Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm not a big fan of the "I can out-shout you" school of talking-headialism, but if that's what MSNBC is going to put on the air, I suppose it's nice to see the good guys winning.

(Via AMERICAblog.)

"Perhaps" Sarah Palin will have to learn a bit more about NATO before declaring [preventive*] war on Russia:

There's a bit more on Georgia and Ukraine and NATO. What Obama and Biden favor is for NATO to offer these two countries accession to the "Membership Action Plan" (or MAP), a process set up in the late 1990s to help aspirant countries prepare for possible membership in the Alliance. MAP isn't a promise of membership, and the last members to join NATO were in MAP for nearly a decade. It would take at least as long for Ukraine and Georgia to become members of NATO, not least since one of the criterion for membership is that there are no territorial disputes involving the country that is requesting membership... A lot of mumbo jumbo on NATO accession procedures, this. But here's the kicker: What Palin said is that Ukraine and Georgia should become NATO members now. Not even Bush is arguing that. (He, too, favors MAP.) McCain was with Bush on this until recently and, I assume, if asked still is. Palin didn't know the distinction, and is suggesting that these countries get into NATO tomorrow. She may not realize that this is a decision that NATO members need to make collectively, all 27 of them, which won't happen, given that MAP was denied the countries just a few months ago.
* - Ahem.

AMERICAblog points to this interview, containing the following fantastic exchange:

[Some local news anchor]: Well, you say you're sure [Palin] has the experience, but again, I'm just asking for an example. What experience does she have in the field of national security?

McCain: Energy. She knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America. She represents, is a governor of a state that 20% of America's energy supply comes from there. And we all know that energy is a critical and vital national security issue. We've got to stop sending $700 billion of American money to countries that don't like us very much. She's very well versed on that issue. And, uh, she also happens to represent, be governor of a state that's right next to Russia. She understands Russia, and their newly aggressive behavior in the world which is also something we have to be very concerned about.
Hear that, you stupid liberals? She knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America! So shut up already!

The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen objects:
I'm afraid this is just embarrassingly incoherent. First, the notion that Palin's proximity to Russia counts as national security experience continues to be unusually stupid, even for McCain.

Second, "Energy" is not a response to the question, "What experience does she have in the field of national security?"

And third, to insist, publicly and on the record, that Sarah Palin "knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America" is, quite literally, laughable. We are, after all, talking about a politician who isn't sure about the human impact on global warming, and hasn't demonstrated any real expertise on the issue. Ever.

This is why it's fun to read blogs.

This was John McCain, late last year on why he was qualified to be the president:
I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training. I wasn't a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn't a governor for a short period of time.
And here is Sarah Palin last night on why she is ready to be a 72-year old heartbeat away from the presidency:
Charlie, again, we've got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual and somebody's big, fat resume maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment, where, yes, they've had opportunities to meet heads of state.
So there you have it. The ultimate he said, she said. John McCain explained why Sarah Palin isn't qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, and Sarah Palin explained why John McCain doesn't represent change, just more of the same old politics as usual.
His is ironic and unintentionally funny; hers is ironic and unintentionally hilarious.

Update: That McCain quote is also amusing when contrasted with this McCain quote:
Listen, mayors have the toughest job, I think, in America. It's easy for me to go to Washington and, frankly, be somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have.
Which of those two quotes do you think he meant to apply to Sarah Palin?

"In what respect, Charlie?"


The Atlantic's James Fallows:

What Sarah Palin revealed is that she has not been interested enough in world affairs to become minimally conversant with the issues. Many people in our great land might have difficulty defining the "Bush Doctrine" exactly. But not to recognize the name, as obviously was the case for Palin, indicates not a failure of last-minute cramming but a lack of attention to any foreign-policy discussion whatsoever in the last seven years.
(Via Matthew DeLong at the Washington Independent.)

Michael Palin for President.

(Via Kos.)

An excellent Dugout-style chat between the Republican Vice Presidential runners-up, courtesy of 23/6 (via Kos). Excerpt:

MittyMittyBangBang: u believe this chick?
GoodNPawlenty: dont even start
MittyMittyBangBang: wut happened 2 the maverick we used 2 know?
GoodNPawlenty: time 2 put that guy in a home already
MittyMittyBangBang: hehe
MittyMittyBangBang: she is a worse VP pick than me and im a friggin mormon

TAPPED's Adam Serwer on Palin's RNC-speech contempt for community organizers:

If I had spent my mayoralty subjecting people to loyalty tests and trying to ban books, a community organizer might make me nervous, too.
(Also amusing: the included photograph of MLK, captioned, "Another irresponsible 'community organizer.'")

Relatedly, Kos passes along an email (and Politico's Jonathan Martin does the same): "Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor."

Friday, September 12, 2008

This made me laugh.

Deep Thought (in the manner of Atrios)

If Sarah Palin is an expert on foreign affairs by dint of Alaska's proximity to Russia... does Barack Obama (who lives just across the lake from Canada!) pass that same absurd not-at-all-absurd test? Not to mention Joe Biden -- there's nothing but the Atlantic Ocean between him and half of Europe.

There's something distinctly unsettling about the fact that The View asks tougher questions than the Associated Press.

Update: The whole rape-kit issue is pretty insane, and I hope it continues to gain traction, but in light of McCain's rough appearance on The View this afternoon, it's funny to note this TPM post from a few hours before the Gibson interview:

I get the sense that maybe the subject is so charged that people don't want to bring it up. But I'm wondering if Charlie Gibson might be able to raise the matter during the Barbara Walters style interview he's doing today with Gov. Palin up in Alaska.
I'd imagine Josh Marshall meant it sarcastically, but if The View has too many more episodes like this afternoon's, the phrase "Barbara-Walters-style interview" could end up acquiring a whole new meaning.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This is pretty funny:

Apparently, the Republicans couldn't find very many African American supporters to show on the Big Screen Of Triumph, when introducing McCain (see 6:45, 7:02)... so they simply put up stock photos of black people. You know, riding bicycles and appreciating their moms and stuff.

This is pretty gosh darn well done:

(Via Kos.)

Monday, September 08, 2008

A smorgasbord! (And my first post in months!)

Two Comments on Palin
Wonkette, during Palin's speech at the convention: "This is really incredible. We need a new, meaner word for 'vapid lightweight.'"
The Jed Report (via AMERICAblog), following the revelation that Palin's headed back to Alaska for a "timeout": "Forget whether or not Sarah Palin is ready to be president. She's not even ready to be a candidate for vice president!"

One Funny Audio Clip
The voicemail John McCain left for Sandra Sarah Palin ("What are you, the fucking Postmaster General?").

Three Daily Show Highlights
The Daily Show was absolutely on fire last week (the Republican National Convention is like Christmas for those guys), but here are several pieces worth highlighting:

  • A great segment on the sexism inherent in criticizing Sarah Palin, who is A Lady (the single best segment of the week):

  • A piece on the Palins and the difference between choice and Choice (good, but not as great as the sexism one above):

  • And finally, this piece on "small-town values." (This last segment comes from Friday's convention wrap-up, and if you have the time, you really ought to watch the entire thing; it's terrific.)