Friday, April 30, 2010

Quote of the Day (April 30, 2010)

El Marco:
"Fear and hatred of Sarah Palin – Palinphobia – has taken the place of Bush Derangement Syndrome as the neurotic focus for the American left. Incited by more than a year of coordinated administration/MSM hate propaganda, Tea Party crashers’ signs were only a reflection of the Democrat party’s agitprop. The level of hatred shown towards Palin in Boston rivals that shown to Ronald Reagan or George W Bush during their presidencies... Despite the cacophonous hate campaign of the Dem party and liberal-left media, Sarah Palin has demonstrated amazing strength, grace and class under fire. According to the left, this wife of a tribal Eskimo and mother of mixed race children, is a racist and inexplicably a sexist too."
- JP

Palin-endorsed candidates gaining momentum

Two candidates endorsed by Sarah Palin are seeing their respective campaigns in blue states gaining some steam.

State Rep. Tom Emmer, who was endorsed just yesterday by Gov. Palin in the Minnesota race for governor, has secured the endorsement of the Republican Party as well at the state GOP convention:
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Emmer's chief rival, state Rep. Marty Seifert, has conceded after two rounds of ballotting showed Emmer was the clear leader.

Seifert had said before the convention that he'd stand aside and not force a primary if he lost today in Minneapolis. That means Emmer will be able to start focusing on November while Democrats have to wait for the outcome of an August primary before they can start campaigning against Emmer.
Gov. Palin tweeted her Congratulations to Emmer just minutes ago and thanked Seifert for "unifying the party." CQ Politics is calling the general election race a toss up.

In Pennsylvania, Tim Burns has pulled ahead to a six-point lead over his Democrat opponent Mark Critz in the contest to win the U.S. House seat which was held so long by the late John Murtha, according to a survey conducted by Research 2000 for Daily Kos:
Critz, who served on Murtha's staff before the congressman's death, takes 40 percent of the vote in the poll compared with 46 percent for Republican businessman Tim Burns.

The poll shows President Barack Obama's favorability number in Pennsylvania's 12h Congressional District at a dismal 38 percent, with 55 percent of voters viewing the president unfavorably. The White House-backed health care reform law fares even worse: just 34 percent of voters say they would prefer to back a candidate who supports and wants to improve the law, compared with 48 percent who say they'd favor one who supports repeal.
The poll was conducted from April 26 -- the day Gov. Palin endorsed Burns -- through April 28, 2010. Though the Politico story doesn't mention the endorsement, Stacy McCain reported Thursday that Burns had raised more than $80,000 in campaign contributions in the 72 hours following the nod from Sarah Palin.

We believe that we're seeing the real "Palin Factor" at work now. It will be most interesting so see how the other candidates who have won her endorsement will be doing in their respective races.

- JP

Sarah Palin: Why We Can Still Believe in Domestic Drilling

Sarah Palin used her Facebook Notes page Friday to respond to her critics and explain why she still supports offshore drilling in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion:
Domestic Drilling: Why We Can Still Believe

We’ve all been shocked and saddened by the tragic events in the Gulf of Mexico. My heart breaks for coastal residents who are facing fears of the unknown impacts of the oil spill.

As an Alaskan, I can speak from the heart about the tragedy of an oil spill. For as long as I live, I will never forget the day the Exxon-Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and millions of gallons of North Slope crude poured into the waters of our beautiful Prince William Sound. The spill was devastating to so many Alaskans who, like my own family, make their living on the water from our commercial fishing industry. “Heartbreaking” was the word my husband Todd, an Alaska Native and trained oil spill responder, used to describe the scene as we watched it unfold on land and water that we feel is sacred.

Alaskans understand the tragedy of an oil spill, and we’ve taken steps to do all we can to prevent another Exxon tragedy, but we are still pro-development. We still believe in responsible development, which includes drilling to extract energy sources, because we know that there is an inherent link between energy and security, energy and prosperity, and energy and freedom. Production of our own resources means security for America and opportunities for American workers. We need oil, and if we don’t drill for it here, we have to purchase it from countries that not only do not like America and can use energy purchases as a weapon against us, but also do not have the oversight that America has.

In the coming days, there will be hearings to discover the cause of the explosion and the subsequent leak. Actions will be taken to increase oversight to prevent future accidents. Government can and must play an appropriate role here. If a company was lax in its prevention practices, it must be held accountable. It is inexcusable for any oil company to not invest in preventative measures. They must be held accountable or the public will forever distrust the industry.

This was the position I took as an oil and gas regulator and as Governor of Alaska when my administration ramped up oversight of the oil industry and created a petroleum-systems-integrity office to monitor our oil and gas infrastructure for potential environmental risks. I took a lot of heat for the stand I took “against the oil industry” (which is how political adversaries labeled my actions). But we took tough action because there was proof of some improper maintenance of oil infrastructure which I believed was unacceptable. We instituted new oversight and held British Petroleum (BP) financially accountable for poor maintenance practices. We also filed a Friend-of-the-Court brief against Exxon’s interests for its decades-old responsibility to compensate Alaskans affected by the Valdez spill, and I took other actions “against” the industry which ultimately helped hold it accountable.

All responsible energy development must be accompanied by strict oversight, but even with the strictest oversight in the world, accidents still happen. No human endeavor is ever without risk – whether it’s sending a man to the moon or extracting the necessary resources to fuel our civilization. I repeat the slogan “drill here, drill now” not out of naiveté or disregard for the tragic consequences of oil spills – my family and my state and I know firsthand those consequences. How could I still believe in drilling America’s domestic supply of energy after having seen the devastation of the Exxon-Valdez spill? I continue to believe in it because increased domestic oil production will make us a more secure, prosperous, and peaceful nation.

Our hearts go out to all Americans along the coast affected by this recent tragedy, especially those who lost family members in the rig explosion, and our prayers go up for a successful recovery. May spill responders be safe.

- Sarah Palin
- JP

Sarah Palin: 'A just verdict'

On her Facebook Notes page, Sarah Palin has commented on the federal jury's verdict in the Tennessee trial of the son of a Democrat state legislator:
The Hacker Case Verdict

My family and I are thankful that the jury thoroughly and carefully weighed the evidence and issued a just verdict. Besides the obvious invasion of privacy and security concerns surrounding this issue, many of us are concerned about the integrity of our country’s political elections. America’s elections depend upon fair competition. Violating the law, or simply invading someone’s privacy for political gain, has long been repugnant to Americans’ sense of fair play. As Watergate taught us, we rightfully reject illegally breaking into candidates’ private communications for political intrigue in an attempt to derail an election.

I want to thank the public servants who worked so hard on this case, particularly the jurors who gave up precious time from their jobs and families to listen to the evidence and reach a decision.

My family and I appreciate the good people of Knoxville, Tennessee, who showed us true Southern hospitality. We can’t wait to visit again – but without having a subpoena in hand.

- Sarah Palin
- JP

Jury convicts Kernell on two counts; mistrial declared on another (Updated)

A federal jury this afternoon convicted the son of a Democrat state legislator who intruded into Sarah Palin's e-mail email account on the felony count of destruction of records to hamper a federal investigation and the misdemeanor charge of unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer. The panel acquitted 22-year-old David Kernell, of felony wire fraud. The judge declared a mistrial on the count of felony identity theft after the jury remained deadlocked on Kernell's guilt or innocence on the fourth charge:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Weddle said federal prosecutors would decide next week if they would retry the former University of Tennessee economics major on that charge.

Phillips said he would set a sentencing date after prosecutors make that decision.

Kernell and his family left the federal courthouse without comment. His attorney, Wade Davies, said they would issue a statement later.

Kernell remains free on bond.
Read the full story at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Update: The DOJ news release is here.

- JP

An email from SarahPAC

We received the following email from SarahPAC:

Dear Friends,

Below is the Time 100 piece on Governor Palin.

We at Sarah PAC thought you would be interested in reading it.

Please click here to help Governor Palin and Sarah PAC support conservative candidates who will put this country back on track

Tim Crawford
Treasurer, SarahPAC

The 2010 TIME 100

If Sarah Palin played a loud, grinding instrument, she would be in my band. The independent patriotic spirit, attitude and soul of our forefathers are alive and well in Sarah. In the way she lives, what she says and how she dedicates herself to make America better in these interesting times, she represents the good, while exposing the bad and ugly. She embraces the critical duty of we the people by participating in this glorious experiment in self-government. The tsunami of support proves that Sarah, 46, represents what many Americans know to be common and sensible. Her rugged individualism, self-reliance and a herculean work ethic resonate now more than ever in a country spinning away from these basics that made the U.S.A. the last best place. We who are driven to be assets to our families, communities and our beloved country connect with the principles that Sarah Palin embodies. We know that bureaucrats and, even more, Fedzilla, are not the solution; they are the problem. I'd be proud to share a moose-barbecue campfire with the Palin family anytime, so long as I can shoot the moose.

Nugent is an author, activist and rock-'n'-roll legend

Paid for by SarahPAC
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee

P.O. Box 7711
Arlington, VA 22207

- JP

It's a bit too soon for the Republican Derby

Politics Daily's Matt Lewis uses a Kentucky Derby theme to handicap the 2012 GOP presidential primary race. Unlike the Derby, which will be run tomorrow, however, primary season is not exactly right around the corner. But that fact has never deterred pundits from engaging in their favored exercise of political prognostication, so let's take a look.

Lewis says Mitt Romney is the horse to beat and gives him 3-1 odds. We believe that RomneyCare so similar to the wildly unpopular ObamaCare care that it qualifies as a genuine Achilles Heel, or to use Lewis' metaphor, this horse will pull up lame. The former Massachusetts governor may be perceived by the punditocracy to have that much of a lead on the rest of the pack, but keep in mind that these are the same "experts" who told us that Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton would be neck and neck going down the home stretch in 2008. So much for the experts...

Matt puts Sarah Palin second, in the "place" position with odds of 7-2. We think the odds against her are not really that long. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and she's preparing for the long haul by running laps around the country, making many new friends, some of whom are major donors to conservative Republican candidates. Plus, she's doing some donating of her own through her leadership PAC and endorsing a growing slate of young candidates, many of whom are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. If most of them win their races this year for Congressional seats and governors' mansions, she will have an army of elected Republicans who share more in common than their military service. They will owe her huge debts of gratitude. Those endorsements will likely be repaid with interest. Don't misunderestimate this runner.

Next, Lewis has Tim Pawlenty to show at odds of 6-1. The Minnesota governor may be making all the right moves, but he not only doesn't excite the base -- he doesn't even interest it.

Fourth in Lewis' handicapping is Mike Huckabee. Another former governor, the affable "Huck Spin" polls well, and he doesn't seem to have been as damaged by his granting of clemency to Maurice Clemmons as was initially expected. Lewis astutely observes that Huckabee has a money-raising problem, plus fiscal conservatives just don't believe The Other Man From Hope is one of their kind. In addition, illegal immigration is suddenly a hot topic once again, and voters will be reminded that Huckabee believes that the states are obligated to provide higher eduction for the children of illegals at the taxpayers' expense. That's too many negatives in an election likely to be all about the economy. And as Lewis also notes, this horse doesn't seem like he wants to run, and run hard.

In fifth place, Lewis has dark horse John Thune at 10-1. Matt has always had a soft spot for this horse, but we don't think voters will want to try their luck with another Senator after the mess Obama and McCain made out of the race track. It has to be a governor or former governor at the top of the ticket this time.

As to the 12-1 Mitch Daniels in sixth, see Tim Pawlenty above. Only the excitement factor is even lower with Daniels. We're not saying that he couldn't catch fire, but has anyone heard this guy speak? Yawn...

Newt Gingrich is seventh in Lewis' field at odds of 15-1. In addition to the bad endorsements problem cited, there's the personal baggage. Any guy who can't wait until his wife gets out of the hospital to divorce her can't win the GOP nomination, much less get himself elected president. The professor will make a great senior advisor for someone, though.

At number eight with odds of 20-1, Matt has Haley Barbour. We believe that Mississippi's governor deserves better odds, and his time as a lobbyist shouldn't be much of a problem, seeing how Obama has recruited many of the same to help staff his administration.

As for Lewis' 12-1 dark horses, Rubio hasn't even won the Senate seat he's seeking, and Brown has barely had enough time to warm up Ted Kennedy's old chair. C'mon, Matt. As for Jindal, Petraeus and Perry, what part of "no" don't pundits understand? Lewis cites the odds against a sitting U.S. Representative in a presidential contest as a major hurdle for Pence, but he seems to be on everyone's veep list. And if Sarah Palin gets portrayed by the media as "divisive," they would paint a portrait of Santorum as a bomb thrower and get away with it. That leaves Ron Paul to bring up the rear of the field, just as he did last time around the old track. There just aren't enough libertarians to push the quirky Congressman to the front of the pack.

Again, it's way too early for the GOP's game of "Race Horse," but the real deal is tomorrow in Louisville. Enjoy the one and a quarter miles of running Thoroughbreds.

- JP

More coverage of Austin's Evening With Sarah Palin

James Armstrong, who blogs at The Austin Declaration was in the audience last night. Here are some excerpts from his post "An evening with Sarah Palin":
Her address began with a few brief remarks about Obamacare, complimenting Attorney General Greg Abbott for taking the health care mandate to court and calling on us to remember the pro-life Democrats who "caved at the last minute."

Concerning the pro-life movement itself, Palin found encouragement in the new Gallup poll results that for the first time showed pro-life respondents outnumbering pro-choice respondents. For years, she said, pro-lifers have been told to "Sit down and shut up," and that their cause was futile. Luckily, they decided to "Go rogue" and keep up the fight.

During the Q/A session, author Raymond Arroyo mentioned a recent New York Times article about the kind of rationing to be expected under the new health care law, the very thing that lead to Palin's "death panel" statement last year. Palin followed up on Arroyo's comments by saying she "feels vindicated" on the matter, and that rationing will [affect] those deemed "less productive."
Read James' complete post here.

Dave Montgomery, the Fort Worth Star Telegram's Austin Bureau Chief, covered the event for his paper. A few excerpts from his story:
About 1,500 people gathered at the Austin Convention Center to hear Palin, who is often touted as a potential presidential contender in 2012.

"I think she's a big crowd draw, a neat lady and a real asset for the Republican Party," state Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, said as he arrived for the event.

Today, Palin will be in Dallas as the headliner at a gala at the Fairmont Hotel to benefit the Uptown Women's Center, a health and wellness resource center serving professional and collegiate women in the North Texas community. The appearance is being coordinated by Dallas' Downtown Pregnancy Center, which served 787 women in 2009.

Palin's Texas appearances were expected to further energize anti-abortion groups who rallied behind Perry in his successful primary race against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, while also bolstering Palin's popularity as a champion of Tea Party activists and anti-abortion groups.

The governor described Palin as "a great patriot" who is working hard to "protect the unborn across the nation." Perry, who is seeking re-election to an unprecedented third four-year term, also sounded a strong anti-abortion theme and renewed his support for legislation that would require pregnant women to be presented ultrasound images of their unborn child before receiving an abortion.

Palin at times blasted Obama's healthcare policies and denounced the administration for not pursuing policies to help women find abortion alternatives. But her speech was largely devoid of trademark political attacks and she instead sought to boost Heroic Media and similar groups.
Reporting on the speech for the Dallas Morning News was Christy Hoppe. Excerpts from her report:
Sarah Palin slammed the federal health care bill in a speech Thursday night that was peppered with politics but largely devoted to her personal journey of finding the strength to become the mother of a special needs child and a pregnant unwed teen.


She told the 1,500 people gathered that they should remember politicians who fight abortion and they should continue working to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortions.


Palin took a jab at President Barack Obama, saying there are some politicians who believe abortion is an intellectual debate over constitutional rights, "or those who say the argument is above their pay grade, but that's a cop-out."

In 2008, Obama was asked when a baby gets human rights and replied that there are theological and scientific answers, but "answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."
Excerpts also from Peggy Fikac's article in the San Antonio Express-News:
Palin and Perry both took sharp aim at the Obama administration over abortion, with Palin calling him “the most pro-abortion president to ever occupy the White House.”


Perry blasted Obama's action last year to overturn the “Mexico City Policy,” which prevented U.S. funds from going to international family planning groups that do abortion referrals.

“America is in the business of exporting abortion. I'm not happy about that,” Perry said, adding that he was proud of Texas' efforts to protect unborn children.

“Too bad we can't protect them from the federal government,” he said.
Finally, a few excerpts from the story filed by Asher Price for the Austin American-Statesman:
She linked the new federal health care law with abortion, telling the crowd that "we will remember the names of those who caved" on stopping the bill.


She told the crowd that Giddings, where she has been staying this week, has "become a home away from home."

She said she felt comfortable in Texas because she is "surrounded by patriotic Americans."

"You're not afraid to cling to your guns and to your religion," she said.


Many of the attendees said they were pro-life and Palin supporters.

Eric Graham, 46, who lives by Lake Travis, brought along his 15-year-old daughter, Rebekah, who said Palin "is one of my role models because she stands up for what she believes in."
- JP

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quote of the Day (April 29, 2010)

Patrick S. Adams:
"It's this shooting from the hip mentality that is the reason why the smear campaign against Sarah Palin isn't working. People are getting immune to stories about 'icebergs,' federal indictments, divorces, maternity and now perjury charges that never materialize. Add 26 dismissed ethics complaints to this and even if I disagreed with Palin politcally, the most you'd be able to get out of me at this point would be a long drawn out yawn... The fact that Keith Olbermann actually cites Palingates as a worthy source demonstrates how far he is willing to reach for any straw that keeps the liberal strategy of using the politics of personal destruction moving while trying to defeat someone who cannot be defeated in the arena... of ideas."
- JP

Sarah Palin speaks to pro-life crowd of 1,500 in Austin

According to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's PoliTex blog, the turnout was "approximately 1,500 people."

Austin television station KVUE's story pegged the crowd at "about a thousand" and said Gov. Palin spoke for 40 minutes:
"It's always good to be back in Alaska's little sister state," Palin told the crowd. "You're not afraid to cling to your guns and your religion."

Governor Perry introduced Palin. The two met at a Republican Governor's Convention. Palin repaid the favor by raising many of Perry's campaign talking points. She complimented the state's budget, cited job creation and housing statistics, as well as touting states rights and the 10th Amendment.

"There are so many things to admire about your governor," Palin said.


Following the fundraiser, supporters [said] both both governors had a good message.

"I thought they were fabulous representations of how people who are pro-life really feel about this issue and think about this issue," said Patricia Fanning, a Palin supporter.
Speech excerpts from the Houston Chronicle's Texas Politics blog:
Palin and Perry both took sharp aim at the Obama administration over abortion, with Palin calling him "the most pro-abortion president to ever occupy the White House."

She praised Texas and its record, saying it has "so many prolife pro-family legislators" and touting "my friend Rick Perry."

"You're not afraid to cling to your guns and your religion," she told the crowd.
More from the Chron blog here.

Update: Austin's KTBC (Fox 7) aired this video package:

We will update with more reports as they come in...

- JP

David Weigel: Murkowski challenger hints at Palin endorsement

David Weigel blogs at Wa-Po that Joe Miller, who is challenging Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's GOP primary for U.S. Senate, is strongly hinting that Sarah Palin will endorse him:
On Monday, he says, he'll have news about former governor Sarah Palin's choice in the race. The strong implication is that she'll back him over the state's senior senator.

"Watch the papers on Monday," said Miller after one of his meetings with D.C. conservatives, after being asked whether he had spoken to Palin about an endorsement. "That's all I can say for now. We'll let you know."
Miller, a Fairbanks attorney, announced his candidacy April 19. The Fairbanks News-Miner has some background information on Miller:
Miller, who grew up in Kansas, is a graduate of Yale Law School and holds a masters in economics from the University of Alaska.

He received an officer’s commission from West Point, with honors, and is a veteran of the first Gulf War.

After coming to Alaska 16 years ago, Miller worked as an attorney at Condon Partnow & Sharrock in Anchorage before being appointed as a state magistrate in Tok and Superior Court master for the Fourth Judicial District.

After moving to Fairbanks, he served as both an acting state District Court judge and a U.S. magistrate judge.

He left the judiciary in 2004 to run for the state House seat held by Rep. David Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks. He lost in the general election by about 3.5 percent of the vote.

Miller’s wife of 18 years, Kathleen Tompkins-Miller, is a teacher.
That Miller is a Gulf War vet lends some credence to his heavy hints that Gov. Palin will endorse him, and she has already endorsed several veterans in various races. So when Weigel says that the rumor is being taken seriously by conservative activists, we tend to believe him. Weigel also points out that Lisa Murkowski and the governor have not been the best of friends, to put it mildly. The governor owes the Alaska Republican party establishment nothing, considering how little support she got from it, especially since she returned to Alaska following the the 2008 presidential campaign. SarahPalin, in fact, endorsed Murkowski's opponent in the '04 GOP primary. So a Miller endorsement would, as Weigel says, make a lot of sense inside Alaska. But in our opinion, his military service makes sense both inside and outside of the 49th state as well, vis-a-vis a likely Palin endorsement.

- JP

Emmett Tyrrell: Hating the middle class (and Sarah Palin)

An excerpt from the latest column by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., the founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator:
The liberals' contempt for the pulchritudinous Sarah Palin obviously is fired by their hatred of the middle class. She has said nothing that many ordinary Americans have not said privately, though she does it with charm. I was particularly charmed by her playful taunt directed toward the Prophet Obama at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tenn., in February, when she said, "How's that hopey, changey stuff working out for ya?" At the time, his polling figures were low -- not as low as they fell later, but low -- and not much was "working" for him. Things have not improved.

What seems particularly to offend the liberals is that she is from Middle America and from a state whose citizens pride themselves in self-reliance. Then, too, it has to hurt that she is so easy on the eye while being the antithesis of the feminist. By the way, has there ever been a comely feminist? Yes, Gloria Steinem had her moments, but then as the years went on and her gripes and disappointments multiplied, her anger got the best of her, and today her face looks like a gnarled fist. Palin could teach her a lot, starting with a pedicure and maybe a prayer. That is another thing that brings the liberals to a boil, Palin's being a person of faith. For some reason, religion really alarms liberals, unless it be the religion of the Prophet Muhammad. Now there is an evolution in liberal thought I would not have anticipated.
Read Tyrrell's full column here.

- JP

Stacy McCain: Sarah Palin Lights Up Pennsylvania House Race

At the American Spectator's AmSpec blog, Stacy McCain notes how donations to Tim Burns' campaign have soared in the three days since the candidate received Sarah Palin's endorsement:
Liberals can sneer at Sarah Palin to their heart's content, but the former Alaska governor's star power is a supernova for GOP congressional candidates. In the first 72 hours after Palin's Facebook endorsement of Tim Burns -- now less than three weeks away from a May 18 special election in the late Jack Murtha's district -- the Pennsylvania Republican raised more than $80,000, campaign sources told me Wednesday night in Johnstown, Pa.


Some of Palin's supporters were deeply hurt by Quin Hillyer's recent criticism, but as for me, I still remember those Pennsylvanians standing in the cold October wind. Whatever Quin or anyone else says, the 2008 vice-presidential candidate has the kind of unequalled political star power that may prove to be the GOP's most valuable asset in key campaigns during this crucial mid-term election year.
It's good to see at least someone at the Spectator doesn't have a clouded vision. TAS needs more folks on staff like RSM. Ready Stacy's full AmSpec post here and a related post on his own blog, The Other McCain, here.

- JP

Sarah Palin: Tom Emmer for governor of Minnesota (Updated)

On her Facebook Notes page Thursday afternoon, Sarah Palin endorsed State Rep. Tom Emmer in the Minnesota gubernatorial race:
The Straight-talking “Hockey Dad” with a Message for Reform

A patriotic fiscally conservative “hockey dad” who got his start in politics by serving on his local city councils is running for governor of the great state of Minnesota. His name is Tom Emmer, and I’m proud to support him.

Tom has based his campaign on three founding principles: “Honoring the Constitution, Expanding Liberty and Fostering Economic Freedom.”

Coming from a working class background, Tom is known as a straight-talker who is unafraid of taking on the challenge of reining in the size and scope of government. A proud father of seven, Tom is in this race for the right reasons – to provide bold, principled leadership that will leave Minnesota fiscally stronger for the next generation. He knows that government overspending is the real obstacle to reform. Tom says, “When a family experiences a change in its income, that family adjusts its budget accordingly. If they have less money, they spend less money. This simple form of money management is completely lost on state government.” It’s common sense statements like that which make Tom such an attractive candidate for Minnesotans who want real reform.

A family man who wants to leave his kids a better future, a “hockey dad” who once played for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks, a patriotic commonsense conservative who wishes to serve for the right reasons – that’s Tom Emmer, and I ask you to join me in supporting him for governor of Minnesota.

Please visit Tom’s website here, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Let’s shake things up with this straight-talking “hockey dad” and his message for reforming government.

- Sarah Palin
Gov. Palin chose Emmer over a number of other announced candidates in the governor's race.

Update: The Star-Trib has more information on the endorsement:
“It's a significant endorsement," Emmer said. "Sarah Palin is the gold standard of grass roots politics in this country."

While outside endorsements aren't always game changers, Emmer said Palin's nod lends a significant boost to the campaign.

There will be 2,100 delegates at the convention tomorrow, and there will be 2,100 fans of Palin, he said.

Emmer said the endorsement doesn't include any contribution by Palin or a promise of a campaign visit.

Emmer's campaign wrote a letter to Palin about a month ago asking for an endorsement, said Bill Walsh, an Emmer campaign spokesman.


Palin and Emmer had a one-on-one meeting earlier this month when she was in Minnesota for a rally and fundraiser.
- JP

Jury has reached verdicts on 3 of 4 charges against Kernell (Updated)

From the courtroom where David Kernell is on trial, Jim Balloch of the Knoxville News Sentinel reports some progress by the jury:
Federal court jurors reported today they have reached a verdict on three of four charges against former University of Tennessee student David C. Kernell, accused of illegally accessing the private e-mail account of 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

But they also reported they are deadlocked on the first count, a charge of identity theft.

Without asking what their verdict is on the other counts, U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Phillips sent them back to the jury room to continue deliberating the first count.

In their written communication to the judge this afternoon, the jurors said: "Some of us feel not all jurors are following the jury instruction."
Update: The jury has called it a day:
Federal court jurors will return Friday to continue deliberations against former University of Tennessee student David C. Kernell, accused of illegally accessing the private e-mail account of 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

The jurors told U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Phillips shortly after 4 p.m. this afternoon they wanted to go home and wanted to resume deliberating Friday morning
- JP

Sarah Palin speaks for life in Austin this evening

Sarah Palin speaks tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center. Ticket sales ended at noon today. The fundraiser is sponsored by a nonprofit pro-life group, Austin-based Heroic Media, formerly known as the Majella Society. The organization places TV, Web billboard ads targeted to women with unplanned pregnancies, hoping to connect them with pregnancy resource centers in an "heroic" effort to save the lives of their unborn children:
In a posting Monday on its Facebook page, Heroic Media said: “The numbers keep growing tremendously for the Sarah Palin event this Thursday! Thanks Austin for such a great response!!”

Because Heroic Media celebrates the heroism of motherhood, the group’s president, Brian Follett, said it was fitting to invite Palin to speak. “Sarah’s faith and commitment to protecting life at every stage is evident in her words and actions,” he said, according to KLBJ-AM.

Palin, the 2008 Republican nominee for vice president, fervently opposes abortion. According to The Huffington Post, she once wrote in an election questionnaire: “I believe that no matter what mistakes we make as a society, we cannot condone ending an innocent’s life.”

In a 2009 speech to a pro-life crowd, Palin said that “for a fleeting moment,” she considered having an abortion after discovering that son Trig would be born with Down syndrome, according to the Washington Post. But, she said, “I had just enough faith to know that my trying to change the circumstances wasn’t any answer.”
Travis County Democrats are attempting to use the governor’s Austin appearance to raise money for its candidates and causes.

In an ironic message to Democrats, Sarah Weddington -- the Austin attorney who argued the landmark Roe v. Wade case before the U.S. Supreme Court -- accused Gov. Palin of spreading “a message of political pandering and fear mongering”:
“It is of vital importance that we never return to the days pre-Roe v. Wade when women often ended up doing self-abortions or having illegal, back-alley abortions.”
Self-abortions? Illegal? Back alleys? Who is really fear-mongering here? We believe it's clear to all who value human life that the culture of death is no match for the light of life. Good will ultimately triumph over the forces of evil, and their is no more effective spokesperson for the forces of light and life than Sarah Palin.

- JP

Sarah in Scramento in October, says Metro Chamber

According to the Sacramento Press and the Metro Chamber, Sarah Palin will speak at the Chamber's "Perspectives 2010" event in mid-October:
Two former governors will headline the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Perspectives 2010 line-up: Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. They will appear Friday, Oct. 15, at the Sacramento Convention Center.

“We are pleased once again to bring dynamic speakers whose current contribution to our nation’s political dialogue will captivate the Perspectives audience,” said Matt Mahood, president & CEO. Other speakers for this 16th annual event will be announced shortly.


Palin burst onto the national scene in 2008 when she was chosen by Sen. John McCain to be his vice presidential running mate in his presidential campaign. She was then serving as the first female governor of Alaska.

The choice of both Dean and Palin continues the Metro Chamber’s long-standing goal to present differing political points of view for what has become Northern California’s premier public affairs forum and top drawer networking event for 3,000 of the region’s business leaders.

“We have great pride in how we balance our speaker line-up,” Mahood said. “The goal of Perspectives is to offer just that—points-of-view on major themes echoing through the world’s headlines.”
Tickets are $195 for Metro Chamber members and $275 for nonmembers. They are available online or by calling 916-444-1919.

- JP

Day 3: Kernell jury reviewing identity theft law

Now in its third morning of deliberations, the East Tennessee jury pondering charges against alleged e-mail snoop David C. Kernell requested a copy of the federal law governing identity theft so they could review it:
After some discussion with lawyers, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas W. Phillips decided today to give them a copy of the law - with some sections blacked out that he said are irrelevant to the case.

Jurors then indicated they wished to go to lunch. The panel is expected to resume deliberations at 1 p.m. today.

Kernell, 22, a former University of Tennessee student, is charged with illegally accessing the personal e-mail account of 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Formal charges consist of identity theft, wire fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and destruction of records to hamper a federal investigation, all of which are felonies.

Only the third count includes a lesser misdemeanor charge as an option for the jurors.

They've been deliberating the case since Tuesday morning.
- JP

Gov. Palin is in the top 10 of TIME's Top 100 for 2010

Sarah Palin is number nine on The 2010 TIME 100. The next highest-ranking Republican on TIME's list of "the people who most affect our world" is Sen. Jon Kyl at number eleven. Ted Nugent wrote the testimonial about Gov. Palin:
"If Sarah Palin played a loud, grinding instrument, she would be in my band. The independent patriotic spirit, attitude and soul of our forefathers are alive and well in Sarah. In the way she lives, what she says and how she dedicates herself to make America better in these interesting times, she represents the good, while exposing the bad and ugly. She embraces the critical duty of we the people by participating in this glorious experiment in self-government. The tsunami of support proves that Sarah, 46, represents what many Americans know to be common and sensible. Her rugged individualism, self-reliance and a herculean work ethic resonate now more than ever in a country spinning away from these basics that made the U.S.A. the last best place. We who are driven to be assets to our families, communities and our beloved country connect with the principles that Sarah Palin embodies. We know that bureaucrats and, even more, Fedzilla, are not the solution; they are the problem. I'd be proud to share a moose-barbecue campfire with the Palin family anytime, so long as I can shoot the moose."
Glenn Beck is number twelve on the list, and Gov. Palin wrote his testimonial:
"Who'd have thought a history buff with a quirky sense of humor and a chalkboard could make for such riveting television? Glenn's like the high school government teacher so many wish they'd had, charting and connecting ideas with chalk-dusted fingers — kicking it old school — instead of becoming just another talking-heads show host. Self-taught, he's become America's professor of common sense, sharing earnestly sought knowledge with an audience hungry for truth. Glenn, 46, tackles topics other news shows would regard as arcane. Consider his desire to teach Americans about the history of the progressive movement: he's doing to progressive what Ronald Reagan did to liberal — explaining that it's a damaged brand."

"His love of the Founding Fathers inspires others to learn and respect our nation's history. Best of all, Glenn delights in driving the self-proclaimed powers-that-be crazy. (The whole country awaits the red phone ringing!) Even his critics (whom he annihilates in ratings) have to admire his amazing ability to galvanize everyday Americans to better themselves and peacefully engage their government. Though he sometimes dismisses himself as an aw-shucks guy or just a "rodeo clown," he's really an inspiring patriot who was once at the bottom but now makes a much needed difference from the very, very top."
- JP

Freiburger: Yes, Frances, Governor Palin Knows Governing

Frances Martel of Mediaite was floored that former Governor Sarah Palin "does know a thing or two about borders and the Tenth Amendment":
She backed up her eloquent points with experience and facts and appeared formidable in her discussion.
But what inspired Calvin Freiberger to respond at the NewsReal Blog was Martel's condescending lede and backhand compliment:
There is only one aspect of politics, empirically, that Sarah Palin knows about: being the CEO of a state. So it shouldn’t be surprising to listen to her sound knowledgeable explaining Jan Brewer’s decision to pass a controversial immigration law in Arizona on last night’s Hannity, but compared to the folksy buzzword soup she usually cooks up, this was conservative policy at its finest.
Freiberger suggests that Martel's ignorance is borne of the latter's reliance on the lamestream media as the font of all information about former Gov. Palin:
I don’t know where Frances Martel has been all this time, but Palin has never been a stranger to substantive policy analysis. [...]

So it turns out Sarah Palin is a politician who knows stuff about politics. Who would have guessed? I mean, other than people who aren’t still content to let the mainstream press spoon-feed them their daily dose of “truth.”
But lazy research has always been a problem for many reporters who cover the media industry, not to mention the Democrat-Media Complex itself. Martel, at least, deserves some credit for recognizing that Sarah Palin knows more than most media creatures will admit she does, even if the compliment was delivered with the back of the hand.

- JP

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quote of the Day (April 28, 2010)

William A. Jacobson:
"Dave Weigel now blogs at The Washington Post... At least now he knows what it is like to experience Palin Derangement Syndrome first hand... Welcome to the club."
- JP

Bill Mattos: California's Central Valley has more people who like Sarah Palin than hate her

Though the brouhaha over Gov. Palin's scheduled June appearance on a California State University campus is no longer a hot topic in the national headlines, it's still simmering in the Golden State. Bill Mattos has an update:
If you aren’t sick of hearing about the controversy surrounding former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s planned visit to California State University, Stanislaus, then keep on reading... The Central Valley has more people who like her than hate her... By all indications, this will be the university’s biggest money maker in years……or ever!

When Palin decided to come, she also wanted the contract to be confidential; she apparently didn’t want her fee disclosed... If Palin gave the university a deal in coming to Turlock (less than $100,000 that she has received from other venues), she probably doesn’t want the world to know about it. She will be negotiating for many other speaking engagements this year and one would think she would want to make the most money possible. She, after all, is no longer a public official...

So now, the university is doing its best to deal with the controversy; the fact that thousands of dollars are pouring in for the big event, offsets some of the grief coming from television, radio and newspapers.

Students are also protesting Palin’s appearance, and they found (among some shredded documents) a few pages of the Palin contract. Now the students and others are trying to say that the university was shredding evidence. University officials say someone took part of the Palin contract from the office. What makes some of this argument a bit ridiculous is that some of us wonder how you could think that the university would have shredded every document except for the Palin contract…which is allegedly the exact reason for the shredding?

- JP

Ignorant Chris Matthews calls Sarah Palin an 'ignorant'

Suppose you were Chris "Tweety Bird" Matthews. Suppose you were ignorant. But I repeat myself. Ed Morrissey explains:
Let’s put aside the point Noel Sheppard makes about Matthews using the grammatically horrid phrase “a political ignorant” after praising himself as someone who constantly seeks knowledge. Let’s instead look at the journalistic standards at MS-NBC for political argumentation, as Matthews reports that Sarah Palin takes great joy in ignorance by quoting that rock-solid source - “somebody alludes to”


Whether it’s energy policy, health-care reform, or even nuclear policy, Palin not only doesn’t avoid it but issues almost daily communiques on substantive policy from her platform on Facebook. In fact, her speech at the SRLC this month spoke almost entirely to policy, including Afghanistan and the foreign policy bungling of the White House, when many expected her to focus more on politics and the integration (or lack thereof) of the Tea Party and Republicans.

Certainly, one can disagree with Palin on policy, or demand deeper explanations. But the notion that Palin doesn’t address policy at all is an argument that qualifies someone as a “political ignorant” - but it’s not Sarah Palin.

The good news for Matthew is that he's on a network that's so bad that even his doormat ratings and nightly demonstrations of ignorance and stupidity aren't even an embarrassment. Another bright spot is he doesn't even have to put that on his resume. It's common knowledge to all but the 20 percent of Americans who fall under the demographic heading of "moonbat."

- JP

Matt Benda: We went. We saw. And Sarah Palin conquered

Matt Benda is an attorney from the city of Albert Lea, Minnesota, is located 90 miles south of Minneapolis, where he attended the big rally at which Sarah Palin spoke recently. Here are some excerpts from his impressions of her, as written for his home hown newspaper, The Tribune:
What the smart people don’t get is that the more they jest Palin’s pedigree, the clearer it becomes that she is just like the rest of us. Early in her speech, she won over her crowd with one simple truism, “What I like about you folks in Minnesota is that you sound like me.” Of course, she meant her accent, which has also been criticized.

Yet, the look in people’s eyes told more — the former Alaska governor made them feel that a normal person (like them) could make a difference. In one more sentence — “Washington is addicted to OPM (sounds like opium) Other People’s Money” — she summarized one of the greatest concerns on people’s minds. She is likeable, speaks straight and is able to touch people’s hearts — the “Palin Effect” as explained in one recent article.

She also instinctively understood the implications of the huge policy shift President Obama recently took — from deterrence to appeasement — on national defense.


What the smart people don’t like is that Sarah Palin quickly framed this discussion in terms we all understand — standing up to the playground bully.


I for one will keep listening to Sarah Palin as she seems a lot like the rest of us here in Minnesota — just trying to make the world a better place.
Read Benda's full op-ed here.

- JP

No verdict after two days of deliberation by Kernell jury

The Knoxville News-Sentinel's Jim Balloch reports still no verdict by the Kernell jury:
After two days of deliberations, federal jurors remain unable to reach a verdict over whether former University of Tennessee student David C. Kernell illegally accessed the private e-mail account of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Phillips told the panel of East Tennesseans about 4:30 today to go home and return to court Thursday morning. He made no inquiry about their progress.

They began considering the case against the 22-year-old man Wednesday morning. They've deliberated more than 10 hours.
- JP

A linked list of our first 30 'Sarah Palin Was Right' posts (Updated)

Sarah Palin Was Right #30: Dr. Berwick Confirms Rationing

Sarah Palin Was Right #29: National Review Editors on Drilling

Sarah Palin Was Right #28: Orszag Admits 'Rationing Panels'

Sarah Palin Was Right #27: ObamaCare and the Marquis de Sade

Sarah Palin Was Right #26: Spaulding on Alaskan Offshore Drilling

Sarah Palin Was Right #25: Peer-Reviewed Study on Abstinence Ed.

Sarah Palin Was Right #24: Gary P. Jackson on Energy Security

Sarah Palin Was Right #23: Dan Calabrese on Death Panels

Sarah Palin Was Right #22: CATO's Alan Reynolds on Death Panels

Sarah Palin Was Right #21: David Warren on Climategate

Sarah Palin Was Right #20: George Will on Domestic Energy Reserves

Sarah Palin Was Right #19: IBD on Domestic Energy Reserves

Sarah Palin Was Right #18: Iran and the Alaska Missile Shield

Sarah Palin Was Right #17: Reihan Salam on Domestic Natural Gas

Sarah Palin Was Right #16: Obama Advisor Reich Admitted "We're Going to Let You Die"

Sarah Palin Was Right #15: China's Military Rise Is Cause for Concern

Sarah Palin Was Right #14: Missile Defense - Russia and Iran

SarahPalin Was Right #13: James Pethokoukis on 'Who lost the dollar?'

Sarah Palin Was Right #12: Missle Defense - Pakistan

Sarah Palin Was Right #11: Palling Around With the McCain Campaign

Sarah Palin Was Right #10: Ed Morrissey on Energy Security

Sarah Palin Was Right #9: Letterman Is a Disgusting Pervert

Sarah Palin Was Right #8: Obama's Missile Defense Cuts Are Reckless, Part 2

Sarah Palin Was Right #7: Obama's Missile Defense Cuts Are Reckless

Sarah Palin Was Right #6: We Need More F-22 Raptors

Sarah Palin Was Right #5: Peggy Venable on Tort Reform

Sarah Palin Was Right #4: Peter Ferrara on Death Panels

Sarah Palin Was Right #3: Obama Admin. Admits Cap and Trade Will Raise Raxes

Sarah Palin Was Right #2: Robert Tracinski on Death Panels

Sarah Palin Was Right #1: House Dems Seek Massive Tax Increase

- JP

Sarah Palin Was Right #28: Orszag Admits 'Rationing Panels'

Sarah Palin is vindicated yet again, this time by another one of President Obama's own:
Peter Orszag, President Obama’s budget director, basically admitted that under Obamacare, access to doctors and medicine will be rationed. And the people on the “powerful rationing panel” making life-or-death decisions will be government bureaucrats, not medical professionals.
Hmmm. Let's review. A “powerful rationing panel,” not accountable to anyone but the president, made up entirely of bureaucrats (no doctors on board), which makes the decisions about whether you or your family members gets a needed medical procedure or prescription for medication...

Sure sounds like a "death panel" to us.

Remember when lefty economist Robert Reich admitted:
"And by the way, we're going to have to, if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too we're going to let you die."
The Obamunist Left went through all sorts of contortions trying to explain that one away. We can't wait to watch them try to weasel out of this one.

Bottom line: Sarah Palin was right, but it would kill them to admit it in so many words.

More: For a Catholic perspective on this, see Pat Archibold's blog post here.

- JP

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quote of the Day (April 27, 2010)

Mickey Kaus:
"If Sarah Palin told a propagandistic whopper this big she'd be... run back up to Wasilla by the press. ... It looks like, once the Obama administration realized GM was still in such bad shape there was no hope of pursuing Plan A--a public offering of stock to recoup at least some of the $50 billion capital bailout--they resorted to Plan B--a coordinated hype campaign to act as if the relatively puny $6.7 billion payback was the $50 billion."
h/t: Matthew Continetti

- JP

Fox News Video: Sarah Palin on the immigration debate

Fox News contributor Sarah Palin was on "Hannity" Tuesday night. She and host Sean Hannity discussed immigration, attacks on Gov. Palin, taxes and the coming 2010 mid-term elections.

Part 1:

Part 2:

- JP

Thomas Van Flein: Why Sarah Palin Resigned As Governor Of Alaska

Sarah Palin's personal attorney Thomas Van Flein, in a posting on the governor's Facebook Notes page, announces the dismissal of yet another bogus "ethics" complaint against her. Mr VanFlein also explains how the dismissal of all 26 of these baseless complaints no longer pending demonstrate that she did not leave office to amass a personal fortune, which is the latest made-up media meme about Gov. Palin :
Swing and a miss

Yesterday we learned that another “ethics” complaint that was filed against Governor Palin was dismissed as baseless. (If you are counting, the Governor is 26-0-1 regarding such complaints or suits, with one still pending). Only this complaint was actually filed after she left office, and alleged that the mere existence of the Alaska Fund Trust (the legal defense fund set up for her to help defray the costs incurred during the Troopergate fiasco and related machinations that followed in its wake) was violative of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act as well as its solicitation or receipt of contributions. The raison d’être of the legal defense fund was inexorably linked to Governor Palin’s nomination as the Republican candidate for Vice President and the post-nomination political tactics arising therefrom; thus making the nomination sine quo non for the fund. In a detailed opinion, the complaint was dismissed as lacking a factual or legal basis. Last June, upon learning that a complaint against the Governor’s Anchorage Office Director was dismissed as baseless, Governor Palin’s then Chief of Staff Mike Nizich said, “This is not about holding the governor or state employees accountable. This is pure harassment.” That still rings true today.

When I discussed this with Governor Palin, she had an interesting take: “My reaction upon reading the opinion in this matter was not what I expected. Though I’m always pleased with the results of these investigations that prove the false allegations wrong, and I appreciate the detailed reasoning set forth in this recent opinion, I was primarily disappointed that the State of Alaska, the Attorney General’s office, and others, still have to spend time and resources addressing the abusive onslaught of frivolous complaints directed against me—even after I left office.”

At times (indeed, as recently as Sunday in a magazine cover story) people allege that the “real” reason Governor Palin stepped down was to “make money” (citing primarily her best selling book). As this most current complaint again emphasizes, Governor Palin stepped down for the right reasons—she did not want to see her state government continue to get bogged down with inane “ethics” complaints that were transparently political, plainly partisan, and diverting state resources. The voluntary relinquishment of power for the greater good is normally praised as an example of true leadership—just review any biography of George Washington—and it should be in this case as well. But for those who seek power for the sake of power, a selfless act is confusing, so a new narrative is created, such as the “profit” motive now being asserted with renewed vigor. Rest assured Sarah Palin had obtained approval to write her memoir while still in office without running into any conflict with the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Her financial future from her best selling book, though unknown then, would not have altered much whether she stayed in office or resigned, except the number of “ethics” complaints did dramatically decrease, so any legal fees associated with such complaints decreased concomitantly.

Let this latest dismissed complaint serve as a reminder for one of the real—and stated—reasons for her voluntary relinquishment of office, an office she campaigned for diligently, tirelessly and effectively. It stands as a marker that occasionally, every so often, there are public servants who can recognize the difference between self-interest and public interest. Sarah Palin is one such public servant.

- Thomas Van Flein, personal attorney for Sarah Palin
- JP

What did Sarah Palin mean by 'a Christian nation'?

Sarah Palin's remarks to the Women of Joy conference April 16 in Louisville have the secular left all wee wee'd up. She is quoted by the Washington Post/Newsweek as saying:
"Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state, our founding fathers... were believers. Hearing any leader declare that America isn't a Christian nation... It's mind-boggling to see some of our nation's actions recently, but politics truly is a topic for another day."
If we want to split hairs, the governor was correct that the founders overwhelmingly were believers. But were they Christians, and did they found a Christian nation? R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, mildly chastises both sides in the long-running debate:
"America is not Christian by constitutional provision or creedal affirmation — but its people are overwhelmingly Christian by self-affirmation. Thoughtful evangelicals will not overestimate the convictional character of this self-identification. Secularists ought not to overestimate its superficiality."
But in Faith of Our Founding Fathers, Tim LaHaye, co-author of the Left Behind series, claims that Americans are being robbed of their spiritual heritage by revisionist secularists (Gregory Koukl disagrees, writing, "The sad fact of the matter is that cultural authority was not stolen from us; we surrendered it through neglect"). The Founding Fathers were not, as secularists claim, mostly deists or agnostics. Only a few were deists and even fewer agnostics. LaHaye's Faith examines the values and beliefs of thirty-eight of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Through their writings, LaHaye makes a case that America's founders built their nation on religious principles (though John Eidsmoe makes a more effective argument in the similarly-titled Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of our Founding Fathers). Other authors trying to make the opposite case have ruled out some of the most compelling evidence -- the letters and journals of the Founding Fathers. How convenient for the secularists to ignore the personal correspondence and deepest thoughts on matters of faith expressed by the founders!

By affiliation with religious denomination, only three of the more famous founders -- Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine -- were in fact Deists, yet even Jefferson, who was raised as an Episcopalian, donated a significant amount of money to building Episcopal churches and even attended services in Episcopal parishes. It is significant to note that Jefferson had an Episcopal minister come to his bedside before he died. It was Franklin's views which are usually considered the least orthodox of the founders, but even he attended church and tithed. But Franklin believed religion was a positive force in society, and he said, in a motion before the Constitutional Convention:
I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service.
So much for the separation of church and state...

But there is a denomination, often overlooked by those who write American History texts, that was significant in the nation's founding, though none of the more famous Founding Fathers were among its members. In an excellent essay which is part of his "Crash Course in Jewish History," Rabbi Ken Spiro notes the influence of Jewish Americans on the Founding Fathers. One of their most important contributions to the American Revolution was that Jews financed a considerable portion of it:
The most important of the financiers was Haym Salomon who lent a great deal of money to the Continental Congress. In the last days of the war, Salomon advanced the American government $200,000. He was never paid back and died bankrupt.

President George Washington remembered the Jewish contribution when the first synagogue opened in Newport, Rhode Island in 1790. (It was called the Touro Synagogue and it was Sephardic.) He sent this letter, dated August 17, 1790:
"May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in the land continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants. While everyone shall sit safely under his own vine and fig-tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."
Note the reference to the "vine and fig-tree." That unique phrase is a reference to the words of Prophet Michah prophesying the Messianic utopia:
But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow to it. And many nations shall come, and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for Torah shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.' And he shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide concerning far away strong nations; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig-tree; and none shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken it.
Rabbi Spiro points out that when the War of Independence broke out, there were an estimated 2,000 Jews living in America, yet their contribution to the cause went far beyond their numbers. Nearly every adult Jewish male fought on the side of the Americans in Charleston, South Carolina. And the first patriot to be killed in the war in Georgia, Francis Salvador, was a Jew.

The Jewish influence in the founding of the United States was deeply ingrained in the faith of the new nation:
The creation of the United States of America represented a unique event in world history – founded as a modern republic, it was rooted in the Bible, and one of its earliest tenets was religious tolerance.

This is because many of the earliest pilgrims who settled the "New England" of America in early 17th century were Puritan refugees escaping religious persecutions in Europe.

These Puritans viewed their emigration from England as a virtual re-enactment of the Jewish exodus from Egypt. To them, England was Egypt, the king was Pharaoh, the Atlantic Ocean was the Red Sea, America was the Land of Israel, and the Indians were the ancient Canaanites. They were the new Israelites, entering into a new covenant with God in a new Promised Land.
Not only in the reliance on the Old Testament was the Jewish impact on America evident, but also in the symbolism adopted by the young nation:
Numerous examples can be found which clearly illustrate to what a significant extent the political struggles of the colonies were identified with the ancient Hebrews.

* The first design for the official seal of the United States recommended by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas [Jefferson] in 1776 depicts the Jews crossing the Red Sea. The motto around the seal read: "Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God."

* The inscription on the Liberty Bell at Independence Hall in Philadelphia is a direct quote from Leviticus (25:10): "Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."

* Patriotic speeches and publications during the period of the struggle for independence were often infused with Biblical motifs and quotations. Even the basic framework of America clearly reflects the influence of the Bible and power of Jewish ideas in shaping the political development of America. Nowhere is this more evident than in the opening sentences of the Declaration of Independence:

* "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Whereas, these words echo the ideas of the Enlightenment... without a doubt, the concept that these rights come from God is of Biblical origin.
Considering the rich contribution of Jews to not only the American revolution but the nation's culture, it is clear that the United States is not just a Christian nation, but largely a Judeo-Christian one, or at the very least a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles. And as such, it is unique in the world. Which brings us to the present day. Are we still a Judeo-Christian nation?

According to Newsweek's own poll taken one year ago, a majority (62 percent) of Americans disagreed with President Obama's statement that the U.S. is not a Christian nation. The majority of Americans who considered their country a Christian one was even higher during the Bush Administration at 71 percent. But look beyond religious denominations, and Newsweek's survey confirms that we are overwhelmingly a nation of believers:
The number of Americans with faith in a spiritual being—nearly nine in 10—has not changed much over the past two decades, according to historical polling. Seventy-eight percent said prayer was an important part of daily life, an increase of 2 points since 1987. Eighty-five percent said religion is "very important" or "fairly important" in their own lives—a number that hasn't changed much since 1992. Nearly half (48 percent) described themselves as both "religious and spiritual," while another 30 percent said they were "spiritual but not religious." Only 9 percent said they were neither religious nor spiritual.
David Waters, editor of On Faith, the Washington Post religion blog, writes that in her statement to the Women of Faith, Gov. Palin may have meant that a majority of Americans are self-professed Christians. We're confident that she did not mean that America is "a Christian nation in the way that Iran is an Islamic nation," that "the primary purpose of America is evangelical" or that "the primary allegiance of every American is to Jesus." She may have meant something else entirely, such as that America was founded by mostly Christians on Judeo-Christian principles, and it remains overwhelmingly a nation of the faithful, although the recent actions of its government clearly demonstrate that in the purview of foreign policy at least, those principles are no longer being applied. We can't speak for the governor, but unless she says differently, we assume that the latter of those concepts was the essence of what she was talking about.

- JP

Jury will resume deliberations Wednesday in Kernell trial

The Knoxville News-Sentinel's Jim Balloch reports:
Jurors have just ended their deliberations - after a total of about 5 1/4 hours today - on federal charges against David C. Kernell, the former University of Tennessee student accused of breaking into and snooping through former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's private e-mail account in 2008.

Just a few minutes ago, jurors had asked the judge a question - they'd wanted guidance on the legal definition of "access" to a computer.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Phillips told jurors that that was their decision and referred back to his original instructions.

The jurors resume deliberations at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

- JP

Kernell case goes to the jury

The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that David Kernell's fate is now in the hands of the jury:
Jurors are weighing four counts this morning against David C. Kernell, the former University of Tennessee student accused of breaking into and snooping through former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's private e-mail account in 2008.

The panel left a U.S. District Court courtroom downtown about 9:50 a.m. to begin pondering Kernell's case after hearing jury instructions. Judge Thomas Phillips said he anticipated breaking for lunch about 11:45 a.m. if no verdict had been reached by then.
Jurors began hearing testimony last week in the trial of the former University of Tennessee student and son of a Democrat state legislator charged with four felony counts including identity theft and wire fraud. If convicted on all four charges , Kernell faces a maximum possible penalty of 50 years in prison.

- JP

Bad News for Keith Olbermann and the Palingaters (Updated)


Keith Olbermann and the manure-munching maggots at the hate blog "Palingates" got one of their moonbat conspiracy theories shot down in flames Monday night by none other than Sarah Palin critic and WaPo blogger David Weigel:

"Palin haters want to believe she perjured
herself in the hacked e-mail trial. (My
reporting confirms that... she didn't.)"

In the warped minds of the Palingaters, there could only be one illogical explanation for Weigel's reporting -- Another conspiracy! -- Deep down, he must be biased in Sarah Palin's favor. Anyone who is not a Haterade drinker and who has read even a few of Weigel's posts about Sarah Palin realizes that he's been a frequent critic of the former governor, only not a rabid one like the Gaters.

The Palingaters also expressed deep resentment that Weigel referred to them as "Palin haters." But even left-of-center blogger Tommy Christopher confirms Weigel's PDS diagnosis:
"I hate to break it to you, Palingates, but you are."
The Palingaters attempted to defend themselves by projecting their hatred right at Conservatives 4 Palin:
"I do wonder if David Weigel calls C4P 'Obama haters'."
So clouded are the Palingaters' ruined brains by anti-Palin emotion they fail to see the difference between the two blogs. C4P is a pro-Palin website. Like most exclusively pro-Palin sites, 95 percent of its content is postive material in support of Gov. Palin, while only about 5 percent of what it publishes is criticism of President Obama and others on the political left. In contrast, "Palingates" is an anti-Palin website. Like most exclusively anti-Palin sites, libelous attacks on Sarah Palin and her supporters account for 99.44 percent of its content. It is devoted exclusively to the destruction of the former governor.

Being able to see the difference ain't exactly rocket science...

Update: Weigel responds to the Palingaters' accusations against him:
"I think it's pretty clear which of us was looking for the facts and which of us is trafficking in innuendo. There is just no case for accusing Palin of perjury."
That's the interesting thing about the unhinged Palin-haters. They are so far out there in moonbat land that even Palin critics like Weigel wind up having to defend her. They are their own worst enemies, which is why when we look at them, so many of us Palin supporters see the resemblance to the hapless cartoon character Wyle E. Coyote.

- JP