Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 51389
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2022/07/02 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2008/10/5-9 [Politics/Domestic/Election, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:51389 Activity:nil
10/5    Wow, Palin really is Bush with lipstick
2022/07/02 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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2013/6/13-8/13 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/China, Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast] UID:54693 Activity:nil
6/13    NSA NSA NSA!!!
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           \_ Most people seem to have been surprised by this.
2013/3/16-5/10 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:54629 Activity:nil
3/16    Obama has lowered overall per-capita government spending:
2013/2/18-3/26 [Politics/Domestic/Election, Politics/Domestic/SIG] UID:54608 Activity:nil
2/18    F U NRA: (Sandy Hook Truthers)
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2012/11/6-12/18 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:54524 Activity:nil
11/6    Four more years!
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           \_ Can't argue with that.
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2012/12/5-18 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:54548 Activity:nil
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2012/10/16-12/4 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:54502 Activity:nil
10/16   Cheat sheet for those who plan to watch tonight's debate:
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2012/10/23-12/4 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:54512 Activity:nil
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2012/10/25-12/4 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:54514 Activity:nil
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2012/10/30-12/4 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:54517 Activity:nil
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2010/11/2-2011/1/13 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/President/Reagan] UID:54001 Activity:nil
11/2    California Uber Alles is such a great song
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2010/4/28-5/10 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:53808 Activity:nil
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12/24   Why San Francisco and union and government suck:
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mail icon tell a friend Cut, Kill, Dig, Drill Jonathan Raban Sarah Palin has put a new face and voice to the long-standing, powerful, but inchoate movement in US political life that one might see as a mutant variety of Poujadism, inflected with a modern American accent. There are echoes of the Poujadist agenda of 1950s France in its contempt for metropolitan elites, fuelling the resentment of the provinces towards the capital and the countryside towards the city, in its xenophobic strain of nationalism, sturdy, paysan resistance to taxation, hostility to big business, and conviction that politicians are out to exploit the common man. In 1980, Ronald Reagan profitably tapped the movement with his promises of states rights, low taxes and a shrunken government in Washington; the Reagan Democrats who crossed party lines to vote for him are still the most targeted demographic in the country. In 1992, Ross Clean out the Barn Perot and his United We Stand America followers looked for a while as if they were going to up-end the two-party system, with Perot leading George HW Bush and Bill Clinton in the midsummer polls. In 1996, Pat Buchanan (The peasants are coming with pitchforks) appealed to the same bloc of voters with a programme that was militantly Christian, white, nativist, provincial, protectionist and anti-Washington. In 2000, Karl Rove cleverly enrolled this quasi-Poujadist faction in his grand alliance of libertarians, born-agains and corporate interests. Its worth remembering that in 2004 every American city with a population of more than 500,000 voted for Kerry, and that the election was won for Bush in the outer suburbs, exurbia and the countryside peasants with pitchforks territory. For an organisation so wedded to its big-city corporate clients, the Republican Party has been hugely successful in mopping up the votes of low-income, lightly educated rural and exurban residents. Most large American cities, especially in the West, are situated in counties that extend far beyond the city limits. Liberal urban governments with high property-tax rates and progressive environmental policies wield great power (some say tyranny) over their rural hinterlands, delivering ukases about land use and conservation: brush-cutting is to be limited to 40 per cent of the property; setbacks of 100 feet are required from streams and wetlands; new churches are denied building permission because they are deemed large footprint items in critical habitat areas etc. So the householder or farmer sees the city making unwarranted infringements of his God-given right to manage his land as he pleases, and imagines his precious tax-dollars being squandered on such urban fripperies as streetcar lines and monorails. In Washington state, where I live, almost every ill that befalls people in the timberlands and agricultural regions, far from any city, is confidently attributed to liberals from Seattle, a nefarious conspiracy of wealthy, tree-hugging elitists with law degrees from East Coast universities, whose chief aim is to destroy the traditional livelihoods of honest citizens living on either side of the Puget Sound urban corridor. Poujade and Jean-Marie Le Pen would have had a field day here; as, Im afraid, will the McCain-Palin ticket in November. Until now, the political leaders whove used the movement to their electoral advantage have come to it as outsiders. Reagan the Hollywood actor, Perot the data-processing billionaire, Buchanan the DC journalist, and George W Bush the energy-industry scion and owner of a merely recreational ranch in Crawford, Texas, have had very little in common with their rural and exurban constituents, and their gestures at farmyard, strip-mall or cowboy-boot cred have tended to come across as phoney and embarrassing. Photographed inside JC Penneys or Costco or Safeway, theyve looked hardly less exotic than poor Michael Dukakis did on board his ill-advised tank. But the moment that Sarah Palin stepped up to the mike at the Republican Convention in St Paul, and began talking in her homely, mezzo-soprano, Far Western twang, she showed herself to be incontestably the real thing. Americans, starved of vlkisch authenticity in their national politicians, thrilled to her presence on the stage. When she said, Difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? even in the liberal redoubt of Seattle I thought I heard a roar of delighted recognition coming from my neighbours on the hill. Palin doesnt need to say what Poujade used to tell his listeners, Look me in the eye, and you will see yourself, and Im just le petit Poujade, an ordinary Frenchman like you: all she needed was her trademark blink from behind her librarian glasses, and to turn on her pert, wrinkle-nosed smile, in order to convince a crucial sector of the American electorate, male and female, that it sees in her a looking-glass reflection, suitably flattering in both form and content, of itself. Like Wally the Green Monster, Baxter the Bobcat, the Mariner Moose and other giant furry creatures who accompany major-league baseball teams from game to game, Palin is the adored mascot of the anti-fiscal crowd. Her actual performance as mayor and governor counts for little beside her capacity to keep the fans happy during the intervals between play, which she does in the style she developed as mayor of Wasilla and then perfected in her triumphant gubernatorial campaign in 2006. Transcripts and videos from her time in Alaska show her parlaying the barest minimum of rhetorical and intellectual resources into a formidable electoral weapon. The least one can say of her is that she quickly learned how to make the most of herself. What is most striking about her is that she seems perfectly untroubled by either curiosity or the usual processes of thought. When answering questions, both Obama and Joe Biden have an unfortunate tendency to think on their feet and thereby tie themselves in knots: Palin never thinks. Instead, she relies on a limited stock of facts, bright generalities and pokerwork maxims, all as familiar and well-worn as old pennies. Given any question, she reaches into her bag for the readymade sentence that sounds most nearly proximate to an answer, and, rather than speaking it, recites it, in the upsy-downsy voice of a middle-schooler pronouncing the letters of a word in a spelling bee. In the televised game shows that pass for political debates in the US, its a winning technique: told that she has 15 seconds in which to answer, Palin invariably beats the clock, and her concision and fluency more than compensate for her unrelenting triteness. She has great political gifts, combining the competitive instincts of a Filipino gamecock with the native gumption she first displayed in her 1996 race to become mayor of Wasilla, when she blindsided the incumbent mayor by running not on local but on state and national issues, as the pro-gun and pro-life candidate. Mayors have no say on abortion or on gun laws, but Palin got the support of the local Evangelicals (it greatly helped that her Lutheran opponents surname was Stein and her backers put it about that he was a Jew) and of gun-owners who keenly supported a bill, then pending in the state legislature, that would affirm the right of Alaskans to carry concealed weapons into public buildings. On more typical mayoral concerns, she promised to halve Wasillas property tax and cut out things that are not necessary, citing the bloated budgets for the museum, the library and arts and recreation. There followed what some Wasillaites saw as her reign of terror. She demanded resignation letters from all the city managers, ridding herself of the museum director, the librarian (whom she was later forced to rehire), the public works director, the city planner and the police chief, whod argued against the concealed weapons bill and had supported a measure to close the towns bars at 230 am on weekdays and 3 am at weekends (the owners of the Mug-Shot Saloon and the Wasilla Bar had given money to Palins campaign). City employees were forbidden by her to speak to the press, and during her first four months in office she provoked a string of appalled ed...