Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saradise Lost - Chapter Ninety-Eight -- Murlene Wilkes Changed Her Story to Branchflower?

from an article by Jason Leopold, for The Public Record:

An Alaska woman who owns a company that processes workers’ compensation claims in the state has told an independent investigator that she was urged by the office of Gov. Sarah Palin to deny a benefits claim for Palin’s ex brother-in-law, a state trooper who was involved in an ugly divorce and child custody dispute with Palin’s sister, despite evidence that the claim appeared to be legitimate, according to state officials who were briefed about the conversation.

Murlene Wilkes, the proprietor of Harbor Adjusting Services in Anchorage, had originally denied that she was pressured by Gov. Palin’s office to deny state trooper Mike Wooten’s claim for workers compensation benefits.

But Wilkes changed her story two weeks ago when she was subpoenaed by Steven Branchflower, the former federal prosecutor who was appointed in July to probe allegations Gov. Palin, Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s running mate, abused her office by abruptly ousting Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, state officials knowledgeable about her conversation with Branchflower said.

Monegan has said he felt pressured by Gov. Palin, her husband, Todd, and several of her aides to fire Wooten. Branchflower’s investigation centers on whether Palin fired Monegan because he refused to fire Wooten.

This is an important story by Jason Leopold. Click here to read the rest.

hat tip - Shannyn Moore

Saradise Lost - Chapter Ninety-Seven -- Palin's Philadelphia Experiment

The McCain campaign placed Gov. Sarah Palin in Pennsylvania late last week. She was supposed to prop up the campaign, by, uh, by, uh - energizing Pennsylvania voters, who are supposed to still be upset that Obama asked difficult questions there in the weeks leading up to the Pennsylvania primary. That was supposed to be the ticket. It doesn't appear to work, as, after Palin left, Obama is now leading in Pennsylvania.

The night of the first presidential debate, Palin went to a Philly pub. Here's a YouTube of the demonstration outside, while she was inside:

While inside, she apparently made comments that undermined McCain statements in the debate about cross-border American military incursions inside of Pakistan. So, McCain and Palin had to go onto Katie Couric's show, to redeem campaign image:

What a farce....

Update - 6:40 a.m. Tuesday: from the comments, chef_the_city notes, "
it was LATER, at a philly cheesesteak stand, and she totally agreed w/ the obama stance that mccain had just pooh-poohed during the debate, not to mention she was completely at her ease (at the time) and was quite friendly w/ the voter who she later tears down and misrepresents.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Day Off!

I took a day off from blogging yesterday.

It was the first day devoted entirely to other stuff since August 29th, the day John McCain announced he had chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to accompany him to defeat on November 4th.

Judy and I have been extraordinarily busy, though.

I'm devoting as many hours per day to writing music for the upcoming (October 10th)
UAA production of Shakespeare's As You Like It, as I can find. Judy and I have been hosting and renewing our friendship with longtime friend, Nancy Lethcoe, from Valdez. She is our Democratic Party candidate for Alaska House District 12, a huge district, stretching from Valdez to Ft. Wainright to Palmer.

We're also hosting one of the finest American authors on issues involving racism, hate crimes and the growth of some weird trends in American politics,
David Neiwert. He's up here doing research for his next book. His books, and his blog, Orcinus, have won many awards.

Back to work!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saradise Lost - Chapter Ninety-Six -- Alaskans For Truth YouTubes

Sarah The Knife

Libby Roderick sings a powerful song - Never Turning Back!

Shannyn Moore Speaks to the Rally

Hip Hop Statement - Don't Lie

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saradise Lost - Chapter Ninety-Five -- " I Were Ill..."

Saturday Progressive Blog Roundup - September 27, 2008

The juxtaposition of the rapid decline of Sarah Palin in every meaningful poll published, in-state, and out-of-state, with the continuing, almost painfully forced in-state MSM narrative, that there is some positive possible outcome to this farce, gets more bizarre every day. How painful this is getting to be might have been best illustrated Friday afternoon, on KSKA/KAKM's weekly roundup of Alaska news stories, called Anchorage Edition.

The all-too-obvious cluelessness of three out of the four reporters there (I'm tempted to not even let Nellie Moore off the hook here, but I will), made me even more proud to be an Alaska progressive blogger than I usually am. The three guys were almost as silly as our dear Sarah, as they tripped over each other, hunting for lipstick.

Guess what, guys. We ran out several days ago.

Why we ran out has a lot more to do with Alaskan and out-of-state bloggers and reporters, than with these outmoded male models, on what information distribution and plain simple truth are about, in the 21st century.
Friday, the most e-mailed op-ed at the New York Times, was an essay about Sarah Palin's policy, while Wasilla mayor, of throwing bricks on top of rape victims in her community. The Saudis would be proud of Sarah. The Anchorage Daily News, has yet to even cover this eight-year-old story in an authoritative way. Once again, I'll ask - "Why not?"

Alaska bloggers, back at the end of the first week of September, helped break this story. Since then, longtime progressive figures here like Linda Kellen and Shannyn Moore, have helped spread the word nationwide on how important this story is.

And the obvious national narrative, created right in Anchorage Alaska last Saturday,
by courageous Alaska women, that Sarah Palin is no friend of women's rights, hasn't made it past the MSM cutting room floor in Alaska. Yet.

I think last Saturday's Loussac Library show of support for women's issues, by Alaska women, may be one of the most important events of the 2008 presidential campaign so far. The thousands of images, created to convey the spontaneity, creativity and enthusiasm of those thousand or so pissed off women, reverberated across the USA. And those people showed the nation that Alaskans can speak for ourselves.

And two Alaska bloggers - Andy Halcro and Linda Kellen, took up Troopergate, uh - MADE Troopergate last summer. Not the mainstream press.

Meanwhile, our MSM keeps shrinking. If you come to the Anchorage Park Strip Veterans' Memorial block today at noon, you'll see how our proud, hard-working Alaska bloggers are helping thousands of activist citizens overcome this state's legacy of bowing and scraping to the powers that be.

Let's not even touch upon the emerging story, being deeply covered by some really serious and credible journalists, on the Palin's longtime close, I'll repeat -
CLOSE - ties to white power, anti-Semitic and dispensationalist groups, with growing national networks.

And then there's Palin's creationism creativity, yet to be covered by our MSM.

Saradise Lost - Chapter Ninety-Four -- Gov. Palin's YouTube Response to Friday's Debate

We'll post it when we get it.............

Saradise Lost - Chapter Ninety-Three - Sen. Biden's YouTube Reaction to Friday's Debate

Friday, September 26, 2008

Judy Says "He's So Far Behind, He Thinks He's Ahead!"

I think the Obama campaign is about to lap the McCain team.

McCain, looking over his shoulder, has announced, perhaps minutes after he decided he had to show up this evening, that he's won an event that hasn't even happened yet.

Oh, yeah. Sarah creamed Biden next week, too...

Saradise Lost - Chapter Ninety-Two -- NRO's Kathleen Parker Thinks Sarah Needs to BOW OUT

National Review's very conservative, very influential columnist Kathleen Parker, has the following to say, in conclusi0n to her NRO essay published this morning:

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

If Palin were a man, we’d all be guffawing, just as we do every time Joe Biden tickles the back of his throat with his toes. But because she’s a woman — and the first ever on a Republican presidential ticket — we are reluctant to say what is painfully true.

What to do?

McCain can’t repudiate his choice for running mate. He not only risks the wrath of the GOP’s unforgiving base, but he invites others to second-guess his executive decision-making ability. Barack Obama faces the same problem with Biden.

Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.

Do it for your country.

And among the many women writers further examining Palin's hapless "moose in the headlights" inability to handle even the most benign questions from friendly or neutral journalists, feminist Margaret Cho also has some recent words about Palin:

I am certainly not defending Palin – because make no mistake – she is the ultimate misogynist. She is a woman hater in the extreme. To force women to have children against their will, to deny abortion rights EVEN in cases of incest and rape is abominable. She is an insult to feminism, a sickening example what a woman will do to other women in order to please men and further her own career.

Women do shit like that to other women to keep them down – to make their achievement seem more extraordinary – to keep women out of their way, so they can enjoy all the power and the men themselves, and that stuff makes them worse than sexist men. It is worse to be a traitor than a perpetrator. That she made rape victims pay for their own forensic exams shows that she believes that women somehow deserved to be raped – that it is our fault, just like unplanned pregnancy, just like being victimized by men – or women like her. She acts like all women are wearing a miniskirt and are asking for it. So fuck her.

hat tip to Lisa Derrick

We're Hosting An Erick Cordero Fundraiser Saturday

Event: Saturday Meet & Greet by the Lake - Featuring a sustainable buffet!

"Working Together for Alaska's Future"

What: Fundraiser

Host: Erick Cordero, Alaska Senate District G Democratic Party candidate

Start Time: This Saturday, September 27 at 3:00pm

End Time: Tomorrow, September 27 at 6:00pm

Where: Judy Youngquist and Phil Munger's House.

7127 E. Shorewood Drive


To see more details and RSVP, follow this link.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Saradise Lost - Chapter Ninety-One -- This Week's Buzzflash "Wings of Justice" Award

Buzzflash has been my browser home page for almost four years. The site describes various news stories around the country and world in thumbnail, as the stories break. You can hit a section in the upper right, allowing you to check out the most recent, filtering out older stuff. Very handy.

Each week, they award a progressive individual or group for an outstanding recent achievement. They call it their "Wings of Justice" Award. This week's award went to Alaska women, and to Charla Sterne and Ilona Bessenyey, the main organizers of last week's Loussac Library street event.

As a longtime Buzzflash reader and supporter, I'm going to take the liberty of printing their entire award editorial:

When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin returned to her home state, she got a "welcome back" that she wasn't expecting. The Alaska Women Rejecting Palin protest grew from a handful of women talking about the perception of universal Alaskan support for Palin to an event that is being called the largest political rally in Anchorage history. Attendance estimates range from just under 1,000 to more than 1,500 people (less than 100 people were estimated to have formed a counter-protest in support of Palin).

You may feel that a simple protest shouldn't qualify people for awards. But after reading about ordinary Alaskans refusing to talk on record about Palin to reporters, it's clear that showing one's face at such an event could have negative repercussions. According to Amanda Coyne, who covered the event for Alaska Dispatch, state workers would not speak on the record, and some even felt the need to disguise their identities for fear of reprisal. But others actually feared for their own safety.

Charla Sterne and Ilona Bessenyey organized the event. Prior to the rally, they were identified on air by a conservative talk radio host named Eddie Burke, who called them "socialist, baby-killing maggots" and gave out their personal cell phone numbers. The women received angry, threatening, and profane phone calls from many of Burke's listeners.

Burke was suspended without pay for one week, but his radio station manager remarked, "We attempt to respect everyone's First Amendment rights, including Eddie Burke's." Apparently Burke's listeners don't realize that the right to peaceably assemble is in that same amendment.

We would like to reward the bravery of these two women as well as all the women in Alaska who were willing to show up and tell the rest of us in the lower 48 that just because she governs their state, Palin doesn't represent them.

Congratulations, Ilona and Charla!

And Alaska women.

Saradise Lost - Chapter Ninety - Chapter 87's Question Answered?

from Politico.com:

NEW YORK, N.Y. – John McCain's campaign has floated the possibility that Sarah Palin may also suspend her campaign, matching McCain’s announcement that he would cease campaigning for president to return to Washington to try to hammer out a fix for the nation’s financial meltdown.

As the governor of Alaska, Palin cannot participate in the high-level federal government deliberations on the economy that McCain gave as his reason for suspending his campaign.

Yet, after McCain’s dramatic announcement, his campaign chief Steve Schmidt suggested Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, would also suspend her campaign.

“We're going to take the ads down. They won't be traveling. There won’t be rallies,” Schmidt said when asked about Palin’s campaign, according to a rough transcription provided to reporters.

Democrats have blasted McCain’s move, which includes a call to reschedule his planned Friday debate with Democratic rival Barack Obama, as political posturing, rather than a genuine effort to address the economic crisis.

Asked about Schmidt’s comment, given Palin’s inability to participate in congressional deliberations, spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt told reporters on a Wednesday evening conference call “We are part of the McCain-Palin campaign. It is one ticket.”

But she demurred when asked specifically whether Palin, too, would be suspending her campaign.

“I think Sen. McCain was clear about what it meant that he was suspending his campaign,” Schmitt said, “So, if we have any announcements, any updates about her schedule, we will certainly let you know.”

Schmitt pointed out that Palin’s schedule has only been released through Friday and said that she has no public events planned after she attends a Thursday morning speech McCain is slated to deliver here to the Clinton Global Initiative.

McCain’s announcement puts Palin in a tricky spot.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Saradise Lost - Chapter Eighty-Nine - Jonestown, uh - Sarahtown, Alaska?

This post is directed to my friend Talis Colberg, who I hope will be returning soon, to announce his resignation as Attorney General of Alaska:

I'm going to be unsparing.

Those of you who still believe there is a remaining shred of credibility in the candidacy of former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin, to be Vice President of the United States of America under the oldest President in our history, to initially take that office, well, you need to look at these pictures.

They're from the biggest mass suicide, involving Americans, in our history. It took place in South America, but it had its roots, like Sarah Palin's rise, in the nutty intersection between fundamentalist religious practices and their insinuation into advocacy politics.

I may be the only person alive that has met both Rev. Jim Jones and Gov. Sarah Palin. The similarities are not obvious. But they are real, and to a growing number of informed Americans, they are startlingly frightening.

I met Rev. Jones in September, 1968. He was at an event at a bread factory in Sonoma County California, helping to dedicate its opening. The bread was to be distributed to needy people in the San Francisco Bay area. Unlike Sarah Palin, Jim Jones was a charismatic public speaker. But, like Palin, Jones knew he was on a blessed mission from God Himself.

What brought this old image of Rev. Jones back to my mind, was polling data that has come out in the past 48 hours. In spite of the farce of Palin's projection on the national stage, the obvious over-protection afforded her vulnerable and patently false persona, and revelations about her self-serving and superstitious agenda throughout her public life, Republicans still see her as their Saviour.

In Alaska, according to pollster Ivan Moore, even as Alaskans at large learned from emerging facts about Palin's past, Republicans ignored those facts. Her popularity among "conservatives" in Alaska went from 93% approval to 88% approval during September. So far. And nationally, 76% of Republicans still believe Palin is "prepared" to be President.

Getting back to the Jonestown image, less than 35 of the 900 people at Jonestown managed to survive Jones' "Revolutionary Suicide" pact. That works out to just under 4%. Palin's popularity has never been quite that high, even among the faithful. But there is a message here.

The Alaska GOP's blind obedience to Don Young, Ted Stevens and Sarah Palin (I could add Rep. John Harris, Randy Reudrich, Rev. Jerry Prevo and others), isn't as irrational as the Jonestown peoples' devotion to Rev. Jones. However, it is simply beyond the pale, at this important time in our nation's and our state's history.

Wake up, Talis. Wake up, Alaska.

Saradise Lost - Chapter Eighty-Eight -- The National Supply of Lipstick Ran Out Today

Jimi - Wake Up, America!

hat tip - Eureka Springs

Saradise Lost - Chapter Eighty-Seven -- McCain and Palin About To Go Into Hiding?

image by Philip Munger, Progressive Alaska

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Saradise Lost - Chapter - Eighty-Six -- Sarah Gets Her Anti-Witch Photon Torpedo -- This is a MUST WATCH!

more soon... hat tip to Max

Saradise Lost - Chapter Eighty-Five - Palin Popularity Goes Polar in Alaska

From: Ivan Moore
Subject: PRESS RELEASE: New Palin approval rating
To: "Ivan Moore"
Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 7:54 PM


Anchorage, September 23, 2008 - In a new survey conducted September 20-22, Ivan Moore Research finds Sarah Palin's positive-negative rating in Alaska taking a real hit, for the first time since Palin was elected in November 2006. The survey was conducted with 500 likely voters in the State of Alaska, for a margin of error of 4.4%. The track of the last five Palin ratings is as follows, along with a comparison point from January 2008:

Rating --
January 2008 -------------------------- 82-11
July 18-22, 2008 ----------------------- 76-18
July 30-31, 2008 ----------------------- 78-15
August 9-12, 2008 --------------------- 80-13
August 30-September 2, 2008 ------- 82-13
September 20-22, 2008 ---------------68-27

The mid-July poll was fielded just after the Trooper Wooten controversy broke. The positive rating of 76% was down from previous measures in the 80's. Despite negative press from the Troopergate issue, the subsequent three polls through the end of September showed Palin's positive rating steadily increasing, and her negative steadily dropping. But in the last three weeks, we've seen damage, with a swing of 14 points from her positive to her negative.

Breakdowns by party affiliation and political ideology for the last two surveys are illustrative of the internal dynamics:

August 30-September 2 -- September 19-21 Swing

Democrats -- 60-33 -- 36-59 -- minus 25

Republicans -- 95-3 -- 93-5 -- minus 2

No party/Other party -- 82-12 -- 64-29 -- minus 17.5

Conservative -- 93-3 -- 88-9 -- minus 5.5

Moderate -- 83-13 -- 65-29 -- minus 17

Progressive -- 49-37 -- 23-68 -- minus 28.5

TOTAL -- 82-13 -- 68-27 -- minus 14

We're seeing the numbers cratering among ideological progressives and registered Democrats, probably indicative of the impact of the harsher tone Palin has adopted on the national campaign trail, and the growing fallout from Troopergate. Damage is also significant among moderates and non-affiliated voters, while Republicans and conservatives continue to be almost universally positive.

It should be noted, of course, that a 68-27 is still a very satisfactory rating. But it appears the days of 80 percent approvals in Alaska are over.

Questions and interview requests: Ivan Moore 907-727-7116

Saradise Lost - Chapter Eighty-Four -- Alaskans For Truth Rally Saturday at Noon

Let's show them Sarah Palin is a UNITER - of Alaska Democrats, Independents, Greens and Republicans with brains:

More Articles on Ethan Berkowitz Coming Soon

Progressive Alaska will be carrying more articles about Alaska At-Large U.S. House seat candidate Ethan Berkowitz, in the days ahead. And PA hopes to carry as much positive material about this race, and about Mark Begich's U.S. Senate race as possible, between now and November 4.

Since three days after the August 26th Alaska Primary, Progressive Alaska has been putting almost all efforts into getting the truth out about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. And that will probably have to remain the main mission of most progressive Alaska bloggers, right up to the election.

The bottom line on this, as PA noted on August 29th, is that Palin's nomination changed everything in what was already the most in-flux political environment in the USA. At the time, many Alaskans, myself included, had forgotten more of Palin's transgressions, self-promoting exaggerations, shortcomings and lies, than we'd remembered. We held her Alaska image in awe, yet cringed at the thought of her being placed upon the national stage.

What pride the majority of Alaskans had from the 29th of August up until late last week, has started to quickly evaporate, as the McCain invasion of Alaska's government begins to be noticed, and as the efforts of so many reporters and bloggers from around the state, country and world, begin to have an impact. Many of Alaska's Democratic Party candidates are now recovering from their shell shock, as they see Palin go from a plus 17 point positive-negative image to a minus 11 point image nationwide, in less than two weeks.

Nationally noted progressive fundraiser, Howie Klein, announced early this morning that he has started a new Blue America fund to benefit Ethan Berkowitz and some other Democratic Party candidates. As you may recall, Howie has been critical of Ethan in the past.

So have I. But I'll be helping Howie in his efforts, and helping David Shurtleff get more attention to the many positive aspects of Ethan's campaign that I have always felt made him a strong contender for the AK-AL seat.

Here's Deirdre Helfferich's post about her upcoming interview article with Ethan Berkowitz:

I had a thoroughly enjoyable discussion with Ethan Berkowitz yesterday evening. Of course, it only got rolling just before he had to leave. I'm going to be writing up an article for the next issue of the Republic, and plan to interview him via phone later to get some more details (and, of course, quotable quotes).

One of the things that struck me was how animated he became when we started talking about local agriculture and food sustainability—he lit up and started talking a mile a minute, all about Bernie Karl's plans for lettuce and Chena Hot Springs, the Jones Act (which I have to do some reading up on), and the estimate of a mere three days' food in the stores should our transportation links to Seattle be shut down. (And incidentally, the state's emergency food supplies are stored in Oregon, according to Kim Sollien of the Anchorage Daily News. Talk about stupid planning.)

Nice to see a candidate for national office getting so enthusiastic about something that's good for the long-range future of the state and the country, and in so many ways.

Saradise Lost - Chapter Eighty-Three -- Palin Poll Plunge Persists

from an article by Markos Moulitsas, at Daily Kos:

Those who argued giving Palin a pass when she was wildly popular were wrong. While she's rallied the base and solidified states like North Dakota and Alaska for Palin, she is now toxic to independents and Democrats.

Voters have "learned [more] about Sarah Palin" because we aggressively investigated her record and encouraged the traditional media to do the same (and they did a pretty darn good job). Giving her a pass because she was "too popular" or because it "took the focus off McCain" would have allowed her positive narrative to stick, allowing her popularity to continue propping up McCain. As I've said before, this is a tactic straight out of Taking on the System.

Markos is right. Alaska bloggers, especially, along with our healthy alternative press, most notably the new Alaska Journal, can be proud of our role here. Not only have we brought important aspects of Palin's vast shortcomings to light, when and where our traditional media failed, we've provided a lot of material assistance to reporters coming here from Outside, looking for sources.

Saradise Lost - Chapter Eighty-Two -- Palin Praises Wooten

Remind me to never ask Gov. Sarah Palin for a letter of recommendation. Alaska Trooper and then Palin-Heath brother-in-law Mike Wooten got one. A lot of good it did him, huh?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Saradise Lost - Chapter Eighty-One - O'Callaghan Places the Heaths in Pawn

Edward O'Callaghan, former co-chief of the terrorism and national security unit of the U.S. attorney's office in New York, and present de-facto Attorney General of the State of Alaska, didn't have to hold a gun to the temple of Meg Stapleton today to make her talk. He didn't have to set a team of waterboarders upon the Alaska press, to get them to write or film his fluff bullshit and lies.

But he did have to sequester the press away from the short row of prisoners, held at the rear of the room. He didn't want the press to see the unhappiness in these peoples' eyes, their slouchy poses of surrender, after they had been mentally beaten into submission by the demands O'Callaghan's crew has made upon their lives.

Fortunately, Dennis Zaki managed to get off a good picture of this ineffable image of the sadness of the passing of the Alaska we all knew until last week. Here's the Heath family, lifeless putty in the hands of one sick puppy:

Here's the Anchorage Daily News' "raw feed" of the conference the prisoners were forced to witness:

Saradise Lost - Chapter Eighty -- PA Ted & Sarah Together Photo Contest!

Notice who is sitting next to Sen. Ted Stevens, whose trial begins TODAY. This youtube, by Dennis Zaki, was made back in July, before Stevens was indicted. Sarah was sucking up to him 24/7 back then.

I'm offering splitting the cost of a Homer Alaska halibut charter with whoever comes up with the best link to a photo of Sarah and Ted schmoozing.

Update: Here's the first entry:

Saradise Lost - Chapter Seventy-Nine -- Battlefield Alaska: The White House

--- by Shannyn Moore

Political partisanship has nothing to do with the current outrage of many Alaskans. McCain-Palin Storm Troopers have dropped into Alaska and taken over the department of law. Alaska has become a battlefield in the war for the White House. Senators Hollis French, Bill Wielechowki, Kim Elton, Investigator Steve Branchflower and Walt Monegan are the public targets.

The Alaskan Constitution, the Rule of Law, and the Citizens of Alaska are the collateral damage. It isn’t too dramatic to say we are having a Constitutional Crisis when our Attorney General, Talis Colberg, is instructing Alaskans to break the law by ignoring subpoenas.

Years of FBI investigations, indictments, trials and subsequent federal penitentiary sentences for Alaska Lawmakers have taken their toll; the Alaska political landscape was already fragile prior to the nomination of Sarah Palin for Vice-President. The thugs from the McPalin Mob suffer from “Reality Deficit Disorder.” Their lies are hurting Alaskans.

When the Governor’s Spokes Model is calling journalists at home and bitching out their wives, and Special Agent Ed is practicing law in a State he isn’t licensed to, it is time for Alaskans to take back the state.

Truth isn’t always easy, remember Morpheus in “The Matrix”; “You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland. And, I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."

Abraham Lincoln said, “Truth is generally the best vindication against slander."

Sadly, it seems fitting to quote George Orwell too. He said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."Feel free to share the Truth. Wash down the facts with a Red Bull. Be the Revolution.

Top Ten Reasons the Investigation into Sarah Palin is Fair:

1. It began with a 12-0 vote of eight Republicans and four Democrats.

2. The President of the Senate, a Republican, voted in favor of the investigation.

3. The Speaker of the House, a Republican, voted in favor of the investigation.

4. The investigation began in July, well before Governor Palin was placed on the national ticket.

5. Governor Palin pledged over and over to cooperate with the investigation. Here’s a quote from a KTUU story July 18, 2008. “We would never prohibit, or be less than enthusiastic about any kind of investigation. Let’s deal in the facts, and you do that via investigation.”

And another from Sharon Leighow, Governor Palin’s press secretary in an Anchorage Daily News story from July 29, 2008. “The governor has said all along that she will fully cooperate with an investigation and her staff will cooperate as well.”

6. The Project Director, Hollis French, was not a member of the committee that started the investigation.

7. The Republican senator that supplied the crucial vote in favor of subpoenas has a John McCain for President sign in his yard, and he represents the area around Governor Palin’s home town

8. At the meeting when subpoenas were issued, every member present from the House Judiciary Committee voted to support the Senate’s subpoenas, including the Chairman, a conservative Republican, and the vice-chair, a conservative Republican.

9. The investigator, Steve Branchflower, who is actually gathering the facts and writing the report, has no ties to either party.

10. Because filing a complaint against yourself, and then moving to have that complaint dismissed, is not a good way to get to the truth. (”Palin Calling for an End to Investigation She Requested”)

11. Palin flip flopped on Trooper Wooten. Here’s her glowing recommendation! (click here for link to PDF - thanks, gryphen!)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Comedy Interlude No. Six

from the good folks at Alaska Robotics - hat tip to CabinDweller

Saradise Lost - Chapter Seventy-Eight -- Rape Kit Poll

The issue of Wasilla Police Department Chief Charlie Fannon's and Mayor Sarah Palin's policy of eliminating financial payment for forensic examinations of rape victims from the municipal budget, and that decision's influence on the 1999-2000 Alaska Legislature's HB 270, is gaining traction. This past week, both Shannyn Moore and I have been guests on a fair number of radio call-in programs. When this issue comes up, people gasp.

The Anchorage Daily News, which failed to adequately address this in 2000, still hasn't covered it in a rational way that would, for instance, use the superb expertise of reporters Sheila Toomey and Lisa Demer to the paper's advantage. I've asked "Why not?" about this here before, and I'm asking it once more.

Why not?

Others are probing the issue, though. The most interesting example I found this morning (while waiting for a radio appearance on Irish National Radio), was a segment on the Public Broadcasting System's program, To The Contrary. Two conservative commentators on the program keep on trying to put some lipstick on this piglet, but it doesn't seem to work.

Tara Setmeyer claims that Palin and Fannnon were sort of sabotaged by Democrats in 1999, as the two former sought to develop a new, rational policy on how this budget item was addressed. Heritage Foundation shill, Genevieve Wood says, "I think Sarah Palin will speak to this. I'm sure she'll have a very good answer."

Will she speak to his? Should she? That's our Progressive Alaska poll for this week:

Should Sarah Palin be asked about the Wasilla Police Department Policy of charging rape victims for their forensic exams, during the VP debate?

Update noon Sunday - from the comments:
(Shannyn says) "Since Joe Biden fought hard to make rape kit charges illegal on a national level, and JOHN MCCAIN voted against it, Palin and Biden should both be asked about it. The have both taken a stand." More coming on this later today.

image - Wasilla Police Department

September 21 PA Arts Sunday - Part Two -- Wasilla Wonderland March

Back when Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was a City of Wasilla City Council member, a volunteer group in the Wasilla area created one of the finest young children's parks in Alaska.

As hundreds of community volunteers put the park together, Sarah Palin and her fungelical supporters were nowhere to be found. Perhaps it was because the park's biggest volunteer supporters were local Democrats and independents, not Republicans.

The volunteer group commissioned me to write a dedicatory march for the park's opening. I called the resulting piece, Wasilla Wonderland March. It is a fairly dippy piece, in a way. But it was written to celebrate a playground for kids, so that simplicity comes with the territory.

Here's one of the march's first performances.

It is played by the Mat-Su College Community Band, under my direction. A true community band, the youngest member in this recording was nine years old, the oldest in his 80s.

image - Wonderland Park detail, as of last week

September 21 PA Arts Sunday - Part One -- Fungibility Poem

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's
somewhat incoherent statement last week, at a campaign town hall meeting with John McCain, has brought almost universal derision and WTF's.

Leave it to hilzoy at Obsidian Wings to come up with an astute analysis. And leave it to hilzoy commenter EarBucket to turn Palin's dross into pure poetry:

Of course
it's a fungible commodity
and they don't flag
you know
the molecules
where it's going
and where it's not
But in the sense
of the Congress today
they know that there are
very, very hungry
domestic markets
that need that oil first
So, I believe
that what Congress
is going to do
is not to allow
the export bans
to such a degree
that it's Americans
who get stuck
holding the bag
without the energy source
that is produced here
pumped here
It's got to flow
into our domestic markets

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saradise Lost - Chapter Seventy-Seven -- Friday's Wasilla Streetside Rally for Obama

Pictures courtesy of Gene Horner - at the corner of Crusey Street and the Parks Highway, Friday around 4:00 p.m.

Pictures courtesy of Gene Horner

Saturday Progressive Blog Roundup - September 20, 2008 -- Part One -- Writing Raven Responds to the ADN

--- by Writing Raven

To Clear Up the Todd Palin post

What a difference a day makes. Today, my post on Todd Palin's heritage was highlighed in a few places, including the Anchorage Daily News Newsreader. Most of you that visit here will not have read this, but for those that do, I hope you will hear this part. In the e-mail in which the Newsreader goes out, it was said I was "questioning" Todd Palin's "Nativeness," and I believe it led readers to believe I was saying Todd's level of Native blood should be questioned.

I assure you, I am not.

This is something I would never do - question how Native someone is - and I did not say it. My post was a reaction to the sheer number of people that are still asserting Sarah Palin will be open to a better Alaska Native and American Indian policy simply because she is married to an Alaska Native man.

I was the recipient today of numerous e-mails, as well as several comments, about how horrible is it that I'm "questioning how Native he is" or measuring his blood as to see if he's a "real Native." It is with a sad irony I had to stop responding with a refrain that I have argued against using blood quantum as any kind of measurement to someone's "Nativeness." In fact, there is no measure of someone's Nativeness.

I made it very clear in the post that I do not believe blood quantum is a factor in determining whether he is a "real" Native - my past posts have argued against trying to nail down how "Native" someone is. My post was pretty clear, in multiple parts, about what I was trying to clear up, and why, but especially that he does not support Native issues. People are still confused as to which tribe he belongs to, why his blood quantum would even be brought up in the first place, whether or not he is a member of a Native corporation, etc.

There are still many people, especially those who vote on Native issues, who are announcing Todd's background as a reason to believe he - or his wife - will support Native issues, causes, legislation. My post was not about questioning his heritage or "Nativeness" - and again, the post is pretty clear about how I feel when people "prove" this person is a real Native or not based on their blood quantum. A common argument, for instance:

(From Indian Country Today) ''If she and Sen. McCain are elected, it would provide a basis for a stronger Indian policy,'' said W. Ron Allen, a member of the American Indians for McCain Coalition and chairman of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe.

''McCain has a strong background in Indian country and understands it quite well. ... and she has familial and Alaska Native insights that I think enhance the ticket's commitment to tribes.''

Palin, the first female Republican vice presidential candidate is married to Todd Palin, who is of Yup'ik Eskimo descent. Their five children are also of Alaska Native heritage.

As shown above, Sarah's proof of "commitment" to Native issues has almost exclusively been that her husband is Native. It is being used, even by Native leaders, to show that the McCain/Palin ticket will have commitment to tribes. What my post was about was the assertion that he is a Native leader of any kind, a champion for Native issues. He is not.

I strongly disagree with the "introduction" to my post in the e-mail sent out, and much of the commentary that went along with the post. I don't question his Nativeness, and although I tried to clear up for people why blood quantum is (unfortunately) a factor in knowing whether he is tribal member, corporate shareholder, etc., I was strong in my message that people should not use it as determination of his view. That is much of the point.

I do not know Todd, and only know what he has publicly done. It is not a personal attack to say he is not someone who supports Native issues. That is simple fact.

My point is actually highlighted by one of the comments in support of Todd left today, "I've known Todd for almost 2o years... I've never heard him discuss his ethnic identity and I've never asked him about it because I don't care and I don't think he does, either."

If, in 20 years, Todd has not even discussed his Native heritage with his friend, but his heritage is now being used as a pull for votes, a play to voters who WILL vote on Native issues, I will do my best to dispel the myth that he is a leader, spokesperson or supporter of issues so many Native people care for and fight for.

I am certainly not the only one. From "New America Media":

There was the ever so fleeting moment during her speech at the Republican National Convention when Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin paid tribute to hubby Todd. She lightly mentioned that he's of Yup'ik Eskimo background. Todd Palin beamed with pride at the acknowledgement in front of the packed convention crowd and in front one of the largest TV audiences to ever watch a candidate's convention speech. But the cheering convention participants and millions of viewers won't see the same smiles on scores of other of Palin's Yup'ik Eskimos and many other Native Alaskans.

I appreciate what ADN has done in giving the public a voice that does not ordinarily get out there. I will continue to read the ADN Newsreader. But in this case, "Writing Raven" was given a viewpoint that I do not hold. I stand by what I say and have posted. But I do believe the commentary skewed the point I was trying to make, and in fact proclaims a viewpoint that I fight against.

I welcome any and all comments, postive or negative, of those who have read what I said in its entirety. If you disagree with my assertion that Todd's heritage should not be used as "proof" he will stand up for Native issues, much less his wife, that is a valid disagreement. But if you disagree with "me" that nobody should use blood quantum or what you do every day to determine how "Native" someone is, well, I agree with you in the first place. I am not arguing at all that Todd Palin is not "Native enough," and detest the assertion as much as I detest the assertion that Obama is not "black enough," or that myself or any of my relatives are not "Native enough," or "White enough." My past postings, and the one this is centered around, will show you that.

Honestly, there are very few people that will be swayed by whether or not Todd Palin will influence Sarah Palin on Native issues. This post was geared towards those that will care, and hold Native issues dear, or those that want a fuller picture of how Palin has treated the indigenous people in her own state. For those of us that are swayed by a candidate's stand on Native issues, I only ask that you look at all the facts before deciding whether or not any of these candidates should hold enormous decision-making power over the Native people of America.

Saradise Lost - Chapter Seventy-Six -- Maher Pitys Levi Johnston

hat tip - Gryphen

Saradise Lost - Chapter Seventy-Five -- Aerial Witch Hunting in Wasilla?

Shannyn Moore yesterday, on the MSNBC Keith Olbermann Coundown program:

To me, one of the most fascinating things about Shannyn Moore, is the degree to which she can combine a down-to-earth (or down-to-the-sea) sense of humor, with thorough reporting and punchy one-liners. Her presence is connecting with TV and radio journalists - and their audiences - all around the USA.

Many journalists I've spoken with over the past three weeks find it hard to believe that Shannyn hasn't been given a more credible media platform in southcentral Alaska. Both she and Aaron Selbig were deemed to be too progressive, and shunted to the sidelines, even after they had both provided Anchorage listeners with some of the most important, detailed and accurate reporting and commentary in recent Alaska history.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saradise Lost - Chapter Seventy-Four -- Justin Rood at ABC Edges Out the Firedoglake Sleuths

A lot of reporters have been looking for what ABC's Justin Rood just found:

An internal government document obtained by ABC News appears to contradict Sarah Palin's most recent explanation for why she fired her public safety chief, the move which prompted the now-contested state probe into "Troopergate."

Fighting back against allegations she may have fired her then-Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, for refusing to go along with a personal vendetta, Palin on Monday argued in a legal filing that she fired Monegan because he had a "rogue mentality" and was bucking her administration's directives.

"The last straw," her lawyer argued, came when he planned a trip to Washington, D.C., to seek federal funds for an aggressive anti-sexual-violence program. The project, expected to cost from $10 million to $20 million a year for five years, would have been the first of its kind in Alaska, which leads the nation in reported forcible rape.

The McCain-Palin campaign echoed the charge in a press release it distributed Monday, concurrent with Palin's legal filing. "Mr. Monegan persisted in planning to make the unauthorized lobbying trip to D.C.," the release stated.

But the governor's staff authorized the trip, according to an internal travel document from the Department of Public Safety, released Friday in response to an open records request.

The document, a state travel authorization form, shows that Palin's chief of staff, Mike Nizich, approved Monegan's trip to Washington, D.C., "to attend meeting with Senator Murkowski." The date next to Nizich's signature reads June 18.

In response to inquiries about the document Friday, the McCain-Palin campaign provided a statement from Randy Ruaro, another aide to Palin.

According to Ruaro, Monegan asked for -- and received -- approval for the travel without telling Palin's staff his reason for going. "As a matter of routine, the travel was approved by Mike Nizich ... weeks before the actual purpose was made clear by former Commissioner Monegan," Ruaro wrote.

"When you receive permission to travel, it does not mean that you receive blanket authorization to discuss or do whatever you would like on that trip," he added.

Last week a legislative panel approved a subpoena for Nizich to be interviewed by Stephen Branchflower, the prosecutor hired to conduct the Alaska Legislature's inquiry into Troopergate. The Attorney General informed the Legislature earlier this week that Nizich and other state employees subpoenaed in the matter would not submit to interviews.

Nizich did not respond to a message left Friday afternoon.

In Palin's court filing Monday  toto s p toan investigation by her state Personnel Board she earlier had requested  her lawyer, Thomas V. Van Flein, included numerous emails from her staff expressing confusion and incredulity over Monegan's planned D.C. trip. None of those emails were sent by or to Nizich, although he was cc'd on several.

Contacted Friday, Monegan confirmed the travel authorization was to pursue funding for the anti-sexual-violence program. He said the travel authorization form was completed in a fashion consistent with practice, even though it showed no expenditures. The signed form approved the travel, he said, and authorized him to use a government credit card or seek reimbursement for expenses he incurred during the trip.

Monegan said he didn't know why Palin's chief of staff approved a trip that confounded her other aides. "It sounds like it's a breakdown of communication internal to the governor's staff," he said.

Great job, Justin, ABC!

Saradise Lost - Chapter Seventy-Three -- Does Mooselini Think The VP is in a League of Her Own?

from an article by Kevin Bogardus:

Vice President Dick Cheney has said his office only partially belongs to the executive branch. Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden disagrees and Republican rival Sarah Palin isn’t saying.

Sen. Biden (Del.) believes the office he is seeking is solely in the executive branch, according to his staff. But aides to Alaska Gov. Palin did not answer the question.

“Unlike Dick Cheney, Joe Biden won’t have to create a full employment plan for lawyers and scholars to clear up something that was unquestioned for about 200 years. The vice president is part of the executive branch, period. End of story,” said Biden spokesman David Wade.
In turn, a spokesman for the Republican presidential campaign did not answer the question. Instead, he e-mailed remarks Palin gave at a campaign rally in Golden, Colo., on Monday.

Palin did not say what branch of government she believes the vice president’s office is part of in those remarks. Instead, Palin said she and Republican presidential nominee John McCain had discussed what responsibilities she would take on as his second-in-command.

“My mission is going to be energy, security and government reform and another thing near and dear to my heart: It’s going to be helping families who have special needs and children with special needs,” said Palin.

A Cheney spokesperson declined to comment for this story.

Cheney has argued that his office is not fully part of the executive branch or the legislative branch, but instead part of both.

Aides to Cheney have used that argument at times to avoid disclosure of certain records, such as documents detailing privately paid travel taken by officials, and releasing names of the office’s employees to the federal directory known as the Plum Book. Wade said Biden would disclose those records.

“He will end the Cheney era of secrecy in the vice presidency and transparency, transparency, transparency will be the new mantra. This will be the most open and transparent administration in history,” said the Biden spokesman.

Saradise Lost - Chapter Seventy-Two -- More Tracking...

Saradise Lost - Chapter Seventy-One -- Q & A Session

The word has gotten out somehow, and I'm getting lots of requests to be a guest on national, regional and international call-in radio shows. Twice now on Air America (Ron Kuby and Lionel), at some right-wing call-in programs, and so on. Some of the same questions are asked again and again.

Shannyn Moore has been on a lot of these types of shows too, so I've asked her for advice. I've also recommended that listeners go to our progressive Alaskans' blogs, particularly Alaska Real, Bent Alaska, Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis, Just a Girl From Homer, Kodiak Konfidential, Mudflats, own the sidewalk, The Immoral Minority, and What Do I Know? (all hyper-linked at the right hand side of this page)

Listeners and hosts seem most fascinated and shocked by the story on why House Bill 270 had to be crafted (or "Crofted," as I'm starting to describe). Even more disturbing is the simple, disturbing truth that had the Anchorage Daily News covered this story in detail, and given it true perspective back in 1999 and 2000 when this story was very, very important, we might never have had Sarah Palin for a governor, let alone potentially, "a heartbeat away from the presidency."

And the ADN still is not covering the story. Why not?

Here are some very short questions, with their answers:

Q --- Is Troopergate dead?
A --- No and NO

Q --- Is Palin a "reformer?"
A --- Randy Reudrich, the corrupt pol she has always claimed to have brought down, still maintains his power base, as chair of the Alaska GOP, and she is using him to further her campaign. The Alaska legislature passed our new oil and gas fees and incentives packages. Palin merely signed the bills. The FBI created the "reform" climate here, not Sarah Palin. Palin's claim that she "reformed Wasilla" is a downright, sleazy lie.

Q --- Did she really direct the Wasilla Police Department to charge rape victims for the investigations of their own complaints?
A --- Yes.

Q -- Does Palin really have ties to right-wing militias, a white power separatist group, the John Birch Society and other weird groups?
A --- the investigation is continuing, by national experts. Stay tuned.

Q --- Why is she so popular in Alaska
A --- luck, Alaskans' own selfishness (read $1,200 bribes to every Alaskan), and the lack of follow-up by the editors, publishers and producers in Alaska media, when their reporters give these bosses important leads on potential Palin stories. The national media and national and Alaska bloggers have taken up the cause, though.

Q --- Does she want creationism taught in public schools?
A --- Her views on this have "evolved" over the years, but in the 2006 gubernatorial debates, she is on record on multiple occasions as wanting "both sides of the debate" to be taught in science classes. By this, she means that she believes "intelligent design" in science curriculum, to be defensible in the Alaska and U.S. courts.

Q --- Is her family a typical Alaska family?
A --- Absolutely not, as should be obvious. I try not to go there, though. What people have seen already should be ample evidence of a fairly dysfunctional family. By anyone's standards, including Alaskans'.

Q --- If McCain and Palin lose, will she return to Alaska as popular as before?
A --- Perhaps, briefly, but probably not. She will be a one-term governor, at best. As more details about her dealings in Troopergate emerge after the election, she may even undergo an early 2009 impeachment and trial in the Alaska Legislature.

image - Rob Rogers - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Saradise Lost - Chapter Seventy -- Sarah's Message To The Future - Or Not?

This official portrait of Wasilla City Council member Sarah Palin, was taken in 1995, as she was planning her run against John Stein for his office as mayor. At that time, her husband, who is now refusing to honor a valid subpoena from the the State of Alaska, was a member of the Alaska Independence Party. It is a group that advocates a citizen's responsibility not to honor such "illegal subpoenas."

The document opened up in her three-ring binder is a copy of a mass-mailed flyer from the John Birch Society. She probably got it along with the other council members. It hasn't been determined yet whether or not it normally would have ended up bound as it appears in front of her. Next to it is an unopened copy of the magazine, The New American.

Confronted with this information, Palin spokesperson Michael Goldfarb says, "This photo from the early to mid 90s shows the Governor having her photo taken in front of a three ring binder of information from local citizens presented regularly to Wasilla council members by the town clerk. These binders featured material given by members of the public to all council members."

William N. Grigg stated today that, "I was a Senior Editor of The New American at the time the "Con-Con Call" story was published. We did send thousands of reprints of that story to every state and local policy-maker we could identify. I'm pretty sure Mrs. Palin's only contact with the JBS in this matter was receiving a copy of the reprint from local members."

I'm not so sure. At the time this happened, Palin was gearing up a campaign against Wasilla Mayor Stein, that was comprised of the following basic elements:

-- Eliminate the new Wasilla Police Department
-- Do away with taxes, including the recent city sales tax
-- John Stein's wife is a Democrat
-- John Stein's wife has a different last name than Stein
-- John Stein's wife is a baby killer (pro-choice)
-- John Stein might be Jewish

I was there. I watched that campaign unfold, bringing out a level of slime our community hadn't seen until then.

It makes it hard for me to believe, that, with all the stuff a city council member gets to go through, she somehow blindly chose those pages to show for her portrait.