Tag Archives: Throw Them All Out

Who is Mark Begich?

Mark-Begich

By C.A. Bamford

In 2008, Alaska’s junior senator, Mark Begich won his seat by the slimmest of margins, barely edging out incumbent Senator Ted Stevens. “Uncle Ted”, as Alaskans were fond of calling him, and was the longest serving Republican member of the Senate of all time. What tipped the scales for this unlikely win?

Was it the huge infusion of DNC cash? Wifely support from Begich’s wife, Deborah Bonito (former Chair of Alaska’s Democrat Party)? Was the brotherly support of unions, including former APDEA union leader, Rob Heun (who later received a federal commission as a US Marshall) a big help? Or could it have simply been the “Shadow Bosses” factor?

One thing is certain. It was a lucky break for Mr. Begich, when 60 days before the election, Senator Stevens was hit with ethics and corruption charges. Begich supporters, the DNC, and highly organized Outside interests had been relentless and vociferous in condemning Stevens. Then just 8 days before the election, Senator Stevens was convicted of felony violations. In spite of this, Stevens’ popularity and reputation for standing up for the rights of Alaska almost won him re-election. But Mark Begich had managed to pull in enough votes for a win.

After the election, however, the many disturbing discrepancies in the prosecution’s case led to a review and a request by the Attorney General to Judge Emmett Sullivan to dismiss the indictment. The judge complied and appointed a special prosecutor to conduct a criminal investigation of the federal prosecutors working on the Stevens case. It had been alleged that Senator Stevens had tried to conceal information on renovation of his modest Girdwood home on his senate financial disclosure form. The other counts concerned gifts, including a puppy from a charity event, a massage chair and a statue of a giant salmon. A key witness, David Anderson, came forward and acknowledged that he had provided false testimony. He admitted that the prosecution had allowed billing records from him to be entered into evidence even though they knew the records were not accurate. Bill Allen was convicted of bribery and conspiracy and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. A number of others were found guilty of lying and withholding information that would have cleared Senator Stevens.

The wrongful conviction of Senator Ted Stevens, just days before the election, was thrown out. But the damage was done. Alaska’s most experienced and ardent champion, a man who had served Alaska long before it had even achieved statehood, was gone from the senate. This powerful voice for Alaskans had been replaced by a man with little experience and few achievements.

Not Guilty

We know Senator Mark Begich’s record in the senate. Other than being a deciding vote for Obamacare, he has accomplished little, getting just one bill passed… to re-name a courthouse in Anchorage. “…Begich is a junior figure, moving through the chamber’s power structure at the speed of a mastodon tapped in a glacier.” ~The Washington Post 7/13/14

A loyal party follower and self-described moderate Democrat, Begich gave Obama 105 of his 107 Senate votes. He voted to increase the debt limit 7 times, voted for the failed $831 billion stimulus plan, voted for a national energy tax known as Cap and Trade, and although he claims to be against EPA overregulation, Senator Begich voted against reining in the EPA’s power.

Although he claims credit for many accomplishments, it turns out that Senator Begich has stretched the truth a bit on those claims. He has taken credit for getting Veterans facilities built, but it was Senator Ted Stevens and others who got the ball rolling on them. He has claimed credit for bills sponsored by Alaska Senator Murkowski, on which he was merely a signer. He promised he’d fight Obama and open ANWR for drilling. ANWR is still closed. He has actually been chastised by Alaska Congressman Don Young, who said, “I don’t appreciate the ads being run on his (Begich’s) behalf. The road (into the National Petroleum Reserve)? Nah. Dena’ina Center? Nah. Merrill field? I don’t think so. Don’t take credit for something you didn’t do.

From 1988-98 Mark Begich served on the Anchorage Assembly. During this period, his friend, Anchorage Police Department Employees Association President, Rob Heun convinced the general membership to approve the purchase of an entire building for a union meeting hall. Many felt this was an extravagance since the APDEA union executive board met only once a month. The realtor, Anchorage Assemblyman Mark Begich, reportedly received at least 50K in fees for the $375,000 sale. Additional remodeling costs, reportedly $675,000, went to Begich associate, Joe Murdy (now deceased). Many APDEA members, however, felt that the improvements, including installation of inexpensive indoor-outdoor carpeting, painting walls and adding red outside vinyl window awnings did not justify an expenditure of over two-thirds of a million dollars…especially since the general assembly meeting room was left with a hole to the outside in the south wall where an exhaust fan had been removed. In the end, it cost over a million dollars for this chilly and rarely used building.

In 2003 Begich was elected to a term as Mayor of Anchorage. But that hadn’t ended all that well. During Mark Begich’s tenure as mayor, he increased spending, proposed higher fees and fines, and proposed cuts to city services. Just before leaving office and without consulting the Anchorage Assembly, Begich agreed to generous labor contracts that the city couldn’t afford. In 2008, the Anchorage Assembly voted unanimously to audit those labor contracts that Begich made without their approval. The contracts furthered the financial mess Begich created as mayor while he headed to Washington, DC. In 2009, an independent review found Begich provided inaccurate information and never confirmed Anchorage had the funding for these new contracts.

During the economic downturn in 2008, Begich painted a rosy picture of Anchorage’s economic status, but his finance team worried as some city departments were over spending their calendar-year budgets. The estimated budget shortfall was never disclosed to Assembly members and Begich continued to downplay the problem. As Mayor, Begich increased city spending by more than $130 million, an increase of nearly 50%, and left the city more than $17 million in debt.

Mark Begich Loves Obama

Longtime contributor C.A. Bamford is a Michigander who now calls Alaska home and works in international relations.

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Video: Peter Schweizer and Sean Hannity Discuss Obama’s “District of Corruption”

By Gary P Jackson

Over the holidays Sean Hannity ran a special on Victory Film’s new movie District of Corruption. Here Sean and Peter Schweizer talk about Obama’s vicious circle of crony capitalism. Corruption on a massive scale.

It’s not just Obama who is corrupt though. It’s every major politician in Washington. Though many are democrats, as they are the ones in power, there are Republicans involved as well.

If you haven’t read Peter’s book Throw Them All Out I highly recommend you do so. You can also check out the Government Accountability Institute here. Plenty of solid information on the who, what, when, and where of corruption in government.

Video courtesy SarahNet.

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Big Win for Sarah Palin and Peter Schweizer: Congress Passes STOCK Act

By Gary P Jackson

Back in November, CBS’ 60 Minutes ran an exposé featuring Peter Schweiser and information from his new book Throw Them All Out. 60 Minutes exposed massive insider trading schemes that were going on in Congress.

Though illegal for us mere mortals to engage in [ask Martha Stewart about that] members of Congress were exempted from these laws, and were actually writing legislation based on, not what was best for America, but what would enlarge their bank accounts.

Legislation banning this criminal activity has languished for years. Louise Slaughter, a N.Y. democrat, has been trying for years to get something done. The 60 Minutes broadcast lit a fire under members of Congress.

As Politico reports, not everyone was happy though, as some, such as Senators Patrick Leahy, John Cornyn, and Chuck Grassley wanted stronger language, and even tougher rules:

After weeks of delays, the Senate on Thursday sent a bill banning congressional insider trading to President Barack Obama for his expected signature.
The Senate voted 96 to 3 to pass a watered-down STOCK Act, which would bar members of Congress, their staff and some federal workers from profiting from non-public information obtained through their jobs.

I believe those who make the laws should live under the same laws as everyone else,” Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who authored an early version of the bill last fall, said in a statement. “The passage of this legislation is an important step toward restoring trust in our government.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who was also involved in shaping the STOCK Act, echoed Brown, calling it “a strong bill with teeth” and a “good step forward” to begin reestablishing trust with the American people.

Others downplayed the significance of the legislation. “It’s a modest gesture,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) told POLITICO, adding that he believes lawmakers are already prohibited from insider trading under existing law.

In a statement, President Obama said: “After I sign this bill into law, Members of Congress will not be able to trade stocks based on nonpublic information they gleaned on Capitol Hill.  It’s a good first step.  And in the months ahead, Congress should do even more to help fight the destructive influence of money in politics and rebuild the trust between Washington and the American people.

In early February, the Senate approved a tougher version of the legislation on a near-unanimous vote. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed this week to move forward on the House-passed bill, which dropped two provisions that had been in the Senate-passed package — a move that infuriated a handful of lawmakers from both parties.

One of those proposals, authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), would have expanded federal laws against bribery, theft of public money and other types of public corruption.

The other provision by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) would have required greater disclosure from so-called “political intelligence consultants” who seek information from Congress or the executive branch to trade stocks.

Before the vote, Grassley lashed out at Senate leaders for striking a deal to take up the House measure. Grassley, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) all voted no.

This is bipartisanship, but it’s not the kind of bipartisanship, cooperation, intended or not, that this nation deserves,” Grassley said during in a 20-minute floor speech. “I know that today’s actions only serve the desires of obscure and powerful Wall Street interests, and it undercuts the will of the overwhelming majority of Congress.

For her part, Slaughter vows to continue the push for tougher measures.

It’s a disappointment that Mitch McConnell, once again, caved.

This isn’t as tough of a measure as hoped for, but it’s a solid start. Both Sarah Palin and Peter Schweizer [a top Palin adviser] have been pushing for major ethics reforms like this for some time. Had Peter’s book, and 60 Minutes appearance not been there to expose this activity, it’s unlikely this legislation would have come to pass.

It’s an important win for all of us who seek to hold Congress accountable.

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Is This The Real Reason Olympia Snowe is Retiring from the Senate?

By Gary P Jackson

On Tuesday progressive Republican Senator Olympia Snowe dropped a bombshell on everyone, including her staff, by announcing she was not going to seek re-election. At the time, Snowe cited the “polarization of politics, and lack of bi-partisanship.

Now comes a report from the Sunlight Foundation that may better explain what is really going on:

Did lawsuit factor in Olympia Snowe’s departure?

By Bill Allison and Lindsay Young

Last August, while Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, was in the midst of an intensive round of fundraising for her 2012 reelection bid, a four-year-old civil lawsuit alleging fraud by an education company in which she and her husband are heavily invested became public.

Nationally, most of the coverage of Snowe’s decision to drop her reelection bid has focused on the centrist Republican’s frustration with the polarized politics on Capitol Hill. But in Maine, a few newspapers have speculated that her husband’s legal entanglements had a role in Snowe’s sudden and surprising decision, which left her with more than $3 million in her campaign coffers and her party without a Senate candidate less than three weeks before the filing deadline for Maine’s June 12 primary.

According to the senator’s most recent financial disclosure form, she and her husband, former Maine Gov. John McKernan Jr., have investments worth between $2 million and $10 million in Education Management Corp., a Pittsburgh-based company that operates for-profit higher education institutions. McKernan is chairman of the board of directors of the company, now embroiled in a lawsuit in which the federal goverment, 11 states and the District of Columbia are seeking to recover a portion of the $11 billion in federal student aid that the education firm has received since July 2003.

Originally filed in April 2007 by a pair of whistleblowers, the lawsuit alleges that the company violated a federal law that prohibits schools from paying admissions officers based on the number of students they recruit and enroll. Those numbers can affect a school’s revenues because more students mean a school is potentially eligible for more federal aid dollars. The whistleblowers alleged, and provided documents indicating, that they were paid bounties for the number of students they enrolled.

The Justice Department’s decision to intervene on Aug. 8 made the lawsuit, which had been under seal, public. In its complaint, Justice alleged that Education Management Corp. submitted “knowingly false, misrepresented, and/or improper certifications” to the Education Department, stating that it did not offer enrollment incentives to its admissions officers. Without those certifications, students enrolling at the the company’s schools, which include Argosy University, Brown Mackie College and South University, would not be eligible for federal financial aid. The complaint names Snowe’s husband, noting that in December 2006, while he was the company’s chief executive officer, McKernan personally signed certifications that Education Management Corp.’s schools complied with the ban on offering compensation to admissions officers based on the number of students they recruit. 

Education Management Corp. has asked that the case be dismissed. In a press release issued after the suit was announced, Bonnie Campbell, spokesperson for the company’s legal team and a former attorney general of Iowa and Justice Dept. official, described the suit as “flat-out wrong.” Campbell stated that the company’s compensation policies for admissions officers were based on a number of factors, not solely the number of students they recruited, and had been developed with the aid of outside consultants to ensure they complied with federal law.

According to the company’s most recent proxy statement, McKernan, who was briefly named as a defendant in the suit but removed, owns more than 835,000 shares in the company, worth more than $14.9 million at current prices. That was up from the 128,000 shares he owned when he became CEO in 2003. He joined the company in 1999, and stepped down from the CEO position in February 2007.

A report from New America Foundation’s Higher Ed Watch noted that Education Management Corp. in the words of its founder, Robert Knutson, was “oriented to the needs of [its] students” until 2006, when a group of private equity investors led by Goldman Sachs acquired the company. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that McKernan was involved in the acquisition talks, receiving the first contact about an acquisition and serving on a special committee to advise the board on the progress of talks. Goldman Sachs retained McKernan, but did away with the rest of the management, according to the Higher Ed Watch Report. The new management greatly increased enrollment at Education Management Corporation’s schools, doubling it to 160,000 students.

The company’s most recent annual report filed with the SEC shows that 74.3 percent of the company’s revenues–some $2.6 billion–came from programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, which requires recipients to certify that they don’t offer incentives to admissions officers based on the number of students they enroll. 

When news of the lawsuit was released, political opponents of Snowe’s raised the issue, the Lewiston (Me.) Sun Journal reported. Scott D’Amboise, a Republican challenging her in the Senate primary, called on her to resign, while Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Shripal Shah charged that Snowe and her husband may have personally profited while defrauding low income students.

At the time, Snowe dismissed the charges, citing the care the company took in developing its compensation policies. Her office did not respond to requests for comment.

Looks like Snowe is bailing out before things get messy. How many more members of that august body we call Congress are mixed up in nonsense like this?

It’s time to clean house and throw them all out!

Read more here.

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Newt’s Ties To Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Longer, Deeper, More Corrupt than You Thought

By Gary P Jackson

First we heard Newt Gingrich had gotten a few hundred thousand from mortgage giant Freddie Mac, for some unknown reason.

That actually turned into a number reportedly between $1.6 and $1.8 million.

Newt claimed he was merely playing the role of historian. No one but the mentally afflicted actually bought that load of BS though, as few historians have D.C. offices on K Street. You know who has a lot’s of offices on K Street in D.C.? Lobbyists.

Now there is a new report out that helps us understand how Newt, a lifelong politician with no history or demonstrated skills in sales, marketing, or mortgage lending, landed a $25,000 a month gig at Freddie Mac, almost immediately after he left Congress in disgrace.

According to the Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times, Newt’s ties to both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae go back to his time as Speaker of the House. Just as we’ve reported many times that Newt’s work with Freddie, after he left Congress, included trying to stop Congress from coming down hard on the corrupt lender, it now seems he played that same role as Speaker, blocking important legislation. Legislation, that had it been enacted, and enforced, might have staved off the looming housing bubble, that would eventually cause the financial crash of 2007-2008.

If you are thinking I am saying Newt played a direct role in the collapse of the American economy, you would be right.

Both as Speaker and later as a lobbyist, Newt stood with his buddies on the left to stop commonsense legislation that may have been able to stop the absolute mess we are in now.

No allegations, so far, that money changed hands while Newt was Speaker, but he was certainly wined and dined, and there was that lucrative “consulting job” just waiting for him when he left Congress.

From the Times: [emphasis mine]

WASHINGTON — On a trip to Ireland in 1998, Speaker Newt Gingrich researched his Irish roots, discussed the prospects for peace in Northern Ireland and entertained speculation about his presidential ambitions. He even donned work gloves and blue jeans to help build a home in Belfast for a good-will project.

Two of the sponsors for part of the Ireland trip were frequent partners of Mr. Gingrich: Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae — the government-backed housing industry giants that Mr. Gingrich has denounced as he fights to stay in contention against Mitt Romney in the Republican primaries.

Mr. Gingrich has faced many questions recently about the more than $1.6 million in consulting fees he got from Freddie Mac since leaving Congress in 1999. But part of the relationship started years earlier, as records and interviews show that Mr. Gingrich, as House leader in the 1990s, aligned himself with Freddie and Fannie on a number of key issues — defending them in Congress against political attacks, joining with them on housing projects and seeing top aides go work for them.

While Mr. Gingrich has minimized his past connections to the two closely related companies on the campaign trail, his Congressional record shows that his political and financial ties to the firms run deeper and farther back than he has acknowledged publicly and, in fact, set the stage for the lucrative consulting work that followed.

Mr. Gingrich, whose campaign declined to comment on his ties with Fannie and Freddie while in Congress, has been blistering in his recent criticism of the mortgage finance companies. He has blamed them in part for the 2008 housing collapse, said they should now be “broken up,” and in an October debate he declared that Representative Barney Frank should be “in jail” for associating with lobbyists close to Freddie.

But while in Congress, Mr. Gingrich had kind words for the companies. Announcing a housing partnership in Atlanta in 1995, for instance, he held up Fannie as “an excellent example of a former government institution fulfilling its mandate while functioning in the market economy.”

He was far from Fannie and Freddie’s only Congressional supporter in those years; before the stain of the 2008 housing collapse, the companies’ allies were legion.

But Mr. Gingrich’s help was seen as particularly crucial after the Republicans took control of the House in 1994, as Freddie and Fannie tried to turn back rising hostility from some Republicans over their mission, structure and financing.

Once he became speaker in 1995, Mr. Gingrich’s support loomed large as the companies sought to shore up flagging confidence among the Republicans and bolster the case for home ownership, officials said.

Whenever you could get Republicans who supported you, it was important, and the more prominent the Republican, the better,” said William Maloni, a senior vice president at Fannie Mae until 2004. “Newt would have been important.”
Mr. Gingrich’s senior advisers were important as well, with a handful of his aides and confidants going on to work for Freddie and Fannie or for lobbying groups that represented them. Of particular significance, several officials said, was Fannie’s hiring of Arne L. Christenson, Mr. Gingrich’s chief of staff, as a top executive and lobbyist in 1999.

From their perspective, hiring someone who could beef up their Republican credentials made perfect sense,” said Jack Howard, policy director for Mr. Gingrich at the time. Mr. Christenson did not return a call seeking comment.

In a showdown critical to the companies’ fortunes, Mr. Gingrich played an important behind-the-scenes role in helping block a proposal in 1995 that would have forced Fannie and Freddie — rather than taxpayers — to pay potentially billions of dollars in increased fees, according to interviews and press accounts at the time.

At the time, Representative Jim Leach, a senior Republican from Iowa who led the House banking committee and was a fierce critic of Fannie and Freddie, wanted the companies to pay the bulk of about $4.8 billion to finance a reserve for ailing savings and loan institutions.

Through their lobbyists, Freddie and Fannie fought hard against the plan, and Mr. Gingrich made his opposition to it clear in a meeting with Mr. Leach on Capitol Hill. By the time the two men emerged, the proposal was dead.

Newt was quite a pragmatist,” said a Republican official who was involved in the fee increase debate and spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid becoming embroiled in the current Republican race. In coming to the defense of Freddie and Fannie, Mr. Gingrich “was going with the consensus of his party — of both parties, really,” the official said.

A separate attempt within the House budget committee in 1995 to raise fees on Freddie and Fannie by hundreds of millions of dollars also died without a vote after Mr. Gingrich rejected it. The speaker asserted that raising fees would violate the Republicans’ oft-cited no new tax pledge.

Fannie and Freddie each declined to comment on the companies’ relationships with Mr. Gingrich in the 1990s.

Beyond his role in thwarting legislative threats, Mr. Gingrich also worked with Fannie and Freddie on a number of housing projects in the United States and overseas.

The visit to a Belfast neighborhood in 1998 to start building a home for a low-income family was part of a foreign extension of an American program called “The House that Congress Built.”

The Belfast project was sponsored principally by Fannie and Freddie, along with Habitat for Humanity and the National Association of Realtors. The Realtors’ association called the housing project “a truly unique partnership” between lawmakers and the housing industry.

Marianne Gingrich, Mr. Gingrich’s wife at the time, joined him in Ireland, as did other members of Congress. Public money was apparently used for portions of the trip, considered Congressional business, but the breakdown on the financing, and what part was covered by Fannie and Freddie, could not be determined. Congressional records indicate that Mr. Gingrich did not file a financial disclosure statement for 1998 that would show gifts and trips provided by outside groups that year, although House rules appear to require him to have filed a report within 30 days after he left Congress under an ethics cloud in January 1999.

The Gingrich campaign said he was invited on the trip by Habitat for Humanity. “Improving access to home ownership has long been an aim of his public policy,” the campaign said.

Mr. Howard, the former Gingrich aide, said he associated the housing projects more with Habitat for Humanity, a nonpartisan Christian group headquartered in Mr. Gingrich’s home state of Georgia, than with the corporate sponsors Fannie and Freddie.

It was a feel-good thing,” he said of the projects. “I think Newt probably saw this as just a good opportunity to do something for Habitat for Humanity.”

In general, Mr. Howard said, issues connected to Fannie and Freddie — whether legislative, political or civic — “were not a priority” for Mr. Gingrich during his time as speaker. “I don’t remember him being directly involved at all,” he said.

But months after Mr. Gingrich left Congress, his direct involvement became clear, as his consulting company signed a $25,000-a-month contract with Freddie. In 2006, he signed a second contract with Freddie as a strategic adviser, a role he described initially as a “historian.” Mr. Romney has branded the work as “influence peddler.”

Defending the contracts, Mr. Gingrich has contrasted the work he did for Freddie as a consultant with the work he did in Congress, when he said he was aligned with those seeking industrywide changes in housing policies.

There’s a huge difference between what you do when you’re in public office and you’re dealing with the public trust,” he said on Fox News, “and what you do as a private business person who has no direct power and no direct responsibility and you’re sitting there offering advice.

Some of Mr. Gingrich’s defenses have fallen flat, however, as when he attacked Mr. Romney in a debate last month for holding mutual fund investments in Freddie and Fannie.

Have you checked your own investments?” Mr. Romney retorted, pointing out that Mr. Gingrich also held investments in them through mutual funds.

All right,” Mr. Gingrich responded, falling silent.

It’s interesting how Newt drags Habitat for Humanity, a wonderful charity, into this as cover for his trip that was most certainly paid for by Fannie and Freddie.

Typical politician.

How Newt has conned people into thinking he is some sort of “political outsider” is beyond me. This guy is the poster boy for the corrupt, influence peddling, political insider we should be running out of politics forever. The sort Sarah Palin’s chief adviser Peter Schweizer talks about in his must have book, Throw Them All Out.

Newt is one of those who went to Washington and became a very rich man, not by producing a damned thing, but instead by manipulation and influence peddling. Thanks to Newt and his time in office we now have less Liberty, less Freedom, and less money.

I wonder if we will ever know how much Newt’s shenanigans actually cost us taxpayers.

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Supporting Sarah Palin’s Mission to Eliminate Corruption vs Presidential Politics … UPDATED

****Updated at the end****

By Gary P Jackson

Back in June, buried in the internals of a Gallup poll, was an interesting statistic. Supporters of Sarah Palin were asked how committed they were. Fifty-two percent [52%] of those polled said their support was solid, and would never change.

I think this strong support goes along way toward explaining why millions still want Sarah Palin to reconsider her decision to stay out of the presidential contest, and thousands are actively doing everything they can to make that happen.

Patrick S Adams recently penned a report on these efforts, which you can read here.

BTW, in that same Gallup poll, the only other candidate polled on voter strength was Mitt Romney, whose die hard supporters stood at a mere thirty percent. [30%]

Around the same time a CNN poll showed that Americans felt Sarah was most like Ronald Reagan. It also found eighty percent [80%] agreed with her on the issues and seventy-nine percent [79%] felt she represented their values. That’s as strong as you will ever see a candidate [or potential candidate] perform.

Face it, Sarah Palin would have been the perfect candidate. She’s the only one who could have united the country against Obama. Her message is solid, and resonates with [Conservative] Republicans, independents, and even fed up democrats. Polling consistently showed Sarah had the highest approval rating among Republican voters and Republican leaning independents.

As a leader, Sarah Palin hits every note perfectly. She has a record of good governance that spans two decades. She’s a fiscal hawk, has a solid reality based foreign policy, and while personally Conservative on social issues, is very much the libertarian as an elected official. Freedom and Liberty are something she takes serious and respects dearly. She believes in smaller, efficient government, and has a record of creating just that.

Sarah Palin’s calling card though, that passion that has always driven her, is reform. What she did in Alaska is legendary. We all know about her early days as a city council member, but it was her tenure as Chairman and Ethics Commissioner at the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission [AOGCC] where her drive to create and maintain ethical government really took off.

Upon learning of massive corruption, and first trying to go through the chain of command, which fell on deaf ears, Sarah looked to blow the whistle publicly, only to be threatened by Alaska’s Attorney General with prosecution if she did. Her response was swift. She promptly resigned from her high paying, high profile gig, and went public. Many considered this sort of thing “political suicide” and for a lesser person, it might have been. But for Sarah Palin, this only made her desire to reform burn hotter. As we all know, she ended up giving the sitting Republican governor the whipping of a lifetime, taking a landslide victory in the primary and going on to soundly defeat a popular democrat, and former governor, in the general election.

But don’t forget, she spend considerable time as a private citizen, without a title, laying the ground work, for not only those two sweeping victories, but massive reform as well. It was a couple of years before she’d have the chance run for governor.

Governor Palin, and her staff immediately went to work creating reforms. She also took the state budget in hand, and went line by line, slashing spending to the bone. She even cut the usual perks a governor enjoys. She fired most of the mansion staff, including the head chef, drove herself to work, in her own car, and made a habit of in staying in inexpensive hotels when traveling on state business.

She also famously listed the mostly useless jet the previous governor bought, on eBay. [it would end up selling through a broker]

She also championed sweeping legislation that made cronyism a crime. Legislation that had real teeth.

There was a reason why her remarkable favorability numbers hovered in the low 90s, high 80s throughout most of her time as governor.

It’s tough for Sarah Palin’s supporters, who absolutely believe she would have been one of our nation’s finest presidents, to sit back and look at what we face now. Sarah Palin was by far the best possible choice to lead America back to prosperity and greatness. Even today, Sarah is the only major political figure actually talking about the serious issues, and the only one talking about the need for sudden and relentless reform. The only one talking about cleaning out the corruption in D.C.

I find myself respecting the “reconsider” movement as much as I respect Sarah’s decision to focus on fighting corruption rather than run for president at this time. I understand how difficult it would be to take down corrupt politicians, in both parties, and also run to be the head of one of those parties, at the same time.

When talking to sources close to the situation, I’ve been told repeatedly the Governor’s decision was final, that when she said she had to put family first, she was telling the truth. I’ve also been told she is dead serious about taking down corrupt members of Congress. Her recent series of articles, like the one that just appeared in USA Today demanding Congress “stop lining their pockets” show this to be true.

I consider myself part of the reconsider movement. In fact I wrote, what I think, was a pretty strong case for her to reconsider, here.

I’m even supportive of those who are active in Iowa and other states organizing write-in campaigns for Sarah, rather than support the declared candidates. If nothing else, it’s shows that the Conservative base isn’t happy with the current field [which is no secret whatsoever] and will serve as a protest vote.

In fact, on Sunday, the Governor herself let it be known she wasn’t enthusiastic about any of these guys either!

That said, I also know that at some point we must realize that one of the reasons we all support Sarah Palin is because she always says what she means, and means what she says. The likelihood of her entering the race, under any circumstance, is slim and none, with none the certain winner.

With this in mind, we need to focus on what we, as citizens, can do, given what we have to work with. There is certainly more going on than the GOP presidential circus we are watching!

For Conservatives, there is no real viable choice. The two front runners, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, are no prize. Mitt is pretty squishy and Newt is a Big Government “progressive” of the highest order. Neither are ideal.

I want to get into what we can do to help support Sarah Palin’s efforts to bring about sudden and relentless reform. I also want to talk about something else Sarah constantly says: We MUST VET these candidates fully.

I warn you, I have a lot to say on all of this. A WHOLE LOT

Lets look at the candidates first:

Let me clue you in: A candidate’s actual record, or public stance on the issues, is fair game. So is their morals and character.

It’s not an attack or “hate speech” to point out someone’s actual record, or their public stance on the issues. This is nothing new, but I’ve noticed that while most Palin supporters are like me, and haven’t figured out who they will support, or even if they will back a candidate, those that have, lose their minds if you point out the facts about their “chosen one.”

For the record, I’m one of those Palinistas that is completely dissatisfied with the field, and so far, can’t enthusiastically back any candidate. That said, unless it’s Newt Gingrich, I will cheerfully vote for the eventually Republican nominee. Removing Obama is, after all, the main consideration, but this “anybody but Obama” mentality is not something I prescribe to. There are choices from our field that would be no better than Obama. A Big Government “progressive” is a Big Government “progressive” no matter if a “D” or an R” comes after their name.

All of the candidates need their entire record examined, from day one. Yes, people mature, and often change positions, sometimes they become more Conservative, sometimes less, and sometimes they remain a “progressive” while using the language of the Conservative. It’s one thing to have been a “progressive” five or ten years ago, and changed, than to have been consistently “progressive” throughout one’s time in and out of office.

It’s for the voters to look at the research, do their own, and then decide.

One of Sarah Palin’s greatest achievements is getting millions of people, who have never been politically active in their lives, to become political activists. If there is a downside to this, it’s that many of the newcomers have no idea about much of these candidates’ past, and some listen to pretty words from a candidate, rather than research that candidate’s actual record. I suppose that’s partly human nature, and partly wanting to find a Conservative so bad, that it’s easier to just listen to the words and hope for the best. That can be a recipe for disaster though.

Now this doesn’t apply to any one single candidate. All candidates need to have every bit of their record examined under a microscope. You can find good and bad in all of them. It’s the degree of bad that must be weighed against the good in these candidates, both individually, and as a whole.

Another reason Sarah Palin would have made such an ideal candidate is she is likely the most vigorously vetted human being of our time, and possibly any time. No one has been examined closer, and I contend no one could have held up under the sort of scrutiny she has, and still be found to be exactly what she represents herself to be.

The only thing one could take issue with Sarah over is ideology. By that, I mean Conservatism vs socialism. That’s the kind of fight we should be having, and could have, with her as our candidate. Sarah has the moral authority, by virtue of her record as a public servant, to make that argument in ways no other candidate could. She is the one, out of the whole lot, that has always walked the walk.

Politics is often dreaming the impossible, and making it come true. Currently we are being bombarded with articles saying it’s not too late for this candidate or that one to join the race. Some mention the Governor, some don’t. Some have been saying it’s been too late for her since, oh, about March of this year, though it is never, ever, too late for cat’s like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, or Mitch Daniels.

We’re also reading stories that we are headed for a brokered convention. We see these every election season, usually about whichever party is out of power. It’s like they dust off the same story every year and hand it to whomever’s turn it is to throw that notion out there. Only the names of the candidates are changed. I think this stems from combination of wanting to stir the pot, and just something to fill the writer’s weekly column with.

This year, however, we are seeing prominent Conservative thinkers talking about it as well. May be wishful thinking, may be due to the fact the GOP’s new rules that punish states who move their primaries make it a real possibility, who knows.

One thing it does show, many Conservatives are rejecting the GOP field wholesale.

Many think a solid write-in campaign by Sarah’s supporters might bring this about this fight at the convention. They envision a scenario where the convention is in such disarray that after a few rounds of balloting, Palin delegates go out and start turning other candidates’ delegates into Palin delegates. Many states don’t bind delegates to any candidate, including the actual primary winner. Some do.

It’s a nice dream, and stranger things have happened. But we also have to prepare for the almost certain reality that what you see [now] is what you get. With that in mind, I want to give reader’s my personal opinion on each of these candidates. Remember this is my opinion, based on the research I’ve done. I would hope readers build on that research, and make up their own minds.

There is no “Sarah Palin” in this field, nor anyone even close, so it’s totally unfair to use her as the gold standard, even though she is, in our opinion. I want a candidate [from this bunch] that has a proven record of fiscal responsibility, a coherent foreign policy, be free of scandal and corruption, have good morals and character. Socially, my one requirement is they be pro-life. I’m very much a libertarian socially, but the wholesale slaughter of children through abortion is something I can’t abide by under any circumstances.

So, let’s take a look at some of our choices.

Gary Johnson

By all accounts Johnson was a pretty decent governor. He’s a full-on libertarian. Most of his platform seems to be built around legalizing marijuana. He’s pro-choice, using the state’s rights argument as justification.

Johnson is sort of a mixed bag on illegal immigration. Oddly enough, on his website, he manages to work legalizing dope into his immigration stance! Johnson seems to be in favor of a “grace period” to allow illegals a chance to comply with the law by applying for work visas. A form of amnesty, but not a “pathway to citizenship.” He also favors sanctions on employers who hire illegals. Sadly, there isn’t much detail on his website about all of this. One thing about it, he won’t waste 30 minutes to an hour boring you [and insulting your intelligence] with a long dissertation about civilian review boards, and 80 year old grandmas, and then tell you his plan isn’t amnesty.

Johnson also believes in the global warming hoax, and thinks it’s a man made phenomenon. Sorry, that pretty much disqualifies him right there. Anyone who believes that global warming is real, after all of the evidence to the contrary, including proof scientists cooked the books, isn’t smart enough to be president. On the positive side, he does understand that we can’t stop using oil and coal.

My honest take is Johnson is Ron Paul light. Would likely be very good on fiscal matters, but unacceptable on everything else.

John Huntsman

That’s former Obama regime employee Jon Huntsman to you, pal!

It’s not unprecedented for members of one party to serve the president of another, though it rarely works out well. Ask George W. Bush.

Huntsman’s love letter to Obama, calling him a “remarkable leader” should tell you all you need to know about Huntsman’s judgement, or lack there of.

Was actually a decent governor. His fiscal numbers are almost as good those of Governor Palin’s, which are the gold standard for any governor in the race. No one else comes even close to her’s, or Huntsman’s record of sound, solid, debt and liability management.

That’s the good, now the bad. Huntsman also thinks global warming is real, and we gotta do something about it. He says he trusts the scientists. Though after catching hell for that, has sought to “moderate” his position.

Hasn’t caught on with the voters because he is simply not appealing.

Next.

Michele Bachmann

Palin supporters were predisposed to like Michele Bachmann from the start, and did, in big numbers. She came off as a solid Conservative. That was before she started her presidential bid and began immediately stabbing her “good friend” Sarah, and her supporters, in the back.

Also Bachmann was completely silent after the Tucson shootings, when her “good friend” Sarah ,along with the entire Tea Party, who Michele claims to lead, were blood libeled. This after all of the hard work Sarah put in making sure Michele kept her seat in Congress.

Bachmann has done little in Congress. Her big legislative initiative has been trying to lift the ban on incandescent light bulbs. She created the Tea Party Caucus, but hasn’t done anything with it. She talks a good game, but simply doesn’t deliver.

There’s a reason why members of the House do not get elected president. At least not straight from that body.

Bachmann’s personal life is a mess, and there are wild [and true] stories out there that makes one wonder about her mental stability. In short, she is the loon that liberals and late night comedians, as well as some in the GOP, tried to paint Sarah Palin as.

Some the crazy has been talked about, but you can bet, if she’s the nominee, America will be bombarded by stories of her hijinks. It’ll be entertaining as hell, but it won’t win a presidential contest.

If Bachmann is serious about becoming president some day, she needs to run for governor and prove she can actually handle the job. Right now she’s definitely not ready for prime time.

Rick Santorum

A decent fellow. Mostly Conservative, but like so many in Congress, Rick has a mixed record on spending. Like Bachmann, has no executive experience, which is important. Mostly right on the issues, and infinitely better than the front runners, at least on paper.

My biggest problem with Rick is he’s more worried about being the bedroom police, than president. I’m a states’ rights guy, and while I don’t support a lot of things that Rick doesn’t support, the federal government already has way too much control over our daily lives. Some social issues do indeed impact our fiscal health, in a very significant way, and deserve attention, but I want a solid fiscal Conservative, and someone with real, solid foreign policy, more than anything else..

The next president will have a hell of a lot on their plate, and they need to have the ability to focus on priorities. Let We The People, and Congress, fight the culture war! Santorum’s lack of executive experience leaves me worried he may lack that ability. As a Senator he was one of a hundred people. That arrangement actually stifles leadership skills, rather than enhancing them.

I think he does understand the dire situation that would await him though. I think he’s smart, and knows what must be done, for the most part. Like the rest though, he’s not talking about reforming government. Rick, like the others who have served in Congress, he stayed around after losing his seat, and is an insider.

The big question is can he put aside friendships and professional relationships, and go after corruption wherever he finds it, no matter who it is, or what party it’s in, like Sarah Palin has done all of her political life. If Rick can convince people he will do this, and then actually do it if elected, I think we’ll have a good man in office. Throw in a desire to slash spending to the bone, and a sane foreign policy, and you got something.

Bottom line, I could vote for Rick Santorum and sleep well.

Ron Paul

Do I even have to say the words?

Every time you think “hey, at least he’s right on fiscal matters” Ron Paul opens his mouth and spouts something idiotic. His foreign policy is straight out of the 18th Century. He goes out of his way to blame America for everything wrong in the world. He thinks the United States created terrorism, never mind our first overseas war was taking on the Barbary Pirates, [Muslims] in what is now Libya, who had been terrorizing the seas for generations.

His supporters are rabid though, and he may actually do well in Iowa, though we are starting to be reminded of all of Dr. Paul’s history of racist rants, anti-Semitism, and so on, which may slow down his momentum a tad.

For all of the real good he could do if fiscal issues were the only thing that mattered, he would be a disaster of biblical proportions. Because of his want to withdraw America from the world, the likelihood of WWIII being started about midway through his first term is real. A strong and engaged America is the only thing that stops other nations from being more aggressive towards each other.

The man is almost 80 years old. He’s stated that he will not seek re-election from his congressional district. He’s also stated he didn’t think he could hold up to a long drawn out campaign. If he can’t do that, how does he think he can even BE president? That job ages a person about 3 years per every actual year in office.

The best thing for Ron Paul is to go away and enjoy the rest of his life on the money he’s bilked out of his wayward supporters. We’ll keep an eye on his son, Senator Rand Paul, who seems to have inherited the good, with little of the bad, from his father.

Rick Perry

My governor.

On paper he looks like a Conservative’s dream candidate. I’ve stated before, if the character “Rick Perry” portrayed in his book Fed Up even remotely resembled the real Rick Perry, I’d not only vote for him, but campaign hard for him. Sadly, the real Rick Perry leaves much to be desired.

I’ve written a lot about Rick Perry.

When Sarah Palin mentions corruption and cronyism “in both parties” she’s talking about Perry. [and has mentioned him by name] The amount of corruption, and cronyism surrounding Perry is mind-blowing. Texas may be the greatest land God ever created, but the Texas government is a mess. There are few ethics rules for elected officials, and none have any real teeth. Moreover, Texas doesn’t limit, in any way, how much money an individual can contribute to a candidate. Perry has benefited greatly from this.

Thankfully, the Texas governor is weak, constitutionally. Little more than a figurehead. So, while Perry has tried all sorts of mischief, like handing a half-million acres [and $200 billion] over to a Spanish company, to create the Trans-Texas Corridor, which would have been the largest land grab in United States history, the Texas legislature, and the courts, have always stopped him.

Speaking of land deals, there are many questionable land deals in Perry’s portfolio. In fact, buying real estate cheaper than he should have been able to, and selling it, sometimes for twice what it was worth, is how Perry has made his fortune, while in office. He makes Obama and his buddy Tony Rezko look like amateurs.

Perry gets a lot of credit for creating jobs that are really created by Texas’ longstanding climate that makes it easy to do business here. We have a solid, well educated, motivated work force. Texas is a right to work state. And the cost of living is lower here than most of the country.

The city I live in, which is modern, clean, close to everything, including two beautiful lakes and resorts, was recently included in the top ten least expensive places to live in the country. Texas cities dominate the list.

The only jobs program Perry actually controls is rife with corruption. Perry is a lot like Obama when it comes to rewarding big campaign donors over others, and many of the companies Perry’s Enterprise Fund has handed big money to, are failures, unable to meet promised goals of job creation and production.

Texas, like most states, requires a balanced budget. Texas is also the glaring example of why I’m skeptical of a national balanced budget amendment. This is one of those deals, that unless the details of HOW the budget must be balanced, leads to nothing more than smoke and mirrors, rather than actual fiscal responsibility.

As Stacy Drake reported back in August, that’s exactly what Perry’s last budget is, smoke and mirrors. It’s a combination of accounting maneuvers that only kick the problem down the road, for those creating the next budget to worry about, and robbing from the rainy day funds.

Oh, and it turns out Perry used $6.4 billion from Obama’s “Recovery Act” to plug ninety-seven percent [97%] of the 2010-2011 budget shortfall. The very legislation Perry has publicly railed against.

In the same report that compared the fiscal responsibility all of the potential candidates who were governors, Rick Parry’s record was by far, the worst. Comparing Governor Palin to Governor Perry:

During the fiscal years for which Sarah Palin exercised budgetary authority as Governor of Alaska (FY08 through FY10)

• Debt outstanding increased 12.7%, or 4.2% per year

• Per capita debt outstanding increased 7.4%, or 2.5% per year

Total liabilities decreased 34.6%, or 11.5% per year

Total liabilities per capita decreased 37.7%, or 12.6% per year

Please note Governor Palin was the only one to actually decrease liabilities, and she did so in a significant way.

During the fiscal years for which Rick Perry exercised budgetary authority as Governor of Texas (FY02 through FY10)

Debt outstanding increased 184.2%, or 20.5% per year

Per capita debt outstanding increased 140.4%, or 15.6% per year

• Total liabilities increased 60.6%, or 6.7% per year

• Total liabilities per capita increased 35.8%, or 4.0% per year

So much for fiscal responsibility.

Perry is not evil, and has done some good things. If nothing else, he had enough sense to just stay out of the way, for the most part, and let Texas do it’s thing. That’s no small deal either. You can bet some of the others, like Gingrich, who worship at the alter of Big Government, wouldn’t have that sort of good sense and restraint.

I’m not about to call Perry “Reaganesque” but I remember when Ronald Reagan was met with a pending economic meltdown, and everyone around him was losing their minds and demanding action, his answer was to simply do nothing. Let the markets correct themselves. It worked, and the result was the largest peacetime economic expansion in our nation’s history.

There’s a lot to be said for having faith in free markets, and enough common sense to just do nothing when everyone around you is screaming at you to do something, anything, to fix things.

But, and this is a big but, Perry’s corrupt nature has led him to attempt things that would have destroyed the Texas economy, had he not been stopped by the legislature, and the Texas people. Unfortunately, I don’t trust a Republican led Congress to exert that sort of watchdog mentality on any Republican president. Politics always gets in the way of good governance.

People have to remember that unlike Ronald Reagan, who switched parties because of ideology, the democrat party was turning toward socialism in a big way, Perry switched parties simply because he saw the writing on the wall. Texas is a Conservative state, and Perry knew he couldn’t win statewide office as a democrat. No one can. Perry’s nature is somewhere between Conservative and what you might call a blue dog democrat. Unrestrained, Perry can come up with Big Government boondoggles to rival any “progressive.”

A lot of things Perry is promising, like a “part time Congress” also show his true lack of understanding how the federal government is set up. Both he and Newt are making wild promises that will never come to pass. Pandering to the American people, like they are stupid, isn’t going to get either very far.

My biggest problem with Perry though is the corruption. Tackling corruption is Job One for Sarah Palin and us Palinistas. It’s kinda hard for someone with the record of corruption and cronyism that Rick Perry has, to talk about cleaning things up, with any credibility whatsoever.

I’ll pass.

Mitt Romney

To some he’s Satan himself.

Mitt’s biggest problem is he is a squish. He’s not a strong leader. He was a good solid businessman though. He is the father of socialized medicine in America, but the other front runner in this race [Newt] supports a nearly identical program to what Mitt signed into law. Newt just dazzles you by wasting 30 minutes of your time telling you why NewtCare is the “conservative” Big Government “solution,” based mostly on the fact Newt says it is.

Mitt has been known to flip-flop on serious issues, and it’s a mixed bag. Sometimes going from a “progressive” position, to something more Conservative, and staying with it, sometimes going back and forth to fit the situation. That doesn’t build a lot of confidence in his ability to lead, or win.

Oh, and like many of these cats, Mitt seems to think global warming is real. Why are so many of our leaders educated well above their level of intelligence?

There should be one question asked of every candidate for every office, from dog catcher to president: “Do you believe in man-made global warming?” If the answer is yes, they should be sent packing.

If someone WERE, inclined to vote for Mitt, it would be in hopes his reputation as a human windsock would come into play, and he would go with the prevailing winds that demand a return back to the basics of government, as well as sudden, relentless reform.

As with Perry, I don’t think Mitt would be the guy who would champion major reform, but for different reasons. Perry is corrupt, and simply can’t talk about it, because of obvious reasons. I just don’t think Mitt has the balls to take it all on. So far, none of these candidates have shown they have what it takes to do this.

There are few that have the toughness of a Sarah Palin who famously proclaimed: “Politically, if I die, I die!” …. when talking about standing up, and speaking out.

If I had to speculate on what kind of president Mitt would be, I’d say he would be a lot like George W. Bush. Not the worst president ever, but not anywhere near ideal. I worry that like Bush, Mitt would cave on spending, especially if we take back the Senate. The House is generally filled with enough Conservative firebrands to hold it’s leadership to the fire. You can count on one hand the consistent Conservatives in the Senate. This sort of thing gives one pause

Here lately, I must honestly say I find myself wanting to defend Mitt at certain times. In 2008, Mitt actually was the most Conservative candidate still in the race, between tax and spend nanny-stater Huckabee, McCain, and himself. Since then, I’ve seen Conservatives react like Pavlov’s dogs at the very mention of his name! It’s actually making me want to defend the poor S.O.B.

Mitt has never been on any list of mine as someone I’d enthusiastically support for, well, anything, but it’s been quite interesting to watch as non-Palin supporters, and now Palin supporters alike, jump from one flavor-of-the-week candidate to the other, looking for the best candidate named “Not Mitt Romney!” While all of this shuckin’ and jivin’ has been going on, someone far worse has jumped out front:

Newt Gingrich

Everything that is wrong with politics, and everything that will ever be wrong with politics, wrapped up in pretty paper with a nice bow on top. Newt Gingrich is the very living, breathing embodiment of everything Sarah Palin’s movement of sudden and relentless reform is all about. The very sort Sarah has fought to run out of government for decades.

Newt is a lying, corrupt, influence peddling, longstanding member of the permanent political class. The guy has more baggage than American Airlines hauls in a year. Though he’s somehow managed to get some pundits to describe him as “conservative” for years, he doesn’t have an actual Conservative bone in his body.

Think about it, for decades now we have seen Newt hang with the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, Al Sharpton, John Kerry, and even Barack Obama. And he’s always pushing THEIR policies while proclaiming he “just wants to be part of the conversation.”

Let me see, just to name a few things. He’s sat on THE COUCH with Pelosi and shilled for Al Gore’s global warming scam. Around the same time he and John Kerry created a gigantic mutual admiration society, built around their man-crush on each other, and their complete agreement that global warming, man-made global warming, is real and we damned well better do something about it before we all die!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!!!!!

Speaking of global warming, in 1989 Newt actually co-sponsored the Global Warming Prevention Act. He should have called it the “Keep Hack Scientists Employed Act”!

Now I know some may say “But Gary, we didn’t KNOW the scientists were just making it up as they went along, it COULD have been real!” That would be all well and good, except just a decade earlier, starting in the mid-1970s, many of the very scientists that are pushing the global warming hoax now [and in 1989] were the same ones who were scaring the hell out of the world by screaming at the top of their lungs we were about to enter a new ice age, where those that didn’t freeze to death, would starve. As hard as it is to believe, the hysteria over global freezing, though shorter lived, was far more intense, than over this latest hoax.And there was zero alternative media to challenge this insanity.

I think the lack of the internet was our saving grace on the freezing thing. It would have been even crazier had this marvel existed back then.

Scientists had the same plethora of charts and graphs “proving” the earth would be one big deep freeze [and we’d all die] as today’s scammers who push global warming.

Looking back, it’s hilarious, because scientists pushing the Big Chill, were actually suggesting we bombard the ozone layer with the very things they now claim are deadly toxins, as a way to insulate the earth, and keep it warm. All these episodes really prove is scientists live off of government grants [taxpayer dollars] and if they don’t have some massive, world ending disaster pending, one that will wipe out all of mankind in 10 years [It’s ALWAYS 10 years!] they’ll have to go out and find a real job.

If they are really short on big disaster ideas, they can cook up something like the world-wide bird flu pandemic of a few years ago. You know, the one countries [read the United States] spent billions of dollars preparing for, but never happened. That kept a lot of scientists employed.

My point? It might be forgivable for the average Congressman or Senator to defer to scientists and advisers on things like this, and go along. It’s totally unreasonable to expect anyone to be an expert on everything, especially members of Congress. But Newt is the smartest guy in every room. Just ask him.

If an average guy like me can remember the people selling the Big Chill one year, are the same ones who have come back a decade later selling the Big Burn, you’d think someone of Newt’s alleged intelligence would figure out, as the rest of us have, that maybe, just maybe, it’s all a scam.

Not Newt! As late as 2009 Newt was still saying global warming is real. In fact, he teamed up with Nancy Pelosi once more, to push an energy tax Obama wanted. It was around the same time he teamed up with Al Sharpton and Education Secretary Arnie Duncan, a Chicago socialist, to push Obama’s education initiative.

Oh, just remembered, back when Newt was Speaker, he promised gun owners that no gun control legislation would ever see the light of day. That he would make sure it died in committee. That just was before he teamed up with Pelosi to push through some of the most anti-American, anti-Second Amendment legislation in history.

Oddly enough, Newt has never stood with Conservative leaders and helped champion any of our issues. He has, however publicly trashed Conservatives, when called on the carpet for things like endorsing De De Scozzafava, when every Conservative in the country backed Doug Hoffman. He’s also been heard trashing the Tea Party in private, while pandering to us in public.

Newt’s wild attack on Congressman Paul Ryan’s fiscal plan, will be featured in ads by Congressman Ryan’s democrat opponent in 2012. Thanks Newt.

Newt has some insane and dangerous ideas, like the notion of just ignoring Supreme Court rulings he didn’t like. I’ll have a lot more to say on this, but for now, contemplate on how you’d feel when once ObamaCare is declared unconstitutional, and Obama says “who cares” and keeps it in place. Obama, BTW, is already ignoring lower court rulings on any number of serious issues. Michele Bachmann called what Obama is doing “gangster government” and she’s right. I guess we’d have to call it “Gangster Government Too: Electric Boogaloo” if we’re stupid enough to elect Newt!

Then there are the issues of infidelity. I still can’t believe people threw Herman Cain under the bus for unproven allegations of sexual misconduct, then ran to Newt, who has a record going back to the early 1970s as a serial adulterer and a sexual predator. It’s even alleged Newt lost his first bid for Congress in 1974 because he spent all of his time shagging one of the volunteers rather than campaigning.

If a man can’t be trusted to keep fidelity to the person he is most intimate with, he can’t be trusted on any level. This isn’t one or two affairs. It’s a decades long pattern of promiscuity that would rival any of the wild rock bands you hear about. I contend it’s a real sickness, and goes a long way toward explaining why, for decades, Newt has betrayed Conservatives, and the American people, time and time again.

It’s part of why he’s completely comfortable claiming to be a Conservative, while actually pallin’ around with the most prominent socialists of our time, and pushing their agenda, rather than ours.

I could go on, but suffice it to say, I won’t be voting for Newt under any circumstance, as I find him far more dangerous than Obama. Obama doesn’t have the balls, the skills, or the over-sized ego to try half the insane things Newt would. I also don’t trust Congress to stop him if he did.

*********

There are more important things to think about.

One of the things we don’t discuss nearly enough is the Supreme Court. Whoever is in the White House for the next 4 years, will get to choose at least 2 Justices, and likely as many as 4. We already have a couple justices saying they are only hanging on until after the election, obviously hoping the current president is gone.

We must carefully consider the sort of person each of these candidates might choose. This is a lot more important than the time that is being spent talking about it indicates.

I honestly have no idea the sort justice any of these candidates might pick, but that’s not going to stop me from giving my opinion, after all, if you’ve read this far, it’s obviously why you are still here.

Gary Johnson

Tommy Chong? That guy from the Black Crowes? Seriously, I’d think someone like Judge Andrew Napolitano would be on his short list.

Jon Huntsman

Hard to tell. Even real Republicans have a seriously bad record of picking good Justices. I doubt we see the sort of strict constructionists like Chief Justice Roberts or Justices Alito, Scalia, or Thomas coming from this guy.

Michele Bachmann

Likely an activist type of judge. One who would love to play bedroom police. Might be wrong, but probably not. I could see Bachmann, and to a lessor extent, Santorum, putting ideology over record and ability as a jurist, as their requirement.

Rick Santorum

I’d like to believe Santorum would be trusted to take this part of the job seriously, and make good, solid choices. I’d like to think that. I do think ideology would play a bigger part than it should. But I wouldn’t sit up nights in fear that Santorum would nominate a group of communist sympathizers as our current president has. I’m fairly confident we wouldn’t be totally disappointed in his choices.

Ron Paul

Is Tommy Chong still available or is he sharing that bong with Johnson?

Who in the hell knows what you’d get here. Alex Jones? Possibly.

Jesse Ventura? Hey, why not!

If they can drag Art Bell out from Dreamland ……

My Guess is Judge Napolitano, or his equivalent, would be on the short list, which would likely be the one and only thing I’d actually agree with Paul on.

Rick Perry

I’d like to think Perry would make solid choices, but I still remember George Bush and the Harriet Miers fiasco! We elect our judges in Texas, including to the Supreme Court. Unless he can figure out a way to sell a seat on the Court, in which case all bets are off, I imagine we’d be pretty happy with his picks.

Mitt Romney

I honestly wanted to do due diligence here. It’s been charged that Mitt, as governor, picked a whole lot of democrats to place in the courts. Now we’re talking Massachusetts here, so it’s not like he had much else to choose from. Still I wanted to see what Massachusetts law had to say before I just ripped into Mitt for picking democrats over what passes for a Republican up there.

If you are a Sarah Palin supporter, you understand why I was willing to spend the time. As we all found out when it came time for Governor Palin to pick a Supreme Court justice, Alaska has a panel that picks a couple of people and the Governor must choose from these candidates. They aren’t allowed to just pick who they want. And while Governor Palin would fight a buzzsaw, all of the other governors who came before her fought the same losing battle to no avail.

Sarah did completely piss off the selection panel though, by demanding they furnish her with the complete records of the two she was forced to pick from. In the end, after review, she picked a highly competent jurist, with a stellar record, over one with a questionable past. The only rub was her pick was pro-choice, which sent a lot of her supporters into orbit, but she was right in her choice, and it only proved she was more interested in competence, than ideology. In the less than ideal situation, she used common sense. It’s not likely an Alaska Supreme Court justice would being hearing cases related to abortion anyway. It did a lot to prove Sarah knows when to be pragmatic.

Anyway I found that in Mitt’s case, he could pick who he wanted, so his choices are on the record, and he owns em. It ain’t great!

I did find one thing Mitt did that impressed me though. He brought about significant reform, instituting a “blind” judicial merit process. It was Mitt’s idea as a way to keep politics out of the judicial selection process. It keeps potential jurists from campaigning for the job too. It’s something to be admired.

I have no idea how well it’s working in practice, but on paper it’s a significant reform, and a common sense one at that. You can read about it here.

As to the kind of justices Mitt would pick, like everything else with this guy, it could go either way. This is another one of those times Mitt’s finger in the wind nature might turn out to be a feature, not a bug. Public opinion, and voter pressure might keep him from appointing someone too far off the beaten path. But I certainly have my deep concerns. He could just as easily pick a squishy, blow in the wind kind of jurist, or a complete lefty. I have serious concerns, and not ready to go on blind faith.

Newt Gingrich

This is a guy who said Margaret Sanger Award winning De De Scozzafava, who was actually to the left of the democrat in her contest, was “conservative enough for him.”

I can actually see Newt appointing his good pal Hillary Clinton to the Court. Though he’s never spent quality time on a couch with her, like he has Nancy Pelosi, a few years back they were seen arm and arm all over the Beltway as both were pushing mandated health care insurance. Newt couldn’t shut up telling us how brilliant Hillary was.

Like everything else concerning Newt, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. He’d pick Hillary and spend hours telling you why it was a brilliant “conservative solution.” The very thought of Newt being allowed 1 pick, let alone 3 or 4 Supremes keeps me awake at night.

Remember, this is a guy who has no respect for the rule of law. Let’s not forget that when he became Speaker, Newt recommended every member of Congress read a book written by a Marxist that advocates abolishing the current Constitution, for a more progressive document, and followed that up by writing the foreword for the author’s next book describing HOW to abolish the American way of life, replacing it with some sort of Big Government controlled Marxist utopia.

Remember, Newt, like like his buddy Toffler, calls himself a “futurist.”

This is NOT the man you want picking out justices.

*********

OK, enough presidential politics. Suffice it to say, the candidate most of us want isn’t running, and unless something really drastic and dramatic happens, isn’t likely to. And the ones who are running don’t exactly send a thrill up one’s leg.

I trust Sarah’s instincts. She’s always been right when it comes to these things. If she thinks the timing for her was wrong, so be it.

I’m not going to endorse anyone, and I want readers to really take what I’ve presented, think about it, and make up their own minds. Realistically, I think we’ll end up with Mitt, Newt, Rick Perry, and maybe Rick Santorum, at least for a little while.

You have to ask yourself, do you want a nice guy Conservative with no executive experience who has never caught on with voters? A relatively Conservative governor, with serious issues of corruption, and Big Government tendencies, when not watched like a hawk watches chickens? A squishy Northeastern governor with a decent amount of business experience, whose time as governor wasn’t filled with many bright spots? Or a corrupt, Big Government progressive, who can look you in the eye and lie to your face better than anyone alive? Someone with zero Conservative street cred, and ego as big as all out doors, and insane, out of control “solutions” to match?

Better to focus on what is actually important if the nation is to survive.

Congress is the key. We must win back control of the Senate. There are many seats up for grabs in 2012, and lots of opportunities, though it’s going to be tougher without Sarah’s coattails to grab on to.

We have to do more than just take back control of the Senate though. We must make sure those we elect are like minded and have an actual record as reformers. Talk is cheap. Give me someone who has already went head to head against corruption, and won. We must insist all others need not apply.

If no good candidate exists, we still have time to find one. Contested primaries have a nice way of bringing out a candidate’s record. Ideally, no candidate for Congress would ever run uncontested, ever.

The same goes for the House. Not only do we need to build on our majority, we must look at those Republicans already in office, and be prepared to primary those, including the newbees we helped elect in 2010, if they just don’t get it.

In short, we need legislators whose first word in the morning is reform and whose last word at night is reform. The gotta eat, sleep and breathe sudden, relentless reform. We need people who will look daily for some way to make government smaller, more efficient, and less corrupt.

Frankly, we need to see the House elect a Speaker who will demand this from his members!

We need people who are up there to work, and don’t give a damn about being invited to the right cocktail parties!

This is where We The People come in. It’s how, without any title whatsoever, we can make a difference.

We must go door to door if we have to. Wake up our neighbors, and make sure they wake up their neighbors. We gotta have the drive of an Amway salesman to create a network that eventually encompasses entire communities of Americans who demand reform. Americans who want simple, ethical, efficient government, that for the most part, will just get the hell out of our lives, and out of our way, and let America do what it does best.

This won’t be easy work, but for Palinistas, you already know how it’s done. You’ve been almost evangelical as you’ve told the story of Sarah Palin. You’ve done such a good job, millions are refusing to take no for an answer, when it come to her declining a presidential bid!

Just think what you can do when you take her message of sudden and relentless reform door to door!

Get creative. Get a copy of Peter Schweizer’s Throw Them All Out and invite everyone you know over for a series of readings. Have fun with it, bring food, drink, whatever. Read a handful of chapters at a time, discuss them, and then make a plan of action. There’s enough in Peter’s book to set everyone on fire!

Get involved electing members of Congress. Go where they are having rallies. These are usually small gatherings, and you should get a minute or two to ask important questions about reform, and let them know, if elected, you’ll hold them to their promises or throw their asses out next election!

Make yourself as knowledgeable as possible on the issues, and never be afraid to discuss them. You’ll be surprised how many times in casual conversation things will come up that will allow you to spread the word.

This can’t be just about beating Obama and the democrats. We have just as many useless and corrupt jackwagons in the Republican Party that must go. As you spread the message, it’s vital to talk about that.

People must understand the entire system is corrupt, and massive changes must be made. Sweeping ethics laws that have real teeth, must be put in place. Situations that facilitate corruption, like tax codes, must be examined and loopholes closed. [or scrapped for something new and less complicated]

Corruption itself has become a Washington institution, and far too many Americans just accept it as the way it is. Until we get the entire country so angry they are seriously ready to do something about it, nothing is going to change.

I think Sarah Palin senses this better than anyone, which is why she chose this fight, rather than to add president to her considerable résumé. [at this time]

Palinistas are already organized better than any of the presidential candidates’ campaigns. We already know how to do what we need to do. It’s up to us to bring more and more into our fraternity of brothers and sisters who want to Revive, Renew and Restore America.

Presidents come and go. We have the ability to make history and reform government, making it better for all of the future generations to come. It’s time to join Sarah’s mission to “ throw them all out”!

If you need more inspiration, you can never, ever, watch The Speech too many times. Share this with the world, as well!

UPDATE:

Sarah Palin, appearing on Fox Business News Monday night, ended her great interview with Eric Bolling by saying it’s not too late for “someone” to jump into the race, after Eric asked her if she thought it was [or wasn’t] too late for her to get in this deal:

I’m not sure what this means, and we all know Sarah has been known to give generic answers to these sort of questions. That said, knowing there is a large reconsider movement, and being on record as not loving any of the current candidates, she may be taking a second look.

I urge readers not to go off the deep end. This could just be her doing her job as a pundit, or she could really see the GOP has nothing to offer voters who want more than more of the same, and is rethinking things.

Whichever is the case, we must continue to vet the other candidates and gear up to take on the corrupt government and support Sarah’s mission of sudden, and relentless reform.

We can get caught up in the whole reconsider thing, if she does.

You can watch the entire interview here.

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Sarah Palin: Congress, It’s Time to Stop Lining Your Pockets

By Gary P Jackson

For those corrupt politicians who thought Sarah Palin was going quietly into the good night, think again losers.

From Sarah Palin via USA Today:

Thanks to the solid new research and recent revelations in Peter Schweizer’s book Throw Them All Out and the subsequent coverage on 60 Minutes, we have concrete proof to explain how members of Congress accumulate wealth at a rate astonishingly faster than the rest of Americans and have stock portfolios that outperform even the best hedge-fund managers’. (Full disclosure: Schweizer is employed by my political action committee as a foreign policy adviser.)

From sweetheart land deals to initial public offering (IPO) stock gifts to insider trading with non-public government information, the methods of unethical wealth accumulation for our permanent political class are endless. The reaction from the Beltway establishment to the revelations concerning insider trading among members of Congress was predictable. First they denied it, then they dismissed the problem as much ado about nothing. Some said there was no need for new laws or action because the Securities and Exchange Commission could prosecute members of Congress under existing laws against insider trading.

But under current law, there is no way the SEC will ever go after a powerful congressman or senator. The SEC never has, even though insider trading prohibitions have existed since the 1930s. Here’s why: Congress sets the SEC’s budget, and senators approve the head of the SEC. Congress uses its power of the purse strings to threaten federal agencies that get in their way.

For example, in 2006 the FBI got a search warrant from a federal judge to comb former congressman William Jefferson’s office. The FBI already had evidence that Jefferson was taking bribes. Congress was furious that the FBI would dare search a fellow member’s office. Members claimed the search was unconstitutional. They even threatened to cut the Justice Department’s budget in retaliation. All this despite the fact that 86% of Americans supported the FBI raid.

A hands-off SEC

Does anyone really think the SEC under current law will have the courage to investigate the insider trading in Congress? Remember that this corruption (and failure to deal with it) encompasses both sides of the aisle. We fool ourselves thinking we can trust an agency dependent on Congress for its budget to investigate Congress.

I hate the idea of more laws, but because our politicians have shown a failure of ethical leadership, we must reassert the rule of law through strong new legislation that holds Congress accountable and prevents retaliation against whistle-blowers and regulatory agencies investigating corruption. Legislation has been put forward, but there are serious concerns that these bills contain major loopholes in stopping congressional insider trading and the gifting of IPO stocks from companies seeking to influence policy. In fact, Robert Khuzami, the SEC’s director of enforcement, testified that the bills as written only make stock transactions related to pending or prospective legislation illegal, not any other insider information trading; and they only cover stock transactions, not options trades, exchange traded funds or mutual funds.

The bills by Sens. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., are particularly weak. Members of Congress should disclose all trading activities immediately, not after 90 days as their bills propose. More immediate disclosure deadlines (similar to the strict deadlines corporate executives adhere to when trading certain amounts of stock) are imperative for real transparency.

Members of Congress must be required to put their assets into blind and “deaf” trusts. Deaf because we must make it illegal both to trade on non-public government information and to pass on such information. It does no good to set up a blind trust run by a friend, family member, or acquaintance and then casually pass on information to that person. Technically, members of Congress can claim they weren’t actually making the trade or ordering another person to make the trade; they were simply “having a conversation” concerning information any competent trader would know what to do with.

The House bill by Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., is a step in the right direction because it calls for every member of Congress to either establish a blind trust or abide by a three-day disclosure deadline for all trades. (Personally, I’d like to see even stricter deadlines like the ones for corporate executives.) We should insist on tougher provisions to close all insider trading loopholes and IPO stock gifts, and to protect whistle-blowers and regulators against congressional retaliation.

Other congressional ailments

Also, remember that insider trading isn’t the only corruption problem in Congress. Crony capitalism has run rampant for too long and is bankrupting our country. We need conflict of interest provisions on earmarks and other legislation to stop sweetheart land and construction deals.

Our permanent political class relies on an apathetic and uninformed public to get away with this stuff. But if there is one issue that unites Americans across the political spectrum, it’s absolute disgust with the corruption of our elected leaders. Congress and the White House need to earn the American people’s trust again. We the people are not going to give up until we get the sudden and relentless reform we deserve or, as the book says, “we throw them all out” in 2012.

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Throw Them ALL Out–Read It with a Pair of Sunglasses!

by Whitney Pitcher

Last week, I read Peter Schweizer’s insightful book, Throw Them All Out. I found it to be very well researched and well written. It is a fascinatingly frustrating read, in a righteous indignation kind of way. The book is a reminder that we need to evaluate politics vertically (top to bottom) a lot more often rather than just approaching politics on the horizontal spectrum of left to right ideology. Schweizer further reveals that those at the top of the political food chain are politicians themselves and their cronies, and we everyday Americans are subject to the rules these individual craft for everyone but themselves.  Unlike intellectually dishonest researchers who often “forget” that correlation does not equal causation, Schweizer lays out the facts–the legislation, stock trades, associations, and timing– of the unethical behavior of Congress, the White House, and their cronies and allows the reader to make the judgement for himself or herself. He’s the prosecutor; the reader is the juror.

Throw Them All Out is comprised of three parts–discussion of Congressional transgressions, the gains made by politicians’ cronies, and how Schweizer’s feels these problems can best be addressed.   Much of the Congressional behavior Schweizer discusses was highlighted in the recent 60 Minutes segment. Schweizer goes into detail on Congresswoman Pelosi’s insider trading on Bank of America IPOs and how earmarks for light rail projects would raise the value of nearby property that she owned. Isn’t it interesting that if you had the letters P-E-L-O-S-I, you could spell both “IPO” and “lies” on a Scrabble board? Schweizer hits at both parties–from former Republican Congressman Dennis Hastert and Democrat Heath Shuler on their land deals and the benefit they received from legislation. Schweizer also presents an excellent expose on how Congress trades health insurance and drug company stock based upon early knowledge of whether or not healthcare legislation is posed to pass. Isn’t it any wonder how Congress is more concerned with Americans health insurance and drug coverage specifically than they are with Americans health?

Schweizer continues in part two focusing in large part on two of Obama’s wealthiest cronies– George Soros and Warren Buffett. Schweizer highlighted the trend of hedge fund managers’ growing closeness with the political arena. Such associations likely contributed to Soros’ excellent stock picks that somehow seemed to be many of the same companies who received government grants. Buffett’s modus operandi seems to be feigning populist outrage only to greatly gain from legislation like the TARP bailout. Schweizer also highlights how 80% of green energy loans went to companies associated with President Obama’s top donors.  In reality, of course, with companies like Solyndra receiving hundreds of millions of dollars, all of this crony capitalism amounts to taxpayer dollars swirling the water efficient “green” toilet?

Schweizer closes the book with a few chapters that seem like a cross between the Federalist Papers and Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society. He mixes both the thoughts and visions from the Founders on ethical government with the anti-Elite message Sowell pounded home in his book. He closes the book by offering some reforms to help solve this massive political problem. These reforms fall right in line with the reforms Governor Palin offered in her recent Wall Street Journal op-ed:

What are the solutions? We need reform that provides real transparency. Congress should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act like everyone else. We need more detailed financial disclosure reports, and members should submit reports much more often than once a year. All stock transactions above $5,000 should be disclosed within five days.

We need equality under the law. From now on, laws that apply to the private sector must apply to Congress, including whistleblower, conflict-of-interest and insider-trading laws. Trading on nonpublic government information should be illegal both for those who pass on the information and those who trade on it. (This should close the loophole of the blind trusts that aren’t really blind because they’re managed by family members or friends.)

No more sweetheart land deals with campaign contributors. No gifts of IPO shares. No trading of stocks related to committee assignments. No earmarks where the congressman receives a direct benefit. No accepting campaign contributions while Congress is in session. No lobbyists as family members, and no transitioning into a lobbying career after leaving office. No more revolving door, ever.

Recently, Governor Palin suggested that all presidential candidates read Schweizer’s book. It would do us all well to read it also. It provides us with a glimpse into the swamp of Washington inhabited by both parties and offers proposals to drain that swamp.At less than 200 pages complete with references and tables, Schweizer’s book is not heavy on opinions or words. It is a concise, yet thorough investigation of the political class. Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. You might want to read Schweizer’s book with a pair of sunglasses.

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Insider Trading: Senator Feinstein Loaded up on Biotech Stock Just Before Company Received $24 Million Gov’t Grant

I am not a crook!

With a new congressional insider trading scandal unfolding in Washington, another name has been added to the hit parade: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

In the new blockbuster tell-all Throw Them All Out , investigative reporter and Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer reveals that on November 18, 2009, Sen. Feinstein and her husband invested $1 million into Amyris Biotechnologies, a “green” company focused on plant-based renewable fuels and chemicals.

The Feinsteins’ million-dollar investment was their only stock transaction for the entire year. Feinstein, however, had good reason to feel that all her investment eggs were secure in the biotech basket, because just weeks after her seven-figure investment in Amyris, the company scored a $24 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to build a pilot plant where altered yeast would turn sugar into hydrocarbons.

The company went public the following year with an IPO that raked in $85 million. Currently, it’s unclear exactly how much money Senator Feinstein and her husband made off their investment, “but it’s safe to assume that they did well,” concludes Schweizer.

Do we know for certain that Feinstein’s willingness to bet $1 million on Amyris was the result of insider knowledge that the DOE’s $24 million infusion of federal funds was forthcoming? No, not without further investigation. That, argues Schweizer in Throw Them All Out , is why insider trading laws should apply to members of Congress and trigger the kinds of SEC investigations to which ordinary investors must submit.

Read more here.

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Peter Schweizer’s “Throw Them All Out” Already Number 6 On Amazon Best Seller List

By Gary P Jackson

Peter Schweizer’s new book, Throw Them All Out, which was just released, is already number 6 on Amazon’s best seller list. This is essential reading for anyone who cares about cleaning up governmental corruption, and electing honest public servants.

Not only does Peter expose crooks in both parties, he offers some solutions and common sense reforms as well.

Order Throw Them All Out today.

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Filed under In The News, Politics, sarah palin