Friday, October 31, 2008

Lucky embryo!

We discussed Marquis' future like ours argument Monday and Wednesday this week and I've been trying to think of ways of explaining why someone might be sceptical of the idea that the fetus has a future like ours. I've posted on this before and noted that in trying to get away from having to assume that the fetus is a person, it looks like someone could reject the idea that the fetus has a future like ours as follows:
(1) You don't share your future with anything that isn't you.
(2) You have always been a person.
(3) The fetus is not itself a person.
(C) You don't share your future with any fetus.

The problem is that there are a fair number of folks who simply deny (2) and say that you were once a fetus. You weren't just a fetus, mind you, you were also a fetus that didn't have a mind. What to say then?

Let's try something different. Suppose there are two embryos in the lab in an IVF clinic. One would be implanted first and if all went as planned, the second embryo wouldn't be needed and would be discarded. A coin is flipped and the coin determines which embryo is implanted first. I confess that it doesn't make much sense to me to say that the embryo that wins the toss is "lucky" in any sense, not even if the first embryo is the only one that develops into an infant. If it's not good for the embryo to become an infant, then it seems that there's a perfectly good sense in which it's not correct to say that the fetus has a future like ours--whereas it is good for us to live out our futures, the same cannot be said for the fetus. Our living out our futures can be a benefit to us and our losing out on them can be bad luck, the same, it seems, cannot be said for the embryo.

Monday, October 27, 2008

McCain the Socialist (Part N)

Brokaw just drove the stake through the heart of that socialist canard and then sprayed the body down with holy water for good measure!

If you don't watch the video, here's the gist. McCain in 2000 met his Joe the Plumber, but she was a daughter of a doctor. Seeming to have no patience for those who gripe about taxing the income of the rich at a higher rate than the income of the poor and the middle class, he panders not at all and dismisses out of hand the suggestion that you're a socialist if you support a progressive tax plan. Then in 2004, McCain gives us this gift:

It's amazing. 34 seconds into the clip McCain takes a shot at The Bridge to Nowhere and then thirty seconds later goes all "socialist".

Thursday, October 23, 2008

McCain the Socialist (Part II)

Just start at 2:13. That's where the good stuff is.

Young woman: Why is it that someone like my father who works hard and goes to school for thirteen years gets penalized in a huge tax bracket because he's a doctor?

McCain: I think it's to some degree because we feel, obviously, that wealthy people can afford more.

Young woman: Aren't we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?

McCain: Here's what I really believe. When you are, reach a certain level of comfort, there is nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.

Old school

I'm flipping through a copy of Essays on Knowledge and Justification (I was two when it was published), and I find in Pappas and Swain's introduction, this curious passage:
In Gettier's example, Smith is justified in accepting [Jones is the man who will get the job and Jones has ten coins in his pocket] despite the fact that (1) is false. It has been argued, however, that if a person is justified in accepting a proposition h, then h is true. If this contention is correct, Gettier's examples would be effectively short-circuited. But the contention is dubious.

The suggestion is due to Robert Almeder, and here's why his contention is thought to be dubious:
First, people have what would normally be regarded as excellent evidence for propositions that turn out to be false. For instance, at one time sme people had good evidence for believing the Ptolemaic account of the universe and so had excellent evidence for the false proposition that the planets travel in circular orbits. The kind of justification involved in such a case is what we typically call inductive. One feature of such cases is that the evidence that constitutes the justification is compatible with the denial of the proposition justified ... If the content under question where correct, then it appears that many inductive justifications would simply not qualify as justifications at all, and this surely flies in the face of accepted views about justification

Is this really a good objection? It assumes that the properties necessary for S's X-ing to be justified are properties necessary for S to have a justification. Thus, if S's X-ing can be justified only if S's X-ing has F, S can have a justification only if S's justification has F. The context suggests that S's justification can only be S's evidence. That assumption is dubious. If we think of a justification as that which someone would cite in explaining or defending themselves from the charge of wrongdoing, that their actions were permissible will not be part of the justification itself. It is, however, a condition necessary for being justified.

Suppose I know, on the basis of good inductive evidence, that the sun is going to come out on Saturday. Now imagine someone with the same evidence that believes this mistakenly. If we say that the second subject's belief isn't justified, it doesn't seem to follow that we had different justifications for our beliefs. If, however, we said that truth were a condition necessary for having a justified belief, it would follow that in spite of our having the same justifications, only on of our beliefs would be justified.

Here's the second objection:
It is easy to imagine two cases which are identical in all respects, i.e., same evidence and same circumstances, expect that the proposition justified is true in one case and false in the other. For instance, we might suppose another example just like Gettier's in which (1) is true, rather than false. If the contention in question were correct, we should have to say in the one case that the belief is justified, but in the other that it is not. What explanation could there be for this difference? Surely not simply that the proposition justified is true in the one case, but false in the other!

Fair enough, that's not an explanation. But, here's an explanation. The belief in the one case conforms to the norms governing belief, but the other does not. Or, the belief in the one case gives us evidence that we might use to justify further beliefs, but the other does not.

Whatever the merits of such a response, it's sort of surprising that it's not considered. It's sort of surprising to see how transparent the evidentialist assumptions are. It's more than just sort of surprising to see on the next page this passage:
The following principle does seem right ... If h is justified for S on the basis of evidence, e, then no elements of e that are essential for that justification are false.

Right, so if we put all of this together, we get this. If some proposition is false, it is not included in someone's evidence. If, however, some proposition is justifiably believed, it can be false. So, there are justified beliefs in propositions such that those propositions are not part of our evidence.

I don't like that last bit. I thought that if you were sympathetic to internalism facts about our evidence are supposed to be accessible from the armchair. But, unless you're just opting for the view that propositions or facts are not the right sort of beasts to be pieces of evidence, I can't see how you can consistently maintain both:
NFE: No false propositions are part of our evidence.
JFB: The falsity of the belief that e is true is not itself going to prevent the belief that e is true from being justified.

Really good news!!!

I've just received word that my paper on Moore's Paradox and epistemic norms has been accepted by the Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

I can't tell you what a relief this is. I'm biased of course, but I had thought it was a decent paper. The thing is that the darn details were so darn hard to iron out, I worried I'd never get it quite right enough. To be honest, I probably never would have if if weren't for an anonymous referee who was willing to give me close to ten pages of suggestions and more encouragement than I deserved. So, to my anonymous commentator, I want to say how much I appreciate your help. I think I'm going to crack open a bottle of wine and celebrate. Only a little, though, it's a school night.

McCain the Socialist

Here's a good place to start to learn about John McCain's position on tax cuts and class warfare:
“I am concerned that repeal of the estate tax would provide massive benefits solely to the wealthiest and highest-income taxpayers in the country. A Treasury Department study found that almost no estate tax has been paid by lower- and middle-income taxpayers. But taxes have been paid on the estates of people who were in the highest 20% of the income distribution at the time of their death. It found that 91% of all estate taxes are paid by the estates of people whose annual income exceeded $190,000 around the time of their death. …

“We have no idea what our financial or economic situation will be ten years from now. … We may want to have the flexibility to provide significant tax relief for lower- and middle-income taxpayers. Other unforeseen issues may arise. The point is that we must think beyond the horizon. Making the repeal of the estate tax permanent fails to take these new circumstances into account.

“We will need resources to deal with … responsible tax reform that benefit lower- and middle-income taxpayers.”

—Senate floor statement opposing HR 8, a bill to permanently eliminate the death tax, June 11, 2002.

McCain the socialist in video (here).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On the market

I'm sure a fair number of you are on the market right now. Good luck. If you're not on the market, but are looking for a candidate I suppose I'd mention that I'm desperately looking for a position. Preferably, a position in philosophy. I suppose if that fails, there has to be some advertising firms that could use a philosopher on staff. Someone's going to have to call Dove on this gem:
We asked one woman to wash with Dove. We asked another woman to wash with soap. If you could see the difference, you would see that soap leaves an invisible layer of scum on the skin.

Yeah, that doesn't seem right to me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's nice that Powell endorsed Obama, but ...

... I don't think this is appropriate:
Powell's endorsement has been much anticipated because he is a Republican with impressive foreign policy credentials, a subject on which Obama is weak. At the same time, he is a black man and Obama would be the nation's first black president.

I have no idea what place that second line has in the article, and I don't know why Stephen Ohlemacher decided that it was his place to say that a candidate is weak in his foreign policy credentials in a news piece for the AP.


This is ...

... as close as we'll get to a presser with Palin before the election.

People do realize that this is insane, right?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Obama the socialist

Since the charge is now being thrown around, here's a bit of advice. The next time someone says "Obama is a socialist", ask them what they think "socialism" means. If they say that under socialism the means of production are owned by some collective, social entity you can give them a gold star and say that while they are not conceptually confused, they are factually ignorant. There's nothing that Obama is trying to do that McCain isn't trying to do that is the slightest bit socialist. If they say that under socialism, we return to Clinton's tax policies and every dollar you make over $250,000 will be taxed at 39% rather than 36% you can give them a slap to the face. That's the cure for conceptual confusion. You can say that a better example of recent socialist tendencies would be the bailout Bush proposed and McCain supported. From The Telegraph:
Conservative economist Alan Reynolds, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, ... [said]: "Public ownership of mortgage-backed bonds is merely an investment. Public ownership of equity is socialism."

Jonathan Hoenig, the chief executive of the Capitalist Pig hedge fund, added: "It's a major negative for the economy. It pushes this country further and further toward socialism.

"We now join the Soviet Union, North Korea and Cuba as countries in which the government owns, it doesn't just referee, but owns a major stake in the financial system. That's been a disaster for any economy that's ever tried it. It's not the government's role to own banks."

"Socialist" isn't one of my fighting words. If it is among someone's fighting words, she could at least use it correctly.

You might further point out that it's inconsistent with the free market ideology that was supposed to be the ideology of the Republican Party to propose ways of using tax policy to interfere with the mutually beneficial arrangements between employee and employer (e.g., the arrangement whereby employees are given health care by their employers as a kind of compensation) in order to produce socially attractive aims like handing out tax credits of $5000 to families. That's the kind of crap that has Nozick rolling over in his grave. Of course, if they don't know what "socialism" means, don't expect them to know who Nozick is.

Shorter post. Clinton = not socialist. Obama = not socialist. Bush = quasi-socialist. McCain = enabler of Bush's quasi-socialist policies in self-denial.

Slightly less shorter post. This is a lesson in how right wing anti-intellectualism can bite someone in the ass. Republicans can go to bed being all right wing and wake up all socialist inciting mobs of sometimes racist white folk to join them in some hair-brained scheme to use our tax dollars to seize the means of production.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hey, Joes

Here's Joe the plumber:

I'm officially sick of Joe six pack and Joe the plumber.
Here's Joe after the debate.

Joe the plumber thinks it's "scary" that people making more than $250,000 per year will have to pay 39% tax on every dollar over that threshold instead of the 36% he'd be paying for every dollar under? If you're literally scared of having to pay 3% more on each dollar you make over $250,000 each year, you are a coward. If you're going to call anyone who doesn't support the flat tax a 'socialist', you're an idiot. But, if you want to call McCain a socialist with a scary tax plan, you'd at least be consistent. You'll note Joe wouldn't do that.

Who is Joe the plumber?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Home world reliabilism

Majors and Sawyer (2005) have defended a version of reliabilism, home world reliabilism, which says that what is necessary for justified belief is not reliability in normal worlds or reliability in the scenario in which a belief is actually formed, but instead says this:

Rhw: S’s belief that p is justified only if the processes that produced S’s beliefs are reliable in S’s home world understood as that set of environments relative to which the natures of her intentional contents are individuated (2005: 272).

To understand the view, it is important to understand something about the individuation of intentional contents. Thanks in large part to the work of Putnam (1975) and Burge (1979) it is now widely believed that features of the external environment are among the conditions that go towards determining the contents of our intentional states. Burge (1979) defended the view that it is possible for two individuals that are microphysical duplicates to have different beliefs if they were raised in different environments and the further view that the contents of their perceptual states could also differ in light of differences in their environments (1986). If our first individual had been raised in a linguistic community like ours where ‘gold’ was used to refer to a metallic element atoms of which had 79 protons in its nucleus and our second individual was raised in a linguistic community similar to ours that used ‘gold’ to refer to a superficially similar metal atoms of which did not have 79 protons in its nucleus, what these two speakers would assert if they said ‘That is gold’ would differ. (For example, what the first speaker says might be false if said while pointing at a hunk of fool’s gold even if what the second speaker says could be true if said while pointing at the same hunk.) Suppose these speakers then added, ‘Well, that is what I believe, at any rate’. Just as ‘That is gold’ would express different propositions, ‘I believe that that is gold’ would express different propositions. Unless we are prepared to say that one of these speakers cannot correctly self-ascribe beliefs, we have to say that their assertions and beliefs differ in content. The conditions that determine what these individuals believe include their ‘narrow’ conditions (i.e., the conditions held constant when we say that these two individuals are microphysical duplicates) and the conditions found in their environment (i.e., the conditions that determine whether they have been interacting with gold or some superficially similar metal that is not gold).

To see why this matters, note that in setting up the new evil demon thought experiment, we were asked to imagine that there was an individual that is mentally just like us (i.e., an epistemic counterpart) that was situated in an environment that is radically different from our own insofar as this subject was systematically deceived and cut off from causally interacting with her environment in the ways that we do. Anti-individualists might say that this is latent nonsense. It is impossible for a subject to satisfy the first condition and be mentally just like us whilst being situated in a radically different environment because a condition necessary on being mentally just like us is that the subject causally interacts with the kinds of things that we do. The home world reliabilist can say that the new evil demon thought experiment does not cause trouble for reliabilist accounts of justification because when we describe a systematically deceived subject, we are not describing a genuine possibility in which an epistemic counterpart of ours has beliefs produced by wholly unreliable processes. Thus, the home world reliabilist can say that if a subject is an epistemic counterpart of ours, that subject’s beliefs are justified and to the extent that this subject’s mental life is like ours, we have to assume that this subject is not prevented from causally interacting with her environment in the way that the systematically deceived subjects would have to be.

As Comesana (2002: 264) notes, however, it isn’t clear that an appeal to anti-individualism alone can take care of the problem because the problem can reemerge in the form of ‘switching’ cases. Let us suppose that anti-individualism is true and that it is impossible for a subject that is tormented by a Cartesian demon from birth to be an epistemic counterpart of ours. By depriving this subject of the opportunity to causally interact with an environment like ours, the demon prevents this individual from acquiring the kinds of intentional thought contents that we have. What if a subject were allowed to acquire the kinds of thought contents we have by interacting with her environment for a period of thirty years, but the day after the subject’s thirtieth birthday the demon decides to cause her to hallucinate and deceive her about her surroundings? Intuitively, it seems that this newly deceived subject is no less justified in forming her beliefs, but her beliefs will now be wrong as a rule. The home world reliabilist might say that their view delivers this verdict because if the subject had been forming beliefs in the kind of epistemically hospitable environment in which she initially had been forming her beliefs, her beliefs would have largely turned out to be correct. (This seems to require the home world reliabilist to individuate environments in such a way that with the demon’s decision to start deceiving our hapless subject the subject is thereby ‘moved’ into an environment that is not part of the ‘home world’.) I suppose that those sympathetic to Goldman’s (1979) original formulation of reliabilism would be bothered by the implication that so far as the facts that matter to justification are concerned, nothing of significance happened when the demon decided to deceive the subject. It is also odd that on the home world reliabilist view, if the subject thought to herself just after the switch that the beliefs formed after her thirtieth birthday were justified, that belief would be true, but if the subject inferred that those very same beliefs are produced by reliable processes, that belief would be false.

It is hard to know if these are serious problems for the view, but it is worth noting that if the home world reliabilist response is complete, it has to say something about the epistemic status of a demonically tormented subject’s beliefs. Even if no subject tormented from birth by a demon has thoughts or perceptual experiences with the contents that ours have, unless the home world reliabilist is going to say that such subjects have no beliefs at all, we can ask whether such a subject is justified in believing whatever they happen to believe. We know that the home world reliabilist will have to say that if these subjects have justified beliefs, there must be some matters about which their beliefs are reliably correct. It is hard to imagine what these subjects might have reliably correct beliefs about. Note also that the view’s verdicts might not be quite in line with the intuitions to which the critics of reliabilism appeal. Suppose that philosophers ‘discovered’ that some sort of error theory is true. Although the folk might believe things are colored, noisy, good, or what have you, philosophers learn that the world contains no secondary qualities or moral properties. Are we to say that in light of this hard earned philosophical discovery, the ordinary judgments that ordinary folk make about colors or moral properties can never be justified? It seems that the home world reliabilist would have to say that if we were to discover that a subject’s beliefs are not reliably correct by taking account of facts that ordinary folk are non-culpably ignorant of, we would have to pronounce their beliefs as unjustified. It is not clear that this is consistent with the basic intuition that underwrites the new evil demon argument.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

McCain is now accusing Obama of supporting infanticide

I just received an email from McCain-Palin. The email consisted of an editorial from The Washington Post authored by Terence P. Jeffrey where Obama is accused of supporting infanticide. Here's the content of the email:
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The most telling debate Barack Obama ever had was not with John McCain but Patrick O'Malley, who served with Mr. Obama in the Illinois Senate and engaged him in a colloquy every American should read.

The Obama-O'Malley debate was a defining moment for Mr. Obama because it dealt with such a fundamental issue: The state's duty to protect the civil rights of the young and disabled.

Some background: Eight years ago, nurse Jill Stanek went public about the "induced-labor abortions" performed at the Illinois hospital where she worked. Often done on Down syndrome babies, the procedure involved medicating the mother to cause premature labor.

Babies who survived this, Nurses Stanek testified in the U.S. Congress, were brought to a soiled linen room and left alone to die without care or comforting.

Then-Illinois state Sen. Patrick O'Malley, whom I interviewed this week, contacted the state attorney general's office to see whether existing laws protected a newborn abortion-survivor's rights as a U.S. citizen. He was told they did not. So, Mr. O'Malley - a lawyer, veteran lawmaker and colleague of Mr. Obama on the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee - drafted legislation.

In 2001, he introduced three bills. SB1093 said if a doctor performing an abortion believed there was a likelihood the baby would survive, another physician must be present "to assess the child's viability and provide medical care." SB1094 gave the parents, or a state-appointed guardian, the right to sue to protect the child's rights. SB1095 simply said a baby alive after "complete expulsion or extraction from its mother" would be considered a " 'person,' 'human being,' 'child' and 'individual.' "

The bills dealt exclusively with born children. "This legislation was about preventing conduct that allowed infanticide to take place in the state of Illinois," Mr. O'Malley told me.

The Judiciary Committee approved the bills with Mr. Obama in opposition. On March 31, 2001, they came up on the Illinois Senate floor. Only one member spoke against them: Barack Obama.

"Nobody else said anything," Mr. O'Malley recalls. The official transcript validates this.

"Sen. O'Malley," Mr. Obama said near the beginning of the discussion, "the testimony during the committee indicated that one of the key concerns was - is that there was a method of abortion, an induced abortion, where the - the fetus or child, as - as some might describe it, is still temporarily alive outside the womb." Mr. Obama made three crucial concessions here: the legislation was about (1) a human being, who was (2) "alive" and (3) "outside the womb."

He also used an odd redundancy: "temporarily alive." Is there another type of human?

"And one of the concerns that came out in the testimony was the fact that they were not being properly cared for during that brief period of time that they were still living," Mr. Obama continued.

Here he made another crucial concession: The intention of the legislation was to make sure that (1) a human being, (2) alive and (3) outside the womb was (4) "properly cared for."

"Is that correct?" Mr. Obama asked Mr. O'Malley.

Mr. O'Malley tightened the logical knot. "[T]his bill suggests that appropriate steps be taken to treat that baby as a - a citizen of the United States and afforded all the rights and protections it deserves under the Constitution of the United States," said Mr. O'Malley.

But to these specific temporarily-alive-outside-the-womb-human beings - to these children who had survived a botched abortion, whose hearts were beating, whose muscles were moving, whose lungs were heaving - to these specific children of God, Mr. Obama was not willing to concede any constitutional rights at all.

To explain his position, Mr. Obama came up with yet another term to describe the human being who would be protected by Mr. O'Malley's bills. The abortion survivor became a "pre-viable fetus."

By definition, however, a born baby cannot be a "fetus." Merriam-Webster Online defines "fetus" as an "unborn or unhatched vertebrate" or "a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth." Mr. Obama had already conceded these human beings were "alive outside the womb."

"No. 1," said Mr. Obama, "whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or other elements of the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a - a child, a 9-month-old - child that was delivered to term."

Yes. In other words, a baby born alive at 37 weeks is just as much a human "person" as a baby born alive at 22 weeks.

Mr. Obama, however, saw a problem with calling abortion survivors "persons." "I mean, it - it would essentially bar abortions," said Mr. Obama, "because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute."

For Mr. Obama, whether or not a temporarily-alive-outside-the-womb little girl is a "person" entitled to constitutional rights is not determined by her humanity, her age or even her place in space relative to her mother's uterus. It is determined by whether a doctor has been trying to kill her.

Terence P. Jeffrey is a nationally syndicated columnist.

Here's the response from Media Matters:
The Washington Post reported that "[a]bortion foes are now accusing [Sen. Barack] Obama of being an abortion-rights extremist" and purported to give the views of both the proponents and opponents of the "Born-Alive Infants Protection Act," which Obama voted against as an Illinois state senator. But at no point did the Post note that the Illinois Department of Public Health had reportedly said that the alleged conduct the Post identified as having been the impetus for the bill was already illegal.

Not like us

Watch CBS Videos Online

McCain's base?

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I'd been kicking around this idea in a few blog comments and notes to self that it would be interesting to respond to arguments against moral realism by arguing that such arguments would prove too much by doubling as arguments against epistemic realism. I'm now sitting here drinking a decent coffee cup of wine reading Cuneo's The Normative Web kicking myself for not thinking of this earlier while thinking I'm somewhat relieved that he's done all the hard work for me.

You might be wondering why I'm blogging on a Saturday night at 2:00 a.m. It's in part because my new schedule involves passing out from 3:30 until 7:00 on Friday afternoons after my week of teaching is done. It's in part because I'm somewhat motivated to get some reading done instead of thinking about the horrors of another year on the job market. I'd like to think that this year is going to go better than last, but it's looking like there aren't that many jobs this year. At this point, I'm not sure any changes to my cv are going to matter. (That being said, there's about a dozen folks who could prove me wrong. They could finish reviewing my papers and recommend acceptance!) I'll just sit back, expect the worst, and start thinking about where I want to wait tables next year.

Sarah Palin is turning out to be a bold choice, no?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Overheard in Dallas

Not by me, but by Amy:
Girl in store: Is this (pointing to a small plant) an actual Meyer Lemon Tree?
Clerk: Yeah, it grows to be around 3 feet tall.
G: Does it actually grow lemons?
C: Yeah.
G: Yeah, but does it grow real lemons?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

That's not foresight we can believe in!

Here's a little gem of an interview McCain gave to Mother Jones in December, 1998.
MJ: You not only have had combat experience in Vietnam, but you were also a prisoner of war. When you look at terrorism right now, with people like Osama bin Laden, do you have any reservations about watching strikes like that?

JM: You could say, Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted? Most of us have never heard of him before. And where there is a parallel with Vietnam is: What's plan B? What do we do next? We sent our troops into Vietnam to protect the bases. Lyndon Johnson said, Only to protect the bases. Next thing you know.... Well, we've declared to the terrorists that we're going to strike them wherever they live. That's fine. But what's next? That's where there might be some comparison.

HT to TPM.

I'll say it again

SMU is paying June Jones $2 million per season and SMU is one for six this season. Here's a thought. Funnel some of that money into academics instead of football. Buying us computers and sending us to conferences won't help win games, but neither will the coaches you hire.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

You, madam, are no normal Joe six-pack American

Details from TPM.

Maybe I'm just having a late case of the Mondays, but "Joe six-pack Americans" don't say things like, "It's time that normal Joe six-pack American is finally represented in the position of vice presidency". They also don't accept invitations to run as Vice-President because minimally self-aware Joe six-pack Americans aren't crazy enough to think they can serve as Vice-President.

McCain bristles at the suggestion that he's been dishonest and repeats the assertion that Obama supported comprehensive sexual education for kindergartners.

From the NYT:
In referring to the sex-education bill, the McCain campaign is largely recycling old and discredited accusations made against Mr. Obama by Alan Keyes in their 2004 Senate race. At that time, Mr. Obama stated that he understood the main objective of the legislation, as it pertained to kindergarteners, to be to teach them how to defend themselves against sexual predators.

“I have a 6-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old daughter, and one of the things my wife and I talked to our daughter about is the possibility of somebody touching them inappropriately, and what that might mean,” Mr. Obama said in 2004. “And that was included specifically in the law, so that kindergarteners are able to exercise some possible protection against abuse, because I have family members as well as friends who suffered abuse at that age.”

It is a misstatement of the bill’s purpose, therefore, to maintain, as the McCain campaign advertisement does, that Mr. Obama favored conventional sex education as a policy for 5-year-olds. Under the Illinois proposal, “medically accurate” education about more complicated topics, including intercourse, contraception and homosexuality, would have been reserved for older students in higher grades.

So, given the opportunity to take back a really disgusting lie, McCain just reasserts it and attacks someone for having the audacity to support a policy designed to help keep kids away from sexual predators.