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'Refudiating' Palin brings Shakespeare into Twitter exchange

Tuesday, July 20, 2010; A04

SARAH PALIN

To refudiate or not to refudiate . . .

A Twitter posting Sunday from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, in which she claimed common ground with Shakespeare, started the blogosphere's week in rollicking fashion.

Palin tweeted that "peaceful Muslims" should "refudiate" the New York mosque being built near Ground Zero. This prompted plenty of retweets at her expense -- "refudiate," of course, is not a word.

After deleting the offending tweet, Palin replaced it with another, calling on "peaceful New Yorkers" to "refute the Ground Zero mosque plan" -- although the word she was apparently looking for was "repudiate."

Then came the kicker: To quell the ribbing she was receiving on Twitter, Palin posted another tweet: " 'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"

This spawned plenty of scorn Monday in liberal blogs, as well as a new meme on Twitter, #ShakesPalin, in which participants revamped classic Shakespeare quotes, Palin-style. Perhaps the best came from the Cato Institute's Julian Sanchez (a.k.a. @Normative): "To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous liberals, or to quit halfterm, and by opposing, rake in speaking fees."

-- Matt DeLong

UNEMPLOYMENT

Obama jabs GOP on delay in benefits

With the Senate poised to finally pass an extension of unemployment benefits, President Obama went to the Rose Garden to take another shot at the Republicans who have repeatedly blocked the measure, causing a lapse in payments for 2.5 million of the nation's jobless.

Polls indicate that the extension of jobless benefits up to 99 weeks has solid support among voters. Obama said the Republicans who have blocked the bill are "the same people who didn't have any problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for wealthy Americans."

The president was flanked by three of those who are long-term unemployed, whom he described as "honest, decent, hard-working folks who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own."

Republicans argue that the real issue is not the extension itself -- an idea they say they support -- but the fact that the government would borrow $34 billion to pay for it.

Passage of the measure is an all-but-foregone conclusion with the swearing-in Tuesday of West Virginia's new senator, Carte Goodwin, who replaces the late Robert C. Byrd and will give the Democrats the 60th vote they need to overcome a Republican filibuster.

-- Karen Tumulty

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