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MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
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 Willow Palin’s book contract about gay bashing was rescinded.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.