Saturday, September 06, 2008

Senator John McCain Accepting the Nomination of the Republican Party

In Case You Didn't Know:

John McCain has a muscular economic plan that will restore American economic prosperity and ease the pain for struggling families across the nation.

America is being squeezed by skyrocketing energy prices. Senator Barack Obama remains opposed to offshore drilling and building nuclear power plants. John McCain has an "All of the Above" comprehensive energy plan that will tap all energy sources and promote new technologies to solve our energy crisis and bring down prices. John McCain also believes that is essential to reform our current unemployment insurance system to include high quality worker retraining programs. As workers receive training in their new fields of employment, John McCain's plan will provide them financial aid to help support their families in the interim.

The United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. Businesses will continue to move out of the United States and cut well paying American jobs, unless we lower the corporate tax rate to a level commensurate with the rest of the world. John McCain supports this measure, while Barack Obama instead proposes raising income taxes, business taxes, and social security taxes. -

If McCain wants to really help the American people, he would seriously consider the Fair Tax (HR25, S 1025):

The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.

The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 1025) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.

The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.

The FairTax:
  • Enables workers to keep their entire paychecks
  • Enables retirees to keep their entire pensions
  • Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities
  • Allows American products to compete fairly
  • Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy
  • Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding
  • Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation
  • Abolishes the IRS
 (bold is added for emphasis)

There are naysayers out there who say it won't work. There are naysayers out there who say it will never get through Congress. We never thought we'd see a female as the Republican VP candidate this soon. We never thought we'd see a black man as the Presidential candidate on either ticket this soon. But both of those happened. I believe in miracles. And I believe in the Fair Tax.

There are people who think that we should have a Flat Tax. Uh...I hate to tell you this, but that's what we have now. A Flat Tax. At least, it started out that way. It's been changed so many times it looks like a roller coaster.

Some people think that the Fair Tax would never stay the way the framers wrote it. There are safeguards to keep that from happening, but the best safeguard is to keep on your Congresscritters and make sure they understand you won't stand for it. That's true of any matter coming before Congress.

We've allowed Congress to have a free hand for much too long. They believe that the money the American worker earns is really their money to do with as they please. We have to take Congress back and make sure that each and every member of Congress understands that they are our paid employees and serve at our will; that they are under constant review for their jobs, and that they can be replaced.

I believe that if McCain/Palin understood the Fair Tax, they would be all over it. It would be the saving of the American economy. McCain read the Wall Street Journal and believes that it would raise the tax rate of the individual into the 30% range. Well, jeez Louise! Of course Wall Street thinks that. I suggest Senator McCain go to more than one source. In fact, I suggest he read the bill and find out just what the heck is in it anyway. That's what a real maverick would do - learn the facts for himself.

Talk about reviving the economy! Talk about reducing taxes on the American worker! Under the Fair Tax, prices would fall and your paycheck go up. Talk about an inviting tax climate. American companies now overseas would come home in droves. Foreign companies would be lining up to headquarter in the US to take advantage of the favorable tax climate that doesn't exist in their countries.

And the FairTax would fund one issue that is on everyone's mind: health care. The FairTax could fund universal health care for every American, not just those who don't have health care now, but everyone. We could have the best health care system in the world with the FairTax.

If you don't believe what I say, and I always suggest that your do your own research, go to to find out where I am wrong. I only ask that you keep an open mind.
DNC Misuse of the American Flag?

I am not saying this happened, but I am providing a video of the news report I just listened to. There are too many ways the flags may have come to be where they were found, but however it happened, it shouldn't have.

You watch the video, you decide.

I will say this, I will have a flag flying by next weekend.

Update: News reports have the Obama camp pointing the finger at the McCain camp saying they stole the flags. I'm not sure how this happened as the flags were reportedly found several days after the conventioneers left Denver. The McCain workers who found the flags say their definition of garbage is items that are placed in dumpsters and items that are left at or near dumpsters (I've paraphrased, but that's their definition as I understand it). Why would the Obama group leave something for several days, in dumpsters, then claim it was stolen?

It's beginning to sound like a schoolyard - one kid blaming the other for doing something.

I don't know how the flags came to be in and around the dumpsters. There apparently were thousands of them. New video shows campaign people opening the garbage bags and removing new, unfurled flags and passing them out at the event where this became such an issue.

No matter who put the bags with the flags in the dumpsters, they should be ashamed. Those flags were new and hardly used. At the very least, if the DNC didn't want them, they could have kept them and passed them out at other events. As the McCain campaign plans to do. 
After the flags were passed out, the attendees were told that if they didn't want the flags, to return them and they would be passed out at future events. 

You know, I just had a thought....someone...whoever...left the flags in and around the dumpsters surely wasn't being very "green". The flags weren't recycled in any way and they weren't properly disposed of (as according to flag etiquette).

And I thought Democrats were the leaders in being Green.
I've Got a Problem, God

Eve: I've got a problem God.

GOD: What's the problem, Eve?

EVE: I know that you created me and provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals, as well as that hilarious comedic snake, but I'm just not happy.

GOD: And why is that Eve?

EVE: I am lonely, and I'm sick to death of apples.

GOD: Well, Eve, in that case, I have a solution. I shall create a man for you.

EVE: Man? What is that?

GOD: A flawed creature, with many bad traits. He'll lie, cheat and be vain; all in all, he'll give you a hard time. But he'll be bigger, faster and will like to hunt and kill things. I'll create him in such a way that he will satisfy your physical needs. He will be witless and will revel in childish things like fighting and kicking a ball about. He won't be as smart as you, so he will also need your advice to think properly.

EVE: Sounds great,' but what's the catch?

GOD: Well... you can have him on one condition.

EVE: And what's that, dear God?

GOD: As I said, he'll be proud, arrogant and you'll have to let him believe that I made him first. And it will have to be our little know, woman to woman.

Friday, September 05, 2008

John McCain Delivers Emotional Address to Huge National Audience

I'm going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I'm going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I'm an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.

Fight for what's right for our country. Fight for the ideals and character of a free people. Fight for our children's future. Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Stand up to defend our country from its enemies. Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America. Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.

Thank you, and God Bless you.

- John McCain (September 4, 2008)
Foreign Policy 'Experience'
By Thomas Sowell
September 4, 2008

Now that the Democrats have recovered from the shock of Governor Sarah Palin's nomination as the Republican's candidate for vice president, they have suddenly discovered that her lack of experience in general-- and foreign policy experience in particular-- is a terrible danger in someone just a heartbeat away from being President of the United States.

For those who are satisfied with talking points, there is no need to go any further. But, for those who still consider substance relevant, this is an incredible argument coming from those whose presidential candidate has even less experience in public office than Sarah Palin, and none in foreign policy.

Moreover, if Senator Barack Obama is elected, he will not be a heartbeat away from the presidency, his would be the heartbeat of the president-- and he would be the one making foreign policy.

But the big talking point is that the Democrats' vice-presidential nominee, Senator Joe Biden, has years of foreign policy experience as a member, and now chairman, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

That all depends on what the definition of "experience" is.

Before getting into that, however, a plain fact should be noted: No governor ever had foreign policy experience before becoming president-- not Ronald Reagan, not Franklin D. Roosevelt, nor any other governor.

It is hard to know how many people could possibly have had foreign policy experience before reaching the White House besides a Secretary of State or a Secretary of Defense.

The last Secretary of War (the old title of Secretaries of Defense) to later become President of the United States was William Howard Taft, a hundred years ago. The last Secretary of State to become President of the United States was James Buchanan, a century and a half ago.

The first President Bush had been head of the C.I.A., which certainly gave him a lot of knowledge of what was happening around the world, though still not experience in making the country's foreign policy.

Senator Joe Biden's years of service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is even further removed from foreign policy experience. He has had a front-row seat as an observer of foreign policy. But Senator Biden has never had any real experience of making foreign policy and taking the consequences of the results.

The difference between being a spectator and being a participant, with responsibility for the consequences of what you say and do, is fundamental.

You can read books about crime or attend lectures by criminologists, but you have no real experience or expertise about crime unless you have been a criminal or a policeman.

Although I served in the Marine Corps, I have no military experience in any meaningful sense. The closest I ever came to combat was being assigned to photograph the maneuvers of the Second Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

That was photographic experience, not military experience. If someone gave me a policy-making job in the Pentagon, I wouldn't have a clue.

The fact that Senator Joe Biden has for years listened to all sorts of people testify on all sorts of foreign policy issues tells us nothing about how well he understood the issues.

Out of the four presidential and vice-presidential candidates this year, only Governor Palin has had to make executive decisions and live with the consequences.

As for Senator Obama, his various pronouncements on foreign policy have been as immature as they have been presumptuous.

He talked publicly about taking military action against Pakistan, one of our few Islamic allies and a nation with nuclear weapons.

Barack Obama's first response to the Russian invasion of Georgia was to urge "all sides" to negotiate a cease-fire and take their issues to the United Nations. That is standard liberal talk, which even Obama had second thoughts about, after Senator John McCain gave a more grown-up response.

We should all have second thoughts about what is, and is not, foreign policy "experience."


Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His Web site is

Sarah Palin, Our Energy Answer
By Lawrence Kudlow
September 4, 2008

The No. 1 economic issue this election is gasoline prices at the pump. The tax-hike effect of surging oil on global markets that has translated to a huge spike at your local gas station has drained the economy of its vitality. It has damaged consumer purchasing power, made it tougher to pay mortgages on time, worsened the credit crunch, raised the inflation rate, undermined corporate profits and thrown stocks into the first bear market in five years.

Of course, with all the political hoopla from the Denver Democrats, it's easy to forget the populist revolt against high gas prices at the pump. Sen. Obama never mentioned skyrocketing pump prices or their devastating economic impact on ordinary working-class folks. But this is the energy election. It will determine our future peace and prosperity. And Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has the energy answer: Our abundant country can produce more energy at lower cost if government gets out of the way.

Coming from the natural-resource rich state of Alaska, Palin is an experienced energy expert. She knows more about the economics of energy than Sens. McCain, Obama or Biden. And in this year of the oil-shock economy, Palin's role will be absolutely crucial.

"Obama is way off-base on all that. I think those politicians who don't understand that we need more domestic supply of energy flowing into our hungry markets (are) living in la-la land. And we're in a world of hurt if their agenda continues to be to lock up these safe, secure domestic supplies of energy."

That's what Palin told me in a CNBC interview in late June. I call it drill, drill, drill. But in fact it's a full-throated America-first energy policy that will create millions of high-paying jobs with complete government deregulation and decontrol of the full menu of energy sources: oil, natural gas, nuclear, clean coal, shale and the alternative fuels of wind, solar and cellulosic.

Why aren't all the candidates talking like Palin? How can this great country put its future growth and prosperity in the hands of enemies like Tsar Vladimir Putin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez. Well, get ready for Sarah America to take on the fight against all comers.

The plain-talking governor is even tough on John McCain. The senator has said it's too pristine to drill in ANWR. But Palin told me in June that "Sen. McCain is wrong on that issue. ... We're talking about a sliver of the coastal plain of Alaska being explored and drilled for oil. It's about a footprint of a 2,000-acre plot of land. That's smaller than the footprint of LAX (Los Angeles' airport)."

Palin was pleased that McCain came around on the Outer Continental Shelf. But she intended to talk him into ANWR. Expect McCain to listen carefully. And she made this key point: The price of fuel will fall quickly in the expectation of more energy supplies, just as soon as Washington permits.

And when I interviewed her again in late July, she was justifiably furious that Congress was going on summer recess without a vote on rolling back its drilling moratorium. "Well," she said, "with all due respect to Congress, it's pretty pathetic." Meanwhile, she was taking action: Palin had just gotten the Alaska legislature to agree to a new natural-gas pipeline that was 30 years in the works.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there are nearly 100 billion barrels of oil in the Arctic, with roughly one-third under sovereign U.S. territory in Alaska. There are at least 10 billion (and perhaps close to 20 billion) barrels of oil in ANWR, while old estimates suggest between 800 billion and 2 trillion barrels of oil in the Rocky Mountain shale formations.

It's also worth noting that 1.8 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf -- with roughly 100 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 400 trillion feet of natural gas -- are off-limits because of the congressional moratorium.

Palin grasps the strategic importance of all these domestic reserves. She's also a governor who fully understands the energy- and foreign-policy designs of Putin, who sits right across the pond from her native Alaska.

Meanwhile, Obama railed against drilling in his Denver convention speech. He is opposed to ANWR. And shale. And nuclear power. He's constantly bashing oil companies. And all he talks about is a windfall profits tax. That's why he has no real economic recovery plan. He has no interest in reducing gasoline prices at the pump. He even sponsored legislation to prevent 3-D seismic technology and other research efforts to correctly measure our undersea oil deposits.

In other words, he just doesn't get it.

That's why the pro-life, tax-cutting, drill, drill, drill, family-centered, corruption reformer Sarah Palin will be a powerful weapon in this election. Don't tell me she won't make a difference this November.


Palin And The Power Of Real American Women
By Frank Salvato
September 5, 2008

It is the consensus among conservative new media pundits - and the Conservative mainstream for that matter - that the speech Governor Sarah Palin gave in accepting the Republican Party's vice presidential nomination effectively put the Progressive-Left and the Democrat Party on notice. The double-standard hypocrisy demonstrated by the Leftist mainstream media on behalf of Barack Obama's campaign will not stand. If the cowards of the Progressive-Left want a fight, they've got one...and it's with someone who plays hockey. Oops!

I was raised by a good mother, no, a great mother. She instilled in me the critical thinking skills needed to divine right from wrong, good from evil. She also provided me with an appreciation for compassion so that I might understand when to "give someone a fish" and when to "teach someone how to fish." My mother didn't abandon me to the education system, in fact, I knew how to read and do simple mathematics before I was enrolled in kindergarten. She took seriously her obligation to explain world events to me just as she understood that at times it was more important to play, to enjoy life, than to allow time to pass without amassing memories to hold for my lifetime. She knew who my friends were, who their parents were, where we were and what we were doing. She was a responsible parent and to this day she remains a dear and close friend.

I mention all this because I grew up in a household where the mother was civically engaged. She was active in the school organizations throughout my academic career and that of my sister. She then moved into village politics and eventually ended a long and distinguished career as a senior staffer to the Illinois Senate President back when Republicans controlled both houses of the legislature and the governor's mansion. During her political career she served as the Executive Director of the Republican Party for our county; the second most effective Republican county in the United States at the time. While serving in this position it wasn't uncommon for her to put in twelve or sixteen hour days, coordinating, pacifying politicians, handling the media, you name it, this "jack-of-all-trades" not only did it, she did it well; better than anyone who has come since, to be sure.

Yes, I may be biased about that last statement but her legacy in our county and in the State of Illinois is one of civic duty, individual responsibility, love of country and loyalty. And you know what? It didn't affect my childhood negatively in the least.

Watching the faces of Sarah Palin's children as she thundered away at her critics while humbly introducing herself to the people of America I couldn't help but feel that I knew what they were feeling; pride, security, patriotism, humility, inspiration. As governor Palin introduced her family to the world it became all too apparent that - just like my mother and father - she and her husband had taught their children to - come hell or high water - stand up for who they are and what they believe, that in understanding the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, a child, a person, can stand up to anything that the nefarious and the opportunistic can dish out.

Looking into the faces of Track, Willow, Piper and especially Bristol (and even little Trig) I saw strength and courage, enough to withstand the disgraceful attacks of a mainstream media gone mad, a mainstream media who would attempt to destroy a 17-year old girl's life for the sake of winning a political contest.

Note to the mainstream media...Bristol Palin is her mother's daughter and I suspect the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as it were. You have been warned.

In all, we shouldn't be surprised at the strength and courage demonstrated by Sarah Palin. It is the strength of the real American woman; of the same mettle as the daughters of the American Revolution.

Just as Abigail Adams sacrificed in the quest to bring forth a new, free, constitutional republic, just as she had to raise, protect and see to the education of her children, all the while serving as a confidant and advisor to her husband John as he served our nation in its founding, so too does Sarah Palin have to tend to her family, her children, and her husband as she serves our great nation.

The similarities don't end there, nor do they end singularly with Abigail Adams.

The women who helped found and establish the United States of America did so with more than just words, they did so by deed. From the inspiration provided by Hannah Arnett to patriot fighters in the darkest hour of the revolution to the knowledge of the land provided to Patriot Brigadier General Daniel Morgan by Catherine Moore Barry which served integral in the surrender of British General Cornwallis at Yorktown, there are thousands if not millions of real American women who have fought for and nurtured our nation throughout its existence.

Today, there are more women that can identify with Sarah Palin, the wife, "the hockey mom," the woman, the American, than can identify with the façade put forth by many of her detractors, especially the female detractors from within the elitist set. Today, there are many women - just like Sarah Palin - who choose to raise a family and have a career; who believe that both are possible to achieve. They work in office buildings and boardrooms, on construction sites and on farms, they teach, serve in the armed forces, they practice law and medicine...some even have "slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God."

This understood, can we now see more clearly the motivation for the caustic, inappropriate and ridiculous rhetoric being foisted upon this good woman - Sarah Palin - by those who would stoop so low as to attack her family for political gain?

Sarah Palin, a true and real American woman, stood smartly and intelligently in introducing her family to the people of the United States. She did so with her head held high as the cretins of the Progressive-Left advanced slanderous language about her family, about her. She responded the way any good American woman would...with a cross-check that laid them flat on their behinds!

The American people are gravitating toward Sarah Palin and rightly so. She is a real person, a real American. At this, our country's most critical hour, when irreverent forces - both foreign and domestic - strive to destroy our nation, we should all be thankful that a real American, with real life experience as a citizen and a patriot's love of country, chooses to exercise civic responsibility.

Thank you, Governor Palin, you have re-enforced my faith in the American people...on many different levels. To that I add...Palin-Steele in 2016!


Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for He can be contacted at
Remarks by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
Associated Press
September 4, 2008

(AP) -- Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored to be considered for the nomination for vice president of the United States ...

I accept the call to help our nominee for president to serve and defend America.

I accept the challenge of a tough fight in this election ... against confident opponents ... at a crucial hour for our country.

And I accept the privilege of serving with a man who has come through much harder missions ... and met far graver challenges ... and knows how tough fights are won -- the next president of the United States, John S. McCain.

It was just a year ago when all the experts in Washington counted out our nominee because he refused to hedge his commitment to the security of the country he loves.

With their usual certitude, they told us that all was lost -- there was no hope for this candidate who said that he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war.

But the pollsters and pundits overlooked just one thing when they wrote him off.

They overlooked the caliber of the man himself -- the determination, resolve, and sheer guts of Senator John McCain. The voters knew better.

And maybe that's because they realize there is a time for politics and a time for leadership ... a time to campaign and a time to put our country first.

Our nominee for president is a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by.

He's a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years, and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight.

And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief. I'm just one of many moms who'll say an extra prayer each night for our sons and daughters going into harm's way.

Our son Track is 19.

And one week from tomorrow -- September 11th -- he'll deploy to Iraq with the Army infantry in the service of his country.

My nephew Kasey also enlisted, and serves on a carrier in the Persian Gulf.

My family is proud of both of them and of all the fine men and women serving the country in uniform. Track is the eldest of our five children.

In our family, it's two boys and three girls in between -- my strong and kindhearted daughters Bristol, Willow, and Piper.

And in April, my husband Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig. From the inside, no family ever seems typical.

That's how it is with us.

Our family has the same ups and downs as any other ... the same challenges and the same joys.

Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.

And children with special needs inspire a special love.

To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters.

I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House. Todd is a story all by himself.

He's a lifelong commercial fisherman ... a production operator in the oil fields of Alaska's North Slope ... a proud member of the United Steel Workers' Union ... and world champion snow machine racer.

Throw in his Yup'ik Eskimo ancestry, and it all makes for quite a package.

We met in high school, and two decades and five children later he's still my guy. My Mom and Dad both worked at the elementary school in our small town.

And among the many things I owe them is one simple lesson: that this is America, and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity.

My parents are here tonight, and I am so proud to be the daughter of Chuck and Sally Heath. Long ago, a young farmer and haberdasher from Missouri followed an unlikely path to the vice presidency.

A writer observed: "We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty, sincerity, and dignity." I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind when he praised Harry Truman.

I grew up with those people.

They are the ones who do some of the hardest work in America ... who grow our food, run our factories, and fight our wars.

They love their country, in good times and bad, and they're always proud of America. I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town.

I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids' public education better.

When I ran for city council, I didn't need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too.

Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.

And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man. I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment.

And I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion -- I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.

Politics isn't just a game of clashing parties and competing interests.

The right reason is to challenge the status quo, to serve the common good, and to leave this nation better than we found it.

No one expects us to agree on everything.

But we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and ... a servant's heart.

I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States. This was the spirit that brought me to the governor's office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau ... when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good ol' boys network.

Sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power brokers. That's why true reform is so hard to achieve.

But with the support of the citizens of Alaska, we shook things up.

And in short order we put the government of our state back on the side of the people.

I came to office promising major ethics reform, to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is the law.

While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor's office that I didn't believe our citizens should have to pay for.

That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay.

I also drive myself to work.

And I thought we could muddle through without the governor's personal chef -- although I've got to admit that sometimes my kids sure miss her. I came to office promising to control spending -- by request if possible and by veto if necessary.

Senator McCain also promises to use the power of veto in defense of the public interest -- and as a chief executive, I can assure you it works.

Our state budget is under control.

We have a surplus.

And I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending: nearly half a billion dollars in vetoes.

I suspended the state fuel tax, and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.

I told the Congress "thanks, but no thanks," for that Bridge to Nowhere.

If our state wanted a bridge, we'd build it ourselves. When oil and gas prices went up dramatically, and filled up the state treasury, I sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged -- directly to the people of Alaska.

And despite fierce opposition from oil company lobbyists, who kind of liked things the way they were, we broke their monopoly on power and resources.

As governor, I insisted on competition and basic fairness to end their control of our state and return it to the people.

I fought to bring about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history.

And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly forty billion dollar natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence.

That pipeline, when the last section is laid and its valves are opened, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart.

The stakes for our nation could not be higher.

When a hurricane strikes in the Gulf of Mexico, this country should not be so dependent on imported oil that we are forced to draw from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

And families cannot throw away more and more of their paychecks on gas and heating oil.

With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers.

To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of world energy supplies ... or that terrorists might strike again at the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia ... or that Venezuela might shut off its oil deliveries ... we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas.

And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we've got lots of both.

Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems -- as if we all didn't know that already.

But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.

Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipelines ... build more new-clear plants ... create jobs with clean coal ... and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal and other alternative sources.

We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers. I've noticed a pattern with our opponent.

Maybe you have, too.

We've all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers.

And there is much to like and admire about our opponent.

But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform -- not even in the state Senate.

This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot -- what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger ... take more of your money ... give you more orders from Washington ... and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy ... our opponent is against producing it.

Victory in Iraq is finally in sight ... he wants to forfeit.

Terrorist states are seeking new-clear weapons without delay ... he wants to meet them without preconditions.

Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights? Government is too big ... he wants to grow it.

Congress spends too much ... he promises more.

Taxes are too high ... he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific.

The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes ... raise payroll taxes ... raise investment income taxes ... raise the death tax ... raise business taxes ... and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars. My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that's now opened for business -- like millions of others who run small businesses.

How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up? Or maybe you're trying to keep your job at a plant in Michigan or Ohio ... or create jobs with clean coal from Pennsylvania or West Virginia ... or keep a small farm in the family right here in Minnesota.

How are you going to be better off if our opponent adds a massive tax burden to the American economy? Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election.

In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers.

And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.

They're the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners, or on self-designed presidential seals.

Among politicians, there is the idealism of high-flown speechmaking, in which crowds are stirringly summoned to support great things.

And then there is the idealism of those leaders, like John McCain, who actually do great things. They're the ones who are good for more than talk ... the ones we have always been able to count on to serve and defend America. Senator McCain's record of actual achievement and reform helps explain why so many special interests, lobbyists, and comfortable committee chairmen in Congress have fought the prospect of a McCain presidency -- from the primary election of 2000 to this very day.

Our nominee doesn't run with the Washington herd.

He's a man who's there to serve his country, and not just his party.

A leader who's not looking for a fight, but is not afraid of one either. Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the current do-nothing Senate, not long ago summed up his feelings about our nominee.

He said, quote, "I can't stand John McCain." Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps no accolade we hear this week is better proof that we've chosen the right man. Clearly what the Majority Leader was driving at is that he can't stand up to John McCain. That is only one more reason to take the maverick of the Senate and put him in the White House. My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of "personal discovery." This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer.

And though both Senator Obama and Senator Biden have been going on lately about how they are always, quote, "fighting for you," let us face the matter squarely.

There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you ... in places where winning means survival and defeat means death ... and that man is John McCain. In our day, politicians have readily shared much lesser tales of adversity than the nightmare world in which this man, and others equally brave, served and suffered for their country.

It's a long way from the fear and pain and squalor of a six-by-four cell in Hanoi to the Oval Office.

But if Senator McCain is elected president, that is the journey he will have made.

It's the journey of an upright and honorable man -- the kind of fellow whose name you will find on war memorials in small towns across this country, only he was among those who came home.

To the most powerful office on earth, he would bring the compassion that comes from having once been powerless ... the wisdom that comes even to the captives, by the grace of God ... the special confidence of those who have seen evil, and seen how evil is overcome. A fellow prisoner of war, a man named Tom Moe of Lancaster, Ohio, recalls looking through a pinhole in his cell door as Lieutenant Commander John McCain was led down the hallway, by the guards, day after day.

As the story is told, "When McCain shuffled back from torturous interrogations, he would turn toward Moe's door and flash a grin and thumbs up" -- as if to say, "We're going to pull through this." My fellow Americans, that is the kind of man America needs to see us through these next four years.

For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words.

For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.

If character is the measure in this election ... and hope the theme ... and change the goal we share, then I ask you to join our cause. Join our cause and help America elect a great man as the next president of the United States.

Thank you all, and may God bless America.