Putin: Americans Were in Combat Zone

Maybe. He says perhaps to influence the election to one candidate’s benefit. Take with a large grain of salt. Note also how he responds to the question late in this CNN interview about guaranteeing other border states against Russian attack.

UPDATE: See also this backgrounder from The Economist. Money quote:

After years of cultivating xenophobic sentiment and persuading Russians that they face an enemy, the Kremlin had prepared the population psychologically for war. That, says Boris Dubin, a sociologist, is why Russia’s propaganda fell on fertile ground. In the public mind, he claims, the cause of the war is to be found in “America’s expansionist plans and desire to establish control over Russia’s neighbours.”

Gustav Line

Via Galrahn, the Department of Defense at least is ready for Hurricane Gustav:

The command has activated four defense coordinating elements at the regional FEMA headquarters. The command provides unique DoD capabilities for disaster response. Rowe said three active-duty military installations have been designated as FEMA logistics points: Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.; and the Naval Air Station at Meridian, Miss. 

The 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team in Fort Drum, N.Y., is the quick-reaction force for the homeland. “They are provided with situational awareness and provided with prepare-to-deploy orders if needed,” Rowe said. 

In addition, Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., has given direction to three amphibious ships — the USS Bataan, the USS Nassau and the USS Ponce — to be prepared to sortie if needed. The command also has at its disposal additional communications, engineering, and aviation units.

Unfortunately, it looks like they’ll be needed:

Palin Polling: So Far, A Wash

538 has the latest numbers from Rasmussen:

Voters have a favorable impression of her by a 53/26 margin; however, by a 29/44 margin, they do not believe that she is ready to be President. … 

At this stage, it is not clear how impactful her selection will be: 35 percent of voters say they’re more likely to vote for McCain with Palin on the ticket, and 33 percent say they’re less likely. …

Opinions of Palin are very strongly determined by ideology. 

None of this is very surprising. Read the post. Nate has more on a reverse gender gap. Unlike him, I don’t think that’s the headline.

More Qualms from the Right

Shannen Coffin at NRO:

Her career in the “city council” and as mayor of a town few outside of Alaska have ever heard of doesn’t exactly prepare her to preside over National Security Council meetings in the President’s absence, to serve as a close adviser to the President on counterterrorism issues, or to have the nuke “football” at her side 24/7.  And I say this as a guy who 1) grew up in a similar sized town in Louisiana that no one outside of Webster Parish has ever heard of, and 2) spent the 2005-07 as Counsel to the sitting Vice President — so I have some perspective on both from whence she came and what the job can involve.  That lack of experience is a political liability for the very reason that it is a real liability. 

Coffin also echoes the idea this is a Hail Mary play by McCain.

Stay Away from the Trooper

As I said previously, if the Dems try to make an issue of the to-do over Palin’s state trooper brother-in-law, they’d be making a tactical mistake of the highest order. Flopping Aces has the details.

Wolfson Can’t Leave It Alone

Howard Wolfson, former Clinton spokesflack:

“The fact that Palin is pro-life and pro-gun will be a block for many of Senator Clinton’s supporters — but not all. And it will raise the question for many why Senator Obama didn’t pick Senator Clinton as his running mate.”

Hey, jackass, get a clue. It’s already clear having what amounts to two presidents in one administration is a bad idea. Picking Hillary, we’d have three. Bill comes in the bargain.

Palin a Buchananite?

There’s considerable evidence. The folks at Think Progress have questions. Good ones, I’d say, given my familiarity with the way Pat Buchanan’s take on 20th-century American history has evolved.