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Where Do I Vote?

In the 2004 presidential, 10% of people who didn’t vote claim that they didn’t because they didn’t know where to go. To help alleviate that problem, The Google has created a tool that makes it easy to find out where exactly where you polling place is located.

Go to maps.google.com/vote and enter your home address and experience the Google magic.



November 3, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Palin Claims The Vice President Is ‘In Charge Of The U.S. Senate

Yesterday, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) sat for an interview with KUSA, an NBC affiliate in Colorado. In response to a question sent to the network by a third grader at a local elementary school about what the Vice President does, Palin erroneously argued that the Vice President is “in charge of the United States Senate“:

Q: Brandon Garcia wants to know, “What does the Vice President do?”

PALIN: That’s something that Piper would ask me! … [T]hey’re in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom.

Watch it:


Indeed, while Palin suggests that questions about what the Vice President does is something only her daughter Piper would ask, Palin herself asked this very question on national television in July. Apparently, she still hasn’t learned the correct answer.

Article I of the Constitution establishes an exceptionally limited role for the Vice President — giving the office holder a vote only when the Senate is “equally divided”:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

Moreover, the U.S. Senate website explains that the modern role of Vice Presidents has been to preside over the Senate “only on ceremonial occasions.” ThinkProgress contacted Senior Assistant Paliamentarian Peter Robinson, who also disputed Palin’s characterization of the Vice President’s role:

In modern practice the Vice President doesn’t really control the Senate. … If anyone has a responsibility to try to govern the Senate, it’s the responsibility of the two leaders.


November 1, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Jon Stewart Clarifies Palin Remarks, Expands To ‘F%ck All Y’All’

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November 1, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pfriend or Pfoe? | The Daily Show | Comedy Central

Nancy Pfotenhauer argues for the real Virginia, and Eugene Jarecki says true security is impossible.

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November 1, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reporter Kicked To The Ground At McCain-Palin Rally

Newspaper stories from Palin’s rally from myself and Joe Killian.


Update: Bloggers note: there is editing throughout this post at 10 a.m. or so this morning to clean up grammar and spelling errors committed at the end of a 16 hour day. As well, some fixes have been made with regards to quote marks that did not publish correctly. My apologies to the English teachers in the audience.


There are certain things that get me really concerned when I hear them from someone I’m working with. Joe Killian (who blogs for the paper here and on his own time here) added a new one to my list:

Joe was working with me on a package for tomorrow’s newspaper covering Gov. Sarah Palin’s visit to Elon and Greensboro.

“Dude,” he says when I called to check on him. “Some guy just kicked me in the back of the leg.”

Let me just digress for a second. I sometimes supervise people. Much more often, I work in teams with folks. I’m usually the old fart in the group so I feel responsible for them. The last thing I ever want to hear is that one of my people got hurt on assignment. Usually the worry has to do with covering a traffic accident along a highway or a natural disaster like a flood, where conditions are inherently dangerous.

What I don’t expect is for some troglodyte at a campaign rally to decide that the proper way to express his frustration with Democrats, Barack Obama or the “left-wing liberal media” is to commit assault on a colleague.

Here’s the back-story:

As you probably know, the crowds at McCain-Palin events have gotten, um, saucy as of late. My bossblogs about that here.

Covering Sen. John McCain’s appearance in Wilmington Monday, you could definitely sense some of that vibe.

Read whole story here. 

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jim Webb Takes Aim at Sarah Palin


ROANOKE, VA – Virginia’s soon-to-be senior senator, Jim Webb, was the warm up act for Barack Obama on the Democratic nominee’s seventh visit to Virginia since clinching the Democratic nomination.

Webb, who at one point was mentioned as a possible running mate for Obama, praised his colleague from Illinois for picking Joe Biden. “People know Joe Biden, and people know that he is capable in a moment of stepping forward and assuming the responsibilities of president of the United States,” he said.

And while he called John McCain a friend, he questioned the GOPer’s judgment. “Now John McCain chose Gov Palin,” he continued as the crowd loudly booed. “Do you really think that Sarah Palin was the most qualified person in the Republican party?” he questioned, reminding voters that the Republican ticket’s slogan is “Country First.”

Standing in a hall in front of more than 8,000 in red Southwestern Virginia, he continued, “I don’t know how many people here like country music, I like country music. There was a song about two years ago, ‘I know what I was doing but what was I thinking?’ I think John McCain is probably singing that sing right now.”

But he wasn’t done quite yet.  “At the debate Governor Palin turned around and said, ‘Nice to meet you, can I call you Joe?’ And what I was really thinking is Joe what you ought to do is say, ‘Yeah, you can whatever you want and in two months you’re going to be calling me Mr. Vice President.’”

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Palins’ un-American activities

Imagine if the Obamas had hooked up with a violently anti-American group in league with the government of Iran.

By David Talbot

Oct. 7, 2008 |

“My government is my worst enemy. I’m going to fight them with any means at hand.”


Sarah and Todd Palin.

Sarah and Todd Palin.

This was former revolutionary terrorist Bill Ayers back in his old Weather Underground days, right? Imagine what Sarah Palin is going to do with this incendiary quote as she tears into Barack Obama this week.

Only one problem. The quote is from Joe Vogler, the raging anti-American who founded the Alaska Independence Party. Inconveniently for Palin, that’s the very same secessionist party that her husband, Todd, belonged to for seven years and that she sent a shout-out to as Alaska governor earlier this year. (“Keep up the good work,” Palin told AIP members. “And God bless you.”)


AIP chairwoman Lynette Clark told me recently that Sarah Palin is her kind of gal. “She’s Alaskan to the bone … she sounds just like Joe Vogler.”

So who are these America-haters that the Palins are pallin’ around with?

Before his strange murder in 1993, party founder Vogler preached armed insurrection against the United States of America. 


Read the whole story here.

October 31, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Palin Supporter To Black Sound Man: “Sit Down, Boy”

Sarah Palin’s frequent attacks on the media are now stoking so much outrage among her supporters that they’ve now taken to abusing reporters:

Palin’s routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric’s questions for her “less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media.” At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”

Palin’s ugly attacks, her non-stop lying, and her glaring buffoonery and incompetence are all the media’s fault! It is pretty outrageous, this liberal media conspiracy to report accurately on what Palin says and does as she asks us to put her a heartbeat away from being steward of our troubled economy and controlling the most powerful military in human history.

Read the Whole Story here. 

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Palin Overstates Energy Experience

Palin’s Policies as Governor Reveal No Energy Expertise

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Vice President Dick Cheney is the chief caretaker of national security in the Bush administration. If Gov. Sarah Palin follows in his footsteps, she’ll be angling for energy.

In an early exchange with Sen. Joseph Biden during the vice presidential debate in St. Louis on Thursday, Palin called energy her “area of expertise.” She talked about her deep energy experience throughout the evening.

As governor, Palin said, she faced off with big oil, ultimately raising industry taxes in Alaska. She stated that a $40 billion natural gas pipeline was well underway, thanks to her leadership — referring to a plan to subsidize a Canadian company with a half-billion dollars to explore such a project. These decisions, Palin argued, would allow her to lead the United States to “energy independence” — important not only for the economy, but for national security.

A close examination of Palin’s energy background, however, reveals that the GOP vice presidential candidate has only a relatively short history of studying and working on this issue. Palin served as chairwoman of a state energy board, a position reserved for a private citizen, for 11 months. A year before running for governor, Palin joined a group of other Republicans in TV ads advocating an all-Alaska gas pipeline route, though she eventually didn’t support this in office. As governor, Palin made a series of distinctly populist energy decisions that yielded short-term political gains, rather than policies designed for the long-term benefit of Alaska.

Read the whole story here

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

I went to the McCain rally today


For happier reading, here is my Diary from when I saw Obama in June. Here

So yesterday, I found out that there was going to be a McCain/Palin rally about 20 minutes from my house. Seeing another opportunity to see politics in action, I decided to take the day off and go see the rally, and take a bunch of photos.  7.5 Hours, 1901 pictures, and an estimated 20,000 people later, I am back home reflecting on my day.

To  be brutally honest,  I was not going to vote for McCain anyway. I knew I was not going to be swayed by anyone, or anything today. However, I simply wanted to listen and learn why people support John McCain. Similar to when I saw John Edwards and Mitt Romney in New Hampshire last year, I kept my mouth closed and my ears open. In June, I saw Barack Obama, and there I asked more questions, and was more open. But today, I was going to be careful. I wanted my pictures, and I wanted to get a feel of the movement behind the McCain/Palin ticket.

Read whole story here.


October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

McCain-Palin Crowd-Size Estimates Not Backed by Officials



By Lorraine Woellert and Jeff Bliss

Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) — Senator John McCain has drawn some of the biggest crowds of his presidential campaign since adding Alaska Governor Sarah Palinto his ticket on Aug. 29. Now officials say they can’t substantiate the figures McCain’s aides are claiming.

McCain aide Kimmie Lipscomb told reporters on Sept. 10 that an outdoor rally in Fairfax City, Virginia, drew 23,000 people, attributing the crowd estimate to a fire marshal.

Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it. Wilson, in an interview, said the fire department does not monitor attendance at outdoor events.

In recent days, journalists attending the rallies have been raising questions about the crowd estimates with the campaign. In a story on Sept. 11 about Palin’s attraction for some Virginia women voters, Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher estimated the crowd to be 8,000, not the 23,000 cited by the campaign.

“The 23,000 figure was substantiated on the ground,” McCain spokesmanTucker Bounds said. “The campaign is willing to stand by the fact that it was our biggest crowd to date.”

“Since day one, this campaign has been consistent that we’re not going to win or lose based on crowd size but the substance of John McCain’s record,” Bounds said.

Read the whole story here. 

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Palin: wrong woman, wrong message

Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

By Gloria Steinem

Here’s the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing — the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party — are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women — and to many men too — who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the “white-male-only” sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.


But here is even better news: It won’t work. This isn’t the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.     

Join the reader discussion on Gloria Steinem’s Op-Ed article

 Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton’s candidacy stood for — and that Barack Obama’s still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, “Somebody stole my shoes, so I’ll amputate my legs.”

 Read whole story here. 

October 19, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mayor Palin: A Rough Record

John McCain was clear about why he picked half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. “I found someone with an outstanding reputation for standing up to special interests and entrenched bureaucracies,” he said in introducing her in Dayton, Ohio, on Friday. Palin was someone, he noted, “who reached across the aisle and asked Republicans, Democrats and independents to serve in government.”

It is a powerful reinforcement of McCain’s own political brand: tough, reform-minded, willing to break with his own party for the right cause. And it’s true that her high-profile crusade against corruption and complacency in her own state party over the past few years has made Palin the Frank Serpico of Alaska politics: she publicly ratted out her state party chairman; whupped the good old boys’ network, as she likes to put it, in a gubernatorial primary; and fought a general election in which the scandal-stained state GOP didn’t lift a finger on her behalf. She won only because she had the enthusiastic backing of independents and grass-roots activists.

Read the whole story here

October 18, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sarah Palin FAQ


By Derek Thompson

Posted Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008, at 5:39 PM ET

Read our complete coverage of the GOP Convention and Sarah Palin.


Sarah Palin

She flies while giving birth! She can field-dress a moose! She said “Thanks but no thanks” to the “Bridge to Nowhere”! Or did she? As she debuts on the national stage, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has inspired a heap of questions, but she remains a mystery to both the press and the public. To help speed along the getting-to-know-you process, Slate has compiled dozens of questions—and taken our best shot at the answers—about the woman who could be our vice president. Have a Palin question that we didn’t answer? Send an email to sarahpalinfaq@gmail.com with your question in the subject line. We will update the page as new questions (or new answers) come to light.


How long has Palin known John McCain?

They were first introduced in February at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington, D.C. The first time they spoke about the possibility of her becoming the GOP vice presidential nominee was Aug. 24, five days before the official announcement.




Did Palin tell the McCain campaign that her daughter Bristol was pregnant before she was picked as the vice-presidential nominee?

Many news sources have speculated that the pregnancy announcement caught the campaign by surprise. McCain spokesman Steve Schmidt told reporters that they learned of the pregnancy during the vetting process.

Did she recite her speech at the Republican National Convention from memory after the teleprompter broke?

Despite Internet rumors that Palin delivered much of her speech in front of a faulty teleprompter, GOP officials have confirmed that the teleprompter worked flawlessly throughout Palin’s address.


Did she oppose the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere”?

When she was running for governor in 2006, Palin said she supported a $223 million federal earmark for the Gravina Island Bridge. Congress eventually killed the earmark after it became a symbol of pork-barrel spending, but Alaska was given the same amount of money to spend on other projects. Last year, Palin put a halt to state support of the project, saying, “We will continue to look for options for Ketchikan to allow better access to the island.” The reversal was hailed by budget hawks, but it irked local politicians like Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein, who said, “[S]he pandered to us by saying, ‘I’m for this.’ “

What is her relationship with indicted Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens?

They’ve worked together since at least 2003, when Palin was a director on Stevens’ independent fundraising group, Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service Inc. In her unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor in 2002, she received about $4,500 in campaign donations from an oil firm involved in the Stevens scandal. Palin also filmed a commercial with Stevens in 2006 to demonstrate the senator’s support of her gubernatorial campaign. New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks wrote that Palin has since made “mortal enemies” of Alaska’s senators, and Palin has kept her distance from Stevens since his indictment on felony charges of accepting illegal payments from an oil company.

What command experience does Palin have as head of the Alaska National Guard?

The Alaska governor has no command role with National Guard troops engaged in combat operations or with the 49th Missile Defense Battalion, which is stationed in Alaska. She does command the National Guard when it comes to natural disasters and homeland security. These issues are handled by a member of her cabinet, Maj. Gen. Craig, the adjutant general for Alaska, who also handles veterans’ affairs. Palin has called up the guard only once, in 2007, to fight wildfires. They were on standby for a 2007 whaling conference during which they expected protesters but were never summoned.

Cindy McCain and others have asserted that Alaska’s proximity to Russia has contributed to Palin’s foreign-policy knowledge. What dealings has she had with Russia?

The campaign has not come up with any. Palin has never been to Russia.

Did Palin fire a public official because he wouldn’t fire her brother-in-law?

Sarah Palin fired former Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, who said the governor pressured him to fire an Alaska state trooper who happened to be getting divorced from Palin’s sister. Palin has denied these allegations. Alaska’s state legislature voted in July to get an independent investigator to look into the firing.

Was she ever a member of the Alaskan Independence Party?

Officials from the AIP, the state’s third-largest political party, have claimed that Sarah Palin attended the 1994 party convention with her husband. Public records indicate, however, that Palin has been a lifelong Republican since she first registered to vote in Alaska. Her husband Todd Palin did register as a member of the AIP—which supports holding a vote on Alaskan secession from the United States—in 1995 before reregistering as “undeclared” in 2002. According to the New York Times, Gov. Palin recorded a video segment for the party’s convention this year, wishing the AIP “good luck on a successful and inspiring convention.”

Was there a recall attempt against Palin when she was mayor of Wasilla?

No. The city council considered it after she fired longtime police chief Irl Stambaugh, who brought a lawsuit alleging that Palin fired him because campaign contributors and the NRA were angered by his opposition to a concealed-gun law. A federal judge ruled that city law permitted the mayor to the fire Stambaugh for any reason.

Did she want to ban books from the public library as mayor of Wasilla?

Yes, at least according to John Stein, the town’s former mayor. Stein says Palin asked the Wasilla library “how she could go about banning books” with offensive language. It’s not clear whether any book was ever banned.


What was her position on the surge?

Somewhere between McCain’s and Obama’s: She conditioned her support on an exit strategy. In her words: “I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq. I heard on the news about the new deployments, and while I support our president, Condoleezza Rice and the administration, I want to know that we have an exit plan in place; I want assurances that we are doing all we can to keep our troops safe.”



What’s Palin’s record on environmental issues?

The environmental Web site Grist.org has reported that she objected to listing polar bears or beluga whales as endangered in Alaska, fearing it might affect Alaskan drilling projects. She also voted against a proposition to limit mining where runoff would threaten salmon populations. She is outspoken about opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other offshore locations for oil drilling. The Sierra Club has condemned her advocacy for wolf hunting and her eagerness to drill throughout the state.

Does she oppose federal earmarks?

Alaska has long been the recipient of astounding amounts of federal funding. While Palin slashed pork requests in half during her tenure, the state still requested $550 million in Palin’s first year in office. This year she has requested about $198 million—$295 per person—which is still the highest amount per-capita in the country, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. And when she was the mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired an Anchorage-based firm to secure $27 million in federal earmarks for the town.




Did she really stand up to big oil?

Palin’s strategy in Alaska has been to expand oil production and to use the royalties to pay dividends for the state’s citizens. Palin, whose husband worked for BP, endorsed Barack Obama’s call for a windfall tax for oil companies. (John McCain says he opposes such a measure.) Her relationship with American oil firms like Exxon is less than cuddly, however. After a long negotiation process in 2006, she brokered a deal to build a pipeline between Alaska and the lower 48 with TransCanada, a Canadian company.

What is her record on ethics reform?

As governor, Palin signed ethics legislation limiting lobbyists’ access to government officials and calling for more transparency in their dealings with Alaskan pols. As ethics commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, she accused a fellow Republican of illegally taking money from energy firms. (He later paid a large fine for his transgressions.) She has also reduced the perks of positions she’s held personally: She put the governor’s private jet up for sale on eBay and laid off her personal chef. As mayor of Wasilla, she cut her own salary.


Does she believe in evolution?

Palin said in a 2006 debate that she supports teaching creationism alongside evolution in public schools on the grounds that “healthy debate is so important.” She did not insist that creationism become a part of the curriculum. In the same debate, she said she believed in a creator and avoided an up-or-down stance on evolution.

What are Palin’s views on abortion?

Palin has said she is “as pro-life as any candidate can be” and called abortion “an atrocity.” She has supported mandatory parental consent, and while she is pro-contraception, has also indicated her preference for abstinence education over “explicit sex-ed programs.” She would permit abortion in cases where the mother’s life was endangered, but not in the case of rape or incest.

Does she believe in climate change?

Yes, but in an interview with Newsmax.com, she expressed doubts that human activity is to blame.

Is Palin’s church anti-Semitic?

Palin belongs to the Wasilla Bible Church, a conservative evangelical congregation. Politico’s Ben Smith recently uncovered a guest sermon from a Jews for Jesus representative who said attacks against Israel are proof that God judges those who deny Jesus as their savior. Smith also reported that Palin is friends with an Alaska rabbi who considers her “a friend of the Jews.”


Did Palin ask her daughter Bristol to get married before news broke that she was pregnant?

The National Enquirer seems to think so, but no other news organization has verified the claim. The McCain campaign has flatly denied the reports, and McCain spokesman Steve Schmidt has threatened legal action against the magazine.

Did Palin elope with her husband while pregnant with her first child?

It’s possible, but we don’t know for certain. Fox News’ Alan Colmes reported that Palin’s first-born son, Track, was born on April 20, 1989, almost eight months to the day after she eloped and married her husband, Todd, on August 29, 1988.

Did she fly all the way from Texas to Alaska this April after her water broke?

A Wall Street Journal profile reports that she first felt contractions before speaking at an energy summit in Dallas. Her doctor in Alaska told her to rest, but Palin carried on with the speech, rushed to the airport, got on a jet to Alaska, landed in Anchorage, then gave birth after driving 45 miles to a hospital in Palmer, Alaska.

Palin competed in beauty pageants in the early 1980s. What was her talent?

She played the flute.

What’s her workout secret?

Running. Palin claims she likes to jog between seven and 10 miles every day; since giving birth to her fifth child in April, she’s already worked her way up to three-mile runs. Her diet is “heavy in wild Alaskan seafood, moose, caribou and fresh fruit.”

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Rendell: If I Was Palin You’d Be Calling For My Impeachment

Gov. Ed Rendell decried a double standard in the treatment of Sarah Palin on Monday, saying that if it was he who was at the center of the “troopergate” investigation, the press would be calling for his head.

“She [claims to be] a reformer,” said the Pennsylvania Democrat. “And yet she is being investigated on the charge that she used her power as governor to fire someone who was going through a messy divorce with a relative of hers. Could you imagine if I was doing the same thing in Pennsylvania? You would be calling for my impeachment.”

The remarks came at the end of a long list of criticisms that Rendell, one of the foremost supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, launched against the Republican vice presidential nominee. Ignoring the directive of the Obama campaign to focus attentions on McCain, Rendell called out Palin on everything from ethics to earmarks.

Read the whole story here. 

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Commentary: Is McCain out of his mind?

(CNN) — John McCain needs what Kinky Friedman calls “a checkup from the neck up.”

In choosing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate, he is not thinking “outside the box,” as some have said. More like out of his mind.

Palin a first-term governor of a state with more reindeer than people, will have to put on a few pounds just to be a lightweight. Her personal story is impressive: former fisherman, mother of five. But that hardly qualifies her to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

For a man who is 72 years old and has had four bouts with cancer to have chosen someone so completely unqualified to become president is shockingly irresponsible. Suddenly, McCain’s age and health become central issues in the campaign, as does his judgment.

In choosing this featherweight, McCain passed over Tom Ridge, a decorated combat hero, a Cabinet secretary and the former two-term governor of the large, complex state of Pennsylvania. iReport.com: ‘McCain pick might be a gimmick’

Read the whole story here. 

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Palin’s Church May Have Shaped Controversial Worldview


Three months before she was thrust into the national political spotlight, Gov. Sarah Palin was asked to handle a much smaller task: addressing the graduating class of commission students at her one-time church, Wasilla Assembly of God.

Her speech in June provides as much insight into her policy leanings as anything uncovered since she was asked to be John McCain’s running mate.

Speaking before the Pentecostal church, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord.

“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God,” she exhorted the congregants. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

Read the whole story here.

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Palin Slashed Funding for Teen Moms

ST. PAUL — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.

After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation — “SP” — Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.

Read whole story here.

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Palin’s speech to nowhere


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.

But…it 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.

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

AP: Attacks, Praise Stretch Truth At GOP Convention

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.

Some examples:

PALIN: “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending … and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere.”

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a “bridge to nowhere.”

PALIN: “There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform _ not even in the state senate.”

THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

Read the whole story here.

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment