"I've not been convicted yet," Stevens said Thursday in a meeting with the editorial board of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. "There's not a black mark by my name yet, until the appeal is over and I am finally convicted, if that happens. If that happens, of course I'll do what's right for Alaska and for the Senate. ... I don't anticipate it happening, and until it happens I do not have a black mark."
Stevens reiterated that position during a televised debate late Thursday night, declaring early in the give-and-take with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, "I have not been convicted of anything."
When I was in Wasilla a couple of weeks ago I had dinner one night with the crew from The Wasilla Project, which has been busy producing first-rate videos about Sarah Palin's background in her Alaska hometown.
After 8 years of a Republican White House, there still seems to be a reality distortion field around the concept of “Fiscal Conservative”. Governor Palin presents herself as a fiscal conservative who has a record of helping taxpayers in her state. The reality has often been quite different.
It’s surprising that someone who came into office as mayor to cut wasteful spending and lower property taxes, actually left office with Wasilla over $20 million in debt, when records show that she entered office with city debt at one million or less.
Some $14-15 million of that debt was due to a hockey rink she built while in office, land for which Wasilla negotiated the purchase for $145,000. They eventually paid out nearly $1.5 million for the land, not counting legal fees, due to Palin moving forward on the project before the city had clear title to the land. This echoes in significant ways Palin’s later negotiations as governor on the Alaskan pipeline, where she committed $500 million in taxpayer money, without assurances that a Canadian company would even build the pipeline.
As the economy worsens in the United States, markets around the world are crashing and people are losing their homes and pensions, it’s irresponsible not to question the economic positions and records of the candidates. In the case of Palin, her record has been extremely troubling and reflects part of the reason that she has lost credibility with so many Alaskans in recent weeks.
It's true that the current economic mess was a bipartisan affair -- Democrats participated almost as eagerly as Republicans in the whole deregulation of the financial sector that occurred in 1997-2006, which was the root of this disaster. But regardless of party, the entire philosophy behind deregulation was conservatism -- it's been one of its economic cornerstones.
So this economic disaster is best understood as a failure of conservatism generally. And no one better exemplifies the misbegotten nature of conservative governance -- particularly in the way it bankrupts the public while claiming to be "responsible" -- than Sarah Palin.
Yes, that is a tattoo of Bristol's name on Baby Daddy Levi Johnston's ring finger. Anyone else picturing Todd Palin brandishing a shotgun at the tattoo parlor? And just because this campaign can't get surreal enough, from TPM:
(Given) what we've seen so far, I can't say I'd be surprised if the moral jalopy that is the McCain-Palin Straight Talk Express sunk us even further into farce with something like this. From the Times of London ...
In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one -- the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancé before the November 4 election.
Inside John McCain's campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. "It would be fantastic," said a McCain insider.
If this actually sways a single voter, I weep for my country.
Here's part two of Sarah Palin's disastrous interview with Katie Couric. Yesterday Palin couldn't provide a single example of John McCain favoring market regulations, and today she tries to defend the foreign policy "experience" she gleaned from being Governor of a state that's close to Russia.
COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?
PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--
Probably because she doesn't have any. At all. Well, not unless you count the proximity of Alaska to Russia. Sarah Palin made her first unscripted appearance Wednesday at a town hall meeting with John McCain and proved exactly why the McCain campaign has tried their damnedest to keep her as far away from those things as possible. In this clip, a questioner throws up a softball about national security cred and Palin can't remember her talking points about being able to see Russia from some remote island or that she's the "Commander-in-Chief" of the Alaska National Guard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor Palin, there has been quite a bit of discussion about your perceived lack of foreign policy experience. And I want to give you your chance. If you could please respond to that criticism and give us specific skills that you think you have to bring to the White House to rebut that or mitigate that concern.
PALIN: Well, I think because I'm a Washington outsider that opponents are going to be looking for a whole lot of things that they can criticize and they can kind of try to beat the candidates here, who chose me as his partner, to kind of tear down the ticket. But as for foreign policy, you know, I think that I am prepared and I know that on January 20th, if we are so blessed as to be sworn into office as your president and vice president, certainly we'll be ready. I'll be ready. I have that confidence. I have that readiness.
And if you want specifics with specific policy or countries, go ahead and you can ask me. You can even play stump the candidate if you want to. But we are ready to serve.
Anchorage AM radio host Eddie Burke has been suspended after broadcasting the phone numbers of women involved in organizing a protest rally against Sarah Palin over the weekend, his station manager said Monday.
In a statement, KBYR-AM 700 station manager Justin McDonald said broadcasting the numbers last week was "breaking station policy." Burke will be suspended for one week without pay, he said.
"Though I do not agree with some of the comments he made, as a licensee, we attempt to respect everyone's First Amendment rights, including Eddie Burke's, our listeners' and our nonlisteners'," McDonald's statement said. "That does not mean I condone inciting violence or harm in any way to people wanting to voice their opinions with peaceful protest."
Acting like Michelle Malkin does have some consequences after all.
Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn’t honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn’t happen here.
So, if you’ve been doing the math… Yes. The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was significantly bigger than Palin’s rally that got all the national media coverage! So take heart, sit back, and enjoy...Sarah Palin most definitely does not speak for all Alaskans.
There's a photo gallery (with some great signs) here, and a video of the crowd below.
Over the past two weeks, the lies emanating from the McCain/Palin campaign have become so brazen that even the most cynical campaign reporters are clearly taken aback. While lies are commonplace in politics, you rarely see candidates continue to repeat factual claims that have been widely debunked in the media, especially claims about biographical facts (lying about your opponent's policy positions is another matter).
The fact that McCain and Palin continue to tell these tall tales about Palin's record in Alaska is aggravating--there's no question--but it also presents the Obama campaign with a golden opportunity. The key to exploiting that opportunity, however, is not to get angry or to join in the lying game. Neither of those tactics ever work well for Democrats. The key to fighting back is to brand McCain and Palin as liars through the use of mockery. I realize that everyone and their brother is playing the role of armchair political consultant at the moment, but please indulge me for thirty seconds.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin sent out a fundraising solicitation today that charged that "the Obama/Biden Democrats have been vicious in their attacks directed toward me, my family and John McCain."
I asked spokespeople of the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee just which "Obama/Biden Democrats" they're referring to.
The response I got was that Obama spokesman Mark Bubriski erroneously attacked Palin as a supporter of Pat Buchanan.
That's it. That's the evidence.
An attack on Palin herself.
In other words, they can't name one person affiliated with the Obama-Biden campaign who attacked the Palin family.
This whole Culture of Victimization of the Republican Party makes me ill. As Tapper points out, McCain said heartless things about the adolescent Chelsea Clinton but any little scrutinization on them has them crying like WATBs.