* Thanks But No Thanks – The much anticipated debate between vice presidential candidates Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin was enlightening. One candidate demonstrated a knowledge and understanding of a broad range of very serious issues facing our country and the ability to articulate his views to the public. The other candidate reincarnated her bid to become Miss Alaska with enough “being a Mom”, dogonnits and bless your hearts exhalations to sell a truckload of Girl Scout Cookies. The best that can be said about Ms. Palin is that she did not implode while repeating her tape recorder-like responses to questions. There may have actually been a time or two when her response somewhat coincided with the question. Aside from expressing her admiration for the over-reaching power of Vice President Dick Cheney we learned little about the woman who would be a heart beat away from the Oval Office. Do not despair. Help is on the way.
I have never met or spoken with Sue Katz, author of the intelligent and timely blog Consenting Adult. We crossed paths through the blogosphere and have exchanged emails discussing a potpourri of issues. As a result of this association I received an advance copy of her new book “Thanks But Not Thanks: A Voters Guide to Sarah Palin” that will be released October 13, 2008. This well-written, informative and entertaining book is the first well-researched and comprehensive document available to voters and political junkies who want to know more about this little-known Republican instant star – information that in many cases the McCain campaign would prefer be kept in the dark.
TBNT provides the reader with a whirlwind tour of who Sarah Palin is, where she came from and the influences that led to her meteoric rise to prominence. Perhaps the main influence is the religious right, a constituency critical to a successful McCain election. We see Sarah Palin attending her church and the influences she meets. “Jews for Jesus’ David Brickner, was a guest speaker recently and Palin was there. The Times tells us that Brickner “suggested that terrorism in Israel was God’s judgment against the Jews for failing to accept Christ as the Messiah.” Palin did not walk out and there are no reports of her objecting.” Katz ponders the question of how Palin’s religious convictions would impact her political policy decisions.
Katz also looks at Sarah Palin in the context of the women’s movement and observes that Palin “has also changed the face of national politics. She has subverted the feminist agenda, running as a woman and mother, but neglecting to look after the needs of women and children. She has subverted the notion of experience, turning the PTA into a major qualification while ridiculing Obama’s three years of community organizing with poor people.”
Among the many perspectives that TBNT shares with the reader is a chapter devoted to how the world community views Palin. As great a loss of stature that America has experienced under Bush, the next administration will have much work to do to restore the reputation and role of America in the world community. Katz explores how the world is seeing not only Sarah Palin but its anticipation of an America being lead by John McCain or Barack Obama.
This link provides a detail background of the talented and multifaceted Sue Katz and additional information about her latest book – a guide that enables voters to make an informed decision.
* Politics puts your vote at risk ~ irony out the wrinkles in a democracy - Although you believe that your voter registration is valid, in reality, it may not be. In many parts of the country, for any number of reasons, mostly partisan, voters are being purged from voter records. A visit to The Brad Blog offers details of what CBS calls “Massive Voter Roll Purges in 19 States” These systematic purges ignore federal law, the National Voter Registration Act. At Vote for Change one can register to vote or check on the status of an existing registration.
* Welcome to the American Dream – Conventional wisdom suggests that it is liberal political philosophy that seeks to help every American achieve the goal of owning a home, gaining a piece of the pie and grabbing a brass ring. Somewhat ironically, it is conservative political philosophy of deregulation and free markets that has enabled every American taxpayer to own at least pieces of multiple homes. You may not live in the home, have a lawn to cut or windows to wash but, if you are a taxpayer, regardless of your current residency situation, you own pieces of multiple homes. That is what the bailout/rescue plan achieved. Your government just spent $700 billion to buy the troubled mortgages held by financial institutions so that they have funds to loan to businesses and individuals, a move intended to keep the economic system functioning. No one is certain that the legislation will achieve its goal and the NY Times notes that this legislation is a stop-gap measure with much to be done by the next president and congress. The cloud may not have been removed from the U.S. economy but we can still say, “Congratulations to the American taxpayer” – even if your piece of the pie is humble.
* Put on your seat belt - Expect the folks that gave you the “American Dream” to infect the last four weeks of the presidential campaign with toxic advertisements and Kool Aid misrepresentations. As of Saturday Obama is surging in the polls and significantly outdistancing McCain in the most important statistic, electoral votes. In spite of McCain’s promise to run a clean campaign brace yourself for a strategy that would make Karl Rove blush.
* Italian imports ~ Sì e no – I have no objection to the vast quantities of Italian shoes, clothing and wine that enters our country. Their design and quality are examples of the best that the world has to offer. When it comes to nuclear waste I am of a different opinion. We produce enough of our own and have yet to come to terms with what to do with it. EnergySolutions operates a nuclear waste site in Tooele County, Utah and they have requested permission to import 20,000 tons of radioactive waste from Italy. Currently the U.S. has 64,000 tons of spent fuel being stored on-site at nuclear power plants in 33 states and the amount of this very dangerous material continues to grow. Until we solve our own disposal of nuclear waste problems there should be an embargo on importing it. And even then we should probably say, “Thanks but no thanks.”
* I wish I could give you a lot of advice, based on my experience of winning political debates. But I don't have that experience. My only experience is at losing them.
Richard M. Nixon (1913 – 1994) 37th President of the United States (1969-1974).