Sunday, August 31, 2008

And now it begins to hit the fan . . .

So I got up this morning and began to look for information about Sarah Palin.

Already, last night, I had read of her possible ethical lapse with her ex-brother-in-law.

And in the same article, I read negative comments from her own state's leading papers about her lack of experience and lack of interest or drive toward national politics:
From the editorial in the Daily News-Miner in Fairbanks:
Sen. John McCain's selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate was a stunning decision that should make Alaskans proud, even while we wonder about the actual merits of the choice.... Alaskans and Americans must ask, though, whether she should become vice president and, more importantly, be placed first in line to become president.

In fact, as the governor herself acknowledged in her acceptance speech, she never set out to be involved in public affairs. She has never publicly demonstrated the kind of interest, much less expertise, in federal issues and foreign affairs that should mark a candidate for the second-highest office in the land. Republicans rightfully have criticized the Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, for his lack of experience, but Palin is a neophyte in comparison; how will Republicans reconcile the criticism of Obama with the obligatory cheering for Palin?

Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation's when he created the possibility that she might fill it.

And from the editorial in the Anchorage Daily News:
It's stunning that someone with so little national and international experience might be heartbeat away from the presidency.

Gov. Palin is a classic Alaska story. She is an example of the opportunity our state offers to those with talent, initiative and determination...

McCain picked Palin despite a recent blemish on her ethically pure resume. While she was governor, members of her family and staff tried to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the Alaska State Troopers. Her public safety commissioner would not do so; she forced him out, supposedly for other reasons. While she runs for vice-president, the Legislature has an investigator on the case.

For all those advantages, Palin joins the ticket with one huge weakness: She's a total beginner on national and international issues.

Gov. Palin will have to spend the next two months convincing Americans that she's ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency....
I'm afraid I'm rather naïve. Even though I say this blog mixes in "a little politics," politics is really not a major interest of mine. That I don't normally follow political races.

But reading the article I just referenced from The Huffington Post--and seeing several other articles whose titles alone oozed similar animosity--I realized, if Palin is supposed to become vice president, she is going to have to endure some pretty grueling tests.

But now to this morning.

I bump into an article that suggests Palin may have "faked" pregnancy to cover for an out-of-wedlock baby born by her daughter?

Ouch! And, Oh! And, Oh, no!

Is this "politics as usual"? Rumor-mongering? Will Sarah Palin stand up to scrutiny?

If the independent public investigator assigned to discover the facts in the case concerning Palin's ex-brother-in-law should determine she actually did overstep the bounds of propriety in his case, and/or if the rumor about a faked pregnancy proves true, not only do McCain and Palin have major ethical issues on their hands, but McCain's choice of running mate--the lack of discernment her choice shows--will become a major negative factor in McCain's election strategy. And one would have to question the entire Republican Party: are they really so short of qualified candidates that they have to choose someone with virtually no national standing to become the vice presidential candidate?

Though then, come to think of it, the same question could be asked of the Democrats concerning Obama. He has some major ethical issues of his own, doesn't he?

As Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch (JW), notes in his latest fund-raising letter, JW felt the need to file a Freedom of Information Act request with the Illinois State Archives (ISA) to produce "any and all public documents . . . resulting from Illinois State Senator Barack Obama's years in office (1997-2004) that the ISA have in their possession."


Back when he was questioned about his records on Meet the Press last year, Senator Obama stated
"Well, let's be clear. In the state Senate, every single piece of information, every document related to state government was kept by the state of Illinois and has been disclosed and is available and has been gone through with a fine-toothed comb by news outlets in Illinois . . . every document related to my interactions with government is available right now."

Yet the State Archives responded to our request by telling us that they don't maintain those records, nor have they received any requests from Senator Obama to archive any of his records.

"Clearly," Fitton says, "Barack Obama, just like Hillary Clinton, has a records problem. Our investigation suggests Senator Obama could have had his records archived so that they are available to the public but has chosen not to. Apparently he does not want a complete paper trail of his time in the Illinois State Senate.
So much for 'transparency' from the candidate who has made honesty and integrity his calling card!"

And then there is the matter of his relationship with Tony Rezko.
[W]e know that Senator Obama has a tangled history of personal and business dealings with one Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a naturalized American citizen who immigrated to the United States from Syria, settled in Chicago and who has long served as a political godfather to Barack Obama.

Over the years, in fact, Mr. Rezko has basically bankrolled Senator Obama's political career — beginning with Obama's first campaign for public office in 1996.
Rezko and members of his large family have contributed more than $200,000 to Obama campaigns since then. (The highly respected London Times referred to Rezko as "Mr. Obama's long-serving bagman.")

The relationship between Rezko and Senator Obama is so close that the Senator and Rezko went in on a real estate deal together! In fact, Obama's dealing with Rezko may have allowed Obama to pay $300,000 below the asking price for his $1.65 million Chicago mansion.

Obama and Rezko "walked through" the mansion together. They bought adjoining properties on the same day, and Rezko paid full freight on the deal (to the same owner Obama bought his house from).

This story gets more interesting when you consider that on June 4th in Chicago Tony Rezko was convicted in court for fraud and for a kickback scheme designed to shake down investment firms seeking Illinois state government business. . . .

Papers filed in this case show that about a month before Obama's suspicious land deal, Rezko received a wire transfer of $3.5 million from Nadhim Auchi, an Iraqi billionaire now living in Britain who made his fortune through "business dealings" with the corrupt Saddam Hussein regime. This transfer raises the question posed by the London Times — whether or not "funds from Nadhmi Auchi . . . helped Mr. Obama buy his mock Georgian mansion in Chicago."

Rezko has now been convicted for his alleged corrupt dealings with the administration of another prominent Illinois Democrat, Governor Rod Blagojevich. Over the years, Rezko also contributed generously to the Governor's campaigns...and was rewarded with appointments to state boards and commissions. . . .

Fitton concludes: "Corrupting the state government of Illinois is bad enough; but now the question is whether Tony Rezko has corrupted Barack Obama, the man who may be our next president."

And the list of scandals--or potential scandals--continues:
  • There is the matter of his long-standing relationship with the firebrand and, apparently, anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright.

  • And his relationship with William Ayers, a founding member of the Weather Underground who set off bombs in the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon. (According to Fitton, they claimed "credit" for 25 such bombs.) Ayers was quoted in the New York Times as saying "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough."

    Is the quote about not having "done enough" taken out of context? I can imagine. But then having a presidential candidate associating with an unrepentant anti-government bomber?

  • Some seriously shady-looking stock deals.
    Two months after he took his Senate seat in 2005, the Senator purchased $50,000 worth of stock in highly speculative ventures, whose major investors were some of his biggest campaign contributors.

    One of the companies was a biotech concern that benefited from legislation that Senator Obama pushed just two weeks after purchasing $5,000 worth of its stock.

    When he was working to pass that legislation, just whose interest was the Senator advancing . . . his constituents', the company's, or his own?

Suddenly, in the context of all of these issues, even supposing Palin engaged in some--what well-wishers might like to call "white lying"--I sense Palin's sins probably pale in comparison.

BUT. What really bothers me: why can't the United States field some better-qualified candidates for president and vice president. Are these really the best we have?
blog comments powered by Disqus