Senator McCain has announced that Alaska’s little known governor Sarah Palin will be his running mate.

As a “reform” governor, she was elected after Alaskans tired of the corruption and cronyism in the state, most of it involving kickbacks and bribes from the oil industry.

Despite her reputation for reform, she is a huge friend of big oil. She has spent most of her career in on capacity or another with the oil industry. Presumable she does out of principle what others did for a price.

Her image for clean government might have been tarnished by charges her office was behind the firing of her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper. Her sister is in a child custody fight with the trooper. Story on firing.

She is a big advocate of drilling, disbelieves human-caused climate change, and is hostile to carnivores like polar bears and wolves.

A former beauty queen, she is 44 years old (3 years younger than Obama). Her husband Todd Palin is an oil production operator on the North Slope. He is also known for his prowess at snowmobile racing.

– – – –

-more- 

Sarah Palin: Tough on polar bears. Posted by David Beard. The Green Blog. Boston Globe.
Bearing Up. By SARAH PALIN. Op-ed. New York Times.  Published: January 5, 2008

Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past. League of Conservation Voters.

Defining Sarah Palin. By Kate Phillips and Michael Falcone. New York TImes.

Investigators Are Looking at Governor About Firing. By Michael Luo. New York Times.

Aug. 31. Palin touts stance on ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ doesn’t note flip-flop. By Tom Kizzia. Anchorage Daily News.

Aug. 31. State leaders question Palin’s qualifications. Governor’s two years of experience raise concerns about vice presidential candidacy. By Pat Forgey. Juneau (Alaska) Empire

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

264 Responses to Governor Palin of Alaska, a big friend of oil, McCain's VP choice

  1. avatar Phiip Cabibi says:

    I feel so bad for Sarah Palin. She seems like a good woman that loves her country. I’m offended that mcCain is using her in such a fashion. Selecting her for political reasons… undermining the work Barak and Hilary put into breaking the race and sex barriers…. Is in complete contradiction to the meritocratic principles McCain has been trying to base his campaign off of. So, how is that “Change?”

    I can only hope that female (and male) voters are smart enough to see through this smoke screen.

  2. avatar jimbob says:

    It’s starting to become so ridiculously obvious that Big Oil rules the Republican party. Why don’t they ditch the elephant and make the party character a black polar bear dripping with oil……

    McCain has sold his soul. When he ran in 2000 I actually considered working for his campaign. He WAS an independent mind, but obviously no longer.

  3. avatar Cindy says:

    Thanks Ralph – We’ll be keeping our eye out on this one.

  4. avatar Jon Way says:

    Lets hope that McBush’s choice is enough to do these corrupt people in and have Obama/Biden winning in a landslide!!! At least I can dream.

  5. avatar vicki says:

    Could McCain have picked a more anti-eco candidate to run with? She may not be directly in big oil’s pocket, but she is surely not opposed to adding padding to her husband’s wallet.

    Even the most unknown candidates have skeletons in their closet. I imagne many more of hers will be exposed.

    No climate change? Well, when her state melts right out from under her, and her backyard is a polar puddle…maybe that will change. Oil drilling doesn’t harm anyone…then why hate bears and wolves??? Could it be that without them in the way, she could open up more space to drilling?

    All environmental opposition aside, she had to know she was accepting a bribe from the Devil. She was asked to run so she could suck up Hilary’s left over voters. How could she run, knowing she is even more under-qualified than McCain claims Obama is? She was obviously chosen for face value and to buy women’s votes. The smart females won’t be voting for estrogen, they will vote for who is best suited to draw the plans and create the landscape for future generations of Americans.

    Unless women want that lanscape to be emptied of beauty, blackened by oil and coal dust, unless women want their children to see only animals caged in zoos, or breathe only air filled with pollutants….unless they want to have their children ushered into wars simply to enhance the ledgers of oil tycoons….they will vote for a woman who has moreintegrity than to accept a token nomination simply because she wears a bra instead of a jock strap.

    Senator McCain, you insult women with brains very where. Do you realy think we will fall at your feet because you ask a woman to run with you? Please, Mr. McCain, we deserve to be treated as your equal….not bribed with obvious plays on our desire to further our gender equality. Just because Palin has a vagina, don’t assume we think her a valuable campaign tool.

  6. avatar TripleJ says:

    Ralph, Palin is playing perfectly into the hands of Big Oil and the Republican Party and the veneer is so thin it runs off. Not only does she support drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, like you so well stated, she is hostile to the preservation of wildlife. Note the editorial she is credited with having submitted to the NYTimes in January, 2008: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/05/opinion/05palin.html
    Notice her comment “Such limits should be adopted through an open process in which environmental issues are weighed against economic and social needs, and where scientists debate and present information that policy makers need to make the best decisions.” Looks so suspiciously like the framing of Bush’s agenda to eliminate independent scientific reviews that are now a required part of the Endangered Species Act: see LA Times article: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-na-species12-2008aug12,0,6920381.story
    I smell a Republican motive that is aligned with the self-serving agendas of Big Oil and developers.

  7. avatar john weis says:

    As a liberal environmental democrat, I love this choice.

    Had McCain chosen Crist from Florida, that state would lean red (again); it may now go blue. The same for Pawlenty of Minnesota which is a state that should be blue, and now will go solidly blue.

    Picking Lieberman could have had the same effect in Florida as Crist.

    Picking the Mitt would impact Michigan but now it too should be blue. A lot of out-of-work people in Michigan that have not enjoyed Bush.

    Kay Baily Hutchison would have delivered the same “skirt” vote as Palin and possibly influenced border state New Mexico and potentially Colorado. She has a ton of experience which Palin does not.

    He could have picked Tom Ridge and thrown Pennsylvania and possibly Ohio into the red column, but now likely Penn and probably Ohio will now go blue.

    The net result of this is the loss of many, many electoral votes from McCain to Obama, and for what? To make sure Alaska stays red?

    Picking Palin not only ties him to her anti-environmental stance, it drastically undercuts those “inexperience” knocks he has been giving Obama. Palin will be a heartbeat (and an old heartbeat at that) away from one of the most powerful jobs in the world (running Russia and China probably rate up there as well). Alaska is a cesspool of corruption (as has been pointed out on these pages) and there will be a lot of reporters flying to Alaska today to check out her REAL story. It would not shock me if two weeks from now something comes out of the north woods that knocks her off the ticket. Hell, maybe two days.

    I may eat my keyboard over this, but I think this will open up a significant electoral difference between the two parties with Obama and Biden gaining the benefit. This was a very important choice for McCain to make, and he blew it big time.

  8. avatar Buffaloed says:

    Listening to her acceptance speech this morning I was not impressed. She didn’t seem to say much and didn’t say anything about Obama which I would have expected from anyone else McCain could have chosen.

    I’m definitely not a McCain supporter but I listened with an open mind and didn’t hear much that could have impressed an undecided person. That campaign is going to have a tough time teaching people about her biography with the little amount of time before the election. I suspect that Biden will make her look pretty inexperienced in comparison.

    It’s an interesting choice and I’m not the person who needs to be convinced with this choice as I made up my mind many months ago. I just don’t see this as the best choice for McCain but I don’t think he had any good choices to begin with.

    I did hear the comments about how Quayle had the same inexperience as well as Nixon’s VP and Dems lost both of those. This, though, is a little different if you factor in McCain’s health issues.

    I still don’t think that Obama has it in the bag yet.

  9. avatar Maska says:

    Not much to add to the comments above, other than to point out that in our community, I can’t think of a single Hillary supporter who is flirting with voting for McCain. I suspect the number of such critters has been greatly magnified by the media–the old “man bites dog” syndrome. Women who supported Hillary are smarter than the Republicans think.

  10. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    Hillary supporters aren’t going to win the election for McCain, so why should he care about them? Democrats aren’t going to vote for McCain, so why care about them?

    What Palin brings to the table is impressive, actually: she is a woman and that means electing McCain will be a historic moment for women, she has valid anti-corruption credentials, she is an evangelical Christian loved by the Christian Right and Republican base, and as a woman will be a very attractive candidate with independent voters.

    I think this was a stroke of genius by McCain, and I never saw it coming. I thought it would be Romney. Many of you are die-hard liberals and would never vote for any Republican. But you don’t matter. Neither do the Republicans that always vote Republican.

    The middle always decides who the President is. And McCain and Palin are now very attractive to independent voters. McCain has proved his maverick status by going against Bush on torture, climate change, Iraq (not the surge, but the other war decisions that McCain has harshly criticized), among other issues where he bucked the republican Party, and he has worked extensively with top Democrats in the past and achieved great legislative success. Obama never has.

    I know many on here are very hopeful Obama will pull this off, but he is not going to. You will have to console yourself with the fact Democrats will increase their majorities in the House and Senate, but the White House is going to McCain.

  11. avatar Laura says:

    I was not committed either way but McCain sent this middle-aged midwestern woman straight to the Obama/Biden ticket with his choice of Palin as his VP.

  12. avatar Moose says:

    Other than she is a woman, what does she bring to independents? McCain’s “maverick” image doesn’t quite mesh with his voting record. I think we need to wait for the debates before calling this either way. I sure wouldn’t consider this a done deal by any stretch.

  13. avatar JB says:

    It’s obvious, but one truly good aspect of this choice is that we WILL have either a woman as vice president or an African-American as president. It’s about time.

  14. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    from a very superficial perspective (very important with compaigns unfortunately) all Palin is going to do is stand next to McSame and be a potent contrasting image highlighting the extent of his crusty persona.

    Biden does the opposite ~ highlighting Obama’s youthful vigor but complements it with the credentials of experience that uplifts, adds legitimacy, and reassurances as Obama’s inner counsel.

    Biden is going to tear Palin (and McLame) up – this tie to big Oil is a big mistake.

    Smoky,
    The polls are ridiculous and rely a 20th century gauge of campaigning (sorta like McSame’s trash campaign relies on the fundamentally tired and ultimately exhausted strategies of cynicism, fearmongering, and superficial jabs at contrived personality) – there is no thumb on the pulse of the groundswell of youth and technologically savvy voters — and for those that say they won’t show up to vote – consider the droves that have been turning out in the reddest of red states and in the bluest of blue. Additionally, Obama’s GOTV organization is profound and is fully utilizing texting, internet, and a plethora of innovative technologies etc – all variables which are largely under the radar of this 20th century paradigm still being employed to project the perception of a horse-race. Obama’s databases have hundreds of thousands if not millions of txt numbers – millions of emails, etc. etc. etc. – All technologies that require no more than a single campaign operative to send messages to millions of voters simultaneously reminding them to vote – and if they included their address – the messages can automatically include directions (and maps) to the correct polling place depending on address. there will not be a single Obama supporter who is not contacted on election day (perhaps an exaggeration – but the point rings true at a level never before witnessed in American political history).

    we’re witnessing history people – it’s rarely recognized by media, political consultant hacks, etc except in retrospect. The groundswell, especially noticeable in urban areas/cities, is very real.

  15. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    Brian,

    I agree with you concerning how innovative Obama’s campaign is. It is actually quite remarkable, and it’s effectiveness shouldn’t be discounted by anyone.

    Biden’s problem is that he is an entrenched Washington DC fixture from almost 40 years ago, and that Biden has many extensive ties to lobbyists and their money. More so than 99 percent of other Washington politicians. But wait a minute, isn’t Obama against lobbyists…..and their influence…..

    Obama lacks experience working with the other party, and he hasn’t written much legislation at all. He is a first-term Senator, and has the most liberal voting record of any Senator today. So, as Obama shifts on many issues, it weakens him much more than when other politicians do it. He doesn’t have experience to buffer him. That is why Obama’s numbers have softened considerably in the last month or so. McCain’s support is more solid, while Obama’s is more susceptible to shifts, as less people know him as well as we all know McCain.

    When you possess little more than rhetoric, your words take on much more meaning. And when Obama changes his mind on issues, it makes him appear unstable and inconsistent.

    Alao, regardless of the opinions expressed here, most people don’t automatically equate Bush with McCain. If we did, McCain would be down by 30 points. So that argument doesn’t hold up, as McCain has knocked heads with Bush more than any other Republican. If that is incorrect, please name another Republican that stood up to Bush more than he did.

    And as for energy, let’s not forget that Obama voted for Bush’s energy policies. Then he was against drilling, now he is for it. This kind of inconsistency will affect Obama more and more as we move closer to November.

    McCain’s support is more solid, and less likely to drift away. Either guy can win this thing, but I put the odds squarely in McCain’s favor.

    And I want Obama to win. I just think that independents will end up breaking more for McCain than Obama due to his inexperience and shifting positions. Those 2 things have not historically been treated well by the electorate in past Presidential elections.

  16. avatar kim kaiser says:

    well lets see, Hussein Obama,,,, for over 20 years has been getting his religious and spirtual training from none other than the now exposed raicst preacher wright and flegan,, his political roots begin with william ayers,, , miz obama is just now only proud of her country!! only cuz hussein is in the spot light and she got her little ass burned by saying other wise when she didnt have time to think about her remarks the first time,,, hussein will not wear a flag on his coat, except when he had his ass burned on not wearing one..you are leaning on a awfully rotten stick in hussien. i certainly dont think she is any friend of the polar bear, but for anyone to say hussein obama is a messiah, bringer of the fruits, world chnnger or what ever he claims he claims this week is a pipe dream and the world you think he going to deliver to you wil not happen,,,,,he may win, but he is not a liberal politician, he si promoting socialist ideas and policy, take from those who work and give to those who dont,, let the govnement take care of you, ,, if that is all you want in life, then go to france or russia or germany,, they already have that over there, why havent you moved with alec baldwin and sarandon,,, you think its such a great goventment style,,go to canada and get you some socialized medicine,, funny everyone talks about what these other countries have, but i dont see any groundswell of migration promblems to those countries, and as bad as you say it is here, people are STILL trying to get into this countyr by hook or by crook, depsite the current administration,,,

    “it’s obvious, but one truly good aspect of this choice is that we WILL have either a woman as vice president or an African-American as president. It’s about time.” why is it about time,, what the hell does that mean,, jsut because they are black or woman they desereve it more because its time??!!,, that is just such a crock of shit,,

    i have said it once, and i will say it again, no one is owed anything in this world, you make of it what you can, and if you are begging off and waiting on your bigger govt check then you certainly are part of the big problem,, lazy asses with no get up and go or guts to do things, just let the govt take care of you,, what a crock of shit

  17. avatar Moose says:

    Kim,

    Shouldn’t you be on a ledge somewhere?

    So, besides all the Fox News talking points you cut and pasted…you really don’t think there is a person of color, or a woman, in the history of the US that “deserves” to be considered for the Presidency? Wow!!

  18. avatar Cindy says:

    Dear Kim,
    Do you attend anger management classes? A doctor or therapist could get you information on what is available in your community. Your poor choice of the words “ass burned”, when referring to Barack and Michelle Obama actually sent chills down my spine – very scary my friend.

    The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.

  19. avatar steve c says:

    Im not a McCain supporter, but why not Condaleeza Rice if he wanted to choose a woman? Would any republican really be comfortable if Palin were president in the near future should anything happen to the president?

  20. avatar Jay says:

    Kim,

    You really should try to use that thing in your cranium called a brain, thinking for yourself can be fun! Otherwise, we’ll just consider you one of Fox Noise’s little pet parrots and disregard everything you have to say.

  21. avatar JB says:

    “what the hell does that mean,, jsut because they are black or woman they desereve it more because its time??!!,, that is just such a crock of shit,,”

    Yes Kim. That’s exactly what I’m saying. Only black people and women deserve to be president. No more white men. And yes, liberals want the government to pay for everything so that we can all sit on our lazy butts and do nothing, living off of hard-working conservatives. You’ve hit the nail on the head! You’re extremely perceptive!

    Beware! Obama is coming for you with his giant tax increases…er…wait, you mean he’s proposing tax cuts for the middle class? Never mind.

    Turn off Fox News and try reading a book (preferably one that wasn’t written by Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity).

  22. avatar JB says:

    “No doubt another may also think for me; but it is not therefore desirable that he should do so to the exclusion of my thinking for myself.”

    — Walden, H.D. Thoreau

  23. avatar Izabela says:

    I need to add my 10 cents…not 2 cents but 10 and I hope it is soft spoken message..
    Sarah Palin is not a good choice and her action record s show where she stands on oil exploration, animal protection and environmental issues.
    She is conservative – good.
    Fiscally responsible with exception of spending 400,000K to support aerial killing of wolves
    she supports hunting of bears in close proximity to katmai…
    and she represents the big O as for OIL and not the vrigin cold press olive OIL..:)
    she will drill anywhere…even in Arches park if possible
    I do hope America sees all this and will stop them in the tracks…like Hannity says – stop the Obama train..I say ..help to stop the MCcain train…
    the old man lost his old brain…

  24. avatar Salle says:

    Kim,

    How about it’s TIME because of the oppression we’ve endured under the white elite rulers, we have a clue about what it takes to deal with the problems of society, probably because we are society.

    So calm down, take a deep breath and consider this:

    Roughly half the population of humans on the planet are female; were it not for the kindness and grace of the female human who bore you, you wouldn’t be here. Women aren’t hard-wired to violence as a means of resolution first, they usually use violence in self defense, often as the last resort.

    These are facts, ask any credible anthropologist who observes cultures and social structures.

    I would prefer someone who can think about things and produce reasonable solutions for all (or most) stakeholdes as the person who represents us to the rest of the humans on the planet, more often than not, you will find that there are more female humans who fit that criterion than male humans. Also, even for the American culture of the present-day, I would rather have someone who was aware of numerous other cultures and saw the value of them and in them as our president rather than someone who can only see others in the world through oil stained dollar-sign lenses.

    I would consider persons with such qualities and abilities “deserving” no matter what color, religion, biological assignment (sex), or sexual orientation. or political party.

  25. avatar Salle says:

    CNN has already put out a “warm-fuzzy” story about her and how she took on the big oil companies…

    http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=3906861&cl=9508717&ch=4226716&src=news

  26. avatar Izabela says:

    TripleJ..
    I am with you…
    Bad news..Sarah Palin is bad bad news…

    I was so upset today at work when I heard the old man picked her..
    the choice is clear BIG O!!!
    Nothing stops them now…
    How sad..

  27. avatar Buffaloed says:

    I’m waiting for the day when Biden reformulates his statement about Gulliani to something like this:

    …… a noun, a verb and P.O.W.

  28. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    kim,

    that’s a really sad and lonely comment full of fear and hate and untruths… i wish you luck in that lonely place. I believe that Obama is building a campaign that will successfully transcend this characteristic Republican paradigm – and doing so with voters on the fence – he is successfully projecting an image in stark contrast to that tired gutter politics and it’s drawing undecided voters away from the trash while at the same time galvanizing a new base of voters – and that those voters ‘turned on to the process’ are more and more willing to be engaged and open with a new receptiveness to progressive ideals including environmental awareness, the importance of community, public interest advocacy and the fundamental life-blood of a healthy democracy – the belief that their effort has an affect. Public interest advocates of all stripes will potentially benefit from this new pool of engagement if this candidate is successful – which makes it all-so-much more critical that the effort and idealism be encouraged, uplifted, and ultimately rewarded on election day – lest the extent of this high turn out to be nothing more than the extent of the fall.

    i suppose what i am saying kim is that i guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    SmokyMtMan,
    the groundswell is happening – all of the things you cite as reasons why Obama will not win are talking points of the right wing – and for my part, i believe that the Obama campaign is doing a phenomenal job of leading this campaign season’s conversation. Even the Palin tap is a ‘following’ or ‘reactionary’ proposition on McCain’s part and it will likely backfire on the candidate in many ways. Obama is making history – McCain is reacting to Obama’s campaign. Biden’s debates with Palin will give the Obama ticket a stark contrast in the two’s competency and experience – Biden’s potential performance in debate with regard to highlighting this contrast in experience will inevitably waft onto the general Obama ticket and is a remarkably fortunate turn of events for the D ticket – they’ll be able to demonstrate that superior competency there which will markedly enhance Biden’s contribution to the ticket and relieve the campaign of the need to “respond” to a degree otherwise necessary in other forums should this contrast not exist. Obama will have more room, time, and resource to drive the conversation in other places. Additionally, nobody knows Palin (except that she’s big Oil and that she’s a huge supporter of the aerial slaughter of wolves in Alaska) – the time and resource expended bringing folk ‘up to speed’ puts McCain further behind.

    The bottom line – from my perspective – is that there are more people engaged in this political process up to this point than at any other time in history – more people showing up to political events including caucuses and primaries and house-parties etc. That groundswell is happening on one side of the political spectrum and it’s happening among a demographic that largely does not have land-lines (will largely be discounted and largely under-appreciated on the horse-race political polling) – but whose cell-phones, computers, and mobile devices the Obama campaign is doing an incredible job at turning into a GOTV organizational infrastructure that is more efficient and closer to recipient constituents than at any time in our history. Even McCain’s lame jab at Obama as being a “superstar” as if it’s a bad thing is quite funny – and reactionary – a good sign for Obama supporters.

    SmokyMtMan,
    All of the things that you cite as reasons why Obama will not win are technical details being inflated and pumped into the public consciousness via right-wing echo-chamber media outlets. I might ask whether you are as cynical enough as I to believe that political campaigns are often not so much about details as they are about general perceptions — that people on the fence who respond to polls often vote with their “feeling” largely informed by vague image – then find a ‘rational’ reason ‘why’ among the 4 or 5 listed on the poll after that fact – or at least enough do so as to constitute a “swing” population. That Obama’s policy is better than McCain’s there can be little doubt – but (sadly) just as importantly, his subconsciously projected image on this political stage is so vastly superior in so many ways to [crusty] McCain’s that even the cynical belief that the political process has been reduced to mere theater may thrust Obama into the Whitehouse. The Ds have figured this theater out and I trust that they are both galvanizing the base support necessary to overcome and “swing” of undecideds – as well as dominating the subconscious imagery theater that will draw “swingers” into the big D corner.

    SmokyMtMan – this is a moment for idealism.

  29. avatar Maska says:

    “this is a moment for idealism.”

    It’s also a moment for conservationists to shake out their piggy banks and contribute not only to the Obama campaign, but to those Senatorial and Congressional candidates that will support our priorities, and to state and local candidates who can make a difference. In the case of county commissioners, city councilors, etc., a very little money can make a big difference.

    Then, go to work for the campaign of a candidate of your choice. And, oh, yes—work at the polls either as a poll worker or a poll watcher, to ensure that this election doesn’t get stolen.

  30. I have to ask my friends from Idaho whether Palin and her big hair remind them of any Idaho politicians or politicians?

  31. avatar Barb says:

    Palin being nominated highly motivated me to send more money to wolf advocacy groups.

  32. avatar outsider says:

    You would think that we would be celabrating the fact that Governor Palin wants to clean up the fine mess that we call washington. I think that her record I don’t care how small some people say it is shows she has and will clean house. Dems and Repubs are both a bunch a special intrest lap dogs. When was the last time anybody said no to handouts and special interests. Leader Reid, Speaker Palosi, and a bunch of long time politicans should be scared of someone like this. If I had my way I would throw out all the bums, every single one, look at the fine mess they have us in, spend, spend, spend, if they want more money they just go print it. Its about time they started makeing us work for what we get instead of just promising more crack, I mean handouts for the masses.

  33. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    Brian,

    I wasn’t using talking points. I am using examples of the most common perceptions of people that I know use to define these candidates. These are the things you hear often because they have been found to resonate with voters. You should be careful not to ridicule nor attempt to diminish these so-called talking points, as they sway entire elections. Are these things overly simplistic……yes. Are these so-called talking points conducive to a healthy debate concerning who our candidates really are…….not really.

    But these general perceptions are how the national media communicates to the American public in 2008. It is how the candidates are packaged and presented, and all this is by design. It provides more control over the candidacies and the media’s short attention span makes it practically impossible for anything to be as effective.

    You may not be aware, but the vast majority of Americans don’t follow politics closely.

    A sad and shocking percentage cannot even name the vice President. So, when discussing these candidates’ chances in a general election, these generalities are precisely the kind of data that elections turn on.

    Look at what defined John Kerry in 2004. It wasn’t specifics. You ask if I am cynical enough to believe that political campaigns are often not so much about details as they are about general perceptions……and I respond, of course I believe that completely as it is the undeniable truth. The specifics rarely matter as much in national elections.

    And this discussion of the use of generalities leads us to the so-called debates. They are debates only in name. They are so watered down and limited by nonsensical rules they aren’t debates at all; not by any measure. They are merely a closely controlled photo op with prepared 30-second answers to the most predictable questions.

    If our political establishment actually wanted us to really get to personally know the candidates, then in the debates the candidates would ask each other questions. They would respond to each other directly, and follow up their opponent’s responses with further questions in order to dig deeper into the issues. But that isn’t close to what we get.

    I am very cynical indeed, so I will not say why I think both the national parties have allowed the debates to become as watered down as they currently are. But I know both parties want the debates to be exactly the way they are.

    And why is that…..it isn’t only the Right that relies upon the propaganda of generalities, mis-truths, the careful creation of personal images and public perception, false advertising, blatant distortions of record, and empty promises in our elections.

  34. avatar TPageCO says:

    Ralph-

    You must be thinking of our dear departed Miss Helen…

    Maybe so, but there’s also Lenore and JoAnn. RM

  35. avatar DumOleBob says:

    Oh come on John McCain – is THAT the best you can do? A 72 year old President needs to be a little more thoughtful…Daaaaaa

  36. avatar Jeff says:

    This pick reminds me of Bush picking Harriet Meyers for the Supreme Court in some ways.

  37. avatar Mike says:

    Kim comes up with another gem. I think she’s been listening to too much right wing radio.

    There are four basic needs in this world:

    1. healthcare
    2. shelter
    3. food and water
    4. friends and/or family

    The U.S. *needs* to have a health care plan that covers all Americans. Do you have any idea the kind of security that would provide, and the quality of life bounce that would provide? When your parents get old and sick, they are paid for. When you get old and sick, you are paid for. When your sisters/brothers get old and sick, they are paid for. Yeah, it may take a few extra dollars out of your paycheck, but if ALL your medical expenses are covered and you have a roof over your head, what else do you need? That’s a level of security many Americans don’t have.

    A friend of mine has a sick mom who really should be in a home. The cost of that home would be $75,000 a year. Her husband should be retired but he has to keep his job because of health care. He’s working himself into the ground. That’s not how America should be. And God forbid some day Kim, some day youor someone you care about gets sick and requires tens of thousands of dollars of care that insurance ocmpanies won’t cover. Then, and only then will you be singing the praises of national health care.

    I’m truly amazed at just how stupid most Republicans are. The same thing happened with all the drilling. For years right wing hunters lashed out at conservationists, calling them “tree huggers”, etc. Then the past couple years oil wells start popping up at the place where Johnny and Pops used to hunt mule deer in their youth, and now they are all outraged. Better late than never I suppose.

  38. avatar Don Riley says:

    http://www.adn.com/news/politics/story/510080.html

    A little bit on her “executive” expeience.

  39. avatar Don Riley says:

    PS to above:

    What they won’t let her forget: She actually dissed the job a month ago. Politico.com says Palin must have been as surprised as we were that she got the nod, given her remarks about the vice president’s office during an interview with Larry Kudlow on CNBC a month ago:

    Palin replied: “As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.”

  40. avatar Barb says:

    I think everyone should be able to get good health care that’s affordable and within whatever they can afford. I just don’t think the government should run it. It would end up to mediocre / poor health care.

  41. avatar cobra says:

    To bad Condy or Collin didn’t run for the top spot. I really wonder sometimes just how much a president has to do with things other than being a fall guy for the senate and congress. Time will tell all of us who was right ,if any of us

  42. avatar Mike says:

    Palin is currently being investigated for abuse of power in Alaska.

  43. avatar Rod says:

    Obama?? No substance, No track record, No vote (not mine). You guys amaze me…

  44. avatar TimothyB says:

    Ralph: I respect you and this blog but comments like “Palin and her big hair” are…well, sounding quite childish.

    Forgive me if I don’t understand your reference to “big hair” but it sounds like you dislike her for her looks? Maybe big hair has a true policy or political implication? I certainly hope so.

    It’s kind of an Idaho joke, but some of us have noticed that a lot of anti-conservation women have big hair. Palin looks fine, I suppose. Ralph

  45. avatar steve c says:

    I just saw old footage of her on the news… her hair was pretty big.

  46. avatar JD says:

    As a strategy to attract woman voters, particularly Hillary’s supporters, this appears misguided and off base.
    The majority of women are pro-choice and Sarah Palin is pro-life. How then does this attract the majority of woman voters, especially Clinton supporters ??
    What this selection does is solidy and energize the hard-core base of the Republican Party for McCain, which base has been at best lukewarm with his nomination.
    With as many as 3 Supreme Court openings in the next four years, the selection of Palin assures that the base will turn out in force for McCain in November. This was a serious concern within the Republican ranks.
    But Palin attractive to pro-choice women ? I wouldn’t think so for the very same reasons.

  47. avatar Salle says:

    I’m not impressed with Palin at all. She appears to be a PR princess for McCain’s sorry platform. And the worst consideration, besides that of the upcoming SC appointments mentioned earlier, John’s not a spring chicken and has a history of health issues. Palin is NOT someone I want represent me to the world.

    I have watched a bunch of “spots” on her in the last 36 hours and I find her a little too emphatic about policies that are just dead wrong and out of touch with the state of the nation and what it will take to heal the malaise upon us.

    there was a report on NPR news yesterday that indicated that, according to the web masters of Wikipedia, someone went into her profile and rewrote over 80% of it with much more favorable text during the twenty-four hours prior to the announcement. The web masters blew the whistle.

    I’m insulted by the choice that clearly indicates that women are stupid enough to drop their core issue concerns and vote for this sorry proposition simply because it’s a she.

    And yes, her big hair reminds me of those Idaho gals too.

  48. avatar Izabela says:

    Who can stop the old man’s train??
    I predict that the old man and his match will win the white house as I predicted he will select her. How did I know? Just a gut feeling..really..maybe because I hate her choice in Alaska..arrogant and not serving anyone but herself and big Oil..
    He needed pro life woman and he needs oil.. PR is going touse the fact that her child was born with DS as a portrait of real pro life choice..
    Too bad Obama did not select Hilary…
    I would like to see the cat fight..:)

  49. avatar debbiz says:

    “And yes, her big hair reminds me of those Idaho gals too.”

    After all, she was born in Idaho and went to college here.

  50. avatar Salle says:

    The following is an excerpt from an MSNBC article that appeared on CommonDreams.org yesterday~the last few paragraphs of the article:

    Clash over ethics

    After her unsuccessful run [at lieutenant gov. in 2002], Palin received an appointment to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, where she ended up serving a role in an ethics probe into Republican Party Chairman Randy Reudrich, who was questioned about conflicts of interest with the oil industry.

    The investigation ultimately forced Ruedrich to resign from the commission.

    Palin’s role in the investigation left her a party outsider, but she was able to win the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary against Murkowski, going on to win the 2006 general election by seven points over her Democratic opponent.

    During one debate before the primary, Palin said she was in favor of capital punishment in especially heinous cases such as the murder of a child. “My goodness, hang ’em up, yeah,” she said.

    Born in Idaho, Palin moved to Alaska with her parents in 1964, when they went there to teach school.

    She received a degree in communications and journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987.
    © 2008 MSNBC

    Well, that explains the “big hair” thing, she IS from Idaho!!!

    She’s Helen Chenoweth reincarnated, but monogamous. Ralph

  51. avatar John says:

    Someone who blatantly ignores the public voice, wriggles through political loopholes to get her way and has a few friends in companies who couldn’t care less about wilderness areas or wildlife – its just screaming for something bad to happen.

  52. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    The mainstream media has hinted about her right-wing leanings, but I have not heard a lot. I did however, hear that she wants to “outlaw” abortion. I would think that the women voters would rebel and not vote her. She just has too much baggage and the mainsttream media should have a field day.

    Rick

  53. avatar Salle says:

    I wonder if she’s LDS too, she originates from Idaho. That might explain her abortion stance and a number of other issues that the church supports. She seems to be on the same page with most of those.

  54. She’s a Protestant

  55. Governor Palin and the Republican convention will probably soon take back seat to Hurricane Gustav, which appears will hit Louisana near the Texas border Monday as a category 4 hurricane in about the worst place for U.S. oil supply.

    Then the politics will be that of the aftermath of the hurricane.

  56. avatar Izabela says:

    She is pro life but she wants to kill wolves.big and small and pups not even walking yet..
    the picture of her with the bear skin on the couch makes me angry…she does not respect the nature
    and one day karma is going to get her…
    all creatures of God deserve life…
    Pro life means pro life for all….

    BTW..

  57. avatar Salle says:

    Just curious, I couldn’t find anything on that. Religion flavor doesn’t really matter when you let your religion drive your politics. I just have a creepy feeling about that sort of thing, something about that pesky part of the Constitution that declares separation of church and state as the precept of political participation in this nation…

    I did receive a newsletter from Moveon.org which contained these references for further inquiry (I’d take the Wikipedia entries with a grain of salt since someone “fixed” them the day before it was announced that she was the VP selection for McCain who only met her once before~8/28.):

    1. “Sarah Palin,” Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin

    2. “McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate,” NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17515&id=13661-3002500-2J0r0Xx&t=1

    3. “Sarah Palin, Buchananite,” The Nation, August 29, 2008
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17736&id=13661-3002500-2J0r0Xx&t=2

    4. “‘Creation science’ enters the race,” Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17737&id=13661-3002500-2J0r0Xx&t=3

    5. “Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science,” Huffington Post, August 29, 2008
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17517&id=13661-3002500-2J0r0Xx&t=4

    6. “McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy,” Sierra Club, August 29, 2008
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17518&id=13661-3002500-2J0r0Xx&t=5

    “Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past,” League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17519&id=13661-3002500-2J0r0Xx&t=6

    “Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor,” The Times of London, May 23, 2008
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17520&id=13661-3002500-2J0r0Xx&t=7

    7 “McCain met Palin once before yesterday,” MSNBC, August 29, 2008
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=21119&id=13661-3002500-2J0r0Xx&t=8

    I have some uncomfortable feelings about her and anyone else who might end up in her place should she be “dissed” like Ferraro…

    This just seems like such a lopsided set of election selections. I can’t see how anyone can get behind the R ticket this time around. I did notice that directly following the general realization that McCain was the one to be nominated eventually, he suddenly adopted that Dick Cheney-monotone-of-doom-speak threatening tone. It was obvious that the Rove machine was dictating his script from that point on, at least it seemed so to me. None of his policy proposals make much sense, this selection doesn’t either.

  58. avatar Salle says:

    I think that Gustav will be a good thing for the Reps to see how big nature really is and that it can take the media away their little party. If any luck, they will be cringing at the way the Bush admin. handles this event. I don’t expect that they will have any real alternatives that would be any better than what we have now.

    As Bill Clinton might say to folks in the Gulf states, “It’s 2008 in the middle of hurricane season, so how’re ya doin’?”

  59. avatar Barb says:

    I wonder if there is any truth to this rumor — that her child with down’s syndrome is not her child but her 16 year old daughter’s. Rumor has it that she was embarrassed and outraged that her teenage daughter became pregnant so she thought up a scheme to pretend it was hers:

    http://themoderatevoice.com/politics/sarah-palin/22236/the-fully-vetted-sarah-palin/

    If it’s true it raises serious questions about her judgment and ability to tell the truth.

  60. avatar JB says:

    In my opinion, you can’t call yourself “pro-life” if you don’t support universal health care. It is the ultimate hypocrisy to support bringing unwanted children into the world and then oppose health care for those very same children. At best, these so-called conservatives can call themselves “pro-birth.”

    A truly “pro-life” stance would be to oppose abortion and support universal health care–or at the very least–universal health care for children.

  61. avatar john weis says:

    Wow Barb, that is quite the accusation. If it is true, maybe my prediction of two days on the ticket will be accurate.

  62. avatar Salle says:

    …and if so, it doesn’t bode well for the McCainster and his judement either.

  63. avatar Jay says:

    JB,
    I wish I could take credit for this quote, but I think it accurately encompasses the right wing, pro-life zealots’ attitude towards the whole issue: “life begins at conception and ends at birth.”

  64. avatar TimothyB says:

    Salle: I don’t like the people along the Gulf Coast either so I hope they get hammered by a CAT 5 hurricane and the entire world fails to help. That will really show those Republican pigs. Heck maybe a huge earthquake will hit every Red State and really throw them off their Convention. /scarcasm off/Adi

    Shaking head in amazement as he pushes the Submit Comment button. Adios……………………

  65. avatar kim kaiser says:

    “A little bit on her “executive” expeience”

    and hussein is a leader? of what? what has he headed, has he even been a mayor of small town, hell no, he has done nothing to show he can lead,,, nothing, of his what 2 years in congress, he has been on the campaign trail for over a year and a half, so please put up somewhere that hussein has the executive experince to lead,, oh shoot, he probably put together a few basketball tournaments in chicago,,

    not all change is good folks,, be care ful what you wish for,,

    and as for abortion, pro life, what ever, for what its worth,, to thwart any suggestion i follow party line,, i believe abortion should not only be legal, but mandatory for
    1:pregnancies in girls under 18.
    2:pregancies that the birth mother shows heroin, crack or coke in blood test.
    3 birthmothers under 18 who already have 3 kids, and sterilization for these, they have a lifetimes worth of kids they cant care for, and will never be able to care for, that means society has to take care of them. society cant continue to take care of all this,
    so dont call me a party liner

  66. avatar JB says:

    Jay:

    Hadn’t heard that one, but you’re right, it expresses their attitudes quite well. You might also say, from the ultra right-wing point of view: societal responsibility begins at conception and ends at birth.

    I really shouldn’t even get into these conversations. I get angry just thinking about it.

  67. avatar JB says:

    Wait, who is this Hussein person you keep mentioning? Are we calling everyone by their middle name now? Oh right, I get it: you’re trying to associate Obama with Sadam Hussein in a rather pitiful attempt to cast doubt upon his character. A tactic worthy of Fox News!

    Pathetic.

  68. avatar Jay says:

    What’s your hangup with using Barack’s middle name, Kaiser? Are you trying to insinuate or somehow associate him with Islamic extremists? Do you think that’s funny, or clever? How ’bout this little factoid: KAISER Wilhelm instigation of the first World War resulted in, oh, 8.5 million dead. Maybe we should be asociating you with this lovely little war because of your name, idiot.

  69. avatar Barb says:

    There is just something creepy about her. She seriously reminds me of this neighbor of mine who prided herself on what a good Christian she was but was continually telling lies.

    I bet it comes out that it is true that “her” baby with down’s syndrome actually belongs to her 16 year old daughter.

    If it’s true, that would be very embarrassing for her, her family, and the hospital! Oh, and of course, Mr. McCain.

    http://rockthetruth.blogspot.com/2008/08/palins-down-syndrome-child-is-daughters.html

  70. avatar Barb says:

    JB Says:
    August 30, 2008 at 8:16 pm
    In my opinion, you can’t call yourself “pro-life” if you don’t support universal health care. It is the ultimate hypocrisy to support bringing unwanted children into the world and then oppose health care for those very same children. At best, these so-called conservatives can call themselves “pro-birth.” A truly “pro-life” stance would be to oppose abortion and support universal health care–or at the very least–universal health care for children.
    *********************

    Some people have said that Palin is “intelligent.” I really don’t see much of that. I see a lot of personal ambition and aggressiveness, but not much thought behind her views.

    She has also lived away from most of civilization in very rural and remote areas her entire adult life. How can she connect with city people and their issues and concerns?

    God Forbid, if McCain won the election and then died in office?

  71. avatar Salle says:

    Here’s an interesting opinion I found in the New York Times…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/30/opinion/30collins-.html?hp

    And Timothy B,

    I never said I didn’t like the folks on the gulf coast or anything of the sort. Perhaps you read a little too much into other’s words?

    I don’t wish such things onto others simply because their philosophy seems utterly misguided compared to what I think and believe. And most of the folks who will be affected are not slimy politicians, they are mostly poor citizens like those of us in this region.

    I don’t like to see the devastation like we’ll see in the gulf the next few days as Gustav is now being upgraded to Category 5 and still has all the warm water to cross before it gets to the next land mass regardless of where that landmass is. I am wondering when they will have to come up with the Category 6 rating.

    It also looks as though the republican party may have to postpone their convention due to the hurricane. Now that little bit of news kind of makes me chuckle in a sort of naughty way…

  72. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Pretty disgusting when a nice blog about conservation and wildlife in the western US starts allowing links to MoveOn and other extreme left wing blogs trying to discredit Palin’s pregnancy.

  73. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Ralph says,

    She’s a Protestant

    Evangelical ?

    Wyo Native – I’d be interested to hear a rebuttal of the MoveOn and other links that refutes the merit of the content. I’ll be waiting…

  74. Brian,

    According to the Wikipedia, “Sarah was originally baptized as a Catholic, but was rebaptized at age 12 by the Wasilla Assembly of God Church. She currently worships at The Church on the Rock, an independent congregation, and describes herself as a non-denominational Christian.”

    There is also an interesting side-story about her Wikipedia bio. It was “scrubbed” just before McCain’s announcement, with about 30 mostly negative references removed.

    Palin’s Wikipedia Entry Gets Overhaul. by Yuki Noguchi. NPR

  75. avatar steve c says:

    Here is a good story from Alaska about her surprise pregnancy.

    http://www.adn.com/front/story/336402.html

  76. avatar JB says:

    Wyo Native says: “Pretty disgusting when a nice blog about conservation and wildlife in the western US starts allowing links to MoveOn and other extreme left wing blogs trying to discredit Palin’s pregnancy.”

    I agree with you on two points: (1) this is a very “nice” source for news and information about wildlife and conservation; and (2) the stuff about Palin’s pregnancy isn’t really relevant, at least not to me.

    However, I disagree that MoveOn.org is on the “extreme left.” If MoveOn is “extreme” in the positions they take it is only in relation to the positions of the current Administration, which is so far to the right that they’ve lost touch with most of the American electorate. If you actually read the piece on Palin on MoveOn’s website, you’d find they attack her strictly on the issues (unlike some so-called “mainstream” news outlets, i.e. Fox “News”). Here’s an interesting quote from an Alaskan native from MoveOn’s piece that shows exactly why it IS relevant to this blog and its readers:

    “She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She’s a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again…She has NO experience beyond Alaska.” –Christine B., Denali Park, AK

    This quote is not only relevant to the discussion about Palin, but an ongoing discussion concerning the politics of hunting, guns, and the environment (see: http://wolves.wordpress.com/2008/08/28/the-anti-conservation-mission-of-the-nra/).

    If you have information that discredits MoveOn or any of the information they’ve posted on Palin, than by all means please share it. If not, I’d suggest finding a more substantive method for discrediting their content.

  77. avatar Barb says:

    Wyoming Native — The issue of politics and environment are inextricably linked. This is a big election; it’s all relevant.

    Provide some evidence to the contrary. The stories out there have provided evidence to support it.

  78. avatar vicki says:

    Hey everyone…I am a female who hunts and fishes, I also have four kids ( a lot by today’s standards). So why didn’t McCain ask me to run? Because I haven’t won a beauty pageant? My hair is big (well, naturally curly) and I can memorize a speech too. I guess Palin and I are similar, excepting:
    I have a clue, and am not willing to call myself the moral police-(throw rocks in glass houses Palin, and you might end up with a few deep cuts.)

    Her anti-abortion stand will lose her any hope of Hillary conversion votes.

    And a child with special needs should have opened her eyes to the need for affordable healthcare alternatives and long-term care assistance. (If her child out lives her, someone will have to care for that child.)

    Ironically, the majority of McCain’s staunchest defenders will be older voters. They are also the people who will be lacking healthcare and housing, unable to make it on their SSI. They burden their children and their children’s children with the policies of a president who won’t help to prevent them from having to live off of their children or eat cat food.

    Kim,
    I urge you to remember that this “racist” stand you are taking is directed at a man who was raised by his very caucasion mother, having little to do with his black father….last seeing him at about age ten I think. So if psychology stands to reason, he’d be hating blacks…not whites. However, he disassociated from his former reverend, because he made racist statements.

    Furthermore, you can attend a church your entire life, be very devoted to the church ….and still not share it’s views on everything. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the high number of unwed Catholic mothers, or gay priests….or the recent news in Colorado where a preacher in a high profile right wing church resigned because he paid his male massage therapist for sex…

    You don’t have to like him(Obama), but throwing racially oriented slur after another his way makes you guilty of the accusations you have made toward him.

    Mandatory abortion? That is just as bad as no abortion…honey, that shouldn’t be up to you or any other government.

    I know about differing from the party line. I am a gun toting liberal, raised by a family who was floored when I married a Black-American (he isn’t African..was born in Oklahoma…and I am not a Spanish/Irish-American…I was born in Phoenix…we have to drop racial identification and gender stereo-typing too). I don’t think affirmative action helps anyone anymore, in fact I believe it pulls you back into history. I argue endlessly with my mother who has no clue about what damage is happening to our environment.

    But even democrats can be hunters, and some republicans may be environmentalists (don’t know of any, but it is possible.) Not everyone who believes in a woman’s right to choose abortion has had one herself. And not every female is okay with being handed things she could have earned on her own anyhow.

    Why don’t we all move away? Because we have a right to vote how we want to here. If that is a problem for you, Kim, you are the person who should be moving…to a place where dictators tell the people what they can and cannot say or do. Not vice-versa.

    What counts here is wether or not a republican president can influence legislation. Could a republican president do much in a democratic led house and senate? He could appoint many judges, but they can only interpret the laws made by the liberal legislators.

    President and Vice President will be important to world perception and foreign policy, because those things are based a lot on face value and appearances. But your effort to help the environment has much, much more to do with how you vote for legislators on the state and federal levels.
    That is huge for our safety people, because having a president the world hates makes you a target. Having one people revere makes us all more liked in the world’s opinion.

    Will Obama raise taxes? No more than McCain..it’s about which one’s they raise. Why will they be raised? Because Bush created a national deficit the size of all the oceans combined, and they only way to lower it is to increase taxes. The money they use is borrowed from the citizens who pay it.

    So the question is, who will better use your tax dollars to represent what you see as imprortant. Taxes for alternative fuels, I say yes. Taxes to keep the elderly and children in good health, yes again. Taxes to help buy land to conserve, yes again. Taxes to re-educate displaced oil workers and miners, cattlemen who have no more leases …yes, yes.

    Taxes to fund wars fought in other countries when haven’t secured our own, hell no. Taxes to further strip our natural resources and harm our environment, hell no. Taxes to assure that oil company CEO’s get bonuses and profits that could end our national deficit…no flippin’ way!

    You can call McCain a maverik…but that just means he has on occasion pissed his own people off, not that he did any good by doing it.

    Is this a historical time? Yes, but only in statisics. Obama was nominated because he earned it. Palin is a token white female, selected because of her gender…not without regard to it. That is a big slap in the face for women everywhere who fight to overcome gender obstacles. Palin is running for office so she can set us back fifty years. Allow her to have her way and we won;t be able to choose what happens to our bodies, and then what? We won’t have a say in how our home is run, or maybe lose our right to vote? Not all history being made is good.

    The irony of Palin is, she pushes her conservative agenda, while failing to see she is not a part of it. She opposed abortion because life begins at conception…that is a biblical belief, not a scientific one. Doesn’t she know that the evry same religeous high ground she is standing on would have her submit to her spouse and be shutting up in her bare feet while doing her chores in the kitchen???? Says no to corruption, yet contributes to it in her own way? She is just another politician folks…. not a hero….just a hypocrit.

  79. avatar Izabela says:

    To anyone…if you care about environment, wildlife and the legacy we will leave to our grandchildren..than you care who is your president and VICE president.
    Palin’s record is not good for the things I care about.
    Again, if you are pro-life – you are pro-life for all God’s creates regardless of religion, color, sex, 2 legs or 4 paws..
    Palin is not a good choice, regrdless her conservative views which allow her her to climb the ladder.
    God, keep us away from president like this…yes…possiblity is the old man kicks the bucket while in the office…

  80. avatar Barb says:

    How can Palin call herself pro-life and promote a brutal air assault on our Alaskan wolves? Its barbaric and should be illegal. Her own voters twice voted it down so the “Safari Club” comes in to help fund the PR campaign to “educate” voters on the issue.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but shooting animals from airplanes (where they have to often shoot several times to get a ‘good’ shot) is cruel and abusive and an abomination to nature itself.

    I believe in karma and people who engage in these kinds of activities or promote them are going to someday get what they deserve for disrespecting God’s creatures for greed.

  81. avatar Save bears says:

    I want to preface this with, I am a conservationist, as well as work on environmental issues, as well as being a wildlife biologist and a hunter, but somehow, I have a hard time talking about the comparison of human life to wildlife, they, in my opinion are two entirely different subjects.

    An no, I am not for the killing of wolves from a plane..

    Look at the issues folks, don’t lump them together, and make rational choices, I fear as never in the past, this is a election season based on hate and bias

    Until such time as the hate and biases cool off, I can’t see a day, that either party is going to unite in a common goal..

  82. avatar Save bears says:

    Just to add, and illustration some of my worry….

    We have seen Obama, called a closet Muslim, who hates America and has a wife who hates America!

    I have heard people call Palin a $20 whore, who is hiding her daughters illegitimate child and saying it is her own…

    I mean some of the outlandish things getting thrown around are crazy…and they have nothing to do with the issues that will carry us as American forward in solving the problems of this country!

  83. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Save bears,

    if this becomes an election based on hate and bias then McCain will have it. Neither of the candidates can control the sludge-cesspool-of-consciousness-gutter politics that burbles up from below – but I think Obama is doing a good job of setting a tone contrary to that – McCain seems to be fostering it. The Republicans are better at that game.

    This is an election season based on hope and the opportunity to make history.

  84. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Barb, I am Pro-Choice and I don’t support shooting Wolves from planes; but according to your analogy should I?

    Save Bears, I agree with you 100% on the hate aspects of this campaign season by both sides of the isle. That is why I am disapointed that this useful wildlife/conservation blog is allowing hatefull links regarding Palin’s pregnancy.

    Brian, I do not dispute any of the information in the links that MoveOn provided; but other than the enviromental aspects of the links provided, I just don’t understand their importance to this blog. I am so shocked that a Social Conservative Republican Governor from Alaska is Pro Life, supported Buchanan, and supports Creationism being taught in schools. But I guess I did learn why I support ethical regulated hunting of wolves, bears, and ungulates; it’s because I am a Pro Choice Libertarian.

    Ralph, I would love to see a thread started about Obama’s reference to his energy policy during his acceptance speach this last week. I recall a comment he made about “Tapping into our Natural Gas Reserves”. Would anyone like to elaborate where those reserves are located?

    Bob Barr ’08!

  85. avatar Izabela says:

    Save bears,
    this election will be difficult.
    This election is one to remember and tell the grandchildren about.
    This election I promissed myself I chose the candidate based on the vice president.
    I made my choice. And it is not old man. I am pro life but ….
    if you are pro life you are pro life for all God’s creatures.
    All, I want is to have goverment which cares about future and not just NOW as our current goverment cares.
    Future for your chlidren and grandchildren.
    And this involves all the items we talk here about, wolves, bears, polar bears, global warming and etc.
    So, if I am pro life, I am pro life for all inlcuding animals and future human generations.
    We are the generation to make a difference.
    I am 50 years old and I care if my grand grand children will know wolves or bears from pictures or from visit to the zoo or from visit to the Yellowstone Park.
    I am prolife and I want to have healthy air for my grandchildren

  86. Party loyalty, called “party identification” or just “party ID” by political scientists, is the strongest political attitude.

    Most Americans will, if asked call themselves “Republicans” or “Democrats.” Even self professed “independents,” if asked (about 2/3) will say they lean toward one party or the other if asked, and their behavior reflects what they say.

    Political events are filtered through the lenses of party identification for most people, and that’s why many will quickly accept the idea that Obama is a closet Muslim or Palin’s 5 th child was really a ruse, hiding the pregnancy of her daughter.

    When a person sees themselves as a Democrat or a Republican, they have a ready shortcut for how to interpret political events and how to vote amidst the confusion of the campaign and the claims and counterclaims. They use party ID to know which groups are their friends and which are their enemies.

    As a result, any thread taking on the candidate of one party will automatically meet with a lot of hostility (and approval), regardless of what is written.

  87. avatar Barb says:

    As much as protecting wolves and other predatory animals that are persecuted through no fault of their own is my unabashed passion (and I’m proud of it), Sarah Palin has way less experience than Biden, should something happen to the president. She’s been governor for less than 2 years and has lived her entire adult life in a very remote region without the problems of our major cities. She seems more intent on ‘cleaning up corruption’ than solving the actual bigger issues we have as far as the economy and the Iraq war, neither of which has to do with corruption. She’s off subject.

  88. avatar Save bears says:

    Barb,

    I am sorry, Corruption is one of the BIGGEST problems that faces our government, that is why we end up with $700 dollar hammers and $900 toilet seats, until such time as we start cleaning some of this up, we have less money to devote to other issues, corruption in healthcare, corruption in preservation causes, it is a problem problem now a days, and I could care less which side of the political spectrum you are on! It needs to be stopped, we have plenty of money to work on problems, but as long as it continues to go into corrupt hands, it is not available for the real problems!

  89. avatar JB says:

    “…any thread taking on the candidate of one party will automatically meet with a lot of hostility (and approval), regardless of what is written.”

    Which is why we should focus our discussion on the candidates stances on the issues and their actions with respect to the issues. It was shocking to me to learn about the factors that influence how people vote in an election. The “he’s like me” voting shortcut (or “heuristic”) Ralph mentioned is one of many studied by political scientists. People will cast votes based on race, religion, sex, age, values, political party, comeliness, etc. Ironically, these are the very things that we forbid employers take into consideration when hiring someone for a job!

    I view this country a bit like a large company where I am a shareholder; when “hiring” a president for this company, I plan to make my decision based upon who I think will do a better job of promoting the long-term interests of its shareholders. Although I think John McCain has the best interests of this country at heart, his policies–which are, for the most part, a continuation of the policies of Bush/Cheney–will lead us toward ruin.

  90. avatar Salle says:

    Seems like she’s a little too eager to determine how others should live, act, and think when she has little experince in the outside world. You can’t call going to U of I, in tiny Moscow, ID, an exotic experience. I resent being spoken down to by politicians and I get that feeling from all the republicans, and then some. Palin’s demeanor is annoying at best.

    Honestly, she couldn’t convince me that the big, bright, shiny thing in the sky that makes daylight is the sun or that the night follows the day!

    Too polyannish for me.

  91. avatar Barb says:

    I agree Palin’s “hard guy” demeanor is very annoying.

    Save Bears, yes corruption is of course always important to address and get rid of. And wasting money means it can’t be used for other things. But politicians continue to fund pork projects. This is wrong but it’s not the true definition of corruption.

    I don’t agree that “corruption” per se, is in healthcare, etc. per se. Healthcare is screwed up because of tangled up laws.

    “Corruption” means there are good laws in place (but not being followed — ignored, etc.

    Good bills are often not passed because the other side added on something else to it so the original bill ended up to be voted down. Voters will only hear that “President X voted down bill ABC.” They won’t hear WHY>

    Russia’s government is example of one that is full of true corruption — not just sleaziness.

  92. avatar Barb says:

    Save Bears,

    If it is true if Palins child is really her daughters, it means she has a problem with coming clean with the truth which points to a character flaw.

    The subject itself, though interesting, is not the issue.

  93. avatar vicki says:

    The fact of the matter is, I don’t give a hoot if Palin hides her kid’s child (though unlikely because the rate of Down’s among mothers that young is extremely minimal). I don’t care if she hung her brother in law out to dry.(most peole would do the same for their own sister)

    What I care about is how she would lead our nation, and what she would do if she led.

    I am sick of hearing about young American’s dying or being crippled in fights over oil. Oil is something we may need, but we can find alternatives to end that need. I don’t see McCain or Palin doing enough to end the use of oil, foreign or domestic. I see them causing more families to grieve in order to continue enabling big oil to profit.

    I am tired of watching what few wild places we have left be squandered away in the name of oil and capitalism. Capitalism is a huge thing, but it shouldn’t out-weigh our children’s future and their rights to free wild spaces…not flawed by oil, and coal, and bull shit -literally.

    I am sick of watching the elderly population (who paid taxes for all their lives) of this country be treated with no regard to their contributions or respect.

    I am sick of watching thousands of ‘”middle class” Americans work two jobs to pay their children’s hospital bills because we cannot afford them the aid they need in their worst times…and why? Because we have spent billions of dollars fighting the fight of a man who believes he had to finish what his father failed to. (Sadam is dead, so is the real reason we went to Iraq.)

    You can’t fight America’s enemies with noble tactics. You have to fight them in their banks. You cannot tell the world you are a nation founded on the premise of religeous freedom while trying to force them to live up to chrisian ideals of right and wrong.

    I care that women who have been brutalized or are poor will be left with the option of raising a child they can’t afford or had no willingness in creating, or having to watch their child be given away simply because they don’t want to watch their baby do without.

    I care because I don’t want my sons or daughters fighting for values many Americans no longer share with our current president…and McCain and Palin would have them do just that.

    I care..and everyone should, that the principals of our president should be high and he/she should represent the rights of every American, even those who’s future they won’t live to see come to fruition. I care…and so should we all, that if we don’t begin to combat the bad policies and destructive practices of the current administration, our country will become bleak and dark….devoid of natural beauty.

  94. avatar Izabela says:

    Vicky,
    “I care about is how she would lead our nation, and what she would do if she led” exactly – I do care about all what you said.
    And from her little record from Alaska, I know she will be first to destroy our precious country, land and waters.
    To me she represents ME ME goverment with interest of her own.

  95. Vicki,

    I vote and give money based on the issues too, but the MSM thinks issues are boring. If someone is really informed, they are dismissed as a tiresome “policy wonk.”

    If Palin has a domestic scandal or two, that’s what they will cover — not her views on wildlife management, or even the more “hot button” issues like abortion and teaching creationism in the public schools.

  96. avatar Barb says:

    I think it’s fairly obvious what this Palin will be concerned with and fight for — gun rights, drilling for more oil, the right to ignore environmental concerns and push her own selfish agenda — the right to tell all other women that they “should” carry a baby to full term regardless of their own moral convictions, the right to brutalize wildlife in the name of “predator control” so she can eat more moose stew.

    From what I’ve learned of her, she seems to be a rather pushy “in your face” lady trying to be tough” — not a flattering picture.

    She is one of the worst choices McCain could have made. Many voters liked McCain because of his “moderate” stances. I think some people gave McCain some bad advice because I really don’t think this Palin was his choice.

    Even though the right wing and evangelicals were not crazy about McCain, they would have chosen him over Obama. So what good, really, did it do for him, to choose Palin? He needed to get more moderates. They’ll just be turned off now. Anti -environmentalism is not in style right now and I don’t see it being in style ever again.

  97. avatar Barb says:

    I saw this on another blog re: Education issues in Alaska under Sarah Palin:

    As a military member residing in Alaska with a child old enough to enter kindergarten in most states and a wife whom has worked in education for the state of Alaska, Sarah Palin is not the candidate you wish to support if education is high on your list of priorities. Schools in her state (specifically the Fairbanks area, interior Alaska) are not in accordance with the “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001 signed into law by President Bush. They lack Special Education teachers and tutors for special needs students and students behind the learning curve on the suggested curriculum. Alaska does not fund its schools using state taxes. Rather, it uses federal income tax to fund its schools. Alaska schools refuse to become Title I schools. Title I schools are those schools required under the “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001 to provide supplemental instruction to students that are special needs or falling behind in their curriculum. The state of Alaska, under Governor Palin, has cut the aforementioned programs that the federal money was intended to provide for by labeling these students other than special needs in the areas stated and not classifying as Title I. In doing so the State of Alaska, under Governor Palin, deceptively has accepted federal money for services not rendered, while continuing the permanent dividend fund. She is quite a reformer indeed. This is quite a disturbing revelation considered she has mothered a special needs child.

    Posted By: sbennet3 | August 29 2008 at 10:04 PM

  98. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    What i would like to know?–who is controlling and/or giving McCain his orders?, or is it a “game” plan.

    And, if choosing Palin is a strategy, what is the purpose? A scapegoat for McCain not being elected? I am simply incredulous. I just can’t see how anyone, possessing all their faculties would actually elect Palin as VP.
    If McCain’s health fails and Palin becomes The P, I have a hard time believing she will actually make it to the swearing in ceremony.
    Or, could the position of President be reduced to a “token title”?

    It is all just too ridiculous.

    If indeed this is a strategy, let’s just say that for some unknown reason it is actually meant to get Obama elected.
    Would it be to say that Obama won by default? What purpose would that serve and who would benefit?

    But then i am not completely convinced that Palin’s name will actually be on the November ballot. After the last eight years i am also not convinced that my vote counts either.

    I just can’t pass up sharing this thought– The situation with the Park Bison; In reality, the solution is simple. It is just a matter of the powers that be, enforce the truth of the matter. But no it’s just a perpetual game, mirroring the state of our government today.

    I guess i have become rather cynical….

  99. avatar vicki says:

    My father holds a masters in international econ. He is a high school math teacher in a city where more students come from paernts who speak only spanish than not. His school has just this past year began to pass it’s “report card” based on CSAP scores.
    My mother cussed me out for saying I might be a Obama supporter.
    They swear he will ruin the economy…not that he’d have to do much, it’s already there.
    What I can’t understand is why they will support McCain knowing he won’t help teachers, the elderly, the environment, etc. My mom says I will regret it if Obama is elected, because he will raise my taxes.
    People are still so set in their ways. My mom is a die hard republican, even when my dad swings to democrats.
    My father has went from The Anarchist Cookbook, to Buddhist, and I think he voted against Bush (not for Kerry) in the last election. So he runs the range, but ma is going to her grave supporting and swearing by the buttheads who put us in this economic crap hole.
    I guess that what will matter is what younger voters do. Perhaps it is time for the newer generation of voters to take their place in history, and actually vote.If my mother is any indication, you won’t be teaching old dogs new tricks.

    As for the above post about Palin and education, it just goes to show that she is also out of touch with middle class Americans. I guess she believes that since she can afford to provide education assistance to her special needs child, so can the rest of America. Perhaps she has forgotten that the average teacher makes less per child to educate our kids than the babysitter next door does to sit them infron of the T.V., and that most Americans cannot afford college as they are one paycheck away from being homeless.
    God help us all if Palin and McCain are elected….we may be living in the woods with the wolves.

  100. avatar Izabela says:

    Vikcy,
    ” God help us all if Palin and McCain are elected….we may be living in the woods with the wolves”

    THERE WILL BE NO WOLVES LEFT…:)

  101. avatar Save bears says:

    Vicki,

    I am already living in the woods with wolves, that don’t bother me!

    LOL

  102. avatar Izabela says:

    Looks like we all have a sense of humor 🙂
    kind of cynical..BUT still sense of humor..:)

  103. avatar Barb says:

    I only wish I lived near wolves!

  104. avatar Save bears says:

    As America is still a free country and you CAN live where you want, you only have yourself to blame, if you don’t live close to wolves, and after my research and observation over the last 20 years, I very seriously doubt that wolves will disappear again!

  105. avatar vicki says:

    I think I would prefer their company! But if that happens, and we end up living in the empty den next door, we should all try to wear flack vests, we may be seeing the muzzle flash from the helicopters in our neighborhood!

    p.s. we can choose where we would like to live Save Bears, but affording it is quite a different thing entirely. I wouldn’t encourage everyone to run right out and live in the woods…not good for the animals.

  106. avatar Izabela says:

    Save bears,
    I hope you are right.

    I saw 5 wolves during my latest visit to YS. I was thrilled.
    I will be there again on 9/30. I hope I can afford the gas from Salt Lake to Island Park.
    I will return in the winter to observe them in Lamar Valley.
    I am lucky to live in Utah.
    Great state to raise children or dogs..
    I have dogs.
    🙂

  107. avatar Barb says:

    Thanks for the offer but my job is in the city. 🙂

    They may not disappear but they will continue to be persecuted by those who do not see their intrinsic value.

  108. avatar Barb says:

    What kind of job do you have Save Bears?

  109. avatar Barb says:

    Sarah Palin says Alaska’s economy is 80% dependent on oil so “we need to tap into our oil resources.”

    Wrong answer!

    Should have been: “We need to ramp up more quickly with renewable resources.”

  110. avatar Save bears says:

    Barb,

    I am a Wildlife biologist, with a Masters Degree that worked for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks for about 10 years, until such time as I would not push an agenda that I didn’t believe in…because it was not true, my specialty is Ungulates, specifically Bison….and have worked very heavily in the study of Wapiti as well..

    But currently because I protested against information I didn’t feel was correct, I am working in another field…in other words, self employed and broke! (:

  111. avatar Save bears says:

    I forgot to add, I have a small grant to study brucellosis in bison and the interaction with Elk and deer, that will run out at the end of the year…and it is a VERY SMALL grant…

    LOL

  112. avatar Virginia says:

    The divisions in this country will never heal unless we have a leader who is not elected based on gender, race or religion, but rather on important issues. So what if Obama was a muslim? This country is not populated by only christians, you know. We need to get way past the issue of judging people on their gender, race or religion. We should all be in this together and look to someone who we feel will bring us together on the issues that are most important to most Americans – and those are not the issues of gender, race and religion – but the issues of war, poverty and homelessness, racial divisions, the future of our country for our children and grandchildren and our environment. The hatred that spews from people like kim and fix noise (fox news)are not productive. My 89-year old mother is excited to vote for Obama and my 14-year old grandson is disappointed that he cannot vote for Obama. My original support of Hillary Clinton as a woman leader has easily transferred to Barack Obama as I truly want change for my country and I see Barack and Joe Biden as the agents of change. John McSame and Sara (Helen Chenoweth reincarnated) do not offer the change we need but more of the same policies of tax cuts for the wealthy, battles between “pro-life” (no choice) and pro-choice, battles over whether to invade countries of no threat to us, and no real solutions to our energy crisis. I feel certain I speak for many women who supported Hillary and these women (no matter what the polls tell us – the polls were wrong all during the primaries) – will not be supporting John McSame and some woman who was chosen just because she is a woman. That is an insult to all women.

  113. Palin’s 17-year old unmarried daughter is pregnant. So, there was something to the rumors, but more prosaic than the hidden pregnancy.

    This is an all too common situation, but Palin would never had been chosen if this soap opera were known.

    McCain says he know about the pregnancy when Palin was vetted. Yeh right!

    I think the Palin family have still more surprises for us.

    Hail to the Chief — President Obama.

  114. avatar Save bears says:

    The also announce that her husband got a DUI 24 years ago…so, Kennedy was driving drunk many years ago, which resulted in a death, it didn’t seem to affect his ability to get elected over and over again, unfortunately, the issue of unwed pregnancy it prevalent now a days, in many families, but I don’t see how it would affect her ability to discharge the duties of her office, if she was elected?

  115. avatar Save bears says:

    But it sure does get rid of the rumor, that Palin is covering up for the baby SHE had!

    LOL

  116. avatar Barb says:

    I do believe it was her dauughter’s baby — not hers, which would mean, if it were true, that her ability to tell the truth is compromised. We don’t need more liars in office.

  117. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Save Bears I agree with you 100%. Kennedy kills someone while driving drunk and fails to report the accident, but he is still accepted by his party and was even considered for their nomination for POTUS. Palin’s husband who isn’t running for VEEP had a DUI 24 years ago but that should disqaulify her? That is logic I don’t understand.

    As for her daughters pregnancy or to use Obama’s words “Punishment”, I also fail to see how this would affect her ability to accomplish the duties of VEEP.

    Ralph, I really doubt that Obama is ready to hailed yet. The latest CNN poll out last night has the two candidates virtually tied. Which should be very discouraging for the Dems to have their Convention bounce virtually wiped out in a matter of a couple of days and the Repubs havn’t even had their Convention yet.

    Personally I am starting to think the Palin pick for VEEP is either going to be a Political Masterpiece of a complete failure. Right now I am leaning towrad a masterpiece. Recent polls show that 80% of the US feals disconnected from Washington politics. Palin, IMHO is going to connect to many people of this country on both sides of the fence. She hasn’t been raised in the establishment, she is middle class, her husband is a union member of the United Steel Workers of America (mighty fine union I might add), and both her and her husband have worked up through the “Blue Collar” workforce to the point they are today.

    As you well know many people in this country do not vote based off of a particular issue or even a combination of issues, they vote on who they can connect with and honestly Palin and McCain are easier to connect with for Middle America than Obama and Biden.

    There are Hillary Clinton forums all over the web right now just buzzing of Palin being picked, and contrary to what the Mainstream media is saying about her former supporters they are thrilled with Palin being on the ticket, and are more than willing to support the McCain and Palin ticket (I know first hand because I am married to one). Yes they may be pro choice but they are also feminists, I have read quotes like “When are the sexist males of the Democratic party going to stop holding Abortion above our heads, and think they can do whatever they want and we will just vote for them because of Roe Vs Wade.”

    Bob Barr ’08

  118. avatar Save bears says:

    Okay, lets throw complete reason out the window and let hate and bias prevail! Yikes, again, it shows me what is going to decide this election…

  119. I’m not casting any judgment on Palin and her family. It is not uncommon for the times. The critical point is it really reflects on John McCain’s judgment.

    Are we to suppose he would have chosen a VP whose family is a soap opera?

    He didn’t vet her at all. Troopergate was easy to find on the web. I knew about it and wrote about before Palin was even announced.

    His operatives would have quickly seen that the daughter was pregnant had they looked. If he had known about it, did he think he could hide the matter until after the election?

    He has bad judgment and/or he is sloppy. Maybe he is just old and tired.

    Other scandals of Democrats and Republicans are not relevant right now because they are not in the presidential race.

  120. avatar Save bears says:

    Ralph,

    If we don’t look at the past, then we are destine to repeat it, I am not sorry to say, yes, the scandals of the past, have direct connections to the future..I am sure if we look at it, there have been scandals at every level since the begging of this country…I have no reason to believe McCain didn’t know about this before his announcement…and time will tell.

  121. avatar JEFF E says:

    a view from across the pond
    http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/uselection,,convention-disrupted-by-gustav-and-more-questions-about-palin,42608

  122. avatar Save bears says:

    And in this day and age, a un-wed pregnant daughter hardly qualify as a family soap opera..it happens to over a million families in the US ever single year..

  123. avatar Barb says:

    Maybe this is naive, but Palin’s nomination may bring more attention to the brutal slaughter and war being waged on Alaskan wolves and more people will become enraged.

    http://www.defenders.org/programs_and_policy/policy_and_legislation/aerial_hunting.php

  124. avatar john weis says:

    My guess is that we may find, in time, that there was a big tug of war between Rove and Bushites on one side pushing Mitt, and McCain wanting someone else, probably Lieberman. There seemed to be an “in the know” mentality about Mitt getting the nod from the more conservative base. Actually McCain and Lieberman might have made an effective team. So my guess is McCain did not want Mitt, he couldn’t have Lieberman without mutiny in the party, so Palin was a last minute decision with the hope of reaching the evangelical community (who are tepid at best about McCain).

    My experience with evangelicals is that they are quick to throw the first stone and they would, if one of Obama’s girls was of age and in the same situation, be quick to pin the “sins” of the daughter upon the morals of the father. With the shoe on the other foot, it will be interesting to hear their cries of forgiveness and empathy to the mother with the knocked up unmarried (but soon to be hitched) daughter.

  125. I think you are probably close to mark, john.

  126. avatar vicki says:

    This may push some buttons, because her camp said she “Is texcited and proud to be grandparents, and their daughter will be marrying the ‘boy’ Levi.”
    Her daughter is seventeen, hardly old enough to be married and have a clue…this is likely to be perceived as shot-gun wedding mentality. And who gets excited to be a grandparent when their daughter is merely seventeen? That folks, like it or not, says something about Palin’s judgement.
    Some will argue we couldn’t trust her to manage our country when she can’t control her own child.
    Some will relate to her, because a pregnant 17 year old is not uncommon.
    Some will use this to argue that her daughter should have been on contraception..and why didn’t she know about her daughter’s activities.
    Some will see this as a huge screw up for McCain, she isn’t party line. And yes, amny will throw some stones. But this may turn his own party against his decision.

    You could sin this news so many ways…but what it boils down to is that Palin has children, who are imerfect..who cares? What she really has is policies and ideas that are wrong for our country.

  127. avatar Maska says:

    Vicki’s comments are right on the mark. This is all a monumental distraction from the real issues at stake in this election. Democrats would do well to bring the story back to the fact that a McCain/Palin administration would saddle us with another four years of failed economic and foreign policies, more threats to our Constitution, more awful Supreme Court appointments, more trashing of the environment….Of course the Republicans would throw stones at any Democratic candidate with a similar family story, but there’s no sense in getting down and wallowing in the slime with Karl Rove and Co. Attack them, but do it on their programs and policies, not on their personal travails.

  128. avatar Barb says:

    I am still shocked that McCain would pick such an in-your-face right wing gun rights radical.

    McCain already “had” the vote of the right; they certainly would not vote for Obama. Didn’t he need to go more toward the middle?

  129. avatar vicki says:

    I would have guess the same Barb. But this pick may alienate both the farthest right and the middle.
    I have lost so much hope in politics and our government. I hope something positive comes from the whitehouse regardless of who sits in it.

  130. avatar Barb says:

    Alienate the far right? Really — why?

    An article on Palin’s policies:

    http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2008/08/30/animals-and-money-palins-fiscal-weakness-for-hunters/

    Thanks Barb. My view: what a truly awful person to have in office! RM

  131. avatar vicki says:

    Because she claims to have outed the corrupt oil men, who the far right are in bed with. And because those far right enough to “pass judgement” will see her life style and family as a bad example for the youth to see.

  132. avatar vicki says:

    What this woman wants is simple, to be public, and to be publicized. Beauty queen, sports caster, and governor, there is little she won’t do to be noticed.

    That is, in my estimation-humble as it may be, why she would choose to put her young daughter under public scrutiny during this time in her life. She cares very little about what this will do to her child, let alone her grand child….why else do this oddly timed public proclaimation? She sees this as her chance to be historical and is trying to become a media princess…she is a performer.

    As for her policies on supporting hunters, well…her economic sense when it comes to them stinks. She’d use that same crappy logic to govern our country. At a time when our national deficit is bulging at the seems, I would prefer a VP that would opt for fiscally sound policies instead of standing by her hunting buddies…and I hunt! It is obvious that wildlife watching brings the bank to Alaska,,,,so why bite the hand that feeds you? Why not put logical, non-hate filled policies into practice for hunting so that you don’t hurt the biggest source of income for your local businessmen/women????Tourism.
    There is a serious lack of common sense when it comes to the basics of her economic know how….like millions more dollars without harming the earth is good…like funding for education is good…like hunters will hunt, and still pay good money for tags even if they have to be drawn for a tag, half the thrill of hunting is knowing how rare the game is and how rare the chance to hunt it is.(The thrill is the ‘once in a lifetime of the hunt’…not the quantity of the kills) However, noone wants to fly to Alaska to Brook’s Falls or the Rainbow Lodge without the massive grizzlies there to watch.
    If she can’t figure that out, how the heck can she figure out how to pay off the deficit, fund government programs, pay our soldiers, and NOT RAISE TAXES? Please!!!

  133. avatar Barb says:

    That is an excellent analysis Vicki.

    We need people in office who do not have greedy, selfish agendas they want to push on the people. We need high minded thinking individuals who want for the good of all — including animals, and leaving nature intact — the way it’s supposed to be.

    An old Native American saying: “The frog does not drink up from the pond in which it lives.”

    Man, left unchecked, will continue to just take take take until it’s all gone (beavers were almost extinct by man’s greed for the fur; look what happened to the buffalo….)

    Question — anyone know anything about Ted Turner these days? I know he has huge land holdings with buffalo. Last I heard he charged people $700 to “hunt” a buffalo on his property. Distasteful, yes. But he is also protecting them in his own way. Wonder which way he’s leaning this election?

  134. Turner was having a severe problem with anthrax among his bison. The ranch road was closed to the public.

    I posted a couple articles about it. It seemed to me that anthrax was a bit more dramatic than brucellosis.

    Turner’s a Democrat. I couldn’t find how active he had been in this campaign.

  135. avatar vicki says:

    Barb,

    Thank you, and I agree on your points as well. The media is in full frenzied feeding mode on this. They seem to be looking to expose her skeletons, and watch everything fall right out of the closet and into the public eye. They media is not placing her into “darling” status as no attempt to play down or excuse these issues are being shown.

    I only know what I have read about the woman, and she may be crappy but she lacks being in touch with the common American’s reality=IMHO.

    The women of America are going to scrutinize her even more so than they would a male candidate. We are much harder and less forgiving of other females and ourselves. I really think her lack of protective instinct for her child is going to make her seem heartless in the eyes of other mothers. And, a huge factor for the desire to have a female in office is her ability to be more compassionate (yes it’s sereotypical, sorry guys) and more able to lead with the likeness of heart of the American citizens…not just campaign funders and constituents. We want brass balls (pardon the analagy) but we want them on Carol Brady…not Joan of Arc. We want a female who can show no mercy when it comes to our safety, yet have great mercy when it comes to people and issues close to our hearts.

    The trickiest part of getting environmental policies in place that we can be more comfortable with(notice I didn’t say satisfied or one hundred percent happy with-an impossible feat considering the wide spectrum of views on the issue) will be to get people.not just presidents and VP’s in office that will lessen our dependence on foreign oil. There by, lessing revenues being earned by our enemies. The tricky part…doing that without increasing drilling (look for it to increase to some degree===you cannot make addicts quit cold turkey, they have to be weined off their drug of choice or you get violently harmful results.) to a large degree.

    A smart canddate will have a specific time line for converting energy sources…it won’t stick, but just having it to use as a goal will make change more rapid. They will have the gumption to say they’ll tax oil companies more-and make them use their non-tapped current leases before even considering new ones. (This will cause oil prices to go up, be prepared…oil men/womes will have their profits, if not by tax breaks thn by increasing prices at the pump and the meter out back.)

    The wise candidate will give large tax incentives to the private land owner who willput turbines in his back yard. They would also give subsidies to local utilities that have a plan to convert large portions of energy usage to solar…and federal money to small town governments that go off the grid so to speak. (Why smalland not large? It is a model for the future in lessening dependence. When people see it work, they will be more happy to vote to spend more to convert on a larger scale.)

    A wise leader will place the SAVINGS IN THE LONG TERM on display for all the country to see…ie: the toen of suchandsuch converted to solar on all city buildings and funded backyard/roof top turbines for low income families struggling to pay their utility bills. The result over the next ten years will be x dollars from utilities spent to run the town, and x dollars from public assistance to need families for utilities.

    A wise candidate would know that putting the pennies earned on display will cause demand to increase and push prices down, on alternative fuels…That is simple economics and is something Palin seems to know little about.

  136. avatar JEFF E says:

    Overheard today:
    The Geezer and Gidget ticket.

  137. avatar Ryan says:

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389×3892914

    This was brought up earlier in the hunting bash.. Above is the reason why many hunters will not vote democrat. There is no perfect party there both completely F**T IMHO and I don’t want either to be in charge. But that being said, I’d rather vote R than D.

    Hi Ryan,

    The would not allow me entry. Ralph Maughan

  138. avatar Jay says:

    Fair enough Ryan, just watch out that you don’t shoot the oil derricks or natural gas platforms on your next outing. Under the big R, those might be all that’s left to shoot at.

  139. avatar Barb says:

    RM — Thanks for the articles on Ted Turner. I am wondering which way he’s leaning this election– will try to research it more….

    Colorado gave $350 million in tax subsidies to oil companies this (or last) year.

    What bugs me about Palin (and people who think like her) is she is the type who thinks there is no end to the “gold in those hills….” that we can just take and take and take and take and take and take and take and never use self control or even give a thought about the future! These people seem to only be able to think a year or so ahead — they are not capable of looking further into (or caring about!) the future. I guess that work is for the more intelligent ones…. like many people here…. 🙂

    In her TV interview on MSNBC, she essentially said, “We’ve got unlimited oil here in Alaska but have been unable to tap it due to those crazy environmentalists.”

    She should have said, “We have oil here in Alaska and it can be used on a short term basis with strict oversight to ensure we do not damage any wilderness areas. We must focus on developing and getting to market renewable sustainable methods of energy. People come to Alaska to see our wildife and pristine environment. Alaskans are blessed to be able to live in an unspoiled area and we don’t want to do anything to disturb the wildlife and our intact ecosystems (which people come here from all over the world to see and is, in fact, our greatest resource. Oil, though a valuable commodity right now, is not our most valuable resource…” or something like that to act like she gives a damn!

    She’s too small minded.

  140. avatar Barb says:

    I wish Michael Robinson’s “Predatory Bureaucracy” would be required reading for all legislators legislating on wildlife issues. Hunters and others should read this book too, to see how our predatory animals have been persecuted through the cattle industry and the USDA at taxpayer expense.

    Really, what they have done to our wildlife (and continue to do) is truly criminal with a capital “C.”

  141. avatar Mami Morita says:

    Ted Turner was here in Denver for the DNC so
    I’m assuming he is backing Obama.

  142. avatar vicki says:

    Ryan,
    Be careful what you wish for, a republican with no regard to wildlife and the environment is a hunter who will be filling his tag in the zoo. Instead of calling Alaska the last great frontier, we may end up calling it Alaska the world’s largest black pit.
    You can be a democrat and still hunt. The only way to assure that you woul be responsibley and fairly represented would be to make your preferences known to the democrats…though I know how hard it is to balance the ‘tween’ of wanting a little of both parties.
    For instance, I am a conservationist, but I also want our borders closed..
    I want everyone to receive good health care, but I don’t think it’s fair for illigal imigrants to get free emergency care while umpteen citizens cannot afford insurance or have subpar insurance.
    I want to stand up to oppression, but I don’t want my son or daughter getting shot for people who would spit at them, or for people who charge us billios for oil while we pay to defend them from terrorists and crazed dictators….
    I am a middle of the road person, I just see that although hunting is a huge deal, it isn’t the ONLY deal..or a big enough deal that I would be okay with the nine hundred other bad policies of a person as long as they favored hunting.
    I am a hunter…have been my entire life (well since I was two and my dad let me shoot my first chipmunk .22). I also fish, photograph, and hike…all these things would be threatened by crappy environmental policies.

  143. avatar TPageCO says:

    For those who live in the Northern Rockies and are familiar with the insular nature of state politics here…

    Regardless of how smart she may be, the thought of Ms. Palin as the most powerful person in the world should be a scary thought for anybody who cares about the long-term stability of the USA. Think about Butch Otter or Dave Freudenthal running the war in Iraq…if McCain dies in office, this is basically what we’re looking at. Alaska is likely even more provincial and insular, thanks to geographical distances. To be arguing about her environmental views is small potatoes. Imagine Palin (Freudenthal or Otter) sitting down with Putin or Ahmedinijad, or Bernanke for that matter. Scary stuff.

    I had been going back and forth on who to vote for, but it’s an easy choice now. I can’t believe that the stalwarts in the Republican Party agreed to this choice. Do we pick VP’s to get elected, or for the good of the nation?

  144. avatar Barb says:

    We don’t have a lot of good choices this election at all. The intelligence seems to be seriously missing.

  145. avatar vicki says:

    Her speech was very un heart-felt in my opinion.
    What is “clean coal” ANd how is laying more pipe line helpfu;? Why is no one asking why she says drill in the artic and McCain says not to? Already conflict? WHat the heck was McCain thinking???? This woman made me infinitely certain he is going to be disasterous if elected. Choosing her is evidence of his extreme lack of decision making skills and an utter lack of ability to deligate authority to the right people….his “vetting” team failed him. He failed his party. This woman would lead to the failure of an entire nation’s progress.

  146. avatar outsider says:

    Governor Palin is the best thing to happen to our political system in a long time. She is will to make the tough choices, and do what is right. Not sidestep tough issuses, not be a lap dog for specail interests, and remember they are both liberal and conserative SIs. The main reason that I know this to be true is that the media is in a frenzy about all these superfical private maters of hers. Funny we don’t hear much about anybody elses children or questions about their ablity to hold office because they have children,

  147. avatar Barb says:

    Outsider — Are you joking?

    Maybe the “best thing” if you support the aerial gunning of one animal to bring in more hunting dollars to hunt another animal. And if you agree that man could not possibly be responsible for any of our environmental problems — she has stated that. And if you want her personal morals shoved down your throat.

    She’s all for drilling in Alaska that’s for sure — but what then? That’s an awfully short term solution. Oil is not a renewable resource.

    No one who cares anything about environmental issues supports Palin.

  148. Outsider,

    Being pregnant out of wedlock is a big issue for social conservatives, with their abstinence rallies and emphasis on the evils of sexual sin.

    I agree it should normally be private, but Governor Palin is one of their political leaders , and she is an opponent of sex education and also opposes aide to teenage mothers (so that is a public policy issue, not a private issue).

    It’s a pretty easy jump to say this pregnancy does reflect on Sarah Palin’s campaign to be VP in a way it normally would not.

    It also reflects on Senator McCain’s judgment and/or ability to look at important details. Would he really have chosen her if he knew about this stuff? He could anticipate the firestorm it would set off.

    It’s just the kind of issue that lazy journalists like to cover because they don’t need much expertise to cover it, and so they are not going to stop. McCain is deficient in not anticipating this.

    Will he as unwary in anticipating matters of national security? Perhaps not, but people will wonder.

  149. avatar Barb says:

    I always thought Republicans /Conservatives wanted the goverment to stay out of their private lives — For the last ten years or more, it seems the more intellectual conservative viewpoints (less government, more individual freedom, etc.) are morphing into a kind of “red-neck, in-your-face” attitude. Palin reminds me of someone who talks tough but doeesn’t really want to stand up for the American people — rather, I believe she wants to shove her opinions down our throats.

    I think his choice of Palin as VP proves McCain’s confusion.

  150. avatar outsider says:

    Ralph, I can’t say for sure but I’m pretty sure that McCain knew excatly what he was doing when he chose Palin. Just because he didn’t chose someone that everyone expected or maybe some of you wanted, doesn’t make her unquilifed.

    Barb I’m sure that its no suprise to you that I disagree with your assesment of her ablity to stand up for the american people. If I remember, she made the Alaskan congress extend benifts and rights to same sex couples in alaska. Doesn’t really sound like someone shoving her opinions and ideals down our throats. If sounds like someone who used comon scense to solve a problem without a whole bunch of politics.

  151. avatar Barb says:

    I’ve heard the opposite — that she campaigned to make sure same sex couples did not receive benefits. I guess we need some hyperlinks to some credible articles on this.

    Either way, I make my decisions based on a candidate’s concern for the environment. I would not believe for a minute that she really cares.

    People like Palin (since they live in Alaska) seem to be taking their environment for granted — the rest of the states are overrun by development. We don’t have the privilege of hearing wolves howl at night or seeing bears, coyotes,etc.

    When wolves are being chased to exhaustion then shot by airplane, people get downright P______ off!

    Just because there is no shortage of wolves in Alaska, does not make this practice acceptable!

  152. avatar kim kaiser says:

    Folding like a cheap suit,, old dirty harry has decided he likes his job so him and other demo leaders are following up with drilling proposals,,

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,416321,00.html

    read it and weep,,,, where are the balls in the demo leadership,,they said they would never allow it,, but it seems in the interest of keeping there jobs,,, well, you know the rest,, you should be used to it by now,, they have not done one thing they promised in 06,, not one thing, and you want more,,,

  153. avatar Barb says:

    Just when gas prices are decreasing too because people are using more public transportation and carpooling, etc.

    If they “need” to tap some oil in Alaska, so be it. But they’d better be careful of the wildlife! Either way, it’s not a long term answer to using dirty and non-renewable fossil fuels for energy.

    Fox News is giving Palin credit for everything good that’s happened in Alaska over the past 20 years….. what a bunch of simple-minded sheep!

  154. I know it is a little bit difficult maybe not even very respectful to comment your politics and the politicians as a foreigner but we all live on one planet – and I can´t resist anyway. I think you (means “the USA”) have a severe image problem – your “global sympathy level” is far below freezing level. This comes not from the single individuals (you, the individual people) but from the politics and the politicians. In the best case you (again “the USA”) are feared, not liked or ignored. In the worst cases you are hated and you encounter brute resistance. Now you could say that the last remaining superpower does not need to be liked or even loved. But don´t you painfully see the limits of a superpower at the moment? That brings me to Obama and McCain. To me, as a foreign observer, Obama represents a future, potential for an image change, for a global dialogue, for partnership. McCain (the one that has calles us “creepers”) and his “Annie get your gun” (on TV here they only show her with that rifle in hand) represent the continuity of yesterday! Something you not really deserve – cause on the whole, you guys are quite ok. :-))

  155. Thank you, Peter.

    There is a group of Americans. I am not sure of their demographics, who believe that the rest of the world is not relevant. They are increasing hostile to any country outside the United States. Take a look at JT’s compaint against JS where he said JS should move to Canada (apparently just because he disagreed with him), not even realizing that the mining company doing to polluting was Canadian.

    http://wolves.wordpress.com/2008/03/15/nevada-closes-jerritt-canyon-mine-for-mercury-releases/#comment-64068

    When I was teaching, a member of the the political science department (me), the history department, and the geology department teamed up to teach Idaho Historical Geography to try to educate people about the history and politics in relation to the land.

    It was a popular course, but it was a drop in the sea of ignorance.

  156. avatar vicki says:

    Peter,
    Thank you. I had touched on this aspect before. Aside from what is globally needed to cure our environment, the people of America, in order to assure the safety of their children and their homes, need to make themselves less of a traget. What better way to do that than to have a president that would embrace the opportunity to change global public opinion.

    Palin says “What does he hope to accomplish after he is through turning back the waters and healing the planet?” referring to Obama. Well miss Sarah, atleast he will have accomplished that.
    WHat woud you or McCain have accomplished? You will have used an obliviously outdated religeous view to force kids to have babies (they don’t make good choices, why not give them a few good options to choose from…free contraception- because when they ask about it they likely have already had unprotected sex…or will if they don’t get it, abstainence..for those who actuality listen to their parents-a statistically extreme minority, the morning after pill or abortion, because not every girl who has been raped wants to be forced to feel that memory growing inside her belly everyday…)
    This woman is wrong for our country on so many levels. ANd the traits people see as positive happen to be the same traits the bark about in Obama…independence, an out-of-the-box thinker, willing to shake things up to accomplish change. However, Obama has a lower hypocrit quotient, he has good sense on huge issues, and he is not ignornant or stupid enough to shirk off man’s responsibility for how broken the environment is.

    Kathy,
    As far as democrats drilling for oil, no one believes we can quit oil cold turkey, but your moronic republicans think that drilling more is the answer (well that is what they want us to assume they think.), when their real agenda is MONEY in their pockets, MONEY for their campaigns, and MONEY in the bank for their good ole’boy friends who own stock in BIG OIL. This woman is a closet state’s rights promoter. SHe is sneaky like noone else in politics, and she has a backward thinking agenda that will harm our country and our world for generations to come.

    YOu operate a business in a tourist town, if I recollect right. That business is lucrative because of the tourists who visit there to see animals. You should look for a new job and sell your business asap if these people are elected. It is only a matter of years before they drill animals into extinction…then what for you????No money, no money, no money.
    Do you have children? I wonder how you could care so little about their future, their environment, and their safety?
    WHy would you promote a president who invited and invokes the hatred of millions of people around the world, many of which have no problem blowing the children of their enemies into history if it suites them. SO why have a president who is incapapble of repairing the damage to not just our planet, but our imagine in it? Why a president who push to feed the bank accounts over seas belonging to countries that harbour terrorists? If we lessen our dependence on oil, we keep money HERE, to secure our nation and our economy…instead of feeding billions into places like Iraq, that fight wars while keeping their finances on an increase? How do they manage that? They manage that by getting radical chrisian presidents who have a twisted perception of what would best serve their country to pay for the whole damn thing.
    I guess what you are really all about, Kathy, and other republicans who won’t open their eyes…
    is keeping our crappy economy crappy by killing off as much of wild America as you can,
    funding to fight other people’s wars over religeous differences that we will NEVER solve or make peace with, increasing our (poor and potentially homeless) population by forcing children to have babies that neither they nor their parents can afford to raise. (Not every teenage girl who gets pregnant has a mommy who can afford to pay to supporther, her child, and her baby’s daddy.)No federal funding for teenagers who have babies means that they will live or die in poverty….cruel punishment for a child who made a bad decision, and even crueler for their baby.

    You want to see a cheap suit fold…watch what happens to taxes if your republicans get voted in. You think things are bad now, wait until a republican in office decides what you can think and do based on his or her view of morally acceptable.

  157. avatar Layton says:

    My GOD!!

    I went to the mountains for Labor Day — had a pretty good time — except for some idiots with big bore pistols and rifles AND 4 wheelers about 50 yards from our camp, but that’s another story.

    I come back, decide to see what’s going on with my favorite “green” site — and what do I see??? What a horrendous CROCK!!

    Politics and rumours at their best!! (worst?) All the yellow, cowardly, salacious, stupid rumors possible — on a site that seemed to have some people with a bit of common sense!!

    Her baby?? Her daughter’s baby? Big oil connections! If you believe in “right to life” it goes for wolves and bears too — cuz ALL creatures are the same! Oh yeah, beavers and humming birds should have universal health care too!!

    The only bit of commonality on the whole site seems to be that Bush is bad and somehow McCain and him are joined at the hip — and of course Palin is the evil witch of the west that will make the whole thing work!!

    Never mind that Saint Obama went to a church for 20 years with a black supremacist as the pastor and “didn’t attend those days” when the anti-white rhetoric was going on, or that one of his buddies is not apologetic at all about a string of bombings a few years back!

    FACT — there isn’t a nickel’s worth of difference between the two parties!! FACT — IF the red side is “in bed” with big oil now, and the blue side gets elected, they will jump in the SAME bed in a heart beat. $$$ talks and both sides are listening.

    Get a clue, vote for a candidate (if there is one) that subscribes to your ideals the MOST, and for crying out loud quit with the rumors and BS!!

    For crying out loud, let’s discuss rumors and myths about wolves, etc. and let the politicians fill the OTHER media with BS and lollipops. Isn’t there forums for abortion and rumors elsewhere??

  158. Layton,

    Wildlife politics doesn’t exist in vacuum.

    Much of the time, hatred of wildlife and wild country are tired up into a worldiview, although sometimes it is purely economic.

    I don’t think Obama is seen as a saint by most people on this forum, but Palin is on a lower rung, in my view.

  159. avatar Layton says:

    Ralph,

    “Much of the time, hatred of wildlife and wild country are tired up into a worldiview, although sometimes it is purely economic.”

    “hatred” of wildlife and wild country —- why? who?? I’m just curious here, not even arguing.

  160. avatar JB says:

    Layton:

    I agree with you about the rumor-mill talk. It wastes everyone’s time to listen to such garbage. However, the over-arching discussion here is about Sarah Palin, the candidate. Because she comes from Alaska, she’s had to take a lot of positions that directly affect wildlife management (like her support for the aerial gunning of wolves and bears), so there’s a lot to discuss.

    However, Ralph’s comments are on the mark. Attitudes toward wildlife (and their management) often originate in more fundamental “worldviews” or “values,” and are thus relevant to her qualifications (FYI: if you want to know how worldviews affect such attitudes, check out the Yale Law School’s project on Cultural Cognition).

    In my view, Palin’s stances on the issues are more similar to Bush’s than McCain’s. As with Bush, her brand of conservatism is born of religious zealotry (see her comments here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080904/ap_on_el_pr/cvn_palin_iraq_war). In my view, religious zealots make for extremely dangerous politicians. It’s hard to have a logical debate with someone who believes that God is on their side.

  161. avatar Barb says:

    Yes, I absolutely agree with RM that attitudes towards wildlife and “management” often do originate in larger “worldviews.”

    I equate it a little like this — people of European descent, by and large, make up the majority of current white Americans. Europeans, unlike Native Americans and other indigenous people, were afraid of ‘wildlife’ and ‘wilderness.’ They saw wilderness as “scary” something to be avoided, something to be “tamed,” or to be “domesticated.” Certain animals were and still are seen as “good” and others as “bad” by these people.

    This very dangerous and ignorant view resulted in the successes to exterminate predatory animals such as bobcats, wolves, etc. by the Biological Survey, now known as “Wildlife Services” under the USDA, on behalf of the livestock industry.

    The agricultural lobbists and ranchers and some hunters (admittedly not all of them) who earn their living off of sending animals to slaughter see predatory animals as “bad” and “taking away their livelihoods.” They do not see these magnificent animals as intrinsically valuable in their own right. Some may admit they are “necessary” to keep prey herds down, but they don’t “like” them.

    They not only see them as “bad” animals, but as competing for game. Do animals “compete” with man for game? This is a very strange way to look at wildlife in my opinion. Animals such as wolves MUST go after prey to survive. Recreational hunters do not. Livestock owners take that risk when they leave animals unattended night after night in open areas or poorly secured areas. That is a business risk they should be willing to accept. It’s like any other natural cause — if there is a hurricane, insurance pays for it. Don’t they have insurance? Why do groups like Defenders of Wildlife need to exist? Why should taxpayers protect –with their dollars –the private livestock industry?

    It’s criminal and outrageous how Wildlife Services kills native mammals (and other animals) at taxpayer expense to protect private businesses.

    And tell me — how can a wolf possibly hope to compete with a pilot in an airplane chasing it to exhaustion until it is shot?

    Religious fantatics have a perverted worldview and interpretation of “man’s dominion over animals” as stated in the Bible. Dominion includes stewardship and does not include barbaric abuse. Somehow they have twisted the Bible’s meaning into something very ugly. Hmmm… isn’t that what the Jihad-ist terrorists are doing too……… twisting the meaning of religious literature…..

  162. avatar vicki says:

    Religion has no place in politics. None. Never should be. Otherwise, why the hell did we invade Afghanistan ? The only reason we went over there was to force our christian beliefs down muslim throats.

    Look back Layton, a lot of the arguments people have in opposition to Palin have a direct link to her hypocrit riddled life. Don’t have sex, abstain…but I am thrilled my seventeen year old is pregnant. I don’t like corruption, but I will fire my sister’s husband from his public service job just because they are divorcing. Oh I have experience because I was a small town mayor and Obama had no responsibility as a community organizer. She is the definition of the pot calling the kettle black.

    Obama is far from perfect but If you want environmental and economic reform…you need apresident who doesn’t think things are blissful right now…and you don’t want a vice president who can’t manage to keep from contradicting her running mate. If they can’t get this right, how the heck would they manage a country?

  163. avatar Layton says:

    Man!! There’s one thing for sure Vicki — I really wish that I was as assured and certain in my beliefs as you seem to be.

    Hell, you have it all figured out, don’t have to think, don’t have to even wonder about anything between now and November!!

    The Dems are all right, the Republicans are screwed up – no matter what they say or do and as far as the religion thing goes — well heck, EVERYONE knows that’s a crock!!

    WOW!!

  164. avatar Layton says:

    Man!! There’s one thing for sure Vicki — I really wish that I was as assured and certain in my beliefs as you seem to be.

    Hell, you have it all figured out, don’t have to think, don’t have to even wonder about anything between now and November!!

    The Dems are all right, the Republicans are screwed up – no matter what they say or do and as far as the religion thing goes — well heck, EVERYONE knows that’s a crock!!

  165. avatar Layton says:

    Now, if I could just not stutter on the “submit” button.

  166. avatar Ryan says:

    “Fair enough Ryan, just watch out that you don’t shoot the oil derricks or natural gas platforms on your next outing. Under the big R, those might be all that’s left to shoot at.”

    Atleast I’ll still have my guns to do it with..

    Viki,

    I’ve hunted in site of the alaska pipe line, oil derricks, and pump stations. They don’t really mess wildlife like you’d want me to belive.

    It is possilbe to use the land, have jobs and economic benefits, and still do it responisbily. I know most of you have the earth justice view on the trouble with oil in AK. But how many of you have actually been to prudhoe bay, the north slope, or any of the other places. How many of you have seen what it looks like when rigs are removed from the tundra. I would bet that more than one of you would be suprised at the stewardship that AK has put in to protecting there lands. As for managing game populations to benefit hunters and substience uses instead of letting the natual ups and downs occur. She’s doing the right thing for the rural population of her state which depends largely on wild game meat and salmon for there diet and livelyhood.

    I am very much pro conservation and protecting the enviroment. But with the rheotoric thrown around here I can see why many call envomental activists whack jobs and the slope just gets more slippery the farther and farther along you go.

  167. avatar JB says:

    Ryan said: “with the rheotoric thrown around here I can see why many call envomental activists whack jobs and the slope just gets more slippery the farther and farther along you go.”

    What’s more extreme, making your decision on who to vote for based on your desire to preserve natural landscapes and wild places for future generations, or on your desire to own a gun? I would suggest your “guns-first” stance is unwarranted: the Supreme Court recently all but guaranteed individual gun rights. Your right to own a gun is not likely to be challenged under either a McCain or Obama Administration. Contrast this with the public lands issue: a McCain/Palin Administration could have real negative consequences for the conservation and management of public lands.

    Moreover–again– you’d be putting another religious zealot a heartbeat from the Presidency.

  168. avatar Barb says:

    I’m always suspicious of those who use terms such as “whack job,” etc. These people seem to always want to fight and argue but never discuss actual issues with substance.

  169. avatar Barb says:

    I found this post on another forum (Maine Hunting Today) and thought it was interesting —

    Tom Remington Says:
    I’ve been reading about a study that was done utilizing the journals of Lewis and Clark in attempting to make a determination about the availability of large game, i.e. deer, moose, elk, bison, in the areas where they traveled.

    This was made easier by the fact that Lewis and Clark kept track of game seen as well as taken for food or what was bought or traded for.

    The first general conclusion was that game was not at all plentiful as most of us would suspect. As a matter of fact, the journal indicates how often the expedition had to buy domestic dogs to eat because of the lack of game. Remember, Lewis and Clark employed professional hunters for the purpose of harvesting game for food.

    What was also discovered was that game populations rose and fell according to areas where the natives lived. There were what L&C called “buffer zones”, areas where the natives didn’t frequent usually because of warring with other tribes. Within these buffer zones is where generally speaking the game and wildlife were most abundant, once again pointing out that no areas appeared to be overrun with game, including elk.

    Another study suggests that elk never really herded together the way it does now in such great numbers, especially during the winter.

    Also noted was the sparsity of seeing or encountering wolves.

    I’ve just begun reading about another study on ecosystems. History has taught us that in the West many years ago, game animals were quite far and few between, mostly because of the lack of supporting habitat.

    Contrary to what some believe, the invasion of the Europeans into the west created more habitat suitable for animals such as deer, elk, moose, bison, etc. and of course along with that we see changes in the rest of the flora and fauna – not always good.

    Archeological digs also reveal the lack of any sizable large game animals back several thousands of years.

    Much of what gets passed on to people is fairy tale stuff or plain suppositions. Only until recently have further studies begun to look into the past in order to better understand the present.

    I don’t think that Lewis and Clark made their journey as a means of plotting the demise of the Native Americans, at least not intentionally but we mustn’t also paint a picture that the Native Americans were some kind of great conservationists either.

    The question has been asked here and has been asked often if man really has to manage its wildlife. I suppose the answer lies in whether you believe science and history and man having to be responsible stewards of the land and animals God entrusted us with or whether we choose to believe in fairy tales.

    We can look back many thousands of years ago and develop an image of just what the habitat and the populations of certain animals looked like but the fact remains, we cannot return to those days because man has inhabited parts of this region and others. Good or bad it is fact. Instead of pointing a finger and always blaming man for all the bad things we do to animals, why not look at the truth to discover the great things we have done.

    People want to blame man for the extinction of some species yet science cannot always blame man for that. But that doesn’t stop any good environmentalist from pointing a finger at us evil hunters.

    Man and animals will live together. Nature is cruel and so are the realities of man being top predator.

    No, man doesn’t have to eat venison to survive. There are thousands of things humans don’t have to do to survive but is that reason enough to make them stop? We don’t need cars, Coca-Cola, golf clubs, libraries, shopping malls and grocery stories. We also don’t need the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights, but we don’t cast them aside because man is somehow perceived as evil. Heritage is vital in our society. Without it we lose our identity and with no identity we will fail to understand the need to persevere.

    Man is not perfect but we do care about what we have been entrusted with, we just don’t always agree on the best ways to take care of those.

    Our perceptions get skewed, emotions cloud reality but in the end we (hunters) mostly do the right thing.

  170. avatar vicki says:

    Layton,
    I am very firm in my belief that Palin would ruin our government if she were ever president.
    I am fairly certain that McCain would be a lame duck if he wins.
    I am no PETA activist, but what this administration represents (well McCain doesn’t support drilling, Palin does) is bad news for conservation efforts…all other issues aside.
    Do I have anything to worry about between now and November? Yep, who to vote for in local elections.

    Ryan,
    Whatever guy, it isn’t just drilling that is the issue. Caribou are declining because of a lack of terain and global warming. Don’t you think drilling impacts that? Or the encouraged use of oil contibutes to global warming? Maybe not, but I do.
    You paint quite the picture of Alaska, mountain men with furry faces hunting to survive…I have been there. Most of the revenue comes from wildlife and nature tourism…not hunting…not even close. Managing wild game populations to benefit hunters? Crap! What logic is that? You don’t manage to benefit hunters…you manage hunters to benefit game. She’s doing the right thing for people who depend on salmon and game meat? How? By promoting the desimation of their habitat? I am not buying that.
    I was there to see what oil did in Valdez, I fished the Kenai , Purdue Bay, and was awed by the raw natural landscape. I will be there kayaking in July. I hope it is worth seeing when I have grandkids. I wouldn’t bank on this woman’s politics to assure that.

    By the way, I am having elk steak for dinner. I hunt, I fish, I whole heartedly disagree with ariel gunning of any wild animal who hasn’t caused physical harm to a human, and the thought of drilling in the rapidly shrinking habitat where polar bears are makes me sick. It is selfish, and can be avoided. We do have other options. They may not be cheaper-yet- but they are more responsible and more beneficial.

    I also wouldn’t want to hunt an animal that was overly abundant because man tweaked an otherwise healthy balance. example: Rocky Mountain National Park.

    If there is any place left on this green earth where man’s interference is unneccesary, or even close to it, it is Alaska.
    If there is any place where Sarah Palin and her interference is unnecessary, in fact detremental, it is Washington.

  171. avatar JB says:

    Vicki said: “I also wouldn’t want to hunt an animal that was overly abundant because man tweaked an otherwise healthy balance. ”

    Vicki, don’t ever come to the Midwest to hunt. Every wild population here has been at the very least “tweaked” by human intervention. 😉

  172. avatar Jay says:

    Ryan, what is it about folks such as yourself and guns? Do you sleep with them in your bed, hold them close to you and polish them to a sparkling shine? “Well at least I have my guns…” If only you could recognize how pathological that sounded. Freaking gun loonies. I have guns–quite a few, actually–shotguns for birds, rifles for big game, etc., but I’m not obsessed with them, and obviously I’m not worried about the democrats taking them, because I’ll vote for Barack over McCain. Do you not realize the right to bear arms is a right guaranteed you by the 2nd amendment?

  173. I’m amazed the NRA has tried to make guns an issue because this summer the Supreme Court gave a huge victory, and I think a proper one, regarding the right to bears arms.

    I think it goes to show the NRA is more of a vehicle for the Republican Party than for guns and certainly not for conservation.

  174. avatar JB says:

    RM said: “I’m amazed the NRA has tried to make guns an issue because this summer the Supreme Court gave a huge victory, and I think a proper one, regarding the right to bears arms.”

    Exactly. The Supreme Court decision should make gun rights a non-issue. However, the problem with interest groups is that they never stop (which lends credence to the “slippery slope” argument that people love to employ). Now that your right to bear arms is all but guaranteed the NRA will need to move on to something else in order to keep the donations coming. Perhaps they will seek to ensure your “right” to carry an AK-47 or rocket-propelled grenade-launcher to work, school, or church? I’m sure that’s what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the second amendment.

    The NRA loves to use their Chicken Little fear tactics to insight the rural masses into action. Guaranteed access to health care? HELL NO! We want guaranteed access to guns. [sigh]
    – – –

    Yes, interest groups often think up new missions in the event they accomplish the mission they were created to accomplish.

    You’ve got an organization. Do you just disband it? Not often.

    There have been some interesting academic articles on how the NRA moved from being an interest group developed to better shooting skills, gun information, and hunting to one devoted more to the threat to gun rights and allied with right wing politicians. RM

  175. avatar vicki says:

    JB,
    Sad statement, and point taken.

    I guess I keep asking myself why people expect so much less and so much more from a politician. At the end of the day, they are all people with flaws. It kind of reminds me of picking a spouse, by the time you choose one, you have made a decision to accept that they are flawed, but you have enough in common to overcome that, knowing you are also not flawed. Picking a candidate is the same thing. You vote for the person who’s flaws you can accept, and do not vote for someone who’s flaws you couldn’t live with.
    It also reminds me of what I have learned while raising four kids…one of the most important lessons you will ver teach your child is that doing the right thing is rarely the easist, scarcely the most affordable, and often painful…but it is always worth doing. It’s the same thing in political policies…do the right thing, the end will justify the difficulty of the journey to get there.

    Ralph,
    I used to support the NRA. Then they became less about upholding the right to bare arms and more about what they could gain by arguing that right was at risk. I am a supporter of the right to legally posses and hold arms. I am not a supporter of using that right as a pedastal to preach about other issues which are hardly the same.
    I have never heard Obama say he wanted all firearms removed from the hands of private citizens, and if he did.in office..president or not , he’d be at risk of lynching. This is yet another attempt to twist the issues to manipulate misinformed voters.

  176. avatar JEFF E says:

    well, just watched the Geezer half of the ticket.
    Beautifully scripted from start to finish.
    The brigade political officers should be proud of themselves.

  177. avatar Jay says:

    He’s got absolutely nothing except a handful of patriotic slogans and a well worn POW story. It sickens me to hear him use that story for political gain, and what’s worse is the folks that eat it up as a basis for electing him.

  178. avatar kim kaiser says:

    id rather listen to patriotic slogans than quips from worn out mlk and jfk speechs,,, You have obviously never spoken to or had the privilege of knwoning a POW< they have the right to use it any way they want,, way more sacrifice i suspect than you will ever give,,,

  179. avatar Jay says:

    I’m sure you can find it on youtube Kim, knock yourself out and listen to it over and over. That was the biggest piece of crap speech I’ve heard in a long time.

  180. I think the convention liked the “red meat” speech the handlers wrote for Palin a lot more than McCain’s.

    The crowd didn’t like it much when McCain pointed out that some Republicans too in Washington had become part of corruption and special interests and for that reason the party had lost some trust.

    They liked hearing about home schooling a lot more.

    Many of the delegates want to have a culture war. I really fear strong cultural conflict because oddly many people are more likely to end up dead fighting over cultural symbols than with conflict over economic policies.

    I ought to add that the Democrats too tended to like the strong attack speeches at their convention.

    Conventions are almost always primarily generalities, highly emotional, with lots of symbols of unity spoken, while at the same time speeches and symbols that speak of conflict and disunity are disseminated.

    I do think the Republican strategists believe that Westerners think like Gov. Palin does, and it’s true many Republicans do. But the West is not as insular nowadays as in the past, and the interior West clearly does not depend primarily on natural resource extraction for jobs, except for Wyoming (alto it is true that image is hard to dispel).

  181. …..this American fetishism for weapons. Sometimes it makes you smile! The glow in Mme Palins eyes when she touches this rifle in that clip…..Yes, I admit America still has large areas where carrying a gun is justified! But overall you can compare this affinity only with our German affinity for not having a speed limit on our “Autobahn”. POLITICIANS BEWARE, DO NOT TOUCH OUR AUTOBAHNS! But be careful if you come over here! There is a big (and costly) surprise waiting! In reality, only a few percent are not speed limited!

  182. avatar Layton says:

    “However, the problem with interest groups is that they never stop (which lends credence to the “slippery slope” argument that people love to employ).”

    Yep, and that argument goes for OTHER groups than just the NRA. 8)

  183. avatar Ryan says:

    “…I have been there. Most of the revenue comes from wildlife and nature tourism…not hunting…not even close.”

    Viki,

    One visit to AK and your an Expert. I lived there for 10 years. Most of the revenue that comes from the state comes 1st from oil, second from commercial fishing, 3rd would be sports fishing generated tourism, and then maybe a tie between hunting and eco tourism. Even growing up in th Kenai/Soldotna area, our family used the substience dip net and set net fishery to provide salmon for our family and many church families. I have been on substience hunts and proxy hunted for older members of the church congregation to provide winter meat as beef and other perishables from the store are very cost prohibitive. Alaska on the highway system and Alaska off the highway system are 2 very differnt places.

  184. avatar Barb says:

    There are no animals that have been wiped out by other animals except for those animals intentionally destroyed or exterminated by MAN.

    Hunters are constantly complaining that “wolves are eating ALL the elk, or deer, or whatever…”

    Yea, right.

    Just to expose the twisted logic, some hunters claim that wolves are not endangered –and never were — as there are wolves everywhere.

    Wolves are not everywhere and that can be proven.

    Yet some hunters complain that in certain areas there are not enough elk. Well in other areas, there are too many or “enough.”

    So the logic works one way for only certain kinds of animals?

  185. avatar Save bears says:

    Barb,

    Wolves were endangered in the lower 48, but with all due respect, they were not endangered in Canada or Alaska, and, no, I am not saying we shouldn’t have them in the lower 48, but the endangered thing in a biological sense is kind of a myth, because there are thriving numbers in other areas…Just my opinion as a biologist…

  186. avatar Layton says:

    Gosh, I’m sooooooooo confused — I’ve been taking everything I see here as gospel, cuz’ I KNOW folks are so well informed !!

    And then Barb says,

    “There are no animals that have been wiped out by other animals except for those animals intentionally destroyed or exterminated by MAN.”

    But on another thread they say,

    “Take a look at Nootka Island on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Wolves there have extripated the deer on that island and learned to hunt the seals and sea lions.”

    Oh mercy, who can I believe now — my heroes have differing opinions — could it really be that some of the things said here are just that — opinions??? 8)

  187. avatar Chuck Parker says:

    Palin is an anti-wildlife, anti-environment, anti-abortion, pro-oil, religious fanatic who wanted certain books banned from the public library in the town where she was mayor. Last year as gov. of Alaska, she asked the feds for $197 million via 31 “earmarks,” which are Republican Sen. Ted Stevens specialty, although Stevens is currently under investigation. As is AK Congressman Don Young. And some state politicians are in jail for being a little too cozy with oil company execs. Palin fits in–she’s being investigated for firing the head of the state police because he wouldn’t fire her ex-brother in lawa: a state trooper involved in a bitter custody battle with Palin’s sister. Think what Palin will do with all the power and pork available to the VP of the USA. This woman is very scary folks.

  188. avatar Salle says:

    Here’s a scary thought,

    Today a not-so-bright individual was touting Palin as “for US” because her husband is a snowmobile pro rider and an oil driller and she is into more oil drilling. “…she said so in her speech the other night and you environmentalists are in big trouble when SHE gets into office!”

    That whole tirade was so full of ignorance and hubris that I had to get away from that person, a female person.

  189. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Salle,

    I tell you what is scary, Google “Saul Alinsky” and then tell me if you notice any similarites to this election year.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Alinsky

    Then Google “Marxism” and read the section on Marxist Theology that explains the theory behind “Liberation Theology” or “Black Liberation Theology”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxist

    I’ll take a candidate who has a husband that rides snowmachines; over a candidate that has a governmental philosophy that more closely resembles Communism than a Constitutional Republic.

  190. avatar JB says:

    Chuck said: “Last year as gov. of Alaska, she asked the feds for $197 million via 31 “earmarks,” which are Republican Sen. Ted Stevens specialty…”

    Alaska is second behind New Mexico as the state with the most return on their tax dollar investment. They receive $1.87 for every dollar they contribute, and then piss and moan about the federal government. In fact, of the 15 states that receive the most federal dollars, 13 went for Bush (>50%) in the last election. Ever wonder why state taxes in New York and California are so high? Maybe because they get only 79 cents back from the feds for every dollar they contribute?!

    I think we need a fair (i.e. 1 to 1) system of redistributing federal tax dollars. Perhaps a few years of having to live off what they actually contribute–as opposed to the contributions of largely democratic states–will change change their tax-hating tune?

  191. Wyo Native complained above about Saul Alinsky, who I guess he or she thinks is somehow aligned with Obama.

    Alinsky, who died in 1972, spent his life trying to get poor people to get together so they could stand up for their interests. He did so in a non-violent way.

    In other words, he tired to organize interest groups, the very thing that upper middle class and rich people do so well.

    Organizing groups is the essence of democracy, and I have helped create 3 organized groups myself during my lifetime.

    Many students of American politics view a defect in the system is that there is a great disparity in the degree to which interests are organized, with the well off and business interests dominating the field.

    Some balance is a good thing, in my view, but, of course, some view with alarm the disadvantaged getting together — it must be communism!

  192. avatar JB says:

    “I’ll take a candidate who has a husband that rides snowmachines; over a candidate that has a governmental philosophy that more closely resembles Communism than a Constitutional Republic.”

    Seriously, that’s your criteria? Well, her husband rides snowmachines so I guess she’ll make an okay VP?! No wonder our country has gone to Hell!

    By the way, great job working communism in; what’s a matter, the “Obama’s a socialist” rhetoric not working out for you? So now you’ve turned to a label with an even stronger negative connotation? Give me a break! Clinton was the supporter of socialized medicine, we couldn’t get that commitment out of Obama. Heck, not even Dennis Kucinich–who is waaay left of Obama–is even close to a communist! You’re off your rocker!

  193. avatar Izabela says:

    I am wondering why the press is not covering her record on environment. I think Dems could get lots of points if the bring the ISSUES..environment is a gib issue to me and some of my friends.

  194. avatar Chuck Parker says:

    The Sarah Palin energy plan. Ed Abbey once wrote something about the goal of the oil companies and industrial tourism being to have people drive in circles so they end up at the same gas station where they started. Palin’s husband races snowmobiles in the Iron Dog, a cheezy, motorized version of the Ididarod sled dog race. He ends up at the same gas station where he started. For what? I reckon if you burn enough gas in frivilous snowmobile races, there’s your justification for drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That’s what Republicans mean by “sensible energy policy.”

  195. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Ralph, Special Interests whether they are from the Left or the Right, the rich or the poor, are a cancer in this country and IMHO are the modern day fascist movement in our country.

    JB, the snowmachine comment was a sarcastic reply to Salle, but I am sure you knew that. Being way left does not make anyone have communist beliefs, but being way left along with a belief of Liberation Theology sure is borderline. I’d take Kucinich, Hillary, Biden or even Pelosi any day of the week before I would take Obama with a filibuster proof congress.

    Since you questioned my criteria for government office this election season, here are a few in order of importance.

    Low Taxes for all individuals and business,
    Small Government,
    Uphold the Constitution, especially the 10th amendment in regards to matters that are not protected in the first nine amendments,
    Uphold the rights guaranteed by the second amendment with reasonable regulation (which we already have), what works in Cheyenne should work in in Chicago,
    Regulate Capitalism to prevent monopolization,
    Seperation of Church and State (I’m Atheist)
    End the invasion in Iraq
    Balanced Budget

  196. avatar Wyo Native says:

    One last thing Ralph, no I did not think Obama was aligned with Obama, I did know when he died. Obama’s capaign tactics sure align with the teachings of Alinsky in his book Rules for Radicals. He is instituting a level of fear in people to make them feal frustrated and defeated, so much so they are willing to accept the concept of “Change”

  197. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    “special interest groups” is another interesting phrase – it lumps “interest groups” together as if to have inherent negative connotation — innevitably obscuring/lumping private/industrial/commericial “interest groups” into the same meme as public interest groups. what is it to call something an “interest group” ?

    i hope that more people and the media continue to stoke the idea that Obama is a left-wing radical socialist/communist — that way, when Obama takes the Whitehouse – the mandate will be clear.

  198. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    wyo native,

    the more you and the right-wing media conflate the public interest with communism/socialism – the more Obama’s public support legitimizes those political ideologies. People are more and more understanding – economically experiencing – the divisive narrative of the right-wing’s governance – and if this dualist narrative – black and white – capitalist or socialist – this farcical choice continues down the same track as our country has been lead by your right wing hack-job politicians — then the narrative will fold on itself as the economically ‘left behind’ population, convinced of the dualism, decides that the capitalist side of that coin isn’t working out for them.

    keep crying “socialism” comrade – and eventually all of those activists working in the public interest to support and uplift community will be afforded the robust leverage of a fed up public democratically reacting against your “capitalist” example.

  199. Wyo Native,

    I taught a course on interest groups for 30 years. The term “special interest” is not used by political scientists because it is inherently judgmental.

    One person’s “special interest” is another person’s “wonderful organization.” If we are to talk about one of the most fundamental things about American politics, people organizing into groups — interest group, I do think it is better to begin by just calling them “interest groups” rather than “special” interest groups which implies that they have some interest apart from, and contrary to, some broad public interest.

    When I say “interest group,” I am using it neutrally.

    Political parties are not the same thing as interest groups, nor are ideologies or political philosophies.

    Now, it’s my personal opinion that poor people would better off if they were organized into interest groups so they could bring pressure on the government to give them some help.

  200. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Brian my friend, I’m afraid the left wing media has wiped out any conflated public interest that I may have potrayed with my opinions all within a weeks time. The “Progressive” left and the media that supports them, have been exposed as frauds, especially regarding the “Femininst” movement, and there may just be enough public backlash to keep the “right wing hack-job politicians” in office.

  201. avatar JB says:

    RM said: “Now, it’s my personal opinion that poor people would better off if they were organized into interest groups so they could bring pressure on the government to give them some help.”

    Yes, but even if they were organized, the fact that they are poor means their interests will always play second fiddle to those with deep pockets and generous bribes…er…”donations.”

  202. avatar Barb says:

    Wyo Native,

    I am guessing that most of the people on this forum are LEFT leaning.

  203. avatar JEFF E says:

    a good read.

    A note to all by Anne Kilkenny

    Dear friends,

    So many people have asked me about what I know about Sarah Palin in the
    last 2 days that I decided to write something up . . .

    Basically, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have only 2 things in
    common: their gender and their good looks. 🙂

    You have my permission to forward this to your friends/email contacts
    with my name and email address attached, but please do not post it on
    any websites, as there are too many kooks out there . . .

    Thanks,
    Anne

    ABOUT SARAH PALIN

    I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992.
    Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a
    first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her
    father was my child’s favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a
    first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more
    City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the
    residents of the city.

    She is enormously popular; in every way she’s like the most popular
    girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and
    won’t vote for her can’t quit smiling when talking about her because
    she is a “babe”.

    It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She
    kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents
    for seven months.

    She is “pro-life”. She recently gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby.
    There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.

    She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.

    She is savvy. She doesn’t take positions; she just “puts things out
    there” and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.

    Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a
    champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin’s kind of job is highly
    sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his
    work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or
    so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their
    major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything
    like that of native Alaskans.

    Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters.

    She’s smart.

    Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000
    (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about
    670,000 residents.

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

    Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her 6
    years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over
    33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the
    City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation
    (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a
    regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she
    promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they
    benefited residents.

    The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration
    weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed
    money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it
    with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage
    the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said
    she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a
    new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a
    multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece
    of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was
    still in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyers
    involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the
    community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it
    would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that
    could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

    While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office
    redecorated more than once.

    These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.

    As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus
    in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will
    make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she
    proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.

    In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she
    recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while
    she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today’s
    surplus, borrow for needs.

    She’s not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas
    or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated by
    her or her staff. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on the
    basis of who proposed them.

    While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected
    City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from
    the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents
    rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s
    attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew
    her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the
    Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

    Sarah complained about the “old boy’s club” when she first ran for
    Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of “old boys”. Palin
    fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as
    Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people,
    creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally
    grateful and fiercely loyal–loyal to the point of abusing their power
    to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the
    case of pressuring the State’s top cop (see below).

    As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla’s Police Chief because he “intimidated”
    her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska’s top
    cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure
    and she had every legal right to fire him, but it’s pretty clear that
    an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn’t
    fire her sister’s ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation
    for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen
    contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she
    later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to
    replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded
    for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew
    her support.

    She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in
    help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town
    introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council
    became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She
    abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’t
    like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

    Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything
    publicly about her.

    When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got
    the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one
    of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no
    background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great
    job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the
    high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the
    structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this
    Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party)
    engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some
    undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all
    her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and
    garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a
    gutsy fighter against the “old boys’ club” when she dramatically quit,
    exposing this man’s ethics violations (for which he was fined).

    As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from
    Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel
    politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the “bridge to
    nowhere” after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.

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

    She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party
    leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated
    them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a
    fiscal conservative.

    Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah.
    They call her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her unbridled ambition and
    predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly
    stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made
    point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah’s
    mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and
    experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.

    As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of package
    of legislation known as “AGIA” that forced the oil companies to march
    to the beat of her drum.

    Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife
    Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to
    global warming. She campaigned “as a private citizen” against a state
    initiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams from
    pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the
    state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State’s
    lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior’s decision to list polar
    bears as threatened species.

    McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a
    heartbeat away from being President.

    There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more
    knowledgeable and experienced than she.

    However, there’s a lot of people who have underestimated her and are
    regretting it.

    CLAIM VS FACT
    •“Hockey mom”: true for a few years
    •“PTA mom”: true years ago when her first-born was in elementary
    school, not since
    •“NRA supporter”: absolutely true
    •social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill
    that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships
    (said she did this because it was unconsitutional).
    •pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to
    promote it.
    •“Pro-life”: mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby
    BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life
    legislation
    •“Experienced”: Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has
    residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska.
    No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on
    supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city
    administrator to run town of about 5,000.
    •political maverick: not at all
    •gutsy: absolutely!
    •open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at
    explaining actions.
    •has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
    •”a Greenie”: no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores
    and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
    •fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
    •pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city
    without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built
    streets to early 20th century standards.
    •pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on
    residents
    •pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city
    government in Wasilla’s history.
    •pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union
    doesn’t make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim
    that she is pro-labor/pro-union.

    WHY AM I WRITING THIS?

    First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed
    voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting
    programs in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny +
    Alaska), you will find references to my participation in local
    government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.

    Secondly, I’ve always operated in the belief that “Bad things happen
    when good people stay silent”. Few people know as much as I do because
    few have gone to as many City Council meetings.

    Third, I am just a housewife. I don’t have a job she can bump me out
    of. I don’t belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no
    fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will
    cost me somehow in the future: that’s life.

    Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100
    or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah’s
    attempt at censorship.

    Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to
    say anything because they were somehow vulnerable.

    CAVEATS
    I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in
    spending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor)
    from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City of
    Wasilla, and I can’t recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjust
    for inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossible
    for a private person to get any info out of City Hall–they are
    swamped. So I can’t verify my numbers.

    You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the
    population of Wasilla, ranging from my “about 5,000”, up to 9,000. The
    day Palin’s selection was announced a city official told me that the
    current population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was
    5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to
    2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90’s.

    Anne Kilkenny
    August 31, 2008
    »

  204. avatar Barb says:

    sorry…. “the LEFT” … which is a GOOD thing.

    The Republican “party” sometimes has good ideas, sometimes bad. The Democrat “party sometimes has good ideas and bad.

    That’s why I am “registered” independent — it’s called “not affiliated” with is wrong unless we only have two parties which is not accurate.

    I like to be independent of any “party” that is going to try to do my thinking for me — or shove their opinions on me.

    I am uncomfortable with extremists on either side, though I am seeing a lot more very aggressive, in-your-face, “know it all” conservatives these days than ever before.

  205. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Barb, thanks for the advice on the “Left” leaning members of Ralph’s blog, I sure hadn’t noticed, LOL. It sure does not bother me though, because we may have differences politically, (by the way I’m not a Republican) but at the end of the day we are all Americans and we have the right of freedom of speech to voice our opinions, and Ralph has shown his true colors by not limiting anyones speech even though they may disagree with him.

  206. avatar Barb says:

    Ralph?

    Barb says,
    From what I’ve read —-
    “There are no animals that have been wiped out by other animals except for those animals intentionally destroyed or exterminated by MAN.”

    But on another thread they say,

    “Take a look at Nootka Island on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Wolves there have extripated the deer on that island and learned to hunt the seals and sea lions.”

    Wyo Native — A suggestion — maybe another board with opinions that are closer to yours would be a better fit. This board is mainly for WILDLIFE issues (with some politics thrown in as it’s relevant especially now) but it’s NOT mostly about politics — thank God —

  207. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Barb – A suggestion – maybe you should go back over the last ten months or so and review the posts that I have made to Ralph’s blog regarding Conservation and WILDLIFE issues.

    Politcs is the flavor of the month right now on Ralph’s blog on just about every topic that is posted, and as long as he lets me I will be posting when possible. Sorry to disapoint you.

  208. avatar Barb says:

    Ralph has a wonderful blog here. It’s one of the best there is and it needs to stay friendly.

  209. avatar Save bears says:

    Barb,

    Then why tell someone basically to get lost?

  210. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Barb, my reply was not intended to be unfriendly and if it was I apologize. I was just defending my position because you suggesting that I did not know the intentions of Ralph’s blog, when I do.

    I like Ralph’s blog especially concerning items to my home state of Wyoming that he covers; and that is why I visit here when I have the opportunity.

    I would have never even posted to this particular thread if it were not for the hateful remarks and rumors that were made in the beginning of this thread concerning Governor Palin’s fith son, and as I recall you were one of the people helping spread the rumor.

  211. avatar Save bears says:

    Wyo Native,

    Even after the fact that her daughter is pregnant, Barb still said she believed the baby was her daughters, of course that is a mathmatical impossibility, but it is amazing what innuendo and rumor can do to ya!

  212. avatar Barb says:

    No one really knows how many months pregnant her daughter is — the “rumor” could still be true. The right is spreading “rumors” and complete falsehoods about Barack Obama at every turn.

    Regardless, Palin’s stances on wildife are what most people who care about animals and wildife are upset about — that McCain could pick someone with this kind of record. It’s astounding. The reading I’ve done on her wildlife record is not very flattering.

    There are many other unflattering things about Palin as well — that she has her husband sit in on what is supposed to be confidential meetings. They walk in her office and her husband is sitting there. Very unprofessional.

    The posting above originally written by Anne Kilkenny written on August 31, 2008 — that’s all just hot air to you? It speaks of character — and not in a very flattering light.

  213. avatar Save bears says:

    So what that her husband sits in, Hillery used to sit in on issues concerning National Security..Mrs. Bush has set in on meetings, so did Pat Nixon, and host of other first ladies..what does that have to do with anything, heck, John, John, used to interrupt meetings and sit on JFK’s lap when he was in meetings..

    Find something a little more substantial..

  214. People want to talk some politics right now, and so there will probably be a politics thread until the election.

    Visits to this site have gone up about 1000 a day since we started talking some politics. That’s one reason I think the above.

    Of course, wildlife stories are often full of politics or have political implications.

    This is kind of an odd blog because it isn’t a hunting blog, an anti-hunting blog, nor a nature blog. I guess it is a conservation blog mostly for the interior West with an emphasis on the more controversial animals and not at all keeping with the views of that mythical Old West.

  215. avatar Barb says:

    Ralph — how do you feel about the New West Magazine?

  216. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Barb,

    I suggest you read the book “Crossing the Next Meridian” by Charles Wilkenson and you will understand why I found Ralph’ blog.

  217. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Sorry I meant “Ralph’s”, it has been a long day, I was in Cleveland Ohio all week and just returned to Wyoming this evening.

  218. avatar Layton says:

    Golly gee,

    A big sermon from a lady named Anne that mentioned ALMOST everything about Palin — just happened to fail to cite that she has an 80% — yep, EIGHTY per cent approval rating among her constituents in Alaska.

    Must be doing something right!!

  219. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Layton,

    She also failed to mention that she is a registed Democrat that moved to Alaska from Seattle in the early ’90s.

  220. avatar Layton says:

    Wyo,

    Wikipedia says she was an infant when her family moved to Alaska. She was playing high school basketball in Wasilla in 1982. Graduated from college in Idaho in 1987.

    Don’t know where the stuff you’re talking about came from.

  221. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Layton, I meant that the lady Anne who wrote the big sermon that has made it’s way around the world is a Democrat, so it should be no suprise she does not agree politically with Palin.

  222. avatar JB says:

    “She also failed to mention that she is a registed Democrat that moved to Alaska from Seattle in the early ’90s.”

    A Democrat from Seattle?! It’s a good thing you pointed that out! There’s no way in Hell I trust her now! 😉

    Okay, all sarcasm aside, I like the fact that you listed out what issues matter to you, because this (IMO) is where the debate should be focused. You said the two most important issues for your were (1) Low Taxes for all individuals and business and (2) Small Government. As I’m sure you recognize, the size of the federal government and the amount of taxes we pay are highly related. Take a look back at recent budgets and tell me if the size of the government is actually smaller under Republicans. I’ll save you the trouble, it is not–especially when you add in all of the military escapades they like to send us on (which, in recent years, they do not include as part of the budget, but pay for with emergency appropriations).

    Look, the family values BS is all a bunch of rhetoric designed to distract people from the real issues and get you to vote on your emotions. The difference between Dems and Reps is (1) where they choose to spend our money, and (2) where that money comes from, NOT how much of it they spend.

    Republicans tend to put more money in Defense and, in recent years, “the Global War on Terror” whereas democrats tend to grow social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment. GENERALLY, THE SIZE OF THE GOVERNMENT STAYS THE SAME. However, under Republican rule (when Bush had both the house and Senate) we saw incredible increases in spending (i.e. size of the govt) including lots of earmarks–especially for states with Republican senators. Moreover, the focus on Defense/War has meant de-emphasizing some federal spending, and borrowing against future generations.

    The long and short of it: under Republican leadership you get just as much “government,” but they provide tax breaks that favor large corporations and the wealthy and borrow against our countries future.

    Personally, I’d rather my money go to pay for so-called “socialized” health care than for a war without purpose or end.

  223. avatar vicki says:

    Ryan,

    Who said I’d been there once? What an Assumption attatched to your know it all comment. Listen guy, some people eat wild game as a primary food source, but you were pushing that the majority survived off of it. Not the case.
    From what I have read, your numbers about income are a bit twisted. The majority of CITIZENS don’t get the propondurance of their income from oil. The state may get a large amount of revenue, even the biggest amount perhaps, from oil taxes, and many of it’s politicians likely benefit from stock in oil (I said likely, not definitely). But more private citizens are employed in tourism than oil.

    I never claimed to be an expert. (Assumption again.) But I believe an elected official should be representing the citizens not the government. SO should she be elected, she would, by my belief, be representing what the majority of AMERICANS, not Alaskans, republicans, Catholics(their new focal group of the day), oil barons, or hunters, want. Most of the people I know want less drilling and more alternatives, less pit mines and more conservation. None of these things are of any genuine concern to Palin, except as a tool to get what she wants. She will drill, drill, dig, dig…aerial gun, and decimate. SO I will not vote for her. But thanks for the attempt to change opinions, you do that well with vinegar instead of honey. Or were you just trying to be right? Either way, you are entitled to your opinion, but you are no more an expert on Alaska’s economy than I am….living some place for ten years while you were “growing up” or not.

    By the way, aside from her stand on conservation, energy and wildlife, she has demonstrated that she is quite extreme. Not maverick, just extreme. In case no one noticed, dictating what women can and cannot do with their own bodies, is in the opinions of some, quite communist leaning too. (Maybe even Islamic in it’s persuasion?…Obserd? No more obserd than calling Obama a communist.). It is amazing how so many people who fear change use the terms “communism and socialism” like a weapon to try to keep us locked in history. If you beat enough people over the head with the terms you will somehow convince them that the hysterics that drove you to use them will fade away? Is that the thinking?

    Wanting every child and elderly person to get good health care doesn’t make you a communist or a socialist. Being black doesn’t make you a racist anymore than being white does (though I find the attempt to use the man’s race to justify pathetic BLACK SUPREMECY claims a joke—his mom is white people. And doing that is worse than bringing up a factually existing pregnancy of a teen in an argument.) Attempting to heal our environment through energy changes and conservation doesn’t make him out of touch with reality…it makes him forward thinking and in touch with what America needs.

    And please, don’t try to tell me about raising taxes, it would be less necessary had the next president not inherited the failed economy from the previous presidency. No matter who is elected, you will pay more taxes. Again, we have a huge deficit, it won’t be going away due to the good hearted donations made by citizens seeking to help. The only ways to reduce deficit is to either reduce spending (hey, we could stop giving money to Iraq, which Obama wants to do, that will help by billions of dollars, same with handouts to oil companies) by ending foreign aid, or ending public aid here. Or we can raise taxes. My guess-and no, I am not an expert- is that no matter who is elected, they will have to do all of the above…and will be ridiculed for having done it.

    Yes Obama is of multiracial ethnicity. SO are most Americans, that doesn’t make them racist or supremacists. Yes, he is very liberal, and has less experience than McCain. What that says to me is that McCain had his twenty plus years to get something done…and he did, we are a broke nation with huge energy and conservation problems…what he got done was he helped the Bush presidentS drive our country into the poor state it is in. He helped to create a false image of Americans, and led nearly every other nation in the world to see us as narrow minded, hateful facists who attempt to rule the world through violent intervention. And Palin makes McCain look liberal.

    I just read that they will be handing out some subpeonas involving the lovely Palin. I’ll give her this, she’s certainly controversial and news worthy….her face will be every where for a while…then again, so was Jesse James’.

    You vote your way, I will vote mine. But no matter how you vote, changes need to occur.

  224. avatar JB says:

    Here are couple of fun facts while you ruminate on your choices for the upcoming Presidential election:

    [From the 2008 Federal Budget of the U.S.]

    –Defense spending: 481 Billion
    –Global War on Terror (excluding Iraq & Afghanistan): 145 Billion

    That’s well over 500 Billion of military spending OUTSIDE OF THE CURRENT WARS (which are funded via special appropriations Bills). Currently, estimates of the total cost of the Iraq war range from 1 to 3 trillion (that’s “trillion” with a “t”). Oh, and for good measure you can add in another 34 Billion in spending from the new Dept. of Homeland Security. That’s right, a new department added under a Republican administration. But aren’t they for “small” government?

    Now let’s take a look at some of the spending relevant to public lands’ management and wildlife:

    –Budget for the entire Dept. of Interior (which houses FWS and NPS): 10.6 Billion
    –Budget for the Dept. of Agriculture (includes the FS and APHIS/WS): 20.2 Billion
    –Budget for the Dept. of Energy: 24.3 Billion

    Not sure about you, but this seems a bit skimpy to me? But these are total spending figures, let’s take a look at who “wins” and who “losses” under the Republicans–that is, whose budget is increasing vs. decreasing.

    The winners and losers of 2008:

    First the winners:
    –War on Terror: +45.8%
    –State & International Programs: +22%
    –Veterans Affairs: +18.7%
    –Transportation: +13.1%
    –Defense: +12.1%
    –National debt: +9.2%

    Total spending on these programs: 974.1 Billion

    Now the losers: (remember, inflation is around 3%)
    –Dept. of Labor: -9.4%
    –Dept. of Education: 0.0%
    –Dept. of Health & Human Services: +0.3%
    –Dept. of Housing & Urban Development: +1.4%
    –Unemployment/Welfare: +1.8%
    –Department of Interior: +2.9%

    Total Spending on losing programs: 505.7 Billion (Note: 324 Billion is from unemployment and welfare).

    Not sure about any of you, but the federal government’s spending under Republicans does not reflect my priorities for this country.

    Sources:
    (1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget,_2008

    (2)http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy02/browse.html

    (3) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/07/AR2008030702846.html

    (4) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11880954/

  225. avatar Salle says:

    Ditto to what Vicki said.

    And, as for the race thing, as an anthropologist may I assert that in the academic realm of anthropologists, we recognize a single race that is human with a variety of manifestations-period. Much like the English language is distributed throughout human cultures, albeit with a variety of dialects, so it is with the homo sapiens sapiens.

    (…things you should have learned in school had you been paying attention!)

  226. avatar catbestland says:

    If you are not sufficiently frightened by this environmental Anti-Christ, here are some of her religio/politico views.

    Part 1, Palin and the Assemblies of God (Iraq is God’s Will)

    Part 2

    I am convinced that she is a CIA MK Ultra/Project Monarch sex slave ( a roboticised Bush Barbie Yes Woman) trained and indoctrinated personally by Cheney. (Read TRANCE-formation of America by Cathy O’brien and Mark Phillips).

  227. avatar Barb says:

    JB I completely agree with you —

    Personally, I’d rather my money go to pay for so-called “socialized” health care than for a war without purpose or end….
    .
    Although I’m not for the government administering it — just setting boundaries and regulations to ensure everyone has access, no matter their income

  228. avatar Barb says:

    Sorry, I meant to add that I like the way you think Vicki — you oughta think about running for office someday….

  229. avatar Salle says:

    Cat,

    interesting that the first video clip you list above has been removed. The banner says that it is no longer available. part two is though.

  230. avatar JEFF E says:

    Re the letter written by Anne Kilkenny.
    this for me was the most telling paragraph in the whole letter and whether she is Dem. or Repugnant these are facts that can be proved either true or false. and if true is certainly a good yardstick in evaluating anything else Gidget has to say.
    “The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration
    weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed
    money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it
    with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage
    the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said
    she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a
    new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a
    multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece
    of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was
    still in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyers
    involved! ……”

  231. avatar JEFF E says:

    ….now let me think, what other administration worked into a position whit not only zero debt but a surplus and now your grandkids, grandkids will be paying the debt off that has been run up?

  232. avatar Barb says:

    I just tried the first link — it worked for me. Here is another article on Palin:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/31/palin-laughs-as-opponent_n_122776.html

    Regardless of Palin’s annoying Pollyanna personality or even her radical views, somehow she is just very distracting to the real issues that voters care about. Perhaps people know that she is just TROUBLE?

    She does seem ruthless and vengeful from what I’ve read, as if voter issues are always secondary with her, and her own personal interests and ambitions will always come before policy.

    The story of her desire to censor the libraries was really disconcerting. She is equally as right wing as Pat Robertson.

  233. avatar JEFF E says:

    sorry, got to remember spell check is my friend.

  234. avatar JB says:

    Here are a couple more reminders of what Republican rule looks like. FYI: if you think they stand for small government, you’re remembering the Republican party of the past.

    [From the 2008 Federal Budget of the U.S.]

    –Defense spending: 481 Billion
    –Global War on Terror (excluding Iraq & Afghanistan): 145 Billion

    That’s well over 500 Billion of military spending OUTSIDE OF THE CURRENT WARS (which are funded via special appropriations Bills). Currently, estimates of the total cost of the Iraq war range from 1 to 3 trillion (that’s “trillion” with a “t”). Oh, and for good measure you can add in another 34 Billion in spending from the new Dept. of Homeland Security. That’s right, a new department added under a Republican administration. But aren’t they for “small” government?

    Now let’s take a look at some of the spending relevant to public lands’ management and wildlife:

    –Budget for the entire Dept. of Interior (which houses FWS and NPS): 10.6 Billion
    –Budget for the Dept. of Agriculture (includes the FS and APHIS/WS): 20.2 Billion
    –Budget for the Dept. of Energy: 24.3 Billion

    Not sure about you, but this seems a bit skimpy to me? But these are total spending figures, let’s take a look at who “wins” and who “losses” under the Republicans–that is, whose budget is increasing vs. decreasing.

    The winners and losers of 2008:

    First the winners:
    –War on Terror: +45.8%
    –State & International Programs: +22%
    –Veterans Affairs: +18.7%
    –Transportation: +13.1%
    –Defense: +12.1%
    –National debt: +9.2%

    Total spending on these programs: 974.1 Billion

    Now the losers: (remember, inflation is around 3%)
    –Dept. of Labor: -9.4%
    –Dept. of Education: 0.0%
    –Dept. of Health & Human Services: +0.3%
    –Dept. of Housing & Urban Development: +1.4%
    –Unemployment/Welfare: +1.8%
    –Department of Interior: +2.9%

    Total Spending on losing programs: 505.7 Billion (Note: 324 Billion is from unemployment and welfare).

    Not sure about any of you, but the federal government’s spending under Republicans does not reflect my priorities for this country.

    Sources:
    (1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget,_2008

    (2)http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy02/browse.html

    (3) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/07/AR2008030702846.html

    (4) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11880954/

  235. So Palin wants the congregation to pray they they will all work together for her $30-billion natural gas pipeline . . . a step up from “Lord won’t you buy me a color TV” 😉

  236. avatar Barb says:

    She reminds me of those hypocritical TV preachers, who live like royalty, while preaching how much they care about the poor. Palin is clearly interested in serving her OWN interests first and foremost — policy — who cares?

    Just by all the blog postings on her as opposed to Biden, she is a polarizing candidate and McCain is going to find that out sooner– or later.

  237. Recent polls show Palin has unified the Republican base, but that base is smaller than it used to be because party identification (long-term loyalty to a party) has slipped for the Republicans in the last 5 years.

    Democrats don’t like Palin, but their unfavorability to her is not as strong as Republican favorability.

    The effects of party identification in either case are much stronger than the effects of gender. Palin will get very few Hillary supporters.

    This suggests to me that the best Democratic strategy is to go after her, but primarily in communications directed to their own base groups. Palin already has reached her natural limit of favorability among Republicans, and you don’t want alienate the Independents in doing this.

    I can post links to the relevant recent polls if anyone is interested.

  238. avatar catbestland says:

    Salle,
    Wow, they work fast. It worked this morning. They must be doing damage control.

  239. avatar JEFF E says:

    the repugnant brigade political officers are hard at work. Gidget’s wikipedia entry was edited within 15 min of her announcement of candidacy to downplay the beauty queen aspect. I suggest that any thing of pertinence be saved to your documents or better yet printed out on a hard copy. and then just for kicks compare and contrast a few weeks from now.

    Just for informational aspects.
    It has been ALLEGED that Gidget has engaged in some extramarital hanky-panky. The interesting part is that the other party- now divorced, applied for and was denied an emergency request to close his divorce records from public access this past wednesday.

  240. avatar Salle says:

    I heard that the wikipedia stuff was rewritten just before the announcement but that was reported on the day after. Heard that on NPR, the webmasters at wikipedia blew the whistle on that.

    I tried the video link later on with a different computer and it worked. I heard about that stuff on the PBS news networks.

    She’s a zealot and just like god supposedly chose george bush, so she probably believes that she was chosen too. It’s god’s will don’t you know.

  241. Regarding Cat’s YouTube posts earlier,
    Part 1, Palin and the Assemblies of God (Iraq is God’s Will)



    Part 2


    the New York Times just did story based in part on them.

    In Palin’s Life and Politics, Goal to Follow God’s Will. By Kirth Johnson and Kim Severson. New York Times

  242. avatar Barb says:

    Ralph, please post links to polls as referenced. Thanks.

  243. Barb,

    The first table below is the most relevent in this URL. It shows more favorable to Palin as of 9/4 than unfavorable, but notice how quickly the numbers polarized beginning with 8/29.

    http://www.pollingreport.com/P.htm

    The next shows Joe Biden to be slightly more favored

    http://www.pollingreport.com/A-B.htm#Biden

    Look at both URLs and notice that men are more favorable to Palin than women, indicating she is not getting the women’s vote, but rather the Republican women’s vote (Republicans tend to be male, not overwhelming, but this has been verified for a generation now).

    This is confirmed by a Rasmussen poll, reported in Daily Kos (it was an 8/30 poll). It shows a fairly large gap between men and women on Palin (men being more favorable).

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/8/30/122959/772/469/580240

    We won’t see the full effect of the two conventions until about Tuesday. So far the McCain bounce is less than the Obama bounce, but I am writing this Saturday night. Obama is still ahead slightly.

    So disregard the current polls. Seattle PI

  244. avatar JB says:

    I want to follow-up on the idea that voting Republican will mean small government. It hasn’t for years (since before Reagan, anyway). Republicans in recent times have actually grown the government as much or more than Democrats, and accrued greater debt to boot. Given that both parties are now the parties of “big government,” (which I’m not entirely happy about), the question is where would you like your government to place its priorities? So let’s take a look at the Federal governments priorities under Bush, as indicated by the 2008 budget. Here are the winners and losers:

    First the winners:
    1. War on Terror: +45.8%
    2. State & International Programs: +22%
    3. Veterans Affairs: +18.7%
    4. Transportation: +13.1%
    5. Defense: +12.1%
    6. National debt: +9.2%

    Total spending on these programs: 974.1 Billion

    Now the losers: (remember, inflation is around 3%)
    1. Dept. of Labor: -9.4%
    2. Dept. of Education: 0.0%
    3. Dept. of Health & Human Services: +0.3%
    4. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development: +1.4%
    5. Unemployment/Welfare: +1.8%
    6. Department of Interior: +2.9%

    Total Spending on losing programs: 505.7 Billion (Note: 324 Billion is from unemployment and welfare).

    So there you have it. The Republicans (at least under Bush) emphasize war, military spending and international programs over health, education, housing, and the environment. Not sure about any of you, but the federal government’s spending under Republicans does not reflect my priorities for this country.

    Sources:
    (1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget,_2008

    (2)http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy02/browse.html

  245. avatar vicki says:

    Salle and Barb,

    Thanks. I am a very blunt person, and am the first to say I am not always right. Though I wish I could persuade politicans, I doubt I’d be a good one. (I’m an old school mom, if someone made horrible comments about one of my kids I would tell my child to take the high road, and tell the other guy to meet me in the parking lot! lol…I have a hot temper at times.)

    The only things I can truly claim to be an expert at is struggling to get by, and speaking out about what I believe in. I am a pretty common example of todays Americans, and what is wrong with government policies that deal with issues at home.

    For many years I was a single parent, who ate a lot of mac-n-cheese. I couldn’t afford to take my children to the doctor because a co-payment meant that something else didn’t get paid. I often could not afford the electric bill, so we used our stove (natural gas was cheaper) to heat the house and slept on the floor in the dining room to stay warm. I worked from home as much as I could because daycare was too expensive. I eventually (after my kids were all in school all day) put myself through trade school, and worked my way up. Now I make a decent living, but I pay so much in taxes, gas, utilities, and insurance that I am hardly better off than before. I just got a very nice raise, but I only bring home about ten percent of what the increase was because it put me in a higher tax bracket,,also makes me inelligable for many of the credits afforded to poorer people too. So we are punished for working hard and trying to get ahead. I would love to have solar on my roof and wind in my back yard, knowing it is better financially and environmentally…but I cannot afford to water my yard, let alone upgrade my home to solar/wind. I am sickened by the thought of my children, or anyones children, getting mamed or killed so I can have cheaper gas and prolong the problem just so some man in a suit can get richer through their sacrafice.

    I said earlier Palin would have more skeletons coming through the closet door, because everyone does. She is no less foulable than anyone else. I expect we will see even more soon. You can change a web-site but you cannot change your past or your responsibility for it.

    I don’t practice hate. (I tell my children, two of whom are of multi-ethnic decent, that hate is a word that is permanent…used by people with white hoods and fears beyond my comprehention. Once you hate, you can never take back the damage it has created.) So, just to let Ryan and Layton know, my opinions about Palin’s politics being negative or not, would not keep me from offering her food if she were hungry. Why do that for someone who I disagree with so strongly? Because, being kind is also permanent. My family tells me I am a neo-hippie…I carry a big rifle and want us all to make the world a greener more peaceful place.

    Though I doubt it will change their vote, look for women to be defensive about bringing up Palin’s alleged affairs, because no man has had to pay a real political price for having one. If the public wants to hold candidates accountable for extra-marital trists, they will have to boot two thirds or more of the men in politics right out of office. Make no mistake though, what is good for the goose is good for the gander…so if bringing men’s sex lives up is appropriate, so is bringing up Palin’s. (Society tends to hold women to a much higher standard about these things…she’ll be a slut while a man is just being a man….primitive logic, but prevalent.)

    The Pat Robinson analagy is right on. Just because the bible she totes is hidden behind her skirt doesn’t mean she is any less likely to use it get her way.

    It is not at all suprising that she would think Iraq is a mission from God. I am told that Bush Jr. was said to have believed that the Iraq war was his calling from God too.
    Yet, we call other governments religeous tyrants…no matter how you look at it, faith and politics should be kept seperate. You will never have much political or public unity when you govern through religeon…religeon is far to diverse in it’s conception, interpretation and application.

    I think it is great to live in a country where women and men can run and be elected to public office, regardless of ethnicity. (We are all one race, just different cultural or ethnic backgrounds.) But I fear the day that we become a country led by someone who inflicts their version of God on others through laws…we will become the new middle east.

    The other big issue I have is that we are being told drilling doesn;t effect animals and habitat as much as we are lead to believe…or that science makes it harmless to drill now. How can we justify that b.s.? Not to mention that drilling alone isn’t the issue, we also have carbon emmisions and other pollutants. And even if science gave us a zero impact way to drill, who will really pay to impliment it? Certainly not the oil companies. Perhaps if we taxed them MUCH higher for oil profits and CREDITED them higher for investing in solar, wind, recycling and research…they’d be a bit more eager to change. But right now, they have little or no consequence and massive profit margins and tax breaks…no reason to change.

    If I ever did run though, my platform would include placing all oil executives on the front lines for atleast the average tour of a soldier before they could collect any profits or dividends…let’s see how much they think it is worth when they are having their heads shot at, or limbs blown off…or if they’d opt to invest inalternatives?

    Thanks for the vote of confidence though!!!

  246. avatar Jeff S says:

    I stumbled upon this web site for the first time, and after reading thru these comments, I can only say that if you guys represent the best that the environmental movement has to offer, then the earth is in a lot of trouble. I know you are all just missing the good-old-days of Clinton/Gore when soooooo much was done in long term energy policy and combating global warming. What a bunch of LOSERS!

  247. avatar JEFF E says:

    good post Vickie.
    There is always an exception to the rule:
    Gary Hart and John Edwards come to mind (as being held accountable for marital misdeeds)

  248. avatar catbestland says:

    Good point JEFF E. As I recall Gary Hart was served up over a hot bed of Rice.

  249. avatar vicki says:

    Cat,
    That is Hillary-ous…notice she escaped scrutinty for her alleged affair with a certain dead judge while running recently.
    Poor Hart, he was entirely too humble and forth-coming. Had he simply stated “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!” he may have been okay!

  250. avatar Salle says:

    “Perhaps if we taxed them MUCH higher for oil profits and CREDITED them higher for investing in solar, wind, recycling and research…they’d be a bit more eager to change. But right now, they have little or no consequence and massive profit margins and tax breaks…no reason to change.”

    Eeek!

    I am all for taxing them for their record profits, for which they pay no taxes but gouge us into the poorhouse. Besides, like Groge Soros and Bill Gates’ daddy said, “The rich should pay their taxes and be thankful that they live in a country where it is possible for them to become rich. They should pay their fair share.”

    With big energy’s lousy track record of “helping” the public, I wouldn’t want them anywhere near alternative energy development. They’d find ways to monopolize that too. It’s probably why they fight alternatives so hard now, they can’t gain total control over its manufacture and distribution, nobody else can play in their playground, only them.

    Alternatives take that total control away from the few and is available to the many ~ you can build your own systems without all the fancy parts that you’d have to order from someone and create your own energy sources off grid. That’s not an option big energy is happy about. They will do everything possible to drag their feet and postpone or twart any conversions from fossil fuels and scream bloody murder when we succeed in taking power back for ourselves.

  251. avatar JEFF E says:

    Jeff S.
    Then enlighten us on the way it should be.

  252. avatar vicki says:

    Salle,

    That is a good point. I will think on it for a bit.

    I do think there is a lot of good reasoning to what you stated.

    Jeff S
    Yes, please…enlighten us all. Atleast we make suggestions, ask questions, come up with original thought. We have concern. What positive input can you offer, because we are always willing to hear new voices around here? There is no shortage of people willing to criticize, but there is a huge need for solutions. Do you have any? Seriously, I’d be interested in hearing your ideas.

  253. avatar Ryan says:

    Viki,

    You have a right to your opinion no matter whow wrong I think it is and vice versa. I know from living and working up there for many summers what drives the local economy in the areas I have been. Fishing (both sport and commercial) and oil are the two biggest on the kenai peninsula. Beyond gun rights, I am consider myself to be a conservative republican across the board and couldn’t bring myself to vote for the current democratic choice.. The only reason I voted for bush Jr twice, is because there was no alternative. This year is not better, I’m not voting for someone, I’m voting against someone again.

  254. avatar JB says:

    Ryan,

    Sadly, the Republican party of the past is no more. The party that once stood for low taxes and small government has given up on the latter and paid for the former by accruing massive debt. Note, I said “sadly” because I believe the Republican party of old (pre R.R.) was something to be admired. But those times have long since passed, and the Republican party of today is a hodge-podge of religious zealots, disenfranchised Libertarians, and friends of big business.

    Make no mistake, today’s Republicans are all for big-government. They just choose to spend your money differently than Democrats (more about that here: http://wolves.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/jb-republicans-and-small-government/ THANKS RALPH!). I know you think I’m some sort of crazy liberal, but the truth is, I find myself in the middle on most issues–at least with respect to the traditional issues that separated Dems & Reps. It’s truly sad to see the party of Lincoln turn into an angry, fearful, small-minded mob that would rather ban gay marriage than balance the budget, thinks creationism is a scientific theory and global warming is a left-wing conspiracy, throws money at killing Arabs while fighting against health care for its own citizens, and believes our natural resources are only useful when they are tamed, managed, mined or harvested.

    I am probably one of the few people here who can say they actually voted for John McCain; orr, as you put it, I voted against G.W. Bush and his “new Republican” politics in the 2000 primary. Sadly, the McCain of 2000 is nowhere to be seen in this election, and his choice of Sarah Palin is confirmation that he has given up on the Republican party of old in favor of the G.W. Bush’s version.

  255. avatar vicki says:

    Ryan,
    She was a sorry choice, IMHO, period. Had McCain picked someone a little less inflammatory, he may have gotten my vote. (He had opposed more drilling in Alaska, had a clue about economic reform.) What he had no clue about was who to pick to run with. Had he shown more wisdom there, he may have inspired some of us independents. Instead, he has a lot of us questioning his ability to make the hard choices with forethought and intellegence.
    He may be a hero, but he is certainly not able to stand up to his advisors or see father than his party line…the majority of Americans are neither extreme right or extreme left….they are squarely in the middle.
    I used to be a republican, but I have seen that in recent years the party has failed to progress, foresaking the good of future generations. I am still a gun toting, outspoken female…with no desire to have Sarah Palin line women up and march them straight back into history….she is a token white female. (The politically charged version of affirmative action, chosen only for her hormone levels and accepting only for her own desire to get ahead even of she does not deserve the job.)

  256. avatar Ryan says:

    JB and Viki,

    I’m not arguing the fact the Republican of recent have blown. I’m just far more fearful of the other prospect.

    “He had opposed more drilling in Alaska, had a clue about economic reform”

    It was pretty to oppose it when gas was 1.40 a gallon, not presenting a realistic solution to the oil problem now would be political suicide.. And no inflating your tires and tuning up your car are not realistic solutions. Do I think either bowl of shit will make a true difference. Not a chance, I’m just voting for the one that stinks less. Will we get ever get quality affordable healthcare in this country, probably not in any of our lifetimes, And looking at how good a job the goverment does with everything else they run, i don’t want them running that. As far as welfare and social programs, most are fatally flawed and create dependents and leaches rathther than encourage change (from my limited expirience contracting with the department of vocational rehabilitation and social security). Overall were in deep shit and I don’t think anything significant will change.

  257. avatar Barb says:

    I think McCain is getting senile. Have you noticed how long it sometimes takes him to answer questions?

  258. avatar Salle says:

    Barb,

    I think that’s because he’s now plugged in to George Bush’s little box that gives him the answers to questions onstage. You know, the one that Rove and Cheney tell him what to say with, the little box that caused so much anguish during the last general election?

    He’s also adopted the Dick Cheney monotone of doom speak when he talks now too, kind of like he’s hypnnotized.

  259. avatar JB says:

    Salle,

    Did they feed him this one?

  260. avatar Salle says:

    hHat’s probably one of the events that made his handlers realize that they HAD to feed him his lines!!! LOL!

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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