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

Reasons to be Cheerful

Ken Houghton

Christopher Buckley leads the Republican Party to water, and speculates on watching them sink:

…GOP pin-up girl Sarah Palin.

I’ll stipulate that that’s condescending, if my former confreres on the Right will stipulate that had Gov. Palin’s first name been “Bob” or “Chuck,” her surname would still be unrecognizable to 90 percent of the American electorate.

The other pull quote was pulling and sits in the center of the article. While I encourage you to Read the Whole Thing, it really is too delicious not to requote as well. Rendered by Buckley as a parenthetic:

Nexis and Google have so far failed to unearth evidence of any previous candidate for the U.S. vice presidency being called—by their own campaign, no less—a “whack job.”*

Read the Whole Thing, including some of the comments.

*One guesses that memories of Admiral Stockdale, besides whose accomplishments John McCain looks like the inept cadet he was, have escaped Google and Nexus, since he was surely called the equivalent or worse.

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Win the Nobel Prize,* they publish you on Sunday instead of Monday

Krugman believes people want someone who is “serious”:

In a way, you can’t blame Mr. McCain for campaigning on trivia—after all, it’s worked in the past. Most notably, President Bush got within hanging-chads-and-butterfly-ballot range of the White House only because much of the news media, rather than focusing on the candidates’ policy proposals, focused on their personas: Mr. Bush was an amiable guy you’d like to have a beer with, Al Gore was a stiff know-it-all, and never mind all that hard stuff about taxes and Social Security. And let’s face it: six weeks ago Mr. McCain’s focus on trivia seemed to be paying off handsomely.

But that was before the prospect of a second Great Depression concentrated the public’s mind….

[T]he Barack Obama voters see now is cool, calm, intellectual and knowledgeable, able to talk coherently about the financial crisis in a way Mr. McCain can’t. And when the world seems to be falling apart, you don’t turn to a guy you’d like to have a beer with, you turn to someone who might actually know how to fix the situation.

UPDATE: Brad DeLong has more on this, with graphics (but without Annoying Videos).

Somewhere, McCain’s uber-handlers are trying to figure out why they didn’t go with Kay Bailey Hutchinson, who would not have been subject to this:

Meanwhile, the video of the night on November 4th should be this one (NSFSanePeople):

*Or its Economics equivalent

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The Palin Curse Manifests itself

In the “correlation may not be causation, but the trend is your friend” category.

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin—at the request of McCain-supporting Flyer owner Ed Snider—dropped the puck in celebration of “hockey moms” at the Flyers home (and season) opener. That was October 11th.

They lost. Followed by five more losses (three in Overtime).

Last night, Palin dropped the puck in St. Louis. Coincidentally(?), the Flyers won their first game of the season (against a much better team, on the road).

Meanwhile, in St. Louis, not only did the Blues lose a shutout, but their goalie was injured, in a manner directly related to Palin’s presence.

The Palin Curse appears to have been transferred.

UPDATE: Dr. Black also calls it a curse.

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Pulled from Comments

at Erin’s place.

Tom puts an end to the “oh, they were just mistakes” tax argument:

The thing about [Sarah Palin taking her spouse and especially her kids with her on business trips]…is that the attempt to edit the terms of the trips after the fact could be seen as evidence of intent to commit of federal income tax fraud—the tax-law bloggers are in agreement that the Palins’ tax returns incorrectly treated those reimbursements, which generally have to be treated as taxable income, and a question is whether the error was an innocent mistake—and/or defraud the Alaskan taxpayer more directly.

In this case, it really is the cover-up that Reveals Preferences.

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Best Spam-Folder E-Mail Evah!

Dear Supporter,

If you caught my guest appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend, you may have seen an ad or two (or twenty) from Senator Obama’s campaign.

This barrage of advertising is adding up to the most expensive negative ad buy in political history. And these ads are funded with the nearly $200 million the Obama campaign and the DNC raised in September.

With this new money, they’ll only step up their media buying efforts to flood every network with ads attacking our shared values. These ads are full of inaccurate information designed to mislead voters in key media markets….

And if you can give $75 or more today, we’ll send you an exclusive McCain-Palin Victory 2008 lapel pin to show your support during the final days of the campaign. We appreciate your support.[emphases mine]

Personally, I would have preferred the $25 tire-pressure checker. But just so we know our money would be going to waste:

Because the McCain-Palin Campaign is participating in the presidential public funding system, it may not receive contributions for any candidate’s election. However, federal law allows the McCain-Palin Campaign’s Compliance Fund to defray legal and accounting compliance costs and preserve the Campaign’s public grant for media, mail, phones, and get-out-the-vote programs. Contributions to McCain-Palin Victory 2008 will go to the Compliance Fund, and to participating party committees for Victory 2008 programs.

Surely, no one actually authorized that e-mail to be sent out. Must be the Nigerian Prince who is dating Anne Hathaway. (SNL link not found.)

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Ms Parker, Mc Cain, Party and Honor

by Divorced one like Bush

Before we get to excited about Ms. Parker’s recent calling out, consider her 9/5 opinion in What Sarah Palin brings to the Republican Party:

And relief that the first Republican woman on a presidential ticket wasn’t going to let them down. No one was going to be embarrassed by John McCain’s maverick pick.

Referring to Palin’s convention speech:

Palin delivered…What she showed was strength, conviction, determination, confidence, a willingness to rumble and fearlessness. No caribou caught in the headlights, she.

I guess Ms. Parker is referring to herself here:

Whatever conclusions the punditry might draw from Palin’s remarks, we can be fairly certain that Middle America felt nothing but redemption and salvation.

Ms. Parker note’s Palin was the savior to the point of being Democratic like:

Behind closed doors around the Twin Cities, talk focused on the need for new templates, new models. Republicans have to communicate that they, too, care about the issues Democrats have claimed as their own — education, health and the environment. They need new ideas and new — younger — faces to deliver the message.

Voila. Enter Palin.

She has animated voters who had little enthusiasm for the race. She has given them the very thing Democrats have been enjoying the past several months: hope and change.

In the end, did Ms. Parker know she was so prophetic?

That’s potent medicine. It also should come with a warning label: “May cause delusions and a false sense of power.”

Ironic no? Of course, maybe Ms. Parker really knew what was real and was hedging her bets. But that would mean all the good stuff written on 9/5/08 was just BS? Well by 9/22 she was coming out of the delusion and sense of power.

The 9/5/08 opinion and her now calling for Mrs. Palin to step down pretty much confirms that McCain et al’s campaign has been and is nothing more than one man’s quest for a trophy to the exclusion of the calling he so desires. Palin stepping down vs McCain firing her will not change the fact that she was chosen as a coach picks a play and a player. It’s all about the trophy. It’s just a game, about the win of the contest. Not about the win of the ideology of governance as Ms. Parker would have us believe.

Face it Ms. Parker, the only way for Mc Cain et al to save face and affirm that his campaign is about the country is to keep Palin. It is the only way to show conviction of his professed American ideals. If he looses the election on his ideals, he has no shame. If Palin goes, he perjures his entire campaign.

I hear Mc Cain is an honorable man. Is he? It is his honor, Ms Parker, that you are holding in your hands with this call.

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