Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lisa Murkowski Concedes to Teabagger - End of the 30-Year Murkowski Family Reign

The numbers started to go Sen. Murkowski's way this morning. Alaska election officials were counting absentee and questioned ballots from last week's GOP primary for her U.S. Senate seat. Trailing Tea Bag Express favorite, Joe Miller by less than 2,000 votes, she didn't close the gap enough by late afternoon today to make the numbers add up. Late in the afternoon Murkowski conceded.

Though polls were released over the weekend showing Murkowski might handily win a three-way contest as a Libertarian Party candidate, Sunday that party's governing board in Alaska voted 5-0 to not offer her a rent-a-party slot (something that has been done in Alaska before, resulting in the election of Wally Hickel in 1990).

Sen. Lisa Murkowski replaced her father, Frank, in the U.S. Senate by being appointed to a vacancy by the governor. Frank Murkowski had had to leave his senate seat to become that governor, creating the vacancy necessitating the appointment.

One of the candidates interviewed for the vacancy had been newly out-of-work Wasilla mayor, Sarah Palin. Since Frank's appointment of his daughter to the seat over the less qualified Palin, the latter has been chafing for revenge. The first episode was her defeat of Frank in the 2006 gubernatorial primary. Gov. Murkowski had been terribly inept. Today was the final episode.

I predicted the strong possibility of Joe Miller's victory over Murkowski in this primary back in July. So I wasn't "stunned," as were many.

Actually, I had hoped for it. Joe Miller is not Alaska. He wouldn't have beaten Lisa Murkowski without a huge infusion of campaign cash from the Koch Brothers and a ballot proposition designed to bring out fundamentalists and evangelicals to the polls.

The Alaska and national Democratic Party apparatchiks have yet to digest what a gift Miller presents them. As Howie Klein, one of the most savvy progressive analysts of politics in the country observed Sunday:

McAdams isn't a conservative corporate shill and isn't interested in enriching himself at the public's expense. The DSCC doesn't know how to deal with that kind of candidate.

Grassroots Alaskans do.

Our most dependable correspondent in Alaska, Phil Munger, has been raving to me about McAdams for months. And this week I finally spoke with Scott on the phone. He seemed committed to a kind of economic populism that results in winning campaigns in the West. In other words, Scott McAdams is more interested in solving real problems real American families face than in staking out ideological positions.

If the Alaska and national Democratic party organization can energize McAdams' campaign, he will beat this teabagger who looks and thinks a lot more like the unibomber than he resembles any of our constitutional founding fathers he is do fond of ripping off.

Scott McAdams will be this coming Saturday's Blue America guest at Crooks & Liars. 11:00 a.m. Pacific time Saturday.Howie will host Scott for two hours of questions. Who knows, maybe even Teabagger Joe Miller will show up to ask a question or two. Whatever, check Scott out then.

Miller Going Over the Edge? - You Betcha!

I. Joe Miller and his supporters are starting to go nuts. Echoing Josef Stalin's quote (which may or may not be an urban myth), Josef Stalin-Miller seems to be saying, "It's not who votes who counts, it's who counts the votes!"

I agree. But his supporters are all but accusing the Murkowski camp of using telepathic messages and astral projection to change the outcome of Alaska's closely contested GOP primary race for the 2010 U.S. Senate seat slot in the final. Their nuttiness is showing even more than their magic underwear.

Frankly, should Miller win in November, we'll be closer to a Stalinist reality than the purported quote above might indicate:

In the late 1930s, during the height of the Stalinist purges of theCommunist Party and Red Army, Stalin gave a speech to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. It was a long, incredibly polemical speech, as was and is the habit of Communist leaders. After Stalin completed the speech, the hall, with about 1,400 members present, erupted in enormous applause. It kept growing louder for minutes. It went on for at least a half an hour before members started looking around and craning their necks to see if anyone had already stopped. None had. All kept clapping for a while longer. Finally one member stopped. Soon everyone began putting their tired, reddened hands down.

The next day, nobody could find the first member who had stopped applauding. They never did.

That is closer to what a Joe Miller kind of government would be than what we now have.

I have an image that Joe is waiting for the call from Sarah Palin in which she asks, "Why don't you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?"

II. Of course these machines - the Diebold Accuvote system - can be manipulated. It's quite funny that it is finally wingnut Teabaggers who are bringing the long-known flaws in the machines, how they are used and how the votes are collated and tabulated at higher levels to the fore in the Alaska press:

The Division of Elections investigated and found the most alarming allegation in the Van Flein complaint was unfounded. Van Flein alleged Roman used the state computer at the Division of Elections office in Wasilla and that for 20 minutes "this Murkowski observer was in the state's voter records viewing private information and, we are told, accessed the state's election management system."

Van Flein wrote in the complaint that the state's Diebold voting software "contains vulnerabilities that may allow someone to install malicious software to discount votes." Van Flein suggested that there may need to be a hand count of ballots or an IT computer audit in order to verify that Roman didn't do anything like that.

Elections officials said Roman did request access to the computer with the state's voter registration system but was not allowed. Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai said he would have not been able to compromise the system anyway. "There is no GEMS server in the Wasilla office, so there's no way the state ballot tabulation system was compromised," Fenumiai said.

Van Flein said Monday night that the complaint was verified by Miller election observers on the scene. "We have a statement from an eye witness establishing that the Murkowski observer in fact was using the Division of Elections desk top computer for up to 10 minutes," he said.

Alaska Division of Elections Director Fenumiai disputed that, saying the observer did not use any state computer.

Elections officials said Roman did break the rules by texting from inside the ballot room. He also tried to bring a large bag into the room, against instructions, which Miller campaign lawyer Van Flein described as a potential way to make ballots "disappear."

It's obvious to me that all the GOP ballot votes need to be seized. They need to be gone over by a panel of experts, inch by inch. Micron by micron, under a spectrograph (there may be fake ballots in there, you know). Bev Harris should be called up here to head a commission appointed by Gov. Sean Parnell to investigate it.

Thomas van Flein, on instructions from Sarah Palin and Glen Beck can talk about it hourly on FOX. They should investigate, deliberate, lie, threaten and sue at least through the third week of October.

All Miller's supporters in this should be allowed to carry semi-automatic weapons with two extra clips into all the deliberations.

III. Meanwhile, rational people can do this.

Riki Ott on Shannyn Moore Tuesday Morning - Continuing Use of Toxic Dispersants in the Gulf

Alaska's preeminent environmentalist, Riki Ott, will be on Shannyn Moore's KUDO - AM talk radio program this morning, from the beginning of the program, just after 11:00 a.m. Alaska time. Ott will be discussing the apparent continuing use of Corexit and other dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico.

Progressive Alaska has covered the use of dispersants there more than any other Alaska blog. Ott was already the world's leading opponent of dispersant use, and expert on their dangers before the ongoing spill (or spills), and her knowledge about them has grown immensely, as BP and the U.S. government have sought to hide both the amount of application being administered, how and where it is being done, and - most importantly - the widening toxic effects of the criminal use of these products.

The Mudflats has reprinted a long, annotated article/letter by Riki Ott, written on August 27th to Sam Coleman, head of the U.S. Evironmental Protection Agency, Region Six.

Here's a link to the article at The Mudflats. It is powerful, persuasive. It will be ignored. Here is how Dr. Ott's letter to Coleman begins:

Dear Mr. Coleman,

During the August 25 Dockside Chat in Jean Lafitte, LA, it came to our attention that the federal agencies were unaware — or lacking proof — of the continued spraying of dispersants from Louisiana to Florida. Further, the federal agencies were woefully ignorant of the presence of subsurface oil-dispersant plumes and sunken oil on ocean and estuary water bottoms. We offer evidence to support our statements, including a recently declassified subsurface assessment plan from the Incident Command Post.

But first, you mentioned that such activities (continued spraying of dispersants and sinking oil) — if proven — would be “illegal.” As you stated, sinking agents are not allowed in oil spill response under the National Contingency Plan Subpart J §300.910 (e): “Sinking agents shall not be authorized for application to oil discharges.”

Please be careful, Riki!

image - Riki and Shannyn in less troubling times - PA

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Meet Scott McAdams - Alaska Populist

--- by Howie Klein

Did I ever love Michael Chabon's book, The Yiddish Policemen's Union!

And until this week, that's all I-- or most Americans from the Lower 48 who haven't cruised Alaska-- knew about Sitka, Alaska. I know a lot more now because Sikta's mayor, Scott McAdams, won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by super-corrupt ex-Senator/Governor Frank Murkowski's appointed daughter Lisa. (Yeah, ole Frank appointed her when he left the Senate to become governor.)

Anyway, the Beltway Democrats didn't think much about Alaska because they figured Lisa had a lock on the seat. Bob Menendez at the DSCC had been absolutely wrong about everything since he started running that show and, right now, it looks like Murkowski was defeated by radical right teabagger Joe Miller-- the Sarah Palin candidate who ran on an anti-Choice platform (with an anti-Choice referendum on the ballot to pull the loons out to the polls).

We won't know who won the GOP nod until Tuesday, when the dog sleds bring the last of the ballots in for counting but Miller is around 1,700 votes ahead of Murkowski and Murkowski is threatening to run as a Libertarian spoiler. Which means this is now a key race.

So while the DSCC wonders if they can somehow maneuver perennial loser Tony Knowles onto the ticket instead of McAdams-- or perhaps the brilliant Menendez can figure out how to get Cal Cunningham to be the candidate-- actual Alaskans are uniting behind McAdams with great enthusiasm-- and for all the same reasons the DSCC is so uninterested.

McAdams isn't a conservative corporate shill and isn't interested in enriching himself at the public's expense. The DSCC doesn't know how to deal with that kind of candidate.

Grassroots Alaskans do.

Our most dependable correspondent in Alaska, Phil Munger, has been raving to me about McAdams for months. And this week I finally spoke with Scott on the phone. He seemed committed to a kind of economic populism that results in winning campaigns in the West. In other words, Scott McAdams is more interested in solving real problems real American families face than in staking out ideological positions.

So while his half-crazed probable opponent, nutty Mr. Miller, runs around burying guns in his backyard, Scott is talking with Alaska voters about jobs, the economy, the environment, energy and housing.

Next weekend he'll be the Blue America candidate at Crooks and Liars (Saturday 11am, PT). I hope you'll come by to say hello and hear what he has to say. Meanwhile, if you want to help him get his message out, we added him to our Senate Candidates Worth Fighting For page.

And if you want to prepare for next week's session, here's an extensive interview with Mayor McAdams that was done on The Mudflats early in June.

Joe Miller was on Face The Nation today. I'm not sure if he's just terribly ignorant-- on a Sarah Palin level-- or a boldfaced liar, but his vision for America could arguably work if he figures out how to turn back the clock to the 17th or perhaps 18th Century. The Law of the Jungle just won't do in the 21st-- not even in Alaska, not even if we were all to follow his lead and start digging up the permafrost and burying guns in our backyards.

This guy is clearly in a category of dangerous Know Nothings right up there with Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, Mike Lee, Pat Toomey, Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio-- the whole anti-USA Jim DeMint crowd of sociopaths and nihilists, who want to abolish Social Security, let Wall Street and Big Business "regulate" themselves, and make little things like healthcare, safe food and water and education the exclusive realm of the wealthy.

[What Howie was observing on Miller is reinforced in comments coming in on the latter's explanation of what the so-called Social Security obligation is. Miller's spewing talking points from the Teabaggers that can easily be put in their place by the McAdams campaign. Here's from one comment from the Youtube link:

Treasury bonds are nothing more than IOUs?

Someone who doesn't understand what "full faith and credit" means has no business pontificating on the nature of the Social Security Trust, and certainly has no business holding Federal office.

Scott's gonna tear this creep to shreds.

Donate to Howie's Scott McAdams page HERE.

More coming.]

New Poll Out- Scott McAdams Easily Within Reach - About to Kick Some Butt?

There is a lot of information contained in the poll released this afternoon by the North Carolina polling firm, Public Polling Policy. The poll concentrates on possible two-way and three-way matchups in Alaska's November 2nd U.S. senate seat election, 63 days away. According to PPP's report, "PPP surveyed 1,306 likely voters on August 27th and 28th."

On the 26th, we had an election.

On the 27th people were just beginning to figure out who Scott McAdams is.

On the 28th - over a weekend - questions were just beginning to emerge about Joe Miller's automobile accident Friday morning in Fairbanks. Until somebody uncovers the exact time of the accident, and connects that to his phone records for tweets and calls, what we may have here is another low information Alaska political poll that will end up being meaningless by the middle of the coming week.

Here are some important figures that came out in this poll:

52% of those polled reacted unfavorably to Joe Miller - before the Murkowski tweets and auto accident were made public. Only 12% hadn't yet made up their minds on how they view him.

53% of those polled had yet to frame any opinion of the all-but-unknown Mayor of Sitka, a town the size of Wasilla. Most probably knew almost nothing about McAdams.

In a two-way matchup between Miller and McAdams, here's their result:

If the candidates for US Senate this fall were Republican Joe Miller and Democrat Scott McAdams, who would you vote for?

Joe Miller ........................................................ 47%
Scott McAdams............................................... 39%
Undecided....................................................... 14%

Miller, coming in at less than 50%, just before a series of scandals are likely to keep on cascading, is in deep, deep, deep doo-doo.

You can donate to Scott here

Here's his Unity Day Dinner speech, given last Thursday.

Spread the word:

Scott can beat the crap out of this twisted Teabagger with one hand tied behind Scott's back.

New PA Poll - Which Day More Deserves to Be Called "Sarah Palin Day" - August 29th or July 3rd?

The most obsequious of Palin shrines, C4P, headlined another fawning article on the quitter today, "August 29th: Sarah Palin Day."

I've already labelled July 3rd, the anniversary of Palin's 2009 resignation announcement "Quitterday." To me, that day seems more appropriate as "Sarah Palin Day" than the one on which John McCain doomed his 2008 campaign.

Here's PA's poll:

Which day should be known as Palin Day?:

The day she told us she quit - July 3

The day she doomed McCain - August 29

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Compare and Contrast - Two 8/28 Speeches: Martin Luther King vs. Glenn Beck

Beck is quite loony. But we already knew that.

The best critical review of this bizarre rant so far is by David Neiwert at Crooks & Liars:

Glenn Beck promised there wouldn't "be a dry eye in the house" after his big speech today at the Lincoln Memorial for his "Restoring Honor" rally -- because, you know, it was going to be "so stirring."

Riiiiight. Well, Glenn Beck's eyes certainly weren't dry. He started weeping while telling the crowd that somewhere out there was "the next George Washington".

Dunno about you, but when I saw pan shots of the crowd -- which was one of the whitest crowds in D.C. in recent memory -- I mostly thought I saw "the next Timothy McVeigh." But your mileage may vary.

As for the speech itself: Lunesta in verbal form. I'm having to pick my head up from my desk just to write something about it.

Thoughts on an Alaska State Fair Confrontation Gone Viral

Shannyn Moore posted this video yesterday:

I. This guy, Sydney Hill, has been around the Mat-Su Valley with his Lyndon LaRouche paraphernalia for some time. He usually stands on one of the corners at the intersection of the Glenn and Palmer-Wasilla Highways, with his truck, signs and picture of Obama with Hitler moustache.

I suppose Hill's image was here and there on the internet before the youtube of the Thursday state fair incident got posted. Early last winter, Wasilla photographer and blogger, Bill Hess, posted an image of him, taken at the book signing of Going Rogue at the Wasilla sports center:Here's how Bill Hess described his encounter with this LaRouche bag:

And then this disciple of Lyndon LaRouche came along, moving up the line towards me, telling people that Obama's health care plan was identical to Adolph Hitler's in the 1930's, that Obama was taking us to the same place of annihilation and death that Hitler took the Nazis.

To be certain, this was a pretty conservative crowd, but most of those in line ahead of me ignored him - some recoiled when he approached - but not all.

Although I had pledged to myself that I would be the dispassionate observer this day, my blood boiled when I saw the picture of Obama with the Photoshopped Hitler mustache, when I heard the hateful and false words that the man spoke.

He must have sensed this, because he approached everyone in line ahead of me, but very deliberately stepped around me to the next person behind, the one that he shows his literature to here.

This man listened, looked and accepted his literature. After the follower of Lyndon LaRouche moved on, the man behind me held the picture of Obama up in front of the lady who appeared to be his girlfriend.

"This is classic!" he said. "This is a real classic!"

This was at the same December 22, 2009 book signing at the sports complex from which one of Alaska's preeminent political bloggers, Jessie Griffin, was ejected by the Wasilla police:

There were a few calls of "Sarah, Sarah" before the line started to wind its way up the stairs to have their audience with Queen Ester of the North. I thought "We better hurry if we are going to find a good place to set up our camera."

My first hint that something may be wrong down in Who-ville was when I was asked for my ID, not once, but twice. Then as Dennis and I were about to sign in, and the lady behind the desk took our picture with a little digital camera! WTF? I have never had anybody do that before at any other event that I attended as a media representative. I wondered why there was such tight security, unaware that my question was only seconds from being answered.

Almost as soon as I had my picture taken I felt a hand on my shoulder.

I turned around and came face to face with a local police officer who quickly apologized and then informed me that I was on the "banned list".

"I am on the WHAT list?" I asked.

"The banned list sir, I am going to have to escort you off of the property. This is a private event."

I looked over and saw Dennis talking to somebody else, and clearly receiving the same information.

On my way toward the door I stopped to wait for Dennis so that we could leave together, however the police officer again placed his hand on my shoulder and insisted that I continue on toward the exit. They clearly were under orders to get me off of the premises as quickly as possible.

Outside Dennis joined me and told me that he had learned that both he and I were on the banned list, along with Shannyn Moore, and that they even had pictures of us to reference for quick identification.

Another reporter headed toward the entrance overheard us and asked us if there were REALLY a "banned list". "Yes there is, and we are on it" was our reply. "I have never heard of that!" she said. Welcome to Sarah Palin's Wasilla.

So, in Sarah Palin land this LaRouche kook, who most likely was as armed at the book signing as he was at the fair, is allowed to spew his racist bile, but Jesse Griffin, who would do pretty much anything to help anybody in need, is thrown out of the building.

Reaction to the way Sydney Hill was dealt with at the Alaska State Fair has been mixed. Knowing that a guy this unhinged was armed is troubling. If he had a conceal-carry permit, it will now be revoked. He is probably going to face charges of trespassing, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace [see update at the bottom of this post].

Here's the official statement from the Alaska State Fair:

Regarding the incident on the Alaska State Fair Fairgrounds 26 August 2010:

Our concern is first and foremost the safety of our fairgoers, the families with their children who should be able to enjoy the fair without disturbance or potential danger.

We are in touch with the company with whom we have a contract for fair security to review what transpired. We are also in touch with the Palmer Police on this matter.

Because the fairgrounds is on private property, we reserve the right to remove someone from the premises who is creating a disruption or may pose a threat to the safety of others.

We welcome diverse viewpoints and have a structure in place at the Alaska State Fair that allows for peaceful discord and exchange at our vendor and organization booth area.

Comments at the State Fair's facebook page are fairly mixed, with a lot of people misunderstanding how the 1st and 2nd amendments - and others - pertain to a situation like this. In the comments section of the Frontiersman article on the incident, one can detect a lot of anti-Obama animosity:

The AK State Fair and their spokesman Mr. Phipps, may not understand the meaning of the First Amendment(speech), Second Amendment(firearms) and Fourth Amendment (search and seizure), but their vendors will certainly understand the meaning of less silver in their tills. Until the values of the AK State Fair management again reflect American values, I'm going to keep my money at home and not patronize the Fair. BOYCOTT THE FAIR.


What if the protester had 12 people standing next to each with 1 letter on their T Shirts that spelled "Impeach Obama"? Would the security guards just ask them stand so the letters were random? This sign consisting of people in T shirts could sit on one of those park benches. I'm betting that there would be an "unwritten" rule about this too?

and this weird comment:

I heard they are planning on building a mosque where he was arrested.

Update: In the comments, Brian writes "Hey Professor, he's already been charged. He was arraigned friday with criminal trespassing 2, disorderly conduct, and assault 4."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Joe Miller, Trying to Make Up for Morning Tweets, Sends Series of Tweets to Palin and Beck

Apparent Alaska GOP primary U.S. Senate race winner, Teabagger Joe Miller, after being caught this morning in a bizarre tweet comparing incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski to a hooker, seems to be trying to get back into the good graces of somebody this afternoon. I've managed to get hold of this series of tweets from Joe to Sarah Palin, that were mysteriously pulled within seconds of having been sent from Miller's blackberry. Apparently, they relate to Palin's scheduled appearance on Saturday at Ground Zero of the American civil rights movement's 1960s era battles for equal rights for America's people of color.

From the text of some of the tweets, it seems that Miller is more aware of the historical context of Palin and Beck speaking at the Washington Monument on the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" epochal oration than are either Beck or Palin. Palin left college in Hawaii because there were too many brown people. She consistently treated minorities condescendingly in Alaska during her self-aborted term as governor. She tweeted merrily away in defense of Dr. Laura's racial insults in early August. She has supported Miller, and seems to want to take credit for Miller having taken the lead in this long count election, and will no doubt send coded words during the address at this sacred ground to her devoted acolytes, worshippers and followers. Beck, just today told reporters that the fact that he and Palin are speaking at the Ground Zero Monument on this hallowed day is a mere "coincidence."

Maybe that's what pushed Joe Miller over the top. Here is the Progressive Alaska exclusive set of tweets emanating from Miller's blackberry in the cab of a totally wrecked pickup truck in Fairbanks:

Ground Zero Monument rally supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Teabaggers, pls refudiate

this was followed moments later by:

Peaceful Teabaggers, pls refute the Ground Zero rally plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Selma, Montgomery - other places - is too raw, too real

and then:

Peace-seeking Teabaggers, pls understand Ground Zero Monument rally is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts.Pls reject in interest of healing

followed by:

Will Sarah and Glen express US lingering pain&ask Teabaggers for tolerance by discouraging 8/28 rally while they celebrate making another $million tonight?

He's getting hot. Next was:

Governor, Beckster, should you or should you not hold a rally steps away from where MLK spoke to 200,000 people? Your position?

Seconds later, Miller tweeted:

We all know that you have the right to do it, but should you? This is not above your pay grade.


Governor, did you encourage Beck to accept David Duke's offer of land by a hanging tree in Louisiana or outside a motel in Nashville if you move from hallowed ground at Washington mnmt?

by this time, maybe Joe Miller was getting frustrated, with steam coming out from underneath the hood of his wrecked pickup truck:

Governor, why are you so set on marking an area w/Beck-hate from what you described, in agreement with many, as "hallowed ground"?

Then, Joe sent just one more bizarre tweet, as the police wanted to get his statement at the accident scene:

8/28 rally = act of fitna, equivalent to bldg David Duke HQ next to Medger Evars monument

Later in the day, when confronted by reporters on this flash of disappeared tweets, Miller's campaign blamed it on the stress of the accident, uh - too little sleep, uh - a junior staffer who has since resigned.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin has retired for the night, dreaming, once again, of reloading:

Joe Miller, Losing It Momentarily, Tweets That Lisa Murkowski is a Hooker

Just after 11:00 a.m. apparent GOP Alaska primary winner for the U.S. Senate race, Joe Miller, tweeted:

What's the difference between selling out your party's values and the oldest profession?



Soon afterward the tweet was deleted, but the damage to his campaign might not be so easy to erase.

The Alaska blog, The Mudflats, is headlining the tweet:

Joe Miller Calls senator Lisa Murkowski a Whore?

Justin Elliott at Salon.com headlines his story:

Miller suggests Murkowski is a prostitute

The Washington Post is headlining their article:

Joe Miller compres Murkowski third-party bid to prostitution

Democratic Party nominee for this Senate seat race, Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams, hasn't yet commented on Miller's major gaffe, but his campaign is aware that this isn't the first time a statement by Miller has raised the eyebrows of feminists. Miller is staunchly anti-choice.

Word just in that Miller is reputed to have been in a three-car wreck this morning in Fairbanks. apparently, one of the three drivers, who rear-ended another, was tweeting.

Some wrecks are easier to fix than others.

(more on the car wreck as information comes in. I heard it on Shannyn Moore's KUDO AM talk radio program)

Gryph at the Immoral Minority isn't quibbling in his headline on this:

Joe Miller refers to Lisa Murkowski as a whore! Boy that Sarah Palin sure can pick'em!

Yes she can!

image - by Aaron Jansen from The Alaska Dispatch

Thursday, August 26, 2010

AFL-CIO Solidarity March in Anchorage Before Trumka Speech

Alaska AFL-CIO head Vince Beltrami with USA AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka

Thursday was the main business and public outreach day at the ongoing Alaska AFL-CIO convention, being held at the union worker friendly Captain Cook Hotel, created by the late Wally Hickel. Two big events were planned to reinforce the outreach message.

One, well publicized, was AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka's evening keynote speech, in which he was to criticize the radical and hateful environment that has spawned the elevation of Sarah Palin to national prominence. The other was to gather convention attendees, local union workers and their supporters, to march on two Anchorage hotels that are in violation of labor agreements.

At about 3:00 p.m. union workers started gathering on 6th Avenue in front of the hotel, picking up signs, instructions and safety equipment for the mile-long march.

Some 2010 political candidates showed up. In front of the green utility case is AK-AL U.S. House Democratic Party candidate, Harry Crawford, talking to a supporter.

Here's Vince, independent commentator Shannyn Moore and Rich, smiling in the warmth of a vibrant late summer day and the even more powerful warmth of so many union members being stirred to political action.

The march, scheduled for 3:30 p.m, is forming up.

Union brothers and sisters, talking, laughing, sharing stories.

Rich and Vince, leading the way, singing a song of solidarity and defiance.

Ray Metcalfe, 2007 Alaska Muckraker of the Year, and the guy who insitgated the Veco corruption investigations, doing his blackberry. He's not into singing.

The Anchorage Laborors local, in their orange solidarity garb.

A panorama of about half of the marchers as they headed toward the Anchorage Sheraton Hotel.

I had to leave to attend a rehearsal and to teach my next class.

Later in the afternoon, Richard Trumka gave a speech that riveted the overflow crowd in the Captain Cook ballroom. I was teaching, so couldn't attend. Here's part of what Mr. Trumka had to say to American workers:

Palinism will become an ugly word. Who is this woman, anyway? What happened to her?

She used to have a job, your governor. You knew her. ... Or thought you did. ... I know I thought I did. She seemed like a decent person, an outdoorswoman. Her husband’s a steelworker. She seemed to take some OK stands for working families.

And then things got weird. After she tied herself to John McCain and they lost, she blew off Alaska. I guess she figured she’d trade up … shoot for a national stage. Alaska was too far from the Fox TV spotlight.

“nstead, she’s hanging out on cable TV, almost a parody of herself, coming out with conspiracy theories about Obama and his ‘death panels.’ ... Talking about ‘the real America.’ Talking about building schools in ‘our neighboring country of Afghanistan.’ Writing speech notes to herself on her hands.

Sometimes — about Sarah Palin — you just have to laugh. ... But it’s not really funny.

In this charged political environment, her kind of talk gets dangerous. ‘Don’t retreat … reload’ may seem clever, the kind of bull you hear all the time, but put it in context. She’s using crosshairs to illustrate targeted legislators. She’s on the wrong side of the line there. She’s getting close to calling for violence. And some of her fans take that stuff seriously. We’ve got legislators in America who have been living with death threats since the health care votes.

It is interesting that this important speech took place in the classiest hotel in Alaska, created by a man once enamored with Palin - as had been Trumka - but eventually disgusted. A hotel created by a man whose funeral Palin almost seemed to be crashing, as she showed distasteful body language to draw attention to herself at one of our state's most solemn events. (At least she learned enough from that so that when she appeared at Ted Stevens' funeral, she meekly accepted being quietly shunned)

Here's a link to Richard Trumka's entire speech. I'm not going to link to Palin's tweets or facebook crap. Tomorrow, I'll take them up when addressing her upcoming defilement of Dr. Martin Luther King.

all images - PA

New Music Festival Premieres Tonight in Anchorage

A new, Anchorage-based music festival, will have its inaugural concert this evening at the Fine Arts Building Recital Hall at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Parking is free, and the concert is a bargain.

The orchestra has been holding youth and children workshops this week, as players have gathered from around America, Canada and the world to teach and perform.

There will be concerts Thursday through Sunday, at four locations:

August 26th
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
UAA Fine Arts Recital Hall

August 27th
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Discovery Theater

August 28th
8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
St. Andrew's Catholic Church

August 29th
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Discovery Theater

There are detailed descriptions of the concerts and their programs at this page.

Here are some of the musicians, rehearsing this afternoon in my classroom at UAA:

Who Is Scott McAdams? - Introducing Scott

Wednesday evening, with the backdrop of a luscious late summer Alaska sunset over Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Democratic Party U.S. Senate candidate, Sitka Mayor, Scott McAdams, addressed the post-primary Alaska Democrats Unity Dinner. The dinner is designed to bring candidates back together after the sometimes hard-fought battles of internal politics. And to raise campaign money.

Scott was the event's last speaker. He knew that national attention has turned somewhat to this race, as Tea Party Express know-nothing Jim Miller seems to be beating incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Steve Aufrecht, blogger at What Do I Know? made a video of Scott's speech. He has cut out some of the raucous applause.

Introducing Scott McAdams. He's REAL, folks:

You can donate to Scott McAdams here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The BP Halloween Costume - A Best Seller

I think Joe Miller would look good in one, eh?

Democratic Party Unity Dinner This Evening at Kincaid - Scott McAdams Will Speak

From the Alaska Democrats:

The Alaska Democratic Party is holding a Unity Celebration Dinner and Auction tonight from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

Scott McAdams will be attending and addressing the audience. Come by and hear our US Senate Candidate deliver his first post primary address.

The location for the Unity Dinner is the Kincaid Park Chalet, 9401 Raspberry Rd, Anchorage AK.

The admission price is $50.00 per ticket and it includes a dinner of Grilled Salmon and Patrick's Turkey Fry, Roasted Red Potatoes, Steamed Green Beans, Garden Salad, and Rolls. Each ticket holder also has a choice of three beverages (beer, wine, waters, soda).

But most importantly, this will be a memorable evening with our tremendous candidates for 2010 and hundreds of extraordinary, enthusiastic Democrats and Democrat supporters.

You can purchase your ticket at the door, but remaining seats are limited and will be sold on a first come first serve basis.

U.S. Senate Democratic Party Nominee Scott McAdams Press Conference in Anchorage

As reporters and Alaska Democratic Party staffers mingled before U.S. Senate candidate and Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams was to appear at his first post-primary press conference, staffers described how they had been fielding calls all morning, quashing rumors that the party is trying to convince ex-Alaska Governor, Tony Knowles to step in for McAdams, who isn't very well known outside of coastal Alaska.

That rumor and the one that claims the Murkowski campaign is considering "doing a Lieberman" seem to have both been started by local GOP pollster, Dave Dittman. Rumors aside, this promises to be a nationally featured race, and if the USA didn't know who Scott McAdams was this morning, one of Scott's replies today has been, "And who knew who Joe Miller was three weeks ago?"

Asked if he plans on stepping aside for Knowles, McAdams, who has quickly turned Sitka into a model progressive community, replied, "We're going to win this one, I'm confident about that."

McAdams' press conference, held in the midtown Anchorage headquarters of the Anchorage Democratic Party, was well attended, both by reporters in the room, and by phone participants from the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, National Fisherman, Fishing News and other outlets.

McAdams, who hasn't slept in about three days, looked fairly refreshed. The list of phone calls he needs to make is getting quite long. Fortunately, some of the people wanting to talk to Scott hope to help raise a lot of money for him from around the national progressive community.

The reporters got a good introduction to Scott's grasp of issues dear to Alaska's hundreds of coastal communities. No matter what one felt about the policies and programs Sen. ted Stevens and Sen. Lisa Murkowski pushed and implemented involving Alaska's fisheries and coastal development, everyone here knew these two senators to be both knowledgeable and powerful.

McAdams, who grew up working at sea from Ketchikan to the Bering Sea, is deeply committed to Alaska's most important sustainable industry. When asked about how he feels regarding the Obama administration's NOAA push for "spatial planning" and "coastal zone management" of fisheries that appears to be privatizing what had been public aspects of offshore fishing, McAdams strongly criticized the administration's new policy. When asked about the mega-gold mine being planned for the headwaters of the streams and rivers that feed the world's greatest Sockeye salmon fishery in Bristol Bay - Pebble Mine - McAdams spoke emotionally and eloquently about how we cannot jeopardize one of the world's few huge, priceless gems of wild creatures.

On the other hand, probable GOP candidate Miller has shown very little grasp or concern about Alaska coastal issues, and people are noticing.

When asked about comparisons between himself and the apparent victor of Alaska's GOP primary, Teabagger Joe Miller, McAdams didn't hold back, describing many of the views Miller holds as antiquated, 19th century thinking.

I'll update this post with links to the stories generated from the press conference. McAdams will be addressing an Alaska Democrats Unity Dinner this evening at Kincaid Park (at the ski chalet - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. - $50.00) in West Anchorage, along Cook Inlet, where a battle is being raged now over the fate of the Inlet's Beluga whale population.

The Unity Dinner will also feature our gubernatorial ticket of Ethan Berkowitz ad Diane Benson. Two years ago tomorrow, those two finished a very long primary campaign against each other for the AK-AL U.S. House seat. Now they are battling together.

Hopefully, Howie Klein will be able to feature Scott in one of the Saturday Blue America on-line sessions - possibly as early as this weekend.

A couple of points need to be stressed about the seeming upset of Sen. Lisa Murkowski yesterday by a teabagger, endorsed by Sarah Palin:

1) Alaska Ballot Measure Two was put on the primary ballot to bring out Evangelicals and Fundamentalists. It asked voters to overturn an Alaska Supreme Court decision that allowed teens to get abortions without parental consent. That ballot measure drew 131,077 votes. 77,000 voted to overturn the court decision.

Lisa Murkowski is one of the few GOP U.S. Senators who is pro-choice. Joe Miller is vehemently anti-choice. Voters who voted ballot measure 2 knew this.

2) Miller received slightly more than 45,000 votes. I'll bet those who voted for Miller, with few exceptions, also voted to overturn #2. So 22,000 people who voted for #2 also did not vote for Miller. Based on this, I find the meme being promoted by Palin supporters that her support was vital, to be overblown. Even in an election this close. She may have even, through her smarmy endorsement of Miller, driven some supporters away from him.


Patti Epler for the Alaska Dispatch

Alaska GOP U.S. Senate Primary Race Way Too Close to Call - Probably for Another Week

With slightly less than 90,000 votes counted statewide in the Alaska 2008 GOP primary, incumbent U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski trails Tea Party favorite Joe Miller by about 2,000 votes.

This is close enough that the victor cannot be predicted.

One should keep in mind that in the U.S. Senate race in 2008 between Ted Stevens and Mark Begich, Stevens was ahead on election night. Even a week after the election, Stevens was still ahead. On November 10th, 2008, there were still 90,635 uncounted ballots.

The day after the 2008 general, Begich was down by over 3,300 votes. He didn’t catch Stevens in the late count until November 12, almost nine days after the general. Begich went on to win by over 2,000 votes.

I’m comparing a big general election in 2008 to a state primary in 2010, but until we know how many uncounted votes there are, nobody should be declaring who the victor is in the Murkowski-Miller race.

On the Democratic Party - open ballot for this U.S. Senate race, Sitka Mayor, Scott McAdams is the clear victor, and will face either Murkowski or Miller on November 2nd. Scott is progressive, and has impressed a lot of liberals here. He attended Netroots Nation this past summer. Should Scott win, his chances of turning into a Blue Dog, as has Sen. Mark Begich - disappointing many Alaskans who strongly supported him - are nil.

Rather, Scott might easily prove to be the Alan Grayson of the U.S. Senate.

You can support Scott McAdams here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Go Vote!

This was in my email in-box when I arrived at work this morning:

I'm sending this message to you for lack of knowing anyone else in the press.

I voted at Muldoon Road Baptist Church (location Muldoon 2) at 7:15 this morning, and by 7:20 when I left, the open ballots still had not delivered. This means that anyone who did not select the Republican ballot could not vote until the ballots were delivered.

(I chose the Republican ballot anyway so I could at least cast an anti-Joe-Miller vote.)

I have been looking at the Div. of Elections web site and can't find a place to report voting irregularities short of calling their main phone number - but maybe I haven't looked hard enough.

Wikileaks Debate on Al Jazeera - Informed Television Content

Glenn Greenwald, the foremost expert on how the Wikileaks affair has progressed from its beginnings to now, states in his update article posted today:

The debate, roughly 20 minutes long, begins at the 4:00 mark, and is amazingly constructive and civil; the contrast with most American television "debates" is striking and obvious.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Saradise Lost & Found - Chapter 14 - The Stalker Palin Stalked?

Readers of Progressive Alaska are aware that I'm no fan of the adult Palins. The last time PA posted a favorable column about Sarah was in early 2008. A couple of times since, I've been tempted to defend Sarah. Talked my self out of it. I've got to defend Todd in this post, though.

This video, taken last week at the Valdez airport, is being touted as First Dude Unglued and Todd Palin's Aggressive Encounter.

Check it out:

Todd didn't come unglued. He and Sarah were a bit obnoxious as they took pictures of the videographer as he shot them close up, but they usually are a bit obnoxious. And what would you do if somebody was following you around an airport, taking a video of you? It wasn't a public event, after all.

Is this, as The Mudflats is touting, in the full headline to their story - another PR disaster for the Palins? You've got to be kidding.

And Palingates has fetishized this, with several screenshots from this almost meaningless, long video.

I'm not going to go too deep into the criticism thing here, but this is bullshit.

The Palins themselves are stalkers. Todd stalked his brother-in-law pathologically. Sarah stalks the political scene now, hunting for candidates that can help her, not for candidates who can help America. I've been followed and photographed and hassled by Palin's devotees. It didn't feel good.

This video is so pathetic, it borders on stalking to me and to the people to whom I've shown it.

Update - Tuesday 7:15 a.m:

Since watching this video yesterday a couple of times, I've now shared it with five other people. Only one seems to feel there is some worthy content. The other four agree with me that the video certainly does not constitute either some sort of PR disaster for the Palins or an example of Todd coming "unglued." A couple of viewers, when I pointed out that the second part of the video is supposed to have started after Todd purposefully "bumped" into Hawk, feel that Todd came close to losing it, but that he didn't come "unglued" in the sense Alaskans usually use the word.

This post is exactly the 400th chapter of the Saradise Lost series (Saradise Lost Books 1, 2, 3 & 4 = 355 chapters, Saradise Found = 31 chapters, Saradise Lost & Found = 14 chapters) Had Hawk asked any one of the four hundred questions many of us would have wanted to ask Sarah or Todd, or Sarah & Todd, that would be one thing. But he just started shooting. To me, Todd is responding to a tacky event in like manner - tacky.

One of the most recent comments is this:

Over at C4P the thugs are asking for Sarah to send the photos she took of Hawk so they can take care of him. WTF?

Typical tacky stuff from the people at C4P. As some know, they've done exactly the same thing to me, and to others.

Look - just because Sarah is the biggest pathological liar I've ever encountered, is the most divisive major political icon in American politics since George Wallace (or worse!), is the biggest political joke of the last generation and is ramping up the hatred level in the USA next by seizing the base of the Washington Monument on the anniversary of one of the most uplifting speeches of the 20th Century, to spew hate with the likes of Glenn Beck and Pam Geller, doesn't make a video like this into something it assuredly is not.

And promoting it as such is just plain silly, at best.