Sarah Palin Commemorative Debate Poster

Palin debates?

Eugene Robinson echoes that piece by Alaskan Republican Andrew Halrco who said that in his debates with her she had a tendency to give answers that were marginally related to the question and just gibberish, The VP Debate: The Strangest I’ve Ever Seen

Exactly an hour into the debate, Joe Biden began an answer by saying, “Facts matter, Gwen.”

To him, maybe. To Sarah Palin, maybe not. The pattern, so far, has been one of Biden presenting facts and Palin countering with… saying stuff. Sometimes she throws in a fact, but mostly she seems to be offering a string of approximate policy positions, encomiums to the American spirit, disputed interpretations of Barack Obama’s record and anecdotes from Alaska.

She has a certain charm, but I wonder how viewers are reacting to the way she just declines to answer the question at hand and pivots to more solid ground.

To be fair, Biden made some statements that were part opinion and part fact. At least he seemed to be in the same universe as the average working American. Sometimes when Palin answered a question I wondered if she wasn’t ignoring Ifill and just answering a question that was one one of her cards.

McClellan, McKiernan, You Know, One of Those Army Guys… Asked about Afghanistan part of Palin’s response,

PALIN: Well, first, McClellan did not say definitively the surge principles would not work in Afghanistan. Certainly, accounting for different conditions in that different country and conditions are certainly different. We have NATO allies helping us for one and even the geographic differences are huge but the counterinsurgency principles could work in Afghanistan. McClellan didn’t say anything opposite of that. The counterinsurgency strategy going into Afghanistan, clearing, holding, rebuilding, the civil society and the infrastructure can work in Afghanistan. And those leaders who are over there, who have also been advising George Bush on this have not said anything different but that.

HuffPo is giving her credit for the possibility that she was talking about Civil War General McClellan. Since former White House press secretary Scott McClellan was on TV for a few years giving us Bush’s talking points, it is more likely that it was Scottie she had in mind. U.S. commanders don’t like the idea of or think a surge in Afghanistan styled on the one in Iraq will work. She insisted on repeating a lie that McCain continues to make in an ad he is running about Obama not funding the troops – a patently ridiculous lie, the kind of big audacious lie that was a staple of the Bushies.

AP: McCain Repeats Troop Funding Lie. MCCAIN: McCain said Obama voted to cut off money for the troops in Iraq. THE FACTS: Despite opposing the war, Obama has, with one exception, voted for Iraq troop financing. In 2007, he voted against a troop funding bill because it did not contain language calling for a troop withdrawal. The Illinois senator backed another bill that had such language – and money for the troops.”

Palin and Mccain have both claimed the “surge” in Iraq worked. That is at least debatable, though it appears very unlikely that the surge was responsible for the drop in violence ( Palin also said troop levels had been returned to presurge levels, that is false.There are now approximately 152,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, about 17,000 more than the pre-surge levels) Satellite images show ethnic cleanout in Iraq

“By the launch of the surge, many of the targets of conflict had either been killed or fled the country, and they turned off the lights when they left,” geography professor John Agnew of the University of California Los Angeles, who led the study, said in a statement.

“Essentially, our interpretation is that violence has declined in Baghdad because of intercommunal violence that reached a climax as the surge was beginning,” said Agnew, who studies ethnic conflict.

Some 2 million Iraqis are displaced within Iraq, while 2 million more have sought refuge in neighboring Syria and Jordan. Previously religiously mixed neighborhoods of Baghdad became homogenized Sunni or Shi’ite Muslim enclaves.

The study, published in the journal Environment and Planning A, provides more evidence of ethnic conflict in Iraq, which peaked just before U.S. President George W. Bush ordered the deployment of about 30,000 extra U.S. troops.

Of course Bush and McCain were both quick to claim credit after four bloody years. That infantile desire to get recognition for something, anything that could be spun in a positive light was and still is nauseating. Bush and Cheney, neither of whom have any strategic planning experience and have claimed multiple times they let the commanders decide, that’s a lie. They’ve done some very tragic micro-managing, Bush’s Bloody Flip Flop. Palin and McCain say they’ll take a new direction. Whatever. They can’t bring back those that died because of Bush’s horrific leadership. Maverick McCain voted with Bush 90% of the time so he shares responsibility. One assumes that Palin voted for Bush both elections so how big of a maverick reformer can she be. She marshes lock step to the Right’s directives just like most of the Right does.During the debate, as mangled as they were she regurgitated just about every rabid Right talking point we’ve the last seven years.

We all know how this goes. If you were a McCain supporter before the debate you thought Palin won and if you’re an Obama supporter you thought Biden provided an Ass Whuppin. The important stat is that undecideds thought Biden won and had more confidence in his knowledge and leadership qualities. To me it seemed that Biden has that steadiness and wise elder statesman thing going on while Palin thought she was in the Miss Congentality portion of the contest. She does seem nice, niceness is nice even if it is a little plastic, but thin credentials for being a heartbeat away from being commander-in-chief.

Judge Refuses to Block Alaska Troopergate Probe

An Alaska judge on Thursday refused to block a state investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power when she fired her public safety commissioner this summer.

Judge Peter Michalski threw out the lawsuit filed by five Republican state legislators who said the investigation had been tainted by partisan politics and was being manipulated to damage Palin shortly before the Nov. 4 presidential election.

“It is legitimately within the scope of the legislature’s investigatory power to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the termination (of) a public officer the legislature had previously confirmed,” the judge wrote in his decision.

The probe is looking into whether Palin, who is the Republican vice presidential candidate, and others pressured Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan to fire a state trooper who was involved in a contentious divorce from Palin’s sister, and then fired Monegan when he wouldn’t dismiss the trooper. Palin says Monegan was ousted over budget disagreements.

Before Palin was picked as McCain co-reformer she had agreed to cooperate with the investigation, then changed her mind.

Sarah Palin blunders over talks with British ambassador that never took place as her first TV debate looms, a quality she shares with Dubya, lying when it really doesn’t matter. Who did she think she was going to impress by saying she had meet an ambassador she didn’t.

This one was another one from the discombobulation machine, Palin Channels Reagan

Palin’s final quote was from Ronald Reagan, warning that without vigilance, “you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

In fact, Reagan was not warning about a general lack of vigilance about freedom, he was warning what would happen if Medicare was enacted.

Who knows maybe Palin thinks that Medicare is a form of enslavement.

Since Palin was picked as McCain’s running mate in August. Since then the U.S. has suffered 50 casualties in Iraq. 704 Iraqis have been killed. As Iraq Moves Towards Provincial Elections, Minority Sects Further Marginalized

A new decision by the Iraqi parliament leaves Iraqi minorities with no representation in the country’s provincial councils as well as the legislature.

By an overwhelming majority, the parliament early this week revoked paragraph 50 from the constitution, under which Iraqi minorities were assigned a set of seats in legislative and municipal councils.

The revocation has sparked mass demonstrations in areas where these minorities live, particularly in the northern Province of Nineveh, of which Mosul is the capital.

Not only non-Muslim minorities are affected. The Shebeks, who are Muslim Shiites, have lost this privilege as well as the Yazidis who still pursue their secretive and traditional faith.

The decision has been a blow to the minorities who make up at least 10 per cent of the Iraqi population.

Neglected and persecuted under former leader Saddam Hussein, they hoped the new U.S.-occupied Iraq would bring good news.

On the contrary. They have borne the brunt of the upsurge in violence and insecurity that has become a characteristic of post-Saddam Iraq.

With paragraph 50 of the constitution revoked, these minorities will have no means left to air their voice.

McCain has said he knows how to win wars and Governor Palin swears he does. Astounding that a man with such vital life saving knowledge wouldn’t give America some hint as to exactly what he knows, as in a plan.