Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Palingates Under Siege

A "just askin'" post at Palingates is creating quite a stir. The post hinted that Sarah Palin had committed perjury during her testimony at David Kernell's trial in Knoxville.

Palingates' post was brought up last night on Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" and pooh-poohed by Olbermann's guest, David Weigel of The Washington Post, who wrote about the controversy, yesterday.

Here is the "Countdown" video:

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This morning, in response, mediaite's Tommy Christopher posted what some might consider a humorous story, "Keith Olbermann Gets Bad News on Sarah Palin Perjury Allegation."

As has been said, "Any publicity is good publicity." Isn't it?

Update: David Weigel has written about the Palingates controversy, "I, Sarah Palin Defender."

Update: The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan trusts David Weigel's view on the matter.

Update: The Atlantic's Jake Simpson weighs-in.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sarah Palin Makes No Distinction Between Church and State

Last night, Keith Olbermann mentioned Politico's poll of April 15, which found that tea partiers are divided into two camps: Libertarian and Conservative. Politico's write-up of the poll said,
The [poll] results [...] suggest a distinct fault line that runs through the tea party activist base, characterized by two wings led by the politicians who ranked highest when respondents were asked who “best exemplifies the goals of the tea party movement” — former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a former GOP presidential candidate.

Palin, who topped the list with 15 percent, speaks for the 43 percent of those polled expressing the distinctly conservative view that government does too much, while also saying that it needs to promote traditional values.

Paul’s thinking is reflected by an almost identical 42 percent who said government does too much but should not try to promote any particular set of values — the hallmarks of libertarians. He came in second to Palin with 12 percent.
The opinion of Sarah Palin and her supporters, that government does too much, but should promote "traditional values" is contradictory.

The "traditional values" that Sarah Palin and her supporters want government to promote are extreme, fundamentalist Christian values. Palin recently attacked separation of church and state when she spoke at an evangelical Christian conference (the Women of Joy conference in Louisville, Ky.), where she claimed that the founders were "true believers" and that the country is a Christian nation. Watch the "Countdown" video, below, to get an inkling of how mixed-up Sarah Palin is about the founders' beliefs.

While she was governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin went out of her way to blur the line between church and state. From an article in Anchorage's Daily News: [emphasis added]
Gov. Sarah Palin used state funds in June when she traveled from Juneau to Wasilla to speak to graduating evangelical students and urge them to fan out through Alaska "to make sure God's will be done here."

State records show that Palin submitted a travel authorization for a quick round-trip visit to attend the June 8 graduation of the Master's Commission program at the Wasilla Assembly of God, the church where she was baptized at age 12. ...

The records show Palin flew from Juneau on Saturday, June 7. She returned to Juneau that Monday afternoon. The plane tickets cost the state $519.50, and she claimed an additional $120 for meals and other expenses. ...

... In her eight-minute remarks, delivered without notes except when she read a brief passage from the New Testament Book of Ephesians, she melded the issues of governance with a call to bringing Alaskans to God.

"What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys as you go out throughout Alaska -- I can do my part in doing things like working really, really hard to get a natural gas pipeline." Palin said. "Pray about that also. I think God's will has to be done, in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that. But I can do my job there, in developing our natural resources, and doing things like getting the roads paved, making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns, and making sure our public schools are funded.

"But really, all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's hearts isn't right with God. And that's going to be your job," she said. "As I'm doing my job, let's strike this deal. Your job is going to be: to be out there, reaching the people, (the) hurting people throughout Alaska, and we can work together to make sure God's will be done here."
It's clear from her remarks that Sarah Palin presumes to know what the will of God is with respect to the pipeline. Sarah Palin believed that her work as governor was of no avail unless the hearts of Alaskans were right with God.

It's clear that Sarah Palin makes no distinction between church and state.

CBS News wrote a lengthier article about her appearance in Wasilla: "Palin's Record On Church-State Separation." An article very similar to the ADN article was distributed by McClatchy.

ABC News has an article, "Sarah Palin's 'Christian Nation' Remarks Spark Debate."

Here is the "Countdown" video:

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A write-up of the recent CBS/New York Times poll on tea partier beliefs stated that 18% of the country's population are tea partiers.

Friday, April 16, 2010

What's Wrong With Sarah PAC?

It is inefficient.

A PAC's efficiency is an objective way of measuring how well a PAC performs. It measures a PAC's support for candidates by comparing a PAC's contributions to candidates with the PAC's receipts. A PAC's efficiency is simply contributions divided by receipts.

In its latest quarterly filing of April 13, amended April 14, Sarah PAC reported receipts of $400481.95 (line 19, here). On line 23 of the same report, Sarah PAC reported $9500.00 in contributions to Federal Candidates/Committees and Other Political Committees. $9500.00 divided by $400481.95 yields an efficiency of 2.4% (rounded generously).

What an efficiency of 2.4% means is that for every $100.00 donated to Sarah PAC, only $2.40 finds its way to Federal Candidates/Committees and Other Political Committees.

A report from The Center For Public Integrity mentioned that "Federal Election Commission data show the average federal PAC in the recent 2007-2008 cycle dedicated about 35 percent of spending to contributions aiding federal candidates."

With such extremely poor, far below average efficiency, it is clear that Sarah PAC is primarily benefiting people and organizations closely associated with the PAC.