawal" in Iraq.

Palin supports carbon emission caps. And equal rights for same-sex couples. Huh. (huh?)


Palin says we can't allow Iran to acquire nuclear energy.

Biden hits home run on Bush Israel policy. Palin avoids answer.

Huge difference in Biden's passion in answers on foreign policy is off the chart on foreign policy as compared to his answers on domestic policy.

Biden's fire only lasted for two answers. What a conflagration though.

Drawing line on intervention. Biden starts out strong. Should have used full time on answer instead of segueing into criticing McCain. Palin doesn't answer question but follows Biden's lead by defending McCain.

General comment: In the beginning Gwen pressed Palin to answer the actual questions asked but gave up. Giving up on getting Palin to respond to the questions was a better decision than pressing as the debate would have been perceived as a combative interview with Palin.

Palin's answer about VP responsibility was close to babble, Biden's answer contrasted the difference in depth of experience.

Palin seems like she'd getting tired.

Biden on fire again in interjected rampage against Pails 4+ characterizations of McCain as maverick.

Palin would like to speak directly with the American public without the filter of the mainstream media. So give live press conferences.

GOOD GOD! Children and grand-children are going to look back on us and see it as a time when people where free? Did I hear that correctly?

(close, Karen informs me - Palin hoped future generations didn't look back on now as a time when Americans were free.

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Debate predictions 

Sarah asks Gewn to rephrase a question.

Joe uses the phrases "Humpty Dumpty", "wooden nickels", and "Potemkin village" and calls Sarah "Batty".

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If I weren't so jaded, it would be unbelievable 

Palin is such a trainwreck, I can only commit so many posts to her since her ascendant star has fallen, but this is to be filed under truth is stranger than fiction: Her latest explanation for why she fired Walt Monegan is he wanted to acquire Federal money to combat sexual assult. Well there's an earmark Alaska can do without. Not.

Alaska leads the nation in reported forcible rapes per capita, according to the FBI, with a rate two and a half times the national average - a ranking it has held for many years.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

What time is it in Alaska? 

I'm sure Sarah Palin wouldn't blink before diving right in and fixing everything.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

A crony, too 

No doubt,

Gov. Sarah Palin lives by the maxim that all politics is local, not to mention personal.

So when there was a vacancy at the top of the State Division of Agriculture, she appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the roughly $2 million agency.

Ms. Havemeister was one of at least five schoolmates Ms. Palin hired, often at salaries far exceeding their private sector wages.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Palin is unaware Pakistan is an ally 

That Palin doesn't know what the Bush Doctrine is is readily apparent in her first national interview. But watching the video a third time, it became obvious to me that Palin thinks Pakistan is not an ally, but an enemy,

As for the right to invade, we're going to work with these countries, building new relationships - working with existing allies - but forging new also, in order to, Charlie, get to a point in this world where war is not a first option ... We must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions in where we go and even who we target.

UPDATE: Although a few ridiculous interchanges are mentioned, the Gray Lady publishes a faux obective account of the travesty. The full interview:

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