Sarah Palin Lies About Troopergate Report

Sarah Palin continues to show what a dishonest person she is in her response to the report released Friday demonstrating that she is guilty of abuse of powers.

Jake Tapper writes:

One can make the argument, as Palin and her allies have tried to do, that this investigation — launched by a bipartisan Republican-controlled legislative body — was somehow a partisan Democratic witch hunt, but one cannot honestly make the argument that the report concluded that Palin was “cleared of any legal wrongdoing” or “any hint of unethical activity.”

The investigator did conclude that Palin’s firing of Monegan was within her power, that “although Walt Monegan’s refusal to fire Trooper Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin’s firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.”

But it finds that Palin “knowingly, as that term is defined in … statutes, permitted Todd Palin to use the Governor’s office and the resources of the Governor’s office, including access to state employees, to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired. Her conduct violated AS 39.52.110(a) of the Ethics Act…”

The report states: “I find that Governor Sarah Palin Abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act … Compliance with the code of ethics is not optional…

“The evidence supports the conclusion that Governor Palin, at the least, engaged in ‘official action’ by her inaction if not her active participation or assistance to her husband in attempting to get Trooper Wooten fired [and there is evidence of her active participation.] She knowingly, as that term is defined in the above cited statutes, permitted Todd Palin to use the Governor’s office and the resources of the Governor’s office, including access to state employees, to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired. Her conduct violated AS 39.52.110(a) of the Ethics Act…

“Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda.”

Palin and her ethically challenged apologists have concentrated on the portion of the report saying she had the legal authority to fire Monegan. That was never in controversy as the governor has the authority to fire without cause, but this is not what the controversy over her abuse of power was about.  Tapper continues:

But the report concluded that she had abused her power, and there was indeed something “unethical” about her behavior, insofar as it violated the state Ethics Act.

But now Palin has moved on from parsing to assertions that are not true.

“Governor,” asked a reporter with the Anchorage Daily News, “finding Number One on the report was that you abused your power by violating state law. Do you think you did anything wrong at all in this Troopergate case?”

“Not at all and I’ll tell you, it, I think that you’re always going to ruffle feathers as you do what you believe is in the best interest of the people whom you are serving,” Palin said. “In this case I knew that I had to have the right people in the right position at the right time in this cabinet to best serve Alaskans, and Walt Monegan was not the right person at the right time to meet the goals that we had set out in our administration. So no, not having done anything wrong, and again very much appreciating being cleared of any legal wrongdoing or unethical activity at all.”

Again, not true.

She was NOT cleared, certainly not of “unethical activity.”

Think Progress also discusses Palin’s denials, including the claims that this was a partisan attack:

Davis’s claim that the investigation was a partisan hit job is laughable. The investigation was originally authorized by a unanimous, bipartisan vote of the Legislative Council; a bipartisan majority voted to subpoena key witnesses, including Todd Palin; and its findings were released Friday under unanimous, bipartisan agreement.

Sarah Palin continues to show that she is unfit to be a heartbeat away from the presidency as she both shows lack of regard for restrictions on the use of executive power and lack of regard for the truth.

Posted in Sarah Palin, Scandals. Tags: . 6 Comments »

SciFi Weekend: Life on Mars, Sarah Connor and Heroes Visit The Future, Lost Spoilers

Life on Mars premiered last week with the initial episode being virtually identical to the first episode of the BBC series it is based upon. Future episodes will diverge with different stories. The basic idea is the same in both.  After being knocked unconscious Sam Tyler appears to have been transferred back in time to the 1970’s while sometimes hearing sounds from around his unconscious body in the present.

The American setting did allow for for some slight changes which worked well for the remake. There are some lines reminiscent of Back to the Future, such as surprise when Sam asks for a Diet Coke. One line in the U.S. version worked slightly better than in the British version. In the original Sam runs into a local police officer and says he needs his “mobile” with the police officer asking “mobile what?” The American version works better with Sam saying he needs his “cell” and the police officer of the 1970’s misunderstanding and questioning what Sam wants to sell. In both cases the scene is in an area which has yet not been built up in the 1970’s but the scene is more dramatic in the American version by showing the World Trade Center’s twin towers n the background.

Recently I began watching Mad Men which includes scenes showing the type of sexism which occurred in an office setting back in the 1960’s. In this show portraying the 1970’s things are not much better as a female police officer is nicknamed No-Nuts by her co-workers.She is also limited to doing what is thought of as woman’s work, including talking to the nutty new cop who thinks he came from the future.

The two Monday night science fiction shows, Heroes and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, both dealt with the future in the last episode. The Sarah Connor episode Goodbye To All That was reminiscent of the movies as it dealt with terminators from the future being sent back to kill everyone they could find named Martin Bedell. One of the Martins is a small child who Sarah protects. Another Martin is to later help John set up the resistance and he is also saved.

The Heroes episode, I Am Become Death, shows a possible future in which anyone who can afford it purchases super powers, Claire is a killer who shoots Future Peter and Sylar has given up use of his powers and is shown as the father to a young child. Having his son get shot makes Sylar literally explode, similar to the explosion which destroyed New York in some alternate realities. Peter from the present now must prevent many of the events of the future. Meanwhile in the present, Hiro continues to try to recover the secret formula and winds up digging up Adam.

E! Online has a Lost spoiler on the reason Ben said all the members of the Oceanic Six must return to the island for any of them to return:

Well, remember what Michael Emerson recently said about Ben’s statement that if any of them are to return to the Island, everyone who escaped has to go back too? He said, “I think [that dictate is] a scientific condition of the mechanism by which the Island operates. I don’t think it’s an esoteric or spiritual issue, I think it’s science.”

He wasn’t just talking pretty. What I’m hearing is that the reason Jack, Kate, Sayid, Sun and Hurley need to reunite is because the Oceanic Six need to fan out to a group of Dharma stations.

Even more intriguing? According to my source, these stations are not on the Island, but in other locations, and these off-Island stations are believed to be the ticket to getting back to the Island.

(Remember, the Island moved in the finale. The Island may have gone to another place…or it may have hopped into another time.)

So how does this all work? And where in the world are these stations? We’ll have to tune into what is looking like an exciting fifth season in order to see.

In the meantime, my source hints that we have seen at least one of these powerful places before.

Remote Access has a guess as to where we have seen one of these places before:

My guess is that’s the Antarctic listening station with those Portuguese-speaking dudes who worked for Penny (and detected the electromagnetic pulse that helped her track Desmond to the island). Another guess is that all of the Sixers will have to turn some kind of mechanism or fail-safe key—much like the one Desmond used before the hatch blew—at the same time.

Variety reports that ABC is considering a remake of V, using aspects of the original with an updated story:

The original “V” served as an allegory for the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. Peters said he won’t duplicate that concept, except that the new “V” will still focus on what happens when the masses have blind faith in their leaders.

In this case, the new “V” will center on Erica Evans, a Homeland Security agent with an aimless son who’s got problems. When the aliens arrive, her son gloms on to them — causing tension within the family. As in the original “V,” several storylines will unfold simultaneously.

But even without the same storyline, the original “V’s” bones will remain: As in the ’80s version, the show will open with an enormous army of spaceships hovering over the world’s major cities. The visitors say they’ve come to help Earth, but their motives are nefarious (in the original, they wanted to steal the world’s water supply).

Palin Ignored Separation of Church and State as Governor

Sarah Palin’s views on religion in government have been a concern since she was chosen as John McCain’s running mate. We have learned that she is a young earth creationist who believes she will see Jesus in her lifetime and who supports the teaching of creationism in the public schools. Palin’s religious beliefs have also impacted public policy in ways including her opposition to abortion rights and her attempts to ban books which offended the religious right.  AP had a story on Palin blurring the line between politics and religion yesterday:

The camera closes in on Sarah Palin speaking to young missionaries, vowing from the pulpit to do her part to implement God’s will from the governor’s office.

What she didn’t tell worshippers gathered at the Wasilla Assembly of God church in her hometown was that her appearance that day came courtesy of Alaskan taxpayers, who picked up the $639.50 tab for her airplane tickets and per diem fees.

An Associated Press review of the Republican vice presidential candidate’s record as mayor and governor reveals her use of elected office to promote religious causes, sometimes at taxpayer expense and in ways that blur the line between church and state.

Since she took state office in late 2006, the governor and her family have spent more than $13,000 in taxpayer funds to attend at least 10 religious events and meetings with Christian pastors, including Franklin Graham, the son of evangelical preacher Billy Graham, records show.

The story further discusses travel of this nature, followed by the concerns it has raised:

J. Brent Walker, who runs a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates for church-state separation, said based on a reporter’s account, Palin’s June excursion raised questions.

“Politicians are entitled to freely exercise their religion while in office, but ethically if not legally that part of her trip ought to not be charged to taxpayers,” said Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. “It’s still fundamentally a religious and spiritual experience she is having.”

Later in the article, after further examples and a defense given by Palin:

Still, a state worker who directs an Anchorage-based group that advocates for church-state separation, Lloyd Eggan, said Palin’s administration hasn’t done enough to assure voters that government money doesn’t support ministry.

“That sort of thing is exactly what courts have said is barred by the First Amendment,” Eggan said.

Since the campaign began Palin has tried to downplay her religioius beliefs, often providing misleading information about her past. There have also been concerns about Barack Obama’s religious beliefs during the campaign. Obama has dispelled such concerns with his discussions about the importance of separation of church and state, including a response to questions from the Christian Broadcasting Network. While Obama has been willing to answer questions about his views, including from conservative religious groups, Palin continues to avoid answering questions or providing an honest insight into her views.

McCain Supporter Claims Their God is Bigger

Does size matter in comparing Gods? That might be the question if not for the fact that the entire line of attack based upon worshiping different gods is bogus. Pastor Arnold Conrad gave a rather disturbing invocation before Sen. McCain’s speech in Davenport, Iowa yesterday:

I also would also pray, Lord, that  your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god–whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah–that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons.  And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens.  So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and election day.

The manner in which some Republicans claim to be the sole supporters of Christianity is amazing considering that two of the most openly religious Christians to run for office in recent years have been Democrats Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. This is all part of the campaign to portray Obama as different, and even a Muslim in order to influence the religious vote.

There is a legitimate question as to how much John McCain and the Republican Party can be blamed for statements made by others. I wouldn’t let them totally off the hook as they have been encouraging this type of thought. Marc Ambinder did receive this statement from a McCain aide, Wendy Riemann, Midwest Regional Communications Director:

While we understand the important role that faith plays in informing the votes of Iowans, questions about the religious background of the candidates only serve to distract from the real questions in this race about Barack Obama’s judgment, policies and readiness to lead as commander in chief.

Seems to me that it has primarily been McCain’s campaign and other Republicans who have been trying to distract from discussions of the issues by relying on personal attacks.

John McCain Reschedules with David Letterman

On September 24 John McCain bailed out on an appearance on Late Night With David Letterman. Dave was okay with this when McCain said it was to rush back to Washington to work on the economic crisis, but became very upset with McCain when he found that McCain really stayed in New York for twenty-three hours and appeared on other television shows instead of his. Video of Letterman criticizing McCain over this, as well as “suspension” of his campaign, was previously posted here.

Letterman remained angry, calling him “squirrely” a couple weeks later:

Now here’s this thing with John McCain…you know a couple of weeks ago, John McCain was supposed to be on the show. And at the last minute he calls me up –- and I’ve got a lot of respect…you get a call from a senator –- you get a call from a guy who is a bona fide war hero –- all of a sudden, you know, your lips start to vibrate.  So I said “Sure, whatever you want.”  And he says, “Look, Dave, the economy is about to crater.”  It’s about to “crater,” his word.  “And I have to rush back to Washington to save the economy.”  And so it made me feel puny.  So I said, “OK, Senator, do what you have to do.  Rush right back to Washington.” And then I hung up and I felt like a patriot. I felt like I had done my part. And he was supposed to be on the show like an hour later. So now, we’re in a hole but everybody has to pull together in economic hardship times. So we all pull together and we get that guy with the big head from MSNBC. What’s his name? Keith Olbermann, yeah. Giant head. So he comes over. He’s good. He’s very good.

So now it turns out, not only did he not rush back to Washington, he spent the night here in New York City. He went on Katie Couric…he was on Conan…he was on Regis…he was everywhere. So now, in an attempt to save his campaign, they’re talking about coming back. You see what I’m saying? So we said, “Sure, we would love you to come back.” And even on the phone, he said, “I’ll bring….Sarah.” But they’re being squirrely. Politicians can be squirrely.  Because we have a date picked. We do this show every afternoon at 5:30. He wants to do the show at 5.  So one –- we have no guarantee he’s going to show up, period. And we’ve kind of already rearranged our schedule on his behalf to save the economy, right? By getting that big-headed kid in here to talk about the politics. You know what I’m driving at?  I just don’t know if we can trust him.

And by the way, I don’t need to remind you that the road to the White House runs right through here.

While Letterman has continued to criticize McCain and Palin, this is ultimately show business and I never had any doubt that they would be able to resist the ratings of having McCain return. McCain will return to Letterman’s show on Thursday night. It will be interesting to see both how Dave greets McCain on Thursday and what he says about the show earlir in the week leading up to to visit. Joe Biden will be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno the same night.