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    AmP Countdown: Time left to demand that Congress make health care reform pro-life: 2009-11-07 18:00:00 GMT-05:00

    Monday, July 06, 2009

    Politics: Thoughts on Sarah Palin's resignation from AK governor's seat

    Um, what just happened?

    I heard the news via Twitter on Friday, but felt pardoned from having to talk about it at least until today.

    My simple take is that she should not have stepped down from the office she was elected to hold.
    So just what does she have planned next? The Associated Press:
    Even for a nonconformist, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin defies political logic with her sudden, stunning announcement to leave office more than a year early.
    Supporters and critics alike say the former GOP vice presidential candidate's resignation, announced Friday afternoon and effective July 26, is an inexplicable move for a high profile Republican widely seen as a contender for a White House run in 2012. A half-term governor campaigning for president?
    Um ... it didn't appear to hurt Obama too bad that he was a half-termed Senator. Good call, AP.

    More hints about her plans on her Facebook page (yes, it's actually her).

    Curiouser and Curiouser, hints that her attorneys are now actively combating "defamatory material".
    Here are lessons of the Sarah Palin experience, for any aspiring politician who shares her background and her sex. Your children will go through the tabloid wringer. Your religion will be mocked and misrepresented. Your political record will be distorted, to better parody your family and your faith. (And no, gentle reader, Palin did not insist on abstinence-only sex education, slash funds for special-needs children or inject creationism into public schools.)

    Male commentators will attack you for parading your children. Female commentators will attack you for not staying home with them. You’ll be sneered at for how you talk and how many colleges you attended. You’ll endure gibes about your “slutty” looks and your “white trash concupiscence,” while a prominent female academic declares that your “greatest hypocrisy” is the “pretense” that you’re a woman. And eight months after the election, the professionals who pressed you into the service of a gimmicky, dreary, idea-free campaign will still be blaming you for their defeat.

    All of this had something to do with ordinary partisan politics. But it had everything to do with Palin’s gender and her social class.

    Sarah Palin is beloved by millions because her rise suggested, however temporarily, that the old American aphorism about how anyone can grow up to be president might actually be true.

    But her unhappy sojourn on the national stage has had a different moral: Don’t even think about it.
    And, as if on queue, liberal pundit Maureen Dowd goes there.
    Al Kresta, meanwhile, has a very good commentary on what these Palin haters are trying to do.
    What a crazy ten months.

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    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    Defendin' Palin

    George Marlin does his best over at The Catholic Thing:
    Governor Sarah Palin is driving liberal and conservative members of the eastern establishment bonkers.

    Because Palin is a working mother of five, didn’t abort her Down syndrome child, is the main bread winner in her family, gave a terrific acceptance speech, held Biden’s feet to the fire in the vice presidential debate, attracts large crowds at campaign rallies, and is good-looking – liberal feminists are frothing at the mouth.

    In their quest to destroy Palin, these self-appointed guardians of the women’s rights movement have discarded all the rules of civility and fair play.

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    Friday, October 24, 2008

    Friday Joke: Sarah Palin and the Pope

    I think this was originally Al Hurley, but I got it from Lisa Schiffren:

    So, Sarah Palin's advisors decide that it is time for her to meet a bunch of serious world leaders. They head to Europe, where, first up, she has an appointment with the Pope. The Pope and some of his Cardinals invite her for a boat ride on the Tiber.

    As they are sitting in the gondola talking, a wind starts up and blows the Pope's hat into the water. Palin looks around and realizes that no one is going to do anything about it, so she calmy rises, takes off her her high heels, and steps off the side of the boat.

    Instead of diving into the water, however, she walks across it, to the hat, picks it up and walks back across the water to the boat. She climbs in, hands the Pope his hat and continues discussing whatever it was they had been talking about.

    The Cardinals are open mouthed in astonishment at what they have just seen. The news media, in nearby boats are busy discussing among themselves how to report it.

    Headlines the next day at the New York Times, The Washington Post and the networks all blare: "New Revelation: Sarah Palin Can't Swim."

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    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Sarah Palin's fashion budget over $150,000?

    Semi-gratuitous Palin photo:

    The price of fashion isn't cheap (underlining mine):

    The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

    ... The entries also show a few purchases at Pacifier, a top notch baby store, and Steiniauf & Stroller Inc., suggesting $295 was spent to accommodate the littlest Palin to join the campaign trail. (Politico)

    Some of the money probably went to John McCain and other people on the campaign as well.

    ... too much?

    Then again, Obama's campaign has spent almost $500,000 on "food/meetings".

    And of greater substance: Sarah Palin to Dobson: I'm Solidly Pro-Life and McCain Opposes Abortion

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    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Video: Biden mouths off, double standard at work

    Joe Biden opened his mouth again:
    Joe Biden warned that America's enemies would test Barack Obama with an international crisis within six months if he's elected president - a shocking comment John McCain eagerly pounced on yesterday to claim Obama isn't ready to be commander-in-chief. (NYP)

    Just remember that as we form our opinions. Palin has her drawbacks but Biden is no knight, either.

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    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Video: The *real* Sarah Palin on SNL

    Something to get your Monday morning started!

    The opening:

    The "Palin rap":

    Wow - she's actually funny.

    Time for a contrast:

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    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Video: Obama and Palin on abortion

    First, Sarah Palin connecting the dots:

    Via GodSpy.

    Now see Obama at Planned Parenthood:

    Note the contrast.

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    Friday, October 10, 2008

    Audio: Laura Ingraham Interviews Sarah Palin on abortion

    ... and other stuff:

    Via Hot Air.

    Related: Much-Needed Advice for John McCain

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    Tuesday, October 07, 2008

    Video of Cardinal O'Malley: Little Trig Palin a pro-life champion

    My words, but read the Cardinal's:

    "I very seldom get to see any television, but I did watch part of the political conventions, and for me the star of the conventions was Trig Palin, whose mother said that he was 'beautiful' and 'perfect,' " [Cardinal Sean] O'Malley said. "And when his little sister used that spit to slick his hair down, I mean, I stood up and applauded."

    O'Malley's reference to the 5-month-old child comes in a political season in which the role of the abortion issue for Catholic voters has become more contested than ever. (Boston Globe)

    Ph/t: Whispers: "In his remarks, the Capuchin cardinal added that 9 out of 10 unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted."
    Here is the video:

    What I can't wrap my head around is the notion, held my some, that while almost everything they find inconvient or embarassing should be considered "off limits" for criticism, the fact that Sarah Palin decided to have a baby with Down syndrome can be talked about (and even mocked).
    Thank God for baby Trig!


    Video: Sarah Palin schools a heckler

    Today's obligatory Palin-mania video .... enjoy!

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    Monday, October 06, 2008

    Video: SNL on the VP debate

    Easing into Monday, something to lighten the load....

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    Thursday, October 02, 2008

    Tonight's VP Debate - Predictions

    This post will morph into an open thread (+live blogging maybe) when the debate starts tonight at 8pm. Here's what I'm reading to prepare:

    I do think Palin will exceed expectations.

    What are your predictions/thoughts?

    update: Yes I did watch the debate, but unfortunately at a location away from a blogging apparatus. I'm still forming my opinion. I would note quickly that Biden, true to form, reminded us of his pro-abortion stance by saying one of his reasons for objecting to the nomination of Robert Bork as a supreme court justice was that he might have opposed Roe. (Heaven forbid, right?)

    Brian Burch at the blog said in response:

    "I couldn’t help but recall the recent letter of Cardinal Francis George, who wrote: “one cannot favor the legal status quo on abortion and also be working for the common good.” Biden clearly supports the legal status quo, and presumably, expanding the legal status quo (with Sen. Obama) in favor of the Freedom of Choice Act."

    I think Palin handled herself very well, especially considering her relative inexperience (five weeks on the national scene against Biden's +30 years), and the low expectations she was greeted with as a result of her recent imperfect interviews. I knew she could do better than those one-sided interviews revealed, partly because I pulled up archived video of her previous debates when running for Governor of Alaska, which helped tremendously in her victory then.

    The reaction I'm seeing on the right is extremely positive (which is to be expected), and even on the left, begrudgingly complimentary. What about "average joe six-pack" and America's hockey moms?

    Well it seemed like they just loved it.

    Finally, while Palin relied heavily on McCain campaign talking points, her personality did shine through from time to time. Biden, on the other hand, only had his talking points, and those change depending on the election cycle, his current campaign, and recent polling. As far as the debate itself, he did have more knowledge of the facts (noticed how much it focused on foreign policy - to Biden's clear advantage) and benefited from some early Palin stage jitters.

    Call me cynical, but sophism seems to be the key to political survival these days.... and woe to us.

    I'm also very pleased to see the healthy debate proceeding in this comment box - keep it coming!

    (Oh, and the beginning photo/caption on this post was hilarious!)

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    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Palin Jitters

    I'm sad to agree with Brian Saint-Paul's assessment. I think the coaching that Sarah Palin has been receiving to prepare her for Thursday's VP debate is hurting, not helping her ability to perform well under pressure.

    Related: Breaking Sarah?

    also Related ... this sick scheme: "Donate to Planned Parenthood in Palin's name."

    Ph/t: AmP Reader Jake.

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    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Biden bad, Palin good, for Catholic vote

    Biden bad - the author claims that 55 bishops have responded to Biden thus far?!

    Palin good - note that regular Mass attendees choose against Obama more often.

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    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Video: Palin's glasses designer likes Obama

    "Plumbing the Depths of Irrelevance"

    That should be the theme of the reporting team who came up with the Palin's Japanese Glasses story.

    CNN stretching a story to promote Obama. What a surprise. I almost lifted an eyebrow.

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    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Sarah Palin's personal email hacked, published

    Of all the low, dirty...

    "In the latest of a series of invasions into Sarah Palin’s personal life, hackers have broken into the Republican vice presidential candidate’s private e-mail account, and a widely read Web site has published screen grabs from it.

    An article Wednesday in posts family photos and snapshots of e-mail exchanges the Alaska governor had with colleagues. Gawker says the-email account has since been shut down, but it will leave the images up on its site for all to see." (Fox News)

    Apparently they didn't read Jeff Jacoby's editorial in the Boston Globe. These stunts help her:

    Yet the more [Palin] has been attacked, the more her support has solidified. In the latest Fox News poll, Palin's favorable/unfavorable ratio is a strong 54-27. She is named by 33 percent of respondents as the candidate who "best understands the problems of everyday life in America," more than those naming Obama (32 percent), McCain (17), or Joe Biden (10). Among independent voters, Palin's lead over Obama on this measure widens to 13 points. In a recent Rasmussen poll, 51 percent of voters said the press was trying to hurt Palin through its coverage, versus just 5 percent who thought it was trying to help - a 10-1 disparity.

    Millions of Americans, not all of them conservative, instinctively identify with Palin. That is why the left's scorching assault, so ugly and unhinged, is backfiring. The longer it goes on, the more it undermines the Democratic ticket - and the more support it builds for McCain, and his refreshingly normal running mate.

    Keep it up, boys.

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    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    AP: "Palin's Nomination Adds Fuel to Abortion Debate"

    Oh boy, here we go:

    The abortion debate is gaining a higher campaign profile this year than in other recent general elections, partly because of divisive ballot measures and partly because of Sarah Palin.

    Veteran leaders in the anti-abortion camp say they have never before seen the degree of enthusiasm that greeted Palin's selection as John McCain's Republican running mate. She opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest, and lived out her convictions by bearing an infant son she knew had Down syndrome. (AP)

    Speaking generally about the feel of this article - its tone is retrograde. In recent memory, in other words, mainstream reporting on the topic of abortion was more even-handed. They could afford to be indulgent and "show all sides" because abortion "rights" were safely secured, or at least they felt they were.
    But now they must be scared because the tone has shifted decidedly back to using the old scare tactics (i.e., "if we don't all band together, anti-abortion forces will take away a woman's right to choose and criminalize all women who seek abortions.") The article makes the case (rightly), that Sarah Palin's nomination has thrown Obama/Biden's pro-abortion position into a stark contrast.
    In this case, it is encouraging to sense fear from the proponents of the culture of death.

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    Video: SNL on Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton

    Warning: *Some Adult Language* (it is SNL...)

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    Monday, September 08, 2008

    Papist Quote of the Day

    I'm going to break a rule of quotation and excerpt the last lines of Ross Douthat's thought experiment:
    Hence the weird anger emanating from social liberals at the religious right's failure to tar and feather the Palins and run them out of GOP politics on a rail: they're mad that religious conservatives aren't fitting neatly into the stereotypes that liberals have spent years cultivating.
    Read this to see how he got here.

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    Sunday, September 07, 2008

    Update: Sarah Palin on contraception

    Remember last week when I asked the question about Palin's position on contraception?

    Today the Los Angeles times asks the question. The important part:

    Palin's running mate, John McCain, and the GOP platform say children should be taught that abstinence until marriage is the only safe way to avoid pregnancy and disease. Palin's position is less clear.

    ... Palin's statements date to her 2006 gubernatorial run. In July of that year, she completed a candidate questionnaire that asked, would she support funding for abstinence-until-marriage programs instead of "explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?"

    Palin wrote, "Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support."

    But in August of that year, Palin was asked during a KTOO radio debate if "explicit" programs include those that discuss condoms. Palin said no and called discussions of condoms "relatively benign."

    "Explicit means explicit," she said. "No, I'm pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I am not anti-contraception. But, yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids. I don't have a problem with that. That doesn't scare me, so it's something I would support also."

    So there we have it. The comment thread from last week on this same topic was particularly enlightening.


    Sunday Funnies: Palin Cartoons

    And many, many more at Jill Stanek's blog.

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    Saturday, September 06, 2008

    Video: US Weekly editor attempts to defend cover

    Megyn Kelly takes on Bradley Jacobs:

    Background here.

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    Pictures: US Weeky's double standard (Palin v. Obama)

    For today's example in objective, non-editorializing popular journalism, I give you:

    Exhibit A: "Barack Obama. He loves his wife. She calls him "my rock." Isn't their wedding picture cute? There's nothing much else to say, folks, because it's all good - just like him!"

    Exhibit B: "Sarah Palin. She lies. She's immersed in scandals. She's having babies like crazy. Her daughter doesn't know how to use birth control. She fires her sister's ex-husbands. Need we say more?"

    The backlash has reached 10,000 boycotters, and US Weekly is feeling the hit.

    More than sickeningly embarassing.

    Related: Women shifting to McCain according to Rasmussen

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    Friday, September 05, 2008

    Oprah snubs Palin, Palin wins over America

    Drudge is claiming that Oprah Winfrey has decided not to have Sarah Palin on her hugely-popular TV show (despite many, many requests from her viewers) while Oprah denies that Palin was ever even considered.
    This is a surprising decision for (at least) two reasons: 1] Oprah typically loves the opportunity to showcase accomplished, prominent women and 2] Oprah can't really claim neutrality here because of her whole-hearted support of Barack Obama.
    It's not like Palin needs the exposure, after her extremely popular, effective convention speech, Rasmussen polling is reporting that she is more popular than McCain or Obama! And indeed, every time people like Oprah snub Palin, her stock increases.
    I also agree with Brian Saint-Paul that "if John McCain wins the 2008 presidential race, it will be because Sarah Palin dragged him across the finish line."
    Without intending any sort of pun ... Palin sure is polarizing.

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    Thursday, September 04, 2008

    Shocker: Palin viewership nearly matches Obama!

    Have any doubts about Palin mania? Read on!

    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's highly anticipated speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night nearly matched the record-setting numbers of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

    Palin pulled in 37.2 million viewers across broadcast and cable networks, according to Nielsen Media Research.

    That's 55% higher than Day 3 of the DNC, when her Democratic counterpart, Joe Biden, and President Clinton took the stage (24 million).

    It's also up a sharp 99% from the Republican convention's third day in 2004 (18.7 million). In fact, it came close to upsetting Obama's historic address on Thursday -- the most-watched convention speech in history (38.4 million viewers). (LifeFeed)

    Wow - that's really impressive.

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    Sarah Pallin: Ex-Catholic?

    In case people try to make something of it, Canon Lawyer Ed Peters on the question:

    Sarah Palin's probable Roman Catholic baptism and her life spent outside the Church is of little import in assessing her character. Unlike the case of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who seems to have left the Church as an adult, Palin's parents apparently took her out of the practice of the Faith while she was yet a child, so Palin cannot be said to have decided against her Catholic identity, nor can anything be concluded about her remaining outside of full communion. Her "re-baptism" at age 12 or so, if that's what it was, would not however be recognized by the Church.

    [Peters also adds some comments about Palin's daughter, Bristol, and her pregnancy]

    This means Palin's marriage is also valid, and sacramental (presuming her husband Todd is baptized).

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    AmP Poll: Did Sarah Palin change your vote? {updated}

    {updated 12:00pm - see below}

    And as always, feel free to link to this poll (the wider sampling the better!) and discuss your response in the comment box below.

    update: due to a request, I've added a fifth voting option to the poll (basically "undecided").

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    Wednesday, September 03, 2008

    Palin takes center stage (and wows) {updated}

    {updated 10:45pm - see below}

    I just finished watching Sarah Palin's speech at the Republican National Convention (click here for text).

    I was very impressed. She held herself well, came across as confident and forceful, and delivered some of the best one-liners in a night of memorable one-liners. The audience ate it up and couldn't stop cheering. The dems are reaching.

    I think she compliments the McCain ticket very well.

    What are your thoughts?

    update: Joseph Bottum notes the lack of explicit references to abortion in her speech.

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    Peggy Noonan on Sarah Palin {updated}

    {updated most recently @ 11:45pm - see below}

    As always, excellent observations.

    Highlights from what she has to say about Sarah Palin:

    Because [Palin] jumbles up so many cultural categories, because she is a feminist not in the Yale Gender Studies sense but the How Do I Reload This Thang way, because she is a woman who in style, history, moxie and femininity is exactly like a normal American feminist and not an Abstract Theory feminist; because she wears makeup and heels and eats mooseburgers and is Alaska Tough, as Time magazine put it; because she is conservative, and pro-2nd Amendment and pro-life; and because conservatives can smell this sort of thing -- who is really one of them and who is not -- and will fight to the death for one of their beleaguered own; because of all of this she is a real and present danger to the American left, and to the Obama candidacy.

    She could become a transformative political presence.

    So they are going to have to kill her, and kill her quick.

    And it's going to be brutal. It's already getting there.
    And also:

    I'll tell you how powerful Mrs. Palin already is: she reignited the culture wars just by showing up. She scrambled the battle lines, too. The crustiest old Republican men are shouting "Sexism!" when she's slammed. Pro-woman Democrats are saying she must be a bad mother to be all ambitious with kids in the house.
    update: well this is a shocker... (via AmP reader mark:)

    Conservative columnist Peggy Noonan: “It’s over… They went for this, excuse me, political bull**** about narratives. Every time Republicans do that… they blow it.”

    I'm out the door right now and don't have time to immediately comment. AmP reader Mary:

    Peggy Noonan has updated her WSJ article to explain her unfortunate epithet, which was made about "political narrative" and not about Gov. Palin. She believes that she was 'mugged'. Considering the speed with which the MSNBC video clip went viral and the way liberal bloggers are now skewing the context of her remarks, she's probably right. She's not the only victim, though.

    update 2: Matthew Balan notes the accelerated timeline at NewsBusters.

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    Question: is Sarah Palin pro-contraception?

    AmP reader Nicole raised the question, but the evidence I've been able to find so far is shaky.

    The only source directly claiming Palin is pro-contraception that I've been able to find is an Anchorage Daily News article from 2006 (underlining mine):
    In 2002, when she was running for lieutenant governor, Palin sent an e-mail to the anti-abortion Alaska Right to Life Board saying she was as "pro-life as any candidate can be" and has "adamantly supported our cause since I first understood, as a child, the atrocity of abortion."

    Palin said last month that no woman should have to choose between her career, education and her child. She is pro-contraception and said she's a member of a pro-woman but anti-abortion group called Feminists for Life.

    "I believe in the strength and the power of women, and the potential of every human life," she said.
    So far I've not been able to find a single corroborating source for the claim that she is pro-contraception.

    CNA, reporting on Feminists for Life's reaction to the news that Sarah Palin was the GOP VP-pick, quotes their President as saying the following:
    Palin’s beliefs mesh well with Feminists for Life’s goal of “systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion” and “doing so through women centered solutions.” The vice presidential nominee explained that she believes “no woman should have to choose between her career, education and her child.”

    While Palin, a non-denominational Protestant, is anti-abortion, she is in support of contraception, a position that lies beyond the scope of FFL’s mission, [FFL President] Ms. Foster said.
    Now, point #2: Palin appears to be pro-abstinence education.

    There is, for instance, this response to a questionnaire she answered in 2006:
    Question: Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?
    Sarah Palin: "Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support."
    The original source for this response has been taken down, but is still in the Google cache.

    So... Sarah Palin is against teaching and distributing contraception in educational settings but is for contraception in general? How does that match up? Is she for teaching abstinence but, if that fails, allows resorting to contraception, especially within marriage? Sadly, that might be the most likely explanation.

    In any case, I think it's an important question to ask, and as I've said, the public record is shaky, at best.

    ... is there more to the story?

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    Zogby poll: Catholics like Palin

    The numbers:
    A Zogby Interactive online poll of likely voters conducted in the aftermath of the announcement of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as Sen. John McCain’s running mate reports that most respondents believe the Palin pick will help McCain, as do Catholic respondents in particular.

    At a rate of 54 percent, Catholic respondents believe McCain’s choice of Palin would help the Republican ticket, while 31 percent believe it would hurt the campaign. Seven percent believed it would not make a difference. (CNA)
    Consider this an open thread for the recent Palin stories. I'll update it with any notable links that get sent to me or dropped in the comment box over the course of the day...

    Previous stories on Palin here.

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    Tuesday, September 02, 2008

    Palin's Pregnant Daughter

    Most of you have probably heard the news, which broke over the labor day weekend.

    Fr. Z has a post on how the media is using this as an opportunity to criticize, of all things, abstinence education.

    Diogenes, meanwhile, wins the "so obvious we all probably would have missed it" award:

    Congratulations, Sarah Palin. You've got the New York Times talking-- on page 1, above the fold-- about whether it's wise for a mother of growing children to hold a demanding full-time job. Somehow I don't think a liberal Democratic candidate could have accomplished that.

    Congratulations, Bristol Palin. You've got the Boston Globe worried about out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

    Exactly. Suddenly these issues are important to liberal media-types, and now they are quickly adopting positions opposite to their usual ones, because ... they want to criticize the conservative veep pick.

    I guess this is another example of people trying to claim moral values in an election year.
    On a parallel, but not unrelated note, Brian Saint-Paul looks into the embarassing lack of vetting and forethought that is evidenced by these Palin details emerging so soon after her public selection.

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    Monday, September 01, 2008

    Liberals already going after Palin

    {post updated, 12:35pm}

    Perhaps taking the cake is Daily Kos trying to claim that Palin's fifth child, who has down syndrome, is actually Palin's daughter's child. Give the story some time to sort itself out, I'd say.

    Also, a particularly glaring example of bias from MSNBC:

    From the very first moment that John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin for his Republican running mate was announced, the MSNBC news network was engaged in a deliberate attempt to smear the Alaska governor, according to Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.

    During Friday night's edition of "The O'Reilly Factor," the Fox anchor displayed MSNBC's "breaking news" graphic, which ran the message, "How many houses does Palin add to the Republican ticket?" (see picture here.)
    And the feminist bloggers? "Crap."


    Meanwhile: $10 Million Woman: Palin a Hit with GOP Donors

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    Friday, August 29, 2008

    McCain chooses pro-life Sarah Palin for veep

    The Associated Press says its a lock (as does everyone):

    John McCain tapped little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate, two senior campaign officials told The Associated Press on Friday.

    A formal announcement was expected within a few hours at a campaign rally in swing-state Ohio.

    Palin, 44, is a self-styled hockey mom and political reformer who has been governor of her state less than two years.

    update: Some quick facts:

    • She has an 80-90% approval rating in Alaska, the most popular governor in America
    • She's been described as a "crackerjack governor, a strong fiscal conservative and a ferocious fighter of corruption, especially in her own party."
    • A lifetime member of the NRA, she also has a son in the army
    • She appears to be a "non-denominational protestant"
    • She aimed "to reduce general fund spending by $150 million" in Alaska
    • She belongs to Feminists for Life
    And Palin is not just pro-life politically, she is also amazingly and joyfully pro-life personally, and not only because she has five kids (ph/t: SBA):

    In April of this year, Sarah Palin give birth to her fifth child, Trig, who was born premature with Down Syndrome. Recent statistics show that in the U.S., approximately 90% of Down Syndrome diagnoses end with the mother choosing abortion. Palin on her family’s reaction to the diagnosis, in her own words:

    “We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives. We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed.” (April 18, 2008, Anchorage Daily News)

    [Read more from the SBA statement.]

    The "Draft Sarah Palin for VP" blog is going crazy. MM has a play-by-play.

    update: some helpful links...

    update 3 (finally managed to get a photo of her family on the blog succesfully - sheesh!):

    There's a huge glut of information flooding the net right now on Palin. Here's some of the best:

    I thought this point especially good: "[Palin as VP] makes me trust McCain's judgment much more than I would have if he had gone for Romney, Ridge, or Lieberman. Brownback or Pawlentey would have signaled "more of the same." But Palin? That's "change." - Eric Pavlat

    I'm also thrilled to see, based on the visitor count today, and the increased number of email tips and links I'm receiving (thank you!), as well as the record-high activity level in the comment boxes (awesome!) ... that papists and other readers are beginning to treat AmP as the one-stop newsblog where they can discuss and stay up-to-date on (usually up-to-the-minute) the most important stories in American politics, the Catholic faith, and the intersection of same.

    Thank you, let's keep a good thing going, and get it better.

    update 5: on the evangelical side...

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