Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: 8/31/08 - 9/7/08

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Credible vs. non-credible vs. unverifiable


In case I wasn't clear...

I think Steve's blog is excellent, he's a wonderful writer, he has absolutely impeccable journalistic credibility...moreso than most of the rest of us. I posted this to contrast his impeccable journalism with the crap that I discussed in the previous post.

There, I hope there is no confusion!


Steve Aufrecht of What Do I Know posted this article on Track Palin.

I've heard this information (at least the bus vandalism story) from multiple private citizen sources and multiple media sources over time (i.e. before Palin was VP nominee). I also know that Steve has some truly excellent credible sources in fields that would be in-the-know on this issue. His post is completely appropriate as a result.

Note: Most of the bloggers I know in Alaska...I'd trust their anonymous sources more than I'd trust others whose sources go public.

So while this information (due to the sealed records of the minors) is unverifiable unless someone's parent or sibling comes forward, I still find this credible.

Someone's friend's housekeeper/waitress who happens to overhear a conversation at a table where someone allegedly says something that NO ONE ELSE has ever heard her say? Also not verifiable but this time, not credible.

"The Progressive Curmudgeon" may have journalistic history, but I think he's making a mistake on this one. **UPDATED**

****UPDATE**** Mr. James has only now added in my comment on his blog.


On a previous post, I had a reader named Franco leave a comment for me regarding an article on the blog "The Progressive Curmudgeon." One of the articles accuses Sarah Palin of saying some very serious racial epithets. (I'm not going to cut-and-paste anything from the article or link to it because of the accusations it makes, you guys can find it and read it yourself.) Franco asked me what I thought about it.

My first response to Franco in the comments:

If you are talking about the "racist epithets" article, I don't know. I've never heard anyone make that claim and I've lived here 25 years and have lots of Valley friends. Also, her husband is part Yupik...enough to be a member of the Native Corporation. That's no proof, of course, as people can justify anything in their heads. However, it would make the use of those epithets rather ironic.

I'm seriously considering asking my brother-in-law. He's one of the leaders of Alaska Right-to-Life, was an ardent worker on her campaign, writing on some of her speeches and dragged all of his kids out to carry signs for her during the election. I would hope he wouldn't want to so strongly support someone who is racist.

So I went to the "Curmudgeon" and read everything. I even posted. The results ended up in the second comment:

I wrote a comment on that article. I said that I was a Dem and if I could prove something like that was true, I'd post it in a heartbeat. However, in the 25 years I've lived in Alaska, of all the folks I know in Wasilla and the rest of the Valley who know Sarah Palin and including my bro-in-law, leader in Alaska Right-to-Life and worker on her campaign, I've NEVER heard ANYTHING about Sarah expressing racism in any form.

I also mentioned that his article was quite misleading regarding Alaska politics. I told him that many of the old guard, hard-core Republicans hate her. Some because she exposed Randy Ruedrich's inappropriate use of State resources (which she should have) but also many die-hard Conservatives because she's not a real conservative. She espouses conservative stances on social issues, yet while in either office never did anything to further them. She espouses conservative fiscal values but has run up the debt and increased spending both times in office. So his insinuation that she is "in" with the Repugs is wrong, which makes his article somewhat suspect to me.

Interestingly enough, he didn't print it. I did not write the comment anonymously unlike the others who criticized him so anyone reading it would be able to find their way to me and my blog. Also, all other disparaging comments printed (other than being anonymous) were also written by McCain/Palin lovers. I guess he knew their questions would be viewed as less-credible.

Additionally, he seems to have taken a lot of what he's saying straight from Anne Kilkenny's wonderful email-turned-call-to-action which has gone viral all over the internet. Anyone can use that sucker and sound like they know what they are talking about for awhile...until they try ad-libbing.

Do I understand anonymous sources? Obviously...all folks have to do is read the blog the last week and a half to know that. Is there a Lucille? Maybe...although I've NEVER heard anyone use the term "Aboriginal" up here to describe someone of Alaska Native descent. Even if there is a "Lucille," we don't know for sure that she is telling the truth.

Other things I find suspect:

In the 25 years I've lived in Alaska, I've worked in Prudhoe Bay, have spent time in Fairbanks, Kodiak, Juneau, Barrow and all over the Kenai Peninsula. I've worked in Construction for most of my career which is the reason for my...errrr...salty language. I have never heard the terms: "Aboriginal" (I explained that before), "Arctic Arab" or "Sambo" in reference to Alaska Natives or black folks. As I've heard a number of epithets in my time, especially those directed towards me since my daughter is black, I'd probably have heard that one before.

(Regarding "Sambo"--that's wayyyyy out of Sarah's and my generation -we're roughly the same age.)

Now, here's a disclaimer: his articles could all be true. His anonymous source could be real. His information could be attained from people who know what they are talking about.

However...while I went forward with the comment from McHugh Pierre about the McCain people coming to Alaska without naming my extremely-credible-source, that was with information that was not-at-all damaging to anyone on a personal level. (It annoyed McHugh, but who didn't enjoy that?) This information is not something I would ever take public without verification...it is very personally damaging to Governor Palin and I'd better be ready to back it up.

So, like I said, this could all be true and maybe someone will come forward who has experience with other examples of this behavior. However, for many of the reasons I previously stated I wouldn't be surprised if we never hear a peep.

Since I wrote this comment I've made contact with some other Valley friends. Realize, some of these folks have had close connections to either Sarah or her kids for many years. (Yes, he got that part right, they are scared...I wrote about that HERE and for Firedoglake.) The information I get from them is that NO ONE has EVER heard Sarah use racial epithets or anything like that. As much as they might like to see Sarah lose her VP nomination, they (like me) won't support lies which tarnish the whole Progressive movement.

I also have another reason for writing this: I refuse to have my credibility damaged by someone making claims that may be geared solely to "grab the limelight." Yes, Alaska is hot right now and it's amazing how many new blogs have sprung up both within and outside of Alaska. Suddenly, all kinds of folks are "Alaska experts" or "have a good friend with information." I welcome them...whatever it takes to get more folks in the blogosphere, I'm all for it.

However, I won't tolerate folks who don't know what they are talking about smearing the rest of us with bad journalism...and bad journalism can happen from folks who once had good reputations. I would rather waste valuable writing time posting this on the blog to distance myself from the "Curmudgeon" than be thrown into the same category next time I post legitimate information on all-things-Palin from a credible anonymous source.

(Photograph courtesy of "The Progressive Curmudgeon.")

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Please notice how, when someone yells "Give 'em hell Joe," Sen. Biden goes completely off script and brings up his grandfather's recounting of Harry Truman's response when folks used to say "Give 'em hell Harry."

"I'm not going to give 'em hell, I'm going to give them the truth and they'll think it's hell!."

Let's see what happens when Sarah tries to pull something that good out of her ass.

He's going to kill her in the debates. Folks just need to find a way to get her off script.

Oh, and for the absolute final word on Sarah's speech and that night at the Convention, I finally caught up with my "Daily Show" videos:

He nailed it!

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Community Organizers = Sarah Palin!

This YouTube video was sent to me after Sarah Palin's speech in a giant wash of email that night and the next morning. I had forgotten about it, but was reminded that I had it today when on MSNBC, I heard Palin repeat those same anti-community organizer soundbites as part of a traveling stump-speech with John McCain.

I have no doubt that we'll be hearing that same speech over and over for 60 days. God knows they wouldn't dare let Sarah actually write anything herself.

The amusing piece of all of this is that before she was mayor, Sarah Palin was a "community organizer" herself. Of course, it was all wrapped up in her short-lived time on the PTA. I wonder if when she couldn't get her way as a member of that organization, she decided to run for Mayor of Wasilla?

Anyway, according to Wasilla residents, part of Sarah's goal at that time was to get the School Board to accept teaching Creationism in the schools. She was also rumored to be supporting "stealth candidates" for the school board...those folks who were evangelicals and wanted their religion to have more influence in the education process.

So, as you can see, Sarah Palin was a "community organizer" by her own definition...just not one that the majority of Americans would support.

On the topic of "community organizers," Writing Raven has assembled her own list, including the Alaska Native activists who have changed this state for the better.

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Random Republican Ridiculousness--Friday, Sep 5th--60 days 'til the election

--McCain's "green screen" had been previously so unflattering viewers were confused why it was being used again, until they saw the full picture. Then they were confused as to what building it was. It turns out to be Walter Reed.................Middle School in North Hollywood, California. The Campaign isn't talking, but did their "Google-meister" commit a fatal fumble because he meant for it to be Walter Reed Medical Center?--Daily Kos with more on TPM.

--It seems that Sarah Palin will be holed up here in Alaska and not doing unscripted interviews per Firedoglake. CREW, in a report released yesterday on how the Governor has been proclaiming to be cooperating has been (not-so-secretly) undermining it all along, doesn't believe she'll cooperate in giving a deposition (which is supported by Van Flein's announcement the other day that she'll be "too busy" to testify):
Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein, is unlikely to agree to depositions, forcing the Alaska legislature to issue subpoenas for Palin and other present and past Alaska state employees. At that time, Van Flein will either move to quash the subpoenas, likely claiming the legislature has no jurisdiction to authorize the inquiry and that subpoenas for records violate the Alaska Constitution’s right to privacy or, those subpoenaed will refuse to appear, forcing the state legislature to seek judicial enforcement of the subpoenas. The delay will push the conclusion of the investigation past November 4, 2008.
Someone please explain to me how "holing up in Alaska" makes her "too busy" to testify in a deposition...in Alaska?

--While the front page of the Anchorage Daily News has been full of "Golly Jeepers!" pictures and stories of Sarah Palin, one tiny bit of news seemed to escape their notice. Not so of NBC, CNN, Yours Truly and AndrewHalcro.com, none of whom thought that PSEA, the trooper's union, filing an ethics complaint against the Governor wasn't worth their attention.

ADN, what is wrong with you?

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Trooper Union files a complaint against Palin Wednesday

Union Director John Cyr

Per NBC (hat tip to Daily Kos diaries):
The GOP candidate for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, may be facing yet another ethics investigation back in her home state of Alaska. An ethics complaint obtained by NBC News was filed Wednesday by the police officers union in Alaska, requesting a probe into possible wrongdoing by the governor or her office. It was brought on behalf of state trooper Mike Wooten, an ex-brother-in-law of Palin who is at the center of the "Troopergate" scandal.

The complaint alleges that the governor or her staff may have have improperly disclosed information from Wooten's personnel records. The complaint alleges "criminal penalties may apply."

John Cyr, director of the union that filed the complaint, told NBC News, "It seems obvious to us somebody has improperly accessed [Wooten's] personnel file."

HERE is the complaint.

Now let's watch the McCain/Palin tapdance:
The McCain/Palin campaign Thursday launched a spirited defense when contacted by NBC News. They say the personnel files were not protected; a campaign source says Wooten himself had previously signed a waiver allowing a divorce lawyer to obtain his personnel records. The campaign then sent a copy of that waiver to NBC News, which reads "I hereby waive any privilege I may have to said information to said attorneys."

Because of my health issues, I've filled out a ton of freakin' "waivers" in Alaska for personnel (and personal) records. Any legal waiver specifically lists the person or persons they apply to and NO ONE ELSE can use such a waiver to access or use private information if they are not listed.

Sooooo...the divorce attorney cannot allow someone else not listed to access the information on his/her waiver. If they do, they can also be prosecuted.

The issue concerns disclosures about Wooten's records made by a Palin aide - Frank Bailey - in a February 2008 phone conversation. The police officers' union complaint claims the transcript of that conversation clearly indicates there was improper access to Wooten's records.

The McCain/Palin campaign, in a response to NBC News, provided a family twist to the story, saying the governor's husband - Todd Palin - was the source of that information to Bailey. They say the information came from divorce proceedings, and that Gov. Palin never improperly accessed any records.

As is typical of "pageant pit bull" Palin, she just threw a) the divorce attorney and b) her husband under the bus.

Taylor Griffiths, a spokesman for McCain, said "When you're a real reformer like Sarah Palin, who isn't afraid to take on entrenched political interests, scurrilous attacks and empty allegations come with the territory."

What's scary is she's got to be loving how much easier it is to lie and strike-out at your "enemies" when you have an entire presidential campaign to do it for you.

Hope she doesn't get used to it.

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Alaskan loyalty...and fear of retribution: Why Palin stories didn't break before the nomination -- my Firedoglake post

Here's my post up at Firedoglake:

It was clear that Editor and Publisher was peeved at the Alaska media for sitting on a story for weeks, even months...the pregnancy of Bristol Palin. I can understand why a reporter from a large media outlet in a populous city would be baffled by all of the secrecy. Understand that NO ONE was saying ANYTHING on the record and the blogs (and the Anchorage Daily News) had to make due with emails and on-line comments. Also understand that there is a reason no one was saying anything and one must appreciate living in Alaska to get the full picture.

I like to explain the State of Alaska as a small town (600,000 +) broken up by great distances into many VERY small towns. Alaskans will snicker if someone from the "lower-48" assumes we know their second cousin thrice removed on their mother's side just because he happens to live up here. However, we're also quite accustomed to running into our politicians and other "celebrities" in line at the grocery store, coming out of a movie theater, dip-netting for salmon on the Kenai River, etc... Folks from other parts of the country don't understand our nonchalant familiarity as was evident by the chuckle I had with progressive radio talk-show host, Cary Carrigan, when I was reporting on his show from the Democratic Convention. He recounted a phone call that he received from an Obama campaign worker (probably an intern) who was "excited" to tell Cary that he could "get him some media time" with former two-term Democratic Governor, Tony Knowles. I later was able to laugh about it with Governor Knowles, who was at my breakfast table.

So on one hand, Alaskans feel a connection to their politicians because those politicians are more available to their constituents. This breeds loyalty. The next reason for silence and secrecy, however, is not filled with "lollipops and rainbows." As a matter-of-fact, it has people fearing for their jobs and believe it or not, their lives.

Friday, July 11th, the highly-respected Walt Monegan was fired as the Commissioner of Public Safety for undisclosed reasons by a Palin underling, not by the Governor herself. Many of us who had been at least guarded supporters of Palin on some issues were perplexed and outraged. Walt Monegan seemed to be working towards actual solutions to serious problems with more than just a band aid. Plus, there were indications from the very first press event that the new appointee, Chuck Kopp, could end up being a disaster. (He was...he lasted 10 days.) It was around that time that many of us were starting to write highly critical articles of the Governor that her spokesperson, Sharon Leighow, started "selectively" handing out press releases. One day, while a number of us were waiting by our email accounts for the Governor's statement regarding Chuck Kopp, I got a phone call from a friend at progressive radio, declaring "Dan Fagan (conservative talk-show host) is reading the statement on the air NOW!"

The Governor's spokesperson, Sharon Leighow, was Dan Fagan's radio partner on his talk show before she worked for Palin.

So, as you can see, Sarah Palin and her spokesperson do the George W. Bush (and now John McCain) practice of punishing those they don't like and rewarding those they do. As a result, Alaska MSM...a business that depends on getting timely information...has been putty in her hands.

The media manipulation is just a small demonstration of how she does business in Alaska. The Monegan firing and then ensuing information regarding the attempt to get her ex-brother-in-law fired is only the most recent example of what she does when she perceives that someone has "crossed her." She also has a history of exactly the same behavior.

When she was Mayor of Wasilla, she fired the police chief, Irl Stambaugh saying that he "intimidated her." Palin also wanted to ban some books from the library and when library director Mary Ellen Emmons fought her on it, she fired her as well. Her explanation:

“I do not feel I have your full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla. Therefore I intend to terminate your employment …” (The Anchorage Daily News, via nexis)
Ultimately, Palin let the library director have her job back; though Stambaugh’s position was not returned. The police chief took the matter to court, where a judge sided with Palin, saying city law allows the mayor to fire the police chief without cause.

When questioned by the Anchorage Daily News at the time, Palin refused to give details on how Stambaugh had not supported her, saying only: ”You know in your heart when someone is supportive of you.”
According to the nationally-touted comments (read on the Randi Rhodes Show today) in the Washington Independent article from Wasilla resident, Anne Kilkenny:

She [Palin] has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’t like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her.
The fear has escalated now that Palin is in line to potentially hold the second-highest position in the country.

A blogger told me that he needs to back off the more sensitive Palin information because he's afraid of getting shot by some of the more fanatical, hard-core "Palin-bots." I've been told that when media representatives attempted to speak to several members of Palin's former church, one member wouldn't speak out of fear of his/her life and the other declined out of fear of potential treatment by law enforcement who are also members of the church.

Wow. Can you imagine Sarah Palin with full access to all Departments of the Federal Government? Perhaps G.W. Bush wasn't the worst we could do after all.

There may be some Alaskans who are incensed by the deluge of national media into our state, especially Wasilla. However, I am grateful for their help and I offer my assistance to anyone who needs it. After all, what we are all looking for is change and unless for you that means a power-mad, inexperienced, vindictive former Alaska Governor one step away from the Presidency (and the button), we can use all of the research help we can get.

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Factchecking Sarah Palin's speech

A big chunk of Sarah's speech was bull last night. Let's share with you the facts that those of us in Alaska know so well.


PALIN: "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."



Palin Said She Would Beg to Disagree With Candidate Who Said We Can't Drill Our Way Out of Our Problem. Asked by Invester's Business Daily "Some politicians and presidential candidates say we can't drill our way out of our energy problem and that drilling in ANWR will have no effect. What's your best guess of the impact on prices?" Palin responded, "I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can't drill our way out of our problem or that more supply won't ultimately affect prices. Of course it will affect prices. Energy being a global market, it's impossible to venture a guess on (specific) prices." [Investor's Business Daily, 7/11/08]


PALIN: "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."




Total: 396,000.

Anchorage – Fire Lake Elementary School Replacement of Unsafe Sports Equipment. Palin vetoed $10,000. [FY08 Budget]

Tanana City School District – Repair School Bus. Palin vetoed $36,000. [FY08 Budget]

American Lung Association of Alaska – Asthma Control Program and Champ Camp. Palin voted $350,000. [FY08 Budget]


Total: $4,527,500.

Ketchikan General Hospital Surgical Suite Expansion/Relocation. Palin vetoed $4,400,000. [FY09 Budget]

Ketchikan General Hospital – Replacement of Outdated Equipment. Palin vetoed $70,000. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

Sitka – Community Hospital – Medical Equipment. Palin vetoed $31,000. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

Kenai Peninsula Borough – Diagnostic Hospital Equipment. Palin vetoed $26,500. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]


Total: $600,000.

Ketchikan Senior Citizens, Inc. – Access Road for Pioneer Heights. Palin vetoed $300,000. [FY08 Budget]

AARP Ketchikan – Access Road for Ketchikan Senior Housing Project. Palin vetoed $100,000. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

Catholic Community Services – Angoon Senior Center Stove, Refrigerator and Freezer. Palin vetoed $20,000 twice. [FY08 Budget, 2007 Legislature Supplemental]

Alpha Omega Life Care, Inc. – Delivery Van and Moveable Building. Palin vetoed $20,000. [FY09 Budget]

Older Persons Action Group – Senior Voice Equipment Upgrade. Palin vetoed $20,000. [FY09 Budget]

Statewide Independent Living Centers – Assistive Technology for Alaska's Centers for Independent Living. Palin vetoed $125,000. [FY09 Budget]

Kodiak Senior Center – Facilities repair and Equipment. Palin vetoed $15,000. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

(Thanks to Laurin Manning for sending this to me.)

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OK, Fox News...let's see you be "fair and balanced" on THIS one--Sarah Palin sits through anti-Jewish sermon

You don't even need to go to You Tube to get it...Wasilla Bible Church very kindly has the audio and transcript on their website--August 17th.

David Brickner of Jews for Jesus:
But what we see in Israel, the conflict that is spilled out throughout the Middle East, really which is all about Jerusalem, is an ongoing reflection of the fact that there is judgment. There is judgment that is going on in the land, and that’s the other part of this Jerusalem Dilemma. When Jesus was standing in that temple, He spoke that that judgment was coming, that there’s a reality to the judgment of unbelief. He said “I long to gather you, but...” what? “You were unwilling.” God never forces His way on human beings. And so because Jerusalem was unwilling to receive His grace, judgment was coming...

...When Isaac was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment—you can’t miss it.

Ben Smith has an excellent analysis of what Sarah Palin's addition to the ticket means to the Jewish voters in this election.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah is speaking...in words she never uses

(I don't hear one "cool")

6:33 PM -- Oh God...they are honoring Track Palin for going to Iraq. Anyone read Shannyn Moore's piece? I wonder if he deserved it?

6:38 PM -- "Too-Odd"--touting that Union affiliation again--so, what has Sarah done for Unions exactly?

6:41 PM -- Hockey mom and PTA--things she did for about 5 minutes each.

6:43 PM -- Hmmm, talking about working people -- "John McCain is the same man" -- who still doesn't know how many houses he has and hasn't held a real job. And Sarah is going to Washington to "serve the people of this great country"...until they piss her off. Then she'll have them all fired and say that "they serve at her pleasure."

6:46 PM -- Expected to govern with integrity..."I will carry myself in this spirit as Vice President of the United States." Stood up to the good old boys. "We put the government of our state back on the side of the people." Uh...that was the FBI... "That luxury jet was over the top...I put it on Ebay" and took a loss. "I love to drive myself to work." Without using child restraints.

"Our state budget is under control...we have a surplus." OMG...she's taking credit for oil prices?????

OMG--she's touting the oil money we're getting.

OK, getting ill now...yeah, she's "helping to lead America to energy independence"...by sending the work to Canada.

OMG--"Take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska, we've got lots of both." (Oil and Gas) Says Obama wants to "do nothing"--Jesus, so alternative energy is nothing?

6:54 PM Sarah Palin just lifted a bunch of Barack Obama's energy policy and claimed it as their own.

Wow, I don't think I've heard so many lies told at one time. They roll so easily off her tongue.

6:58 PM Obama will increase the tax burden on folks making $150,000 because of Bush's serious economic f*ck up. Lies, lies, lies...saying that he's adding tax burden to farmers

OK...I've had enough. Read Jane's liveblogging at Firedoglake

P.S. MSNBC reported that on the teleprompter, Sarah had a number of the bigger words spelled out phonetically.

So, where did she get that degree again?

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Sarah's address to and Todd's membership in Alaska Independence Party--a party that has an interesting history

This is Sarah addressing the Alaska Independence Party convention this past year.

Also, Todd was a member of AIP most of the time from 1995 to 2002 when he then registered as "undeclared.":
...the director of Division of Elections in Alaska, Gail Fenumiai, told TPMmuckraker that Todd Palin registered in October 1995 to the Alaska Independence Party, a radical group that advocates for Alaskan secession from the United States.

Besides a short period of a few months in 2000 when he changed his registration to undeclared, Todd Palin remained a registered member of AIP until July 2002 when he registered again as an undeclared voter.

The AIP has an interesting history. Back in 1990, Alaska State Senator Arliss Sturgelewski won the Republican candidacy for Governor when the Republicans still had an open primary. Mayor of Anchorage at the time, Tony Knowles, won the Democratic Primary. Both of them were similarly aligned on social issues. (Arliss was one of the last openly Pro-Choice Republicans in Alaska)

Joe Vogler, founder and chairman of the Alaska Independence Party, saw an opportunity. He offered former Governor Wally Hickel and the Republican Lt. Governor choice Jack Coghill the chance to run on the AIP ticket against Knowles and Sturgelewski. Coghill jumped ship from the Repubs, he and Hickel jumped on board where they sailed to victory in the election. Hickel never endorsed secession and he rejoined the Republican Party in 1994 as soon as his term in office was over.

In other words, AIP was a means to an end. They have a very conservative, influential membership which cannot be ignored.

Speaking of a means-to-an-end, Healing a Nation has a very interesting video and post of current AIP Vice Chairman, Dexter Clark:

Clark’s following statement is found at 8:26.

Clark talks about *masquerading inside political parties in order to win elections: “I think Ron Paul has kind of proven that …and he’s a dyed in the wool Libertarian. I mean he came to Alaska and spoke as a Libertarian and he put the Republican label on to get elected. That’s all there is to it. And anyone in your organization should be using that same practice….you should infiltrate, I know that the Christian Exodus is in favor of it, The Free State Movement is in favor of it. I don’t know if they even care which party it is. Whichever party you seem in that area you can get something done…get into that poilitical party even though, it does have its problems right now… that is one of the only avenues and when you get a few people on a city council or county board you can have some effect………………… I kind of digressed there a little bit….”
Imagine Republican/media response if Barack Obama was a former member of a group inciting Party infiltration by way of *masquerade, in addition to state secession. Just imagine the frenzy.

While I don't believe AIP affiliation alone will determine her success as a candidate, I do believe that combined with other affiliations, such as a wingnut right-wing church and their subsequent activities, her attempts to ban books in Wasilla and the firing of the librarian who would not comply, and other disturbing events now surfacing in the media may cause people to wonder about her real agenda.

It seems that she's aligned closer with George W. Bush's ideology than McCain.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Soulmate? *gag*

Can someone please remind John McCain that his "soul" does not reside (nor does it make decisions from) below the waist? (Watch him "check out" Sarah below)

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Andrea and Stephanopolis knows what we know

From Talking Points Memo:

According to Stephanopolis:
“They are sending a rapid response team of about 10 people that includes lawyers up to Alaska right now. They know there’s going to be an army of investigative reporters going up there, and they want to be ahead of it.”

“Some senior Republicans operatives outside the campaign say there’s no way they could have had a complete vetting with this kind of information coming out. Democrats say… the McCain campaign didn’t even go through Gov. Palin’s local newspapers.”

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McHugh Pierre tells retired U.S. Army Officer that McCain Campaign is on its way to Alaska

Barbara Bachmeier walked into the Republican Party offices Friday looking for someone else but she found McHugh Pierre. He's on leave from the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and hand-picked by Sarah Palin to act as the Alaska Republican Party spokesperson in place of Republican Chair, Randy Reudrich.

Bachmeier walked in just as Pierre hung up the phone. She described his look as "the cat that just swallowed the canary."

Pierre: "I just got off the phone with the McCain people. They are coming in tomorrow to do their investigations."

Bachmeier (incredulously): Now???!!! This is going to be like an episode of the "Beverly Hillbillies!"

Pierre: (nods and smiles)

Bachmeier: "Do you really think she's going to win?"

Pierre: "No, but she's really going to do a lot for Alaska."

Bachmeier goes to the Republican Party office as often as she visits the Alaska Democrats. She also attended the conventions of both parties. She is a registered "non-partisan" and maintains her neutrality in all-things-political because of her roll as an advocate for woman veterans who have experienced Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and the debilitating Post Tramatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is the result in most cases. As an MST survivor herself, her avocation is helping others like her by starting the 501-C3 "Women Serving Women Veterans" and the "Alaska Military Veterans PAC"--the only Federally recognized veterans Political Action Ccommittee in Alaska.

As a matter of fact, Barbara inadvertantly shared her conversation with Pierre while we were discussing the progress of both organizations and the work we would do together when I got home (I was still in Denver). My personal mission is to work with veterans...especially disabled vets. I am already dedicated to one non-profit, Veteran's Aviation Outreach, and I am also going to do some work with Barbara.

It was clear when she recounted the story of her day at Republican headquarters that she didn't expect my reaction.


In my writing, I had been very careful to leave Barbara's name out of it because a) she didn't have any political agenda when she told me this information, we were just talking about veterans' issues and b) I didn't want there to be any kind of retaliation against her.

However, McHugh Pierre's insistance upon lying in the comments of the blog posts got her back up. His second comment especially irritated her:
I figured I would share the truth with you. Obviously you don't care about the truth so soldier on rumor monger!
She found it interesting that he used the term "soldier on."

"If you don't stand for something, you stand for nothing. I am a soldier and I stand for the truth," Bachmeier stated as we talked in my cramped little office. "I can't stand it when anyone is being disingenuous and I know about it."

However, she wants it known that she's not anybody's "mouthpiece."

"I have no loyalty to either party. My loyalties are with the active-duty soldiers and the veterans. Many of Alaska's veterans are in dire straits and I need everybody's help to bring about change. I just call them as I see them"

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It's Official! Palin announces Bristol's Pregnancy!!

Per CBS:
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has announced that her 17-year-old daughter is five months pregnan.
Ohhh...gee...color me surprised...
The announcement is “intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child,” says the Reuters news service, which carried the first report.

Nooooooo...that's not why...those stories made "liberal blogs" sound crazy. It's because a number of us were trying to straighten out those blogs and tell them what the abundance of credible rumors ACTUALLY said...that Bristol was pregnant now.

And it probably didn't help that the intrepid Kim...member of Team Blue Oasis, found Meghan McCain's blog...who had a number of realllllly inconveniently angled pictures of Bristol backstage in Dayton, Ohio. (It has since been taken down but not before I got them on my blog.)
In a statement, the Palin family says that Bristol Palin is “about five months pregnant” and that she intends to marry the father. “We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us," the Palins said in the statement. "Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.”
I'm glad this is out now and that everyone can now leave Bristol alone. Seriously, I posted on it to dispell the rumor about Trig, but had no intention of talking about it again and I truly hope that her impending marriage will only be happy.

But THIS is the part that made me laugh out loud:
According to the Reuters report, John McCain’s campaign was aware of the pregnancy when the Arizona senator selected Palin to be his running mate last week.
Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure he was...because a VP with a daughter pregnant out of wedlock is a shoe-in to bring in those evangelicals!

I think Palin has just had "strike one!"

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Home sweet home!!!!! Yup, I just got back to Alaska and the news is fast and furious!

Morrigan and I are both so happy to be home, it's not funny. We had an absolute blast in all of the hectic craziness, Kim and Erick were the most wonderful host and hostess (with the mostest) and we truly loved meeting so many fabulous people from all over the country.

However, we were ready to come home and I desperately missed my husband!

I'm pleased to say that there are many new and exciting developments happening on the blog in the coming week!

- It seems that Ed Schultz has decided to come to Alaska in two weeks and do a National Town Meeting on the Palin selection! KUDO is in the thick of the organization process with "Team Fargo" and more information will be forthcoming as the week progresses.

- Many have wanted verification from the "source" on my story regarding McHugh Pierre's revealation that the McCain team was coming to ask questions about the "Trooper-gate" issue...vetting after the fact!!!!! Well, McHugh can thank himself for trying to lie about it...the source became so incensed over his comments on the blog that the source will be coming over for dinner and an interview. The identity will be revealed on a post...with pictures...tomorrow!

- Of course, I also have tons of pictures, stories and material from Denver that I haven't had time to edit or print yet. Those will be appearing periodically this week (probably for the next several weeks)!

Thanks for reading!

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Alaska Blogs dispelling Sarah Palin myths part 2--Bristol Palin

There is quite the way-beyond-a-buzz happening on the internet over allegations that Trig Palin is not Todd and Sarah's child, but belongs to Bristol Palin and an unknown father.

That's not how I've been hearing it for the last few months at all. As a matter-of-fact, I've been hearing that Trig is very much Todd and Sarah's child while Bristol Palin is actually pregnant now.

More than one Alaska blogger has received tips, emails, comments, etc...alleging that Bristol Palin has been pregnant since last spring, when she was moved out of the Valley to Anchorage to continue high school (allegedly away from the father of her unborn child). A commenter at Alaska Mudflats called Sue Williams who claims to be a neighbor of the Palins gives this story:
During this period is when Bristol, Sarah’s sixteen year old daughter, turns up pregnant. So, it’s kind of interesting to note that the Republican Vice Presidential Nominee and her sixteen year old junior in high school unwed daughter were carrying babies at the same time. Once Bristol’s condition became more obvious this summer, she was whisked out of sight and hasn’t been seen in public until yesterday in Ohio. This is why Trig’s blanket was strung across her entire abdomen and torso, but, when she walked down the stairs from the stage, in a profile shot, it was very clear to see she is well into her third trimester of her pregnancy.

It has come out in the past couple of days that she and her high school boyfriend had a quickie wedding and that she is home schooling her senior year.

The Anchorage Daily News has known about this for months - and haven’t touched the story. But I can’t imagine the national press or the Democratic Party will be as willing to turn a blind eye.

I can attest that versious of this story have been around for months, at least in the Alaska blog world, and no one has been willing to come forward with it due to lack of folks "in the know" willing to discuss it on the record one way or the other.

However, John McCain's daughter Meghan may have inadvertantly "kicked it up a notch."

In a post on her blog "McCain Blogette.com", Meghan posts a gazillion photos of all of them at the introduction of Sarah Palin as the VP choice in Dayton, Ohio. These two pictures were part of the bunch:

In both pictures Bristol looks like she may be quite pregnant. On the picture below, I noticed how extremely conspicuous the blanket looked covering practically down to her thighs when the baby was on her shoulder.

While I commend bloggers and other media who are doggedly pursuing an issue, I believe they are currently working on the wrong issue. Considering how many ethics and legal questions are swirling around the Palin's, questions about a pregnant daughter seem a little silly.


a) I'm posting this because I've received many emails on the topic. This is my answer.

b) Other than the "hypocrite" value, I really don't think that Bristol Palin being pregnant at the moment is a primary issue with Sarah Palin's VP candidate selection...there is too much that is potentially illegal and unethical going on to focus on this.

c) I don't believe that the "Trig is her grandson" story is true and I think it could end up decimating the credibility of those folks who continue to push it.

d) This will be the one and only post on this subject.

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Alaska Blogs are dispelling the Sarah Palin "myths" running rampant across the MSM and the blogosphere

I've seen an amazing amount of misinformation making it's way across both the MSM and the blogosphere since Friday's announcement of the Palin pick for McCain's VP running mate. Luckily, Alaska blogs are on the case.

1) When I heard Rachel Maddow, after an excellent analysis of the VP pick, display some confusion on the facts regarding the Mike Wooten issue I posted an open letter in an attempt at providing clarity.

2) There have been conflicting "rumors" of Sarah's "gay-friendliness" all over the web. Bent Alaska is on the case:
The national LGBT media recognizes her opposition to equality and civil rights - except the Log Cabin Republicans (gay republicans, believe it or not) who think she is a wonderful choice.

And the fringe elements are joining the fray.

In these reports, I found only two LGBT Alaskans quoted (both in the same article by Gay City News):

Some press reports following the McCain campaign announcement have repeated the right-wing rhetorical flourish that has Palin declaring that she has gay friends. That softer image is not what some Alaskans saw.

"That's just completely wrong," said Allison E. Mendel, the attorney who brought the 1999 [partner benefits] case. "She spoke on radio programs all throughout the campaign saying, 'I want a constitutional amendment, I think these things are only for a man and a woman.' ... I don't think she's ever said a friendly word about gay people, that they ought to have health benefits like other people do or anything along those lines."

On AIDS issues, Palin simply has no record at all.

"There is not a lot to speak of for AIDS policy because she hasn't done much," said Trevor Storrs, executive director of the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association. "She's never been given the opportunity to address our situation here because it has never been put before her."

"She has done very little to address the major epidemics," he said.

I want to add that one of the issues folks point to as her "gay-friendly" stance was her decision to veto the bill which would have blocked gays from recieving equal health benefits from several agencies. However, the explanation doesn't match up,per the ADN in 2006:
In the first veto of an administration that isn't yet a month old, Palin said she rejected the bill despite her disagreement with a state Supreme Court order earlier this month that directed the state to offer benefits to same-sex partners of state employees.

Advice from her new attorney general said the bill passed by the Legislature was unconstitutional, she said.

"Signing this bill would be in direct violation of my oath of office," Palin said in a prepared statement released by her administration Thursday night.

That doesn't sound "gay friendly" to me.

3) Much is being made of Todd Palin's "Eskimo-ness" and it has actually been stated outright that his percentage of Inupiat blood makes the Palin family "Alaska Native" friendly. Per Alaska Real's Writing Raven:
But this is the kind of stuff that concerns me about the Todd Palin mentions (from the Baltimore Chronicle):
Married to a native Eskimo, and with four mixed-race children, she can expect to appeal to many non-white American voters, on whose support the Obama campaign is counting.
I cannot stress enough - Sarah Palin has done nothing for the Alaska Native community - a community that includes her own children.

Any venture into the Alaska Native community has been superficial at best. I can't even take issue with her Alaska Native policies, because she has NOTHING of substance. She has ignored Alaska Native people from before she took office as governor - an act all the more harmful because it is her own children's heritage she is not acknowledging.

The only thing I know she's "done" for Alaska Native people - fire them. Or not hire them in the first place. The more recent one is Walt Monegan. I absolutely don't believe she fired him because he was Native - I believe she fired him because he wouldn't fire her ex-brother in law- despite the investigation that had already been done on him, with findings and reprimand.

So far, from the phone calls and hits on my blog, it seems that media across the country are at least curious enough to research some of these facts. I only hope that these and other "myths" can be nipped in the bud before the McCain Campaign can imprint them as "fact" on an Alaska-ignorant public.

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