McCain Picks Palin for VP [UPDATED]

Old and Broken…

New Hotness!

And there are BRAINS behind that beauty.  Brains that you and I can relate to; here are some things you might not know about her…

1. Sarah Louise Palin (nee Heath) was born Feb., 1964, in Sandpoint, Idaho. Her family moved to Alaska when Sarah was an infant. Her father, Chuck, is a retired schoolteacher.

2. She attended Wasilla High School where she played point guard on the state champion basketball team. Her nickname was “Sarah Barracuda.”

3. Palin graduated in 1987 from the University of Idaho with a degree in journalism. She worked briefly as a sports reporter in Anchorage.

4. She refers to her husband, Todd, as the “First Dude.” He’s worked as a commercial fisherman and as a production operator on the North Slope for BP. He enjoys snowmobiling and has won the Tesoro Iron Dog, billed as the world’s longest snowmobile race, four times.

5. Palin and her husband have five children, Bristol, Piper, Track, Willow, and Trig. Trig, born in 2008, has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. Her son Track joined the army in 2007.

6. Her favorite meal is moose stew.

7. She comes from a family of outdoor enthusiasts. Her parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, enjoy hunting and fishing, and have both completed marathons.

8. Palin was named Miss Wasilla in 1984 and was a runner-up for Miss Alaska. In 1996 she was elected mayor of Wasilla.

9. She’s a lifetime NRA member and enjoys hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling.

10. Elected in 2006, she’s Alaska’s first female governor and the youngest governor elected in the state.

She’s a mother, a wife, and a leader; a real regular gal in my book.  She might be weak on foreign policy, compared directly to Biden, but that’s where McCain (you know, the actual presidential candidate) comes along.  Despite his[Biden’s] time spent on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, I’m not entirely impressed with some of his more recent calls (i.e.: advocating splitting up Iraq into federated ethnic states, voting against the 2007 surge, even voting against the ’91 Gulf War).

Anyway, this pick by McCain has really thrown the Obama campaign off their game.  Their press release this morning read:

Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same,” spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.

Once again, the Obama campaign can’t help but bash small-town America.  And you’re darn right she’s pro-life.  Her fifth child was born with downs syndrome.  Did she and her First Dude abort?  No.  Does that translate into the extreme of overturning Roe v. Wade?  Seems like a strech to me.

And, um, they may want to double-check her record on Big Oil in Alaska.  She didn’t exactly make life easy for them or those favorable to them within her party.  In fact, her time as Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ended not only with her own resignation (in protest), but with the forced resignation of other party members and fines.  It doesn’t make her a super-maverick, just someone willing to call a spade a spade.  Lord knows we could use more of that inside the Washington bubble.

I can now say I feel a bit more energized.  The race is finally interesting.

UPDATED (4:15 PM PST):
Apparently, the Obama campaign has already retreated from their first response:

Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” said Obama spox Bill Burton. “Gov. Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil, and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same.

Too bad you never get that second chance at a first impression.  I love Tapper’s closing bits:

The first response Republicans had to the Biden pick, of course, was to attack Obama with Biden’s words. Then again, there’s nothing particularly historic about picking a white male senator as your running mate.

LOL!

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Influence in Denver: What a Joke

The Influence Game in Denver: What Are They Hiding?
Ted Kennedy, Michelle Obama Speeches Ignored As Lobbyists Party On

Outside one gathering last night, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) said it was “his duty” to attend lobbyist and corporate parties.

“You must visit, make sure the food they serve is okay, that it passes the taste test and the liquor is the right vintage. Other than that, it’s one’s responsibility,” Sen. Lautenberg told ABC News, with his tongue apparently in his cheek.

I know both sides participate in this; I just got especially irked seeing Frank Effing Lautenberg’s explanation at the end of the video there.  Brian Ross couldn’t even keep a straight face.  He may have meant it tounge-in-cheek, but he came off like a right bastard.

I don’t have a problem with groups collectively lobbying congress; that’s why I’m an NRA member.  I have a problem with specific companies, however, being able to literally buy their way into favorable local or federal deals; sometimes even getting favorable legislation passed.

Although, companies within an industry can and do form such lobbies, as well.  One could argue that such a collective is not any different than a grass roots lobby.

I suppose it’s just that when I see parties like these done on technicalities that allow the lobbyists and our representatives to legally skirt the law I get pissed off.  After all, they are not obeying the spirit of the law at all and in the process are trodding on the sacred trust between voter and representative.

I’m sure the RNC will be little different except that it will be called out moreso by the mainstream press.

Thank you ABC for keeping it real on both sides.

Can We Get Rid of the UN now please?

Lovely.

The United Nations Development Program, the U.N.’s anti-poverty agency, which systematically ignored its own financial rules and regulations while funneling millions of dollars to North Korea, wants to give its chief operating officer the right to make out discretionary checks of unlimited amounts, without normal budgetary approval.

Between the serial rapists in the UN “peacekeeping” forces , the oil-for-food scandal, toothless and spineless policies/sanctions, and their anti-Israel bias, the UN has repeatedly proven itself to be utterly useless.  The plug is long overdue to be pulled on this institution that started with good intentions.  To quote Jeane Kirkpatrick (U.S. Ambassador 1983) in her opinion piece in The New York Times, regarding the process of discussions at the Security Council:

“…more closely resembles a mugging” of the United States “than either a political debate or an effort at problem solving.”

And thank God for John Bolton; this is from a statement he made in 1994:

“There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is only the international community, which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, which is the United States.”

So what’s the solution you ask?  Something closer to the League of Nations, perhaps.  No military body, no giant wads of money being flushed down the crapper.  It’s not perfect, obviously, but it will eliminate the waste and scandal that are being produced by current methods.

That and allow Israel a seat on the Security Council.

Remembering A Fallen Hero

Today is the 36th anniversary of Roderick B. Lester‘s and Harry S. Mossman’s death.  Their story follows:

It was well known by later 1972 that the war was drawing to a close, and that the North Vietnamese were offering huge bonuses to anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) gunners who could shoot down American aircraft and capture the aircrews alive. At this stage in the war our enemy knew the more men they could capture, the better their chances were at the negotiating table to secure peace on their terms. Everyone knew the prisoners were worth much more alive than dead to both sides.

On 20 August 1972, then Lt. Roderick B. “Rog” Lester, pilot; and Lt. Harry S. Mossman, bombardier/navigator; comprised the crew of an A6A (aircraft #157018; tail #NH-502), call sign “Viceroy 502,” in a flight of 4 that launched from the deck of the USS Kitty Hawk to conduct a low-level night armed reconnaissance/strike mission against a transshipment point along Route 183 at Da Mon Toi, a small town in extreme northeast North Vietnam located near the major coastal city of Cam Pha, Quang Ninh Province. Further, this mission was the 144th combat sortie flown by Viceroy 502’s aircrew. Weather conditions were described as poor with thunderstorms and a cloud ceiling at 1000 feet.

After initial check-in with their ship and the Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center (ABCCC) responsible for all air operations in this region, Lt JG Lester was given current mission and weather data before proceeding with the mission along a pre-briefed flight path. That flight path took the Intruders north as they skirted the enemy coastline just out of the reach of the communist’s shore defenses. Once over land, the flight proceeded on track an additional 5 miles to Route 183 and their area of operation.

Because of the Cam Pha mines, this region was extremely important to the North Vietnamese war effort. Route 183 was a major inland highway running east-west that was bordered by mountains to the north and a very long narrow forested valley to the south. Between the valley and the coastline to the south, a distance ranging from 6 to 9 miles, lay the Cam Phu mines. The entire region was heavily populated with villages of all sizes. It was also equally heavily defended.

At approximately 0145 hours, other flight members heard a transmission from Lt. JG Lester and Lt. Mossman’s aircraft stating “Let’s get the hell of out here!” which other pilots believed meant that Viceroy 502 was getting out of the area due to the heavy ground fire and not ejecting from their aircraft.

About the same time one of the aircrews saw a flash of light below the cloud level that corresponded with the track of Viceroy 502, but they could not tell if it was from the Intruder or from the many thunderstorms. Further, the other aircrews reported extremely accurate and heavy anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) fire emanating from in and around the target area.

The location of loss was near the village of Ky Thuong on the extremely steep northwest side of Nui Am Vap Mountain, now known as Khe Can Mountain. It was also approximately 7 miles north of Route 183, 12 miles north of the major coastal city of Hon Gay, 13 miles northwest of the town of Cam Pha, 33 miles northeast of Haiphong and 82 miles east of Hanoi, Hoanh Bo District, Quang Ninh Province, North Vietnam.

There are many more details there.  The important thing is that after many, many searches, their crash site was found in 2003.  Remains of  Mossman’s were found (a leg bone, confirmed through mitochondrial DNA testing) and buried with full military honors.  Personal effects were also found for both men.  No remains were ever found for Rog, however, and there is a slim possibility he could have ejected.

Given that some think that there are still POWs surviving to this day in Southeast Asia, it’s not a possibility I like to dwell on.

As stated on that page.  A memorial funeral was performed on August 20th, 2005.

Rest in Peace, Rog.  Even if I don’t blog about it every year, I will never forget.

Is Wind Power the Answer?

Not only do some folks think wind power a blight on the countryside (your opinion may vary), it can cause severe biological issues in humans… and this no longer seems to be just an opinion.  I’m not a NIMBY-type; in fact, I would welcome refineries, nuclear, jails, or whatever alternative power source there is to my local community.  But, given some of these anecdotes and research, I think I’d rather have a nuclear reactor less than two miles away from me than one of these fracking things.  The Oregonian did a story on this issue with wind turbines and an interview with Dr. Nina Pierpont on the physiological problems these turbines are causing.

Pierpont’s findings suggest that low-frequency noise and vibration generated by wind machines can have an effect on the inner ear, triggering headaches; difficulty sleeping; tinnitus, or ringing in the ears; learning and mood disorders; panic attacks; irritability; disruption of equilibrium, concentration and memory; and childhood behavior problems.

Good Lord.  Since we’ve decided to stick the damn things up in the first place, can we at least put them in middle of nowhere?  Like on public lands?

Potential medial(sic) problems aside, wind turbines will wreck the tranquility that Mike and Sherry Eaton came to this remote place to find, Sherry Eaton said. She drives 90 miles a day to and from her job in Hermiston so they can live in the high-desert setting.

“When you come home from work, everything drains away from you because it’s so quiet and peaceful,” she said, adding that’s about to end.

“Now we are going to have to listen to those windmills: Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!” she said.

I really feel for this family.  Granted, these problems are affecting everyone differently.  Children are typically more sensitive to a broader range of frequencies; some adults, but not all, are as well.

Regardless, this is clearly a real problem and unintended consequence of Going Green(tm).  It could just be the model of the turbines, though.  Regardless, these things aren’t nearly as reliable as, say, nuclear power.  Honestly, folks, if wind power, was all it’s cracked up to be, don’t you think we would be seeing greater investment?  Besides the self-admitted egoist known as Pickens?  Just turn your lights off in whatever room you’re not in, folks, and turn your computer off if you’re going to be away from it for more than a day.

The path to hell is paved with good intentions.

Cult of Personality

Hilarious!

George Bush had his three-fingered W salute that supporters flashed when greeting him at presidential campaign events in 2000. And now, if a Los Angeles creative agency gets its way, Sen. Barack Obama will see fans meet him with his own salute like the one above. “Our goal is to see a crowd of 75,000 people at Obama’s nomination speech holding their hands above their heads, fingers laced together in support of a new direction for this country, a renewed hope, and acceptance of responsibility for our future,” says Rick Husong, owner of The Loyalty Inc. Husong tells me that he got the idea after seeing the famous Obama-Progress poster by artist Shepherd Fairey

And this is what they came up with:

This, of course, has hilarious implications.  Not only does it seem eerily cultish, it was also used in Star Trek[Gateway Pundit] original episode The Way to Eden!  Anyway, I have to tip my hat to the best modification submitted by a Michelle Malkin reader:

Still my favorite: