Bedtime in Alaska – Open Thread

9 11 2008

Off to bed early (for me)! 

With over 823,000 views on YouTube, I must be the last one to know about this great Dr. Seuss style story of John McCain and Sarah Palin.  I’m several days late and a whole lot short, but this is so good, I don’t care.  It’s a good bedtime story, especially now that we know the ending!


I leave it to you night owls, and other continentals!  Good night!


Election Update from Rep. Les Gara

9 11 2008

It’s been a delightfully slow news day here on the Mudflats. It’s cold and grey, and at 5:00 Alaska time, the pale orange sun has set over Cook Inlet. So it was nice, on this quiet, lazy day, to get a message from one of our favorite Mudflatters, and one we haven’t heard from in a while, Representative Les Gara. No gripping press releases or dragon slaying this time….just a nice election update.


I thought I’d offer you the kind of election analysis you just can’t buy.  Mostly because it’s not worth that much. 

The Mark Begich-Ted Stevens race remains too close to call, and word is we might have some new numbers soon.  My good friend Ethan Berkowitz (we’ve been friends from long before either of us stumbled into politics) has an outside chance of closing his gap against Congressman Don Young, but the gap in that race is pretty substantial right now.  And we have a roughly half dozen State House and Senate races with less than 200 vote differences that could change too.

Also – Friday the State Senate organized a bi-partisan coalition across party lines (applause); but the House Republicans have so far declined offers to do the same (no applause).  We’re still working on them, but right now it’s a 22 Republican, 18 Democrat, with 5 House races still to be decided.  I think the news story that the Republicans have closed the door on a bi-partisan coalition was as premature as the decision by the Republican leadership was unwise.  We’ll see if the newspaper got this one wrong.  At least they should have done a little investigation before simply repeating the press release they received from Republican House members yesterday.  Don’t get me started on the state of our newspapers – where staff has been cut so much that “he said she said” stories, and stories that just take politician statements at face value, have become too common.  Anyway – many of my colleagues and I are still promoting a bi-partisan coalition in the House.  It’s an uphill, but worthy effort.

Closest to home – I need to announce that I beat no one. Don’t worry (or celebrate, depending on your views). I didn’t lose. It’s just that no one ran against me (I did have an opponent in the August Primary). The good news – or at least what I’ve emphasized for my mother – is that I got something like 95% of the vote. The bad news is that 5% either didn’t feel like filling out their ovals, or decided, um… Maybe it’s better if I don’t think about that.

Vote Count in Alaska – Volunteer Opportunity!

9 11 2008

For all Alaskan Mudflatters, here is an opportunity to participate in the final vote count. No, our election is not over yet, and all the early votes that came in between October 31 and November 3, plus a steady stream of absentee ballots being received by mail, and “question” ballots still need to be counted.

Vote monitors are needed to help in Fairbanks, Juneau, Wasilla, Nome, and Anchorage.

If you can offer some time to help with this effort, please contact one of the following:

Mark Begich campaign: or

Alaska Democratic office:

Ethan Berkowitz campaign:

Thanks for considering one last way you can participate and help every vote be counted in this historic election!

UPDATE: Looks like this effort is fully staffed! Thanks to all who stepped up!  **The Begich campaign is looking for a list of backup help should the need arise, so feel free to contact them.**

The Bumper Sticker That Makes My Head Hurt.

9 11 2008

My mother is a die-hard Democrat.  A while ago, she called me and told me how upset she was at Rush Limbaugh. I asked her why on Earth she was listening to Rush Limbaugh, and she said, “Know your enemy.”  Taking this maternal advice to heart, I decided to subscribe to the Human Events newsletter. That’s Newt Gingrich’s little pet project, and it features writing from the likes of Ann Coulter.

I read this newsletter, so you don’t have to, and frankly most of the time there really isn’t much to say about it.  It’s a steady stream of reactionary fear-mongering drivel, occasionally punctuated with hateful diatribe, and sprinkled with ignorance.  But this particular newsletter almost made me choke on my tongue.  Behold the Republican Grand Strategy:


I’ll keep my guns, freedom, and money. You can keep “the change!” Vote Sarah Palin for President in 2012! The Liberal Media wants you to think that Sarah Palin held John McCain back. We all know that John McCain’s campaign surged ahead because of Sarah. She’s a rising star in the GOP and could easily defeat Barack Obama in 2012! The Palin Revolution is about to break out and you can be on the cutting edge with this clever new bumper sticker! This 2-PACK includes one for each of your vehicles, whether it’s your gas guzzlin’ SUV, pick-up truck, or “hockey mom” minivan!

Wow.  I really didn’t make any of that up, I promise.  Not even the part about “your gas guzzlin’ SUV”.  Not only is Sarah Palin a parody of herself, but now it’s the whole Human Events team.  I still don’t know if I want to fight Palin 2012 with every fiber of my being, or whether her candidacy would be the final salvo that would shatter the hull of the GOP and sent it plummeting to the bottom of the ocean.