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The Bristol Stomp

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

By James Wolcott
Vanity Fair

Say what you will about Al and Peggy Bundy, slovenly occupying the sofa lo those many seasons on Married with Children, but they negligently raised a fine, slutty, airhead, bare-midriff daughter--I speak of course of Christina Applegate's divine Kelly--who managed to make it through her teen years without a baby in tow. Which is more than can be said for the unfortunate daughter of the Republican Party's poster mom for abstinence only.

Jake Tapper asks: "What would the response be if Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and his wife Michelle had a pregnant unmarried teenage daughter?"

I can answer that. Mona Charen, Ann Coulter, and Michelle Malkin would sprout bat wings and fangs and start divebombing, Peggy Noonan would issue a pained sigh that would ruffle nun's robes from here to Hoboken, Laura Ingraham and Bill Bennett would engage in a finger-wagging contest to condemn our loose licentious liberal culture, and Jennifer Rubin at Commentary's Contentions would crash into the wall doing cartwheels.

According to Pam Geller at Atlas Shrugs (no link), it's actually Annie Lebowitz's fault that Palin's daughter went astray, something to do with the tarting up of Miley Cyrus in Vanity Fair. Conservatives used to make fun of liberals for blaming everything on "society" ("It's society's fault that so many young men turn to crime"), but "the culture" has become their default setting for culpability. Practice what you preach doesn't seem to have occurred to them....(Click here for remainder of post).


Poll: Obama gets post-convention 'bounce'

ST. PAUL — The Democratic National Convention significantly boosted Americans' views of Barack Obama as a strong leader who "shares your values" and can manage the economy and Iraq, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Saturday and Sunday finds.

Republican John McCain's advantage in handling terrorism was dramatically reduced, and his "unfavorable" rating ticked up to its highest level this year.

"This is a convention bounce," said Robert Eisinger, a political scientist at Lewis & Clark College and author of The Evolution of Presidential Polling. The results reflected the impact of themes the Democrats hammered at their convention in Denver last week.

Eisinger cautioned, "The Republicans haven't yet had their convention, and John McCain will be exposed to a large segment of the population as well" with their convention this week. The GOP has had to deal with competing events, however, including Hurricane Gustav and Monday's news that vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant.

In the head-to-head race, Obama leads 50%-43% among registered voters. In the USA TODAY Poll taken Aug. 21-23, the Illinois senator held a 4-percentage-point lead....(Click here for remainder of article).


GOP parties as Gustav rages

Brian Ross is ABC News' only redeeming quality. Great reporting, but a little frightening.


Right-Wing fundy, now a radical seperatist?

Oooo, this is getting good! I can't wait {insert evil laugh here}! I'm going to relish watching as Grumpy McInsane looses the one thing that he felt was going to save his election chances.
Members of 'Fringe' Alaskan Independence Party Say Palin Was a Member in 90s

By Jake Tapper
ABC News

The campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., likes to herald the independence of its new running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Officials of the Alaskan Independence Party say that Palin was once so independent, she was once a member of their party, which, since the 1970s, has been pushing for a legal vote for Alaskans to decide whether or not residents of the 49th state can secede from the United States.

And while McCain's motto -- as seen in a new TV ad -- is "Country First," the AIP's motto is the exact opposite -- "Alaska First -- Alaska Always."

Lynette Clark, the chairman of the AIP, tells ABC News that Palin and her husband Todd were members in 1994, even attending the 1994 statewide convention in Wasilla. Clark was AIP secretary at the time.

"We are a state's rights party," says Clark, a self-employed goldminer. The AIP has "a plank that challenges the legality of the Alaskan statehood vote as illegal and in violation of United Nations charter and international law."

She says it's not accurate to describe the party as secessionist -- they just want a vote, she says, adding that the members of the AIP hold different opinions on what Alaska should be....(Click for remainder of post).


Wolfson Van Winkle

Here a great post by emptywheel over at

I'm grateful for this Howard Wolfson column--for his willingness to wax poetic about the guy who beat his candidate.

For me, the presidential campaign began in a crowded Iowa hall, where I saw a man my age lift up a daughter around my daughter's age and tell her that one day she could be president. Last week things came nearly full circle, when I saw another man my age lift up another child and say the very same thing.

But I find his description of the Hillary bubble even more evocative.

For many of us who were part of the Clinton campaign, Sen. Barack Obama's appeal was something we understood only in the abstract -- data in polls, faces at a televised rally.

Most of us never heard him speak in person. At work 14 hours a day in the war room, we focused on his perceived faults and deficiencies. Our time was spent sharpening and advancing arguments. Skepticism was critical to our efforts. Insulated from Obamamania, I met few Obama supporters and distanced myself from the ones I knew. I lived this way for 18 months.

From the outside, our loss may have seemed inevitable for months, but inside the campaign we simply kept going.


Once we ran out of states and the campaign ended, we were like Rip Van Winkle. We awoke to a world transformed by political currents we had stood against. There was the neighbor in an Obama T-shirt getting the morning paper. Every parked car on the street bore an Obama bumper sticker. Had they been there along, or did they pop up overnight?

I'm not surprised by Wolfson's description of the impenetrability of the bubble--it was always clear he wasn't aware of his surroundings. But I am curious why their oppo guys--the young kids wandering around after Obama with a camera--could never communicate this message to the campaign. I am curious why Wolfson distanced himself from his friends who supported the Obama campaign. Wolfson was studiously polite when Richardson endorsed Obama--couldn't Wolfson have used that as an opportunity to understand this excitement? I know it's important to assess a campaign from hard data--but does that excuse ignoring the qualitative impressions as well (though, arguably, Obama didn't get the qualitative appeal of Hillary to working class voters until just recently)....(Click here for remainder of post).


Palin’s Teen Daughter Is Pregnant; New G.O.P. Tumult

Good on Bristol Palin for keeping the child. I have to give he mad props for that. But...WTF? Is anyone going to point out the utter hypocrisy of this? This girls mother is a right-wing fundy whack-job! What does this say about her "family values" vis-a-vis pre-marital sex? These people make me ill.

By Katharine Q. Seelye
The NY Times

ST. PAUL — The 17-year-old daughter of Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain’s running mate, is five months pregnant, the Alaskan governor announced Monday, adding a new element of tumult to a Republican convention that had already been disrupted by Hurricane Gustav.

The daughter, Bristol, plans to marry the father, according to the statement, which was issued by Governor Palin and her husband, Todd.

“Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned,” the statement said. “As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows that she has our unconditional love and support.”

The announcement came after a swirl of rumors by liberal bloggers that the governor’s fifth child, who was born in April, was in fact her daughter’s.

Groups that oppose abortion rights had been thrilled with Mr. McCain’s selection of Ms. Palin as his running mate, partly because of her opposition to abortion. It is not clear how social conservatives will respond to the latest news, but the initial reaction of several delegates to the convention here was supportive of the family.

The McCain campaign said it was aware of the daughter’s pregnancy before Mr. McCain named Ms. Palin as his running mate on Friday.

Steve Schmidt, the chief strategist for the McCain campaign, was surrounded by reporters and cameras as he walked through the media center next door to the Xcel Center in St. Paul, where the convention is taking place. Asked over and over when and how Mr. McCain found out about Bristol’s pregnancy, he repeated, “Senator McCain was aware” of it and called it “a private family matter.” He would not say when Mr. McCain found out or how, calling it a “private conversation.”

“The fact is, John McCain had a thorough search and made the decision to add Sarah Palin to the ticket because he believes” that she “will change America,” Mr. Schmidt said.

He said how big this becomes would depend on the media. “I think the American people will see this news and they’d have good wishes for the young lady and they’ll respect the privacy of the family,” he said....(Click here for the remainder of article).



By Kerry

WILL SHE USE THE VICE PRESIDENCY TO SEND ‘her sister’s ex-husband’ to Gitmo or worse?

Long-Standing Feud in Alaska Embroils Palin

Sunday 31 August 2008
By James V. Grimaldi and Kimberly Kindy, The Washington Post

GOP VP candidate, Sarah Palin, has been involved in a family feud that has included the Alaska attorney general, the state police and the state legislature.

For the past several years, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, has been embroiled in a bitter family feud that has drawn in the state police, the attorney general, the governor’s office and the state legislature.

A bipartisan state legislative panel has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether Palin improperly brought the family fight into the governor’s office.

The investigation is focusing on whether she and her aides pressured and ultimately fired the public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan, for not removing Palin’s ex-brother-in-law from the state police force.

Interviews with principals involved in the dispute and a review of court documents and police internal affairs reports reveal that Palin has been deeply involved in alerting state officials to her family’s personal turmoil.

Palin has said she did not pressure Monegan or fire him for not taking action against her former brother-in-law. A spokesman for Sen. John McCain’s campaign, who asked not to be identified because the matter is under investigation, said Palin’s actions were merely intended to alert Monegan about potential threats to her family from her sister’s ex-husband, Mike Wooten.

The trouble between Wooten and the governor’s sister broke into the open after an alleged incident in February 2005. Palin told an internal affairs investigator that she overheard on a speakerphone Wooten arguing with her sister and threatening to kill their father. Fearful for her family members’ lives, Palin said she drove to her sister’s house and watched the argument through a window.

”Wooten’s words were, ‘I will kill him. He’ll eat a [expletive] lead bullet, I’ll shoot him,’ if our father got the attorney to help Molly,” Palin said in an e-mail she wrote in August 2005 to the chief of the state police. “I heard this death threat, my 16-year-old son heard it (Track Palin), Molly heard it, as did their small children. Wooten spoke with his Trooper gun on his hip in an extremely intimidating fashion, leaving no doubt he is serious about taking someone’s life who disagrees with him.”...(Click here for remainder of post).



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