We already have people in government who believe they are above the law (one resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue right now) and it looks like McCain would like to add one more. Initially, Sarah Palin said she would cooperate voluntarily with the ongoing abuse of power investigation against her. Suddenly, the Alaska legislators are under pressure to wait until after the election to continue the investigation, and her husband is now going to ignore the subpoena he has received. I wonder if he's getting pointers from campaign advisor Karl Rove about how best to ignore a subpoena and get away with it. It doesn't take much in America these days, particularly if you're an elected official. We've lowered the bar here to the point where we should all be doing the limbo.
McCain campaign spokesman Ed O'Callaghan is falsely accusing the supporters of Barack Obama of controlling the investigation. The fact is that the investigation was recommended prior to Palin's selection by a bi-partisan Legislative Council, the vast majority of whom were Alaska Republicans. There's no way this investigation should be delayed until after the election. If McCain chose this woman as a running mate with full knowledge of the accusations against her (and he says he knew from the beginning), then let the chips fall where they may.
McCain wants to distract, not inform. If he distracts, you may not learn that his plan is to privatize and cut Social Security approximately one percent per year, along the lines of the proposed Bush plan. Workers who retire ten years after the McCain plan is put in place would see a ten percent reduction in benefits from the very beginning.
Next on the McCain-Palin hit list is the nation's health care system. Their plan would effectively dismantle the employer-based coverage that protects most American families by converting health care benefits into income on which employees would have to pay taxes. The idea is to force millions of Americans into the non-group market where costs are high and services are limited. Benefits that millions now have would be lost. This is what the Republicans call the 'free market' system, much like the one currently bringing down Wall Street at the taxpayers' expense.
Sarah Palin continues to look directly into the eye of the American people and just plain lie. She paints a picture of Alaska as a self-reliant, independent state. The fact is that Alaska is anything but. It is the state most dependent upon the federal government, receiving back from the feds almost $2 for every $1 it sends to Washington. Alaska is the biggest pork barrel waste state in the union, hands down. Before leaving her position as Mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist who brought $27 million in earmarks to a city of 8,000.
In her third interview, this one with Sean Hannity, she weighed in on the Wall Street fiasco. Following McCain's lead, Palin blamed Wall Street lobbyists and greedy CEOs for the meltdown of the American economy. Perhaps either McCain or Palin, or both, can then explain why their campaign employs 83 of the very same lobbyists they've been complaining about. One of their chief economic advisers (and once a VP contender), Carly Fiorina, former head of Hewlett Packard, is also one of the greedy CEOs they're referring to. Fiorina was dismissed by HP in 2005 with a golden parachute of $21.4 million after the merger with Compaq went bust, the stock fell 50% and 20,000 people lost their jobs. Would any of us be so well rewarded for screwing up? I think not. Frankly, I don't have much faith that a candidate with thirteen cars and eight homes is going to eliminate greed.
Global warming aside, Sarah Palin boasts a disgraceful environmental record. She has sued the federal government for declaring the polar bear endangered because she is concerned it will interfere with offshore energy development (read: oil). The reality is that Alaska oil peaked back in 1988 at about 777 billion barrels. In 2006, it was down to 250 billion barrels and it continues to fall. She favors drilling in Alaska's National Wildlife Refuge even though she has openly stated that it won't solve the oil problem, and has also proposed opening up Alaska's Brooks Range Mountains to open-cast coal mining. Under Palin, Chevron has tripled the amount of toxic waste it dumps into the waters of the Cook Inlet. She allows this even though the number of beluga whales in the bay has fallen from 1,300 to 350 (virtual extinction) because of increased ship traffic and pollution. Oh yeah, let's not forget that Sarah Palin gets her kicks shooting wolves from low-flying aircraft and helicopters for sport.
When the subject of banning books came up, Palin told Charlie Gibson that the accusation was an “old wives tale.” Yet, she did indeed try to get the head of Wasilla's library, Mary Ellen Emmons, fired. Again, here come the hair splitters from the McCain campaign to the rescue. According to Brian Rogers, “the fact is that as Mayor, Palin never asked anyone to ban a book and not one was ever banned, period.” That's right, she didn't...as mayor. As Mayor, the discussion was a theoretical policy discussion about, perhaps, banning books. Emmons refused. It was as a member of the Wasilla city council that Palin asked for specific books to be banned. Stretching the truth is to be expected in a political campaign, but not to the degree to which McCain and Palin stretch. They barely know how to tell the truth at all. We do not ban books in America. If there's something you do not want your children to read, then do not allow them to read it. That's your business. Leave the rest of us alone to go to hell in a bucket if we so choose.
Like many other so-called 'Christians,' Sarah Palin uses God's name to justify the continued death and destruction going on in Iraq. In June she asked ministry students from the Wasilla Assembly of God to pray for the soldiers in Iraq. “Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God,” she said. “That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan.” Somehow, Sarah Palin's God has decided that an illegal war because of our addiction to oil and for the continued feeding of the military-industrial complex is a just war.
Almost as scary as Palin's desire to ban books is the fact that she was secretly vetted for Senator McCain by a right-wing group called the Council for National Policy. Past and present members include Jack Abramoff, Gary Bauer, Oliver North, Pat Robertson and James Dobson. That McCain would abdicate his responsibility to such a group is a disgrace. Why should any of us accept Palin as the vice presidential candidate when she doesn't speak for anyone in America but the extreme right-wing? The American voters deserve candidates that will speak for all, even if it doesn't meet their personal ideology.
That must be put aside when leading a diverse nation of many.