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Posts Tagged ‘joe biden

Meet Joe, the Invisible Vice-Presidential Candidate

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The American public has been cheated by the media. Yeah, we get the full skinny every time Sarah Palin sneezes. And we’ve seen enough footage on Joe the so-called Plumber to inspire every McCain-Palin mob member in America to chime, “Commie!” every hour, on the hour. But Joe Biden? Unless he makes some ghastly gaffe, he’s invisible. And what a shame for American voters.

Not only is Joe Biden a man of great character and substance, who has much to contribute to the national dialogue, but his is also (uh, earth to media) running for vice-president. Fortunately, the youth of America have done their best to pick up where the media’s left off in covering one of the most qualified and promising vice-presidential candidates we’ve seen in the past 3 decades:  

ABOVE: Here’s a video of a Joe Biden speech, covered by 5th grade reporter, Damon Weaver, who also interviewed Biden (starting at 3:34 on the video). Herein, we get a taste of the human interest story, as Joe tells about the slumber party with Biden’s grandchildren and Obama’s girls. Biden also explains the duties of the Vice-President. The sound quality of the video is not the greatest, but the content is first class. I only wish the media would cover this stuff. Or, at the very least, cover some of Biden’s speeches (see below). Lacking that, I wish we had an army of Damon Weavers to get out there and tell America what the hell’s really going on. 

ABOVE: Here’s the quintessential Joe we’ve been missing on the evening news. In this video, he discusses what we *didn’t* hear during the Republican convention. Of course, if the media is indeed owned by the Bush-cheney-McCain corporate henchmen, that would explain Joe’s absence.

ABOVE: More classic Joe. Here, he discusees John McCain’s record on the economy — his policies, contradictions and conflicts of interest, past and present — explaining details we’re not likely to ever hear on the evening news. 

ABOVE: This interview (WFTV w/anchorscab Barbara West) is more typical of the treatment the Obama ticket has received from the evil, liberal elitist media. To watch any news whatsoever, besides the Keith – Rachel line-up, I honestly can’t imagine how Obama and Biden have drawn such a large support base. It goes to show that maybe Americans aren’t as dumb as Palin and McCain, nor as dumb as they think.

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Sarah Palin’s Reflection, as Seen from the Abyss

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Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you. — Friedrich Nietzsche

Many of us have been wishing for just a modicum of news coverage on Joe Biden, whose presence on the national stage has been dwarfed to near non-existence by the paparazzi-style coverage of Sarah Palin– our media’s latest flash-in-the-frying-pan darling, who has stepped into the shoes previously occupied by such notables as Paris Hilton, Brittney Spears and Anna Nicole Smith. 

Be careful what you wish for. Joe Biden finally got some news coverage this past Thursday, as he was “interviewed” by Barbara West, an anchor for Florida station WFTV (see video, below), who regaled Biden with a series of classic “when did you stop beating your wife” questions on Marxism. 

This interview needs to be preserved in the annals of American history, so that future generations can see, firsthand, how fearmongering and demagoguery work. For historical perspective on how this has played out in America over the past 300+ years, read on. Otherwise, just vote. For cripe’s sakes, vote — and urge everyone you know to vote. And if, by chance, on November 4th, you find you’ve been caged or purged or challenged – call Election Protection at 1-(866) OURVOTE (1-866-687-8683). Click here for more info on protecting yourself from voter fraud.

HAS IT BEEN ONLY 316 YEARS?

From June through September of 1692, nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem Village, for hanging. Another man of over eighty years was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges. Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft. Dozens languished in jail for months without trials. Then, almost as soon as it had begun, the hysteria that swept through Puritan Massachusetts ended. — “An Account of Events in Salem,” from the University of Missouri — Kansas City website

As years passed, apologies were offered, and restitution was made to the victims’ families. Historians and sociologists have examined this most complex episode in our history so that we may understand the issues of that time and apply our understanding to our own society. The parallels between the Salem witch trials and more modern examples of “witch hunting” like the McCarthy hearings of the 1950’s, are remarkable. — from the Salem Witch Museum website

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 HAS IT BEEN ONLY 60 YEARS?

Below is a video with clips of various anti-communist footage, produced by the U.S. government during the McCarthy era, and designed to red-scare the bejeebers out of Americans. The Sarah Palin speech (see video at end of post) is a modern version of the same, just not yet whipped into the full frenzy that this sort of fearmongering ever-threatens to incite.  

HAS IT BEEN ONLY 7 YEARS?

In the wake of 9-11, the Bush Administration exploited our justifiable fear of terrorists to both squelch American dissent over their agenda, and to strong-arm Congress into approving all the legislation they enacted (e.g. the Patriot Act, FISA, extraordinary rendition and related torture laws), all of which were designed to sidestep both the spirit and letter of Constitutional law. Over the past 7 years this legislation has, word by word, dismantled our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. These documents have yet to be restored to the former integrity they held for over two centuries. While these fundamental changes to our democracy affect each and every American, we’ve fortunately been spared, thus far, some of the worst outcomes potential to this legislation, even as this potential will continue to loom over us until our Constitution and Bill of Rights are restored to their pre-Bush Administration integrity. We’ve been fortunate. Some, such as Maher Arar have not been so fortunate: 

For more on this case, see the full Congressional hearing (1 hour, 28 minutes) on this case, held in October 2007, here, which includes Maher Arar’s testimony. Also, see footage here (7 minutes) from a related hearing, in which an outraged Sen. Patrick Leahy demands answers from Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales regarding the extraordinary rendition and torture-outsourcing in the Maher Arar case. 

  

HAS IT BEEN ONLY 1 DAY?

In the above video, Sarah Palin resurrects the ghosts of Salem and the McCarthy era, as she weaves a scary tale of lies to suggest that Obama’s tax plan will turn American into a nightmare communist state. Inherent to this accusation is a promise to carry the torch of the Bush-Cheney Administration’s legacy of fearmongering, persecution and lawlessness.  History bears this out: certain people in America live in a constant state of fear. All they need is someone to take the stage and tell them, exactly, what it is they’re so afraid of: Witches? Socialists? Blacks? Muslims? Communists? The McCain Palin campaign is telling them exactly what they want to hear. 

dem·a·gogue: One who will preach doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots — H.L. Mencken

  

WILL IT BE ONLY 9 DAYS?

Vote on November 4th. And do everything in your power to make sure that vote isn’t stolen from you. So much depends on this, with such a tremendous degree of voter fraud taking place by both Republicans and the Christian right. The extent of this fraud can only be known after the fact, when it’s too late to do anything about it.

McCain & Palin — Palling Around with Terrorists** While Rome Burns

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Perhaps if the media hadn’t let McCain spend the first half of this year skating, unscathed, across the surface of the Obama-Clinton fracas, people might have noticed long before September that the McCain platform has nothing to offer but a thinly disguised repeat of the Bush-Cheney agenda. Perhaps, had McCain been acting, well, presidential all along, he wouldn’t find himself in the position he’s in today: backed into a corner with nothing to offer the American people but an ugly smear campaign, his only hope being that he can convince us that his opponent is a terrorist.

This tactic has played particularly ugly over the past several days, as we’ve watched McCain & Palin wage their scathing fearmongering tactics from the stump, whipping their audiences into hate-filled frenzies, punctuated with cries and jeers of “Kill him!” and “Terrorist!”

Um…. And just who’s the terrorist in this equation?

I watch a lot of news, and I read even more, so I was among the first to hear the unveiling of the new McCain-Palin campaign strategy this past weekend: “We are looking forward to turning a page on this financial crisis and getting back to discussing Mr. Obama’s aggressively liberal record and how he will be too risky for Americans.”

I heard that loud and clear. But what I didn’t hear from either McCain or Palin was a statement of condolence to Joe Biden on the passing of his mother-in-law. Nor did I hear either candidate pause during their hate-filled stump dictums to comment on yesterday’s plummeting Stock Market numbers. Nor did I hear any mention of the victims of this financial disaster — those suffering the collateral damage from this 8-year long financial orgy on Wall Street: the family of six in Los Angeles, all dead; and Addie Polk, the 90-year old woman in Ohio who, in despair, shot herself in the chest as sheriff’s deputies came to evict her from her home of 38 years. 

Yeah, I’ve heard of lot of things said over the past week, but nothing in the way of solutions, hope or even a modicum of compassion from the McCain-Palin ticket. Just a lot of nasty lies, smears, character assassinations and hate-mongering, that can only serve to tear this country apart even further, at a time when we so desperately need capable leaders with the wisdom, intelligence and temperament to lead us in a direction of hope and healing.    

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This is a human face for a great national tragedy. — Dennis Kucinich, speaking on behalf of Addie Polk, whose foreclosure has been dismissed, thanks to the efforts of Congressman Kucinich, October 3, 2008

Neighbor Robert Dillon, 62, used a ladder to enter a second-story bathroom window of Polk’s home (left) after he and the deputies heard loud noises inside. He hurried downstairs and let the deputies in. He said they told him they found Polk’s car keys, pocketbook and life insurance policy laid out neatly where they could be found, suggesting she intended to kill herself. — CNN News report, October 3, 2008

Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country. — Sarah Palin, speaking on Barack Obama, October 4, 2008

Two things are important now. No. 1, that the administration uses the authority that it’s been given wisely. So we have to make sure that Secretary Paulson and others are structuring the purchase of these…troubled assets in a way that protects taxpayers. That’s very important. The second thing we have to do is we’ve gotta make sure that homeowners are benefiting. Now the Treasurer has authority to work with the modification of mortgages to prevent foreclosure. He’s supposed to come up with plans to do that. I want those plans on tap quick so that we start getting some relief to homeowners out in neighborhoods. The final thing is understanding that even if this rescue package works exactly as it should it’s only the beginning. It’s not the end because we still have 150,000 [sic; it was 159,000] new people who’ve lost their jobs this month, 750,000 people since the beginning of this year. — Barack Obama, October 4, 2008

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** And Speaking of Terrorists….

From the standpoint of a presidential campaign, slinging crap willy-nilly all over your opponent carries both benefits and risks. It draws crowds, for sure. But there’s always the risk of some kid wandering up and saying something wise, like, “What’s that brown stuff all over the emperor’s face?” In this spirit, I offer the following links, from which you can draw your own conclusions.

Huffington Post: McCain linked to private group in Iran-Contra case – GOP presidential nominee John McCain has past connections to a private group that supplied aid to guerrillas seeking to overthrow the leftist government of Nicaragua in the Iran-Contra affair. McCain’s ties are facing renewed scrutiny after his campaign criticized Barack Obama for his link to a former radical who engaged in violent acts 40 years ago. The U.S. Council for World Freedom was part of an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America. The group was dedicated to stamping out communism around the globe.

Huffington Post: Why McCain’s time with the U.S. Council for World Freedom matters – The USCWF was founded in Phoenix, Arizona in November 1981 as an offshoot of the World Anti-Communist League. The group was, from the onset, saddled with the disreputable reputation of its parent group. The WACL had ties to ultra-right figures and Latin American death squads. Roger Pearson, the chairman of the WACL, was expelled from the group in 1980 under allegations that he was a member of a neo-Nazi organization.

Think Progress: McCain voted to protect domestic terrorists who carry out violence at abortion clinics – McCain has repeatedly voted against protecting Americans from domestic terrorists in the anti-choice movement. On multiple occasions throughout his career, McCain sought to limit the government’s ability to punish violent anti-choice fanatics.

ABOVE: Sarah addresses the Alaska Independence Party (AIP or AKIP) Convention in this video. Sarah and Todd Palin formerly “palled around” with the Alaska Independence Party (AIP), a militia party that seeks to have Alaska secede from the union, as either an independent country or a commonwealth. The McCain campaign denies Sarah’s involvement with this radical political party, citing as evidence the (true) fact that Sarah has been a registered Republican since 1982. This does not explain or negate the fact that she and Todd nonetheless have a history of “palling around” with this group. Todd was a member of this party from 1995 to 2002, until Sarah assumed the duties as Mayor of Wasilla.

ABOVE: The McCain party’s denial of Sarah Palin’s involvement with this group conradicts statements made by its leader, Dexter Clark, in the October 2007 video, above, starting at 1:01.  (For a longer version of this video, see here, with the Palin quote starting at 6:00.)  Dexter Clarks’s speech was delivered at the 2nd Secessionist Convention, in Tennessee, in October 2007. Below is a quote from this speech.   

Our current governor, who I mentioned in our last conference — the one we were hoping would get elected, Sarah Palin, did get elected. There’s a joke, she’s a pretty good looking gal. The joke goes around that we were the coldest state with the hottest governor. And there’s a lot of talk about her moving up. She was an AIP member before she got the job as a mayor of a small town, that was a non-partisan job, but you get along as you go along. She eventually jointed the Rebublican Party where she had all kinds of problems with their ethics, and, uh,  I won’t go into that. She also has an 80% aproval rating, and is pretty well sympathetic to her former membership.

 More links on Sarah:    

The Consortium Report: Sarah Palin’s Party Loyalty –  You may have heard that she once belonged to a political party, the Alaska Independence Party, which sports the occasional mission of establishing Alaska as its own country…. Leaders of the G.O.P. and the religious right have vowed to stick with her. But what if she supported a third party that’s bent on smashing up the Republican Party? Or one with links to militia groups? Would she still look like your garden-variety church lady to the Republican Party pooh-bahs?

Talk to Action: The Council for National Policy Meets in Minn, Vets Palin –Last week, while the media focused almost obsessively on the DNC’s spectacle in Denver, the country’s most influential conservatives met quietly at a hotel in downtown Minneapolis to get to know Sarah Palin. The assembled were members of the Council for National Policy, an ultra-secretive cabal that networks wealthy right-wing donors together with top conservative operatives to plan long-term movement strategy.

Biden’s Missed Opportunity in the Debate: “Sarah Palin, you’re no Ronald Reagan.”

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It boils down to this:

Joe Biden was equally capable of delivering as knowledgeable, intelligent, insightful and nuanced a discussion of the issues facing our nation and the world 5 days ago, as he was 5 weeks, 5 years or even 25 years ago. Sarah Palin delivered a scripted, well-rehearsed performance last night, nothing more, and it was a performance she was not capable of giving just 5 days ago.

There’s really no more to it than that, except among those who simply *need* to believe that Sarah Palin owns more than an ability to memorize talking points. Have the past 5 weeks not offered enough compelling evidence that, off-script, she is dismally, dangerously unqualified for the job? Much as she tried to chide Joe Biden for referencing the so-called “past” mistakes of the Bush Administration, Sarah Palin’s scriptwriters nonetheless felt the need to validate her candidacy by latching onto the past — namely, the coattails of Ronald Reagan’s legacy.

I would like someone to ask Sarah Palin just what Ronald Reagan meant all those times, when he conjured the vision of that “shining city upon the hill.” And what did you mean, Governor Palin, when you coupled the word ‘exceptionalism’ with that ‘shining city’ last night, as in: “America is a nation of exceptionalism. And we are to be that shining city on a hill“? Do you even know what is meant by the word, ‘exceptionalism‘ in this context? Or would that be “gotcha” journalism to ask you such a question, as when Katie Couric asked, “What do you read?” on the heels of your statement, “The way that I have understood the world is through education, through books, through mediums that have provided me a lot of perspective on the world“?

My educated guess is that Sarah’s answer on the ‘shining city’ question would be the same as her answer to Couric’s question about her reading list: a pause — one beat too long — followed by a mish-mash of hollow words infused with insults against anyone smart enough to know the answer. Lest Sarah be at a loss for words, I’ve done her homework, the same as I did when she asked, “What is it exactly that the VP does every day?” The answer is printed, in entirety, at the bottom of this post.  I offer this, not because I’m a fan of Ronald Reagan — or of exceptionalism — but because, when he conjured the vision of the shining city upon the hill, it was not merely a stage prop. His words were fleshed from a personal belief, born from an established school of thought, about which he knew something. Ronald Reagan not only understood what he was saying. He meant it.    

Sarah proved last night (as she did at the convention) that she is capable of delivering her lines on cue with, alternately, pseudo conviction, curled-lip sarcasm, or a wink and a smile. There are small theatre groups across the country filled with similar talents. What does this have to do with being vice-president of the United States?

We’ve been duly warned: there will be no more unfettered media access (huh?) to Sarah Palin (even as we were told, just a few days ago, that the McCain campaign was going to “allow” Sarah Palin to “be herself” to America). There will be only scripted speeches, no more of that “gotcha” journalism. 

Here’s the thing. I’m sick and tired of living under a government that operates in secrecy, that censors media access, that denies Americans the right to a transparent government, that gives us, instead, a scripted version of the truth in the form of cooked intelligence, manufactured news, propaganda and lies. On that note, I’m also sick and tired of living under a government that believes the rules don’t apply to them. Censoring the media and making special exceptions to the law were the trademarks of the Bush-Cheney Administration. The McCain-Palin team have shown that they would be no different. 

In the past 5 weeks, alone, we have seen the media censored from covering Sarah Palin, we have seen more lies than we can count — so many, that it has become an embarrassment and a joke, even among the most statured conservatives — and we have seen Sarah Palin thumb her nose at a court order, when subpoenaed to testify in the ethics investigation for her alleged abuse of executive power. This is the foundation upon which dictatorships, not democracies, are built. Ronald Reagan at least understood this much, when he described the foundation of that “shining city upon a hill,” in his speech, below:

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The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the “shining city upon a hill.” The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that; after 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home. 

Ronald Reagan, from his Farewell Address to the Nation, January 11, 1989 

It is a genuine source of sadness to many Americans that these words could not be spoken today, except by those blind to the fate which our country has suffered under the Bush Administration. We see, in Sarah Palin and John McCain, a stubborn blindness to this reality. Otherwise, their platform would not be nearly identical to the Bush-Cheney platform. Otherwise, her speechwriters would not have felt it necessary to have her chide Joe Biden for discussing the fatal flaws in the Bush Administration that have brought our country to this sad state. Joe Biden got it right last night when he said, “Past is prologue,” but he missed a golden opportunity to tell Sarah Palin, “Governor, you’re no Ronald Reagan.”

 

 

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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

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Two statues stand outside the National Archives on Pennsylvania Avenue. One is called “Study the Past,” and the other (left) explains why: “What is Past is Prologue.” On display in the National Archives are the  Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights — the cornerstone documents of the United States. 

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Where in the Heck was Sarah Palin?

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Oh.

She was in a bar in Philadelphia, enjoying a debate-watching party (invitation only). According to Jonathan Martin at Politico (from whom I’ve shamelessly lifted much of this post) the revelers inside watched the debate on widescreen, while protesters gathered outside, setting off flares and carrying signs that said things like:

 McSame/Failin’

Hey Hockey Mom — keep the puck out of PA

Just like Bush in lipstick

To this, I might add:

Flailin’ / Failin’

When Sarah emerged from the bar, she was met with a harsh chorus of boos from the protesters. As she entered the motorcade to head back to her hotel, one man’s voice cut through the din of the crowd.

“I can see Alaska from Walnut Street!,” he yelled.

Meanwhile, back at the debate in Oxford, Mississippi, Joe Biden was on hand to give post-debate comments, as was Rudy Giuliani, McCain’s sidekick for the occasion, presumably standing as a surrogate for Sarah, whose gag order was reinstated after her Katie Couric interview earlier this week.

Sarah did nonetheless give an impromptu speech during the height of festivities at the bar:  

Thank you. Thanks for inviting us into The Irish Pub and we know this is going to be a great night for our ticket. Thank you for being here for rooting on John McCain tonight in the debate even, you guys, thank you. Yeah.

Great to be here in the city of brotherly and sisterly love. Thank you and we feel that. And truly all the support that you’re providing us in this area that is so paramount to victory on November 4th. We thank you so much for all your support. Hope we all get around to meet each and every one of you so I can personally thank you guys for the support that you’re showing and for being so reform-minded and knowing that we have opportunity to put government back on the side of the people and shake things up in DC.

And for that I thank you for being on the team, and hopefully we can bring more people from this area on that team, you guys, truly. As our mission, getting to dc shaking things up, working for you. John McCain and I will never forget whom we are working for is for you. So we love you guys, city of brotherly love. Thank you.

Always, always on top of her game, that Sarah.

Written by canarypapers

September 27, 2008 at 2:44 pm

FOREIGN POLICY ALERT: Sarah Palin’s Dance Card is Filling Up!

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The society pages are all abuzz with the announcement of Sarah Palin’s impending debut into the glamorous world of foreign policy. According to today’s edition of Pakistan’s Daily Times, Sarah Palin will be two-stepping with several world leaders this week, including Presidents George W. Bush, Asif Ali Zardari and Hamid Karzai (of the U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan, respectively), along with other as-yet-unnamed dignitaries at the United Nations General Assembly. (note: see 9/23 update, below!) We will surely hear more of this in the days to come and look forward to hearing Sarah’s Palin’s tall tales on the series of secret U.S. missile attacks and the U.S.-led cross-border ground assault in Pakistan’s Tribal areas, as well any statements she may make in the fashion world. (What will she wear? And where ever did she get that fabulous polar bear lapel pin? It’s simply to die for!)

 

 

On a more serious note, we continue to be concerned that, with Sarah’s busy schedule these days, she’ll hardly have time to rehearse for her upcoming debate with Joe Biden. From what we understand, the Cliff Notes on this meeting are a real bear. We trust that the moderators will be kind to Sarah, showing her the proper deference and, perhaps, offering some gentle, behind-the-scenes coaching beforehand, as it would hardly be fair to expect Sarah to be as knowledgeable as a man who has, for goodness sakes, spent the past 3 decades meeting with foreign dignitaries and serving as a statured leader and advisor in American foreign policy.

 

We are also concerned that some might accuse Sarah of being “presumptious,” by acting in a “presidential capacity,” in Friday’s meetings, as they fall on the heels of Barack Obama’s “presidential-style world tour, during which foreign leaders and American generals lined up to show him affection.” While Obama was most assuredly being presumptuous (our sincere thanks to John McCain for kindly pointing this out to us), it is an entirely different matter with Sarah. To those who would seek to paint Sarah with the same brush as Obama, we must insist: It’s not the same thing. It’s just not the same at all. We can’t be any plainer than that. We trust that clear heads will prevail.

9/23/2008 UPDATE! More names on Sarah’s Dance Card! Word has it that Sarah aspires to condense a 30-year whirlwind world tour into a mere 3 days. At this rate, she’ll need a new dance card! We have no doubt that, by week’s end, she will be ready to knock America’s socks off with her charm and her sound grasp of world events!

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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

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Putting Lipstick on a Pig: McCain’s Pygmalion Complex with Sarah Palin

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Quick: What’s the difference between Joe Biden and a hockey mom running for vice-president? Answer: One of them is a pit bull-of-a-politician with a world of foreign-policy and lawmaking experience, while the other is, uh, Sarah Palin.

 Okay, so it’s not exactly a punch line, and it’s not exactly funny, unless you’re the sort who enjoys watching a slow-motion train wreck — a potential destination in our country’s itinerary, as the American public struggles with the weighty decision over whether to vote for a qualified politician of substance, education, experience and stature, or vote for Sarah Palin. One can only hope that John McCain has an awfully big tube of lipstick, because he’ll need it to put lipstick on that pig. To do this, he’ll need to accomplish three things. Here, the recently afflicted McCain’s pygmalion complex will come in handy.   

The Road to the White House in 3 Easy Steps

First, John McCain needs to keep convincing the American public that education, intelligence and experience are inherently bad things. This has been, so far, neatly accomplished by attaching the “elitist” label to those who speak with even a modicum of intelligence on matters of import, or, alternately, sticking the “elitist liberal” label to anyone who deigns to disagree with McCain’s kamikaze candidacy. The second step McCain needs to accomplish is a to give Sarah Palin a crash course in U.S. and world history, domestic and foreign policy, constitutional law, political science, presidential diplomacy, how to use a salad fork, and so on, while infusing her with the nuts-and-bolts nuances and the grasp of language necessary to speaking and acting authoritatively on such matters. The third step is to sequester his creation from the world — just like his predecessor, Professor Henry Higgins, did with Eliza Doolittle — while Sarah makes her Pygmalion transformation from Alaska’s shrill-voiced, caribou-killing, liar of a First Lady, to McCain’s Fair Lady.

The McCain campaign began working on that third step during the RNC convention, as they lobbed pre-emptive strikes toward the media, calling them sexist (while being at a loss, when asked, to produce evidence of this) and by attaching the “elitist liberal” label to the media. So it came as no surprise, after all this foreshadowing, when the McCain campaign announced they’d put a gag order on Sarah Palin: for now, there will be no questions, no interviews; Sarah Palin will give only scripted speeches and choreographed interviews to the American public. 

If this sounds familiar, there’s a reason for that. McCain — following ever-steadfastly in Bush’s footsteps — has actually taken a page from Bush’s ‘pre-packaged news’ campaign. Remember? It’s not been that long, really, since the American public learned that our evening news was being manufactured by the Bush Administration — produced by various government agencies, such as the Dept. of Defense, and delivered by actors posing as journalists, who were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to ask scripted questions of authorities, who were also being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, to give scripted answers — all designed to tell the American people what to think about issues, such as the war in Iraq and Medicare reform. Perhaps McCain will also take a page from George Bernard Shaw’s script, and only allow Palin to talk about the weather and other people’s health, should she be pressed into giving unscripted comments.

“The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain, and in Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen”

Prof. Henry Higgins had an easier job of it — tasked with teaching only the linguistic facets of speaking on foreign places. Eliza had only to aspirate her h’s and draw her a’s into a long phoneme, while Sarah Palin will be expected to speak authoritatively on topics about which she currently commands next-to-nothing, in the way of knowledge or experience. Prof. Higgins also had more time — with a full six months to teach Eliza Doolittle to speak properly before her debut at the Embassy Ball (see photo, above /left).  McCain has a mere 26 days to teach Sarah Palin the fundamentals, beyond God’s plan, of war and peace before her second-coming in the vice-presidential debate on October 2nd. McCain’s hope is, of course, that once Sarah Palin has been refined with the proper tutoring, scripting and blocking, the American people will greet her encore performance with the sure belief that she always owned the knowledge, experience, temperament and good judgment to be vice-president of the United States.  

A tricky balancing act: How to give American women a voice, while telling them to shut up

The problem for the McCain campaign is the pesky media, not a factor in Higgins’ day. The media will likely continue hounding the McCain team, obsessing on highly personal details about Sarah’s life, such as her qualifications and experience, riddled as these are with discrepancies, controversy, scandals and lies. The media will no doubt question, too, the motives behind the McCain campaign’s decision to put a gag order on Sarah Palin. Feminists of good standing might also begin to question how the Republican Party — which is acting like they, themselves, invented the feminist cause and have simultaneously addressed the grievances of the suffragette movement in one fell swoop —  can also parade their poster child out with a gag across her mouth. But we trust the McCain campaign to do a good job with this. As we’ve learned over the past 8 years, if there’s one thing the Republicans do well, it’s putting on a good show: convincing the American people it’s raining, while they piss down our backs. On this note, we can hardly wait to see the unveiling of McCain’s pygmalion creation.

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by Mantis Katz, for the canarypapers

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Related links of interest:

salon.com: Sarah Palin and Mark Halperin’s complaints of “liberal media” 

….The very notion of the “Liberal Media” is one of the most inane myths in American politics — something spat out and repeated in the lowest right-wing sewers for so long that it has become conventional wisdom — but Halperin’s frequent vouching for that myth, in his role of “journalist,” illustrates all one needs to know about him. The media’s contempt for both John Kerry and Al Gore was matched only by their reverence for George Bush’s swagger. The first several months of media coverage this year was dominated by Jerimiah Wright, lapel pins, bowling scores, Bittergate and elitism. And it is highly unlikely that there has even been a time in American history when the media was as subservient to Government as they were during the Bush era. It’s literally hard to imagine a claim that ought to be more discredited in general than the notion of the “liberal media” and its “anti-Republican bias”….

TheModerateVoice: The Sarah Palin Cone of Silence 

Rumors are slowly crystallizing into confirmed reports when it comes to the dating phase of America’s relationship with Sarah Palin. Following our brief introductions, this particular shiddach will apparently be overseen by Team McCain adhering to ancient traditions – there will be no future dates without strict chaperones in attendance and the conversations will be passed through the mothers. Should we wish to know anything further about the Alaska Governor, the campign team will define what it is we should know and when we will find out about it….

Lastly…. Somewhere during the process of learning what exactly a vice-president does, Sarah will also need to take a crash course in what a vice-presidential candidate does — specifically, what a vice-presidential candidate on the McCain ticket does, to promote the McCain platform, about which she is also apparently clueless.