Rooting for grubs.

I had to call my investment guy yesterday on an unrelated matter — unrelated to the current crisis, that is — and couldn’t find his number. So I logged on to my account to see if it was displayed anywhere on my welcome screen.

Note to self: Don’t do that. Like, ever again.

Oh, well. Middle age has a few rewards. Cons: Harder to lose weight, something always hurts, gray hair. Pros: Generally calmer in crises. I ask, what can I do? and if the answer is not much, I change the brain channel. Answering the question is difficult, however. I figure it’s my duty to learn as much as possible, and then think creatively about what I’ve learned. This sounds easy, and isn’t. What if Alan lost his job? What if I did? How would we manage? I end these trains of thought with, I guess we’d make it up as we go along, and while that’s not much of a caboose, it certainly beats checking in with the various end-times lunatics who’ve secretly been praying for this with every turn of the compost pile. Rod Dreher in particular seems to go looking for them, and is always turning up another dropout who left (insert high-paying job in large city here) for (insert details of modest acreage in low-value state here), etc. His latest crush is one Sharon Astyk, filing from an internet connection somewhere in upstate New York, who writes:

We’re all going to need reliable sources of food. We’re all going to need some transportation. We’re going to need health care, and emergency services. We’re all going to need good work – even if it is only for food. We’re going to need ways to keep people housed, to connect folks who need homes with those who can’t keep them unless they rent some space. A lot of people are going to need warm clothes and blankets. A lot of people are going to need a meal, a helping hand, help with disabled family members and elders. And folks, when the formal economy falls away, when we cannot trust our government to act in our interests, all of us have to get acting to compensate, to keep the wolf from the door.

“When the formal economy falls away” — that’s a telling phrase, there. Not if, but when. I don’t single it out to somehow underline the scary stuff; I think this woman is full of about 12 percent common sense and 88 percent shit. But it’s hard not to read her, and Dreher, and James Howard Kunstler, and all the other Cassandras out there — many of whom, oddly enough, have a book to sell — without thinking, they’re happy about this. I stumbled upon Dreher via two paths, Amy Welborn (who’s sorta-friends with him) and Roy Edroso (who mocks his pants-wetting anxieties better than anyone). Obviously I’m more in tune with Roy, who in a thrice, with his typical laser vision, identified what bugs me — and should bug you — about the guy and his confederates:

When brother Rod denounces the West, as he is increasingly prone to do, my defensive reaction troubles me less. Because while I would agree with him, and his sources, that there are many things wrong with this country, his judgment of general rottenness on our way of life so offends me that I turn into a regular Yankee Doodle Dandy. When he says “[Patrick] Deneen raises the possibility that events — economic, especially — will do more to enhance traditionalist conservatism’s prospects with the public than anything else,” and I realize he is praying for catastrophe to befall us so that we will all come running to Jesus and the Old Ways for protection, I feel the sort of things that liberals of old must have felt when student radicals threatened to burn the motherfucker down: this is still my country, and if we are ridiculous about a number of things, I will certainly side with it against the likes of you.

Roy coined the phrase “godly paupers” to describe what Dreher and others hope will rise from this rubble, and that, friends, is worth fighting against. I know Jeff the mild-mannered in particular thinks Wendell Berry can do no wrong, and to be sure the man is an elegant essayist and speaker, but when I read shit like this I just want to scream:

What more than you have so far learned will you need to know in order to live at home? (I don’t mean “home” as a house for sale.) If you decide, or if you are required by circumstances, to live all your life in one place, what will you need to know about it and about yourself? At present our economy and society are founded on the assumption that energy will always be unlimited and cheap; but what will you have to learn to live in a world in which energy is limited and expensive? What will you have to know – and know how to do – when your community can no longer be supplied by cheap transportation? Will you be satisfied to live in a world owned or controlled by a few great corporations? If not, would you consider the alternative: self-employment in a small local enterprise owned by you, offering honest goods or services to your neighbors and responsible stewardship to your community?

Mr. Berry, take note: I would not consider it. Not everyone wants to be a humble craftsman of honest wood, or whatever. I want to rock ‘n’ roll in a big city full of other cursed rock ‘n’ rollers, and honestly? The idea of living next door to the Drehers, or the Astyks, or some other band of pious back-to-the-landers? Makes me barf. (Unless, of course, the neighbors are the Coozledads. In which case we’d spend our days cultivating our pot plants and our evenings putting the speakers on the porch and baying at the moon. That wouldn’t be so bad. So Mr. Berry, correction: I would consider being the village idiot.)

Come the apocalypse, you all are welcome to stop by my house. Where we will be keeping the flame of urban living alive.

That said, I’m thinking maybe next year we’re going to take an ailing flowering tree out of our back green patch (it’s too small to be a yard) and plant a victory garden. Not because we’ll need the food, but because I like homegrown tomatoes.


The GOP plays the Quayle card:

Palin’s routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric’s questions for her “less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media.” At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”

Actually, I should call that the Shine card, as it was Steve Shine, now GOP chairman of Allen County, Indiana, who incited a similar mob in Huntington 20 years ago, when he left live mics on the swarming of Quayle by a clutch of national media. This was DQ’s first availability since his nomination, and everyone wanted to ask him about his National Guard service. Quayle did what he was supposed to do — repeat “I’m proud of my service” endlessly, no matter what the question — but as he continued to evade, the questions got tougher and the crowd got meaner. I pulled off my credential, stuffed my notebook down my pants and slipped into the crowd as a civilian. If someone had thrown a bottle, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

I’ll give Huntington this, however: I never heard anyone called “boy.”

Have you listened to TAL’s “Another Frightening Show About the Economy” yet? Well, why not? (The first chapter is about the commercial paper market, which the Fed is shoring up as we speak. If you don’t know what that is, you need to. So go listen.)

Me, I’m off to the gym, surely the first luxury to go when HELL RAINS DOWN ON US ALL. Back later.

Posted at 9:40 am in Current events |

36 responses to “Rooting for grubs.”

  1. Colleen said on October 7, 2008 at 9:56 am

    I think my mom in law is one of those hoping for the rapture. We were talking about some kind of current events thing once, and she sort of gave a knowing sigh, and said “well, we are getting to the end times” in the same tone one would say “it’s supposed to rain tomorrow”.

    I’m with you. I have no desire to return to “the simple life”.

    Dahling I love you but give me Park Avenue….dunt dunt!

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  2. Jolene said on October 7, 2008 at 10:07 am

    James Fallows has an idea for a constitutional amendment that he wants to have enacted, like, right now.

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  3. brian stouder said on October 7, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Up ’till this election, I was a GOPer, and really – I suppose I could be again, someday (somehow…sorta maybe)

    But for heaven’s sake! What a bunch of sorry-assed losers! How many folks love free elections, except when the damned voters (and that is apparently a literal judgement that some make!) believe the media lies and go the wrong way?!

    I think folks are folks, and “rule or ruin” types are all across the spectrum, as are “off the grid”, back-to-nature types, and hand-wringing conspiratorialists….

    BUT – there does seem to be an anomolously large knot of rightward nutballs on talk-radio and print jounalism (ie – old media!)

    I see the beginnings of a fusion of Madam Telling Tales oft-pondered view of old media paradigms, and this odd Mad Max rightwing crash-and-burn mindset …

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  4. Dwight said on October 7, 2008 at 10:12 am

    That’s the thing about the media eschewing their thin veil of objectivity: When you take sides, you need to be prepared to live, work, and move amongst those whom you’ve publicly identified as your values enemy.

    Ask Shawn Hannity and Bill O’Reilly (neither of which are journalists and neither of which identify themselves as such) what it’s like to go to the mall with their family.

    Andrea Mitchell and Solidad O’Brian? They are less than 18 months from being forced into a commentator position on MSNBC. You gotta at least TRY to keep up the act if your going to carry journo creds. Just effin try.

    But… there is that little part of us that hates hypocrisy and breathes a sigh of relief that the liberal press has finally outted themselves. Should the ‘Pubs ever take congress again, hopefully this time I won’t have to endure panel after panel of NPR personalities with their wide-eyed “Who US? Biased? What are you talking about? Here at National Palistie– I mean Public Radio, we have no bias!”

    Okay, so we’ve divided into news propaganda camps. This is better? Really? We’ve eroded the political middle ground just like we’ve eroded the middle class? This is better?

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  5. Jeff Borden said on October 7, 2008 at 10:13 am

    While Sarah Palin is an absolutely despicable political hack, a small-minded, incurious dolt embodying all the worst traits of George W. Bush, let’s all remember that this media-bashing bullshit is the last resort of a losing campaign and of a political movement already planning for 2012.

    With luck, McCain/Palin will be crushed by a landslide this fall. The conservatives will need an excuse for the collapse of their rancid policies. They will settle on media bias, which is an easy sell to your average rightwinger and a potent fundraising tool, too.

    I do wonder if we’re not too far away from a time when some of the lunatics at the McCain/Palin rallies actually commit violence against a member of the press. You can only wave those red flags for so long before the bull charges, right?

    By the way, best description of Palin so far was by Jon Stewart last night. The She-Bush.

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  6. brian stouder said on October 7, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Moe posted this link on the end of the last thread – which is frankly upsetting

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  7. Gasman said on October 7, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Don’t be so quick to anoint Palin the R hope of 2012. I suspect that when McCain loses, there will be plenty of his supporters that will turn on little miss Sarah and blame her. They will suddenly recognize her lack of qualifications, all of her flaws, and all of the times she strayed off message. She will be their scapegoat for their failed candidate. I believe that this is W3’s time in the national spotlight. I further predict that she will ultimately be jammed up in the trooper-thing (I will NOT mindlessly append “gate” to every scandal) and either resign or be removed from office. She is too reckless and makes too many enemies in her own party to ever truly succeed to the level of her ambitions.

    I hope that she enjoys the next few weeks in the national spotlight, because that will be all she gets.

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  8. ellen said on October 7, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Coozledad: Do you have enough land for a commune or kibbutz of some sort? Is property around you available? I know how to can fruit and run a TV off a car battery.

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  9. Howie said on October 7, 2008 at 11:09 am

    I’ll second Nancy’s recommendation of This American Life’s report. It’s even better than the Giant Pool of Money explanation. The most revealing section is the end of Act 2, from minute 35 to minute 40. Ira asks an economist: “is it fair for me to be mad, and who should I be mad at?” and eventually the economist says, “So you’re asking, can I set up a system where their (bankers’) mistakes never affect you?” “Yes,” confirms Ira. And there is a long, awkward pause.

    A few minutes later, a different economist identifies the problem as roughly 30 years of too much debt in our economy, and the debt has become complicated. Sub prime mortgages and credit default swaps are just symptoms.

    Act 3 addresses the new bailout law, is it a good thing, and will bankers feel the pain for their own bad decisions? Maybe.

    IMHO, this morning’s Federal Reserve action (entering the short term paper market) will get us through to next April. Obama and Bernanke have their hands full, but they are both very intelligent, so we have a chance that this is a long, soft landing, not a crash. The economy is going to shrink considerably, but not 30 years worth of shrinkage. We will end up with the average growth that would have happened if not for Reagan, Clinton, Greenspan, and their respective Congresses.

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  10. del said on October 7, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Nancy, the Wendell Berry excerpt didn’t bug me. I didn’t think of it as nudging towards living humbly and giving up the “good life” so much as encouraging people to choose more personal autonomy; think home-office, a non-Dilbert lifestyle, think European economy (fewer franchises, more independent stores). Reminds me of my 22 year old cousin’s comment at a wedding recently — his life goal is to “never work in a cubicle.” If you can afford it, go for it.

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  11. Rana said on October 7, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Nancy – I appreciate your observation about those who see looming catastrophe as a chance to press the re-set button and start over. While I sympathize with the crunchy-granola variant of it, I’ve been frustrated with many of those espousing it for a while.

    The reason? It’s just not that simple, and there’s a waft of elitism (oh no!) and naivete about it. If a society-shaking event occurs, it is going to cause real pain to real people, and they are, reasonably enough, going to do what they feel they need to do to survive. Both the End Times people and the Off The Grid folks are betting that people will both want to adopt their values and be able to live the ideal life they envision.

    The thing is, right now, it’s simply not possible. Can you imagine the logistics of getting everyone in New York City, Atlanta, Seattle, Phoenix, Chicago and Denver fed and cared for in either new economy? It’s all well and good to talk about one’s buccolic little Vermont farm as the future, or one’s remote compound as the place to weather out the Rapture, but neither is a solution for the majority of people who will suffer in a major social upheaval.

    The problem – and the state of our society more generally – is one that’s built up slowly over time, the accretion of generations of small-scale decisions underlaid by large, subtle assumptions, and no great catalysm is going to correct that without enormous amounts of pain. (Me, I’d rather do the slow, hard, often boring and frustrating work to turn the ocean liner to a new heading, rather than standing on the deck hoping for an iceberg.)

    These groups also assume that they are the ones to whom people will turn in a crisis, as obvious role models – but if they haven’t done that sort of groundwork to win people over to their way of thinking, the general public is just as likely to invent something else, or figure out a new way of doing the same old thing.

    I think idealism is a good thing, but you do have to be practical about it.

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  12. Jeff Borden said on October 7, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Hey Brian,

    I hope you are correct about Sarah Palin. Certainly, there are thinking Republicans and conservatives who were appalled by this choice and what it said about McCain’s judgement, but she has been golden where it counts — fund-raising– and I think that will continue. Look, even a filthy dirty scumbag like Tom DeLay is still welcome among the rightwingers and he’s facing numerous indictments. Caribou Barbie will just embrace his mantra, that this is all politically motivated and fanned by the mainstream media.

    The big issue and one I hope the GOP confronts is the divide between the Evangelicals and the culture warriors vs. the pragmatists and traditional Republicans of the type my parents once represented. This is the San Andreas fault of the party. I hope this crack becomes a yawning chasm that isolates the loonier elements of the party and allows moderates a larger voice.

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  13. whitebeard said on October 7, 2008 at 11:58 am

    The Dow has dropped into the red again; so much for the bailing out (hand me the pail, pal; don’t just stand there with your mouth hanging open).
    To mention more agreeable colors than red, my wife’s garden provided yellow tomatoes, various and assorted yellow and green squash, green beans, soft yellow corn and now brown potatoes (small but incredibly delicious) and she shops at Aldi’s (six bags of groceries for $45-$50 as opposed to one bag at Stop & Shop for $30).
    We do not live a farm life, just a productive garden and a big wood lot across the road from our old farmhouse and former thirties’ alcohol rehab center. I would buy a bicyc;e but my wife is not impressed with my ability to maintain my balance and the nearest bus stops are 35 and 45 minutes away. The Manhattan commuter train is 22 minutes away if I can ever find the station on a bunch of crooked roads.
    I do not see a second Great Depression happening but I do see fewer $5,000 Armani (or whatever) suits, fewer million-dollar homes and fewer leeches sucking the money out of hedge funds and fancy derivatives.
    If you have been flipping collateral debt obligations and credit swap defaults (where do they get these names?), you are ideally trained to flip those hamburgers at Burger King but I would not trust you near the cash register.

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  14. coozledad said on October 7, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Ellen, Nancy: When we moved out here we just wanted the farm life. I actually like cutting firewood and sitting by the stove, painting pictures and getting soused on a winter evening, or sitting in the yard on an insanely hot day reading in the shade, naked. There was that thought of being able to weather tough times a little easier, but I think it’s going to be tougher and uglier than me on an insanely hot day reading in the shade, naked.
    When the last depression hit rural areas, it was rough, but there were still viable rail depots virtually everywhere, and almost everybody could walk or get their mule wagon to a food distribution node. There were communities that had developed over many years that had begun to drift apart, but the depression helped to temporarily revive them, at least enough that people occasionally pulled together.
    Now rural areas are beset by an eerie isolation that makes those Edward Hopper landscapes look festive. There is no community. Small towns are gutted. Rail infrastructure is nonexistent .
    Kunstler and Rod Dreher are fantasists whose vanity has thoroughly blinded them to these simple truths: Suburban and rural people will have to collapse back toward centers of food distribution and manufacturing in order to get by. Under a humane administration, the standard of living is going to be much higher in urban areas. Under a McCain administration, everything will continue to unravel, and it won’t be long before this country will resemble Germany during the Thirty Year’s War.
    I’m not saying y’all aren’t welcome to come down here and help me lose my gunfight with the local warlord, or cook soup with ramps and sheepsheads, but you might want to wait and see how things shake out for awhile before you load everything up on the wheelbarrow.

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  15. LAMary said on October 7, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    I’m looking at the bright side. More people on bikes or public transportation. Fewer people living on crappy processed stuff like Hamburger Helper, instead cooking actual vegetables and meat. More thought going into how we use our resources. I’ve thought for a long time that when convenience completely trumped practicality or quality, stuff started going downhill.
    A while back you asked about what people learned from traveling abroad, and I started to answer that being in a different country makes you think more. You have to think about how light switches work and which way to look before you cross the road and how much something costs. Maybe if everything is a little scarcer we’ll be like that. Maybe we’ll be less stupid about some things.

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  16. Dorothy said on October 7, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Dwight – Soledad O’Brien has been on CNN since 2003 – she is no longer affiliated with NBC or MSNBC.

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  17. alex said on October 7, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    The end times are coming! The end times are coming!

    For the GOP as we know it, that is. Oh happy day.

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  18. beb said on October 7, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I fear that Sarah Palin is the Huey Long of this generation. She will survive McCain because McCain was never one of “them.” She will have national exposure and name recognition. She knows how to throw red meat to her people. She is what the wingers were looking for all this year. She will survive and if allowed back onto the national stage become the person she always wanted to be — Josphine Stalin.

    Sorry, channeling a bit of Caliban today.

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  19. LAMary said on October 7, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    I think Sarah Palin will become a Fox employee. She is much more of a commentator than a politician. All through the “debate” I thought she was working the camera like a Fox fembot, rather than a candidate. Bill O’Reilly in stilettos is where she’s headed.

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  20. brian stouder said on October 7, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Have you listened to TAL’s “Another Frightening Show About the Economy” yet? Well, why not? (The first chapter is about the commercial paper market, which the Fed is shoring up as we speak. If you don’t know what that is, you need to. So go listen.)

    Oh for Heaven’s sake! I feel like when I was in the 5th grade, and hadn’t done my homework!

    With the debate tonight I may not get to it, but, for the record, NN.c will soon be able to say “Mission Accomplished” (again!) – as I have been well and truly shamed into committing to listening to the TAL thing

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  21. Jeff Borden said on October 7, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Re: Sarah Palin’s future.

    It’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility she could be a news reader or commentator at Fox, but let’s face it, she’s really not that good at speaking off-the-cuff. Throwing her into a media scrum would not spotlight her strengths, which include delivering scripted lines with a certain aplomb. And then there’s that gawdawful voice.

    Here’s my best guess, assuming (please, God, please) she and McCain go down in flames. She’ll get a book deal, maybe from Regnery. She’ll be invited to join a couple of wingnut welfare organizatons, maybe AEI. She’ll make the rounds raising money and throwing red meat during the 2010 midterms, which will keep her party profile high and the dollars rolling in. She’ll weigh a run at a Senate or House seat, depending on what happens to Ted Stevens and Don Young.

    The GOP is desperate for a new face that isn’t old, wrinkled, white and male. She’s it.

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  22. ellen said on October 7, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    So Jeff Borden, do you reckon Sarah Palin is Ronald Reagan circa 1964?

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  23. John said on October 7, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Ellen, how about an Ollie North comparison instead?

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  24. Jolene said on October 7, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    I think Ollie North is a good model, John. I find it hard to see her lasting anywhere, but, perhaps when she slows down and is just speaking for herself, she’ll do better. As I said before, she did sound better in some of those Alaska debates and interviews.

    But I am clearly not her audience. The voice, the winking, the inability to form a simple sentence, the unwillingness to address a question directly, the apparent pride in ignorance–I really can’t bear it. So, I may not be the best judge of her career prospects, snob that I am.

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  25. John said on October 7, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Inside the beltway, over-educated, elitist!

    I bet you like sushi too!

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  26. del said on October 7, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    LA Mary, “Fox fembot?” Same thought my friend and I had about Palin — but we didn’t use your term.

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  27. del said on October 7, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I think Gasman’s right. Palin’s history after this election cycle. She’s been exposed.

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  28. mark said on October 7, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    You disappoint me, jolene. Do you really think Palin is unable to form a simple sentence? Can you post a visdeo of some of your interviews with Katie or Charlie Gibson? Perhaps you have some footage of your last speech before a crowd of 10,000 or more? Maybe a transcript from your last State of the State Adress? I’m sure you and the others here have had lots of similar high pressure momets and performed flawlessly from the first moment forward.

    You people aren’t discussing ideas, you are entertaining each other making nasty comments about people you dont even know.

    The economy has put the last nail in McCain’s coffin. He deserves it for playing “maverick” with the bailout- choosing an erratic path to get to the consensus, Washington-insider position. The vast majority of Americans realize that you don’t have to address a credit liquidity squeeze by FIRST rewarding multi-millionaires who lost hundreds of billions on obscene gambles.

    While Obama and McCain both supported the package, only McCain engaged in the wild gyrations necessary to wrap himself in it so tightly that it strangles.

    I hope were not reduced to rooting for grubs. I didn’t like it when I was seven and dad planned a fishing outing. At least with a President Obama I won’t have to do it again. I’ll let the top 5% of the grub rooters share their grubs with me.

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  29. mark said on October 7, 2008 at 4:37 pm

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  30. LAMary said on October 7, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Mark, Palin is a governor and she jumped on the opportunity to run for VP. She should be able to answer questions. How hard is it to come up with the name of a newspaper or magazine you regularly read? Unless you don’t read any, it should be simple. How about the Supreme Court decision regarding Exxon/Alaska? It was three months ago and it directly impacted her state. She wouldn’t have had to go into great detail about why she disagreed with it.

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  31. Gasman said on October 7, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Simply read the transcript for any of Palin’s responses to any of Couric’s questions. The question’s were not unfair, nor should they have been unexpected for someone running for the VP spot. She simply is a blank slate as far as national/international issues goes. It is absolutely irrelevant if any of us could do no better; we have not been put forward by a major party as being the “best vice presidential pick in history.” Certainly no hyperbole there, as Truman, Johnson, Teddy Roosevelt, among dozens of others were such hacks and so obviously inferior to Palin. Sarah Palin has been portrayed as some kind of political wizard, when in reality, she is a politician whose concerns have been much, much, MUCH closer to her home. She is essentially a local politician who has been vaulted to national prominence, not because of anything she has accomplished, but because of her looks and the fact that she tows the hard right Christian fundamentalist line. She is a pretty face with an empty head. I also might add that her conduct as Governor has NOT been transparent and honest as she might claim. She very well might face censure or even removal from office for her transgressions in the trooper scandal.

    She is a mental lightweight at best, and an intellectual pygmy at worst. If she is not reading from a teleprompter or her notes, she is inarticulate to the point of being unintelligible.

    We liberals have not criticized Palin for being a woman, a Republican, or even conservative, but because she is so obviously ignorant about even the most basic of issues. She has been consistently wrong when trying to articulate Alaska’s impact on national energy production: she was off by a factor of three. If she could get nothing else right, I would have at least expected her to know that. She is even less informed about any other issue that she has spoken of.

    She was meant to be the pin-up girl for abortion foes, not a serious second in command. McCain is desperate to woo the fundamentalists to vote for him, even if it means endangering the world by putting the nuclear (say nu-cle-ar) codes within reach of this vapid twit.

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  32. moe99 said on October 7, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Serious food for thought from Matt Yglesias and George Packer.

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  33. Jolene said on October 7, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    I’m sorry if I offended you, mark, but, yes, I value intelligence and the ability to think, speak, and write clearly. As for my record, I haven’t been on the national news or spoken to tens of thousands, but I’ve been interviewed for a local news show and given successful talks to audiences of a few hundred to a few thousand. I don’t particularly think that experience is required to have an opinion about Palin, but, if it means something to you, there it is.

    Palin’s behavior in the debate was deplorable. Imagine a student or a job applicant saying, “I’m not going to answer the questions you’re asking. I’m just going to tell you what I want you to hear.” He or she wouldn’t get far. And any woman who behaved in a professional setting as she did–winking and tossing her hair–would rapidly lose the respect of her co-workers and supervisors, unless, perhaps, she were a waitress at a truck stop.

    That’s a harsh thing to say, but I think it’s valid. I don’t know your situation, but, if you have a daughter, think about whether you’d want her to give an important talk or sit through an interview and wink at the people assessing her fitness for the position.

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  34. Linda said on October 7, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Palin will (if God is good and she isn’t elected into another job), probably be indicted for something before she can run in ’12. She is to my mind not so much the Caribou Barbie as the Kwame Kilpatrick of the great white north: secretive, dishonest, vindictive, and power-hungry. Anybody who can hustle the state into comping her to LIVE AT HOME has to have a man-sized pair. And not in her bra.

    And Nancy, you expressed so well the desire of the apocalypse crowd to say “I told you so.” Their last big disappointment was Y2K. But they yearn to say, ha ha. I told you you didn’t have enough God, guns, rural living, etc. I hope each day for their continuing disappointment.

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  35. Gasman said on October 8, 2008 at 12:38 am

    The appropriate response from the apocalypse crowd toward your post would be, “it hasn’t happened, YET!” Come the rapture, when they’re all flyin’ through the air, they’ll be going, “Nya, nya, nya! Told you so!” But, we already knew you were a hater by your remarks about little miss Sarah. She won’t be saving you a spot in Alaska when the Seven Horsemen come a callin’.

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  36. Jim said on October 8, 2008 at 8:17 am

    I was also in Huntington covering the Bush/Quayle event that day. It was truly scary. But there was anger and arrogance on both sides.

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