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Archive for September 16th, 2008

By- Suzie-Q @ 8:45 PM MST

Palin Had Wasilla Pay $24,000 For Her SUV, Nothing For Rape Kits

Tue Sep 16, 2008 at 03:06:45 PM PDT

If you were a small town mayor, what would be your priority: a new SUV for yourself, or justice for women who have been raped?  If your name is Sarah Palin, the answer is shocking.

Buried within last weekend’s explosive NY Times story on Sarah Palin was a much-overlooked tidbit:

Ms. Palin ordered city employees not to talk to the press. And she used city money to buy a white Suburban for the mayor’s use — employees sarcastically called it the mayor-mobile.

The MSRP for a 1997 Chevy Suburban was about $24,000.  For a town with only 6,000 residents, that’s a LOT of money.  And that’s not including insurance, registration, maintenance and gas money.

And as DemocraticLuntz pointed out to me yesterday, that $24,000 could have covered the costs of up to 80 RAPE KITS.

Apparently the “mayor-mobile” was a priority for Sarah Palin. Rape victims were not.

I’ve heard of big city mayors driving city-owned vehicles (though some, like Buffalo NY, are cutting back), but in a very small town like Wasilla this is a ridiculous abuse of taxpayer money.  And it is even more shocking when you learn that Wasilla decided that they didn’t have enough funds to cover the costs of rape investigations.

Remember this story:

May 23, 2000

ANCHORAGE – Gov. Tony Knowles recently signed legislation protecting victims of sexual assault from being billed for tests to collect evidence of the crime, but one local police chief said the new law will further burden taxpayers….

While the Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams, which cost between $300 to $1,200 apiece, the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests.

Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon does not agree with the new legislation, saying the law will require the city and communities to come up with more funds to cover the costs of the forensic exams.

Chief Fannon was hired by Sarah Palin in 1996, after she fired the previous police chief Irl Stambaugh.  Here is some background on Stambaugh, and the two issues that led Palin to fire him:

In 1994, Wasilla nominated Stambaugh to be Alaska’s Municipal Employee of the Year. He started with nothing, but, within a year, assembled a trained staff of eight officers who would record 206 drunken-driving arrests.

In the summer of 1996, Stambaugh encouraged Wasilla and the Mat-Su Borough, the regional governing body, to pass ordinances requiring bars and liquor stores to close earlier than 5 a.m., the latest hour allowed by state law. Because bars in Anchorage closed earlier, some people drove to Wasilla to keep drinking, endangering themselves and others, Stambaugh argued. He wanted Wasilla’s bars to close at 2:30 a.m. on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends.

The idea’s supporters talked of reducing roadway fatalities. Opponents talked of an encroachment on their individual freedom. The borough’s leadership rejected the proposal, and afterward so did the Wasilla City Council, by a 3-2 vote. Palin was in the majority.

This same year, Stambaugh opposed a state legislative proposal to lift some restrictions on Alaska’s concealed-weapons law. Among other things, it would allow concealed weapons in banks and even bars. Stambaugh called the idea “ridiculous.” “Bars, guns and booze don’t mix under any circumstances,” he would later say.

The proposal passed the legislature, but Stambaugh and others asked Alaska’s governor, Tony Knowles, to veto it. The governor did — to the dismay of the bill’s proponents, which included the NRA.

Once Palin was elected mayor, she fired Stambaugh for perceived “disloyalty” despite all evidence to the contrary.  His real crime was to go against the NRA and the local bar owners.

The new police chief, Charlie Fannon, quickly began cutting funds for the rape kits:

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.

When the state legislature overturned Wasilla’s offensive policy, Palin’s hand-picked police chief bemoaned how much it would cost:

“In the past weve charged the cost of exams to the victims insurance company when possible. I just dont want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer,” Fannon said.

According to Fannon, the new law will cost the Wasilla Police Department approximately $5,000 to $14,000 a year to collect evidence for sexual assault cases.

Bottom line: Sarah Palin believed that her $24,000 SUV was a wise use of taxpayer money. But when the women in Wasilla were raped, the city was just too hard up for cash to pay for their rape examinations.

She should have sold the SUV on eBay and used the money to cover this cost.

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McCain: Fundamentals Of Our Economy Are Strong (VIDEO)

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:45 PM MST

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By- Suzie-Q @ 4:30 PM MST

This is NOT 2000 or 2004: Obama Team files suit over alleged voter supression plan + GOP Response

Tue Sep 16, 2008 at 10:10:58 AM PDT

This just in:

On afternoon conference call, Obama and Michigan Democratic officials say they are seeking an injunction to block alleged “caging” by the state GOP– using home foreclosure lists to seek to block residents from voting.
Obama counsel Bob Bauer: “It is an absolute attack on their right to vote” and a “completely false and completely illegal basis” to challenge votes.
“This is a standard operating procedure within the Republican party that’s been under legal challenge.”

http://thepage.time.com/…

Sorry for short diary.  Will add more as information comes in.

The Macomb party chair denies the comments attributed to him.

An article in the Michigan Messenger, a left-leaning political news Web site, appeared Wednesday titled: “Lose your house, lose your vote.” In it, reporter Eartha Jane Melzer quoted Carabelli discussing the Macomb County Republican Party’s plans for Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” the quote attributed to him reads.

On a related Obama note Muzikal203 has posted a diary on Obama’s economic speech this morning:

http://www.dailykos.com/…

Republicans are the reason the houses are being foreclosed on, and now he’s trying to prevent those same people’s voices from being heard. That’s just shameful.
Muzikal203

Video segment on Democracy Now about the Michigan Voter Suppression:

Great Post from 99 percent pure regarding Voting:

(more…)

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Open Thread…

By- Suzie-Q @ 4:00 PM MST

Hey GEF:

Who is the new girlfriend?  Btw… you’re looking great!  hehe

You will never change… always looking up some girl’s dress…

Nice outfit you’re wearing! I especially like those shoes.. LOL

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Alec Baldwin: Tina Fey “Nailed” Palin

By- Suzie-Q @ 3:00 PM MST

Alec Baldwin: Tina Fey “Nailed” Palin And Ledger Was A Brando

Huffington Post |   September 16, 2008 02:46 PM

Actor and author Alec Baldwin complimented “30 Rock” costar Tina Fey’s impression of Sarah Palin at a Time magazine Q&A Tuesday in New York. Videotaped for an upcoming issue of the magazine’s 10 questions and done to promote “30 Rock” (back late next month) and his book A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce (out next week), Baldwin answered user submitted questions in a room at the Time offices Tuesday morning.

The first question asked what he thought of Tina Fey’s impression of Sarah Palin on “Saturday Night Live”:

Obviously people jumped on that the moment Palin emerged… she was nervous to get it right. People were sending her ideas, these are her former colleagues at the show, and I was with her at work and they were submitting these suggestions to her and I think she was very nervous to get the right one, and also one that’s not too malicious or what have you, you know, to really get the right tone. I watched and I couldn’t believe it. I thought that they nailed it!

He added, in an imitation of Fey as Palin from SNL, “I can see Russia from my house!”He went on of Fey:

You know, she really is an incredible actress. She came into the show for the news segment of SNL, and writing, obviously. And the more she goes out there on the ice the better she can do. I really think she’s funny.

Later, Baldwin took a moment from discussing art’s importance to compliment Heath Ledger:

Watch a movie like “Brokeback Mountain,” which is an incredible movie. You know, Heath Ledger dying was this huge tragedy because he gave one of the greatest screen performances of a male performer in 50 years, literally. Like with Brando. I would never say that, but he was that great in that movie. Forget Batman and all this other crap. “Brokeback Mountain” was just unbelievable.

During the rest of the hour, Baldwin talked politics and divorce, did dead-on impressions of Tony Bennett and “30 Rock” costar Tracy Morgan (whom he named when asked who cracks him up), shared what it’s like backstage at SNL and told self-deprecating stories of his Hollywood career, like the failure of “Prelude to a Kiss.”

The video should be on Time’s website Wednesday and some answers will be in Friday’s issue of the magazine.

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Teaching Your Kids About Environmental Stupidity!

GEF @ 5:48 PM ET

CAPTION:

SEE THOSE PLANES OVER THERE KIDS ? THOSE ARE THE GREEDY INTERNATIONAL BIO-TECHNOLOGY CORPORATIONS TESTING CHEMICALS ON THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD. THEY ARE ALSO EXPERIMENTING WITH WEATHER MODIFICATION AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL BIO WARFARE MILITARY PROJECTS.  HOPEFULLY WHEN YOU GET OLDER YOU CAN HELP STOP THESE STUPID PEOPLE FROM DESTROYING OUR WORLD!

Chemtrails

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Palin Put Alaskan Women And Children At Risk

By- Suzie-Q @ 1:30 PM MST

Critics say Gov. Sarah Palin, pictured here in her home state of Alaska last week, has not addressed... Expand Critics say Gov. Sarah Palin, pictured here in her home state of Alaska last week, has not addressed the rampant sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence and murder that make her state one of the most dangerous places in the country for women and children. Collapse (DONNA SVENNEVIK / ABC)

Critics say Gov. Sarah Palin, pictured here in her home state of Alaska last week, has not addressed... Expand Critics say Gov. Sarah Palin, pictured here in her home state of Alaska last week, has not addressed the rampant sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence and murder that make her state one of the most dangerous places in the country for women and children. Collapse (DONNA SVENNEVIK / ABC)

Palin Put Alaskan Women and Kids at Risk in Pursuit of Vendetta

Tue Sep 16, 2008 at 08:40:13 AM PDT

ABC News:

Evangelicals and social conservatives have embraced McCain’s vice presidential pick for what they call her “pro-family,” “pro-woman” values. But in Alaska, critics say Gov. Sarah Palin has not addressed the rampant sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence and murder that make her state one of the most dangerous places in the country for women and children.

Alaska leads the nation in reported forcible rapes per capita, according to the FBI, with a rate two and a half times the national average  a ranking it has held for many years. Children are no safer: Public safety experts believe that the prevalence of rape and sexual assault of minors in Alaska makes the state’s record one of the worst in the U.S. And while solid statistics on domestic violence are hard to come by, most – including Gov. Palin – agree it is an “epidemic.”

Terrible. But all was not lost in Alaska. There were dedicated public servants who made the reduction and prevention of violence against women a priority.

Some members of Palin’s administration were focused on the issue of sexual violence. Officials in the Department of Public Safety were devising an ambitious, multi-million-dollar initiative to seriously tackle sex crimes in the state…

Whew! Thank God.

…but Palin’s office put the plan on hold in July.

Damn! Why the hell would she do that?!

Days later, Palin fired its chief proponent, Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, after he declined to dismiss a state trooper Palin accused of threatening her own family members. Palin has said she fired Monegan because she wanted to move his department in a “new direction,” and he was not being “a team player on budgeting issues.” The dismissal is now at the center of a hotly-contested investigation by the state legislature.

Yes, that’s right. In her effort to “protect her family” from domestic violence, she fired the state’s leading advocate for domestic violence prevention. Because he wouldn’t agree to fire her ex-brother in-law, State Trooper Mike Wooten, on her say-so.

How she hoped to protect her family by making it more difficult for Wooten to pay his bills, nobody has yet figured out.

But in the meantime, the victims of Alaska’s absolutely scandalous rate of violence against women and children — not to mention the one guy who actually cared — are paying the price for a governor who puts her obsession with using the trappings of high office to settle personal scores ahead of protecting public safety.

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It’s NOT A Beautiful Day In McCain’s Neighborhood…

By- Suzie-Q @ 1:00 PM MST

McCain’s Very Bad Day

Huffington Post |  Katharine Zaleski   |   September 16, 2008 12:06 PM

McCain’s campaign has been all over the place today – from the economy, to his criticism of morning show anchors, to whether he invented the Blackberry and on Sarah Palin’s inability to run a company. And to make matters worse, conservative pundits are turning against McCain.

The biggest flub came this morning when McCain slammed Wall Street “fat cats” even though his single biggest donor is Merrill Lynch. After denouncing the very people that help pay for his campaign, McCain suggested the government set up a commission to look into what went wrong. Barack Obama criticized McCain for “passing the buck” on the economy:

Democratic candidate Barack Obama says he will take regulatory oversight seriously as president and accuses his Republican opponent, John McCain, of wanting to “pass the buck.”

McCain proposed Tuesday to create a commission to study how the economic crisis came about. McCain compared it to the Sept. 11 commission established to investigate the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Katharine Zaleski is the Senior News Editor of HuffingtonPost.com. She can be reached at zaleski@huffingtonpost.com

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Palin Rally vs. Rally… It’s In The Numbers

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:30 PM MST

Rally vs. Rally. Do the Math

From:  Mudflats Blog September 15, 2008

I’ve been asked a couple times for comparative images of the Pro-Palin rally and the Anti-Palin rallies. So, here they are.

Here’s the pro-Palin rally in a room with a capacity of 5000 people. If you don’t count security, secret service, staffers, and media, I’m guessing a maximum of about 800-900 people.  Boots on the ground from the Ed Schultz Show that was in town, counted the crowd at about 500.

The first third of the Alaska Women Reject Palin rally.

The last third of the Alaska Women Reject Palin rally. There were also people on the other side of the street and a chunk between the two photos I didn’t get.

There were between 1400 and 1500 rally-goers, and about 90 at the counter rally according to an observer who went through the crowd with a counter. Anchorage police estimated “more than 1500″.

All photos were taken with the same lens.

***Feel free to repost or circulate these pictures. Links please.***

For more pictures of the pro-Palin rally go HERE

For more pictures of the Alaska Women Reject Palin rally go HERE

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Afternoon Jukebox… Leather and Lace

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:00 PM MST


Stevie Nicks and Don Henley – Leather and Lace

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