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August 29, 2008

McCain VP pick Sarah Palin's ethics scandal

John McCain picked a fellow "maverick" for a running mate: Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

Josh Marshall explains:

As mentioned earlier, Gov. Palin is embroiled in her own trooper-gate scandal up in Alaska. In short, she's accused of using her pull as governor to get her ex-brother-in-law fired as a state trooper. The brother-in-law is embroiled in an ugly divorce and custody with Palin's sister. And after his boss wouldn't fire the brother-in-law, she fired the boss. Palin originally insisted there was nothing to the story. More recently, she was forced to admit the one of her top deputies had pushed to get the guy fired.

Here's one our recent reports on the story.  And we'll be bringing you an updated report shortly.

Palin initially claimed that no one in her administration pressured anyone to fire her ex-brother-in-law's boss. Now, she admits that one of her staffers made a call, trying to get the boss canned:

At least Barack Obama had the good sense not to pick Eliot Spitzer as his running mate.

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THE MATHEMATICAL EQUATION THAT PICKED SARAH PALIN

How was Sarah Palin selected to be the VP running mate for John McCain? I have two answers. 1. I don't know. 2. I DO know how J. Danforth Quayle was selected for George Bush 41. I wouldn't be surprised if the same process was used.

My source was a fellow researcher who's friend was part of the marketing/polling research team for the George H. W. Bush presidential campaign. Here's how it was done.

Dan Quayle's selection was the left side of a mathematical formula. On the right side of the equation was a set of variables. The variables represented factors such as prospective VP's demographics and biographics, market/voter segmentation, and interactions among the variables. The values of the variables reflected input from varied polls, focus groups, and other research.

When the figures were loaded into the statistical black box and cranked a few times, Dan Quayle resolved the equation with the highest expected values. What amazed the research team was how the selection was, for all intents and purposes, solely by statistical modeling. Those of us in prediction modeling know there is always a cone of uncertainty. Also, using the technique for the first time ever in VP selection, was chancy without longer term validity studies.

Was the same process and heavy emphasis on prediction modeling used for Sarah Palin? Again, I have two answers. 1. I don't know. 2. I wouldn't be surprised.

Even if Palin had a thousand-page resume, she's still a chrisianist scientific illiterate, a creationist, she doesn't think CO2 affects climate, doesn't understand the link between clean water and salmon, etc.

Has she ever read a single peer reviewed scientific paper in any field on any subject? Can she explain how peer review works? Can she explain what an atomic isotope is? Can she explain how DNA is transcribed into protein? As governor of a state that depends on salmon, can she define the term 'escapement' or list two important salmon diseases? As a native Alaskan and governor, can she explain exatly why sea ice is crucial to polar bears and Arctic Ocean seals? Can she name three species of seal endemic to the Arctic Ocean? As an advocate of oil and gas drilling everywhere can she explain how oil and gas evolve from anoxic sedimentation in marine basins to transformation to oil and gas, migration of oil, mechanisms of geological trapping, and how the whole process has been determined? (Oh wait, the earth is only 5000 years old, nevermind.) As an advocate of big gold mining in Alaska can she explain why gold happens to be found in Alaska as opposed to say, Florida? As someone who may eventually be making funding decisions for the National Science Foundation, Center for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health, Defense Technical Information Center, US Geological Survey, NOAA, EPA, NASA, etc., does she really have a clear idea what these agencies do exactly? Does she know how to locate scientific information and have the knowledge to sift the wheat from the chaff once she gets there?

The answer to all of these questions is almost certainly no.

(And don't give me that shit about how because she hunts and fishes, she understands ecological processes. I've met tons of hook-&-bullet folks in the course of my work and they generally don't know crap in that department.)

After reviewing all of the posts and hearing about corruption in both parties, it's quite clear that no one likes corruption no matter where it comes from. I believe that the reason why it's easier to criticize Republican corruption is because - at least in recent history - they have set themselves up as a moral authority; Evangelical Christians have taken over the party of Lincoln and have attempted to convert our country into a Theocracy. What has happened to the separation of church and state? You see, when you stand at the pulpit and preach hell, fire and brimstone and then get caught doing the same thing you're preaching against - the moniker hypocrite comes to mind. All the ministers who have been caught with their gay hustlers, drugs, etc. All the politicians who get caught doing the exact opposite of what they stand for - it's all shameful.

Sarah Palin has a much thinner resume than Obama. Why? 1. Being mayor of a small town and then becoming governor of a remote, mostly rural state (less than 2 years) vs. Obama's extensive community work, legal expertise, constitutional law expertise, U.S. Senate - foreign relations committee, legislation, etc; 2. When asked what her thoughts were about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars: "I don't know really.... I haven't been paying that much attention the the war". Obama voted against the war and sought to work with his colleagues to end it; his diplomatic talents to begin a dialogue with healing our reputation abroad. 3) When asked prior to being chosen as McCain's VP how she felt about being scrutinized for the job she said "I don't know... I'm not sure what the job of Vice President entails.... I think my job right now is pretty cool". What does it say about McCain when it was just released into the media that he spoke with Palin only once in 6 months before offering her the job? No interview process? No vetting? Did he know about the scandal brewing in Alaska? The only reason he selected her is because she's female? The only thing she has in common with the Hillary Clinton supporters is that she is a woman. On the issues - they could not be further apart.

This tells us all something very interesting: John McCain's judgement is not what it should be for a Commander-In-Chief. By all accounts, he did not scrutinize her abilities, her character or her weaknesses.

WOW - does anyone with half a brain see where this is going? Was anyone listening to Obama when he laid out perfectly what his vision is for the country? Does anyone get the fact that Obama is a thoughtful, intelligent family man who wants to help lift the little guy up and takes us into the future rather than reverting back to the dark ages? Does anyone still think that the last 8 years have been fine, so let's give the party who tore the country apart another 4? Cronyism, fake reasons to go to war, mismanagement both fiscally and diplomatically, etc. etc. etc. - you want more of this crap?

If you all want McCain to win and Karl Rove and Co. are on board to steel yet another election, then you all deserve exactly what you get: 4 more years of financial disaster, no health care, high drug and oil prices, prohibitive health care insurance, indefinite wars that will weaken the country's safety, fear mongering, moral brow beating by the religious right, etc. etc. I used to believe that the citizens of the U.S. were smart, pragmatic people - but the disaster of the last 8 years have proven me wrong. If McCain and Palin are elected we will never be able to dig out of the mess we are in. The only clear choice this election cycle is Obama and Biden. They are thoughtful, intelligent & much more likely to unify the country. I fear for the country if McCain is elected. I've already been looking at real estate in Canada just in case....

cfrost,

Demoralizing, isn't it.

-------------

POLITICAL PRAGMATIST,

Let us know where you are looking in Canada.

we developed... Abstract Expressionism earlier than we would have otherwise.

That's a good thing?

... Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are more or less the same age, but Governor Palin has run a state

Yes, Sarah Palin ran a state that receives $1.84 in federal spending for every dollar it pays in federal taxes.

-- receives $1.84 in federal spending for every dollar it pays in federal taxes--

C'mon. Those comparisons are bullshit.

Alaska has an immense coastline that borders on Russia. The considerable Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force resources that protect that coast and this country go into those numbers I believe.

Salaries paid to servicemen and women and the costs of maintaining those federal facilities should not be counted as monies "received" by the states that host those facilities. It's not really accurate and it's not really fair.

Sweet Jesus Phantom Homer, you're using stuff from Red State?

What, NewsMax wasn't available? Steve Doocey wasn't quotable enough?

And you wonder why people laugh at you?

She's got ZERO qualifications to be VP, and more than anything, choosing Palin just shows how scatterbrained and shortsighted McCain is.

Off all the choices he had, McCain chose someone who can't even fire a state trooper with out getting investigated.

Palin was the best choice, not Lieberman not Pawlenty or Dole or Huckabee or Romney?

Palin?

Based on what?

A 15 minute meeting.

Hell, Obama had more face time with Maliki then McCain had with Palin, and McCain only directly communicated with her twice in their lifetimes.

Oh, you want to know what else Obaama has done, besides meet with people like Maliki and and various EU leaders recently (has Palin even traveled out side of the US?).

Obama has, in a little over a year, started a presidential campaign from scratch that destroyed the most powerful democratic political machine since the Kennedys, has millions of dollars, cash, in the bank, won the nomination of an opposition party during a time of war with a name like Barack Hussein Obama, and less than three days ago, rhetorically beat Bush and McCain like the low-grade baboons they are and continues to crush McCain in the poles (8+ in latest Gallup, pre convention).

Picking Sarah Palin makes Eggleton look like a grand choice.

Our "empty suit" is at the bottom of the ticket. Your empty suit is at the top of the ticket.

Our VP candidate overthrew a corrupt government in her state. Your candidate for President wrote multiple autobiographies about himself.

Don't embarrass yourself.

TB

Since you like Red State so much, why don't you read and listen to this

Your party leadership at work. Guys like this would be happy to see 100,000 people drown if it would ensure victory in November.

>As an immigrant, I'm not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities.

Obviously, they haven't set steep quotas for Lower Slobbovia. I back off a bit, Phantom. Where you grew up raw bigotry of your "fuck them ragheads" type may not have been as despicable as it is in this country. But you're here, now.

No Phantom Homer, what's going to ensure victory in November is the complete and utter failure of conservatives to effectively run and govern a country, even at the most basic levels, the blatantly obvious failings of your stale candidate that can't even pick a running mate without screwing it up, and the fact that the campaign is being run by guys that have a "thought" process similar to yours.

And tell me Phantom Homer, was trying to get her ex-brother-in-law fired part of "overthrowing a corrupt government in her state"? And what about being a big supporter of Ted Steven's bridge to nowhere, was THAT part of "overthrowing a corrupt government in her state"? Was the firing of another police chief and a library director during her first, and only term as the mayor of a town smaller than most colleges, was that part "overthrowing a corrupt government in her state"? And, she's is in favor of drilling pristine lands in Alaska even though her husband works for British Petroleum (Hey look, a conservative politician with ties to big oil! What a surprise!), was that part "overthrowing a corrupt government in her state"?

I tell you what's going to be embarrassing Phantom Homer, the next 8+ years of your life.

TB

No comment on former DNC Chairman Don Fowler and House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt laughing about a potentially deadly hurricane slamming into New Orleans?

No comment at all?

Please, no more comments about the Democrats being the party that cares about average people. Honest people simply cannot believe this shit anymore.

The mask slipped for a second, guys.

Uh, Phantom Homer, what do Fowler and Spratt have to do with your candidates abysmally stupid pick of a running mate?

I know it hurts your head, but DO try to focus on the subject at hand.

I know it's hard for a conservative to do, but you're going to have to face facts, and the facts are that Palin doesn't have the experience to be a heartbeat away from the highest office in the land, and John McCain has screwed up. Again.

If this is the kind of careful and measured thought that McCain puts into a VP pick, imagine how he would run the country; stay in Iraq for 100/1000/10,000 years, bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran ... imagine what else he might do a whim.

Apparently Sarah Palin has ties to the Alaska Independence Party, a group that wants to separate Alaska from the 50 states and make it fully independent. So much for upholding the Constitution and preserving and protecting the union. This is a Junk nomination, and we should all be truly offended by it.

Here is Palin addressing the AIP in her own words (video link): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwvPNXYrIyI

Latest coverage of the Republican National Committee Call-Center:

http://www.apostropher.com/blog/archives/004246.html#more

(Oh my, is that Phantom I see among the party loyalists?)

Oh good Lord. Turns out Bristol, the 17 y.o. daughter of our flyboy hero's VP pick is , um, in the family way. Bristol plans to marry the lucky father with our favorite shotgun-totin' hockey mom doubtless standing right behind.

Warning to latte-sipping elitists: You may comment on the thoroughness, or lack thereof of Team McCain's vetting process. You may not mention the what you may think are the déclassé lives of the good citizens to which the GOP is trying to appeal. Any comment like “nails down the hillbilly vote” will put you in the same league as egghead elitists like the Dem candidate with his talk of bitter working class voters clinging to bibles and guns.

So I guess we know how that abstinence only sex ed worked out for Bristol, huh?

She swears she never saw the stork come around.

Here's a note on the early polling among independents, by the way (via the Group News Blog):

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/08/undecideds-dont.html


Maverick Man appears to have laid a giant egg.

Obama says the Palin family's affairs are their own business and that they should be accorded a measure of privacy.

OK, that's the right thing to do. However, it still begs the question of the McCain team's competence. Didn't anyone in the organization think to sit the family down and ask for a show of hands to see if anyone might have something they needed to discuss before mom was invited on the ticket?

McCain now claims that he knew all along. John, please.

McCain? Competence?

You're kidding, right Frosty?

Yeah, other than ending up the punch line on late night comedy shows, families should be out of bounds for politician-to-politician volleys.

What is most definitely IN BOUNDS is the all too apparent incompetence, again, of McCain and the people around him.

Sweet Jesus, just think what these fools would do if they were actually in charge of things?

C'mon. Those comparisons are bullshit.

Alaska has an immense coastline that borders on Russia. The considerable Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force resources that protect that coast and this country go into those numbers I believe.

Salaries paid to servicemen and women and the costs of maintaining those federal facilities should not be counted as monies "received" by the states that host those facilities. It's not really accurate and it's not really fair.

Why not? What you're saying is that Alaska is very high-maintenance. This is true: it's remote, so it takes a lot of money for the government to maintain control of it. Part of it goes to defense, as you mention, but most goes to federal management of land and subsidies for resource extraction, just like with the rest of the West.

Even the parts that go to defense help the state. Norfolk wouldn't really have an economy if it didn't host a naval base. Its mayor would be sure to get decent tax revenue as well as a multiplier effect just from federal spending, regardless of his economic policy. This is true for San Diego, Phoenix, and the Inland Empire as well. In contrast, New York and LA don't get these injections of money, so their leaders have to turn to the free market to maintain a tax base.

Alaska should also net the federal government money from oil revenues. Texas does, which is why it's the only Southern state that's routinely a net tax donor. In other parts of the world, resource-rich hinterlands are always money-generating, even when they're dirt poor. Alaska is the exception here, not the rule. Hawaii, which has no resources, is even more remote, and has more military bases, gets only $1.44 on the dollar. This suggests decades-long bad management on the part of the Alaskans.

Hawaii, despite its economic issues, has a vast tourism industry and a larger population base.

By counting military salaries for example, in some cases you will be counting monies that never touch the state. An enlisted man who lives on base can live on nearly no money, since he's not charged for the food in the mess hall, nor does he have to pay rent or utilities for his stay at the barracks.

This is one of many areas where I don't trust standard tools used to compare things. This is one that is meant to skew in favor of (my) NY and similar states, to make it appear that we are getting screwed. Which we are, but military bases should be left out of the equation.

We don't have many military bases,Nor would the lower part of the state want any new bases, nor would this part of the country be a good place to locate military bases. It's a bit phony.

--

My sympathies to Michael Moore and to the top guys in the DNC. Apparently, the levees in NOLA have held. Maybe God is not with you after all.

Nah, Phantom Homer, my sympathies to your hoale conservative ass.

Cause you sure don't know much about Alaska, and you SURE don't know much about Da Aina, Da Hui or Da Ali'i, and you sure ain't picking up on the news today.

Here's some headlines to help you keep up:

Palin Hires Lawyer In Trooper-Gate Probe
Palin: 17-Yr Old Daughter Is Pregnant
Did McCain Know Before Palin Pick?
Palin's Link To Bizarro AK Secession Party
Palin Backed Pork Bridge Project In '06

Ku mai! Ku mai! Ka nalu nui mai Kahiki mai,
Alo poi pu! Ku mai ka po hoehue,
Hu! Kaiko'o loa

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