Monday, September 1, 2008

More updates on Sarah Palin ...

Hmmm ... now it turns out that Sarah Palin's 17 year old daughter, a senior in high school, is pregnant. Sarah Palin says Bristol, her daughter, is planning to marry the father of the child. The salacious aspects of this story aside, it's fascinating that Sarah Palin has decided to run for VP at a time when she has a newborn baby with Down's syndrome and a pregnant teenage daughter. Obama threatened that he will fire anyone on his staff exploiting this story. He says its a purely personal matter.

There is another interesting rumor that earlier this year Sarah Palin had traveled to Texas to speak at an energy conference when she was seven months pregnant when her water broke. Rather than cancel her speech and go to a hospital, she decided to give her speech and take a flight back to her home town in Wasilla (a 14 hour delay). Interesting level of concern about her son. Here's a very funny decision map of what she did.

On Sarah Palin's qualifications, she's supposed to be a big tax cutter, and has fought pork. As an example her introductory claim was that she had said, "Thanks, but no thanks!" to the bridge to nowhere. Really? As an Alaskan newspaper reports, that the facts are somewhat different. Ms. Palin basically supported the bridge wholeheartedly all through her election campaign and even thereafter, and only backed down after the money had already been cut by Congress. It's a bit like saying, "You can't fire me! I quit!" Very different from her claim!

This is even more interesting. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, the aggregate earmarks for Alaska in 2008 (i.e. under Sarah Palin's watch) was ~$379MM, about $100MM more than any other state in the US. Also, as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, she hired the firm of Hoffman Silver Gilman & Blasco to help secure spending projects for her town and from 2000 through 2002, Wasilla received more than $5.5 million in federal cash for transportation and social service projects.

On her clean image, the current troopergate is not the first controversy she has faced. She was almost recalled when she was mayor for firing her police chief and library director for not supporting her in the elections. Sort of akin to the Justice department scandal. Also, she was part of 527 group associated with the indicted Senator Ted Stevens, someone she was publicly supporting until recently.

Oh, and there might be some even more explosive material. It seems that Governor Palin was once a member of the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP), a party reportedly dedicated to the secession of Alaska. Here's a video of the head of the AIP boasting about it (around 6 minutes into the video). Here she is again saying relatively nice things to the AIP in an address after becoming Governor. Makes you wonder about her comments about putting Alaska first :) At least, that's what the GOP would have said had she been a DNC candidate. Luckily she is from the patriotic party, so the question will probably never arise.

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