My family and I would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Geraldine Ferraro. When I had the honor of working alongside Geraldine on election night last year, we both discussed the role of women in politics and our excited expectation that someday that final glass ceiling would be shattered by the election of a woman president. She was an amazing woman who dedicated her life to public service as a teacher, prosecutor, Congresswoman, and Vice Presidential candidate. She broke one huge barrier and then went on to break many more. The world will miss her. May she rest in peace and may her example of hard work and dedication to America continue to inspire all women.
If Sarah Palin should declare her candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the past few days may be looked back at by political historians as an important marker. While pundits continue to dwell on the supposedly collapsing poll numbers for Palin and trumpet the erosion of her presidential ambitions, the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee was abroad, buttressing the one area seen as a major weakness in Palin’s ability to project herself as a national political leader, foreign policy. Palin was the keynote speaker at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi, an assembly of the most prominent Indian business leaders. Her speech dealt with her vision of America, with a major focus on energy independence and oil drilling, a possible key issue for a future Sarah Palin for President campaign.
After her speech to India’s elite, Sarah Palin went off to Israel for a brief visit, which included a private dinner with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The dual visits to India and Israel within such a compressed period of time showed Sarah Palin as not only comfortable but even self-confident on the world stage. In New Delhi, she answered questions in an unstructured Q & A session that was devoid of major gaffes. The interview she granted Fox News upon her return from Israel, in which she commented on events in Libya and the Middle East, revealed a Palin that was no longer awkward in speaking publicly and to the media on issues involving the international arena.
It seems clear that Sarah Palin has been working hard on buttressing her knowledge of foreign policy issues, and her facility in discussing international affairs in a public setting. No doubt, Palin has been helped by some serious coaching from others who are much more knowledgeable on foreign policy. The question that surfaces is this: for what purpose has Sarah Palin devoted time and effort towards enhancing her grasp of foreign affairs? Critics on the left, and even within the establishment of the Republican Party, will argue that this is merely for the purpose of increasing her marketability and fees as a celebrity speaker. I think these critics do not fully comprehend the objectives and political ambitions of Sarah Palin, and her determination and focus in pursuing them.
President Obama's bombing of Libya without congressional authorization or debate puts us on a dangerous path. A minimum standard for transparency in government is that the House and the Senate go on the record for or against a new war.
To put it crudely: As a matter of logic, if President Obama can bomb Libya without congressional authorization, then a future President Palin could bomb Iran without congressional authorization. If, God forbid, we ever get to that fork in the road, you can bet your bottom dollar that the advocates of bombing Iran will invoke congressional silence now as justification for their claims of unilateral presidential authority to bomb anywhere, anytime. […]
Obama's own words: president doesn't have that power
A memo distributed to Republican aides in the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee made the case that congressional authorization is necessary and used Obama's own words to make the case.
On Dec. 20, 2007, then-Senator Obama was asked a question: "In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress?"
His response: "The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." […]
With Benghazi apparently no longer under Libyan government threat, and with Western bombs falling in Tripoli, this dispute over the scope of Western military intervention is virtually certain to intensify. You can debate the constitutional issue of war powers until the cows come home; but as a practical matter, if Congress doesn't formally address the issue, such debate isn't very relevant.
If a majority of the House and the Senate support the present US military intervention in Libya, let them say so on the record, at least, by voting for a resolution to authorize military force. If the majority of the House or Senate are opposed, let them say so on the record. A minimum standard for transparency in government is that the House and the Senate go on the record for or against a new war.
Robert Naiman is policy director at Just Foreign Policy and president of Truthout’s board of directors.
The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the administration of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in a suit brought against the state by Ben Latham. Latham sued because Palin, while still governor, and then-Attorney General Talis Colberg failed to challenge the constitutionality of 1995 legislation that "modified the jurisdiction of the court of appeals to hear excessive sentence appeals."
Latham's lawsuit was dismissed in superior court and appealed to the Supreme Court. Latham was found guilty in the 1980s of robbing a grocery store and then stealing a car in the getaway. He pleaded no contest but reserved right to appeal. He was sentenced to eight and a half years, with a year and a half suspended. After getting out and being placed on probation, Latham faced another charge of criminal mischief from the state and his probation was revoked on the basis that he'd violated its terms. In 1994, his probation for the first two charges was extended based on a third charge -- and it was that extension that formed the crux of his alleged violation of constitutional rights. COURT DOCUMENT
Palin is as masterly with language as Bush was not. She uses her unique way of speaking to devastating political effect. She has every confidence in her ability to reach her audience. Bush was reduced to half-apologizing for his stumbles. Palin owns them.
After “refudiate,” she sent a follow-up tweet. “English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!” With trademark confidence, she turned the tables on the pointy-heads who mock her. [...]
I was at Palin’s coming-out speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention. She may not have written her line about the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom (“lipstick”), but she delivered it perfectly. Watch it again. The crowd roared. She drew increased confidence and swagger as she went on. At the beginning she was an unknown. By the end, she was the Sarah Palin you know today. She now overshadows, in her ability to grab attention, the entire 2012 Republican field.
So on National Grammar Day, remember: Language is about communicating effectively, not just memorizing some highfalutin’ rules. Bo Diddley knows that. So does Palin. Democrats (and Republicans) “misunderestimate” her at their peril.