Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: 3/30/08 - 4/6/08

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Truth About HB19 Alaska's Ignition Interlock Bill (and the folks who want to stop it) Part 1

The Compass Piece for the April 3rd edition of The Anchorage Daily News was titled "DUI proposal's restrictive nature alarming." The piece played fast-and-loose with the truth through complete lack of statistical back-up, generalized assertions and future-tripping insinuation.

HERE is the Sponsor Statement for HB19 from Rep. Kevin Meyer which I'll quote below:
“An Act relating to ignition interlock devices; to limited driver's license privileges; and to ignition interlock limited driver's license privileges.”
Currently, a person convicted of driving under the influence has been able to get a limited driver's license from the Division of Motor Vehicles so that they can continue to drive and to earn a living. The limitation currently placed on a license focuses primarily on where a person can drive. House Bill 19 shifts the emphasis from where a person can drive to how a person can drive by changing the type of limited license available to an offender from the traditional limited license to an ignition interlock limited license.

OK - so there is already a provision for folks to get a limited license after a DUI conviction. The provision at this time, however, is to limit WHERE they can drive. The new Bill would actually allow them to drive anywhere, as long as they had an Ignition Interlock on their car and their Blood Alcohol Count (BAC) was under the pre-set level. Dang...I would think that would make those folks who have just made that one, stupid mistake happy.

Of course, practicing alcoholics would be pissed...

And speaking of that, let's take a look at the Compass piece written by Sarah Longwell, "the managing director of the American Beverage Institute in Washington, D.C., an association of restaurants committed to the responsible serving of adult beverages":
Alaska fines a driver speeding 5 mph over the limit $40. A driver caught speeding 20 mph over can owe more than $240.

The rest of the state's traffic offenses follow the same theme: The severity of the crime determines the severity of the punishment. But a bill before the state Legislature aims to change that.

As with speeders, there's a big difference between a person driving after two drinks and a drunk who drives after 10. However, proposed legislation would force Alaska judges to ignore that difference.

NO. Alaska already has graduated punishments depending on the number of previous violations and the severity of the present one. These adjusted punishments are reflected in AS 28.35.030 which HB19 refers to. HB19 merely adds the TEMPORARY Ignition Interlock requirement on to those punishments.

More of the Compass Piece:
These devices were originally developed for chronic drunk drivers with extreme alcohol levels. Already, many courts in Alaska and across the nation successfully prescribe interlocks to keep alcohol abusers and repeat offenders off our roads. But now anti-alcohol activists are looking for a new target.

Proponents of the bill claim the measure will fight the drunken driving problem. National statistics, though, prove that the problem has been reduced to a few individuals who severely abuse alcohol and still choose to drive. Mandating interlocks for first offenders doesn't focus on those dangerous criminals.

NO. These were created to enhance the effectiveness of already existing DUI laws on the books. A repeat DUI offender has to get his/her first one before he/she can become a repeat offender. Since the courts aren't psychic, the only fair way is to establish their use across the board as part of DUI rehabilitation.

And seriously, I really don't get the issue. It allows the "behaving" person more freedom behind the wheel, while keeping the misbehaving person off the road and out of jail!

Still more:
With an average BAC of .19 percent--more than double the legal limit -- the average drunken driver in a fatal crash has slurred speech, uncoordinated movements and delayed reactions. That's the scenario many people imagine when we hear about drunken driving. In reality, it only takes one drink to get arrested for driving under the influence in many states. Even though all 50 states list 0.08 BAC as the legal limit, many law enforcement agencies have adopted the notion favored by the Ohio State Highway Patrol: "There is no absolute 'legal limit' except 'zero.'"

There is so much "truthiness" and word-parsing oozing out of that section I have to plug my nose to cover the stench.

Let's look at their reference to a BAC of .19. What she doesn't mention is that, based on a review of 109 studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving skills can be SIGNIFICANTLY EFFECTED at BACs of .04, .05 and the impairment climbs exponentially every .01 the BAC increases. Also, she equates this number with the "average drunken driver in a fatal crash." According to 2005 Data (the latest they had available), the National Center for Statistics and Analysis states that 59% of all alcohol-related traffic fatalities are the result of a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher.

Then there's her theory that "it only it only takes one drink to get arrested for driving under the influence in many states." As of today, all 50 states (due to threat of restricted Highway funds) have a legal BAC limit of .08. (And yes, that's true in Ohio too, even if they encourage folks not to drink at all) The least amount of alcohol it would require to achieve that level (according to BAC charts) would be for a woman 120 lbs or less to have 2 drinks within 40 minutes (BAC goes down by .01 every 40 min after if nothing else is consumed). While a 80 lb woman could chug a martini, immediately get behind the wheel of a car, get pulled over and MAYBE have a BAC of .08, that whole scenario (beginning with the 80 lb woman) is unlikely.

Back to the article for the last time:
It's important to remember that drivers who speed or talk on their phones are more likely to crash than those who have 0.08 BAC. Though these reckless behaviors contribute to a growing death toll, Alaska legislators are not clamoring to mandate speed-capping technology for first time speeders.

There are several fallacies at work here but I'll just present the facts.

According to the Alaska State Troopers:
- In 2007 there were 85 traffic-related fatalities, of which 24 were reported as being alcohol related.
- In 2007 there were 78 fatal crashes, of which 28% were alcohol related.

Notice these deal specifically with fatalities and with folks over the BAC .08 limit.

Also according to the Troopers:
In Alaska Driver Inattention is cited in 28% of all traffic-related crashes.

On the surface, that could imply that alcohol was not a factor at all in the other crashes. However, those things aren't tracked if the BAC was not over .08. And most importantly, according to the NHTSA, a review of 18 studies of "Divided Attention Tests" shows that BACs as small as .005 can cause impairment when the driver attempts to "multi-task". So, many drivers cited for inattention could have consumed alcohol at some point during the day and the evidence would be impossible to detect. Since Anchorage's problem with alcohol is well known...

So now we've looked at the (lack of) truth of the Compass piece itself. Tomorrow, we'll explore the identity of Sarah Longwell, who she REALLY works for and why her piece had NO BUSINESS in an area reserved for folks from the Community.

**Edit** I typed this at 4:00 am and accidentally typed Harry Crawford instead of Kevin Meyer for the sponsor statement. It's been corrected.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The New GI Bill: Why haven't Lisa Murkowski, Ted Stevens and John McCain signed on?

Here is the list of Bill supporters from the House and Senate. Conspicuously absent are the two Senate names at the top of the state alphabet, Murkowski and Stevens. Also missing is one candidate for President, John McCain, while both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have signed on.

Conspicuously present for the House is the numero uno name, Don Young. (I am sending him a brief thank you email today. No matter who they are, they should get support when they do the right thing.)

The "21st Century GI Bill" is a bi-partisan effort co-introduced by Sen. Jim Webb D-Virginia, Sen. Chuck Hagel R-NE, and Sen. Frank Lautenberg D-NJ. A "key co-sponsor" is WWII and Korean Veteran, Sen. John Warner R-VA who was a recipient of the original GI Bill...the one the new Bill is modeled after.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski's website lists "Veterans" as one of her "Issues/Priorities":
For the current fiscal year, Congress has appropriated $37.2 billion in funding for veterans health programs which was $2.6 billion above the Administration's request for FY2008 The amount appropriated for VA medical services included an additional $125 million to increase the beneficiary travel reimbursement mileage rate to 28.5 cents per mile.

Yup - it was up $2.6 billion but NOWHERE NEAR what is needed to deal with the huge influx of returning Veterans, especially the injured and disabled. Plus, the VA is forced to put aside the issues of an aging Veteran population from Vietnam, Korea and WWII to deal with the Iraq and Afghanistan Vets.

And about the mileage reimbursement, 28.5 cents - HA - this year the IRS reimbursement mileage rate is 50.5 cents

My favorite line from Lisa's site:
"While the VA has enjoyed healthy budgets in recent years,"

What? Healthy as in "on life support but not dead," maybe.
"...Alaska veterans continue to face challenges in obtaining access to VA healthcare services in the state."

Holy crap! THAT'S the understatement of the year! Only 11% of the over 80,000 Alaska Veterans are presently being served by any sort of Veterans organization. I just got a call yesterday from Mo at the VAO and he wants to take me with him when he flies to Nondalton - to see if we can find a 90-year-old WWII Veteran that the VA has ignored for a year. This guy has been suffering alone for a long time (we're hoping he's still alive) and he's also a tribal chief.

Sen. Murkowski talks a good game but what has she done to fix this? And how can she claim to support Vets yet not co-sponsor legislation that will clearly benefit the newest Veterans?

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE call or write Senators Murkowski, Stevens and yes, even Senator McCain and tell them you support the troops...why don't they?

Senator Lisa Murkowski (email on the website)

Washington, D.C. Office
709 Hart Senate Building
Washington , DC 20510
Main: 202-224-6665
Fax: 202-224-5301

Senator Ted Stevens (email on the website)
Washington, DC
522 Hart Senate Office
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3004
Fax: (202) 224-2354

Senator John McCain (email on the website)
Washington Office:
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Main: 202-224-2235
Fax: 202-228-2862

Martin Luther King (January 13, 1939 - April 4, 1967)

It's 22 minutes long and worth every second.

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

"...and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.

Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population..."

"...To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all men -- for Communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the one who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the "Vietcong" or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this one? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?..."

"...This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words:
"Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism."
If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. It will become clear that our minimal expectation is to occupy it as an American colony and men will not refrain from thinking that our maximum hope is to goad China into a war so that we may bomb her nuclear installations. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horribly clumsy and deadly game we have decided to play..."

Conservative white folks don't talk too much about THIS Martin Luther King, do they?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Apology and Warning: Present and Future Blog Neglect (Just until taxes are done)

I'll make a post a day but in the words of a song I hate, "Choke me in the shallow water before I get too deep."

Clinton Campaign's Ballooning Debt Makes These 3am Calls Likely

Good old JedReport brings us the video and story over on Daily Kos. He refers back to Politico, who were the ones to break it.
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s cash-strapped presidential campaign has been putting off paying hundreds of bills for months — freeing up cash for critical media buys but also earning the campaign a reputation as something of a deadbeat in some small-business circles.

A pair of Ohio companies owed more than $25,000 by Clinton for staging events for her campaign are warning others in the tight-knit event production community — and anyone else who will listen — to get their cash upfront when doing business with her. Her campaign, say representatives of the two companies, has stopped returning phone calls and e-mails seeking payment of outstanding invoices. One even got no response from a certified letter.

Their cautionary tales, combined with published reports about similar difficulties faced by a New Hampshire landlord, an Iowa office cleaner and a New York caterer, highlight a less-obvious impact of Clinton’s inability to keep up with the staggering fundraising pace set by her opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
It gets worse when you look at the cash on hand for both campaigns:
The rest can be spent only in the general election, if she makes it that far, and must be returned if she doesn’t. If she had paid off the $8.7 million in unpaid bills she reported as debt and had not loaned her campaign $5 million, she would have been nearly $3 million in the red at the end of February.

By contrast, if you subtract Obama’s $625,000 in debts and his general-election-only money from his total cash on hand at the end of last month, he’d still be left with $31 million.
Today, the Obama Campaign announced their March numbers:
Senator Barack Obama’s campaign announced today that more than 442,000 contributors across the country gave more than $40 million in March. More than 218,000 donors contributed to the campaign for the first time, and the average contribution level was $96.
There was no announcement from Clinton HQ today, which most in-the-know pundits say is bad news.
Based on what the Clinton campaign leaked to Time, that Clinton didn't hit $20 million, and adding in the $13 million raised by McCain, Obama raised more money in March than both his Democratic and Republican rivals combined.

That leads us to the second thing about fundraising we've learned today: the Clinton campaign is financially screwed; from Ben Smith at The Politico:
Clinton aide Howard Wolfson suggested that Hillary's tax returns will be out today or tomorrow:

"She said late last week that they would be out within a week and so you can count on that," he said.

Wolfson also said Clinton's fundraising totals would be out when the filings are due, around April 20.
People have started asking whether Clinton is going broke. Obama is outspending her 5-1 on TV. Now, for probably the first time in the campaign, the Clinton campaign is refusing to divulge their finances until they're required by law.

The question may be moot about Clinton making it "all the way" to the Convention. If Obama keeps outspending her 5-to-1, that will seriously erode any advantage she has in ANY state.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Hey Hillary, "Blue Anchorage" IS a reality, "Blue Alaska" is next!!!!

(I posted this at Daily Kos)

It's 3am - could someone wake up Hillary and let her know, since she told us our 75% for Obama was useless because we'd never go Blue?

I know, I know, if I post this now it will never make the "recommended" list, but I just can't hold it in! So many have worked SO HARD for this!!!!!

Yesterday was the Anchorage, Alaska Municipal Election and no, this is NOT a late April Fool joke!!!!!

Balance of Power in Assembly Tilts to Left

The political balance of the Anchorage Assembly swung from right to left Tuesday night as voters looked poised to elect four new members, according to early results.

Incumbent Paul Bauer, part of the Assembly's conservative majority in recent years, lost to challenger Mike Gutierrez in the East Anchorage race.

In another key race, self-described progressive Harriet Drummond defeated conservative Sherri Jackson to claim Republican Dan Sullivan's seat in the West.

The Paul Bauer upset is HUGE!
While Assembly seats are considered nonpartisan, factions form along party and ideological lines, and Tuesday's election marked a potential shift in leadership. The new lineup includes six candidates who lean to the left - all are Democrats, as is Mayor Mark Begich - and five who lean to the right.

As the election results poured in, two conservatives, Bill Starr in Eagle River and Chris Birch in South Anchorage, were on pace to fend off challengers and keep their seats . Six of the Assembly's 11 seats were up for grabs, with races in every part of town. In Midtown, Elvi Gray-Jackson unseated incumbent Dick Traini after a bizarre race that included a court case challenging Traini's ability to serve another term because of term limits.

A Midtown resident and Gray-Jackson supporter sued the city in February, saying Traini clearly couldn't run again because he had been elected three times already. A Superior Court judge agreed, but the Supreme Court overturned that ruling just five days before the election, saying that Traini served just one year after the first of those elections rather than the full three years.

That means Traini legally could have won the election Tuesday. After the ruling, he said confusion over the court case skewed the election and that he might protest the results if he lost.

He doesn't want acknowledge the REAL reason -- that his name came up on a tape accidentally (karma?) left on the voice mail of the main Progressive Assembly member (Alan Tesche) by the cell phone of the Conservative Assembly Chair (Dan Coffey).
(We call it "butt dialing")

From the transcript:
Mr. Coffey: "Oh, we're really cranking. I took -- I took 1500 in for Sherri Jackson, and I -- I gave it to Sully (ph) and asked her [sic] to give it to her, and I took some, I took 1250 in to Tesche -- not Tesche."

Bill Starr: "Traini?"

Mr. Coffey: "Traini, and -- oh."

Bill Starr: "(Indiscernible) Dan Coffey (indiscernible)?"

Mr. Coffey: "Yeah, I'm -- I'm doling it out 250 at a crack."

Back to the Daily News article:
Incumbent Bill Starr, a Republican who led a review of Begich's budget last year, looked poised for an easy win until a tape of Starr and Assembly chair Dan Coffey talking about campaign contributions and a police endorsement aired on talk radio.

A former Starr opponent, Janet Brand, stepped in the race as a write-in candidate.

Still, Starr looked poised to keep his seat Tuesday night - outpacing the number of write-in votes, and far ahead of challenger Anthony Lemons.

What they don't tell you -- Anthony Lemons is a "colorful character" (code for wing-nut - he never would have gotten 11% before the tape) and that I don't believe any other write-in candidate has ever come that close to winning.
Two Assembly members - Democrat Allan Tesche and Republican Dan Sullivan - couldn't run again because they had served three consecutive three-year terms.

"We're seeing a couple of very strong personalities with very strongly held beliefs leaving the Assembly, and a lot of new people coming in," said Patrick Flynn, who easily won election to replace Tesche as downtown's sole Assembly member. He said he wants to bring a collaborative style to the Assembly.

So, the final count:

Assembly Members termed-out:

Tesche (Progressive) replaced by Flynn (Progressive)
Sullivan (Conservative) replaced by Drummond (Progressive)

Incumbent Assembly Members defeated:

Traini (Conservative) by Gray-Jackson (Progressive)
Bauer (Conservative) by Gutierrez (Progressive)

With Matt Claman and Sheila Selkregg already on the Assembly, it's now 6 Progressives to 5 Conservatives!!!!

Believe it or not, that's not the biggest miracle:
Proposition 1, which would replace and repair roofs at Sullivan Arena, city libraries and the Anchorage Museum, also has a comfortable lead of 56 percent to 43 percent.

Two school bonds also are getting the go-ahead. The $34.3 million Proposition 2, which will renovate two elementary schools and design a Girdwood K-9, has more than 57 percent of the votes, and Proposition 3, $9.4 million for maintenance and smaller repairs at schools across the city, is almost as popular.
It's usually REALLY hard to get bonds through in this town because a lot of the vocal Conservatives (my brother-in-law) hate public schools.

As Mayor Begich said when he was interviewed at Election Central, it shows that the citizens are willing to "take Anchorage forward" into the next century. (For those of you who don't know, Mayor Mark Begich is also a Progressive who has "officially" formed an "exploratory team" for a run against Ted "Tubes" Stevens in November.)

Anchorage going Blue is huge because Repubs and Demos alike said that it couldn't happen...in the same breath claiming that it also couldn't happen in the state.

I think that argument has been considerably weakened.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Where did the Boos go?

Per sammymaudlin's diary on Daily Kos:

From ESPN:

From CNN:

So the news media is editing it out when Bush gets "booed" huh?

JOB OPPORTUNITY - calling all Progressives!!!! (Yes, it's a paid position...wait, don't faint!!)

Yes Virginia, there is actually an opportunity to make a salary as an activist!

Karen Traeger from the Americans for Democratic Action Working Families Win project is looking to hire organizers. (BTW, notice where it says "competitive salary and health care?")

Those of us who have been politically active for a long time know that paid positions in Alaska politics are rare. I hope someone jumps on this!


Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) is the nation’s most experienced independent advocacy organization whose lobbying philosophy is based on democratic action - motivating our grassroots members to lobby their Senators and Representatives as constituent-advocates.

Working Families Win is ADA’s community-based organizing project. The program is based on the belief that for working families across the country, the economy is not working. Good jobs continue to leave our communities and are replaced by lower wage jobs, often without benefits. Daily living costs are skyrocketing, yet wages for most workers are stagnant at best. Many of the workers who are suffering the most from the current economy are not meaningfully engaged in the political process.

Americans for Democratic Action believes that when working people are organized to support real alternatives to today's economic policies, demand that candidates support these alternatives too, and persuade their neighbors that we have a clear choice, real change will occur.

POSITION: WFW is looking for energetic self-starters to do local issue organizing. Candidates should have previous organizing experience in issue and/or candidate campaigns and a desire to help support progressive issues. Local ties a plus. This is a unique opportunity to play an integral role in a dynamic project.

The position reports directly to the WFW project director and/or the national field coordinator.

• Implement WFW field and outreach strategies in target communities, including grassroots lobbying actions, voter education campaigns, candidate “bird-dogging,” voter id, and GOTV.
• Build coalitions among allies and nontraditional constituencies to grow broad community support for the WFW agenda.
• Build, engage, and mobilize a network of activists to advance WFW’s national advocacy campaigns through local organizing efforts.
• Generate local media coverage on behalf of WFW.
• Coordinate local and regional activist skills trainings
• Help develop and execute direct actions in target areas
• Track and report campaign deliverables.

PROFESSIONAL REQUIREMENTS• Previous organizing experience in electoral, issue and/or legislative campaigns.
• Experience engaging and motivating large numbers of volunteers.
• Experience working collaboratively with other organizations.
• Enjoy working under pressure and can think quickly on your feet.
• Work well independently, as part of a geographically dispersed team.
• Familiarity with and understanding of health care and economic issues
• Excellent organizational, verbal, written, and interpersonal skills
• Willingness and ability, including own transportation, to travel throughout the assigned project region

Competitive salary plus health care.

Available immediately through 11/30/08.

Interested parties should submit a cover letter, resume, and references to Don Kusler at wfwjobs@adaction.org.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

No exception for mother's health in AK's "partial-birth abortion" ban

I've been sort of self-editing topics on this blog because I know my family reads it. I've avoided the topic of abortion because I know it's an issue that we vehemently disagree on. However, I posted this diary over at Kos and for the first time, the "Diary Rescue" team picked it as one of the diaries to highlight. As they have literally hundreds of diaries to choose from, it's an honor.

I decided that was a sign - it was being untrue to myself not posting it here. My family will have to understand what I already do - that sometimes I love them in spite of their opinions, not because of them.

From The Alaska Politics Blog:
Alaska lawmakers passed a ban on partial-birth abortion in 1997 but state courts overturned it as unconstitutional. Keller said he aims to restore the ban by modeling the language on a federal law passed by Congress and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.

"That change will make our statute enforceable again," said Keller.

But critics in Alaska, like the dissenting judges on the U.S. Supreme Court, describe the ban as an effort to chip away at abortion rights.

Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, said the new language is vague enough to encompass all first- and second-trimester abortions. And she doubts it would survive another legal challenge, given the state's strict constitutional right to privacy.

A legal opinion from the Legislature's own counsel agrees. Attorney Jean Mischel wrote that nothing in the bill, or in current law, "limits the prohibition on partial-birth abortions to late-term abortions."

Awww...but that's just a coincidence. We would NEVER try to use a stealth bill to overturn Roe v. Wade!!! We would NEVER push this through immediately before Anchorage's Municipal election (April 1st) when everyone is busy with candidate politics! We would NEVER try to get this through during a troubling election year for Republicans in order to deflect the discussion from unimportant issues like rampant Republican corruption and FBI investigations into illegal oil contributions!!!!!
Rep. Sharon Cissna, D-Anchorage, said the bill was an affront to women faced with difficult medical decisions. She said it implies they will not act honorably.

"Bills of this kind that suggest what they suggest are a personal assault to me and to those women that I have known. This legislation is to me an assault," said Cissna.

An amendment to include an exception when the mother's physical health is at risk failed.

Keller said such a situation was not likely to occur and the amendment would only create a loophole.

In the legislative counsel's opinion, Mischel wrote that the law provides for a narrow life-saving exception but not a health exception. "Faced with compelling and conclusive facts," Mischel said a court could invalidate the bill on health grounds.

Efforts to amend the bill to add language that would limit the bill to late-term abortions also failed.

Huh? I guess I shouldn't be surprised, they completely ignored the evidence that showed the rare occurrence of late-term abortions so of course they'd ignore the fact that almost all of them happen because of a mother's life/health!!!! (Not to mention ignoring that most of the information they put out about "partial-birth abortions" are rehashings of OLD LIES.)

As someone who barely made it through my own pregnancy (and might not have if I had waited longer than 35 to have my baby), it's pretty guaranteed that either I wouldn't make it through another one or it would take years off of my life. While I'm armed with that information, there are a number of over-40 women who are having babies for the first time.

At least this bill shows the truth of what many of us have said for years: 1) that the goal of ALL abortion legislation is to somehow overturn Roe v. Wade. and 2) mothers lives don't matter to them.

We're going to see more of these bills coming from the Legislature as popular Governor Sarah Palin is rabidly anti-abortion and the right looks upon this as an opportunity. That leads into the most interesting wild card to all of this; Governor Palin is in her eighth month of pregnancy and is 44-years-old. God forbid anything should happen. But hypothetically, what do you think Sarah or husband Todd Palin would do?

Of course, my wonderful State Representative deserves the last word:
Rep. Berta Gardiner, D-Anchorage, said lawmakers would better use their time working on the problems that face "born children" like suicide and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Now there's an idea!