Monday, September 08, 2008

Palin... Where's the Moose?

Once again our nation is being fed fundamentalist cause-driven campaign hype. With the selection of Sarah Palin, John McCain is forever abandoning his "agents of intolerance" bandwagon for the gaudy, evangelical-pleasing circus wagon.

Revelling in her NRAishness, a supporter enthused, "What woman do you know who could shoot a moose, field-dress it and serve it?.... This has really energized the conservative side of the house." (WaPo)

Oh, wow! And this does what for the real problems facing voters?..... like unemployment, a trashed economy and increasingly deadly world tensions?

What we have here folks, is the usual Rovian campaign tactics of distraction.... watch Smokin' Sarah in the middle ring so you don't remember that the Bushies have been picking your pockets and ravaging the countryside for eight years.

Are we going to fall for this yet again?

How about some sober, decidedly unmoosey, facts.

Since it has been revealed that there was no vetting of Palin among Alaskans who know her, we turn to a woman from Palin's hometown of Wasilla, Anne Kilkenny, who gives her firsthand view of the Sarah phenom as mayor and eighteen-months governor of Alaska. Kilkenny, a Wasilla homemaker and education advocate, is a faithful attender of City Council meetings, a voter registrar and informed-voter activist.

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

And, although Palin had campaigned as a fiscal conservative, Kilkenny said that "she increased general government expenditures by more than 33 percent. During those same six years, the amount of taxes collected by the city increased by 38 percent. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002), She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax, which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents."

But, Kilkenny notes, "The huge increases in tax revenue during her mayoral administration weren't enough to fund everything on her wish list, though -- borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt but left it with indebtedness of more than $33 million.

"What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow moneys for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? Or a new library? No. $1 million for a park. $15 million-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex, which she rushed through, on a piece of property that the city didn't even have clear title to....."

As governor during a time of a big budget surplus for Alaska, Palin "recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenue: Spend today's surplus, borrow for needs."

And, instead of ousting the "old boy's club" as Palin claims, she instead installed a new set of "old boys".... "Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the city and as governor, she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependant on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal -- loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda...."

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

As Frank Rich points out in "Palin and McCain's Shotgun Marriage," (NYTimes).... "We still don't know a lot about Palin except that she's better at delivering a speech than McCain and that she defends her own pregnant daughter's right to privacy even as she would have the government intrude to police the reproductive choices of all other women. Most of the rest of the biography supplied by her and the McCain camp is fiction.

"She didn't say 'no thanks' to the 'Bridge to Nowhere' until after Congress had already abandoned it but given Alaska a blank check for $223 million in taxpayers' money anyway. Far from rejecting federal pork, she hired lobbyists to secure her town a disproportionate share of earmarks ($1,000 per resident in 2002, 20 times the per capita average in other states). Though McCain claimed 'she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities,' she has never issued a single command as head of the Alaska National Guard.

"How long before we learn she never shot a moose?"

Doesn't all of this have a familiar ring....reckless spending and running up debt, tax cuts for corporations while increasing the burden on the middle class, political appointments instead of the best people for the job, inflating her resume... all-hat-and-no-cattle style.

Palin is The Decider in go-go boots!

And, if fading-wallflower McSame wins, she'll be just a heartbeat away from the presidency!

The fundamentalist circus is back in town, and the GOP barker wants you to keep your eyes on their creation, Smokin' Sarah, as she performs her high-wire act. In the meanwhile, as Rich points out, the McCain operatives are hoping that "whatever happened in Alaska with Sarah Palin stays in Alaska."

Where's the moose? November.


Anonymous said...

You guys are really running scared.

Anonymous said...

Running scared? No, just incredibly alarmed. If this country were to be so unfortunate as to have McCain elected, his age and health history will certainly assure this snowmobile Go-Go princess the top spot.
Then, because of her being utterly unqualified, let's see how often you have to change your shorts as she freaks out in the Oval Office.

Anonymous said...

Family medical history and genes will tell you Obama is more likely not to survive a presidential term than John McCain. Now don't get your size 2 boxers in a twist.
John McCain's parents gave him good genes and good medical history. His mother is alive and kicking in her mid 90's and his father died at age 71 of a heart attack while traveling in a plane where medical help was not available.
Barack Obama's mother died at age 51 of cancer and his father died at age 46 in an automobile accident (where reports say alcohol was involved), and has been identified as an alcoholic.
Obama's inabillity to quit a 3 pack a day cigarette habit points to an addiction to nicotine especially since addiction runs in his family.
John McCain has successfully fought skin cancer for over 20 years. Obama's nicotine addiction, maternal history of cancer and both parents dying at young ages certainly points to a shorter life span if you count the statiscal odds.
Dispite your petulant childish description of the GOP vice presidental candidate, her experience of actual accomplishment far exceeds your candidate's slim, single paragraph resume and lack of any managerial experience since his editorship of the school paper.

Anonymous said...

Re the lengthy health commentary to this thread, the contributor
sounds like an amateur GOP shill, much as the several Chatty-Kathy wind-up McCain bimbettes on the talk show cicuit. Enough...on to the debates and November 4 when Americans will be heard.

Anonymous said...

Just like Obama, you have no responses, just blather.