Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just a little somethin' somethin'

Sarah Palin did not look like a complete idiot tonight like I expected she would. Sure, she obviously avoided answering questions. But she’s not the first politician to dodge questions. She just tends to do it less artfully.

I was sad it wasn’t the trainwreck I wanted. That would have been awesome, really. But we’re into the general election and general elections are not about extremes. General elections are about staying as middle of the road as you can to woo over the undecided in your party without alienating the undecided in the other party. A train wreck would have been fun to blog about because bloggers blog about things that bother them, more often than not.

But Sarah Palin didn’t bother me as much as I expected her to (especially given her blunders with Couric recently). Obviously there are things that DO bother me surrounding this debate, as I am blogging about it, so I’ll just get to it.

1.) “She looked charming. She looked engaging. He looked professorial.” (This was a quote from some CNN pundit said right after the debate during their “analysis”)
No one can deny that in an age of fast information and television, image is important. For some image is everything. Pam Anderson has capitalized on this. If she had a nickel for every time she purposely capitalized on her image she could fill one hundred of her pre-breast-reduction bras. (I guess though she really does have a nickel for every time she has done this.) I guess my beef is…should (or does) image really matter in an arena where intellect and wit are supposed to take precedent?

I think, unfortunately, the answer is: Yes. Yes. Image fucking matters. More than it should. It might be nice to have, at least, a few pundits or “journalists” who realize this as well. Especially since they deliver the news and I’m forced to listen to them when I watch news networks.

But I’m sure McCain’s camp realized that image is everything when their VP pick can’t articulate answers to fairly simple questions to one of network TV’s pseudo-journalists. I think they were hoping for a 1960 Nixon-Kennedy sort of debate. I think they were really hoping that the audience would be wooed by her womanly charms and forget that she dodged answering questions.

We can’t ignore looks anymore than we can ignore gender or race in this election, but two of the three above actually have social significance.

2.) Using your gender to your advantage is okay, but it’s not okay for those who don’t take advantage of their gender to point out when gender is playing a part of their campaign. This is: Sarah Palin v. Hillary Clinton
Palin winked. She batted her eyes. She gave coy little smiles. She did all but flip her damn hair. But the “analysis” says she “connected” to the people. Whether it was an act or not (I would argue that it was) she played into gender stereotypes and it seems to have had a positive impact on her image.

Prior to this debate, there was lots of discussion about how this debate would be difficult for Biden. He couldn’t be too hard on her or too lax on her for fear of repercussion. It was a lose-lose situation. But there was actually discussion about how he would handle the idea of her being a woman. Politicians should be asexual. We should care simply about their brains and their mouth…and sometimes the disconnect between the two. The rest is just detail. We shouldn’t care about their hairstyle, their gut, their genitalia, or their suits. But I guess this goes back to being an image-is-everything issue.

It should be noted, that I never recall this conversation happening when Hillary Clinton participated in primary debates. There were talks about gender. This was an election of many firsts and she put several million cracks in the glass ceiling. These talks also centered around her emotions (mainly when she cried) but mostly they (American voting public and media pundits) reamed her for acting like a woman. When she cried, they asked: is she really strong enough? Because Hillary ran a formidable campaign and was a formidable opponent with, arguably, several masculine personality traits she was berated for not being woman enough. In reality, she just didn’t adhere to the feminine qualities that are naturally more appealing to cover and more appealing to a gender polarized society.

I guess, ultimately, both of these issues are really just one issue: image is everything. Femininity is a part of a woman’s issue or the lack of certain feminine qualities defines her image. Only one feminine quality is appealing to a viewing voting public and it’s pundits and that’s how a woman looks. It’s how she portrays herself. She must be nice to look at, bat her eyes, smile coyly and she’s in. If she doesn’t, she’ll find herself out.

Then again, she was the VP pick just because she had a vagina.
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Live Blogging the Debate

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Enough said.

Last night when I posted about Sarahcuda's most recent Couric debacle, I couldn't even bring myself to clearly think through her comments about being a feminist because it hurt my brain too much.

But I think that this does a much better job anyway. I was forwarded this by a friend who is also a writer on the blog, so a round of applause goes to writer Ryan.


Dear Sarah Palin,

You are not our candidate.

You are not our candidate because you required women in Wasilla
to pay for their own medical examinations after being raped.

You are not our candidate because you do not support a woman's
right to choose, even in the case of rape or incest.

You are not our candidate because you've cut funding for teen
moms, and for comprehensive sex education.

You are not our candidate because as vice president -- a
heartbeat away from the presidency -- you would jeopardize
health care for women everywhere.

We are teachers, doctors, athletes, programmers, artists,
lawyers, secretaries, CEOs, students, designers, nurses, factory
workers, mothers, and fathers. We are conservatives and
liberals, Democrats and Republicans, country and city people. We
are women and men. We are voters. We are the Planned Parenthood
Action Fund.

We believe in a woman's right to choose and the right of every
person to have access to complete reproductive health care. We
are hundreds of thousands strong, and we are doing everything we
can to make sure you are not elected.

You are not our candidate.

+ + +
Please click here to add your signature:
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Feminine Mystique

So here's another segment of the infamous Palin/Couric interview. It's a bit long as Palin continues to just talk around Couric's questions while not really answering some of them, but at this point, would we expect any less?

She starts it off with telling Couric that she considers herself a feminist. Hmmm, that's interesting.

Things to study for the quiz:
1) McCain and Palin are mavericks and agreeing with each other only makes them boring.*

2) She's so feisty. But only when there's a script.**

3) Around the 3:08 mark:
Couric: What newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?
Palin: I've read most of them, again, with a great appreciation for the press, for the media...
Couric: But like, what one specifically, I am curious... that you...
Palin: Oh, all of them. Any of them that have been in front of me over all these years...
Couric: Can you name a few?
Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news. Alaska isn't a foreign country...***

4) It doesn't matter if global warming is man-made... "It kinda doesn't matter at this point as we debate what caused it, the point is that it's real and we need to do something about it." Like get that oil out of there while we can because Alaska is melting. Right now, it's melting.****

5) Then Couric launches into the abortion issue.
Couric: If a 15-year-old is raped by her father, you believe it should be illegal for her to get an abortion. Why?
Palin ends up saying that she would "counsel to choose life."

I just wonder if Palin would choose life if she were carrying her father's rape baby.*****

6) Oh, and she doesn't judge gays, but thinks it's a choice.******

* The creepy giggly, elbow-rubbing moment around 1:50 where McCain makes a comment on how 2 mavericks won't always agree on everything. Then he makes a comment on how they are "anything but boring." Which I guess he has a point. Horrifying, cringe-inducing, and never boring. Yippee.

**They comment on how feisty she is and then show a clip where she makes a quip about Biden's age (ironic) and then show her leaning on the podium waiting for the laughter. If this doesn't work out, she could obviously go into stand up.

The problem here lies in that when she has a script, or better yet a teleprompter, she's just great. She can win over the crowd with her "trademark feistiness" and her little quips, but when she is asked a question at random, she's out of control. Anyone can study for a vocab test, but the American Presidency is probably a little more like a critical thinking essay test. Plus, anyone can follow a script or read a teleprompter when they spent 6 years in undergrad training for a career in broadcast journalism.

***Katie Couric probably knows that Alaska was the 49th state and isn't a foreign country, but Katie was all like, "Just say the name of ONE!" and Palin couldn't, which is weird because she was a journalism major AND she's been on the cover of several very recently... Yikes.

****Here again, there is more talking around the question: "Alaska is the only arctic state." Yes... you have stuff melting... yes, go on... and then to Couric's pressing on whether or not it's man made she sums it up with "it doesn't matter" that man's waste and inability to recycle or respect the earth is causing the world to end.

Palin can't admit that global warming is man-made because then she won't be able to drill in Alaska bringing in millions of billions of dollar for the home team and she'll have to admit things like polar bears do belong on the endangered list and that maybe shooting those wolves from planes was a bad idea. The environment... boo...

*****She does go on to say that counseling to choose life isn't enough, that we need to support these women and make adoptions easier. It is nice to hear a pro-lifer actally talk about supporting women in this situation instead of just talking them into keeping the baby and then leaving them and the baby to fend for themselves. But I would be interested to know what kind of "support" we're talking about here. If you are really willing to bring about a "culture of life" you need to realize that life includes health, finances, and quality of life issues among other things for both mother and child.

******There goes the gay vote, if there was one left. Most feminists I know think the same thing. Wait... no that's wrong.

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How the American education system failed McCain.

While American schools are like 25th in math and science, we must be about 10 millionth in geography. But surely McCain didn't mean this Hugo Chavez, as in the president of Venezuela, which is most definitely not in the Middle East or anywhere remotely near it.

Maybe McCain is trying to steal Biden's Sir Gaffesalot title...

Nah, I'm sure he meant Hugo Chavez, that other guy. You know, the one who is from that other country... over there... yeah, yeah, you know, the country somewhere over on the other side of that narrow maritime border Alaska shares with Russia.

Because Alaskans are totally awesome with international relations, but geography too!

And bless their hearts for all that international relations/security business too, while I'm at it. Sharing that border and watching those Russians making sure they don't get into our air space and all... whew. A dirty job, but someone's got to do it.

Maybe Mike Rowe could go check it out soon and feature it in his new season.
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Monday, September 29, 2008


Does anyone else hear the voice of the NBA Jam announcer when they read the word 'rejected'? Ok. So it's just me, then.

So the bailout plan has been rejected by the house with a vote of 228-205. Now what?

It is a testament to the power of the administration's fear machine that my mind equates the bailout plan with being saved from imminent economic collapse. There are other options, ideally options with some kind of oversight since lack of oversight and deregulation is what got us to where we are now.

Maybe we should look to Sweden.

I think that we need to hold these bank's accountable and writing them a huge check that we can't truly cash is irresponsible for us and too easy on them.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

pwarb official Palin Debate Dropout Pool.

We all know the deep, misunderstood brilliance that is Sarah Sarahcuda HockymomPitbull Van Palin. And frankly, I think that this says it all.

As fine a lady as she is, the reports that debate practices aren't going so well are rolling in and let's face it, no one on the right is even touching the Katie Couric interview. So, the thought occurs that well, come Thursday, Palin might not be debating after all. Maybe she'll suddenly fall ill or go into labor with her next pregnancy that no one knows about. Whatever the reason is, we don't yet know or really care, but it'll be a surprise to see her in St. Louis Thursday. Frankly, I just don't think she has the guts, or that McCain's people are dumb enough.

So, here the deal: email the date and time that you think it will be publicly announced by the McCain/Palin camp that Palin won't be attending the debate on Thursday to Bonus points if you include 1) the reason you think that they'll use and 2) if you can correctly guess whether or not they will announce at that time that she is being replaced as the VP candidate.

We may or may not be talking about prizes. We are definitely talking about some sort of public recognition. All that, and a personal sense of satisfaction beyond what you might already get from such news. Good luck and get to it!

UPDATE: If you think that she will indeed make it to St. Louis and debate, we are accepting this as an acceptable pool entry. Just state as much in the email you send and please include how many minutes you think she'll make it before breaking down in tears. Read more On "pwarb official Palin Debate Dropout Pool."!

Sweet Mother of God

This picture from NORAD proves that Sarah Palin has been right all along, more so than any of us want to admit:

It is clear now that McCain wants to build those 40 bajillion new nucular plants in the hope that the radiation will allow him to grow to Putinesque proportions and fight for America one... last... time.
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