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Inside Sarah Palin's brain

I've peeked at "Game Change," the new anonymous quotefest on the '08 presidential campaign by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. Do I have to read the whole thing? I know it has saucy bits that we're supposed to gobble up, but some of them (like the dysfunction and discord within the John Edwards campaign) just make me wince.

Also, parts of it are maddening. John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin may have been a bold stroke that narrowed what would otherwise have been a blowout defeat. But it was also, as the authors depict it, an act of extreme recklessness, a seat-of-the-pants improvisation that allowed for almost no serious vetting of someone who knew diddly-squat about the world we live in and who would have been a heartbeat from the presidency.

"In the days leading up to an interview with ABC News' Charlie Gibson, aides were worried with Ms. Palin's grasp of facts. She couldn't explain why North and South Korea were separate nations and she did not know what the Federal Reserve did. She also said she believed Saddam Hussein attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001."

Where'd they find her? Well, on the Internet, as it happens. "McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, spotted Sarah Palin while searching the Internet for possible female vice presidential candidates." More from CBS News:

"Her foreign policy tutors are literally taking her through, 'This is World War I, this is World War II, this is the Korean War. This is the how the Cold War worked.' Steve Schmidt had gone to them and said, 'She knows nothing,'" Heilemann told Cooper. "A week later, after the convention was over, she still didn't really understand why there was a North Korea and a South Korea. She was still regularly saying that Saddam Hussein had been behind 9/11. And, literally, the next day her son was about to ship off to Iraq. And when they asked her who her son was going to fight, she couldn't explain that."

Skimming the book, one passage jumped out: The account of White House meeting of President Bush, Barack Obama, McCain, Nancy Pelosi and other top officials during the financial crisis of September 2008. Obama, the authors write, all but ran the meeting, even though McCain had sought it. McCain said nothing for 45 minutes and then had little that was helpful to contribute. It's impossible to know who is channeling the story to the authors, since it's all anonymous, but it seems to me that Bush was one of the sources (or Rove, Bush's brain?) and that he gave McCain some payback for all the guff McCain gave him over the years.

One Republican in the room mused silent, If you closed your eyes and changed everyones' voices, you would have thought Obama was the president of the United States. [p. 388]

... Bush was dumbfounded by McCain's behavior. He'd forced Bush to hold a meeting that the president saw as pointless -- and then sat there like a bump on a log. Unconstructive, thought Bush. Unclear. Ineffectual. [p. 389]

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 11, 2010; 12:39 PM ET
 
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Comments

Le Premiere?

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely none of this surprises me for an instant -- in regard to any and all of the names!

i have this fantasy that Palin's eventual demise would be by brain tumor and Cheney's will be by heart attack. The oxymoronic coefficient would scream off the charts!

That Obama ran the show, even during the end of Little Boy's term makes me *snort* and that McCain could barely do more than breathe is deja vu all over again, eh?

And, now, back to the mines. Cya later.

Am I still *first*?

Posted by: -ftb- | January 11, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Snukie. I thought I was.

*stepping aside*

Posted by: -ftb- | January 11, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The complete passivity of McCain at that 'summit' was widely reported at the time. Calling the meeting was seen as a bluff that McCain pulled in order to slow down the pace of Obama's campaign schedule and give McCain some time to regroup. It backfired completely and he came off as a dundering fool in over his head.

Palin is also being rumored for a long term on-camera role on FauxNews.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/sarah-palin-to-contribute-to-fox-news/

If I were the DNC, I'd be a major underwriter of that effort. The number of gaffes that will produce is a veritable treasure trove of Palinisms.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 11, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing to me how many people still think Palin has the goods to be a leader. My gosh, what's wrong with our country?

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 11, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Palin on Fox News...no surprise there, Yello.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 11, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to look inside Palin's brain.

Posted by: Manon1 | January 11, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh, jeez. If this get's a front page alert we'll be stampeded while running to the bunker.

Sadly, though, I kinda woulda loved to have heard them explain WWI to Palin. "See, it was August, yanno, when it gets hot? And over in Europe or someplace, this archbishop got shot, so the Church of England got pissed off and attacked the Church of German. And so they dug a long trench to make sure nobody got across. Then the United States intercepted this e-mail from the king of Germania to the president of Mexico, Fernando Valenzuela, and that got President Woodrow Call all mad and stuff, because they didn't cc him on it. And so he attacked Russia, which attacked Bolivia, which came to the aid of New Zealand, and next thing you know, there was this truce thing, and they all stopped before they all killed each other with that ketchup gas.

Now, World War Eye Eye, that was even bigger...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 11, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"Palinisms?" I prefer the term "Palindromes," yello.

One could suggest that it means nothing backwards, forwards, or any way you look at it.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 11, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I thought a palindrome was one of those camels with the two humps on top of its chest. (The single-hump kind are called bacteria, IIRC.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 11, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Scotty! Mudge! Sorry to post and run earlier.

I don't know what goes on inside Sarah Palin's head, but I'm pretty sure there's considerable echoing.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 11, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

bc -- you are, oh yes you indeed are, a genius.

*palindromes* -- hahahahaha

Posted by: -ftb- | January 11, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I see irony today in the fact that Washington Post's Chris Cillizza led a chat at washingtonpost.com today about the stupid or not so stupid or silly remarks made recently by:

Sarah Palin [about God and politics]
Harry Reid [race, speech, politics]
Rod Blagojevich [race and politics]

when Cillizza himself very recently jumped the shark with Dana Milbank with his remarks about:
[gender and politics]

Halperin and Heilemann will certainly make some bucks thanks to the heavy media buzz.

Posted by: laloomis | January 11, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I am flabbergasted! Bush thinks in words of more than two syllables. Who knew?

Surely what he really thought was "Disconstructive. Clearless. Misundereffectualized."

Posted by: kguy1 | January 11, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

And the title, I presume, is a wonderful tribute to Roland Hedley's spelunking expedition through Reagan's Brain.

Bravo.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 11, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Ah Mudge, that was hilarious! I'd have loved to hear Palin's history lesson from the GOP too.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 11, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that was brilliant! But you forgot to mention the Christmas party where they all sat down to Roast Goose, pulled Christmas crackers, and exchanged presents.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | January 11, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Palinanity would also work.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 11, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

And one of Obama's solution for fixing the problems in the financial sector, from an article posted midday at the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/business/economy/12bailout.html?hp

First two grafs:

President Obama is likely to propose a fee on financial institutions to help reduce the federal deficit when he releases his budget plans in February, although the details remain unresolved, according to administration officials.

The bank fee would recover some of the money that taxpayers put up to bail out the financial system after its near collapse in the fall of 2008, a rescue effort that has contributed to the largest annual budget deficits since World War II.

In this case, I think Geithner is correct, as explained in a later graf in the article:

...Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, has been opposed, arguing that a transactions tax would simply be passed on to customers and a bonus tax could be easily circumvented.
***

*sigh, nothing like paying twice for the banking bailouts. BTW, anyone read Frank Rich's excellent column Sunday at the NYT. "The Other Plot to Wreck America"? What I'd like to know is how Califonia's Phil Angelides got tapped to be the inquiry's chairman?*

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/opinion/10rich.html

Chernow on Pecora:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/opinion/06chernow.html

Posted by: laloomis | January 11, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

History of the 20th C, condensed.

You can see Germany from France (and vice-versa).

Posted by: engelmann | January 11, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, well, well...I see that a bit of Bakersfield has been thrown into the mix of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/08/financial-crisis-inquiry-commission-bankers_n_415889.html

Angelides is the Democratic former California treasurer. His vice chairman is [Bakersfield's] Republican Bill Thomas, a former congressman who chaired the House Ways and Means Committee. Together they lead a 10-member bipartisan commission with an ambitious mandate and limited time.

Posted by: laloomis | January 11, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Someone may have cleared this up before, but I cannot understand this statement from the front page about Palin --

'Schmidt did concede that the McCain campaign's "margin of defeat would've been greater than it would've been" without Palin on the ticket.'

Posted by: nellie4 | January 11, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

That's a mid-air double past conditional, ending in a head-scratcher.

Posted by: engelmann | January 11, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Sarah's going to be at San Antonio's Hyatt Hill Country Resort (about 7 miles away)for tea and teabaggers in 11 days.

Anyone coming down from the Washington Post?

Posted by: laloomis | January 11, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

So THAT'S what it is!

Posted by: nellie4 | January 11, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/01/palin-signs-on-with-fox-news.html?hpid=topnews

There's going to be hen in the FOXhouse.

Posted by: laloomis | January 11, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Tom Sietsma.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 11, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey, today is a palindrome: it's 01/11/10.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 11, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Quite true on the date, 'Mudge...

May I suggest PalinDRONE might be a better neologism?

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

It's been nearly half a century since I studied power of 2 stuff, binary code, and all that. Anybody know (I'm sure with all you sci-geeks one of you does) how 011110 translates into ordinary numbers? Does it spell "french fry" or something? Does Bill Gates own t6he patent on it?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 11, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I'd call them Palindrones.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 11, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

So nice to see raysmom. *Waving*

I was absurdly pleased to see that John Kelly used two of the words I had posted to his facebook page (palimpsest and deracinated) in his column today, and even gave a little funny shout out to Canada. Cute!

Posted by: Yoki | January 11, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Whaa? Is Harry Reid coming out of the closet?

From Cillizza on the front page: "Reid in direst of straights"

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 11, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom!!! (again!) :-)

'Mudge, I think 011110 translates to "all your money are belong to us."

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

He was a percussionist on "Money for Nothing, Chicks for Free," DNAgirl.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 11, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

011110 = 30

ugh! when is her 15 min of fame going to be over already!!!

i was a BIG rhps goer - i even went to the last showing at 8th street playhouse in nyc - where they saw rhps on the first movie "Fame"

mo

Posted by: mortii | January 11, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Laughing, Scotty.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 11, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The “Game Change” offers proof that Barbie needs a lobotomy. Is she an damaged goods?

Posted by: MarkHarrisLtd | January 11, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

And in the "Not So Funny, but SO Not a Surprise" Dept:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/01/11/sports/AP-BBO-Steroids-McGwire.html

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

And yet another stunner: "BREAKING NEWS
McGwire admits using steroids when he broke home run record." Yawn.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 11, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Missed it by THAT much, chief.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 11, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Great. Now I see Reid "banging on the bongos like a chimpanzee". Interesting visual given his comments about Obama.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 11, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The ever-decreasing portion of the population that is willing to call itself Republican is the only bright side to this near-nightmare.

The Partisan apologists who continue to insist that Palin should have any role whatsoever in American politics will guarantee Democratic control in Washington.

Phew! It was close there for a minute.

Posted by: thebobbob | January 11, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Interesting kit, Mr. A.

As it happens, there seem to be a lot of theories regarding Ms. Palin's selection as the GOP VP nominee. They don't necessarily conflict with each other, but provide different perspectives on the complexity of politics.

Today my local NPR station featured an interview of Max Blumenthal, author of ‘Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party.' According to him, the Sarah Palin choice was highly influenced by Dr. James Dobson, radio program host and founder of Focus on the Family.

As for McGwire, many in TWC referred to the Sosa-McGwire home run derby at the time as the Steroid Shuffle.

Posted by: MsJS | January 11, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

engelmann, I must differ on your short history of the 20th c. Concise and pithy though it is, it needs just one more short sentence and brief parenthetical comment to make it complete and sufficiently accurate:

You can see Germany from France (and vice-versa). Sometimes, you can see Germany IN France (though not vice-versa).

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 11, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm... No Front Page Alert as of yet.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

ah great - they changed the name of the nissan pavilion to "jiffy lube live"... what kind of a cheezy name is that!!

mo

Posted by: mortii | January 11, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin: more evidence that "God's Plan" includes practical jokes.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 11, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

It may have been God's plan. She just hasn't been briefed that she's on the Midianite side.

Posted by: engelmann | January 11, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The full-body scan experience: http://www.sphere.com/opinion/article/opinion-body-scanners-and-me/19311813

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 11, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I have suspected for quite a while that McCain chose Palin because she's light-skinned and has no Negro dialect.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 11, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, SciTim.

While I'm not advocating it as a solution to our airport security problems, I've actually met some very nice people while being patted down.

In a bass-ackwards kind of way, I'd miss that if I had to go the full-body scan route.

Posted by: MsJS | January 11, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I think the reason Palin still gets attention is because she taps into that ethos that anyone can grow up to be anything they want with just some common sense. Higher education - fluff! Wrap yourself in the Bible and the flag and go get 'em. God's on our side. Oh, and grab a six-gun while you're at it. Those nattering nabobs in DC ain't looking out for us folks - just lining their own pockets and those of their rich friends (that last is probably true, actually. But it applies to everybody, not one particular party). Oh, and what happens beyond our shores - We don't really care, unless they start shooting at us.

Posted by: ebtnut | January 11, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine trying to explain anything to that woman, let alone the World Wars.

Sheesh.

Posted by: cbalefan | January 11, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I was first patted down by a BOAC matron at Heathrow in 1972. It didn't bother me, why should it? I wish, though, that security measures weren't so damned time-consuming.

Did anyone else see David Brin's suggestion that extra bureaucracy isn't the answer, that we should concentrate on informing citizens and teaching them how to deal, instead of creating more insane protocols. There is merit in that suggestion, IMHO.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2010/01/cornucopia-of-wonders.html

Relevant comments start in para 6...

Posted by: slyness | January 11, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

There are only 10 kinds of people in the world, mortii. Those that understand binary and those who don't.

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | January 11, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the link, slyness.

I confess to giggling about the gummint's response to the December 25 incident. All sorts of teeth-gnashing about what goes on with air passenger security, while airport employee security is still full of holes.

And there's very little security in subway stations, at shopping malls, in underground parking lots, and the like.

I just have a hard time taking it seriously.

Posted by: MsJS | January 11, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Mo!!!

Have you been to say goodbye to the little butterstick or are you still in denial? Took the fam there for Zoolights and he's as adorable as ever. Sigh...

All I can say is that if this country ever elects Palin to any position of responsibility, it will get what it deserves.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 11, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom: SP is not the sort of person to stick with any one job for very long. I don't think she has the endurance, nor the inclination, to grind out a full-blown national campaign.

I predict she'll be gone from Fox News within two years.

Posted by: MsJS | January 11, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

raysmom - i'm still in denial... planning on going to his going away party on the 30th. i've been trying to get there for zoo lights - is it awesome??

and i'm crossing my fingers for a new butterstick - they just inseminated mei xiang...

mo

Posted by: mortii | January 11, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

DLD - and there's no place like 127.0.0.1

*sigh* i'm SUCH a geek!

mo

Posted by: mortii | January 11, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

If a statistician calls you average, she's just being mean.

** double sigh **

Posted by: MsJS | January 11, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Alas, Sarah Heath had a very checkered college attendance, having gone to four institutions of higher learning in five years, including one college twice. Her first college stint was in Honolulu.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1016160/what_college_did_sarah_palin_graduate.html?cat=4

I understand from media reports this morning that "Game Change" also has juicy bits about Obama and the Clintons--none mentioned here. Shall we play "Kick Sarah Palin" for yet another round?

Posted by: laloomis | January 11, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

No thanks, laloomis. I'm movin' on.

Speaking of which, Simon Cowell's movin' on.
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2010/01/cornucopia-of-wonders.html

Posted by: MsJS | January 11, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Would Harry Reid be in agua caliente politically if his remarks were about light-skinned Hispanics who can switch between standardized English and Spanglish? Note that cousin Raquel Welch is mentioned in this article titled "Anything but Brown."

http://www.commondreams.org/scriptfiles/views03/1201-02.htm

POr Harry: A veces, la vida no es justa.

Posted by: laloomis | January 11, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Two words for anyone venturing Inside Sarah Palin's brain:


Bring Oxygen.

Posted by: byoolin1 | January 11, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Now now laloomis. You know all about that, shoot, you can teach the class. But you can't have it both ways. Remember kicking your cousin around last weekend? That was so over the line, you left the planet. I know some want to make allowances for your behavior, believing that it's organic and beyond your control, as if you had a mean streak like a skunk's got a stripe. But rather than defending Sarah (or are you just being contrary?), you should be drafting the most sincere apology ever written.

And by the way, that's not called a Christmas card. That's a Cease and Desist letter.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 11, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/in-reids-comments-hints-of-obamas-own-words/?hp

I myself heard Obama slip into blackcent (or blaccent, as Ruth Marcus uses the term) when Obama appeared in San Antonio at a rally on the near West Side.

One needs only look at and listen to video clips of Obama when he spoken to audiences that are predominantly black to hear a different cadence. As the NYT article I linked to observes, Bill Clinton did the same thing.

Posted by: laloomis | January 11, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The University of Virginia has named a woman to be its new president!

Teresa Sullivan is 60 years old, which means that she couldn't have attended UVa for undergraduate school because they didn't admit women until 1970.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 11, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I too am tired of talk about Palin. It's starting to look a lot like a diversionary ploy. And I hate diversionary ploys to pieces!

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 11, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's give a big WOO-HOO shout-out to her, TBG! And to the students at UVA.

Cool.

Posted by: -ftb- | January 11, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Actually, that would be a WAHOO! :-)

Posted by: -TBG- | January 11, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut,

You said, "I think the reason Palin still gets attention is because she taps into that ethos that anyone can grow up to be anything they want with just some common sense."

I would argue that one of the things that Palin seems to be most lacking is "common sense." Common sense, to me, implies a level of knowledge, which though it may not be able to be attributed to higher education, can be applied on multiple levels--a facility with reasoning, perhaps, that might allow her to apply her experiences in Alaska to more general cases in the US or around the globe.

I've had the McCullough biography of Truman on my reading list for years, but haven't read it. You can correct me if I'm wrong, but Truman has always struck me as an exemplar of the triumph of common sense, and to paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen....

Palin's most defining trait seems to be personal ambition. I think her appeal is most akin to that of a lottery ticket--don't trouble yourself too much while still becoming rich and famous.

Posted by: Awal | January 11, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, Lost in Thought, here you go again. Why don't you write my family history (including present-day relationships--genetic even) through all the generations, given your in-depth knowledge of it all?

I'm not fond of Palin's political views, but she is family, distant family. She's got a Greene line on one parent's side; and a Phelps line on the other parent's--lines we share. Her antecedent, Rev. Lathrop of Scituate, Mass., did an early survey of the town, the names on the Rev.'s list are more of my antecdents.

But what did I say today? I talked about Cillizza, the fact that Palin will be in San Antonio on Jan. 22, that she's been tapped by FOX News for appearances, that (for whatever the reasons) she had a checkered college history. Facts.

David Brooks wrote that three times he heard someone say that Sarah Palin was "trailer trash." Howie Kurtz did a great piece about Brooks' remarks for the Washington Post. I thought that Brooks would investigate these people's remarks, rather than pass them along without substantiation. According to a well-informed Kurtz, Brooks mentioned these remarks in a column because he had "grown angry at the condescending talk about Sarah Palin."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/21/AR2008092102138.html

And the breast cancer in the family? Gets more interesting by the day. Perhaps tomorrow some talk more about mammals--or should that be lactals?

Posted by: laloomis | January 11, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Canine bard pauses
To relay gnome lack and why:
"Subject's too sordid."

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 11, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Awal: I think that was kind of my point - maybe good common sense can take you a good ways, and that's what Palin is trying to tap into rhetorically. If she had had really good common sense, she would have said to McCain, "I'm flattered you asked, but I know I'm not ready to be vice-president." Opportunism masking as common sense is a different thing entirely.

Posted by: ebtnut | January 11, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

laloomis, holy moley cannoli why on GGE would I be interested in writing your family history? Noone other than you is interested in that topic in any of its various incantations, and honestly, I don't see how you don't bore yourself to tears from time to time.

You know darned well what you did was beyond the pale. And on the Washington Post, no less. I'm surprised the woman hasn't driven down there for a little one-on-one chat with you. But perhaps she's seeking legal recourse. Or still on the road.

A call to the ombudsman might have been on her to-do list today.

And of course you'd claim Palin as family. You claim relations with just about everyone of any note, and don't seem to think that's odd. Usually, those who drop names do so because they think they're uninteresting otherwise.

Today? You had the nerve to show your face after what you did. Cruel doesn't begin to cover it.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 11, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

MsJS,
If James Dobson of Focus on the Family had a hand in Palin's selection, I have to downgrade my guesstimate of Dobson's knowledge of the outside world and his judgement.

Not that I like him. I just thought he was someone to be taken seriously in the Republican world. I guess some Republicans, at least, must have taken him seriously.

Quite a reasonable chance that Palin, clueless or not, might become president. If not, it'll be for lack of an effective organization, not for cluelessness about economics, foreign affairs, etc.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 11, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I truly fear you are right, Dave. Isn't that a scary thought. My kids volunteered that they want to move to Canada if she is elected President.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 11, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

If Palin is President, it will be the end days. But I don't see that coming.

I see it as a good sign (for rationality) that there wasn't a Palin-storm on the Boodle today. Even without a front-page link, a year ago this would have drawn multitudes. I feel sort of sorry for Joel.

Posted by: Yoki | January 11, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

The transplant was a success, and it's ALIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!! ALIIIIIIIIIVE, I tell you!! The laundry center LIVES!!!!

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Scotty: Congrats! No bolts sticking out anywhere are there?

Posted by: Manon1 | January 11, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Joel, if you are entering Sarah's brain make sure to wear a harness tied to a lifeline connected to an emergency egress davit and winch. It's all standard confined space entry procedure. Just in case the toxic fumes get to you.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 11, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if SP drives a vintage Mount Prospect cop car?

Posted by: -jack- | January 11, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

For those who want to venture there, the Max Blumenthal interview can be found here:
http://www.wbez.org/Program_WV.aspx

The SP reference starts about 27 minutes in.

Basically, Blumenthal believes Dobson had SP on his radar as a true pro-life conservative. Dobson felt McCain was too liberal and refused to endorse him without someone like SP on the ticket.

Blumenthal summarizes it this way:
“So because John McCain was detested by Dobson and all factions of the conservative movement that controlled the Republican party, Sarah Palin, as extreme and unqualified as you and I might have seen her, as mainstream America might have seen her, was the only logical choice as the vice presidential nominee.”

Posted by: MsJS | January 11, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, congratulations! Slapping damp clothes on rocks in this weather can be brutal.

Did anyone hear about the archaeologists who unearthed a three-room home believed to be about 8,000 years old?

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601104&sid=atnxsd9a4fPc

Mudge, might it have been occupied by anyone you knew?

Posted by: MsJS | January 11, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

*Indignant!* Just how old do you think I am, anyway? 8,000 years.

*sputtering*

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 11, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

And folks say women are sensitive...

Posted by: MsJS | January 11, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Inside Palin's Brain? HELLO... HEllo... hello... hello....

Posted by: jgluke | January 11, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, are you saying you're 8,000 years old? We knew that, yanno. No reason to be indignant.

Enjoy the new dryer, Scotty! Life's just grand when the appliances work!

Posted by: slyness | January 11, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I thought Mudge was only, like, 800 or 900 years old.

But he doesn't look a day over 650.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 11, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Of course Mudge should sputter. We all know he's not a day over 5771 years old.
;-)

Posted by: ebtnut | January 11, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Not that Palin doesn't have a well-stuffed brain. It's what it's stuffed with.

Apart from brain contents, she might be an effective gatherer of followers and perhaps even a natural Machiavelli.

When Dick Cheney was my congressman, it took a serious amount of money to run for statewide office in tiny Wyoming (in population terms) where everyone seemed to be within three degrees of separation. Most, probably just one or two.

Alaska is about like Wyoming, but spread from Savannah to San Luis Obispo and Frostbite Falls and lacking Wyoming's abundant and excellent highways. It's remarkable that someone of ordinary means became governor. Even if the state's political gerontocracy was in crisis.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 11, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Gosh. Stevens. What an awful story.

Being from a province which is populated rather like Alaska (but with two cities [and one good one] instead of just one), I still say there is no excuse.

Posted by: Yoki | January 11, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin's but I think there's something useful to learn from her appeal.

Someday, someone (liberal or conservative) will come along and be able to explain complicated policy issues and positions in a way that resonates with non-experts without talking down to them. Boiling issues down to the essentials without oversimplifying. I predict such a politician will enjoy great success. At least until taken down by personal scandal!

Palin's supporters imagine that she is that politician. A lot of other people see her simple explanations as lacking any depth.

If ambition alone were sufficient, she'd be in national office. Since it isn't she'll need to reinvent herself somehow or resign herself to making gobs of money on Fox News.

Hunter S. Thompson pointed out, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." It explains so much.

Posted by: Fifty | January 11, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, How many times do we have to tell you 'be careful what you ask for'

011110 is as mo points out 30 (in decimal)
In hexadecimal it is 1E
RR instruction is ALR - shift left one bit
Graphics control it is RS - rotate shift

Instead of me going inside Sarah's brain, why don't I invite her into mine for a visit, heheheh

Cruel and unusual punishment???

Posted by: omnigood | January 12, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Fifty! It's been a long time since you commented. This was a particularly good one. Thanks.

Posted by: Yoki | January 12, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm a geek a nerd and a dork all rolled into one. GND. I'm only 1 letter off

Posted by: omnigood | January 12, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Hi Yoki! I try to keep up with this blog, but I usually come to it late (as I did tonight) so I miss out on the conversation. I mostly participate by reading. Thanks for your kind words!

Posted by: Fifty | January 12, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh, me too. It is sad that most of the Easterners go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Posted by: Yoki | January 12, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

And they wake up so darned early, too!

Posted by: Fifty | January 12, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

I *know!* But, sometimes I scoop them, as a dedicated insomniac...

Posted by: Yoki | January 12, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Except for those still running on India time. Brunch anyone?

http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3409

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 12, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

*Double Snort*

You still in Mumbai, DNA_Girl? Love the beach there.

Posted by: Yoki | January 12, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

No, just jet lagged, missing mom 'n' dad, missing my lost bag (first time it's happened, but it contained a couple of mom's hand made shawls..waaaahhh), working on a proposal due tomorrow, yadda yadda...

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 12, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

So, bidness as usual...

Posted by: Yoki | January 12, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

And the beaches are pretty much gone now; they're filling up the coastline with boulders to counter erosion...except for Chowpati (the one you remember, perhaps?), which is still shock full of stalls selling yummy Indian snacks.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 12, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

I do remember Chowpati, but didn't like as much as the one east of there... name? Can't remember. But more neighbourly.

Those snacks, though, yum.

Posted by: Yoki | January 12, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

'shock'ingly spicy snacks, that is.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 12, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Capital! Shockin'ly spicy!

Posted by: Yoki | January 12, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

DNA Girl, a lifelong debt of gratitude for your comments that introduced me to sinfest long ago.

Posted by: Fifty | January 12, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

East of chowpati? Maybe a small neighbourhood strip near Nariman point (south?) or near Fort (Ballard estate; east)?

I should get back to work. 'night Yoki, Fifty.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 12, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

maitri: the perfect virtue of sympathy

Posted by: omnigood | January 12, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

127.0.0.1 is loopback aka home

Posted by: omnigood | January 12, 2010 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Omni,
01100111 01101111 01101111 01100100 00100000 01101110 01101001 01100111 01101000 01110100

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 12, 2010 2:13 AM | Report abuse

bits and bytes!

Posted by: Yoki | January 12, 2010 3:11 AM | Report abuse

Who are the real losers in this scenario?
Well, my sympathy goes to the FOX staffers who will have to work with and put up with Sarah Palin, the "Caribou Dingbat."

Posted by: naughtymonkey | January 12, 2010 5:16 AM | Report abuse

Hiya Fifty!! *waving*

And I second the heartfelt thanks to DNA_Girl for unleashing Sinfest on us.

Manon, we made sure they removed ALL the bolts -- don't want the washer self-destructing on the first load! :-O

*trying-to-think-of-an-appropriate-phrase-and-obviously-suffering-a-brain-fart Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 12, 2010 5:19 AM | Report abuse

Palin is a good way to test people. If they have an irrational fear of her, they usually are irrational in other ares. I leave them alone.


Sorry Joel. You had such promise.

Posted by: gary4books | January 12, 2010 5:25 AM | Report abuse

Who gets up too early? Welcome back, DNAGirl. Sorry for the cold weather.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 12, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

'mornin' yello.
I finished Jet Lag 2 and am now into Jet Lag with a Vengeance.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 12, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

Bless your heart, DNA_Girl, as we say here in the South. I hope you sleep well when you get there!

Morning, all, hey Cassandra. A balmy 27 in the Queen City today, I have no excuse for not taking the walk. So I'll be at it!

gary4brooks, I'm not sure the reaction to SP is irrational fear. More like wonder and revulsion.

Posted by: slyness | January 12, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

27 is still too cold to be outdoors. I like weather where I can feel safe from ice patches.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 12, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Pete the Comic Book Writer from the comic strip Funky Winkerbean must be a boodler:

http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComick.mpl?date=20100112&name=Funky_Winkerbean

Posted by: yellojkt | January 12, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

That was good Yello.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 12, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Ah, this is sad indeed... Longtime strongman, still going strong, struck down in a pedestrian accident:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/nyregion/12ironman.html

*SIGHHHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 12, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

And I'm 'Mudged again... New Kit!

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 12, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

No. You're not mudged until somebody else announces new kit.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 12, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

The inside of Sarah Palin's brain is evidently a very small space and I commend you for finding it.

Posted by: poortrekker | January 12, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Why was John McCain any better? He showed obvious signs of Alzheimer's disease during the campaign, and he is for singing "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" to the tune of "Barbara Ann."

And why is it worse to think that Saddam Hussein attacked The United States on September 11, 2001 than to pretend that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda were to blame? The al-Qaeda kamikaze terrorist plot of 9/11 wouldn't fool a baboon. The same applies to the theory that Israel mistook the USS Liberty for an Egyptian horse ferry.

Posted by: markoller | January 12, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I meant to write that John McCain is famous for singing...

Posted by: markoller | January 12, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Lots of empty space there. Maybe we can move some homeless in there for the winter.

Posted by: catlady1 | January 12, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

"But it was also, as the authors depict it, an act of extreme recklessness, a seat-of-the-pants improvisation that allowed for almost no serious vetting of someone who knew diddly-squat about the world we live in and who would have been a heartbeat from the presidency"

Assume your talking about Barak Hussein Obama as he is exactly what you described above. As Bill Clinton stated, he was not worthy to get them coffee vice being POTUS. Liberals Suck!

Posted by: Cobra2 | January 13, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Yes, "ineffectual"; not the first, but surely the third word that came to Bush, in contemplating McCain's performance during the meeting -- "Ineffectual".... giving voice to Bush's supple linguistic usage and incisive critical mind.

Posted by: incredulous | January 13, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

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