Archive for September 19th, 2008

Once Again We Ask…

…Dishonest or incompetent?  Or both?

An internal government document obtained by ABC News appears to contradict Sarah Palin’s most recent explanation for why she fired her public safety chief, the move which prompted the now-contested state probe into “Troopergate.”

Fighting back against allegations she may have fired her then-Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, for refusing to go along with a personal vendetta, Palin on Monday argued in a legal filing that she fired Monegan because he had a “rogue mentality” and was bucking her administration’s directives.

“The last straw,” her lawyer argued, came when he planned a trip to Washington, D.C., to seek federal funds for an aggressive anti-sexual-violence program. The project, expected to cost from $10 million to $20 million a year for five years, would have been the first of its kind in Alaska, which leads the nation in reported forcible rape.

The McCain-Palin campaign echoed the charge in a press release it distributed Monday, concurrent with Palin’s legal filing. “Mr. Monegan persisted in planning to make the unauthorized lobbying trip to D.C.,” the release stated.

But the governor’s staff authorized the trip, according to an internal travel document from the Department of Public Safety, released Friday in response to an open records request.

The document, a state travel authorization form, shows that Palin’s chief of staff, Mike Nizich, approved Monegan’s trip to Washington D.C. “to attend meeting with Senator Murkowski.” The date next to Nizich’s signature reads June 18.


In Palin’s court filing Monday to stop an investigation by her state Personnel Board she earlier had requested her lawyer, Thomas V. Van Flein, included numerous emails from her staff expressing confusion and incredulity over Monegan’s planned D.C. trip. None of those emails were sent by or to Nizich, although he was cc’d on several.

Contacted Friday, Monegan confirmed the travel authorization was to pursue funding for the anti-sexual-violence program. He said the travel authorization form was completed in a fashion consistent with practice, even though it showed no expenditures. The signed form approved the travel, he said, and authorized him to use a government credit card or seek reimbursement for expenses he incurred during the trip.

Okay, let me see if I can follow this.  Governor Palin is vehemently denying that she fired Monegan because he wouldn’t fire her allegedly abusive ex-brother-in-law, and claiming that she fired him because he went on an anti-rape lobbying trip… that her office approved? Have I got that about right?

Kinda seems to me that even if her claim that she fired him for being overzealous about preventing rape exposes her to less legal jeopardy, it doesn’t exactly sound like a political winner.

“I didn’t fire Monegan because he wouldn’t fire my abusive ex-brother in law, how dare you suggest such a thing!  No, I fired him because he went on a lobbying trip to DC, which my office approved, to try to prevent rapes!  I mean, some things are just beyond the pale… so to speak.”

Also worth noting, if I’m reading that last paragraph correctly (which I’m probably not), Monegan didn’t try to claim any per diem expenses… unlike, say, his boss, who was claiming them when she was at home.

1 comment September 19th, 2008 at 10:30pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,Palin,Politics,Republicans,Sexism

Excuse Of The Week

Why the First Dude can’t honor his subpoena from the Alaska state legislative committee investigating Troopergate:

Van Flein also brought up the Palins’ busy campaign schedule leading up to election day, noting Todd Palin will be out of state today.

“Moreover, because his spouse is her party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States, his scheduling obligations over the next two months will make it virtually impossible for him to prepare for and present the testimony called for in the Subpoena at the specified location during that time period,” Van Flein’s letter says.

Yep, I guess he’s just too indispensable to the Palin-McCain campaign, and that’s a totally valid reason to blow off a subpoena.  That, and the usual your-puny-investigation-has-no-power-over-me nonsense that Republicans now respond to all subpoenas with.

September 19th, 2008 at 09:26pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,Palin,Republicans

Attention World: Stop Confusing John McCain!

Superman, where are you now?

Look, you can’t expect the man to have Joe Lieberman whispering in his ear 24 hours a day.  So please, stop asking him to distinguish between Sunnis and Shias, Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic (or Slovakia), Spain and Latin America, the FEC and the SEC, or the Army and the National Guard. It’s all just too complicated.

Also, I would really like for us not to invade the wrong country again, please.  Thanks.

September 19th, 2008 at 08:16pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy,Elections,Iran,Iraq,McCain

Phrase I Never Thought I’d Read

From the NYT’s review of The Duchess:

A big-boned beauty who leads with her jaw, Ms. Knightley looks pretty as a Gainsborough picture in and out of her silks and satins, but she’s not a remotely composed one.

Keira Knightley, big-boned.  Wow.

1 comment September 19th, 2008 at 07:16pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Movies,Quotes,Weirdness

The Free Market Isn’t Free

So let me get this straight: Now the laissez-faire, personal-responsibility, the-infallible-magic-of-the-free-market-will-solve-everything Republicans want to throw a trillion dollars of taxpayer money at a massive bailout of failing financial institutions, and to ban short selling on certain stocks (and maybe even all)?

It’s not compassionate conservatism, it’s conservatism of convenience.

Also: Does Halliburton have a financial services division?

September 19th, 2008 at 06:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Politics,Republicans

Mostly Fisheye B&W San Diego Air & Space Photoblogging

Fisheye lens makes everything even better (first shot is normal, tho):

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September 19th, 2008 at 11:26am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: La Jolla/San Diego,Photoblogging

Friday Quote & Pirate Blogging

This week’s quote is from Muppet Treasure Island, in honor of International Talk Like A Pirate Day:

To the southeast, multi-armed Zanzibanian shark women and their exploding wigs of death!

And, of course, there’ll be other people’s pirates…


1 comment September 19th, 2008 at 07:21am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging,Monday Media Blogging

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