The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback says he stands up for what he believes. Even so, the Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad against abortion threatens to politicize ‘Super Sunday’ and turn some fans and NFL coaches against him.
By Patrik Jonsson
In a historic career at the University of Florida, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow has kept his faith and his convictions confined mostly to a few square inches beneath his eyes: Every Saturday, he would write a Biblical citation on his eye black.
Now, at the very moment when his hope of becoming a pro football quarterback hangs in the balance, Tim Tebow is taking on perhaps the single most divisive topic in America – abortion – in an advertisement set to air during the single most-watched television program of the year: the Super Bowl.
For a handsome and humble young man, who has become revered throughout much of the South for his devoutness as well as his on-field skill, it is an astonishingly bold decision. In the 30-second ad against abortion, he will speak from his own experience of how his mother did not abort him despite medical advice to do so.
Abortion-rights groups are already calling for the ad’s removal, saying that the group behind the ad is “anti-woman” and “anti-equality.” Online chatter is expressing an unease about Tebow’s willingness to infuse Super Bowl Sunday – an apolitical American rite – with politics. And, perhaps most concerning for Tebow himself, pro football teams already skeptical of his ability to transition to the National Football League might see this as further reason to avoid him on draft day.
“I do stand up for what I believe,” Tebow told Sports Illustrated last summer. “And at least you can respect that.”
Raised on a farm outside Jacksonville, Fla., by the son of an evangelist preacher and a mom who home-schooled him, Tebow is an amalgam of charismatic leader, world-class athlete, and devout Christian Southern boy. His faith resonates among fans in the Deep South.
But by targeting the Super Bowl, his “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” ad ranges far beyond the familiar confines of the conservative South. Fans and coaches in the NFL might resent him for pushing a cultural message on a day usually reserved for quarterback matchups and halftime extravaganzas.
“We’re going down a road here that is filled with potholes, moral and otherwise,” writes Orlando Sentinel sports columnist George Diaz, suggesting that the ad could lead to more advocacy ads, which Super Bowl broadcaster CBS has said it will consider.
The ad, funded by the Focus on the Family organization, is expected to tell the story of Tebow and his mother, Pam. Ill while pregnant with Tim, Pam refused suggestions to abort her son. Those who have seen the ad describe it as “uplifting.”
“I asked God for a preacher, and he gave me a quarterback,” Tebow’s dad, Bob, has famously said about the trying pregnancy.
The appropriate venue?
But various groups, including the National Organization for Women, have called for CBS to withdraw the ad. They say that both the ad’s advocacy content, as well as the group behind it are unacceptable. So far, CBS has said it intends to run the ad.
“This un-American hate doesn’t have a place in this all-American pastime,” Kierra Johnson, executive director of Choice USA, told Fox News.
Tebow has for years had to walk the line between the conviction of his faith and open proselytizing. But the ad comes at a crossroads for Tebow. Professional scouts have said Tebow’s throwing motion and skill-set are poorly suited for the NFL, and his preparations for the upcoming Senior Bowl, which offers coaches a first up-close look at college prospects, haven’t gone well so far this week.
“The anti-abortion ad that he’s in that will possibly run during the Super Bowl will likely create an uproar for him as well that some teams might not want to get involved in,” writes Mark Miller on Yahoo! Sports.
Yet it is the timing of his ad – and not necessarily the content – that could knock Tebow down a few notches among NFL fans. Indeed, a May 2009 Gallup poll found that, for the first time since the poll began in 1995, more Americans are anti-abortion than pro-abortion rights. But timing is everything.
“There are going to be about 100 million of us who won’t be happy for 30 seconds of the Super Bowl,” writes CBS Sports’ Gregg Doyel. “I’m not complaining about the ad because it’s anti-abortion and I’m not. I’m complaining about the ad because it’s pro-politics. And I’m not. Not on Super Sunday.”
Outspoken Christian Quarterback Kurt Warner announced his retirement from the National Football League on Friday, thanking God for the opportunities he received both on and off the field.
“As always, as it started in 1999 when I was up on the podium holding up a trophy, the first thing I want to do is give thanks to God,” Warner said during a press conference in Tempe, Ariz., referring to his widely-heard shot out to the Almighty following his Super Bowl win with the St. Louis Rams.
“My Lord Jesus brought me here. I know he brought me here for a purpose. And it’s been an amazing ride,” he added.
Though Hall of Fame-bound Warner stands out as one of the top quarterbacks in NFL history – with an impressive list of achievements that includes three MVP awards, a Super Bowl win, and the second-highest completion percentage in NFL history – Warner is most noted for his King David-esque rise to stardom, which was twice witnessed.
Not only did Warner go from stocking shelves at a grocery store in 1994 to a winning a Super Bowl in 2000, he also returned to the spotlight after his time appeared to be up, leading the Arizona Cardinals to the franchises’ first-ever Super Bowl in 2009.
“I don’t think I could have dreamt out that it would have played out as it had. But I’ve been humbled everyday that I’ve woke up for the last 12 years and amazed that God would choose to use me to do what He’s given me the opportunity to do over 12 years,” Warner said Friday.
But the one-time Super Bowl MVP made it clear that the opportunities he was given were not only on the football field. For him, it’s not just about the successes and the Super Bowls and the wins and the losses.
“[I]t’s also been the opportunities that He (God)’s given to me off the football field,” Warner stated.
Since his rise to stardom, Warner has been a featured speaker across the country for numerous churches, non-profit organizations, men’s conferences, and corporate events.
Warner’s work both on and off the field, meanwhile, resulted in him being awarded the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2008 and the Muhammad Ali Sports Leadership Award in 2009. Warner was also selected by USA Weekend as the winner of its annual Most Caring Athlete Award for 2009 and, just last month, topped a Sports Illustrated poll of NFL players to name the best role model on and off the field in the NFL.
First Things First Foundation, a non-profit public charity that he and his wife established in 2001, has been involved with numerous projects for causes such as children’s hospitals, people with developmental disabilities and assisting single parents.
“So I hope that when people think back over my career – maybe it’s just over the next couple of weeks as they reflect on it or maybe it’s years to come – that that’s what they remember more than anything else,” Warner said Friday.
“Not the way I threw the football, not particular games that I won. But that they remember that here’s a guy that believed, that worked hard, and – although things didn’t always go in his favor – he continued to press through. And with his faith in himself and with his faith in God, he was able to accomplish great things,” he concluded.
As for his future plans, Warner said earlier at the press conference that he’s just as excited about the next 12 years as he has the past “12 unbelievable years – 12 of the best years of my life.”
“I’m excited about what lies in front of me. I’m excited about spending more time with my family and seeing what God’s going to do next,” he reported.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Warner will keep his charitable foundation going, perhaps do some speaking, writing, ministry work, and maybe some football analyst work on TV or radio.
First Things First Foundation, which draws its name from Warner’s famed post-Super Bowl response in 2000, is dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, sharing experiences and providing opportunities “to encourage everyone that all things are possible when people seek to put first things first.”
The charity’s guiding principle is Matthew 6:33, which states “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Many gay rights activists think Obama isn’t doing enough. But he’s in no rush on same-sex marriage or the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.
Does that kind of clearly dominant constituency — one that’s more politically-attuned than the rest of the electorate — come with any political obligation regarding gay rights? You bet it does, and this weekend Obama is acknowledging the debt.
So far, his is a mixed record.
While Obama remains opposed to marriage among same-sex couples, in June he extended some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees. And he has taken steps to include among his administration openly gay officials.
John Berry, the director of the Office of Personnel Management, is the government’s highest-ranking gay official. David Huebner, chief lawyer for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, has been nominated ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. Mr. Huebner would be just the second openly gay US ambassador. (The first was appointed by Bill Clinton.)
Marriage and the US military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay men and women in uniform remain the toughest issues for the nation — and especially for Obama.
The Pew Research Center reported Friday that while most Americans favor civil unions for same-sex couples, they remain opposed to gay marriage.
It’s an issue that transcends government policy to an unusual extent, carrying significant moral and religious overtones. Pew finds that “nearly half of the public (49 percent) says homosexual behavior is morally wrong, while 9 percent say it is morally acceptable and 35 percent say it is not a moral issue.”
Meanwhile, the armed services for years have wrestled with the Pentagon’s policy regarding gay service members — a policy which senior retired officers (and even some on active duty) increasingly have spoken out against at a time when the troops, like the relatively young cohort of Americans they’re part of, don’t see the point in discriminating against gay men and lesbians.
Many gay rights advocates are losing patience with Obama who (unlike Bill Clinton) has no inclination to jump right into the military issue.
“Eleven months after his election, he has failed to deliver on any of his commitments to gay Americans, but even worse has been his refusal to engage around these issues,” Richard Socarides, who advised President Bill Clinton’s administration on gay and lesbian policy, told the Associated Press.
“What he needs to do now is engage and deliver,” said Socarides. “Spend some of his political capital on ending the gay military ban, a hugely symbolic issue. And with no intellectually sound arguments left against it, come out squarely for gay marriage equality.”
Obama also is being nudged to retire today’s military policy by many members of Congress. Led by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) of Pennsylvania (the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress) 176 House members have signed on to a bill doing away with don’t ask, don’t tell.
Obama is eager to sign the new hate crimes law. And White House officials push back against the notion that the president is dragging his feet on gay rights.
“The president has been very clear. He’s not hiding, he’s not avoiding [the gay and lesbian] issue,” Melody Barnes, the president’s top domestic policy adviser, told the Washington Post. “He has walked into a range of different communities as well as looked into the eyes of those in the GLBT community and been very clear about what he supports and what he wants done and the way he thinks it’s practical to get it done.”
‘They have the choice of turning back or not’
The national security adviser during the administration of President Jimmy Carter says the United States should shoot down Israeli jets if that nation chooses to take military action against a nuclear project in Iran.
Israel long has been thought to be considering a military strike against operations in Iran that could result in a nuclear weapon for the regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Israel has stated that it is unwilling to have its future threatened by a leader who believes it should be wiped off the map, as Ahmadinejad has stated, with access to nuclear weapons.
But such an Israeli attack on Iran probably would have to fly over coalition airspace in Iraq.
“Are we just going to sit there and watch?” Brzezinski demanded.
He said the U.S. has to be “serious” about denying Israel the right to attack.
“That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not,” he said.
“No one wishes for this but it could be a Liberty in reverse,” he said.
The Liberty was a U.S. ship in international waters in the Middle East during the Six-Day War in 1967 that was hit by Israeli gunfire.
Brzezinski advised Carter on confrontations in Iran, Afghanistan and the Middle East during Carter’s White House tenure.
He said the Obama administration also already should have developed “a clearer position on what we are prepared to do to promote a Palestinian-Israeli peace.”
“Simply giving a frequent-traveler ticket to George Mitchell is not the same thing as policy. It took a long time to get going on Iran, but there is an excuse there, the Iranian domestic mess. And we are now eight months into the administration, and I would have thought by now we could have formulated a strategy that we would have considered ‘our’ strategy for dealing with Iran and Pakistan,” he said.
“For example, the Carter administration, which is sometimes mocked, by now had in motion a policy of disarmament with the Russians, which the Russians didn’t like, but eventually bought; it had started a policy of normalization with the Chinese; it rammed through the Panama Canal treaty; and it was moving very, very openly toward an Israeli-Arab political peace initiative,” he said.
WND columnist and New York Times best-selling author Mike Evans wrote about Brzezinski just before the 2008 election, explaining how Obama added Brzezinski to his list of “advisers.”
“One of Brzezinski’s first jobs as adviser was to defend Obama’s plan, if elected, to meet with Iran and Syria: ‘What’s the hand-up about negotiating with the Syrians or Iranians?’ asked Brzezinski. ‘What it in effect means is that you only talk to people who agree with you.’
“People who agree with you?” wrote Evans. “I, for one, would like to know just why Obama would want to talk with Iran’s president who denies the Holocaust, has called Israel a ‘stinking corpse’ and vowed to wipe it off the map.”
WND columnist Ben Shapiro noted about that time Brzezinski “believes that the Jewish lobby forces America into pro-Israel policy, and he defends Carter’s anti-Semitic book, “Peace, Not Apartheid.”
WND’s 5-month series of exposés leads to White House’s 1st casualty
The last straw for Jones was being caught on tape in an expletive-packed rant, directly attacking Republicans in the Senate who he said abused their majority position in the past to push legislation through. He admitted after the statements were released that the comments were “inappropriate” and “offensive.”
“They do not reflect the experience I have had since joining the administration,” Jones said in the statement.
Jones was also linked late last week to efforts suggesting a government role in the Sept. 11 terror attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans.
When the White House press corps grilled White House press secretary Robert Gibbs about Jones on Friday, a reporter asked how the administration could reject “conspiracy theories” about his birth certificate while employing someone who previously charged the U.S. government with masterminding Sept. 11.
Gibbs said only that Jones “continues to work in the administration,” a non-ringing endorsement that set the stage for his ouster. Jones’ name appeared on a petition calling for congressional hearings and other investigations into whether high-level government officials had orchestrated the 9/11attacks.
Jones flatly said in his statement that he did not agree with the petition’s stand and that “it certainly does not reflect my views, now or ever.”
As for his other comments he made before joining Obama’s team, Jones said: “If I have offended anyone with statements I made in the past, I apologize.”
In April, Aaron Klein, Jerusalem bureau chief for WND.com, broke the first major story on Jones who was identified as a self-described radical communist and “rowdy black nationalist” who said his environmental activism was actually a means to fight for racial and class “justice.”
Succeeding revelations by WND included:
- Jones previously served on the board of an environmental activist group at which a founder of the Weather Underground terrorist organization is a top director.
- Jones was co-founder of a black activist organization that has led a campaign prompting major advertisers to withdraw from Glenn Beck’s top-rated Fox News Channel program. The revelation followed Beck’s reports on WND’s story about Jones’ communist background.
- That Jones and other White House appointees may have been screened by an ACORN associate.
- One day after the 9/11 attacks, Jones led a vigil that expressed solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans as well as what he called the victims of “U.S. imperialism” around the world.
- Just days before his White House appointment, Jones used a forum at a major youth convention to push for a radical agenda that included spreading the wealth and “changing the whole system.”
- Jones’ Maoist manifesto while leading the group Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM, was scrubbed from the Internet after being revealed by WND.
- Jones was the main speaker at an anti-war rally that urged “resistance” against the U.S. government – a demonstration sponsored by an organization associated with the Revolutionary Communist Party.
- In a 2005 conference, Jones characterized the U.S. as an “apartheid regime” that civil rights workers helped turn into a “struggling, fledgling democracy.”
- Jones signed a petition calling for nationwide “resistance” against police, accusing them of using the 9/11 attacks to carry out policies of torture.
While talk radio and cable television picked up WND’s reporting and increased the pressure on the administration to cut Jones loose, there was no significant press coverage of the scandal by the major U.S. news media until late last week.
Note: Media representatives interested in interviewing WND’s Aaron Klein should e-mail WND.
Would place president’s birth during time Hawaii was a territory
If President Obama were indeed born in Hawaii, was it while the islands were a territory of the United States?
A new wrinkle in the dispute over his birth – and whether he is eligible to be president under the U.S. Constitution‘s requirement that the president be a “natural born” citizen – appeared today when Obama’s official MySpace page declared his age is 52, thus placing his birth year at 1957 instead of 1961 as has been claimed.
That would mean he would have been born during the archipelago’s time as a territory of the U.S., the islands’ status from about 1900 until statehood in 1959.
The birth year also conflicts with campaign and other White House information that have discussed his 48th birthday this month.
An Aug. 16, 2009, screenshot of President Obama’s MySpace page declares his age as 52, not 48 as has been claimed elsewhere.
Even when one puts the words “MySpace” and “Barack Obama” into search engines such as Google, the top result is the same page and indicates: “Official profile page for Barack Obama includes his blog, blurbs, news clips, videos and comments from his MySpace friends.”
President Obama’s Facebook page lists his date of Birth as Aug. 4, 1961, and also confirms his MySpace page address
A WND request to the White House for comment did not generate an immediate response.
AP credited Obama with being the nation’s third youngest president who turned 48 this month.
Interestingly, a check of the Internet archive “Wayback Machine” finds that on April 10, 2007, Obama had his age listed as 45 on MySpace, which would be correct if, in fact, he had been born in August 1961 as has been trumpeted.
A screenshot from the archive of Barack Obama’s MySpace page from April 10, 2007, indicates an age of 45 years old, which would be consistent with a birth date of Aug. 4, 1961.
Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, several times has raised the question over Obama’s eligibility at White House news briefings – initially asking why the president didn’t just release a copy of his original long-form birth certificate.
Robert Gibbs, Obama’s press secretary, at first laughed at the idea, stating the “birth certificate” was on the Internet. That image, however, shows a “certification of live birth” which is not the same document and until recently wasn’t even accepted as identification by the state of Hawaii for some of its programs.
But a multitude of other records that also have not been released would shed light on the president’s past, including his kindergarten records, Punahou school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, passport, medical records, files from his years as an Illinois state senator, Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records and adoption records.
President blocks oil drilling at home, funds exploration abroad
Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, the premium online newsletter published by the current No. 1 best-selling author, WND staff writer and columnist. Subscriptions are $99 a year or $9.95 per month for credit card users. Annual subscribers will receive a free autographed copy of “The Late Great USA,” a book about the careful deceptions of a powerful elite who want to undermine our nation’s sovereignty.
A controversy developed when it was revealed the Obama administration is willing to spend billions of dollars to fund offshore drilling in Brazil while blocking U.S. development of oil and natural gas resources by continuing environmental objections to opening U.S. offshore drilling, Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert reports.
Underlying the controversy was the disclosure that Obama-supporter and billionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros bought a $811 million stake in Petroleo Brasileiro SA in the second quarter, making the Brazilian state-controlled oil company his investment fund’s largest holding.
The sparks began flying when former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin wrote on her Facebook page: “So why is it that during these tough times, when we have great needs at home, the Obama White House is prepared to send more than two billion of your hard-earned tax dollars to Brazil so that the nation’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, can drill off shore and create jobs developing its own resources?”
Corsi noted that Palin was particularly frustrated because she had campaigned for the White House with Republican Sen. John McCain in 2008 partially on the theme “Drill Now,” and she has experienced decades of living in Alaska where environmentalists have blocked drilling in ANWR.
“I’ll speak for the talent I have personally witnessed on the oil fields in Alaska when I say no other country in the world has a stronger workforce than America, no other country in the world has better safety standards that America, and no other country in the world has stricter environmental standards than America,” Palin wrote. “Come to Alaska and witness how oil and gas can be developed simultaneously with the preservation of our eco-systems.”
Within hours of Palin’s posting, the White House hit back.
Ben Smith of Politico wrote that the U.S. Export Import Bank disputed Palin’s attack, noting that the $2 billion loan to Brazil’s state-owned energy conglomerate Petrobras would not come from tax dollars.
What set off Palin was a Wall Street Journal editorial that lead with the headline, “Obama underwrites offshore drilling,” followed by the subtitle, “Too bad it’s not in U.S. waters.”
What underscored the controversy was that Petrobras notified the country’s National Petroleum Agency late Monday that the company had made yet a third huge oil find in the Campos Basin off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in the Atlantic Ocean, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
“Brazil, a country that was once considered so devoid of oil that its auto industry has traditionally been fueled by sugar-derived ethanol, is now positioned to become a world leader in oil exports,” Corsi wrote, “thanks exclusively to deep-water oil exploration that has paid off.”
Red Alert has consistently argued that U.S. energy policy makes no sense when blocking offshore oil and natural gas exploration dooms the U.S. to continued dependency on foreign oil – especially at a time when the nation’s negative balance of trade and trillion-dollar deficits have caused the U.S. to hemorrhage the outflow of dollars when the nation can ill-afford the loss of foreign exchange reserves.
Red Alert has also consistently argued that oil is an abiotic product that should be found in abundance as drilling technology becomes affordable at deeper levels, especially offshore.
A key theme of “Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil,” the book Corsi co-authored with Craig Smith, CEO of Swiss America, was that Russian geologists at the end of World War II advanced deep-earth theories of oil.
According to deep-earth theories, oil is abiotic, a natural product of the earth created in the earth’s mantle on an ongoing basis, not a biological product or “fossil fuel” created by biological debris, including dinosaurs, ancient forests or small biological agents such as plankton.
While abiotic theories are still not embraced by U.S. geologists, Ukrainian geologists are generally in agreement with Russia.
“What should be clear is that opening up the U.S. offshore continental shelf to drilling will increase the supply of U.S.-produced oil and natural gas over time,” Corsi wrote. “Rather than funding offshore drilling in Brazil, President Obama would be well advised to take on the environmentalists to fund offshore drilling in the United States.”
Corsi continued, “Obama’s policy choice is obvious when we realize that most environmentalists, like President Obama himself, derive from the radical left where ideological purity demands that offshore drilling, especially by the capitalist-motivated United States, must be viewed as evil.”
Red Alert’s author, whose books “The Obama Nation” and “Unfit for Command” have topped the New York Times best-sellers list, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972. For nearly 25 years, beginning in 1981, he worked with banks throughout the U.S. and around the world to develop financial services marketing companies to assist banks in establishing broker/dealers and insurance subsidiaries to provide financial planning products and services to their retail customers. In this career, Corsi developed three different third-party financial services marketing firms that reached gross sales levels of $1 billion in annuities and equal volume in mutual funds. In 1999, he began developing Internet-based financial marketing firms, also adapted to work in conjunction with banks.
In his 25-year financial services career, Corsi has been a noted financial services speaker and writer, publishing three books and numerous articles in professional financial services journals and magazines.
For financial guidance during difficult times, read Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, the premium, online intelligence news source by the WND staff writer, columnist and author of the New York Times No. 1 best-seller, “The Obama Nation.“
Though he has never released a long-form birth certificate, Obama claims to have been born Aug. 4, 1961, in an unnamed Honolulu hospital that has yet to take credit for the historic birth of the baby who would become America’s first black president.
WND’s SuperStore has designed and printed postcards for the occasion. The front of the card raises the question: “Where’s the birth certificate?” The back is open for your personalized greetings.
“I’m encouraging Americans to send these postcards in plenty of time for Barack Obama’s birthday,” said Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND and someone who has made it his personal mission to find that missing birth certificate. “This is an opportunity to anyone to send two messages at once to Obama – one concerning the search for truth about his constitutional eligibility for office and the second your own personalized note.”
Farah points out the postcards can be used to send notes to anyone – not just Barack Obama.
“These postcards are not pre-addressed to the White House,” he said. “They are postcards that can be used to send to your friends, your member of Congress, your relatives. It’s just another way of keeping the issue of eligibility on the front burner – right up through 2012 if necessary.”
Purchasers of the postcards will receive mailing addresses for the White House and Congress should they choose to use them for those purposes.
It’s just the latest effort by Farah to raise the visibility of an issue he says was ignored by his colleagues in the media and most of the nation’s elected officials, including Republicans.
Farah’s first venture into eligibility activism was the launching of an online petition to “all controlling legal authorities” to take the matter seriously. That effort continues to build with nearly 400,000 having signed on.
His second effort was the creation of a magnetic bumper sticker product that has now sold nearly 5,000 units.
Farah’s third effort less than two months ago was the launching of a national billboard campaign that has raised about $100,000 and placed, so far, seven ads at locations around the country.The billboards, like the bumper stickers, say simply: “Where’s the birth certificate?”
Next was the development of yard and rally signs sporting the same design and question.
More recently, Farah put up a $10,000 bounty for verifiable new information about facts of Barack Obama’s birth.
“My hope is that all of these efforts will lead to more awareness and concern about what, I believe, is a paramount constitutional issue,” said Farah. “If we’re going to forget about the Constitution’s requirements for presidents, what exactly are we going to remember when it comes to our most important governing document – the very contract that holds together these United States of America”?
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announcing her resignation today (Screen grab from KTUU-TV, Anchorage, video)
Surprising friends and foes alike, Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin, her party’s vice presidential candidate last year, announced today she will not finish her first term as governor.
Republican Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell will take the oath of office July 26.
Palin, regarded as a potential front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, made the announcement from the backyard of her home on the shore of Lake Lucille in Wasilla, about 35 miles north of Anchorage.
The governor, her family at her side, emphasized she has been the target of 15 ethics complaints by political opponents – all dismissed – at a cost of $2 million to the state and more than $500,000 to her family.
“And the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn’t cost them a dime, so they’re not going to stop draining public resources – spending other people’s money in their game,” she said.
“It’s pretty insane – my staff and I spend most of our day dealing with this instead of progressing our state now.”
Palin anticipated her decision would be questioned.
“I’m determined to take the right path for Alaska, even though it is unconventional, and it’s not so comfortable,” she said.
Palin, 45, made no announcement of her specific plans, but Politico reported she asked supporters after the news conference via the social-networking site Twitter to “stay tuned.”
“We’ll soon attach info on this decision to not seek re-election,” she wrote.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul last September (WND photo)
Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton said the governor didn’t make the move to position herself for a 2012 presidential run.
“She is not focused on 2012 – she is focused on making a difference on the topics she finds so dear: energy independence [and] national security,” Stapleton said, according to the Washington Post.
Palin said she made the decision after “prayer and consideration” and a poll of family members, who unanimously concluded she should step down.
Palin indicated ridicule directed at her family weighed in her decision. Last month, CBS “Late Show” host David Letterman joked about one of her daughters being “knocked up” by New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez during the governor’s visit to New York. Palin said in her resignation announcement today that her 14-month-old son, Trig, who has Down syndrome, had been “mocked and ridiculed by some mean-spirited adults recently.”
A blistering piece on Palin in the current Vanity Fair magazine resurrected alleged tensions within the McCain campaign, asserting some top aides of the Arizona senator worried about Palin’s “mental state” and suggested the governor might have been suffering from post-partum depression following the birth of Trig.
Palin said some observers believe things changed for her when Sen. John McCain tapped her to be his running mate Aug. 29, but “I say others changed.”
“The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I’ve been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations – such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it and answering reporters’ questions.”
She described a “new political environment in which millions of dollars were going down the drain.”
She said she couldn’t let that happen just to remain as governor.
“We know we can affect positive change outside government at this point in time on another scale and actually make a difference for our priorities,” she said.
John McCain, Sarah Palin, Todd Palin with son, Trig, after the Arizona senator’s acceptance speech last September (WND photo)
Palin, who defeated incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski in the 2006 Republican primary and a former two-term Democratic governor in the general election, said she didn’t want to be a “lame duck” politician.
She explained that she previously had decided not to run for a second term and subsequently determined Alaska would be served best by turning over the governership to Parnell.
“Many just accept that lame duck status and they hit the road,” she said. “They draw a paycheck and they kind of milk it. I’m not going to put Alaskans through that. I promised efficiencies and effectiveness.”
Her brother, Chuck Heath Jr., told Fox News after the announcement she was spending up to 80 percent of her time defending herself from the complaints.
“There was no way she could effectively govern when so much of her time was being spent defending herself,” Heath said.
“It’s not fair to the state, and it’s not fair to her family, and it finally got to the point where she needed to do something.”
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announcing her resignation today (Screen grab from KTUU-TV, Anchorage, video)
Fox News analyst and Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol called Palin’s decision a “huge gamble.”
“But some of those gambles have paid off for her in the past,” he said, adding the announcement may turn out to be the first salvo in the 2012 Republican presidential campaign.
Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse said in a written statement that either Palin is “leaving the people of Alaska high and dry to pursue her long-shot national political ambitions or she simply can’t handle the job now that her popularity has dimmed and oil revenues are down.”
“Either way – her decision to abandon her post and the people of Alaska who elected her continues a pattern of bizarre behavior that more than anything else may explain the decision she made today,” Woodhouse said.
Palin burst unexpectedly into the national scene last August when McCain chose her as his presidential running mate.
Her nomination immediately charged up a Republican base that showed little passion for McCain, leading to an enthusiastically received acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul amid doubts by some in the party establishment who questioned whether she was qualified.
Palin’s path to the Alaska governorship began as a member of the Wasilla City Council. She served for two terms before election as mayor in 1996. Later, she was elected president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors.
She made an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor in 2002. One year later, Murkowski appointed her ethics commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. But she resigned in protest in 2004, charging fellow Republicans with a “lack of ethics” for legal violations and conflicts of interest.
In November 2006, with little support from her party, she was elected governor, becoming Alaska’s first to be born after it achieved statehood.
By Lynn Davidson
Are you a conservative? Then you’re a d***, and there’s something wrong with your brain. At least that’s what “24″ actress and comedienne Janeane Garofalo believes.
According to the former Air America radio host, a conservative starts out an “a**hole,” and the politics come later. She asserted, “The reason a person is a conservative republican (sic) is because something is wrong with them...It really is neuroscience.”
In this February 12 interview with the environmentalist celebrity blog Ecorazzi, Garofalo also claimed the “irrational” emotion center of the brain, the limbic system, is what creates conservatives (text reformatted, profanity edited, all bold mine):
The reason a person is a conservative republican is because something is wrong with them. Again, that’s science – that’s neuroscience. You cannot be well adjusted, open-minded, pluralistic, enlightened and be a republican. It’s counter-intuitive. And they revel in their anti-intellectualism. They revel in their cruelty.
I don’t know if you heard me talking to Jenny a while ago, but I was saying that first you have to be an a**hole and then comes the conservatism. You gotta be a d*** to cleave onto their ideology…
Sarah Palin didn’t escape Garofalo’s ire either. She said Palin is “small-minded and mean-spirited” and “is what the Republican Party has become: obstructionist, contrarians, small-minded, all of these things (sic).”
Garofalo raved that “[t]here’s definitely something wrong” with Palin, and she’s successful with some Americans “because she represents that lesser segment of the country. It’s about people’s lesser nature…”
Ecorazzi then dangled some bait:
E: I think it’s safe to say [Palin's] done some pretty nutty things.
JG: It’s not even nutty. It really is neuroscience. I truly believe that it has something to do with their limbic brain. I really believe that some people’s limbic brain dominates more than others. Our limbic brain controls all our emotions and it causes us to be irrational. Our limbic brain goes into action when we’re ecstatic, frightened, when we’re having sex. I really believe that if a neuroscientist examined the brain of somebody who identified as a conservative, they would find it’s wired differently.
Maybe a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who is fond of angry, vitriolic outbursts should take a look at the limbic system in her own brain for the excessive emotion and fright that she attributes to the right.
Garofalo also attacked Republican beliefs from Ronald Reagan forward, railing, “Their policies have destroyed us and most of the world–that’s a fact not an opinion.” She was baffled that “conservative republicans” (sic) (her sneer quotes) are allowed to participate in politics, asking “why do they still get a say?“
That certainly isn’t very inclusive. She also seemed a little confused about the difference between fact and opinion.
When discussing politics and neuroscience, perhaps Garofalo was referring to several questionable studies that tried to link political beliefs to the brain or childhood, or perhaps she was just projecting her own personal demons onto conservatives.
One thing is for sure-she didn’t get the message from the left that we are all supposed to put politics aside and come together for the good of the country. How “obstructionist,” “contrarian” and “small-minded.