Kathleen Parker, the conservative columnist who wrote last week that Sarah Palin is out of her league and that if BS were currency, Palin could rescue Wall Street by herself, has gotten “vicious, threatening” mail because of her view.

Writing in today’s Washington Post about the reactions to that column, Parker says,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a traitor and an idiot. Also, my mother should have aborted me and left me in a dumpster, but since she didn’t, I should “off” myself.

To those who accused her of not being a “true” conservative, she replies,

But what is a true conservative? One who doesn’t think or question and who marches in lock step with The Party? The emotional pitch of many comments suggests an overinvestment in Palin as “one of us.”

Pointing out, correctly, that both sides are partisan and we have become a partisan nation, Parker offers this observation:

Anyone who dares express an opinion that runs counter to the party line will be silenced. That doesn’t sound American to me, but Stalin would approve.Readers have every right to reject my opinion. But when we decide that a person is a traitor and should die for having an opinion different from one’s own, we cross into territory that puts all freedoms at risk.

Everyone, she says, is to blame. I agree.

Compared with most European nations, ours is still an adolescent but that does not mean we need to remain mired in our national adolescence. It’s past time to move beyond political puberty but unfortunately for us — and the rest of the world — it won’t happen this election cycle. And we are all the losers for that.


They “report”, they decide.

Murdoch’s Fox News Channel never ceases to amaze. If anyone has any doubt about the right-wing bias of that channel — and I know there are some who insist it’s fair and balanced, but they’re probably not open to watching this and considering another opinion — just watch this clip. It’s from a stand-upper in Pennsylvania, where a Fox reporter asked for a show of hands for McCain and Barack Obama.

Listen for the fair and balanced “reporter’s” use of the word split and for chuckles, watch the lady in the back who slaps down the guy’s arm.

Hat tip to NewsHounds.

First you wince. Or cringe. Maybe you’re embarrassed for her. Then you shake your head and wonder for the umpteeenth time WTH was John McCain thinking when he picked Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Finally, you snicker.

All that brought about by a brief exchange during Palin’s latest major interview — her third, if you count the infomerical masquerading as an interview with Murdoch’s Sean Hannity — this one, with Katie Couric. The topic was that slippery slope: foreign policy experience.  Here’s the transcript:

COURIC: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land– boundary that we have with– Canada. It– it’s funny that a comment like that was– kind of made to– cari– I don’t know, you know? Reporters–


PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our– our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They’re in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia–

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We– we do– it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is– from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to– to our state.

If you’d like to watch it in all its stammering, deer moose-in-the-headlights glory,  the video was is here at CBS. Now, a “content unavailable” message comes up and will probably remain until after the segment airs on tonight’s Evening News.

When the McCain handlers announced the Couric interview, my first thought was puffball questions. Then I remembered Couric’s mastery on the Today show, her skill at interviewing celebrities and the instantly-famous. And that’s all Palin has shown herself to be. She’s demonstrated no depth,  no knowledge of anything beyond her fundamentalist, faith-healing church, her brazen ability to play fast and loose with the truth and her eager willingness to take handouts in the form of federal earmarks. She has also displayed her own talent for mocking, with her smarmy acceptance speech and dismissive comment about community organizers.

She is as shallow as a puddle in the Sahara.

Every state in the northern tier of the US, including mine, borders Canada. Some in the south border Mexico. Yep, our neighbors are foreign countries. She’s right about that.  So that gives millions of us foreign policy experience and frankly, by that ludicrous standard, I have more than she does.

Alaska’s Precious Snowflake might be able to see Russia, but I’ve been there. She refueled in Ireland. I lived there. My much-renewed passport is not newly-minted like hers.

Come to think of it, I can see Vermont from my favorite pick-your-own apple orchard. I can be a governor!

Gondoliers for Obama! This is seriously wonderful and wonderfully fun from one of my favorite cities on earth, Venice. As it turns out, Barry has at least two fans there, and one is very vocal. Enjoy this.

Not having a good day in Cedar Rapids, are you? It’s not enough that you referred to the “Palin-McCain” ticket, possibly a slip of the tongue, but you had to go on and show how clueless you really are?

I’m talking about your self-congratulatory mention — again — of putting Alaska’s government checkbook online for all to see. And then you suggested you’d do the same in Washington. I almost hate to mention this, Sarah, so I’ll quote CNN’s Political Ticker:

There’s just one problem with proposing to put the federal checkbook online – somebody’s already done it. His name is Barack Obama.

Don’t call the moving men just yet, girlfriend.

Oh, dear. Was it a Freudian slip or is she confused about who is at the top of the ticket? Now it’s Palin-McCain? That’s how she put it during a campaign speech today in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Not very diplomatic, even for someone with nearly non-existent experience in foreign affairs and diplomacy.

You can find the video at AMERICAblog and thanks to Seth at fastblogit for the revamped graphic.

Barack Obama today is releasing a two-minute television spot about the economy and what he would do to fix it if elected president. No flashy pictures or voice-overs. No McCain-style pandering or assuming we are idiots to be led — or misled — by a clever ad. It’s just Obama talking to us in plain English. Adult to adult.

Barack Obama’s campaign raised a record $66 million in August, topping the old record by $11 million. In addition, the campaign picked up 500,000 new donors.

h/t: Halperin, Time

I’ve been critical of Sarah Palin and her shortcomings, as I perceive them, so perhaps it’s time to show what a good vice presidential candidate does on the campaign trail. Unlike Palin, Barack Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, is allowed to appear alone and he did earlier this week in St. Louis.

After her dismal display of readiness for the vice presidency during her interviews with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, Sarah Palin has decided to sit down for what amounts to a do-over with a certified friendly questioner, the conservative and wildly partisan Sean Hannity of Murdoch’s Fox News Channel.

The New York Times says Hannity, a talk show host and not a journalist by any stretch of the imagination, will interview Palin next week.

Palin has been roundly criticized today in the print media and online for her  performance with Gibson,  especially her lack of knowledge about the Bush Doctrine. She seemed never to have heard of it, prompting NPR to call it “squirm-inducing” and I called it “painful” and “embarrassing.”

You can watch that excerpt on this blog at She’s Ready to be VP?

During the Fox News Republican debate last October, John McCain said,

I am prepared. I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training.

I wasn’t a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn’t a governor for a short period of time.

Source: New York Times transcript, published 10/21/07 Page 3

It wasn’t bad enough that when Sarah Palin finally, finally took a few questions, she explained that mysterious foreign policy expertise that she has because Alaska’s next to Russia this way:

GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

But then when Charlie Gibson asked her about the Bush Doctrine, he must have felt like a schoolteacher. In addition to her painful, embarrassing ignorance, do note her “spunky” first reply, her words and tone of voice, as if she thought she had this one nailed.

Note: There’s an extremely high load on this video tonight and it might buffer a bit.

I just heard on CNN that, not surprisingly, Sarah Palin tee shirts are outselling John McCain shirts among Republicans. I’ll bet it’s not this one. Ya think?

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is keeping count. On Hardball last night, he presented a tally of the minimum number of times Sarah Palin has told her misleading story about that bridge she supported before she opposed it.

In the words of Rabbi Steve Bob, “When 300 rabbis agree on anything, you know something is going on.”

He’s co-chair of Rabbis for Obama, which issued a letter on its website that begins:

As rabbis who believe that Barack Obama is the best candidate to be President of the United States, we have formed “Rabbis for Obama” as a grassroots organization of rabbis from all movements and backgrounds. We join together to support Senator Obama for President, and we do so in the belief that he will best support the issues important to us in the Jewish community.

The member rabbis span the Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Orthodox streams.

h/t Jerusalem Post


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