Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 4, 2008
By: Hilzoy

Factchecking Palin

I thought Palin's speech was quite good: well-written, well delivered. And, as I said earlier, I think she's a genuinely engaging person, and comes across very well. There were just a couple of problems. One, which I have seen people notice, but which I suspect won't be a big deal for a lot of voters, is that it had very little substance. The other, which the commenters I saw on TV for some reason neglected to mention, was that she told a lot of lies. A few that stood out for me, or that I spotted in my quick run-through of some blogs:

Palin: "To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House."

Sarah Palin might have changed her mind on this one recently. However, a comment here notes that Palin actually slashed funding for schools for special needs kids by 62%. Budgets: FY 2007 (pre-Palin), 2008, 2009 (all pdfs).
UPDATE: This is wrong. As you can see if you look at the list of component budgets here (2007) and here (2009), funding for the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy was broken out into its own budget category, which accounts for the drop in funding for the original item. I regret the error. Thanks to rory in comments.END UPDATE.

Palin: "As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man."

Steve's list of McCain flip-flops is here. See for yourself whether constancy is, in fact, John McCain's middle name.

Palin: "I told the Congress "thanks, but no thanks," for that Bridge to Nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, we'd build it ourselves."

Just to reiterate what others have said: Congress' requirement that funds be spent on that bridge (aka the 'earmark') were removed before Sarah Palin became governor. She was therefore in no position to tell Congress anything about the bridge, one way or the other. During her campaign, she said she supported funding for the bridge. Brad Plumer, citing the Anchorage Dialy News via Nexis:

"5. Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?

Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now--while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist."

Later, she accepted the money -- now not restricted by an earmark -- and used it for other infrastructure projects. Here's her statement about why she wasn't building the bridge (also via Plumer.) Decide for yourselves what role a principled opposition to earmark funding plays in it. Hint: here's what residents of Ketchikan AK said when they heard her recent remarks:

"In the city Ketchikan, the planned site of the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere," political leaders of both parties said the claim was false and a betrayal of their community, because she had supported the bridge and the earmark for it secured by Alaska's Congressional delegation during her run for governor. (...)

"People are learning that she pandered to us by saying, I'm for this' ... and then when she found it was politically advantageous for her nationally, abruptly she starts using the very term that she said was insulting," Weinstein said."


Palin: "But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate."

Ha, ha, ha. I gave a rundown of Obama's accomplishments in the Senate here. They include the Lugar-Obama bill on nonproliferation, and an ethics reform package that the Washington Post called "the strongest ethics legislation to emerge from Congress yet." Ruth Marcus summarizes his record on reform:

"He helped pass a far-reaching ethics and campaign finance bill in the Illinois state Senate and made the issue a priority on arriving in Washington. Much to the displeasure of his colleagues, Obama promoted an outside commission to handle Senate ethics complaints. He co-authored the lobbying reform bill awaiting President Bush's signature and pushed -- again to the dismay of some colleagues -- to include a provision requiring lawmakers to report the names of their lobbyist-bundlers. He has co-sponsored bills to overhaul the presidential public financing system and public financing of Senate campaigns."

Not a single major law or reform, indeed.

And I wasn't aware that writing memoirs was something to be ashamed of. Obama has, in fact, written only one. McCain (with Mark Salter) has written at least two.

Palin: "America needs more energy ... our opponent is against producing it."

No -- he plans to develop a lot more energy than John McCain does. It's just that a lot of it is renewable, not carbon-based. Moreover, Obama hasn't skipped the last eight votes on renewable energy.

Palin: "The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes ... raise payroll taxes ... raise investment income taxes ... raise the death tax ... raise business taxes ... and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars. My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that's now opened for business - like millions of others who run small businesses. How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up?"

Well, it all depends whose taxes go up, doesn't it? If Heather and her husband make less than $250,000, their taxes will not go up. Most Americans will pay less in taxes under Obama's plan than under McCain's. So they might well be better off.

Those are just the falsehoods that leapt to mind. I'm sure there are others.

Whether or not Sarah Palin's engaging personality matters more than the fact that she tells lies depends a lot on the media, and whether they allow her to say that she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere, or that Obama has never authored a major law or reform, without calling her on it. I hope they do. But I'm not holding my breath.

***

UPDATE: Mark Kleiman posts an Obama campaign rebuttal, which is more thorough than I was.

Hilzoy 2:05 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (111)

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Comments

It's too bad that her speaking gifts are lost on me, because I just can't get past her grating, whiny, nasal voice. Nails, meet blackboard.

Posted by: keev on September 4, 2008 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

How can you tell Sarah Palin is lying? (Her mouth is moving?)

Posted by: Cobalt on September 4, 2008 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

We Democrats had this to lose. Kos and company started trashing this woman -- no matter her politics -- and handed the Repubs an opening. What a bunch of maroons.

Posted by: Peg on September 4, 2008 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

The 'Say Anything' ticket. Even in spite of ironclad proof to the contrary, both Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin will happily concoct lies and fairy tales to sell off as their records.

My favorite part of Palin's hypocrisy is her role in instituting a windfall profits tax on oil producers in Alaska as Governor (see http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008103325_alaskatax07.html), and then decrying tax increases in her speech. Brilliant!

Posted by: Ron on September 4, 2008 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

Peg's right, unfortunately. There wasn't enough care taken about the pity factor, which is easily one major weapon Palin brings to the Republicans this year. Heck, can you imagine Biden debating her and not getting painted as a misogynist ass for daring to be competent and assertive within earshot of this woman?

Posted by: Cobalt on September 4, 2008 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

It looks like the funding cut for special needs education came from cutting the "boot camp" school out of that section of the budget.

Posted by: Alex on September 4, 2008 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

For the record: when I said that I thought people should lay off her kids, and that the reasons for this were both moral and political, a lot of people disregarded the political reasons for not dragging the kids into it, and said either: hey, Republicans do it too, or: hah, if we don't do this we'll just lose again because we're too high-minded.

I didn't think that was right at all. I thought, and continue to think, that we should make arguments about her policies, her mendacity, and her extremism, and of course even more arguments about McCain. There was always enough there to work with, other than kids, her judgment as a mother, and all that stuff.

Posted by: hilzoy on September 4, 2008 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's fine to go after every aspect of Palin's personal and public life, including the special-needs child and the pregnant daughter. Pick the greatest strength and go right at it. Distasteful? Yes. Necessary? Afraid so.

Kerry was a war hero running against a wealthy national-guard flake, and they turned it into a liability for Kerry. Once Rove ran a campaign against a man who had personally funded centers for abused children -- by most accounts the guy was a saint. Rove started a whispering campaign to the effect that the guy was a child molester.

This is blood sport. The country can't afford to lose this one. Wrap that Downs-syndrome kid around her neck and sink her. Use every stereotype about the white working class, but play to people's lowest, most envious instincts. Find a way to insinuate that she's forgotten about her roots.

Get to it. As The Poorman has said, "These rats won't fuck themselves."

Posted by: HydroCabron on September 4, 2008 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

John McCain has skipped a lot more than just the last 8 votes on energy.

Take particular notice of vote 425 in the first session of the 110th congress. Cloture motion on HR 6 that failed 59-40, with McCain the only absent vote. That cost us the renewable energy tax credits.

Posted by: John on September 4, 2008 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!!

*sob*

Posted by: Kreniigh on September 4, 2008 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

Dripping sarcasm, absolutely no facts, definately no empathy for any non-Republican, and most assuredly, no economic policy other than "Drill Here, drill Now" which must have been young son in law to be Levi's philosophy, not hers. Another Ann Coulter jackass. I fear for the Republic.

Time for Barack and Biden to start start laying the lumber to these lying jackasses. No Quarter!

Posted by: joe compton on September 4, 2008 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

I have to disagree that she came across all that well for the majority of voters. Of course, the GOP robots at the convention loved it, and she is firing up the ever-shrinking base of the Republican Party. But I don't think she's going to sway many voters. The sarcasm was over the top, and other hockey moms, soccer moms, whatever, don't particularly care for that (seeing that I was one myself).

For someone who had been a TV broadcaster, I expected a more professional delivery.

Posted by: Molly Weasley on September 4, 2008 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

I'm really surprised at the number of commentators raving about what a good speech this was. I thought it was condescending, shallow and decidedly un-"likeable". I'm not saying it was amateurishly delivered, but it seemed like a local TV anchor reading from a teleprompter to me -- professional, cutesy, but not empathetic. Given all the warnings about not underestimating her, I was expecting a lot more.

Posted by: tarzanne on September 4, 2008 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

birth certificate and proof the child is Down Syndrome. She says it, but where is the proof? They asked for Obama's BC from HI, so we'd like to see hers.

Statutory rape? When did Bristol and Levi first 'do it'? Was she under age? Can he be tried as an adult even if he was an adolescent at the time? It happend to the boy in Texas or somewhere in the south, remember? How do we know Levi is the father of Bristol's child? And, how do we know she is 5 months along? Show us proof!
With all the lying going on here, I want documentation on everything that is alleged by the McCain/Palin campaign. Bury us in paperwork. I'll bet Obama can keep up with it.

I barely watched any of the RNC party, but was insulted by the tone of all the speakers. Imagine how foreign diplomats will respond to that sort of dismissal of their concerns. I have not travelled out of the U.S. for a couple of years, but have friends who have and the people of other countries are appalled by what they are hearing from us.

I am committed to Oneness through Justice and Transformation
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on September 4, 2008 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin might have changed her mind on this one recently. However, a comment here notes that Palin actually slashed funding for schools for special needs kids by 62%. Budgets: FY 2007 (pre-Palin), 2008, 2009 (all pdfs).

You might almost think she'd decided that special-needs parents were the kind of tiny, powerless constituency you could safely make promises to, then betray them without suffering any political consequences.

This is called "throwing them under the shortbus".

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 4, 2008 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

I'm finding it hard to discover what it is that makes Alaskans think she's a wacky combination of grit and perkiness. Bluntly-stated easily-disproved lies about Obama's record just don't seem all that savvy to me. Nor clever. She appears to be self-righteous and bullying, which is pretty much how numerous former allies back in Wasilla describe her. I hear it in her voice and see it in her mannerisms, and I'd guess lots of "undecideds" are getting the same impression, especially since her comedic persona is as geeky and forced as Rudy was today and Fred was yesterday. She didn't sound like a reformer, she sounded like the other angry old white men. Her voice last night had the tone my mother's had when she used all three of my names and I knew I was in trouble. Or how someone in tight leather holding a whip might mock you before the playful beating begins. It just isn't appealing to me, and I'm thinking I'm in the majority on this. Shockey mom.

Posted by: Radio Head on September 4, 2008 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

Hilzoy, Obama will give a tax break to small businesses so Sarah's sister would be just fine.

Republicans are liars, and Dem talking heads need to get used to calling them that. They can take the high road and not do character assassinations, but a liar is a liar and that's what they need to make clear to the public. Sarah didn't "misstate" or "mistake" or "get it wrong." She wasn't confused. She LIED.

I assumed that she'd give a good speech tonight. She's a former TV newscaster and gave a good speech last week. I have to believe, though, that she turned off a lot of moderates and independents with her tone.

I think they have seriously undercut their implication that people should be soft on her because she's new or a woman or that it's sexist. Dems need to blast past that noise. After tonight's performance, she will never again be seen as soft or a novice.

Posted by: Taritac on September 4, 2008 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

As I've said on other threads: How does Commander in Chief Sarah sound to the gung ho militarists in our midst? Will the Joint Chiefs of Staff feel confident in taking orders from a ...gasp ...woman?

peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on September 4, 2008 at 3:01 AM | PERMALINK

Retraction please:

You accused Sarah Palin of reducing the special education budget. That is false. The special education budget actually increased by nearly 12%, as explained below.

As Syar correctly notes, the Alaska 2007 budget for special education was $8,265,300. But that included $5,352,000 for the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy.

In the 2009 budgetary document to which Syar links, astute observers will note that there is no mention of the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy. Instead, you have to look elsewhere. And guess what: There is now a specific document providing $6,082,100 for the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy. http://www.gov.state.ak.us/omb/09_omb/budget/EED/comp2837.pdf So combined with the $3,156,000 that Syar notes, the total is $9,238,100. A nearly 12% INCREASE, not a 62% decrease.

Referenced from http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/09/02/palin_slashed_funding_to_help.html

SB in comments.

Posted by: rory on September 4, 2008 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

Just so you know Hilzoy, The Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges are different. The Gravina Island is the fabled "Bridge to Nowhere" and the Knik Arm bridge would make Sarah's hometown only 10 minutes from Anchorage.

That said I work with the disabled and Sarah has been chasing fraud to the point of seriously damaging the health of many in remote rural areas. not really the place for these discussion's though

Posted by: hmmm on September 4, 2008 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

Peg's right, unfortunately. There wasn't enough care taken about the pity factor, which is easily one major weapon Palin brings to the Republicans this year. Heck, can you imagine Biden debating her and not getting painted as a misogynist ass for daring to be competent and assertive within earshot of this woman?
-------
You're both wrong this woman was spitting venom and looks like she relishes the "Pit Bull" with lipstick role.

The nation is past this severely partisan nonsense. She may get the right wing evangelical nut jobs due to her personal narrative, but what did she say that isn't a lie to compel a swing vote?

Posted by: TBone on September 4, 2008 at 4:06 AM | PERMALINK

I'm finding it hard to discover what it is that makes Alaskans think she's a wacky combination of grit and perkiness. Bluntly-stated easily-disproved lies about Obama's record just don't seem all that savvy to me. Nor clever. She appears to be self-righteous and bullying, which is pretty much how numerous former allies back in Wasilla describe her. I hear it in her voice and see it in her mannerisms, and I'd guess lots of "undecideds" are getting the same impression, especially since her comedic persona is as geeky and forced as Rudy was today and Fred was yesterday. She didn't sound like a reformer, she sounded like the other angry old white men. Her voice last night had the tone my mother's had when she used all three of my names and I knew I was in trouble. Or how someone in tight leather holding a whip might mock you before the playful beating begins. It just isn't appealing to me, and I'm thinking I'm in the majority on this. Shockey mom.
-------
This is the GOP's introduction. Facts will arise, interviews will be done, ads will be made and she will be exposed.

On another note: She can profess her commitment to her family and tout that she does the cooking, but no one can ask whether she'll be able to maintain level of commitment? I don't get it. She gets all of the benefits but done of the scrutiny, that doesn't wash.

Posted by: TBone on September 4, 2008 at 4:12 AM | PERMALINK

Look, after those zombies all took a shot - of course the dog-pitched voice startled the crowd into listening.

Posted by: TBone on September 4, 2008 at 4:18 AM | PERMALINK

Hilzoy: I do not disagree that going after Palin's family "issues" would be a mistake for the Obama campaign. However, as Josh points out at TPM, the McCain campaign keeps throwing Bristol and her boyfriend into the limelight. I think that is lower than a snakes belly in a tire track in perma frost, and liberal commentators are right to call bull sh!t on this tactic.

Did you catch the vid of McCain greeting the Bristol and her hubby-to-be? It.Was.GROSS. Why on earth would a sensitive campaign have this little meet 'n' greet within video range if they cared for the privacy of these youngsters? Oh, that's right. They do not care about the privacy of these youngsters. They are props - pure and simple. The crass nature of the manipulation of their "situation" should be pointed out early and often.

Sarah Palin put the pregnancy of her teenage daughter in the limelight. I have heard (but have not been able to confirm it is true) that Ms. Palin asserts that she elected to accept the VP slot despite a plate already very full with her "cool" job as govenor of AK as well as family challenges in part because she did not want her daughter to feel "guilt" over her mom taking a pass on this "chance of a lifetime." Apparently, they discussed it, and Palin felt she needed to shield Bristol from this lifetime of familial ignominy. Well, mom could just as easily said (with no discussion with her children), "I will take a pass for now. I am good enough, there will be another chance when the family situation has quieted down. I will continue to do my 'cool' govenor gig." But, she didn't. She ostensibly had the "I could turn it down because, you know, Bristol is preggers" conversation with - if the stories are true - Bristol present. I think many people would agree that - her status as an expectant mother not withstanding - Bristol is not an adult. I think burdening her with this information about the choice Palin needed to make was not a very nurturing thing to do. I've never had much respect for adults who "share" tough decisions with children. If Palin's decision to run for VP hinged on the revelation of Bristol's pregnancy, IMO that is not a fact she should ever have shared w/Bristol.

With all that said, do I think it is a relevant line of attack? If/when Palin or her surrogates pose her as some paragon of motherhood and family management, I think these are fair points for push back by people who oppose her and McCain. BTW, I would make the same statements if Sarah Palin were Seth Palin. I think this is a case of ambition uber alles pure and simple and untethered from gender (aside from the fact that her "Hockey Mom" persona is being pitched as a qualification by herself and her handlers).

Posted by: TuiMel on September 4, 2008 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK

Agreed with comments that she did NOT come off as "personable". I saw her as irritating, nasty, and smug. The smug worries me the most. She strikes me as the classic "doesn't know what she doesn't know" type. As we saw with Bush, that's dangerous in a leader.

Perhaps most important, she does not come off as a leader. I would not trust her with a life-or-death, or even a big money decision. She hits her level of incompetence at about the hospital administrator level of complexity (and I imagine big hospitals and the Alaska executive branch aren't very different in size).

But the Republicans don't see her as a possible leader. She's a contrivance. If McCain were to die (although early onset Alzheimers is a worry too), I bet they assume that they would have someone pulling her strings.

Posted by: archer on September 4, 2008 at 4:27 AM | PERMALINK

We Democrats had this to lose. Kos and company started trashing this woman -- no matter her politics -- and handed the Repubs an opening. What a bunch of maroons.

Hilarious concern trolling going on here.

Posted by: on September 4, 2008 at 4:33 AM | PERMALINK

Are comments made thru IE working again? I will give it a try just in case.

The fact that we do not have an independent media any more is what scares me. Nobody says what these people say defy the facts, or as others have noted, are outright lies.

Without an independent press you can't have a democracy. I find these to be scary times.

Posted by: cappy on September 4, 2008 at 4:37 AM | PERMALINK

I thought her smarm and sarcasm was repulsive. Her accent made me want to pull out my hair. Using that baby as a prop was disgusting.

Tossing out right-wing red meat to a convention hall filled with lily white Republicans is one thing, appealing to real American voters is another.

I can't wait for the mandatory media honeymoon to be over.

Everyone's first instincts were correct, she's a political and mental lightweight, a right-wing extremist and a sop to the Dobson wing of the GOP, her preggo kid notwithstanding.

Posted by: on September 4, 2008 at 4:41 AM | PERMALINK

More fact checking at LGM:


http://lefarkins.blogspot.com/2008/09/calling-bullshit.html

Posted by: Gregor Samsa on September 4, 2008 at 4:47 AM | PERMALINK

Given her level of mendacity, will the McCain gang ever allow her to face a serious interview? Given the potential for a fatwa(literal or figurative) from the fanatics, will any journalist dare to confront her?

Posted by: Michael7843853 on September 4, 2008 at 4:49 AM | PERMALINK

Cappy, I'm having problems with comments through Firefox as well.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on September 4, 2008 at 4:53 AM | PERMALINK

What's the difference between Sarah Palin and George Bush? Lipstick.

Posted by: Scott on September 4, 2008 at 5:12 AM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin sought federal funds to assists in infrastructure projects.

Obama sought funds for his wife's hospital...eventually leading to her skyrocketing salary.
http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OGRiMWFhNWY4MTgzMjI3NjEzNGQwMWFiMTlhYmRhN2Y=

It is absolutely hypocritical that you want to attack Sarah for seeking help for her community while he sought help for his wife.

Posted by: John on September 4, 2008 at 5:17 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm no longer underestimating here. That is, my opinion hasn't changed, I just now think that she isn't capable of anything beyond geting the Rabid Republicans to cheer a bit.

She sucks.

So in exchange for maybe getting McCain back up to the usual turnout of the Nutcase wing of the party, how badly do you think all this sneering at "community organizers" is going to torque what little of the Hispanic vote McCain had left?

Y'know, "community organizing" isn't just for black people.

Posted by: doesn't matter on September 4, 2008 at 6:27 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, I meant to say that at the highest level, the one that clearly comes from the campaign, she has so opened herself up to an attack on the tax thing.

Take the Bridge to Nowhere thing and shove it down her (and Alaska's) throat. "Sarah Palin has been picking American taxpayers pockets here whole career" is what I'd go with.

I mean the relentless chasing of money from Washington, and at the same time putting it right out there that she not only didn't "feel our pain" when it came to the oil/gas price skyrocket, but she instead just about rolled around in Alaska's share of the fleecing at the pump.

Posted by: doesn't matter on September 4, 2008 at 6:32 AM | PERMALINK

Heh, I can't even stop myself, she is one big bespectacled fish in a barrel:

"Sarah Palin went to Washington and picked your pockets"

"Sarah Palin raised taxes on all Americans where they could least afford it, at the gas pump"

Posted by: doesn't matter on September 4, 2008 at 6:36 AM | PERMALINK

So now she has 3 years as mayor 20 months as governor and a speech she gave at the 2008 convention Perfect take it and throw it back at them

Posted by: John R on September 4, 2008 at 6:37 AM | PERMALINK

She just threw away her one defense by trying to show up as Pat Buchanan in heels. I think there's nothing wrong with attacking her now on the substantive issues and on the family issues. She's an ambition-driven idealogue who seeks to divide the country on cultural issues, and I don't think that will work the way the Republicans think. Some are saying how precious that family is, but they came across to me as downright weird as she paraded them before Cindy McCain, Guiliani, Romney and the rest of that managerie. They were slinging that 4-month old around like a sack of potatoes.

Posted by: georgia pig on September 4, 2008 at 6:54 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe she doesn't remember the ethics reform package because she doesn't understand what ethics are?

Posted by: Kerri on September 4, 2008 at 7:30 AM | PERMALINK

About the budget that Governor Palin "slashed" for special needs... uh you might want to actually look at the budget.

There is a "core program" missing from 2007 to 2008 called "Alaska Challenge Youth Academy Program". Perhaps this "boot camp" was deemed outside the scope of "special needs" and moved to "at-risk" programs or something.

At any rate, do some research before you go spoutin' off at the mouth.

Posted by: w3 on September 4, 2008 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

"birth certificate and proof the child is Down Syndrome. She says it, but where is the proof? They asked for Obama's BC from HI, so we'd like to see hers.

Statutory rape? When did Bristol and Levi first 'do it'? Was she under age? Can he be tried as an adult even if he was an adolescent at the time? It happend to the boy in Texas or somewhere in the south, remember? How do we know Levi is the father of Bristol's child? And, how do we know she is 5 months along? Show us proof!
With all the lying going on here, I want documentation on everything that is alleged by the McCain/Palin campaign. Bury us in paperwork. I'll bet Obama can keep up with it."

you are really on sick person. either argue issues or crawl back into your hole.

Posted by: joewxman on September 4, 2008 at 7:57 AM | PERMALINK

We Democrats had this to lose. Kos and company started trashing this woman -- no matter her politics -- and handed the Repubs an opening. What a bunch of maroons.

Speaking of yourself, apparently.

Peg's right, unfortunately. There wasn't enough care taken about the pity factor, which is easily one major weapon Palin brings to the Republicans this year. Heck, can you imagine Biden debating her and not getting painted as a misogynist ass for daring to be competent and assertive within earshot of this woman?

You're both living in the land of non sequitur ... as if somehow this speech wouldn't have been given or these lies not told if not for "Kos and company". As for Biden debating her without being painted as misogynist, whatever difficulty there was in imagining that before her speech, there's a lot less now.

But don't let facts or logic get in the way of a point that you're determined to make.

Posted by: Jay Ballou on September 4, 2008 at 8:00 AM | PERMALINK

Obama and Biden had BETTER start trashing her. Not her personally, of course, but her statements about policy. There is plenty there to trash.

She needs a very fast takedown, and Biden needs to go after her.

Posted by: POed Lib on September 4, 2008 at 8:03 AM | PERMALINK

Please, folks, avoid the "w" word. WHINEY. It's inherently sexist.

Posted by: POed Lib on September 4, 2008 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

They asked for Obama's BC from HI, so we'd like to see hers.

So you would like to emulate those cretins because ... you are one, apparently.

Posted by: Jay Ballou on September 4, 2008 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

Can you imagine Sarah Palin as president? Nothing like having a mayor for president-that's experience for ya! No, thanks to the bridge to no where but I'll keep the money thank you? She didn't mention that! She LOVES special interest money contrary to what she says, because she certainly pandered to them to the tune of $1,000.00 per person in Alaska! So much for a advocate for special needs kids as she actually slashed funding for schools for special needs kids by 62% in Alaska. How about oil-her whole family is immersed in it so why not drill more to increase your family's pocketbooks? Not a word about getting off the stuff and promoting GREEN technology! Nuclear power waste will be around for centuries if the Republicans have their way. No one ever mentions that burning Coal produces mercury in our water! Sounds like to me that we have another Republican liar. After all, isn't it what they are famous for? Check it out-McCain is the biggest flip-flopper. He will say whatever it takes to win the election whether it is true or not. I would rather have someone who is honest and states the truth whether it hurts or not! God help us all if the republicans stay in office with this team.

Posted by: Alicia on September 4, 2008 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

Can someone delete "st john's" blatant false-flag posts up there?

Posted by: Just Dropping By on September 4, 2008 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

If Americans vote for McCain-Palin ticket, they are even more stupid than the world thinks. Leaders around the world are definetely having a hard time believing that maybe they will have to deal with this joke of a vice-president. Obama is a born leader and Palin is an opportunist. Something also tells me that in reality, she likes Obama and would probably be attracted to him. She uses her eyes and lips to try to seduce the audience and people are falling for it, just pathetic.

Posted by: sam on September 4, 2008 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

"Bluntly-stated easily-disproved lies about Obama's record just don't seem all that savvy to me. Nor clever. "

She may not be clever, but you don't think she actually wrote that speech, do you?

Republicans lie. That's the basis of their political strategy, and has been as long as I can remember. They lie, and repeat their lies, because it works. Or it has worked so far. We'll see if we Americans will buy it yet again. Sadly, it wouldn't surprise me at all if we do.

Posted by: Jack on September 4, 2008 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

There is sufficient material in the debutante's address to provide Hillary with the makings of a devastating rebuttal. She MUST do it soon, well before the VP debate. It is the only way to avoid charges of sexism.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on September 4, 2008 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Obama would be smart to back off Palin for now and re-focus the debate on John McCain. The kneejerk attack on her as a small-town mayor has backfired badly. The feeding frenzy surrounding her family is nothing more than the politics of personal destruction redux. Obama's supposed to be beyond that. If Obama thinks the race is about issues, he needs to keep the focus on issues and not try to destroy her personally.

Posted by: Conrad on September 4, 2008 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

I presume you can, of course, link me to the articles you wrote fact-checking Obama and Biden's speeches?

Didn't think so.

So you're only interested in fact checking people running against the candidate you support and when you do your own "checks" are wrong.

Very nice

Posted by: Sourtone on September 4, 2008 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

COURIC: I want to get your reaction to something Karl Rove told the Washington Post today. He said Sarah Palin was, quote, not a governing decision but a campaign decision. Whats your reaction.

Mr. SCHMIDT: Karls wrong. Shes an exceptional governor, a reform governor in Alaska. Fifty states in this country, she is the most popular governor of any governor of any state. Her approval ratings are 80 percent. When you look at the fact that Congresss approval rating is 9 percent, and 85 percent of the country thinks were going in the wrong direction, shes doing something right up there.

Shes fought the oil companies. Shes building a huge natural gas pipeline. Shes taken on the corrupt special interests. Shes returned taxpayer money back to families in Alaska. She is the future of the Republican Party. Shes going to be an outstanding vice president.

The simple fact here is that this is a mom of five children. Theres been a private family matter and shes been under viscous assault and attack from the angry left. And weve seen that today. Theres a lot of allegations and rumors, almost all of them untrue. The other side is throwing everything but the kitchen sink at her to see what sticks.

American people are going to love her when they meet her. Shes an exceptional woman, an accomplished woman; and by any objective measurement, Katie, she is more experienced and more accomplished than Senator Obama. Shes a woman who manages billion dollar budgets. She makes decisions every day. One of the most exceptional governors in the country.

COURIC: So you dont think prethat Barack Obamas experience as a state senator for eight years and then a US senator for four years, how can you compare those two?

Mr. SCHMIDT: Well, Barack Obama was in the United States Senate for one year before he took off, and Senator Graham will talk about that, to run for president full time. When he was a state senator, he had no executive decisions. At 130 times tough votes, he took a pass and voted present. Leaders have to make decisions. Governor Palin makes decisions.

Posted by: Mary on September 4, 2008 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

No pity here - she is treated like any other candidate in my eyes. She is a woman but that is irrelevant when running for the highest offices in our country. She repeatedly lied in her speech and that is cause for the media to call her on it. If they go easy on her they are stupid.

McPOW made a desparate decision in picking her. He thinks the American people are stupid and think with their emotions - well we may be cuz we picked W and his crew....that was stupid.

Posted by: wo44 on September 4, 2008 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Hmm, lets see. Barack Obama accomplished, ethics reform. he was forced to work on it, and the only thing Obama accomplished on ethics reform was to make sure it was hamstrung. Way to go Barry O.
He accomplished improving WMD security. That was really going out on a limb for him, now wasn't it? I mean, hell, I cannot think of any one in the senate who would want to go along with that, can you? He must have really put his political career in jeapordy on that one.
What else has he done? Every last thing that Barack Obama does, every last vote, every last word is calculated to be as completely nuetral as possible so that he does not offend some potential future voter. Every single position Barack Obama has taken has come with an expiration date that only Barack himself knows.
Barack Obama is an empty suit that could not have gotten anywhere if it was not for people in his life he befriended, such as unrepetant terrorist William Ayers, racist anti-amirikkka reverand Jeramiah Wright, and the compulsively corrupt Tony Rezko as well as the rest of the worst in America political machine of Chicago.

Posted by: A Stoner on September 4, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Once Rove ran a campaign against a man who had personally funded centers for abused children -- by most accounts the guy was a saint. Rove started a whispering campaign to the effect that the guy was a child molester.

HydroCarbon, can you please give me a reference for that? I've never heard it before, but if true, it has to be repeated and backed up. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Raging Bee on September 4, 2008 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

Ethics reform is not "major" legislation. Also, did you hear what they said about taking water from one side of the bucket? THAT's understanding the economy right there. Raising taxes on businesses are only going to force private cutbacks, less job openings as businesses tighten their belts (so they don't go under), more layoffs, and higher prices at the cash register, which leads to inflation.
As a small business owner I can say that if my taxes go up any more, probably one to two people will have to lose their jobs just so we can save the business.
Stop thinking about yourselves and think about the good of the economy. It's not just millionaires whose taxes will go up. What is so hard to understand about this? Government does not create GDP for the US. If you don't believe me, go take an economics class.

Posted by: JM on September 4, 2008 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Ethics reform is not "major" legislation. Also, did you hear what they said about taking water from one side of the bucket? THAT's understanding the economy right there. Raising taxes on businesses are only going to force private cutbacks, less job openings as businesses tighten their belts (so they don't go under), more layoffs, and higher prices at the cash register, which leads to inflation.
As a small business owner I can say that if my taxes go up any more, probably one to two people will have to lose their jobs just so we can save the business.
Stop thinking about yourselves and think about the good of the economy. It's not just millionaires whose taxes will go up. What is so hard to understand about this? Government does not create GDP for the US. If you don't believe me, go take an economics class.

Posted by: JM on September 4, 2008 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Ethics reform is not "major" legislation. Also, did you hear what they said about taking water from one side of the bucket? THAT's understanding the economy right there. Raising taxes on businesses are only going to force private cutbacks, less job openings as businesses tighten their belts (so they don't go under), more layoffs, and higher prices at the cash register, which leads to inflation.
As a small business owner I can say that if my taxes go up any more, probably one to two people will have to lose their jobs just so we can save the business.
Stop thinking about yourselves and think about the good of the economy. It's not just millionaires whose taxes will go up. What is so hard to understand about this? Government does not create GDP for the US. If you don't believe me, go take an economics class.

Posted by: JM on September 4, 2008 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Funny but I already saw a rundown on how badly Obama lied in his speech last week, I guess the writer of this article refuses to discuss that. One thing I'll give Sarah Palin credit on is actually discussing plans in more depth than Obama, whose entire speech was wasted on trashing McCain. Obama is nothing but hot air. A man who has made it this far, only because he sucking on the black vote (FYI, he BROUGHT up the RACE CARD, people). A man who claims he struggled but was raised in Hawaii, one of the most expensive states to live in. A man who's mother, grandmother and grandfather were all wealthy and were able to provide him with the best education. And yet, after being raised by his white family after his black father deserted them, he repays his thanks but referring to them as "racist at times" and writes a memoir on his black daddy who didn't give a damn about him. Nice.... This is the man you want to run our country? A man who has shown NO respect for Americans or WHITE people? Puh-lease...
And let's not even talk about his wife. Her college thesis laced with racist remarks. Her anger over America and lack of pride.
If you vote for this man, you deserve just what you will get... nothing.
White people are so afraid of being labeled "racist" (because you are labeled if you are white and don't like Obama), they will vote for him just to "fit in". But don't be fooled. This guy has nothing to offer, this guy is a nothing...

Posted by: J in NJ on September 4, 2008 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Palinocchio?

Posted by: john on September 4, 2008 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

What the last several commenters have given us is more of the same, more of the same from the last eight years: make unfounded attacks, direct attention away from Republican failures, repeat. And repeat. And repeat.

Please spare us from four more years of this empty, hateful, divisive rhetoric. All those Convention speakers were right last night when they talked about how Washington is not working. But it sure was interesting that they -- who are all part of what has happened in George Bush's Washington -- refused to take any responsibility for it.

Posted by: mossie on September 4, 2008 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

I thought the funniest line in Sarah Palin's speech was when she said:

"Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipe...
(and then she paused in the wrong place and finally said) lines ..."

Maybe Cindy should be really nervous about this one. Pitbull with lipstick is very appropriate description. I wish I could post a picture that a friend had sent me. It showed a pitbull that had gotten into it with a porcupine, there was a ton of quills in the poor dog, it was too stupid to walk away from that fight. I think that would parallel very well with the stories we have all been hearing about "Troopergate"

Posted by: NoMoreRepugs on September 4, 2008 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Wow...the Republican troll brigade is out in force today. (I especially like the one by the self-professed "former Democrat.") The GOP must really be running scared.

Posted by: Gregory on September 4, 2008 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Um...maybe someone should check the fact checkers before hanging your hat on some of this. The special needs budget was cut, but more money was put into the base student allocation so that the school districts themselves could use the money as necessary to serve their special needs students.

Gov. Palin created a task force to analyze education funding and this was part of their recommendation. In fact, she supported increasing allocations across several areas.

"The specifics of the three-year plan include:

• An increase in the base student allocation by $200 per year for the next three years, up from the current $5,380 per student.

• Increase the funding for intensive needs students to nine times the Base Student Allocation (BSA) in FY 09, 11 times the BSA in FY10, and 13 times the BSA in FY11.

• Phase in of the district cost factors – 50 percent in FY 09, 62.5 percent in FY 10, and 75 percent in FY 11. The cost to educate students varies greatly from community to community and district to district. This change will implement in statute a formula to help ensure those high cost areas are not left behind.

• Recalibrate the pupil transportation grants to more accurately reflect today’s costs to transport students.

In a $7.1 billion savings plan announced on Wednesday, Governor Palin set aside more than $3 billion for education. The savings plan includes depositing $2.6 billion into the Public Education Fund and $450 million into the Teachers Retirement Account to help pay down the unfunded liability. The savings will fund the three-year plan."

http://gov.state.ak.us/archive-28621.html

Face it, there are lies and misleading statements on both sides, and from the press. That's why we are all so sick of politics.

Posted by: AL on September 4, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Mossie... although we are in a recession, I might add that there is a normal progression for the economy and the US has been on the upside for years. It is natural for us to experience the lows as well. As for the Saddam Hussein the "war that should never have been"... I find it amazing how quickly people forget that Bill Clinton had issues with Hussein and Iraq as well... and in fact, was bombing him periodically when he refused to conform with the UN demands to investigate him. The UN KNEW he was building WMDs but they feared him and Clinton bombed him on many occasions. He admitted that on a TV interview infact. Funny how the Demoocratic press ignores that fact. Clinton wanted to go to war with him but the sex scandal soon broke and his priorities had changed.

as for "not wanting four more years of the same"... sorry, but I don't see the country as being in a bad way. We are still strong and successful. And many of the complaints Americans have are the same complaints they had with Clinton, Reagan and Carter.

It's time to stop voting based on lies and Hollywood productions (wonder what Obama's set cost?). It's time to stop voting along political parties. It's time to look at facts and decide which is the better for America. Sadly... if you think Obama is, you're not listening. Because he has yet to even explain how he plans to carry out his ill thought out plans. And his lack of experience will only push this country into further peril.

Posted by: William on September 4, 2008 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Haha I just wanted to see what the other side was saying about Palin. I love her. She connects with me.
Posted by: Jill on September 4, 2008 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK
Hmm . . . looks like the special needs funding point above is simply wrong (and most of the rest is misleading, e.g. depicting ethics reform as "major" legislation and promoting as "fact" the counterfactual notion that tax increases have no indirect effects). Someone should fact-check Hilzoy . . .
Posted by: Jack on September 4, 2008 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

That's the weakest, most pathetic attempt at handle-switching sockpuppetry I have ever seen.

Republicans: so bankrupt of ideas they can only come up with "jack" and "jill" in order to defend their ideas, their candidates, and their Party.

Posted by: Sock Puppet Alert on September 4, 2008 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

She's going to be a great VP.

Posted by: Jib on September 4, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Here are the actual budget numbers on the Special Needs provision of the budget. It was not reduced 62% or raised 12% (sorry Rory), but declined 1% (not inflation adjusted). She might be a friend, but hardly an advocate:

2007 budget

Special Education Service Agency (SESA) - $2,072.3
Providence Heights School - $145.0
Alaska School for the Deaf - $319.0.
The Department of Education & Early Development - $637.4.
Alaska Challenge Youth Academy Program - $5,724.7

2008 Budget

Special Education Service Agency (SESA) - $2,054.6
Providence Heights School - $145.0
Alaska School for the Deaf - $319.0.
The Department of Education & Early Development - $637.4.

Posted by: Jpiretti on September 4, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin is BORN AGAIN
What about separation between church and state??? That is just not okay and God had nothing to do with the war, people did!

Would Ms. Palin have been chosen if she were a man? I don't think so.

Posted by: doesn't matter on September 4, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin is BORN AGAIN
What about separation between church and state??? That is just not okay; God had nothing to do with the war, people did!

Would Ms. Palin have been chosen if she were a man? I don't think so.

Posted by: DOES NOT MATTER on September 4, 2008 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Um, Spiderman and Superman are heroes too, but I don't think they are suited for the White house. No pun intended....

Posted by: JenChicago on September 4, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

If this slightly scary and clearly inappropriate person gets elected (not sure whether I mean Palin or McSame there - probably both!) then good luck America!!! You're gonna need it!

Posted by: DK on September 4, 2008 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man."

Oh, did we roar over that line. Of course, John McCain is John McCain wherever he goes. However, what he says seems to change with the wind.

Some brilliant wordplay there.

Posted by: springfielder on September 4, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin should be teaching children, including her own, to respect and protect all living creatures. She should NOT be teaching children to kill as she does.

Violence in the United States has reached epidemic proportions, with a predictable
spillover into schools. Studies have shown that perpetrators all had relatively easy access to firearms, and had expressed a fascination with weapons.

There are anti-cruelty laws that attempt to prevent people from harming or starving domestic animals. Why, then, is it OK to kill wildlife??? It seems that the anti-cruelty laws should apply to all animals!!!

Viewed from a distance, animals tend to blend together into an undifferentiated mass, like a crowd of spectators at a football game. But, all animals will feel the same pain an injured domestic pet feels and all animals should be respected and treated kindly.

It is frightening to think of the mentality of a hunter. To kill for fun is a pathetically juvenile act of a person who has no moral values.

Recently, America experienced tragic school shootings in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and threats of violence that locked down or closed schools in many other States.

In response to the string of school shootings, President Bush called a summit in suburban Maryland to open a dialogue among experts on how school violence can be stopped. "The violence in our schools is incredibly sad and troubles a lot of folks, and it troubles me," Bush said at the National 4-H Conference Center. "Everyone in our country wants our classrooms to be gentle places of learning."

The meeting of leading experts looking for ideas to help sadly came up with "NO answers." What kind of experts were these people?

I have an answer! Teach children values and respect instead of teaching them to kill.

Most school shootings are done by kids who are hunters. The man in Pennsylvania who killed the Amish girls was a hunter. Last year, in another Pennsylvania town, an 18-year-old hunter shot his 14-year-old girl friend's parents.

"I did not aim," the young killer told investigators, "I have a lot of shooting experience, and I usually hit what I shoot at." He said he also took a hunting knife with him.

This kid was an avid hunter and posted 20 pictures labeled "Hunting 2004" on a Web site that included an image of him posing with freshly killed deer.

States are pushing Youth Hunting simply to increase the number of hunters to get more money from the sale of licenses and more Federal money from the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937.

We already have a youth culture in which guns have become an acceptable way to deal with imagined problems. We should not be teaching children to kill. Children should respect and protect all living creatures!

But, our "elected representatives," our Fish & Wildlife employees, and the news media pander to the sport-hunting industry.

Violence in the United States has reached epidemic proportions, with a predictable spillover into schools. Studies have shown that perpetrators all had relatively easy access to firearms, and had expressed a fascination with weapons. Youth hunting only encourages a fascination with weapons and causes the death of humans, too.

Teaching kids to use guns to hurt and kill animals creates poor family values, a public safety risk and is emotionally harmful to the child. Kids naturally love animals. To turn that appreciation into violence through hunting sends a very disturbing message to our youth. Violence merely breeds violence.

To suggest that hunting be taught rather than getting kids involved in healthy, competitive sports such as soccer or baseball is short-sighted and irresponsible. The self-esteem, teamwork and competitive drive learned in organized sports will better prepare a child for adulthood than the violence, disrespect of nature and devaluation of life that hunting teaches.

Oh, sure, she is a soccer mom. That's not enough.


Posted by: Barbara New Jersey on September 4, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

"I watched Palin's speech after feeling empty from Obama's garbage last week."
Uh, what issues did Palin truly speak about? You failed to actually speak on that when you said Obama's speach was garbage. Please tell me because myself and so many other experts that I've listen to all morning can't seem to figure that out after listening to her speach twice. And if I'm not mistaken, we are posting to a story of someone who basically said the same thing about her lack of substance on the issues that are real and important. I'm not saying Obama is perfect, but at least he did address what the hell is going on. All she did is try to make jokes and be sarcastic with her lame ass. I could care less about her family issues because we see issues like that every day. Granted she represents a large number of people so she should be held accountable to a certain extent, but she and everyone else in her family is human and stuff happens. OK. But what about the rest of issues? What plans does hse have in mind as vice president? That was truly missing, and a tribute her inexperience that many speak about Obama. And let's not get started on McCain, who can't figure out what side of the fence he will be on from one speach to the next. Pretty much everyone has seen that video circulating around where he has flip flopped on many topics asked. The late Tim Russert asked him about a quote, and McCain said "I have no clue where you got that from." Are you serious? You know he always backed up his facts with info. Such a liar.

Posted by: Mike B. on September 4, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Her voice is indeed annoying. I liken it to marbles in a blender.

...but I see how voters can exhibit the same stupidity as in the last two elections yet again.

baaah baaah...

Posted by: Thaddeus on September 4, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Palin's reference to a pitbull didn't go over well in my area. About once or twice a season, some innocent man or woman is severly injured by a pitbull who just looses it. And about once a season a small child or baby is mauled to the point of death. Pitbull tragedies are big big news. Pitbulls attack even those they love. It was a poor analogy and something that can be used against her.

Posted by: MHM on September 4, 2008 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Attack Palin for her book burning ways - she temporarily fired the head librarian of her TINY town she was mayor of because the librarian refused to ban books Palin wanted banned (probably Harry Potter books as well as a bunch of the other usual suspects: Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, etc).

Attack her for forcing her too-young daughter to marry her too-young boyfriend. THAT is a couple GUARANTEED to see a divorce before either reaches the age of 25.

Attack her for her support of abstinence only "sex ed". Use her daughter as the poster child for why abstinence only DOESN'T WORK. Period.

Attack her for oil, oil, only oil as an "energy policy".

Attack her for seeking federal funding as mayor and as governor when her state ALWAYS has a huge surplus of funds such that it cuts checks for all residents every year. SPEND YOUR EXCESS FUNDS FIRST!

Attack her for entering as mayor of a TINY town with a budget surplus and leaving that same TINY town with a big debt (and growing).

Attack her for claiming family is all important when she foists her own family off on relatives to raise (she is never there and she was never there for her pregnant daughter). Both she AND her hubby are absent parents.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on September 4, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

I watched the entired speech even though listening to her grating voice drove me nuts. I thought the beginning of her speech was a good introduction to herself. However, I keep wondering where the meat and potatos of the speech were. There was nothing there that spoke to me about the eoconomy or any of my concerns. It was all fluff and snide remarks about the other side. I found her to rude and insulting, even going after Obama's wife after Obama had shown character by refusing to comment on Palins pregnent teen daughter.

I was so insulted as a women by her nastiness towards community leaders and her lack of inclusiviness to the republican party that there is no way I will ever vote for McCain/Palin. Attacking policy is one thing, but you should do it with class, character and integrity not with snide, snarky nastiness. It was a sad speech for me, I expected more from my fellow female.

Posted by: Laurie on September 4, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, you can also attack Palin for thinking that our illegal war in Iraq is "God's work". She is one of those people that thinks we are killing and murdering people in the ME to bring on the Rapture and we are killing, torturing, and maiming them for God.

She's one of those people. She's an "End Timer" and would be a mere 500 year old heartbeat (McCain is OLD!) away from being able to press the new-ku-lar button for Jesus!

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on September 4, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Why is the media fawning all over her speech? Has the RNC really got them cowed with their endless clamors about sexism? How about this: Run one story where you look back on McCain's treatment and apparent outlook on women (let's see...he says "Excellent question!" to someone asking "How do we beat the b--ch?" [meaning Hillary], he makes a truly cruel and tasteless joke about Chelsea Clinton, he opposes equal pay for equal work, etc etc etc). Then run another where you compare Palin's accusations last night to some facts, and point out that they don't exactly seem to match up very well.

And someone should be mentioning that she not only read aloud a lot of falsehoods, but unfortunately wasn't in a position to KNOW that they were falsehoods because she's never been anywhere near the federal government! Not only does she not know (according to her) what a VP does or much about Iraq, but she knows nothing about John McCain's record, the kind of person he is, whether he's consistent, what Obama has done in Senate, or many of the other things she talked about besides what Bush's speech writer puts in front of her.

Posted by: fed up on September 4, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Whiney, yes; pandering, yes; even flirting, yes; trying to hard to impress, yes; pretty, yes; charismatic, yes; but nowhere did I learn anything about her policies; or about her platform ; or about her intentions; I still don't know who Sarah Palin is, so hurry up and have an interview with the press, Sarah, or a news conference, so I can find you.

Posted by: Juliet on September 4, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Personal attacks seem to have become de rigueur in politics and I find it distasteful and boorish behavior. I want to know about the candidate's stance on policies, their voting history, and what their plans are for MY country. It would be a great pleasure to not have to endure the seemingly inevitable commentary from those bent on tearing down their families, their upbringing, their voice quality, and all the other numerous nit-picking details that have absolutely nothing to do with the quality and capability that that person has to do the job they are campaigning to do! If Democrats & Republicans alike would spend less time slinging mud and sarcastic comments at each other and stick to discussing and arguing about policy maybe more could be accomplished "across the aisles". Our country needs help on several fronts right now and I don't feel confidence in the ability of either candidate or their respective parties combined to pull us out of this mess we are in. I am quite thoroughly sick of the lies, demagoguery and media spin from BOTH sides of this campaign and can't wait until November 2nd so that it will finally be over for another 4 years!

Posted by: MileHi on September 4, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

MileHi, you could not have said it better!!

Posted by: Scotty on September 4, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Here you go liberal bias media! Reap the whirlwind! Obama who? He must be desperate to finally go on Fox with Bill O. Last minute attempt for attention. Sad.

Posted by: Terri on September 4, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

On special education funding, states are required to maintain previous levels of funding on either an aggregate or per pupil basis or be subject to penalty under IDEA maintainence-of-effort provisions. The big problem in special education funding is that the federal government set a target in the mid-1970s when PL 94-142 was passed to fund 40% of total LEA special education costs. The highest they've gotten in the past couple of decades is the mid-20% range.

As for Palin, it will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. Peggy Noonan described it as a "Hail Mary" and I tend to agree.

From first blush, it's obvious that she is far, far, far to the right of the average American, but whether or not her views can be effectively pulled out of her for public display will be the question. From my vantage point in Minnesota, I can say that there are more and more Palin "types" finding their way into politics and while I wholeheartedly support the democracy in any direction it takes, the views of this sub-group are very troubling indeed.

Posted by: Lundell on September 4, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Who uses their infant for political gain? She has no record of making America a more welcoming place for special needs children She implicitly positioned herself as a special needs parental advocate/expert which is incredibly offensive since her experience in this area is a mere 4 months with an infant to whom she does not provide primary care, her advocacy is zero. She USED this babys condition for political purposes when she is very obviously not spending her time immersed in his special needs.

Further,
reporters seem to be missing the point about the Palin/mother issue.

It isnt the fact that she has kids or is a parent that most people object to. It is her record on parenting that is so damning. The first institution anyone runs is their family. I am a professor with four children and five books a professional woman, and a feminist. But their kids situations are sad and speak poorly to their parenting.

Clearly three of the Sarah Plains children are in circumstances most American parents consider not just bad, but terrible.

1. Who thinks the 90 plus hour work week of this VP candidate is good for Palins infant? The majority of Americans believe having both a super intensive career and children is fine but we also believe that timing is key and it is simply, obviously, bad parenting not to spend a good deal of time with a tiny infant. This is even more important for special needs infants.

2. Who wants their teen daughter to become pregnant?


3. I have read that the older three have all had poor grades in school and are struggling conflicted young people suggesting that they are not being well parented.
Is this school record confirmed?


4. Who wants their teen son in the Army as Palins is? It is very hard for the Army to find recruits because the life of an army enlisted soldier is one the worst circumstances available for young men and the vast majority of parents discourage this. Serving as an officer after college and time to mature, yes, but enlisting at 17? They are among the mostly poorly educated of the nation and the fact that some are barely literate is an increasing problem. The percentage of Army enlistees who have a high school diploma is only 58%. The sad fact is that its a culture of drinking, drugs, violence, porn, low pay and general degradation. Teenage soldiers work includes actions that sometimes kill innocent civilians and children, facing suicide bombers and IEDs, exposure to cancer causing DU (Depleted Uranium), injury, death and dismemberment. The Veterans Association estimates 37% of American soldiers returning from Iraq are classified as having serious mental problems and this is worse among the young and uneducated, like Trick Palen.

Posted by: Elizabeth Heilman on September 4, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't read all of these comments, but a fair number said something along the lines of "I don't think" that people will be won over by the sarcasm, talk down to you attitude portrayed by Palin. It may have seemed that way to you. But remember, Bush got elected twice using these tactics. Republicans will lie and spit in your face at the same time and somehow still get elected. Why? Because a huge number of Americans are like that. Dems and liberals need to go on the offensive and stay there, and NOT feel bad or guilty about it. Like one poster said, we have to win this election, because once again, the Dems took the high road and selected a vp who is the most qualified to lead. Repubs picked the low road and picked a vp who will get them elected. I can truly say that I have never been more morally and intellectually insulted by anything than by the Repub's selection of a Palin as VP.

Posted by: Matt on September 4, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Engaging personality? Really? Each to his own taste, I suppose.

Posted by: zeke on September 4, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

It looks like that Scaife money just started pouring into the army of Republican't sock puppets udring Yukon Barbie's reading of the canned Veep remarks, er, speechifying.

Next time dig up, stupids!

So much for that failed vetting from the McCain campaign. She proved her worth in that speech.

Yes - she has proven that she has no worth whatsoever. The Church Lady meets South Park's principal, except with a screechy voice. There's not enough lipstick for that pig...

its gotta suck to be a Democrat and know your top spot is second string on the Republican ticket.

Alomst as much as it must suck to be a Republican't who can't even mention the two time incumbent pRetzelDunce who has been running his party into the ground for the last eight years, and has to try and defend the no string Republican't team. How's that working out for ya?

Bet she could handle Barak on the basketball floor too. She won a state championship, what did he do?

She won a state champeenship - all by herself! Of that notorious state basketball powerhouse of Alaska!

Also, I was unaware that Republican't are so afraid of the issues that they're going to trot out comparisons of b-ball skilz as if they were something to base your vote on.

Then again, this is pretty much as close to concrete issues as the Republican't Party is prpared to discuss...

Oh well - ya'll go back to your regularly scheduled attack on Palin's family and all that fun about who Trig's mom is. That sounds like a winning strategy.

Funny - you didn't seem to mind this sort of thing nearly as much when it involved kerning Obama's birth certificate, how much of a shrill black militant Michelle Obama was, discussing Hillary's cleavage or her cankles, or which way the Clenis leans. What's that word again? Hyp-, hypo-, Republican't! Yeah, that's it...

Posted by: Orwell on September 4, 2008 at 6:45 AM

Posted by: (: Tom :) on September 4, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

"I have read that the older three have all had poor grades in school and are struggling conflicted young people suggesting that they are not being well parented. Is this school record confirmed?"

Have you asked the same question about the Obama children? Or are you holding that family to a different standard?


Posted by: MDH3 on September 4, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Economics, global warming, envionmental destruction on an exponential scale, war, terrorism ... These aren't the real reasons we're in the fix we're in. It's the result.

The real reasons are ignorance, apathy, unwillingness to listen to others even when we disagree. It's unilaterally decrying anyone who dares to think critically for themselves "A LIBERAL"!? It's the "don't confuse me with facts" mentality that seems to permeate the policital arena, especially within the RNC.

The RNC is once again going on the offensive with fear mongering, mockery, twisted logic and untruths. They're trying frighten us of "those liberals and Democrats". I'm afraid alright! Damned afraid ... of RNC and their beliefs. The spectacle last night reminds me of the lynch mobs seen in the movies. "Lynch 'em boys! Hang 'em high!". To hell with truth and justice, eh?

At this point I feel a group of lemmings headed for that cliff edge have a better chance of survival than we do should McCain and his newest beauty queen acquisition get elected.

B-a-a-a-a-a and God save us from ourselves!

Posted by: sunrnr on September 4, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it funny that Obama's supporters (like Hilzoy) want to talk about how many pieces of legislation his name is on INSTEAD of how many he actually ***authored*** as Palin said...

Obama's a master of nipping to the front and getting his name on legislation he had little to do with AUTHORING. Lugar and Coburn did both the writing and the heavy lifting on bills where Obama is "name" Democratic sponsor. His IL Senate record is equally rife with such manipulation...since his politcal sponsor Emil Jones, Dem. IL Senate Majority Leader, gave him much of the major legislation of his last session to carry...including IL Sen. Rickey Hendon's bill on racial profiling and videotaped confessions. Obama is better at riding the work of others and claiming credit than actually authoring bills and getting them passed.

Posted by: Historian on September 4, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you Elizabeth Heilman for sharing your judgment of the Palin family with us. Like we care. I am sure you have wonderful, perfect children and you and your loving husband have been incredible parents. Four children and five books. Wow, you are to be worshipped by feminists everywhere for having it all - but only if you still support abortion until the last moment. Thanks for gracing us with your presence. Palin is pro life - that means people like Elizabeth Heilman must attack. Palin is an accomplished woman period. Used to matter to true feminists. Now feminists like you are a single issue joke - and totally irrelevant.

Posted by: Ted on September 4, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Ho hum...

She energized the base and pissed off the left. That's success!

Posted by: foutsc on September 4, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

This is crazy. The Washington elite feel as if we are all mindless idiots and that "one of us" can not be president. I for one would live to have Palin in the White House compared to any of the other political hacks we have in Washington. What we need in leadership is fresh ideas and no baggage of how things are "supposed" to get done in Washington. Washington is broken and its needs a clean slate.

Posted by: K on September 4, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

K,

Huh? Now Palin is going to provide the "fresh ideas and no baggage" to Washington rather than McCain? Where's McCain been for the last couple of decades? Isn't he part of the problem and now supposed to be the solution?

As to Ms. Palin, do some real research on her record in Alaska, not just listen to the "party line". Baggage, indeed!?

What about the rest of us, aren't we invited to get involved in defining the problems and solutions?

Posted by: sunrnr on September 4, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

I completely agree with you Ms. Heilman. The first institution one runs is their family.

Joe Biden's daughter, Ashley Blazer Biden, has been arrested for obstructing police officers in the performance of their duty. Joe Biden's son, R. Hunter Biden, is being sued for defrauding a former business partner and investor for millions of dollars. Joe Biden's kids situations are sad and speak poorly to their parenting.

Clearly two of the Joe Biden's children are in circumstances most American parents consider not just bad, but terrible.

And as for a third child, Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III, he is in the Army National Guard! Who wants their son in the Army?

We are in complete agreement, Ms. Heilman.

Posted by: I agree on September 4, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

One more thing for Ms. Heilman, and it comes with a "thank you" for reminding us. In point 4 of your post you very clearly state the liberal view of our military. The same case that John Kerry ineloquently stated in 2004. ".......then you find yourself stuck in Iraq."

He back pedalled from this, but every American knew what that meant and what he thought about our troops. The same thing he thought when he was alongside them in Vietnam - they are rapists, terrorists, killers, and drug addicts. Thanks again for reminding us all about how liberals truly view our wonderful kids in uniform.

Posted by: Ted on September 4, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

From Matt - "I can truly say that I have never been more morally and intellectually insulted by anything than by the Repub's selection of a Palin as VP."

Seriously - ANYTHING? The Edwards betrayal has to be close, doesn't it? He was your VP choice 4 years ago and won Dem delegates for president THIS YEAR. He cheated on his cancer stricken wife. But to you the simple nomination of Palin is more morally insulting? Get some help dude.

Posted by: Debt on September 4, 2008 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Hydrocarbon's comment above exemplifies why I and others won't vote for his ilk. The end justifies the means. He can't conceive that he just might be wrong about something, and any tactics are permissible since they support the "truth." He or she is a sad little person with no personal or intellectual honor or integrity. He is more concerned with his self-image than with results. When people like this get power, they commit atrocities.

Posted by: SeekingRationalThought on September 4, 2008 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Mrs Palin is the perfect puppet for the GOP. Hopefully, smart people will look beyond the smoke and mirrors and see her for the petty, vindictive, oil supporting fake...who addressed no relevant issues last nite. Go Obama/Biden

Posted by: shayla on September 4, 2008 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Youth ChalleNGe is a national National Guard program and not related to special education.

Posted by: brenna on September 4, 2008 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

WOW! Well...here we are, another year older and deeper in debt...that has a familiar ring to it if Republicans retain the White House. Let's take another look at the big, way big picture. John McCain is what, 72. That would mean Ms. Palin is his wingman. Mr. McCain knows what that is... It would most assuredly be a remarkable state of affairs if this lifelong member of the NRA, gun toting, "soccer mom" managed to become president. I shiver at such a thought.

Posted by: newsfreek on September 4, 2008 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

So, you are PROVEN to be a liar, yet keep this trash post up? Just one example: B. Hussein is not in favor of energy production. Drilling oil wells produces energy. Dreaming about pie-in-the-sky loony left sources does not.

Posted by: Scott M. on September 4, 2008 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

So glad to see the writer CORRECT his lie about Sarah Palin cutting funding for special needs programs. Why don't you check the facts for yourself before printing lies?

Posted by: J. Goodson on September 4, 2008 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

uh...

this commentary is amazing. I see a lot of scared, desperate and angry people here, not to mention a lot of nitpicking that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Democrats, why are you so desperate to win this election? Is it because you've been brainwashed to think that McCain/Palin "only" offer "another 4 years of the last 8 years"? (This seems to be the anti-slogan for the Democratic party and possibly the weakest one I've heard yet.).....

or is it simply because you are afraid that the world or country will miss it's chance to see the first "black" president?

It's probably both, and a bit more of the latter.

The fact is you guys are scared now because all the smearing the Obama biased media has done on this "mysterious gun-toting woman" has just been erased, since Palin just effectively answered who she was, what her experience involves, who her family is, and yet it all fell on deaf democratic ears. All i hear and read from the Obama zealots today is that "her speech offered nothing of any relevence", and that "her voice/accent is irritating".

Wow... apparently you weren't listening. All week the Obamedia has been asking these questions, Sarah answers them, and you are still left in a state of confusion. What must she do to earn your respect? Heal the terminally ill? Deliver world peace?

Be satisfied that you got the answers you asked for all week, and stay tuned for the answers to rest of your questions in the coming weeks.


Posted by: pwnapendant on September 4, 2008 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Carl Rove must have written most of the speech befor she was announced. Mrs. Palin is a puppet. She delivered pretty well (she must have gotten the speech in phonetics), but no line was written by her. It's all cult of personality.
BTW Community Organizer seems to be the 2008 Willy Horton. But what is wrong with community organizers? Jesus was a community-organizer. Pontius Pilatus was a governor.

Posted by: Pablo Don on September 4, 2008 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

"BTW: She's not running for pres."

ARE YOU KIDDING?

Is that what she's supposed to say to North Korea and Iran?

She is dangeously unqualified. Obama has been voting on national and international issues for 4 years in the Senate, and campaigning for president for 20 months in addition. 18 million people voted for him in the primary as their choice for president.

Does Palin have any of her own ideas? What would she do if she were president? I don't care what they are, I want to hear them.

I don't want the only thing the American people to know about her if she becomes president to be that she enjoys hunting moose and is a very good mother.

This is ridiculous.

Posted by: sam on September 4, 2008 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

"BTW: She's not running for pres."

She's not running for president, but she might well end up there before 2012. What happens then?

Posted by: Jimsing on September 4, 2008 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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