Are Republicans really this nuts?

Via TPM:

The new national poll from Public Policy Polling (D)
has an astonishing number about paranoia among the GOP base:
Republicans do not think President Obama actually won the 2008 election
— instead, ACORN stole it…

The poll asked this question: "Do you think that Barack Obama
legitimately won the Presidential election last year, or do you think
that ACORN stole it for him?" The overall top-line is legitimately won
62%, ACORN stole it 26%.

Among Republicans, however, only 27% say Obama actually won the
race, with 52% — an outright majority — saying that ACORN stole it,
and 21% are undecided. Among McCain voters, the breakdown is
31%-49%-20%. By comparison, independents weigh in at 72%-18%-10%, and
Democrats are 86%-9%-4%.

In answer to my title, I think the answer is no.  There's answers to poll questions and what people actually believe.  This is a case where I think there's a real difference.  I think the Republicans are registering their (misplaced) antipathy towards ACORN rather than a genuine belief that the election was stolen.  I suspect if you dug down further with more questions, you'd find this to be the case.  Nice poll result to embarrass Republicans, but I don't think it really tells us anything beyond confirming how problematic opinion polls can be.

In defense of Sarah Palin

No, not really.  But I did find this Media Matters takedown of the sexism of Newsweek's cover story of Palin quite compelling.  

There are a
lot of legitimate
to criticize Sarah Palin, her new book, and her policies, but you don't have to
stoop to sexism to do it. Newsweek's November 23 issue, however, does
just that by publishing on its cover a photo of
Palin in short running shorts and a fitted top, leaning against the American
flag. Making matters worse is the equally offensive headline Newsweek
editors chose to run alongside the photo — "How Do You Solve
a Problem like Sarah?" — presumably a
reference to the Sound of Music song, "Maria," in which
nuns fret about "how" to "solve a problem like Maria," a "girl" who "climbs
trees" and whose "dress has a tear."

Now, this
photograph may have been completely appropriate for the cover of the magazine
for which the picture was apparently intended, Runners World. But Newsweek
is supposed to be a serious newsmagazine, and the magazine is certainly not
reporting on Palin's exercise habits.

Like her or
not, Palin is a former governor and vice presidential
candidate. She deserves the same respect every single one of her male
counterparts receives when they are featured on
the cover of the magazine. I must have missed the cover of Vice President Joe
Biden in short shorts or of Mitt Romney in a bathing suit.

I have to say I was a little surprised to see this on Newsweek's cover this week (which disappeared before I read it– Alex?!), but I didn't stop to think of sexist this is until reading the above post.  Good points.

What is God telling Sarah Palin to do?

Love Sally Quin's snarky take on God's "plan" for Sarah Palin:

 In her new book Sarah Palin writes that one summer at Bible Camp she
"put my life in my creator's hands and trust Him as I sought my life's
path." For Palin, this grand divine plan was "a natural progression."
She writes. And later, "I don't believe in coincidences."

Which leads me to ask:

What does she believe is God's plan for her? Does she have any free
will or is everything preordained. Can she see something coming and
change her mind despite God's plans for her?

Did God plan for her to become Governor of Alaska. If so, did God
plan for her to step down. Did God plan for her to run for Vice
President? If so why did she and McCain lose?

God plan for her to have a child with Down's Syndrome? If so why did
she consider an abortion? Did God plan for her to have a huge wardrobe?
Then why did she apologize for it?

Did God plan for her to do the Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson
interviews and be humiliated by them. Did God plan for her to allow
herself to be forced, against her will to do those interviews? If so
then why complain?

Did God plan for her daughter Bristol to get pregnant while she was
a teenager? Why was she then not thrilled. Did God plan for Bristol to
get engaged and then break up, only to be left a single mother,
dropping out of school?

There's plenty more, but you get the point. 


Given that I took all 3 of my kids to finally get the H1N1 vaccine yesterday, it's about time I link to this Slate story I've been meaning to.  I think one of the under-reported facets of the flu story is the fact that H1N1 has basically completely crowded out the seasonal flu virus.  In short, if you've got the flu, you've got H1N1.   Of course, my seasonal flu vaccine is thus pretty much worthless, but I've mostly been worried about getting the boys the H1N1 vaccine as 1) they are the primary vectors I need to worry about, and 2) Alex has a reasonable probability of breakthrough seizures if he gets the flu and David has underlying respiratory issues that could make it worse. 

Anyway, Marc Siegel's story in Slate is an interesting look at why there's been such shortages of the vaccine.  I found the most interesting criticism to be not technical, but in health care bureaucrats being too conservative.  

The slow process is compounded by the fact that our health officials
believe too much in the old technology. The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services decided
to finish making the seasonal flu vaccine before transitioning to the
new vaccine, even as evidence suggested that the new pandemic was going
to crowd out the yearly flu. "It is difficult to turn production to new
directions based on inertia," says Lone Simonsen, an epidemiologist and
nationally recognized flu pandemic expert at George Washington
University. But it is just this inertia that makes redirection in
vaccine production so crucial.

Last March, as the emerging
influenza flu strain took hold in Mexico, infecting thousands before
taking hold in the United States, studies showed that this new flu was
dominant: It was found in more than 90 percent of the flu cases in
Mexico. This new crab grass taking over the lawn was predictable. Since
most people (especially the young) had never been exposed to this virus
before, there were few barriers to transmission.

Instead of
switching immediately to the manufacture of a new pandemic vaccine, the
seasonal flu vaccine was completed first. By early fall, 115 million
doses of the seasonal flu vaccine were rolled out, and compliance was
at an all-time high, thanks to a massive national campaign to promote
compliance. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said
during a Sept. 10 press conference that "getting vaccinated for
seasonal flu right now is good advice." Accordingly, more than 60
million rolled up their sleeves and got the vaccine by October, despite
the fact that there was no seasonal flu to be found. Lost in the frenzy
for flu shots was the fact that the yearly flu season didn't typically
peak until late January or February, while pandemics characteristically
do not obey the boundaries of traditional winter flu seasons.

Meanwhile, apparently many Americans have been listening to Bill Maher and Glenn Beck rather than public health and medical professionals for their health care advice.  

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