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Monday, September 15, 2008

Palin's Bright Idea Already Done by Obama

I remain dumbfounded at the dumb things the McCain-Palin campaign finds to say. Campaigning on her own (another mistake) in Coors country, Golden, Colorado, Gov. Palin said this:

I've got another idea that I think Senator McCain likes. In Alaska, we took the state checkbook and put it online, so everyone can see where their money goes. We're going to bring that kind of openness to Washington [Governor Sarah Palin, quoted by David Espo, "Palin Spells out Her Role in McCain Administration," AP via Yahoo News, 2008.09.15].

News flash: If Palin read the Madville Times, she'd know that the federal government put its checkbook online in 2006. Little something called the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. Senator Barack Obama helped Senator Tom Coburn get it passed in hopes that it would alert Americans to bonehead projects like the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska (gee, must've worked!). Senator John McCain was also a co-sponsor.

If you're going to campaign on bringing new ideas to Washington, you should probably actually talk about an idea that's new to Washington.

Good grief—next thing you know, Palin will be telling us she invented the Internet. ;-)


  1. chuck ritter9/15/2008 3:21 PM

    She might be refering to McCain and herself, thinking alike. Not "bringing new ideas to the table."

    Wow! Sarah's swimming circles around Democrats.

  2. Um, Chuck, every time Palin speaks, do I have to come ask you for a translation, or could I just look at the actual words she says?

    "bring that kind of openness to Washington" -- the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act already brought that kind of openness to Washington in 2006.


  3. Next ...

    Al Gore once said, "I invented the Internet, and I can take it away." I know he said it. I saw him say it. And he kept a straight face.

    The trouble with you Democrats, Cory, is that your sense of humor often goes completely over small minds. I'll bet some people were really spooked by Gore's statement.


    As for Sarah Palin's words about bringing openness to Washington, I would liken it to a 400-foot line drive into left field -- foul by millimeters!

    But -- you mean the federal checkbook went online in 2006? That would be during the Bush administration.


  4. Right, Stan! Bipartisan, old hat, non-issue... and yet Palin touts the concept as if it's a new idea she'll bring to DC. She obviously didn't do her homework.

  5. pennypincher9/15/2008 8:28 PM

    Everyone takes everyones ideas and makes them their own. Everyone of them have said they want to change how Washington works, but I think Biden and McCain are seniors in Washington and what changes have they made? All of them are running down the very process that they are a part of.

  6. Good grief! Sarah didn't even say that she was going to do the same thing in Washington, just that she did it in AK and it shows the kind of openness that will exemplify the administration.

    And I do mean "will"

  7. "allows the public to track federal grants and contracts",doesn't sound like a check book to me. A check book would have a list of deposits and where all money goes not just grants and contacts bozo

  8. Phae(Roger), palin is trying to distinguish herself by touting a specific program as an idea unique to her and thus a reason to vote for her ticket instead of her opponents. Her opponent was one of the prime movers in passing a similar program at the federal level. She thus cannot use this claim as a reason to vote for her. It's as if I were applying for a job and saying I'm better than the other candidates because I know how to use this newfangled invention called Microsoft Word. Again, the McCain-Palin campaign exposes either ignorance or willful deceit.

  9. pennypincher9/16/2008 7:44 AM

    If that's the case Corey, then none of the candidates say they want to change Washington, Balance the budget, and provide health care to all. ALL of the politicans steal each others ideas. Nothing new here.

  10. Cory, nothing of the kind. In this as much as any other campaign it is imperative that a candidate defines themselves and their character. You call it deceit but have yet to show how, even if it were redundant in comparison to Obama, how it is either untrue or manipulative. It quite validly is an example of Sarah's integrity. Are you saying that in your hypothetical job interview you wouldn't mention examples of integrity because you think another applicant had already shown it?!

  11. chuck ritter9/18/2008 1:19 PM

    The "openness" is what McCain/Palin is bringing to Washington. Show me where she refers to bringing the FFATA to Washington? FFATA didn't fix the problem, because their are multiple books. The problem is government is too big and they want it smaller. Barack isn't making government smaller he's increasing the size of it. And we've seen that when government steps in - like pushing Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to make loans to underqualified recipients - they screw things up.
    Sarah understands Bills/Acts don't solve problems, accountability does.

    I would be glad to translate Palin for you. I din't think it was that hard.

  12. Swing and a miss, Chuck:

    Palin said nothing of the sort. She brought up the specific example of the Alaska website to suggest that folks in Washington can't figure out how to be open like that. As the Coburn-Obama "Google for Government" act demonstrates, folks in Washington figured out how to offer that sort of openness before Palin even became Governor. Now, were she to have cited some other practical implementation of openness that Washington hasn't tried yet, I'd be impressed, and voters could rightly be impressed. Instead, she talks about an idea that Obama signed onto before she did. Oops.

    I assume her refusal to cooperate with the special investigation in Alaska, after saying originally she welcomed such accountability, is another example of the fresh new openness Palin will bring to Washington... oh, no wait, Dick Cheney already practices that sort of openness, too. Sheesh, Palin can't come up with a bright idea of her own on either side of openness, can she?

  13. chuck ritter9/18/2008 2:47 PM

    I missed where YOUR suggestions are Palins? She is giving examples of what SHE did herself. She is also practicing what she is selling!
    Obama isn't, hasn't and won't!

    What part of the investigation isn't she cooperating with? So, if she's not cooperating. She's running a state, running for Vice President and she's supposed to place everything on hold for a 'special' investigation? (Maybe one that keeps her from being elected?)

    You may be the umpire but you seem more like a pig w/lipstick!

  14. Still missing the point, Chuck. In her speech, Palin sought to create the impression that she's an innovative reformer. As an example, she cited a specific technological deployment she ordered in her state in February (maybe Jan?) 2008. Senator Obama helped create a very similar technological deployment 17 months earlier, in September 2006. Her example of the openness she would bring to Washington was already developed and supported by Obama, McCain, and several other folks in Washington.

    She wasn't even an innovator among her fellow governors: "She said about a dozen other states are already doing it and added that she got hooked on the idea after talking with other governors at the National Governors Association annual meeting." And Democratic State Senator Bill Wielechowski was already pushing a bill in the Alaska legislature to create that sort of site when Gov. Palin decided to steal the thunder. New ideas? New approach to openness? Not from Palin.

  15. According to the Heartland Institute (they're libertarians, not exactly card-carrying members of the Obama campaign), the Coburn-Obama "Google for Government" Act predated all of those state initiatives. It was the openness Obama helped push in Washington that inspired the states to open up their own books through technology. Obama helped create the big idea that Palin imported to her state. Obama leads, Palin follows.

    The quote:

    "Oklahoma became the first state to legislate spending transparency, inspired by federal spending transparency efforts led by a favorite son, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). Coburn was joined by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) in taking the lead on the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, which passed last year and mandates the creation of a Web-based database for federal grants and contracts."

    [Sandra Fabry, "States See the Need for Spending Transparency," Heartland Institute: Budget & Tax News, 2007.07.01]

  16. chuck ritter9/19/2008 8:23 AM

    Hey, caheidelberger....
    It's not that I don't see your point. What it is, is that I've LISTENED to her speak; not JUST read transcripts from Yahoo websites, etc. with pointed views.

    She claims that she's a reformer right? Can we agree she 'claims' that? O.K. So, to prove that, she would have to give Examples of what she did. For example, Palin placing 'Alaska's checkbook online' (only 1 example). And she made it happen.
    Then she says McCain and I share these views. Then, they will bring these reforms to Washington.

    You are calling her on the carpet for taking credit for the 'Idea'. If, you would spend any time constructively criticising her speaking, would understand she doesn't CARE who gets the credit. She just wants the job to get done.

    As McCain said in his acceptance speech, quote "Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, let's try sharing it,"

  17. chuck ritter9/19/2008 8:29 AM

    Even better, here's her own words.

    "Proverbs tell us there is no strength without unity. So, Alaska, let us be united to be strong. Let us serve selflessly, and disregard who gets the credit."
    - Gov. Sarah Palin in the 2008 State of the State Adress

  18. I'm looking at the record, too. Obama got the idea going. Palin copied it. Why not go to the source, the leader on reform?

    The point of Palin's speech on bringing openness to Washington was not about unity or not taking credit. It is disingenuous to suggest that her use of that example was not meant to reflect positively on her over her opponents. I am constructively criticizing her rhetoric as a disingenuous effort to make voters think she is something she is not.

    "listened to her speak; not just read transcripts": gee, are you sure you weren't swayed by her beautiful oratory? I hear Palin gives a good speech... ;-)

    Stick to the transcripts, the candidates' own words, Chuck. It's a lot easier than the spin you're trying to do.

  19. chuck ritter9/19/2008 10:14 AM

    Because of all the trash thrown at Sarah, I'm not trusting YOUR words or Yahoo News. I'm listening to her own words as much as I can. Then I can hear context and her actual words.

    'Coburn was joined by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) in taking the lead on the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act,...' - Sandra Fabry

    So, if you want to be anal-retentive about things, it wasn't Obama's idea, either; which you are erroneously spouting.

    You are nervous and are making an issue of what Sarah is 'thinking.' I'm just saying, maybe you want to make an issue out of 'if she CAN change Washington.' Because THAT'S what makes McCain/Palin tower over Obama/Biden.

  20. Chuck, you know nothing about my mental state, nervous or otherwise. You just want to throw all the spaghetti on the wall that you can in hopes that something will stick and keep people from looking at Palin's actual words.

    And what, were you in the crowd listening to Palin's speech? Where do you get your info? Does she come whisper in your ear at night? Unless you have a face-to-face conversation with the candidate, every message is mediated. We could both cast the wildest claims about every form of media. Maybe that YouTube video is just a cleverly edited mash-up. Maybe Fox News left words out of the transcript. My reading a transcript of Palin's speech is as valid as whatever source you seem to think insulates your failing position from indictment.

    Seriously, an AP report on Yahoo is about as independent as it gets. I take a direct quote from her speech, point out the false impression created by her words, and you go ape. I know you want to vote Republican, but you can't blame me or the media for your candidate saying things that are so blatantly exaggerated, misleading, and/or wrong.

    Obama helped get the idea started. "That kind of openness" -- using technology for government fiscal accountability and transparency -- is old hat for him. Palin should have done her homework and realized she was touting an idea that Obama helped create.


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