Friday, September 26, 2008

Tonight's Debate: McCain Nails Palin?

The only thing in tonight's debate that was funnier than John McCain indicating her knew Pakistan was a failed state when he didn't know the US economy was in the crapper was the way he nailed Sarah "No More OK, some Earmarks" Palin's earmark.

During tonight's campaign:

MCCAIN: Well, the first thing we have to do is get spending under control in Washington. It's completely out of control. It's gone -- we have now presided over the largest increase in the size of government since the Great Society.

We Republicans came to power to change government, and government changed us. And the -- the worst symptom on this disease is what my friend, Tom Coburn, calls earmarking as a gateway drug, because it's a gateway. It's a gateway to out-of-control spending and corruption.

And we have former members of Congress now residing in federal prison because of the evils of this earmarking and pork-barrel spending.

You know, we spent $3 million to study the DNA of bears in Montana. I don't know if that was a criminal issue or a paternal issue, but the fact is that it was $3 million of our taxpayers' money. And it has got to be brought under control.

As president of the United States, I want to assure you, I've got a pen. This one's kind of old. I've got a pen, and I'm going to veto every single spending bill that comes across my desk. I will make them famous. You will know their names.

Now, Senator Obama, you wanted to know one of the differences. a million dollars for every day that he's been in the United States Senate.

I suggest that people go up on the Web site of Citizens Against Government Waste, and they'll look at those projects.

That kind of thing is not the way to rein in runaway spending in Washington, D.C. That's one of the fundamental differences that Senator Obama and I have.

Sarah Palin during her interview with Charlie Gibson

GIBSON: Governor, this year, requested $3.2 million for researching the genetics of harbor seals, money to study the mating habits of crabs. Isn't that exactly the kind of thing that John McCain is objecting to?

PALIN: Why yes Charlie, it is. Come to think of it, I'm mortified that my state pissed those federal funds away on some stupid science project. Those requests, through our research divisions and fish and game and our wildlife departments and our universities, those research requests did come through that system, but wanting it to be in the light of day, not behind closed doors, with lobbyists making deals with Congress to stick things in there under the public radar. That's the abuse that we're going to stop. That's what John McCain has promised over and over for these years and that's what I'm joining him, also, saying, you're right, the abuse of earmarks, it's un-American, it's undemocratic, and it's not going to be accepted in a McCain-Palin administration. Earmark abuse will stop.
As for that country Mrs Palin can see form her house, Obama and McCain both objected to Russia's actions with regard to Soviet Georgia but Johnny-boy seemed to either not really be sure what happened last month or was subtly acknowledging US encouragement of Georgia's aggression and equally bad behavior.

MCCAIN: Well, I was interested in Senator Obama's reaction to the Russian aggression against Georgia. His first statement was, "Both sides ought to show restraint."

Again, a little bit of naivete there. He doesn't understand that Russia committed serious aggression against Georgia. And Russia has now become a nation fueled by petro-dollars that is basically a KGB apparatchik-run government.

I looked into Mr. Putin's eyes, and I saw three letters, a "K," a "G," and a "B." And their aggression in Georgia is not acceptable behavior.

I don't believe we're going to go back to the Cold War. I am sure that that will not happen. But I do believe that we need to bolster our friends and allies. And that wasn't just about a problem between Georgia and Russia. It had everything to do with energy.

There's a pipeline that runs from the Caspian through Georgia through Turkey. And, of course, we know that the Russians control other sources of energy into Europe, which they have used from time to time.

It's not accidental that the presidents of Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine flew to Georgia, flew to Tbilisi, where I have spent significant amount of time with a great young president, Misha Saakashvili.

MCCAIN: And they showed solidarity with them, but, also, they are very concerned about the Russian threats to regain their status of the old Russian to regain their status of the old Russian empire.

Now, I think the Russians ought to understand that we will support -- we, the United States -- will support the inclusion of Georgia and Ukraine in the natural process, inclusion into NATO.

We also ought to make it very clear that the Russians are in violation of their cease-fire agreement. They have stationed additional troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

By the way, I went there once, and we went inside and drove in, and there was a huge poster. And this is -- this is Georgian territory. And there was a huge poster of Vladimir Putin, and it said, "Vladimir Putin, our president."

It was very clear, the Russian intentions towards Georgia. They were just waiting to seize the opportunity.

So, this is a very difficult situation. We want to work with the Russians. But we also have every right to expect the Russians to behave in a fashion and keeping with a -- with a -- with a country who respects international boundaries and the norms of international behavior.

And watch Ukraine. This whole thing has got a lot to do with Ukraine, Crimea, the base of the Russian fleet in Sevastopol. And the breakdown of the political process in Ukraine between Tymoshenko and Yushchenko is a very serious problem.

So watch Ukraine, and let's make sure that we -- that the Ukrainians understand that we are their friend and ally.

For the record:
  • South Ossettia does not want to be part of Georgia
  • Georgia launched a military offensive, in violation of a 1992 ceasefire, crossed a security zoned to surround & capture Tskhinvali
  • Both Russia and Georgia used cluster-bombs on each other
In other words, Georgia isn't some innocent little victim. While McCain's posturing on the issue doesn't really surprise me, I was (for some reason) a little caught off guard by his direct references to Russian controlled pipelines. I guess that, in light of Sarah Palin eagerness to go to war with Russia, we can only guess that the true underlying reason for being so aggressive is the sheer excitement of yet another war for oil. More support for a McSame administration.


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