Sep 112008
 

I’ve been trying to see how (or if) the dust would settle around Sarah Palin prior to writing a post about my feelings on the subject. It doesn’t appear the dust is settling, as John McCain hides behind her skirt. So I’m going to offer up my two-cents on the nomination. (Did you think I’d do otherwise?)

I’ve been unable to discern Palin’s motivation for her move into politics, and her acceptance of this nomination, but I’m feeling like she’s a great fit on the Republican ticket. I really do not get the sense that Palin is truly interested in public service, but in having power and taking what she can from it. She has definitely shown herself to be pushy and arrogant when holding public office.

As Mayor of Wasilla, AK, Palin fired the popular town Librarian for refusing to ban books that Palin didn’t like. This clearly shows an abusive side, and anyone wanting to ban books based on their belief system is scary to me. I encourage every person to develop their own set of beliefs, and work to instill those in their children and family, but you’re not entitled, in America, to dictate to me.

Oh, but what was I thinking…that was not America, but Alaska, and Sarah Palin and her husband seemed to be affiliated with a political group advocating the secession of Alaska from the Union. This may be, in fact, one of the more disturbing things that’s been uncovered about Palin. She was a member, never was a member, her husband definitely was, (it’s all being clouded by the Republicans) but she definitely gave a talk, as Governor, welcoming the group to one of their meetings, and invited them to, “keep up the good work.” Now, do I believe that Sarah Palin wants Alaska to secede from the Union? Actually I don’t think so, but that just means her little welcome speech was so much bullshit, meaning she’s prepared to say whatever it takes to score political points.

Palin would never support Alaska pulling out of the Union, because she takes too much money from Washington, by way of earmarks. All this money to a state that has no income taxes, and rebates money to it’s citizens every year. Now some would say that’s how the system works, and a good governor tries to get all the money out of Washington he/she can. I’d say that’s true. The problem is the ad naseum repetition of a stump speech in which Palin claims to be an agent of change, of being against the system of Washington earmarks, and of how she told Congress ”no thanks” on that bridge to nowhere. It is now indisputably established that Sarah Palin supported that project, and even campaigned on the issue two years ago. She turned against it only when the Congress was about to cancel the project…and she kept the money. In fact, one of the bridge approaches has been under construction the past two years, even though there are no plans to build the bridge. Again, a person prepared to say anything, even outright lie, for political gain. A good Republican candidate. Don’t lie and say you’re against a system that you so vociferously took advantage of.

Palin has billed the State over $16,000 dollars for food and lodging while she’s at home instead of in the State Capital. She’s charged the state over $43,000 for her daughters to travel between Juneau and her home.

Speaking of fiscal management, here is what a longtime resident of Wascilla who has watched Palin up close for years had to say about her:

During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million.

Then there is troopergate. Strong evidence indicates that as part of a nasty divorce in her family, Palin ordered the head of the Alaska Highway Patrol to fire her (soon to be ex) brother-in-law. Just like as Mayor, when he refused to do her bidding, she fired him. Much is being made of this, and if we’re lucky, it has some legs.

The Republicans and pundits were all over Barack Obama for things said by his minister that appeared to negatively portray America. Barack wasn’t even at church that day, but Palin sat through a few Pentecostal sermons that were not very patriotic. Senior Pastor Ed Kalnin of Wasilla Assembly of God Church in Wasilla, Alaska, where Governor Palin was a member until 2002, made the following comments about John Kerry back during the 2002 election suggesting that voting for Kerry would result in a person going to hell. ”I’m not going tell you who to vote for, but if you vote for this particular person [Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry], I question your salvation. I’m sorry.”

And for those Jewish people thinking they should vote for the McCain-Palin ticket, CNN online writes of her current church, Wasilla Bible Church:

David Brickner, the founder of Jews for Jesus, was a speaker. He told congregants that terrorist attacks on Israel were God’s “judgment” of Jews who haven’t embraced Christianity. Brickner said, “Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. When a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can’t miss it.”

Now, do I believe people should be held accountable for every idiotic thing that streams from the mouth of their preacher…God no! But that didn’t stop the Republicans from being all over Obama for things Jeremiah Wright said, so they set the standard. Where’s the outrage against Palin for these comments?   Continue reading »

Sep 022008
 

I agree with Obama that, generally speaking, families should be off limits. I also agree that things don’t always work out in life like you expect or hope in families. Certainly that’s been true for me and my family in any number of ways. But Sarah Palin has had some things to say about Gay people, so if she’s going to put down my family, she makes her’s a target. So I’ll write this one post about the situation with Palin’s daughter, and then it’s over.

First, I can’t believe that the krazy kristian kooks are all over this applauding it as some kind of good thing because Bristol chose to “Keep” the baby and get married. Only in the world of red states is it a good thing when an underage unmarried 17 year old gets pregnant.

Of course, it’s a little of “like mother-like daughter.” It appears that the Palin’s eloped and were married on August 29, 1988. Seems their first child was born EIGHT months later. So Bristol had a great role model. One who is a staunch supporter of abstinence only sex education…so that didn’t work out so well, now did it.

They also seem to be making a big thing about the fact that Bristol is “choosing” to keep the baby. I thought Palin was an arch anti-choice/pro-life candidate. So what’s up with this thing of her daughter having “a choice” in the matter. Oh, right…this is Republican world…the rules apply to everyone but them.

From Politico:

“We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby,” she and her husband said in a statement. Unsaid in the statement is that Palin, based on her past views, would prefer that her daughter not be given a choice.

Ben Smith goes on to note, in the same article:

Democrats noted, before and after today’s announcement, that Palin took a hard line on a question in 2006 from the conservative Eagle Forum Alaska:

Q: Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?

SP: Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.

So yes, I think families are generally off limits, but when you make “family values” a cornerstone of your political philosophy, then we get to take a good hard look at what your family values are, and Sarah, you’re a hypocrite. Don’t stick your nose in the family affairs of other people until you get your own house in order.

Feb 202006
 

Here’s my final word this truly a sorry scandal. I think what happened is pretty clear:

Cheney and his friends sat around the ranch having a few drinks Saturday, then decided to do a little shooting. The VP shot a guy. Cheney’s handlers cover the situation by arranging for Dick to be interviewed by the local constabulary the next morning.

They didn’t release info immediately because if the guy died, they would want to find someone else to pin the shooting on (That’s why Mr. Whittington has been receiving care from Cheney’s very own doctors). It also probably means the guy is injured far more than anyone wants to admit.

The story leaked much to their disappointment. Maybe they were trying to set up the ranch owner to take the fall, and she wasn’t buying, but who knows.

Cheney has never understood the essence of public life (it’s public). He still sees himself as the biggest of the corporate big-whigs, and as such, not answerable to American Citizens. (We just keep getting in his way.) He doesn’t care whether Bush knew or not. Bush isn’t the man, Dick is. W reports to him. He’s certainly not interested in a heart-felt apology, because we know the guy’s heart is dead (not only physically, but spiritually as well). Although he talked on Fox about how tragic this is, and how sorry he is. It was only ONE of his worst days. I’m not sure about you, but I think if I shot someone, especially a friend by accident, it would probably go right to top of my worst day list, and I’ve had some bad ones.

It is another travesty in this lost democracy, and certainly just another example of the arrogance and lack of accountability by the people in this administration. I detest them all as much as anyone, and am sick that they do stuff like this and get away with it.

I think we can all stipulate to the above. However, Dick Cheney getting drunk and shooting someone while hunting is the least of our worries. While the Press has been looking the other way, the Bush Administration has managed to pretty much derail any Congressional Investigation of the domestic spying scandal. Bush is sneaking Healthcare and Social Security privatization into the budget. I think the war in Iraq, the coming war in Iran, the Constitutional violations by the Administration, and the federal budget are issues that have far greater impact on each of us.

Dick screwed the pooch big time, tried to cover it up, got caught, is arrogant and doesn’t believe he has to be apologetic or take responsibility for anything. We can rant and rave here all we want, it will NOT change who Dick Cheney is, and does nothing to protect our Country. We must remain focused on limiting the damage Cheney and team can do to our democracy. Don’t let them sidetrack us with things like extended discussions of the spread characteristics of birdshot, and what time the sun set in Texas that day. It does nothing to protect our Democracy.

Please…Let’s get back to the important stuff. (Karl Rove is loving these threads.)

Dead Eye Dick

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Feb 132006
 

By now, I’m sure most everyone has heard about the Vice President shooting his "friend" Harry Whittington. I’m sure accidents can happen, but a whole lot of this story sure does not add up.

Let’s run down the list. Of course the VP’s office is blaming the mishap on Whittington. He supposedly walked up on the VP without the VP knowing it. So, what’s the Secret Service for. This would mean the Secret Service allowed a man with a gun to sneak up on the Vice President of the United States.

The owner of the hunting ranch, and an eyewitness, was supposedly told by the Vice President’s office to be the person to release the information the press. But of course, not until after she got a late night call from Karl Rove. And then, despite the guy being in the intensive care unit after having taken nearly 200 pellets in his face and torso, she describes it lightly by saying he merely got "peppered" pretty good.

During lunch today I watched Presidential Press Secretary, Scott McClellan’s, press conference. Despite the whole thing happening at 5pm, McClellan says the President wasn’t told that Cheney was the shooter until late in the evening, and McClellan wasn’t told until 6am Sunday. His excuse…they were gathering the facts. Come on, the Vice President shot someone, and no one was sure what happened?

A deputy sheriff was not allowed to interview the VP at the time, and oh, these were two married men on a hunting trip with two women, not their wives. The Secret Service arranged to have the Sheriff interview Cheney Sunday morning.

So my guess is that the VP and his party had been doing some drinking. They might have even thought they just wouldn’t admit that Cheney was the shooter. I’m thinking that Whittington was more injured than we’ve been lead to believe. He was flown out by helicopter. I think they were all afraid he might die, so no one was willing to take the fall for Cheney. So the first report was that someone in the VP’s hunting party got shot, but apparently they weren’t even telling the White House who did the shooting. I’d say they didn’t want any record of having admitted it was Dick until they could try to get one of the other people to take the fall.

No one would step up, and maybe they even pissed this Armstrong lady off in the process, so she went to the press. Then Karl called to smooth things over, so she softened story. I’d say it wouldn’t be a good idea for her to go hunting again with the Vice President.

Oct 252005
 

The Bush administration wasn’t happy when the Senate overwhelmingly voted to limit and define U.S. interrogation techniques against terrorism suspects. Vice President Cheney is now attempting to exempt the Central Intelligence Agency from this measure. His proposal "states that the measure barring inhumane treatment shall not apply to counterterrorism operations conducted abroad or to operations conducted by ‘an element of the United States government’ other than the Defense Department." The CIA is believed to be involved in several torture scandals in Iraq, including situations where detainees have died, but has refused to release any data on detainee abuse. "This is the first time they’ve said explicitly that the intelligence community should be allowed to treat prisoners inhumanely," said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. "In the past, they’ve only said that the law does not forbid inhumane treatment."

Sep 212005
 

Not only did Halliburton’s KBR subsidiary serve U.S. troops in Iraq spoiled food (sometimes a year past the expiration date), but also contaminated water from Iraq’s Euphrates River, containing "numerous pathogenic organisms" at nearly two times the normal contamination levels of untreated water. "[R]aw sewage is routinely dumped less than two miles from the water intake location." KBR water quality specialists reported their concerns, but were told by their superiors that their claims were "erroneous" and "corrective measures" had been taken, with no evidence anything had been done. Two whistleblowers resigned because of "unsafe water and pressure to cover it up" (one became sick from the drinking water) and another expects to  be terminated soon.

So now they’re being unleashed on the citizens of the Gulf Coast as well. Ya know, quite frankly, in words of our Vice President, to all of you that voted President Cheney and W into office, "Go fuck yourselves."

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