There is an amazing, and revealing, interview of Sen. Mike Gravel (D.--Alaska) by the alt-Leftist Radio Pacifica posted at John Lott's website here.
Gail sent it to me and notes, "the Pacifica folks clearly wanted to have him on as an Alaskan Democrat to do a hatchet job on Palin. And the wrestling match that ensues when they hear him defend her (with vigor and not a little asperity) is actually comical.
But the answers this Democrat gives, even when he has to shout to be heard as they try, repeatedly, to cut him off, absolutely demolish the storyline the Dems are peddling about Palin. I'm sending it to you in hopes that you'll post it prominently and help it go viral. This is powerful stuff: a Democrat, who says there's "no way" he'll vote for McCain, nevertheless defends Palin as a woman of sterling integrity, a true reformer, and an all-around gutsy dame. It might get through to a bunch of folks who wouldn't listen to a Republican."
Ed made this observation:
"It is my understanding that asking for earmarks is different than legislation or fed funding. This is what happened with the "Bridge to Nowhere". It went from earmark to fed funding and there was a vote. The media makes it seem like it was dead when she cancelled it. It wasn't dead it just changed from being an earmark. Another thing, not said enough, is that both Obama and Biden voted for it as opposed to sending that money to New Orleans for Katrina victims. The vote was in the wake of Katrina.
Also, no doubt there were earmarks under Palin. Alaska is, I think, the state that historically has always received a huge number of earmarks. A more relevant question than whether or not there were earmarks under her administration is whether or not the number of earmarks increased or decreased. I don't know the answer to this but for some reason I believe they decreased.
Also, I believe but may be wrong that McCain is the only politician who practices abstinence with respect to earmarks whereas I believe Obama has averaged about one million a day during his Senate tenure."
Only one problem exists for this scenario: Governors cannot earmark. Indeed, governors may not make any formal input to federal legislation in the least.
The Wall Street Journal needs to reread the Constitution.
The problem with earmarks lies less in their often seemingly trivial and non-federal import than in the unaccountable mechanism by which individual federal legislators turn them into law. Earmarks lead to corruption by allowing individual legislators to reward constituents and contributors without having to stand up and argue publicly for spending the funds. In short, earmarks represent a defect in the parliamentary procedure of the federal Congress. The term “earmark” isn’t simply shorthand for “federal spending I do not like.”
As such, earmarks represent a flaw in the federal Congress, not the state governments. No one in state government can “request” an earmark. An official of a state government can only (1) apply for federal funds made available through existing federal legislation or (2) make an informal request to the state’s federal representatives that they argue for particular funding. In neither case is the governor responsible for how the federal government makes the funding available.
Trying to tie Palin to earmarks requires constructing a straw-man representation of her and McCain’s arguments in which they argue that the government should never spend federal money on specific state projects. Since they haven’t done so but, rather, merely argued for reforming the parliamentary procedure of the federal Congress, to make it more accountable, this article provides no new insight into Palin.
Of course, we all know how this is going to play out in the media, don’t we? We all know this will show up in the campaign arguments of that professor of constitutional law, Barack Obama.
Ed Lasky sent this gem my way:
The Times Laments That 'Careers Were Turned Upside Down' By Palin's Reforms Jim Geraughty, NRO
Examining the New York Times' assessment of Palin’s years in state government — John Podhoretz accurately calls it a “notebook dump” — reveals that the Washington Post actually had the fairer profile of the Alaska governor yesterday.
Ed Morrissey argues that Franci Havemeister’s appointment to the State Division of Agriculture may not be the ipso-facto disastrous cronyism that the Times presumes it to be. It’s interesting that the Times doesn’t spotlight any decision Havemeister has made to argue the appointee is unqualified; they seem to presume that because she and Palin went to high school together, it had to be cronyism.
Similarly, we’re told, “When Ms. Palin had to cut her first state budget, she avoided the legion of frustrated legislators and mayors. Instead, she huddled with her budget director and her husband, Todd, an oil field worker who is not a state employee, and vetoed millions of dollars of legislative projects.”
Were these good projects that were left unfunded? Local pork and wastes of taxpayer dollars? The Times never even bothers to give us details. It's just presumed that by meeting with her budget director and her husband, she must have used the wrong decision-making process.
We're told - source unclear - about Palin's assistant calling up a blogger who criticized the governor and said, "You should be ashamed! Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now!"
If every reporter had a dime for every call of complaint they got from a lawmaker, journalism would be a much higher-paid profession. But I suppose we're supposed to treat this as a sign that Palin wants to rescind the First Amendment or something.
"But an examination of her swift rise and record as mayor of Wasilla and then governor finds that her visceral style and penchant for attacking critics — she sometimes calls local opponents “haters” — contrasts with her carefully crafted public image."
Really? That carefully crafted public image is "a pit bull with lipstick." We're supposed to be surprised that she attacks her critics?
We're told, of Palin's administration, "Their secrecy is off the charts."
I can listen to that argument. But recall that the public cannot get access to paperwork related to grants to distributed by then-state-legislator Barack Obama (records from 1997 to 2000 aren't available); his state legislative office records (which he says may have been thrown out); he refuses to release a specific list of law clients, instead giving a list of all of his firm's clients, numbering several hundred each year; he won't release his application to the state bar (where critics wonder if he lied in responding to questions about parking tickets and past drug use); he’s never released any legal or billing records to verify that he only did a few hours of work for a nonprofit tied to convicted donor Rezko; and he's never released any medical records, just a one-page letter from his doctor. Then there was the effort against Stanley Kurtz for his effort to examine documents relating to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, where William Ayers hired Obama to be board chairman. Oh, and Biden has released his earmark requests for one year out of his 36 in the Senate.
If the Times were running front-page stories on any of that, then scrutinizing the Palin administration's secrecy surrounding e-mail messages of state scientists who had examined the effect of global warming on polar bears would seem more justified.
Maybe my favorite sentence in this piece: “Careers were turned upside down.” In late 1994, I remember reading a feature story about the Democratic congressional staffers who faced unemployment with the election results - a piece dripping with pathos and sympathy. It's easy to feel bad for those folks - losing a job is always a miserable experience — but it's not like those staffers had a birthright to those jobs. If the preceding Wasilla Museum Director, John Cooper, was doing a fantastic job and was replaced by an incompetent, it's worth noting. But disruption to Cooper's career trajectory cannot rank high on the list of priorities of the voters, or of readers of the New York Times.
The story notes, in looking into the library controversy:
“People would bring books back censored,” recalled former Mayor John Stein, Ms. Palin’s predecessor. “Pages would get marked up or torn out.”
How this anecdote ties to Palin isn't really clear. But it helps make the town look like a bunch of Philistine vandals, so I guess it's okay.
Deep into the story, the Times reporters note one of the highlights of Palin career, her resignation from a state board for failing to discipline a state Republican leader for conducting party business on state time and favoring regulated companies when the governor who appointed her failed to act on her complaints. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the Times loves whistleblowers exposing corruption, in this case, a Republican who was abusing his office to help big businesses. Only now does this seem like a minor detail to stick in the 50th paragraph.
In the 68th paragraph, the Times feels it is time to mention her 80 percent approval rating.
By the end, the piece degenerates into piling on, quoting staffers' e-mails and attributing rather routine staffer behavior:
Like Mr. Bailey, she is an effusive cheerleader for her boss.
“YOU ARE SO AWESOME!” Ms. Frye typed in an e-mail message to Ms. Palin in March...
The administration’s e-mail correspondence reveals a siege-like atmosphere. Top aides keep score, demean enemies and gloat over successes.
As opposed to all of those staffers who don't keep score, who cheer their enemies and don't gloat to each other over successes.
If someone were to go through the e-mails of New York Times reporters, would we ever see an ALL CAPS congratulatory message?
Great comment on Liz Wolgemuth's blog at US News and World report, please read it all.
Earlier this week, I posted some lines from an 11-year-old story about Sarah Palin's budget cuts as mayor of Wasilla and the trio of longtime museum employees who quit rather than slash their budget. (I was largely interested in the bold initiative and willingness to shake up the establishment shown by someone as young as Palin.)
A woman named Geri McCann left a lengthy comment about Palin's leadership. An excerpt:
For the record SARAH PALIN does appreciate and support historic preservation, culture and the arts, but with fiscal responsibility.
I was hired by Sarah Palin to replace the 'sweet gray haired' ladies who chose to all walk out on the Dorothy Page Museum when the $200,000 budget was reduced by $32,000. These ladies chose to walk out instead of exploring other solutions to the budget reduction; like seeking other funds to supplement the budget (as most museums do) or to work part time in order for all of them to stay, instead they chose to make a big scene and political statement by storming out.
Museum budgets get cut all the time, if all museum staff "walked" every time their budgets were cut then most of the museums in the nation would be closed!...
THE TRUTH—Sarah has a tender heart, and truly cared about those sweet ladies, it hurt her to see the harm caused to them by the cuts. As I recall she sincerely thought one of them might want to retire as they were in their mid-late 70's; yet, she left it up to them to decide the best way to reduce the budget. Cutting one of their positions was not required, only an option. Quitting was their choice as a "solution".
(Read the full comment here.)
I called McCann to double-check her identity before I reprinted the comment. Although she now runs an Alaska tour company, McCann still had plenty to say about Wasilla's former mayor and her former boss. The spirited and longtime Alaska resident says it's been difficult to hear what's been said about Palin since McCain named her to his ticket. "It's so hard to see her chewed up like she is," McCann says. "Alaska's like a big small town...I know her personally. It just hurts."
Read it all, this woman has the left throwing themselves off a cliff.
HipHop Republican has this mindblowing attack on Palin over at the Sun Times. If Palin has done nothing else, she has ripped the mask off the feminists. The crazy thing is, when you get right down to it, they despise women and our natural inclinations, desires and tendencies.
By Michael M. Bates
"Palin should be laughingstock to all feminists" is the title of Mary Mitchell's column in today's Chicago Sun-Times. In that calm, detached tone readers have come to expect, Mitchell begins: Sarah Palin makes me sick. I hate that she was able to steal Barack Obama's mojo just by showing up wearing rimless glasses and a skirt.
~What's funny is, if she stole his mojo, just by wearing rimless classes and a skirt, he must not have had much in the first place . Anyway there is a new group formed formed by women all over this nation supporting Sarah Palin.
Carolyn sent me this heartbreaking post, "I have posted below a heartbreaking email which was just posted on Hugh Hewitt's site."
The email is in response to a recent article by Hewitt wherein he vented his anger at the media's attack of the Palins for their refusal to abort Trig.For instance, LA Times reporter Andrew Malcolm warned the Palins that a "senior Canadian doctor is now expressing concerns that such a prominent public role model as the governor of Alaska and potential vice president of the United States completing a down syndrome pregnancy may prompt other women to make the same decision against abortion because of that genetic abnormality. And thereby reduce the number of abortions."After Hewitt calmed himself down, he wrote 'An Army of Sarahs' in which he warned the media that "...people (with disabled children) hear the attacks on Palin and understand them --rightly-- to be attacks on themselves and their families. The dismissal they hear from studio talking heads are directed not just at Sarah Palin's life experiences, but at theirs. The contempt American media elites feel for their viewers has never been so sharply on display."Sadly, the media is obviously not listening to Hewitt's warning - but an anonymous caller did. And he wrote the email which I've pasted below. It speaks for itself.Carolyn"Hugh
I want to tell you why your column touched me, and one reason why I both support Sarah Palin and positively detest those who use Trig against her.
About 35 years ago, a very scared young woman gave birth to a profoundly birth-defective child. He had hydrocepahic problems and doctors said he couldn't hope to live more than six weeks.
However, this woman - one of the bravest persons I've ever met - would not give up on her hopeless son. I wish the story had a happier ending, but that boy lived for nearly four years because of his mother's unbroken will.
During all that time, however, "well-meaning" friends and family let her know that the child's birth defects were somehow her fault (if only as a judgment by an Angry God). That was a grief-born guilt she could never release.
We were married nearly a decade after her son died; we had our own son, who tragically was killed in a one-car accident (he was driving, had only had a license for 8 days, and I taught him to drive - so I know something of pain and guilt). But that original guilt was compounded by the death of our son - and years later, after "celebrating" the death of her first son and facing - in a couple of weeks - the anniversary of our son (and dealing with a depth of depression and delusion that her doctor completely missed - as did I), she sent me out to the grocery store then ended her life. I know that a loving God understands and forgives her - that gives me the strength I need to carry on.
But this is about Sarah Palin. Like my late wife, she is being blamed and judged by those - mostly people who don't know her and almost always by those who want to destroy her politically - who have no care about the crushing guilt they're trying to place on Sarah and Todd - but especially Sarah.
Ignorance is no excuse - it is only Sarah's inherent strength (and the special love that Down Syndrome kids seem to evoke and invoke) that will save her from the kind of crushing guilt that my Karol couldn't, ultimately, survive.
I KNOW what they are doing, and I KNOW what it could do to Sarah Palin. And I will neither condone nor ever forgive (let alone forget) what they are doing - and not for high moral principle gone awry, but for mean and cheap and petty political gain.
Will they in their evil hearts get the forgiveness I know my Karol received? I am in no position to second-guess God, but if He was to ask me, I'd ask him to create a special circle of Hell for all who heap the coals of guilt (for any reason) on the grieving mothers who give birth to children with live-threatening or life-altering special needs.
Thank you for what you've said - you are right, and you are right to keep saying it."
Fun McCain-Palin moments of the past 24 hours:
Walking around town with my McCain-Palin t-shirt is sooo fun. One white liberal, complete stranger, walks up to me, "Seriously? You're not serious??"
Her 100+ page bio "Sarah" just arrived at the bookstore. Completely different feel as David Mendel's Obama: From Promise to Power (which is also published in a condensed version for kids, mind you) nor Biden's Promises to Keep, but still that adds to the breathtaking quality of her sudden rise. It's about 50-50 personal life and political career. This woman is all small-town and big-heart. Lots of kid, teen and young adult pics - my fave is her posing sassy in front of Todd's Trans Am. Lots of outdoors pics - trees and snow, mostly, also fishing. (When the NYTimes endorses Obama, I want to see her back home wrapping fish with it.) It's like a Star Wars movie where she's a jedi warrior from some tundra covered planet where the sun never sets.
Liberal Dem acquaintances - ones who root for and support Dems - are on edge. Their voices strained and ratcheted. I answered one guy point for point, trying to inform not persuade, and all he comes back with is a "Fuck you". (This is a guy who reads the Times, the Journal, the Economist.).
Another asks me in good faith and frustration, "What!? What is it about the Democrats? Why can't we ... given the state of the country ... the economy, Iraq is the most unpopular war -- since Vietnam (I point out there are different reasons why people are unhappy with Iraq) ... Bush is the most unpopular president since (his voice trails off, I remind him Congress's approval ratings are lower). Then
--Do you remember George McGovern?
--I wasn't around then, but sure, I know who he is.
--What's the first word you think of when you think "McGovern"?
--Fine. What's the second word you think of?
--"Stalwart." I know he's tried to remain influential. When I was a kid he did a pitch for the Southern Poverty Law Center. In '04, when I volunteered for Wesley Clark, he was in on a conference call we had - as one of his high-profile endorsers. Besides, so many people came up through his campaign: the Clintons, Willie Brown, much of the modern Democratic Party.
-- McGovern flew 35 bomber missions in World War II!... Suicide missions, practically.
... One time he crash-landed a bomber. Crash-landed - a bomber!
--What's the first word you think of when you think "Nixon"?
--Well, he pulled together different segments. James Brown endorsed him, you know. He tagged McGovern with "Abortion, Anarchy, Acid"
--Nixon did nothing in World War II.
--He probably did the minimum to get through.
--He did nothing.
--It's a mixed bag. Johnson pretty much faked his service. But Jimmy Carter had a respectable career as a submarine officer.
--Thirty-five bomber missions....
How afraid are the Democrats of Palin. This afraid -- from Steve
HILLARY CLINTON TO REPLACE JOE BIDEN?
I was the main source on the Internet discussing the story that Hillary Clinton -- early in October, it appears -- would replace Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket. I stand by this revelation because I believe it's true. The Houston Post-Chronicle recently printed a story suggesting such a "V-P Switcheroo" could be coming. One development you've been hearing little if anything about is the effect Sarah Palin's tremendous popularity is having on congressional races. Because of Palin's popularity, many Obama Democrats are now afraid they may lose their seats. That has added to the desperation in the ranks of the Party's far-left wing. Many of the members of Congress most worried are those who truly need their "job" and have been on the federal dole for many decades Outside Congress, they would essentially be unemployable. Thus, they despise Sarah Palin because she threatens their livelihoods.
So, look for a growing number of calls for Obama to: (1) "get tougher" -- to sling more mud and be more negative than he already is; (2) get rid of Biden and replace him with Senator Clinton (or perhaps even someone else).
I hope all the thousands of bloggers and other onliners who are supporting McCain-Palin will highlight the "Hillary" story. That's exactly what Obama, Axelrod, Brazille, and Dean don't want you to do. Discussion will shed light on developments the Obama Campaign would rather spring on Americans at the last moment. Note: If you start hearing more stories, as we did last week, of Senator Biden's "health issues" (in actuality, he really doesn't have any), you will know the time is drawing nigh for Joe to exit Left.
My predictions for the Oct. 2 V-P debate (if Joe makes it that far)? She will mop the floor with him. His antics and windbag nature will turn off a huge number of women voters. Sarah will continue to look more "presidential" than Obama.
In the 1972 presidential election, George McGovern named as his V-P pick Senator Thomas Eagleton (a fine man, by the way). Then it came out that Eagleton had once undergone electro-shock treatments for depression. Calls came in from Party leaders to get Eagleton off the ticket. Senator McGovern famously said he was behind Eagleton "100% -- no, 1,000 percent. The next day McGovern dumped Eagleton, replacing him with Sargent Shriver (JFK's brother-in-law).
In November, 1972, McGovern lost 49 states.
Keep in mind the date October 5 (three days after the debate) in mind. :-)
The leaders of a women's political organization that launched earlier this year to support Hillary Clinton are speaking out against what they say are examples of media sexism toward Sarah Palin and urging members to tell the press corps "to back off."
WomenCount, a group co-founded by top Hillary fundraiser Susie Tompkins Buell, posted a lengthy item on their blog decrying questions over whether Palin can, as a mother of five, juggle her family responsibilities and still be vice president.
"The very notion that Sarah Palin should not have accepted this nomination because she is a mother with demanding challenges underscores just how far we have to go," wrote Rosemary Camposano, the group's communications director.