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When Tina Met Sarah:

Entertainment Weekly has an interesting interview with Lorne Michaels about Sarah Palin's SNL appearance last Saturday. Michaels was impressed by Alaska's Governor ("she's a very powerful, very disciplined, incredibly gracious woman") and said "she could have her own show." He also talks about the perils of trying to line-up political figures for SNL appearances, and explains they never planned for Palin to do that rap on "Weekend Update."

Asher (mail):
Well isn't that nice. Today we got this from Palin. A third grader asked her this question.

Q: Brandon Garcia wants to know, "What does the Vice President do?"

PALIN: That's something that Piper would ask me as a second grader also! That's a great question, Brandon, and the Vice President has a really great job, because not only are they there to support the President's agenda - they're like the team member, the teammate, to that President- but also, they're in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want, to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom.

Palin seems to think the Presidency of the Senate is analogous to being Speaker of the House. http://www.9news.com/video/default.aspx?aid=63586
10.21.2008 7:33pm
fortyninerdweet (mail):
Good. We didn't have to wait too long for that.
10.21.2008 7:53pm
wooga:
Asher,
The president of the senate personally presides over deliberations, if he so chooses. The Constitution doesn't give much authority to the VP outside of that. So how exactly is Palin's statement incorrect? And what would have been a more accurate statement?
10.21.2008 8:09pm
Asher (mail):
Wooga, how can the Vice President really "get in there with the Senators and make good policy changes?" They can break tie votes, and if they actually did preside over deliberations on a regular basis maybe they could pull some parliamentary tricks to help their side's cause, but there's not much policy-making power there. As good old Wikipedia notes, "there is a strong convention within the U.S. Senate that the vice president not use his or her position as President of the Senate to influence the passage of legislation or act in a partisan manner, except in the case of breaking tie votes."
10.21.2008 8:16pm
ObeliskToucher:
Also from Wikipedia "Until the 1960s, it was common practice for the Vice President to preside over daily Senate sessions, so the President pro tempore rarely presided over the Senate unless the Vice Presidency became vacant."
10.21.2008 8:24pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

... explains they never planned for Palin to do that rap on "Weekend Update."


The puzzle for me is how otherwise sesible people ever really believed that Palin was changing her mind live on camera and that the blonde (I've forgotten her name) was them prepared to stand up and do a complicated rap riff on Karl Rove's rap, without rehersal, including them reversing the blocking so that the "eskimos" would hit their marks on the opposite side of the stage.
10.21.2008 8:29pm
Michael B (mail):
Asher, Here's your link. I recommend people listen to it.

Palin was responding to a question posed by a grade-schooler (Brandon), so there's no indication she believes the VP's role as President of the Senate (and that is the official title, Pres. of the Senate) is equivalent to the Speaker's in the House.
10.21.2008 8:31pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
Asher, the Vice President can do pretty much what she wants. it's not like the Majority Leader is going to be able to have the Sergeant at Arms remove the President of the Senate from the Senate floor.

Now, can she be effective? Who knows? But if she wants to be there every day the Senate's in session, she will be.
10.21.2008 8:31pm
Syd Henderson (mail):

As good old Wikipedia notes, "there is a strong convention within the U.S. Senate that the vice president not use his or her position as President of the Senate to influence the passage of legislation or act in a partisan manner, except in the case of breaking tie votes."


But she's a maverick! She can defy convention!
10.21.2008 8:41pm
CDR D (mail):
Well, in my opinion, if Palin gets elected I'd love to see her presiding over that filthy pack of scheming rats every single day.
10.21.2008 8:42pm
Mark L:
The apparent lack of common sense being shown when observing candidates one doesn't favor is becoming alarming. Does Asher really believe that a response to a third-grader's question encapsulates Governor Palin's formal understanding of the job of the Vice President? Senator Biden was (rightly) mocked for his statement that FDR went on television to talk to the public about the stock market crash, but I suspect Asher would vehemently deny the suggestion that Biden doesn't know who was President in 1929 or that television came much later. So please, Asher, apply some common sense criteria when evaluating candidate statements, even from those you oppose.

This goes to Charlie's observation about the rap on SNL. Who really thinks the Governor would have taken the time to learn and rehearse something like that in the middle of a campaign? I'm with Charlie; how has any sensible person missed that she was simply providing the cue for Amy Pohler?
10.21.2008 9:04pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
Question: Suppose Obama stood up in front of a crowd of black people and asked them to vote for him, stating "Only our side has a black on the ticket!"

Would that be racist?
10.21.2008 9:28pm
therut (mail):
Chrissy Mattews was foamin at the mouth about how wrong, stupid she was about this. Of coarse some ignorant liberals agreed with him. Why is the MSM do dumb? What does someone do to be a reporter besides learn left wing propaganda. They were really upset about this and kept on and on and on about how wrong and stupid she is. Good Grief. Do they no realize how brazen their bias shows.
10.21.2008 9:29pm
CDR D (mail):
Heh. Article I, section 3, clause 4.

Gawd, how I'd love to see Palin cut the nuts off of an unctuous blowtoad like Robert Byrd. and "Chrissy" would be left holding his crank while that "tingle" runs up his leg.
10.21.2008 9:35pm
Sid Finkel (mail):
The AP story, now on the USA Today web site states that Palin ordered expense reports altered so that they said her children were on state business when they accompanied her to various activities. This was to justify their getting expense money. The organizations that sponsored the events state otherwise.

Anybody concerned?

Also, she did not pay taxes on this reimbursement. The story quotes a tax attorney saying that Alaska law allows the exclusion of the reimbursement.

You people are attorneys. Is there any attorney(other than the one the Palin's found) that believes state law can override IRS law and regulations? There are any number of web sites with tax attorneys that firmly conclude the reimbursements were taxable.

Anyone concerned?

Paraphrasing someone else, the amazing thing about politicians is not that they are crooked, but that they steal such small amounts.
10.21.2008 9:45pm
CDR D (mail):
>>>Anybody concerned?<<<


Not me.


Considering the lack of interest in Obamessiah's taking of honoraria which appears to be contrary to Illinois law, I just don't give a damn about this petty BS.

See if you can find pictures of Palin in a donkey show. That might help.
10.21.2008 9:56pm
Sam Draper (mail):
At least as defined by the constitution, it seems that presiding in the Senate is the VP's only job The only other thing he does is count electoral votes every four years and replacing the sitting President.

Under the original Senate rules, the VP did have a great deal of power, but that power varied between VPs largely based on inclination and skill. It is only during the 20th century that the VP has come to be viewed as a part of the executive and largely divorced from the affairs of the Senate.

IMHO, the constitutional scheme did make some sense. The VP would be acquanted with the personalities and operation of the legislative branch, which would certainly be a terrific thing if the sitting President were to die. I'd be quite happy if the VP quit playing vice-executive and resumed his (or her) constitutional role as President of the Senate.
10.21.2008 9:56pm
Alexia:

..... how can the Vice President really "get in there with the Senators and make good policy changes?"


I think it is what is technically known as "Politicing."
10.21.2008 9:59pm
vinnie (mail):
how can the Vice President really "get in there with the Senators and make good policy changes?"



I didn't finish first in the parliamentary procedure contests in school but I learned that the gavel held a LOT of power.
10.21.2008 10:31pm
Michael B (mail):
"Anybody concerned?" Sam Draper

Incurious much? Concerned about this much, or this, given your, ummm, principled outlook? Your USAToday story has been around the block a few dozen times as well, though it's no surprise USAToday is recycling it in a barely modified form presently. But since it involves Palin, any malice, any distortion, any slander or libel can be forwarded at will - and can likewise be considered an "intelligent" concern if we're to take note of similar arguments in nearby threads.

By contrast, a couple of journos on The comprehensive argument against Barack Obama (an advisement, this latter link contains several youTube video links and will take a couple of seconds to load even with a faster connection). Any concerns?
10.21.2008 10:50pm
Michael B (mail):
Here's one link, this one merely wiki but it does provide supportive citations, contrasting Alaska governors Palin and Murkowski for example, excerpt:

"... Palin's gubernatorial expenses are 80% below those of her predecessor, Frank Murkowski, and ... "many of the hundreds of invitations Palin receives include requests for her to bring her family, placing the definition of 'state business' with the party extending the invitation."

And of course Palin is the governor who eliminated the private jet previously used by Murkowski as well.
10.21.2008 11:07pm
Borealis (mail):
Expense reimbursements are not taxable income -- they are reimbursements for costs the government should have paid for, but for convenience had the employee pay and then get reimbursed. That is not income.

Per diem reimbursement is a system designed to be even more convenient for the government. Rather than track every little receipt of expense reimbursement, the government sets a flat rate that it pays each employee in travel status to cover many travel expenses. Thus, per diem is a reimbursement and is not taxable.

That is the system used by the federal government for several million civil and military employees. A similar system is used by the State of Alaska.
10.21.2008 11:08pm
Dan M.:
I read the article about the reimbursements. Doesn't seem too damning to me. She'd already filed for the reimbursements, and then later went through the papers and wrote in explanations. Doesn't seem like too big of a deal, though perhaps on one or two occasions it may not have been appropriate. I think it's up to the state to tell her what she can and can't get reimbursed for and to deny reimbursement when it's not appropriate, and she can pay that back if they say that she should.

No, I don't think anyone thinks that state law can override the IRS. Of course, I think I'd give someone the benefit of the doubt when they filled out their tax returns with the advice of an accountant and/or an attorney. God forbid someone try to minimize their federal tax liability using a tactic that they think is within the law. Hell, if she got bad advice and owes money to the IRS, she can repay it. But, after all, she did say that paying high income taxes was unpatriotic.
10.21.2008 11:10pm
krs:
Well, even the least charitable interpretation of her comments means that she has a less radical view of the VP position than Cheney did.
10.21.2008 11:30pm
Asher (mail):
Does Asher really believe that a response to a third-grader's question encapsulates Governor Palin's formal understanding of the job of the Vice President? Senator Biden was (rightly) mocked for his statement that FDR went on television to talk to the public about the stock market crash, but I suspect Asher would vehemently deny the suggestion that Biden doesn't know who was President in 1929 or that television came much later. So please, Asher, apply some common sense criteria when evaluating candidate statements, even from those you oppose.

I don't know how vehemently I'd deny that suggestion. I'd say it's probable that Biden knows that television wasn't around in 1929. After all, he was a child when television was just gettin started. He can probably remember a time, early in his childhood, when he and his neighbors didn't own televisions. So yeah, pretty obviously just a misspeaking. Now, Palin on the other hand I'm not nearly as confident about. What reason do we have to think that she's informed on the role of the Vice Presidency? She's pretty ignorant about nearly everything else, and the single other time she's commented on this matter, in the vice-presidential debate, not when answering a question posed by a third grader (though I should mention, the question was submitted by a third grader but asked by a reporter in the context of an interview with a local news station), this is what she had to say:

Of course, we know what a vice president does. And that's not only to preside over the Senate and will take that position very seriously also. I'm thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are.

...

IFILL: Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the constitution might give the vice president more power than it has in the past. Do you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?

PALIN: Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president's agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we'll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation.

________

From these statements, it's hard to discern any "formal understanding of the job of the Vice President" whatsoever. It is clear though, here and again in the comments today, that she thinks the Vice President's power as President of the Senate is not simply formal, or simply a matter of breaking tie votes, but can be "exert[ed]" if the Vice President chooses to help advance the President's policy agenda in the Senate.
10.21.2008 11:33pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
michael:

80% below those of her predecessor


If you're lucky, no one will notice that you are quoting wiki, which is quoting NYT, which is quoting a completely undocumented and uncorroborated statement by Palin's spokesperson.

By the way, claiming that Palin is better than Murkowski is kind of like saying we torture less than Saddam. It's a singularly unimpressive standard.
10.22.2008 12:35am
David Warner:
Smoking gun photos of Palin raping the Alaskan taxpayer!
10.22.2008 12:56am
Joe Hiegel:

Smoking gun photos of Palin raping the Alaskan taxpayer!

And then she billed the taxpayer for the rape kit.
10.22.2008 3:28am
SmartGirls (mail) (www):
MESSAGE
10.22.2008 5:07am
Public_Defender (mail):
Palin on TV with the "Not Ready For Prime Time Players." Perfect.
10.22.2008 8:59am
Sid Finkel (mail):
Well, about Palin's reimbursements and taxes.

Respondents says its ok because Obama did something questionable, its ok because it wasn't very much (ok how much tax evasion do you have to do to make it an issue?)its ok because the previous Gov did even more, it's ok because its just a USA today attack (it's not, it's that notoriously biased AP), its ok because they get the benefit of the doubt etc. None of these arguments would withstand a challenge in a court of law.

One respondent said that its ok because expense reimbursement is not taxable, thus showing a degree of ignorance about tax laws and regulations as to disqualify that person from ever commenting on the issue. See Stratton vs Commissioner for a legal analyis of the issue.
10.22.2008 12:17pm
Accountant Ed (mail):
Thanks, SmartGirls, for the most coherent, useful comment on this entire thread.
10.22.2008 12:22pm
martha:
I'm not immediately concerned about either the kids' travel or the VP description.

re: kids, If a state elects a parent of small kids and then requires that the parent travel, it seems reasonable for the state to send the kids to accompany the parent. More so for longer trips, younger kids, both parents must travel; less so for the opposite. (I'm speaking in terms of fairness, not law, since I don't know what the law is. If she knowingly broke the law, of course I'd be concerned.)

re: VP, Palin surely knows now, if she didn't 6 mos ago, what the VP role is, since she was excoriated for her earlier answers. "in charge of" is an understandable off-the-cuff translation for "presides over," and she was obviously trying to answer the question as though the 3rd grader was listening.

I do not plan to vote for Gov. Palin, but neither of these issues seem worth getting worked up over.
10.22.2008 1:49pm
SFC B (mail) (www):
Wow. I am in so much trouble now. I have travelled a lot for the military and have collected per diem any time I was having to pay out of pocket for lodging, meals, or using my own personal vehicle.. Now I come to find out that I should have paid taxes on the money I was reimbursed?

Thanks for setting me straight on that Sid Finkel.
10.22.2008 1:51pm
Sid Finkel (mail):
Well, Martha, the issue is not whether or not the reimbursement was appropriate, which is an Alaska state issue, but whether or not some of the reimbursement (particularly to Todd and her children) is taxable income.

SFC B, I assume your per diem reimbursement was for you job which is fine, and not for expenses of your spouse, or 7 year old child who traveled with you.

Again, if anyone can cite any laws, regulations, court cases or other objective sources that support the conclusion that reimbursement of travel expenses for living at home or to one's spouse and children (who are not employees of the state of Alaska) please do so.
10.22.2008 3:06pm
wooga:


From these statements, it's hard to discern any "formal understanding of the job of the Vice President" whatsoever. It is clear though, here and again in the comments today, that she thinks the Vice President's power as President of the Senate is not simply formal, or simply a matter of breaking tie votes, but can be "exert[ed]" if the Vice President chooses to help advance the President's policy agenda in the Senate.

Asher,
How in the world is this thinking incorrect? Have you ever been to a meeting where somebody had a gavel? Even in the most mundane, pointless HOA meeting, the gavel holder can, and invariably will, control deliberations in her own favor.

Maybe you should watch "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" to appreciate how much of a manipulator the gavel holder can be. Palin is 100% correct. Biden is the one who is demonstrably wrong about the constitutional authority for the VP. Try quoting his debate response...
10.22.2008 3:33pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Too bad the stuff about what the campaign/RNC is paying Palin for her clothes shopping during campaigning didn't come out before the SNL appearance.
10.22.2008 4:43pm
SFC B (mail) (www):
Sid Finkel, FWIW the Joint Federal Travel Regulation does allow military members and civilian employees of DoD to receive reimbursement for the travel of dependents for permanent, as well as temporary, travel. The requirements to receives it for temporary travel are more restrictive than for permanent, however, basically, as long as there is a justifibale reason for the dependent to travel it can be authorized by someone high enough up the chain of command.

So there is at least one regulation which allows for dependent travel to be reimbursed.
10.22.2008 5:11pm
Sid Finkel (mail):
SFC B

That sounds reasonable, and I am glad the policy is in place since military families give a great deal to the country and deserve that kind of consideration.

Questions:

Is this remimbursement taxable? (I am a tax consultant and I do not know the answer)

Does this have anything to do with Gov. Palin since she and her family are not military or civilian employees of DoD? Again I am not questioning whether or not it is appropriate under Alaskan regulations for her family to recieve reimbursement, or for her to receive per diem when she lives at home (although there is some question about this) but whether or not the payments are taxable income.

Look, you can legally and ethically and morally receive all of the expense reimbursement your employer wants to give you, but to be excluded from taxable income the payments and situation must meet specific requirements of tax law, regulations and conform to court decisions, and no one seems to be able to cite any of that to justify her excluding the income from her tax return, while there is a strong amount of evidence that the payments are taxable.

Roger Olsen, a noted tax attorney and former Reagon admin official gave the rationale based on the fact that the income was excluded from her W-2, and that under Alaska law it was not taxable, which is ludicrous.

It is not the case that Gov. Palin deliberately evaded her taxes. She went to H &R Block, and they made a mistake. All of us would have great admiration for her if she would just have admitted it, paid the tax and moved on. Candidates on all sides just refuse to admit mistakes, and that lowers all of our opinion of them.
10.22.2008 5:45pm
Michael B (mail):
Sid, you must be terribly alarmed concerning Obama's tax issues, yet you failed to voice your concern in that thread [crickets chirping ...]

"Too bad the stuff about what the campaign/RNC is paying Palin for her clothes shopping during campaigning didn't come out before the SNL appearance." JosephSlater

Another "principled" concern voiced by Joseph. Now, as soon as we are allowed more transparency from Obama's campaign, concerning their own spending, we'll no doubt hear from the JosephSlaters of the world, as well as harrumphs voiced by the MSM [more crickets chirping ...]

And when pigs fly ...
10.22.2008 6:40pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Michael:

The thread is about Palin. You know, the one who is dragging the McCain ticket further down every day with each embarrassing story, as poll after poll demonstrates. The one who appalls leading conservative lights as well as us liberals. Granted, some stories about her are worse on the substance ("pro-America" parts of the country, e.g.), but this shopping spree revelation was amusing. Well, I can say that because it wasn't my campaign contributions that paid for it.

Keep blaming the "MSM" though. It's a brilliant and productive strategy.
10.22.2008 7:05pm
Sid Finkel (mail):
Michael B

Look, I do not know about Obama's tax issue. It appears it is not a tax issue but an issue on whether or not he violated ethics laws by taking speaker's fees. I am not an expert on Illinois ethics law, so I must leave that to others. Is there an issue that Senator Obama violated tax laws?

I am, however an expert on taxes and so that is why I am speaking to that issue. What I do not understand is why no one wants to address the Palin tax issue, instead the responses on this blog are similar to your response, bringing up other subjects which has no bearing on the issue of whether or not Gov. Palin evaded (deliberately or otherwise) on her and her families's expense reimbursement.

Do you really think if Gov. Palin has to go before the IRS on this issue her successful defense will be that Obama has a question about his speaking fees?

My position is that someone for the highest offices in the land should be intelligent enough to comply with the federal tax laws, and if not and she inadvertently violated them (which I think is the case), someone who has enough integrity to admit a mistake, pay the back taxes and not do it again.

Is this asking too much?
10.22.2008 8:30pm
Billy Bob Joe:

Smoking gun photos of Palin raping the Alaskan taxpayer!

Since when do Democrats care about rape victims of politicians?
/not agreeing with the original statement
10.22.2008 9:52pm
SFC B (mail) (www):
I have no idea if it is taxable. I know that, each year, I get a W2 from the travel pay office that gives me a number for non-taxable compensation or something like that. I'm willing to bet that this isn't some special "military only" exemption but one related to compensation for travel expenses.

As I see it, the question isn't whether Palin was required to pay taxes on the per diem she received for herself or her family. The question is whether it was proper for Alaska to allow her to claim Juneau as her "duty location" (to put it my parlance) entitling her to per diem for her home in Wasilia. Alaska's travel rules also seem to allow for the travel of dependents on the state's dollar provided there is justification. So, the question is, who provides the justification, and who approves it? Do their policies require pre-approval, or can it be ex post facto?
10.22.2008 10:04pm
Hoosier:
When Tina Met Sarah

With Fey and Palin?

If it were a porn flick, I'd so totally rent it.
10.23.2008 12:21am
Asher (mail):
Asher,
How in the world is this thinking incorrect? Have you ever been to a meeting where somebody had a gavel?


But she wouldn't have the gavel. That's what the President Pro Tem does. And even he doesn't usually do it.
10.23.2008 1:56am
David Warner:
Slater,

The Palin quote:

"Palin addressed a North Carolina fund-raiser Thursday night saying, 'We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. We believe...that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation.'"

You're heading to the barricades over that?

Bill Clinton pandered worse than that clearing his throat. Love the guy. And yet I google for the above quote and discover that a large chunk of the "Progressive" blogosphere is apoplectic. Oh wait, they're always apoplectic. Never mind.
10.23.2008 4:10am
JosephSlater (mail):
Warner:

While I'm not heading toward any barricades, I think the reference to "pro-America" parts of the country, when read together with what other folks like Bachmann are saying (pro-America vs. anti-America) is all part of the right-wing meme that somehow Democrats, liberals, people-not-like-them are not good patriotic Americans. It's part of the "they don't support the troops" message of the last campaign. The "San Francisco democrats." And it's despicable. Fortunately, it's not working this time.

Of course Palin, being the gift-that-keeps-giving that she is, has now given us $150,000 more to talk about.
10.23.2008 9:38am
JosephSlater (mail):
P.S. I and could have added "the real Virginia" vs. "the communist part of Virginia," etc., etc.
10.23.2008 9:39am
wyswyg:
Funniest comment on the thread.

"All of us would have great admiration for her if she would just have admitted it, paid the tax and moved on."




Priceless!!


Also this;


"the right-wing meme that somehow Democrats, liberals, people-not-like-them are not good patriotic "Americans.




Multiple polls taken over a long period of time indicate that Democrats themselves say that they are not patriotic.
10.23.2008 10:02am
Michael B (mail):
Sid,

Do you really think if Obama has to go before an ethics board or any kind of legal review on this issue that his successful defense will be that Palin has a question about her taxes?
10.23.2008 10:28am
wyswyg:
Here is the poll.

Scroll about half way down the page to the section called "The Patriotism Gap".

"Nearly every American agrees with the statement "I am very patriotic," but there is a large and growing division in the intensity with which Republicans and Democrats express this sentiment. Currently, 71% of Republicans and just 48% of Democrats say they completely agree with that statement."





There's a handy chart showing that Democrats are less patriotic regardless of whether a Dem or a Republican is in the WH.
10.23.2008 10:30am
David Warner:
Slater,

"Fortunately, it's not working this time."

It's not working because you've got the candidate who's articulating the positive vision (which is how he got my vote). Rovian hatestorms predicated on distorted quotes will get you exactly what it got Rove: a crippled presidency.
10.23.2008 4:26pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Warner: I agree

Wyswyg: Damn, you found out the truth. All us Dems hate America. There's really no other explanation. I was hoping that wouldn't come out until after the election. CURSES!!!
10.23.2008 4:51pm
M:
Asher: "But she wouldn't have the gavel. That's what the President Pro Tem does. And even he doesn't usually do it."

I think the point is that the President Pro Tem presides in the Vice President's absence. When the VP is not absent, the VP would preside. And wield the gavel.

The Senate can change its rules whenever it wants by a 2/3 majority -- I think. Given the way the election is going this year, I think the Dems may have the 2/3 they need to make a rule that the person presiding has to do so on one foot while humming Yankee Doodle Dandy. I'm not sure how much of this debate is really worth having.
10.23.2008 5:15pm
Michael B (mail):
David Warner,

Obviously you're free to believe what you wish to believe, but given stuff like this, this, this, the latter merely for additional perspective, I'm inclined to ask what planet you live on. Given the media's assumed role this cycle as virtually an operating unit of the Obama/Biden campaign, I'd suggest less naivete and additional perspective is needed. That considers the media angle only and doesn't get into the negatives promulgated by the Obama/Biden campaign per se.
10.23.2008 5:18pm
David Warner:
Michael B,

I'd suggest avoiding free naivete diagnoses. I get my news from the same sources you do. I didn't say Obama's campaign wasn't negative too. I said it offered a positive vision. McCain's is too busy feeling sorry for itself after getting dumped by the legacy media floozy.
10.24.2008 12:36am
Michael B (mail):
David, don't take it too personally. I'm not sure what you mean by "free" naivete and I wasn't presuming to probe your entire world view or person in general, we're addressing a relatively narrow set of issues and assessments relevant to the current political theater. Perhaps I shouldn't have used the "planet you live on" remark so I apologize if that seemed more generally or more personally offensive, but that's not what I was getting at. We disagree concerning Obama's "positive vision," I'll leave it at that.
10.24.2008 3:36am
David Warner:
Michael B,

Free as in significantly cheaper than the rates most professors charge for the same service. Obama's positive vision, from a suitably critical source.
10.24.2008 2:51pm
Michael B (mail):
An excerpt from yet another writer's unguarded "appreciation" of The One, in the linked article:

"Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans...but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, ..."

A better caricature of salvific feel-goodism would be difficult to find among the commentariat this political season. There are more comedic and personified expressions, such as Olberman and Matthews & Co., but a more concise expression would be difficult to find.

Likewise, Obama's arrogation of Abe Lincoln to his persona and cause, as described in the linked piece, is bemusingly telling as well. Oil and water don't mix and Obama is the oil skimming, shimmering and floating upon Lincoln's water and gravitas. An arrogation is an arrogation only.
10.24.2008 6:15pm