Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Palin gaffes: dinosaurs; Supreme Court rulings; gotcha questions

The newest Sarah Palin gaffes:
She publicly uttered that humans and dinosaurs coexisted with dinosaurs.
Soon after Sarah Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she startled a local music teacher by insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on an Earth created 6,000 years ago -- about 65 million years after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct -- the teacher said.

After conducting a college band and watching Palin deliver a commencement address to a small group of home-schooled students in June 1997, Wasilla resident Philip Munger said, he asked the young mayor about her religious beliefs.

Palin told him that "dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time," Munger said. When he asked her about prehistoric fossils and tracks dating back millions of years, Palin said "she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks," recalled Munger, who teaches music at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and has regularly criticized Palin in recent years on his liberal political blog, called Progressive Alaska.

The idea of a "young Earth" -- that God created the Earth about 6,000 years ago, and dinosaurs and humans coexisted early on -- is a popular strain of creationism.

Though in her race for governor she called for faith-based "intelligent design" to be taught along with evolution in Alaska's schools, Gov. Palin has not sought to require it, state educators say.

So, Palin takes a literalist-fundamentalist reading of scientific history.

There are more big gaffes in Sarah Palin's interview with Couric. The only thing is that these clips have not yet been broadcast. The clips make apparent that Palin knows of no Supreme Court rulings other than Roe v. Wade.
From Jonathan Martin in "The Politico":

Of concern to McCain's campaign, however, is a remaining and still-undisclosed clip from Palin's interview with Couric last week that has the political world buzzing.

The Palin aide, after first noting how "infuriating" it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions.

After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases.

There was no verbal fumbling with this particular question as there was with some others, the aide said, but rather silence.

On most days, Palin makes only one public appearance, if that. Fundraisers have been scrapped. And in the 10 days leading up to Thursday's debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Joe Biden, she will have made only one major public appearance, which was with McCain.

With these verbal gaffes, is it any wonder that National Public Radio's Nina Tottenberg refers to Palin's campaign as being "sealed in a cocoon."

McCain and Palin made a joint appearance for CBS News' Katie Couric. Couric asked Palin for a clarification of the apparent inconsistency between the pair on cross-border attacks on Pakistan. The controversy originated in a voters' question to Palin about Pakistan. Yet, McCain alternatively called the voters' question a "gotcha journalism" question and claimed that Palin didn't hear the question that clearly. (Incidentally, Couric was now sporting the original Tina Fey heavy frame glasses.)
McCain/Palin are perfecting the Rudy Giuliani let me answer your question by reacting to it technique, but not responding to it:
Katie Couric: Over the weekend, Gov. Palin, you said the U.S. should absolutely launch cross-border attacks from Afghanistan into Pakistan to, quote, "stop the terrorists from coming any further in." Now, that's almost the exact position that Barack Obama has taken and that you, Sen. McCain, have criticized as something you do not say out loud. So, Gov. Palin, are you two on the same page on this?

Sarah Palin: We had a great discussion with President Zardari as we talked about what it is that America can and should be doing together to make sure that the terrorists do not cross borders and do not ultimately put themselves in a position of attacking America again or her allies. And we will do what we have to do to secure the United States of America and her allies.

Palin chose to give a long-winded response that she hoped would divert voters' attention from the fact that she did not respond to Couric's query about inconsistencies between she and McCain.
Palin is uncanny with stretching the truth about the location of the question interchange. It was in a pizza parlor, yet Palin recast it as "a question from across an area."

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