September 24, 2008
With today’s kerfuffle over the media being kept away from Sarah Palin’s meetings with foreign leaders — like there was a risk she’d answer their shouted questions? — I’ve been mulling over Colby’s post about the Hannity-Palin “100 percent pure infomercial” interview. I watched both nights, then read the transcripts, and I think the interview hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it deserved. While I agree with Colby’s assessment that the audience was “treated to a political advertisement aimed at serving the interests of the Republican presidential ticket,” I think the Hannity love-fest offered a valuable look at Palin, perhaps more revealing because she was on such friendly territory. For all the softballs Hannity tossed her way, Palin did not come off very well, in my view. If this was a political commercial, I wasn’t buying the product.
The way she answers questions brings to mind — I have Alaska on the brain, admittedly — the image of a polar bear, jumping from rhetorical ice floe to ice floe, drifting some but eventually managing to get safely to dry land. No flubs, but you get the sense that she could plunge into the icy water at any moment. Palin has an odd tendency to use the same word twice in a sentence, as in, “The people of American realize that inherently all political power is inherent in the people,” or, about John McCain, “He can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.” Or, combining word repetition with another Palin verbal tic, word dropping, this about the economic meltdown: “Well, you know, first Fannie and Freddie, different because quasi-government agencies there where government had to step in because the adverse impact all across our nation, especially with homeowners, is just too impacting.”
Ok, not everyone is Daniel Webster. Palin isn’t the first politician to dwell in the land of anodyne clichés such as, “We sort of have a do-nothing Senate right now where nobody is really wanting to pick up the ball and run with it.” Yet I always got the sense listening to George W. Bush tying himself up in rhetorical knots that his problem was more in the nature of getting the words to come out of his mouth correctly, not so much that he didn’t know what to say. Palin — I’m not so sure.
An Alaska friend tells me that Palin has always benefited from being underestimated. Maybe I’m doing that. Maybe I’ve been around polished politicians too long to appreciate the unvarnished authenticity that obviously appeals to many voters. But there’s no Palin interview I’ve listened to, before or after her selection, that gave me the sense that she had anything but a millimeter-thin understanding of the issues facing the country she hopes to help lead.
Consider this exchange.
Hannity: What is our role as a country as it relates to national security?
Palin: Yes. That’s a great question, and being an optimist I see our role in the world as one of being a force for good, and one of being the leader of the world when it comes to the values that — it seems that just human kind embraces the values that — encompass life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that’s just — not just in America, that is in our world.
And America is in a position because we care for so many people to be able to lead and to be able to have a strong diplomacy and a strong military also at the same time to defend not only our freedoms, but to help these rising smaller democratic countries that are just — you know, they’re putting themselves on the map right now, and they’re going to be looking to America as that leader.
We being used as a force for good is how I see our country.
Whew. Made it to the other side of that one.
Can’t wait for the debate. I bet it will be impacting.
September 18, 2008
Source: Info Wars
As the slime of the John McCain-Sarah Palin campaign engulfs the world like a tidal wave of sewage, the calculating political manipulators behind the Republican ticket, and their end game, have received scant attention. If recent polls are to be believed, the election (if it is not already stolen) may already be over.
The Turd Blossom’s son
The McCain-Palin dirty tricks campaign is the work of Republican operative Steve Schmidt.
Schmidt is a protégé of Karl “Turd Blossom” Rove. He has elevated several of the most toxic individuals on earth to positions of global power. He is also a counselor to Dick Cheney. It was Schmidt who successfully spearheaded the lobbying efforts behind the confirmations of Supreme Court justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito. And it was Schmidt’s manipulation of image, celebrity and popular disgust that installed actor and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger as the do-nothing governor of California.
The Rove filth playbook — media manipulations, intimidation, lurid character attack techniques, corruption, falsification and lying, cynical appeals to the most foul aspects of the American psyche — is something that Schmidt has clearly mastered, and it is being enthusiastically applied to McCain-Palin as part of a long-term extremist agenda.
As described in Paul Alexander’s Machiavelli’s Shadow: “The Rove scorched earth approach to political campaigns is a reflection of a willingness to perform whatever ruthless, unethical acts necessary to transform America into a fascist regime.
“Once he [George W. Bush] reached the White House, as part of his effort to achieve a permanent Republican majority, he would put into place a plan that included a corruption of the state and federal governing systems that bordered on the diabolical, a scheme that went so far to create a sort of government within a government to carry out its actions. But in order to achieve what he wanted he had to win elections, and to win elections, in true Machiavellian style, he would do or say whatever he had to, no matter who got damaged in the process, no matter how badly.”
Alexander quotes longtime Texas Republican strategist Mark Sanders: “[Rove] immediately started putting together a plan for what was essentially the Third Reich of the Republican majority in this country. That was absolutely his plan, a Republican majority domination not just of the US House, the US Senate and the presidency, but also state legislatures across the country. This was not just a pie-in-the-sky dream that Karl had. He wanted to see the Republican Party rule for the next 30 to 40 years.”
Rove’s choreography of George W. Bush’s political career proved that it was possible to elevate a mentally ill and willfully stupid criminal to world power, and, along the way, harness the ignorance of the American masses with a completely manufactured image, appeals to fear, appeals to right-wing evangelical fanatics (via cultural and moral “wedge issues”), and other rude distractions from reality, and from the issues.
To the Rove formula, Schmidt adds insidious new elements that tap even further into the lowest aspects of the modern American mass psyche: the “politics of personality.” The stuff of Hollywood tabloids and gossip rags, and lowbrow reality television programs.
Schmidt secured the governorship of California for Schwarzenegger by projecting the unqualified actor’s Hollywood action hero persona, along with a manufactured aura of being a maverick outsider fighting against an establishment.
McCain-Palin is an Arnold Schwarzenegger sequel, with extreme violence, and a murderous female assassin, as its star.
Sarah Palin: irritant
Far from being the desperate, hasty, unvetted “hail Mary” on the part of John McCain, the selection of Sarah Palin, “Caribou Barbie,” the self-described “pit bull in lipstick” is a diabolical master play on the part of Schmidt and the right wing.
The Palin element has revitalized a dead McCain campaign, while creating anxiety and confusion across Obama-Biden and the Democratic Party. By design, Palin, not McCain, is essentially the head of the ticket, its star, its attack poodle.
She is crass and vindictive, psychotic, willfully stupid, criminal, crass, zealously loyal to more powerful masters, a world-class narcissist, an egomaniac, and a vengeful hatemonger — a female George W. Bush and a perfect Republican tool.
The vast wasteland of her mind, combined with a mean, sadistic and crazed fanaticism (see The Palin theocracy and Sarah Palin’s Ties to the Christian Right) appeals to the right-wing base. But her appeal goes beyond that.
No one better represents, and appeals to, the demise of mainstream American society than Palin. Nobody better embodies the ignorance, stupidity, self-importance, and brash emptiness that appeals to the widest swath of today’s American wasteland.
Palin’s mental illness and crass stupidity were clearly exposed in her ABC interview with Charles Gibson. Palin recited, in robotic fashion, the propaganda talking points she was told to repeat ad nauseum (by Schmidt). Asked by Gibson if nuclear war with Russia was a possibility with a McCain-Palin administration, she happily replied “Perhaps so!”
A nuclear holocaust and all-out world war. Just like that.
She is clearly unqualified, and deeply and openly corrupt. Her activities in Alaska are brimming with scandal, abuses of power, and vicious vendettas. She is a secessionist and a wild-eyed Creationist, who three times asked city librarian Mary Ellen Emmons if she was okay with censoring books, even sending her a letter (later rescinded) that she was going to be fired.
None of this matters, by Steve Schmidt’s calculations. He knows that the America the McCain-Palin machine needs to wrap up doesn’t read, doesn’t know about the world, and doesn’t care about her qualifications; only her “maverick,” “pit bull” image — and her measurements. (There is no question that sex appeal is a factor.) The qualifications of George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t matter, either.
Sarah Palin is someone out of a bad reality television program, a living lampoon. And she’s “hot” — she will get the vote of untold numbers of men, who do not give a damn on this basis alone.
Palin is honey to all of them: the “Wal-Mart” drones, the right-wing Christian Dominionist fringe, the gun-toting white trash survivalists, the militant Hillary Clinton “PUMAs,” the right-wing thugs.
The Chinese war strategist Sun Tzu, another favorite of Rove (and therefore Schmidt), delighted in the use of irritants to confuse, harass and sow disorder among adversaries.
Palin is an irritant, brought in to pester, aggravate, annoy, the victims of her crass, shrill attacks.
Palin’s gender has been used as both a weapon of mass destruction, and as a defensive shield. She can attack Obama and the Democrats, but she has been protected from any sort of counterattack, thanks to the deer-in-headlights mentality of her opponents, as well as a free pass from the media. It doesn’t matter, in the Schmidt-Rove calculation, that Palin is an insult to women, and also an insult to women who identify with Hillary Clinton. All that matters is it’s working.
Palin is not only being used as a distraction. There is “strategery” involved. She has turned an easy and orderly Obama conclusion into a race against the clock. As an unknown, a complete mystery when her out-of-left field selection was announced, the Democrats have been racing against the political clock to gather enough information to even come up with a counter-strategy. So far, there is no evidence of one.
It is not clear at this point if the more mature neocon manipulators behind the larger John McCain machine (Henry Kissinger, William Kristol, Iran-Contra figure Robert McFarlane, Brent Scowcroft, George Shultz, etc.) approve of Palin, or the prospect of having to stage-manage another George W. Bush, should McCain secure the White House and die or become incapacitated before his term ends. But Palin in any office, on any level, is nightmarish.
If there is a rational plan behind the Palin selection, it is the one put forth by Mike Ruppert, author of Crossing the Rubicon. It involves the central question, oil: “The selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be John McCain’s running mate is terrifying. It would be good news if McCain were just out of his mind or desperate. Remember Dan Quayle? Quayle was also a lightweight. But in Quayle’s case there was little to suggest what his influence in Indiana could do for the Bush I administration.
“In Palin’s case what she can do for a McCain administration is all too obvious. She can help turn Alaska into one giant oil field quickly and without any concern for the environment. She can redefine the term ‘fast track.’ She knows the state and can wheel and deal in the places that will most quickly open up protected areas for drilling. Damn the torpedoes … That realization was instantaneous for me. Then came the second epiphany. McCain is acting as if the election is irrelevant and it just may be. The Republicans did steal the last two didn’t they?
“Is this one already so far in the bag that McCain doesn’t care what she does to his national ticket?”
Sarah Palin will be the next president of the United States. If not in the next few years, then at the next opportunity. The world will have Steve Schmidt’s manipulations to thank for it.
The McCain “war hero” lie
John McCain’s tepid presidential effort was falling apart under the management of the (equally unsavory) strategist Charles Black, and appeared doomed in the wake of the Democrat’s euphoric convention.
In recent weeks, going into the successful Republican convention, Schmidt and Co. has united the fractured Republicans (with Palin), while orchestrating a massive Roveian tidal wave of the most transparently outrageous swift boating gutter attacks against Obama and fear-mongering, and sharpening, simplifying, and dumbing down the McCain image to its most basic:
McCain=War Hero and prisoner of war. McCain=Maverick.
Other pithy campaign themes include “Drill, baby, drill,” and regurgitated “war on terror/9-11” slogans.
Both of McCain’s false character labels have served as one-word talking points on the campaign trail, to be repeated endlessly like a blunt instrument on the collective skull of the American population. It is also being used as protective shield, with McCain crying, “You can’t attack me because I was a POW” to all forms of criticism and inquiry.
Schmidt’s stage and media management has successfully silenced discussions about the darkness of McCain: his temperament (irrationality, penchant for rage, bizarre outbursts, etc.), his corruption, and his criminal connections.
Douglas Valentine, a foremost authority on war history, and the author of The Phoenix Program, wrote the most incisive and thorough analysis of John McCain in the following piece:
John McCain: War Hero or North Vietnam’s Go-To Collaborator?
In this thoughtful and on-target expose, Valentine demolishes the “war hero” myth, while exposing the McCain psychology.
Valentine points out the following:
1. McCain is the scion of a family of military elites. His career has been one of privilege.
2. McCain is no war hero, he is a war criminal, who bombed “gooks” on some 22 Navy bombing missions, boasting about himself, and the killing, without remorse, according to a psychologist who interviewed McCain in 1970.
3. McCain was likely a willing collaborator, who quickly and routinely (over three years) offered up specific classified information to his captors. This specific information resulted in key military defeats for the US, and untold American deaths. Two of McCain’s fellow POWs, Ted Guy and Gordon “Swede” Larson have long expressed doubts that McCain was tortured.
4. McCain was a “professional psywar stooge,” who collaborated in psychological warfare offensives aimed at American servicemen.
5. McCain has persistently lied about his experience, to political advantage across his subsequent civilian career. Meanwhile, his detractors, including fellow POWs who knew him, and other Vietnam veterans critical of his posturing, have been ignored, but not discredited. If there is a man who deserves to be legitimately “swift-boated,” it is McCain.
According to Valentine, “This is the lesson of McCain’s experience as a POW: a true politician, a hollow man, his only allegiance is to power. The Vietnamese, like McCain’s campaign contributors today, protected and promoted him and in return, he danced to their tune.”
Valentine credits strategist Mark Salter for creating the original McCain myth, “casting him as a modern Teddy Roosevelt, ‘the war hero turned domestic reformer.’ In large, the Salter strategy has worked. The American media accepts McCain’s war hero myth as gospel and, in so doing, bolsters the ‘straight talk’ image so essential in politics.” Further, Valentine notes, “it’s not the collaboration that makes John McCain unfit for office; it’s the fact that he has managed to rewrite his collaboration into political capital. ‘He’s a war hero, respect him, or die.’ . . . In his current presidential campaign, he’s cozying up to the hate-mongering Christian right he once criticized. He’s reversed positions on so many issues that his Democratic rivals have assembled his contrasting statements into ‘The Great McCain Versus McCain Debates’ . . . This essential dishonesty, this lie of the soul, is a sign of a larger lack of character . . .
“McCain is not some principled leader, not a maverick cowboy fighting the powerful. He’s a sycophant. He believes in nothing but power and will do anything to attain it. He explodes in anger when challenged because, when a criticism hits too close to home, it goes straight to his deep-seated shame.”
McCain’s political career is full of skeletons, and continuous corruption. Among them, McCain was a member of the infamous Keating Five, a member of Congress who received bribes for covering up the savings and loan scandal, and blocking investigations. The S&L Scandal, a CIA/Mafia operation connected to the Bush faction, looted $2 billion in taxpayer money. McCain was also an Iran-Contra liar, one of Oliver North’s most passionate defenders. An airplaine used by McCain and his lobbyist was used to fly the Saudi royal family out of the US, after 9/11.
There is strong evidence that the conflict in Georgia and South Ossetia was set up by provocateurs, lobbyists working for McCain, sent in by McCain, and the Bush-Cheney administration. Routed Georgian forces were caught crying for McCain’s help.
Steve Schmidt and the rest of the McCain apparatus will make sure that none of this factual history becomes campaign fodder.
Deer in the headlights
Flushed with euphoria from their successful Denver convention, Obama-Biden and the Democrats were promptly kicked repeatedly in the private parts by the McCain-Palin-Schmidt machine and the corporate media that the right wing almost fully controls.
While the swift boating has gone largely unanswered, Obama-Biden have refused to respond to the attacks, while also refusing to criticize the “great American war hero McCain and his great service,” and refusing to go after Palin.
At the same time, Steve Schmidt has stolen, literally ripped, the Obama “change” theme from under Obama-Biden’s feet. Nobody except Obama’s people care that they stole it.
Everything important about McCain and Palin are off the table, just as the impeachment of Bush-Cheney has been kept off the table by the spineless Dem leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid. Joe Biden, presumed to be the feisty fighter on the Obama ticket, has been silent and invisible. He has already promised to be nice to Palin.
At a recent appearance, Obama tried to laugh off the swift boating, saying to the audience, “they must really think you’re that stupid.” What Obama doesn’t seem to grasp is what Schmidt/Rove does: the election will be decided by the genuinely stupid. The people who have no interest in polite, long-winded, rational discussions of nuanced policy.
The playbook that successfully stole the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections has not changed. (The 2006 contest was ceded to the Democrats; Bush-Cheney bet that the Dems would not successfully challenge them on any major issue, and have won that bet.) Schmidt understands that the Democratic faction still hasn’t learned to win either the rhetorical fight, or prevent the entire charade from being stolen electronically (Republican companies still control elections), and through intimidation, theft of voting rolls, and purges.
Also, in what appears to be another calculated Republican trick, just in time for the election, the Bush-Cheney administration has stolen Obama’s thunder by redeploying forces from Iraq to Afghanistan (as suggested for months by Obama), ramping up the “war on terrorism” in Pakistan (as suggested by Obama). Obama who has now proclaimed that Bush’s Iraq “surge” was “successful beyond his wildest dreams.”
Does Obama-Biden have anything left to talk about, with just two months left?
Past the brink of madness
Should the right-wing successfully secure White House power for the mentally ill, warmongering John McCain, and the demented, willfully stupid, fanatical Sarah Palin, humanity will face a horror even worse than Bush-Cheney.
For all of its brutality and vileness, Bush-Cheney was, at its core, a criminal apparatus charged with a campaign of pillage that it carried out like a team of mafia assassins.
By contrast, McCain and Palin are two irrational individuals with deranged, pathological psyches, backed by a massive and rapidly growing fanatical theocracy with visions of murderous world destruction.
It is not clear at this time if the more seasoned, rational elites have control of this machine, or if a fanatical Rove/Schmidt theocratic faction within the neocon faction is truly on the verge of an unprecendented coup.
It is even less clear if its counterweight, the establishment neoliberal faction behind Obama, with its more obvious Wall Street backing, will even get a sniff at the White House, or survive another stolen election. The battle between the two corporate war factions will pave the way towards a certain horror.
With the world facing an energy crisis, world war over resources, an economic system on the verge of collapse, and other unprecedented catastrophes, is the American empire about to be handed over to typical fist-in-velvet glove neoliberals, or even more openly fascist regime in the eleventh hour, to complete the war and homeland militarization started with Bush-Cheney?
September 18, 2008
I was stunned by John McCain’s rash and poorly researched choice of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee. Happily, a woman can now credibly run for president or be nominated for vice president. However, no one can pretend that Palin is the most qualified Republican woman available to competently step into the role of President of the United States if the need arose. All else being equal, would someone with her resume have been chosen if she were a frumpy looking middle-aged woman (without lipstick), or even a good looking man? I sincerely doubt it.
To favorably compare her sketchy experience to Barack Obama’s is irrelevant and misleading. Obama was chosen by millions of Americans looking for a new leader. Palin was chosen by one man looking to get elected. After hearing her snide acceptance speech at the Republican convention, I understand why McCain chose to use her as one of his stepping stones. It was a short-sighted choice made by a “maverick” campaigner, not by a thoughtful, responsible leader with America’s best interests at heart. If this is the way McCain makes important decisions that could potentially affect the security of all Americans, not to mention the rest of the world, what kind of president would he be?
September 14, 2008
Charlie Gibson asks Palin about some of the animal research I wrote about earlier in the week:
GIBSON: Governor, this year, requested $3.2 million for researching the genetics of harbor seals, money to study the mating habits of crabs. Isn’t that exactly the kind of thing that John McCain is objecting to?
PALIN: Those requests, through our research divisions and fish and game and our wildlife departments and our universities, those research requests did come through that system, but wanting it to be in the light of day, not behind closed doors, with lobbyists making deals with Congress to stick things in there under the public radar. That’s the abuse that we’re going to stop. That’s what John McCain has promised over and over for these years and that’s what I’m joining him, also, saying, you’re right, the abuse of earmarks, it’s un-American, it’s undemocratic, and it’s not going to be accepted in a McCain-Palin administration. Earmark abuse will stop.
Her answer — that this is serious research approved by the experts — is the same one that the grizzly researchers McCain has mocked gave.
In the interview, she also defended her “bridge to nowhere” positions, admitting no contradictions.
The reality seems to be that, as governors go, she’s really quite skeptical of earmarks, but not the sort of categorical foe of the projects that McCain has been — and as really only a federal official can be. It’s very difficult for local officials to actually oppose federal money for their communities, and in fact, Palin sought it; it’s the attempt to cast her has a principled earmark foe that’s gotten her into trouble.
September 14, 2008
In a brief 15-minute speech before a raucous Carson City crowd of about 5,000, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin promised on Saturday to “shake things up” in Washington, D.C. if she and U.S. Sen. John McCain are elected in November.
In remarks laden with the campaign themes of McCain’s military service and promises of reform, Palin trumpeted her record as a small-town mayor and first-term governor in Alaska and vowed to take her track record to Washington D.C.
“I reminded people there that government is not always the answer,” she said. “In fact, too often, government is the problem.”
Despite the increasingly caustic barbs traded by McCain and his Democratic rival U.S. Sen. Barack Obama on the campaign trail this week, Palin did not use her first solo stump speech to go on the attack, largely in deference to those suffering from Hurricane Ike.
Instead, she continued to introduce herself to voters, repeating many of the same lines from her widely-acclaimed acceptance speech.
“As mayor and governor, I did try to lead by example,” Palin said. “I took a voluntary pay cut, which didn’t thrill my husband. I cut the personal chef from the budget, that didn’t thrill my hungry kids. And I put the state’s check book online for everyone to see and that didn’t thrill bureaucrats.”
In the face of growing criticism, Palin refused to drop a line from her stump speech that brags about her canceling the nation’s most infamous example of runaway earmark spending, the “Bridge to Nowhere.”
“I told Congress thanks but no thanks on the bridge to nowhere, that if our state wanted to build that bridge, we would build it ourselves,” Palin told the crowd.
According to the non-partisan PolitiFact.com, Palin campaigned for governor on a platform that supported building the bridge between two small communities in Alaska.
She only canceled the project after Congress stopped the funding in the wake of the project becoming a national symbol of wasteful spending.
The Obama campaign disputed that McCain and Palin would “shake things up” in Washington D.C.
“All they really stand for is more of the same,” Obama’s Nevada spokesman Jeff Giertz said. “On issues of importance to Nevadans, especially issues important to Nevada women, like equal pay and the right to choose, they are going to continue to sell the policies of the previous administration.
“Barack Obama is going to Washington to stand up and bring the change we need.”
Palin’s first campaign swing through Nevada was brief. She arrived at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport about 4:30 p.m., traveled directly to Carson City, spoke for about 15 minutes and then worked the rope line for another half an hour.
She then flew to Denver.
Excitement for GOP in Carson
At the event, Republican voters, beleaguered by the early momentum of the Obama campaign as well as widespread discontent with the GOP brand, repeatedly described Palin as a “breath of fresh air.”
“She’s just what we needed,” said Jan McMahon, who drove from Reno to see Palin’s speech. “She shows we’re not just doing the same old thing.”
“I knew it was going to be a close campaign, but I’m more optimistic now. We’ve got our second wind.”
Lynn Sheeketski, of Carson City, described herself as a reluctant McCain supporter until Palin joined the ticket.
“Having her on the ticket brings back good values — taking responsibility for her actions. She’s not afraid to mention God,” Sheeketski said.
Palin’s visit, followed by a planned visit by Obama to Elko on Wednesday, is an indication of the attention both campaigns are putting on the rural areas of the state, which were largely overlooked in 2004.
“George Bush won our state because of rural Nevada twice,” U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., said to the crowd. “If you want John McCain and Sarah Palin to be in the White House come January, it is going to be up to rural Nevada to turn out in numbers like we’ve never seen before.”
Palin acknowledged U.S. Rep. Dean Heller, R-Carson City, who is facing a contested reelection campaign against Democrat Jill Derby.
To crowd chants of “Drill, baby, drill,” Palin promised Alaska and Nevada would be on the forefront of helping the country achieve energy independence.
“He knows what needs to be done,” she said.
September 14, 2008
Sarah Palin is being heralded by many as a “maverick,” energizing the Republican base and willing to stand up to the status quo. In fact her politics are among the most extremist, and do not reflect the positions of most Republicans, Democrats or independents.
If John McCain (72 years old) is elected and dies in office, Palin would become president, making her the most powerful person on our planet.
Here is a sampling of my deep concerns about this candidate. Palin:
Doesn’t believe that humans contribute to global warming. “I’m not one who would attribute it to being man-made.”
Is extremely anti-choice, and doesn’t support abortion even in the case of rape or incest.
Opposes comprehensive sex-ed in public schools, and supports only abstinence-only approaches.
Wants creationism to be taught in public schools.
Has no foreign policy experience, or experience with statesmanship. What would she do with that emergency “3 a.m. phone call”?
Would have the power to appoint Supreme Court justices for a lifetime of repressive politics from the bench of the highest court in the nation.
According to a resident of Wasilla, Alaska, during her six years as mayor, Palin increased general government expenditures by over 33 percent. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million.
September 12, 2008
Source: Seattle PI
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska — In her first televised interview since being named to the GOP ticket, Sarah Palin says she’s ready to be president if called upon. However, she sidestepped questions on whether she had the national security credentials needed to be commander in chief.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain has defended his running mate’s qualifications, citing her command of the Alaska National Guard and Alaska’s proximity to Russia.
In the interview broadcast Thursday, Palin sought to defend her qualifications to assume one of the most powerful jobs in the world. But she struggled with foreign policy, unable to describe President Bush’s doctrine of pre-emptive strikes against threatening nations and acknowledging she’s never met a foreign head of state.
Pressed about what insights into recent Russian actions she gained by living in Alaska, Palin told Charles Gibson of ABC News, “They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”
Palin, 44, has been Alaska’s governor for less than two years and before that was a small-town mayor. She was McCain’s surprise selection for the No. 2 slot on the ticket, raising questions about her readiness to serve in the White House, particularly during wartime.
Asked whether those were sufficient credentials, Palin said: “It is about reform of government and it’s about putting government back on the side of the people, and that has much to do with foreign policy and national security issues.” She said she brings expertise in making the country energy independent as a former chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Palin said other than a trip to visit soldiers in Kuwait and Germany last year, her only other foreign travel was to Mexico and Canada. She also said she had never met a head of state and added: “If you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you.”
Foreign policy questions dominated the first of three interviews Palin was giving Gibson over two days.
In the interview Thursday, Palin:
-Appeared unsure of the Bush doctrine – essentially that the United States must help spread democracy to stop terrorism and that the nation will act pre-emptively to stop potential foes.
Asked whether she agreed with that, Palin said: “In what respect, Charlie?” Gibson pressed her for an interpretation of it. She said: “His world view.” That prompted Gibson to say “no, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war” and describe it to her.
“I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation,” Palin said, though added “there have been mistakes made.”
Pressed repeatedly on whether the United States could attack terrorist hideouts in Pakistan without the country’s permission, she said: “If there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.”
-Said nuclear weapons in Iran’s hands are dangerous, and said “we’ve got to put the pressure on Iran.” Asked three times what her position would be if Israel felt threatened enough to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, Palin repeatedly said the United States shouldn’t “second guess” Israel’s steps to secure itself.
-Called for Georgia and the Ukraine to be included in NATO, a treaty that requires the U.S. to defend them militarily. She also said Russia’s attack into Georgia last month was “unprovoked.” Asked to clarify that she’d support going to war over Georgia, she said: “Perhaps so.”
Later, in the second interview, Palin said she broke from McCain on climate change and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. McCain has said humans have caused climate change and the federal government shouldn’t permit drilling in the federally protected wildlife reserve.
Palin, however, said: “I believe that man’s activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change. … Regardless though of the reason for climate change, whether it’s entirely, wholly caused by man’s activities or is part of the cyclical nature of our planet – the warming and the cooling trends – regardless of that, John McCain and I agree that we gotta do something about it.”
On ANWR, she said: “We’ll agree to disagree but I’m gonna keep pushing that and I think eventually we’re all gonna come together on that one.”
September 12, 2008
More absurdity in John McCain’s presidential campaign with a manufactured controversy over Barack Obama using the term “lipstick on a pig” in a speech [news story, Sept. 10, “Palin’s Popularity Throws Off Dems”].
The McCain camp immediately raised a furor over Obama’s use of the expression, saying it denigrated Sarah Palin. (Remember her convention speech in which she said the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick?) What short memories they have.
Several months ago, McCain was speaking about Hillary Clinton’s health care proposals and said, “You can’t put lipstick on that pig.”
When will the electorate wake up and realize that McCain is wearing his former prisoner-of-war status as a Teflon shield the same way the neocons use the American flag?
Please, whichever side you choose, do your duty as an American: Study, compare, register and vote. Make your voice heard on Nov. 4.
Barack Obama says his “lipstick on a pig” comment was not aimed at Sarah Palin, and the response from the right is “phony outrage.” He is either not telling the truth or is unintentionally admitting to, at best, startlingly poor judgment.
Obama’s party trumpets its supposed sensitivity toward women, and he is lauded for his nuance. Both seem utterly lacking in this instance. If he did not get that this reference to pigs and lipstick dovetails with Palin’s speech, and has apparently been interpreted as such by many of his own adherents, he is out of touch with reality.
There was something akin to phony outrage expressed in his statement Wednesday. Obama denied there could be any valid reason to interpret his statement as a slur against Palin. Had he said, “I understand how my words may have been perceived negatively, but that was not my intention,” it would have gone a long way toward limiting the damage this error will cause.
The damage? A loss of some votes, mostly among women who will remember that Obama can be perceived to have called Palin a pig, and then said, in effect, that anyone who had come to an opinion different from that of the Democratic National Committee and MSNBC was some kind of partisan prig.
In a tight race, the loss of these votes might be enough to cause a loss for his party. This episode negates the concept that superior judgment makes Obama’s limited experience unimportant enough to discount.
September 12, 2008
The 2008 Republican National Convention held in St. Paul, Minn., was a lot like its Democratic counterpart, much preaching to the choir, pageantry and general blah, blah, blah. However, John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin, a 44-year-old woman as his vice presidential running mate, was, like Barack Obama’s nomination as Democratic presidential candidate, another historic moment in American history!
Interesting, however, is the fact that before the Republican convention, virtually no one had ever heard of Sarah Palin.
Well, Sarah really fired up the Republican base! She is an attractive, intelligent, articulate speaker, who is no stranger to the podium. She’s feisty and fun to listen to. Nevertheless, her ability to be second in command, able to run this country, is another matter entirely.
McCain’s pick, is also odd, in that up until a month ago, his campaign was all about experience, and how critically important it is. His pick for a V.P., a clearly inexperienced political who he had previously met only twice, certainly doesn’t fit.
We know that Obama’s successful mantra has been all about change, “yes we can.” Now, however, out of the clear blue, we have McCain working feverishly to take that mantle and wear it himself, with proclamations that he and the Republicans are the party of change.
For a fellow who claims to have voted with President George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, “change” does not fit either.
Maybe, if your mojo isn’t working for you, and the other guy’s is — well, you know the old adage, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
September 12, 2008
Source: The Maneater
The Republican National Convention is over and John McCain and Sarah Palin are our Republican nominees for this presidential showdown. I was very disappointed with the convention, but then again, I’m a Democrat. The only positive thing was Cindy McCain. Personally, I love that woman and admire her international charity work. Otherwise, the convention was insulting and full of hypocrisy.
Throughout the entire convention, the Republicans praised their nominee, ignored fellow Republican President George Bush and mocked the Democrats. They also complained about the problems in America but did not offer any real solutions or an agenda for the next four years.
In her acceptance speech, Palin said, “Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay … Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America … Government is too big … Congress spends too much … Taxes are too high.”
She used these scare tactics to smite Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, but the question I have for Palin is: Who has been in charge for the last eight years?
The biggest insult to injury was Palin’s criticism of Obama’s early start as a community organizer. Palin chastised, “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.” I find this incredibly insulting because I believe we are all community organizers.
My responsibility as a community organizer is to fight political apathy and to register people to vote, regardless of political choice, on our campus. Palin forgets that Obama worked for more people and had more responsibility as a community organizer in the south side of Chicago than she did in her small town of Wasilla, Alaska.
Community organizers are the backbone of this country. They keep kids off the streets and neighborhoods clean. Palin might want to choose her words carefully before she insults the millions of hard-working community organizers in this country.
Palin has been the hot topic of all the media outlets and for good reasons. Although she might seem to be the radical choice that saved the McCain campaign, in reality all she did was unify the unwary conservative base – she has not reached out to the moderate and undecided voters. In fact, a lot of the stories on Palin are about her hypocrisy. Republicans accuse the media of liberal bias, but they really are just reporting on undeniable facts. Choosing Palin as the nominee for vice president was a risky, political move and it will backfire.
For my campaign to fight political apathy, I want to know what my fellow Tigers think of this political race. Do you approve or disapprove of Sarah Palin? Write a letter or guest column to The Maneater or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your opinion matters to me.
This presidential race will be the most pivotal, historic and important race of our lifetimes. I hope that you find the time to become informed and get involved, regardless of your political persuasion.
On a non-politics-related note, I also hope you support the Tigers in what will be the most pivotal, historic and important football season in our lifetimes! Go Mizzou!