Category Archives: Alaskan Politics

Palin’s Cunning Sleight of Hand

Sarah Palin’s Sleight of Hand

Sarah Palin’s Sleight of Hand

Liberals had a blast mocking Sarah Palin last weekend when she was caught addressing the Tea Party Convention with a cheat sheet scrawled on her hand. Even the president’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, couldn’t resist getting into the act and treated a White House briefing to a Palin hand gag of his own.

Yet the laughter rang hollow. You had to wonder if Palin, who is nothing if not cunning, had sprung a trap. She knows all too well that the more the so-called elites lampoon her, the more she cements her cred with the third of the country that is her base. Her hand hieroglyphics may not have been speaking aids but bait.

If so, mission accomplished. Her sleight of hand gave the anti-Palin chorus another prod to deride her as an empty-headed, subliterate clown, and her fans another cue to rally. The only problem is that the serious import of Palin’s overriding political message got lost in this distracting sideshow. That message has the power to upend the Obama presidency — even if Palin, with her record-low approval ratings, never gets anywhere near the White House.

The Palin shtick has now become the Republican catechism, parroted by every party leader in Washington. Their constant refrain, delivered with cynicism but not irony, is this: Republicans are the anti-big-government, anti-stimulus, anti-Wall Street, pro-Tea Party tribunes of the common folk. “This is about the people,” as Palin repeatedly put it last weekend while pocketing $100,000 of the Tea Partiers’ money.

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Sarah Palin Puts The Trig Question Back On The Table (Video)

Sarah Palin has now made two very clear public statements in the last day about the legitimacy of questions about the maternity of her son Trig. Here’s the first, transcribed from the interview above:

Would you make [Obama’s long form] birth certificate an issue if you ran?

I think the public, rightfully, is still making it an issue. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t know if I would have to bother to make it an issue ’cause I think there are enough members of the electorate who still want answers.

Do you think it’s a fair question to be looking at?

I think it’s a fair question, just like I think past associations and past voting record — all of that is fair game. You know, I’ve got to tell you, too: I think our campaign, the McCain/Palin campaign didn’t do a good enough job in that area. We didn’t call out Obama and some of his associates on their records and what their beliefs were and perhaps what their future plans were. And I don’t think that that was fair to voters to not have done our jobs as candidates and as a campaign to bring to light a lot of the things that now we’re seeing made manifest in the administration.

I mean, truly, if your past is fair game and your kids are fair game, certainly Obama’s past should be. I mean, we want to treat men and women equally, right?

Hey, you know, that’s a great point, in that weird conspiracy-theory freaky thing that people talk about that Trig isn’t my real son. And a lot of people say, “Well you need to produce his birth certificate! You need to prove that he’s your kid!” Which we have done. But yeah, so maybe we could reverse that and use the same [unintelligible]-type thinking on them.

And here’s the second, a later Facebook attempt to walk back some of this:

Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose. I’ve pointed out that it was seemingly fair game during the 2008 election for many on the left to badger my doctor and lawyer for proof that Trig is in fact my child. Conspiracy-minded reporters and voters had a right to ask… which they have repeatedly. But at no point – not during the campaign, and not during recent interviews – have I asked the president to produce his birth certificate or suggested that he was not born in the United States.

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In Spite of Sarah Palin’s Objection: Cooks Inlet Whales to Get Hatitat Protection

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is no friend to the endangered Cook Inlet Beluga whales.

In October, 2008, former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin strongly objected, when the US Fisheries Service listed the Cook Inlet beluga whale as endangered. In addition, before making the decision to quit as governor, Palin threatened to sue over the endangered status of the whale.

On December 1, 2009, after an October 29th notice of intent to sue by Center for Biological Diversity, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finally announced habitat designation for the Cook Inlet beluga whale. The proposal would encompass 3,016 square miles to include parts of Cook Inlet (the whale’s primary summer habitat), mid-Cook Inlet; also the western shore of lower Cook Inlet, and Kachemak Bay on the eastern side.

“While today’s proposal is an important step toward protecting the Cook Inlet beluga, protections for the species remains far from complete,” said Brendan Cummings, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity in Anchorage. “Critical habitat designation should be promptly finalized and expanded to include the lower Inlet. Moreover, the Fisheries Service needs to prepare a recovery plan and stop freely handing out permits to industry allowing the beluga’s habitat to be developed and disturbed.”

The Endangered Species Act was a law enacted in 1973 to protect threatened species and by extension, the specie’s habitat.

Endangered Species Act (5)(A) The term “critical habitat” for a threatened or endangered species means—(i) the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of this Act, on which are found those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation of the species and (II) which may require special management considerations or protection.

The ESA law is clear that vital habitat in which an endangered animal lives must to be protected to promote the growth and health of the population. Industry and politics should not supersede the ESA designation, although attempts to do so occur on a regular basis.

Far too often, federal agencies face political pressures and will delay taking action until they are forced by conservation groups, like The Center for Biological Diversity, to uphold the laws within the ESA.

After Sarah Palin left Alaskan politics, lieutenant governor Sean Parnell was sworn in to take her place. Parnell took up Palin’s stand on protecting industry–over wildlife.

“Listing more than 3,000 square miles of Cook Inlet as critical habitat would do little to help grow the beluga population, but it would devastate economic opportunities in the region,” Governor Parnell said. “The beluga whale population has been coexisting with industry for years. The main threat facing belugas was over-harvest, which is now regulated under a cooperative harvest management plan. Belugas are also protected under the Marine Mammal Act.”

Yet, hunting the whales became illegal a decade ago and they have continued to decline. According to statistics from NOAA, the estimated Cook Inlet beluga whale population has dwindled from 1,300 individuals down to 300 whales.

NOAA’s official announcement contends: recovery of Cook Inlet whales is potentially hindered by severe stranding events; continued development within and along upper Cook Inlet; industrial and municipal activities that discharge or accidentally spill pollutants; disease; predation by killer whales and losses of available prey to fishing or loss of prey habitat. Protecting habitat is essential to the beluga whales’ recovery.

The Cook Inlet whale is one of five species of beluga or white whales and is a genetically distinct in comparison to the four other distant populations of belugas. Normally, belugas move from pod to pod, but that is geographically not possible for the Cooks Inlet whales.

Belugas tend to be the most social, playful, and interactive of the cetacean species and are the only whales known to swim backwards, making them popular attractions at theme parks.

NOAA’s announcement signals the opening of a public comment period that will remain open until January 31, 2010. The designation will not be finalized until spring. Once the designation is final, federal agencies would have to consult with NOAA’s Fisheries Services to make sure there would be no adverse effect to the whale’s habitat before permits for new development could be issued.

Sarah Palin has moved on from her failed bid as John McCain’s Vice president and her short stent as governor of Alaska; to the media spotlight of her book tour promoting “Going Rogue.”

But Governor Parnell, true to his predecessor Sarah Palin and her kill-baby-kill attitude toward wolves, polar bears, whales, and other wildlife—has indicated the state will review all legal options regarding the listing and the proposed critical habitat protection.

The fight may not be over, so it is vitally important to encourage NOAA to proceed with the designated protection of the whale’s habitat and restore this vital natural resource for all Alaskans and nature lovers for generations to come.

Send comments to: Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources, Alaska Region, NOAA Fisheries, ATTN: Ellen Sebastian. Comments must be identified by “RIN 0648-AX50” and sent by any one of the following methods:

Electronic submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at http://www.regulations.gov
Mail: P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK, 99802-1668.
Fax: 907-586-7557
Hand deliver to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK

Perhaps, at long last, the smiling white faces of Cooks Inlet whales will begin to frolic in clean, undisturbed, pristine waters, and be recognized as the valued natural asset they are to the region and to the world.

More information the status of the Cook Inlet WhaleCenter for Biological Diversity

Jean Williams
Examiner.com

Palin to Face Another Ethics Violation Battle

Sarah Palin

Andree McLeod, a longtime critic of Sarah Palin on Friday filed an ethics complaint with the state attorney general's office alleging past aides of the former Alaska governor misused state resources during her run as the Republican vice presidential candidate for Senator John McCain.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) faced yet another ethics complaint on Friday: This time, for allegedly using state resources “for partisan political purposes”  during the 2008 campaign.

Under state law, elected officials may not “use or authorize the use of state funds, facilities, equipment, services, or another government asset or resource” for campaigning, stumping or politicking.

But Palin, argues Andree McLeod — a local activist who has filed many ethics complaints against the former Alaska governor — sought political advice from her staff and asked her office to help her arrange media interviews or phone conversations leading up to Election Day, all using their government-issued e-mail addresses.

According to the Alaska Department of Administration, the use of e-mail is key: That medium, too, counts as a state resource, meaning Palin’s e-mail exchanges with her gubernatorial staff about national campaign strategies could have violated the state’s election law.

“State employees are prohibited from using the state e-mail system or using other state equipment, including fax machines, telephones, computers, or copiers, for partisan political purposes,” the department’s commissioner told The Huffington Post. “However, if you receive such a message, you may respond that Alaska law forbids your use of state equipment for partisan political purposes and ask that the sender not send you further messages concerning campaign activities.”

Palin has long struggled to battle back ethics claims stemming from her tenure as governor — an expensive problem, her allies note, that in part triggered her unexpected resignation earlier this year.

Nevertheless, many of those chargers have since been dropped.

Tony Romm
The Hill

Recap of Sarah Palin’s Many, MANY Lies

Sarah Palin

The many lies of Sarah Palin continue to emerge in "Going Rogue: An American Life."

The lies of Sarah Palin are different from any other politicians’. They are different because they assert things that are demonstrably, empirically untrue; and they are different because once they have been demonstrated to the entire world that they are untrue, Palin keeps repeating them as if they still were true or refuses to acknowledge that she was wrong.

Once again … here are the lies I mean. Go through them. See if you think they are Clintonian type parsings of the truth or artful political hedging or anything like what we find in most pols. They really are not. They are functions of delusion and a worldview that wants things to be a certain way and cannot absorb that they are not. If you find the slightest error or come across a fact that we should add to this list of current lies, please let us know. We want this list to be as accurate as Palin is delusional. We want to create some template of easily-accessible reality as some kind of guard against the fantasies and fabulisms of our post-modern and fundamentalist age.

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Sarah Palin’s Latest Rogue Gaffe

Sarah Palin at one of her book signing this past week.

Sarah Palin at one of her book signing this past week.

There have been so many lies and distortions pointed out in Sarah Palin‘s Going Rogue since it was released last week that her memoir has already become something of a gag line.

But perhaps the most embarrassing gaffe so far is her mis-attributed quote to UCLA basketball legend John Wooden.

As the epigram to Chapter Three, “Drill, Baby, Drill,” Palin assigns the following remarks to the Hall of Fame hoops coach:

Our land is everything to us… I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it–with their lives.

Only the quote wasn’t by John Wooden. It was written by a Native American activist named John Wooden Legs in an essay entitled “Back on the War Ponies,” which appeared in a left-wing anthology, We Are the People: Voices from the Other Side of American History, edited by Nathaniel May, Clint Willis, and James W. Loewen.

Here’s the full quote:

Our land is everything to us. It is the only place in the world where Cheyennes talk the Cheyenne language to each other. It is the only place where Cheyennes remember the same things together. I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it–with their life. My people and the Sioux defeated General Custer at the Little Big Horn.

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“Going Rogue” Review: Sarah Palin Shows She Knows How to Hate; Needs Injection of Pinocchio Serum

Outgoing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (2nd L), her husband Todd (C) look on as incoming Governor Sean Parnell (2nd R) is sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Daniel Winfree (L) during the annual Governor's Picnic July 26, 2009 at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska. Parnell' wife Sandy held the bible for the ceremony. Craig E. Campbell was sworn in as the new Lieutenant Governor.

Outgoing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (2nd L), her husband Todd (C) look on as incoming Governor Sean Parnell (2nd R) is sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Daniel Winfree (L) during the annual Governor's Picnic July 26, 2009 at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska. Parnell' wife Sandy held the bible for the ceremony. Craig E. Campbell was sworn in as the new Lieutenant Governor.

Last July in Fairbanks, with Todd smiling at her side and Piper sitting in her lap, Sarah Palin watched Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell take the oath to fill out her term in office as Governor of Alaska. Then she vanished. For the past four months the Forty-Ninth State has seen neither hide nor hair of the woman. No speeches at chambers of commerce luncheons. No sightings on the street. No Sarah cheering on the sideline at Wasilla Warriors girls basketball games. No Sarah sitting in the pew on Sunday worshiping at the ChangePoint and Anchorage Baptist Temple evangelical mega churches. She’s been gone. Disappeared.

It now turns out that while Alaskans were hunkering down for winter Sarah was in San Diego working for a woman named Lynn Vincent, the ghostwriter HarperCollins hired to cobble together Going Rogue: An American Life, Sarah’s first person account of her it-only-would-happen-in-America rise from small town mayor to small state governor to Republican Vice Presidential candidate to popular culture icon.

Since Tuesday when Going Rogue was released nationwide copies of the book have been flying off the shelves at Barnes & Noble in Boise and Grand Rapids and not flying off the shelves in San Francisco and Seattle.

Since I already have enough to read, I had intended to give Going Rogue a pass until I had time this weekend to motor over to the Anchorage Barnes & Noble and give Ms. Vincent’s word-smithing a skim. But on Monday I learned that I’m in the book. Not surprisingly, that piqued my interest. And then yesterday a friend lent me a copy.

I’ve now read it. Here’s the review.

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