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Archive for September, 2008

The Palin Test

Posted by Brian on September 30, 2008

Sarah Palin’s latest gaffe is that she couldn’t name any Supreme Court cases beyond Roe v. Wade. I did some brainstorming of my own and here’s what I came up with off the top of my head: Jerry Falwell v. Hustler; Plessy v. Ferguson; Brown v. Board of Education; Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (an early free speech case that I’m familiar with because I did a paper recently on campus speech codes); and Bush v. Gore. I’m not saying that I can expound in detail on each and every one of these cases, but a few of them have become such a part of our political venacular that at least the name rings a bell. But Governor Palin? Nahh…

To my surprise, there are a few principled conservatives who can see through the Sarah Palin charade. George Will is the latest conservative to state the obvious. He joins the National Review’s Kathleen Parker and former Bush speechwriter David Frum as conservatives with legitimate concerns over Palin’s ability and readiness to become the president. 

If only the conservative masses were so open-minded…

UPDATE: TO be fair to Governor Palin, the Couric asked about Supreme COurt cases she disagreed with which is a little bit tougher than just enumerating a few SC cases. But still, Hilzoy makes a good case that being a pro-life Christian fundie and governor of Alaska should give her some familiarity to other, less well-known cases.

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The Debate

Posted by Brian on September 27, 2008

The first debate is in the books and I’m giving a slight edge to McCain on points. His mastery of foreign policy really came through and I think he was agrressive enough towards the end to throw Obama on the defensive.

That said, snap polls taken after the debate shows Obama as the winner. Perhaps it had something to do with McCains grumpy demeanor and conemptuous attitude towards Obama, a political equal he couldn’t even bother to make eye contact with.

BUt even if the general consensus was that McCain did win by a slight margin, that simply isn’t good enough considering the current dynamics of the race. McCain has been sliding in the polls for at least a week now… this debate – on foreign policy, his strong suit – was his best chance to come up with a decisive victory over Obama and change the narrative of the race. He didn’t do that… I think Obama held his own for the most part and came across as bright, authoritative, and, most importantly, presidential.

McCain might get a slight bump in the polls here, but next week’s debate between Biden and Palin should be a complete train wreck for the MCCain camp. How many points will that cost them?

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Palin

Posted by Brian on September 26, 2008

I’m with Kevin Drum, watching Sarah Palin flounder is no longer cheap entertainment, it’s downright scary. To think this woman could be a heartbeat away from the presidency working under a 72 year-old cancer survivor is terrifying:

COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more, and put more money into the economy, instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That’s why I say I, like every American I’m speaking with, we’re ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh, it’s got to be about job creation, too. Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade — we have got to see trade as opportunity, not as, uh, competitive, um, scary thing, but one in five jobs created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation.

That is the sort of incoherent nonsense I’d expect from a loopy third-party candidate running a single-issue campaign against CIA-operated mind control lasers, not from the VP pick of one of the two major parties.  Yet this is the person that John McCain deemed as best suited to take his place.  Country first? More like McCain first for using Palin to sucker the social conservatives into his corner, country second, and Palin last for looking like a tool in the process.

Steve Benen over at the Washington Monthly makes the mistake of trying to enter the mind of a Republican voter:

Really, what is it the earnest Republican is thinking watching an interview like this? Does it give him or her pause? Does he or she cringe, but suppress the fear for the good of the party? Does he or she simply buckle in, get into a crash position, and hope the Republican ticket doesn’t screw the nation too badly?

Look Steve, when we liberals criticize the intellectual acumen of our political opponents, they see us as elitists. When hard-hitting journalists like Katie Couric flummox one of their own, it’s proof of “liberal bias” in the media.  When their pols can’t string together a coherent sentence, to them it’s “folksy.” So what seems reasonable to you and me just doesn’t register with these people. If you could train a monkey to say “tax cuts,” “islamo-fascism,” and “family values” and put him in a suit, he’d get 40% of the vote in November. 

Now Steve, for your own good, head into the light:

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The Greys have invaded Korea!

Posted by Brian on September 25, 2008

It looks like the Greys have launched an invasion against Korea. Their first target? The entertainment industry:

I’m telling you… they just put a wig on one of these guys:

Anyway… the Fall quarter starts today. I’m taking a class on learning disabilities and a course called Tests and Measurements, which is about things like the Myers-Briggs test. I’m looking forward to both classes.

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You know…

Posted by Brian on September 25, 2008

You know… if there were an election and my candidate flip-flopped on dozens of issues, turned into an inveterate liar, selected a woefully unqualified running mate obviously unready and unfit to step into the presidency (who is also an inveterate liar, by the way), and then capped it all of with a bone-headed stunt of exploiting a national crisis to  avoid debates, I would be angry. In fact, I doubt I would be able to bring myself to vote for such a candidate. But that’s just me…

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Me for VP

Posted by Brian on September 24, 2008

Clearly, I have more foreign policy experience than Sarah Palin. 

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Not so fast…

Posted by Brian on September 20, 2008

IN response to this bit of wisdom from McCain:

Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.

A commentater at Balloon Juice has this to say:

McCain is done. Unless Obama does something completely crazy in the next 5 weeks I think Obama will win. McCain/Palin finally seem to be collapsing under the weight of their own stupidity!

Well, as Han Solo said to Luke, “DOn’t get cocky, kid.” We still face an uphill battle, despite the polls showing a shift back towards Obama and Biden. I’m talking about:

  • a broken electoral college system that is skewed towards the Republican Party and conservative voters
  • a conservative media that has a vested interest in keeping the neck-and-neck horserace metaphor alive and well
  • American voters who voted for Bush… twice! (surely, a huge hurdle for any party trying to sell an intelligent nominee to the American public)
  • an unknown degree of racism that might hinder some voters in the voting booth, no matter what they say to pollsters now
  • a Republican party with a proven record of stealing elections and using all sorts of underhanded tactics to prevent people from voting

So while this should be a slam dunk for the Dems or pretty much any party running against the Republicans this year, I will never be confident of a win until Obama is up there in January with his hand on a Bible taking the oath of office.

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In a nutshell…

Posted by Brian on September 14, 2008

A graphic to assist the low-information voters out there:

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