Sunday, December 7, 2008

Music, Poetry, Sarah & Wasilla

My musical tastes are all over the place. While I tend to be a big softie who likes stuff like this:

The Beatles: Til There Was You
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World

I also like alternative rock, folk, bluegrass and '60's stuff:

Squeeze: Is That Love
Just Grass: Rose Conley (Down in the Willow Garden)
Kate Wolf: Legend in his Time
Kate Wolf: Medicine Wheel
The Grass Roots: Temptation Eyes
The Grass Roots: Midnight Confessions

One of the reasons I think Quentin Tarantino's movies have done so well is that - while he he has eclectic musical tastes like a lot of us - he apparently knows a wider range of really cool songs! His movie soundtracks are great:

Nancy Sinatra: My Baby Shot Me Down
Meiko Kaji: Flower of Carnage
Chingon: Malaguena Salerosa
Shivaree: Goodnight Moon

And you're right - this guy is very funny-
Cledus T. Judd: Bake Me A Country Ham

As to poetry, I've considered my "favorite poem" to be "Sunday Morning" by Wallace Stevens since college. I hadn't read it in a while - so I just re-read it. It is beautifully written ... but it's a little heavy!

Here's a blog I don't update often. But it's a good place to save (and double-check) links. Hmm - apparently this blogger is a Sarah Palin fan!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Palin Push-Back

Sources who are willing to go on the record - and use their names - have exposed the negative stories about Gov. Palin as falsehoods
Sources who are willing to go on the record - and use their names - have exposed the negative stories about Gov. Palin as falsehoods

The Palin Pushback: Now we are learning just how false and malicious the recent attacks on Gov. Palin were.

The mainstream press will peddle this junk from unreliable, cowardly, anonymous sources. But the sources who are willing to go on the record - and use their names - have exposed the negative stories about Gov. Palin as falsehoods. Via Red State.

Fight back! Join Sarah Palin for President 2012!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


After her return to the Governor's Office in Juneau, Alaska, Gov. Sarah Palin responded to cowardly, anonymous, false attacks from critics
After her return to the Governor's Office in Juneau, Alaska, Gov. Sarah Palin responded to cowardly, anonymous, false attacks from critics (AP Photo/Al Grillo).


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Palin strikes back at critics
Dan Joling - Associated Press Writer - 11/8/2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Gov. Sarah Palin denounced anonymous criticisms leveled at her by former John McCain aides as lies, including allegations that Republican lawyers were traveling to Alaska to reclaim her high-priced wardrobe and that she didn't know Africa was a continent.

"Those accounts are not true," the former Republican vice presidential candidate said in her first public comments on the matter since the election Tuesday.

Palin returned Friday to her Anchorage governor's office and said she had no immediate plans to build on her newfound national name-recognition and popularity with the Republican base for a possible 2012 presidential run.

Instead, Palin said, she wanted only to get back to the governor's desk to advance a proposed pipeline tapping Alaska's vast North Slope natural gas reserves and to prepare Alaska's proposed 2010 budget.

As for the vice presidential campaign, Palin denounced criticism from unidentified McCain campaign aides as "cowardly." She said she found it frustrating trying to respond to false allegations when she didn't know who was making them.

"It's ridiculous," she told reporters. "You guys report based on anonymous sources, so it's hard to have a defense."

One report said she and her family went on a shopping spree, spending more than the $150,000 in clothing that the Republican National Committee had earlier reported.

"The RNC purchased clothes," Palin said.

"Those are the RNC's clothes. They're not my clothes. I never forced anybody to buy anything. I never asked for anything more than maybe a Diet Dr Pepper once in a while."

The RNC will inventory clothing it purchased for her to account for dollars spent, she said. She scoffed at reports that the RNC was sending lawyers to take back clothes from her home.

"It's not happening. Nobody's told me that they're coming to my house to look through closets, to look through anything. The belly of the plane that had clothes in it, and those clothes being packed up and sent back by staffers, perhaps that's what they're talking about, but these aren't attorneys."

She said she wasn't angry at the continued coverage of her clothing, but mostly disappointed.

"This is Barack Obama's time right now, and this is an historic moment in our nation and this can be a shining moment for America and our history, and look what we're talking about. Again, we're talking about my shoes and belts and skirts. It's ridiculous."

She also denied a report that she didn't know Africa was a continent, not a country, and that she didn't know the members of the North American Free Trade Agreement _ the United States, Canada and Mexico. She remembered discussing both Africa and Obama's stance on NAFTA with people preparing her for her debate, she said. Anything reported as a gaffe was taken out of context, she said.

"That's cruel. It's mean-spirited. It's immature. It's unprofessional and those guys are jerks if they came away with it, taking things out of context, and then tried to spread something on national news. It's not fair and it's not right."

Asked if she felt muzzled by her limited time with reporters during the campaign, Palin said the media is a cornerstone of democracy and an important part of the checks and balances on government.

"Heaven forbid that a candidate or an elected official shy way from speaking to the media," she said. "So it was a little bit of a frustration that I didn't get to call more of those shots, and I guess that was sort of the 'rogue' criticism was, 'She wants to talk to more of the media' than perhaps some in the campaign wanted me to."

Palin backed off from calling for the resignation of fellow Alaskan Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in Senate history. Stevens leads Democrat Mark Begich by about 3,500 votes with more than 50,000 to be counted.

A Washington jury convicted Stevens on Oct. 27 of seven felony counts of failing to report more than $250,000 in gifts, mostly renovations on his home. Stevens is appealing the verdict.

"The Alaska voters have spoken and me not being a dictator won't be telling anyone what to do," she said.

Fellow senators have indicated they could boot Stevens.

"That's their baby," Palin said. "They'll have to figure out what to do there."

Palin said she was not interested in running for the job if it comes open.

"Not planning on that. Nope," she said.

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Indeed, campaign staffers who would speak on the record said that the recent criticisms of Gov. Palin were false. Steve Biegun, the former Bush National Security Council aid - who briefed Sarah Palin on foreign policy - considers the leaks against her on the international stuff "absurd." Biegun indicated that the recent false attacks on Palin indicated to him that "somebody is acting with a high degree of maliciousness."

And, by the way, I remember Senator McCain - when he was a Presidential candidate - dissuading those who tried to criticize Barack Obama about his ties to race-baiting preacher Jeremiah Wright. Where is Senator McCain now to denounce those criticizing Gov. Palin - and call for them to stop the false smears?

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Get involved. Support conservative principles. Support Sarah Palin for President in 2012. Join Team Sarah now.

"We here still move in twilight. But we have one beacon to guide us that Ronald Reagan never had. We have his example." -Margaret Thatcher

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sarah Palin would make a great President. Here's why.

Sarah Palin on April 30, 2004, after her resignation in protest as Ethics Commissioner for the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Sarah Palin on April 30, 2004, after her resignation in protest as Ethics Commissioner for the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (photo credit Evan R. Steinhauser/Anchorage Daily News).

Glenn Reynolds' post here started me thinking about the struggle - from many different quarters - to define Governor Sarah Palin. Often, when I've heard people talking about Palin, they leave out (or perhaps are unaware of) some fundamental facts.


Palin has the same foreign policy experience now that Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton each had when they became President - i.e., not just Vice President.

Anyway, the whole "foreign policy experience" argument (if you can call it that) is a red-herring from the Left which, sadly, too many people fall for.



What, exactly is the "foreign policy experience" of Obama (or Biden)? Sitting in a room with a bunch of blowhards in the Senate - listening to speeches? Most of us have listened to foreign policy speeches over the years. Does that mean we have foreign policy experience to be President? To me, Obama's foreign policy experience (listening to Senate speech-making) is largely negative foreign policy experience. He's never had to make any foreign policy decision - or any decision as an executive - under pressure.

And Joe Biden's been wrong on every important foreign policy issue for the past 30 years. If Joe had had his we way: (1) we'd still be working on good relations with the USSR, (2) we'd have done none of our space technology research (i.e., "star wars") and China and other countries would be ahead of us in that field, (3) we would have broken up Iraq into 3 countries, (4) we would never have kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, and (5) Saddam Hussein would still be murdering Kurds by the tens of thousands, torturing families, and running rape rooms.

Biden has a ton of foreign policy experience. All bad.

And Joe dropped out of the 1988 presidential race due to plagiarism. And he admitted he committed plagiarism during law school. Funny how we never hear about this from the press these days. (Suppose Governor Palin had ever committed plagiarism. Do you think the press would say something about it?)

The experience that matters is actual executive experience in an actual executive position - to have been tested, and excelled, under pressure as a leader.

Neither Obama nor Biden have any executive experience. Most of us would probably be reluctant to apply for a supervisory job if we had no prior supervisory experience on our resumes. Yet, Obama and Biden applied for a job to lead the 1.8 million-strong federal workforce ... and to lead the world's sole superpower ... and neither had any executive experience. Isn't that ... crazy? Neither has ever run a business. Neither has ever met a payroll. Neither has been a governor. Neither has been a mayor. Neither has ever had a real job. (Working as a Constitutional law professor - i.e., like Obama - doesn't provide, shall we say, lots of "real world" employment experiences). In short, both of these guys are professional politicians. That's exactly the kind of candidate we shouldn't want running anything. They have pretty much zero gut-level experience with the day-to-day issues us working stiffs have to deal with.

Although ... Obama does have some executive experience - if you want to call it that - running the Chicago Annenberg Challenge fund into the ground (with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers). They dumped $110 million in grant money into that black hole to "improve education" in Chicago. Results? Zilch. (Neither test scores nor any other metric improved). So Obama's sole executive experience, if you can call it that, was a big negative. (He poured lots of others peoples' money down a black hole. Get ready for a lot more of that in the Obama-Biden - yuck - Administration.)

That may be why both Obama and the Annenberg Foundation are blocking access to the records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

Tellingly, Obama seems to have misplaced his Illinois State Senate papers too.

There seems to be a pattern here. Obama seems to be saying: just listen to what "The One" says he will do in the future - don't look at the records of what he's done in the past. Anyway - he won't let you look at his records. This is a problem that pervades his career and his life.

Besides, would you associate with, or run any kind of organization, with Bill Ayers? Would you launch your political career in the home of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn - after you knew who they were and what they'd done? I wouldn't. That shows poor judgment on Obama's part - and the placing of political opportunism over principle.

At least McCain had military command experience which counted as executive and/or leadership experience.


Governor Palin was the only one in the 20008 Presidential race with actual executive experience. She's been both a governor AND a mayor. And when she had an executive position she (unlike Obama) produced positive results - cutting taxes in Alaska, fighting corruption, and increasing competition among the energy companies for the gas pipeline. Her job approval rating in Alaska has stayed at or above 80%! She's a true leader - with true executive experience.

And she's actually run - and worked in - a fishing business with her husband. She's had to help meet payroll. She's worked a blue-collar job and has had to worry about meeting the household's bills on a couple of blue-collar salaries. She's pulled herself up "by her bootstraps" - her parents worked at an elementary school.

As Governor of Alaska, and as Mayor of Wasilla, she's had to make actual decisions with actual consequences. (She could never vote "present" - as Obama frequently did in the Illinois state legislature). She actually fought corruption on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ("AOGCC") and as Governor. She's made tough calls - she didn't just "coast" as Governor - and still she has an 80%+ approval rating. That's remarkable. She's been the most popular governor in the whole country for some time - while fighting corruption and oil monopolies in Alaska. This is amazing stuff.

To become Governor of Alaska, Palin defeated the sitting Republican (!) Governor of Alaska in the primary. She then defeated a former Democratic Governor of Alaska in the general election. This is an amazing story. She did all this as the mother of 4 (now 5) kids, who'd been a small-town mayor and city councilwoman, who'd worked-in and helped run her family's fishing business. This is a true Horatio Alger story.

But taking on corruption in her own party was nothing new. She resigned as the Ethics Commissioner on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ("AOGCC") in protest over the lack of ethics of the other Republican members. After resigning, she filed a formal complaint against Republican AOGCC Commissioner Randy Ruedrich - who was also at that time the Chairman of the State Republican Party! She protested his use of his public office for party business - and his working too closely with a company he was supposed to be regulating.

(If only someone like Sarah had been in D.C. when Barack Obama, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank were taking campaign contributions from Fannie Mae - while endorsing its disastrous guarantees of high-risk mortgages. Palin would probably have exposed these corrupt politicians - like she did in Alaska - and saved our nation from having to undertake a $700 million bailout of the American financial system!)

Palin also joined with Democratic legislator Eric Croft to file a complaint against Gregg Renkes, a former Republican Alaska Attorney General, accusing him of having a conflict of interest while he was negotiating a state coal export agreement.

Due to Palin's efforts in the above two cases - against members of her own Party - both Ruedrich and Renkes resigned. Ruedrich had to pay a record $12,000 fine.

For more on these remarkable stories, see here and here.

Going back to foreign policy: who has been the best foreign policy President of the past generation? Ronald Reagan, I'd say. And Palin has exactly the same amount of foreign policy experience now that Ronald Reagan had when he became President - not Vice President - which, of course, was the office that Palin was seeking in the 2008 election.

So, explain to me (and the mainstream press) again - why is Palin is a negative? Explain to me (and the mainstream press) why did McCain's pick of Palin for VP show "poor judgment"?

The answer to both is, of course: Palin would have made a fabulous Vice President - but she'll make an even better President.

The ability of the Left to "prepare the battlefield" is truly amazing. (Obsequious regurgitation of the Left's talking points by the mainstream press, of course, helps).

The Left said Palin was a negative - as a VP choice - because of "lack of foreign policy experience" and "inexperience" generally. Then the Left said McCain's pick of Palin showed "poor judgment." And people just parroted this silly stuff - despite all of the above. (When Bill Clinton was running for President, do you remember the Left - or the mainstream press - bemoaning his "lack of foreign policy experience"?)

Once you think about it, the double-standard in the mainstream press for Republican candidates (e.g., Sarah Palin - a Governor with no "foreign policy experience" per the mainstream press) and Democratic candidates (e.g., Bill Clinton, who had the same amount of "foreign policy experience" as Palin when he became President - not Vice President) is pretty stark isn't it?

The Left's spin tends to be pretty obvious and sophomoric - so I'm amazed that so many people fall for it.

From my point of view, Palin is a tested executive (and principled conservative) like Reagan. She's was the only one in the 2008 race with actual executive experience.

Having been both a Governor AND a Mayor is a positive - not a negative! Don't fall for the spin!

There's a reason why so many of our Presidents have been former governors. That's the perfect executive experience to prepare someone for the Presidency. (Indeed, that's what Reagan said). (And, very importantly, having been a governor gives a candidate a true, gut-level sense of the primary, sovereign role of the States in our federal system; so they know one-size-fits-all solutions out of D.C. are often a very bad thing).

Based on the above, Palin had more positives than McCain, Obama and Biden combined during the 2008 campaign. Palin will still have more positives than Obama and Biden combined for he 2012 election.

Thank goodness McCain had the good judgment to pick Palin for his VP choice in 2008! (Consider the first major decision the two 2008 Presidential candidates made: McCain picked Palin - with all the good attributes listed above - and Obama picked Biden: a two-time admitted plagiarist, with zero executive experience, who's been wrong on every major foreign policy matter for the past 30 years).

Obama showed extremely poor judgment in picking Biden - just like he showed extremely poor judgment in running the Chicago Annenberg Challenge into the ground, and just like he showed extremely poor judgment in associating with people like Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and Jeremiah Wright. Think about it: Obama has spent much of his adult life choosing political opportunism over principle.

Governor Palin's record, accomplishments, and history of good judgment in difficult situations, are far superior to Obama's and Biden's. (And Palin was our Vice Presidential candidate - she was not even on the top of the ticket - so McCain-Palin is the superior ticket by far in 2008).

But Sarah Palin on top of the ticket - as the Presidential candidate in 2012 - will be even better.


Every true conservative knows that, if you put real, principled, unapologetic conservative values in front of the American electorate - Americans will choose conservatism every time. This resulted in landslides for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984. Ronald Reagan's principled conservatism changed America for the better. Indeed, Reagan's vision changed the world for the better. The same can be said of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. It is no accident that Margaret Thatcher's eulogy of Ronald Reagan was one of the most sincere, moving tributes given to an American President - or world leader - ever. The video of the eulogy - and above all, Lady Thatcher's words - remain incredibly evocative and poignant.

Like Reagan and Thatcher, Sarah Palin's principled, unapologetic conservative values will invigorate and empower ordinary people throughout America - and across the world. Her conservatism will lead to a landslide victory for her and the Republican Party in 2012 - to rival Reagan's in 1980 and 1984.

Get involved. Support conservative principles. Support Sarah Palin for President in 2012. Join Team Sarah now.

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"We here still move in twilight. But we have one beacon to guide us that Ronald Reagan never had. We have his example." -Margaret Thatcher

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