Archive for the ‘Sarah Palin’ Tag

Are We Really That Foolish?   Leave a comment

By now, everybody has heard that Sarah Palin has endorsed Donald Trump. I am still not voting for him.

I used to like Sarah quite a bit and I still wish she’d stayed governor of Alaska for a full two-terms. We could have missed out on Sean Parnell’s incredible stupidity and this downturn in the price of oil would be a concern only in that our non-Permanent Fund savings would be going down. You see, Sarah refused to grow the State of Alaska during the high oil prices and she put the extra revenue in savings for a day very much like what Alaska is going through now. Sean Parnell immediately began increasing the size of the state government and spending that savings as soon as he became governor. Had Sarah remained governor (term limited in 2014), we wouldn’t need to discuss an economy-killing and population-draining income tax. I blame John McCain and the GOP establishment for dragging her away (and still wonder if that was not planned). I blame her own greed for turning her into a caricature of her former self. Power corrupts and, apparently, power denied and then redirected corrupts even more. I knew there was a reason why I never wanted to run for political office. She is Exhibit A.

But enough about what if … this is what is. She endorsed Donald Trump. Why?

Donald Trump is not a conservative. Of course, neither was Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon or, truthfully, either of the Bushes (which ought to tell you something about Jeb).  These Republican presidents were not fiscal or political conservatives. Eisenhower had such broad support from both sides of the aisle because he was a moderate who championed the Interstate Highway System that more than any other program of the federal government has taken away the sovereignty of the individual states, but was also a huge boondoggle that spent lavishly from the public treasury.

Richard Nixon was arguably the most liberal president between LBJ and Barack Obama. He considered the conservative movement to be a “threat more menacing” to the GOP than the John Birch Society. He told his aide John Whitaker, “There is only one thing as bad as a far-left liberal and that’s a damn right-wing conservative.” Nixon created the EPA (the Employment Prevention Agency – thank you, Marco Rubio, for that), institutionalized affirmative action, loved regulation, and pushed for huge increases in domestic spending, including a massive government takeover of health care.

Bush 1 is known for raising taxes after he promised he wouldn’t and Bush 2 ran on a platform of “compassionate conservativism.” The new drapes had not been hung in the Oval Office when he began working with Ted Kennedy on education (No Child Left Behind). He passed the biggest expansion of entitlements since the Great Society (Medicare Part D), increased the federal workforce, and increased federal spending per household. Yes, he lowered taxes. So?

That brings us to Trump, who some (including Palin) are saying pits the GOP conservative base against the presumably more liberal GOP establishment. So lets get some terminology straight here.

Contrary to what MSN wants to portray, conservatives are generally for very limited government and strict adherence to the Constitution, which results in reduced spending, less need for taxation, a reduction in regulation, and more individual freedom. By that definition, Eisenhower, Nixon and the Bushes were not conservatives and neither is Donald Trump. Sarah was definitely a fiscal conservative while she was governor of Alaska, but let’s be honest about that … Alaska is the most socialist state in the union, not by choice, but by Congressional design (with a lot of input from the Eisenhower administration, by the way).  Thanks to oil wealth, Alaskan have been shareholders in the 13th largest government-owned petroleum resource development corporation for the last 40 years. If not for oil, the socialism of this state would and will bankrupt us. Sarah understood that the State of Alaska needed to be run like the corporation it is and she did that. When I vote for a governor, I am selecting a CEO … and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that in the reality that has been impressed upon Alaska through the Statehood Compact.

In a similar way, Trump appears to view the United States of America as a business that can be run just like his real estate and media empire.

Of course (and this is my #1 reason for not voting for Donald Trump) you can’t take the United States government into bankruptcy so you can reset and start anew.  What works for business when there is a government that lets businesses get away with that will not work with the largest economy in the world. I suspect Sarah knew that when she was running for Vice-President, but I doubt Trump has ever understood the catastrophic effects of an economic crash on everyone who isn’t a billionaire.

So Sarah endorsed Trump. I suspect someone paid her to do so – maybe Trump, maybe whoever else is giving to SarahPAC. Because I don’t walk in lock-step with any candidate or political figure, I don’t care that she endorsed Trump. I’m going to hold to my own principles and shake my head sadly at what has become of one of the best governors Alaska ever had. Trump will not be getting my vote.

Until yesterday, I honestly thought that the American voters might like Donald Trump from his entertaining populism when the telephone pollsters called, but they’d think better of their choices when they got into the polling booth.

I’m no longer that sure. If I look at recent history, I have to be honest. People are dumb. They gave Barack Obama a second term after he spent us into multi-generational debt, forced an unconstitutional health care bill down our throats, divided the country along racial lines, orchestrated the illegal sale of guns to Mexican drug lords, and left four Americans on the ground in Benghazi. And that’s just the highlight reel.

So maybe we really are stupid enough to elect Donald Trump as nominee to the GOP. We’ll see what happens in the next few months. But, for the record, I will not be voting for Donald Trump. I plan to explain that soon.

A Look at the News   Leave a comment

There are three major news networks these days — CNN, MSN, and Fox News. It depends on who you talk to whether these are liberal-bias, conservative-bias, or middle of the road. And plenty of people will sneer at the Fox News motto of “fair and balanced.”

In the run up to the 2008 election, the highly popular governor of Alaska was the vice-presidential candidate. I’m not going to rehash that campaign. Water under the bridge. But I would note that the news media all reported extensively on Sarah Palin and on Alaska. It was this coverage that ended my long belief that CNN was a middle of the road network that offered the most honest coverage.

Alaska is a subject I can claim some expertise in, so of course, when I heard things that made no sense with what I knew, I researched it. It’s what I do, right? There was the story that Sarah cut the state Department of Education budget by 30%. That seemed unlikely since there wasn’t a huge furor over it in Alaska at the time. Remember, I live in Alaska. It should have been front-page news here. So I fact-checked it. It was easy to do. A lot of Alaska’s public records are on line and most of the newspapers had covered it, but they hadn’t covered it as “Sarah Palin destroys education” but “As Sarah Palin maintains fiscal sanity during record oil revenues” .

In 2007, oil prices were booming and the State of Alaska was benefiting from that. The Legislature, in a organism of ecstasy at $90 a barrel oil, had submitted a budget that increased the Education budget by 30% and Sarah, calculating on a budget set for $65 a barrel had red-lined the increase and held spending at previous levels. Sarah did not cut the budget. She just refused to let them increase it.

NOTE:  This turned out to be incredibly prescient. Parnell allowed the budget to increase with the price of a barrel of oil. Now the price of oil is $50 a barrel and our state budget is set for $110 a barrel. Alaska is running a deficit. Unlike other states, we have savings accounts to cover us while we bring spending under control. We have those savings accounts (in excess of the Permanent Fund) because Sarah held the line on spending when we were rolling in revenue. Had Sarah remained our governor we probably wouldn’t be going through this crisis now.

There were several other claims about Alaska by CNN during that campaign that were easily fact-checked and turned out not to be true. I went so far as to forward two of them with links to the actual information to the CNN reporter (Solidad O”Brien as I recall) and received a canned reply. After about my third fact-finding foray, I decided — for the first time — to give Fox News a chance. I’d always heard that they were entertainment based and fake conservative. I’d seen some interactions between Alan Combs and Tucker Carlson years before that I hadn’t been impressed with. But I knew one thing. I knew that CNN was getting facts that were readily available to anyone with a standard search engine wrong and that meant I needed a new broadcast news network.

I was leery, so I googled anything that sounded fishy to me for quite some time and, for the most part, Fox’s news coverage is fair and balanced. Now, I’m not talking about their editorial policy. I’m talking about their news coverage. You don’t have to believe me. Here’s a study by an international outfit that looked into it.

But here’s the thing — I’m not at all sure we should be getting all of our news from a single cable channel or even several. And I’ll explain why in my next post.


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