WASILLA, Alaska -- Opal Toomey, Esther West and Ann Meyers don't seem like politically active types. There are no bumper stickers on their cars, no pins on their lapels.
But the three gray-haired matrons of Wasilla's city museum decided to take a stand. Faced with a $32,000 budget cut and the prospect of choosing who would lose her job, the three 15-year-plus employees decided instead to quit en masse at the end of July, leaving the museum without a staff.
``We hate to leave,'' said Meyers, who at 65 is the youngest of the three. ``We've been together a long time. But this is enough.''
If the city were broke, it would be different, she said. Instead, the city is flush with $4 million in reserves. There is no reason the museum's budget should be cut, Meyers said.
But the mayor and City Council members who supported the cut say the surplus is beside the point. They were elected to minimize government and concentrate on infrastructure - paving roads and extending sewer lines.
The museum, which had an annual budget of more than $200,000, was costing roughly $25 per visitor, said Mayor Sarah Palin. Museum supporters say losing the women will be a blow to this city north of Anchorage. The three have run the two-story building since the early 1980s.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
In my early research on Governor Sarah Palin, I found a very revealing piece from the Denver Rocky Mountain News of 8/10/97:
After finding myself unexpectedly moved time-and-again, while watching the democratic love fest in Colorado, I scarcely had time to reflect, before John "Straight Talk" McCain chose the straightest of running mates, former beauty queen Sarah Palin.
Palin, formerly a mayor of a city under 6,000, and the governor, for 20 months, of Alaska, the state with the 48th lowest population.
This is experience?
But she is a darling of the religious right and, you may find this hard to believe, a woman! I cannot wait until Hillary sinks her teeth into this one. Ironically, McCain's VP choice elevates Hillary into the role of leading attack dog in this campaign. Nobody but Senator Clinton will be able to effectively rip apart Palin. That needs to be done by a woman, or it will be perceived as sexism. So why not the one who almost got the presidential nod?
Can you imagine that a woman, who wants us to be teaching creationism in the schools, is a John McCain cancer outbreak away from the presidency?
I am wondering whether Palin will be campaigning in swimsuit and sash, or if it will be evening gown and tiara? I would love to see the upcoming vice presidential debates include a talent competition. I haven't seen good baton-twirling in a long, long time.
This has to have totally blown the election for the republicans.
I mean, Americans are not that stupid.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Maybe Joe Lieberman is the perfect running mate for John McCain after all.
In December 2001, the Bush Administration had been trying to tie the then-recent anthrax mailings to Iraq, only to have those connections fully shot down.
So, members of Congress were enlisted by BushCo to 'get the party started,' so to speak. It seems a jointly signed letter was sent out on December 5th.
From UPI from 12/8/01:
"Two prominent American experts on Iraq cautioned the Bush administration on Friday not to go after Iraq in what is being termed as the possible "second phase" of America's new war on terrorism.
"The warnings came about as 10 key members of Congress sent a letter to President George W. Bush earlier in the week encouraging him to set his sights on Saddam Hussein's regime as the next target in the war.
"'As we work to clean up Afghanistan and destroy al Qaida, it is imperative that we plan to eliminate the threat from Iraq,' they noted.
"Signers of the letter included Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., Jesse Helms, R-N.C., Trent Lott, R-Miss., Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Henry Hyde, R-Ill., who is chairman of the House International Relations Committee."
The following day, States News Service (12/11/01), had the following to say:
"With possible U.S. victory nearing in the campaign to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan, a bipartisan group of lawmakers are now setting their sights on another target in the war against terrorism: Iraq.
"Claiming that Iraq continues to pursue the development of weapons of mass destruction 'intended for use against the United States,' nine leading members of Congress delivered a letter to the White House advising the administration to "directly confront" Iraqi President Saddam Hussein - "sooner rather than later."
"As part of that effort, the lawmakers advise that President Bush begin beefing up support for Iraqi opposition forces with military training, information gathering and humanitarian assistance.
"'Without allies on the ground inside Iraq, we will be handicapping our own efforts,'" reads the letter, which was spearheaded by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn. 'Each day that passes costs us an opportunity to unite and professionalize the Iraqi opposition, thus ensuring it will be less capable when the conflict begins.'"
The 12/6/01 edition of the Washington Post had more details on the letter that was sent:
"The letter adds to the chorus of policymakers calling for efforts to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. It follows warnings by Bush that Iraq will face serious consequences if it does not allow United Nations inspectors to search for weapons of mass destruction. 'We believe we must directly confront Saddam, sooner rather than later,' the letter said.
"Noting that this month marks the third anniversary of the last U.N. inspection of Iraqi weapons programs, the lawmakers said the current economic sanctions are not enough to contain Iraq. They said the administration had struggled to close "loopholes" in the sanctions but had failed to stop illicit oil sales. They also said they have no doubt Hussein has "reinvigorated" Iraq's biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs.
"The lawmakers urged Bush to provide more assistance to the opposition Iraqi National Congress. 'Successive administrations have funded conferences, offices and other intellectual exercises that have done little more than expose the INC to accusations of being 'limousine insurgents' and 'armchair guerrillas,' the letter said."
Face The Nation
McCain was a guest on CBS' Face the Nation on 12/9/01. From that transcript comes this revealing excerpt:
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SCHIEFFER: Now, with another perspective on all of this, from Phoenix, Arizona, Senator John McCain.
Senator McCain, welcome.
U.S. SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Thank you.
SCHIEFFER: I want to get right to it here.
You and a number of other senators, mostly Republicans, but along with Democrat Joe Lieberman and I think Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., have sent a letter to the administration urging the next target to be Iraq. You said, and here`s a quote from the letter, "We believe we must directly confront Saddam Hussein sooner rather than later." Two questions. First, what are you talking about? Are you talking about invading Iraq, or are you talking about something else?
MCCAIN: I think we`re talking about addressing the issue.
As you know, several years ago, we passed a bill that Senator Lieberman and I and others sponsored that called for assisting the internal and external opposition to Saddam Hussein and doing everything we can to overthrow him.
I think that the strategy and the specific tactics would be left to people like your previous guest.
But what I think we`re trying to say is that Saddam Hussein presents a clear and present danger to the United States of America. We know he is acquiring weapons of mass destruction. We know he has had contact with terrorist organizations. We know he has violated the terms of his -- the cease-fire agreement of 1991. And recent defectors indicate that he has accelerated his efforts, particularly the acquisition of biological weapons. So he must be addressed.
I would suggest the first thing, as the president has already said, demand the return of the inspectors. And provide real assistance to this internal opposition.
Can they succeed? We don`t know, because we`ve never really given, neither the last administration nor sadly this administration, have given them the assistance that I think they need, to find out whether they are viable or not.
SCHIEFFER: Well, let`s say that Saddam Hussein, and there seems every indication that he`s going to, if he rejects that idea to let the inspectors come back in, then what do we do?
MCCAIN: Then I think, as I said, we continue -- or start to give real assistance to the internal opposition.
And then I think we examine our options. Whether that`s a direct military invasion, whether that`s a bombing campaign, whether that`s a number of other options, I think will be explored by the administration.
But I think it`s got to be a step-by-step kind of a scenario, because clearly we`re going to send young Americans, again, into harm`s way.
BORGER: Well, Senator, don`t you worry that, if we did get into that kind of an armed conflict against Iraq, that it could explode in the Middle East, that Iraq could attack Israel, say, for example, and then we`d have a larger problem on our hands?
MCCAIN: That`s always been, frankly, a nightmare scenario I`ve had, a biological weapon on a Scud missile aimed at Israel and Saddam Hussein making certain demands. I think that that`s a real problem.
Also maintaining the support or at least the acquiescence of other countries in the region would be difficult.
But I think the alternative is to sit by and watch Saddam Hussein cause millions of his own people to starve, which is sad in itself. But most importantly and most dramatically, is that it`s a matter of time before he acquires this capability. And the longer we delay, the more likely we`re faced with one of these nightmare scenarios which could entail casualties of enormous proportions, and, again, a direct threat to the security of the United States of America.
Despite my discomfort with the way Barack Obama has been conducting his campaign, I have spent the past 6 weeks articulating a defense for him, primarily on blogs at the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. I figured that would get more play than merely just posting here, but I think it is important to keep this site up as well. For the run-up to the election, I am hoping to post regularly.
Today, Frank Rich has an op-ed piece titled, "Last Call For Change We Can Believe In." In it, Rich calls for Obama to be more aggressive in taking on John McCain. As is often the case with Rich, he hit a bulls-eye.
I posted the following in their 'comments' section:
If John McCain is going to continue touting foreign policy experience, shouldn't we demonstrate the result of his expertise?
Where are the quotes about how we would be greeted as liberators and how Iraqi money would finance the invasion?
Where are the misquotes on an alleged Iraqi-Pakistani border and his cluelessness over sunni and shia differences?
They are being obscured because Obama is falling into the Kerry trap...playing defense.
The game in politics is won on offense and it needs to be McCain who should be defending the GOP policies of the past 8 years to justify being given 4 more.
The fact that the mainstream media uses the term 'war hero' to gloss over anything that would tarnish the true McCain image, is the biggest joke of the campaign coverage thus far. As if they ever did that for John Kerry.
The very fact that McCain borrowed the Solzhenitsym cross-in-the sand story and the media has left it unexamined tells you all you need to know about the different levels of scrutiny for the 2 candidates.
The only solution is for Obama to constantly be on the attack with McCain. Not a personal attack, but an attack that reveals how wrong-headed McCain has been on policy, issues, and 'facts,' using his own statements against him.
If Obama does not force the issue and play offense, the media will not follow-up on McCain's errors and mis-statements on their own. We have seen that.
If Obama continues to merely fend off attacks, this race is over. I am hoping for a 'change' in that regard.