American Elephants

Take that, Howard Dean! by The Elephant's Child
September 10, 2008, 8:17 pm
Filed under: Conservatism, Election 2008, Liberalism, Media Bias, Politics | Tags: , , ,

The Wall Street Journal today took a look at the claim that Sarah Palin’s qualifications to be Vice President are poor because she governs one of the least populated states, with a meager budget of “only” $12 billion and 16,000 full-time state employees.  But it turns out that the Governor’s office in Alaska is one of the nation’s most powerful.

For more than two decades Thad Beyle, a political scientist at the University of North Carolina, has maintained an index of “institutional  powers” in state offices.  He rates governorships on potential length of service, budgetary and appointment authority, veto power and other factors.  Mr. Beyle’s findings for 2008 rate Alaska at 4.1 on a scale of 5.  The national average is 3.5.

Only four other states — Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia — concentrate as much power in the Governor’s office as Alaska does, and only one state (Massachusetts) concentrates more.  California may be the nation’s most populous state, but its Governor rates as below-average (3.2) in executive authority.  This may account in part for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s poor legislative track record.  The lowest rating goes to Vermont (2.5) where the Governor (remember Howard Dean) is a figurehead compared to Mrs. Palin.

The Alaskan governor has line-item veto power over the budget and can only be overridden by a three-quarters majority in the Legislature.  Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, elected in 1992, had a state budget of $2 billion which was among the smallest in the country. Sarah Palin not only governs a lot of territory, but is an important executive.

The Obama people keep digging, and we will have to keep debunking.

Democrat Senator, Presidential Candidate, Mike Gravel, Praises Palin by American Elephant
September 10, 2008, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Election 2008, Liberalism, Media Bias, Politics | Tags: , ,

For all their praise of dissent, liberals sure don’t cotton it much. Given their crestfallen and incredulous response, one would think Mike Gravel had just told these two liberal radio hosts that Santa Claus won’t be coming this year. 

“But, but, but… isn’t it true, Senator Gravel, that Sarah Palin is an unqualified, ignorant, corrupt, buck-toothed hayseed?”

So, what does the former Democrat Senator and presidential candidate from Alaska have to say that upsets them so? That Sarah Palin is doing a great job as governor, has more executive experience than Obama, Biden and McCain combined, and that “Troopergate” is much ado about nothing that will come out in her favor anyway.

By my count, the female host tries to cut the interview short 3 times, as soon as she discovers Gravel won’t be telling her listeners what she wants them to hear.

As Allahpundit says, “pure comedic gold”.

(Hat tip: Hot Air)

Nobody is questioning your patriotism. by The Elephant's Child

I have a confession.  For a number of years, I have been copying down passages from my reading into my own book of quotations.  Not pithy little sayings like Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, but long paragraphs that struck me as offering some special insight into our world.  The following is one such passage, from a book called The Mythic West by the late Robert G. Athearn.  Dr. Athearn was for many years a professor at the University of Colorado, author of many histories, and a recipient of the Western Heritage Award.

In the Western myth, many have found exactly what they were looking for.  Significantly, the images and the simple story of the western legend first caught on in the early nineteenth century, those years when the young Republic, like a proud and gawky adolescent was trying to decide who and what it was.  This myth has been around ever since, simply because it has always done its job.
The legend is rooted in a story with which just about anyone can identify.  It tells what happened when ordinary people moved into an extraordinary land.  Often enough they overcame the challenges that they met there, but the real point of the story is not what happened to the land, but what happened to the people.  They were changed, the legend insists — transformed, reborn.  And they were better for it.  The ordeal in the wilderness created the American, we believe; free-thinking, open, tough, optimistic, self-reliant — the litany goes on and on.  The western hero has embodied these virtues and this message.  He is us, only a little bigger, tougher, braver.  From James Fenimore Cooper to John Wayne, whenever anyone has told us this story and has done it well, we have clapped and made him rich.

To me this captured something about Americans that I have not seen elsewhere.  It speaks to me of Americans’ love of their country and their identification with it.  For Americans differ from citizens of other countries in their pride in their country, their satisfaction with their country and their conviction that there is no better place.

The picture of the flags above came from the Democratic National Convention, about a week later, when 84 bags of flags were left out by the garbage tins, apparently intended for the dump.  Boy Scouts rescued them and a McCain supporter distributed them at a McCain rally.  Details are here, here and here.  Democrats were incensed, and predictably called it a cheap political stunt calling into question their patriotism.

Now I don’t know if anyone called their patriotism into question.  I neither heard it, not saw any such statement.  What I do recognize is a kind of sinking-feeling, a sadness that others don’t always understand. Perhaps it is more understandable, viewed from the other side, in a story from the Wall Street Journal. In a story about the Olympics in Beijing,  Kobe Bryant told NBC’s Chris Collingsworth about how he got “goosebumps” when he received his Olympics uniform.

“I actually just looked at it for a while; I just held it there and I laid it aross my bed and I just stared at it for a few minutes; just because as a kid growing up this is the ultimate, ultimate in basketball.” The L.A. Laker went on to call the US “the greatest country in the world.  It has given us so many great opportunities, and it’s just a sense of pride that you have; that you say, ‘You know what? Our country is the best.”

Mr. Collingsworth was startled.  “Is that a cool thing to say in this day and age? That you love your country, and that you’re fighting for the red, white and blue?  It seems sort of like a day gone by.”

Now I don’t know what is more startling, Mr. Collingsworth’s statement, or the fact that this small incident was considered important enough to be featured in the Wall Street Journal.

The point I am trying to make is that Sarah Palin would immediately identify with the passage that I quoted above, and ordinary Americans know that she would; because they identify with it themselves.  That’s why they put their kids in Boy Scouts, and teach them to be respectful about the flag, and to care about their country, and to treat those who have served their country with respect and gratitude.

That’s why ordinary Americans are offended when the Obama Campaign sends an army of lawyers to Anchorage, armed with pocketsfull of cash, to see what dirt they can dig up on Sarah Palin.  They are offended by folks who treat the flag with disrespect, let alone setting it on fire, while they grit their teeth because it is constitutionally protected speech.  But they also understand straight talk when they hear it.  And they are very, very tired of hearing about how terrible their country is, and what dire straits it is in, and how ordinary Americans need more government to take care of them.

Nobody is questioning your patriotism, Democrats.  We are questioning your judgment.  And if the shoe fits uncomfortably, well…

Yes, Sarah Palin has Commander in Chief Experience! by American Elephant

Contrary to the yarn Democrats and their propaganda division (aka, the “mainstream” media) are furiously spinning for you, Sarah Palin has commanded the military in Alaska, and she was great at it! In this interview by Greta Van Suteren, Major General Craig Campbell, head of the Alaska National Guard praises Sarah Palin’s leadership as the last frontier’s Commander in Chief:

It’s kind of like being a “community organizer”, except with real responsibilities, and with missiles! (And none of that ACORN vote fraud crap.)

I’ll bet you didn’t know this about Sarah Palin! by The Elephant's Child

Sarah Palin has always been a runner.  She says that her parents were marathoners, and coached high school track, so it was a family affair.  She is still trying to get back to her old routine of running 7 to 10 miles every day according to the Wall Street Journal, but since giving birth she is only running 3 miles every other day.

Governor Palin is also the Commander-in Chief of the Alaska National Guard, something she shares with other governors.  However Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system.  The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard is on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units.

Nearly 250 Alaska Guardsmen came from all over the country to serve in the 49th Missile Defense Battalion. Getting into the program is not easy, and passing the extensive training required is tough.  Applicants go through nine to 14 weeks of air defense training at Fort Bliss, Texas; a nine-week Ground Missile Defense operator course in Colorado Springs; then four more weeks of unit training in Colorado Springs before taking a certification test.

Major Joe Miley, the operations officer, explains that on order, they would fire an interceptor at the incoming missile in midcourse phase, which would destroy the target before it reentered the atmosphere.  Stationed at Fort Greely, about 150 miles southeast of Fairbanks, it’s a tough place to live and logistically support.  Winter temperatures, for example, can drop to 75 degrees below zero.

In the last 20 years, more countries are actually having intercontinental ballistic missiles, the number has increased from six nations to more than 20.  And the number of test launches has increased every year.  Training is continuous to keep skills sharp.  This is serious national defense.

Alaskan governors deal with a lot more national and international security issues than most do.  There is a lot of military in Alaska.  Sarah is briefed on highly classified security measures, homeland security and counterterrorism.  Russia is only a few miles away, and interested in claiming all of the Arctic for its energy reserves.  She also negotiated a pipeline deal with Canada.  And they were saying about her inexperience…

Our Sarah Palin has pretty sharp skills as well.

McCain/Palin Get More Viewers than Obama by Emerald City Elephant

John McCain and Sarah Palin at Republican National Convention

The press was simply giddy when Barack Obama’s convention speech attracted more viewers than any convention speech ever has. He had more viewers, they told us, than the Oscars, the finale of American Idol or the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Good for him.

The question is, will they be as excited that both Sarah Palin and John McCain’s speeches each attracted even more viewers than Obama?

I won’t hold my breath.

More than 41 million viewers tuned in to Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech, making it not only the most viewed acceptance speech in history, bigger than the Oscars, bigger than the Olympics and bigger than American Idol, but bigger than the Obamessiah — and nearly twice as many viewers as Joe Biden.

Indeed, new polling shows that Sarah Palin is more popular than Obama or McCain.

But Palin wan’t the only one to attract more viewers than Obama, so did John McCain:

Across all broadcast networks Thursday, Sen. McCain’s speech ended the night with a 4.8 rating/7 share, compared to Sen. Obama’s 4.3/7 average, according to overnight numbers from metered households in 55 U.S. markets measured by Nielsen.

Oh come on, people. Have a sense of humor. by The Elephant's Child

What a Convention!  As partisan people — and of course we are — we watched both conventions and are looking forward to tonight.  Sarah Palin’s speech was a triumph, she held the audience in the palm of her hands. Rudy Guiliani was the best I have ever seen him.   But the most compelling moment of the whole convention was when little Piper Palin, holding the baby Trig, licked her palm to slick down the baby’s hair.

Utterly human.  No director could have planned such a charming, ordinary moment, nor so completely repudiated the sneers of the elite media.  And that’s the difference.

The glitter and gloss of the Democrat convention was impeccable theater.  Famous bands, Roman temple, oval office carpet, immense stadium, fireworks, confetti.

The Democrat convention was an angry convention. Delegates heard a description of an America at the brink of another Great Depression, of lost jobs, lost homes, lost health, lost war, lost friends.  What is the matter with these people?  They live in the freest country with the greatest opportunity and the least class consciousness in the world and they yearn to turn it into — France?

Democrats are angry because humanity doesn’t live up to their expectations. These are people whose idea of high humor has been to stick a Hitler moustache on George W. Bush and a Nazi uniform on Dick Cheney.  They are not amused by humanity.  If only you will give them power, they will fix things and make them perfect.

But humanity is. It cannot be fixed. Real people struggle, make mistakes, do foolish things as well as noble things.  Half the population, by definition, has less than average intelligence.  To get through life, you neeed a healthy sense of humor and a goodly amount of stoical resignation. We’re a mess, the lot of us; but we work at getting better, and fairly often we succeed. And we do not need Government to fix things for us.   We have to learn to pick ourselves up and try once more.  It helps when we have candidates who grasp the nature of humanity, and have a sense of what government can do and what it can’t.

That’s why Republicans had a happy convention.  Yes, they made fun of the Democrats, but they weren’t angry about it.  They were laughing.  That’s probably what made the liberals so angry.

If you watched the Palin family, Willow held the baby while Bristol held her fiance’s hand.  Then Cindy McCain held the baby, then Todd Palin took over.  Even little babies get heavy after a while.  Then Todd had to stand up, so he passed the baby to Piper.  This is how normal families work.  When one member of the family has to do something different, everybody pitches in — because it’s family. The family is enriched by the success of another member, whether it is winning a snowmachine race or negotiating a pipeline.  That’s the real America.

Meanwhile, Victory in Iraq Continues… by American Elephant

While we are all watching the conventions, while the media is busing beating up on 17 year old girls, America’s finest men and women are wrapping up victory in Iraq…

Victory in Anbar… Memo to Barack Obama: Soon you will have nothing left to surrender

On Monday, while Democrats waited to see if Hurricane Gustav would be another Katrina and the GOP juggled its convention schedule, U.S. commanders formally returned responsibility for security in Iraq’s Anbar province to the Iraqi Army and police.

Maybe you missed it. The New York Times Web page had three stories on Bristol Palin. The Washington Post’s online magazine, Slate, is running a “Name Bristol Palin’s Baby” contest. And Us Weekly has “Babies, Lies and Scandal” on its cover.

Victory in Iraq can’t compete in an environment where Bristol’s boyfriend is more thoroughly investigated than Obama’s lifelong association with Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers.  [read more]

General Petraeus: Troops Could Leave Baghdad Soon

General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, said declining violence in Baghdad raised the possibility that American combat troops could leave the capital by next summer.

Asked in an interview with the Financial Times whether it was feasible that US combat forces could leave Baghdad by July, he said: “Conditions permitting, yeah.” [read more]

Despite Barack Obama and the Democrats most vigorous efforts to ensure the war and the surge became, in Harry Reid’s and Nancy Pelosi’s words, “a failure” and “lost”, America’s men and women in uniform are returning and will be increasingly returning in victory and with the great honor they so deserve.

And yes, that credit must be shared by John McCain and President George W. Bush. And not one iota of credit will ever go to Barack Obama and the Democrats who would have had us pull out long ago, leaving Iraq and indeed the region embroiled in war and genocide.

And yet they want you to believe they have the “judgment” to lead us in the next unknown crisis.

The success they opposed in Iraq proves they absolutely do not.

Newsweek Praises Palin’s Qualifications/Accomplishments by American Elephant
September 3, 2008, 4:41 pm
Filed under: Conservatism, Election 2008, Media Bias, Military, Politics | Tags: , ,

Before they knew she was going to running as the Republican nominee for Vice President:

In Alaska, Palin is challenging the dominant, sometimes corrupting, role of oil companies in the state’s political culture. “The public has put a lot of faith in us,” says Palin during a meeting with lawmakers in her downtown Anchorage office, where—as if to drive the point home—the giant letters on the side of the ConocoPhillips skyscraper fill an entire wall of windows. “They’re saying, ‘Here’s your shot, clean it up’.” For Palin, that has meant tackling the cozy relationship between the state’s political elite and the energy industry that provides 85 percent of Alaska’s tax revenues—and distancing herself from fellow Republicans, including the state’s senior U.S. senator, Ted Stevens, whose home was recently searched by FBI agents looking for evidence in an ongoing corruption investigation. (Stevens has denied any wrongdoing.) But even as she tackles Big Oil’s power, Palin has transformed her own family’s connections to the industry into a political advantage. Her husband, Todd, is a longtime employee of BP, but, as Palin points out, the “First Dude” is a blue-collar “sloper,” a fieldworker on the North Slope, a cherished occupation in the state. “He’s not in London making the decisions whether to build a gas line.”

In an interview with NEWSWEEK, Palin said it’s time for Alaska to “grow up” and end its reliance on pork-barrel spending. Shortly after taking office, Palin canceled funding for the “Bridge to Nowhere,” a $330 million project that Stevens helped champion in Congress. The bridge, which would have linked the town of Ketchikan to an island airport, had come to symbolize Alaska’s dependence on federal handouts. Rather than relying on such largesse, says Palin, she wants to prove Alaska can pay its own way, developing its huge energy wealth in ways that are “politically and environmentally clean.”

…Although she has been in office less than a year, Palin, too, earns high marks from lawmakers on the other side of the aisle. During a debate earlier this year over a natural-gas bill, State Senate Minority Leader Beth Kerttula was astounded when she and another Democrat went to see the new governor to lay out their objections. “Not only did we get right in to see her,” says Kerttula, “but she asked us back twice—we saw her three times in 10 hours, until we came up with a solution.” Next week in Juneau, Alaska lawmakers will meet to overhaul the state’s system for taxing oil companies—a task Palin says was tainted last year by an oil-industry lobbyist who pleaded guilty to bribing lawmakers. [read more]

Free McCain/Palin Campaign Button! by American Elephant
September 2, 2008, 2:30 am
Filed under: Conservatism, Election 2008, Liberalism, Politics | Tags: , ,

McCain Palin Campaign Button

Well, a cyber-button at least.  Crop and re-size it however you wish, post it on your blog/myspace/facebook/webpage whatever as long as it is in support of Palin or the McCain/Palin ticket.

And be sure to check out our McCain/Palin t-shirts, buttons, stickers, etc… here.

Or click any of the pictures below. We’ve got several different designs in a whole host of colors, and  I’ll be updating with new designs just as fast as I can crank them out, so check back often!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been truly nauseated by the vicious bile the left is hurling at Sarah Palin. They are intent on destroying her before she can get off the ground. The mainstream media has joined in, and the “narrative” has already been written. Palin is, according to them, unintelligent, unqualified white trash, whom John McCain only met once, never vetted, and doesn’t this just prove how poor and reckless McCain’s judgment is!

Naturally, the fact that their “narrative” jibes perfectly with the Obama campaign strategy is purely coincidental.

And now they are feverishly searching for the “facts” to back up their narrative. I have gotten many hits based on google searches for things such as “Palin + inexperienced”. See Dub at Michelle Malkin reports hits looking for “Palin + bikini”. If you blog on WordPress, you may have noticed that the current most popular blog is that of an Obama-supporter in Alaska who has nothing but unkind words for her extraordinarily popular governor. It looks as though half the lefty blogosphere has linked to her already.

Am I the only one reminded of the despicable spectacle of the Paul Wellstone memorial/Political Rally/two minutes hate? These people just met the woman and they already loathe her. I try to avoid predictions, but I would not at all be surprised if the current gutter wallowing doesn’t incur similar backlash. I certainly hope it does.

But right now I wanted to show my support for the besieged governor so I worked up the campaign button above and thought I’d offer it to anyone who also wants to show their support.

More on the Palin attacks and repugnant rumor mongering later.

The Obama Response by Emerald City Elephant
August 29, 2008, 3:51 pm
Filed under: Election 2008, Politics | Tags: , ,

Naturally, the Obama camp came out swinging against Palin:

Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.  Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same.

Besides the obvious omission of her governorship, and the ridiculous charge that she represents more of the same, and the jaw-dropping charge from Barack Obama that she lacks experience, its funny that the Obama camp claimed McCain, “put the former mayor… a heartbeat away from the presidency.” Are they conceding they’ve already lost?

Palin inexperienced? I triple-dog-dare you! by American Elephant
August 29, 2008, 3:13 pm
Filed under: Conservatism, Election 2008, News, Politics | Tags: , , ,

Like millions of Americans, I know little about Alaskan Governor and sudden Republican vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. Like many, I have embarked on a crash course. I reserve the right to change my mind, but my first impression is that this was a brilliant pick.

My observations:

The choice of a vice-presidential nominee has always been one of the strongest indications of how a candidate intends to lead. It is striking to me, then,  that in an election that is “all about change” it is the Republican ticket that looked to the future for the vice-presidential nod — a position that by definition is about the future — and it was the Democrat ticket that looked deep into the past, decades old recycled liberalism and the Washington establishment.

Perhaps I am the only one, but, ironically, the McCain ticket now seems the younger and more forward looking.

Obama who? What Democrat convention? Is anyone talking about his speech last night? If they are, I certainly haven’t seen it. McCain has cut off that discussion entirely and stolen the spotlight completely with his unexpected and perfectly executed VP announcement.

The press is already working feverishly to undermine her. They have already determined the information most important for Americans to know is that she was a beauty contestant, a hockey mom, mayor of a tiny town, that NARAL calls her “extreme” on abortion (irony anyone?), and that a late night talk show host said she has a “naughty librarian” look to her.

As governor of the Land of the Midnight Sun, one of America’s most beautiful states and home of ANWR, Palin not only locks up the energy issue for Republicans, but could very well take back environmental issues from the insane leftist fringe for rational Americans.

She is a conservative who shows that McCain, despite his deeply misguided populist stances on some issues, wants to lead America in a conservative direction.

The Republican ticket has two proven reformers (granted, McCain has reformed for the worse in some instances). The Democrat ticket features two of the most partisan old-school liberals in Washington with zero record of reform. She has taken on corruption in her own state, including corrupt Republicans, and shown she is more than willing to confront “big” oil if need be.

However, she is under investigation for allegedly trying to get her sisters ex-husband, a state-trooper fired. I find it hard to believe McCain would pick her if there were anything to this whatsoever.

And on the charges, launched almost before she finished her speech, that she lacks the experience to govern — it is to laugh! I think there is nothing the McCain camp would love more than for Democrats to claim that as the Governor of a state with real executive experience she lacks the experience to be Vice-President. They would be making McCain’s commercials undermining Obama for him!

Sure, she may be light on foreign policy experience, although her state is separated from the lower 48 by another country, rests just miles across the Bering straight from another and has a vibrant international trade. But she has more executive experience, and more importantly, more accomplishments, than both the men on the Democrat ticket combined.

And unlike Obama/Biden, our nominee put the less-experienced person at the bottom of the ticket, not the top. Which one would think is the way it should be.

What do you think?


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