Saturday, September 06, 2008

LJ's not the only one

who has lingering questions about the anthrax case:
Bureau officials say they are certain they have solved the nation’s first major bioterrorism attack, in which anthrax-laced letters killed five people, after a long and troubled investigation that by several measures was the most complex in the bureau’s history.

But in interviews last week, two dozen bioterrorism experts, veteran investigators and members of Congress expressed doubts about the bureau’s conclusions. Some called for an independent review of the case to reassure the public and assess policies on the handling of dangerous pathogens like anthrax.

Todd Palin at Hay Days

You may have heard that Todd Palin went to Hay Days in Forest Lake, MN following the Republican Convention. Hay Days is a snow "machine" event. Here's a local TV report on his visit (that admittedly isn't interesting).

Piedmont A-11: Two quarterbacks, eleven eligible receivers

And it's legal. Video here. Explanation here.


also did a little community organizing back in the day.

Barracuda tried to ban books?

Um, no. Although you would believe otherwise if you read this lie on Obama's website: "But a recent list of books that she wanted banned from the Wasilla Public Library truly demonstrates that Palin not only has no new ideas, but is really a throwback to days of old when we needed to always be full of fear, to go back to days when we had a less than equal world and where anyone who does not look like Sarah Palin must fight every day for the same rights and privileges that she and her family have come to take for granted."

There is no such list. The story that this lie is based on is here. I admit that I'm more that a little troubled by the inquiry about censoring books, and that the explanation that it was some sort of loyalty test seems weird, but that's no excuse for Obama to publish an internet rumor as fact. I'm sure that there will be a fuller explanation forthcoming.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Obama polls above McCain in ND

Before Obama's convention speech, this poll showed Obama up 3 points. In the same poll, their incumbent Republican governor is ahead by 44 points.

In case you didn't already know that Rove is a scumbag


I'm wondering whether Biden's convention speech seemed as sarcastic and mean-spirited to Republicans watching as Palin's speech seemed to me. I guess it's a matter of perspective.

Clearly, Palin's speech was intended to "fire up the base" (another phrase as ubiquitous as the unspeakable "re* mea*") and I would think it accomplished that. But don't Republicans need to nab some independents to win the election? I'll be curious to see if it moved them, because I wouldn't expect it to. Or maybe you don't need independents or the center. Maybe Rove knows you've got the numbers if you just get out your base vote.

I'm going vegan

I swear on all that is holy, if I hear another media and/or political hack use the term "red meat", I'm going to go postal. I guess a memo went out and they ALL got it.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"Political bullshit" says Scooter's girlfriend [UPDATED]

Peggy Noonan agrees, on an open mic, with Michael that the race for president is "over" but doesn't see it the same way.

[Update: Peggy says she didn't mean the McCain candidacy was "over".]

Oil taxes

I think Anonymous was referring me to this at Beldar. Beldar is explaining the difference between the increased tax revenue that Gov. Palin got out of the oil companies and that proposed tax by Obama. Palin negotiated a higher rate on the extraction of a state-owned, depletable asset ("to recompense the state for its loss of a non-replaceable resource"). Obama proposes a tax on windfall profits.

OK. Interesting. Thanks for saying something. I had not appreciated that distinction.

So now I'm wondering why, from a free-market perspective, Palin's higher taxation is better. With a higher severance tax, the oil companies for sure have to pay higher taxes. With a windfall profits tax, they only have to pay if they're wildly ridiculously profitable. Isn't greater taxation of corporations a no-no to fiscal conservatives? Or are you thinking that it's different because with the higher severance tax, the cost gets added to the product and then consumption is reduced in response, and since we're trying to save energy, that's a good thing? But isn't that going to be true of the windfall profits tax too? Or is the objection that the windfall profits tax is too unpredictable for oil companies to do a good job of charging the tax through? Or is it that you view the severance tax as really just a sale price for an asset owned by Alaska, whereas the windfall profits tax would be redistribution of an asset owned by oil companies to all U.S. citizens and that is philosophically unacceptable? How about the fact that the U.S. subsidizes oil production?

If I could stop vomiting...

I could write a post telling you that Katherine Kersten is today peddling the myth of Sarah Palin as a gritty hero for ignoring the onset of labor to deliver her speech at that energy conference:

"We were at a national governors meeting on energy in Dallas when Sarah went into labor," said Lingle. "She handled it remarkably, and it's a great example of her talents and toughness. After the keynote speaker canceled at the last minute, Sarah stepped in. She gave an outstanding address on strategic energy policy. Then she boarded a plane back to Alaska to deliver."

Though Lingle didn't know it, Palin was aware this delivery would be different from her others. She would give birth to little Trig, who has Down syndrome. Palin's decision to give Trig life has become a rallying cry for social conservatives.

Kersten fails to recognize Palin's decision to risk Trig's life. Find one woman or one doctor or one commercial pilot who isn't appalled that Palin got on a plane under those conditions: 1) leaking amniotic fluid; 2) 43 or 44 years old; 3) a month early; 4) mild contractions; 5) Down syndrome (I've read they have greater health risks at delivery, but I don't know if that is true).

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Palin: Fahrenheit 451

From Time:

Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." The librarian, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire her for not giving "full support" to the mayor.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Palin on the Pledge

From Gov. Palin's 2006 Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire:

I'm sure I don't need to point out what's wrong with that. (Maybe if you're grading her answer, you give her extra credit for conveying a spunky attitude.)

H/T JLFinch at DKos.

Palin on oil taxes

How does Gov. Palin's advocacy for increased taxes on oil companies' profits square with free market principles? If you think Gov. Palin's windfall profits tax was good economic policy, then do you also think Obama's windfall profits tax is good economic policy?

Palin on life of the unborn

As described in the Fairbanks paper and elsewhere, Trig Palin was expected to be born May 18, 2008. In mid-April, Gov. Palin, age 44, traveled to an energy conference in Texas. On April 18, while in Texas, she began to leak amniotic fluid. She talked to her doctor on the phone and then got on a commercial flight to travel to Alaska, without seeing a doctor in Texas.

To recap: Her pregnancy was "at risk" by definition due to her age, this was a month before the baby was due, she was leaking amniotic fluid and she got on a plane without seeing a doctor.

I know how romantic the idea is of women popping out babies without making a fuss about it, but this was ridiculously irresponsible and showed no regard for the health and well-being of the baby. I think Trig had the moral right, if not a legal right, to get medical care in Texas. His little life was risked when she instead got on a long flight to Alaska. He was born a month early within hours of her landing in Alaska. Labor had to be induced, so something was amiss.

Why should we care? Couple reasons: 1) it's an example of her decision-making in the midst of a risk-filled situation; and 2) it's inconsistent or hypocritical to take a pro-life position (and trade on it for political purposes) and then be so cavalier about the health and well-being of viable Trig.