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      So, May has a Brexit deal. It’s a terrible deal, which makes the UK subject to many EU laws, and which doesn’t allow Britain to withdraw from the deal if the EU doesn’t want it to. This has caused ministerial resignations, and Corbyn has come out against it. But the interesting part is what the […]
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What does Sarah really think?

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I was reading the comments to Peter Daou’s article “Palin-Mania: How Goldman Sachs Robbed Us While We Obsessed About Sarah Palin” at Huff&Puff an I saw this comment from HuffPo blogger K. J. Dwyer:

Hillary was pilloried by the Right as a means of diverting attention from her seriousness as a stateswoman, because they could not meaningfully attack her on the issues.

The difference with Palin is that she is from first to last a cartoon. It is so glaring that to not call attention to it would be to cede to her a legitimacy that she simply does not deserve. To simply attack her on the issues is not enough. If, as John Kerry does in a recent answer to her Op-Ed in the WaPo, we continue referring to her as Gov. Palin and address her as if she is a serious politician with serious ideas worthy of including her in the political dialogue, that “respect” gives her a legitimacy that will be very difficult to contest in 2012.

I had two immediate reactions. The first was that Hillary wasn’t just pilloried by the right, she was attacked more recently and more viciously by the Left. But K.J. is correct – it was a means of diverting attention because they (both the Left and Right) could not meaningfully attack her on the issues.

My second reaction was that K.J. has revealed the true goal of the attacks on Sarah Palin.  They want to dehumanize, demonize and de-legitimize her.  This is “progressive” politics in the 21st Century.  In the 1990’s we called it the “politics of personal destruction” but liberals and progressives denounced it as a bad thing.

I’m not saying it’s all due to misogyny, but you don’t see the same kind of attacks being made on Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney.  Ron Paul is a bonafide whack-job and nobody is obsessing over everything he does.

I don’t want to nut-pick any more of the comments but it occurred to me that most people don’t really know what Sarah Palin thinks and believes.  First of all she doesn’t have much of a record to examine.  Neither did Barack Obama and he’s turning out to be very different than his cultists devoted followers fanboiz supporters portrayed him to be.

Secondly, most of what we do know about her has been badly distorted by the media and the lefty blogosphere who are trying to “dehumanize, demonize and de-legitimize” her.  I went to the trouble of listening to her speak without the distortion filter and while she isn’t a polished media performer (yet) she isn’t the brainless twit she is portrayed to be.

I know what her stated positions are on most major issues, and based on that I would say she is your basic Republican politician.  Unlike the Democratic party where politicians range from neo-socialist to Reagan-lite, GOP politicians are fairly uniform in their stated ideology.  But that doesn’t tell us about their principles or their priorities.

The PDS brigades are really hammering at Sarah’s ethics, but so far it’s a big nothing-burger.  The worst allegation against her was “Troopergate,” and trying to get her piece of shit ex-brother-in-law fired doesn’t strike me as the crime of the century.  The rest of the ethics complaints made against her would be petty even if they weren’t bogus.

People have been parsing every word she has uttered trying to find falsehoods and so far I’m unimpressed.  Maybe I’m cynical but the idea that a politician is occasionally hypocritical and less than 100% honest and truthful doesn’t shock me.  Lying isn’t an impeachable offense.

We know what Sarah’s positions are, but what are her priorities?  Take abortion for instance.  She’s “pro-life” and opposes abortion in all cases except when the health of the mother is at risk.  But is that just her personal position and she is willing to let other women make their own decisions or does she want her position codified into law?  Does she think abortion is the biggest issue our nation faces or is it at the bottom of her to-do list?

Presidents don’t make laws.  The are required to submit a proposed budget and they can propose other legislation, but Congress can ignore their proposals.  Presidents can veto legislation but Congress can override the veto and enact the bill into law anyway.  Presidents are supposed to faithfully execute the laws and can be impeached if they break them.

If Sarah Palin was elected President in 2012 but Congress remained in the hands of the Democrats, what laws would she propose and what bills would she veto?  Would she be more like George H.W. Bush who broke his “read my lips” pledge  or would she be like G-Dub and thumb her nose at Congress?  Would she be a Nixon or a Ford?

Presidents make life-tenured appointments to the federal bench.  Would Sarah Palin appoint people like John Paul Stevens (Ford) and David Souter (Bush I) or ideologues like Clarence Thomas (Bush I) and Antonin Scalia (Reagan)?

I honestly don’t know.  Sadly, it seems that the majority of Left Blogistan is more interested in smearing her than learning (and telling) the truth about her.  In 2012 there will be a Presidential election, and it’s a pretty safe bet the winner will either be a Democrat or a Republican.

The Failbots appear determined to make sure that Sarah Palin won’t be the GOP nominee.  Obama is almost certain to be renominated, but if the economy stays in the crapper his reelection prospects will be dim.  Do we really want to watch Newt Gingrinch or Mike Huckabee get nominated if Obama keeps dropping in the polls?

The problem with the strategery of getting the other party to nominate their worst possible candidate is that person might win the election.


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Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

In Memoriam: Walter Cronkite, 1916-2009

Cronkite’s Signature: Approachable Authority

It’s almost impossible to convey the place Walter Cronkite held in American life for the 19 years he spent as the anchor of “The CBS Evening News.” It wasn’t just that he narrated the spikes in modern history, from the Kennedy assassination to the civil rights movement to the election of Ronald Reagan.

America’s Iconic TV News Anchor Shaped the Medium and the Nation

Cronkite’s career reflected the arc of journalism in the mid-20th century. He was a wire service reporter covering major campaigns of World War II before working in radio and then joining a pioneering TV news venture at the CBS affiliate in Washington. Later in New York, he anchored the network’s nightly news program from 1962 to 1981, a period in which television established itself as the principal source of information on current events for most Americans.


Confirming The Next SC Justice

Sotomayor wins 3 GOP senators’ support

Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, joined veteran Sens. Richard Lugar of Indiana and Olympia Snowe of Maine in support of the first Latina nominated to the Supreme Court.

What We Didn’t Learn

The amazing thing, come to think of it, is that after four long days of testimony and questions and expert panels, our collective knowledge about this nominee has actually decreased. Abortion rights advocates and gun groups on both sides are about equally anxious now. Liberals are more nervous than ever about her pro-prosecution zeal. Conservatives have no idea whatsoever what she thinks about gay marriage. When folks complain about the confirmation system, they generally say we learn nothing about the nominee. In this particular case, most of us have actually had to un-learn what we thought we knew about her going in.

Senator’s comment draws criticism from Latino leaders


Will She Finally Be Unleashed?

Fighting For Influence in Obama’s White House

She was supposed to be the strong woman in Obama’s cabinet, but Hillary Clinton has been remarkably muted as secretary of state. On Wednesday she sought to reclaim her foreign policy position — but the White House stole her thunder.

Ker-plunk: why Clinton’s big speech didn’t make a big splash

Front page of the Wall Street Journal? Nope. Washington Post? Nope. FT? Nope. Politico? Nope. New York Times? Yes, but the story was precisely the opposite of the one the administration wanted — it actually focused on the real reasons the speech was being given in the first place.

Hillary Clinton’s 6-Month Checkup

Secretary of State Still Finding her Way as Top Diplomat but her Political Instincts are Clearly Intact

Hillary Clinton rejects notion of diminished role

With media reports swirling that Clinton’s influence has been usurped by the National Security Council, the top U.S. diplomat insisted she played an important role in crafting the foreign policy agenda.

Clinton Off to Patch Relations with India

Little is likely to be resolved on Clinton’s trip. But the visit will set the agenda for Prime Minister Singh’s visit to Washington later this year. The key will be changing Indian perceptions that an Obama White House will somehow be less friendly toward India.


Economy Watch

Obama’s Stimulus Plan Slow to Trickle Through Economy

The debate over whether the $787 billion stimulus package is sufficiently large or efficiently designed obscures a broader question, some economists say: Can any fiscal measure pull the economy out of the recession?

U.S. Economy: Housing Starts Gain to Seven-Month High

Housing starts in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in June as construction of single-family dwellings jumped by the most since 2004, signaling the market is stabilizing even as unemployment worsens.

Goldman Sachs bites Uncle Sam’s hand

The investment bank is fat and happy again, but you wouldn’t know it from its squabbling with the Treasury over the warrants in the TARP deal.

A tale of two banking systems

Goldman Sachs, ever the alpha male of Wall Street, set the tone with net quarterly earnings of $3.4bn – its best ever as a public company. JPMorgan followed with $2.7bn. After the banks’ spell in the governmental intensive care unit, it must again feel good to be their shareholder.

Citigroup, Bank Of America Post Strong Results

A pugnacious pundit Wall Street can’t ignore

Charlie Gasparino, chronicler of Wall Street and champion television reporter of its downfall, is in his element.

California’s budget gap won’t close for long


Opinion Columns

Confirmation curveballs (By Ellen Goodman)

The members of the Judiciary Committee riffed on the idea of judge-as-umpire. Alas, no comment could trump the pre-hearing pitch by Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama for a “blindfolded justice calling the balls and strikes fairly and objectively.’’ Yes! Just what we need in the big leagues! An umpire wearing a blindfold!

Losing the Races (By Charles Blow)

If Republicans buy the “who cares” reasoning about the minority vote, they’re doomed to defeat.

Bipartisanship is for suckers (By Joe Conasson)

Hey, Democrats — Republicans have no intention of addressing America’s healthcare ills. Any reform is up to you

Obama Needs to ‘Reset’ His Presidency (By Ted Van Dyk, fomer assistant to VP Hubert Humphrey)

As we approach the August congressional recess, it’s clear that our economic distress is deeper than we thought, and thus your health-care and energy initiatives are in danger of stalling out. You could use a reset button for domestic policy.

What’s Next, Mr. President — Cardigans? (By Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie)

Barely six months into his presidency, Barack Obama seems to be driving south into that political speed trap known as Carter Country: a sad-sack landscape in which every major initiative meets not just with failure but with scorn from political allies and foes alike.

Palin’s Long Run (By Eleanor Clift)

As a runner, Sarah Palin has shown she has endurance. What will she do with that?


Interview(s) of the Week

Dalai Lama – ‘I am a supporter of globalization’

Buddhism, economics and management are all interconnected. The Dalai Lama believes the financial crisis is a moral crisis. He says he is a Marxist monk, yet still the Dalai Lama doesn’t see an alternative for a free market economy or wealth. A contradiction?

Nebraska Liberal, New York Reactionary

Former Senator Bob Kerrey worries that Democrats could overplay their hand on taxes and spending.


Around The Nation

Obama has tough-love message for African-Americans

Obama’s election as the first African-American president buoyed the black community. At the 100th anniversary celebration of the NAACP, the country’s oldest civil rights group, he urged blacks to take greater responsibility for themselves and move away from reliance on government programs.

This one is so bad it actually comes with an editor note warning about the language.
Questions raised about councilman’s conduct after discovery of racist e-mails

In the past several months Atwater City Councilman Gary Frago has sent at least a half-dozen e-mails to city staff and other prominent community members containing racist jokes aimed at President Barack Obama, his wife and black people in general.

Judge dismisses lawsuit against Hillary Clinton

Republicans accused Clinton of misusing the FBI to get information on political enemies. An independent counsel report in 2000 found no evidence of wrongdoing by White House aides or Clinton.

Another holier than thou-, my morals-are so much-superior-than yours-cheater
Chip Pickering’s wife sues alleged mistress

The estranged wife of former Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.), who served 12 years in Congress before retiring in January, has filed a lawsuit against his alleged mistress, claiming their adulterous relationship ruined the Pickerings’ marriage and his political career

Engineer Convicted Of Stealing Trade Secrets

A Chinese-American engineer has been found guilty of stealing trade secrets for China.

Moderate Democrats gladly sabotaging Democrats’ key constituencies.
Democrats Drop Key Part of Bill to Assist Unions

A half-dozen senators friendly to labor have decided to drop a central provision of a bill that would have made it easier to organize workers.

“Where is my mojo”?
Obama tries to regain momentum in healthcare debate

President Barack Obama appealed to Americans on Saturday to back his ambitious revamp of the U.S. health care system, seeking to regain momentum amid growing worries among lawmakers over how to pay for it.

Ugh!
Gang Of Six Centrist Senators Demands Delay On Health Care Reform

It’s Getting Crowded in Cuckooville
Retired general, lieutenant colonel join reservist’s lawsuit over Obama’s birth status

A controversial suit brought by a U.S. Army reservist has been joined by a retired Army two-star general and an active reserve Air Force lieutenant colonel.

‘Birther’ Movement Dogs Republicans

Ten Members of Congress Sign on to Presidential Birth Certificate Bill

More from Cuckooville
In anti-abortion speech, Kansas Rep. invokes Obama’s mom

Speaking on the House floor, Tiahrt wondered: What if President Obama’s mom had had the chance for a taxpayer-funded abortion?


Around The World

Rafsanjani defies Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as protesters turn out in force

In a devastating attack on the regime, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a leading cleric and former President, told a crowd at Tehran University that the Government had lost the people’s trust. Referring to the handling of last month’s disputed election, which President Ahmadinejad claims to have won, he said that the custodians of the Islamic Revolution had undermined its basic principles.

Indonesian capital rocked by twin hotel bombings

Bomb blasts ripped through luxury hotels in the heart of Indonesia’s capital on Friday, killing nine people and wounding dozens in attacks the president said badly hurt confidence in the country

Zelaya ‘to return if talks fail’

Ousted Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya has said he will return to the country whether or not a deal is reached to end the political crisis.

Chinese Question Police Absence in Ethnic Riots

As this shattered regional capital sorts through the corpses from China’s deadliest civil unrest in decades, another loss has become apparent: faith in the government’s ability to secure the peace and quell mass disturbances.

Orthodox Jews riot as mother is accused of starving her child

The riots, perpetrated by Jews and directed against Jews, were triggered by the arrest of an ultra-Orthodox woman who authorities claimed was starving her child.

Nicaragua’s Sandinista dissidents turn against ‘despot’ Ortega

Ms Téllez is one of a growing number of Sandinistas who have broken with the government of Daniel Ortega as, they say, he completes his transformation from revolutionary to “caudillo” — one of the Latin American despots he once so despised.

Baghdad Imposes New Limits on U.S. Forces

The Iraqi government has moved to sharply restrict the movement and activities of U.S. forces in a new reading of a six-month-old U.S.-Iraqi security agreement that has startled American commanders and raised concerns about the safety of their troops.

Once world’s bread basket, Iraq now a farming basket case

Once the cradle of agriculture for civilization, the Land Between Two Rivers — the Tigris and Euphrates — has become a basket case for its farmers.


From The Animal Kingdom

Love triangle on Penguin Island arouses passionate debate

At the San Francisco Zoo, Harry left male partner Pepper for Linda. Now the blogosphere is enthralled with the scandal, arguing about whether homosexuality is a lifestyle choice.

Masturbation in the animal kingdom.

Dogs, cats, lions, bears, and a number of other mammals self-stimulate with their front paws; randy walruses use their flippers. Horses and donkeys, whose masturbatory habits have been particularly well-studied, engage in “rhythmic bouncing, pressing, or sliding of the erect penis against the abdomen”; male deer do the same. The 19th-century physiologist Karl Friedrich Burdach has even described something like female ejaculation among solitary mares, which “rub themselves against whatever obstacles they find, often spurting a white, viscous mucus.”

Nature’s Cruelest Jokes

Ugly, bizarre, misshapen — to the human eye, some animals look like the result of a cruel joke of nature. But our sense of beauty is only a result of evolution — just like the appearance of animals.

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How Much are We Paying Larry Summers for Insights Like This?

Larry Summers dozes off at White House meeting

Larry Summers dozes off at White House meeting

From Politico:

Of all the statistics pouring into the White House every day, top economic adviser Larry Summers highlighted one Friday to make his case that the economic free-fall has ended.

The number of people searching for the term “economic depression” on Google is down to normal levels, Summers said.

Searches for the term were up four-fold when the recession deepened in the earlier part of the year, and the recent shift goes to show consumer confidence is higher, Summers told the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Gee thanks, Larry. Now I feel so much better about the surging unemployment figures, the skyrocketing rates of home foreclosures, and the increasing numbers of homeless families with children. If a Google search is Summers’ idea of a leading economic indicator, I want to know why my tax money is going to pay his salary.

Summers claims that the economy is “back from the abyss”

A somewhat more important indicator–the unemployment rate–isn’t as upbeat, though and has become a thorn in the administration’s side. (See: “The Job Market’s Grim Picture.”) It hit 9.5% in June, embarrassing the administration’s predictions that if their $787 billion stimulus were passed, the rate would peak a bit above 8%. Economists predict it will soon top 10%, erasing all the jobs created in the U.S. since the beginning of the decade.

“This is obviously a major area of concern,” says Summers, “But contrary to a significant amount of commentary, this does not provide a basis for concluding that the Recovery Act is falling short of its goals.” Summers points to the administration’s own forecast that only 10% of the job impact of the stimulus would take place in 2009.

Really? I guess if one of the administration’s goals was to create more profits for Goldman-Sachs, they are on track. What were the administration’s goals for the stimulus plan anyway? It doesn’t sound like creating jobs was in the top ten.

This is an open thread.

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