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Post-Palin Alaska has largest debt burden in US

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Sarah Palin has long sold herself as a fiscal conservative, arguing against the Democrats’ health overhaul on the grounds that the nation simply can’t afford it.

But when the former vice presidential candidate resigned as governor of Alaska in the summer of 2009, she left the state with a 70 percent debt-to-GDP ratio — the highest state debt burden in the United States.

That’s according to data compiled by the Washington Independent’s Megan Carpentier, who notes that Alaska has a debt burden similar to “that of Jordan and Palin’s favorite health care resource, Canada, and a higher ratio than Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, India, the Philippines or Uruguay.”

By comparison, crisis-stricken California has a debt ratio of less than 40 percent. All the more confounding about Alaska’s debt is the fact that it is an oil-producing region with a small population to share in that wealth. Oil-rich Alberta, Canada, for example, collects no sales tax and still managed to retire its debt entirely in 2004.

While Alaska’s massive debt burden can’t be blamed entirely on Palin’s two-and-a-half-year stint as governor, she did face similar debt problems while mayor of Wasilla, and those appear to be of her own making.

Wasilla’s municipal debt went from around $1 million when she came in to office, to around $22 million when she left, mostly as a result of the construction of a sports arena and public works projects championed by Palin.

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While Alaska’s debt load is high by the standards of US states, it’s worth noting some nations have considerably higher debt loads. Japan, for example, is carrying a debt load of more than 190 percent of GDP; Greece, recently hit by a debt crisis, has a 108 percent debt-to-GDP ratio.

The debt load for the US federal government clocked in at around 53 percent in 2009; the debt is expected to increase to 68.5 percent by 2014.

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2020 Election

Utah Republican is in deep trouble after trying to defend Trump’s breaking of the law

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President Donald Trump's poor standing in Utah could cause big electoral problems for one of his loudest defenders in the state.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) said Trump would be "foolish" if he did not illegally accept election help from foreign adversaries.

On Saturday, Stewart was blasted by former CIA officer Evan McMullin.

McMullin was born in Provo, attended Brigham Young University, is Mormon and a also prominent conservative critic of Trump.

In 2016, McMullin ran against Trump as an Independent and received 21.3 percent of the vote in Utah during the general election. Trump also had problems in Utah during the Republican primary, receiving only 14 percent of the vote.

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Trump ‘will not leave his office if he narrowly loses in 2020’: Conservative columnist issues dire warning

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President Donald Trump will fight to remain in power regardless of the outcome if the 2020 election is close, a conservative columnist warned on Saturday.

Andrew Sullivan blasted Trump in New York magazine, honing in on the commander-in-chief's lying.

"For Trump, lying is central to his disturbed psyche, and to his success. The brazenness of it unbalances and stupefies sane and adjusted people, thereby constantly giving him an edge and a little breathing space while we try to absorb it, during which he proceeds to the next lie," he wrote.

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‘Veto the Cheato’: Americans gathered nationwide for #ImpeachTrump rallies

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Frustrated Americans on Saturday attended #ImpeachTrump rallies from coast-to-coast.

The rallies were organized by MoveOn, Indivisible, Democracy for America, the Women's March, Credo and other progressive organizations.

Over 140 events were held nationwide.

[caption id="attachment_1513038" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Map of #ImpeachTrump rallies in the contiguous United States.[/caption]

Many attendees took the time to create hand-made protest signs, while others held printed banners.

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