Monday, July 25, 2011

What Happens When a Film about the Anti "Chicago Politician" Plays in Chicago

I had the opportunity to attend the screening of "The Undefeated" in Chicago on Saturday. The screening was announced late on Wednesday night and was shown on Saturday at noon, meaning that there was roughly 60 hours between the announcement and the screening itself. In spite of this, a lack of traditional advertising, and its liberal Chicago location, even known Palin critic, Roger Ebert, noted that the 200 seat theater was nearly full. The location of the theater was particular interesting, as it was situated just across the street from where Bill Maher would be “performing “later that evening and only a few blocks away from President Obama’s reelection headquarters, placing the theater in the symbolic midst of both Governor Palin’s personal attacks and her political opposition.

The reaction to the film has been a delight to see. As the Chicago Sun Times noted, even Chicago Democrats came away with a new found respect for Governor Palin:
Eddie Bryant, who attended the screening of “The Undefeated” at downtown’s Gene Siskel Film Center, is an African-American and Chicago Democrat. The retired 67-year-old Union Pacific employee said he was surprised to find he actually likes Palin.

“I came because my friend is always talking about Sarah Palin. People say this lady is brainless. She’s not only smart, but she’s a clean-government person. I gained respect for her,” Bryant said.

Roger Ebert, known for tweeting and writing rather hateful comments about Governor Palin, wrote a review that was relatively mild by the standards of any harsh critic of Governor Palin. If anything, the most revealing aspect of Ebert’s review is his inability to understand the difference between conservatives and Republicans. Yes, Mr.Ebert, sometimes the protagonist and the antagonists are on the same team.

Ebert also noted that the audience was attentive and began cheering when a clip from Rick Santelli’s now famous “rant” on the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange was played. Applause erupted about a half a dozen times throughout the film particularly when memorable lines from Governor Palin’s speeches were shown. All in all, a very receptive audience in Chicago. Stephen Bannon engaged in a nice question and answer session with attendees following the film.

From my personal perspective, I had the opportunity to see a rough cut a few weeks ago, but seeing the finished version with nearly two hundred other individuals in a theater is completely different than watching it on your couch in front of a 20 inch TV screen. The spirit of The Undefeated showed throughout the film. Governor Palin took on the oil companies and won. She took on the political establishment and won. She took on corruption and won. It was not only her accomplishments that make the title “The Undefeated”, but the attitude which Governor Palin and the Tea Party movement carry themselves. Though I do not want to give away too much, I have to say that the final several minutes of the film provide a cinematic crescendo to the movement of the film with great commentary about Governor Palin, the political establishment, and the Tea Party from Andrew Breitbart, Tammy Bruce, Sonnie Johnson, Mark Levin and others.

Organize4Palin’s Illinois group and Students4Palin were at the screening handing out palm cards and signing people up with Organize4Palin before and after the film. Below are a few volunteers still ready for action, just after most attendees had been seated:

One of the individuals who signed up with Organize4Palin simply identified herself as “Chloe’s Mama Grizzly”. She had come up from Marion, Illinois—more than four and a half hours from Chicago. She spoke to me about her own personal story about an overreaching government and their neglect of parent’s rights. Her experience and the example of Governor Palin had planted a seed in her to possibly run for elected office.

Governor Palin’s story of reform and fighting corruption is likely why many Illinoisans, including Democrats like the aforementioned Mr. Bryant, have respect for her. Illinois has a bipartisan corruption problem and a massive spending problem. Just as the country as a whole needs Sarah Palin as a leader, so does the state of Illinois. As I drove back to Springfield from Chicago on I-55, I passed the Exxon Mobil refinery in Joliet, and it reminded me of how the film highlighted Governor Palin’s firm stance against the oil giant in holding them accountable to their lease. Additionally, the sometimes harsh Illinois winters will benefit from the completion of the natural gas pipeline that Governor Palin championed which will bring North Slope natural gas to the Midwest. Just as the cinematic story of her achievements came to Illinois, so do her political achievements themselves as well.

Crossposted here and here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Governor Palin's Record on Jobs Beats the GOP Field

C4p commenter, Steebo77, crunched the numbers and posted an excellent piece at Pennsylvanians for Palin about Governor Palin's record on jobs during her tenure compared to the tenures of Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Perry. Analyzing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, he shows how Governor Palin has a better record on jobs than any of the candidates or potential candidates. During her time as governor unemployment decreased more sharply compared to other "governor candidates" and greater job growth was seen:

During Sarah Palin’s governorship (December 2006 – July 2009)
· Alaska ranked 2nd in the nation for job growth.
· Alaska ranked 3rd in the nation for change in the unemployment rate
relative to the national average.

During Jon Huntsman’s governorship (January 2005 – August 2009)
· Utah ranked 4th in the nation for job growth.
· Utah ranked 12th in the nation for change in the unemployment rate
relative to the national average.

During Rick Perry’s governorship (December 2000 – May 2011)
· Texas ranked 4th in the nation for job growth.
· Texas ranked 23rd in the nation for change in the unemployment rate
relative to the national average.

During Tim Pawlenty’s governorship (January 2003 – January 2011)
· Minnesota ranked 33rd in the nation for job growth.
· Minnesota ranked 17th in the nation for change in the unemployment rate
relative to the national average.

During Mitt Romney’s governorship (January 2003 – January 2007)
· Massachusetts ranked 47th in the nation for job growth.
· Massachusetts ranked 34th in the nation for change in the unemployment
rate relative to the national average.

Full data set:

For more great charts and information about Governor Palin's job record on job creation, see the full piece here.

The economy as a whole will be a key point of discussion as the primary season ramps up and during the general election. Despite President Obama's claim that the "stimulus" package would mean that the unemployment rate would not go above 8%, right now the unemployment rate sits at 9.2%. When the stimulus was signed into law, the unemployment rate was 8.2%. It has not gone below 8.6% since then and actually went over 10% in October of 2009.

Liberals argue that government can create jobs, while conservatives argue that the government cannot jobs, it can only provide the conditions for jobs to be created. That is why Governor Palin has been a strong advocate for decreased regulation and a vocal critic of cap and tax and raising corporate and other business related taxes. Her record also shows that under her leadership, the proper conditions for a thriving job market can be created. A report on ACES, the oil tax structure passed by Governor Palin in 2007, showed that 2007-2009 yielded state record highs each year for jobs in the oil industry. An analysis of by the Tax Foundation showed that Alaska moved up two spots from number 4 to number 2 on the list of the most business tax friendly states.

Crossposted here and here.

Once again, the boys can't hold a candle to the lady.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sarah Palin--Lobbyist for the American People

Today marks the one year anniversary of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Financial “Reform” bill which was supposedly intended to reform Wall Street and the big lending agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but it instead did the opposite. It has paved the way to strengthen government tied lending agencies and stifle private lending agencies. The National Review reports:
Yet Fannie and Freddie are bigger than ever, securitizing nine out of ten home mortgages and receiving unlimited guarantees from the taxpayer, thanks to the Obama administration’s Christmas Eve bailout of 2009. And one provision of Dodd-Frank has not only slowed the momentum of reforming the GSEs, but threatens to make them even bigger.

Dodd-Frank’s rules on “qualified residential mortgages” — as currently proposed in a joint regulation by banking agencies, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Securities and Exchange Commission — aggrandize the GSEs by putting shackles on their private-sector competitors. The regulation sets overly strict rules for down payments for mortgages to be securitized, but then exempts from these requirements any home loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration or purchased by Fannie or Freddie.


The administration also closed the door on the option of creating any exemption for private mortgage insurers if they create models to reduce risk, as some have proposed. In the Obama administration’s view, the answer is government backing for mortgages, period.
What the then Democratically controlled House and Senate and the President did was pass a bill that was a mix of corporatism and crony capitalism. However, as with anything done by a government at any level—local, state, or federal—an additional issue is how the bill was negotiated and passed, not just what was in the legislation itself. In Spring of 2010 in the midst of the financial “reform” bill legislation discussions, Governor Palin wrote a Facebook post criticizing the negotiation process:
The current debate over financial reform demonstrates what happens when political leaders react to a crisis with a raft of new regulations. First off, the people involved in writing government regulations are often lobbyists from the very industry that the new laws are supposed to regulate, and that’s been the case here. It should surprise no one that financial lobbyists are flocking to DC this week. Of course, the big players who can afford lobbyists work the regulations in their favor, while their smaller competitors are left out in the cold. The result here are regulations that institutionalize the “too big to fail” mentality.

Moreover, the financial reform bill gives regulators the power to pick winners and losers, institutionalizing their ability to decide “which firms to rescue or close, and which creditors to reward and how.” Does anyone doubt that firms with the most lobbyists and the biggest campaign donations will be the ones who get seats in the lifeboat? The president is trying to convince us that he’s taking on the Wall Street “fat cats,” but firms like Goldman Sachs are happy with federal regulation because, as one of their lobbyists recently stated, “We partner with regulators.”

They seem to have a nice relationship with the White House too. Goldman showered nearly a million dollars in campaign contributions on candidate Obama. In fact, J.P. Freire notes that President Obama received about seven times more money from Goldman than President Bush received from Enron. Of course, it’s not just the donations; it’s the revolving door. You’ll find the name Goldman Sachs on many an Obama administration résumé, including Rahm Emanuel’s and Tim Geithner’s chiefs of staff.

Between lobbying efforts and campaign funding, it seems that too often the government allows itself to be beholden to special interest groups and only certain institutions, and, thus, legislation is often crafted to benefited favored institutions, rather than the American people. This is a bipartisan problem. In fact, it is interesting to note that in the last three months, Governor Romney received far more campaign funds from Goldman Sachs employees than even President Obama. Romney has also accepted more than half a million dollars in campaign funding from lobbyists during that period of time. Additionally, in 1994, Romney’s Bain Capital actually has partnered with Goldman Sachs in purchasing Dade International, a medical diagnostics firm. In doing so, 1,600 Dade employees were laid off between 1994 and 1999, but Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs would later cash in selling back their shares to Dade for more than $350 million. So when Mitt Romney tries to tout his job creating skills as a businessman, it should be noted that he has also destroyed jobs while partnering with a company that would later give him loads of campaign money.

A May piece in the Washington Examiner noted, too, that Romney has been a big supporter of corporatism through government subsidies to business-- both during his time as governor and as he outlined in his book when he stated his support for energy subsidies. Contrast that with Governor Palin who recently said that she was opposed to all energy subsidies, favoring a free market, not government guided approach to the economy.

Additionally, as she noted in her book, Going Rogue, turned away campaign contributions that would be perceived as a conflict of interest and her 2007 ethics reform bill made it a crime for Alaskans to trade votes for campaign contributions. She also noted in the aforementioned Facebook post:
We need to be on our guard against such crony capitalism. We fought against distortion of the market in Alaska when we confronted “Big Oil,” or more specifically some of the players in the industry and in political office, who were taking the 49th state for a ride. My administration challenged lax rules that seemed to allow corruption, and we even challenged the largest corporation in the world at the time for not abiding by provisions in contracts it held with the state. When it came time to craft a plan for a natural gas pipeline, we insisted on transparency and a level playing field to ensure fair competition. Our reforms helped reduce politicians’ ability to play favorites and helped clean up corruption. We set up stricter oversight offices and ushered through a bi-partisan ethics reform bill. Far from being against necessary reform, I embrace it.

Commonsense conservatives acknowledge the need for financial reform and believe that government can play an appropriate role in leveling the playing field and protecting “the dynamism of American capitalism without neglecting the government’s responsibility to protect the American public.” We’re listening closely to the reform discussion in Washington, and we know that government should not burden the market with unnecessary bureaucracy and distorted incentives, nor make a dangerous “too-big-to-fail” mentality the law of the land.

As already noted, Governor Palin passed major ethics reform during her tenure. ACES, the oil tax structure she signed into law, revamped the previous legislation which favored predecessor’s cronies. AGIA, the natural gas pipeline project, was also negotiated and passed in a transparent manner and allowed all potential energy developers to submit their proposals. She has consistently fought against crony capitalism and corruption while advocating for competition and free market principles. One of Governor Palin’s greatest strengths lies in her consistency. This is what the Establishment in both parties fear. Her likely candidacy is a threat to the crony capitalism and corporatism that has become part of the political scene in Washington for too long. Whether it is campaign contributions, energy subsidies, Obamacare waivers to favored districts or states, preferential treatment of unions, or handcuffing the private sector, all of these would be fought against in a Palin administration. No other candidate or potential candidate can say they have fought against these types of unethical practices and won. That’s why it’s time to put a Lobbyist for the American people, not the large financial institutions or energy companies, in the White House.

Crossposted here, here, and here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

White House Budget Director Affirms Governor Palin's Assertion--President Obama Can't Prioritize Spending

Last week, Governor Palin appeared on Hannity in part to discuss the current debt ceiling debate. Governor Palin referenced President Obama’s comments earlier in the week where he said he was not sure that the federal government could pay Social Security benefits if the debt ceiling was not raised. She said:
We have the $200 billion coming into the federal government every month. It takes $35 billion --- I'm sorry, billion dollars -- we have $35 billion that we must use to service the debt, $50 billion that we must use to write those Social Security checks, $2.9 billion to pay for our military personnel, and then other essentials.

You prioritize. Our president essentially suggested the other day that he's not able to prioritize. As the chief executive of our nation, he cannot prioritize, and that's why he suggested that Social Security checks may not be written come August 2nd if that debt ceiling isn't increased.

No. You pay for the essentials first and then the non-essentials have to get cut. They have to wait.

Today, Obama administration budget director, Jacob Lew, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, affirmed Governor Palin’s assertion that the Obama administration is incapable of prioritizing spending. To CNN’s Candy Crowley’s credit, she pushed Lew on this issue of prioritization of funds in the situation that the debt ceiling is not raised, and Lew did not provide an answer:
CNN's Candy Crowley, HOST: "More immediately, you'd have to make some spending priorities -- payment priority decisions: Social Security benefits, and federal worker pay, and defense contractors. What are your priorities should the debt ceiling not be raised on the 2nd, when you have the bills that immediately come due? Social Security checks, federal worker pay, defense contractors?"

Jacob Lew, WH Budget Director: "Our plan is for Congress to do its work and the President to sign into law legislation that will make it possible for the United States as it always has, to keep its obligations. We'll be ready to deal with whatever happens. There is no plan other than meeting our obligations."

CROWLEY: "Surely you must have discussed priorities, though, we have to pay this?"

LEW: "The truth is this is a different situation the United States has ever faced. We've never gone into a situation where we didn't have enough money to pay our bills. We borrow 40 cents on a dollar right now. And if the time comes when we lose the ability to pay our bills, there will be a cash flow issue that is very real, and that's why it's critical that Congress take action before August 2nd."

CROWLEY: "Would you allow it to happen that those the Social Security checks would not go out? Would you allow that to happen?"

LEW: "As the President has indicated, it's not a question of what we allow and what we don't allow --"

CROWLEY: "But you get to decide priorities. There will be some money --"

LEW: "There will not be enough money to pay all the bills."

CROWLEY: "Of course not, that's why I'm talking about priorities."

LEW: "I think that once someone gets into the business of trying to ask about setting priorities it misses the question. Which is that it's unacceptable for the United States to be in a place whether it's Social Security recipients, or a soldier or somebody who is just owed money by the government can't be paid because we have not done our job."

The Obama administration has no reason to avoid the question, nor be unwilling to prioritize funding. The CATO Institute had a great piece up last week discussing the debt ceiling in which they re-emphasize Governor Palin’s point-- the debt ceiling does not need to be raised when spending is prioritized and proper cuts are made. In fact, according to the CATO Institute, if our federal government was willing to cut spending back to 2003 levels, the roughly $200 billion in tax revenues would be more than sufficient to cover Social Security, Medicare, military pay, and servicing the interest on the debt. Obviously, there is no need for Social Security and Medicare recipients, folks who have had money deducted from their checks for decades to go towards these programs, to not receive their payments, nor is there any need for soldiers, who defend our freedoms, to not receive their pay, regardless of what happens to the debt ceiling.

When Governor Palin speaks of prioritizing spending, she’s not playing the role of armchair executive. Governor Palin has prioritized spending and made cuts, even in times of surplus. Her prudent budgeting has been well documented, as she cut the Alaska budget 9.5% during her time as Governor. She vetoed hundreds of millions of dollars in unneeded spending, rejected stimulus funding that would not be effective in Alaska’s climate, and removed duplicated federal/state funding from her budgets. At the same time, Governor Palin’s tenure included implementing a Senior Benefits program for low income elders. She also increased funding for students with disabilities in rural schools and increased funding for special needs education. Overall, she increased special needs funding by 175%. The very things that Governor Palin called for are the very things that she has done during her political career. She prioritized and budgeted accordingly—cutting unneeded spending and providing funding for people who needed it most. How much more are such prioritizations and cuts needed in harder economic times?

Crossposted here, here, and here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

If Ignorance Is Bliss, Anthony Kaufman Must Be Pretty Happy!

Film Journalist and Critic, Anthony Kaufman, interviewed “The Undefeated” producer, Steve Bannon, earlier this week in a piece that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Kaufman focused his questions on Bannon’s background, filmmaking influences, and what Kaufman perceived to be omission in the film. Following this article, Kaufman wrote a post at the film blog, Indiewire, expounding on the aforementioned perceived omissions and doubling down on his ignorance with an attack on Sonnie Johnson, who appeared in the film.

One of Kaufman’s complaints in his blog piece has to do with the amount of policy discussed in the film:
It’s this litany of accomplishments that really bogs the film down, and Bannon admits that he’s taking a risk with a 45-minute second act that is essentially about economic issues and energy policy. Not exactly exciting stuff.

Well, gee, Anthony. What were you expecting? A teen comedy where Governor Palin stars alongside Lindsey Lohan or perhaps a sitcom where she play opposite Alec Baldwin? Governor Palin is not Tina Fey. She is an accomplished, intelligent leader who set Alaska on solid economic footing and sought to optimize the development of Alaska’s vast natural resources. This is what Bannon focused on. This is the Sarah Palin that much of America does not yet know.

Kaufman takes issue with some perceived omissions in the film and builds a few strawmen in the process tying into his complaints about the accomplishments the film focuses on. He writes:
If you do some digging, any number of questions could also be leveled against Palin’s “accomplishments” and “meteoric rise” as a small-town mayor and governor of Alaska. I won’t bore you with all the details—although the film does—but suffice it to say that the movie, unsurprisingly, doesn’t tell the whole story about the Matanuska Diary (sic) or the Alaska Pipeline Project. It’s not hard to find out more; just check out the Wikipedia entry on the ‘governorship of Sarah Palin.’

In his WSJ interview with Steve Bannon, Kaufman asked questions about the dairy and the pipeline project as shown below:
I realize you need to make choices as a documentary filmmaker. But I also wanted to ask you about the MatMaid dairy privatization, which is used in the film to show how she turned around the state. But there’s some crucial information left out. Like she initially wanted it to stay open, and gave it $600,000 to keep it open. That seemed a little misleading.


I guess that also explains why there’s no mention that the Alaska Pipeline Project is now an ExxonMobil project, not just TransCanada.

One of the things Bannon highlights in the film is how Governor Palin privatized an Alaskan dairy that had been government owned for many years. In spite of what he claims, Governor Palin did not want the dairy to remain open, as shown by the Palin emails the mainstream media poured over looking for non-existent skeletons. This email from Governor Palin shows that she indeed did want to privatize the dairy (emphasis mine):
Dairy farmers were told their last day to deliver milk is June 27th. The state just broke its word again if we were to roll over for the board ‘ s ridiculous vote to shut it down without proper notice…Farmers will be dumping their milk in the parking lot of DNR if we don’t step in and show the leadership they’re craving and deserving.

We need to regroup and get good business minds in there to figure out close – out plan in next yr or so, or re -vitalization plan for Ag.

Kaufman’s other claim that the Palin administration devoted funding to keeping the dairy open is false as well, as an email from one of Governor Palin’s staff states that those funds were to help with the “transition” from the dairy being government to privately owned, not to keep it publicly owned.

Next, Kaufman builds a pipeline strawman. Questioning Bannon on why he did not include ExxonMobil’s role in the pipeline as if Bannon was trying to cover up some scandal. I had the opportunity to view a rough cut of the film, and Bannon largely focused on her policy accomplishments prior to her selection as Senator McCain’s running mate. Had he included more about Governor Palin’s frugal budgeting, rejection of stimulus dollars, or ExxonMobil coming on board the pipeline project in June of 2009 that occurred following her return after the 2008 campaign, Kaufman would have been even more “bored” by how accomplished Governor Palin is. If he really wants to know, ExxonMobil joined on the project in June of 2009. The first open season for suppliers to bid was last summer and included “several major players”, and the most recent project update from April of this year shows that the number of Alaskan jobs provided by the project is up 46% and the number of providers involved is up 21% since the previous report in October of 2010. Thanks for asking! Oh, and that Wikipedia link Kaufman provides confirms much of what I shared.

Kaufman also takes issue with the fact that Troopergate (or tasergate) was not mentioned in the film, nor did the film show any evidence in the film that the attacks on Governor Palin came from the Obama or his team. Let’s take a look at that. When the legislative inquiry into the tasergate situation (accusations made that Governor Palin pressured one of her commissioners to fire a state trooper who was once married to her sister) was launched by then state senator Kim Elton, it was purported to be an “October surprise” (i.e. it was political). During the inquiry process, the Obama camp made contact with the troopers’ union of Governor Palin’s former brother-in-law. Ultimately, the legislative inquiry found her as abusing power, while the personnel board, who were all appointed by Governor Murkowski, no friend of Governor Palin, exonerated her. Following President Obama’s election, Kim Elton was given a cushy job in the Interior department. It should also be noted that Elton also allowed former chief of staff to then Senator Obama and once interim chief of staff to President Obama, Pete Rouse, to use Elton’s Alaskan address so that Rouse could vote in Alaska even after he hadn’t lived there for more than twenty years. Regarding the numerous attacks following Governor Palin’s return following the campaign, a good number of those were levied by Linda Kellen Biegel (aka Celtic Diva) who was Alaska’s official DNC blogger during the 2008 campaign. Does the Obama team seem to have a role in all of this based upon these facts?

Kaufman’s most absurd observation comes in an attack on Sonnie Johnson, who appeared in the film. Just as Adrienne recently highlighted, some individuals live in willful ignorance of the fact that people of every race support Governor Palin. Kaufman writes:
For me, the most shocking moment in “The Undefeated,” however, comes with the appearance of a black person about two-thirds of the way through. I’m not sure if it’s what Bannon had in mind when he wanted to seize the audience’s attention, but the arrival of black conservative female activist Sonnie Johnson made me realize just how white everyone appears to be, in both Palin’s Alaska and Bannon’s Tea Party.

I’ll allow Ms. Johnson to respond to this absurd and ignorant charge herself:
I was able to meet Gov. Palin in Pella, IA for the premiere of “The Undefeated”. One of the first things she said to me was, “are you ready for all the hate that will come your way for being associated with me”. I told her, “I’ve got Palin in my blood”. I wish you would’ve known that little fact before you would downgrade me to the token black in your limited view of the Tea Party. I am no one’s token. Nor am I a punchline of what you think is a bad joke. If seeing me in the film was such a shock to your cerebral, then why didn’t you grow a sack and interview me yourself? Or is Breitbart right and your lack of a set is shown in your need to hide behind a blogpost. Are you a Enuch? (sic) …

If you want to know how Black I am, I dare you interview me yourself. Just tell me when and where. I’ll come to you. It would be my pleasure. Until then be grateful that, temporarily, you still have Obamacare. If my appearance was a shock to you, then just wait until our voices are really heard.
Kaufman may seem himself credentialed, as a film journalist and critic, to make ignorant projections at black conservatives or to claim scandal or incomplete fact when the facts are there. However, to quote another black conservative, Thomas Sowell, “credentialed ignorance is still ignorance”.

Crossposted here, here, and here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Congressional Democrats Agree with Governor Palin in Opposition of "Death Panels"

It looks like some Congressional Democrats have finally begun to listen to what Governor Palin has been saying the past two years when it comes to health care rationing and cost control by supposedly independent government boards. Seven Congressional Democrats have joined in co-sponsoring legislation that would repeal the Independent Payments Advisory Board. As Michelle Malkin writes:
A rising chorus of repeal-mongers, outraged at the Obama administration’s federal health care power grab, took over Washington this week. Nope, it’s not the tea party. It’s Democrats Against the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Yes, Democrats.


According to Politico, “New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, of the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, has zero interest in defending the board. ‘I’ve never supported it, and I would certainly be in favor of abolishing it.’” If that’s not clear enough, Pallone added that he’s “opposed to independent commissions or outside groups playing a role other than on a recommendatory basis.” Period.

Another House Democrat, Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania, is one of seven Democratic IPAB repeal co-sponsors and is scheduled to testify Wednesday at a second House hearing blasting the board. And former Democratic House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt channeled the tea party in a recent op-ed when he decried IPAB as “an unelected and unaccountable group whose sole charge is to reduce Medicare spending based on an arbitrary target growth rate.”

Over the past two years, Governor Palin has been a consistent voice of opposition against such panels or boards who may play a role in health care decision making that would ultimately lead to rationing of care. In August of 2009, she warned against rationing of care by an unelected "death panel":
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

In September of 2009, Governor Palin wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal warning of the government overreach of such a panel:
Now look at one way Mr. Obama wants to eliminate inefficiency and waste: He's asked Congress to create an Independent Medicare Advisory Council—an unelected, largely unaccountable group of experts charged with containing Medicare costs. In an interview with the New York Times in April, the president suggested that such a group, working outside of "normal political channels," should guide decisions regarding that "huge driver of cost . . . the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives . . . ."

Given such statements, is it any wonder that many of the sick and elderly are concerned that the Democrats' proposals will ultimately lead to rationing of their health care by—dare I say it—death panels? Establishment voices dismissed that phrase, but it rang true for many Americans. Working through "normal political channels," they made themselves heard, and as a result Congress will likely reject a wrong-headed proposal to authorize end-of-life counseling in this cost-cutting context. But the fact remains that the Democrats' proposals would still empower unelected bureaucrats to make decisions affecting life or death health-care matters. Such government overreaching is what we've come to expect from this administration.

Likely largely due to Governor Palin's warning, the End of Life counseling provision in the health care reform bill was dropped in the summer of 2009. Additionally, in the final version of the Obamacare bill, the advisory board was re-named the Independent Payments Advisory Board (IPAB). This board is made up of 15 individuals appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, which hardly makes them independent. If anything, the only thing they are independent of is accountability to the electorate. A policy analyst for the Independent Women's Foundation writes of IPAB at Townhall:
Each year, the CMS director will submit to IPAB the per-capita growth rate in Medicare and the target per-capita growth rate. Undoubtedly, as health care costs continue on their upward spiral (fueled by government regulations), the growth rate will be higher than the target rate. The mission of IPAB will be to make the two rates match, by drafting a proposal for changes to the Medicare program. This proposal will become law unless Congress, by supermajority in both houses, votes to stop the proposal and comes up with its own plan to match IPAB’s savings.

That's right. In approving IPAB by voting for Obamacare, Congress essentially ceded their power to a board of unelected bureaucrats as an attempt to control health care costs by way of rationing. However, as Governor Palin referenced in her "death panel" Facebook post, this does not control costs, it only means that the federal government is refusing to the pay the cost. There is no doubt that this sort of backwards thinking by those who support such boards contributed to Governor Palin's support for Congressman Paul Ryan's roadmap, as Governor Palin wrote this past December:
It [President Obama’s deficit commission] also implicitly endorses the use of "death panel"-like rationing by way of the new Independent Payments Advisory Board—making bureaucrats, not medical professionals, the ultimate arbiters of what types of treatment will (and especially will not) be reimbursed under Medicare.


On health care, it [Congressman Ryan’s Roadmap] would replace ObamaCare with a new system in which people are given greater control over their own health-care spending. It achieves this partly through creating medical savings accounts and a new health-care tax credit—the only tax credit that would be left in a radically simplified new income tax system that people can opt into if they wish

Here is Congressman Paul Ryan discussing IPAB's overreach of bureaucratic power, price controls, lack of choice, and health care rationing--the very things Governor Palin has also objected to-- yesterday at the House Budget Committee meeting:

In Governor Palin's objection to rationing, health care panels, she has shown her consistent conservatism on two levels--sanctity of life and smaller government. In her objection to "death panels", she had shown that the concept of sanctity of life not only applies to opposition to abortion, but also applies to ensuring that life is valued after one is born for seniors and those with special needs, regardless of what Obama administration health care advisers like Ezekiel Emmanuel deem appropriate via what they call "distributive justice". Governor Palin also has stood firmly against increased federal power in making health care decisions.The Obama administration should not be engaging in continuing twisting of the branches of government where executive branch boards are undertaking the role of Congress in managing Medicare funds, nor the role of patients and doctors in managing one's health care. Just as there should not be redistribution of wealth, there should not be redistribution of health as well. It is high time the Democrats realize this too.

Crossposted here, here, and here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Call to Action--Boots on the Ground and Fingers on the Keyboard

In Governor Palin’s most recent eviscerating Facebook post, she said, “ [r]eal hope comes from realizing how God has blessed our exceptional nation, and then doing something about it”. What an optimistic challenge to us! After we have been subject to that “hopey changey stuff” for the past two and a half years, it’s time to continue to recognize where our real hope comes from—God and the extraordinary way He has blessed this nation. You may be thinking, “what can I do, as an ordinary barbarian or unruly peasant, to make a difference?” The revolution that founded this nation was fought by men and women who had different talents and different ways of contributing to the movement. Thomas Jefferson was not a great orator, but he could put quill to paper to write one of the greatest documents known to man—the Declaration of Independence. During the War for Independence, women such as Molly Pitcher (one of my personal favorites), carried water to soldiers in the Battle of Monmouth and even reportedly took control of one of the cannons when her husband fell victim to heat stroke. Benjamin Franklin was 81 during the Constitutional Convention and had to be carried in a chair to the convention due to his poor health and advanced age, but he contributed mightily to the blueprint of our nation’s government. Suffice it to say, people with various talents and flaws and in different stations in life contributed to the revolutionary founding of our country. What can that say for our efforts to assist in the fundamental restoration of our nation?

Over recent months and recent weeks we have discussed many ways to assist in efforts to support Governor Palin and her message. One key way that you can do this is to join Organize4Palin. On national, state, and local levels, Organize4Palin is acting as a great “tundraroots” way to support Governor Palin. Please do sign up, and see how you can best contribute to efforts nationally and within your state. As CharterOakie mentioned yesterday, you can contribute financially to efforts in the nation’s earliest primary state of Iowa where there are volunteers working tireless hours and sacrificing much to lay groundwork for a potential Palin campaign for the Presidency. As Organize4Palin volunteers have spearheaded, you can join in Voluteering4Palin’s efforts to bring people to see “The Undefeated”—a movie event that can both serve to set the record straight on Governor Palin and to empower the grassroots conservative movement. As Nicole recently mentioned, you can write letters to your local paper to encourage people to see “The Undefeated”.

The call to be boots on the ground extends further though. In addition to being boots on the ground, we can be fingers at a keyboard. Not too long ago, Tammy Bruce declared that Palin supporters should ensure that there should be no more free shots on Governor Palin, meaning if the media or another politician misrepresents or attacks the Governor, we should call them out and respond. Most days with the media it seems that we’re living in PeeWee’s Playhouse and “Sarah Palin” are the perpetual secret words of the day. If you are unfamiliar with the reference see here. Following Governor Palin’s recent Newsweek article and Facebook post, stories ranged from her challenge to Speaker Boehner to not cave on debt ceiling talks to how the outfit she wore on the cover of Newsweek supposedly made her unpresidential to how a photo in the Newsweek article taken in a field of flowers was a supposed signal to supporters that she was not running for President. Many of us visit Palin friendly blogs and comment there, but as some are doing already, we have the opportunity to visit main stream media sites and comment there. Let us change the dialogue and re-direct the narrative. Many open minded individuals visit news sites in search of just that—the news. They may not be the ones who comment on such stories, but they may read the comments. Well reasoned and supported comments may change the mind of the skeptics and plant a seed in the open minded. If an article misrepresents her record, correct them. If an article correctly states her position, highlight her boldness and consistency. If an article launches an unsubstantiated attack, call them out. There are several resources you can reference to arm yourselves with the facts. Organize4Palin has a page that outlines her stance on the issues and her record on many of these issues. US4Palin has an extensive collection of links regarding her accomplishments as Governor and throughout her political career. Connecticut for Sarah Palin has categorized her Facebook posts by policy topic. Commenting on articles often require a innocuous registration process, so jump in and get the word. Visit the sites of the general mainstream media news channels, the online news sites, political sites, the Republican and conservative sites. ABC, FoxNews, CNN, The Hill, the National Review, the Weekly Standard—whatever it may be. We have the greatest example of setting the media straight and get the truth out right in front of us—Governor Palin herself.

Whether your talents, funds, or time allows you to get involved with Organize4Palin, assist in encouraging people to see “The Undefeated” , donating money to these efforts, commenting on articles online, or doing all of above, we have the opportunity to contribute to the fundamental restoration of the country. The future of this country lies not in the Establishment, but in the grassroots—boots on the ground, fingers on the keyboard.

Crossposted here and here.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"The Undefeated" and the Volunteering4Palin

Georgia Organize4Palin volunteer, Rob Cunningham, has written a great piece at the American Thinker encouraging people to see “The Undefeated”, not only to get the truth about Governor Palin’s record, but because it empowers the grassroots movement as well. He writes in part:
During this anniversary month that marks America’s independence, and inspired by a personal sense of patriotism, I implore every freedom loving American to see Stephen K. Bannon’s documentary on the life and career of Sarah Palin. And furthermore, every conservative, Tea Party activist, free-market capitalist, persons of faith or no-faith, and all influential leaders, regardless of whom their preferred 2012 presidential candidate might actually be, should leverage all their talents, skills, resources and creativity to ensure the maximum number of people experience this movie in public theaters.

Stay with me on this, please.

Why do I make this claim? The simple clarity and raw truth offered in “The Undefeated” stands at the ready to educate tens of millions of citizens, perhaps influencing an entire generation of voters. This documentary deeply connects, on both an intellectual and emotional level, and stirs one’s very soul. This film brilliantly serves as a modern-day case study, and clearly illustrates how our agenda-driven news media, entertainment industry and political power brokers brazenly operate, in plain view and with cold-blooded intentionality, in a tireless attempt to destroy a very decent fellow citizen. When presented with basic facts, Americans will recoil in disgust.

If principled republicans, tea-partiers and libertarians choose to no longer remain silent, misinformed or “neutral” while one of our strongest and most influential “movement conservatives” is repeatedly and falsely attacked, we will empower every single person and candidate within our movement.


In no manner whatsoever is it being suggested that one’s movie attendance equates to support for, or an endorsement of, Sarah Palin. However, the entire conservative movement will become dramatically empowered, in direct proportion to, the actual number of people that witness this film. This movie delivers a liberating education and razor sharp awareness of the methods used both by the media and establishment politicians from the left and the right. It will awaken the senses for those previously unconvinced of exactly how the modern day “progressive” movement comfortably uses lies, ridicule, false narratives and intellectual laziness to mislead their audiences. This movie delivers a massive body blow to the media, it dilutes the effectiveness of liberal scare tactics and will vaccinate millions against infection from traditional “news” reporting. By powerfully highlighting the media’s methods of distortion, one of the most powerful weapons used against all conservatives, is damaged.

“The Undefeated” will be released the week of July 15th through July 21st at AMC theatres in 10 major US cities. A positive reception at each of these theaters is critical to ensuring a much larger national audience benefits from this film. Those interested can purchase tickets online at

In one July week, our entire conservative movement can become enormously stronger if we work together and “get out the viewers.” Invite a few friends, visit with your neighbors or organize a youth group. By making a concerted effort to better educate ourselves and our fellow citizens, the best and brightest conservative leaders across our nation will benefit.

Cunningham has also put together the excellent and independent Volunteering4Palin project to implement the strategy that he discusses in his article. He and other Organize4Palin volunteers in Georgia and South Carolina have been working on this project, and all are encouraged to join them in getting involved in these efforts. Please check out the site here to see how you can be participate in this effort to not only set the record straight on Governor Palin's record, but to also help the grassroots remain empowered through this film. Please watch the video below that Cunningham and his wife have put together discussing how you can get involved in getting the word out about the film and inviting people to attend it in theaters throughout the country.

Again, please visit the Volunteering4Palin site to get involved.

Crossposted here.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sarah Palin-- Two Years on the Road Less Traveled

Today marks the two year anniversary of Governor Palin's announcement of her resignation. The bulk of this post was originally posted in July of 2010 a year following Governor Palin stepping aside from the Governor's office. Additional commentary is included following the blocked quote portion.
It is July 3th, 2010. Governor Palin is in Wasilla with her family, having just returned from a fishing trip in Dillingham. She has just been informed that a fortieth frivolous ethics complaint has been filed against her for talking with reporters at an Anchorage 5K race about her best selling book that had been released just in the Spring. Things are still moving forward with the transcontinental gas pipeline, and after a fierce battle with the obstructionist Alaska legislature, a prudent FY2011 budget has been passed.

On the national political front, President Obama and Vice President Biden are hitting up the links (again) trying to decide if the administration should meet with the head of BP more than 3 months following a massive oil spill in the Gulf. The administration had passed its first major piece of “reform” legislation –a government take over of health care–during the Fall of 2009 in spite of the protest of a sincere, bold, but somewhat faceless group of Tea Party Patriots. President Obama is on near cruise control with his agenda, with few prominent, outspoken, well known critics of his administration.

In June, Tom Campbell defeated Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore for the GOP nod in Califorina. Nikki Haley had recently returned to the South Carolina legislature as an up-and-coming reformer who had a strong showing in the primary for governor, but didn’t have quite enough to make it over the top.


Such may have been the visage of the Alaskan and American political scene had Governor Palin not stepped aside from the governor’s office and handed the reins over to Governor Parnell a year ago today. As Governor Palin stated when she made that famous, surprising announcement on July 3, 2009, she had no intention of running for a second term, nor did she want to waste countless hours of staff time and hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer monies fighting the ridiculousness of unfounded lawsuits. So she did what many considered a career-ending move; she resigned. Governor Palin no longer wanted to be relegated to spending the majority of her time battling dozens of baseless, frivolous ethics charges, which were not productive for her state. She instead knew she could fight for Alaskans and Americans outside of office, and she knew the man who would fill her place would govern with the same agenda as she had.

When Governor Palin announced she was stepping aside from the governor’s office on on July 3, 2009, she said:
Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I’ve been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations – such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters’ questions.

Every one – all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We’ve won! But it hasn’t been cheap – the State has wasted THOUSANDS of hours of YOUR time and shelled out some two million of YOUR dollars to respond to “opposition research” – that’s money NOT going to fund teachers or troopers – or safer roads. And this political absurdity, the “politics of personal destruction” … Todd and I are looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn’t cost them a dime so they’re not going to stop draining public resources – spending other peoples’ money in their game


My choice is to take a stand and effect change – not hit our heads against the wall and watch valuable state time and money, millions of your dollars, go down the drain in this new environment. Rather, we know we can effect positive change outside government at this moment in time, on another scale, and actually make a difference for our priorities – and so we will, for Alaskans and for Americans.

A year later, Governor Palin’s message and intentions have not changed. In an interview with the Daily Caller last week, she said:
The media incentivized political opponents to file false ethics charges and expensive, wasteful, frivolous lawsuits against me, my family and my staff, in an obvious attempt to destroy us.

I said, ‘Enough. Political adversaries and their political friends in the media will not destroy my State, my administration, nor my family. Enough.’ I knew if I didn’t play their game any longer, they could not win. I would not retreat, I would instead reload, and I would fight for what is right from a different plane.

Governor Palin knew that for the sake of her state, her country, her family, and her political voice, it would be best if she stepped aside from the governorship. She said it in July of 2009, and she said it in July of 2010. Her tune has not changed. It is hard to delve into alternative history, but one has to wonder how the political landscape would appear if Sarah Palin were still governor of Alaska. I don’t think it would be too far from the aforementioned scenario. She would have made progress on the pipeline (as is being done anyway) and would have continued to battle with legislators to ensure a modest budget was passed and state sovereignty was upheld. President Obama would be gliding through his first term tone deaf to the voices of the American people. The Tea Party movement would still be strong and vocal, but it would not have such a powerful voice, nor widespread coverage, had Governor Palin remained in office. The health care reform bill, stymied enormously by two words and a pair of quotation marks from the Governor, would likely have passed in the Fall of 2009, rather than the Spring of 2010. Aside from Governor Palin, there have been few voices that have consistently, boldly, and unabashedly spoken against the overreach and tone deafness of the federal government, the reckless spending, the negative impact of cap and tax, themismanagement of the oil spill, and the enemy-centric foreign policy of the Obama administration. Had Sarah Palin remained governor of Alaska, she could not be speaking in such a way without an ethics complaint being levied against her. Stepping aside from office allowed her to speak more boldly and fearlessly.

She likely could not have been a vocal supporter of candidates for office without outcries and ethics complaints from the anklebiters, and no one knows about the power of a Palin endorsement better than two fellow mama grizzlies — Carly Fiorina and Nikki Haley. Both of these women are definitely strong candidates in their own right, but without the endorsement of Governor Palin they may not have received the necessary visibility and campaign funding to put them over the top. The same could be said of other candidates, such as Susana Martinez. Governor Palin’s endorsements are helping to pave the way for many Constitutional commonsense conservatives to victory in November.

When Governor Palin uttered the words “I never thought that I, nor anyone else, needs a title to do this — to make a difference, to help people” in her signature display of self-confident humility during her resignation speech, it was unknown just how powerful her voice and how widespread her influence would be. Sarah Palin, without the official title of current governor, has been a voice for everyday Americans, speaking against progressivism, standing for the principles of our Constitution, and supporting those candidates who stand for those conservative principles. The anklebiters and the Left may have thought temporarily that they had won a great victory, but time has most definitely proven otherwise. Governor Palin is not a conventional politician; she is an unconventional leader. As C4P noted following her resignation announcement, Robert Frost’s words were true then, and they are true now:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

As Governor Palin has continued on this road less traveled for a second year, she has achieved more for America--even in spite the media’s continued attacks. In a Christmas Facebook post, Governor Palin mentioned that she hoped people in 2011 would grasp the promise found in II Timothy 1:7 in the Bible where the apostle Paul writes, [f]or the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” As a woman of faith, that Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline, is one she carried herself with when the mainstream media essentially accused her of murder following the horrific shootings in Tucson, Arizona, and she responded by focusing on the enduring strength of Americans. That same Spirit is the one she carried herself with when the media attempted to build new Palin closets in a vain search to find non-existent skeletons when they rifled through thousands of her emails only to find, to their disappointment, that she was a competent, engaged governor.

In this last year she laid out a vision of a restoration of America, delineated a military doctrine, and described three key principles to put America back on the right track. From the Restoring Honor Rally last August to her thought provoking book, America by Heart, to her One Nation bus tour, Governor Palin has rallied Americans to remember the Founding principles and ideals upon which our nation was founded. This spring, she laid out a military doctrine calling for America’s interests to be protected and American military force to be well defined, powerful, and autonomous. In her extemporaneous, impromptu speech following the Iowa premiere of the Undefeated last week, Governor Palin laid out three key things needed for America—“responsible development of natural resources, letting job creators do what they do best, and getting back to those Judeo-Christian principles that our Founding documents were crafted upon”.

Her endorsements of candidates and legislation in the past year have spoken volumes. The 2010 primaries and general elections led to one of the biggest landslides in the House and brought forty-three members into the House and Senate and others into state offices including the first female governors of South Carolina, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Beyond that, she has stood beside two key governors in times of great contention in these two years. In Spring 2010, she stood beside Governor Brewer when Arizona passed an immigration law that other Republicans offered criticism for or only faint praise. This past spring, she stood with the Governor Walker and people in Wisconsin who wished to make their state financially sound and faced intense opposition. She was the first major national politician to support Congressman Ryan’s Roadmap to address entitlements and reduce deficit spending. As Tammy Bruce has noted, Governor Palin does not run from the fire, she runs to it to put it out.

Governor Palin has taken a stand on every major political issue, often doing so with great prescience and foresight. She questioned the Fed's decision to engage in a second round of quantitative easing, warning that it would cause inflation and higher energy prices, which it has. She has spoken out on a variety of foreign policy issues as well, from Iran's nuclear proliferation and lack of support for Democracy to concerns about the START nuclear treaty with Russia, to a strong stance with Israel and warning of the threat of an Egypt controlled by the Muslim brotherhood. She has given speeches to business leaders on Long Island and in India, spoken to various trade shows, pro life events, and tea parties. She has traveled to Israel and met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and traveled to Haiti to do some humanitarian work with Samaritan's Purse. Her road less traveled has taken her all across America and across the world, and Lord willing, it will lead her to a position held by only forty-four other individuals in America’s 235 year history.

Crossposted here, here, and here.