Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pictoral Update

Johanna and I with our baby girls

Alethia's first day of school


The other two
House pictures

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I'm listening to a re-run of Sarah's speach right now. I've got to tell you America, you're being played for a fool. She took the state like a rock star. Everyone loved her, but over the last few years her sparkle has begun to fade. Just as her administration has become engulfed in an investigtion, along comes John McCain to prop her up on a national stage to be cheered by crowds of onlookers. It all feels too familiar.

Let's put her unfortunate family choices aside for now and focus on her record. I've identified a few issues that matter to me. This is not a comprehensive list of her poor judgement, just a few that have come to mind in the last week:

1. She lost my support when she came out against ballot measure 4. The measure would have prevented new large scale mines from depositing harmful chemicals into water used by both humans and salmon. After much debate and incredible efforts by regular folks trying to protect their own waters, Sarah came out against the mine only days before the vote. Even the measure's own opposition group said things were close until the Governor picked a side. Why didn't she leave it up to the voters? Why didn't she let their voices determine the outcome? If she was truely against it, she should have let that be known in the beginning instead of changing the game in the the last 2 minutes. But Sarah comes first in Sarah's world, a theme we will see again and again.

2. The infamous "Bridge to No Where" is another great example of her self serving purposes. After our congretional delegation secured an ear mark for the bridge, she heard the outcry and came out against the bridge. The money was never returned however, why would she do that? She spent the money on something else. Had her cake and ate it too.

3. This great leader of the 49th state with so much vision once asked us, "How should we spend our money?" Comments were elicited on the state website. At the same time she was dismantling our state's mental health infrastructure, schools were fighting to attract top teachers with their small budgets barely able to afford fuel to heat their schools, and people lived in communities with no law enforcement and pooping in buckets. She had the gaul to claim such wealth. The whole thing was a shameless gimmick, insulting to all those state agencies suffering to stay afloat. Nothing ever came of it. Once Miss Congeniality, always Miss Congeniality.

4. We shouldn't forget, this governor may be impeached before the year's out. She is under investigation for inappropriately firing our state's top public safety official. The senate ordered an investigation of the entire affair. Did our governor vow cooperation, deny the allogations, and offer her staff to speak freely? Sort of, but with a twist. She ordered her own investigation ahead of the senate investigation. May as well find out exactly what they will find out right? She found that her staff and husband did make innappropriate phone calls (Gasp!) regarding the situation, she scorned her staff. More recently, she has hired a lawyer to stop the process, or at least slow it down until the national election is over. Is that legal? Why not let the senate's own investigator due its job? That wouldn't be in Sarah's best interest, she serves her own purposes.

And because the campaign has made it an issue, I feel justified to take a long look at how she has handled her 17 year old daughter's pregnancy. After rightly telling us that her 17 year old's unplanned pregnancy is not available for public scrutiny, they march out the boyfriend and prop both of them up at the Republican National Convention. Getting a 17 year old pregnant qualifies to you be in the greeting line for the Republican presidential candidate? Who does that to a couple of kids? They should be left alone. They made a mistake, leave it at that. She, and the Republican Party, are using those kids for political gain. Would you do that to your daughter? What are teenagers across the nation thinking right now? A couple high school kids have a roll in the hay and now are sitting together before the nation. Evangelical leaders across the nation are praising the family's choices and rallying behind Alaska's governor. Clearly their family values are different then mine. I would never thrust a couple kids onto the national spotlight because of one mistake. And I would never, never encourage those same kids to get married just because they accidentally made a baby. If these are the new Republican family values, they can have them.

After a rubber stamp Republican Convention speach, she must eventually face the media and inevitably Joe Biden. Simply put, she'll have her head handed to her on a platter. More and more of her rocky record will surface. I think back to her debates during her last election. She sounded every bit the hockey mom and mayor of Wasilla, not the Vice President of the United States. Without a speach writer and a staff to support her, she will founder. Larry King, Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer, Brian Williams and the rest will rip her apart. And when she debates Joe Biden, it will become clear. America is in love with Miss Congeniality.

(Here's an article that very accurately describes Sarah Palin as Governor of Alaska. )