Thursday, October 2, 2008

Taking A Break

I think I am going to be taking a break from the political scene for a little while, but might have to wait until after tomorrow night's debate with Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, it is going to be great. I can not wait to see what words of infinite wisdom Sarah Palin is going to have for us. I just hope that Joe Biden does not make faux pas that could make us look like total morons. For interested parties, you can pretty much catch the debate on any channel or you can watch it online at

My reason for taking a break is that my head is ready to explode, I now know more about McCain, Palin, and Obama than I would say at least 60% of the population does and it makes my head hurt. Another problem that I have discovered, is that no matter how bad a lie is and how hard I try to prove that it is a lie, people still believe it, or think that I am lying even though I cite valid sources from reputable people. I am going to go emo for a minute and say that I have virtually given up on people. The ability for people to look at things from a different perspective, or to consider an idea that maybe vastly different from their own, is seriously lacking in this country.

Granted I am a pretty die hard Obama supporter but I am sick and tired of people having no common sense whatsoever. People still think that his middle name "Hussein" ties him to Saddam Hussein, they still think that because he attended a "madrassa" (muslim school) between the ages of 6-10 that he has Muslim extremism ingrained into his personality. CNN, the ONLY new channel to go to the school he attended, found no evidence whatsoever of the "extremism" that so many people are so quick to attach to Obama. Another thing worth noting, is the fact that there are 1.4 billion Muslims in the world and the vast majority of Americans have been lead to believe that all 1.4 billion of them are extremists. It does not take a whole lot of imagination to realize that if all 1.4 billion were extremists, we would be in a whole lot of trouble, much more than we are in right now. Not only that, but even if Obama were an Muslim Extremist, is it that unrealistic to think that in the almost 12 years that he has been in politics someone would have found it out a lot earlier than now? The same goes for his supposedly forged or missing birth certificate, which is posed on his website and many other places. But for just a second, lets just say that his birth certificate was missing, his mother is an American citizen, he was born in Hawaii, and therefore, Obama is a natural-born citizen. As some conspiracy theorists like to speculate, supposedly, Obama's mother was in Kenya at the time of his birth, then immediately after delivery, boarded a plane, took a nearly 16 hour flight from Kenya to Hawaii where she filled out the birth certificate. For one he is already a citizen of the US having been born to a US citizen, although he wouldn't be considered "natural born." For two, this is borderline psychotic, they are implying that Obama's mother thought, "Oh my god, I'm in Kenya and I want Barack to grow up to be president. I have to fly back to Hawaii immediately so that I can have his birth certificate signed there so that he can be a natural born citizen." While not entirely impossible, I seriously doubt that she would have been capable of boarding a flight having just given birth and fly an hours old baby back to Hawaii. Not only that but this is another area where someone could have discovered this well before he began his campaign.

I am pretty sick of all of this, it is almost as if we have lost our ability to think for ourselves and can only digest information if it is spoon fed to us and the person says "here this is true, take my word for it." It is bullshit and it needs to stop, immediately. As it currently stands, I am very fearful for my country, for many reasons. Some people dislike Obama because they claim that he is an "elitist." Excuse me? We have just spent the past 8 years with someone who is supposedly "just an average guy," "someone you could have a beer with," and "has small town values." So, how have the past 8 years been? We are fighting 2 wars, have a crippled economy, it has been the most secretive government ever, ethics scandals, torture scandals and those are just some of the things that we know about. I do not mind at all that Obama has a degree from Columbia University and a Harvard Law degree, he sat on the Harvard Law Review, and he also worked as a constitutional lawyer in Chicago. If he is supposedly an "elitist" and McCain, who's wife owns the largest beer distributor in Arizona with revenue of over 300 million dollars a year and she owns 7 houses, including their primary residence which is a 4000 square foot condo with a price tag of $4.6 million, is not an "elitist." Then I guess I need to be told what the definition of being an elitist is. Personally, I would not think that a member of "the elite" would work as a community organizer. It as almost as if Obama being an intelligent person is somehow looked down upon which is sad. And now, people are going around slamming Obama, saying that he's not fit to run this country but a former Navy man, who has been in the Senate for so long that he's almost a permanent fixture, who's Grandfather and Father were admirals, basically has virtually been surrounded by military his whole life, graduated 894 out of 899 in his class at Annapolis and does not believe in the simplest forms of diplomacy, and sings immature songs about bombing Iran, (Yes, he is on video singing Bomb, bomb, bomb....and then laughing, to the tune of Barbarann), and then selects a running mate who is incredibley inexperienced and does not even agree with half of McCain's platform, especially his reforms in earmarks, and is quoted as saying that "our national leaders are sending our soldiers on a task from god. (I have pretty much written a book on Palin) is vastly more qualified than Obama? Please, I am tired of it, honesly a vote for McCain will only continue us down the same path that we have been on for the past 8 years, lead to further deterioration of our foreign relations, and continue the "rich get richer and the poor get poorer." Gallup conducted polls in Germany, France, and England, the average of the 3 countries was 62% for Obama and 10% for McCain, that says a lot in my opinion. If McCain wins, I am moving to England.

Thanks for reading.

Anti-Smear Part 1

There are a plethora of emails, blog posts, youtube videos, and misinformed people out there that I feel the need to get things off my chest.

Barack Hussein Obama
There are those in this country who feel the need to emphasize that Obama's middle name is Hussein. This is by far one of the most annoying smears that I've found. First of all, all one has to do is do a quick Wikipedia search and do a little reading to find that his father's name is Barack Hussein Obama. Therefor, he was named after his father, and not the former president of Iraq like so many people like to say. Still not satisfied? Think his father was named after Saddam Hussein? Well that is a slight impossibility because Barack Hussein Obama Sr, was born on in 1936, also according to Wikipedia. Saddam Hussein wasn't born until April 1937, also according toWikipedia. Not only that, the likelihood of Barack Obama Jr's parents even knowing who Saddam Hussein was in 1961 when he was born is very slim. In 1961, Saddam Hussein was only 24 and his power and influence were next to none.

Fallen Soldier's Bracelet
As some of the more rumor mill people may have already read, there are people that have used Obama's reference of the soldiers bracelet during the debate against him. First off, early in the campaign, the mother asked the campaign not to mention the bracelet while giving speeches at campaign stops or during debates. While the campaign didnt' respond to the email, Obama never mentioned the bracelet until Friday night's debate. I agree, that perhaps he shouldn't have mentioned the bracelet because the family asked him not to. However, the reaction of the mother, who gave Obama the bracelet wasn't the highly negative reaction that has been posted on many websites. For the truth, you can go to The Associated Press or CBS News for the story from a reliable source rather than from a random blog. I have another issue with this though, and it relates to John McCain. If you watch nearly every speech that he has made there are two things that he always mentions, one is his time spent in prison in Vietnam, and the second is the bracelet that he got form the mother of a soldier. Granted, the mother may feel comfortable that he makes reference to this bracelet all the time, but personally, I feel it is disrespectful for McCain to make reference to it so much. Others may think that it is simply honoring the memory of this young man, which I agree with to an extent. My issue is that when do you cross the line of honoring the memory of the soldier, and move into, at least partially, using the bracelet for political gain. That may sound a little rude, but to mention the bracelet nearly every time that he speaks reeks of using it for political gain to me.

I actually received this in an email from an acquaintance today on Obama's supposed "10 Point Plan to 'Change' the Second Amendment." There is a simple fact that many people do not realize. There are 535 people in Congress, for a bill to pass, you need at least 268 votes in the house before the bill moves onto the Senate where you need at least 51 more for the bill to pass. Quite honestly, there is no way that the majority of these things on this 10 point plan would pass, even if they were did some investigation, as they usually do when ever a candidate comes under fire for one reason or another, into Obama's stance on the gun issue. They found that the NRA pretty much fabricated some of these 10 points out of thin air. For starters on where Obama stands on gun issues you can go to his website to view his position. If that doesn't satisfy you, you can go to The Washington Post or CBS News I worked at Lear Corporation, a supplier for General Motors for almost 8 years, there was a significant number of people who worked there who sided with the NRA no matter what a candidate would say about guns. My opinion is that the NRA, one of Washington's most powerful lobbyist groups, is one of the dirtiest organizations in existence. I find their tactics quite questionable at times. Even though Obama has clearly stated many times that he is not going to take away anybody's right to bear arms, the NRA still screams at their members and instills the fear that their right will disappear under a democrats watch. This is simply not true as this is a right that will never go away. It would be political suicide for a candidate for president to be so anti-gun as the NRA paints Obama to be.

Obama Supports Infanticide
I recently saw a video on youtube that I have some issues with. For starters, the group that put this video up on youtube is called, American News Today, from just browsing their website I instantly had a few problems with it. For one, they are obvious about the fact that they back McCain. I question any source that is as blatant about their endorsement of a candidate as a reliable source for finding out information about their opponent. I admit that it is difficult sometimes to make take an unbiased position on things. However, it seems that the further to the right or the left you go, the harder it becomes to look at things from an unbiased perspective. Some people may think that this is simply someone having strong convictions; I call it stubbornness and arrogance. Another thing is that a link on the side of the page is to a website, which I have already covered the "Hussein" issue above. The website instantly loses a lot of credibility for having that link there. I checked out "" and it is filled with complete lies and half-truths. I always have issues with websites that don't' cite their sources, and this website cites very few if any at all. Remember math class when your teacher said "show your work."? It applies to reporting and trying to convince people of a point. Simply referencing a blog from Clark Anderson from Kalamazoo, Michigan, doesn't count as a credible source. A real source from real people with real credentials isn't too much to ask, as long as you aren't one of those people who like to take things out of context. Another issue, is that this organization "American News Today" is nothing more than a huge blog. Granted I didn't spend much time there as it is 1am and I need to get to sleep, but blogs are not credible sources unless they are written from a generally unbiased perspective and/or cite their sources, and the sources you cite must be credible one.

Anyways, back to the point. Obama stated that his reason for voting no, and many of his colleagues in the Illinois state senate as well, was because he believed it to be an attack on Roe v. Wade and a law already existed on the books similar to the "born alive act" passed by the federal government. This statute stated in the very first section:

Any physician who intentionally performs an abortion when, in his medical judgment based on the particular facts of the case before him, there is a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb, with or without artificial support, shall utilize that method of abortion which, of those he knows to be available, is in his medical judgment most likely to preserve the life and health of the fetus. 
(b) The physician shall certify in writing, on a form prescribed by the Department under Section 10 of this Act, the available methods considered and the reasons for choosing the method employed.
(c) Any physician who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates the provisions of Section 6(1)(a) commits a Class 3 felony.

I think that makes it pretty clear. However, I will agree that this is a very complicated issue that I could probably write a book on governing the philosophy involved in this issue, I won't do that here. In this New York Times article, it give a full explanation on what the Illinois bill contained, among the things in the bill, were:

But the Illinois proposal always had a companion bill. The accompanying legislation, called the Induced Infant Liability Act, would have allowed legal action "on the child's behalf for damages, including costs of care to preserve and protect the life, health and safety of the child, punitive damages, and costs and attorney's fees, against a hospital, health care facility or health care provider who harms or neglects the child or fails to provide medical care to the child after the child's birth."
…that bill would have introduced the possibility that doctors could be sued for failing to take extraordinary measures to save the lives of pre-viable infants, those born so prematurely that they could not possibly survive. As a result, they argue, it is disingenuous of anti-abortion organizations to claim that Mr. Obama was moving to quash only a narrow and innocuous definitional bill identical to federal law.

It is also fairly interesting to note, that this bill that if you voted no for it you supported infanticide, was not passed even when Republicans were the majority in the Illinois State Senate. If Obama is guilty then they all are and I haven't heard any mention of the other people who voted against this bill, because apparently republicans and democrats alike are in the same boat as well. Another issue that I have, if this woman, Jill Stanek (and don't' get me wrong, I'm not calling her a liar) did witness this, happening, it would clearly be in violation of Illinois state statues and that attending physician should have been charged with at Class 3 Felony.

I've rambled, but anyways, for more information you can visit Obama's site he doesn't just claim things he cites sources, like Illinois Compiled Statutes from the state governments official website, the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times.

Well, I'm tired and I have to go to bed. I'm going to write more later. Thanks for reading.

Dow Slides 777 points

McCain suspended his campaign and nearly the debate to go to Washington to work on the bailout plan. I thought that his postponement was a sham, political pandering at the highest level. He keeps making reference to "putting his campaign on hold" it makes me thing that what he is really saying translates to: "Hey Look at me, see, Look what I'm doing." He saw this moment as a time to possible get a campaign boost. Thats how I see it and how a lot of others see it too. At a campaign stop today he had another "look at me" moment when he told people, "Put my campaign on hold for a couple days last week to fight for a rescue plan that put you and your economic security first.'' Pander, pander, pander. I have serious issues with McCain, among these are the fact that his campaign manager is none other than Rick Davis, a Newsweek article highlights some of the finer points. Granted, I wouldn't have a problem with him being so for this bailout plan if not for his statement issued in March of 2008:

"I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers."

While it is not a horrible statement, it does show a little bit of hypocrisy.

In a campaign stop in Iowa, McCain stated:"Our leaders are expected to leave partisanship at the door and come to the table to solve our problems. Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship in the process.'' He can think that, but when you look at the votes cast today in the house, 140 of the 235 (60%) Democrats voted for the bill, while only 65 of the 199 (33%) Republicans voted for it. And McCain blames Obama and the Democrats for the bill not passing? Simply sounds like more partisan politics to me.

I've done some research on this whole "sub-prime lending" issue and through my research, I've come to a conclusion. The banks do not, under any circumstance, deserve this bailout. Essentially, it is the government rewarding these banks for horrible lending practices. A video I watched on youtube stated that it was Clinton's fault for loosening the regulation due to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). However, after reading the bill, there is a little more to it than just the loosening regulation. Basically, the meat of the bill was to require mortgage lenders to grant a percentage of their loans to low income people, loans in low income areas, and to minorities, think of it as a mortgage lenders version of affirmative action. The only requirement was they had to give the loans to a percentage of people. However, these areas often required them to approve loans for people with poor credit, so, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and others, would buy these loans from the lenders essentially guaranteeing them, even if the borrower defaulted on the loan. What I find horrible, is that lenders would give loans to people with "teaser" rates, these were given in what were called "2-28 loans," "3-27 loans" or "5-25 loans." These loans would give the "teaser" rate for a fixed term of 2, 3 or 5 years, and then for the remainder the loan the interest rate would go up for the remaining time of the loan. Like my previous blog stated, referencing the couple in the USA Today article, a large percentage of people were unable to afford these loans after the interest rate went up. This practice was not required by the CRA, it was a method invented by the lenders themselves to get people in, here's another example:

Ana Cecillia Marin, a 36-year-old single mother of three, owns a 20-year-old ranch house on a dusty, garbage-strewn acre in Palmdale, Calif. She says she earns $34,000 a year managing flower sales at a Los Angeles food store and selling clothes on the side. She bought her house in 2005 for $385,000. By taking out a first and second mortgage, she was able to buy it for no money down.

There are two almost obvious problems with this:

1) If Ana Cecillia Marin had gotten a normal 30 year fixed mortgage at 6% on $385,000, her monthly payment would have been $2,308 [ref].

2) If you make $34,000 per year, you are only making $2,833 per month (ignoring taxes, FICA, etc.)

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that there is no way she can afford this. However, these lenders would grant the "teaser rates" for a period of 2, 3, or 5 years at a much lower interest rate of usually 4%. After the initial term would expired, the borrower could then refinance into another loan, resetting the "teaser rate" and it would then be good for another 2, 3, or 5 years. As one article I read says: "This is a great idea for people to get houses they can't realistically afford until:

a) housing prices start falling instead of rising, or… b) interest rates go up, or…

c) the excesses get to be so great that regulators finally start sniffing around (followed by the press), or, in the worst case…

d) all of the above.

Take a guess at which one happened? Millions and millions of these subprime mortgages were given out. If you multiply the 4 million people who were behind on their mortgages or in foreclosure by the average cost of a home in 2006, which was a staggering $305,900, you come up with a figure of $1.2 trillion, which this bailout would not cover, double it would but I would agree with that even less. The problem is, we are talking about a huge number of mortgages granted between 1996 until the present that could very well be subprime mortgages. We still don't know the extend of it as there are more and more foreclosures every day. My verdict is it is the lenders fault, through lax regulation, and predatory lending practices, we have driven this industry and this country into the ground. People were given loans that they shouldn't even have considered. The most guilty party in this is by far the lenders, instead of putting people in houses they could afford they put them in a very expensive house where they would make a ton of profit, simply because by selling these loans to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, they loans were guaranteed.

The Dow plummeted today losing nearly 800 points, nearly 7%, NASDAQ lost nearly 10%, the New York Stock Exchange lost almost 9%, and the S&P 500 lost almost 9%. For people who aren't familiar with the stock market, those are huge drops, the largest in a long time. Here's the real kicker, I am currently in a position, where I don't really care. Let them fail. It's the banks fault, and I don't feel sorry for them at all. This is simply more proof, just like Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and others that there is need for regulation, better regulation than there is right now. Businesses cannot keep screwing investors and consumers, and relying on the government to bail them out. Yes, the stock market is going to suffer, and there is going to be a lot of people who are hurt by this. I believe the government should really stay out of it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Voter Ignorance

About 2500 years ago the Greek philosopher Plato regarded public opinion as incompetent and incapable of directing policy for the state. He also held nothing but contempt for the politicians who maintained their hold on public office by truckling to the masses, who in turn were unfit to both govern themselves and to elect efficient governors. Through rampant misinformation, single issue voters, and general voter ignorance this only confirms that Plato's thoughts all those years ago still holds true today. I agree with Plato, that the average person is unfit to vote. 

The voters are bombarded by emails that the average person doesn't take the time to fact check for accuracy. Obama was misquoted as saying "I will stand with the Muslim' should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." This quote was taken out of context from one of his books, The Audacity of Hope, What he really said was "In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." Senator John McCain also had a quote taken out of contexts, also from, supposedly he said "I am a war criminal, I bombed innocent women and children." Once again this was taken out of context; He told Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes that he was forced to write a confession which stated that he was guilty of war crimes against the Vietnamese people and that he intentionally bombed women and children. Of 31 emails on Barack Obama and Hillary or Bill Clinton, two were completely accurate, a few had elements of truth but the vast majority of them were flat out false. David Emery the editor of's Urban Legend page for 10 years, estimates that 10% of all emails are 100% true, about half may contain mixtures of fact and falsehoods and the rest are flat out lies. 

A percentage of voters are "single issue voters" who will only vote for a candidate base on his/her position on one given issue, which while this issue may be particularly important to that person, modern politics is full of complex issues. Approximately 13% of Americans will only vote for a candidate solely for the reason that they are against abortion. There are others, like Martin White, aself-proclaimed single issue voter, who will not support a candidate that doesn't support his views on the second amendment. Willis E. Elliot, who amongst other things is an author of 6 books, a minister, and consultant to Newsweek for 38 years he states that "…..I am deeply concerned about single-issue, anti-abortion voters. I consider them immoral. Given the multitude of complex problems the United States is facing, this presidential election may prove to be the most consequential since the Great Depression." 

The majority of Americans are ignorant of current events. Just before the invasion of Iraq, 60% of Americas believed that Saddam Hussein was behind September 11, 2001 attacks. Even after the 9/11 commission reported that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the attacks, 50% still insisted that he did. Also, 2003 poll showed that 70 percent of Americans didn't know Congress passed a prescription drug benefit for senior citizens, even though it was the largest new government program in forty years and is expected to cost more than a trillion dollars over the next ten years. In a Joint Study, The Washington Post and Harvard University found that more than 50% of Americans agreed with the statement "Politics and government are so complicated that a person like me can't really understand what is going on." 

The average American is unfit to vote. The majority of Americans are guilty of believing the flood of chain emails, being guilty of single issue politics, or being ignorant of current issues. John F. Kennedy at a speech given at Vanderbilt University in May of1963 stated "The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all." So the next time you open a suspicious email or think that your one issue is more important that everything else, or if perhaps you just don't know the facts, think of Plato and his philosophy. Perhaps one day we can all prove Plato wrong that we are qualified to elect our leaders.

Our Leaders

Politics has invaded my mind and it seems to be all that I can think about these days. To be honest though, I can not wait until election day when all of this will finally be over. However, I have lately been thinking about our lovely 3 branch government and I think that too much emphasis is put on the presidency and not enough on the house and the senate. My rationalization of this is that while the president does have a fair amount of power, i.e. meeting with foreign heads of state, negotiating and signing treaties (with the permission of congress), the appointment of supreme court justices and commander-in-chief of the armed forces to name a few of the major ones, he is not the one who drafts legislation. With legislation being fairly powerful, it is my position that who our 535 members of congress should be infinitely more important than who our president is. Legislators decide how what when where and why our tax dollars are being spent, what laws get enacted, appropriations bills, voting on whether or not to impeach the president, whether to go to war or not, and what treaties to sign with what nations. Granted the president can override the majority of these with a veto, but if there is a "veto proof" margin, any bill that would be vetoed by the president could still get passed. I really think that it is quite ironic that the presidency is given so much attention when in actuality it seems that congress has quite a bit more power.

Speaking of congress, I find it really ironic that the GOP (grand old party? wtf?) feels the need to call this congress the "do-nothing" congress. If you look at the numbers, there are 49 Democrat Senators, 49 Republican Senators and 2 Independents, when you flip to the house, there are 235 Democrats and 199 Republicans with 1 vacant seat. My opinion that this if this really is a "do-nothing' congress both parties are to blame not just the democrats. I'm really tired of the partisanship that has ingrained itself into our government. Too many people are just looking out for their own interest and not looking out for the "greater good, as cliche as it may sound. The Great Seal of the United States of America has a Latin phrase on it, E Pluribus Unum, which, as you may know, means Out of Many, One. This should be more true today than ever before in the history of this country. We are so polarized by so many issues and it is largely due to the partisanship on capitol hill. We need to become unified once again because, as the cliche slogan once again states, divided we fail.

I'm not going to try to tell people how to vote or who to vote for but I will say that we need to be informed better and have a clearer picture of what the candidates stand for. Our government needs greater transparency meaning that we need to know what our leaders are up too, not guessing and having to find out what they were up to by means of federal investigations and subpoenas. The era of secrecy that was the Bush legacy should be a lesson to us all that there is a need for government transparency. Keeping every document, every meeting and every conversation classified and citing "national security" as a means to keep this information under wraps is a farce and should not be tolerated. Remember, the government works for us, not the other way around. We elect these people to be our representatives in Washington and also to the world, and if they are not doing their job right or not doing it ethically, they should not be doing it at all and we should know.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Palin and Trooper-gate *sigh

I know this may be a little excessive after the really long blog on Sarah Palin that I just posted a few days ago, but I'm pretty mad right now at some of the things that are going on. First of all, according to both Senator McCain and Governor Palin, they both want to be reformers and get government back on the side of the people. Nothing contradicts that more than the current happenings up in Alaska. Lawyers and Republican aides are now trying to block an inquiry into "troopergate." (why since Watergate is everything _____gate? It's really getting quite annoying) Also, the Palin-appointed Alaska attorney general said "state employees would refuse to honor subpoenas in the case." How is that for a reformer and a self proclaimed "maverick?" Everyone in this country needs to realize that she is currently under investigation that could yield criminal charges. This is exactly the type of corruption that both McCain and Palin in her speech at the RNC said that they wouldn't put up with in Washington. I've said it once and I'll say it again: she was not vetted at all, or vetted very little. When the bipartisan investigation began, yes bipartisan, meaning both Republican and Democrats are working on it, Palin was cooperating and didn't seem to mind being under investigation. However, ever since she was tapped for vice president, her and other people have been the exact opposite. Point blank, until there is full disclosure, or some cooperation from the Palin camp and her friends (yeah, most of them got appointed to senior positions) I will believe that she is hiding something and other people should too. In the past, I've never had a problem with random drug testing, because I was always clean. Whenever the subject would come up there would be the people who would cry foul that it was invasion of privacy or "what I do at my home is my own business." I'm from the school of thought that if you aren't doing anything wrong what do you have to worry about? It's time for Palin to either come clean or test positive, the stalling isn't going to make me like her anymore. If I were to go into a job interview and tell them: I'm sorry but I'm currently under investigation in an ethics scandal. Do you think that anyone would hire me? No, most likely they wouldn't and they would be right in doing so. We should hold our leaders, current, potential and future to the same standards

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Palin, Obama, McCain, Biden and the illusion of hope.

I'm going to be really political for the next few days and will be presenting several walls of text that may be a little daunting to read. I've been doing quite a bit of research on our political candidates and it seems that, still, less than 2 months away from the election there are still people that are utterly clueless. I'm going to play educator and try to maintain an unbiased perspective. This may be a little difficult as I've been a pretty die hard supporter of Barack Obama and I'm not afraid to admit it.

Ah, screw it, I'm not going to be able to remain I'm going to start, with the freshest face on the campaign trail, Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Who, in my opinion, is completely not qualified to be Vice President of the United States. My reasons for this stating that she is not qualified are outlined in key questions in an interview with ABC's Charles Gibson. I will then move on to Senator McCain, then Joe Biden, and finish with Senator Obama. After all of them, I will have a short (read: long) statement summarizing all of this. Thus begins Part I of my many part series.

Governor PalinVice president, first person in the line of succession, should anything happen to the president. Anything means that should the President die, resign or be come medically impaired, the Vice President will step in and take his place as acting president. Do we really want someone like this? 

(Taken from the first interview that she did with ABC's Charlie Gibson, for those who may not know Charlie has been in the news for a better part of 20 years) 
GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine? 
PALIN: In what respect, Charlie? 
GIBSON: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be? 
PALIN: His world view. 
GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war. 
PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better

The Bush Doctrine, which it becomes obvious that Ms. Palin did not know, is one of the most defining pieces of Bush's watch. It one of the defining reasons why we are in Iraq right now. I know that some people may think that this is insignificant, but this is very important. Under the Bush Doctrine, even if he/congress whatever THINKSanother country is getting ready to attack us, we have the right to go in there and take them out, no questions asked, no diplomatic relations, no peace talks, nothing. Just go in there and start a war. One may also think that because this is Bush's Doctrine, that it is an irrelevant question. Wrong. This is a pretty relevant question as other world leaders know this doctrine and know what it means, unlike the Republican Nominee for Vice President. I'm sure they want to know if the next administration is going to be as aggressive, or should I say, warmongering, as this administration. One may also argue that we are in Iraq not because of the Bush Doctrine, but because Iraq had WMDs, which after over 7 years have not been found and probably never will. After it became apparent that there were no WMDs in Iraq, the current administration switched gears and said that it was because we wanted to rid Iraq of a cruel and evil dictator who was abusive to his people and would harm America if he could. Quite simply, anyone who is running for a federal office this election term should know this doctrine, and should know where they stand on this issue.

GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that? 
PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.

Finally, on the third time, after Charlie explained to her what the Bush Doctrine is, she came up with a fairly intelligent answer for if there were to be enough intelligence that an attack was imminent.

When I first watched this interview, I'm glad that I wasn't eating or drinking when this question was asked because I would have spit what was in my mouth all of the computer monitor.

GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?
PALIN: They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

To quote Keith Olbermann, who I must state is quite a liberal news reporter, possible more liberal than I like: "I can see inside Chase Bank from my office, so by her standard, I'm Alan Greenspan." I know a little funny a little over the top, but honestly, can she really say that in the 20 months that she was governor of Alaska that she had a good insight on what was going on in Russia? Nobody, no matter how much land of Russia that you can see can call that good insight.

GIBSON: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?

PALIN: I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you. 

Unfortunately for Palin, this is false. Every Vice President for the past 32 years has met and talked with at least one foreign head of state. A completely false statement, although she does kind cover her ass a little bit by saying "I think" and "they may." Basically, she doesn't know, and therefore, her foreign policy experience is none, never met a head of state, and never even traveled out side of the country until last year. People are saying that Obama has little to no foreign policy experience, well, Governor Palin doesn't have any either.

GIBSON: Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?

PALIN: Now, as for our right to invade, we're going to work with these countries, building new relationships, working with existing allies, but forging new, also, in order to, Charlie, get to a point in this world where war is not going to be a first option. In fact, war has got to be, a military strike, a last option.

GIBSON: But, Governor, I'm asking you: We have the right, in your mind, to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government.

PALIN: In order to stop Islamic extremists, those terrorists who would seek to destroy America and our allies, we must do whatever it takes and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.

GIBSON: And let me finish with this. I got lost in a blizzard of words there. Is that a yes? That you think we have the right to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government, to go after terrorists who are in the Waziristan area?

PALIN: I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hell bent on destroying America and our allies. We have got to have all options out there on the table.

My opinion, this is just wrong. Essentially she is saying that we have the right, to invade Pakistan. Their permission is not required for this; we just go in there whenever we choose. This could very well cause a conflict with the Pakistani government which at this point would be very bad. What makes this statement even worse is that John McCain even doesn't support going into Pakistan after terrorists without their permission. He has said Pakistan is a sovereign nation and we should respect that sovereignty. That is not a direct quote, but he said something very, very similar to that. It seems that Palin isn't even familiar with the policies of her running mate. This is one point that makes me believe that Palin was NOT thoroughly vetted as many members of the McCain party have stated in the past few weeks. By her not being thoroughly vetted, this also makes me believe that she was chosen as his running mate for the sole purpose of pandering to the people who would have voted for Hillary Clinton. This is wrong on so many levels. I would hope, that while running for the President of the United States, you would keep the best interests of the country in mind, not what is going to get you the most voters or make you the most popular. Granted this should be part of your strategy but you should not pick a running mate solely on the reason that he/she will get you a certain type of voter.

GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God." Are we fighting a holy war?

PALIN: You know, I don't know if that was my exact quote.

GIBSON: Exact words.
Unfortunately, the transcript that I have doesn't give Palin's response to this statement.

Great, just what we need, a total religious zealot. I don't have a problem with religious people. I just have problems with the uneducated, the hypocritical, the cheats, the fakes, and the people who feel the need to throw their religion in everyone's' face. I'm not sure if these are her beliefs or not, but the church that she belonged to was a Fundamentalist Christian church. The problem that I have with Christian fundamentalists is that they believe that the earth it 6000 years old, and that 4000 years ago, dinosaurs roamed the earth with man. This is appalling, and simply cannot be true. The Fundamentalist Christian logic behind discrediting the 400 years of archaeological data that scientifically proves that the dinosaur fossils that we have found are millions and millions of years old, is that either: 1) God put dinosaur bones there and "altered" their age to make them appear that they were millions of years old to "test our faith." Or 2) every scientist that has ever done carbon dating on fossils (were talking about probably hundreds and hundreds of scientists) is wrong, they made some type of mistake while calculating the data. My opinion is that we cannot afford to have someone this far to the right in the white house. Islamic terrorists no matter what our politicians try to beat into our heads, do not hate our freedoms, they hate our religion. A religion that, while the majority of the people in this country practice, there is a percentage of the people who don't believe in the Christian ideology. I, personally, don't want to die because there are people who believe that we are on a "task from god." Essentially, she believes that somewhere in the beginnings of the Iraq war, God spoke to her, or President Bush, or a member of congress and "told" them that this was His will. Her response is "You know, I don't know if that was my exact quote" (I have a video that shows her speaking at her church) either she doesn't remember speaking at the church or she realizes she may have said something that could be potentially damaging to both her and McCain. Here's the link to the video :

Gibson: Why do you both keep saying that Obama is going to raise peoples' taxes? It has been pretty clear of what he intends. He's talked about middle class tax cuts, and extending Bush tax cuts on everyone who earns more than 250,000 per year. It cuts taxes on over 91% of the country. Why do you keep saying that he's going to raise taxes?

Palin: Well, I would argue with the whole premise of that but his mission is to not increase taxes, he's had 94 opportunities to vote for a tax cut or not support tax increases and he's been on the other side 94 times on what I think other people want.

Voting on a bill is more complicated than people realize, given that there are 435 members in the House of Representatives and 100 members in the Senate, there are 535 people all trying to get something pushed through for their own district while also trying to satisfy lobbyists who are lining their pockets. Granted, not everyone gets handouts, but a lot of them do. What makes this so complicates is that fact that you can have a bill, whose main point is, for example, funding the Iraq war, and in the pages and pages that follow this key bill, there are dozens of pet projects from congress men all across the state. Some people have integrity and even if they support the bill, won't support all of the things attached to it. Another example is that someone may be fighting for a 10% cut in taxes and the bill only wants a 4% cut, well, if you want a 10% and you're not getting the 10% that you want, would you vote for it? Personally, if I am fighting for a 10% tax cut, I would vote down anything less what I'm asking for. Unfortunately, McCain/Palin will continue their lying and saying that "Obama will raise taxes" when there is not a single thread of evidence that supports this claim. They will continue to try to instill fear that taxes are going to go up, this is wrong. I wonder how they feel as "good Christians" that they are lying and running one of the dirtiest campaigns in the history of elections. Don't give me that crap about Obama calling Palin a pig. Not true, not one word of it. The quote was "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" Anyone with two good ears can hear that what he is saying is applying to McCain's policies and how he claims to be able to bring change to Washington. Not to mention the fact that McCain has used that phrase many times in the course of his career. Video link of the Obama pig statement :

Gibson: One of John McCain's central arguments of his campaign is eliminating earmarks. Are you with him on that?

Palin: I certainly am and of course the poster child of the earmarks was, Alaska's, what the people in the lower 48 refer to as the Bridge to Nowhere. Of course it was a bridge to a community with an airport in southeast Alaska . But that was excessive. And an earmark like that, not even supported necessarily by the majority of Alaskans, we killed that earmark, we killed that project. As I've said over and over, if Alaska wants that bridge, 300-400 million dollars, over to that island with an airport, we'll find a way to build it ourselves, the rest of the country doesn't need to build that for us.

Gibson: You have said continuously that you said to congress, "thanks but no thanks, if we're going to build that bridge, we'll build it ourselves."

Palin: Right

Gibson: But it's now pretty clearly documented, you supported that bridge before you opposed it, you were wearing a t-shirt in the 2006 campaign that showed your support for the bridge to nowhere.

Palin: I was wearing a t-shirt that had the zip code of the community that was asking for that bridge, and not all of the people in that community were asking for a 400 million or 300 million dollar bridge

I think that it's pretty clear, that if you're wearing a shirt that says "Nowhere" and the zip code of the community, then there's a pretty good chance you support it. Not only that, but she did support it. On more than one occasion she said that "I'm not going to stand in the way of progress." Another lie.

Gibson: But you turned against it after congress had basically pulled the plug, and after it had became a national embarrassment to the state of Alaska. So, do you want to revise and extend your remarks?

Palin: It has always been an embarrassment, that abuse of the earmark process has been accepted in congress. And that's what John McCain has fought and that's what I'll join him in fighting.

Gibson: But you were for it before you were against it. You were solidly for it for quite some time, until congress pulled the plug.

Palin: I was for infrastructure being built in the state and it's not inappropriate for a mayor or for a governor to request and to work with their congress to plug into the federal budget along with every other state a share of the federal budget for infrastructure.

Gibson: You didn't' say no we'll build it ourselves until after they pulled the plug correct?

Palin: No because congress still allowed those dollars to come into Alaska, they did. Transportation fund dollars still came into Alaska. It was our choice if we were going to spend it on a bridge or not. And I said thanks but no thanks. We're not going to spend it on the bridge.

Gibson: They appropriated 223 million dollars, I think, for the bridge. Then when that project died, that money was still there and the state of Alaska kept that money. Is that consistent with the image of a reformer?

Palin: It certainly is, those are infrastructure dollars that a state government and a local government need to figure out how to best prioritize how to spend those federal funds.

Some may think, big deal, she requested a whole lot of money for a bridge to a community with an airport. However it is a big deal, McCain said during his speech at the RNC, "and the first big pork barrel spending bill that lands on my desk I will veto that bill and I will make them famous. You will know their names." And he sounded pretty fired up about that. McCain does not support projects like this, he considers it to be wasteful spending, and by the lines above, Palin seems to think that it is "not inappropriate for a mayor or a governor to request and to work with their congress to plug into the federal budget along with every other state a share of the federal budget for infrastructure. While this may be true, 223 million dollars is a lot of money for a state with 670,000 people. She may be against earmarks now, but she supported them before she was against them.

Gibson: When you were mayor of Wasilla you hired a very prominent lobbyist to get Wasilla the money.

Palin: We did, we paid 30 thousand dollars for a lobbyist who was in DC because were thousands and thousands of miles away from DC. It would have cost us a lot more to be traveling back and forth from this small community.

Once again with the earmarks, not only that, but Wasilla is a town of 7028 people and they are paying thirty thousand dollars for a lobbyists, to me that is absurd. Janesville is a town of a little over 60 thousand and I can almost say for certain that they don't have a lobbyist working in Washington to get money to them. At this point it becomes pretty obvious that Palin loves her earmarks, loves them, enough to pay a lobbyist to get them the money that they want. Not to mention, that she built a "sports arena" in Wasilla. A 13 million dollar sports arena for a town of seven thousand. Excessive spending, totally excessive spending and she is going to bring about "change" to Washington? 

Gibson: The state of Alaska in 2008 got 155 million dollars in earmarks for a population of 670,000 people. That's 231 dollars per person in Alaska. The state of Illinois, Obama's state, got 22 dollars per person. You got ten times per person as much. How does that square with you?

Palin: We have drastically, drastically reduced our earmark requests.

Gibson: Governor, this year you have requested 3.2 million for researching the genetics of harbor seals, money to study the mating habits of crabs, isn't that exactly the type of thing that John McCain has objected to.

Palin: Those requests through our research divisions, our wildlife departments and our universities did come through that system. But wanting it to be in the light of day, not behind closed doors with lobbyists making deals with congress, that's not going to be accepted in a McCain/Palin administration, earmark abuse will stop.

Okay, the truth comes out; Earmarks are okay, as long as they are "in the light of day" not wanting them to be closed doors. By her logic, the "bridge to nowhere" would have been okay if it would have been made public. Seems pretty fuzzy to me that earmarks being in the light of day are okay. I don't think that McCain would have supported this even if it were in the light of day. 

And now to a pretty significant issue one that I have my own personal opinions on that I will get to shortly.

Gibson: In the time we have left I would like to talk about some social issues. Roe vs. Wade, do you think it should be reversed?

Palin: I think it should and I think the states should be able to decide that issue.

Gibson: It's a critical issue for so many women.

Palin: It is.

Gibson: You believe that women should not have that choice.

Palin: It is a very critical, very sensitive and a very personal issue also with so many women and men across this nation. I am pro-life, I do respect other people's opinion on this also. And I think that a culture of life is best for America, because I think we can all agree on the need for and the desire for fewer abortions in America and greater support for adoption. For other alternatives that women can and should be empowered to embrace to allow that culture of life. That's my personal opinion on this, Charlie.

Okay, she stated many times during the course of the interview that their main goal under a McCain/Palin administration would be to get the government back on the side of the people. Essentially, she wants less government with less government intrusion into our daily lives. This is one aspect where she wants more intrusion into our lives. She is essentially saying that, you can't make that choice, you have to do it this way, and once you do you only have these options. Now, I personally could never be party to an abortion, I personally could never do it. However, there are some people who for reasons of their own, either don't want kids or have other reasons. I agree that there should be fewer abortions performed in this country and in the world in general, but forcing a woman have a child that she doesn't want doesn't seem right to me. Another side of the issue, is that I don't think that banning all abortions would solve anything, women would still get pregnant without wanting to have a child and they would then have a child that they don't want, or we would go back to having "back alley" abortions, which poses a substantial risk for serious injury to the woman. I do, however agree that partial-birth abortions are wrong. What would make this process a whole lot easier, would be to have counseling available to the woman before the abortion is performed and discuss with the woman other options at length that she has. Only after this consultation should the abortion be performed. This is a free country and there are things that people don't like and things that people think should be changed, I don't think smoking should be banned everywhere but it is. But for people to impose their beliefs on other people is wrong. It's funny that she says that she thinks a "culture of life is best for America" when she supports this misguided war, going into Pakistan without permission and the potential destruction of an endangered species habitat. Culture of life? Yeah for humans and Americans, everyone else if fair game.

Gibson: John McCain would allow abortions in the case of rape or incest. You believe in only in the case where the life on the mother is in endangered.

Palin: That is my personal opinion.

Gibson: Would you change and accept it in rape and incest?

Palin: My personal opinion is that abortion allowed if the life of the mother is endangered.

Only if the mother's life is endangered? If Palin has her way, if you get raped or get pregnant due to incest, regardless of age, you must carry to term. Doesn't really seem fair to me. Maybe I'm just guessing, but rape is a pretty traumatic thing, and I think it would only be made worse by knowing that you are carrying half of your unwilling sperm donor's DNA. I can't imagine how that would feel I just think it would take a really bad situation and make it much, much worse. Well, I guess it makes sense coming from a governor who makes women who are raped pay for their own rape kits. If you are a woman in Alaska, which coincidentally has the highest number or rapes per capita, you must pay for your own rape kit which costs about $40 I think. She thought that a woman who alleges that she is raped should have to pay for it, tax payers shouldn't have to. This is just totally wrong. They were a victim of a crime, what's next, victims of attempted murder or violent assault being forced to pay for DNA testing? This is absurd and should never happen.

Gibson: Homosexuality. Genetic or learned?Palin: Oh, I don't, I don't know but I'm not one to judge and you know I'm from a family and from a community with many, many members from many diverse backgrounds and I'm not going to judge some on whether they believe that homosexuality is a choice or genetic. I'm not going to judge them.

She's not going to judge people if they think that homosexuality is a choice or if it's genetic, great, that's fine but answer his question. He was asking what you thought, do you think that homosexuality is genetic or learned. Not, would you judge someone based on whether they thought homosexuality was genetic or learned? That was not the question. I'm actually more curious to know on what she thinks of marriage or civil unions for homosexual couples. I know that in McCain's address to the RNC he said something about all Americans being entitled to the same rights, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I may be just guessing, but by both of them being members of the Republican Party, think the above statement should be revised. McCain should have said, "Americans are entitled to the same rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, unless you are a homosexual." I don't really care what the religious right thinks, I can understand that they are reading a book that states that this is immoral and that gays aren't normal people. But this is not the United States of the Christian Right, this is the United States of America where people look to us as a great nation of free people. Some claim that allowing gays to marry would undermine the institution of marriage in this country. Excuse me? Almost 50% of marriages end in divorce, celebrities get married and then divorced often in the same year, in Vegas you can get married in a virtually drive through chapel or whatever you want to call it, we have people who get married 4, 5, 6, 7 times, Brittney Spears got married for 55 hours and these people are talking about preserving the sanctity of marriage? Please, it has already been tarnished long before the United States was even a county. All one has to do to see how pure and good the institution of marriage is, is look to the monarchies in old Europe, where marriages were forced marriages based on power and land. The majority of marriages by lords back then were not the bright, happy, joyous occasions that we have now today. Another shining example would be good old Henry the VIII, when he was not able to get a divorce in the church because his wives failed to give him an heir to the throne, he simply had them killed, and how is that for "sanctity." Gays should be allowed to visit their loved ones in the hospital and be entitled to what would ordinarily be called "marital property" I remember reading something a while back where an 80 year old woman was forced out of her lifelong partners room as she passed away because they were not married and she wasn't family. She had to wait outside the room while other family members got to spend the last moments of this woman's partners' life by her bedside. I don't care who you are, that is sad, cold, and flat out wrong.

Sarah Palin is suing the federal government because the endangered species act that protects polar bears interferes with Alaska's ability to drill for oil.

On drilling in Alaska, and polar bears – Glenn Beck- CNN Headline news. The video was posted on about June 2, 2008

Palin: "We are suing the federal government, recognizing that the endangered species act is not a place to, um, kind of mess around with in, in, terms of listing as threatened a species that right now is in fact very, very healthy. In fact right now the number of polar bear has risen dramatically in the last 30 years. Our fear being that extreme environmentalists will use this tool, the ESA (Endangered Species Act), to curtail or halt north shore production of very rich resources that America needs. You know, we need that oil, we need that gas. I'm glad you're fired up about it Glenn, and I appreciate your monologue there.

Beck: I'm so sick of it governor, Is it true that ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), where they want to drill, it is 700 hundred miles away from the closest tree? Is that true?

One question, what does the proximity of a tree have to do with the protection of a threatened species? Yes, we may need the gas, we may need the oil but surely there is some compromise that could be made. However, I think this question is pretty irrelevant.

Palin: Well, what's true about Anwar, it's about a 2000 acre plot also, a lot of land that is, um, shoot, the footprint is smaller than LAX for instance. That plot of land that needs to be explored and, ah, ANWR is, it's right for exploration. There are so many other parts of Alaska plain also that, again, very, very rich in reserves and if we want to become more energy independent, it makes sense, obviously to be looking domestically. Safe, clean domestic supplies of energy that Alaska has and that we're ready willing and able to contribute to the rest of the US. It infuriates us also the lock up of Anwar is also leading to that um, lack of independence and lack on energy security that we need in America.

Beck: You know that they are suing now in the state of Massachusetts because they want to build windmills of the coast of Nantucket, and the federal government won't let them do it, and they're suing because they say that the state has a right to build these windmills if they want to do it. If they win, can you use that legislation to say, you know what? I don't care what you say Washington, we're drilling, it our oil.

Palin: (laughs) it is our oil, it is federal land though so we need congress to see the light and quite relying on, unstable and, ah, these foreign régimes that are unfriendly to America. Asking them to increase production for America's security and our energy needs to be met. That's ridiculous, its nonsensical again when your sister state the 49th state in our union Alaska up here we have those resources and they're ready to be tapped.

Beck: What does the average Alaskan say about this?

Palin: The average Alaskan says again we recognize these reserves being ready to be tapped and we are ready to contribute more to the US. There are really hungry markets here in Alaska too though, we're paying outrageous prices for our oil and our heating fuel.

Beck: Aren't you paying the most in the country? You're paying over $4 a gallon in Alaska.

According to AAA data from their website updated on September 16, 2008, Alaska does pay the highest price for gasoline in the country at an average of $4.39 per gallon. Even though Alaska produces oil, my guess is that there are few, if any, refineries in Alaska. Basically, oil would be drilled for in Alaska, sent to a refinery far away and then brought back to Alaska. Even if that isn't' the case, the cost to have gasoline shipped to Alaska, it being quite a distance from the lower 48, could add considerably to the cost. Just a guess, but it's a fairly educated one.

Palin: Yeah, isn't that ridiculous. Yes we are, and Alaskans collectively we own these resources underground we want them to be tapped and again were ready to contribute more to the US in terms of resources that can lead to, um, ah, a safer nation. And I say this, you know, while out nation is at war. We'll, we're fighting in some sense over energy supplies. It's ridiculous we have the resources here.

I have mixed feelings on all of this, and I slightly agree with drilling in Alaska to an extent. For one, I agree with Barack Obama when he says that drilling in Alaska is the equivalent of just putting a band-aid on our current problem. I don't think that we should do nothing at all but there remains the environmental impact that drilling in northern Alaska would pose. We need to weigh our options and drill in Alaska with as little environmental impact as possible. We also need to broaden our research into alternative sources of energy with a severe reduction on our dependence on fossil fuels, not just foreign fossil fuels but even domestic fossil fuels as well.

Beck: Have you considered, or have you been talked to by anyone or has anyone said anything about you running with John McCain?

Palin: There's a lot of rumor and speculation about not just me though a lot of governors who may be tapped at least for consideration. There're rumors out there.

Beck: Well, would you go to that den of vipers in Washington if you were asked?

Palin: (laughs) You know if I had to make such a decision today it would be, Um, No, there's a lot that Alaska could be should be doing to contribute more to the US and I think that I can help do that as governor of the state staying here.

Really? How quickly one can change their mind in just a short time. This interview was conducted around June 2, 2008 and about 3 months later she apparently didn't blink when asked if she would run with John McCain. It may be irrelevant but I was just kind of amazed that she could change her opinion so quickly.

Miscellaneous InformationIt is unclear whether the information given by the people interviewed in this video is credible, but actions speak louder than words. Apparently, while Palin was mayor of Wasilla, she asked the town librarian about the process of having books removed from the library. When the librarian responded that the books were purchased in accordance with federal guidelines and that no book would ever be removed (i.e. Banned) from the library, she was coincidentally fired shortly afterwards. Sounds a little fishy to me. However, no books were removed from the library and no books have been requested to be removed from the library.

Some other things about Palin, she apparently has found that earmarks are bad. In the short time that she was mayor though, through her well paid lobbyist in Washington, D.C., Wasilla was able to secure over 27 million dollars in earmarks. That is pretty substantial for a town of only 7028 people. That averages out to just over three thousand dollars per person. Not too bad for a PTA member, turned city council member, then on her way to mayor of Wasilla for 2 years. This is exactly the type of spending that McCain was against, and it seems that it is the type of behavior that Palin things is okay, if it is in the "light of day" of course.

As governor of Alaska, she was elected as an independent in 2006; she was a supporter of the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere." No matter what she says, she supported it before she was against it. A quick search on YouTube will yield many results that show here supporting it. One quote of hers was "I'm not going to stand in the way of progress."

This is just amazing, it is Wasilla's (population 7028)13 million dollar sports arena. First of all does a town of seven thousand really need a complex this large? It seems totally excessive and totally unnecessary. Before Palin took over as Mayor the town had no red ink on their budge at all and had surpluses every year. When she left office to run for governor, the town was in debt, with no budget surplus at all. Was this really a sound plan? She claims that it was okay, because this was a referendum on the ballot one year. The town voted for it, the loans were taken out and the place was built. I guess that makes it okay, but the fact that it is a huge complex for such a small community makes me thing that the money could be better spent elsewhere, maybe at a school or something. However, after looking at the pictures on the site and seeing the ice rink and knowing how much her son Track (which brings up something else, I'll get to that later) likes hockey, makes me thing that there may have been a little pressure on the Palin's part to get this massive arena built. Fiscal responsibility? I think not.

Alaska allows a per diem for the Governor when they stay at home, it is only $60 per day that she is allowed but in the 20 months that she has been governor she has billed the state over $17,000. This averages out to 283 days that she spent at home far from the capital of Juneau. Just to give her the benefit of the doubt, she was in office for 20 months, in those 20 months she was gone 283 days, that is over 2 weeks every month that she was not in the capital, just a little more than part time as some months have 5 weeks. Is this how she is going to be as Vice President? Part-time? Another question that Charles Gibson asked during the interview was something along the lines of, some of her critics say how is she going to be able to be vice president and raise a family of five. She responded that it would be easy and that she wouldn't have a problem. Now, I'm not questioning her ability as a mother, but by her not being in the capital city nearly 50% of the time and being at home, kind of makes it a little easier to manage both things. I don't want a part-time vice president, not to mention the fact that should anything happen to John McCain, a part-time president. In my opinion, these are full time jobs, not work from home jobs, or take two weeks off here and there. 

Another claim that she makes is about the luxury jet that she put up on eBay. People have been quoted as saying "yeah she took the governor's plane and put it up on eBay, and you know what, she made a profit." Well, more lies and more half truth. She did put it up on eBay, but the state wouldn't allow them to sell it to the person that won the auction. It was then sold to another person lower than what it was purchased for. Granted, they sold the jet, but she has since billed the state of Alaska $43,000 in transportation costs to fly her family all over the state. 

Matt Damon has a few comments about Sarah Palin that I really like.

Honestly, who do we want our leaders to be? He makes a good point about the fact that she could be president. McCain is 72, granted he could live to be 100, but there is the chance with the history of melanoma, which he has had two bouts of, he could although become incapacitated or die in office. Either way the vice president would then take over. Can we honestly say Palin is ready? Some people attempt to compare Palin to Obama and say that she already has executive experience as governor of Alaska. Yeah, a whole 20 months where she has already engaged in the "self-dealings" that she has been so outspoken against. She has appointed friends to various positions in the government including a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000 a year to the Agriculture Department. A former real-estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the $2 million dollar agency. I guess that's all it takes, know the governor and love cows and you can be the director of the agriculture department. I'm sure there are other people many times over more qualified than her to be director of that department. Also, she attacks her critics and often calls them "haters." More good old down-home slang to spew at the world leaders. According to the New York Times, her staff members studied whether their personal email accounts could be subpoenaed by people seeking public records. Also, as mayor, she quickly fired the town's museum director, John Cooper, saying she was eliminating the job. Days later, Mr. Cooper recalled, a vocal conservative, Steven Stoll, whom Mr. Cooper had a long feud with, said "Gotcha, Cooper and it only cost me a campaign contribution. Further investigation reveals that he did contribute to Ms. Palin's campaign and was please that she fired Mr. Cooper. Nice, gotta love it. She also used city money to buy a white Suburban for the mayor's use. Keep in mind, this is not a town like Janesville, Beloit or Madison, this is a town of 7000 people.

After she was mayor, she was appointed to the $125,000 a year position as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. PTA, city council, mayor of a town of 7000, and she's qualified to be chairman of an oil and gas conservation commission?

And for all you single issue voters that think that your single issue is so important that it trumps everything else that goes on in the world think about this. Politicians cater to you, they know who you are and they will fill you with everything that you want to her. Personally, I like to look at all of the issues and choose which ones are closest to mine. This is kind an extreme example, but there are people who would vote for a candidate solely for the reason that they are pro-life, which is fine, but at the same time, let's just say that this person wants to start a nuclear war with Iran, does that seem like a fair trade? Great, he's going to push through this anti-abortion legislation and then right after he's done with that, he's going to systematically begin the mutually assured destruction of the entire human race. I loved this issue when I worked at Lear Corporation, there were a large number of people who are so pro-gun they would not even think about a candidate that did not oppose every gun regulation that has ever been opposed. This worked out very well for them because the majority of these people voted for Bush in 2000. Lear was a union shop and I always got a laugh out of the people who would drive to work with "Sportsmen for Bush" stickers on the back of their cars. He hates unions with at passion; he was quoted as saying "Unions undermine the economy." These people that I worked with so loved their guns though that they were passionate about electing him as president solely because of his stance on gun control issues.

A final thought, it is my opinion that anyone who is middle class and votes republican is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. They don't care about the middle class, to be blunt and stereotypical, but in my opinion it is totally true. John McCain's wife is the heiress of a beer distribution company, the largest in Arizona. She also owns a few other businesses as well; she is very, very wealthy. The beer distribution company itself is worth approximately $300 million a year. Quite frankly, I don't believe them when they say that they've got the finger on the pulse of the nation, we feel your pain, we understand the troubles that you're going through, we know that people have lost their jobs, and are having trouble paying their mortgages. But hey, I'm fine here in my 6000 square foot, $4.7 million dollar condo here in Arizona, oh by the way, it's actually in Cindy's name though. I'll get into it deeper in the McCain segment of this multi-part blog. However, the prime example of the fact the Republicans don't care about us is the fact that the last fundraiser that Sarah Palin held was at and exclusive country club in Canton, Ohio that you could only get into if you were a member of the country club. That just screams arrogance. It says that if you don't have enough money to afford this country club membership, if you aren't on the A-list, you aren't good enough to see our vice presidential nominee speak, let alone contribute to her campaign in person. No, you middle class people, go down to the nearest RNC office and make your campaign contribution there. We'll be here, laughing at your misfortunes in private, laughing all the way to the bank, with your middle class tax dollars, your measly campaign contributions, and your votes on our ballots because we've already reeled you in, why do we need to keep you, let alone, let you be a member of our exclusive club.

Up next: Obama, Palin, McCain, Bidden and false hope. Part II - Barack Obama.