.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

My Photo
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Questions for John McCain and Sarah Palin

1. How would you characterize your role in the 1989 Keating 5 corruption and racketeering scandal in which you and four other congressmen were accused of improperly aiding Charles Keating, an Arizona banker whose risky and unethical investment practices lead to the 1989 Savings and Loan Crisis?

2. Can you tell us what you did with the over $100,000 you received from Keating as campaign contributions? Is it possible that you returned the funds or donated them to charity?

3. What did you learn from the Keating 5 scandal and the 1989 Savings and Loan crisis that supports your stance now that deregulation of the banking industry has aided the US economy?

4. Your running mate has claimed repeatedly that she turned down the money for the “bridge to nowhere.” However, she did accept the funding for that bridge, and instead of building the bridge, constructed a road which leads to where the bridge should have been. Can you explain how accepting the funding for the bridge and yet not building the bridge, is a) ethical, b) benefits the people of Alaska, and c) benefits the US taxpayers who provided the funding?

5. What is your definition of “earmarks?”

6. Please explain why the following are NOT earmarks:

Your 2006 request for $10 million for a University of Arizona academic center named after Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist (an earmark about which the National Taxpayers Union, usually an ally to you, wondered why federal taxpayer’s money should be used to create this center).

The $14.3 million you added to a 2003 defense appropriations bill to
create a buffer zone around Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.

The approximately $400 million Palin initially requested for the now infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” – funding which she did indeed accept.

7. In January of 2008, you vowed to combat global warning, yet you chose a running mate who doesn’t believe global warming is a reality. Can you explain the discrepancy between your thinking and your running mate’s?

8. If you win the office of the Presidency and you die in office, do you believe Palin would change her opinion on global warming?

9. You recently stated that because Palin’s son is soon to be deployed to Iraq, she clearly understands our national security and defense issues. Can you explain how having a family member serve in Iraq provides an individual with the national security and defense expertise required of a chief executive of the United States?

10. If I have a family relative serving in Iraq, would you consider me as an alternative choice for a running mate – in so far as national security and defense is concerned?

11. You recently stated that the deregulation of the banking system which occurred in the early 2000s (and which you supported), has made our economy strong. Can you explain how record unemployment rates, escalating consumer goods costs, the sub prime mortgage fiasco, and failing financial institutions equate to a strong economy?

12. You promote “family values." Can you explain which family value caused you to file for divorce from your first wife less than one year after you met your current wife who is 18 years your junior?

13. Can you tell us how you would treat your current wife, Cindy, if she were to experience an accident which disfigured her and what family value would guide your conduct in such a situation?

14. Recently, you have refused to answer questions posed by the press, accused the press of asking questions you feel are irrelevant and inappropriate, and your campaign has also banned the press from some of Palin’s appearances (allowing only photographers and video crews, but no print reporters whose role it is to ask questions). Can you explain which questions the press has posed that are inappropriate and why they are so?

15. What is the role of a free press in a democracy?

16. You have previously stated that the healthcare system would benefit from a similar type of de-regulation that the banking industry has experienced in the past 8 years. You have also promoted a healthcare plan that will consider healthcare benefits provided by employers as taxable income to the employee. Can you explain how deregulation of the healthcare system will benefit the American people and how taxing healthcare benefits as income will help middle and lower class Americans afford healthcare?

17. Additionally, will your healthcare plan also tax as income the health benefits the taxpayers of this country provide to senators and congresspersons?

18. What is the difference between the Shia and the Sunni and how does that difference relate to situation in the Middle East?

Below are questions (compliments of The Nation) that should be asked of Sarah Palin (the compassionate, feminist maverick) during the VP debate, but probably won't because to do so would be sexist according to current Republican wisdom. And as political satirist Cobert reminds us: the Repubs should know what's truly sexist since they've been feminists for almost two weeks now,far longer than Palin.

1. Suppose your 14-year-old daughter Willow is brutally raped in her bedroom by an intruder. She becomes pregnant and wants an abortion. Could you tell the parents of America why you think your child and their children should be forced by law to have their rapists' babies?

2. You say you don't believe global warming is man-made. Could you tell us what scientists you've spoken with or read who have led you to that conclusion? What do you think the 2,500 scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are getting wrong?

3. If you didn't try to fire Wasilla librarian Mary Ellen Baker over her refusal to consider censoring books, why did you try to fire her?

4. What is the European Union, and how does it function?

5. Forty-seven million Americans lack health insurance. John Goodman, who has advised McCain on healthcare, has proposed redefining them as covered because, he says, anyone can get care at an ER. Do you agree with him?

6. What is the function of the Federal Reserve?

7. Cindy and John McCain say you have experience in foreign affairs because Alaska is next to Russia. When did you last speak with Prime Minister Putin, and what did you talk about?

8. Approximately how old is the earth? Five thousand years? 10,000? 5 billion?

9. You are a big fan of President Bush, so why didn't you mention him even once in your convention speech?

10. McCain says cutting earmarks and waste will make up for revenues lost by making the tax cuts permanent. Experts say that won't wash. Balancing the Bush tax cuts plus new ones proposed by McCain would most likely mean cutting Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Which would you cut?

11. You're suing the federal government to have polar bears removed from the endangered species list, even as Alaska's northern coastal ice is melting and falling into the sea. Can you explain the science behind your decision?

12. You've suggested that God approves of the Iraq War and the Alaska pipeline. How do you know?