Bartlett's Blog

Andrew Bartlett has been active in politics for over 20 years, including as a Queensland Senator from 1997-2008. This blog started in 2004 and reflects his own views, independent of any political party or organisation.

Alaskan Daily on Palin

It’s no surprise that Barack Obama is receiving the majority of newspaper endorsements in the USA, but I was a bit surprised to see this one from the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska!  But even more interesting was their assessment of their local Governor, Sarah Palin:

Gov. Palin has shown the country why she has been so successful in her young political career. Passionate, charismatic and indefatigable, she draws huge crowds and sows excitement in her wake. She has made it clear she’s a force to be reckoned with, and you can be sure politicians and political professionals across the country have taken note. Her future, in Alaska and on the national stage, seems certain to be played out in the limelight.

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

YouTube Preview Image

Hat-tip for all these to DemConWatch

Advertisement

23 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Censor This

    Andrew, a hint on bias can be found in this post. Always remember to remain fair and balanced.

  2. I downloaded the Alaskan Daily News front page on 15 October and was also surprised at their coverage of the election. The US media are so partisan it’s not hard to tell who they are supporting. Anyway any generalisations are dangerous, especially in politics.

  3. Dolphins

    John CLeese is on Youtube comparing Ms Palin (very favourably) with a parrot. A live one, this time.

  4. I am a trifle suprised that any newspaper would consider Sarah Palin less qualified for the job than the community organiser who has never made a tough decision in his life.Obama as President is about as farcical as it gets.A decent security check on this fellow would discount him from any sensitive job in the American Government and probably anywhere else in the US apart from maybe doorman at an Acorn Facility or as a plate carrier in the Rev Wrights church of ill repute.

  5. Naomi Cartledge

    The idea of Sarah Palin ending up as President of the US fills me horror. She’s inexperienced and her ultra right wing policies scare the hell out of me. It’s obvious why she was picked, and it’s an insult to the american people and the rest of the world. McCain has had 4 lots of surgery for melanoma, and the prognosis of this hideous cancer is not good – he won’t even allow his medical records to be released – why?

    I watched the debates (why we had them in Aust. beats me?) and thought she was just speaking on a rote system – keep repeating a few phrases, ignore tricky questions and appeal to the ignorant masses, push the right buttons etc. Who can tell me what she’s said about anything? She’s also been found (one inquiry, and questioned at the weekend by another one) to have abused her power by allegedly sacking her sister’s ex-husband over an acrimonious divorce – hardly the actions of a person who feels an appropriate sense of responsibility to her office of Governor – how would she react if she was VP?I don’t like the glitzy references to ‘pit bulls and hockey moms’. It’s childish stuff! and it’s an insult to one’s intelligence. Are american women so stupdi to be duped by this nonsense?

  6. Censor This

    Why won’t John McCain allow his medical records to be released?

    That’s private information, for starters.

    Was Naomi amongst those who called for Kevin Rudd’s private medical records to be released prior to the last election, when it was reported he received heart surgery?

  7. Dolphins

    Censor – The two cases are different. Heart valve operations commonly allow people to survive 30 or 40 years (as far as we know so far) when carried out on a younger patient. It is a procedure that has a very different outlook from that of a person in their 70s who already has had 4 melanoma operations, and who hopes to be the oldest person ever elected President of the United States.

    In 1999 McCain released his full medical record but has chosen not to recently, which has caused curiosity, if not alarm. As I understand it, melanoma never actually “goes away” though at his age there are many other problems that could fell McCain first. Ms Palin would then be President of the USA, there is no choice about that, as I understand it, whereas if Mr Rudd were to die in office his colleagues would elect a successor from within their ranks.

    Given the alarm and despondency reportedly infecting all levels of hte Republican Party in USA Palin’s untimely assumption of the Presidential mantle would mean that she would have few top advisors who could work with her, partly because she is at the moment distancing herself from both the McCain camp and the Orthodox Republicans, and partly because, I believe, she is simply not a politician’s bootlace, in hte sense that you have to understand issues and be able ot bring people with you. She has demonstrated a certain kind of charm, that leaves me cold, she is self-possessed, obviously quite a capable social operator, and someone with a calculating mind. I don’t like her and what she stands for, more so than I dislike the Right in USA at all. Personal taste aside, I don’t believe her to be ready for the office she may be accidentally thrust into if she is the successor, by law, to an older man with a bad helth record. That is why McCain’s health, and his caginess about it, are relevant.

  8. LORIKEET

    I wouldn’t vote for any of these people, but not based on age, race or gender.

    McCain is getting pretty long in the tooth, but John Howard at 70 was still very much on the ball. Too bad no one bothered to pass him the Medicine ball, Education ball, Infrastructure ball etc.

    I don’t like politicians who want to stick up for lower taxes for Joe the Plumber either.

    I received 2 quotes from tradesmen this week. One wanted cash in the hand only (that’s no tax for him to pay, and no GST collection). Most people who mow lawns for a living don’t pay tax or collect GST either.

    Those concerned about McCain’s health could send him a large box of antioxidant tablets. Maybe he ate too many pizzas.

    A melanoma is just a skin lesion, so I guess you must be talking about a malignant melanoma. To my knowledge, you can get rid of one of those without any ongoing problems. But if your cancer cells have metastasised (spread to other parts of the body), better say your prayers.

    My sister has had HEAPS of melanomas removed. None were malignant. They were just a bunch of black moles.

    Hands up all of those who think they could do a better job of running the country and overseeing/exploiting/manipulating/warring with the rest of the world.

  9. Censor This

    Dolphins – John McCain has to release his private medical records on the basis that he is old. Barack Obama does not have to release his private medical records on the basis that is not old?

  10. Dolphins

    Lorikeet – “According to published reports, McCain’s doctors said the melanoma removed from his temple was stage IIa, approximately 2.2 millimeters thick. A sentinel node biopsy was performed in the lymph nodes in his neck. These records also indicate that lymph nodes were removed. Some physicians have suggested this treatment was more consistent with stage III melanoma, which occurs when cancerous cells have spread to the regional lymph nodes. ” Dematology specialist.

    http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/stories/2008/10/10/mackeyed_1010.html.

    McCain is known to be physically and pychologically damaged as a result of his war experiences- I gather he survived 7 plane crashes as well as extensive torture. Slightly different from John Howard, who may have been a courageous man, but was not subjected to any of that.

  11. LORIKEET

    Dolphins:

    So now YOU want to discriminate against McCain based on his disabilities? Limit his job prospects?

    Metastases occur when cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. The lymph nodes are there to block bacteria, viruses, mycoplasms, cancers etc to prevent metastasis. If they remove the regional lymph nodes, the cancer may be gone in its entirety – or not.

    McCain had the latest malignant melanoma removed in 2000, and he’s still with us and looking good, isn’t he? I think if a melanoma removed from his temple 8 years ago was going to attack his brain, it could easily have done so a long time ago. Something 2.2 mm thick is a tiny little thing in any case.

    If he dies or becomes incapacitated, he can simply pass the ball to Palin. That’s why they have a 2IC.

    Last night I was speaking with a woman who recently had a malignant melanoma removed from her face. She told me of yet another person whose cancer was eliminated using antioxidants.

    People on medication for high blood pressure need to check with their doctor or naturopath before choosing particular antioxidants.

  12. Dolphins

    Lorikeet … it is not discrimination to ask about the suitability of the backup plan for someone who has had a cancer that is notorious for recurrence, AND who has other health issues in what is going to be an extremely stressful job for even a fit person. And the backup plan … this is the point you apparently missed … the backup plan is a woman with limited experience of the world, a mediocre education and a cloud of ethical questions around her. Do you want her in charge of fronting up to Putin, discussing international issues with the Heads of Europe, negotiating the delicate machinery of the interlocked trade/financial web that joins all of us? Don’t forget that this woman belongs to a religious group that is waiting for Christ to return at any moment. Do you want her in charge of the detail of long-term planning, like it or not, that affects the rest of us?

    McCain’s disabilities have nothing to do with it, IF he is fit to do the job. If he is not Fit For Office, then he doesn’t deserve the job becuase we may feel sorry for him … which I don’t actually. His temper outbursts, and his ruthless discarding of his disabled former wife don’t engender confidence in his ethical standards or his ability to keep a cool head in a crisis.

    I know you have a disability and are a bit touchy on this subject, perhaps. I have an ongoing auto-immune problem that I will have forever and I am fighting to retain the ability to do my job, so I know a little about this. If I were to apply for a job working at heights, nobody in their right mind would give it to me, because I have a balance problem. Not discrimination, I’m just not fit to do the job. I know a bit about reasonable adjustment, and I know what it is to have to give up dreams. Feeding resentment and re-heating the cold leftovers of the past don’t get people anywhere. McCan would have been better to put ruthless ambition aside and think of his country first.

  13. LORIKEET

    Dolphins:

    I already said I wouldn’t vote for ANY of the people on either side. Forget about any of their backup plans.

    I didn’t stick up for McCain because of any kind of touchiness on my part. I was thinking back to the abortion issue and discussion of employability. I think McCain must possess remarkable resilience after all of the things he’s experienced.

    Formal education is certainly not an essential criterion I would use in selecting a President. There are plenty of advisers, committees etc. The President is mainly the mouthpiece or frontman/woman.

  14. LORIKEET

    Dolphins:

    Just one more point. As Palin is living in a democracy, she is entitled to have any religious beliefs of her choosing, as long as she doesn’t use them to hurt other people.

  15. Zen

    It’s interesting that in certain countries politicians do not have to meet education standards. University diploma does not necessary make a genius but some general knowledge, and a sound primary school education might help to select proper advisors. Remember Alexander Downer criticising Rudd for the ability to speak a foreign language? He made my day!
    Australian consecutive parliaments seem to be full of lawyers who choose mainly accountants for their advisors.
    A former BHP Chairman (Prescott – with no uni education) once said that ‘Australia does not need engineers’.
    Funny thing is that in Australia or the UK ‘an engineer’ may be anybody without a uni degree. In continental Europe the term ‘engineer’ is restricted only to scientific degree.
    It’s in public knowledge now that we have education crisis both in Australia and the USA. Sarah Palin is a good example.She should have known the name of the Prime Minister of Canada who has just recently been re-elected. It is easy to make a fool of a presidential candidate who, with a diploma in journalism, cannot name a single American newspaper.(Obama is a professor of Constitutional Law)
    But yes, her religion would be important to me. Just as I believe in separation of state and church I would not like to be represented by Christian Taliban whose son was sent to Iraq by the court for possessing too many drugs.

  16. Dolphins

    Lorikeet – yes, people have religous freedom, as you say, so long as it does not hurt other people. Whether that person would use her power, if she were to be elected to high office, to make decisions based on her minority religious beliefs about the imminent return of Christ to earth must be a concern to all of us. The concern about the long term health of our planet felt by all of us, no matter what we think abut climate change etc, woudl be much less of a concern to such a person since she believes, apparently, that she and some other chosen ones will be whisked away to heaven any minute now … NOT the mndset for strategic planning.

    You have to be fit to do the job, as I said about McCain.

  17. LORIKEET

    Dolphins:

    I have some very devout religious friends. In addition to their beliefs, they continue with their forward planning to meet all possible contingencies, leading ordinary lives.

    I think you may be guilty of religionism.

    As a former exit counsellor, I would be interested to know of what religion Palin is a devotee before deciding.

    Zen:

    I don’t expect a politician to be an expert on everything, or to think of an answer to everything off the top of his/her head.

    I agree that the President/Prime Minister of a country needs a range of advisers, but I can understand why a lot of them would be financial advisers/accountants.

    I’m certain that running the economy would be a most daunting task.

    Who do you think are the “Christian Taliban”?

  18. Dolphins

    Lorikeet, it is not a matter of being devout, it is a matter of making decisions based on one’s personal religious views that affect the rest of us. One example is Ms Palin’s belief in creationism. I don’t care what she thinks, at home, but if she makes decisions about educational curricula based on her personal beliefs then that is something the rest of us need to be worried about. She is part of that group in USA society whose infuence on policy had led to freezing of funds for family planning aid in developing countries if they don’t adhere to the “chastity first” model, and if they supply condoms in areas where AIDS is rampant. To expect the wives or husbands of AIDS victims to simply practice chastity, and demand that their partners do the same rather than use safe practices is ludicrous, yet this is what the overflow of personal religious beliefs into public policy has led to.

    Ms Palin has been in the past a member of Assemblies of God churches.

    I don’t care if people believe their tenets, but I do feel concerned that someone has the power to push them onto others. They believe that God can and will cure illness. Do you want someone like that in chargeof health policy?

  19. Zen

    Well, a Christian Taliban is a person who is strongly against killing the unborn babies but does not mind killing the born ones, like in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
    A Christian Taliban believes in God’s crusade against the entire Muslim world and does not know the difference between Muslim Arab or a non-Arab Muslim. (During the USA election campaign you could hear many of them: “Obama is Muslim so he is an Arab).
    Christian Taliban believes to be the only one talking to God and God talking to him/her, and justifies any killings in the name of “God mit uns’.
    Christian Taliban is a church goer who supports concentration camps and imprisonment of babies. The type usually goes to the church with a ‘shopping list’ for God, and prays to God to destroy all enemies.God’s chosen lot for salvation. He would usually impose some value system on others but with exemption of his/her family. He/she believes in ‘free enterprise’ with a license and government control.
    A Christian Taliban justifies all the decisions, right, wrong, cruel or downright criminal, as the ‘will of God’.
    That is why it is so easy to persuade a Christian Taliban that i.e. anthrax was put to some envelopes by Muslim ‘fundamentalists’. A Christian Taliban does not need a proof of guilt or innocence. He believes in ‘islamofascism’, Muslim fanatics/islamic terrorists, socialist plot, fear as a means of communication, anti-Christ, second inning, queue jumpers, hell and purgatory for ‘them’ and heaven for ‘us’.

    Examples?
    Voila: Sarah Palin stated, in the church, that it was God’s will to invade Iraq.
    GW Bush called the invasion ‘a crusade’.
    Sen. McCain preached: ‘We have to support Georgia against Russia because Georgians are Christians’.(and Russians are not?)
    Finally, a Christian Taliban is an illiterate type who strongly believes in the Bible but knows nothing about its contents and would criticise the Koran for the same reason.
    A demon from Darkestville.

  20. LORIKEET

    Dolphins and Zen:

    Thanks for your replies.

    Some of the Assemblies of God are considered to be on the dangerous fringe of religion by a cult awareness network – also by me.

    My term for “Christian Taliban” would be “Religious Extremist”.

    Some of those people are highly intelligent, not illiterate at all. The reasons for their extremism can be numerous and/or multiple – guilt, fear, mental illness, sexual abuse, social outcast etc, but I think the greatest of these are guilt and fear.

    Yes, “them” and “us” is a very powerful concept, which has been very well taught to Bali bombers. They need to round up the ringleaders of such stupidity and make them answerable for the actions of the adherents they have so heavily indoctrinated.

    I’m sure there are plenty of other “Taliban” around who are neither Christians nor Muslims, who also have a non-cohesive set of values. A lot are Atheists.

    I think at least some of Palin’s ideas would be useful, but not all.

    In Australia, we now have 30,000 people infected with HIV, and 1 in 8 people with Herpes. I’m not sure of the stats on HPV infection which can lead to cervical cancers, but now there are women in their 30s and 40s with HPV induced oral cancers.

    It wouldn’t hurt the general population to clean up its sexual act quite a bit, instead of behaving like promiscuous animals.

  21. Zen

    LORIKEET
    The comedy usually starts when a politician’s stupidity matches that of an adviser. Creative accountants helped many politicians to believe that debt is better than savings, and that services can be included in GDP, and that the true inflation is ‘not what people think it is’. Services do not produce national wealth!!. Our so called ‘economy’ is based on fiction. The shopkeeper’s Arkwright’s philosophy of ‘maximising profit’ spelled the current disaster on Wall Street. Our accountants and political gurus did not have Plan B. Majority of lawyers in our Parliament have no sense of investment in infrastructure. Instead of spending the money from the ‘maximised profit’ on infrastructure and long term investments we flogged off the money overseas to non-existing ventures. Our industry has achieved 19th century standards; technical advice has been neglected, ignored or shamed. Our governments rely on P/R agencies, lobby groups and shonky businessmen who have nothing to do with Australian interests.
    Natasha Stot-Despoja is an example of a politician promoting (directly and indirectly) foreign companies like muck selling Starbucks, or white elephant project of the Victoria Race course in Adelaide. But she strongly, and effectively, supported introducing uni fees for Australian kids.The fact that an active politician is married to a lobbyist should raise everybody’s brows.(She did not marry the lobbyist – she helped him to become one). Having such clever politicians we are just handsawing off the very branch we sit on. That’s why people like Sen. Bartlett or Petro Georgiou, MP have had an uphill battle in trying to rescue their respective political parties.
    Squandering our taxes on chasing up phantom terrorists and building prisons was good for the Soviet Union. Plundering our natural resources, destroying our habitat in the name of glorious capitalism is nothing short of economic suicide. Little Singapore has enough money to buy us out.

  22. LORIKEET

    Zen:

    Yes, I wouldn’t disagree with very much of that at all. Politicians seem to be playing into the hands of a global communist government.

    Perhaps some choices have been cunningly taken away?

Mini Posts

  • Rhetoric vs reality

    I’ve had a break from writing for a variety of reasons, but the reckless approach the new Queensland government is taking to their spending decisions – and the straightout nonsensicality of some of their claims – roused me enough to pen a piece for New Matilda. Time will tell whether the Newman government will start trying to ensure their statements have some connection with reality – I suggest the way they respond next year to the findings of the inquiry into child safety which they’ve established will be a significant test.

    (2)
  • End of LP the end of a blogging era

    Back in October, I wrote here about the decline or re-defining of blogs, at least in the Australian political arena.  The relatively few posts I’ve done on this blog since then shows how much less useful I find it to do my own blog than I used to, and as I mentioned back then, a big reason why I don’t read many of the blogs I used to is because the valuable links to many interesting stories, ideas and pieces of information can be found more easily through Twitter or Facebook, sometimes with comment threads which are also at least as good. The recent announcement by the Larvatus Prodeo blog that they are ceasing to operate is quite a significant one.

    More... (7)
  • A final comment on Labor's leadership laments

    Fundamentally, I don’t greatly care about the outcome of Labor’s leadership travails. As my previous post indicates, the bigger issue is that the ALP is being fundamentally damaged by the toxicity of this brawl, and the fact that the brawl is happening in this way is a sign of some much greater problems within Labor. Whatever the immediate outcome, I think those problems are likely to continue.  The outcome of the leadership contest (including the size of what will surely be a Gillard victory) will shape how those problems play out, but they will still be there. Not surprisingly, I see this as presenting an opportunity for the Greens to build some support, but more importantly it presets extra responsibility and obligation for the Greens to be a stronger counter to what is a seriously reactionary Coalition. But seeing we’re all pundits now, and despite having little inside knowledge, my prediction is that there will be no ‘third candidate’ in tomorrow’s leadership ballot.  Julia Gillard will win comfortably. The instability will not disappear. It’s quite possible there will be another leadership ballot before the election but Kevin Rudd will not become leader then either. No matter how good Kevin Rudd looks in the polls, that polling lead would disappear very quickly if he was back in the PM’s job.

    (29)
  • A long time between hits

    In amongst all the politics and policy stuff, I try to make time to do some things that are completely disconnected from that*.  One thing I’ve found myself doing recently is doing a bit of practicing with a band, which has led to me doing a live performance for the first time in a long time.  Readers of this blog with a very long memory for minor matters may recall that I played keyboards in a couple of mini-performances with a band as part of promoting the Rock Against Howard compilation CD prior to the 2004 election.  However, drumming is what I’m better at – although I’m still a long way short of being able to say I’m good at it – which is what I am doing in the band I’m currently doing stuff with.  They’re doing their first full live Brisbane show tonight – which I think will be the first time since 1988 I’ve played drums in a live show.  It’s all nice and low-key, and for peoples’ enjoyment rather with an eye to making money out of it, so will make a nice change. *Actually, I don’t think anything is completely disconnected from politics. By coincidence, today also happens to be National SLAM Day – Save Live Australian Music.  As their website shows,

    More... (0)
  • The Ups & Downs of Ups & Downs - interview with Greg Atkinson

    I’ve mentioned before my liking for the 80s Brisbane band Ups and Downs. I got a chance to interview their lead singer Greg Atkinson on 4ZzZ FM a few weeks ago. They’ve released a compilation CD of 20 of their best tunes and played a gig in Brisbane earlier this month to promote and celebrate it. It was a fairly long interview, but I found it very interesting to hear the views of someone who has been active in the independent sphere of the music industry for so long about what has changed and what is the same. You can listen to the interview at this link.

    (0)
  • Speeches to refugee rally + SIEV-X exhibition

    A local activist helpfully recorded speeches given by myself and by Julian Burnside at a refugee rights rally held in Brisbane last Saturday.  You can listen to them here and here. The rally was held to mark the tenth anniversary of the sinking of the SIEV-X.  353 refugees drowned when that refugee boat sank on the way to Australia on 19 October 2001.  There is a beautiful exhibition at The Studio on the ground level at the State Library of Qld this week, commemorating that anniversary. It finishes this weekend – I strongly recommend you try to get along for a look if you have a chance. The Library also has a screening of the documentary Hope on Friday October 28 – this film tell the story of Amal Basry, one of the few survivors of that tragedy.

    (0)
  • Stuff from my 4ZZZ shift this week

    Every Monday morning I do a shift on radio 4ZzZ FM102.1 – Brisbane’s longest serving community radio station (36 years old this year). And almost every week I talk with social media expert and lawyer Peter Black about some current political and other issues. You can listen to our talk this week by clicking on this link (it goes for over 30 minutes and has the occasional sweary word, so probably best just for dedicated fans). You can see the songlist I played this week – as usual featuring a sizable number of local artists – at this link, which in most cases also contains further links to other videos, information or photos of the artists.

    (3)