Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sarah Palin, Religious Extremist

Just in case you thought that maybe she wasn't as much a zealot as has been reported, please read this article from the Los Angeles Times and a commentary on it from AlterNet by Rachel Weiner, originally on the Huffington Post.

I could not resist putting in the little photo from the Creation Museum, with a little girl sharing a picnic with a dinosaur. Ridiculous? Not to Sarah Palin and her ilk.

Do you have any idea how the rest of the world feels about the U.S. these days? We're a friggin' joke. Our Reaganomics have crashed, we've got a fringe religious fanantic sharing a presidential ticket, and still 20% or so of the citizens think George Bush has done a good job. Unbelievable....

Read! Learn! Think! Volunteer!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's No Laughing Matter

Take a look at this clip from CNN about the SNL Sarah Palin skit:

It's all well and good to find the SNL skit funny -- and it was -- but we can't forget that this woman is on the Republican Presidential ticket. Suddently it's not so funny anymore. We can't forget that their Presidential candidate is the oldest man on any ticket ever, and that this woman is a heartbeat away -- a 72-year-old beating heart away -- from being the leader of United States. We can't forget that this woman is a right-wing religious extremist who was chosen to herd the religious right back into the Republican party, and she's done it. We can't forget that John McCain and the Republicans want the White House so badly that they would put someone like Sarah Palin -- and it is here that we must clearly point to her embarrassing and revealing appearances on television -- on the ticket just to pander to a certain faction of their base.

This is anything but funny. It's blood-chillingly frightening. It's horrifying. It means that we have to fight and fight and fight and fight to keep this dangerous Republican ticket out of the White House.

Please also catch up with all the articles on AlterNet and the other sources in our web links regarding the first Presidential Debate. Though the popular opinion is that Obama "won" -- whatever that means -- don't forget for a second that McCain and Palin's followers love that war-mongering talk and the belligerant, bullying and condescending behavior that McCain showed towards Obama. The more McCain acts like someone who would be dangerous in the White House, the more his supporters think he's just perfect for the job.

This election is dead serious stuff.

Go! Watch! Read! Volunteer!!!!

Joe Biden's Response after the First Debate

Did you see this appearance by Joe Biden on CNN after Thursday's Debate?

Go! Watch! Support Your Excellent Candidates! Volunteer!!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Excellent Naomi Wolf Article -- "Has Sarah Palin Been Picked as the Titular Head of the Coming Police State?"

AlterNet has a chilling article by Naomi Wolf about the implications of a candidate like ultra-right wing Sarah Palin. Scary, scary stuff.

McCain has managed to find just about the only woman in right-wing politics who hates women as much as so many right-wing men hate them. Misogyny overcome, voila.
Obama and Biden, you're our only hope!

Read! Be frightened! Volunteer!!!

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, with Amy Poehler as Katie Couric, from "Saturday Night Live"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rate the Debate!

Follow this link to fill in a questionnaire about the debate and to sign up to rate the other debates coming up:

Rate the Debates

Good Luck to Obama in Tonight's Debate!

Now that McCain has finally decided to participate in tonight's first Presidential Debate to be held at the University of Mississippi, we'd like to formally extend our best wishes to our man Barack Obama to do his best and show America exactly why we're so excited to be supporting him! Current events make Obama's economic message more relevant than ever, and we need to see him tell it and sell it to America.

The debate starts at 9pm et and will be on all major media outlets. You KNOW that it is your civic duty to watch tonight and support our candidate!

Go! Spread the Word! Watch! Volunteer!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Excellent Garrison Keillor Article -- "Where is the Outrage?"

Take a few minutes to read this informed and impassioned column by Garrison Keillor entitled "Where is the Outrage?" on Salon.com. He is eloquent and dead-on as he takes John McCain to task for his hypocrisy and involvement in the events leading up to the current economic crisis, as well as his willingness to do anything -- anything -- to get elected. He also has some surprising comments about Palin.

It is a sober, well-written and disturbing article. And it is all too true.

Go! Read! Volunteer!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Do YOU Think Sarah Palin is Qualified to Serve as VP?

Visit the website of PBS' NOW on PBS, and vote in the poll on this question, which we think has a fairly obvious answer. You just know the other side is stuffing the ballot box on this one. There's also another poll about whether you trust Obama or McCain more to fix the current economic mess. Be sure to vote on that one, too.

Their website has a lot of informative video and other interesting political information of particular importance at this time. You can also check to see when the program airs on your local PBS station.

Go! Read and watch! Volunteer!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Humane Society Endorses Obama-Biden Ticket

Those of us who care about animals and animal welfare will be thrilled to hear that the Humane Society Legislative Fund, which lobbies for animal welfare legislation -- and goodness knows that animals can always use the help -- has broken with a tradition of not taking a stand in Presidential races. This year the HSLF is endorsing the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket for President and Vice-President of the United States.

Read their thoughtful reasoning on HSLF's Mike Markarian's blog, and see what's behind their unprecedented decision to come forward for Obama-Biden. Be very proud that our candidates have such good records when it comes to humane treatment for all animals. I think we've seen enough about Palin's horrible record in these matters to know that the Republicans would be bad news indeed for animals.

Go! Read! Pet your cat or dog! Volunteer!!

Once Again, Palin Shown To Be Vicious Opportunist

Please take the time to read this new article in Salon entitled "Mean Girl" by David Talbot, about Sarah Palin's political style and what she's done to end up where she is. "Complete bullshit." one of her former allies says of her claim that she cleaned up Alaska's Old Boys' network. Read the article and we think you'll agree. This is the kind of information you can use to counter the pro-Palin nonsense spouted by Republican apologists whenever and wherever you hear it!

Go! Read! Volunteer!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Frank Rich on John McCain's Frayed Record on Economics

Please read Frank Rich's column "Truthiness Makes a Comeback" in the NY Times. It's a sobering examination of John McCain's involvement in the Keating financial scandal in 1989, and his distancing of himself from it and its lessons as the U.S. spirals down into a not-dissimilar crisis. Rich also skewers McCain's continued lying about Obama's policies; if we could count on voters to learn the truth for themselves we wouldn't have to worry about stuff like that, but we can't let up.

Go! Read! Volunteer!!

"West Wing" Creator Aaron Sorkin Gives Obama Some Advice

Be sure you read the amusing and ultimately heartening (I think...) Maureen Dowd column in yesterday's NY Times with Aaron Sorkin imaging a conversation between West Wing President Bartlett and Barack Obama. It's called "Aaron Sorkin Conjures a Meeting of Obama and Bartlett" and you will love it.

Go! Read! Volunteer!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

"The Worst Thing I've Ever Seen": NY Times' Economy Guru Paul Krugman on the Financial Crisis from "Real Time with Bill Maher"

Take a look at this scary discussion about the current economic crisis from last night's edition of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. Krugman is sage and also witty, and full of dire news for the country.

"We Really Need a Better Government Than We've Got." -- Paul Krugman

Watch! Get Scared! Volunteer!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Obama's "Plan for Change"

A new message from our candidate:

Go! Watch! Volunteer!!

Joe Biden & Hillary Clinton Webcast

Watch this great webcast conversation between Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden and Sen. Hillary Clinton which took place yesterday. The topics: The issues!

Go! Watch! Volunteer!!

AlterNet Article on McCain/Palin's "White Privilege"

Read this very astute, maddening and yes, sickening, article by Tim Wise, about the insidious preferential treatment the Republican ticket has been receiving. I don't think you'll be able to disagree with a single assertion, and it's shameful.

"What Privileges do McCain and Palin Receive Because They're White?" on AlterNet.

Go! Read! Get Mad! Volunteer!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Palin Heavy into Cronyism -- Surprised?

Take a look at this investigative article from the NY Times entitled "Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes". Within her limited sphere of influence she went beyond the bounds of intelligent governance -- read the article to learn specific details of her administrative style. If it sounds a lot like "Heckuva job, Brownie" Bush tactics, you're reading it right.

Go! Read! Volunteer!!!

Barack Obama's Speech Yesterday in Golden, Colorado

Watch this intelligent and inspiring speech given by Sen. Obama yesterday in Colorado. You can read along with the text which has been reprinted on Salon.com. (Open another window and read while you watch.) Salon called it "New Rules for a 21st Century Economy"; given current drastic events on the economic scene, this is information that you must understand and our candidate has a plan, do not doubt.

Watch! Read! Volunteer!!!

New MoveOn.org Ad -- McCain's Lobbyist Friends

Enough said.

Go! Volunteer!!!

Are You Confused? Read This...

This email is going around today -- you'll find it enlightening and depressing:

Are You Confused? Read This...

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic, different.'
* Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.
* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
* If , while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system, while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant , you're very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate laywer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.
* If you're husband is nicknamed 'First Dude', with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now. No wonder the rest of the world thinks we're NUTS!

And the rest of the world does think we're nuts. Most Americans don't watch international news but if they did they'd find out that if Bush is not respected -- and he isn't -- the McCain/Palin duo has been judged laughable and what's more, downright dangerous for America and the world. Scary.

Read! Get Mad! Volunteer!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Saturday Night Live" on Palin

There's a lot of truth in this amusing opening skit from last night's "Saturday Night Live" on NBC.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Okay, Time to Scare You Again

If that didn't scare you, particularly the comments from Scott Ritter -- and do you doubt he's correct? -- then go ahead and vote for McCain.

Go! Get Behind Your Candidate Obama! Volunteer!!!

Obama in 30 Seconds: "America Anonymous"

Because we all need a little inspiration, here's a wonderful entry from the "Obama in 30 Seconds" Campaign:

By Tyler Wilson, written by Tyler and Timory Wilson. Also available on YouTube, where you can watch it in High Quality. Thanks, Tyler and Timory, for a lovely spot.


Cats Against Palin

Paul Krugman: "Blizzard of Lies"

And while you're at it, please read Paul Krugman's column "Blizzard of Lies" also in the NY Times. This stuff isn't smelling any better, but at least it's getting out in the open.

Go! Read! Get Outraged! Volunteer!!!

Sarah Palin : "She's Not Ready"

Please read this intelligent, well-argued column by Bob Herbert of the NY Times entitled simply "She's Not Ready." I think we know who she is, and all the points he makes are ones that should chill not only those who wouldn't vote for her in a million years, but even those who thinks she's just what the doctor of divinity ordered. She's woefully inadequate for the job that McCain would have her fill. Period. Don't even try to make excuses for her. She's a ludicrous choice. McCain should be ashamed. A very bad judgment made for clearly -- and clearly cynical -- political reasons.

Go! Read! Get Frightened! Volunteer!!!

NY Times on McCain's Dishonest Ads

Good article by Michael Cooper and Jim Rutenberg about the pressure on McCain stemming from his recent series of outrageously skewed and untrue campaign spots against Barack Obama. It's about time.

Go! Read! Volunteer!

Friday, September 12, 2008

New Ad from Planned Parenthood Calling Out McCain for his Deception --

This, of course, in response to McCain's ad twisting Obama's support of age-appropriate education from K-12, which McCain's ad reported as Obama supporting explicit sex education for kindergartners. I mean, really...pathetic, Republicans, just pathetic. You guys will say anything, won't you?

Great New Obama Ad!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Columnist Andrew Sullivan of "The Atlantic" -- Former McCain Backer

Please take the time to read this newest column by Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic" entitled "McCain's Integrity". Sullivan, previously in support of McCain, has changed his mind after the so-called "Maverick" has embraced the tactics of Karl Rove and decided to campaign with lies and dirt.

Please also take a look at some of Sullivan's earlier columns, found on the same page, which chronicle the McCain decline into Rove's rotten style of politicking.

Sullivan is no left-wing Democract; he's a thoughtful journalist who has decided to tell the truth and hold the candidates to the same standard.

Go! Read! Consider! Volunteer!!

McCain No Maverick Ad

History on the Side of Obama's Economic Plan

For a detailed yet emminently readable assessment of the differences between the economic policies of Obama and McCain, and what history has to say about the probable outcome, check out this terrific article in the New York Times by Alan Blinder, a professor of economics at Princeton.

The issues discussed include the overall growth of the economy and the incredible income inequality which has been exacerbated by recent policies.

This is particularly pertinent since McCain is out on the campaign trail lying about Obama's plan to raise taxes -- the Democratic plan would only raise them on incomes over $250,000 -- versus the Republican plan to keep in place indefinitely the current Bush tax code which offers preferential rates to the very wealthy and penalizes the middle class. It all boils down to math, kids, and unless you're a multi-millionaire, the Republicans are screwing you and giving a boost to their billionaire buddies. How does it feel to be played like a chump, anyway?

Go! Read! Get Mad! Volunteer!!

AlterNet Scores Again with More Palin Facts!

Do not wait to read this important article detailing "8 More Stories About Palin the Public Needs to Know" on AlterNet. Despite the mainstream media halo placed around McCain's cynical and disturbing choice -- and you do realize it's just because they're chasing ratings, right, and that Big Media makes more money under Republicans, right, and so they want to help get them elected, right? -- the real facts are starting to come out, thanks to publications like AlterNet.

In addition to a slew of alarming political revelations, it seems that Palin also hates cats. Well...say no more.

Go! Read! Spread the truth! Volunteer!!

Brilliant Article on Salon -- "Why Aren't Women Furious About Sarah Palin?"

Click through and read this tremendous article on Salon by Cintra Wilson entitled "Pissed About Palin". Wilson succinctly puts together exactly what's also been making me insane about Palin. I think you will find it's a powerful indictment of the corrupt mentality that brought her forward onto the Republican ticket.

Danger, Ladies (and Gentlemen)! Dark Days Ahead! Go! Read! Volunteer!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

She's Fabulous! Michelle Obama Speech September 4th

Michelle Obama gives the keynote speech at the Women for Obama Voter Registration Rally at the University of New Mexico:

New Obama Ad: "No Maverick"

And how!

Truthout -- Another Great Website to Put on Your Must-Read List

Be sure to visit Truthout.org, where there's another eye-opening Palin article entitled Sarah Palin: A Gidget for God's Truth. If you think this lady is not someone who'd hesitate to insert religion into her politics, think again. The site is full of trenchant articles that will inform any of us fighting to keep the Republicans out of office again. Go! Read! Get Mad! Volunteer!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Nailing Fox News On Their Duplicity

I've just discovered the site Meet the Bloggers; they produce an internet show, this week hosted by the vigorously talented Henry Rollins. Rollins and his journalist guests examine the tactics used by proudly and disgustingly partisan Fox News in reporting on the Democrats and lionizing the Republicans without any semblance of accuracy or honesty.

Take a look at this show, and visit the site to watch more of their intelligent output.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Re: Sarah Palin: Terrific Column from Canada's "Globe and Mail" Newspaper!

For an accurate idea how many of our neighbors to the north view the current Republican slate, take a look at this terrific column from Saturday's Globe and Mail newspaper from columnist Tabatha Southey:

Body check for a hockey mom - the Republicans' New Coke candidate

September 6, 2008

When I heard the Republican argument that Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is qualified to be America's commander-in-chief not only because Alaska is Russia's next-door neighbour but because Ms. Palin is nominally responsible for the Alaskan National Guard, I checked to see how many people are in the Alaskan National Guard. There are 4,500, mainly stationed in Iraq.

Honestly, guys, I think we can take them.

Please hear me out. I grew up mostly in Guelph, Ont., and you don't grow up 550 kilometres from Ottawa without gaining some foreign-policy experience. And if you don't believe that, you're sexist.

Have I mentioned I'm a mother?

That's right, I'm a mother. I gave birth and went right back to being a mother three days later. Still, to be frank about my national-security qualifications (before you have the temerity to Google them), I've never been the mayor of a town of 6,000 - a job that I acknowledge is easily six steps up from being Brown Owl.

I can't find the quote but somewhere Graham Greene wrote approximately this: Americans have taken the noble idea that anyone could become president and contorted it into the alarming idea that anyone should become president.

There's a jar of my homemade strawberry jam for the first reader who locates this passage. Yes, I realize that's folksy-sounding, but please don't put my name on a ballot. I'm not qualified. That dog don't hunt. (Oh, hey, wait a second, maybe I am!)

Ms. Palin is Mr. Greene's joke realized, but so afraid is the media of being called "elitist" that I've not heard one pundit compare the candidates' educations.

Barack Obama's presidency of the Harvard Law Review is seemingly on par with Ms. Palin's winning Miss Congeniality, and to suggest anything else is condescending to congenial people - some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.

Ms. Palin is partly John McCain's response to Hillary Clinton, but mostly she's a response to Michelle Obama. The Republicans want a mother figure. And cold Cindy McCain, whose face is pulled so tight that I swear when she smiles her nipples point up, isn't polling well.

Cue Sarah Palin and the most cynical spectacle I've ever witnessed - and I sat through the last three Star Wars movies.

The film John McCain launched last week with his flippant pick started out as a British, Ealing Studios-type comedy - Passport to Pimlico meets The Mouse That Roared. However, within days I was watching throngs of aged, Jamie Lynn Spears-condemning Republicans creepily welcoming Ms. Palin's pregnant daughter as if that poor girl were carrying the last baby on earth.

All hands grasped for the first Republican baby in a generation. The movie had already morphed into Prudence and the Pill and then suddenly I was watching Children of Men.

Oh, I know, the media can't talk about Ms. Palin's children. Only Ms. Palin can talk about her children - endlessly. And show her children and have Mr. McCain meet her children at the airport in a photo op so staged I'd have sworn Princess Diana was still alive.

Watching Mr. McCain embrace Ms. Palin's family, I felt sure he was wondering why he'd unleashed this cheap trick of a New Coke candidate and when he would get to pick the next guy.

"Hell," he was probably thinking, shaking hands with the young father-to-be and kissing a random child. "If I'd known I was in for this kind of crap, I'd have gone with the Mormon."

"Surely," Cindy might have whispered, "those Russians could've sent a shipload of condoms over the Bering Strait and spared us all this drama?"

The media have been criticized for ruthlessly dissecting Ms. Palin's family life - a subject they have actually approached fairly gingerly. Naturally we've been distracted by the "bridge to nowhere" that Ms. Palin actively supported (at least until the cheque cleared) before denouncing it in speeches this week and last.

But let me try to say why it's valid. Given Ms. Palin's anti-sex-education stance, I'd say that if I'm reporting on a candidate who campaigns on a "we should all build our houses out of fresh meat" platform, and then I discover that one of her children has been eaten by wolves, it's relevant.

I watched Ms. Palin's vapid, sarcastic, hate-filled speech, a speech that stoked fear, division and resentment while celebrating herself and ignorance and the many places these two things meet.
Nice try, Republicans, I'd say. But not only is this woman no Hillary Clinton, I think that we in the north can say, "I know hockey moms. Hockey moms are friends of mine. And governor, you're no hockey mom."

Sarah Palin isn't qualified to govern. She's not even a suitable candidate for the carpool.


An amazing column and please go to the web version where you can email it around. I think this nails it with a nice slice of sarcasm added, to boot.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Joe Biden Responds to Republican Convention Speeches!

Go Joe!

Sarah Palin Revealed: Not that the Facts Ever Get in the Way for the Right Wing, but...

Here is a link to The Sarah Palin FAQ from Slate Magazine, by Derek Thompson. It's a collection of facts about McCain's VP pick and might be useful if you are trying to reason with a Republican. Good luck and don't back down!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Obama in 30 Seconds: "Stand"

A lovely and inspiring entry in the "Obama in 30 Seconds" competition by MoveOn.Org:

Written by Jim Mitchem, Motion Graphics by Jacob Matthew. Also available on YouTube.

The Widely-Circulating Sarah Palin Email by Anne K.

This is the real deal; written by someone of long familiarity with Palin since her early days in Wasilla, Alaska. Worth reading to fill in some of the gaps the so-far fawning media have been ignoring:

"Dear friends,
So many people have asked me about what I know about Sarah Palin in the last 2 days that I decided to write something up . . .Basically, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have only 2 things in common: their gender and their good looks. :) You have my permission to forward this to your friends/email contacts with my name and email address attached, but please do not post it on any websites, as there are too many kooks out there . . .Thanks, Anne.


I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992. Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my child's favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the residents of the city.

She is enormously popular; in every way she’s like the most popular girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and won't vote for her can't quit smiling when talking about her because she is a "babe".

It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents for seven months.

She is "pro-life". She recently gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby. There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.

She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.

She is savvy. She doesn't take positions; she just "puts things out there" and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.

Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin’s kind of job is highly sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything like that of native Alaskans.

Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters.

She's smart.

Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents.

During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later--to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once. These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.

As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.

In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today's surplus, borrow for needs.

She’s not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who proposed them.

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

Sarah complained about the “old boy’s club” when she first ran for Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of "old boys". Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal--loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the State’s top cop (see below).

As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla’s Police Chief because he “intimidated” her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska's top cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure and she had every legal right to fire him, but it's pretty clear that an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn't fire her sister's ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew her support.

She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’t like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her.

When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a gutsy fighter against the “old boys’ club” when she dramatically quit, exposing this man’s ethics violations (for which he was fined).

As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the “bridge to nowhere” after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.

As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of these projects--which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance--but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation as “anti-pork”.

She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a fiscal conservative.

Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah. They call her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her unbridled ambition and predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah's mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.

As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of package of legislation known as “AGIA” that forced the oil companies to march to the beat of her drum.

Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to global warming. She campaigned “as a private citizen” against a state initiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams from pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State’s lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior’s decision to list polar bears as threatened species.

McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a heartbeat away from being President.

There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.
However, there’s a lot of people who have underestimated her and are regretting it.

•“Hockey mom”: true for a few years
•“PTA mom”: true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since
•“NRA supporter”: absolutely true
•social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconsitutional).
•pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.
•“Pro-life”: mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation
•“Experienced”: Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska. No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.
•political maverick: not at all
•gutsy: absolutely!
•open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.
•has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
•”a Greenie”: no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
•fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
•pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.
•pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents
•pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla’s history. •pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn’t make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.

First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting programs in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny + Alaska), you will find references to my participation in local government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.

Secondly, I've always operated in the belief that "Bad things happen when good people stay silent". Few people know as much as I do because few have gone to as many City Council meetings.

Third, I am just a housewife. I don't have a job she can bump me out of. I don't belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow in the future: that’s life.

Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah's attempt at censorship.

Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to say anything because they were somehow vulnerable.

I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in spending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor) from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City of Wasilla, and I can't recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjust for inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossible for a private person to get any info out of City Hall--they are swamped. So I can't verify my numbers. You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the population of Wasilla, ranging from my "about 5,000", up to 9,000. The day Palin’s selection was announced a city official told me that the current population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was 5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to 2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90’s.

Anne Kilkenny"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What Peggy Noonan and McCain's Former Campaign Manager *Really* Think about Palin

Take a look at this revealing exchange, caught on tape after an interview on MSNBC. I've got a version here with subtitles so you can easily understand what's being said. Mike Murphy is John McCain's former campaign chief and obviously a loyal fan of McCain, and Peggy Noonan is the well-known Republican speechwriter who made Reagan sound like a great President. They are conversing with the anchor after finishing an interview -- obviously thinking the network had cut to something else -- talking candidly about the choice of Sarah Palin as VP.

I think their assessment says it all. The Palin pick is a horrible one, and we all know why he did it -- to appease the radical religious right. Doesn't get much more scary than that.

"Political bullshit." Peggy Noonan really says it all.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Can I Say I'm Sick of Hearing About --

-- Sarah Palin's alleged skilled juggling of career and motherhood? That's kid stuff. What really takes skill is finding quality time for all the wolf-slaughtering, and book-banning and climate-change denying! Takes quite a gal to keep her head firmly planted in the Middle Ages...did I mention she's against stem cell research, too?

And fie on any former Hillary-supporter who would even dare think about supporting McCain's backwards-thinking zealot just because she's a woman. Do you not understand that she's the polar opposite of everything that Hillary stood for and believes in? Supporting any woman, right or wrong, is not what grrrl power is all about, ladies. You have to use your heads, too; it's about more than just sharing the same female body organs. Get a grip.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More Intelligence from AlterNet

The Top Ten Most Disturbing Facts and Impressions of Sarah Palin, by the AlterNet staff.

This has nothing to do with the revelation that her teenage daughter is pregnant, though I am puzzled that all the coverage cites the family's praising of the daughter's "decision" to have the baby. In their anti-choice world, there is no "decision" to be made. There is no choice. I guess there's no birth control, either, but then we know the Republicans hate that, too.

Just read the article.

Another Terrific AlterNet Article!

AlterNet author George Lakoff offers a new article -- "Palin Appeals to Voter Emotions -- Dems Beware" -- a sobering assessment of the emotional factor in the Palin choice, and he's dead on. It's not just about facts and issues -- or about facts and issues at all. Republicans love fuzzy sentiments, and how. Read the article now here!