Saturday, February 14, 2009
LAST FINAL DAY UPDATE by Ramrocks:
The First Dude and Davis have reached the finish line in 6th place. As noted earlier, Todd Minnick and Nick Olstad placed first.
Greta reports that she'll have photos of the finish line up later today when she gets back to Anchorage.
She also offers us this little teaser:
In my interview with the Governor I asked her what she thinks of the stimulus bill and she said .... (tune in Monday night to On The Record at 10pm to find out.)
FAIRBANKS -- The team of Todd Minnick and Nick Olstad captured the 2009 Iron Dog on Saturday, crossing the finish line at Pike's Landing at 11:55 a.m.
They will win $25,000 of the $160,000 purse for the grueling 2,000-mile race from Big Lake to Nome to Fairbanks.
Their elapsed time of 37:19 sets a new record for the course, eclipsing the previous record of 38:07 set by Todd Palin and Scott Davis in 2007.
Bummer for the First Dude and Davis. We knew that after the broken rear suspension spring they were unlikely to win this year.
Team 22 is still on the trail and in 6th place. Consolation prize: the First Dude gets a kiss from the 'Cuda at the finish line.
Greta just posted this:
As you might have guessed, there are many changes in the Palin family since November 4...including a new member of the family Tripp. We just met Tripp...and interviewed several family members. We are now headed to the finish line of the Iron Dog race...
Greta met Tripp? That sound you just heard was the collective primal scream of the Trig Truthers.
And here's Greta with the victorious Team 16:
FINAL DAY UPDATE II by Ramrocks:
We've got an update from Greta Van Susteren. (Hey, you all knew this is what she was really doing in Alaska this weekend.)
She reports on GretaWire:
Todd Palin’s parents just came up to me...they are here to watch their son finish the Iron Dog. I had never met them before (I also ran into the Governor’s Mother. I met her briefly when I was in Wasilla in August.)
She also reports:
A very proud and nervous Mother just approached me and introduced herself to me. Her son is in the Iron Dog race and is one minute and forty seconds behind the leader in the race...there are about three hours left in the race. As you might imagine, she is hoping he can make up that time and win.
We're keeping a close eye on GretaWire for pics!
Team 22 is currently on the trail to Manley...
FINAL DAY UPDATE I by Ramrocks:
As of Saturday morning (9:11 Alaska time), February 14th, Team 22 is in 6th place and waiting to take off for the final day of racing, which will end in Fairbanks. Two days ago they slipped to 7th place after the First Dude's snowmachine lost a rear suspension spring. They really hustled to get up to 6th, and if they push hard they could possibly finish in the top four. Minnick and Olstad are still leading.
See the other rankings here. Follow the latest Iron Dog blog posts here.
We'll keep you posted throughout the day. Scroll down for past updates.
It’s on! The Iron Dog started today. We’re covering the race, and so are our friends at Hillbuzz.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, you can track each team in real time. The First Dude and his partner, Scott Davis, are Team Number 22.
Twenty two seems to be a lucky number in the Palin family. The Guv was Number 22 on her high school championship basketball team, and she explained in an interview two years ago that her kids have taken up 22 as their own number in team sports.
You can follow Team 22 on the interactive Iron Dog map here. And here’s the GPS tracking thingy.
You can check each team’s standing throughout the race here. They also have an official blog. They don’t seem to update it regularly, but that hasn’t prevented moonbats from leaving nasty comments about the Guv.
In December, ESPN did a fun interview with Scott Davis’ daughter, Carly Davis, who is a snowmobile racer herself.
Your dad won his last four Iron Dogs with Todd Palin—what’s your relationship like with the first family of Alaska, apart from wanting to unseat the First Dude as your dad’s partner? “I know them very well personally. They’re amazing people, very down to earth, know all their kids, and stayed at their house many times over the years because of the Irondog. As soon as Sarah was nominated, phone calls from the New York press starting pouring in for my dad. Everyone wanted to know every detail about Todd and Sarah. It was actually pretty cool to experience that side of a presidential election. The New York Times actually just yesterday spent time with my dad and Todd riding with helmet cams and stuff up in Alaska.”
Some call him Todd. Your dad might call him pardner. Others know him as the First Dude. What do you call him? “First Dude. Totally.”
The New York Times also had an interesting piece on the Iron Dog, including a cool video with Scott Davis and a history of the race:
The course followed punishing backcountry trails riddled with buried tree trunks, boulders and barrels. Snow levels and elevations fluctuated. Temperatures fell to more than 30 degrees below zero. Broken limbs were not uncommon, broken backs not unheard of. Teams were routinely scratched for frostbite or equipment failure.
Riding in single file, partners must stay together throughout the route. Including required breaks, Iron Dog takes about a week, but the winners often cross the finish line less than half an hour ahead of their competition.
“The event itself is not about how fast you go,” said Laura Bedard, executive director of the race. Finishing, she said, depends “on how smart you are, how well prepared you are.”
To that end, top teams spend tens of thousands of dollars on gear, maintenance, training and aerial support. Gasoline for the race alone can exceed 200 gallons per rider.
There’s no question that the race is dangerous and grueling:
Last year Davis pressed on in pursuit of an eighth championship. But on the trail, Palin hit a drum buried in the snow, twisting the frame of his snowmobile and shearing off part of its side.
“He was doubled up holding his arm when I got back to him,” Davis said, recalling how Palin had refused treatment, finishing the race with a broken arm. “That’s the kind of grit that really tells the story of what it takes. I’m sure he knew there was something wrong with his arm. He just didn’t want anybody to tell him he couldn’t go on.”
Read the whole article. It explains that the race is a test not only of athletic endurance, but also navigational skills and mechanics.
During the election, Todd Palin was often described by McCain aides as “laconic” – which was a polite way for these snide nancyboys to imply that he’s dumb. I don’t trust the Newsweek post-campaign exposé (at least not all of it), but if I did I would be very offended by the way the McCain staffers referred to Todd Palin as “the Eskimo.” A little racist, you think? Let’s hope that part wasn’t true.
At any rate, I think there’s much more to Todd Palin than meets the eye. This race is about conquering the natural elements with brains and brawn. He has both. And I have only the deepest admiration and respect for a father who loves and cares for his son the way that Todd Palin does little Trig. It’s a beautiful thing to see, and it’s definitely one of the reasons why women (and men too for that matter) find him so attractive (the other reason is pretty obvious).
To paraphrase our friends at Hillbuzz:
We. Love. This. Man.
And so does the Guv...
Stay tuned for more video and photos from the opening of the race as soon as they become available. The Guv traditionally sees them off in Wasilla and is there at the finish line in Fairbanks, so we expect to have video coverage of that soon.
H/T to our reader hrh for the ADN photos
UPDATE by Ramrocks:
We have this video from the ADN (H/T to Alex Raye for the YouTube of it). You'll notice the Guv waving the flag to see the guys off at the starting line:
We're still waiting on the KTUU video coverage. We'll post it as soon as it becomes available.
The ADN also has a cool interactive leaderboard thingy.
UPDATE BY JR: Governor Palin has the uncanny ability to look good in any outfit/situation.
UPDATE II by Ramrocks:
KTVA asked the Guv how she feels about the race:
The governor says she doesn't worry too much about her husband anymore.
"These guys know what they are doing," she said. "They are good mechanics. They're very hardcore in terms of being in-shape and being ready. So I'm not too worried about it."
But Todd Palin didn't have a very graceful finish, last year. He crashed his snowmachine not far from the finish line, he said he hopes to stay on the right side of the handlebars this time.
"Yeah, he better," Gov. Palin said. "Let's hope they all are in one piece at the end of the race."
Race Executive Director Laura Bedard credits the governor for bringing more attention and excitement to the race.
"I think it's bigger," she said. "I know we have more media here, even from outside. I know CNN is here, Sports Illustrated is here."
But Gov. Palin doesn't think it was all her doing.
"I just appreciate that more people understand what the race is," she said.
UPDATE III by Ramrocks:
And here's the KTUU video at last:
UPDATE IV by Ramrocks:
The hebetudinous ADN now has an article on the race. Of course, it's its usual snarky self in covering anything Palin related:
On hand to officially send off the 70 drivers entered in the 2009 Tesoro Iron Dog competition was Gov. Sarah Palin, whose husband, Todd, was one of those hitting the trail. He appeared to be comfortably back in the snowsuit, body armor and helmet of a snowmachine racer after having spent the fall criss-crossing the country in finely tailored suits as the escort for Sarah on her failed bid to become vice president.
Asked to pick which attire suited him best, Todd gracefully sidestepped and said he would prefer Helly Hansen rain gear smeared with salmon slime. One of his jobs, aside from being a periodic oil field worker on Alaska's North Slope, is commercial fishing in Bristol Bay.
Recognizing the dangers [of the race], Gov. Palin made a plea Sunday for "God's protection'' for the competitors, gushed that she "loves you guys,'' and then told a crowd of hundreds they probably didn't want to listen to some "politician" anymore.
She promptly made good on her promise by staying largely out of sight for the rest of the day, emerging from a heated and guarded motorhome only briefly to see Todd off.
Whether the large turnout for the race start was due to the new-found celebrity of Sarah, the former mayor of Wasilla, or the love-affair Alaskans have with high-speed snowmobiles is impossible to say, but the crowd that showed for the start of the $150,000 race sprawled across the normally deserted lake.
No, of course, Sarah Palin has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that a non-sports fan from Los Angeles is following an Alaskan snowmobile race with such interest. It's "impossible to say" why I've suddenly developed an interest in Arctic NASCAR when I don't even find normal NASCAR interesting. This is why I use the adjective hebetudinous to describe the ADN.
UPDATE by JR: Yowza, I think she is making the snow melt!
UPDATE V by Ramrocks:
Here's video from last Sunday of Gov. Palin saying goodbye to the First Dude:
The Associated Press reports that the Guv's favorite Anchorage clothing consignment store, Out of the Closet, has been been forced to change its name to "Second Run" because they couldn't afford to fight a trademark lawsuit by a chain of California thrift stores with the same name.
CBS News, among other organizations, did a story on the shop after the Guv happened to mention them in an interview.
AP emphasizes that the store's legal problems are all Governor Palin's fault:
The favorite consignment shop of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate, has been forced to change its name after she brought the trendy, upscale Anchorage boutique unintended legal problems during last year's presidential campaign.
If it weren't for Palin, the duplicative name "wouldn't have landed on the radar," said Ged Kenslea, spokesman for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the owner and operator of the Out of the Closet thrift store chain.
AP also can't resist the opportunity to attempt a resurrection of the tiresome RNC clothing story, spending a large part of the article on the manufactured "controversy".
In an act of utter chutzpah, the California chain has been asking for the RNC to donate the campaign wardrobe to them:
"We would be a worthy charity, willing, ready and able to take the donation of the RNC's wardrobe, the Palin wardrobe," [Kenslea] said. "We'd be happy to take that as a charitable contribution."
AP does begrudgingly mention that the Governor graciously sent a note to the store apologizing for the problems caused. (Aside: Why does she have to apologize for what crazy people do? She apologized for the Wasilla Bible Church fire, too!)
However, Palin did send Arvold a photograph from the campaign trail, showing her wearing a pink Dolce & Gabbana jacket she bought at the store.
Included was a note that "thanked us for the clothes, and apologized for all the flak we took, so that was really thoughtful of her," Arvold said.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Greta's "On the Record" in Alaska this weekend.
Her final destination is Fairbanks. Hmmm. Do you suppose it might have anything to do with this?
After Fairbanks, she intends to make her way to Wasilla for an interview with the Palin clan.
We'll keep you updated and post video when it's available. In the meantime, keep an eye on Greta Wire.
Remember Kathleen Parker?
Ann Coulter summed her up brilliantly in her latest book, Guilty:
Meteoric rises are available to any Republican who claims to be disgusted with the Republican Party for one or another reason. The heretofore unknown Kathleen Parker was the media's favorite Republican in 2008, after she called for Sarah Palin to withdraw from the campaign on the grounds that: She "filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood." This might not have been manifestly insane if Palin's Democratic counterpart had been anyone other than Joe Biden – who filibusters, repeats words, and achieves a personal coup every time he merely fills space with "deadwood," rather than one of his usual deranged pronouncements.
But Parker had attacked Palin, so suddenly a conservative writer no conservative had ever heard of was being quoted as if she were Milton Friedman. Parker was far from the first Republican woman to acquire what Tom Bethell calls the media's "strange new respect."
It turns out that Parker is now getting "strange new respect" from Obama himself.
Jake Tapper reports that five columnists have been chosen to join Obama on Air Force One. And who are these lucky few?
"...the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page, the New York Times's Bob Herbert, the Atlantic's Ron Brownstein, and the Washington Post's EJ Dionne and Kathleen Parker."
No word on why the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan didn't make the cut.
Tina Brown -- author, journalist, founder of The Daily Beast, and personal friend of Princess Diana -- published a piece yesterday on the now-infamous "Octomom," Nadya Suleman. Despite a complete lack of relevance, Brown couldn't help making a gratuitous slam at Governor Palin.
One of Gov. Sarah Palin's many missed opportunities was that she never told us how she was really coping backstage not just with GOP handlers drilling her with foreign affairs cliff notes, but the friction of a boot-faced pregnant teenager and a school-deprived seven-year-old made to tote around her dazed four-month-old baby brother.
Bristol Palin is "boot-faced"? Wow. Even Amanda Coyne at The Alaska Dispatch, not a Palin fan by any stretch of the imagination, said of the oldest Palin daughter:
I picture Bristol's face, the most beautiful face of all the Palin girls. It's winsome and it's kind.
And Piper Palin "school-deprived"? Sure, OK. I wonder what is a more growing and educational experience for a child - to sit in a classroom for a couple of months doing whatever 7-year-olds do (addition? spelling?) or travelling all over the United States with your mother and father in an exciting political campaign learning about the country and its government firsthand?
And Tina apparently feels that Piper has been enslaved to carry around her "dazed" baby brother. (Aside: Tina, how can you tell a 4-month-old baby is "dazed"?) Anyway, in every single interview or public appearance where Piper cares for Trig, from the convention "lick" to the Wasilla Van Susteren interview to countless other photos, she seems loving and thrilled to help care for her baby brother.
But I guess a woman like Tina just can't comprehend the Governor's successful, if sometimes challenging, family life.
(h/t Ericka Andersen)
Newsmax reports on Palin's decision to shun the national spotlight in order to keep her focus firmly on Alaska:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has fielded requests for interviews from 500 news organizations, but you're not likely to see her in the spotlight anytime soon.
Indeed, Palin won't even be appearing at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which begins Feb. 26 in Washington.
As soon as Palin began running for vice president, critics in Alaska attacked her for allegedly not paying enough attention to state business.
"Of course, she paid attention to Alaska even while campaigning, but some people just won't have it," Bill McAllister, her communications director, tells Newsmax. "We're constantly fighting that."
But that won't stop the ankle-biting attention freak from complaining.
Ethics complaints have been filed, and a record number of broad-based Freedom of Information requests have been made, McAllister says.
"In some cases, they want somebody's entire e-mail account over a period of months," McAllister says. "It's unbelievable.
Although the public is entitled to file such requests, McAllister notes, to deal with the deluge, the state's Department of Law has had to pull off attorneys working on issues such as those affecting the state's production of oil and gas that are important to the public.
Andree McLeod's vendetta against Gov. Palin takes precedence over oil and gas issues! Doesn't matter how frivolous her ethics complaints are, just as long as she can make headlines.
Mr. Bill confirms what we already knew. He's forced to toe the line very carefully when it comes to anything which might be perceived as partisan:
McAllister, a former reporter for KTUU-TV, Alaska's top television station, says that, because he is a government employee, he cannot discuss or get involved with Palin's political activities, such as speaking at CPAC.
"I can tell people that she's not going," he says. "It's just a matter of fact in terms of what her schedule is. But she didn't consult with me on that, appropriately so, because it's not a government function."
After the election, some conservative pundits advised Gov. Palin to go home and focus on being a good governor of Alaska. That's just what she's doing:
McAllister agrees that, "by default," when it comes to national exposure, Palin is keeping a low profile.
"She's focusing on her job as governor, and perhaps that has the effect of reducing what could be her national exposure," he says. "We've got a legislative session going on with some weighty issues."
When Palin attended the Alfalfa Club dinner in Washington Jan. 31, McAllister received calls asking for interviews from Chris Wallace of Fox News, George Stephanopoulos of ABC, John King of CNN, Chris Matthews of MSNBC, and producers of late-night shows.
Palin turned them down. Even on that Washington trip, Palin attended to state business, McAllister says.
"She met with members of the U.S. Senate on the stimulus package," he says. "She met with her Washington staff. The Alfalfa dinner gave her the opportunity to speak with the president one-on-one. She was able to express her concerns about the stimulus package to a wide variety of people in both politics and the business community."
There were three notable exceptions to this nation media silence: Ziegler, Esquire, and Beck.
McAllister contends that they didn't know that a portion of the Ziegler interview would be released early and cause such a huge media to-do.
The Esquire interview was actually "committed to before John McCain asked her to run with him on the Republican ticket. Recently, the magazine updated the article with a few follow-up questions, McAllister says."
And the Glenn Beck interview was a one-off deal. It was his premier show, and Mr. Bill noted that "she did the show on Martin Luther King Day, a day before the Alaska legislative session started" -- so no harm, no foul.
Mr. Bill reports that Gov. Palin "plans to provide a taped presentation" for CPAC. Good move. We can't wait to see it!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 09-28
Governor Palin Appoints Members of Transportation Task Force
February 13, 2009, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sarah Palin today announced her appointments to the Governor’s Coordinated Transportation Task Force, which she created last year to improve transportation services to Alaskans with special needs.
Administrative Order 243 established the 12-member task force and charged it with helping to coordinate and integrate community-based public transportation services to benefit persons with special needs. The task force will also advise the governor on developing policy for the state's existing special-needs transportation programs.
“In a state as large as ours, it is critical that citizens with special challenges can get around their communities to access their schools, jobs, friends, stores, doctors or any place they need or want to go,” Governor Palin said. “I appreciate the members of this task force for stepping forward to help Alaskans meet and overcome their mobility challenges.”
The task force will focus on services for those with physical or developmental disabilities, mental illness, brain injuries, dementia or substance abuse problems; senior citizens, Medicaid recipients and low-income individuals; public school students, including preschoolers in Head Start; and others with special needs
Scroll down for updates!
LegalNewsline reports on a potential battle Gov. Palin could be facing over her next AK Supreme Court pick:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a month and a half to choose the next member of Alaska's State Supreme Court.
The problem is the two choices she has to pick from are justices who don't align with her conservative views.
Alaska's judges are selected using the Missouri Plan, which combines election and appointment in choosing the judge. The Alaska Judicial Council selects the nominees from which the governor can then make an appointment. As one conservative Web site explained, "she's boxed in tighter than Florida Gov. Charlie Crist."
A total of six judges applied, but only two were elected by the Judicial Council, Eric Smith, considered very liberal, and Morgan Christen, who is viewed as more of a moderate. Christen and Smith were rated with scores of 4.3 and 4.5 out of a 5 point scale used to elect judges by the council.
The four other nominees scored between 3.7 and 2.4 and were not sent to Palin for consideration.
"The... lawyers control the process," the Web site GOP 12 laments.
Dan Fagan of the Alaska Standard wrote that the time has come for Palin to spend the political capital she acquired as the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008.
"She must demand more names from the Judicial Council." Fagan wrote. "Now that Palin is clearly trying to endear herself to the conservative base nationally, fighting for the justice she wants seems like a savvy play for her."
I'm loathe to trust any advice given by Dan Fagan, but we'll see how this plays out.
Back in September, law.com ran an interesting article on Palin's judicial appointment process:
Judicial nominations in Alaska follow the Missouri Plan, a hybrid of elections and appointments. A group of three lawyers, three nonlawyers and the chief justice of the state Supreme Court vets, interviews and votes on candidates for judgeships. For each vacancy, the group -- called the Alaska Judicial Council -- submits at least two nominees to the governor, who makes the final decision on whom to appoint.
Larry Cohn, the council's executive director, says Palin has appointed 13 judges since taking office in 2006.
Last year, she appointed Daniel Winfree to the Alaska Supreme Court. At the time, he was executive director and general counsel of the Great Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation. Winfree, a former president of the Alaska Bar Association and the Western States Bar Conference, headed a civil litigation firm for several years before joining the foundation.
According to his state judicial application, Winfree tried for a spot on the U.S. District Court in Alaska in 2001 but finished fifth in a state bar poll. Only the top three names were forwarded to the White House.
"He was a very good choice for the Supreme Court," says Andy Harrington, one of four nominees Palin interviewed for the Supreme Court post. "I told the governor, ‘I know you make a lot of tough decisions, but this isn't one of them. You can't go wrong with any of us.'?"
Last month, Palin elevated a state Superior Court judge, Joel Bolger, to the three-judge Alaska Court of Appeals, which exclusively handles criminal appeals. Bolger was a state district court judge before his appointment to the Superior Court.
Palin has also seeded the lower courts with lawyers from all walks -- public defenders, prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys and civil trial attorneys.
Harrington, executive director of Alaska Legal Services Corp., interviewed with Palin in November 2007, days after the state Supreme Court issued a ruling striking down a law that required girls less than 17 years old and younger to get permission from their parents before receiving an abortion. Palin, who opposes abortion except in cases where the mother's life is threatened, called the ruling "outrageous." Harrington anticipated a question about the ruling. But Palin never asked about the case or any other, Harrington says.
"I was pleasantly surprised that the topic did not come up," he says. "I thought that was an indication that the governor and her staff were cognizant of the ethical responsibilities of someone who is a candidate for the court."
He and Palin discussed Alaskan native law, his role models and his work history. At one point, she asked him to define an activist judge. He said he was expecting that, too.
"I think she has a good sense of the separation of powers and the proper role of the judiciary," Harrington says. "She thinks the role of the court is to decide cases and controversies that come before it, and she wants judges to do a good job of applying the law and precedent."
Another judicial candidate who interviewed with Palin this year says Palin asked a questions about work history, background and basic judicial philosophy.
"Some of my colleagues say the Constitution is a living, breathing document. What do you think?" Palin asked, according to the candidate.
"I said I didn't think so," the candidate says, and Palin moved on. "I knew that was coming," the candidate says. "That's her litmus test."
As we've noted many times, Palin is a strict constructionist when it comes to her state's constitution. She calls it her bible and blue print for governing.
During the election, Gov. Palin did an interview with Mark Levin, who, as all fans of the Great One know, is a great legal scholar. When Mark asked her about the kind of liberal judges Obama would appoint, she said that "some would want to rewrite the founding document of our nation, the Constitution, to accomplish their goals -- wanting to remove the ancient landmarks that have allowed our country to be the greatest country on earth."
I remember thinking that her use of "ancient landmarks" was an interesting turn of phrase, but I never gave it a second thought until I noticed a comment that someone using the name "mortsey" posted under the YouTube video of the interview:
Great comment, "Remove not the ancient land marks"... My father used to quote this verse out of [the] book of Proverbs in the Bible to me when I was a kid... I never heard it applied to the Constitution, but it really takes on new meaning when you talk about judges who legislate from the bench...
"Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set." (Proverbs 22:28) -- very good words to describe our defense of the Constitution. I like this lady more and more.
Here's the Levin interview:
UPDATE by VO:
Palin is in a tough situation with the Alaska Judicial Council. For those not familiar with the system, the Judicial Council consists of seven members. Three are appointed by the Governor, three are selected by the Alaska Bar Association, and the seventh member (and council chair) is the Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court.
Of the current membership, only one is a Palin appointee. The other two gubernatorial appointees are Murkowski holdovers. The current Chief Justice and chairperson is Dana Fabe, who was appointed by Democratic Governor Tony Knowles. The Bar Association appointees all lean Democratic, of course. So Governor Palin has a built-in disadvantage with this system, at least in the short term.
Michelle Malkin has a post up on a new provision in the Porkulus which requires Governors, or alternatively state legislatures, to explicitly accept the federal money within 45 days of passage of the bill.
How will this play in Alaska? If the Porkulus passes with this provision, what move should the Guv make? Bite the bullet and accept the funds, or leave it to the Democrat/Murkowskicrat Axis in the state legislature? I'm sure she will be excoriated either way.
UPDATE by Ramrocks:
Gov. Palin made clear that Alaska is poised to receive about $1 billion from the Stimulus. She said that she'll accept whatever funds make sense for her state, but she is wary of taking money for new entitlement programs. She said:
"I beg to differ with the premise of this economic stimulus package that it, as a whole, stimulates the economy when you look at the programs that are entailed in this economic stimulus package, the programs that could end up costing a state so much more at the end of the day, those don't necessarily stimulate the economy. Construction projects do. They bring jobs."
Her comments last weekend also make this position (i.e., pro infrastructure development, anti new entitlement programs) clear:
One of my problems with Governor "Moonlight and Magnolia" is that he plays politics with issues like accepting federal unemployment funding for his state, which has the third highest unemployment rate in the country. The citizens of South Carolina pay federal taxes like everyone else. Why shouldn't they accept the federal unemployment dollars? They might not have agreed with Congress' decision to issue that money, but now that it's a done deal, there is no logical reason for them to turn it down when their state is suffering like it is.
UPDATE BY JR:
The process in which this bill is being passed is almost comical. I believe that Governor Palin stated in the press conference that she did not even know what was in the bill. And you can't blame her because members of the House and Senate have not even been allowed to read it!
A consortium of 9 conservation organizations, spearheaded by the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and representing nearly 3 million American conservationists, sent a letter of support to Governor Palin today regarding her state's predator control programs.
The text of the letter can be found here. Short quote:
It is evident that the Defenders of Wildlife attacks are part and parcel of a well orchestrated publicity stunt meant to achieve maximum exposure and minimum discourse.
The future of effective wildlife management necessitates that emotional pleas not substitute for reasoned analysis.
UPDATE: Here is a list of the organizations supporting Alaska's policy:
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
The Archery Trade Association and Bowhunting Preservation Alliance
Boone & Crockett Foundation
The Dallas Safari Club
The National Shooting Sports Foundation
North American Bear Foundation
Pope & Young Club
The Texas Wildlife Association
At least two of those organizations are Texan. Don't forget Governor Palin's political ties to Texas - she's sent the Alaska National Guard to help in hurricane relief, in addition to being an ally of Texas Governor Perry.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Governor Palin will be giving the keynote address at the Fairbanks "Lincoln Day Dinner" on February 14. She will also be speaking at the "Lincoln Day Dinner" in Anchorage on March 20.
Exit Question: Will the Alaska GOP website ever add Governor Palin to the directory?
Bonus Exit Question: Did you know that the Alaskan GOP offered a measly $5,500 during her 2006 run for governor?
For months since Governor Palin's nomination for the Vice-Presidency, fence-sitters have been anxiously awaiting the opinion of the highly-regarded star of Mystery Men and Team America: World Police, Hollywood actress Janeane Garofalo.
Janeane has finally ended the suspense in an interview with the website "Ecorazzi" (billing itself as "The Latest in Green Gossip", and helpfully forwarded to me by Google Alerts). She offered not only her take on the Guv's political positions, but also made medical diagnoses on Governor Palin, and all of us who hold conservative views:
JG: The reason a person is a conservative republican is because something is wrong with them. Again, that’s science – that’s neuroscience. You cannot be well adjusted, open-minded, pluralistic, enlightened and be a republican. It’s counter-intuitive. And they revel in their anti-intellectualism. They revel in their cruelty.
I don’t know if you heard me talking to Jenny a while ago, but I was saying that first you have to be an asshole and then comes the conservatism. You gotta be a dick to cleave onto their ideology.
E: This might be an appropriate time to segue into Sarah Palin. I would love to know what you think about Palin.
JG: Probably what most people think about Sarah Palin. She’s small-minded and mean-spirited. It has nothing to do with gender — I don’t give a shit about her gender — she is what the Republican Party has become: obstructionist, contrarians, small-minded, all of these things. She just happens to be attractive. There’s definitely something wrong with her. She’s lacking in so many areas. Of course she’s successful with a segment of the country because she represents that lesser segment of the country. It’s people’s lesser nature – their human frailty. You know whatever’s wrong with them is what she is about.
E: I think it’s safe to say she’s done some pretty nutty things.
JG: It’s not even nutty. It really is neuroscience. I truly believe that it has something to do with their limbic brain. I really believe that some people’s limbic brain dominates more than others. Our limbic brain controls all our emotions and it causes us to be irrational. Our limbic brain goes into action when we’re ecstatic, frightened, when we’re having sex. I really believe that if a neuroscientist examined the brain of somebody who identified as a conservative, they would find it’s wired differently.
There you have it, folks - scientific fact. The reason that Governor Palin, and those of us who support her, are conservatives is because of a problem with our limbic brains. "It really is neuroscience"! Undoubtedly the Porkulus contains funding for the Obama Administration to find a cure for our disorder.
(photo: Gaelen Hadlett)
David Letterman noted Gov. Palin's birthday yesterday:
Sarah Palin is actually 45 years old today, and just to tell you a little something about me - Sarah Palin, I think, is the first vice presidential candidate that I have pictured naked. Well, since Lloyd Bentsen.
Where are the feminists? Where's the outrage? If Sarah Palin were a liberal Democrat, Letterman would have been pilloried by the New York Times and every left-wing women's studies professor and women's group in the country.
But she's a conservative Republican, so it's perfectly fine to objectify her for the crime of being attractive and pro-life.
VO: I sent a link to Letterman's comments to email@example.com - maybe he'll be willing to juxtapose how feminist organizations defend Helen Thomas with how they don't defend Sarah Palin.
From the Drudge Report:
Senator Gregg Statement on His Withdrawal for Consideration of U.S. Commerce Secretary
Sen. Gregg stated, “I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.
“However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me. Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy...."
Alex Raye marks the occasion:
UPDATE BY VO: Best comment I've seen so far, from Ace of Spades HQ:
The timing is exquisite. Thursdays are always the best days for bombshells. The opposition only has one day to respond officially before the weekend. So Gregg will be the lead story tomorrow, and all through the weekend.
That's fantastic. Like a platoon of ninjas riding velociraptors, bursting forth from a giant can of whupass, covered in awesome sauce.
UPDATE: Sen. Gregg to Vote Against Economic Stimulus Bill
Scroll Down for Updates!
h/t: Sarah Palin for President
Until reading this piece by KTVA television, I had not realized that the Guv's press spokesman, Bill McAllister, has been fighting lymphoma, a serious form of cancer. Mr. Bill, as we affectionately call him here at C4P, found out about his cancer during the Biden/Palin VP debate, and he had to rush to the emergency room immediately.
Our prayers, and best wishes for a full and speedy recovery, go out to Mr. Bill, and may the Lord grant strength to him, his wife Christina, and their three young children - August, Grace, and Saga.
UPDATE: This quote, from 7-year-old Saga (what a beautiful name for a little girl, by the way) really pulled on my heartstrings:
"I'm kind of sad for my dad, because I don't know if he's going to die or not." Saga said with tears rolling down her face.
UPDATE II: I haven't been able to find an e-mail address for Mr. Bill's office, but I did call the contact number from the Governor's website (907-269-7450) to offer my best wishes, and the lady who answered the phone sounded sincerely touched and said she would pass along the message.
UPDATE BY JR: KTUU Video Added (H/T Mel)
Now that the election is over, Bill Ayers cannot help himself and will not shut up.
Now that the campaign rhetoric has subsided, Ayers has an idea for a new show starring his Alaskan nemesis.
“I did send her a note after the election,” he says of Palin in the upcoming issue of the New York Times magazine. “I suggested that we have a talk show together called ‘Pallin’ Around With Sarah and Bill.’ I haven’t heard back.”
. . .
He also says that while he considers himself a radical, he believes Obama is “a moderate Democrat.”
“If you look at his record, it’s the record of a moderate, who indeed does know how to make compromises,” Ayers told the magazine.
If anything, I hope more people find out about this man and his history and make him go away. With any luck, his re-write of history, via graphic novel, will tank. I just might take a page from Abby Hoffman and maybe steal a copy.
cross posted at Point Of a Gun.
UPDATE by JR: I have an idea for a show, it involves Bill Ayers, a wall and a firing squad.
UPDATE by VO: I have a similar reality show idea, except it involves Bill Ayers being forcibly drafted into a police department's Bomb Squad, where he's the guy that is required to disarm every pipe bomb left by every crazy in the U.S.
There has been a lot of discussion about what might be behind PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome), which seems to be particularly virulent among those who consider themselves liberal feminists. Rush Limbaugh offered his take on it in Bernard Golberg's new book A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media:
Goldberg asked Rush, among other things, what he thought about Palin Derangement Syndrome. “Why such hatred, especially from liberal feminists? Was it simply her politics or was something else at play?”
Here’s what Limbaugh has to say: “Something else. She was the only effective Republican candidate anywhere in this entire campaign – among all candidates, for all offices. Sarah Palin is what militant feminists have been suggesting all women can become. But she had the gall to have a Down Syndrome child and be opposed to abortion, which is the sacrament to feminist liberalism. She was the Clarence Thomas of the Anita Hill hearings. Her electoral future had to be destroyed.”
You might recall that Charles Krauthhammer made a similar point during the campaign:
The viciousness with which she was attacked as a contradiction in terms, a conservative woman.
In Palin's case, I think what adds to it is her decision at her age with four other children to have a down syndrome child. This, too, as Joseph Epstein wrote, in feminist circles if abortion is not about this, what's it about?
And they look at her as sort of a back room — a backwater hick, who, for religious reasons, went ahead and had a child that they would never have.
Underneath it, I think, deep underneath it, I think it's a self-loathing on the part of these feminists, knowing that what she did is virtuous and a generous act that they would have never have undertaken. And her having undertaken it is an affront to them, a silent rebuke.
Yesterday, Bill O'Reilly offered his own take on the rather blatant hypocrisy of women's groups regarding Governor Palin.
UPDATE by Palinista: Bill O Video clip:
Since the statements made by Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Krauthhammer, and Mr. O'Reilly might be dismissed by some on the left because of their gender, please allow me to state, as a conservative woman, that I believe that their general points are correct. I would add that I believe that there are other factors behind PDS in addition to abortion, but that it certainly seems to play a role, particularly among liberal feminists. As Mr. Krauthhammer said, it is not the sole reason for PDS, but it seems to "add to it."
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Yes, someone did wish her a Happy Birthday too
Asked about the federal economic stimulus package in Congress, Palin said Alaska was ready to accept a projected $1 billion in federal funds, if it made sense for the state. But she criticized the measure for expanding social programs which could wind up costing the state in the long run.
“I beg to differ with the premise of this economic stimulus package that it, as a whole, stimulates the economy when you look at the programs that are entailed in this economic stimulus package, the programs that could end up costing a state so much more at the end of the day, those don’t necessarily stimulate the economy. Construction projects do, they bring jobs,” Palin said.
Palin also reiterated that Attorney General Talis Colberg’s abrupt resignation this week was his own decision.
She said he did not give a specific reason for his resignation and she declined to discuss the matter further, calling it a personnel issue.
UPDATED: Presser Video Part 1: H/T to alexraye:
You may recall that last week Governor Palin sent a letter to President Obama encouraging him to discuss the construction of the Alaska natural gas pipeline with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during their meeting on February 19th.
Today, in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News and other regional newspapers, Obama pledged to do so:
President Barack Obama on Wednesday called Alaska's proposed natural gas pipeline "promising" as a national energy resource, and pledged to discuss it with Canadian leaders during his Feb. 19 trip to Ottawa.
"It's a project of great potential and something I'm very interested in," Obama said...
"As I mentioned during the campaign, I actually think that for us to move forward on the natural gas pipeline as part of a comprehensive energy strategy -- that includes both more production as well as greater efficiency -- makes a lot of sense," Obama said.
"As it happens, Prime Minister Harper, as well as President Calderon of Mexico, have a great interest in energy. Obviously, Canada is one of the biggest energy players in the world. They share an interest not only the production side, of the economic benefits, but I think they're also interested in a broader conversation about efficiency and how it relates to issues like climate change."
The President also discussed Secretary Salazar's announcement this week that the time period for public comment on a draft five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing would be extended for an additional six months, and his position on offshore drilling as part of his larger energy policy.
He said he believes offshore drilling can be appropriate -- but only in limited circumstances and as part of an overall energy mix that includes an emphasis on greater efficiency. Obama said he prefers to hold out for a "more comprehensive strategy" rather than proceeding with wide-scale drilling in the national's outer continental shelf.
"In isolation I think it's shortsighted because it's not going to come on line quickly enough and provide enough oil to fill the hole that we're going to be seeing in the years to come," he said.
He also reiterated his support for the announcement this week by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who on Tuesday effectively slowed any new leases in the outer continental shelf for six months.
"I think it is entirely appropriate for this administration to take a step back, push the pause button, and review what's been done in terms of leases on federal lands," the president said. "We had an administration that I think was heavily tilted towards opening up lands to commercial interests, was less concerned with environmental issues and sustainability issues."
The Governor addressed this issue in response to a question on Secretary Salazar's decision at her press conference this afternoon.
I am very concerned about this six-month kind of hiatus towards offshore development, and it does affect Alaska. We need to make sure that the Obama administration understands that there's going to be an interim period between today and when alternative, renewable sources of energy come on line to be consistent and to be able to energize our economy, our businesses, [and] our homes.
In the meantime, we have got to produce our conventional sources of energy; especially, those known reserves that we have on land and offshore. So, when I hear this hesitancy coming from [Secretary] Salazar, and others in the Obama administration, it does concern me, and we need to make sure that they know that - here in Alaska, anyway - as Senator Murkowski has pointed out also, we believe that we have the right to ask for that development to be allowed of our resources on our shores.
And we want to make sure that they understand that we will do this ethically, and we'll do it safely, and we will do it in an environmentally friendly manner.
UPDATE: Video of Governor Palin discussing the natural gas pipeline in relation to stimulating the economy:
in response to reports...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 09-27
Governor Issues Statement on Planned Parenthood Donations
February 11, 2009, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sarah Palin today issued the following statement in response to reports that contributions are being made to Planned Parenthood in her name:
“The abortion issue has been with us for decades and has pitted well-meaning people of differing ideologies against each other. Where we can find common ground is in the belief that no one wants a single abortion.
“But when there is a clash of values, I always will come down on the side of life. Making donations to Planned Parenthood in my name might be interesting theater in these politically charged times, but it is not going to change my views or the views of many other Alaskans who believe every life is precious.
“Anti-hunting groups are employing the same tactic of using my name to promote their cause right now. Again, interesting theater."
The Fort Mill Times reports:
JUNEAU, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin has scheduled a news conference in Juneau, her first in the capital city since the legislative session began 23 days ago.
Spokesman Bill McAllister said Wednesday's question and answer period will be open-ended. It is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. in the governor's Capitol conference room.
H/T Alex Raye for this wonderful picture:
The big 4-5!
JR: Don't worry Guv, you don't look a day over 24.
This makes a great gift to Governor Palin and conservative Republicans all over the country:
She is 45 years young today, so why not a $45 donation?
H/T Alex Raye
You will have to listen to some whining by Alaska legislators before you get to Governor Palin around the 2:00 minute mark:
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
As noted in an earlier post, the AK Attorney General Talis Colberg resigned today.
Palin is making it clear that she did not request the resignation and feels that Colberg was doing a fine job:
"It is a harsh political environment right now. You saw what he went through these last couple of weeks with speculation that a couple of the lawmakers wanted to continue to grill him, a couple of the lawmakers not believing, it seems, what he had to say," Palin said. "I just hope this political environment doesn't deter others who want to make a positive difference."
And guess who did most of the grilling? The Jerk from Fairbanks, of course!
The grilling mostly came from Fairbanks Republican Rep. Jay Ramras, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
It seems as if Colberg felt targeted and just wanted out. The Senate "contempt" resolution over the Troopergate subpoenas was the final straw.
French sponsored the [contempt] resolution and also suggested on the Senate floor Friday that issues remained with the attorney general.
"I don't want to get sidetracked by the attorney general's performance in this episode, but it's worth pointing out that this resolution does not resolve questions -- significant and serious questions -- about his actions during this time," French said in the Friday speech.
He said after the speech, though, he wasn't sure what more could be done with Colberg and emphasized today that he hadn't planned further action.
Gee, nice of you to "emphasize" that today, Hollis. After you grilled the man and implied that you were going to do worse to him, you now want to "emphasize" that you weren't planning any further action.
Senate President Gary Stevens, a Kodiak Republican, said the Senate passed the contempt resolution to make it clear the matter was closed, not to come down on the governor. He said he was meeting with Palin today to make that clear.
Stevens said today that he was surprised at Colberg's resignation.
"When you think of Talis, ethics pops to mind. I've been really pleased to work with him and sorry to see him go," Stevens said.
Palin said she supports how Colberg handled the issue of the subpoenas and did not have concerns with how he was doing his job.
So basically a good man was worn down by his job. Why the partisan rancor right now? Well, the Guv offers a clue:
As some legislators, like French, say they're possibly interested in the 2010 governor's race, Gov. Palin used those political aspirations to paint a picture of the criticism Colberg had to deal with.
"People are starting to line up for their gubernatorial run, and campaigns kick off in less than a year now, and people are trying to position themselves," she said. "It's the nature of the beast of politics. It's not always pretty, it does become kind of harsh and brutal at times."
Other legislators cast aside Palin's claim with a jab of their own.
"We were not the creators of any harsh political environment," Sen. Johnny Ellis, D-Anchorage, said. "That happened because of other people's personal choices and political ambitions at the national level."
Political posturing for the 2010 gubernatorial race? You betcha.
The question still remains, will Palin run? I won't hide the fact that I really want her to run for a second term. Others may disagree with me, including the Guv herself. I think she can win a second term handily. I think Hollis French knows this too. I don't think he's dumb enough to run against her. If she decides to run, I think Hollis will let Keith Olbermann's twin be the fall guy.
What does this have to do with CPAC? Well, some of you have suggested that Palin is steering clear of "partisan" national politics because her base back home doesn't like to see her play the role of right-wing Joan of Arc. They prefer their Sarah the way she was prior to August 29, 2008.
In my earlier post on CPAC, I quoted Palin's comments about Alaskans being "a little bit more parochial" in their attitude about their governor traveling out of state. "We want to make sure that our Alaska officials are serving the people who literally have elected them," she said.
Such a notion strikes this Californian as completely foreign. The Governator could depart for months on end, and we would hardly miss him. (Hell, we might be better off if he left!) But Alaska, as always, is different.
Take a look at this mini documentary KTUU made about the "big news story" of 2008:
The overall impression I got from this mini documentary is the sad unspoken sentiment that "Mommy left us." And I don't mean that in a smart-alecky way. I rather like this "we're all a big family" quality about Alaskans. There are more than ten times as many people living in my county than there are in the entire state of Alaska.
Alaskans know their Sarah. Most of them have met her personally or know someone who has. Sarah Palin is their Mother Hen, the Queen of the Last Frontier, their very own Joan of Arc.
And now it seems to them that she's outgrown them. She's hanging with the swells in the Lower 48.
I think this subconscious sense of abandonment might account for some of the bitterness felt by some Alaskans. They should not feel this way though. On the very day that she might have become the nation's vp, she told them, "Forever I'm going to be Sarah from Alaska."
And, as I noted earlier, she promised to always put Alaska first. And she always has.
She's taken a lot of flak for accepting Fred Malek's invitation to attend the Alfalfa dinner. Mr. Malek now has a post up on his blog about his impressions of Gov. Palin. He lists them in bullet point fashion and saves the best two for last:
Here is what impressed me most over the weekend:
* The warmth John McCain showed toward Sarah Palin when she arrived at my home Friday night. It was the first time they had been together since the election, and their good feelings toward each other were evident.
* The gracious and engaged Sarah Palin was with everyone. It was great to see her in deep conversations with people like Alan Greenspan, Madeleine Albright, Walter Isaacson, and Mitch McConnell. For sure, nothing shallow about this lady.
* The celebrity treatment Sarah received from the highly sophisticated crowd at Alfalfa. There were as many or more people lined up to meet her as there was for President Obama.
* Sarah’s singular focus on her job as Governor of Alaska. She left Anchorage on a 2:30 a.m. flight Friday so as not to miss a day on the job, and she singled out people to meet who could be impactful to Alaska, including President Obama.
* Sarah’s grace and charisma reminded me of why she had been selected as John McCain’s running mate. [emphasis added]
Her "singular" focus is on Alaska. That's why she's not attending CPAC. She keeps her promises.
And if she decides to run for re-election, she'll mop the floor with these jokers.
Interior Secretary Salazar Reverses Bush-Era Drilling Plan
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Tuesday overturned another Bush-era energy policy, setting aside a draft plan to allow drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
"To establish an orderly process that allows us to make wise decisions based on sound information, we need to set aside" the plan "and create our own timeline," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced in a statement.
The Interior Department oversees 1.75 billion acres on the Outer Continental Shelf, an area that's about three fourths the size of the entire United States.
This comes along with last week's decision by Secretary Salazar to cancel drilling leases approved during the Bush administration.
In its first action to overturn Bush administration policies on energy, the Obama administration on Wednesday said it will cancel oil drilling leases on more than 130,000 acres near two national parks and other protected areas in Utah.
In less than a month, Barack Obama has already dealt serious blows to the energy security of this nation. Governor Palin's strength is energy and I know that she is taking note of these developments.
Exit question: How long before Salazar targets Alaska?
Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America, and he's worried that someone won't read them their rights?
She warned us about Obama. And she was right.
The Obama Administration is actually discussing Miranda rights in relation to terrorist detainees. You can't make this stuff up, folks. Here's an excerpt from an LA Times article:
The administration has launched a review of the individual detainee cases, aimed at determining who can be prosecuted in federal courts.
"Miranda is an issue -- it is a potential issue in prosecution," said a senior Obama administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the review is ongoing. "The purpose of the review is to see how much of an issue and to see in what cases it is possible to proceed."
The administration is also reviewing whether the controversial military commission system instituted by President George W. Bush should be retained in some form for detainees who cannot be tried because of Miranda or other legal hurdles.
Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard Blog offered his thoughts on this latest bit of lunacy:
When Sarah Palin accepted the Republican nomination in Minneapolis, she was criticized for saying of Obama that, "Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America and he's worried that someone won't read them their rights." Obama didn't deny the charge, but instead focused on the habeas issue that had gotten so much attention over the summer. Obama said that the right to habeas "says very simply: If the government grabs you, then you have the right to at least ask, 'Why was I grabbed?' And say, 'Maybe you've got the wrong person.'" He went on, "We don't always catch the right person. We may think it's Mohammed the terrorist, but it might be Mohammed the cab driver. You might think it's Barack the bomb-thrower, but it might be Barack the guy running for president."
When I heard Palin read that line at the convention, I thought it was an exaggeration for rhetorical effect. Obama had never called for terrorists to be read Miranda rights on the battlefield. Now, if the Los Angeles Times is to be believed, his administration is considering doing just that. The obvious consequence of such a decision: terrorists would now have the right to remain silent.
Are you feeling the "Change" yet?
H/T to Anonymous