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Posted at 4:30 PM ET, 09/ 1/2008

Politifact: 'Bridge' Going Nowhere Before Palin Killed It

By Paul Volpe

The Fact Checker is away. In the interim, we bring you the best of PolitiFact, a fact-checking project from the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly.

The Statement

Politifact

"I told Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' on that bridge to nowhere."

-- Sarah Palin on Friday, August 29th, 2008

She killed it, but it was nearly dead

Although unknown to most Americans, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a reputation in her home state as a staunch foe of earmark spending, an issue that is near and dear to the heart of Sen. John McCain. So it was no surprise that she quickly sought to highlight that reputation in a speech in Ohio on Aug. 29, 2008 when she was introduced as McCain's vice presidential running mate.

Rating: False

"I told Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' on that bridge to nowhere," Palin said.

She's talking here about a nearly $400 million Alaska bridge project that became the subject of national ridicule and a symbol of federal pork-barrel spending.

The bridge was to connect the city of Ketchikan (population 8,200) to Gravina, an island with just 50 residents but also an airport, and only accessible by a five-minute ferry ride.

The project came into national prominence when a government watchdog group tagged it as an extreme example of wasteful pork-barrel spending. It's national notoriety was cemented with a Parade Magazine cover story that ran Nov. 6, 2005 under the headline, "Are Your tax Dollars Being Wasted?"

The project also raised bitter debate in Congress, and several attempts were made to yank the funding for the project. In the fall of 2005, Congress removed the language specifically directing the money to the bridge, but it kept the money in place and left it up to Alaska to decide which transportation projects the state would like to spend it on.

By the time Palin pulled the plug on the Gravina bridge project in September 2007, much of the federal funding for the bridge had already been diverted to other transportation projects. The bridge would cost $398 million, Palin said then, and Alaska was $329 million short.

"Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer," Palin said. "Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island."

Lois Epstein, director of the Alaska Transportation Priorities Project , which opposed funding for the Gravina bridge, said while it's true that Palin formally put an end to the project, "It wasn't really a bold move when she did it."

Although the project had local support in Ketchikan, Epstein said, it was not a popular project around the state. And had Palin decided to continue forward with the bridge project, she said, it would have required either a lot more federal funding - which there clearly was no support for - or for the state to pick up the bulk of the tab at the expense of other more urgent road projects.

Keith Ashdown, a spokesman for Taxpayers for Common Sense, the government watchdog that first drew attention to the project, believes Palin has "hyper-inflated her role" in killing the project.

"She put the final stake in the project," Ashdown said. "But there was already tremendous momentum for the project to be scrapped. She gets credit for saying that they were not to go forward with the bridge, but it was at death's door."

When Palin says "I told Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' on that bridge to nowhere," it implies Congress said, "Here's a check for that bridge" and she responded, "No thanks, that's wasteful spending; here's your money back."

That's not what happened. Fact is, Alaska took the bridge money, and then just spent it on other projects. Palin did make the final call to kill plans for the bridge, but by the time she did it was no longer a politically viable project. We rule Palin's claim is Half True.

By Paul Volpe  | September 1, 2008; 4:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

Sarah Palin needs all the half truths she can get as she tries to embellish her experience. What other tangible accomplishments does she have as governor of Alaska? I mean accomplishments that actually matter to those of us in the other 49 states. The only things to happen in Alaska during her brief term are the Bridge to Nowhere (noted thoroughly enough above) and the ethics scandals surrounding the rest of Alaska's Republican party (notably Sen. Stevens, who she didn't turn against until she had to). Unless she had one hell of a career on the PTA, I don't see how she is any more qualified to be VP than my own mother (a PTA member for nearly 20 years and head of her district's Democratic party; if she'd lived in Alaska she very well may have managed the same 115,000 votes Palin needed to be governor). Don't get me wrong, I love my mom, and I have a great deal of respect for her intelligence and judgment, but I still don't think she's qualified to be VP of the USA.

Posted by: Newton | September 1, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Was the bridge half dead before the gov. killed it? Or was it 25% dead or 10% dead? Purely a meaningless judgement call on the part of the author.

The AK newspapers I've read suggest the area residents were highly PO'd including one of her campaign members.

Ask a Democrat pol how hard it is to kill a major spending project. Odds are he/she won't know because they've never done it.

Posted by: Tom | September 1, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

the author left out the most important fact, which is that she ran her governor's race in '06 on building that "bridge to nowwhere". funny...odd...you left that out, the most significant fact on how she flip flopped when the funds dried up and alaskans were asked to fund most of it. she likes earmarks just fine, and she likes windfall taxes from oil companies so long as she can give a rebate to her fellow alaskans. i'm sure she not into them now though...she'll have to take her take her cue from the gramps.


Posted by: nemokitty | September 1, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Tom, read Palin's quote:

"Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island."

Palin supported the bridge project until the national uproar ensured that there would be no additional federal funds to complete the project and that we--alaskans--would have to pay for it ourselves. This wasn't an anti-pork stance, it was a not-enough-pork stance. And by the way, the other bridge-to-nowhere that was earmarked at the same time is in progress.

Not quite the way Palin made it sound when she introduced herself to the nation, is it? She's at least experienced in spin.

Posted by: akindependent | September 1, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey NEWTON, your an Idiot. But thanks for pointing something out. The experience issue. Which brings to light, OBAMAs lack of. The time he did spend in politics, minus running for President, leaves a balance of time leading people less than 95% of the WalMart managers around the country.

I'm writing in the local one from here matter fact, he has lead hundreds of people in a much more complicated job that Barry will EVER be involved in.

Posted by: Chief ROSS | September 1, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey NEWTON, your an Idiot. But thanks for pointing something out. The experience issue. Which brings to light, OBAMAs lack of. The time he did spend in politics, minus running for President, leaves a balance of time leading people less than 95% of the WalMart managers around the country.

I'm writing in the local one from here matter fact, he has lead hundreds of people in a much more complicated job that Barry will EVER be involved in.

Posted by: Chief ROSS | September 1, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

sorry chief ross: idiot is as idiot does. running a state the population size of austin tx, and a town the size of 2 manhattan blocks is not experience i want to bank anything on. you presumably had your eight years of non-experience, let the other half now have theirs...we'll check back at the end of barack and joes and see how your doing.
good luck to you and yours,

Posted by: gern | September 1, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

That is what I figured, the only person on cable news to near report this was Keith Olberman very intersesting , hey she was the mayor of a town with less then 2000 houses, then Gov. for 20 months of a state with less then 700,000 people. Im not surprised she inflated her resume.

Posted by: Brandon | September 1, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

the author left out the most important fact, which is that she ran her governor's race in '06 on building that "bridge to nowwhere". funny...odd...you left that out - nemokitty

wow, did she say that in front of cameras? juxtaposing that with her "thanks but no thanks" would be a wonderful youtube moment.

Posted by: Warren S. | September 1, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

The only executive experience to run something for Obama was to run the Foundation along with Bill Ayers. The great One does have experience.

Posted by: Mohammad | September 1, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

All you Republicans who say that Obama doesn't have experience, know this:

- By this definition, McCain has never run anything!! So he has no experience either!!

Maybe she should have been at the top of the ticket.

Posted by: Wow Again | September 1, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The earmark was pinned to grant only partial federal funds, not total they requested. Yes, they said no, they couldn't come up with partial or half. Conveniently deceptive.

Posted by: canadagirl | September 1, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like Palin and Alaska still took the welfare, they just spent it elsewhere. Maybe what we need is for the Senators from Alaska to loose their power to take from the rest of us and distribute it to their cronies.

Posted by: Thomas Fiore | September 1, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Gee. . . If her principled opposition to this wasteful spending was McCain's reason for choosing Palin, and in fact, there was no such principle at work, and in fact, the state is merely shifting the bridge money to other projects in Alaska, it seems Palin deserves a little greater penalty than a half truth here. She lied in her very first words to the country. Presumably, she lied to McCain, or McCain did not vet her adequately. This is outrageous.

Posted by: HarrisCo | September 1, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Gee. . . If her principled opposition to this wasteful spending was McCain's reason for choosing Palin, and in fact, there was no such principle at work, and in fact, the state is merely shifting the bridge money to other projects in Alaska, it seems Palin deserves a little greater penalty than a half truth here. She lied in her very first words to the country. Presumably, she lied to McCain, or McCain did not vet her adequately. This is outrageous.

Posted by: HarrisCo | September 1, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Call it what it is. It was a lie. She didn't tell Congress "Thanks, but no thanks". She told Congress "Thanks, and we'd like more please."

And when Congress told her "Thanks, but no thanks." She spinned on her heels and claimed she was against the project. But far be it from her to return our tax dollars!

I can't believe other "conservatives" are backing this fallacy! How dare you!

If the mantra of the Republican party is going to be "Country first" then why don't we put our Country first and stop spinning this crap?!

Posted by: Spin | September 1, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Palin keeps surprising McCain -- and the rest of us!

McCain didn't know she was really for the bridge to nowhere that she took credit for killing.

And tonight there's another treat: McCain thought Palin would be his partner in reform, but guess what? She loves earmarks! It wasn't just the bridge!

As mayor, Palin hired a Washington lobbyist and got $27 million in earmarks for her town of 6,700. (Wasilla must be just about the smallest town in America to have a D.C. lobbyist.) She even traveled to Washington to push Congress for earmarks herself.

And this February she asked Ted Stevens for $200 million in earmarks.

Read the Post's story tonight: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/01/AR2008090103148.html?hpid=topnews

Hey, John, how'd that vetting go again?

Does anyone reall think McCain will deliver responsible, steady leadership? His biggest decision as a candidate, and he blew it.

Posted by: Ann Arbor | September 1, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Half true?

She was supporter of the project!
She was for it before she was against it!

Check out these entries from the Ketchikan Daily News:

“People across the nation struggle with the idea of building a bridge because they’ve been under these misperceptions about the bridge and the purpose,’ said Palin, who described the link as the Ketchikan area’s potential for expansion and growth.

Palin said Alaska’s congressional delegation worked hard to obtain funding for the bridge and that she ‘would not stand in the way of the progress toward that bridge’.
8-8-06

‘We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative,’ Palin said.”
Ketchikan Daily News 9-28-06

Posted by: Tim | September 1, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

From:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/intrusive-personal-questions-from-palin.html

Monday, September 01, 2008

"Intrusive Personal Questions" from the Palin Vetting Questionnaire

"Mr. McCain’s advisers said repeatedly on Monday that Ms. Palin was 'thoroughly vetted'"- The New York Times

Palin "responded to a 70-question form that included 'intrusive personal questions' a senior campaign aide said today."- The Washington Post


"Intrusive Personal Questions" from the Palin Vetting Questionnaire:

1) Did we forget anything?

2)Why are we choosing you if we discovered all of this?

3) Secession from your own country is

a) Patriotic
b) A qualification to be the potential leader of that country
c) Maverick-y!
d) None of the above

4) Did we forget anything?

5) Moose Burger : Abstinence as Moose Hunting :

a) Brother-in-law
b) 50 state flag
c) Bridge to Nowhere (after it was made impossible)
d) All of the above

6) Three Vice Presidential candidates are moving from three equidistant fixed points towards a podium. One, in his slightly glazed stare and awkwardly quasi-combative speech bears a faint resemblance to Dan Quayle; the next can only assist the ticket as we near closer to Rapture; the third seems to have stumbled out of one of Christopher Buckley's sharper efforts. Which one arrives at the podium first?

7) "Nothing that has come out did not come out in the vet." This sentence actually means:

a) Everything has come out and everything has been vetted
b) Everything that was vetted has come out
c) Everything that has come out was vetted
d) The vet came out and vetted the vets vetter than anything has ever been vetted. Really.

8) You are a right-wing, red-state conservative. During the Clinton Administration, you believed that President Clinton's behavior with Monica Lewinsky disqualified him from the Presidency on moral grounds; you fervently raised the terms "Lincoln Bedroom" and "Johnny Chung" to invoke notions of utter corruption, and regarded the "Travelgate" firings as an abuse of power. In the face of the recent revelations regarding Palin's directorship of Ted Stevens' 527, support of the Bridge to Nowhere, "Troopergate" imbroglio, and illegitimate preganancy of her 16 year old daughter, you:

a) Blame George Soros
b) Talk about Bill Clinton instead of Palin
c) Hold your hands over your ears and loudly shout "La la la"
d) Try to change the subject

9) "Foreign policy experience" includes:

a) Being near another large nation
b) Seceding from your own country and then taking up residence in the new nation
c) Being close to "Nowhere" in your support for the Bridge to Nowhere, which is different than being "Somewhere"
d) Blame George Soros

10) If you were seeking to choose as your running mate someone who would please Evangelical Conservatives with very traditional values, who would be without taint of corruption or misuse of government power, and someone who, in line with your campaign's own slogan, would put "Country First", after thorough vetting and "intrusive personal questions", you would choose someone who:

a) Supported the Bridge to Nowhere
b) Supported the secession of Alaska from the U.S. (Slogan: "Alaska First!")
c) Was the subject of a state ethics investigation due to allegations that she had tried to have her brother-in-law fired and that she fired the state public safety commissioner due to his unwillingness to fire the brother-in-law
d) Would suffer from allegations that her 16 year old child had become pregnant illegitimately, despite her fervent support for abstinence only sex education
e) None of the above

Cite
Head of State:
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/intrusive-personal-questions-from-palin.html


Posted by: Robert Hewson | September 2, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

You call this fact checking? Then why didn't you report that Palin supported the Bridge during her campaign in order to get elected. Is anybody planning on thoroughly vetting this woman. Do your job.

Posted by: Di | September 2, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: jenna | September 2, 2008 4:47 AM | Report abuse

"Fact is, Alaska took the bridge money, and then just spent it on other projects."

This is the bottom line of this conversation.

Posted by: vcsmith | September 2, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

If a governor has a chance to get federal funds for ANYTHING, and turns them down, does that mean the governor's good?

Of course not, so Sarah Palin was of course serving her constituency by accepting federal funds, and using them EFFICIENTLY, that is, not on the Bridge to Nowhere but more important road projects. That's a governor doing a fine job.

Her thanks-but-no-thanks quote may be a bit over the top, but it's no lie, and this story shows no incompetency or unethical behavior.

Let's review Obama's history of executive decisions.

Okay, I'm finished.

Now let's review Biden's.

All right, I'm done with that.

Maybe the Dems were vetted after all.

Posted by: The Angry One | September 2, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse


From:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/unsurprised.html

Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Unsurprised

"No Surprises From Palin, McCain Team Says"-Washington Post


Senior McCain officials described themselves as "unsurprised" today as huge storms of locusts flew from Wasilla, Alaska and descended upon McCain campaign headquarters. "Locusts were vetted. Locusts were vetted in the vet" said one campaign official, who spoke without attribution out of concern that he would be devoured by a verminous flying cloud. The campaign also said that they were nonplussed by reports that the rivers were running black with ashes, that family pets were begin to speak in human voices, declaiming "Release Sarah!", and that a huge spreading stain was beginning to blot out the Northern sun. "Vetted", said the campaign.

"There are exciting new studies that show that locusts can be used as a source of biodegradable fuel" said Newt Gingrich, as he hunkered down to avoid the black marble obelisks falling from the sky around him. "Palin, if she can be said to have played a role in bringing about these new biofuel resources, should be praised for her innovative role in the solution to our future energy demands".

"These events firmly demonstrate Palin's deep connection to traditional modes of traditional expression, in traditional forms, traditionally." said William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard. "Experience, in the face of these more traditional events, is overrated..." continued Kristol, before ending the interview to wrap himself head-to-toe in mosquito netting and swallowing a bitter tasting anti-malarial drug, the taste of which, as his lips contorted, he noted to be "surprisingly refreshing."

Palin's schedule in the upcoming days of the Republican National Convention has been cut short due to, as one McCain communications aide reported, a desire not to "let the magic out of the bottle too quickly." "Sarah is a precious resource, who each moment brings a new vitality and energy to every worker on the campaign" said the aide, while fighting to remove the nest of serpents which had suddenly materialized on the floor beneath him, and were now slowly ascending his legs. "Do these bite, or just slink?" asked the aide, who spoke on conditions of anonymity so as not to provoke or otherwise alienate the reptiles.

Meanwhile, as the heavens darkened, the seas began to boil, and the voice tore through the clouds shouting, in deep, stentorian tones to one and all "It was a Mistake!", campaign offices described themselves as "unperturbed". "Serpents materializing, house pets suddenly called to vocal advocacy, Celestial callings to revise and repent...Vetted" said the spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was turning into a pillar of salt. "Everything that was vetted was vetted in the vet."

Cite:
Head of State:
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/unsurprised.html

Posted by: Robert Hewson | September 2, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: arni | September 2, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Why does anybody care. Looks like politics as usual, with a spin for everybody.

Posted by: Frigidare | September 2, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Finally someone has the information on Palin's "smoking gun"--
Palin's involvement on the Wasilla Sports Complex. . . thank you Anne Kilkenney of Alaska

Please read/consider/tell:

Let's get rid of BabyGates on the networks and get back to what counts . . .
Palin is a fraud and McCain makes rash executive decisions on a regular basis--

When will Palin be ready for reporter's questions??? And why is McCain suddenly not ready for Larry King Tonight (Tues 9/2)??

The Media Needs to Wake-Up--Campbell Brown tried yesterday interviewing Tucker of the McCain campaign and McCain cancelled his appearence tonight on Larry King because of her hard questioning of Tucker---can you say hiding?---

Gee senator you say you'll follow Ben Laden to the Gates of Hell but you won't talk to Larry in his Cave????

--when will the Media get it????? tuwit:

"She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? Or a new library? No. $1 million for a park. $15 million-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn't even have clear title to, and that was still in litigation seven years later -- to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5 million for road projects that could have been done in 5 to7 years without any borrowing."--Anne Kilkenney

Well . . .WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED MEDIA?
Is the the kind of EXECUTIVE DECISION MAKING we are missing in Washington?

D Chance

Posted by: dchance1 | September 2, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

All ya'll conservatives have had a lot of fun in the last few months spreading half-truths and guilt by association with Rezko & Ayers/Ethnic Clothing/"Terrorist Fist Jabs"/Flag Pins.

Now we get to have some fun with Trooper-Gate/DUI-Husband/$27 M Lobbying Firm/Illegitimate Grandchild/Illegitimate Daughter/Book Banning/PTA experienced/Elopement on a Budget/Felony Record/Nepotismic Hockey Mom/Bridge to nowhere

It seems ya'll are about to reap what you sow. Don't make yourselves look hypocritical by complaining about it.

Posted by: Patrick | September 3, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

I wish the Nazis would hurry up and finished their convention so I can watch History Detectives on PBS. Hate Queers, Love WAR, Make Money, Wave the FLAG. Like a bunch of monkeys in a zoo. I just want to feed them bananas. God save their souls.

Posted by: Johna | September 3, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

I would say its an out and out lie, period.as are several responses and statements she has made .The only part of her story with any truth is the bridge didnt happen, but the money sure did get spent.Once money is "earmarked" it has to go to that state, for that purpose.Sure, it probably did go into highway work( i hope) but to pose it as she "refunded" the 400 million to congress just didnt happen.Most of the money was allready spoken for, long before she took office, she just got to put her "kill tag" on the bridge, thats all.

Posted by: Bill | September 3, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

One more fun fact about Palin. She raised taxes as mayor of Wasilla. If we're going to count her record as mayor as "experience" then she has to be responsible for it.

She raised taxes to pay for an ice arena that ended up costing the city an additional $1.5 M in legal fees after a property dispute. While mayor, she also fired or forced to resign 6 city officials with whom she disagreed with politically. That sounds a lot like Bush; favoring loyalty over competence, thereby destroying the quality of the government.

Posted by: Patrick | September 3, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Bill you need a banana?

Posted by: Johna | September 3, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Get it right once and for all.
If she became the POTUS she would be the least experienced and LEAST educated president in the history of the Union.
Furthermore..She she cant keep her religion out of her politics. Isn't that a topic that is supposed to be a family issue. Onething is for sure..Romney or Lieberman dont bring their religious beliefs into the political mix. Must be because she menstruates.

Posted by: G Spot | September 3, 2008 3:21 AM | Report abuse

It does seem nice to watch the liberal slime emerge from under the rocks. Palin was a spectacular pick and the reaction of the MSM clearly supports that assessment.

Posted by: Duvane | September 3, 2008 4:09 AM | Report abuse

When does Dobbs return?

Posted by: JakeD | September 3, 2008 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Palin is scary.. as a former republican .. to think the party could come up with no one better qualified than her as a vice president candidate smacks of desperation. The news media has got to stop pussy footing around and call a spade a spade. Ask the questions:
1. With two wars going on, an economy that is in recession.. Why are you picking a vice president that has NO experience, in any of these areas?
2. Why are you picking a vice president that would be the least educated in the history of our country?
3. What makes her qualified to be a heart beat away from the oval office?
4. Why did you not properly vet her before you nominated her?

Ask the questions.. and get answers. Do your job.

Posted by: eagle2352 | September 3, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

What you fail to report is that Palin was for the "Bridge to Nowhere" before she was against it. It is public record that Palin supported the "pork barrel" project when she was campaigning to be Governor of Alaska. Once the project's federal funding got canceled then she denounced the project.

So where did the money go that Palin took from the "Bridge to Nowhere"? What projects were done with the money?

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | September 3, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I BELIEVE THAT MCCAIN INSULTED WOMEN EVERYWHERE BY SELECTING PALIN. THEY WERE HOPING THAT WOMEN PUT GENDER FIRST INSTEAD OF THEIR COUNTRY. THEY WERE WRONG

Posted by: jack | September 3, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

GOV. SARAH PALIN WAS A MEMBER OF A PARTY THAT DIDNT WANT TO BE A PART OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I BELIEVE THAT BORDERLINES ON TREASON

Posted by: DM | September 3, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

400 MILLION DOLLAR BRIDGE FOR A TOWN OF LESS THAN 50 PEOPLE. THAT WOULD MAKE DICK CHENEY BLUSH. THAT NOT PUTTING THE COUNTRY FIRST THAT'S PUTTING A CONTRACTOR FIRST

Posted by: DM | September 3, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only men I know that has any experience to be president are Bush#1, Bush#2, Carter, and Clinton - going into the job, I believe only Bush#1 had any hint of experiences. We can debate all day long about the job they did - so what's with the experience arguments?

Posted by: CP | September 3, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Palin is McCain's Bridge to Nowhere

Posted by: wolf | September 3, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

For me the bottom line is education not experience.

Sarah Palin has a BA in journalism from the University of Idaho, Barack Obama has a BA in political science from Columbia, a JD from Harvard, and was a lecturer at University of Chicago. This is apples and oranges people.

McCain has a BA from the Naval Academy, of course it was over 50 years ago. Biden too is better educated than both McCain and Palin, with a double major in Poli Sci and History for his undergraduate degree and a JD from Syracuse University.

What makes a good president is being smart as hell, making the right decision, when a lesser person would have made the wrong one.

Bush is an excellent example of someone who was poorly educated and treated academic knowledge and science with contempt. He spent 8 years implementing some of the most ineffectual and harmful policies that this country has ever known.

In my mind the decision is simple, the democratic ticket is just much smarter than the republican ticket.

Posted by: Concerned Citizen | September 3, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

This person has been governor of a state with 670,000 (USCensus) people, about the same as Washington, DC (580,000). So these republicans are trying to say that the mayor of DC has enough experience to run the country, probably more than Palin as at least being the mayor of DC you can't avoid knowing what is going on in the world. the governor of Alaska's hardest decision every year is how big of a check should they send to every person in the state from all the excess oil revenues and they still get more $per capita from the federal govt than any other state, sounds like a real reformer with results, (oh sorry, that was W's slogan).

Posted by: marty | September 3, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Palin taunts a political opponent for being overweight and getting cancer:
http://www.adn.com/opinion/comment/story/295464.html

Not exactly VP material...not even governor material...

Posted by: ouch! | September 3, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

To concerned citizen,
I have known plenty of very educated people who didn't have the common sense to come in out of the rain. Education does not necessarily make someone capable of leading a country. Experience, real-world knowledge, and a strong character are more important than a college degree. Can we honestly say that either of the parties have a candadate with all of these qualities? Both sides will lie and spin in order to win, that's the name of the game.

Posted by: KG1380 | September 4, 2008 1:25 AM | Report abuse

How many "degrees" did George Washington or Abraham Lincoln have?

Posted by: JakeD | September 4, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Reagan's degree was from a small-town college, and guess what, Carter graduated from the Naval Academy too.

Posted by: JakeD | September 4, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm disturbed by what was reported by NPR's Morning Edition today (Thursday), and what is noted in this article: that, "In the fall of 2005, Congress removed the language specifically directing the money to the bridge, but it kept the money in place and left it up to Alaska to decide which transportation projects the state would like to spend it on."

So: Palin just told us that she said, "Thanks, but no thanks," to the "bridge to nowhere," but Alaska still received most of the money. I would very much like to hear Palin's answer to how she can say she pushed the "bridge to nowhere" away, but still garnered over $200 million of pork barrel funds for her state.

Posted by: Keiran | September 4, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Her claim to fame is being against something that any moron would have been against? (Which she originally wasn't against)

Everyone in America was against this when they heard about it. Are each and every one of us credible VP candidates?

WHAT'S NEXT? "When I was governor of the suburb (opps I mean state) of Alaska I was also against genocide."????????

Posted by: Anthony | September 4, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I am truly perplexed that Conservatives are willing to put their heads in the sand and ignore her record of pork barrel projects. When she was mayor of Wasilla, she hired a Washington lobbyist to work on getting pork for her city. And she succeeded. Annually, the average Alaskan gets $500 in pork (the rest of the states populations get about $50 per person). But Sarah Palin, bless her heart, got $1000 per person for the people of Wasilla.

I used to respect John McCain, even if I didn't agree with his politics. But no more. He has sold his soul for ambition, and I am saddened and shocked. Couldn't John McCain find ANYONE better than this creature? I cannot believe John McCain would pick someone who sits on a state crammed to the top with pork barrel projects.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

"Hey NEWTON, your an Idiot" -Posted by: Chief ROSS | September 1, 2008 6:10 PM


Hey Chief, a small bit of advice, when you call someone an "idiot" you should first read a grammer book on the use of english. It must not be your first language. The word is not "your an idiot" you were saying YOU ARE AN idiot. So you would have to use You're an idiot. I only offer you this advice because when you use the wrong words like that in calling attention to someone's intelligence people might get the idea YOU'RE an idiot, and gosh we wouldn't want that.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I see that no one has proven she lied about saying "Thanks, but no thanks" yet. She did "kill" the project (regardless of whether it was mostly dead already). So much for what's left of "fact checking" here at WaPo. Speaking of which: it's after Labor Day. Where is Dobbs?

Posted by: JakeD | September 5, 2008 6:10 AM | Report abuse

Hey does anyone know that Obama was involved with a guy named Ayers who likes to set off BOMBS then and really nice guy named Resko then did you know that he voted for the Partical birth abortin bill and even when he heard that half of the babys were being born still alive and being left in a closet to die he said that it would be hard on the mother and doctors so he voted Yes to have the Abortion bill. I really don't know what to think about this guy.

Posted by: Cathy | September 5, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Obama has a Masters degree, I think you need one of those to be a Lawyer :/

Posted by: Gloria | September 5, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

U.S. Attacks on Pakistani Territory Continue
Increase Decrease

September 5, 2008 (LPAC)--The inability of the George Bush adminstration to learn from its own strategic errors--such as the support for the British-led toppling of the Musharaf government in Pakistan--was demonstrated again today. A drone deployed by the U.S.-led ISAF forces in Afghanistan, fired several missiles into Pakistani territory today, in North Waziristan. The missiles hit a house, reportedly killing at least three children and wounding several women, according to local television reports. Some reports are saying that those killed were Talibani militants, and Army spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said they are investigating the incidents.

As Lyndon LaRouche pointed out yesterday, the destabilization of Pakistan is the key British target at this time. Internal Pakistani reports are emphasizing the killing of civilians, and the entire situation is further isolating the Pakistani Army, a key national institution, and fostering internal dissension.

This strike was the third in three days on the Pakistani area bordering Afghanistan, following the raid on Sept. 3 conducted by U.S. forces, in which some 15-20 were killed. That attack was severely condemned by the Pakistani government and Parliament. Yesterday, another drone attack reportedly killed five militants in Pakistan

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

He was the first African American To become President at Harvard Law Review. He was a Civil Rights Lawyer after he graduated from Harvard in 1991. He was also A professor at a UC where he taught some form of political science, if I recall it was constitutional law.

Served 8 years as Illinois Senator, then was elected into the U.S Senate in 2004,
I believe Jan. 4th 2005 he got sworn in.


He past his first law with Tom Coburn I believe... someone can fact check me, but I believe that is right.
A measure that allows Americans to go online and see how and where every cent of their tax dollars are spent.
Not to shabby for someone with no experience(?)

Posted by: Gloria | September 5, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

How about some real fact checking on Sen. Obama.

What favors did he give Tony Rezco from all the years they had been together? What legislation or letters of recommedations did Sen. Obama made in favor of Rezco. What is the real arrangement in the purchase of Sen. Obama's house with Tony Rezco and the seller?

You always seem to find alleged wrongdoings from the opponents of Sen. Obama but can't seem to smell a skunk by your side.

Posted by: tim591 | September 5, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if Obama will target and rid of sharp opponents reporting that Gov. Sarah Palin’s popularity is now even larger than his??

Or will GOP Guiliani target and murder mutual opponents with his mob ties via protege Bernard Kerik whose got 140 years of jail time to cut sweetheart exchange deals with to lessen penalty? Hitler Guiliani, the mobster himself...

As sharp critics to both of them, wonder if we should worry about our family’s physical safety especially when we are jogging in public this afternoon or our car tampered with this afternoon after work for example?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if Obama will target and rid of sharp opponents reporting that Gov. Sarah Palin’s popularity is now even larger than his??

Or will GOP Guiliani target and murder mutual opponents with his mob ties via protege Bernard Kerik whose got 140 years of jail time to cut sweetheart exchange deals with to lessen penalty? Hitler Guiliani, the mobster himself...

As sharp critics to both of them, wonder if we should worry about our family’s physical safety especially when we are jogging in public this afternoon or our car tampered with this afternoon after work for example?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if Obama will target and rid of sharp opponents reporting that Gov. Sarah Palin’s popularity is now even larger than his??

Or will GOP Guiliani target and murder mutual opponents with his mob ties via protege Bernard Kerik whose got 140 years of jail time to cut sweetheart exchange deals with to lessen penalty? Hitler Guiliani, the mobster himself...

As sharp critics to both of them, wonder if we should worry about our family’s physical safety especially when we are jogging in public this afternoon or our car tampered with this afternoon after work for example?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The Dems put up the most liberal and most inexperienced candidate they could find - now they are in the serious whining mode. They had the election in the bag and now have a good chance of blowing it.

Is the middle of the country going to vote for an uber-liberal empty suit? - in the end NO.

Is the south going to vote for the the pal of reverend Wright, Ayers, etc? The half white guy? - in the end NO.

Is the base of the Republicans charged up enough to come out in big numbers which will be needed? Probably.

Are some women going to cross over for the Palin vote? - Yes, there are many who feel it is time almost regardless of political philosophy.

Critical Florida - I would say goes for McCain
Critical Michigan - too close for comfort for the Dems
Critical Ohio - in the end the Dems will lose this state narrowly also.

As an independant I want to go with the hope of change of Obama and I want to punish the current party - but in the end I know in my heart Obama is seriously over promising. Jimmy Carter all over again. He is just too inexperienced, knaive and big spending for me, for the country.

Posted by: randy | September 6, 2008 5:42 AM | Report abuse

The McBush McPain McLie ticket is sure to destory the remainer of America and leave us with McPain McBush polictics

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Posted by: hnKMZtugzjQUjN | September 6, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

The right-wing Radios stations and FOX and their followers have used these deceptive tactics for a long time.

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | September 7, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"Deceptive" as in technically TRUE?!

Posted by: JakeD | September 7, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Sara Palin says a lot of things besides her prayers. I just hope that her prayers are a little bit more truthful.

Posted by: Bob | September 7, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

So where do you think the billions of dollars come from to shore up all of the nations highways, bridges, and roads. Whom do you think hands out money to individual states for these repairs and building projects. When any state needs money for roads and the like, the federal government awards money. Why should Alaska be any different. You act as though Alaskans should have to come up with all this money on their own. Look into your own state's history of being the beneficiary of federal funds, who got it for them and what happened to it. Then come back and criticize Palin.
Obama wants the government to pay for everything as though it is their obligation to support people who have been unable to succeed on their own. Will you fault them for taking Federal money? He talks about volunteering as though we don't already have organizations in place for Americans to help out and volunteer. They just don't. How many large cities have been the beneficiaries of government funding to help build football stadiums, school playing fields etc. You all act as though Alaska is doing something extraordinary by accepting federal funds. Pork Barreling is more like Hillary Clinton asking for a million dollars to place a monument at Woodstock. Who benefits from that?


Posted by: BJLeone | September 7, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Here is my sourced and documented take on the Palin 'bridge to nowhere' lie, not to mention the false assertion that she is somehow anti-earmark.

http://scootmandubious.blogspot.com/2008/09/debunking-lies-of-mccain-palin-bridge.html

Posted by: scootmandubious | September 7, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Alaska is for all intent and purposes a quasi welfare State. At least compared to the lower 49. Mrs. Palin has played the part of the good Pork bearer in fine Alaskan tradition. I'm sure the Mccain campaign is working around the clock figuring out ways to avoid confronting the facts of Palin's political career. It is dishearting to see men and women claiming to be good Americans allow someone to bold faced lie to them and go along quite happily as if thier future didn't depend on it. Shame on people and all thier bigotry and close mindednesss. They can deny all they want that if anyone else had been born to a single parent in poverty,worked thier way thru school,graduated top of thier class, became president of their law review and passed up a lucrative law carreer to help the less fortunate they would be the President in a heartbeat. Instead they think a lying, ambitious, self seeking pitbull with libstick is thier answer to the change they know thier Presidential canditae can't deliver..

Posted by: B. Rollens | September 7, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the "thanks but no thanks" statement is that I have seen no evidence that Ms.Pallin said this to Congress. If she did, I hope Michael Dobbs, or someone else, can provide evidence that she sent a letter to this effect to the appropriate member of Congress.

Posted by: Another Bill | September 8, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Palin vs Obama represents a clash of cultures: female pragmatism of the down home USA variety and Black victimization pandering. There are clear examples of foundring Black administrations in DC, Detroit and Philadephia. Here in Houston the city's first Black administration was a pathetic example of bad management, graft and Black cronyism. If a Black candidate wants to transcend this wholly inferior racial context for being considered worthy of national leadership of the US, he or she must leave behind victimhood, and show some serious record of reform and administrative excellence. Obama has done none of that. On the other hand he too has had to rise initially in a partisan corrupt political culture, but he has not shown in any way his ability to transcend this as has Palin.

To suggest that Sarah Palin's management and reform accomplishments are sullied by the messy realities of her transition from party candidate to the building and exercising of her brand of independent leadership, is terribly short sighted. She is at least the equal of Obama in oratory if not better in taking hers above partisanship to honestly inspire come together leadership.

For anyone who can drain their partisan swamp and see the remaining realities of either side's demonstrated leadership and experience, there is no other choice but McCain/Palin. This must be a wrenching consideration for Blacks who have felt they might never see such a day, when a Black man was a viable candidate for President of the US. But these are times when the country needs the best of the best and as well a great deal of luck and good advice to pilot through very dangerous foreign policy and fiscal policy waters while carefully balancing safety vs freedom in the most free society on the planet. As Rudy said in his speech, there may well be a day for a man of Obama's potential, but he must earn that day, not ride to it on the back of melodramatic oratory and black victimization. And he must show that his will not be just one more messy, crony filled Black administration. Words alone can not raise him out of this deeply dug cultural hole. Perhaps he should consider becoming a governor himself. Reagan and Clinton are not bad examples to follow, with one exception in the usage of cigars.

Posted by: woofs_a_lot | September 8, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

99% of the comments here suffer from an acute case of myopia. Examining one's navel for lint hardly demonstrates anything about the whole person. Politics lately has devolved into propagandized news that spins a cloud of exaggerated emotion over narrow topics presented wholly without context, a.k.a. political spin.


Posted by: woofs_a_lot | September 8, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

B. Rollens:

Yes or no -- did Gov. Palin kill the bridge project (regardless of whether she sent a letter or not)? Actions speak louder than words, my friend.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but that last post should have been directed to "Another Bill".

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

So how did Senators' Obama and Biden vote on the funding for the "Bridge to Nowhere"?

The answer is the both voted for it! John Mc. did not vote as he was not on the floor that day... more information developing.

Posted by: Joe | September 10, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

what a shame she continues to lie about it. And it is a bull face lie. What is it about the gop that they've taken to lying so much?

It's not like she received bad information from someone running her campaign. She made the moves herself.

She's not fit to be a V.P.

Posted by: Judy W. | September 10, 2008 3:36 AM | Report abuse

I could care less about Vice President Palin's flip flop on the bridge because she eventually made the right choice. I beg all of you who are considering voting for the Anointed One to google "Saul Alinsky" and investigate his involvement in the community organizing movement and the Anointed's connection to him. Alinsky was a wealth redistributing Commie. That's the grass roots start of the community organizing movement, and Obama and the Clinton's are both in bed with this crackhead.

--eric

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