Thursday, September 11, 2008

Old Stomping Grounds

I'm off to visit Carleton this weekend (Friday -- Tuesday). Then I'm going to Chicago on Wednesday, moving in, driving to Milwaukee on Sunday for a wedding, and finally coming back to Chicago for good a week from Monday.

Blogging, understandably, will be sporadic in this period.

Catch y'all later!

Palin's Foreign Policy Interview

ABC has put up excerpts of Charlie Gibson's interview with McCain VP nominee Sarah Palin. It's essentially all about foreign policy, so no questions about earmarks or the bridge to nowhere or troopergate, which is unfortunate. Gibson also mischaracterized one of Palin's remarks about Iraq, saying that she stated that "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God." In actuality, it seemed clear to me from context that Palin was praying that "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God," which is perfectly reasonable. So it was unfortunate that Gov. Palin was forced to spend time discussing a question whose premise was essentially untrue.

As for the rest of the interview, it's difficult to know how Palin will come off from only reading the transcript. Most of her answers seemed a bit evasive or filibuster-y to me, but it's possible to do that quite effectively when it comes across the TV. The question is, will she come off as "strong on defense" (good) or "a crazy conservative hardliner" (bad). To the extent that she gave us policy, it's clearly the latter -- but I have no idea what the perception will be.

But the was one major, major gaffe I saw that could set the tone for the entire coverage. It was when Gibson asked her about allowing Georgia to join NATO:
GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?

PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.

GIBSON: Because Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.

PALIN: Well, you know, the Rose Revolution, the Orange Revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, I believe, deserve to be in NATO.

Putin thinks otherwise. Obviously, he thinks otherwise, but...

GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help.

But NATO, I think, should include Ukraine, definitely, at this point and I think that we need to -- especially with new leadership coming in on January 20, being sworn on, on either ticket, we have got to make sure that we strengthen our allies, our ties with each one of those NATO members.

We have got to make sure that that is the group that can be counted upon to defend one another in a very dangerous world today.

Committing to war with Russia? Yeah, that's bad. And that's the problem with putting Georgia in NATO. It's a commitment that there is simply no way we'll be willing to keep. Russia knows we won't keep it, and if they call our bluff, the entire premise of NATO collapses. It is under no circumstances responsible policy-making -- but it is the upshot of the recent conservative foreign policy doctrine that thinks more bluster is the solution to every problem.

Who Loves Palin?

Republicans, obviously. But does anyone else? Rasmussen polling indicates the answer is "not really". Amongst all voters, she's at 58%, which is pretty good. But if the numbers for independents are to be believed, virtually all her positives are coming from the right:
20% very favorable
15% somewhat favorable
26% somewhat unfavorable
35% very unfavorable
3% not sure

35/61? Ouch!

Other polls may have different mileage though -- for whatever reason, I have an instinctive distrust of Rasmussen. If you have any other polls whose cross-tabs show something different, let me know in the comments.

The Homeless Vote

Some folks at TMV asked about whether homeless people have the right to vote, given that they don't have a home (and thus, perhaps, a permanent address). The National Coalition for the Homeless has a state-by-state chart detailing the rules. The verdict seems to be "theoretically, they can vote, but some states there are higher practical barriers than others."

Incidentally, the NCH site is a great resource on the entire issue of homeless voting -- not to mention other important aspects of aiding the homeless.

Not So Fly (Even For a Rabbi)

A large organization representing Haredi (i.e., ultra-orthodox) Jews in Israel has come up with guidelines for "kosher" music.
Musicians who use rock, rap, reggae and trance influences will not receive rabbinic approval for their CDs, nor will they be allowed to play in wedding halls under haredi kosher food supervision, according to a new, detailed list of guidelines drafted with rabbinical backing that differentiates between "kosher" and "treif" music.

The guidelines, which are still being formulated, also ban "2-4 beats and other rock and disco beats;" the "improper" use of electric bass, guitars and saxophones; and singing words from holy sources in a disrespectful, frivolous manner.

"Michael Jackson-style music has no place in our community," says Mordechai Bloi, a senior member of the Guardians of Sanctity and Education, an organization based in Bnei Brak that enforces what it sees as normative haredi behavior.

"We might be able to adopt Bach or Beethoven, music with class, but not goyishe African music and beats. We haredim want to protect ourselves from what we see as negative foreign influences. We are trying to maintain our own authentic music styles. We admit that times are changing, but we are trying to stay loyal to our roots."

I love the distinction between classical music (does none of that have 2-4 beats?) and "goyishe African music", and how it screams ethnic chauvinism. On the other hand, this creates an opportunity for a great cross-over project: "Footloose on the Roof."

But seriously -- this is such an embarrassment to the worldwide Jewish community. These people are our fundamentalists.

Via Tapped

Dell Tech Support

I admit that the only reason I got a Dell for law school is because Chicago told me to (and my old computer broke). But, after having experienced a minor problem with the computer these past few days, I just want to say Dell tech support is amazing. A huge contrast with HP. They were great over the phone, walked me through all the stuff they wanted to try, were very friendly (and understandable), and when they thought they figured out what might be the problem, they sent a technician over to my house with all the parts next day. Actually, it was scheduled for "Friday or Monday", but then they told me they could come by Thursday. And when I asked if they could come to a different place (Friday I'd be in Minnesota, so I was going to leave it at my dad's office -- today I'm still in Maryland), they didn't bat an eyelash. And when the technician showed up, he basically took apart and put back together my entire computer, before my eyes, in the space of 25 minutes. Which was pretty cool, actually.

A+ all around. Great work.

Voter Suppression Tactic of the Day

I bet Hans loves this one:
The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

Yes, you read that right. Michigan Republican leaders' response to home foreclosure is to make sure the victims also can't vote (apparently, Ohio Republicans -- always looking for new ways to block the voting booth -- have also considered this tactic).
One expert questioned the legality of the tactic.

“You can’t challenge people without a factual basis for doing so,” said J. Gerald Hebert, a former voting rights litigator for the U.S. Justice Department who now runs the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based public-interest law firm. “I don’t think a foreclosure notice is sufficient basis for a challenge, because people often remain in their homes after foreclosure begins and sometimes are able to negotiate and refinance.”

As for the practice of challenging the right to vote of foreclosed property owners, Hebert called it, “mean-spirited.”

You're damn right it's mean-spirited. But what can you do? Elections are played to win, and Republicans think that the best way they can win is to stop the people who've been screwed over by their rule from voting (they tried to pull this on veterans too). But it's dishonorable, it's an affront to democracy, and it should be stopped in its tracks.

Quote of the Day

On the noble adverb:
Yet somewhere in the past decade or so, the adverb has fallen out of style. Become passé. They’re too flowery, too squishy. Real authors don’t say someone delivered a line archly, they leave it to their reader to puzzle it out from the way they wrote it, like God and Ernest Hemingway intended.

Read it. Quickly.


I had to delete PG's very kind words about my blog from the "about" section. Unfortunately, now that I'm going to law school I can't really advertise that I have "some of the most impressive casual writing I've ever seen from an undergraduate." It had a good run though, and I'm genuinely grateful.

If you'd like to take PG's place in the "about" section, feel free to write a less-temporally-restricted sound bite about how brilliant I am. Try it! It's fun, and it's guaranteed to stroke me ego.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Local Judge Strikes Down Florida's Gay Adoption Ban

It's a circuit judge in Key West, so it doesn't have state-wide applicability, but a judge has just ruled that Florida's gay adoption ban violates the state constitution. The law had previously survived, incorrectly in my view, a federal constitutional challenge.
Judge David J. Audlin Jr. wrote in his ruling, which has not yet been formally published, that the Florida law forbidding gay people from adopting children is contrary to the state Constitution because it singles out a group for punishment.

"Contrary to every child welfare principle," Audlin wrote, "the gay adoption ban operates as a conclusive or irrebuttable presumption that ... it is never in the best interest of any adoptee to be adopted by a homosexual."

Since even the most rabid academic opponents of gay adoption concede that blanket bans are inadvisable, it is tough to criticize this ruling. Congratulations to (parts of) Florida, for this great step forward in the journey towards human equality.

Via Cogitamus.

Incidentally, We're Alive

The Large Hadron Collider was turned on today, and despite the concerns of some "skeptics", the world did not end. Which I'm pleased to hear, obviously. I don't have enough scientific expertise (which is to say, I have none at all) to doubt the assurances of all the scientists who assured us the experiment was perfectly safe. I did, however, observe that the manner in which the scientists responded to these concerns reminded me of every sci-fi plotline in which scientific hubris/overreach causes the downfall of human civilization.

Thankfully, the universe is neither ironic nor interested in literary cliches, so we're good. For now.

We Didn't Hear You The First Time

Another Georgia Republican -- this time the House candidate running against perpetually-endangered Democratic Jim Marshall -- called a Black man he didn't like "uppity".

What is with these people?

Calling a Spade

They don't quite put it in the headline, but the Washington Post basically ran a front-page article today calling Sarah Palin a liar:
From the moment Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin declared that she had opposed the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," critics, the news media and nonpartisan fact checkers have called it a fabrication or, at best, a half-truth. But yesterday in Lebanon, Ohio, and again in Lancaster, Pa., she crossed that bridge again.

"I told Congress: 'Thanks but no thanks for that Bridge to Nowhere up in Alaska,' " Palin told the crowds at the "McCain Street USA" rallies. "If we wanted a bridge, we'll build it ourselves."

Palin's position on the bridge that would have linked Ketchikan to Gravina Island is one example of a candidate staying on message even when that message has been publicly discredited. Palin has continued to say she opposed a project she once campaigned for -- then killed later, only after support for it had collapsed in Congress.

That, to be clear, is the opening three paragraphs. On the front page of the Washington Post.

It's amazing to me that the media actually appears to be doing its job here. Meanwhile, the response of a Republican strategist was priceless:
"The more the New York Times and The Washington Post go after Sarah Palin, the better off she is, because there's a bigger truth out there and the bigger truths are she's new, she's popular in Alaska and she is an insurgent," Feehery said. "As long as those are out there, these little facts don't really matter."

Little facts are for little people.

Roundup Hiatus

Hey all. As I prepare to start law school, I'm doing a bit of traveling, and a lot of packing. As a result, I'm going to put the civil rights roundup on hiatus for the next couple of weeks. I hopefully will be able to get in periodic blogging as I cross-cross the country (well, the mid-west anyway), but there is no realistic way I'll be able to keep up a regular enough schedule for something like the roundup.

I'm not killing the feature -- just giving it a little break until I settle in at Chicago. Assuming law school doesn't kill me, expect the roundup to resume by October 1st at the latest.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Off to a Fine Start

A Black member of a dance troupe on (of all things) an international goodwill tour was forced to dance by Israeli security upon arriving at the airport in order to prove his identity. The man, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, was singled out by Israel's notoriously tough airline security personnel due to his Muslim-sounding name. As it turns out, he's engaged to a Jewish woman with relatives in Israel.

Fortunately, it appears that this did not derail the entire trip:
Jackson said he did not plan to press the matter further, saying the numerous apologies he has received from American dignitaries and his Israeli hosts is "enough for me." The Israel Ports Authority said it had no comment because it did not receive a formal complaint.
Jackson said that since the Israeli airport incident, the reception in Israel has been "amazing."

"We're only here to bring positive light to our lives and the people here," he said, calling the group's multicultural appeal "an amazing bind you can't touch, you can only experience."

Via Prom6.

Michelle Obama Related to a Rabbi

Neat story in The Forward: one of Michelle Obama's cousins is a Black Jewish rabbi.
Funnye (pronounced fuh-NAY) is chief rabbi at the Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in southwest Chicago. He is well-known in Jewish circles for acting as a bridge between mainstream Jewry and the much smaller, and largely separate, world of black Jewish congregations, sometimes known as black Hebrews or Israelites. He has often urged the larger Jewish community to be more accepting of Jews who are not white.
Although Funnye’s congregation describes itself as Ethiopian Hebrew, it is not connected to the Ethiopian Jews, commonly called Beta Israel, who have immigrated to Israel en masse in recent decades. It is also separate from the Black Hebrews in Dimona, Israel, and the Hebrew Israelite black supremacist group whose incendiary street harangues have become familiar spectacles in a number of American cities.

You can read about his congregation here. The New York Times also wrote up a profile on them. I'd certainly be interested in visiting them once I move to Chicago.

Consigned to the Bloody Deep

Mississippi Governor and noted corrupt maniac Haley Barbour (R) has decided to place the Mississippi Senate special election at the bottom of the ballot, where he hopes nobody will see it. He did so because "traditionally", that's where special elections go. Unfortunately, "legally", Mississippi election law mandates that federal contests appear at the top of the ballot. But Barbour has never much concerned himself with election law (and unfortunately, last time he got away with it).

There is no word as to whether the Democratic challenger, former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, will challenge Barbour's decision.

100 MPH

CNN has an interesting profile on the new superintendent of DC schools, Michelle Rhee. Now, I'm not enough of an education expert to know what plans are good and what ones are bad. Indeed, to the extent that I have an opinion, its skepticism of the trend towards mass imposition of standardized tests, which Rhee seems to support. But whatever opinions I have on particular educational policies are far outstripped by my sentiment that the primary barrier to true reform of school district's like DC are structural. Rotting infrastructure, calcified bureaucracies, inept record-keeping -- these things can swallow even the best-laid plans and spit them out as if nothing happened. Rhee, if nothing else, seems to have gotten enough momentum to shake things up in DC. And while that phrase is normally a cliche, in the district I think it is quite apt. DC school reform has failed before because nobody could even get the reforms started. Rhee, to her credit, has decided to start with step one, and not let off the gas pedal. Hopefully it will work.

Don't Mock the Constitution

Obama hits back at Sarah Palin, who derisively attacked Obama in her convention speech for being "worried that someone won't read them their rights.":
"My position has always been clear: If you've got a terrorist, take him out," Obama said. "Anybody who was involved in 9/11, take 'em out."

But Obama, who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago for more than a decade, said captured suspects deserve to file writs of habeus [sic] corpus.

Calling it "the foundation of Anglo-American law," he said the principle "says very simply: If the government grabs you, then you have the right to at least ask, 'Why was I grabbed?' And say, 'Maybe you've got the wrong person.'"

The safeguard is essential, Obama continued, "because we don't always have the right person."

"We don't always catch the right person," he said. "We may think it's Mohammed the terrorist, but it might be Mohammed the cab driver. You might think it's Barack the bomb-thrower, but it might be Barack the guy running for president."

Obama turned back to Palin's comment, although he said he was not sure whether Palin or Rudy Giuliani said it.

"The reason that you have this principle is not to be soft on terrorism. It's because that's who we are. That's what we're protecting," Obama said, his voice growing louder and the crowd rising to its feet to cheer. "Don't mock the Constitution. Don't make fun of it. Don't suggest that it's not American to abide by what the founding fathers set up. It's worked pretty well for over 200 years."

I remember Palin's line at the convention. It stuck with me, because it indicated something that had become increasingly clear about the modern GOP over the past few years. Lawless detention is now a litmus test for the party. You cannot be a member in good standing and support Habeas Corpus. You cannot be a member in good standing and support fair trials. You cannot be a member in good standing and support due process.

It is a mockery of the constitution. The American people deserve to know that.

Civil Rights Roundup: 09/09/08

Your daily dose of civil rights and related news

The US Supreme Court is asking for briefs on whether it should rehear the Kennedy v. Louisiana death penalty case. The Court's decision, which outlawed the use of capital punishment for child rape, had a factual inaccuracy in that it claimed that the US military did not allow such punishment.

In a reversal, the V.A. will allow voter registration drives at veteran's facilities.

A Dallas suburb wants renters to get a "license" from city officials, verifying they are in the country legally.

The Justice Department seems to want to focus more on the non-existent voter fraud problem this cycle, rather than the always-real risk of voter suppression. Huge surprise.

The Pottsville Republican-Herald has a rundown of the status of hate crime laws in America. Fun fact: of the five states that have no such laws at all, four are in the former confederacy (hurray to Wyoming for breaking up the all-dixie club).

A Christian fraternity at the University of New Mexico turned away a Mormon applicant. Awkward turtle?

An all-female, all-Muslim law firm is dispensing justice and breaking stereotypes.

The city of Oakland is being sued after a woman claims she was touched inappropriately during an illegal police stop. The officer in question has already resigned after being tried and convicted of similar charges.

Hazleton, PA, is back in court defending its harsh anti-illegal immigrant laws.

A school district which tried to prohibit students from wearing black armbands in protest of its dress code is appealing its case to the US Supreme Court.

Depositions ordered in the surreal death penalty case where the judge and prosecutor were romantically involved.

An interesting story about Arab rescuers during the Holocaust.

Starting this year, all polling places in the Albany area will be handicapped-accessible.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Feeling It

In the comments to this Southern Appeal post, we had yet another discussion about the meaning of Jeremiah Wright's "chickens coming home to roost" sermon, and whether it was morally condemnable. I argued that Wright was making a positive, not normative, claim: We supported terrorism in, among other places, Latin America; now we're experiencing it here at home. And it turns out, being victimized by terrorism really sucks. There is no explicit normative component to this argument, which makes it difficult to condemn. Had Wright taken the normative step of saying: "because we engaged in terrorism abroad, we deserved to experience it here at home", that would be unjust. But he didn't say that. Indeed, I argued, if anything the implied normative dimension of his statement was that -- having experienced terrorism for ourselves -- hopefully it would expand our empathy so that we do not ever again support such terrorist atrocities enacted upon other human beings.

Today, The Washington Post reports on a study that demonstrates that people become desensitized to injustices perpetuated by their group upon others when they are reminded of injustices they themselves experienced. Americans, for example, are far less concerned about innocent Iraqi suffering brought on by the Iraq war when primed by 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, than we are if primed by the Nazis invading Poland. Jews are less likely to express sympathy for Palestinian suffering when primed by the Holocaust than when primed by the Cambodian genocide.

The study's authors concluded that people who experience injustice and victimization are prone to "lash out" in an effort to make sure they do not experience it again. But this tendency does not necessarily restrict itself at the actual perpetrators of the crime -- creating new classes of victims and new circles of pain and retribution.

In this light, the role of ministers, rabbis, pastors, imams, and other spiritual leaders, in the role as moral guides, have a particular obligation to counter this instinct. The authors also say that the instinct for revenge can be, with effort, turned -- from "never let this happen to me again" to "never let me be the type person who causes this to happen again". That is the message that mass atrocity should create in is. The easiest thing to do, when one is victimized, is to promote more pain. The hard thing, but the right thing, is to try and build a world where that pain no longer is created.

Mole Onboard

From the Washington Post's story on how Sarah Palin is energizing the GOP base:
"Hearing her pro-life stance, her conservative values, her family orientation -- it has really resonated with the proletariat and caused people to say: 'Hey, I'm going to get involved here. This is someone I can relate with; this is someone that can win,' " said David Willis, an electrical engineer and GOP activist in Smithfield.

Right. As if a true GOP activist would describe himself with a communist-inspired word like "proletariat". I see right through you, David Willis.
"Everything was pretty lackluster," said Earl Hall, the volunteer representative for Surry, who is far more excited now that Palin's in the picture: "She's right good-looking -- that's all I need to know."

Now that's genuine Republican material!

Civil Rights Roundup: 09/08/08

Your daily dose of civil rights and related news

Hopefully, the Senate will fast track the passage of the ADA when it returns from recess.

Students registering to vote on college campuses is confusing registrars.

The DOJ is widening its investigation after an Asian student with perfect SAT scores was rejected from Princeton University. The student says that he was rejected based on race, the school notes that there is more to a candidacy than SAT scores.

Some cities are turning to civil injunctions to curb gang violence, prohibiting, for example, gang members from meeting as being a "nuisance". The ACLU warns that this has the potential to criminalize normal daily activities and thus violates suspected gang members' civil rights.

The former dean of U. Washington's law school warned Nebraskans about what will happen to their school's diversity if it approves a ban on affirmative action. He should know -- Washington approved a similar ban in 1998, and watched minority enrollment plunge immediately after.

The Tucson Citizen urges its readership to vote no on Arizona's anti-gay marriage amendment.

An anti-gay marriage amendment in Florida is not polling strong enough to pass at the moment.

Should the constitution be amended to add a right to vote? I don't see why not.

Immigration courts still groan under a huge backlog, and are making only small progress it getting over it.

The New Yorker has an essay on Lily Ledbetter's request for equal pay, and John McCain (and his fellow GOPers) response.

A Florida town is now arresting people for wearing too-baggy pants. Unsurprisingly, the local Black community feels targeted, and one lawyer says the law is "designed to be pretextual."

The Orlando Sentinel looks at the history of the relationship between Florida Blacks and Latinos.

A homeowner in Montana discovered a racial covenant buried in his contract, dated from 1945. Though unenforceable, the man decided to leave it in as a reminder of the communities racially exclusive past.

Miami officials have settled a case in which prison guards were accused a beating a mentally-ill man into a coma.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Quote of the Evening

From Derrick Bell, Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform (Oxford UP, 2004):
J. Harvie Wilkinson III, now a federal judge but writing as a University of Virginia professor two decades after Brown, offered practical details of why Brown II was a mistake. Brown II, he felt, left federal judges far too exposed; it "gave trial judges little to wrap in or hide behind. The enormous discretion of the trial judge in interpreting such language as 'all deliberate speed' and 'prompt and reasonable start' made his personal role painfully obvious." The judge who, in trying to enforce Brown, did more than the bare minimum, would be held unpleasantly accountable by the active, vocal, and powerful opposition that surrounded him. Wilkinson explained:
Segregationists were always able to point to more indulgent judges elsewhere. Brown II thus resembled nothing more than an order for the infantry to assault segregation without prospect of air or artillery support. That some of the infantry lacked enthusiasm for the cause only made matters worse.... Given the vague and sparse character of Brown II and the Court's low profile thereafter, stagnation was inevitable.

The Wilkinson block quote is from J. Harvie Wilkinson III, The Supreme Court * Southern School Desegregation, 1955 - 1970: A History and Analysis, 64 Va. L. Rev. 485, 507 (1978).

And my schizophrenic relationship with Judge Wilkinson continues.

Palin on Contraception

As the media continues to dig deep in order to find out what Sarah Palin thinks about, well, anything, the LA Times hits upon a surprising revelation: Sarah Palin supports contraceptive education.
In a widely quoted 2006 survey she answered during her gubernatorial campaign, Palin said she supported abstinence-until-marriage programs. But weeks later, she proclaimed herself "pro-contraception" and said condoms ought to be discussed in schools alongside abstinence.

"I'm pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues," she said during a debate in Juneau.
Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella said the governor stands by her 2006 statement, supporting sex education that covers both abstinence and contraception.
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."

Amazingly, this puts her considerably to the left of both John McCain and the Republican Party platform. But it is good to hear, and since I haven't exactly been Palin's biggest fan*, I felt it was worth pointing out. (H/T: Jim Lindgren).

* If anything, I've been understating how much I dislike this woman. I've been weighing this whole weekend writing a post entitled "Why I Hate Sarah Palin" -- and while there are many politicians I dislike, some quite strongly, there are very few politicians I would say I "hate". But Governor Palin's willingness to lie shamelessly on camera over and over again (the bridge to nowhere "opposition") and, more importantly, the way she seems to positively revel in attacking her opponents, are precisely the sort of things which inevitably set me off. Palin's speeches crest at her lows -- when she's at her most biting, her most vicious, her most mean-spirited, and her most cruel. That is the type of politics that made me decide long ago I never wanted to go into politics. It might make her effective. But to me, it also makes her loathsome.