Inasmuch as People Seem Determined to Send This To Me Every Five Minutes Until I Post Something About It

Yes, I’ve seen this story about the fictional McCain adviser claiming credit for the “Sarah Palin didn’t know Africa is a continent” thing. It’s not clear from the story whether the dude actually planted the story, or just claimed credit for it once it was out there, but either way

a) various newsfolk need to be taken to the woodshed for not checking this dude out first, and

b) I’m sufficiently convinced the inherent bullshit level of the Africa story is now high enough to toss it out of my mental estimation of Sarah Palin.

Which is still not very high, mind you, so if you’re a Palin supporter, don’t get your hopes up. But, yeah. Africa. Sarah Palin’s all over that. Now let’s never speak of it again.

107 thoughts on “Inasmuch as People Seem Determined to Send This To Me Every Five Minutes Until I Post Something About It

  1. Eh, it’s more an indictment on the gullibility of people in general. If it had actually been said it would have been similar to Obama’s gaffe about there being 57 states. Of course he knows that there aren’t 57 states, but the right got to chuckle about it (and rightly note that it would have been played over and over again for months if McCain had said it).

  2. You mean Sarah Palin the National Merit Scholar? The one who scored in the 97th percentile of that nationwide test for college bound students?

    Obviously a bimbo.

    Trey

  3. I heard her name is actually Dolores, but she thought Sarah sounded more Real American.

    I heard she didn’t know Mars was a planet; she thought it was a mountain “in South America somewhere.”

    I heard she didn’t know Montana was a state. She thought it was a town in New York.

    I heard she didn’t know that Brooklyn was part of New York City. She thought it was a Canadian province roughly twice the size of Alaska. (An understandable error, given Brooklyn’s and Alaska’s relative populations.)

    I heard she taped bacon to a cat and then

    I heard she still calls Bangladesh “East Pakistan.”

    I heard she likes to go snowmobiling naked, but only indoors.

    I heard she didn’t know that the heart was actually a part of the human anatomy. “Isn’t that one of those Valentine thingumabobs?” she asked. I heard that she wouldn’t release her medical records because her own complete lack of one would have shown up.

    I heard she’s actually a Cylon. Vote Roslin.

    I heard she has the power to kill with her mind, but given the power of her mind, it’s not really a concern…unless you’re a nematode. Which she kills one at a time, by staring really hard at them and then winking.

    There. New supply of Palin rumors, guaranteed to be completely untrue as stated (because I didn’t actually hear any of them, not having read this aloud before posting it).

  4. Given the way she “corrected” the record on that particular topic (“…the continent versus the country when we’re talking about Africa there”), I’m personally pretty willing to believe that not only did she not know, but that she still does not understand that there is no country called “Africa”, and that the countries that do have “Africa” in their names with a regional or directional designator prepended are not simply regions of that country.

  5. Xopher-

    There’s a chain of bakery/cafes in NYC called “Le Pain Quotidien”. I always thought “The Daily Pain” was a very funny business name.

  6. I don’t understand. The article says that the claim that it was Eisenstadt who leaked information about Palin’s grooming for VP was the ruse, not that there is no adviser who actually said those things about Palin. The article is very sketchy in its non-committal about the Palin statements being a ruse. It seems to want to put forward that the whole thing may have been faked, but that even the writer doesn’t know if a real adviser exists.

    And how come “adviser” has now won out over “adviser” in spell-checks? Was it a conspiracy?

  7. Trey @ 8

    Bimbo isn’t necessarily a measure of intelligence, rather a deficit of character.

    Besides I scored in the 98th and I don’t consider myself a rocket scientist. Some people just test well.

  8. Some of us figured out the “Africa” rumor was BS from the start.

    And for those making the Sarah Palin’s “so dumb” jokes, all they’re doing is causing her supporters to rally harder around her. I was at a Ladies Republican meeting earlier this week at the 100 or so women in attendance spoke of her as if they were 1960s teenagers who just came out of a Beetles concert. And these ladies are the heart and soul of our area’s Republican party because they work, unlike most of the men.

    So keep messing with Sarah. All they’re doing is ensuring her a cadre of reliable workaholic fanatics when she aanounces her candidacy in 2012.

  9. It’s got nothing to do with the actual story. The process:

    Fox News guy reports stuff from his campaign source.

    Long time pranksters set up a fake website claiming to be a McCain advisor and claim they leaked the story to Fox News guy.

    Moron from MSNBC believes them and reports them as the source. Prank is revealed.

    Carl Cameron was Fox’s guy on the McCain plane; his sources aren’t going to be random prankster guy. It’s possible *his* source was making up shit to make Palin look back, but her non-denial denials (she said ‘people just misunderstood things I said in debate prep’ rather than ‘what the fuck are you talking about, idiot’) make me suspect a strong element of truth.

  10. Steve @ 18

    Good she will be an easy opponent to defeat 2012.

    As for the women in your post…I always thought the republican animal should have been a sheep.

  11. Trey:

    Not that I don’t believe you, but it’s something I can’t find in a quick internet search… do you have a reference for Sarah Palin being a National Merit Scholar?

  12. Justin wrote: “Bimbo isn’t necessarily a measure of intelligence, rather a deficit of character.”

    Agreed. The word has an interesting history! It is thought to be a shortened version of bambino and originally used to denote a naive MAN of Italian descent! Later it came to denote of woman of loose moral character!

    But I bet that a smart person such as yourself (I am not buying that your 98th percentile comes from anything other than superior intelligence) would agree that name calling and ad hominem attacks do not further a thoughtful discussion. What character defects did you see?

    Trey

  13. There’s probably no realistic hope we can get John to tape bacon to Sarah Palin, is there?

    Hrm.

    Maybe Biden?

  14. The biggest flaw with Sarah I personally think is one she shares with W.; a lack of intellectual curiosity. I believe this was displayed by the intense training sessions that they felt was needed for her after her selection as vp. I can understand a need for this sort of work with lesser known areas like East Timor, etc, but by and large one would think that a politician who is obviously looking for upward opportunities as she clearly was, would have already have developed some opinions on some of the larger issues of the world situation prior to a sudden selection into the national spotlight. Further, the need to learn an exact response by someone who is reasonably well versed in the various issues and considered a “maverick” would seem uncalled for. I don’t really care at this point if she knows where Africa is, or what it is, or not. The very fact that she had to be “schooled” on these subjects at all is one I personally found disturbing. The last thing we ever need to experience again is a president who rather than study and think does things such as gazes into someones eyes to learn their soul. I am certain that she is not stupid, is not an idiot, etc but it just looks to me like she doesn’t really have the interest in the work aspect of the job that I want to see future presidents display.

  15. Some of us figured out the “Africa” rumor was BS from the start.

    Since it’s still not been retracted (only the story about who the source was was a hoax), you may have to wait a while longer.

  16. Trey @ 22

    Well let me give you two things she has said or done and you draw your own conclusions-

    She has stated that she believes we are doing gods work in Iraq.

    It’s pretty well known that she has used her official power to try to settle personal vendettas.

    Those are just a few of the things on my list. but together I think they offer a pretty grim perspective. Perhaps her slogan in 2012 should be, “And you thought we couldn’t do worse than Bush!”

  17. I think cnn described her in recent interviews this way: disarming candor and stunning presumption.

    More than anything, her stunning presumption, to me, is a character defect. One I cannot overlook, even as I overlook greed, temper and outright dishonesty in some candidates I’ve actually voted for.

  18. However, rather than turn this thread into another long complaint about Sarah Palin, I’d prefer to rant about how badly we are let down by our Free Press. If Sarah Palin DIDN’T know Africa was a continent, and our Press accepted that that information was embargoed until after we made up our minds, what then?

    Every time the NYT covers a story about which I know even the littlest bit, I am appalled by the uninformed nature of their coverage. Never mind the Faux News. Maybe I should be putting this in that thread for International All-Caps day. I hate not knowing–instead having to accumulate ninety data points and come to a statistically likely assessment of truth in a news story. I want a paper of record.

    WHERE IS MY NEWSPAPER OF RECORD?

  19. Trey 22: What character defects did you see?

    Well, her willingness to tell the same lies over and over, even after they were revealed to be lies, certainly qualifies as a defect of character.

    Also her utter hypocrisy. Two Palin quotes, minutes apart:

    I still am concerned about that association with Bill Ayers. And if anybody still wants to talk about it, I will, because this is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who had campaigned to blow up, to destroy our Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol. That’s an association that still bothers me. And I think it’s still fair to talk about it.

    and

    Now is the time to move forward together, start progressing America.

    (via the Doonesbury website)

    Her complete lack of empathy for other people would also be a character flaw. (I have in mind the rape kits…how anyone could do what she did there is just jawdroppingly incomprehensible to me.) But it’s part and parcel of a broader mental problem, which sure looks a lot like Narcissistic Personality Disorder to me.

    Plus, to me she’s emblematic of what’s worst about the Republican Party. She’s way out on the anti-intellectual, anti-religious freedom (except for HER religious freedom), Christian Dominionist fringe of the right wing of the GOP, which has itself become frighteningly right-wing over the past few years.

    She’s just exactly the sort of enemy who is best neutralized through ridicule. That doesn’t mean I don’t take her seriously as an enemy; I’m just playing the hand I’ve been dealt. And make no mistake: she is my enemy. In her America I would not be allowed to live, or at the very least I’d be interned in a camp somewhere. If you’re a decent patriotic American, she’s your enemy too.

  20. She still wants some sort of referendum on Bill Ayers.

    PALIN: It would be my honor to assist and support our new president and the new administration, yes. And I speak for other Republicans, other Republican governors also, they being willing also to, again, seize this opportunity that we have to progress this nation together, a united front.

    BLITZER: Because, you know, during a campaign, every presidential campaign, things are said, it’s tough, as you well know, it gets sometimes pretty fierce out there. And during the campaign, you said this, you said: “This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America.”

    And then you went on to say: “Someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he is palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

    PALIN: Well, I still am concerned about that association with Bill Ayers. And if anybody still wants to talk about it, I will, because this is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who had campaigned to blow up, to destroy our Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol. That’s an association that still bothers me.

    And I think it’s still fair to talk about it. However the campaign is over. That chapter is closed. Now is the time to move on and to, again, make sure that all of us are doing all that we can to progress this nation.

    Keep us secure, get the economy back on the right track, and many of us do have some ideas on how to do that and hopefully we’ll be able to put all of that wisdom and experience to good use together.

    BLITZER: So looking back, you don’t regret that tough language during the campaign?

    PALIN: No, and I do not think that it is off-base nor mean-spirited, nor negative campaigning to call someone out on their associations and on their record. And that’s why I did it.

    She’s like an android. I swear.

  21. Hope spews:

    “I think cnn described her in recent interviews this way: disarming candor and stunning presumption.

    More than anything, her stunning presumption, to me, is a character defect. ”

    Your stunningly blind acceptance of some CNN-bot’s characterization of somebody strikes me as a bit of a deficit. Nothing personal. I’m sure you’re an open-minded nonpartisan.

  22. Skip: Eh, it’s more an indictment on the gullibility of people in general.

    I don’t feel bad about buying into this one. If Joe walks into a sliding glass door fifty times, and someone says, “Hey, Joe walked into a plate glass window down at the store the other day,” it’s reasonable to give that story the benefit of the doubt until someone says, “Oh, Bob was just messing with you.”

  23. Josh, you provided more context. She’s still a bloody lying hypocrite, but she at least seems to notice that she’s covering her tracks in your fuller version.

  24. MuleFace, whatever our disagreements about candidates, and whatever the strong feelings we have about them, it’s a bit on the trollish side to characterize another poster’s comment with “spews.”

  25. MuleFace,

    You are mistaken if you think that I am taking cnn’s opinion as my own. I am only quoting what I think is a very apt summing up of her character.

  26. Note hope’s very civil reply to your rather uncivil comment on her comment. That’s how it’s done, MuleFace.

  27. I’ll second hope’s rant.

    Whatever happened to simply reporting the facts, and doing a good job of getting the facts correct?

    Methinks our common journalistic ethos has drifted too far into the realm of “story”. Everything has to have a “narrative” now, and fact-checking… Seems to take a back seat.

  28. Your stunningly blind acceptance of some CNN-bot’s characterization of somebody strikes me as a bit of a deficit.

    I find this paired with the “non-partisan” crack to be highly, if unconsciously, ironic.

    And I do hope that people rally ’round her. Yes, indeedy….

  29. Camille Paglia wrote:

    Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology… One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice…

    As for the Democrats who sneered and howled that Palin was unprepared to be a vice-presidential nominee — what navel-gazing hypocrisy! What protests were raised in the party or mainstream media when John Edwards, with vastly less political experience than Palin, got John Kerry’s nod for veep four years ago? And Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, for whom I lobbied to be Obama’s pick and who was on everyone’s short list for months, has a record indistinguishable from Palin’s. Whatever knowledge deficit Palin has about the federal bureaucracy or international affairs (outside the normal purview of governors) will hopefully be remedied during the next eight years of the Obama presidencies.

    The U.S. Senate as a career option? What a claustrophobic, nitpicking comedown for an energetic Alaskan — nothing but droning committees and incestuous back-scratching. No, Sarah Palin should stick to her governorship and just hit the rubber-chicken circuit, as Richard Nixon did in his long haul back from political limbo following his California gubernatorial defeat in 1962. Step by step, the mainstream media will come around, wipe its own mud out of its eyes, and see Palin for the populist phenomenon that she is.

    Gotta love Paglia’s chutzpah.

  30. Trey @ 22
    As you see Xopher got it pretty much laid out for you.

    Anyway, just had to comment on a part you said:
    “But I bet that a smart person such as yourself (I am not buying that your 98th percentile comes from anything other than superior intelligence) would agree that name calling and ad hominem attacks do not further a thoughtful discussion.”
    Now take a look at Palin again. She’s a rather bad example on what you’re saying, and after I’ve seen how she tried to hurt Obamas campaign, I would say she would not agree with you at all.

    Just my thoughts =)

  31. Going back to hope’s rant, I’ll agree with it. Much of it stems from the forced stance of “objectivity” that modern media try to promulgate.

    Much of this is painfully evident in their science coverage. The near equal weight given to creationism/intelligent design vs. evolution was simply dreadful. And if they do that in such an easily verifiable area as observational and experimental science, think of the hash they’re making in harder areas such as politics.

  32. Seth and gwangung…I dunno. They managed to get Dubya into office twice, and actually got him ELECTED one of those times. You’d think the American electorate would have learned their lesson from that, but you’d be wrong: the American electorate seldom learns anything about anything. Not that they retain for four years, anyway.

    And for all that I truly, deeply hate Sarah Palin, she’s no worse than Dubya. (Overall, I mean: I think gay Pagans would do very badly in her regime, but she might not insult (and even sexually harass!) foreign leaders the way Dubya has, and so on.)

  33. Hey Trey,

    I was a National Merit Scholar. I think Palin is woefully uninformed. Can I get a cookie now?

  34. WRT Camille Paglia, no, actually I’ve always hated her writing. She’s the left’s version of Andrew Sullivan.

  35. Well, this doesn’t actually debunk the Africa rumor–just that this Eisenstadt character is not the source, but since it is still attributed to an anonymous source, it’s probably better to take it with a grain of salt.

    However, I predict that there is going to be a point of critical mass, where bloggers will be held to the same standards as traditional media, and we will see some very high profile libel and slander suits. It’s been interesting to see how cavalier many bloggers have been about reporting so-called ‘news’ when they have not verified any facts, nor contacted any primary sources. (And this is not directed at you, John, since you do not pretend to report news, only link to it sometimes.) It will be interesting to see the shakeout when it happens. We’re kind of a in a wild west time right now.

  36. It was a slander. But it was a very well-placed and well-executed slander. Which, in politics, is all that counts.

  37. Methinks our common journalistic ethos has drifted too far into the realm of “story”. Everything has to have a “narrative” now, and fact-checking… Seems to take a back seat.

    Conversely, I will say that fact-checking and narrative are not mutally exclusive. A narrative with all of the facts is memorable–storytelling is natural and is how we, as humans, remember things. It’s a powerful technique, as our host here can attest.

    On the other hand, getting the facts wrong, or getting the relative importance wrong will change the story. And that’s something the modern press forgets, I think. Storytelling is harder than it looks; storytelling that gets as close as possible to the truth is harder still.

  38. *shrugs*

    The problem isn’t that this was bullshytt (aha). The problem was that it was such plausible bullshit given how uneducated and generally dim she came across as during the campaign.

    If she’d appeared educated, intellectually agile and erudite, this would have been laughed off the troposphere before it could fall – but snow only sticks when it’s already cold and dry, and calling someone a dim-bulb only sticks when they’re already gazing vacantly at the wall waiting for someone else to tell ‘em what to say.

  39. MasterThief: It was a slander. But it was a very well-placed and well-executed slander. Which, in politics, is all that counts.

    For it to be a slander, it would have to be _not true_. Which, given her denials were not “no way!” but “people merely misunderstood things I said in debate prep”, I am reasonably confident that she did indeed mangle questions about NAFTA and Africa very, very badly.

  40. Seth at 36: I do hope that Palin runs in 2012, so I must be in your 80%. A Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin ticket (or vice versa) would give Obama and Biden a run for their money. And I suspect that Palin would be every bit the fundraising machine that Obama was, now that Obama has effectively killed campaign finance reform.

    The problem with your Democrat-Republican break down is that its the 6% who call themselves Independents who switched from Bush to Obama who swung the election. And after 4 years of Democrats and nothing but Democrats, I suspect that they’ll give the Republican the nod in 2012, as Obama cannot perform to expectations.

  41. I do hope that Palin runs in 2012, so I must be in your 80%

    You’re not in the 100%?

    I suspect that they’ll give the Republican the nod in 2012, as Obama cannot perform to expectations.

    Few things as entertaining as Republicans going “Wait ’til next time!” with just a hint of a wobble in their voice.

    Ah, happiness.

  42. David at 55: More often than not, over the last several decades its the Dems who are the party saying “Wait ’til next time!” in relation to Presidential politics. I haven’t seen anything yet which indicates the trend has reversed itself.

  43. <I.More often than not, over the last several decades its the Dems who are the party saying “Wait ’til next time!” in relation to Presidential politics. I haven’t seen anything yet which indicates the trend has reversed itself.

    And? I’m enjoying the moment.

    Coming up with compensatory rationalizations does increase my enjoyment, though. You could try the “it’s a center-right nation” next…

  44. Oops; should have been:

    More often than not, over the last several decades its the Dems who are the party saying “Wait ’til next time!” in relation to Presidential politics. I haven’t seen anything yet which indicates the trend has reversed itself.

    And? I’m enjoying the moment.

    Coming up with compensatory rationalizations does increase my enjoyment, though. You could try the “it’s a center-right nation” next…

  45. @tavella #53:

    Slander is not just something that’s “not true,” (which is what this original statement from the hoaxer was) it also includes things that people publish or speak with “reckless disregard” to whether they’re true or false.

    But the purpose of slander in politics is to find something untrue but with just enough of a connection to a public perception to seem plausible, so that the slander is not only believed, but it takes on a life of its own and distorts perceptions in your favor. (Remember the bit about Clinton blocking the runway at LAX in 1994 or so to get a haircut? Never actually happened. But people “remember” that it did.)

    It’s cold, calculating, and cruel. But it works.

  46. I heard she still calls Bangladesh “East Pakistan.”

    I have an atlas that has Bangladesh still East Pakistan. All the commonwealth countries are shades of red. It’s like something out of the great age of the British Empire. Printed 1970.

    There’s probably no realistic hope we can get John to tape bacon to Sarah Palin, is there?

    I’d pay a moderate amount of money to see that.

    Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover.

    In the UK where the Liberal Democrats are the third largest political party this read slightly oddly. (My first thought – what the hell has Nick Clegg been up to?)

  47. Time will tell how well Palin can rehabilitate herself. I think she has more on the ball than ya’ll give her credit for. Worst case, there’s little damage she can do as the Governor of Alaska. Unlike the other VP candidate.

    I’m genuinely curious how those on this center-left blog view Biden (the “Scranton Sage” – that’s for kalimac) and his serial self-aggrandizements and poor judgment.

    Aggrandizement:
    1) Lifting passages from RFK and Humphrey speeches
    2) Lifting the life story of Neil Kinnock
    3) “I think I have a much higher IQ than you”
    4) Claiming to have graduated in the “top half” of his class

    Judgment:
    1) Opposed aid to South Vietnam
    2) Opposed SDI
    3) Opposed Gulf War I
    4) Favored partition of Iraq after 2nd Gulf War
    5) Voted for GWII but was not in favor of the surge strategy

    So, do you take seriously anthing Biden says? Is this going to be the political equivalent of “Manny being Manny”?

    I continue to pray for the health of President Elect Obama

  48. stevem – A Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin ticket (or vice versa) would give Obama and Biden a run for their money.

    By all means. Run Bobby Jindal. Let the entire country see that the Republican party is run by religious lunatics.

  49. Josh at 62: One of the reasons Obama won was playing up his faith. By memory, this improved Obama’s margin among religious voters (a sizable chunk of the elctorate) by 6-8% compared to Kerry. I don’t think this margin will survive his second go round, especially pushing FOCA.

  50. This reminds me of the time that Pat Schroeder made a joke about Dan Quayle thinking that people in Latin America speak Latin. She made as a clear joke, but it mutated out of control … what I can’t remember is whether the story was that Dan Quayle had actually said it, or if the story was that Pat Schroeder actually believed it.

    And this was before the Internet really caught on.

  51. As a liberal independent, I sure as hell hope Palin doesn’t run for President in 2012 or ever–she might accidentally win the damn election somehow. Never underestimate a Democrat’s ability to lose a sure thing.

    I have no idea if the Africa-is-a-country story is true, but I still haven’t seen anything that actually conclusively debunks it, aside from Palin’s denial. Fox still stands by the story, which might be proof that the story is bullshit, but that leaves you wondering why conservatives who otherwise believe everything they see on Fox aren’t accepting this story at face value the way they accepted so many others. And, of course, the sad point remains valid that Palin’s performance with Couric was so awful that the story remains plausible even if it isn’t true.

    Maybe she’ll leave the Republicans and join the AIP, who will nominate her for God-Queen Of The Frozen Russia-Watching Northern Wastes. It could happen. And a pony. Sigh.

  52. Bill Clinton was on one of the Sunday morning talk shows (can’t remember which one) about a month ago, and when asked about Palin’s lack of knowledge in some critical areas, he said it took him 20 mos. of intense studying to become knowledgeable about issues which governors just do not deal with (nor are they expected to) but which presidential candidates do. For what it’s worth, he thought Palin must be a very quick study as she had gotten “the basic overview” down in only a few weeks. He also thought it was unfair of McCain, if he was going to choose her or any governor, not to have done so several months earlier. He felt if she chose to “study up” over the next couple years, she could be “dangerous” as she possesses that type of political charisma that can’t be taught.

    Palin said in one of her many interviews this week that part of Alaska’s superfund monies is invested in some of the African countries, and she obviously knows it is a continent. Her senior foreign policy advisor, Biegun, said she had asked him about issues in the Sudan at the first meeting and he laughed that someone would say she thought Africa was a country. He called it “BS.” He also said they discussed NAFTA extensively, as she had negotiated several trade agreements with Canada and how important it was to Alaska.

    BTW…Greta van Susteren reported last night that she talked with Carl Cameron, who called her (she was suprised by this) to tell her that he “jumped the gun” on the anonymous rumors about Palin (whatever that means). Van Susteren said there would be more from him shortly, and she was expecting full repudiation.

  53. Cassie,

    Nooo!

    Palin = ignorant, chillbilly, baby factory
    Biden = Sage of Scranton

    Do try to keep up.

  54. Sorry if this has been posted before, but there’s an older page out there that runs down at least 84 of the many…many…many…Palin rumors/slanders/misinformations:

    http://explorations.chasrmartin.com/2008/09/06/palin-rumors/

    (The comments there leave a lot to be desired.)

    There’s a page of “Fake Palin Quotes” out there too, which, much like the Fake Quayle Quotes, has fooled one too many people into thinking they were in fact Real Palin Quotes.

  55. Oh the shame. After a couple of hours of searching the internet I can only conclude that I confidently posted wrong information concerning Governor Palin’s status as a National Merit Scholar. To be candid, I began to worry when my post here was one of the first things that Google brought up. That is not a good sign.

    Things looked even more grim when the page where I originally read the information was gone. I was flim flammed, bamboozled, and run amok. And I ran with the bad information and posted it here, complete with a snarky attitude. While I was deceived regarding the information, the snarky attitude was all mine.

    Please accept my humble appology for both. I pride myself for sticking close to the data in my decision making, and here, once again, pride proceeded a fall. ANd the data, humbly stated, does not support that she was a National Merit anything.

    I am truly sorry. I will graciously accept all the “I told you so’s” and “Trey you ignorant slut” posts that I deserve. Thank you for fact checking me and correcting me.

    Trey

  56. Todd, I was a National Merit SEMI finalist. If you will accept a cookie from an underling who recently made a fool of himself, I will send you a box.

    Carry on.

    Trey

  57. Justin wrote: “She has stated that she believes we are doing gods work in Iraq.

    It’s pretty well known that she has used her official power to try to settle personal vendettas.”

    Justin, as an Evangelical Christian, I agree with her concerning Iraq. While you may not be a Christian, you might agree that spreading Democracy is a good thing. Even if that is a stretch, and I can see how it would be for anyone, having a place in a foreign country where people that want to kill Americans line up to die sounds fine with me. The world is a very nasty neighborhood in places, and I like keeping our shore safer.

    In response to your second statement, if we take the fact that the trooper beat her sister out of the picture, would you agree that this trooper showed amazingly bad judgment in tazing his 12 year old nephew? How about a trooper who beats his wife who is NOT the sister of the Governor. But honestly, isn’t it worse that the trooper in question beat up the Governor’s sister? I mean, does that not show an amazing lack of judgment?

    And how is the judgment of the people you voted for? Who did you vote for?

    Trey

  58. I’m just tickled pink that so many folk are aggressively defending Sarah Palin, and boldly trying to clear her way for a 2012 run. Go, wingnuts team, go!

  59. she obviously knows it is a continent

    Well, she does now.

    While you may not be a Christian, you might agree that spreading Democracy is a good thing.

    What’s the rule on spreading democracy at gunpoint?

    “Adopt our form of government, which is better, enlightened, and beloved of God. Or we’ll kill you.”

    having a place in a foreign country where people that want to kill Americans line up to die sounds fine with me

    Shockingly, terrorists may be able to do more than one thing at a time!

    In addition, what if we’re not attracting all the terrorists in the world to Iraq, but actually creating new terrorists, who are resentful about a continuing occupation?

    this trooper showed amazingly bad judgment in tazing his 12 year old nephew?

    Since Palin did not actually fire him but his boss who had concerns about not using the proper channels, this point is moot.

  60. In response to your second statement, if we take the fact that the trooper beat her sister out of the picture,

    A) I thought that was something that was never claimed by her in divorce proceedings, and

    B) that’s clearly not the only thing people talk about when talking about her vindictiveness.

  61. Steve Moss @ 65 One of the reasons Obama won was playing up his faith. By memory, this improved Obama’s margin among religious voters

    Certainly not the religious right lunatics Palin and Jindal pander to. Really, neither of them are in any way shape or form moderate. The Republican party is now dominated by it’s far right wing. If anything, I expect them to lean further and further to the right because those are the only one’s left – congressional leaders and governors from deeply red states will be setting the agenda for the GOP for some time to come.

    Because of this, I predict that there will be only a very small chance at all that cities and liberal coastal areas, and liberal northern states will ever won back by the GOP. It’s hard to see how a far right agenda will accomplish that.

    Counting on the Democrats doing horrible things and alienating the country is not actually a good strategy. Moving further to the right, while you may enjoy it, will not result in more GOP victories.

  62. First off, David, thanks for being willing to have a conversation with me after I posted something really stupid. I appreciate it!

    You wrote: “Shockingly, terrorists may be able to do more than one thing at a time!”

    Of course, we agree, the interesting thing is that they are NOT doing more than one thing at a time.

    “In addition, what if we’re not attracting all the terrorists in the world to Iraq, but actually creating new terrorists, who are resentful about a continuing occupation?” That would be a bad thing, I agree. My understanding is that the terrorist problem depends upon the promise of instant salvation, the only form of guaranteed salvation that Islam endorses, and early and consistent indoctrination.

    Indoctrination pales in comparison to the speedy and frequent death of other terrorists I am betting. But, we agree that if the was in Irag is creating more terrorists that is a bad thing. We disagree that it is indeed happening.

    Gotta go, but thanks for the conversation!

    Trey

  63. My understanding is that the terrorist problem depends upon the promise of instant salvation, the only form of guaranteed salvation that Islam endorses, and early and consistent indoctrination.

    That may describe ONE mode of terrorism. I do not believe that it is the ONLY mode of terrorism.

    Nor do I believe there is a binary mode of terrorism. There is a scale of anti-US behavior, and we are indeed creating more anti-US behavior in Iraq.

  64. Wow, in keeping with what I understood the original posting to be about, I’ll third Hope’s rant.

    The problem with a retraction, or accurate reporting, after the election is that it’s too late. Granted, in this case, it most likely wouldn’t have made a significant difference, but that’s not the point. When I was a wee lad going to school in a suburb outside of Chicago, we were taught that journalists were supposed to check their facts and report the facts that they could verify. In fact, we were taught that it was their responsibility to do so. Perhaps I’m still living in a polyanna-ish quotidian fantasy world, but I think that should still be true.
    To me, the issue isn’t so much what stupid thing the candidates said, but that those stupid things are reported accurately, fairly and in measures equal to the stupid statements uttered, not the opinions, political leanings and whims of the so-called journalists.

    But, what do I know? I’m just a voting member of the public.

  65. Trey, I’m not being snarky here when I ask this, but I’m honestly curious. When you said: “The world is a very nasty neighborhood in places, and I like keeping our shore safer.“, how do you see our actions in Iraq accomplishing that?

    I can clearly see how striking in Afghanistan did that (or at least was meant to). I saw the merit of deposing Hussein, even if I didn’t think it was the most prudent action to take. I certainly support the spread of Democracy (or at least some agreeable variant similar to our particular Republic’s version) across the world.

    But I don’t really see how our protected engagement in Iraq is keeping our shore safer. Could you explain how you see it doing that? Do you believe that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat to the US? I’m just curious to understand what you see that I might be missing.

  66. Don’t assume Jindal will do that great nationally. Lousiana is a very Catholic state; Jindal is rabidly Catholic. He has some publications from his youth that would greatly damage him among protestants (basically arguing that all non-Catholics are going to hell).

    Also, while he is still wildly popular down here, he has already begun to screw up. He did not veto a wildly unpopular legislative pay raise until very, very late in the game. His administration has screwed up numerous issues relating to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, as well (yes, the oil industry has so damaged the wetlands that even Ike cause significant harm in Louisiana). So far, underlings have taken the blame and been fire/resigned for his mistakes, but that can’t continue forever (I hope; as you may have figured by now, I strongly dislike the guy). He is also very arrogant; hubris often (although not always) catches its own.

    I actually think that Republicans may learn from the Obama experience. Kerry lost by being too closely tied to the far wing of his party; the same thing happened to McCain. I really think that we’ll see a much more centrist Republican in ’12.

  67. “It’s not clear from the story whether the dude actually planted the story, or just claimed credit for it once it was out there…”

    From the story:

    “The pranksters behind Eisenstadt acknowledge that he was not, through them, the anonymous source of the Palin leak. He just claimed falsely that he was the leaker–and they say they have no reason to cast doubt on the original story.”

    Seems pretty clear to me.

  68. @ 85., A Different John…

    I loathe Jindal. He’s better than our previous choices for gov.–to whit, Edwards vs. David Duke. Google what the latter’s up to nowadays; his essay left me jaw-dropped. Crook vs. KKK klansman? Talk about two evils… both have been jailed since that election.

    If you go by the letters to the Times-Picayune, the only thing people here care about is having a “pro-life” candidate. Yet they love the death penalty. Such good Catholics.

    I don’t want to be partisan; I would love to have a Republican politician I could stand behind. Hell with that–I wish third party/independant candidates were viable. I’m not a Democrat and I registered independant; they’re just the most palatable option when half the country wants to institute a theocracy.

    And I could forgive Vitter for patronizing a prostitute, but I will *never* forget what he said on the radio the day after Katrina.

  69. Trey,
    As others have adequately responded to most of your points I’m only going to address the spread of democracy.

    I do agree that democracy is a good thing. But I do not think it can really be imposed externally. We have made some progress in Iraq, but the moment we leave it’s all going to go out the window. Why? Well an population has to have a certain degree of nationalism before it can become democratic. What we have in Iraq is a bunch of people who think of themselves as Suni, Shia, or Kurd first. Realistically many of them wouldn’t even self identify as Iraqi without a certain amount of leading questions. Thus as soon as a stabilizing force like US troops or Sadam is removed a split, most likely involving violence, will occur. Hey it even happened to the US. It took some time, but the Civil War is a great example of what I’m talking about.

    I’m pretty sure if they were left alone the people of Iraq would have risen up and reclaimed their country. And if they never did I’d say that they did not deserve democratic rule. Blood of patriots yada yada…

    Finally, I’d like to point out that absolutely none of this has anything to do with ‘God’s Work’. When has Christianity ever been Democratic?

  70. Trey, you ignorant slut! Just kidding. :-)

    In truth, my respect for you has increased enormously, since you’ve retracted an inaccurate statement and taken your lumps. And you did it with grace and humility. Kudos for that, much as I disagree with what you say most of the time.

    About SP as National Merit Scholar: you know, I thought that sounded fishy. I knew some NMS’s in college, and…Governor, you’re no National Merit Scholar. I mean, one of these guys published a chemistry paper in a peer-reviewed journal when he was still in high school.

    I mean, these people are GEEK SAINTS.

    Even if you think SP is intelligent (which I don’t, but you might), one thing she ain’t is a geek saint. A less geeky type would be hard to imagine.

  71. Africa, shmafrica.

    Palin is a young earth creationist. That means she believes men and dinosaurs walked together on this planet right after God created the planet, men, and dinosaurs about 6000 years ago.

    that right there puts her in the looney bin as having a complete disregard for what sane people call science.

    On top of that, as mayor, she asked the local librarian what the process was for banning a book. The librarian said she’d fight any attempt to ban any book. Palin asked this question a couple times. The librarian gave the same response. Palin then fired the librarian. Public outcry in Wassilla forced her to re-hire the librarian.

    Then there’s the whole trooper-gate thing. She tried to use the power of her office as governor to settle a personal spat between her sister and her sister’s exhusband, by trying to get the exhusband fired from his job as a state trooper. When the guy in charge of the state police refused to fire the exhusband, Palin fired the guy in charge of the state police.

    There were two investigations into this recently. The one made by people who could NOT be fired by Palin said she abused her power. The report by a bunch of people that Palin COULD fire said she didn’t do anything wrong.

    She’s got the intellectual curiosity of Dan Quayle and the religious nuttery (insert religious nut here)

  72. WizarDru asked “how do you see our actions in Iraq accomplishing that?”

    Thanks for the sincere question! It took the fight to another nieghborhood. The fight had been going on since the Carter Administration. The war in Iraq moved it from our neighborhood to theirs.

    And the recent news is that we are almost done there, which is wonderful news. We will soon be able to move our resources to Afghanistan, and I bet we will need less soldiers there. Michael Yon is a very cool reporter who has done self-financed work there and he is VERY optimistic. Check out his stuff.

    Trey

  73. Josh wrote: “Certainly not the religious right lunatics Palin and Jindal pander to.”

    As an Evangelical Christian I resemble those remarks! Seriously, that is patently offensive. I bet you have a serious and thoughtful comment Josh, but that kind of bigotry is not worthy of serious discussion.

    I would read a post that did not assail my character and sanity strictly on the basis of my spirituality.

    Trey

  74. Xopher, thanks dude. I look forward to our having some fun discussions and disagreeing as friends. The ignorant slut comment made me laugh out loud for real.

    Trey

  75. Good Trey…but there really are “religious right lunatics,” you know. I don’t think you’re one of them, or you wouldn’t be having a friendly exchange with a gay Pagan socialist like me. You’d be praying for me to come to Jesus and probably typing in all caps a lot of the time. We’re talking about the Jack Chicks and the Tony Alamos of the world, and their lip-moving readers.

    We’re also talking about nutbars like that guy who started a literal witchhunt in a village in Kenya, and forced an old lady to flee for her life. Sarah Palin accepted a blessing from that same whacko, and certainly never repudiated him.

    We’re talking about the kind of person who wants Christianity—and not just Christianity, their particular denomination of Christianity—to be established as the official religion of the United States. The most cursory reading of the First Amendment to the US Constitution will show that these people are fundamentally unAmerican. A somewhat smaller set want all other religions banned utterly; so, for example, when I have circle in my living room, that would be a crime.

    I’m pretty sure Sarah Palin is in that first group, but less sure she’s in the second. Or maybe she’s just been pandering to them.

    If you’re in any of those groups, ‘religious right lunatic’ isn’t too strong a term for you. As I said, however, I’m reasonably certain that you are not.

    Did you know that the Chaldeans (the main Christian group in Iraq) have mostly fled? Did you know that they lived peacefully with their Moslem neighbors under Saddam Hussein? How is it God’s work to force Christians to flee their homes in fear for their lives, never to return? I think actually Christianity is getting a worse reputation in Iraq as a result of the war—worse than it had before, and worse than it deserves, in my opinion. That’s what Bush’s war has wrought.

    Think of what comes to mind when you think the word ‘crusader’. Now try the word ‘jihadist’. The two words have exactly the reverse connotations for Moslems. Just think about that.

  76. And btw no “religious right lunatic” would accept correction as you did, or look for facts. Their motto is “Facts are the enemy of Truth.” They would stick to their guns despite the complete lack of evidence, and proclaim that Sarah Palin really was a National Merit Scholar, “even though I can’t find a cite right now.”

    If absolutely backed into a corner, they would say that she was a National Merit Scholar in the eyes of God, and be completely unaware of what a patently absurd statement that is.

    OK, I’m lapsing into satire, but the fact is, you’re not one of those.

  77. First we survey the deep levels of Palin Derangement Syndrome that have possessed everyone on the left since her entrance on the national scene. It doesn’t end with the election, but goes on to such extravagances as claiming the woman doesn’t know a country from a continent; more wrath and vitriol spew from the left. Then it turns out that this Africa item came from a fabricated source.

    Wizard’s first rule. What better explanation exists?

  78. Again, Eric, it was the source that was fabricated; there’s no evidence the item itself was. And Palin’s non-denial denial didn’t sound much like it wasn’t true.

    I’m quite doubtful about it myself. Also, since it came out after the election, I don’t much care. It’s just fun at this point, because she’s such a ridiculous character.

  79. “Athena, to her credit, refused to believe what I had just told her. She thought I was kidding. I didn’t have the heart to correct her.”

    Ah the clarity of the child.

    And to the “false but accurate” crowd, remember how far that got Dan Rather.

  80. Thanks, Trey, for your follow-up. It’s not uncommon to pick stuff up on the internet and run with it. The other day, I found someone in a Hunter Thompson thread say he Hunter committed suicide because he was “riddled with cancer”. When I attempted to verify this information (as I thought there had been nothing said of it when Hunter died), I found no mention of anything leading to his suicide but depression, suicidal thoughts, and a long-time desire to retain the ability to kill himself any time he wanted. That does not mean Hunter did not have cancer. It’s no one’s business what’s in his medical file. It also doesn’t mean that Sarah Palin isn’t smart if there is no mention of her having been a National Merit Scholar. I was also a semi-finalist, and I can’t even find me on the internet! :)

  81. Salome: That does not mean Hunter did not have cancer.

    No, but since most people don’t have cancer, and he had the depressive history you cite, the hypothesis dependent on the smallest degree of unsupported assumption is that he did not have cancer.

    It also doesn’t mean that Sarah Palin isn’t smart if there is no mention of her having been a National Merit Scholar. I was also a semi-finalist, and I can’t even find me on the internet!

    You’re not a public figure. As for SP, the hypothesis dependent on the smallest degree of unsupported assumption is that she was not a National Merit Scholar.

    As for her not being smart, that’s hard to tell, really, from the available evidence. It seems to me inescapable to conclude that she’s either rather stupid or appallingly and willfully ignorant (or, of course, both). Hard to know which is worse, but we’ve had one of those in office for the past 8 years, and I for one don’t want another, ever.

  82. Of course, we agree, the interesting thing is that they are NOT doing more than one thing at a time.

    Why, yes, they are, as a matter of fact, as the large number of people who died in Indonesia and London and Madrid since the invasion of Iraq could testify to, if they were alive.

    Oh, I’m sorry, did you mean to only count American deaths as meaningful. That’s very Christian, indeed.

    Then it turns out that this Africa item came from a fabricated source.

    It’s not that complicated.

    1. Fox News runs “Africa is a country” story.
    2. MSNBC runs stories claiming source for #1 is Martin Eisenstadt
    3. Eisenstadt turns out not to exist.
    4. MSNBC retracts 2.
    5. Fox DOES NOT retract 1 as they had never claimed that Eisenstadt was the source.

    (Unless I’ve missed them retracting it?)

    #1 has exactly the same truth value as it did before MSNBC came along.

  83. First we survey the deep levels of Palin Derangement Syndrome that have possessed everyone on the left since her entrance on the national scene.

    Yes, generally, I do have reactions to extreme stupidity in politics.

    YMMV.

  84. This all kind of reminds me of Rush Limbaugh telling whoppers about Clinton.

    If by chance, he got called on one of them, he would stand behind his lie saying that what he said may not be specifically true, but it was something Clinton would do.

    I think it funny how thin-skinned the repubs get when hit with their own tactics.

  85. Hector @101: Requirements for National Honor Society are a 3.0 GPA, participation in extra-curricular activities, and no major black marks on your permanent record, e.g. got caught drinking or cheating. Not the same as National Merit Scholar. For that matter, National Merit Semi-finalist is not the same as National Merit Scholar either. Generally a goodly segment of the popular/beauty pageant crowd is in NHS, while Merit Scholars are generally much more, well, scholarly.

    However, in real life, the main thing a National Merit Scholarship means is getting out of school with a bit less debt than your fellow grads, not an unimportant consequence. As for the geek saint thing, I’ll plead guilty to the geek part for sure. Or the “not the popular crowd” part anyway. But that was long ago and far away, and I had actually forgotten about it until this thread. At least I don’t have to be mad at SP for spoiling that distinction like she has spoiled amateur flute playing and the Far Northern Plains dialect.

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