Archive for September 12th, 2008

Palin Rallies In Anchorage Saturday (9/13/08)

By- Suzie-Q @ 9:45 PM MST

Dueling Palin Rallies in Anchorage

From:  Mudflats Blog


OK folks, it’s heating up here in Anchorage.  Get ready for dueling rallies!

Before she heads out of state to resume campaigning with John McCain, Sarah Palin will attend a rally in her honor Saturday morning at the new Dena’ina Convention Center in Downtown Anchorage.  The doors open at 7:30am, and the rally begins at 9:30.  We were uncertain if a rally would be scheduled, but they made the announcement late this morning.

Two and a half hours later, at noon tomorrow, the group “Alaska Women Reject Palin” will be meeting at the corner of 36th Ave. and Denali St. to hold a sidewalk protest with signs.  This is a non-partisan rally that encourages creative signs that stick to policy rather than partisanship.

Seems simple enough.  Two rallies – two schools of thought.  However, Anchorage conservative radio talk show host Eddie Burke has stirred the pot.  He blasted the organizers of the second rally during his talk show today on KBYR, calling them ….sit down…. “a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots.”  No, I’m not kidding and I wish I were.  Welcome to the dark side of Anchorage that makes sane, thinking people cringe.  Burke also announced the particulars of the rally…so there may be some unwanted guests.

The media, no doubt, will be all over the first rally, and hopefully some will cover the other one as well.  In any case, I’m planning to be at both, and will report back with the un-mediatized version of the events.

I think a big turnout at the “AK Women Reject Palin” rally could be a powerful statement.  Men and kids are also welcomed.

It could be an interesting day…

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The Bush Doctrine… As Told By Caribou Barbie?? LOL! (Video)

By- Suzie-Q @ 9:00 PM MST

Here is the actual interview:

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By- Suzie-Q @ 8:45 PM MST

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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By- Suzie-Q @ 8:30 PM MST

Two High-Ranking McCain Campaign Officials Lobbied For Companies At Center of Sex-For-Oil Scandal

Here’s something that could complicate the McCain-Palin reform message a bit: It turns out that McCain’s national finance co-chair, Wayne Berman, is a paid lobbyist, and has been one for years, for two of the oil companies that are at the center of the sex, drugs and oil scandal enveloping the Interior Department.

One of McCain’s high-ranking campaign officials also lobbied for the companies for years — during time periods when the scandal has unfolded — up until he joined the McCain campaign in the spring.

The lobbyists themselves aren’t tied to the scandal in any way, and their activity on the companies’ behalf doesn’t implicate McCain, either. But it’s legit to ask why it is that a campaign that proclaims that it’s about reform is taking advice and/or money from lobbyists who were getting paid by companies involved in the scandal, one of whom is still collecting money from them.

Berman, who’s McCain’s national finance co-chair and one of the Arizona Senator’s leading bundlers, is a lobbyist with Ogilvy Government Relations, which has been paid millions of dollars for lobbying by the Chevron and Hess corporations, according to disclosure forms. The second official, John Green, who is McCain’s chief liaison to Congress, also was with Ogilvy and worked on those same contracts until joining the campaign.

Chevron and Hess are involved in what is arguably the most sordid scandal in Washington right now.

The short version is as follows: Employees at a number of leading energy companies allegedly gave improper gifts — including sports tickets, ski trips, illegal drugs and even sexual relations — to federal officials in charge of a program that oversees a program by which the companies can pay for use of public lands with free energy instead of cash, saving them money.

The office of the Interior Department’s inspector General launched a probe in 2006, and this week, it released a report finding that energy company officials serially and flagrantly violated gift rules and went so far as to give drugs and sex to government officials, and the government officials in turn gave contracts to favored companies.

According to Senate lobbying disclosure forms, Ogilvy — represented by Berman and Green — lobbied for Chevron and Hess from 2005 to the present, and was paid a total of $2.36 million by the companies. They had enlisted Ogilvy’s help in order to influence Congress on such issues as comprehensive energy reform, energy price-gouging, and other issues related to liquefied natural gas.

Both Berman and Green lobbied for the companies for about three years, continuing when the scandals were already public knowledge, and Beman is still lobbying for them. It’s legit to ask why Berman wouldn’t have cut ties with the companies at a time when he’s working for McCain, even merely for appearances’ sake.

“You have to wonder why Berman and Green would continue to lobby for oil companies that conduct business with the government in this sordid and sleazy manner,” says David Donnelly of the nonpartisan Campaign Money Watch. “Relying on lobbyists like these certainly puts a little more tarnish on McCain’s so-called reformer image.”

The McCain campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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Todd Palin Among 13 Subpoenad In Troopergate

By- Suzie-Q @ 5:00 PM MST

Palin husband among 13 subpoenad in Troopergate probe

Raw Story- Mike Sheehan
Published: Friday September 12, 2008

The husband of GOP vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin is among 13 witnesses subpoenad by Alaska lawmakers, the Associated Press reports.

The subpoenas are “part of the investigation into whether the Republican vice presidential candidate abused her power in trying to get her former brother-in-law fired,” writes Gene Johnson for the AP.

Johnson quotes retired prosecutor Stephen Branchflower saying of Todd Palin: “He’s such a central figure. … I think one should be issued for him.”

He adds that Branchflower “said he wants to interview Palin herself, but did not ask for a subpoena for her.”

Rhonda Schwartz and Justin Rood at ABC News’ “Blotter” blog described the proceedings that led to the subpoenas:

In a nondescript conference room filled to capacity, a Republican-dominated panel of lawmakers voted to issue subpoenas to force testimony by Alaska ‘First Gentleman’ Todd Palin and a dozen current and former state officials, including aides to Gov. Palin, to determine whether she had misused her authority in firing one of her commissioners in July.

The so-called “Troopergate” probe, write Schwartz and Rood, “was prompted by Palin’s July 11 firing of her former public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, after he refused to dismiss Mike Wooten, a state trooper who was Palin’s ex-brother-in-law.

“Wooten and Palin’s sister had gone through a lengthy and bitter divorce and custody battle in 2005, during which Palin herself had accused Wooten of threatening her and her father,” they continue, adding that Wooten has denied the accusations.

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By- Suzie-Q @ 3:45 PM MST

New Evidence: Palin Had Direct Role In Charging Rape Victims For Exams

<Huffington Post- Jacob Alperin-SheriffPosted September 11, 2008 | 08:30 PM (EST)

Despite denials by the Palin campaign, new evidence proves that as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin had a direct hand in imposing fees to pay for post-sexual assault medical exams conducted by the city to gather evidence.

Palin’s role is now confirmed by Wasilla City budget documents available online.

Under Sarah Palin’s administration, Wasilla cut funds that had previously paid for the medical exams and began charging victims or their health insurers the $500 to $1200 fees. Although Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella wrote USA Today earlier this week that the GOP vice presidential nominee “does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test…To suggest otherwise is a deliberate misrepresentation of her commitment to supporting victims and bringing violent criminals to justice,” Palin, as mayor, fired police chief Irl Stambaugh and replaced him with Charlie Fannon, who with Palin’s knowledge, slashed the budget for the exams and began charging the city’s victims of sexual assault. The city budget documents demonstrate Palin read and signed off on the new budget. A year later, alarmed Alaska lawmakers passed legislation outlawing the practice.

News of the controversial policy has leaked slowly into the press this week as the presidential campaign has heated up and Palin’s record has been subject to increasing scrutiny. The practice of charging rape victims has called into question Palin’s stated commitment to women’s issues, her judgment as an executive and her honesty about her record.

The story of the Wasilla policy has made its way from comments on Daily Kos to the pages of USA Today. But clear evidence suggesting Palin knew Wasilla was charging the victims of sexual assault has been hard to find. Placing the city budget records, however, alongside a timetable of Palin’s firing Chief Stambaugh and hiring Chief Fannon makes it clear the policy was put in place as a direct result of Palin’s leadership.

The mayor of Wasilla before Sarah Palin, John C. Stein, was also a Republican, though the office was and continues to be non-partisan. Mayor Stein was defeated by Sarah Palin in a campaign that brought in the NRA, Republican partisans, and a whisper campaign that Mayor Stein was Jewish (he is a Christian, but is “proud of such a reputation”). He now runs the Sitka Sound Science Center, a marine research facility in Sitka, Alaska.

Mayor Stein told OffTheBus that he didn’t “think victims were billed while [he] was mayor,” but that he wasn’t certain. He did mention that “Wasilla participated in establishing a Sexual Assault Response Team to set-up a one-stop forensic exam room for victims,” evidence of a pro-victim police department. In order to confirm his assertion about the billing policy, he recommended I contact current police chief Angella Long for confirmation. She did not return my request for comment.

However, I was able to eventually track down Irl Stambaugh, police chief of Wasilla from the founding of the department until Sarah Palin fired him for “not fully supporting her efforts to govern.” Stambaugh sued for breach of contract, but lost when a federal judge ruled that “police chiefs serve at the behest of the mayor unless otherwise specified.” He later served as the executive director of the Alaska Police Standards Council.

It turns out that Wasilla did not bill sexual assault victims for the cost of rape exams while Irl Stambaugh was chief of police. As chief, he had included a line item in the budget to pay for the cost of such exams. He had only just heard about the Mayor Palin/Chief Fannon policy today, and was just as shocked to hear about it as I was.

Checking the budget confirmed former Chief Stambaugh’s claim. He had included a contingency of $15,000 in his budget for the department’s 1st year of existence (1993-1994), $5,000 for 1994-1995 and 1995-1996, and $13,000 for his final year as police chief in 1996-1997, spending $11,625.

Duwayne Charles Fannon, his replacement, halved the budget request in 1997-1998, with a request of $7,298, spending $3,454. However, it seems he began the “victim pays” policy in the 1998-1999 fiscal year. That year, he requested $3,000 but spent only $205. This data can be found in the Document Central section of Wasilla’s website.


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Caribou Barbie bloops on climate change

by Geezer Power…1:06 pm

Palin’s climate remarks conflict with past views

Associated Press

4 hours ago

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska (AP) — Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s assertion that she believes humans play a role in climate change — made in her first major interview since joining the Republican ticket — is at odds with her previous statements. Palin said she didn’t disagree with scientists that the problem can be attributed to “man’s activities.”

“Show me where I have ever said that there’s absolute proof that nothing that man has ever conducted or engaged in has had any effect or no effect on climate change. I have not said that,” Palin told ABC News in an interview broadcast Thursday and Friday.

However, in the past Palin has said she does not believe global warming is caused by human activity. She has told the Internet news site Newsmax, “A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. … I’m not one, though, who would attribute it to being man-made.”

In an interview with a Fairbanks newspaper within the last year, Palin said: “I’m not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist blaming the changes in our climate on human activity.” ABC cited the interview as being at odds with her statement.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has said humans have caused climate change.

In the ABC interview, Palin said she believes that “man’s activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change. … Regardless, though, of the reason for climate change, whether it’s entirely, wholly caused by man’s activities or is part of the cyclical nature of our planet — the warming and the cooling trends — regardless of that, John McCain and I agree that we gotta do something about it.”

Palin also said that while she had not met any foreign heads of state, many other vice presidents may not have, either. However, the vice presidents who have served since 1977 — George H.W. Bush, the former ambassador to China and CIA director; Dick Cheney, chief of staff for President Ford and defense secretary for Bush; and Sens. Walter Mondale, Dan Quayle and Gore — likely would have met heads of state and other foreign leaders because of their extensive experience in the federal government.

Questions about Palin’s knowledge of foreign policy dominated the interview with ABC’s Charles Gibson. Palin repeated her earlier assertions that she’s ready to be president if called upon, yet she sidestepped questions on whether she had the national security credentials needed to be commander in chief.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has defended his running mate’s qualifications, citing her command of the Alaska National Guard and Alaska’s proximity to Russia.

Pressed about what insights into recent Russian actions she gained by living in Alaska, Palin told Gibson, “They’re our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”

Palin, 44, has been Alaska’s governor for less than two years and before that was a small-town mayor. Asked whether those were sufficient credentials, Palin said: “It is about reform of government and it’s about putting government back on the side of the people, and that has much to do with foreign policy and national security issues.”

She said she brings expertise in making the country energy independent as a former chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

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By- Suzie-Q @ 1:00 PM MST

Troopergate: “the situation is now grave”….

From:  Andrew Halcro Blog

A Wall Street Journal article today sheds light on advice Governor Palin received back in July about the Monegan firing. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122109403841221751.html?mod=hpp_us_whats_news

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By- Suzie-Q @ 12:05 PM MST

Obama Campaign Vows Aggressive Response to GOP Attacks

Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 12, 2008; 12:28 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 12 — Advisers to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama say they will “respond with speed and ferocity” to attacks from the Republican ticket, with Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), the vice presidential nominee, leading the charge.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said Friday in an e-mail to reporters that Republican nominee John McCain “has shown that he is willing to go into the gutter to win this election. His campaign has become nothing but a series of smears, lies, and cynical attempts to distract from the issues. . . . We will not allow John McCain and his band of Karl Rove disciples to make this big election about small things.”

“Senator Biden will be integral to that effort,” the Plouffe e-mail continues, “both in pushing back on the lies that we’ll continue to see from our opponents, and in keeping the debate focused on delivering for everyday Americans.”

Appearing on the television show “The View” Friday morning, McCain denied that his campaign was making claims about Obama that were untrue. “They’re not lies,” he said.

Biden was scheduled to campaign in Texas today. Obama was leaving New York to campaign in New Hampshire, a state whose primary he lost to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) acknowledged to reporters during a conference call that the campaign was no longer running ads in Georgia and had moved staff from that state to North Carolina, part of what he called a “winnowing” process to focus resources on states Obama believes he can win.


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Afternoon Jukebox… Burning Down The House

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:00 PM MST

Talking Heads- Burning Down The House

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