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G M
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« Reply #50 on: October 03, 2008, 05:31:28 PM »

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/31461_Bidens_Lies_the_Short_List

More on Biden's "misspeakings".

Anyone in the MSM with even an ounce of journalistic ethics left? Hello?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #51 on: October 03, 2008, 08:25:30 PM »

Replying to the Biden mis-speaks in the Palin-Biden debate, thanks for the short list.  May I add something else scary he said.  Bankruptcy court should write down the interest AND THE PRINCIPLE on mortgages.  Do liberals no longer believe in binding contracts between consenting adults? In his miserable legal training did they not teach him about choice of remedies.  They are supposed to get the house back or get the money.  Why else would you call it a secured loan? Personal loans that are not secured against real estate are not tax deductible.  Did everyone just lose their home interest deduction?
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JDN
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« Reply #52 on: October 03, 2008, 09:17:39 PM »

DougMacG; Thank you!!!! Forget the little gaffes, "write down the interest AND PRINCIPLE on mortgages?"  I have been lumped in to the "liberal" camp, but please.... take some responsibility!  As you succinctly pointed out, it is a SECURED loan!  I have had a few glasses of wine, it's Friday, but everyone seems to blame the evil businessman, Wall Street, et al, BUT what
about personal responsibility?   I HATE fraud, but if you make 40k per year, and you buy a 500k house, and get kicked out one year later for not making the payments, why am I
suppose to feel sorry for you or blame the lenders or Wall Street.  YOU took the loan.  YOU lived in a house you had absolutely no business living in; please, just say thank you for the experience
and move on.  And my  kudos for the people who didn't buy because they knew they couldn't "afford" the "real" price.  I like Biden, and in another argument I defended him, but this is ridiculous.
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G M
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« Reply #53 on: October 03, 2008, 09:23:51 PM »

Wow. Here i'm having to agree with JDN again. I may need to have a few pops now.....   grin
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Jonobos
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« Reply #54 on: October 03, 2008, 10:12:21 PM »

I agree Ifill behaved, indeed I thought she did a rather good job-- though I suspect her personal policitics being put in the spotlight had something to do with that.

I thought SP did quite well.  Although not able to wonk with Biden on some of the points and there were some passages where he scored well, she showed a strong ability to define things on her terms and an impressive abiilty to absorb and articulate a lot of material-- to operate at this level after 5 weeks on the national stage I find genuinely impressive.  She did very well keeping track of Biden's points and answering them-- and ducking the ones that she wanted to.  I thought she did well by steering the conversation to energy matters where she was able to show substance, and did VERY well with "the vision thing", leaving Biden looking the wonk.

I don't think she even answered half the questions she was asked, and I don't think that is a good thing. She just fell back on whatever her note cards said. Ducking the issue doesn't give me confidence in someones leadership abilities. It makes me think they are selling me a lemon.

Here is my real problem with Palin. she is playing the "I am a country bumpkin" card. "Say it ain't so Joe!" "Well gosh darn..." I don't want a bumpkin as our second in command. I think it is disgusting that people demand an "elite" brain surgeon, but when it comes time to vote they look for the most mediocre person they can find. Why does being a soccer mom all of the sudden qualify someone to be in office? I won't vote for someone that acts and talks like my grandmother. I love gramma, but she would make a terrible president! Tongue

Peoples expectations of presidential, and vice presidential candidates are so low that she pretty much won that debate by not screwing it up... it makes me sort of sad...
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G M
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« Reply #55 on: October 03, 2008, 10:42:42 PM »

I agree Ifill behaved, indeed I thought she did a rather good job-- though I suspect her personal policitics being put in the spotlight had something to do with that.

I thought SP did quite well.  Although not able to wonk with Biden on some of the points and there were some passages where he scored well, she showed a strong ability to define things on her terms and an impressive abiilty to absorb and articulate a lot of material-- to operate at this level after 5 weeks on the national stage I find genuinely impressive.  She did very well keeping track of Biden's points and answering them-- and ducking the ones that she wanted to.  I thought she did well by steering the conversation to energy matters where she was able to show substance, and did VERY well with "the vision thing", leaving Biden looking the wonk.

I don't think she even answered half the questions she was asked, and I don't think that is a good thing. She just fell back on whatever her note cards said. Ducking the issue doesn't give me confidence in someones leadership abilities. It makes me think they are selling me a lemon.

Here is my real problem with Palin. she is playing the "I am a country bumpkin" card. "Say it ain't so Joe!" "Well gosh darn..." I don't want a bumpkin as our second in command. I think it is disgusting that people demand an "elite" brain surgeon, but when it comes time to vote they look for the most mediocre person they can find. Why does being a soccer mom all of the sudden qualify someone to be in office? I won't vote for someone that acts and talks like my grandmother. I love gramma, but she would make a terrible president! Tongue

**When did we become Britain, where having the "right" accent makes or breaks you? What kind of accent does an elite brain surgeon have? I'm pretty sure SP has a bit more than "soccer mom" on her resume, yes?**

Peoples expectations of presidential, and vice presidential candidates are so low that she pretty much won that debate by not screwing it up... it makes me sort of sad...

**She's been targeted in the most abusive and unfair ways possible since being announced. Her debate was "moderated" by one of the more corrupt members of the MSM i've seen in a long time. Apparently, Michelle Obama wasn't available, so Gwen Ifill was their second choice. She had the cards stacked against her going in, so it was a matter of playing a good defensive game and winning on personality.**
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Jonobos
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« Reply #56 on: October 03, 2008, 11:25:58 PM »

I agree Ifill behaved, indeed I thought she did a rather good job-- though I suspect her personal policitics being put in the spotlight had something to do with that.

I thought SP did quite well.  Although not able to wonk with Biden on some of the points and there were some passages where he scored well, she showed a strong ability to define things on her terms and an impressive abiilty to absorb and articulate a lot of material-- to operate at this level after 5 weeks on the national stage I find genuinely impressive.  She did very well keeping track of Biden's points and answering them-- and ducking the ones that she wanted to.  I thought she did well by steering the conversation to energy matters where she was able to show substance, and did VERY well with "the vision thing", leaving Biden looking the wonk.

I don't think she even answered half the questions she was asked, and I don't think that is a good thing. She just fell back on whatever her note cards said. Ducking the issue doesn't give me confidence in someones leadership abilities. It makes me think they are selling me a lemon.

Here is my real problem with Palin. she is playing the "I am a country bumpkin" card. "Say it ain't so Joe!" "Well gosh darn..." I don't want a bumpkin as our second in command. I think it is disgusting that people demand an "elite" brain surgeon, but when it comes time to vote they look for the most mediocre person they can find. Why does being a soccer mom all of the sudden qualify someone to be in office? I won't vote for someone that acts and talks like my grandmother. I love gramma, but she would make a terrible president! Tongue

**When did we become Britain, where having the "right" accent makes or breaks you? What kind of accent does an elite brain surgeon have? I'm pretty sure SP has a bit more than "soccer mom" on her resume, yes?**

Peoples expectations of presidential, and vice presidential candidates are so low that she pretty much won that debate by not screwing it up... it makes me sort of sad...

**She's been targeted in the most abusive and unfair ways possible since being announced. Her debate was "moderated" by one of the more corrupt members of the MSM i've seen in a long time. Apparently, Michelle Obama wasn't available, so Gwen Ifill was their second choice. She had the cards stacked against her going in, so it was a matter of playing a good defensive game and winning on personality.**

This isn't about accent, this is about acting like your an "average joe." The vice president should not be an "average joe," and if they act like one they should be called on it. I am sorry, but that is how I see it. She is presenting a personality and demeanor that I think is unbefitting of the VP of the United States.

As far as calling foul on how she has been treated... well... deal with it. She is a celebrity now, and she is under direct public scrutiny. This will not change if she is the VP, so she better learn to handle it. To be totally fair she has been given a pass on several things that any of the other candidates would have taken flack for.

And she didn't win on personality. My point was that she won by not screwing up. "Hey look, she didn't answer any of the questions, but she didn't make a fool of herself so she did very well!" Like I said, I feel like I am being sold a lemon.
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JDN
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« Reply #57 on: October 03, 2008, 11:29:05 PM »

GM: Be nice, Ifill although perhaps biased, was really quite fair during THIS debate.  You can't blame the moderator.
Blame Palin if you want to pass the blame.  Jonobos has some good points.

PS It's nice to agree once in a while    smiley  I hope you are having those "pops"; it has been a long week and I am sure for you too.  And I am really not
the devil incarnate although sometimes I think you think so.   grin
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G M
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« Reply #58 on: October 04, 2008, 12:50:15 AM »

I agree Ifill behaved, indeed I thought she did a rather good job-- though I suspect her personal policitics being put in the spotlight had something to do with that.

I thought SP did quite well.  Although not able to wonk with Biden on some of the points and there were some passages where he scored well, she showed a strong ability to define things on her terms and an impressive abiilty to absorb and articulate a lot of material-- to operate at this level after 5 weeks on the national stage I find genuinely impressive.  She did very well keeping track of Biden's points and answering them-- and ducking the ones that she wanted to.  I thought she did well by steering the conversation to energy matters where she was able to show substance, and did VERY well with "the vision thing", leaving Biden looking the wonk.

I don't think she even answered half the questions she was asked, and I don't think that is a good thing. She just fell back on whatever her note cards said. Ducking the issue doesn't give me confidence in someones leadership abilities. It makes me think they are selling me a lemon.

Here is my real problem with Palin. she is playing the "I am a country bumpkin" card. "Say it ain't so Joe!" "Well gosh darn..." I don't want a bumpkin as our second in command. I think it is disgusting that people demand an "elite" brain surgeon, but when it comes time to vote they look for the most mediocre person they can find. Why does being a soccer mom all of the sudden qualify someone to be in office? I won't vote for someone that acts and talks like my grandmother. I love gramma, but she would make a terrible president! Tongue

**When did we become Britain, where having the "right" accent makes or breaks you? What kind of accent does an elite brain surgeon have? I'm pretty sure SP has a bit more than "soccer mom" on her resume, yes?**

Peoples expectations of presidential, and vice presidential candidates are so low that she pretty much won that debate by not screwing it up... it makes me sort of sad...

**She's been targeted in the most abusive and unfair ways possible since being announced. Her debate was "moderated" by one of the more corrupt members of the MSM i've seen in a long time. Apparently, Michelle Obama wasn't available, so Gwen Ifill was their second choice. She had the cards stacked against her going in, so it was a matter of playing a good defensive game and winning on personality.**

This isn't about accent, this is about acting like your an "average joe." The vice president should not be an "average joe," and if they act like one they should be called on it. I am sorry, but that is how I see it. She is presenting a personality and demeanor that I think is unbefitting of the VP of the United States.

**Let me remind you of the words of an "average joe" that was born in a log cabin and never attended Harvard: "and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." He never said anything about the supposedly elite members of our society running things for the rest of us. I bet his rural roots were quite evident in his speech patterns.**

As far as calling foul on how she has been treated... well... deal with it.

**She has. Quite well, thank you.**

She is a celebrity now, and she is under direct public scrutiny. This will not change if she is the VP, so she better learn to handle it. To be totally fair she has been given a pass on several things that any of the other candidates would have taken flack for.

**Oh really? Please explain.**

And she didn't win on personality. My point was that she won by not screwing up. "Hey look, she didn't answer any of the questions, but she didn't make a fool of herself so she did very well!" Like I said, I feel like I am being sold a lemon.

**When does Barry-O get the same sort of scrutiny from the MSM?**
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G M
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« Reply #59 on: October 04, 2008, 12:57:02 AM »

GM: Be nice, Ifill although perhaps biased, was really quite fair during THIS debate. 

**Only because she found herself under an intense microscope due to her blatant conflict of interest she failed to disclose. What would happen to a judge that failed to recuse him/herself from a case where they held a direct financial interest in the outcome?**

You can't blame the moderator.

**I can blame her for her blatantly unethical behavior.**

Blame Palin if you want to pass the blame.  Jonobos has some good points.

**I'm still looking for them**

PS It's nice to agree once in a while    smiley  I hope you are having those "pops"; it has been a long week and I am sure for you too.  And I am really not
the devil incarnate although sometimes I think you think so.   grin

No, I don't think you're the devil. He's taller, and he lives in Santa Monica.   evil
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Jonobos
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« Reply #60 on: October 04, 2008, 01:33:53 AM »

And when was that average joe born? And you don't think the demands of international politics, and the oval office have changed a bit since then? You also realize that not everyone always had the right to vote. It was only the land owning elite... Things change. The demands of the office have changed.

For better or worse she has played her part perfectly. I am only calling it like I see it. I think it is very disturbing that this is what America wants in its leaders.

Imagine that Barry-O had a daughter that was pregnant, 17, and not married. The religious right would have been shaking the gates of heaven with cries of "the immorality of liberal family values, and safe sex education." It would have no doubt been the fault of gay marriage, and a sign of the end... but I degress. You know that the issue would not have been glossed over. People would have been on that like flies on cowpies, as the saying goes. But because the fundamentalist crowd are Palins constituents they kept their mouths shut on the whole thing. Obama, Biden, or Mccain would have taken way more flak over that don't you think?

I am not in here advocating obama. I am telling you that I find nothing spectacular about her other than her ability to sell the average joe cheerleader soccer mom act.

On top of it all her religious beliefs send chills up my spine. If you like her you have every right to vote that way... but I can't bring myself to do it.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #61 on: October 04, 2008, 09:53:31 AM »

A physics professor once told me that in physics progress was reducing the amount of principles needed to explain how the world/universe works.  In a similar vein, I think that clarity of thought can often be manifested by reducing the number of words necessary to express a thought e.g. Sarah Palin.  The risk of course is superficiality, but at the moment I'm seeing her as someone with tremendous potential.

It has been pointed out that the world is more complicated than when Lincoln was president.  Accepting that to be true, it seems to me that it correspondingly becomes more important for a president to have a clear sense of the principles that define how the political-economic world works.  Someone without this will be overwhelmed by the rivers of data that are part and parcel of wonkery.  Someone with a clear sense of these things will be , , , a President Reagan. grin

I am delighted to see a shared understanding here of the utter outrageiousness of Biden's position (presumably BO's as well? does anyone have confirmatin of this?), which was also shared by Hillary BTW, that courts should be able to interfere with the terms of mortgage contracts.

I am finding that I like Palin more and more.  I agree that there are areas, some of them important, where she is not ready yet-- on the other hand I like that she doesn't know that the US drove Hezbollah out of Lebanon and that sending NATO in was an option.  cheesy  Clarity on the right to self defense (a.k.a. the right to bear arms) is a matter of great importance to me, and I have no interest or trust in His Glibness's slippery slope of sh*t on this.   That a leader understands that TANSTAAFL (There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) is a vital matter of importance-- and one that eludes much of the Democratic Party as well as BO-JB.  The idea of a Dem Senate, Dem House, Dem White House-- all of which appoint Dems to the Supreme Court seems to me a tremendous disaster of long lasting consequences for this country.

What I do like so far (and there is more to learn no doubt) is what I see as her core principles, her apparent integrity (e.g. going after the Republican corruption in Alaska) and her apparent ability to define herself on her own terms instead of dancing to the tune of others.  No matter our political persuasion, I hope we can all agree that the process that the MSM seeks to impose on candidates is often one of great stupidity, vapidity, and irrelevance to the matters of import.  Its more than fine by me if a candidate talks to me directly about what is important to him/her instead of "answering the question" of some Barbie and Ken teleprompter reader. (Again, I thought Ifill did a good job on this occasion-- probably due in part to her being put in the spotlight-- OTOH Katie Couric, give me a fcuking break rolleyes).  If instead a candidate uses this as a technique for evading substance, I think the collective wisdom of the democratic process will make note and exact its toll.
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Jonobos
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« Reply #62 on: October 04, 2008, 10:11:28 AM »

A physics professor once told me that in physics progress was reducing the amount of principles needed to explain how the world/universe works.  In a similar vein, I think that clarity of thought can often be manifested by reducing the number of words necessary to express a thought e.g. Sarah Palin.  The risk of course is superficiality, but at the moment I'm seeing her as someone with tremendous potential.

It has been pointed out that the world is more complicated than when Lincoln was president.  Accepting that to be true, it seems to me that it correspondingly becomes more important for a president to have a clear sense of the principles that define how the political-economic world works.  Someone without this will be overwhelmed by the rivers of data that are part and parcel of wonkery.  Someone with a clear sense of these things will be , , , a President Reagan. grin

I am delighted to see a shared understanding here of the utter outrageiousness of Biden's position (presumably BO's as well? does anyone have confirmatin of this?), which was also shared by Hillary BTW, that courts should be able to interfere with the terms of mortgage contracts.

I am finding that I like Palin more and more.  I agree that there are areas, some of them important, where she is not ready yet-- on the other hand I like that she doesn't know that the US drove Hezbollah out of Lebanon and that sending NATO in was an option.  cheesy  Clarity on the right to self defense (a.k.a. the right to bear arms) is a matter of great importance to me, and I have no interest or trust in His Glibness's slippery slope of sh*t on this.   That a leader understands that TANSTAAFL (There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) is a vital matter of importance-- and one that eludes much of the Democratic Party as well as BO-JB.  The idea of a Dem Senate, Dem House, Dem White House-- all of which appoint Dems to the Supreme Court seems to me a tremendous disaster of long lasting consequences for this country.

What I do like so far (and there is more to learn no doubt) is what I see as her core principles, her apparent integrity (e.g. going after the Republican corruption in Alaska) and her apparent ability to define herself on her own terms instead of dancing to the tune of others.  No matter our political persuasion, I hope we can all agree that the process that the MSM seeks to impose on candidates is often one of great stupidity, vapidity, and irrelevance to the matters of import.  Its more than fine by me if a candidate talks to me directly about what is important to him/her instead of "answering the question" of some Barbie and Ken teleprompter reader. (Again, I thought Ifill did a good job on this occasion-- probably due in part to her being put in the spotlight-- OTOH Katie Couric, give me a fcuking break rolleyes).  If instead a candidate uses this as a technique for evading substance, I think the collective wisdom of the democratic process will make note and exact its toll.

Oh there you go dropping the R bomb crafty... you conservatives Tongue

Anyway, you do touch on some points that I won't even pretend to side with the liberals. I am totally against the nanny state gun bans, and criminalizing of the right to self defense. I can at least agree with her principles on those issues...

I think you are probably right on the mortgage issue as well... but I admit that I am not well educated in that area...
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ccp
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« Reply #63 on: October 04, 2008, 12:05:21 PM »

***OTOH Katie Couric, give me a fcuking break***

Yes. Like these questions she gave Sarah:  are you for the morning after pill?
So are you for the morning after pill?  After a hesitation from Sarah, Couric asks her when do you beleive life begins?
Answer: "at conception"
Couric now having completed the ambush asks:  so again, are you for the morning after pill?

Wow Katie that is great journalism. rolleyes
My question to Couric:
Which crat operative gave you those questions or did you come up with that ambush all on your own?

 
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G M
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« Reply #64 on: October 04, 2008, 01:48:36 PM »

And when was that average joe born?

**1809**

And you don't think the demands of international politics, and the oval office have changed a bit since then?

**Times changes, but human nature remains the same, and the demands of leadership are onerous no matter the time period.**

You also realize that not everyone always had the right to vote. It was only the land owning elite... Things change. The demands of the office have changed.

**Leadership and the affairs of state are eternal, though the details and technology changes. Machiavelli's "The Prince" and Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" as as valid today, as they were when they were written because of this.**

For better or worse she has played her part perfectly. I am only calling it like I see it. I think it is very disturbing that this is what America wants in its leaders.

**If you want to base your model of leadership on shallow surface appearances and mannerisms of speech, then I guess that's your prerogative.**

Imagine that Barry-O had a daughter that was pregnant, 17, and not married. The religious right would have been shaking the gates of heaven with cries of "the immorality of liberal family values, and safe sex education."

**Hardly. "Liberal family values" is an oxymoron anyway. No one claims that by having a religious faith, it places a bubble around your family that ensures that tragedy doesn't happen, or that 17 year olds don't fall victim to our highly sexualized peer culture that is the result of the "post-modern, post-moral" ethos that has afflicted our society since the left became culturally ascendent since the 60's/70's.**

It would have no doubt been the fault of gay marriage, and a sign of the end... but I degress.

**Not true, but as you said, you digress.**

You know that the issue would not have been glossed over. People would have been on that like flies on cowpies, as the saying goes. But because the fundamentalist crowd are Palins constituents they kept their mouths shut on the whole thing.

**You are misstating this. Christians, as as group recognize the imperfection of humanity and the need for redemption, as well as the value of life. I've never seen the right smear family members of politicians as the left does.**

Obama, Biden, or Mccain would have taken way more flak over that don't you think?

**No.**

I am not in here advocating obama. I am telling you that I find nothing spectacular about her other than her ability to sell the average joe cheerleader soccer mom act.

On top of it all her religious beliefs send chills up my spine. If you like her you have every right to vote that way... but I can't bring myself to do it.

**How do the religious beliefs of Barry-O's church of "God Damn America" sit with you?**
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Jonobos
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« Reply #65 on: October 04, 2008, 02:13:24 PM »

**If you want to base your model of leadership on shallow surface appearances and mannerisms of speech, then I guess that's your prerogative.**

Again this is not my intention. I am disturbed that she would play these things up, and that the public would swallow it hook line and sinker.

**Hardly. "Liberal family values" is an oxymoron anyway. No one claims that by having a religious faith, it places a bubble around your family that ensures that tragedy doesn't happen, or that 17 year olds don't fall victim to our highly sexualized peer culture that is the result of the "post-modern, post-moral" ethos that has afflicted our society since the left became culturally ascendent since the 60's/70's.**

**You are misstating this. Christians, as as group recognize the imperfection of humanity and the need for redemption, as well as the value of life. I've never seen the right smear family members of politicians as the left does.**

I am not going to get started on these. Suffice it to say that I find your position laughable, and think you are in complete denial of reality. You apparently feel the same of me... so it goes.

**How do the religious beliefs of Barry-O's church of "God Damn America" sit with you?**

Here is an example of a manufacture-versy if I have ever heard one. This goes right up there with the flag pin nonsense. Hey, the media does idiotic things on both sides. I believe I made that claim earlier.

Look. I don't like Palin, but I don't claim that she hates America. Hey, the guys pastor, or reverend, or whatever, turned out to be a wacko... this is no shock to me. I think anyone that believes people get swallowed by whales and spit up alive is a little nuts. I don't think any of the candidates, whether I agree with them or not, hate America.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #66 on: October 04, 2008, 02:35:44 PM »

I disagree with the good comments about Gwen Ifill. She did as well as most and as well as Tom Brokaw will do, but she annoyed me at times.  No one of recent memory matches the neutrality that Jim Lehrer projects IMO.

The comments about Palin going on without directly addressing the question are true and she explained early that she would do that.  Normally that bothers me.  Given her awareness of the bias of the moderator, the limitations of time etc. I found that to be a nicer way of handling the situation instead wasting time explaining what she didn't like about a question or answering every petty attack from the opponent. The moderator is a form of filter steering the conversation just as ABC and CBS filter by choosing which clips to play from long interviews.  90 minutes in a debate sounds like enough but the candidates had a limited time to say what they wanted to say to the voters.  Palin covered her views on tax policy, energy, health care, Russia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel etc. very well. Also she presented a compelling case for her top of the ticket, made important distinctions between  McCain and Obama and even made telling distinctions between Biden and Obama.

In the first Pres. debate question, the most complicated economic issue of our time was brought up, then Jim Lehrer said 'you have 2 minutes'.  What a joke! If they can't adjust rules for candidates to address the crisis and bailout of the century, then the preparations and strategies for debates have to be adjusted to the format which is a time slot barely longer than a commercial.

At the end Palin hinted to 'Joe' that she would be up for more of this, presumably meaning without Gwen Ifill and the timer.  There is no way in hell that Obama will allow Biden to do that, especially since they lead at this point in the race.  For all the complaints about not enough time, not enough answers and not enough back and forth, it's too bad that political considerations trump the public's right to know.
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G M
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« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2008, 04:32:52 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/10/04/the-sarahcuda-on-the-attack/

Rightly calling out the empty suit known as Barry-O.
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G M
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« Reply #68 on: October 04, 2008, 05:00:26 PM »

Palin says Obama 'palling around' with terrorists   

Oct 4 03:32 PM US/Eastern
By JIM KUHNHENN
Associated Press Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Saturday accused Democrat Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists" because of his association with a former 1960s radical, stepping up the campaign's effort to portray Obama as unacceptable to American voters.
Palin's reference was to Bill Ayers, one of the founders of the group the Weather Underground. Its members took credit for bombings, including nonfatal explosions at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, during the tumultuous Vietnam War era four decades ago. Obama, who was a child when the group was active, served on a charity board with Ayers several years ago and has denounced his radical views and activities.

The Republican campaign, falling behind Obama in polls, plans to make attacks on Obama's character a centerpiece of presidential candidate John McCain's message with a month remaining before Election Day.

Palin told a group of donors at a private airport, "Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." She also said, "This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America."

Palin, Alaska's governor, said that donors on a greeting line had encouraged her and McCain to get tougher on Obama. She said an aide then advised her, "Sarah, the gloves are off, the heels are on, go get to them."

The escalated effort to attack Obama's character dovetails with TV ads by outside groups questioning Obama's ties to Ayers, convicted former Obama fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko and Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Ayers is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He and Obama live in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood and served together on the board of the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based charity that develops community groups to help the poor. Obama left the board in December 2002.

Obama was the first chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school-reform group of which Ayers was a founder. Ayers also held a meet-the-candidate event at his home for Obama when Obama first ran for office in the mid-1990s.

Palin cited a New York Times story published Saturday that detailed Obama's relationship with Ayers. In an interview with CBS News earlier in the week, Palin didn't name any newspapers or magazines that had shaped her view of the world.

Summing up its findings, the Times wrote: "A review of records of the schools project and interviews with a dozen people who know both men, suggest that Mr. Obama, 47, has played down his contacts with Mr. Ayers, 63. But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called 'somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.'"

Earlier Saturday, Palin spent 35 minutes at a diner in Greenwood Village where she met with Blue Star Moms, a support group of families whose sons or daughters are serving in the armed forces. Reporters were allowed in the diner for less than five minutes before being ushered out by the campaign.

Palin, whose 19-year-old son, Track, deployed last month as a private with an Army combat team, was overheard at one point commiserating with one of the mothers: "Any time I ask my son how he's doing, he says, 'Mom, I'm in the Army now.'"

Taking one question from reporters about competing in battleground states, Palin repeated her wish that the campaign had not pulled out of Michigan, a prominent state in presidential elections where Obama leads by double-digit percentage points in recent polls.

"As I said the other day, I would sure love to get to run to Michigan and make sure that Michigan knows that we haven't given up there," she said. "We care much about Michigan and every other state. I wish there were more hours in the day so that we could travel all over this great country and start speaking to more Americans. So, not worried about it but just desiring more time and, you know, to put more effort into each one of these states."
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« Reply #69 on: October 04, 2008, 05:11:59 PM »

http://formerspook.blogspot.com/

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2008

Beneath Contempt
One thing about liberal "pundits," including those in the blogosphere. Just when you think they've hit rock-bottom with contemptuous comments, they find a way to reach a new low in public discourse.

The latest case-in-point is ABC Sports sideline reporter Suzy Shuster, who also blogs at the Huffington Post. Here's her "take" on "Sarah Palin's 'favorite campaign prop,' her five-month-old son Trig (H/T to Michael Bates at Newsbusters):

It actually came after the debate, when for seemingly the millionth time, Sarah Palin trotted out her piece de resistance, her favorite prop of this campaign season: her five and a half month old son Trig.

Why is this child up so late every time there is a camera op? Why isn't this baby sleeping in a crib or bassinet somewhere with a sleep sheep or some other sound apparatus lulling him into night-night? Is it just me or does it seem like she carts this poor child around like a living breathing example of how wonderful a mom she is? After all, she's more than adopted the "I'm just a mom, just like you moms out there, America" attitude.

But the truth is, if she was just like all you other Moms out there, America, then she'd know the best thing she can do for this infant is to make sure he is tucked safely in his bed and out cold at eleven pm. And please don't say well, maybe she doesn't have anyone to watch him. Believe that, and I've got a Bridge to Nowhere that I want to sell you.

As far as we know, Ms. Shuster doesn't have any children. So, her "offering" parenting advice is a bit like sex counseling from a priest. However, we are reminded that Shuster had her own, domestic difficulties last year, when she discovered her husband, fellow sportscaster Rich Eisen, had received racy bikini photos from Philadelphia anchorwoman Alycia Lane.

Now, we understand why Mr. Eisen was engaged in that "platonic," on-line relationship with Ms. Lane.

***

ADDENDUM: As an alert reader at Free Republic noted, Trig Palin's body clock is on Alaska Time, four hours behind the eastern time zone. So, when the debate ended at 10:30 EDT last night, it was "only" 6:30 for Trig. No wonder he was wide awake when the debate concluded. We're also reminded that infants tend to operate on their own schedule, as any parent who's been awakened at 3:00 a.m. can attest.

One more thing: we always thought liberals championed the idea of women "having it all"--balancing work, a successful marriage and children. Obviously, there's a different standard for conservatives. And conversely, we can predict Ms. Shuster's reaction if Sarah Palin had left Trig behind in Alaska, in the care of relatives or a nanny; something along the lines of "she's ignoring her baby," or "she's ashamed of her handicapped son."

Governor Palin really does get under their skin.
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« Reply #70 on: October 07, 2008, 06:46:32 PM »

Palin on Ahmadinejad: 'He Must Be Stopped'
By SARAH PALIN | September 22, 2008
 http://www.nysun.com/opinion/palin-on-ahmadinejad-he-must-be-stopped/86311/
Governor Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president, was scheduled to speak today at a rally in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza to protest the appearance here of President Ahmadinejad of Iran. Her appearance was canceled by rally organizers who sought a nonpolitical event. Following are the remarks Mrs. Palin would have given:

ROBYN BECK / 2008 AFP

Sarah Palin

***

I am honored to be with you and with leaders from across this great country — leaders from different faiths and political parties united in a single voice of outrage.

Tomorrow, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will come to New York — to the heart of what he calls the Great Satan — and speak freely in this, a country whose demise he has called for.  Ahmadinejad may choose his words carefully, but underneath all of the rhetoric is an agenda that threatens all who seek a safer and freer world. We gather here today to highlight the Iranian dictator's intentions and to call for action to thwart him.

He must be stopped.

The world must awake to the threat this man poses to all of us. Ahmadinejad denies that the Holocaust ever took place. He dreams of being an agent in a "Final Solution" — the elimination of the Jewish people. He has called Israel a "stinking corpse" that is "on its way to annihilation." Such talk cannot be dismissed as the ravings of a madman — not when Iran just this summer tested long-range Shahab-3 missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv, not when the Iranian nuclear program is nearing completion, and not when Iran sponsors terrorists that threaten and kill innocent people around the world.

The Iranian government wants nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran is running at least 3,800 centrifuges and that its uranium enrichment capacity is rapidly improving. According to news reports, U.S. intelligence agencies believe the Iranians may have enough nuclear material to produce a bomb within a year.

The world has condemned these activities. The United Nations Security Council has demanded that Iran suspend its illegal nuclear enrichment activities. It has levied three rounds of sanctions. How has Ahmadinejad responded? With the declaration that the "Iranian nation would not retreat one iota" from its nuclear program.

So, what should we do about this growing threat? First, we must succeed in Iraq. If we fail there, it will jeopardize the democracy the Iraqis have worked so hard to build, and empower the extremists in neighboring Iran. Iran has armed and trained terrorists who have killed our soldiers in Iraq, and it is Iran that would benefit from an American defeat in Iraq.

If we retreat without leaving a stable Iraq, Iran's nuclear ambitions will be bolstered. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons — they could share them tomorrow with the terrorists they finance, arm, and train today. Iranian nuclear weapons would set off a dangerous regional nuclear arms race that would make all of us less safe.

But Iran is not only a regional threat; it threatens the entire world. It is the no. 1 state sponsor of terrorism. It sponsors the world's most vicious terrorist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah. Together, Iran and its terrorists are responsible for the deaths of Americans in Lebanon in the 1980s, in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, and in Iraq today. They have murdered Iraqis, Lebanese, Palestinians, and other Muslims who have resisted Iran's desire to dominate the region. They have persecuted countless people simply because they are Jewish.

Iran is responsible for attacks not only on Israelis, but on Jews living as far away as Argentina. Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial are part of Iran's official ideology and murder is part of its official policy. Not even Iranian citizens are safe from their government's threat to those who want to live, work, and worship in peace. Politically-motivated abductions, torture, death by stoning, flogging, and amputations are just some of its state-sanctioned punishments.

It is said that the measure of a country is the treatment of its most vulnerable citizens. By that standard, the Iranian government is both oppressive and barbaric. Under Ahmadinejad's rule, Iranian women are some of the most vulnerable citizens.

If an Iranian woman shows too much hair in public, she risks being beaten or killed.

If she walks down a public street in clothing that violates the state dress code, she could be arrested.

But in the face of this harsh regime, the Iranian women have shown courage. Despite threats to their lives and their families, Iranian women have sought better treatment through the "One Million Signatures Campaign Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws." The authorities have reacted with predictable barbarism. Last year, women's rights activist Delaram Ali was sentenced to 20 lashes and 10 months in prison for committing the crime of "propaganda against the system." After international protests, the judiciary reduced her sentence to "only" 10 lashes and 36 months in prison and then temporarily suspended her sentence. She still faces the threat of imprisonment.

Earlier this year, Senator Clinton said that "Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is in the forefront of that" effort. Senator Clinton argued that part of our response must include stronger sanctions, including the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization. John McCain and I could not agree more.

Senator Clinton understands the nature of this threat and what we must do to confront it. This is an issue that should unite all Americans. Iran should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Period. And in a single voice, we must be loud enough for the whole world to hear: Stop Iran!

Only by working together, across national, religious, and political differences, can we alter this regime's dangerous behavior. Iran has many vulnerabilities, including a regime weakened by sanctions and a population eager to embrace opportunities with the West. We must increase economic pressure to change Iran's behavior.

Tomorrow, Ahmadinejad will come to New York. On our soil, he will exercise the right of freedom of speech — a right he denies his own people. He will share his hateful agenda with the world. Our task is to focus the world on what can be done to stop him.

We must rally the world to press for truly tough sanctions at the U.N. or with our allies if Iran's allies continue to block action in the U.N. We must start with restrictions on Iran's refined petroleum imports.

We must reduce our dependency on foreign oil to weaken Iran's economic influence.

We must target the regime's assets abroad; bank accounts, investments, and trading partners.

President Ahmadinejad should be held accountable for inciting genocide, a crime under international law.

We must sanction Iran's Central Bank and the Revolutionary Guard Corps — which no one should doubt is a terrorist organization.

Together, we can stop Iran's nuclear program.

Senator McCain has made a solemn commitment that I strongly endorse: Never again will we risk another Holocaust. And this is not a wish, a request, or a plea to Israel's enemies. This is a promise that the United States and Israel will honor, against any enemy who cares to test us. It is John McCain's promise and it is my promise.

Thank you.
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« Reply #71 on: October 11, 2008, 02:00:41 PM »

By GARANCE BURKE, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 49 minutes ago
 


WASILLA, Alaska - The camera closes in on Sarah Palin speaking to young missionaries, vowing from the pulpit to do her part to implement God's will from the governor's office.
 
What she didn't tell worshippers gathered at the Wasilla Assembly of God church in her hometown was that her appearance that day came courtesy of Alaskan taxpayers, who picked up the $639.50 tab for her airplane tickets and per diem fees.

An Associated Press review of the Republican vice presidential candidate's record as mayor and governor reveals her use of elected office to promote religious causes, sometimes at taxpayer expense and in ways that blur the line between church and state.

Since she took state office in late 2006, the governor and her family have spent more than $13,000 in taxpayer funds to attend at least 10 religious events and meetings with Christian pastors, including Franklin Graham, the son of evangelical preacher Billy Graham, records show.

Palin was baptized Roman Catholic as a newborn and baptized again in a Pentecostal Assemblies of God church when she was a teenager. She has worshipped at a nondenominational Bible church since 2002, opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest and supports classroom discussions about creationism.

Since she was named as John McCain's running mate, Palin's deep faith and support for traditional moral values have rallied conservative voters who initially appeared reluctant to back his campaign.

On a weekend trip from the capital in June, a minister from the Wasilla Assembly of God blessed Palin and Lt. Gov Sean Parnell before a crowd gathered for the "One Lord Sunday" event at the town's hockey rink. Later in the day, she addressed the budding missionaries at her former church.

"As I'm doing my job, let's strike this deal. Your job is going be to be out there, reaching the people — (the) hurting people — throughout Alaska," she told students graduating from the church's Masters Commission program. "We can work together to make sure God's will be done here."

A spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign, Maria Comella, said the state paid for Palin's travel and meals on that trip, and for other meetings with Christian groups, because she and her family were invited in their official capacity as Alaska's first family. Parnell did not charge the state a per diem or ask to be reimbursed for travel expenses that day.

"I understand the per diem policy is, I can claim it if I am away from my residence for 12 hours or more. And Anchorage is where my residence is and I'm based from. And this trip took about four hours of driving time and time at the event, so I did not claim per diem for this one," Parnell told the AP.

Palin and her family billed the state $3,022 for the cost of attending Christian gatherings exclusively, including visits to the Assembly of God here and to the congregation they attend in Juneau, according to expense reports reviewed by the AP.

Experts say those trips fall into an ethically gray area, since Democrats and Republicans alike often visit religious venues for personal and official reasons.

J. Brent Walker, who runs a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates for church-state separation, said based on a reporter's account, Palin's June excursion raised questions.

"Politicians are entitled to freely exercise their religion while in office, but ethically if not legally that part of her trip ought to not be charged to taxpayers," said Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. "It's still fundamentally a religious and spiritual experience she is having."

The Palins billed the state an additional $10,094 in expenses for other multi-day trips that included worship services or religiously themed events, but also involved substantial state business, including the governor's inaugural ball and an oil and gas conference in New Orleans.

Palin also submitted $998 in expenses for a June trip to Anchorage that included a bill signing at Congregation Beth Shalom synagogue, the only non-Christian house of worship she has visited since taking office, according to the McCain campaign.

In response to an AP request, Comella provided a list showing that since January 2007 the governor had attended 25 "faith-based events," including funerals and community meetings held at churches. Many did not appear on the governor's schedule or her travel records.

Palin has said publicly her personal opinions don't "bleed on over into policies."

Still, after the AP reported the governor had accepted tainted donations during her 2006 campaign, she announced she would donate the $2,100 to three charities, including an Anchorage nonprofit aimed at "sharing God's love" to dissuade young women from having abortions.

An AP review of her time as mayor, from late 1996 to 2002, also reveals a commingling of church and state.

Records of her mayoral correspondence show that Palin worked arduously to organize a day of prayer at city hall. She said that with local ministers' help, Wasilla — a city of 7,000 an hour's drive north of Anchorage — could become "a light, or a refuge for others in Alaska and America."

"What a blessing that the Lord has already put into place the Christian leaders, even though I know it's all through the grace of God," she wrote in March 2000 to her former pastor. She thanked him for the loan of a video featuring a Kenyan preacher who later would pray for her protection from witchcraft as she sought higher office.

In that same period, she also joined a grass-roots, faith-based movement to stop the local hospital from performing abortions, a fight that ultimately lost before the Alaska Supreme Court.

Palin's former church and other evangelical denominations were instrumental in ousting members of Valley Hospital's board who supported abortion rights — including the governor's mother-in-law, Faye Palin.

Alaska Right to Life Director Karen Lewis, who led the campaign, said Palin wasn't a leader in the movement initially. But by 1997, after she had been elected mayor, Palin joined a hospital board to make sure the abortion ban held while the courts considered whether the ban was legal, Lewis said.

"We kept pro-life people like Sarah on the association board to ensure children of the womb would be protected," Lewis said. "She's made up of this great fiber of high morals and godly character, and yet she's fearless. She's someone you can depend on to carry the water."

In November 2007, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that because the hospital received more than $10 million in public funds it was "quasi-public" and couldn't forbid legal abortions.

Comella said Palin joined the hospital's broader association in the mid-1990s. Records show she was elected to the nonprofit's board in 2000.

Ties among those active at the time still run deep: In November, Palin was a keynote speaker at Lewis' "Proudly Pro-Life Dinner" in Anchorage, and the governor billed taxpayers a $60 per diem fee for her work that day.

Palin also is one of just two governors who channeled federal money to support religious groups through a state agency, Alaska's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Palin has made it a priority to unite faith communities, local nonprofits and government to serve the needy, bringing her high marks — and $500,000 — from the Bush administration.

In fiscal year 2008, Alaska was one of only four states to receive $500,000 in federal grant money from the national initiative.

"The governor has a healthy appreciation for faith-based groups that serve Alaskans in need," said Jay Hein, who until recently directed national faith-based initiatives at the White House. "The grant speaks to their organizational strength, and the dynamism of Alaska's operation."

Several Catholic and Christian charities received funding, including $20,000 for a Fairbanks homeless shelter that views itself as a "stable door of evangelism and Christian service" and $36,000 for a drop-in center at an Anchorage mall that seeks to demonstrate "the unconditional love of Jesus to teenagers."

The state ensures all faith-based groups keep a strict separation between their work in the community and their prayer services to ensure recipients don't feel coerced, said Tara Horton, a special assistant to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Though staffers reached out to nonprofits and religious groups of many faiths, mostly Christian organizations applied for funding, she said.

In June, when Alaska legislators decided to cut $712,000 in state support for the office, Parnell sent lawmakers an urgent letter asking them to put it back in the budget. A small portion of state funding was later restored.

"Gov. Palin is motivated by the needs out there, and faith-based and community initiatives are a great way to do that," Parnell said. "It matters not to state government what religion people belong to, so long as they are serving the public and the money they receive is used appropriately."

Still, a state worker who directs an Anchorage-based group that advocates for church-state separation, Lloyd Eggan, said Palin's administration hasn't done enough to assure voters that government money doesn't support ministry.

"That sort of thing is exactly what courts have said is barred by the First Amendment," Eggan said.

___

Associated Press writers Justin Pritchard in Anchorage and Anne Sutton in Juneau contributed to this report.

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G M
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« Reply #72 on: October 11, 2008, 03:44:25 PM »

How much US taxpayer money was used when the Clintons attended church services? Was any tax money spent when Bill was being ministered to by Jesse Jackson post-Lewinski ?
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« Reply #73 on: October 12, 2008, 12:02:20 AM »

How much US taxpayer money was used when the Clintons attended church services? Was any tax money spent when Bill was being ministered to by Jesse Jackson post-Lewinski ?

Don't know, but him doing it doesn't excuse her her. That type of behavior needs to be stopped period.
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« Reply #74 on: October 12, 2008, 10:14:19 AM »

So elected officials can't attend religious services? Will Obama have to cancel his official blessing by Louis Farrakhan then?
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« Reply #75 on: October 12, 2008, 12:39:11 PM »

So elected officials can't attend religious services? Will Obama have to cancel his official blessing by Louis Farrakhan then?

That gave me a good belly laugh! You are too much GM  grin

Anyway, they can attend whatever they like... but not on the publics buck. This goes for anyone in office... in any party.
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« Reply #76 on: October 12, 2008, 05:43:37 PM »

The president, whomever he or she may be, has a USSS protective detail that is quite expensive surrounding them at all times, as well as other personnel, such as the military officer with the "football". They can't take the day off when the president goes to religious services.
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« Reply #77 on: October 12, 2008, 07:21:14 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/09/09/new-palin-scandal-she-billed-the-state-for-stuff-she-was-allowed-to-bill/

Scandal!  shocked
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« Reply #78 on: October 12, 2008, 10:02:26 PM »

The president, whomever he or she may be, has a USSS protective detail that is quite expensive surrounding them at all times, as well as other personnel, such as the military officer with the "football". They can't take the day off when the president goes to religious services.

Oh so those two scenarios are the same right?

Hardly.

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« Reply #79 on: October 12, 2008, 10:24:15 PM »

What's the difference between Palin and any other elected official in this?
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« Reply #80 on: October 13, 2008, 11:49:57 AM »

Secret service are paid to protect the president. If he happens to be at a religious service it really has very little to do with their job. They are doing their job. The job they are paid to do.

Palin is not paid to attend religious services, and if she charges the taxpayers for it then there is a problem.

The two are very clearly different.
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« Reply #81 on: October 13, 2008, 06:04:21 PM »

The Old-Boy Network Strikes Back

Gov. Sarah Palin has been asking reporters to actually read the Alaska state government report issued over the weekend that supposedly found she had abused her power in seeking the dismissal of Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten. And indeed, the report is more favorable to Mrs. Palin than much of the reporting has suggested. Mrs. Palin and her husband Todd did likely push for Mr. Wooten to be fired. But Special Prosecutor Stephen Branchflower was originally asked to look into whether Mrs. Palin violated state laws by firing her Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, who claimed that he was let go for refusing to oust Mr. Wooten. Mr. Branchflower determined that, in fact, the governor was within her rights to fire Mr. Monegan.

What's more, the recommendations Mr. Branchflower makes are largely favorable to Mrs. Palin. She had warned that Mr. Wooten, her ex-brother-in-law, was too unstable to be a police officer and had posed a threat the Palin family. Mr. Branchflower discounts the family's personal safety concerns, but recommends that the legislature create procedures so those who file complaints about police officers are informed about what steps are subsequently taken. Throughout the Wooten affair, the Palins had expressed frustration that no one could tell them what disciplinary action had been taken against Mr. Wooten (which likely led to the impression they were pressuring state officials). The report also notes that the original complaint filed against Mr. Wooten came from Chuck Heath, Mrs. Palin's father, who reported being concerned about an alleged threat by Mr. Wooten to kill him.

The report is a compilation of sordid details surrounding a messy episode in Alaska. Democrat Sen. Hollis French, who oversaw the special out-of-session legislative committee that ordered the investigation, insisted it be completed and released before Election Day. The report seems to rely on an assumption that Mrs. Palin wasn't really concerned about her personal safety, because she had reduced the size of her security detail -- never mind that she had campaigned partly on trimming back gubernatorial perks and pomp and had acted on those promises in other ways too. The report is available online (http://media.adn.com/smedia/2008/10/10/16/Branchflowerreport.source.prod_affiliate.7.pdf). It's hardly the smoking gun her opponents would like it to be.

-- Brendan Miniter
PD WSJ
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« Reply #82 on: October 13, 2008, 07:14:27 PM »

Secret service are paid to protect the president. If he happens to be at a religious service it really has very little to do with their job. They are doing their job. The job they are paid to do.

Palin is not paid to attend religious services, and if she charges the taxpayers for it then there is a problem.

The two are very clearly different.

She got her per diem as allowed for by law, she didn't bill for attending a religious service. It's not like she got a house through Tony Rezko or anything.....
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« Reply #83 on: October 13, 2008, 07:22:35 PM »

http://volokh.com/posts/1220936107.shtml

New Washington Post "Expose" on Palin:

You have to read the article carefully to figure this out, but what the story ultimately reveals is that Palin (a) billed the state for most expenses allowed by law, including per diem when she stayed in her own home (her "duty station" was the state capitol of Juneau) in Wasilla; (b) didn't bill the state for other expenses, when she could have done so lawfully, such as per diems for her children; and (c) spent a lot less money on expenses than did her predecessor, especially on travel and by ridding herself of the state's personal chef. [FWIW, she apparently maintained two residences, the governor's mansion in Juneau, which by state law is her official work "base" and where assumedly she didn't get a per diem [update: confirmed here] (but where her predecessor had a personal chef whom she let go), and Wasilla, from where she commuted to Anchorage for work when the legislature wasn't in session. Saintly to take the per diem she was legally entitled to when in the second residence? No. Worthy of the lead headline on Washingtonpost.com? Please! Not illegal, not unethical, and not a scandal.]
Meanwhile, I have to wonder whether the Post has several reporters looking over Joe Biden's expense reports. Does he bill the government for his daily roundtrip to Delaware? How many "fact-finding missions" has he participated in annually during his Senate career? Inquiring minds want to know?

UPDATE: The Post doesn't do the math for us, but the total per diem claimed was $16,951 divided divided by 312 days, or $54.33 per day (the per diem is $60, so there were some partial days).

Also, the article headline, "Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home," and some related content, is very misleading. A glance at the expense report reproduced on the Post's website makes it clear that she requested per diem for her daily expenses, but not for lodging, and that she apparently wrote "lodging--own home" only to explain why she wasn't requesting hotel expenses. One almost wonders whether the author of the story understands what a "per diem" is; the story notes that Palin rarely charged the state for meals when in Wasilla and Anchorage, but of course she didn't, because she instead just asked for the per diem!

The Post also reports:

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.


It must have been quite a little scandal, because a search of the Anchorage Daily News for "Tony Smith" reveals no per diem controversy, only a controversy over alleged contract-steering that led to Smith's resignation, and an earlier, much smaller controversy about state officials, including Smith, taking foreign trips. There was a contemporaneous (early 1989) controversy over the expenses claimed by state Sen. Paul Fischer, including allegations that he requested a per diem on days when he was not where he claimed to be.
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WSJ
« Reply #84 on: October 23, 2008, 11:46:18 AM »

Hatin' Palin She's not the reason Americans can't stand their politicians.By DANIEL HENNINGER
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The abuse being heaped on Sarah Palin is such a cheap shot.

The complaint against the Alaska governor, at its most basic, is that she doesn't qualify for admission to the national political fraternity. Boy, that's rich. Behold the shabby frat house that says it's above her pay grade.

 
NBC
Sarah Palin appears with Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live.
Congress has the lowest approval rating ever registered in the history of polling (12%!). She isn't the reason polls are showing people want the entire Congress fired, with many telling pollsters they themselves could do a better job.

Sarah Palin didn't design a system of presidential primaries whose length and cost ensures that only the most obsessional personalities will run the gauntlet, while a long list of effective governors don't run.

These rules have wasted the electorate's time the past three presidential elections, by filling the debates with such zero-support candidates as Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, Al Sharpton, Duncan Hunter, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden (8,000 total votes), Wesley Clark and Alan Keyes.


Daniel Henninger discusses the "cheap shots" taken at Sarah Palin and highlights some problems with the political system. (Oct. 23)
Out of this process has fallen a Democratic nominee who entered the U.S. Senate in 2005 fresh off a stint in the Illinois state legislature, with next to no record of political accomplishment. He may be elected mainly because, in Colin Powell's word, he is thought to be "transformational." One may hope so.

By not bothering to look very deeply at the details beneath either candidate's governing proposals, the media have created a lot of downtime to take free kicks at Gov. Palin. My former colleague, Tunku Varadarajan, has compiled a glossary of Palin invective, and I've added a few: "Republican blow-up doll," "idiot," "Christian Stepford wife," "Jesus freak," "Caribou Barbie," "a dope," "a fatal cancer to the Republican Party," "liar," "a national disgrace" and "her pretense that she is a woman."

If American politics is at low ebb, it is because so many of its observers enjoy working in its fetid backwash.

The primary discomfort with Gov. Palin is the notion that she doesn't have sufficient experience to be president, that Sen. McCain should have picked a Washington hand seasoned in the ways of the world. Such as? Here's an opinion poll question:

If as Joe Biden suggests the U.S. is likely to be tested by a foreign enemy next year, who of the following would you rather have dealing with it in the Oval Office: Nancy (of Damascus) Pelosi, Harry Reid, John Edwards, Joe (the U.S. drove Hezbollah out of Lebanon) Biden, Mike Huckabee, Geraldine Ferraro, Tom DeLay, Jimmy Carter or Sarah Palin?

My pick? Gov. Palin, surely the most grounded, common-sense person on that list of prime-time politicians.

The established political pros let the selection process come to this. Presidential candidates such as John McCain and Barack Obama have become untethered from the discipline of party institutions, largely because the parties have lost coherence. So we get celebrity candidates made famous, fundable and electable by dint of their access to the Beltway media. For voters, this election is a national Hail Mary.

For nearly two years, all the major candidates have rotated through our lives as solitary personalities attended by careerist campaign professionals. Barack, Hillary, Rudy, Mitt, Mike, McCain. When the moment arrived to pick a running mate, input from the parties was minimal. That famous party boss, Caroline Kennedy, advised Barack Obama. They picked a three-decade denizen of the Senate. John McCain's obligation was himself and his endless slog to this big chance.

The quick surge of party-wide excitement and campaign contributions after his selection of Sarah Palin made clear that the McCain candidacy was moribund and headed for a low-turnout debacle. If he had picked any of the plain-vanilla men on his veep short list -- Pawlenty, Sanford, Romney or Lieberman -- they'd have won approval from the media's college of cardinals, and killed his campaign.

The stoning of Sarah Palin has exposed enough cultural fissures in American politics to occupy strategists full-time until 2012. We now see there is a left-to-right elite centered in New York, Washington, Hollywood and Silicon Valley who hand down judgments of the nation's mortals from their perch atop the Bell Curve.

It seems only yesterday that the most critical skill in presidential politics was being able to connect to people in places like Bronko's bar or Saddleback Church. When Gov. Palin showed she excelled at that, the goal posts suddenly moved and the new game was being able to talk the talk in London, Paris, Tehran or Moscow. She looks about a half-step behind Sen. Obama on that learning curve.

Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of "Saturday Night Live," lives on the forward wave of American life. This week he gave his view of Sarah Palin to EW.com: "I think Palin will continue to be underestimated for a while. I watched the way she connected with people, and she's powerful. Her politics aren't my politics. But you can see that she's a very powerful, very disciplined, incredibly gracious woman. This was her first time out and she's had a huge impact. People connect to her."

Uh-oh. Sounds like the cancer could be in remission.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #85 on: October 24, 2008, 12:55:22 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR9V_aOCga0
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rachelg
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« Reply #86 on: October 24, 2008, 06:38:37 PM »

Palin wig a top seller in Brooklyn
Oct. 24, 2008
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST

Don't be surprised if you see a few Sarah Palin lookalikes in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods like Brooklyn's Borough Park.

A wig wholesaler there says its Palin wig has become one of the company's most popular items.

Georgie Wigs Vice President Shlomo Klein said Thursday that the company has sold about 50 Palin wigs since the Alaska governor joined John McCain on the GOP ticket.

"It's a very conservative yet fashion-forward look," Klein said. "It can be worn down, it can be worn up. There are a lot of styling options. The bun higher, the bun lower."

Klein's company caters to Orthodox Jewish women who must cover their hair after marriage as well as women who need wigs for medical reasons.

He said he doesn't think it's odd that Jewish women would model themselves on Palin, a devout Christian from a frontier state with very few Jews.

"She's pro-Israel," he noted.

Klein said Georgie Wigs has carried Hillary Clinton and Jennifer Anniston wigs in the past. Its catalog currently includes a Posh Spice wig.

The all-human hair Palin wig sells for $695.

"We always try to stay up on the trends," Klein said, "and right now she is the trend."
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rachelg
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« Reply #87 on: October 24, 2008, 06:43:48 PM »

http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2008/10/24/palin_stylist/index.html



Today, the New York Times' Caucus blog broke the news that the highest-paid person in McCain's campaign for the past two weeks is Sarah Palin's stylist

    [Amy] Strozzi, who was nominated for an Emmy award for her makeup work on the television show "So You Think You Can Dance?", was paid $22,800 for the first two weeks of October alone, according to the records. The campaign categorized Ms. Strozzi’s payment as "Personnel Svc/Equipment."

Before you sharpen your Ginsus, however, consider this: Last night, on CNN, Campbell Brown asked the media to stop covering the story about Palin's wardrobe (which Broadsheet had, of course, already covered).

    There is an incredible double standard here, and we're ignoring a very simple reality. Women are judged based on their appearance far, far more than men. This is a statement of fact. There has been plenty of talk and plenty written about Sarah Palin's jackets, her hair, her looks. Sound familiar? There was plenty of talk and plenty written about Hillary Clinton's looks, hair, pantsuits. Compare that to the attention given to Barack Obama's $1,500 suits or John McCain’s $520 Ferragamo shoes. There is no comparison.

I asked Salon staffers: Should we stop covering this story? Is it newsworthy that Palin's stylist was paid so enormously well? Why -- if at all -- does this story matter?

The responses are posted below:

Andrew O'Hehir: Once again, I'm going to have my cake and eat it too. No question, Brown has a point -- women in public life are subjected to intense scrutiny of their physique, hair and wardrobe in a way men never are. But when people wrote or blogged snarky things about Clinton's ankles or her pantsuits or whatever, that's all it was -- random sexist bitchiness. No one argued that the specifics of Clinton's wardrobe or toilette were especially revelatory or pointed out some hypocrisy in the way she was packaged and presented.

For one thing, we were all pretty sure that Hillary Clinton was packaging herself, for better or for worse. And that's where the Palin clothing budget becomes relevant. As I said earlier, the GOP made a strategic and/or tactical decision to package Palin as a pop star and to play up her physical attractiveness by dressing her in flattering and extremely expensive designer outfits. I'm not horrified by this in the abstract, and I'm sure Obama and/or his people select his very nice and very not-cheap suits with immense care. They flatter his physique, too, and he looks terrific. (McCain, well, you have to feel for the poor bastard on this front. He can spend a million bucks on shoes made from Peruvian anteater hides if he wants, and God knows Cindy's got the money, but it won't help.)

But of course the media has seized on the Palin fashion budget because A) it appears to undermine her winky, Wasilla Main Street, Wal-Mart-mom stage persona, which as it happens is not resonating outside the Republican base the way they hoped it might; and B) it was a dumbass blunder that speaks to the arrogance and cluelessness of this year's GOP campaign, which just keeps dredging up golden oldies and finding that the audience has moved on.

So while I think there is always an element of sexism in any public dissection of a prominent woman's appearance -- and some of the media will fall into that trap more than others -- this remains a legit story.

Rebecca Traister: My take on Palin and wardrobe: I am just flat-out tired of talking about it. I didn't think it was sexist when it broke as a mini-story (see also: Edwards' haircut, Kerry's botox, McCain's 15 houses) but the four-day fetishization is pushing me to: Move along, folks, the lady bought too many expensive clothes. Nothing to see here. And can't help but feel that the gawking would be less intense and prolonged if it were about a man's wardrobe. But also: There is way more problematic distance between how Palin addresses her real American fans vs. how she legislates on their behalf than there is between how she dresses and how she talks.

Jeanne Carstensen: I agree with Rebecca that "There is way more problematic distance between how Palin addresses her real American fans vs. how she legislates on their behalf than there is between how she dresses and how she talks." Totally.

But I still the media scrutiny is warranted. Sure, sexism puts more pressure on women than men to play the beauty card, to spend extravagantly on fashion, hair, makeup. So it's not surprising to learn those Valentino suits and Manolo Blahnik shoes weren't in Palin's closet in Wasilla but were purchased after she was plucked by McCain for his veep. Same for that hair and perfectly applied foundation. Any politician, and especially a woman, would need a major makeover after being thrust suddenly onto the national stage from a regional one. But still, the disconnect between Palin's populist hockey-mom routine and her current status as a right-wing celebrity complete with GOP-funded fashion entourage is notable. She derides anyone not on the barstool next to her with "Joe Sixpack" as un-American. Since she's so aggressive about attacking others not in her supposed cultural camp, the details about what Sarah "Hockey Mom" Palin actually wears, and how much it costs, are facts voters have a right to know.

Judy Berman: I wasn't especially bothered by the original revelation about Palin's clothing expenditures, but the makeup artist's paycheck gets to me. Though I don't necessarily think the McCain camp should be prohibited from spending that much money on an employee whose entire job is to keep Palin's face looking VPILF-tastic, the decision does say something depressing about their priorities and judgment. You're lagging by a large margin in the polls, voters are hungry to hear something -- anything -- about how your administration would deal with the economic crisis ...  and you're paying the makeup artist from "So You Think You Can Dance?" nearly twice what the heads of your communications and foreign policy teams make? Really?

Katharine Mieszkowski: It's a great day when the political tempest in a teapot is that a woman is being paid too much.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #88 on: October 26, 2008, 11:57:02 PM »

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1008/14929.html

Quote:
Palin allies report rising campaign tension
By: Ben Smith
October 25, 2008 02:32 PM EST
Even as John McCain and Sarah Palin scramble to close the gap in the final days of the 2008 election, stirrings of a Palin insurgency are complicating the campaign's already-tense internal dynamics.

Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain's camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain's decline.

"She's lost confidence in most of the people on the plane," said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to "go rogue" in some of her public pronouncements and decisions.

"I think she'd like to go more rogue," he said.

The emergence of a Palin faction comes as Republicans gird for a battle over the future of their party: Some see her as a charismatic, hawkish conservative leader with the potential, still unrealized, to cross over to attract moderate voters. Anger among Republicans who see Palin as a star and as a potential future leader has boiled over because, they say, they see other senior McCain aides preparing to blame her in the event he is defeated.

"These people are going to try and shred her after the campaign to divert blame from themselves," a McCain insider said, referring to McCain's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, and to Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush aide who has taken a lead role in Palin's campaign. Palin's partisans blame Wallace, in particular, for Palin's avoiding of the media for days and then giving a high-stakes interview to CBS News' Katie Couric, the sometimes painful content of which the campaign allowed to be parceled out over a week.

"A number of Gov. Palin's staff have not had her best interests at heart, and they have not had the campaign's best interests at heart," the McCain insider fumed, noting that Wallace left an executive job at CBS to join the campaign.

Wallace declined to engage publicly in the finger-pointing that has consumed the campaign in the final weeks.

"I am in awe of [Palin's] strength under constant fire by the media," she said in an e-mail. "If someone wants to throw me under the bus, my personal belief is that the most graceful thing to do is to lie there."

But other McCain aides, defending Wallace, dismissed the notion that Palin was mishandled. The Alaska governor was, they argue, simply unready — "green," sloppy and incomprehensibly willing to criticize McCain for, for instance, not attacking Sen. Barack Obama for his relationship with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Palin has in fact performed fairly well in the moments thought to be key for a vice presidential nominee: She made a good impression in her surprise rollout in Ohio and her speech to the Republican National Convention went better than the campaign could have imagined. She turned in an adequate performance at a debate against the Democratic Party's foremost debater.

But other elements of her image-making went catastrophically awry. Her dodging of the press and her nervous reliance on tight scripts in her first interview, with ABC News, became a national joke — driven home to devastating effect by "Saturday Night Live" comic Tina Fey. The Couric interview — her only unstaged appearance for a week — was "water torture," as one internal ally put it.

Some McCain aides say they had little choice with a candidate who simply wasn't ready for the national stage, and that Palin didn't forcefully object. Moments that Palin's allies see as triumphs of instinct and authenticity — the Wright suggestion, her objection to the campaign's pulling out of Michigan — they dismiss as Palin's "slips and miscommunications," that is, her own incompetence and evidence of the need for tight scripting.

But Palin partisans say she chafed at the handling.

"The campaign as a whole bought completely into what the Washington media said — that she's completely inexperienced," said a close Palin ally outside the campaign who speaks regularly to the candidate.

"Her strategy was to be trustworthy and a team player during the convention and thereafter, but she felt completely mismanaged and mishandled and ill advised," the person said. "Recently, she's gone from relying on McCain advisers who were assigned to her to relying on her own instincts."

Palin's loyalists say she's grown particularly disenchanted with the veterans of the Bush reelection campaign, including Schmidt and Wallace, and that despite her anti-intellectual rhetoric, her closest ally among her new traveling aides is a policy adviser, former National Security Council official Steve Biegun. She's also said to be close with McCain's chief foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, who prepared her for the Oct. 2 vice presidential debate.

When a McCain aide, speaking anonymously Friday to The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder, suggested that Palin's charge that Obama was "palling around with terrorists" had "escaped HQ's vetting," it was Scheunemann who fired off an angry response that the speech was "fully vetted" and that to attack Palin for it was "bullshit."

Palin's "instincts," on display in recent days, have had her opening up to the media, including a round of interviews on talk radio, cable and broadcast outlets, as well as chats with her traveling press and local reporters.

Reporters really began to notice the change last Sunday, when Palin strolled over to a local television crew in Colorado Springs.

"Get Tracey," a staffer called out, according to The New York Times, summoning spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt, who reportedly "tried several times to cut it off with a terse 'Thank you!' in between questions, to no avail." The moment may have caused ulcers in some precincts of the McCain campaign, but it was an account Palin's admirers in Washington cheered.

Palin had also sought to give meatier policy speeches, in particular on energy policy and on policy for children with disabilities; she finally gave the latter speech Friday, but had wanted to deliver it much earlier.

She's also begun to make her own ad hoc calls about the campaign's direction and the ticket's policy. McCain, for instance, has remained silent on Democrats' calls for a stimulus package of new spending, a move many conservatives oppose but that could be broadly popular. But in an interview with the conservative radio host Glenn Beck earlier this week, Palin went "off the reservation" to make the campaign policy, one aide said.

"I say, you know, when is enough enough of taxpayer dollars being thrown into this bill out there?" she asked. "This next one of the Democrats being proposed should be very, very concerning to all Americans because to me it sends a message that $700 billion bailout, maybe that was just the tip of the iceberg. No, you know, we were told when we've got to be believing if we have enough elected officials who are going to be standing strong on fiscal conservative principles and free enterprise and we have to believe that there are enough of those elected officials to say, 'No, OK, that's enough.'"

(A McCain spokeswoman said Palin's statement was "a good sentiment.")

But few imagine that Palin will be able to repair her image — and bad poll numbers — in the eleven days before the campaign ends. And the final straw for Palin and her allies was the news that the campaign had reported spending $150,000 on her clothes, turning her, again, into the butt of late-night humor.

"She never even set foot in these stores," the senior Republican said, noting Palin hadn't realized the cost when the clothes were brought to her in her Minnesota hotel room.

"It's completely out-of-control operatives," said the close ally outside the campaign. "She has no responsibility for that. It's incredibly frustrating for us and for her."

Between Palin's internal detractors and her allies, there's a middle ground: Some aides say that she's a flawed candidate whose handling exaggerated her weak spots.

"She was completely mishandled in the beginning. No one took the time to look at what her personal strengths and weaknesses are and developed a plan that made sense based on who she is as a candidate," the aide said. "Any concerns she or those close to her have about that are totally valid."

But the aide said that Palin's inexperience led her to her own mistakes:

"How she was handled allowed her weaknesses to hang out in full display."

If McCain loses, Palin's allies say that the national Republican Party hasn't seen the last of her. Politicians are sometimes formed by a signal defeat — as Bill Clinton was when he was tossed out of the Arkansas governor's mansion after his first term — and Palin would return to a state that had made her America's most popular governor and where her image as a reformer who swept aside her own party's insiders rings true, if not in the cartoon version the McCain campaign presented.

"There are people in this campaign who feel a real sense of loyalty to her and are really pleased with her performance and think she did a great job," said the McCain insider. "She has a real future in this party."
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #89 on: October 27, 2008, 11:54:19 AM »

Sarah Palin's War on Science
The GOP ticket's appalling contempt for knowledge and learning.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Oct. 27, 2008, at 11:43 AM ET

In an election that has been fought on an astoundingly low cultural and intellectual level, with both candidates pretending that tax cuts can go like peaches and cream with the staggering new levels of federal deficit, and paltry charges being traded in petty ways, and with Joe the Plumber becoming the emblematic stupidity of the campaign, it didn't seem possible that things could go any lower or get any dumber. But they did last Friday, when, at a speech in Pittsburgh, Gov. Sarah Palin denounced wasteful expenditure on fruit-fly research, adding for good xenophobic and anti-elitist measure that some of this research took place "in Paris, France" and winding up with a folksy "I kid you not."

It was in 1933 that Thomas Hunt Morgan won a Nobel Prize for showing that genes are passed on by way of chromosomes. The experimental creature that he employed in the making of this great discovery was the Drosophila melanogaster, or fruit fly. Scientists of various sorts continue to find it a very useful resource, since it can be easily and plentifully "cultured" in a laboratory, has a very short generation time, and displays a great variety of mutation. This makes it useful in studying disease, and since Gov. Palin was in Pittsburgh to talk about her signature "issue" of disability and special needs, she might even have had some researcher tell her that there is a Drosophila-based center for research into autism at the University of North Carolina. The fruit fly can also be a menace to American agriculture, so any financing of research into its habits and mutations is money well-spent. It's especially ridiculous and unfortunate that the governor chose to make such a fool of herself in Pittsburgh, a great city that remade itself after the decline of coal and steel into a center of high-tech medical research.

In this case, it could be argued, Palin was not just being a fool in her own right but was following a demagogic lead set by the man who appointed her as his running mate. Sen. John McCain has made repeated use of an anti-waste and anti-pork ad (several times repeated and elaborated in his increasingly witless speeches) in which the expenditure of $3 million to study the DNA of grizzly bears in Montana was derided as "unbelievable." As an excellent article in the Feb. 8, 2008, Scientific American pointed out, there is no way to enforce the Endangered Species Act without getting some sort of estimate of numbers, and the best way of tracking and tracing the elusive grizzly is by setting up barbed-wire hair-snagging stations that painlessly take samples from the bears as they lumber by and then running the DNA samples through a laboratory. The cost is almost trivial compared with the importance of understanding this species, and I dare say the project will yield results in the measurement of other animal populations as well, but all McCain could do was be flippant and say that he wondered whether it was a "paternity" or "criminal" issue that the Fish and Wildlife Service was investigating. (Perhaps those really are the only things that he associates in his mind with DNA.)

With Palin, however, the contempt for science may be something a little more sinister than the bluff, empty-headed plain-man's philistinism of McCain. We never get a chance to ask her in detail about these things, but she is known to favor the teaching of creationism in schools (smuggling this crazy idea through customs in the innocent disguise of "teaching the argument," as if there was an argument), and so it is at least probable that she believes all creatures from humans to fruit flies were created just as they are now. This would make DNA or any other kind of research pointless, whether conducted in Paris or not. Projects such as sequencing the DNA of the flu virus, the better to inoculate against it, would not need to be funded. We could all expire happily in the name of God. Gov. Palin also says that she doesn't think humans are responsible for global warming; again, one would like to ask her whether, like some of her co-religionists, she is a "premillenial dispensationalist"—in other words, someone who believes that there is no point in protecting and preserving the natural world, since the end of days will soon be upon us.

Videos taken in the Assembly of God church in Wasilla, Alaska, which she used to attend, show her nodding as a preacher says that Alaska will be "one of the refuge states in the Last Days." For the uninitiated, this is a reference to a crackpot belief, widely held among those who brood on the "End Times," that some parts of the world will end at different times from others, and Alaska will be a big draw as the heavens darken on account of its wide open spaces. An article by Laurie Goodstein in the New York Times gives further gruesome details of the extreme Pentecostalism with which Palin has been associated in the past (perhaps moderating herself, at least in public, as a political career became more attractive). High points, also available on YouTube, show her being "anointed" by an African bishop who claims to cast out witches. The term used in the trade for this hysterical superstitious nonsense is "spiritual warfare," in which true Christian soldiers are trained to fight demons. Palin has spoken at "spiritual warfare" events as recently as June. And only last week the chiller from Wasilla spoke of "prayer warriors" in a radio interview with James Dobson of Focus on the Family, who said that he and his lovely wife, Shirley, had convened a prayer meeting to beseech that "God's perfect will be done on Nov. 4."

This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.
Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair and the author of God Is Not Great.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2203120/
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« Reply #90 on: October 27, 2008, 12:29:28 PM »

Sarah Palin's War on Science
The GOP ticket's appalling contempt for knowledge and learning.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Oct. 27, 2008, at 11:43 AM ET

In an election that has been fought on an astoundingly low cultural and intellectual level, with both candidates pretending that tax cuts can go like peaches and cream with the staggering new levels of federal deficit, and paltry charges being traded in petty ways, and with Joe the Plumber becoming the emblematic stupidity of the campaign, it didn't seem possible that things could go any lower or get any dumber. But they did last Friday, when, at a speech in Pittsburgh, Gov. Sarah Palin denounced wasteful expenditure on fruit-fly research, adding for good xenophobic and anti-elitist measure that some of this research took place "in Paris, France" and winding up with a folksy "I kid you not."

**I don't think her point or position was anti-fruit fly research, but questioning the role of the federal government using taxpayer's dollars to fund it.**

It was in 1933 that Thomas Hunt Morgan won a Nobel Prize for showing that genes are passed on by way of chromosomes. The experimental creature that he employed in the making of this great discovery was the Drosophila melanogaster, or fruit fly. Scientists of various sorts continue to find it a very useful resource, since it can be easily and plentifully "cultured" in a laboratory, has a very short generation time, and displays a great variety of mutation. This makes it useful in studying disease, and since Gov. Palin was in Pittsburgh to talk about her signature "issue" of disability and special needs, she might even have had some researcher tell her that there is a Drosophila-based center for research into autism at the University of North Carolina. The fruit fly can also be a menace to American agriculture, so any financing of research into its habits and mutations is money well-spent. It's especially ridiculous and unfortunate that the governor chose to make such a fool of herself in Pittsburgh, a great city that remade itself after the decline of coal and steel into a center of high-tech medical research.

In this case, it could be argued, Palin was not just being a fool in her own right but was following a demagogic lead set by the man who appointed her as his running mate. Sen. John McCain has made repeated use of an anti-waste and anti-pork ad (several times repeated and elaborated in his increasingly witless speeches) in which the expenditure of $3 million to study the DNA of grizzly bears in Montana was derided as "unbelievable." As an excellent article in the Feb. 8, 2008, Scientific American pointed out, there is no way to enforce the Endangered Species Act without getting some sort of estimate of numbers, and the best way of tracking and tracing the elusive grizzly is by setting up barbed-wire hair-snagging stations that painlessly take samples from the bears as they lumber by and then running the DNA samples through a laboratory. The cost is almost trivial compared with the importance of understanding this species, and I dare say the project will yield results in the measurement of other animal populations as well, but all McCain could do was be flippant and say that he wondered whether it was a "paternity" or "criminal" issue that the Fish and Wildlife Service was investigating. (Perhaps those really are the only things that he associates in his mind with DNA.)

**The US Fish and Wildlife Service has a great animal forensic lab based in OR. that does outstanding work in DNA for wildlife law enforcement, but I digress.**

With Palin, however, the contempt for science may be something a little more sinister than the bluff, empty-headed plain-man's philistinism of McCain. We never get a chance to ask her in detail about these things, but she is known to favor the teaching of creationism in schools (smuggling this crazy idea through customs in the innocent disguise of "teaching the argument," as if there was an argument), and so it is at least probable that she believes all creatures from humans to fruit flies were created just as they are now. This would make DNA or any other kind of research pointless, whether conducted in Paris or not. Projects such as sequencing the DNA of the flu virus, the better to inoculate against it, would not need to be funded. We could all expire happily in the name of God. Gov. Palin also says that she doesn't think humans are responsible for global warming; again, one would like to ask her whether, like some of her co-religionists, she is a "premillenial dispensationalist"—in other words, someone who believes that there is no point in protecting and preserving the natural world, since the end of days will soon be upon us.

**Yes, mindlessly believing is religion is bad, unless the religion is "global warming", then no science is needed.**


Videos taken in the Assembly of God church in Wasilla, Alaska, which she used to attend, show her nodding as a preacher says that Alaska will be "one of the refuge states in the Last Days." For the uninitiated, this is a reference to a crackpot belief, widely held among those who brood on the "End Times," that some parts of the world will end at different times from others, and Alaska will be a big draw as the heavens darken on account of its wide open spaces. An article by Laurie Goodstein in the New York Times gives further gruesome details of the extreme Pentecostalism with which Palin has been associated in the past (perhaps moderating herself, at least in public, as a political career became more attractive).

**Ah, if only Obama's belief system and peers were vetted so closely. Oh well, one can dream.**

High points, also available on YouTube, show her being "anointed" by an African bishop who claims to cast out witches. The term used in the trade for this hysterical superstitious nonsense is "spiritual warfare," in which true Christian soldiers are trained to fight demons. Palin has spoken at "spiritual warfare" events as recently as June. And only last week the chiller from Wasilla spoke of "prayer warriors" in a radio interview with James Dobson of Focus on the Family, who said that he and his lovely wife, Shirley, had convened a prayer meeting to beseech that "God's perfect will be done on Nov. 4."

**If the clergy were only screaming "God damn America", then this would be a non-issue, right?**

This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.
Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair and the author of God Is Not Great.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2203120/

A quick dose of Palin's actual take on evolution: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/31417_Video-_Sarah_Palin_on_Social_Issues
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G M
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« Reply #91 on: October 27, 2008, 12:51:27 PM »

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/31488_Palins_Creationism_Statements-_Distorted_by_Right_and_Left

More on her actual stance.
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G M
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« Reply #92 on: October 28, 2008, 12:02:56 AM »

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-10-27/sarah-palins-a-brainiac/1/

A different take than the usual "Protocols of the elders of Palin" hit pieces posted here.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #93 on: November 06, 2008, 06:23:08 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWZHTJsR4Bc

Saracuda does not come out looking very good on this one.
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G M
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« Reply #94 on: November 06, 2008, 08:53:06 AM »

Backbiting from McCain campaign officials scrambling to cover their own asses. Sadly not unusual for failed campaigns. Noticed that it's from unnamed sources.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #95 on: November 06, 2008, 10:56:23 AM »

Fair enough, it IS hard to believe that she didn't know that Africa was a continent-- still, there have been moments where she has left me with an uneasy feeling-- and I like her a lot.
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #96 on: November 06, 2008, 11:56:25 AM »

1) Didn't know basic civics and government structures.
2) Didn't know countries involved in NAFTA
3) Couldn't name countries in North America
4) Didn't know Africa was a continent
5) Didn't understand the theory of Amercian Exceptionalism

If even one of these is true, it is deeply disturbing, no matter how you want to spin it.

Detailed report on O'Reilly:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtxDs3Rk_vE&feature=related

I see this to be a pure toss under the bus. Complete and unnecessary defamation of character. I think they see Palin as a threat in '08 - '12 and are launching pre-emptive strikes.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #97 on: November 06, 2008, 12:02:32 PM »

Temporary Ted

People are scratching their heads that Alaska Senator Ted Stevens appears to have won re-election despite being convicted on seven felony counts of concealing improper gifts received from an oil services company executive. He clings to a 4,000-vote lead over Democrat Mark Begich, Anchorage's mayor, with several thousand absentee ballots not yet counted.

That Alaska is a Republican state and turnout was high due to the presence of Governor Sarah Palin on the GOP ticket isn't enough to explain how the 84-year-old Stevens appears to have become a political Lazarus. For one thing, turnout wasn't up very much, if at all. Certainly loyalty to Mr. Stevens, whose control over the levers of the federal budget has allowed him to play the state's Santa Claus for four decades, was a factor.

But the real reason for his survival appears to be tactical voting on the part of the state's voters. GOP sources tell me word was spread that the only way to keep the seat in the Republican column and prevent a possible 60-seat filibuster-proof Democratic majority was for voters to hold their noses and re-elect Mr. Stevens. Mr. Stevens himself implied as much in the race's only debate, held after his conviction.

The drama is now likely to play out as follows: Should Mr. Stevens be certified the winner, he will likely be told he won't be seated when the new Senate convenes in January. Governor Palin then would fill the vacancy for a period not to exceed 90 days, when a special election would have to be held. Mrs. Palin is likely to appoint her lieutenant governor, Sean Parnell, to the seat. Mr. Parnell, in turn, would likely face Mr. Begich early next year. Watch for a great deal of money to be poured into the race by Democrats, who hope that the absence of the legendary Mr. Stevens from the ballot will finally give them a chance to win.

-- John Fund
=================
What if Saracuda appoints herself to Stevens seat?!? Can she do that?!?

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G M
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« Reply #98 on: November 06, 2008, 12:45:45 PM »



I see this to be a pure toss under the bus. Complete and unnecessary defamation of character. I think they see Palin as a threat in '08 - '12 and are launching pre-emptive strikes.

Yup. Smartest thing for Sarah to do is go back to Alaska and govern well. In the future, the public will want to see a real track record of actually skill as an executive rather than treating a presidential election as a reality TV show and going for the new and exciting novelty.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #99 on: November 06, 2008, 03:57:29 PM »

If Stevens wins and then has to resign, can she appoint herself Senator?
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