Archive for the ‘Republicans’ Category
Andrew Malcom of the L.A. Times, (You know the newspaper so in the tank for Obama it is hiding a video of Obama at a Jew-bashing dinner attended by those people he hardly knows, Rashid Khalidi, William Ayers and his fellow terrorist wife, Bernadette Dohrn) reports, perhaps mocks Slate:
One writer has broken ranks with Slate’s slate of writers and intends to vote for John McCain! The Republican senator from Arizona!
And one other Slate writer intends to vote for Bob Barr! The Libertarian former Republican representative from Georgia!
Not just because Bob has a permit to carry a concealed weapon. But because the editor-at-large, Jack Shafer, explains he has chosen the Libertarian candidate ever since he started voting in 1972.
Jack admits there have been “a long line of chowderheads” atop the Libertarian ticket. But he feels that party comes closest to his ideal of limited government, free markets and noninterventionist foreign policy.
The rebel Republican over at Slate is Rachael Larimore, the deputy managing editor and copy chief, who’s a lifelong moderate GOP voter who admires McCain, is incapable of generating a ton of hate for that known Satan George W. Bush and hopes that a Democratic victory will help recharge the GOP in the long run for the benefit of our two-party system.
That leaves only 55 other Slate staffers who chose to announce their fealty to the Illinois fellow for a variety of reasons you can read for yourself here.
Editor David Plotz describes the political announcements as a sign of openness and because he, like his predecessors, says he does not believe that how writers write politically is affected by how writers think politically.
So rest assured the online vote at Slate has absolutely nothing to do with all this late-race trumped up empty chatter over media bias in favor of the handsome, eloquent Democrat with the darling family running against the grumpy old pilot who can’t use a BlackBerry or play tennis because his arms were allegedly broken so often and then shocked the media by picking as his running mate a Washington outsider, a non-Democrat female no less, who’s so opposed to abortion she didn’t get one herself.
That’s just widespread biased hooey. Forget about it because we say to.
By Brian Sullivan
Higher taxes and job creation are the oil and water of economics. They simply don’t go together.
It’s a basic concept. The more a business gives to the government, the less free cash it has to use on new salaries. It’s why John McCain wants to cut the corporate tax rate to 25% from 35%. That extra 10% can go toward hiring a lot of workers and keeping jobs in the U.S. Remember America has the 4th highest corporate tax rate in the world. It’s no wonder jobs continue to move overseas.
This is not a partisan argument. Many Democratic leaders feel the same way and understand the damage higher taxes will mean for job creation. Consider this excerpt from today’s Wall Street Journal:
The Obama plan is an incentive to hire fewer workers. Barack Obama declared last week that his economic plan begins with “one word that’s on everyone’s mind and it’s spelled J-O-B-S.”. This raises the stubborn question that Senator Obama has never satisfactorily answered: How do you create more jobs when you want to levy higher tax rates on the small business owners who are the nation’s primary employers? Loyal Democrats have howled over the claim that small businesses will get soaked by the Obama tax plan, so we thought we would seek an authority they might trust on the issue: Democratic Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus of Montana.
Here is what Mr. Baucus wrote in a joint press release with Iowa Republican Charles Grassley on August 20, 2001, when they supported the income tax rate cuts that Mr. Obama wants to repeal: “. . . when the new tax relief law is fully phased in, entrepreneurs and small businesses — owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations, and farms — will receive 80 percent of the tax relief associated with reducing the top income tax rates of 36 percent to 33 percent and 39.6 percent to 35 percent.”. Then they continued with a useful economics tutorial: “Experts agree that lower taxes increase a business’ cash flow, which helps with liquidity constraints during an economic slowdown and could increase the demand for investment and labor.”. Twelve Senate Democrats voted for those same tax cuts. And just to be clear on one point: An increase in “the demand for investment and labor” translates into an increase in J-O-B-S.
So if lowering these tax rates creates jobs, then it stands to reason that raising these taxes will mean fewer jobs. From 2003 to 2007 with the lower tax rates in place, the U.S. economy added eight million jobs, or about 125,000 per month. The Small Business Administration says small business wrote the paychecks for up to 80% of new jobs in 2005, for example. Mr. Obama’s tax increase would hit the bottom line of small businesses in three direct ways.
Since Senator Baucus is on the record agreeing lower taxes are good for jobs, why has he and the other Democratic leaders who voted for this suddenly clammed up? They have either done the world’s greatest flip-flop on the impact of tax hikes on jobs, or have spoken up privately and been ignored by the Obama camp.
So that’s small business. But what about the big boys? If you believe the hype that big business doesn’t pay taxes, consider this: last year ExxonMobil paid more in taxes than the bottom 50% of the entire population of American taxpayers. So if you are one that has come to believe you should hate “big oil,” consider what your tax burden would be if that $30+ billion (which is on its way to $40 billion for 2008) in tax revenue paid by Exxon suddenly dried up.
So since the Congressional record proves that many Democrats understand the relationship between jobs and taxes as well as any supply-side Republican, their silence surrounding the proposed tax increases speaks volumes about where their true interests lie.
Well known leftist-leaning Gannett News Service, which owns a multitude of newspapers, radio stations, and magazines in the U.S. and the UK, also has a long history of supporting the Democrat Party.
Gannett also owns the Military Times.
A military-wide presidential poll of active-duty soldiers from all branches, conducted by the Military Times, shows McCain hugely favored over Obama.
If Soldiers Could Choose Their Own Commander-in-Chief
|“Other” Race Specified||58%||30%||12%|
|35 and older||70%||21%||9%|
With the obvious exception of the racial slant in the black vote, which like the civilian black voting bloc mostly trends heavily towards the candidate running as an African-American, no other sector of the military comes even close to supporting Barack Obama for Commander-in-Chief.
Now, Obama supporters point to Powell. But Powell is a known political opportunist who has clearly taken a side against active duty military members before, and again in this election.
They will attempt to discredit the published results by claiming some right-wing slant. But the Military Times is owned and edited by left-leaning Gannett News Service.
They will call all non-black members of the military “racists” for opposing Obama, just like they label other Americans opposing Obama as “racists.” Never mind the overt racism in the black vote.
They might even try to label these men and women in uniform “fascists” – since they don’t know what a “fascist” really is and have misused the name to describe Bush and Cheney for years now.
But they can’t hurt our soldier’s feelings anymore than they already have by calling them “terrorists” running “Gulags” and “torture chambers.”
Yet the facts remain…
Active troops support John McCain 3-to-1 over Barack Obama.
Colin Powell stands to personally gain power and money by supporting Obama. What do the troops stand to gain by supporting John McCain for Commander-in-Chief?
As the men and women actually in Iraq and Afghanistan, who know best what is happening on the ground there and in many other dangerous places around the globe, does their opinion matter to average Americans back home? Do they matter to you?
What do we mean when we say “we support the troops?”
There is no ambiguity in the results of the military poll that shows all branches combined still support McCain by 68% over only 23% for Obama.
What does this mean about Americans back home who do not have their lives on the line, when they vote against the troops?
Who is better qualified to choose the next Commander-in-Chief? The troops “we support,” or the millions back home who have never put on a uniform or taken up a weapon in defense of this nation?
Who has more at stake than our troops in harm’s way, when deciding who the next Commander-in-Chief will be?
What does it say about you if their opinion doesn’t matter to you?
John McCain is “one of them!”
Barack Obama is so far from being “one of them,” that he can’t even begin to imagine what it is to be “one of them.”
The troops will serve under anyone we elect. Some of them will die under whomever we elect.
Do you have what it really takes to “support our troops?” Colin Powell doesn’t… Colin Powell has once again chosen to serve himself.
Read those numbers above. Think about the men and women who answered those surveys. Try to imagine what this election means to them. Then ask yourself why they won’t support Barack Hussein Obama for their next Commander-in-Chief…
Then ask yourself, how can you?
You can stand with leftists attempting to serve themselves if you like…
I, on the other hand, will SUPPORT THE TROOPS who support McCain!
A House GOP report blames lack of Fannie, Freddie restructuring for credit crisis. While the GOP’ers declare the credit crisis to be a “complex phenonemon,” they place much of the blame on Congress’s inability to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
While this is not the complete Minority Report, it is the Executive Summary, and worth the rather lengthy read. Reading it, you will have (at least) as good a grasp as most Members of Congress….
Examining the Causes of the Credit Crisis of 2008
Minority Staff Analysis
U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Tom Davis, Ranking Member
October 6, 2008
I. Executive Summary
In the midst of the most serious financial crisis in a generation, some claim that deregulation is entirely to blame. This is simply not true and more importantly serves to grossly oversimplify a problem whose roots run deep and involve myriad actors and issues. The simple truth is that many share the blame, and pointing to just one person or organization does a disservice to the American people.
In a time of crisis, the American people cannot afford the same old partisan finger pointing; they need and deserve real, non-partisan oversight. We need a series of hearings that will focus on the root causes and how we can fix a system in order to avoid financial meltdowns in the future. This minority staff analysis attempts to objectively explore the causes of the financial crisis we are in and how companies like Lehman Brothers and AIG contributed to this crisis.
The current credit crisis is a complex phenomenon with its roots in a number of places involving a myriad of people and institutions. Key players and institutions include Members of Congress, well-respected members of Republican and Democratic administrations, the Federal Reserve Board, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the major private sector credit rating agencies, banks, mortgage brokers, and consumers.
There is no single issue or decision one can trace as a cause of the current financial crisis; rather it was multiple decisions and issues involving many actors over time that led us to where we are today. However, we can point to organizations that contributed greatly to the problem and how their role was the catalyst for others to become involved and eventually fail. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fall into this category. They were the central cancer of the mortgage market, which has now metastasized into the current financial crisis. With the help of a loose monetary policy at the Federal Reserve, an over-reliance on inaccurate risk assessment and a fractured regulatory system, this cancer spread throughout the financial industry.
A few key elements are critical in understanding how we got to where we are today.
The Role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in Creating the Credit Crisis
* If Congress had successfully restructured Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2005 after the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) reported on their fraudulent accounting activities, we would likely not be in the crisis we have today. The over $ 1 trillion dollar binge into subprime and mortgage backed securities that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac embarked upon from 2005 to 2007 would likely not have happened.
* By 2005, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was so concerned that he characterized the concentration of systemic risk inherent in the ever-growing portfolios of Fannie and Freddie as, placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk. Recent events have unfortunately proved him right.
* The transformation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the Affordable Housing Center was a laudable goal, but to push predatory subprime lending to unspeakable heights and to encourage questionable lending practices believing housing prices would continue to soar was beyond reason.
* The politicization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the last decade seriously undermined the credibility of the organizations and prevented their restructuring and reform, with Democrats viewing any attempt at curtailing their behavior as an attempt at curtailing affordable housing. Between 1998 and 2008, Fannie and Freddie combined spent nearly $175 million lobbying Congress, and from 2000 to 2008 their employees contributed nearly $15 million to the campaigns of dozens of Members of Congress on key committees responsible for oversight of Fannie and Freddie. Those who opposed the restructuring of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were unwittingly helping to build a house of cards on risky mortgage backed securities.
* The motivations for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to gamble with taxpayer money on bad nonprime mortgage bets was not entirely a matter of good intentions gone awry. Greed and corruption were unfortunately part of the equation as well. The size and growth of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac leading up to their collapse were nothing short of astonishing. From 1990 to 2005, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac grew more than 944% to $1.64 trillion, and their outstanding liabilities grew 980% to $1.51 trillion. These liabilities were equal to 32.8% of the total publicly-held debt of the U.S. Government, which in 2005 stood at $4.6 trillion.
Lehman Brothers, AIG and the Challenges of Statistical Risk Modeling
* Lehman Brothers didn’t cause this mess but it certainly jumped head first into trying to make money on securitizing mortgage-backed instruments. They followed on the heels of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for precisely the same reasons. If we understand the initial cause of the cancer at Fannie and Freddie, then we can understand how it metastasized to Lehman Brothers, Wachovia, Countrywide, and beyond.
* AIG is somewhat different; bad management decisions were made in thinking that the mortgage-backed securities and derivatives could be insured. Yet underlying its bad decisions was the same mistaken reliance on sophisticated but inaccurate computer models, trusting the rating agencies were accurate and that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac couldn’t possibly fail.
Regulation and the Credit Crisis
* Democrats are wrong in insisting that de-regulation is the primary cause of the financial crisis. Deregulation is not the problem, rather it is the fractured regulatory system that has banks, investment institutions, mortgage brokers, and insurance companies all being overseen by different and often competing federal and state agencies. The problem is a lack of coherent regulatory oversight that has led mortgage brokers and lending institutions to write questionable loans and investment institutions to play fast and loose with other peoples money in purchasing bad mortgage-backed assets.
* The words regulation and deregulation are not absolute goods and evils, nor are they meaningful policy prescriptions. They are political cant used to describe complex policy discussions that defy simplistic categorization. The key to successfully regulating markets is not to either create more or less regulation in an unthinking way. Government needs to design smart regulations that align the incentives of consumers, lenders and borrowers to achieve stable and healthy markets.
Credit Rating Agencies and the Practice of Rating Shopping
* Some firms that bundled subprime mortgages into securities were engaging in rating shopping – picking and choosing among each of the three credit rating agencies in order to find the one willing to give their assets the most favorable rating. Rating agencies willing to inflate their ratings on subprime mortgage-backed securities lobbied Congress to prohibit notching – the downgrading of assets that incorporate risky, unrated assets – by their competitors, on the grounds this constituted an anti-competitive practice. Unfortunately, the Republican Congress was swayed by this argument and codified it in law.
II. Mortgage Markets: A Primer
Prospective homebuyers apply for mortgages from primary market lenders such as banks, thrifts, mortgage companies, credit unions, and online lenders. Primary lenders evaluate borrowers ability to repay the mortgage based on an assessment of risk that combines such factors as income, assets and past performance in repaying loans. If a borrower does not meet the minimum requirement, the borrower is refused a loan.
Prime mortgages are traditionally the gold standard and go to borrowers with good credit who make down payments and fully document their income and assets. Borrowers with poor credit and/or uncertain income streams represent a higher risk of default for lenders and therefore receive subprime loans. Subprime loans have existed for some time but really took off in popularity around 1995, rising from less than 5% of mortgage originations in 1994 to more than 20% in 2006. Borrowers who fall in between prime and subprime standards who may not be able to fully document their income or provide traditional down payments are sometimes referred to as near-prime borrowers. They generally can apply only for Alternative-A (Alt-A) mortgages. Starting in 2001, subprime and near-prime mortgages increased dramatically as a proportion of the total mortgage market. These mortgages increased from only 9% of newly originated securitized mortgages in 2001 to 40% in 2006.
Subprime borrowers, in addition to being below the standard risk threshold lenders traditionally deemed creditworthy for mortgages, were increasingly taking advantage of so-called alternative mortgages that further increased the risk of default. For example, low- or zero-down payment mortgages permit borrowers who cannot afford the traditional 20% down payment on a house to still receive a loan. Instead some mortgages allow them to pay 10%, 5%, or even 3% of the purchase price of the home. The riskiest loans even allow borrowers to pay no money down at all for 100% financing. Another option is to allow borrowers to take out a piggyback or silent second loan – a second mortgage to finance the down payment. This is possible because the larger first mortgage means some lenders give borrowers a more favorable rate on the second mortgage. Interest-only mortgages are another alternative type that allows borrowers to for a time pay back only interest and no principal. However, either the duration of the mortgage must be extended or the payments amortize the remaining principal balance over a shorter period of time, increasing the monthly payment, and ultimately the total size of the loan, a borrower must repay. Negative amortization mortgages are even riskier, allowing borrowers to pay less than the minimum monthly interest payment, adding the remaining interest to the loan principal and again increasing the payments and size of the loan.
Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are the most common of the alternative mortgages. ARMs offer a low introductory mortgage rate (the cost of borrowing money for a home loan; it is generally related to the underlying interest rate in the macro economy) which then adjusts in the future by an amount determined by a pre-arranged formula. There are different formulae used to determine the new mortgage rate on an ARM, but in general one can think of these new rates as being related to the performance of the U.S. economy. If interest rates go down during the introductory period of the ARM, the adjusted mortgage rate will be lower, meaning the borrowers monthly payment will go down. If interest rates go up, the borrowers monthly payment will be larger. The prevalence of ARMs as a percentage of the total mortgage market increased dramatically during the housing bubble, from 12% in 2001 to 34% in 2004.
Unlike other alternative mortgages, however, there are sound reasons for borrowers to take out ARMs, under certain macroeconomic conditions. In 1984, for example, 61% of new conventional mortgages were ARMs. However, this was a rational response to the very high interest rates at that time. High interest rates translate into high mortgage rates. This meant that borrowers at that time were willing to bet that when their mortgage rates adjusted, they were likely to adjust downward due to falling interest rates. This was a sensible bet and one that turned out to be correct.
From 2001 to 2004, however, interest rates were abnormally low because the Federal Reserve led by Chairman Alan Greenspan lowered rates dramatically to pump up the U.S. economy following the attacks of September 11, 2001. Correspondingly, from 2004 to 2006, mortgage rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were around 6%, relatively low by historical standards. Borrowers responding only to these macroeconomic conditions would have been wise to lock in these rates with a traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. The continuing popularity of ARMs, at least until about 2004, relates in part to the abnormally wide disparity between short- and long-term interest rates during this period. Since ARMs tend to follow short-term rates, borrowers could get these mortgages at even lower costs and, as long as they were confident that housing prices would continue to rise, plan on refinancing before their ARMs adjusted upward.
Low short-term rates until 2004 are only part of the puzzle, however. By 2005 short-term interest rates were actually rising faster than long-term rates, yet ARMs remained very popular. By 2006 housing prices had started to slow significantly and yet introductory periods remained popular. In the words of a report by the Congressional Research Service, The persistence of nontraditional terms could be evidence that some borrowers intended to sell or refinance quickly – one indicator of speculative behavior. However, the report goes on to note that, in addition to speculation, alternative mortgages were marketed as affordability products to lower income and less sophisticated borrowers during the housing boom. Some other force was clearly at work.
III. The Role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in Creating the Credit Crisis
Successive Congresses and Administrations have used Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as tools in service to a well-intentioned policy to increase the affordability of housing in the United States. In the process, the U.S. Government created an incentive structure for Fannie and Freddie to facilitate the extension of risky nonprime and alternative mortgages to many borrowers with a questionable ability to pay these loans back. Ultimately, Fannie and Freddie may have purchased or guaranteed up to $1 trillion of risky nonprime mortgages. This, along with a healthy dose of unethical and corrupt behavior by the management of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has contributed perhaps more than any other single factor to the growth of the subprime housing bubble from 2005 to 2007, which in turn was the root cause of the current financial crisis.
In the mortgage market, primary lenders may choose to hold a mortgage until repayment or they may sell it to the secondary mortgage market. If the primary lender sells the mortgage, it can use the proceeds from the sale to make additional loans to other homebuyers. This increase in the funding available to mortgage lenders to lend was the goal behind the creation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Prior to the existence of the secondary mortgage market, there was no national U.S. mortgage market. Instead, the mortgage industry was mainly concentrated in urban centers, leaving broad swaths of the country unable to afford home financing. In response, Congress created the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae, in the National Housing Act of 1934 as a purely public agency. After a number of legislative iterations, Fannie Mae morphed into a private company, a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE), with no federal funding by 1970.
Watching the “opinion elite” quietly, calmly go about their “business” after the debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin is, unfortunately, just more of the same we have all come to expect of the impostor journalists that pass for what once was a noble profession, once upon a time.
Look at the carefully crafted headlines, served up for the morning spin:
- The VP Debate: Sarah the Speedy
- The VP Debate: Palin Good, Biden Better
- The VP Debate: Palin’s Big Mistake
- The VP Debate: She Won Fersure, Also
- The VP Debate: A Victory — of Sorts
- Palin Takes On A New Foe: Her Image
It is quite apparent from those, and any other headlines you might search for on the Net, in relation to the just-concluded Biden/Palin debate, that the Pundit’s CW (Conventional Wisdom) sensibilities were mightily offended at Palin’s temerity at coming off as credible, and not as some (their words) “trailer trash” red-neck. The MSM / Bloggers simply cannot abide their pre-determined judgments being upset by anyone. Especially a conservative someone.
One might feel terribly out of place to point out to the media mavens what the Founding Fathers envisioned was not a ruling political class, but citizen politicians almost exactly like Sarah Palin, and not anything like Barack Obama, Joe Biden or even John McCain. What matters most in our politicians is outlook and common sense, not an encyclopedic knowledge of who is President of every country on the planet, or even a working knowledge of the Monroe Doctrine. After all, Monroe has been dead over one hundred years, hasn’t he? It is highly doubtful any future President will invoke it as his justification for some unforeseen action.
Make no mistake about it, The Press is very much of and from our modern day ruling class. They are no longer the watchers, but an integral part of “protecting” citizens from their own ignorance, by constantly preaching to us just what is needed in a plausible leader. This is only due to their unabashed, and undeniable liberalism, which they no longer bother to hide or apologize for.
I listened to the debate on the radio before watching the TiVo of it later. I thought Palin did a great job of softening up Biden, even using Obama as a club to beat the head of his running mate. Whenever she pointed out some instance where Biden and Obama disagreed, where she thought Biden was right and Obama was wrong, she sincerely congratulated his good judgment. There was no knockout. But Palin has a good, steady (and deadly) jab.
Later, when I saw the debate on television, I was even more impressed. Palin loves the camera, and it loves her back. This is her medium, and debates are her forum. She’s a natural communicator, cut of the same cloth as Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton.
So, who won? Palin, of course, you dolts! She won the moment she decided to ignore Gwen Ifill and Joe Biden and do what Ronald Reagan was so hated by The Press and The Pundits, and beloved by the voters for so doing: Talking directly to “the folks”. She reaffirmed their worst fear of fears, that of being superfluous, supercilious and completely unneeded, and I predict a new round of frenzied PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome) in the final weeks of this campaign.
Bob Beckel huffed about how lacking in “stature” Palin was. Excuse me? Vice Presidents, historically, have been completely lacking in it! Gravitas? No Presidential candidate has ever been accused of seeking it in naming their running mates, that’s for damn sure. His talking points, furnished by the Obama campaign as their surrogate, are once again making the same old (and by now completely tired and pedantic) liberal mistake of being dismissive of anyone not sharing their left-wing POV. Somehow, after being bludgeoned with Ronald Reagan for eight years in California as Governor, and again for an equally long period of time with President Reagan, one almost expects the liberals to have learned their lesson. It really does seem improbable they can be this obtuse, and actually keep repeating their mistakes, decade after decade.
The important thing is, “the folks” understood. They know she is one of them, perhaps more so than any politician they can remember, since Ronald Reagan. That is why Governor Palin is still the game-changer she first appeared to be. The more she is denigrated, marginalized, degraded and smeared, the more the people hate her attackers and are drawn to her, and by extension, John McCain.
Famously, years ago, in discussing the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers partnership, someone said she gave him sex and he gave her class. McCain and Palin have such a symbiosis. McCain gives Palin his gravitas, and Palin gives McCain her unique connectivity to “the folks”.
Other posts of interest:
- Pundita Op-Ed: Sarah Palin takes command
- Personalilty Cult, Personality Cult, Personality Cult
- 15′ tall Obama mural in Houston, Texas
John Lott, a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland, has gathered together some impressive documentation that makes the “McSame” moniker given him by the Obama Campaign a lie.
“Does John McCain represent a third Bush term? The Obama campaign claims the two are almost indistinguishable. It was the mantra during the Democratic convention, and it is the theme of new ads Barack Obama is running. The ads claim that McCain is “no maverick when he votes with Bush 90 percent of the time.”
This week Obama has begun a constant refrain that there is “not a dime worth of difference” between Bush’s and McCain’s views. It is a consistent theme of Democratic pundits on talk shows.
Is this the same McCain who drove Republicans nuts on campaign finance, the environment, taxes, torture, immigration and more? Where has McCain not crossed swords with his own party?
As it’s being used, the 90 percent figure, from Congressional Quarterly, is nonsensical. As Washington Post congressional reporter Jonathan Weisman explained, “The vast majority of those votes are procedural, and virtually every member of Congress votes with his or her leadership on procedural motions.”
Obama might want to be a little careful with these attacks, as the same measure has him voting with Democrats 97 percent of the time.
Fortunately, a number of organizations on the left and right provide useful evaluations on how congressmen and senators vote each year. These conservative and liberal groups pick the votes they care about most and figure out how often lawmakers match up with their positions.
Well-known organizations that rank congressional voting include the American Conservative Union on the right, Americans for Democratic Action on the left, and the nonpartisan National Journal in the middle. The League of Conservation Voters also ranks politicians from an environmentalist position.
These groups’ rankings from 2001 to 2007 paint fairly similar pictures, putting McCain to the left of most Republican senators and to the right of most Democratic senators – though usually much closer to the average Republican.
The American Conservative Union finds that the average Republican senator voted conservatively 85 percent of the time, and that the average Democrat voted conservatively 13 percent of the time. McCain voted conservatively 74 percent of the time.
Although it’s at the opposite end of the political spectrum, Americans for Democratic Action essentially agreed. It found that the average Republican senator voted liberally just over 12 percent of the time, and the average Democrat voted liberally 89 percent of the time. McCain voted liberally 24 percent of the time – twice as frequently as the average Republican.
McCain missed too many votes campaigning in 2007 to be included in the National Journal ranking for that year, but it found that he voted conservatively 59.4 percent of the time from 2001 to 2006.
According to the League of Conservation Voters, John McCain is the ultimate centrist. While the average Republican supported liberal environmentalist positions 13 percent of the time, and the average Democrat supported them 76 percent of the time, McCain’s 44% put him in the middle.
Another way to look at these numbers is to see how many of the 99 other senators voted more conservatively than McCain. In 2006, these four groups ranked McCain as the 47th, 46th, 44th and 51st most conservative member of the Senate, respectively. Surely, McCain is not nearly as liberal as the typical Democratic senator, but rankings from the left, middle and right find he is more liberal than the vast majority of Republicans in the Senate.
What issues put McCain well to the left of the average Senate Republican? The American Conservative Union lists a number of specific votes on which he differed from most other Republicans, including:
- Taxes. He opposed reducing capital-gains tax rates, eliminating the inheritance tax and lowering income-tax rates.
- Environment. He opposed drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, supported compliance with the Kyoto global-warming treaty, supported requiring businesses to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, favored stricter mercury-emission rules for power plants, and supported stricter fuel-efficiency standards.
- Other regulations. McCain consistently supported stricter campaign-finance regulations and voted to mandate that handguns be sold only with locks.
A number of these votes were closely contested. Some of McCain’s votes led to a 50-50 deadlock in the Senate, requiring Vice President Cheney to break the tie.
In contrast to the very liberal ratings given to Obama, the interest groups find that there are about as many senators to McCain’s right as there are to his left. This might not endear him to many conservatives or liberals. But it is a real distortion to claim he is a Bush clone.”
“We’ve seen a telling moment in this campaign today. Senator Obama saw an economic crisis, and he’s found a political opportunity. My friends, this is not a time for political opportunism; this is a time for leadership.
Too often, we hear people say America’s in decline. I reject that. I believe America’s best days are ahead of us. Governor Palin and I are going to reform Wall Street. We’re going to reform Washington. I’m going to fight for you, and I’m going to lead our nation forward in the greatest periods of prosperity in its history.
And let’s have some straight talk. Senator Obama is not interested in the politics of hope, he’s interested in his political future and that’s why he is hurling in insults and making up facts about his record.
Today, he claimed that the Congressional stimulus package was his idea. That’s news to those of us in Congress who supported it. Senator Obama didn’t even show up to vote on it.
He talks a tough game on the financial crisis, but the facts tell a different story. Senator Obama took more money from Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac than anyone but the chairman of the committee they answer to, and he put Fannie Mae’s CEO, who helped create this problem in charge of finding his Vice President. That’s not change, that’s what’s broken in Washington.
He talked about siding with the people, siding with the people, just before he flew off to Hollywood for a fundraiser with Barbara Streisand and his celebrity friends. Let me tell you, my friends, there’s no place I’d rather be than here, with the working men and women of Ohio. I’m going to fight for you and together we’re going to win in November.”
Watch John McCain’s speech here:
Newest McCain video ad, running immediately in selected markets, about the financial problems……
Sarah Palin opened up her remarks here focusing on the current Wall Street financial crisis and how a McCain-Palin administration will put an end to the “mismanagement and abuses” on Wall Street.
In her usual folksy language calling the crowd “guys and gals”, she addressed the excited throng of a few thousand saying that the country’s economic problems need some “shaking up and some fixin’.” She added that she was pleased to see taxpayer money wasn’t being used to bail out Lehman Brothers unlike the Bear Stearns bail out:
“It’s taking a toll on our economy and that means people’s life savings and I’m glad to see in this case the Federal Reserve and the Treasury have said no to using taxpayer money to bail out another one–this time Lehman Brothers. Every effort has to be made.’’
She blamed the government and Wall Street for today’s financial turmoil, “Guys and gals, our regulatory system is outdated and needs a complete overhaul. Washington has ignored this. Washington has been asleep at the switch and ineffective and management on Wall Street has not run these institutions responsibly and has put companies and markets at risk,” Palin told the cheering crowd, “They place their own interests first instead of their employees and the shareholders who actually own these companies.”
She pressed how important it was for America to“remain the strongest” financial market in the world and pledged that a McCain-Palin administration will restore the “integrity” and “confidence” in our markets, “We are going to reform the way Wall Street does business and stop multi-million dollar payouts and golden parachutes to CEOs who break the public trust.”
Her economic remarks come on the same day the McCain campaign released a new ad touting the duo’s ability to fix the ailing economy. The ad explains how they will do it, “Tougher rules on Wall Street to protect your life savings. No special interest giveaways. Lower taxes to create new jobs. Offshore drilling to reduce gas prices.”
Palin hit Barack Obama during her speech saying he will raise taxes, “Our opponent wants to raise income taxes and raise payroll tax and raise investment income taxes and raise business taxes and raise the death tax.”
“I knew that as I lowered taxes and got rid of business inventory taxes and then on a state level, suspended our fuel tax, those things do add to a vibrant economy, and we do have some wonderful economic indicators of success in my hometown,” Palin said. “We became part of the fastest growing area of the state because businesses wanted to be there. They knew that government would be on their side.”
Palin’s remarks were in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Jefferson County fairgrounds. The crowd screamed her name and held signs that read, “Read my Lipstick, “Taxpayers for McCain-Palin,” and “Working Moms for Palin.” There were protestors outside of the event, one with a sign that read “The Antichrist Wears Lipstick.” But, it seemed as though only one lone protestor came inside the event–she screamed “Liar!” and “You don’t have the experience!” throughout the speech.
Today, U.S. Senator John McCain issued the following statement on the situation in the financial markets:
“The crisis in our financial markets has taken an enormous toll on our economy and the American people – first the decline of our housing markets followed by the collapse of Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and now Lehman Brothers. I am glad to see that the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department have said no to using taxpayer money to bailout Lehman Brothers, a position I have spoken about throughout this campaign. We are carefully monitoring the financial markets, including the duress at Lehman Brothers that is the latest reminder of ineffective regulation and management. Efforts must also be focused on ensuring that the deposits of hardworking Americans are protected.
“It is essential for us to make sure that the U.S. remains the pre-eminent financial market of the world. This will be a highest priority of my Administration. In order to do this, major reform must be made in Washington and on Wall Street. We cannot tolerate a system that handicaps our markets and our banks and places at risk the savings of hard-working Americans and investors. The McCain-Palin Administration will replace the outdated and ineffective patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight in Washington and bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street. We will rebuild confidence in our markets and restore our leadership in the financial world.”
Do a Google search. John McCain has been speaking out about the recession, the U.S. Economic situation since 2006 and 2007! He was telling us we were in a recession before any other Republican, and most Democrats. He was warning about the government bailing out poorly run investment companies years ago! We need to elect a President who tells us what we need to hear, not someone like Obama who tells us what his polls say we want to hear.
The New York Times does the all-so predictable Sarah Palin bill of indictment for its Sunday front page. It certainly sounds compelling in the paragraph called the “nut graf”:
Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials.
But what is so remarkable is how little there is in the page after page of minutiae thrown against the wall by the Times. And indeed there’s plenty of favorable material there. Up front we learn:
Ms. Palin has many supporters. As a two-term mayor she paved roads and built an ice rink, and as governor she has pushed through higher taxes on the oil companies that dominate one-third of the state’s economy. She stirs deep emotions. In Wasilla, many residents display unflagging affection, cheering “our Sarah” and hissing at her critics.
In just the first few paragraphs you have testimony that she was “effective and accessible.” So where are we going here? Well, despite the testimony that she was ”accessible,” others find her “secretive” and inclined to put a premium on “loyalty.” The evidence? The Governor’s office declined a request for emails that would have cost over $400,000. Proof positive. Oh, and the records sought (about Polar Bears and such) were in fact obtained.
Then there is the ” she blurs personal and public behavior” charge. The evidence? A phone call from Todd Palin to a state legislator about the latter’s chief of staff, which Palin denies, was mentioned. Pretty thin gruel.
Next we have her tenure as mayor, where again all heck breaks loose because — are ya sitting down? — she brought in her own team. No! Unheard of. Jeeez. Next she’ll be firing the town museum director. Oh no– it’s true! Palin says (”Oh yeah, she says,” you can hear the Times reporters hrrumphing) she was cutting the budget.
This is pathetic, really. Is there something illegal here? Is there something nefarious? What is the point?
The next offense: while she was mayor city employees were told not to talk to the press. The horror! Might there have been a procedure, a public affairs or press person for that? We don’t know and the Times doesn’t tell us.
Then we get to the book banning. But if you read carefully there is no banning, no censorship, no list and no nothing other than someone became “scared” of Palin:
“People would bring books back censored,” recalled former Mayor John Stein, Ms. Palin’s predecessor. “Pages would get marked up or torn out.”
Witnesses and contemporary news accounts say Ms. Palin asked the librarian about removing books from the shelves. The McCain-Palin presidential campaign says Ms. Palin never advocated censorship.
But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.
“Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,” Ms. Chase said. “It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.”
“I’m still proud of Sarah,” she added, “but she scares the bejeebers out of me.”
So Palin talked “about” removing books — but the piece doesn’t tell us what was said. And we hear about Palin’s distaste for a book about homosexual parenting. Again, is there some story in here? We’re up to page three and it hasn’t popped out yet.
We then learn that she did take on her own Republican Party and won the election for Governor by, goodness gracious, preparing for debates with notecards! Color-coded no less.
Then on page four of this eye-popping account, we learn as Governor she had the temerity to have ”surrounded herself with people she has known since grade school and members of her church.” No! She hired people she knew ? And people she trusted because she had just run against a hostile machine of her own party? The Lieutenant Governor offers up that they were “competent, qualified, top-notch people,” but are you going to believe him? And then the kicker: it seemed to, well, work out pretty well. We learn:
To her supporters — and with an 80 percent approval rating, she has plenty — Ms. Palin has lifted Alaska out of a mire of corruption. She gained the passage of a bill that tightens the rules covering lobbyists. And she rewrote the tax code to capture a greater share of oil and gas sale proceeds.
“Does anybody doubt that she’s a tough negotiator?” said State Representative Carl Gatto, Republican of Palmer.
The nerve — hiring trusted people and running a competent, popular administration. So we veer back to “secrecy” –dastardly tales of using a private email account and reliance on a circle of close advisors. Once again, the sheer banality of it all is both numbing and humorous. Surely the Old Grey Lady hasn’t devoted all this space for nothing? But that’s the conclusion one reaches as we stumble into page five. And that seems to have more of the same — people who didn’t get emails returned or thought she was too adversarial, harboring a “siege-like” mentality against her foes.
Wow, are you shocked and appalled yet? Me neither, and I can’t for the life of me figure out the point of the story. Ah, yes: the reporters were told to “get the goods” and this is all they found. But being the New York Times they made it really long, put it on the front page, and hoped people wouldn’t read it all that closely and say, “I guess she has a pretty good record if that’s all they had.”
And if you are looking for any detailed description of any of her accomplishments — presumably the reason for her 80 percent popularity — forget it. No room for that.
Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel appeared in an interview with the staunchly pro-Obama Pacifica radio. They expected Gravel to bash Sarah Palin, and tell them what the Republicans “haven’t told us about Sarah Palin.” Sounds pretty ominous….
Instead of obliging, Gravel says nice things about Palin.! And then takes a few shots at today’s Democrats for being “imperialists.”
Gravel is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from 1969 to 1981, and a former candidate in the 2008 presidential election.
He served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963 to 1966 and became its Speaker of the House. Gravel was elected to the United States Senate in 1968.
As Senator, Gravel became nationally known for his forceful but unsuccessful attempts to end the draft during the Vietnam War and for having put the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971 despite risk to himself. He conducted an unusual campaign for the Democratic nomination for Vice President of the United States in 1972, and then played a crucial role in getting Congressional approval for the Trans-Alaska pipeline in 1973. He was re-elected to the Senate in 1974, but gradually alienated most of his Alaskan constituencies and his bid for a third term was defeated in a Democratic primary election in 1980.
Gravel followed up the interview on Pacifica Radio with an article in CounterPunch explaining what he finds so appealing about his fellow Alaskan–it comes down to her integrity, staunch independence, and not having the taint of years in Washington:
“Sarah Palin has a sense of personal outrage over political corruption that plays extremely well with the public, something the others have lost long ago. She has demonstrated the personal courage to publicly confront and overcome Republican Party corruption and has successfully taken on the oil industry over taxation and oil leasing issues. She has publicly stood up to Senator Ted Stevens and Representative Don Young on the “Bridge to Nowhere” and the policy of federal earmarks arguing for a public transparency process.
Sarah has literally come to the national scene without owing anything to any party or corporate interest––not even McCain––he needs her more than she needs him. Imagine a person a heart beat away not owned by the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, corporate America or AIPAC. WOW! Can this last? Probably not. But she does have an uncanny sense of political direction and the ability to capitalize on change like putting the public interest above Republican Party interests.”
Don’t look for this interview to mentioned on any of the radical leftist blogs at The Atlantic, and its soul mate, Daily Kos, as Gravel has been something of a hero there, and this will shock those poor boys Goldberg, Sullivan and Ambinder. They have little real tolerance for liberal icons straying off the reservation, and they certainly won’t like hearing Gravel confirm Palin stopped that damned “Bridge to nowhere”, or that the so-called “Troopergate” will be resolved in Palin’s favor, and that the Trooper in question should have been fired.
This item is based on an item that appeared in: The Western Standard. I highly recommend you add them to your Blog Roll, and subscribe to their updates! Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the Western Standard is a fortnightly news and views magazine. It’s your online source for news and views from a Western Canadian perspective.
NOW on PBS interviewed Alaska Governor Sarah Palin — John McCain’s running mate — about her efforts to clean up corruption in her home state in a story that aired earlier in July of 2008. Typical of the left, now they don’t advertise and use as citations anymore, now that Palin is running with McCain. What they formerly used to praise her, they now ignore, because it makes a lie of the slander they now spread about her.
Here is an article from the New York Times, published last July, before Sarah Palin was selected as John McCain’s running mate, and the Times started to smear her.
Those wondering just who are the people crawling out of the woodwork going after Governor Palin, might do well to check this page at the Anchorage Daily News. It gives a pretty complete rundown on just who is who in the several corruption investigations that resulted from Sarah Palin’s whistle-blowing. If one does the legwork, you will find the connections to those corrupt politicians that most of those talking smack about Palin have.
While much is being made of the way in which ABC will play anchorman Charles Gibson’s interview with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in pieces beginning tonight as a way to maximize ratings, there is another clever aspect to it that I have not found mentioned much elsewhere.
By airing the interview in chunks across a 28 and 1/2 hour news cycle starting tonight at 6:30, ABC News will also be able to fine tune the editorial content to the reaction of the press and public if executives feel the need.
Wednesday, former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel was on NPR talking about what a hard place Gibson finds himself in, likely to be criticized by his colleagues in the press if he seems too deferential to Palin, or attacked by the political right if he seems to harsh.
I think the situation could have been even tougher than that for Gibson. The exclusive nature of the interview makes him representative of The American Press, as well as a repository for all the intense and volatile feelings the public holds toward that embattled and somewhat dazed institution these days.
But by breaking the interview up the way it is, ABC executives can alter and balance the ratio of what it airs as they go along. If blog reviews tonight say Gibson was too harsh, ABC execs can feature some of the less contentious moments starting on Good Morning America tomorrow. Ditto for World News Friday. And then, they get the final edit for 20/20 tonight at 10 — after a full day in which to gauge the reaction to Gibson’s performance. Not to mention all the different demographics they will be reaching throughout the day and night.
Plus, since the interview itself will take place in three parts during that time period, Gibson can adjust his style to the reaction.
.POST ENDORSES JOHN MCCAIN
September 8, 2008
THE Post today enthusiastically urges the election of Sen. John S. McCain as the 44th president of the United States.
McCain’s lifelong record of service to America, his battle-tested courage, unshakeable devotion to principle and clear grasp of the dangers and opportunities now facing the nation stand in dramatic contrast to the tissue-paper-thin résumé of his Democratic opponent, freshman Sen. Barack Obama.
McCain has been in Washington for many years now, but he is not of Washington. He knows where the levers of power are located – and how to manipulate them – but he is not controlled by them.
McCain’s selection of the charming, but rock-solid, outsider Sarah Palin as his running mate underscores the point.
Neither plays well with others.
And this is an unalloyed asset at a time when special interests – lobbyists, lawyers and organized labor chief among them – wield enormous influence in the nation’s capital.
McCain’s Democratic opponents, Obama and Sen. Joseph Biden, lead a party constructed of special interests – public-employee unionists in particular.
There are many reasons to support the McCain-Palin ticket. Here are but a few:
- National security: The differences between McCain and Obama are especially stark.
McCain says 9/11 represented a two-decade “failure . . . to respond to . . . a [growing] global terror network.” He understood that Iraq is a critical front in the war on terror – and he urged perseverance even in the dark days that preceded the success of “the surge.”
Obama backed policies that would have abandoned Iraq to its fate, he bitterly opposed the surge, and once insisted that US forces invade Pakistan in search of Osama bin Laden – seemingly without regard for the potential consequences of attacking a nuclear-armed nation, ally or not.
Regarding a nuclear Iran, McCain has pushed for the strongest possible international sanctions and diplomatic pressure. Obama opposes sanctions.
And, when Russia invaded the former Soviet republic of Georgia, threatening a return to the Cold War, McCain reacted with stern disapprobation: “We must remind Russia’s leaders that the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world require their respect for the values, stability and peace of that world.”
Obama called for UN action – unaware, apparently, that Russia’s Security Council veto would have prevented any.
- Taxes: McCain knows that when government absorbs ever-larger shares of national income, the economy suffers.
High tax rates diminish investment, killing jobs and stunting growth.
And while Obama promises tax cuts for “95 percent” of Americans, what he actually is proposing is some $650 billion in tax-credit-driven hikes in entitlement and other spending, to be paid for with heavier imposts across the board, but especially on investment – like a sharply higher capital-gains tax.
This is bad news for the millions of ordinary Americans who own stocks, either personally or through pension funds or who plan someday to sell their homes or other real property.
McCain, wisely, vows to keep capital-gains taxes at 15 percent and to keep the Bush-era tax cuts in place – understanding that new growth will boost revenue, and promising to make up the rest with spending restraint.
And he’s called for a one-year freeze on most discretionary spending and an end to pork-barrel giveaways.
“I object when Senator Obama and others preach the false virtues of economic isolationism,” says McCain – noting that “globalization is an opportunity” for US workers. He adds that while emerging economies like those of China and India are worrisome, the answer is competition informed by education and innovation – not protectionism.
- Energy: On the economic issue most vexing Americans today – energy prices – McCain is aggressive
He is a strong convert to offshore drilling: “We have trillions of dollars’ worth of oil and gas reserves in the US at a time we are exporting hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas to buy energy.”
He also strongly backs nuclear power – a carbon-free form of energy that America can produce relatively cheaply.
Obama, meanwhile, hews to the Democratic Party line on energy: no nukes, no drilling and no comprehension of the consequences of such policies.
None of this implies an iota of disrespect toward Obama. It took a formidable candidacy to defeat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton – a candidacy, by the way, which we strongly supported earlier this year.
And the intelligence, the organizational skills and the ability to communicate that Obama demonstrated from the beginning dramatically underscore the history that is being made by the first African-American to head a major-party presidential ticket.
He should be around for a long time, and we hope that he is.
In the end, though, sound security, economic and energy policies – plus allegiance to principle – are critical to keeping America safe and strong.
On all counts, John McCain and Sarah Palin understand this – and that’s why we’re in their corner to the finish.
Tammy Bruce is a former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women, and is the author of “The New American Revolution” . She has a daily talk radio show. A registered Democrat her entire adult life until February, she now is registered as a decline-to-state voter. So, feminist credentials established, I was happy to see her offer some clarity about Sarah Palin.
In the shadow of the blatant and truly stunning sexism launched against the Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign, and as a pro-choice feminist, I wasn’t the only one thrilled to hear Republican John McCain announce Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. For the GOP, she bridges for conservatives and independents what I term “the enthusiasm gap” for the ticket. For Democrats, she offers something even more compelling – a chance to vote for a someone who is her own woman, and who represents a party that, while we don’t agree on all the issues, at least respects women enough to take them seriously.
Whether we have a D, R or an “i for independent” after our names, women share a different life experience from men, and we bring that difference to the choices we make and the decisions we come to. Having a woman in the White House, and not as The Spouse, is a change whose time has come, despite the fact that some Democratic Party leaders have decided otherwise. But with the Palin nomination, maybe they’ll realize it’s not up to them any longer.
Clinton voters, in particular, have received a political wake-up call they never expected. Having watched their candidate and their principles betrayed by the very people who are supposed to be the flame-holders for equal rights and fairness, they now look across the aisle and see a woman who represents everything the feminist movement claimed it stood for. Women can have a family and a career. We can be whatever we choose, on our own terms. For some, that might mean shooting a moose. For others, perhaps it’s about shooting a movie or shooting for a career as a teacher. However diverse our passions, we will vote for a system that allows us to make the choices that best suit us. It’s that simple.
The rank bullying of the Clinton candidacy during the primary season has the distinction of simply being the first revelation of how misogynistic the party has become. The media led the assault, then the Obama campaign continued it. Trailblazer Geraldine Ferraro, who was the first Democratic vice presidential candidate, was so taken aback by the attacks that she publicly decried nominee Barack Obama as “terribly sexist” and openly criticized party chairman Howard Dean for his remarkable silence on the obvious sexism.
Concerned feminists noted, among other thinly veiled sexist remarks during the campaign, Obama quipping, “I understand that Sen. Clinton, periodically when she’s feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal,” and Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen in a television interview comparing Clinton to a spurned lover-turned-stalker in the film, “Fatal Attraction,” noting, “Glenn Close should have stayed in that tub, and Sen. Clinton has had a remarkable career…”. These attitudes, and more, define the tenor of the party leadership, and sent a message to the grassroots and media that it was “Bros Before Hoes,” to quote a popular Obama-supporter T-shirt.
The campaign’s chauvinistic attitude was reflected in the even more condescending Democratic National Convention. There, the Obama camp made it clear it thought a Super Special Women’s Night would be enough to quell the fervent support of the woman who had virtually tied him with votes and was on his heels with pledged delegates.
There was a lot of pandering and lip service to women’s rights, and evenings filled with anecdotes of how so many have been kept from achieving their dreams, or failed to be promoted, simply because they were women. Clinton’s “18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” were mentioned a heck of a lot. More people began to wonder, though, how many cracks does it take to break the thing?
Ironically, all this at an event that was negotiated and twisted at every turn in an astounding effort not to promote a woman.
Virtually moments after the GOP announcement of Palin for vice president, pundits on both sides of the aisle began to wonder if Clinton supporters – pro-choice women and gays to be specific – would be attracted to the McCain-Palin ticket. The answer is, of course. There is a point where all of our issues, including abortion rights, are made safer not only if the people we vote for agree with us – but when those people and our society embrace a respect for women and promote policies that increase our personal wealth, power and political influence.
Make no mistake – the Democratic Party and its nominee have created the powerhouse that is Sarah Palin, and the party’s increased attacks on her (and even on her daughter) reflect that panic.
The party has moved from taking the female vote for granted to outright contempt for women. That’s why Palin represents the most serious conservative threat ever to the modern liberal claim on issues of cultural and social superiority. Why? Because men and women who never before would have considered voting for a Republican have either decided, or are seriously considering, doing so.
They are deciding women’s rights must be more than a slogan and actually belong to every woman, not just the sort approved of by left-wing special interest groups.
Palin’s candidacy brings both figurative and literal feminist change. The simple act of thinking outside the liberal box, which has insisted for generations that only liberals and Democrats can be trusted on issues of import to women, is the political equivalent of a nuclear explosion.
The idea of feminists willing to look to the right changes not only electoral politics, but will put more women in power at lightning speed as we move from being taken for granted to being pursued, nominated and appointed and ultimately, sworn in.
It should be no surprise that the Democratic response to the McCain-Palin ticket was to immediately attack by playing the liberal trump card that keeps Democrats in line – the abortion card – where the party daily tells restless feminists the other side is going to police their wombs.
The power of that accusation is interesting, coming from the Democrats – a group that just told the world that if you have ovaries, then you don’t count.
Yes, both McCain and Palin identify as anti-abortion, but neither has led a political life with that belief, or their other religious principles, as their signature issue. Politicians act on their passions – the passion of McCain and Palin is reform. In her time in office, Palin’s focus has not been to kick the gays and make abortion illegal; it has been to kick the corrupt and make wasteful spending illegal. The Republicans are now making direct appeals to Clinton supporters, knowingly crafting a political base that would include pro-choice voters.
On the day McCain announced her selection as his running mate, Palin thanked Clinton and Ferraro for blazing her trail. A day later, Ferraro noted her shock at Palin’s comment. You see, none of her peers, not one of them, had ever publicly thanked her in the 24 years since her historic run for the White House. Ferraro has since refused to divulge for whom she’s voting. Many more now are realizing that it does indeed take a woman – who happens to be a Republican named Sarah Palin.
Tammy Bruce is an openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, voted-for-President Bush authentic feminist. A lifelong Democrat, in the 1990s she worked to help elect Senators Feinstein and Boxer, and aided the Clinton for President campaign. Before we knew he was a sexual compulsive and “did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
She was drawn into feminist activism in the late 1980′s to contribute to the ongoing effort to ensure safe and legal abortion for all women, and with a special focus on violence against women and ending international subjugation of women. Just two years after joining the National Organization for Women, with a brand of feminism that places her somewhere between Donna Reed and Thelma and Louise, Ms. Bruce was elected president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW at the age of 27. The youngest ever to achieve that position, she doubled the chapter’s membership from 2,000 to 4,000 within a year with issue campaigns that introduced a fresh view of feminist activism. In her seven years as president (1990-1996, the longest continuous tenure in the chapter’s 30 year history) she mobilized activists locally and nationally on a whole range of issues, including women’s image in media, child care, health care, violence against women, economics, and domestic violence. Ms. Bruce also served two years as a member of the National NOW Board of Directors.
An important contributor to the author’s position on the relevance of free speech comes from her experience as a radio talk show host. Flagshipped at KABC Radio and nationally syndicated with 153 affiliates, The “Tammy Bruce Show” premiered in 1993 in Los Angeles. Additionally, her editorials and commentaries on significant social issues have been published nationally and internationally in a wide variety of magazines, newspapers, and on television and radio programming. Ms. Bruce is also a Fox News Channel Political Analyst, and served on California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Transition Team.
Ms. Bruce’s first book, “The New Thought Police,” was published by Forum, an imprint of Crown/Random House, in October 2001. An analysis of freedom of expression and the culture wars, it explores the importance of freedom of expression and personal liberty and how that liberty is under attack by the dangerous rise of Left-wing McCarthyism. Her second book, “The Death of Right and Wrong,”also for Random House (April 2003), addresses the rise of moral relativism in society and quickly became a New York Times best seller. Ms. Bruce’s latest work,“The New American Revolution,” was published by Harper Collins/Morrow in November 2005. The paperback edition was released November 2006. She is currently working on her fourth book, with a subject matter yet to be revealed.
A native of Los Angeles, Ms. Bruce holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California. She also notes her interest in politics and individual liberty was sparked during her childhood in part because of the work of authors Ray Bradbury and George Orwell, both of whom remain her favorite writers. Ms. Bruce lives in Los Angeles with Snoopy the Cat, Snoopy’s best friend Sydney the Dog, and puts up with a raccoon she has named Rocky, who refuses to leave her outside patio.
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Governor Sarah Palin, attending the National Governor’s Conference back on February 24, 2008, was interviewed live on C-SPAN. She takes several unscripted calls and emails from viewers, including Democrats who highly praised her bi-partisan philosophy and dedication to ethics reforms.
For those of you who are not exactly enamored with Palin or unsure about her, the composure and command of the facts this lady shows will be an eye-opener. At the end, she even fields a question about possibly being McCain’s running mate, and I think at that time, February, was a few months before the McCain campaign initially contacted her. She betrays a little bemusement that she might be in the running.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been subjected to an intense amount of media and public scrutiny since she was named as John McCain’s vice presidential pick one week ago. Many of the attacks have come in the form of unconfirmed reports on the Internet. Among them:
1) Palin “Joined a Secessionist Political Party”
The Charge: Unsubstantiated Internet reports insisted Palin was once a member of the Alaska Independence Party, which critics call a secessionist political movement and supporters say is dedicated to seeking greater state control over federal lands across Alaska.
The Facts: Palin has been a registered Republican since 1982. There is no record of her ever being a member of the AIP, or any party but the GOP. Palin’s husband has been a member of the AIP in the past, but since 2002 has been a registered independent.
2) Palin Supported a “Nazi Sympathizer”
The Charge: “Palin was a supporter of Pat Buchanan, a right-winger or, as many Jews call him: a Nazi sympathizer,” Obama Florida spokesman Mark Bubriski was quoted as saying in a Miami Herald article.
The Facts: While mayor of Wasilla, Palin wore a Buchanan button during the sometimes presidential candidate’s 1999 visit. But Palin actually supported Steve Forbes in 2000, and served as a co-chair on his Alaska campaign.
In the weeks after the 1999 report of her wearing the Buchanan button, Palin said: “When presidential candidates visit our community, I am always happy to meet them. I’ll even put on their button when handed one as a polite gesture of respect. … The article may have left your readers with the perception that I am endorsing this candidate, as opposed to welcoming his visit to Wasilla.”
3) Palin “Wants Creationism Taught in School”
The Charge: Palin opposes the teaching of evolution, and would mandate the teaching of creationism in the state’s public schools.
The Facts: Palin said during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign that she would not push the state Board of Education to add creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum, or look for creationism advocates when she appointed board members. She has kept this pledge, according to the Associated Press.
Palin has spoken in favor of classroom discussions of creationism, in some cases. “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum,” Palin told the Anchorage Daily News in a 2006 interview.
(See: ‘Creation science’ enters the race; Palin is only candidate to suggest it should be discussed in schools. By Tom Kizzia, Anchorage Daily News, 27 October 2006)
4) Palin “Was Nearly Recalled” While Mayor
The Charge: Palin was so controversial as mayor of Wasilla that she was almost recalled by a popular voter movement.
The Facts: The Wasilla City Council considered but never took up a recall motion after she fired a longtime police chief, who subsequently brought a lawsuit. A citizen’s group dropped their recall bid, and a judge ruled Palin had the authority to fire the chief.
5) Palin “Opposes Sex Education”
The Charge: Palin opponents say she supported the end of all sex education in public schools. In light of her daughter’s presumably unplanned teen pregnancy, this has been a particularly well discussed Internet topic.
The Facts: “The explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support,” Palin wrote in a 2006 questionnaire distributed among gubernatorial candidates. Palin favors abstinence-based sex education programs.
(See: McCain fought money on teen pregnancy programs, By Sharon Theimer, Associated Press, Sept. 2, 2008)
6) “This Picture Proves Palin is …”
The Charge: A slew of fake, Photoshopped or misdated photographs on the Internet purport to show Palin in any number of embarrassing or compromising poses. One photo claimed to show Palin standing poolside, wearing an American flag-themed bikini, toting a rifle with telescopic sight.
The Facts: The various photos are being discredited and shown to be fake on a number of Web sites. The original of the so-called bikini shot, probably the best-known of the pictures, was shown to have been taken of another woman, with Palin’s head Photoshopped above the body.
(See: Call to Arms)
.7) Palin is the grandmother, and not the mother, of Trig Palin
The Charge: The most salacious rumor of all, this theory holds that Palin did not give birth to her son Trig in April, and was actually covering up for her daughter, Bristol.
The Facts: There are a number of photographs showing an apparently pregnant Sarah Palin, as well as a number of published eyewitness accounts of her pregnancy. These include First Lady Laura Bush, who says she spoke with a pregnant Palin at a governor’s conference in February. An assignment manager for KTVA news in Anchorage, Cherie Shirey, has also been quoted saying: “We worked with Governor Palin many times in 2008. Our reporters worked her on location and in the studio and I worked with her myself. She was definitely pregnant. You could see it in her belly and her face. The whole idea that Sarah Palin wasn’t pregnant with Trig is completely, absolutely absurd.”
The McCain campaign, in an apparent effort to counteract the rumors, announced last weekend that Bristol Palin is five months pregnant, which indicated she would have become pregnant before Trig was born.
8 ) Governor Palin slashed funding for a program supporting teen mothers
The Charge: he Washington Post’s Paul Kane reported that “Palin Slashed Funding for Teen Moms.” The far-left Huffington Post repeated the story the next day, and it was off and running. To support this contention, Kane produced the 2008 Alaska budget, along with Governor Palin’s line-item reductions. Kane said, “Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million.”
The Facts: Covenant House Alaska is a faith-based, not-for-profit agency which provides a variety of services to troubled teens, including a home for teen moms. Although the work with adolescent mothers is only one component of Covenant’s services, Kane focused on this particular aspect of its work. His focus was not a surprise, given the revelation that Governor Palin’s teen daughter is five months pregnant. Covenant House requested additional state funding to help expand housing capacity. The legislature agreed that expansion was a worthy objective and allocated the substantial sum of $5 million in the proposed budget.
In Alaska, the governor is allowed to reduce budget allocations in the service of sound management and fiscal accountability. It is true that Mrs. Palin trimmed the proposed $5 million allocation to $3.9 million. However, the Washington Post did not tell readers that the state of Alaska’s 2008 allocation was three times more than Covenant House Alaska received from all government grants in 2007. According to records posted on the Covenant House Alaska website, the organization received just over $1.3 million dollars from grants in 2007 and nearly $1.2 million in 2006. Even with the reductions, Governor Palin signed a budget which provided a massive influx of support for troubled teens.
Thus, the Post report is misleading on three counts. One, the funding in question went to an organization which provides many different services, including work with teen mothers. There was no funding at issue exclusively earmarked for pregnant teens. No funds directly allocated to teen moms were slashed.
Two, the report gives the impression that the Governor reduced prior state funding levels, when, in fact, the Palin-approved budget allowed a massive expansion of funding for this faith-based organization. The organization’s total revenue for 2007, from all sources, was just over $3 million. Thus, the amount approved by Palin and the Alaska legislature was a huge increase. The money given to Covenant House cannot be considered a cut in funding; it was a raise, even if the raise was not as great as originally contemplated by the legislature.
Three, Covenant House Alaska experienced no cut in operating expenses as the result of the Palin budget. The center’s executive director, Deirdre Cronin, explained it this way in a September 4 statement:
“Despite some press reports to the contrary, our operating budget was not reduced. Our $3.9 million appropriation is directed toward a multi-year capital project and it is our understanding that the state simply opted to phase in its support for this project over several years, rather than all at once in the current budget year.”
Viewed within the context of prior expenditures, it becomes clear that Governor Palin increased funding for social services which benefit kids, not “slashed” them as the Post reported. The increase is the beginning of a multi-year investment in help for vulnerable teens. A prudent course, the state will monitor the progress of Covenant House and allocate funds over time. In this way, Palin demonstrated she is not afraid to exercise fiscal caution, even when that decision involves those of similar ideology.
Taking everything into account, a dramatically different picture of Governor Palin’s actions comes into focus. Executive Director Cronin sees it differently than Mr. Kane, saying, “We are grateful for the support we have received from Governor Sarah Palin, the Alaska legislature and our Congressional delegation over the years.”
In Washington, D.C., sometimes more is less. In Alaska, more is still more.
Your submissions and additions are welcome!
NOTE: This is an important piece, written from the rare perspective of a woman, a journalist and someone who was there and witnessed the history being made by the premiere “Iron Lady” of our time…..a politician second only, perhaps, to Churchill or Reagan in changing world history and the geopoltical map, Margaret Thatcher. I present it here for those who might have missed it in the Wall Street Journal…
What Mrs. Palin Could Learn From Mrs. T
By BARBARA AMIEL
September 5, 2008
The glummest face Wednesday night might have been, if only we could have seen it, that of Hillary Clinton.
Imagine watching Sarah Palin, the gun-toting, lifelong member of the NRA, the PTA mom with teased hair and hips half the size of Hillary’s, who went … omigod! … to the University of Idaho and studied journalism. Mrs. Palin with her five kids and one of them still virtually suckling age, going wham through that cement ceiling put there exclusively for good-looking right-wing/populist conservative females by not-so-good-looking left-wing ones (Gloria Steinem excepting). There, pending some terrible goof or revelation, stood the woman most likely to get into the Oval Office as its official occupant rather than as an intern.
Imagine Hillary’s fury. The gnashing of teeth after all the years of sacrifice and hard work—a life of it—and then the endless nuisance of stylists, makeovers and fittings for Oscar de la Renta gowns for Vogue covers. And surely that gimmicky holding of the baby papoose style by Todd Palin after his wife’s acceptance speech is sacrosanct left-wing territory! If only Chelsea had been younger of course, Bill could have done it and then, well, who knows what might have been forgiven him?
American feminists have always had a tough sell to make. To the rest of the world, no females on earth have ever had it as easy as middle-class American women. Cosseted, surrounded by labor-saving devices, easily available contraception and supermarkets groaning with food, their complaints have always seemed to have no relationship to reality.
Education was there for the taking. Marriages were not arranged. Going against social mores had no serious consequences. Postwar American women (excluding those mired in poverty or the odious restrictions of race) have always had the choice of what they wanted to be. They simply didn’t decide to exercise it until it became more fashionable to get out of the home than to run it.
Sarah Palin has put the flim-flam nature of American feminism sharply into focus, revealing the not-so-secret hypocrisy of its code and, whatever her future, this alone is an accomplishment. As she emerged into the nation’s consciousness, a shudder went through the feminist left—a political movement not restricted to females. She is a mother refusing to stay at home (good) who had made a success out in the workplace (excellent) whose marriage nevertheless is a rip-roaring success and whose views are unspeakable—those of a red-blooded, right-wing principled pragmatist.
The metaphorical hair stood up on the back of every licensed member of the feminist movement who could immediately see she was a monster out of a nightmare landscape by Hieronymus Bosch. Pro-life. Pro-oil exploration in Alaska, home of the nation’s polar bears for heaven’s sake. Smaller government. Lower taxes. And that family of hers: Next to the Clintons with their dysfunctional marriage, her fertility and sexually robust life could only emphasize the shriveled nature of the one-child family of the former Queen Bee of political female accomplishment.
Mrs. Palin’s emergence caused a spasm in American feminism. Caste and class have always been ammunition in the very Eastern seaboard women’s movement, and now they were (so to speak) loading for bear. Sally Quinn felt a mother of five had no business being vice president. Andrea Mitchell remarked that “only the uneducated” would vote for Mrs. Palin. “Choose a woman but this woman?” wrote Baltimore Sun columnist Susan Reimer, accusing Sen. McCain of using a Down’s syndrome child as qualification for the VP spot.
The hypocrisy was breathtaking. Only nanoseconds before the choice of Mrs. Palin as VP put her a geriatric heartbeat away from the presidency, a woman’s right to have a career and children was a shibboleth of feminism. One always knew that women with views that opposed those of official feminism were to be treated as nonwomen. To see it now out in the open was the real shocker.
The fact that this mom had been governor of a state was dismissed because it was a “small state,” as was the city of which she had been mayor. Her acceptance speech, which knowledgeable left-wing critics feared would be effective, was dismissed before being delivered. She would be reading from a teleprompter. The speech would be good, no doubt, but written for her.
Had she been a man with similar political views, the left’s opposition would have been strong but less personally vicious: It would have focused neither on a daughter’s pregnancy, nor on the candidate’s inability to be a good parent if the job was landed. In its panic, the left was indicating that to be a female running for office these days is no hindrance but an advantage, and admitting that there is indeed a difference between mothers and fathers that cannot necessarily be resolved by having daddy doing the diaper run.
All the shrapnel has so far been counterproductive. The mudslinging tabloid journalism—is Mrs. Palin the mother or grandmother of her Down’s baby?—only raised her profile to a point where viewers who would never dream of watching a Republican vice-presidential acceptance speech tuned in.
Watching the frenzied reaction was déjà vu from my years as a political columnist in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain. Modern history’s titan of female political life suffered a similar hatred, fueled to a large extent by her gender. Mrs. Thatcher overcame it magnificently, but in the end, the fact was that she was female and not one of “them”—a member of the old boys’ club of the Tory establishment—played a significant role in bringing her down.
She was bound to be disliked vehemently by the left once she began to reveal her agenda of deregulation, sensible industrial relations, and tax reduction. Still among most of her enemies this had to do more with her ideas than her ovaries at the beginning. It was the aristocracy of her own Conservative Party that could not bear the notion of being led by “that woman.” “Until she became leader,” says Charles Moore, former editor of the Daily Telegraph and authorized biographer of Mrs. Thatcher, “it was assumed she could not be it because of her sex.”
Mrs. Thatcher was originally given the education portfolio by Prime Minister Edward Heath, though she wanted to be Chancellor of the Exchequer, the equivalent of the U.S. Treasury Secretary. Education was considered a woman’s job, and regarded as far less important than it would be today. In the education portfolio she was excluded from higher counsels and out of the way. When she challenged Heath for the party leadership in February 1974, at age 49, she turned the tables and used her gender to appeal to the gallantry of disaffected Tory backbenchers. “She’s a very brave girl,” they would say.
Mrs. Thatcher, a good-looking woman, used her sexual attractiveness to its legitimate hilt. She was known to flirt both with caucus members and the opposition, her face tilted girlishly in conversation. She succeeded politically with those leaders with whom she could flirt—including Ronald Reagan, Francois Mitterrand and most unlikely of all, Mikhail Gorbachev. Her stylish, hint-of-Dr. Zhivago wardrobe for a 1987 visit to the Soviet Union became something of a national obsession.
Such attractiveness had the opposite effect on the Tory grandees. Books have been written on what it was that nurtured their contempt. After all, they were in the same political party, and their fortunes rested on her popularity.
No doubt part of the animosity arose from her origins as the daughter of a Grantham grocer, a woman whose home address was a street number rather than an estate with simply the house name. Lord Ian Gilmour of Craigmillar dismissed Mrs. Thatcher as “a Daily Telegraph woman”—code language for some ghastly suburban creature wearing a tasteless flowered hat. Winston Churchill’s son-in-law, Christopher Soames, a man of much genuine intelligence, allegedly called her “Heath with tits”—an inaccurate and inelegant description, but one that captured exquisitely the contempt his class had for her. Both Gilmour and Soames were fired by Mrs. Thatcher in the housecleaning that took place during the late ’70s and early ’80s. But the core of High Tories remained active in the party waiting to bring her down.
The British feminist movement at that time was of little import. “I owe nothing to women’s lib,” Mrs. Thatcher remarked, thus assuring herself of a permanent place in their pantheon of evil. During her years in power, Mrs. Thatcher could and did use the rhetoric of home economics in a way a prudent male politician no longer dared do. Metaphors of kitchen and gender abounded in her speeches: “it is the cock that crows,” she would say, “but the hen that lays the eggs.”
Mrs. Thatcher would have recognized the guns aimed at Sarah Palin as the weapons of the left with feminist trigger-pullers. She also would have known that Mrs. Palin has less to fear from East-Coast intellectual snobs in egalitarian America than she had to fear from her own Tory base in class-prejudiced Britain. She would have told her to stand her ground and do her homework. Read your briefs, choose advisers with care, and, as she once said to me, my arm in her grip and her eyes fixed firmly on mine, “Just be yourself, don’t ever give in and they can’t harm you.”
It wasn’t quite true, of course. She did read her briefs, did stand her ground, and in the end they pulled her down, those grandees. But she made history. If a grocer’s daughter can do it, a self-described hockey mom cannot be dismissed.
Ms. Amiel is a columnist for Macleans’, the Canadian weekly newsmagazine, and a former senior political columnist for the Sunday Times of London.
“I’m very proud to have introduced our next Vice President to the country. But I can’t wait until I introduce her to Washington. And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming.”
“The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isn’t a cause, it’s a symptom. It’s what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you. Again and again, I’ve worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That’s how I will govern as President. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.”
“I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.”
I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I’m going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I’m an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me!
Fight for what’s right for our country!
Fight for the ideals and character of a free people!
Fight for our children’s future!
Fight for justice and opportunity for all!
Stand up to defend our country from its enemies!
Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America!
Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight! Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.
The whole “Palin Controversy” isn’t. It is a concoction whipped up that is lighter than Meringue, by David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager, to deflect attention away from the real subject of this election: Barack Obama.
The media and Obama’s campaign couldn’t wait to tell the public about Palin’s husband getting a driving under the influence arrest 25 years ago, something they breathlessly announced as “proof” Palin wasn’t vetted properly.
What about the vetting of Barack H. Obama? You know, the PRESIDENTIAL candidate who himself used cocaine and other drugs about 20-30 years ago?? Are the media aware of what crimes Obama committed back then? Nope, didn’t think so… Why not? Because they did not VET him! Why isn’t anyone screaming about the lack of proper vetting of Barack Obama?
Who did Obama live with, room with in college? Where are they now? Where are the legislative records, transcripts from all his massive amount of work in the Illinois Senate? Surely a man so accomplished as Obama would have left a gigantic amount of statements in support or opposition to the thousands of proposals and bills submitted to such a large body. Who in the media poured over them? No one did.
Thomas Sowell, writing at Townhall. com raised some good points:
Now that the Democrats have recovered from the shock of Governor Sarah Palin’s nomination as the Republican’s candidate for vice president, they have suddenly discovered that her lack of experience in general– and foreign policy experience in particular– is a terrible danger in someone just a heartbeat away from being President of the United States.
For those who are satisfied with talking points, there is no need to go any further. But, for those who still consider substance relevant, this is an incredible argument coming from those whose presidential candidate has even less experience in public office than Sarah Palin, and none in foreign policy.
Moreover, if Senator Barack Obama is elected, he will not be a heartbeat away from the presidency, his would be the heartbeat of the president– and he would be the one making foreign policy.
But the big talking point is that the Democrats’ vice-presidential nominee, Senator Joe Biden, has years of foreign policy experience as a member, and now chairman, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
That all depends on what the definition of “experience” is.
Before getting into that, however, a plain fact should be noted: No governor ever had foreign policy experience before becoming president– not Ronald Reagan, not Franklin D. Roosevelt, nor any other governor.
It is hard to know how many people could possibly have had foreign policy experience before reaching the White House besides a Secretary of State or a Secretary of Defense.
The last Secretary of War (the old title of Secretaries of Defense) to later become President of the United States was William Howard Taft, a hundred years ago. The last Secretary of State to become President of the United States was James Buchanan, a century and a half ago.
The first President Bush had been head of the C.I.A., which certainly gave him a lot of knowledge of what was happening around the world, though still not experience in making the country’s foreign policy.
Senator Joe Biden’s years of service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is even further removed from foreign policy experience. He has had a front-row seat as an observer of foreign policy. But Senator Biden has never had any real experience of making foreign policy and taking the consequences of the results.
The difference between being a spectator and being a participant, with responsibility for the consequences of what you say and do, is fundamental.
You can read books about crime or attend lectures by criminologists, but you have no real experience or expertise about crime unless you have been a criminal or a policeman.
Although I served in the Marine Corps, I have no military experience in any meaningful sense. The closest I ever came to combat was being assigned to photograph the maneuvers of the Second Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
That was photographic experience, not military experience. If someone gave me a policy-making job in the Pentagon, I wouldn’t have a clue.
The fact that Senator Joe Biden has for years listened to all sorts of people testify on all sorts of foreign policy issues tells us nothing about how well he understood the issues.
Out of the four presidential and vice-presidential candidates this year, only Governor Palin has had to make executive decisions and live with the consequences.
As for Senator Obama, his various pronouncements on foreign policy have been as immature as they have been presumptuous.
He talked publicly about taking military action against Pakistan, one of our few Islamic allies and a nation with nuclear weapons.
Barack Obama’s first response to the Russian invasion of Georgia was to urge “all sides” to negotiate a cease-fire and take their issues to the United Nations. That is standard liberal talk, which even Obama had second thoughts about, after Senator John McCain gave a more grown-up response.
We should all have second thoughts about what is, and is not, foreign policy “experience.”
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee, went on the offense during her address to the 2008 Republican National Convention, drawing sharp distinctions between the Republican ticket and Obama-Biden and taking on the media for its coverage of her in recent days. Excerpts from her speech are below:
“I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town. I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better. When I ran for city council, I didn’t need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too. Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”
“I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion – I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”
“Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems — as if we all didn’t know that already,” she said. “But the fact that drilling won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.”
“Here’s how I look at the choice Americans face in this election. In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.”
More on Sarah Palin’s speech later, when I have had a chance to sleep on it, sort out my feelings, which are basically positive.
Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign today released its latest television ad, entitled “Alaska Maverick.” The ad highlights Governor Sarah Palin’s record of taking on the special interests in Alaska and bringing reform and change. While Barack Obama talks about change, Governor Sarah Palin has actually done it.
AD FACTS: Script For “Alaska Maverick” (TV :30)
ANNCR: The Journal says: “Governor Palin’s credentials as an agent of reform exceed Barack Obama’s.” They’re right.
· The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial: “We’d Say Governor Palin’s Credentials As An Agent Of Reform Exceed Barack Obama’s.” “For starters, we’d say Governor Palin’s credentials as an agent of reform exceed Barack Obama’s. Mr. Obama rose through the Chicago Democratic machine without a peep of push-back. Alaska’s politics are deeply inbred and backed by energy-industry money. Mr. Obama slid past the kind of forces that Mrs. Palin took head on.” (Editorial, “A Reform Ticket,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/30/08)
ANNCR: She “has a record of bi-partisan reform.”
· The Associated Press: Governor Palin “Has A Record Of Bipartisan Reform.” “It is true, as the statement said, that Palin has a record of bipartisan reform. She has a growing reputation as a maverick for bucking her party’s establishment and Alaska’s powerful oil industry.” (Ron Fournier, “Analysis: Palin’s Age, Inexperience Rival Obama’s,” The Associated Press, 8/29/08)
ANNCR: He’s the Senate’s “most liberal.”
· “Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., Was The Most Liberal Senator In 2007, According To National Journal’s 27th Annual Vote Ratings.” (Brian Friel, Richard E. Cohen and Kirk Victor, “Obama: Most Liberal Senator In 2007,” National Journal, 1/31/07)
ANNCR: She “took on the oil producers.”
· Anchorage Daily News: Governor Palin “Took On The Oil Producers.” “Palin took on the oil producers, especially Exxon Mobil, saying they had been dragging their feet on a gasline. She persuaded the Legislature to pass a bill authorizing an independent company to build the line with state subsidy.” (Tom Kizzia, “The Joan Of Arc Of Alaska Politics,” Anchorage Daily News, 8/29/08)
ANNCR: He gave big oil billions in subsidies and giveaways.
· Barack Obama Voted For The 2005 Energy Bill. (H.R. 6, CQ Vote #152: Motion Agreed To 92-4: R 53-1; D 38-3; I 1-0, 6/23/05, Obama Voted Yea; H.R. 6, CQ Vote #158: Passed 85-12: R 49-5; D 35-7; I 1-0, 6/28/05, Obama Voted Yea; H.R. 6, CQ Vote #213: Adopted 74-26: R 49-6; D 25-19; I 0-1, 7/29/05, Obama Voted Yea)
· The 2005 Energy Bill Included $2.8 Billion In Subsidies For Oil And Natural Gas Production. “The conference agreement provides for $14.6 billion in tax breaks and credits between 2005 and 2015, including: –$2.8 billion for fossil fuel production …” (Toni Johnson, “CQ Bill Analysis: HR 6,” Congressional Quarterly‘s “CQ Bill Analysis,” www.cq.com, Accessed 7/14/08)
ANNCR: She’s “earned a reputation as a reformer.” His reputation? Empty words.
· Seattle Times: Governor Palin “Has Earned A Reputation As A Reformer.” “Since moving into the governor’s mansion in Juneau in December of 2006, Palin has earned a reputation as a reformer who worked with both Democrats and Republicans to overhaul the state oil-tax system and to restore confidence in state government shaken by political-corruption scandals.” (Hal Bernton, “Alaska Governor Palin Comes From Small Town To National Stage,” Seattle Times, 8/29/08)
This pretty much speaks for itself. Why doesn’t the MSM (Mainstream Media) dissect this Obama psycho-babble?
Any of you readers have thoughts on this ad? Its effectiveness? Its message?
“McCain has reached for the stars and grabbed one. On a recent cruise to Alaska, I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Sarah Palin. She is brilliant and articulate and, in Alaska politics, is a breath of fresh air as an alternative to their corruption epitomized by Alaska Republican Senator Ted Stevens. Now Obama, who has spent two years preventing a woman from being president, will spend two months preventing one from becoming vice president – and hopes to do so with women votes. The entire premise of the Democratic convention was the fungibility of Bush and McCain. Now McCain has vividly demonstrated the difference. Sarah Palin is no Dick Cheney!”
Thursday, Senator John McCain sent a personal message to Senator Barack Obama congratulating him on his historic nomination, and telling him: “Job well done!”
There is something pretty telling in Obama’s response, the responses of his surrogates and staff, (shown below) isn’t there? Is this the “new politics” they speak of? Is this the “change we need”?
Do they really think the American people want snide, wink-and-nod, smirking remarks meant to let us know McCain is old? So was Ronald Reagan. Are you ageists in addition to being misogynists?
It is also disturbing to see Obama’s chief operatives dissing small-population areas as well. It wasn’t a mis-speak either. It directly relates to Barack Obama’s documented comments about bitter, religious, gun-owning rural Americans. It is indicative as to how those closest to Obama, and how Obama really does feel.
CNN’s John Roberts, after briefly alluding to the issue of Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s experience he called into question earlier on Friday’s “Newsroom” program, asked correspondent Dana Bash about how the Alaska governor’s newborn son with Down’s syndrome might be affected if she were elected: “There’s also this issue that on April 18th, she gave birth to a baby with Down’s Syndrome…. Children with Down’s syndrome require an awful lot of attention. The role of Vice President, it seems to me, would take up an awful lot of her time, and it raises the issue of how much time will she have to dedicate to her newborn child?”Bash deftly answered this question, which has the implication that Palin could neglect her infant son, and made a possible counter-argument the McCain camp would use, that a question like Roberts’ would be sexist: “That’s a very good question, and I guess — my guess is that, perhaps, the line inside the McCain campaign would be, if it were a man being picked who also had a baby, but — you know, four months ago with Down’s Syndrome, would you ask the same question?The CNN correspondent continued by briefly describing the Palin’s family situation and the thinking that may have gone into the situation for both McCain and Palin herself. She concluded by reporting on the Alaska governor’s appeal to social conservatives because she is “very staunchly anti-abortion,” in Bash’s words.The full transcript of the exchange between John Roberts and Dana Bash, which began 7 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour of CNN’s “Newsroom”
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel said the choice represented “political panic,” and the Obama campaign put out a quick dismissive statement, saying Mrs. Palin had “zero foreign policy experience.”
29 Aug 2008 11:58 am
From Obama spokesman Bill Burton:
“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same,” said Bill Burton, Obama Campaign Spokesman.
Governor Palin fought for large increases in taxes on the oil companies, and rebated the money to the people of Alaska! Does that sound like a “friend” of big oil, or Bush’s economic policies?
More Obama Camp Reactions:
- Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Doug Kelly said that by putting the “former mayor of a town of 9,000 just a heartbeat away from the presidency,” McCain has undercut his entire campaign argument that experience matters. “Today’s announcement was an act of political desperation by the McCain campaign, but it does not alter the fact that the Republican ticket promises Ohioans more of the same,” Kelly said.
- Palin: You’re no Hillary Clinton “None of my pro-Hillary female friends are falling for this obvious GOP pander. To the contrary, McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his VP is drawing hoots of derision. One female friend did some quick internet research and said, “Sarah Palin has a great deal of surface appeal, at first. But once America’s women look behind that cheerleader smile and see at her extreme social agenda, they will run the other direction.”Then she added, with a laugh, “The only thing he is going to let her do in the White House is teach him how to use the internet.”Another said, “It just seems desperate and calculated.”She added, “Palin makes McCain look ancient, out-of-touch and totally yesterday. McCain makes her look like a perky kid. Each one dramatically and perfectly underscores the other’s weakness. At least, nobody can criticize Obama’s alleged youth and inexperience now. But this is not the best team America could produce, by any stretch.”John McCain has gone from maverick to “me too” — trying to out-Democrat the Democrats and pick up some Hillary voters.But it ain’t working.
John McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a running mate is a searing insult to women.
Clearly, Palin was chosen in hopes of attracting women voters. There is virtually no other explanation for picking a right-wing leader of a state with a population of fewer than 680,000 people.
The decision argues that McCain has such a low opinion of women voters that they would overlook education, abortion, foreign policy, civil rights, health care, family leave and more simply to vote for a candidate with two x chromosomes.
As Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida said: “I know Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton.”
More than an hour prior to laudatory statements, Obama spokesman Bill Burton implied the little known 44-year-old governor with less than two years in office was not qualified to be president and tied her to the Bush/McCain brand of politics.
townhall.com — If Obama is an empty suit, as McCain has suggested, is Palin suited for the Oval Office herself? She is younger and less experienced than the first-term Illinois senator… A governor for just 20 months, she was two-term mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a town of 6,500 where the biggest civic worry is whether there will be enough snow for the Iditarod.
Sarah Palin has emerged as John McCain’s vice-presidential running mate. Palin talked to Newsmax magazine for its upcoming September 2008 issue about Alaskan oil, global warming, and John McCain.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a God-fearing, gun-toting former beauty queen who could just become America’s next vice president.
In Alaska, the right to bear arms means staying on top of the food chain. Palin, a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, hunts, shoots, and fishes.
Husband Todd holds a commercial fishing license for salmon. In the mid-1990s, when Todd got a job working on Alaska’s North Slope, Palin decided to occupy herself by becoming mayor of Wasilla, the state’s fastest-growing community.
As mayor, she gradually grew frustrated with Alaska’s “good ol’ boy” style of governance — so she decided to do something about it. She ran for governor in 2006 and won, defeating popular former Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles.
Palin’s victory made her Alaska’s first female chief executive, and its youngest.
Now, many insiders believe this 44-year-old mother of five would add a strong conservative presence to the GOP ticket.
Palin tells Newsmax that it’s high time Congress allows the development of Alaska’s wealth of oil and gas. She doubts global warming stems from human activity, and she considers herself both a fiscal and social conservative.
Are you open to running as McCain’s vice president?
Palin: I have so much on my plate as governor, it’s hard to even imagine such an offer. I would just have to cross that bridge when it comes.
What do you think of McCain’s chances, and what should he and the GOP do to win in November?
I believe John McCain will be our next president. To win, he needs to continue his message that America needs leadership devoted to the public interest — not the special interest. The GOP needs to live the planks of its platform, not just offer lip service.
How did you pull off your election victory as governor?
Alaska was ready for a positive change and tired of the good ol’ boy network. It caused many Alaskans to lose faith in their government. People want faith in their government. I have been able to pass a comprehensive reform law and place the state’s checkbook online. You can be a reformer and also be a conservative.
And your stand on abortion?
I’m pro-life. I’ll do all I can to see every baby is created with a future and potential. The legislature should do all it can to protect human life.
Politically, how would you describe yourself?
Fiscally and socially, I am a conservative. My respect for the three different branches of government and the balance between them has been my guide.
If you were running for president, what causes would you champion?
I would push for a strong military and a sound energy policy. I believe that Alaska can help set an example on energy policy.
Speaking of energy, how much oil and gas does America really have?
We have billions and billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas. We have so much potential from tapping our resources here in Alaska. And we can do this with minimum environmental impact. We have a very pro-development president in President Bush, and yet he failed to push for opening up parts of Alaska to drilling through Congress — and a Republican-controlled Congress, I might add.
I thought when we hit $100 a barrel for oil it would have been a psychological barrier that would have caused Congress to reconsider, but they didn’t. Now we are approaching $200 a barrel. It’s nonsense not to tap a safe domestic source of oil. I think Americans need to hold Congress accountable on this one.
What is your take on global warming and how is it affecting our country?
A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being 100% man-made.
The wipeout in the 2006 election left Republicans in such a state of dejection that they’ve overlooked the one shining victory in which a Republican star was born. The triumph came in Alaska where Sarah Palin, a politician of eye-popping integrity, was elected governor. She is now the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating of 90%.
Her rise is a great (and rare) story of how adherence to principle–especially to transparency and accountability in government–can produce political success. And by the way, Palin is a conservative who only last month vetoed 13 percent of the state’s proposed budget for capital projects. The cuts, the Anchorage Daily News said, “may be the biggest single-year line-item veto total in state history.”
As recently as last year, Palin (pronounced pale-in) was a political outcast. She resigned in January 2004 as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission after complaining to the office of Governor Frank Murkowski and to state Attorney General Gregg Renkes about ethical violations by another commissioner, Randy Ruedrich, who was also Republican state chairman.
State law barred Palin from speaking out publicly about ethical violations and corruption. But she was vindicated later in 2004 when Ruedrich, who’d been reconfirmed as state chairman, agreed to pay a $12,000 fine for breaking state ethics laws. She became a hero in the eyes of the public and the press, and the bane of Republican leaders.
“McCain, I thought, had just made his first important decision as presidential nominee and blown it. I began mentally formulating jokes and one-liners. Then I Googled Palin’s background and began to learn more about her. As I did, I sobered up. Here was a self-made woman with political and leadership skills. In a state known for corruption, she had — as a mayor, chair of a state commission, and governor — faced down at every stage the good-ole-boy network accustomed to running things. She had beaten better known candidates in her campaigns for office. She had called out and fired public officials for corruption. She had successfully taken on corporations, lobbyists, and special-interest types when they challenged her. She was pro-life and an NRA member but, nonethless, known for acknowledging the good faith of those who disagreed with her. Her husband, a commercial fisherman and pipeline worker, was a Steelworker. Palin herself was a former union member. They have five children, the oldest on his way to Iraq as an Army enlisted man, the youngest a Down Syndrome baby. Her parents, a teacher and school secretary, were hard working people who earned extra money by coaching school teams. She chaired a 50-state governors’ natural resources committee. As McCain, she was known for speaking her mind directly and breaking with Republican party-line positions when she thought they were wrong. She was aggressive and smart as hell.
Then I witnessed the rally in Dayton, Ohio, at which McCain introduced her. She was more poised than McCain. She was direct, no-nonsense, speaking to constituencies beyond the Republican base, and clearly at home with herself and her role. She appealed to Sen. Hillary Clinton supporters to come on over and break the glass ceiling with her. I found myself rooting for her — just as I had for Obama and Biden the night before — as an underdog and outsider living out the American Dream. If I felt that way, I thought, millions of others might be having the same thoughts at that moment.
So. What seemed at first glance an improbable, out-of-the-blue political gamble — and perhaps a world-class blunder — began to appear to be a gamble, alright, but perhaps a brilliant one.
The Obama campaign will issue more condescending put-downs at its peril.
- Born: February 11, 1964 (44 years old) – Sandpoint, Idaho
- College: University of Idaho
- Profession: Journalist
- Spouse: Todd Palin
- Children: 5
- Interesting Facts:
- Placed Second in “Miss Alaska”
- Nickname: “Sarah Barracuda”
- Has one son in the military, Army. Soon to deploy to Iraq
- Has one child with Downs Syndrome
- Husband is three-time champion of the world’s longest snowmachine race
- Husband is a Union Member & Commercial Fisherman, Oil Worker
- Wasilla City Council
- Wasilla Mayor
- Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
- Governor of Alaska
- Approval rating continually around 90%
On the Issues:
- Abortion: Pro-Life
- Energy Exploration: Supports drilling in ANWR
- Second Amendment: Strong supporter of gun-owner rights
- Health Care: Supports relaxing insurance regulations to increase competition, and lower costs
- Taxes: Opposed to “nuisance” taxes and high fees for small business owners
- Gay Marriage: Opposes same sex marriages
- Lifetime NRA Member
- Iditarod PTA
- Former Salvation Army Board
- Chamber of Commerce
- Valley Youth Sports Coach, Hockey Team Manager
- Honorary Member, Rotary
Philosophy on Governing (from Gubernatorial Campaign Page):
I look forward to building a team that will put Alaskans first! I believe in fairness and inclusion and will call on the public to work together for Alaska’s common good. I refuse to use divisive tactics that polarize us for political gain. As Mayor of Wasilla, the fastest growing area of Alaska; as President of the Alaska Conference of Mayor; as Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; and as a business owner and mom, I approached issues with a fair, balanced, common sense approach. I love the challenge of hiring and appointing the best people to serve with me and I will bring this positive approach to Alaska as Governor. In building a public service team, my commitment to my home state is to always put Alaskans first and never allow special interests to take advantage of us. I know that government has its place, and it should be limited. My focus is on education, public safety, infrastructure and access to our resources. As manager of our vast public resources, the Governor must act as an effective CEO on behalf of all Alaskans in negotiating the best deals for the state, and I am prepared to tackle that challenge.
Note: This is a collaborative effort, so if you’re a blogger covering this and would like to have some info listed, simply mention it in the comments section.
Articles on Sarah Palin:
- Weekly Standard: The Most Popular Governor
What a surprise she is! Especially after watching the Democrats debate for nearly two years having a female in the person of Hilliary Clinton at the top or No. 2 spot on their ticket, it was actually the Republicans, with a candidate who turns 72 today, picking a pro-life woman three years younger than Obama, who’s been a city councilwoman, a tax-cutting mayor and an anti-pork barrel state chief executive. Some might say it is fitting coming from a “maverick” Republican. Remember, it was Ronald Reagan who gave America its first female Supreme Court Justice!
And for you crazy Obamabots, try to remember this before you make bigger fools out of yourselves: How many years was John F. Kennedy a Senator before becoming President? And before he was a United States Senator, what was his executive experience? None. Palin was a City Councilman and Mayor before getting elected Governor.
Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted said that backers of Hillary Clinton have “found someone to support today. If they weren’t already in McCain’s camp, this is just another reason to be there.”
From the Seattle Times:
Republicans in Congress this June united to defeat a proposed windfall tax on oil companies, deriding it as a bad idea that would discourage investment in U.S. oil exploration.
Things worked out far differently in the GOP stronghold of Alaska, a state whose economic fate is closely tied to the oil industry.
Over the opposition of oil companies, Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and Alaska’s Legislature last year approved a major increase in taxes on the oil industry — a step that has generated stunning new wealth for the state as oil prices soared.
Also see this post, and others in this blog about Governor Palin!
Sarah Heath Palin (born February 11, 1964) is the current Governor of Alaska, and a member of the Republican Party. She is the first female governor of Alaska, its youngest, and is the first governor born after Alaska achieved statehood. Brought to statewide attention because of her whistleblowing on ethical violations by state Republican Party leaders, she won election in 2006 by first defeating the incumbent Governor in the Republican primary, then a former Democratic Alaskan Governor in the general election.
Details of Palin’s personal life have contributed to her political image. She hunts, eats moose burgers, ice fishes, rides snowmobiles, and owns a float plane. Palin holds a lifetime membership with the National Rifle Association. She admits that she used marijuana when it was legal in Alaska, but says that she did not really like it.
Palin holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho where she also minored in politics. She briefly worked as a sports reporter for local Anchorage television stations, while also working as a commercial fisherman with her husband, Todd, her high school sweetheart. One summer when she was working on Todd’s fishing boat, the boat collided with a tender while she was holding onto the railing; Palin broke several fingers. Outside the fishing season, Todd works for BP at an oil field on the North Slope and is a champion snowmobiler, winning the 2000-mile “Iron Dog” race four times. The two eloped shortly after Palin graduated college; when they learned they needed witnesses for the civil ceremony, they recruited two residents from the old-age home down the street. Todd is a Native Yup’ik Eskimo. The Palin family lives in Wasilla, about 40 miles (64 km) north of Anchorage.
On September 11, 2007, the Palins’ son Track joined the Army. Eighteen years old at the time, he is the eldest of Palin’s five children. Track now serves in an infantry brigade, and will be deployed to Iraq in September. She also has three daughters, Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, and Piper, 7. On April 18, 2008, Palin gave birth to her second son, Trig Paxson Van Palin, who has Down syndrome.(Sarah returned to the office three days after giving birth.) Palin refused to let the results of pre-natal genetic testing change her decision to have the baby. “I’m looking at him right now, and I see perfection,” Palin said. “Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?” .From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Posted by Ridgeliner on August 29, 2008 at 3:59 am PDT
You’ll have to wait a few more hours….but here is a hint. :P
“Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America. Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say congratulations.
How perfect that your nomination acceptance would come on this historic day, the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
Tomorrow, we’ll be back at it. But for tonight Senator, congratulations on a job well done!”
Rasmussen is reporting results from one of their newest surveys, and the results are startling…
“It’s a good thing for Republicans that Colin Powell is still one of them.
Powell, the popular former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, handily beats Republican presidential candidate John McCain in a one-on-one match-up. This comes at a time when Barack Obama holds a very slight lead over McCain in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.
Powell, the best-known African-American in the Republican Party, beats McCain more than two-to-one, 54% to 26%, with 21% of voters undecided.
An identical number of Democrats (75%) prefer either Obama or Powell over McCain.
But while 84% of GOP voters favor McCain against Obama, just 48% favor him over Powell, who pulls 35% of GOP voters in a contest with his fellow Republican.
Unaffiliated voters give the edge to McCain over Obama 41% to 35%. But Powell beats McCain among unaffiliateds 44% to 21%. Female voters prefer Powell 56% to 22%. Men are divided.”
And of course, there is still that constant rumor out there that McCain has persuaded Colin Powell to run with him. The polls show that combination would be unstoppable. Too bad most Obama supporters are radical leftist atheists. Obama could use their prayers about now. :-)
Let Joe Biden tell you about Barack Obama and John McCain…….
When “leaners” are included, the Republican presidential candidate is ahead 55% to 41%, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Kansas voters.
In mid-July, McCain had a 20-point lead over Obama 52% to 32%. Obama was within 10 points of McCain in June just after Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Also in Kansas, incumbent Republican Senator Pat Roberts is maintaining a solid 55% to 36% lead over Democratic challenger Jim Slattery.
In Kansas, both presidential candidates have attracted more support from their respective parties. McCain is now backed by 83% of Kansas Republicans, Obama by 76% of the state’s Democrats.
Unaffiliated voters are evenly divided – 38% for McCain, 37% for Obama – with 14% preferring an unspecified third-party candidate and 11% undecided.
For the second month in a row, McCain is viewed favorably by 66% of Kansas voters. Obama ranks favorably with 48%, up four percent from July and nearly identical with where he was in June. Fifty-two percent (52%) have an unfavorable view of Obama, compared to 33% who feel that way about his GOP rival.
Politico is reporting:
“From the fever swamps of the blogosphere to the halls of academia, there is a chorus of voices who have come to the same conclusion about the presidential election: Barack Obama is going to win in November, by something resembling a landslide.
Yet for all the breathless analysis and number-crunching that has convinced observers Obama is en route to an epic victory, there is one key historic fact that is often overlooked-most popular vote landslides were clearly visible by the end of summer. And by that indicator, 2008 doesn’t measure up.
In five of the six post-war landslides (defined as a victory of 10 percentage points or more) the eventual winner was ahead by at least 10 percentage points in the polls at the close of August, according to a Politico analysis of historical Gallup polls. Over the past week, however, Gallup’s daily tracking poll pegs Obama ahead of John McCain by a margin of 2 to 5 percentage points.
The one exception to the August rule was 1980. Ronald Reagan was trailing slightly in the August polls before surging forward to win by roughly a 10-point margin.
By comparison, the biggest post-war landslides-1964, 1972 and 1984-were signaled by a large, double-digit advantage held by the eventual winner at the close of August.” READ MORE
4 in 10 not locked onto a candidate…
The Olympics, summer vacations and back-to-school preparations are overshadowing politics for many right now. That should start changing as and just after the two parties hold their nominating conventions — the Democrats at the end this month, the Republicans in early September.
43% of registered voters have not made final decisions on whom to support, according to a recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll. That includes 15% leaning toward Obama or backing him while saying they could change their minds, and 16% leaning toward McCain, saying they could change their minds. Another 8 percent are completely undecided! Just 4% weakly back third-party candidates Ralph Nader or Bob Barr.
That’s quite a bit more than were uncommitted at this stage in 2004, when an AP-Ipsos poll showed 37 percent in the same category. In that race President Bush, who is more familiar to the public than McCain, was seeking re-election.
All major polling date reflects the results of AP polling, within a few percentage points. It is shaping up to be quite a nail-biter!
Given the geo-political situation of the World, I can’t help thinking this is ultimately going to help McCain, and injure Obama. Why? Because Obama doesn’t do as well as McCain in “unscripted” events, which Obama’s handelers have been avoiding placing their man into. That is why they nixed the “Town Hall” format pushed by McCain. As the election rolls on, they will not have that luxury, and more access to Obama, in unscripted events will not show him as favorably. Also, the PAC’s, and their main media buys haven’t yet hit. There are more negatives to hit the fan about Obama that will leave his campaign in disaray. Count on it.
From “Cameron’s Corner” Blogg, check it out–
ARLINGTON, VA – Today, in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S. Senator John McCain delivered the following statement regarding the current conflict between Georgia and Russia:
“Americans wishing to spend August vacationing with their families or watching the Olympics may wonder why their newspapers and television screens are filled with images of war in the small country of Georgia. Concerns about what occurs there might seem distant and unrelated to the many other interests America has around the world. And yet Russian aggression against Georgia is both a matter of urgent moral and strategic importance to the United States of America.
“Georgia is an ancient country, at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and one of the world’s first nations to adopt Christianity as an official religion. After a brief period of independence following the Russian revolution, the Red Army forced Georgia to join the Soviet Union in 1922. As the Soviet Union crumbled at the end of the Cold War, Georgia regained its independence in 1991, but its early years were marked by instability, corruption, and economic crises.
“Following fraudulent parliamentary elections in 2003, a peaceful, democratic revolution took place, led by the U.S.-educated lawyer Mikheil Saakashvili. The Rose Revolution changed things dramatically and, following his election, President Saakashvili embarked on a series of wide-ranging and successful reforms. I’ve met with President Saakashvili many times, including during several trips to Georgia.
“What the people of Georgia have accomplished – in terms of democratic governance, a Western orientation, and domestic reform – is nothing short of remarkable. That makes Russia’s recent actions against the Georgians all the more alarming. In the face of Russian aggression, the very existence of independent Georgia – and the survival of its democratically-elected government – are at stake.
The lights are dim, the mikes are off, and the television cameras dark in the US House of Representatives. But minority Republicans – sensing traction with voters on the issue of offshore drilling – aren’t giving up the floor.
Nearly 90 GOP lawmakers, about 40 percent of the Republican caucus, have come back to Washington since the House voted to adjourn on Aug. 1 to protest Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to allow a vote to lift a moratorium on offshore drilling.
“The American people deserve more access to American oil, and Congress should be in session until we vote,” said Rep. Mike Pence (R) of Indiana, speaking to a chamber half-filled with tourists, escorted by GOP lawmakers to break off their tours of the Capitol and take a seat on the floor. He urged the tourists, many of whom seemed astonished to find themselves on the floor of the US House of Representatives, to “call to a Democratic member of Congress from your state” to demand a vote.
“We were lucky to be here,” says Anjali Srivastava, exiting the floor of the House with a tour group from Lansing, Mich. The members of Congress talked about “energy and terrorism,” she said.
While tourist power may not be enough to move to a vote, Republican lawmakers say that voter power is — and that polls show that public opinion has shifted decisively their way.
“The public has clearly changed its mind about drilling,” says Peter Brown, assistant director at Quinnipiac’s Polling Institute, citing a recent poll.
A majority used to think it was not worth any potential environmental risks. The opinion seems to have changed that the nation needs to do everything, including drilling, he added.
In his first appearance on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”, Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-Louisiana, said the recent fighting between Russia and Georgia is another reason why the U.S. needs John McCain as its next President. “I think this is another example, during these uncertain times, why we need experienced leadership,” Jindal told ABC’s Jake Tapper.
“You know, Senator Obama condemned the violence and that’s a good thing. But we need to go beyond condemning the violence and actually offering solutions,” Jindal said.
The Louisiana Governor also criticized Obama’s energy plan. He said McCain has a comprehensive approach to solving America’s energy problems while Obama “wants us to inflate our tires.”
Voters Think Obama’s Top Priority Is Reducing The Energy We Use
Latest Ramussen Reports Survey Spells Bad News For Obama
By substantial margins, voters believe that McCain’s top priority is finding new sources of energy while Obama is more focused on reducing the amount of energy we consume. Data released yesterday shows that voters overwhelmingly believe it is more important to find new sources of energy. 67% believe McCain shares this priority while just 29% believe Obama holds that same view.
Other survey data shows that more voters trust McCain than Obama on the energy issue. Surveys also show strong public support for offshore oil drilling, a position advocated by McCain and resisted or waffled on by Obama.
The race between Obama and McCain remains very close in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. Only on Iraq do voters perceive a bigger divide between Obama and McCain. On that issue, voters overwhelmingly believe that McCain is more focused on winning the War while Obama places a higher priority on getting the troops home.
On that one issue, it is Obama whose position is more in line with popular opinion. 49% of voters nationwide now believe that getting the troops home is the top priority. 42% say winning the War is more important.
However, on Iraq, McCain’s position is supported by a very solid majority of Republicans and conservatives. On energy, most Democrats agree with McCain and liberal voters are evenly divided.
Also see Dick Morris and Eileen McGann’s BAD TIMES CAN BOGGLE BAM
John McCain leads Barack Obama by 7% in the race for Missouri’s Electoral votes. The latest Rasmussen telephone survey shows John McCain attracting 48% of the vote while Barack Obama has 41%. This is the third time in the last 4 months that McCain’s support has been at 47% or 48%.
Obama has been in the 41%-43% range for four straight months, unable to climb higher.
When leaners are included in the current survey, McCain leads Obama 50% to 44%, little changed from a month ago. Leaners are survey participants who initially indicate no preference for either major candidate but indicate that they are leaning towards either McCain or Obama.
Fifty-five percent (55%) believe that most reporters are trying to help Obama win in November while 9% believe they are trying to help McCain. These figures are similar to the national average.
Fifty-three percent (53%) believe that reducing the price of gas and oil is more important than protecting the environment. Nationally, voters see stark differences between Obama and McCain on the energy issue. The two men are essentially even in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.
McCain is supported by 93% of Missouri Republicans and enjoys a twenty-three percentage point lead among unaffiliated voters. Obama is supported by 84% of Democrats. McCain is currently viewed favorably by 59% of Missouri voters, Obama by 53%.
Nineteen percent (19%) have a Very Favorable opinion of McCain and 16% hold a Very Unfavorable view of the presumptive Republican nominee. For Obama, the numbers are 27% Very Favorable, 29% Very Unfavorable.
Read the whole story here.
This is a weekly round-up of different opinions from various sources around the Web. I hope you will use these are tools to gather your own information, knowledge of what others are thinking…..
Obama- A Knight on a Gray Horse
MWC, Media With Conscience–
OH DEAR, what has happened to the knight on the white horse?
This week, many of Barack Obama’s admirers were shocked. Up to now, it had been believed that the huge sums of money flowing into the coffers of his campaign came from anonymous citizens, each sending a check for 100 or 200 dollars.
Now, alas, it has been disclosed that a large part of those millions actually came from big donors – the very same huge corporations, their CEOs and lobbyists, who have corrupted the democratic process in previous contests. They spread their largesse generously and simultaneously among all the candidates from left to right, so as to be on the winning side whatever happens.
Obama had promised to put an end to the old, dirty corporate funding-for-influence system. Now it appears that he participates in this corrupt system himself.
What a disappointment.
FOR ANYONE living in the real world, the disappointment cannot be that big.
The modern election campaign is an insatiable monster. It devours huge sums of money. Those who innocently believe that such sums can be raised from small and anonymous contributors are deluding themselves. That is quite impossible.
Obama did indeed receive many donations from ordinary citizens, and that is a positive sign. But if he had refused to accept contribution from the large donors, who are necessarily self-interested donors, he might as well have given up his candidacy.
Wisconsin voters speak their minds about McCain, Obama
Mark Treichel understands that young people like him are excited about Democrat Barack Obama and his promises to bring change to the political status quo.
But the 23-year-old Milwaukee man is still voting for John McCain.
Sandra Herian, a 29-year-old health care worker, really wanted Hillary Rodham Clinton to win the Democratic primary. And while she intends to vote for Obama, she won’t be heartbroken if he loses.
Angela Modra said that things have gotten so bad under President Bush that she doesn’t really care who wins.
All across Wisconsin, as the long days of summer start to shorten and the presidential race slowly comes into focus, voters are looking ahead to the fall and figuring out who they will support.
Both campaigns are once again focusing on the key Upper Midwest state, pouring millions into television advertising and making stops to win over voters. Wisconsin is seen as winnable by both sides because Democrats Al Gore and John Kerry barely carried it the past two elections.
Over one week in late July The Associated Press traveled the state talking to voters encountered at random from the heart of downtown Milwaukee over the lunch hour to a food court in an Eau Claire mall. From those getting an early start to the weekend on a sunny Friday afternoon on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus to sports fans in Wausau and Green Bay.
All but one of the 19 people interviewed said they intend to vote. Twelve say they are for Obama, while four are for McCain. Two were undecided.
But the race is definitely on people’s minds.
McCain is calling himself the underdog in Wisconsin. During a recent campaign stop in Racine, he admitted to having to play catch-up to Obama in the state. But McCain said he still believes Wisconsin will be one of the closest on election night.
There are some voters McCain can go after. People like Modra, a 27-year-old who voted for Bush in 2000 but not in 2004. She was raised as a Republican but said she made many Democratic friends while in college at UW-Madison before graduating in 2005.
Treichel, the 23-year-old Republican who works for a Milwaukee marketing firm, admitted that he’s not all that excited about McCain. But he said he’s less excited about Obama.
Treichel said he doesn’t believe the 47-year-old Obama has enough experience. He supports McCain primarily because he’s a Republican, but he also thinks he’s the better candidate to address his top issues: the Iraq war and the economy. He does think Obama is inspiring a lot of young people to get involved in politics.
Bob Motz, 60, and Noel Bushor, 39, both of Merrill said they likely will vote for McCain mainly because they are Republicans and can’t imagine voting for a Democrat. Both men were among hundreds in line for a Monday night game of the Wisconsin Woodchucks, an independent baseball team that plays in Wausau.
Even though both said they were going to vote for McCain, they also said they wanted to see both candidates go head to head to show how they differ on the issues.
Bushor, who owns a furniture store, said the biggest issues for him are what the candidates will do for small businesses, taxes and bringing the troops home. Motz said health care is the biggest issue for him.
The Iraq war is of most concern to Angie Coffield, a 21-year-old from Altoona who was sitting outside the Eau Claire mall. And even though Coffield said she wants to see the troops come home as soon as possible, she’s not excited about Obama or McCain.
She said she’s not going to vote at all.
“I just think they’re all out for publicity or money,” Coffield said.
“He may not be the best fit as president,” Treichel said.
When John McCain railed against the Bush administration or bucked his party on campaign finance reform, he was his Democratic colleagues’ favorite Republican. But their praise is coming back to haunt them….
The montage includes Hillary Rodham Clinton’s scathing assessment of Obama’s readiness to be president: “I know Sen. McCain has a lifetime of experience he will bring to the White House. And Sen. Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.”
There is footage of Obama defender Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, who reportedly considered McCain as a running mate in 2004, calling McCain “a courageous, patriotic American who stands up for what he believes.” Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., a potential vice presidential pick, is shown stating he would be “honored to run with or against John McCain.”
Perhaps most embarrassing is a 2003 clip of Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean saying he modeled his own presidential bid on McCain’s 2000 run because of McCain’s direct manner.
The ad set off a flurry of desperate, embarrassed and somewhat sheepish retractions. Kerry described it as desperate: “The real question is what happened to the John McCain we used to know and why he changed overnight into a George Bush nominee with a Karl Rove campaign.”
Biden said it was “unfortunate” McCain had “changed so much in just eight years.” Dean contended the McCain of 2000 would not “consider voting for the John McCain of 2008.”
Within hours, the DNC predictably struck back with its own video montage of fresh quotes from the same Democrats criticizing McCain this year. The title of the ad? “Maverick no more” and given the fresh disunity in the party, what with Hillary Clinton setting things up to possibly deny Barack Obama the nomination, party leaders hoped this new ad would somewhat mitigate the damage done by the leaders of their party.
Hilarious video of two guys arguing liberalism and conservatism…
I originally found this on the Chris of Rights blog, and I reccomend it to you!
Over at ANewtOne.com, Sonlit is writing about a recent visit to the Hallowed Halls. Hallowed Halls of Congress, that is…..
“I have just one message for the moonbats- be afraid, be very afraid. I haven’t seen Republicans this fired up in eons.
Today, due to the courtesy of the office of Phil Gingrey (and the help of Eeevil Conservative), I had the privilege of walking the hallowed halls of Congress to the Capitol building.
On the way, I witnessed a session of speeches in the famed Statuary Hall by Ray Blount, Marsha Blackburn, Scott Garrett, John Doolittle and others. Among the messages, that were filmed was the new address firstname.lastname@example.org that citizens can use to voice their rage.
After about 8 or 9 of these speeches, we were allowed to actually enter into the House floor and listen to more speeches. Hundreds of supportive citizens listened to Patrick McHenry and Louie Gohmert and others give compelling-bullet proof- speeches about how not drilling, refining and using safe nuclear power makes no sense.
I called into Snooper’s Take Our Country Back show, Media Lizzy’s show and on an abbreviated impromptu Truth Warriors show.
Folks, I saw these Congresspeople up close and they get it. By the reaction of the lefties, so do they. Don’t let up. Not an inch! Pour it on! Show no mercy!”
So now it really starts. What I warned my friends running the Obama campaign about months ago. By abandoning their winning hand, and playing to the radical left of the Democratic Party, the “Silent Majority” has been ass-kicked into action. I know this is just one small example, but the news has been awash with hundreds of the same kind of gatherings the past three weeks.
Silly, you think? Read the history of the 1968 election, and then go read the history of 1972 as well. The Silent Majority are both Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats are regular guys and gals of the Harry Truman, Jack Kennedy kind. They love America, and they are angered and upset (and so never, not ever do they websurf there) over what they have read at the Daily Kos, Media Matters and Huffington Post. Sure they know, feel instinctively, that things aren’t right. They just disagree with the lefties at the Kos that it’s America’s fault. They beleived in the Iraq War, just think Bush has done a piss-poor job at executing it, winning and getting the hell out of Dodge. They give Bush bad poll numbers not because they think he’s a bad man, it’s because he allowed spending to go through the roof by that bunch of drunken Sailors known as Congress…and that is why they give that bunch even lower numbers than President Bush.
The Republican members of the Silent Majority are some of those bitter citizens Barack Obama spoke of, clinging to their religion and guns. They aren’t part of the “Religious Right”, they know the Earth is older than 5,000 years, think abortion is mostly wrong, but are smart enough to know sometimes, just sometimes, it is a necessary evil. Their God is a gentle and loving one, not a mean and vengeful one.
And now the smug, self-righteous members of the Radical Left have pissed them off…..with their attitude of entitlement, their claiming victory way too early and insulting and denigrating a genuine war hero like John McCain. They know we have vast, untapped natural resources, and don’t beleive we should be paying what the Euro’s pay for gasoline. They’ve listened to Obama talk about more and more taxes, and they are, or know people, making $150,000-250,000 with three or four kids, a mortgage and know they ain’t “rich”. They are barely keeping their heads above water. They don’t think its right to take someone else’s money and give it to others who haven’t earned it. They know that their ancestors came here to NOT be like Europe, or whever, and they don’t like the idea of One World, and are so proud to be citizens of America, they don’t want or care to be Citizens of the World.
So, I guess many of us owe Barack Obama a thank you. He has done what other politicians could not do since Ronald Reagan. He has awakened the vast majority in the middle, and their judgement on his ideas and proposals are just now beginning to be set. McCain might not be their first choice, but he is the one who comes closest to understanding them. And they are willing, considering the alternative, to trust yet another Republican to do what is right. God help John McCain and his people if they screw this one up, so he better be prepared to deliver some belt-tightening. He just needs to tell them what is needed. They will take care of the rest, gladly sacraficing if that is what it takes to keep government out of their pockets.
Watch the polls this September and October. You’ll see. ;-)
Obama income soared to record in 2007 on windfall
The Democratic candidate and his wife earned $4.2 million last year – four times as much as they had in 2006 – mainly from his book sales.
Campaigning for president has been very good for Sen. ’s pocketbook, with his household income jumping from $991,296 in 2006 to $4.2 million in 2007, tax records show, a huge jump due to increased sales his candidacy spurred.
The Illinois Democrat had a net profit from book sales of $3.9 million, according to a copy of a 2007 tax return. That total includes $169,706 in foreign income from overseas sales of his two best-selling books.
The Obamas’ salaries totaled $260,735, which included his $157,102 salary as a U.S. senator and her part-time salary of $103,633 as a vice president at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Great part-time job, huh? Until I read that, I had never heard of a part-time Vice President’s job at any company or institution. Check it out.
The couple paid nearly $1.4 million in federal taxes last year, and made $240,370 in charitable contributions. Their largest gifts were to the United Negro College Fund ($50,000), the international relief organization CARE ($35,000) and Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago ($26,270).
The Obamas contributed $6 in 2007 to the federal fund that provides public financing for presidential campaigns in exchange for limits on spending, which was a bad investment, seeing as Obama opted out of that system, to avoid the spending limits it imposes on candidates. He signed a pledge last year that he would do so if the Republican nominee did as well, however that went under the bus, as you all know.
All of the above is pretty old news, but that brings me to…..
Obama: Income Redistribution For All
Obama unveiled his new, newest, energy plan. What word is most troubling in the following paragraph?
“Forcing big oil companies to take a reasonable share of their record breaking windfall
profits and use it to help struggling families with direct relief worth $500 for an individual and $1,000 for a married couple. “
In case you missed it, the word is force. Obama wants to force an American business to give up their profits in order for Obama to write a check to voters. This is amazing. Would the Senator feel the same if we took that $991, 296, which is the amount of his income in 2006, (a good income, wouldn’t you say?) and took by force the “windfall profit” of $3,208,704 he and Michelle enjoyed in 2007? ;-)
This is classic redistribution of wealth. Take the money away from the oil companies (always a good target, because who doesn’t hate to pay more for gas?) that are making gigantic profits, and give it to people who are having to buy the high-priced gas. This has many of the hazards of price controls, only it actually won’t work. The oil companies will find a way to get the money back, and a couple of years from now we’ll realize that the rebates did nothing more than attempt to buy our votes.
The whole notion of “windfall profits” is fairly ridiculous in any case. Just what is the windfall? The price of energy has gone up. Looking at the current situation, I suspect “excess profits” would be the better economic description for the situation. I fail to see the windfall, but perhaps I’m just not looking at it right. And then, of course, there is the matter of who decides what “excess is”. Congress? 8-O
I have no doubt that the major players in fuel distribution are in collusion. In a completely free market we would see more disparity in pump prices. What we see now is just a couple of pennies difference. But putting that aside, it has been proven over and over that the oil companies profit margins are not excessive, they are not as high as Coca Cola’s or Pepsi’s, yet I haven’t read anything, anywhere, saying we should slap them with some silly “windfall” or “excess” profits tax.
But my point here is how silly it is that otherwise intelligent people are suspending common sense and intelligence, and buying into this nutty scheme. I have even been reading posts where people are saying they support Obama, but disagree with this scheme, know it is a scheme, yet still support him. Why?
If they “know” it is a silly demagogic scheme, that would actually make prices worse, and one that is bad for the country, why would they continue to support Obama, especially after the FISA/Wiretap betrayal?
Because they hate McCain.
Why? Someone with a brain, and the ability to actually articulate, please give us your thoughts. Not insults or bullshit, but just something rational as to why…
During July, the number of Americans who consider themselves to be Democrats fell two percentage points to 39.2%. That’s the first time since January that the number of Democrats has fallen below 41%. The Dems now have a 7.6% advantage over the Republicans, down from a 9.5% advantage in June and 10.1% in May.
Rasmussen Reports tracks this information based upon telephone interviews with approximately 15,000 adults per month and has been doing so since November 2002.
Among men, 34% are Democrats, 33% Republican. Forty-four percent (44%) of women are Democrats, and just 30% claim the GOP as their party.
Forty-one percent (41%) of government employees are Democrats while 31% are Republicans. Among entrepreneurs, 36% are Republican, 34% Democrat. Those who work for someone else in the private sector lean Democratic by a 38% to 31% margin.
In January and February, while Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were in the early stages of the battle for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, the number of Americans who considered themselves to be Democrats surged to record highs. As soon as Senator Clinton was considered eliminated from the race, voters began switching their party loyalty.
In 2004, the Democrats began the year with a 2.3 percentage point edge over the GOP. That grew to 4.0 points by March before moving in the Republican direction for the rest of the year. By Election Day in 2004, the edge for Democrats was a mere 1.6 percentage points as John Kerry took the party down to defeat.
In 2006, the Democrats began the year with just a 1.6 percentage point advantage. That grew to 6.1 percentage points by November when the Democrats once again took firm control of the House and Senate.
Barack Obama said today that the size of the U.S. forces left in Iraq would be “entirely conditions-based.” Obama said Prime Minister Maliki recognized Iraq was “going to need our help for some time to come. We’re going to have a very capable counter-terrorism strike force there for a while, it’s hard to know where we may be a 1.5 years from now.”
The McCain campaign said the comments were the latest shift in Obama’s position on Iraq toward his opponent’s view that troop withdrawals must be based on security conditions.
“Barack Obama is ultimately articulating a position of sustained troop levels in Iraq based on the conditions on the ground and the security of the country. That is the very same position that John McCain has long held,” said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.
“We welcome this latest shift in Senator Obama’s position, but it is obvious that it was only a lack of experience and judgment that kept him from arriving at this position sooner,” the campaign said in a statement.
McCain, like President Bush, has opposed a fixed schedule for withdrawing combat troops, preferring to remain until Iraq is fully secure.