Thursday was the last night of the Republican convention, which means both political parties have made their official decisions, had their respective celebrations, and now it’s time for both candidates to make their final push to become president.
Yes, this is an opinionated, biased, and very much an independent blog designed specifically to promote the candidacy of Barack Obama. I don’t always agree with Mr. Obama on some issues, or even the way the campaign is run, which is why I keep this blog independent of the official MyBarackObama.com universe.
Which I can write a subject title like “Sarah & the little green man,” and not worry about making comments that may seem derogatory about height-challenged people. I love little people, and some of my favorite people in the world are short, but some folks don’t see it that way….. oh well…..
So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’ll get on with my little rant … because I can.
Have digested a couple days of non-stop coverage of both conventions via C-SPAN, I feel qualified to share my opinion. As the Republican convention just finished, here’s my thoughts on it.
First, I think it’s wonderful that John McCain gave his speech in front of a dynamic video screen that wasn’t stuck on any static imagery. Seeing him in front of a graphic of a green grassfield was a nice treat for those such as myself that enjoy being able to create our own video edits using pre-existing material. Having a solid green (or blue) screen allows one to superimpose all sorts of different images, as TV host Stephen Colbert pointed out when he announced his special “Make John McCain Exciting Green Screen Challenge!”
As the “green” theme promotes environmental consciousness, and responsible behavior, using the color green also has some political ramifications.
To John McCain, I say thank you, as this is my favorite thing you’ve done in this campaign, and I hope you continue to use the green screen with future presentations, inspiring more filmmakers to create more unique creations.
That being said, there’s other things about the convention that deserve to be said.
I do have a problem with what I saw was the blatant dishonesty of of the Republican platform. I don’t have a problem with honest debate over the issues, but I really hate it when mistruths are spread, and things are completely distorted out of their original context.
As John McCain’s speech was a tired retread of other old speeches, and Sarah Palin is providing some genuine excitement to this race, let’s go over some of the problems I had with her dishonest speech.
I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States. This was the spirit that brought me to the governor’s office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau … when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good-ol’ boys network.
Sarah Palin’s husband Todd Palin, was employed by BP Oil for 18 years, providing a substantial income for the Palin family. In 2007, in order to avoid a conflict of interest relating to his wife’s position as governor, he took a leave from his job as production supervisor when his employer became involved in natural gas pipeline negotiations with his wife’s administration. Seven months later, because the family needed more income, Todd returned to BP.
I came to office promising major ethics reform, to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is the law.
The “Trooper-gate” scandal involving Governor Palin is still being investigated. On July 11, 2008, Palin dismissed Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan, citing performance-related issues. Monegan alleged that his dismissal was retaliation for his failure to fire Palin’s former brother-in-law, Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten, who was involved in a child custody battle with Palin’s sister, Molly McCann.
There’s a handful of other matters that challenge this claim of “ethics reform,” but the “Trooper-Gate” but I’ll save that for another time.
And there is much to like and admire about our opponent.
But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform – not even in the state senate
Sarah Palin has not been paying attention. A simple Wikipedia search would have provided a list of things that Obama did, but that would destroyed her little thesis, wouldn’t it?
Obama voted in favor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and cosponsored the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act. In September 2006, Obama supported a related bill, the Secure Fence Act. Obama introduced two initiatives bearing his name: “Lugar–Obama,” which expanded the Nunn–Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept to conventional weapons, and the “Coburn–Obama Transparency Act,” which authorized the establishment of www.USAspending.gov, a web search engine. On June 3, 2008, Senator Obama, along with Senators Carper, Coburn and McCain, introduced follow-up legislation: Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act of 2008.
Obama sponsored legislation requiring nuclear plant owners to notify state and local authorities of radioactive leaks. In December 2006, President Bush signed into law the “Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act,” marking the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor. In January 2007, Obama co-sponsored the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which was signed into law in September 2007. He introduced S. 453, a bill to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections. Obama also introduced the Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007. 
Some people can’t handle truth, especially politicians like John McCain and his running mate.
Here’s some other counterpoints to the Palin speech and other Republican bullet points, courtesy of AP:
PALIN: “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending … and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere.”
THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a “bridge to nowhere.”
PALIN: “There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate.”
THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.
PALIN: “The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.”
THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama’s plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain’s plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded. Sarah Palin in 1.5 years brought about the 3rd profits tax increase on private industry the highest in the world that totalled 400%.
Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.
The AP report also showed how Palin’s champions have exaggerated the Alaskan governor’s ‘achievements’:
MCCAIN: “She’s been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America’s energy supply … She’s responsible for 20 percent of the nation’s energy supply. I’m entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America,” he said in an interview with ABC News’ Charles Gibson.
THE FACTS: McCain’s phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she’s no more “responsible” for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state — by population.
MCCAIN: “She’s the commander of the Alaska National Guard. … She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities,” he said on ABC.
THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under “federal status,” which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska’s national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.
FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin “got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States.”
THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor’s election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.
You can read more about the inconsistencies of Sarah Palin by visiting: