October 29th, 2009


A former senior adviser on Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign doesn’t believe that Democrats will unite to pass comprehensive healthcare reform.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain’s top economic adviser on the Arizona Republican’s 2008 campaign for the White House, said on Wednesday night, “The divide in the Democratic Party is broader than the divide between Republicans and Democrats.”

“I genuinely don’t see how you get to 60 [votes in the Senate],” Holtz-Eakin said.

When pressed on the fact that McCain this past weekend predicted that Democrats would pass some type of health reform, Holtz-Eakin joked, “What does he know? He lost!”

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barack eye

Obama was stone's throw away and I had no idea. T.T

Obama visits Dover AFB to honor fallen soldiers

President Barack Obama made a midnight dash to this air base Wednesday to honor the return of fallen soldiers, absorbing the ultimate cost of war as the United States endures its deadliest month of the Afghanistan campaign.

On a clear fall night, Obama flew by Marine One helicopter to Dover Air Force Base to greet the flag-draped cases of 18 Americans killed in action this week.

After landing, the president, wearing a dark topcoat, got into a motorcade to a base chapel, where he met privately with families of the fallen Americans. He had arrived on the base at 12:34 a.m. Thursday and was expected to be back at the White House before dawn.


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SOURCE: Mail Times

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franklin sherman

Trey Grayson campaign using creepy scientologist-esque methods against Rand Paul

The Campaign for Liberty is running a handful of candidates this election cycle, one of them is Rand Paul, Ron Paul's son. The GOP cant have this, so they have hired someone to camerastalk Rand Paul everywhere he goes.


The rumor is he is doing this to figure out everything Rand Paul is talking about, then he plans on Mirroring all the issues, causing a dilution effect. As it is, he has updated his web page claiming he supported an audit of the fed, yet he has raised his funds from bankers and senators who support the bailout.

U.S. Senate opponent Trey Grayson has tried to make this campaign a popularity contest for six months, not taking positions on serious issues. Rand Paul has run circles around him promoting balanced budgets, free market health reform, stronger national defense, and auditing the Federal Reserve while Grayson grumbled at Rand for daring to criticize the Bailout Senators funding Trey’s campaign.
So it was funny on Tuesday to see Grayson change strategies and start talking on his web site about — you guessed it — promoting balanced budgets, free market health reform, stronger national defense, and auditing the Federal Reserve. He’s against Republicans voting for bailouts, now, too. Where’s your party loyalty, man?
Glad to see Trey coming around to where Rand has been all along. For Rand, though, holding to Constitutional principles isn’t just something you do to position yourself in a Republican primary. Rand really means it.

Trey Grayson and Alan Grayson are not related

Zogby Fails. Nate Silver shines again.

I get really irritated when small but incendiary shit like this goes unnoticed. I'm really glad people like Nate Silver are around to catch this crap. I don't know if I want to be angry at the morons who write this crap  or the morons who read it unblinkingly. More people need to be aware that more often then not "polls" are being used not to monitor public opinion, but to create one that did not exist beforehand and that  makes me wanna......

(Image by zeonzumdeikun)


Zogby Again Polls on Misleading Question, This Time with Racial Tinge
Story by the man who knew Obama would Win- Nate Silver

As reported by FAIR, a new poll issued by Zogby Interactive on behalf of the conservative website The O'Leary Report poses the following question:

Federal Communications Commission Chief Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd wants the FCC to force good white people in positions of power in the broadcast industry to step down to make room for more African-Americans and gays to fill those positions. Do you agree or disagree that this presents a threat to free speech?

The question, obviously, is somewhat self-evidently incendiary, although it doesn't come completely out of the blue. Rather, the question refers to a set of remarks made in 2005 by Lloyd, the FEC's Chief Diversity Officer:

"There's nothing more difficult than this because we have really truly, good, white people in important positions, and the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions," he said.

"And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions, we will not change the problem. But we're in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power."

I'm not going to do anyone a favor by linking to their write-up of Lloyd's remarks, since none of the publications that refer to them make an honest effort to provide the full context, such as the question to which Lloyd was responding. But obviously, even based on these clipped remarks, there is a large gap between Lloyd's somewhat amorphous response and Zogby's uncritical and unattributed statement of fact that "Lloyd wants the FCC to force good white people in positions of power in the broadcast industry to step down to make room for more African-Americans and gays to fill those positions."

In November, Zogby polled on a series of misleading statements about Barack Obama and Joe Biden on behalf of conservative media personality John Ziegler. In the face of criticism at FiveThirtyEight and other websites, Zogby issued a partial apology, implying that their quality control process had broken down, and declined to do further polling for the client.

It seems clear, however, in light of this new poll, that Zogby has made a decision to become the bottom-feeders of the polling marketplace, a one-stop-shop for wingnuts of all stripes, who will make no particular distinction between fact and innuendo in the questions they poll. To be clear about the issue at hand, there is a distinction between a merely leading question -- merely couching a statement of fact in favorable terminology -- and a misleading one -- reporting a highly questionable statement as fact to the respondent. To imply from Lloyd's statements that the FCC is considering pursing a policy of forced resignation for white broadcast personalities seems pretty far over the line. That the question as posed is highly racially charged is somewhat tangential to the ethical issue at hand, although it arguably raises the stakes and may certainly further indict John Zogby's judgement.
Akuma River

Texas Inmates not important enough to get Swine Flu Pandemic Vaccine

So I guess we should start to be seeing a reduction in the prison population by the time this pandemic finally hits, huh?

Texas inmates not priority for swine flu vaccine (October 29, 2009 - Houston Chronicle - AP)

AUSTIN — State health officials say Texas prisoners are not a priority to get swine flu vaccine and will not be vaccinated ahead of the general public.

The Department of State Health Services says Texas has not allocated any H1N1 vaccine to prisons yet. Texas is initially targeting priority groups most at risk, such as pregnant women.

DSHS says health care providers who serve pregnant women in prisons have requested the vaccine. A statement Wednesday said it is unclear when Texas will be able to fill those orders “given the limited national supply of the vaccine.”

Texas prison officials previously said the system has asked for more than 158,000 doses of swine flu vaccine to inoculate inmates.

Federal health authorities so far have allocated less than 1.7 million doses to Texas.

Don't read the comments.

Put down that burger, buddy.

Eating animals is making us sick

Source is not surprised

By Jonathan Safran Foer, Special to CNN

Editor's note:Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the critically acclaimed novels "Everything is Illuminated" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." His latest book, the nonfiction "Eating Animals," (Little, Brown and Co.) will be published November 2.

New York (CNN) -- Like most people, I'd given some thought to what meat actually is, but until I became a father and faced the prospect of having to make food choices on someone else's behalf, there was no urgency to get to the bottom of things.

I'm a novelist and never had it in mind to write nonfiction. Frankly, I doubt I'll ever do it again. But the subject of animal agriculture, at this moment, is something no one should ignore. As a writer, putting words on the page is how I pay attention.

If the way we raise animals for food isn't the most important problem in the world right now, it's arguably the No. 1 cause of global warming: The United Nations reports the livestock business generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined.

It's the No. 1 cause of animal suffering, a decisive factor in the creation of zoonotic diseases like bird and swine flu, and the list goes on. It is the problem with the most deafening silence surrounding it.

Even the most political people, the most thoughtful and engaged, tend not to "go there." And for good reason. Going there can be extremely uncomfortable. Food is not just what we put in our mouths to fill up; it is culture and identity. Reason plays some role in our decisions about food, but it's rarely driving the car.

We need a better way to talk about eating animals, a way that doesn't ignore or even just shruggingly accept things like habits, cravings, family and history but rather incorporates them into the conversation. The more they are allowed in, the more able we will be to follow our best instincts. And although there are many respectable ways to think about meat, there is not a person on Earth whose best instincts would lead him or her to factory farming.

My book, "Eating Animals," addresses factory farming from numerous perspectives: animal welfare, the environment, the price paid by rural communities, the economic costs. In two essays, I will share some of what I've learned about how the way we raise animals for food affects human health.

What we eat and what we are
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the stone
  • gmth

U.S. Economy Started to Grow Again in the Third Quarter

For the first time in a year, the United States economy grew, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. But even if a recovery is technically in the offing, job seekers likely will not begin to feel the benefits for months to come.

Gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the three months ending in September, a significant spike from a relatively shrunken base. The economy had contracted at annual rates of 0.7 percent and 6.4 percent in the second and first quarters of this year, respectively.

Robust government spending, exports, consumer spending — buoyed by auto purchases Congress’s now-expired cash-for-clunkers program — and housing helped finally push the measure into positive territory. Spending on consumer durable goods like cars shot up an astounding 22.3 percent at an annual rate, compared to a decrease of 23.3 percent the previous quarter.

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Hot damn! Let's hope the growth continues.

WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE COLLEGE KIDS? AKA: Bush debuts as motivational speaker.

Former President George W. Bush made his debut as a motivational speaker Monday night, telling a Fort Worth, Texas crowd it's futile to waste energy chasing popularity.

"It's so simple in life to chase popularity, but popularity is fleeting, it's not real," Bush said at a "Get Motivated!" business seminar, a multi-city event its organizers describe as an "energizing, action-packed, star-studded, fun-filled, spectacular stage show."

The president himself saw wild popularity swings during his eight years in the White House, garnering nearly a 90 percent approval rating in the months following the attacks on September 11, 2001 and exiting office with only the support of 31 percent of Americans, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll.

The former president was greeted enthusiastically by the 11,000 attendees of the event, according to the Fort Worth Telegram, and he spoke casually for about 20 minutes.

Event organizers declined to disclose how much the former president was compensated for the appearance, though former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received $100,000 for a similar speech at the event two years ago.

Bush, who has made few public appearances or statements since leaving office nine months ago, also took the opportunity to reflect on his presidency.

"Every single day, I was honored to be your president by bringing honor and dignity to the office," he said. Bush also added later that his faith played a large role in guiding his decisions: "From a personal perspective, I don't see how you can be president without relying upon an almighty."

Colin Powell, the former Bush Secretary of State who sparred with many members of the president's inner circle over the invasion of Iraq and endorsed Barack Obama's presidential bid - also spoke at the event and offered high praise of his ex-boss.

"We are safer than we were before 9-11 because of President Bush," Powell said.
The former president is also scheduled to participate in another "Get Motivated!" seminar in San Antonio, Texas on December 2, according to the company's Web site.

"For a limited time only," the Web site says, tickets are available for that event at $4.95 per person or $19 for a group.


Public Option Unveiled In House

The battle over health care reform reached another milestone Thursday as top House Democrats unveiled sweeping legislation that includes a highly controversial public health insurance option.

The nearly 2,000 page bill -- a combination of three different versions passed by House committees -- would cost $894 billion over 10 years and extend insurance coverage to 36 million uncovered Americans, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

It guarantees that 96 percent of Americans have coverage, Pelosi said. The figure is based on an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

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--F&*k the Senate its all about the House

franklin sherman

British Government's chief drug advisor tells truth about drugs, causes controversy.

Drugs chief: Alcohol more dangerous than ecstasy, LSD and cannabis

Thursday, 29 October 2009

The British Government's chief drug adviser has sparked controversy by claiming ecstasy, LSD and cannabis are less dangerous than cigarettes and alcohol.

Professor David Nutt, chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, attacked the decision to make cannabis a class B drug.

He accused former home secretary Jacqui Smith, who reclassified the drug, of "distorting and devaluing" scientific research.

Prof Nutt said smoking cannabis created only a "relatively small risk" of psychotic illness. And he claimed advocates of moving ecstasy into class B from class A had "won the intellectual argument".

All drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, should be ranked by a "harm" index, he said, with alcohol coming fifth behind cocaine, heroin, barbiturates, and methadone.

Tobacco should rank ninth, ahead of cannabis, LSD and ecstasy.

Prof Nutt said: "No one is suggesting that drugs are not harmful. The critical question is one of scale and degree. We need a full and open discussion of the evidence and a mature debate about what the drug laws are for - and whether they are doing their job."

In a lecture and briefing paper for the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College, London, Prof Nutt attacked what he called the "artificial" separation of alcohol and tobacco from other, illegal, drugs.

He also repeated his claim that the risks of taking ecstasy are no worse than riding a horse.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Prof Nutt's views are his own and do not reflect the views of Government. The Government is clear - we are determined to crack down on all illegal substances and minimise their harm to health and society as a whole.


Isnt it amazing how telling the truth is so controversial. Since this adviser isnt advising pro-policy, and instead telling the truth he'll probably have a short career.
look closer / hark! a vagrant!

Sales of American newspapers keep falling

MORE bad news for America's newspaper industry. In the six months to the end of September, daily circulation fell by 10.1% to 30.4m compared with the same period in 2008. All of the top 20 papers have seen their circulation plunge, with the exception of the Wall Street Journal. The Journal now has the biggest circulation in the country, surpassing USA Today, which suffered an enormous 17.5% drop in readership over the same period. Paying readers are now turning to the internet to get the news free.


Do you read newspapers anymore, ontd_p?
asoneill - Yahoo Me

Column on Gay Marriage Hearings in DC

Cases against gay marriage don't hold up - Robert McCartney, Washington Post

As I listened to opponents of same-sex marriage testify at two public hearings Monday in the District, I waited for a persuasive argument about how society would suffer by letting two men or two women say "I do." I didn't hear one.

Instead, I heard a lot of flawed appeals saying that a citywide ballot on the issue is necessary to protect people's voting rights, plus some incendiary rhetoric about the purported risks to children and families of "redefining" marriage.

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Infomania's That's Gay takes on That's Ex-Gay? lol

Tired of being gay? Well, Richard Cohen and his Ex-Gay cohorts can help. Join Bryan Safi as he navigates the world of conversion therapy. You never know, you might be able to rearrange that pesky DNA!

That's Gay is a recurring segment on the weekly television show infoMania. In each episode of That's Gay, Bryan Safi explores gay issues and stereotypes as they are portrayed by the clueless media. For more Bryan visit http://current.com/groups/thats-gay/ and Current TV.

panda bear

(no subject)

Two men shot at California synagogue

A man wearing a hooded sweatshirt shot two men at a North Hollywood synagogue Thursday morning, wounding them in their legs, police said.

The two men, who have not been identified, are in stable condition at separate hospitals, said Deputy Chief Michel Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department.

He said police have put extra patrols near local schools and other synagogues as a precaution.

Authorities have taken a person into custody whose clothing matches "a loose description" of what the suspect was wearing, Moore told reporters, but he emphasized that a search for a suspect would continue.

"We are looking into every possible motive," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa told reporters. "But at this point, all we know is that it was a random act of violence."

The shooting occurred around 6:20 a.m. (9:20 a.m. ET) at Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic synagogue, police said.

Moore said the two victims arrived at the synagogue's parking garage in separate vehicles. As they were parking, he said, a man in a black sweatshirt approached, pulled out a handgun and fired on the first victim.

The shooter then fired on the second victim and fled, Moore said.

"We don't know whether this was a robbery or whether it was an attack on these two individuals because of their presence at this synagogue," Moore said.

He said he believed the two victims were arriving at the synagogue for morning prayers.

Authorities are also reviewing security video from the synagogue, he said.

panda bear

(no subject)

Victory for Obama Over Military Lobby

When the Obama administration proposed canceling a host of expensive weapons systems last spring, some of the military industry’s allies in Congress assumed, as they had in the past, that they would have the final say.

But as the president signed a $680 billion military policy bill on Wednesday, it was clear that he had succeeded in paring back nearly all of the programs and setting a tone of greater restraint than the Pentagon had seen in many years.

Now the question is whether Mr. Obama can sustain that push next year, when the midterm elections are likely to make Congress more resistant to further cuts and job losses.

White House officials say Mr. Obama took advantage of a rare political moment to break through one of Washington’s most powerful lobbies and trim more weapons systems than any president had in decades.

Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said Wednesday that the plan was to threaten a veto over a prominent program — in this case, the F-22 fighter jet — “to show we were willing to expend political capital and could win on something that people thought we could not.”

Once the Senate voted in July to stop buying F-22s, Mr. Emanuel said in an interview, that success “reverberated down” to help sustain billions of dollars of cuts in Army modernization, missile defense and other programs.

Mr. Emanuel said the strategy emerged when the defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, told Mr. Obama they needed to “shake up sacred cows and be seen as taking on fights.”

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Oh Hugo, you stay crazy bb

Lights! Camera! Revolución!

Like Mussolini and Stalin before him, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has erected his very own movie studio. Welcome to Hugowood.

In the balding foothills just east of Caracas, a sprawling glass-and-concrete structure bakes in the equatorial sun. The bleached façade and tinted windows have the look of a strip mall or generic suburban office block. But La Villa del Cine—"Cinemaville"—is the headquarters for Hugo Chávez's latest campaign in the struggle for Latin America's hearts and minds: a state-owned film studio that's the Venezuelan strongman's answer to what he denounces as the "tyranny" of Hollywood. His loyalists hail it as a "platform" to "revolutionize consciousness." Many Venezuelans just call it Hugowood.

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IDK if the Mussolini and Stalin comparisons are necessary for Chavez, considering he hasn't systematically murdered anyone yet (and he's *technically* not a dictator, but shows some dictator-lite tendencies). But still, it's an interesting article. And pretty lulzy too.

Whoops, forgot the SOURCE
# what is that?
  • schmiss

The two were seen canoodling at a Cambridge pub, they've been inseparable ever since.

Spotted!: Gates And Crowley Reportedly Partake In Beer Summit Part Deux

Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley -- of White House Beer Summit fame -- were reportedly drinking together once again last night -- this time in a Cambridge pub.

Gates and Crowley were the subject of some controversy back in July after Crowley (who is white) arrested Gates (who is black) in his home, sparking a national debate about race relations in America. Things came to a head when President Obama commented that Crowley had "acted stupidly" in his arrest of Gates, and then held a "beer summit" at the White House so he, Gates, and Crowley could resolve the conflict.

Now, it seems, the two are at it again, meeting in a pub called "River Gods" in Cambridge for about an hour, according to the owner.

Sadly, Joe Biden did not pop in for a visit this time.

Relive the White House beer summit in pictures here.


~all's well that ends well~

Report: States set low bar for student achievement

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

WASHINGTON – Many states declare students to have grade-level mastery of reading and math when they do not, the Education Department reported Thursday.

The agency compared state achievement standards to the more challenging standards behind the federally funded National Assessment of Educational Progress.

State standards were lower, and there were big differences in where each state set the bar.
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Lack of Swine Flu Vaccine Case Against Public Option: Yet More Children Die Each Year

Lack of health care led to 17,000 US child deaths

Lack of adequate health care may have contributed to the deaths of some 17,000 US children over the past two decades, according to a study released by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

The research, to be published Friday in the Journal of Public Health, was compiled from more than 23 million hospital records from 37 states between 1988 and 2005.

The study concluded that children without health insurance are far more likely to succumb to their illnesses than those with medical coverage.

"If you are a child without insurance, if you're seriously ill and end up in the hospital, you are 60 percent more likely to die than the sick child in the next town who has insurance," said Fizan Abdullah, lead writer of the study and a pediatric surgeon at Hopkins.

With some seven million children in the United States currently uninsured, the problem needed addressing immediately, the report said.

"In a country as wealthy as ours, the need to provide health care to the millions of children who lack it is a moral, not an economic imperative," said Peter Pronovost, director of critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins.
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Hufflepuff  Darren stan Narhwal


My friend showed me this campaign video that's been trying to go viral in Atlanta. Lulz, bricks, etc.

FYI - Roy Barnes ("Roy the Rat") was the governor a few years ago, and now he's running again for the next cycle. He was... um... not the best governor we've ever had.

Mods- sorry if this isn't right for the comm, but it cracked my shit up and I wanted to share. :)
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    Project Runway

New Study Indicates That Birther Are Crazy, Xenophobic, Uneducated, And Evil. Coming: Water = Wet!!

Birthers Rarely Leave U.S., Less Likely To Vote: Hunch Profile

Hunch, a new website that helps people make decisions based on survey questions, found some interesting stuff when they crunched the numbers on site users who described themselves as "birthers".

Asked a series of political questions, 12 percent of Hunch users said they did not believe the president was born in the United States. (About 2,200 Hunch users answered the question.) The Hunch team decided to see how they responded to other queries.

According to their answers, birthers are less educated, watch more TV, and read fewer books than non-birthers.

Some 43 percent of them have never traveled outside of their home country. They're 24 percent more likely to speak only a single language. They are 63% less likely to have ever owned a passport.

A third of them didn't vote in the last presidential election. Forty-four percent of them believe that the Big Bang didn't really happen and 47 percent don't believe in global warming. Birthers are also 19 percent more likely to believe in UFOs and alien visits to earth and 50 percent more likely to believe in alien abductions.

Interestingly, birthers are 115 percent more likely to think that human beings are naturally evil rather than good.

"What this data shows very consistently is that compared to those who believe Obama's credentials are legitimate, birthers are less educated and less likely to believe in widely-accepted scientific principles, yet more likely to believe in theories like alien abductions," said Kelly Ford, Vice President of Marketing at Hunch. "This may explain why they've passionately latched on to a birth conspiracy theory that by now has generally been dismissed as quite far-fetched."

This sample, of course, is small and unscientific.

Health Insurace To Keep Their Monopolies. Trustbusters Death!!

Reid Punts On Insurance Industry Anti-Trust Exemption

Senate negotiators have decided not to include a provision revoking the insurance industry's anti-trust exemption in the bill leadership sends to the floor, said two Democratic aides close to the merger talks. Instead, the measure will be offered as an amendment on the Senate floor.

The House health care bill, unveiled Thursday, includes a revocation of the exemption.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who makes the final decision on what goes into the bill, recently testified in favor of revoking the exemption.

Requiring insurers to follow anti-trust laws is broadly popular as a way to look tough battling the insurance industry. "I'm not here to defend the health insurance industry," said Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on Tuesday, while explaining why he opposed a public health insurance option. "I'm open to supporting the removal of the antitrust exemption for the insurance industry. I'm prepared to support it. I don't want to be cute with my words. I will support it if it comes up."

The 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act exempts the insurance industry from anti-trust laws.

The merged bill will, however, include a public option that will compete with private insurers.


Even Iowa Republicans Thinks Sarah's Speaking Fees Haz Gone Too Far...

Iowa Republicans wince at Sarah Palin's $100K speaking fee

A conservative Iowa group’s effort to lure Sarah Palin to its banquet next month has had an unintended effect: Rather than exciting conservatives about the prospect of a visit from the former Alaska governor,
the group’s plan to raise a six-figure sum to bring her to the state has GOP activists recoiling at the thought of paying to land a politician's speaking appearance.

The Iowa Family Policy Center’s effort to cobble together $100,000 for Palin would represent a striking departure from customary practice in the first-in-the-nation state, these Republicans say, noting that a generation of White House hopefuls has paid their own way to boost their party and presidential ambitions.

Were Palin to appear in Iowa on November 21st, it would mark her first trip back to the state since she spoke to a handful of rallies there last fall as the GOP’s vice-presidential nominee. She would offer powerful counter-programming to another major political event that night: The Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner with Vice-President Joe Biden as the headliner.

But representatives from other Iowa-based political advocacy groups said they would never consider shelling out money for what many politicians see as a privilege:
the opportunity to speak to a room full of sure-fire caucus-goers who often serve as precinct captains and can be instrumental to a presidential candidate’s success.

“If somebody tells me they want me to pay an appearance fee, it tells me they’re not very serious about running for president,” said Ed Failor, Jr., president of Iowans for Tax Relief and an influential GOP insider.

“I found it really, really odd,” Failor said.
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