Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And On That Note, I'm Out For The Night

Me, last night on Bristol Palin:
Any attack on Palin at all along these lines and the GOP will play the misogyny card.
GOP Assholes, today:
John McCain and his fellow Republicans rallied behind his vice presidential pick, Sarah Palin, on Tuesday and his campaign accused Democrat Barack Obama of sexism for questioning her level of experience.
I'm going to bed now. I will repeat and amend this:
Any attack on Palin at all along these lines and the GOP will play the misogyny card.

It doesn't matter what the attack is. Obama hates women, just like he passed over Hillary because he's a misogynist bastard. They will play this card until A) Obama leaves office, or...fuck there is no B). Oh wait, B) is Obama hates white women, too.

Expect sixty three days of "Barack Obama hates white women." Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

Compassionate Conservatism Goes For Cold Hard Numbers

Those cold hard numbers being the 2008 GOP platform, adopted at this week's convention, that illegal immigrants should not be counted in the 2010 census...a sure way to drastically reduce Federal funding and political representation for high immigrant blue states like California and New York.
Michigan Republican Rep. Candice Miller has proposed a constitutional amendment specifying that congressional representation "shall be determined by counting the number of persons in each state who are citizens of the United States."

Miller, in reintroducing the amendment last year, said that states with a large number of illegal immigrants are gaining unfair representation in the House. Had her amendment been in place before the 2000 census, Miller said, California would have six fewer seats in the House while New York, Florida and Texas would have one fewer seat. States with fewer undocumented residents, including her own state of Michigan and others such as Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, would have picked up a seat, she said.
The GOP thinks you're a wonderful human being and you should be brought into this world. Unless you're an illegal, in which case fuck you, you sub-human parasite. We're not even going to acknowledge that you even exist in our country. You literally do not count as a person to these people...well, unless you're a fetus or a stem cell or something.

And after all, if the Census becomes an official record of who is legal and who is not in America, those who are not can be deported a lot easier, hmm?

The GOP. We Care About You. Unless You Piss Us Off, In Which Case We Will End Your Ass.

How To Know When You're Over:

It's one thing when political sites talk about you being done, but it's another thing entirely when, say, Fortune Magazine openly wonders about your future career prospects being bought and sold on InTrade.
Now the Democrats aren't the only ones who can try to capitalize on the negative buzz growing around Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the prospective Republican VP candidate.

Intrade, an online prediction market based in Dublin, created a contract Tuesday morning on the likelihood that John McCain will drop Palin as his running mate. After opening at a probability of just 3%, the odds on Palin being cut from the ticket climbed to 18% around 9 a.m. and have since settled at around 12%.

Intrade is a place for betting enthusiasts to turn a small profit on everything from the latest auction of works by controversial British artist Damien Hirst to Britney Spears' chances of landing in rehab. Contracts on a possible future event are bought and sold by users of the site, like a stock on the NYSE.

Chad Rigetti, Intrade's VP of Business Development, says traders on the site asked Intrade to create the newest market after stories about Palin, including her teenage daughter's pregnancy and her involvement in a group that did corporate fundraising for controversial Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, flooded the news. The pool has been open for less than twelve hours, but has already attracted more than 950 trades. Intrade estimates that about $2300 has been traded on the Palin withdrawal contract.

Placing a Palin withdrawal at even 12% seems bullish; no presidential candidate has withdrawn his VP selection since Thomas Eagleton left Democratic candidate George McGovern's ticket in 1972.

Intrade has demonstrated some success in predicting political choices (forecasting the selection of Biden), but also volatility: Palin's chances of landing the nomination vacillated wildly in the hours before McCain announced the pick.

Rigetti points out that while some traders are putting Palin on the chopping block, they're still giving her 97% odds in a separate market for the VP nomination. He thinks that many traders are playing both markets, which means they believe a withdrawal won't come until later in the election season.

Intrade monitors its traders' demographics, but it's too early to tell who's betting on a Palin pullout. Some of the naysayers could be Republicans: Rigetti says that, unlike polls, the election markets don't always represent political beliefs. "People have a real money incentive," he says. "They're betting with their head and not their heart."

Now that's the free market at work, and considering the wacky stuff that keeps gettng dug up about the woman, those odds keep going up. Me, I like her...since her announcement Obama's gained 8 points on McSame. She's great...for Obama.

P.S. She cut $1.1 million out of Alaska's state budget in a line item veto that slashed funding for troubled kids...and teenage mothers.

As Michael Keaton said in Beetlejuice, "and it keeps getting funnier every time I see it!"

What The Heck Is Obama Up To, Anyway?

Well...he's up to a six to nine point lead.
Barack Obama appears to have answered some key questions on voters' minds and enjoyed a significant bounce from the Democratic convention. He gained support from those who had supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries, and is allaying concerns that he's not ready to govern. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate, is still unknown to many Americans, but enjoys favorable rating from a majority of those familiar with her in the first days after her selection.

Rasmussen's tracking poll, which had the race for the White House essentially tied on August 28th now shows Obama up by 6 points, joining Gallup's daily tracking poll, in which Obama's expanded his lead over McCain to 8 points. Hotline's latest shows a 9-point spread, and CBS shows Obama up by 8. Real Clear Politics rolling average of recent polls shows Obama up by 6.4 points.

In the Gallup Poll, Obama now has the support of 50 percent of registered voters (to McCain's 42 percent), the first time he's hit that mark and his highest level of support to date.

Looks like Sarah Palin has done the impossible: her pick's starting to unify the PUMAs behind Obama.

It's WAR I Tell You! WAR!

McSame's boys have declared war on CNN!(h/t AmericaBlog)
Watch the CNN interview that so upset the McCain campaign that they're now boycotting CNN. In it, McCain's spokesman makes the preposterous claim that Sarah Palin is ready to lead our armed forces because she's "the commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard." And let's not forget, as Mrs. McCain reminded us, Alaska is close to Russia, so that means, um, it's not clear what it means. Here's the video. See for yourself what a cry-baby John McCain is.

McSame's base is the Village, and he's just gone to war with them. MY TANK IS FIGHT!

UPDATE: They've declared war on the NY Times as well, calling Elizabeth Bumiller's front page story this morning "materially false". This...will not end well.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

This election is no longer about Obama. It's about the other guy's VICE PRESIDENT. Yeah I know, I'm guilty of it too.

I'm sure the guy needed a day off from The Stupid.

Still, McSame's campaign guys agree with me.
Rick Davis, campaign manager for John McCain's presidential bid, insisted that the presidential race will be decided more over personalities than issues during an interview with Post editors this morning.

"This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

Why bother with the issues when your entire party is getting creamed on them? Change the subject. When your side is defining what the election is about, you win the election.

Ancient Battles

When distilled down to the core, the election is not just about change. It's specifically about which kind of change, and in which direction.

One side wants change towards the principles of classic socialism (the government exists to promote egalitarianism), the other side wants changes towards classic theocracy (the government exists to promote a religion, in this case Christianity).

The current theory, which is classic imperialism (the government exists to promote the power of itself) is definitely NOT working out so well. But both sides still are preaching statism, that is the belief that the most powerful thing is the State. It is NOT how that State exercises its power (in the name of equality or in the name of Christianity) that matters as much as the State collects all the power to exercise. And that's a problem for both sides.

Having said that, which one do you believe in more, God or Man? It's a weighty choice, for sure. And yet, that's what's at stake. One side believes God should govern Man, the other side believes Man should govern Man.

That's a pretty ancient battle. It's one that will continue to rage long after we're all gone, I should think. Both sides seem to think being ruled by the WRONG God is bad, naturally. The Socialists say we need to accept this God, Allah, as equal and embrace Allah's followers, that if we fight each other we will only destroy each other. The other side says that we must turn to the Christian God and defeat them utterly, or be utterly defeated by them.

One side believes that only by having laws that follow the tenets of faith can Man survive, the other side believes that only by having laws that follow the tenets of reason can Man survive.

It's really kind of scary, actually. But that's the scope of this juncture in history. The reason why it's called a "revolution" is that it's always coming 'round again.

It Just Doesn't End

Oh good googly-moogly, this woman is a complete train wreck. (h/t Atrios)
One thing all sides agree on is that the valley was in flux. The old libertarian pioneer ethos was giving way to a rising Christian conservatism. By shrewdly invoking issues that mattered to the ascendant majority, Palin won the mayor's race. But while she may have been a new face, says Naegele, she was no maverick, not yet. "The state party gave her the mechanism to get into that office," says Naegele. "As soon as she was confident enough to brush them off, she did. But she wasn't an outsider to start with, she very much had to kow-tow to them."

Governing was no less contentious than campaigning, at least to begin with. She ended up dismissing almost all the city department heads who had been loyal to Stein, including a few who had been instrumental in getting her into politics to begin with. Some saw it as a betrayal. Stambaugh, the police chief and member of Palin's step aerobics class, filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination, alleging that Palin terminated him in part at the behest of the National Rifle Association, because he had opposed a concealed-gun law the NRA supported. He eventually lost the suit. The animosity spawned some talk of a recall attempt, but eventually Palin's opponents on the City Council opted for a more conciliatory route.

At some point in those the fractious first days, Palin told the department heads they needed her permission to talk to reporters. "She put a gag order on those people, something that you'd expect to find in the big city, not here," says Naegele. "She flew in there like a big city gal, which she's not. It was a strange time, and [the Frontiersman] came out very harshly against her."

Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." The librarian, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire her for not giving "full support" to the mayor.

St. George, however, points out that Palin couldn't have seen everything through an evangelical lens. She had, he says, notably resisted calls to restrict operating hours for the bars in town. And even if faith did play an unusually large role in her decision-making as mayor, it may have only reflected the continued rise of evangelicism in the valley, a growth that continues to this day.

"We like to call this the Bible Belt of Alaska," says Cheryl Metiva, head of the local chamber of commerce. Churches proliferate in Wasilla today, and among the largest and most influential is the Wasilla Bible Church, where the Palins worship.

The woman's not a maverick. She's a small-minded provincial hypocrite.

Cartoon Of The Moment

Daryl Cagle, from today. More at Cagle's site.

Back Into The Fray!

Mmm, Bratwurst. Oh, where was I? Ahh yes, the impending demise of Sarah Palin's political career.(h/t AmericaBlog)
John McCain has a problem with patriotism -- he keeps talking about putting America first, but his running mate, Sarah Palin, was member of the Alaska Independence Party, a political party would put Alaska first by seceding from the U.S. She addressed that group -- this year. This is a very serious issue. Jed has the details and the video:
Why does Sarah Palin hate America? You know those prickly little flag lapel pin bullshit attacks on Obama's patriotism? How he supposedly put his own politics ahead of America and how he hates the country?

Well Sarah Palin's little fringe group here wants Alaska to secede from the nation. Sarah Palin supports them. She used to belong to the party before switching to the GOP.

And she wants to be Vice President?

This is the issue that I think will end it for her. Obama and Biden never advocated for the secession of a state, folks. Middle America is going to think she's a complete nutjob. I honestly think with the media asking questions about if Sarah Palin will even make it past the convention, this is the straw that breaks the back of a number of camels.

It's over. Odds are growing hourly that she withdraws.


Bleah, enough Palin for a while. Oktoberfest Zinzinnati-USA is almost here!

If you're anywhere near here on the weekend of September 20th, head downtown. OZ-USA is one of the biggest Oktoberfests outside of Germany, and it's a freakin' blast. You owe it to yourself, folks. Be there. Great food, great beer, and one hell of a party across ten blocks of downtown Cincy.

This year especially I think I'll be needing this one.

But The Soul Still Burns

The Palin fight continues, and what a fight it is. Greg Sergeant documents the atrocities.
On the same day that the Republicans were forced to dramatically cut back their convention activities, the Palin Meltdown unfolded with extraordinary speed. It's worth pondering the totality of what happened today, in a mere half day...

* The news that Palin once backed the Bridge to Nowhere went national.

* It emerged that Palin has links to the bizarro Alaska Independence Party, which harbors the goal of seceding from the union that McCain and Palin seek to lead.

* The news broke that as governor, Palin relied on an earmark system she now opposes. Taken along with the Bridge to Nowhere stuff, this threatens to undercut her reformist image, something that was key to her selection as McCain's Veep candidate.

* The news broke that Palin's 17-year-old daughter became pregnant out of wedlock at a time when the conservative base had finally started rallying behind McCain's candidacy.

* Barely moments after McCain advisers put out word that McCain had known of Bristol Palin's pregnancy, the Anchorage Daily News revealed that Palin's own spokesperson hadn't known about it only two days ago.

* A senior McCain adviser at the Republican convention was forced into the rather embarrassing position of arguing that McCain had known about the pregnancy "last week" -- without saying what day last week he knew about it.

* It came out that Republican lawyers are up in Alaska vetting Palin -- now, more than 72 hours after it was announced that she'd been picked.

* Palin lawyered up in relation to the trooper-gate probe in Alaska -- a move that ensures far more serious attention to the story from the major news orgs.

What else will come out today?
And that was just this weekend. Today, we see the Troopergate investigation is running into a roadblock:
In one of the stories yesterday about Palin's hiring of a lawyer -- which we now find out she's having the state of Alaska pay for -- I noted that her new counsel, Thomas Van Flein, asked the lead investigator in the case to turn over all witness statements and documents produced so far in the probe. That struck me not as a good-faith request but rather an effort to get into a fight over process and thus gum up the investigation until after the election.

And sure enough, today's Anchorage Daily News provides plenty of evidence that that is what's happening in spades. Though to this point Palin has said she would cooperate fully with the investigation, Van Flein is now challenging the standing of the entire inquiry. He claims that any investigation should be handled not by the legislature but by the state Personnel Board which, conveniently, is made up of the governor's appointees.

Van Flein is also charging that the state senator charged with overseeing the investigation is on a partisan witch-hunt. "Our concern is that Hollis French turns into Ken Starr and uses public money to pursue a political vendetta rather than truly pursue an honest inquiry into an alleged ethics issue," Van Flein told the ADN. To which French rather persuasively responded that the charge of partisanship rang at least a little hollow since the investigation was instigated and authorized by a committee dominated by Republicans (though it's only fair to note that Palin is not beloved by all Republicans in the state).

And finally that deposition that the investigator is trying to arrange with Gov. Palin? Seems she may be too busy running for vice president to make time for that. From the ADN ...

Branchflower [the lead investigator] hasn't been able to set up an interview with Palin. French said the state will fly Branchflower to wherever Palin is on the campaign trail if needed.

"Clearly the governor's new political role will make it more challenging for her to make time for this investigation," French wrote. But Palin needs to be interviewed sometime in September, he said.

Van Flein said the investigation is "bad timing" in the middle of a presidential campaign. He said he couldn't guarantee her availability this month.

If witnesses aren't available, French wrote, he'll ask the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, to issue subpoenas.

Buckle up.

The guys at Talking Points Memo have broken a lot of stories on GOP corruption, most noteably the biggest offenses by Alaska Senator Ted "Series of Toobs" Stevens, so the Alaska political scene is something Josh Marshall and Greg Sargent know. Keep an eye on them for more Palin coverage.

The Dominionist Counterattack

Late last night it looked like Sarah Palin was in trouble. But the media's counterattack against the Palin haters, fueled by GOP fundie talking points, has been nothing short of breathtaking.
They are coming to Johnny Mac's rescue to save poor beleaguered Sarah Palin from the likes of that bitchy man old liberal CNN reporter, Campbell Brown. Think I'm crazy? Well then take a perusal of some of the mainstream outlets this morning to see what they are saying about the Palin nomination. In general, they are giving it a pro-Republican spin, folks. McCain's "base" is carrying his water for him once again.

Here's a good example from the The Boston Globe this morning about what a great choice she is to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency:

Palin provides a striking alternative

VP pick defies archetypes of women in politics

... Sarah Palin, the Republican governor of Alaska and John McCain's unexpected choice for vice president, represents a striking alternative to the female archetypes that have long dominated American politics. She is a sharp departure from traditional Republican wives such as librarian Laura Bush and heiress Cindy McCain, but she is also very different from the Democrats' pair of urbane working mothers, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, who are strongly identified with the pro-abortion rights feminist movement.

For some conservative women, Palin's sudden arrival at the pinnacle of American politics is both welcome and long overdue.

"It's so great to have a strong female role model," said Emily Zanotti, a 26-year-old conservative political strategist from Chicago who writes the political blog American Princess. "We don't really belong anywhere, women like me. In the Republican Party we're not really welcomed because we don't fit the traditional model, and we're not welcomed by the Democrats because we're pro-life."
We're talking about a complete sea change: This year's Soccer Moms and NASCAR Dads are Dominionists: pro-life, conservative, classified as Independent more than Republican, but also politically they hold the belief that government should follow the tenets of Christianity and should work to spread and evangelize those tenets. These are the folks who think birth control is a sin and should be illegal. In fact, "It's a sin, it should be illegal" is a really good rule of thumb for how these folks want to run this country. This is the group that had up until now had largely abandoned McSame. They were going to sit out the election. Now they are staunchly behind Sarah Palin as their champion, and the change they believe she will bring to Washington.

It's through Sarah Palin that these folks believe America will truly become a Christian nation, at the expense of separation of Church and State, civil liberties, freedom of other religions, reproductive choice, and the trillions spent on an unending crusade against Islam. It is fundamentalist, neo-con control over every aspect of our lives.

Sarah Palin is the face that will sell it to America and the world. Bush's usefulness as the leader of this movement has expired. McSame is suspect, but of course he's 72, and should he develop health problems, Sarah Palin will be in charge.

That's exactly what they want. The Dominionists could not be happier. And the pull in the media is being exercised to keep her on the ticket, despite the horrified reactions of the GOP's foreign policy realist wing. If you think Bush was their puppet, wait until they extrude their hooks into Palin. It's a Devil's bargain. Palin is the price to get McSame in the White House...and we're the ones who will be paying it.

They will not allow Palin to go. The battle is on for the soul of the Replublican Party...and it will be over in 48 hours.

Bangkok Dangerous (But St. Paul Is More So)

In Thailand, the PM Samak Sundaravej has declared a state of emergency to stop ten of thousands of protesters demanding freedom. It's been less than two years since the Thai Army kicked out the last Prime minister and replaced him, and the People's Army of Democracy (known as the PAD) has taken to the streets in massive numbers over the last couple of months to protest.

But Thailand's current Army chief isn't too thrilled about sending in the troops.
Thai soldiers would not use force to evict protesters occupying the prime minister's office, army chief Anupong Paochinda said on Tuesday despite a state of emergency giving him the power to do so.

"If we thought we could use police and soldiers to get them out with a peaceful conclusion, we would do it. But we think that that would create more problems," he told reporters after a man died in clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters.

The emergency powers invoked by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej banned public meetings, declared government buildings off limits, and restricted media reports that incite unrest.

But with the army reluctant to enforce the decree -- Anupong said his soldiers would be unarmed and would act only as a buffer between the protesters -- the stand-off looked set to drag on.

"Announcing a state of emergency is proper and timely. But if you ask me if this is the beginning of the end? No, it isn't," said Puwadol Lapudomsuk of Asia Plus Securities.

And so, the standoff continues. Now compare that to how America treats its own protesters demanding democracy in the streets of one if its cities.
Following up on this weekend's extreme raids on various homes, at least 250 people were arrested here today in St. Paul, Minnesota. Beginning last night, St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American city be, even more so than Manhattan in the week of 9/11 -- with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas canisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations. Humvees and law enforcement officers with rifles were posted on various buildings and balconies. Numerous protesters and observers were tear gassed and injured. I'll have video of the day's events posted shortly.

Perhaps most extraordinarily, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now -- the radio and TV broadcaster who has been a working journalist for close to 20 years -- was arrested on the street and charged with "conspiracy to riot." Audio of her arrest, which truly shocked and angered the crowd of observers, is here. I just attended a Press Conference with St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Police Chief John M. Harrington and -- after they boasted of how "restrained" their police actions were -- asked about the journalists and lawyers who had been detained and/or arrested both today and over the weekend. They said they wouldn't give any information about journalists who had been arrested today, though they said they believed that "one journalist" had been, and that she "was seemingly a participant in the riots, not simply a non-participant." I'll have video of the Press Conference posted shortly.

Think really long and hard about under GOP rule in 2008, how being a protester in Bangkok, Thailand is less likely to get you arrested and detained to stifle your voice then in St. Paul, Minnesota. This is the Police State the people of St. Paul live in this week, their only crime being in the same city as the GOP's orgy of influence-peddling and corruption.

Think about that when you vote. We're already more of a police state than Thailand under an Army-imposed state of emergency. Give it another four years of the GOP and see where we are.
Here are several photographs taken from around St. Paul from this morning -- before the march or any of the protests started -- showing how militarized the city was. For whatever reasons, the brigades of police officers would periodically chant military terms and march around in formation ("Double Time!"), while helicopters hovered overhead and Humvees drove by frequently:

Clearly, and particularly in the wake of this weekend's thuggish raids, the intent was to create a highly intimidating, militarized and high-tension climate.

I'd say it's working. I'd say you will see more of this in every American city should things get as bad as I think they will with the collapse of the housing market and runaway inflation evolving into rampant deflation, unemployment, and economic disaster. Imagine this on YOUR street corner...and every other street corner in America.

Now keep in mind the mechanism to do this is already in place. It just needs a reason.

History Of A Reformer

Sarah Palin's "squeaky clean image" as a "maverick reformer" who "cannot abide lobbyists" just took another major hit this morning from the Washington Post.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for a town of 6,700 residents while she was its mayor, according to an analysis by an independent government watchdog group.

There was $500,000 for a youth shelter, $1.9 million for a transportation hub, $900,000 for sewer repairs, and $15 million for a rail project -- all intended to benefit Palin's town, Wasilla, located about 45 miles north of Anchorage.

In introducing Palin as his running mate on Friday, Sen. John McCain cast her as a compatriot in his battle against wasteful federal spending. McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, hailed Palin as a politician "with an outstanding reputation for standing up to special interests and entrenched bureaucracies -- someone who has fought against corruption and the failed policies of the past, someone who's stopped government from wasting taxpayers' money."

McCain's crusade against earmarks -- federal spending sought by members of Congress to benefit specific projects -- has been a hallmark of his campaign. He has said earmarks are wasteful and are often inserted into bills with little oversight, sometimes by a single powerful lawmaker.

Palin has also railed against earmarks, touting her opposition to a $223 million bridge in the state as a prime credential for the vice presidential nomination. "As governor, I've stood up to the old politics-as-usual, to the special interests, to the lobbyists, the big oil companies, and the good-ol'-boy network," she said Friday.

Which is actually kind of funny, because she lied about the Bridge to Nowhere too.
In fiscal 2000, Wasilla received a $1 million earmark, tucked into a transportation appropriations bill, for a rail and bus project in the town. And in the winter of 2000, Palin appeared before congressional appropriations committees to seek earmarks, according to a report in the Anchorage Daily News.

Palin and the Wasilla City Council increased Silver's fee from $24,000 to $36,000 a year by 2001, Senate records show.

Soon after, the city benefited from additional earmarks: $500,000 for a mental health center, $500,000 for the purchase of federal land and $450,000 to rehabilitate an agricultural processing facility. Then there was the $15 million rail project, intended to connect Wasilla with the town of Girdwood, where Stevens has a house.

The Washington trip is now an annual event for Wasilla officials.

Sarah Palin played the game just like the Alaska GOP bigwigs now facing their own corruption and lobbyist scandals, and turns out she plays the game pretty well...all the way to a VP slot.

But the evidence is piling up against her, and the GOP is getting increasingly horrified that if they don't act within hours, they will be stuck with the worst VP choice in history. The NY Times weighs in with its front page story on Palin, and it's not flattering at all.

A series of disclosures about Gov. Sarah Palin, Senator John McCain’s choice as running mate, called into question on Monday how thoroughly Mr. McCain had examined her background before putting her on the Republican presidential ticket.

On Monday morning, Ms. Palin and her husband, Todd, issued a statement saying that their 17-year-old unmarried daughter, Bristol, was five months pregnant and that she intended to marry the father.

Among other less attention-grabbing news of the day: it was learned that Ms. Palin now has a private lawyer in a legislative ethics investigation in Alaska into whether she abused her power in dismissing the state’s public safety commissioner; that she was a member for two years in the 1990s of the Alaska Independence Party, which has at times sought a vote on whether the state should secede; and that Mr. Palin was arrested 22 years ago on a drunken-driving charge.

Aides to Mr. McCain said they had a team on the ground in Alaska now to look more thoroughly into Ms. Palin’s background. A Republican with ties to the campaign said the team assigned to vet Ms. Palin in Alaska had not arrived there until Thursday, a day before Mr. McCain stunned the political world with his vice-presidential choice. The campaign was still calling Republican operatives as late as Sunday night asking them to go to Alaska to deal with the unexpected candidacy of Ms. Palin.

Although the McCain campaign said that Mr. McCain had known about Bristol Palin’s pregnancy before he asked her mother to join him on the ticket and that he did not consider it disqualifying, top aides were vague on Monday about how and when he had learned of the pregnancy, and from whom.

While there was no sign that her formal nomination this week was in jeopardy, the questions swirling around Ms. Palin on the first day of the Republican National Convention, already disrupted by Hurricane Gustav, brought anxiety to Republicans who worried that Democrats would use the selection of Ms. Palin to question Mr. McCain’s judgment and his ability to make crucial decisions.

At the least, Republicans close to the campaign said it was increasingly apparent that Ms. Palin had been selected as Mr. McCain’s running mate with more haste than McCain advisers initially described.

Will Sarah Palin remove her name from consideration for "the good of the country?" Who would replace her? Will Karl Rove tell McSame "She's out"? Remember, they rolled back Bush's choice for Harriet Myers for the Supreme Court when it became clear she wasn't qualified and secretly she was embroiled deep in the DOJ/Alberto Gonzales scandal.

Or will the GOP stick it out? She's energized the base like nothing McSame himself could do...and it's not like these guys admit mistakes often.

We'll know in a day or two.


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