How Palin Spokesman Got Me Nine Extra Weeks of Vacation Time.

1 12 2008

Yes, you heard Palin right. In her speech to the adoring masses in far away Georgia, she explained why she fled her responsibilities in Alaska. She explained why she used her precious time to stump for Saxby Chambliss instead of doing her job. She did it….for Alaska. (One hand on heart, one hand dabbing eyes, and an imaginary third hand waving the Alaskan flag)  She did it for me, and for the little children, and for their puppies, and for future generations, and for the country!  God Bless Amairca. (sniff)

I’m kinda selfishly lookin’ at this to tell you the truth.  It’s not just for Georgia, this is for folks in Alaska and in Hawaii, and in Maine and in Washington State and in Washington D.C.  I’m lookin’ at this you know I’m a mom with five kids.  This is for my kids and their future…

Meanwhile, Alaska Dispatch reports on the reaction by the Palin administration to the Democrats’ press conference this morning, decrying the governor for leaving the state to engage in partisan campaigning while vital Alaskan issues go unaddressed by our absentee governor.  They called a press conference of their own:

“It has been 27 days since the election and this is the fifth day (Palin) has not been in the state,” Bill McAllister, Palin’s spokesman, told reporters at the news conference. “State business is unaffected.”

OK… let’s do the math. Where is that calculator…..ah, there it is.  Let’s see….(punching buttons)…that….means that she’s been gone… 18% of the time since the election, and “state business is unaffected.”  That’s pretty interesting.  And there are some wider implications.

Using Palin standard, we can conclude that if you work 50 weeks a year, you can take an extra 9 weeks off this year, and your job would be unaffected because that’s only 18% of your work schedule!  Wow!   And if your child attends school full-time at 180 days for the typical school year, you can keep them home for over a month and their school work would be unaffected!  And if the Alaska Legislature shaved 18% of the days off the legislative session, that session would be whittled down to a mere 74 days instead of the current 90 day session, with no effect on the business of the state.  Just amazing!  

And if anyone tells you otherwise, you just send them to Bill McAllister at the governor’s office.  He’ll straighten them out.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go plan my three month vacation.  Nice.

 

 

 





Where’s Sarah? The Return of a Classic.

1 12 2008

wheres-sarah1

Back in 2006, the members of the Alaska State Legislature were doing their jobs in the place they were supposed to be doing their jobs, also known as the state capitol, Juneau. The governor, however, didn’t like Juneau much. She preferred to do her job from Wasilla and Anchorage, while collecting per diem payments and living in her own home. I know that the rest of the Legislature who live in the Anchorage area would probably love to do their jobs from home while collecting per diem payments. It’s hard to be away from your family for that long. Juneau can only be reached by plane. It can be difficult. But I’m guessing it would be frowned upon if they did it.

Double-standard aside, Sarah Palin was absent from her place of employment a lot. As a sign of protest, legislators from both sides of the aisle took to wearing a unique fashion accessory. They appeared at the Legislative session wearing buttons that said, “Where’s Sarah?” They realized that it was, in fact, impossible to be effective as a governor if you are not actually present.

This astute political observation couldn’t be more relevant today. Today, Sarah Palin is not in her office. She is not dealing with the affairs of state. She is not working on the gas pipeline, or the dropout rate, or trying to figure out why our gas prices are more expensive than anywhere else in the country. She’s not playing catch-up from all the work she missed while on the campaign trail, and she’s not trying to figure out what to do to keep Alaskans warm this winter. She’s not figuring out what to do about the budget which was finalized when oil was in the $60/barrel range, not the $45/barrel it is now.

So, where’s Sarah? She is on the stump for Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss. She flew out to a private fundraiser last night, and is making four campaign stops in Georgia today. This travel comes on the heels of two months of campaigning out of state, and a recent trip to Florida for the Republican Governors’ conference. Yes, this is only two days (plus travel prep, speech prep, flying time, jet lag, etc.), but once again the Governor has missed the point. It’s what got her in the turkey video. She was unable to step outside the situation and ask herself, “How will this look to OTHERS?” How will it look that after months away trying to run the state from my Blackberry, and a return to a politically divided Alaska with lots of domestic problems that have been on the back burner, that I’m heading off to do more partisan political grandstanding for a controversial Republican candidate on the other side of the continent?” Because, if she had asked the question, the answer would have been, “Bad.”

I was glad to see the Democratic Party in Alaska stand up and say something today. This came from the Alaska Democratic Party:

Anchorage – While Gov. Sarah Palin is out of state again, this time in Georgia campaigning for incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss on the eve of the runoff election, Alaska faces challenges including a lack of leadership from the Governor.

Palin will stump for Chambliss, the draft-evading incumbent Republican who waged a notoriously misleading campaign against a decorated war hero, at rallies Monday in Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah and Perry, Georgia. Palin has been back in Alaska at work for only a few days since running for vice president. “Alaskans need our Governor here earning her salary and working on key problems facing Alaska families,” said Alaska Democratic Party Chair Patti Higgins. Alaska is facing significant challenges, Higgins said, including:

  • Oil prices have dropped dramatically to about $45/bbl from the peak of $144/bbl in July, which threatens the state budget.

  • Alaskans are paying some of the highest prices for gas in the nation, averaging $2.87 per gallon, while the national average is $1.91.

  • The state’s oil production continues to decline, due to falling prices and mature fields.

  • The global credit crunch and falling natural gas prices threaten the Alaska gas line.

  • The State is failing to meet its constitutional obligation to take care of public education as shown by the high drop out rates and the low graduation rates.

  • Many Medicare patients cannot find doctors.

  • There is continued flight from rural villages.

  • Alaska faces the prospect of reduced federal dollars from Washington, D.C.

“Alaska’s challenges are significant, and there is much that needs to be done right now. Our Governor should remember that her primary job is to work on behalf of the citizens of Alaska, not engage in partisan politics in other states,” Higgins said.”Governing is more than creating photo ops. We’d like a commitment that the Governor is working, not just scheduling media appearances.”

Why the press conference? Is this one-day stump that egregious? Isn’t she going to be on the east coast anyway to join other governors as they meet with President Elect Obama on Tuesday? What’s the big deal? I’ll answer that question as my mother would. “Sarah, you’re really pushing it.” And she is. And each time she pushes, more and more Alaskans will push back, and her popularity will continue to slide, and she will continue to play “gotcha” with herself. In honor of the governor’s flight to Georgia, I have resurrected the “Where’s Sarah?” button. I have tried in vain to find an image of the original button, but have hopefully captured the spirit in this new incarnation of an old favorite. To get one, or several dozen, click HERE. And don’t worry Legislators, my customer list is strictly confidential…your secret is safe with me!





Joe the Plumber Won’t Go Away Either.

29 11 2008

The two people that most of America was hoping would become footnotes in history, or questions in Trivial Pursuit after Election Day, continue to prove that they will not go gently into that good night.

First we had Sarah Palin on the “Victory Tour” with Larry King, and Matt Lauer, and the Governor’s Conference in Florida, and the turkey slaying, and the “Thank you Sarah Palin” TV commerical, and her newly planned trip to stump for racist fear-monger, Saxby Chambliss…

And now….he’s baaa-aaack!  I speak of Joe the Plumber.  I picture him and Sarah Palin as a set of bookends that John McCain used to try to prop up his flagging campaign, and they were the cheap kind of bookends that aren’t very heavy and don’t have that little thing that you slip under the books to hold them up.  In other words, they were for show, and they didn’t work for squat.

Nevertheless, they continue to sit there on the shelf and annoy us, and we have to keep looking at them.

The commentary from Cenk Uygur makes this one bearable. I wonder if Joe will show up in Georgia on Monday? It actually wouldn’t surprise me.

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Alaskans for Truth Makes a Splash!

25 11 2008

Alaskans for Truth has hit the ground running. I used the metaphor of the Creature from the Black Lagoon yesterday, and if we decide to hold to that metaphor, then we’ve got to say that the Creature made a splash! There was some good coverage in the Anchorage Daily News, albeit in the same article as the “Thank you, Sarah Palin” Thanksgiving ads that are airing in Alaska and soon across the country.

Alaskans for Truth was launched as an informal group this fall, organizing an Anchorage anti-Palin rally in October that drew more than 1,000 people and calling for Attorney General Talis Colberg to lose his job.

On Monday, group leaders said they want the state Legislature to follow up on an investigation into Palin’s firing of her public safety commissioner that found the governor abused her power in allowing her husband and top aides to push for the firing of her former brother-in-law, a state trooper.

That finding came from an investigator hired by the Legislative Council. After her selection as McCain’s running mate, Palin refused to cooperate, with her local campaign officials saying the probe had become a witch hunt by Obama supporters.

She did, however, give a statement in a subsequent investigation by the state Personnel Board, which eventually cleared her of wrongdoing.

Alaskans for Truth says lawmakers should stick with the original report and is pressing legislators to:

• Censure Palin for breaking state ethics rules.

• Seek contempt-of-court charges against Palin’s husband and others for refusing to honor legislative subpoenas.

• Hold hearings on whether the Palins committed perjury in their statements to the Personnel Board.

The message, on the Alaskans for Truth Web site, complete with e-mail addresses for each lawmaker, echoed across Alaska political blogs Monday.

Legislators need the push, said Camille Conte, radio host for KUDO 1080 AM and chairwoman of the group.

“My sense is that there is not the political will to do the right thing because it’s not comfortable,” she said. “It’s sticky. It’s about holding the highest office in our state accountable.”

Ms. Conte also appeared on KTUU, channel 2 News talking about the group’s mission.

And the Associated Press wrote a piece that has started to be picked up nationally. It also contains (drum roll) the official response from Palin spokesman Bill McAllister.

“There are a lot of questions in comparing the two reports,” said Linda Kellenbiegel, spokeswoman for Alaskans for Truth. “There needs to be some follow through, further investigation or follow-up on the fact that Branchflower determined there was an ethics violation by the governor.”

Palin spokesman Bill McAllister said lawmakers are more interested in working with the Palin administration on pressing state business, including the budget.

“Troopergate is over,” McAllister said. “It is our understanding from many legislators in both houses of the Legislature that they are not interested in prolonging this.”

“We are not hearing from them they intend to take any of these steps recommended by this far left wing group.”

Ahh. The dreaded “far left wing group” defense. I wonder sometimes, if we tallied up all the “far left wing” groups and “far left wing” blogs and “far left wing” politicians that the Republican claim are responsible for any and all criticism leveled against them, then the sheer number of them would have to mean that they really aren’t that far-left after all.

So, we’ve heard from Bill McAllister about his understanding. But what does the Governor herself have to say? Let’s not bug her now, though. She’s probably really busy catching up on all the work she missed while she was on the campaign trail all that time. She and Piper both have some make up work to do! I mean we’re struggling with energy issues, the gas pipeline, the budget, and the general business of the state that needs some attention. We’ve been without a governor for a while, so she’ll probably be burning the midnight oil for weeks.

>>>>Hockey Buzzer<<<<<<

Actually, we’ve learned that Sarah Palin believes the best use of her time this coming week will be taking a little jaunt to Georgia to campaign for Republican Senate Candidate Saxby Chambliss. She jets off to get a fix of the adoring crowds and to get some real work done. Alaskans, don’t you feel special?