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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Gail Collins on Bible Spice

From the NY Times:

Op-Ed ColumnistSarah’s Straight Talk By GAIL COLLINS
Truly, Sarah Palin has come a long way. When she ran for vice president, she frequently became disjointed and garbled when she departed from her prepared remarks. Now the prepared remarks are incoherent, too.

“And a problem in our country today is apathy,” she said on Friday as she announced that she would resign as governor of Alaska at the end of the month. “It would be apathetic to just hunker down and ‘go with the flow.’ Nah, only dead fish ‘go with the flow.’ No. Productive, fulfilled people determine where to put their efforts, choosing to wisely utilize precious time ... to BUILD UP.”

Basically, the point was that Palin is quitting as governor because she’s not a quitter. Or a deceased salmon.

Sarah Barracuda made her big announcement Friday afternoon on the lawn of her home to an audience that appeared to include only Todd, the kids and the next-door neighbors. Smiling manically, she looked like a parody of the woman who knocked the Republicans dead at their convention. She babbled about her parents’ refrigerator magnet, which apparently had a lot of wise advice. And she recalled her visit with the troops in Kosovo, whose dedication and determination inspired her to ... resign.

“Life is about choices!” declared the nation’s most anti-choice politician.

People, what is going on with governors in this country? Are we doomed to see them go bonkers one by one, state by state?

The timing of Palin’s announcement was extremely peculiar. Not only did she interrupt the plans of TV newscasters to spend the entire weekend pointing out that Michael Jackson is still dead, she delivered her big news just as the nation was settling into Fourth of July celebrations. You’d have thought she didn’t want us to notice.

“I choose to work very hard on a path for fruitfulness and productivity,” she said in a fairly typical moment. “I choose not to tear down and waste precious time, but to build up this state and our country, and her industrious, generous, patriotic free people!”

Palin has a year and a half left to go in her term of office. The political world had been wondering whether she’d run for re-election. The answer is no. And furthermore, it turns out that Palin believes that the only way her administration can “continue without interruption” is for her to end it.

Anyhow, no point in wasting precious time.

One underlying theme in Palin’s remarks was that many ethics complaints have been filed against her on issues ranging from her alleged attempts to get her former brother-in-law fired from the state troopers to charging Alaska for her children’s travel expenses.

According to the about-to-be-ex governor, fighting all this negativity has cost the state “thousands of hours of your time” and $2 million “to respond to ‘opposition research.’ ” But now this is all water under the bridge. Every single unfair charge has been dismissed. (“We’ve won!”) And now that the battle is over and the time/money has been wasted, Palin is going to leave her job in the name of “efficiencies and effectiveness.”

“I cannot stand here as your governor and allow millions upon millions of our dollars go to waste just so I can hold the title of governor,” she said.

Perhaps there is some new and interesting scandal that Palin has yet to let us in on. (If so, I hope it involves a soul mate.) Otherwise, it would appear that this is all about her desire to start raising money and setting up operations for a presidential run in 2012. Her fans immediately interpreted the resignation as a canny move to get her back down to the lower 48, with as much time on her hands as Mitt Romney. (Mary Matalin called it “brilliant.”)

Palin was the subject of a devastating article in this month’s Vanity Fair by Todd Purdum, who wrote that McCain campaign aides found it almost impossible to get Palin to prepare for her disastrous interview with Katie Couric. And there is no sign, Purdum reported, that Palin has made any attempt to bone up on the issues so that next time around, she could run as a candidate who actually had some grasp of the intricacies of foreign and domestic policy.

So if she’s starting to run, it will be as the same reporter-avoiding, generalization-spouting underachiever that she was last time around.

Now we know she not only doesn’t have the concentration to read a policy paper, she can’t focus long enough to finish the job she was hired to do.

On Friday, Palin said that finishing out her term would be just too easy. “Many just accept that lame-duck status, hit the road, draw the paycheck and ‘milk it.’ I’m not putting Alaska through that,” she said.

Apparently, she’s going to put the rest of us through it instead.

Friday, July 03, 2009

My Theory on Caribou Barbie's Resignation

Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) announced an abrupt resignation today, effective before the end of July.

Personally, I think it's a defensive move before some other scandal erupts. Get out while the going is (sort of) good.

Todd Purdum's story about her in the next issue of Vanity Fair sounds pretty ugly, by all accounts.

Monday, June 29, 2009

AAARF AAARF

Nope, it's not Lugnut. It's AAARF.

There’s some dirty tricks under way in various GOP circles. I’m grabbing my industrial sized can opener, you grab yourself a nice TV dinner, an adult beverage, tuck the tots away, and we’ll meet back here on RF this evening for some AAA smack down and exposing.

So to those who think by hook or by crook is the way to win the Governor’s seat, I’m sorry, I cannot remain silent.


Ok, Mr. AAARF....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Cancer Approach

This sounds intriguing.

Criticism of John Aravosis's Take on the DOJ Brief

Law Dork

Bilerico Project

Box Turtle Bulletin

All of these strongly contest that the DOJ brief compares same sex marriages to incest and pedophilia. However Box Turtle Bulletin goes on to say the brief is "offensive none the less."

Offensive Nevertheless
Okay, so the brief doesn’t say same-sex marriage is equivalent to incest or pedophilia. Big deal. It’s still patently contemptuous of gays and lesbians even without that. For one, the DOJ lawyers seem to think that gay people, deep down, don’t really exist. How else can one explain this (page 27)?

Even viewing the right asserted here as the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry, DOMA does not directly or substantially interfere with the ability of anyone, including homosexuals, to marry the individual of his or her choice. …Hence, under DOMA, gay and lesbian couples suffer no greater interference with their ability to obtain recognition of their marriages, either in the States where they were wed, or elsewhere.

That could only be true under one condition: that homosexuals can “marry the individual of his or her choice” as long as that individual is of the opposite sex. In other words, just because I’m gay, it doesn’t mean I can’t settle down with a nice Catholic girl (or a nice religious Jewish niece if I lived in Rhode Island) and have that marriage go unchallenged virtually everywhere I go. That sort of argument is precisely the stuff we’ve heard from some of our more unhinged anti-gay opponents.

And then there’s this bit of creative “logic” on page 27-28:

…gay and lesbian individuals who unite in matrimony are denied no federal benefits to which they were entitled prior to their marriage; they remain eligible for every benefit they enjoyed beforehand. DOMA simply provides, in effect, that as a result of their same-sex marriage they will not become eligible for the set of benefits that Congress has reserved exclusively to those who are related by the bonds of heterosexual marriage.

Got that? We’re not denied anything, we’re just not allowed the extra stuff (and obligations) that heterosexual couples get when they’re married. In the eyes of the Justice Department, that’s not discrimination. Maybe women who are denied promotions aren’t discriminated against because they still have a job; they just don’t get the extra pay and perks the employer gave to a lesser-qualified man.

But even if it is discrimination, that’s okay too, according to the Department of Justice (page 2):

Thus, by defining “marriage” and “spouse” as the legal union of a man and a woman and affording federal benefits on that basis, Section 3 of DOMA simply maintained the status quo: it continues the longstanding federal policy of affording federal benefits and privileges on the basis of a centuries-old form of marriage, without committing the federal government to devote scarce resources to newer versions of the institution that any State may choose to recognize.

That’s right. Congress can choose to deny its “scarce resources” to a very tiny proportion of married couples just because it wants to. Never mind that those same married couples pay taxes just like everyone else.

It doesn’t end there. There’s so much more in this brief that’s risible, like the continual reference to a “new form of marriage,” a phrase that may as well place scare-quotes around the word “marriage” when referring to same-sex couples. And to add insult to injury, the brief then contrasts that “new form of marriage” to what it calls “traditional marriage,” which, inexplicably, is likely meant to preclude the traditional and biblical examples of brother-sister marriages, non-consensual marriages and plural marriages, although it doesn’t explicitly say so.

This brief’s contemptuous tone is breathtaking. LGBT advocates are right to denounce it and to encourage very direct and vigorous avenues of protest to make our anger known. I’m glad to see the LGBT community call Obama and the Democratic Party on the carpet for this, and I hope that many more join them.

It’s Important To Speak The Truth
I started this web site because I wanted to expose our opponents when they distort the written record. That is the driving force behind so much of what we do here at BTB. But if I see similar examples among our own advocates — including those advocates who do wonderful work otherwise — how can I remain silent?

This definitely isn’t the pathway to mega-blogger status. I’m probably going to be called self-loathing, an appeaser, an Uncle Tom or an Obama apologist — you name it. Or, just as likely, this post may be ignored. But that’s okay. I’d much rather speak the truth than repeat talking points intended solely to inflame. The "incest and pedophilia" meme is the latter, not the former, and it's been seriously bugging me all week. There are plenty of reasons to be outraged by this DOJ brief, but no matter how you slice it, it just doesn’t say what many of our leading advocates claim it does.

I like John Aravosis a lot. He has been unparalleled in covering the ongoing developments surrounding the Obama administration's reactions to the outrage this brief has generated. No one else has stayed on top of this story the way he has.

But it was Karl Rove who perfected the art of manufactured outrage, and it reflects poorly on us when we deploy the same tactic. If there's anything we should have learned from the Bush administration, it’s that such behavior will weaken our position, not strengthen it. It's time we gave it a rest and be outraged over what’s really there.