Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Will Palin Do an Eagleton?

In 1972, George McGovern selected Senator Thomas Eagleton as his running mate as many other high profile Democrats did not want to be the VP nominee who lost to Nixon. Senator Eagleton had joined Senator McGovern in the opposition to the Vietnam War and seemed like a decent pick until the fact that he electric shock treatments for pysical and nervous exhaustion. The controversy over this revelation after the VP selection led to Eagleton deciding not to run with McGovern and McGovern selected Sargent Shriver. Of course, McGovern-Shriver lost in 1972.

This morning, I thought to myself that TrooperGate might be the Republican’s excuse for pulling what seems to be an awful McCain plunder in the selection of Sarah Palin. In his excellent discussion of TrooperGate, Steve Benen closes with:

I’m not making any predictions here, but I can’t help but wonder if Palin will still be on the Republican ticket by the time Election Day comes in November.

Also check out Steve’s coverage of how fellow Alaskan politicians think the Palin selection was a really bad choice.

Update: Many thanks to Sammy for letting us know that Bill Kristol has once again made a fool out of himself:

A spectre is haunting the liberal elites of New York and Washington–the spectre of a young, attractive, unapologetic conservatism, rising out of the American countryside, free of the taint (fair or unfair) of the Bush administration and the recent Republican Congress, able to invigorate a McCain administration and to govern beyond it. That spectre has a name–Sarah Palin, the 44-year-old governor of Alaska chosen by John McCain on Friday to be his running mate. There she is: a working woman who’s a proud wife and mother; a traditionalist in important matters who’s broken through all kinds of barriers; a reformer who’s a Republican; a challenger of a corrupt good-old-boy establishment who’s a conservative; a successful woman whose life is unapologetically grounded in religious belief; a lady who’s a leader. So what we will see in the next days and weeks–what we have already seen in the hours after her nomination–is an effort by all the powers of the old liberalism, both in the Democratic party and the mainstream media, to exorcise this spectre. They will ridicule her and patronize her. They will distort her words and caricature her biography.

Patronize? McCain picked her for one reason – she’s a woman. There are a lot of women in the Republican Party that could become fine Presidents but Sarah Palin is not one of them. I have always been for the rights of women but when one picks someone for an important post – shouldn’t qualifications come into play and not the fact that a person is “attractive” to works Kristol’s own words. Free of taint? Bill? TrooperGate – check it out! And of course, when it comes to her record on earmarks – she lied about the Bridge to Nowhere! But all of this is beyond the intellect of Bill Kristol!

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Carter at the Democratic Convention

Why didn’t Carter speak at the Democratic Convention?

The Jewish Daily Forward understands:

Since Carter published a book in November 2006 accusing Israel of practicing apartheid against the Palestinians, Democrats have been trying to distance themselves from the former president and to convince Jewish activists that he does not represent the party line.

“He hasn’t shown respect to Israel and many of the Jewish constituencies here based on the things he has done,” said Nan Rich, a Florida state senator who left the hall in protest before Carter’s appearance onstage.
“It shows the party gets it and Barack Obama’s campaign gets it,” she said.

Meanwhile, new settlements proceed apace while old settlements are expanded. And both parties “get it.” Murmur a soft protest, but do nothing. For a take on the sham peace process, see here, a link that expands the brief argument below.

Both parties are captive to Likud influence. Right-wing Jewish groups have a strangle hold on American Middle East policy–and have successfully muted our hearing real discussion within Israel itself, where there is a strong peace and bonfide peace movement.

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Troopergate: How Little Does McCain Know About Palin?

If you don’t know what TrooperGate is, check this out. Did McCain properly vet this candidate – apparently not. An Alaska newspaper ran this editorial on whether she is ready to lead:

Republicans rightfully have criticized the Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, for his lack of experience, but Palin is a neophyte in comparison; how will Republicans reconcile the criticism of Obama with the obligatory cheering for Palin? Or will everyone just be forced to drop the subject? That’s not a comforting possibility. Although no one has the perfect resume and experience isn’t everything, it is an important quality to weigh. Palin, if elected vice president, would ascend to the presidency if anything should happen to McCain, who turned 72 today. Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation’s when he created the possibility that she might fill it. It’s clear that McCain picked Palin for reasons of image, not substance. She’s a woman. She has fought corruption. She has fought the oil companies. She’s married to a union member. These are portrayals for campaign speeches; they are not policy positions. There was also some pandering right from the start. “I told Congress `Thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere,’ ” Palin reported to the crowd in Dayton, Ohio. “If our state wanted a bridge, I said, we’d build it ourselves.”

Of course, she wasn’t being exactly honest with respect to the Bridge to Nowhere. She wasn’t exactly honest about TrooperGate either. Sort of the perfect metaphor for the entire McCain Presidential campaign!

Update: Kevin Drum has a nice rundown on Palin’s policy positions. It seems she’s a social conservative but on fiscal matters, she is sounds a lot like a spend and tax liberal. This is sure to unite the Republican Party – NOT.

Update: Mudflats who lives in Alaska offered us a lot of insights – just before he went out to get some Jiffy Pop!

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Happy Friday

hat tip CoRev

The famous Olympic skier Picabo Street (pronounced Pee-Ka-Boo)
is not just an athlete…she is now a nurse currently working at an
Intensive Care Unit of a large metropolitan hospital.
She is not permitted to answer the hospital telephones any
longer.
It caused too much confusion when she would answer the phone and
say,
Picabo, I.C.U.
A good clean joke is hard to find these days — pass it on!

(Admit it … you’re smiling)

CoRev

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Palin as VP Pick: McCain’s Flip-Flop on Earmarks?

Steve Benen has been doing some great blogging on the McCain’s VP pick starting with her speech:

And I championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress — I told Congress, “Thanks, but no thanks,” on that bridge to nowhere. (APPLAUSE) If our state wanted a bridge, I said we’d build it ourselves.

Diana Marrero featured Palin’s picture with this caption:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s state may lead the country in per-capita pork barrel spending

Brad Plumer goes further:

She was very much for the bridge and insisted that Alaska had to act quickly—the party of Ted Stevens and Don Young might soon lose its majority, after all.

So why did McCain pick Palin as his running mate? Is it that she’s so dishonest with respect to this issue that it almost makes McCain look honest by comparison?

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While some liberals have a problem with Obama/Biden…

…how are people who, eight years ago, were proudly displaying “Sore/Loserman” bumper stickers going to react if/when McCain announces Loserman as his pick for VP?*

UPDATE: Otoh, if the NYT and Reuters are correct, any claim that Obama is “too inexperienced to be President” just went out the window.

*This is not necessarily going to happen, not to go all NYPost, but the word is that McCain’s campaign schedule has been cleared between the announcement at the UD arena today and 7:00pm Saturday.

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Do Democrats Ignore Workers?

Greg Mankiw says he hearts Peggy Noonan:

Democrats in the end speak most of, and seem to hold the most sympathy for, the beset-upon single mother without medical coverage for her children, and the soldier back from the war who needs more help with post-traumatic stress disorder. They express the most sympathy for the needy, the yearning, the marginalized and unwell. For those, in short, who need more help from the government, meaning from the government’s treasury, meaning the money got from taxpayers.Who happen, also, to be a generally beset-upon group. Democrats show little expressed sympathy for those who work to make the money the government taxes to help the beset-upon mother and the soldier and the kids. They express little sympathy for the middle-aged woman who owns a small dry cleaner and employs six people and is, actually, day to day, stressed and depressed from the burden of state, local and federal taxes, and regulations, and lawsuits, and meetings with the accountant, and complaints as to insufficient or incorrect efforts to meet guidelines regarding various employee/employer rules and regulations.

This is in the middle of a lot of Noonan fluff about the DNC speeches starting with her coverage of the speech by Bill Clinton. Paul Krugman heard something interesting in this speech:

My second reaction was that in Mr. Clinton’s speech — as in the speeches by Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden (this column was filed before Barack Obama spoke on Thursday night) — one heard the fundamental difference between the two parties. Democrats say and, as far as I can tell, really believe that working Americans are getting a raw deal; Republicans, despite occasional attempts to sound sympathetic, basically believe that people have nothing to complain about. As it happens, the numbers support the Democrats.

Does Mankiw and Noonan think only the business owner have to work for a living? Do they think that the employees of the business owners don’t have to work for a living? If the answer to these questions are no, then her claim that “Democrats show little expressed sympathy for those who work to make the money the government taxes” is simply wrong.

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The last twenty years and Krugman

by tin man and rdan

Paul Krugman said some thing in the NYT. We wondered about these questions too.

What was the mechanism for the leveling of healthcare costs in the Clinton ‘90s? (If they did actually level?)

What was the mechanism for the same to skyrocket as they have in the past 8 years.(What was the rate of increase in “healthcare” costs from 2000-2008?)

Any legal changes (obligations by employers to provide healthcare)?

Changes in how healthcare expenses (employer costs) are accounted for on the balance sheet (one of the myriad changes to finance/banking law)?

Paul Krugman doesn’t provide any justification/numbers for his conclusions/assertions within the article but notes generalities/trends across the 15-16 years of the two presidents. How do we begin to account for the trends and mechanisms?

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