I just can't help it. Even though I may get skewered and sent to hell, I have to show this video. It makes me cover my mouth and pee my pants Every. Single. Time.
This was on Jimmy Kimmel, and I know children are supposed to be off limits, and rightly so, so my bad in advance. It's just that whoever thought it up deserves kudos for cleverness, cuz it's one in a million. And ya gotta admit, that was one of those embarrassing parental moments, similar to one I had when they taped Missy's kindergarten class singing at assembly in and she was seated in a dress, exposing the entire world to her underpants. In my defense, I do think it qualifies as okay under "Kids Do the Darnedest Things" and is actual network TV RNC convention footage:
I also LOL'd at the latest Jib Jab video:
I spent all day yesterday fretting over Hurricane Ike and being in the middle of his Cone of Uncertainty (da da da duhhhhhhh). By about 2 this morning though, the Cone began moving far enough south to calm me down. Houston is not entirely out of the woods yet, but things are looking better and better. Fingers crossed...
Okay, now to get serious:
Palin has some gubernatorial policy achievements she's been touting ad hominem, and she has been criticized ad hominem, and as usual the truth lies in the middle. I will attempt today to take on 2 of them, earmarks and the bridge to nowhere, and look for the middle truth.
1. Earmarks. This article is one I found that mentions all of the players and almost all of the circumstances. Keep in mind though that both Palin and Obama have decreased their earmark dollars over time. Since I heard Rick Davis explain that Palin is getting blamed for earmarks for Alaska that other Alaska officials ask for and get (true), and that once she got up to speed on things she began cutting the ones she could. Fine, I buy that, but I also think she should have said that better and more specifically from the get-go. And I don't think Obama can be criticized for basically doing the same thing. It looks like silly tit for tat if you know what really happened.
One earmark request that I would criticize Obama for, however, was his asking for $1 million in funds for the University of Chicago Hospital, Michelle's employer at the time, for a pavilion. Michelle Obama had also received a promotion to VP of Community Affairs and her yearly salary almost tripled from $121K to $317K, all soon after Obama won his Senate seat. Just last month, Senator Grassley (R-Ia) requested info to investigate them for skirting their non-profit status by shooing off needy patients, which just happens to be one of Michelle Obama's initiatives there.
But the bottom line on earmarks is, all of this back and forth keeps the biggest point on the back burner: in his entire 22 years in the U.S. Senate, McCain never asked for one earmark for Arizona that has been defined or considered pork barrel, and he has a high rating on that from the National Taxpayer Union, a harsh critic of pork barrel spending. In 22 years (source is in the same article I linked first + I looked up when he began his Senate career). And that's walking the walk on that.
2. Bridge to Nowhere. Again, I think Palin is not helping herself by not being more specific in her description of this achievement. It's basically another example of her having a lag time when first elected and then acting as she claims once she figures out the project is not fiscally sound. She's not clairvoyant. But she could have qualified the achievement more. I found this actual 2007 story on CNN as the story had unfolded. She was for it before she was against it, as a candidate for governor. Then the bridge project began attracting negative national attention for the $329 million funding to provide a town of 50 mainland access. And after assuming office, Palin discovered the earmark would only fund half the cost of the bridge, so she vetoed the project and redirected the funds toward highway repair.
One thing to note here that I think is important: the back and forth of this earmark in Congress required it to be voted on twice: once as an earmark for the bridge, and then once as a lesser amount of funds to be used at Alaska's discretion (which was what allowed Palin to re-direct them). I've now heard FNC and NPR's Juan Williams say twice (and even though I cannot find a quote, I do believe him)that Obama and Biden both voted for the bridge earmark and against a vote to redirect those dollars to Katrina victims, and this article confirms it but was really hard to find (no one writing about it?). That's ironic, eh?
Okay, I am exhausted now and cross-eyed. More tomorrow...