Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why I Don't Like Sarah Palin - Part 2

Well, it has been a while since Why I Don't Like Sarah Palin, and I think it's time for a sequel. Here are more reasons I don't like Sarah Palin:
  • Because she has been found to have abused her power and broken ethics law in the Alaska "Troopergate" scandal. And even though this was spelled out in black and white in the bipartisan report, she actually had the audacity to just outright lie and say that the report cleared her.
  • Because she has lied about her accomplishments in Alaska, including her signature accomplishment, the building of natural gas pipeline. The Associated Press has found that the bid process was flawed and included favoritism. The terms favored only one viable bidder, a company with ties to Palin's administration. The pipeline may never be actually built.
  • Because she portrays herself as the reformer that eliminates overspending and yet she charged the state of Alaska for many questionable charges that benefited her personally. She charged the state of Alaska a per diem for over 300 nights when she stayed in her own house. The Associated Press did an investigation and found that she also charged the state of Alaska for the travel of her children. She even later revised the submission to make it look like the First Family was on official business. In reality, she sometimes asked event organizers to extend invitations to her family or just brought them unannounced.
  • Because she plays herself off as a middle class person just like all those hockey moms out there, but in reality, she is the governor of a state, is wearing a wardrobe costing over $150,000, and the McCain campaign staffer who made the most money in October was her makeup artist. I certainly don't begrudge her getting nice clothes to run for Vice-President of this great country, but it is a bit excessive and runs counter to her message. It's the hypocrisy that bothers me.
  • Because she continues to say that the Vice-President is in charge of the Senate. This line of bullshit started in the VP debate and has continued. Please read the Constitution. The only role of the VP in the Senate is to vote if there is a tie. That is it! She is that dangerous combination of ignorant and power-hungry.
  • Because she has been stirring up racism, negativity and divisiveness at her rallies. It is truly scary to see the kind of people she is inspiring. She has been trying to portray Obama as scary, not one of us, a terrorist, socialist, and now communist! She has stated that the residents of small towns are more patriotic, pro-America, and the best of America. This line of rhetoric has been continued by other members of the Republican party. We now have a "real" Virginia. We now have accusations of anti-American members of Congress. At a time where this country is facing real problems both at home and abroad, Palin is leading the charge to divide this country even further.
Bottom line, this is a woman who in no way is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency and is ethically challenged. There is now talk that she is starting to break away from the McCain campaign - going "rogue" - in order to position herself for the 2012 Presidential race. Unbelievable, but since name recognition is half the battle, I am officially not going to write about her anymore. She really doesn't merit the national attention she is receiving, and I, for one, am not going to contribute anymore, no matter how many more disgusting things she says or how many ethical breaches she makes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Different Angle on the Same Story

In my post on the racism of the McCain / Palin campaign, I didn't even touch on the Muslim issue: the use of Barack Obama's middle name (Hussein) or the uncertainty they are trying to breed on whether or not he is Muslim (he is not). Khaled Hosseini, author of the The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns does a way better job at this than I ever could in this article. Key quotes:

Regarding how offensive these tactics are to all of the peace-loving Muslims in this country:

Never mind that this evokes -- and brazenly tries to resurrect -- the unsavory, cruel days of our past that we thought we had left behind. Never mind that such jeers are deeply offensive to millions of peaceful, law-abiding Muslim Americans who must bear the unveiled charge, made by some supporters of Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin, that Obama's middle name makes him someone to distrust -- and, judging by some of the crowd reactions at these rallies, someone to persecute or even kill. As a secular Muslim, I too was offended. Obama's middle name differs from my last name by only two vowels. Does the McCain-Palin campaign view me as a pariah too? Do McCain and Palin think there's something wrong with my name?

Regarding the inaction of McCain and Palin when the crowd gets angry:

What I find most unconscionable is the refusal of the McCain-Palin tandem to publicly condemn the cries of "traitor," "liar," "terrorist" and (worst of all) "kill him!" that could be heard at recent rallies...Is inaction tantamount to consent? The McCain campaign certainly thinks so when it comes to Obama and incendiary remarks from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. By their own inaction, then, are McCain and Palin condoning these slurs? Or worse, are they willfully inciting the angry and venomous response that we have been witnessing at their rallies? If not, then what reaction are they hoping to evoke by their relentless public suggestions that Obama is basically an anti-American liar who won't put "country first" and has an affection for terrorists? Do they not understand the kind of fire they are playing with?

In these turbulent times, their campaign is being so irresponsible. When are they going to be held accountable for their dangerous rhetoric?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Question for Sarah Palin

Since Sarah Palin is making so much of the slight association between Barack Obama and Willam Ayers years after Ayers had been cleared of charges and become a respected educator in Illinois, I have some questions regarding Sarah Palin's association with someone much closer to her: her husband. Todd Palin was a member of the Alaska Independence Party from 1995-2002. This party advocates for the secession of Alaska from the United States of America with the slogan "Alaska First, Alaska Always". Its founder, Joe Vogler, was murdered while trying to buy plastic explosives on the black market. Click here to hear some chilling quotes from Joe Vogler.

And by the way, not only is Sarah Palin married to a former, longtime member of the party, Sarah Palin has attended several conventions of the Alaska Indpendence Party and even addressed their convention as recently as March, telling them to "keep up the good work". So, my question for Sarah Palin is: which is it, Alaska First or Country First?

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's Getting Really Ugly - The Blatant Racism of the McCain/Palin Campaign

This was a subject I really hoped I wouldn't have cause to write about. Of course, I knew that racism was going to play a part in the Presidential campaign. The fact that the race was so close just a few weeks ago, even though the current Republican administration has such low approval ratings, was unprecedented and, I believe, could only be attributed to racism. However, I am absolutely sickened to see that the McCain/Palin campaign is actually stoking the fire with not-so-subtle racist rhetoric.

Here are just some examples of subtle and not-so-subtle racism being displayed by the candidates themselves and their supporters over the past few months:
  • June: Fox News runs a crawler referring to Michelle Obama as Barack Obama's "baby mama". This is a term used for unwed mothers, not respectable married women with children. Can you imagine this term being used regarding Laura Bush?
  • September: Republican Lynn Westmoreland refers to the Obamas as "uppity". And how dishonest was his "I didn't know it was a racist term" bullshit? He's from the deep South! Now add that to every time Obama has been called "elitist" and "arrogant" and you can hear the underlying mesage: "How dare that black man feel he deserves to be President?"
  • John McCain referring to Barack Obama as "that one" in the 2nd Presidential debate. If it wasn't racist, it was at the very least completely dismissive and disrespectful.
  • A McCain advisor stating that Obama should just admit he is a "guy of the street". Really? This Harvard Law School graduate and former Constitutional Law professor?
  • Sarah Palin having the gall to say we don't know Barack Obama even though he has been in the national public spotlight since his keynote speech four years ago at the Democratic National Convention and has been running for president for 20 months. I guess we should just "know" Sarah Palin after 6 weeks of running for Vice-President. Is that because she is white? One of us?

And now we come to the rallies, where Palin is whipping the crowds into an angry mob. Where she is saying things like "I am fearful" "he doesn't see America like you and I see America", "he thinks of America as so imperfect that he pals around with terrorists", that Obama would "diminish the prestige of the Presidency". People in the crowds are yelling things like "terrorist", "traitor", "treason", and "kill him", telling a black cameraman "sit down, boy" and Palin SAYS NOTHING.

McCain has been running his campaign on his war hero status. Is this how a hero behaves? Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one is looking and even when you are losing. John McCain has shown his true colors, and his is no hero.

Sarah Palin Abused Power

The panel investigating "Troopergate" has released their report, and perhaps not surprisingly, founds that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power for personal gain in the firing of the public safety commissioner. As a reminder, the public safety commissioner refused to fire a state trooper who was going through a bitter divorce with Palin's sister.

According to the New York Times article:
"The report, which was commissioned and released by a bipartisan state legislative panel made up of 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats, said: “The evidence supports the conclusion that Governor Palin, at the least, engaged in ‘official action’ by her inaction if not her active participation or assistance to her husband in attempting to get Trooper Wooten fired [and there is evidence of her active participation].”
Bottom line, I am not at all surprised. What it comes back to, however, is the poor judgment John McCain made in selecting Sarah Palin, who was already under an ethics investigation, to be his VP pick. Either he was rash and chose her without proper vetting or he showed bad judgement by choosing a running mate who was under a current investigation for abuse of power. And what does it say for the Republican party that they could not find anyone clean to be the Vice Presidential nominee?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Where Do I Begin?

Being a working mom, I am discovering that it is hard to find time to blog! And now that it has been a few days, I just don't know where to begin. Here are topics that are swirling in my head that I hope to find some time to write about soon:
  • The ugly, blatantly racist turn the McCain campaign has taken
  • The economic crisis and freefall of the stock market
  • The 2nd Presidential Debate
  • The story behind John McCain as one of the Keating Five
  • The ridiculousness of the Ayers story
  • More things I don't like about Sarah Palin
  • Ominous news of voter suppression efforts by the Republicans

Where do I begin?!?!?!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Economists Prefer Obama

I was an Economics/Mathematics major in college. It always bothered me that many basic principles of Economics were counter to my beliefs on what was right and fair. For example, basic supply and demand principles would argue against establishing a minimum wage. By artificially setting a minimum wage, the theory goes, you end up reducing the number of jobs available to people. It was only when one professor, in an offhand comment, said that sometimes you have to take other things into consideration whem making such decisions (or something like that), that I could reconcile my study of Economics to my liberal leanings.

All of this is preface to explain my pleasant surprise when I read an article in The Economist publishing the results of their poll of economists on the election. Bottom line, the overwhelming majority of economists rated Barack Obama's economic policies higher than John McCain's, feel that Barack Obama has a better grasp of the economics, and believe that Barack Obama would pick the better economic team.

Tina Fey is Brilliant!

You must watch Tina Fey as Sarah Palin in the SNL version of the VP debate. Tina Fey is absolutely brilliant! I stayed up last night to watch, and I wasn't disappointed. My favorite line? Sarah Palin's definition of marriage. My 2nd favorite line? I don't want to give anything away, but it involves a flute. I wasn't sure how they were going to parody Joe Biden, but that was perfect too. Enjoy! If the embedding doesn't work below, here is the link:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Initial Thoughts on VP Debate

When I got that text message announcing that Joe Biden was Barack Obama's VP pick, I was disappointed that he hadn't picked Hillary Clinton, and I thought, "how boring". Tonight, after watching the VP debate, I am so impressed with Joe Biden. He has such an obvious command of the issues, vast knowledge and experience, and struck exactly the right tone. He countered points effectively, expressed his views articulately, and clearly pointed out the differences between the Obama/Biden ticket and the McCain/Palin ticket. He talked about John McCain and his positions and didn't attack Sarah Palin. He was in a delicate position and walked that fine line.

Now I completely expected Sarah Palin to do just fine. I was hoping for the huge gaffe, but I figured she was going to be well-prepared. And I was afraid that expectations were so low, that she just had to not throw up on stage to be judged the winner. And she did do just fine. She didn't sound incoherent like she did during the Katie Couric interview, and she didn't make any big mistakes. However, she came across as trying way too hard to have folksy charm and to connect with the everyday person. All the winking and gosh darnits and dropping the g's off the ends of words were just phony and annoying. More importantly, she didn't answer the questions. She simply steered back to the speeches and talking points that she had obviously memorized. And even if you say that you are not going to answer the moderator's questions, that doesn't make you a straight talker, that makes you a bad debater who obviously doesn't know how to answer the question that has been asked.

But here is what I think was the defining moment of this debate. When Joe Biden talked about knowing what it was like to be a single parent, when he choked up and had to hold back tears when recalling what it was like to not know whether his son was going to make it, I was moved to tears. And Sarah Palin? This woman who is hanging her campaign on being a "hockey mom" and a person just like you and able to connect with people and understand their issues? She did not react; she did not acknowledge; she did not respond. She just moved on and talked about being a maverick with a robotic smile on her face. To me that showed Joe Biden to be so real and Sarah Palin to be so fake.

Joe Biden won, hands down.