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Monthly Archives: September 2008


Returns to FX Thursday, September 18.


The Sarah Palin FAQ : Everything you ever wanted to know about the Republican vice presidential nominee.
By Derek Thompson
Slate
Eighteen million cracks, and one crackpot
Shattered by Michelle Cottle
The New Republic

Sarah Palin has yet to meet the press
Politico

Palin’s religious views follow evangelical model
Sarah Palin’s record shows a strong faith in Bible and prayer. She supports teaching creationism, outlawing abortion and banning same-sex marriage.
Star Tribune

Was Gloria Steinem right about Sarah Palin?
Katherine Mangu-Ward says female anatomy has no bearing on her support for Sarah Palin. Amanda Marcotte says a McCain-Palin administration would harm women.
LA Times

Did anyone else miss this? Does Senator Mike Gravel even know what, “Superman that hoe” means?
I worry.

To read the full article: Gawker


OP-ED by Maureen Dowd from the New York Times, September 17, 2008, on page A27 of the New York edition.

‘Barbies for War!’

Carly Fiorina, the woman John McCain sent out to defend Sarah Palin and rip anyone who calls her a tabula rasa on foreign policy and the economy, admitted Tuesday that Palin was not capable of running Hewlett-Packard.

That’s pretty damning coming from Fiorina, who also was not capable of running Hewlett-Packard.

Carly helpfully added that McCain (not to mention Obama and Biden) couldn’t run a major corporation. He couldn’t get his immigration bill passed either, but now he’s promising to eliminate centuries of greed on Wall Street.

The Wall Street Journal reported that McCain was thinking about taking Palin to the U.N. General Assembly next week so she can shake hands with some heads of state. You can’t contract foreign policy experience like a rhinovirus. To paraphrase the sniffly Adelaide in “Guys and Dolls,” a poy-son could develop a cold war.

The latest news from Alaska is that the governor keeps a tanning bed in the Juneau mansion. As The Los Angeles Times pointed out, when Palin declared May 2007 Skin Cancer Awareness Month in Alaska, the press release explained that skin cancer was caused by “the sun and from tanning beds.”

I sautéed myself in Sarahville last week.

I wandered through the Wal-Mart, which seemed almost as large as Wasilla, a town that is a soulless strip mall without sidewalks set beside a soulful mountain and lake.

Wal-Mart has all the doodads that Sarah must need in her career as a sportsman — Remingtons and “torture tested” riflescopes, game bags for caribou, machines that imitate rabbits and young deer and coyotes to draw your quarry in so you can shoot it, and machines to squish cows into beef jerky.

I talked to a Wal-Mart mom, Betty Necas, 39, wearing sweatpants and tattoos on her wrists.

She said she’s never voted, and was a teenage mom “like Bristol.” She likes Sarah because she’s “down home” but said Obama “gives me the creeps. Nothing to do with the fact that he’s black. He just seems snotty, and he looks weaselly.”

Ten Obama supporters in Wasilla braved taunts and drizzle to stand on a corner between McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. They complained that Sarah runs government like a vengeful fiefdom and held up signs. A guy with a bullhorn yelled out of a passing red car: “Go back to the city, you liberal Communists!”

At gatherings in The Last Frontier, pastors pray for reporters, drilling evokes cheers and Todd Palin is hailed as a guy who likes to burn fossil fuels.

I had many “Sarahs,” as her favorite skinny white mocha is now called, at the Mocha Moose. “I’ve seen her at 4 a.m. with no makeup,” said manager Karena Forster, “and she’s just as beautiful.”

I stopped by Sarah’s old Pentecostal church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, and perused some books: “The Bait of Satan,” “Deliverance from PMS,” and “Kissed the Girls and Made them Cry: Why Women Lose When They Give In.” (Author Lisa Bevere advises: “Run to the arms of your prince and enter your dream.”)

In Anchorage Saturday, I went by a conference conducted by James Dobson’s Focus on the Family and supported by Sarah’s current church, the Wasilla Bible Church, about how to help gays and lesbians “journey out” of same-sex attraction.

(As The Times reported recently, in 1995, Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues she had seen “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelf of the library and did not approve. The Wasilla Assembly of God tried to ban “Pastor, I Am Gay” by Howard Bess, a liberal Christian preacher in nearby Palmer.)

Anne Heche’s mother, Nancy, talked about her distress when her daughter told her she was involved with Ellen. Jeff Johnston told me he had “a struggle” with homosexuality “for a season,” but is now “happily married with three boys.” (Books for sale there included “Mommy, Why Are They Holding Hands?” and “You Don’t Have to Be Gay.”)

I covered a boisterous women against Palin rally in Anchorage, where women toted placards such as “Fess up about troopergate,” “Keep your vows off my body,” “Barbies for war!” “Sarah, please don’t put me on your enemies list,” and “McCain and Palin = McPain.”

A local conservative radio personality, Eddie Burke, who had lambasted the organizers as “a bunch of socialist, baby-killing maggots,” was on hand with a sign reading “Alaska is not Frisco.”

“We are one Supreme Court justice away from overturning Roe v. Wade,” he excitedly told me.

R. D. Levno, a retired school principal, flew in from Fairbanks. “She’s a child, inexperienced and simplistic,” she said of Sarah. “It’s taking us back to junior high school. She’s one of the popular girls, but one of the mean girls. She is seductive, but she is invented.”

MSNBC contributor Linda Carroll

It’s a rule, bartender Karen Brody says: The schlubbier the guy, the more likely he is to persistently pursue a pretty woman.

Brody — a lithe, slender Woodstown, N.J., bartender who looks at least a decade younger than her 47 years — recalls the time she was being “entertained” by a paunchy trucker with several missing front teeth. As the night wore on, he slumped to one side and eventually toppled off his barstool. When she raced around to make sure he was OK, the plump patron immediately resumed his pick-up patter — from the floor.

Apparently, the pudgy trucker isn’t just an aberration, and the come-ons aren’t just the after-effects of alcohol. A new study confirms what women say they’ve known all along: Men, no matter how unattractive, think they’ve got a chance with a runway model.

To read the full article: MSNBC

AP : US sends 3rd ship to Georgia, plans $1B in aid

TBILISI, Georgia – A U.S. Navy ship loaded with humanitarian aid steamed through the Dardanelles on its way to Georgia on Wednesday, as the Bush administration prepared to roll out a $1 billion economic aid package for the ex-Soviet republic.

The multiyear proposal calls for spending about half of the total in the administration’s remaining five months in office and recommending that the incoming president and his team continue funding the project when they take over in January, a senior official said.

The White House and State Department intend on Wednesday afternoon to jointly announce the aid package, which follows a fact-finding and assessment mission to Georgia by Reuben Jeffrey, a senior U.S. diplomat who returned from the country last week, the official told the AP.

To read the full article: AP

Facebook Ads Target You Where It Hurts
My Facebook page called me fat.

Maybe it’s my age, my sex or the fact that it knew I was engaged, but the site decided I was a gal who needed to drop a few pounds. And it wasn’t shy about its tactics.

This was not a close friend taking me aside, telling me in gentle tones that she’d noticed I’d put on some weight and was there anything going on in my personal life that I needed to talk about?

Oh, no. Every time I logged in to my home page, Facebook’s ads screamed at me with all the subtlety of a drill sergeant: “MUFFIN TOP.” This particular ad had a picture of someone with said affliction. For those blissfully unacquainted with the slur, it’s when a woman wears too-tight jeans and a roll of flab hangs over her waistband.

I posted a status update that said, “Rachel doesn’t appreciate her Facebook page telling her that she has a muffin top.”

Facebook targets its advertising to users based on the information in their profiles. This is not a new concept, of course.

To read the full article: The Washington Post

NEW YORK (CNN) — This week the Republicans gather for their convention. For four days, they will labor under the illusion their party is still relevant. It’s not.

It is entirely fitting that the headliner for this masquerade is a feeble looking 72-year-old white guy who doesn’t know how many homes he owns.

It’s more than symbolic that when a million Americans are losing their homes to foreclosure, the Republican candidate for president has lost track of his holdings.

McCain surrounds himself with people like former Republican Sen. Phil Gramm who called America a “nation of whiners” and said we are only suffering a “mental recession.”

That’s the same problem the Republican Party has. It has lost track of what it used to stand for: small government, a disciplined fiscal policy, integrity.

In a way, the perfect storm of a rapidly changing population — old white people aren’t going to be in the majority very much longer (and isn’t that who most of the Republicans are?)

To read the full article: CNN

Sarah Palin to speak tonight at the RNC
Palin to try to silence media storm in debut : Reuters
The Early Word: Palin’s Big Night : New York Times Blog