Search This Blog

Loading...

9.28.2008

I'm "in the tank"...

...for Tina Fey. Amy too, ever since she was on 'Upright Citizens Brigade'. Google it. Comedy Central. Watch the videos.

But Mr. RNC chairman, do please let Sarah come home so she can finish what she started in Alaska and/or face the music. See also her quote(s) (distilled down to their essences): "hold ME accountable", "open and transparent" and the famous "get that pipeline built".





-Laz

9.24.2008

Free Sarah P!

Actually I thought she was costing us $223,000+ per year (not counting per diem, $95,000 for lawyering up, travel expenses, tanning bed, etc.) so free isn't so free to Alaskans.


I still don't care for Campbell Brown. But she has a point.

Palin steps up to the plate,



SWING AND A MISS OMFG! WHIFF! Awesome!


Wanda Sykes gives the Democrat rebuttal:



-Laz

9.23.2008

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, oh so very damn wrong!

These guys know EXACTLY what they are saying and why they are saying it.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/09/19/attack-by-association-viewed-as-fair-game-by-mccain-camp/

and:

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/McCain_aide_Campaign_tired_of_catching_0923.html

As I predicted, the GOP are using more racially charged phrases to talk about their opponent -- Salter said to "expect more of the same, saying the campaign was tired of “catching the spears.” -- because Obama is what?!? Both you and I know where this is leading to... they said this because the context of the racial stereotypes they wish use against Obama play right into the phrase "spearchucker". See the "racial slur" part.

I'm NOT agreeing... in fact I am flabberghasted they are getting away with it while the main stream media seems to be doing it's best to NOT notice. I am pointing out yet another instance where the GOP is using historically charged catch phrases with which to attempt to define their opponent, Barack Obama. They are courting the KKK wing of the party each and every time they play these type of word games and I am 100% abso-friggin-lutely sure it is because they know exactly what it is they are saying while appearing to be coy about it.

They've already used "uppity" via the proxy of two southern GOP members in recent interviews and now they get even less subtle with this quote DIRECTLY from the lips of a McCain campaign aide? It is shameful and an embarrassment to a country whose existence and perhaps even the very pretext of said existence should be about our inclusiveness and diversity as a country -- NOT about the racial epithets used and whose use was originally perfected to serve the agenda of hateful segregationists during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Again, expect a lot more of the same type of bullshit from the Rove educated GOP 'insane clown posse' before they engage with the Obama campaign to actually deal with the real issues. They are now completely out of gas and only this type of crap can refuel their efforts. Because of this, John McCain (who I imagine had a little chuckle to himself when he heard this quote because that's the kind of guy I believe him to be) once again proves his unfitness to serve as commander in chief of this country. He can't even run and control his own damn campaign -- how do we expect he'll be able to run an entire country with asshat aides like this one REALLY running things for him?

-Laz

Rachael does Sarah

AND Lyda! Mercy...




I present video for those Wasillans who's big flat panel LCD TVs (which Sarah bought for them with the PFD and energy rebate... "wewt! You go girl!") are on the blink because their son 'Cletus' accidentally threw the Wii controller THROUGH it while playing Mario Tennis BUT they can still see the 'intarnets tubes' because their XBOX 360 is still hooked up broadband style so that they can play more Call of Duty 4 while smoking chrystal meth... but I swear that's just a stereotype. A-hem.


A video and word tone poem to Rachael Maddow, media Queen.


-Laz

OH NOES WE CANT HAZ GUMMI BEARZ!!!1!

Not only no, Wall street pigs in lipstick - HELL NO!





Rachael rocks, btw.


-Laz

Just a Test?

Pay as you go rape kits, Wasilla style.


See also 'ad hoc small town revenue generation schemes, Alaskan: Historical'





-Laz

9.19.2008

A small donation...

Just a small donation is all that is required to flip Sarah the bird on her backwards stance towards women's reproductive rights:

http://brendancalling.com/2008/09/18/palin-and-planned-parenthood/

That's right. Donate to Planned Parenthood in HER name and they'll be kind enough to send her a card thinking her for her donation! Brilliant!

My friends are priceless pranksters and I treasure them all... especially when they come up with ideas like this one. My only regret is that you can't cc: thanks to Sarah at her Yahoo email account(s), McCain on his "Original Maverick" Blackberry and bcc: Todd "The First Dude" Palin.

(ed-that's right , learn to bfriggincc "The First Dude", Sarah. Duh! 10/10/08)

-Laz

9.18.2008

Insanely funny stuff from Scholars&Rogues...

This:

http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2008/09/17/lady-die-de-rothschild-elitism-and-the-final-episode-of-punkd/#more-4090

especially this line:

"Sweet fancy ballroom dancing Jesus - is this the Supreme High Queen of the Mystical Land of Douchebagistan or what? Let’s review her pedigree résumé, shall we?"...

This is an article about how Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a former Hillary Clinton supporter has apparently thrown the Democrats and specifically Barack Obama under the bus.

A Rothschild (even if she is only one by marriage) calling Obama elitist? Oh, please. Stop. I'm laughing so hard my sides are hurting. I'm only surprised that she didn't also call him "uppity". More on that below. Oh and by the way, Lynn -- "kettle".

I'm going to take a WAG (wild ass guess) on this one and say that ultimately her disapproval of Obama is -- wait for it -- deeply seated and thinly veiled unspoken racism. There. I said it. We've already seen not one but two, count 'em, TWO southern Republican politicians brand Obama as (quoting) "uppity". Yes. That's a well known and highly charged code word when it issues from the lips of a racist and I think most of us know what the REST of that commonly used phrase is EXACTLY. It's ugly, it's backwards thinking and it is 100% WRONG. This is the 21st century, people. Not only is it time for us to move on from the 20th century, it is WELL PAST TIME for us to move WAY BEYOND the 1850s.

I am now predicting that we're going to see much more type of ugliness as we get closer to election day and a frantic amount of veiled racism directed towards Barack Obama as the ship of the McCain-Palin ticket sinks on the iceberg of their own clueless stupidity.

-Laz
(a Republican voting FOR Obama)

9.15.2008

It's raining POO!

When the story first broke I predicted to a friend of mine that this investigation, now dubbed 'Troopergate' would become a -- and I quote, "shit-storm of trouble" for Sarah Palin. LONG before she was selected to be John McCain's VP running mate and it is now exactly that:

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Story?id=5804703&page=1

First Palin welcomed investigation and transparency saying she did nothing wrong nor had anything to hide. Then about a month later an audio tape recording was discovered and released of a conversation between one of her minions and a trooper not even connected to Monegan or Wooten (other than the fact he was a fellow trooper) expressing that "Sarah and Todd are unghappy that no action is taking place with this trooper [Wooten] and they are concerned that he [again implying Wooten] is reflecting badly upon the good image of the state troopers...".

Audio found here: http://community.adn.com/adn/node/128967

See also: http://www.andrewhalcro.com/palin_lying_about_baileys_phone_call

Frank Bailey, her former campaign manager and chief of staff was the one heard on that recording, directly pressuring this trooper to bitch it up the chain as it were, hoping to spread dissension through the ranks AFTER the Palins had already approached Monegan to pressure him directly to fire Wooten. As reported by Monegan (in the link at the top) they had already been told that all the complaints against Wooten were both acted and ruled upon -- something they didn't want to hear. There's a phrase for that. It's called "personal vendetta". Yep she's a pitbull alright. But not the kind with lipstick -- the kind that snarls and bites. Bites people that piss her off. She has a long history of this type of behavior politically and it can all be easily documented, so I'll not waste time going over it again. The facts are already out there.

Bailey was suspended when this recording was revealed and is on paid leave at the moment. Palin claimed she and Todd had nothing to do with any of it. Nor that they directed any of her minions to take this sort of action. Funny thing was that she explained her decision to suspend Bailey rather than fire him was motivated by the desire to keep things open and transparent so that an investigation could proceed. She said she welcomed such an investigation and that she would be vindicated in the long run after the truth came out. In retrospect most Alaskans may be of the opinion that she kept him on the payroll rather than firing him outright so that he wouldn't spill his guts. Number me alongside MOST Alaskans.

When asked by Charlie Gibson recently, she again lied about her role in 'Troopergate'. Now they've all lawyered up, with a PERSONAL attorney being paid for BY THE STATE. McCain sent a cadre of operatives up to Alaska AFTER she was selected to be the VP candidate to essentially 're-vet' her and AFTER that, they had the audacity to claim that the DNC had sent their own cadre of 30 operatives up here to work on smearing Palin. That claim was yet another lie by McCain's campaign managers, excellent students of the master Karl Rove that they are (and expert lobbyests for a host of distasteful concerns to disturbing and disgusting to go into now) even going as far to basically write and release a scathing denunciation of the investigators from our empty suited and empty headed Lite Gov., Sean Parnell. It was released THROUGH the McCain campaign for christ sakes. Mr. Rick Davis, please remove you hand from our Lite Govs ass (working his lips like a wooden headed dummy) so he can speak for himself, and crawl back under the rock of douchbaggery from whence you sprung, thank you.

When did Parnell become a member of the Rove/Bush/McCain/Davis team? That must be the day he got some balls loaned to him from the formerly mentioned usual 'Rovian' suspects. Shouldn't both he and Sarah be taking care of state business rather than trying to quash this investigation by spreading outright lies or by directly threatening to quash legislative subpoenas against the witnesses in Palin's inner circle (as attorney general Talis Colberg has also now done)? WTF, people? OATMA (open and transparent my ASS)! If all this isn't "a shit-storm", I don't know what is, people. It's hard to tell which chimp is going to fling some poo next.

Any Alaskan who believes that Parnell was responsible for that press release complaining that the investigation had become "politicized" please raise your hand. Didn't think so. Up until now the man has been as forceful as an al dente angel hair pasta noodle, and that is being kind to poor Sean. He was totally bullied by the head bully of Alaskan politics, Don Young during their primary campaign. Don called him a wimp, an "empty suit" (Don got that one right) and claimed "I beat your Dad before for this seat and I'll beat you, too!" when Parnell announced his intention to run against Young for our sole seat in the U.S. congress. So NOW Parnell grows a pair? Not bloody likely.

See: http://www.reuters.com/article/vcCandidateFeed7/idUSN1246165920080914?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=10112&sp=true

and for more background see: http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/newsreader/story/526632.html

More info from Andrew Halcro, to whom most if not all of the credit for blowing this one wide open goes (based upon an initial tip from a reader of his blog):

http://www.andrewhalcro.com/vetting_wooten_and_troopergate
http://www.andrewhalcro.com/in_pursuit_of_wooten
http://www.andrewhalcro.com/the_outrage_of_frank_baileys_paid_vacation
http://www.andrewhalcro.com/the_state_of_the_state_troopers
http://www.andrewhalcro.com/palin_lying_about_baileys_phone_call
http://www.andrewhalcro.com/rumors_weve_heard_-_thoughts_we_have
http://www.andrewhalcro.com/born_yesterday
http://www.andrewhalcro.com/is_palin_tampering_with_witnesses

and many, many more... I suggest you go to his main site. Him and I don't agree on everything. I too am an independent and progressive Republican. Bet you never thought you'd see those used together in the same sentence. But Halcro nailed this one and for that I and all of us must give him his 'props'. (That's "proper respect" for all you older folks).

Halcro was an republican ex-legislator who ran agains Frank Murkowski and Sarah Palin as an Independent but unfortunately lost. Not because of me. In the primaries (which are closed ones btw, meaning that if you are a registered Democrat you cannot vote the Republican ticket, but if you are a Republican you can vote whatever ticket you want -- corrupt, old boys network laws up here much? You betcha!) I voted for the "anybody but Frank" ticket, namely Sarah Palin. So I helped to defeat Frank Murkowski. Yay! Go me! In the election I voted for Halcro. I wish more people would have done the same. As much as I personally like Tony Knowles who ran against Palin and Halcro, it seemed to me like his heart just wasn't in it last time. Nothing personal, Tony.

Halcro has done an excellent job of digging up the dirt on this story and there is plenty of it to dig. I keep saying (besides my "shitstorm" comment) that when it comes to 'Troopergate' no matter how deep you dig, the hole only gets deeper for Palin and company and there's nothing but MORE and MORE dirt in it.

Stay tuned for more shenannigans because this scandalous abuse of power as perpetrated by the governor is going to mean the END of her political career, no matter how much she and McCain and all their operatives try to bury it. No matter how much they try and stonewall the present bi-partisan mandated legislative investigation and no matter how many times she continues to lie about it.

And to my fellow Alaskans -- I hope you brought an umbrella AND you're wearing your breakup boots because the forcast only calls for more shit. Fifty plus more days and nights of it, blowing hard and horizontal -- it'll continue to rain cat and dog turds up here. With widly scattered bouts of chicken shit thrown in for variety. Mark my words. Best to be prepared for the inevitable fallout afterwards too, because Palin and company will be looking for blood once her and McSame lose. And they will. Then we'll ALL be in deep shit.

-Laz

9.11.2008

Yep, Sarah sure hates those earmarks...

http://www.gov.state.ak.us/omb/09_omb/budget/FFY09%20Summary%20of%20Fed%20Request.pdf

Why there's only four pages of them suggested. What restraint.

Look -- every state gets "earmarked" federal tax dollars. It's what our representatives in Washington, D. C. do. They get taxpayer dollars sent back to their constituents and home states to fund projects.

Alaska has been very good at getting more than our fair share of "earmarks" for quite some time thanks in large part to the work of Ted Stevens. I'm not saying it's right and I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm merely saying that this is how the system works in D. C. and until something else comes along to replace that system, it will continue to function this way.

But for our governor to claim she was and is "a champion against earmarks" is just a blatant falsehood. For her to renege on her original promise of support of the Gravina Island Access Project while accepting and re-purposing the money to other projects and by her failing to match the earmark dollar for dollar with state funds to complete that project (a contingency of why the original earmark was even granted) is completely dishonest, unethical and dishonorable.

Yes, Alaska DOES need important infrastructure improvements. Just like governor Palin was originally quoted as saying about the project. So why didn't governor Palin follow through with her original promise of support for the project?

The other issue to consider is that when Stevens went nuclear on the issue of earmarks and started pointing out the hypocrisy of all the other legislators who do the same thing for their own states, the controversy vanished from the political scene, only to be occasionally referenced by the long flogged "bridges to nowhere" meme. Soundbites triumphed rather than all of them choosing to deal with the hypocrisy directly.

-Laz

9.09.2008

Will the REAL Sarah Palin please stand up?

The nice thing about living in the information age is that the Internet, much like an elephant, NEVER FORGETS. Case in point, what Sarah Palin stood for when running for governor. Those pesky position statements that she is sometimes presently in denial about now that she has been added as the VP pick on the McCain ticket. For example this article from the Anchorage Daily News:

http://www.adn.com/sarah-palin/story/510378.html

This is a question and answer position survey of the various candidates who were running for governor of Alaska at the time and I specifically draw your attention to the following items:

5. Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges [the so called "bridges to nowhere"]?

"Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now - while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist."

So she was FOR it before she was AGAINST it. [at least as of September, 2008]

Her own words reveal a glimpse of her position on the abortion issue. I only present the following so that you may contrast and compare it to that of someone like say, Hillary Clinton, just to see that the two are not interchangeable female archetypes from a purely political perspective:

7. Do you support or oppose the use of public funds for abortion (e.g., paying for abortion, promoting abortion, subsidizing organizations that provide or refer for abortion)?

"I oppose the use of public funds for elective abortions."

See also:

http://www.adn.com/front/story/384857.html

While I do applaud her refusing to let Senate President Lyda Green muddy up the waters of the last special legislative session (specifically called by Palin to hammer out issues pertaining to the natural gas pipeline under the AGIA bill) by bringing in the five separate anti-abortion/anti-choice bills as introduced by John Coghill (R), in a response letter to Green who requested the reintroduction of these bills during the special session she specifically states "As you are aware, I fully support these bills". Palin further chastised Green that perhaps she didn't do enough during the regular session to push all of these bills through the legislature: “As the end of the session drew near, passionate supporters of these measures made an attempt to move these bills to the floor for a vote,” ...“I was surprised to see that you and Senator Huggins voted with the opponents of these bills to block such a vote.”

See:

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/333073.html

and,

http://www.adn.com/front/story/385315.html

and (a copy of both letters) here:

http://community.adn.com/adn/node/126122

As I have stated before, as someone who doesn't own a uterus, I don't really have much to add to the reproductive rights dialog, but I do know that the state has no business telling women what they can and can't do with their own bodies and concerning their own health issues.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, whose pro-choice views are already widely known, evidently Sarah Palin is the exact political opposite of Hillary because of her hardcore (and already well documented) stand against ALL forms of abortion even in the case of rape or incest. She has however been quoted as saying "I am pro-life. With the exception of a doctor's determination that the mother's life would end if the pregnancy continued. I believe that no matter what mistakes we make as a society, we cannot condone ending an innocent's life."

Governor Palin is also known to favor both parental consent and spousal consent laws (two more bills introduced by Coghill in the last regular session of the Alaska legislature) that, in the absence of Roe v. Wade being overturned, would require minors to inform their parents of elective abortions, even those who may be victims of rape and incest perhaps even at the hand of their own parent or family member. The insanity of requiring by law that someone get consent to abort from someone who may have committed rape or incest upon them is unbelievable. It is unconscionable. A bill similar to this passed in the Alaska legislature in 1997 but was tied up in the state supreme court almost immediately upon passage and eventually ruled by the court as unconstitutional. To reintroduce it in almost its exact form less than ten years after being overturned by the courts is an extreme wase of time and a severe folly at best.

As to spousal consent this is more difficult for me to approach as I am a father and I would have been devastated if my ex-wife had unilaterally decided to abort our son. Yet had she made that choice for health reasons or otherwise, I would have supported her decision. While it is likely that as the donor of 50% of the DNA that made that baby possible I may feel that I should have at least a 50% say in that decision, it is still an absolute fact that it is her body and as such she is the ultimate arbiter of what happens with that body. Some of the more shrill opponents of a pro-choice position would perhaps say that this would make me an accessory to a "baby killer" but I would say that you cannot FORCE someone to have a baby. Not even if you love them, are married to them or seemingly have their best interests at heart and in mind.

As evidenced by my previous post concerning her reluctance to move to the state capitol of Juneau, Alaska and her charging the state for 319 days worth of per diems while mostly working from her home in Wasilla, it should come as no surprise that she supports the following:

22. Do you support building a road from Juneau to Skagway?

"Yes".

Having such a road would link the state capitol to the rest of the state unlike its currently less than acceptable position of being reachable only by airplane or the state ferry system. This would make it accessible to ALL of the citizens of the state of Alaska rather than only those who can afford an expensive airline flight or ferry trip simply to gain access to our elected representatives. It may even save the state tens of thousands of dollars shuttling the governor's family back and forth between the Governor's Mansion in Juneau and her "family estate" in Wasilla. She could drive her big black Suburban back and forth, instead.

Recently the governor came under fire in the local media for using her office to promote the defeat of two important ballot measures (both of which later went down to defeat in the most recent election). As a hunter, she has always stated her support for aerial wolf hunting and predator control methods, something which the citizens of the state of Alaska have voted against on several occasions. Her office specifically promoted what Palin herself characterized as an "informational" website that was essentially opposed to the measure. The APOC (Alaska Public Offices Commission) enjoined her and the state from both promoting and presenting this site by saying that it used state resources to promote a negative position and misinformation against this particular ballot measure prior to an election. The state used an appropriation of $400,000 to develop and promote this website, going as far as to place ads on local radio and television stations to further its agenda of preventing passage of the measure and in continuation of the policy for which the state is currently invested. This again is despite of the fact that the majority of the population has voted against this policy position at least two if not three times previously.

See:

http://www.adn.com/politics/story/494548.html

The other initiative they opposed was ballot measure 4, the so called "Clean Water Initiative", the detractors of which had said was a stealth ballot measure designed to thwart the development of the controversial Pebble Mine project. Because of the proposed location of the mine at the headwaters of the watershed that drains into Bristol Bay, one of Alaska's prime deep sea salmon fishing spots, opposition to the mine has been nothing less than fierce. Long before the ballot measure was introduced, Sarah Palin's position was (taken from the governor candidate position statement published previously):

26. Do you support the proposed Pebble mine in Southwest Alaska as the project is now envisioned? If no, are there conditions the mine developers could take that would make the project acceptable?

"As part of a Bristol Bay fishing family, I would not support any development that would endanger the most sensitive and productive fishery in the world".

Yet somehow, almost inexplicably and sometime close to the actual election, governor Palin used her position to promote yet another questionable "informational" website that opposed ballot measure 4 using $25,000 of money appropriated by the Alaska state legislature.

See:

http://www.adn.com/money/industries/mining/story/503506.html

Governor Palin even appeared in television advertisements on local stations stating that she "personally opposed" ballot measure 4, seemingly a position exactly opposite of her previous statement that she "would not support any development that would endanger the most sensitive and productive fishery in the world". Pebble Mine would undoubtedly have some sort of effect upon the watershed of the area which drains DIRECTLY into Bristol Bay. All hard rock, open pit mines historically have some sort of detrimental environmental effect upon their water systems because of the chemicals used to extract minerals from the rocks themselves. To have cyanide, lead and other chemicals released into the water and thus the fish and by extension the people eating those fish is at the very least and perhaps by the very definition of the word, "detrimental". I dare say calamitous, even.

So perhaps yet again another case of she was FOR it before she was AGAINST it.

As someone who identifies himself as a progressive, I find it absurd that politicians take positions that are diametrically opposed to that of their constituents. Politicians are first and foremost supposed to be representatives of their constituents. Period. Full stop. We do not and should not elect our representatives to promote their OWN views but rather the views of the majority when those views don't directly trample upon the rights of the minority.

In retrospect and providing for the adage that hindsight is 20/20, she can now say, after personally opposing it in widely publicized television advertisements and through "informational" websites that she IS representing the will of the people. The absurd part is that she may have used state funds to promote a negative position and/or misinformation to unduly influence the outcome of these particular ballot measures rather than the ethically superior position of supporting the will of the people without exerting her influence. In the long run I have an idea that she will not be vindicated by the fact that these measures went down to defeat but will rather most likely be held accountable by some of the more fair minded people the state of Alaska for exerting this negative influence while using state funds and her personal charisma as a means to an end.

In my mind it does not take much of a leap of faith to imagine that this means to an end was caused by her eagerness to see her AGIA initiative passed and signed into law and to support the future (now present) license holder of AGIA, TransCanada, a Canadian company. The other sticky fact is that the developer of the Pebble Mine project is ALSO a Canadian company. One can easily imagine that the deal to oppose ballot measure 4 was nothing less than tit for tat, trading upon her full cooperation with TransCanada to "play ball" on AGIA if and ONLY if Sarah would come out strongly in opposition to a ballot measure that would effectively kill a future mining project for another Canadian company.

Perhaps that's just the conspiracy theory part of my brain kicking into overdrive. It does however seem fishy (pun intended) that governor Palin would take a chance at risking a fishery ecosystem of such immense importance to Alaska and its economy and one which she previously was so outspoken about protecting, in exchange for the long shot that IS AGIA. It would also seem to take the kind of backroom, old boys network political dealings of the past to perhaps make her change her position so radically. At this point in time Palin seems so politically invested in AGIA being a success for Alaska that even she might take the bait (again, pun intended) to have so totally and unbelievably reversed her position on something she had previously stated to have held so dear to both her life and her livelihood.

AGIA is a long shot because it isn't an actual contract to guarantee that a gas pipeline gets built in Alaska, only a promise that TransCanada can proceed with the right-of-ways, research and development of that pipeline and that the state will help them with this by reimbursing them up to $500,000,000 of the cost of those preliminary steps. Both the state AND TransCanada must work together to get the gas producers (BP, Exxon, ConocoPhillips) to come to the table to hammer out the agreement necessary for getting our natural gas to market.

Since the producers seem to be proceeding full steam ahead with their own project called "Denali" which was deemed by governor Palin as unacceptable to the state of Alaska under the terms of AGIA, that prospect is not likely to happen in the near future. This makes her proclimation of AGIA success somewhat hollow because it is likely that she will be long gone from her position as governor of Alaska before a single cubic foot of natural gas can get to market. And not because she'll be vice president but because, I believe, the gas producing lease holders will tell her to take a hike. Which is all the more reason why she should have told McCain NO to the VP position so that she could be here in Alaska fulfilling the promises she made about building a gas pipeline BEFORE she got so distracted by the heady whiff of power that the RNC seems to presently be feeding to her ego.

-Laz

Outrageous!

I give you this as the definitive example of why our state capitol MUST, once and for all, be moved from Juneau, Alaska:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/08/AR2008090803088.html?hpid=topnews

or:

http://tinyurl.com/5kpbv5

First, the reality of Alaska's capitol city: Juneau, Alaska is not accessible by road. Really. You can get there using the state ferry system or by plane, both of which are more expensive than a flight from Anchorage to Seattle. Seriously.

Alaskans, including myself, have voted several times to move the capitol from the small town of Juneau to a small town in southcentral Alaska called Willow whose main advantage is that it accessible to the majority of the population of the state as it is located on the state rail belt system and along our major highway system. For reasons much to complicated to go into now, efforts to move our capitol to a more accessible location have continually been thwarted.

Again, the majority of the population of Alaska lives in the southcentral Alaska region. As much as 90% of the population in fact lives in Anchorage, the Mat-Su valley (Wasilla, Palmer, Willow) and Fairbanks. Why our capitol is STILL not located where we can have easy access to government and our elected officials remains a mystery. The recent revelations concerning rampant corruption amongst elected representatives might give one pause to think about the real reasons. If we can't get to the place where our state government conducts it's official business, we are less likely to be able to influence the decision making process through protests and we are less likely to be able to see whatever bad behavior is going on while the business of governance is supposedly being conducted.

Sarah Palin does not spend much time in Juneau. By choice. She lives in Wasilla and commutes to her office in Anchorage. She has said she doesn't want to move to Juneau and has yet to really take up residence in the governor's mansion. She fired the head chef at the governor's mansion because, as she explained herself, she and her family aren't there often enough to merit having a chef on call and that she's perfectly capable of cooking for her family herself. She also said she did it as a cost saving measure. So in a sense the money she is saving by not having a chef offsets what she is charging the state for per diems while staying in Wasilla and living in her own house. But it's not enough.

It is galling to me that she has billed state government for per diems for 319 days while living in her own house and eating her own food. She already makes around $125,000 per year! That is about four times more than I make per year as a working stiff! That isn't even including what her and her husband makes as commercial fishermen. Nor does it include what the "First Dude" may have made as an oil rig worker for BP on Alaska's north slope. But you'll argue that I am not governor or a public servant and you'll be correct. Yet she gets to bill the state $16,951 as her allowance for staying at her home rather than working in Juneau because of her own personal choice or convenience. We have a capitol city (for better or worse because of its remoteness from the people) and a place for her and her family to live FOR FREE and from which she can conduct her business as governor. Many times she chooses NOT to go where she belongs and Alaskans get to foot the bill for that personal choice.

Even worse though is that Alaskans also get to pay for the governor's daughters and husband who charged the state $43,490 to travel mostly between their house in Wasilla and Juneau. If they stayed where they were supposed to be, in the governor's mansion in Juneau, this wouldn't be an issue. She wouldn't be able to charge a per diem EXCEPT for when she was on official state business and the state wouldn't be paying all that money to shuttle her family around.

Politicians are supposed to be working for the people as public servants. Sometimes that means having to make hard choices and personal sacrifices -- that is supposed to come with the job. I'm not asking that they be destitute and penniless because of the costs associated with travel and living expenses. Legitimate travel expenses for conducting state business are perfectly acceptable. What I am saying is that she should only be collecting per diems on the days were she was conducting official state business. Period. So you say, but wait -- she's governor EVERY DAY so why not get the per diem EVERY DAY? Because we already pay her $125,000 (approximately... I think the exact figure is $122,500) a year for being governor. That's why.

Sarah, please use your own damn money to pay for personal choices and convenience as it pertains to the living arrangements of your family, just like the rest of us have to do every day. We should NOT be paying all those travel expenses for shuttling her family all over the state. Yes I know she is a mother and she has a special needs child that she must to be near at all times. Keeping the first family in Juneau, where they belong during her time as governor, is the solution.

If you say I'm being sexist I'll counter with this: I was a single parent. In a sense I still am even though my son is now grown and gone, supporting a family of his own. But back then I worked every day, raising my son while managing to survive without the benefit of extra per diem money AND on a salary significantly less than what she gets paid. At the time I was making about six times less than what she currently pulls down as governor because when my son was in his pre-teen and teenage years, we were quite poor. The life of a musician is like that. But I am a parent and I know a little bit about raising kids. The difference being that I had to be both father AND mother as a single parent. My choice. If anything my experience was even more difficult than hers is now. I worked three jobs -- a day job, musician on the weekends (and sometimes week night) AND as a parent. So I have little or no sympathy for what I consider to be her gaming of the system because of her personal choices. Move to Juneau where you belong once and for all or give the money back. Your choice.

-Laz