Archive for March, 2009

I hesitated to write this post because I wanted my shock and anger to subside a little. I tend to write a lot less eloquently when I’m angry. When I wrote an email to Mike Doogan this afternoon, I was definitely less able to express myself because of the frustration I felt. You see, AKM’s true identity was named today. By a Democrat. On State time, and through a State website. By a jerk.

We’ve come across Mike Doogan before. He’s the guy who likes to write snarky responses when Alaskans ask him to do his job. I think he went to the same journalism school as Bill McAllister. Let’s just say that Mike Doogan had already found his place on my Good Guys/Bad Guys list a long time ago.

So it was with dismay that I read today in The Mudflats that he decided that it was his job to make sure one very successful blogger was made public. Here’s the last paragraph of his online newsletter posted on the Alaska State Legislature homepage:

Anonymous Blogger Anonymous No More

The identity of the person who writes the liberal Democratic Mudflats blog has been secret since the blog began, protected by the Anchorage Daily News, among others. My own theory about the public process is you can say what you want, as long as you are willing to stand behind it using your real name. So I was interested to learn that the woman who writes the blog is Anchorage resident ——–.

Best wishes,

I wonder why Mike decided to put in in an official State Legislature newsletter instead of posting it on his personal blog? Hmmm…methinks this might be a problem for dear Mike. Anyway, to say I’m sad and disappointed is an understatement. I’m angry and I am glad to see that many other people are too. I don’t think Mr. Doogan knows what he’s done here. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

AKM, hang in there. We’re here for you.

And Mike, good luck. You’re going to need it.

Related links and articles:

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Before Sarah Palin appointed Wayne Anthony Ross yesterday for Attorney General, I have to admit I’d never heard of Wayne Anthony Ross. I guess I just wasn’t paying attention. Apparently he ran for Governor in 1998 and has been a man-on-the-scene for a long time here in Alaska. In order to get to know this “big man with eyes that glint in a face that shifts seamlessly from humor to exasperation, to astonishment or outrage, and usually back to humor”, I looked online. ADN.com has posted several articles about Ross, from 1998, 1995 and 1989. Here are a few quotes from these articles that really say a lot about the man.

”He wants Alaskans to get to be Alaskans again instead of under the thumbs of the feds,” retired state trooper Fred Angleton said before heading out for another round of door-to-door campaigning in Soldotna. ”He stands up for what it means to be an American. Patriotism and love of the flag.”

“Ross, despite a reputation for colorful remarks and occasional flamboyance, brings to the race a conventional conservatism. It reflects his career as a family law attorney, his years in the party, his religious faith and his love of guns and hunting. Stronger parental rights. No more taxes. No constitutional amendment on subsistence hunting and fishing. Back-to-basics education. More mining and logging. Fewer regulations. And less government — except for more police and prisons.”

“He’s a churchgoing Roman Catholic and considers it the state’s duty to protect life. He said he does not favor more laws attempting to restrict abortion but that the government should try to persuade women to bear their babies. If they can’t or won’t raise them, many other people would love to, he said.”

”’I feel I have a good relationship with the good Lord (but) if I could overturn Roe vs. Wade, I figure I got my ticket,’ he said.”

Detail Oriented
“He wants the state to build and fix roads, not bike and pedestrian paths like those that parallel the new section of the Parks Highway near Willow. His campaign flier says, ”We ought to be spending pothole-repair money on potholes, not new nature trails.’ When it was pointed out that the state does not spend maintenance funds to build trails — that most trails are part of the federal highway funding package — he acknowledged he was uniformed about the details.”

“Ross worked briefly for the attorney general’s office in Anchorage then for four years as Family Court master, sort of a junior judge handling domestic cases. He claims he once had a deadbeat dad arrested at his father’s funeral and another as he came down the aisle after getting married.”

Values Education
”Mom would get upset, ” said his oldest son, Greg. ”But if school opened on the first of September, guess what? The Ross kids would not be there. We’d be hunting with dad.”

“He enjoys confounding people and loves being the center of attention.”

“Like David Copperfield, Ross is determined to be the hero of his own life, painting his public portrait in extremes and reveling in the reaction. His personalized ”WAR” license plate is instantly recognizable; directions to his home include reference to a drawbridge and ”the moat, ” neither of which is strictly true.”

”He’s arrogant and opinionated, ” Mendel said. ”He shows up (in court) with his cowboy boots and cowboy hat and doesn’t stand up when the judge comes in. . . . He has a very definite view of the world.”

“He thrives on confrontation.”

”He can dig in and be very belligerent, say there’s my way and no way, ” said Close.

Respects Diversity
“During a fight several years ago over gay rights, Mendel helped organize Anchorage lawyers in support of an anti- discrimination ordinance. Ross wrote a nasty letter to the Bar Association newsletter, using words like ”immoral, ” ”perversion” and ”degenerates.” The language went way beyond reasonable disagreement, Mendel and others said.”

After learning about Ross, I think I now know why Palin picked him. She’s trying to make up for the Supreme Court pick she was forced into this month. It was a gift to her base, wrapped in a big, red, camouflage-covered Hummer. They must be piddling themselves with excitement.

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I just got back from the rally at the Loussac Library here in Anchorage, Alaska. There were around 100 people there, and many had creative signs. Here are a few shots I took:

The crowd at the Loussac Library around 9:45 am

The crowd at the Loussac Library around 9:45 am

"Screw You Alaska, It's All About Me" and "Ignorance is Bliss only in Sarahland:  Fund Our Schools!" My daughter wearing her "I Deserve Better" cape.




The crowd gathers to hear Shannyn Moore speak.

The crowd gathers to hear Shannyn Moore speak.

The crowd listens to Shannyn.

The crowd listens to Shannyn.

The Caucus begins.

The Caucus begins.

For some video and an article on KTUU.com click here. Here’s the link to the article over at Mudflats, where my daughter gets a shout out from AKM herself!

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Excuse me for a moment while I wipe the foam from my face. I am so angry with Palin right now I can hardly think straight.

Governor Palin has decided to reject more than 30% of the stimulus money offered to Alaska. This includes $160 million for education, “$17 million in Department of Labor funds (vocational rehabilitation services, unemployment services, etc.), about $9 million for Health and Social Services and about $7 million for Public Safety.” Now, I realize that Palin doesn’t value education. We know this by looking at her track record.

Exhibit A.

Her own college education is suspect, to be sure. From Wikipedia:

After graduating from high school in 1982, she enrolled at Hawaii Pacific College in Honolulu. She left after one semester and transferred to North Idaho College, a community college in Coeur d’Alene, where she spent two semesters as a general studies major in 1983. In 1984, Palin won the Miss Wasilla Pageant, then finished third in the 1984 Miss Alaska pageant.

In August 1984, she transferred to the University of Idaho in Moscow, where her older brother, Charles W. Heath, was majoring in education. After two semesters at UI, Palin returned to Alaska and attended Matanuska-Susitna College, a community college in Palmer, for one term in the fall of 1985. She returned to the University of Idaho in January 1986, where she spent three semesters completing her bachelor’s degree in communications-journalism, graduating in May 1987.

That’s four different schools in five years. Five schools if you count University of Idaho twice, since she returned there a second time.

Exhibit B.

Her daughter, Bristol, did not finish high school. We all know how that one turned out.

Exhibit C.

Her other daughter, Piper, spent much of the fall of 2008 on the campaign trail instead of in school where she belonged. You know, Palin reminds me of the parents we sometimes encounter at my school. You know them, the ones who send their kids to school late and then pick them up early. The ones who send their children in heels in the dead of winter.


Remember when Piper was toting around Trig in two-inch heels during a Today Show interview?

When asked about being on the trail, Piper stated that she missed “a lot of school” and “it was really hard to make up” for being gone. It sure is a good thing her mom is putting her kids first.

It turns out that the stimulus money rejected by Governor Palin was for Title I schools and Special Education students. Carol Comeau, Superintendent of the Anchorage School District wrote a letter immediately addressing the Governor’s decision. Here is the news release in its entirety.

Superintendent Comeau responds to Governor Palin’s rejection of education stimulus funds

Superintendent Carol Comeau issued the following statement about Governor Sarah Palin’s intention to reject $160 million in stimulus funds for education. Included in the governor’s proposal is the refusal of $12.9 million for Title I programs and $12.9 million for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and special education programs for the Anchorage School District.

“We’re shocked and very disappointed that the governor said she would reject the education stimulus money for Title I and IDEA programs. We believe that we can make very good use of the funds, not only in job preservation but also in adding new positions to ultimately use these funds to increase student achievement for our neediest children.

“Earlier this week, I met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to discuss various ways to use the funding to advance education among students, as the secretary and the president intended.

“One of the opportunities the Anchorage School Board, my administration and I have discussed is to add more preschool programs in Title I schools. Many of the children in neighborhoods served by these schools are not prepared to enter kindergarten. Title I schools have a large number of students who qualify for free and reduced price lunch, have high mobility rates, and are English language learners. Additional programs and support at these schools have proven to make a difference for our students in helping them be ready to enter kindergarten. Stimulus funds could also be used to extend learning time for students who need additional academic assistance.

“Additional stimulus funds designated for IDEA and special education give us a rare opportunity to use an increased amount of money for professional development to assist our classroom educators to better work with students with disabilities. It would also allow us to increase opportunities to use best practices within our Special Education department.

“If we were to implement additional programs with the stimulus funds offered by President Obama, and the funds were to diminish a few years from now, we would be prepared to redistribute General Fund money or other federal funds to keep programs that have proven to be effective.

“ASD would absolutely be transparent and accountable for federal school stimulus funds. We intend to actively engage the public to develop a plan to best use those funds.

“We urge the legislature to engage both the district and the community in a dialogue regarding these stimulus funds very quickly, as the decision on whether to accept the funds is two weeks away, April 3. We hope the legislature is willing to recognize the importance of this money and will take swift action.”

Superintendent Comeau plans to address the governor’s proposal with the Anchorage Caucus, comprised of all Anchorage-area legislators, at its regularly scheduled meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 21 at the Loussac Library.

I’m glad to see that Superintendent Comeau is on the ball. It’s too bad we can’t trust our Governor to do what’s best for our children. I guess I should not be surprised. I mean after all, it’s not like she does what’s best for her own children. Why should we expect anything different when it comes to the rest of them?

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As much as I enjoy reading articles online, I think my favorite part are the comments. You can get a sense of the public’s general point of view, plus they make for some very entertaining evenings. I just got done reading the article “Palin v. Political Punch,” an amusing article about Palin’s requests for earmarks even though she campaigned against them this fall. Apparently, Palin mouthpiece Bill McAllister has a bone to pick with ABC regarding their reporting. Whatever. Can you imagine how fast Bill McAllister must type to be able to send emails to all the people who are writing articles about Gov. Palin that he finds “disturbing”?

Anyway, here are some of my favorite comments that follow the article. They pretty much sum up my feelings.

Sarah who?

Palin = Hypocrite

Palin = Hypocrite

Palin = Hypocrite

Palin = Hypocrite

Palin = Hypocrite

Palin = Hypocrite

Palin = Hypocrite

Governor Palin: You are a cheap political hack, dressed up in $300,000 worth of clothes that you stole from GOP donors. You pal around with drug dealers who are realted to your future son-in-law, and pregnant unmarried teenagers. On top of all that, you are married to a mullet-head. You lied about the Bridge to Nowhere, you lie about earmarks. But we love you anyway because you are the leader of the Republican Party. Next to you every other Republican politician looks like a rabid chipmunk on crank. God bless you.

And my personal favorite:

Sarah couldn’t have been too grievously injured by the blog post, she didn’t turn loose her attack ferret Meg Stapleton.

God, I love the Internet.

And finally, for a truly hilarious look at terrible comments and the jokes that inspire them, visit spEak You’re bRanes: Moderation Martyrs. Hat tip to Siren (a fellow Mudflat Moderator) for finding this site.

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Iditarod 2009!

My family and I spent the day today watching the Iditarod, live and in person. We decided to go down the street to the Chester Creek Trail instead of going downtown. We figured the crowds would be crazy, plus anywhere Sarah Palin is, I am not. I want to avoid her at all costs. (I don’t want the crazy rubbing off on me.)

Here are some pictures:


Ed Stielstra, #46


Jeff King, a 4-time winner (he’s won 4 times out of the 19 races he’s run. That’s over 20%.), was holding his cell phone above his head, yelling, “Make some NOISE!!” You could tell he was really having fun. My question is, who was on the other end of the cell phone?

Here’s a little video of Lance Mackey’s run:

If you’re not familiar, Lance has won the last two Itidarods and is a cancer survivor. This man is tough as nails.

After seeing Lance, we went down to the Alaska Native Health Consortium building where Horizon was hosting a community get-together to watch the race. There were free hot dogs, chips, soda, hot chocolate and cookies. It was a real treat to have food while watching the race. The best part was that they were wrapping up hot dogs and offering them to the racers as they flew by. One musher, Jen Seavey (#61), yelled “Yay, hot dogs!” as she went by, catching it on the fly. It was pretty funny. Many mushers seemed grateful to be offered food while on the trail. Good times.

Here’s one more picture to help explain the uniqueness of Alaska:


And yes, that is a woman. You gotta love Alaska.

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