.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Palin observation.

Sarah Palin is resigning about 28 months into her first term as Governor.

Thought on Palin

Maybe, after the Vanity Fair piece, Sarah Palin realized that people weren't just going to forget, that those opinions and grudges weren't going away, that the McCain folks would resiste her and the national media would never take hers seriously.

Maybe she finally realized that she was never going to be President, so she just quit.

Now she can do "dollars for speeches" before another 16 months of Governor-ing dims her star even further. The crowds will be always be friendly, the money will be good, to her people, she will be a sympathetic figure, and, in a little time, she can be a "FoxNews contributor." (Screw the people of Alaska.)

(On the other hand, the "hasty" nature of the thing, with no written speech and no coordinated rollout does feel like something forced by scandal or opportunity.)

Maybe she's going to be the highly paid figurehead president of the NRA, Right to Life, or some other righty group where she can fundraise the maroons?

Oh, and check out enemy Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski's one line statement.
"I am deeply disappointed that the governor has decided to abandon the state and her constituents before her term has concluded," she said in a one-sentence statement.

PS. I'm still "fishing," but Palin's resignation deserved some mention.


Will Marc Sanford take this second incredible chance to have his story disappear and finally and completely shut up?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Sarah Palin resigns?!?!?!?

I try to take one freakin' day off, and Sarah Palin resigns!

I haven't had time to dig into it yet, but my first reaction is that something's fishy. Maybe some scandal, some investigation coming down the pipe.....

I mean, why not just serve out your term? And why release this bombshell on a holiday weekend, Friday off, tomorrow being the 4th. That's the best news dump ever unless you're willing to kill Michael Jackson.

There's something else here. You know the blogging hounds are running like crazy right now.

I'll check back in later, hopefully with more...

(Hey, maybe we'll get a press conference with a shamed and dejected husband for one...)

Later: Andrea Mitchell has the most flattering "to spend more time with her family" article ever.

Later: Read the statement. She's quitting because she doesn't want to not work hard as a lame duck. (No rule says she can't work hard as lame duck.)
And so as I thought about this announcement that I wouldn't run for re-election and what it means for Alaska, I thought about how much fun some governors have as lame ducks... travel around the state, to the Lower 48 (maybe), overseas on international trade - as so many politicians do. And then I thought - that's what's wrong - many just accept that lame duck status, hit the road, draw the paycheck, and "milk it". I'm not putting Alaska through that - I promised efficiencies and effectiveness! ? That's not how I am wired. I am not wired to operate under the same old "politics as usual." I promised that four years ago - and I meant it.

: So it's either President or scandal. (If it was the FoxNews host, you'd think they would want her to serve out her term rather than just appearing to sell out.)

And, if it's a move for Presidential ambitions, don't you think her camp's statements and the rollout would be a little smoother? (Plus, do you really think you can run with "quitter" on your resume?)

This might be scandal, and it might not, but it does have the feeling of something decided on suddenly.

One more: I watched her all of her announcement. In the first section, I was convinced she was hinting at 2012, and then she started rambling semi coherently which seemed insecure and made me wonder.

Who doesn't pre-write a statement on something this major? If it's planned with any advance. (And a planned announcement would have proxies out there pushing positive spin, not surprised allies speculating across the spectrum.)

And, she doesn't take questions?

Gone fishing.....

I'm going to take the holiday off. I need a little blogging vacation.

I may shoot in a post or two if N. Korea shoots its missile or Lindsey Graham comes out or I see a really good picture, but otherwise I need to be free of the blog for a few days. It's gotten a bit heavy lately, and I think I need a few days away.

Meet you back here Tuesday.


(PS. I've tried this before and it didn't last til dinner. We'll see how it goes.)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Fighting hard to lose in 2012

CBS has a bunch of McCain campaign emails by/about Palin. (Funny how these just happen to come out after the McCain campaign "family feud" following the Vanity Fair piece. ....Someone's trying to score points.)

And, (RadioIowa) Someone is already phone polling Iowa on 2012 Republican primary names.

Quote: Smart Guy

Al Franken not only hits the right tone, but also manages to score points with a significant power player.
"There's something in Hillary as a model for me, because Hillary, well she came in with a different kind of celebrity obviously. But there was a kind of skepticism where she had to prove herself a certain way and also prove not to be a kind of a show horse, but to be a work horse. And so I want to... put my head down and get to work when I get there."

The longer term Iranian struggle

It's not really clear where Moussavi's level of influence will settle after all this, but he's firmly staking out his position, not against the election, but against the Guardian council, calling it "illegitimate."

As the furor over the stolen election dies down and the protesters pull back from the streets, will Moussavi's criticism still have the same impact in 6 months? Will they be able to transition the passion of their movement?

Say a little prayer....

A US soldier is missing and presumed captured by the Taleban. (although the circumstances seem a little odd. "Wandered" off base... Had his own three man Afghan security team...?)

Still... Say a little prayer....

The CIA's history

How bad and how wrong has the CIA been over the years?

Famously wrong on the collapse of Russia, and the Indian nuclear tests. Despite the August briefing, virtually blind over 9/11 with no real pre-9/11 assets in Al Qaeda. Institutionally wrong or manipulated on Iraq. Still haven't found Bin Laden.

It might be argued that their successes don't get published, and I think to some degree we have to accept that, but they have also made some huge misses over the years that have cost the US dearly and would seem to force questions over their overall operation.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Maybe it's time to try something else

What does it say about Norm Coleman that he loses to both Jesse Ventura and Al Franken.

His only "big" win was a below 50% squeaker for Senate in the (post Sept. 11) 2002 Republican peak year. (Remember? Walter Mondale stepped in very late after Paul Wellstone died, and Coleman only won by 2%.)

Bush v Nixon

Not since post Watergate disillusionment......
This is now the first time since the 95th Congress (1977-1979) that one party will have had 60 or more votes in the Senate.

Kinda puts the verdict on the Bush presidency in perspective.

Rummage sale

A total of 150 U.S. bases in Iraq have been shut down or turned over to Iraqis in the past nine months, according to Pentagon and military officials.

How much crap do you think was left behind?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Politico claims that that Palin story from Vanity Fair has Republicans clawing at each other.

Perhaps the best bit is McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt hitting Bill Kristol over one of his career lowlights,
Asked about the accusation, Schmidt fired back in an email: “I'm sure John McCain would be president today if only Bill Kristol had been in charge of the campaign.”

“After all, his management of [former Vice President] Dan Quayle’s public image as his chief of staff is still something that takes your breath away.”

(If you want alot of Republican infighting, it's a fun read.)

N. Korea loses "chicken"

It appears that N. Korean freighter that the US was tailing has turned around and headed home.

Coleman concedes

But now what will he do for suits?

Franken's in

The Minnesota Supreme Court issued its ruling, unanimously saying that Franken should be certified as the election winner.

Coleman press conference at 4PM EST, Franken at 5:15. I'm sure the Coleman presser will be filled with "I only wanted to fight for the voters" BS.

Franken fundraising for 2014 starts tomorrow.....

Marc Sanford's self exceptionalism

In the same AP interview where he admits he "'crossed lines' with a handful of women other than his mistress," he also tries to defend this affair as different because it was "love."

Logic twists to self-justify.....

Today's reader

A big Vanity Fair piece on Sarah Palin's VP run is getting alot of blogging attention today. There's still some carping from McCain staffers in there, but it's looong. Not sure if it's worth it.

Just for discussion, is Palin now so nationally damaged that she's out of the Presidential hunt forever?

Pictures from Honduras


Would the shape of the health care debate be different if the much more connected and influential Tom Daschle had been HHS Secretary?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Surprise, surprise, surprise.....

Iran's Guardian Council says the election was valid....

Another way: Guardian Council says Guardian Council is right.

Franken-Coleman may soon be over

We still don't know when the Minnesota Supreme Court will issue a decision, but yesterday on CNN, Tim Pawlenty said he would sign certification if Coleman loses his challenge.

I'm sure Pawlenty will first allow Coleman a disgusting "just fighting for the voters" concession speech.

(I keep thinking about the reception when Franken first enters the Senate chamber.)

Later: Politico points out that the NRSC has sent a million dollars to Coleman just in the last three months.

Can't think....

They're doing construction on my street, and all I'm hearing is the constant backup beepers. If I'm short this morning, that's why. I'm bailing out.

(And, no, it's not a Stimulus project.)

Thought for the Day

Bernie Madoff will get a lighter sentence than someone convicted on a half dozen counts of burglary.

Later: Whoa. I was wrong. Madoff gets the max, 150 years.

I hope he gets to stay alive to enjoy many of them.

The US "test fires" back

In preparation for the expected N. Korean missile "test" towards Hawaii this weekend, the US conducts a missile "test" of their own, firing a Minuteman from California out into the Pacific towards N. Korea.

The US is making a point to say that all three multiple warheads off the missile hit their targets while the N. Koreans can't even make a nuke small enough to fit on a missile.

In international military terms, I think this is termed "Mine is bigger."

US troops leave Iraqi cities

Tomorrow is the deadline for US troops to be out of Iraqi cities.

It's amazing that this step is passing with so little notice.


I don't know enough about Honduras to comment intelligently on the coup, however, I thinbk it's notable that everfyone in the region is against it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


They'll very probably get blown out, but the US national soccer team is playing the biggest game in their history this afternoon around 2 PM eastern on ESPN.

Good luck, boys. Fight hard.

A Cuban missile crisis in N. Korea

It's my opinion that the N. Koreans aren't after war, but instead, bluster for effect both internationally and internally ahead of the (hoped for) transition to power to the 26 year old Kim's son.

But, I do fear we're approaching a danger point where tensions and weapons systems are so stacked that a mistake or miscalculation could lead to a very ugly incident.

(Reuters) South Korea getting U.S. missiles to boost defences: report

(AP) N. Korea threatens to shoot down Japanese planes in its air space

With so many players in the dance and so little distance, if one missile goes astray, or a ship or plane gets damaged in an accident, or someone reads the wrong thing on their screens, things could get dangerously out of control very quickly.

Iran arrests British embassy staff

Iran arrests 8 Iranian employees of the British embassy claiming they had a role in the protests (AP/AFP/BBC), in a rather transparent attempt to draw a foreign link.