Saturday, September 26, 2009

Obama to Cut Off Pensions for Heroes

This one seriously has me ticked. Obama usually annoys me, but on this one I'm hopping mad. Obama has decided not to continue pension payments to the members of the Alaska Territorial Guard, a group of Alaskan natives who watched our Alaskan border during WWII. Article:

In a strongly worded message to Congress outlining its priorities for a military spending bill, the Obama administration today said it disapproved of including money for pensions for 26 elderly members of the World War II-era Alaska Territorial Guard. The Guardsmen are among those assigned to protect Alaska from the Japanese during World War II.

The Army decided this year to no longer count service in the Guard in calculating the military's 20-year minimum for retirement pay, although it still counts for military benefits. As a result, their pensions were decreased in January. An estimated 300 members are still living from the original 6,600-member unit formed in 1942 to protect Alaska, then a territory, from attack. The 26 men have enough other military service to reach the 20-year minimum for retirement pay but would lose it if the Territorial Guard service doesn't count.

A Senate military spending bill up for a vote in the Senate allows the former Guard members count their service as part of active military duty, and it reinstates the payments. State lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year to fill the pay gap until Congress made a permanent fix, but the White House said Friday it didn't think it was "appropriate to establish a precedent of treating service performed by a state employee as active duty for purposes of the computation of retired pay."

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who along with Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, sponsored the fix, called the administration move "deeply disappointing, bordering on insensitive." The legislation honors 26 elderly Native people who are the few remaining survivors of a military unit that served the country with valor," Murkowski said, "The administration's justification, which is that the legislation will set the precedent of treating service as a state employee as federal service, defies logic and history," she said in a statement.

"Sixty-two years after the Territorial Guard was disbanded, the Obama administration minimizes the contribution of this gallant unit to America's success in World War II by calling its service 'state service.' "

Governor Palin went back and forth with Washington on this issue earlier this year. At the end of April she signed legislation that would continue payments to the ATG while they petitioned Washington, D.C. to reinstate the pensions.

Press release from April 29, 2009:

The Department of Defense decided in January to discontinue retirement benefits to ATG members, but temporarily suspended its decision at the urging of Governor Palin and Alaska’s congressional delegation. The Department of Defense agreed to extend payments until April to give Congress time to devise a permanent solution through amendments to the law. Congress has not yet acted, so until it does the state will fund the payments, which total about $10,000 per month.

Governor Palin's statements at the bill-signing ceremony:

"It is a great honor to sign this bill into law today. These Territorial Guard veterans are bona fide Alaskan heroes, cut from the same cloth as the Minutemen who answered the call to defend Lexington and Concord. They have earned every cent of their retirement benefits, as well as our enduring gratitude for their service.”

Earlier in the year space was officially dedicated at the Alaska State Capitol to honor the members of the ATG.

Obama's argument is that the ATG was a state service. Well, duh! (Actually, Alaska was a territory at the time, so I'm not sure how you could call it state service.) During WWII, the Alaskan Territorial Guard was our first line of defense against Japanese attack on our northern border. But no, let's call it state service and cut off benefits. I swear, could an Administration be more clueless?

The Alaska Territorial Guard

Friday, September 25, 2009

Palin at Hong Kong Airport

I'd Rather Eat Dog Vomit

People who constantly bash and criticize America while extolling other countries (except for when Palin speaks on their soil) are offering $200,000 or more to veteran's charity if Sarah will put her head inside of the lion's mouth for dinner. Well, Daniel survived...

"I will donate $100,000 to veterans' charities for a second dinner with Sarah Palin and four guests, this one on-the-record and taped so as to minimize misrepresentations. In the name of fair play, my list of invitees will include a subset of Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Thom Hartmann, Oprah Winfrey, James Carville, Randi Rhodes, Arianna Huffington, Frank Rich, Mudflats' Jeanne Devon, Jane Hamsher and Shannyn Moore. On her side, Sarah Palin may invite guests as well (how about Bill Kristol and Glenn Beck?)."

Personally, I'd rather eat dog vomit, but Mrs. Palin has way more class and tolerance for moose dung than I. Now, could Sarah Palin, accompanied by a few other conservatives, let bygones be bygones for a night and sup with the enemy for a good cause? If that's all it was I'd say, "Sure, no problem." The problem I do have with the offer is that the dude wants to tape it. It's not dinner; it's an ambush. But we'll see.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Transcript of Palin's Hong Kong Speech

The WSJ has some excerpts here if you're in a hurry. Here's the fuller transcript from Palin's Facebook page:

So far, I’ve given you the view from Main Street, USA. But now I’d like to share with you how a Common Sense Conservative sees the world at large. Later this year, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – an event that changed not just Europe but the entire world. In a matter of months, millions of people in formerly captive nations were freed to pursue their individual and national ambitions.

The competition that defined the post World War II era was suddenly over. What was once called “the free world” had so much to celebrate – the peaceful end to a great power rivalry and the liberation of so many from tyranny’s grip. Some, you could say, took the celebration too far. Many spoke of a “peace dividend,” of the need to focus on domestic issues and spend less time, attention and money on endeavors overseas. Many saw a peaceful future, where globalization would break down borders and lead to greater global prosperity. Some argued that state sovereignty would fade – like that was a good thing? – that new non-governmental actors and old international institutions would become dominant in the new world order.

As we all know, that did not happen. Unfortunately, there was no shortage of warning signs that the end of the Cold War did not mean the end of history or the end of conflict. In Europe, the breakup of Yugoslavia resulted in brutal wars in the Balkans. In the Middle East, a war was waged to reverse Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. North Korea’s nuclear program nearly led to military conflict. In Africa, U.S. embassies were bombed by a group called al Qaeda.

Two weeks ago, America commemorated the 8th anniversary of the savagery of September 11, 2001. The vicious terrorist attacks of that day made clear that what happened in lands far distant from American shores directly affect our security. We came to learn, if we did not know before, that there were violent fanatics who sought not just to kill innocents, but to end our way of life. Their attacks have not been limited to the United States.

They attacked targets in Europe, North Africa and throughout the Middle East. Here in Asia, they killed more than 200 in a single attack in Bali. They bombed the Marriott Hotel and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Last year in Mumbai, more than 170 were killed in coordinated attacks in the heart of India’s financial capital. In this struggle with radical Islamic extremists, no part of the world is safe from those who bomb, maim and kill in the service of their twisted vision.

This war – and that is what it is, a war – is not, as some have said, a clash of civilizations. We are not at war with Islam. This is a war within Islam, where a small minority of violent killers seeks to impose their view on the vast majority of Muslims who want the same things all of us want: economic opportunity, education, and the chance to build a better life for themselves and their families. The reality is that al Qaeda and its affiliates have killed scores of innocent Muslim men, women and children.

The reality is that Muslims from Algeria, Indonesia, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries are fighting al Qaeda and their allies today. But this will be a long war, and it will require far more than just military power to prevail. Just as we did in the Cold War, we will need to use all the tools at our disposal – hard and soft power. Economic development, public diplomacy, educational exchanges, and foreign assistance will be just as important as the instruments of military power.

During the election campaign in the U.S. last year, you might have noticed we had some differences over Iraq. John McCain and I believed in the strength of the surge strategy – because of its success, Iraq is no longer the central front in the war on terrorism. Afghanistan is. Afghanistan is where the 9/11 attacks were planned and if we are not successful in Afghanistan, al Qaeda will once again find safe haven there. As a candidate and in office, President Obama called Afghanistan the “necessary war” and pledged to provide the resources needed to prevail. However, prominent voices in the Democratic Party are opposing the additional U.S. ground forces that are clearly needed.

Speaker of the House Pelosi, Defense Subcommittee Chairman Murtha, the Senate Armed Services Committee Chair, and many others, recently expressed doubts about sending additional forces! President Obama will face a decision soon when the U.S. Commander in Afghanistan requests additional forces to implement his new counterinsurgency strategy.

We can win in Afghanistan by helping the Afghans build a stable representative state able to defend itself. And we must do what it takes to prevail. The stakes are very high. Last year, in the midst of the U.S. debate over what do to in Iraq, an important voice was heard – from Asia’s Wise Man, former Singaporean Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who wrote in the Washington Post about the cost of retreat in Iraq. In that article, he prophetically addressed the stakes in Afghanistan.

He wrote: “The Taliban is again gathering strength, and a Taliban victory in Afghanistan or Pakistan would reverberate throughout the Muslim world. It would influence the grand debate among Muslims on the future of Islam. A severely retrograde form of Islam would be seen to have defeated modernity twice: first the Soviet Union, then the United States. There would be profound consequences, especially in the campaign against terrorism.”

That statesman’s words remain every bit as true today. And Minister Lee knows, and I agree, that our success in Afghanistan will have consequences all over the world, including Asia. Our allies and our adversaries are watching to see if we have the staying power to protect our interests in Afghanistan. That is why I recently joined a group of Americans in urging President Obama to devote the resources necessary in Afghanistan and pledged to support him if he made the right decision.

That is why, even during this time of financial distress we need to maintain a strong defense. All government spending should undergo serious scrutiny. No programs or agencies should be automatically immune from cuts. We need to go back to fiscal discipline and unfortunately that has not been the view of the current Administration. They’re spending everywhere and with disregard for deficits and debts and our future economic competitiveness. Though we are engaged in two wars and face a diverse array of threats, it is the defense budget that has seen significant program cuts and has actually been reduced from current levels!

First, the Defense Department received only ½ of 1 % of the nearly trillion dollar Stimulus Package funding – even though many military projects fit the definition of “shovel-ready.” In this Administration’s first defense budget request for 2010, important programs were reduced or cancelled. As the threat of ballistic missiles from countries like North Korea and Iran grow, missile defense was slashed.

Despite the need to move men and material by air into theaters like Afghanistan, the Obama Administration sought to end production of our C-17s, the work horse of our ability to project long range power. Despite the Air Force saying it would increase future risk, the Obama Administration successfully sought to end F-22 production – at a time when both Russia and China are acquiring large numbers of next generation fighter aircraft. It strikes me as odd that Defense Secretary Gates is the only member of the Cabinet to be tasked with tightening his belt.

Now in the region I want to emphasize today: The reason I speak about defense is because our strong defense posture in Asia has helped keep the region safe and allowed it to prosper. Our Asian allies get nervous if they think we are weakening our security commitments. I worry about defense cuts not because I expect war but because I so badly want peace. And the region has enjoyed peace for so long because of our security commitment to our longstanding allies and partners.

Asia has been one of the world’s great success stories. It is a region where America needs to assist with right mix of hard and soft power. While I have so much hope for a bright future in Asia, in a region this dynamic, we must always be prepared for other contingencies. We must work at this – work with our allies to ensure the region’s continued peace and prosperity. I know that you all -- like all of Asia and indeed the whole world – has a keen interest in the emergence of “China as a great power.”

Over the past few decades China’s economic growth has been remarkable. So has the economic growth and political liberalization of all of our key allies in Asia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Asia’s economic growth and political development, together with our forward military presence in the region and strong alliances, have allowed the region to prosper in peace for a long time. We hope that Asia will continue to be an engine of world economic growth, will continue to democratize and will remain at peace.

Our future is now deeply linked to Asia’s success. Our children’s future. We must continue to strengthen our key alliance with Japan, a country going through its own democratic change. Together the U.S. and Japan built the security umbrella under which so many Asians prospered. While there is so much attention to China these days, we cannot forget the importance of Japan in helping to make this the “Pacific Century.” The recent elections in Japan demonstrated that voters wanted reform and an end to debt and stagnation. We have a substantial stake in Japan’s success -- our alliance with must continue to be the linchpin of regional security.

With its open political system and vibrant democracy, South Korea wants to play a larger role on the international stage as well. Of course it wants us to work together toward a future where the peninsula is irreversibly denuclearized, and unified. But it also wants to play a global role. We need to work together with Japan, South Korea and our steadfast ally to the south, Australia, to make sure Asia remains peaceful and prosperous.

Australia rightly reminds us to keep our eye on Southeast Asia, where Indonesia has proved that Islam and democracy can co-exist. Indonesia has fought extremism inside its own border and is consolidating a multi-ethnic democracy that is home to hundreds of millions of Muslims. Those who say Islam and democracy are incompatible insult our friends in Indonesia.

Our great democratic friend India is also “looking East”, seeking a greater role in East Asia as well. Together with our allies we must help integrate India into Asia. If we do so we will have yet another strong democracy driving Asia’s economy and working on shared problems such as proliferation and extremism. And we must continue working with the region’s most dynamic economy, China. We all hope that China’s stated policy of a “Peaceful Rise” will be its future course.

You know better than most the enormous change that has taken place in China over the last thirty years. Hundreds of millions of Chinese have been pulled out of poverty as China has undertaken economic reforms that have resulted in unprecedented growth. Even today, China’s economy is projected to grow by some 8%. It is helping to edge the world out of recession.

China has amassed huge financial reserves. Chinese diplomats are engaged on every continent and, through its vote on the United Nations Security Council, China has become critical in gaining UN support on multilateral issues from Darfur to Iran to North Korea.

Just four years ago, then-Deputy Secretary of State Bob Zoellick urged China to become a “responsible stakeholder” in the international system. He observed the many benefits to China of a “benign international environment.” The peaceful regional environment that China has enjoyed was created through the hard work of Americans, Japanese, South Koreans and Australians. Secretary Zoellick urged China to step up and play its role too. We are working with China to de-nuclearize North Korea. But to be a responsible member of the international community China should exert greater pressure on North Korea to denuclearize and undergo the fundamental reforms it needs. Zoellick urged China to play a greater role in stabilizing the international energy market by ceasing its support of dangerous regimes.

China could play a role in stabilizing its ally Pakistan, and working for peace in Afghanistan. There are many areas where the U.S. and China can work together. And, we would welcome a China that wanted to assume a more responsible and active role in international politics. But Secretary Zoellick also noted that many of China’s actions create risk and uncertainty. These uncertainties led nations to “hedge” their relations with China because, in Zoellick’s words: “Many countries HOPE China will pursue a ‘Peaceful Rise’ but NONE will bet their future on it.”

See: this is the heart of the issue with China: we engage with the hope Beijing becomes a responsible stakeholder, but we must takes steps in the event it does not. See? We all hope to see a China that is stable, peaceful, prosperous and free. But we must also work with our allies in the region and the world in the event China goes in a direction that causes regional instability. Asia is at its best when it is not dominated by a single power. In seeking Asia’s continued peace and prosperity, we should seek, as we did in Europe, an Asia “whole and free” – free from domination by any one power, prospering in open and free markets, and settling political differences at ballot boxes and negotiating tables.

We can, must and should work with a “rising China” to address issues of mutual concern. But we also need to work with our allies in addressing the uncertainties created by China’s rise. We simply CANNOT turn a blind eye to Chinese policies and actions that can undermine international peace and security.

China has some 1000 missiles aimed at Taiwan and no serious observer believes Taiwan poses a military threat to Beijing. Those same Chinese forces make our friends in Japan and Australia nervous. China provides support for some of the world’s most questionable regimes from Sudan to Burma to Zimbabwe. China’s military buildup raises concerns from Delhi to Tokyo because it has taken place in the absence of any discernible external threat.

China, along with Russia, has repeatedly undermined efforts to impose tougher sanctions on Iran for its defiance of the international community in pursuing its nuclear program. The Chinese food and product safety record has raised alarms from East Asia and Europe to the United States. And, domestic incidents of unrest -- from the protests of Uighurs and Tibetans, to Chinese workers throughout the country rightfully make us nervous.

It is very much in our interest and the interest of regional stability that China work out its own contradictions – between a dynamic and entrepreneurial private sector on the one hand and a one party state unwilling or unable to adjust to its own society’s growing needs and desires and demands, including a human being’s innate desire for freedom.

I do not cite these issues out of any hostility toward China. Quite the contrary, I and all Americans of good faith hope for the Chinese people’s success. We welcome the rise that can be so good for all mankind. We simply urge China to rise responsibly. I simply believe we cannot ignore areas of disagreement as we seek to move forward on areas of agreement. Believe me, China does not hesitate to tell us when it thinks we are in the wrong.

I mentioned China’s internal contradictions. They should concern us all. We hear many Chinese voices throughout that great country calling out for more freedom, and for greater justice. Twenty years ago, many believed that as China liberalized its economy, greater political freedom would naturally follow. Unfortunately that has not come to pass. Ummm, in fact, it seems China has taken great pains to learn what it sees as “the lesson” of the fall on the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union: any easing of political constraints can inevitably spin out of control. But, in many ways, it is the essence of China’s political system that leads to concerns about its rise.

Think about it. How many books and articles have been written about the dangers of India’s rise? Almost as large as China – and soon to be more populous – virtually no one worries about the security implications of India becoming a great power – just as a century ago the then-preeminent power, Great Britain, worried little about the rise of America to great power status. My point is that the more politically open and just China is, the more Chinese citizens of every ethnicity will settle disputes in courts rather than on the streets. The more open it is, the less we will be concerned about its military build-up and intentions. The more transparent China is, the more likely it is they we will find a true and lasting friendship based on shared values as well as interests.

I am not talking about some U.S.-led “democracy crusade.” We cannot impose our values on other counties. Nor should we seek to. But the ideas of freedom, liberty and respect for human rights are not U.S. ideas, they are much more than that. They are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and many other international covenants and treaties. They apply to citizens in Shanghai as much as they do to citizens in Johannesburg or Jakarta. And demands for liberty in China are Chinese, not American, demands.

Just last year, many brave Chinese signed Charter 08, a Chinese document modeled on the great Czech statesman Vlacav Havel’s Charter 77. Charter 08 would not be unfamiliar to our Founding Fathers and was endorsed by Havel himself. No, we need not convince the Chinese people that they have inalienable rights. They are calling for those rights themselves. But we do have to worry about a China where the government suppresses the liberties its people hold dear.

Nothing of what I am saying should be seen as meaning conflict with China is inevitable. Quite the contrary. As I said, we welcome China’s responsible rise. America and China stood together against fascism during World War II, before ravages took over in China – we were ready to stand together with China to shape international politics after World War II. Much has been accomplished since President Nixon’s fateful visit.

And again, we stand ready to work with what we hope will be a more open and responsible China on the challenges facing the 21st century. All of you here know how deeply integrated the economies of the United States’ and China’s are. We rely on each other, sometimes unfortunately in unhealthy ways. America spends too much that we don’t have, and then we go to China as a lender of first resort. Our fiscal policy, lately, seems to be “tax, spend, borrow, tax some more, repeat” and then complain about how much debt China holds. America needs to gets its own fiscal house in order. That’s a Common Sense Conservative perspective. We can hardly complain that China holds so much of our debt when it’s over spending that created the debt.

But here’s the reality. If in fact the United States does the “right” thing – if we spend less and save more – then China will also have to rebalance its economy. We need to export more to China – and we’d like China to consume more of our goods – just as we need to save and invest more. This vital process – so crucial to both countries – is impeded by problems of market access.

We must talk about these issues with more candor. If China adopts policies that keep our highest value products out of their markets, by manipulating technical standards or licensing requirements, our economic relationship suffers.

Our economic interdependence drives our relationship with China. I see a future of more trade with China and more American high-tech goods in China. But in order for that to happen, we need China to improve its rule of law and protect our intellectual property. We need to avoid protectionism and China’s flirtation with state-assisted “national champions.” On our part, we should be more open to Chinese investment where our national security interests are not threatened. In the end, though, our economic relationship will truly thrive when Chinese citizens and foreign corporations can hold the Chinese government accountable when their actions are unjust.

I see a bright future for America in Asia. One based on the alliances that have gotten us this far, one based on free and open markets, one that integrates democratic India into East Asia’s political life and one in which China decides to be a responsible member of the international community and gives its people the liberty – the freedom – they so desperately want.

Sadly, however, our largest free trade agreement ever in Asia, with South Korea, sits frozen in the Congress. In contrast, China is behaving wisely in negotiating free trade agreements throughout Asia. We want an Asia open to our goods and services. But if we do not get our free trade act together, we will be shut out by agreements Asians our making among themselves. All of you here follow global financial markets and economic policy closely, I know that it will come as no surprise to you that United States leadership on global trade and investment is being sorely tested at this moment.

We are struggling with a monumental debate on whether fiscal discipline, or massive government spending, will drive a sustained recovery. We are struggling to repair the excesses that grew in our own economy and served as a trigger to a catastrophic collapse in the global financial system. And we are attempting to do so under the weight of a global imbalance of debt and trade deficits that are not only unbearable for the world’s mightiest economy, but also unacceptable in that they foster tensions between global economic partners like the United States and China.

I am proud to be an American. As someone who has had the tremendous opportunity to travel throughout the United States and listen to the concerns of Americans in towns and cities across the country, I can tell you that there is a sense of despair and even crisis afoot in America that has the potential to shape our global investment and trade policies for years, and even decades to come. Never has the leadership of our government ever been more critical to keeping my country, and the world, on a path to openness, growth and opportunity in global trade and investment.

It would of course be a mistake to put the entire burden of restoring the global economy on the backs of America’s leaders. There is plenty of work for all of us to do in this matter. Governments around the world must resist the siren call of trade protection to bring short term relief during a time of crisis. Those who use currency policy or subsidies to promote their nation’s exports should remain acutely aware that if there ever were a time in which such policies could be viewed as “tolerable,” that time has now passed. All participants who seek to find benefit in the global trading system must also take the responsibility of playing by the rules.

The private sector has responsibilities as well. For instance, it should not be the responsibility of government to dictate the salaries of bankers or the ownership of companies. And yet, due of the excesses committed by some, this is exactly where we find ourselves now because government now owns substantial portions of the private economy – even, unbelievably, in the United States. These are challenging times for everyone, but we in the United States must humbly recognize that if we are to lead and to set the direction for the rest of the world, it must be by our example and not merely our words. And we must tread lightly when imposing new burdens on the imports of other countries.

Well, CLSA: My country is definitely at a crossroad. Polling in the U.S. shows a majority of Americans no longer believe that their children will have a better future than they have had...that is a 1st. When members of America’s greatest generation – the World War II generation – lose their homes and their life savings because their retirement funds were wiped after the financial collapse, people feel a great anger. There is suddenly a growing sentiment to just “throw the bums out” of Washington, D.C. – and by bums they mean the Republicans and the Democrats. Americans are suffering from pay cuts and job losses, and they want to know why their elected leaders are not tightening their belts. It’s not lost on people that Congress voted to exempt themselves from the health care plan they are thrusting on the rest of the nation. There is a growing sense of frustration on Main Street. But even in the midst of crisis and despair, we see signs of hope.

In fact, it’s a sea change in America, I believe. Recently, there have been protests by ordinary Americans who marched on Washington to demand their government stop spending away their future. Large numbers of ordinary, middle-class Democrats, Republicans, and Independents from all over the country marching on Washington?! You know something’s up! These are the same people who flocked to the town halls this summer to face their elected officials who were home on hiatus from that distant capital and were now confronted with the people they represent. Big town hall meetings – video clips circulating coverage – people watching, feeling not so alone anymore.

The town halls and the Tea Party movement are both part of a growing grassroots consciousness among ordinary Americans who’ve decided that if they want real change, they must take the lead and not wait to be led. Real change – and, you know, you don’t need a title to do it. The “Tea Party Movement” is aptly named to remind people of the American Revolution – of colonial patriots who shook off the yoke of a distant government and declared their freedom from indifferent – elitist – rulers who limited their progress and showed them no respect. Today, Main Street Americans see Washington in similar terms.

When my country again achieves financial stability and economic growth – when we roar back to life as we shall do – it will be thanks in large part to the hard work and common sense of these ordinary Americans who are demanding that government spend less and tax less and allow the private sector to grow and prosper.

We’re not interested in government fixes; we’re interested in freedom! Freedom! Our vision is forward looking. People may be frustrated now, but we’re very hopeful too. And, after all, why shouldn’t we be? We’re Americans. We’re always hopeful.

Thank you for letting me share some of that hope, and a view from Main Street with you.

God Bless You.

Media of CLSA

Here's the AP Vid:

Here's another clip:

And some pics from the Hong Kong airport are here.

C4P has commentary clips here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shock! The New York Times Sheds Positive Light On Palin's Asian Speech

Imagine my surprise when I read this article this morning:

Sarah Palin, in what was billed as her first speech overseas, spoke on Wednesday to Asian bankers, investors and fund managers. A number of people who heard the speech in a packed a hotel ballroom, which was closed to the media, said Mrs. Palin spoke from notes for 90 minutes and that she was articulate, well-prepared and even compelling.

“The speech was wide-ranging, very balanced, and she beat all expectations,” said Doug A. Coulter, head of private equity in the Asia-Pacific region for LGT Capital Partners.

“She didn’t sound at all like a far-right-wing conservative. She seemed to be positioning herself as a libertarian or a small-c conservative,” he said, adding that she mentioned both Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. “She brought up both those names.”

Mrs. Palin said she was speaking as “someone from Main Street U.S.A.,” and she touched on her concerns about oversized federal bailouts and the unsustainable American government deficit. She did not repeat her attack from last month that the Obama administration’s health care proposals would create a “death panel” that would allow federal bureaucrats to decide who is “worthy of health care.”

Cameron Sinclair, another speaker at the event, said Mrs. Palin emphasized the need for a grassroots rebirth of the Republican Party driven by party leaders outside Washington. A number of attendees thought Mrs. Palin, the former vice presidential candidate, was using the speech to begin to broaden her foreign policy credentials before making a run for the presidency in 2012.

“She’s definitely a serious future presidential candidate, and I understand why she plays so well in middle America,” said Mr. Coulter, a Canadian.

Mrs. Palin was faulted during the campaign last year for her lack of foreign policy experience and expertise. As the governor of Alaska, she said in her own defense, she had a unique insight because “you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska” — a remark that was widely lampooned.

Accompanying Mrs. Palin to Hong Kong was Randy Scheunemann, the former foreign policy adviser to John McCain, who lost the 2008 election to President Obama. Mrs. Palin did not take questions from the media after the speech, and there was a high degree of security and secrecy around the event. Only invited guests and a handful of employees from CLSA, the brokerage house that sponsored the event, were allowed inside the ballroom.

A CLSA spokeswoman declined to confirm a rumor that Mrs. Palin was paid $300,000 for her Hong Kong appearance. When she resigned as governor in July, Mrs. Palin cited numerous reasons for stepping down, including more than $500,000 in legal fees that she and her husband, Todd, incurred because of 15 ethics complaints filed against her during her two and a half years in office.

Mr. Coulter said CLSA has a history of inviting keynote speakers who are “newsworthy and potentially controversial.” Other previous speakers at the conference have included Al Gore, Alan Greenspan, Bono and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Mrs. Palin’s speech took place at the Grand Hyatt on the Victoria Harbor waterfront and amid the soaring towers of corporate giants like AIG, HSBC and the Bank of China. Some attendees saw Hong Kong as an auspicious place for her first major international appearance.

Melvin Goodé, a regional marketing consultant, thought Mrs. Palin chose Hong Kong because, he said, it was “a place where things happen and where freedom can be expanded upon.” “It’s not Beijing or Shanghai,” said Mr. Goodé . “She also mentioned Tibet, Burma and North Korea in the same breath as places where China should be more sensitive and careful about how people are treated. She said it on a human-rights level.”

Mr. Goodé, an African-American who said he did some campaign polling for President Obama, said Mrs. Palin mentioned President Obama three times on Wednesday. “And there was nothing derogatory in it, no sleight of hand, and believe me, I was listening for that,” he said, adding that Mrs. Palin referred to Mr. Obama as “our president,” with the emphasis on “our.”

Mr. Goodé, a New Yorker who said he would never vote for Mrs. Palin, said she acquitted herself well. “They really prepared her well,” he said. “She was articulate and she held her own. I give her credit. They’ve tried to categorize her as not being bright. She’s bright.”

I should probably comment on the article, but I can't. I'm shell-shocked. I'm so used to the media completely trashing Governor Palin that I don't know what to do when they don't, especially the New York Times. Just imagine my jaw laying on the floor somewhere, cause that's pretty much where I am right now.

The one thing I will say is that it appears there are a few discrepancies between this article and some of the tweets. In the end I expect some sort of transcript will come out and we'll know which was accurate.

Lots of other articles streaming in. Here's a positive one from the WSJ, and another from the Washington Wire with some complete quotes about bridging Alaska and Asia. Just do some news searches as the day goes on and I'm sure you'll find alot more where this came from. I'm sure the slime will start oozing out once they realize that they just said something positive, so enjoy the good feedback while it's there. See y'all later.

CLSA on Twitter - UPDATE: Cameron Sinclair article - UPDATE II - More Pics

Pic posted on Twitter by Cellomonkey here.

A couple of guys were in the CLSA audience during Sarah Palin's speech and twittered the event. Their accounts are here and here. The second guy is also a speaker at the event.

Cellomonkey seems to be left-leaning, but fairly unbiased, although he follows Obama and Rachel Maddow. Casinclair is an environmental architecture guy who has had articles posted on the Huffington Post and is a fan of Van Jones on Facebook. Still, he seems to be sincere in his belief and focused on architecture, so I don't think he's necessarily a Kool-Aid drinker. Anyway, in that context, here are both of their Tweets in chronological order (Cellomonkey = CM, and Casinclair = CC) :

CC: Kind ironic. Sarah Palin will talk foreign policy (wed keynote) and I'll speak about lack of US policy during Katrina (thurs keynote).

CC: Checking keynotes sched for this event in HK. I'm firmly in between Sarah Palin and Sheryl Crow. A sentence I never thought I'd ever write.

CC: Funnily enough palin and my talks are the only ones closed to the media. Mine is probably lack of interest.....

CM: Think sarah palin will wink at me tomorrow?

CC: So far six outlets want me to speak on camera right after the Palin talk today. Silly politirazzi.

CM: Anticipation building as palin prepares to speak at clsa forum in hk.

CM: Sarah palin pretty in pink today.

CM: Palin ties her lineage to asia by saying todd is part eskimo.

CC: Stimulus failed will keep unemployment high - Palin.

CC: Fed is immoral - Palin

CC: Palin calls self common sence consertative - quotes Reagan and Thatcher as 'getting it right'.

CM: She takes a stab at policy speak since she's from main street.

CC: Palin suggests her cost cutting in the Governors house shows her fiscal conservative.

CM: Palin pushing "common sense conservatism - a respect for history and tradition and common sense."

CM: Palin: "mccain and i came in second in a competition of two!" shes funny.

CC: Palin suggests GOP has sold out since Reagan and are as bad as the liberals. They lost principles.

CM: Palin preparing for 2012 bid by evoking reagan, lauds hkg as model for free mkt economy.

CC: Cap and tax (trade) will cause unemployment. Say it will cost $1800 per Americans and cause no change.

CM: Palin seemingly campaigning but i wonder how many of us are actually us citizens.

CM: 30 minutes in, im not sure palin has said the word "china"

CC: Palin pro Nuclear and energy independance advocate. Tap the god given resources of America and not foreign entities.

CM: "nukular"!!!

CC: Natural gas IS the future - Palin

CC: Palin wants 'all of the above' energy policy to ween ourselves off natural resouces. Says we need to 'drill'

CC: Death panels - governments not being honest. Can't increase healthcare and cut costs - Palin

CC: Palin says drill. Say death panels were a way to show mainstreet what is wrong w gov plans

CM: The guy next to me is reading a macro strategy report.

CC: Palin listing all deaths caused by twisted vision of terrorists. 'this is a war' - Palin suggesting the surge pushed the war out of Iraq.

CC: Palin says Pelosi and liberals stopping Obama from making right decision to increase troops in afghanistan.

CC: American defence of Asia has allowed it to prosper - Palin

CM: Palin critizes cutting of defense budget while china and russia are beefing up.

CM: Palin attributes asian economic prosperity to american commitment to security in the region.

CC: American military precense in Asia has allowed it to prosper - palin.

CC: Folks walking out on palin as she's running over Q&A time.

CM: Palin hopes to integrate india into asia... hrm.

CC: We can help intergrate Asia and India -Palin.

CC: Palin says China key to global push out of recession. China needs to be responsible stakeholder. (and free).

CM: Palin warns against rise of a one-nation asia, citing missles pointed at taiwan.

CC: China needs to ease off Taiwan and to back off supporting Sudan and Zimbabwe. Notes Tibet issue - Palin (on a tear)

CM: Palin: "it is in the interest of our safety for china to work out its contradictions"

CM: Wow, palin is lashing out against china "we hope for china to rise responsibly"

CM: palin has found herself a spot on hu jintao's to-do list [Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China]

CC: Palin wrapping up saying local Chinese wanting more freedom in China. 'No one worrys about India and it's growth'

CC: Palin - notes Charter 08. Anyone!

CC: Palin wrapping up.

CC: Last 20 min of Palins talk on china us relationships and free trade. Current US gov are anti-open and anti-growth -palin.

CC: Palin says us must recognize we must lead by example not words. Americans are suffering and frustrated dems exempt themselves from hlthcare.

CC: Palin says tea party movement are democrats and republicans and fighting the good fight.

CC: Palin notes bush changed view on china - notes we are interconnected and need to put diplomatic pressure on china. Says taxing tires was bad.

CC: Local elected officials need to be heard. GOP will be re borne through locals - palin.

CC: Government need to stay the heck out of salary decisions - palin.

CC: Palin - Chavez is Castro lite. We need to play hardball with Cuba.

CM: Palin says "i have a husband, yea, i think i coulda used a wife" on being asked "how do you do it"

CC: Palin on Todd and schedule - 'i needed to have a wife' (ouch)

CC: Palin on Twitter - I love it!

CM: Zuckerberg gets props from palin for embodying american ingenuity.

CC: Palin - facebook is a success story of US ingenuity. Shows 'we still got it'.

CC: Palin shows picture of son on stage. Then exits.

CC: Nothing like being attacked by press leaving 'it was awful and right wing, wasn't it' - ask to comment, I said go on Twitter....

CC: Dear @CNN your reporter is the only one trying the sweet tactic to get a quote. Not working either.

CC: Hey ms Palin, I'll let you tweet my keynote tomorrow lunch. I'm talking on Katrina and school reform through public/private partnerships.

CC: @cellomonkey my pics sucked. My keynote tomorrow will have 180 more slides than Palin.

CC: @Tx4Obama no problem didn't realize I was one of only two tweeting. Had to find alt. Network to send.

CC: ok speech with occational hits. Interesting Palin attacked GOP more than Dems.
And there endeth the Tweets

A comment on Sarah's Facebook wall:

Catherine Yu Yeun Chen: I have really great news, a friend who attended the Forum where Mrs Palin made the Keynote Speech at the CLSA Investor's Forum, just while ago, said: Sarah Palin was received with the biggest round of applause it took 3 minutes at least before she was able to start her Speech and that the Speech itself was brilliant and astute and that she took China to task aggressivaly but without been offensive or rude, and she answered many questions brilliantly and smartly after the speech itself, and she was looking beautiful and relaxed and again received a standing applause, but my friend can not tell me anything about the speech-address, it is CLSA rules, and it is up to Sarah and the Organizers to decide whether the speech will be available for public reading.

UPDATE: CC (Cameron Sinclair) wrote an article for the Huffington Post about the speech here. Apparently he got his Fed tweet wrong.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Nineteen-Year-Old Punk from Hades

I'm talking of course of the "Young Man" (as his manager calls him), He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, Levi Johnston. His Vanity Fair article is now online. Check it out, if you've got a strong stomach.

Okay, I'm going to shock you. I actually think that a lot of what he said is probably the truth.

As he saw it.

The question is, what kind of perspective does a (then) eighteen-year-old lend to the discussion? Oh, I don't know, maybe that of an eighteen-year-old? What was really telling for me was when he would say things like, "I never saw...." this and that happen. Like, " In all the time Bristol and I were together, I’ve never seen them sleep in the same bedroom." Well, I hope not! That would've been a little awkward....

He whines about having to cut his hair for the convention. Boo-hoo. I'm sorry your mullet had to be sacrificed for the candidacy of Vice-President of the United States. Sorry it interfered with your hunting plans. He says the convention was boring. Again, my heart bleeds for you. How horrible that you be bored. Perhaps we should stop the whole world and accommodate everything to your liking. You strike me as a spoiled brat. Sorry we couldn't design the Presidential race just so that you could be comfortable. It's life, buddy. Suck it up. And quit the victim theme. As if you're the only guy connected to a campaign who's ever suffered. Maybe you shouldn't have gotten the Governor's daughter pregnant.

I like that he took a swipe at Meghan McCain though. That was funny.

Listen, the Palins are just like any other family. They're not perfect. They never claimed to be. Did Bristol fight with her mom? I don't know. But what teenage daughter doesn't fight with her mom? I did. When you're seventeen, you're not exactly a genius philosopher.

Some things are gross misinterpretations targeted toward boning up the stupid rumors that started during the campaign. Other things I just simply don't believe period. My favorite part was his account of telling the parents that Bristol was pregnant: "Sarah said she was going to get Todd, who walked in looking like he was going to rip my head off. I was ready for an ass whooping." Good for Todd.

Honestly, the article is an embarrassment on many levels. It's embarrassing that the media is willing to lock step with the perspective of a teenage punk. It's embarrassing for Levi, who is basically sticking a knife in the back of his family. It's a story from a spoiled teenager's perspective. Even if you took everything in the article as Gospel truth, you would be left with one conclusion: "What? The Palins are a typical American family? Shock!"

Barney Frank Misses Sarah Palin

Barney Frank got his turn on Leno last night:

If Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., had to have dinner with conservatives Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck or Ann Coulter, whom would he choose?

“I guess of the three I would take Rush Limbaugh, because it would be very painful and he would come with the painkillers, which he always has on him.”

Frank was asked a series of 10 random questions last night during an appearance on The Jay Leno Show. The segment is called “Ten @ Ten” and features Leno asking questions to famous or notable people.

Here are a few of the other questions Frank was asked:

Q: What was the last thing you said to a president - any president - you wish you could take back?

A: “This is true. ‘Don’t worry Mr. Clinton. They don’t have the guts to impeach you.' ”

Q: If you could kick one politician out of office, who would it be?

A: “The guy who is now the governor of Alaska, because I miss Sarah Palin.

Q: If you were to get a tattoo, what would it be and where would you put it?

A: “The tattoo would say ‘Your Name,’ and I would have it on my tongue. So when I ran into someone who was angry that I did not remember them I could say, ‘But your name is on the tip of my tongue.' ”

Sarah Palin: Divider and Uniter

August 29th, 2008. Once the media scraped their chins off the floor they grasped for every straw in the book, no matter how unsubstantiated, in their coverage of Sarah Palin. In the wake of that initial panic, a number of media narratives were spun that exist to this day. One of them: Sarah Palin is divisive and division is the last thing we need, so Palin is the last thing we need.

I agree. Partially.

Sarah Palin is divisive. She divides the true public servants from the rotten apples. She divides the elites from the sincere. She divides those who are only interested in their own power from those who truly want to serve their country. A counterfeit only fools you until you see the real thing. She's the real thing. What the powerful can't stand is that she shows them up for what they really are.

When all the rumors hit the fan, Jonah Goldberg went on Glenn Beck and said that Sarah Palin was a dye-marker of asininity; you can tell who's willing to make a complete fool of themselves in defense of Barack Obama from their coverage of Sarah Palin. While this quality makes the going a little tougher for Sarah, it's great for us. All we have to do is sit back and watch the wheat divide itself from the chaff.

Same thing with liberal policies. I touched on this when I talked about PUMA's for Palin; Sarah Palin divides those who truly believe in the principles that liberals trumpet from those who simply use those issues to garner votes and power. Palin drove the libs who were faking it absolutely insane, and in their insanity they dropped their masks. The curtain moved, and we saw that the Wizard of Oz was just a sad little man.

Now, are there some people who just don't get it yet? Yes. There are many Americans, many Republicans, and some conservatives that bought the media's line during the election. The wheat will be divided from the chaff with them once (if) they ever get the true picture of Sarah Palin. I expect her book to do alot in that arena. Sarah's book is her one shot to tell her story in her own words apart from the media hype. It will be her chance to reintroduce herself to the American people.

While the elite (those on the corrupt side of the aisle) are busy trumpeting Palin's divisiveness, the thing that fascinates me about Sarah is her broad appeal. Look at the diversity among Palin supporters. For instance, if you would've told me a few years ago that I would have anything in common with Hillary fans, I would've thought you were nuts, but here I am.

Once the honest divided themselves from the corrupt, the honest (who disagree on many issues) started talking to each other. Classical liberals, blue dog Democrats, and Hillary voters started chatting with Bible-belt conservatives, gun-toting rednecks, and biker chicks. Some pro-life and pro-choice even found common ground. Old Reagan Democrats proclaimed themselves Palin Democrats. Young American women learned that you didn't have to sacrifice your femininity to pursue public office. Liberal Democrats, like this guy, saw something in Palin they liked (talks about Sarah in the last minute):

So while there are many things that we disagree on, we are finding common ground to unite on. We agree that we need sound budget policies. We agree that we're not going to spend our way out of debt. We agree that we need to be in the position to defend this country from her enemies. We agree that corruption runs rampant in both parties and that our first job is to boot the weasels out.

It's a Big Tent mentality. It can be found at Tea Parties across the country and on multiple Sarah Palin blogs. Here's one example of a Palin Democrat fan vid:

More and more the American people are seeing through the far-left lies. They're seeing Obama for what he truly is. At the end of this four years, Palin's going to be in the position of, "I was anti-Obama, when anti-Obama wasn't cool."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Countdown to President Palin

I added a new gadget to the right sidebar under "Latest Palin News." It's a countdown to 12PM, January 20, 2013.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The High Tide and the Turn

9-12 March on Washington

I was sitting in church this morning thinking about 9-12. I thought about how that day rested and rejuvenated me and millions of others across this nation. I thought about exactly what it is that we're up against, and that the fight is nowhere near over.

It's easy to get discouraged when the world is against you, especially when it seems like the Good get raked over the coals worse than anyone. I think that God lets us feel the heat first in order to burn the junk out of our lives. It's a purifying; a preparation for what is to come. I can't say how long the trials will last, all I know is that God is good. He will use even the evil of this world for His purpose, and when the time is right He will reveal that purpose.

That being said, I feel the tide turning. Gathering together at tea parties across this nation has reminded us that we're not alone. There are thousands of others who believe in the same founding principles that we do, and this knowledge makes us stronger. It gives us the courage to stand up to those who would enslave us.

One of my favorite poems (a very long poem) is called The Ballad of the White Horse, by G.K. Chesterton. In the heat of battle, this line rings out: "The high tide," King Alfred cried. "The high tide, and the turn!" The point at which the battle that had been going against them for so long turned in their favor.

Endure. Endure. "Hammer away, ye hostile hands; your hammers break, God's anvil stands."

9-12 was important, not just to send a message to our leaders, but to encourage each other. I wasn't there in body, but I was there in spirit. I made it to the April 15th tea party in Madison, WI. I can't describe the experience. The feeling that, truly, I was not alone. As I flipped between Glenn Beck and C-SPAN on 9-12, those feelings came surging back. Perhaps it is only the calm before the storm, but I felt uplifted and strengthened. I have to wonder if we're not close to that turn. It's not a turn of power, but of truth. We simply do not believe the lies anymore.

Not everyone at the tea parties agree on everything. When I went to our local tea party on the 4th of July, I was shocked at the number of liberals there. People who I probably don't see eye to eye with on any number of issues, but who believed in making a sensible budget. Who recognized that giving the government too much power is a problem.

While Obama and the extreme left are trying to divide us by race, class, income, and education, the ordinary citizens of the United States of America are finding grounds to unite on. And they're uniting in spite of their political leaders, not because of them.

Wait, maybe that's not entirely accurate. Maybe it is because of them. Because in their power-drunk attempts to divide us and cause us to destroy each other so that they can then come in and make themselves rulers over all of us, they have pushed us to actually meet and talk to each other. In these conversations we have learned that we are not devils, each intent on destroying the other. We have realized that we agree more than we disagree. We have realized that the source of our contention isn't each other, but the ones screaming at the top of their lungs that there is contention. They scream it in order to create it.

The Louis Farrakhans of this world have hijacked our political system. The government of the people, by the people, and for the people has been perverted and twisted into a government of by and for the politicians, the media elite, and the special interests. They turn us against each other to distract us from their crimes. But their days are now numbered, for We the People have woken up. When good stands, evil withers in its light.

Will the going be easy? No. Never. Nothing good is easy. But what's the alternative? We are on the right side of history. We know who are are and what we stand for. We have found common ground with people we normally would have no contact with. We now see clearly who the enemy really is and what they're trying to do. That's all we need.

They have the money, the influence, the power, and the positions; we have the truth. We have our principles, we have our souls, and we have a love for all that is good and open arms for anyone who shares those beliefs, no matter what differences we may have on other issues. Let the waves break upon our bow, let the lightning blind the sky and the thunder roar itself hoarse. No storm can sink the ship wherein the Master of earth and sky is sleeping. Let us not say that God is on our side; let us seek to be on His side, and though we perish, yet shall we live.

"These are the times that try men's souls...tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered....Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods, and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated....I call not upon a few, but upon all: not on this state or that state, but on every state; up and help us...

"Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it. Say not that thousands are gone, turn out your tens of thousands....It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike.

"The heart that feels not now, is dead: the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death....

"Let them call me rebel, and welcome, I feel no concern for it....I thank God that I fear not. I see no real cause for fear. I know our situation well, and can see the way out of it."

- Thomas Paine, the American Crisis.

"As a tide turns on the tall grey seas, See how they waver in the trees, How stray their spears, how knock their knees, How wild their watchfires burn!"

Sick to Death of Death Panels

I don't know about you, but I'm sick to death of death panels. Not just the topic itself, but the continued mischaracterization of Sarah Palin's original statements. One Alaskan hockey mama's opinion of the healthcare bill grew legs of its own and has been a thorn in Obama's side ever since. While I would love to let it fester there and just move on, the topic keeps on rearing its controversial head, and so I must address some of the latest developments.

1. Someone finally interprets Sarah Palin's Facebook statement accurately.

Matthew Continetti wrote an article in the Weekly Standard last Monday called "Technocracy in America" in response to Obama's healthcare address:

The partisan and misleading speech that President Obama delivered to a joint session of Congress last week revealed the president's preferences--more government mandates, regulations, and taxes--when it comes to refashioning the American health care system....Why do more Americans disapprove than approve of the president's approach to health care? Why did Obama's approval rating drop steadily--among independents, precipitously--throughout the summer?

The answer, he said, is "all the misinformation that's been spread over the past few months." There is no legitimate basis for opposition. There are only lies. "Americans have grown nervous about reform," the president continued. "Prominent politicians" whose "only agenda is to kill reform at any cost" have spread "bogus claims" about his health care plan, scaring a gullible public into disapproval. For example.....the idea that "we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens" is a "lie"....."If you misrepresent what's in this plan," Obama said, "we will call you out.".....

The president was correct when he said that his proposals do not include "panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens." But that is not quite what the "prominent politician" was saying when she wrote, Democratic health care proposals would lead to rationed care; that the sick, the elderly, and the disabled would suffer the most under such rationing; and that under such a system these "unproductive" members of society could face the prospect of government bureaucrats determining whether they deserve health care."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, someone finally correctly interpreted Sarah Palin's original Facebook statement about the death panels. Matthew goes on,

Indeed, in his speech last week Obama said himself that his plan will "eliminate" the "hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud" in Medicare and "create an independent commission of doctors and medical experts"--a panel, if you will--"charged with identifying more waste in the years ahead." It is no stretch of the imagination to think that one man's "waste" might one day turn out to be a senior citizen's preferred medical treatment.

Like it or not, Sarah Palin is making an argument about the possible tradeoffs and unintended consequences of Obamacare. Hers is an extrapolation based on an analysis of the facts. It is not a "lie," unless "lie" suddenly means "an argument with which I disagree."

I must point out that Matthew Continetti said there were no death panels in terms of bureaucrats deciding who lives and who dies, and then went on to highlight one said panel, but no matter.

I also have to include a conversation on C4P:

Doug Brady: "Are you not familiar with the term "metaphor"? When Winston Churchill talked about the "iron curtain", he didn't mean there was an actual two thousand mile long curtain made of iron. You are aware of that, right?Was Churchill wrong too?"

Uffda: "Okay, one more time....Death panels is a term. Get it? A TERM. She put it in quotation marks, for Pete's sake. Doug's analogy of the Iron Curtain is right on. I can just see the media today: "Who is this loon? He thinks there's a curtain made of iron? Liar!"

Uffda: (My spin on what the AP might have said if Churchill were alive today) "The AP: "Churchill's Iron Curtain remarks which have been widely debunked by members of his own party, for some reason still seem to resonate with many Americans...."

Narciso: "It's an interesting comparison, Churchill had been out of national office, for a year, roughly when he remarked about the Iron Curtain. Most of foreign policy was still organized under the aegis of theUS/Soviet rapprochement. It was probably considered unnecessarily provocative for many, yet he was ultimately right."

Uffda: "Here was the actual reaction to the iron curtain remark: "At first, many countries in the West widely condemned the speech. Much of the Western public still regarded the Soviet Union as close allies, in context of the recent defeat of Nazi Germany and Japan. Many saw Churchill's speech as warmongering and unnecessary. In light of the now public Soviet archives, many historians have now revised their opinions." Notice that many historians have now revised their opinions. Hmmm.... perhaps the past will repeat itself?"

2. The new defense: Palin introduced her own death panels!

Now, I would like to point out that end-of-life decisions are a separate topic and I have no problem with those things being addressed. It's not "end of life counseling" that I have a problem with, it's the idea of it being tied to a big government structure that has to keep down costs and that has philosophies like those of Ezekiel Emanuel. It's the unintended consequences. When it comes to life and death, are we not better off safe than sorry?

Anyway, Axlerod went on Bill O'Reilly after Obama addressed the joint session of Congress and said that Palin herself set up death panels. Palin's response on Facebook:

"Last year, I issued a proclamation for “Healthcare Decisions Day.” The proclamation sought to increase the public’s knowledge about creating living wills and establishing powers of attorney. There was no incentive to choose one option over another. There was certainly no financial incentive for physicians to push anything. In fact, the proclamation explicitly called on medical professionals and lawyers “to volunteer their time and efforts” to provide information to the public.Comparing the “Healthcare Decisions Day” proclamation to Section 1233 of HR 3200 is ridiculous. The two are like apples and oranges. The attempt to link the two shows how desperate the proponents of nationalized health care are to shift the debate away from the disturbing details of their bill."

Meg Stapleton, Palin's spokesperson, later commented:

"Palin’s office told KGW that comparing Alaska’s Healthcare Day proclamation with the House end-of-life provision was "hysterically funny" and “desperate.”

“The Healthcare Day proclamation did not evaluate whether your life is worth surgery, a pill, or maybe even death,” a possible result of Portland’s provision, Palin spokesperson Meghan Stapleton told KGW. "Gov. Palin signed a proclamation raising awareness on an issue, asking knowledgeable Alaskans to volunteer their time to help fellow Alaskans with answering any questions they may have on end-of-life issues," she added."

Again, I say the problem is not being informed on living wills and other end of life issues, the problem is having those things attached to a big government bureaucracy that's running low on resources and could be tempted to see people in terms of dollar signs and not their intrinsic value as human beings, kinda like the baby in England that doctors refused to treat simply because he didn't fall into their NHS mandated guidelines of a child worth saving. Do we have problems in our healthcare system? Yes. Mostly in terms of affordability. But not being able to afford care or going into debt to pay for it is not the same as the government telling you point blank you cannot have it. With one you'll most likely get the care anyway, we just have to find a way to pay for it. With the other you won't get it period, whether you can pay for it or not.

3. Out of desperation, some Obama-zombies are trying to make the case that death panels are a good thing.

Hey, if you can't convince people you weren't really trying to kill somebody, convince them that killing the person is the right thing to do.

Again, I say they're missing the point, like in this Newsweek article. It's not about whether or not you want to be resuscitated, it's about putting the government in a position of having too much power to the point where you won't be resuscitated whether you want to be or not. It's not about choosing palliative care, it's about getting to a point where you have to take it whether you want it or not. It's not a debate about end of life issues themselves, it's that those issues should be nowhere near Washington, D.C. Either they're evading the issue, or they really don't understand the problem we have with this aspect of the bill in the first place.