The Palin Talking Point Generator.

24 10 2008
The Palin Talking Point Machine

Behold, The Palin Talking Point Generator!

At the Alaska State Fair, and other craft shows around town, I’ve seen a little device that makes me smile and think, “Only in Alaska.”  It’s the carved wooden likeness of a moose.  The hollow moose body can be filled with jelly beans.  The tail, which is moveable, is used as a lever, which, when operated, dispenses a jelly bean “moose nugget” in the palm of your hand.  It’s beginning to remind me of the Palin campaign.

Their strategy has become obvious.  Crank out a steady stream of half-truths, talking points, wedge issues, folksy filler words, justifications and shiny, sweet flat-out lies.  Do this fast enough, and by the time anyone takes the time to review, research, analyze, debunk, refute, and thoughtfully respond, you’re already five piles of moose nuggets ahead of them.

Picture a five year old who gets a hold of the moose nugget generator, pumping that tail up and down as fast as his little hand can go, watching that big sticky pile accumulate in his hand.  Yum.

It’s hard to know where to start, but let’s start with the interview she did with the Chicago Tribune today.  And which nugget?  Let’s try that nice shiny green one.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin insisted in an interview with the Tribune on Thursday that she did not accept $150,000 worth of designer clothes from the Republican Party and “that is not who we are.” “That whole thing is just, bad!” she said. “Oh, if people only knew how frugal we are.”

Oh, dear.  It sounds like she’s been very misunderstood indeed.  People are so petty!  But, wait a minute….hasn’t she…been..wearing those clothes?  And….that’s the dollar amount that the RNC reported in their own disclosure forms.   If you pay nothing, and get $150,000 in clothing, hair styling and makeup, that sounds pretty frugal to me.  I just don’t get it. She’s not making any sense…WAIT!  Another jelly bean!  Look, it’s pink!

“I think Hillary Clinton was held to a different standard in her primary race,” Palin said. “Do you remember the conversations that took place about her, say superficial things that they don’t talk about with men, her wardrobe and her hairstyles, all of that? That’s a bit of that double standard.”

Hillary Clinton?  Double standard?  Wait a minute.  There may be something to that, but I don’t think Hillary Clinton spent $150,000 of the DNC’s money to buy a new wardrobe.  Her Senate wardrobe was just fine, just like…um….a Governor’s wardrobe should be, right?  And what about John Edwards and that $400 hair cut?  The Republicans had a field day over that one!   Oh….look!  A yellow one!

“I’m not going to complain about it, I’m not going to whine about it, I’m going to plow through that, because we are embarking on something greater than that, than allowing that double standard to adversely affect us,” she said.

We know American’s do NOT like complainers and whiners, that’s for sure.  That’s pretty much the kiss of death for a politician.  So it’s good she’s not complaining, except for saying it’s unfair, and sexist, and there’s a double standard, and people don’t understand the real her, and it’s painful because….heeeeeyy.  Come to think of it, that actually kind of sounds like complaining and whining to me!  That’s pretty hypocritic…..Oooo!  Another one!  It’s red!

But polls suggest that McCain is in trouble, partly because of Palin, who has been criticized as lacking the experience to become president. This week’s NBC/Wall Street Journal poll suggested more people now think that Palin is hurting McCain’s chances of becoming president than President George W. Bush, whose national approval ratings are in the 20s.

Palin disputed such conclusions.

“I think that those reporters asking those questions should come to some of our rallies and ask some of those in the crowd why it is they are enthused,” she said, adding that the crowds see her as representing “hardworking, everyday American families.”

But the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll isn’t actually made up of questions asked by reporters.  It’s questions asked by pollsters, and it’s done in a pretty scientific sort of way.  I don’t think it would really be appropriate to send pollsters to your rallies to ask them why they are there.  You see, that wouldn’t really be impartial, or be a representative sample of the way the country is thinking, which is why we actually have polls.  And the voters are made up of people from all over, not just “enthused” McCain-Palin rally-goers… Surely, you can’t possibly think that people will take this seriou….

OK, I need to stop now…my stomach hurts.  I think I’ve overdone it on the moose nugget jelly beans.  Anyone on the other ticket got some Alka-Seltzer?

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Les Gara and More on KUDO Today. UPDATED! (Mike Doogan)

24 10 2008

Apologies everyone.  Sounds like there has been a last-minute change.  Rep. Mike Doogan will be today’s guest on The Demo Memo.  Mike is a popular former columnist for the Anchorage Daily News, a writer of mystery novels, and a current Alaska state legislator.  He is always entertaining, and will likely have an interesting take on the events du jour.

Link and times are still the same!

“Cutting Edge” with CC on KUDO progressive talk radio in Anchorage will be well worth tuning in to today. Rep. Les Gara will be hosting “The Demo Memo,” and CC will be talking quite a bit about the latest Palin issues from an Alaskan perspective.

Les Gara is well-known to Mudflatters for his various acts of chutzpah during the Troopergate fiasco, for facing down the worst of the McCain “Truth Squad”, and for recently requesting that the Alaska AG Talis Colberg hire an independent investigator to look in to allegations of potential witness tampering in the Troopergate investigation now under review by the Personnel Board.

You can hear KUDO streaming live by clicking >>>HERE<<<

The show runs from 3:00 – 6:00pm Alaska time. (7:00-10:00pm EST, 4:00-7:00 PST)

Stevens Trial Stalls.

24 10 2008

The strange and unpredictable Ted Stevens jury is proving to be a challenge. Today, we learned that Juror #4, who went AWOL yesterday night, left the state to attend her father’s funeral.

Without explanation to the jurors, Judge Sullivan dismissed the other 11 at 9:50am today. Reports say the 11 jurors didn’t look pleased. They may just want to get this trial over with. They’ve been living and breathing Ted Stevens and the Girdwood chalet since September 22nd.

Judge Sullivan will hold a hearing on Sunday night to determine whether the juror will be able to return to the trial. Even if she agrees to return to D.C., it is unlikely that the trial will resume on Monday. A postponement until Tuesday, or Wednesday will add considerably to the drama of the trial…at least from an Alaskan perspective.

Many Alaskans hold the opinion that these jurors are choosing who will win the coveted Senate seat in November. Stevens requested a speedy trial so he could “clear himself” before November 4th. Whether his confidence will prove to be justified, we don’t know.

With just one point separating Stevens from Begich in the latest poll, Alaskans now look forward to several more days of waiting and wondering.

Palins Testify in Troopergate Probe II

24 10 2008

It’s a busy day for our would-be Vice President.

ST. LOUIS — Gov. Sarah Palin is testifying about a lingering personnel controversy that has distracted from her Republican vice presidential bid.

Alaska’s personnel board is investigating whether Palin acted improperly in the circumstances surrounding her firing of her public safety commissioner in July. The commissioner says he was dismissed for refusing to fire Palin’s former brother-in-law, a state trooper.

An Alaska legislative investigation concluded that the firing was lawful but said Palin acted unethically by trying to get her brother-in-law fired.

Palin and her husband, Todd, will give separate depositions today in Missouri. It’s her first testimony on the controversy. Her attorney, Thomas Van Flein, says she’s eager to tell her side of the story.

I wonder why, if she’s so eager to tell her side of the story, she didn’t testify for the Legislative investigation? Must have been that it was a Republican dominated, unanimous Democratic witch hunt. Nevertheless, Tim Petumenos winged his way to St. Louis to make an investigative house call to the Palins.

Before the deposition, Palin will attend a rally in southwestern Missouri.

Afterwards, Palin will drop the puck at the Blues game in St. Louis. Wasn’t she resoundingly booed for doing that in Philadelphia, even though she brought two of her daughters out on the ice as jeer-deflectors? (shakes head) Any bets?

Juror #9 Loses It and Juror #4 is Lost…More Strangeness from the Stevens Trial.

24 10 2008

This didn’t happen in Twelve Angry Men!   The Ted Stevens jury is starting to unravel like a bad scarf. 

On the first day, the jury asked to be dismissed 15 minutes early because they were apparently so stressed out they just couldn’t make it until 5:00.  Eyebrows across Alaska raised.

The culprit was Juror #9, a bookkeeper for the National Guard.  She was apparently so obnoxious, so rude, and so hostile to her fellow jurors that each and every one of them requested that she be removed from the jury.  They sent a note to Judge Emmett Sullivan asking for her ouster.  The verdict?  No dice.

Judge Sullivan called them all in, sat them down and reminded them of the rules of civility, and of the 80+ pages of regulations they were supposed to follow.   Then he told them to make nice and go back to their room.  Off they went. 

As if this bizarre turn of events wasn’t enough…..enter Juror #4.   Or should I say “Exit Juror #4.”  It seems that Juror #4, a licensed paralegal who works for a mortgage company, had some kind of family emergency Thursday evening, and told a U.S. Marshal that she had to leave the state.  When the judge was informed, and the court tried to contact Ms. 4, they were unable to find her.  Poof!  Gone.

That’s one pathologically rude, and one AWOL.  And then there were 10?

This is why they have alternates, in this case, four alternates.  Judge Sullivan has asked for briefs by 7am, and is holding a hearing at 9:00am Eastern time to discuss the matter.  He may replace the wayward juror with an alternate, let the deliberations proceed with only 11 jurors, or possibly give the jury Friday off, if #4 is able to be present by Monday.

If all goes well Mudflatters, this will post just before the hearing starts.  I am trying out the “auto post” feature, which allows me to post here while in reality, snoozing in the other room.  That’s right, this is the Mudflats version of a Robocall!  Gotcha!! (A woman screams! A baby cries!)

So, you all will know the outcome before I will.  Because as much as I am a Ted Stevens Trial junkie, I am not getting up at 5:00 in the morning. I’d do it for the verdict, but not for Juror #4.   I’ll see you back here at 8:30 Alaska time with a nice cup of black coffee.