Democrats & Liberals Archives

Sarah Palin: Washington Republican's Latest Fraud

Sarah Palin introduced herself to the nation by lying to their faces and misrepresenting herself. I know the “Bridge to Nowhere” has been beaten like a dead horse by other commentators, but let me, right here, tell you why Republicans and independents should take this as a warning sign, if they hold their values dear in any real fashion.

National fury over the bridge caused Congress to remove the earmark designation, but Alaska was still granted an equivalent amount of transportation money to be used at its own discretion.

Last year, Palin announced she was stopping state work on the controversial project, earning her admirers from earmark critics and budget hawks from around the nation. The move also thrust her into the spotlight as a reform-minded newcomer.

The state, however, never gave back any of the money that was originally earmarked for the Gravina Island bridge, said Weinstein and Elerding.

In fact, the Palin administration has spent "tens of millions of dollars" in federal funds to start building a road on Gravina Island that is supposed to link up to the yet-to-be-built bridge, Weinstein said.

"She said 'thanks but no thanks,' but they kept the money," said Elerding about her applause line.

It was a nice flamboyant move, and no doubt it was one that the Republicans knew would appeal to people sick of Washington corruption. But as the report points out, Alaska, under Sarah Palin, did not return the money. Americans did not save one red cent from the cancellation of the earmark.

McCain likes to emphasize the savings from earmarks, but the truth is, all an earmark does is to tell the federal government specifically how it's going to spend its money. We could talk about it in terms of waste, in terms of earmarks taking money from where it is needed, and sending it somewhere else, but the absence of earmarks does not equate to the absences of taxpayer dollars.

Alaska, under Sarah Palin, remains the largest recipient of earmarks, with more money redirected its way than to any other state. If she truly fought them, it was a battle she obviously lost, and she should not be proudly trumpeting her experience as a reformer. But it's worse than her simply being ineffective.

Sarah Palin, even as governor, has actively sought the very diversion of federal funds she claims to oppose.

Instead, earmarks — pet projects that members of Congress fund but that no federal agency has requested — have become a mainstay of political life here, and one that Palin embraced from early on in her career as a mayor of Wasilla to the governor's mansion in Juneau.

Just this year, she sent to Sen. Ted. Stevens, R-Alaska, a proposal for 31 earmarks totaling $197 million — more, per person, than any other state.

Alaska, though, for all its rural expanse, is not hurting for money. Quite the opposite.

Palin's requests to Congress came at a time of huge federal deficits, while Alaska state revenue was soaring due to rising oil prices and a major tax increase on oil production that Palin signed into law in late 2007.

As a result, Alaska this year was in such a money-flushed condition — with no state income tax or sales tax and total state revenues of $10 billion, double the previous year's — that Palin gained legislative approval for $1,200 cash payments to every Alaskan.

In addition, each Alaska resident gets an annual dividend check, about $2,000 this year, from Alaska's oil-wealth savings account, known as the Permanent Fund, now fattened to more than $35 billion.

Alaska could very well move towards self-sufficiency, paying for many of these projects and improvements itself. Palin could have made her state a shining example of Conservative bootstrapping values, of budgetary virtue. Instead, she carried out business as usual, and continued the same pattern of accepting federal handouts that Republicans, especially McCain have decried.

"But," folks might object, "Palin didn't have time to really get started!"

Well, where she really did get started, where she really did have the bulk of her experience, she's raised debt and gotten her town addicted to earmarks. She even hired a lobbyist for the town. The Results?

Wasilla had received few if any earmarks before Palin became mayor. She actively sought federal funds -- a campaign that began to pay off only after she hired a lobbyist with close ties to Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who long controlled federal spending as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He made funneling money to Alaska his hallmark.

Steven Silver was a former chief of staff for Stevens. After he was hired, Wasilla obtained funding for several projects in 2002, including an additional $600,000 in transportation funding.

That year, a local water and sewer project received $1.5 million, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, which combs federal spending measures to identify projects inserted by congressional members.

Yet with all the money she brought in, and even a sales tax increase, Sarah Palin still managed to leave her town nearly twenty million dollars in debt, having inherited an unencumbered city budget.

What I think should be of concern to any Republican hoping for change out of John McCain is the selection of this woman as running mate, and the deceptive selling of her as a real reformer, and true-bred conservative. It wasn't merely Democrats or member of the press that this was supposed to catch off guard, it was the disenchanted, disgruntled Conservatives out there who think they've been given a raw deal by Republicans in Washington.

Well, let me tell you, that if you thought that the McCain-Palin ticket was riding to your rescue, bringing principled conservatism back, you've been had. She is no different in her attitudes, in her duplicity, than the people who let you down over the last decade. She is yet another person selling themselves as an outsider who in fact benefited from the patronage of the national party.

If you think her reformer credentials were key to her political success, you've been deceived. This is how she was first noticed by the party:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began building clout in her state's political circles in part by serving as a director of an independent political group organized by the now embattled Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.

Palin's name is listed on 2003 incorporation papers of the "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.," a 527 group that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors. The group was designed to serve as a political boot camp for Republican women in the state. She served as one of three directors until June 2005, when her name was replaced on state filings.

Palin's relationship with Alaska's senior senator may be one of the more complicated aspects of her new position as Sen. John McCain's running mate; Stevens was indicted in July 2008 on seven counts of corruption.

It's one thing, perhaps, to serve as perhaps a State Senator, and end up with uncomfortable associations. But I hardly think at that time that Steven's corruption could be anything less than obvious. This was a deliberate choice on her part, a job she accepted and put her name to.

And even as she campaigned, even as 2006 brought these scandals glaringly to the surface, she still sought out his support. Whatever the message of the commercial about change is, she sought to appeal to those who Senator Stevens appealed to, those who were grateful for his generosity with US Taxpayer's money on Alaska's behalf. And of course, once she became running mate to John McCain, that little complication in her story was scrubbed from her site, and (except for some crafty bloggers) from American's sight.

That isn't all she's trying to hide. She came into her running mate position having a scandal dogging her all the way from Juneau. Instead of facing it, she's trying to delay and defer it, now playing the same hardball politics that other Republicans have played in Washington to avoid accountability.

These are the things that McCain's people either knew, or should have known when they offered Sarah Palin as a candidate for Vice President, as his running mate. With a record like this, how do we get integrity in Washington, much less change?

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 9:50 AM
Comments
Comment #262134

In the 60’s car makers in Detroit only talked to people in and around Michigan. Result…they were blindsided by the better and cheaper import cars that eventually took over the market.

The USA mainstream media only talk to mainstream media and people in big cities. Result…they miss most of the issues that concern people in small towns and they are absolutely blind-sided by the polls.

Posted by: Tom Besly at September 8, 2008 11:47 AM
Comment #262140

Well written Stephen. I can’t wait for the apologist response…

Posted by: dulcetpine at September 8, 2008 12:25 PM
Comment #262142

Nice article Stephen - I hope Charles Gibson explores some of this when he interviews her this week. Though probably not. It seems like there are never any good follow up questions. Here’s what I predict:
CG - You have said that you opposed the “bridge to nowhere” but evidence shows that your state not only still took the money but you never gave it back and there is still development going on relating to this project.
SP - No I didn’t. I am a reformer.
CG - OK, didn’t you once run a 527 for indicted Senator Stevens.
SP - Did I tell you I have a son with Down Syndrome?
CG - What’s it like running for VP with a large, young family? …

Posted by: tcsned at September 8, 2008 12:29 PM
Comment #262145

Tom Besly-
The reason why automakers in Detroit were blindsided is that they assumed they would always have the advantage, always be able to do the same thing and get away with it. They didn’t want to be bothered with keeping up with the competition.

According to the 2000 census, almost eighty percent of people live in the cities We are an urban centered nation with an urban centered media for a good reason.

As for how that affects the polls? I think the concerns of people in small towns are not as different as some might hold them out to be. I think some exaggerate those differences for political purposes, and its a sad thing to see people doing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 12:33 PM
Comment #262146

Tom,

Is it a small town value now to lie about your accomplishments?

Posted by: Max at September 8, 2008 12:38 PM
Comment #262150

Stephen, Governor Palin is not, nor has she ever claimed to be, the kind of absolutist anti-earmark crusader that McCain is.

Palin’s stated position is to go after ABUSES of earmarking (see her speech), not to get rid of them outright—which seems to be McCain’s position in his refusal in his refusal to seek earmarks in budgets for Arizona.

And frankly, nobody—not even McCain—is saying that states should accept no federal money for anything. All an earmark does is designate how the money will be spent upfront when it’s written into the budget. At some point, somebody has to decide how that money gets spent—it’s just not called an “earmark” when it gets done after the budget is passed. When the state agencies themselves create their budgets instead of Congress in Washington.

Personally, I think that McCain takes his anti-earmark thing a bit too far. If there is an actual NEED for a federally-funded project, is it always a terrible thing to earmark funds for it? The problem is with UNNECESSARY pork-barrel spending, not with all earmarks per se.

You’re pointing out a difference between McCain and Palin—not a “fraud.” As I’m sure you’re aware, Biden and Obama also differ about a number of issues. The point in having a VP candidate is not to have an exact carbon copy of the Presidential candidate.

Governor Palin DID in fact kill the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere.” She’d supported it before she’d actually become governor because there was an actual transportation need that the bridge sought to address. But once she’d actually gone over the numbers as governor, she decided that the earmark was wasteful and unnecessary and she DID kill it, preferring to spend the federal money in more cost-effective ways.

This dovetails precisely with her promise to fight earmark ABUSES. Again, she’s never claimed to be an absolutist anti-earmark crusader like McCain is.

Yet with all the money she brought in, and even a sales tax increase, Sarah Palin still managed to leave her town nearly twenty million dollars in debt, having inherited an unencumbered city budget.

This is a highly deceptive Democratic talking point.

The increase in sales tax, as well as the debt taken on by the city, was for a bonded municipal project voted on and approved by the people of Wasilla. It was to build a multi-million dollar sports complex that the community wanted and which was also intended to generate revenue for the city. Incurring debt like this is exactly what cities do all the time when they build schools, fire and police stations, etc.

A city mayor, as you must know, can not simply raise taxes by herself, pass bond measures, and build capital projects. That requires city counsels and popular votes, which is exactly what happened in Wasilla.

The passage of bond measures (which means going into debt) to fund improvements—be it for sewers, schools, libraries, recreational facilities, etc—for a growing city happens EVERYWHERE. I’d be surprised to hear that ANY city of any size anywhere in the US doesn’t do the same thing as a matter or routine.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 8, 2008 1:01 PM
Comment #262151

Stephen Daugherty said, “As a result, Alaska this year was in such a money-flushed condition — with no state income tax or sales tax and total state revenues of $10 billion, double the previous year’s — that Palin gained legislative approval for $1,200 cash payments to every Alaskan.

In addition, each Alaska resident gets an annual dividend check, about $2,000 this year, from Alaska’s oil-wealth savings account, known as the Permanent Fund, now fattened to more than $35 billion.”

Stephen, rather than praising the Governor and legislature for returning un-needed funds to its citizens, you portray this as somehow dishonorable and un-American. In a conservative world this type of government action is lauded, and only in a liberal world is this condemned.

Stephen, please cite a liberal governor who has refunded excess government funds to taxpayers. I want to heap conservative praise on such a person also.

My interpretation of your writing is one which attempts to further class-envy, a worn-out, failed, useless political pandering ploy designed to slop even more hogs at the public trough.

Posted by: Jim M at September 8, 2008 1:03 PM
Comment #262153

What Stephen quite clearly points out is the deceptive perceptions about Palin being touted. Refute that, rather than recast the argument.

Posted by: googlumpuugus at September 8, 2008 1:17 PM
Comment #262161

Governor Palin DID in fact kill the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere.” She’d supported it before she’d actually become governor because there was an actual transportation need that the bridge sought to address. But once she’d actually gone over the numbers as governor, she decided that the earmark was wasteful and unnecessary and she DID kill it, preferring to spend the federal money in more cost-effective ways.

This is simply not true. She supported the bridge to nowhere until Congress removed the earmark, giving the requested money to the state but not marking it for any specific use. In other words, she supported the bridge until congress said she could use the money in other ways. Supporting the bridge, and then not building it once you are given the freedom to spend the money any way you choose is not standing up to congress, which is clearly what she implied she did when she said she said “thanks but no thanks” to them.

The increase in sales tax, as well as the debt taken on by the city, was for a bonded municipal project voted on and approved by the people of Wasilla. It was to build a multi-million dollar sports complex that the community wanted and which was also intended to generate revenue for the city. Incurring debt like this is exactly what cities do all the time when they build schools, fire and police stations, etc.

Your claim that Palin did not take the initiative to get the earmarks and that the money was being used solely to build a stadium is not true. Wasilla hauled in $27 million in earmarks while she was mayor. She took the initiative and hired a lobbyist. A request form on the lobbyist’s Web site shows that she requested $160.5 million in earmarks for the state in 2008, and almost $198 million for 2009. This is for a town that never received significant federal funding before. It’s worth noting that McCain himself has criticized Wasilla’s earmarks.


First we find out she’s woefully inexperienced, and that McCain’s only met her once. Next, we find that her record shows she is the opposite of the reformer she claims to be.


Posted by: Max at September 8, 2008 1:52 PM
Comment #262164

“she decided that the earmark was wasteful and unnecessary and she DID kill it, preferring to spend the federal money in more cost-effective ways.”

How exactly to spend money in more cost effective ways? There is only one way to spend money in more cost effective ways and that is to not spend it. She made a political decision to not keep the bridge project active and instead of returning the money she spent it. No wonder Alaska had a budget surplus.

Posted by: tcsned at September 8, 2008 2:01 PM
Comment #262165

Jim,

Wow - you’re for handouts? She requested federal funding, that’s money from people like you and me, and then turned around and gave money to people in her state? If you like this idea, why don’t you write Alaskans a check directly?

It only gets worse when you think that this federal money, given to Palin on behalf of you and me, was borrowed from China! She didn’t even steal it from your pocket. She took out a loan on your behalf!

Posted by: Max at September 8, 2008 2:02 PM
Comment #262170

I’ve been to the site of the Bridge to Nowhere. There was no transportation need. We are talking about a nearly deserted piece of land.

McCain opposes “earmarks,” but he’s all in favor of “appropriations,” which are what it is called when he puts through bills for military spending. He talks the talk, but it’s just bull. He is responsible for as much wasted government money as anyone out there, even Ted Stevens, and he’s in the best position of all, because it’s so easy to hide.

Ever wonder what happened to the Abramoff papers? McCain prevented the release of about 90% of the documents. The GOP owes him, and there’s nothing they can do about him, but the debt runs both ways…

Posted by: phx8 at September 8, 2008 2:23 PM
Comment #262171

LO-

Governor Palin DID in fact kill the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere.” She’d supported it before she’d actually become governor because there was an actual transportation need that the bridge sought to address.

Fifty people live on Ketchikan Island. Fifty. That’s why it’s called “The Bridge to Nowhere”. American taxpayers were expected to pay for a bridge whose greatest benefit would be for corrupt developers who could then build up the area.

But that’s beside the point. The Alaskan’s state government is given Alaskans back hundreds of millions of dollars, then asking taxpayers to the federal government divert hundreds of millions of dollars back to pay for projects in their state. Does that sound fair to you?

If she really was saying “No thanks” to the earmarks, then she’d tell them to keep their money. Instead, she turns around asks for more, all the while giving back even more money to her citizens.

Alaska is not a poor state. Its government has a surplus, even though it doesn’t charge sales tax or income tax to its residents. With States around the country feeling the crunch in the economy, Alaska’s uniquely positioned to be self-sufficient. Any conservative who wanted to take it in that direction could.

Instead, Alaska’s government asks for pork and earmarks. Tell me how that squares with conservative philosophy.

As for what she did as mayor of Wasilla? There are many things that the town was likely able to afford and do on its own. It is not a blessing to use debt to expand a town unsustainably.

As for the sports complex? She didn’t exactly get her ducks in a row on that before she started building.

The only catch was that the city began building roads and installing utilities for the project before it had unchallenged title to the land. The misstep led to years of litigation and at least $1.3 million in extra costs for a small municipality with a small budget. What was to be Ms. Palin’s legacy has turned into a financial mess that continues to plague Wasilla.

“It’s too bad that the city of Wasilla didn’t do their homework and secure the land before they began construction,” said Kathy Wells, a longtime activist here. “She was not your ceremonial mayor; she was in charge of running the city. So it was her job to make sure things were done correctly.

Jim M-
If the funds were so damn unneeded, what the hell is she doing asking for money from the Federal government to do special projects?

Besides, she has that luxury not because she’s an especially frugal governor, but because she’s sitting on a good chunk of money because of her state’s oil royalties.

Would that other states have that luxury. But if hers does have that gift, is it unreasonable to ask for them to pay for these projects, instead of redirecting money from the taxpayers of other states to that end?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 2:29 PM
Comment #262175

Loyal O,
You write: “Governor Palin DID in fact kill the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere.” She’d supported it before she’d actually become governor because there was an actual transportation need that the bridge sought to address”

That is simply not true. The bridge did NOT address an actual transportation need. The idea was to take an island with a population of roughly 50 people, and replace the ferry service with a very expensive bridge, $398 million dollars. It is aptly named “The Bridge to Nowhere.” I don’t know who gave you the idea that it addressed an actual transporation need, but that person is not telling the truth.

Posted by: phx8 at September 8, 2008 2:50 PM
Comment #262179

Tom Besley

The USA mainstream media only talk to mainstream media and people in big cities. Result…they miss most of the issues that concern people in small towns and they are absolutely blind-sided by the polls.

Perhaps you could explain to us what are most of those small town issues that are being missed.

Posted by: RickIL at September 8, 2008 3:17 PM
Comment #262180

Rick,

The Daily Show investigated the small town values. Here’s what they found.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2008 3:25 PM
Comment #262181

“Would that other states have that luxury. But if hers does have that gift, is it unreasonable to ask for them to pay for these projects, instead of redirecting money from the taxpayers of other states to that end?”
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 02:29 PM

Stephen, I know it is a liberal mortal sin for any government to return money to its citizens no matter the source. Once collected, government money must be spent…never returned. I believe we are talking about oil revenue here Stephen. Oil revenue derived from resources owned by Alaskans.

Your philanthropy “Chicken Little” style, is not unexpected. It reminds me of Dick Gephhart who was fond of saying that successful folks just “won life’s lottery” and what they “won” must be shared with life’s losers, no matter the cause.

If fossil fuels were found in abundance beneath New York City or Boston do you really think the revenues would be shared with every citizen in those cities in the form of a check or would they be squandered on just one more social program to buy votes. As usual, liberals believe they can better spend the people’s money than can the people themselves.

Posted by: Jim M at September 8, 2008 3:35 PM
Comment #262182

Phx8, aside from the 50 permanent residents of that island, the Ketchikan International Airport is there, requiring everybody in town who has to catch a flight to first catch a ferry.

It’s not a small island—it’s more than five times as large as Manhattan, and they were hoping to develop that area. Something you can’t do if everybody has to come and go on a ferry.

There IS a VERY legitimate transportation need there. But it just so happens that spending nearly 400 million to do it is NOT fiscally responsible, which Governor Palin recognized once she was in a position to go over the numbers and cancel the efforts to get earmarks.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 8, 2008 3:37 PM
Comment #262183

phx8:

McCain opposes “earmarks,” but he’s all in favor of “appropriations,” which are what it is called when he puts through bills for military spending. He talks the talk, but it’s just bull.

Agree 100%. It’s people like McCain that Eisenhower was trying to warn this nation about. Probably why his granddaughter Susan, a life-long Republican just quit the GOP and is presently stumping for Obama.

He is responsible for as much wasted government money as anyone out there, even Ted Stevens, and he’s in the best position of all, because it’s so easy to hide.

Ever wonder what happened to the Abramoff papers? McCain prevented the release of about 90% of the documents. The GOP owes him, and there’s nothing they can do about him, but the debt runs both ways…

Yeah, McCain, Ted Stevens, Jack Abramoff, Sarah Palin — they’re all out of the same den of thieves. Have you heard that Palin’s Lobbyist Has Abramoff Ties?

The faces may change, but it’s really all McSame.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 8, 2008 3:38 PM
Comment #262185
Phx8, aside from the 50 permanent residents of that island, the Ketchikan International Airport is there, requiring everybody in town who has to catch a flight to first catch a ferry.

Remember, though, that ferries are a common means of transportation in Alaska, so it’s not really a bother. Further, the bridge was going to have to be pretty far out of the way (in order to be tall enough to let cruise ships pass beneath), so the average travel time to the airport would actually be longer with the bridge than by ferry.

Add it all up, and it was a boondoggle, not a need.

And she didn’t “cancel” it because she decided it was irresponsible - she simply stopped asking for something that she obviously wasn’t going to get.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2008 3:48 PM
Comment #262187


Many Democrats in Congress voted yea for those earmarks for Alaska. Both Obama and Biden voted to fund the “bridge to nowhere”. What this argument boils down to is that Palin has been a more effective lobbyist for her state than Obama has been for his state.

I think it is safe to say that all three of these politicians were for “the bridge to nowhere” before they were against it.

I don’t know about McCain, was he for “the bridge to nowhere” before he was against it? McCain has had a long career in Congress, how much pork was he able to obtain for Arizona?

Posted by: jlw at September 8, 2008 4:02 PM
Comment #262189

jlw,

Here we run into the inherent problem of earmarks. Obama and Biden and McCain did not vote individually on a project like the Bridges to Nowhere - pork like that gets added directly to a larger bill, and the legislators can only vote yea or nay on the entire package.

It’s largely because of amendments and earmarks like this that we haven’t had a senator elected directly to the White House since 1960 - it’s just too easy to find an amendment or earmark unrelated to the overall bill and say “look at what he or she rejected or approved!!!!!”

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2008 4:18 PM
Comment #262191

Many Democrats in Congress voted yea for those earmarks for Alaska. Both Obama and Biden voted to fund the “bridge to nowhere”.

As part of a large bill — not as separate bills.
and if tied to a military appropriations bill — you on the right would have been in pig heaven.

What this argument boils down to is that Palin has been a more effective lobbyist for her state than Obama has been for his state.

and this would say she is one of the problems that our nation has — a wealthy state [ or person] that never has enough — screw everybody else I need more and more.

And the fact McCain selected her shows me how little he really has in the way of honor.Though I wanted him to beat bush in the 2000 primaries he is not the man he was then.— Savage

Posted by: A Savage at September 8, 2008 4:39 PM
Comment #262197

All of this stuff comes down to the fact that Sarah Palin is a slimy politician just like the Washington crowd. She is willing to lie about her record and distort the record of opponents if it gets her what she wants. All of this maverick talk is a bunch of crap. Do mavericks request 750 million in special federal spending for a state with a budget surlpus? Do mavericks hire a Washington lobbyist to get 27 million in earmarks? She is as much a maverick as a 26 year senator who talks a big game but when the chips are down he folds and goes along with his party’s wishes. These two are hardly the people to “clean up” Washington unless you just want to mask the old slime with some shiny new slime.

So if you take this maverick nonsense off the table what does this pair have to offer? More of the same failed Republican policies that have gotten this country into the mess that it is.

Do you like stupid wars? Vote GOP
Do you like corporate welfare? Vote GOP
Do you like our health care system? Vote GOP
Do you want to see our military privatized with Blackwater mercenaries? Vote GOP
Do you want billions more in no-bid contracts to Halliburton - a company whose headquarters is in the United Arab Emirates? Vote GOP
Do you want economic policies that lead to the current mortgage crisis? Vote GOP
Do you think the solution to our energy/climate problems is to drill for more oil that will wind up on the world market to the highest bidder further enriching the oil companies and at best saving a few pennies on the gallon? Vote GOP
Do you want stupid amendments tainting our constitution like a gay marriage amendment? Vote GOP
Do you want to see Roe v. Wade overturned? Vote GOP
Do you want your government to torture people (many of them innocent)? Vote GOP
Do you want someone recording your phone calls, or reading your emails even if you have done nothing wrong? Vote GOP
Are you tired of this crap? Vote Obama

Posted by: tcsned at September 8, 2008 5:10 PM
Comment #262199

There IS a VERY legitimate transportation need there… But it just so happens that spending nearly 400 million to do it is NOT fiscally responsible.

That was obvious to everyone, and the reason the project became a national joke. The point is, Palin wants credit for killing the project, and she did NOT do that. Congress stopped earmarking the money for the bridge. At that point, Sarah could have built the bridge anyway, as she had argued all during her campaign needed to be done, but she didn’t. Why? Because it was a pork project to begin with.

As usual, liberals believe they can better spend the people’s money than can the people themselves.

She was requesting federal aid (that’s money from you and me), and at the same time handing out money to Alaskans. I hope you understand that’s your money she was handing out. I hope you understand that when Bush sent you a check, he borrowed that money, in our names, from China, and it will have to be paid back with interest.


Posted by: Max at September 8, 2008 5:26 PM
Comment #262202

Speaking before voters in Colorado Springs, Palin claimed that lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had “gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers.”

She’s started making gaffes already, and during prepared speeched no less. It’s clear she doesn’t understand that Mae and Mac were private companies. Does she understand anything about the economic mess we are in?

Posted by: Max at September 8, 2008 5:59 PM
Comment #262204

Jim M-
I could just as well ask you if paying for all the wonderful government they enjoy the use of is a mortal sin for Republicans.

The Alaskans have a surplus. The state could pay for improvements, for new roads and bridges. Instead they ask the rest of the country to pay for all kinds of different things that they could get for themselves.

As for the rest? It’s a neat trick, laying a guilt trip on somebody for something they’re doing in your broad hypothetical.

LO-
She didn’t cancel the earmark. Congress canceled it, and she decided to spend the money elsewhere. She still had the money. She could have kept the bridge, as she had promised them in the election, but then she just blew it on other projects. If it was a legitimate transportation need, if there was a legitimate economic advantage to building a bridge in that area in the first place, she could have gone through with it. She chose other options.

Your comment on Gravina Island might be true, but Manhattan was nowhere near as mountainous, nor is the local airports plagued with such strong crosswinds. If you take a look at the overall topography of the land, you might not be so gung-ho about development.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 6:10 PM
Comment #262205

Max,
It was a big gaffe, but I doubt most people know why. It doesn’t matter. Palin has no background in finance or economics. She attended six colleges, and graduated from the 6th one. We’re not talking Ivy League, either. She has some talking points, but I’m pretty sure anyone who understands bonds takes it for granted that Palin does not know what she is talking about. If there was any doubt, she put it to rest with her idiotic comment about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
As more than one person has observed, her appointment is political. She is there to attract votes. She is not expected to govern. Most Americans consider that a horribly irresponsible attitude towards government.

Welcome to the GOP!

Posted by: phx8 at September 8, 2008 6:15 PM
Comment #262207

SD

I understand, governors, can ask their Senators or Congressman to attempt to send funds to the states for a variety or reasons. Senator Byrd of WV has sent millions of dollars to his state for things that would make the “Bridge to Nowhere” small time. It is not illegal to do this, is it?

As governor of AK, Sarah Palin has the right to seek federal funds for projects in her state. You are not being fair when you compare the funding of the population of Alaska to other states. Alaska is a very large state and has need of infrastructure to cover the area as much as any other state. It just so happens that AK has a smaller population. To say they do not deserve enough money to meet their infrastructure needs because of a smaller population is not fair.

The citizens of AK work and pay taxes on their income just as people do in any other state. Are you saying they do not deserve their share of federal money? As to the condition of the state coffers, Alaska has decided to keep some of the profits from oil and gas. This is something they negotiated with the oil companies. To the point where there was enough extra money to send a dividend to the people of the state. There are a lot of states, that could do the same thing, but they choose not to benefit from their natural recourses.

There are a lot of states that operate a lottery. One of the selling points of the lottery is that a certain percentage of the profits will go toward public education. By your thinking, these states should refuse federal school funds, because they have another source of income.

McCain has always been known for his stand against earmark spending that is part of his job as a Senator. On the other hand, Palin is the Governor of a state and is going to try to do what any other Governor would do, get federal funding.

Palin brought increased income into the city and later to Alaska itself, as a result of taxes, Federal funding, and profits from oil and gas. As your income increases, so naturally does your debt. All we have to do is look at our own lives, as we increased our income over the years, our debts also increased. It is a fact of life.


Max

You do realize that BHO and the Democrats have been calling for another stimulus check. That is, unless they have changed their minds again, they ARE the party of change. Wonder were they plan to get the money?

Posted by: Oldguy at September 8, 2008 6:21 PM
Comment #262208

Max poses an interesting question about whether Mac and Mae are private or quasi-public. It seems they are both. Max quotes Sarah Palin, “Palin claimed that lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had “gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers.”

Here’s an interesting quote from the London Times.

“In terms of size, these two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), whose legal status and ownership has always drifted ambiguously between the private and public sectors, have $5.2 trillion (£2,940 billion) of debt between them, making them bigger than the top ten private banks put together.

Indeed, from the standpoint of the world’s financial markets, the GSEs are comparable in significance to the US Treasury itself, which has $5.49 trillion of publicly held debt.”

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/columnists/article4699475.ece

I am very curious to know what both dems and reps are thinking on this move by the treasury.

Posted by: Jim M at September 8, 2008 6:22 PM
Comment #262209

Like my candidate says, the American people aren’t stupid.(video at link)

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 6:27 PM
Comment #262210

SD

If we are going to talk about the increased debt brought about by Palin, then we must compare income and debt of the past to income and debt of now. If debt rises without an increase in state income, then you have a valid point.

Posted by: Oldguy at September 8, 2008 6:29 PM
Comment #262212

Jim M,
What it means is that the US taxpayer is now the effective guarantor of half of the mortgages in the US. Um, that’s a lot of debt.

It’s terrible, but there was no choice. Once the mortgage meltdown started, it was nearly impossible to stop, and we are still in the decline today; but instead of a crash, it’s a long, slow descent down a series of steps. In this particular case, the Treasury had to step in. The alternative was a worldwide Depression rivaling 1929, a fast crash.

There is no way the Treasury could allow international investors to lose hundreds of hundreds of billions of dollars on all of US debt they bought. The foreign investors are the ones being protected and given guarantees by the US taxpayer. Because we have to.

The next president is going to have to make some highly unpleasant moves. There will have to be a big tax increase, and big spending cuts, including an end to the War in Iraq.

I don’t care who wins the election, or what they say today. Our choices have already been made for us.

Posted by: phx8 at September 8, 2008 6:36 PM
Comment #262215

Oldguy-

I understand, governors, can ask their Senators or Congressman to attempt to send funds to the states for a variety or reasons. Senator Byrd of WV has sent millions of dollars to his state for things that would make the “Bridge to Nowhere” small time. It is not illegal to do this, is it?

If:

a) Senator Byrd was on the ticket, which he is not;

b) claimed to be a stalwart opponent of earmarks, which he has never done;

and

c) Gave a patently untrue example of this good fight he’s fought, which he hasn’t;

you could draw some equivalency between the two.

What I’m talking about here is the deceptive presentation of Sarah Palin. She was presented as a crusader against earmarks, a McCain in a miniskirt, but she’s no real opponent of earmarks, and no real reformer of that system. It’s a carefully composed lie. They knew they were contradicting the facts, misleading people. But they see that as their prerogative.

And so it is. But should that entitle them to the votes of real conservatives, much less independents and liberals?

As for debt, the comparison on Wasilla is pretty stark. Before she was mayor, Wasilla had no outstanding debts. Afterwards, there was three thousand dollars debt, 20 million total, for every man woman and child in that town.

Jim M-
If it wasn’t done, the financial consequences would be devastating. Of course this was all avoidable, but certain parties (AHEM) prefer to leave these matters up to the invisible hand of the market.

If anybody needs to know why privatization is not always a good idea, Fannie Mae is a good example. Essentially, President Johnson turned Fannie Mae into a private concern to get its holding off the federal books during the expensive Vietnam war. Now, ironically enough, it’s going back on because oversight and regulation in the mortgage and finance markets weren’t strict enough, during another endless, expensive war.

Fate has a certain sense of irony.

phx8-
I know how you feel, but there’s one respect in which you’re wrong: yes, a lot of choices have been made for us, but many more remain ahead if we’re going to find our way out of this mess. The real question is, who makes them?

I guess the equivalent question would be, Who do you want to be president next year, the Herbert Hoover, or the FDR? That’s our choice this year.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 6:57 PM
Comment #262216

Of course there always pivatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with no strings attached.

Posted by: Oldguy at September 8, 2008 7:00 PM
Comment #262229

Sarah Palin, in her own words, about earmarks.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 8:20 PM
Comment #262230

phx8

I don’t care who wins the election, or what they say today. Our choices have already been made for us.

You are correct in that our choices have been made. My guess is that the situation will get worse before it gets better. One candidate will tell you that the situation is just temporary, our economy is sound and will rely on procrastination and band aids to forestall the inevitable. His vision would have us remain in an ever growing cesspool of irrecoverable debt. The other will tell you that it has been very poor financial policy that has created the situation we are in and that it will not be easy to avoid further suffering. That it will take time, hard work and new approaches to outdated policies to bring us out of the hole. At least he is honest and has the balls to recognize the true nature of the issue at hand.

The real problem here is that most people don’t want to hear the truth. They want someone to tell them that things are okay. Even if they aren’t. I think a lot of them think that if we ignore this crisis long enough it will just go away. Well with each tick of the clock our national debt grows exponentially. Approaching 10 trillion dollars. Given the enormity of Freddie and Fannie, I think we have just witnessed the ultimate bailout. A time of reckoning is coming. And from the looks of things maybe much faster than our financial experts would like us to believe. Where do we go from here.

Posted by: RickIL at September 8, 2008 8:29 PM
Comment #262231

Stephen D

Great bridge to nowhere link. I love that laugh at the end.

Posted by: RickIL at September 8, 2008 8:32 PM
Comment #262232

S.D.
The only thing your doing with all these rants about Palin is swiftboating yourselves and if you loose this election you will have no one to blame but yourselves. Some of the things that were written about her and her family I find truly disgusting and if this is what the Democratic party is all about I will never vote for a Demorcrat as long as I live.

Posted by: KAP at September 8, 2008 8:33 PM
Comment #262234
Some of the things that were written about her and her family I find truly disgusting

You’re disgusted by someone pointing out that the rhetoric doesn’t match reality? Tsk. Tsk. What a thin skin the Republicans have this year.

Oh no! Don’t read my own quotes back to me!! Nooooo!!!!!

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2008 8:38 PM
Comment #262236

Excellent point Stephen - there are going to be a lot of tough choices to clean up the mess the GOP made during the Bush years. Even if some choices are going to have to be made by either side concerning our budget problems. But I personally would rather have FDR picking up the pieces rather than someone to build more Hoovervilles for the waves of poor that would follow in the wake of more fiscal disasters like the last 8 years. But you don’t hire the guys who made the mess to clean it up.

It’s like a teenage kid who has driven your car into a ditch twice the last time pretty much totaling a really nice car. Then he comes to you with a sheepish grin asking for the keys for four more years promising that he’ll drive better this time. Please, please PLEASE!! George Bush took the Cadillac that Bill Clinton gave him and turned it into a beat up K-car. Granted driving it into a ditch won’t make it much worse but still I think they should lose their permission to drive for a few years so maybe they will learn a lesson.

When it comes down to it the GOP has done a crappy job of running the country from a disastrous combination of incompetence and corruption and they want us to give them another chance. NO.

Posted by: tcsned at September 8, 2008 8:41 PM
Comment #262238

If you looked at the topography of Los Angeles, you might not be gung ho about development there, especially if you were looking at it during the era when it was most polluted. You could have said the same for most big cities west of the Divide.

You could say the same for the prospects for development in half of Florida. In particular, I would say that Cape Coral is the most ridiculous place for development imaginable, but development occurred where people can have their own alligator in their own backyard.

I like the part about Stevens getting his comeuppance, but if BHO manages to get elected POTUS, I would expect Chicago and Illinois to get plenty of spoils.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 8, 2008 8:46 PM
Comment #262240

Lawnboy
Did I say I was a republican? I would be just as disgusted if the same retoric would be applied to BHO’s family.

Posted by: KAP at September 8, 2008 9:11 PM
Comment #262241

KAP,

Maybe you’re not a Republican, but you’re using the standard GOP whines and talking points. I look forward to reading your indignation at the ploys of the Republican party and their surrogates.

Be specific in what you’re complaining about. Stephen’s article is about the Governor’s positions and her official hypocrisy. That’s not Swift Boating, and that’s not about the family.

Stephen’s objections to Gov. Palin are legitimate.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2008 9:22 PM
Comment #262243

Lawnboy
Past threads contained family. S.D. IMO is using the same swiftboating methods that the GOP used against Kerry. If she committed a crime prove it. I don’t see congress investigating anything. All I see is a lot of BS comming for the liberal side of the dem party.

Posted by: KAP at September 8, 2008 9:47 PM
Comment #262245

KAP-
I’m not bothering with the personal stuff. I’m not bothering with rumor or innuendo. These are facts that flat out contradict her stated claims. If that offends you, then I’m not sure I could get on your good side with any substantive criticism of Palin.

The Republicans are lying to you outright. They know the information is out to contradict them, but instead of coming clean, they’re gambling that they’ve shell-shocked the American people on the extent and breadth of their dishonesty beforehand enough in order to get away with these further, flat-out lies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 9:52 PM
Comment #262246
If she committed a crime prove it.

Does something have to be a crime in order for it to be a used in a campaign? Was having Greek columns as a backdrop a crime? Was having a radical pastor a crime?

Hypocrisy is not a crime, but it is worth discussing.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2008 9:56 PM
Comment #262247

KAP-
As for whether it’s BS or not? Knock it down if you think it’s so flimsy. You should be able to find sources that lay out the truth on the matter. If I’m wrong, if she hasn’t backed Earmarks, if she wasn’t for the Bridge to Nowhere, if she didn’t keep the money for other purposes, etc., then you should be able to lay out the real facts, and defeat my claims on the merits.

As for whether something is illegal or not?

Mister, legality is the outer boundary of tolerable behavior. Most of the time, society imposes its own informal limits on behavior within what is legal. Cheating on a wife or girlfriend is not illegal, generally speaking, but it is a behavior that society works to inhibit. Lying is not always illegal, but there’s a lot we do to limit it on an informal basis.

Earmarks may not be illegal, but their abuse within legal limits should still be discouraged, not apologized for. Not all corruption is illegal, but what good is tolerating it, even when it’s in your sides short-term best interest, when long term it undermines your side’s credibility?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 10:10 PM
Comment #262249

Where is Obama’s honesty? He’s been flip flopping like a fish out of water lately. Having a radical pastor is not a crime but sitting under him and saying I Didn’t Know is a LIE. And his ties with Resinko or what ever his name is WHAT ABOUT THAT. There is alot we don’t know about Obama, I never heard of the guy till about a year ago and still don’t know very much about him except that he is a smooth talker. S.D. I know you are a hard core democrat but one of these days you will find out that neither party is telling you the truth. I was a Democrat once upon a time till I found both parties to be nothing but a bunch of HYPOCRITS. They tell you one thing to get elected then screw you after.

Posted by: KAP at September 8, 2008 10:15 PM
Comment #262250

>I like the part about Stevens getting his comeuppance, but if BHO manages to get elected POTUS, I would expect Chicago and Illinois to get plenty of spoils.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 8, 2008 08:46 PM

ohrealy,

I know it’s hard to get your mind around, but Senator Stevens and Senator Obama were both ELECTED to the same body of congress. Senator Stevens is being indicted and Senator Obama isn’t. Senator Stevens has taken more in earmarks for the state of Alaska than any other Senator has for any other state, and Senator Obama has not taken even one.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 8, 2008 10:39 PM
Comment #262253

I never heard of the guy till about a year ago and still don’t know very much about him except that he is a smooth talker.

He’s been campaigning for two years and profiled in every major news outlet after his speech during Kerry’s convention. He clearly, unlike McCain, spelled out his plans during his convention. If you still don’t know what he plans to do or feel you know him, go to his website or watch some TV.

I was a Democrat once upon a time till I found both parties to be nothing but a bunch of HYPOCRITS. They tell you one thing to get elected then screw you after.

No nation-building. Compassionate conservatism. Ending partisanship. Smaller government. Sound familiar? That’s what Bush ran on.

Posted by: Max at September 8, 2008 10:48 PM
Comment #262254

KAP-
The difference will be, that rather than sit back and take it, people like me won’t let them rest. You may get the impression that Democrats are one big bundle of sycophants to the party, but if you had a better familiarity with our side of the blogosphere, you might find that we are not so enchanted with the folks in Washington as you might think.

The difference is, we’re actually trying to change out the personnel in Washington, targeting the worst offenders of our party for primary challenges.

As for Obama’s honesty? His radical pastor is being called radical because of a few excerpts from a few sermons. He was better known, up to that point for much more generic material of generally good quality. The truth was that he wasn’t as radical as Obama’s detractors feverishly made him out to be. Of course, surrogates for Obama’s opponents were and are concerned about winning. So the horns get drawn on Rev. Wright, and he gets trotted out as an example of Obama’s scariness while the GOP gets away with associating with Pastor’s whos preaching would be equally controversial under most circumstance, if not even more offensive.

There’s sort of a low expectation out there for what those on the Right will say. Your pastors are expected to say crazy things, things that might disparage our country, play with revisionist history. Folks apologize for or outright support their constantly outrageous preaching, while even a grains worth of crazy on the other side of the aisle provokes shock and dismay. It’s insulting, really.

I’m not so much a hardcore Democrat as I am a hardcore opponent of the kind of crazy and stupid my former party has become. The Republicans decided they were going to give up on science, decided they were going to encourage people to challenge law and order in the country, decided that saying anything and everything about their opponents, regardless of truth, was going to be the order of the day.

I became a Democrat because I felt I could be honest with myself and others being one. I wouldn’t have to apologize for creationism in the classroom when I didn’t believe in such intrusion of religion into the textbooks. I wouldn’t have to apologize for stuff I knew was scientific bull-hockey. I knew I could live and let live with others on most private matters. I knew that fiscal policy wasn’t some one-dimensional, one-directional political charade with them.

Ultimately, the Democratic Party is the party where I have to make the fewest compromises with my beliefs to be a member. But when I support that Party, the party I support is not the current roster of candidates. I feel no special sense of loyalty to any of them. If they become corrupt, I believe they need to go. If they remain wishy washy, I’m all for putting people in their with spines. What I am not for is letting the Republicans have additional extra chances.

I was willing to let Bush prove himself. Then, on 9/11, I was willing to let him grow into his new role. I was essentially a Clinton centrist for much of the time, and one who didn’t have much trouble with a gradual upward trend for the Democrats. If there is one reason why I am as strongly and stridently anti-Republican as I am now, it’s the Bush administration, and the Republican Congress that did its bidding. They convinced me over the course of the last decade that there is little redeeming virtue to the Republican Party left, that the death of intellectual, fair-minded conservatism as it once existed had occured, and all that was left were wired-together bones of fossilized policy positions and heedless partisanship.

I constantly reference the corruption of the last Democratic Congress in critiquing the Republicans for what they did. In my opinion, there’s not much good to buying anything the Republicans say anymore. They’ve decided that truth is secondary to message, and the most insidious thing about the way they lie is that they do it inartfully enough so that people apologize for it as straight talk, as if poor public speaking skills, poor grammar and other such things are signs of honesty.

Bush and McCain are fast Demonstrating that people can lie to your face and do so ineloquently and in plain speech.

I appreciate Obama’s smoothness and eloquence because he’s telling things like they are, as I know them to be. He’s talking plainly in content rather than in just style. He has told more truth in his great oratory than Republicans have told in their plain, jes’ folks accents and deliveries. Plus, it’s not bad having a candidate who you don’t have to pretend to enjoy speaking.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 11:14 PM
Comment #262275

I offered a challenge to a once rather ardent fan of GW in another thread. I asked him how he was going to justify his support, over the last eight years, of the republican party and GW in light of McCain for all intent and purposes placing blame in their laps. He was incapable of arguing the concept.

McCain is now campaigning on a platform of change bought about by a sudden revelation that politics is broken. That his party has been largely to blame for our state of the nation. I am wondering how many other loyal supporters of all things republican can suddenly overnight come to terms with accepting blame after years of denial. To continue to support McCain after his revelation of republican malfeasance means that they must own up to their party having been much less than adequate over the Bush terms. How can they juggle the balance between advocating for more of the same while at the same time supporting a man who says that more of the same is an affliction but offers nothing to end that affliction. All he offers is a promise that he will rise up against that insiders club of good ‘ol boys of which he is a senior member. How can they not see the paradox in this situation?

Posted by: RickIL at September 9, 2008 9:22 AM
Comment #262280

RickIL-
Voters are not familiar with the man’s real record, or at the very least, they’re not feeling in their gut what’s wrong with what he’s doing.

I knew writing this that I had already been over this information. What occurred to me, though, I think, is that many folks didn’t have a gut feeling after Palin’s debut of just how dishonest her claims were. It was one lie after another. The people who presented her to the public were doing so with a deliberate effort to shape America’s view of her character.

So, it occured to me that I had to be just as deliberate and holistic in return. I had to gather everything together in such a way that even a Republican or independent could understand just what was wrong with her claims. I think I have done that, since you have LO and others defending the very Earmarks she’s not supposed to support.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 9, 2008 10:12 AM
Comment #262283

Thanks for the great information Mr. Daugherty.

If Palin were interviewing for a job (which she is presently) and decided to come in and discuss her qualifications at her own leisure she simply would not even be considered as a candidate for employment. Only in American politics can we trivialize such a travesty that she refuses to discuss issues and her qualifications with intelligent media.

Since Biden was ready for his public interview and engaged the media immediately we can be assured that he is ready to become commander in chief, if necessary.

We can only hope that as a country we have learned our lesson the past eight years as to what the devastating consequences can be when accepting mediocrity.

Posted by: Mark at September 9, 2008 10:42 AM
Comment #262284

More vetting on the “mavericky reformer”: Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home
Taxpayers Also Funded Family’s Travel

At this point it’s clear that aside from her claim of being a “Haaakey Maaam” every single thing Palin said in her speech at the convention was a boldfaced LIE.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 9, 2008 10:52 AM
Comment #262285

I think I have done that, since you have LO and others defending the very Earmarks she’s not supposed to support.

Yes, earmarks which McCain very vociferously stated yesterday that not one single earmark would get past his desk. He is playing his supporters for fools. He may not let another earmark cross his desk should he get the job. But my guess is that in good republican fashion he and the party of half truths would simply redefine the term, avoiding the situation by way of a self imposed technicality.

Posted by: RickIL at September 9, 2008 11:03 AM
Comment #262290

VV - yeah the whole selling the plane on eBay for a profit was a lie too - she had posted the plane on eBay 3 times and it didn’t sell then finally sold it to a buyer for much less than market value. Apparently the plane was also used to transport prisoners.

Also, she didn’t actually fire the chef - Stefani Marnon was reassigned not fired.

Is there anything in her “official” story that is true?

Posted by: tcsned at September 9, 2008 11:20 AM
Comment #262300

VV-
I think it’s important for the sake of clarity to emphasize that the nights she billed Alaskan Voters for at home, she billed as if they were travel expenses.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 9, 2008 12:15 PM
Comment #262303

Her claims about fiscal responsibility are in conflict with reality, too.

Sigh.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2008 12:28 PM
Comment #262314

Stephen:

Somewhere up there someone taunted wanting to see how someone fromt the right would refute your wonderful piece.

Here goes:

If the race is about Sarah Palin, you loose.

If the race is about Obama, you loose.

If the race is about George Bush, you win.

Now take a look at the article titles on Watchblog, and compare them too the polling data trends.

Basically you are being out campaigned because McCain has successfully made this campaign about Obama and Palin, and the left is helping him.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at September 9, 2008 1:35 PM
Comment #262320

Craig -

I think the Dems should make a VERY big deal about Sarah Palin. Why?

Perhaps it’s because she, like Bush, has shown that she will ruin someone’s career if she doesn’t like them.

Perhaps it’s because she, like Bush, believes the war in Iraq is “God’s will”.

Perhaps it’s because she, like Bush USED to be, believes global warming is a myth.

Perhaps it’s because she gave the welcoming speech earlier THIS year at the convention of the Alaskan Independence Party, the platform of which includes secession from America; and which advised parents to call their children ‘Alaskan’ and NOT ‘American; the founder of which said, “The fires of hell are as a frozen glacier compared to my hatred of the American government” AND “I will not be buried under that damn [American] flag!”

And the race should be about McCain’s JUDGMENT for choosing such a VP candidate without properly vetting her. All that was required was an interview, a phone call, and a seventy-question form to fill out…which is SUBSTANTIALLY LESS than what is required of any civil service, government, or military job you care to name.

Yep, that was the vetting process for someone who would be a heartbeat away from that nuclear button.

What a wonderful pair of candidates you’ve got there, Craig - and I honestly have no doubt they’ll be ‘elected’, too. Not due to a fair and honest election, of course, but from the oh-so-patriotic efforts of Diebold, Dyncorp, and the other election-fraud specialists that are entirely within the sphere of Republican influence.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at September 9, 2008 1:56 PM
Comment #262323

Craig Holmes-
But the polls have not reacted the way they have because we’ve become unpopular over Palin. No, what we have is a convention bounce, combined with new enthusiasm over the running mate. If you look closely, you’ll find in many polls that we have not lost any strength. The McCain-Palin Ticket’s just gotten more undecideds.

If we just limply go after Palin, I imagine we could lose, but in her own way, Palin links McCain ever closer to Bush.

Palin is a pathological liar. That, or the McCain Campaign is being pathologically dishonest about her. Either way, the GOP is engaging in the same tactics to sell Sarah Palin as they employed to sell us on Bush’s economic policies, on the war, and on Bush himself.

The GOP has gotten to the point where it simply doesn’t care about whether what it says is true or not. It will lie big and small to cover for itself, to seek its own advantage.

Sarah Palin is the same old Washington corruption in a new package, and so is McCain.

That’s the argument we can win on. Obama is a fresh start, a risk, but then nothing can be gained without risk. McCain and Palin are a sure thing, but the sure thing is that they will continue the policies of the past eight years.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 9, 2008 2:08 PM
Comment #262329

Glen and Stephen:

I want to thank you for your attitudes and viewpoints. You are reacting exactly the way we need you to. Keep taking the bait on Palin.

There is of course more than one type of change. Of course you are thinking change means returning back to liberal policies.

My point is simply that you on the left are being out campaigned. Right now the Republicans are one step ahead of you.

For instance right now you are looking at what “is”, by attacking Palin. Please continue to do so as it helps get McCain elected.

What would be smarter would be to think about what is coming next. The tipping point for this election was when you were over comfident and spoke in Berlin where there were no voters. Then you were hammered by some campaign ads “The One”.
Then you were hammered when McCain had ads that showed Biden and Clinton supporting Republican talking points on Obama.

Now you have been hammered because McCain did not choose as you and the media predicted. You can now see that McCain/Palin are either ahead or tied in most polls.

Now there are articles where your side not ours are worried about raising enough money.

If you step back and look at the campaign, your side is very predictable and conventional in tactics. McCain is the one who is ambushing you by using element of surprize.

You are reacting to Palin and attacking on information that the McCain camp has known for sometime. I think the decision for running mate was made months ago. They were just setting you up with experience in order to bet obama to pick biden. You chose the candidate McCain wanted you to choose. Then when you chose who McCain wanted they pivoted to Palin.

Now you are reacting the way McCain hopes because they are setting you up for the next pivot. Obama if fighting from the back of his heels.

So now watch. Just when all of you get your balane on Palin, and she starts to disappear here and in the news media, watch for the next ambush. Remember as long as this election is about Obama and Palin, McCain wins. If it’s about George Bush, McCain looses.

Again, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your contributions to the McCain campaign.

Get ready to take the next bait.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at September 9, 2008 2:51 PM
Comment #262334

I guess Craig agrees with David Brooks:

If I were advising the candidates, I’d tell them to double down on weirdness.

Deciding on our next President is no longer about figuring out who would do the job the best, but is instead about who surprises us all the most.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2008 3:35 PM
Comment #262337

Craig,

You’re right. I don’t understand how anyone can support Palin after it’s been shown just how incredibly inexperienced she is, and that she’s blatantly lied (not exaggerated or distorted) regarding her accomplishments. But! You are right - Republicans don’t care.

Posted by: Max at September 9, 2008 3:38 PM
Comment #262338

Craig Holmes-
Thanks for your concern, but no thanks.

The questions for you, is would you trust somebody who chose an inexperienced, pathological liar as either a impulsive choice, a rushed political compromise within the party, or as a strategy to win the campaign?

And if so, why?

I go after Palin, because Palin is part of the McCain Campaign and further proof that they are no change agents at all They are the defenders of the status quo, but they don’t have the guts or the pride to defend it openly and honestly. Perhaps it’s because they can’t. Or perhaps it’s because they think you’re too stupid, morally compromised, or partisan to acknowledge the truth.

To paraphrase my candidate, I don’t think you’re stupid. I don’t think you lack a moral compass. I don’t think you’re so partisan that you can’t see what’s in front of you. But you have to get up and realize that what you’re in the middle of here is a fog of carefully constructed lies, and that those lies are primarily directed at people like you. You’re the kind of person that they are counting on buying this stuff. You’re the kind of person who they are… well, for the lack of a better word, who they are using,, and who they will use as many times as necessary to get what they want.

The bait is being left out for you, for you to react in sympathy to somebody who’s decieving you. The bait is being left out for you, to start questioning Obama because he’s a popular figure who puts on a good show when he speaks.

All that stuff is being put forward to distract you from any other options than their default.

I will trust my campaign to do what it takes to win. They are focusing less on Palin, more on McCain. In the meantime, Democrats at the netroots level are building a thorough case for the unworthiness of the other side of the ticket for the presidency. It’s not a short-sighted attack on Palin alone, but an all encompassing attack from all sides.

I have little reason to worry. I will not give in to anxieties and second-guessing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 9, 2008 3:40 PM
Comment #262341

I found this blog because I realized that the best word to describe Sarah Palin is FRAUD, so I googled “Sarah Palin and fraud.” The word “FRAUD” needs to be used constantly to describe her, from her lies about the bridge to nowhere to the facts that are now coming out about improper expense reimbursements from the State of Alaska, and everything in between. She is lying to obtain votes. Palin & Fraud are inextricably intertwined. Really, it is now the McCain-Fraud ticket.

Posted by: Michael at September 9, 2008 3:50 PM
Comment #262361


Stephen:

I like the bumper sticker that says “my candidates inexperience is better than your candidates inexperience.


The questions for you, is would you trust somebody who chose an inexperienced, pathological liar as either a impulsive choice, a rushed political compromise within the party, or as a strategy to win the campaign?

Hitting Palin on inexperience is a looser for you , as it only highlights Obama’s inexperience.

Obama has two books he has written about himself and yet has not a single major legislative accomplishment.

Palin is not a compromise, Biden is a compromise. As for the lying, it will all come out in the wash. You are yelling the lying word because you on the left have been stung and stung hard. It is the Press and the liberal blogs that have had to retract not Palin. Hmmmmm, Sarah has her daughter’s baby?

This is all part of the vetting process.

Right now what I am telling you is that you are being out campaigned.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at September 9, 2008 6:11 PM
Comment #262363
Obama has two books he has written about himself and yet has not a single major legislative accomplishment.

Only if you define “major” as “anything not done by Obama”. But hey, you stole one of the deceptive lines from Palin’s speech! Keep going! There are many more to choose from.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2008 6:21 PM
Comment #262365
yeah the whole selling the plane on eBay for a profit was a lie too

This is an easy one to check, let’s look to the tape, shall we?

That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay.

Hmmm, I’m confused, where did she say she sold the play a) for a profit and b) on ebay? I see that she put it on ebay, which is not the same as selling it, and no where have I seen her say she claimed a profit on the deal.

In fact, she used a private broker, grudgingly, because that would garner the best return for the citizens who she represented.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 9, 2008 6:44 PM
Comment #262380

Craig Holmes-
Eight years in state government is six years more than Palin has, and that’s only part of Obama’s experience. So, quantitatively, Obama’s experience is superior to hers. Qualitatively, I think the facts I have presented speak for themselves.

Obama helped pass Ethics Reform. He didn’t have to ly about his record to claim that. Obama helped passed a bill to go after loose nukes. He didn’t have to dream up foreign policy experience afte that. Obama’s sponsored roughly seventy bills apiece in each session, co-sponsor hundreds more.

I’m not yelling the lying word, I’m flat-out, calmly laying out her lies, with evidence to prove that they are lies. What’s wrong with calling untrue things she’s said lies?

As for blogs and the baby, what do you think I would find if I went into one of the Right Wings sites, sweetness and light? Not everybody gave those stories credibility. These are sites where people can generally post as they please, and no party is without rumor-mongers and those of sharp elbows. I remember all the things that got said on your side about Bill Clinton, Hillary, Kerry, etc. Now, these are rumors that didn’t even get picked up as mainstream, accepted consensus on these sites. It was controversial on DailyKos for crying out loud.

But what I’m saying, what I’ve provided evidence for is not mere rumor, but documented fact.

Either the Republican Party doesn’t care about the quality of their candidate, and just thinks it can lie its way to the White House; or the GOP cares, but is dreadfully inept at actually examining the character of those it puts forward.

That’s not being out campaigned. Sooner or later, with the facts on our side, we will set the consensus view on McCain and Palin: They’re frauds, standard politicians in reformers clothing. And when that becomes clear, we’ll have the much more solid support of the people our ground game. And that will be McCain being outcampaigned.

Rhinehold-
People put things on E-Bay to sell them. With no further details, you couldn’t be blamed for assuming that was the end of it. But she neglected to tell anybody that nobody ever bought it, so she sold it at a loss to a private broker.

But I guess that doesn’t have the nice snappy sound of a savvy governor using an egalitarian marketplace to sell it off.

Literalism in this case is misleading; your candidate did in fact imply and leave unsaid an obvious conclusion from her words, one which was misleading.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 9, 2008 8:54 PM
Comment #262382

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/09/04/palin_plane.html

The first three paragaraphs in this article support the beliefs that most had in regards to her statement.
It’s no different than her claim regarding “no thanks” to the “bridge to nowhere”. There is the thinnest element of truth, that gives them the idea that they can claim the whole as truth.

Posted by: janedoe at September 9, 2008 9:16 PM
Comment #262383
People put things on E-Bay to sell them

As did she

With no further details, you couldn’t be blamed for assuming that was the end of it

And if I wanted to raise a fuss about it, I would have looked up the details before calling someone a liar. The word seems to have no meaning coming from the left anymore.

so she sold it at a loss to a private broker.

Through a private broker. And she was going to sell it for a loss no matter where she sold it at, it was a new plane that she was selling new. What point is it if she sold it for a loss? At least a large percentage of the money that was paid for it was given back to the state.

And the problem with this is…? Can no one on the left just say that it was a good, albeit political, move to make? Is the only way to win an election to tear down the opponent so completely that they can’t possibly be human at all anymore, just evil incarnate?

And you wonder why I don’t like the ‘two party’ system, which leads pretty much directly to this type of behavior.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 9, 2008 9:29 PM
Comment #262384
The first three paragaraphs in this article support the beliefs that most had in regards to her statement.

So, two writers at the Chicago Tribune made the same assumption, attributed it as a fact and wrote a story on it?

I’m sold, let’s hang her.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 9, 2008 9:32 PM
Comment #262385

Stephen
One question, Where is all this money now? Did Palin pocket the money or redirect it to state agencies? I read and heard on the news that Palin wanted to give the money back but congress told her to keep it, is this true? As far as the plane did she pocket the money from the sale or did she put the money back into the state treasury seeing how the plane actually belonged to the state. I also heard on a news report that the Bridge would be a longer trip then the ferries that ran to the island and back. Maybe that would account for her change of mind on the issue. As far as the plane on E bay something that expensive would be kind of hard to sell on E-bay so she decided to give it to a broker to sell at a loss. So what business is it of yours or mine what the state of Alaska does with their property except if you live there. The city I live in auctions off police cars to the highest bidder after a few years of use SO WHAT, the money goes into the city treasury. IMO she does not have to tell the Democratic party anything. With an 80% approval rate in her state that should suffice.To me thats better than the pittifful rating the Democrat lead congress is getting.

Posted by: KAP at September 9, 2008 9:34 PM
Comment #262386

janedoe, Stephan D

They are following right on the coattails of Bush politics. Give the world half truths. Not quite the truth and not quite a lie. How many years running have we been hearing these non-committal non accountable comments. When challenged on this deficiency they just arrogantly smile and argue away any wrong doing. And their supporters stupidly ignore that deficiency as though it doesn’t exist and in some cases take pride in the ability of their idols to deliver little white deceptions.

Posted by: RickIL at September 9, 2008 9:38 PM
Comment #262387
Maybe that would account for her change of mind on the issue.

You’d rather invent something like that than accept the well-established facts that she stopped asking for it after it became obvious that she wouldn’t get it? This is the gullibility upon which the GOP relies.

IMO she does not have to tell the Democratic party anything.
How about the American people who are about to decide if she should be the backup for a 72-yr-old cancer survivor? Should she have to tell us anything?
With an 80% approval rate in her state that should suffice.

Gee, the people like a politician who gives them $1200 without any strings. What a shock. That’s definitely the recipe for national leadership.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2008 9:48 PM
Comment #262388

RickIL,

Like photoshopping a picture of your candidate’s head onto a picture of a woman in a bikini holding a rifle? Or spreading rumors about a faked pregnancy? Or….

Following the Bush politics all right. Even though it started way before 2000…

Have you heard the latest about Peggy O’Neill?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 9, 2008 9:50 PM
Comment #262389
gives them $1200 without any strings

Returned $1200. The way you put it is why a lot of people have an issue with the Democratic Party…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 9, 2008 9:57 PM
Comment #262390

Lawnboy
The change of mind was not my idea but that of a news report and it wasn’t Fox. And what well established facts, Daily KOS, Huffington Post, or the New York Times, those are all really great sources for liberal BS.

Posted by: KAP at September 9, 2008 10:00 PM
Comment #262392
Returned $1200. The way you put it is why a lot of people have an issue with the Democratic Party

The money actually came from a profit windfall tax on the big oil companies. So, it wasn’t returning money from the people to the people - it was taking money from a tax that the GOP otherwise decries.

So, yes, you got a good line in at my expense. But, it’s not based on reality, and it doesn’t reduce the connection between a check and approval.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2008 10:09 PM
Comment #262393
those are all really great sources for liberal BS.

So, what use is there in discussing anything with you if you use an ad hominem attack to illogically ignore anything you don’t like?

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2008 10:11 PM
Comment #262394

And also, the thing about the trip by bridge being longer than by ferry is something I said earlier in this thread. So, either you validated my statement or you misremembered my statement as a news source. Either way, it’s laughable to think that she suddenly realized that the bridge was a bad idea at the same time that she found out she wouldn’t get federal money for it.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2008 10:18 PM
Comment #262395

Oops. The link was supposed to be this.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2008 10:26 PM
Comment #262398

Rhinehold-
McCain claimed she sold it at a profit on E-bay. But the way she talked about it in her stump speeches seems to indicate it sold there as well. Minor, I know, but part of a pattern.

She tell us she fought the good old boys in Alaska, the Corrupt Bastards Club (actual name, I kid you not.) Except she campaigned for one very recently as HEAD of their 527, and they in turn campaigned for her, and she praised them for being a strong delegation when she expressed her approval of their infamous pork project, long before she found it politically inconvenient and ditched it. She seems to have very malleable. political inclinations for a reformist maverick.

Everything she tells her about herself that might distinguish her from the standard Republicans whose brand is worse than dog food is a lie, and demonstrably so on the facts.

KAP-
Stop there for a moment before you make both me and you dizzy.

She had the option of refusing the money. She didn’t. She had the option of not asking for Earmarks. She got just as much as before. She had the option of calling the bridge a boondoggle when it was the Mavericky thing to do. She waited until Congress had killed it. And I don’t think the length of the bridge was her problem. I think, rather plainly, it was the expense, and that Alaska, not the Federal Government would be picking up the tab.

So what business is it of mine? It’s my business when the woman is using these supposed incidents of Maverick-y fiscal responsibility to sell herself as an agent of change.

As for approval ratings, Our President had a 90% approval rating several years ago. That didn’t make him a good President. Nor does 80% (I think its now down to 67% make her a good Governor. She charging Alaska for travelling expenses when she sits at home. She moves the cook she supposedly gave up on as an extravagance around in different state jobs, with the woman still cooking for Palin’s kids.

In the end, all this adds up to Palin being a fraud, a deceiver. Is that suppose to be change we can believe in?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 9, 2008 10:55 PM
Comment #262405
Can no one on the left just say that it was a good, albeit political, move to make?

Guess not. :/

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 9, 2008 11:47 PM
Comment #262406

Rhinehold,

Let’s go to the tape, but this time see what McCain had to say about it:

McCain: “You know what i enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor and sold it on eBay — made a profit,” he said, introducing Palin.

It was sold at a loss of over half a million dollars, and not on ebay. This is how McCain introduced Palin to the nation, and his statement was factually wrong in every way.

I’ll close with what Daugherty said: In the end, all this adds up to Palin being a fraud, a deceiver. Is that suppose to be change we can believe in?

Posted by: Max at September 9, 2008 11:53 PM
Comment #262408

Sounds like a McCain mistake rather than a purposeful Palin distortion, Max.

How does McCain’s mispeaking this fact about someone ‘add up to’ Palin being a fraud? Do you have knowledge that I don’t that he knew this information to be incorrect at the time and/or Palin was the one who presented the information to him instead of getting it out of a newspaper incorrectly?

To include this into that assertion, you have to make some assumptions. If you are willing to do that, just remember that others will catch it.

As for the other things and what kind of ‘change we can believe in’, that is a different story, one I will gladly debate part of with you if you want, but not under the guise of trying to tear people down and then claim to be of a party that doesn’t do that sort of thing…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 10, 2008 12:03 AM
Comment #262433

Rhinehold-
gives them $1200 without any strings
Returned $1200. The way you put it is why a lot of people have an issue with the Democratic Party…

Amen! To Democrats that money belonged to the GOVERNMENT. “Giving” the governments money to the people is an ill use to them.

To conservatives (though not necessarily Bush Republicans) that money is now, and always was, the PEOPLE’S money, and government should have to sweat bullets proving they deserve to have any of it.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 10, 2008 9:56 AM
Comment #262445

Lee,

You’re right. I misspoke. Is should have said “sends them $1200 of oil company windfall profits without any strings.” Please explain why it’s good for Gov. Palin to tax the windfall profits of the oil companies for the good of the people, but it’s such a bad thing when Democrats propose the same thing in Washington.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 10, 2008 10:26 AM
Comment #262448

Max and Rhinehold,

Though the jet didn’t sell on Ebay, Politifact rates her claim as true. She did, in fact put the jet on Ebay, (The state, which is heavily dependent on air travel has sold other, smaller, planes on the site before.) and, while it didn’t sell there, it did sell.

As to McCain’s misstatement about profit- it may not be a misstatement. The jet purchased for Murkowski is reported to have been a 1984 Westwind II. The closest listing I can find for such a jet on the Web is for a 1983 Westwind, which is listed today at $1,995,000.00.. Other listings seem to indicate this plane is rapidly depreciating, and, furthermore, Murkowski put a lot of hours on this plane.

It is entirely possible that, given depreciation on the plane, the sale was, from and accounting standpoint, profitable.

By the way, Max, I had promised the writers’ community at Watchblog that I would offer you a public apology for attacking you personally in comments two weeks ago. It was, of course, a violation of the rules of this site, but, more than that, it was also an affront to my own guiding lights. While I may disagree with your opinions there is no excuse for mistreating you as a person.

Please accept my humble apologies.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 10, 2008 10:32 AM
Comment #262458

LawnBoy,

Democrats DON’T propose to do the same thing.
They propose to be SEEN doing the same thing.

In fact what they do is find every possible way to make the oil industry look like monsters. They create an economic environment in which using profits to buy back stock and reduce tax exposure (since dividends are taxed at high rates and the increase in the value of stock from concentration of value is not until it sells) is substantially more profitable than exploration and drilling. Then, when the companies do purchase leases offshore, governments, both state and Federal, constantly change rules and requirements, further multiplying the cost of exploration. In many cases these rambling requirements have dragged on for decades- while government collects money for leases companies can’t even drill.

Finally, it just costs more to drill in the U.S. and offshore here. My father, an independent geophysicist, has told me that, until oil crossed the $60 per barrel figure a couple of years ago it simply was not worth anybody’s while to explore here. Period. It wasn’t even worth it to keep marginally producing wells open, so hundreds of wells in Texas were closed in over the last decade rather than having them reworked to make them better producers. (This process, by the way has more than halved his income from residuals on older wells, a substantial portion of his retirement income.)

That, drilling and maintaining producing wells here, really is the key to the argument. It has to be profitable to drill HERE, in the lower 48. What Alaska is taxing is oil, from ALASKA, that is easy to find and cheaper, paradoxically, to recover than oil in the lower 48. Democrat tax-and-demonize policies do nothing to make exploring and drilling in the lower 48 easier or more profitable. And the last time I looked the Federal government was not looking for oil themselves with tax money they got from “big oil”.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 10, 2008 11:04 AM
Comment #262463

We in Texas, by the way, pay for much of our state univesrity system with oil taxes and leases of oil rights on state lands.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 10, 2008 11:08 AM
Comment #262569

Stephen
You talk about corruption and fraud. I happened to google Obama and earmarks and found on one of the links that Obama got 1 Million for the Hospital his wife happens to be VP of community affairs in 2004 she was making just under 122K then after BHO assumes office in the senate she gets a raise, this is in 2005, her pay goes up DRAMATICALY a shade over 160% to just under 317K. I wish I could get raises like that. But I guess things like that are ok in the democratic party.

Posted by: KAP at September 10, 2008 6:48 PM
Comment #262570

And remember, Rezko ran the hospital planning board behind the scenes:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-rezko-13-bothmar13,0,207038.story

Posted by: ohrealy at September 10, 2008 7:17 PM
Comment #262584

NEW YORK (AP) - Charles Gibson’s interviews with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will form the basis of a special prime-time edition of “20/20” Friday, ABC said Wednesday.

Posted by: NapaJohn at September 10, 2008 9:44 PM
Comment #262758

If Hillary had been on the Obama ticket we’d never have heard of Palin. Wonder what the Neo-cons have on her to keep her in control? We’re probably only hearing about the icing on the cake, which is much more appitizing than chapstick on a slice of bacon.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at September 11, 2008 10:13 PM
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