realthog: (city in pages)

This evening the news came at a special awards ceremony held in the Beverly Hills Hilton as champagne glasses tinkled, mermen and mermaids frolicked fishily in the heated swimming pools, the paparazzi almost outnumbered the glitzerazzi, and the Archangel Gabriel himself attended incognito but was soon ejected for making a nuisance among the young ladies queuing up to get refills of Hawaiian punch.

In short, we were all there for the announcement of

THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARD

Organized and hosted annually by Jon Gibbs ([livejournal.com profile] jongibbs) on his An Englishman in New Jersey blog, this is given to the author-nominated book or book project which, in the opinion of the voters, has the best and most enticing title.

To my intermingled shock, delight, ecstasy and amazement, this year the honour of receiving

THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARD

went to, well,

MOI

for my title The Dragons of Manhattan. You can see that very title in situ here:



Photobucket


Flushed with spontaneous false modesty, I accepted the voters' decision like a shot. The only downside of winning, really, is that I was also rooting for Pam's and my friend E.F. Watkins ([livejournal.com profile] eilwatkins), whose Hex, Death and Rock'n'Roll in the event came second.

The full results can be read here. Many thanks to Jon Gibbs for taking the time and making the effort to organize the contest.



realthog: (real copies!)

This'll be quick because I'm up to my eyes in (today) antigravity drives that have been back-engineered from the crashed saucers at Roswell -- I kid you not. Oh, dear.

Anyway, the Shirley Jackson Awards Lottery, which helps fund the eponymous awards, has opened! Lots of shiny things you can win, donated by publishers, authors and generous fans like the excellent [livejournal.com profile] sarcobatus.

Secure in the knowledge that I'll never have a conflict-of-interest problem here, I've donated signed copies of my satirical novel The Dragons of Manhattan (which Fantasy BookSpot didn't think was a very good dragon fantasy, oh my, although others have made with the cries of "Orwell" and "Carroll" and "Swift") and my story collection Take No Prisoners; for reasons I don't understand, they've been offered as a single lot -- perhaps on the principle that no one in their right minds would pay as much as a dollar for one of my books on its own. I also see the books are listed as having been written and donated by "ohn Grant", which is about par for the course of my life at the moment.

Anyway, hurry over there, bid for lots of stuff, and if they're my books that you win I'll even, if requested, add a few kissy-marks when I sign them for you!
realthog: (Default)


. . . the concluding sentence of her NYT piece the other day about Sarah Palin's various homicidal attacks upon vocabulary, grammar and (in the larger sense) syntax deserves mention. It is a very simple observation that should be made more often:

True mavericks don’t brand themselves.

realthog: (morans)

I'm not sure if this quite qualifies as science, even though clearly the methodology of science has been put to use by numbskulls on behalf of numbskulls. Jonathan Stein has posted the ghastly details on his Mother Jones blog:

Mayor of SC Town "Just Curious" if Obama is the Antichrist

When PolitiFact did a fact-check of the "Is Obama the Antichrist?" question back in April, I thought it was a touch ridiculous. They got multiple professors of religious studies to chime in and did a serious examination of the text of Revelation. They found that not only is Obama not the Antichrist (stunning!), the chain email that suggests he is has no familiarity with the Bible and is a pretty pathetic piece of work, even for a smear email.

But that's not a surprise, right? This is an email claiming a prominent American politician is the Antichrist. Of course it's insane. No one needs a fact-check to prove that. Right?

Oops. The mayor of a South Carolina town apparently does. He forwarded the email after receiving it and when called on the fact that he was perpetuating a smear, he said, "I was just curious if there was any validity to it. I was trying to get documentation if there was any scripture to back it up."

I'm going to start sending out emails claiming that this man is a half-wit. I'm just curious if there is any validity to it.

Just to remind you: this is the 21st century we live in, not the 11th. And we in the US live in a technologically advanced, information- and education-oriented society, right? Yet even here on LJ I've come across people convinced Obama is either the Antichrist or the Antichrist's precursor.

Heigh-ho. These small-town mayors -- backbone of the nation, they are.

Later: Apparently the offensive e-mail claims Revelation says the Antichrist will be of Muslim ancestry. Spot the chronological error, folks!
 


realthog: (leavingfortusa)

In light of the Repugs' fervent attempts to minimize the democratic vote (lower-case initial intentional) in so many states -- by, among other things, illegally expunging people from the electoral register (why in hell aren't these criminals in prison?) -- it's vital that everyone entitled to cast their ballots on November 4 do so . . . if for no other reason than that any party which attempts to betray democracy in such a vile fashion deserves to be doomed.

My pal Todd Lockwood sent me this useful information today:

If you have any doubts whether you are registered to vote, or fear you are the victim of a direct mail "vote caging" scheme, you can find your voter status at this non-partisan site. I checked. It works.

http://www.canivote.org
/

Of course, I myself can't actually check it to make sure it works, because although I'm allowed to pay full US taxes I'm not allowed to vote -- sort of like a felon, if you think about it, which I try as hard as I can not to -- but Todd assures me he's tried it and it's valid.

Todd's full of good stuff today, in fact. He also sent me the instructions whereby I can donate as little as $10 to Planned Parenthood and do so in Sarah Palin's name: https://secure.ga0.org/02/pp10000_inhonor has the details. Since the address of Gawd's Own Daughter isn't readily available (and of course shouldn't be), the suggested address to which you might request your "in Sarah Palin's honor" card be sent is:

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street, 1st Floor
Arlington, VA 22202


I think I may be spending $10 this evening . . .
realthog: (corrupted science)

. . . at least according to Senator John McCain, who today echoed the worst anti-scientific instincts of the Bush Adminstration. As
reported by AP, he said of Barack Obama's support for various federally funded projects:

"That's nearly a million every day, every working day he's been in Congress," McCain said. "And when you look at some of the planetariums and other foolishness that he asked for, he shouldn't be saying anything about Governor Palin."

Where do they dig up these Neanderthal attitudes? I find it, quite honestly, baffling. Recently my daughter and I spent a happy few hours exploring the Rose Center for Earth and Space/Hayden Planetarium at NYC's Museum of Natural History. The fact that about a billion schoolchildren were enjoying it with us meant that sometimes the noise was deafening, but it was impossible not to be amazed and delighted by how much many of the kids were obviously benefiting from the experience. Those were kids glowing with the joy of learning.

Which means, of course, they're likely to go on and lead happier and more productive lives, which is what civilized societies are supposed to be all about. They'll be happier; the rest of us are likely to gain, too, either because those might be tomorrow's innovators, educators and the like or, at the very least, because they'll be less likely to be earning a living as a mugger or a housebreaker or worse.

So for John McCain to describe the building of planetariums as "foolishness" is not just deeply offensive, not just a display of the profundity of his own complacent ignorance and stupidity, but also an indicator of the considerable contempt in which he holds average Americans.
 
Yes, some people did lack a silver spoon in their mouth at birth, and did fail to adulterously seduce and then marry someone with so much money it's a bit of a problem remembering how many houses they own. But that doesn't mean those people should be deprived of the educational opportunities you, Senator McCain, are patently too stupid even to desire.

realthog: (leavingfortusa)

Full marks to the Washington Post, who published yesterday
an op-ed by McCain financial advisor Donald Luskin telling us that we're all just a bunch of whingers and there's basically nothing at all wrong with the US economy:

Quit Doling Out That Bad-Economy Line

. . . A housing "slump," a housing "crisis"? A "severe" price decline? According to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing home is up 8.5 percent from the low of last February. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median price of a new home is up 1.3 percent from the low of last December. Home prices may not be at all-time highs -- and there are pockets of continuing decline in some urban areas -- but overall they've clearly stopped going down and have started to recover. So why keep proclaiming a "crisis" after it's over?

"Turmoil" in the debt markets? Sure, but we've seen plenty worse. . . .

McCain campaign adviser and former U.S. senator Phil Gramm was right in July when he said that our current state "is a mental recession." Maybe he was out of line when he added that the United States has become "a nation of whiners." But when it comes to the economy, we have surely become a nation of exaggerators.

Yet Gramm was pilloried for his remarks, and McCain had to distance himself from his adviser by joking that in a McCain administration, Gramm would be ambassador to Belarus. What does it say about our nation that it has become political suicide to state the good news that our economy is not in recession? . . .


A matter of mere hours later, of course, the Lehman Brothers bank filed for bankruptcy, and the talk now is of how many other US banks will go the same way before the end of the year. Yet according to Luskin everything in the economic garden is rosy. I suppose those thousands of people who've lost their homes are going to wake up tomorrow and discover it was all just a dreadful dreram.

And this is the quality of advice a President McCain would be getting?

(Aside, of course, from his veep telling him, in between demanding Pentagon funding for helicopter gunships to use on her wolf hunts, that anthropogenic global warming's a myth and that dinosaurs co-existed with cavemen.)
 

realthog: (leavingfortusa)


. . . is
here, complete with photos and video. It's the Alaskan Women Against Palin (and in effect pro-Obama) rally; a good count reckons over 1400 people attended, making it nearly half as big again as the official pro-Palin rally today -- the one you will see reported on CNN and rest of the parrots. It's also reckoned to be the largest political rally in Alaska's history.
realthog: (real copies!)

Most often when I get a mediocre review I treat it on the basis -- well, at least after Pam's persuaded me to stop blubbing and unlock the lavatory door and come out -- that, well, yer wins a few and yer loses a few. But there are some that really piss me off.

They're the ones that are bad bits of reviewing. (Do note that I've been known to get upset, although obviously I keep it to myself in such instances, when I get a rave review that I regard as an incompetent piece of reviewing.)

The art of reviewing is a lot more than just reproducing the kind of guff you might exchange at the pub after seeing a movie ("Woo, blimey, you should see Julia Roberts's bum in that one"), yet it seems fewer and fewer self-styled reviewers are aware of this. There are certain pretty goddam obvious dos and don'ts, foremost among them being that you review the book (or movie, or story, whatever) that's in front of you, not the one you think the author should have written.

This particular review starts:

John Grant wanted to highlight the human tendency to affix blame everywhere but upon themselves for misdeeds, errors and misjudgment. He chose dragons to be humanity’s scapegoat . . .

and it ends:

While an entertaining and somewhat engaging story with a fascinating inspiration point, this fails as a cohesive satire of human nature.

Some of the intervening criticisms I'm prepared to take on board (well, not really, but I know I should display magnanimity here), but what incenses me is that I didn't set out with the intent of "highlight[ing] the human tendency to affix blame everywhere but upon themselves for misdeeds", etc. Yes, that was a small part of the original setup, as it were -- part of the swill of ideas that got me going -- but it was nothing more than that.

To present it as a primary objective is simply false, an invention of the reviewer. What I wanted to do was to put the boot into the Bush Administration and the society that allowed it to happen as hard as I fucking well could while being as (nastily) funny as I could manage. Rick Kleffel, in The Agony Column, put his finger on it precisely when he described the text as "illuminated fury". I was aiming for Jonathan Swift (or even Philip Roth in Our Gang, and certainly my friend John Brunner [but with jokes]), not Anita Shreve.

This makes the reviewer's self-induced conclusion -- "this fails as a cohesive satire of human nature" -- a complete nonsense. I had no notion of anything as grand (or as twee) as satirizing human nature, let alone cohesively; I was more concerned with lampooning people like Il Buce, Darth Cheney, Alberto Gonzo and the rest as the moronic sociopaths they are.

I'm further puzzled as to why the reviewer didn't realize that this ostentatiously slapstick political satire was, well, an ostentatiously slapstick political satire. The publisher's strapline on the front cover says:

The fierily satirical, bitingly funny political fantasy!

That's I think accurate, and it does seem -- with its focus on "political" -- quite a long way from the Jane Austenish "cohesive satire of human nature", which is something I never thought to attempt. Maybe I should, one day.

(Hm. Perhaps the reviewer's a wingnut who thinks Il Buce is True Fab and dislikes my centrist politics? That's possible too. And maybe I should critique the review on the entirely unproven basis that this is so. "This wingnut reviewer set out to . . .")

As I say, I get fed up when bad reviewers give me good reviews; obviously I'm grateful for any sales that might accrue, but I feel more than slightly dishonest about accepting the praise. (I've had a few rave reviews since joining LJ that I've not posted about here on exactly this basis.) I get very pissed off when reviewers try to make themselves seem interesting by reviewing books they've invented rather than the books I've actually written. It's shoddy work. They should learn better.

realthog: (leavingfortusa)

From Matthew Yglesias's blog:

McCain: Barack Made Me Lie!

Speaking last night at the national service forum, John McCain got asked a question about why his campaign keeps making false accusations. /;”First of all this is a tough business,” the Arizona senator said. “Second of all, I think the tone of this whole campaign would’ve been very different if Sen. Obama had accepted my request for us to appear at town hall meetings all over America.”

In other words — it’s Barack Obama’s fault, Obama is forcing him to lie by refusing to engage in a series of town hall debates.

As I've noted before, while it's possible this kind of dishonorable nonsense and dishonesty may get McCain elected, at the same time it's making it completely impossible for him to be a functional President. Foreign leaders are I'm absolutely certain watching this stuff with increasing incredulity, realizing McCain is someone they cannot trust one single iota.

realthog: (leavingfortusa)

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] louismaistros  for this.

I never thought this day would come when I'd be able to say it, but the constant lies and slanders emitted by the McCain/Palin campaign have become so bad that even Bill O'Reilly has been moved to object.

realthog: (leavingfortusa)

I'm not the hugest fan of Andrew Sullivan (he's a US conservative, I'm a moderate progressive -- or a far leftist raving pinko loony, as the average US media pundit might describe me and Jesus Christ both), but every now and then he hits the nail right on the head. Here's the start of one of his most recent posts:

It's sad to be lectured constantly by the Republicans on morality. My marriage, for example, is a sin, according to Republicans. And if you squint hard enough somewhere in the Bible, you can find a couple of verses that will say so. But you don't have to squint hard at all to see the Ten Commandments. And one of them is pretty clear:

Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness

What we are seeing from the pious denizens of the Christianist right - once again - is not just their susceptibility to breaking this commandment, but their zeal and enthusiasm in doing so. They are obsessed with the sex lives of others but see nothing wrong with breaking one of the most fundamental moral instructions in the Bible themselves.

And so we have those "good Christians" McCain and Palin lying most egregiously -- more and more grossly than, I think, any US Presidential campaign has done before. But they're lyin' for Jesus, see?

Tell me. how would Jesus lie?

 

realthog: (leavingfortusa)

Apparently Repugnican supporters, not content with habitually insulting and sliming Katrina survivors, are now circulating this ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS piece of wit among themselves:

Photobucket 
So, attention, Texans! If you get smitten by Hurricane Ike as hard as everyone fervently hopes you won't, be prepared for these wags to start trivializing and ridiculing your plight!
realthog: (corrupted science)

I've been receiving a flurry of blog reviews/plugs/commentaries recently for Corrupted Science, and I'm not entirely sure why; the book was published in the US almost exactly a year ago. Maybe it's just coincidence; perhaps the imminence of the election has set people to thinking about the Republicans' record of suppressing and distorting science. Who knows?

Whatever, I'm really pretty delighted about the latest blog commentary, this time from Banter Blogging, which starts:

I've been reading a book called "Corrupted Science" by John Grant (2007). As a scientist, I read things like this to keep me on my toes, and to remind me to be honest when I interpret the results of experiments. Corrupted science often happens when scientists let their humanity overcome their objectivity. It can happen to any scientist who is not careful.

The last chapter, titled "The political corruption of science", begins with the following paragraph:

"Since the dawn of the 20th century, there has been an upsurge in the ideological corruption of science by those in political power. the three classic cases over the past century are Hitler's Germany, Stalin's USSR, and George W. Bush's America. The third of these is treated in slightly more detail here not just because it is current but because its ideological spread has arguably been on the widest scale, affecting not one or two sciences but many. It is also, because of its assault on climate science, potentially the most globally dangerous in human history. This should not be read as reflective of any political attitude the author might have for or against other activities of the Bush Administration; the deliberate governmental corruption of a nation's science is of such parlous importance that it transcends all political allegiances or antipathies."

Mr. Grant has said what I feel in a most concise way. While some may claim that comparing the US with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union is spurious, when viewed purely from the viewpoint of scientific corruption, the comparison holds. Suppression of real scientific results or promotion of pseudoscience to serve political or ideological ends is the common thread.

In other egobooish news, The Dragons of Manhattan is finally available for sale through Amazon. Tell your friends! And if you really like those friends, tell 'em the book's cheaper through my website . . .

Further exciting news about The Dragons of Manhattan later.

realthog: (leavingfortusa)


The excellent Hail Dubyus has scored again!


Photobucket 


What can we say? Sarah Palin’s life would fill two week’s worth of the Jerry Springer Show. This week’s National Enquirer–remember, they knew about John Edwards’ affair eight months before the NYTimes knew–alleges that Sary darlin’ had an affair ten years ago (at least that’s the scuttlebutt in the Wasilla gossip chain), that the reason young Track is in the army was because he’d lost control of his various drug addictions, and to round things off, provides juicy details about what happened in the Palin household when little Miss Bristol announced she got knocked up by the boyfriend she’s constantly fighting and breaking up with. Oughta be a great marriage.

But we finally get Sarah’s first interview with Charlie Gibson. HOOHAH! Let’s go to war with Russia! From what I could see, Charlie Gibson was leaning over backwards in an effort to not let Sarah make a total fool of herself. But there are just some things you can’t get around. Like, she knows nothing about the world outside the US, nothing about foreign policy in general, nothing about the foreign policies of her hero, Dubya. What’s a Bush Doctrine? She’s not completely certain that the war in Iraq is part of God’s plan, but she sure knows that gas pipeline from Alaska is. After all, National Security is equivalent to Energy Policy, isn’t it? I’d say her handlers need to intensify efforts to bring her up to speed before the next interview.

But the interesting thing is looking at the comments to the various clips floating around–on mainstream sites like Yahoo. You’d think Charlie Gibson was a foaming at the mouth radical the way some of these comments castigated him for asking Sarah questions that were TOO HARD. Too Hard? Playing Gotcha? It seems as if there’s a segment of the population that WANTS a “hockey mom” as Vice President, someone just like them, someone with the same problems and the same outlook. It isn’t fair to expect her to have the kind of knowledge a seasoned politician would have. Well, nuts! If this hockey mom is going to be next in line for the presidency, I want her to have the kind of knowledge a seasoned politician would have–because she needs it. It’s not like we get a do-over if we declare war on Russia over a petty border squabble–

Being president is the ultimate occupation you learn “on the job” since no other office prepares you for the decisions you have to make. But let’s have someone who’s at least got the fundamentals, rather than the fundamentalists.


You can find plenty more of this sort of stuff here.

realthog: (leavingfortusa)


It'd seem a somewhat elementary principle when running a political campaign to avoid pissing off FactCheck.org, but it's one the McCain campaign has ignored in its latest whopper-packed ad. Here's from FactCheck.org itself:

McCain-Palin Distorts Our Finding

. . . With its latest ad, released Sept. 10, the McCain-Palin campaign has altered our message in a fashion we consider less than honest. The ad strives to convey the message that FactCheck.org said "completely false" attacks on Gov. Sarah Palin had come from Sen. Barack Obama. We said no such thing. We have yet to dispute any claim from the Obama campaign about Palin.

They call the ad "Fact Check." It says "the attacks on Gov. Palin have been called 'completely false' ... 'misleading.' " On screen is a still photo of a grim-faced Obama. Our words are accurately quoted, but they had nothing to do with Obama.

Our article, posted two days earlier, debunked a number of false or misleading claims that have circulated in chain e-mails and Internet postings regarding Palin. There is no evidence that the Obama campaign is behind any of the wild accusations that we critiqued.

It strikes me that John McCain has now gotten himself into a position where he can no longer legitimately run for the office of President of the United States. A large part of what Presidents have to do is negotiate with foreign leaders, allies or otherwise. An important component of all such activity is that the parties involved must have some confidence in the honesty and integrity of the people they're dealing with; you have to know that others will not say one thing and do another.

John McCain has over the past few weeks lied so frequently, so blatantly and so prolifically that it will be impossible for any foreign leader -- let alone people within the US -- to place the slightest degree of trust in him. He is therefore incompetent for the role of President, and, if he has a single shred of that patriotism he's constantly telling us he has galore, should stand down at once.

Oh, but of course he's probably lying about the patriotism too . . .

realthog: (leavingfortusa)


The estimable David Sirota has the full story over on HuffPo. Here's how he starts:

Last night, I appeared on Rachel Maddow's new MSNBC show to discuss John McCain's new ad attacking Barack Obama on education. You can watch the discussion here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qnlad9fRbGg

In airing this ad, McCain has done something I never thought I would see: He has sponsored a new television commercial that effectively declares his support for child molestor rights.

I'm dead serious here: The ad explicitly criticizes Obama for supporting state legislation that the Kansas City Star notes was designed to give "schools the ability to warn young children about inappropriate touching and sexual predators."

So by basic logical deduction, then, McCain's ad attacking Obama for supporting that bill means McCain would have opposed it - meaning he would have taken the side of the Pedophilia Lobby that wants young children to not understand when they are being molested. I'm wondering - is there a NAMBLA endorsement in the works for McCain? The Arizona senator sure seems to be courting that interest group with this latest declaration.

 It's kind of typical, isn't it, that the McCain campaign should put the scoring of cheap political points, however dishonestly, ahead of the safety of kindergarten children?

Nice guys, aren't they?

No wonder people call them Repugnicans . . .


 

realthog: (corrupted science)

In the Gray Lady's continuing ill conceived campaign to provide a soapbox for rightist loonies as "balance" to its sane centrist commentators, today's New York Times contains an anti-Obama op-ed, "On Nov. 4, Remember 9/11", by one Jeffrey Goldberg, who's apparently a national correspondent for The Atlantic and author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror.

I don't want to get into the stupid, artificial left vs right schoolyard game that too many people regard as politics, but I do want to criticize Goldberg for a piece of monumental imbecility. His op-ed begins:

The next president must do one thing, and one thing only, if he is to be judged a success: He must prevent Al Qaeda, or a Qaeda imitator, from gaining control of a nuclear device and detonating it in America. Everything else — Fannie Mae, health care reform, energy independence, the budget shortfall in Wasilla, Alaska — is commentary. The nuclear destruction of Lower Manhattan, or downtown Washington, would cause the deaths of thousands, or hundreds of thousands; a catastrophic depression; the reversal of globalization; a permanent climate of fear in the West; and the comprehensive repudiation of America’s culture of civil liberties.

In fact, as anyone but a blinkered ideological slave would instantly observe, the Number One deed any incoming president must take in order to save American lives and protect American security is to act swiftly on climate change -- on a number of fronts, from international diplomacy to rapid investment in (a) the various climate-friendly energy technologies already available and (b) the development of new ones. Ignoring for a moment the longer term, when viewed alongside the number of deaths that are going to be caused by global warming even over the next decade or two (many of them directly attributable to the brain-dead inaction and denial of the incumbent Administration) "the deaths of thousands, or hundreds of thousands" is a pretty goddam paltry concern.

And in the longer term, of course, we're looking at human casualties in the billions . . . and quite possibly at the destruction of our species.

Yes, averting the possibility of a terrorist nuclear strike -- anywhere, not just in the US -- is obviously a matter of great importance; only an idiot would say otherwise. Constant vigilance and policing are required. (We all saw what happened when a US Administration lost its focus on counterterrorist intelligence; within a mere 18 months or so there were the 9/11 attacks.) But counterterrorism is not the only priority, and it's very far from the most urgent or the most important. Right at the top of the list, with everything else an inestimably long distance behind, is the matter of global warming; and if Goldberg thinks for one moment otherwise then he's a fool.
realthog: (Default)


On a list called The Spammers, of which I'm lucky enough to be a part, there was cited a letter that was published in today's Philadelphia Inquirer:

I really would like to know exactly what books Sarah Palin wanted to ban from the Wasilla Public Library so I can read them before January. 
             ----Cynthia First, Downingtown

Naturally, this prompted some discussion amongst us as to the identity of the dangerously offensive/tantalizingly obscene/treasonously seditious items, and it emerged that one of them was Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

 Huh? we all cried. What could possibly be offensive about To Kill a Mockingbird?

Step forward and take a bow, artist Ray Ridenour, with the obvious explanation:

Apparently it wasn't killed with a 30 ought 6 after an invigorating helicopter pursuit.

realthog: (corrupted science)

I've read occasional remarks to the effect that Sarah Palin's record on the environment is moderately OK, especially bearing in mind the record of the rest of her political party. I even checked out her New York Times op-ed, dating from January or February, in which she decried efforts to put polar bears onto the Endangered Species List; her argument, assuming the data she cited to support it were genuine, was not an unreasonable one, even though I disagreed with it. (I was, though, disturbed by her expressed attitude towards climate change in the op-ed, which seemed to be that this was a major and urgent problem about which we should, er, well, not do anything in too much of a hurry . . .)

Now I discover that all the stuff I'd read about her environmental good-thinking were just a matter of, as usual, our mainstream news media swallowing and regurgitating the drivel they're fed by (almost always Republican) politicians. Here's a press release, just issued, from the excellent charity Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2008

Shocking Choice by John McCain

WASHINGTON-- Senator John McCain just announced his choice for running mate:  Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.  To follow is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

“Senator McCain’s choice for a running mate is beyond belief. By choosing Sarah Palin, McCain has clearly made a decision to continue the Bush legacy of destructive environmental policies.

“Sarah Palin, whose husband works for BP (formerly British Petroleum), has repeatedly put special interests first when it comes to the environment. In her scant two years as governor, she has lobbied aggressively to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, pushed for more drilling off of Alaska’s coasts, and put special interests above science. Ms. Palin has made it clear through her actions that she is unwilling to do even as much as the Bush administration to address the impacts of global warming. Her most recent effort has been to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, putting Big Oil before sound science. As unbelievable as this may sound, this actually puts her to the right of the Bush administration. 

“This is Senator McCain’s first significant choice in building his executive team and it’s a bad one. It has to raise serious doubts in the minds of voters about John McCain’s commitment to conservation, to addressing the impacts of global warming and to ensuring our country ends its dependency on oil.”

###

The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund (www.defendersactionfund.org) provides a powerful voice in Washington to Americans who value our conservation heritage. Through grassroots lobbying, issue advocacy and political campaigns, the Action Fund champions those laws and lawmakers that protect wildlife and wild places while working against those that do them harm.

So was it just sloppy journalism? Were the mainstream journalists perhaps getting her mixed up with Michael?

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