Don't expect too much from Barack Obama at this Friday's presidential debate because his debating skills are not nearly as good as those of John McCain. That is the message from the New York Times to prepare viewers for the debate. Therefore if Obama fails to quite match up to McCain, that really should be counted as a victory for Obama...at least according to this manufactured debate expectations game. The truth is that McCain is not really a skilled debater but that didn't keep the Times from touting his supposed oratorical skills as you can see in the very title of this story: "A Scrappy Fighter, McCain Honed His Debating Style in and Out of Politics." To read this story, you would think that McCain is one of the great debaters of our time:
Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, heads into the first debate on Friday with a track record as a scrappy combatant and the instincts of a fighter pilot, prepared to take out his opponent and willing to take risks to do so.
It sounds like the rabid rantings of some poor demented shlub posting at the Democratic Underground. Instead, it is Al Gore's former fashion adviser, Naomi Wolf, indulging in sanity-challenged fantasies on her Huffington Post blog. The target of Wolf's derangement is Sarah Palin and it is so over the top that one might suspect Wolf is an agent provocateur working for conservatives in order to discredit the left. Think I'm kidding? Check out this sampling of Wolf's plunge off the political deep end (emphasis mine):
Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah "Evita" Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state.
Does anybody remember Bill Clinton boasting in 1992 that a vote for him means "buy one, get one free?" Of course, he was referring to the fact that by electing him, you would also get Hillary as a virtual co-president. No big outrage in the liberal media back then about a spouse being too involved in the political affairs of her husband.
However, the Washington Post has now taken the involvement of Todd Palin in Alaska civic affairs to suggest that perhaps he is some sort of Machiavellian power behind the throne. Unfortunately for their premise, the facts dug up by Washington Post writers, Alec MacGillis and Karl Vick, actually shows Todd Palin to be an upstanding citizen with very limited involvement in political affairs. In fact, the criticisms of the "First Dude" in their article are so lame as to laughable. One is the charge that Todd sat in on a state budget veto meeting (emphasis mine):
On Friday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty asked, "Is Sarah Palin's 15 minutes of fame over?" As you can see, Jack seems very anxious for Palin to become a has been of little consequence in this election:
Funny how a stock market crash, the failure of a few big investment banks will distract Americans from the flavor of the day. There doesn't seem to be the burning interest in who makes Sarah Palin's glasses that there was a few days ago. Former White House advisor and Republican strategist Karl Rove told the Associated Press this week that the Palin phenomenon will fade between now and the election, and that may be already happening [transcript continues below the fold].
Jonathan! Oh Jonathan! Paging Jonathan Chait! To paraphrase a certain wide stance senator, you've been a bad boy, a naughty boy. In fact, you're probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy. You see, you've written a long smear of Sarah Palin in the New Republic where you are The senior editor and yet a certain name was missing in your attack. What was that name? Why, Joe Biden. And why is Chait so reluctant to so much as mention Biden nowadays except in passing? Simple. When it looked like Biden had not a chance in the world of ever being nominated for president, Chait felt free to write what he really thought of the verbose senator last year (emphasis mine):
They say love conquers all and that might just be the case with Susan Estrich. The normally liberal columnist seems to be absolutely smitten with Todd Palin. Her recent column sounds more like a love note to him than a political analysis:
First Dude. That's what they call him in Alaska. It's OK. Todd's Ok. Whatever. He smiles at Greta Van Susteren. Not a touch of noblesse. More like plan old politesse. I always laugh a little when I see people who are very much not ordinary Americans in any respect (pay, fame, education or overall wealth, for starters) try to speak for them. "This is what ordinary Americans want," says someone whose only contact with them may be while his face is getting powdered for TV.
You can almost hear "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" playing in the background as Susan continues to verbally ogle Todd:
There may be only one truly regular guy, a guy regular enough that he doesn't begin to have the arrogance to believe he speaks for anyone other than himself, in this race. And therefore, of course, he does.
It was a beautiful sight to behold. The obviously pro-Obama Campbell Brown snarling throughout an interview at the heels of former Hillary Clinton fundraiser and now McCain supporter, Lynn Forester de Rothschild, for "daring" to switch sides. After several minutes of accusing de Rothschild of everything from being an elitist to acting as a traitor to the Democrats, Campbell Brown set herself up for the grand slam dunk by Ms Rothschild using the very words of the Lightworker to turn the tables on the CNN interviewer. First we see in the transcript how Campbell Brown begins with an elitism charge against de Rothschild (emphasis mine):
Get the scene. The McCain/Palin ticket wins in November and soon afterwards mobs of wild eyed bible-toting evangelicals will burn stacks of books in giant bonfires. Sound ridiculous? Well, that is exactly what Andrew Greeley is laughably claiming in his latest Chicago Sun-Times column ominously titled, "Next Chapter for radical right: Burn books." Years ago, Greeley sounded somewhat sane but lately he has gone off the deep end such as his claim in June that it is racist not to vote for Obama. Greeley's latest sanity-challenged screed presents a bleak future of crazed book-burning evangelicals taking over the country. Try not to laugh too hard as you read Greeley's rantings (emphasis mine):
I guess the liberal crew aboard ABC's Good Morning America train trip felt comfortable in portraying small towns across the country as suffering from economic hard times which, of course, would be helpful for the Democrats in the upcoming elections in November. However, their pre-conceived script about economic hardship is being angrily challenged by the mayor of one of the towns they painted with their liberal brush. The mayor of Rome NY, James F. Brown is furious over the way his community was portrayed by GMA as you can see in this article in the Rome Daily Sentinel (emphasis mine):
Furious over the portrayal of Rome in Tuesday’s national broadcast of "Good Morning America," Mayor James F. Brown said he’ll never watch ABC — the television show’s network — again.
Cast and crew of the news program were at the Rome railroad station on Monday afternoon as part of a 50-state Whistle Stop ‘08 tour. More than 500 people turned out to meet the train and greet television personalities Robin Roberts, Diane Sawyer and Cris Cuomo.
A stunning example of the incredible disconnect between the mainstream media and the blogosphere is this video of the interim Fannie Mae CEO, Daniel Mudd, addressing the Congressional Black Caucus, including Barack Obama, at their swearing-in ceremony in 2005. Although this video is spreading quickly in the blogosphere, you have yet to see or hear anything about it in the MSM. As you can see in the video, Mudd talks about the problems of Fannie Mae yet that didn't keep Obama and other Democrats from taking large contributions from that organization or doing anything to try to fix it. Here is a transcript of CEO Mudd addressing the Democrats (emphasis mine):
Who says Ralph Nader doesn't have a sense of humor? Here is a video of Nader in a Hamlet like discourse with Cardozo the Parrot about why his presidential campaign isn't getting much media coverage this year. Well, I can tell Ralph why he isn't getting media coverage. Because the MSM fears he will take votes away from Obama this year and don't want a repeat of 2000 where many blamed Nader for siphoning enough votes away from Al Gore in Florida to cause him to lose the election. However, let us read Ralph Nader in his own words as he pours out his campaign coverage woes to Cardozo the Parrot:
It seems that CNN reporter, Dana Bash, felt safe in reporting on Lou Dobbs Tonight a gratuitous slam against Sarah Palin that she is "carefully scripted." What she apparently didn't count on was Dobbs questioning her about Barack Obama carefully following his own teleprompter script. The result was that Bash was rendered nearly incomprehensible as she spouted gibberish defending her biased reporting while attempting to change the subject. Here are the comedy highlights from the September 15 CNN transcript (emphasis mine):
Perhaps it is time for the remaining Miami Herald employees to break out the Santeria rooster once again. Just three months after announcing job cutbacks in June, the Miami Herald has just announced that it is axing another 119 employees (emphasis mine):
Three months after announcing plans to trim 250 jobs, the Miami Herald Media Co. said Tuesday it is cutting another 119 positions, or about 10 percent of the remaining workforce.
Eighty full- and part-time employees will leave the company, while other, vacant jobs will be eliminated, Miami Herald President and Publisher David Landsberg said.
The company will ask for volunteers to leave and accept a severence package, but some of the cuts will be involuntary layoffs, Landsberg told employees in a memo Tuesday.
The cuts will include 23 positions in The Miami Herald newsroom, bringing the journalism staff to a total of 275.
The chair of the Connecticut College history department, Catherine McNicol Stock, has suggested that Sarah Palin is somehow associated with Pacific Northwest hate groups such as Posse Comitatus and the Aryan Nations. Her proof? Well, because Palin lived in areas with low "diversity." I kid you not. Here is the professor's "learned thesis" presented in a Philadelphia Inquirer opinion column melodramatically titled, "Intolerance thrives in Palin's Pacific Northwest" (emphasis mine):
Despite her efforts to portray herself as an average, small-town, "folksy" American, Sarah Palin's political views - ardently pro-gun, pro-censorship, antichoice and antigay - make John McCain's conservative credentials pale in comparison. What few observers have said, however, is these beliefs are not just extreme - they are radical, and even bear a comparison with some of the most notorious "rural radicals" of our time.
MarketWatch columnist, Jon Friedman, has posted a column that appears to have been composed in an alternate universe in an entirely different space/time continuum than ours. It is a universe in which the media somehow built up Sarah Palin and in which the public will also become bored with her. Does this sound like our own universe? Of course not. In our universe, the real one, the media has been tearing down Sarah Palin from day one. Therefore I am using this special cross-dimensional transmitter to relay to Friedman of the alternate universe a couple of examples of the media tearing down Palin right from the start such as this putdown of Alaska by CNN's Jack Cafferty as a "state that has 13 people and some caribou," and this diatribe by Campbell Brown. And those are but two of scores of such examples.
It's been less than a month since Barack Obama has picked Joe Biden to be his running mate and already there are calls from liberals, made desperate by Obama's plunge in the polls, to replace Biden with Hillary Clinton. One such plea comes from Huffington Post blogger Andy Ostroy, described as a "New York City-based political analyst," with a blog entry titled, "Why Replacing Biden With Hillary Makes Perfect Sense for Obama." Here is Ostroy's rationale for one of the biggest flip-flops in political history (emphasis mine):
Sen. Joe Biden's a perfectly appropriate vice presidential running-mate for Sen. Barack Obama. He's got 36 years of Senate experience, is a true intellect, a foreign policy expert, and a genuinely nice guy. But ever since Sen. John McCain added plucky Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to his ticket, the old adage nice guys finish last is beginning to take on new meaning in this year's presidential contest. It's time to dump Biden and replace him with Sen. Hillary Clinton. I don't care how it's done. Campaign chief David Axelrod can figure that out. And the sooner the better. Because I'm starting to think that if Team-Obama doesn't do something dramatic fast, it's gonna lose this election. There's a worrisome shift in momentum and in the polls. The Palin phenomenon, while truly unfathomable to Democrats, has energized McCain's campaign and allowed him like Houdini to snatch Obama's "change" theme right out from under him. It's time to snatch it back.
Sarah Palin hasn't been a member of the Assemblies of God church for six years but that hasn't kept ABC News from using that church to attempt to smear Palin as some sort of religious loon. Perhaps they thought that Pentecostal denomination was easier to use as a sledge hammer against Palin than her current membership in a nondemonational church. Almost predictably the accompanying video that you can see in this ABC News report starts off showing Pentecostals speaking in tongues along with mentioning that other Christians often refer to them as holy rollers. Here are excerpts from the written report (emphasis mine):
For two decades, Palin was a member of an Assemblies of God church in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska. In 2002, years before she was elected governor of Alaska, Palin and her family switched to a nondenominational church, but Palin still returns to her old church on special occasions.
And yet this ABC News report focuses on her previous denomination. Following the intro, the report returns to its obsession with speaking in tongues:
Did you know that Sarah Palin has never been to Mongolia? Yeah, and despite the fact she never claimed to have visited there, we are making a big deal about it because of the impression she left only in our fervid imaginations that she did indeed visit Mongolia.
Think that was ridiculous? Well, guess what? That is exactly what CNN is doing with a manufactured scandal that Sarah Palin never visited Iraq. The problem for CNN is that Palin never claimed to have visited Iraq. Here is her answer in the recent ABC interview with Charles Gibson about her foreign travel:
Canada. Mexico. And then, yeah, that trip that was a trip of a lifetime, to visit our troops in Kuwait and stop and visit our injured soldiers in Germany. That was a trip of a lifetime and it changed my life.
So where was Iraq in her answer about foreign travel? Nowhere. However, that hasn't stopped CNN from acting outraged about the fact that Palin never visited Iraq despite the fact that she never claimed to have visited there:
A transcript of the unedited interview of Sarah Palin by Charles Gibson clearly shows that ABC News edited out crucial portions of the interview that showed Palin as knowledgeable or presented her answers out of context. This unedited transcript of the first of the Gibson interviews with Palin is available on radio host Mark Levin's website. The sections edited out by ABC News are in bold. The first edit shows Palin responding about meeting with foreign leaders but this was actually in response to a question Gibson asked several questions earlier:
GIBSON: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?
A Washington Post "On Faith" religion blogger, Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, is so affected by PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome) that she has launched a hate-filled screed against Palin's religion. This might seem an uncharacteristic thing for an ordained minister to do but not when you find out a bit more about Our Miss Brooks. Her bio on the Washington Post site describes Thistlethwaite's area of expertise as "contextual theologies of liberation." Liberation theology which is another way of saying Marxism wrapped in a phony religious wrapper to make it seem more palatable. Thistlethwaite launches a distinctly un-Christian snarky attack upon Palin right from the start of her blog (emphasis mine):
"Wives be subject to your husbands, as unto the Lord." So says the Christian scriptures in Ephesians, 5:22. What I would like to know, first of all, is who is going to have the final authority as Vice-President if Sarah Palin is elected, Palin or her husband? In fact, I think the first order of business with Palin is to ask her to give the same kind of speech that was demanded of John F. Kennedy re his Catholicism. Kennedy said he would obey the Constitution over the Pope. Will Palin obey the Constitution over her husband?
Remember all those months of the MSM building up the myth of Barack Obama, the Lightworker of unique spiritual powers whose image was frequently photoshopped to present his blessed head surrounded by a halo? Well, now Time magazine columnist, Joe Klein, is upset that Americans are supporting Sarah Palin because of another "myth" of a small town frontier America. Those who create the myths really shouldn't be complaining about what they perceive as myths but that is exactly what Klein does in his column (emphasis mine):
The latest celebrity to join in the group slamming of Sarah Palin is none other than Matt Damon as you can see in this Associated Press video which reeks of condescension. Damon, who has yet to attain public office condescendingly mocks Palin's credentials (emphasis mine):
I think there is a really good chance that Sarah Palin could president. And I think that's a really scary thing because I don't know anything about her. I don't think in eight weeks I'm going to know anything about her. I know that she was a mayor of a really, really small town. And she's governor of Alaska for less than two years. I just don't understand... I think the pick was made for political purposes but in terms of governance it's a disaster.
Apparently Damon must suffer from a severe reading disability because information about Palin is all over the Web. But does Damon really care about Palin's background? No, because his liberal mind is already made up. Damon then goes on to raise the "specter" of a Palin presidency:
All politicians have a basic stump speech that they stick to when campaigning on the road. However, when Sarah Palin gives her stump speech the Associated Press claims, in a story written by Sara Kugler, she is sticking to a "basic script" like some programmed robot (emphasis mine):
John McCain took a risk in picking little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a running mate, but now the campaign's playing it safer. She's sticking to a greatest hits version of her convention speech on the campaign trail and steering clear of questions until she's comfortable enough for a hand-picked interviewer later this week.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist, Lynn Sweet, seems to have changed hats from journalist to Obama fundraiser promoter. In reporting on new fundraising efforts by the Obama campaign due to their worry over the energized McCain-Palin team, Lynn slips from straight reporting to acting as a flat out PR agent for an upcoming Chicago fundraiser. First Lynn mentions the new concern about the rise of the Republican presidential team in her column:
WASHINGTON--The McCain-Palin ticket is up in the polls--but wait--it's a fund-raising opportunity for the Obama team, a chance to sound the alarm to high end female donors. The Obama campaign is planning a major fund-raising push aimed women next month in Chicago. Men are welcome--if they donate at least $1,000--the price of a general admission ticket. To be a national chair of the event, raise $100,000 or contribute $57,000
It wasn't that long ago that the left considered this November's election a mere formality on the road to Barack Obama's coronation as president. They loved posting poll after poll showing Obama winning by huge margins. Oh, how they gloated about the massive loss John McCain was sure to suffer. Well, the polls have changed and now the latest USA Today/Gallup poll shows quite a different result:
WASHINGTON — The Republican National Convention has given John McCain and his party a significant boost, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken over the weekend shows, as running mate Sarah Palin helps close an "enthusiasm gap" that has dogged the GOP all year.
McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by 50%-46% among registered voters, the Republican's biggest advantage since January and a turnaround from the USA TODAY poll taken just before the convention opened in St. Paul. Then, he lagged by 7 percentage points.
The convention bounce has helped not only McCain but also attitudes toward Republican congressional candidates and the GOP in general.
Your humble correspondent would like to thank Huffington Post blogger, Benjamin R. Barber, for giving him a hearty bellylaugh this morning for conjuring up the image of a traumatized Barack Obama getting "moosed" by Sarah Palin. However, on the way to delivering that comedy line, Barber, who is described in his HuffPo bio as a "democratic theorist" who authored a book (ranked #254,970 on Amazon) with the long winded title of "Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole," provides us with a bunch of other laughs in his blog (emphasis mine):
It seems forever since the Democrats completed their triumphant Convention in Denver with its Obama/Biden/Clinton/Kennedy unity ticket and its intoxicating sense of take-it-to-the-finish line momentum. What happened? Not Sarah Palin. How could a small-time Alaska mayor and first term Governor derail the Obama freight train? No it was not Sarah Palin but the extraordinary reaction to McCain's wildly irresponsible decision to make her his running mate that seems to have paralyzed the Party.
When your humble correspondent first watched Sarah Palin introduced to the public by John McCain as his vice-presidential pick, he had an eerie sense of familiarity. Yes, I couldn't quite recall why Sarah Palin looked so familiar until my DUmmie FUnnies co-host, Charles Henrickson, pointed out the astounding likeness between Palin and Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. It was an "aha!" moment. Suddenly I knew why Palin seemed so familiar. She looks just like Wonder Woman in her secret identity as Diana Prince. And it turns out that Henrickson wasn't the only one making that connection. Both in the media and in the blogosphere, comparisons are being made between Sarah Palin and Wonder Woman.
What a difference a few hours make. It is almost like Sally Quinn, the Washington Post faith columnist, was blinded by the light of truth on the road to Damascus. On CNN's "American Morning" on Friday, Quinn repeated her doubts as to whether Sarah Palin could "put country first" due to her family reponsibilities as a mother:
Everyone woman I know practically is a working mother. We have conflicts and guilts that men simply don't have. And, basically the burden of raising children falls on the mother, no matter what kind of a job she has. So, I think that to, you know, we're so far beyond the feminist argument here. This is not about feminism, it's not about sexism, it's simply about can you do the job?
Does the liberal senior editor of State, Dahlia Lithwick, secretly want the Democrat ticket to lose this year? You have to come to that conclusion when you read the complex mosaic of debate "tips" that she provides to Joe Biden including, get this, imitate the perpetually annoying Campbell Brown. This is just one part of an array of tips Lithwick provides in a Slate article condescendingly titled, "How To Debate a Girl, and Win." Lithwick starts out by sneering at Sarah Palin (emphasis mine):