Rally vs. Rally. Do the Math.

15 09 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


Palin Refuses to Cooperate with Ethics Probe. What a Surprise.

15 09 2008

This one didn’t surprise me.  The Associated Press is now reporting that Sarah Palin will no longer be cooperating with the Troopergate investigation.  Actually, I’m not sure if she ever was cooperating with the Troopergate investigation.  So far her cooperation has involved:

  1. Saying she was going to cooperate.
  2. Reiterating that she was going to cooperate.

and….that’s about it.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A campaign spokesman says Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin won’t speak with an investigator hired by lawmakers to look into the firing of her public safety commissioner.

McCain campaign spokesman Ed O’Callaghan told a news conference Monday that the governor, the Republican nominee for vice president, will not cooperate as long as the investigation “remains tainted.” He said he doesn’t know whether Palin’s husband would challenge a subpoena issued to compel his cooperation.

The campaign insists the investigation has been hijacked by Democrats.

And I have yet to have anyone explain to me how a Republican dominated Legislature could have voted unanimouslyto proceed with the investigation by special investigator Stephen Branchflower, and have been “hijacked by Democrats.”   That story may cut it with her new-found friends in the Lower 48, but it’s not cutting it here in Alaska.  I think that this move lost her a lot of respect with Alaska lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and with a lot of Alaskan voters.  There are plenty in Alaska who are caught up in Sarah-mania, and will defend her no matter what she does, but not everyone.

The only reason Palin was not issued a subpoena, is because the Legislature actually believed her when she said she would cooperate.  They actually took her at her word.  (Patting Legislature on head) Oh, you trusting souls. 

Alaskans know corruption.  They know what it feels like to be kicked in the teeth by their elected representatives.  They recognize the signs of guilt, and the twisting and squirming, like a bug on a pin, that our corrupt politicians display when the heat gets turned up.  This is not new.  We’ve danced this dance more times than we care to admit in the last two years. But this one was supposed to be different.  THIS one was supposed to be “clear and transparent.”  THIS one stood up there in her lipstick and her red blazer, and her mantle of change and said, “Hold me accountable.”

We know what’s tainted this investigation, and ‘taint the Democrats.

OK, Legislature.  The ball is in your  court.  Dust yourselves off, because it’s your play.


Palin’s Revelations. Repent! The End is Near.

15 09 2008

If you’re wondering why I wasn’t compulsively posting yesterday, it’s because I got a wonderful invitation to attend a dinner for some of Alaska’s greatest bloggers, and other members of the community. Also invited were a freelance writer who’s doing a piece for The Nation, and a film crew from the UK, working on the Sarah Palin story. So, off I went on a beautiful drive to the Mat-Su Valley, through the golden fall foliage that has suddenly emerged in the last two weeks while I haven’t been looking.

It was great fun to talk with this fascinating group of individuals over some of the best fresh local foods I’ve had in a long time. For someone who has been glued to the screen, and eating cereal because it’s easy, this was a lovely treat – fresh pesto potato salad, beets & goat cheese, copper river red salmon, and communicating without using a keyboard. What a novelty!

In addition to bloggers and media, were other dinner guests I didn’t expect, a local baptist minister, the Rev. Howard Bess, and his wife Darlene. Bess is responsible for writing one of the books that Sarah Palin wanted banned from the Wasilla Public Library while she was mayor. The title of the book? Pastor, I am Gay. The book is so bold as to suggest that gay people are not sinners, nor are they diseased. Well, they don’t like talk like that in the Valley. After the book was written, Rev. Bess was targeted by conservative churches, his book was rejected or pulled off the shelves by bookstores, his long-running column in the local newspaper was terminated, and mayor Palin tried to get the book yanked from the shelves of the public library.

Palin now denies that she wanted to censor library books, but Bess insists that his book was on a “hit list” targeted by Palin. “I’m as certain of that as I am that I’m sitting here. This is a small town, we all know each other. People in city government have confirmed to me what Sarah was trying to do.”

Bess was able to tell his compelling story to the film crew for use in their upcoming project. They also spoke with local bloggers including yours truly. They wouldn’t let me put a bag over my head, so after some desperate negotiating, we settled for a shot from behind, silhouetted by the backlighting of a window, and voice distortion. It made me laugh. Mudflats’ Deepthroat Moment!

Bess was not the only man in the room who has had firsthand knowledge of how Palin’s evangelical views color her world view and therefore, potentially, her policy-making decisions. Phil Munger, our host and author of the Progressive Alaska blog is also a noted local musician and has had many dealings with Sarah Palin in the past.

[He] says that Palin also helped push the evangelical drive to take over the Mat-Su Borough school board. “She wanted to get people who believed in creationism on the board,” said Munger, a music composer and teacher. “I bumped into her once after my band played at a graduation ceremony at the Assembly of God. I said, ‘Sarah, how can you believe in creationism — your father’s a science teacher.’ And she said, ‘We don’t have to agree on everything.’

“I pushed her on the earth’s creation, whether it was really less than 7,000 years old and whether dinosaurs and humans walked the earth at the same time. And she said yes, she’d seen images somewhere of dinosaur fossils with human footprints in them.”

Munger also asked Palin if she truly believed in the End of Days, the doomsday scenario when the Messiah will return. “She looked in my eyes and said, ‘Yes, I think I will see Jesus come back to earth in my lifetime.'”

As the days go by, more and more brave and principled people are standing up and speaking out. Every time someone does, it involves some measure of courage. Alaska is a small town, and opinions that go against the powers that be are not always welcomed. Everyone in that room last night recognized that suddenly, speaking out about Sarah Palin has become an act of sobering and great importance.

David Talbot of Salon.com was supposed to have attended the dinner last night, but was unable to make it. His article that came out today is mandatory reading, and the source of the quotes above. The article goes on further to discuss Sarah Palin’s personal involvement in heated anti-abortion protests that physically disrupted the practice of a local physician.

The convention euphoria is wearing off and the can of worms is being opened.

After you read the article, have fun browsing the guest list of our bloggers dinner:

Progressive Alaska, The Immoral Minority, Celtic Diva’s Blue Oasis, Shannyn Moore, Alaska Real and What Do I Know?


15 09 2008

In Alaska, the image of Sarah Palin has been a constant presence on TV screens, magazine covers, cartoons, and the front page of the newspaper every day since her VP nod. Shortly after the ticket had been announced, there were yard signs, and bumper stickers. Then came the “Super Sarah” t-shirts with modified Superman logo, and the “Our Mama Beats Your Obama” shirts. Those really started to drive me crazy.

And then the universe said, “You want something to complain about? I’LL give you something to complain about!” And lo, the pitbull merchandise arrived – buttons, stickers, more t-shirts, and even hockey jerseys, all with lipstick.

I thought I’d seen it all, including a Super Sarah t-shirt for sale in our local Natural Foods store, merchandised ironically beside the “petroleum-free” lip balm display, and just above the reusable shopping bags.

But wait, there’s more! This email just came, announcing that I could “Bring Sarah to [my] Kitchen!!!” (with 3, count ’em 3 exclamation points!!!) Wow!!! Now available are five designs of…and I quote…”classy tempered kitchen boards” for your chopping amusement.

Images aren’t yet available, but two of the five designs just say “Palin ’08”, apparently assuming that McCain won’t last very long. Another design makes reference to Palin firing the personal chef, saying “We cook for ourselves.” And, of course, what would a Sarah Palin cutting board be without a handy recipe for moose stew?

And for the discerning collector, you can visit Wal-Mike’s roadside store in Trapper Creek, Alaska, and purchase this fine vintage “Palin for Governor” frisbee, now worth $1500. Wake me up when it’s over.