David Kirkpatrick

February 8, 2009

This might be …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:36 pm

… the single most stupid thing ever written about Sarah Palin. And that’s saying a lot.

From the NewMajority link:

She looks better every time the Democrats appoint another millionaire tax cheat who went to the right schools.

Until the apologists get off the snowbilly’s bus, the GOP is doomed at the ballot box. Image rehabilitation doesn’t even come into play here. Palin is electoral disaster and a punchline. The base she appeals to is tiny, and mostly hated, by everyone else who votes.

February 6, 2009

Don’t do it Kay Bailey

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:29 pm

This 538 post is actually about Palin already endorsing the pathetic Rick Perry as Texas governor in 2010, but it touches on another point — that Kay Bailey Hutchison may leave the Senate to run for the seat.

Nate Silver points out Kay Bailey has a significant “what-if” polling lead over Perry. Not surprising since Perry is ineffectual and toadying in a very weak office. For those who don’t know Texas politics, the power rests in the lieutenant governor’s office. The governor is something of a cheerleading figurehead with some actual power and responsibility.

The only reason I could ever see Hutchison covet the office would be as a springboard to the White House. She’s a very effective senator and I’d hate to see the state lose that voice and experience in D.C. Especially since junior senator is the moronic John Cornyn. I shudder to think of “Big, Bad John” as a senior senator.

I also don’t see Hutchison with any hope of getting to Pennsylvania Avenue on the heels of Bush’s eight years of shame and fail.

Palin’s obviously trying to knock a real threat as the female voice of the GOP. It’s no contest, really. Hutchison is intelligent with a strong sense of the political game. Palin is, well Palin — glasses, boobs, hair, dipshit aphorisms, no grasp of policy and absolutely no clue.

Palin’s backing the wrong horse in this race if Hutchison does indeed run. But Kay Bailey, please, please stay in the Senate. The State of Texas needs you. Needs you in D.C., not Austin.

From the link:

The problem is that Rick Perry isn’t especially likely to be Texas’s governor in 2012. Rather, Hutchison is. A Texas Lyceum(.pdf) poll conducted in June showed Hutchison with a 36-22 lead over Perry among prospective Republican primary voters. Hutchison also polled the race herself, and — the usual caveats about internal polls applying — gave herself a 55-31 lead over Perry. And Perry’s approval ratings are well below par, with 42 percent of Texans saying he’s doing a good job as governor and 58 percent a poor one.

January 24, 2009

My first NewMajority post

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:40 am

Here’s my first offering at NewMajority. The site is dedicated to bringing the GOP back around. I’m going to provide an independent voice coming from the “little l” libertarian stance, plus I’m a voter who votes for both parties with no compunction. Exactly the sort of voter the GOP needs to court to start winning elections again.

The site broke the story on Palin’s campaign clothes going undonated and sitting in plastic garbage bags at the RNC headquarters, and it’s funny because the comment section is already populated with the 20%-ers who will likely keep the party out of anything other than local office for a long-time coming.

I think the idea of NewMajority is great and I’m very pleased David Frum, the founder and editor, has given me the opportunity to contribute to the conversation. The site launched on Tuesday and it’s already embroiled in a bit of GOP controversy.

Regular readers of this blog wonder why I’d contribute to a blog dedicated to bringing the GOP back to prominence? It’s simple. I want at least two viable choices and no third party could hope to challenge the Democrats for many years. There’s just no coalition, organization or structure for that fight from any political party other than the Republicans. I also fear the GOP might just go the way of the Know-Nothings if the extreme edge isn’t sanded down a bit.

Given the opportunity, I’ll contribute to a left-leaning blog and challenge that group from the right. For NewMajority I’m doing just that, only from the other direction.

From my first NewMajority post:

Is it possible to be less than conservative on social issues and still be a part of the Republican coalition? Of course it is. Many voters, such as myself, vote GOP for the fiscal conservatism the party has traditionally espoused. The last several years has shaken that somewhat, but fiscal conservatives are not going to bail on the party for the sins of one administration.

Culturally, the public’s focus regarding the Republican Party is on the Religious Right and a series of hot-button topics such as abortion, gay marriage and stem cell research. One area that gets very little truck these days is civil liberties – particularly the notion that government ought to stay out of our lives. The notion that the individual knows best in terms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Civil liberties is one area in which true conservatives and libertarians have been largely in agreement.

January 23, 2009

Palin’s campaign clothes at RNC headquarters

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:41 pm

NewMajority.com (I’m to be a guest blogger at the site, but my first post hasn’t run yet in this wild and woolly first week for the new blog) broke a major story today — the clothes bought for Sarah Palinfor the campaign trail are sitting the Republican National Committee headquarters in garbage bags.

These are the infamous $150K in designer outfits for the vice-presidential nominee to wear while on the stump. They were to be donated to charity after the election. It looks like the Alaskan governor kept her end of the bargain and returned the clothing. The RNC, however, has dropped the ball completely.

From the link:

Despite the Republican National Committee’s promise to donate Sarah Palin’s $180,000 campaign wardrobe to charity, word has it the Alaska governor’s clothes remain stuffed in trash bags at RNC headquarters, NewMajority has learned.

While Palin followed through on her promise to return her controversial wardrobe after the election, it seems the RNC has not followed through on its promise to give most of the clothes away.

During the 2008 campaign, GOP vice presidential candidate Palin was pummeled with accusations that she had overspent on clothes for herself, and even for her family — down to baby Trig. Palin asserted at the time that the clothes belonged to the RNC. They were not her property and would be returned at the end of the campaign. A campaign spokeswoman backed up those claims, saying, “It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign.” It was also understood that those that had not been worn would be returned to the appropriate retailer; those that had been worn would be used for some other purpose, perhaps auctioned off for charity or to retire campaign debt.

NewMajority founder and editor, David Frum, added this on the big scoop for the fledgling website:

This story is not a story about Gov. Palin. In this matter, the former vice-presidential nominee did exactly the right thing. She promised to return the wardrobe at the end of the campaign, and she did return the wardrobe.

The story is about a dysfunctional party apparatus. Because of their own inability to act, the RNC has left Gov. Palin looking like a promise-breaker – and left everyone who donated to the McCain-Palin campaign feeling like a fool.

The rage in the donor community about the wardrobe is real and intense. Our party was gasping for funds in 2008. We could not afford to waste a dime. More to the point: not every Republican donor is rich. Many are people to whom the $200 or $500 or $1000 they give represents a real sacrifice. They need to know that their sacrifice has not been used frivolously. The RNC’s protracted delay in donating the clothes as promised raises a troubling question: Will our party be embarrassed by what those bags contain?

December 18, 2008

Sarah Palin calendar on sale

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:14 pm

Ugh. Here’s a report on the latest from the Wasilla hillbilly.

Of course it’s the perfect stocking stuffer (at least one of his stockings) for Rich “little starbursts” Lowry. Heh.

December 15, 2008

Top quotes of 2008

Filed under: et.al., Media — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:44 am

And Sarah Palin rules the roost.

From the link:

The Top 10 quotes of 2008, as compiled by the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations:

1. “I can see Russia from my house!” — Comedian Tina Fey, while impersonating Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on the TV comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” broadcast Sept. 13.

2. “All of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.” — Palin, responding to a request by CBS anchor Katie Couric to name the newspapers or magazines she reads, broadcast Oct. 1.

December 11, 2008

Markos looks at some Palin popularity numbers …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:16 pm

… and finds a lot to like.

First the stats:

The most popular Republican we tested is Condi Rice, whose fav/unfav 47%-18%. But among Republicans only, the most popular is Palin — with a whopping 73%-13% rating. But Palin’s overall score is a net negative, 35%-45%, which means she fares poorly among Democrats and independents.

And now the reaction from the Daily Kos founder:

  1. Those Palin numbers are as hilarious as she is. Republicans worship her, the rest of us (including our independent friends) think she is an embarrassment to humanity. It’s a win-win! They’re happy with Palin, and we’re happy that she continues to repulse independents, thus making them unelectable.
  1. Those Palin numbers illustrate, better than anything else, just how far rank-and-file Republicans have strayed from mainstream America. They’ve literally relegated themselves to fringe status

December 6, 2008

Nate Silver on the Dole Institute’s post-mortem

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:28 pm

The Dole Institute of Politics held it’s second post election conference this Thursday and Friday to take stock of the recent election.

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver ran a post with six key takeaways from the get-together.

Here’s a sample of where the GOP-centric crowd sees the current Republican Party right now:

From the second link:

3. The Republican bench is relatively inadequate at the present time in terms of candidates for national office.
3a. On the other hand, the 2012 Presidential cycle is already being looked at as something of a lost cause. Some of the stronger candidates — both known and unknown — might want to wait until 2016 to run.
3b. In the long-term, the future of the party probably lies in governor’s offices. If the Republicans are smart, this may be their major focus in 2010-12, as opposed to the Congress and even perhaps the Presidency.

4. Sarah Palin is, for the time being, the public face of the Republican Party.
4a. This is not necessarily a good thing for the Republican Party.

November 25, 2008

The right wing fights back against the far fringe

After the Palin veep picked proved to be an electoral disaster — and exposed a very ugly theocrat faction that before Bush 43 has always been coddled and marginalized. Now they seem to want blood of some sort. Right now that blood is taking form in the GOP brand. Beaten down, sullied and starting to rend where does the GOP go from here?

Well, there’s a lot of opposition to this electoral suicide. The American Conservative has fought against Bush 43 anti-conservatism for quite a while; a relatively new blog of young conservatives, Culture11, is seeking a new way as well; Taki’s Magazine also has been a fierce critic of Bush 43 politics; and now John Derbyshire of National Review fame has started a new blog, Secular Right.

And coming in January is another new blog by a National Review alum, David Frum. His offering is NewMajority.com and should be a very interesting entry into this moment of conservative/GOP/right wing soul-searching.

I’m very excited about Frum’s site because I’ve been offered the opportunity to blog at the launch. I’ll be coming at this debate from farther left than most I’m sure, offering my take on little “L” libertarianism — quite fiscally conservative and culturally liberal to moderate. I’m betting I ought to expect some very exciting feedback from the more partisan contributors, and especially readers. The challenge is welcome and I’m already planning topics to hit the gate running.

From the NewMajority pre-launch splash page:

NewMajority.com is a new political group blog edited by David Frum, and is scheduled to go live on Inauguration Day, January 18th 2009.

Update — I left Rebuild the Partyout the above list because I didn’t know about it until right now. Actually read about it first on a left wing site — Daily Kos. Looks like there’s going to be a total explosion of critical thought on fixing conservatism in general and the GOP in particular.

I’m still not certain the GOP as a national party is fixable right now. Something new may well arise out of all this intellectual activity and the GOP may become a party of marginal theocrats. Hopefully the theocrats get booted to their own little marginal party and the GOP returns to its small government roots and accepts a live-and-let-live cultural stance. Maybe too much to ask for, though.

I don’t think we learned much …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:54 am

that statement is a direct quote from an unnamed Republican senator from this Politico piece. That long walk in the wilderness looks pretty likely right now.

The election is still warm, but weeks have passed with no easing of the bad taste in the collective GOP mouths.

And Sarah Palin is still on a publicity tour thanks to a $3M PAC ad campaign. Until she’s no longer a viable “face” for the Republican Party, things will not improve.

From the link:

The Republican U.S. senator sits glumly across the restaurant table.

“I don’t think we have learned much from the election in terms of what people want to see,” he says. “We have the same gridlock.”

By the “same gridlock,” he means that party hard-liners, both Democrats and Republicans, will remain in control of the machinery of Congress. And that means more of the same. It means more politics as usual — especially in his party.

“We need someone who speaks from the center,” he says. “Sarah Palin is not the voice of our party.”

He talks a little about immigration. He is a moderate on immigration, which is to say he is out of step with most of his party. He says the Republican hard line on immigration hurt the party with Hispanics.

Barack Obama won about two-thirds of the Hispanic vote this year, up from the 53 percent that John Kerry won in 2004.

And the Republicans are very, very worried about the Hispanic vote. They see the African-American vote as largely gone, but the Hispanic vote was a possibility in future elections. If only Republicans knew how to appeal to Hispanic voters.

November 20, 2008

The American Conservative on Bush

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:34 am

The American Conservative is the newest member of my blogroll. I’ve read this excellent site off and on, but I think it’s becoming a must read after the GOP beatdown a couple of weeks ago.

Couple that with the reaction from the incredibly loony right — Palin? Really? — this site is an even more important resource for conservative thought and ideas. Culture11, too.

Here’s an essential brief and set of links on what I consider a true conservative assessment of the Bush 43 regime and not a brown-nosing, sycophantic apologistia take on the last eight years. Bush fans, be warned. The American Conservative gang doesn’t pull any punches. Thankfully.

From the link:

Then came that epic morning, which Bush answered by giving the hijackers far more than they could accomplish with four planes. His grand democratization plan reduced Iraq to rubble, drove Iran to arm, and provided terrorists with the ultimate recruiting tool. America, once renowned for her decency, became the aggressor her foes alleged.

At home, our failed attempt at global liberation has left us less free than ever before. Ancient liberties, cultural imperatives, even basic solvency were subsumed by the war effort. And the conservative movement that gave Bush his margin sanitized his radicalism at the cost of its soul.
All he touched turned to dross. Yet he departs unbowed, still a Churchill in his own mind.

It would be easy to leave him to that delusion and turn a more hopeful page. But Bush wasn’t alone in his failure: a country marched behind him and a movement cheered him on. If the failings of the Bush era are to be corrected—or at least not repeated—we need a clear view of where we’ve been. History will render the final judgment, but herewith a preliminary damage assessment:

November 13, 2008

Looks like Ted Stevens will lose

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:01 pm

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, the convicted seven-time felon for corruption who announced on his arrival in Alaska after the recent trial he “wasn’t convicted of anything,” will likely lose his seat to Democrat Mark Begich.

Counting votes is taking a while up north, but what was originally considered some voting irregularities seems to be sorting out as all the ballots are counted. This result will throw a new monkey wrench in some of that governor up there, what’s her name? I can’t remember also.

Although Alaskan law was changed to prevent governors from appointing themselves to open Senate seats (in case the Senate kicked the felon out once in session) Palin (oh yeah, that’s it you betcha) could step down and her successor could appoint her to the seat, or she could appoint a placeholder who promised not to run for reelection and then take a shot at the open seat when available.

From the link:

The Alaska Board of Elections has finally updated (pdf).With 17,728 votes counted since the previous update, Democrat Mark Begich has the lead over Republican Ted Stevens, 132,196 to 131,382.

More votes to be counted tomorrow and possibly Friday.

As we’ve pointed out and has been pointed out elsewhere,the remaining votes come from Begich-friendly districts. Mark Begich is now an overwhelming favorite to win the Alaska Senate seat.

Update 11/18 — The Associated Press called the race for Begich today.

From the Daily Kos link:

Looks like Mark Begich will be setting up a new office in DC after all…..MSNBC is reporting the race in Alaska has been called for Mark Begich.

WASHINGTON – Convicted Sen. Ted Stevens lost his re-election bid to Democrat Mark Begich after the last large batch of votes was counted Tuesday.

The longest-serving Republican in the history of the Senate trailed Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich by 3,724 votes after Tuesday’s count.

That’s an insurmountable lead with only about 2,500 overseas ballots left to be counted.

Per Lawrence O’Donnell and Dan Abrams on MSNBC, the vote difference is great enough Stevens would have to pay for a recount if he wanted one. And with a 3,724 vote lead, a recount is unlikely.

November 12, 2008

Someone at the RNC better shut down the Palin media tour …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:04 pm

… unless the GOP is truly looking to collapse in on itself. Doesn’t anyone in the Republican braintrust get that Palin may excite a fringe element of the base, but has exactly zero national political possibilities right now?

Every interview exposes some new aspect of her personality that turns more people off?

Here’s something I wrote right after the election:

One thing I did find funny is after McCain completed his concession speech, Palin turned to the mic briefly as though she were going to speak as well. The mic was clearly off, the smile burned off her face and she stalked to the side stage to follow the McCains down the stairway. Today she’s being excoriated for losing the election.

What’s amazing is I was totally guessing that Palin wanted to speak based on her body language and the way she approached the microphone.

Turns out I was completely right.

From the second link:

One of the more disconcerting leaks about Gov. Sarah Palin turned out to be true.

Ms. Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, arrived in Phoenix, Ariz., on election night hoping to deliver her own concession speech. “It was a great speech,” Ms. Palin told Matt Lauer on the “Today” show on Tuesday.

Aides to her running mate, Senator John McCain, told her it was not customary for the No. 2 to speak, she said. “But, you know, I thought, even if it was unprecedented, so what, you know?” Ms. Palin told Mr. Lauer. “Geez, let’s do something a little bit out of the box there.”

And now she is. Unleashed and not humbled, Ms. Palin is on a speed date with history, upending protocol as she goes. She put herself on full display, in interviews with NBC and Fox News before Mr. McCain had a chance to take a no-victory lap on “The Tonight Show.” And she has many more appearances scheduled throughout the week, including a star turn at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Miami on Thursday.

I can’t believe the Republican National Committee finds this acceptable, and even more shocking would be if it is, in fact, unacceptable and the group is powerless to stop her.

The only reasonable explanation is she’s being allowed (or maybe even encouraged) to continue the media blitz to completely end all electoral possibilities. The give her enough rope to really hang herself trick. If this isn’t the case, the GOP deserves every bit of pain it’s bringing upon itself.

November 11, 2008

Majority of voters fine with Democratic takeover

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:38 pm

This is truly surprising to me.The ,single biggest qualm I had in voting for Obama is having one-party rule for at least two years. I think DC works best with a divided government.

The GOP brand is very, very tarnished. Probably doesn’t help having Palin on the “no my fault” tour right now.

From the link:

In the closing days of the campaign, lots and lots of Repubs sounded dire warnings about the liberal stranglehold one-party Dem rule would put on Washington. But it turns out that a solid majority of voters rather likes the idea:

In the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday, 59 percent of those questioned said Democratic control of both the executive and legislative branches will be good for the country, compared with 38 percent saying such one-party control will be bad.

Obviously Dems are enjoying the fruits of the GOP’s badly damaged brand here. More broadly, though, it suggests that Dems have a big opportunity.

November 7, 2008

David Frum still making sense …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:49 pm

… out of a dismal GOP cycle. I’ve done some recent blogging on the failings of the Republican Party, even going so far as to seriously suggest the party might be heading down the path to oblivion.

The Libertarian Party is not the answer because of its track record, but as a small “L” libertarian, I’d love to see a serious alternative party — maybe if the GOP turns off enough of the brain trust all of us can get together and create an actual opposition party. I’m guessing the GOP eventually rights the ship, but it’s going to require a sea-change in attitude at this point because the infighting is taking casualties on both sides.

And there’s always questions and recriminations after a beatdown like this Tuesday, but the viciousness seems particularly high in the GOP. Especially the regarding Palin. I honestly can’t believe there is a faction of the party that really thinks she’s the answer and the future. Sure she has charisma — for about ten minutes.

It’s long been a joke that the GOP was a party of redneck crackers (not be mistaken there’s just as many, if not more, in the northeast as in the south) and angry old white men. The joke looks like reality circa 2008. “Joe the Plumber?” That fool and Sarah Palin are the two faces the GOP wants the entire world to see? It’s like a race to the stupid line. “I’m dumber than you!” “No man, I’m dumber than you!”

At any rate, Frum cuts to the chase in the link way up there in the top graf:

But there is another way to reinforce Joe – a path so old and dusty as almost to feel new and unexplored. A generation ago, Republicans were dominant among college graduates. Those days are long gone. Since 1988, Democrats have become more conservative on economics – and Republicans more conservative on social issues. College-educated Americans have come to believe that their money is safe with Democrats – but that their values are under threat from Republicans. There are more and more college-educated voters.

So the question for the GOP is: Will it pursue them? This will involve painful change, on issues ranging from the environment to abortion. It will involve even more painful changes of style and tone: toward a future that is less overtly religious, less negligent with policy, and less polarising on social issues.

That’s a future that leaves little room for Sarah Palin – but the only hope for a Republican recovery.

(via Daily Dish)

November 5, 2008

Thoughts on Obama and the new USA

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:24 pm

Congratulations to Barack Obama, soon to be sworn in as the forty-fourth president of the United States of America. It’s been written everywhere, but this truly is a historic moment for the US. A black president won’t heal racial strife, but it fundamentally changes the way everyone, of every race, views the issue.

One thing is very clear — the United States will never be what it was just last week. I, for one, think that’s a great thing. Great for black people, great for white people, great for Hispanics, great for Asians, great for American indians, and so on. My point is, hopefully from now on we’ll be much less one of those labels and just simply “Americans.” United and living in the greatest nation of this world.

Obama needed to have a good speech last night. His acceptance speech was great. He didn’t cheer his victory, but he did acknowledge the history of his achievement and he extended a welcome hand to the entire nation, and really the entire world. With one election America became great again.

McCain’s speech was great as well. Can’t say so much for aspects of the crowd who booed and catcalled during the oratory, but McCain worked to heal the raw wounds of a hard fought, and sometimes nasty, campaign.

One thing I did find funny is after McCain completed his concession speech, Palin turned to the mic briefly as though she were going to speak as well. The mic was clearly off, the smile burned off her face and she stalked to the side stage to follow the McCains down the stairway. Today she’s being excoriated for losing the election.

I don’t think she lost the election. I was leaning very heavily for Obama, but the Palin choice made the decision for me. I couldn’t in good conscience put someone of her very meager talent (maybe should put “talents” there … ) that close to the White House.

This race was Obama’s to lose, but McCain had a shot before he picked Palin. I do think she turned an Obama win into an Obama landslide.

Right now, to paraphrase JJ Grey, the sun is shining down and I feel fine. Today is truly a new day in America, and that makes me smile.

November 4, 2008

Palin voted for … ???

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:30 pm

Watching CNN from a hospital room earlier today I caught the interview with Sarah Palin where she refused to say who she voted for citing her “right to privacy.”

Who wants to bet she wrote herself in as president and had to cover after getting called on the move. She’s dumb enough to do it and certainly dumb (and sheltered enough) to not think someone might ask who she voted for. And to be fair, too principled in grade-school ethics to not do the smart thing and just lie.

Update — The dangers of blogging from memory and from a low concentration situation. She was referring to whether she voted for Ted Stevens, or not. I like my version, and the version in the comments, much better. But hey, I’m only adding one little lie to her entire litany of demonstrable falsehoods.

Heh. If she’s the future of the GOP, the GOP is more doomed than even I could have imagined. Palin the anti-intellectual may become Bush 43’s spiritual heir. The “big L” Libertarian party is just too kooky, but a third-way that combines fiscal conservatism with social moderation and a powerful sense of civil liberties could resign the possibly coming GOP of religious nuts and fiscal idiots to the sidelines forever.

Maybe Gimp Outta Power could be new expansion of the acronym.

October 31, 2008

The GOP is broken

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:22 pm

I’m talking splintered. Sarah Palin busted the three-legged stool and apparently the “faithful” got all the shrapnel and are now cranky. And more than a little dumb.

How else do you explain this comment at Power Line about David Frum, a man whose conservative bona fides are unimpeachable?

Frum is indeed a “third-way” conservative, which is to say, a little conservative here, a little progressive there.

Screw him and the RINO he rode in on.

October 25, 2008

Palin “goin’ rogue”

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:55 pm

Look for a lot more stories like this over the next while — up to election night and beyond. The GOP is fractured already and only getting worse.

From the Politico link:

Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain’s camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain’s decline.

“She’s lost confidence in most of the people on the plane,” said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to “go rogue” in some of her public pronouncements and decisions.

“I think she’d like to go more rogue,” he said. 

October 24, 2008

Palin’s makeup artist …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:01 pm

… was the highest paid campaign team member over a two-week period. I didn’t blog about the $150K clothes budget from the RNC because I thought it was non-story in the campaigning sense. It was a story in the sense the image crafted and nurtured for Palin was “one of the people.”

Over one hundred thousand dollars in designer clothes nullify that image. Of course, she hasn’t been “one of the people.” even in Alaska, for a very long time. Any politician working at the state level or higher is far, far from the people.

This makeup artist story is completely different in that it exposes a fundamental area of focus in the McCain campaign as it slowly circles the drain.

Is the most money going into deep-drilling polling trying to uncover a strategy for every last electoral vote? No. How about for an advertising professional to craft a last-gasp ad series to counteract the failing ad buys? Nope. Well, maybe just go complete slime and hire high-end voice talent for misleading robocalls, maybe over pay but make sure the recipients get at least of tinge of recognition when they hear that recorded voice. No way.

The most money spent on any individual in the campaign right now, less than two weeks out? Amy Strozzi, Palin’s personal makeup artist.

From the link:

Who was the highest paid individual in Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign during the first half of October as it headed down the homestretch?

Not Randy Scheunemann, Mr. McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser; not Nicolle Wallace, his senior communications staffer. It was Amy Strozzi, who was identified by the Washington Post this week as Gov. Sarah Palin’s traveling makeup artist, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday night.

Ms. Strozzi, who was nominated for an Emmy award for her makeup work on the television show “So You Think You Can Dance?”, was paid $22,800 for the first two weeks of October alone, according to the records. The campaign categorized Ms. Strozzi’s payment as “Personnel Svc/Equipment.”

In addition, Angela Lew, who is Ms. Palin’s traveling hair stylist, got $10,000 for “Communications Consulting” in the first half of October. Ms. Lew’s address listed in F.E.C. records traces to an Angela M. Lew in Thousands Oaks, Calif., which matches with a license issued by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. The board said Ms. Lew works at a salon called Hair Grove in Westlake Village, Calif.

October 22, 2008

Calling all spiritual warriers

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:49 pm

Wow. Just wow.

This is so unbelievably ridiculous that I’m not sure where to start. All I can say is if you honestly believe in this level of claptrap, I personally mourn your utter lack of critical thought.

From the link:


Minutes ago I spoke with friend Dr. Norman G. Marvin, M.D. and he is so concerned at what he has learned about Barack Obama’s family in Kenya that he is calling a special prayer meeting in his home to pray against the witchcraft curses attempted by them against John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Dr. Marvin sent me the below e-mail from Flo Ellers.  Flo is credentialed with the International Fellowship of Ministries which is based in Washington State.  She is also a member of EndTime Handmaidens and Servants of Jasper, Arkansas.



Teh dumb and deluded is strong with this one.

October 17, 2008

Sarah Palin, meet Peggy Noonan’s bus

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:20 am

In an about-face from a few weeks ago, Noonan decides Palin isn’t all that after all.

From the WSJ link:

But we have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the tools, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office. She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for? For seven weeks I’ve listened to her, trying to understand if she is Bushian or Reaganite—a spender, to speak briefly, whose political decisions seem untethered to a political philosophy, and whose foreign policy is shaped by a certain emotionalism, or a conservative whose principles are rooted in philosophy, and whose foreign policy leans more toward what might be called romantic realism, and that is speak truth, know America, be America, move diplomatically, respect public opinion, and move within an awareness and appreciation of reality.

But it’s unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn’t think aloud. She just . . . says things.

Her supporters accuse her critics of snobbery: Maybe she’s not a big “egghead” but she has brilliant instincts and inner toughness. But what instincts? “I’m Joe Six-Pack”? She does not speak seriously but attempts to excite sensation—”palling around with terrorists.” If the Ayers case is a serious issue, treat it seriously. She is not as thoughtful or persuasive as Joe the Plumber, who in an extended cable interview Thursday made a better case for the Republican ticket than the Republican ticket has made. In the past two weeks she has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn’t, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn’t seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.

No news conferences? Interviews now only with friendly journalists? You can’t be president or vice president and govern in that style, as a sequestered figure. This has been Mr. Bush’s style the past few years, and see where it got us. You must address America in its entirety, not as a sliver or a series of slivers but as a full and whole entity, a great nation trying to hold together. When you don’t, when you play only to your little piece, you contribute to its fracturing.

October 3, 2008

Veep debate answers key question

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:06 pm

The reactions to last night’s debate have been highly predictable, with the exception of a few members of the right-wing punditry who before today have been fairly sober. Today everyone who liked Palin is promoting her style-over-substance as a positive.

My take is the key (unasked) question of the debate was answered.

The question: If the next president of the United States were to be assassinated by a terrorist, who would you prefer to take over as president? Palin or Biden?

The choice is between a long-time senator in Biden who in that terrible moment understands the office, and can personally call on lawmakers current and retired from both parties for advice, guidance and aid. Biden as president frightens me, but I would trust him completely to handle the immediate crisis and threat.

The other option is a self-described — really self-touted — complete and total outsider to Washington, D.C., who, once again self-described, would bring “Main Street” Wasilla, Alaska, to the table because as Palin put it last night, that’s what DC needs right now.

I know which I’d choose and which one would make me honestly fear for our nation.

Everyone who is happy with Palin’s “knockout performance” of style-over-substance, welcome to a Untied States led by Sarah Palin with her main street Wasilla bona fides.

I also don’t want to hear about any hypothetical “emergency plan” where Palin didn’t actually take over as president. I think the Constitution laid out presidential succession very clearly and I don’t think any party should be monkeying with that document. The GOP of old would agree with me whole-heartedly.

Vice presidential picks are always considered politically with the caveat being the politically expedient choice is also a plausible president in their own right. Palin is not that by any stretch and McCain essentially gave the American electorate the finger when he chose her as his running mate.

Last night’s vice presidential debate answered the key question, even if it went unasked.

Post veep debate the DNC puts out “count the lies” release

If the GOP version hits my inbox it’ll go up as well.

The full press release:

Democratic National Committee – Post Debate Update: ‘Count the Lies’ Total Tops 100 After 22 New Debate Fact Checks

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Democratic National Committee today updated the Count the Lies counter to reflect the 22 new fact checks published during and after last night’s Vice Presidential candidates’ debate.  According to independent, non-partisan fact check organizations Sarah Palin repeated “old canards” on energy, repeated “several false claims” on taxes, got the facts wrong on troops levels in Iraq, made health care claims that are “inaccurate on several levels” and distorted her own record in Alaska.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080519/DNCLOGO )

With these new articles, no fewer than 103 fact checks have been published debunking McCain-Palin campaign lies since he promised to run a respectful campaign in February. Visit www.democrats.org/CountTheLies to see the updated Count the Lies counter.

New York Times: Palin Health Care Claim “Inaccurate On Several Levels.” “Ms. Palin castigated Mr. Obama’s health care plan as one that would be mandate a ‘universal government-run’ system in which health care is ‘taken over’ by the federal government. This is inaccurate on several levels. Mr. Obama’s proposal includes an option for people to choose a new public plan with benefits similar to what members of Congress and other federal employees currently have. It also includes an expansion of Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, but it is not at all exclusively government-run. Mr. Obama’s plan also only mandates that children, not adults, have coverage. [New York Times, 10/2/08: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/check-point-the-vice-presidentia l-debate/]

FactCheck.org: Palin Health Care Claim “False.”  “Palin said that Obama’s plan would be ‘government run’ and would mandate health care. The first claim is false, as we’ve said before. Obama’s plan would increase the offerings of publicly funded health care, but would not replace or remove private insurance, or require people to enroll in a public plan. The second claim leaves out important information. Obama’s plan would mandate health coverage for children, but not for adults.” [FactCheck.org, 10/2/08: http://wire.factcheck.org/2008/10/02/socialized-medicine/]

Politifact.com: Obama’s Plan Does Not Call For Government-Run Health Care. “At the vice presidential debate in St. Louis, Mo., Sarah Palin defended John McCain’s health care plan and criticized Barack Obama’s. Obama has a plan ‘to mandate health care coverage and have a universal government run program,’ Palin said. ‘And unless you’re pleased with the way the federal government has been running anything lately, I don’t think that it’s going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by the feds.’ Problem is, Obama’s plan keeps the free-market health care system intact, particularly employer-based insurance. It is not a government-run program and is very different from the health care systems run by the government in some European countries… So Palin is mostly wrong about Obama’s plan having a mandate; it only has one for children. He would like it to be universal at some point. She also emphasized that Obama proposes government-run health care, a statement that is completely inaccurate.” [POLITIFACT.com, 10/2/08: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/765/]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Palin Claim That Biden Supported McCain Policies “Flatly False.”  “Sarah Palin just asserted that Sen. Joseph Biden backed John McCain’s military policies until this presidential race. That is flatly false. Biden was an outspoken opponent of President Bush’s troop increases in Iraq as soon as Bush announced them after the 2006 elections. As Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, he led the most heated hearings before the troops were actually deployed.” [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 10/02/08: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/]

FactCheck.org: Palin Repeats “Old Canard” About Energy Bill.  “Palin threw out an old canard when she criticized Obama for voting for the 2005 Energy bill, saying, “that’s what gave those oil companies those big tax breaks.” It’s a false attack Clinton used against Obama in the primary and McCain himself has hurled. It’s true that the bill gave some tax breaks to oil companies, but it also took away others. And according to the Congressional Research Service, the bill created a slight net increase in taxes for the oil industry.” [FactCheck.org, 10/2/08: http://wire.factcheck.org/2008/10/02/2005-energy-bill-deja-vu/]

AP: Despite Claiming to Have “Taken On” the Oil Industry, Palin on Same Side As American Petroleum Institute, Big Oil on Key Issues.  “PALIN: Claimed she has taken on the oil industry as Alaska governor. THE FACTS: Palin pushed to impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies and distributed the proceeds to the state’s citizens to offset rising energy costs. However, she has also sided with the industry on a number of issues. She sued the Interior Department over its designation of polar bears as an endangered species. That puts her on the same side as the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry’s chief trade association. She also supports the industry’s desire to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – a position at odds with McCain.” [AP, 10/02/08: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/D/DEBATE_FACT_CHECK?SITE=AZTUS&SECTION=HO ME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT]

AP: Palin Exaggerates Pipeline Claim.  “PALIN: Said Alaska is ‘building a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline, which is North America’s largest and most expensive infrastructure project ever to flow those sources of energy into hungry markets.’ THE FACTS: Not quite. Construction is at least six years away. So far the state has only awarded a license to Trans Canada Corp., that comes with $500 million in seed money in exchange for commitments toward a lengthy and costly process to getting a federal certificate. At an August news conference after the state Legislature approved the license, Palin said, ‘It’s not a done deal.'” [AP, 10/02/08: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/D/DEBATE_FACT_CHECK?SITE=AZTUS&SECTION=HO ME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Palin Overstates Impact of Increased Oil Production. “Gov. Palin suggested that the nearly $700 billion the U.S. spends a year on imported oil could be replaced by domestic sources. CNNMoney.com took estimates from various government agencies to conclude that crude oil production could be increased at most between 1 and 3 million barrels per day, on top of the 5 million barrels a year already produced domestically. The United States currently consumes about 20 million barrels annually, so an expansion of domestic drilling would make barely a dent in that amount unless consumption also is reduced.” [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 10/02/08: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/]

ABC News: Palin “Got Her Facts Wrong” on Homeowner Protections.  “Sarah Palin got her facts wrong in Thursday’s debate with Joe Biden when discussing where John McCain stands on new protections for homeowners facing foreclosures. The Alaska governor incorrectly made it sound like McCain supports giving bankruptcy judges the power to rewrite mortgage payment terms on first homes. He doesn’t.” [ABC News, 10/03/08: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/10/palin-misstates.html]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Palin Falsely Says Troops are Now at Pre-Surge Levels.  “Gov. Sarah Palin was erroneous when she claimed U.S. troop levels in Iraq are now at ‘pre-surge’ levels. When President Bush announced last month that he would withdraw an additional 8,000 U.S. troops over the coming months, he committed to leaving at least 138,000 troops in the country at the end of his presidency, 3,000 more than there were before the troop increases known now as ‘the surge.'”  [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 10/02/08: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/]

CNN: Palin Surge Claim “False.” “During the vice-presidential debate in St. Louis on Thursday, Oct. 2, Republican nominee Gov. Sarah Palin criticized Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama’s opposition to the military ‘surge’ in Iraq and said, ‘The surge worked. Barack Obama still can’t admit the surge works.’ …The Verdict: False. Obama has said the surge “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams” from a military perspective.” [CNN.com. 10/2/08: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/10/02/fact-check-is-it-true-obama-st ill-cant-admit-the-surge-works/]

Fact Check.org: Obama Did Not Vote Against Troop Funding. “Palin repeated the claim that Obama “voted against funding our troops.” The claim refers to a single 2007 vote against a war funding bill. Obama voted for a version of the bill that included language calling for withdrawing troops from Iraq. President Bush vetoed it. (McCain supported that veto, but didn’t call it “vetoing support for our troops.”) What Obama voted against was the same bill without withdrawal language. And he had voted yes on at least 10 other war funding bills prior to that single 2007 no vote.” [FactCheck.org, 10/2/08: http://wire.factcheck.org/2008/10/02/obama-voted-against-troop-funding/]

AP: Palin Claim About Troop Levels in Iraq “Not Correct.”  “PALIN: Said the United States has reduced its troop level in Iraq to a number below where it was when the troop increase began in early 2007.  THE FACTS: Not correct. The Pentagon says there are currently 152,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, about 17,000 more than there were before the 2007 military buildup began. PALIN: ‘Two years ago, remember, it was John McCain who pushed so hard with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform measures. He sounded that warning bell.’  THE FACTS: Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska led an effort in 2005 to tighten regulation on the mortgage underwriters – McCain joined as a co-sponsor a year later. The legislation was never taken up by the full Senate, then under Republican control.” [AP, 10/02/08: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/D/DEBATE_FACT_CHECK?SITE=AZTUS&SECTION=HO ME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Palin Tax Hike Claims “Untrue.” “Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin signaled early she would go after Barack Obama all night on the charge that he had voted 94 times to either raise taxes or fight against tax cuts.  Fact check.org, a non-partisan watchdog, has analyzed the charge. Of the 94, 23 of those votes were indeed votes against proposed tax cuts. Eleven of them were increases on families earning over $1 million to help fund programs such as Head Start and school nutrition. And 53 were on non-binding budget resolutions that foresaw allowing tax cuts to expire as scheduled. Such out-year projections are meaningless, since non-binding budgets are passed each year.  Fact.check.org ruled the claim misleading.  On another point, Palin said a tax hike that hits earners over $250,000 would hit ‘millions of small businesses.’ That is untrue. The vast majority of small businesses barely break even and do not pay the top tax brackets. To get that figure, Republicans count affluent taxpayers who claim some income from some small business income as ‘small businessmen.'” [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 10/02/08: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Palin Repeats False Tax Hike for Families Making $42,000 Claim.  “Sarah Palin repeated John McCain’s claim that Barack Obama voted to increase taxes for every American earning more than $42,000 a year. This is a considerable stretch. Obama voted for a non-binding budget resolution that laid down general budgetary guidelines based on the assumption that the Bush tax cuts will expire, as scheduled, in 2011. The budget resolution did not represent a vote to raise taxes. Obama has said that he is in favor of continuing the Bush tax cuts for all but the wealthiest Americans.” [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 10/02/08: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/]

FactCheck.org: Palin Got Troop Levels “Wrong.” “Palin got her numbers wrong on troop levels when she said that troops were now down to “pre-surge” levels. The surge was announced in January 2007, at which point there were 132,000 troops in Iraq according to the Brookings Institute Iraq Index. As of September 2008, that number was 146,000. President Bush recently announced that another 8,000 would be coming home by February of next year. But that would still be 6,000 more than when the surge began.” [FactCheck.org, 10/2/08: http://wire.factcheck.org/2008/10/02/troop-levels-off/]

FactCheck.org: Palin Repeats “Several False Claims” on Taxes.  “Palin repeated several false claims about Obama’s tax policies. Obama did not in fact vote to increase taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 per year. What Obama actually voted for was a budget resolution that called for returning the 25 percent tax bracket to its pre-Bush tax cut level of 28 percent. That could have affected an individual with no children making as little as $42,000. But a couple would have had to earn $83,000 to be affected and a family of four at least $90,000. Palin also repeated the exaggeration that Obama voted 94 times to increase taxes. That number includes seven votes that would have lowered some taxes, 23 that were against tax cuts, and 17 that came on just seven different bills. And finally, it’s false that Biden and Obama voted for ‘the largest tax increase in history.’ Palin is referring here to the Democrats’ 2008 budget proposal, which would indeed have resulted in about $217 billion in higher taxes over two years. That’s a significant increase. But measured as a percentage of GDP, the yardstick that most economists prefer, the 2008 budget proposal would have been the third-largest since 1968, and it’s not even in the top 10 since 1940.” [FactCheck.org, 10/2/08: http://wire.factcheck.org/2008/10/02/tax-distortions/]

New York Times: Palin’s Small Business Tax Hike Claim Overstated. Ms. Palin said “millions of small businesses” would pay higher taxes under Mr. Obama’s tax plan, pointing to the increases for “those making $250,000 a year or more.” Mr. Obama’s plan would affect couples making more than $250,000 or singles making more than $200,000. Many small-business owners actually pay taxes as individuals, not as corporations. But Factcheck.org cited a projection by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center that 663,608 taxpayers with business income would fall into the top two tax brackets in 2009 and, therefore, be affected by the Obama tax plan. Not all of these, however, would be properly considered “small business owners.” Some are simply those who get income in from real-estate partnerships or other investment arrangements. In other words, the actual number of small businessmen who would be affected by Obama tax plan is likely even smaller than that number, not “millions.” [New York Times, 10/2/08: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/check-point-the-vice-presidentia l-debate/]

New York Times: Palin Increased Wasilla Sales Tax.  “Governor Palin said she reduced taxes when she was mayor of Wasilla, from 1996 to 2002. The city did eliminate property taxes, but she also pushed through a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for a $15 million sports complex. That increase followed a 2-cent sales tax initiated by her predecessor that helped the city expand its police force and pay for other new services. Ms. Palin also said she eliminated a business inventory tax. She did, and that move is credited with bringing many large chain stores to Wasilla.”  [New York Times, 10/2/08: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/check-point-the-vice-presidentia l-debate/]

New York Times: On Taxes, Palin “Made Claims About Senator Obama’s Policies That Are Not Correct. “In addressing the issues of taxes, Governor Palin has made claims about Senator Obama’s policies that are not correct. She revived, for example, an accusation that he and Mr. Biden voted “for the largest tax increases in U.S. history” and also charged that he would raise taxes “for those families making only $42,000 a year. Mr. Obama voted twice this year in favor of a budget resolution that would have allowed the tax cuts that President Bush pushed through Congress in 2001 and 2003 to expire at the end of 2010, as the original law mandated. But that, by the definition of the Congressional Budget Office and other tax experts, does not constitute a tax increase. The resolution, if not accompanied by other tax changes, envisages an increase in taxes for an individual earning $42,000 a year who has no dependents and owns no real estate. But it would not apply to a family. Indeed, estimates are that a family of four making as much as $90,000 would not see a tax increase.”  [New York Times, 10/2/08: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/check-point-the-vice-presidentia l-debate/]

AP: Palin Repeats “Dubious Count” of Tax Votes.  “PALIN: Said of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama: ’94 times he voted to increase taxes or not support a tax reduction.’ THE FACTS: The dubious count includes repetitive votes as well as votes to cut taxes for the middle class while raising them on the rich. An analysis by factcheck.org found that 23 of the votes were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all, seven were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many, 11 would have increased taxes on only those making more than $1 million a year.” [AP, 10/02/08: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/D/DEBATE_FACT_CHECK?SITE=AZTUS&SECTION=HO ME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT]

New York Time: Palin’s Claim About McCain on Fannie and Freddie Not Accurate. “Gov. Sarah Palin boasted that Mr. McCain ‘sounded that warning bell’ about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, echoing some of Mr. McCain’s recent comments in which he portrayed himself as being on the vanguard in warning about the impending financial crisis. Ms. Palin was referring to Mr. McCain’s decision in 2006 to sign on as a co-sponsor of a Senate bill that would have overhauled regulations governing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But the legislation was introduced more than 16 months earlier and the debate over the issue had been going on for some time. He also only added his name after an oversight agency issued a lengthy report condemning practices at Fannie Mae.” [New York Times, 10/2/08: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/check-point-the-vice-presidentia l-debate/]

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October 2, 2008

Veep debate: Biden v. Palin

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:06 pm

The sole vice presidential debate. McCain team only wanted one debate, along with not allowing Palin to give a press conference to this day since the announcement of her as the veep pick an unprecedented event in US presidential politics.

It’s interesting because toward the end Palin made what sounded like an honest plea that she likes speaking directly to the American public instead of the canned media events — such as with Gibson, Hannity and notoriously Couric — which before tonight was her only real national exposure aside from the convention.

As for the event, I don’t how it’s going to play out in spinning the performances of Biden and Palin, but as an actual debate Biden mopped the floor with Palin by (mostly) answering the questions asked and more importantly, actually rebutting Palin’s points. In contrast Palin regularly avoided the actual question by giving a one word answer and immediately stating she wanted to talk about a completely separate topic.

At one point early on in rebuttal on the second question she actually announced she wasn’t going to answer the questions asked by the moderator or rebut points made by Biden. Incredible! It really seemed to me she was rushing into her talking points as they came to her, not when it would make sense to us them in answering the question at hand.

Tonight’s debate was held in St. Louis at the Washington University in St. Louis at 9:00 pm EDT. The moderator was Gwen Ifill from “The Newshour” and “Washington Week” on PBS.

Immediately Palin looks a little nervous, but it’s not a completely fair observation on my part because I’m expecting a nervous Alaskan governor.

8:03 my time, it’s on …

Head below the fold for some more of my reactions to the debate, plus a bit of news on Troopergate out of Alaska.


Is Palin an “energy expert?”

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:16 pm

Who really knows. This is one of the quickly decreasing arguments for the failed Palin pick from the GOP kool aid krew. We don’t really know how much of an expert Palin is because she hasn’t given any answer of substance on the subject.

Maybe an energy press conference is in order. If she’s an expert then an open press conference ought to be a homerun for a flailing GOP ticket.

We do know Palin is an expert at doling out energy industry largess in the quasi-socialist Alaska political system. (Update — Here’s a good link on that very largess.) 

From the Larry Kudlow link at NRO’s the Corner:

A Great Opening for Sarah Palin   [Larry Kudlow]


I sure hope Sarah Palin talks at some length about drilling in tonight’s debate with Sen. Joe Biden. Palin is an energy expert. And if she is unleashed she can score major points against her opponent, who has opposed every expansion of oil, gas, and nuclear down through the years.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say to Kudlow any gambit that posits Palin as an “expert” might should be avoided at all costs. I’m betting her energy expertise is up to her standards on every other subject we’ve heard about, well aside from whack-job christianity. She has that down pat.

Palin to be let out jail tonight …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:51 am

… for the debate. It’ll be a quite rare sighting.

From the link:

Large chunks of time in Palin’s public schedules have gone mostly unaccounted for since John McCain selected her to be his running mate late last month.

Since then, Palin, the governor of Alaska, has held a grand total of 17 events that were open to the general public, and many of those were joint appearances in which she stumped at McCain’s side. In fact, she’s only done five rallies by herself.

That’s well off the average pace for a modern vice presidential candidate, and Palin’s public schedule shows no signs of becoming more vigorous anytime soon.

After a Monday afternoon joint rally with McCain in Columbus, Ohio, she retreated to the Arizona senator’s Sedona, Ariz., ranch for a couple days of preparation before her Thursday debate with Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential candidate.

By contrast, Biden, a Delaware senator, has held more than 40 events open to the general public, and only eight of them have been with his running mate, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. It must be noted that Biden has been a vice presidential candidate for one week longer than Palin has.

September 30, 2008

McCain’s “strategy” and “tactics”

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:42 pm

Unless things change radically Obama will be gifted with two of the worst-run campaigns in Clinton and now McCain in my electoral memory.

Among a myriad of missteps, McCain makes an unvetted veep pick and has completely hung her out to dry. There are a number of legitimate questions about her ability to lead, and with Troopergate a legal question on top of her considerable competence issues.

All of this has been left wide open and regularly explored by the left-wing blogosphere and the mainstream media. I think the public is focused on the financial crisis right now and is getting zero reassurance from Team McCain they can do anything to improve our nation’s lot. Instead I’m betting most people have decided McCain is a doddering old fool who just makes shit up because it sounds good.

Those people might not be all that wrong.

Obama’s best campaigning move right now? Just stay out of the way while the Straight Talk Total BS Express crashes and burns.

September 29, 2008

Sully knocks one out of the park on Palin

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:21 pm

He’s been (rightly) hammering the issue of McCain’s veep pick from the get go. Sarah Palin is beyond unprepared to ascend to the presidency if neccesary. That executive decision alone disqualifies McCain in my eyes.

Over at today’s Daily Dish Andrew Sullivan makes the keypoint on Palin.

From the link:

And the real test of this, anyway, would be a real press conference, with follow-ups. But that, incredibly, won’t happen. For the first time in American history, a candidate who could become president will not have a press conference in the campaign! No, you’re not hallucinating. Welcome to Vladimir Putin’s idea of election campaigns in America.

The House scuttles bailout plan

And the market takes a big hit.

From the link:

The House on Monday defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue package, ignoring urgent pleas from President Bush and bipartisan congressional leaders to quickly bail out the staggering financial industry.

Stocks plummeted on Wall Street even before the 228-205 vote to reject the bill was announced on the House floor.

When the critical vote was tallied, too few members of the House were willing to support the unpopular measure with elections just five weeks away. Ample no votes came from both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle.

Bush and a host of leading congressional figures had implored the lawmakers to pass the legislation despite howls of protest from their constituents back home.

The vote had been preceded by unusually aggressive White House lobbying, and spokesman Tony Fratto said that Bush had used a “call list” of people he wanted to persuade to vote yes as late as just a short time before the vote.

Lawmakers shouted news of the plummeting Dow Jones average as lawmakers crowded on the House floor during the drawn-out and tense call of the roll, which dragged on for roughly 40 minutes as leaders on both sides scrambled to corral enough of their rank-and-file members to support the deeply unpopular measure.

From the New York Times and news on the Dow freefalling over 400 points on the news.

Update — Dow is down almost 700 points.

I’m glad the vote failed. And no, I don’t think it’s a case of cutting off one’s nose to spite the face. I think it’s a case of a failed administration making one more attempt at a naked and craven power-grab. Get Paulson out of the picture, bring in some adult nonpartisan brains and knock-out a real solution, not some BS version of, “be very afraid and give me unlimited power.”

I think the US public finally woke up, and maybe the GOP did too after the Bush 43 effort at corporate socialism and their presidential standard bearer choosing an unqualified religious nutjob as his running mate.

Go below the fold for additional updates as the situation warrants.


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