Sarah Who?

Sarahpalinvogue It’s kind of a "Sarah Who? Moment," but interestingly, there are reports that while she opposes same-sex marriage, she has stated that she has Gay friends and is receptive to Gay and Lesbian concerns about discrimination. When the previous administration did not implement same-sex benefits, Palin complied with a state Supreme Court order and signed them into law.

She supported a democratic advisory vote from the public on whether there should be a constitutional amendment on the matter. Alaska was one of the first U.S. states to pass a constitutional ban on Gay marriage, in 1998, along with Hawaii.

Palin’s first veto was used to block legislation that would have barred the state from granting benefits to Gay state employees and their partners. In effect, her veto granted State of Alaska benefits to same-sex couples. The veto occurred after Palin consulted with Alaska’s attorney general on the constitutionality of the legislation. That would be the "good news." Here’s some other things to chew on:

  • She was elected Alaska’s governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has zero foreign policy experience.
  • Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest…or slutty daughters with hunky high school hockey players.
  • She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000.
  • Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.
  • She’s doesn’t think humans are the cause of climate change.
  • She’s solidly in line with John McCain’s "Big Oil first" energy policy. She’s pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won’t be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species. She was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.
  • The annual budget of the city of which she was most recenly mayor is about half of the Los Angeles LGBT Community Center.
  • How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.

Let’s be clear: Sarah Palin is another in a parade of Republican party distractions from issues and problems to keep the electorate confused and distracted from real ideas and facts. But just for the Grunt_sarahpalin1sake of  discussion, can anyone imagine what the Republican pundits would be saying, for example, if Barack Obama or Michele Obama had ever, even ever-so-slightly, and way back in their "wasted youth," suggested that, perhaps Hawaii ought to consider seceding from the United States (as Ms. Palin’s one-time affiliation with the Alaska Independence Party suggests…OK so maybe it was only her husband…)? Does anyone think that Obamas’s loyalty to the country might be, shall we say, questioned? I’m just askin’.

And honestly, who cares about the daughter’s pregnancy…except insofar as Palin and McCain are against sex education and promoting "abstinence only." How’s that working for you, Sarah? Bristol? And while the Republican party hacks are quick to excoriate anyone who even suggests this might have some policy implications, they’re more than happy to use it to advance their own anti-choice positions.

And that "Bridge to nowhere" and her "thanks but no thanks"? Yes, she said no to the bridge…but she still took the money. Ms. "I Don’t Do Earmarks"? Ha!

According to the Seattle Times:

Just this year, she sent to Sen. Ted. Stevens, R-Alaska, a proposal for 31 earmarks totaling $197 million — more, per person, than any other state.

Her presidential running mate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., does not sponsor earmarks, calling the practice of doling out favors, often with scant oversight, "disgraceful."

Some of Palin’s requests were for science research, such as $499,900 to assess halibut harvesting; others for lighting village airports in the Alaskan bush, where small planes and gravel runways may be the primary link to the outside world.

Palin’s requests to Congress came at a time of huge federal deficits, while Alaska state revenue was soaring due to rising oil prices and a major tax increase on oil production that Palin signed into law in late 2007.

As a result, Alaska this year was in such a money-flushed condition — with no state income tax or sales tax and total state revenues of $10 billion, double the previous year’s — that Palin gained legislative approval for $1,200 cash payments to every Alaskan.

In addition, each Alaska resident gets an annual dividend check, about $2,000 this year, from Alaska’s oil-wealth savings account, known as the Permanent Fund, now fattened to more than $35 billion.

The state also has been able to tap into a gusher of federal money as its Republican congressional delegation rose in seniority and clout.

In 1996, when Palin was elected mayor of Wasilla, a city of about 8,000 some 40 miles north of Anchorage, she did not take part in the earmark process. But by 2000, into her second term, the city had hired a Washington, D.C., lobbyist, Steven Silver, a former aide to Stevens, then the ultimate rainmaker as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

"She was hungry for earmarks just like everybody else," said Larry Persily, who worked at the Alaska state office in Washington, D.C., until earlier this year. "Everyone was feeding at the trough."

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