Monday, September 01, 2008

Who will be the Next Vice-President?

Joseph Biden
How I Learned to Love the New World Order
Biden, Joseph R Jr.
Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Apr 23, 1992. pg. A13

Imagine my surprise when a Wall Street Journal editorial appointed me dean of the Pat Buchanan school of neo-isolationism. My credentials? Believing that the Pentagon's new strategy -- America as "Globocop" -- could render the United States a hollow superpower. All agree we need the military capacity to defend our vital interests -- by ourselves when need be. The question is grand strategy. With the Journal's endorsement, the Pentagon has called for a Pax Americana: The U.S. should cast so large a military shadow that no rival dare emerge.
American hegemony might be a pleasant idea, but is it economically, politically or even militarily wise? Bristling with weapons, we would continue our economic decline, while rising industrial and financial giants in Europe and Asia viewed our military pretensions with indifference or contempt.
Defense Secretary Dick Cheney outdid even the Journal, dipping deep into the well of Cold War argumentation to accuse Pax Americana critics of thinking "America's world presence is somehow immoral and dangerous." Why doesn't the Journal stop the namecalling, get its schools sorted out, and court an honest debate over America's proper role in the new world order?
Pat Buchanan's "America First" preaches martyrdom: We've been suckered into fighting "other" people's battles and defending "other" people's interests. With our dismal economy, this siren song holds some appeal.
But most Americans, myself included, reject 1930s-style isolationism. They expect to see the strong hand of American leadership in world affairs, and they know that economic retreat would yield nothing other than a lower standard of living. They understand further that many security threats -- the spread of high-tech weapons, environmental degradation, overpopulation, narcotics trafficking, migration -- require global solutions.
What about America as globocop? First, our 21st-century strategy has to be a shade more clever than Mao's axiom that power comes from the barrel of a gun. Power also emanates from a solid bank balance, the ability to dominate and penetrate markets, and the economic leverage to wield diplomatic clout.
Second, the plan is passive where it needs to be aggressive. The Journal endorses a global security system in which we destroy rogue-state threats as they arise. Fine, but let's prevent such problems early rather than curing them late. Having contained Soviet communism until it dissolved, we need a new strategy of "containment" -- based, like NATO, on collective action, but directed against weapons proliferation.
The reality is that we can slow proliferation to a snail's pace if we stop irresponsible technology transfers. Fortunately, nearly all suppliers are finally showing restraint. The maverick is China, which persists in hawking sensitive weapons and technology to the likes of Syria, Iran, Libya, Algeria and Pakistan -- even while pledging otherwise.
The Senate has tried to force China's leaders to choose between Third World arms sales (1991 profits of $500 million) and open trade with the U.S. (a $12.5 billion annual Chinese surplus). Even though we have convincing intelligence that China's leaders fear the use of this leverage, the president inexplicably refuses to challenge Beijing.
Weapons containment can't be foolproof; and against a nuclear-armed North Korea, I would support pre-emptive military action if necessary. But let's do our best -- using supplier restraint and sanctions against outlaw sellers and buyers-to avoid having to round up the posse.Why not an anti-proliferation "czar" in the cabinet to give this objective the prominence it urgently needs?
Third, Pax Americana is a direct slap at two of our closest allies -- Japan and Germany -- and a repudiation of one of our panel1. Rather than denigrating collective security, we should regularize the kind of multilateral response we assembled for the Gulf War. Why not breathe life into the U.N. Charter? great postwar triumphs. For years, American leaders argued that building democracy in Europe and Asia would guarantee stability because democracies don't start wars. Now the Pentagon says we must keep our military large enough to persuade Japan and Germany "not to aspire to a greater role even to protect their legitimate interests.
"How has our success suddenly become a threat? It hasn't, but the Pentagon plan could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. By insulting Tokyo and Berlin, and arrogating to ourselves military stewardship of the world, we may spark the revival no one wants.
Secretary Cheney says he wants the allies to share the burden on defense matters. But Pax Americana puts us on the wrong end of a paradox: Hegemony means that even our allies can force ever greater U.S.defense spending the more they try to share the burden!
Fourth, collective security doesn't rule out unilateral action. The Journal says I'm among those who want "Americans . . . to trust their security to a global committee." But no one advocates that we repeal the "inherent" right of self-defense enshrined in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.
Secretary Cheney says his plan wouldn't undermine support for the U.N. Who would know better than the U.N.'s usually understated secretary general? If implemented, says Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Pentagon's strategy would spell "the end of the U.N." Rather than denigrating collective security, we should regularize the kind of multilateral response we assembled for the Gulf War. Why not breathe life into the U.N. Charter? It envisages a permanent commitment of forces, for use by the Security Council. That means a presumption of collective action -- but with a U.S. veto.
Rather than defending military extravagance, the Bush administration should be reallocating Pentagon funds to meet more urgent security needs: sustaining democracy in the former Soviet empire; supporting U.N. peacekeepers in Yugoslavia, Cambodia and El Salvador; and rebuilding a weakened and debt-burdened America.
If Pentagon strategists and their kneejerk supporters could broaden their horizons, they would see how our superpower status is best assured. We must get lean militarily, revitalize American economic strength, and exercise a diplomatic leadership that puts new muscle into institutions of collective security.

Joseph Biden: Liar, Cheat, Traitor
By: Devvy Kidd August 25, 2008
© 2008 -

Back on December 18, 2006, I wrote a column on Joseph Biden's decision to once again run for president. Biden has now been tapped as Marxist Barack Hussein Obama's choice for vice-president. One columnist wrote this was akin to a Watergate suicide. Biden was dropped like a hot potato by the DNC in 1998 when he ran for president because Biden was exposed as a liar and cheat, although now it seems to be a qualifier for both the Democrat and Republican parties. I'm not a Republican and I would never vote a despicable person like Juan McCain. Like Obama, Biden plagiarized someone else's speech. Biden also plagiarized in law school; NY Times article back in 1987.
Some boob tube pundits have remarked that Joseph Biden is a "cultural Catholic." A what? There is no such thing as a cultural Catholic. You either follow Church doctrine or you're a heretic. Biden believes Roe v Wade should stand, but believes life begins at conception. So, while Biden believes a baby is a human life at conception, he believes it's okay that nine men on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it's legal to kill that human life. Biden believes that sodomite and lesbian marriages are inevitable, but doesn't support them. However, he is considered to be pro sexual deviants and their causes. (Voted yes to expand unconstitutional hate crime laws to 'sexual orientation.') The Catholic Church forbids abortion and the abomination of sodomy and lesbian sex. Clearly, while professing to be a 'practicing Catholic,' Biden has cherry picked which of God's laws and the Church he will uphold.
One has to wonder why Obama would pick someone not close to his own beliefs on these issues. Obama supports sexual deviants and partial birth abortion. Read how a baby is murdered in graphic detail during a partial birth abortion procedure; it's called infanticide. Obama's much bally-hooed accomplishments are so blown out of proportion it's pathetic. His one and only piece for the Harvard Law Review was his zealous support of unlimited abortion: "In a discussion of abortion itself, Obama wrote that government has more important business than "ensuring that any particular fetus is born." That's just the tip of Obama's black heart:
"Mr. Obama had the audacity to open a stadium rally by saying, "All praise and glory to God!" but says that Christian leaders speaking for life and marriage have "hijacked" — hijacked — Christianity. He is pro-partial birth abortion, and promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will rule any restriction on it unconstitutional. He espouses the abortion views of Margaret Sanger, one of the early advocates of racial cleansing."
In the interview cited above, Biden also makes this statement which I pointed out in my December 18, 2006, column cited above: "Well, I was 29 years old when I came to the US Senate." It's also in his official bio here: "Joe Biden has represented the state of Delaware in the United States Senate since 1972, when he was elected at the age of twenty-nine."
Wait one minute. Art. 1, Sec. 3, says: "No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years....." The fraudulent ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment did not change the age requirement in the U.S. Constitution. How did he get "elected" to office when he clearly did not meet the age requirement? In his own words, Biden says he was elected at age 29, not 30.
Joseph Biden is also a traitor. I don't use that word lightly, but Biden has clearly shown by his own words and actions over the decades that he is for a one world government: a one world banking system, one world religion (new age), one military force, world regional government. Joseph Biden by his own words and actions has been a participant in bringing these united States of America into a one world order and for that, he is a traitor. [Read complete article at:]

Did Soros Pick Obama's Running Mate?
By Cliff Kincaid
August 31, 2008

The announcements from the left-wing Media Matters group get funnier all the time. The organization is complaining that some news outlets have accurately reported that Senator Joseph Biden, picked as Barack Obama’s running mate, was drummed out of the 1988 presidential race for plagiarism. Media Matters’ criticism of this truthful account is that Biden on some other occasions had given credit to the person he stole the words from—a British politician named Neil Kinnock.
“Media outlets reported allegations Biden plagiarized Kinnock, but not that he had previously credited him,” says the Media Matters headline. This is like saying that a convicted shoplifter paid for some items before and after he was caught stealing.
Why on earth was Biden using somebody else’s words, in the context of describing his own upbringing, in the first place?
It wasn’t just a matter of using a few words. You can see a striking comparison of the Biden and Kinnock speeches here. Ironically, this website, devoted to the proper techniques of college writing, says that plagiarism “can destroy a career.” It hasn’t destroyed Biden’s.
Rather than take the ridiculously absurd Media Matters line, New York Times reporters Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny reported that Biden “quit the 1988 presidential race in the face of accusations that he had plagiarized part of a speech from Neil Kinnock, the British Labor Party leader at the time” and that “Shortly afterward, he was found to have suffered two aneurysms.”
Are they trying to imply that his brain problems accounted for the plagiarism? That doesn’t make any sense because it was also discovered that Biden had been found guilty of plagiarism in law school. But the Times didn’t mention that. It also came out that Biden had lifted material from a Bobby Kennedy speech.
Dan Balz of the Washington Post took a different line. “Biden also will have his 1988 presidential campaign and the charges of plagiarism that drove him from the race resurrected, at least in these opening days as he is introduced as Obama’s running mate. But that experience is long in the past and probably does not present a significant problem,” he said.
On what basis does he make the conclusion that it probably won’t be a significant problem? There is none. This is simply the preference of the major media, which will do their best to make sure it is not a significant problem. But when plagiarism happens in journalism, it is supposed to be a big deal.
Taking a different tack, Fred Barnes, a writer for The Weekly Standard and Fox News Channel commentator, said Biden had a “tendency to exaggerate or embellish his accomplishments” but that his political career “has flourished” since these incidents. He decided not even to use the word plagiarism.
As children are sent off to school and parents and teachers tell them that they are not supposed to cheat in their studies, this is not an unimportant matter. How do you explain to your children that they should be honest in their studies when somebody guilty of plagiarism is a sitting member of the Senate and is running for vice-president? What does this say about the character and integrity of the presidential nominee who picked him? Obama must have figured that since the major media have failed to seriously examine his background, they would be prepared to overlook or at least minimize Biden’s history of plagiarism. It was a good bet.
This flawed nominee not only has a history of plagiarism but a record of making noxious comments, such as off-color remarks about people of color and congratulating Obama himself for being physically “bright and clean.” No Republican senator could have survived such a scandalous record of outrageous utterances.
A friend had a brief discussion with Biden during a book signing in the spring at Rehoboth, Delaware. Biden was autographing copies of Promises to Keep, which examines his life and Senate career, including the plagiarism incidents. This individual was greatly concerned about the role of George Soros in financing the drug legalization movement but knew that Biden had been generally supportive of the war on drugs. She asked for Biden’s help in exposing Soros’s influence in the political process. He replied, “I’ve been spending a lot of time with Soros lately.” That ended the discussion.
You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to detect the hidden hand of George Soros in Obama’s Biden pick.
The media pundits say that Biden has good foreign policy credentials. But that assumes that Biden has ideas of his own and is not “borrowing” them from somewhere else. Soros is probably the source of many of them. He has financially supported Obama, Biden and other Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee.

What the public has to understand—and the media are not making clear—is that Biden may be the strongest supporter of the United Nations in the entire Congress today. He even supports an International Criminal Court. Plus, he helped ram Obama’s pro-U.N. Global Poverty Act and the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Treaty through his Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The former was accomplished with no hearings and the latter with stacked hearings.
Years ago, Biden wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal (assuming that he actually wrote the article) under the headline, “How I Learned to Love the New World Order.” This can only be understood by taking into account a pamphlet entitled, “NATO and the New World Order,” written by billionaire George Soros, a major funder of Democratic Party politicians, including Biden, and the left-wing of the party. The Soros plan, which is identical to Biden’s, is to make NATO, once an anti-Communist alliance, into a military arm of the U.N.
As I have previously reported, back in 1993, during hearings conducted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden outlined the aggressive role that NATO was to play in Yugoslavia six years later under the Clinton Administration. Biden said that “organizing for collective security” meant “strengthening the U.N. by assigning to the Security Council certain pre-designated military forces and facilities” and “converting NATO into a military instrument for peacekeeping, and peacemaking, under U.N. or CSCE [Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe] auspices.”
Referring to Senator Claiborne Pell, then-chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who faithfully carried a copy of the U.N. Charter in his pocket, Biden said, “I will never forget, it must be 13, 14 years ago this man suggested to me that article 43 [of the U.N. Charter] was not used appropriately, we did not understand it, the world did not respond to it properly, and so on. And now he is sitting here giving me credit for initiating some congressional activity relating to article 43.” This is the part of the Charter referring to nation-states providing military assistance to the U.N. through various agreements.
The future of NATO, which was transformed into an offensive military alliance by President Clinton without the benefit of a treaty, should be a big issue of this campaign. Expanding NATO has meant committing the U.S. Armed Forces to the defense of countless more countries around the globe, even though NATO doesn’t have the strength, will or resources to defend them.
If NATO transformation and expansion had been undertaken in strict consultation with Congress and a new treaty submitted and ratified, that would be one thing. Instead, Clinton accomplished this mostly through executive action. Some conservative senators protested at the time, but eventually acceded to presidential power and started voting for new NATO members.
Senator John McCain seems to share the Soros-Biden “vision” of what NATO should be. He, like Obama, has called for the U.S. to be actively involved in growing international alliances, whether NATO or a proposed League of Democracies, that could get our Armed Forces involved in a series of conflicts and civil wars around the world that have absolutely nothing to do with U.S. national interests. Since NATO has proven to be incapable of seriously fighting terrorism in Afghanistan or even condemning Russia for its invasion of Georgia, the value of this 26-nation alliance, said to represent 900 million people, has to be questioned.
Even if Georgia had already joined NATO, does anybody seriously think NATO would have gone to war against Russia? The organization has become a paper tiger and substitute for the U.S. defending its own national security interests. It is a bipartisan disaster that has held out false hope to the freed peoples of the old Soviet republics.
In this context, it is significant that the McCain campaign has produced a TV ad that shows Biden saying on the Daily Show that “I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off.”
Highlighting such a comment may make Biden look foolish, as he continues attacking McCain during the campaign. But it will also highlight the fact that there’s really not a dime’s worth of difference between them on some critical foreign policy issues. It also makes McCain look foolish, since he comes across as grateful for the kind words of a disgraced foreign policy “thinker.”
© 2008 Cliff Kincaid - All Rights Reserved
Biden to Supporters: "Gird Your Loins", For the Next President "It's Like Cleaning Augean Stables"
October 20, 2008
ABC News' Matthew Jaffe Reports: Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., on Sunday guaranteed that if elected, Sen. Barack Obama., D-Ill., will be tested by an international crisis within his first six months in power and he will need supporters to stand by him as he makes tough, and possibly unpopular, decisions."Mark my words," the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy." "I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."Not only will the next administration have to deal with foreign affairs issues, Biden warned, but also with the current economic crisis. "Gird your loins," Biden told the crowd. "We're gonna win with your help, God willing, we're gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride. This president, the next president, is gonna be left with the most significant task. It's like cleaning the Augean stables, man. This is more than just, this is more than – think about it, literally, think about it – this is more than just a capital crisis, this is more than just markets. This is a systemic problem we have with this economy." The Delaware lawmaker managed to rake in an estimated $1 million total from his two money hauls at the downtown Sheraton, the same hotel where four years ago Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., clinched the Democratic nomination. Despite warning about the difficulties the next administration will face, Biden said the Democratic ticket is equipped to meet the challenges head on."I've forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know, so I'm not being falsely humble with you. I think I can be value added, but this guy has it," the Senate Foreign Relations chairman said of Obama. "This guy has it. But he's gonna need your help. Because I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, 'Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? Why is the polling so down? Why is this thing so tough?' We're gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years. So I'm asking you now, I'm asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you're going to have to reinforce us." "There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, 'Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don't know about that decision'," Biden continued. "Because if you think the decision is sound when they're made, which I believe you will when they're made, they're not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they're popular, they're probably not sound."Biden emphasized that the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border is of particular concern, with Osama bin Laden "alive and well" and Pakistan "bristling with nuclear weapons.""You literally can see what these kids are up against, our kids in that region," Biden said in recalling when his helicopter was forced down due to a snowstorm there. "The place is crawling with al Qaeda. And it's real." "We do not have the military capacity, nor have we ever, quite frankly, in the last 20 years, to dictate outcomes," he cautioned. "It's so much more important than that. It's so much more complicated than that. And Barack gets it."After speaking for just over a quarter of an hour, Biden noticed the media presence in the back of the small ballroom. "I probably shouldn't have said all this because it dawned on me that the press is here," he joked."All kidding aside, these guys have left us in a God-awful place," he then said of the Bush regime, promptly wrapping up his remarks. "We have the ability to straighten it out. It's gonna take a little bit of time, so I ask you to stay with us. Stay with us."
October 20, 2008
Sarah Palin
Did Sarah Palin Endanger the Life of Her Fifth Child? Or is the Swirling Rumor True?
Read on...It's One or the Other.Submitted by BuzzFlash on Sun, 08/31/2008 - 7:46am.

Here is the Rumor: Okay, It's a Sleazy Rumor that Palin Hid the Alleged Pregnancy of Her Daughter, Down in the Gutter. But This is Certainly a Curious Item from a Texas Paper in April Then, And Almost Inexplicable Considering Palin Allegedly Broke Her Bag of Water in Texas While at a Conference, But Insisted on Flying Back to Alaska to Deliver the Child After Giving a Speech. Now, That's Mighty Curious, Could Have Even Endangered the Child...Well, If It Was Her Child. This is a Real Story from a Real Texas Paper.
Here is the fact from the Texas Ft. Worth Star-Telegram in April:
From Alaskan NBC affiliate KTUU:Just yesterday, Palin was in Texas at a forum on energy with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and executives from four other states.
The governor's water broke during the energy conference but she stayed and gave a 30-minute speech before boarding an Alaska Airlines plane home to deliver the baby.
Palin gave birth to Trig Paxson Van Palin Friday at 6:30 a.m.
No word on why Palin was so determined to make sure young Trig wasn't born a Texan.
BuzzFlash Question: Okay, we've had a couple of kids and the doctors always said once the bag of water breaks rush to the hospital, don't mosey around. In fact, for our first child, my wife's bag of water broke while shopping for a washing machine at Sears. We called the ob-gyn and were told to get to the hospital right away.
Second of all, we don't believe any airline would knowingly fly a pregnant woman whose bag of water has broken.
Thirdly, delivering a speech and then flying several hours to Alaska to deliver a baby when Palin could have delivered at any number of fine hospitals in Texas is an act of endangering the life of the child.
We don't want to speculate any more on the highly complicated rumor that Palin was "bearding" for her allegedly pregnant daughter (although there is no proof of this except that the daughter was missing from school for several months, allegedly with mono), who some contest actually carried the child to birth. (Women generally get bigger during pregnancy after multiple births and after their 30s, but we saw alleged photos of Sarah Palin in her six month with nary a baby bump.)
So you tell us what you think of this rather odd story from a prominent Texas paper and Alaska television station. Tell us unrelated to the teenage pregnancy rumor. Tell us as a mother or father whether you would have endangered the birth of your child by giving a speech and then rather than entering a hospital, flying home to Alaska to deliver the child after your or your wife's water broke.
Is this respecting the life of the child?
So, we won't regard the rumor as anything but rumor.
Normally, women who are pregnant can fly without much concern, but this was a high-risk flight considering the immediate circumstances.
But Sarah Palin's judgment in regard to the birth of her fifth child is indeed something to question. If she is a "Feminist for Life," why did she choose to endanger her child (who was born with the genetically determined Down's Syndrome)? She, by her own admission, was already feeling contractions. The flight from Dallas to Anchorage is 8 hours.
Can you answer that question?
Please comment.
It sure does get to the issue of judgment.
How many mothers out there would take the same risk for their child and themselves given the same circumstances?
Remember, BuzzFlash is not talking about what might be a scurrilous rumor. We are talking about why Sarah Palin and her husband chose to put their fifth child at risk by not delivering in Texas, delivering a speech, and taking an 8-hour flight home after her bag of water broke. This is not rumor. This is fact.
Also, to those who say that the bag of water breaking doesn't mean imminent birth, Palin left Texas Thursday afternoon and gave birth shortly after getting off the Alaska Airlines flight. That's a big gamble, including potentially for the other passengers who might have to be diverted by a delivery on board, which is fine, except that Palin knew that she was taking a high risk given the circumstances.
Once the bag breaks and contractions begin, you need to be land bound where you can be monitored, not in the air when you don't have to be.
As for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?
-Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin Nomination is Brilliant
By Geoff Metcalf
September 2, 2008

“Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.” --Abraham Lincoln
The selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as the GOP Vice Presidential nominee is brilliant. Strategically and tactically, she is the perfect compliment to Senator John McCain, and “perfect storm” for the perpetually whiny Democrats.
“As a Democrat, I am reeling,” said Camille Paglia, the erstwhile and current cultural critic. “That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails.”
Democrats will need a chain saw to cut through the hypocrisy this year.
So now we have the party tickets for the ’08 Presidential Wannabes. Buckle up!
Perception versus reality is the challenge in most political theater. Obama has offered form over substance as an art form he has mastered. He is a highly skilled orator, expert at sparking warm and fuzzy feelings. However, demonstrated performance remains (for him) an elusive promise…if or when he is anointed.
In the wake of the usual Cecil de Milleish choreography of the DNC extravaganza in Denver, the GOP has thrown a hard curveball into the process. The announcement that the GOP Vice Presidential pick is Governor Palin has sent shockwaves through the ranks of the chattering class elite (and the DNC).
Governor Palin is way more than just a pretty face or just a political maverick. She is the real deal! Unlike her running mate or their opponents, Palin is the personification of both substance and principles…a for real “doer of deeds”. She has earned a reputation as a tax-cutter and corruption buster and (get this) has demonstrated “…it’s not a question of WHO is right or wrong (partisanship), but WHAT is right or wrong (principles) that counts.” HOOAH!
Democrat surrogates are sniping at her lack of experience (despite Barack’s painfully thin resume). They are dissing her ability to be Commander in Chief (ignoring her Command of the Alaska National Guard for two years). Candidly, Democrats are recycling most of the routine GOP criticisms of Obama. The obvious difference is that Palin is being offered as a complement to the GOP presidential candidate, whereas Obama is the Democrats candidate for President.
If it is possible to set aside partisan rancor for a brief moment and clinically analyze the Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/and Threats of all the candidates, some interesting parallels develop.1. GOP:
a - McCain brings heavy Senate Experience, Military Experience, Maturity, partisan maverick, and yeah, that POW credential that seems to annoy those who don’t have those scars. b - Palin is skinny with experience on the national scene; however, she is a bona fide strong partisan maverick, VERY conservative principles, doer of deeds who gets stuff done.c - Neither McCain nor Palin are partisan hacks. Both have been decried as RINOs. Both have significant accomplishments and compelling personal stories.
2. Dems:
a - Obama lacks experience in Senate, has no executive experience, VERY liberal policies, zero exposure to military. He may be a gifted speaker, but is way thin on demonstrated performance.b - Biden has heavy senate experience, maturity, partisan sycophant with a propensity for major gaffs. Oddly, he personifies the stereotype of the kind of “change” Obama rails against.
The Ketchikan Daily News recently observed, “Voters will be deciding in the general election whether they prefer an experienced president and less experienced vice president, or what the Democrats offer: a rising star for president and seasoned vice president. It won’t be far from anyone’s mind, either, that McCain is the oldest presidential candidate ever. … There are chinks in her armor. But she has a tendency to just move past them and continue to fight for what she believes in. Palin is energetic.”

Those Republicans who have struggled with “holding their nose and voting for the lesser of available evils” have to be jazzed at the introduction of a for real conservative, who not only talks the talk, but has routinely walked the walk, on matters both political and personal.
Principles matter. Many of my long time readers remain angry I could or would suggest McCain as the solution to Obama mania. I have tried (unsuccessfully) to explain that the republic is in distress because of liberal incrementalism which has consistently eroded our Constitutional gifts. Before we can restore the republic we have to slow and then attrite the liberal gains that challenge us.
Obama is anathema. Obama/Biden is an abomination. The Democrats offer a team of two rabid liberals. The Republicans offer a team of two principled conservatives of varying intensity.Herman Melville once wrote, “The grand principles of virtue and honor, however they may be distorted by arbitrary codes, are the same the world over: and where these principles are concerned, the right or wrong of any action appears the same to the uncultivated as to the enlightened mind.”
© 2008 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

John McCain's pick of Sarah Palin looks sudden and panicked -- an example of his leadership decisions?Submitted by Chad Rubel on Fri, 08/29/2008 - 10:16pm.

John McCain made a bold choice, a choice I wasn't sure he could make. But it's also a cynical choice. McCain wasn't searching for a vice president; he was searching for a symbol: working class family (to deflect attention away from his and Cindy's background) and gender (to recruit Hillary Clinton supporters).
Barack Obama made a choice on who could best govern. John McCain made a choice based on who would best win.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin fits a lot of what McCain wants politically. And after Obama didn't make a bold choice, there was significant reason to think McCain wanted to be that bold.
But it also felt like McCain reached his decision while watching Obama's speech in Denver. "Oh my gosh, Obama is from a broken family where his mother used food stamps at one point," McCain suddenly discovered.
When McCain said earlier this week he hadn't made up his mind, it was forgiven as something anyone would say in that circumstance. But it might have been true.
McCain had at least 6 months to think about this decision, the first major test for a presidential nominee. Obama had less than 3 months. Yet Obama's decisions looked thorough, researched, and well-measured. Throwing darts at pictures on a wall would have been more well thought-out than what McCain did.
Obama was humble enough to pick someone who could make him look better. McCain picked a scenario where he will call all the shots.
Despite the McCain personality shortfalls demonstrated in his pick, will he get the last laugh? Gov. Palin is young, fresh, and dynamic. She has a great story. And Palin is no Dan Quayle. While it's tempting to not take her seriously, Democrats should not let up.
However, Palin has served less than 2 years as Alaska's governor. Her other primary experience is mayor of a small town in Alaska (insert lack of population joke here). And the top of the ticket is 72 years old.
McCain scores points for being bold, and bringing excitement to the race. If he had to pick a woman with precious little experience, Sarah Palin was the one to choose.
But the attacks on Obama's experience will now become beyond hypocritical, since Obama is Joe Biden compared to Sarah Palin. And that might be the best news of all for Obama, Biden, and the Democrats.

Another Ethics Complaint Vs. Sarah Palin
By Oliver Willis
Published September 4, 2008

An ethics complaint obtained by NBC News was filed yesterday by the police officers’ union in Alaska, requesting a probe into possible wrongdoing by the governor or her office. It was brought on behalf of state trooper, Mike Wooten, the ex-brother in law of Palin, who is at the center of the ‘Troopergate’ scandal.
The complaint alleges that the governor or her staff may have have improperly disclosed information from Wooten’s personnel records. The complaint alleges ‘criminal penalties may apply.’
‘It seems obvious to us somebody has improperly accessed [Wooten's] personnel file,’ John Cyr, director of the union that filed the complaint, told NBC News.

Is This True?
[Sarah Palin] knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America. - John McCain, September 2008
Palin’s Start in Alaska: Not Politics as Usual
By William Yardley
September 3, 2008

WASILLA, Alaska — The world arrived here more than a century ago with the gold rush and later the railroad. Yet one aspect of American life did not come to town until 1996, the year Sarah Palin ran for mayor and Wasilla got its first local lesson in wedge politics.
The traditional turning points that had decided municipal elections in this town of less than 7,000 people — Should we pave the dirt roads? Put in sewers? Which candidate is your hunting buddy? — seemed all but obsolete the year Ms. Palin, then 32, challenged the three-term incumbent, John C. Stein.
Anti-abortion fliers circulated. Ms. Palin played up her church work and her membership in the National Rifle Association. The state Republican Party, never involved before because city elections are nonpartisan, ran advertisements on Ms. Palin’s behalf.
Two years after Representative Newt Gingrich helped draft the Contract With America to advance Republican positions, Ms. Palin and her passion for Republican ideology and religious faith overtook a town known for a wide libertarian streak and for helping start the Iditarod sled dog race.
“Sarah comes in with all this ideological stuff, and I was like, ‘Whoa,’ ” said Mr. Stein, who lost the election. “But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I’m not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: ‘We will have our first Christian mayor.’ ”
“I thought: ‘Holy cow, what’s happening here? Does that mean she thinks I’m Jewish or Islamic?’ ” recalled Mr. Stein, who was raised Lutheran, and later went to work as the administrator for the city of Sitka in southeast Alaska. “The point was that she was a born-again Christian.”
For all the admiration in Alaska for Ms. Palin, her rapid ascent from an activist in the P.T.A. to the running mate of Senator John McCain did not come without battle wounds. Her years in Wasilla, her first executive experience, reveal a mix of successes and stumbles, with Ms. Palin gaining support from a majority of residents for her drive, her faith and her accessibility but alienating others with what they said could be a polarizing single-mindedness.
“She is an aggressive reformer who isn’t afraid to break glass, to bring change to Wasilla and later to the state of Alaska,” said Taylor Griffin, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, who declined to address specific aspects of Ms. Palin’s tenure as mayor. “Washington needs some of that.”
In Wasilla, Ms. Palin is widely praised for following through on campaign promises by cutting property taxes while improving roads and sewers and strengthening the Police Department.
Her supporters say she helped Wasilla evolve from a ridiculed backwater to fast-growing suburb. The population of about 5,000 during her tenure as mayor has grown to nearly 10,000 now, and the city is filling with big box stores, including a Target that is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, one of three opening statewide that day in the chain’s Alaska debut.
But her critics say too much growth too quickly has made a mess of what not long ago was homesteaded farmland.
And for some, Ms. Palin’s first months in office here were so jarring — and so alienating — that an effort was made to force a recall. About 100 people attended a meeting to discuss the effort, which was covered in the local press, but the idea was dropped.
Shortly after becoming mayor, former city officials and Wasilla residents said, Ms. Palin approached the town librarian about the possibility of banning some books, though she never followed through and it was unclear which books or passages were in question.
Anne Kilkenny, a Democrat who said she attended every City Council meeting in Ms. Palin’s first year in office, said Ms. Palin brought up the idea of banning some books at one meeting. “They were somehow morally or socially objectionable to her,” Ms. Kilkenny said.
The librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, pledged to “resist all efforts at censorship,” Ms. Kilkenny recalled. Ms. Palin fired Ms. Emmons shortly after taking office but changed course after residents made a strong show of support. Ms. Emmons, who left her job and Wasilla a couple of years later, declined to comment for this article.


Palin's Speech to Nowhere
by Will Bunch
Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin delivered a great speech tonight -- for her party, for John McCain, for herself, for what she set out to accomplish. This was America's first real glimpse at the Alaska governor, and what we saw was a boffo politician who speaks in a plaintive prairie voice that channels America's Heartland like a chilling breeze rippling a field of wheat, who knows how to tell a joke, how to bring down the house and bring a tear to a few eyes. She is proud of her family, as she should be, and there is much to admire in her own "personal journey of discovery" (don't we all have these, by the way?) including her efforts to raise her son Trig. It is indeed nice to think that there would be an advocate for such children inside the corridors of the White House, although I'd surely like to hear what -- if anything -- she's done for special needs kids as governor of Alaska. was a great speech -- written for someone else, a male in fact, days before the Palin selection was even a gleam in John McCain's eye, but a great speech nonetheless. The pundits are fawning over it as I write this -- Tom Brokaw said she could not have been "more winning and more engaging" -- and in a world that is dominated by horse race journalism I can understand why, because I agree that Palin's one-of-a-kind story has given her long shot running mate a decent chance now of pulling this one out at the finish line.
It's a good metaphor, a horse race, because in the end it finishes right near where it started -- just as it will be for America if John McCain and Sarah Palin are sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009. Yes, it was a great speech politically, and a great night for her family, but an empty speech for America -- and for America's families. It was defined by its lowest moment, Palin's shameless lie about "the Bridge to Nowhere."
This was a Speech to Nowhere.
It was a Speech to Nowhere when Palin said that "I told the Congress 'Thanks but no thanks' on that Bridge to Nowhere, because that was a lie, and the worst kind of lie in American politics, a blatant falsehood that showed utter contempt for the American people that Palin pledged to serve, assuming we are too stupid to look up or know that truth, that she pushed for those funds in Congress and while she got great political mileage out of announcing that she was killing the project, she still has not returned the funds to American people.
It was a Speech to Nowhere because Palin also boasted seconds before that other lie of fighting against wasteful earmarks in Congress, even though she pushed for and accepted $27 million of such grants when she was mayor of Wasilla.
It was a Speech to Nowhere because Palin said that "we've got lots" of oil and gas this country, and while one supposes that all depends upon what you definition of the words "lots" is, the production of oil in the United States has been irrevocably on the decline since 1970, and with her words she showed this nation that she and John McCain will perpetrate the dangerous myths that began with Ronald Reagan at his acceptance speech in 1980, that sunny optimism is the solution to all our energy woes, and not a posture that put energy research on a war footing, or requires moral leadership on conservation, mass transit, or any other common sense answers whatsoever.
It was a Speech to Nowhere because Palin boasted that "I stood up to the special interests, and the lobbyists, and the Big Oil companies," and the audience cheered -- after eight brutal years of the same crowd's cheering for two oilmen in the White House who fiddled while $4-a-gallon gas burned and while American men and women died in a needless war fought on top of an oilfield, and while lobbyist friends like Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed got rich at the same time.
It was a Speech to Nowhere because Palin had the nerve to talk at length about John McCain's "torturous interrogations" in the very same speech when she all but condoned the continuation of similar, abhorrent practices that have been directed for eight years by our own U.S. leaders, when she stated that Democrats are "worried that someone won't read them [terrorism suspects] their rights."
It was a Speech to Nowhere because Palin belittled "community organizers" -- thousands of Americans who work long hours for little pay in some of the toughest neighborhoods, trying to assist the American Dream that even the poorest among us can pull themselves out of the muck with a helping hand. Palin and other GOP speakers have turned a noble job into a dirty word tonight -- shame on you! Listen to what CNN's Roland Martin said after Palin's speech was over.
My two parents are sitting home in Houston, Texas and they are both community organizers and the GOP and Sarah Palin might have well have said "being community organizers doesn't matter" to my parents face. I'm disgusted. Community organizers keep people in their homes, keep their lights on, keep food in the fridge.
It was a Speech to Nowhere because it made no mention of the men that Sarah Palin and John McCain are running to replace -- their names are Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, in case you've forgotten this week -- and no acknowledgment that as many 80 percent of Americans believe this country is on the wrong track, or that you can't solve a nation's problems when you deny they exist.
It was a Speech to Nowhere because...well, I urge everyone to read the text, without Palin's sharp delivery or her adoring fans in the crowd and in the press box, and tell me where there is any kind of policy at all -- except for the short boilerplate passage on energy -- or any mention of the issues that concern everyday Americans, including the No. 1 issue of the economy. Show me the part where this "grand slam" of speech touches on how citizens can afford health care or sending their kids to college.
But more than anything else, it was a Speech to Nowhere because for all the acclaim, the great bulk of it was devoted to one thing, and that is the one thing that millions of Americans are talking about in 2008 when we talk about "change" -- to the ugliest kind of "pit bull" politics, to use Palin's words, that tear down the other side with cheap ad hominem attacks, surrounded by a cloud of half-truths (uh, those "Greek columns"...did you actually even watch Obama's speech? Because there weren't any) and ridiculous innuendo about "parting the waters" which means nothing but fires up a big hockey rink full of Dittoheads. These kind of vicious attacks -- without having the grace to acknowledge that, despite some real differences on issues with Obama, that he has already accomplished something impressive that says something positive about America and the progress we've made -- were utterly lacking in class. And this is what Tom Brokaw considers "winning" -- have we really sunk that low as a nation?. The people of America want and deserve a real debate, now trash talk from the basketball point guard who was once called "Sarah Barracuda."
I hope America wakes up tomorrow and realizes that Sarah Palin's words were rousing -- and completely empty, that they offered no road map (let alone bridge) for America other than more of the bogus partisan name-calling that has gotten us into the mess that we're in now.
Actually, let me rephrase that.
I hope America wakes up tomorrow.

Not all Alaska residents are for Sarah Palin
It was the hardcore end-times fundamentalists who allegedly offered McCain their support if he named Palin to the ticket, which he did without regard for her qualifications. - Buzzflash, 23 September 2008
Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at HomeTaxpayers Also Funded Family's Travel
Washington Post
Tuesday, September 9, 2008; Page A01

ANCHORAGE, Sept. 8 -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a "per diem" allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business.

The governor also has charged the state for travel expenses to take her children on official out-of-town missions. And her husband, Todd, has billed the state for expenses and a daily allowance for trips he makes on official business for his wife.
Palin, who earns $125,000 a year, claimed and received $16,951 as her allowance, which officials say was permitted because her official "duty station" is Juneau, according to an analysis of her travel documents by The Washington Post.
The governor's daughters and husband charged the state $43,490 to travel, and many of the trips were between their house in Wasilla and Juneau, the capital city 600 miles away, the documents show.
Gubernatorial spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said Monday that Palin's expenses are not unusual and that, under state policy, the first family could have claimed per diem expenses for each child taken on official business but has not done so.
Before she became the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee, Palin was little known outside Alaska. Now, with the campaign emphasizing her executive experience, her record as mayor of Wasilla, as a state oil-and-gas commissioner and as governor is receiving intense scrutiny.
During her speech at the Republican National Convention last week, Palin cast herself as a crusader for fiscal rectitude as Alaska's governor. She noted that she sold a state-owned plane used by the former governor. "While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor's office that I didn't believe our citizens should have to pay for," she said to loud applause.
Speaking from Palin's Anchorage office, Leighow said Palin dealt with the plane and also trimmed other expenses, including forgoing a chef in the governor's mansion because she preferred to cook for her family. The first family's travel is an expected part of the job, she said.
"As a matter of protocol, the governor and the first family are expected to attend community events across the state," she said. "It's absolutely reasonable that the first family participates in community events."
The state finance director, Kim Garnero, said Alaska law exempts the governor's office from elaborate travel regulations. Said Leighow: "The governor is entitled to a per diem, and she claims it."
The popular governor collected the per diem allowance from April 22, four days after the birth of her fifth child, until June 3, when she flew to Juneau for two days. Palin moved her family to the capital during the legislative session last year, but prefers to stay in Wasilla and drive 45 miles to Anchorage to a state office building where she conducts most of her business, aides have said.
Palin rarely sought reimbursement for meals while staying in Anchorage or Wasilla, the reports show.
She wrote some form of "Lodging -- own residence" or "Lodging -- Wasilla residence" more than 30 times at the same time she took a per diem, according to the reports. In two dozen undated amendments to the reports, the governor deleted the reference to staying in her home but still charged the per diem.
Palin charged the state a per diem for working on Nov. 22, 2007 -- Thanksgiving Day. The reason given, according to the expense report, was the Great Alaska Shootout, an annual NCAA college basketball tournament held in Anchorage.
In separate filings, the state was billed about $25,000 for Palin's daughters' expenses and $19,000 for her husband's.
Flights topped the list for the most expensive items, and the daughter whose bill was the highest was Piper, 7, whose flights cost nearly $11,000, while Willow, 14, claimed about $6,000 and Bristol, 17, accounted for about $3,400.
One event was in New York City in October 2007, when Bristol accompanied the governor to Newsweek's third annual Women and Leadership Conference, toured the New York Stock Exchange and met local officials and business executives. The state paid for three nights in a $707-a-day hotel room. Garnero said the governor's office has the authority to approve hotel stays above $300.
Asked Monday about the official policy on charging for children's travel expenses, Garnero said: "We cover the expenses of anyone who's conducting state business. I can't imagine kids could be doing that."
But Leighow said many of the hundreds of invitations Palin receives include requests for her to bring her family, placing the definition of "state business" with the party extending the invitation.
One such invitation came in October 2007, when Willow flew to Juneau to join the Palin family on a tour of the Hub Juneau Christian Teen Center, where Palin and her family worship when they are in Juneau. The state gave the center $25,000, according to a May 2008 memo.
Leighow noted that under state policy, all of the governor's children are entitled to per diem expenses, even her infant son. "The first family declined the per diem [for] the children," Leighow said. "The amount that they had declined was $4,461, as of August 5."
The family also charged for flights around the state, including trips to Alaska events such as the start of the Iditarod dog-sled race and the Iron Dog snowmobile race, a contest that Todd Palin won.
Meanwhile, Todd Palin spent $725 to fly to Edmonton, Alberta, for "information gathering and planning meeting with Northern Alberta Institute of Technology," according to an expense report. During the three-day trip, he charged the state $291 for his per diem. A notation said "costs paid by Dept. of Labor." He also billed the state $1,371 for a flight to Washington to attend a National Governors Association meeting with his wife.
Gov. Palin has spent far less on her personal travel than her predecessor: $93,000 on airfare in 2007, compared with $463,000 spent the year before by her predecessor, Frank Murkowski. He traveled often in an executive jet that Palin called an extravagance during her campaign. She sold it after she was sworn into office.
"She flies coach and encourages her cabinet to fly coach as well," said Garnero, whose job is equivalent to state controller. "Some do, some don't."
Leighow said that the governor's staff has tallied the travel expenses charged by Murkowski's wife: $35,675 in 2006, $43,659 in 2005, $13,607 in 2004 and $29,608 in 2003. Associates of Murkowski said the former governor was moose hunting and could not be reached to comment.
In the past, per diem claims by Alaska state officials have carried political risks. In 1988, the head of the state Commerce Department was pilloried for collecting a per diem charge of $50 while staying in his Anchorage home, according to local news accounts. The commissioner, the late Tony Smith, resigned amid a series of controversies.
"It was quite the little scandal," said Tony Knowles, the Democratic governor from 1994 to 2000. "I gave a direction to all my commissioners if they were ever in their house, whether it was Juneau or elsewhere, they were not to get a per diem because, clearly, it is and it looks like a scam -- you pay yourself to live at home," he said.
Knowles, whose children were school-age at the start of his first term, said that his wife sometimes accompanied him to conferences overseas but that he could "count on one hand" the number of times his children accompanied him.
"And the policy was not to reimburse for family travel on commercial airlines, because there is no direct public benefit to schlepping kids around the state," he said. The rules were articulated by Mike Nizich, then director of administrative services in the governor's office, said Knowles and an aide to another former governor, Walter Hickel.
Nizich is now Palin's chief of staff. He did not return a phone call seeking comment. The rules governing family travel on state-owned aircraft appear less clear. Knowles said he operated under the understanding that immediate family could accompany the governor without charge.
But during the Murkowski years, that practice was questioned, and the state attorney general's office produced an opinion saying laws then in effect required reimbursement for spousal travel.
Research editor Alice Crites in Washington contributed to this report.

Palin's 'Trooper-gate' Cover-upBy Robert Parry
September 6, 2008
Ripping a page from George W. Bush’s playbook on obstructing investigations, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her senior aides are maneuvering to thwart an abuse-of-power investigation that Palin initially vowed to assist.
Now, rather than cooperate with an independent counsel assigned to examine whether Palin fired the state’s public safety commission because he refused to fire her ex-brother-in-law from the state troopers, Palin, her husband and seven witnesses close to Palin are resisting giving testimony.
Moreover, on Tuesday, just one day before giving her widely acclaimed speech to the Republican National Convention, Palin took the unusual step of filing an ethics complaint against herself – to move the investigation to the state personnel board whose three members are appointed by the governor.
Palin’s decision to, in effect, turn herself in so she could get a hearing before more sympathetic investigators was known by the U.S. news media before Palin’s speech, but was rarely, if ever, mentioned by TV pundits filling hours of air time with chatter about her charisma, her moose hunting and her 17-year-old daughter’s pregnancy.
Back in Alaska, state Republicans also took on the role played by congressional Republicans in Washington, attacking the fairness of any investigation that might put a GOP leader in a negative light.
John Coghill, a Republican state legislator from North Pole, Alaska, demanded that Democratic Sen. Hollis French, who has been overseeing the probe, resign because French suggested that Palin’s alleged abuse of power could lead to her impeachment.
“These statements cause me to think that the report is already written even though the investigation is only just begun and the most important witnesses have not even been interviewed,” Coghill said in a letter. [NYT, Sept. 6, 2008]
However, Palin and her administration appear determined to make sure that those witnesses don’t get interviewed, at least not in a way that might cause political embarrassment before the November elections.
State legislators have set a goal of issuing a report by Oct. 10 on Palin’s firing of state public safety commissioner Walt Monegan, but it now appears that the legislature will have to issue subpoenas to compel the testimony of the seven witnesses, including Palin’s top aide, her personnel director and the commissioner for administration.
A subpoena battle could eat up time both in getting approval from Republican legislators and in overcoming objections from lawyers for the witnesses.
Balking at Depositions
Palin and her husband, Todd, also are balking at giving depositions to independent counsel Steve Branchflower, who was picked by the legislature to investigate whether Monegan’s firing was retaliation for his refusal to fire trooper Mike Wooten, who has been embroiled in a bitter divorce/custody battle with Palin’s sister for several years.
Palin’s lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, indicated that Sarah and Todd Palin would likely rebuff any request by Branchflower for a deposition and insist that the investigation only be handled by the state personnel board.
Palin’s legal team also appeared to be following another favorite tactic of the Bush administration – putting the investigator on the defensive by lodging complaints against him for supposed wrongdoing.
Attorney Van Flein complained that independent counsel Branchflower had sought to reach Todd Palin directly “on a secure and confidential line,” which Van Flein called “a serious security breach that we may be obligated to report to the Secret Service.” [Anchorage Daily News, Sept. 3, 2008]
Palin’s recent attempts to frustrate the legislative investigation reverse her assurances in late July that she was “happy to comply, to cooperate.”
After her surprise selection as John McCain’s running mate, she began traveling with the national Republican crowd, which has many years of experience in fending off legislative oversight of controversial actions by the Bush administration.
For instance, Bush has made broad executive privilege claims to block testimony from his subordinates about a White House drive to politicize the Justice Department, including the firing of nine federal prosecutors who were not considered “loyal Bushies.”
The case of Palin’s firing of public safety commissioner Monegan is somewhat different because the allegations are that the governor was abusing her power to carry out a personal -- rather than a political -- vendetta, but many of the tactics for thwarting an investigation would be similar.
Family Vendetta
When Palin was sworn in as Alaska’s governor in December 2006, she was enmeshed in a messy family feud with her sister’s ex-husband, trooper Wooten. Through complaints to his superiors, Palin already had helped engineer Wooten’s five-day suspension from the state police earlier in 2006 for various examples of personal misconduct.
In January 2007, a month into Palin’s term, her husband, Todd, invited Palin’s new public safety commissioner Monegan to the governor’s office, where Todd Palin urged Monegan to reopen the Wooten case. After checking on it, Monegan informed Todd Palin that he couldn’t do anything because the case was closed.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Monegan said that a few days later, the governor also called him about the Wooten matter and he gave her the same answer. Monegan said Gov. Palin brought the issue up again in a February 2007 meeting at the state capitol, prompting a warning that she should back off.
However, Monegan said Gov. Palin kept bringing the issue up indirectly through e-mails, such as comparing another bad trooper to “my former brother-in-law, or that trooper I used to be related to.”
Monegan said he also began getting telephone calls from Palin’s aides about trooper Wooten, including from then-chief of staff Mike Tibbles; Commissioner Annette Kreitzer of the Department of Administration; and Attorney General Talis Colberg.
Colberg acknowledged making the call, after an inquiry from Todd Palin about “the process” for handling a threatening trooper, and then relaying back the response from Monegan that the issue had been handled and nothing more could be done.
Monegan also told the Post that he warned each caller about the risk of exposing the state to legal liability if Wooten filed a lawsuit.
However, Todd Palin continued collecting evidence against Wooten and lobbying for his dismissal. The governor’s husband acknowledged giving Wooten’s boss, Col. Audie Holloway, photos of Wooten driving a snowmobile while he was out of work on a worker’s compensation claim.
Alaska’s Deputy Attorney General Michael Barnhill told the Post that a member of the governor’s staff, personnel director Diane Kiesel, also made at least one call to Col. Holloway about the snowmobile incident. [Washington Post, Aug. 31, 2008]
On July 11, 2008, Palin abruptly fired Monegan, saying only that she wanted to take the public safety department in a different direction.
Monegan then went public with his account of the mounting campaign against Wooten from the governor’s family and staff. Monegan told the Anchorage Daily News that Todd Palin showed him the work of a private investigator, who had been hired by the family to dig into Wooten’s life and who was accusing the trooper of various misdeeds, such as drunk driving and child abuse.
Though Palin insisted she wasn’t involved in the pressure campaign, a review by the Attorney General’s office found that half a dozen state officials had made about two dozen phone calls regarding Wooten.
A tape recording of one conversation – between Palin’s chief of boards and commissions Frank Bailey and police Lt. Rodney Dial in February 2008 – revealed Bailey saying, “Todd and Sarah are scratching their heads, ‘Why on earth … is this guy still representing the department?’”
Facing mounting evidence of improprieties, Palin now appears determined to sidetrack the investigation, much as President Bush has delayed and obstructed probes into his alleged wrongdoing for seven years.
Gov. Palin has a well-worn GOP playbook to draw from.

Palin's $150 Wolf Paws
Thu, 09/11/2008 - 7:50am.
by Meg White

When reports first came out of people describing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as "manipulative" and "conniving," it was just words. But the more we learn about her short history in leadership positions, the more believable these allegations become.
How a person treats animals says a lot about their character. Just because a person identifies as a hunter doesn't mean they can't respect wildlife. There is a difference between someone who enjoys fishing and someone who gets a barrel and a shotgun and takes everything with fins. The latest revelations from Mark Benjamin at reveals Palin to be of the latter persuasion.
In Alaska, the state encourages the culling of the wolf population by its citizenry, so -- in the theory of rabid hunters -- as to cultivate a larger moose population for hunters, both subsistence and recreational. This video from Defenders of Wildlife shows a brief look at the process of killing a wolf from an airplane in Alaska.
"It's not a clean kill," a narrator states. As you'll see in this video, the wolves often are injured and bleeding, only to be finished off after the plane lands. Other times, the gunner can't hit the wolf at all, so the pilot chases it until it reaches utter exhaustion. Benjamin describes the wolves as easy to target, much "like targets in a video game, sprinting across the white canvas below."
Sure, Palin's advocacy for such bloodletting is concerning on a personal level. But it's not just the cruelty of the action, it's how Palin manipulated governmental processes and public opinion to get what she wanted and to satisfy the powerful Alaskan hunting lobby -- and the particularly "thrill shooting" wing of that group, because more conservationist hunters are against her policies. That's where the story throws up legitimate questions about her fitness to govern the nation.
The wolf culling program was already in place when Palin took over the governorship, although the Alaskan population has voted to ban it several times. However, it was Palin's expansion of the program, accomplished in ways that are clearly Bush- and Cheney-esque, that gives some observers cause for worry.
As Benjamin reports, Palin expanded the program to reward untrained citizens for killing wolves. She offered a $150 incentive in taxpayer money to hunters who, after they'd killed a wolf, hacked off the front left leg of the animal as proof. Yes, you read that right. The aerial shooters land their planes and helicopters, walk up to the wolves and hack off the front left paw to receive $150 in taxpayer money for each one turned in! That's not fiscal conservatism; that's welfare for well-off hunters who can afford to fly and shoot.
When she ran up against some opposition -- including virtually the entire scientific community who study wildlife population issues -- to her plan to turn sportsmen into bounty hunters, she went into full combat mode with two secret weapons: a distaste for science and willingness to deceive.
She ignored the 172 scientists who told her point blank that the numbers the state came up with for optimal moose population were unsustainably high, and dismissed their request for an even-handed conservation policy. She refused to provide evidence that the program even worked to raise the moose population. Instead, she approved a $400,000 state-funded advertising campaign that praised the success of the wolf culling program just three weeks before a public referendum vote on the matter.
Now she's trying to put the program under the purview of her own office, transferring authority from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game over to a panel appointed by the governor. Either way, the department's Web site currently peddles what some scientists call false and misleading information about the effect predators have on moose. A majority of the nutrition Alaskan wolves get from such populations is from scavenged meat, scientists contend. Only an estimated 30% of the diet of wolves comes from actually killing moose. And the moose are thriving in Alaska, not being depleted.
Scientists are begging the McCain team to release more information on how their administration would treat the government-maligned institution of American science. Meanwhile, Palin sounds more and more like a certain leader who has done everything he can to devalue knowledge and research.
Several sources quoted in Benjamin's article draw broader conclusions regarding what this story says about Palin, but one stood out:

"Across the board, Sarah Palin puts on a masquerade, claiming she is using sound
management and science," says Nick Jans, an Alaskan writer who co-sponsored the
initiative. "In reality she uses ideology and ignores science when it is in her
way ... This is a reflection of a somebody who doesn't have any use for science."
Sound like someone we know?
Her deadly wolf program
With a disdain for science that alarms wildlife experts, Sarah Palin continues to promote Alaska's policy to gun down wolves from planes.By Mark Benjamin Sept. 8, 2008

Wildlife activists thought they had seen the worst in 2003 when Frank Murkowski, then the Republican governor of Alaska, signed a bill ramping up state programs to gun down wild wolves from airplanes, inviting average citizens to participate. Wolves, Murkowski believed, were clearly better than humans at killing elk and moose, and humans needed to even the playing field.
But that was before Sarah Palin took Murkowski's job at the end of 2006. She went one step, or paw, further. Palin didn't think Alaskans should be allowed to chase wolves from aircraft and shoot them -- they should be encouraged to do so. Palin's administration put a bounty on wolves' heads, or to be more precise, on their mitts.
In early 2007, Palin's administration approved an initiative to pay a $150 bounty to hunters who killed a wolf from an airplane in certain areas, hacked off the left foreleg, and brought in the appendage. Ruling that the Palin administration didn't have the authority to offer payments, a state judge quickly put a halt to them but not to the shooting of wolves from aircraft.
Detractors consider the airborne shootings a savage business, conducted under the euphemism "predator control." The airplanes appear in the winter, so the wolves show up like targets in a video game, sprinting across the white canvas below. Critics believe the practice violates the ethics of hunting, while supporters say the process is not hunting at all, but a deliberate cull.
Palin has argued that she is worried about Alaska's hunters, locked in perennial competition with the canine carnivores for the state's prodigious ungulate population. A hunter herself, Palin has battled critics of aerial wolf hunting with the support of the Alaska Outdoor Council, a powerhouse advocacy and lobbying organization for hunting, fishing and recreation groups. In addition to so-called urban hunters, who shoot moose mostly for fun, Alaska is home to a significant number of subsistence hunters, including some of the Native population. Subsistence hunters rely on an occasional moose to make ends meet. The wolves, Palin has said, are stealing food from their tables.
"Palin acts like she has never met an animal she didn't want shot," says Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, based in Connecticut.
The controversy over Palin's promotion of predator control goes beyond animal rights activists recoiling at the thought of picking off wolves from airplanes. A raft of scientists has argued that Palin has provided little evidence that the current program of systematically killing wolves, estimated at a population of 7,000 to 11,000, will result in more moose for hunters. State estimates of moose populations have come under scrutiny. Some wildlife biologists say predator control advocates don't even understand what wolves eat.
State officials stand by their scientific findings on predator control. "Several times over the past several years, our science has been challenged in court," says Bruce Bartley, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. "In every instance it has prevailed."
Yet it is not hard to find Alaskans who say Palin's enthusiasm for predator control fits a broader narrative of how she edits science to suit her personal views. She endorses the teaching of creationism in public schools and has questioned whether humans are responsible for global warming.
In 2007, she approved $400,000 to educate the public about the ecological success of shooting wolves and bears from the air. Some of the money went to create a pamphlet distributed in local newspapers, three weeks before the public was to vote on an initiative that would have curtailed aerial killing of wolves by private citizens. "The timing of the state's propaganda on wolf control was terrible," wrote the Anchorage Daily News on its editorial page.
"Across the board, Sarah Palin puts on a masquerade, claiming she is using sound management and science," says Nick Jans, an Alaskan writer who co-sponsored the initiative. "In reality she uses ideology and ignores science when it is in her way." The initiative was defeated last month.
Gordon Haber is a wildlife scientist who has studied wolves in Alaska for 43 years. "On wildlife-related issues, whether it is polar bears or predator controls, she has shown no inclination to be objective," he says of Palin. "I cannot find credible scientific data to support their arguments," he adds about the state's rationale for gunning down wolves. "In most cases, there is evidence to the contrary."
Last year, 172 scientists signed a letter to Palin, expressing concern about the lack of science behind the state's wolf-killing operation. According to the scientists, state officials set population objectives for moose and caribou based on "unattainable, unsustainable historically high populations." As a result, the "inadequately designed predator control programs" threatened the long-term health of both the ungulate and wolf populations. The scientists concluded with a plea to Palin to consider the conservation of wolves and bears "on an equal basis with the goal of producing more ungulates for hunters."
Apparently Palin wasn't fazed. Earlier this year she introduced state legislation that would further divorce the predator-control program from science. The legislation would transfer authority over the program from the state Department of Fish and Game to Alaska's Board of Game, whose members are appointed by, well, Palin. Even some hunters were astounded by her power play.
The legislation would give Palin's board "more leeway without any scientific input to do whatever the hell they basically wanted," Mark Richards, co-chair of Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, wrote in an e-mail. The legislation is currently stalled in the Alaska state Senate.
Predator control in Alaska dates back to the 1920s and 1930s. Even then, wildlife biologists insisted that wolves were important to the area's natural ecology and not responsible for inordinate deaths of sheep, caribou or moose. Yet the scientists fought a losing battle against ranchers, hunters and government officials, who backed the extermination of tens of thousands of wolves. Aerial hunting began in earnest in the 1940s and continued through the 1960s after Alaska had earned statehood. [Read entire article at:]

Where she was savedThe church where Sarah Palin grew up and was baptized preaches some of the most extreme religious views in the nation.By Sarah Posner

Sept. 11, 2008 In June, Sarah Palin took the stage at the Wasilla Assembly of God, a deeply conservative Pentecostal church. The excitable Alaskan governor told a graduating class of missionary students that it "was so cool growing up in this church, getting saved here, getting baptized." She went on to declare that her son Track will deploy to Iraq, and urged students to pray "that our leaders, that our national leaders, are sending [soldiers] out on a task that is from God." She added: "That's what we have to make sure that we are praying for -- that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."
One big question about Palin is how that deterministic view of God's will in world affairs influences her decision-making on issues ranging from the Middle East to the environment, sexuality to education. What is not in doubt is that her addition to the Republican ticket has fired up the religious right and the party's most conservative base.
The McCain campaign has downplayed Palin's Pentecostal roots. But as her testimony at the Wasilla Assembly of God demonstrates, she is motivated by the idea that godly forces are locked in spiritual warfare with satanic forces. For many with a Pentecostal upbringing like Palin's, fighting that battle is part of God's plan for the end of days, when war will end the world as we know it, Jesus will come back, and non-Christians will convert or perish.
Pentecostals are so named for the feast, or Pentecost, documented in the Book of Acts, during which early followers of Jesus were said to have been "filled with the Holy Spirit" and able to "speak in other tongues." Although they share religious doctrine with other evangelicals, Pentecostals' religious experiences include such "spirit-filled" expressions as speaking in tongues, receiving divine prophecy and revelation, casting out demons and witnessing miracles. While not all Pentecostals are conservative (Leah Daughtry, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Convention, is a Pentecostal minister), most of them, according to a 2006 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, are more conservative than other Christians on social, moral and spiritual issues, and far more likely to believe in the rapture and end-times.
Palin was raised as a Roman Catholic before being saved and baptized at Wasilla Assembly of God. In 2002, the year she first ran for statewide office, unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor, she left her childhood church and joined the Wasilla Bible Church, a nondenominational evangelical church that "believe[s] in the Bible as the only inspired inerrant Word of God authoritative for faith and practice," according to its statement of faith. In contrast to Assemblies of God, the Wasilla Bible Church's statement of faith contains no reference to such Pentecostal requirements as speaking in tongues, divine healing or belief in the rapture. When she's in the state capital, Palin attends the Juneau Christian Center, an Assemblies of God church, although it doesn't advertise that in its name.
"All of us in the business know that 'Christian Center' is an Assemblies of God church trying to rebrand itself to people who are not necessarily Pentecostal," says Anthea Butler, a religion professor at the University of Rochester and an expert on Pentecostalism. "You don't put Assemblies of God on the door because people think, 'Oh, those are the holy rollers.'"

Secretive Right-Wing Group Vetted Palinposted by Max Blumenthal on 09/01/2008 @ 08:37am
Last week, while the media focused almost obsessively on the DNC's spectacle in Denver, the country's most influential conservatives met quietly at a hotel in downtown Minneapolis to get to know Sarah Palin. The assembled were members of the Council for National Policy, an ultra-secretive cabal that networks wealthy right-wing donors together with top conservative operatives to plan long-term movement strategy.
CNP members have included Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Grover Norquist, Tim LaHaye and Paul Weyrich. At a secret 2000 meeting of the CNP, George W. Bush promised to nominate only pro-life judges; in 2004, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist told the group, "The destiny of the nation is on the shoulders of the conservative movement." This year, thanks to Sarah Palin's selection, the movement may have finally aligned itself behind the campaign of John McCain.
Though Dobson and Perkins reportedly attended the recent CNP meeting in Minneapolis, a full roster of guests would be nearly impossible to require. The CNP deliberately operates below the radar, going to excessive lengths to obscure its activities. According to official CNP policy, "The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs before or after a meeting." Thus the CNP's Minneapolis gathering was free of reporters.
I learned of the get-together only through an online commentary by one of its attendees, top Dobson/Focus on the Family flack Tom Minnery. (Watch it here) Minnery described the mood as CNP members watched Palin accept her selection as John McCain's Vice Presidential pick. "I was standing in the back of a ballroom filled with largely Republicans who were hoping against hope that something would put excitement back into this campaign," Minnery said. "And I have to tell you, that speech by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin -- people were on their seats applauding, cheering, yelling... That room in Minneapolis watching on the television screen was electrified. I have not seen anything like it in a long time."
Minnery added that his boss, Dobson, has yearned for a conservative female leader like Margaret Thatcher to emerge on the American scene. And while Palin is no Thatcher, "she has not rejected the feminine side of who she is, so for that reason, she will be attractive to conservative voters."
The members of the Council for National Policy are the hidden hand behind McCain's Palin pick. With her selection, the Republican nominee is suddenly -- and unexpectedly -- assured of the support of a movement that once opposed his candidacy with all its might. Case in point: while Dobson once said he could "never" vote for McCain, he issued a statement last week hailing Palin as an "outstanding" choice. If Dobson's enthusiasm for Palin is any indication, he may soon emerge from his bunker in Colorado Springs to endorse McCain, providing the Republican nominee with the backing of the Christian right's single most influential figure.
Alaska National Guard General Changes Story; Palin Promotes
by: Brandon Friedman
Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:40:45 AM EDT;jsessionid=6DE0F0272B752D55F135594EC5726947?diaryId=1869
When John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, the campaign immediately began touting her experience--both foreign and domestic--as "commander-in-chief" of the Alaska National Guard. But the reality of the situation--that Palin actually had little to do with the National Guard quickly became apparent. In fact, the idea was undercut severely by comments made by the actual commander of the Alaska National Guard--its Adjutant General, Major General Craig Campbell. When that happened, it eventually turned into somewhat of a national joke, culminating in the humiliation of McCain/Palin campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds on CNN when he tried to promote Palin's "foreign policy" experience during the Republican National Convention.
It was getting bad for the McCain campaign because they couldn't afford to lose the "experience" argument to the Obama campaign.
But suddenly--and strangely--the commander of the Alaska National Guard, Major General Campbell, changed his story. By the end of the convention, he was praising Palin's experience, talking on TV about how she had taken control of Alaska's National Guard operations and how she was a "great" leader.
Interestingly enough, Palin promoted him with his third star--to the rank of Lieutenant General--only three days later.

More Information on Sarah Palin
In-depth research, audio clips, videos, excerpts, and links to hundreds of articles, including many from newspapers and TV stations in Alaska
A post with 12 videos (including a few from talk2action) which shows just how incredibly frightening Sarah Palin is for all of us and the future of our country and our way of life
Palin Won't Cooperate With 'Tainted' Probe Into Her Abuse Of Power
If pressed, I guess the main thing here
That really is sticking in my craw
Is she's not even the VP but already is
Acting like she's above the law.
by Tony Peyser
Sarah Palin: The Welfare Queen from Wasilla
Submitted by Meg White on Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:23am.
We all know by now that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hates socialism. Unless it's socialism for her family.
Palin, who loves painting herself as a self-reliant woman who likes to say, "Thanks, but no thanks" to unnecessary government spending, is always on the lookout for a freebie, even if it means playing it fast and loose with the law. While she ridicules Sen. Barack Obama's plan to "spread the wealth" to people who actually need it, Palin is seeking more of the socialism for the wealthy pioneered by President George W. Bush. In fact, the motto of the GOP since Ronald Reagan has been "spread more wealth to the financially avaricious rich by pickpocketing the working class."
New reports of Palin's misspending government funds for personal financial benefit emerged from an Associated Press investigation this week. Palin charged taxpayers over $20,000 to pay for her daughters to travel with her to events to which they were not invited, including 64 one-way and 12 round-trip tickets, as well as the girls' own expensive hotel rooms. In all, previous reports have estimated Palin charged taxpayers more than $43,000 in travel expenses for family members.
If that weren't enough, it seems Palin lied on official reimbursement forms, saying the girls were invited when, according to organizers of the events, they were not. But it doesn't stop there. Apparently, after she was tapped as Sen. John McCain's running mate, Palin went back and amended the expense reports with language to make the travel sound like official business, as is necessary for reimbursement under Alaska state law. So on top of being a freeloader at taxpayer expense, she altered financial documents to misrepresent unjustified personal expenses paid for by "average Joes."
If this rip-off occurred just once, one might be able to write it off as a lapse in judgment. Unfortunately for Palin, it comes on the heels of reports of other questionable "write offs," adding up to what appears to be a pattern of abuse. In short, we are learning that Palin is not the self-reliant opponent of government spending that she claims to be. She's more like the welfare queen from Wasilla.
The state is already looking into the possibility of the impropriety in $17,000 of Palin's claim for per diem pay. The money was apparently paid to her for "travel expenses" incurred on nights she spent at her home in Wasilla, AK. The money is supposed to be used for when an official travels on state business, not for a commute from an Anchorage office to a home in Wasilla. Is it part of "the real America" to steal from the taxpayer? Palin receives a governor's salary, from which she is expected to pay -- like any average small town American -- her home expenses. But she chose to have taxpayers pick up the tab.
It's important to note that Palin is not continuing any Alaskan gubernatorial tradition of defrauding taxpayers. The only Alaska governor to have school-age children while serving in recent memory is Tony Knowles, Democratic governor of the state from 1994 to 2002. Knowles told the AP he had never charged the state for his children's travel. Knowles also said that he prohibited Alaskan commissioners from charging per diem allowances when staying at home, no matter where their home was located.
One Alaskan tradition exhibiting tendencies of socialism is the oil and gas rebate checks. Last year, Alaskan residents received a $1,654 check as a dividend from oil revenues in the state. Now, thanks to an initiative backed by Palin, each Alaskan (including Palin, her husband and children) will get $1,200 more to help pay for energy cost increases. Apparently the almost $10,000 the Palin family received last year wasn't enough to heat their Wasilla lakefront home.
Now that she's a vice presidential candidate, Palin can stop relying on Alaskan taxpayers to foot the bill. Instead, it is donors to the Republican National Committee who pay her way these days.
According to an article on Politico, the RNC spent $150,000 on the appearance of Palin and her family in September alone. Shopping sprees to high-end stores such as Neiman Marcus and Saks reveal thousands spent on Palin, her husband and even baby Trig.
No similar expenses could be attributed to the spending of the DNC or the Obama/Biden campaign. In fact, BuzzFlash has documented that Obama still goes to his neighborhood barber of 11 years, where he spends $20 for a haircut, out of his own pocket.
So much for "Palin the Wal-Mart mom."
According to Politico, however, it's more than just tacky to spend donors' money on luxury clothing for one's family, it may actually violate the Federal Election Commission's prohibition against personal expenses.
Palin is clearly used to getting a free lunch. Her record as a reformer is as thin as tissue paper. Her claim that she said "No thanks" to the bridge to nowhere? Bogus. Her selling the governor's private jet on eBay? It was eventually sold, but not online, and at a loss. Not only that, but when you charge the state to fly you and your family around, and when you sell the state's plane for less than it's actually worth, that's a weak argument of fiscal responsibility. It's more like bragging about losing money.
Aside from the fact that she may face legal problems in the future for her misleading statements and questionable splurges, our problem with Palin is her misleading stories to the American people and questionable values. Her constant evocation of Joe the "Plumber," her claims of cutting government waste, and her middle class values are all lies. The truth is that, although the Palins are worth well over $1 million, the governor still feels entitled to dip her hand in the collective cookie jar. She's a freeloader, not a reformer. And the taxpayers and political donors are paying the tab for her personal expenses.
This was a pattern that first became clear when she was Mayor of Wasilla, when she showed no hesitation in taking advantage of freebies and using public funds for a lavish redecoration of her mayoral office, among other unnecessary expenses.
What's to say she won't continue in this same pattern of abuse once she's in the executive branch of the nation? Despite her populist posturing and rhetoric, it's clear she favors continuing Bush's socialism for the rich, and by extension, for herself. And the taxpayer keeps getting stuck with the bill. Palin has done very well living off of the public treasury, very well indeed.