Archive for September 26th, 2008
John McCain seems to only like life when he’s winning. If he’s not the big cheese, he likes to shrink away like a five year old and pout in the corner. I’M NOT COMING OUT UNTIL YOU TELL ME I CAN WIN!
This isn’t really surprising. He was a big sissy back in 2000 when George W. was kicking McCain’s butt in the Primaries, too. McCain and Bush were supposed to have a debate in Cali and Johnny ditched…because he was losing.
So, let’s all take a nice lesson from this. If you vote for Barack Obama on November 4, and John McCain loses, he will go away! He will go pout in his room with the door closed for the next few years, and we won’t have to hear any more of his scary “my friends” or see any of his Congressional blowups or listen to any more of his lies or wonder what country he wants to bomb next. Send John McCain packing on November 4. Politics is for big boys and girls.
One of the greatest benefits of an Obama presidency is hidden in plain sight: the relationship between Michelle and Barack. They provide a great role model of a healthy relationship, at a time when such models are sorely needed.
Imagine having a president who is not distracted from the nation’s business by the stresses of secrets in the presidential marriage.
Imagine having a president who likes his partner and values her as an equal, a president who touches his wife affectionately in public and actually listens to her when she talks!
Fortunately we don’t have to imagine it, because we already have that potential at the tip of our voting fingers. For Americans, one of the most important aspects of an Obama presidency is being overlooked: the model of a healthy relationship. In the 28 years of our own marriage, we’ve worked with more than 4,000 couples in our office and seminars, so we have a reasonably good idea of what kinds of behavior one sees in a healthy relationship. For example, Michelle and Barack do something we’ve never seen before in a presidential couple: they actually look directly at each other when they’re speaking to each other. They also laugh at each other’s humor, and they allow their sexual attraction for each other to be visible. Contrast that with other presidential marriages, in which the sexual attraction to each other was not visible but their sexual attraction to others became highly visible. Michelle and Barack talk openly about their feelings for each other. They’re real.
Why would their relationship be a benefit to the American public and the world at large? The main reason is that it would be genuinely useful to have a visible, public role model of what a healthy relationship looks like. Over the last fifty years there’s been a parade of not-so-great relationship models in the White House. They range from idol-worship (Nancy’s perpetually-adoring glaze, oops we mean gaze, at Ronnie) to the sternly maternal façade of the first Mrs. Bush. We’ve witnessed White House marriages strained to the breaking point by secrets. The country lost 50 million dollars and a year of the government’s focus because one president actually did have sex with “that woman” but wouldn’t tell us the truth until he was outed by DNA.
How about Camelot? Many of us were fooled into thinking the Kennedys were the very picture of a Perfect Relationship. There was a handsome, rich Prince with knockout hair, coupled with a doll-Princess whose faraway smile and breathy, little-girl voice made her seem heaven-sent. Unfortunately, it was all just a fantasy. In reality, John was a serial philanderer and Jackie was a chain-smoker who swore like a sailor and dropped the little-girl voice the moment she walked off-stage. There’s no way to measure the productivity that was lost because the president’s staff had to earn part of their government salaries ushering women in and out of the White House, all with exquisite timing (and with the look-the-other-way collusion of the media.)
However, you don’t have to go back in that far in history to see a strange or strained White House marriage. Have you ever seen the current occupant of the White House speak, much less listen, to his wife in public? For example, do we ever get to hear from the real Laura Bush, the one who disagrees completely with the far-right views of her husband on such matters as women’s reproductive rights? No, because she’s been muzzled, like most of her predecessors, and sealed off behind the glazed smile of the Perfect Presidential Wife.
It’s high time we got to see an honest, loving, real relationship in the White House. If you’re like us, you probably don’t want to spend the next four years hearing how much the perfectly-coiffed Mrs. McCain has spent on her outfit, which of their nine houses they’re weekending at or which of their thirteen cars they’re wheeling around in. There’s something bigger to worry about, though. If the actuarial tables have any predictive value, a McCain presidency would soon become a Palin presidency, and that is a scenario truly frightening to contemplate.
President Palin would be desperately trying to comprehend and handle business during one of the most trying times in our nation’s history, while taking care of a special needs baby, riding herd on pregnant teenagers, foul-mouthed hockey-jock son-in-laws and other household dramas. On the brighter side, a Palin White House would provide one exciting possibility for our increasingly tabloid-obsessed culture: the perfect capstone for Jerry Springer’s career! He would make an ideal Chief of Staff or Sergeant-At-Arms, charged with keeping the gun-totin’, hockey-stick-wielding clan from wrecking the furniture (and each other) or blowing away a moose for sport on the White House lawn.
Here’s a better idea: Elect Barack Obama. That way, we get the gift of seeing two people having an easeful friendship with each other. We get as a role model two people who communicate with each other as equals and stand beside each other as true partners. If we elect Barack Obama we are electing a new possibility in our relationship lives as a nation: respect, affection and authenticity. Michelle and Barack speak clearly and openly. You know she won’t bullshit you or embarrass you by playing the demure little wife. We’re ready to see that kind of relationship, and we hope you are, too. The question is: are we as a nation ready to end our national addiction to duplicity, phony adoration and Stepford wifedom in the White House? If not, we’re going to get what we deserve.
We have a chance now to make a real difference in the world. If we elect Barack Obama, we can all focus on the critical challenges that must be met now. Speaking personally, we feel a sense of warmth and pride when we think about the support and love the Obamas have for each other. We breathe easier when we see how they live their lives with balance, honesty and clarity. They’re the real deal. In November, let’s give ourselves this new mirror of our own value.
If the party was looking for leadership, it did not find it in its presidential nominee. Sen. John McCain, who on Wednesday said he was leaving the campaign trail to help steer a bailout proposal, may have just exacerbated the problems.
His arrival on Capitol Hill came shortly after the initial compromise was announced. And his presence at a White House meeting later in the day produced more confusion than results. Shortly after McCain convened with the president, Sen. Barack Obama, Treasury Secretary Paulson and congressional leaders, his campaign seemingly criticized all parties involved.
“Despite today’s news reports,” a memo read, “there never existed a ‘deal,’ but merely a proposal offered by a small, select group of Members of Congress. As of right now, there exists only a series of principles, including greater oversight and measures to address CEO pay. However, these principles do not enjoy a consensus in Congress.”
Later, the campaign sought to fight back against a developing narrative that McCain had hurt negotiations by speaking positively about an alternative bailout proposal, one put forth by a “working group” of conservative House Republicans.
In a damage control effort, McCain aides sent reporters a link to an article written by the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder, which reported that the Senator had taken no leadership position whatsoever.
“McCain himself did not bring up those [alternative] proposals” or attack the compromise, Ambinder reported, citing multiple sources. The McCain campaign called this an “accurate” reporting of what had happened, seemingly pressing the point that McCain had not tried to derail the compromise.
But in his story, Ambinder opined, “Boehner and the White House — and McCain — if they want to get something passed — do have the responsibility to persuade these Republicans to support the bailout. After all, if not to get these recalcitrant Republicans on board, why did McCain go to Washington in the first place?”
Indeed, even members of the conservative commentariat were forced to acknowledge that much of what was happening among Republicans was strict, bare-knuckled politics.
“At the end of the day, there’s a lot of people thinking about how to rebuild this party,” said GOP strategist Ed Rollins on CNN, “and do we want to rebuild it with John McCain, who’s always kind of questionable on the basic facts of fiscal control, all the rest of it, immigration. And I think to a certain extent this 110, 115 members of this study group are saying, here’s the time to draw the line in the sand.”
“That’s pretty scary stuff that they’re thinking about party right now and not country, is that what you’re saying?” responded host Anderson Cooper.
“I think they’re, yes, they’re thinking about themselves,” said Rollins. “I think they don’t think that the threat is as great as a lot of other people do.”
And so, a bailout proposal that once seemed likely to pass now is back to negotiations. In the process, Secretary Paulson was reduced to getting on his knees to beg House Speaker Nancy Pelosi not to have her party members bail on the proposal; President Bush was forced to ponder a market meltdown on his watch; and Democrats were left fuming that in a bid for the leadership spotlight, John McCain may have simply gone and fouled things up.
“Bush is no diplomat,” said a Democratic staffer, “but he’s Cardinal freaking Richelieu compared to McCain. McCain couldn’t negotiate an agreement on dinner among a family of four without making a big drama with himself at the heroic center of it. And then they’d all just leave to make themselves a sandwich.”
FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST….
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, signing statement, The Social Security Act. August 14,1935.
“We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.”
At the time it was considered social engineering. Concerns over global and even national trends in population were as much a part of the decision as was the simple humanity of it. Income security, the reasoning goes, would alleviate the need for large families, the parochial solution for retirement income. That part of it has worked spectacularly, perhaps so well that its success even threatens the program. Fewer children equals fewer contributors.
It has been in place for 73 years and for many is the sole source of income in old age. It is immensely popular with people in all strata of society because it is an extraordinary good deal, if you live long enough. To break even on it only takes about 12 years of retirement, attainable by fully half of the population.
Social Security has been troubled of late. I am part of the problem, born 1951, I am of the generation that will stress the system, some say even break it. At a time when retirement savings are at an all time low and private companies have been curtailing pension plans, Social Security becomes all that much more important to the public.
What’s wrong? A little deeper history.
When it was instituted, Social Security operated by collecting about what it needed to meet current benefit payments. What came in was paid out. In 1982, that all changed. During the Reagan Administration, Alan Greenspan proposed that SSA taxes be increased to save up for the pending retirement of the baby boomers.
The Greenspan plan sunk increases in collections of SSA tax into government bonds in the Social Security Trust Fund. The, perhaps unintended, consequence was essentially force feeding of the government coffers. In effect, the government got a loan that it did not need from every American worker. The income tax was cut, eliminating most of the upper brackets and the SSA collections were essentially passed on to those in higher income brackets.
Under Clinton, the force feeding of SSA collections into government began to be referred to as the Social Security Surplus. Clinton used it to pay down other national debt, rightly assessing that in order for the debt to the Trust Fund to be repaid, we would need a solvent government. Paying down the extra-Social Security debt and balancing the budget seemed to assure that the government’s indebtedness to the Greenspan plan could be serviced.
Bush 43 came along and reversed what Clinton had accomplished by lowering taxes even further and making the repayment of the SSA Trust account virtually impossible without raising taxes.
So there you have it. The Greenspan plan could not have worked unless the SSA Trust were somehow held in cash or private securities and not government bonds. What has been referred to as “raiding” the SSA trust fund ensued. But that is a misnomer. Government was force fed from the SSA Trust fund and instead of using that force feed to retire the national debt, Republicans used it to cut taxes for the wealthy. In as plain an English as it can be put, your Baby Boomer SSA premium you paid ended up in the hands of the wealthy. The solution is for them to pay it back.
Now having laid out the problem, lets examine the solutions for this problem that are proposed by the two Presidential candidates.
Obama vs. McCain
First of all, Obama has a detailed plan for retirement security, over and above Social Security, enunciated on his website. McCain does not even mention Social Security on his website.
Obama proposes this to “fix” Social Security, paraphrasing from his website:
“Ask those making over $250,000 to contribute a bit more to Social Security. Those making over $250,000 to pay in the range of 2 to 4 percent more in total (combined employer and employee). “
Although not mentioned specifically, the roll back of the Bush tax cuts would also help. And again, the main beneficiaries of the Social Security Surplus were those making more than $250, 000 per year.
Obama’s plan appears to be consistent with the facts of what happened to the Social Security Surplus, recognizing that there were elements of society that have enjoyed a benefit from that surplus and asking them to give some back.
John McCain consistently proposes, as the AFLCIO website reports, diverting some percentage of the SSA income stream to private accounts, or “privatization” of Social Security. This does nothing whatsoever to solve the projected shortfalls in funding that will begin in about fifteen years. And the debate over the wisdom of placing tax collections in private investment is as old as the program itself. But that is a subject for another setting.
So essentially McCain’s plan must be characterized as simply doing nothing, effectively cutting benefits to the people who paid for them already. And that characterization, that they have paid for them, may elicit some criticism from people who do not understand that the Greenspan plan was an exception to the formula of Social Security. Before Greenspan, it was current workers supporting retired workers. Greenspan made it, by collecting more money than current obligations, a loan to the government by the Baby Boomers.
Raising Taxes, oh my!
Finally, on taxes and the economy, the Republicans and some Democrats even, have it wrong. The conventional wisdom is that higher taxes hurt the economy. There is no actual evidence of that. In fact if you plot tax rates against GDP, there is no observable correlation. As this is one of the key arguments against raising taxes, it is an important concept to understand.
Taxes are GDP neutral because the money paid to government in taxes does not leave the economy. Similarly, benefits distributed to retirees through Social Security do not leave the economy. All that is at stake is where and how the money gets spent, on, say, a textbook or a six pack.
The more money there is in circulation and the faster it changes hands, the better the economy, up to the point where it is growing too fast, creating inflation.
Money in the hands of the working class creates economic prosperity from the bottom up by increasing demand. Wealth, capitalism, cannot create prosperity is absence of demand. That is the reason that countries where the population is poorer have lousy economies.
Adding to the rocky perception was a McCain campaign web ad released this morning declaring “McCain Wins Debate!” — put out even before the candidate had announced he was planning to debate.
Although the fate of tonight’s presidential debate in Mississippi remains very much up in the air, John McCain has apparently already won it — if you believe an Internet ad an astute reader spotted next to this piece in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal this morning.
“McCain Wins Debate!” declares the ad which features a headshot of a smiling McCain with an American flag background. Another ad spotted by our eagle-eyed observer featured a quote from McCain campaign manager Rick Davis declaring: “McCain won the debate– hands down.”
The campaign announced Thursday evening that Michelle Obama will be joined at the debate by Shannon Kendall, whose husband is currently serving his second tour in Iraq, according to a press release issued by the campaign Thursday evening. Kendall, a mother, met Michelle Obama during a recent roundtable with military families in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Barack Obama – who gained a small edge in the CNN poll of polls this week – is gaining ground on the CNN Electoral Map as well.
CNN is altering its Electoral Map, shifting Michigan and its 17 electoral votes from tossup to “lean Obama.”
With the shift of Michigan, CNN now estimates that if the presidential election were held today, Obama would win 240 electoral votes and John McCain 200. There are 98 electoral votes up for grabs; 270 electoral votes are needed to win the White House.
A CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation poll released earlier this week suggested Obama had a 5 point lead among likely voters, 51 percent to 46 percent, and a 7 point lead among the larger sample of registered voters. Obama had a 4 point margin in the last CNN poll in Michigan, conducted at the beginning of September.
Michigan has voted for the Democratic candidate in the last four presidential contests, but Kerry’s victory over President Bush in 2004 was by only 3 points.
Still, the economy – an issue where Obama holds a significant edge over McCain in recent surveys — is the driving concern in this industrial state. The Democrat’s campaign has sought to pad that advantage, running state-specific ads in Michigan that charge McCain has not done enough to protect the nation’s auto industry jobs.
The CNN Electoral Map takes into account a number of factors, including the most recent state polls, voting trends, and campaign ad spending and events in the particular states.
“Historically, state polls have often been leading indicators of national trends,” noted CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “National polls are predominantly made up of respondents from big states like New York, California and Texas where the campaigns are running no advertising at all.”
CNN’s most recent poll of polls showed the Democratic nominee with a 4 point advantage over his Republican rival. Obama had the support of 47 percent of voters to McCain’s 43 percent, with and 10 percent unsure about their choice for president.
As of 8:30am PST on Friday, September 26, Republican presidential nominee John McCain has decided to travel to Mississippi to participate in Friday night’s presidential debate with his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, McCain campaign staff said.
Looks like McCain’s whole “suspend the campaign” thing didn’t work out so well.
Just a side note before I give you the scoop on this….why the HELL does Sarah Palin keep using the term “SHORING UP” to refer to ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING?! She is dumb as DOORNAILS.
In her interview with Katie Couric Sarah Palin essentially called Henry Kissinger naive and also proved that she just hasn’t done her homework.
Couric: You met yesterday with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is for direct diplomacy with both Iran and Syria. Do you believe the U.S. should negotiate with leaders like President Assad and Ahmadinejad?
Palin: I think, with Ahmadinejad, personally, he is not one to negotiate with. You can’t just sit down with him with no preconditions being met. Barack Obama is so off-base in his proclamation that he would meet with some of these leaders around our world who would seek to destroy America and that, and without preconditions being met. That’s beyond naïve. And it’s beyond bad judgment.
Couric: Are you saying Henry Kissinger …
Palin: It’s dangerous.
Couric: … is naïve for supporting that?
Palin: I’ve never heard Henry Kissinger say, “Yeah, I’ll meet with these leaders without preconditions being met.” Diplomacy is about doing a lot of background work first and shoring up allies and positions and figuring out what sanctions perhaps could be implemented if things weren’t gonna go right. That’s part of diplomacy.
Actually. That’s exactly Henry Kissinger’s position. And Couric even went ahead and confirmed it with Kissinger after the interview. Here is what Kissinger said just last week at a forum of five secretaries of state.
“I’m in favor of negotiating with Iran. And one — (unintelligible) — of negotiation is to put before Iran our vision of a Middle East — of a stable Middle East and our notion of nuclear proliferation at a high enough level so that they have to study it.”
It’s not only Kissinger’s position. It is James Baker and Colin Powell’s position as well. Here is what Powell said at the event.
Powell: “we should start to talk to them. Don’t wait for a letter coming from them. Start discussion. We’ve been talking to them up through 2003.” Asked whether we should “take the initiative?” Powell responded, “Yeah. We shouldn’t we? What are we afraid of? We did.”
But who cares what Kissinger, Powell and Baker think. Sarah Palin is running the country now…
David Letterman vaulted himself into the headlines this week by mocking John McCain for canceling an appearance on his show only to show up on the CBS “Evening News” with Katie Couric. And in a classic stunt, Letterman showed the internal CBS News feed on his show to demonstrate McCain’s hypocrisy.
The New York Post‘s Don Kaplan reports that trick didn’t go over so well with CBS News executives:
Asked if CBS officials had a problem with Letterman using the internal news feed, a spokeswoman for “The Evening News” refused to address the issue.
But several CBS News executives – who asked not to be identified – said that the stunt did not go down well within the news division.
“If we had done something like that to him, someone around here would end up getting fired,” one said.
News officials found out Letterman was using the internal feed shortly after it showed up on an internal CBS feed carrying the “Late Show” taping.
“They were pretty aggravated,” a CBS News source told The Post.
“But they were not about to start a fight with Letterman,” the source said. “We’re in the middle of a heavy, heavy news cycle and Letterman is Letterman.
“He does whatever he wants and always has.”
McCain’s primary challenger says his former rival made a “huge mistake” by even considering skipping the debate.
Huckabee said he still backs McCain’s candidacy, but said the Arizona senator should not have put his campaign on hold to deal with the financial crisis on Wall Street. He said a president must be prepared to “deal with the unexpected.”
“You can’t just say, ‘World stop for a moment. I’m going to cancel everything,’” Huckabee said.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has made a crackdown on gift-giving to state officials a centerpiece of her ethics reform agenda, has accepted gifts valued at $25,367 from industry executives, municipalities and a cultural center whose board includes officials from some of the largest mining interests in the state, a review of state records shows.
The 41 gifts Palin accepted during her 20 months as governor include honorific tributes, expensive artwork and free travel for a family member. They also include more than $2,500 in personal items from Calista, a large Alaska native corporation with a variety of pending state regulatory and budgetary issues, and a gold-nugget pin valued at $1,200 from the city of Nome, which lobbies on municipal, local and capital budget matters, documents show.
On forms disclosing the gifts, Palin, who is the Republican vice presidential nominee, routinely checked “no” when asked whether she was in a position to “take official action that may affect the person who gave me the gift,” and a spokeswoman for Sen. John McCain‘s presidential campaign said the gifts had no undue influence on her.
In response to e-mailed questions, Meghan Stapleton, who is based in Alaska for the McCain-Palin campaign, wrote: “Throughout her career Governor Palin has stood for the highest standards of ethics. She spearheaded new ethics reforms in Alaska and took on her own party and entrenched interests to return Alaska’s government to its people.”
Records show that 23 of the gifts were offered during Palin’s early months in office, when she was pushing the legislature to address a state corruption scandal by passing a package of ethics reforms. She accepted 18 gifts after the law passed in July 2007. Among other provisions, the law forbade executive branch officials from taking gifts from lobbyists or from interests with pending state business.
Gift rules for elected officials vary among states, with some such as Wisconsin banning all gifts and others with no applicable rules other than anti-bribery statutes. When former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) ran for president this year, he faced questions about his acceptance of more than $150,000 in gifts during a decade in office.
The Alaska attorney general’s office contends that gifts to a governor must be evaluated on “a case-by-case basis,” Assistant Attorney General Judy Bockman said. Some are offered as “a courtesy,” she said, to newly elected officials and are not considered an ethical issue.
Palin has noted that passage of the tough ethics law was a proud accomplishment. She took office amid a widespread federal investigation of influence-peddling by Veco, a now-defunct oil pipeline services and construction company, that had led to indictments of prominent state legislators and eventually to charges against Ted Stevens, the state’s senior Republican senator, who is now on trial in Washington.
Palin forwarded her ethics proposals to the legislature in January 2007, her first month in office. That month, she accepted three gifts from Calista’s chief executive, Matthew Nicolai: a $2,200 ivory puffin mask, a woven grass fan worth $300 and a $150 ivory necklace. Nicolai, who did not return phone calls, runs the large corporation, which profits from a multibillion-dollar gold-mining operation on its land.
Palin, who holds significant sway over budgetary issues affecting cities, also accepted for “personal use” the gold-nugget pin from Nome. Mayor Denise Michels said the memento was meant to remind the governor that “Nome is a historic mining community.” Palin approved about $6 million in funding this year for a public safety building in the city. “Anything our state can do to help us in capital projects, we’re very grateful,” Michels said.
Palin has also reported as gifts two fact-finding trips that mining companies sponsored for her husband, Todd. The trips were among several sponsored by mining companies for state officials
Todd Palin accepted an $805 charter flight from Barrick Gold and a $200 flight from Red Dog Mines. Both companies are clients of Chamberlain, a top lobbyist with Legislative Consultants, which led the state in lobbying income last year.
Red Dog is the sole taxpayer to the Northwest Arctic Borough, an Alaskan jurisdiction represented by Chamberlain that received $10.9 million from the zinc mine in 2007. The borough gave Palin a whale baleen basket valued at $300.
Chamberlain, the ex-wife of an influential former state lawmaker, said in an interview that she was unaware of her clients giving gifts to the Palins.
Under the new ethics laws, Palin may not accept lobbyist gifts unless the lobbyist is a family member. The governor explains in detail in her disclosure how she reimbursed Chamberlain for a summer trip made by Palin’s 14-year-old daughter, Willow. Willow is friends with Chamberlain’s teenage daughter, Mackenzie. Chamberlain said Willow accompanied her and her daughter in the summer of 2007 to a basketball camp and then to Mexico.”This is not a gift,” reads a handwritten note on Palin’s disclosure form. “It is merely interaction with a parent who is registered as a lobbyist with the state of Alaska.”
Chamberlain said she kept trip receipts to ensure that the Palins could reimburse her. The lobbyist said she has been careful around Palin in government settings.
“Because our kids are together quite a bit, people made the assumption we are good buddies, but we aren’t,” she said. “I was a bit nervous of her, and I guess she was a bit nervous of me.”
It was an unspoken rule that lobbyists should not directly approach Palin, Chamberlain said. The lobbyist said she had access to the governor’s key staff members and she set up meetings for her clients. “I didn’t have business conversations with her, because she didn’t see lobbyists,” Chamberlain said. “She preferred to see clients without lobbyists present.”
Chamberlain also represents the Pebble Partnership, which has proposed a massive gold mine on Bristol Bay that has encountered opposition from conservationists. Palin has come under fire for speaking out against a statewide initiative, Proposition 4, that would have imposed costly environmental regulations on mining operations, particularly the Pebble Mine. A hearing by a state ethics watchdog agency has been scheduled for mid-November to see whether statutes prohibiting partisan activity apply to the governor’s statements on the initiative.
Mining interests did not play a major fundraising role in Palin’s gubernatorial campaign, but post-election donations to her inaugural committee came from four mining companies, including Northern Dynasty, the Pebble Mine co-developer. The money was spent on inaugural balls and on travel by the governor and her family for events. The amounts were not disclosed.
Palin also reported receiving $1,000 in gifts — an Aleut woven basket, a sea otter headband, a Tlingit rattle and an Athabascan chief necklace — at an inaugural reception thrown by the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Executives of several of Chamberlain’s clients serve on the center’s board and many were in attendance when the gifts were presented to the governor.
A video on her hometown church Web site shows Sarah Palin being blessed three years ago by a Kenyan pastor who prayed for her protection from “witchcraft” as she prepared to seek higher office.
The video, which made the rounds Wednesday on the Internet, shows Palin standing before Bishop Thomas Muthee in the pulpit of the Wasilla Assembly of God church, holding her hands open as he asked Jesus Christ to keep her safe from “every form of witchcraft.”
“Come on, talk to God about this woman. We declare, save her from Satan,” Muthee said as two attendants placed their hands on Palin’s shoulders. “Make her way my God. Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus. … Use her to turn this nation the other way around.”
The date of the sermon listed on the church Web site is Oct. 16, 2005. Palin formally announced her gubernatorial bid two days later and was elected the next year.