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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
Foot-in-Mouth Disorder

Palintology 101 (Part One)

by CHARLES R. LARSON

Well, students, in the last twenty-four hours Sarah Palin has put her foot in her mouth again—at least twice.

First, she diced that icon of the twentieth-century feminism, Barbara Bush, calling her a blue-blood, which is certainly the color of her hair, and guaranteeing further scorn from Karl Rove and other Bushies who have never been good at dealing with uppity gals, let alone uppity white gals with White House assumptions.

Second—and worse—Sarah laid into Michelle Obama for campaigning about obesity and child nutrition. Quoting Sarah, “Take her [Michelle’s] anti-obesity thing that she is on. She is on this kick, right. What she is telling us is that she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat.”

Coming as it did the day after Bristol Palin lost out on “Dancing with the Stars,” it is impossible not to connect the two. If Bristol had lost twenty or twenty-five pounds, perhaps she might have won the contest. But, no, there she was, Miss Chunky Cheese, with her typical obscenities and finger-pointing at people who were out to get her—and her mother.

Palin Enterprises—soon to offer an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange—had better sell those shares quickly. Sarah’s Alaska reality show lost forty percent of its viewers after the first week. Willow Palin’s book contract about gay bashing was rescinded. And, if Sarah gets much more desperate, she’ll begin dragging Trig around with her again as she stumps toward the nomination as figurehead of her hapless party in less than two years.

Tune in next week for the next sensational episode, as you think about what you’d rather have for Thanksgiving: turkey or moose.

CHARLES R. LARSON prays that Sarah Palin will be the Republican candidate for President in 2012. He is professor of Literature at American University in Washington, D.C.