The annotated She-who.

Sarah Palin has a new book coming. Via the AP:

It will include “selections from classic and contemporary readings that have moved her,” according to HarperCollins, along with “the nation’s founding documents to great speeches, sermons, letters, literature and poetry, biography, and even some of her favorite songs and movies.”

Anyone want to make predictions on the songs-and-movies selections? No fair going with the easy stuff; Lee Greenwood will probably be credited as co-author. And yeah, there will be the usual suspects: Jimmy Stewart’s “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” speeches, etc. But I’m thinking Powers Boothe’s great paranoid right-wing fantasy description of the invasion of the U.S. by Russian/Cuban/Nicaraguan forces in “Red Dawn” will be a particular favorite:

Infiltrators came up illegal from Mexico. Cubans mostly. They managed to infiltrate SAC bases in the Midwest, several down in Texas and wreaked a helluva lot of havoc, I’m here to tell you. They opened up the door down here, and the whole Cuban & Nicaraguan armies come walking right through, rolled right up here through the Great Plains.

Henry Fonda at the end of “The Grapes of Wrath”? I’m putting that one at 50-1.

When Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Bob Bennett published “The Book of Virtues,” i.e., a bunch of public-domain fairy tales lightly dressed with moral highlights by a card-carrying member of the VIP Club at eight Vegas casinos, I thought I’d seen the ne plus ultra in gall. I guess somewhere in Alaska, a young mother was taking notes.

I was going through my iTunes collection the other day, despairing. I should have listened to J.C. back when he told me that metadata was as important as the data itself, and if I didn’t start tagging, sorting, playlisting and so on, I’d be sorry one day. John? I’m sorry. When it comes time for my sophomore book effort, the one where I offer moral lessons and patriotic inspirations from my favorite songs, I’m going to be well and truly screwed. On the other hand, I rather like the way it crashes up against itself from time to time. It just followed Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings with Merle Haggard (“Mama Tried,” my personal desert-island Merle track AND a moral lesson).

Eh. At least there’s a certain merry fun out of kicking Sarah around, as opposed to the numb bleakness of listening to the right wing discuss Elena Kagan. She has no judiciary experience, unlike, say, the well-seasoned Clarence Thomas, who was nominated to SCOTUS a whole 18 months after taking his first judicial post, on the D.C. Court of Appeals. We don’t know what she believes about anything! Unlike Thomas, who sat through his confirmation hearings steadfastly insisting he had no opinion whatsoever on Roe v. Wade. He hadn’t really given it any thought. Srsly. Oh, well. One of the rites of politics is this occasional charade we have to go through with judicial nominees. So it goes again.

I am amused by the speculation about Kagan’s you-know-what. I wish she were out, writes Jack Shafer, so we could get this debate over with. That could be worthwhile, although if that were the case, I’d want the debate to be retroactive, and John Roberts would have to explain this photo. And that sweater.

The new coffeemaker is installed — thank you, husband of mine — and working. It’s a Krups. It has a “coffee is finished” alarm, which strikes me as unnecessary and a little too Teutonic for our household. You know the coffee is done when the pot stops burbling. I turned it off. The death of the Braun was a little ahead of schedule, but acceptable — it had a specialized, hard-to-find Brita filter that had to be replaced every two months, and my goal was to have it die when I was smack out of filters, but I still have two left. If you need a box free of charge, holla and I will send them to you for the positive karma alone.

A little bloggage?

John McCain, shameless bastard. Once again, I find this border-fence stuff simply appalling. My loathsome former congressman, Mark Souder, was writing ham-fisted guest columns for my own newspaper for a while, and in one, mocked a city in Texas border country for not wanting the fence in their community, because it would ruin river views, among other perfectly good reasons. And now McCain is advocating 3,000 more cops down there, a “finished dang fence,” and, presumably, a moat, some razor wire and perhaps machine-gun nests. Weren’t these the same folks worried a about jack-booted thugs a few years back? It’s all in how you look at it, I guess.

This was a big story on the pharma beat this week — genetic tests for $30, to reveal your medical future mwa ha ha ha — and I can’t decide whether to do it myself. I’m leaning toward yes. I think I have the emotional maturity to handle bad news, and good news could be actually money-saving. You don’t need to take prophylactic drugs for conditions you’re at low risk for getting, for instance. If nothing else, it’s one of the most interesting stories I’ve read since those weight-loss fat-shedding pills went OTC. “Wear dark pants” — now that’s not a patient instruction you see every day.

OK, let’s bring this train wreck to stop, shall we? Time to get a little work done, and then clean the house. Yes, John McCain, clean the dang house!

Posted at 10:27 am in Current events |

37 responses to “The annotated She-who.”

  1. del said on May 12, 2010 at 10:49 am

    The placebo effect is real. Genetic tests will prove that the anti-placebo effect is real too.

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  2. MichaelG said on May 12, 2010 at 10:58 am

    $30? The TV this AM said $200. At my age I’m up for any and all diseases. Who cares? I’ll spend the money on a bottle or a case of wine. Much better ROI.

    I agree with McCain and Souder. Y’all need to build a fence to deter those hordes of maurading Canucks.

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  3. nancy said on May 12, 2010 at 11:01 am

    The test itself is $30. The report is $170-ish and up. All in, you could touch $300.

    But I know people who have paid $60 for dog DNA tests, to get a sense of where their mutts came from. And I’ve always wanted to do the one where you can figure out where, exactly, in Europe your Heinz 57 ancestors came from. Just for the hell of it.

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  4. Jen said on May 12, 2010 at 11:02 am

    The debate over Kagan’s sexuality has been ridiculous. I love that reasons for her being a lesbian include having short hair, wearing pantsuits, liking beer and cigars, playing softball and poker, and, of course, being single and childless. I know so many straight women with a combination of some or all of those traits!

    But even if she is a lesbian, or bisexual (since she apparently had some boyfriends in college), why does it matter? I’m much more interested in how she will do as a Supreme Court Justice than who she is sleeping with/fantasizing about on her own time. I have yet to hear a compelling reason why her sexuality matters one bit.

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  5. Sue said on May 12, 2010 at 11:17 am

    ThinkProgress is reporting that the McCain ad features a sheriff from a county 115 miles to the north.
    Here’s what the Assistant Chief from Nogales (where the ad was filmed, apparently) has to say about police presence:
    “Assistant Chief Bermudez of the Nogales Police Department told the Arizona Republic, “We have not, thank God, witnessed any spillover violence from Mexico.” “You can look at the crime stats. I think Nogales, Arizona, is one of the safest places to live in all of America,” stated Bermudez. While McCain’s plan calls for the deployment of the national guard, Bermudez points out, “Everywhere you turn, there’s some kind of law enforcement looking at you…Per capita, we probably have the highest amount of any city in the United States.”
    McCain could have used this opportunity to try to repair some of the public relations damage done to Arizona by the passage of the show me your papers law. He could have acknowledged that a problem exists both with immigration and the law that was passed to deal with it. He could have admitted that ignoring it on a federal level was a mistake and he would welcome the opportunity to work on it. Instead we get an ad aimed at people who don’t look past a sound bite, from a man whose closest competition is even less of an adult than he.
    Way to stay classy, John.

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  6. coozledad said on May 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

    The Kagan nomination seems innocuous on its face, but give the Republicans and Fox News a little rope, and they’ll amply demonstrate the gruesome barking misogyny that animates movement conservatism. These are guys so far removed from the give and take of human sexual interaction they probably spend most of their lunchbreaks searching the Hammacher Schlemmer After Dark catalog for custom fitted fucksticks.
    And John McCain died of a pulmonary embolism during a blowjob he was getting from David Gregory several years ago. That’s his reanimated corpse they’re talking to now. When it gets cranky like that, you want to be sure and have a lot of fresh oranges and French cookies on hand. Seems to make it feel at ease.

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  7. A. Riley said on May 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Y’know, it’s a darn shame someone can’t be an old maid anymore without people speculating about their sex lives. Honestly. It’s nobody’s business but their own.

    Unmarried middle-aged women apparently aren’t that uncommon in the upper echelons of civil service and academia, but you wouldn’t know that from the reporting on Kagan, Reno, etc. (Didn’t Reno have a good “mind your own business” answer to that question, or am I misremembering?)

    BTW, I wish obit writers would retire the phrase “she never married.” No reason to put it in at all except to comment on oldmaidness. Grr.

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  8. Kath said on May 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Maybe like all good Republicans, John Roberts hires his household help from

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  9. Larkspur said on May 12, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Yeah, Nancy, I’d love to find out some details about my mongrel heritage, too. I’m old enough that my genetic profile has pretty much showed its hand. Anything I’d learn in terms of disease would mostly be just interesting, and since I don’t have children, there’s not much urgency. But it would be fun to find out whether I’m more than the German-Scottish mix I’ve always assumed. I’m not sure that this particular test is especially good for that part.

    Also, sometimes I wonder if McCain hasn’t experienced a real, genuine, cognitive-impairing event. I mean, organic degenerative brain issues. It’s not my business. I can only assess him on what he does. But jeebus.

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  10. coozledad said on May 12, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Fox needs to screen its airheads a little better:

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  11. nancy said on May 12, 2010 at 11:34 am

    When Kate was little, I lived through the apex of the Mommy Wars. It was very common, then, to see women proudly proclaiming (always with the phrase “I know this isn’t politically correct to say,” amusingly enough) that if you had young children, and employed any sort of daycare at all (other than the church basement during services), you were a Bad Mother. Maybe even abusive. Anyway, your children would grow up to hate you. Dr. Laura said so!

    I think this is just the flip side: If you devoted yourself exclusively to your career and opted not to marry or have a family, then you must be a softball-playing lesbian.

    It’s all the same strategy: Undermine, undermine, undermine. My response was to tune it out and continue following my own mantra/pole star: Whatever works.

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  12. Sue said on May 12, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Wow, who knew a cat person with a truck could be so hot?

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  13. Rana said on May 12, 2010 at 11:55 am

    And if it’s not the lesbian jokes, it’s the transgender jokes. *sigh* As if either was a bad sort of person to be.

    John McCain’s fence is obnoxious on human rights grounds, and it’s an atrocity on environmental grounds as well. Animals don’t care about political borders – they are interested in whether they can find food or mates by migrating. Trapping them on one side of an arbitrary line – especially as global climate change alters their habitat – is a strong factor in whether or not certain endangered species face extinction or not. Funny how Environmental Impact Statements don’t need to be filed when committing a human rights offense…

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  14. Jolene said on May 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    My favorite, among the various criticisms of Kagan, was that, as a New Yorker, she hadn’t learned to drive until she was in her late twenties, a clear indication that she did not share the values of ordinary Americans.

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  15. Jim Neill said on May 12, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    …and I wonder how much judicial experience John Roberts had before he was nominated to SCOTUS?

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  16. ROgirl said on May 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    As I recall from recent news reports, the last Supreme without any previous judicial experience was William Rehnquist.

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  17. nancy said on May 12, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Roberts had plenty of experience, on the DC Circuit as a judge but also in private practice, where he argued quite a few cases before the Supremes. In fact, it seemed he was aimed like a cruise missile at the eastern elite, going from private school in Indiana to Harvard, Harvard Law, and then zoom into a clerkship with Rehnquist and the Reagan administration.

    However, being a Republican, he has magical powers that put him in touch with the values of ordinary Americans. Only Democrats who go to Harvard (twice!) are out of touch.

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  18. John said on May 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm


    To be fair, that was a local news broadcast, not the national version. But still…

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  19. coozledad said on May 12, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    John: For some reason her delivery reminds me of an SCTV skit with Catherine O’Hara. But Catherine was acting.

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  20. brian stouder said on May 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Elena Kagan will make an excellent Justice; she has applied her brain to legal matters at the highest level of American government (with President Clinton) and education; she’ll be fine.

    And then, back on dogs for a moment – there’s this woman who gave her life for her dog. (Frankly, people who bring their dogs to parks where they don’t belong probably should watch out for offended giraffes.)

    The South African Press Agency said Wednesday that the woman took a walk with her two dogs on the game farm in Limpopo province Saturday morning. The agency, citing South Africa’s Beeld newspaper, says one of the dogs ran towards a herd of giraffe, scaring them. The newspaper says the 25-year-old woman tried to protect the dog, prompting a giraffe to kick her in the neck, killing her.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on May 12, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Elena Kagan’s sexuality doesn’t matter to me. Gosh, I just realized that my sister would be suspect to many since she fits the profile of being single, childless, and 56. What a shame, that we think we have to categorize everyone to understand them.

    I have very mixed emotions about the DNA testing. I’m past the age of childbearing, so that’s no longer a factor, and everything else in my family history is the dreary kind of disease where lifestyle makes a huge difference and early medical intervention hasn’t been developed. You know, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. What difference could knowing make now?

    DH has already had his DNA tested as a favor to a distant cousin trying to prove a geneaological connection. Every now and then he gets an email showing that he’s related to someone else in their database. But again, since his Mom, Dad and oldest sister have/had Alzheimer’s, we already know what is likely down the road. Until a preventative treatment is developed, knowing doesn’t matter.

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  22. Deborah said on May 12, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Last weekend we saw the Scorsese film, “The King of Comedy” and the Rupert Pupkin character played by Deniro reminded me of She Who. He was a really smarmy guy who lived in his own fantasy world which was all about him. All I could think about throughout the movie was Sarah Palin. Also if you look up the definition of Demagogy, it fits S.P. to a T: “Demagogy or demagoguery (Ancient Greek δημαγωγία, from δῆμος dēmos “people” and ἄγειν agein “to lead”) is a strategy for gaining political power by appealing to the prejudices, emotions, fears and expectations of the public—typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist, populist or religious themes…” S.P. is a classic demagogue.

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  23. Deggjr said on May 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Thanks for posting the picture of Roberts again. His personal story (first married at 41, two adopted children according to Wikipedia) doesn’t seem that different from Kagan’s. It doesn’t matter to me, but I will cheerfully use Robert’s name should I hear (oh please) any snide remarks about Kagan.

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  24. Chris said on May 12, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    It should be entertaining to listen to those who holler the loudest for government decision making at the most-local of local levels defend Eva Braun, the appointed Republican governor of Arizona, stepping in to take that control away from a local school district.

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  25. nancy said on May 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    There was a good “Fresh Air” on Arizona last …Thursday, I think? Featured a long-time political writer, who laid out a lot of the background and context for this activity, and it helped me see a lot more gray in these decisions.

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  26. Dexter said on May 12, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    As one who takes a lot of different pills for all the common afflictions old people are bound to get, I like the idea of limiting the pills if my genetic code says I won’t die from that particular disease anyway.
    I also wonder about the veracity of the report on my DNA. I took the National Geographic DNA test just to see where I came from. The tracking stopped somewhere in Eastern Europe centuries ago. We moved up from where Iran is now, over the Russian Steppes, into Europe…and then the tracking was finished. Worthless info. So on what basis is the claim these found facts from these tests will be conclusive enough to alter doctors’ ‘script writing?
    By the way, these genetic tests have been available online forever. This new, cheaper test is what the news is focussing on.

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  27. john c said on May 12, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Along with 6,000 or so songs, my ipod has bits of comedy and scattered movie drops from The other night we were eating dinner and had an album on. It ended and suddenly the whole family heard Corky Sinclair, from “Waiting for Guffman” shout: “Then I just hate you! And I hate you ASS FACE!”

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  28. brian stouder said on May 12, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    By the way – I intend to appropriate the term “the annotated one” for She-who. Ol’ Shinola-brain Sean Hannity always sneeringly refers to the president as “the annointed one”, and some folks I deal with use that from time to time; and now I have a suitably sneering response

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  29. Sue said on May 12, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    brian – then be prepared to have to patiently explain what you mean, including definitions.
    Sorry, getting all snobby-elitist here. But I’ll bet you actually do have to do that.

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  30. brian stouder said on May 12, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    sounds like more opportunity for sneerage; I’ll even get to sneeringly condescend. WooHoo!!

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  31. Sue said on May 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    The wonderful Kate Beaton and her take on the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies phenomenon:

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  32. Angie said on May 12, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Great commentary today, but I can’t get past Coozledad’s reference to the Ham­macher Schlem­mer After Dark cat­a­log. That’d be some interesting reading in Hammacher Schlemmer’s clunky “This is the…”-style. (“This is the cus­tom-fit­ted fuck­stick…”)

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  33. Hattie said on May 12, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Annotated or just annoying?
    Who is going to buy that book? I don’t get it.
    –unfrozen cavewoman grandmother

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  34. ellen said on May 12, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    I can vouch for the observation that there are many single women in upper-level management in gov’t. Especially if they spend any time on overseas assignments. They become devoted to their careers (12-hour-plus days), get moved from assignment to assignment every couple of years, and suddenly they are 40 and single. When I was a gov’t agency manager-in-training, my first mentor’s advice was: “Don’t get consumed by this job. Remember to get married and have kids.”

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  35. Dave K. said on May 12, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Nancy, I had forgotten, just for a moment, that you no longer reside in Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District. I paused when I read, “My loathsome former congressman, Mark Souder…”. Oh well, back to reality. Hopefully in January Mr. Souder will be my “loathsome former congressman” as well, and I don’t plan on moving anywhere.

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  36. Denice B. said on May 13, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Perhaps I’m paranoid, but I won’t take drug store lab tests. What if my results show I may get Alzheimer’s disease? Or breast cancer? Do I want my health insurance company to dump me? Oh hell no. They say that it’s private but who can trust a corporation these days? How much information is too much? I dunno. But I don’t want to find out the hard way.

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  37. Dexter said on May 13, 2010 at 1:10 am

    DeniceB: You again bring up an excellent point. I suspect this is exactly why this is in the press, to get people tested and classified. Vietnam vets like me were outraged to find that a secret code was added to our DD214 discharge documents to alert potential employers that we were a risk of sorts because of our service.
    While the US economy was going strong through the 1960s as the war went on, a massive recession hit as the decade turned. When I got out in 1971 the US was in a deep recession and it was hard as hell to find a job anyway, and then on top of that we had been secretly been coded as undesirable for employment.
    I did find part time work to supplement my pitiful GI Bill money, but later it was very hard to find a “real job”. Luckily I hired in to a place that disregarded the dreaded code, or somehow didn’t know about it. In the early 70s, only returning vets who had left jobs before entering the military could work in high paying auto plants and the like. It was years before the code was declared illegal. In 1976 and 1977 another hiring wave occurred and a lot of vets were hired.

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