Bed Time in Alaska – Open Thread

24 09 2008

Stepping back from politics for a moment (is that even possible?), I thought I’d post a nice moose picture.  Why not?  Snoskred, our wonderful Forum creator, has come to really like moose, and since as far as I know, they don’t have moose in Australia, I thought I’d post one.  I took this picture from my driveway while in my car on the way to work the other day.  He was very busily attacking a shrub with his antlers, shaking back and forth, trying to scrape off all the itchy velvet covering they develop in the spring and summer, to reveal the nice shiny antlers underneath. This apparently intimidates the guys and impresses the ladies, now that fall is here, and moose start the process of making baby moose.  I caught him, however,  at the embarrasing moment when it looked like he was wearing a crazy green headdress.

This morning, having breakfast, my spouse said to me, “I haven’t seen a moose in a while.”  And I said, “Actually I saw one the other day crossing the road and going up into that yard with the steep hill.  You know the one…”  I was about to say, the one with the dark hair and the nice antlers.

“You mean, Brian?”  Spouse thought I was going to describe whose yard it was. 

Whereupon my brain froze for a moment….Did he really just call this moose “Brian“?  Then, of course, I realized it was neighbor Brian, and I laughed so hard I almost choked on my canteloupe.

So, of course now, this moose has become….Brian.

But back to politics….(you knew that was coming)  I got a message from someone who has my dream job.  Mudflatter Matt is live blogging from the Ted Stevens trial in D.C.!  No much happened today, but as the trial gets into full swing, it will become a must-read.  The link is HERE, and I’ve added it to the sidebar.

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Palin Meets Couric

24 09 2008

Just for fun, see if you can watch this without putting your palms on your face.  Other than that, I am rendered speechless.





Criminal Witness Tampering in Troopergate?

24 09 2008

Alaksa State Representative Les Gara (D) of Anchorage, just released the following press release, plus a big stack of supporting paperwork. Another shout out to Les Gara, who has been fearless and forceful about speaking up in this matter.

Here’s the press release in its entirety, and a link below to the .pdf file of the supporting documents and criminal statutes for those of you who just love document digging!

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LEGISLATOR ASKS TROOPERS TO LOOK AT POSSIBLE WITNESS TAMPERING

Palin cooperation ended with VP nomination

ANCHORAGE — Today a State Representative called on the Alaska State Troopers to look into possible criminal witness tampering in the state’s bi-partisan legislative Troopergate investigation. Since Gov. Sarah Palin was named to the McCain ticket on Aug. 29, the McCain campaign has sent campaign workers to Alaska to obstruct this investigation.

“Until McCain campaign staffers flew to Alaska to stop this investigation, the Governor and her staff agreed to comply with what we all know is a bi-partisan investigation. After Aug. 29 the campaign started working to block this investigation, and witnesses began joining that effort by ignoring their subpoenas and risking jail time. Something obviously changed the minds of these witnesses after Aug. 29th,” said Rep., Les Gara (D-Anchorage), a State Representative and Former Alaska Assistant Attorney General.

Alaska’s witness tampering statutes prohibit any person from “inducing” a witness to fail to comply with a subpoena. Almost daily, McCain staffers have called press conferences and made efforts to stonewall the legislative investigation. Prior to Aug. 29 no witness had stated they’d refuse to comply with the investigation, and the Governor in fact promised she and her staff would comply.

Last week three witnesses, Palin Administration Officials Ivy Frye and Randy Ruaro, and Palin’s husband Todd, refused to show up for legislative subpoenas. Also, Attorney General Talis Colberg, whose office had agreed that another seven state employees would comply with the investigation, changed position and said they wouldn’t. Those seven witnesses have been subpoenaed and are scheduled to appear Friday before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees.

McCain operatives have spun this as a partisan investigation. The facts show otherwise. Both Committees voted for the subpoenas last week. Six Republicans and four Democrats voted in favor, and only two Senate members voted no. The investigation was started this summer before Palin was named to the McCain ticket, by a unanimous vote of eight Republicans and four Democrats.

The witness tampering statutes follow:

Alaska Statute 11.56.545 –

“(a)Tampering with a witness in the second degree: A person commits the crime of tampering with a witness in the second degree if the person knowingly induces or attempts to induce a witness to be absent from an official proceeding, other than a judicial proceeding, to which the witness has been summoned. (b) Tampering with a witness in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor. (Emphasis added).

AS 11.56.540 has similar elements, and is a felony.
Please see attachmed letter and statute for more details.
Click HERE for letter and statute.




McCain Has Fled the Interview!

24 09 2008

Hmmm. What’s a candidate to do when poll numbers are dropping, and the thing on everyone’s mind is a subject (the economy) you’ve recently admitted you don’t know much about, and you’re about to be asked questions about it in front of an audience of tens of millions of potential voters? Tricky situation.

If you answered “flee the scene”, you’re thinking like John McCain. He has now announced that because of the country’s economic meltdown, he will suspend his campaign, to fly to Washington to work on banking legislation. He wants the first of three presidential debates with Barack Obama, scheduled for this Friday, to be postponed. The decision was spun perfectly by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch:

“This is the John McCain I know,” Hatch said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” “He is willing to risk election to do what’s right for the country.”

So,

  1. McCain really is his “old self”
  2. He’s acting like he knows about the economy, and
  3. He’s putting “country first.”

That’s the story. Not bad. A three-fer.

What say you, Senator Obama?

“In my mind, it’s more important than ever that we present ourselves to the American people and describe where we want to take the country and where we want to take the economy.”

“But what about dealing with the economy now? How can you POSsibly think about the economy and the debate at the same time? Isn’t that irresponsible? Why, why do you hate your country Senator Obama???” the McCain campaign would like you to ask.

“It’s going to be part of the president’s job to be able to deal with more than one thing at once,” Obama reminds us.

Game. Set. Match.

Even though Obama has demonstrated incontrovertibly that he is a Democrat with a spine, and came out with the only appropriate reaction to this unprecedented request from McCain, Democrats should not let their guard down. Something still seems fishy. Will McCain somehow, magically, get credited with brokering a compromise that will solve the economic woes of the nation? Will he be painted as the guy in the red cape who rescued us from the big bad bankers who’ve been playing fast and loose with the hard-earned money of the American people? Is this going to be the October surprise? Or will Palin’s friend Pastor Muthee lay hands on the economy, pray for a miracle, and expel the witches that may be responsible for this whole mess?

Obama has called their bluff. What’s the next move in the chess match? We’ll see before Friday.





“Alaskans for Truth” are Hopping MAD!

24 09 2008

Shhh. Those of you in the Lower 48 (+Hawaii)…be verrrry quiet…. Hear that? You may just be able to make out the sound of a whole lot of Alaskans throwing open their windows, leaning out, and yelling, “WE’RE MAD AS HELL! AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!” (Remember that movie?)

Who’s yelling? Progressive talk show hosts and Conservative talk show hosts, Democrats and Republicans, Indpendents and Non-Partisans, Libertarians and Librarians, Lawyers and Teachers, Politicians and Political Junkies, Hockey Moms and State employees, Legislators from both sides of the aisle, and ….pretty much anyone up here who is paying attention. Those are the kind of people that always seem to gum up the works for those who try so hard to get away with things. We’re such an annoyance, us damn attention-payers…

This contingent of strange political bedfellows have just about had it with Sarah Palin, John McCain and the shenanigans they are pulling with our state government, specifically the department of law. They’re also sick of watching the insidious influence of nasty national politics (in the form of McCain lawyer Ed O’Callaghan) turning once respected local journalists like former KTUU reporter, now Palin mouthpiece, Megan Stapleton into vicious attack wolves who seem to have no qualms about sinking their teeth into the necks of revered public servants and giving them a good shake. To quote a certain presidential candidate, “ENOUGH!”

So what’s an angry mob to do? There have been letters to the editor, opinion pieces in the Daily News, open letters from Legislators, ceaseless clacking on the keyboards of inflamed bloggers, talk show hosts that sound like they’re going to have cardiac arrest…but it just didn’t feel like enough. People kept asking, what can we DO??

Enter “Alaskans for Truth”, a grassroots organization that has come together to give Alaskans a venue to come and vent. Sometimes there’s just nothing like torches and pitchforks signs and bullhorns. A major rally is being organized that will take place on Anchorage’s Park Strip, a downtown park with plenty of grass and plenty of visibility. Guest speakers are planned.

So, if you are in Anchorage, or within driving distance of Anchorage, mark your calendar, make your sign, bring your friends, and bring some good ol’ moral outrage.

Here’s the official press release:

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Hold Palin Accountable Rally

Saturday, September 27th, Noon – 2:00 pm

Downtown Park Strip between I and L Streets, and 9th and 10th.

Main Stage at the Veterans’ Memorial, east end of the park.

Join your Alaskan neighbors in demanding that:

  • Gov. Palin uphold her promise to us for an “open, honest & transparent” government.
  • Gov. Palin uphold her promise to us to cooperate fully with the independent investigation as initiated by the bi-partisan Legislative Council.

We, the People of Alaska, also

  • Demand the immediate resignation of Attorney General Talis Colberg.
  • Demand the McCain campaign immediately remove itself and its influence from our state and local government.
  • Demand the McCain Campaign ends its attorney, Ed O’Callahan’s unlawful intrusion into our Department of Law.