Sarah vile.

We were sailing when Sarah Palin announced she was advancing in another direction, so I missed the fun of the announcement. Saw a minute or two here and there on the web, which was about as long as I could stand; whenever I hear her supporters say, “She drives liberals crazy!!!” I can only agree. I think they misunderstand the reason, however. It’s not because she has a child with Down Syndrome or a rifle or an unwed pregnant daughter. And sorry, crazy-man-I-found-via-James-Wolcott-and-I-will-think-twice-before-doing-that-again, it’s not because of this:

Finally, but by no means least, she wears figure-flattering clothes, grooms herself beautifully, and walks gracefully and confidently in high heels.

It’s just annoying, at an elemental level, to think that a person could get so close to the presidency who writes like this:

Alaska’s mission – to contribute to America. We’re strategic IN the world as the air crossroads OF the world, as a gatekeeper of the continent. Bold visionaries knew this – Alaska would be part of America’s great destiny.

Our destiny to be reached by responsibly developing our natural resources. This land, blessed with clean air, water, wildlife, minerals, AND oil and gas. It’s energy! God gave us energy.

So to serve the state is a humbling responsibility, because I know in my soul that Alaska is of such import, for America’s security, in our very volatile world. And you know me by now, I promised even four years ago to show MY independence… no more conventional “politics as usual”.

And we are doing well! My administration’s accomplishments speak for themselves. We work tirelessly for Alaskans.

I’m aware, with every passing year, that no one really cares about written or even spoken expression in any meaningful way. A catch phrase, a snappy delivery, a one-liner or two — that’s all anyone expects from people in the public eye. But even I, who thought I’d seen all of Sarah Palin anyone needed to see, was…what’s the word? Le mot juste? Oh, hell, let’s go with the obvious and trite: I was offended. Yes. Offended by this rambling, nonsensical exercise in narcissism. What the hell is she talking about? Alaska, sure. Commitment, not so sure. Sarah, certainly. And all those capital letters. MY independence. AND oil and gas. And exclamation points! We are doing well!

Sarah is, anyway.

I’m a writer, and I have all the writer’s irrational prejudices about people who don’t understand subject-verb agreement and the importance of proper spelling. I’m aware this makes me something of a snob and elitist, but I don’t care. This shit ain’t rocket science, and people who write competently, never mind stylishly, are indicating by their example that they respect writing. People who respect writing are more likely to read. And readers are smarter, there I said it.

The case has been made that Palin is smart, but a different kind of smart. Not fancypants Obama booklearnin’ smart, but hardscrabble shoeshine-and-a-smile bachelor’s-degree-by-way-of-five-schools smart, the sort of smart that used to be called shrewd. Hmm. OK. I acknowledge there are different kinds of intelligence, that a person who is genius at negotiation but dumb at math is no dummy, and that a person who is great at math but cannot learn that it’s wise to pay attention to one’s personal grooming may well have a brain dysfunction, but I’m still a writer, and I still say it’s spinach and I still say the hell with it.

One interesting thing about Palin’s statement you only see in the written version, as painful as it is to read: She capitalizes “outside” when speaking of “Outside special interests.” Outside is, of course, Alaska code for the lower 48. Could any other politician with national aspirations get away with trashing the rest of the country?

I wish you’d hear MORE from the media of your state’s progress and how we tackle Outside interests – daily – SPECIAL interests that would stymie our state.

Oil companies — not a special interest. Mining — not a special interest. Commercial fishing — not a special interest. What color is the sky in Sarah’s world?

A bit of bloggage:

I’ve read uneven reviews of “Methland,” but Walter Kirn’s in the NYT was over-the-top positive. I don’t trust Kirn, but this may be a library reserve-list item. There’s been a lot reported about meth, but not as much about the why, why a drug so toxic and dangerous could take root in what is allegedly the blissful countryside. It seems Nick Reding’s book gets close:

The agricultural conglomerates that have gobbled up Oelwein and similar farm towns may feed the world, but they starve the folks who work for them, breeding a craving for synthetic stimulants that conveniently sap the appetite while enlarging the body’s capacity for toil. These offal-streaked Dickensian mills are also magnets for desperate immigrant laborers who, in some cases, blaze the smuggling trails that run up into the Corn Belt from Mexico, home to the gang lords who own the superlabs that, increasingly, dominate the meth trade.

“Vicious cycle” is not an adequate term. As Reding painstakingly presents it, the production, distribution and consumption of methamphetamine is a self-catalyzing catastrophe of Chernobylish dimensions. The rich, with their far-off, insulated lives, get richer and more detached, while the poor get high and, finally, wasted. In the meanwhile, the traffickers fatten in their dens, expanding their arsenals and their private armies, some of whose troops are recruited from the ranks of the pale zombies their business spawns.

This is one reason I get so impatient when the Rod Drehers of the world paint such rosy pictures of the world outside the cities. I’ve been to Dekalb County, friends — it ain’t all sustainable organic farming and chickens in the yard.

So how was y’all’s weekend? Mine was fine and dandy. Alan installed a screen door on our back door, a feature that had been missing. It’s the best thing we’ve done since we made Kate. Nothing says summer like the back door standing open to the screen.

And a hot week awaits to enjoy it. Enjoy yours, but already my responsibilities are prodding me.

Posted at 8:30 am in Current events |
 

78 responses to “Sarah vile.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 6, 2009 at 9:05 am

    My calls this morning are already telling me that there are about five of us working today. Snarl.

    I posted a comment at a Rod Dreher chat about the glory of small, “liveable” towns about how they have only half the story, and the wrong half (yes, there are lots of places where people live among relatives, have relatives living with them, and work within a couple miles of their home with a large garden out back), completely missing the other half (yes, meth, etc., but the whole “family all around me” is not *necessarily* a sign of emotional and mental health — can be quite the opposite).

    The fact of the matter is that the Michael Jacksons and Steve McNairs and Rush Limbaughs and Paris Hiltons will always have full access to everything from Dilaudid to Haldol to ether, by a “doctor’s” prescription, while the other end of the dumbbell curve cooks meth, brews ‘shine, and grows weed down among the weeds in the curve of the drainage ditch. Both ends of the distribution are self-medicating, and eating mega-doses of a-nutritional crud on a daily basis is killing way more than meth is, if you want to get serious about what’s doing harm to Americans. The sad thing for celebrities and the rich is that they can’t let themselves get obese (it’s a law of some sort), so all they can do is work up the pharmaceutical ladder until they successfully depress both their anxieties and their breathing to the same level.

    Last note from the still not entirely disenchanted Palin faction — the more that general media keeps using “crazy,” “unhinged,” “insane,” “loopy,” “deranged,” and so on for Sarah Palin, the more a big hunk o’ the country is going to stay loyal. Talk about whether this was responsible or not, and you’ve got a conversation (but the personal finances angle gets virtually *no* discussion in what i’ve heard, which strikes me as unfair in its own right), but make everything about this a sign of mental defect, and you just are blowing on that dog whistle again.

    I’m just sayin’. My PhD, very thoughtful esposa is fuming, just livid about how Palin’s being relentlessly described, and if you get the tv off, she’ll admit she’s not sure why resigning makes a bit of sense, for now or later. But the reporters and anchors and columnists all piling on the “whack job” descriptors has her ready to send a check to SarahPac — i’m not kidding.

  2. coozledad said on July 6, 2009 at 9:14 am

    It’s peasant cunning. They don’t give a damn if you can write or speak, they even hate it. I see it when I’m at the feed store or have to hire someone to do brute work. Usually among the slower ones who can’t manage the poker face. As soon as they detect the stink of education or manners on you, you can watch the blinds drop down in their eyes and hear the little raspy edge of violence creep into their voices. They never needed but one book, and everything’s in it. Some of the merchants among them learn to fake it, but it’s just a veneer over some nastiness you really don’t want to think about. Even though I’ve got one of those brain-dead slow southern drawls and was blessed by nature with a pig-eyed expression they somehow walk straight past it to what counts: that reptilian brain. I’m sick of being told they’re the backbone of the country. They’re more of a shadow prison population.

  3. Julie Robinson said on July 6, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Anyone else finding the Sarah Palin PAC ad on NNC a bit amusing?

    We spent the long weekend in Chicago with a mini-family reunion. None of us felt up to tackling Taste of Chicago but we did see the Harry Potter exhibit at the Science and Industry Museum. Fun if a bit pricey. Mostly we just enjoyed spending time together. Our daughter is starting her last year of seminary so any time we have with her is precious. She has reached that place where we can just enjoy her wonderfulness without having to parent her and it’s a great reward.

  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 6, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Did you get to the U-505, Julie?

  5. Peter said on July 6, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I’ve read it in a few places, so I’ll just pick one: Richard Roeper stated that Palin’s logic is that she is not a quitter, so she had to quit her job.

    My brain hurts when I listen to her. Her written work makes Bob Greene look like Shakespeare.

  6. 4dbirds said on July 6, 2009 at 10:05 am

    I grew up before “learning disabled” was recognized or addressed therefore I make lots of mistakes in my writing and in my speech. In spite of that I still love to read and wish I had the ability to express myself with the grace that so many of you do here. So if I post and my grammar sucks, please correct me but don’t be mean. I’m very fragile. 🙂

  7. Sue said on July 6, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Even while avoiding Fox News, I saw as much “brilliant move” coverage as “WTF” coverage on Sarah. It was hard to follow it consistently, though, because there was still so much Michael Jackson coverage, on all the news channels – that’s more outrageous to me than reaction to anything Sarah does. I heard someone on CNN today refer to the people who got tickets to the Michael Jackson memorial service as “lucky winners”. On Saturday a panel discussion on what might happen to those who administered drugs to Jackson ended in happy chat on holiday plans. It’s like they’re talking about an episode of some tv show.
    One thing I found interesting about the Sarah coverage – I didn’t see any speculation along the standard lines of “ok, what’s going to come out in a day or so to explain this move?”. No one assumed that she had been caught at something, which seems to be the default reaction these days to odd behavior by a politician.

  8. Julie Robinson said on July 6, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Since I grew up an hour from Chicago and the museums used to be free they were my family’s favorite place to go. Science and Industry, Natural History, the Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Art Institute, Oriental Institute, Lincoln Park Zoo, you name it, we went there. As well as pricier attractions such as theatre, CSO and ballet, even a few Sox games. Most of my friends’ families never drove in and thought we were a bit exotic. Mom and Dad had their problems but were always teaching us about the wider world. I appreciated it then and now. Especially since I’m now too claustrophobic for the sub or the coal mine.

  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 6, 2009 at 10:21 am

    I miss the free days — i saw where the Art Institute, which used to be free a number of days, and “recommended donation” the others, was free something like “Sunday afternoon, courtesy of Target.”

    Sigh.

  10. derwood said on July 6, 2009 at 10:28 am

    I think it was Anderson Cooper who was interviewing Palin’s PR person and AC asked why she was Quitting. PR rep kept using the basketball analogy that she knows when to pass the ball. AC was great when he kept at her and said he doesn’t understand sports and it doesn’t explain why she is quitting. I wanted him to point out that in basketball the point guard passes the ball and continues to play, they don’t up and quit and walk off the field.

    Whoever posted the smash the potato with a coffee mug recipe and bake it…Thanks. It was a big hit with the inlaws.

    -daron

  11. jeff borden said on July 6, 2009 at 10:32 am

    What rankles me most about Sarah Palin is her smug happiness at her own shallowness. When most people pursue an education, they are struck by the fact that the more we learn, the more we realize how much we don’t know. Not the snowbilly. She learned everything she needed to know, by God, during those four years at five different schools. She doesn’t need those fancy degrees and thick books and a general understanding of the immensely complicated and interconnected world in which we live. She has something better: her own common sense.

    Jeff tmmo is correct about one thing. To the true believers who see something special in this empty-headed diva, every insult is a compliment, every question about her competence is evidence of her excellence, every critique of her behavior is is proof she is on the right track.

    John McCain should hang his head in shame for the rest of his life for foisting this self-worshiping idiot on the body politic.

  12. LA Mary said on July 6, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I installed a screen door two years ago. I wanted one 11 years ago when I did a remodel, but the architect/contractor would not hear of it. He was originally from Alabama and I think it somehow reminded him of a past he wanted to forget. Anyway, in the summer, it is what makes indoor cooking possible in my unairconditioned house.
    On Sarah Palin: people don’t want politicians to sound smarter than they are. People don’t want to think about some decisions. Too much information confuses issues, and we all have our own idea of what too much information is. For some it’s as basic as rules of grammar.

  13. Deborah said on July 6, 2009 at 10:48 am

    I am a lousy writer. I have no idea why I dare to post comments on this site but for some reason I feel compelled to do so from time to time. I don’t think I’m stupid, I read a lot but it doesn’t make me a better writer. I can tell the difference between good and bad writing but it doesn’t make me a better writer. Why is that?

  14. jeff borden said on July 6, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Deborah,

    You are not a lousy writer and you certainly are not stupid. Your post is clearly written and straightforward in purpose. That’s commmunication. After 35 plus years of reporting and writing for a living, I’ve always considered myself as a writer with a small ‘w.’ Someone like Dennis Lehane is a writer with a big-assed capital ‘W.’

    You are certainly a better writer than La Palin. I’ve read the transcript of her remarks and they are beyond atrocious. . .it’s almost stream of consciousness babbling. Worse, it doesn’t really say anything other than she’s leaving. Her reasoning is all over the board. It’s a statement that raises more questions than it answers, hence, it’s lousy writing.

    Apparently, the Alaskan lieutenant governor said on one of the talk shows yesterday that she is quitting because of looming financial issues relating to all those ethics charges against her. I’ve read that she owes more than $500,000 in legal fees. Now, she can milk her celebrity for every dime. Hell, I won’t be surprised to see her joining “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Outta Here.”

  15. Linda said on July 6, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Having read it, I give a thumbs up to Methland. The author covers the roots of economic ruin, and how meth got built up first as a drug shipped in from the west coast, home-brewed from tiny enterprises, and finally as a commodity shipped in by Mexican cartels, all as a direct result of pharmaceutical lobbying and our reliance on cheap, imported labor. The ending is, I think, prematurely upbeat re: the town he covered, but the book is good.

    Another book to read: Farm City by Novella Carpenter, about a woman and her creation of home farming and ranching in inner city Oakland, CA.

    About Sarah Palin: I don’t hate her as a liberal. Since the Republicans are clinging to this loser as a heroine, and she has as much chance of becoming president as I do, she’s like a gift. I wonder how many virgins we had to kill to get her.

  16. Connie said on July 6, 2009 at 11:39 am

    You are welcome Derwood. We had them yesterday as well, with the steaks our friends brought, the first wax beans of the summer, and a caesar salad. A fine dinner on the deck.

  17. Jolene said on July 6, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I’m with Nancy re Palin. All along, I’ve been offended by the idea that this fundamentally unserious person sees herself and is seen by others as having the ability to address our very real and complex national and international problems. She knows little of the world and has shown no evidence of wanting to remedy that defect. Her inability to present her own thinking clearly and coherently is, in my view, damning. I would be entirely happy never to hear from her again, but I fear I won’t be so lucky.

    Meanwhile, Barack Obama, who began thinking and writing about arms control while still in college, is in Russia trying to make the world safer and is now announcing new agreements with the Russians.

  18. moe99 said on July 6, 2009 at 11:44 am

    The reason Sarah Palin is so popular in this country, is shown in Jay Leno’s “Jaywlaking” segments where ordinary people cannot name things like the largest state in the Union, or identify a picture of Colin Powell. These folk are Palin’s natural fodder. Here’s a poorly recorded segment of Jaywalking:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vz3pEPUeSRc

    I think that eventually Sarah Palin will tell us that she has gone Galt. Because she has.

  19. jeff borden said on July 6, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    In the final analysis, this is all about Sarah Palin grabbing with both hands. She’ll leave Alaska’s problems to her erstwhile lieutenant governor so that she can:

    1.) Write, tour and promote her “memoirs.” Payoff? Figure $2 million for the book. Maybe $500K for selling exclusive rights to preview it to some publicatin.
    2.) Deliver speeches and make personal appearances. Payoff? Figure $50K to $100K, depending on the group. This does not include first-class airfare and accommodations plus money for handlers, which is usually paid for by the host group.
    3.) Negotiate national radio talk show or commentary deal. She may well be too lazy and intellectually incurious to handle a daily talk show, which certainly would pay her an annual seven-figure sum, but perhaps she could become a contributor at a reduced amount. Perhaps a weekly or bi-weekly commentary on Sean Hannity’s program? Or Bill O’Reilly’s? It might be good for a half-million annually.
    4.) Field offers from television producers for a talk show of her own or a spot on an existing program. She’s undeniably photogenic and charismatic. Would Barbara Walters think of adding her to The View? Or could she wade into the second-tier talk show arena? Payoff? $1 million annually, if she has a sharp agent.
    5.) Appear in commercials. La Palin seems to lack the sense of humor that allowed other failed pols like Geraldine Ferraro and Bob Dole to cash in with self-deprecating TV commercials, but she’d probably get a handsome payday. Again, I’d reckon she could fetch $1mil.

    A commentator on another site has suggested that while Palin is not conventionally intelligent, she possesses a grifter’s cunning. She sees a nice payday and she’s taking it.

  20. Scout said on July 6, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I was aware of a certain level of anxiety in Palin’s voice that I had never heard before. Additionally, shortly before her hastily called press conference she had twittered that she had made the “happy” decision not to run for Governor again. Then all of a sudden, she was quitting entirely, a move that seemed a surprise even to her. I think there is trouble afoot, although maybe her stepping down was the tradeoff to keep it quiet. We may never know what really happened.

    I am sure she will end up in some sort of media position; it is a natural fit for her. Politically? Stick a fork in her. She’s a quitter and decidedly unpresidential. Nuff said.

    Oh, and I identify with the others who have posted that they love to comment here amongst the pros even while feeling uncomfortable about their own writing skills.

  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 6, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    How, exactly, does everyone know Palin is “unserious”? I hear that almost as much as “nutty.” I guess it’s like Bush being “fundamentally uncurious about the world,” which no one can prove and just becomes a fact through repetition.

    Unserious, uncurious, insane. Let’s keep it personal folks, and undisprovable. And by all means, let’s give a pass to Maureen Dowd’s plagiarism and re-friend her for mocking Palin’s middle classness first and foremost —

    “Caribou Barbie is one nutty puppy. . . On the shore of Lake Lucille, with wild fowl honking and the First Dude smiling, with Piper in the foreground and their Piper Cub in the background, the woman who took the Republican Party by storm only 10 months ago gave an incoherent, breathless and prickly stream of consciousness to a small group in her Wasilla yard.” Everything Dowd is making fun of is central to why Palin is still liked, gaffes and garbling and all. Not because she can’t read, doesn’t read, or doesn’t read the right things, but because she doesn’t find it ludicrous to have loons in the background of a press conference and is actually proud of owning a small, propeller driven aircraft. Even that “in her Wasilla yard” line — c’mon, can’t you see what you’re buying into here? Do you really want to make a stand on snobbery?

    Slam her positions on energy development, on being anti-choice, on the right role of states vs. federal mandates, and be willing to engage in an actual discussion (she might surprise you, and those are governance issues, too). But i find it fundamentally incurious for people to say they are “against her” when they only mention personal qualities that they don’t have any data on, other than the occasional photo op at the turkey abattoir.

    “Grifter’s cunning” — sweet. But i’ll bet she’d take you in a hand of poker, and make you say “thank you” as you walked away the loser. Three hands, and you’d be asking for a ride home. Except that’s not grifting, that’s playing the hand you’re dealt better than the other fellow.

  22. moe99 said on July 6, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2009/07/05/there-goes-bailin-palin/

    I like TBogg’s take as well.

  23. Sue said on July 6, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    This group likes Maureen Dowd? I always got Mitch Albom vibes about her from the comments around here.

  24. Dexter said on July 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I make a lot of mistakes when I write on blogs but I rarely go back and correct my grammar because I believe in the theory that Craig Crawford explained; the internet was created so folks could type out a thought and hit send and proceed to reading the other person’s thought. I agree that bad writing should be edited before it is published for mass distribution, of course.
    I notice that many of my friends have moved away from the IM language “howr u 2day?” and gone to Twitter where they write a little better.
    Well, since I am not a writer, not even a hacker, I have forgotten school-days teachings and I just go by memories of how I am supposed to punctuate and structure sentence and paragraph. My older brother who has the J-Masters is always on me about my poor writing “skills”. Well, I try but can’t seem to improve.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sue: Maureen Dowd was great until a couple years ago when she seemingly lost interest in journalism. I was a devotee for years but now I read Frank Rich and Gail Collins and Bob Herbert over there and I skip Dowd most weeks.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This is much more interesting than S. Palin and her miscreants:
    http://j-walkblog.com/old/images/twine.jpg

  25. jeff borden said on July 6, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I’d love to play poker with Sarah Palin, Jeff. If she plays her cards the way she runs her life, she’d be hitchhiking home or borrowing a quarter to call a cab. She’s exactly the kind of person you want to play: someone who thinks they are much, much better than they are. You ride a cash cow like that all night, man.

    How can I call Sarah Palin unserious, Jeff? Are YOU serious? She has taken the easy way out in every aspect of her life. Five schools in four years? Uncompleted terms as mayor, gas and petroleum board and now governor? Unwillingness to prepare for important debates and interviews? A sense of entitlement and playing by her own rules (see debate, vice presidential) when she doesn’t like the odds of her doing well?

    If that is not unserious, what the hell is?

  26. ellen said on July 6, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I agree with jeff b. she realized that the appearances, speeches, etc., would make serious $$$. Plus, now she won’t have to turn down lucrative gigs because of trivial details like running a state. She will be surrounded by people who agree with her and who are willing to pay for the privilege of breathing the same air. What’s not to like about this career move? Even if it doesn’t lead to presidency, she will make more $$$ and have more adoration from “her kind of people” as a talking head, commentator, book “author,” etc. All this without having pesky state ethics laws hanging over her anymore. Sounds good. Where do I sign, Satan?

  27. coozledad said on July 6, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Seems to me that not too long ago Democrats rose and fell on how they windsurfed or looked in a tank helmet.
    I suspect a great deal of the mouth breathing population beatifying Sarah eagerly awaited some evidence of a physical shortcoming or some awkward clothing choice so they could begin trashing Obama properly. Trash him in a way even a self described “point-guard” could get behind.
    The pal-ling around with terrorists thing was pretty much all they had, even though there were some rumblings about a terrorist cousin -from Africa by God!
    Nope. Every time Obama nailed a three pointer was a big stake in the heart of their goober jock cred, and Sarah’s scarcely concealed contempt for “people who are able to quote facts and figures” didn’t play well in the aftermath of the the Yale legacy douchesack. And while the economic wasteland George and his buddies left behind hobbled old McCain, nothing did him in like his own handpicked dumbass sexual prosthesis.
    I had several elderly farmers walk up to me at the polls and tell me that they almost went for McCain, but she was the last straw.
    There was another group, though, that was all for Sarah. The ones who were chanting “Babykillers! Babykillers!” Or middle aged men who said they were just going to cut their work force or go into hiding. These guys tended to park in the handicapped space in the parking lot of the precinct. You know, Losers. Guys in a midlife crisis. Hysterical racists. Dittoheads.
    They were saying for awhile that Republicans had mastered the art of political slime, and it was so admirable, and we’d be stuck with them because they had their finger on the pulse of the idiots. Well, they forgot to keep track of everybody else, and their sole remaining constituency believes in witches, spontaneous generation, Ayn Rand and the gold standard.

  28. nancy said on July 6, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    JeffTMMO, I appreciate how you — and frequently you alone — are willing to stick up for conservatives when they’re unfairly trashed here, but I’m with Borden on this one. If Palin isn’t the very definition of an unserious grifter, I don’t know who is.

    What did it for me was when she claimed she didn’t hesitate, not even for a second, when asked to join the McCain ticket. Not even to think about it overnight? Discuss it with Todd and the kids? That’s not just evidence of egomania and about a million other nebulous disorders, it’s certainly the work of an unserious person.

  29. 4dbirds said on July 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Ref poker, one thing I actually know of a little. The last poker tournament I played in, I was seated next to a large, overall wearing, good ole boy from one of the Carolinas. His shtick was almost painful to watch. “What are these here black chips worth?”, “You city folks sure are aggressive.”.
    You don’t drive up from Carolina to Atlantic City to play in a large buy-in game and not know what the chips are worth. Nobody was fooled. He did not last. In pokerese he “shipped it obv”.

  30. moe99 said on July 6, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    One HuffPost writer is calling it the “Iquitarod.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoffrey-dunn/the-iquitarod-sarah-palin_b_225989.html

  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Still can’t hang with unserious or grifter (grifter — cool word, but “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”).

    Now, should a) McCain have picked her, or b) should she be so self-assured as to not need a night to think it over? THAT’s a conversation. And i can happily play cards with someone who’s saying a) No, and b) No.

    And i don’t even play cards.

    (Grifter? I’m trying to see Angelica Huston playing Palin . . . nope, not working for me, even if we time machine back and get the ’77 Angelica.)

    Plus i’m driving around listening to “Fresh Air” and “On Point” as everyone gets hyper-snotty about “she wants to make money.” A half-million in debts from dismissed complaints, and another half-million in legal bills coming if she tries to pay down those with speeches in the Lower 48, aka “Outside.” Nope, she’s making plenty of sense to me. But y’all pinatafy her another week or so, and let me know when you’re done what’s going on in Xinxiang, Qom, Moldova, and Honduras, if you can get past the MJ “memorial service” coverage. Trust me, lots of Palin advocates can find all four of those places on a map without using Google Earth.

    Seriously, this all feels way too much like August, 2001. It was nothing but shark attacks and Chandra Levy & Gary Condit and will Hillary make it as a carpetbagging junior senator. When this decade’s gamechanger comes, we’ll all say again what we said in Oct. 2001 — “how could we have paid attention to that stuff with such passion and intensity?”

    EDIT: I checked after posting (i know, i know), and that should be Xinjiang. So i guess i’m a knuckle dragging, drooling, One Book* owning, mouthbreathing, neo-griftatious troglodyte who splits infinitives after all! But i can still find it on a map.

    [*Cooze, did you mean “The Fountainhead,” or “Atlas Shrugged”?]

  32. alex said on July 6, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    I guess it’s like Bush being “fundamentally uncurious about the world,” which no one can prove and just becomes a fact through repetition.

    Oh, my. I guess, then, that it cannot be proven about Joe the Plumber, either. Just another liberal rush to judgment about a man who could quite possibly be brilliant. We should be debating his ideas on their merits. Puhleeze.

  33. Jeff Borden said on July 6, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Jeff tmmo,

    You have hit the nail on the head. The real object of scorn should be Sen. John McCain for thrusting this photogenic know-nothing onto an enormous public stage. It was a desperate ploy by a desperate politician willing to sacrifice the last scintilla of his honor and integrity for a shot at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    I’ll never be able to take the guy seriously again.

  34. Jolene said on July 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Jeff: Here’s an example of Palin’s winning combo of ignorance and arrogance. She gave, in Pittsburgh, I believe, a speech about special needs children in which she promised to fully fund special education by cutting earmarks.

    As an example of the kind of project that could be cut, she named a project that involved studying fruitflies in France. Of course, we all know that anything remotely connected with France is un-American and eminently mockable, but this project actually involved studying flies that are damaging olive trees. Apparently, the problem is more serious in Europe than in California, so some knowledge that might be helpful to American olive growers might be gained by figuring out what’s going on there before things get worse here. And the funding for that project was a grand 200K. It’d take quite a few of those to make much of a dent in the funding of special education.

    I’d call that unserious. She didn’t have the remotest idea of what she was talking about. She just grabbed an example out of a report issued by an advocacy organization w/o the slightest effort to evaluate its credibility. Of course, she should have staff people who will do that work for her, but the fact that she was, apparently, willing to take whatever they handed her doesn’t speak well of her intellect, her management skills, or her judgment.

    And this is leaving aside the idea that even people such as myself, who did not spend much of their time in school focused on the life sciences, know that a ton of research in genetics involves the use of fruit flies. Knowing nothing about the project or the problem w/ the olive trees, if someone had brought that speech to me, I’d have said, “Are we sure this project doesn’t involve something important in genetics?”

  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Well, i’d have been more concerned if it was damage to grape vines, since (regrettably) i consume more wine than olive oil.

    McCain is back on a light schedule working as a senator, where i’m happy to have him and where he’s plenty sharp enough if you grade that body on a curve; i’m still fascinated by the counterfactual of “what if McCain had told Schmidt et alia to go intercourse the penguin and picked Lieberman?”

    Yeah, yeah, he woulda lost that way, too . . . maybe. Maybe not. But while Axelrod was still trying to figure out how to implement his 2012 strategy in October 2008 (holy cr4p, we’re going to win the nomination? against Hillary?), McCain was dithering much more than suits the persona — a little Palinesque decisiveness looks positively presidential next to that pratfall. If John wanted Joe on his ticket, tell ’em to stuff it and go there, and do what you can to make it work.

    Meanwhile, Huckabee could have made it all the way to the Naval Observatory if it wasn’t for his schpilkas over running under a Mormon, and Romney might have reached the White House if he wasn’t queasy about having a minister as his veep. Of course, Dems couldn’t quite feel right about either a woman in the White House or Bill back even in the East Wing, so it’s all politics. But don’t expect me to fall all over how ignorant Bush was when i had to listen to years of blather about how smart Gore and Kerry were, while their college grades were sealed until after the shouting was over. So is Obama’s.

    Yes, i’m touchy on the whole “taking more than four years” and “going to multiple state colleges” as proof of ignorance. And quoting an advocacy group for a lame, overextended, not entirely germane example of a policy point doesn’t make you stupid or unserious, it makes you a politician.

    So Jeff, i’m still peeved at the insistence that Palin (and Bush) are know-nothings, but i agree that the act of “selecting” Palin was justly a below the waterline self-inflicted torpedo launch into the Lt. Cmdr.’s vessel. You don’t fire a full spread into an unconfirmed target in open water . . . unless you’re in the Gulf of Tonkin.

    By the way, RIP Robert McNamara. Very little mention of the Ford Fairlane in the coverage, i see, but i guess we’ll fight the Vietnam War all over again for the benefit of ignoring current events just a few more days, or at least until the riots outside of the Michael Jackson memorial concert.

    THEN we’ll have some footage for the 10 pm shows!

  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    BTW, i don’t understand the bile going into so much commentary on McNamara, and i hope Errol Morris is given a chance to write a memorial piece in the NYTimes; cf. this from CNN and i ask “How is McNamara the main devil in this Inferno?” —

    “By November 1967, McNamara told Johnson that there was “no reasonable way” to end the war quickly, and that the United States needed to reduce its forces in Vietnam and turn the fighting over to the American-backed government in Saigon. By the end of that month, Johnson announced he was replacing McNamara at the Pentagon and moving him to the World Bank. But by March 1968, Johnson had reached virtually the same conclusion as McNamara. He issued a call for peace talks and announced he would not seek re-election.”

  37. LA Mary said on July 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Jeff, I can’t find Qum on the map, but I read newspapers and I can name the ones I read. Palin may be brilliant about something, but she’s uncurious and unwilling to own her ignorance. Those are scary qualities in someone who wants to lead the free world. W had his own version of arrogance which drew on his legacy and some dreamed up cowboy fantasy he was living. She’s got her own which I think is based on managing to get very far for someone who never tried terribly hard. She tries hard to win, but not to succeed.

  38. jeff borden said on July 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Jeff tmmo,

    I’ve met plenty of dumbasses from good schools and plenty of extraordinarily accomplished people who never got beyond high school, if that. I do not believe that a Harvard or Yale graduate is automatically superior to an Ohio State or Brigham Young grad. Or a high school dropout, for that matter, in some arenas.

    As proof of Palin’s know-nothingness, it seems self-evident. She practices horrible English and grammar. I’ve yet to hear her cite or quote a book of any merit beyond the Bible. Asked what publications she reads to feed her worldview by Katie Couric, she replied, “All of `em.” Asked by Charlie Rose if she supported the Bush Doctrine, she had no idea what he meant. Rather than prepare for a real debate, she winked at the audience and announced at the start that she would be doing things her way, which again underscores someone who just doesn’t like to work very hard intellectually.

    If that’s not a know-nothing, what is? Even worse, she lies like you and I breathe. It’s easy to lie and then, when you’re caught, complain that the librul media is beating you up again. A person of accomplishment might’ve led a trade group to Russia, as she claimed. A know-nothing would not, but might lie about it, as she did. A person of accomplishment would not claim foreign policy expertise because they can see Russia from the Alaskan shore. A know-nothing would.

    She and Bush are, at base, intellectually lazy. They are fit and trim and healthy and exercise a lot, but that big hunk of gray matter between their ears has never gotten the same kind of workout.

  39. nancy said on July 6, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    To be hair-splittingly accurate, Borden, the “I can see Russia” line was Tina Fey’s writing staff’s, not hers. But Palin did claim foreign-policy bona fides because Russia shared a border with Alaska, which I guess makes Jennifer Granholm, the Canadian-born Michigan governor who actually can see Russia Canada from here, qualified to run the U.N.

    (Forgive the mistake. A long day.)

  40. Dexter said on July 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I did get a lift today, fondly recalling that although my first boyhood home didn’t have hot water or a flush toilet, by gawd, we did have a damn good screen door, with an automatic closer—a spring on two eye-hooks.
    ~~~~~~~~~
    Wasn’t that a fancy hall where Obama and Dmitri Medvedev signed arms reduction papers? Medvedev looks like a 32 year old wunderkind, but he’s actually 43 years old. Obama said he’s not commenting on Putin’s take on all this, but he reiterated that his strong talks with Putin earlier were very serious, concerning Georgia.

  41. Peter said on July 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Re: Robert McNamara – I don’t know why, but I did feel sorry for him, although he certainly sent more people to their early demise than Rumsfeld. It wasn’t the remorse that got me, but it was that early ’60’s can do attitude which his NYT obit obliquely referred to. I got Ford on the right track, I cleaned up the Pentagon, I figured out the missle gap – I can do some number crunching and figure this Vietnam thing out too. Call it what you want, but I can relate to someone with a grade A positive mental attitude who figures out, way too late, that the great plan has gone into the crapper.

    As for the comments (in other sites) that he had the guts to tell LBJ, only to have been booted out for it – what exactly did he think LBJ was going to do? Go on the teevee and say “Mah fellow Ahmericans, I fukked up?” Geez, Nixon wanted to stop the war and make it look like we won, and it took four years for that farce.

  42. Duyen Ky said on July 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    “I’m a writer, and I have all the writer’s irrational prejudices about people who don’t understand subject-verb agreement and the importance of proper spelling.”

    You’re also a liberal, with the liberal’s characteristic proclivity for calling those who disagree with her stupid, crazy, or evil. This tendency appears to be intensified by prolonged exposure to Fartsmore of the Vanities.

    Best of luck with the rest of your life. I’ll try to remember to pray for you.

  43. Dexter said on July 6, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Jesus Christ, Duyen Ky…we hardly knew ye! Any relation to Nguyen Cao Ky, he of ARVN and LA liquor store fame?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhbPhpPDuH4

  44. coozledad said on July 6, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Jeff TMMO: I started reading The Fountainhead at the request of my business school girlfriend and couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to make it tie in thematically or philosophically with the works of Carlos Casteneda that were then turning me into a slightly different form of obtuse shithead. I think it was after reading some John Barth, Nabokov, and Italo Calvino in a survey course that Willard and His Bowling Trophies lost its luster for me. I still like Calvino a lot.Another cynical old leftist who outgrew Marxist/Leninist religion. The Baron in The Trees is probably a better escapist parable than anything Rand cobbled together.

  45. MarkH said on July 6, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    And, to be further hair-splittingly accurate, it was Charlie Gibson who asked the Bush Doctrine question (ahem). Of course, what do I know; I got less hair than Brian.

  46. beb said on July 6, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    The unserioussness of Sarah Palin was revealed during one of those powder puff interviews when she was asked what magazines of newspapers she read. “All of them,” she replied. But the follow up question was “name one,” and couldn’t. Any serious politician has to read the New York Times or the Washington Post, or both. She couldn’t say she read the national papers of record. She couldn’t say she read any of the Alaskan newspapers. That is ‘unserious’ to me.

  47. alex said on July 6, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    You’re also a liberal, with the liberal’s characteristic proclivity for calling those who disagree with her stupid, crazy, or evil.

    And you’re evidently a conservative, with that conservative’s characteristic proclivity for feeling snubbed and dissed and pissed. I’ve just spent the last sixteen-plus years listening to conservatives demonizing liberals with those very words and a whole lot worse while polite society gave them a pass.

    A fox smells its own hole, I guess.

  48. Jason T. said on July 6, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Nance, I shouldn’t feed trolls, but what the heck happened at #42? I consider myself a pretty regular reader, and I don’t know who or where that came from. That was like being sideswiped by a clown car.

    Did I miss something in the secret weekly hate-filled socialist-Marxist newsletter that all liberal elitists receive …

    Oh … sorry, I’ve said too much.

    P.S.: Hey, 42, pray for the rest of us, too! What are we, chopped liver?

    P.P.S.: The Google tells me more about 42, including links to a blog that looks like it was written by a finite number of monkeys.

  49. moe99 said on July 6, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    http://www.eternityroad.info/index.php/weblog/single/interventions_two_guest_ruminations/

    Ms. Ky’s rumination is the second one. I would say, that if the name and address are correct, it is odd to be receiving this sort of judgment from a former prostitute.

  50. Jason T. said on July 6, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    That’s the blog, Moe. I’d say they’re several monkeys short of a barrel.

  51. alex said on July 6, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Well, Duyen (or is it Ky?), given my druthers I’d rather be a Roman Catholic than a teen prostitute, so I say you made a good call. Although I’d rather be queer than either of those things.

  52. coozledad said on July 6, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Damn. You leave a few minutes to start working on your Monday drunk and all the good shit starts happening.

  53. 4dbirds said on July 6, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Shorter Ky: Leave Sarah AAAAALLLLLOOOOONNNNNEEEEEE!!

  54. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 6, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Coozledad — i like your reading list. Love Calvino, more even than Marquez. Have you had a chance to dip a toe into Bolano’s “2666”? (Someday, i should find out how to put a tilde~ above a letter. Bolano gets one over the “n” someday.)

    JeffB — it was Charlie Gibson, and she should have said “which one? Bush has had more doctrines than Carter had little pills.”

    It’s the “self-evident” part that baffles me. She doesn’t cite books? I have enough books in this house to build an above ground root cellar and i’m just not getting how that’s the ultimate index of adept or adequate governance.

    As a conservative, thanks to all who didn’t say “sucks to be you, doesn’t it?” when i got some, ummm, help. I’d rather have Levi Johnson aiding me in a debate than Ms. Ky. He seems to understand that you don’t cross-body-block into the boards when you’re trying to build a team, but Ky apparently thinks the teams are set and we’re just in a scrum to the finish. I look at democracy a wee bit differently, ma’am (if you’re still listening). God lures and nudges and attracts, as much or more than whacking people with cosmic thunderbolts off the ladder of grace, hurling them into the abyss with relish and abandon. Try John 3:17 — i know you’re familiar with the preceding verse.

  55. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 6, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    I do hope she wasn’t referring to the legal profession as prostitution. But the skin care product line . . . i need a Mason jar full of whatever Cooze is having . . .

  56. alex said on July 6, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    So where’s the Gasman? We need some brassy partisan backup to bring this discussion to a crescendo.

  57. nancy said on July 6, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Ky came over from the crazy-man site I linked to in the post. FYI. Some people track their linkbacks pretty obsessively.

  58. Deborah said on July 6, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Yeah, I’ve been wondering where the Los Alamos Gasman went?

  59. del said on July 6, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Coozledad’s post at 2 — loved it.

  60. beb said on July 6, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Speaking of mason jars… Many years ago my wife and I were visiting a friend, a member of my father’s generation, fought in WWII and a great storyteller. He ran a mail order business in pulp magazines at the time and we were out in his garage admiring his astonishing collection. When he pulls out a mayo jar filled with a clear liquid and offers my wife a sip. I, having perhaps listened to his story more than my wife, declined the offer. She took a sip and described as lightning running down her throat. It was real moonshine he’s picked up at an SF convention in South Carolina. If that’s what Coolzedad is sipping, I hope he has an iron constitution!

  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 6, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    I thought that was what *gives* you an iron constitution.

  62. del said on July 6, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    JTTMO, I’m bothered by your observation that this feels like August 2001 and all that stuff about the coming “gamechanger” of the decade. If and when a terrorist attack occurs I think it would be a mistake to extrapolate too much from it (apophenia?). I for one won’t buy into the post-Carter mythology that a Republican would better protect us.

    On the other hand, your comment that living near family may be a negative reflection on mental health rang true.

  63. coozledad said on July 6, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    My best friend from first grade came from a family of moonshiners, and he was also an extremely capable banjo artist. When we were in high school, we performed a banjo duet in Lil’ Abner. I just happened to own a banjo, and the knowledge of three chords. He suggested I needed some “loosening”.
    If I’d known what he meant was corn liquor, I would have obliged.

  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 6, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Del, i’m extrapolating from a series that goes back well before 1886; there will be another anarchic act of mass terror of some sort, at some point, sooner rather than later. No partisan political point intended (and, as much as i find him a figure of mirth akin to what so many seem to feel re: Palin, this is what Joe Biden was getting at, more than predicting an act aimed at testing Obama directly — but the test will come all the same).

    Coozledad, one conservative, once upon a time, on “The Fountainhead.”

    And Garry Wills on WFB, a real keeper of a profile. Wills’ “Bare Ruined Choirs” is a book worth taking to the beach, albeit a grim rocky beach with no Italian Ices stand in sight.

  65. brian stouder said on July 6, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    I think Tom Schaller at Fivethirtyeight captures the Palin conundrum pretty squarely

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

    an excerpt:

    The longer answer has to do with the fact that she is young and a woman, which only magnifies sentiments on both sides of the Palin divide. It was easy to dismiss with a polite smile or a roll of the eyeballs the late-stage career grumblings of Jesse Helms or Strom Thurmond; you knew their days were numbered, that they were walking anachronisms slated to join other curiosities in the museum of post-war American politics. Not so with Sarah. She is younger than Barack Obama, after all. She is attractive. (I stopped counting how many women have mentioned to me, unsolicited and unprompted, Palin’s cheekbone structure.) And so we have in her a woman cheerily and cheekily railing against the Great Society even though she was still in diapers the day Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.

    yeah.

    She is counter-intuitive; she looks like somone you might guess would be a lefty; female, self-made, special-needs son, pregnant daughter – hell, she could be a latter-day Gloria Steinam or Betty Friedan; but instead, and improbably enough, she seems to aspire to be Shawna Hannity or Rachelle Limbaugh

    I was in agreement with Jeff tmmo when the buck-toothed dufus David Letterman called Palin and her daughter a slut*, but I don’t agree that there’s any rational reason – based on what we have seen to this point – that would magically rationalize the plainly bizarre resignation of Ms Palin.

    $500,000 legal bill? C’mon, Jeff – McCain’s small-ball campaign kicked over a wardrobe for her amojunting to that much! If she was a national candidate (which she would have been), she would have easily swept that debt away.

    I won’t call her “crazy”, but I will say that I simply don’t understand her.

    *David McCullough recounts the interesting story of the time Harry Truman read a scathing review of his daughter’s (Margaret?) piano recital – and responded with an angry, hand written (now THERE’S an old fashioned touch! When was the last time you sent a hand-written letter out?!) letter to the reviewer, wherein he promised to punch the guy right in the face if he ever saw him.

    Now THERE’S the way to respond to folks who get in your face!

  66. Jason T. said on July 6, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Nance @ 57: Thank you. I didn’t click on the link, so I didn’t realize that site was the source of Ky’s little outburst at 42.

    Yes, indeed, crazy, man, crazy!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPYt2oPSFMw

  67. brian stouder said on July 7, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Jeff – thanks for the Wills link. I had the pleasure of a few moments to gab with Wills at last fall’s Lincoln Colloquium at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois; I told him how much I enjoyed his “Lincoln at Gettysburg” book, many years ago – and asked after WFB (I had read that they had reconciled) – and he became wistful and told me this very same anecdote, about Buckley’s generosity, from the article:

    One day in the early ’60s, a large package was brought to my front door. It was the 24 volumes of the new edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Another time I got a package containing framed copies of two charcoal portraits by the famous British newspaper artist David Low. These were studies of G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, men Bill knew I admired. I asked where he had got the pictures. They were a gift to him from the British broadcaster Alistair Cooke. Bill said, “They will mean more to you than to me.”

  68. basset said on July 7, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Made the smashed potatoes twice over the weekend, went over well with Mrs. Basset and Basset the Younger. Tried not to think about Sarah Palin, Michael Jackson, or Steve McNair, the former football player who appears to have been shot by his girlfriend, or female acquaintance, or whatever she was. That last happened about a block and a half from where I work – drove by there on the way home today and carloads of people in team jerseys were still circling the block just to get a look at the building.

    This business about La Palin’s great beauty, I just don’t understand. I’m a straight male several years older than her, with a normal level of lechery, but she doesn’t do a thing for me.

  69. Jean S said on July 7, 2009 at 12:44 am

    “a normal level of lechery” … *snort* … thankyas for that!

    I don’t mind that she skipped from college to college or job to job. I don’t mind that she’s looking out for herself.

    But I do mind that she’s intellectually sloppy and lazy and, in her own way, in-your-face arrogant.

    Sadly, she has lots of company in the political arena.

  70. Dexter said on July 7, 2009 at 12:54 am

    …and now they are all gone, the big ones…and who’s the last man standing? General Vo Nguyen Giap, Ho Chi Minh’s figurative right-hand-man. General Giap is 97 years old and still going strong.
    McNamara, who realized many thought of him as a
    “son of a bitch” (‘he Fog Of War’ docu-movie), now joins Nixon and Humphrey in the last ring of hell.
    So, Hitler, Stalin, and McNamara are sitting there and you have two bullets in your gun…who do you shoot?
    Answer: empty the goddam gun into McNamara.

  71. Dorothy said on July 7, 2009 at 8:54 am

    I too made the smashed potatoes on Friday, with fresh garlic chives I bought that day in Pittsburgh. Very delicious! I’m staying away from all the other stuff being discussed in this thread. There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to express how I feel about Sarah Palin. What makes me most upset, though, is that one of my younger sisters thinks she’s great. That, to me, is worse than Sarah herself.

  72. del said on July 7, 2009 at 8:59 am

    I saw the Fog of War documentary and I think that McNamara worked pretty hard in his old age at undoing man’s war foolishness.

    I’m no Sarah Palin fan Bassett, but she does it for me. (I’m reminded of the art patron in a Seinfeld episode who described the portait of Kramer thusly, “I find it hideous . . . and yet . . . I cannot avert my gaze.”)

    JTTMO, I think you give too much credit to the rationality of potential terrorists. I doubt that acts of terror are directed at “testing” a given politician. Terrorists would wreak havoc no matter who governed. I’m reminded of arguments for increasing prison sentences to deter crime. I think it misapprehends the true boneheadedness of someone who’d want to rob a gas station in the first place.

  73. moe99 said on July 7, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Can someone just tell ABC to go to hell if this is what they consider “news?”

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/07/malia-obama-budding-fashionista.html

    The Obamas, unlike Sarah Palin, have never used their children as political props. It’s summer, for god’s sake, I’d take them on a trip with me too. But that does not make their wardrobe newsworthy. If they stole the money from the DNC to outfit themselves, then yes. But not now.

  74. LAMary said on July 7, 2009 at 10:50 am

    My work is across the freeway from Forest Lawn Cemetary, so this morning we are under a canopy of helicopters. I’m glad I don’t work downtown.

  75. curious said on July 7, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    What do you think of this?

    “In a recent Pew poll, 44 percent of Americans regarded Palin unfavorably. But slightly more had a favorable impression of her. That number included 46 percent of independents, and 48 percent of Americans without a college education.

    “That last statistic is a crucial one. Palin’s popularity has as much to do with class as it does with ideology. In this sense, she really is the perfect foil for Barack Obama. Our president represents the meritocratic ideal — that anyone, from any background, can grow up to attend Columbia and Harvard Law School and become a great American success story. But Sarah Palin represents the democratic ideal — that anyone can grow up to be a great success story without graduating from Columbia and Harvard.

    “This ideal has had a tough 10 months. It’s been tarnished by Palin herself, obviously. With her missteps, scandals, dreadful interviews and self-pitying monologues, she’s botched an essential democratic role — the ordinary citizen who takes on the elites, the up-by-your-bootstraps role embodied by politicians from Andrew Jackson down to Harry Truman.

    “But it’s also been tarnished by the elites themselves, in the way that the media and political establishments have treated her.

    “Here are lessons of the Sarah Palin experience, for any aspiring politician who shares her background and her sex. Your children will go through the tabloid wringer. Your religion will be mocked and misrepresented. Your political record will be distorted, to better parody your family and your faith. (And no, gentle reader, Palin did not insist on abstinence-only sex education, slash funds for special-needs children or inject creationism into public schools.)

    “Male commentators will attack you for parading your children. Female commentators will attack you for not staying home with them. You’ll be sneered at for how you talk and how many colleges you attended. You’ll endure gibes about your “slutty” looks and your “white trash concupiscence,” while a prominent female academic declares that your “greatest hypocrisy” is the “pretense” that you’re a woman. And eight months after the election, the professionals who pressed you into the service of a gimmicky, dreary, idea-free campaign will still be blaming you for their defeat.

    “All of this had something to do with ordinary partisan politics. But it had everything to do with Palin’s gender and her social class.

    “Sarah Palin is beloved by millions because her rise suggested, however temporarily, that the old American aphorism about how anyone can grow up to be president might actually be true.

    “But her unhappy sojourn on the national stage has had a different moral: Don’t even think about it.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/06/opinion/06ross.html

  76. brian stouder said on July 7, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    “What do you think of this?”

    With her missteps, scandals, dreadful interviews and self-pitying monologues, she’s botched an essential democratic role — the ordinary citizen who takes on the elites, the up-by-your-bootstraps role embodied by politicians from Andrew Jackson down to Harry Truman.

    But it’s also been tarnished by the elites themselves, in the way that the media and political establishments have treated her.

    What I think of that is – Poppycock! Double Poppycock!!

    Andrew Jackson suffered many, many more slings and arrows, literally and figuratively, from his political and social opponents, and from British troops, then anything Sarah Palin has ever actually even potentially withstood, from gnats like “the blogosphere” or David Letterman, or some east coast syndicated pundit.

    Good God – if you want to look at some HORRENDOUS and all too real “politics of personal destruction” – read up on Jackson’s wife Rachel. In Jackson’s successful (1828?) campaign for the White House, his political opponents had a grand time during the campaign of accusing his wife of bigamy (which was true enough) – and in fact she ultimately simply collapsed and died between the time of his electoral victory and his inauguration; Jackson always blamed the stress the campaign inflicted on his wife for her untimely death.

    And Harry Truman had a saying you might recall – something about what to do if the heat in the kitchen became too great?

    I think placing Palin in the same class as tenacious achievers like Jackson and Truman is simply…thoughtless poppycock

  77. Overlady said on July 8, 2009 at 2:05 am

    WOW you are a G*R*E*A*T writer!!! THat paragraph that ends “I say it’s spinach and the hell with it” is one of the best paragraphs I have read in a long while!

    TALENT!! YOU ARE TALENTED AND GREAT