Archive | August, 2008

Word To Your Mother…or Grandmother As The Case May Be

31 Aug

So, it seems like someone in the local blogosphere should broach a topic that has been kicking around the lefty blogs and has now made it to the higher echelon blogs like Andrew Sullivan.   I guess I’ll be the one to take the bullets.

The question is; Who gave birth to the three month old son with Down Syndrome, Sarah Palin or her 16 year old daughter, Bristol?

That’s 16 year old Bristol holding the baby and wearing what appears to be a diamond ring on her wedding finger.

After reading the story posted by the Kos Diarist and on other sites of interest…a few questions come to mind. Actually, I’ll just post Andrew Sullivan’s questions:

Where has Bristol Palin been for the past year? Has she been attending high school? Or was she absent because of infectious mononucleosis for between five and eight months, as is now being reported on the Internet?

Why would a 43 year old woman, on her fifth pregnancy, with a Down Syndrome child, after her amniotic fluid has started to leak, not go to the nearest hospital immediately, even if she was in Texas for a speech?

Why would she not only not go to the hospital in Texas, but take an eight-hour plane flight to Seattle and then Anchorage?

Why would she choose to deliver the baby not in the nearest major facility in Anchorage but at a much smaller hospital near her home-town?

Why did the flight attendants on the trip home say she bore no signs of being pregnant?

Surely there are simple answers to these questions.  Are they just coincidences?  Or, was Sarah Palin (fundamentalist Christian), an up and coming star in the Republican minor leagues, afraid of what would happen to her national credentials if the story leaked that her underage daughter was with child?

It seems there should be simple answers to all of these questions and certainly, many national reporters will descend upon Alaska to find any evidence of these charges.  After all, what the media giveth, the media taketh away.  Palin has been fawned over and positively debated by talking heads of all denomination for 96 hours.  That can only last for so long.  The media has built her up and will now find ways to tear her down.  Especially if her decision to give birth to a Down Syndrome child (which McCain made a major part of her story and introduction) turns out to be a coverup.

It’s not as if this story just bubbled up now…it’s been percolating around Alaska for months.  The late announcement of the pregnancy, the apparent lack of visible pregnancy in Palin as she approached her due date, which would be different from how she looked when pregnant with previous children.

All of this is circumstantial and if our national reporters still have any balls, will be researched and investigated.  If it turns out that Sarah Palin gave birth to that child, well, I guess I’ll have some egg on my face.

The longer these questions go unanswered, the louder the chorus of critics will become.  An enterprising reporter should be able to get his/her hands on evidence of Bristol’s high school attendance records and the McCain camp will release Sarah Palin’s medical records and Doctors can be questioned.

Also, this came up with a simple search of Sarah Palin’s name on Google, the McCain camp had to know these rumors were out there and it would become fodder for the media.

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BOOM Goes The Dynamite

31 Aug

Yes, this is your Republican VP nominee as a sports anchor for KTUU-TV in Anchorage, AK back in 1988.  Full 80’s hair on display and an ayyyyccent that is right out of Cheektowaga/Fargo.  I love her reporting on scores with “Da Mayyyple Leafs are killin da Oilers dare”.  Love it.

Hey, at least she did better than this guy:

Kryzan vs. Powers on Hardwick

31 Aug

Hey, Alice, thanks for the shout-out today!

I listened to the show today and here are my quick impressions:

1. Kudos to Dr. Hardwick for hosting what I thought was a good, fair, and substantive debate. I also have to praise his unrelenting criticism of Jack Davis’ absence, but also bringing up how uncouth he was to not bother to call Hardwick to let him know he’d skip the debate, but making insane demands through the press.

2. Jon Powers did very well deflecting the War Kids criticism and explaining what the money was spent on and what the purpose of the group was. On substantive issues, there was a bit of fumfering at times and he began answering some questions with talking points, which doesn’t fly in that studio. Time is very tight on that show, and if you’re asked a direct question, a direct answer is necessary. Powers wanted to give explanations or get into more detail with some questions, but that just doesn’t work. I liked the fact that he didn’t return fire when Kryzan was critical of him, and his grasp of the big issues affecting the district was excellent. He was detailed and informative on the state of the wars in the middle east; he made a great point with respect to 9/11 – that the Bush administration had squandered an opportunity to call people to service rather than go out and shop. On energy and trade/immigration, he set forth an overview of the plans he’s already released calling for renewable sources of energy, breaking our addiction to foreign oil, and leveling the playing field for American workers and products.

3. Alice Kryzan also did very well deflecting criticism of her dealings with respect to Love Canal and her referring to the surrounding “hysteria”. She took some shots at Powers, which he was able to respond to, but I thought that her overall tone when talking about or addressing Powers was condescending and arrogant. She came across like a scold, and Powers didn’t take the bait. She was better at answering the short-answer questions than Powers was, being direct and then launching into whatever explanations she wanted to bring up afterwards. There were some puzzling comments of hers, for instance she mentioned how she had signed on to the “Responsible Plan” to end the war in Iraq, and no one else had. That implies that Powers’ plan is somehow off the mark, but she never said that or explained why it might be. When Powers gave a response to a question may have been long-winded, but was responsive nonetheless, she said she didn’t know what Powers was talking about. I did, so either she was trying to be cute or she wasn’t listening.

4. Davis’ absence really underscores the fact that he doesn’t care what people think, and doesn’t think he needs to answer anyone’s questions. His failure to pick up the phone and tell Hardwick that he wouldn’t show up reveals that he’s a rude, petty little man and it calls into question how responsive he might be, if elected, to constituent concerns.

I thought Kryzan and Powers comported themselves quite well, and I’d call it a draw between them.

One thing, though – Powers made it quite clear in many of his answers that they were crafted after soliciting, receiving, and considering input from people throughout the district. When asked about trade policy, he talked about his discussions with Delphi workers. When asked about immigration, he talked about his discussions with farmers. When asked about education, he drew upon his own experience, but also talked about what he had been hearing throughout the district. He isn’t imposing his views on anyone; instead, he’s listening to real concerns and coming up with solutions to them that he pledges to go to Washington to work for. Kryzan, on the other hand, seemed to me to have a need to be the smartest person in the room, an expert on everything. The only time a discussion with a voter was brought up arose during a question about soldiers being redeployed repeatedly to Iraq.

As usual, the big loser today was Jack Davis.

Sunshine and Flowers until January 2007

31 Aug

I read this on a Republican blog (where Jack Davis has bought ad space, incidentally), and read this comment from its author:

The country was doing fine until the Democrats took control of congress.

The Democrats took control of congress in January 2007. I personally find the sentence quoted above to be so utterly ridiculous as to defy comment or explanation. Your thoughts?

Davis Avoiding Answering Anything from Anyone

30 Aug

Not only is Jack Davis refusing to debate his primary opponents Alice Kryzan and Jon Powers on Hardline with Hardwick on Sunday (tomorrow), but he’s also refusing to participate in a candidate’s forum in Geneseo. According to the Lockport Union Sun & Journal:

Now Davis says he won’t join them in joint campaign appearances unless they return the donations that they’ve received from those interest groups — as well as sign on with Davis’ self-created “pledge to protect Social Security,” and promise to run “clean” campaigns.

Interesting. Davis had no problems debating PAC-laden Tom Reynolds last season. Indeed, he had no problem accepting PAC money last season. It’s beyond unseemly for a self-funded millionaire candidate to set as a precondition to answering voter questions that his opponents return what he defines as “special interest” money. Naturally, as his own contributor, Jack Davis is his own special interest.

Kevin Hardwick, the WBEN show host who’ll moderate Sunday’s discussion, called Davis’ refusal to participate in candidate forums “disturbing.”

Hardwick, a political science instructor and past candidate for office himself, said the unwritten rule of campaigning is before you ask people for their votes, you’re supposed to make yourself available to answer their questions.

“If you’re too afraid to go into a debate for fear of saying something stupid, how can we expect you to stand up to the special interests in Washington?” Hardwick said. “If (Davis’) handlers don’t trust him … perhaps they ought not run him for office.”

In Geneseo…

The debate at Geneseo will begin at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. Organizers said the National Public Radio affiliates in Buffalo and Rochester, wbfo-FM 88.7 and WXXI-AM 1330, will replay the session as regular programming.

According to debate co-organizer Ben DeGeorge, Independence Party nominee Anthony Fumerelle also will participate. Republican candidate Chris Lee declined the invitation.

Jack Davis has some incredible gall, using as an excuse for not debating that his opponents have campaigned negatively against him. Jack Davis created a phony website with a Powers-friendly URL that is not only negative, but meant to confuse and deceive. Advertising it all over the internet, including on Republican blogs, if Davis wants to learn about slimy campaign tactics, all he has to do is look in the mirror.

Jack Davis. Too afraid he’ll say something embarrassing (again) to debate his opponents.
Jack Davis. Hypocrite.
Jack Davis. Is intent on buying an election whether by hook or by crook.
Jack Davis. Unelectable.

If It's Sunday, It's DEBATE OF THE CENTURY!!$%@

30 Aug

This Sunday from 10 – 10:30 on WBEN 930-AM, Dr. Hardwick will speak with the Hamburg Sun’s Dan Meyer, and then at 10:30, the fireworks begin as the Democratic candidates for Congress from NY-26 debate.

Well, two of them will.

Kryzan and Powers are on board.

Jack Davis? His Highness the Duke of Losingham shan’t be bothered to discuss politics with the proles. He isn’t coming, and doesn’t care what you think. He doesn’t need to be bothered with pesky questions from Canisius professors, and can’t be bothered to “compete” in a “political campaign” because he has people to do that, and can pay for lit and ads.

UPDATE: And another thing. Illuzzi runs no ads for NY-26, yet he is running a cartoon that smacks Powers and Davis. Now, Illuzzi does just about nothing for free, and I strongly doubt he runs those shittily drawn cartoons for free. Illuzzi made a big deal about refusing Jack Davis’ money to smack Powers. I don’t suspect Kryzan is paying Illuzzi, either. There’s only one logical explanation.

Domagalski.

The Republicans must be paying Illuzzi to injure the Democrat they’re most afraid of running Chris Lee against, and that’s Jon Powers. Domagalski and Wojtaszek actually held a press conference a week or two ago to say very, very stupid things a couple of weeks ago, demanding that Jon Powers do exactly what he planned to do, and ultimately did.

Republicans sticking their nose in a Democratic primary race? It’s astonishing in its sheer transparent idiocy. But since they have absolutely nothing, evidently, to say or do to promote their own weak candidate, at least it kept them busy.

UPDATE: Professor Hardwick tells me that Davis’ camp isn’t even returning his phone calls, at this point.

UPDATE: To the top for the weekend.

Executive Experience

30 Aug

People seriously sometimes bore me with their predictability.

Is anyone surprised that Republicans are super-duper thrilled with Palin and Democrats have serious questions about her? Of course not.

Is anyone doubting – even for a moment – that if Palin was a Democratic choice (regardless of who the nominee is), the Republicans would be all but calling her an outright traitor by now?

When I first heard that she was the pick, I instantly looked at it from a purely procedural posture. I think that Palin strips McCain of the “readiness” argument against Obama. Other than that, I couldn’t really care less whom McCain picks because a) I’m not voting for him; and b) People generally don’t vote based on who the Veep pick is.

There is something, though, to the idea of judgment and decision-making. Picking a veep is the first serious Presidential decision a candidate makes during the course of a campaign, and I think there’s no question that Barack Obama picked someone who is ready to pick up the reins from day one should anything happen to him. The same cannot, however, be said for McCain, I think. That pinko commie David Frum agrees that it’s a bad choice, and that Palin’s selection puts the lie to the whole “putting America first” line of McCain’s.

Instead, I think it is, in part, a cynical ploy to win over disgruntled female Hillary supporters. Fine, if those Democratic women are in favor of an anti-abortion candidate who supports teaching something not science in schools.

But I think the whole Hillary PUMA thing is way overblown. People were angry, their feelings were hurt, but they’ll come around. A transparent pander to them from the Republican side isn’t necessarily going to make them switch to McCain.

The other thing that people have been bringing up is Palin’s vast executive experience, first as mayor of a town of 9,000, and most recently as governor of a state that has 2/3 the population of Erie County. “Executive experience” as a must-have qualification for president is little more than a foolish cable news talking point, as far as I’m concerned.

We have separation of powers in this country, true. But in Canada and Great Britain, for instance, the head of state is simultaneously an executive and an elected member of the legislature. Based on the “Palin has executive experience” talking point, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair were each less qualified than John McCain to become head of state. So, I discount that argument completely.

I mean, I know she’s also been the singular bulwark against a Canadian and Russian invasion, but since both Alaska and Russia are more or less uninhabited for thousands of miles where they “meet” (I understand there are 170 inhabitants on American Little Diomede and zero residents on Russia’s Big Diomede Island), it’s hardly Department of State stuff.

Frankly, I think Obama proved his strength as an executive simply by defeating Clinton, who had a sheen of inevitability all the way up until January 2008.

In the wake of Palin’s selection, conservatives are simply playing Mr. Rogers make-believe with respect to their complete lack of enthusiasm for McCain. They finally have something to pretend to be enthusiastic about.

Here’s one Alaskan blogger’s take on the Palin pick.

In any event, from a fundamental standpoint I cannot fathom another 4 or 8 years of Republicans at the helm of the United States after the 7 years we’ve just gone through. There has been such a widespread dismantling of American values from day one of the Bush administration, and McCain went along with it all a vast majority of the time.

The race won’t be about Sarah Palin or Joe Biden. So, here’s the summary of the previous 100+ post thread:

REPUBLICANS: She’s Susan B. Anthony and Colin Powell wrapped up in an ultraconservative, hockey mom body. Her 2 years as executive of a state with 670,000 people is equal to 100 years as President of the World. As Alaska governor, she is the first line of defense against an imminent Russian invasion.

DEMOCRATS: She’s a lightweight who is embroiled in controversy, and has taken away several of McCain’s signature attacks against Obama. Although she satisfies the moose-hunter constitutional requirement to serve, she is a cynical ploy by McCain to try and attract female voters who still pine for a Hillary presidency. While people are concerned about Obama’s experience, he has selected someone with all the experience one would need. OTOH, McCain has experience but is quite old and has selected a veep with even less experience than Obama.

Even shorter thread:

REPUBLICANS: We love her! Obama sucks!
DEMOCRATS: Ha ha! Obama rocks!

And that’s the funny thing. The Republicans practically never talk up McCain, they always talk down Obama. So on issues Obama gets the win. And besides, Palin likes Obama’s energy plan:

Dear Joel Rose:

30 Aug

If you’re going to close out an email to your anti-casino recipient list with this:

Meanwhile, we do not have the luxury of ignoring the battle for public opinion. The pro-casino talk show hosts and bloggers have been having a field day, spreading lies about our motivations and our sources of funding, along with the usual nonsense about the likely impact of a casino. It is up to us, that is, it is up to all of us including YOU, to set the record straight. Please do what you can to help win the battle for public opinion.

Perhaps you would then like to ask your benefactors at the Network for Religious Communities and allies at Citizens for Better Buffalo to open the books so we can all see who has received Wendt Foundation largesse?

Only then can we really determine who’s been “spreading lies”. And since I’m not aware of another blog that posted about the casino ruling yesterday, I’m assuming you were referring to me, in which case I’d love for you to show me the basis for your charge that I am “pro-casino”.

I know you’re all about the transparency and accuracy, so I eagerly await the Network’s and CBB’s financial disclosures. After all, you brought it up. Thanks so much.

Love, BP

UPDATE: I have pasted Joel Rose’s response in comments because he claims not to be able to post comments.

Sarah Palin and The YouTubes

29 Aug

YouTube is an invaluable asset, seriously, it’s the second best thing on the entire Internet.

I watched this morning as Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was announced as John McCain’s choice for Vice President.  I wanted to learn about Mrs. Palin, so, I turned to the YouTubes to find some information about this self-professed Hockey Mom from Alaska.

Here’s what I found:

Sarah Palin Gubernatorial Commercial:

Sarah Palin Under Investigation:

Sarah Palin On McCain Being Wrong About Not Drilling In ANWAR:

Sarah Palin on Exxon Valdez Decision:

Sarah Palin Crowdsourcing Solutions For An Education Savings Plan:

And there are dozens more…

She seems to be quite popular in Alaska with approval ratings fluctuaing between 60-80% and we’ve got a lot of learning to do about this woman.

Honestly, I think one of the primary reasons for choosing Palin was to neuter Joe Biden. He was to be the attack dog in the general election for Obama and would have destroyed a shape-shifting Romney or an unknown like Pawlenty and made Joe Liebermann look like the mealy mouthed quasi-centrist that he is; especially during the debate.

Now, Biden will have to tone down his alpha male arrogance in that debate or end up looking like a bully. I think we remember what happened to a guy named Rick Lazio when he bullied Hillary in the debates…

Palin lacks experience which shuts down that attack angle for McCain in several ways. Especially if the Obama campaign stays away from continually leveling that charge.

Limited foreign policy chops, to me, are dealt with when a candidate surrounds himself with experienced advisors who offer independent counsel. Kennedy and Clinton did it and Bush put out the experience flame as well when he chose Cheney and surrounded himself with former Reaganites and members of his Fathers administration. Obama has done this as well with Biden, Clark, and dozens of other senior policy advisors that will make up his staff and cabinet.

What this pick signals to me is that McCain will be running to the far right in this election and will change tactics to label Obama as a tried and true liberal from back in the day. The “big liberal” gambit is all he has left in his shrinking quiver of arrows. Palin is a “real” new millenium conservative with a love for Baby Jeebus, strong pro-life record, loves guns, wants to drill for oil everywhere, etc.

EDIT – I just watched her speech…and have a few more thoughts.

If she comes across as a lightweight or unqualified, the media might take up that argument. The blogosphere will be filled with pictures of Palin when she was a beauty queen in a swimsuit, and she’ll be labeled a “ditz” by fringe whackos on sites like DailyKos.

The McCain camp will use those varied insults and sleights as evidence that sexism is alive in America and he’ll use it to pull the Clinton dead-enders and the soccer Mom contingent to his side side in defense of this woman.

This is window dressing as a pick and a subversive and calculating one, in my estimation.

McCain Picks Palin

29 Aug

Sarah Palin is the 44 year-old Governor of Alaska. She has served there for two years, and has been selected by the 72 year-old McCain to be his running mate.

I’ll echo what Josh Marshall says:

John McCain’s central and best argument in this campaign is that Barack Obama simply lacks the experience to be President of the United States. And now John McCain, who is a cancer survivor who turns 72 years old today, is picking a vice presidential nominee who has been governor of a small state for less than two years and prior to that was mayor of a town with roughly one-thirtieth of the citizens that Barack Obama represented when he was a state senator in Illinois.

Whatever you think of Barack Obama’s qualifications to be Vice Presidential, Palin is manifestly less qualified. And that undermines the central premise of McCain’s campaign.

Great pick. I’m quite pleased with it. I look forward to Palin’s debate with Biden; it will be as useless as any other Veep debate, but I suspect quite entertaining. As an added bonus, Palin comes with pending scandal.