Sarah Palin’s Wardrobe Malfunction & Some Useless Trivia.

21 10 2008

I’m still shaking my head about this one.  Scarf-gate?  Not since Rachael Ray, and her “terrorist scarf,” have there been so many raised eyebrows over a piece of neckware.  Sarah Palin was seen today at a rally in Reno, Nevada, according to Newsweek, wearing a very patriotic silk scarf with the word “Vote” on it….flanked by rows and rows of (wait for it) Democratic donkeys! This may truly be one of my favorite moments of her campaign. It’s clear that she (and perhaps her RNC professional shopper) does not know that the donkey is the symbol of the Democratic Party. After the discovery that she still does not know the basic job description of the Vice President, this shouldn’t surprise us.  And alas, now that the donkey’s out of the bag, she probably won’t be wearing it again, but thanks to the magic of the internet, you can click HERE for the stunning visual.

One more reason to like Barack Obama.  He wouldn’t show up at a campaign event in an elephant tie.

And here’s this little snippet from Palin during a CNN interview today with Drew Griffin.

So, finally Joe the plumber and as we talked about today in the speech, too, he’s representing, you know, Jane the engineer and Molly the dental hygienist and Chuck the teacher and, and all these good, hard-working Americans who are, finally, were able to hear in very plain talk the other night, what Barack Obama’s intentions were to redistribute wealth.

For anyone who wants to impress their friends with their erudite knowledge of Sarah Palin trivia, “Molly the dental hygienist” is a reference to Sarah’s sister, Molly (Wooten) McCann, the ex-troopergate-wife, and “Chuck the teacher” is her father, Chuck Heath.  Jane the engineer? I’m still working on that one.

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What the VP Does…Every Day.

21 10 2008

I remember when this clip first came out:

That’s when I sat here smugly, thinking, “Well, there goes THAT!” We had heard rumors about Palin being on the short list for VP, but this clip cemented it in my head. Nobody, I mean NObody could possibly pick this woman who actually admitted on camera that they have no idea what the VP does. It would be political suicide! She’d be a mockery, and so would the one who picked her! (chuckling) Whew! Case closed.

At the time this interview was done, there had been plenty of talk up here about Sarah Palin as a potential VP. She knew about this…it wasn’t just a question she was asked out of the blue.

So, if you knew that you were being considered for the position of Vice President of the United States, AND you realized that you did not in fact know what the responsibilities of the postition were, wouldn’t you…I don’t know… look it up?   Just out of curiosity?  It’s not like the job responsibilities are tucked away in some dusty book vault, and you have to apply for a permit to get in and research it.  It’s all right there in the Constitution. 

Not bothering to figure it out, and saying that “someone will have to explain to me” goes beyond intellectual laziness. It’s intellectual disinterest.

OK, now imagine that you were actually chosen to be your party’s VP nominee. You still haven’t found out what the job responsibilities are…you’d better get with it! You can either Google “US Constituion” or check out the Wikipedia entry, or you could ask somebody, because you’re now surrounded by people who ought to know these kinds of things. Here’s WIkipedia.

The formal powers and role of the vice president are limited by the Constitution to becoming President should the President become unable to serve (e.g. due to the death, resignation, or medical impairment of the President) and acting as the presiding officer of the U.S. Senate. As President of the Senate, the Vice President has two primary duties: to cast a vote in the event of a Senate deadlock to cast a vote in the event of a Senate deadlock and to preside over and certify the official vote count of the U.S. Electoral College. For example, in the first half of 2001, the Senators were divided 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats and Dick Cheney’s tie-breaking vote gave the Republicans the Senate majority.

The informal roles and functions of the Vice President depend on the specific relationship between the President and the Vice President, but often include drafter and spokesperson for the administration’s policy, as an adviser to the president, as Chairman of the Board of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a Member of the board of the Smithsonian and as a symbol of American concern or support.

Read that again, if you need to.  Got it?  OK, here’s Sarah Palin’s take on that.

Aw, that’s something that Piper would ask me, as a second grader, also. That’s a great question, Brandon, and a Vice President has a really great job, because no only are they there to support the President agenda, they’re like a team member, the team mate to that President. But also, they’re in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to they can really get in there with the Senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. And it’s a great job and I look forward to having that job.

That’s a question that Piper would ask?  Ahem…Governor?  That’s a question YOU would ask!  (See first video)

I think she must have just seen the words “President of the Senate” and then…..(cue harp music..everything goes gauzy and sparkly, as Sarah Palin walks into the Senate chambers with a big bull whip, clacking down the aisle in her shiny red pumps, and sliding in to the throne President’s seat….)  No need to read further.  Why ruin it?

Besides her obvious lack of qualification for the main duty of the VP (be ready to become President), there’s one Vice Presidential duty of which I was actually unaware, and frankly,  it makes me a little concerned. The Vice President is Chairman of the Board of NASA?  So, if she wins, Sarah Palin would literally be in charge of a board of rocket scientists? The mind reels. But there is one duty listed above in which she has already proven herself more than qualified. I think we can all safely say that Sarah Palin has truly become a “symbol of American concern.”

As I watched that second video, I was trying to figure out what the heck she was wearing…  It looked like some kind of plastic, red, zip-up thing.  Was it some kind of retro 80s thing?  Was she afraid it was going to start raining in the studio?  Was it the prototype for the new Republicanized NASA jumpsuit?    What WAS that??  Then I come to find out, it’s a brand new red leather jacket purchased for her by the Republican National Committee, along with the rest of the Palin family’s new $150,000 wardrobe.  Yes, they spent campaign money to deck out the Palins in some fancy new duds.  Joe Sixpack eat your heart out!   Guess she liked that jacket so much, she left it on for the interview.  Think she’ll sleep in it?

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Palin Charges State for Children’s Travel

21 10 2008

This news came out during “Per Diem Gate”, but the Associated Press has delved into it a little further, and brought it to the forefront once again.  Click the link to read the whole sordid thing.  Quite a fiscal refomer, don’tcha think?  *wink*  It’s going to be a very interesting homecoming, folks.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters’ 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.

Alaska law does not specifically address expenses for a governor’s children. The law allows for payment of expenses for anyone conducting official state business.

As governor, Palin justified having the state pay for the travel of her daughters – Bristol, 17; Willow, 14; and Piper, 7 – by noting on travel forms that the girls had been invited to attend or participate in events on the governor’s schedule.

But some organizers of these events said they were surprised when the Palin children showed up uninvited, or said they agreed to a request by the governor to allow the children to attend.

Several other organizers said the children merely accompanied their mother and did not participate. The trips enabled Palin, whose main state office is in the capital of Juneau, to spend more time with her children.

“She said any event she can take her kids to is an event she tries to attend,” said Jennifer McCarthy, who helped organize the June 2007 Family Day Celebration picnic in Ketchikan that Piper attended with her parents.

State Finance Director Kim Garnero told The Associated Press she has not reviewed the Palins’ travel expense forms, so she could not say whether the daughters’ travel with their mother would meet the definition of official business.

After Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain chose Palin his running mate and reporters asked for the records, Palin ordered changes to previously filed expense reports for her daughters’ travel.

In the amended reports, Palin added phrases such as “First Family attending” and “First Family invited” to explain the girls’ attendance.

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Palins National Numbers Soar…Up to 55% from 50% Two Weeks Ago.

21 10 2008

That’s right. In a national NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll 55% of Americans now feel that Sarah Palin is unqualified to be President, up from 50% two weeks ago. As we all know, breaking that 50% mark is pretty convincing. I think that we can now safely say, that according to Americans, Sarah Palin is not qualified.

We’ve been spreading the news since the morning of August 29, and it seems that it only took 54 days to convince the majority of the country. Not bad.

The one candidate whose popularity has fallen is Gov. Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee. Voters are less likely to see her in a positive light, and much more likely to report negative feelings.

Fifty-five percent of voters say Gov. Palin isn’t qualified to be president if the need arises, up from 50% two weeks ago. And when given a list of possible concerns about Sen. McCain, voters were by far most likely to say they worry about Gov. Palin’s qualification to be president.

The concern about Gov. Palin may also be reflected in the enthusiasm gap between the candidates, which appeared to be closing after the conventions but has widened again. Four in 10 McCain voters call him the “lesser of two evils”; 14% of Obama voters feel the same way. Twenty-six percent of McCain voters say they are excited about their vote; twice as many Obama voters feel excited.

Some daily tracking polls have found a tighter race between Sens. McCain and Obama. But the Journal’s margin is consistent with most national polls, including one released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, which found a 14-point advantage for Sen. Obama among registered voters.

Other numbers on the rise?

People who think the country is on the wrong track is at a new high of 78%.

People who rated their interest in this election as a 10 on a scale of 1-10 is at a new high of 81%.

There are many more interesting nuggets to be found in the poll data HERE.

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Ted Stevens’ Trial…Closing Arguments Begin.

21 10 2008

We’ve heard about massage chairs, sled dog puppies, and giant black furniture. We’ve heard from contractors, and former best friends, and Mrs. Stevens. We’ve been regaled with stories of male-bonding and wine drinking for weight loss in the desert Southwest. I refer, of course, to the Ted Stevens trial. All in all the trial has been very….Alaskan. Stevens faces seven felony counts of failure to disclose gifts on his Senate Financial Disclosure Forms.

Today is the day closing arguments begin, and the prosecution is presenting its case right now. By tomorrow, the jury deliberations will have started.

WASHINGTON – As prosecutors made their final argument Tuesday to jurors in Sen. Ted Stevens’ corruption case, they replayed a now-infamous recording of the senator, who told a close friend that the worst that could ever happen to him as a result of a federal investigation would be a little jail time, or perhaps excessive legal bills.

“Does that sound like someone who really believes he didn’t do something wrong?” asked prosecutor Joseph Bottini, an assistant U.S. Attorney from Anchorage who delivered closing arguments for the Justice Department this morning.

[snip]

Some of those things Stevens was given were smaller than others, Bottini acknowledged, such as a stained glass window and a generator. But none of those items were ever disclosed as gifts on his financial disclosure forms, Bottini said.

And “how he treats these smaller items speaks volumes about how he intended to treat the bigger ticket items, like the home remodel,” Bottini said.

His attitude was clear when he tried to figure out how to disclose the value of a sled dog his friends bought him at a charity auction, Bottini said. Stevens, in asking about the dog, wrote an e-mail describing the disclosure requirements as a “GD” disclosure form.

“He calls it his, pardon me, his “God Damn” disclosure form,” Bottini said. “That pretty much sums up his attitude. He’s not above the law and he can’t evade it simply because he doesn’t like it.”

Alaskans are sitting on the edge of their seats. The one furthest on the edge? Other than Ted himself, it’s probably Anchorage Mayor, and Stevens’ Democratic rival for the senate seat, Mark Begich. An acquittal for Stevens makes his job a lot more daunting.





Bedtime in Alaska – TrollStock & Brian is Not Pleased!

21 10 2008

I’m off to bed after a long evening of Trolling!  (The weary hunter recounts the tale)  For the most part, I actually like troll hunting.  It’s pretty easy, and I always win.  I like grabbing them by the scruff of their little post, and flinging them out into the mudflats.  The motion is kind of like throwing a discus, only there’s a long eeeeeeeeeeeee! sound, followed by a satisfying ~~~~~~~~~~~~~SPLAT! at the end.

And thanks to those of you who alert me via email.  You guys are on the ball!   It’s also fun to see where the trolls are coming from.  I’ve been keeping score, hoping to see a trend, but so far they are fairly evenly dispersed.  The only state with more than one troll so far is Arizona….Hmmm. 

Interesting to see what draws them here, too.  The ACORN post was like troll candy!!   Some of them even try to figure out how to get back once they’ve been flung.  It’s kind of sad/funny to watch them in the spam queue changing their screen names, and emails, trying to worm their way back in. 

I imagine them all now having a TrollStock together out in the Mudflats – the homophobe, the racist, the socialist-phobe, the woman who hates feminists, the one who sites Rush Limbaugh as a news source, the one that thinks “librails are marons”, just sitting around in the muck.

But the real news of the night is Brian!  There was a little kerfuffle today.  I can see a trail from my house, and today a guy with a dog was taking a little hike.  I recognized thd dog….it’s the one that always chases my car and makes me crazy!  All of a sudden the dog started barking and ran over to a large dark object in the bushes.  He spotted Brian.  This time of year, Brian is not fond of being tormented by dogs.  The weather has turned cold, there are no more succulent green things to eat, and his thoughts and hormones have turned to…love.  Dogs do not factor in to this equation.  The dog, however,  does not realize this.  All of a sudden Brian had had about enought of this annoying creature, started snorting, grunting, spinning around in circles with his antlers down….and charged.  So of course, the dog is now a little freaked out with this giant set of antlers heading straight at him, and decides the best thing to do is to hide behind the human’s legs.  The human is not pleased with this tactic.

As I’m watching this…much too far away to do anything, the group of three changes position and relocates behind some trees and shrubbery.  A moment later, out pops the human running as fast as his legs will carry him, arms flailing in an almost Monty Python-esque way.  Then comes the dog after him, likewise.  Fortunately, Brian did not follow, and disaster was averted.

Moral of the story:  If you’re hiking in the woods in Alaska during rutting season with a dog that likes to chase cars, keep it on a leash.

Night Mudflatters!