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List of Questions on Shell’s Alaska 2012 Arctic Drilling Fiasco Grows Longer by the Day

2:18 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Kulluk aground

Back on July 27th, when I first started covering aspects of Shell Alaska’s plans to begin offshore drilling off our coasts up here, I already had questions.  That day, I wrote, reminiscing about what I knew of the spill response barge Arctic Challenger back in 1982 :

Crew members of towing tugs had been injured over the five years since the barge’s completion, and it was not considered to be a “good luck” barge in fleet scuttlebutt. It never really found a niche after the Sealifts were over.  It languished, being shuttled from Seattle to the Gulf of Mexico to Coos Bay, Oregon, where it stayed for a long time.

The next week I went to Bellingham harbor, where the barge was being outfitted with a new, untried piece of equipment.  Shell didn’t answer my calls for an appointment request, so I showed up at 7:45 am at the security office, and managed to get inside two layers of security before a gatekeeper decided I had the look of somebody who might be asking too many questions.  He was right.

Shell refused to let me photograph or even view the work being done on the Challenger and its containment dome apparatus.  Instead:

[The project director] flatly told me “No,” and I was not allowed to take any photographs of the vessel.  He assured me that Shell Oil will be contacting me soon with more information.

The ambience of the work place there reminded me very much of projects in the past where I have worked that are seriously behind schedule and nervous of potential outcomes.

I was followed by private police until I left Bellingham.

Although Shell wasn’t ready to share their work with me, it proved impossible to hide either the vessel’s dismal history or its shortcomings from the public.  Longtime Alaska reporter, Alex De Marban, wrote in mid-August, that in 2007, while rusting away in Long Beach, California harbor, the Arctic Challenger attracted so many birds, it was temporarily declared a “bird sanctuary” for Caspian terns:

At one point, hundreds of Caspian terns, gulls, cormorants, pelicans, ravens, crows and even an owl turned the 300-foot barge into a giant’s bird nest, coating the deck with bird dung and other gunk. That was in California’s Long Beach Harbor in 2007, where the downtrodden vessel became a bit of a media celebrity as wildlife regulators raced to save the protected terns and their chicks.

De Marban didn’t have many questions in mid-August, but he noted that others did: Read the rest of this entry →

Is Shell About to Kill Someone in Risky Attempt to Save 2013 Arctic Drilling Season? – Updated

3:09 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Kulluk Salvage Attempt Sit @ 1300 AKST - 1/5/13

The Kulluk grounding Unified Command released information Saturday morning that all but indicates there will be an attempt to extricate the stranded drilling rig from the beach of Sitkalidak Island sometime today or tonight:

ANCHORAGE, AK – Unified Command (UC) today plans to hook a main tow line to the Kulluk to test capabilities in preparation for recovery operations of the drilling unit. This plan will depend heavily on weather and tidal considerations.

The UC also plans to deploy boom, as a precautionary measure, to Kodiak Island, with special attention being paid to salmon streams connecting to Ocean Bay.

Unified Command has developed a wildlife protection plan to be used in the event that wildlife in the area is impacted during the recovery. They have activated International Bird Rescue to assist in bird rescue programs should their expertise be required. In addition, Protected Species Observers are being deployed on-scene.

As previously stated, all plans rely on weather and tidal conditions.

The Kulluk remains upright and stable with no reports of sheen in the vicinity. Salvage teams conducted an additional survey confirming all fuel tanks remain intact. Throughout all operations the safety of the responders will continue to be the top priority.

The map above is one I created, showing the situation as of 1300 hrs. AKST today.  I added the position of the Kulluk, as it does not have an active transponder.

The vessels shown on the map are:

1.  The Alert, a state-of-ste art tug, owned by Crowley Maritime, under contract to Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, as a required Prince William Sound (PWS) response vessel for tankers transiting the PWS area.  It was the tug that was ordered to release the Kulluk during the storm on New Years Eve. It is equipped with a very high quality and capable winch system.

2.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, the USCG’s main Alaska asset for ocean emergencies.  It is most likely serving as the Unified Command’s local HQ for any attempt to extricate the rig.

3.  Pt. Oliktok, is a Seward-based small tug.  Built for Crowley in 1981-82, (I helped register its original compass on Elliot Bay in Seattle, in July, 1982).  It is shallow draft, with reinforced bottom, and might be helpful near shore.

4.  The Warrior, an old tug of Crowley’s 9,000 HP class, built in the late 1970s, mostly for barge towing between Seattle and Whittier, Alaska.  Currently based in Seward.  A tried and reliable design, but with older towing equipment.

5.  The Nanuq, a new oil rig service vessel, with large deck space and towing equipment that was shown to be inadequate last week.

6.  The Arctic Responder 2, a small Dutch Harbor-based oil spill response vessel, with very small deck space and no towing capability.  Probably to be used as a shuttle, should seas get very calm.

7.  The Perseverance, a supply vessel, whose role I’m unsure of.

8.  The Aiviq, the new tug built last year specifically for Shell’s Arctic operations, and whose design, performance and towing equipment are coming under increasing scrutiny.  Not to mention the political role its builder plays in Alaska oil politics.

You can go to this URL and watch the movements of the vessels named above.  In the 50 minutes since I took the screenshot, the Arctic Responder 2 and Nanuq have closed upon the Kulluk.

High tide will be around 6:53 pm local time.  At 8.2 feet, it is classified as a “holdup” tide.  Under normal circumstances, this would not be quite enough water to pull a wreck off a beach where it had just a few days ago been pounded by 20 to 30-foot seas.

I’ve pulled two valuable books from my library, thinking about how I might do this job:   Edward M. Brady’s Tugs, Towboats and Towing; and the same author’s Marine Salvage Operations.  I hate to say it, but these guys – today – are breaking more than a few rules.

Questions have arisen over the past few days over the fact that the towing winch on the Aiviq might not have been of a strength and sophistication to meet the specifications of the agreement that Shell had signed on to with the Federal government to proceed with the 2012 season.  More on that later.  Until then:

Phil –

FYI, I’ve just confirmed from Unified Command that the tug Aiviq does NOT have Best Available Technology (BAT) towing winch, which is a dynamic tensioning Markey Automatic Render & Recovery (AR&R) towing winch.  I will attach the PWS RCAC Aug. 2012 towing technology expert report, which discusses the BAT section on p.4 the following:

“The vast majority of operators agree that the electric-driven Markey Render-Recover© winch is the best winch technology on the market today.”

I believe Shell was required to have BAT in all its operations, and one would think that it would have outfitted its new $200 million purpose-built tug with the best towing winch possible.   This may have contributed to the repeated loss of tow.

Meanwhile, let’s hope the pressure from Shell on the USCG and the various parties contracted to pull this removal off this evening doesn’t get anyone killed.

Update – 2:45 pm AKST:  During Unified Command Press Conference, now winding down, Shell Alaska posted this youtube of their plan for what they will do if they get it off the beach:

Palin Ordered to Repay Almost $400K to Donors From Illegal Alaska Fund Trust

2:05 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

I. A decision announced Thursday in Anchorage by The Alaska State Personnel Board was the most adverse ethics decision yet regarding former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin: She is required to repay donors to her Alaska Fund Trust, set up in April 2009, almost a half million dollars:

Tim Petumenos, an Anchorage attorney hired by the state Personnel Board to investigate, said Thursday the legal defense fund violated state law because it "constituted using public office to obtain private benefit." He said the fund, which was set up while Palin was still governor, inappropriately said it was the "official website" of Palin, and made reference to her work in public office. Petumenos upheld an ethics complaint that was filed 15 months ago against the trust.

Interestingly, not much attention is being paid to this yet in the national, "liberal lamestream media," as the quitter is so fond of calling our press. The Alaska progressive blogging community has long been speculating about the importance of this long-left-unresolved ethics complaint and its possible relationship to her July 2008 resignation.

Essentially, Palin set up the legal defense fund in April 2009, mostly to pay her legal bills from the Troopergate fiasco. The part of the two investigations into how she mishandled her attempts to have her former brother-in-law fired from the Alaska State Troopers that stemmed from her having filed an ethics complaint against herself had been particularly expensive.

The two 2008 investigations came to different conclusions. The first, known as The Branchflower Investigation, and initiated by a Republican-dominated group of Alaska legislators known as the Legislative Council, found that Palin had acted unethically in the ways she had pressured public employees to fire her ex brother-in-law. The second investigation, initiated by Palin herself, by filing an action against herself, led to the Personnel Board hiring Anchorage attorney Tim Petumonos to scrutinize how the governor had dealt with her ex brother-in-law.

His report, released the evening before the 2008 presidential election, largely exonerated Palin, though it made specific recommendations about needed executive branch ethics reform. For his 2008 report, Petumonos was hailed by Palin supporters. That has now changed, with his June 24th 2010 ruling. As I observed Thursday:

Anchorage Attorney Tim Petumonos, who was, up until Thursday afternoon, one of the great holy men in the pantheon of people whose actions have elevated them to sainthood among the acolytes of Queen Esther of Wasilla, has now been consigned to an outer ring of Hell even Dante couldn’t have imagined.

The Palin shrine, Conservatives4Palin (which last week came up with a headline so ridiculous I almost wrote a diary about it – "Rahm Emanuel to Reportedly Quit in 6-8 Months Due to Pressure from Palin and Other Conservatives") is skewering Petumonos’ employers, the large law firm of Perkins Coie today, for his finding:

That brings us back to Perkins Coie, the official law firm for the DNC and Obama, both of whom instruct the ADP to “keep Sarah Palin out of public office” and mobilize their useful idiots like Shannyn Moore, Jeanne Devon, Linda Kellen-Biegle, and the anti-Semitic terrorist loving Phil Munger [that yours truly, Edward Teller]. Birds of a feather. How was it that Perkins Coie was selected in the first place? Why didn’t the DNC official law firm disclose to the Personnel Board the fact that it was counsel for the DNC, and by extension, the ADP and the many inane bloggers who filed frivolous ethics act complaints? Seeing as this supposedly “independent” law firm was supposed to make a ruling on “ethics” one can rightfully question that firm’s ethics for withholding key information from the public. Maybe they were busy that day, representing Osama bin Laden’s staff and all. (It’s nice to know that the FBI’s number one most wanted can get his staff the same lawyers that represent the President of the United States). What a country.

So there is, at least in the mind of Palinbot Ian Lazaran, a vast conspiracy tying Obama, Osama bin Laden, Alaska bloggers and the attorney who found the fund to be illegal? How could they have missed George Soros’ part in this enormous web of deceit?

Comments at the C4P post include some doozies:

Hopefully white indies will continue to defect from the warm embrace of the Messiah and let’s not forget about………

and:

Her Church was set on fire. She has been stalked. She has been harassed. Her privacy has been invaded. Her email has been hacked and distributed. She has been threatened with rape and murder. She has been targetted for bankruptcy.

All those things are documented. This is reality. This is a partial list mind you.

and:

Just donated to new Palin Legal Fund! Will send more $ when I get my refund from former legal fund. Onward to 2010 and 2012!

Which brings us to the NEW Palin defense fund, set up yesterday.

II. No sooner was Petumonos’ finding announced, than Palin’s people announced the setup of a new fund. At their faq page, the site states:

"Is this site officially sanctioned by Sarah Palin?

Yes, the legal defense fund is sactioned by Sarah Palin. However, this website and fund are not associated with SarahPAC or other entities. Governor Palin is not the trustee of the fund. She has sanctioned the use of her name and image for the website and trust to help raise funds for her legal defense."

Yet, as uncovered last night by the European blog, Palingates:

The new "Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund", which officially has absolutely nothing do to with SarahPAC, Sarah Palin’s political action committee, shares the same address and phone number with SarahPAC!

The old illegal legal defense fund had been set up mostly as a rather strange moneymaking tool. Not only was the chief trustee, Palin’s longtime friend Kristan Cole, a paid employee of the state, the fund was set up, as has long been noted by the progressive Alaska bloggers, as a slush fund for whatever her family and the trustees wanted to use them for. As observed last year at Linda Kellen Beigel’s blog:

There is NOTHING in the official purpose of the AFT related to legal defense or legal proceedings or ethics complaints. In fact, the purpose of the trust is for any expense at all incurred by Sarah Palin “as a result of the fact that she is Governor . . . or as a result of the performance of her duties as Governor.” Those are the only limitations instilled by the purpose clause.

So the purpose of the AFT is to collect money for…basically anything and everything, short of overt criminal activity. This includes legal expenses, of course, along with everything else under the sun. It also covers her family and staff, as well as “any other person determined by the Trustee.”

Well, the Palins tried, but, essentially, along with the complainant who filed the clarification request in the first place, the Alaska bloggers kept on this when the regular media outlets mostly ignored the importance of the story.

We’re going to stay on the links between Palin’s PAC and the new "legal defense fund" too.

Here is a list of the stories on this so far by Alaska bloggers and Palingates:

Palin’s Legal Defense Fund Isn’t (Updated) - The Mudflats

More Facts About the Palin Legal Defense Fund – The Mudflats

Palin must return $386,000 in donations received before she resigned as Governor of Alaska! Update: The Return of Meg Stapletongue! And another update! And yet another update! – The Immoral Minority

Sarah Palin launches NEW defense fund with uber aggressive e-mail. Do NOT let the venom get in your eyes! – The Immoral Minority

Time to Redouble Efforts to Put TLC on the Spot on Supporting Palin’s Program – Progressive Alaska

Investigator Tim Petumenos rules: Sarah Palin’s "Alaska Fund Trust" (Legal Defense Fund) was illegal – UPDATE: THE SCANDAL CONTINUES! – Palingates

Sarah Palin’s executive style did not serve the interests of Alaskans – New ethics complaint – Palingates

Jennifer Rubin Tries to Explain “Why Jews Hate Palin”

4:47 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

I don’t think she does a very good job, though. Even worse, though, is David Frum’s counter-essay, titled "Do Jews Hate Palin?" Even worse – by a good Cheechako mile (that’s 150 yards) – is the coverage of both articles at Conservatives4Palin.

Jennifer Rubin is a contributing editor at Commentary Magazine, one of the pillars of both neo-con and neo-lib Jewish polemical writing. I used to be a big fan, subscribing to the magazine for a while in the 1970s, because of the high quality of writing there. I lapsed, when my support for militant Zionism lapsed, during the Lebanon invasion of 1982.

Here’s Rubin’s short, one-paragraph essay
in its entirety:

For more than a year, Sarah Palin has been a national Rorschach test. The views expressed about her reveal the distinctions and conflicting perceptions of often antagonistic groups of Americans—the religious and the secular, the conservative and the liberal, the urban and the small town, the elitist and the populist. And now, with the publication of her autobiography, Going Rogue, and Matthew Continetti’s The Persecution of Sarah Palin, the Rorschach tests are being administered anew, and with increasing fervor. For her conservative admirers, she continues to exemplify independence, moxie, common sense, the superiority of the common American over the nation’s elites, and the embodiment of modern womanhood and Christian faith. For her detractors, both conservative and liberal, she is uncouth, unschooled, a hick, anti-science and anti-intellectual, an upstart, and a religious fanatic. There is no group so firmly in the latter camp as American Jews. And there is much to learn in their reaction to Palin, both about her and about the sociological makeup of American Jewry today. While Palin enjoys support from some prominent Jewish conservatives, it is not an exaggeration to say that, more so than any other major political figure in recent memory (with the possible exception of Patrick J. Buchanan), she rubs Jews the wrong way. In a September 2008 poll by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Jews disapproved of Palin as the pick for McCain’s vice-presidential running mate by a 54 to 37 percent margin. (By contrast, 73 percent approved of the selection of Joseph Biden as Obama’s.) Ask an average American Jew about Palin and you are likely to get a nonverbal response—a shiver, a shudder, a roll of the eyes, or a guffaw. Naomi Wolf, the feminist writer, sputtered that Palin was the “FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal,” articulating the mixture of contempt and fear that seemed to grip many Jewish women. The disdain is palpable and largely emotional. While 78 percent of American Jews voted for the Obama-Biden ticket, it is fair to say that most did not harbor animosity toward or contempt for Senator John McCain; the same cannot be said of their view of Palin. Prominent Jews like Reagan-era arms-control official Kenneth Adelman, who expressed great admiration for McCain, proclaimed that the selection of Palin was beyond reason: “Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office, I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency.”

David Frum, in his reply, seems to misdirect some of the straightforward terminology used by Rubin. He never specifically addresses Rubin’s concerns about Palin’s "anti-science" record, nor some other important issues. Frum reformulates Rubin’s list into four categories:

First, says Rubin, Jews greatly value (and possibly over-value) formal credentials.

Second, Rubin continues, Jews under-value traditional American folkways: hunting, fishing, the frontier, military enlistment.

Third, Jews disdain working class occupations like those in which Palin labored.

Fourth and last, Jews hate Palin because Jews disapprove of large families – and especially because Jews quietly favor the abortion of disabled children.

That’s not quite what I got out of Ms. Rubin’s exposition of reasons. Apparently, David likes lists.

He does finish his essay on a strong point, though:

If American Jews have a problem with Palin, Rubin is right that problem 1 is that they – we – doubt her intellectual capacity for the job. But that’s only the start of the list of problems.

Ignorance is bad. But we all start ignorant. Jews – again like other people, only more so – expect their leaders to start early and to work hard to remedy their ignorance, by learning things. People who don’t, won’t or can’t learn – whose followers disparage the value or need to learn – are going to forfeit Jewish support, and not only Jewish support.

But even this is not the worst of it. Just guessing, but I think the real and most fundamental problem Jews have with Palin is not her gleeful ignorance, but her willful divisiveness. More than any politician in memory, Palin seems to divide her fellow-Americans into first class and second class citizens, real Americans and not-so-real Americans. To do her justice, she has never said anything to suggest that Jews as Jews fall into the second, less-real, class. But Jews do tend to have an intuition that when this sort of line-drawing is done, we are likely to find ourselves on the wrong side.

Over at the C4P, the commenters are glomping onto Frum as a traitor – he was a GWB speech writer (and perhaps Bush’s best, though that isn’t saying much). Here’s a taste of the C4P babble:

We adore Mark Steyn because he’s Reagan-like in his beliefs.

******

Frum is an idiot, he and Rubin got it all worng. Jews for the most "LIKE" Palin. She stands for everything they stand for. Sure some progressive jews don’t like her but in the same way any typical liberal progressive.

******

Frum and his wife Danille Crittenden can be counted among the liberal Jews who don’t like Palin. You can add to that Debbie whatshername, the woman who threatened to turn me into the FBI along with the Muslims who are harassing her if I continue to post on her website, David Axelrod, and David Brooks (who sleeps with 0bama’s pants under his pillow.)

******

Who’s David Frum…..or an even better question, why would any person with am IQ greater than their age ever consider listening to him?

Ah, the Sea of Peeeee………

Frum is getting some more prescient comments at his article, than you’ll find at C4P (though they’re just getting started at the sea). Here’s from Frum’s blog’s commenters:

Plus, Sarah Palin appears to be catering to the Religious Right part of the GOP. That’s the part that thinks that America is a “Christian nation.” Jews know that historically, they didn’t do well in nations whose governments considered themselves duty bound to enforce Christianity. Jews believe, with some justification, that they did well in America precisely because the Constitution does not enforce an official religion.

******

That whole rooting for the Rapture and the destruction of Israel by the Anti-Christ probably doesn’t endear her to them too much.

******

Truth is, Palin polls best in parts of the country with the worst school systems and the lowest numbers of residents with college degrees. Take that however you want it, but that’s the way it is.

******

Willful divisiveness is what turned me permanently 100% off. Engaging the willful divisiveness strategy was chilling and I’m not Jewish. Pitching patriotism with a wink and smile while stirring the vicious pot is a sales tactic the GOP should not revisit

.

In Alaska, I’ve had a lot of discussions with Jewish politicians, writers, bloggers and relatives about Sarah Palin. I can’t think of one who continues to trust her. It is interesting that neither Rubin nor Frum makes much of a strong suit over the plain fact that Palin is the most pathetically congenital liar of 21st century politics.

Among Alaska politicians, I can think of three prominent Jews who initially were warm about some of her governing policies, but eventually regarded her as the junk thinker she is:

Ethan Berkowitz enthusiastically worked with Wev Shea to create a Palin-directed "White Paper" on legislative ethics reform. He’s related to me, though, that he was shocked at the divisiveness Palin seemed to relish in the fall of 2008. Earlier in 2008, he was becoming disappointed, as were many of us, in the way the Palin administration was becoming secretive, especially regarding the case of Rick Steiner’s request for scientific correspondence on Polar bears from state agencies.

Les Gara, during Troopergate, went from having been a sometime Palin ally in the 2008 legislative session, to a fiercely articulate critic.

Both Ethan and Les are Democrats. Republican Jay Ramras (who, like Berkowitz and Gara, considers himself part of the Alaska "Yamacaucus," or "frozen chosen"), was lambasted by Palin during the food-and-fuel crisis on the lower Yukon last winter, in a totally foolish press release (that has since disappeared):

The governor also expressed concern about inaccurate comments made to the media by Representative Jay Ramras that the state has failed to make state assets available to deliver supplies to communities.

“We are working cooperatively with the communities, many legislators, Native corporations, and other entities to address the needs in these areas,” Governor Palin said. “I am disappointed that Representative Ramras failed to express his concerns to my office before issuing a press release with incomplete and misleading information. This is particularly concerning since he knew I would be attending a meeting with his entire caucus that evening. Representative Ramras did not mention the specific issue of using state assets to me personally at the meeting. Instead, I read about it later in the press release. Truly Alaskans deserve better than that kind of ‘politics as usual’ (God she loves this phrase!). It is unfortunate that the representative sees this as an opportunity to play politics rather than help in the response."

Jay shot right back:


"I am shocked and appalled that Governor Palin would stoop to making derogatory statements about me," Ramras said. "My question to her during our caucus last night was ‘where is the food?’ In my interactions with her own administration I have spoken with Lieutenant General Craig Campbell from the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs; Commissioner Joe Masters from the Department of Public Safety; Commissioner Emil Notti from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development; her Deputy Chief of Staff Randy Ruaro, and numerous others since we first learned of the hardships in Emmonak and Western Alaska. In my press release, I acknowledged that DPS, after much pleading, provided a small plane for transport from Bethel to Kotlik.

"That the governor would accuse me of politicizing the current economic situation in the Lower Yukon strikes me as fool-hardy and Clinton-esque," Ramras added. "I introduced House Bill 114 yesterday. That was the subject of the press release. And I am offended that the governor would call my service into question. I have been organizing food and supply drives for needy Alaska communities and groups for years, and spoke on the House Floor yesterday about the success we’ve seen thanks to the many groups that have come together over the last few weeks to help. I pointed to her lack of leadership on this issue; I didn’t do it politically, I did it because it’s true: she has been too silent and her administration has taken too long to help in relief efforts. We are already weeks late."

These legislators’ or former legislator’s reactions to Palin’s evolution into an intensely divisive figure, here and nationwide, were reactions to a wide array of shortcomings of this political hack. They had little to do with the issues brought forth either by Jennifer Rubin or David Frum. And they serve to illustrate that Palin had already lost the trust of politicians, Jews and Gentiles alike, from both sides of the aisle before she quit her sworn job, to pursue more selfish and lucrative interests.

If YOU Could Depose Sarah Palin, What Would YOU Ask Her?

2:00 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Should soon-to-be-ex-Gov. Sarah Palin’s attorney, Thomas van Flein actually go ahead and sue Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, or any of the rest of the Alaska bloggers or citizen activists for "malicious" whatever, one of the very likely consequences would be a deposition or depositions of the ex-Gov.

An easy target might be all the lies she has told over the past two weeks. Were any of them or all of them "malicious?"

Is it malicious for her and Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell to inaccurately claim that citizens’ requests for clarification of interpretations of our executive ethics statutes have cost the state "millions," when that appears to be not just wildly inaccurate, but intentionally false?

Is it malicious for her to claim Alaska Natives on the lower Yukon have obtained 50% of their subsistence needs at a time when passing on that lie might hurt these peoples’ ability to have honest efforts directed their way before the short summer there is past?

Was it malicious for Palin to assert that she had made a pact with the Secret Service that didn’t exist?

Was it malicious for Palin to lie to the McCain campaign – repeatedly – about her husband’s level of involvement in the Alaska Independence Party? Read the rest of this entry →

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Under Relentless Siege from Alaska’s Citizens, Announces Resignation – Updated

2:55 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

At a news conference, held in front of the windows in her home that look exactly like some of the windows in the Wasilla Sports Complex (Palin’s most dubious achievement as Wasilla mayor), Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced she will be resigning her duties in two weeks. Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, the man who put the "lack" in "lackluster," will assume her duties at that time.

The resignation comes as Palin is unsuccessfully attempting to deal with many issues in Alaska, and as her popularity among the bulk of Alaskans plummets.

Strangely proclaiming that she knows "when to pass the ball for victory," she stated in the conference that she will hand over the reins at the conclusion of the Alaska Governor’s Picnic, later this month.

Palin, in her comments made allusion to recent caricatures of her with her youngest child, Trig, whose face has been photoshopped out of pictures in a variety of ways, first by Alaska bloggers, then covered extensively by Wonkette and other humor sites.

Watching Palin give her conference, between her house and Todd’s Piper Cub, she seems to be on the verge of facade crackup. Read the rest of this entry →

Chapter 13 of Eric Boehlert’s “Bloggers on the Bus” – An Alaska Update

9:40 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Chapter Thirteen of Eric Boehlert’s fascinating new book, Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press, discusses issues surrounding how the elevation of Alaska governor Sarah Palin to being John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential election campaign challenged Alaska’s fledgeling blogger community. The chapter is essentially divided into two sections: The first details how our ad hoc team of progressive Alaskan bloggers dealt responsibly with getting information about Palin to the public, how we helped Outside (those who aren’t from Alaska) journalists, and how we shared resources openly and responsibly. The second part of this chapter of Eric’s book describes how the story of Palin’s youngest child, Trig, was handled, comparing responsible coverage in the blogosphere to the rest.

I only have two mild points on the Alaska chapter. It misses the story of how many false tales about Palin – Sambo beat the Bitch being the best example – that we killed or tried to kill. But how was Eric supposed to know? We killed the stories’ credibility, usually within minutes or hours. He does clearly differentiate between our progressive bloggers’ veracity and article quality, compared to the material covered in the second half of the chapter. Read the rest of this entry →

Saturday Pathetic Alaska Blogger Update

7:31 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

blizzard.thumbnail.jpg

Dennis Zaki hasn’t made it to Bethel yet, let alone Emmonak. He is stuck at what he calls the "Jay Hammond International Airport." That’s what a lot of us have begun calling the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage. The Weather across Alaska has been ferocious for weeks. First, very cold – now warm, windy and wet.

It looks like three of the four huge low pressure systems that smacked Alaska this past week have done their work, so Dennis may be heading on over to the lower Yukon tomorrow. By the time Bethel and Emmonak and the lower Yukon airports and airfields open, there will probably be a backlog of relief supplies coming in from other Alaska Native villages, the huge Alaska Native community in Anchorage, from donations made through our Alaskans for Truth international relief network (handled by Mudflats, so far), and other sources.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin looked really, really, REALLY pissed Friday, when having to answer a couple of questions at her long-delayed energy plan rollout in Anchorage. When I find video or a still picture of that look, I’ll post it.

Read the rest of this entry →