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A Masterful Stroke

Morning in Alaska. Juneau family hour. Big oil, small town. St. Paul in St. Paul. Getting to know Toby Keith. Roush stuff. Plus more.

9.4.08

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NO VETTING REQUIRED
Re: Peter Ferrara's Morning in America:

Bravo, great article! The long knives will be out for Palin, and conservatives need to be ready to respond instantaneously and in spades. As well, if McCain-Palin wins, the Obama maniacs will be in court five minutes later trying to overthrow the election. OhBummer has some history as a "community organizer" -- a talent which sounds suspiciously like a Mafia job -- but conservatives of every stripe had better "organize their communities" and get the show on the road, uh, like "today"?
-- Steve Andrews
Garden Grove, California

Excellent article on McCain.

One footnote: McCain's health care plan is very thoughtful, recognizing the tax code must change to encourage direct purchase of insurance by individuals and families, which also will control costs and raise wages.
-- Peter Murphy
W. Sand Lake, New York

Peter Ferrara writes: "With one bold masterstroke, everything that was so wrong with American politics has been made right." Really? In spite of all the hype by conservatives and the GOP, there are many people who are thinking John McCain just had his own Putin moment. Just as W's judgment proved ridiculously flawed, McCain's may too. There are many very interesting things being revealed about Sarah Palin and the digging has just begun. Stay tuned.
-- Mike Roush

Mr. Ferrara, I don't know what is about your articles. They aren't revelations to me. All your points, and they are good ones, have been well known to me. Yet, when I read your articles, I find myself far more comfortable with my support for John McCain.

I've called McCain a 'Moderate-Conservative.' In this case, my moderate statement is not a condition on his conservatives, which I believe to be quite strong, but rather on his view of government's role. My main concern with McCain is that he seems to believe that government really can do good things if the right people are in control. He needs to remember Reagan's words "Government isn't the answer to the problems, government is the problems.' And I believe that it is this belief of his that leads him into dangerous territory, as it did with McCain-Feingold and other proposals. However, he's not nearly the worry for conservatives that he has been portrayed to be. So, thank you, Mr. Ferrara for your articles. Please, keep 'em coming.
-- Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

Obama has never been vetted.
-- Ann Carmichael
Sterling, Virginia

FAMILY HOUR
Re: George Neumayr's Juneau:

I have three in their teens, with another coming. You can only do so much. I have told my daughters from when they were little what their responsibilities are. To God, to us, and to themselves. Remember, pick your fights, the important ones you know, the others; nothing.

When I hear how her coming grandchild makes her unfit, I wonder who is speaking. Don't you understand life, as lived by real people? We have to go on, to love what God gives us. Even if it's a grandchild by a child, a bad choice made wonderful by circumstance. Who could ever turn down the chance to have a baby in the house.

I really think McCain has made the right choice, I will vote for Palin now and in eight years. Besides, how cute will Trig and his cousin will be in the White House. I'm looking forward to seeing the Iditarod as a White House Sport.

My darling wife and I danced when McCain picked her, she is real and she is welcome in our home anytime.
-- Stammon
P.S. Yes, I know the baby will be his niece/nephew. Where I come from all relatives your age are cousins.

In January I began to read about the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Over the next several weeks I told my wife that Ms. Palin would make a very good VP candidate.

As I explained her rise in politics, her high approval ratings; and her living what she said she held dear, my wife agreed, but said she will never get nominated. We were wrong. Thankfully.

This an accomplished person, who happens to be a woman. That frightens the left to death. If you look at the leaders of the radical left they share several characteristics.

One: they are all hugely wealthy and from money either from politics (Clintons), married (Kerry) or inherited (Kerry, Kennedy), and so they want for nothing.

Two: They get a free pass from the print and TV media. Mr. Obama is a shining example of this. The media made him. They liked this handsome, intelligent young man. More important, they trashed Ms. Clinton for him. The media believed she couldn't win.

Three: They maintain the status quo and complain and whine about it. This spans the entire liberal spectrum from feminists to politicians and their supporters. They spent Gustav's recent rampage through the Gulf States by complaining about Katrina and how relief was handled. (The difference: Republicans collected a million and a half dollars at their convention for the Red Cross -- that's about what the dems spent on booze and balloons.)

Sarah Palin DOES things. She doesn't whine. She lives her beliefs. She is not rich. She believes in our Constitution. She owns guns. Does she scare the very devil out of the radicals? You bet she does. And they will pull out all the moral stops to assassinate her character. It has already begun.
-- Jay Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina

Governor Palin's unmarried teenaged daughter's pregnancy evokes Barack Obama's pronouncement this past March, "But if they [Obama's daughters] make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

It's safe to say that the unborn child in question here is well served by being a Palin, which, God willing, ensures his or her soon seeing the light of day. As an Obama, on the other hand, he or she would apparently be reduced to the status of "punishment," and then exterminated.

More sharply contrasting worldviews one can hardly imagine.
-- Francis M. Hannon, Jr.
Melrose, Massachusetts

Sarah Palin enrages the left for one simple reason: she exposes both the hypocrisy and bankruptcy of liberal ideology, especially feminism. Apparently, only liberal women "can raise a family and have a career" simultaneously. Conservative women can only "juggle responsibilities." Liberal women insist abortion is a "privacy issue," even as they remain mute while a biased MSM puts a conservative candidate's 17-year-old daughter in the international spotlight.

And nothing infuriates those same "pro-choice" harridans more than a woman who actually makes the choice to keep a baby -- which is why, as I've stated before in this forum, "pro-abortion" is a much more accurate term for describing these "enlightened" souls.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

EXPERIENCE
Re: James P. Lucier's A Negotiator Without Preconditions:

Brilliant commentary, Mr. Lucier.

Thank you!
-- Thrainn Kristjansson
Winnipeg, Canada

This wonderful article needs to be brought to the attention of those people who will be asking the questions at the Palin/Biden debates.

How do we go about doing this?

I am an American woman (Republican) and Gov. Palin needs to know she has the support of many unknown Americans. I would hate to think of her dropping out due to the horrible publicity we're being inundated with today.

We need her!
-- Connie Merritt
Corona, California

You refer to a negotiator without preconditions, and start off by lauding Palin for the new ACES Alaskan oil tax. But her proposed ACES tax was a pale shadow of the final version, very moderate, very minimalist, very respectful, and scheduled to raise only around an additional $800 million even if prices went through the roof. It took the AK legislature's Democrats and some really independent republicans to boost that tax into the 50% overall level delivering some $5 or 6 billion extra.
-- Kevin Burns

Thank you so much for this illuminating article. Murkowski was trying to get the legislature to freeze taxes on the oil companies at 20% for 35 years in violation of our state constitution as one legislature is not allowed to financially bind the next. The corruption was so deep they considered amending our constitution. Additionally, they were pulling the same accounting tricks they used in Iran which could have meant we owed them money on our share of royalty gas. It could have bankrupted our state.
-- Dianne

James P. Lucier omits one salient fact about Joe Biden's foreign relations "experience:" he was dead wrong on one of the most critical issues of the 20th century, standing up to, and eventually defeating, the U.S.S.R. Biden was all for 'detente' and thought Ronald Reagan was 'unnecessarily belligerent."

Since many liberals believe symbolism equals substance, it's not a big stretch to assume they also believe experience, aka longevity, equals competence.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Palin is McCain's life raft. Biden is Obama's anchor.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

ST. PAUL IN ST. PAUL
Re: W. James Antle III's What I Saw At the Revolution:

This article by W. James Antle III failed to mention the elephant in the libertarian living room -- namely the selection of Sarah Palin as V.P. nominee. For anyone with eyes to see, with her on the ticket, the Republican Party has already taken a big step in "coming home."

And I dare say, Gov. Palin has achieved much more in reforming government to conservative principles than Ron Paul has. And no, Palin will never satisfy the kook element in the libertarian movement... and that's all to her credit.
-- Peter Skurkiss
Stow, Ohio

Great article.

If you are looking for direction for the movement, marching orders from headquarters, you aren't going to ever hear them. We have the responsibility to figure out how to push ahead in our own way. Leaders in the movement can rally people to their specific causes by example, the quality of their arguments and the level of excitement the generate. This model isn't as good at picking a specific target and reaching it quickly but its much more powerful in the long term.
-- James Hughes

I've read the items that Barry Goldwater, Jr. claimed his father believed in. The sad part is that he and millions of other conservatives actually believe Goldwater also believed in those things. In 1987, when there was a governor in Arizona named Evan Mecham who also believed in those things, what did Barry Goldwater, Sr. do? He helped lead a political lynch mob against Governor Mecham. John McCain applauded when Alaska Governor Sarah Palin declared she "took on the special interests and the old boy network" in her state. What did McCain do when Governor Mecham did the same thing in Arizona? That's right. He joined the lynch mob.

Barry Goldwater was "Mr. Conservative" only when his name was on the ballot. John McCain is no different.

I will never, never, never, ever, vote for him.
-- Michael Skaggs
Murray, Kentucky

Ron Paul, for all his faults, is right about one thing. If Libertarians want to get anything done, we're going to have to work within one of the established party rather than outside of them. The Republican Party is a far better choice than the Democrat. It's no secret that I consider myself a libertarian in outlook (if not in party affiliation, where I still consider myself Independent). And Mr. Antle is correct to say that the libertarian movement needs more cohesion and direction, but I think the Republican Party stands to greatly benefit itself by taking a listen to its libertarian wing. We often hear about 'small-government' conservatives. Why don't people just come out and call them for what they are? We're not 'small government' conservatives. We're libertarians and proud of it.

I never supported Ron Paul for President; his foreign policy was too isolationist for my tastes. And while I know he's a free-trader, I'm talking about military and cultural isolation, not free-trade. Just as it took the power of the British Empire to provide for open trade in the 18th and 19th centuries, it took the power of the American military to provide for the current era of free trade, and it will continue to take American military might for the 21st century to be the first true Century of Free Trade. This is something else that libertarians need to keep in mind.

And...on drug policy...okay, I do understand the conservative position. Yes, these substances are harmful and they can be dangerous, but only to the user. Drug use is a self-correcting problem. It may sound cold, but the drug user either stops, controls, or dies. While I do not advocate drug use, it should be important to realize that the Drug War has been used to justify greater and greater infringement on our rights, can create foreign policy nightmares (Columbia, Afghanistan?), costs billions of dollars, creates an entire black-market worth billions more (that is untaxed) that supports the gang wars that are killing thousands of young men and women every year. There are studies that demonstrate that you can spend a fraction of the money and get far better results by focusing on treating addiction than on using police force to try and stop people from using in the first place. And considering that most illegal drugs have an addition rate of less than ten percent, we really must ask ourselves a question...is the current drug policy actually worth its cost?
-- Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

ZEPHYR WITHOUT HIS COWBOY
Re: Jonathan Wilcox's No-show Schwarzenegger:

Arnullllld came into office on the zephyr of "hope and change" coupled with a bit of macho rhetoric. He'll leave office like a beaten kitten. He was an excellent body-builder, and an actor who knew his [substantial] limitations. Sort of a quasi-serious Jesse Ventura. As it happened though, he lacked a few indispensable attributes: vision, guts, and tenacity. Funny, he could come up with those qualities when it lent aid to his early career, but couldn't or didn't when it came to being the tribune of the people. Californians could have predicted this failure...perhaps some of them did. Arnulllld's conservative bona fides were never really much in evidence, his candy-assed attitude toward stemming abortion, fighting teacher [or any other kind of] unions, and engaging liberal opposition from an ideological parapet were all anathema to this robust political cipher. We would be mistaken though to get too depressed over this guy's disappointing performance. Some he-men do make good leaders [think Washington] and so do some actors [think Reagan]. It's just that the good ones give us little clues early on...Arnulllld's clues were that there weren't any.
-- J.C. Eaton
Wisconsin

WRITE ON
Re: Jed Babbin's What Will Rumsfeld Write?:

Like Jed Babbin, I cannot wait for the Rumsfeld memoirs. Even discounting Rumsfeld's years serving Ford or his influence with President Reagan; he is the one man who could probably fairly describe what occurred with our military during the post-Clinton/Bush era. My biggest questions lay with the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks up to his resignation in 2006. The Afghan Campaign was brilliant up to the Tora-Bora Operation; the Iraqi Invasion was anything but brilliant. Thus far there hasn't been any books written "from the top", which discussed the many operational problems both campaigns entailed. There was also the political aspect. Why did the Army insist on a World War Two style invasion of Iraq when the insurgency model in Afghanistan worked so well, and our conventional military was just a shell of its Cold War strength? How much back biting occurred between the Department of Defense, State Department, and the CIA? Was Rumsfeld forced to keep quiet about the insurgencies both Syria and Iran supported against our efforts in Iraq?

These are just a few brief questions I would love to have answered. Rumsfeld is that rarity in our post-modern, Beltway driven politics: a brilliant civil servant. He also has honor. He took his lumps and graciously retired when it was required of him to do so. He retired with his reputation in tatters taking most of the blame for the series of bloody insurgencies that plagued Iraq from 2004-2006. Those Army field commanders and State Department officials who were responsible for order in Iraq either were transferred or retired with their reputations largely intact. Rumsfeld's memoirs should clear the air a bit.
-- JP
Indiana

All due respect to Toby Keith, whoever he is, I think Bob Seger is credited with the line: "I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." As an entrepreneur who is now old and was once young I remember the line well and think of it often.
-- Tom
St. Louis, Missouri

The editor replies:
It's not too late for Tom to discover the work of country rock sensation Toby Keith, among whose many famous hits is one that includes these lyrics:

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then
I wish I could start this whole thing over again
I'm not sayin' it's you could never be true
I just don't wanna know how it ends
You'd still have my heart in the palm of your hands
I'd still look like a fool in front of your friends
Yeah I wish somehow I didn't know now what I didn't know then

The song in question, "Wish I Didn't Know Now," is included in volume one of the "Toby Keith: Greatest Hits" DVD, which notes it was written by Toby Keith.

AUDITIONS OPEN
Re: Robert Stacy McCain's 'Punished With a Baby' and Reader Mail's The Leave Baby Alone Coalition:

In reading the responses to the Robert Stacy McCain column, I have been nearly as uplifted as I was by Senator McCain's choice of his vice-presidential running mate.

Governor Palin is dealing with Life on Life's terms, and doing a spectacularly ordinary job of it. Like so many other Americans in flyover country, small towns and "unimportant" small cities all over the Nation, she and her husband do what needs to be done and seek no glory for it. Surely playing politics in Washington won't be as much fun as mothering a teenage daughter (or two), but I think she has what it takes.

The woman has grit. She has heart. She is Real. Your readers seem to see that, and it makes me proud to be one of them.
-- Karla Cassel Duffy
Jacksonville, Florida

I was very disappointed in Mr. Robert McCain's audition for the New Republic. I hope he finds employment there as opposed to further submissions to TAS.

Tell me, Mr. McCain, why all the angst? Why regurgitate all the smug, elitist, clueless pap, emanating from the leftist media? What exactly don't you understand here? Governor Palin is head and shoulders above both Messrs. Obama and Biden in experience and class. She is well above both their pay grades. Her debate with ole foot in mouth Biden will be a hoot. The MSM are beside themselves in their vitriol, as demonstrated by the mean spirited Andrea Mitchell of CNBC. Andrea & Co. might be laughing in the newsrooms, but then again, they thought McGovern had it in the bag, same with "reporting for duty," John Kerry. It's all good.

What the rest of us figured out days ago, is that Gov. Palin and her 17 year-old daughter have demonstrated more responsibility and class, than the Democrats, the MSM, and the once Democrat heartthrob and presidential candidate, John Edwards, ever could. And speaking of Mr. Edwards, when last we saw Mr. Two Americas, he was exiting from the men's room at the Beverly Hills Hilton, preparing to whisk his paramour out of the country by private jet, in order to avoid the same elite media that refused to report the story. Ah, but Gov. Palin's daughter, now there's a story only Dan Rather and his ilk, can really get excited about. Seems to me, Ms. Palin's daughter has more common sense and moral fiber to be president than slick John, Esq. ever had. Wake up Mr. McCain, this choice is perfect. Gov. Palin will energize the Republican Party and other thinking individuals, like they haven't been in years. The MSM will choke on their bile, as they fade into oblivion. John McCain has finally procured many of our votes and money.

Don't tell Obama and Biden, but that light at the end of the tunnel, well, it ain't gonna be pretty...
-- A. DiPentima

Robert McCain lamented the potential comedic attacks on Bristol Palin regarding her youthful pregnancy:

"Most to be feared, however, is the ridicule the story will generate. Maybe Leno will consider a pregnant teenager off-limits for his Tonight show routine, but don't expect Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to avoid jokes at Bristol Palin's expense. And Saturday Night Live will surely pounce on the subject with satirical glee."

I doubt there's anything to worry about here. Stewart and Colbert's audiences are typically minuscule because they're on cable. Their popularity is based solely on the props they get from the left. Stewart's "best selling" parody book on America can now be had in the Barnes and Noble remainder bins for about four bucks. The audience for those two clowns are already chuckling over the Palin pregnancy, and would be too stoned to vote for the Republican ticket, anyway.

As for Saturday Night Live, the only reason the show is still on the air is as a breeding ground for unfunny comics who eventually make a career out of making bad comedy movies. Either that or the network simply can't find anything else to stick in that time slot. The show hasn't been funny in decades, and any Palin-based satire is going to be low-brow and sophomoric, since that's all they're currently capable of producing. Besides, nobody's watching.
-- Joe Dougherty
Orange Park, Florida

AS PER USUAL
Re: Mike Roush's letter (under "Down With P. Jacobs") in Reader Mail's The Leave Baby Alone Coalition:

It is puzzling that Mike Roush has remained so incurious about the Obama's near 20-year membership in a racist and anti-American church and the Senator's association with an admitted home grown terrorist. I guess when he has important issues like Governor Palin's seventeen year old daughter he can't be sidetracked.
-- Clifton Briner

Once again we are treated to Mr. Roush's undergraduate-debate-team-level "intellect" enlightening us on concepts which he does not understand. Up until now I have ignored him, based on my belief in the expression, "Just because there's a fish in the barrel doesn't mean you have to shoot it." Mr. Roush, it is not "spin" or "twisting" for us not to accept your childish definition of ideas -- i.e., "family values" -- which you clearly know nothing about. Family values are what they are; they are not what you say they are in order to create shrill straw man arguments.

Family values -- and evangelical Christianity, for that matter -- are simply about striving for the best of ourselves, spiritually, morally, emotionally, even physically and intellectually. They are about understanding that actions have consequences, not just to ourselves, but to those around us. Further, they are about the understanding that humans are fallible, so when we make mistakes, as we must, we forgive, and support, and help our loved ones take responsibility for those mistakes. Surely that is what Bristol Palin and her family are doing. And Mr. Roush, surely you understand -- or perhaps not -- that young Miss Palin has never, that I am aware of, made any public statements about her own belief in abstinence-only education, or "family values," so no hypocrisy can be attributed to her. And what hypocrisy, or lack of judgment, therefore, can be attributed to Governor Palin herself? That her adult daughter did not live her life according to her mother's public policy statements?

Mr. Roush, can you be sure that this pregnancy was not intentional -- that is, two adults made the conscious decision, as is their right as adults, to create a life in light of their impending marriage, and that they made this decision privately as a couple -- again, as is their right -- completely removed from your political views? You simply cannot know the facts of this private matter, Mr. Roush. Sir, reasonable people, when confronted in an international venue with the fact that they do not know -- indeed, cannot know -- all the facts of the situation they are opining about, reasonable people shut their mouths at that point, lest they appear even more foolish than they already have. What will you do, sir?
-- Michael Jasper
Amman, Jordan

Mike Roush, like the rest of the bigoted left, is disgusting. In typical Obama fashion he sinks into the liberal gutter and bashes the girl. I hate to say it, but Hillary's supporters are right about how Obama/Biden are typical Democrat male chauvinists. I'm sure he'd like Bristol to murder her baby, but thank God she's been raised by such wonderful and supportive parents. I'm not a McCain fan, but I'm proud that he had the moral courage to nominate such a fine woman as his running mate.

Let's talk about a really ethically challenged Vice Presidential nominee -- Joe Biden. As a law school student he was caught plagiarizing/cheating and was saved from expulsion by bawling, and promising he never do it again -- he lied. His plagiarizing is as well known fact as is his callous racism that mirrors the hate filled Obama's. As for his great foreign policy credentials this is the genius who told Israel to learn to live with a nuclear Iran (since Biden's a notorious liar I believe the Israeli report and not his flimsy explanation). Notably one of the few accomplishments in Obama's record is funneling a $3.4 million earmark to Joe Biden's son. Oh, let's not forget Biden's brother and son are in the midst of a lawsuit regarding fraud. Rather than rolling around in the liberal sewer would be better served trying to defend the corruption of his candidates.

Democrats like Mike Roush are panicking and so ashamed of their weak and corrupt Presidential ticket and Congressional delegation that all they can do is lie and smear. Keep it up Democrats and watch McCain/Palin sweep this election. The only thing better will be Republicans doing better in the Congressional elections than the Democrat MSM is trying to orchestrate.
-- LCDR (Chaplain) Michael Tomlinson

NOT MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS
Re: Christopher Holland's letter (under "Bane of Biden") in Reader Mail's The Leave Baby Alone Coalition:

Mr. Holland wrote in his letter, "Also, aren't conservatives supposed to be the ones who don't think it is a good idea for unmarried 17-year-old schoolgirls to get pregnant? Sure sounds like there is a problem with walking the walk with this one." Well Mr. Holland, no one I know, whether liberal or conservative, thinks that it is a good idea for 17 year olds to get pregnant; the difference lies in how each side seeks to deal with it when it happens. The liberal solution is to run to the nearest abortion clinic so that the minor child, with or without her parents being notified, can erase her 'mistake' and exercise her right to 'choose;' the conservative solution is to do what the Palins did, love and support the child, even if they are disappointed in her actions. The liberal idea is to treat the unborn child as an inconvenience that can be taken care of with a simple medical procedure, whereas the conservative attitude is bring the unborn child into the world and give it a chance to become whatever life has in store for it, but to make sure above all else that the child has a chance to live!

And if we are going to disqualify the candidates due to the fact we know little about them, and whether they "live as they talk", then we can DQ Obama right now. We know that he talks about Change, but chooses a running mate who has been in the Senate for nearly my entire lifetime (and I am almost 37 years old); Obama tells us about his deep and abiding faith in Christ, yet he can't seem to acknowledge that Christ is the only way Christians know to get into Heaven; and he claims to not know when life begins (it's above his pay grade), yet he knows that life isn't so precious that it should be protected even if it survives a botched abortion. Yes, Obama talks as good a fame as any I have ever seen, but his walk is a mess.
-- Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina

COWED
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The Difference:

You know, Jeffrey, I've been wondering lately, if maybe, just maybe, Hillary Clinton is desperately trying to find those old Cow Palace credentials. Nah!
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

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