Wednesday, September 10, 2008

McCain, Palin Fairfax, Virginia Speech Transcript (9-10-08)

This partial transcript of a speech given by McCain and Palin while in Fairfax, Virginia, Today.

Americans, this is a time when principles and political independence matter a lot more than just a party line. He doesn't run with the Washington herd. He's willing to shake things up in Washington. And that is only one more reason to send the maverick of the Senate to the White House.


So I don't mind at all. The senator has called us a team of mavericks. And I'm honored to be considered on this team of mavericks, because he knows -- the senator knows that we've done some shaking up, up there in Alaska.

As the mayor of a small town, I shook up the old system. I took on the good old boys. And I reminded people that, no, government is not always the answer. In fact, too often government is the problem.


So what we did, simply, we put government back on the side of the people. What I did there was eliminate personal property taxes.


I eliminated small business inventory taxes and business license renewal fees. Those things that were getting in the way of the private sector, being able to grow and prosper and to thrive.

Property taxes were too high, so every year I cut that each year that I was in office. And those reforms worked, and our community was able to grow and to thrive. We really took off.

As governor then, I brought that same agenda of positive change to the state level. We took on the old politics as usual in Juneau.

I broke the monopoly that had controlled our state, and that was the lobbyists and the special interests that had controlled big oil. See, we had come to office promising major ethics reform to end the culture of closed doors and self-dealing, and today that reform, because it works -- that reform is the law of the state of Alaska.


And you know, as mayor and as governor, I tried to lead by example. So as mayor, I took a voluntary pay cut which didn't impress my husband at all. He wasn't thrilled. And then as governor, I eliminated the governor's personal chef position from the budget, which didn't thrill my kids at all. And I put the state's checkbook online for all the world to see, how we were spending the people's money.


Of course, that didn't thrill all the bureaucrats.

And then finally, that luxury jet that came with the office, it was a bit over the top. So I put it on eBay.

I had come to office promising to control spending, by request if possible, ideally, but by veto if necessary. And today our state budget is under control and we have a surplus. I had to put the veto pen to nearly half a billion dollars in reckless spending.


We suspended the state fuel tax, and we have a surplus. So what I'm doing with that surplus, I'm taking a big chunk of it and I'm returning it right back to the people where it belongs. They can spend it better than we can spend it for them.

We gave that money back to hard working Alaskans. And in these tough times, I'm ready to join John McCain in Washington. And we're going to do the same for you, tax relief for all Americans.

I championed earmark reform, also, to help Congress stop wasting money on those things that do not serve the public interest. I told Congress thanks, but no thanks for that Bridge to Nowhere. In Alaska, if we wanted that bridge, we'd build it ourselves.


Now, just the other day, our opponent brought up earmarks. And frankly, I was surprised that he did considering his record on earmarks. I didn't think he'd want to go there.

In just three years, our opponent has requested nearly a billion dollars in earmarks. That's about a million dollars every working day.

We reformed the abuses of earmarks in our state, and it was while our opponent was requesting a billion dollars in earmarks as a senatorial privilege. What I was doing was vetoing half a billion as an executive responsibility.

(APPLAUSE) And now, here again, I'm ready to join John McCain in Washington so we can end the corrupt practices of the abuse of earmarks once and for all. We'll do that.

Through competition as governor, I got agreements to build a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline. That's going to help all of you. It will help free America from foreign suppliers, as we're dumping so much money into some countries that don't really like America.


PALIN: In a McCain/Palin administration, we are going to expand new energy resources, the development of, and expand our alternative uses of energy, also. We're going to tap into the wind and the geothermal and the hydro and the biomass. Those things that God has blessed our country with also, those renewables. We're going to start plugging those in and funding those projects that will be good for America. We are going to make this nation energy independent.

-Related Post:
Palin's ABC News interview with Charlie Gibson: Transcript (9-11-08)

Is Venezuela the New Cuba?

Not only is Venezuelan strong man, Hugo Chavez, Anti-American, he is also erratic. This can make him very dangerous. He makes every effort to try and weaken the U.S. The Bush gang has contributed to the problem by antagonizing Chavez, just as they have Russia. Miscalculation could create a very dangerous situation.

Two Russian strategic bombers landed in Venezuela on Wednesday as part of military maneuvers, the government said, announcing an unprecendented deployment to the territory of a new ally at a time of increasingly tense relations with the U.S.

Could we have a new missile crises in the not too distant future?
Russia's Defense Ministry said the two Tu-160 bombers flew to Venezuela on a training mission. It said in a statement carried by the Russian news wires that the planes will conduct training flights over neutral waters over the next few days before heading back to Russia.

Also Wednesday, NATO said it ended a routine exercise by four naval ships in the Black Sea. Russia had denounced the exercise as part of a Western military buildup sparked by the Georgia conflict.

And it ain't just the Venezuelans Bush is antagonizing. It almost seems this neo-fascist administration is bent on war with everyone and everything. Will we survive until January?
President Evo Morales said Wednesday that he is expelling the U.S. ambassador in Bolivia for allegedly inciting violent opposition protests.

Morales' announcement came hours after his government said a pipeline blast triggered by saboteurs forced the country to cut natural gas exports to Brazil by 10 percent.

"Without fear of the empire, I declare the U.S. ambassador 'persona non grata,'" Morales said in a speech at the presidential palace. He said he asked his foreign minister to send a diplomatic note to Ambassador Philip Goldberg telling the American to go home.

The war of words just worsens along with intrigue.
President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday derided as a "show" a U.S. trial of a Venezuelan man accused of acting as a foreign agent in a scandal over an attempt to smuggle $800,000 into Argentina in a suitcase.

The comments by Chavez came a day after a Venezuelan businessman testified in a Miami federal court that Chavez had personally ordered the head of his intelligence service to handle fallout from the incident, which sparked an international scandal.

"The North American empire is again attacking Venezuela," Chavez said, dismissing the trial as an American attempt to embarrass his government.

Like I said, the war of words just gets worse.
White House drug czar John Walters said Tuesday that Venezuela President Hugo Chávez' policies toward the cocaine trade represents a ''global threat'' that puts Europe, especially, at risk.

Venezuela has rejected U.S. requests to resume cooperation in the war on drugs, insisting it has made progress despite an alleged fourfold gain in the amount of Colombian cocaine passing through its territory.

Walters said most of the cocaine passing through Venezuela ends up in Europe via Africa and that Chávez's policies therefore were a big threat to both continents.

McCain's "Lipstick on a Pig" Sexist Ploy

The McCain campaign wants to change the subject from the economy, the war, and Bush. So how do they do it - by making ridiculous allegations which the media plays up. The same press that decries negative campaigning is busy promoting every fatuous comment attack made by each side.

Last October, asked about Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care plan, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was blunt. McCain said Clinton's proposal was "eerily" similar to the ill-fated plan she devised in 1993. "I think they put some lipstick on a pig," he said, "but it's still a pig."A common expression, right? McCain surely wasn't calling Clinton a pig. After all, McCain's former press secretary, Torie Clarke, wrote a book called "Lipstick on a Pig: Winning in the No-Spin Era." Elizabeth Edwards told some health journalists that McCain's health care plan was like "painting lipstick on a pig."

Tonight Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said of McCain painting himself as a change agent, "You know, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." ... "You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called 'change,'" Obama continued, "it's still gonna stink after eight years. We've had enough of the same old thing! It's time to bring about real change to Washington. And that's the choice you've got in this election."

The press is to blame here. Our country is in crisis and they focus on this sensational stupidity.
The media seems to find all of this fascinating, as if use of an old American expression, utilized by all kinds of political candidates from both parties for generations, might be some kind of sexist insult -- not when McCain used it to slam Hillary Clinton, but only when Obama used it to criticize the Republican campaign in general.

It's honestly like being stuck in a "Twilight Zone" episode in which reality has no meaning at all.

If you want to talk about Palin, let's talk about her less than "maverick" governing practices.
Responding to criticism from Democrats, campaign aides to Gov. Sarah Palin on Tuesday defended her practice of billing Alaska taxpayers for more than 300 nights she spent at home in her first year-and-a-half in office.

Ms. Palin received a “per diem” expense allowance for 312 nights she spent at her home in Wasilla, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The $60-a-day allowance is available for state employees when traveling on official state business to cover meals and other sundry expenses. Ms. Palin’s per diems, which included some charges for partial days, totaled $17,059, from Dec. 4, 2006, when she took office, through June 30, 2008, the most recent data available, according to Sharon Leighow, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office. Ms. Palin’s salary is $125,000 a year.

Ms. Palin was able to receive the allotment while she was at home because her official “duty station” is listed as Juneau, the state capital, aides said. That allowed Ms. Palin to file for per diems while she was working out of her Anchorage office and commuting from her home about 45 miles away in Wasilla. Juneau is nearly 600 miles away.