Pharyngula

This is how we will lose

Palin scares me, but what worries me more is that we will screw up again and hand the executive office over to another gang of losers, and we can’t afford that anymore. Now look at the open thread I set up last night, and you’ll see why I’m concerned. What did people do? They got distracted by irrelevancies, such as the opportunity to exercise a little macho sexism, and then that turned into a nasty, full-blown knife fight with everyone snarling at each other. This is exactly what the Republicans want, writ small on this little tiny island of the blogosphere.

That’s not how we’re going to beat back the troglodytes.

Palin is a stalking horse for failed social and economic and military policies. We don’t want to get drawn away from the important message of defeating those bad policies by the temptation of cheap shots at her appearance and sex, especially because those cheap shots make her look like a sympathetic victim and help advance the Republican agenda.

So please, think. Casual sexism plays into the hands of the bad guys on both sides. What frightens me most is that Palin got up and lied and said nothing of substance, and people are so distracted by the fact that she has breasts that the lies were allowed to slide by. This is how the Democrats can self-destruct, once again.

Comments

  1. #1 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    Thank you for recognizing it, although the sexism was wrong for more reasons then it’s bad for our team.

  2. #2 I am so wise
    September 4, 2008

    With all do respect Mr. Myers, nobody cares that she lies, is unable to control her kids, is a hypocrite, ..etc. People have already made up their minds about they feel about her and nothing short of a revelation that she left the DNA on Lewinsky’s blue dress is going to make a difference.

  3. #3 Lana
    September 4, 2008

    I thought, “Oh, no. She’s good.” She’s perky, spunky and down to earth. She’s like a younger Katie Couric. People can’t help but like her and identify with her. Unfortunately, they won’t notice the lies or the out-of-whack policies.

    Many people vote based on emotion and feelings, rather than reason and facts.

    The whole election became even more scary last night.

  4. #4 Tabby Lavalamp
    September 4, 2008

    The problem is that misogyny worked so effectively against Clinton that fauxgressives just can’t help themselves now.

  5. #5 Renee
    September 4, 2008

    Never commented before PZ, but as a MN native, watching Palin last night scared the shit out of me. I really hope that more than 50% of us have come to our senses. As an 18-year-old woman, I am absolutely terrified of McCain/Palin in the WH.

  6. #6 Reginald Selkirk
    September 4, 2008
  7. #7 Sigmund
    September 4, 2008

    Well she’s convinced me.
    Palin for President ! Woohoo!
    USA! USA!
    Seriously, someone should ask her what will happen to the US leadership if the rapture happens within her term.
    Since McCain’s gone born again Southern Baptist, and she’s a raving fundie, who will be left to run the government when those two fly up to heaven?
    Are there any contingency plans drawn up?

  8. #8 TSC
    September 4, 2008

    Palin ain’t no peach…whether man, woman or beast.

  9. #9 Bad Albert
    September 4, 2008

    We Canadians are depending on you guys south of the border to fix this problem. If you fail, it’s only a matter of time before fundies up here demand the same type of theocracy.

  10. #10 Rhysz
    September 4, 2008

    Excellent point sir, Whining about details is just going to make Palin immune to more constructive criticism. Although I’m quite the fan of some chauvinism, this clearly isn’t the time to show it. We need to focus on the issues. In my mind the most important would be her stance in the dominionist movement. I couldn’t even actually make it through the comment section on Palin, too much nonsense and non-important drivel. Actually, I was quite surprised at the low standards of the comments, I’ve been lurking here for quite some time and was very surprised. Petty comments like this should be beneath us.

    Regards,

    Rhysz

    P.S.

    Keep up the good work PZ

  11. #11 Amber Culbertson-Faegre
    September 4, 2008

    PZ,

    Thank you for putting into words my personal response to the previous thread.

    Palin scares me. But it has nothing to do with her sex.

    (Although her stance on sexuality is certainly terrifying.)

  12. #12 Hank Fox
    September 4, 2008

    Palin’s keepers are casting her as a victim of attacks by sexists, just as McCain defends himself against each and every hard question by being a former Prisoner of War (TM).

    They each have their own invincible armor — everything will be swept under the rug by Republican whining about how the evil media is attacking their poor, downtrodden candidates.

    It’ll be nasty if they skate into office on our own reluctance to deal with the real issues.

  13. #13 Faithful Reader
    September 4, 2008

    I pass no judgment on her as an individual person. But she will never be anyone I want leading my country and representing me to the world.

  14. #14 Aaron
    September 4, 2008

    What, are you taking notes from Blaise Pascal now?

    Come on PZ…

  15. #15 Paul Lamb
    September 4, 2008

    It seems to me that in this election we can make history . . . or we can repeat it.

    (That means Mr. Obama has my vote.)

  16. #16 Paul Lamb
    September 4, 2008

    It seems to me that in this election we can make history . . . or we can repeat it.

    (That means Mr. Obama has my vote.)

  17. #17 Boosterz
    September 4, 2008

    That’s one of my pet peeves with the democratic party. That almost supernatural ability of theirs to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  18. #18 jls
    September 4, 2008

    How can Democrats (or anyone for that matter) defeat ‘proud ignorance’? Its been the driving force for the Repugs for that last 8 years? These people have no use for facts, evidence, reason, or logic. The very mention of such concepts disgusts them.

  19. #19 Bogans
    September 4, 2008

    I’m glad you made this post PZ. I would add that even though there are valid criticisms of the Democrats, such as the religious pandering you brought up earlier, that can’t be allowed to divide people of reason against McCain/Palin.

    Bad Albert is right, Canadians like me are just as concerned about your political downward spiral as you guys.

  20. #20 secularguy
    September 4, 2008

    what will happen to the US leadership if the rapture happens

    Ha, ha, good question! :-)

  21. #21 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    people are so distracted by the fact that she has breasts that the lies were allowed to slide by

    That itself is sexist, intellectually dishonest, and displays a very shallow (mis)understanding of the political and social forces of the world we live in — the reason that Bush’s, McCain’s, and so many other lies have slid by isn’t because they have breasts. And if you’re talking about her lies sliding by in the previous thread, that’s just ridiculous — they didn’t.

  22. #22 Rhysz
    September 4, 2008

    [quote] what will happen to the US leadership if the rapture happens [/quote]

    Maybe she’ll be ‘left below’.

  23. #23 Orion77
    September 4, 2008

    I agree with PZ,

    I think the Democrats & the leftwing media would be better served attacking Palin on her foreign policy credentials in news conferences & the VP debate, that they will have. And, move away from her sex, family and religious beliefs.

    The line between criticism & shrill “hate” can get blurred pretty quickly, helping to nullify valid concerns. Trying to paint her as a religious loon, won’t work. It didn’t work against Reagan, GWB or to a lesser extent John Howard in Australia or Tony Blair in Britain.

    It doesn’t work because they arn’t loons, they are rational political operators, who sadly also believe in the sky fairy, just as most of their constituents do.

  24. #24 wazza
    September 4, 2008

    You think they’re going up?

    Lying scumbags like the current crop of republicans?

    “If there is a hell, it waits for them, not us!”

    and… yeah. I thought the Democratic party was the party of equality. Seeing that thread go to shit in the first 20 comments made me question that belief, though.

  25. #25 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    That’s one of my pet peeves with the democratic party. That almost supernatural ability of theirs to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    PZ is referring to his own commenters, who are not “the democratic party”. Like him, you’re just sloganeering, not thinking.

  26. #26 Josh
    September 4, 2008

    So please, think.

    Good luck. We don’t teach how to do that here anymore.

  27. #27 Steve in MI, Sfs/PZM
    September 4, 2008

    Hear hear, PZ. Exploiting gender issues embarasses the attacker, not the target.

    There is a very, VERY real fork in the road ahead. One presidential campaign slate is pro-science; the other is firmly anti-science. The vice-presidential candidate who spoke last night suggests correcting climate change by ignoring it, thinks that praying for children is an adequate substitute for teaching them, and belives thaqt the American military is a tool for advancing Christian influence.

    Folks, IF that scares you, please join me at the campaign office of your choice.

  28. #28 Nan
    September 4, 2008

    It would also be nice if more attention was focused on the fact she supports raising taxes on business. She pushed through increased taxes on the oil companies in Alaska (which I personally think was a good thing, but I’m not a Republican) — ergo, by Republican standards, she’s anti-business.

  29. #29 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Seeing that thread go to shit in the first 20 comments made me question that belief, though.

    It was just two sexist jerks. Too many people here, including PZ, operate based on subjective mental impressions rather than facts just like any believer in ID or the paranormal.

  30. #30 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    I think the Democrats & the leftwing media would be better served attacking Palin on her foreign policy credentials in news conferences & the VP debate, that they will have.

    Does anyone here even know that both Obama and Biden quickly declared families — specifically Palin’s family — off limits? All the criticisms of Palin coming from official Democratic sources are substantive and issues-related.

  31. #31 roadrider
    September 4, 2008

    The reason that the Democrats might lose is the same reason they lost with Gore and Kerry – failure to offer a convincing difference in policy and ideology to the delusional, batshit crazy Republican agenda. At best, both Obama and Clinton, the only candidates the Democratic Party establishment, media and big donors allowed to compete for the nomination, offered nothing more than a more competent administration of a watered down version of the same corporatist, militarist and theocratic agenda that both parties have endorsed for the last several decades.

    Now with Palin becoming an info-tainment star, it’s certain that the scared of their own shadow Dems will not attack her delusional beliefs and subservience to corporate interests and outright corruption for fear of looking like bullies. Oh, yes. There’s also that “post-partisan” thing where you’re not supposed to call bullshit on any idea, no matter how stupid, dangerous or counter to the Constitution (see under Obama, FISA, faith-based charities).

    Even worse, the Democrats have little credibility on taking on the extremist religious views of Palin because they appointed a CEO of their convention who speaks in tongues, believes in faith healing and sees nothing wrong with teaching creationism in public schools and made a point of excluding secular organizations from their God-fest in Denver.

    As long as the Democrats think they can win by being only a little less repulsive than the Republicans they will continue to lose.

    I was a Democrat, and supported their candidates in every election since I became eligible to vote in 1976 until, in disgust, I recently changed my registration to unaffiliated. I’m tired of the Dems taking my vote for granted. If they don’t want to compete for my support I’m staying home this year.

  32. #32 wombat
    September 4, 2008

    Obama supporters would do well to listen to PZ’s message here. Snide attacks on Palin’s personal life or her appearance will make her a sympathetic figure. The McCain camp picked Palin for several reasons, all of them politically motivated. She is a giant land mine at the feet of partisans who can’t help but make politics personal. That may fly with your average male WASP, but if a similar tone develops around Palin, it will appear particularly mean-spirited and sexist. My advice to Democrats: stay as far away from Palin’s personal life or any references to her gender at all. You have a VP nominee that has a history of foot-in-mouth disease who will be debating a mother of 5 who has an infant with Down’s Syndrome. Stick to the issues. They’re on your side this election. The other personal junk won’t work.

    Oh and I would stay away from the “she’s from a small town” talk. Presidential elections aren’t won in Manhattan. They’re won in rural Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. Dissing small town America won’t help you win their votes.

  33. #33 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    If they don’t want to compete for my support I’m staying home this year.

    How hypocritical that someone who talks about the Democrats possibly losing talks about withholding their vote — Voltaire warned that the perfect is the enemy of the good, but morons continue to fail to heed it.

  34. #34 Woozle
    September 4, 2008

    Regarding the irrelevant shenaningans by which we will lose… non-threaded fora* (*for elitist points) seem to be especially prone to that kind of thing. Any thoughts, PZ, on setting up something a little more sophisticated?

    A wiki, for example, allows debates to be structured (some sample debates: sacred wafers, our favorite president, abortion), so I’d be up for assisting with or piloting a Pharynguwiki project if there was both interest and blessing from the squid overlords.

  35. #35 Darth Wader
    September 4, 2008

    I just hope the GOP keeps the strategy they way that they are doing. Its how we lost four years ago. They are making the race about Obama, just like the last one was about Bush.

  36. #36 Greg
    September 4, 2008

    PZ, my thoughts exactly. Thanks for so eloquently stating it.

    roadrider wrote:
    I was a Democrat, and supported their candidates in every election since I became eligible to vote in 1976 until, in disgust, I recently changed my registration to unaffiliated. I’m tired of the Dems taking my vote for granted. If they don’t want to compete for my support I’m staying home this year.

    While I agree with your sentiment that they should not take your vote for granted, staying home is giving your vote to McCain/Palin. It really is. Please think about that.

  37. #37 Tony Sidaway
    September 4, 2008

    Oh, reminds me, is there a convention going on somewhere? :)

    So, what about Troopergate?

  38. #38 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Oh and I would stay away from the “she’s from a small town” talk.

    So many people insist on misconstruing and misrepresenting things. It’s not that she’s from a small town, it’s that she was mayor of a small town, and is governor of very low population state. That’s about the sort of experience that she brings … and the polls show that people are very wary of her lack of experience, which they are more aware of than her extremist positions, which she and the Republicans are remaining silent about.

  39. #39 BMcP
    September 4, 2008

    You’re right, I have noticed in the blogosphere that many of the attacks on Palin have the stain of overt sexism covering them because the fact she is a woman is always brought up in the criticism.

    Basing her gender, her looks, her family life, her daughter being pregnant is only going to push people to support her because essentially ti is basing her for being female and being imperfect, which is just another term for being human.

  40. #40 jim
    September 4, 2008

    Actually, I didn’t see a lot of misogyny in that thread. What I did see was a few people make off-colour jokes, get told to knock it off, knock it off, and then the thread degenerate into a nasty flame war because, well, frankly, because this is the Internet. If it can be seen of proof of anything, it’s Gabe and Tycho’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory…

    Of course, there’s already a huge media circus of the OMG A WOMAN! variety, and I agree that we shouldn’t be making it any worse, particularly since the religious right will no doubt try to cast any criticism of Palin as an attack on women in general, without in any way desisting from their own very real attacks on women in general…

    I’ve seen a lot of people threatening to move to Europe if these loons get in. Speaking from Europe, if those loons get in I’m considering moving to Mars. You buggers had better vote Obama, that’s all. First black president would be cool and all, but right now a president who’s not completely batshit insane looks a whole lot cooler…

  41. #41 Blaidd Drwg
    September 4, 2008

    She seriously does not care. After all, she’ll be in heaven, and those who are ‘Left Behind’ deserve whatever happens.

  42. #42 Jag
    September 4, 2008

    I too am dissapointed by the current state of direction this country is taking. With that said…

    The one thing that always keeps me going is that progressive thinking, in the end, always wins. We may have temporary setbacks, but it is inevitable that conservative thinking will ultimately lose.

    The world is a ever changing system and static/conservative processes fail. Look at history. This country would not exist if the conservatives/loyalists had won. Slavery would still be acceptable, civil rights would be non-existant, women would not have the right to vote.

    When you are on the side of progressive change, victory is always assured.

    That’s all for now, I have to feed my unicorns and butterflys. :-)

  43. #43 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    You’re right, I have noticed in the blogosphere that many of the attacks on Palin have the stain of overt sexism covering them because the fact she is a woman is always brought up in the criticism.

    Your hyperbole is not the truth. The vast majority of the criticism of Palin has nothing to do with her gender, except when liberal/feminist/pro-Hillary women note how offensive it is that the McCain seems to think that just any woman will do.

  44. #44 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Actually, I didn’t see a lot of misogyny in that thread.

    Indeed there wasn’t, but facts don’t trump impressions for many people.

  45. #45 scooter
    September 4, 2008

    Howling from the wolf pack works both ways. She was obviously using charm and her feminine newscaster skills judging from the responses, even here.

    I listened to her on radio, and she sounded like a sleazy moron, with half decent timing.

    There’s no way she could have scored that position if she looked like Madeline Albright, and I am not being sexist, that’s realistic, they were looking for a salesperson, non a statesperson.

    If you INTENTIONALLY dangle a piece of meat in front of the boys, you get a predicable reaction.

    I’m sure Arnold Schwartzenegger will retire with the most comments in major media about his weight. Let’s face it, if you got to where you are by starting out as a piece of meat, or a pretty face, dogs will howl, especially the unattractive ones.

    Not everybody can be a sex symbol Adonnis like me, and that’s why all you frumpy wallflowers and skinny beach nerds are jealous of us, the beautiful people.

    I kick sand in all your faces
    /arnoldVoice

    That being said, I’m scooter, and I agree with PZs message.

  46. #46 Dervin
    September 4, 2008

    Oh, we all know the truth, it wasn’t the true readers of Pharyngula who were sniping with the petty little insults and sexism, Pharyngula readers are free thinking-rationalists they’ve transcended that type of behavior. It’s really the Christians who poisoned your website with the sexist drivel, I bet if you do an IP trace 30 accounts will be linked to an address on Madison avenue in Manhattan.

  47. #47 Brain Hertz
    September 4, 2008

    I really don’t know how this is going to play out, but I think we’ll know in the next few days (and especially after McCain’s speech).

    Palin did a pretty good job of reading a speech from a teleprompter that was admittedly written for her by speechwriters, much of it before they even knew who the nominee was.

    It’ll be interesting to see how much that gets mentioned. I’ve seen plenty of analysis so far that talks as if she was speaking her own words.

  48. #48 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    the religious right will no doubt try to cast any criticism of Palin as an attack on women in general, without in any way desisting from their own very real attacks on women in general…

    They have already done this quite explicitly, but this intentional tactic is beyond the ken of political unsophisticates. It’s ironic to see all the concern trolling, which plays right into the Republicans’ hands, issuing forth from PZ and others.

  49. #49 LB
    September 4, 2008

    You’re absolutely right, PZ.

    I am deeply worried about this election, and I’m not even a U.S. citizen. I have worked hard to get into a good U.S. university and achieve my dream of having a career as a scientist. Next year I’m hoping to start a Biophysics grad program.

    Now, it seems plausible that we may have a YEC sitting in the Oval Office within the next couple of years. I cannot even begin to imagine what Palin could do to the already weak NSF/NIH funding for science. Last night, I could almost hear science being one those “budget cuts” and “innecessary spending” in her speech.

    I like this country, but I’m very nervous about this election, and so are many of my peers. If the U.S. loses its ability to draw would-be scientists from all over the world, I think the deficiences of its education system in science will begin to show. When that happens, expect it to lose the scientific edge it currently has, probably within a decade or so.

    Come on, America.

  50. #50 William
    September 4, 2008

    I was already planning to vote Democrat, but I’d like to thank Governor Palin for hardening the choice, in one smugly delivered line of her speech. From the transcript, in which the “he” is Barack Obama:

    Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America, and he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights. (Boos, cheers, applause.)

    Exactly here is where I stopped listening politely. I listened all the way through, responding now and then to this or that charge talking out loud, but here is where I stopped respecting the McCain/Palin ticket.

    Neither barackobama.com nor johnmccain.com has any place I can find where it says word One about the horror that the kangaroo courts of Gitmo have inflicted on America’s vision of rights and the law, and what it says about our understanding of America’s dedication to human rights. This was the first clear thing I’ve heard said on the stump, and it confirms for me what I suspected: somehow, John McCain was tortured for five years and still thinks it’s okay for us to do it to “them.”

    We face a world in which our moral standing and our effectiveness depends on a respect for the law and basic human rights, and to the McCain/Palin ticket those things are a laugh line.

  51. #51 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Palin did a pretty good job of reading a speech from a teleprompter that was admittedly written for her by speechwriters, much of it before they even knew who the nominee was.

    It was written by Bush’s speechwriter (a man), and was written for a man. It was then adjusted and tailored to fit Palin. Also, Fred Thompson’s speech was actually Arnold Schwartzenegger’s speech, retooled for Thompson’s “tone”.

    I’ve seen plenty of analysis so far that talks as if she was speaking her own words.

    Consider how many people reach conclusions, based on demeanor, as to whether witnesses are lying on the stand in crime dramas. Again, impressions trump facts.

  52. #52 scooter
    September 4, 2008

    Calling all Feminists and their sympathizers

    Tahira Abdullah on Alternative Radio.
    http://archive.kpft.org/mp3/080903_130001ar.MP3

    She’s from Pakistan, and this is about Fundie Islam gone insane, honor killing, outrageous subjugation of women. My brane fell out when I heard this, it has all the facts and figures and stats you need to for battle.

    After listening to this, I realized that I have made posts here that were in error, being ignorant of the scope of this problem.

    If I owe you an apology, well
    you know who you are.

    So much for ‘moderate Islam’ in Pakistan, this is horrific.

  53. #53 heddle
    September 4, 2008

    Brian Hertz,

    Palin did a pretty good job of reading a speech from a teleprompter that was admittedly written for her by speechwriters, much of it before they even knew who the nominee was.

    It’ll be interesting to see how much that gets mentioned. I’ve seen plenty of analysis so far that talks as if she was speaking her own words.

    Like, OMG, there are speech writers? Used by politicians? Who knew that?

    The things we bumpkins who can only dream of being in Biden’s IQ stanine learn while lurking!

  54. #54 Ryan F
    September 4, 2008

    Hear Hear, PZ! The Breasts of Injustice must be defeated!

    But seriously, does anyone else think that the erosion of religion in the popular forum is imminent? People have now lambasted Romney for being Morman, Huckabee for being theocratic, Obama for aligning with an extreme minister, and now Palin for preaching about God’s plan for our military and economy. Atheist blogs arent the only places this has been occurring, either; major press has dealt with these issues. I think more and more people are awakening to the fact that religion + politics = disaster.

  55. #55 JB
    September 4, 2008

    Reading this thread I see that most democrats here put themselves on a high horse, basically saying; “We’re better than the democrats, we are smart, they are stupid, we are moral, they are not, we are truthful, they lie etc. etc. etc.”

    So many of you show absolutely no respect for other human beings, and absolutely no empathy or understanding for why people see the world different than yourself.

    I read this site because I’m an atheist. And therefore I would also have a hard time voting for the republicans, if I were an american that is. But reading comments from many of the democrats here makes me loose sympathy for your side as well. Because what is my choice? Voting with the “religious idiots” or voting with the “self rightous idiots”?

    I think you guys need to calm down, start showing some respect for your fellow man and woman, stop thrashing the “enemy” and start arguing for your actual political views. It might be less fun, it might demand more of you and your arguments, but it will win your side much more support in the long run.

    Believing in a political philosophy, without argument or reason, is just as bad and dangerous as believing in a religion.

  56. #57 llewelly
    September 4, 2008

    Darth Vader, #34:

    I just hope the GOP keeps the strategy they way that they are doing. Its how we lost four years ago. They are making the race about Obama, just like the last one was about Bush.

    That was true until the Sarah Palin pick was announced. Now the race is about Sarah Palin. Until the Democrats can move it back to being about Obama, they’ll be at a disadvantage.

  57. #58 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    Well said JB @ 55.

  58. #59 raven
    September 4, 2008

    PZ is right. Irrelevancies are Palin’s gender and most of the culture war crap.

    There are some serious issues facing the USA today and if we don’t face them, we will end up like the old Soviet Union. A banana republic.

    1. It’s the economy stupid. We are in a recession or close to it. Something like 3 million families will lose their houses due to the subprime mess. Unemployment up. Huge deficits everywhere.

    2. Related to that, the basis of our economic lead is our lead in science and technology. We are losing our edge in this due to budget constrainst and the ignorance of our current leaders.

    3. Our military has been mined out and bled out in a stupid war that accomplished nothing much. The world has always been one of constant shifting threats and dangers. Nothing new here. We need the ability to defend ourselves if necessary and right now, we are overextended and couldn’t do much if we really needed to. When Russia invaded Georgia, all Bush could do is make some vague comments and then Putin called him a moron.

    4. The energy crisis. This is arguably the greatest challenge our civilization faces, which is based on cheap energy. It is solvable, but not by doing nothing.

    I would put global warming and roe versus wade near the bottom. These are problems alright, but not the major ones.

    People will have their own lists but Bushco created more problems than they solved and PZ is correct. We can’t keep screwing up forever. Already in the foreign media, the USA is occasionally referred to as a “former superpower”.

  59. #60 Tim Fuller
    September 4, 2008

    I too caught only a couple sentences of her speech as I surfed past the abomination. Like PZ, I was immediately put off. I don’t even remember what canard she was railing on, but it immediately hit me as ‘stock Republican nonsense’.

    The Republican party is toast. They were toast when the election began. I couldn’t believe there were that many Republican idiots willing to waste their time and money on the delusion that the American public would fall for their nonsense again.

    I’m not afraid of losing the election. Less now than ever. I am still fearful that the Republicans will try to steal it.

    Have you guys seen the memo Palin wrote to the city council bragging about all the earmarks that she got for Wasilla. It’s out there.

    Enjoy.

  60. #62 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Neither barackobama.com nor johnmccain.com has any place I can find where it says word One about the horror that the kangaroo courts of Gitmo have inflicted on America’s vision of rights and the law, and what it says about our understanding of America’s dedication to human rights.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamal-dajani/whitewashing-gitmo_b_99865.html

    Obama:
    We need to bring to a close this sad chapter in American history, and begin a chapter that passes the might of our military to the freedom of our diplomacy and the power of our alliances. And while we are at it, we can close down Guantanamo and we can restore habeas corpus and we can lead with our ideas and our values.

    McCain:
    I would close Guantanamo Bay. And I would move those prisoners to Fort Leavenworth. And I would proceed with the tribunals.

  61. #63 varlo
    September 4, 2008

    One entry on the open thread had it exactly right: Negative ads work, and God (or Odin or Thor) know that both McSame and his book-burning, knows-gods-mind, VP choice have plenty of negatives to choose from.

  62. #64 Tired and Frustrated
    September 4, 2008

    I really did not expect the readers of PZ’s blog to be sexist. Surely we’re better than that?

  63. #65 Tony Sidaway
    September 4, 2008

    And more of the same (at justmoreofthesame.com)

    Arm yourself with the facts and deal iron out that convention bounce McCain hopes for.

  64. #66 frog
    September 4, 2008

    It’s all about class & culture – not classiness, but identity politics.

    Palin is the representative of “white trash”. That’s the way McCain’s campaign is playing her, that’s what they want to restoke – what they called a culture war (Kulturkampf?), but meant class warfare. You know this, because they say that they hate “class warfare” — aka, it’s their principal tactic.

    What is Palin’s “intriguing narrative”? That with a BA in journalism and little to no experience she has rocketed up from a “hockey mom” to the presidency. In other words, leadership is available to anybody — they’re “as good as the elites”. It’s the same meme as ID – that those with no education, no experience, no training whatsoever have as much “right” to determine the “Truth” as those who have spent a lifetime preparing for responsibility.

    Outright class warfare. It’s the same game played by the fascists – grab a dialectic and turn it inside out for no good reason other than as a power grab. It also happens to be the MO of vulgar deconstructionism. It’s a great way to avoid the underlying issues that lead to the original conflict, but take advantage of the energy in that tension.

    It’s insane — but it’s pretty clear that sanity is a very thin veneer in human beings. If they succeed, Bush is going to look very good indeed – just like he’s made Nixon seem like a stable, competent administrator.

  65. #67 Brain Hertz
    September 4, 2008

    @ heddle,

    of course they use speechwriters… mostly. Obama writes most of his own stuff. What I’m interested to see is the proportion of pundits who seem to operate on the basis that that isn’t the case. It just strikes me as a little weird.

  66. #68 Darth Wader
    September 4, 2008

    At first I thought Palin was the worst choice ever. But now I see she could be the smartest decision ever.
    A radical nut job you have to don the kid gloves to talk about.
    A hypocrite and liar, but if you call her on it your attacking the poor hockey mom.

    The GOP put up the least qualified person ever as a running mate hoping people would talk about it, so they could beat them over the heads for attacking her.

    Thats cynical, even for the GOP.

  67. #69 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    I couldn’t believe there were that many Republican idiots willing to waste their time and money on the delusion that the American public would fall for their nonsense again.

    Not being able to believe something that is actually true is a hint that you’re doing it wrong. It’s that sort of thing that can lead to losing.

    I think more and more people are awakening to the fact that religion + politics = disaster.

    And that.

  68. #70 Steven Dunlap
    September 4, 2008

    There is no shortage of material criticisms. Maybe if the left can hammer them home enough from now to election day something may sink in. A few highlights that I have found so far:

    Wasilla Mayor Palin asked the librarian of that town about banning books then fired her when the librarian stood up to her. The townspeople expressed their outrage, forcing Palin to re-hire the librarian. Palin then tried to claim she never fired the librarian at all.

    Same story with the town police chief.

    As governor she had her ex-brother-in-law state trooper fired. When his boss wouldn’t stand for it she had him fired first. Here’s a link to a video of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan giving his side of the story.

    She was up to her neck in the “bridge to nowhere” pork scandal (if you can call pork a scandal anymore, given how much of it the Republicans spread around for each other).

    We can see patterns of evasion, abuse of power, to say nothing of policy failures. I realize that most of the GOP loyalists do not care about facts, but then do we care about them? If there are any “swing voters” then by definition they are open to hearing something that might change their minds.

    Even the talking heads on the evening news have demonstrated that they have not fallen for this “don’t attack Palin or you’re a bad liberal conspirator” crap. And Glenn Greenwald at Salon is pressing the McCain/Palin campaign to finger the “liberals” in the media who have made criticisms of Palin based on her being the mother of small children. The right has referenced without naming these nefarious critics. At the end of a recent post he stated: “The Right and many of their media allies are simply inventing attacks on Palin, dishonestly attributing them to “liberals,” and then gallantly defending her from them.”

    Greenwald’s entire post on Palin is a good read which provides more detail on the important points above.

    Also, keep in mind that a bogus list of books that Palin allegedly wanted banned has started circulating. Be careful before you forward, as a bogus list is all we need to fuel the “bad liberals” fire. Chances are a repub operative is behind it anyway. (For example, at least one bogus list includes the Harry Potter books although the incident took place before the first one was published).

  69. #71 Ouchimoo
    September 4, 2008

    Thank you PZ. I couldn’t even stomach reading the Palin Open Discussion board. That said, the more I look about Palin’s stance is just terrifying. Starting with her stance on pro-life/anti-contraceptive. Even worse is that there is a telling result on how well that works (it doesn’t) and yet the fundies are praising her daughter’s choice. The other story about how it’s Sarah’s autistic child is even worse IMO. Running all over the country while going into labor, 8 hour trip to Alaska, pop’s the kid and just leaves again. To me that’s not very pro-life. I don’t know a single person that if they had a disabled child, even if it was just missing a FINGER, they would be all over that baby watching it very closely. Not dropping it on your family and expecting them to take care of it. She completely takes the wilderness and her lifestyle for granted. How she wants to plow up Alaska for oil; send aerial flights out to kill packs of wolves, in one of the few states that’s supposed to be untouched by human fuck ups. I’ve read also that in business practices, she’s very much like Bush. By saying, I don’t like you because you don’t agree with me so I’m going to replace you with all my friends. Now I am not fully sure which ones of these may be correct or if any of them. But I’m certain that the mass public will never learn of any of this.

  70. #72 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    The GOP put up the least qualified person ever as a running mate hoping people would talk about it, so they could beat them over the heads for attacking her.

    It wasn’t “the GOP”. McCain wanted Lieberman, but Rove nixed that and tried to force Romney on him, whom McCain doesn’t like. McCain went with Palin at the last minute, catching everyone — including the GOP hierarchy — by surprise. But people thrive on post hoc explanations, whether it’s God’s plan or the GOP’s.

  71. #73 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    I was expecting to see Obama win in a landslide, and I was quite surprised to see how much of his lead had evaporated before McCain announced his VP pick.

    I see a couple of major mistakes that he’s made, and they can both be chalked up to overconfidence. First, there was that trip to Europe: it came across as presumptuous. The message was that everyone should treat him as if it was a foregone conclusion that he’d win.

    The second big mistake, was beating that “national service” drum. The people are not the property of the state, and it is not the business of the state to command us to contribute our labor to any cause, whether it’s fighting foreign wars or sweeping floors in nursing homes. He may have meant that he wanted people to volunteer more, and that’s all fine and dandy, but there was a pretty strong hint of “volunteer or else”.

    Beyond that, although I don’t think it’s really hurting him much since McCain is making the same mistake, he’s basically ignoring our upcoming fiscal meltdown, and pretending that minor shifts in budget priorities will make it all right.

    I do see a way for him to regain the lead, and that would be by calling for a major change, like bringing our troops home as Ron Paul recommended. Do we really need to still be in Japan? How about Belgium?

    -jcr

  72. #74 frog
    September 4, 2008

    Brain Hertz: of course they use speechwriters… mostly. Obama writes most of his own stuff. What I’m interested to see is the proportion of pundits who seem to operate on the basis that that isn’t the case. It just strikes me as a little weird.

    It’s not weird at all. It’s all part of the spectacle – the pundits know perfectly well it’s a fake, but they support it. They’re the shills in the audience – it’s their job to “pretend”, since they’re part of the show.

    It’s like the fake counting of delegates on the floor – of course it’s irrelevant, but it keeps the pretense up that this is a political convention instead of a show.

    Haven’t you noticed that watching the news is almost indistinguishable from Pravda yet? Why do you think they hate bloggers so viscerally?

  73. #75 Kryth
    September 4, 2008

    I can only stand watching the RNC for about 2-5 minutes at a time. It makes me sick and angry. My wife wonders why I yell at the TV.

  74. #76 dave
    September 4, 2008

    Actually, the problem may not be with the democrats. The problem is with the people in this country. The democrats should be ahead by a mile. All this vacuous right-wing trash talk and acting wouldn’t work if our population had any brains. The debt is soaring and the dollar is plunging, but the country wants more of the same, because less face it – we’re just not very bright. And morons tend to reproduce at faster rate. Watch the movie “Idiocracy”, which lampoons practically all of fox news’ customer base. I’m afraid that’s where we’re headed.

  75. #77 Brain Hertz
    September 4, 2008

    A radical nut job you have to don the kid gloves to talk about.
    A hypocrite and liar, but if you call her on it your attacking the poor hockey mom.

    …but I think that may have gone out of the window as of yesterday. Notwithstanding Cindy McCain’s pre-emptive softening up of the pundits to that angle with complaints of “sexism” directed at any criticism, after Palin came out last night as an attack dog, I think all bets are pretty firmly off.

    MSNBC was just now replaying highlights, and particularly pulled out the “community organizer” swipe for multiple plays. Removed from the context of the rapturous* welcome it really came across as pretty smug and spiteful. The Obama camp seems to have selected it as a line for its surrogates to attack too (was addressed last night, and referenced in on the email disti list this morning).

    Overall, there’s plenty to attack, and unlike the last cycle, this time I actually have some confidence that the Obama/Biden crew have their shit together enough to know how to use it. I certainly hope so…

    * interesting choice of words now I read it back ;)

  76. #78 Kate
    September 4, 2008

    PZ, most people can barely have an intelligent conversation about politics as it is, once you throw a vag and some tits in the mix all hope is lost.

    I run smack into misogyny on a daily basis in my workplace, at the store, the bank, the tattoo studio, the mechanic, the dry cleaner… It’s not going away, and I doubt it will in my lifetime.

    You know, if only these sexist idiots would take a step back and see just how much power women really have over them they’d all die in fits of apoplexy! After all, put a woman in front of them and they’re all foaming at the mouth…. instantly.

    Kinda funny, no?

  77. #79 BaldApe
    September 4, 2008

    Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain.
    Asimov

  78. #80 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Also, keep in mind that a bogus list of books that Palin allegedly wanted banned has started circulating. Be careful before you forward, as a bogus list is all we need to fuel the “bad liberals” fire. Chances are a repub operative is behind it anyway. (For example, at least one bogus list includes the Harry Potter books although the incident took place before the first one was published).

    It wasn’t a Repub operative, it was confusion. The list is a list of all books that have been banned in the U.S.

  79. #81 Norman Doering
    September 4, 2008

    Reginald Selkirk linked: GOP Convention lies

    Also, Andrew Sullivan has been particularly good at finding all sorts of dirt on Palin. Reporters would find it useful for getting started. For example, it seems that among the social problems of the home-town of Sarah Palin, it is the “Meth Capital Of Alaska.”

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/09/wasilla-the-met.html#more

    In addition to the notes others have made about places where abstinence only sex ed increases teen pregnancy rates and STDs, perhaps there is a connection here?

  80. #82 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    misogyny worked so effectively against Clinton

    Clinton shot herself in the foot by lying, snivelling, race-baiting, lecturing, scolding, and playing the victim. Chalking her loss up to misogyny is a bit of a stretch.

    She should have folded up the tent as soon as her lie about coming under sniper fire in Bosnia was exposed.

    -jcr

  81. #83 wombat
    September 4, 2008

    You have to put yourself in the mindset of the rural voter, truth machine. There is a significant amount of distrust that the small town voter has toward what they see as “big city elites”. The Democrats shouldn’t risk further alienation with this line of attack. Stick. To. The. Issues.

  82. #84 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    There is no shortage of material criticisms. Maybe if the left can hammer them home enough from now to election day something may sink in. A few highlights that I have found so far:

    All of these points, and more, have been discussed in every single politically conscious forum I’m familiar with — which is a lot. Unsurprisingly, though, this stuff is unknown to the politically unaware (but quite smug) folks who hang out here (including PZ).

  83. #85 raven
    September 4, 2008

    Also, keep in mind that a bogus list of books that Palin allegedly wanted banned has started circulating.

    Don’t know about such a bogus list. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone is circulating a lie.

    There is however, a report that when she was mayor of Wasilla, she tried to get some books in the city library removed. Without success. I don’t know if this is true either but we will know the truth or not of that soon enough.

  84. #86 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    The problem is with the people in this country.

    Oh, great. Yeah, shout out your contempt for the public. That worked so well in 2000 and 2004, didn’t it?

    -jcr

  85. #87 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Stick. To. The. Issues.

    Inexperience is an issue … didn’t you notice for the last umpteen months? And it’s one that voters respond to — as I noted, that’s what is showing up in the polls as driving doubts about Palin. It’s your sort of politically unsophisticated concern trolling that loses elections.

  86. #88 Steve
    September 4, 2008

    One of my favorite political stories…

    During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai E Stevenson ‘Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!’

    Stevenson called back ‘That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!’

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  87. #89 scooter
    September 4, 2008

    Stewart dropped the ‘Choice Bomb’ on palineDrone last night during the Gingrich interview it came across thermo-nuclear.

    [palinDrone stated she respected her daughter's 'choice' to have the baby.]

    If you missed the Daily Show last night it is a must see, the opening segment started outside the notorious Men’s bathroom at the Minneapolis airport and went WAAAAY downhill from there.

    Fucking hysterical

  88. #90 E.V.
    September 4, 2008

    Ouch. The hard, cold slap of logic that is Truth Machine?. Thanks. We needed that

  89. #91 Brain Hertz
    September 4, 2008

    All of these points, and more, have been discussed in every single politically conscious forum I’m familiar with — which is a lot. Unsurprisingly, though, this stuff is unknown to the politically unaware (but quite smug) folks who hang out here (including PZ).

    I’m not so sure about that – I think all of these are now pretty well known to anybody who’s paying much attention… but then I don’t think I’m actually a reliable guide; I’m not sure I have a particularly good sense of how widely known this stuff is. It really does piss me off when the journalists who are supposed to be bringing things like this to people’s attention skip over it.

  90. #92 Sven DiMilo
    September 4, 2008

    My very favorite non-sequitor of the night came from Rudy G (this is from memory so might not be verbatim):
    “And I’m sick and tired of hearing that Sarah Palin is inexperienced! She got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for President of the United States!”
    (wha…?)

    And that arena full of stoopid-hat-wearing Republicans chanting “drill, baby, drill!” was just so surreal…

  91. #93 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    We don’t need to go after her as a woman at all. She’s lousy politician, an opportunist, a liar and a hypocrite.

    She’s no reformer. She’s JUST LIKE BUSH. Both of them SUPPORT BUSH. She’s tried to ban books, get people fired illegally, she run up a huge debt in her tiny town.

    She’s no environmentalist. She loved the pork to nowhere before it wasn’t taken away, THEN she built a road to the bridge that isn’t being built with federal funds.

    There are so many things to go after her on as a mayor and as a governor that can weaken her appeal.

    But when she mocked Obama, I really wanted slapshot a hockey puck at her.

  92. #94 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Don’t know about such a bogus list. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone is circulating a lie.

    Don’t you read? I addressed this. The list is a list of all books ever banned in the U.S.

    There is however, a report that when she was mayor of Wasilla, she tried to get some books in the city library removed. Without success. I don’t know if this is true either but we will know the truth or not of that soon enough.

    No, that’s not the report. “We” already know about it, but I can’t imagine what makes you think you will, soon enough or ever. Palin did not try to get some books removed; she asked the librarian how she could go about banning books, and when the librarian (Mary Ellen Emmons) was “aghast” at the request, Palin gave her notice (but then changed her mind).

  93. #95 frog
    September 4, 2008

    BaldApe: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain.

    It’s not stupidity. It’s a self-image based upon self-delusion that we’re contending with. Stupidity is easy to manipulate, but self-delusion in a smart mind adapts as quickly as you can attack it. As long as Americans are invested in a fantastic mythology about ourselves rational discussion is extremely difficult.

    The Dems need to keep it rational – but on the irrational, self-hatred side, I don’t see how to turn it around (not the hoaxy “leftist self-hatred”, but the real self-hatred that fuels the right, the conflict between self-image and reality).

  94. #96 Lilly de Lure
    September 4, 2008

    Tim Fuller said:

    I don’t even remember what canard she was railing on, but it immediately hit me as ‘stock Republican nonsense’.

    You know it’s nonsense, I know it’s nonsense but the reason why it’s “stock” republican nonsense is because they’ve found that it is nonsense that is very good at rallying large numbers of people to vote for them.

    The Republican party is toast. They were toast when the election began. I couldn’t believe there were that many Republican idiots willing to waste their time and money on the delusion that the American public would fall for their nonsense again.

    I hate to be the voice of pessimism here but the polls seem to be suggesting that a worryingly large percentage of American public seem happy to fall for it again – particularly now Sara Palin has re-energised the loony religious voters who were previously planning to sit this one out because McCain wasn’t loony enough for their tastes.

    We can only hope that she also scares away enough of the middle ground voters who were attracted to McCain precisely because he wasn’t obviously deranged to make up for it.

  95. #97 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    As Obama said… with the republicans “you’re on your own”

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2008/09/palin_and_special_needs_children.php

    Palin cut funding for “special needs” schools by 62%.

  96. #98 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    I’m not so sure about that – I think all of these are now pretty well known to anybody who’s paying much attention…

    That’s a tautology. But the number of people “paying much attention” is minute, and apparently includes almost no one who posts to this site, including PZ.

  97. #99 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    jcr @ 82

    Actually, Hillary lost because of misogyny. Every one of the actions you speak of are well tolerated when coming from men.

    I was shocked by the misogyny of the progressives and Democrats, which is why I now reject them.

    I heard that Harry Reid called Palin shrill on Larry King last night. Nice. Gays and women, the last remaining acceptable prejudices.

  98. #100 Chad
    September 4, 2008

    “Inexperience is an issue … didn’t you notice for the last umpteen months? And it’s one that voters respond to — as I noted, that’s what is showing up in the polls as driving doubts about Palin. It’s your sort of politically unsophisticated concern trolling that loses elections.”

    Sure time in office is on the table. But that’s a sticky widget considering the top of the D ticket has approximately the same amount of experience as an elected official and none of it in executive office. The best that can happen from that approach is to take the card out of McCain’s deck. It doesn’t put won in Obama’s as his experience is pretty comparable to Palin’s. And this has nothing to do with concern trolling. It has to do with politics. Attacking Palin as inexperienced because the town she was mayor in garners you no vote gain in rural America and only preaches to a converted choir in urban, already heavily Democratic America. In other words, it can only hurt. So the wise move politically is to avoid it.

  99. #101 Dances With Books
    September 4, 2008

    I have to agree. In a way, I think electing Palin for running mate is a trap. The less than bright people fall for the “victim” cycle when she is attacked, and vote for her out of pity (or to prove they are not sexist or whatever other excuse). It’s the dumbasses in this country who vote for the troglodytes again and again that worry me.

  100. #102 scooter
    September 4, 2008

    EV @ 90

    yup, palinDrone poured nitro fuel into the Truth Machine.

    My wife made the most obvious statement this morning over coffee in reponse to the palinDrone hubbub.

    “That’s all they’ve got”

    Crash McPlane has all the charisma of a basketball hoop.

  101. #103 anthropicOne
    September 4, 2008

    Hey truth machine,

    What’s got your goat today? Why the arrogance? Are you constipated this morning or something? Try a bran muffin, or perhaps a wicker chair.

    Clearly, you are the god of politics and we insignificant and unintelligent blobs of protoplasm quiver in your presence.

    quiver….quiver…quiver

  102. #104 Brain Hertz
    September 4, 2008

    @ Truth Machine #98,

    I’m not so sure that counts as a tautology… but whatever. That wasn’t important.

    What was important is that much of this stuff isn’t as well known as it needs to be, and the Obama/Biden camp needs to push it to a wider audience in the next couple of months.

    As I stated earlier, this time around I’m actually confident that this time around they know what they’re doing.

  103. #105 Craigp
    September 4, 2008

    There’s a lot of weird backbiting going on in these threads. A lot of people saying things like “we should have respect for the opposition” or “you’re all so smug and uninformed”…

    The fact of the matter is that these Republican nominees are proud members and supporters of the groups and policies that have so confidently piloted the USA into the ground. Their flaws should be proclaimed loudly, as often as needed.

    It’s not that we’re unaware that people may know these things. It’s not that we’re unaware that the republican party can, on occasion, show a conniving intelligence. It’s that they need to be beaten, and we’re trying to get that done through pointing out their idiocies over and over.

    Also, people really need to be aware that a public, anon-capable thread doesn’t limit itself to “The Democrats” or even “The Readers”. PZ has far more readers than commenters, and has a few commenters that are almost certainly not readers.

  104. #106 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    Hillary lost because of misogyny.

    Nonsense. She blew it by her own bad behavior. She started with a huge advantage, with the press assuming that she’d win just because of familiarity. She could have coasted to the nomination if she’d taken the high road.

    -jcr

  105. #107 Susan Brassfield Cogan
    September 4, 2008

    “a worryingly large percentage of American public seem happy to fall for it again”

    You bet they might fall for it again. It’s Bread and Circuses. It’s worked for thousands of years and it might work again. McCain is bread. Palin is the circus. It’s cynical to the point of sociopathic, but so what? Was her speech 80% lies or was it 90%? The Republican base won’t care. Journalists or anyone who exposes the lies are just “elites.” Who cares what they think?

    *Palin* is why McCain should NOT be president!

  106. #109 Nic
    September 4, 2008

    I always thought we should start a Science PAC…

    I was hoping I would hear of the U CASH program or a group of science people getting together to protest march the RNC this week but I haven’t seen anything. I would have loved to dress up like a stem cell or walk around with a graph of the NIH budget.

  107. #110 Tabby Lavalamp
    September 4, 2008

    Greg wrote:

    While I agree with your sentiment that they should not take your vote for granted, staying home is giving your vote to McCain/Palin. It really is. Please think about that.

    That last two elections it was Bush/Cheney, and we can go back to Reagan/Bush or even the Nixon years. In four years it will be another Republican pairing to be scared of, and another GOP ticket four years after that, and so on.
    It’s precisely this fear that allows the Democrats to continue taking votes for granted. If they don’t have to earn votes now, then when?

  108. #111 AJ Milne
    September 4, 2008

    One important thing to keep in mind here is: the GOP spinners will call ‘sexism’ opportunistically in response to any criticism of Palin, as long as they expect they can get away with it. Call her on her meagre record, call her on any of the actually legitimately unsettling aspects of that meagre record (serious and rather alarming issues surrounding her dismissal of several staff, for example), or her more extremist views, and they’ll still be saying ‘sexist sexist sexist sexist!’ just as loud as they can, in an attempt to distract from the very, very, very real problems with their candidate. That’s calculated, and necessary, since the candidate is so clearly so very vulnerable in so many ways.

    So for crying out loud: it’s not as if I should even need to say this too, but hell, I will anyway: do not give them actual grist for it; it’s not as if they even need it, so much. Focus on those very real problems. So when they do start saying ‘sexist’ you can just laugh in their faces. As the entire world should be, right now.

    And re the mutual cutting of throats, please, yes, let’s keep those blades pointed exactly where they do some good. She and McCain are just a standin’ there, jugulars exposed; this really should be keeping everyone’s knives busy enough. McCain, the alleged reformer, the alleged moderate, the alleged centrist just appointed a Ralph Reed clone. McCain, the ‘statesman in waiting’ just made a blatantly Rovian political ploy in a desperate attempt to salvage a convention that looked like it was taking him nowhere fast, and never mind what it might mean for his nation. A vapid, empty veep candidate with nothing to offer but the same old distractions and distortions as every previous GOP candidate and a penchant for playing the very same wedge politics they do even at the municipal level is trying to pass herself off as representing change. Dubya’s long lost soul sister is trying to pass herself off as representing change. A woman whose chief (and also very standard) political talents seem to be taking credit for whatever people like and who, remember, even managed to get on McCain’s own pork list a few times is claiming to represent reform, and there he is, standing next to her, all onboard with this claim. Cynical? Oh, you could say. And policy? What’s that? Substance again, combativeness, oh, yes, we can talk a good game, put on a good show… but govern? Craft policy? Hell, even suggest policy? Come now…

    Vulnerable. Oh, hell, yes.

    So. Take. Them. Down. Go. Do ‘em. They’re just standing there. If they must get attention, post-convention, just give ‘em the kind they so richly have earned.

  109. #112 Chiroptera
    September 4, 2008

    You may be right, PZ.

    Ill-considered and thoughtless remarks made by Democrats (and their supporters) will come back to harm the Democrats.

    Ill-considered and thoughtless remarks made by Republicans (and their supporters) will come back to harm the Democrats.

    I don’t understand the asymmetry here, but it exists. Republicans saying something stupid and offensive will not hurt them as much as Democrats saying something stupid and offensive will hurt the Democrats. And, in fact, seeing how the media will focus on trying to figure out whether there is some basis to the Republicans remarks, Democrats will be at a disadvantage no matter who makes these kinds of remarks.

  110. #113 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    Palin the Queen of Earmarks.

    http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/09/03/palin-earmarks/

    From 2000 to 2003, she secured over $27 million in earmarks, averaging $6.7 million in federal money every year for her town of about 6,700 people.

    And Joel… the Republicans have been calling Demecrats “shrill” for years. Calling Palin shrill isn’t sexist. It’s turnaround as fair play.

  111. #114 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Ouch. The hard, cold slap of logic that is Truth Machine?. Thanks. We needed that

    Well, I’m glad that someone has read my posts … time for me to head off to other pastures. But let me repeat a point: We could lose because of what PZ is doing: foolish concern trolling, blathering about “the Democrats” attacking Palin for being a woman — which is exactly the line that the Republicans are taking. The fact is that the vast majority of criticism, even on PZ’s own open thread, is substantive and is not about Palin being a woman, except when it’s offense at the notion that just any woman will do to “break the glass ceiling”, or points about the hypocrisy of Palin’s advocating “abstinence-only education” in place of sex education, the failure of which is underlined by her own daughter’s pregnancy, or Palin talking about choosing to keep her Down syndrome baby while opposing reproductive choice to others.

  112. #115 Orac
    September 4, 2008

    What concerns me is that Democrats seem way overconfident that Obama will win. I don’t share that confidence and consider the outcome of this election to be very much up in the air. Watching Rudy Guiliani pour contempt on Barack Obama was supremely depressing in that his talking points were so utterly inane. Yet the crowd ate it up. Ditto Sarah Palin, especially how she lied about her opposition to earmarks. The crowd still ate it up. If the selection of Palin is enough to energize the religious base of the Republican Party (which never really took to John McCain, who strikes me as being not particularly religious, at least not the “heart on the sleeve” style of religiosity that evangelicals seem to love), it could be the deciding factor in throwing the election to McCain.

  113. #116 Kai
    September 4, 2008

    It seems, especially lately with the Palin debacle, that so many atheist blogs have degenerated into sexist tripe, to the point where I can no longer even read their comments threads without wanting to bash my head against something. Thank you for staying on the high road and reminding me why you’re my favourite, PZ. :) Feminists have been trying to explain for ages that sexism is not okay even if you despise its target, and Palin has a *hell* of a lot to criticize without people taking cheap shots. (If I see one more manip of her in a bikini with a pageant sash…)

  114. #117 Evolving Squid
    September 4, 2008

    Casual sexism plays into the hands of the bad guys on both sides.

    Sex and gender have a lot to do with the race though… It seems evident to me that Palin was chosen not because of her academic and political credentials but because of her vagina… a cheap, obvious attempt to play “more inclusive than thou” against the Democrats, and maybe sway some of those disgruntled Hillary supporters over to the Dark Side of the ForceRepublicans.

    From that point of view, her selection was the ultimate expression of sexism. The Republicans are banking on scoring votes because she’s a woman, and that’s much worse, in my opinion, than some internetian posting how he’d like to get it on with her.

  115. #118 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    Here’s another way to look at it:

    One important thing to keep in mind here is: the DNC spinners will call ‘racism’ opportunistically in response to any criticism of Obama, as long as they expect they can get away with it. Call him on his meagre record, call him on any of the actually legitimately unsettling aspects of that meagre record (avoiding votes on controversial legislation, for example), or his more extremist views, and they’ll still be saying ‘racist racist racist racist!’

  116. #119 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    It’s the dumbasses in this country who vote for the troglodytes again and again that worry me.

    You’d really better get a lid on that contempt for people who disagree with you if you ever want to bring anyone around to your way of thinking.

    -jcr

  117. #120 David
    September 4, 2008

    When we lose
    “Don’t Blame Me I supported Hillary”

  118. #121 wombat
    September 4, 2008

    “points about the hypocrisy of Palin’s advocating “abstinence-only education” in place of sex education, the failure of which is underlined by her own daughter’s pregnancy”

    This is a non sequitur simply because you don’t know the facts behind Bristol’s pregnancy. You don’t know whether they used contraception, or if it was used properly or improperly, whether she was informed but TRYING to get pregnant, or whether the pregnancy was the result of simple poor impulse control. I’m not a fan of silly abstinence-only education by any measure. But a single anecdote does not a hypocrite make.

  119. #122 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    Watching Rudy Guiliani pour contempt on Barack Obama was supremely depressing in that his talking points were so utterly inane.

    I noticed that he directed his barbs at the candidate, not at the candidate’s supporters.

    -jcr

  120. #123 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    What concerns me is that Democrats seem way overconfident that Obama will win.

    What concerns me is the use of these idiotic group nouns. Surely some Democrats are overconfident, but many Democrats are very concerned and are pouring more money into the campaign and pledging time.

    If the selection of Palin is enough to energize the religious base of the Republican Party (which never really took to John McCain, who strikes me as being not particularly religious, at least not the “heart on the sleeve” style of religiosity that evangelicals seem to love), it could be the deciding factor in throwing the election to McCain.

    The analysis by politically knowledgeable people has been that McCain needed to capture both his base and swing voters. The Palin pick was quite definitely intended to energize the base and definitely did so, as did her speech, but it seems to have abandoned the attempt to gather swing voters. If that’s the case, then McCain will have a hard time, because his base just isn’t enough, especially this late in the game and with Obama’s very large ground game advantage. But it’s certainly not in the bag.

  121. #124 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    Joel. WTF are you talking about? I haven’t heard the Obama camp scream racism just for being criticized.

    And what are his “extremist views” exactly. That’s usually code for “hates America”.

  122. #125 Timothy Wood
    September 4, 2008

    “I noticed that he directed his barbs at the candidate, not at the candidate’s supporters.”

    I noticed that he directed his barbs at the candidate, not the candidate’s policy proposals or his stance on the issues.

  123. #126 Stephen Couchman
    September 4, 2008

    Re: class warfare

    Once again, I have to recommend Joe Bageant’s Deer Hunting With Jesus, an inside look at why Pabst-sucking factory workers from Lower Sump Ditch think they’re doing God’s work when they vote against their own interests, then wonder why they lose their trailers and can’t afford their heart pills. It will confirm some of your prejudices and challenge others, AND it’s a fun read, mostly.

    Also, if you haven’t read this letter yet, do.

  124. #127 raven
    September 4, 2008

    Not buying the Palin is an asset to the GOP ticket story. She has a pleasant and engaging exterior and seems to be far more politically adept than most people realize. But she has the usual christofascistist collection of wacky and ugly ideas, policies and programs that many or most people are going to find unacceptable.

    Women in particular aren’t going to like her. They know where their interests lie and it isn’t with the mysogonistic patriarchs that Palin fronts for.

  125. #128 Ross
    September 4, 2008

    Considering that a presidential term is 4 years, and the primary system takes more than one year to select the best candidate for each party, It is truly astonishing that with all the scrutiny and national exposure the presidential candidate receives that a 72 year old candidate (with a history of malignant melanoma no less) would select a vice-presidential candidate that practically no one has ever heard of just a little over 2 months before the Presidential election. The absurdity of trusting someone no body knows for the understudy to the most powerful position in the World should be the only thing that democrats say about Sarah Palin.

  126. #129 Karey
    September 4, 2008

    Yes, sexism is a much bigger problem this election cycle. In the past, the democratic party was an easy refuge for me, it was clearly the pro-woman party while the republicans were the sexist anti-woman camp. After all the sexism lobbed around by Obama supporters however, in their lower blows against Clinton, I no longer feel that refuge. And its not improving now that Palin is their enemy too. I’m not stupid enough to vote for republicans or anything, but I’m feeling less and less like there’s anywhere safe for me to be involved.

  127. #130 spgreenlaw
    September 4, 2008

    Exactly, PZ. There are plenty of very good reasons to criticize Governor Palin, and absolutely none of them have to do with her sex. Doing so makes Democrats look no better than the Republicans they are running against.

    And here’s the thing, even if sexist attacks, subtle or otherwise, did help the Dems defeat McCain/Palin (let’s face it, that sort of bullshit hurt Hilary’s campaign) it would not be right. We have a duty to call people out on it. Even if its on a website where we respect most of the participants like this one, and even if its someone like Sam Harris, who I think most of us here have a huge deal of admiration for. In regards to Sam, I’m refering to this article here and the typical sexist caricatures contained whithin:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/sep/03/opinion/oe-harris3

  128. #131 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    This is a non sequitur simply because you don’t know the facts behind Bristol’s pregnancy.

    No it’s not a non sequitur; how absurd. It doesn’t matter whether Bristol happened to use contraception, the fact is that Sarah Palin opposes education about contraception and Bristol didn’t abstain. As I said, that underlines Palin’s hypocrisy — the pregnancy doesn’t “make” the hypocrisy, the hypocrisy was already there. If she weren’t a hypocrite, she would be admitting that her policy doesn’t work.

  129. #132 Scott from Oregon
    September 4, 2008

    “”Palin scares me, but what worries me more is that we will screw up again and hand the executive office over to another gang of losers, and we can’t afford that anymore”".

    Actually, BOTH major parties scare me. If you look at who isbehind Obama’s campaign and who has been marshalled into the inner circle, you see some familiar old faces…

    The Dems were just as culpable as the neocons for the mess we are in, and here we have (apparently) educated folks completely ignoring the basic facts (like votin records in the House and Senate) to make the dubious claim that one party is actually a great improvement over the other…

    Let’s see… neither party wants to talk about the military mass we have parked overseas, sucking our pennies from our pigs for no reason other than we’re still afraid of Hitler…

    Neither party wants to mention we are 9.6 Trillion dollars in debt, and our unfunded liabilities are over 90 Trillion… (But Barack has a plan to fix all of this with more federal programs!)

    Neither party wants to admit complicity in the further erosion of our basic Constitutional rights, yet both parties (including Barack Obama) piled on the legislation doing just that…

    Neither party wants to talk about monetary policy and admit that the feds completely screwed up the housing market in America and are now asking the taxpayers to fix it (while the major banks still skim off the millions (billions?) for themselves…

    Neither party wants to talk about all the foreign aid we dish out, taking this money from Americans by force and actually handing it over to dictators and regimes that use their military to quell dissent…

    Neither party wants to talk about the revolving door between federal positions and lobbying groups, or how industry is writing its own legislation and passing it off to Congress to pass…

    Neither party wants to point out the obvious fact that America no longer produces its own wealth, but that it produces dollars instead, hoping the world won’t notice…

    Neither party has asked why Osama Bin Laden has not been indicted for the attacks on 911, if he is indeed the reason we went into Afghanistan to achieve “justice” for 3,000 innocent lives…

    Neither party asks just what the hell they are doing dictating morality to Americans? Both parties seem to think it is their right to dictate to the American people what constitutes morality…

    Neither party wants to give up the power y’all keep shoveling their way and they keep taking…

    And y’all think you have a winner in this race?

    The mind boggles…

  130. #133 AJ Milne
    September 4, 2008

    Re:

    Call him on his meagre record, call him on any of the actually legitimately unsettling aspects of that meagre record (avoiding votes on controversial legislation, for example), or his more extremist views, and they’ll still be saying ‘racist racist racist racist!’

    Heh. Hardly. In fact, the Obama camp has been pretty determined about not letting race become much of an issue in their responses, apart from where it was pretty clearly forced. As in: certainly, there have been responses to actual racism, occasional relatively mild suggestions it could be expected to play a factor in the general election.

    Contrast, now. Look at the GOP play pre- and post-convention. The media started actually doing the vetting the McCain campaign neglected to do, checked this woman out, and the McCain camp quite naturally, having egg all over their faces in that regard, answered with ‘sexism’. It isn’t by any means the same strategy, but then, they’re in very different situations with their candidates, despite cosmetic appearances of similarity.

    See also AP for a nice comment.

  131. #134 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    There is however, a report that when she was mayor of Wasilla, she tried to get some books in the city library removed. Without success. I don’t know if this is true either but we will know the truth or not of that soon enough.

    For whoever is interested to go in the details, here’s a very detailed 63 pages research document from the dems on Sarah Palin :

    http://www.politico.com/static/PPM106_palin_doc.html

    Palin Asked City Librarian About Censoring Books, Insisted It Was ‘Rhetorical.’ In 1996, according to the Frontiersman, Wasilla’s library director Mary Ellen Emmons said Palin asked her outright if she could live with censorship of library books. Emmons said, “This is different than a normal book-selection procedure or a book-challenge policy. … She was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can’t be in the library.” Palin said in response, “Many issues were discussed, both rhetorical and realistic in nature.” [Frontiersman, 12/18/96]

    BTW, she has a BS in Journalism from the U.of Idaho, has lived in Wasilla since her family moved there when she was 8, and just got her passport.

    From Wasilla and Idaho, she probably has a “very good idea” of the rest of the world outside of small town USA…
    And because she seems to be the kind of person who is not fixated on her preconceptions, I’m sure she won’t make the same mistakes as G.W.Bush…

    Exactly the kind of person the USA and the world needs right now !

  132. #135 PeteC
    September 4, 2008

    Huh? You’re worried that trolls were trollish?
    I’d say “welcome to the internet”, but PZ has been in cyberspace for decades.

    I have some questions, PZ (or for any educators here) — how many of your students are registered to vote? Do the out-of-state students (if there are any) know which state they’re registered in? Are there any ‘get out the vote’ campaigns at your school?

  133. #136 Lilly de Lure
    September 4, 2008

    Orac said:

    What concerns me is that Democrats seem way overconfident that Obama will win.

    I agree and I think it’s hurting them in the polls as well – they are coming across as smug and complacent where as Palin, in particular, comes across as a fresh, energised outsider.

    This is not to be underestimated since, like it or not, US elections are to a significant extent won on image, not substance (how else can anyone explain what has kept the current White House encumbent there for the past eight years) and Palin’s current “gutsy hometown hockey-mom” image is extremely appealling (far more so than Biden’s is currently) – despite the craziness that is her actual agenda.

  134. #137 Brain Hertz
    September 4, 2008

    Watching Rudy Guiliani pour contempt on Barack Obama was supremely depressing in that his talking points were so utterly inane. Yet the crowd ate it up.

    Well, of course the crowd ate it up. The crowd consisted mostly of a group of people hand selected to eat up anything a Republican says.

    Dick Cheney could walk on stage and shoot somebody in the face and they’d say it was great.

    What was depressing this week was that the news organizations were interviewing delegates for reactions to each event and treating the responses as if they were somehow representative of Republican voters.

  135. #138 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    After all the sexism lobbed around by Obama supporters however, in their lower blows against Clinton, I no longer feel that refuge.

    And there’s one of the consequences of PZ’s foolish concern trolling — the PUMAs can again trot out their lies about sexism from the Obama camp (there was certainly plenty from the mediaany criticism of a female candidate is labeled “sexist”.

  136. #139 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    Timothy,

    My point about Giuliani’s speech isn’t that he said anything substantive. It’s that he attacked his target effectively, like a highly-skilled trial lawyer, which he is.

    Now, let’s say he wants to convince an undecided voter to vote against Obama: should he say “Obama is bad”, or should he say “You’re bad if you support Obama”?

    In 2000 and 2004, the vibe from the democratic candidates wasn’t “vote for me, I’ll do a better job”, it was “vote for me, I’m smarter than you are, you impudent peasant.” Meanwhile, the message from the Republicans was basically “America! Fuck Yeah!”, and lo and behold, cheerleading was more popular than scolding. Imagine that!

    -jcr

  137. #140 Darth Wader
    September 4, 2008

    #118
    It will be far easier to paint criticisms of Palin as sexist, than criticisms of Obama as racist.
    There is a latent idea, which is sexist in its own right, that as a woman she cannot defend herself.
    Beyond that she seems pretty good, at least from the small amount that I have seen of her, of switching between roles of hockey mom and attack dog.

  138. #141 libarbarian
    September 4, 2008

    Let the Tabloids rip her a new one.

    We’ll act classy and let them establish the Palin family as America’s premiere White Trash Family!

  139. #142 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    Roadrider (@31):

    The reason that the Democrats might lose is the same reason they lost with Gore and Kerry – failure to offer a convincing difference in policy and ideology to the delusional, batshit crazy Republican agenda.

    Really? There are deep and abiding differences in fundamental political philosophy between the Dems and the Repubs (and esp. the Bush-Cheney wing of the Republican party, to which McCain is heir) — on the economy, on foreign/military policy, on health care, on energy policy… on the fundamental role of government in the lives of the people — and I, for one, have been hearing them articulated pretty clearly by the Obama campaign. During Obama’s acceptance speech last week, Keith Olbermann counted (IIRC) 28 distinct specific policy positions, virtually all of which contrast sharply with the Bush/McCain/Republican approach.

    I don’t think the Dems are failing to “offer a convincing difference in policy and ideology”; I think you’re refusing to hear it. In my experience (and forgive me if my generalization doesn’t apply to you personally), the “there’s no difference between them” complaint usually really means that the candidates haven’t articulated distinct positions on one specific pet issue. Here at Pharyngula, most often that issue is secularism.

    Well, I think it’s very clear that Obama is parsecs better on church-and-state than any Republican administration would be (and just to keep this on topic, the choice of Palin massively reinforces that clarity), but let me stipulate neither candidate has made a bold, clear denunciation of religion or endorsement of humanism/atheism. So what? To have done so (for either of them) would have been electoral suicide, and that tells you far more about the state of the electorate than it does about the candidates. But that does not mean there’s “no difference” between them. Wake up!

    Wombat (@32):

    Snide attacks on Palin’s personal life or her appearance will make her a sympathetic figure.

    I agree this is, as you say, a “landmine,” but the difficulty is that so many of the hot-button “culture war” issues — abortion, birth control, sex education — are related to sexuality and privacy, and the selection of Palin is a signal that the Repubs intend to fight on that ground. Now, as a strategic matter, we should certainly not sit meekly by and let them choose the ground we fight on… but we must at least be prepared to defend that flank.

    So I’m afraid we don’t have the option to just not go there… but I agree we must “go there” only vewwy, vewwy, carefully.

    BTW, anyone who thinks they didn’t have Palin’s looks in mind (in part) when they chose her is crazy. McCain is a tired, old, ugly (to my eyes, anyway) man leading a party made up largely (in leadership roles) of other tired, old, ugly men. If you think they don’t understand the advantages adding a young (by political standards), pretty (again by political standards) woman to their posters and stages, I beg you to think again. That she’s pretty in a working-class-mom sort of way is a huge plus for them, just in terms of the atmospherics and visuals of the campaign: At the risk of being called sexist, I’d say they’re going after the MILF-lover demographic, and I think they’re doing so quite deliberately. As Roadrider put it, it’s a “landmine” for us to talk about that… but keep in mind that landmines are only effective if they’re placed on land the adversary must cross. We should be careful to avoid blowback, but we must not lie to ourselves about what they’re trying to do.

    More generally, I agree with PZ that the nasty tone of some of Palin “open thread” last night is risky for us, but I also agree with truth machine and others that we shouldn’t overreact: I thought the couple of sex jokes that (you should pardon the expression) popped up early in the thread were inappropriate (to the conversation at hand, I mean; I’m not endorsing censorship or prudery), but I think we’re sometimes too quick to call sex jokes sexist or misogynistic. I also think it would serve us well to remember that long flamewars about “inappropriate” remarks only serve to keep those remarks at the top of the conversation. In this case, the two primary “culprits” fairly quickly backed off from their twisted humor once called on it… but the pervasive scolding and kvetching kept the topic alive for several hours and hundreds of posts. To what end?

    Finally, while I agree that we all should be careful not to say things that will damage the Good Guys’ chances of winning, we should all take a step back and realize the election really isn’t going to turn on a few intemperate comments made on a science blog in the middle of the night. Perspective is all, y’all.

  140. #143 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    The crowd consisted mostly of a group of people hand selected to eat up anything a Republican says.

    Indeed. How immensely stupid for someone to be depressed that a room full of Republican delegates ate up what they were fed. But there’s a lot of that here. I really need to get out of here before I get more depressed.

    they are coming across as smug and complacent where as Palin, in particular, comes across as a fresh, energised outsider.

    Oh, right, Palin wasn’t smug. Fuck, cretins, I am out of here.

  141. #144 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    Heh. Hardly. In fact, the Obama camp has been pretty determined about not letting race become much of an issue in their responses, apart from where it was pretty clearly forced.

    That’s what Obama wants you to think. Take another sip.

  142. #145 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    the Obama camp has been pretty determined about not letting race become much of an issue in their responses

    Indeed. He’s basically rejected the race issue as much as he can.

    That’s why he succeeded where Jesse Jackson failed.

    -jcr

  143. #146 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    Ooops, sorry: It was wombat, not roadrider, who invoked the “landmine” metaphor.

  144. #147 Brain Hertz
    September 4, 2008

    After all the sexism lobbed around by Obama supporters however, in their lower blows against Clinton, I no longer feel that refuge.

    Well I suppose that depends. Are you planning on voting for a candidate or for one of their supporters?

  145. #148 Karey
    September 4, 2008

    Wow truth machine, you speak for every single person out there and how they behaved? Thats one tiny little world you live in.

  146. #149 JoeBob Dubba-Wide
    September 4, 2008

    That gal shore is purdy. But it would be a shame to mess up her family by makin’ her move to warshington deecee.

  147. #150 Karey
    September 4, 2008

    Wow truth machine, you speak for every single person out there and how they behaved? Thats one tiny little world you live in.

  148. #151 wombat
    September 4, 2008

    “No it’s not a non sequitur; how absurd. It doesn’t matter whether Bristol happened to use contraception, the fact is that Sarah Palin opposes education about contraception and Bristol didn’t abstain. As I said, that underlines Palin’s hypocrisy — the pregnancy doesn’t “make” the hypocrisy, the hypocrisy was already there. If she weren’t a hypocrite, she would be admitting that her policy doesn’t work.”

    Logical fallacy. You are lifting an anecdote as evidence that abstinence education doesn’t work. By the same line of argument, comprehensive sex education that includes contraception doesn’t work either because there are plenty of individual teens that go through it who still get pregnant. Also, you can’t accuse an individual of being a hypocrite through the actions of a completely separate individual. It simply doesn’t follow. Bristol is 17. She doesn’t share a mind or body with her mother.

    FWIW, I don’t think abstinence education is as effective as comprehensive sex ed. This has been observed statistically from numerous studies. Using her daughter to try to make the point is personal and unnecessary because as I said before, you don’t know the circumstances of her particular situation.

  149. #152 Prof MTH
    September 4, 2008

    Hats… The One They Forgot to Take Off

    Repugnants have propaganda down to an art form. The latest deluge propaganda theme was “We need to take off our [Repugnant] hat and put on our American hat.” Well, the one hat they forgot to take off was their Ass hat. This latest talking point only underscores two reasons why Repugnants should never hold public office at the federal level:

    1. Public office is always and only about the Common Good as is written in the Preamble to the Constitution.

    2. The line is an admittance that they engage in partisan politics. Partisan politics does not promote the Common Good. Partisan politics divides the country placing the interests of political parties over the Common Good.

  150. #153 Bostonian
    September 4, 2008

    The analysis by politically knowledgeable people has been that McCain needed to capture both his base and swing voters. The Palin pick was quite definitely intended to energize the base and definitely did so, as did her speech, but it seems to have abandoned the attempt to gather swing voters. If that’s the case, then McCain will have a hard time, because his base just isn’t enough, especially this late in the game and with Obama’s very large ground game advantage.

    I’m not entirely sure that abandonment theory is valid, truth machine. I wish it were.

    For one thing, former Clinton suppoters now represent a swing vote block. True, they may stay home, and they may follow Clinton’s lead and vote for Obama. But some will not. The choice of a female running mate is a very transparent attempt to lure these voters. If I were a Clinton supporter I’d be insulted at this obvious attempt to gather my vote, but some Clinton supporters have leaned toward McCain, even though his policies are entirely different from Clinton’s. So clearly some of these former Clinton voters (few though they may be) aren’t choosing the candidate for objective policy reasons. This means the choice of Palin may actually work for a small segment of Clinton supporters.

    For other swing voters … well, you’ve made up your mind on this election, right? I know I have. That puts us in one of two categories of voters, because there are only two types of voters who make up their minds this early: (1) people who pay attention to events and issues, and (2) political nutcases (“fanboys” if you will, and there are many on both sides of the aisle).

    Swing voters do not fall into either category. That means they don’t pay close attention to events (warrantless wiretapping, the legality of the war, the effects of the dogmatic Republican economic policies, etc.), and they are not influenced by the important issues related to these events. This makes them prime targets for the Republicans, because the Republicans desperately need people who haven’t been paying attention. Palin may look great to these voters because they’re not likely to analyze to her actual platform, beliefs and record.

    Be very scared.

  151. #154 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Excellent post, Bill. And yeah, I shouldn’t be depressed that hardly anyone here will pay any attention to it. Ok, bye.

  152. #155 BobC
    September 4, 2008

    I’m voting for Obama but I noticed I was able to watch Palin’s speech without being bored to death. Obama, Biden, McCain, and every president and vice-president in the recent past, except for Kennedy in the early 1960′s, have been incredibly boring to listen to. Palin is an excellent public speaker, and I enjoyed her speech even though I knew she was lying.

    The average American is going to want to vote for Palin because she’s likable, not caring that much about her views. The other problem is most people naturally want to pay as little tax as possible, and they correctly or incorrectly think their taxes are going to increase if Obama is elected. I hope I’m wrong but I think Obama is going to lose a close election.

  153. #156 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    let them establish the Palin family as America’s premiere White Trash Family!

    Why do I have the feeling that in 2012, I’ll be pointing to quips like that to explain how the democrats blew it again in 2008?

    -jcr

  154. #157 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    Lilly,

    I agree and I think it’s hurting them in the polls as well – they are coming across as smug and complacent where as Palin, in particular, comes across as a fresh, energised outsider.

    Do you have any evidence for that ? That they are overconfdent and that this is hurting them in the polls ?

    For the last 5 days, the only thing people are talking about in the USA (as if the rest of the world has stopped) is Sarah Palin. Who is new, who is an outsider, who is fresh(?).

    Sorry Lilly, but I’m not used to reading this nonsense from you.

  155. #158 Patricia
    September 4, 2008

    Thank you for recognizing the real world PZ. As a member of the well filled blouse club, I’m made aware at least once a day that men speak to that which has nipples rather than that which has ears.
    I thought turning fifty would stop it – nope – wrong again Patricia.
    Sadly, Palin will get the ‘she’s hot!’ vote, along with the fundie vote.

  156. #159 foxfire
    September 4, 2008

    So please, think. Casual sexism plays into the hands of the bad guys on both sides. What frightens me most is that Palin got up and lied and said nothing of substance, and people are so distracted by the fact that she has breasts that the lies were allowed to slide by. This is how the Democrats can self-destruct, once again.

    PZ, that is so well stated it is truly scary.

  157. #160 June
    September 4, 2008

    Was anyone else struck by Palin comparing herself to Truman, who revenged Pearl Harbor by dropping the big one on Japan?

    McCain’s repeated assertion that he will “follow Osama to the gates of Hell” is chilling, coming from a brain crippled by years of torture. Palin simply completes the set with her rapture-seeking Hale-Bopp mentality.

  158. #161 wÒÓ†
    September 4, 2008
  159. #162 Jeeves
    September 4, 2008

    I haven’t read through all of these, so I don’t know if this point has already been made (implicitly or not). But why is everyone (media, print, internet) comparing Palin’s record with Obama’s? I don’t think Obama comes out the worse for wear in the fight but could it be because comparing Palin to Biden would be a complete joke? Palin: mayor of 7,000 then governor of 670,000 which is comparable to a medium size city in the lower 48. Biden: senator of Delaware since 1973. Former member of Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Council of Foreign Relations. Has been overseas to Europe, Asia, Middle East many times. It’s not even close as a joke.

  160. #163 Karey
    September 4, 2008

    ‘Are you planning on voting for a candidate or for one of their supporters?’

    The supporters still hurt him. I would normally be more active and vocal in politics, but now frankly I don’t feel like subjecting myself to the camps of people I have to be involved with, so I’m sitting that process out. I’m going to the polls in November and thats pretty much it. Its not good for Obama to drive potential supporters who’d spread his message, out of action.

  161. #164 AJ Milne
    September 4, 2008

    …take another sip.

    Ah, yes. The Jonestown Kool-Aid insinuation. Classy, baby.

    … anyway, at least the media has apologized.

  162. #165 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Ok, just one more, because it really warrants a response:

    Palin may look great to these voters because they’re not likely to analyze to her actual platform, beliefs and record.

    The reason that Palin’s speech is viewed as abandoning an attempt to gather these voters is because it was so hostile and mean-spirited, tossing red meat to the base … but nothing was said about what McCain-Palin might offer these swing voters, and that’s what they’re looking for. It’s not enough to hammer Obama for being a “community organizer” (snicker snicker), especially from someone with so little gravitas as Palin. But we’ll know more from post-convention poll numbers (although it won’t be possible to distinguish the effect of Palins’ speech from that of McCain’s tonight).

    Ok, while I’m here:

    Logical fallacy. You are lifting an anecdote as evidence that abstinence education doesn’t work.

    Oh give it up. You don’t even know what a logical fallacy is, or apparently what evidence is.

  163. #166 Aaron
    September 4, 2008

    Well said PZ! Politically a bad move, but generally a shitty way to act.

  164. #167 Cynthia
    September 4, 2008

    It’s pretty obvious that Palin was handpicked by the Religious Right so that our country can be dragged into a cultural war between secular progressives and backwards fundamentalists, in hopes that the latter warriors will win, thereby freeing them to drag us deeper into a holy war between Islam and Christianity!!!

  165. #168 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Wow truth machine, you speak for every single person out there and how they behaved? Thats one tiny little world you live in.

    If you’re going to accuse me of such a thing, you might at least quote what you’re referring to so I have some idea of what you’re getting at and so that you don’t look like a complete moron who hasn’t yet figured out this internet thing.

  166. #169 tim Rowledge
    September 4, 2008

    It’s not her gender, it’s her agenda

  167. #170 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    Neither party wants to mention we are 9.6 Trillion dollars in debt, and our unfunded liabilities are over 90 Trillion…

    That’s the 500-pound Gorilla in the room.

    Republicans and Democrats alike have steadily increased the problem since the end of the Eisenhower administration, and they both have the same plan, which is to ignore it and hope that the crash happens on the other’s watch.

    -jcr

  168. #171 Holbach
    September 4, 2008

    Has anyone seen the New York Times cartoon section for today on line? There is an excellent TONY AUTH cartoon of Palin that pretty well says what we are discussing here.
    Check it out!

  169. #172 Brain Hertz
    September 4, 2008

    Karey,
    what is it exactly you would have Obama do, aside from constantly talking about the issues?

    Asshattery can be viewpoint neutral at times, and the Internet gives a platform for cretins of every stripe to proclaim their views. If you’re going to make political decisions based on the most extreme views of everybody who yells on the Internet, there’s not much any candidate can do to reach you.

  170. #173 Inoculated Mind
    September 4, 2008

    Hear, hear. I’m not even going to touch that thread, from how it sounds it wouldn’t be a good use of my time to read.

    I think people should keep in mind that Palin was selected for very political reasons. McCain has been unable to motivate the religious right this campaign season, who have been wary lately of getting involved in politics. Palin is an obvious choice to try to speak to that voting block. Second, McCain is counting on the disgruntled Clinton supporters that might swing over to support McCain – I know it doesn’t make much sense, how can McCain be better than Obama, but we’re not necessarily talking about rational decision-making. Clinton got a lot of sexism from the republicans (and a few democrats) while she was running, and that has some people upset. Now with Palin selected for her gender, any sexist attacks made on her will only feed into that dislike of sexist politics and instead work in McCain’s favor. Remember how Palin made a statement about how Clinton showed that Women can do it? Ding ding ding, we have a gender card being played. But Democrats won’t have much of a chance to call it out as a gender card, for fear of being labeled sexist.

    IMHO, I think Hillary Clinton would be an excellent person to have speak out about how Palin does not care about women’s issues, so that she cannot hijack Clinton’s message and image.

  171. #174 Black Bellamy
    September 4, 2008

    I’m going to tell you how you’re going to lose.

    You’re going to lose because the Democratic party has been taken over by insufferable jerks with giant superiority complexes, people who think nothing of referring to the other side as a “gang of losers” and “troglodytes”, and who think so low of the average voter that they sincerely believe that this election will hinge on people easily “distracted by the fact that she has breasts”.

    This is symptomatic of the entire liberal blogosphere and of the television and print media as well. You are all frothing yourselves into oblivion, incapable of understanding how your petty insults and attitude do more harm to your party than anything else.

    Seriously PZ, your blog has become a chore to read as the election draws near. I enjoy your writings vis a vis biology and atheism, but when you spout political it’s insulting and annoying to read childish rants from someone who is capable of expressing himself much better.

    Vote McCain/Palin!

  172. #175 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    In the past, the democratic party was an easy refuge for me, it was clearly the pro-woman party while the republicans were the sexist anti-woman camp. After all the sexism lobbed around by Obama supporters however, in their lower blows against Clinton, I no longer feel that refuge.

    I’m tired of this. I know my opinion on this is likely to be dismissed as biased, because I’m an Obama campaign volunteer, but I don’t think you heard any sexist stuff coming from the Obama campaign, nor any of its official surrogates. You may have run into individual Obama supporters who voiced sexist opinions, but if so it was against the campaign’s wishes and direction, not in accordance with them. I know as a volunteer, the direction I got through campaign channels was always to be scrupulously respectful of Sentaor Clinton.

    I think there’s a very good case to make that the media coverage of the primary campaign was sexist, both in subtle, unconscious ways and in blatant, explicit ones… but, all paranoia to the contrary aside, the Obama campaign does not control the media.

    And BTW, regardless of the alleged personal sexism of either candidate, can you really imagine, even for a moment, that women’s issues would be better under a McCain/Palin administration than under Obama/Biden? Really?? If nothing else, just keep saying to yourself “it’s the Supreme Court, it’s the Supreme Court, it’s the Supreme Court….”

  173. #176 Darth Wader
    September 4, 2008

    Wombat is right, she is not a hypocrite, at least not because daughter becoming pregnant. She did support bad policy but that does not a hypocrite make.
    She is a hypocrite on the earmark thing, and on saying she is an advocate for special needs children when cutting special needs school funding.
    She may or may not be a bad parent (there is evidence of both), but she is in the running for VP not for nanny. Democrats can win this by focusing on the big issues, not on her kids and personal life.
    Palin is the political version of a flame bait, don’t feed the trolls.

  174. #177 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    I don’t think you heard any sexist stuff coming from the Obama campaign, nor any of its official surrogates.

    I think that’s a fair claim. Obama took the high road, Clinton didn’t. Hopefully, future candidates will take a lesson from that.

    -jcr

  175. #178 Godless Bastard
    September 4, 2008

    In just a few short days, John and Sarah will embark on a great crusade. Crisscrossing this fair land of ours, they will be spreading the word of intolerance, hatred and above all, ignorance.

    They will point their fingers and laugh and giggle along with millions of Americans at “elitists,” at “Einsteins” and their Ivy League educations. They will smugly associate themselves with George W. Bush and his motto: “Ain’t it great to be a ‘C’ student!”

    They will mock evolutionary biologists–insisting we “teach the controversy.” They will roll their eyes at the suggestion that “abstinence only” doesn’t work. They will gleefully promote the irrational notion that a cluster of 70-100 cells is every bit the human being you and I are and deserving Constitutional protections.

    John knows Sarah has no qualms about banning books and he chose her anyway. He knows she thinks evolution is a crock and he chose her anyway. He knows she promotes no sexual education in addition to no contraception and he chose her anyway. John’s no dummy. He knows Republicans.

    With a hat tip to their Great Sky God, John and Sarah will make the rounds explaining that the fruit from the tree of knowledge really ain’t all that. Ignorance really is bliss!

    This is the Republican Party. It has been on full display the last couple nights. It will be there for all to see a couple nights more. Then the crusade begins. And it is then that the forces of reason, education, enlightenment and wisdom must act.

    John and Sarah’s god said, “Don’t eat that fruit! For you will then know what good and evil is!” Like this is a bad thing!

    Well some of us, thankfully, do know what is good: knowledge. And what is evil: ignorance.

    Be good, vote Democratic.

  176. #179 Al Meino
    September 4, 2008

    The right wing has the uncanny ability to shake the media and keep them in line. Looks like that’s starting to happen here. I think this was all apart of McCain’s play-book: introduce a likable face with hardly any national attention, the media frenzy ensues finding dirt, expectations are lowered, she does well on the stage, media goes ga-ga, she becomes unassailable and anybody having an opinion is a sexists pig. (I mean really, does anybody really believe using the word ‘shrill’ is sexist – that’s what CNN’s Campbell Brown seems to think).

  177. #180 Chiroptera
    September 4, 2008

    Black Bellamy, #174: This is symptomatic of the entire liberal blogosphere and of the television and print media as well.

    Right. And this is unlike the conservative blogosphere, which is an oasis of rationality and dispassionate analysis of real issues.

    Thanks, BB.

  178. #181 Chris
    September 4, 2008

    Just a curiosity question to anyone who follows the threads with consistency: How many times does Truth Machine usually write that he’s leaving before he actually does?

  179. #182 Barklikeadog
    September 4, 2008

    Absolute ignorance never stopped us before. A delegate and my very own county assessor at the RNC was on NPR last night. I’m paraphrasing but he essentially said he couldn’t imagine anyone so dumb as to vote for Oboma & if we lose that war we’ll be speaking another language in 2 years. My 12 y/o sons comment nailed it. ” Is he stupid?” Asked in all sincerity.

  180. #183 Brain Hertz
    September 4, 2008

    I’m tired of this. I know my opinion on this is likely to be dismissed as biased, because I’m an Obama campaign volunteer, but I don’t think you heard any sexist stuff coming from the Obama campaign, nor any of its official surrogates. You may have run into individual Obama supporters who voiced sexist opinions, but if so it was against the campaign’s wishes and direction, not in accordance with them. I know as a volunteer, the direction I got through campaign channels was always to be scrupulously respectful of Sentaor Clinton.

    Totally with you. Personally, I’m more than just tired of this crap, I’m sick to death of it.

    I’m not an Obama volunteer, yet… but since I don’t actually get to vote (I’m not a citizen yet) I need to figure out how to maximize whatever contribution I can make. Since I’m in Oregon, which is pretty safely in Obama’s column, I’m not sure what will make any difference…

  181. #184 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    But why is everyone (media, print, internet) comparing Palin’s record with Obama’s?

    Because they’re fucking morons ?

    Because they forget(!) that Obama won one of the toughest primaries in a presidential race ever, against many very “experienced” candidates, and Palin didn’t.

    Because they forget that Obama has shown and repeatedly demonstrated to the whole world exceptional leadership and judgemental qualities over the last 12 months and has been attacked and scrutinized in full details, and Palin not.

    Because they forget that Obama has lived many years abroad, in Indonesia, Kenya, has travelled abroad extensively, has a very good understanding of the key interdependencies of the real fucking world, and Palin only knows the small neighbourhood of her small Alaskan town.

    And I don’t even understand how people can claim to be intellectually honest when they start comparing Obama and Palin’s CV and state that she has more “executive experience” than him, or insinuate that she’s more ready than him to be “commander in chief” because she’s been mayor and governor of a tiny town and state, and he’s “only” been senator and community organiser.
    How can they forget the primary, what was that whole circus for then ?

    The problem is that it seems to me that there is a whole range of press and manufacturers of consent, extremely dishonest professonal noise makers in the USA, whose job is only to concoct completely and utterly idiotic talking points, and once they have gone out, people are forced to spend some time dismantling them.

    I am absolutely amazed at the level of stupidity and lack of objectivity of these professional commentators, this is probably the one most single harmful disease America is infected with.

    Stupid and ignorant people you find everywhere in the world. But a press and manufacturers of consent that are so virulent and so intent in exploiting this is an American wonder.

  182. #185 Dave
    September 4, 2008

    I am sure there is quite a bit of unconscious sexism involved in both parties and the media. That said, not every criticisim of Palin is sexist. Why is it sexist to call Palin’s speech “shrill”? Was it sexist to call Howard Dean “shrill”? If its sexist to question Palin’s ability to do the job in light of a recently born special needs child, was it sexist to question John Edwards’ ability to do the job in light of his wife’s cancer?

  183. #186 robotaholic
    September 4, 2008

    You suck anymore PZ, and you’ve lost your objectivism.

  184. #187 frog
    September 4, 2008

    Black Bellamy: You’re going to lose because the Democratic party has been taken over by insufferable jerks with giant superiority complexes, people who think nothing of referring to the other side as a “gang of losers” and “troglodytes”, and who think so low of the average voter that they sincerely believe that this election will hinge on people easily “distracted by the fact that she has breasts”.
    This is symptomatic of the entire liberal blogosphere and of the television and print media as well. You are all frothing yourselves into oblivion, incapable of understanding how your petty insults and attitude do more harm to your party than anything else.

    Project much? Just look at the number of ambiguously referenced “yous” in this rant, the intense worry not about substance but about the fact that someone, somewhere may be looking down on “you” and “your people”.

    Instead of attacking the arrogance you perceive as ill-founded, you attack that perceived arrogance. That’s the problem – that’s the issue – that’s the fight.

    That massive, unbelievable inferiority complex is what’s driving this whole rush to hell.

  185. #188 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    But Darth she is a hypocrite because she doesn’t back up her rhetoric. She cut funding for both special needs schools and for a home for teen mothers.

    She’s all for pregnant teens keeping their babies, but not for taking care of them while their pregnant.

    She’s all for the unborn child, but after their born, they’re on their own.

    She’ll advocate for special needs children, but cut state spending on them.

  186. #189 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    Brian (@183):

    Since I’m in Oregon, which is pretty safely in Obama’s column, I’m not sure what will make any difference…

    Is there a neighboring state that’s not reliably blue? (I don’t have my color-coded electoral map in front of me.) If you get hooked up with your local Obama organization (go to http://www.barackobama.com to find your local campaign organization), you might find that they’re organizing field trips to canvass in other states, or perhaps remote phonebanking into battleground states. Even if your state’s secure (as mine almost certainly is), there’s useful work you can do.

  187. #190 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    Black Bellamy #174

    you probably won’t realise this, but your comment was a model of arrogance and of superiority complex.

  188. #191 Darth Wader
    September 4, 2008

    Steve_C
    I agree that she is a hypocrite, she is also a liar and a thug.

  189. #192 Matt Heath
    September 4, 2008

    #186

    You suck anymore PZ, and you’ve lost your objectivism.< \blockquote>
    Did you just accuse PZed of being a sometime Randroid? Or did you mean objectivity?

  190. #193 GraceM
    September 4, 2008

    I’m Canadian too and the outcome of this (or any) American election is of great interest to me. What really scares me is that we’re all trivializing Sarah Palin. We’re concerned with what kind of mother she is, that she was a hockey/PTA mom, that she bakes cookies and washes her kids’ faces. The fact is she is pro business not because she’s against the middle class but because she probably honestly believes that if business does well, so will the people. Which makes her naive. She is a liar and an opportunist. We cannot discount this woman. She’s not intelligent – the fundie beliefs preclude that – but she does have street-smarts and she’s ruthless and capable of getting what she wants. The speech was as good as any politician’s speech – well delivered and playing right into the hands of those who want to believe. It was a speech full of lies and no substance but that hardly matters to the people whose interests she will serve. This woman is dangerous, partly because of what she is but mostly because of the way we, on the other side, characterize and dismiss her. We have to take her seriously even though she’s not a serious human being and John McCain showed incredible disdain for the American people in choosing her, but because while we dissect the trivialities, she’s going to sneak into the most powerful position in the world. The whole scenario is scary as hell.

  191. #194 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    Right. And this is unlike the conservative blogosphere, which is an oasis of rationality and dispassionate analysis of real issues.

    That’s the point, one would expect tolerance and rational thought from liberal blogs. But, that’s certainly not what is coming from them.

    The liberal blogs have provided a peek behind the progressive / liberal curtain, and it doesn’t look good.

  192. #195 scooter
    September 4, 2008

    Posted by: robotaholic
    You suck anymore PZ, and you’ve lost your objectivism.

    Please give evidence for your theory of ‘objectivism’ in the case of political discourse, journalism, blogging, etc etc

  193. #196 OrbitalMike
    September 4, 2008

    Yes, I am very afraid:

    From http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article4671858.ece

    I’m a long-time Hillary supporter and I really thought she could do the best job as President. When she didn’t win the nomination, I sent a donation in to Obama’s campaign. After hearing Palin last night, I am blown away. Quite impressive, to the point that I’ll be voting for McCain/Palin.

    Mark, Latrobe, PA, USA

  194. #197 E.V.
    September 4, 2008

    Chris,
    it’s best not to antagonize a pit bull when you aren’t sure he’s left the area. Notice the “OM”? He earned it even though he doesn’t kowtow to anyone, including our beloved PZ (and we do love our PZ). Sure he makes mistakes here and there but it’s rare. He’s understands logical fallicies, false syllogisms and emotional arguments better than most and what’s most important he can cut through BS like a hot knife through buttah. He’s in a foul mood today, but then so am I. FUCKIN’ THEOCRATIC AASSWIPE RUPUBLICANS. There. I feel better now.

    non sequiturI want to see Meagan Mullaly do Palin on SNL.

  195. #198 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    I’m tired of this. I know my opinion on this is likely to be dismissed as biased, because I’m an Obama campaign volunteer, but I don’t think you heard any sexist stuff coming from the Obama campaign, nor any of its official surrogates. You may have run into individual Obama supporters who voiced sexist opinions, but if so it was against the campaign’s wishes and direction, not in accordance with them. I know as a volunteer, the direction I got through campaign channels was always to be scrupulously respectful of Sentaor Clinton.

    How’s the song go? “I got 99 problems and a bitch ain’t one of them?”

  196. #199 Phopas
    September 4, 2008

    I think this is going to be a close election.

    Just trying to think calmly and balance advantages and disadvantages, in regard to the Palin pick and her speech:

    1. Obama vs McCain. On youth, eloquence and charisma, Obama has a major advantage here. It is obvious. Palin, seems to have been a good balance for that, while Biden matches McCain for being a has been, boring speaker, a dull old man.

    2. McCain vs Obama. Experience. McCain without doubt, not even comparable. Palin who is up for only VP is comparable to Obama. Biden a match for McCain on this but the advantage seems to be with the Reps.

    Issues:

    This is why it is going to be close. It may actually come down to issues.

    1. Energy. The democrats are weak on this. It is a hard sell to justify conservation, global warming etc when gas prices are 5 bucks a gallon and we can produce our own by many sources. It is a pocketbook issue.

    2. Taxes. Higher taxes have been a losing mantra for the democrats every single time they try to run on them since Roosevelt.

    3. The War. Opps, it is going better than expected. We may have even won in Iraq by now. This actually may be good for the Dems, despite their embarrassment over this, since national security is not worrying people much now. It is inconceivable to allow those religious nuts in Iran to get the nuke, and both sides will need to address that. Palin has two sons there or on the way. Hard to say she does not think the cause is justified or she wants to profit from ties to Haliburton.

    4. Race/Gender. Obama will be both the victim and beneficiary of racism and racialist goodwill in this campaign. There are many lets face it, who will not vote for him because he is black, and there are many who will vote for him simply because he is. Same for Palin. I think the advantage here it for Obama overall but I am not sure.

    5. Social Issues. Palin may have excited the right wing and bible belters, but America really is too modern to buy into that Evangelical crap in any big way. Politics makes strange bedfellows and McCain is no favorite of those wingnuts but this is the losing issue for the Reps if they have one.

    6. Immigration. I did not hear anything from Palin yesterday about immigration. This is the weakest issue for the Democrats and can be demagogued easily.

    The bottom line, at this point the democrats really need to get hubris out of their way, if they were thinking they were heading to a wedding in November they may end up at a funeral.

  197. #200 Matt Heath
    September 4, 2008

    @GraceM: I believe the world is “misunderestimating”. People are thinking of her as a lightweight trophy “VPILF” when she’s actually a political streetfighter. She turned the election for mayor of a tiny town into a front in the culture war and catapulted herself in the governor’s mansion. She is a playa and she’s dangerous.

  198. #201 Orac
    September 4, 2008

    Oh, right, Palin wasn’t smug. Fuck, cretins, I am out of here.

    Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out, arrogant asshole.

  199. #202 Matt Heath
    September 4, 2008

    doh! world \mapsto word

  200. #203 octopod
    September 4, 2008

    LOL. I love watching all these dudes get all butthurt ’cause PZ called them up to the front of the classroom.

    Or, rather, I would if I were an alien who didn’t have to deal with Earth gender politics or the consequences of this November’s vote in the USA. As it is, these supposedly rational dudes’ bad attitudes are mostly just dismaying.

    Oh, and for all of you who said “Oh, it was only two of them making sexist comments on that thread!” — well, first of all I recall more than two, although only two of them were so egregious even a dude couldn’t ignore them. And second of all if you were another commenter in that thread and you didn’t call them out on it, or you agreed with them — he’s talking to you too.

    Sometimes I think Twisty’s not overstating the case at all.

  201. #204 Parrotlover77
    September 4, 2008

    PZ – I’m not sure what blogs you have been reading, but her lies are being dissected on every blog I’ve read today. Yes, the sexist slams need to stop in any serious political discussion – I agree. But the internets are full of a wide variety of people who have many very different views than you do. Some are truly sexist. Some are being satirical. Some are ignorant. Some are trolls. Some are offended. Some defend her. Many simply don’t care. However, everybody has an opinion and most feel free to express it on a blog!

    I just don’t see how the ranting on a blog (no matter how frat-boy) corresponds to a national voter attitude or campaign strategy. It would be a huge FAIL to run on the “mean bloggers are attacking me” platform, even if it’s entirely true.

    That may be a good talking point to fill some time on O’Reilly’s show, but I don’t see it as a Democratic Self Destruction Technique (TM).

    What we need to do is get the media to notice how incredibly incompetent she is without invoking the “mean liberals are attacking her” meme. I have yet to see any actual evidence of any liberal of any political standing say anything sexist about Palin. But that won’t stop the media from reporting about it, using weasel words like “some say” or “some think” or “it has been reported.”

  202. #205 Steverino
    September 4, 2008

    The RNC does one thing very well, create Fear and Doubt. They don’t have to prove their case at all they have to do is create Fear and Doubt and the rest will take care of itself. Why do you think they resort to negative campaign ads….THEY WORK!

    They did it in 2000 and 2004

    The only hope the Democratic ticket has is to win the debates in landslide fashion. They have to nail the issues in detail, in common speak…while not appearing pompous.

    And the most important item….IS BE FACTUALLY CORRECT. No more taking credit for bills they did not sponsor or committees they were not on or events that did not take place. CREDIBILITY IS EVERYTHING.

    Nothing is worse for their base and supporters than having to defend a lie or a gaff. It just provides too much fodder for the other side and make the offender look like a jerkoff.

  203. #206 orac
    September 4, 2008

    Was anyone else struck by Palin comparing herself to Truman, who revenged Pearl Harbor by dropping the big one on Japan?

    Why not? Bush seems to like to compare himself to Truman in that the Republican spin is that, well, yes Bush’s approval ratings are at historical lows for a President near the end of his second term, but just look at Truman. His approval ratings sucked too, but now he’s thought of much more kindly. I’ve even heard Republicans tell me to have a discussion about Bush 20 years from now and he’ll look a lot better. Possible? Yes, but looking pretty unlikely given how badly he screwed things up.

  204. #207 frog
    September 4, 2008

    Joel: That’s the point, one would expect tolerance and rational thought from liberal blogs. But, that’s certainly not what is coming from them.
    The liberal blogs have provided a peek behind the progressive / liberal curtain, and it doesn’t look good.

    Ah, so we’re supposed to be some kind of cerebral universal computing machines that don’t get really, really, pissed that McCain and his cronies have clearly signaled that they’re going with the dominionist, white-supremacist, anti-semitic wing of their party? That they’ve literally placed a secessionist on their ticket, and are signaling the brown-shirts now?

    Really, how much of a dumb-ass can you be? Who do you think the Assembly of God church is, who do you think the “Alaskan Independence Party” is? McCain is trying to put into the White House a person with close personal ties to the militia movement (hubby Todd was a member of the AIP until 02 when Sarah ran for governor).

    Yeah, I’m pissed. Yeah, folks who support this must either be ignorant tools, or racist killers. Yeah, I might not watch my mouth when meth-powered “rural” vote has been called to action.

  205. #208 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    What supporter of Hillary Clinton could be swayed by the substance free, mocking, sarcastic and factually false speech by a admitted fundamentalist rightwinger?

    Joel and Mike? Are you fucking serious?

    You love what Bush has done for the last 8 years that much? Wow.

  206. #209 CanadaGoose
    September 4, 2008

    >>John McCain was tortured for five years and still thinks it’s okay for us to do it to “them.”
    <<

    According to Bush & Cheney’s current rules, nothing that was done to McCain qualifies as torture.

  207. #210 Bad
    September 4, 2008

    Wait a minute, is PZ actually endorsing a form of framing now? Don’t make legitimate criticisms because they might not play well politically? Don’t take cheap shots because they hurt the cause?

  208. #211 Chris
    September 4, 2008

    E.V.

    I own a pit, so I don’t think your point is valid. I really am curious, and I’m operating under the assumption that Truth Machine will see my question, because, despite the fact that he’s said he was leaving repeatedly, he hasn’t, hence, he probably had an opportunity to read my question. So, why say you are going to do something repeatedly and then repeatedly not do it?

    Also, I’m not sure how you read into my question that I questioned his ability to understand(s) logical fallicies[sic], false syllogisms and emotional arguments better than most.

    I have no argument with most of his points, I hope what my question implies is two fold, one, that he’s being a prick, and two, that he says he’s going to do something more than once but doesn’t do it.

  209. #212 frog
    September 4, 2008

    Phopas: 1. Energy. The democrats are weak on this. It is a hard sell to justify conservation, global warming etc when gas prices are 5 bucks a gallon and we can produce our own by many sources. It is a pocketbook issue.

    Do you even think before hitting the post button? When is a better time for conservation than when fuel prices are high? Trivial, ain’t it? Prices go up, you either cut your consumption, or you create new supply, right?

    Since you can’t create new supply, at least in the short term, other than invading other countries, that leaves conservation. If you want to keep up your standard of living, that means increasing the efficiency of current processes – not driving “stupid” cars, insulating your house properly, not shaving the trees down…

    Really, is there any logic left? It’s just rationalization for that gut, ain’t it?

  210. #213 PZ Myers
    September 4, 2008

    No. Do make legitimate criticisms. The fact that Palin is a woman and a mother and has symmetrical features are not legitimate criticisms. More talk about how she lied in her speech is useful, telling me she is hawt isn’t.

  211. #214 Coriolis
    September 4, 2008

    Yeah sure. Truman had low approval ratings, bush has low approval ratings. Now Truman is regarded more kindly, hence bush will be vindicated! Yay! Who cares about any of those damn little details of what they actually did to earn the scorn of people. It’s only reality after all.

    What kind of idiot makes that much of a simplistic analogy and actually believes it? This is almost as good as the “she has foreign experience since alaska is close to russia!!!” crap.

    I understand you yourself don’t but really, making silly analogies like that is pointless. If I’m not mistaken, Truman was villifed in large part because he fired McArthur, the commanding general in the Korean war. Essentially for saying he knows better than the military. Bush in contrast has done nothing but hide behind generals without taking responsibility for what should be his own decisions as commander in chief.

  212. #215 Adrienne
    September 4, 2008

    Women’s reproductive rights are hanging by a thread. We can’t afford to lose. We just can’t!

  213. #216 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    PZ:

    More talk about how she lied in her speech is useful, telling me she is hawt isn’t.

    Understood, and agreed… to a point. But what about the notion (actually, the transparently obvious fact, IMHO) that the Repubs are counting on her hawtness (and her cuteness and her mom-ness) to distract everyone from her lies? Are we allowed to call BS on that?

  214. #217 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    Ah, so we’re supposed to be some kind of cerebral universal computing machines

    Nah, but I would settle for mature adults who can control their emotions and don’t call everyone who disagrees with them idiots.

  215. #218 dave
    September 4, 2008

    Bush’s approval ratings are at historical lows for a President near the end of his second term,

    Not only that, but RNC didn’t even want him at the convention. He is a *total* negative, and yet McCain is *still* polling equal, if not higher, than Obama. There are only two explanations for that: 1) the RNC has incredible spin skills, and/or 2) The majority of voters in the USA are just not very bright. I suspect both are true. So the best way for the DNC to win is to get some spin skills – fast.

  216. #219 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    Phopas,

    2. McCain vs Obama. Experience. McCain without doubt, not even comparable. Palin who is up for only VP is comparable to Obama. Biden a match for McCain on this but the advantage seems to be with the Reps.

    You make this kind of statement, as if it were relevant, but you don’t even seem to ask yourself the question, if it were at all relevant, how come Obama had many many times more votes in the primary than Biden ?

    And sorry, as far as I’m concerned, Obama’s experience of having lived abroad is something that is irreplacable, and that McCain doesn’t have. McCain views the world as an American imperialist. Obama understands that this cannot work, and he will be much more capable of dealing with foreign powers, McCain not at all. We saw what that cost the USA for the last 40 years, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, American leaders know how to invade, how to use their military might, they have no clue how to deal with a foreign culture afterwards. And that’s the kind of experience Obama has way more than McCain, or Bush, or Rumsfeld, or Reagan.

    So I don’t know what sort of experience McCain has that Obama hasn’t ? The military ? Well, that’s clearly not a scarce resource in the USA amongst leaders, and as history as shown, certainly not the kind of experience that is necessary to make a great statesman.

    So again, you’re repeating right-wing noise machine talking points without critically analysing them.

  217. #220 Coriolis
    September 4, 2008

    And hell that’s not even half of it really, Truman freaking put in place the UN, Marshall Plan, and NATO. Organizations for international action for the last 50 years, until bush showed up. Bush has basically done his best to destroy all our alliances and any other international cooperation as best he can. How can anyone make the comparison with a straight face?

  218. #221 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    Joel. Go spend some time at LittleGreenFootballs or NRO and tell me who the “mature adults” are.

    Joel is gonna vote for a guy that calls his wife a “c*nt” within earshot of the press.

  219. #222 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    Joel and Mike? Are you fucking serious?

    You love what Bush has done for the last 8 years that much? Wow.

    I have no idea who I am going to vote for. This election, and the past 8 years, the Democrats have proved to me that they are no different from the Republicans.

    And sorry, but I have found nothing to support the idea that Barack Obama is going to be any different. Remember FISA?

  220. #223 Candiru
    September 4, 2008

    I don’t think Obama’s got much chance of winning at this point. I don’t know anyone who’s planning on voting for him, even among the normally liberal people I talk to. We had all better hope that McCain stays nice and healthy, and that the Democrats can come up with someone more electable in eight years, when Palin will run for President.

  221. #224 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    Joel. Go spend some time at LittleGreenFootballs or NRO and tell me who the “mature adults” are.

    Sorry, I’ve never bought the “They’re doing it too” argument.

  222. #225 frog
    September 4, 2008

    Joel: Nah, but I would settle for mature adults who can control their emotions and don’t call everyone who disagrees with them idiots.

    But what can I say if you are an idiot? I hear points like Phopas saying that conservation is a non-starter because oil prices are high. What can I deduce from a statement like that, except that anybody who agrees has the intellectual capability of a squirrel?

    It’s not disagreement that leads to people being called idiots – it’s when that disagreement is idiotic that the speaker is called an idiot. Sure, some idiots think that other people are idiots. But I don’t worry about being called an idiot by an idiot – I don’t have a massive inferiority complex that leads me to suspect that I may be an idiot, and I generally respond with some substance, followed by a few corresponding insults.

    Why are you so worried about being called an idiot? Have you consulted with a therapist about it?

  223. #226 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    Joel. Which part of the McCain “plan” do you support?

    I think there’s a contrast you might actually noticed if you bothered to go there.

    But then again maybe not. You seem very thin skinned.

  224. #227 Ron Sullivan
    September 4, 2008

    Karey in #129:

    I’m feeling less and less like there’s anywhere safe for me to be involved.

    Maybe here.

    Bill Dauphin in #175:

    You may have run into individual Obama supporters who voiced sexist opinions,

    Which is pretty much what she’s talking about, official line or no. When you find yourself getting stabbed in the back by the people who call themselves your allies, and then hear about how you’d better support them because you have nowhere else to go, you just might consider a vacation from wholehearted support. When you’re standing in a crowd it’s rarely easy to see who had that knife in hand.

    Plus, the rhetoric gets to sounding familiar.

    You don’t even have to be much of a Hillary fan to notice that there wasn’t a huge, concerted slam on the sexism from the rest of the Democrats when it was happening. That’s not concern-trolling; that’s noticing that you’re being taken for granted, again.

  225. #228 Reynold
    September 4, 2008

    You know it’s bad when Ray Comfort gives the endorsement.

  226. #229 cubefarmed
    September 4, 2008

    I was really hoping that Palin would tank last night during her speech. Sadly, she hit it out of the park (at least with her target audience). I felt unclean after listening to her.

    I definitely have to give McCain’s campaign manager credit for picking her – we all know it wasn’t McCain that made the pick by now, I hope! He’s set it up so that any criticism levelled at either candidate which even remotely resembles a personal attack can be called out as sexism, ageism, or ‘But… but, he was a POW!!!!’ They’re also trying to frame this as an Obama/Palin race instead of an Obama/McCain race from what I can see – concentrating on the mind-boggling brain twister that Palin is /more/ qualified then Obama because of being a Governor. And are setting her up as the Republican ‘rock star’ since McCain is about as exciting as day old bread.

    That said, the mainstream media has been playing right into their hands in the past few days. What they should have done is completely ignore any reference to Trig, and Bristol’s pregnancy. That would have been the smart thing to do. Instead, they jumped eagerly all over it and the blogosphere in general was /very/ quick to follow suit. ANY comment about her looks or attractiveness should be off limits because it distracts from the issues, and whether it’s meant in a sexist way or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that discussing a Vice Presidential candidate in a sexual manner is innapropriate, and I think PZ was spot on to point it out.

    There’s so many other things to pick apart that it shouldn’t be a problem for anyone to stick to those talking points. Let’s see. She’s anti-choice, pro-abstinence only education, pro-creationism, pro-book-banning… and apparently even McCain is now spouting the BS that Alaska being close to Russia counts as foreign policiy experience. She’s already been caught in a lie about the Bridge to Nowhere and earmarks, and is under an ethics investigation (even if you can be sympathetic to her cause, abuse of power is a bad sign). I’m hoping to scout out some nice fact-check stories over the next few days. Hopefully the media won’t be cowed into submission, though I sincerely hope they lay off the sexist tripe and stick to the issues.

  227. #230 llewelly
    September 4, 2008

    Orac:

    What concerns me is that Democrats seem way overconfident that Obama will win. I don’t share that confidence and consider the outcome of this election to be very much up in the air. Watching Rudy Guiliani pour contempt on Barack Obama was supremely depressing in that his talking points were so utterly inane. Yet the crowd ate it up.

    I’d have to second Orac’s opinion here. The RNC did a very good job of energizing its religious base (something McCain campaign had so far done poorly). Obama is still ahead in the polls, but his lead is hardly overwhelming. Furthermore, polls at this point largely represent the opinions of medium-to-high-information voters, not the low-information voters who will play a larger role on election day. Finally, I don’t think most Democrats understand how Republicans go about appealing to their base. Much of the analysis of Palin seems to assume Palin was intended to appeal to Democrats, or to liberals. Surely, if Palin as VP had been intended to appeal to such groups, picking her was a disastrous failure. But picking Palin was intended to appeal to the religious base. To people like Dobson.

  228. #231 frog
    September 4, 2008

    Candiru: #223
    Posted by: Candiru | September 4, 2008 12:54 PM
    I don’t think Obama’s got much chance of winning at this point. I don’t know anyone who’s planning on voting for him, even among the normally liberal people I talk to. We had all better hope that McCain stays nice and healthy, and that the Democrats can come up with someone more electable in eight years, when Palin will run for President.

    No, that won’t cut it. If you look into who Palin is, and realize that positions like VP and Cabinet officers are promises to those individuals’ allies and factions, McCain is handing us over to the worst of the Bush admin. He can’t control his allies once he puts them into office, anymore than Bush can control Cheney and his lackeys.

    Nope, this is a last chance. Bush was a fake dominionist – as fake as his accents – but Palin is the real deal. They’re really being put at the highest level as full partners, not as a manipulatable fringe like the Bushies have. McCain may be delusional enough to think that he can promise them the VP and still keep them under control, but any historical says tells you that they’ll go for the gold this time.

    The keys to the White House is going to be in the hands of the militia/dominionists/white supremacists hand.

  229. #232 Glasmann
    September 4, 2008

    I agree that we must react and respond with care and smarts, but it must be VERY, VERY assertive.
    We cannot afford to have
    The Septuagenarian and the christian School Girl
    in power.

  230. #233 BobC
    September 4, 2008

    Ray Comfort: Palin rocks.

    That pretty much kills any chance Palin will get my vote.

  231. #234 ndt
    September 4, 2008

    Many people vote based on emotion and feelings, rather than reason and facts.

    And that’s why our democracy is a joke.

    PZ is right. There are plenty of good reasons to dislike Palin without dumb sex-oriented jokes. I’m a big fan of dark and offensive humor, but there’s a time and a place. Remember, once it’s on the internet, everyone in most of the world can read it.

  232. #235 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    The fact that Palin is a woman and a mother and has symmetrical features are not legitimate criticisms. More talk about how she lied in her speech is useful, telling me she is hawt isn’t.

    Which hasn’t happened a single time in this thread, so why are you still on it, you ridiculous concern troll? And Bill Dauphin makes an important point above that you seem unable to understand. Are you aware that Republican delegates were wearing “The hottest VP from the coolest state” buttons while Palin was talking about her lipstick? You are really oh so clueless.

    E.V.: It’s best to ignore the Chris’s of the world — they have nothing of substance to contribute.

  233. #236 E.V.
    September 4, 2008

    I own a pit, so I don’t think your point is valid.

    You’ve just illustrated Truth Machine’s point.

    pit bull
    Function:
    noun
    Date:
    1930
    1 : a dog (as an American Staffordshire terrier) of any of several breeds or a real or apparent hybrid with one or more of these breeds that was developed and is now often trained for fighting and is noted for strength and stamina 2 : an aggressive and tenacious person (a political pit bull)

    To assume I have mischaracterized the breed because you own one and therefore feel emotionally compelled to rebut my statement,”it’s best not to antagonize a pit bull when you aren’t sure he’s left the area” has no merit.
    That you own a pit bull is irrelevant. I don’t even care if you antagonize TM or not. It was intended as a friendly warning.

  234. #237 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    Candiru,

    I don’t think Obama’s got much chance of winning at this point. I don’t know anyone who’s planning on voting for him, even among the normally liberal people I talk to.

    Well I personally know MANY Americans who are planning to vote for him. Actually, most of my American friends, and they are more determined than ever, many have never voted before, but this time, they all think it’s too important to let it to a stroke of luck.

    See, each one has his own little sample…

  235. #238 Scott from Oregon
    September 4, 2008

    “The fact is she is pro business not because she’s against the middle class but because she probably honestly believes that if business does well, so will the people. Which makes her naive. She is a liar and an opportunist”.

    WOW!!

    Under what solar system do folks do well when businesses don’t?

    If my neighbor’s car lot fails, then I don’t get to build his new solarium, and I don’t hire a dentist to do dental work, and he can’t get his carpet cleaned…

    “She is a liar and an opportunist”…

    You just described Bill Clinton, and his wife, and Barack Obama to a tee…

    And Uncle Fester, and GWBush…

    Sigh…

    We’re doomed…

  236. #239 thelogos
    September 4, 2008

    Which is why me and my SO are leaving the US. Any system that can produce (and have itself taken seriously) such an appalling candidate (policy and big-picture-wise) is not one I want to see the results of.

  237. #240 Phopas
    September 4, 2008

    Frog:

    You are willing to hand out the “idiot” label too easily, methinks.

    If you can read, (perhaps that is your problem), I was not saying that conservation is a “non-starter”. Where did you get that from?

    I was making the point that conservation as a political issue without the domestic production and development of energy is a weak point for the democratic party to assume.

    This is a stronger issue in the general election for the Republicans than the Democrats in my opinion as voiced by Palin yesterday.

    Is that clear yet?

  238. #241 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Much of the analysis of Palin seems to assume Palin was intended to appeal to Democrats, or to liberals.

    I have not seen any analysis anywhere that claimed that. It has all been about pandering to women — independents and PUMAs, not liberals — and that her right wing bona fides appeal to the base — that’s why no Kay Bailey Hutchison, for instance. Any claim that Palin was intended to appeal to liberals came from a political know-nothing.

  239. #242 ndt
    September 4, 2008

    Scott, you missed the point. People don’t do well if business doesn’t do well. But just because business is doing well, doesn’t mean people will do well.

  240. #243 hje
    September 4, 2008

    Ben Stein dissed Palin on her lack of experience. Wow.

  241. #244 Chris
    September 4, 2008

    E.V.
    On the first point, you are absolutely correct. I admit to my mistake. And thanks for the friendly warning, but when someone is being a douche bottle and not following through with what they claim they are going to do, where’s the harm in finding out why that person continues to not do what he says he is going to do?

    He’s still here posting at #235 as well.

  242. #245 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    Orac,

    Watching Rudy Guiliani pour contempt on Barack Obama was supremely depressing in that his talking points were so utterly inane. Yet the crowd ate it up.

    Gee, and what did you expect ? These are the most dumb-fucked of all dumb-fucked fuckers in the nation, the hardest of the hardcore republicans. If you feel depressed by seeing their reactions to Rudy Giuliani’s speech, you really need to cheer up. How representative is this from the reaction from the 300 million Americans. Please don’t make this mistake of making this kind of projections.
    And you’ll see how many times more Americans will have listened to Obama’s speech compared with McCain’s.

    For people who are supposed to be capable at separating what’s objective evidence from what’s not, I’m really surprised with some of the comments here, written right in the middle of the RNC, when the whole focus of the nation is on this convention.

    Défaitistes !

  243. #246 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    I was making the point that conservation as a political issue without the domestic production and development of energy is a weak point for the democratic party to assume.

    Ah, the lowest of low-information voters. No one is advocating conservation without energy development.

  244. #247 frog
    September 4, 2008

    Phopas: I was making the point that conservation as a political issue without the domestic production and development of energy is a weak point for the democratic party to assume.

    It’s still stupid if by “domestic production” you mean drilling: “Drill, baby drill”. If you’re point is simply that a too-large portion of the electorate is composed of ignorant, bitter, angry and delusional rednecks who think that everything is a black helicopter plot, then my apologies.

    Otherwise, you’re just selling nonsense. Obama is promising $150 billion for developing domestic energy over the next decade – the question in that of course is implementation, but the strategy is unassailable: to develop renewable sources of domestic energy. What’s the Republican strategy? “Drill baby drill” – use up the rest of our reserves over the next 30 years (which are industrially essential as the basis for the chemical industries), while doing nothing for the pocketbook. Few good new jobs, a very downstream effect on world oil supplies that will be outstripped by global growth, in a dead-end energy supply.

    So which is it? Are you stupid, or simply pointing out a trivial truth, that an unfortunate number of Americans simply don’t understand that we can’t drill ourselves out of the energy crunch?

  245. #248 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    More from extremely low information voter faux pas:

    2. Taxes. Higher taxes have been a losing mantra for the democrats every single time they try to run on them since Roosevelt.

    The Dems don’t run on higher taxes, the Republicans run the Dems on higher taxes. Obama has been striking back, but it’s hard when so many Americans have been bamboozled by this “tax and spend liberals” bullshit. The Republicans always take more out of the pockets of working people, and this time is no exception, with Obama’s plan giving people 3 times as big a tax break (that means lower, silly) as McCain’s.

  246. #249 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    He’s still here posting at #235 as well.

    Yes, 1 1/2 hours later I’m “still” posting on topic, while you’re still being a pathetic shit obsessed with utterly insignificant questions about little old me.

  247. #250 frog
    September 4, 2008

    TM: More from extremely low information voter faux pas

    I think the idea of “low information voter” is subtly misleading. It’s not that they have low information per se – it’s that they have a) a communal source of information/propaganda b) they want to believe. It’s psychologically necessary for them to believe things that are completely untrue. You see ScottFromO insisting that he’s not living off the big city doll, when any 30 second google on net tax distribution shows that rural communities suck in federal spending. Or the kids on the train I saw last night who thought that McCain was “more authentic”, when any perusal of his biography shows that he was deep, deep into the S&L scandal and his “Maverick” image is a crafted illusion.

    It’s not low-information. It’s misinformation and self-delusion.

  248. #251 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    Phopas,

    on energy, for Republican voters (35% of the electorate) the typical republican position as exposed by Palin, of denying AGW, keep drilling as much as we need, and for the average American to keep consuming 7 times more oil than the average human, and at least twice as much as all develloped nations, is indeed an advantage.

    But that’s only because the average republican voter is a fucking selfish immoral pathetic moron.

    On ths issue, it’s not anymore the case with a majority of Americans.

    And please, you’re going to make me cry with your 3.6$/Gallon when in Europe it’s twice as much and noone has any problem with recognizing that we need to reduce consumption, reduce carbon emmissions, and focus on alternative non carbon energy sources.

    By now, there is only one type of human in the developped world who deny AGW and the need for conservation of scarce resources, and that’s the average brain-dead American republican voter.

    Not something to be particularly proud of, especially when this continues to have an impact on the rest of the world.

    Criminals.

  249. #252 Norman Doering
    September 4, 2008

    negentropyeater wrote:

    It has all been about pandering to women — independents and PUMAs, not liberals — and that her right wing bona fides appeal to the base — that’s why no Kay Bailey Hutchison, for instance. Any claim that Palin was intended to appeal to liberals came from a political know-nothing.

    One of her right wing bona fides that appeals to the base is her strongly theocratic stands on certain issues (abortion, sex ed, censorship, etc.). They’ve been trying to keep this side hidden from the general public. I didn’t know how bad she was in that regard until people started linking me to some huffPo articles on her. She never talked about it in her speech but she’s really soaked in it according to her past history.

    One thing you might do to expose that is write emails to interview shows that she’ll appear on, news channels, etc. telling them you want to know more about that side of her.

  250. #253 Tim Fuller
    September 4, 2008

    The ‘polls’ are setup to feed a media machine that needs every race to be close so they can garner ratings. In reality, Obama has this thing so firmly in the bag it isn’t even worth debating.

    Sarah thinks that the War in Iraq is God’s gift to America. That disqualifies her outright and without saying a word about her problem children.

    I don’t really care if the Rethugs think it is bad form to bash this hag. She needs a good bashing IMHO. I’m tired of these asshats peeing on my leg and trying to tell me it’s raining.

    Enjoy.

  251. #254 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    But what about the notion (actually, the transparently obvious fact, IMHO) that the Repubs are counting on her hawtness (and her cuteness and her mom-ness) to distract everyone from her lies? Are we allowed to call BS on that?

    It goes beyond that to using the “mere” fact that she’s a woman against the Dems. For instance, the Republican operatives are hoping to “trap” Joe Biden into a “Rick Lazio moment”:
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E00E6DD123BF933A1575AC0A9669C8B63

    During the debate, Mr. Lazio walked over to Mrs. Clinton’s lectern, waving a sheet of paper, gesturing at her and demanding that she sign a pledge abstaining from using unregulated campaign contributions known as soft money. She declined. Mrs. Clinton’s advisers have portrayed his actions as bullying and likely to alienate women.

    And Mrs. Clinton and her campaign have sought to encourage that reaction among women. In a speech Monday before supporters, the first lady portrayed Mr. Lazio as yelling, pointing his finger and invading her space. ”I knew I was going to share a stage,” Mrs. Clinton said, ”I didn’t think I was going to have to share a podium.”

    Mrs. Clinton’s advisers moved today to take advantage of what they saw as a misstep by Mr. Lazio at the debate, releasing a new advertisement that portrayed Mrs. Clinton as something of a victim, fighting against forces that have tried to defeat her on issues like health care.

    ”Today the political world was rocked by the bizarre accusation that Rick Lazio has been the victim of sexism,” said Mrs. Clinton’s campaign communications director, Howard Wolfson. ”Poor Rick. Let me be the first to offer him my support.”

  252. #255 roadrider
    September 4, 2008

    “Truth” Machine #33

    Obviously “truth”, in your case, does not correspond to language comprehension, logic or reasoning but only conceit with respect to your own opinions.

    “How hypocritical that someone who talks about the Democrats possibly losing talks about withholding their vote”

    Hypocrisy: the claim, pretense, or false representation of holding beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not actually possess.

    How does this correspond to what I said in my post? I wasn’t lamenting the possibility that a deserving party and nominee would lose and then threatening not to vote. My point is that they might lose because they are alienating people who have been loyal voters for years or decades in their rush to appeal to conservatives and the same kind of lunatic fringe religious extremists that the GOP hopes that Sarah Palin will attract.

    I haven’t supported the Democrats with my votes and dollars for over 30 years because they wore a uniform that said “Democrat” on it. I did so because their ideas about society and government were compelling to me. That’s no longer the case. There’s nothing hypocritical in withholding support for a political party or candidate that you no longer identify with or whose actions, policies and political philosophy are not in line with one’s own convictions.

    ” — Voltaire warned that the perfect is the enemy of the good, but morons continue to fail to heed it.”

    Yes, the perfect can be the enemy of the good but if you actually read or comprehended the criticisms I made about the Dems in my original post you’d understand that my complaint about the Dems and Obama is not that they’re imperfect but that they seem only to be trying to be marginally less worse than the Republicans. That’s not setting the bar very high and that’s why they have problems on Election Day.

    You moron.

  253. #256 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    Sorry Norman, it was TM writing this…
    (I agree with his comment though)

  254. #257 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    negentropyeater wrote

    No he didn’t.

    They’ve been trying to keep this side hidden from the general public….She never talked about it in her speech…

    Quite so … much as people don’t know that McCain is (and always has been) one of the most conservative Senators, has a 0% NARAL rating, etc.

  255. #258 frog
    September 4, 2008

    roadrider: they seem only to be trying to be marginally less worse than the Republicans.

    If after Palin you think that the Republicans are only “marginally less worse”, then I’m simply flabbergasted. Read up on the alliances of this person, a person who is at least deeply influenced by dominionists and the Alaskan Independence Party, which has alliances with neo-Confederates such as the League of the South and whose founder was blown up in a plastic explosives sale. We’re not talking about tangentially related – her husband was a card-carrying member of that party until 2002, and she belongs to an Assemblies of God church that invites folks in who think that the Jews have it coming for not accepting Christ when kids get blown up in school buses.

    “Marginally” better?

  256. #259 Brownian, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Nah, but I would settle for mature adults who can control their emotions and don’t call everyone who disagrees with them idiots.

    So you prefer the company of those who label everyone who disagrees with them Communists or anti-American?

    I guess it’s pretty hard to avoid the ‘idiot’ label when you’re actually stupid, but since anyone can bandy around the word ‘unpatriotic’ I can see why Reps think it’s such a improvement.

    I’d welcome you to Idiot America, but I can see you’ve already helped yourself to a bathrobe and slippers.

  257. #260 Scott from Oregon
    September 4, 2008

    “The Dems don’t run on higher taxes, the Republicans run the Dems on higher taxes. Obama has been striking back, but it’s hard when so many Americans have been bamboozled by this “tax and spend liberals” bullshit”.

    Ummm, everytime I listen to Obama, I hear the Mega-Billion dollar programs he is going to form to please whatever group he is speaking to.

    My head goes “Caching caching” as he talks (when he finally does get specific).

    9.6 Trillion in debt, many of those in short term loans coming to a theatre near you in a year or two (start up those printing presses!)…

    90 TRILLION in UNFUNDED liabilities…

    The last eight years have gone something like this–

    Rep– War!
    Dem– OK… but we want after school programs for inner city three year olds…
    Rep– Only if you sign the “war!” act…
    Dem–OK.
    Rep– Cool. You’re not so bad in private…
    Dem– You too! Hey, can I have some more money for my Wall street buddies?
    Rep– Sure. Just leave some for my military manufacturing buddies.
    Dem– But there’s not enough for both!
    Rep. Heck, just borrow more from the Chinese…
    Dem– But they are a mean regime!
    Rep. Heh heh… We learned a lot from them.
    Dem– Oh you guys!

  258. #261 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    My point is that they might lose because they are alienating people who have been loyal voters for years or decades in their rush to appeal to conservatives and the same kind of lunatic fringe religious extremists that the GOP hopes that Sarah Palin will attract.

    You choose to enable those lunatic fringe religious extremists that you so detest but call me a moron — that’s rich. And hypocritical.

  259. #262 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    Joel. Which part of the McCain “plan” do you support?

    I think there’s a contrast you might actually noticed if you bothered to go there.

    For the most part, I’m basing my judgement on what has actually happened the past 8 years. I haven’t see any real opposition to Republican policies and I think the Democrats didn’t do enough to fight for their promises made during the last election.

  260. #263 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    So you prefer the company of those who label everyone who disagrees with them Communists or anti-American?

    No, I don’t even hang around those people.

    Sorry to have actually expected more from people who are supposed to be educated and intelligent. I really should have known better.

  261. #264 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    Joel:

    I haven’t see any real opposition to Republican policies and I think the Democrats didn’t do enough to fight for their promises made during the last election.

    I don’t accept your characterization, but even if I did… would you rather have leader who promise all the right things but are weak in execution, or leaders who promise all the wrong things and pursue them with ferocious, Gawd-soaked drive?

    Again, I don’t accept that this is the choice, but I would choose weak good over strong evil any day. You wouldn’t?

  262. #265 OrbitalMike
    September 4, 2008

    >>STEVE_C said: re:#196
    >>What supporter of Hillary Clinton could be swayed by the >>substance free, mocking, sarcastic and factually false >>speech by a admitted fundamentalist rightwinger?
    >>
    >>Joel and Mike? Are you fucking serious?
    >>
    >>You love what Bush has done for the last 8 years that >>much? Wow.

    Whoa, hold on. DO NOT lump me in with being a Hillary supporter let alone a Palin supporter. All I did was point out what someone else said, someone who claimed to be a Hillary supporter. My first point I said was that “I AM VERY AFRAID”. Please, Steve_C, show some critical thinking skills and read the entire post if you’re going to criticize it. Then learn to not construct strawmen to rip apart.

    1)I am not a Sen. Clinton supporter and never claimed to be
    2)I was not swayed by what Gov. Sarah Palin said last night
    3)I voted for and supported Sen. Obama in Ohio’s primary
    4)I do not love what Pres. Bush has done in the last 8 years.
    5)I am godless and anti-theist
    6)I am EXTREMELY AFRAID that the next VP will be Mrs Palin and, given actuarial odds, the President of the USA within the next four years.

    So what part of that makes me guilty of your accusation?

    Mike

  263. #266 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    Who is Scott voting for again? Who does he think will be more responsible in the White House? I remember the last Democrat in the White House fought hard to reduce the national debt and spent budget surpluses to pay it down.

    Bush blew that all with his tax gifts to the wealthy. The enormous debt is Bush’s accomplishment.

  264. #267 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    Sorry Mike.

    I thought the copy below the link was your own.

    Still. My question holds true to any HRC supporter… you’d vote for that?

  265. #268 frog
    September 4, 2008

    Joel: Sorry to have actually expected more from people who are supposed to be educated and intelligent. I really should have known better.

    Gah, the continual resentment leaking out. The focus on rhetoric with out an ounce of focus on the real substance of the matter. That is our national character today – a demand that we all speak like humble, down-home, country farmers from Minnesota, while trembling in fear that someone might find our insecurities.

    Here’s the reality, Joel: the country is quickly going in the direction of a takeover by the most right-wing, vile and monstrous people in our country. And you’re whining is exactly what enables them, ’cause they always speak in reassuring tones that support your fragile self-confidence. If they’re not slowed down now, they will be choosing the next few SCOTUS justices and will take over the legal system. They’ve had eight years to hijack the bureaucracy, and in eight more years they will have had a generation to completely replace the civil servants. In four years, it won’t even matter who we vote for Congress – the execution and interpretation of the law will be completely in their hands.

    And they’ve told us what they’re doing – Palin is a public declaration that they’re going to take it all if we give them another chance, since they know that there will be no more chances after they’ve finished collapsing the economy.

    But you worry that liberals are mean to you. I cry for your inner child.

  266. #269 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    All I did was point out what someone else said, someone who claimed to be a Hillary supporter.

    You need to work on your quoting; that wasn’t at all clear from your post.

  267. #270 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Bush blew that all with his tax gifts to the wealthy.

    Plus a little war of choice.

  268. #271 BaldApe
    September 4, 2008

    Truth Machine @123

    Oh I hope so! (That the Republicans are losing the middle to court the base)

  269. #272 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    Well yeah. When you make the entire budget about “supporting the troops” the deficit is gonna explode. I don’t blame the democrats for doing a little extortion on Bush and making him pay up for programs they wanted. But we know that those programs are a pittance compared to what’s spent on the military and tax cuts for the corporations and the wealthy.

  270. #273 SC
    September 4, 2008

    Plus a little war of choice.

    Another gift to the wealthy.

  271. #274 Carlie
    September 4, 2008

    Thank you PZ, it was getting kind of ugly in here.

  272. #275 Scott from Oregon
    September 4, 2008

    “I remember the last Democrat in the White House fought hard to reduce the national debt and spent budget surpluses to pay it down.

    Bush blew that all with his tax gifts to the wealthy. The enormous debt is Bush’s accomplishment”.

    You are kidding, right? Congress controls the purse, and Clinton had a Republican congress. Now we have a Dem congress, and you want to blame Bush?

    The mind simply boggles.

    I am NOT VOTING for any president. I am, however, looking at trying to get as many paleo-conservatives (NOT NEOCONS) who keep religion close to their chest or (better yet) are not religious at all into House seats. The more of Congress that gets replaced, the happier I will be.

    What I would really like to vote for are small government liberals but those only exist in the hippie encampments and drug rehab centers… If any of y’all feel like running for Congress…

    It seems most liberals WANT to be abused by the feds. It gives them more resonance to their whining…

  273. #276 scrabcake
    September 4, 2008

    Oh, good god.
    Yeah. Didn’t read the thread last night, but I saw the writing on the wall during Palin’s speech. She’s already won the midwest and the west and I will tell you why.
    Small town Americans irrationally resent people in the cities, people with education, people with money. Why? Because when you grow up in a small town, you’re pretty much discouraged from getting out. Most people don’t. It’s assumed that maybe you’ll do a stint at the local college, and then you’ll come home and work on the ranch or work in the school at the nearby town. Most likely you’ll settle down and have kids there. Then someone buys up some of your neighbour’s ranch and sells it to development. All these people from california pay a jillion dollars for this land and move in, and suddenly, you can’t afford to run the ranch like your granddad did. You can’t afford to keep your shoe store because rent just got jacked up…the new tenants can afford to pay it. Where does that leave you? You can’t really do anything else, and you can’t really move out. They’re bringing their politics with them. Suddenly, your cows are a bad thing because they release methane into the environment. The logging company that hired your son is evil because they’re cutting down the trees.
    Your family has been stewards of this area for FIVE GENERATIONS, and these tofu-eating educated LIE-berals are coming in and telling you how to manage YOUR land.
    Obama got it close to right when he mentioned people clinging to their guns and bibles out of bitterness. What he got horribly wrong, and what Sarah Palin is going to leverage is that these people resentful, jealous, and PROUD of what they are. They are proud that they make livings with their hands, and they’re proud of being stewards of their rural areas. They’re proud of their independence. They’re proud that they’re living the legacy of their ancestors. They associate education, environmentalism, and progressive values with people they feel are destroying their lifestyle.

    They will vote for someone who they think is one of them, and who understands them, and that’s the bottom line. Obama could be the second coming of Christ and they wouldn’t vote for him because he embodies everything they resent and has made remarks that indicate that he might understand them but isn’t one of them.

  274. #277 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    Frog: If the situation is as critical as you say, why don’t you consider working on your delivery? Certainly your argument could stand on its own merits?

  275. #278 scrabcake
    September 4, 2008

    By the way, I’m not going to vote McCain. The above was just to explain why everyone I grew up around is. I’m now an arugula eating elitist who left smalltown America and is never going back.

  276. #279 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    I’m now an arugula eating elitist who left smalltown America and is never going back.

    My daughter just started at Yale, and her first meal in the dining hall included some sort of fancy arugula salad. She’s not big on fru-fru food, but she called me and gleefully declared herself an official “arugula-munching elitist.”

    No father was ever so proud! ;^)

  277. #280 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    BTW, scrabcake:

    There may be hope. Pass it on!

  278. #281 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    Joel.

    BUSH BLEW THE SURPLUS WITH A REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED CONGRESS.

    Congress did get a major overhaul with Bush’s 2nd midterm election.

    Republican’s are beholden to the religious right. So I don’t really know who you could possibly vote for considering every Democrat to you is a hippie liberal in rehab.

    Tool.

  279. #282 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Another gift to the wealthy.

    Yes, I should have worked that in. Even “the left” (the scare quotes are to recognize you as the real thing, mon cherie) talks about “war for oil”, “war for Halliburton”, but not “war for massive transfer of wealth to the uberwealthy”.

    P.S. Did you get my email about my travel plans?

  280. #283 Katharine
    September 4, 2008

    Once again, I say: I hate uneducated hicks. They can go fuck their lifestyle. Making a living with your brain is worth more than making your living with ten scrubby fat fingers.

  281. #284 OrbitalMike
    September 4, 2008

    Sorry for the previous confusion. I have long forgotten my HTML tags knowledge and thought I had posted a clear enough item following a URL link. My laziness to not recall or look up the HTML tags is my only excuse. In the future, I will do better.

    MikeM

  282. #285 MarkB
    September 4, 2008

    For a non religious group of people there sure are a bunch of folks here who believe in Obama without any evidence. I really thought skepticism was alive and well in this community but there really seems to be a fundamentalist liberal slant in here that is becoming just as repulsive as the evangelical christians. When I compare Obama church to Palins I gotta say Obamas church is way scarier! I’m 41 years old and have seen both the dems and repubs as presidents make big promises and then just continue with business as usual. I for one am tired of both parties. I think its time to follow the Roman model one step further, lets get us a real Emperor and see how bad we really wanted change after all.

  283. #286 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    Re comments in several Palin-related threads about the media and its alleged biases, and charges of sexism in Palin criticism:

    I’m normally pretty suspicious of The Politico, but this is worth a link.

  284. #287 frog
    September 4, 2008

    Joel: Frog: If the situation is as critical as you say, why don’t you consider working on your delivery? Certainly your argument could stand on its own merits?

    You do realize that this is Pharyngula? I’m here throwing out ideas between experiments, and not crafting fully formed speeches for public consumption, or touching up a final draft of an academic book? I’m venting here specifically to avoid venting when I do speak in a more formal venue.

    Gah, small minds. I’d hope to piss you off enough to spend five minutes googling to find out whether I’m saying is supported. Google “Alaska Independence Party” “League of the South” or “Palin” “Jews for Jesus” or Vogel plastic explosives. Do some thinking and searching – simple things, like what faction does Palin represent, and how has that faction been represented within the R party previously?

    Instead, you keep on fixating on form, like this is some damn tea party.

  285. #288 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    For a non religious group of people there sure are a bunch of folks here who believe in Obama without any evidence.

    I reject your claim that we have no evidence concerning Obama, but let’s look at it another way: We have mountains of evidence — 8 years’ worth — concerning what it’s like to live under today’s Republican party, and no evidence whatsoever suggesting life under McCain/Palin would be any improvement.

  286. #289 Eric Saveau
    September 4, 2008

    @SFO, #275
    You are kidding, right? Congress controls the purse, and Clinton had a Republican congress. Now we have a Dem congress, and you want to blame Bush?

    Frakking right. Why? Because we paid attention to how things went down in the Clinton Administration versus nowadays with Palpatine. Here’s what happened – though the Democrats weren’t a majority in the Clinton years they had a lot more momentum than now and the backing of an enormously popular president of their own party. Clinton and the other Democrats were able to steer at least some things that went down in Congress, and the chief thing they spent their political capital on was the economy. Clinton was and is a masterful speaker and usually managed to frame debates on economic issues to the advantage of the American people. The Republicans have been pissed about that ever since, probably even more than their failure to demonize him in the eyes of the majority.

    In the last eight years the Democrats (who technically have a majority now, but it’s razor-thin and they’re playing catch up) have been on the defensive after the shock of 9-11 and the characterization of them as “weak on defense and soft on terror” by the very president who disbanded the successful anti-terrorism projects of the Clinton years (and complained during the debates with Gore that Clinton focused too much on terrorism when he should been focusing on Iraq), ignored specific reports of bin Laden’s attack plans, and then clamored for war against a nation that had zero to do with 9-11, all the while applauded by wealthy interests who find that in a time of war the most critical issue is their precious tax cuts.

    So, yeah – you’re goddamm right Bush gets the blame.

  287. #290 Norman Doering
    September 4, 2008

    negentropyeater wrote:

    … it was TM writing this…

    Apologies. I’ve been dashing through the comments too quickly.

  288. #291 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    Heard today on Fox News :

    (a republican campaign strategist talking about Sarah Palin)

    “She runs a big state, the biggest in the union as a matter of fact !”

    How stoopid are those republicans ?

  289. #292 bonefish
    September 4, 2008

    Sorry the open thread was partially hijacked by various oddities (read: trolls.)

    There is a place for discussion and debate about the vp nominee’s links to numerous questionable groups and about her fundamentalist religious beliefs which color everything she says, thinks, and does. There is a place for discussion and debate about why McCain chose her at the last minute (and why his staffers lied about her being thoroughly vetted.) There is a place for discussion and debate about just who the hell is pulling the strings in the Republican party.

    There is no place in any discussion with the significance of these particular subjects for junior-high, if I may be pardoned for using the terms, idiocy and immaturity. It might be that the interjection of stupidity was a ploy to draw the discussion off target, making a mockery of the whole thread. If so, policing ourselves is the only way to de-venom things like that. Those kinds of posters aren’t huge bloodsucking creatures, they’re more like the monsters in a little kid’s closet, sticking their tongues out in the hope of causing trouble.

  290. #293 Brownian, OM
    September 4, 2008

    No, I don’t even hang around those people.

    No, but you’re happy to vote for them, apparently.

    Sorry to have actually expected more from people who are
    supposed to be educated and intelligent. I really should have known better.

    I doubt it’s possible for you to know better since you seem to think guilt-tripping is a meaningful argument.

  291. #294 Ryan Cunningham
    September 4, 2008

    As I said in the previous thread on this subject,

    Telling a sexist joke to a crowd like this is like trying to impress the guys at CERN with the wheel. These jackasses are just decades behind our species’ ethical evolution.

  292. #295 wombat
    September 4, 2008

    “Heard today on Fox News :

    (a republican campaign strategist talking about Sarah Palin)

    “She runs a big state, the biggest in the union as a matter of fact !”

    How stoopid are those republicans ?”

    Ummm, Alaska is the largest state by area. It ranks 47th by population. Just sayin’….

  293. #296 SC
    September 4, 2008

    P.S. Did you get my email about my travel plans?

    Ack. Just saw this. I did – sorry. I started teaching this week, and have fallen (even further) behind on my correspondence. Promise to write later today.

  294. #297 The Chimp's Raging Id
    September 4, 2008

    Wow, that last thread really got ugly. Why the misogyny? I’m glad PZ spoke out because such behaviour belittles us all. When there is so much that is hypocritical and frightening about Palin that has nothing to do with her gender, why did people feel it necessary to descend into a such a disgraceful display of bigotry? We need to be better than this if we are to prevent another disastrous Republican presidency.

    Watching The Daily Show at the moment; Jon Stewart’s on form.

  295. #298 Ryan Cunningham
    September 4, 2008

    Ummm, Alaska is the largest state by area.

    Sooo… I guess she’s qualified to be president of a country with no people in it.

  296. #299 a lurker
    September 4, 2008

    “I always thought we should start a Science PAC…”

    Ding. Ding. Ding. We have a winner. And don’t forget the lobbyists, grooming candidates, and everything else associated with political activity as well. Why so many scientists and science lovers act like that merely being right is enough is beyond me. Maybe being from fields where evidence and reasoning is important blinds them to the political reality that being right is not enough? The results are tragic.

    “If I’m not mistaken, Truman was villifed in large part because he fired McArthur, the commanding general in the Korean war. Essentially for saying he knows better than the military.”

    Yes and no.

    Truman fired the MacArthur on the just grounds that MacArthur was disobeying orders of his superior, i.e. Truman, which is a fairly unforgivable offense. Did MacArthur know better about the fighting in Korea? Almost certainly. But then again Truman was in charge of a picture far larger than what MacArthur was. And MacArthur failed to understand that and also forgot that obeying the chain of command also applies to generals.

  297. #300 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    BTW, (from Rasmussen reports, 3 Sept 08)

    Women prefer H.Clinton to S.Palin by 57% to 35% : +22% !

    Men prefer S.Palin to H.Clinton by 49% to 45%
    (guess who they find more attractive)

    and all this despite the fact that Palin is new, fresh, charismatic…

    And there is no evidence for now that Obama’s lead over McCain has decreased since the begining of the RNC.

    So the only “evidence” for now that she’s such an asset for McCain is in the right-wing noise machine’s talking points.

  298. #301 Brain Hertz
    September 4, 2008

    Bill Dauphin @ 189 – thanks for the suggestion; I’ll look into that.

  299. #302 Quiet Desperation
    September 4, 2008

    @bonefish: Aren’t you overdoing it a bit? I and a couple others made some off color comments, and then apologized. This whole thing of trying to divine people’s whole personalities from a couple errors in judgment is ludicrous. All you are doing is trafficking in stereotypes as badly as anyone you criticize.

    I’m an engineer and work in an environment with a lot of other sharp engineers and scientists. Some of the smartest and most educated people I have ever met have had the most off color senses of humor and told the dirtiest jokes. Stop assuming you can project a whole, complex individual from a couple comments, especially with as something as wildly subjective as a humor.

    Some of you people act like you’ve never made a stupid mistake in your entire lives. Is there really no forgiveness in your hearts even for silly blog comments?

  300. #303 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    Ummm, Alaska is the largest state by area. It ranks 47th by population. Just sayin’….

    And how is this relevant ?

    When she “runs the state”, does she actually have to run from one end to the other ?

  301. #304 Scott from Oregon
    September 4, 2008

    “Clinton was and is a masterful speaker and usually managed to frame debates on economic issues to the advantage of the American people”.

    Ummm, Clinton was and is a pathological liar. The economy steamrolled on a trajectory actually set by Reagan. The tech boom was inevitable, and it didn’t take a president to reside over it. It took a government to get out of its way. Clinton simply claimed responsibiity for it, (and his sidekick “the inventor of the internet”…)

    Clinton left a looming recession that Bush avoided by using the feds as a recession avoidance tool. The feds dropped the prime to unheard of levels and held it there until the housing market was completely screwed up and the banksters made their billions. No Democrats spoke up against this, and in the end, they (the Dems)screwed the pooch by creating a banker bailout disquised as “help” for Americans holding mortgages they lied to recieve. Now we’ll see federal dollars falling down another black hole, with not a Democrat in congress complaining.

    It was a collusion of both Dems and Repubs who voted to go to war with Iraq. The record is VERY CLEAR on this.

    It was the Dems who signed half of the checks (and Obama was right there with them) pissing more money out of the coffers on overseas adventures we never should have been on.

    The Dems voted for the Patriot Act without readig it. Obama loved the new FISA (Why give away powers you might actually get to play with?)

    ATandT just threw a magnanimous party for the Blue Dog Dems to thank them for bailing them out with that spying on US citizens thing…

    All in all, if you support a Democrat, you support a cruise line to the precipice and down into a broke debtor nation signing IOU’s from our new place in the world…

  302. #305 aratina
    September 4, 2008

    That last thread had one too many misogynistic comments at the top. I just want to say that she did a wonderful job last night even though you and I all know it was a pack of lies and sophomoric jabs (cognitive dissonance on my part). Her delivery was excellent for someone who had never done anything like that before. Yes, it is scary to see the GOP move back up in its spirits; turning Obama’s ‘O’ into a zero is enough to strike fear in my heart. But they did the same crap to Kerry’s Purple Hearts in 2004 and in the end it was about the ground game, how many people Kerry could turn out that had not turned out before. 37 million people watched Palin, just one million short of the number who watched Obama, but on election night will she move people who are normally apathetic or first-time voters? I doubt it at this point. She certainly is proving to be a powerful political foe for Obama in the media spotlight, though, much more powerful than McCain. The polls are still moving in Obama’s favor, however, but that could change on Friday.

  303. #306 Longtime Lurker
    September 4, 2008

    Dear Scott from Oregon:

    Back up your assertions, offer us a link… as they say in mathematics courses, show your work.

    This ain’t Freeperland, me bucko…

  304. #307 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Ummm, Alaska is the largest state by area. It ranks 47th by population. Just sayin’….

    Yeah, cuz surely neg didn’t know that.

    (It’s not only Republicans who are stoopid.)

  305. #308 tracieh
    September 4, 2008

    I was on the fence, but with the Palin selection, I fell squarely to Obama. As far as I’m concerned, Obama is simply “not McCain/Palin.” It would have to be Hannibal Lecter running opposite the Republican ticket to make me stop and potentially reconsider X-Democratic nominee as my choice. When I log on to read about a candidate, and the first thing I find is, “Oh, she’s in favor of stripping me of my legal rights…” that’s pretty much game, set, match.

  306. #309 Longtime Lurker
    September 4, 2008

    My take on Huckashe:

    When patriarchy comes back to America, it will be wrapped in a hockey jersey and carrying a five month old.

  307. #310 Feynmaniac
    September 4, 2008

    PZ wrote,
    “They got distracted by irrelevancies, such as the opportunity to exercise a little macho sexism, and then that turned into a nasty, full-blown knife fight with everyone snarling at each other.”

    hehe, that described the post quite nicely. I took Quiet Desperation’s comment simply as dark humour. Honestly when you are dealt with such stupidity as Palin’s speech you either laugh or you cry. However, when others said they were offended he apologized. I guess he learned that when you post your BDSM fantasies don’t be surprised if others get offended (Pete Rooke, please take note).

    Much of the rest of the comments were filled with petty pissing matches. Maybe people were so outraged by the speech and, there not being a decent bar fight here in Pharnygula since Crackergate, decided to take it out on each other. I don’t know.

  308. #311 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    Dear Scott from Oregon:

    Back up your assertions, offer us a link…

    He might be able to post links, but he won’t be able to back up his assertions, because they’re all recycled talking points: A collection of lies, half-truths, misrepresentations, and long-debunked myths.

  309. #312 Quiet_Desperation
    September 4, 2008

    Feynmaniac: I took Quiet Desperation’s comment simply as dark humour.

    (QD buys Feynmaniac a beer [or drink of choice])

  310. #313 William Johnson
    September 4, 2008

    In response to: Posted by: Lana | September 4, 2008 8:52 AM
    I am glad you thought she was good. In fact she was great. I am not suprised you said she lied. She did not nor can you point out one. This is what so many of the left wing do. The truth is told and you say it is a lie. Well then explain where was the lie? On the other hand Obama can’y make a decission, is always changing his decisions, Is always wrong about his decisions. He has no experience at all either excutive or legislative because assisting in the writing a a couple of bills is not the same thing a s writing one or sponsering one. The only claim to fame he has is being a left wing media star chanting HATE BUSH HATE BUSH. Now some of you may want to chose a president that way I would prefer to have someone who is actually qualified for the challange.

  311. #314 J Myers (no relation)
    September 4, 2008

    I call Poe (or political discussion equivalent) on William Johnson; nobody who can work a keyboard (more or less) could possibly be that stupid.

  312. #315 Chiroptera
    September 4, 2008

    William Johnson, #313: The truth is told and you say it is a lie.

    We’re not used to hearing Republicans tell the truth.

  313. #316 SC
    September 4, 2008

    It’s fruitless to engage with Scott from Oregon’s – to quote myself – contentless condescending contrarianism. He uses “the mind boggles” so frequently because his mind is well and truly boggled.

    For those of us who see both parties as being part of the same corrupt system and power as something not given by any government but which has to be fought for by people on the ground, the only question is which form of government and more specifically which administration will offer the best environment, relatively, for these struggles – for local rights, civil rights, and human rights of all sorts, as well as for more radical social transformation. Just as, while I don’t believe “representative” democracy represents true democracy, I find the worst representative-democratic system preferable to the best dictatorship, so do I recognize that an Obama presidency would be significantly more conducive to grassroots organizing, union organizing, the formation of social-justice coalitions (including transnational ones), struggles maintain and build on women’s reproductive rights,…

    People who fail to recognize this but claim to want to take back power from government are

    - really in favor of corporate power
    - extremely ignorant of the history of social, political, and economic movements and change and don’t understand that a government’s loss of power does not transfer it to the people without organizing and struggles on their part
    - completely deluded as to the nature of these candidates

    or some combination thereof.

    I think it was tm (he can correct me if I’m wrong) who, awhile back, when asked what Obama would have to do to lose his vote, replied simply “be worse than McCain.” One doesn’t have to be a statist or a diehard Democrat or Obama supporter to appreciate this.

  314. #317 Feynmaniac
    September 4, 2008

    “QD buys Feynmaniac a beer [or drink of choice]“

    Know that if you are planning to fulfill one of your BDSM fantasies you are gonna have to buy me ALOT more than one drink, lol.

  315. #318 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    So I don’t really know who you could possibly vote for considering every Democrat to you is a hippie liberal in rehab.

    When did I say this?

  316. #319 Scott from Oregon
    September 4, 2008

    “He might be able to post links, but he won’t be able to back up his assertions, because they’re all recycled talking points: A collection of lies, half-truths, misrepresentations, and long-debunked myths”.

    Ummm, name one.

    That Clinton is a pathological liar? Blue dress.

    That Reagan set the economic course that projected into the nineties? Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize Economist.

    Ya got one?

    How about the roll call vote for FISA?
    or the permission to grant war powers?
    or looky who sponsored the mortgage bank bailout bill? Isn’t that Dobbs guy a Democrat? Look who wrote it? Oh lordy! Banksters!

    Wanna embarrass yourselves some more by demonstrating your naivety in public?

  317. #320 DaveScot
    September 4, 2008

    Y fnlly gt n rght, PZ. Ths IS hw y wll ls.

    Evn ttlly ntd bhnd Gr n 2000 nd Krry n 2004 y cldn’t bt dmbss drft ddgng rbrn lchlc Grg “Shrb” Bsh nd hs snk-l sdkck Dck Chny f ll ppl. Tht’s prtty pthtc. Ths rnd y’v gt n vn wrs cnddt tht hlf f yr wn prty thnks stl th nmntn by chtng nd drty pltcs. Yr prty s shttrd p th mddl nd y hv th wrst cnddt n ll th dcds I’v bn pyng ttntn. I knw Jck Knndy nd yr nmn, PZ, s n Jck Knndy.

    Nw th cltr wr s stll n, th plyrs r ll th sm n bth sds, xcpt ths tm w hv n hnst-t-Gd cntrst wr hr, vn f h s n ltst bltwy nsdr, nd lttl nhrd f ct, bvsly pltcl svnt, wh n 30 mnts wn th hrts nd mnds f vry hrtfr pthtc Gd frng bl cllr flyvr fmly ll crss th ntn nd md thm strt crng bt wh wns ths lctn nt t mntn s stlng lt f th Hllry vtrs wh wntd nthng mr thn wmn n th Whths. If McCn wns thn Pln, snr r ltr, s gng t bcm th frst wmn prsdnt f th Untd Stts s by th tm sh’s p fr lctn t th tp spt thr wn’t b ny qstn f lck f xprnc. Y r bsclly lkng t th Amrcn Mrgrt Thtchr. Gt sd t hr. Sh’s gng t b n yr fc fr th nxt 16 yrs. It’s ll vr xcpt fr th trs nd ngr frm yr sd tht y wr fckd yt gn. Wrt tht dwn.

    [What's this? The head censor at Uncommon Descent thinks he can babble freely elsewhere? Sorry, Dave, you get the toleration here that you give to others on your inane site. Don't bother coming back.]

  318. #321 Sven DiMilo
    September 4, 2008

    Fortunately for the country I love, DaveScot is almost always wrong.

  319. #322 Scott from Oregon
    September 4, 2008

    “”"- really in favor of corporate power
    - extremely ignorant of the history of social, political, and economic movements and change and don’t understand that a government’s loss of power does not transfer it to the people without organizing and struggles on their part
    - completely deluded as to the nature of these candidates”"

    Ummm, nothing like the old straw stuffing argument to make you look like a hayseed…

    Corporations cannot thrive to the extent that they do if the federal government did not enable them. Corporations are now writing the legislation in this country, and the “legislators” are barely even reading any of it before they pass it on with their approval. It takes money to lobby in Washingn full time, and guess who possesses that?

    Ummm, sure, if the feds have their usurped power removed, local governments will have to stand up. So?

    Deluded?

    Obama is a career politician whose career trajectory belies his “new politics” claims.

    McCain is… well, Uncle Fester…

    Keep the straw coming. I can feed my horses and make more manure for my garden, where I grow tomatoes to throw at really dumb people who show up with straw…

  320. #323 Eric Saveau
    September 4, 2008

    @SFO #304
    Ummm, Clinton was and is a pathological liar. The economy steamrolled on a trajectory actually set by Reagan. The tech boom was inevitable, and it didn’t take a president to reside over it. It took a government to get out of its way. Clinton simply claimed responsibiity for it, (and his sidekick “the inventor of the internet”…)

    So much breathtaking inanity in such a small space. At the very worst, Clinton wasn’t any more of a liar than any Republican, and less than most. Also, you say “liar” as though that somehow rebuts “masterful speaker”; like Reagan, one can certainly be both.

    Speaking of Reagan, the country was trying to claw its way out of the recession that boiled over into the reign of Bush the First as a result of his greed-is-good-Laffer-Curve-tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy economic sabotage when Clinton came to office. Whatever kind of man Clinton may or may not be he was an effective and intelligent manager of the office and nation, and for the economic growth and relative peace of that era I would have been happy to send him busloads of willing interns.

    Oh, and the tech boom? That was about ten percent of the total economic growth of the Clinton Era, and an equal percentage of the bust. Not even a nice try, SFO.

    And Gore’s push for legislation and funding to turn ARPANET into what soon became what we recognize today as the Internet is a matter of record. Batting zero…

    It was a collusion of both Dems and Repubs who voted to go to war with Iraq. The record is VERY CLEAR on this.

    And? You say that like no one here is pissed about that. We are. It’s worth noting, however, that the Rethuglicans controlled the message, the “evidence”, and the presentation of same, though there were a few who saw through it and spoke up. Like Barack Obama. Yes, there were some who weren’t convinced and went along anyway… but that makes them merely weak; it was evil that pushed for it in the first place.

    It was the Dems who signed half of the checks (and Obama was right there with them) pissing more money out of the coffers on overseas adventures we never should have been on.

    And when they showed any reluctance at all the Reich wing started a rousing chorus of “Dems don’t support the troops!”

    The Dems voted for the Patriot Act without readig it. Obama loved the new FISA (Why give away powers you might actually get to play with?)

    See above.

    ATandT just threw a magnanimous party for the Blue Dog Dems to thank them for bailing them out with that spying on US citizens thing…

    See above.

    All in all, if you support a Democrat, you support a cruise line to the precipice and down into a broke debtor nation signing IOU’s from our new place in the world…

    You’re still pissed about Nader being shut out in 2000, aren’t you?

  321. #324 «bønez_brigade»
    September 4, 2008

    @40 [jim], @142 [Bill Dauphin], @302 [Quiet Desperation],
    Excuse my lack of substance, but all I can say is: I agree completely. Well said!

  322. #325 Jams
    September 4, 2008

    You can add casual racism to the list. Particularly the down with whitey variety. Republicans have learned not to attack minorities on the grounds of skin colour, perhaps, it’s time Democrats consider not attacking the majority on the same fallacious grounds.

    Just a thought.

    (NOTE: no one around here but me even seems to take issue with the five or six racist comments that work their way into every thread)

  323. #326 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    The truth is told and you say it is a lie. Well then explain where was the lie?

    Oh, the lie is simple and quite obvious. It is saying to the 95% of Americans who aren’t rich that they will be better off by electing McCain/Palin than Obama/Biden.

    Wherease the truth is the contrary, they’ll become poorer, they’ll need to work harder, for less welfare, and will be less safe.

  324. #327 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    Frog: Google “Alaska Independence Party” “League of the South” or “Palin” “Jews for Jesus” or Vogel plastic explosives.

    I’ve read some of that already and it makes me wonder what McCain was thinking picking Palin and why he thought it would help is ticket picking someone so far to the right. Alot of conservatives think McCain is far to liberal, but I’m not sure this is what they had in mind.

    Some improvement on the deliver there. :)

  325. #328 Matt
    September 4, 2008

    I think 37 million watched her to Obama’s 38 million. She’s hot and she gives a hell of a speech. Much different from her church speech where she said, “We can work together to make sure God’s will be done here.” At least she can muffle her religious craziness when she needs to. As for the lies, I see it on both sides.

  326. #329 SC
    September 4, 2008

    Corporations cannot thrive to the extent that they do if the federal government did not enable them. Corporations are now writing the legislation in this country, and the “legislators” are barely even reading any of it before they pass it on with their approval. It takes money to lobby in Washingn full time, and guess who possesses that?

    As I’ve argued on several recent threads, it goes much deeper than this. The US government created and legally defined corporations. Governments have sponsored or directly taken on the theft of land and other natural resources from people and communities on behalf of – or in concert with – corporations, and were responsible for the coercion and violence against those who fought corporate interests around the world and the control of populations necessary for corporations’ to have a pool of cheap labor. Corporations would not exist without governments wielding their power. They are of a piece.

    I’ve asked SfO on other threads to describe the movements or organizations with which he’s involved or to articulate some concrete plan for action – either general or related to a specific issue – that would help people to gain greater power, wresting it from governments and corporate interests. He’s never had a response, and I’m not holding my breath. It’s much easier to call people dupes than to engage with real, complex struggles and the difficult choices, and sometimes compromises, that those involved in them have to make.

  327. #330 Kseniya
    September 4, 2008

    I don’t have the heart (or stomach) for this race. I couldn’t even make it through two minutes of Romney. The Supreme Court is Liberal? Granting basic civil rights to prisoners being held off-shore is Liberal and must be stopped? Washington,DC is a Liberal town? We need to kick the Liberals out of Washington? WTF? Bush and Cheney are Liberals now? WTF? What the fucking fuck? What the fuck was Romney saying? How fucking stupid does he thing we are? Oh wait – his audience cheered his inanities. How wonderful.

    Unn. Be. Leave. A. Bull.

  328. #331 «bønez_brigade»
    September 4, 2008

    “… that turned into a nasty, full-blown knife fight with everyone snarling at each other.”

    For the record, my knife has been sheathed and my snarl hath subsided. Though many apologies I do offer, I do agree with those who mentioned that it became rather overblown after the fact.

  329. #332 frog
    September 4, 2008

    Joel: I’ve read some of that already and it makes me wonder what McCain was thinking picking Palin and why he thought it would help is ticket picking someone so far to the right. Alot of conservatives think McCain is far to liberal, but I’m not sure this is what they had in mind.

    This is exactly what a lot of them had in mind. Why the hell do you think McCain picked her? To get the brownshirts behind him. Delude yourself about what is the emotional basis of hard-right rationalizations – it’s just the polite version (and more self-deluded) of skinhead thought.

    I’ve had good friends who were conservatives – not a one would have thought that McCain was “too liberal”. That’s the language of someone who thinks that everyone outside of the hard-right is a communist. Weren’t you the one who said that you didn’t know anyone who thought every one who disagreed with them was a communist? You obviously do know people like that.

  330. #333 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    Davescot 320,

    Even totally united behind Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004 you couldn’t beat a dumbass draft dodging reborn alcoholic George “Shrub” Bush and his snake-oil sidekick Dick Cheney of all people. That’s pretty pathetic. This round you’ve got an even worse candidate that half of your own party thinks stole the nomination by cheating and dirty politics.

    Strange, because there is absolutely no evidence of this. The only “evidence” is in the head of the right-wing noise makers. But all the polls show that Obama is actually doing much better than Kerry ;

    Take a look at this, you can compare Obama’s lead over McCain in the electoral college vs Kerry over Bush.

    http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Pres/ec_graph-2008.html

    You can see that right now, at the end of the conventions, Obama would have 260 electoral votes and McCain 175 (271 needed to win the election – excludng all the states which are still a toss up).
    By comparison, at the same period, Kerry and Bush had more or less the same number of electoral votes ie 200 (271 needed to win the election – excludng all the states which were still a toss up).

    So, maybe it’s true that Obama isn’t going to win this election afterall, but right now, with 260 electoral votes almost guaranteed out of 271 needed, and a comfortable lead of almost 90 electoral votes over McCain, it looks like he’s very likely to win it…

    (The key state is going to be OHIO)

    Sorry to dissapoint, Davescot

  331. #334 SC
    September 4, 2008

    Ummm, sure, if the feds have their usurped power removed, local governments will have to stand up. So?

    This is the level of political analysis I’ve come to expect from this individual. If Foucault had a stupid brother, this would be it.

    I’ll try again: Who is going to remove it? By what means? What obstacles do they face? What are your practical solutions for dealing with these obstacles in the course of these struggles to remove power? Who is getting this power? How is the emergence of new forms or monopolies of power to be avoided in the process?

  332. #335 Scott from Oregon
    September 4, 2008

    “At the very worst, Clinton wasn’t any more of a liar than any Republican,”

    Ummm, and I prefer Manson to Dahmer. He only ‘directed’ the murders and had better table manners…

    “Oh, and the tech boom? That was about ten percent of the total economic growth of the Clinton Era, and an equal percentage of the bust. Not even a nice try, SFO”.

    ONLY ten percent? What do you suppose an average growth year amounts to? What were we last year? Two percent (if we accept the government lies)?

    The scramble to buy home computers floated the US while solid industry quietly left town in Asian pick up trucks…

  333. #336 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    I think it was tm (he can correct me if I’m wrong) who, awhile back, when asked what Obama would have to do to lose his vote, replied simply “be worse than McCain.”

    That sounds like the sort of directly rational thing I would say. :-) In fact, I believe I did, and your comments about “the best environment” and “more conducive” are exactly the sorts of arguments I have made here and elsewhere and have made them for decades against fools who say “there’s no difference”. I fully realized this when Ronald Reagan replaced Jimmy Carter. I had been very critical of Carter, but the thing I noticed was how radically the activities of popular movements changed between the two administrations, from trying to make additional gains under Carter to trying to keep from losing every gain of the previous 8 decades under Reagan.

    One doesn’t have to be a statist or a diehard Democrat or Obama supporter to appreciate this.

    No, one just has to be intellectually honest.

  334. #337 Kseniya
    September 4, 2008

    That Clinton is a pathological liar? Blue dress.

    Pathological? Do you even know what that means?

  335. #338 AdobeDragon
    September 4, 2008

    BTW, she has a BS in Journalism from the U.of Idaho, has lived in Wasilla since her family moved there when she was 8, and just got her passport.

    When I was in college, “Journalism” and “Communications” were majors dominated by football and basketball players, and people who flunked out of everything else. I’m sure there were some bright Journalism majors, but they were few and far between.

    I’m tired of this. I know my opinion on this is likely to be dismissed as biased, because I’m an Obama campaign volunteer, but I don’t think you heard any sexist stuff coming from the Obama campaign, nor any of its official surrogates. You may have run into individual Obama supporters who voiced sexist opinions, but if so it was against the campaign’s wishes and direction, not in accordance with them.

    Me, too. Tired, that is. I’m a forty and female and an independent. Initially, I preferred Edwards. When he dropped out (good thing, since he can’t keep his zipper up), I was “stuck” with Hillary or Obama. Didn’t really see much difference between the two. What brought me over to Obama was camp Hillary’s Rovian tactics and her willingness to promote McCain over a fellow Dem.

    At that point, it was, “So long, Hillary” for me. While there are sexists idiots who support Obama because they hate women, I haven’t actually met any. Obama and the Dems are far from perfect, but I have to question the sanity of any woman who would throw her lot in with a misogynistic warmonger and his dominionist VP choice.

  336. #339 Kseniya
    September 4, 2008

    “Now we have a Dem congress, and you want to blame Bush?”

    Uh… Bush had a Republican congress for 6 of the past 7.5 years. Are you really that fucking ignorant?

  337. #340 Scott from Oregon
    September 4, 2008

    “Who is going to remove it? By what means?”

    Simple. Elect paleoconservatives whose sole purpose is to remove federal legislation that grants federal control from the books.

    All I have to do is convince 60 million raging desperate liberals…

  338. #341 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    The Republicans took a beating in the midterm elections and they’re set to take a beating in November. They are not optimistic about their chances in the Senate.

    DaveScot. Why are you tooting the horn of McCain? I think he raised his hand and said he believed in evolution.

  339. #342 Scott from Oregon
    September 4, 2008

    “Now we have a Dem congress, and you want to blame Bush?”

    Uh… Bush had a Republican congress for 6 of the past 7.5 years. Are you really that fucking ignorant?

    Ummm, before you spout, go look at who voted for what. I mean actually LOOK.

    Who signed off for WAR. Who authorized the funding. Who voted for the Patriot act. Who voted to create the Dept. of Homeland sec. Who voted to bail out the banks.

    So no. I’m not. But you appear to be.

    Facts don’t lie.

  340. #343 Sven DiMilo
    September 4, 2008

    Scott, you’re slippin’, man. Forgot the “Ummm” in that last comment.

  341. #344 Sven DiMilo
    September 4, 2008

    Ha! I spoke (virtually) too soon!

  342. #345 frog
    September 4, 2008

    Scott: The scramble to buy home computers floated the US while solid industry quietly left town in Asian pick up trucks…

    Where the hell do you think the tech bounce came from? It was incubated for thirty years in federally funded universities and the DARPA. The entrepeneurs are good at distribution after the tech is developed – but they don’t invent it.

    It’s invented by state-funded scientists who have a lifetime to devote to developing it without looking at the next quarter ROI (other than papers published to justify further grants). This ain’t 1887 when a couple of brothers in a bike repair shop have the resources to develop the next big boom.

  343. #346 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    Hehe. Stein losing it.

    http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/9/4/122014/9073

    Stein is messed up. But it’s funny how he goes after Palin.

    “back to what you might call Fundamentalist born again backwoods values of the United States of America. That’s fine. I love those values. I’m all for them. I believe in intelligent design.”

    Whaaaa???

  344. #347 SC
    September 4, 2008

    That sounds like the sort of directly rational thing I would say.

    Indeed. :)

    Simple. Elect paleoconservatives whose sole purpose is to remove federal legislation that grants federal control from the books.

    All I have to do is convince 60 million raging desperate liberals…

    Yup. Simple about covers it.

  345. #348 frog
    September 4, 2008

    Steve_C:

    Great catch. I think the establishment folks are starting to get afraid that they may have let the genie out of the bottle. They always think they can use and use these people and keep them under control with a little pander; but it’s only their own unfounded arrogance that keeps them from recognizing that the crazies may be ignorant, but they ain’t stupid.

    Just ask the German industrialists of the 20′s and 30′s.

  346. #349 Scott from Oregon
    September 4, 2008

    “Where the hell do you think the tech bounce came from? It was incubated for thirty years in federally funded universities and the DARPA”.

    Are you sure these weren’t STATE funded universities? Seems I paid a decent sum to my California tax board to develope some rather nice state schools…

    Funny how the industry developed around some of these schools…

    I am sure there were some federal dollars involved, so please spare the insults…

    The point being, state institutions are perfectly acceptable methods of advancement and DO NOT promote federal hubris. When was the last time California thought it needed to bomb brown people? It has been awhile…

    Ummm.

  347. #350 Parrotlover77
    September 4, 2008

    Is it just me or has this entire discussion of “how to act properly on the interwebz” turned into a huge game of herding cats?

    I really have gotten to the point now where I’m not worried about sexist trolls on blogs (even popular ones like this one). I just can’t imagine an overwhelming amount of voters deciding to vote for McCain because some dood said “ZOMG WUT A RACK” or “I CANT VOTE FER NO CHICK” regarding Palin.

    I just don’t buy it.

  348. #351 TX CHL Instructor
    September 4, 2008

    PZ: “People, the misogyny and inappropriate sexual fantasies are pissing me off, and are telling me that maybe I should just close this thread. Talk about her lies. Talk about her incompetence. But her appearance and her gender should be off limits.”

    PZ, you seem to attract that sort of poster. Oh, of course, most of the Liberals (capital “L”) here are going to be “offended” at the remarks made by anyone who isn’t certified pink. And like the whiney brats they are, they will insist that anyone who disagrees with them be punished in some way, and more than a few of them devolve the discussion into pointless sexual fantasies. That’s one of the hallmarks of a Liberal (capital “L”).

    I follow a mixture of Liberal (capital “L”) and Conservative (capital “C”) blogs (along with some other political blogs that don’t fall neatly into either category), and I find similar behavior on the far fringes of both sides. Again, the resemblance is uncanny to a debate between Muslim and Christian Apologists. Both sides can quickly and accurately find all of the faults with the other, while remaining 100% blind to their own.

    I would have thought that people who can think clearly enough to reject the traditional Sky Fairy could rise above this, but I must conclude from what I read here that is not so. Much in the same way that otherwise intelligent people can subscribe to the Sky Fairy notion. It’s rather puzzling.

    When the discussion gets around to Conservate (capital “C”) bashing, the folks here are really funny to watch, in a pathetic sort of way. But I like this blog a lot more when there is some real science being discussed.

    Meanwhile, here’s a blogpost by another atheist guaranteed to “offend” all of the Liberals (capital “L”) here. http://plancksconstant.org/blog1/2008/09/obama_and_nigerian_frauds.html

  349. #352 StuV
    September 4, 2008

    Condescending douche says what?

  350. #353 Kseniya
    September 4, 2008

    Ummmmm… Scott?

    You’re arrogant, myopic, and dishonest. Congratuations! You hit the trifecta!

  351. #354 Steve_C
    September 4, 2008

    Not going near anything you post TX. You continually spread wingnut BS about Obama. Go suck some Rove sausage or lick O’Reilly’s falafel.

  352. #355 Eric Saveau
    September 4, 2008

    Sometimes, the jokes just write themselves.

    @DaveScot
    She’s going to be in your face for the next 16 years. It’s all over except for the tears and anger from your side that you were fucked yet again. Write that down.

    Okay! I’ll write that right next to your prediction about how Judge Jones would rule in Dover vs. Kitzmiller.

  353. #356 Lowell
    September 4, 2008

    @197

    I want to see Meagan Mullaly do Palin on SNL.

    That would be hilarious. But, they’re going to need a regular cast member to do Palin, right? It’s a bummer Tina Fey isn’t in the cast anymore. She would have been perfect.

    Maybe they’ll use Casey Wilson: http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/bios/Casey_Wilson.shtml

  354. #357 Eric Saveau
    September 4, 2008

    @SFO
    “At the very worst, Clinton wasn’t any more of a liar than any Republican,”

    Ummm, and I prefer Manson to Dahmer. He only ‘directed’ the murders and had better table manners…

    Today’s lesson in logic will be the Fallacy of False Equivalency. Lying about an affair is not remotely comparable to being a serial-killer/cult mastermind. SFO represents the percentage of the population that will bever understand that distinction.

    May I have the next slide, please? Thank you…

    “Oh, and the tech boom? That was about ten percent of the total economic growth of the Clinton Era, and an equal percentage of the bust. Not even a nice try, SFO”.

    ONLY ten percent? What do you suppose an average growth year amounts to? What were we last year? Two percent (if we accept the government lies)?

    This isn’t so much a failure of logic as of basic reading comprehension. I said that the tech boom constituted ten percent OF THE GROWTH of the entire Clinton era. SFO responded as if I had said that the total economy grew ten percent and it was all due to tech, which is not even remotely what I said, nor does it have anything to do with the facts. Let’s see if the room can do basic arithmetic: Using SFO’s example, if the TOTAL ECONOMIC GROWTH in a given period is two percent, and ten percent of THAT GROWTH is due to the tech sector, then what is the total percentage of economic growth without the tech sector factored in? Bonus questions: What sorts of other factors might be involved in that growth? What impact might those factors have throughout a nation’s economy? Anyone? Bueller?

  355. #358 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Are you sure these weren’t STATE funded universities?

    DARPA is a federal agency, fool. And by the time Gore “took the initiative in creating the Internet” (not your dishonest misquote, you pathetic liar), pushing Congress to commercialize the net, it was NSFNET — National Science Foundation. (And FWIW I worked on the early ARPANET at UCLA with Vint Cerf, co-inventor of the TCP/IP internet protocol, who himself has supported Gore’s claim.)

  356. #359 Joel
    September 4, 2008

    Frog: You may be right. I’m watching the BBC, Palin has electrified the party, is a star in the Republican party, if McCain doesn’t win I wouldn’t be surprised if she ran for the highest office in the future, etc…

    One quote was interesting to me, “She’s the kind of person you’d have over for dinner.” It’s the who would you have a beer with thing all over.

  357. #360 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    I’m mindful of how cosmically futile this is, but I guess I’m a glutton for punishment:

    Ummm, name one.

    OK, how ’bout Gore and the internet? In fact, he was an early champion of some of the enabling legislation, he never made the kind of grandiose claims attributed to him. This one has been debunked over and over, by every even vaguely objective analyst who’s looked at it. This, BTW, was part of a larger pattern of flat-out fabricating claims Gore was supposed to have made, and then attacking him for having “lied.” For an entertaining (but comprehensive) treatment of this subject, you could read Al Franken’s Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them… but there are plenty of soberer and less partisan studies as well.

    That Clinton is a pathological liar? Blue dress.

    Hmmm… a man lied about his sex life. Who doesn’t? Sounds like normal human behavior to me, not pathology.

    The rest of his so-called “lies” were pretty much campaign goals he failed to achieve (generally because of the obstructionist Republican Congress he had to deal with for 3/4 of his administration), or things Republicans either made up, disagreed with, or simply refused to believe. We’re pretty quick to call politicians “liars” in this country, but on things actually materially related to the performance of his duties, I say Clinton lied no more often, and arguably far less often, than the average holder of elected office… and I say you can’t demonstrate otherwise with actual evidence.

    How about the roll call vote for FISA?

    Your assertion was that Obama loved the FISA bill (OWTTE). In fact, he said quite clearly that he thought it was a badly flawed bill, and worked hard to try to change it, and only grudgingly voted for it in the final analysis, as a compromise. Of course, that still leaves plenty of room for criticism (of which he’s received plenty right here), but that doesn’t mean what you said wasn’t bullshit.

  358. #361 amk
    September 4, 2008

    If McCain wins then Palin, sooner or later, is going to become the first woman president of the United States as by the time she’s up for election to the top spot there won’t be any question of lack of experience. You are basically looking at teh American Margaret Thatcher.

    That’s a fairly gross insult to Mad Maggie. Thatcher was not a creationist.

  359. #362 Kel
    September 4, 2008

    That’s a fairly gross insult to Mad Maggie. Thatcher was not a creationist.

    Not to mention calling Thatcher a woman is a gross insult to women everywhere. She’s a man in a woman suit.

  360. #363 me
    September 4, 2008

    Nehemiah Scudder in a beehive hairdo.
    Right on schedule, though.

    Whodathunkit?

  361. #364 SC
    September 4, 2008

    Not to mention calling Thatcher a woman is a gross insult to women everywhere. She’s a man in a woman suit.

    Not sure what that’s supposed to mean.

  362. #365 DaveScot
    September 4, 2008

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  363. #366 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    Now Truman is regarded more kindly, hence bush will be vindicated!

    I used to be a fan of Harry Truman. In fact, I have described him as the last democrat who was worth a damn. Over the last year though, I’ve come to realize that he did a terrible thing to our country by going into the Korean war without a declaration of war.

    That was as big a blow to the rule of law as any of the crimes of FDR. It set the stage for Johnson to get us into Vietnam, and for every war since then. I’ve read up on what Robert Taft had to say about Truman’s power grabs, and realized that he was right, and Truman was wrong.

    -jcr

  364. #367 roadrider
    September 4, 2008

    “Truth” Machine #261

    You choose to enable those lunatic fringe religious extremists that you so detest but call me a moron — that’s rich. And hypocritical.

    It’s the Democrats who are enabling the lunatic fringe religious extremists by adopting a strategy that makes pandering to conservative, religiously motivated voters a centerpiece of their electoral strategy. How else to explain Leah Daughtry?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/magazine/20minister-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine&oref=slogin

    This is a short-sighted strategy because the fundies will always go with the Republicans in the end, which is why McCain chose Palin. So the Dems are alienating secular voters in what will be a fruitless quest for fundie votes that will never materialize in numbers large enough to justify the effort to woo them.

    And you still don’t understand the meaning of hypocrisy. If what you’re accusing me of were true (which it isn’t) my position would be counterproductive, not hypocritical.

    Frog #258

    I’m well aware of the extremist positions of Palin’s church. What I’m saying is that the Democrats think they can slide by on issues like holding Bush and his officials accountable, being beholden to corporate and Wall St donors and lobbyists, complicity in the Iraq War, supporting torture, illegal domestic spying, pandering to religious fundamentalists. etc by saying “well the Republicans are worse”.

    Sorry, that doesn’t cut it with me anymore. After falling for Clinton’s “putting people first” agenda (which was thrown under the bus as soon as he didn’t need our votes any more) and all the promises made in the wake of the 2006 mid-term elections I’m not giving the Dems a pass.

    I want to see them come out fighting for a progressive agenda, not contorting themselves into pretzels to avoid pissing off anyone who might disagree.

  365. #368 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    It’s the Democrats who …

    The subject is your vote, you fucking intellectual coward. Try taking a little responsibility for your actions.

  366. #369 Ian H Spedding FCD
    September 4, 2008

    DaveScot wrote @#320

    You finally got one right, PZ. This IS how you will lose….

    I’m glad to see DaveScot’s post is still here. I wonder how long a similar rant against Palin would survive on Uncommon Descent? Judging by the hair-trigger ban policy there, not long.

    And therein lies the difference between the two camps. One side complains that opposition to the theory of evolution is being ruthlessly suppressed while banning any dissenting voices on its own blog at the drop of a hat. The other revels in open debate even to the point of being open to its most trenchant critics.

    I think we can see which side is gloating because they’ve just found the acceptable face of bigotry. It’s the side that will have few qualms about moving from banning books they don’t like from libraries to burning them.

  367. #370 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    you fucking intellectual coward.

    You really have a gift for winning friends and influencing people, don’t you?

    -jcr

  368. #371 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    In fact, he was an early champion of some of the enabling legislation

    It’s much more than that; here are Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, inventors of TCP/IP, on Gore:

    Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development….No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of time….there is no question in our minds that while serving as Senator, Gore’s initiatives had a significant and beneficial effect on the still-evolving Internet. The fact of the matter is that Gore was talking about and promoting the Internet long before most people were listening….As far back as the 1970s Congressman Gore promoted the idea of high speed telecommunications as an engine for both economic growth and the improvement of our educational system. He was the first elected official to grasp the potential of computer communications to have a broader impact than just improving the conduct of science and scholarship. Though easily forgotten, now, at the time this was an unproven and controversial concept….[etc.]

  369. #372 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    Speaking of Al Gore, here’s a rather interesting historical note:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JE48XHKG64

    Ok now, tell me again how the war is all the Republicans’ fault?

    -jcr

  370. #373 BaldApe
    September 4, 2008

    Not to mention calling Thatcher a woman is a gross insult to women everywhere. She’s a man in a woman suit.

    That’s right. It takes a real man to launch the British Fleet.

  371. #374 SC
    September 4, 2008

    You really have a gift for winning friends and influencing people, don’t you?

    Actually, Randolph, he does in fact have a gift for influencing people, as many here have recognized. The fact that he won a Molly a few months ago based on the votes of Pharyngula readers is evidence* that he also has a gift for making friends, or at least earning people’s respect. Of course, there’s no reason for an honest, intelligent person to seek friends among the dishonest and unintelligent, or those who are so intellectually bankrupt that they insist on dwelling on style over content.

    *But then, you’ve never been big on evidence, as Nick Gotts has repeatedly shown. By the way, can you tell us more about politics on the continent of Latin America?

  372. #375 cureholder
    September 4, 2008

    For better or for worse, unless John McCain has a serious health problem between now and November, there is simply no way Barack Obama is going to win this election. The same people who are now saying Obama’s victory is inevitable were saying a year ago (almost to the day, October 16-18 here on Pharyngula) that Hillary Clinton’s victory was inevitable.

    I tried to correct this misperception back then (and did manage to win a nice chunk of money betting against Clinton for the nomination and the presidency), and now am cleaning up the same way betting against Obama.

    I am not for either of these two (Obama or McCain). I think either one will be a disaster as president, albeit in different ways. But the reality of who is going to win is pretty obvious.

    Maybe McCain will have a heart attack or a stroke that will cause people to flee his side in fear, but unless that happens or he looks senile during the debates, the Republicans are going to control the White House for at least four more years.

    And Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves. They decided to choose between an unlikeable, dishonest and inexperienced symbol (Hillary Clinton) and an inexperienced, shallow and unelectable one (Barack Obama). It was pretty obvious that the lessons of the past were lost on the party as it held its primaries. They seem to think that THIS will be the year voters finally come to their sense and realize that Republicans are this and that. Instead, the Democrats should have focused on choosing a real candidate, rather than assuming voters would elect whomever they put up.

    Maybe next time. But somehow, I doubt it. This seems to be a lesson the party is incapable of learning.

  373. #377 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    he does in fact have a gift for influencing people, as many here have recognized.

    Influencing, or preaching to the choir? Can you show me anyone who’s changed their mind on an issue because of “truth machine’s” diatribes?

    You see, the biggest problem that you democrats have when it comes to influencing people, is that you haven’t realized that you can’t win an election just by working yourselves up into a massive snit.

    Obama apparently understands this, but from where I sit, it looks like a lot of his supporters (especially people like you and TM) would far rather exult in your righteous indignation, than deign to address anyone who’s not already on your side with anything approaching common courtesy.

    -jcr

  374. #378 oaksterdam
    September 4, 2008

    “Can you show me anyone who’s changed their mind on an issue because of “truth machine’s” diatribes?”

    *raises hand*

    Consider me influenced. I freakin’ love truth machine comments. Although I mostly just lurk so I’ve never had my bullshit called out.

    Shit, that’s probably a cue right there.

  375. #379 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    Cureholder,

    While it’s true that Obama has lost the commanding lead he had only a few months ago, I wouldn’t say that he’s down and out, yet.

    As I mentioned before, he can take back the initiative by striking out with a bold move, on any number of issues that should be a no-brainer for a Democrat to champion. I suggested withdrawing troops from all over the world.

    He could also take the lead on ending the drug war, or getting serious about stopping inflation, or even promise, in no uncertain terms, that he will obey the law as president.

    Does he have the guts to do any of these things, or will he try to win just by continuing the feelgood blather that got him this far? We’ll see.

    -jcr

  376. #380 SC
    September 4, 2008

    Influencing, or preaching to the choir? Can you show me anyone who’s changed their mind on an issue because of “truth machine’s” diatribes?

    There are plenty, but I’m not here to do your research for you. Read back through some previous threads for examples.

    You see, the biggest problem that you democrats have when it comes to influencing people, is that you haven’t realized that you can’t win an election just by working yourselves up into a massive snit.

    Obama apparently understands this, but from where I sit, it looks like a lot of his supporters (especially people like you and TM) would far rather exult in your righteous indignation, than deign to address anyone who’s not already on your side with anything approaching common courtesy.

    What an idiot you are. Assuming you meant Democrats (although the fact that you’re a propertarian does suggest that you’re not in fact a democrat or anything resembling one), I am not one, as I’ve made clear on this thread. I’ve stated that I’m an anarchist innumerable times here, and offered anarchist perspectives – mine and others’ – on several issues.

    Beyond that, I have no idea what you’re on about. You’re just rambling at this point, and proving how intellectually bankrupt you are.

  377. #381 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    I think it says enough about John Randolph that he changes the subject and baselessly treats SC as if she were responsible for my posts or views, with all those ridiculous plural “you”s, just because she spoke up for me. (Thanks, S.)

  378. #382 SC
    September 4, 2008

    (Thanks, S.)

    Like you really need me to speak up for you :) (when you didn’t respond right away I thought you might have left…and I have a protective streak).

  379. #383 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Thank you oaksterdam! jcr probably didn’t expect that response to his ridiculous, intellectually dishonest question.

  380. #384 GraceM
    September 4, 2008

    #238 Scott from Oregon
    Of course if business is doing badly the people suffer. But the people suffer when business is doing excessively well, also. Billion dollar profits for oil companies but the people are worried about how they’re going to be able to afford heating this coming winter. That’s if they have homes to heat. Fact is, Palin decreased taxes for business and increased them for middle class. And told us in last night’s speech that she did the opposite. Yes, usually political speeches are empty words meant to rally the troops, so to speak. But blatant lies that she told last night were amazing. Did she really think those things can’t be disproved? Or is she so confident that her audience won’t see reason no matter what she says? Don’t answer that. She IS that confident and she knows her audience.
    It’s possible, nah, it’s definite that I’m biased against the Republicans. Or at least this Republican, and I have a real problem with anyone, anywhere shoving his/her religion at me. But I have a lot more problem with anyone trying to tell me what I can or cannot read. And she wanted to ban books from the library. It doesn’t matter what books. Nothing she ever does from now on is ever going to make up for that.

  381. #385 386sx
    September 4, 2008

    Influencing, or preaching to the choir? Can you show me anyone who’s changed their mind on an issue because of “truth machine’s” diatribes?

    Didn’t you notice the “OM”? It isn’t truth machine, it’s truth machine, OM. They don’t call it the truth machine for nothin! Wake up people!!

  382. #386 antaresrichard
    September 4, 2008

    negentropyeater’s post (#291) on the size of Palin’s state suddenly brings to mind an SCTV skit. Take it away 3CP1!

  383. #387 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    I’m not here to do your research for you. Read back through some previous threads for examples.

    Cop-out noted. Thanks for playing.

    -jcr

  384. #388 oaksterdam
    September 4, 2008

    You are more than welcome.

    OT: When can I vote for August Molly? Hi SC.

  385. #389 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Cop-out noted. Thanks for playing.

    What a stupid dick. Here’s a hint: #90

  386. #390 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    What a stupid dick.

    You’re as charming as ever, TM.

    Here’s a hint: #90

    Okay, so you have a fan (or a sock puppet). So what?

    -jcr

  387. #391 Feynmaniac
    September 4, 2008

    John C. Randolf #370,
    “You really have a gift for winning friends and influencing people, don’t you?”

    It’s very curious you would say that considering truth machine is very popular here (granted not everyone appreciates his ‘style’ and he is probably the most likely person to both get honoured with a Molly and end up thrown in the dungeon). While from what I’ve read in the past few weeks people here have barely been able to put up with you.

    In any case, why would anyone want to make friends with someone they totally disagree with and find to be a complete cretin?

  388. #392 386sx
    September 4, 2008

    What a stupid dick.

    Just in case of any wise guys out there, that is not an fallacious ad hominem. Get used to it.

  389. #393 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Okay, so you have a fan (or a sock puppet). So what?

    So your hypothesis that I’ve never changed anyone’s mind is apparently unfalsifiable.

    Your dishonesty is immense and oh so transparent, asshole. I’m done with you.

  390. #394 SC
    September 4, 2008

    Cop-out noted. Thanks for playing.

    Is it possible for you to be more of a nitwit? In addition to #90, two more people, on an otherwise quiet thread, have already come forth to answer your question in the affirmative. That should give you a hint that other threads contain similar statements.

    …And jcr continues the lame diversionary tactics as if no one notices.

    OT: When can I vote for August Molly? Hi SC.

    *blushes* Hi oaksterdam. Thanks for the vote last month, btw, which I much appreciated.

  391. #395 oaksterdam
    September 4, 2008

    SC:

    Last month I kinda lost my mind on the blog which shall not be named. I got a lesson in how to handle infuriating bullshit with intelligence and humor from you while I was there. I meant to mention that with the vote but I was still too rattled to type or something. Thanks.

    This month you get my vote for just being kick-ass. If we’re still doing the whole Molly thing that is….Hi PZ.

  392. #396 Rob
    September 4, 2008

    If the Republicans win this election, I solemnly swear that I will devote my life to getting myself and everyone I care about off this planet as soon as is possible.

    As an Australian I cant help but get edgy about that gigantic country above and slightly to the right of us that is a bastion of unreason (despite the best efforts of PZ et al)

    god help us

    haha

  393. #397 Rick
    September 4, 2008

    I’m an atheist and a moderate but usually vote Republican. Politicians lie at their conventions to rile up the mass hysteria. Obama lied, Palin lied. So?
    Obama had a chance to explain his views on abortion to the American people when Rick Warren of Saddleback church asked Obama “when do babies get human rights”. Obama said that question was “above his pay grade”. Bullshit Obama. If you cannot express your views to the audience what you believe in what are you going to say to our enemies that would like more than anything to see this country brought down?
    Republicans have their warts but Obama does not have the balls to stand up and defend his views in a church what is he going to do on the world stage? This guy is another Chamberlain. Our country does not need that.
    We don’t need any more taxes so where is Obama going to get all this money to do what he wants? I don’t want to see a Marxist as a President.
    I’m pinching my nose and voting Republican.
    As an Atheist we need to go to a grass roots level and encourage science and critical thinking in our schools and educate the Republican base.

  394. #398 John C. Randolph
    September 4, 2008

    Ok, here it is.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjYYz2Jv2QY&feature=related

    This is exactly what we should be hearing from Obama’s own lips, if he wants to win this election. He should be denouncing the attacks on our rights, and making the promise that he will follow the constitution and restore habeus corpus to anyone accused of a crime.

    -jcr

  395. #399 SC
    September 4, 2008

    Last month I kinda lost my mind on the blog which shall not be named.

    If it’s any consolation, I don’t remember that at all (and I do remember another commenter who did). I left my last comment there and never looked back, nor do I plan to, but I’m sure you’re being overly critical of yourself – if anyone lost it in that dispute, it was the blogger himself.

    I got a lesson in how to handle infuriating bullshit with intelligence and humor from you while I was there. I meant to mention that with the vote but I was still too rattled to type or something. Thanks.

    This month you get my vote for just being kick-ass. If we’re still doing the whole Molly thing that is….Hi PZ.

    I couldn’t be more flattered. Thanks again.

  396. #400 Aquaria
    September 4, 2008

    After all the sexism lobbed around by Obama supporters however, in their lower blows against Clinton, I no longer feel that refuge.

    I saw a lot of hypersensitive trolls who seemed to think that any criticism of a woman was sexism, and that’s just plain stupid. HRC had a LOT of problems with her campaign, many of them centered around her, and having little or nothing to do with her being female.

    Swear to the FSM, I have more respect for Kay Bailey Hutchinson as a campaigner, and I’ve taken part in several campaigns opposing her. I can’t recall one time when she dragged in anything about sexism when someone made a valid criticism of her (some incidents may exist, but I don’t know of them, offhand). I disagree ten ways from Sunday with the woman on any number of issues, but I can respect her for that.

    By the way, why didn’t McCain consider KBH? She’s starting to look sane compared to the rest of this Republican gang, and I thought I’d never say that! Then again, I’m glad he didn’t choose her. It would have scared the hell out of me if he had.

    What scares me are these HRC fans who are so welded to the cult of Hillary that they’ll do anything to defeat Obama, even vote for McCain. They’re so brain dead that they don’t give a shit about the policies, because, if they did, they’d realize that there was a chasm the size of Jupiter between what HRC and McCain stood for, and maybe a hair between her and Obama. No, it’s all about Hillary! It’s not supposed to be all about Hillary. It’s supposed to be about AMERICA, too.

  397. #401 truth machine, OM
    September 4, 2008

    usually vote Republican.

    Funny how this is invariably followed by dishonesty and stupidity.

    Obama lied

    What lie?

    Obama had a chance to explain his views on abortion

    Which he did; his answer did not end at saying that the question of when babies get human rights — which is not a question about his views on abortion — was, theologically and scientifically above his pay grade. Rather, he went on and discussed his views on abortion at some length, talking about moral complexities and his support of Roe v. Wade. So you’re the liar, and rather dimwitted too.

    This guy is another Chamberlain.

    Stupid sloganeering.

    We don’t need any more taxes so where is Obama going to get all this money to do what he wants?

    Your taxes would be reduced, while those of people making over $250,000 would be increased. His tax plan is public, so why do you have to ask, if you’re not a moronic ass?

    I don’t want to see a Marxist as a President.

    Stupid sloganeering. Obama isn’t a Marxist or anything like it.

    I’m pinching my nose and voting Republican.

    And ending Roe v. Wade and ruining the lives of many families. What are your views on abortion?

    As an Atheist we need to go to a grass roots level and encourage science and critical thinking in our schools and educate the Republican base.

    That’s an odd thing for someone so utterly lacking in critical thinking skills to say.

  398. #402 Scott from Oregon
    September 5, 2008

    “Of course if business is doing badly the people suffer. But the people suffer when business is doing excessively well, also. Billion dollar profits for oil companies but the people are worried about how they’re going to be able to afford heating this coming winter”.

    Wow! How about we simply take away the oil companies and go get our own oil? Then nobody will worry!

    And all those people who invested in oil company stock? Let’s just take away their stock too!

    We can’t have people worrying now. That would be awful!

    Look into why the dollar is half of what it was, and then ask yourself how much oil half a dollar buys?

    (About as much as a dollar used to buy is the answer to this trick question)…

    I have some news for you. The Chinese are working their tails off and want stuff, so they are buying lots of oil.

    Americans are relying on their paper money to fool the world into thinking we are all that and more…

    The mind boggles…

  399. #403 truth machine, OM
    September 5, 2008

    By the way, why didn’t McCain consider KBH?

    Like his favorites Lieberman and Ridge, she’s pro-choice.

  400. #404 Helen
    September 5, 2008

    This is how the Democrats can self-destruct, once again.

    Too late. Anyone who has paid attention knows that Dems in general aren’t progressive, since progressivism by its very definition includes feminism at its core. Those of us who are actually progressive know now the Dems don’t represent us.

  401. #405 Eric Saveau
    September 5, 2008

    @SFO #402
    “Of course if business is doing badly the people suffer. But the people suffer when business is doing excessively well, also. Billion dollar profits for oil companies but the people are worried about how they’re going to be able to afford heating this coming winter”.

    Wow! How about we simply take away the oil companies and go get our own oil? Then nobody will worry! And all those people who invested in oil company stock? Let’s just take away their stock too!

    And now, the logical fallacy of non sequitir. The sarcastic response to the original commenter does not follow from the original comment. Nor has anyone on this or any other Pharyngula thread said or even implied such a thing. What has been argued in numerous places is that oil companies should not be permitted to write the very laws that are supposed to regulate them, that profiteering while people suffer says a lot about the character of the peopple who run said companies, and that having oil men in the White House who declare themselves to be above the law and are chummy with oil-rich foreign countries who produced and funded the9-11 highjackers is a rather bad idea.

    Next slide, please…

  402. #406 Scott from Oregon
    September 5, 2008

    “And now, the logical fallacy of non sequitir.”

    Good to see your passing grade in Critical Thinking 101A isn’t going to waste, and THANKS for making my main point for me, which is that the federal government has nothing to do with “the people” anymore, it’s laws are written by the corporations who use the federal structure to preserve that which they monopolize, and that a vote for either major party simply perpetuates this absurdity…

    Choosing the Dems over the repubs will simply get you a different flavor of corncob up your wazoo, and thinking any different won’t change the scratchy scratchy you are feeling in your wind pipe…

    Dems or Repubs.

  403. #407 Aquaria
    September 5, 2008

    Oh–and count me as one of the people whose mind TM has changed, although, most of the time, I agree with him. Maybe not his style. But his positions.

  404. #408 Aquaria
    September 5, 2008

    I don’t want to see a Marxist as a President.

    Stupid sloganeering. Obama isn’t a Marxist or anything like it.

    The race would be a lot more interesting if a Marxist could run with any chance of winning. Maybe 2038, after the Republicans have reduced this country to a handful of rich people and a whole lot of peasants.

  405. #409 Aquaria
    September 5, 2008

    Maybe it’s one of those inconvenient facts that the nations with standards of living exceeding America’s are those with much bigger governments–i.e., with greater social services.

    America hasn’t topped the Human Development Index since its creation. The top 10 or so are always nations like Norway, Sweden, Iceland, France, and the Netherlands.

    Ironic, that.

  406. #410 tt
    September 5, 2008

    We don’t need any more taxes so where is Obama going to get all this money to do what he wants? I don’t want to see a Marxist as a President.

    You are obviously mentally ill if you think a Marxist could be chosen as a major party’s presidential nominee in America.

    Since you are mentally ill, this reply is not really for you, as you’ll be incapable of processing it. This is for the reader.

    Obama will cut taxes for the middle class. That is CNN’s analysis. Also note that McCain’s plan will drive up the national debt faster.

  407. #411 Scott from Oregon
    September 5, 2008

    “”Hmmm… a man lied about his sex life. Who doesn’t? Sounds like normal human behavior to me, not pathology.

    The rest of his so-called “lies” were pretty much campaign goals he failed to achieve (generally because of the obstructionist Republican Congress he had to deal with for 3/4 of his administration), or things Republicans either made up, disagreed with, or simply refused to believe. We’re pretty quick to call politicians “liars” in this country, but on things actually materially related to the performance of his duties, I say Clinton lied no more often, and arguably far less often, than the average holder of elected office… and I say you can’t demonstrate otherwise with actual evidence”.

    HITCHENS DID IT FOR ME–

    May I suggest you peruse “No one Left To Lie To”…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnGrc3Kz_YY

    (For his Charlie Rose interview on the subject)…

    I’ll assert it again. Clinton is a pathological liar.

  408. #412 Scott from Oregon
    September 5, 2008

    “Maybe it’s one of those inconvenient facts that the nations with standards of living exceeding America’s are those with much bigger governments–i.e., with greater social services.

    America hasn’t topped the Human Development Index since its creation. The top 10 or so are always nations like Norway, Sweden, Iceland, France, and the Netherlands.

    Ironic, that”.

    More ironic are the number of countries with big governments that have never made the top thirty…

  409. #413 Bill Dauphin
    September 5, 2008

    SfO:

    HITCHENS DID IT FOR ME–

    Hitchens? Really? Brilliant guy, on occasion, but… you really call that public spleen-venting (the interview, I mean) evidence of anything? [shakes head slowly]

  410. #414 Grammar RWA
    September 5, 2008

    The truth machine has a low error rate, though friction adds pollutants to the exhaust. I expect it contributes to wider knowledge. Not everyone is offended by bad words.

  411. #415 bastion
    September 5, 2008

    At #162 Jeeves wrote:
    I don’t think Obama comes out the worse for wear in the fight but could it be because comparing Palin to Biden would be a complete joke? Palin: mayor of 7,000 then governor of 670,000 which is comparable to a medium size city in the lower 48. Biden: senator of Delaware since 1973. Former member of Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Council of Foreign Relations. Has been overseas to Europe, Asia, Middle East many times. It’s not even close as a joke.

    But you’re overlooking the most important kind of experience when it comes to VP qualifications (and next in live for the presidency)–executive experience. Unless I’m mistaken, Biden only has legislative experience as a member of a city council, then as Senator.

    OTOH, Palin has executive experience as a governor, mayor, and PTA member.

    In fact, Palin has more executive experience than McCain does, so, really, Palin is more qualified to be president than McCain is.

  412. #416 negentropyeater
    September 5, 2008

    Cureholder, 375

    there is simply no way Barack Obama is going to win this election.

    jcr, 379

    While it’s true that Obama has lost the commanding lead he had only a few months ago, I wouldn’t say that he’s down and out, yet.

    Can someone please point me to any evidence for any of this ? (apart from the talking points from the usual right-wing noise makers, which I do not count as evidence !)

    As I’ve mentionned already in my post #333, all the polls point to the contrary of these two “affirmations”. Obama’s lead in the electoral college is increasing over time, by now it’s more or less guaranteed that he will get 260 votes out of the 271 needed (McCain is only at 175 in contrast). It suffices that one of these states votes for Obama and it’s over (states which are for the moment undecided): OH, VA, CO+NV, CO+NH

    Now of course, the polls can be wrong, but for now there’s nothing that enables one to say “Obama has lost the commandng lead”, or “there’s no way Obama can win this election”.

    And the polls clearly indicate that Obama has a much more comfortable lead in the electoral college over McCain than Kerry had over Bush at the same time in 2004.

    Now I’m not saying that Obama has won, but he is more likely to win for the moment than his opponent.

    And this certainly doesn’t translate into your worthless talking points.

    Only demaguogues and wishful thinkers can come up with such lines.

  413. #417 John C. Randolph
    September 5, 2008

    Can someone please point me to any evidence for any of this ?

    CBS news reports that they’re neck-and-neck now:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/04/opinion/polls/main4416798.shtml

    -jcr

  414. #418 John C. Randolph
    September 5, 2008

    Newsweek reports “a statistical dead heat”:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/145737

    Newsweek’s previous poll had Obama up 51% to 36%.

    -jcr

  415. #419 clinteas
    September 5, 2008

    Listened to a commenter on ABC news on the radio here in Australia on the way home,he was saying the Reps might win this because,the Dems might have picked the one candidate who cant win,and the Republicans have picked the one candidate who can win……

  416. #420 negentropyeater
    September 5, 2008

    jcr,

    1. these two polls are taken just at the end of the RNC, it’s expected that McCain gets a bump from this. It always happens, the whole country’s attention is fixed on the RNC, so what do you expect. I’m surprised McCain didn’t get a bigger bump.

    2. the Newsweek poll still shows Obama with a small lead of 3 points, despite the RNC effect

    3. if one looks more in the details, on a state per state basis (which is what matters for winning the election) Obama still has a comfortable lead over McCain
    http://www.electoral-vote.com/

    All in all, I see no evidence that Obama has lost his lead. And certainly nothing to suggest that he’s less likely to win this election than McCain and that he needs to make drastic changes in his strategy.

    And let’s not forget that all these polls use turnout models from previous elections to construct representative samples, and the big unknown can come from the fact that the youth may vote much more than in previous elections, and that would make Obama’s lead even bigger.

    So I know many people are intent in leavng the impression that Obama’s in a lot of trouble, that he can’t win, etc…, but it’s simply not true.

    The one who is in trouble, and this since the begining of the general election, is McCain. And that’s precisely why they decided to go for such a gamble with Palin. Otherwise they were certain of losing. Now, they have a chance of winning, IF all goes well for Palin in the next two months.
    But usually popularity decreases as people get to know more and more details about the candidate.

  417. #421 Carlie
    September 5, 2008

    But usually popularity decreases as people get to know more and more details about the candidate.

    Which won’t happen for McCain, if people insist on talking about Sarah Palin and her childrens’ sex lives instead of about McCain. It’s an absolute shame that Obama isn’t obliterating McCain in the polls, and shows that he’s got a lot of work to do.

  418. #422 Eric Saveau
    September 5, 2008

    @SFO
    Good to see your passing grade in Critical Thinking 101A isn’t going to waste,

    We’re still waiting for you to successfully pass that course. I should also belatedly point out that what I took you to task for was as much a strawman as a non sequitir.

    and THANKS for making my main point for me, which is that the federal government has nothing to do with “the people” anymore,

    Two things – One: If that was your point you’ve done a poor job of elucidating it, and Two: It’s an absurdly reductionistic position in the first place. Look, let’s be clear on something – we’re not fooled by you. Libertarianism is just as much a batshit-insane religious ideal as anything found in Xianity or Islam or Scientology, regardless of whether or not its adherents claim to be atheists. It’s a ridiculous exercise in magical thinking with no evidence to support its claims. Nobody here is happy with our government but most of us have the good sense to not throw the Jeffersonian baby out with the Bush-Cheney bathwater, and the paranoid delusional ravings of libertarians aren’t going to prod us to do so. But by all means, keep writing your Epistles To The Pharyngularians or whatever the fuck; as long as you’re merely insane you’ll have some entertainment value, and if you get too abusive there’s a spot in the dungeon for you. Party on, dude.

  419. #423 negentropyeater
    September 5, 2008

    Carlie,

    I wasn’t thinking of McCain, but of Palin. Let’s wait until she gives a few one-on-one interviews and all her lies get exposed more in the media.
    I doubt she’ll stick with that level of popularity. And that will have a direct impact on McCain.

    All people have heard so far from her, apart from the babygate, is the positive noise made around her speech at the RNC.

    Wait until they get to learn more about her or hear her speak in a less advantageous context…

  420. #424 StuV
    September 5, 2008

    SfO:

    I’ll assert it again. Clinton is a pathological liar.

    And I assert that you rape babies. If a Hitchens hissy fit is the alpha and omega of your backup for your assertions, you are in sad, sad shape.

    +1 on Truth Machine. He is the Krud Kutter of rhetorical manure. My only quabble is that he should’ve gotten an OFM, not an OM.

  421. #425 amk
    September 5, 2008

    Scott from O, you seem convinced that state governments would be better able to resist corporate lobbyists than federal government. Why?

  422. #426 CJ
    September 5, 2008

    “That’s not how we’re going to beat back the troglodytes.”

    What it comes down to is all parties or belief systems have its troglodytes. All have their gentlepeople, as well.

  423. #427 Scott from Oregon
    September 5, 2008

    “Scott from O, you seem convinced that state governments would be better able to resist corporate lobbyists than federal government. Why?”

    I am not convinced that that is the case. What I am convinced of is that the burden of responsibility for state government falls more squarely on the shoulders of those who live in the state. In other words, if your state government is screwed up, you, as a citizen of that state, have MORE culpability because you actually have a larger role to play in deciding what constitutes your own governence.

    You can visit your capital and talk to your state senate directly. There is a good chance you will know your rep personally. You will understand your needs better and know when corruption and malfeasance is occuring, because it will occur in your backyard.

    No government is perfect, but the responsibility for success or failure is placed where it should be, on the citizens who benefit or suffer under what is created.

    Who can say that their vote really matters in federal politics? I’ve always voted for potus in California. Ummm, I bet you can guess which way California will go at election time for the next twelve years…

    “”"Libertarianism is just as much a batshit-insane religious ideal as anything found in Xianity or Islam or Scientology, regardless of whether or not its adherents claim to be atheists”"”

    Ummm, not so much a religion as a rather stark and strident political ideal which I don’t agree with. But to use another faulty analogy…

    The Democratic and Republican ships are all sailing off the edge of the world, and the Libertarian Ship is chugging along toward more calm waters. So I board the libertarian boat and watch y’all yell at each other from across the midship and wonder where all the intelligence in America has gone?

    For me, the libertarian ideal is just that, an ideal. I don’t believe in ideals. I do, however, believe in degrees of ideas, and the smaller federal government crowd solves so many of our current problems I cannot ignore its benefits while listening to the Democratic whine or the Republican lament any longer…

    You all sound like recordings and your ideas are demonstrably hypocritical.

  424. #428 StuV
    September 5, 2008

    You all sound like recordings and your ideas are demonstrably hypocritical.

    That would be another unsupported, bald-faced assertion. You’re not very good at this, are you?

    In other news, I assert that you eat those babies after you rape them.

    See how that works?

  425. #429 Sven DiMilo
    September 5, 2008

    Hey, want to hear my Scott from Oregon impression?
    *turns around briefly, then again faces audience*
    “Ummm, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah”
    Thanks, folks! (and apologies to MAJeff)

  426. #430 Scott from Oregon
    September 5, 2008

    “That would be another unsupported, bald-faced assertion. You’re not very good at this, are you?”

    Actually, the support is in the records of this blog.

    It is there for you if you really must have “support”.

    May I suggest you start with the whining about your “Constitutional rights” that ar littered here and there?

    Then contrast that to the overwhelming support y’all give to those who voted to diminish those rights…

    (Off the top of my head, there is Obama/FISA…)

    This is too easy…

  427. #431 Eric Saveau
    September 5, 2008

    You all sound like recordings and your ideas are demonstrably hypocritical.

    Coming from someone whose “criticisms” are all nothing but recycled discredited Republican talking points, that’s quite amusing. Irony can be very ironic, sometimes…

  428. #432 Longtime Lurker
    September 5, 2008

    Whenever reading Scott from Oregon’s posts, I hear Lumberg’s voice.

    Ummmm… yeah… great.

    Are you keeping up with your TPS reports, Scottso?

  429. #433 StuV
    September 5, 2008

    Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, Scott, you cretinous weasel, that’s it.

    Just because you are incapable of supporting someone you don’t wholeheartedly agree with because the alternative is starkly, infinitely, demonstrably worse does not mean grown-ups cannot.

    Take your cute little talking points and shove them. You are pathetic.

  430. #434 SC
    September 5, 2008

    I’m still laughing at the thought of Scott from Oregon running in a state on a “Get Federal Research Dollars out of Our Higher-Education System” platform. I’m sure that would be a big hit with the U.s and the companies lined up at the Bayh-Dole trough.

  431. #435 bonefish
    September 5, 2008

    @Desperation…

    I’m not looking for a fight with you about anything at all. In fact, sorry to have offended you.

    I’m a walk-away from the world Palin lives in, the whole fundamentalist/creationism junket. They scare me and scare me badly. The whole lot of them are capable of absolutely anything in pursuit of their ends. That’s what the vibe on my post was, not poking at you…

  432. #436 cureholder
    September 5, 2008

    >>>Obama’s lead in the electoral college is increasing over time, by now it’s more or less guaranteed that he will get 260 votes out of the 271 needed (McCain is only at 175 in contrast).<<<

    Now here’s an interesting proposition. I’ll bet you $500 that Obama gets fewer than 260 electoral votes. I think he’ll probably end up with 244, by my math.

    As for “talking points,” I didn’t offer any (probably because I am not fronting for either party). I don’t have a dog in this hunt—I think either McCain or Obama will be terrible, in different ways. I was merely observing how the election is coming together.

    As for evidence of the closeness of the race, go to the pollster who has been most “on the money” the past eight years, John Zogby (at zogby.cm). His polls of “likely voters” (rather than “registered voters, which measure nothing) tell the story—and the trends of those polls tell the whole story.

    Yes, if the election were today, Obama might win. But it’s not. It’s in November. And by then, the popular vote will probably be about 53/47 McCain (among those who vote the two major parties) and the electoral college should be about 294/244 McCain.

    I could be wrong, but I doubt it. I could have been wrong back before the primaries in picking McCain and Obama, but I wasn’t. Unless something cataclysmic (i.e., health or age related) happens in the McCain campaign, he will win.

  433. #437 Super Tex
    September 5, 2008

    I’ve never read so many liberal comments in my life. You’re right though, John McCain pulled a rabbit out of the hat and he caught most of you leftwingers with that vibrator still stuck up your ass and on high. It’s not American what you do but you certainly have the right express your views whether they are right are wrong. It’s a shame we can’t get along. If you are unhappy here I suggest you move south or north and if you can afford it take a trip across the ocean, either direction will suffice.

  434. #438 Quiet_Desperation
    September 5, 2008

    @bonefish: OK. It’s cool.

  435. #439 Eric Saveau
    September 5, 2008

    John McCain pulled a rabbit out of the hat and he caught most of you leftwingers with that vibrator still stuck up your ass and on high.

    Ah, no. You’re thinking of the late prominent Republican Reverend Gary Aldridge. But I can certainly understand why you’d desperately want to project that sort of thing onto others.

  436. #440 negentropyeater
    September 5, 2008

    It’s a shame we can’t get along.

    And why wouldn’t you be the one who moves away ?

  437. #441 negentropyeater
    September 5, 2008

    I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

    Strange, because you refer to zogby, and his electoral college map right now is almost identical to the one I was refering to, ie Obama 260, McCain 173, too close to call 105.

    So unless you’ve already “decided” that amongst the 105 too close to call, Obama won’t possibly get the 11 votes required (for a reason which is unknown, but you certainly have a rational argument, no ?)

    http://www.zogby.com/50state/

    Actually, whichever pollster you look at, the result is the same, and what I already mentionned : Obama needs to get 11 votes out of OH, NV, CO, VA, SD, ND, MI.

    Really isn’t that difficult to understand.

    And how do you conlude that if the election were today Obama would win, but not in Novemeber ?

    You have any rational argument for that ? Apart from your preconceived notions that “Obama can’t possibly win this election”.

    It’s a bit tiresome to hear such irrational arguments. Reminds me a bit of the arguments put forward in favour of religion .

  438. #442 cureholder
    September 5, 2008

    >>>Strange, because you refer to zogby, and his electoral college map right now is almost identical to the one I was refering to, ie Obama 260, McCain 173, too close to call 105.

    So unless you’ve already “decided” that amongst the 105 too close to call, Obama won’t possibly get the 11 votes required (for a reason which is unknown, but you certainly have a rational argument, no ?)<<<

    How do I conclude that if the election were today Obama might win, but he won’t in November? The same way I concluded last October that Clinton would not be the Dem nominee even though she was way ahead in all the polls. Simply put, PEOPLE CHANGE THEIR MINDS.

    Well, actually, I already made the argument it in the earlier post, but I’ll repeat it here, I guess. If the election were held TODAY (which I’m sure you’ll agree is what this poll reflects) Obama might win. I still think he wouldn’t because I think a proportion of (unfortunately racist) voters who are polling as supporting Obama won’t (either because they are lying to pollsters now or because they simply won’t be able to pull the lever for him when the time comes). But he might win if the election were today.

    What I specifically referred to in my prior post were the TRENDS of the polls of likely voters. The map you are looking at is the latest in a series that have shown support for Obama evaporating (which is why the number of electoral votes Obama “has” has declined, and why this very poll say the race is in “equilibrium” between McCain and Obama).

    Obama does not have ANY electoral votes right now, so it’s wrong to say he needs get only 11 out of those remaining states to win. He must get those 11 AND hold onto the states he is polling ahead in now. I don’t think he can do that. I think he’ll lose virtually all of the undecideds and also several of those that are “his” now.

    That is what has been happening over the past few months, and there is no reason that trend will change, given that it’s been driven by revelation of who and what Obama is (an empty suit with little relevant knowledge and no relevant experience). The more he is revealed as such, the more people will turn away from their support of him. McCain isn’t much better, but he is the beneficiary of the runaway from Obama.

    If August/September polling were the deciding factor, John Kerry would be running for re-election right now. Except maybe not because Gore would be finishing his second term. As I said before, this is a lesson the Democrats seem to be incapable of learning.

  439. #443 negentropyeater
    September 5, 2008

    BTW, this is what Zogby writes :

    Lastly, Kerry just didn’t connect with voters. This isn’t just the obvious criticism about his personality. It is metaphoric of the entire Democratic Party which simply doesn’t understand the religiosity of most Americans, the needs of the heartland that go well beyond bread and butter. How else to explain the many voters who told us that they have been left behind by the economy and still voted for the incumbent?

    I think it’s clear that Obama is trying all he can to not fall into the “Kerry problematic”.

    But also, I’m quite convinced that “the religiosity of most Americans” is a slowly evolving trend. And if one looks at Pew Forum, one clearly see that the % of Americans for whom religion is important in their daily lives, is decreasing, and since 2004, it has tiped below the 50% critical line.

  440. #444 negentropyeater
    September 5, 2008

    The map you are looking at is the latest in a series that have shown support for Obama evaporating (which is why the number of electoral votes Obama “has” has declined, and why this very poll say the race is in “equilibrium

    That’s simply not true !

    Obama’s support was higher in July, then went down in August, when it was almost identical to McCain, and then Obama took the lead again. You can see here how the electoral college predictions have evolved over time (they are almost identical as Zogby’s, so there’s no issue here)

    http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Pres/ec_graph-2008.html

    Right now, McCain and Obama are in dead heat on the overall national polls (Obama +3 points over McCain, within the margin of error) (but not on a state per state basis which translate in the electoral college),but that’s also because we’re just after the RNC and the “Palin effect”.

    So we’ll see how this goes in the next few weeks.

    Obama does not have ANY electoral votes right now

    Neither does McCain !

    He must get those 11 AND hold onto the states he is polling ahead in now. I don’t think he can do that. I think he’ll lose virtually all of the undecideds and also several of those that are “his” now.

    And why is that ? Any rational argument for that) apart from the fact that you “predicted” that H.Clinton would lose ? I did too by the way)

    That is what has been happening over the past few months, and there is no reason that trend will change

    Again, this is factually incorrect. If you look at the electoral college graph over time, ommiting the states which have been too close to call (see the link above) , you can clearly see that Obama’s lead has consistently increased since the begining of the general election beg. June)

    The more he is revealed as such, the more people will turn away from their support of him. McCain isn’t much better, but he is the beneficiary of the runaway from Obama.

    Again, that’s your assumption. There’s no evidence for this. So you are going in a circle.

    If August/September polling were the deciding factor, John Kerry would be running for re-election right now

    Again, factually incorrect. If you look at the graph for 2004, you clearly see that by the second week of September and after the RNC, Kerry and Bush were almost identical on the electoral college basis, with both around 200 predicted votes.

    Whereas now, Obama has a clear lead of 260 vs 175 !

    As I said before, this is a lesson the Democrats seem to be incapable of learning.

    This sounds way too much like a Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh talking point…

  441. #445 Bill Dauphin
    September 5, 2008

    neg:

    Actually, the magic number is 270, not 271 (total EV=538), so if the states colored blue on that Zogby map hold, Obama only needs 10, not 11 additional EVs. Currently among the purple (tossup) states, Obama is leading in MO, OH, VA, and NC, any one of which has enough votes to put him over, and in NV, CO and SC, any two of which would put him over. Zogby actually has Obama up by 3 point in Arizona (10 EV), but they’re coloring it red anyway on the assumption that Barr conservatives and undecideds will eventually shift to homeboy McCain. AK is red and figures to stay that way… but IMHO it could shift if Troopergate goes badly for Palin (as it looks like it might). Among the purple states, only IA and NH currently show McCain ahead, with both Dakotas and Montana listed as too close to call.

    (Note: I have absolutely no background in political science, nor access to any data beyond what you’re looking at; what follows is just the ruminations of some guy.): Personally, I’m not too concerned about trends at this point, because this is really only the first day of the true, full-up generally election campaign. Frankly, I expect things to get better for the Dems from here on out, for several reasons:

    1. I think Palin’s popularity will plateau, if not drop off, as people start to get beyond the pretty face and look at her actual positions. As scared as we are of the fundies, Palin’s positions on creationism, birth control, and sex education really are pretty far out of the mainstream (though abortion is a bit dicier). And, of course, a bad report on Troopergate would hurt (and formal censure, impeachment, or indictment would sink the ticket).

    2. I fully expect Obama/Biden to outperform McCain/Palin on the stump and in the debates.

    3. I think the Obama campaign will significantly outperform McCain in GOTV. An underreported fact of this election is how disciplined and well-organized the Obama campaign organization is, and how large and committed the volunteer base. (This, BTW, is also an answer to questions about Obama’s executive leadership skills: His campaign is larger and more complex than the whole AK state government, I suspect, and he’s been leading it brilliantly.) For example, I expect Obama orgs in neighboring blue states to flood NH, the only tossup state in New England, with volunteers for the final weekend and for Election Day GOTV.

    The potential downsides are that some conservatives currently polling for Barr (high single digits in some of the tossup states) may “come home” to McCain and, as cureholder points out, some fraction of voters currently polling for Obama may succumb to their latent racism in the privacy of the voting booth. On the other side of the coin, though, I believe newly registered voters, young voters, and cellphone users (admittedly a lot of overlap between these groups), and urban Blacks, may all be under-represented in polling, and I expect all those demographics to break strongly for Obama. Dems have had huge gains in registration, esp. in states that had close primary races, and I’m not convinced the polling models actually reflect that.

    Of course, I’m optimistic by nature, and any number of unexpecting things may transpire… but I’m feeling (very cautiously) positive at this point.

  442. #446 Christopher Hill
    September 5, 2008

    Dear PZ Myers:

    The ignorance and Kool-Aid drinking of your readers is astounding. You, and the majority of your readers, are the ultimate in ignorant slobs who cannot write a sentence, and cannot even spell a few words correctly. Thank God I have spent my life without knowing about this website. I plan to continue that for the remainder.

  443. #447 truth machine, OM
    September 5, 2008

    Now here’s an interesting proposition. I’ll bet you $500 that Obama gets fewer than 260 electoral votes. I think he’ll probably end up with 244, by my math.

    I’ll take that bet. How shall we arrange it?

  444. #448 Eric Saveau
    September 5, 2008

    Dear Christopher Hill:

    We, the readers and commenters of Pharyngula, are astounded to learn about how incredibly small your penis is. Our hearts overflow with sympathy to imagine how you must suffer, not to mention any women unfortunate to lose a night they’ll never get back before discovering the awful truth. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Cthulhu, and the Lords of Kobol that we spent our lives without knowing of the near non-existence of what passes for a man-tool on you. We plan to continue that for the remainder.

    We’re also deeply, deeply sorry about the occasional mis-spellingz (like that one). But not nearly as sorry about frighteningly tiny you are compared to practically every other man on the planet. We plan to continue that for the remainder, too.

  445. #449 SC
    September 5, 2008

    tm,

    I’m emailing you in a minute (if I can manage to tear myself away from Pharyngula momentarily :)). Was working all night and didn’t sleep a wink till I returned this afternoon. Sorry!

  446. #450 truth machine, OfuckingM
    September 5, 2008

    +1 on Truth Machine. He is the Krud Kutter of rhetorical manure. My only quabble is that he should’ve gotten an OFM, not an OM.
    :-)

  447. #451 truth machine, OM
    September 5, 2008

    I’m emailing you in a minute (if I can manage to tear myself away from Pharyngula momentarily :)). Was working all night and didn’t sleep a wink till I returned this afternoon. Sorry!

    No problem. Looking forward.

  448. #452 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 5, 2008

    Dear PZ Myers:

    The ignorance and Kool-Aid drinking of your readers is astounding. You, and the majority of your readers, are the ultimate in ignorant slobs who cannot write a sentence, and cannot even spell a few words correctly. Thank God I have spent my life without knowing about this website. I plan to continue that for the remainder.

    yet you took the time to type that out…

  449. #453 truth machine, OM
    September 5, 2008

    not nearly as sorry about frighteningly tiny you are compared to practically every other man on the planet

    I think he may be bigger than Super Tex.

  450. #454 Eric Saveau
    September 5, 2008

    @TM,OM
    I think he may be bigger than Super Tex.

    Mmm. Perhaps. Slightly.

  451. #455 truth machine, OM
    September 6, 2008

    Ironic, that.

    Hi, Aquaria … your posts have influenced me too, as have those of so many others here.

    I wonder if I can change your mind on that: it’s not at all ironic that nations with more and broader publicly funded social services have a higher standard of living; rather, it would be ironic if the reverse were true.

  452. #456 Rick
    September 6, 2008

    Obama: Slick, elitist. Couldn’t explain his views on killing kids during late term abortions to the audience of Saddleback church. How will he stand up to our enemies.
    Obama was born without balls.

    Michelle Obama: Can’t be proud of a country that rescued the world from dictators, who help feed the world’s hungry, provide medical and financial help to destitute countries.

    Biden: During the primaries he endorsed McCain over Obama.

    Palin: Crazy Christian.Possibly Obama’s best hope.

    McCain: A moderate who is tired of Republican bullshit and can’t stand leftist liberals.

    Democrats: What happened to moderate Liberals. Why nominate Marxist leaning candidates that don’t stand a chance of winning? This is America that rewards hard work and ingenuity. We also take care of our own but frown on people who take advantage of our kindness. And why is the Party cow towing to the Religious right by pretending to be religious. So transparent. In the past the Democrats owned the religious folks.

    Republicans: Why do you cow tow to the Religious right? Conservatism does not want to encourage the religious to take over the party. It is possible to be a conservative and not religious.

  453. #457 truth machine, OM
    September 6, 2008

    The first time, Rick, you showed how stupid and ignorant you are. The second time, by repeating your bullshit and ignoring my response, you demonstrate that you’re a worthless piece of trolling shit.

  454. #458 Michael X
    September 6, 2008

    Admit it Rick. You call Obama an elitist because you know he’s smarter than you.

  455. #459 negentropyeater
    September 6, 2008

    Rick,

    Couldn’t explain his views on killing kids during late term abortions to the audience of Saddleback church.

    Here we go again, an asshole repeating baseless accusations of an extremely low level typical of the usual moronic ultra-conservative noise makers such as Rush Limbaugh…

    First, he never sad at the Saddleback forum that he was for killing kids during late term abortions. You’re just inventing.
    Second, if you want to understand why this is just a worthless accusation, read, and I know it’s dangerous for you, you might learn something :

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200809040020?f=h_latest
    Limbaugh continues to repeat falsehood that Obama favors “infanticide”

    Limbaugh has repeatedly distorted Obama’s position on the so-called “born alive” bills during his time as an Illinois state senator by declaring that Obama’s opposition to the bills amounted to support for infanticide. In fact, Obama and other opponents said the bills posed a threat to abortion rights and were unnecessary because, they said, Illinois law already prohibited the conduct that these bills purported to address.

    Oh ! But that you ignore of course, you just listen to your most trusted source of worthless pack of lies, without ever asking yourself if it has any basis. No critical thinking, never confront with reality and rational arguments, hey it’s the religious fundamnetalists brainwashed brains habit.

    It’s really getting tiresome to see some people come in ths forum and spew nonsense that they can absolutely not defend.

    Oh I know, you’re going to accuse me of being “elitist”.

  456. #460 negentropyeater
    September 6, 2008

    McCain: A moderate who is tired of Republican bullshit

    I’m surprised you didn’t add the word “Maverick” ! That’s also part of the right wing noise makers image they want to artificially construct of McCain
    And he’s such a moderate that he chose Palin, an ultra-conservative republican, for his VP ?
    Sure !

  457. #461 John C. Randolph
    September 6, 2008

    If a Hitchens hissy fit is the alpha and omega of your backup for your assertions, you are in sad, sad shape.

    That was no hissy fit. It was a very detailed, and calmly delivered explanation of why Hitchens changed his mind about Bill Clinton.

    The part about him flying home to Arkansas in the middle of his campaign to personally watch a mentally disabled prisoner get executed so that he wouldn’t look “soft on crime” made my blood run cold. I had a rather low opinion of him before watching that video, but I had no idea he was so depraved.

    -jcr

  458. #462 John C. Randolph
    September 6, 2008

    BTW, I haven’t seen it mentioned here yet, but I just read that the bank which employed McCain’s son as their CFO until a month ago has just gone belly-up. Apparently the FDIC did McCain the courtesy of waiting until after the convention to release the news.

    http://malaysia.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080906/tbs-silverstate-fdic-7318940.html

    -jcr

  459. #463 John C. Randolph
    September 6, 2008

    Correction, it seems that the younger McCain was a board member, not the CFO of the bank in question.

    -jcr

  460. #464 John C. Randolph
    September 6, 2008

    All in all, I see no evidence that Obama has lost his lead.

    Why does that not surprise me?

    -jcr

  461. #465 Arnosium Upinarum
    September 6, 2008

    PZ: Spot on. If the Dems go down again, it will be exactly as you’ve outlined.

    It’s been amply demonstrated that conservative/republican/religious-right don’t have a monoploy on stupidity. To our collective shame, that’s old news.

    But while basing one’s attacks on gender is ethically insupportable as well as idiotically sexist, unfortunately, gender isn’t POLITICALLY irrelevant.

    Thanks to the cynical GOP handlers of the McCampaign, it now has become extremely relevant. Explosively so. They are banking on it. They can do this precisely because they have such a rotten estimation of the ethics of the American people. They really DO think EVERYBODY should achieve the ability to gullibly swallow down their slop as easily as those who already have.

    There is no doubt about it: their blatant playing of this gender card is THE unethically sexist act of all political time.

    They cleverly realized that they can have the best of two basic diametrically opposed trajectories in the coming weeks which they identify. (That’s quite funny, that, since such contingent thinking – ANY strategic planning – must automatically accept evolution as a fact of nature. Isn’t that fascinating?):

    1. If the opposition slams Palin in sexist terms, they can reap a mother-lode of appearing to be ethically superior to them.

    Whenever some people in the opposition utilize sexism (and everyone can bet their will be schmucks who do), the GOP Machine will be ready to knock them out with great fanfare.

    2. If the opposition holds back in their attacks for fear of being misinterpreted as sexist, they can slide right on through with a minimum of objections.

    Of course, this will not prevent them from manufacturing the appearance that such attacks are widespread, even when the majority of the opposition refrains from attacking.

    After all, that’s what political machines are all about. (This is readily seen in how the conservative-slanted media in the form of FOX News casually superimposes the ludicrous words: “Restoring Honor and Dignity to the White House”. After near eight years of republican neo-con control over that position, over which they’ve masturbated an Olympic-sized swimming pool of ejaculated praise, who the flying flapjack do they think they are kidding??? Americans? AGAIN???)

    However, it’s intriguing to note the actual trajectory of events won’t go to either of those theoretical extremes. The most likely one will follow some meandering zig-zag somewhere near the median region between them.

    Too bad their strategic (evolutionary contingency) planning doesn’t sufficiently account for the mix of complexity. That’s because they haven’t really studied the subject…because they don’t have faith in it.

    Now the hilarious part.

    A headline now tonight out of POLITICO declares that Hillary won’t attack Palin, but McCain is game.

    This “counter-strategy”, if true, ignores two important facts:

    1. The quality of the judgement exercised by a presidential candidate in choosing a running mate with little experience – an issue his own campaign has constantly harped on as a serious flaw in the opposition candidate.

    2. The quality of the judgement exercised by a person with little experience in accepting the nomination for VP – while simultaneously attempting to draw some distinction between her wherewithal and that of the oppsition candidate.

    If the Democrats can’t figure out that these two preeminent issues are fair game – that both of these people have suddenly each exposed themselves to be astonishingly incapable of making decisions that are, as the mcCampaign itself constantly puts it, in the best interests of the country as OPPOSED TO THE INTEREST OF THE INDIVIDUAL (like the candidates who want to win at all costs, even if it means putting the whole friggin’ country at risk), then the Dems will be tossing away the best lever they have ever had in their hands.

    If they can’t figure out that attacking the opposition on the basis of inadequacy of judgement, and the monumental hypocrisy that went with their decisions, they will be rendering themselves impotent.

    And if they fear the conservative political media machine cranking out misinformation about what they say, yet again, because they think voters might swallow mischaracterizations down whole, they will lose.

    Again.

    Just because they keep thinking that politics is just all about gaining popularity (treating people as if they’re all selfish consumer jerks) instead of employing the art of persuasion based on reason and facts to educate people about problems and solutions toward a better future (showing people they are actually a part of the process that requires their active effort and help).

    Is it possible they are that stupid? Unfortunately, yes, they have demonstrated to be this stupid in the past. The worst part of the stupidity is in accepting the republican neo-con estimation of how stupid the American people are, just because they let those arses win without a decent fight. That’s a big part of the reason why the country is in the mess we have now. “Restoring Honor and Dignity to the White House” should mean throwing the incumbants out.

    We shall have to wait and see if they once again cave in to the decripit view of an America that the conservative right has cultivated.

    The ultimate criterion for placing the best team into the executive branch that I see has less to do with that tiresome strawman of “experience” than it has to do with intelligence and knowledge. On that score Obama-Biden beat the fling shit out of McCain-Palin, case closed.

  462. #466 maureen
    September 6, 2008

    It should not be necessary to attack Palin in sexist terms.

    If you could just find a couple of journalists less interested in their own egos than in the facts and if whoever chairs the debates shows a bit of backbone then – using just one stubby finger each – they could have her plan for world domination by the incoherent looking like a colander – in minutes!

  463. #467 negentropyeater
    September 6, 2008

    If you could just find a couple of journalists less interested in their own egos than in the facts

    Well, such Journalists do exist, but it is a fact that most Americans seem to trust more the type of professional irrational dishonest spin-doctors, and never bother to check the facts, and repeat what they’ve heard from those supposedely trustworthy sources.

    See Rick above (456), who heard from several of those spin-doctors that Obama favoured infanticide. Do you think he bothers to check the facts ? Nope.
    Do you think he is not representative of a majority of Americans ?

    You know, as long as so many Americans can so easily believe in the talking snake, or the creaton of the world in 7 days, it doesn’t surprise at all that they can so easily believe, without ever confronting it to evidence and critical reasoning, whatever those spin-doctors spew.

    See what I mentionned above @443 :

    Lastly, Kerry just didn’t connect with voters. This isn’t just the obvious criticism about his personality. It is metaphoric of the entire Democratic Party which simply doesn’t understand the religiosity of most Americans, the needs of the heartland that go well beyond bread and butter. How else to explain the many voters who told us that they have been left behind by the economy and still voted for the incumbent?

    So Obama has the choice between doing the same as Kerry, “not understanding the religiosity of most Americans”, and losing this election, or not doing the same, and tryng to win it.

    As long as you have one party, the GOP, that can count on such a homogeneous base of irrational religious morons, and who completely attempts to exploit this, it will continue to poison the whole poltical debate in America.

  464. #468 Aquaria
    September 6, 2008

    I wonder if I can change your mind on that: it’s not at all ironic that nations with more and broader publicly funded social services have a higher standard of living; rather, it would be ironic if the reverse were true.

    TM: Sorry it took so long to reply to this. All I have to say is…

    :::Face palm:::

    Yeah, it would be ironic if the reverse were true. To people like you and me. But I have a feeling it might be ironic to the likes of SFO.

    Or I could just be a sarcastic bitch. Take your pick. ;)

  465. #469 Aquaria
    September 6, 2008

    The problem, Maureen, is that the GOP will willfully link sexism to any criticism of Palin, much like so many religionists go batshit if you so much as offer a viewpoint not in perfect alignment with their own.

    This is the problem with Palin that many do not want to see coming. It is there, it will be exploited. It was okay for THEM to attack Hillary and say she ought to just tough it out, not play the “victim card.” But you can betcha by golly wow that they will won’t just play that victim card, they’ll bash you over the head with it until you’re dead. You will have never seen Republicans sooooo concerned about the misogynistic treatment of women like you’re about to from now until November. It will be “Oh, poor pitiful Sara bear! How dare you demean women that way, you monster?!” anytime someone says anything that doesn’t portray her as the most perfectest wonderfulest GRRRL EVAH!!!!111!!!!

    It’s enough to make me puke in my burnt 18-hour Cross-Your-Heart.

  466. #470 negentropyeater
    September 6, 2008

    BTW, from Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic.com :

    http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09/no_interviews_till_shes_ready.php

    No Interviews Till She’s Ready

    A senior McCain campaign official advises that, despite the gaggle of requests and pressure from the media, Gov. Sarah Palin won’t submit to a formal interview anytime soon. She may take some questions from local news entities in Alaska, but until she’s ready — and until she’s comfortable — which might not be for a long while — the media will have to wait. The campaign believes it can effectively deal with the media’s complaints, and their on-the-record response to all this will be: “Sarah Palin needs to spend time with the voters.”

    So, that’s how they will win ?

  467. #471 Rick
    September 6, 2008

    Truth machine, OM
    I usually don’t respond to people who try to present their arguments by throwing insults at other commentators. Your feelings seem to be hurt because I did not respond to you personally.
    I do have concerns about Obama AND McCain. But which one stinks less?
    Obama is in favor of late term abortions and that is plain wrong. He could not explain himself to the audience his position on this point. He does not connect with people like me. Sorry
    I’m a moderate who is strong on military strength and less government in our lives. Obama seems to be anti-military and that concerns me. Whether or not Iraq was a bad decision or not we can’t leave until their government can stand on their own feet, and they seem to be getting there.
    OK truth machine, this is who I am, and I want you you to notice I didn’t call you names for having a different opinion than me. If you all you have to offer are vulgarities please keep them to yourself. Our fore fathers and writers of their day were more eloquent in speaking and writing to people who they disagree with. Can you?

  468. #472 negentropyeater
    September 6, 2008

    Rick,

    Obama is in favor of late term abortions and that is plain wrong.

    What do you mean late term abortions ? Beyond viability as defined in Roe v. Wade ? Nope.

    Also, you did not reply to my comment 459 re. your baseless accusation that Obama supports killing kids who survive abortions.

    I think you have a basic misunderstanding here, and just as advice, you would do well to study the subject before you continue to reiterate those claims.

  469. #473 negentropyeater
    September 6, 2008

    Rick,

    Obama seems to be anti-military

    Can you please be specific here ? I hope you understand that “Seems to be anti-military” is not good enough. I could for instance try to make the same claim about McCain, and you would obviously be right to ask me to substantiate this with evidence of what he has said he would do with the military, and the war.

  470. #474 negentropyeater
    September 6, 2008

    Rick,

    Obama seems to be anti-military

    Can you please be specific here ? I hope you understand that “Seems to be anti-military” is not good enough. I could for instance try to make the same claim about McCain, and you would obviously be right to ask me to substantiate this with evidence of what he has said he would do with the military, and the war.

    My view is that you are confusing “anti-military” with “anti-imperialist”.

  471. #475 SC
    September 6, 2008

    OK truth machine, this is who I am, and I want you you to notice I didn’t call you names for having a different opinion than me. If you all you have to offer are vulgarities please keep them to yourself. Our fore fathers and writers of their day were more eloquent in speaking and writing to people who they disagree with.

    Yeah, right:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/22/mf.campaign.slurs.slogans/

  472. #476 ConcernedJoe
    September 6, 2008

    Here’s the formula folks… remember it well

    The Rethuglicans have a lock on most of us that are hardwired RWA’s. Say that’s 30% hardwired .. were 70% of them are right wing politically. So the Dems have 9% of population that will definitely vote and vote Dem. But the R’s have 21% of population armed and ready every election come whatever.

    Of the 70% that are theoretically rational swingers — only
    only a portion of them are really rational and informed and only a portion of the 70% vote. Probably more swingers do vote Dem of those that vote but not enough of the 70% vote period to overcome the RWA and low information (rahrah) advantage the R’s have.

    Moral of the story: the only way Dems can win is to increase voter turnout of the 70% … they have the goods to win over rational voters especially this election. But they need more to get out and vote. The issues favor Dems — the people (general population) lean Dem – but Dems lose because people who should care and vote don’t vote!!

    Young people – middle people – old people – VOTE.. everybody VOTE!! If we did the R’s (as they construct themselves now) would be toast.

    And PS that is why I think BO will win and win big — his ground game is good — best Dem’s have had in long time. He’ll get new voters in. He is not limited to last election registered voters. I say 2 out of 3 new voters will go BO if they could have voted in 2004 but did not. They are not really on radar screen now.

  473. #477 Eric Saveau
    September 6, 2008

    @Rick –
    Obama seems to be anti-military and that concerns me.

    Speaking as the both the son and the father of enlisted men of the United States Armed Forces (Air Force and Marines, respectively) I have to say that I’m thrilled with the support that Obama has shown our troops and absolutely disgusted with the pandering use and callous neglect they’ve received from the soulless anti-Americanism of McCain.

  474. #478 truth machine, OM
    September 6, 2008

    Your feelings seem to be hurt because I did not respond to you personally.

    Rick, your failure to respond to a rebuttal but just repeat your points is classic trolling — as I said. “feelings seem to be hurt” is a stupid dishonest fabrication.

    this is who I am

    You are what I said you are. You are stupid and ill-informed; you think in clichés and sound bites, you repeat talking points that have been repeatedly refuted. You’re an intellectually lazy and intellectually dishonest fool. And that’s quite obvious to anyone who isn’t. It isn’t enough just to have “opinions” — you have a responsibility, to yourself and to society, to engage in a good faith process of intellectual exploration, which you refuse to do, else you would not make so many stupid and blatantly false claims.

  475. #479 truth machine, OM
    September 6, 2008

    What do you mean late term abortions ?

    He means he’s a maggot who gets his views from smear campaigns.

    http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life_article.php?id=7591

    Strang: Based on emails we received, another issue of deep importance to our readers is a candidate’s stance on abortion. We largely know your platform, but there seems to be some real confusion about your position on third-trimester and partial-birth abortions. Can you clarify your stance for us?

    Obama: I absolutely can, so please don’t believe the emails. I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don’t think that “mental distress” qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions.

    The other email rumor that’s been floating around is that somehow I’m unwilling to see doctors offer life-saving care to children who were born as a result of an induced abortion. That’s just false. There was a bill that came up in Illinois that was called the “Born Alive” bill that purported to require life-saving treatment to such infants. And I did vote against that bill. The reason was that there was already a law in place in Illinois that said that you always have to supply life-saving treatment to any infant under any circumstances, and this bill actually was designed to overturn Roe v. Wade, so I didn’t think it was going to pass constitutional muster.

    Ever since that time, emails have been sent out suggesting that, somehow, I would be in favor of letting an infant die in a hospital because of this particular vote. That’s not a fair characterization, and that’s not an honest characterization. It defies common sense to think that a hospital wouldn’t provide life-saving treatment to an infant that was alive and had a chance of survival.

    Strang: You’ve said you’re personally against abortion and would like to see a reduction in the number of abortions under your administration. So, as president, how would do you propose accomplishing that?

    Obama: I think we know that abortions rise when unwanted pregnancies rise. So, if we are continuing what has been a promising trend in the reduction of teen pregnancies, through education and abstinence education giving good information to teenagers. That is important–emphasizing the sacredness of sexual behavior to our children. I think that’s something that we can encourage. I think encouraging adoptions in a significant way. I think the proper role of government. So there are ways that we can make a difference, and those are going to be things I focus on when I am president.

  476. #480 truth machine, OM
    September 6, 2008

    Our fore fathers and writers of their day were more eloquent in speaking and writing to people who they disagree with.

    You mean like “Obama was born without balls”? Your writing is a string of poorly expressed talking points; you couldn’t write eloquently if your life depended on it.

    Fucking hypocritical asshole.

  477. #481 truth machine, OM
    September 6, 2008

    I’m thrilled with the support that Obama has shown our troops

    It is a fact that Obama has consistently supported GI and veteran’s interests whereas McCain has consistently opposed them — or failed to show up for critical votes. That’s fact (http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/05/mccain-on-veter.html), regardless Rick’s “different opinion”. And yet this cretin has the gall to talk about “critical thinking”, as if he had any idea what that entails. His “opinions” on numerous empirical matters (Obama favors late term abortions, Michelle can’t be proud of her country, McCain is a moderate, etc.) are as worthless as fundies’ “opinions” about evolution, and are arrived at by a very similar process.

  478. #482 salome
    September 6, 2008

    a little woman from a little town in a big state has the hardcore libs highly critical of her talents and abilities.

    So,if palin’s useless,why all the uproar ?

  479. #483 Rick
    September 6, 2008

    Truthmachine

    RE: 479

    Thanks for the link I had not seen it before.

    You know, this has been interesting experience. It is amazing how venomous and spiteful one can be when hiding behind the anonymity of a keyboard. I come on to express my opinion and read the dissent. TM you are probably a nice person in person but man you got to chill a little. You would have won me over earlier without the insults.

    Christians have told Dawkins that they benefit from his rants and I understand how that can happen. I think you and the others on this post could have done a better job if you would have produced this link earlier. I’ll look into some more.

    We only have 2 more months. I’ll keep my mind open.

    Later.

  480. #484 truth machine, OM
    September 6, 2008

    Rather than bother to address your misrepresentations and oversimplifications, salome, I will simply note that, if you can’t understand why there might be some “uproar” about a “useless” person one heartbeat (or melanoma) from the Presidency, then you’re the useless one.

  481. #485 truth machine, OM
    September 6, 2008

    Thanks for the link I had not seen it before.

    Of course not … you just blather and lie about Obama’s positions based on the smears you get in your email and the garbage you see on Fox News.

    You would have won me over earlier without the insults.

    No I wouldn’t have, as evidenced by your failure to address anything I wrote in my first response.

    I’ll keep my mind open.

    Why start now?

  482. #486 truth machine, OM
    September 6, 2008

    P.S. Do you suppose that that link is some secret? That I have a special stash of links unavailable to anyone else, top secret documents that allow me to avoid falling for the sort of idiotic lies about Obama that you have spewed here? No, of course not — I simply googled Obama+”late term abortion”, just as you could have done at any point in the past. But, as I noted, you’re intellectually lazy and intellectually dishonest (that was a certainty from the moment you wrote “I usually vote Republican”).

  483. #487 Eric Saveau
    September 6, 2008

    You know, this has been interesting experience. It is amazing how venomous and spiteful one can be when hiding behind the anonymity of a keyboard. I come on to express my opinion and read the dissent. TM you are probably a nice person in person but man you got to chill a little. You would have won me over earlier without the insults.

    The venom and spite coming from your end was pretty fucking spectacular. You spew lies and recycled talking points with predictable results and then have the gall to tell others to “chill”? You’re a piece of work.

  484. #488 truth machine, OM
    September 6, 2008

    Indeed … the hallmark of people who “usually vote Republican” is immense hypocrisy. Rick writes “Obama was born without balls” and then blathers about the “eloquence” of “our fore fathers”. When I call him on it, does he acknowledge it, and admit that perhaps he’s a bit of a hypocritical asshole? No, of course not, because … he’s a hypocritical asshole.

  485. #489 truth machine, OM
    September 6, 2008

    And I have to go back to Rick’s first post, #397, in which he talks about “critical thinking” but it is itself a model of the sort of uncritical thinking found among those who “usually vote Republican”, as I demonstrated in #401 — to which the coward never responded. It is he who cowers behind this “vitriol” and “anonymity” nonsense. What a pathetic hypocritical ass — as if “Rick” is less anonymous than “truth machine”.

  486. #490 truth machine, OM
    September 6, 2008

    I’ll look into some more.

    If you’re at all serious, Rick, go back and watch the video, or at least read the transcript, of Obama’s statement at Saddleback. That’s what I did before I responded to your dishonest crap about it. As I wrote in that response,

    “Obama had a chance to explain his views on abortion”

    Which he did; his answer did not end at saying that the question of when babies get human rights — which is not a question about his views on abortion — was, theologically and scientifically above his pay grade. Rather, he went on and discussed his views on abortion at some length, talking about moral complexities and his support of Roe v. Wade.

    That’s the truth. Your bullshit about “cannot express your views to the audience what you believe in” is not.

    And there’s also the matter of Rick Warren’s dishonesty; first, it’s a loaded question by using the word “baby”. Second, he did not ask Obama and McCain the same question. He asked Obama when babies get human rights (to which Obama’s “higher pay grade” comment makes sense), but he asked McCain at what point a baby is entitled to human rights, first prompting him with “Some people, people who believe that life begins at conception, believe that’s a holocaust for many people.” And sure enough McCain pandered to the audience with his mindless response “At the moment of conception.” (To which he got loud applause — gee, what a surprise.) But even McCain knows that, at the moment of conception, there is nothing that could remotely be construed as “a baby”.

  487. #491 Louise
    September 7, 2008

    It’s so much fun watching you people wet yourselves!

  488. #492 Rick
    September 7, 2008

    Truthmachine

    Looking back at our pass exchanges I can see how you and others can see me as being hypocritical. I have been listening to pro conservative radio shows and that has skewed my thinking a bit….but I do read this blog and listen to atheist type podcasts. I never have been so wrong on the issue about Obama and his position on abortion. I was intellectually lazy on that point. Thank you for setting me straight and I’ll try and be more aggressive in researching instead of accepting what I hear and read without hearing the other side.
    10 years ago I investigated my religious belief and found it came up short on facts. I’ll take that same approach to politics. I’m still a conservative…I think, for now.
    Thank you and to the others following this conversation tthank you.
    Any web sites that you can reccomend that are non partisan I would like to know. I found factcheck.org.

  489. #493 Pimientita
    September 8, 2008

    @jcr

    Influencing, or preaching to the choir? Can you show me anyone who’s changed their mind on an issue because of “truth machine’s” diatribes?

    You didn’t ask the question of me, but I can say that I have, at the very least, thought about many an issue differently because of TM’s “diatribes.” I appreciate his commentary, especially when I disagree with him. I fancy myself a logical thinker, but I am sometimes forced to confront my own shortcomings because of his posts (among many others here). I’m mostly a lurker, so you probably won’t find evidence for this assertion. You’ll have to take my word for it.

    I love how you think that he is “preaching to the choir” when he has been entangled with most of the regular posters here. And it’s not always an issue of “right” or “wrong” but “rational” or “irrational.” One can still agree with someone/thing and call a fellow out on sloppy thinking. TM does this well (not 100% accurately, but well) and I, for one, appreciate it.

    As for some of the Obama supporters acting like asshats contrary to the official policy statements, well, that is to be found anywhere. The only hypocrisy is when you catch a spokesman, self-appointed or otherwise, who previously condemned/condoned a certain line of thinking, engaging in or encouraging/discouraging such thinking later (with no rational explanation). If you can call a specific poster out on hypocritical behavior, then you may have a point (but it would only apply to that poster). Otherwise, congratulations on singling out a few people on their biases while ignoring the chorus of condemnation from people on their own side and trying to apply your illogic to all of the people here (we all have one mind and you are the lone voice of opposition…blah blah blah).

    Politics as usual, right?

  490. #494 Pimientita
    September 8, 2008

    You can visit your capital and talk to your state senate directly. There is a good chance you will know your rep personally. You will understand your needs better and know when corruption and malfeasance is occuring, because it will occur in your backyard.

    Why? Why do you think this?

    Why do you think this when people want to go to the Wal-Mart Superstore because it provides all of their needs in one stop?

    Why do you think that people who don’t want to travel further than the town limits will all of a sudden want to go to the state capitol to have their voices heard?

    What makes you think that grievances over the running of government will be miraculously dissolved because the government is smaller? Do you really believe that states and counties and cities and towns and villages are more homogeneous than countries? How is 20% of the populace arguing against the way things are run on a state or town level any different than 20% at the national level? The cost of travel? Well, in that case, no one on the entire eastern seaboard should have a complaint! Well, except for Florida and Maine (boy are those long ass states to try to drive out of!).

    You’d still have most of the same problems you seem to be railing against. For example, the President wants to go to war. Either the US Congress approves it (as it is supposed to under the Constitution) or it doesn’t (hasn’t stopped a “war” since Korea…). Nothing to do with the states except for the supposed authority of the Congress (elected by the people of the various states).

    Education? Could be decided by the states, but what happens when some of the states choose to neglect some of the US citizens based on race or gender or class or religion? Too bad for them? Do they get left out of the rest of the US because of an accident of geography? You seem to have a more optimistic view of localities, but if was left up to the individual states without pressure from the other states in the US, we would still have slavery (maybe not in all of the slave states, but some), segregated schools and drinking fountains, women without the right to vote, etc. The vision of the US applies to all who live within it’s borders.

    I agree with your assessment of the way we have become beholden to corporations and an increasingly fascist executive and excessively lobbied legislature, but simply dissolving the federal government into smaller state size entities isn’t going to solve the problem because the corruption and the mismanagement exists and will continue to exist on those levels as well. You need to present a comprehensive platform which offers a viable transition from the way things work now to the way things should work under your vision. That is the problem with strict ideologies. They only work in isolation and are not very conducive to changing circumstances. What is your vision for transforming the way the American system should work based on the way it works now?

  491. #495 truth machine, OM
    September 8, 2008

    I love how you think that he is “preaching to the choir” when he has been entangled with most of the regular posters here.

    Who the heck knows what someone as dishonest as jcr actually thinks. Note that he wrote “Okay, so you have a fan (or a sock puppet). So what?” Sockpuppet? He could use that to dismiss any evidence that I had changed someone’s mind — the ultimate in unfalsifiability, better than most of what one gets from ID nuts. As for fan … well maybe so, but how is that relevant when talking about people whose minds I’ve changed? I tend to be a fan of anyone who marshalls facts and/or logic that changes my mind … aren’t most people? As for “so what” … well, so it appears to be a rather direct piece of evidence for the challenge: “Ouch. The hard, cold slap of logic that is Truth Machine?. Thanks. We needed that”

    Some people, like jcr and Scott from Oregon, simply seem incapable of arguing in good faith, and sadly seem unable to understand that their bad faith deprives them of any credibility or the ability to change peoples’ minds.

  492. #496 truth machine, OM
    September 8, 2008

    Wow, talking about changing people’s minds … I just read #492; the facts seem to have changed Rick’s mind, on at least one point, and he has certainly changed my mind about him, with that display of intellectual honesty and courage.

    As for “non partisan” sites, I don’t really believe in the concept, because everyone has biases, agendas, and preferences — note that one need not be “biased” in order to have certain preferences and accompanying agendas — say, for a reduction in human suffering, or to report the truth regardless of circumstances, or to increase American power, etc. And the term “partisan” is woefully ambiguous and its various senses are constantly conflated, e.g., one can be a “conservative” without being a Republican Party hack. Something like factcheck.org is good, but better is to go to primary sources, if possible; e.g., I didn’t have to go to factcheck.org to find out what Obama actually said at Saddleback and in that interview with Relevant Magazine.

    Here’s a radical idea, Rick: go read DailyKos.com for a while. Sure you’ll find a lot of jerks and tinfoil hat conspiracy theory nonsense there, but you’ll also find lots and lots of information you weren’t aware of, moving personal testimonies, well written and carefully thought out political and social analysis, and a lot more — stuff that will challenge your views, and you’ve demonstrated that you’re willing to allow them to be challenged. Thank you for your post #492 — it was immensely generous of spirit.

  493. #497 Rick
    September 8, 2008

    Truth Machine

    I’ll look at it.
    I was reading Obama Nation and thought that was an objective look at Obama. Oh well.

    I guess it doesn’t matter now that Obama came out of the closet and admits he is a Muslim. You think Rush is going to spin that story.

  494. #498 truth machine, OM
    September 9, 2008

    I was reading Obama Nation and thought that was an objective look at Obama. Oh well.

    Say what? Even if Corsi hadn’t explicitly said that his aim is to keep Obama from being elected, there’s no possible way such a book could be objective … starting with the title (= abomination), then considering that Corsi is well known to be a lunatic and liar, from his thoroughly debunked Swift Boat book and his blog postings that came to light, and finally from the content.

    I guess it doesn’t matter now that Obama came out of the closet and admits he is a Muslim.

    Are you at all serious? He did no such thing, any more than McCain is out of the closet as a prohibitionist just because he accidentally said “I will veto all beer”.

  495. #499 Ichthyic
    September 9, 2008

    I guess it doesn’t matter now that Obama came out of the closet and admits he is a Muslim

    I’m wondering if Rick is getting paid to repeatedly say this really stupid shit.

  496. #500 Rick
    September 9, 2008

    Come on guys. On Stephanaphulous (SP.) interview he refers to McCain not challenging him on his Muslim faith and Step….. what ever corrects him on his misstatement and says “Christian Faith”. Obama appears to be confused. This happened I think Sunday night.
    I just heard him say it on the Monday drive home radio talk shows. It is funny. But you know the Sean H. and Rushes are going to make hay of this.
    Nobody out there heard of this? Here in California they replayed that clip several times.

  497. #501 Rick
    September 9, 2008

    It is on Youtube. It was a slip, up you can tell.

  498. #502 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 9, 2008

    Rick you suffer from a familiar disease to commenters here.

    It’s called Nonsupportivetrollitis.

    Either support your claim or fuck off.

    Links

  499. #503 cureholder
    September 9, 2008

    I have an honest question for those involved in the Obama/late-term abortion discussion. I am not trying to be provocative, just seeking information and explanation. (Just so you know where I am coming from, let me say up front that I am completely and unabashedly in favor of total abortion rights for any woman who wants to have one at any time in her pregnancy. Let the right-wing stoning begin. In addition, I despise both Obama and McCain and wouldn’t vote for either one at gunpoint.)

    I read the words Obama said about the state being able to restrict late-term abortions, but I also looked at his voting record while he was in the Illinois Senate. In 2001-2003, there were attempts to pass something called the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have defined as “persons” fetuses that survived abortions and were” born alive.” Defining them as “persons” would have given them rights under Illinois law.

    In 2001, Obama voted against the bill in committee and voted “present” when it came to the floor. This is a standard procedural move in the Illinois Senate (contrary to Republican talking points, which ridicule Obama for voting “present”). Voting “present” means that the voter wants the bill sent back to committee because there is a flaw in it (usually constitutional). Obama said he voted “present” because the bill did not contain a “mental health exception” for the mother, which probably would lead to its being declared unconstitutional by the courts.

    In 2002, Obama again voted against the bill in committee, and this time voted against it on the floor. He again argued for a “mental health exception” because unwanted fetuses that survived an abortion might “burden” the woman’s decision to have an abortion. (His language on the Senate floor was kind of jumbled and not clear, but I think this is what he was saying.)

    In 2003, at Obama’s behest, language was added to the bill to make it identical to the federal version that passed the Congress nearly unanimously. Obama then voted against that bill as well when it reached the floor. He kept saying he would have voted for it if it had been the same as the federal law, and not until last month, in an interview with the New York Sun, did he acknowledge that the Illinois bill language was identical to that of the federal bill, and he still voted against it.

    So my question is this: Obama is pretty consistent verbally in opposing late term abortions (or at least upholding the power of the state to proscribe them). But his votes on this bill, which attempts to prevent the abortion (or whatever we want to call it) of fetuses that survive and are born alive by defining them as “persons” with rights, seem to bely that stance. I haven’t yet heard him explain why he talks one way and votes another on this issue.

    Anyone know whatever facts I am missing that complete this puzzle? Thanks in advance for any assistance you can give.

  500. #504 Rick
    September 10, 2008

    Rev.
    Go to youtube.com and type in Obama and my faith. It should come up. 9-08-08 interview with George Stepphanolous.
    I don’t know if that is the correct spelling of his last name but I don’t think you need it.

  501. #505 CatsAndDogs
    September 12, 2008

    PZ, folks like YOURSELF are the troglodytes.

    The trogs (non-cro-magnon) were the losers who stayed in the caves with their “old ways”, and lost to the innovative (REAL feminists as opposed to “Feminazis” and “lovers of life” as opposed to “lovers of demographic suicide”) ways of their “extinguishers”.

    Not too many trogs around any more. Outside the lairs of societal leech’s, such as yourself, the so-called “blue cities” as the only “blue entities” are dense democrat-infected cesspools otherwise known as “big cities”, all of America is “RED” to the bone!

    But then, to “anti-normals” such as yourself and your ilk, that is perfectly sensible, and just a “natural” consequence of the elitist superiority of the “master race”.

  502. #506 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 12, 2008

    catsanddogs

    Who gave you the keys to the time machine and how did you figure out how to get here from 1950?

  503. #507 Pauli
    September 13, 2008

    Pound a rusty nail in Obama-Biden and throw them in the garbage.