Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Virginia News Stand: December 10, 2008

The communications department had a "business trip" today in the northern reaches of the commonwealth — there are conservatives up there? — so we don't have much of a News Stand today. However, what I have found is good. So, herewith, with some comments by me, is today's News Stand:

News:

Group seeks more recorded votes (This is very interesting to note. Conservatives are split on the issue of recorded House of Delegates sub-committee votes. Some like the idea of killing of bills quickly and quietly, while others preach the good government/open, transparent government reform mantra. It cuts both ways: Neither side likes to go on the record when they can help it.) (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Election 2009: Governor's Race Is Wide Open In Virginia (Polling from Rasmussen shows it tight from the get-go. Also, interesting numbers on various issues, including that Virginians are not dying for a tax increase for transportation.) (Rasmussenreports.com)

Opinion:

The Democratic Culture Of Corruption (From Michelle Malkin. I've been waiting for someone to write about this, and I still may. By the way, she left off her list Eliot Spitzer — prostitution; Senators Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad — Countrywide loan scandal; Representative Robert Wexler, who had no home in the Florida district he represents until recently; and Representative Tim Mahoney — who tried to use government money to keep his mistress quiet; among others.) (GOPUSA.com)

The Friday Line: Ten Republicans To Watch (From Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post blog The Fix. He notes 10 Republican rising stars who may make it big nationally. Two are Virginians, House Republican Whip-Elect Eric Cantor, from the 7th Congressional District, and Attorney General Bob McDonnell, seeking the governor's mansion. Additional interesting picks are two governors Virginia conservatives like very much: South Carolina's Mark Sanford and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal. Those not on the list include Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.) (The Fix/WashingtonPost.com)

Editorial Comics:

"Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Bar Codes" (Steve Breen, Townhall.com)  

"Obama Prepares To Part The Red Sea" (Chuck Asay, Townhall.com)  

"Having Solved The Affordable Housing Problem Congress . . . " (Chuck Asay, Townhall.com)  

Let's Talk . . . About Talk And Experience

There's a lot of talk going on about  . . . talk. As well as experience. A Mainstream Media "reporter" (i.e., Obama advocate) I heard recently (and I'm sure she wasn't the only one) joined the debate over whether Senator Barack Obama was more qualified to be president than Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is to be vice president. She admitted that Senator Obama's resume was thin on experience and accomplishments but said that at least "Obama had been campaigning for two years talking about these issues."

Talk. That's all we need right now in Washington, D.C., is more talk. It's a wonder Chicago is called the "Windy City" when there are enough blowhards in D.C. to power the U.S.S. Nimitz. So Senator Obama is a good talker. That qualifies him to be Commander-In-Chief?

This reporter was trying to say, in code, "Obama is smarter than the hayseed from Alaska." It's the same elitism of the "bitter and clinging to their guns and religion" remarks as it is his ridicule of Joe The Plumber in a speech one day and dining on lobster and caviar the next at New York City's Waldorf Astoria. 

It's ironic that the bumper sticker slogan of Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate (and Obama supporter) Senator Creigh Deeds (D-25, Charlottesville) is "Deeds. Not Words."

I didn't think much of this as blog material, but then last week, Senator Gaffe — uh, Biden, that is — said that his running mate's inexperience will certainly cause as many as "five or six international incidents" that will "test" Obama. Then I saw this just a while ago and it all came together to drive home the point. Exactly who does have more experience, indeed. Take a watch. The music is appropriate and stirring.

  

Interview With Senator Sam Brownback, Part 2

Welcome to part two of our exclusive interview with United States Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), one of America's pro-life, pro-family, pro-traditional values leaders. In the first part, we got the senator's thoughts on how to win "red" states, the financial crisis, the Supreme Court and on Republican presidential candidate John McCain. In part two, we ask him about embryonic stem cell research, church leaders speaking out on public policy and politics, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (see new video), his friendship with Senator McCain and the pending new HHS medical provider conscience regulations. We hope you will enjoy part two and the entire interview. We are pleased to have brought it to you. Let us know what you think with your comments. 

familyfoundation.org: Senator McCain has supported embryonic stem cell research in the past. Catholic teaching opposes the destruction of embryos, which happens when the stem cells are extracted from them. Has his position on this made you uncomfortable at all in your support of him? Have new developments which make adult stem cells act as embryonic stem cells had an impact on his thinking? Also, since embryonic stem cell research has not yielded one medical breakthrough, while there have been dozens from adult stem cell research — how has all this affected Senator McCain's thinking on the subject, if at all?

Senator Brownback: I think with the new developments in stem cell research, we are reaching the days when embryonic stem cell research is rendered moot, and John McCain has repeatedly pointed out the successes in non-embryonic stem cell research.    

familyfoundation.org: Are the Catholic bishops correct in their outspokenness and in taking so bold a stand or should Church leaders of all faiths stay quiet on issues of governance? To what degree should Catholic and Christian voters look to their bishops and pastors for guidance in voting?

Senator Brownback: Church leaders should lead the Church. I leave it to their discretion how they choose to do that. 

familyfoundation.org: What did you think of the two presidential candidates' performances at Pastor Rick Warren's "Saddleback Forum"? What impressed and/or concerned you about some of their answers to Rev. Warren's questions?

Senator Brownback: I think John McCain proved, again, that he is the right candidate for values voters. Anyone watching the forum could see that John McCain will lead the country in the right direction. 

familyfoundation.org: How far did the selection of Governor Sarah Palin go toward bringing pro-life, pro-family voters back toward Senator McCain?

Senator Brownback:Governor Palin really energized the pro-life and pro-family base of the party. She has brought out huge crowds and has really amped up the excitement level. Governor Palin is a real-life example of values voters' ideals. She has a beautiful child with Down Syndrome, which is something to be celebrated. Eighty to 90 percent of women who find out their unborn baby may have Down Syndrome choose to end the pregnancy. Governor Palin has reminded us all that being pro-life and pro-family is something to be celebrated.     

familyfoundation.org: What did you know about her previously and what have you learned about her since that adds to your belief she'll make a great vice president?

Senator Brownback:Governor Palin is known as the most popular governor in America. And she brings critically important and historically relevant executive experience to the ticket. With 75 percent of this year's presidential and vice presidential candidates being male senators, it is remarkably valuable to have on the ticket a woman who has executive experience.    

familyfoundation.org: The Department of Health and Human Services is considering new rules on "Provider Conscience" regulations so medical professionals and hospitals who don't believe in abortion and other things contrary to their faith do not have to provide those services. What is the status of those proposals, do you think they will get approved and how will they be an improvement over the current rules? Does Senator McCain support these new proposed rules?

Senator Brownback: For more than thirty years, the letter and the spirit of federal law has required that medical providers not be discriminated against for refusing to perform abortions if they have moral or religious objections to abortion. The HHS regulations under consideration are intended to support this law against such discrimination. Like John McCain, I have defended conscience protection laws in the past. Medical workers should be free to choose to stay true to the Hippocratic Oath to "do no harm." 

familyfoundation.org: Senator Brownback, thank you very much for taking your valuable time to provide Virginians with your thoughts on these paramount issues concerning life and traditional values, when so many critical issues face Congress. We look forward to hearing from you again in the future.

Senator Brownback: Thank you, I enjoyed visiting with you. And for more information on John McCain, please go online to catholics.johnmccain.com or johnmccain.com/phonebank

Fun Facts For Today

Whether Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's experience is a real factor or not remains to be seen as she enters into the vice presidential debate Thursday night. Right now, the voters don't seem to mind. In fact, the last budget she administered is about $7.6 billion; the last budget administered by then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton when he ran for president was about $3.6 billion. So, does she have twice the practical experience he had in 1992? Certainly, the issues of energy independence are more complicated than Arkansas pre-K education. Former Virginia governor and current Richmond Mayor Doug Wilder has disparaged Governor Palin's experience. But then-Governor Wilder, in 1992, with only one year as governor under his belt, ran for the Democrat presidential nomination. Double standard, your honor?

But perhaps the most fun (and hypocrisy exposing) fact of all is, that while her critics ridicule the size of her state, her opponent, Senator Joe Biden, comes from lil' ol' Delaware, population 853,476 or less than the total population of metropolitan Richmond (Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover Counties, and Doug's domain) which has a combined population of about 888,399. So . . . Doug Wilder for president after all?

Has The Culture War's Decisive Battle Begun?

It has, according Herbert E. Meyer, who recently wrote a column entitled, "The Culture War's Decisive Battle has Begun," for The American Thinker (read it here). Meyer, who served President Ronald Reagan as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council, and who is the host and producer of the video The Siege of Western Civilization and author of How to Analyze Information, writes the nomination of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for vice president was the battle's shot across the bow. Meyer writes with clarity in defining the two sides in the culture war — "traditionalists" and "Left-Wing Liberals." He writes that the differences are so irreconcilable that we are experiencing a second Civil War and that in every war there is a decisive battle. That battle won't end the war, but it becomes the tide that changes the course of the war and decides its fate. For example, Gettysburg, he writes, during the Civil War, or Midway  during WWII (although, he must mean the Pacific theater; certainly D-Day was the turning point in Europe and perhaps for the entire war).

He then defines the two types of wars: Military ones, which are relatively short; and ideological wars, which can last decades, such as the Cold War. Such is America's culture war. He writes:

And there are long ideological wars, such as the Cold War, in which short bursts of fighting are separated by long periods of political maneuvering.  In these long ideological wars, the outcome isn't determined by firepower but by will. That's because the aggressor's objective isn't to kill the defenders, but to wear them down until they no longer have the courage and stamina to keep resisting.

The defenders win only when they stop merely resisting — in other words, trying just to not lose — and start playing offense. For example, by the late 1970s the Free World's will to resist the Soviet Union's endless challenges had nearly evaporated. Détente was just a palatable word for surrender. And then — unexpectedly and virtually at the same moment — three individuals most people had never before heard of exploded onto the scene and into power.  They were Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John-Paul II — none of whom, by the way, had any foreign policy experience before taking office. Their objective wasn't to "not lose" the Cold War, but rather to end it with victory for the Free World.  Together they threw the switch from playing defense to playing offense, stunning the Kremlin's over-confident leaders who believed that history was on their side. Within a decade, the Cold War was over and the Soviet Union had ceased to exist.

More than interesting, it is a profound observation. As much as John McCain is not perceived as a culture warrior by some Christian conservatives, maybe it took a Cold Warrior to understand what it takes to win an ideological war. McCain is one of the last still-in-office politicians to have been at the political forefront during the Cold War — certainly at its height. Two minor disagreements here: Ronald Reagan certainly was well known, for a variety of reasons, including a 1976 run for president and two terms as California governor, and who had met plenty of world leaders. John Paul II had plenty of "foreign policy experience" as it were: He had been fighting, ideologically, the Nazis and then Soviet communists inside the Iron Curtain his entire life. But as for his larger point, of leaders with a clear, unwavering vision of right and wrong, and the importance of defeating wrong, we agree.

He continues:

By choosing Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate — and by staking his own claim to the presidency on "Country First" more than on any specific policy initiative — John McCain has thrown the switch and put us Traditionalists onto the offense. By doing so he has unleashed the energy and the will to victory among Traditionalists that have been dormant for so long the Left-Wing Liberals mistakenly assumed we'd lost. And by taking the over-confident Left-Wing Liberals so completely by surprise, McCain has stunned them into revealing themselves for the vicious phonies that they are.

As a result, what started out as a typical campaign between Republicans and Democrats — each party trying to hold its base while attracting enough independent voters to win — has exploded into the Culture War's decisive battle.  

Commanding the Traditionalist armies is a war hero whose personal courage and patriotism have overwhelmed any disagreements within the coalition about specific policies and issues. His second-in-command is a pro-life hockey mom with genuine executive talent, star quality, and the most valuable asset of all in politics: a common touch. Commanding the Left-Wing Liberal armies is an elegant, eloquent cosmopolitan whose most striking talent is his ability to push past everyone else to the front of the line. His second-in-command is the U.S. Senate's leading plagiarist, whose only undeniable talent is his ability to use Senate confirmation hearings as a platform from which to trash honorable Republican appointees such as Bill Clark, Robert Bork, and Clarence Thomas.

Meyer's column certainly is clearly thought and crafted, with precise analysis. It's also, if not a call to arms to those long-since armed, it's a rallying cry not to lose, for a resurgency, to see through to victory that ultimate, war changing battle, and drive on to final victory. We encourage you to read it, then take action. It's not too late to engage the opponent.

If Value Voters Vote

Today in Washington, D.C., there is a meeting of the vast right wing conspiracy. Big surprise, The Family Foundation is in the midst. Although the left might prefer we were the only ones in the room, we are not. The Values Voter Summit hosted by the Family Research Council Action has drawn more than 2,000 people to the historic Washington Hilton. Speaking to this energized crowd is quite a line up of thinkers and doers including CNN host Lou Dobbs, Joe Gibbs, Newt Gingrich, Michael Medved, Stephen Baldwin, Alveda King, Michael Steele, Star Parker, Dr. Bill Bennett, Laura Ingram, Ben Stein, Chuck Colson and many more. 

Casual conversations with folks indicate that they really wish Governor Sarah Palin was joining us but they respect the fact that she is in Alaska deploying her son and since she just drew 23,000 people in Farfax this week, they'll cut her some slack. Michael Steele told us what he has told the media this past week, "I know Sarah Palin and you don't want to mess with Sarah Palin. She shoots moose, what do you think she is going to do to a donkey?" 

The leadership of all of the family policy councils around the country have been here much of the week pow-wowing about marriage amendments on the ballots in Ariz., Calif., and Fla., and much more. A smaller segment of the group is discussing not just issues, but tactics. In particular, a conclusion has been reached by those of us that aren't 50+ year old white men (no offense to those that are) that our movement has not yet grabbed the tools and terminology needed to reach the ever important 18-29 year old voting block. While we don't have all the solutions, I've heard that the first step is acknolwledging the problem. 

Lou Dobbs encouraged conservatives in the room to diversity our issues. Although his comments were aimed at the fiscal issues, closed door meetings have discussed not allowing the left to claim the issues of poverty and social justice. Indeed the greatest efforts toward giving every citizen a shot at the American dream are those that go straight to the root problem — solutions that secure and stablize a nuclear family. A bunch of brainiacs shared some embargoed research with a small group of us yesterday and it continues to be clear that if we want men, women and children to succeed in any way (financial, education, etc.), we must stop the out of wedlock births, cohabitation and divorce. If we want our young men to grow up and not end up on the street or in our prison system, they need their dads! That's not a moral opinion, its a social science fact. Clearly, we need to be a part of making sure we love our neighbor by making sure they know where their next meal comes from, but working to solve poverty runs so much deeper than a bunch of government programs. 

Interestingly, Dobbs acknowledged that FRC President Tony Perkins has been instrumental in his "conversation" to believing that values voters matter and need to have a voice in the public square. Dobbs hasn't always believed that way and said he was used to pursuading people to his point of view, but Tony turned the tables on him.

One thing is for sure, the energy level among values voters has received a monumental shot of adreneline with Sarah Palin joining the Republican ticket. These people are ready to go home across the nation and go to work. That impact will no doubt be felt election day.

   

Campbell Brown, Baby, Exposes Herself

We're sure most of you do not believe there's a left-wing media bias in Mainstream Media. Uh-huh, right! Did anyone catch former Richmonder Campbell Brown on CNN last night? (See transcript and video here.) She grilled John McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds over Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's foreign policy credentials and asked him to name one instance in which she commanded the Alaska National Guard. It turned out to be quite the donnybrook. It wasn't Bush 41 vs. Dan Rather all over again, but it was pretty intense. Bad enough, in the McCain camp's view, that the senator cancelled a live, previously scheduled interview for last night with Larry King. To be fair, it didn't help that Mr. Bounds was not all that competent.

But for those who do not think the mainstream media is biased, please explain this quote from Ms. Brown to Mr. Bounds as she ended the interview:

I appreciate you coming on and taking the time to have this debate (emphasis added). I think it's important. ... We're not beating you up here. We're not trying to.

Debate? Debate? Since when is a journalist supposed to debate a guest? Journalists are supposed to get information, not advance an opposing view. While it was clear Mr. Bounds did not have the answer to her question, he should have said he would research it and get back to her. In lieu of that, she should have prompted that from him and moved on to the next question. (Eventually, a slate.com writer confirmed Governor Palin's command experience and Brown announced it later during a panel discussion.) Instead, Ms. Brown was intent — repeating the question, in one form or another, six times with increasing agitation in her voice and body language — on nothing more than making political points as if she was the opposing camp's PR hack. 

If she wasn't trying to "beat him up" she certainly was trying to belittle him with this quote, sarcastic facial expressions and body language included:

All right. Tucker, I'm just going to give it to you, baby. We'll end it there. (Emphasis not added.)

"Baby"? Are you kidding me? "Baby"? Imagine if Bill O'Reilly called a Democrat spokeswoman that — there would be shrieks for his head by leftist feminists, sort of like when Barack Obama called a reporter "sweetie." Actually, that's not a good comparison since the hypocrites said nothing about it.

Speaking of Senator Obama and Ms. Brown: Does anyone credibly think she would press him, or one of his aides, with the same intensity in asking him to name just one significant accomplishment? The double standard is pretty clear. He's been running for president for two years and he can't name one and the media isn't interested. (By the way, speaking of Senator Obama and Fox News: How is Barack Obama going to negotiate with Iranian and Russian despots when he won't even talk to Fox News, despite his promise to O'Reilly?)

Some commentators are saying this is the year journalism ended. Some of us have considered it long gone. But if there was any doubt, last night at least one in the mainstream media — Campbell baby — exposed her true colors.

Would You Kill This Child?

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin gave birth to her fifth child, Trig Paxson Van Palin, on April 18. According to the 2-1 ruling earlier this week on Virginia's partial-birth abortion law by a three judge panel of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Governor Palin had every right to take the life of Trig in the final days of her pregnancy. You see, Trig has Down Syndrome. Considering that many of the late-term abortions that two members of the Fourth Circuit ruled to protect are performed when the child is diagnosed with health complications, Trig is lucky to be alive.

According to Governor Palin, "Trig is beautiful and already adored by us. We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives."

Prenatal testing alerted the Palin's to Trig's condition during the second trimester. At that point, the "procedure" done to "terminate the pregnancy" is called a "Standard Dilation and Evacuation (D&E). According to testimony given the Fourth Circuit's three judge panel, a "Standard D&E" abortion:

Is by far the most common method of pre-viability second trimester abortion, used approximately ninety-five percent of the time. In this procedure the doctor dilates the woman's cervix and uses suction and forceps to remove the fetus. The doctor also uses instruments to hold the vagina open and to gain access to the cervix and uterus. As the doctor uses forceps to pull the fetus out of the cervix during a D&E, friction usually causes parts of the fetus to break off or disarticulate. As a result of disarticulation the fetus is removed in pieces. Throughout the process, the fetus may show signs of life, such as a heartbeat, although disarticulation ultimately causes fetal demise.

However, if Trig's mom and dad had a difficult time deciding what to do, and waited until the final days of pregnancy (right up until the day of birth), and then decided to "terminate," the "procedure" used would have been an "intact D&E":

A doctor intending to perform an intact D&E uses certain methods, such as serially dilating the cervix or rotating the fetus as it is pulled out of the uterus, to increase the likelihood of intact delivery. In an intact D&E, as generally described, the fetal skull is typically too large to pass through the cervix, and the doctor compresses or collapses the skull to complete the abortion.

This is the procedure that just two judges yesterday decided is "Constitutional." 

We do not share these descriptions with you in an attempt to inflame passions. We do so to share them with you simply because many of you may not be aware of what is done to an unborn child in a second or third trimester abortion — many of which take place well after the moment of "viability." We also share them so that you understand that despite this graphic testimony, two judges still voted to allow the second procedure to go on!

We issued a statement the day of the Fourth Circuit's decision that said:

The fact that pro-abortion forces continue to defend the heinous act of partial-birth infanticide with such vigor reveals their extremism. It must be noted that the procedures being discussed, a "dilation and evacuation" abortion and an "intact D&E" both require the dismemberment of an unborn child past the known date of viability.

The vicious hate e-mails we have received as a result of interviews we've done with newspapers and television stations reveal an extremism that shocks even us, who are no strangers to vile and threatening letters from extremists. Pro-abortion forces, such as Planned Parenthood, are vicious in their advocacy for this brutal procedure. But this is yet another opportunity for us to educate our friends, co-workers and neighbors on the reality of abortion. By continuing to defend this procedure, pro-abortion forces give us more opportunity to expose them for who they are.

As you talk to people around you, I urge you to share the story of Trig, a Down Syndrome baby who is a blessing to his family in ways that many cannot comprehend. It is this type of child that is daily being destroyed by "partial-birth abortion." 

For more details on Virginia's ban on partial-birth abortion, which became law in 2003 when the General Assembly over rode then-Governor Mark Warner's amendments, read the following news stories in the:

Richmond Times Dispatch: 4th Circuit panel again strikes down Virginia's partial birth abortion ban

The Washington Post: Va. Abortion Law Overturned Again 

CNN/Associated Press: Court strikes down late-term abortion ban

The New York Times: Virginia Law on Abortion Is Struck Down