Friday, October 31, 2008

Duh!

The New York Times reports this morning: “A growing number of voters have concluded that Senator John McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, is not qualified to be vice president, weighing down the Republican ticket in the last days of the campaign, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.” No kidding! The Vice President of the United States has only two duties defined in the Constitution, 1) Taking over for the Prez if he becomes incapacitated, dies or is put in jail, and 2) Being President of the Senate. When asked what the Vice President does, Palin couldn’t come up with the answer. Even she knew it would be impolitic to say, “Wait for the President to die,” which, needless to say, is her concept of the job. “All told,” the NYT went on to report, “59 percent of voters surveyed said Ms. Palin was not prepared for the job, up nine percentage points since the beginning of the month. Nearly a third of voters polled said the vice-presidential selection would be a major factor influencing their vote for president, and those voters broadly favor Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee.” In addition to the voters deciding Palin is a know-nothing. self-aggrandizing fool (okay, those are my words), the NYT said that the fact McCain picked Palin, gave voters “much more confidence in Mr. Obama to pick qualified people for his administration than they did in Mr. McCain.” Now that John McCain has inflated the persona of Sam the Unqualified Non-Plumber to the point that Sam/Joe is thinking about running for Congress, voters may also be worried that McCain would appoint him to the position of Secretary of State. Actually, if McCain had an internal monitor to oversee his impulses, which he doesn't, he too would be worried about his choices. Palin has decided to blow off the McCain advisers and go her own way saying what she wants, whenever she wants. And everyman Joe-the-Plumber (Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher) stood up a McCain rally yesterday. And McCain's decision to go on Larry King to complain and whine was not a good choice either. They are being likened to the cranky old Muppets codgers, Statler and Waldorf.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tell Me They Are Fucking Joking!

I was channel surfing last night, late. I am fairly sure it was on Jay Leno. But in any case, there was a bunch of very earnest, pundit-types sitting around a table with Leno, one of whom was David Gregory. And someone (need I say, a Republican male) made the totally deadpan assertion that the Repubs were considering the possibility they might lose the election on November 4th, to the point that they were talking about Sarah Palin as a candidate for President in 2012. I don’t remember if anyone guffawed because I hooted and drowned out the TV. But when I was able to breathe again, I heard this someone say that Sarah Palin was a totally believable candidate for president, that people loved her, that she knew about running governments, that the US of A was now ready to have a woman president and that in four years Sarah Palin could learn a lot. Is this idea really being floated? How insane is that! Considering that Hillary Clinton is alive and well. Although, now that I think of it, it does sound like a typical Repub plan. The first George W. Bush term as President was so horrible, the Repubs had to perpetrate fraud to make him president a second time. When the war in Iraq showed early-on that it was a bad idea and there was no way on God’s green earth that it could be won, the Repubs threw a few billion more dollars into it and killed a few more thousands of American soldiers to prove they hadn’t just been wrong, they had been really wrong. When John McCain saw that he was losing in the polls and needed a strong person to run with him as Vice President, he chose Sarah Palin, an aging ex-beauty-queen, who was despised in Alaska as both a Mayor and Governor and had nothing to recommend her except that the far-right Christian zealots thought she was dandy. And now that Sarah Palin is being credited with John McCain’s failing candidacy and people running his campaign are calling her a “diva” and saying she is the reason his polls went into the toilet, the Repubs are talking about running her for President in 2012. Yup...now it all makes sense. Repub credo: If it was horribly wrong, badly thought out, badly executed, a total and complete mistake, guaranteed to fail, insanely stupid, silly, and wrongheaded, then do it again to prove it wasn’t an accident the first time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Grandpa in Shirt Sleeves

McCain campaigned in Cedar Falls, Iowa today. He stood before a small (compared to the 100,000 people cheering Obama in Denver, CO) enthusiastic crowd on a darkened stage. He was in shirtsleeves. The power had failed and the air conditioning wasn’t working. His campaign hoped people and the press wouldn’t see the power failure as a metaphor. But it is a metaphor. McCain looked like an old man with failing powers. He chafed at Obama’s obvious popularity and the fact he was drawing huge crowds. "He's measuring the drapes”, McCain said, chiding Obama for seeming overconfident. McCain said his own campaign is “doing fine”, even in the face of a Newsweek poll released yesterday showing Obama with a 13-point lead nationally. McCain said he’s going to increase the money spent in Iraq, he’s going to lower taxes, and he’s going to balance the budget. How? He didn’t say except he alluded to lowering the Capital Gains tax. Then he made a small, but telling slip. He said, “IF I win the election....” John McCain has always previously said, “When I win the election”. And Grandpa in shirtsleeves in Iowa on a dimly-lit stage with no air conditioning again brought up his war injuries. Today just happens to be the 41st anniversary of the day John McCain was shot down in Viet Nam. It reminded me of hearing white-haired World War I vets talking about World War I in 1954. I was a guide at the UN at the time. The United States had been involved in the Korean War from 1951 to 1953. We guides were told we couldn’t call it a “war”. We had to say “the Korean conflict”, if we said anything at all. And that was 36 years after WWI. I tried to be diplomatic with the grandpas in shirtsleeves, but those Vets seemed so old, WWI was so far in the past and their experiences so irrelevant in the face of the problems the world faced in 1954. Today, John McCain again suggested that the fact that he was injured in the Viet Nam War and spent 6 years in a POW camp prepared him to be President of the United States. How? He didn’t say. McCain lauded Sarah McCain. “I don’t defend her,” he said. “I praise her.” Sarah Palin is so upset with the McCain campaign that yesterday she said she’s going to “go rogue” and go out on the campaign trail and say exactly what she wants to say, and the hell with the McCain advisors. McCain said, “She is exactly what Washington needs.” How? He didn’t say.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Stopped Clock Department

In line with the old adage that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has weighed-in on Sarah Palin. Yesterday Chavez called Palin “a confused beauty queen” after she called him a dictator. “The poor thing,” Chavez said during a televised broadcast, “you just feel sorry for her.” Never one to tone down his rhetoric, Chavez then invoked Jesus Christ. "She's a beauty queen that they've pulled out to be a figurehead. We need to say as Christ did: Forgive her, she knows not what she's saying." Still, one can’t say he’s wrong. Living in a Cave Department I am so annoyed at not knowing Saturday Night Live is also doing stints on Thursday nights for a few weeks that I’m putting out an aviso to other cave dwellers: SNL has brought back Will Ferrell who is on Thursday night as well as Saturday night.

Friday, October 24, 2008

McCain’s Jonah Ignored in WaPo Article

Today the Washington Post has a comprehensive analysis on the extent to which McCain is losing the election (“Polls Point to Struggle for McCain”). The opening teaser says, "Obama Leads in Battlegrounds, but GOP Nominee Plans to Keep Fighting". Referring to “the McCain team”, the article says, “The depth of their challenge was made plain yesterday by eight surveys produced by the Big Ten Battleground Poll. Obama not only leads in all eight Midwestern states by hefty margins but has improved his standing since the last time the group surveyed these states.” The article says, “the numbers are startling” and goes on to say, “Obama leads by 12 points in Ohio, 11 in Pennsylvania and 13 in Wisconsin. In Michigan, where McCain's campaign has pulled out, Obama's lead is 22 points. In Indiana, a strong red state, his lead is 10 points, larger than in other recent polls.” But a really startling thing is that John McCain's Jonah, Sarah Palin, is never mentioned in this article. It does note that Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden’s remark that “Obama would be tested internationally early in his presidency” would be a major negative talking point for McCain in the next 11 days. But the article stays a country mile from the subject of Sarah Palin. The WaPo analysis is even-handed enough to say, “There are certainly some polls that portray a different race. Some show Obama's margin in mid-single digits, and one poll this week showed Obama with a lead of a single point.” And it doesn’t shy away from quoting Peter Hart who opined about why McCain is losing the race. Hart helped conduct the NBC survey. He said, “after months of doubts, voters have reached a comfort level with Barack Obama...McCain faces significant doubts that he matches what Americans are looking for in terms of change or hope and optimism for the future." Still, no mention that McCain’s fortunes started to plummet after his disastrous choice of a smiling, unethical, ignorant, female character assassin for his running mate--a character assassin who is willing to lie and cheat her way to fame. No mention of the fact that when asked on Wednesday what a Vice President does, Palin didn’t have the foggiest notion and started rambling on that a VP shmoozes with Senators. My take is that men feel uncomfortable about ragging on Palin because she is McCain’s equivalent of a “female problem”. Sarah Palin is McCain’s “hot flash”, his change-of-life mood swing, she’s his “curse”, his “time of the month”. I think men think it’s unfair to come after Sarah Palin for all the real things that are wrong with her and McCain’s nomination of her, because she amounts to an unmentionable topic: Sarah Palin is John McCain’s hysteria made manifest. Sarah Palin is John McCain with female trouble and it’s scary as hell.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Turning A Rube Into a Babe: $150,000

And counting. There’s still two weeks to go before the election. And this sow’s ear is still no silk purse. The New York Times tells us this morning that, “Advisers to Ms. Palin said on Wednesday that the purchases — which totaled about $150,000 and were classified as “campaign accessories” — were made on the fly after Ms. Palin, the governor of Alaska, was chosen as the Republican vice-presidential candidate on Aug. 29 and needed new clothes to match climates across the 50 states. They emphasized, too, that Ms. Palin did not spend time on the shopping, and that other people made the decision to buy such an array of clothes.” This latest information about Sarah Palin, who not only desperately desires to be President of the United States but probably will be President if sick old John McCain wins the election, is making Repub strategists twist and turn like contortionists. And in addition, defending Sarah Palin is spending every day covering up moose turds with rose petals. So the Repub rejoinder to complaints about Palin’s expensive makeover is that Palin didn’t pick her clothes and other people shopped for her? Not making decisions is not a good thing, you gormless numnuts. So now the Repubs are getting their knickers in a knot when people say hockey moms and plumbers may not relate to the fact that this silly twit is spending more than average folks make in a year on babe attire. As Joy Behar said on “The View” yesterday, “I don’t think Joe the Plumber wears Manolo Blahniks.” The Repub defense? “The issue was tainted with sexism, given that male politicians often spend thousands of dollars on suits.” Oh please! Male politicians often spend thousands of dollars of their own money on suits. THEIR OWN MONEY! The NYT reported that some Repub operatives were privately saying that being critical of the clothing purchases for Palin “would be like kicking a campaign while it was down”. Yo! It’s not “like”. It IS. For a Repub to criticize the clothing purchases IS kicking a campaign when it’s down. And the reason the McCain campaign is down is because John McCain chose Sarah Palin, you morons. Well I ask you, who started the nonsense about Sarah Palin being just an ordinary mom going to hockey games with her kids? Not the Dems that’s for sure. Who first brought up the idea of animals wearing lipstick? Not the Dems. Thanks to Repub speech-writers trying to write clever lines for Palin, it’s now impossible not to think of pigs wearing lipstick when we hear about Sarah Palin’s handlers dressing her in expensive clothes. Which, by the way, they had to pick out because she’s incapable of exercising good taste in any area. “If they hadn’t done this, ‘Saturday Night Live’ would be doing jokes where Governor Palin would be dressed in elk skin,” said Rich Galen, a Republican consultant not associated with the McCain campaign. Wow! I could never have come up with a more concise explanation of the problem with Sarah Palin: If someone didn’t dress her, move her into position and tell her what to say, Sarah Palin would be even worse than she is when people dress her, move her into position and tell her what to say. The Republicans keep opening doors on skeleton closets in the Palin house and lifting the lid off smelly Palin trashcans, then they whine when we rummage through the dirty linen and hand it back to them. And you know, sure as Alaskan pigs wear designer lipstick, there’s more dirty linen to come.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Epiphany: Everyone Knows Palin Is Bad News

A conversation with my daughter made me realize a true fact. The media has a stake in making the public think that Sarah Palin is a reasonable choice for Vice President of the United States. And the Rightwingnut faction of the Republican Party has a stake in making the public think Palin is okay. But the world knows Palin must not be allowed anywhere near the office of Vice President. The media folks need to keep their jobs and fueling controversy is one way to do it. The Wingnut faction wants the Repubs to stay in office no matter if their choices and policies drive the United States into a deep hole of financial ruin and morally corrupt government. However, the voters know exactly who Sarah Palin is. And the voters know she is unwholesome, unsavory, unethical, unstable and unelectable. Sarah Palin’s modus operandi as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and as Governor of Alaska has been fully accessible to everyone who wants to find out what she is like since John McCain announced she would be his running mate. If the McCain folks didn’t fully vet her, it’s because they were afraid to find out the nastiness that the rest of us now know. But of course they did fully vet her and they didn’t care. The other night Ari Fleischer (former Bush press secretary) said to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show that he thinks Sarah Palin is a fine pick for Vice President. And CNN's Bill Bennett seems apt to choke on his words every time he acts as a Palin cheerleader, but he does it anyway. He says she’ll do fine. Why these men are lying through their teeth, is something I cannot hope to fathom, but lying they are. Perhaps there is even more grotty info about both of them that could be released to the public. But they are lying about Palin and the voters know they are lying. The information about Sarah Palin is available to all of us, and most of us who have a computer have accessed all the information we can find. And what the citizens of the United States have found out is that Sarah Palin is a liar, a cheat, a political blackmailer, a bully, a do-nothing, know-nothing hack, a born-again fool, a religious zealot and a nincompoop. Sarah Palin will never go to jail for any of the above and she’s proud to boast that she’s done nothing illegal. However her slate of accomplishments are all on the negative side of the ethical ledger. I have read them all. The voters have read them all. Only the media and the Right Wingnuts are persisting in claiming that Sarah Palin is qualified to run for Vice President. And only the media and the Right Wingnuts are claiming that Sarah Palin is even a responsible human being or, come to that, a good mother. Everything you and I know about Sarah Palin, the Republican Party knows and it simply does not give a damn. And the media, the pundits, the analyzers, and the talk show hosts just want to keep on serving up something to watch.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

“Mayberry Machiavellis

Thank you, Frank Rich, for reminding us of a great epithet. In his New York Times Op/Ed column this morning (“He Just Can’t Quit W”) Frank Rich quotes John Dilulio, chief of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives who said about the Bush administration in 2003, “There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you’ve got is everything — and I mean everything — being run by the political arm. It’s the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis.” And there you have in a nutshell, the best description of Sarah Palin—a tiny-town, small-time, petty Machiavelli. Palin’s turn on Saturday Night Live last night was a revelation: If she can’t be President, then she’ll audition for a berth on TV. But staying in the spotlight after her current politicking phase has run its course is the important thing. And like the 16th century statesman Nicolo Machiavelli who mapped out a cynical guide to power, Sarah Palin will do her small-beer best to remain on TV—whatever it takes. Rich says that the “rampant cronyism, nonexistent long-term planning and abrupt, partisan policy improvisations that fed the calamities of Iraq, Katrina and the economic meltdown...have not only entangled him (McCain) in a welter of conflicts of interest, but they’ve furthered cynical political stunts like the elevation of Sarah Palin. At least Bush and Rove didn’t try to put an unqualified hack like, say, Alberto Gonzales half a heartbeat away from the presidency.” Tina Fey, who had retired from Saturday Night Live and began a new career as writer/actor on the acclaimed “30 Rock” sit-com, said on David Letterman Friday night that her impersonation of Sarah Palin on SNL would end up like Vaughan Meader's as John F. Kennedy Remember Vaughn Meader? In 1962 he made a career out of his satirization and perfect-pitch impersonation of JFK on an album called “The First Family”. When Kennedy was assassinated, Meader’s livelihood and vocation ended. At least Tina Fey has a life other than mimicking Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is not so lucky. Sarah Palin is stuck with Sarah Palin.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sam the Non-Plumber

Well, doggonit! Don’t that beat all!!! Samuel Wurzelbacher doesn’t go by “Joe” and he doesn’t have a plumber’s license even though he takes on plumbing jobs, he owes back taxes, and into the bargain, the plumber’s union has backed Obama. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! There you go again, McCain. Another bad decision. You pick people up, give them mythic backgrounds and then we find out they not only are tainted, but they stink to high heaven. Today, the New York Times tells the real story on Sam the Non-Plumber (“Real Deal on ‘Joe the Plumber’ Reveals New Slant”). “The premise of his complaint to Mr. Obama about taxes may also be flawed, according to tax analysts,” the NYT said. “Contrary to what Mr. Wurzelbacher asserted and Mr. McCain echoed, neither his personal taxes nor those of the business where he works are likely to rise if Mr. Obama’s tax plan were to go into effect, they said.” I think it was Bill Maher who said that all Obama had to do to win the election was to sit back and wait for McCain’s next bad decision. Speaking of Maher, last night was a great night for comic turns. Maher was on Larry King, and as usual had great comments while we watched McCain and Obama do their stand-up bits at the dinner honoring Al Smith. And they both were fairly funny. Then CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Gang dissected McCain and Obama, then Jon Stewart on The Daily Show dissected McCain and Obama, then Dave Letterman let John McCain be John McCain who did his Grandpa is Cute act. But as far as politics are concerned, the best part was finding out on Anderson Cooper’s show that Joe the Plumber is a fiction like Sarah the Guv, and John the Prez. None of the three can be trusted to tell the truth about what they had for breakfast. All three will allow any Rovian handler to manipulate them every which way but honest. And each of the three will sell out their grandmother if it would give them five minutes airtime on TV. Speaking of which, Sarah-the-so-called-Governor will be on Saturday Night Live this Saturday. I think she’s going to pretend she’s Tina Fey pretending she’s Sarah Palin pretending she’s Tina Fey.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Temperament and Making Decisions

The latest New York Times/CBS poll has found that John McCain’s recent angry tone and personal attacks on Barack Obama have backfired and tarnished McCain. The particulars quoted in the New York Times article (“Poll Says McCain Hurts His Bid by Using Attacks”) are predictable: Voters said their opinions of Obama had grown more favorable and that their opinion of McCain had worsened; the biggest reason cited for thinking less of McCain were his attacks on Obama and his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate; 52 percent of those polled said they held a favorable view of the Democratic Party while 37 percent said they held a favorable view of the Republican Party. However, one of the most interesting queries and responses was that 7 in 10 voters said Obama has the right kind of temperament and personality to be president and about half said the same of McCain. Temperament is a very important factor in a politician’s ability to make reasoned decisions. John McCain has made either the wrong decision or an impetuous decision at every stage of his campaign. The fact that 72-year-old McCain wants to appear vital and ballsy may have something to do with his wrongheaded choices. But the biggest factor is that John McCain doesn’t reason things out. He has a short fuse. When faced with a moment when he has to make a decision, he goes with his gut-feeling and immediately responds. That is not a good thing. And it is most particularly not a good thing when one assumes John McCain has been put on medications that are supposed to even-out his loose-cannon problem. Why do I say that? Because this is 2008 and doctors prescribe mood-controllers all the time. Because this is 2008 and one of the big criticisms of Senator John McCain is that everyone knows he flies off the handle. Because this is 2008 and McCain is 72 years old and on god-only-knows how many medications and regulating his moods is just one of many things his doctors have to regulate. Barack Obama’s temperament is a very important factor. He is even-tempered and he is young. Even-tempered and young beats old and explosive any day of the week.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Palin No Longer a Draw

This morning’s lede paragraph in a Washington Post article by Dana Milbank (“An Unwitting Assist From the Hockey Mom”) written in Philadelphia says, “They were the quintessential Hillary supporters waiting for their heroine at the hall in northeast Philly: virtually all white, mostly women, and mostly old. Of the minority who weren't Jewish, most were Catholic. In the local state Senate district, primary voters went for Clinton over Obama by 3 to 1.” But now those Hillary supporters are Obama supporters and it’s mainly because of their antipathy to Sarah Palin. Whether Jewish or Catholic, these women had the same reaction to Palin: “God forbid!” As Gail Silverberg was quoted saying, "Hockey moms and lipstick on a pig and six-packs? I don't want that stuff." The article went on to say, “The new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds the same thing. Fully 81 percent of Democrats and like-minded independents who favored Clinton said they now back Obama. If Obama gets the 90 percent of Democrats who tell the pollsters they support him, he will do better than any other Democratic candidate in nearly 40 years.” McCain will be on the Letterman show on Thursday but Letterman is still doing his anti-McCain shtick. Last night among other clips unfavorable to Palin, Letterman showed a clip of Palin dropping the ceremonial first puck at a Philadelphia Flyers game and he made particular mention of the boos in the background. (However, anyone familiar with Philadelphia hockey fans would have to say they were uncharacteristically well behaved toward Palin. Even though they were anti-McCain/Palin and were pissed at being turned into a campaign stop, they simply booed. As one fan said, “we didn’t throw batteries or beer at her”.) Letterman’s guest last night, Sarah Silverman, told Dave he should “ask The Supernanny” about something and he said, “We couldn’t get the Supernanny.” Apparently McCain is keeping her off the show Thursday. The definition for “geek” has changed considerably since I was a kid. Now it means nerd or someone obsessed with his computer. It used to mean freak or fool. And often it referred to a wild man in a carnival act who bit off the heads of chickens and bats and ate bugs. Will McCain and Palin get the bounce they are looking for from their vaudeville turns on television shows like Letterman and Saturday Night Live? Will morphing into geeks deliver the goods for them? I say NO! And I say NO because Americans are sick of fools and freaks in the White House.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Latest WaPo-ABC News Poll

This morning, an article in the Washington Post (“Obama Up by 10 Points as McCain Favorability Ratings Fall”) reports that according to the WaPo/ABC poll “Nearly two-thirds of voters, 64 percent, now view Obama favorably, up six percentage points from early September" and that "about a third of voters have a better opinion of the senator from Illinois because of his debate performances...by contrast, more than a quarter said they think worse of McCain as a result of the debates...McCain's overall rating has also dipped seven points, to 52 percent, over the past month.” The WaPo article goes on to say that the poll shows: “With just over three weeks until Election Day, the two presidential nominees appear to be on opposite trajectories, with Sen. Barack Obama gaining momentum and Sen. John McCain stalled or losing ground on a range of issues and personal traits.” Vice President nominee Sarah Palin was not mentioned in the poll findings. In his op/ed column in the New York Times this morning, the King of Smarm, William Kristol, said that McCain should fire his campaign: “It’s time for John McCain to fire his campaign...he has nothing to lose. His campaign is totally overmatched by Obama’s. The Obama team is well organized, flush with resources, and the candidate and the campaign are in sync. The McCain campaign, once merely problematic, is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional. Its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic. If the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed...he may be anyway. Bush is unpopular. The media is hostile. The financial meltdown has made things tougher. Maybe the situation is hopeless — and if it is, then nothing McCain or his campaign does matters.” But then Kristol backs out of his gloomy prediction and says there really is nothing wrong with McCain and Palin, that they are dandy candidates: “The hope for McCain and Palin is that they still have pretty good favorable ratings from the voters...the American people have by no means turned decisively against them.” Kristol also said the nasty attacks against Obama have been legitimate, but they should be dropped because people don’t like them. Oh Bill...you are so oily, sleazy, dishonest, double-dealing and foul. Are you for or against McCain/Palin? Are you trying to help them or deal the final coup de grĂ¢ce? Now that McCain has decided to go on the Letterman show this coming Thursday, one wonders if he will bring Palin along as he had previously offered to do. Whether McCain brings Palin along or keeps her muzzled and on a short leash back in the McCain campaign doghouse, we assume it will be the wrong decision.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Today’s Headlines

Alaska Inquiry Concludes Palin Abused Powers Polls Starting to Show Palin is Dragging McCain Down Obama Has a Seven-point Lead in Latest Poll

Monday, October 06, 2008

William Kristol in Palin-land

It’s so difficult for me to read William Kristol. Lord knows, I can’t look at his complacent, arrogant, self-satisfied face. But this morning, I soldiered on and read his entire op/ed column (“The Wright Stuff”) in the New York Times. He relates the gist of a conversation he had with Sarah Palin yesterday. In his lede paragraph Kristol says: “I spoke on the phone Sunday with Sarah Palin, who was in Long Beach, Calif., preparing to take off on her next campaign trip. It was the first time I’d talked with her since I met her in far more relaxed circumstances in Alaska over a year ago. But even though she’s presumably now under some strain and stress, she seemed, as far as I could tell, confident and upbeat.” He followed up with Palin on a remark she made a week ago that her son Track who was deployed to Iraq recently had been in touch with his girlfriend but not his mother. Kristol asked if Track had called. Not surprisingly, we find out that Track had called--the day of the debate, no less. Wouldn’t you love to have heard the conversation between Track and Palin’s minders who obviously gave orders to this soldier and told him in no uncertain terms to call his mother who had decided to become president, or else. “It was like a burden lifted when I heard his voice,” Palin told Kristol. Kristol goes on to repeat the conversation. “Palin said that she told him (Track) that she had a debate that night. ‘And he says, “Yeah, I heard, Mom,” and he says, “Have you been studying?” And I said, “Yeah, I have,” and he goes, “O.K., well I’ll be praying.” I’m like — total role reversal here, that’s what I’ve been telling him for 19 years.’” And Kristol goes, “That was Palin the hockey mom — or rather the military mom.” Really? Sounded like the Dysfunctional Mom talking to the Son Who Ran Away, to me. Kristol said he pointed out to Palin that if Obama’s past with the former bomber Bill Ayers is a legitimate issue, what about Reverend Wright? Kristol says Palin didn’t hesitate (or blink, I assume). She said, “To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.” Finally, Kristol asked Palin if she had any advice for John McCain? And of course she did: “I’m going to tell him the same thing he told me,” she said. “I talked to him just a few minutes before I walked out there on stage. And he just said: ‘Have fun. Be yourself, and have fun.’ And Senator McCain can do the same…Only maybe I’d add just a couple more words, and that would be: ‘Take the gloves off.’ ” And Kristol goes: “Hockey Mom knows best.” This whole column was satire, right Bill? I mean, you know how vapid and self-absorbed she sounds. You’re not honestly proposing that this absurd person is a reasonable choice for President. (And let us be clear, that is the office she is running for.) Are you? You are? Well, okay. I have a proposal no less fantastic but a tad more reasonable. How about Tina Fey for Vice President? Tina Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin is more believable than Sarah Palin’s. And Tina Fey is a real professional, not a wannabe star, failed mom, mental case catastrophe.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

WHAT WILL PALIN DO TO BE PRESIDENT?

Have you thought about that? From the moment Sarah Palin was tapped for McCain’s Vice President, Sarah Palin has thought of nothing but becoming President of the United States. A bit of fantasizing is in all of our lives. I have been known to write an Oscar-acceptance speech in my head. But Sarah Palin has decided she WILL be Prez. McCain’s shaky health is one factor. However Palin is so hopeful that McCain will pull out of the race for president before the election in November that she has already started to undermine him by countering his decisions with ideas of her own. He shouldn’t have pulled out of Michigan, she says. She wants to go to Michigan and save it for the Repubs. This morning in his Op/Ed column in the New York Times (“Pitbull Palin Mauls McCain”), Frank Rich says: “There’s a steady unnerving undertone to Palin’s utterances, a consistent message of hubristic self-confidence and hyper-ambition. She wants to be president, she thinks she can be president, she thinks she will be president. And perhaps soon. She often sounds like someone who sees herself as half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency. Or who is seen that way by her own camp, the hard-right G.O.P. base that never liked McCain anyway and views him as, at best, a White House place holder.” Rich goes on to say, “Charlie Gibson asked whether she thought she was ‘experienced enough’ and ‘ready’ when McCain invited her to join his ticket. Palin replied that she didn’t ‘hesitate’ and didn’t ‘even blink’ — a response that seemed jarring for its lack of any human modesty, even false modesty. In the last of her Couric interview installments on Thursday, Palin was asked which vice president had most impressed her, and after paying tribute to Geraldine Ferraro, she chose ‘George Bush Sr.’ Her criterion: she most admires vice presidents ‘who have gone on to the presidency’... Hours later, at the debate, she offered a discordant contrast to Biden when asked by Gwen Ifill how they would each govern ‘if the worst happened’ and the president died in office. After Biden spoke of somber continuity, Palin was weirdly flip and chipper, eager to say that as a ‘maverick’ she’d go her own way.” It is so easy to forget that people like George Bush and Sarah Palin--narcissists—do not have the same responses that people without that severe mental defect have. They feel no empathy or sympathy. They can approximate the response they see in others but they cannot feel it themselves. They are good actors and copiers. But they have no heart in their heart-of-hearts. Rich said this morning, “But the debate’s most telling passage arrived when Biden welled up in recounting his days as a single father after his first wife and one of his children were killed in a car crash. Palin’s perky response — she immediately started selling McCain as a 'consummate maverick' again — was as emotionally disconnected as Michael Dukakis’s notoriously cerebral answer to the hypothetical 1988 debate question about his wife being 'raped and murdered.' If, as some feel, Obama is cool, Palin is ice cold. She didn’t even acknowledge Biden’s devastating personal history.” Frank Rich wonders how long it will be before Palin pleads with McCain to get out of the way (her way) and pull out of the race. But were I in McCain’s shoes, I would immediately hire a food taster and monitor all my meds very carefully. Sarah Palin is capable of anything because she feels nothing. As Rich said in his tag line: “Palin, we can be certain, wouldn’t even blink.”

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I Don't Know Where To Start

Which is what Joe Biden said at one point Wednesday night during his debate with Sara Palin when she spewed out words signifying nothing. Me too. Where does one start re this Sarah Palin impersonation One of Palin's locutions that will be repeated endlessly is, “Say it ain’t so, Joe! There you go pointing backwards again ... Now, doggone it, let’s look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education, and I’m glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and God bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right?” This is after, as Dave Letterman pointed out last night, Palin's minders had told her to set up the above point in her "Our Gal Sunday" script by saying, upon greeting Biden, "May I call you Joe?" Bob Herbert noted in his New York Times Op/Ed piece this morning. "Sarah Palin is the perfect exclamation point to the Bush years. We’ve lived through nearly two terms of an administration that believed it could create its own reality." What we're witnessing now is another "Wag the Dog" segment in Republican leadership. A completely phony person has been created out of the rags and bones of a narcissistic opportunist named Sarah Palin. And why not? They've done it before. Following the pattern of the character in Budd Shulberg's "A Face in the Crowd" (which was Will Rogers out of the psyche of "the old redhead" Arthur Godfrey), the Repub makeover-mavens fashioned man-from-Connecticut George W. Bush into an east-coast politician's idea of a Texan. Now they're working on an east-coast politician's idea of a 1950's midwestern farmwife (complete with phony folksy dialogue) who's been isolated in Alaska but is plucky and cutesy with a dollop of Unsinkable Molly Brown thrown in. One can only comment. One cannot analyze or speak in rational terms of what the McCain crew and the RNC and the Republican Party thinks it's doing, because it is so bizarre. Someone had a daydream about a salt-of-the-earth mother of five who wanted to be a movie star and decided to go into politics instead, and out has popped Sarah Palin. By the way, speaking of commenting. What was that little baby of Palin's doing at the debate? That was uncalled for as far as the kid's well-being is concerned, and I will bet you he was tranquillized. Or did the RNC Make-Your-Dream-Come-True Production crew rent a baby or use an animatronic lifelike kidlet instead?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Oh! And Another Thing

Here’s what’s wrong with women in politics. I just heard something on the radio and could not let this pass. The commentator on KYW 1060 said that in tonight’s debate Joe Biden was going to have to be very careful not to appear to be “unchilvalrous” toward Sarah Palin. Why? Everything Sarah Palin has done in her life she has done with brass balls and disrespect for anyone but herself. She has pushed herself forward like a bull charging a matador. But when the going gets tough in her personal life and in her professional life Sarah Palin suddenly pulls the gender card. If Sarah Palin were the only woman in politics who does this, one could say it’s a fluke and a glitch. But all women in politics and/or their minders do this. Women from iron maidens of virtue like Phyllis Schafly and Liddy Dole up and down the distaff side of politics pull this crap about being deserving of special respect for being a woman. When in every aspect of their life they are as mean, vicious, bloodthirsty, corrupt and violent as any man would dare to be. “Oh heavens above,” they cry, “don’t you say that awful four-letter word around me, for I am a delicate flower of honored womanhood and I will cut your balls off and snatch you bald-headed.” I am sick of it. If a woman wants to be a construction worker, a politician, or a contract killer for the mob, I say go ahead and god bless. But when a woman puts herself in the world to compete in the world and is demanding parity with men in the world, then cut the bullshit about being deserving of respect solely for being a woman. We are all deserving of respect for being human beings and no more and no less than each other. But we are deserving of respect no more for being a woman than being a man, and no more for being a man than being a woman. I see myself as an equal-respect person. I have no respect whatsoever for George W. Bush, Barbara Bush, John McCain or Sarah Palin.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Bill Maher’s Best Line Last Night on TDS

Bill Maher said on The Daily Show last night, “Even stupid people are starting to realize that Sarah Palin is stupid.” Although I would say that Palin has enough brains to keep from being stupid, her ego is fed by pandering to stupidity. Ergo, she sounds and acts totally brainless. Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin will face off tomorrow night at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Will Palin's cramming for the debate work? It will until she’s thrown a curveball where she has to reason out a response to a question. Memorizing answers to a catechism is not difficult. But adding A to B to arrive at C is something else again. Well, we’ll see. Tomorrow I’m off to God’s country (Brooklyn) for a week. Talk to you when I get back.