April 29, 2009
Shoes… part 3
The following is a work of fiction.
It’s sole purpose is give the reader a chance to try on another guy’s shoes.
Maybe see how a different opinion fits.
You slip into the size 7 ½ fuzzy pink slippers at the front of the closet and tiptoe down the short hall to the living room, trying not to waken the napping bub on your way. It was ironing day and lord how you hate to iron! But like every other chore in life, if you don’t do it, it won’t get done. So you turn the TV on low and get to work.
Your 1990′s soaps slide into a documentary on social security and entitlements. Well the ironing is almost finished anyway, and it’s this or afternoon cartoons, so you don’t bother changing the channel.
The documentary is almost exclusively about how many people in the US receive benefits without needing them. The baby boomer generation, in specific, when interviewed, mostly tell how they are entitled to SSI because they paid into the system their whole working lives and even if it’s not essential to their quality of life now, they earned it, it’s theirs, and they’re keeping it
The argument on the other side is how the Social Security system is edging toward bankruptcy and the entitlement-minded baby boomers are about to push the whole US benefits scheme over the proverbial edge.
Most of this is going in one ear and out the other while you concentrate on finishing the last two blouses, when the TV reporter introduces a former congressman (standing in front of a sprawling mansion you’d give just about anything to live in yourself) and you hear…
“… so yes, I was very lucky in business and live quite happily on a retirement of $9,000 per month, plus perks like full private medical insurance, and this is on top of the profits generated by tourists visiting my mansion (he gestures behind him and you drool again) which yields a decent income on it’s own. So really, the $1,800 per month I receive from SSI is completely unnecessary. But here’s the rub: they won’t take it back. My government says that because I served a couple of terms in the US Congress, I am entitled to this benefit and there’s no provision for cancelling it. They’re going to keep sending me this check every month until the day I die, and all because I was an elected official, for a few years”.
Wow. $1,800 a month for life because the guy was elected to some office job in Washington. You wouldn’t mind working in Washington. It’s got to be warmer than Alaska. Maybe tomorrow you’ll make a run to the library and see what you can find out about elected officials and long-term benefits.
You hang the last shirt on a hanger and think about how much more you’d like from life. The work here is hard. The land is hard. It’s beautiful and worth it, but it’s hard. You wouldn’t mind if it was just a bit easier, down the road, for your kids.
The trip to the library yields more than you’d hoped for. Not only was it true that certain benefits followed you throughout your lifetime, there was a stack of perks associated with being an elected official, and it looked like the farther up you got, the better the perks. And as luck would have it, a seat was just open on the city council of your little town.
You attentively read the requirements and full job description of a city councilman and excitedly make your plan. First step – the seat on the city council. Then mayor. Then, well, who knows how far up the political ladder you could go!. You make photocopies to take home to show your husband. You could do this! You weren’t afraid to try new things and you certainly weren’t afraid of hard work.
And after all, winning a small town election or two couldn’t be much different from winning a beauty pageant, could it? It was a popularity contest. Not rocket science.
April 27, 2009
Shoes… part 2
The following is a work of fiction.
It’s sole purpose is give the reader a chance to try on another guy’s shoes.
Maybe see how a different opinion fits.
Your name is George W. Bush. You’re sitting behind a massive desk in the oval office of the White House, Washington D.C. You aren’t really sure if you can take your shoes off in here, but it’s stuffy and hey – you’re the president – who’s going to stop you! You slip out of the size 9 1/2 black leather dress shoes and let your feet sink into the plush carpet. Nice. But you wish you had your boots.
You aren’t really sure how you got here, but your dad said if you just did as you were told, listened to all your advisors and did exactly what they said, you’d get through this job with your balls intact and the two of you would make history as the first father and son to each hold the office of President of the United States since the days of John and John Quincy Adams. You always did what your father told you and it always worked out ok.
The first year as President was a little daunting. People were making fun of your speeches. Well, not so much of the speeches themselves but of how you gave them. You told your dad you weren’t a public speaker. Put me on a barstool with a cold beer and I can talk shop with the best of them, I said, but stand me at a podium with lights in my face and make me read out loud from a script and words just trip all over themselves trying to find the shortest route out of my mouth.
And then those stupid towel-heads, (yeah, you know you’re not supposed to call them that but that’s what they are), had to go blow up parts of your cities. They screwed your dad when he was in office and now they’re screwing you. You try to listen to everyone’s input but geez, most of it goes right over your head. What you do understand nobody can agree on. Every person who says they got the answer tells you something different from the guy before. You’d like to do what the people want – but you have no earthly idea what that is. Half the citizens are screaming at you to nuke the whole damned Middle East. The rest are angry and crying and pleading with you to just fix it. Just fix it! Fix it! How!
Nobody prepared you for this. Nobody. This was the United Goddamned States of America! We don’t get bombed!. We do the bombing! This job was turning out to be way harder than you thought. Way harder. The whole world’s watching you. The whole Goddamned world is waiting to see how you handle this, George. Thank God you’ve got all those smart people around to give you the answers.
Man, you hope they have the answers. But you have to admit, right now it’s not looking so good.
One guy you’re supposed to trust says if the military doesn’t catch Bin Laden soon, all the legislators on both sides of the aisle will give up on your administration and then it’s a sure death for you and the party. But Hell, you’ve been chasing Bin laden all over Afghanistan and he’s slippery as snot. You can’t just bomb every cave he’s been sighted in. That’s about the only thing your advisors do agree on – that the US can’t just go bombing anywhere they want in the Middle East.
Then again, the military thinks maybe you can.
Another guy says if we can’t get Bin Laden we need to get somebody. People are demanding justice! And they’re getting impatient.
Your advisors brought up Saddam’s name again. They say he’s got these nucular, nu-clear? however you say it weapons and that we know this for sure because they bought ‘em from us. Heh. That’d be right. Well even if he doesn’t still have ‘em, he’s bad for business. They showed you intell that says he kills and tortures his own people. He experiments on his own people with nerve gases! Geez.
The cabinet says there’s a plan on how to get the country behind an attack on Iraq. That we might even flush out Bin Laden, or at least scare the crap out of the countries who are hiding him, enough to maybe get them to turn him over to us. That would be great. You promised the people you’d fix this. Whatever it takes. Whatever the cost, you made a promise. They’re counting on you to right this horrible wrong.
You just wish you knew how.
April 25, 2009
When I first came to Australia the US was reeling from the discovery our President had lied under oath about his relationship with a 22 year-old White House intern. Every pub, bar and late night talk show on two continents was riding high on Monica Lewinski jokes. President Clinton was being dissected in news rooms on a daily basis. It was not the best of timing, on my part, to be an American abroad.
So I did what every red-blooded American would do under the circumstances. After having been verbally trashed in a queue at the grocery, my husband-to-be and I packed up the car and spent a year in the bush on walkabouts. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind taking it in the ass for my President , so to speak, it’s just that I would’ve liked dinner and a movie first.
Occasionally, around an open campfire, we would run into other travellers. Inevitably someone would pluck my Californian accent from the night air and hone in on it like a seasoned hunter on safari. I would spend the rest of the evening apologizing profusely for the political holocaust my country imposed upon theirs, readily accepted complete responsibility for any inconvenience they may be suffering as a result of my poor voting skills and promised to do a better job in the 2000 election. And, well, we all know how THAT turned out… *sigh*
Somewhere along the line I discovered that most Australians cannot hear the difference between California, New York and Canadian accents. And (probably because they still air Beverly Hillbillies and Dukes of Hazard re-runs here) it is assumed that all Americans have a southern drawl. So more often than not, a Californian accent is mistaken for Canadian. I quickly learned to say “Why yes I am a Canuck – aren’t you clever for sussing me out straight away!”
But my exposure to another culture and it’s different brand of politics has allowed me to literally live an adage my mother used to tell us, growing up. Before you criticize or condemn another person for the way they look at life, walk a mile in their shoes. Of course that adage has morphed through the years adding… then, you’ll be a mile away and have their shoes!
At the top of this page is a row of shoes. Some big, some small, some old, some new, some ladies and some men’s. And as we of the blogosphere are busy dissecting public figures like Barrack Obama, George Bush, and Sarah Palin, (to name just a few), I thought it an appropriate gesture to pause and try the other guy’s shoes on for size.
More tomorrow – right now my foot’s stuck in a pink pump…
April 23, 2009
Some people only appear to listen while actually, their brain is running on auto-scan, ignoring all but that one tidbit of information upon which they can use to pivot the topic of conversation back to themselves. This has been my impression of Sarah Palin from the very beginning.
She’s like one of those girls in high school who can only be involved in a conversation as long as it revolves around them. You know the gal – she’s come to you after school begging you to go with her to the mall because she just knows she’s going to run into this guy she’s attracted to and she needs an excuse to talk to him and you could provide that excuse for her – she’s seemingly paying attention while you’re explaing how you can’t go with her because your dad is sick and your mom needs you to – and that’s when her eyes widen, she jumps up, hollers omg there’s Bubba! Sorry about your mom! See ya!
But what our Sarah lacks in social skills, she more than makes up for in the disbursement of very generous perks.
Her head-of-state public stature means she can, without explanation or justification, assign high-paying positions to old friends and party patrons. Well, high-paying in the sense that their salaries are more than the minimum wage they were probably getting before Sarah needed a loyal staff. (Sarah deliberately doesn’t attract educated people. She’s only after obedience.) What is the new blog-o-sphere buzzword being associated wth her staff? Oh yuh, sheeple. Perfect depiction of the governor’s staff. Sheeple.
Well what’s a girl with poor social skills and lots of mouths to feed expected to do, eh?
In the video clip below, the preceding minutes have been omitted. I’m sure whoever posted this on youtube was just concerned with the actual claim Sarah makes abut her dealings with racism, first-hand because her husband is a native-born Alaskan. (Fellow Alaskans out him as only 1/8 Yu’pik, by the way.) It’s more than just a ridiculous statement, and the missing bit prior to the start of this clip is, in my opinion, the bigger story because her body language completely gives her inattentive and insecure nature away.
What you will see is how many times she cuts the man off in mid-sentence. Clearly, if she’s not the star she doesn’t want to be in the play.
The lie that follows is just – unconscionable. I lived in California in the 1960′s and 70′s and believe me when I say there is no instance in Sarah Palin’s Beauty Pagent Queen life which can possibly compare to any act of degradation the black people of my generation were made to endure over the last sixty years. We can empathize with, support, and feel shameful for the mistreatment of black people and we can rejoice and celebrate with them now for how humanity as a whole has matured – but we cannot claim personal knowledge of their suffering. That’s simply absurd.
Jeffersonville Indiana – 02 Nov 2008
So when one of us in these blogs makes the claim that Sarah makes her own rules and she makes them up as she goes along we are being absolutely truthful. The proof of her complete inability to discern truth from fantasy just keeps spewing from her lips like Mt. Redoubt after a seizure.
Sarah and Todd Palin, the Great White Hopes of Alaska have endured racism? Really. I wouldn’t mind seeing the actual police reports of the incidents, wouldn’t you?.
Hat tip to Elsie for finding the youtube link.
Hat tip to Mrs. Tarquin Biscuitbarrel for the statistic of Todd Palin’s genealogy.
Hat tip to all the bloggers (over there ->) as they keep me up to date and educated in the field of Alaska Politics.
========== Reader Notes ==========
In terms of Todd’s native heritage, it is a bit more complex that his stats can show. Perhaps you can enlighten your readers on this further. Although 1/8 may not seem like much, the US government offers jobs for natives in some places requiring only 1/4 blood quantum to be considered “full blood.” So although 1/8 is low, the native population has been so systematically decimated in the United States for hundreds of years–that 1/8 is enough to qualify for many things.
As to Todd’s personal issues with racism, I leave you to your own opinion. I am no defender of the Palins, believe me.
But indigenous blood quantum issues in North America are complex and vary from First Nation to First Nation.
Pipsqueak – you bring up a valid point. Allow me to clarify my use of the stat 1/8 Yu’pik:
Of course that 1/8 eskimo descent is important and Todd Palin has every right to be proud of his ancestry, regardless of how little or how much, he is in fact, connected. None is this is in dispute.
I use the stat soley as a measure of how far Sarah Palin is willing to go to deceive the public because even if Todd’s genealogy has caused him a bit of grief along the way, you will not convince me that either one of them have ever, ever been made to use a toilet for non-whites because of his ancestry.
I seriously doubt they have ever been denied service in a restaurant or entrance to a local movie house because of Todd’s Yu’pik ancestry, and I’m reasonably certain neither have been beaten, flogged, horse-whipped, enslaved or incarcerated because of the colour of their skin.
If any of Todd and Sarah’s children were prevented from sitting at the same lunch tables in school as their friends or made to use different locker room showers and toilets or were not allowed in the school library because their Yu’pik ancestry made them ‘unclean’ in the eyes of others, I will most humbly apologize. But I rather doubt any of them have been the object of extreme prejudice, which is what Sarah’s unfortunate choice of words We Live It… implies.
I would be happy to post any information you have to offer on the social problems you experience in Alaska. Living in a predominantly male Scottish household myself, please believe me when I say I understand the clan mindset.
Sadly, Australia also mirror images the United States in another way. Our 200 year long mistreatment of the Aboriginal people who lived here for centuries before our arrival. We’ve rather trampled upon and diluted their lineage as well.
And it’s all fodder for future discussions as I am a passionate advocate for the sharing of ideas and experiences – and I firmly, genuinely believe – the more we know about each other, the better off our grandchildren will be.
April 21, 2009
It’s the heart of the McCain/Palin campaign for the White House. Sarah has just finished a speech at a rally. The bleachers are thinning out but the cameras are still rolling on Sarah and her family. They were all putting on their coats and jackets. Sarah had been standing next to Todd when a black man (a Republican fan, I’m presuming) approaches her to chat. Todd has now walked off, leaving Sarah to fend for herself in front of the rolling camera.
The man chats, Sarah nods politely (I believe she even twists a lock of hair once or twice) and she’s clearly uncomfortable, although the presumption is she’s just very tired and wants to leave but people keep stopping her and the pesky cameraman isn’t picking up on her body language and letting her off the hook.
But then there’s the most bizarre exchange between Sarah and this fan. Without remembering the exact wording on his part, I recall how his comment prompted Sarah to become fully animated, vehemently agreeing with him, gesturing to Todd over her shoulder and making some comment about how she knew exactly what this man has gone through, exactly what it’s like to be the brunt of racial tension as she and Todd have experienced this their whole lives.
It was a minor event, completely overlooked by the media at the time, but it made my 90 year old mother pick up the phone and call me 6,000 miles away. She was irate. Sarah’s audacity to tell such a bold-faced lie straight into the camera, much less compare her white-girl-beauty-queen life experiences with the plight of the black man, just made her blood boil. Did I say my mother was irate? I’m being polite.
I have looked through every bit of archived footage my eyes can tolerate but I can’t find this particular clip anywhere. I think it’s the same rally where they show Piper half-asleep on a wooden bench (but still smiling for the camera) and are conducting a last-minute interview with the family at the end of this long, arduous day.
If anyone has knowledge of where this footage can be viewed or obtained, I would forever be in that person’s debt.
April 20, 2009
I’m pulling this comment from the previous post because while the commenter completely disagrees with my assesment of Sarah Palin and the Republican party, he provides a delightful stray from the usual eat my shorts rhetoric and I’m thinking an open air debate might be fun and informative.That is, after all, what free speech is all about. And it’s just as important to listen to the other guy’s view as it is to fully present your own.
Sonic Charmer said:
To be clear I never said I’m ‘not for public assistance’. What I said was:
-this post of yours brought Sarah Palin into the discussion for no apparent reason;
-the anecdote is trying to illustrate how what ‘liberals’ advocate is a needless layer of complexity; and,
-you’re free to help homeless people on your own, with your own money, every bit as much as you pretend to want them helped.
FYI here are Sarah Palin’s views on welfare and poverty. Nowhere there does it say she’s ‘not for public assistance’. Indeed it shows her to be in favor of expanding and increasing usage of the EITC – which is a form of public assistance, of course. Alaska also has a massive oil-welfare program to my knowledge (everyone receives money from oil revenues). I don’t think she has gotten rid of it.
It’s weird enough that you’re so obsessed with inserting Sarah Palin into this discussion, but bizarre indeed that in doing so you seem to feel free to simply make up her views…
You’re right on one thing though: I haven’t been watching Fox News, nor have I been reading the blogs C4P or TeamSarah (neither of which I’d heard of till now). Ok, so that’s who is ‘touting’ her for the nomination. I’ll take your word for it. I wasn’t aware that those entities control who gets nominated however.
I must say I find it fascinated that you’re so apparently scared and petrified by a prospective 2012 Sarah Palin run for the nomination that you feel the need to sandbag and in fact lie about her even now in 2009, just 3 months into Obama’s first term. Does she really threaten you so much? Strange. Especially since you don’t really seem to know very much about her that isn’t made up,
Let me start at the begnning:
-this post of yours brought Sarah Palin into the discussion for no apparent reason;
The majority of my posts revolve around Alaska and their governor. Do I poke fun at her? Of course. She’s a politician. One is supposed to mock politicians. But Sarah Palin put herself into this particular discussion, and for a few reasons. One is her lack of support to those citizens of Alaska who live in the wilderness regions, who could not afford oil to heat their homes this past winter because she was too busy campaigning in the lower 48 to address the problems back at home.
The reason Sarah took the brunt of this particular e-joke was the timing. I received it just as the Alaska Legislators were in their final days of session. One of their headaches was to work out how to accept the federal stimulus package to which their governor had chosen to attach strings. The education of Alaska’s children, along with other programs for the disadvantaged hung precariously in the balance.
Sarah didn’t even stick around to help work it out. Instead, she chose to speak at a Right-To-Life meeting in Indiana, a belief not actually shared by all Alaskans, but certainly reflects those of her Republican base. So again, Sarah’s priority is to campaign for the 2012 vote – not to do her job as governor. But don’t listen to me. Talk to Alaskans.
-the anecdote is trying to illustrate how what ‘liberals’ advocate is a needless layer of complexity;
It seems to me, in re-reading the anecdote, it is the Republican adding the dash of complication. The federal funds to assist the homeless are already in place. The extra steps were unnecessarily added.
FYI here are Sarah Palin’s views on welfare and poverty. Nowhere there does it say she’s ‘not for public assistance’. Indeed it shows her to be in favor of expanding and increasing usage of the EITC
The link you provide as proof of Sarah’s welfare stance is a bit lacking. It only addresses her endorsement of EITC, a federal program to help welfare recipients (who are able to work) get back into the workforce. It’s been around since 1975 actually, and most states embraced it long before Alaska. I hope you also read this, the EITC FACT SHEET .
I admit, I have no way of knowing if she is the first Alaskan governor to embrace EITC or the fifth – but I do know Sarah is very good at making proclamations which proffer the illusion of something being uniquely her idea, when in fact that appearance is false. However, credit where credit is due, she did embrace it and many Alaskans will benefit.
Now the question is, was it in effect before she issued this proclamation? I ask because it seems US governors make proclamations to mark certain days and events as a form of protocal, having nothing whatever to do with the implementation of the original event. So without doing research, we have no way of knowing if Sarah’s posted proclamation is the first time Alaska has embraced EITC – or if it was just another run-of-the-mill proclamation.
Regardless, it still does not define her stand on welfare. Welfare isn’t just one federal program. It’s a collaberation of many. What other programs does she support? What other programs designed to protect the welfare of all Alaskans are on her agenda? I’m actually asking because I have no idea. I can tell you I’m inclined to think she wouldn’t want to have her state pay for them, though – or the federal government either. So…
Alaska also has a massive oil-welfare program to my knowledge (everyone receives money from oil revenues). I don’t think she has gotten rid of it.
The oil revenue! I’m going to let one of the readers answer this for you. I’m reasonably sure it’s not what you are expecting, though. If memory serves, it’s another Sarah’s Gone Missing moment in Alaskan history.
And now I have a question for you, Sonic Charmer. Is there some reason you think Fox News has no clout in or with the Republican Party? Or that fringe support groups are ineffective tools in national, political campaigns? You don’t live in a cave, do you? Ok, just kidding about the cave
To be clear I never said I’m ‘not for public assistance’. What I said was:
-you’re free to help homeless people on your own, with your own money, every bit as much as you pretend to want them helped.
Doesn’t this pretty much say you’re not for public assistance? Because part of the money that pays for public assistance would come out of your paycheck. So…
And you’re barking up the wrong tree if you think all I am is lip service.There is no pretense here. While other mother’s children brought home stray cats and dogs, my children brought home stray people. Literally. From the time my oldest was in middle school, my house was forever home to someone who either ran away from home or had fallen on hard times and just needed somewhere to take a breath. The shortest stay was a weekend. The longest was eighteen months. We cared for a young man, nearly starved and sleeping in a bus terminal, a young, pregnant prostitute who wanted desperately for her life to be different but didn’t know how, a teenage boy who was beaten by his stepdad, to name just a few. We also let the homeless in our neighbourhood sleep on our protected porch, without complaint, and even got out the extra blankets when it was cold and they were too embarrassed to come inside.
I’ve given away pots of coffee and boxes of warm clothes and even taught a few young ladies how to knit. Along the way I afforded myself the luxory of sitting and listening to people tell their tales and share their dreams. It’s a good thing to know how to listen. It can make a huge difference in someone’s life. And I’m proud to know my children inherited that part of me.
Sonic charmer, you seem to think I’m somehow afraid of Sarah Palin. Sir, I’m not afraid of her. I’m terrified. I’m scared to death that the small pockets of people in the US who believe the second amendment is more important than the other twenty-six, that white is the only proper skin colour, Christianity is the only true religion and that a woman has no rights over her own body will be so smitten with Sarah’s charismatic, girlish charm that they won’t pay attention to to her record. We need smart, tolerant, honest, flawless leaders guiding our nations through this century of economic upheaval, terrorist threat, repleting resources and environmental changes. And Sarah Palin is ill-equipped to fill the role of world leader.
If you think I’m making things up, if you feel I’m not speaking in truths about Sarah Palin and her record as mayor and Governor in the state of Alaska – if you truly feel my motivation is merely to sandbag a rising political star – then by all means do your own research. Look at actual public records, though, not just a website listing of first lines from speeches. Read the Anchorage Daily News and follow the reports on her disputes with the Legislature. Google Wayne Anthony Ross.
Go to Alaska. Even if the trip is only on the web. Listen to the people who have fallen out of love with their governor. Ask them about Wasilla and how the city fell into $20 million of debt. Ask them about the city center built on land the city didn’t actually own and the mayor who shrugged off the title search and the legal fees the city is still paying for to sort it all out. Ask them about Walt Monegan. Mention the word subpoenas. Ask them about the oil drums at the bottom of Mt. Redoubt. Ask them about Senator Mark Begich. Ask them about their oil revenue checques.
And then… ask them about Beth Kerttula.
April 18, 2009
This was in my email today. I’ve seen it many times before and am quite positive it originated in one of those pre-email inter-office faxes that used to drive our bosses over the edge, especially when the fax machine was out of paper, the back-up supplies were nowhere to be found and we would all be standing around with heads hung hoping he wouldn’t notice the Clinton cartoon still in the tray.
How any of those old jokes have found their way into today’s technology is beyond me. I’m sure it involves people with too much time on their hands, dusty crates in the attic and a broom.
So today, when reading this cutesy… well here have a read for yourself:
And when was this written do you think? The tasks described in the e-joke look like a full days work to me. That token $50 would barely pay for a meal and a bath. So again the phrase which dominates my thoughts is close but no cigar.
But the sentiment is alive and well and living in the Republican Party, nurtured by Mother Sarah and repeated by her horde: All the homeless are on the street by choice – they can each go home and stop being a bother any time they want.
Bollox. The homeless have evolved in and because of our culture. We did this with our promises of prosperity and entitlements and a social security system that would be there for us all if we just contributed evey week while we worked… So first we cause people to become homeless, then we ignore them, then we ridicule them, then we blame them for being homeless.
It all rather smells of the bully who first knocks you to the ground, then places a foot over your face and then scolds you for daring to say it hurts.
We show the world how smart we are by producing televisions and computers, video games and fast cars and let everyone think that just by owning a credit card we can all have it all. Then reality sets in and some of us struggle more than the rest and rather than try to work out how to make good on the promises made by western democracy, we find it easier to walk on the other side of the street.
The reasons for being homeless are as many and as varied as their numbers:
*Sudden illness which wipes out savings and incurs insurmountable debt.
*Sudden loss of a partner whose income we depended upon for basic survival.
*An unfortunate accident rendering us immobile and dependent upon a broken social security system which can’t support us.
*Having the company for whom you worked twenty years suddenly close it’s doors, taking your medical insurance and pension with it
*Losing your job at age 45 and discovering no one wants to hire a 45 year old
* Mental incapacity
There are more. Stacks more. But my point is, not eveyone who sleeps in a cardboard shelter wants’ to be there. And the Republican chant of just go get a job doesn’t even come close to offering a solution.
The very banking system George W. Bush and now President Obama and Prime Minister Rudd have sought to bail out of financial ruin have a huge hand in the growing number of homeless in our two nations. Homes and jobs have been retched from people who had been taking care of themselves. Medical costs are another amongst the culprits as people try desperately to pay for outrageously over-priced surgeries, therapies and medications which can only be paid for by second mortgages and exorbitant bank loans.
Are there blodgers amongst them? Of course there are. But the Republicans would rather abandon the mother of three who lost her husband to cancer and her home to his medical bills, than dream of paying one cent to someone else who might be undeserving, and I just think that’s bass-ackwards.
It’s also less than humane.
For Sarah and her Republican cohorts to hold the homeless up to an unrealistic standard is simply preposterous.
Want the homeless to stand up and take care of themselves?
Easy. Take your boots off their faces.
April 17, 2009
Don’t you just love headlines? It’s where the editors get to unleash snarky and all is forgiven because the headline is just doing it’s job of coaxing you into reading the whole story. (The story is where they hide the facts. Well, most of the time, anyway.)
But my snarky headline aside, these are the actual two top stories in Alaska’s papers this morning. Wayne Anthony Ross was deemed unfit for duty in the Attorney General’s office by the state legislators. (Good’onya mates! Well done!)
Then there’s the kerfuffle created by President Obama after announcing the Obama Administration will not be persuing charges against the Bush Administration for (among other things) the torture of prisoners at the Guantanamo facility. You can watch Keith Olbermann’s head exploding here.
This headline in my morning’s email made me guffaw. I guffawed! No, really, I actually did! Enhanced Interrogation! What rubbish! What’s next?
Little Tommy [crying]: Mommy! Mommy! Daddy just spanked me and it really hurts!
Mommy [in a calm voice]: Don’t be silly dear, Daddy would never spank you, he loves you. He merely applyed an Enhanced Behaviour Modification technique to your behind.
Judge: Your client has been charged with raping Ms. Landry. How does he plea?
Attorney: Why, innocent your honour – this young woman is clearly overreacting. My client didn’t rape her, he merely had an Enhanced Hormonal Response to a Sudden and Uncontrollable Penile Erectus Reaction.
Hey wait a minute… Sudden, Uncontrollable Penile Erectus Reaction. Well that certainly explains SUPERman…
<insert sincere apology to DC Comic fans everywhere>
Enhanced Interrogation… dickheads.
April 17, 2009
A final scene in the movie Terminator II has the robot disappearing into a molten vat, desperately flailing it’s arms, sinking, then leaping to the surface again, morphing shapes with each dramatic lunge in a futile effort to save itself from oblivion. I saw the same behaviour today with Republicans trying to rally the country around a non-existant cause in an out-dated style reminiscent of the anti-war rallies of the 1970′s. Had the placards read MAKE LOVE NOT WAR and displayed peace signs, it would have made a lot more sense. That, at least, was a genuine cause.
I watched the people who showed up for these tea bagging rallies flail about, unsure of exactly what to do out there in the cold, but sure they were there to do something. Something important. Any minute now someone would explain. So they waited.
They waved signs, drank hot beverages and pretended to listen to speeches being given on faulty p.a. systems that surely only a handful of front-row attendees could actually hear. They huddled together, ostensibly to show the world how committed they were to the cause but I saw their faces. They were mostly just trying to stay warm.
There were no great speeches. No moments of inspiring rhetoric to take home and mull over. No memorable words of hope to cause one to stand up and shout ‘This is why I came here today! See? This!”
Not a thread of consistency that so earmarks the rallying around a special cause existed in any message by any Republican leader at any tea bagging party held across the country. No one slogan emerged to define their cause and offerto the rest of us as a unifying ideal. Clearly, the Republican’s organizational skills stop at texting just enough loyal party members to fill a parking lot. After that, everyone’s on their own.
The signs displayed at the events showed their disorganization. Apparently, the only hint of a theme would be an obvious disdain for all things Democratic and a definitive. wide-spread lack of education. I was God-smacked by the monumental amount of ignorance displayed on the tea bagging placards.
One sign read WE’RE NOT EUROPEAN YET! USSA NO WAY! What does that even mean? Most European countries are free democracies today. And the poor reference to the Soviet Republic is so out of touch with reality my eyes crossed when I read it. Can it be possible these people are actually unaware Russia has a duly elected federal government led by a president of their own choosing? I thought Sarah could see Russia from her house. How can she – or any of her followers – not know who lives there!
And I laughed aloud at the middle class citizens who held up signs demanding immediate tax cuts. My California daughter, in a telephone call just last week, commented that her tax return would be a little bit bigger this year and wasn’t it great that President Obama was making good on his campaign promises…
Occasionally the half-frozen rallyers would heckle the passers-by. Occasionally one would let out a war-whoop that would attract other war-whoopers in the crowd but it never lasted long. It’s hard to whoop when you’re freezing.
Some brought placards which screamed STOP ABORTIONS! Uh… the connection to tea bagging the president here is… what?
After reading the U.S. obituaries, I mean editorials on today’s events, perusing the blogs and watching the sparse televsion coverage (the episode in front of The White House causing the Secret Service to intervene was so uneventful it didn’t even make the news in Australia) I felt oddly disappointed. Instead of watching a colourful, animated debate on policies and political direction, it had been more like watching the domesticated buffalo in Golden Gate Park eating grass.
<insert cricket sounds>
Let’s face it. The Republican Party is currently out of order. No one should even try to communicate with it until it’s been repaired, revamped. remodelled and educated. Then and only then should we attempt to properly reintegrate it back into society.
Actually, they could start by sweeping out the trash.
April 14, 2009
Tea Bagging Just Misses The Mark
It’s a bit odd that in a world where something like a third of the populaton is starving, Republicans have chosen to bogart a food substance as a symbol for – wait – what is it again the tea bagging is supposed to accomplish?
The original Boston Tea Party was a direct response by American colonists to an excessive tax on a particular tea they were forced to purchase from Britain.That’s a simplistic summary, I know, but if you want to know more, start here.
I’ve watched the news reports here in Australia, presented by reporters who can barely keep a straight face while reporting the story, the cable news reports from the US, read the news articles from a few US papers, and of course, read the perspectives proffered by my favourite bloggers (the list is just to your right over there >>).
For the life of me, I cannot find the connection. All I can come up with is some overly-zealous Republican had a ‘cutesy’ idea and from sheer lack of any other ideas, it became the number one play in the Republican playbook of ‘we can out-Dem the Dems if we can just come up with the right distraction’.
But here’s my problem in trying to connect the Boston Tea Party with today’s politics: Each of the United States, today, is represented in Washington by two Senators and a number of Representatives (said number of which is determined by state population). This is above the number of elected officials on city, county and state levels, each ‘representing’ their own constituency.
For the Republicans to use ‘tea’ to represent their current cause, simply makes no sense. First because Americans are clearly not suffering from taxation without representation, and second because they are not being force-fed a particular brand of tea from a particular source, depriving themselves of choice or jeopardizing any local business.
And third because at least one of the tea bags held up by US newscasters to put a fine point on the Tea Bagging event is from a British-owned company which pays hefty import fees – to the US – in order to get their tea products into the US in the first place. Rather the complete opposite of the situation in 1773. (I’m betting some Republicans either didn’t know Lipton Tea wasn’t an American-owned Company before holding it up to ridicule, or that – in true Sarah Palin style, ala the infamous election scarf -.they were hoping no one would notice. Because that tactic’s worked so well for them in the past!)
What exactly is the Republican cause here? I didn’t actually understand the motivation behind the Tea Bagging until I watched this youtube video put on by The Young Turks. It might not be my cup of tea (sorry) but I’m willing to acknowledge that they nailed the Republican Party full stop.
Quote: [Why?] Because the Republicans don’t know what they’re doing.
So while this is not the style of editorializing I take in on a daily basis, (the main presenter often looks stoned because of the number of times he apparently needs to stop and read whatever material is printed on the inside of his eyelids) I am compelled to share it with you because of it’s simplistic accuracy.
The Young Turks are becoming quite popular with their postings on youtube, reflecting many common attitudes of today’s under 40 generation, and once in a while are even quite insightful. So barring the snarky-style and periodic stray towards porn, it’s possible even for us oldies to sit back and be entertained by this young man who bags (sorry again) the Republican’s latest public display of mediocrity.
Ok - the Republicans are asking the entire population of middle to lower class Americans, to relinquish their newly-received tax cuts under the Obama Administraion, in favour of rallying around the rich to repeal a slight tax increase recently imposed on those Americans who make millions of dollars each year in income and don’t actually pay their full share of taxes anyway due to tax loopholes procured for them by highly paid accountants and lawyers.
To put it simply, the Republicans have chosen one of America’s most cherished, historical events – and one which lead directly to their declaring independence from an oppressive monarchy, bringing about one of the most bitter battles in American history – to symbolize the new Republican platform of taking from the poor and giving to the rich.
Yes, my head’s cocked sideways and I’m squinting.
And what about the fate of all these tea bags once the bagging parties are over?
Are people meant to bring their own tea bag to these gatherings and then actually have a cuppa during the meeting? Are the bags going to be handled like flags at a footy game and then thrown away because after all they’ve been handled? Or are they going to be collected en masse to dump on the White House doorstep at some later date in a feeble attempt to embarass President Obama?
I’m guessing a couple of large donations to a few needful soup kitchens isn’t even being brewed…
Regardless of the Republican intention for the Tea Bagging ceremonies on 15 April 2009, I think it’s a rather sad commentary on their party priorities to encourage the wasting of perfectly good food during a time when millions of people are going a little hungry in order to pay their mortgage.
April 12, 2009
While the rest of the world concerns itself with trying to pump up a troubled economy, Sarah Palin spends most of her time pumping up her own ego. And I can’t help but think she’s doing a lot of it on the taxpayer’s dime.
The Immoral Minority posted about ten minutes of a talk-radio exchange between Sarah Palin and a local host (who is so bad at his job I’m not even going to give him a credit here) in Alaska. I’m ashamed to admit I couldn’t get through the entire interview (if you can call two people so busy stroking each other’s egos in public I actually jumped out of my chair at one point and hollered OH FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE GET A ROOM!)
But I heard just enough. Sarah is single-handedly leading the legislature in their decision-making regarding the stimulus package even though she’s morally against the stimulus package.
Sarah Palin is against the stimulus package because it’s free money and free money promotes government growth not free market growth. (Personally, I think when everyone’s hungry, the arguement over whether a chicken is free-range or barn-fed goes out the window in favour of just eating. But that’s me.)
Sarah Palin is against the stimulus package because free money makes a state dependent upon it’s government. That’s a bad thing because we have too much government already. So sayeth the Republican National Canters. So sayeth Sarah Palin.
Against government funds? She is? Really, someone should be nice enough to bundle and present this lady with copies of all the campaign speeches she made between September and November of 2008 (highlighting all the bits about how great a lobbyist she was and how much free money she procured for Alaska because of her great lobbying) to help keep her from constantly tripping over her own mouth. (I’m betting her expensive RNC shoes are covered in lipstick by now.)
I have just three reactons to Sarah’s radio intercourse (the part that I heard before I just couldn’t listen any more).
The first is to Sarah herself:
A Stimulus Package is like a big bandaid. It’s purpose is to allow what’s underneath a chance to heal. The idea is, by the time the government funds run out, the economy will have new jobs to offer those folks who were given jobs under the stimulus package. The idea is that if unemployed Joe Six-Pack takes a job fixing roads now, for the government, while he’s working (still feeding his family and not losing his house), the economy will have had a chance to heal and by the time Joe’s temporary government job is over, there will be a place for him back in the private sector.
He won’t have lost his home, his family, or become an additional welfare burden on an already strained system. And, everyone benefits from the much-needed road improvements.
The bandaid neither becomes part of the skin itself, nor does it make the wearer dependent upon it’s use. It’s just a bandaid. A biodegradeable bandaid. Use it once, then throw it away.
The second is to anyone considering furthering Sarah Palin’s political career:
There is a word I learned back in my college years that flops around in my head like a freshly-caught fish each time I hear or read yet another statement from Sarah which completely contradicts a statement she’s made previously. It’s from one of the fathers of psychology, (and while I clearly recall the word, the name of it’s originator escapes me). It means a person who is not necessarily childlike, but who has a childish outlook of the world.
Weltanschauung. It means while a person may have many, many perfectly mature qualities, his or her view of the world and how it works has never quite grown up. It allows the person to say something outrageous and maintain a total expectation that the world will believe them, uncontested. It’s how I imagine Sarah copes with her varied statements about what she believes in, or what she’s done, or how she can so often look directly into a camera and lie without hesitation.
It’s that thing in our brains that, as a child, allows us to tell our parents “No! Of course I didnt go near the bowl of cake batter!” and not flinch once while mum wipes the batter from our cheeks. The majority of us outgrow this tale-telling over time and through experience, but there are those with a childish Weltanschauung who continue to tell tales as adults and expect the world to just let them.
I hope Sarah’s supporters will someday be able to separate her wonderfully sparkling personality from her complete ineptness as a political leader. Because you can’t build a political career on past successes as a lobbyist for free money, then turn around and be completely against it, all the while claiming to never have been for free money in the first place.
(By the way – just a head’s up – but in case none of you Republicans out there have been paying attention, Sarah has been publicly vacillating on her abortion views as well. Oops.)
And finally, to Levi Johnston:
Levi, you and Bristol were paraded in front of the nation as Sarah’s pride and joys. She bragged about you, hugged you, openly told of her pride in you both. She cannot, now, alter those claims just because her political life would be easier if none of it had ever been said, or if you would just obediently disappear into the woodwork. The world simply does not work that way. And neither do courts of law.
For every negative statement Sarah makes about you, hold up a clip of her telling the nation how much she adores and loves you and looks forward to the day when you marry her daughter. There are ten weeks of her making loving, caring, positive statements about you in every newsroom across your country and about two hundred more.
She can’t have it both ways, Levi. Nobody can. And tuck this in your back pocket for those times when you might be feeling a tad nervous: In a Family Court of Law, the judge doesn’t care if Sarah Palin is disappointed in you or not. The judge only cares if you disappoint your son.
April 12, 2009
Whether you believe in the Celebration of Easter or just enjoy the time off work, I hope each of you will take a moment to bite into a bunny – because as long as there’s chocolate – there’s always hope
April 10, 2009
Australia is a country of travellers. We’ll fly anywhere if the rates are right and the beer is cold and the boss has given us a week off. Occasionally, one of us inadvertently breaks the law and lands in a foreign jail. When that happens, the shit hits the fan in the press and someone makes a public plea for the government to intervene. In response, the Prime Minister’s office will have one of their solicitors-slash-diplomats hop a plane to iron out the mess and bring the happy larrikin home. It’s pretty much the Ozzie way.
On rare occasions, the mess cannot be ironed out and one of our citizens, either rightly or wrongly, does time on foreign soil. In an effort to avoid having our citizens break laws in foreign countries and end up getting death penalties for what an Ozzie would term ‘a bloody stupid law’, our sage and wise government spends stacks of money via television ads, websites and travel alerts to keep us all in the know about where we’re going.
This evening, one such alert was posted on the internet (amongst other places) warning against travelling to Fiji any time in the near future. It seems their president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, (pronounced Eelo-Eelo) has recently torn up the countries constitution, named himself head of state – and sacked all the judges who tried to tell him this was all quite illegal.
Our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, (Kevi as he’s fondly referred to by the press), is shaking his head, muttering things like ‘this is going backwards, not forwards” and putting out statements to alert tourists that should they choose to visit Fiji, he can’t guarantee their safe return. That’s Kev-speak for “Stay home ya morons! It’s bloody stupid over there!”
Well the Fijian events weren’t quite that simplistic. First there was a military coup led by Commodore Frank Bainimarama. Then he turned the country over to Ratu who had been – no wait. First there was an election. Then there was the coup. Then the Prime Minister got sick (he’s very old after all) then there was a takeover. No wait that’s wrong… Ok wait – rats – ok – I think I got it straight this time..
First Ratu Iloilo was President. But he got sick and while his strong-arm guy, Commodore Bainimarama, was off the island playing with his troops, somebody else decided to take advantage and stage a coup.Except the media got wind of it and when word got to Bainimarama he panicked because it was tourist season and this would be bad for business. So he issued news bulletins telling people COME TO FIJI – NO COUP HERE! HAVE FUN! HOLIDAY WITH US!!! Pay no attention to the 9000 armed soldiers wandering around the beaches and nightclubs. They’re just having fun too! That was back in November 2008.
So now in January of 2009, Iloilo gets sick and somehow Laisenia Qarase is put in charge of the country as an interim leader. But Commodore Bainimarama isn’t too happy with how he (Qarase) is running things and stages a real coup, unseating Qarase and giving back the presidency to Iloilo – who apparently isn’t sick anymore.
Enter the courts who hold hearings to determine how much of the coup-shifting-unseating is legal and who should be entitled to run the place - but Iloilo gets bored waiting for decisions to be made through proper channels, rips up the Fijian constitution, declares himself King of the Island, and tosses all the judges in jail.
Wait – I think he tossed them in jail – maybe he just put them all on a fishing boat and told them it was a free vacation.
Enter Kevin Rudd and his dutiful traveller’s alert to warn Ozzie’s against going to Fiji until this is all sorted. Or at least until the cocktail waitresses can put down the semi-automatic pistols and just carry cold beer again.
But fun with Iloilo and Kevi aside – as I was reading this article about President, erm, I mean King Iloilo’s takeover, and how easily he dismissed the court’s rulings suggesting what he was doing might in some small legal sense be ever-so-slightly (dare we use the word) wrong…I couldn’t help but make the obvious leap.
Does this complete disregard for judicial procedure coupled with impatient behaviour and an obsession for power remind you of anyone Alaska?
Anyone at all?
Perhaps if we all chipped in and bought Sarah her own little island to overthrow…
April 9, 2009
An Anchorage Attorney by the name of Steven Pradell wrote and posted this article regarding father’s rights in the state of Alaska in 1997. One can surmise that as it is still an active link, the article probably still has sound advice.
The article itself is copyrighted, and due to the time differences between our countries, I have not yet attempted to glean permission to use actual quotes from the article, but I see no reason why I can’t link it to this post and let anyone who might be interested have a read. It is, after all, posted on the internet for all to see.
It’s interesting to note that Alaska family law looks pretty much like family law in most of the western US states. Neither gender has an edge over the other one and the courts still use the what’s in the best interest of the child – not the parents yardstick for measuring fundamental custodial decisions.
Alaska family law appears to be no different from the rest of the civilized world, so Sarah does not have the authority or power to bend it to her will. But that doesn’tmean she won’t try.
There’s no reason why Levi cannot procure legal representation and get immediate proper visitation with Tripp – and to wait until Sarah has time to perform her behind the scenes trickery would not be beneficial to this young father and child.
Links of interest on the subject of father’s rights in Alaska:
Alaska Father’s Rights Lawyers
Free consultations, legal aid, Family Law Attorney listings for Alaska.
How To Learn About Father’s Rights Alaska
List of organizations ready to help single fathers, including links to credible organizations like Fathers for Equal rights and the Chldren’s Rights Council.
From the home page:
If you are a devoted father who is having trouble getting your rights acknowledged, there is help available. In the past, single parenting has usually been thought of as a woman’s dilemma. Today, men can find help with single father parenting from various avenues.
A second article by Steven Pradell has a few paragraphs on grandparental rights in Alaska. This article was written two years later in 1999.
In the state of Alaska, grandparents have the right to petition courts for reasonable visitation of their grandchild, and can, in certain custody cases where it is deemed by the judge to be in the best interest of the child, have those visitations written into the actual custody agreement.
So Sherry – go get ‘em tiger! Sarah may have all the smoke and mirrors and free corporate lawyers on her side, but you and your son have the law on yours.
We’re all rooting for you :)
April 9, 2009
Just two years ago, I supported a friend and her new husband during a rather wild custody battle. The two young adults came together each with small children from previous relationships. The mother of my friend’s husband’s baby was so certain that as the mother it was her right to call all the shots, she even went to court unrepresented by council.
She appeared before the magistrate armed only with a list of demands, which she read aloud to the court:
* She was to have all holidays, period.
* As the mother, she retained the right to make all medical, religious and educational decisions regarding her baby.
* The father would be allowed visits at her discretion, and only in her home. He was never to leave her house with the baby. (She further clarified that if he wanted an overnight visit, he could sleep on the floor of the baby’s room. That would be alright with her.)
I kid you not.
The magistrate, after lifting his jaw from the top of the bench, intsructed my friend’s solicitor to find council for “this woman” and to do it quickly. He did not want to see her again until she was properly represented in his court and until ‘someone’ had educated her on Queensland family law.
Three such solicitors were hired and let go before this little girl in a woman’s body finally realized her list of demands wasn’t ever going to be taken seriously, and that court magistrates always, always had the final word.
It took two years of courtroom drama, prolonged mediation and a stack of money to iron out an agreement amicable to all concerned. But from the first court appearance, my friends were granted immediate overnight visitation with no hesitation on the part of the magistrate at all. So they had regular visits during the entire drama, which increased overtime until they now share custody 50/50.
So my question to Alaskans at this point in the unfolding-and-ever-so-public drama between the Palins and the Johnstons, is why do Bristol and Sarah figure they can be calling all the shots in the first place?
This is yet another instance proving without doubt that the Palin women feel entitled to write their own rules in complete disregard to rules and laws already in place. (This is just another version of the Senate Democratic nominee, actually.)
I felt sad for this young man who alluded here that he’d watched his childhood sweetheart drift away from him during the campaign, leading to their ultimate break-up. And it was all the things written on his face which he chose not to say that I truly ‘got’.
Bristol Palin, a young, impressionable teenager, was thrown headlong into a world of free manicures and shopping sprees, trips to big cities, room service in elegant hotels and doormen to carry her parcels. Helpful people in crisp uniforms cooked and served all her meals and did all her laundry. Handsome secret service men opened doors and watched over her twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Strangers applauded when she entered rooms. People asked for her autograph.
I’m never shocked that Sarah and her girls fight so hard to hang onto their public life. It’s hard to give up that lifestyle once you’ve tried it on for size. What makes me squint is why they continually behave as if theirs is the only family who deserves it.
So speaking of rights, why hasn’t a father’s rights group snatched up Levi’s cause yet? Are there no activists-for-dads in Alaska? Where are all the family law attorneys who could easily take this case pro bono and live off the fat of the free publicity it will generate?
Levi Johnston has parental rights. His parents actually have grandparental rights as well, unless Alaska family law is contrary to the rest of the nation. So unless Sarah has managed to also rewrite US family law in the state of Alaska, neither she nor Bristol have any legal right to dictate visitation between Levi, his parents and Tripp.
This is a fine example of why nice, normal people (like me!) go off and play W.o.W. for weeks at a time. Trying to keep up with the Palin family can just suck the life right out of you.
OOO hear that? I think I hear my tiger calling
April 7, 2009
A person can only release so much dumbness into the atmosphere before something explodes.
I’m just sayin’…
April 6, 2009
I was having coffee over at The Immoral Minority,
reading this article about Senator Lisa Murkowski’s plea for a national early warning and monitoring system for volcanoes and it occurred to me that we could all benefit from having some sort of early warning system in place regarding Sarah. You know, some kind of seismic counter that would alert us just before she’s ready to go off?
A stupid meter, perhaps, that would measure the frequency of her idiotic behaviour, predicting when Sarah’s velocity of dumb is about to reach critical mass, thus giving us all a chance to duck in a doorway and cover our heads when she’s about to blow?
Because really, not only do her ridiculous public statements reverberate underground causing tectonic plate shifts as far as Australia, but her ash drifts everywhere and it’s quite difficult to clean up.
We could call it the Sarah Palin Early Warning System. Or simply S.P.E.W.S.
UPDATE: 08 Apr 09
It’s been brought to my attention that some Alaskans have fondly given Sarah the nick-name Governor In Name Only or - Gino. I’d like to take this opprtunity to update my early warning system so we are all on the same page.
Effective immediately, SPEWS will now be known as Governor In Name Only Sarah Palin Early Warning System or just – GINO SPEWS
April 3, 2009
Palin, Ruedrich call for Begich resignation
By Erika Bolstad
Published: April 2nd, 2009 01:06 PM
Anchorage Daily News (full story here)
WASHINGTON — The head of the Alaska Republican Party today called on Sen. Mark Begich to step down from the U.S. Senate, saying that the state’s voters would have re-elected former Sen. Ted Stevens had they known the U.S Department of Justice would abandon its prosecution of him.
The party chairman, Randy Ruedrich, said that the only reason Begich won his race was because “a few thousand Alaskans thought that Senator Stevens was guilty of seven felonies.”
He added that he thought Begich should step down “so Alaskans may have the chance to vote for a senator without the improper influence of the corrupt Department of Justice.”
Gov. Sarah Palin concurs with Ruedrich and believes a special election is appropriate, said a spokeswoman for Palin’s political action committee, Meg Stapleton. “I absolutely agree,” Palin said in a statement.
* * * * *
Talk about hootzpah. Beyond the obvious, I have two incredibly knot-in-the-gut reactions to this particular episode of the Convicted-Unconcivted Senator Stevens Election Debaucle.
1. When was it determined the U.S. Justice department is corrupt? Was there a trial? Did i miss it? Does President Obama know? Will there be hearings?
2. When was it determined the governor and leader of opposing parties could ask a seated senator to step down because they think election results of several months prior may have gone differently had curent events been – umm – different?
Senator Stevens was convicted of seven (that we know of) felonies. The fact the U.S. Justice department decided now that there were great holes in the prosecution’s case and he should probably have a new trial does not – in my book – constitute clearing Stevens of the charges brought against him of which he was subsequently convicted. it only talks to the prosecution of the case, not the validity.
It’s rather like watching the parents of a 12 year old caught taking money out of dad’s wallet being let off the hook because an older sibling was caught smoking pot – and the parents only have time and energy to do so much disciplining. Senator Ted would most likely be granted a new trial with a chance at being fully acquitted of the felony charges (were he younger and still in office) but that the U.S. Justice department has more pressing things to do with their time than retry an 85 year old man (who probably screwed the citizens of Alaska for years before he was caught, anyway) who no longer has the ability to repeat those crimes. Umm, unless of course he were to be re-elected.
I’ve read several articles reporting this decision but nowhere did I read the U.S. Justice department found Ted Stevens to be innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted, only that the department feels the original case was mucked up and he probably should have the original indictment dismissed and then have a new trial (with a new improved indictment?) Oh wait not the trial – they don’t have time for that part. So I guess a new indictment would be out too then? Without a new trial, an new indictment would be what – the indictment to nowhere?
Granted my knowledge of U.S. history is sadly lacking, but I’m not at all understanding how the dismissal of an indictment or suggestion of a new trial is a claim of innocence, or how the court of appeals was by-passed here. How did the U.S. Justice department get involved with an appellate court decision in the first place? Do politicians have their own set of courts? Is it like health care where politicians get a better deal?
I welcome any input from readers that will help me get my head around this process.
And Sarah! I am dunbfounded. Asking a seated Senator to step down five months into his term because his convicted opponent may or may not have been guilty of criminal charges. So yes, hootzpah! Todd Palin may wear the pants in the family, but clearly Sarah is still the one who mans the balls.
April 1, 2009
U.S. to drop Stevens charges
Published: April 1st, 2009 04:54 AM
Last Modified: April 1st, 2009 05:07 AM
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has moved to dismiss former Sen. Ted Stevens’ indictment, effectively voiding his Oct. 27 conviction seven counts of filing false statements on his U.S. Senate financial disclosure forms.
“The Justice Department filed its motion to dismiss the case this morning, saying in it that “given the facts of this particular case, the Government believes that granting a new trial is in the interest of justice.” However, “the Government has further determined that, based on the totality of circumstances and in the interest of justice, it will not seek a new trial.“
That just tears it. Seems to me justice would be better served if it waas actually served in the first place. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow to find it was just an april fools joke…
(Full story here)
April 1, 2009
Posted by ozmud under April 09  Comments
I just love technology. I’m not sure people under thirty-five truly appreciate how much better life is with the advent of home computers and search engines but I’m a huge fan.
For instance, not only can I get my morning newspaper without having to get my toes wet in the rain, I can get any newspaper I want! From anywhere! *click*click*click* and it’s all mine!
So I noticed this morning, in the Washington Post, a beautiful photo of Michelle Obama with a flattering, accompanying article about how her popularity is soaring. Soaring! How appropriate that poll results were published this week giving her a 28% rise in popularity over last summer’s polls. You know, back when people didn’t really know her?
Evidently, British papers are now likening her to Princess Diana and Jacqueline Kennedy in grace, dress and philanthropic endeavours. But that’s not all. Republicans have had a chance to see for themselves how devoted a mother and wife Michelle is and they’re turning towards this classy lady in full support of her obvious family values.
Wow. Just by letting the people get to know her. You think maybe this tactic would work for Sarah? Just let the people get to know her? Wait! The polls are out on Sarah this week too! Let’s check!
The Washington Post article on Michelle Obama is here.
Sarah’s latest polls are here.
It’s not rocket science.
But now that Republicans have seen for themselves how a woman can be a gracious, conscientious wife and mother and have a Harvard Law degree, I’m guessing Sarah’s dream of being crowned Queen of Washington D.C. has just burst.
Well that’s ok Sarah – not to worry. You still have all those lovely big oil drums sitting at the foot of Mt. Redoubt to fall back on J
April 1, 2009
(Sent to Rep. Mike Doogan firstname.lastname@example.org 01 Apr 09)
Dear Mr. Doogan
Now that I’ve had a chance to dust off my links and catch up on my reading, the reality of your December ordeal has finally come into the light. The penny’s dropped. I get it now. I was missing just a bit of information before but now I have the whole picture and I’m focused.
You caused all this fuss over LESS THAN THIRTY (30) EMAILS??? LETTERS OF CONCERN FROM YOUR OWN CONSTITUENTS???
ARE YOU NUTS?
Good lord, I’ve been writing to you on the premise you’d received hundreds of emails because your written responses to fellow bloggers indicated you were flooded, inundated, DELUGED with complaints about Sarah Palin. You referred to them as “all those people” who were “bashing Sarah”, saying you felt the need to defend her even though you weren’t a Republican!
And you sat at your desk hammering out the sarcastic group email which ignited this mess on… wait for it… Christmas Eve??? And this struck you as a good idea? Could you not have just had another serve of turkey and mash instead? Maybe a nice Merlot and listened to Carols?
THIRTY EMAILS!!! That’s my inbox on a slow afternoon. My kids can text thirty emails in thirty seconds while drying the dishes and sorting their IPod music!
THIRTY EMAILS!!! You’re in politics Mr. Doogan! Correspondence rather comes with the territory! It’s in your JOB description! Pull your socks up! Get crackin’! Get a clue! Please! I’m running out of short cliche`s but I’m no longer sure you’d understand whole sentences!
Maybe this will help. Here’s a little sign I used to have hanging over my desk. I offer it to you as a gentle reminder of what it is the nice people in Alaska elected you to do in the first place:
GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY
(aka Lynn in Australia)