Saturday, April 18, 2009

Palin To Pick Another Supreme Court Justice. Please Tell Me the W.A.R. Is Over!

Alaska Supreme Justice Robert Eastaugh has announced that on November 2nd of this year, he will retire from the Alaska Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life until a mandatory retirement age of 70 (see correction below). This means Sarah Palin will appoint another person who potentially will affect Alaska's direction for years to come.

Now, to her credit, the Governor didn't do badly on her last pick. She bucked the Alaska Family Council, part of her Conservative base, and picked Superior Court Judge Morgan Christen to fill the seat.

According to the Alaska Constitution, the Governor must select from among the nominees sent to her by the seven-member Alaska Judicial Council., comprised of three lawyers, three members of the public appointed by the Governor, and the Supreme Court chief justice.

One of the things weighed by the Council is a survey of Alaska Bar members.

In the ADN article, Palin "criticized the fact the anonymous comments are allowed" on the bar survey, and said "too much weight is given to the survey."

Based on their history with him, I seriously doubt that the Alaska Judicial Council would recommend Wayne Anthony Ross, were he to apply.

However, given the Governor's propensity to ignore the law whenever convenient, as demonstrated by the Juneau Senate seat fiasco, we cannot assume anything.

: I received an email from a retired Alaska government attorney who set me straight on this. Just goes to show what happens when I make assumptions without checking the statute first. I'll try to be more thorough in the future.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fox News - Unfair and (mentally) Unbalanced

Of course the entire limp Teabag Protests around America weren't promoted by Fox News,

Of course not.

At what point does Fox finally admit to being an "Infotainment" channel?

It makes me want to break something.

(h/t to Media Matters)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

W.A.R. Averted!

By a vote of 23 Yeas and 35 Nays, he Alaska Legislature failed to confirm Wayne Anthony Ross as Alaska's Attorney General.

Score one for the good guys.

Caribou Barbie - It's Deja Vu All Over Again

According to the Anchorage Daily News, last night Governor Sarah Palin reappointed Tim Grussendorf to fill Kim Elton's Juneau Senate seat.

You read that right.

Though Grussendorf's already been rejected, Sarah has thrown him back to the Senate for confirmation.

With "acting" Attorney General Wayne Anthony Ross's blessing.

W.A.R.'s confirmation may now be in doubt. Palin is pissing off everybody now, Republicans included.

But guess what? It doesn't
matter to her.

If W.A.R. is not confirmed, Sarah will just reappoint him, so he can continue to "act" during the interim between Legislative Sessions.

Crafty, huh?

Adding: After thinking about this some more...

When it comes to our Governor, I think we're dealing with a "the one with the most toys wins" mindset.

I think the legislature needs to call themselves back into Special Session to clarify the appointment process just a little more (not that it isn't perfectly clear to me and anyone who has actually read AS 15.40.320-350).

Alaska Statutes should be amended by adding language in the appropriate sections that states that
"once any appointee requiring confirmation is not confirmed by the legislature, that person cannot then be reappointed for the same position by the same Governor."

You get the gist.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sarah Palin Ordering "Senator Ala Carte"

In a letter today to the Alaska State Senate, Governor Sarah Palin explained that the list of appointees to fill Juneau Democrat Kim Elton's vacant seat yesterday are in her order of preference:

1. Tim "Hey Look, I'm a Democrat Now" Grussendorf
2. Joe "You've Never Heard of Me But I'm Highly Qualified" Nelson, and
3. Al "Naughty Red Monkey" Wilson.

How "mavericky" of her.

Somehow, she's glossed over the fact that numbers one and two were
already rejected by the Democratic Senators.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Hollis French had already dismissed the idea of considering all three, and I guess Sarah thinks her "explanation" clears that up.

Senator French: I believe that in effect, since Sarah explained it's her "order of preference," it's not really a "list."

already rejected the other two.

The only name she actually submitted is Al "Naughty Red Monkey" Wilson.

Phil Munger at Progressive Alaska already posted Legislative Affairs Attorney Pam Finley opinion, so check with her first.

In light of the "explanation," if Pam Finley agrees with that interpretation, then
go ahead and deal with it.

Slap a big red "Rejected" stamp on Al's name, and send it back to her.

Oh - and while you're at it, W.A.R requires the same treatment.

Tea For You, & Tea For Me

CNN reporter Susan Roesgen has a huge pair (figuratively speaking):

This woman is now one of my heroes.

Compare her courageous style with the crazy rhetoric from Fox News "reporter" Cody Willard:

I rest my case.

h/t to Media Matters.

Adding: Can't we all just get

W.A.R. Signs Off on Sarah's Newest Craziness

Apparently, Sarah is perfectly comfortable with ignoring the law when it comes to appointing a replacement for Juneau Democratic Senator Kim Elton's seat.


Because Wayne Anthony Ross (W.A.R.), her Attorney General pick (who is up for a confirmation vote of the Legislature tomorrow), has told her so.

Now - if W.A.R. were one of the "brightest and best, " there might be some valid argument to her actions.

But he's not. Frankly, W.A.R. makes Clarence Thomas look like Clarence Darrow.

Sarah Palin seems to have a problem grasping the concept that the Legislature is a separate and equal branch of Government. They aren't there just to do her bidding.

Residents of Juneau - please let the Governor know you've had enough. You want a Senator representing you.


Members of the Alaska Legislature - please let the Governor know that she must follow the law. While you're at it, let her know that you want a qualified attorney heading up the Alaska Department of Law... not someone who fabricates legal opinions to correspond with the Governor's whims.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Governor Palin - Still Crazy After All These...Weeks? Months? Years?

Sarah's at it again.

Remember Kim Elton, the Democratic Juneau Senator who went to work for the Obama administration in the Department of Interior?

Remember the Juneau Democrats first offered as a replacement only Representative Beth Kerttula, and the Governor decided to appoint Tim Grussendorf instead?

Remember the Senate Democrats rejected Grussendorf, and then the Juneau Democratic Party offered three more (bringing the total to four) people for Sarah to choose from?

Remember Sarah appointed Joe Nelson instead of any of the four?

Remember the Senate Democrats then rejected Nelson, and in a deal brokered by Juneau Mayor Bruce Bothelo, Beth Kerttula and John Harris endorsed a compromise candidate for the seat, former Juneau Mayor Dennis Egan? Nobody doesn't like Dennis Egan!

Remember all that? Well, guess what?

Sarah is now proposing her OWN list to the Senate!

Yep. According to the Associate Press, her cover letter says Palin is trying to expedite the process of replacing Kim Elton.

Said, apparently, without a trace of irony or cognitive dissonance.

Ignoring the fact that she has no statutory authority to shove an appointee down the throats of the residents of Juneau, Palin is telling the Democratic Senators to pick someone from HER list. Guess who's on that list?

Why, her two appointees whom have already been rejected, and a third, Mr. Al Wilson, who is apparently a Juneau businessman. Who registered as a Democrat on March 4.

In spite of widespread support for Egan, her proposal ignores his entire existence.

Senate Democrats Juneau Voters - tell the Governor ENOUGH!

Send someone to the third floor of the Capitol to explain it to her (when she gets back in town).

Pirates vs. Presidents, Graphed for Your Viewing Pleasure

Just to make sure Americans understand, above is a bar graph illustrating just how many pirates have been killed by U.S. Presidents in the last hundred years or so... back to McKinley, anyway.


(h/t to Mottram Station via Elvis Dingeldein via Sullivan via Bob Cesca)

Don't Take Your Guns to Town, Don...

Well, in fact, he didn't... take his guns, that is.

When Alaska's Congressman Don Young addressed NRA's Second Amendment Task Force in Fairbanks on Monday, he strapped on a borrowed Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum, just to be "one of the boys," I guess.

This is the pistol Clint Eastwood carried when he portrayed "Dirty Harry" Callahan.

Like most Alaskans, I support the 2nd Amendment, so I'm not really jumping Don's case about this.

Unlike Don and many of his buddies, however, I support the rest of the Constitution, too.

You know - those pesky parts that guarantee the freedom to dissent, the right of privacy, equal protection regardless of creed, race, gender or sexual preference, etc. etc...

I just thought it was kind of funny... and very "Don-like." He said "this feels pretty good," and posed for pictures with group members.

Yeah, I could go into the whole "mine is bigger than yours," the pistol as a phallic symbol discussion... but I won't.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm Sure it's Not "New" News, But...

It looks as though that some members of the Alaska Legislature are willing to act in what might be considered a true bipartisan fashion.

Remember the drama that's been unfolding around the appointment to fill Democratic Senator Kim Elton's vacated Juneau Senate seat?

Apparently, Juneau Representative Beth Kerttula, who had been the Juneau Democratic Party's choice to replace Elton, and Representative John Harris, (former House Speaker and still bigwig Republican) of Valdez have suggested a compromise to solve Governor Palin's dilemma.

Beth and John are suggesting Dennis Egan.

Mr. Egan is the son of Alaska's first Governor, Bill Egan (who was a Democrat back when even the concept "DINO's" was unheard of).

Currently a Juneau radio personality, Dennis is a former Juneau Assembly member, and also the former Mayor of Juneau.

Even though Dennis was born a Democrat, since there seems to be some bipartisan consensus, he just might be someone Governor Palin can live with.

Of course, when asked for her thoughts on the subject, Sarah said... nothing. She had "no immediate comment."

Well of course not. She's busy packing for her trip to Indiana in the last 72 hours of the Legislative Session.

She has to speechify to an anti-choice group... her base for her planned 2012 Presidential bid.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Sign of Spring

Over at Celtic Diva's, she noted there's a new sign of spring (seen on 3rd Avenue) in Anchorage today.

Hey, Governor... those rumblings you're hearing aren't Mt. Redoubt and such as, you betcha!

And also.

Let's hope it's the beginning of a movement!

A Call to Action Against W.A.R.

It is time for Alaskans to again raise their voices loudly and clearly against the actions of our Governor.

Twice in recent days, I've written about my objection to the confirmation of Wayne Anthony Ross (or W.A.R., as he likes to be called) as Attorney General for the State of Alaska.
Aside from his arrogance and divisive nature, and aside from his past statements indicating his misogynistic, homophobic and racist tendencies, my main objection is this: The man is simply not qualified.

In previous posts, I pointed out that no matter how "flamboyant" or what a "character" he may be, W.A.R's legal acumen and abilities as a lawyer are mediocre at best.
Yeah, I realize "second-rate" is sort of a trademark of the Palin administration, but it is time for Alaskans to say enough!

Contact your Senators and your Representatives (except for you people in Juneau, you have no Senator at the moment).

Let them know that you are tired of ineptitude and mediocrity being the standard for governance in Alaska. The person heading our state's Department of Law should be one of the best legal minds in Alaska. Tell them to demand better than what is being shoved off on us.
Here's how to reach them:

Your Senators can be reached here, and your Representatives here.

If you click on their name, it will take you to their page, where there's a button to send them an email.

Now some of these legislators are on the right side of this, so with them, you'll be preaching to the choir. It's okay to write them anyway, because emails they receive may well help them to change other lawmaker's minds.

Be polite, but firm. Tell them that you are serious about this, and that you will be watching.

Remind them you have a good memory... and that you vote.

A Plea to the Alaska State Legislature Regarding Wayne Anthony Ross

Please do not confirm this man as Attorney General.

There are a variety of groups out there, representing a broad spectrum of Alaskans, who have all stated valid reasons why this man is just flat-out wrong to head up the Alaska Department of Law.

While I agree with them, I represent none of those groups. I am just your average Alaskan who is able to see that W.A.R. is a bad idea... and I vote.

Please allow me to direct you the website of Shannyn Moore.

Published there is a considered, thoughtful letter to Wayne Anthony Ross, penned by Richard Burton, former Alaska Commissioner of Public Safety under two Alaska Governors.

Also published there is Mr. Ross's flippant response.

That exchange alone should give you pause to think.

Even if you ignore his past improprieties, W.A.R.'s legal acumen is, at best, mediocre.

Given the Governor's pettiness and penchant for vengeance, and how politics work, I know there may well be repercussions from the Third Floor if you fail to confirm Ross. As a payback for denying her will, capital projects (the bread and butter of reelection) in your district may fall victim to the line-item veto pen.

If that happens, let your constituents know where the blame lies... at the feet of an imperious, arrogant Governor who hates being told "no."

Please, I beg of you. Do the right thing for Alaska.
Reject this appointment.