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Thursday, February 4, 2010

You Can Tell a Storm is Coming When the Waters Get Rough

The clouds prepare for battle
In the dark and brooding silence.
Bruised and sullen stormclouds
Have the light of day obscured.
Looming low and ominous
In twilight premature
Thunderheads are rumbling
In a distant overture...

All at once, the clouds are parted.
Light streams down in bright unbroken beams...

Follow men's eyes as they look to the skies.
The shifting shafts of shining weave the fabric of their dreams...

-Jacobs Ladder by Rush

We're at the "distant overture" portion of the song. The clouds may not part for another year or two. We know by now that in the world of Sarah Palin, nothing is ever easy and nothing is ever handed to her. When it comes to stretching the fabric of existence or kicking a ball that sets a game into motion, Sarah Palin (although a victim of vicious smears, most unwarranted, and guided by divine providence) is very proactive and demonstrates the ability to create "mini big bangs" of political creation on her own with a blackberry, a laptop and now a Fox News camera and microphone. She is certainly creating a storm right now of her own volition, and many don't know what to think of it.

This entree makes its own sauce, but in a way not neatly categorized in a cookbook or a political science textbook for that matter. Palin is creating her own mix, combining isoltationist libertarians, internationalist moderates and right wing social and fiscal conservatives. The only thing she hasn't added to the mix is a liberal, and in Palin's political cookbook, there is no mention of any.

If this is the building of a big tent, many right now wonder if Palin can nail it down strong enough so that it can weather the major storm that is headed directly for Camp Republican. You know that storm is coming because the waters are getting rough and you can hear the thunder.

The left is in a tizzy. They will make up anything to smear her. They have claimed federal indictments that didn't exist, tax cheating while operating within the confines of a law that clearly shows it's not, non-existent divorces and a child that supposedly is not hers. Throw these loons out of the mix. There are no legitimate political arguments here.

However, there are legitimate polical arguments on the right. Palin's endorsements of John McCain and Rand Paul have caused a firestorm. And, dare I say, legitimate ones that are based on political decisions, political facts and political theory. In other words, the grown ups on the right are not making these things up and the children on the right are proving themselves unwilling to play with the rest of us; so they are picking up their toys and going home.

The grown ups are hashing things out. While the arguing may be loud at times, the smart ones are aware that how they behave will determine whether the movement is able to withstand the "duke it out" portion of the program that Palin laid out in an interview with Rush Limbaugh. Sarah Palin says this is healthy and will make the Republican party much stronger at the end of the day.

Sarah Palin has an uncanny ability to alienate those who don't get their way all the time while attracting those who realize that freedom and liberty sometimes requires that we allow people to co-exist despite their differences. Supporting Sarah Palin, even when she supports candidates like McCain and Paul is not selling out. It's called pragmatism.

Ronald Reagan knew that you would not build a coalition by pandering to one special interest. Instead, he allowed many groups into the tent. Although I am much more supportive of the religious right today than I was as a young college kid, as a Catholic and as a realist, I've not always agreed with their means, even if I've always agreed with their ends. Yet my hero, Ronald Reagan gave them a seat at the table, and in the end became a great president who did not rule the U.S. like Jerry Falwell, but created a U.S. where people like Falwell and his followers could be free to live their lives as they saw fit.

And if we want to live our lives as we see fit and support candidates who we like, than we need to allow others to do the same. This isn't a liberal versus conservative thing. Liberalism is a bankrupt philosophy. It does not count. This is a details versus the big picture thing. We're thinking this thing out; and even though some of us on are opposing sides, our opinions are legitimate and worthy of discussing.

We don't need to bash or harshly criticize those who think that Palin is doing the wrong thing by endorsing McCain or Paul. We need to respect each other's opinions and agree to disagree agreeably. I'm becoming increasingly more impressed with each passing day about Sarah's smarts and savvy, even if I don't completely understand what she's doing. Up until a few short days ago, I used to think it was necessary to attack every idiot that tries to portray Palin as dumb. After re-thinking this, I believe we should let them continue that line of attack without really responding. It's to our advantage that they continue to underestimate her. We know how smart Sarah Palin is. Keep it low.

Sarah Palin can be over the top sometimes, but she always ends up at a bottom line that equals the same one I have. And there is always some component of my philosophy that gets exemplified in her doing so. Take my belief that we should infiltrate the pop culture and offset the liberal bias. I didn't exactly say, go on Conan O'Brien and mock William Shatner. I said we need to infiltrate the media. I didn't exactly say, go on Fox News and become a contributor. I said we need to do to the left the same exact things that they did to us (it's their game, let's beat them at it). I didn't exactly say turn the word "retarded" into a PC issue and use PC against them like they've done to us. I said we need to welcome libertarians into the coalition. I didn't say to endorse Rand Paul.

When looking at each part individually, it may not make sense to those want to critique and pick apart her every move. But, when the right discusses these things, they are legitimate discussions and must be looked at with much more respect than the stupid stuff like whether or not Levi Johnston saw Todd Palin drinking beer in his shed. But in the end, the discussion should lead us to understand that the whole is the sum of the parts and not just individual pieces.

When the storms clears, you will find that the beach has been cleaned of all its debris and that the waterways once clogged with kelp and seaweed are now opened for the fish to freely swim through again. When the clouds part and the beam of sunlight shines through, we will all look back and smack our heads, saying aloud "now I get it."

Read Going Rogue: An American Life. It tells you exactly how this woman thinks. It may be a little outside of the box for many of us. And, it may not seem realistic to some. But if past performance is any guarantee of future returns, look for Sarah Palin to tear this thing apart and rebuild it again is such a way that even those who disagree with her on McCain and Paul will benefit in ways never before imagined.

-cross posted at Liberty's Lamp

Alice Massie's Vision of Empowering GOP Women

We routinely lambaste liberals for manufacturing false scandals, rumors, and scuttlebutt about Gov. Palin. Liberals do not hold the monopoly on this type of activity, as evidenced by the vitriol spewed by some whose favored candidates did not receive an endorsement from Gov. Palin over the past few weeks.

Arguably, some of Gov. Palin's worst enemies are fellow Republicans. Andrea Stone unwittingly points this out in her hit piece on Gov Palin, "Alaskans Ready to Move on From Palin Mania." Stone's article features a who's who of Gov. Palin's detractors and was written to build a case that she "cared and did nothing for her state."

Entering from stage right in this cast of characters is none other than Alice Massie, president of the Alaska Federation of Republican Women.
"Despite what people from 'outside' say, Palin is no conservative. Massie notes that as governor, Palin worked with Democratic legislators to pass an oil company tax that her fellow Republicans opposed. And despite the Tea Party movement's infatuation with Palin, Massie disputes her reputation as a budget hawk, noting that as mayor she plunged Wasilla into debt" (Stone, 2010, ¶31).
Had Massie stopped here, perhaps one might conclude that she disagreed with Gov. Palin on tax and budget policies. We believe Massie is wrong on the those issues as well, but that is a different conversation for a different day. This was the opening salvo to an all-out attack:
"Sarah is better suited to the media. She's for people who are looking for an 'American Idol,'" Massie said. "She's brought a lot of attention to Alaska, but what has she really done for the state"? (Stone, 2010, ¶32)
What Stone does not reveal is that Massie has a grudge against Gov Palin that dates back to when she was Mayor Palin. In 2002, Alice and Dallas Massie protested a proposed snow machine trail that was to have passed by their hair salon (Christiansen, 2002, ¶11). The Park Ave. Trail was conceived to keep snow machines off the city streets, while allowing people to take them from garage to trail without first loading them on a trailer (Christiansen, 2002, ¶9-10). The alternative was a ban (Christiansen, 2002, ¶10).

Any Alaskan, especially any reporter covering that beat would know that Andrew Halcro and Massie are not sources of objective information on Gov. Palin. Halcro, who receives a significant amount of coverage in Stone's article is one of Gov. Palin's chief critics, a professional blogger, and failed gubernatorial candidate turned congressional candidate.

Further, Stone attended a Mat-Su Republican Women's Club meeting to build this "story." None other than Alice Massie was president of this club for years. In 2009, a new club was chartered in the Mat-Su Valley that promotes all Republican women, especially their hometown governor: Valley Republican Women's Club.

Gov Palin has supported and been supported by all of Alaska's Republican Womens Clubs for years. The following core value underpins the Federation's charter, thus:

"Our Republican women are committed to strengthening our Republican Party, empowering Republican women and creating a better future for our children and grandchildren" (About AK Federation, n.d., ¶3).

Massie's job is to be an objective voice for all Republican women in her state. Every state has an organization for Republican Women, and these organizations collaborate on a national level to promote their members: Republican women. How is Alaska supposed to promote the most popular and respected, and homegrown Republican woman when Massie and the party establishment make a patently partisan attempt to diminish her many accomplishments? Governor Palin has a history of fighting this partisan nonsense. Every Republican Women's Club in the state (of which there are nine) is supportive of Gov. Palin. Many members of the aforementioned Mat-Su club support Gov Palin, but that club's reputation got tarnished, under Massie's reign of petty personal politicking.

We see a veiled classic sexist attack underlying Massie's attack sentences: belittle a woman's accomplishments and hold her out to be "just a pretty face." Empowering women indeed....unless the Republican woman happens to be Gov. Palin. Then the mantra becomes "sit down and shut up!"

Massie forgets a few minor details: Gov. Palin stands tall and executes that which she speaks. She does not retreat. She reloads.


Christiansen, S. (2002, June 28). "Trail controversy ignited." Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. Retrieved February 4, 2010 from: http://www.frontiersman.com/articles/2002/06/28/news1.txt

Stone, A. (2010, February 3). "Alaskans Ready to Move on From Palin Mania" AOL News. Retrieved February 4, 2010 from: http://www.aolnews.com/politics/article/alaskans-ready-to-move-on-from-sarah-palin-mania/19341641

About AFRW. (n.d.). Alaska Federation of Republican Women. Retrieved February 4, 2010 from: http://www.akfrw.org/about.php

Sarah Palin Discusses The Dangers Of Obama’s Out Of Control Spending

For sane people, this should be a no brainer , but we are talking Obama and his communist thugs. They are determined to destroy this country one way or the other. What better way than to run up a debt so large that it can never be paid?

Now some may say, well so what! Others may say that well...we will just print money. Oh sure, hyper-inflation will follow, and it’ll take a bushel basket full of money to buy a loaf of bread, but we’ll get by. (Yes, there really are people saying that!)

But there are other more serious issues people need to think about. As we get further in debt, we lose our influence in the world. It used to be that much of the world made policy based on how the United States would feel about it, how we would react. That is quickly going by the wayside.

Now I know the radical left hate America and love the fact that America won’t be "bullying" the rest of the world. But as an American, I like the idea that other nations respect, and yes, even fear us. That keeps everything fair. Keeps us from being screwed over. Keeps us relatively safe and secure!

As we run out of money, we lose the ability to defend our nation. Never mind making war, basic national defense is very expensive. Of course, Obama and his band of lunatics just as soon turn over United States sovereignty to the United Nations and be done with it, creating some sort of one world government. Another subject to discuss another time

Back in the real world, as the greatest nation on earth, we are the target of a lot of hate, just because we are the best. Thus, we need adequate defense. The radical left, headed by Obama, will absolutely hinder our ability to defend ourselves, with his incredible debt.

It also means, at some point, we’ll have so much debt that taxes will have to be raised, thus hurting the economy even more. We are already reaching a point where just the interest on our debt is more than our entire national defense budget!

Think about THAT for a minute!!

The bad thing is Obama and his people absolutely hate capitalism, and hate business. They have already made the U.S. a hostile environment for business. Their insane plans will only send more companies overseas to countries that have more favorable business environments.

Of course, the biggest casualty in all of this would be personal liberty and freedom. The government, though higher taxes, and insane Obama programs, will control more and more of our lives.

Our money won’t go as far, severely effecting our quality of life. That’s what communism is, shared misery.

Before I ramble on more though, lets listen to what Sarah has to say:

Freedom, Influence, Security Shrink as Budget Balloons

The White House recently announced its pricey Childhood Obesity Initiative to tell us what we should feed our kids. Helpful I’m sure – but most Americans would rather see government focus on other important areas right now. We know what our kids should eat: more healthy food, less junk food. There – we just saved Washington a ton of money by announcing that finding on personal responsibility.

What does demand our full attention is the newly released $3,800,000,000,000 federal budget. The president and Congress have a huge job tackling the problem staring right at us as we look at a budget we obviously can’t afford. America’s freedom and security are endangered as we become beholden to other nations, thanks to ballooning deficits and debt. One congressman just warned that our nation may become insolvent if we don’t make better decisions starting now. As noted in a New York Times article today, unless "miraculous growth" or miraculous unforeseen change is on the horizon, America’s freedom, influence, and security will continue to erode. (Personally, at this point I believe it wouldn’t hurt to ramp up our nation’s humble request for the divine miraculous change and wisdom we’ll need to see us through.)

Getting our arms around this will take all of us working together, making sacrifices, taking more personal responsibility, and sending elected leaders to Washington that we can trust. That’s why some of us may come across as strident in our efforts to call out the White House and Congress. We want to trust you, Washington; we want to work with you, but we cannot stomach some of the things being rammed down our throats. Your actions to pile on more debt make no sense, so we must question your motives and intentions. For instance, there’s just no room for expensive, dangerous, and unsustainable new initiatives like Obamacare, Cap and Tax, and a dramatically expanded federal payroll. These government-growing proposals will obviously cause more problems than they’ll solve. They are just further steps towards insolvency.

Steps towards insolvency are steps away from freedom. They’re steps towards destruction. It’s the reason we ask why we should swallow what's coming out of Washington.

The Wall Street Journal has a brilliant column by Gerald Seib today. It reads in part:

The U.S. government this year will borrow one of every three dollars it spends, with many of those funds coming from foreign countries. That weakens America’s standing and its freedom to act; strengthens China and other world powers including cash-rich oil producers; puts long-term defense spending at risk; undermines the power of the American system as a model for developing countries; and reduces the aura of power that has been a great intangible asset for presidents for more than a century.

"We’ve reached a point now where there’s an intimate link between our solvency and our national security," says Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior national-security adviser in both the first and second Bush presidencies. "What’s so discouraging is that our domestic politics don’t seem to be up to the challenge. And the whole world is watching."

In the 21st-century world order, the classic, narrow definition of national-security threats already has expanded in ways that make traditional foreign-policy thinking antiquated. The list of American security concerns now includes dependence on foreign oil and global warming, for example.

Consider just four of the ways that budget deficits also threaten American’s national security:

• They make America vulnerable to foreign pressures.

The U.S. has about $7.5 trillion in accumulated debt held by the public, about half of that in the hands of investors abroad.

Aside from the fact that each American next year will chip in more than $800 just to pay interest on this debt, that situation means America’s government is dependent on the largesse of foreign creditors and subject to the whims of international financial markets. A foreign government, through the actions of its central bank, could put pressure on the U.S. in a way its military never could. Even under a more benign scenario, a debt-ridden U.S. is vulnerable to a run on the American dollar that begins abroad.

Either way, Mr. Haass says, "it reduces our independence."

• Chinese power is growing as a result.

A lot of the deficit is being financed by China, which is selling the U.S. many billions of dollars of manufactured goods, then lending the accumulated dollars back to the U.S. The IOUs are stacking up in Beijing.

So far this has been a mutually beneficial arrangement, but it is slowly increasing Chinese leverage over American consumers and the American government. At some point, the U.S. may have to bend its policies before either an implicit or explicit Chinese threat to stop the merry-go-round.

Just this weekend, for example, the U.S. angered China by agreeing to sell Taiwan $6.4 billion in arms. At some point, will the U.S. face economic servitude to China that would make such a policy decision impossible?

Please read the rest of Seib’s column here. Our out-of-control spending is weakening our country. We can no longer afford to kick the can down the road to the next generation. We need to have a serious discussion about our spending priorities before it's too late. Commonsense conservatives have a sincere desire to work with the White House on these challenges, and we’re thankful for those in Congress making the offer to help.

- Sarah Palin

This is a real crisis, not the phony baloney, plastic banana, good time rock and roll kind of crisis the radical left likes to make up to force people to do their bidding. You know, things like the "health care crisis" so they can seize control of much of our economy, and "global warming" the Greatest Lie Ever Told © so they can seize control of everything else!

Nope, our out of control spending, without any regard to the dangers, is a crisis that will destroy our nation, the greatest nation ever to exist on earth. Mankind’s last best hope. Never forget that the demise of America will be the demise of liberty and freedom for all of mankind.

Something that suits progressives, like Barack Obama and his kind, just fine.

Gasp! Palin Uses Book as PAC Donation Incentive

ABC News broke a “news story” earlier this week… News Flash!  SarahPAC paid more than $60,000 to purchase copies of Governor Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue: An American Life  to send to people who donated $100 or more.  ABC News’ Matthew Mosk reported:

The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate had her political organization spend more than $63,000 on what her reports describe as "books for fundraising donor fulfillment." The payments went to Harper Collins, her publisher, and in some instances to HSP Direct, a Virginia-based direct mail fundraising firm that serves a number of well-known conservative politicians and pundits.

Why is this news?  Every politician who has a book and a PAC does the very same thing.  It is a smart fundraising technique.  Ministries and other organizations do this.  It would be stupid not to do if you have such a tool at your disposal.  It was obviously successful since SarahPAC raised $2.1 million in 2009 with $1.4 million in the last reporting period.  As far as the cost, HarperCollins doesn’t give those books away; somebody has to pay for them.  So I just find it curious that this was considered newsworthy.

Conservatives 4 Palin notes that Going Rogue was used as a fundraising tool for the Republican Governors Association as well:

Oh and WOW, I am impressed, “Going Rogue” got close to 5000 people to donate $100 to the RGA? that’s a whopping $500,000 for a book that is available for $13.50. Not bad for a two week gig.

Ed Morrissey makes a great point as well:

Palin isn’t a candidate for office (yet), and since each book retails for $13.50 on Amazon, that amounts to less than 4700 books — hardly an effort to pull a Dianetics-like dodge and artificially keeping it on bestseller lists.  Making the book an incentive for larger donations is not only a no-brainer, it’s just about SOP with plenty of other politicians as well…

…Joe Lieberman did the same thing in 2004, when he was a Senator and preparing for a re-election bid.  He didn’t take royalties off of those sales, but ABC also acknowledges that they don’t know if Palin did, either.  And since she’s a private citizen, it really doesn’t matter if she did or didn’t.

The big news here is that Palin’s PAC had at least 4600 donors in the fourth quarter who gave enough money to warrant the incentive gift.  Otherwise, this is a big nothingburger.

A whole lot of nothing, now how about focusing on something more newsworthy like Florida students ditching P.E., oh… wait.

Shane Vander Hart is the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts.  He loves to connect with fellow Rogues so feel free to follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

Palin stands by commitment to Tea Party convention

Although the Tea Party has come under fire recently as being a commercial endeavor and some see the Tea Party as tea-tering on the edge, Sarah Palin is defending her reasons for speaking with members of the Tea Party movement this weekend.

In a USA Today op-ed titled "Why I'm Speaking at Tea Party Convention," Palin explained how she looks forward to meeting many Americans who share a commitment to limited government, common sense and personal responsibility.

Palin said, "I thought long and hard about my participation in this weekend's event. At the end of the day, my decision came down to this: It's important to keep faith with people who put a little bit of their faith in you."

Read more of this article at Examiner.com