Fourth Branch Sarah

I’m sort of busy today, preparing for the special Monday Book Salon with Bart Gellman, talking about his book Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency. The book salon with be at 3PM ET, so prepare your questions. 

But I confess that reading the book after watching the VP Debate the other night made me laugh–rather than shudder–at Palin’s clear hopes of following in the path of Fourth Branch Dick.

IFILL: Governor, you said in July that someone would have to explain to you exactly what it is the vice president does every day. You, senator, said, you would not be vice president under any circumstances. Now maybe this was just what was going on at the time. But tell us now, looking forward, what it is you think the vice presidency is worth now.


PALIN: No, no. Of course, we know what a vice president does. And that’s not only to preside over the Senate and will take that position very seriously also. I’m thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president’s policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are. John McCain and I have had good conversations about where I would lead with his agenda. That is energy independence in America and reform of government over all, and then working with families of children with special needs. That’s near and dear to my heart also. In those arenas, John McCain has already tapped me and said, that’s where I want you, I want you to lead. I said, I can’t wait to get and there go to work with you.


IFILL: Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the constitution might give the vice president more power than it has in the past. Do you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?

PALIN: Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president’s agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we’ll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation. And it is my executive experience that is partly to be attributed to my pick as V.P. with McCain, not only as a governor, but earlier on as a mayor, as an oil and gas regulator, as a business owner. It is those years of experience on an executive level that will be put to good use in the White House also. [my emphasis]

See, at first when Palin said this, I was immediately horrified by the thought of someone with the power of Dick Cheney, but the ignorance and incompetence of Sarah Palin–a sure recipe for disaster.

But that’s assuming that Palin could pull of what Dick Cheney did. And–as Gellman’s book makes clear and I’ll try to describe for Monday’s book salon–it has taken Dick Cheney way more to pull of his historic power grab than simple proclamation of a Fourth Branch.

Rather, Dick Cheney has succeeded because he is a master of bureaucracy. He knows how to manipulate the machines of our government at every level–and does so with consummate skill.

Palin, by contrast, can’t even manage to pull off personal vendettas in Alaska’s small government without leaving blood and tracks in the snow revealing her work. Sure, she’s got Cheney’s instinct for punishing disloyalty. But aside from that, she’s got none of Cheney’s skill. 

That doesn’t make her safe or in any other way a sound choice for VP. But it does make me laugh.

  1. Arbusto says:

    Sarah reminds me of a female version of Jerry Lundegaard, played by William H. Macy, in the Movie Fargo; barely competent professional, got into a situation way beyond her meager knowledge, way out of her league, spinning out of control and ending badly for everyone involved. Unless of course the RNC is able to rig the electrons of voting machines; and it would still end badly for everyone.

    • MrWhy says:

      Oh my god no!
      Don’t tell me that the RNC has figured out how to rig the electrons!
      Cheney & Co are more powerful than Darth Vader!

  2. klynn says:

    OT: Hey Marcy.

    Go listen to This American Life on NPR.

    Someone put the Stock Injection Plan into the Senate Bailout Bill that passed in the House. Go pick up on this story.

    This is GOOD news for us. Big news for us.

    • klynn says:

      Sorry, I did not mean to sound like I was ordering you…I am just SO pleased that the language for this option was subtly put into the bill and we have this option to exercise and this option has transparency…

      • klynn says:

        This is a link to a summary article, not the download:…..d=95395712

        If a stock-injection plan is better for the taxpayers, why wouldn’t the government choose it over the Paulson plan? It turns out that many groups oppose the idea, Davidson says.

        One group is conservative Republicans. “They just don’t fundamentally, in their guts, don’t like the idea of the U.S. government owning shares of private companies,” he says. “It just smells like socialism to them and they can’t support it.”

        Perhaps more importantly, banks really hate the idea. When the government took over insurance giant AIG, it essentially bought a huge share of the bank’s shares and zeroed them out. All the shareholders lost billions of dollars and the chief executive of AIG was fired to boot.

        So it was surprising to learn on Friday that, despite intense opposition from the powerful banking lobby, language authorizing the government to use a stock-injection plan did make it into the final version of the bailout bill. The law does not make a stock-injection plan mandatory, but it does leave it as one option that the Treasury secretary can use when bailing out a distressed bank.

  3. lllphd says:

    this may be a bit silly, but given that faux snooze only used online text polling to ’show’ that palin ‘won’ the debate, perhaps we have a certain responsibility.

    pbs is conducting a similar poll, and right now it’s literally at 49/49. go there and do what you do so well; and spread this around:

  4. WilliamOckham says:

    Every time I read Palin’s answers in the debate, I get less and less sure that there is any semantic content in them at all.

        • skdadl says:

          lol. This is an obvious thought that others have had too, I know, but the only explanation for Sarah’s sentences that makes sense to me is that she is all memory, no thought, just regurgitation. So the sentences come out kind of blenderized.

          And yet behind the scenes in Alaska, she seems to have done quite a lot of thinking. Or maybe that was the strange husband.

          Don’t you kind of envy the Americans, Ishmael? They are starting to sound optimistic. Sigh.

          PS to Leen @ 8: I don’t know how Pat Buchanan could rave about Palin’s smile and then call Biden boring in the same breath. Ok, I do: Buchanan is not a woman. He must have seen that priceless Biden smile, and I guess it didn’t work on him, but it sure works on moi.

          • Ishmael says:

            As a Canadian, I am envious of Obama and Clinton and Gore, who have the leadership skills that could unite a progressive Canadian centre-left, and the vacuum that Harper can exploit as a result. I think even Harper is sensing a change in the winds and realizing that he is out of step with most of the Canadian public, although if he were to get a majority he would be very radical indeed. It was really something for him to acknowledge that he was wrong about the invasion of Iraq, even though he hedged the admission by citing the lack of WMDs and not the invasion per se. Now, if he would only admit that he was wrong about abandoning Kyoto, rejecting peacekeeping in favour of militarism in Afghanistan, supporting U.S. torture policies (which no other government did), abandoning Khadr and Arar, rejecting 60 years of Canada supporting an even-handed approach in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, maybe we’d be getting somewhere!

            • bell says:

              ot – i am disappointed in the choices we canucks have and the fact the conservatives have decided our election needs to happen at the same time as our neighbours south of us… it is positive harper has acknowledged a mistake, but i doubt he is big enough to acknowledge the other significant ones – our involvement in afganastan in particular.. i am also disappointed that the ndp sided with the conservatives on this same issue of extending their participation.. i am disgusted with the blatant propaganda from the conservative gov’t in power (masquerading as gov’t fliers iva canada post, paid for by the taxpayers) that claim anything other then what an ugly disrespectful bunch of hooligans they are.. in my riding i am voting ndp as the conservatives have focused on this riding in the hope of the greens and ndp will split the vote and they will come in down the middle… this was an ndp riding last federal election – i live on vancouver island.. had to get that off my chest.. harper and dion are a couple of hopeless leaders that don’t command much if any respect..layton isn’t any better.

              • skdadl says:

                Heh. EW and friends are probably scratching their heads and wondering about the Canucks hereabouts. I shouldn’t extend the drift, but you can probably tell that we’re all quite miserable right now. We are going to end up being the last loyal Bushies left in the world, and we are not happy campers.

                bell, save that riding if it has been an NDP riding. I hear you, but we are going to have to be patient.

      • prostratedragon says:

        Oh thanks, I’d missed that link the first time.

        The second chart looks like something from an organic chemistry exam I once took that featured, at one point, audible sobbing from somewhere on the other side of the hall.

        • prostratedragon says:

          Somehow people never considered from whom those slaves learned their English.

          Per comment #1, if you’ve never seen Fargo you might not realize what a poster boy Jerry Lundegaard is for the idea that incompetence combined with ambition is a deadly sin.

          Jerry is a car dealer (with an upper Midwest accent about 75 percent as bad as Palin’s) who’s got into a heap of financial trouble with his balance sheet. He contrives to make his shortfall good by setting up a fake kidnapping of his wife, the mother of his only child, thus extorting the money from his wealthy father-in-law.

          He’s hired a couple of stooges to snatch Mrs. Lundegaard unawares and keep her under wraps for a couple of days, to make the theater look good. Here’s their first exchange, at the beginning of the movie, where instructions are to be given: Jerry’s travelling under the name Anderson.

          ANDERSON: I’m, uh, Jerry Lundegaard —

          YOUNGER MAN: You’re Jerry Lundegaard?

          JERRY: Yah, Shep Proudfoot said —

          YOUNGER MAN: Shep said you’d be here at 7:30. What gives, man?

          JERRY: Shep said 8:30.

          YOUNGER MAN: We been sitting here an hour. I’ve peed three times already.

          JERRY: I’m sure sorry. I — Shep told me 8:30. It was a mix-up, I guess.

          So ends Jerry’s high point. You will start to groan before the scene ends. It’s a terrific establishing scene (that has a great punchline delivered late in the story, furthermore) and a really good movie, if you don’t mind being appalled.

          • Sara says:

            I need to do some setting straight on what is being referenced as Fargo speech.

            This part of the land — Minnesota, Wisconsin and N. Dakota was settled up by people from Scandinavia. Danish, Swedish and Norwegian are distinct languages, but once you get the ear for it, if you know one, you can understand the others, and if you speak one, you will be understood in the others.

            Now most of these “Fargo” patterns you are noticing, are actually importations into English from one or another of the Scandinavian Languages as they were spoken in the second half of the 19th Century.

            For instance, some complain because the “ing” is not pronounced at the end of a word. No — a word that ends in G, and that includes all the ing’s, in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian demands a glottal stop. Older Migrants from Scandinavia continued to use the glottal stop, even speaking as native speakers of American English. Since an American learning any of these languages confronts the reality that English does not actually have glottal stops, learning how to do it properly requires practice. In general D at the end of a word requires the same treatment, or, it might require a “th” sound made in the rear of your mouth. Again — practice is necessary.

            We actually have a very authoritative book on this subject that was co-authored some years ago by Garrison Keillor, titled “How to Speak Minnesotan” Wisconsin and North Dakota have variations on this.

            My guess is that Sarah Palin learned this received speech from someone who either initially spoke Norwegian, or was the child of a Norwegian family. It has to do with her inflections. Swedish and Norwegian are inflected, in slightly different ways, Danish is not.

            Now, Around here what is essentially a Patios that identifies you as a local, or an adjusted Minnesotan, really should not be used in formal speech. It is rather like the debate about Eubonics — it is a received language/dialect, fun to learn, speak, read — it is expressive, but it isn’t formal American English. Someone should point out to Ms. Palin that if Barack Obama had addressed an Iowa Caucus in Eubonics, he would never have gotten delegate support. She needs to accept the same cultural rules.

    • Leen says:

      On Friday Chris Matthews asked so many questions about Palin “what is she talking about”. Palin “recited answers off the shelf” Palin is “more style than substance”

  5. MadDog says:

    Hmmmm…if I were to open a Cheney School for Advancing Oneself with classes like:

    – Fingerprints – How Not To Leave ‘Em.
    – Unitary Executive – How to Diss Both Congress and the Courts.
    – Signing Statements 101 – How to Make Your Own Law.

    I betcha I could make a lot of Repug money.

    Is that money like Confederate money? Where it feels like you’re rich, but you’re not?

  6. Leen says:

    EW if you have not watched Matthews on Friday he rips into Palin and her reference to “enlarging the role of the Vice Presidency”

    Chris ask his guest “what is she talking about”?

    Was talking to a few friends who were listening on the radio and could not figure out how any of the MSMers could pull out that Sarah had pulled herself of our a hole. They said Sarah was speaking “Palinese” basically gibberish.

  7. klynn says:

    Here’s what you may not know: That White House plan wasn’t the only plan. It wasn’t even necessarily the plan you think it is. In this podcast, Adam Davidson tells This American Life host Ira Glass about a mysterious phone call in which a tipster suggested that an alternate proposal had crept into the language of the reworked bill. Davidson says that it concerns so-called stock injection, and that economists like it — a lot.

    I wonder if Schumer slipped it in?

    • emptywheel says:

      Could be Schumer. Could be Dodd. Could even be Obama.

      I’m actually going to reserve judgment until I actually read the damn thing and see the language.

  8. Leen says:

    Went over to John Deans to link the article having to do with the Angler book and found a Dean piece about the debate. Ouch
    In fact, it will be inexplicable if she does not. A presidential debate is not a test. With her college degree in television journalism, work as a television sportscaster, and experience as practicing politician she certainly understands television, probably better than many candidates, and she has demonstrated that she can work a television audience to her favor. I have no doubt that Paris Hilton would have done as well, maybe better.

    EW I am sure you have a long list of questions for Gellman after reading the book. Here is John Deans take

    Terri Gross interviewed Gellman…..d=94662546

  9. Leen says:


    The Ring of Fire/Greg Palast
    Today on Ring of Fire!
    By Ring of Fire

    This week’s Ring of Fire, hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio:
    Saturdays at 3 o’clock Eastern, rebroadcasts Sunday nights at 8 pm Eastern

    Investigative journalist and author Greg Palast will be here to tell us how we can steal back our vote from the GOP, before they steal it from us! To learn more, make sure you visit

    Media critic Elliot Cohen joins us to talk about how the McCain – Palin campaign has brainwashed Americans into thinking that they actually represent “change.”

    Author Andrew Bacevitch will tell us how the Bush Doctrine has made America less safe, and has helped foster terrorism around the globe.

    We’ll also be talking with Dan Cantor, executive director of the Working Families Party, who’ll tell us why we need a bailout for Main Street, and not Wall Street.

    And as always, we’ll bring you the stories that the mainstream media didn’t feel like reporting this week.

  10. perris says:

    consumate skill marcy?

    all he did was challenge congress to do something about it, that took no skill, it took the weakness of congress

    cheney, regardless of what that book might say, is inept, he has failed at everything, he is dillusional and a sociopath

    it’s simple to tear things down, it’s difficult to build, cheney tore this country down and he will have no ability in rebuilding it

    I refuse to give cheney any credit but the credit of a sociopathic bafoon;

    The veep’s career has been marred by one disaster after another

    an excellant and well sources piece of journalism, cheney has done nothing but fail

    • emptywheel says:

      There’s a huge difference between his ability to manipulate the bureaucracy amazingly well and doing so to pursue stupid policies.

      I agree his policies have been abject failures–in fact, one of the things the book makes clear is that Cheney’s responsible for almost all of Bush’s failures, save Katrina, perhaps.

      But the reason he was able to implement those policies, against the opposition of the adults in the Bush Administration, has everything to do with his mastery of bureacracy.

      • perris says:

        But the reason he was able to implement those policies, against the opposition of the adults in the Bush Administration, has everything to do with his mastery of bureacracy.

        his mastery of bureacracy is as follows;

        “I’m doing it and you have to stop me”

      • rxbusa says:

        I read somewhere (sorry, can’t remember so no link) that W originally wanted Cheney to spearhead the Katrina response and he declined.

  11. bmaz says:

    That is a disaster to you; however, it was his intended result in substantially in every case. Cheney is incredibly effective and does possess consummate skill at what he does. And the fact that he still sits there doing it to this day is proof. You can hate his game, and it is hateful and should be hated; but only a fool would discount his skills as a player. There is a difference. I think Cheney is one of the most loathsome people ever to grace our government; but I stand in awe of what the fucker has managed to pull off without so much as have been nicked in the process.

    • stryder says:

      Also he’s been able to pull all this off under the scrutiny of the public eye with addington’s guidance and cover,twisting,manipulating and trashing laws and people to hide everything,exposing the systems weaknesses and capitalizing on every angle.
      I’m more concerned about what he’s going to be up to once he’s out of office and how difficult it’s going to be to keep track of him and his cronies.
      Check out this cast of characters…..is_series/

  12. Akatabi says:

    I’d like to see where the strict constructionists get this flexibility. All I remember is presiding over the senate, breaking ties and the presidential succession bit.

  13. WilliamOckham says:

    See, at first when Palin said this, I was immediately horrified by the thought of someone with the power of Dick Cheney, but the ignorance and incompetence of Sarah Palin–a sure recipe for disaster.

    It’s not just Palin’s ignorance and incompetence. Can you imagine John ‘Drama Queen’ McCain letting anybody in his administration have the freedom of movement that Cheney had? McCain will surround himself with sycophants and ineffectual tokens. Palin just happens to be a two-fer in that regard. [The following sentence, sadly, is not snark.] McCain is more likely to have an affair with Palin than trust her with real power.

    • emptywheel says:

      I’m also amused that Palin thinks she could take the lead in relations with Congress. Having beaten Murkowski and successfully used and abused Uncle Toobz as her mentor must make her believe she can wind all the old boys in the Senate around her finger–on both the Republican and Democratic side.

      Can you imagine Mitch McConnell dealing with Sarah? Chuck Schumer? Can you imagine Barbara Boxer (who can be downright unpleasant when she puts her mind to it) dealing with Palin? Even the Noobs–like Jim Webb and Claie McCaskill would kick her ass.

      She couldn’t intimidate Joe Biden the other night–and he’s always a gentleman. How does she think she’s going to knock heads in the Senate?

    • Ishmael says:

      The soft bigotry of low expectations for Republican nominees for office has been a catastrophe for the country and the rest of the world since Reagan and all the wingnuts who came in with Gingrich in 1994. Sarah Palin is simply the most recent example. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that she is now the frontrunner to challenge President Obama in 2012. Palin-Petraeus 2012!!!!!!!!!!

      • perris says:

        I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that she is now the frontrunner to challenge President Obama in 2012. Palin-Petraeus 2012!!!!!!!!!!

        I think mccain and the neo cons will blame his failure on her, they really do not wanta theorcrat running their party they just need them for elections

        they thought sarah was their only hope of turning the avalanch known as obama

        I think she has a better shot hosting the faux infomercial then she has getting another shot at the administration

      • WilliamOckham says:

        No way. She’s gonna be the fall gal for this fiasco when McCain ends up failing to break 200 electoral votes. There’s only one person who came out of this election season in good shape on the Republican side and his name is Mike Huckabee. He’s got to be the odds-on favorite for 2012. I’m looking forward to him kicking Newt’s butt and then losing to Obama.

        • Ishmael says:

          I have to disagree, I think it is far more likely that McCain will be the fall guy, for all his “mavericky” apostasy from true conservatism and the large number of enemies McCain has in the party. I have to agree that Huckabee comes out enhanced in the party, it is interesting to speculate if he would have energized the fundy base as much as Palin while at the same time being much readier for prime time. If Palin manages not to get impeached in Alaska in the next couple of years, I think she and Huck will be competing for the same votes.

          • FrankProbst says:

            I have to disagree, I think it is far more likely that McCain will be the fall guy, for all his “mavericky” apostasy from true conservatism and the large number of enemies McCain has in the party.

            I’m with you on this one. If McCain loses, they’re going to pin it all on him. The base hates him, he’s old, and he’s not going to have any power if he doesn’t win–he’ll just be another Senator from the minority party. On the other hand, the base loves Palin, and the party bigwigs think about her when they’re jerking off. This is going to be blamed totally on McCain, not Palin.

        • bmaz says:

          I’ll take that bet. I am convinced it is Petraeus, and the only way it is not is if they are convinced no one can beat Obama and they decide not to burn him for a losing cause.

  14. rosalind says:

    bruuuce live in philly, for those so inclined:


    (ed randell intro’d bruce as “barack obama”. bruce said “i’m not barack obama, but i’ll do my best”)

  15. JohnLopresti says:

    Rice supports torcha and secret prisins September 2006 on CBS.

    McCain says the president is ok to devise ways to torcha if not explicitly banned in neoMCA September 2006 on CBS, and same interview as glossed by MSLederman.

    Palin may never face the speechwriter who designs disparagements like the early Bush years, or even the polemicists who tried to boonswaggle congress in 2006 over DCA trying to make whole what inReHamdan rendered shards before Scotus and inReBoumediene wrecked soon thereafter; but, Palin would sing the chorus in the Energy Corridor treaties, and urge Johnson to squelch science in perpetuity at EPA. Plus there are the Goodling oaths to remake, a chore McCain surely would add to Palin’s to-do list, as the party machine rolled out judgeship nominees, and strategies for recess appointments, and restoration of the initiative to eliminate cloture. I would expect Palin to support Polish ABMs and the continuation of strategies to exacerbate global tensions in the name of propriety and US hegemonism.

    Then there is the question of how eagerly a Palin vp might pursue reversal of Mukasey’s ‘depoliticization’ of DoJ regime, so the DeLay remap of gerrymandery might be yet another neovogue; v. linked current Nation article by Gumbel. Conjecture, as the rust belt molts away from GOP primacy and the electorate opts to vote with pocketbook, for Barack Obama.

  16. Loo Hoo. says:

    Palin could keep Addington as her right hand man, couldn’t she? And take advice from Cheney on a daily basis?

  17. GregB says:

    Sarah the Scumbag will be Karl Rove with a hair bun and rimless glasses. She’s going to be the point person in McSlime machine…

    Barrucada’s bile is going to wear thin.

    She’s going to be a shattered person after she allows the GOP to turn her into a personal sewage cannon.

    Good luck Sarah.


  18. radiofreewill says:

    Nobody’s given Sarah the Memo:

    The Goopers are Scuttling the S.S. Republican Party…

    …the smart ones are Jumping Overboard…

    …but, Bush and Cheney are expectin’…

    …McCain (It’s his ‘Destiny’ to rise from POW to President), and…

    …Palin (It’s her ‘Mission from God’ to rise from VP to President and Reform America)…

    …to go down with the Ship…

    …hurlin’ insults and slurs at the Rest of US all the way…

    …even as the Deep Waters of Confusion lap over their feet.

    – McCain’s Not Fit for the Presidency (Poor Judgment) and

    – Palin’s Not Qualified for the Vice-Presidency (Non-Rational Thinker).

    Which makes them Perfect Fools to Spout the Party Line – regardless of circumstances – All the Way into Oblivion – never catching-on to what was really happening.

    For now, We should Note Their Desperation – but Press-On With Determination to Win 67 Senate Seats and 300 House Seats.

    Let the Ship of Fools sink, We’ve got Work to Do.

    Take Back America!

      • radiofreewill says:

        Remember when Valujet bombed itself over the Everglades, and morphed into AirTran?

        Well, imho, Bush and the Goopers did the same thing to the Republican Brand. We’ll just have to wait and see what they re-name themselves…

  19. Sara says:

    Yea, I agree with Loo Hoo, the plan is that Sarah will hire David Addington as her Chief of Staff, and then Addington will hire Cheney as a consultant.

    Agree with Bmaz too on Petraeus. He is being groomed for a run at it in 2012. Woodward has that lovely conversation between General Keane and Petraeus wherein Keane attempts to convince Petraeus that he is another Eisenhower. (If only they understood that the making of Ike was the influence of George Marshall — and the Army doesn’t have a Marshall in their tuckerbag these days.)

    Good News out of Minnesota — the Minnesota Poll (Star-Tribune) coming out in Sunday’s paper has Franken up by 9. Looks like Dean Barkley is drawing heavy support from Republican leaning Independents and Republicans. If Barkley were not in the race (he gets 18%) Franken would be up by 7. Apparently, from the polling, Coleman’s negative ads have turned people off in a big way. First Debate is tomorrow night. Otherwise, the Secretary of State now estimates that 85% of the elegible voters in the state are currently registered. Huge flow of new voters. With same day registration at the polls, we just might crack 90% voting this year. Minnesota always leads the nation (1st or 2nd place) in turn-out. Out at Target standing in the check-out line, a couple of teens, probably about 18 were talking, and one wasn’t registered yet, and her friend just said it isn’t cool not to vote this year! She looked pretty downbeat at that comment.

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      Ultimate compliment, Sara! I so enjoy your comments. I lived in Carlstad, Barrett, Blackduck and Bemidji.

  20. scribe says:

    TPM reports Palin paid no income taxes on the per diem she received from the State of Alaska for living at home.

    And that the per diem was, in fact, taxable income.

  21. radiofreewill says:

    OT Bush has had many Failings in Office, but – once he leaves office – ‘The One’, The Failure, that He Will Own Most before the World, and the World Court, will be Torture.

    Bush/Cheney = McCain/Palin = Republican Party = Torture

    By Nov. 4th, the Only Supporters Left for the GOP will be:

    – Lobbyists
    – Extremists and Kooks
    – Bushies

    Currently, there is No Ground Game for the Republicans. There’s not even a Meaningful Infrastructure connecting the States – just con-calls, e-mails and faxes. There’s Nobody out there manning the Oars for the Goopers. There’s Only McCain’s Lobbyist-Run National PR Campaign.

    Bush has Turned into Kryptonite for the Goopers – rendering their Platform Immoral, their Supporters Unmotivated, and their once-Great Grand Old Party Weak and Impotent.

    Now is the time!

    Take Back America!

  22. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Well, so much of this political news is just maddening and frustrating, but I just happened on a clip of NBC’s Brian Williams on Letterman, and it’s definitely relevant to this thread. If you’d like some good belly laughs about Palin, the McCain campaign’s refusal to deal with MSNBC (and by association NBC), and other symptoms of petty junior-high hautiness from the McCain-Palin campaign, go here and enjoy a more humorous perspective on this looniness:…..31858.html

  23. Professor Foland says:

    Nebraska splits its CD delegates, and there is some reasonable chance Obama might peel off one vote out of Nebraska in the east (I believe in the district Kleeb ran in). The current McCain strategy is very defensively oriented and even if they get all the other breaks (ie winning OH, FL, VA, CO), a single delegate loss might still make the difference. So Omaha doesn’t seem so farfetched.

    OT: the one week Illinois hangs 45 on UM in the Big House is the one week we don’t have trash talk? Did you know something we didn’t, EW? I mean, 431 yards for Juice Williams? Last year this time his typical stat line was 12-20 for 125.

    For good reason you take OSU more seriously, but for an Illinois fan there is no sweeter victory than one over Michigan, especially in Ann Arbor.

    Did I mention the 45 points? Or the 431 yards?

    • emptywheel says:

      You know. When I saw all the ugly orange, I was trying to remember which commenter was an Illini.

      But I figured whoever it was would come out of the woodwork.

      Were all those folks who kept cutting me off today while doing errands Illini? Because they’re a menace on the road.

  24. bmaz says:

    People in Ann Arbor not well situated to talk trash currently. Unfortunately, those of us around ASU are not either. I will get up a trash talk post here in a bit nevertheless.

  25. bmaz says:

    Yep, the Illini have been running over Michiganers all day.

    Professor, do you not have some questions about the Pats too?? Come on, you know you do!

  26. masaccio says:

    Irish: 4-1!

    Vanderbilt: 5-0!

    Titans 4-0!

    masaccio feeling pretty good about the gridiron so far!

  27. LangostinoHues says:

    OT: Inaugural Comment Post Bull**i* Intro, Take (1)
    (cue intro fanfare in 3-2-1 … Ta-Daa!!!1!)

    (voice over)
    Look! Up in the sky… no, wait… Down in the thread … no…
    What? Who said that?

    Yes, It is I, long-time lurker, serial failer-at-attempts-to-registerer, come at last, in your hour of greatest need, to save the day
    spread smileys and distribute ponies to one and all
    take poops on your lawns
    (hissing voice over)
    Get back on-topic, you idiot, and try to hold this thought: you’re not at SN! now, you are at FDL; not at the TReehouse, FDL! Got it?
    What? Who…
    Oh, ok.

    Under yet another secret identity, as amocz — mild-mannered commenter for a great metropolitan blog — I recently posted a comment on the possibilty of a Cheney-Palin succession (in the snarked-out SN! way, to be sure, but still with a modicum of truth/justice, imho) that said, in effect, the chance Sarah Palin, who is not qualified to be even an old-style “pail of warm spit” VP, has of ever seeing, much less occupying, the Cheney-throne in the Fortress of Undisclosed Solitude beneath Weather Mt., are too minute to be measurable with current technology. John McCain’s misogyny, and the upstaging he has had to endure from her “celebrity” with the moron base of the GOP, will see to that. Of course, she will own certain policy areas (SCOTUS appointments come to mind) that he doesn’t care about one way or the other; but once the campaign is over, the hood ornament will be welded to the hood — highly visible, but not connected to anything important — and will remain there, for the term of McCain’s administration or his mortality, whichever is shorter. And therein (or there-out) lies the rub.

    If the election is anything less than a tsunami in favor of Obama, the Republicans will try to steal it, and they have a good chance (and track record) of success on that score. John McCain’s chances of surviving to the end of his first/only term in office are not great, from the actuarial and medical points of view; and what with millions of True Believers fervently praying for his “salvation and early death” from 01/20/09 onward…

    Now, a truly merciful God surely would not inflict a Madame President Sarah Palin on America, would He? Everyone knows that America is good, pure of intent, and would never display that quality — hubris I think they called it — that was known from antiquity to provoke the wrath of the God(s) every time…

    As an atheist, I don’t beleive any of that crap anyway; it is, how you say, in a rhetorical mode. But I am going to STFU now, because I am scaring myself. Cheers, folks.

    • LabDancer says:

      Yeah, what bmaz said.

      Couple of comments on things you wrote:

      “Sarah Palin…is not qualified to be even an old-style “pail of warm spit” VP”

      I assume you imply reliance on a number of authoritative sources for that view of the minimal demands of the job, but you would go further and propose that it be seen more in the nature of a minimum requirement. That’s a leap, no matter how small, and in any even transformational, so it deserves a name. Might I suggest the “apocryphal standard”?

      I think you’re on to something important here: that it’s the apocryphal standard that has been used by much of the establishment media. However, the public’s view appears to have been somewhat more nuanced.

      It was no less clear in 2000 than it is now that Cheney came to the job having spent an impressive amount of time looking over the Constitution and watching those on the job.

      In fairness to Cheney, its beyond arguable that he has succeeded in proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that if the Framers had your suggested standard in mind, they failed to make it clear. In fairness to the public, it can be difficult to detect when study has turned into obsession- or at least it can be difficult without reading and paying attention, because by the time 2000 rolled around, there was already an abundance of evidence available that wherever the line is, he’d crossed it.

      I agree with Ms. E Wheel that doing requires a certain set of gifts that nature, it appears, has denied Ms. Palin. Like an attention span.

      Where I depart from Ms. E Wheel is on the notion that the GOP machine is really introducing Ms. Palin as a candidate for VPOTUS. I think the plans of the GOP machine are longer, and insofar as they involve Ms Palin, greater. I also think they’re a better match for her ambition.

      But then it’s for a different job – one in which, in stark contrast with VPOTUS, neither having hunted witches nor nor having invoked witchcraft is considered an inherent disqualifying feature.

      I’m satisfied the public view is the correct one insofar as the job of VPOTUS is concerned, particularly given Governor Palin made out a powerful and compelling case for her at least approaching your apocryphal standard.

      Also; you: “If the election is anything less than a tsunami in favor of Obama, the Republicans will try to steal it”.

      And it might be a pretty nice day, it if doesn’t rain.

  28. 4jkb4ia says:

    “There was a time when conservatives lamented the dumbing down of American culture. Preservation of basic standards in schools and workplaces compelled them — or so they said — to resist affirmative action for women and minorities. Qualifications mattered; merit mattered; and demagogic appeals for leveling were to be left to the Democrats.

    Not anymore.”

    This was my response to the Peggy Noonan thing. Peggy Noonan almost certainly knows people like this, who are what I suppose you could call Heather McDonald conservatives. If you have distanced yourself from the very liberal intellectual trends Noonan was making fun of because “illiterates” (McDonald’s word) are shaping them, it is consistent to be appalled when a vice-presidential candidate seems uninformed and cannot speak English. The “real America” has more than one race you know.

  29. LangostinoHues says:

    Scene Setup
    Christmas Morning, 3:41 AM
    Household immortalized by “Calvin and Hobbes” strip*
    *(sorry, more detailed info not available; c.f. Comic Strip Character Privacy Act, 1988)
    Calvin, furiously pounding down staircase, all the while chanting maniacally ‘BoyOboyOboyOboy…’
    Hobbes, tiptoeing in pursuit, on lookout for grownups, casting nervous glances back up the stairs


    “Hmmm, I got, lessee, three presents, so far. THREE!? Is that ALL? Somebody must’ve squealed on me! No fair, it wasn’t me, I was framed, I… wait …From bmaz …From emptywheel … Wow, those guys are my heroes! What’s this other one…some guy that dances with dogs? Weird! But still, pretty cool. No, that’s REALLY cool! Hey, Hobbes, we’re RICH! Bwahaha, RIIICH!

    Thanks to all who responded to my Inaugural Comment posting. Wow, I love you guys!

    As for the rest who have NOT seen fit to respond… well, I love you guys, too. No, really. (Trolls, not so much.)

    It seems like I have been lurking around FDL since forever, but really only since about early 2006. FDL was my home page for a long time; it had a great blogroll, back in the day, from which I could keep tabs on all the DFH sites, with Firedoglake always open in the Home window. After the redesign, the blogrolls became all balkanized and I had to move out to maintain my modus surferandi, but I still spend literally hours here each day, every day, poring over the posts and the comments, getting to where I feel like I know many of you personally, and have for years.

    Only, like, not really.

    A typical manifestation of Loerker’s syndrome, I suppose, where the subject has retired and relocated to new city, and where his circle of real-life acquaintances has contracted to a total of 6 (count ‘em) people, none of whom can be said to share the subject’s tendency toward techno-geek DFH-dom. In response, the subject says “Fuck you guys, I’m goin’ home”, and abandons life in the real world, in favor of an on-line existence among interesting, intelligent and just generally more awesome folks than the extras with which Central Casting has seen fit to populate his off-line milieu. In his on-line persona, however, he was both invisible and mute — in other words, totally lame.

    Well, folks, that’s about it for this episode of The Lone Lurker. Tune in for future exciting installments, as they occur.

    (This episode made possible by RBG, sysop exraordinaire, at, who resolved the snafu which kept me from being able to create a login account here, and in a more just world would be given a big, fat raise.)

  30. brantl says:

    See, at first when Palin said this, I was immediately horrified by the thought of someone with the power of Dick Cheney, but the ignorance and incompetence of Sarah Palin–a sure recipe for disaster.

    The only real difference is the incomptence, which might, after all, be self-limiting. Cheney was just as stupid, both of them think that they’re so bright that they don’t check the validity of the “facts” that lead to their opinions. She’s just Cheney in drag with a face lift, getting by on her looks.