Bedtime Thread – One Word Only.

6 12 2008

Bedtime in Alaska.  There has been lots of duck-paddling going on under the surface of the water here at Mudflats!   WordPress has just done a major upgrade, and I’ve been enjoying the much improved design, back here in my work area behind the scenes.

We’ve  been waiting for this upgrade, to move the blog to a new site!  I promise this will be almost completely painless.  All it will involve is clicking once, which will take you to the new site.  And the new site will look pretty much exactly like this site, only you’ll have some cool new features like the ability to edit your own posts!  Nice.

I’m hoping the jump will happen in the next day or two. 

In the meantime, the Night Kitchen is always open for stream of consciousness chatter, and also check out the One Word Meme thread on the Forum.  Find out how Mudflatters answer a series of questions with just one word!

Fascinating.

Compelling.

Challenging.

Fun!





Oregon Mudstock!

5 12 2008
Thanks to Mudflatter pdx mb in Oregon for reporting back about the Oregon Mudstock!  Sounds like they had a lovely afternoon, and how cute is that Littlest Mudflatter??  Looking forward to reports and photos from Southern California, Anchorage and the Inauguration in D.C. coming soon!
****************************************************************************************
 
 
oregon-mudstock-iv
 
Our Oregon Mudstock was an intimate, but enjoyable affair. We met in Tualatin Oregon (northern Willamette Valley, but south of Portland) on Sunday following Thanksgiving. Perhaps the timing made it difficult for others to make it. We know you were all with us in spirit. Probably the unbelievable gorgeous weather didn’t help. Don’t tell anyone, because we want to keep it a secret here, but Oregon has some of the best autumn weather you can find. In between those infamous gray rainy days, we have days with crisp blue skies, brisk-but-not-frozen temps and even some fall color that may rival New England this year. Okay, I’ve never been to New England, but the trees have been stunning this year! Anyway, our Oregon Mudstock fell on one of these days…
 
Attendees included pdx mb (occasional poster), Jeanine and Susan (don’t have your mudflats names, but both say they are mostly lurkers), and the star and youngest member of our group, Pearl (no mudflats name and too young to post, alas…). Susan brought us a gift of her Obama postcards that she had printed and used for various campaign activities. Pearl had a darling Obama silkscreened tee shirt, and Susan was also wearing a beautiful necklace of an Obama logo carved in wood. At that point we were all still hopeful that Jim Martin might still pull off a victory in Georgia, hopeful about Merkley’s future performance in the Senate, and encouraged by PE Obama’s very presidential actions. Can we have the inauguration already?
 
We also delighted in the knowledge that our Oregon group also includes one Anne Kilkenny (no relation) and another member with ties to Wasilla (her aunt and uncle owned a store for many years before the strip mall invasion). We’re sorry they couldn’t make it. There’s chatter about an inaugural mudfest…
Dutifully reporting,
pdx mb




Palin Stomps Out of Room and Slams Door. Won’t Empty Pockets.

5 12 2008

Indulge me in a little impromptu Mudflats Theatre.

Characters:

Mom & Dad – Well-meaning, but indulgent. Unsure of how this whole family dynamic works. They appear weary and run down.

Child – Cute as a button. Feisty, bold and confident.

Friend – (if actors are hard to come by, this part can be played by a bobble-head doll, and his one line can be cut)

(Curtain rises. We see an average American kitchen. Mom and Dad are standing in front of a child whose arms are folded indignantly. A large jar lies on its side, with the lid removed. Half a cookie sits on the counter.)

M&D – Child, we’ve got a problem here. Someone’s been stealing cookies from the cookie jar. We’ve done some checking, and due to the crumb trail leading to your room, the fact that nobody else was around, and the chocolate in the corners of your mouth, we’ve come to the studied conclusion that it was you. You know you weren’t supposed to be doing this. We haven’t decided what the consequences are going to be, but we are in complete agreement, and do believe you are the one who took the cookies. Do you have something to say?

Child – I do have something to say to you, but you’re going to have to wait a minute. (wipes chocolate from corners of mouth and clears throat) I’ll be right back. (brightly) I’ve done nothing wrong and I can prove it!

(Child runs out the door. Time passes and child returns with a friend.)

Child – (out of breath) I have decided to ask my friend to investigate this, and he has come to the conclusion that I did nothing wrong. So, I really think we need to move along here. I hope you feel better now, Mom and Dad. (smiles)

Friend – (nodding) She has done nothing wrong.

M&D – (tentatively, to friend) But….what about all the evidence? Did you see the crumb trail? It’s not like we didn’t check this out ourselves. And she said she was going to prove she didn’t do it!

Child – So, you’re saying you don’t trust me? (silence) What. Do you want to see what’s in my pockets? Is THAT what you’re saying? Because there are no cookies in there and I’ll show you to prove it. Do you want to know every single thing I told my friend to prove it? Is that what you want? That’s what you want, ISN’T IT?!

M&D – (looking at the floor) Yes. We would like to see that. You promised you’d show us, so go ahead and empty the pockets, and tell us what you said to your friend.

Child – This is rediculous. I can’t believe you won’t let this drop! You really don’t trust me….I can’t believe it. I mean I had my friend check this all out! You are just being unfair! Why do you hate me?!? (pause) You know what? Forget it. I’m NOT showing you what’s in my pocket because you are just being ridiculous! Dad, I know you’d agree with me if it wasn’t for Mom butting in! She just wants to ruin my life! We’ll I’m moving on. There are more important things going on in this house, like homework, and chores, and dinner!

(Child stomps out of room and slams door hard.)

Now, I bring your attention to today’s headline in the Anchorage Daily News:

Governor’s Office: Troopergate is Over and Palin Testimony Won’t Be Released to the Public

As far as Gov. Sarah Palin is concerned, Troopergate is behind her and she won’t provide a transcript of testimony she gave in an investigation into whether she violated ethics laws in firing her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan. [snip]

“The people of Alaska — and of the nation — deserve to have a decision from the proper tribunal putting their minds at ease that suggestions of misconduct that have circulated on the Internet and in some media outlets are not true. I therefore am waiving the confidentiality that usually covers personnel board complaints,” Palin said in a statement released by her lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, on Sept. 2, just days after she was named John McCain’s running mate.

She gave her only testimony in the matter on Oct. 24 while on the vice presidential campaign trail. Van Flein said at the time that she wanted to release a transcript of her deposition. Reached Thursday evening, Van Flein said he hadn’t talked to Palin about releasing it since then. “That’s their call, I guess,” he said.

Palin is simply ready to move on, her deputy press secretary, Sharon Leighow, wrote in an e-mail exchange this week.

“This matter is closed. We see no public purpose in artificially prolonging this controversy.”

Sarah (child) who promised to release her sworn testimony (empty her pockets) which was given to Timothy Petumenos (friend), who performed the investigation of Sarah Palin, which she initiated herself, is now stomping out of the room.

Meanwhile, Mom & Dad (the Legislature) have been told that their work is meaningless, that they are impotent, that they are laughable. The kid just told Mom and Dad that they have no power. And unless we do something about it, Mom and Dad are about to say, “OK, Sweetie. You just go clean your room and we’ll forget all about it. I’m sorry if we upset you.”

These are the kinds of parents that raise spoiled children with a sense of entitlement, who do whatever they want until someone stops them. I don’t want that kid running my state.

This entire situation, of course, is dripping with irony, as GovernorPalin just returned from a trip stumping for Saxby Chambliss on the premise that if Democrats managed to get a 60-seat majority in the Senate, it would be a disaster because “we would have no checks and balances”. And she wouldn’t want HER kids growing up in a country like THAT. Indeed.

Well, Alaska Legislature, I don’t want my children growing up in a country with no checks and balances either. Of course the Palin administration sees no purpose in finishing this process. Because the truth will hurt. Her testimony will open a big can of worms that we can all look at, and pick through, and figure out what she might have said that contradicts the truth. There’s a word for that……oh, yes! “Perjury.” Last time I checked, perjury was a crime.

So, if she really really did nothing wrong, then why won’t she empty her pockets?





Palin is Back at Work.

5 12 2008

I looked at the Anchorage Daily News today, and my first thought was, “Hey, isn’t that the lady from TV?” Yes, indeed, Governor Sarah Palin is back in Alaska and it looks like she’s working!

After the national media descended on Alaska last summer, like ravens on a Wendy’s dumpster, many things were dragged out into the spotlight that otherwise might have lingered in Alaskan obscurity. I think of that bizarre phenomenon like a team of ten or twelve strangers coming into your house and emptying out your closets, taking inventory, and then writing about it.  You’d realize that maybe you had some strange stuff in there, that you had just gotten used to, and other stuff you didn’t even know was in there…but now that you look at it all in the light of day, through someone else’s eyes, you realize that maybe you should have been cleaning out your closets more often.  One of those things was the Palin administration’s record on health care for children and pregnant women.  The national media was not kind in its analysis of how Palin was caring for women and children, and many Alaskans had been furious about it for some time, and felt vindicated by the media analysis from outside the state.

Lawmakers have scrapped for years over Denali KidCare, which provides health insurance for lower income children and pregnant women. Palin last year opposed the push to increase coverage — even though the state was enjoying a huge surplus at the time from high oil prices. It’s one of dozens of policy calls that came under scrutiny as the governor became a national figure in the wake of her nomination this summer for vice president.

Palin, pressed on why she’s now changed her position, kept repeating that it is an opportunity for more children to be covered.

And, as usual, nobody is happy. Democrats think she hasn’t gone far enough, and Republicans think she’s gone too far. But Republicans will likely not stop it, and Democrats will take what they can get.

One of the good things that has come from Palin’s run for VP, is that Alaskans have been forced to look outside the bubble. Those who have felt that Palin’s policies and attitudes were not in alignment with their own, are now realizing that a lot of other Americans out there share their sentiments. It’s hard sometimes to remember that out there is a big wide world that isn’t Alaskan.

We were all expecting, with the price of oil dipping below $40/barrel yesterday, that the state budget was once again going to fall victim to Palin’s dreaded red pen. So this increase in an “entitlement program” in the face of plummeting oil prices, and the coming economic crunch, came as a bit of a surprise. I wonder how much her decisions in the next few years will be made in consideration of that world outside. She has plans for 2012, after all…

Palin will release the rest of her proposed state budget next week and said not to expect any significant cuts. She downplayed the danger falling oil prices pose to the state budget, saying Alaska is in a far better position than other states.

Palin claimed the state could still end up with a surplus even if oil averages $45 a barrel over the next several months.

David Teal, the state Legislature’s chief budget analyst, said that is possible for the current fiscal year that ends in June. But he has doubts. “Oil is falling pretty fast; we don’t know if we’re going to have a surplus or a deficit,” Teal said in an interview. Palin’s new spending plan, though, would start in the next fiscal year — when Alaska oil prices would have to average at least $20 a barrel more than now to balance the budget.

Welcome to the season of tight-rope walking, fiscal wrangling and hand-wringing as we try to pack all that stuff back in the closet.





Come to the Muckraker’s Ball!

5 12 2008

muckrakers-ball

If you’re not busy on Saturday night, or even if you are, make plans to attend the 2008 Muckraker’s Ball & Award Ceremony!  No, alas, I had nothing to do with putting together this fabulous event, even though I’d love to take credit, and the name does seem fitting….

Each year Cook Inlet Keeper, an organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the Cook Inlet watershed and the life within it, chooses one deserving Alaskan who has spoken truth to power, and works to hold the government and corporations accountable for their actions.  Isn’t that a nice concept?   To this individual Cook Inlet Keeper bestows the honorary title  of “Muckraker of the Year.”  This year, the recipient is the amazing and incomparable Dr. Ricki Ott, “whose groundbreaking work has played a vital role shining a necessary light on the politicians, bureaucrats, and Exxon Corporation executives who have labored to cover up and ignore the devastation of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.”

Believe it or not, we are approaching the 20th anniversary of that event whose after effects are still being felt by residents of the Sound, fisherman, wildlife, and all who hold to that area as a symbol of wildness and beauty.

Dr. Ott will be signing copies of her new book, “Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.”

And who is up to emceeing this festive and auspicious event?  None other than Air American radio personality and Alaska blogger, Shannyn Moore!   It will no doubt be loads of fun, and promotes the good work of one of my most favorite organizations.

And to share a small bit of the spirit of Prince William Sound, the site of the Exxon disaster, I’ve added some pictures to the Flickr stream that you’ll find at the bottom of the sidebar.  Enjoy.





Bedtime in Alaska – Night Kitchen is Open!

5 12 2008

Good night, Mudflatters!

More fun stuff going on in the Mudflats Forum!

The Mudflats Book Club is reading The Green Mile in January, and Three Cups of Tea this month.  Get the book and join the discussion!  Click the link for details.

The Mudflats Movie Club has picked its first movie – Chocolat.  Delicious!

Expert Live Chat: To kick off our series of Live Chats with the Experts, Snoskred will be hosting a chat on the secrets of successful blogging. Join us on December 10th at 9 PM EST with your list of blogging questions!  Go to the Forum and click the link in the upper right corner that says Live Chat 24/7!

And if you’re in the mood for an open thread in which to share your thoughts of the moment, join the Night Kitchen already in progress!  And here’s a little secret about the Night Kitchen.  It’s actually open all the time…even during the day!  So if you’ve got an off-topic thought you’ve just got to get out, come on over any time!  The table is always set, and there’s a  coffee cup with your name on it!





Sarah Palin – All. Year. Long.

4 12 2008

All year long?

I know what you’re thinking.  Tell me if I’m right.  Is it,

 “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” ? 

Oh, but it’s true.  Our gun-totin’ “Gover-Girl” has her very own 2009 calendar.  Soon to be gracing garage walls all over the Mat-Su Valley, and the southeastern United States…..(drumroll please)…..

cover

Sarah Palin 2009 Photo Wall Calendar 9×12
just $15.95

This high quality 13-month wall calendar features:
Over 50 photographs of Sarah Palin and her family
Never before seen photos
13 pages of high quality gloss paper
Closed dimensions 9″x12″
Pre-drilled hole for hanging
Cellophane wrapped
Produced and printed in the USA

Sarah Palin went from virtual obscurity to huge popularity as Presidential Candidate John McCain’s running mate. Since then she has re-energized the Conservative base of the Republican Party. As a front runner in the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, she is showing America that she is willing to reform her own party and politics as usual.

Now you can have your very own 2009 calendar featuring never before seen photos of Sarah, with Todd, Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig Palin.

Filled with exclusive photographs by professional photographer Judy Patrick, long time friend, who also served as Palin’s Deputy Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

Why is it not surprising that the woman who is doing the calendar is not only a long-time friend, but that she’s a long-time friend who was ALSO her deputy mayor??  It’s like a double-scoop of croneyism.

And $15.95 for a calendar?  Pretty steep.  Maybe it’s to cover the cost of the  added bonus feature of the pre-drilled hole, or the perhaps the stylish cellophane wrapping…

I have to confess, that while I was expecting a calendar of this sort to emerge eventually, I was also expecting  one of those calendars like the “Bushism-A-Day” ones.  Surely there are enough Palinisms to have a 13-month calendar!  The Gibson and Couric interviews alone are good for a calendar each.

While we wait, Amazon features four  Barack Obama wall calendars, but alas no Joe Biden.  Maybe for 2010.








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