Sunday, May 31, 2009

Quote of the Day (May 31, 2009)

From Tim Blair in the Aussie edition of The Daily Telegraph:
According to David Marr, speaking on the ABC’s Q & A, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was “thick as a brick”. Marr presumably based this assessment on a few verbal stumbles from Palin, such as the time she described two Christian preachers as “decent white folk” – only to discover later that the two men were black.

That’s the sort of blunder that can destroy a political career. Just as well, then, that Palin didn’t actually say it. Marr did, however, in the Sydney Morning Herald four years ago.
It gets even better. Read it all.

- JP

Gov. Palin to address Reagan rally June 3

Gov. Sarah Palin and Michael Reagan will speak at a rally celebrating Ronald Reagan Wednesday, June 3 at 7:30 PM in the Anchorage Center for the Performing Arts.

The event is sponsored by Action for America, a pro-strong on defense, pro-free enterprise group. Conservatives, libertarian Republicans and Libertarian Party members are expected to attend.

Ticket information available at Blues Central, 825 W Northern Lights Blvd in Anchorage.

h/t: Libertarian Republican

- JP

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rumor of the Week: Palin's veto will stand

Word on the street up Alaska way is that the leadership of the legislature will not try to overturn Gov. Palin's veto of $28.6 million in Obama administration stimulus funds earmarked for energy projects.

It's just a rumor, and it comes from a Palin-hatin' leftist biteblog. The unhinged anklebiters of Alaska don't exactly have a sterling reputation for veracity, so take it with a grain of salt. On second thought, take it with about a pound of salt.

But here's the real howler. Said Palin-hating leftist biteblog says the reason that the legislators won't challenge the governor's veto is -- get this -- " in order to let her save face after her dramatic announcement earlier this year that she would reject more than half of it."

Pardon me while I pick myself up off the floor and get back to the keyboard. Dang, I was laughing so hard that I fell out of my chair and really scared the cat. He's hiding under the bed, and he won't come out. But I digress...

This Palin-hatin' leftist biteblog expects everyone reading its rants to believe that the same legislature which allowed Hollis French to conduct a witch hunt and kangaroo court over an ethics investigation of Gov. Palin (because she and her husband wanted their family safe from a psychotic ex-brother-in-law who wears a badge and totes a gun) now wants to let her save face. Yes, the same legislature that refused to approve her choice for Alaska AG has suddenly had a change of heart and wants to give Gov. Palin a gift of atonement in the form of letting her veto stand. Gee, that's really sweet of them.

If you believe this, I know where you can buy some GM and Chrysler stock for $100 a share. Come to think about it, the sheeple who hang out at the Palin-hatin' leftist biteblogs probably will eat that one right up. Those who stand for something and don't fall for anything, however, will find a more reasonable explanation.

Could it be that the legislators, having had ample time to visit with the constituents back at home in their districts, have heard the will of the people not to take the federal money with the many strings attached and give the federal government even more control over their lives? That sounds a lot more plausible.

- JP

Deliver us from evil

June 11, 2009 will mark the six month anniversary of the arson attack on the Wasilla Bible Church. On a cold December night, while a group of women met inside the building, their children with them, a person or persons unknown poured gasoline around all of the entrances and exits and ignited the accelerant. By the grace of God, all inside the building were able to get out safely. But still no arrests have been made.

The torching of the church Gov. Palin attends when she's home in Wasilla is just one of a growing number of crimes committed at houses of worship, and sometimes it seems as if no one is doing anything about it. The authorities, however, are still investigating the Alaska church burning. Others are taking a more proactive approach.

Seeing the need for a new type of security service, entrepreneurs are creating a niche market for church security enterprises. One such firm is Christian Security Network, which quotes an excerpt from the Book of Proverbs (22:3) on its website:
"... foresee danger and plan ahead..."
Jeff Hawkins, who founded the firm, is its CEO, and he believes that the Wasilla Church arson was politically motivated, "It's too coincidental to have that church targeted," he says.
CSN offers seminars, a handbook, and in-person risk assessments. With a background in policing and government security, Hawkins was doing security for a Christian ministry a few years ago, and kept getting "more and more and more requests for speaking engagements and seminars. There was no resource for the Christian community to go to to learn about security and safety."
The common reaction, I suppose, to a story like this one is that it is a really sad and disgusting thing that such security services are even needed by churches and synagogues. It's just a sign of the times. Although church shootings and fires grab the headlines, Hawkins works with his clients to develop security plans to deal with situations which are far more likely to impact a house of worship such as robbery, misdemeanor vandalism or a natural disaster.

The field is expanding at a time when a slumping economy is shedding jobs by the tens of thousands. Dale Annis' firm, Church Security Services, is based in Bakersfield, California and serves churches on the West Coast. If you have a security background, know your way around a church house and want to go into business for yourself, here's a wide-open field.

If you're a pastor, deacon or a member of your church's vestry, ensuring the security of your house of worship is something for you to seriously consider. The Lord's Prayer asks that we be delivered from evil, and the Holy Bible teaches us that God helps the helpless. Although Benjamin Franklin is often described as a deist, he actually believed in God’s active Providence in human affairs. And to the great majority who are not helpless, he wrote in Poor Richard's Almanac, "God helps those who help themselves."

- JP

Quote of the Day (May 30, 2009)

From my colleague Moe Lane's diary, "Welcome to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, Gawker":
"On the bright side, you no longer have to pretend that you actually care about recycling, that secondhand smoke is a greater killer than Hitler, that Sarah Palin is dumber than Joe Biden, or that if you had a gun and six frothing maniacs bearing down at you that you wouldn’t toss it to Dick Cheney and hit the dirt."
- JP

Palin op-ed: My stand blocked federal control of AK

Gov. Sarah Palin's promised op-ed has finally been published by the Anchorage Daily News. In the opinion piece, the governor gives a federalist explanation of why she vetoed $28.6 million of the Obama administration's stimulus funds:
"My record is clear. I support conserving energy through weatherization and I'm an advocate for harnessing renewable sources of energy. But conditions here required more 'big brother' government involvement than most Alaskans want and the new [universal energy building] codes could cost Alaskans thousands of dollars per new home and renovation."
Citing Alaska's history of independence and opposition to federal involvement in local affairs, Governor Palin's op-ed continues:
"Our constitution ensures 'maximum local self-government.' Our communities have had the option to adopt building codes for decades. Most have not done so."

"I've served as a city councilman and city mayor/manager. I've participated firsthand in the mandated building code debate. Anyone serving in local office knows strong deference to local communities leads to the best policies. That policy holds true with building codes."
Despite state legislators' protests to the contrary, the governor says the federal energy dollars would have come with strings attached:
"The stimulus law in section 410(a) (2), along with the Department of Energy's (DOE) official guidance, required certifying one of two options before Alaska could receive the energy conservation funds."

"One option said the state 'will implement' the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code for new homes and renovations; adopt a 'building energy code [that meets or exceeds Standard 90.1-2007] for commercial buildings throughout the State'; and adopt and pay for a plan of 'active' enforcement."

"I could not certify this. The Legislature did not pass a bill adopting a statewide energy building code. In addition, the federal residential building code does not allow exemptions, such as we use in Alaska. When Alaska Housing Finance Corporation funds are used, building and energy codes can be waived due to the 'high cost of implementation' in different areas of Alaska. One size does not fit all in Alaska."

"The second option for Alaska was to certify that all 'applicable units of local government that have authority to adopt building codes, will implement' the necessary energy codes and enforce them."

"I could not certify this either. Alaska communities have the right to determine for themselves whether to adopt building codes."
Gov. Palin says she asked the federal government for clarification of their position. DOE, she says, finally admitted section 410 and their previous statements were "inappropriate" for some states but still wanted her to agree to "push model codes on all Alaskan communities. I said no."

The governor warns:
"Beware of Washington, D.C. trying to cajole local community leaders to eliminate the choices Alaskans have when building or renovating homes and businesses. These new codes are so detailed they would dictate the kinds of lights that can be installed in a home in Akutan, and how thick window panes must be in Chignik."
Saying that hundreds of millions of dollars have already been budgeted for conservation, weatherization and renewable energy development, Gov. Palin pledges that her administration "will remain vigilant for Alaskans and oppose mandates or pressure to conform from Washington, D.C., bureaucrats."

- JP

Cross-posted at

If Only Congress Had Listened to Sarah Palin

When International Business Daily's editors first interviewed a little-known governor named Sarah Palin ten months ago, she told them about Alaska's Chukchi Sea resources and emphasized that these energy assets should be developed. At the time it was thought that there were sufficient oil and gas resources there to meet America's needs for a decade. Palin told IBD that it was "nonsensical" for the U.S. to beg the Saudis to ramp up crude oil production while Alaska was sitting virtually on top of those resources. She saw development of the Chukchi as a significant step toward U.S. energy security. All that was needed was permission to drill:
"Congress can do that for us right now," Palin told IBD, urging Washington to open the territory.

That Congress hasn't is the biggest part of the problem.

"Alaska should be the head, not the tail, to the energy solution," Palin said.

This week, according to Science magazine, the U.S. Geological Survey now finds that the Arctic holds more bounty than anyone had dared to dream — more trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and billions of barrels of oil. Add the Chukchi share of the new Arctic finding to the ample oil and gas deposits located elsewhere in and around the U.S., and that's enough domestic energy to make America  self-sufficient and relieve any worries about our national energy security.

It should surely be more than enough fossil fuel to carry us through the R&D time needed for our greener brethren  to complete their Monty Python-like quest for that holy grail of alternative fuels -  renewable energy. If only the congress had listened to the governor's advice and allowed drilling in the area last year, our nation would have an exit strategy for its dependence on foreign oil and gas. We would be secure in the knowledge that in only a decade or so, no nation would ever be able to put us over a barrel of oil.

Instead, we are faced with the knowledge that if we don't drill, Russia will. Putin intends to corner the energy market, and unlike American politicians who live in fear of antagonizing the environmental lobby, Russia's strong man won't hesitate to push the U.S. out of the way and help himself to both his share and ours of the Arctic's rich pockets of oil and gas. Who's going to stop him -- President Obama?

IBD's editors lament the Obama administration's unicorns-and-rainbows approach to our energy problems:
Steven Chu's Energy Department is spending too many resources trying to figure out how to turn all the weird wind power and switchgrass schemes into viable energy resources.

His latest idea is to paint roofs white. None of this puts significant energy out to consumers. Nor does it come close to matching oil in energy value.
An Exxon Mobil study has found that no matter what the U.S. does to develop alternative fuels, oil will remain the dominant energy source through at least 2030. Alaskan oil and gas is preferable, say the IBD editors, to relying upon sheiks and dictators or waiting for alternative energy to become cost-efficient.

This is what Sarah Palin tried to tell the country in last year when it didn't know her. After it was finally allowed to make her acquaintance, the governor's message kept getting drowned out by a mainstream media more interested in such trivialities as the cost of the clothes she didn't want and never asked for, but that the RNC purchased anyway. Besides, she was just playing second fiddle to the top of her party's ticket, and the other party's presidential candidate gave the media a thrill up its collective leg.

Perhaps things will have changed enough in a few years' time that the country will be ready to listen to a real and doable way to achieve energy security. Sarah Palin and other Alaskans will be ready, as always, to tell us about it.

- JP

Friday, May 29, 2009

Quote of the Day (May 29, 2009)

David Kopel posting at Volokh on the question of whether Joe Biden helps President Obama:
I voted with the Right majority, and wrote: "Was supposed to be a wise expert in foreign policy. Now rather comical. In the last six months, has greatly underperformed Sarah Palin."
Speaking of the veep and the guv... the nutroots websites now have their panties in a twist because a Sarah Palin tweet supposedly blew Steven Colbert's "cover":
"So, let's agree to play along, and act surprised and happy when Iraq is officially revealed as Colbert's destination, okay?"
You would think that the governor had revealed a state secret or something.

Obviously, Colbert's producers didn't ask her to keep mum about his joke, one which everyone had pretty much figured out anyway. And I seriously doubt that the governor watches his show much in the first place. Many of us have much better things to do with our time.

But leave it to the Left to have its priorities all out of whack...

- JP

Palin to Obama: Restore Missile Defense Funding

Governor Sarah Palin urged President Obama today to stand firm against North Korea and to defend US territory and America's allies on the Korean peninsula.

The North Koreans launched their sixth short-range missile since Monday’s nuclear test, and the communist dictatorship said that it will no longer be bound by the terms of the armistice which ended the Korean War in 1953.

The governor called on President Obama to restore the $1.4 billion that he cut from the budget of the Missile Defense Agency:
"The United Nations sanctions have failed to stop North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons, and the Obama Administration cannot afford to be playing catch-up to an irrational dictator like Kim Jong-Il," said Governor Palin. "Missile Defense Agency funding must be fully restored in the federal budget to guarantee our protective measures remain the best in the world. Fort Greely plays a crucial role in the nation’s security."
The news release from the governor's office continued:
Alaska is home to the largest ground-based mid-course defense missile shield in North America. Because of its geographical position and proximity to potential targets, Alaska plays a critical role in national security and in the defense of American allies.

Ground missile defense is the cornerstone of the Missile Defense Agency’s multi-layered architecture. It is designed to detect, track, discriminate, intercept and destroy long- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles during the mid-course phase of flight. The weapons system consists of land-, sea- and space-based sensors, command and control operations, and silo-based interceptors that are located at Vandenberg AFB, California and Fort Greely.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates will visit Alaska Monday, and Sen. Mark Begich will take him on a tour of the same missile defense site in Fort Greely that he has cut funding for. If Gov. Palin, Sen. Murkowski and Rep. Young join the tour, Gates should really get an earful about his and the president's short-sightedness.

Update: ADN's report is here.

- JP

Gov. Palin to help launch Launch Operation Denali

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is joining forces with the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Service Foundation to help the organization launch Operation Denali 2009, an expedition by wounded American heroes to successfully climb to the summit of 20,320 ft. Mt. Denali, the highest peak in North America. The team has spent more than a year making intensive preparations for the assault on the mountain peak.

MOPH National Commander Jeff Roy and Gov. Palin will hold a joint press conference May 30 at VFW Post 10252 in Anchorage. Commander Roy will introduce the members of this team of extraordinary warriors who are living symbols of the strength of the Nation and those who defend it.
Gov. Sarah Palin [will be] presenting a Purple Heart Medal to Wayne Stackhouse, an Anchorage resident, for wounds he received in Vietnam on 25 October 1967 when his unit came under attack by the Viet Cong. Stackhouse, who was assigned to Co C, 4th Bn., 23d Infantry Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division, was on an operation as an infantry radio mechanic near Chu Chi, Vietnam, when he was struck several times by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade. After receiving medical treatment in Vietnam, he was medically evacuated to Japan and finally to Ft. Knox, Kentucky where he was ultimately discharged from the U.S. Army on 10 May 1968. At the time of his discharge, his military records did not reflect his receipt of the Purple Heart.

Earlier this year, Stackhouse approached Forrest Powell, a National Service Officer with the Military Order of the Purple Heart, whose job it is to assist veterans in receiving their benefits from the Department of Veteran Affairs. He asked Powell to assist him in correcting his military records to reflect receipt of the Purple Heart, which would automatically entitle Stackhouse to additional benefits.

This Saturday, 40 years after being wounded on the battlefield, Wayne Stackhouse will finally receive his Purple Heart Medal. Governor Palin will pin the decoration on Stackhouse, while Commander Roy will also award him the Vietnam Service Medal with 2 bronze stars, another decoration he earned but never received.
The team plans to depart Anchorage June 1 for the Denali Base Camp, where they will begin their ascent, which is expected to take 3 weeks to complete. The Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, which is the primary sponsor of Operation Denali, is also providing the team with a satellite telephone for interviews and communications during its climb.

- JP

Absolutely Free

The Young America's Foundation has some Sarah Palin posters that they're giving away. You can get yours here. Wouldn't hurt to thank them with a small donation, however.

h/t: Robert Stacy McCain at Right Wing News

- JP

The Dealergate Mess

You may have noticed that the blogging here has been somewhat thin lately, at least in comparison to normal Texas for Sarah Palin posting activity. I've been involved in reporting the emerging story of what could turn out to be a major problem for the Obama administration.

It's called Dealergate, and it's all about how some Chrysler dealerships were targeted for closure and others were allowed to remain open. The criteria Chrysler has said would determine life or death for its dealers appear not to be the only factors at play. Many of the closings may have been politically motivated. The story doesn't involve Gov. Palin directly, but she has been brought into it, as we reported here on a GM dealership closing.

If you're not up on this story, you should be. It is told in four posts on one of my other blogs, Mainstream Texas Conservative. Start here and read your way forward.

You can't make this stuff up.

- JP

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Quote of the Day (May 28, 2009)

At Wake Up Blck America, Tyrone comments on the rash of frivolous ethics complaints that had been filed against Gov. Sarah Palin and recently dismissed, concluding:
"It will be telling to see the next bag of kooky tricks the left will try to sling a[t] Palin. Desperation isn't a pretty sight."
- JP

Berkowitz and Ellis want to unseat Gov. Palin

Two Democrats are seriously considering challenges to Gov. Sarah Palin, should she decide to run for a second term in 2010. Ethan Berkowitz, who ran unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. House in 2008 and for lieutenant governor in 2006, told CQ Politics:
"My sights are now on the governor's race."
ADN's intrepid reporter Sean Cockerham wasted no time in giving a possible Democrat primary foe an opportunity to steal some of Berkowitz's thunder. He called State Sen. Hollis French, who masterminded an October surprise against Gov. Palin when she was campaigning for vice president on the GOP ticket with John McCain. French said:
"I love public service and I've been encouraged to run by many people I respect." French said. "I'm seriously considering it."
Don't you just love how ADN, even when it comes to Democrats, always plays its favorites?

Should both men decide to officially announce for governor, they will be in a primary race with Bob Poe. There may be other challengers on the Democrat side, but it's still early in this game. As Berkowitz remarked today:
"It's summertime here. "People don't want to hear about all this yet. They want to go fishing."
Most political pundits are saying that Gov. Palin's job is safe for 2010.

She's got the power

At Right Wings News, listmeister John Hawkins is out with his 2012 Republican Power Rankings, whereby he evaluates the relative strengths and weaknesses of the most likely candidates for the GOP presidential nomination.

Gov. Sarah Palin is the top of the pyramid:
Strengths: She has the most enthusiastic support amongst the GOP base by far. That will translate into fundraising, volunteers, and a ferocious defense from the Right. She is an excellent speaker, a savvy politician, will have the most compelling background of anyone running, and her primary weakness, a lack of experience, will have been shored up a bit by then.

Weaknesses: She has been damaged by media attacks a bit, but not beyond repair. Her approval rating in Alaska has slipped considerably. There is a small group of Republicans who hate her with a passion, based more on style than substance. She has done a very poor job of reaching out to her rabid supporters since the election and that could sap some of their enthusiasm.
But John, she's been a bit busy lately, in case you haven't noticed. There was that little matter of the worst Alaska flooding in recorded history which kept her from getting out of the house. Plus, she's been dealing with a stack of bogus ethics complaints, legislation awaiting her signature, deciding which stimulus funds to reject, and all of the other things that go along with being the governor of Alaska.

If Gov. Palin's remarkable pro-life manifesto of a speech last month in Indiana wasn't reaching out to her "rabid" supporters, I don't know how you would define "reaching out." She has made clear statements on a number of issues, especially the short-sightedness of the Obama administration for relaxing our missile defenses while the North Koreans are ramping up both their nuclear potential and the vehicles to throw their impending weight in our general direction. She has virtually endorsed RNC chairman Michael Steele. She has never stopped warning against the dangers of federal spending and the intrusion of the Obama government into the private sector. Oh yes, she negotiated a little book deal, too.

Don't worry, John. We Rabid Dawgs for Palin aren't going to allow anything of ours to be sapped, including our enthusiasm. And we do appreciate your appraisal of the governor. We just have lots of rolls of pennies, and we rarely miss a chance to throw our two cents worth in when the conversation is about Sarah Palin.

- JP

Board losing patience with bogus complaint filers

The Anchorage Daily News' Sean Cockerham reports that the Alaska Personnel Board is not amused about the cost of the bogus "ethics" complaints filed by Gov. Palin's political enemies, and board members are making it not secret:
"We've spent pretty close to about a third of a million dollars, and it's getting to be really expensive," said Al Tamagni, a member of the board.
The perpetually stuck-on-stupid Palin-hater and political gadfly Andree McLeod doesn't get it:
"The whole way to mitigate all this is for Palin to behave ethically," said McLeod, who filed the complaint that was dismissed by the board on Wednesday.
What McLeod and her fellow anklebiters do not understand is that Gov. Palin has behaved ethically, which the Board's dismissals of the string of politcally-motivated complaints like hers emphasizes.

Now the frivolous filers are attempting to play the victim card:
Valerie Henning told the board that fear of a backlash has prevented her from filing a complaint against the governor's practice of collecting per diem for time spent at her home in Wasilla.
Zane Henning, Valerie's husband, is one of those who filed an ethics complaint, only to have it dismissed.

What will it take for these people who are, rather incompetently, trying to take down the governor using trumped-up ethics complaints as a weapon? Hey, I've got an idea (not that it's a new one or anything). Re-write the law so that if an ethics complaint against a sitting Alaska governor is dismissed or otherwise ruled against, the person or persons who filed it would have to pay all of the state's incurred costs of addressing the complaint. Or is that too fair and makes too much sense to ever happen?

Related: State board dismisses 13th Palin ethics complaint

- JP

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A former Berkeley liberal turns from the dark side

Here a redemption tale that's even better than Star Wars, because it's real life redemption instead of the fictional variety. A former Berkeley liberal finally sees the light after over 30 years and turns away from the dark side of politics. Her name is Robin, and like many other Hillary supporters, she was turned off by the way Obama supporters treated her for not being completely in the tank with them for Obama. Unlike many other Hillary supporters, who remained liberals - only they were liberals who didn't care for Obama - Robin turned completely away from progressivism and became a conservative.

Robin's mea culpa is a "letter of amends" which has been posted at Giovanni’s World. Her conversion was helped along by the way the left reacted to Sarah Palin:
"Things went from bad to worse when Sarah Palin entered the scene. When Geraldine Ferraro ran for Vice President, there was no debasement of her character, no sexual threats. But with Palin, a full scale 'wilding' ensued that chillingly reminded me of the random sexual attacks on women by gangs of men in New York. She was called every vile name in the book by both male and female liberals."

"Actress Sarah Bernhardt hoped a gang of black males would rape her. When Palin’s church was torched with children inside, the press was missing in action (somehow I imagine the press would have been all over this if Obama’s church were torched). Not only was the misogyny disgusting, but the classism was abhorrent. The Democrats, by ridiculing Palin’s voice and her education, were acting like arrogant snobs. The party had changed, I had changed, and the differences looked irreconcilable."
To the deranged leftist Palin haters, I can only say, "Keep it going." Your out-of-control and out-of-bounds antics in reaction to Alaska's governor is only winning my side more converts every day from the ranks of liberal Democrats and independents as those less unhinged than you recoil in horror. You're the best recuiting tool we have. Don't change a thing that you're doing.

- JP

Quote of the Day (May 27, 2009)

From Sgt Tim at Mark Levin Fan:
"Sarah Palin’s life, work, and political experience was at least the equal of Barack Obama’s community organizing, time in the Illinois state Senate, 3 years as a junior Senator, one junket to Russia with Senator Lugar, and ineffective dabbling (some say damaging) in Kenya’s internal politics. [David] Frum chose to attack the very candidate he said he would vote for come November without even taking the time to get to know her. What a guy."
h/t: Dan Riehl

- JP

Anklebiters 0 for 20: Eight Complaints Dismissed

Good news today via SarahPAC:
Governor Sarah Palin today welcomed the news that yet another ethics complaint against her has been officially found to lack merit and has been dismissed.

Michael Geraghty, investigator for the State Personnel Board, concluded that there is no need for a hearing on the complaint filed in March by Andree McLeod, who has been a vocal critic of the governor since being denied employment with the state last year.

This is the 13th ethics complaint against the governor or her staff that has been resolved with no finding of a violation of the executive ethics act. A few more are pending.

"While the complaint process under the ethics act can be a useful tool for holding state officials accountable, it's obvious that political opponents of the governor have been abusing the system, attempting to turn their resentments into legal issues," said Bill McAllister, the governor's communications director. "We're grateful that the personnel board and its investigators have taken a rational approach to these matters, finding that the vast majority of the complaints did not even warrant the collection of evidence because they failed to assert any violation of the law."

McLeod's complaint, amended several times since it was first filed, made eight separate allegations against the governor. McLeod said that there were two matters showing an improper connection between the governor's office and her political action committee; that two comments made by McAllister about the governor's travel plans were political in nature; that the governor's trip to Evansville, Indiana, for a right to life event used state resources, and that she improperly accepted gifts there, including chocolate, baked goods and a hockey stick from a youth hockey group; that the governor's daughter, Bristol, used state resources in her efforts on behalf of the Candies Foundation; and that the governor's press release concerning her selection as a vice presidential candidate was improper. Geraghty found all of the allegations to be baseless and not worthy of an investigation.
How "ethical" is it to tie up government resources and cost the taxpayers money by filing frivolous complaints against the governor for political purposes? The rabid Palin-hatin' anklebiters won't answer that one. They would have to admit what hypocrites they are.

Related: Another McLeod Ethics Complaint Fails

- JP

Sarah was right: Obama did close GM dealership

By special guest blogger Eric Dondero

On May 20, the Anchorage Daily News ran a story with the headline: "Is Obama closing the Soldotna dealership?"

Staff writer Sean Cockerman in Anchorage wrote the following:
Gov. Sarah Palin's new statement criticizing Barack Obama blames the president for the closure of a Soldotna car dealership.

But the dealership tells me it's not closing.

Here's the relevant part of the statement Palin put out through SarahPAC.
"Today, we learned that Obama's decisions continue to impact Alaskans; while we as taxpayers now own General Motors, Obama closes another dealership - this time in Soldotna as more of Alaskans' hard-earned money and jobs are lost to big government."
I interviewed the Hutchings brothers, and got a different story from what the Anchorage Daily News was asserting. In fact, both Shea and Shawn Hutchings, expressed their dissatisfaction with how the ADN spun their comments. Shawn Hutchings mentioned how he had to go back and forth through email with the reporter to ensure he got the story right. Finally, the reporter relented and published this statement from Hutchings as an Update on the news blog:
The bottom line is this: Governor Palin is correct: Soldotna lost a new car dealership as part of the federal intervention. 44 local jobs were terminated. Over a million dollars in annual payroll was lost. The net effect to Soldotna is substantial. Obama's actions have directly impacted Alaska and Soldotna. The Governor is correct.
Contrary to what the newspaper version originally published, the Hutchings brothers both confirmed that the bulk of the dealership is indeed closing down. As one brother described it; the "lifeblood," of the dealership will be closed. Both brothers have their suspicions that indeed politics may have played a role in their ultimate closure, in the "boardrooms of Detroit."

Interview with Shea Hutchings, Soldotna City Councilman & Hutchings GM Dealership Asst. General Manager
ERIC: First, do you think that the Anchorage Daily News misrepresented what happened at your dealership?

SHEA: Yes.

ERIC: And why do you think that they may have done that?

SHEA: Tough to say... With the Anchorage Daily News they take such a liberal point of view. They went out of their way to connect this to Governor Palin.

ERIC: So, you're closing the dealership?

SHEA: We're closing the lifeblood of the dealership. Yes, we are closing. They misreported the story... not an accurate portrayal of what is happening.

ERIC: You serve as a City Councilman there in Soldotna, and I'm sure you run as non-partisan, but officially do you consider yourself to be a Republican?

SHEA: I am a registered Republican. I've never voted for a Democrat in my life. I am a Karl Rove neoconservative Republican, not a Sarah Palin grass roots Republican. I'm more of a Christian Conservative Mike Huckabee sort, more so than a libertarian Republican.

I can tell you right now that the Hutchings have donated thousands of dollars to GOP candidates... That certainly could have played a role in the boardroom decisions in Detroit. We hosted a fundraiser for Ted Stevens. There are definitely a lot of Republican connections to this family.
Shawn Hutchings, General Manager, GM Dealership, Soldotna
ERIC: Do you believe that politics may have played a role in the decisions to close down your dealership?

SHAWN: I can't imagine why they're targeting dealerships. There's no question there might have been. In fact, our franchise is gone... 44 employees laid off.

ERIC: And the article in the Anchorage Daily News?

SHAWN: They put their spin on it...

ERIC: Any thoughts on why Obama and the folks in Washington might be doing this?

SHAWN: Dealerships do not cost the manufacturer money, so why would the administration make it a qualification to get loans from the government? Why is the government involved in dictating who will and who will not be in business. Shouldn't the free market be governing society?
Eric Dondero is founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus, a former Libertarian Party national committeeman and a co-founder of the historic website Draft Sarah Palin for VP. He blogs at Libertarian Republican.

- JP

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

She still has a year to decide

The AP is reporting that Gov. Sarah Palin has received another invitation to appear at a lower 48 event. This one will be an oil conference in Bismark in May of 2010.

North Dakota's Industrial Commission, which supervises oil and gas regulation in the state, voted to invite Palin to the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference scheduled for May 2-4 of next year.

Since this event is oil-related, it gives Gov. Palin a good excuse to be there to represent energy-rich Alaska. Also, North Dakota's Republican governor John Hoeven sits on the three-member commission. I'm not sure how well he knows Gov. Palin, but they are both members of the Republican Governors Association and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), as they are both governors of energy-producing states.

Hoeven, who proudly displays photos of the two governors together on his Facebook page, has spoken glowingly of his Alaskan colleague:
"She is smart, articulate. She has a very thoughtful approach. She thinks things through and determines how she's going to deal with an issue, and then she deals with it very straightforwardly," Hoeven said. "She hunts. She fishes. She knows energy issues. She's got a son in the military. She brings a very broad perspective that both men and women will relate to."
North Dakota, while not quite next door to Alaska, is at least in closer proximity to the 49th State than most of the other lower 48. So I wouldn't be at all surprised if they are good friends. All of this bodes well for a Palin appearance at the conference.

The AP, in it's own characteristically clueless way, ended its story with the standard line:
A spokesman for Palin could not be reached Tuesday to comment on whether the governor would accept the invitation.
Poor AP hasn't yet learned that Sarah Palin is not given to rush into anything without giving it careful thought first. She certainly isn't going to RSVP to an invitation before the ink on it has had a chance to dry. And besides, she has the better part of a year to make her decision.

- JP

h/t: Free Republic

Keep a hawkeye on Iowa

Will the much talked about "battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party" be won by the moderates, who believe that somehow making the GOP more like the leftist Democrat Party will transform it into a winner, or the conservatives, who argue that the Grand Old Party should reacquaint itself with the Reagan principles which once made it a winner? If it does return to its winning conservative ways long abandoned, will fiscal conservatives, social conservatives or across-the-board conservatives be at the helm?

The first indications of which way Republicans will be headed in 2012 may be seen in Iowa in 2010. Douglas Burns says Iowa's governor's race could be a harbinger of the GOP's future"
The personalities in the 2012 presidential nomination and the 2010 gubernatorial contest are yet to be fully cast although likely candidates are emerging. Should an Iowa conservative like Sioux City business consultant Bob Vander Plaats or U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, win the party’s nomination for governor, then the stage would seem to be set for a socially conservative presidential candidate, such as Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin or former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Palin drew the largest crowds of any Republican in the 2008 presidential race in Iowa and Huckabee won the 2007 caucuses.

If I recall correctly, Steve King endorsed Fred Thompson and campaigned hard for him in Iowa during the 2008 GOP presidential primary race.  He appeared at a Sarah Palin rally in Sioux City last October and gave a barn-burner of a speech in which he perceptively pointed out that then-candidate Barack Obama was even more extreme than a socialist. 

Huckabee, interestingly, will return again to Iowa to June 10 to officially endorse and campaign for King's possible GOP gubernatorial primary opponent Bob Vander Plaats. Huckabee did not wait long after the 2008 election to get back to Iowa. He was there ostensibly to promote his book Do the Right Thing.

It will be interesting to see if Gov. Palin's itinerary for the book tour to promote her forthcoming memoir, due to be released in the Spring of 2010, has any stops scheduled in the Hawkeye State. It will be even more interesting to see whether she endorses King, with the backing of SarahPAC, or if she follows the Huckster's lead and gets behind Vander Plaats. If the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate decides to support King, who supported her in Iowa last year, we could see a Palin-Huckabee showdown two years before the GOP presidential primaries.

- JP

Donation prompts hand-written Palin thank you

When Alaskan Mark Bowers made his donation to the Alaska Fund Trust, he didn't expect to receive a hand-written thank-you note from Gov. Sarah Palin. But the governor so appreciated his gift to the legal defense fund that she sent him a very personal note of thanks. Sarah's Web Brigade has the full story.

Have you made your donation yet? Remember that each frivolous, politically-motivated "ethics" complaint filed by her enemies costs Sarah and her family thousands of dollars in legal fees, yet the Alaska Fund Trust can accept no donation larger than $150. That means that to fight the below-the-belt tactics employed by Gov. Palin's enemies, large numbers of her supporters must respond with their relatively small donations to beat these low-lifes at their own game.

Each $150 contribution to the Alaska Fund Trust allows the Governor, her family and her colleagues to retire their legal debt at no cost to them or Alaskan taxpayers. More importantly, it sends a loud and clear message to her opponents that we cannot and will not let them get away with their practice of the politics by character assassination.

If you have not donated the maximum amount of $150 to the Alaska Fund Trust, I urge you to do so right now. You can make your contribution here.

Update: As our commenters have reported, Gov. Palin is apparently hand-writing thank-you notes to many, if not all, donors to the legal defense fund. All the more reason to make your $150 contribution now. Someday you can show your grandkids that the first woman to be elected president of the U.S. sent you a personal message "back when."

- JP

Quote of the Day (May 26, 2009)

From the blog of Nolan Finley, editorial page editor of The Detroit News:
"Good ol' Joe Biden. The vice president who was supposed to be so much smarter and more sophisticated than the GOP's Sarah Palin keeps making the Alaskan governor look better and better."
- JP

How Gov. Palin is reaching out to moderate women

Here's an interesting take from Christopher Chantrill at Road to the Middle Class:
Governor Palin (R-AK) may have been giving a speech to conservative pro-lifers in Evansville, Indiana, on April 16, 2009, but the speech was an arrow aimed right over the heads of the conservatives present towards the hearts of moderate women voters everywhere.

And that, if you ask me, is the future of conservatism.
Chantrill argues that certain parts of Gov. Palin's pro-life speech, especially when she talked glowingly about Alaska and revealed the soul-searching she went through, from the time she was informed that her youngest son would be a Downs baby until Trig's birth, had a special appeal to moderate women. Her home-state boosterism, he says, resonated with moderate women because "home is where the heart is." But it was the governor's very personal disclosure of how she dealt with the issue of giving birth to a Down's child that really touched moderate women, Chantrill says. Why?
"...she explained her beliefs using a 'dilemma' theme. Conservative men have principles. Liberal women have issues. But moderate women have dilemmas."
Chantrill emphasizes the need for conservatives to win over more moderate women:
"If conservative are ever to break the back of the welfare state, and introduce a horizontal and sociable society in place of the cruel and rigid liberal administrative state, then our task is clear. We have to persuade moderate women that the present setup does a terrible job of helping them care for their children, their mothers, and themselves."
Sarah Palin is addressing one of the shortcomings of the McCain-Palin campaign - the failure to win the votes of moderate women. That ticket's vice presidential candidate, now freed from the role the McCain strategists cast her in, is beginning to talk to moderate women in their own language. If Gov. Palin can accomplish this and remain true to the conservative and libertarian principles that so energized the Republican Party's base, she can broaden the appeal of the GOP while other Republicans are mired in endless and useless bickering over the size of the party's tent.

Whether you agree with Chantrill or not, you have to admit that it is refreshing to see something constructive regarding Sarah Palin and moderates, especially after all of the mindless and endless Palin-bashing we have witnessed from "moderates" such as the unfaithful Colin Powell and the sarcastic Michael van der Galien.

- JP

Monday, May 25, 2009

Inside Sarah's Circle: 4. Meet Mike Nizich

This is the fourth in a series in which TX4P profiles the people Close to Gov. Palin.

Juneau's Mike Nizich is Gov. Palin's chief of staff. Now in his mid-fifties, he grew up in Chicago and came to Alaska with the U.S. Coast Guard in 1971. A long time fan of the 49th state, he decided to make his home there after returning to civilian life.

A career government servant, Nizich went to work for the executive branch of Alaska's state government in 1976, when Republican Gov. Jay Hammond was in office. His first job with the state was serving in the payroll section of the Department of Administration. He worked his way up to the position of director of the Division of Administration, where he has spent the majority of his career.

Now the governor's top aide, Nizich has survived through a number of administrations, and he has served governors from both major political parties, including Democrats Bill Sheffield, Steve Cowper and Tony Knowles and Republicans Frank Murkowski and Sarah Palin.  He also worked for Wally Hickel, a third-party governor.

Nizich was Gov. Palin's deputy chief of staff until he was named acting chief of staff in May, 2008, when Mike Tibbles resigned. The governor appointed Nizich to the chief of staff position August 27 of that same year. His duties include acting as the chief policy advisor to the governor (they talk on a daily basis), and he coordinates with the commissioners of fourteen departments:
"I'm both senior staff and advisor," Nizich said. "The most effective chiefs of staff that I've seen are those who keep a routine dialogue with the commissioners. They're in contact with them keeping abreast of what's going on so there are no land mines anywhere that you weren't expecting."

"Gov. Palin is the same way,” he added. "We have a conversation with the commissioners and the chief of staff is usually present. That way all of us are in the know as far as far as what's being proposed and what's being discussed. That way I can help the governor maintain the day to day knowledge that she in needs to have in order to do her job instead of just relying on her memory and conversations."
Away from the office, Nizich's hobby is taxidermy. He got involved in the activity after he had taken a bear hide to a taxidermist who botched the job:
"I got it back pretty well ruined. It snowballed from there."
The state put his expertise in taxidermy to good use when the Alaska Department of Fish and Game got his help in preparing an online instructional pamphlet on the proper skinning of a bear.

Other posts in this series:

Inside Sarah's Circle: 1. Meet Kristan Cole
Inside Sarah's Circle: 2. Meet Pam Pryor

Inside Sarah's Circle: 3. Meet Bill McAllister

- JP

Gov. Palin Offically Requests Disaster Declaration

Gov. Sarah Palin met with FEMA representatives in Fairbanks today and officially requested a federal disaster declaration for Alaska's interior regions which were devastated by spring flooding along the Yukon River and its tributaries. The governor had asked for a preliminary damage assessment from the agency last week. FEMA teams started their survey  in Eagle and have been working their way along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers to the coast:
"The data coming in from the FEMA teams validates the existing state data, and I believe that we have met the threshold for a federal disaster declaration," Governor Palin said. "Hundreds of Alaskans have been displaced and many have had their homes completely destroyed. The next step in a state's rebuilding process after a natural disaster is to request our federal government's assistance."
While in Fairbanks, Gov. Palin attended a Memorial Day weekend ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park to honor Alaska's war veterans who gave their lives for the cause of freedom. She signed some bills into law, including two veterans bills.

The governor then went to North Pole to sign six more bills and returned to Fairbanks to sign a boating bill.

After all of the bill signing was done, Gov. Palin and husband Todd found time to relax a bit on a riverboat ride up the Chena River. From there, it's back to Juneau.

Update: A report on the governor's busy holiday weekend from the Fairbanks News-Miner. The press release from Gov. Palin's office is here.

- JP

Quote of the Day (May 25, 2009)

From The Pink Flamingo:
"Have you noticed that the ONLY leading Republican and Conservative in the Nation who is acting like a leader, not attacking, behaving, and staying above it all is... SARAH PALIN."
- JP

Palin: Now is NOT time to cut our defense

In response to North Korea's recent actions,  Gov. Palin tweeted today:
"More N Korea nuke tests: why consider US missile program cuts now? AK military program helps secure US. Now is NOT time to cut our defense."
Anyone with at least a grain of common sense would agree with the governor. That group, unfortunately, doesn't include the president and many of his fellow Democrats.

- JP

Gov. Palin's Memorial Day Proclamation

WHEREAS, Memorial Day was first observed in 1868 to remember soldiers who died in the Civil War. Since then, our nation has set aside this day each year, for the past 141 years, to honor the memory of American patriots who have fallen in service to our country; and

WHEREAS, from the soldiers’ bravery at Gettysburg to the dedicated troops serving today, our military has confronted dangers, opposed tyranny, and offered hope and opportunity to generations of Americans and those around the world; and

WHEREAS, these courageous men and women have kept the torch of freedom burning brightly by defending our liberty and upholding the promise of our democracy. In their ultimate sacrifice, we see the goodness and courage of an entire nation, and we are reminded that the blessings of freedom demand the high calling of selflessness and great sacrifice; and

WHEREAS, Alaska is blessed to be the home of many military members from all branches of service. While we mourn the loss of all of our lost heroes, we must also celebrate their heroic lives and the better world they helped to shape;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the state of Alaska, do hereby proclaim May 25, 2009 as:

Memorial Day

in Alaska, and ask all Alaskans to honor the legacy of our national heroes by remaining committed to America’s ideals and steadfast in our support of our veterans and those in uniform today. I also encourage you to remember the men and women who died selflessly defending our freedoms and American ideals.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Junk Status: NY Slimes Hits Greta for Palin Ties

The New York Slimes, not content with just trashing Sarah Palin, is now going after Fox News host Greta Susteren, implying that Greta and her husband are too cozy with Sarah Palin:
"Mr. Coale’s assistance to Ms. Palin, first reported by The Washington Post in March, prompted questions about the couple’s combination of journalistic and political work."
No questions in this Slimes story about MSDNC host Chris Matthews' combination of journalistic and political work, saying he sees his job as a journalist as doing everything he can to make the Obama presidency a success. The NY Slimes, from all appearances, shares Matthews' goals.

The Slimes piece also attempts to undermine Greta's job security at FNC:
"It is unclear how much longer Ms. Van Susteren will be at Fox."
It is also unclear how much longer the NY Slimes, its stock sinking even deeper into junk status, can remain afloat.

- JP

162 Days

162 days have passed since one or more arsonists torched the Wasilla Bible Church, where Alaska Governor Sarah Palin attends when she's not in Juneau. There were women and children inside when some person or persons set fire to the gasoline they had poured in various locations around the building, including the entrances and exits.

Even though the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is part of a task force with local and state authorities which is investigating the crime, no arrests have been made.

The last we heard of the investigation was in a news story in the Anchorage Daily News April 7th, in which Wasilla police investigator Ruth Josten was quoted as saying, "Time will be on our side."

Will it?

- JP

The Lessons of 1977

Noemie Emery has written the cover story for the June 1 edition of The Weekly Standard, and it's available for reading online at TWS's website. My recommendation is that you read it now, and that you should read it again and again.

Gov. Sarah Palin is mentioned in the article. Quoting Ronald Reagan on how the Republican Party should seek out the social conservatives the Democrats had rejected and "welcome them, seek them out, [and] enlist them, not only as rank-and-file members but as leaders and candidates," Ms. Emery notes that:
"Sarah Palin, Wasilla moose-hunter, would have been eagerly welcomed by Reagan, and would never have left him unnerved."
But far more important than telling us what we already know, i.e., that Gov. Palin would have been appreciated by The Gipper, are the lessons recounted in Ms. Emery's op-ed which came straight out of the Ronald Reagan Play Book.

Change an issue here and a few details there, and you have an excellent strategy by which Gov. Palin could accomplish what Reagan did - rally the demoralized factions of the Republican Party, attract independents and blue-collar Democrats suffering from buyer's remorse, and defeat a sitting Democrat president and his allies in Congress who over-reached by attempting to govern by embracing leftist dogma instead of real ideas.

Yes, we live in a different age than did Ronald Reagan, and the world has changed. But Reagan's principles are as valid as ever. The abandonment of these principles is the main reason the Republican Party finds itself in its current predicament. Reagan offers it a way out. The first capable and charismatic leader who will follow the Reagan road map can lead the GOP and the nation out of darkness. Will that leader be Sarah Palin?

- JP

Quote of the Day (May 24, 2009)

Richard J. Bishirjian, from an opinion piece in The Yorktown Patriot, published by Yorktown University:
"Palin has proven that she is the brightest politician in the GOP and now we’ll learn whether being intelligent is enough. That’s the Palin paradox."
Honorable Mention - FReeper comment:
"Sure is a good thing [Sarah Palin] isn’t vp right now right?

She might have said something stupid - like give away the location of a secret bunker or something."
- JP

Payback's a bear

The RNC's new web ad imagines House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a character in a Bond movie:

Just call her Pelosi Galore!

The Left, including its wholly-owned, attack dog, drive-by media, can't stop its collective head from exploding. How dare the RNC, however playfully, have some fun with one of their own!

Politico, an affiliate of Disney's left-biased ABC, not-so-subtly headlined it's knee-jerk reaction piece, "RNC's below-the-belt shot at Pelosi"... This is the same Politico which attacked Sarah Palin for what it called "vapidity, inexperience and hard-right social views." Politico was not so concerned about Joe Biden's penchant for making a fool out of himself, Barack Obama's lack of executive governmental experience and both's hard-left social values (partial-birth abortions are be considered a "value" in the Land of the Left).

The Moderate Voice (Translation: today's "moderate" is yesterday's "liberal"; and today's "liberal" is yesterday's "socialist") pontificated, "RNC Train Wreck Continues: Ad Casts Pelosi As 'Pussy Galore'"... This is the same "Moderate" Voice which called Sarah Palin ignorant (comparing her to Dan Quayle), mean-spirited (comparing her to Spiro Agnew) and a liar.

Daily Kos breathlessly announced, "RNC Ad Compares Nancy Pelosi to "Pussy Galore"... This is the same website which called Sarah Palin a liar and drooled, "Sarah Palin Is NOT The Mother."

At Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, William Jacobson, who doesn't like the James Bond theme of the ad, nevertheless points out:
"The left-wing blogs which savaged Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean with the worst sexual innuendos and mockery, are aghast with feigned indignation at the RNC's dig at Pelosi."
The hypocritical Obamedia's outrage is selectively applied.

- JP

h/t: Gateway Pundit

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Quote of the Day (May 23, 2009)

From Serr8d:
"Sarah Palin is a hate-magnet for the far-Left. They've few targets to latch onto, since George Bush has faded from the spotlight. Perennial targets of hate, and targets of opportunity (including Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Joe the Plumber, and now Carrie Prejean of all people) catch their sputtering winds of spite, but lovely steely-eyed Sarah Palin brings out special fear and loathing. That's all it is, really; fear that Sarah Palin might expose their soft, weak underbellies, and loathing that Sarah Palin eclipses their far-left socialist offerings with her determination and popular anti-Washington flavor. Pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, and, like Ted Nugent, tough as nails."
- JP

Don't believe everything you read

At Race 4 2012, Alex Knepper has a post assessing the likelihood that several GOP pols of interest will make a run for their party's 2012 presidential nomination.

He assigns an 88% probability of Gov. Palin running and says:
Now this woman is a novelty. She’s got legions of adoring fans ready to crawl over shattered glass for her, and she needs to tap into that energy before it goes away. She’s young and needs time to mature, but who cares? Not her. Not her fans. Certainly not the media. You can’t blink, man. It’s probably 2012 or never for Palin. She’s going to need to get re-elected governor by a landslide (which is likely), get a host of credible foreign policy hawks on her team, and she’ll be good to go for a credible run.

Potential VPs: Giuliani, Romney, Sanford, Perry, Ridge (Her dream VP would be Petraeus, but keep dreaming, Sarah)
Alex doesn't give much in the way of reasoning for what he says, and I can only wonder what he bases any of this on.

First of all, it's not "2012 or never" for Sarah Palin. 2012 may or may not turn out to be a good year to join the fight to carry the Republican banner. She could, if she so desires, challenge Mark Begich for his senate seat in 2014 and spend some time there before making a presidential run in 2020 She would only be 55 years old then. Or she could win a second term as governor and run for president in 2016. There are also other possibilities, although they are less likely ones. But there is no window of opportunity closing on the governor's possible paths to the White House, should she choose to follow one of them.

Also, what incredible powers allow anyone to read the governor's mind? What evidence is there that she doesn't care whether she needs some time to mature as a politician? I find this statement nothing less than astounding.

Then there's the list of possible Palin running mates. She may have someone else in mind, if indeed she is even thinking along such lines.  I seriously doubt that she is "dreaming" of having Gen. Petraeus or anyone else right now as a running mate. She just bet a considerable amount of her political capital on a virtual endorsement of Michael  Steele to remain as RNC Chairman, for example. 

Finally, Sarah Palin's fans are not going to lose interest anytime soon. Yes, there are plenty who want her to run for president in 2012. But if she decides not to, they will get over it, although they will not get over her quite so easily. There are many more who will support her in whatever she decides to do, whenever she decides to do it. Count Texas for Sarah Palin among that latter group.

- JP

Keys to the White House?

At The Provocateur, Mike Volpe has a post up in which he gives his keys for a Palin victory in 2012, should Alaska's governor launch a bid for the presidency:
"If Palin runs a disciplined campaign that focuses on her being an insurgent, an outsider, and a populist that's the best strategy to carry her to victory."
The blogger argues that Gov. Palin, by running as a conservative, would essentially be considered an insurgent in today's political environment. There's never been any question that she is an outsider. And few would argue with the classification of the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate's political philosophy by as "populist-leaning conservative."

My only problem with that website's method of classifying politicians is that it's graph defines "populist" as the antithesis of "libertarian." Authoritarianism, not populism, is the opposite of libertarianism, IMO. At Libertarian Republican, Eric Dondero considers Sarah Palin to be one of the only three libertarian governors in the country. She was the top choice of the blog's readership for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, and the website honored Gov. Palin as Libertarian of the Year for 2008. Gov. Palin is as much a libertarian as she is a populist, and she's a conservative who preaches the gospel of Ronald Reagan.

And that's the point, isn't it? So many of the factions of the conservative movement want to call Sarah Palin one of their own. Many libertarian conservatives, paleoconservatives, social conservatives, federalists, fiscal conservatives and across-the-board Reagan conservatives all find much to admire in Sarah Palin. Which makes her the logical choice to reunite these conservatives components, heal the breech and get "movement" conservatism moving again.

- JP

Auburn, NY gears up for Gov. Palin's visit

As we reported here, Gov. Sarah Palin will go to Central New York next month to take part in the Auburn's Founder's Day celebration.

Preparations are underway for the governor's visit, and the people around the town are excited about the attention to their community Gov. Palin's visit will bring:
"It's exciting to think that Auburn will have that national spotlight potentially on our community," said Bill Braun who works in Auburn.
Seward House, the historic site which was the home of former Secretary of State William Seward, is being spruced up for the event:
"We've had workmen here touching up the paint, our volunteers have planted flowers," said Seward House Executive Director Peter Wisbey. "We hope that will have taken hold in a couple weeks so the gardens will look at their best."
This year's celebration coincides with Alaska's 50th anniversary of Alaska of statehood, and Gov. Palin is scheduled to speak at a fundraiser and tour the house:
Neighbors say making the 3,700 mile trip says a lot about her character. "I think it says she is interested in Alaska's roots and also maintaining ties with the lower 48 here," Bruce Natale said.
It will be the governor's first trip outside of Alaska since she travelled to Indiana in mid-April to speak at a right to life right to life banquet and attend a breakfast for an organization which supports families who have members with Down Syndrome. She was scheduled to attend several events in New York earlier this month, but the worst flooding ever to hit Alaska's interior region forced her to cancel and send Alaska's First Gentleman to represent her instead.

- JP

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sarah's Revenge?

Arizona's Gila Courrier reports:
"OK, we have no idea if they decided to run because of what happened to Sarah Palin but two first time candidates and stay at homes moms just scored major election victories in their first campaigns."
The Courrier mentions that both women, Jenn Daniels and Kara Egbert, are members of Smart Girl Politics, an organization with a Palin-friendly attitude. So I wouldn't be at all surprised if Gov. Palin was at least part of the inspiration that got them motivated to get involved in politics. There will be plenty of others. 

Congratulations to both on their victorious campaigns!

- JP

Twitter: Sarah Palin beats ADN by 50 to 1

McClatchy Watch did a comparison of Twitter followers and found that Gov. Sarah Palin had 21,700 (It's now well over 22,000), while the Anchorage Daily News could lay claim to only a little over 407:
"This comparison must give Sarah Palin some satisfaction, given the way she has been treated by the ADN."
MW adds that the governor has only been on Twitter a few weeks. The earliest ADN tweet I could find on the liberal newspaper's Twitter page was from August 12, 2008.

Sarah Palin wins. Hands down.

- JP

Quote of the Day (May 22, 2009)

R.S. McCain, co-author with Lynn Vincent of the bestseller Same Kind of Different As Me, on Sarah Palin's choice of Vincent to help write the governor's memoir:
"Sarah Palin has picked the perfect collaborator for this project. She and Lynn are almost the same age, for example. Both of them are evangelical Christians, and both are very down-to-earth people."
Honorable Mention: Dave Rosenthal, who blogs at the Baltimore Sun's Read Street:
"Judging by her pick for a collaborator, Republican Palin will use the book to come out swinging -- and keep swinging -- just as she did in her campaign for the vice presidency."
- JP

Palins will cheer on the Aces tonight in Anchorage

The Plain clan will be in the crowd at Sullivan Arena tonight as Alaska's Aces face off against the South Carolina Stingrays in the first game of the ECHL Kelly Cup Hockey Finals. The game tonight, like Saturday's contest, is scheduled to get underway at 7:15 PM Alaska Time. Both Anchorage games are nearly sold out and approaching SRO status.

Gov. Palin tweeted today:
"AK Aces vs SC Stingrays tonight. 1st Family & I will be on hand for win - anticipate winning friendly bet w/SC Gov.Sanford, too. Go, Aces!"
About that friendly wager, the Aces website explains:
On the eve of the series, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford have made a friendly wager on the best-of-seven series: Alaskan King Salmon vs. Shrimp and Grits and She Crab Soup, with the winner not only seeing their team hoist the Kelly Cup, but also getting a taste of the local cuisine from the losing club.

"I've always responded to a challenge, just like the Aces, and I also enjoy trying new food, which is why this bet is a no-brainer," said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. "I have extreme confidence that our supremely talented team will represent our great state well enough to bring home our second championship in four years. I’ll make no predictions, other than I expect I’ll be trying the she-crab soup and shrimp and grits real soon."

The Stingrays and Aces have only met four times in team history; twice in the 2004 regular season, when Alaska managed one point of a possible four in games that were played in North Charleston, and twice during this past pre-season, when the Aces beat South Carolina 3-2 in overtime October 8 before dropping a 5-1 decision the following night. Going into tomorrow, Alaska has won 12 straight and 23 of its last 25 games at home, with its six playoff victories in Anchorage coming by a combined score of 21-3.

"We're awfully proud of how well the Stingrays have done this year, and we're excited not only for the opportunity to show off a first-class sports franchise, but for the opportunity to show off the Charleston area as well," Gov. Sanford said. "But personally, I'm most excited about the king salmon that Sarah is going to be sending my way when the Kelly Cup is decided!"
The fact that both governors are frequently mentioned as possible contenders for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination has not been lost on the media, which is giving this minor league championship series unprecedented attention:
"Alaska's Sarah Palin and South Carolina's Mark Sanford are already squaring off - and the presidential election is still three years away."
The Aces are affiliated with the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League, and the Stingrays have been the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Washington Capitals since 2004.

Update 1: The Rays won Game One 4-2 in front of a record crowd for an Aces game at Sullivan Arena. Gov. Sarah Palin dropped the ceremonial first puck to a loud, partially standing, ovation.

Update 2: The Aces evened the series with a 3 to 1 victory last night in Anchorage.

- JP

Liz Cheney or Meghan McCain?

The daughters of two famous Republican politicians have been getting some serious face time in the media lately. Meghan McCain has a head start, thanks to her blog, her father's campaign for the presidency last year and a set of beliefs which the Obama-loving drive-by media finds very close to their own. So she has been given a wealth of video footage and column inches to get out her message that even her father's GOP is still not sufficiently Democrat Lite to successfully suck up to the generation she assumes to speak for.

McCain The Daughter has gotten so much media exposure that she's starting to wear thin, even on the mellow nerves of crunchy cons, conservatives who are okay with some of the ways of liberalism. Meghan's ways, especially her attitudes about sex, are not those aspects of liberalism that the crunchies are comfortable with. Rod Dreher, in his latest BeliefNet blog post, calls her "moronic" and "a useful idiot for the media left."

On the other side of the Republican coin, there is Liz Cheney, whom Washington Whispers blogger Paul Bedard calls "the hottest Republican property out there." A growing number of conservatives including her close friends are pushing Liz Cheney to run for public office.

Bedard doesn't hold back on the praise for the elder Cheney daughter:
A forceful defender of the [Bush] administration and her dad, Liz Cheney has been appearing on TV with greater regularity. She brings to the screen a combination of her dad's steely focus and her mom's softer touch. "It's a two-fer. She comes off a bit better than he does sometimes," a conservative consultant said.
Allahpundit captured a fine example of that combination showing Liz Cheney easily pushing Lawrence O'Donnell into meltdown. In all fairness, however, O'Donnell has repeatedly proven that it's not that difficult a feat to accomplish.

Dick Cheney's daughter also did a fine job of pwning another O'Donnell - MSDNC's Nora - in a televised appearance late last month. On the same network's Morning Joe program, Liz reduced the Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning liberal columnist Eugene Robinson to sputtering, stuttering ineffectiveness.

Without question, Liz Cheney has inherited her father's ability to drive the Left into derangement mode, a characteristic both share with Alaska's Sarah Palin. On Gov. Palin, Megahn McCain has consistently said, "No comment," when the question inevitably comes up in interviews. She has obviously been admonished by her father not to directly attack his former running mate. But that hasn't stopped Megahn from going after the governor's daughter Bristol. Liz Cheney, on the other hand, says Sarah Palin is "terrific."

So the answer to the question posed by the title of this post is "Liz Cheney." It's a no-brainer. Liz Cheney, like the grown-up she is, calmly and effectively makes her argument, while Meghan McCain, in Rod Dreher's words, is "making a national fool of herself." The future of the GOP is found not in the valley girl foolishness of Meghan McCain, but rather in the clear-headed reasoning of Liz Cheney. 

Update: More on Liz Cheney from Rush here. Meanwhile, Carlos Echevarria suggests an interesting ticket for 2012.

- JP

Gov. Palin's political future tied to Alaska economy

"It's the economy, stupid," is a phrase from Bill Clinton's campaign "war room" which has become a familiar part of the political lexicon. There's a lot of truth in it. Office holders are judged on the relative health of the economy in their jurisdictions whether they have any control over it or not. Perception is everything.

Case in point - the McCain-Palin ticket was doomed by a financial crisis which was a harbinger of the economic downturn in which the nation now finds itself. Sen. John McCain was perceived more as part of the problem than part of the solution. Had he taken a principled stand in opposition to the financial bailout, some analysts believe that the results of the 2008 election could have been different. Indeed, public opinion polls showed the McCain-Palin ticket actually enjoying a modest lead until the bottom fell out of the financial market. It may not have made enough of a difference to catapult McCain into the White House, but we will never know. One thing is for certain. The Arizona Senator did not help the cause of his ticket by suspending his campaign, returning to Washington and taking basically the same stance as his opponent on the financial bailout.

A large part of how Sarah Palin's first term as governor will be judged depends on Alaska's economic fortunes. Her state's economy hasn't been hit as hard as some others, but the 49th state has not endured the recession without some problems. However, there are some signs that Alaska's economy may be headed for an upturn.

The first indication is the unemployment rate. A recessionary economy loses jobs, and that has been an increasing trend nationwide. In Alaska, however, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which was at or near the national rate, fell to 8 percent for the month of April. It's a seasonal decline, as Alaska typically adds construction and tourism jobs this time of year, and the governor can take no more credit for the rebound than she could be blamed for the decline. But remember, perception is everything. If Alaska can just manage a lower unemployment rate than the national average, it will be seen as a positive for Gov. Palin.

By vetoing $80.3 million from the state budget, even including $28.6 million in federal stimulus energy funds, Alaska's governor is again staking her claim to fiscal conservatism. Part of the reason for the better than 80% approval ratings Gov. Palin enjoyed prior to campaigning for John McCain can be directly traced to the spending vetoes she made in her first year in office. In the midst of the current recession, she is taking the prudent course by demonstrating fiscal restraint as governor.

Another factor over which Gov. Palin has no control is the stock market. But the recent rebound in stock prices should make a positive contribution to her political success. An improving stock market has made a difference of billions of dollars to the Alaska Permanent Fund. Not only is this likely to increase dividends in future years, but it also may ensure that Alaskans will be able to cash a dividend check this year. Though still below its peak of over $40 billion prior to last year's market slide, the fund had recovered as of Wednesday back up to $30.4 billion. Voters with dividend dollars in their wallets are happier voters than those without.

But the factor that may have an even greater impact on how Sarah Palin's stewardship of Alaska is perceived is the price of oil. Since the state's funding is derived not by taxing its citizens and small businesses but from oil revenues, Alaska's fortunes are closely tied to the price of oil. And the price of North Slope crude has risen 40 percent in just the past month. Closing at $60.19 a barrel Wednesday, it’s the first time the barrel price of Alaskan oil has surpassed the $60 mark in more than six months.

There are several reasons for the rise in oil prices. A new report from the U.S. Energy Department released Wednesday showed that crude oil stockpiles declined by 2.1 million barrels for the week ending last Friday. Refinery fires, optimism in the equities markets, variations in the strength of the dollar and the advent of the "driving season" with the Memorial Day holiday are some of the other contributing factors.

Generally speaking, crude oil prices in the $70 to $80 range are what Alaska needs. It allows the state to to refrain from making withdrawals from its $6 billion savings account and eliminates the need for draconian budget measures. It is also the range cited by the oil companies as the point at which they spend money on investments, resource replacement and ramped-up production. At $60, Alaska isn't quite there yet, but things look much brighter at this price point than they did when oil prices bottomed out in the first quarter. 

The price of oil is just one more factor over which Gov. Palin has no control. But the prudent steps she and the legislature had previously taken to set aside billions in a "rainy day" fund and the fiscal restraint she is showing in dealing with Alaska's budget bode well for a positive verdict ultimately for her first term as governor. This should send her approval ratings back up and propel her towards a second term by a margin of votes sufficient enough to be seen as comfortable at the least. Should she harbor ambitions for national political office, as many believe she does, all of this should work in her favor.

- JP