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Posts Tagged ‘Palin’

From a Real Alaskan

A recent guest column in the Seattle Post Intelligencer is definitely worth a read.  Seth Kanter, an Alaskan native, does an informative (and humorous) job explaining how people in our 50th state advance in business and in politics.

Here’s an excerpt…

That Sarah Palin is one unreal Alaskan

By SETH KANTNER
GUEST COLUMNIST

I’m sitting on my bearskin chair beside the woodstove, in Kotzebue, Alaska, 50 miles above the Arctic Circle, while outside the ocean begins to freeze over. Inside I have about 49 things piling up to say to you, America.

I’m an Alaskan — born in an igloo, enjoy whale muktuk, all that — and in case you aren’t sick of our state by now, I’ll start off with an apology for one of our residents: Sarah Palin.

We Alaskans are not generally so magazine-pretty like her, nor are we so confrontational and vapid. Most of us don’t have those peachy cheeks — we have sunburn, windburn and frostbite. Our fingernails are dirty from actually gutting moose, not yakking about it. Our hands are chapped from picking thousands of salmon out of nets, not holding one up for the camera.

Having said that, here in Alaska we are accustomed to getting jobs we’re not qualified to fill. In our far-flung villages and towns we have big money surrounded by big wilderness; the combination causes warped career opportunities. Sort of an Edge of Nowhere phenomenon — cousin to the Bridge to Nowhere one.

For example, in the village closest to the wilderness homestead where I was raised, I remember standing in my friend’s cabin when his dad got a call on the CB radio: “People are writing you in for mayor.”

“Nope!” my friend’s dad transmitted. “Tell ’em no, I ain’t doing that.” He spit in a can, peered out the door at his Honda generator — idling rough — an extension cord running up the hill and under his door, to power the rerun of “Dukes of Hazzard” he was watching.

If he’d lived in Wasilla 25 years later, he could have responded, “Call Sarah, she’ll want it.”

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Word has it Seth Meyers from SNL wrote the rap that Amy Poehler performed so perfectly on SNL on Oct. 18.

It’s just as funny this morning as it was last night.  You can watch the video by clicking here.

Lyrics:

One, two, three

My name is Sarah Palin and you all know me.
Vice presidential nominee of the GOP.
Gonna need your vote in the next election
Can I get a “what what” from the senior section?

McCain got experience, McCain got style
But don’t let him freak you out when he tries to smile,
Cuz that smile be creepy, but when I’m VP
All the leaders in the world gonna finally meet me.

How’s it go Eskimos?
“Eskimos.”
Tell me tell me what you know Eskimos.
“Eskimos.”
How you feel Eskimos?
“Ice cold.”
Tell me tell me what you feel Eskimos.
“Super cool!”

I’m not Jeremiah Wright, but tonight I’m the preacher.
I’ve got a bookish look and you’re all hot for teacher.
Todd looking fine on his snow machine,
So hot for each other, he’s a go between.
In Wasilla, we just chill baby – chilla
But when I see oil – “Drill baby, drilla”

My country tis of thee.
From my porch I can see
Russia and such

All the mavericks in the house put your hands up.
All the mavericks in the house put your hands up.
All the plumbers in the house pull your pants up.
All the plumbers in the house pull your pants up.

When I say Obama, you say Ayers.
“Obama. Ayers.”
“Obama. Ayers.”
I built me a bridge, it ain’t goin’ no where.
“Ohhhhhhhhhhhh”

McCain and Palin, gonna put the nail in the coffin
Of the media elite.
“She likes red meat.”
Shoot a mutha humpin moose eight days of the week.

(gun fire)

Now you’re dead. Now you’re dead cuz I’m an animal
And I’m bigger than you!
Load up the shot gun, walk in the pub
Everybody party, we’re goin’ to hunt!

La la la la la la la laaaaaaa

(more gun fire)

Yo I’m Palin, I’m out!

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McCain-Palin: Who Are They?

As the McCain-Palin campaign makes attempts to associate Barack Obama with an anti-war figure and activist who conducted himself questionably back in the 1960s (when Obama was an eight-year-old boy), the obvious question now begged is who are John McCain and Sarah Palin?

Online searches provide lots of fodder. The following info comes from reports in the Arizona Republic newspaper, the web site truthout.org and from an article written by Jonathan Raban as published in the London Review of Books.

Who is John McCain?

  • Divorced and married Cindy Hensley (17 years his junior) whom he met in Hawaii while separated from his first wife. Hensley lived in Arizona, John did not, although he would move there and run for senate successfully as an Arizona resident – winning election three times. The Hensley family money gave McCain the cachet and political career he coveted.
  • As an Arizona resident and senator, McCain “is infamous throughout his home state as someone who studiously avoids mixing with the little people.”
  • First made national headlines in the late ’80s as part of the Keating Five, a group of senators who lobbied in defense of a failing savings-and-loan company under investigation during the S&L scandals. Charles Keating made a $112,000 contribution to McCain and paid for his trips to the Bahamas.
  • McCain’s office in D.C. is believed to be the source of leaks that undermined fellow senators including Dennis DeConcini of Arizona and GOP senator Warren Rudman.
  • Major legislative accomplishment – the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. In early ’08, McCain reversed his position on campaign finance reform and told the Federal Election Committee that he would not abide by primary spending limits. He faces severe financial penalities for doing so.
  • His old campaign finance reform allies introduced a bill in 2006 to shore up the public financing of presidential campaigns, which McCain supported in 2003 but failed to support more recently.
  • He initially voted against Bush tax cuts, he now supports extending them.
  • On abortion, he said In 1999 he would not support the repeal of Roe v. Wade. In 2006, he said its repeal, “…wouldn’t bother me any.” He also no longer supports adding rape-and-incest exceptions to the GOP platform that opposes abortion.
  • He has backpeddled on the issue of torture, first speaking against certain methods of interrogation and then assisting in a bill that gave the White House power to ignore the Geneva Convention if it wished.
  • If elected, McCain will turn 73 years old seven months into his first term.
  • On the War in Iraq, he has said that a hundred-year U.S. presence in the country would be “fine with me.” On the  Middle East, he said in April ’08, “…people should understand that I will be Hamas’s worst nightmare.”
  • On Healthcare, his plan is based on a $5,000 tax cut for families that would cover less than half the cost of today’s average family health-care plan and lead to high deductibles and greater risk. He pays for the plan by taxing individuals for the healthcare benefit paid by their employers, normally twice the healthcare premium paid by individuals.
  • His economic policy supports spending cuts in a way that will destablize Social Security and Medicare.
  • He supports appointing John Roberts and Samuel Alito as Supreme Court judges should he win the Presidency.
  • He has a temper and his sarcasm is also condescending often engaging in inappropriate joke telling and self-deprecation. In 1992, his wife, Cindy, teased John about his thinning hair in front of reporters, to which he said aloud, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.”
  • In May 2006, he delivered the commencement address at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.

Who is Sarah Palin?

  • She drifted through five colleges before securing a degree in journalism from the University of Idaho.
  • Residents of Wasilla, Alaska, where Palin served as mayor, refer to her term in the city’s highest office as a regin of terror. Upon election she demanded the resignation letters from all city department heads. City employees were banned from speaking to the media and she provoked a string of appalled editorials in the local paper.
  • She surrounded herself with fellow congregants from the Pentecostalist Wasilla Aseembly of God church and with old school chums from Wasilla High.
  • She abolished building codes and re-zoned residential property for commercial use.
  • Her agenda was to pare down Wasilla to “the basic necessities, the bare bones,” but she instead spent $50,000 to redecorate the mayor’s office and another $24,000 on a Chevy Suburban she drove known as the mayormobile.
  • She hired a city manager do run day-to-day operations of the city and employed a D.C. lobbyist to promote the town’s ever-expanding list of claims for congressional pork barrel spending.
  • Backed by her fans at the Assembly of God church, she “suggested” to the city librarian that unsuitable books like “Daddy’s Roommate,” and “Pastor, I’m Gay,” be removed from the library. She backtracked later saying it was a “rhetorical question,” (she meant hypothetical).
  • Elected as governor of Alaska in 2006, she went to Juneau and started firing state officials from the attorney general on down, replacing them with malleable old friends from her church and high school.
  • She focuses on connecting with the surly mass of occassional, floating voters who feel themselves to have been disenfranchised by more orthodox politicians.
  • She views science including evolution, anthropogenic climate changed and wildlife management as the enemy of working-class jobs, contentiously advocating drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and fighting the listing of the polar bear as an endangered species.  The director of the national widlife refuge in Alaska said her motto is, “to cut, kill, dig and drill. She is in the stone age of wildlife management.”
  • She further endeared herself to her Evangelical friends saying that “intelligent design” should be taught along with evolution in the state’s public schools. She later declined to back a bill which would have made that teaching mandatory.
  • She charged the state a $60 per diem for living in her own house in Wasilla while serving as governor.

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Alaska Rally

This photo of a large anti-Palin rally recently held in Alaska required posting.

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The Sarah Palin Experience

Just for those of you curious about Ms. Palin’s education and experience:

  • In 1982, Palin enrolled at Hawaii Pacific College. She left after one semester and transferred in 1983 to North Idaho College.
  • Palin transferred from NIC to the University of Idaho.
  • She also attended Matanuska-Susitna College in Alaska for one term. It was during this time that Palin won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant and finished as second runner-up in the Miss Alaska pageant where she won a college scholarship and the “Miss Congeniality” award.
  • She returned to the University of Idaho where she completed her bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism in 1987

After graduation, in 1988, she worked as a sports reporter for KTUU-TV in Anchorage. She also served as a sports reporter for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.

At age 28 (1992) she won a seat as a council woman on the Wasilla city council and served until 1996.

In 1996, she was elected as Mayor of Wasilla (a city of 6,300 at the conclusion of her second term as mayor). Upon taking office, Palin eliminated the position of museum director and asked for updated resumes and resignation letters from top officials, including the police chief, public works director, finance director and librarian. She also hired a paid city administrator and reduced her own salary from $68,000 to $64,000.

During her second term as mayor, she was successful in increasing taxes to fund a city sports complex, spent $5.5 million for street projects, and $3 million for water improvement projects — and grew the city’s long-term debt from an approximate $1 million to about $25 million. Term limits prevented Palin from running for a third term as mayor in 2002.

In 2002 she ran for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Alaska and lost. She was appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission where she served as chair beginning in 2003. Palin resigned in January 2004, protesting what she called the “lack of ethics” of fellow Republican members on the Commission.

In 2006, Palin ran against and defeated incumbent Governor Frank Murkowski in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Her running mate was State Senator Sean Parnell. She won the Governor’s seat in November, defeating former governor Tony Knowles 48.3% to 40.9%. Palin became Alaska’s first female governor at age 42 — the youngest governor in Alaskan history.

As Governor, Palin:

  • Pushed for and signed into law a bipartisan ethics reform bill, calling it a “first step” in cleaning up Alaska politics
  • Promoted oil and natural gas resource development in Alaska
  • Put forward an Alaska Gasline Inducement Act to encourage building a natural gas pipeline from the state’s North Slope
  • Signed a bill awarding TransCanada Pipelines $500 million in seed money and a license to build and operate a $26 billion pipeline to transport gas from the North Slope to the Lower 48 states
  • Traveled, for the first time outside of North America, to Kuwait where she visited the Khabari Alawazem Crossing at the Kuwait-Iraq border and met with members of the Alaska National Guard
  • Pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and blurred the line between government and personal grievance
  • Signed a $6.6 billion operating budget into law while at the same time, reduced the construction budget by $237 million (representing 300 local projects)
  • Followed through on a campaign promise to sell a jet purchased by the previous administration for $2.7 million in 2005 against the wishes of the legislature. In August 2007, the jet was listed on eBay, but the sale fell through, and the plane was later sold for $2.1 million through a private brokerage firm.
  • Dismissed the Public Safety Commissioner citing performance-related issues, such as not being “a team player on budgeting issues. The PSC said he had resisted pressure from the Governor, her husband, and her staff to fire Palin’s ex-brother-in-law, State Trooper Mike Wooten, who was involved in a bitter child custody battle with Palin’s sister that included an alleged death threat against Palin’s father.
  • First supported and then criticized a proposed bridge connecting Ketchikan to Ketchikan International Airport and Gravina Island (population 50); and Knik Arm Bridge, a proposed bridge crossing Knik Arm to allow development of Anchorage. In 2006, she ran for governor on a “build-the-bridge” platform, attacking “spinmeisters” for insulting local residents by calling them “nowhere” and urging speed “while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.” Eight months after becoming Governor and a month after the bridge received sharp criticism from John McCain, Palin directed Alaskan officials to look for fiscally responsible alternatives rather than expending state resources to build the bridge or using the transportation funds Congress gave Alaska in place of the original bridge earmark. Alaska will not return any of the $442 million to the federal government and is spending a portion of the funding, $25 million, on a Gravina Island road to the place where the bridge would have gone, expressly so that none of the money will have to be returned.

And that is the extent of Ms. Palin’s career to date.

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Just had to post this excerpt from an article published in today’s Anchorage Daily News on Republican veep candidate Sarah Palin and her philosophies as one-time mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. You can read the whole story here.

Speaking to a teleconference audience of reporters around the nation, former (Alaska) Gov. Tony Knowles and current Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein — both Democrats — accused Palin of misleading the public in her new role as the vice presidential running mate of Arizona Sen. John McCain.

While some of their complaints have already been aired, Knowles broke new ground while answering a reporter’s question on whether Wasilla forced rape victims to pay for their own forensic tests when Palin was mayor.

True, Knowles said.

Eight years ago, complaints about charging rape victims for medical exams in Wasilla prompted the Alaska Legislature to pass a bill — signed into law by Knowles — that banned the practice statewide.

“There was one town in Alaska that was charging victims for this, and that was Wasilla,” Knowles said

A May 23, 2000, article in Wasilla’s newspaper, The Frontiersman, noted that Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies regularly pay for such exams, which cost between $300 and $1,200 apiece.

“(But) the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests,” the newspaper reported.

It also quoted Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon objecting to the law. Fannon was appointed to his position by Palin after her dismissal of the previous police chief. He said it would cost Wasilla $5,000 to $14,000 a year if the city had to foot the bill for rape exams.

“In the past we’ve charged the cost of exams to the victims’ insurance company when possible,” Fannon told the newspaper. “I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer.”

An effort to reach Fannon by phone Wednesday was not successful.

Knowles and Weinstein also went after the Republican ticket on several statements now airing in campaign ads around the nation, including Palin’s claim that she opposed federal money for the “bridge to nowhere.”

The governor has refused to acknowledge her explicit support for the $230 million Gravina Island Access Project in her effort to sound more like an anti-earmark reformer to a national audience, Weinstein said.

And she still supports spending $400 million to $600 million on “the other Bridge to Nowhere,” the Knik Arm Crossing, which would provide residents in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla faster access to Anchorage, Knowles added.

“That project is moving right ahead,” said Knowles, who served as governor of Alaska from 1994 to 2002. “The money for that project was not diverted anywhere else. … So (for her) to say she said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks….’ I would say she said, ‘Thanks!'”

A phone call to Meg Stapleton, a spokeswoman for the Alaska office of the McCain-Palin campaign, was not returned Wednesday.

‘Nuff said.

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