pageok
pageok
pageok
"Troopergate" Report Released:

The Alaska legislature's report on Gov. Palin's "Troopergate" scandal was released yesterday. According to the Anchorage Daily News, Palin "abused her power in pushing for the firing of an Alaska state trooper who was once married to her sister, or by failing to prevent her husband Todd from doing so." From the story:

ranchflower's report contains four findings. The first concludes that Palin violated the state's executive branch ethics act, which says that "each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust." . . .

In the second finding, Branchflower says Monegan's refusal to fire Wooten was not the sole reason for his dismissal but that it was a "contributing factor." Still, he said, Palin's firing of Monegan was "a proper and lawful exercise" of the governor's authority.

The third finding says a workers compensation claim filed by Wooten was handled appropriately. Number four concludes that the attorney general's office failed to comply with Branchflower's Aug. 6 request for information about the case in the form of e-mails.

Branchflower writes that his investigation did not take into account late-arriving statements from several administration officials who, on the advice of Attorney General Talis Colberg, resisted subpoenas. They agreed to provide written statements this week, however, after a state judge upheld the subpoenas. Information from those statements was provided to the Legislative Council separately.

In a five-page response issued Friday night, Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein, accuses Branchflower and Democratic Sen. Hollis French, who oversaw the investigation, of using the probe in a partisan attempt to "smear the governor by innuendo."

I have not read the 263-page report. Bill Dyer (aka Beldar) has, and offers a critical take here.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Where are the Libertarians on Troopergate?
  2. "Troopergate" Report Released:
John_R:
If it was "a proper and lawful exercise" of her power then how can it be abusive? It amazes me how many people violate the law of non-contradiction.
10.11.2008 11:37am
J. Aldridge:
Where's the beef?
10.11.2008 11:39am
Cornellian (mail):
McCain &Palin are, apparently, determined to demonstrate that they are running for Bush's third term.
10.11.2008 11:40am
BGP (mail):
John_R

Because she is on the Republican ticket. I thought you would have figured the game out by now.
10.11.2008 11:41am
p. rich (mail) (www):
So, your reason for quoting from a newspaper is what, exactly - an excuse to repeat a slur, perhaps? Beldar (and others) have posted relevant excerpts from the "report" which show clearly it is a worthless piece of trash. But you chose to post a second-hand criticism - including a false lead - from a print rag with the "I have not read..." admission in your close. Been taking J-school courses? Back to Ethics 101 for you, Pookie.
10.11.2008 11:56am
fullerene:
The linked blog comment is unresponsive to the report. Here is what the report says. Decide for yourself.

The report draws a distinction between the pressure placed upon Monegan to do something about Wooten and Monegan's firing. This is for two reasons:

1. Palin did not fire Monegan solely over his handling of Wooten.

2. Palin could legally fire Monegan without cause.

Putting 1 &2 together, Monegan's firing (or undesirable reassignment) was legally permissable.

But that isn't the end of the story. The report also claims that the state ethics law forbids acting in an offiial capacity for personal benefit broadly construed. The prosecutor is of the position that Palin's acts and omissions in pressuring Monegan to "do something about" Wooten amounted to a use of her official position for purely personal benefit.

So note that the prosecutor did not find that Palin's removal of Monegan violated the law. He did find that her pressuring of Monegan violated the law. While you can disagree with either finding, it doesn't seem to me that these are contradictory or even contrary.
10.11.2008 11:58am
RPT (mail):
Beldar and Hugh Hewitt? Nonpartisan sources there. For those who have a problem with understanding the report, you can look at the employment law concept of the unlawful termination of an at will employee. Palin had the authority to dismiss Monegan, which was never in dispute. However, her doing so as retaliation for his failure to dismiss Wooten was an abuse of that power. She also lied about her reasons for dismissing Monegan.

How do you federalism guys, or any Alaskans here, feel about the fact that Todd Palin had the run of the governor's office, which has now been taken over by the McCain campaign. Palin's sympathy for the Alaska Independence group is clearly gone.
10.11.2008 12:02pm
Federal Dog:
Is anyone surprised by this? There's no way around the conclusion that discharge was proper, yet French openly promised Obama an October surprise.

If Palin's contact with Monegan had really been considered improper, it would have been questioned way back in December 2006 and January-February 2007, when it occurred. It wasn't improper: Wooten threatened to kill someone, was caught drinking on the job, and tased a child. There would have been legitimate questions about her knowing such facts, yet doing nothing to safeguard public safety.

This abuse of process to harass a political candidate is despicable, as despicable as threatening the non-profit status of organizations that allow Palin to speak, and threatening to litigate against networks that air legitimate questions about public figures. We can expect a hell of a lot more of such legal abuse as of January.
10.11.2008 12:17pm
Alexia:

the fact that Todd Palin had the run of the governor's office



I think Hillary used the same scenario as a plank in her platform of experience.

We, including Mr. Palin, have a constitutional right to address our government with grievances.

I have never been one to cry about fairness, so my nose wasn't out of joint because Hillary or Todd had more luck getting doors open than I ever will.
10.11.2008 12:18pm
TruthInAdvertising:
Governor Palin's refusal to participate in the investigation, the lengths that she went to block her staff's participation and Todd Palin's refusal to answer questions in person make the claims that "there's nothing there" ring a bit hollow. Governor Palin has also blocker access to e-mails about state business by using a private e-mail account which so far has prevented the state government from answering requests to view those messages under Alaska's Open Records Act. When some of the prime actors in this investigation refuse to cooperate, why should they be able to claim "there's nothing there"? Until all of the facts are out on the table and the Governor and her office have fully participated in the investigation, she has no right to claim she's been exonerated.
10.11.2008 12:22pm
fullerene:

Wooten threatened to kill someone, was caught drinking on the job, and tased a child. There would have been legitimate questions about her knowing such facts, yet doing nothing to safeguard public safety.



It is worth pointing out that Wooten, despite all of this, is still an Alaskan State Trooper. Presumably if Alaskans were so troubled by these accusations (some of which he admits, some of which he denies) so as to be worried about their safety, they would have raised some outcry about his still being on the force. As best I can tell, the only people who have complained vociferously about Wooten are connected to Palin. While much of this does not trouble me, to pretend like it was some sort of selfless act that any honorable public servant would undertake to protect the public is disingenuous. At heart, this is a tawdry family conflict brought about by a divorce. On a much smaller level, this happens every day all across America.
10.11.2008 12:29pm
Fury:
RPT writes:

Beldar and Hugh Hewitt? Nonpartisan sources there.

You are indeed correct. That's doesn't (or shouldn't) diminish the assertions that Beldar made in regards to the report.
10.11.2008 12:29pm
lawgrad:
If it was "a proper and lawful exercise" of her power then how can it be abusive? It amazes me how many people violate the law of non-contradiction.

The firing was a proper and legal exercise of her power. BUT SOME OF HER OTHER ACTIONS (AND INACTION) WERE AN ABUSE OF POWER AND IN VIOLATION OF THE STATE ETHICS CODE. This is not contradictory at all. Anyone familiar with the law is quite used to such nuanced findings, which don't lend themselves to ten-second soundbites.
10.11.2008 12:36pm
Viceroy:
At worst, the findings contradicted her earlier explanations and undermine her "reformer" mantra. Otherwise, it's a typical ind prosecutor gone amok. Should sound familiar.
10.11.2008 12:43pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
fullerene, your first comment is just, but your second one is irrelevant. That standard would allow numerous abuses in every state to persist. If I though some powerful person was already interested in my complaint, I would likely turn to other matters.

RPT and Truth In A - is your word choice (retaliation, lie, fully participated) a rhetorical exercise to inflate the accusation, or do you really not see that the actual findings do not match your narrative?
10.11.2008 12:44pm
NickW:
From Dyer:


Democratic state senator and staunch Barack Obama supporter Hollis French of Alaska boasted in early September that he would provide an "October Surprise" which would upset the McCain-Palin campaign. Indeed, he originally planned to time it for October 31, four days before the election, for maximum impact, until other legislators forced him to abandon that particular strategy.


It's hard to take him at all seriously when his first paragraph is so blatantly untrue. The investigation began on August 1, with a three-month schedule which called for the report's release on October 31.

Palin's selection as McCain's VP pick was not announced until August 29.

Hard to believe that French "originally planned to time it for ... four days before the election" when no one at the time of the planning thought that Palin would be running for anything (even for re-election as governor, as she's only halfway through her term).
10.11.2008 12:48pm
Bandon:
fullerene, RPT, and lawgrad have it right here. Some of the rest of you are in denial.

It's interesting how much the themes of the Palin ethics violation are similar to the issues raised by the firings of federal prosecutors by the Justice Department. Yes, supervisors have a right to fire people, but it should be done only for legitimate reasons.
10.11.2008 12:54pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> It is worth pointing out that Wooten, despite all of this, is still an Alaskan State Trooper.

In other words, trying to raise the standards is bad.

Yes, going after every bad Alaska State Trooper would be better (which may be happening, but this investigation didn't look at that question), but is that really a reason to keep Wooten around?

You do realize that you're defending a bad apple because of who he targetted....
10.11.2008 12:57pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Andy.

He probably realizes. But he doesn't see the problem.
10.11.2008 1:00pm
Federal Dog:
"Hard to believe that French "originally planned to time it for ... four days before the election" when no one at the time of the planning thought that Palin would be running for anything (even for re-election as governor, as she's only halfway through her term)."

Palin's name was always among those of possible VP candidates as far back as May (perhaps even earlier).

As for those who contend that serious questions about Wooten were improper, again: He threatened to kill someone, got caught drinking on the job, and tased a child.

As for the poster who contends that police always police themselves, I honestly don't know how to respond to that level of naivete (or disingenuity).
10.11.2008 1:02pm
paul lukasiak (mail):
geez, to read the oborg comments, you'd think that they really cared about ethics -- but when the words "Rezko real estate deal", suddenly their concerns vanish!
10.11.2008 1:06pm
quixoticneophyte:
If this were an actual legal opinion, it would get overturned in a heartbeat. Citing the Alaska Ethics law, Branchflower (who is a good friend of Monegan) claims that Todd's advocacy to transfer/fire/keep Trooper Wooten away from the Palins is an abuse of power because Todd is somehow acting for a "personal... interest."

Really?!? When a State Trooper drinks on the job, tasers his 11 year old stepson, and has made death threats against a member of the Palin's family, you're NOT allowed to protest to the state government that this lunatic is still on the State Troopers?!? It's in the PUBLIC'S interest to get this crazy guy out of the State Troopers.

And of course Gov. Palin had the authority to transfer Monegan (she didn't fire him--she transferred him and then he quit). Monegan was an at-will appointee on her cabinet. She could dump him for any reason.

Honestly, this is such a joke opinion. But again, it has no legal effect. It is--and was only ever intended to be--a political hack-job from Hollis (Obama supporter calling this an "October surprise") and Lyda Green (out for revenge after Sarah caused Green to lose her primary election).
10.11.2008 1:08pm
Philistine (mail):

If Palin's contact with Monegan had really been considered improper, it would have been questioned way back in December 2006 and January-February 2007, when it occurred.


Considered improper by who? Of the people complaining of it now, other than Monegan, did a single one of them know about the contact in December of 2006 or Jan-Feb. of 2007?

Anyone?

If not, what on Earth could possibly be your point?


It wasn't improper: Wooten threatened to kill someone, was caught drinking on the job, and tased a child. There would have been legitimate questions about her knowing such facts, yet doing nothing to safeguard public safety.


Of course, IIRC, Wooten's actions took place at the latest, in 2005. Most of them took place in 2003.

Now--using your logic, if Palin and her family had really considered the actions in 2003 (which includes the tasering) improper conduct, they would have officially questioned it in 2003, no? Not 2005?
10.11.2008 1:09pm
Oren:
(1) Trooper tases child, everyone laughs about it
(2) 2 whole years pass without mention of the incident
(3) Trooper divorces governors relation
(4) Everyone decides that now is an appropriate time to bring it up

We are supposed to take it seriously? If anyone gave half a **** about the tasing, they would have said something around the time when it happened. Instead, it seems pretty transparent that they dredged it up years later out of spite.
10.11.2008 1:11pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"If it was "a proper and lawful exercise" of her power then how can it be abusive? It amazes me how many people violate the law of non-contradiction."


Actually, Beldar's post is highly misleading. He quotes language from two different findings, which deal with two different sets of actions:

(1) The first finding covers the actions Palin and her staff took to get Wooten fired. Those were illegal.

(2) The second finding deals with the firing of Monegan. That was legal.


Two different sets of actions. Two different people. Two different conclusions.

This is only hard to understand if you deliberately ignore the actual report.
10.11.2008 1:19pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"When a State Trooper drinks on the job, tasers his 11 year old stepson, and has made death threats against a member of the Palin's family, you're NOT allowed to protest to the state government that this lunatic is still on the State Troopers?!?"



But the trooper had already been investigated and disciplined. He was suspended, and returned to his job.

Is it your contention that people should be punished twice?
10.11.2008 1:21pm
PC:
Is it your contention that people should be punished twice?

If it's to settle a vendetta, yes.
10.11.2008 1:24pm
Eric Muller (www):
As Governor, Palin at Times Bonds Church and State

WASILLA, Alaska (AP) -- 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.
10.11.2008 1:24pm
TruthInAdvertising:
From all accounts, Wooten sounds like a yahoo and a jerk. But that doesn't give the Governor, her husband or her staff the justification to put pressure on Monegan to fire someone who had already been disciplined and served his suspension before Palin took office. While Palin herself has denied putting pressure on Monegan to fire Wooten, she has admitted that her staff did (and in this case, there are e-mails to back that up which is why she was forced to admit it) and Todd Palin has admitted doing the same. For those taking the Governor's side:

1) Did Walt Monegan have the authority to fire Wooten even though Wooten had already been disciplined, Monegan had found additional allegations against Wooten without merit and Wooten was covered by a union contract that governs the terms of his employment?

2) Is it proper for the Governor's staff to pressure Monegan to fire Wooten if Wooten believes that there's no grounds to fire Wooten and knowing that the state could be sued for wrongful termination of Wooten if he did so?
10.11.2008 1:30pm
Melancton Smith:
It seems clear to me that the Palins (probably rightly) feel that the officer is abusive and dangerous and does not belong in his position.

Once in the Governor's office they felt they had the power to take care of the problem.
10.11.2008 1:30pm
TruthInAdvertising:
2) Is it proper for the Governor's staff to pressure Monegan to fire Wooten if Wooten Monegan believes that there's no grounds to fire Wooten and knowing that the state could be sued for wrongful termination of Wooten if he did so?
10.11.2008 1:31pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
federal:

If Palin's contact with Monegan had really been considered improper, it would have been questioned way back in December 2006 and January-February 2007, when it occurred.


You are deceptively implying that "Palin's contact with Monegan" regarding Wooten occurred only in that timeframe, and ended after that timeframe. That's a gross distortion. The pressure on Monegan to fire Wooten started in 1/07 and continued to at least 5/08.

And this pressure was indeed "considered improper," and was "questioned," by Monegan, as soon as it started, and Monegan promptly tried to warn Palin that it was in her interest to stop.

Finally, Palin fired Monegan, and then the story broke open.

Wooten threatened to kill someone


No one outside the family has ever heard Wooten threaten anyone. The allegation of a death threat against Heath (Palin's father) is highly questionable. After supposedly hearing the threat, Palin ran off to a meeting, instead of entering Molly's house to make sure she was OK. Palin waited a month before reporting the threat to Heath. No one mentioned the threat to police until two months later, on the same day that Molly filed for divorce.

Col. Grimes apparently didn't take this allegation seriously, because she didn't mention it at all in her letter suspending Wooten. Even though she went into a great deal of detail, and even mentioned a violation regarding his failure to use turn signals.

was caught drinking on the job


Wrong. He was not on duty. He was wearing civilian attire. He was using his patrol vehicle because he had the privilege of using it for personal transportation, in connection with his membership on the state SWAT team.

And the only witnesses to this event (that Wooten carried a beer into the car, before he drove about a mile to his house) are a couple who are very close with Heath. And they didn't report it at the time. The original investigation dismissed this allegation, but later Col. Grimes overruled that finding, and sustained the allegation.

and tased a child


He used demo procedures, because the kid asked for a demo. In a short demo like this, "it would feel like your funny bone was hit." The mom was upstairs and didn't bother coming downstairs to intervene, even though she knew what was happening. After the event, the kid went upstairs to tell his mom he was fine.

No one complained about this until until two years later, when a messy divorce was happening. That's when the Palins finally decided to report this event to the police. A police investigator asked Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol why they were finally reporting it two years later, after being silent for so long. She said "because of the divorce."

quix:

When a State Trooper drinks on the job


See above.
10.11.2008 1:32pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
alexia:

We, including Mr. Palin, have a constitutional right to address our government with grievances.


Except that Palin has admitted that after the complaints they raised in 2005, they never made another formal complaint. Instead, Todd ran around pressuring people. In other words, they tried to do it via the back door, because they knew they had no basis to go in via the front door.
10.11.2008 1:33pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
andy:

Yes, going after every bad Alaska State Trooper would be better (which may be happening, but this investigation didn't look at that question), but is that really a reason to keep Wooten around?


Please consider the following two statements:

A) It was proper for us to try to get Wooten fired, so that's what we did.
B) We didn't try to get Wooten fired.

Do you realize that these two statements are mutually exclusive? Do you realize that Palin started out by saying B, very emphatically, numerous times? Do you realize that folks are switching her defense to A only now that proof has emerged that B was a lie?
10.11.2008 1:33pm
M. Gross (mail):
Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power in pushing for the firing of an Alaska state trooper who was once married to her sister, or by failing to prevent her husband Todd from doing so.

This sounds an awful lot like they have absolutely no evidence. They're not even sure who did this alleged improper pressuring?
10.11.2008 1:36pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
For the sake of argument, let's assume the worst about Palin's conduct in this case. Now let's compare that to the Obama campaign's threats against TV stations' broadcast licenses, and Democrat Prosecutor's and elected LE executive's threats to "go after" people who place political ads that don't meet their standards of accuracy. Which is worse?

True, Obama and his people were not acting in any "official" capacity...yet. But as the Presumptive President Elect, his threats do carry some weight. If those letters came from Bob Barr's campaign, I'm sure everyone in the board rooms would have had a good guffaw over them. As someone remarked at the time: 'the lawyers who wrote those letters may be DoJ or FCC officials a couple of months from now'.
10.11.2008 1:36pm
PC:
What's the point of having political power if you can't use it to settle scores?
10.11.2008 1:37pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
federal:

Palin's name was always among those of possible VP candidates as far back as May (perhaps even earlier).


On 7/24/08, Power Line wrote about potential running mates for McCain. They mentioned Romney, Huckabee, Ridge, Jindal, Lieberman and Pawlenty. Palin was mentioned this many times: zero.

On 8/20/08, Power Line wrote about potential running mates for McCain. They mentioned Ridge, Crist and Pawlenty. Palin was mentioned this many times: zero.

On 3/17/08, Fred Barnes wrote about potential running mates for McCain. He mentioned Romney, Guiliani, Thompson, Ridge, Lieberman, Crist, Pawlenty, Sanford, and Barbour. Palin was mentioned this many times: zero.

On 6/13/08, Fred Barnes wrote about potential running mates for McCain. He mentioned Cantor, Portman and Ridge. Palin was mentioned this many times: zero.

On 8/19/08, Byron York wrote about potential running mates for McCain. He mentioned Lieberman, Ridge, Pawlenty, and Romney. Palin was mentioned this many times: zero.

I could show you a lot of other similar examples. Yes, there are folks who knew about Palin and liked the idea of her being picked. But the leading righty commentators were generally not members of that group.

You're suggesting that when the Alaska Legislative Council voted on 7/28 to set the original schedule, for the investigation to end on 10/31, that they were thinking about the election. That's obviously nonsense, even before you take into account the fact that the Council consists of 8 R and 4 D, and voted unanimously.
10.11.2008 1:41pm
quixoticneophyte:
Mahan Atma,

Todd Palin has every right to continue to be concerned about Trooper Wooten's continued interactions with his family. If I were in Todd's shoes, a quick, insufficient report from the State Troopers would not make me feel any safer about Wooten. To put it in legal terms, it's the difference between damages and an injunction. Yes, I would want to be cautious and protect my family from the lunatic with a badge.
10.11.2008 1:42pm
PhanTom:
I am confused. This is being spun as a plot by Obama supporters to toss the election to McCain and Palin, right?

So how on earth did the four democrat members of the leg. council strongarm the 8 Republican members of the council into voting for the release. If they wanted to bury this until November 5, 2008, they could have simply voted against release. And no one would be the wiser.

The fact is that at least 8 Republican legislators in Alaska looked at Branchflower's report and concluded that there was enough there there to warrant publishing it.

Miss Sarah two opportunities to fix this. At any time, she could have changed the tenor of her communications with Monegan to make her requests prospective: "Walt, Wooten is a disgrace to the troopers' uniform. I want you to make sure that no one like him is ever hired again." Or, she could have just fired him, confessed to a violation of the ethics rules, and been haled as a maverick for doing the right thing.

No one thinks that Wooten should be allowed to be a trooper. If you or I did what he did, without the shield of a badge, we'd be charged with assault with a deadly weapon (at a minimum--and consider the irony of that charge given how so many municipalities stress that the Taser is a nonlethal weapon). If she'd just fired him back in '07, there would have been some criticism, but ultimately, she would have strengthened her maverick brand.

Instead, she pressured Monegan to fire Wooten and then when he didn't (and when he failed to meet the other expectations she had for him), she fired him. Make no mistake, a transfer can be constructive discharge just as well as an outright termination. Even that may have been something she could have recovered from.

But it's never the screw up that kills a political career. It's the cover up. The way the Palin administration has acted since the end of August has been reminiscent of the worst aspects of the Bush administration. And that's why this will hurt her politically.

It's a shame, really. I think she had a bright future, but this (and I don't mean the report) has tarnished her reputation.

Oh, and Federal Dog? I remember reading about "Troopergate" several months before hearing that anyone had considered putting the Governor of Alaska on a national ticket.

--PtM
10.11.2008 1:44pm
Blar (mail) (www):
If anyone is intimidated by those 263 pages but would like to read the important parts of the report themselves, you should know that it's basically an 81 page report with a long appendix from p. 82-263 detailing all of the case materials. And you could easily get by reading 22 pages: the findings on p. 8 and the explanation of the abuse of power finding on p. 48-68 (if you'd like, you could continue on through p. 69-76 to read the explanations of the other 3 findings).

The report (and, more briefly, Hilzoy) explains how, regardless of Wooten's actions, Palin acted improperly in her efforts to get him fired.
10.11.2008 1:45pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Todd Palin has every right to continue to be concerned about Trooper Wooten's continued interactions with his family."


Then the proper remedy is to go to court and seek a restraining order, not to use your state power to illegally pressure your underlings to fire him.
10.11.2008 1:52pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
gross:

They're not even sure who did this alleged improper pressuring?


Wrong. Read the report.

Also, it's been known for weeks that Sarah Palin herself exerted pressure, and has lied about it. See here and here.
10.11.2008 1:54pm
Alexia:

Todd ran around pressuring people. In other words, they tried to do it via the back door, because they knew they had no basis to go in via the front door.



Todd Palin had a right to petition his government. I see no restrictions, including the word "formally" on that right in the text of the constitution.
10.11.2008 1:54pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
quix:

Todd Palin has every right to continue to be concerned about Trooper Wooten's continued interactions with his family.


Please show evidence that there were "continued interactions with his family."

And if it was proper for Todd to pressure Monegan to fire Wooten, please explain why Palin said "no pressure was ever put on anybody to fire anybody."

Yes, I would want to be cautious and protect my family from the lunatic with a badge.


If you read the report, you'll notice that Todd mostly didn't talk about being genuinely afraid. Mostly he talked about his opinion that Wooten shouldn't be a trooper.
10.11.2008 1:59pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Todd Palin had a right to petition his government. I see no restrictions, including the word "formally" on that right in the text of the constitution."


No restrictions, really?

What if the Palins "petitioned" their underlings to fire all black troopers?
10.11.2008 2:01pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
phan:

No one thinks that Wooten should be allowed to be a trooper.


Some people have actually said some very nice things about Wooten. Consider this:

It is my pleasure to provide character reference examples for Mr. Mike Wooten. Since I have become acquainted with Mike I continue to be impressed with his integrity, work ethic, community spirit and trustworthiness.

Mike has assisted the City of Wasilla with community events … Mike is a strong supporter of the youth in our community … Mike gained respect for his patience and dedication to the young men in his care [coaching football, age 7-9] …

… I have witnessed Mike's gift of calm and kindness towards many young kids … I have never seen him raise his voice, nor lose patience, nor become aggitated [sic] in the presence of any child. Instead, Mike consistently remains a fine role model for my own children, and the other young people in Wasilla. I wish America had more people with the grace and sincerity that mirrors the character of Mike Wooten … we would have a much kinder, calmer, trustworthy nation as a result.

I beleive [sic] the United States Air Force has been fortunate to have the services of Mike these past 10 years. His work ethic, his American patriotism, his obvious dedication to traditional values, and his strong faith in God and truth is witnessed in Mike's everyday living.

It is an honor to know Mike and I am confident he will continue to grow in character and internal strength as he moves through life. I do not hesitate in praising this man …
10.11.2008 2:03pm
quixoticneophyte:
Jukebox,

For evidence of "continued interactions" read the report and read Todd Palin's report to Branchflower (which Branchflower ignored for this report).

And for more evidence about Todd being concerned for his family (and who wouldn't be?), again, read Todd's submission to Branchflower.
10.11.2008 2:03pm
David Warner:
"for purely personal benefit"

Is there a legal distinction between (personal, or in this case, family) benefit and prevention of harm?
10.11.2008 2:08pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mahan:

Then the proper remedy is to go to court and seek a restraining order


It's interesting to note that a temporary restraining order (DVPO) was granted to Molly on 4/11/05, the day she filed for divorce. It was promptly dissolved a few weeks later when the judge found that Molly could present no evidence of violence. Molly had also told police that Wooten had never abused her.

Nevertheless, Palin et al have made many statements referencing this DVPO as proof of violence. And Todd Palin's sworn statement falsely states that the DVPO was extended to 2006. Sarah Palin has also issued a statement falsely claiming that "the Anchorage Superior Court [had found] that [Wooten] had engaged in serious, violent misconduct."

Palin repeatedly describes Wooten as violent and abusive even though there has never been any finding that he has ever been violent toward any person, outside of the Taser incident.

Lots of lies coming from this crowd, even under oath.
10.11.2008 2:17pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
By the way, there's some evidence that Wooten is actually a good cop. See here and here.
10.11.2008 2:17pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
alexia:

Todd Palin had a right to petition his government.


While sitting in the governor's office? Is that a right that other citizens have?

Anyway, please explain why Palin said this: "no pressure was ever put on anybody to fire anybody."
10.11.2008 2:17pm
Brian Mac:

Also, it's been known for weeks that Sarah Palin herself exerted pressure, and has lied about it. See here and here.

Seeing people cite their previous blog comments as though they were authoritative sources, and doing so without any hint of irony, is probably my favourite thing on these internets.
10.11.2008 2:19pm
trad and anon:
Palin's name was always among those of possible VP candidates as far back as May (perhaps even earlier).
Not really. Her name was occasionally floated, only to be immediately rejected by other commentators for the obvious reasons (lack of qualifications, lack of experience in serious political campaigns, political unknown, doesn't bring a swing state on board, abuse-of-power scandal). That's why the pick was such a shock to liberals and conservatives alike.
10.11.2008 2:29pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
quix:

For evidence of "continued interactions" read the report and read Todd Palin's report to Branchflower (which Branchflower ignored for this report).


What on earth are you talking about? Todd being upset that Wooten attended a public picnic? That's absurd.

You made this claim:

Todd Palin has every right to continue to be concerned about Trooper Wooten's continued interactions with his family.


There is no proof to support that claim. If you think there is, then tell us the page numbers, and quote the text.

for more evidence about Todd being concerned for his family (and who wouldn't be?), again, read Todd's submission to Branchflower.


I did. There's nothing in there related to idea of "Todd being concerned for his family," outside of the same claims that had been made in 2005.
10.11.2008 2:32pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
david:

Is there a legal distinction between (personal, or in this case, family) benefit and prevention of harm?


Aside from the Taser incident, which the family ignored for two years, there was never any finding that Wooten ever inflicted "harm" on anyone.

There was no legitimate reason to be concerned about "harm." The Palins wanted Wooten out of a job because this would probably have led to him losing custody of his kids.
10.11.2008 2:32pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
brian:

Seeing people cite their previous blog comments as though they were authoritative sources, and doing so without any hint of irony, is probably my favourite thing on these internets.


One of my 'favourite' things on these internets is running into people who are so ignorant and click-impaired that they seem to not realize that those other comments I pointed to contain links to primary sources that are indeed "authoritative."

I've already provided the links to "authoritative sources" in another comment. Pointing to that comment makes more sense than pasting in the same links again. Is this really too complicated for you to grasp?
10.11.2008 2:36pm
Nauseous (mail):
What if Obama had something come up like this? Republicans would be so happy to be able to get off the nebulous ties and connections accusations they're trying to fixate on, they'd be frothing at the mouths with joy.

Such hypocrites.

Face it, you don't care if your own are unethical or hypocritical. In fact, it should be in the definition of Republican.
10.11.2008 2:37pm
fat tony (mail):
"Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power in pushing for the firing of an Alaska state trooper who was once married to her sister, or by failing to prevent her husband Todd from doing so."

I'll read the report this afternoon, but for now I can say this finding would concern me much more had Branchflower felt he had enough evidence to substitute "and" for "or".
10.11.2008 2:37pm
Brian Mac:

One of my 'favourite' things on these internets is running into people who are so ignorant and click-impaired that they seem to not realize that those other comments I pointed to contain links to primary sources that are indeed "authoritative."

Well, one of the two did. I'd say more, but I already feel bad enough for gatecrashing your thread...
10.11.2008 2:46pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Blar's advice should be followed
And you could easily get by reading 22 pages: the findings on p. 8 and the explanation of the abuse of power finding on p. 48-68

And if reading 20 pages is too taxing, perhaps start at page54. Pages 48 to 53 tell you:

April 11, 2005 Palin's sister files for divorce.
same day Palin's father makes complaint against Wooten



march 1, 2006 Wooten received notice of Discipline
sept 5, 2006 appeal process completed

Nov 7,2006 Palin elected Governor

Jan 4, 2007 Todd Palin meets with Monegan- asks for review, wishes case reopened- Wooten got off too lightly

To this point although some eyebrows might be raised, Todd is arguably onside, just concerned process has been carried out properly. But once Monegan has reviewed, informed Palin that no new info, case closed, isn't everything after that improper pressure?

What happened to the concept of double jeopardy?
10.11.2008 2:49pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Time to pay attention to some of the nonsense in Beldar's post. He says this:

It contains no new bombshells in terms of factual revelations


It's true that a lot of what's in the Branchflower report was known before. But he gives us helpful details that flesh out just how utterly obsessed Todd was.

It's also interesting to note the sworn testimony of two witnesses who point out that Palin has lied when she claimed she and her family never knew that Wooten had already been disciplined.

There was already evidence in this regard, but these two witnesses are helpful.

[Wooten] used a deadly firearm to violate the very fish-and-game laws he himself was specifically assigned to enforce


(Is there some kind of "firearm" that isn't "deadly?")

Todd tried to get Monegan to bring criminal charges against Wooten in connection with the moose incident, even though it had happened four years prior. Monegan pointed out the awkwardness of this: Sarah Palin's sister and father were accessories, so they would also need to be charged.

I think the Palin family is headed for a great future as the stars of their own reality show.
10.11.2008 2:55pm
Swede:
Gosh, I'm going to vote for Obama now.

His hands are cleaner.
10.11.2008 3:09pm
Thomas J. Jackson:
I see jukeboxgrad is still shilling for "The one" "messiah" "lord barry."

I see that you are repeating the same tired talking points that were debunked on the other thread.

I do see that you dropped "low powered training procedure" and switched to "demo mode." However, It's still a lie. There is no "demo mode" on a Taser. The current and power are the same.

And no, it doesn't "feel like your funny bone is being hit" despite what Tuttle says.

Since you are keen on videos, lets look at some more video.

Here is a lady that got hit by a 1 second burst of the CIVILIAN taser:

Reporter Hit by Taser

She didn't think it felt like "hitting her funny bone."
No, she said it felt like an "electric fence running through her body."

Here is another Marines Hit by Taser

None of them seemed to believe it felt like "hitting your funny bone."

Why do you feel it necessary to lie in order to advance "lord barry" the "messiah?" JBG you are exhibiting the late stages of Palin Derangement Syndrome, you might want to quit sipping on the Obama Kool Aide.
10.11.2008 3:10pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fat:

"Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power in pushing for the firing of an Alaska state trooper who was once married to her sister, or by failing to prevent her husband Todd from doing so."

I'll read the report this afternoon, but for now I can say this finding would concern me much more had Branchflower felt he had enough evidence to substitute "and" for "or".


Your problem is that you're citing words that were written by a reporter (who is just being a bit sloppy), and treating them as if they were written by Branchflower. They weren't. Pay attention to what Branchflower said (p. 52):

The following events demonstrate that Governor Palin and Todd Palin and her family have, over an extended period of time, endeavored to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired from his job as an Alaska State Trooper.


(Emphasis added.) Now that you know what Branchflower actually said, presumably the finding does concern you "much more." Because he did indeed have enough evidence to use the word "and."

By the way, Palin's emails, published weeks ago, already proved that she herself applied pressure, and was lying when she denied doing so.
10.11.2008 3:12pm
Thomas J. Jackson:
Folks, JBG is absolutely obsessed. His hatred for Palin knows no bounds, and his worship of "the one" "lord barry" consumes him.

He might as well be one of these guys:

CLICK
10.11.2008 3:14pm
Hoosier:
I am sure that others have said this already, but to repeat, in case others are scanning the posts: This is NOT THE STATE LEGISLATURE'S REPORT. It is a report by ONE INDIVIDUAL who is hostile to Palin and who had promised an "October Surprise."

Let's get these things right.
10.11.2008 3:15pm
Thomas J. Jackson:
Sing with JBG Here!

All hail the messiah
Obama, Obama
The path to the new socialist motherland
Our savior, our savior
Obama, Obama
The leader more famous than Lindsay Lohan
Bow down and praise the one
Give him your money and your guns
Give us a country
That makes your wife proud
Lord Barry heal the bitter ones
White and Clinging to faith and to guns
Hope for the change of the hope of the change!
10.11.2008 3:16pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Spare us, "Nauseous".

If The One had been the one in this scandal, the report date would have been punted past the election date like Resko's conviction date was. And to the extent the media wouldn't be burying it, they'd be explaining it away as Yet Another Smear By The Right Wing Attack Machine.
10.11.2008 3:17pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Hoosier: why would the 10 Republican members of the legislative committee agree to release the hostile" report?

If Palin is being thrown under the bus by so many Republicans, what does this say about her ability to bring bipartisan change in Washington?
10.11.2008 3:20pm
MarkField (mail):

Is there a legal distinction between (personal, or in this case, family) benefit and prevention of harm?


Yes. AK law specifically bars state officials from using their position to advance personal interests. Thus, using the governor's office to pressure Monegan was wrong.

If prevention of harm were a real concern, the proper vehicle would be a restraining order or a formal complaint to Wooten's direct superiors.
10.11.2008 3:25pm
MarkField (mail):

It is a report by ONE INDIVIDUAL who is hostile to Palin and who had promised an "October Surprise."


The references I've seen to an "October Surprise" have it made by someone else. Do you have a link quoting Branchflower as saying this?

Even if he did say it, the R-majority decision to release the report hardly speaks well for the Governor.
10.11.2008 3:27pm
RPT (mail):
"I'll read the report this afternoon, but for now I can say this finding would concern me much more had Branchflower felt he had enough evidence to substitute "and" for "or"."

Do any of you Palin supporters spend any time litigating in real courts? You can't complain about lack of evidence in a report when the parties did not cooperate in discovery, produce relevant documents and submit to depositions. If your client is innocent a very useful and effective strategy is often to be open and cooperative rather than obstructive. However, it does seem clear that the defense has been managed by the McCain campaign, consisting mostly of Bush veterans, who do not seem to know any way other than obstruction. A skilled defense lawyer would have handled this case much better for Palin than the East Coast carpetbaggers who took over the state government after her nomination.
10.11.2008 3:29pm
NickW:
Hoosier:

The report is by Branchflower.
The "October surprise" comment was made by French.

Let's get these things right, indeed.
10.11.2008 3:30pm
PC:
Since this is a thread about Gov. Palin, I wonder how Palin supporters feel about the Gov. being, quite literally, in bed with a secessionist?
10.11.2008 3:36pm
Sua Tremendita (mail):
Secession was endorsed by our founding fathers, in words and deeds. Secession is COOL. Go to Prague and ask them how they feel about it.

As for Palins' bogus troopergate scandal, what worries me the most is that she is so inept she could not wield power to nail Wooten. Any Daley or, ha, Obama, would have had Mr. Trooper fired without leaving a fingerprint, or maybe leaving just enough of a fingerprint so everyone knows, but can't prove, this is what happens if you cross him.

Palin was so incapable of wielding power, she couldn't dispose of a lowlife ex-brother-in-law. What the heck is she going to do when she is in DC, home of the big smile and long knives?
10.11.2008 3:48pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
brian:

Well, one of the two did


Sorry, my mistake. You're pointing out correctly that a comment I pointed to, here, doesn't contain any links. It just tells you exactly where to find them:

Want citations? It's all in the wiki article, which has over a hundred references. Google troopergate.


Are those instructions really not simple enough for you? That's hard to believe, but I guess you're telling us they are.

I'd say more, but I already feel bad enough for gatecrashing your thread


If you're in a position to show that your familiarity with the underlying facts is superior to mine, I'll gratefully shut up and listen. Because I'm always interested in learning something new. But I guess what you're really trying to say is that you have nothing even remotely resembling a substantive rebuttal to anything I've said.
10.11.2008 3:49pm
EH (mail):
Thomas J. Jackson: What's your source for there not being a demo mode on a Taser? To which model of Taser are you referring? Given that you've also posted offtopic links and speculated "insight" into JBG's motives, surely your Jesus can put you back on topic.

And can anybody fill me in on the laws that allow private citizens to acquire personnel files on specific police officers? I could really use that kind of information for some blog posts I'm considering. Maybe I should call Todd Palin?
10.11.2008 3:49pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmmm.

Frankly the level of stupidity amongst the anti-Palin crowd increases every day. If for no other reason I hope she does get elected so I can come back here to watch the ignorance *increase*.
10.11.2008 3:59pm
peter jackson (mail) (www):

Anyway, please explain why Palin said this: "no pressure was ever put on anybody to fire anybody."

Point to the "pressure."
10.11.2008 3:59pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmmm.

@ MarkField

"The references I've seen to an "October Surprise" have it made by someone else. Do you have a link quoting Branchflower as saying this?"

Hollis said that. And when Branchflower was asked about his witness list he pointed at Hollis and said to talk to him.

"Even if he did say it, the R-majority decision to release the report hardly speaks well for the Governor."

Yeah! Because Palin being anti-establishment and putting Republicans in jail doesn't mean you cannot rely on said establishment Republicans for justification.

Dumbass.
10.11.2008 4:01pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmmm.

@ MarkField

"If prevention of harm were a real concern, the proper vehicle would be a restraining order or a formal complaint to Wooten's direct superiors."

Yah mean like *Monhegan*?
10.11.2008 4:02pm
CB55 (mail):
NickW:

We Cons can forgive other Cons for every sin, even being married to a Liberal or having a LisBi transgender daughter married to a Muslim, but we can not forget or forgive one that speaks evil of another just to cause injury to the GOP.
10.11.2008 4:03pm
Baseballhead (mail):
Secession was endorsed by our founding fathers, in words and deeds. Secession is COOL.

Which is why the American Civil War has become known as the "Fun War".
10.11.2008 4:07pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
jackson:

I see that you are repeating the same tired talking points that were debunked on the other thread.


You're full of it. If you claim that you "debunked" something, be specific and tell us what it is.

There is no "demo mode" on a Taser. The current and power are the same.


The amount of energy that's conveyed from the device to the subject is directly proportional to the duration of the spark. It's possible to limit the duration of the spark (and that's what Wooten did). Why didn't you know that? Also, what the subject experiences will depend on where the clips are placed. Do you know where Wooten put the clips?

And no, it doesn't "feel like your funny bone is being hit" despite what Tuttle says.


Obviously we should trust a random commenter on a blog instead of a named spokesman for Taser International.

lets look at some more video … she said it felt like an "electric fence running through her body."


Not exactly. This is what she actually said, with a big smile on her face:

I feel tingly … I feel like I just got hit by an electric fence in all directions


Please explain why she's grinning.

Here is another Marines Hit by Taser


I hear the sound of a lot of people laughing. I also see people with a big smile on their face right after being Tased. Are you sure this is the video you wanted us to see?

Why do you feel it necessary to lie


Where's your proof that I told a lie?
10.11.2008 4:17pm
Dan M.:
Silly Baseballhead, they're all Fun Wars.
10.11.2008 4:17pm
MarkField (mail):

Secession was endorsed by our founding fathers, in words and deeds.


No, they endorsed revolution. The difference is this: secession claims to be a legal recourse, one permitted by the existing Constitutional system. Revolution, in contrast, is extra-legal, that is, outside the existing system.


Hollis said that. And when Branchflower was asked about his witness list he pointed at Hollis and said to talk to him.


I don't understand the point of your second sentence. But yeah, the attributions I've seen have Hollis making that statement.


Yah mean like *Monhegan*?


As I understand it, Monegan was not Wooten's direct superior.
10.11.2008 4:18pm
Michael B (mail):
jukeboxsneer, sneeringly arrogating, sneeringly sneering, yet again, ad infinitum.

In addition to Beldar's review of the topic, Power Line has posted commentary as well, The "troopergate" report -- thin gruel.
10.11.2008 4:26pm
PC:
As I understand it, Monegan was not Wooten's direct superior.

That's what the liberal MSM wants you to believe.
10.11.2008 4:28pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

This is NOT THE STATE LEGISLATURE'S REPORT. It is a report by ONE INDIVIDUAL who is hostile to Palin and who had promised an "October Surprise."

Let's get these things right.


Nick pointed out how you failed to "get these things right" when you claimed that Branchflower said something he didn't say.

Aside from that, please show your evidence that Branchflower "is hostile to Palin." For some odd reason, he was hired by the Legislative Council, which consists of 8 R and 4 D. And that same group appointed French. Those acts were unanimous. Also unanimous was their decision yesterday to release the report.

The Legislative Council represents the Legislature when the latter is not in session. The Council launched the investigation, approved Branchflower's contract, and just released his report to us. So you should explain in what sense "This is NOT THE STATE LEGISLATURE'S REPORT."
10.11.2008 4:32pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
eh:

can anybody fill me in on the laws that allow private citizens to acquire personnel files on specific police officers?


This is an interesting point. Palin has made both of the following claims:

A) Todd had Wooten's file because it was in the public domain.
B) Palin never knew that Wooten was disciplined in 2006.

Those claims are obviously contradictory. And the "public domain" thing is pretty remarkable, all by itself.
10.11.2008 4:32pm
Henri Le Compte (mail):
I can only hope that one day some of you Palin haters will have a hard drinking, child tazering, State Trooper threatening you and your family's lives. Then (and only then, I'm afraid) will you understand why a governor might insist that such a person be fired.
10.11.2008 4:32pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
peter:

Point to the "pressure."


I guess you haven't read the report. But even before the report, we had this:

This trooper is still out on the street, in fact he's been promoted … It was a joke, the whole year long 'investigation' of him … This is the same trooper who's out there today telling people the new administration is going to destroy the trooper organization, and that he'd 'never work for that b****', Palin'.) … He's still bragging about it [moose kill] in my hometown and after another cop confessed to witnessing the kill, the trooper was 'investigated' for over a year and merely given a slap on the wrist … Though he's out there arresting people today for the same crime! … He threatened to kill his estranged wife's parent, refused to be transferred to rural Alaska and continued to disparage Natives in words and tone, he continues to harass and intimidate his ex. -- even after being slapped with a restraining order that was lifted when his supervisors intervened … He threatens to always be able to come out on top because he's 'got the badge', etc. etc. etc.) … For police officers to violate the public trust is a grave, grave violation -- in my opinion. We have too many examples lately of cops and troopers who violate the public trust. DPS has come across as merely turning a blind eye or protecting that officer, seemingly 'for the good of the brotherhood'.


And this:

[I want to mention] my ex-brother-in-law, the trooper, who threatened to kill my dad yet was not even reprimanded by his bosses and still to this day carries a gun, of course. … We can't have double standards. Remember when the death threat was reported, and follow-on threats from Mike that he was going to 'bring Sarah and her family down' -- instead of any reprimand WE were told by trooper union personnel that we'd be sued if we talked about those threats. Amazing. . . . So consistency is needed here … No one's above the law. If the law needs to be changed to not allow access to guns for people threatening to kill someone, it must apply to everyone.


Please explain how that is not "pressure."
10.11.2008 4:36pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
peter:

Point to the "pressure."


I guess you haven't read the report. But even before the report, we had this:

This trooper is still out on the street, in fact he's been promoted … It was a joke, the whole year long 'investigation' of him … This is the same trooper who's out there today telling people the new administration is going to destroy the trooper organization, and that he'd 'never work for that b****', Palin'.) … He's still bragging about it [moose kill] in my hometown and after another cop confessed to witnessing the kill, the trooper was 'investigated' for over a year and merely given a slap on the wrist … Though he's out there arresting people today for the same crime! … He threatened to kill his estranged wife's parent, refused to be transferred to rural Alaska and continued to disparage Natives in words and tone, he continues to harass and intimidate his ex. -- even after being slapped with a restraining order that was lifted when his supervisors intervened … He threatens to always be able to come out on top because he's 'got the badge', etc. etc. etc.) … For police officers to violate the public trust is a grave, grave violation -- in my opinion. We have too many examples lately of cops and troopers who violate the public trust. DPS has come across as merely turning a blind eye or protecting that officer, seemingly 'for the good of the brotherhood'.


And this:

[I want to mention] my ex-brother-in-law, the trooper, who threatened to kill my dad yet was not even reprimanded by his bosses and still to this day carries a gun, of course. … We can't have double standards. Remember when the death threat was reported, and follow-on threats from Mike that he was going to 'bring Sarah and her family down' -- instead of any reprimand WE were told by trooper union personnel that we'd be sued if we talked about those threats. Amazing. . . . So consistency is needed here … No one's above the law. If the law needs to be changed to not allow access to guns for people threatening to kill someone, it must apply to everyone.


Please explain how that is not "pressure."
10.11.2008 4:36pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
ed:

Yeah! Because Palin being anti-establishment and putting Republicans in jail doesn't mean you cannot rely on said establishment Republicans for justification.


Poor Sarah. The Rs are out to get her and the Ds are out to get her. And there are even two courts that recently ruled against her. I guess this proves that she didn't do anything wrong, and she's really just a fearless reformer.

If Branchflower and the Legislative Council couldn't be trusted to do a fair investigation, you should explain why Palin repeatedly expressed her support for their investigation.

By the way, please name the Republicans that Palin put "in jail." There are this many names on that list: zero.

when Branchflower was asked about his witness list he pointed at Hollis and said to talk to him


This business about Tibbles is one of the silliest arguments to come along in a long time. And that's saying a lot.

Yes, there was a decision to not subpoena Tibbles. Palin has referred to this decision as proof that French is manipulating the witness list. But it was Ramras' (R) idea to not subpoena Tibbles, not French's idea. Also, how could a decision to not subpoena Tibbles be viewed as a partisan act that is unfavorable to Palin? Tibbles is free to present himself to Branchflower, with or without a subpoena. Branchflower asked for the subpoena only because Tibbles has declined to cooperate. If Tibbles had testimony that was favorable to Palin, why would he be refusing to cooperate?

"If prevention of harm were a real concern, the proper vehicle would be a restraining order or a formal complaint to Wooten's direct superiors."

Yah mean like *Monhegan*?


Trouble is, no Palin ever made a formal complaint to Monegan. Palin has admitted explicitly that they never filed any other formal complaint, subsequent to the complaints they filed in 2005.

In 2007 and 2008, they just applied pressure, because they knew they had no basis for a formal complaint.
10.11.2008 4:50pm
Bad (mail) (www):
"I have not read the 263-page report. Bill Dyer (aka Beldar) has, and offers a critical take here."

This is like saying "I haven't read the court transcripts of OJ's trial, but here's OJ with a critical take on why it's all bullshit."

The attempts by Beldar and others here to mislead and spin the report's findings have been nothing short of pathetic. We apparently have a massive conspiracy to aid Obama that apparently formed before Obama even won the primary, much less before Sarah Palin got picked as the VP candidate. And we apparently have people who think that firing at will and abusing power are the same thing (we saw the same sort of ridiculous dodge in the US Attorney case).
10.11.2008 4:52pm
Michael B (mail):
Politically motivated thuggery is reflected in the spin the MSM is placing upon this story, at times blatantly and at other times much more subtly. Indeed, the Obama/MSM/Biden campaign is in full-bore mode. With that in mind, Michael Barone's recent column is instructive:

The Coming Obama Thugocracy. Excerpt:

"Once upon a time, liberals prided themselves, with considerable reason, as the staunchest defenders of free speech. Union organizers in the 1930s and 1940s made the case that they should have access to employees to speak freely to them, and union leaders like George Meany and Walter Reuther were ardent defenders of the First Amendment."

[...]

"Obama supporters who found the campuses congenial and Obama himself, who has chosen to live all his adult life in university communities, seem to find it entirely natural to suppress speech that they don't like and seem utterly oblivious to claims that this violates the letter and spirit of the First Amendment. In this campaign, we have seen the coming of the Obama thugocracy, suppressing free speech, and we may see its flourishing in the four or eight years ahead."

Suppressing speech that runs contrary to Obamamanic enthusiasms - concomitantly heightening and emphasizing speech that either supports such enthusiasms or demonizes opposition to that worshipful approach to politics and the cult of personality that brand of politics is founded upon.
10.11.2008 4:54pm
M. Gross (mail):
I know we're off topic at this point, but let's take a look at what passes for evidence in this report:

Event 1 - An inquiry as to how Wooten's conduct effects the public's view of the department. A public interest.

Event 2 - Can not be an ethics violation as Todd Palin is a private citizen.

Event 3 - Follow up on event 1, still a public interest matter. Note that in neither Events 1 or 3 is Palin actually governor of Alaska.

Event 4 - A private citizen again.

Event 5 - Todd Palin again.

Event 6 - She complains about the outcome but takes no action.

Event 7 - Palin rambles on in an email about how she didn't like the outcome. No request or implication of action of any kind.

Event 8 - Palin brings up the very name of Wooten and is immediately blown off.

Event 9 - Someone else asks him about it. Palin's name never comes up, and there's no real conversation.

Event 10 - Monegan gets called again. Again, no evidence Sarah Palin was involved.

Event 11 &Event 12 - Todd Palin again.

Event 13 - Same as Event 10, different person.

Event 14 - A Palin aid expresses their disappointment with the outcome. This is supposed to be a smoking gun?!

...ok, seriously, does any evidence appear at any point? I got up to Event 17 and there's still nothing that even vaguely implies there may have been an ethics violation.
10.11.2008 4:54pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mark:

secession claims to be a legal recourse, one permitted by the existing Constitutional system.


This is an interesting point. It should be noted that Vogler, the founder and hero of AIP, was apparently interested in certain things that may not have been strictly legal. For some strange reason, he was killed "in a plastic-explosives sale gone bad."
10.11.2008 4:55pm
Michael B (mail):
Bad,

It's caustically and tellingly ironic that you refer to "firing at will" and "attempts ... to mislead" in the same comment. The report itself indicates there was nothing remotely like a "firing at will" motivation.
10.11.2008 4:59pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Oops, sorry about that double post a little while ago.
10.11.2008 5:01pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
michael:

In addition to Beldar's review of the topic


Are you paying attention? The opening post already cited Dyer's nonsense. And multiple comments here have already shown it to be nonsense. Next time, try reading the thread before you post.

Power Line has posted commentary as well


More laughs from hindrocket et al. Let's take a look at a few things they say:

the report does not find that Gov. Palin herself attempted to get Trooper Wooen fired


Wrong. The report does find that. I already cited the relevant text, here. And we already knew "that Gov. Palin herself attempted to get Trooper Wooen fired," even pre-Branchflower. I proved that here.

Wooten seems to have been a genuine menace.


Really? There was never any finding that he ever committed a violent act against any person, aside from the Taser incident. Molly told police he never abused her. The DVPO was dissolved because there was no evidence of violence. No one outside the family ever heard him threaten anyone. I've already cited multiple reasons why the alleged death threat against Heath is doubtful. So what's the "menace?"

he … apparently had quite a drinking problem


Palin made a bunch of allegations about that, and the original Memorandum of Findings sustained this many: zero. Grimes decided to overturn that, with regard to one incident: carrying a beer can into his car. I've already described the reasons why this allegation is questionable.

Wooten has been arrested for drunk driving this many times: zero. That puts him ahead of Bush, Cheney, and Todd Palin.

Power Line is just flogging the same unsubstantiated allegations that Palin has been flogging since 4/11/05, the day that Molly filed for divorce.

the desire to rid the police force of a bad apple


This is supposedly an excuse for applying pressure to fire Wooten. But why did Palin repeatedly claim that no one ever applied pressure? The record shows that this denial was a lie.
10.11.2008 5:14pm
EH (mail):
The McCain-Palin campaign sure must be panicking to send driveby posters like 'ed' and 'Thomas J. Jackson,' to post clearly erroneous information that even my mother (a lifetime "vote the card" Republican) knows is false.

Poor John McCain, ending his career so dishonorably.
10.11.2008 5:17pm
Hoosier:
This is NOT the "Alaska legislature's report."

Can we fix that?
10.11.2008 5:18pm
Michael B (mail):
One might look forward to David Brooks' commentary on the anti-intellectualism reflected in the MSM spin that has resulted from this report. Though anti-intellectualism is a too kind, a far too kind term to apply in this situation.

The mephitic that is the MSM, or the mephitic that the MSM has allowed itself to become, is itself a cancer and is reflective of other social/political cancers as well.
10.11.2008 5:19pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
henri:

I can only hope that one day some of you Palin haters will have a hard drinking, child tazering, State Trooper threatening you and your family's lives


I can only hope that you can show proof that Wooten is "hard drinking." You can't.

And I can only hope that you'll explain why the family waited two years to report the Taser incident. You won't. You also won't explain why Palin waited a month before telling her father about an alleged death threat against him.

You also won't explain why you're suggesting that Wooten threatened anyone's life, aside from Heath. In 2005, that wasn't even alleged (that there was ever a death threat against anyone aside from him). Molly admitted that the alleged threat to "bring down" Sarah was a threat "to make life difficult for Sarah," not a threat of violence. And no one other than Molly ever heard this threat.
10.11.2008 5:22pm
Pauldom:
Wow, Michael B, you must be very intellectual to use words like "mephitic":


The mephitic that is the MSM, or the mephitic that the MSM has allowed itself to become, is itself a cancer and is reflective of other social/political cancers as well.


That'll teach David Brooks . . . except that "mephitic" is an adjective.
10.11.2008 5:25pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
gross:

Palin rambles on in an email about how she didn't like the outcome. No request or implication of action of any kind.


No "implication?" Really? Imagine that C works for B, and B works for A. Imagine that A says the following to B:

C is still out on the street, in fact he's been promoted … It was a joke, the whole year long 'investigation' of C … DPS has come across as merely turning a blind eye or protecting C


Are you seriously claiming that there is no "implication" that A is attempting to influence B to take some action against C? Really?
10.11.2008 5:28pm
Michael B (mail):
jukeboxsneer,

To be over-kind, a gross mischaracterization. And I've read the entire thread, comparing it against the two cited reviews and comparing it a reading of some aspects of the report as a whole.

These hyper-leveraged arrogations and inferences of yours are merely more of the same, oft-repeated, jukeboxsneer bullshit.
10.11.2008 5:31pm
fat tony (mail):
Jukeboxgrad: Thanks for making it personal. I take your point that these were the reporter's words. After your comment I went to the ADN site and saw the article had been revised to say "and". So, yes, I am much more concerned. I'll read the report later, as I said, and reach a conclusion. However, I'll not be engaging with you further.

RPT: I'm not complaining about lack of evidence, just observing that it seems to be lacking. As promised, I'll look into it. Chill.
10.11.2008 5:31pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Wow, Michael B, you must be very intellectual to use words like "mephitic"


Strunk and White were anticipating Michael B when they said this:

Rich, ornate prose is hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating. If the sickly-sweet word, the overblown phrase are your natural form of expression, as is sometimes the case, you will have to compensate for it by a show of vigour, and by writing something as meritorious as the Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.
10.11.2008 5:35pm
Michael B (mail):
Wow, Michael B, ..." Pauldom

You're right, I'll revise as follows:

The mephitis that is the MSM, or the mephitis that the MSM has allowed itself to become, is itself a cancer and is reflective of other social/political cancers as well.

I notice you didn't argue against the substance of the charge however, the aptness of the term.
10.11.2008 5:36pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

This is NOT the "Alaska legislature's report."

Can we fix that?


Actually, it IS. Can you stop saying it's NOT?
10.11.2008 5:36pm
peter jackson (mail) (www):

[...]

Please explain how that is not "pressure."

In order to do that you will first need to explain how that is pressure.

Perhaps you could point to an implicit threat or even something suggestive of a consequence should Monegan not fire Wooten? Oh wait, nothing in the email even suggests Wooten be fired, but rather she is asking Monegan to testify on behalf of a sentencing bill for cops who murder. Looks to me like she was simply reciting facts to argue a point.

It looks to me that if anyone has violated Alaskan ethics law it's Hollis French, for using state resources to cook up this joke of a "report" to further his personal political agenda.
10.11.2008 5:38pm
Casper the Friendly Guest (mail):
I just love it when Beldar calls someone else a windbag who can't be trusted.
10.11.2008 5:42pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
michael:

These hyper-leveraged arrogations and inferences of yours


As usual, you've managed to demonstrate this many examples of an incorrect statement on my part: zero.

By the way, "hyper-leveraged" is a great way to describe what Power Line et al do when they use a doubtful report about a single beer can as proof that Wooten "had quite a drinking problem." This is very typical of the GOP approach to evidence.
10.11.2008 5:42pm
Michael B (mail):
jukeboxsneer,

Boo.

And Pauldom, I likewise notice you didn't defend David Brooks' recent commentary, in the applicable thread. My own is , feel free to argue a pro or con. Or perhaps you'll want to stick with spelling errors.
10.11.2008 5:47pm
Michael B (mail):
suppose to be 'my own is here'
10.11.2008 5:50pm
David Warner:
"I see jukeboxgrad is still shilling for 'The one' 'messiah' 'lord barry.'"

I don't. He (she? shudder...) is too busy being against to be for any one. All attack, all the time.

It's like saying Dirty Harry was shilling for the SFPD or Torquemada for the Pope...
10.11.2008 5:52pm
TruthInAdvertising:
"In order to do that you will first need to explain how that is pressure."

Are you seriously trying to argue this line of defense?

On August 13, Palin said specifically that her action was unrelated to Wooten. She said that Monegan was dismissed for not adequately filling state trooper vacancies and fighting alcohol abuse problems, and because he "did not turn out to be a team player on budgeting issues."[2] Palin acknowledged that "pressure could have been perceived to exist, although I have only now become aware of it."[4]

She suspended Frank Bailey, and apologized to Alaskans:
"Mr. Bailey was aware of my family's personal concerns about Trooper Wooten. It appears that he, though, tried to apply some pressure on my behalf and this was without ever discussing it with me and I apologize to Alaskans for this distraction."[58][59]

"Mr. Bailey" is Frank Bailey, the Governor's director of boards and commissions.

Palin herself admitted that her staff exerted pressure to get Wooten dismissed although she denied knowledge of it happening or doing it herself. Or are you going to tell us know that Palin is lying about the pressure?
10.11.2008 5:56pm
Elliot123 (mail):
I suppose Wooten is lucky he didn't threaten to kill some minority family.
10.11.2008 5:59pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
peter:

you will first need to explain how that is pressure


I did so, quite simply, here.

If I hired you recently, and I tell you that a staff member you just inherited is a rotten bastard, and that his previous managers have been "turning a blind eye or protecting" him, it's fair for you to conclude that I'm expecting you to take some action against him. Especially if my spouse is making similar statements to practically anyone who is willing to listen.

It looks to me that if anyone has violated Alaskan ethics law it's Hollis French, for using state resources to cook up this joke of a "report" to further his personal political agenda.


I guess that also applies to the R-controlled Legislative Council, which voted unanimously to launch the investigation, and to appoint French and Branchflower, and then to release the report. And it also applies to the House Judiciary Committee, also R-controlled, which voted to authorize subpoenas. Ditto for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I guess it even applies to Palin herself, who repeatedly expressed her support for the investigation. Until McCain got on the phone.
10.11.2008 5:59pm
PC:
It looks like someone interviewed one of Palin's secessionist friends.
10.11.2008 6:00pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
M. Gross (at 3:54PM)

Event 6 - She complains about the outcome but takes no action. This should have ended Gov Palin's involvement. In my world she is already over the lineShe is attempting to apply pressure about a personal matter

Event 7 - Palin rambles on in an email about how she didn't like the outcome. No request or implication of action of any kind.Palin applying additional pressure; she is offside

Event 8 - Palin brings up the very name of Wooten and is immediately blown off.saved from compounding the offence

Event 9 - Someone else asks him about it. Palin's name never comes up, and there's no real conversation."Someone" is Mike Tibbles her chief of staff. She is applying pressure through her office

Event 10 - Monegan gets called again. Again, no evidence Sarah Palin was involved.The Commissioner of Administration calls, out of the blue?

Event 11 &Event 12 - Todd Palin again.I guess Todd never talks to his wife- this might be ok except that at the start of this process it was suggested that it would be more appropriate for Todd to deal with this rather than the Governor- would have been interesting to hear her testimony under oath

Event 13 - Same as Event 10, different person.Now it is Attorney General Kolberg- The implication in the conversation is that the "Boss" had caused Kolberg to call and Kolberg is going to report back to the boss

Event 14 - A Palin aid expresses their disappointment with the outcome. This is supposed to be a smoking gun?!Bailey, an aide to the Gov is calling and the implication is pretty strong that Sarah and Todd are unhappy. If I received this kind of call,I'd feel pressure


I could go on, Sorry, if you can't see pressure, OJ could have sure used you on his jury!
10.11.2008 6:02pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
michael:

Boo.


I see that Casper the Friendly Guest is here. Were you intending to address him?

And since you have nothing substantive to say, couldn't you at least use bigger words?
10.11.2008 6:02pm
PC:
I guess that also applies to the R-controlled Legislative Council, which voted unanimously to launch the investigation, and to appoint French and Branchflower, and then to release the report. And it also applies to the House Judiciary Committee, also R-controlled, which voted to authorize subpoenas. Ditto for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

It's part of a conspiracy by the New World Order to keep Palin down. Luckily Gov. Palin was blessed by a witch hunter, so the International Banking Satanists won't be able to stop Gov. Palin.
10.11.2008 6:03pm
Dan M.:
Oh man that secessionist guy is so radical because he carries a gun around!
10.11.2008 6:10pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:


"And the only witnesses to this event (that Wooten carried a beer into the car, before he drove about a mile to his house) are a couple who are very close with Heath. And they didn't report it at the time. The original investigation dismissed this allegation, but later Col. Grimes overruled that finding, and sustained the allegation."

jukeboxgrad, you are (again) leaving out information.

Concerning your assertion that the only witnesses are a couple "who are very close to Heath", you left out that the Grimes letter stated that the Lanes liked Wooten, which would seem to be a relevant piece of information. As you left that information out, here is what Director Grimes wrote in the disciplinary letter to Wooten:

"The Lanes recounted this story only after being asked about the incident by Sgt. Wall. I [Grimes] was concerned about this incident and conducted a follow-up interview with the Lanes. They stated to me, that they liked you and had been friends of the Heath family for years and for that reason, they did not report it to anyone."

You then write later:

"Grimes decided to overturn that, with regard to one incident: carrying a beer can into his car. I've already described the reasons why this allegation is questionable."


This is incorrect. In the letter to Wooten, Grimes cited two specific issues in regards to Wooten consuming alcohol that led to a follow-up interview of the Lanes. As initially reported by the Lanes, one was drinking alcohol prior to operating a motor vehicle and the second was drinking alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. During the investigation, Grimes performed another interview of the Lanes and concluded in her letter to Wooten:

"The issue of drinking alcoholic beverages (beer) prior to operating, and (emphasis added) then during the operation of a marked patrol vehicle not only exposed the Department to liability, but further demonstrates your lack of judgment and a profound disrespect for the responsibilities of a law enforcement officer."

As cited above, Grimes cited two separate incidents, not (as you assert) "with regard to one incident: carrying a beer can into his car".
10.11.2008 6:16pm
Hoosier:
JBG--"Actually, it IS. Can you stop saying it's NOT?"

No, because you're wrong.

As to your comment that Branchflower DIDN'T say he was out to get Palin--Where's your EVIDENCE? Where's your PROOF that he didn't?

You said I was wrong. But you have NO PROOF AT ALL that he didn't say so. So that makes you a LIAR!

(Citation: JBG Mark Sanford Doctrine of Evidence)

In fact, Branchflower said he made all the negative stuff up. Or do you have PROOF that he didn't?

(Citation: JBG Mark Sanford Doctrine of Evidence--Wow. This is easy when we both play by your rules!)

WHERE'S YOUR PROOF?!!!

You DON'T HAVE ANY!

Now it rubs the lotion on its skin, or it gets the hose again.
10.11.2008 6:19pm
PC:
No, the secessionist guy is radical because he believes in secession and the New World Order. His choice of firearm just shows poor judgment. The Sig P250 .40 S&W is much better.
10.11.2008 6:20pm
Oren:

Oh man that secessionist guy is so radical because he carries a gun around!

More like he's radical because he advocates extralegal dissolution of a lawful union without the consent of all parties.

If his philosophy were true, I would just secede from my mortgage and keep my house. In fact, I think I just solved the financial crisis . . .
10.11.2008 6:31pm
Michael B (mail):
jukeboxsneer,

Take a break from your sneers and snide and arrogations for a change.

Maybe some music, a couple of choices for your listening pleasure.
10.11.2008 6:41pm
Observer:
On one ticket, the husband of the Vice Presidential nominee used to be a member of the Alaska Independence Party.

On the other ticket, the presidential nominee himself used to be a member of the socialist New Party.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/10/021724.php

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/10/021747.php

I wonder which one should be more of a concern to voters?
10.11.2008 6:46pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
hoosier:

This is NOT the "Alaska legislature's report."

Can we fix that?
Title from Table of Contents page:

"Stephen Branchflower Report to the Legislative Council"
10.11.2008 6:49pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Observer:
I know the socialist New Party was claiming Obama as a member,
is there any evidence he was?
Is this like an endorsement- where Republican candidates also got the endorsement of fringe parties?
10.11.2008 6:53pm
PC:
Speaking of Powerline:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/011183.php

It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can't get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.


Heh. Indeed.

I wonder how the New Party feels about the New World Order, the Amero, and black helicopters? Does the New Party hate America so much that it wants to secede? Ooooh. Maybe the New Party is actually part of the NWO! I'm buying stock in tin foil. My guess is there will be high demand for CIA mind control protection hats.
10.11.2008 6:58pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
david:

He … is too busy being against to be for any one. All attack, all the time.


I guess you didn't notice that one of the things I'm doing is defending Wooten. You might want to consider the possibility that he actually deserves a fair shake. Even though he's a 10-year Air Force vet, and a brave cop (link, link).
10.11.2008 7:15pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
truth:

Palin acknowledged that "pressure could have been perceived to exist"


This is an interesting little example of how Palin's statements are all over the map. You're right, she made that statement, acknowledging that Bailey's phone call could at least be "perceived" as pressure. And she went beyond that; she also said "he … tried to apply some pressure on my behalf."

But a day or two later, she forgot what she said, and she made another statement mocking the idea that anyone would think Bailey's phone call was pressure: "[i]f that's pressure, then (after) years in law enforcement, how do they do their job if that's perceived as pressure?"

She has a hard time keeping her talking points organized.
10.11.2008 7:22pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
elliot:

I suppose Wooten is lucky he didn't threaten to kill some minority family.


In 2005, there was never any allegation that Wooten threatened violence against the "family." That embellishment has been added recently. In 2005, Palin only alleged that there had been a death threat against Heath. I've already pointed out that this threat wasn't taken seriously by either Palin or Grimes. And given all the false statements that have been emanating from that family, the allegation is looking less and less credible.
10.11.2008 7:27pm
MarkField (mail):

In order to do that you will first need to explain how that is pressure.


"Will no one rid me of that meddlesome priest?!"
10.11.2008 7:32pm
Mac (mail):
Didn't Alaska elect a person as Governor from the AIP Party in 1990? So, are they all nuts up there, or is the AIP a tadd more mainstream than we are being led to believe?

Amazing, the AIP is a scary Party full of nut jobs. Obama's friends, Ayers, Resko, Phlegger, Wright, Farakhan, ACORN, Emil Jones and a lot of others are such nice mainstream Americans.

Isn't accusing Palin of being associated with the AIP a LIE. Oh dear, dear. How can those nice Democrats do tthat?
10.11.2008 7:33pm
Mac (mail):
that.
10.11.2008 7:33pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
johnny:

I guess Todd never talks to his wife


This is an interesting point, and it's a good example of how their talking points are all over the map. Yes, the latest spin is that "Todd never talks to his wife." It was all his fault; she had no idea what he was doing. Yeah, right. Pay attention to what he said a few days ago in his sworn statement:

I have heard criticism that I am too involved with my wife's administration. My wife and I are very close. We are each other's best friend. I have helped her in every stage in her career the best I can, and she has helped me. … Like most couples we talk about our jobs, our work, the issues of the day, and of course, our family. These discussions occasionally included Molly, Wooten, and matters going on with the State.


Right. But Sarah had no idea that Todd was stalking Wooten all over the state, snapping pictures of him, and complaining about Wooten to anyone who seemed willing to listen. And to some other folks who tried to point out that they really didn't want to listen.
10.11.2008 7:36pm
Mac (mail):
I am wondering, this constant attack on any Republican for anything no matter how trivial, seems to be very effective in diverting the debate from real issues and problems and, most especially, from the multiple and gross flaws of the Democrats.

Is there a name for this technique and, as I imagine it has been used before in the history of the world, where and when?

Thanks.
10.11.2008 7:37pm
fat tony (mail):
"Will no one rid me of that meddlesome priest?!"

I think that's from The Passion of Barack, Act II, Scene 3.
10.11.2008 7:45pm
PC:
Mac, I heard Obama killed Vince Foster. You should start doing some research on that. You could be internet famous.
10.11.2008 7:48pm
Bad English:
"Is there a name for this technique"


Obsession. Someone really needs to log off and go outside: Time stamps show close to seven hours of regular posting today, often slews of posts in a row when one would do.

There's an entire world out there that does not involve hating Sarah Palin. The sun was shining, leaves were turning, people were laughing, and life is good. To sacrifice such a day to gorge on Sarah Palin attacks indicates obsession.
10.11.2008 7:49pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Mac:" am wondering, this constant attack on any Republican for anything no matter how trivial, "

Abuse of power has been a very grave concern during the regency of Dick Cheney. In the VP debate Palin implied that there was flexibility in the US constitution to expand the role of the office of VP. Therefore evidence that Palin had prior practice abusing power is very relevant.
10.11.2008 7:50pm
Stash:
"Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest trooper?"

King Henry Sarah Palin exonerated, because the expression of a preference for a result by the head of the government to an underling who the superior has the right to fire, should not, in one's wildest dreams, be considered "pressure."

Pro-Palin people are arguing against themselves when they point out that the Commissioner could be fired for any reason or for no reason. That is precisely why expressing a personal preference and complaint was improper and constituted pressure. This is even more direct, than, say, a senator asking a regulator, over whom there was no direct authority to fire, to rule in a particular manner for a particular contributor.

I thought the report was extremely even-handed and cautious. Was improper pressure brought within the meaning of the statute? Absolutely. Yet, at the same time, the report recommends that some avenue for private persons complaining of trooper's actions to monitor and be informed of disciplinary actions be established. That is the Palins, like every other citizen of Alaska, has no existing formal method to inquire about and follow-up on a complaint about the conduct of a trooper. Indeed, the inquiry remains confidential and shielded from public view and criticism.

There seems to be evidence of both: (a)the Palins justifiably believed the trooper should be fired, and (b) the charges were substantially motivated by vindictiveness over the nasty divorce. Personally, I do not see enough evidence in the public record to come down one way or the other on this, though apparently there are plenty of people who do. (Forgive me if I note that there is a correlation between where they come down on this and their political sympathies.)

At the end the day, it seems to me that the Palins' (perhaps understandable) frustration with the process resulted in their attempting to bring improper pressure on government employees for personal motives. I don't think this a huge violation, or a disqualifying violation, but it is an objective violation. I think it is a better argument to say it was an understandable and excusable violation of small consequence, than to make the losing argument that there was no violation at all. This, of course, pre-supposes that one cares about the objective legal question.
10.11.2008 7:59pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
How dare she try to fire anyone? Only Dems are allowed to fire anybody. If you are a Republican, then everyone has a Constitutional right to their jobs. Geez, get with the program people.
10.11.2008 8:02pm
Observer:
Johnny Canuck: We do know that, at a minimum, he was not only endorsed by the New Party but also worked with New Party members and attended New Party events. The evidence strongly suggests that he was a member, although since no one from the mainstream media bothers to look into the story, we do not know for sure.
10.11.2008 8:02pm
Mac (mail):
PC:
Mac, I heard Obama killed Vince Foster. You should start doing some research on that. You could be internet famous.

And, then there is this technique. Many posters here have gone on and on about Palin over not much. She had every right to fire the guy and the whole thing would not even have happened if she had not been picked as McCain's VP. And, her husband was once a member of the AIP. How horrible!

But you point out really bad people that Obama has been close to for years, done favors for, gotten earmarks for, taken favors from, taken money from, given money to, worked for and so on, and I'm the conspiracy theorist?

When you mention anything, no matter how factual, you get ridiculed just as PC has done.


These are the same people who can post for hours on Palin or John McCain's first wife.

Very interesting, no?


Bad English,

I am taking your advice and am going outside to enjoy this beautiful day in
Arizona. I can't walk through mental foam rubber any more. A walk in the sunshine is just the ticket.
10.11.2008 8:04pm
Guest12345:
Hey jukeboxgrad, do you realize that every thread is less because of your participation? You post and post and post and never say anything new. You fill every thread with "democrats are right and good" and "republicans are wrong and evil." You have zero room for anyone else's point of view. Your posts are the online equivalent of shouting down your "opponents". I quote opponents because it doesn't matter whether the other posters are in agreement with you or if they are on the fence or if they disagree, the only voice you allow is yours.

The amazing thing is that you post rant after rant over on your blog at Kos and still feel the need to come and post here. That fact that practically no one reads you at Kos might indicate that your absolute polarization of opinion isn't very interesting to anyone.

Why don't you try posting your piece and then sitting back and reading for a while. Let people discuss the issues instead of trying to steamroll every damned thread?
10.11.2008 8:07pm
PC:
It's called mocking, Mac. The right wing in this country has pretty much become a caricature of itself. I brought up Vince Foster because at that time we actually had a congressman shooting a watermelon to prove that Foster was murdered.

So far people on the right have accused Obama of: being a terrorist; being a communist; being a socialist; being a Muslim (and a Muslin!); not being an American; being an Arab; being sworn in to office on a Quaran; refusing to cite the Pledge of Allegiance; being funded by Hugo Chavez; being the anti-Christ!; etc.

These accusations are being presented in mainstream news outlets and being promoted by people like Andy Martin (anti-Semite) and Jerome Corsi (9/11 truther, NWO believer). Today over at The Corner, Andy McCarthy gave credence to the claim that Bill Ayers may have ghostwritten "Dreams Of My Father" for Obama.

This has led to frenzied mobs at McCain/Palin events where people shout out terrorist, treason, kill him, and bomb Obama. Oh, and my recent favorite, a stuffed monkey with an Obama sticker on it.

And now we find out that the Republican VP nominee is not only literally in bed with a former member of a secessionist party, she was aided by other members of that secessionist movement early in her political career. She even tried to put a secessionist on the city board when she became mayor. She attended a secessionist rally and she gave an address to that same secessionist party as recently as 2008.

How much do you have to hate the US in order to secede?

So yeah, you will get ridiculed.
10.11.2008 8:32pm
Hoosier:
Guest12345: Notice that jukebox runs for the hills when his own "standards" are applied to his posts? Interesting, huh?

He says things--like "Branchflower didn't say that"--without any proof.

I wonder why he lies like that?
10.11.2008 8:45pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"So far people on the right have accused Obama of: being a terrorist; being a communist; being a socialist; being a Muslim (and a Muslin!); not being an American; being an Arab; being sworn in to office on a Quaran; refusing to cite the Pledge of Allegiance; being funded by Hugo Chavez; being the anti-Christ!; etc. "


Ah, but can you prove he's NOT a communist terrorist socialist Muslim Arab anti-Christ funded by Hugo Chavez???

No sir, I don't believe you can. QED.
10.11.2008 8:47pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Observer:"worked with New Party members and attended New Party events".
can you provide links?
10.11.2008 8:55pm
Mac (mail):

This has led to frenzied mobs.



A bit over the top even for you, PC. More jbg's balliwick.

Frenzied mobs? We are talking Republicans here. But, if it makes you feel better ....


Hoosier,

I am not reading jbg anymore. It is a ridiculous waste of time. I'm done with him or her.

So he posts at the Daily Kos and is upset at how Republicans treat Obama? Wasn't that the same outfit that was happy Tony Snow had cancer? They must be ecstatic now that he is dead. Also, the group that was hoping Cheney would have a heart attack?
10.11.2008 8:58pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Mac:She had every right to fire the guy and the whole thing would not even have happened if she had not been picked as McCain's VP.

Just as with US attorneys, you may have a right to fire for no cause, but not for an improper one.

The investigation was under way before she was picked as VP. she was cooperating with the investigation until McCain campaign got involved and tried to surpress it.
10.11.2008 8:59pm
Hoosier:
Johnny Canuck

hoosier:

This is NOT the "Alaska legislature's report."

Can we fix that?
Title from Table of Contents page:

"Stephen Branchflower Report to the Legislative Council"


Good point, Johnny. It was a report to the LC, not a report eminating from the state legislature. As you have so wisely proved by posting its title.

So now can we fix that?
10.11.2008 9:01pm
Hoosier:
PC--Can you prove he isn't muslin? Perhaps by wearing him on a warm day to see if you get overheated?

I bet you would overheat.

Ergo, Obama is mulsin.

QED
10.11.2008 9:03pm
Observer:
Johnny Canuck: "can you provide links?"

I have already provided links above. And you don't need to take Powerline on faith, all the evidence you need is there (with pictures).

Here are the two links I provided again:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/10/021724.php

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/10/021747.php
10.11.2008 9:04pm
jbn (mail):
Yes, Branchflower sound like a Muslim name to me, too.

The question isn't whether Obama/Ayers/Branchflower are engaged in a terrorist conspiracy to destroy this country, the only question is why the pinko mainstream media isn't reporting about this conspiracy.

Oh, and Obama and the rest of the democrats are socialists who want the government to take over banks and insurance companies, too.
10.11.2008 9:07pm
Andrew Maier:

PC--Can you prove he isn't muslin? Perhaps by wearing him on a warm day to see if you get overheated?

I bet you would overheat.

Ergo, Obama is mulsin.

QED



Are commenters on VC really making fun of other commenters for demanding proof? Or is that not satire and I'm missing the point?
10.11.2008 9:08pm
Hoosier:
Damn!

I wrote mulsin.

I meant muslin.

This is how rumors get started!
10.11.2008 9:08pm
PC:
Can you prove he isn't muslin? Perhaps by wearing him on a warm day to see if you get overheated?

The last time I tried that a bunch of guys with wires in their ears tackled me. Talk about being embarrassed...
10.11.2008 9:11pm
SenatorX (mail):
Hey jukeboxgrad, do you realize that every thread is less because of your participation?

They key is not to read his comments (and others like him). They aren't arguing honestly so I just consider it spam and scroll on by. The mouse wheel works well for Juke because he is so prone to multiple posts. As soon as I see his name I give it a spin and if he has only posted 3 comments in a row I usually am on to a meaningful commenter.
10.11.2008 9:11pm
Hoosier:
Andrew Maier:

Just pointing out a shill fail. Wants to play between the 50 yard line and McCain's end zone. And he gets to be the officiating crew.

I'm a Notre Dame alumnus, so you can bet that I learned not to play under those conditions.
10.11.2008 9:13pm
loki13 (mail):
Hoosier-

No offense, but your last few posts on this subject have lowered my esteem for you. Not saying that popularity with an arugula-eatin', latte-sippin' gent like me is my goal, but just sayin'.

As someone who once had the opportunity (some might say the misfortune) to spend a summer clerking with a judge doing some family law assignments, this all looks horribly familiar. Putting aside politics (can we anymore?) try to imagine the following:

You are a military veteran and a state trooper. You are married to a woman related to a small-town mayor. You begin the process of a divorce, and since kids are involved, the divorce gets nasty. Every possible issue gets twisted and turned as the divorce proceedings go on. Little things that meant nothing at the time get blown up into huge controversies to show you're somehow 'unfit'. Still, no big deal. Then, your ex sister-in-law gets elected governor. Your ex sister-in-law begins a coordinated campaign to get you fired so you lose custody of your kids. That would suck, wouldn't it? As the old saw goes, in criminal law, you see bad people at their best; in family law, you see good people at their worst.

I think this does show bad judgment on the part of Governor Palin. I think she could legally fire Moneghan. But I think it shows a lack of judgment- you shouldn't use your public office to pursue personal vendettas. She should have avoided this like an Air Supply concert.

But take this ass you will- I wouldn't vote for this ticket anyway because it doesn't advocate policies I agree with, and I find their rhetoric, and, increasingly, the rhetoric of their supporters, to be despicable. This country is facing huge problems, and 'gimmicks' and 'hail marys' and 'game changers' for the election are not what we need; nor do we need stupid giveaways to the lenders that are the cause of this mess. But regardless of who wins, I will support them after the election in their attempt to bring America together again. I just hope that if it is McCain that he is the same person of integrity I remember before South Carolina in 2000, and not the person I have seen campaigning recently.
10.11.2008 9:13pm
Hoosier:
jbn

Oh, and Obama and the rest of the democrats are socialists who want the government to take over banks and insurance companies, too.

Careful. Your parody is in danger of crossing the line into truth.
10.11.2008 9:15pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Observer: "worked with New Party members and attended New Party events".

assuming documents genuine, more accurately:
at least received the endorsement of the New Party, appeared to thank New Party for their support and invited them to join his task force on voter education.

seems, if anything, like he is co opting them.

seems like as much of a non-issue as the Palin's flirtations with the AIP.
10.11.2008 9:23pm
Hoosier:
loki13

Hoosier-

No offense, but your last few posts on this subject have lowered my esteem for you.


You had esteem for me? You'd better lay off the lattes, Ringo. They're clouding your judgment.
10.11.2008 9:23pm
jbn (mail):
And I have just unearthed another traitor to add to the list. Apparently some guy, named Taguba wrote

After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes . . .The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

Taguba sound like a Muslim name, too.

No doubt Taguba was trying to spring an October surprise just like his yellow-running dogs comrades Ayers and Obama.

It makes me sick when foreigners like "Taguba" criticize our brave soldiers.
10.11.2008 9:25pm
loki13 (mail):
Hoosier,

As I wrote, I did. But my estimation has dropped not because of what you believe, but rather because of how you are now treating those who disagree with you. That opinion, and five bucks, will get you a latte at Starbucks.

The general tenor of conversations here is why I have been avoiding posting recently. Although I am looking forward to officially kicking off The Ace after the election.
10.11.2008 9:29pm
Hoosier:
jbn--Your Swift impression needs work. But thanks for listing Ayers and Obama as a duo. Appreciate the help.
10.11.2008 9:30pm
Hoosier:
loki13: but rather because of how you are now treating those who disagree with you.

Now, now. Be more precise. How I am treating one person. Not "those who disagree with me." And, to use your insightful distinction, not because that one person disagrees with me, but because of how s/he goes about it.

As for your esteem for me: Don't lose sleep over it. I have enough for us both.
10.11.2008 9:36pm
jbn (mail):
Hoosier, if you think anything I have written has anything to do with Jonathan Swift, then I don't think you have ever read him.

And this is not joking matter mister - why are we talking about elections when when we should be talking about treason trial?
10.11.2008 9:44pm
PC:
That America hater Taguba sounds shrill.
10.11.2008 9:51pm
Mac (mail):
jbn wrote:


And this is not joking matter mister - why are we talking about elections when when we should be talking about treason trial?



jbn,

You want to put Obama on trial for treason? I have my doubts about Obama, too, but I do think you are being a bit hasty and perhaps, extreme.
10.11.2008 9:55pm
Tom Perkins (mail):

(1) The first finding covers the actions Palin and her staff took to get Wooten fired. Those were illegal.
perfectly reasonable and legal.


Fixed that for you.


(2) The second finding deals with the firing of Monegan. That was legal.


Unquestionably so. The man was obstreperous with respect to her budget plan and manifestly incompetent in maintaining a staff of troopers who were capable of proper behavior.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.11.2008 10:02pm
jbn (mail):
Mac - well the evidence seems pretty clear to me - he pals around with someone who has bombed the pentagon. The stories I have read said that they attended some cocktail parties together and if we can find video footage of Obama handing Ayers one of those prosciutto-wrapped melon slices, that would be enough to support a charge of offering care and comfort to the enemy, wouldn't it?

We need to do something about this before the election!
10.11.2008 10:03pm
Tom Perkins (mail):
jukeboxgrad, I understand why you can't acknowledge Palin shredded the GOP establishment in her reformist's rise to the governor's office, so they are out to get her--I just hope you don't believe you're making any progress with your spin but digging a hole.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.11.2008 10:06pm
Mac (mail):
jbn (mail):

Mac - well the evidence seems pretty clear to me - he pals around with someone who has bombed the pentagon.



Glad you see it. Of course, you left out quite a bit of the association, but I assume you were going for brevity.
10.11.2008 10:09pm
jbn (mail):
Tom Perkins is absolutely right. We need to just let Palin be Palin. I am sure if America heard more of here straight-talk and refromist ways that they would fall in love with her all over again.
10.11.2008 10:09pm
Grover Gardner (mail):

Didn't Alaska elect a person as Governor from the AIP Party in 1990?


From Wikipedia:


In 1990, Walter Joseph Hickel, a former Republican, won the election for governor as a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, along with Jack Coghill as his running mate. This was the only time since Alaska joined the union that a third-party candidate has been elected governor. However, Hickel never agreed with the party's call for a vote on secession, leading to demands from party diehards that he be recalled. He rejoined the Republican Party in 1994, with eight months remaining in his term.


And...


Amazing, the AIP is a scary Party full of nut jobs.


I don't know what you call this guy, but "nut job" wouldn't be too far off.
10.11.2008 10:11pm
jbn (mail):

Glad you see it. Of course, you left out quite a bit of the association, but I assume you were going for brevity.

This sentence doesn't really translate into English very well so you might want to try again.

We need straight talk, not this garbled mish-mash.
10.11.2008 10:12pm
Dave N (mail):
I actually read the report--at least the part through page 100 or so when I realize the report is repeating itself. Very thin gruel. And the guy that wrote this is a professional prosecutor?

I was expecting at least one person to actually say to Monegan--"The Governor wants Wooten fired and if you don't, you will be fired." Just one person saying that. Now that would have been damning.

Instead, according to the chronology the last time anyone in the Palin Administration hinted to anyone that they were upset about Monegan and in context, it looks like frustration on the Palins' part--not any kind of directive.

Then because she is so upset, she waits almost four months before firing Monegan.
10.11.2008 10:16pm
Dave N (mail):
Preview is your friend

The second to last paragraph of my post should read:

Instead, according to the chronology the last time anyone in the Palin Administration hinted to anyone that they were upset about Monegan was at the end of February and in context, it looks like frustration on the Palins' part--not any kind of directive.
10.11.2008 10:19pm
PC:
I don't know what you call this guy, but "nut job" wouldn't be too far off.

"The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. And I won't be buried under their damn flag. I'll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home."

My friends, that's some patriotic, straight talk we can believe in.
10.11.2008 10:26pm
Tom Perkins (mail):
@ jbn

Can't actually refute the point, can you?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.11.2008 10:31pm
loki13 (mail):
Tom Perkins,

I will answer the question for jbn.

Your point has been refuted clearly many times above in the thread. If you choose not to believe the refutation, that is up to you.

However, engaging with you is never productive. FWIW, your strikethrough 'fixed it' was really clever- in 1999. Now it's just obnoxious, and says more about the person using it than it does about any substantive point.
10.11.2008 10:56pm
Mac (mail):

"The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. And I won't be buried under their damn flag. I'll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home."



PC,

Sounds like this guy and Ayers and Wright and Farakhan and Phlegger should get together. They have a lot in common about their ideas of America except this guy doesn't seem to throw in a hatred of Jews as well. Also, this guy has no relationship with Palin, unlike the others who have a close and 20 plus year relationship with Obama.
10.11.2008 11:09pm
jbn (mail):

@ jbn

Can't actually refute the point, can you?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp

Refute what?

Yours, JBN, mofo, bdass, and xyzpd.
10.11.2008 11:10pm
jbn (mail):
Mac, I was with you there are first, but the thing that you got to understand is that sometimes the most patriotic thing a person can do to show his love of country is to argue for secession. What better way to show how much you love America, then by leaving it?

Yours, JBN, mofo, bdass, &xyzpd.
10.11.2008 11:13pm
Mac (mail):
Grover,

Thanks for the information. I appreciate it.


Loki13,

I like you and your effort to be reasonable and civil, but i don't think Tom's point has been refuted.

Actually, according to the news this pm, the whole troopergate thing is over. Dead on Arrival.

I can't believe you really think it was anything more than a tempest in a teapot anyway, did you?


Tom Perkins,

Well, I think you are clever and I enjoy your posts, especially the strike through. Guess there is no accounting for taste, eh?
10.11.2008 11:16pm
Mac (mail):

What better way to show how much you love America, then by leaving it?


jbn,

Got me there. Are you thinking of taking your own advice?
10.11.2008 11:18pm
Tom Perkins (mail):

Your point has been refuted clearly many times above in the thread. If you choose not to believe the refutation, that is up to you.


It hasn't been refuted once. Pointing out there are R's in the majority on the panel does not show those legislators are allies or can be presumed to be friendly or even disinterested in attempting to embarass Palin. Also, there has been nothing which even pretends to be a refutaion of the fact Palin rose to power while promising and delivering the turning out of corrupt officials.


Refute what?


The point that in this case, the fact that R's are in the majority says nothing towards legitimizing the report. The report is self-contradictory hogwash, which contains nothing embarassing about Palin.

It is propaganda of the most vacuous sort.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp

PS. Loki, get a real sig.
10.11.2008 11:21pm
jbn (mail):

Sounds like this guy and Ayers and Wright and Farakhan and Phlegger should get together. . . . Also, this guy has no relationship with Palin, unlike the others who have a close and 20 plus year relationship with Obama.

Exactly right, I know that Palin's husband was a member of that party until 2002 and that Palin spoke numerous times at the AIP's convention and even credited AIP with helping her to get elected but that's not really a relationship at all.

Now the whole Ayers and Obama thing really gets my blood boiling. Obama has actually been to his house!!! Right in his house! Who knows what went on there? And just because this Ayers guy is a tenured professor at a public university, that does not mean that he is not a domestic terrorist!

Most disturbing of all is the fact that Obama and Ayers served on some committee that was funded by Annenberg and also had a couple of bank presidents and CEOs. That sort of get together smells like trilateralists!

The best thing that we can do between now and election day is to go and shout from the rooftops and inform AMERICA about the dangers that electing this muslim traitor Barack HUSSEIN Obama. People need to know the TRUTH!!!
10.11.2008 11:24pm
Tom Perkins (mail):

What better way to show how much you love America, then by leaving it?


Could you and your ilk please lead by example?

Before my child ends up having to pay into the Socialist Insecurity ponzi scheme?

Please?!


Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.11.2008 11:26pm
Tom Perkins (mail):
Thanks Mac. TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.11.2008 11:30pm
jbn (mail):

The point that in this case, the fact that R's are in the majority says nothing towards legitimizing the report. The report is self-contradictory hogwash, which contains nothing embarassing about Palin.

It is propaganda of the most vacuous sort.

I agree with you 110%. This is the worst sort of agitprop nonsense just designed to scare up hatred of Gov. Sarah Palin.

If anything the report demonstrates what a great leader Palin is. I just don't understand why the McCain lawyers up in Alaska had filed those lawsuits to try and prevent the release of this report. It is GOOD news.

McCain just needs to let Palin be Palin. America loves her. I don't think I can say it any better than Rich Lowry did over at NRO:


And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America.



Yours, JBN, mofo, bdass, &xyzpd.
10.11.2008 11:30pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"In 2005, there was never any allegation that Wooten threatened violence against the "family."

Lucky for Wooten the family didn't belong to a historically disenfranchised group.
10.11.2008 11:34pm
jbn (mail):

Could you and your ilk please lead by example?

Before my child ends up having to pay into the Socialist Insecurity ponzi scheme?

Please?!

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp

I am with you 110% on the issues.

It is time for Patriots to act. We need to do everything possible to keep people like Barack HUSSEIN Obama from achieving power because he is just one of those tax and spend democrats who doesn't care about running up huge deficits.

Yours, JBN, mofo, bdass, &xyzpd.
10.11.2008 11:36pm
Tom Perkins (mail):
jbn, I have to tell you I really appreciate how your posts have become vapid blather. I makes keeping score easy.

Yours, TDP,
molon labe
montani semper liberi &
para fides paterna patri
10.11.2008 11:49pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.
10.11.2008 11:56pm
Tom Perkins (mail):
I /= It TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.11.2008 11:56pm
Mac (mail):

We need to do everything possible to keep people like Barack HUSSEIN Obama from achieving power because he is just one of those tax and spend democrats who doesn't care about running up huge deficits.


jbn,

Well, exactly what and when has Obama expressed any concern about running up the deficit? And, he does want to raise taxes. What is your point?



Before my child ends up having to pay into the Socialist Insecurity ponzi scheme?

Please?!


Yeah, Tom, that is what bites, isn't it? I don't think I would give a flying fig except for my children and grandchild. I would hunker down and let the fools try to rearrange the economy and history while they are at it. I

f they can't see that the whole idea of "fairness" as in "It's not fair that poor people can't buy homes" got us into this mess then they are welcome to keep trying to arrange the world from the top down.

The answer to poor people being able to buy homes is education, but the Democratic Party is owned by the Teacher's Union and it's to hell with really educating the kids. So, since you can't get them educated and good jobs, just give them loans to buy houses they can't afford. Sure did them a lot of good, didn't it? That's the real bite. While these idiot politicians are pandering and getting their graft, the poor people, again are the one's who are going to really take a huge hit. Although, it's getting pretty huge for everyone, now. Hope the Democrat's are happy. Hope Schummer and Dodd and Franks enjoyed their low interest mortgages. They should be thrown in jail.

Speaking of education, how much did Obama and Ayers raise the test scores of the Chicago kids with those millions of dollars? I'll tell you, zero, nada. They were too busy indoctrinating them to be good little radicals to teach them anything. The poor saps.

It's kind of like affirmative action in law school. It was at one of the schools in Calif. where the minority students were coming out deep in debt, but unable to pass the Bar. Aren't Liberals kind? Doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that Liberals feel good about themselves. Whether they do any good is irrelevant.

I heard that Raines has been under investigation since 2004 re cooking the books at Fannie. How is that going to work if he is Obama's economic advisor? Hedge funds need regulating. Can you imagine Obama doing that when Soros is heavily into hedge funds? Well, that is putting it mildly, Soros is hedge funds.

Also, just heard that Resko is singing. It appears he is giving them an earful about the Illinois Governor. Corrupt as hell, like all the other Chicago politicians, it seems.
10.11.2008 11:59pm
jbn (mail):

jbn, I have to tell you I really appreciate how your posts have become vapid blather. I makes keeping score easy.

Well you lost me there Tom. It seems kind of like you just want to trade insults. If so, why don't you go skullfuck your kid?

If you want to get back to discussing the dangers that Barack HUSSEIN Obama presents to our fragile democracy, I'm up for that.


Yours, JBN, mofo, bdass, &xyzpd.
10.12.2008 12:00am
Tom Perkins (mail):
Johnny Canuck, TANSTAAFL.

And lately a rereading of the Gods of the Copybook Headings has been in order.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.12.2008 12:00am
jbn (mail):

Well, exactly what and when has Obama expressed any concern about running up the deficit? And, he does want to raise taxes.

Exactly my point. He is just another one of those tax and spend democrats that is going to make a mess of the economy.

His vote the other day for that pork-laden 700B bailout was an act of treason in my opinion. Anyone who voted for that is not fit to serve as president of the United States.

Yours, JBN, mofo, bdass, &xyzpd.
10.12.2008 12:03am
Mac (mail):
jbn

Your last post is disgusting and a clear indication you have lost the argument.

Why don't you go over to the Kos where such language and sentiments are considered normal and civil, please?

There is no place here for that language or expressions.
10.12.2008 12:04am
Mac (mail):
Correction, second to last post.


10.12.2008 12:05am
jbn (mail):

Your last post is disgusting and a clear indication you have lost the argument.

Why don't you go over to the Kos where such language and sentiments are considered normal and civil, please?

There is no place here for that language or expressions.

The argument I am making is that Barack HUSSEIN Obama spends his time running around with domestic terrorists and that he is going to make a mess of the economy and the only way that I can lose that argument is if you blind yourself to the TRUTH!

As for the language, you may want to scroll up a bit and look at TDPs posts. He made a few insults towards me when I had not said a cross word towards him. So if you feel the need to act as civility hall monitor, why don't you go and take him out the woodshed? I mean, I'm not the sort of cowardly little pissant that tries to pussify my insults. If I got somehting to say, I say it, like a MAN.

Yours, JBN, mofo, bdass, &xyzpd.
10.12.2008 12:10am
PC:
"It's not fair that poor people can't buy homes" got us into this mess

This is just going to continue as one of those zombie lies that the right wants to turn into "common knowledge," isn't it?

Private sector loans, not Fannie or Freddie, triggered crisis

Subprime lending offered high-cost loans to the weakest borrowers during the housing boom that lasted from 2001 to 2007. Subprime lending was at its height vrom 2004 to 2006.

Federal Reserve Board data show that:

_ More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions.

_ Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year.

_ Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that's being lambasted by conservative critics.

The "turmoil in financial markets clearly was triggered by a dramatic weakening of underwriting standards for U.S. subprime mortgages, beginning in late 2004 and extending into 2007," the President's Working Group on Financial Markets reported Friday.


I know, I know. Numbers have a liberal bias.
10.12.2008 12:11am
Tom Perkins (mail):
Mr. Adler, I ask that jbn's post of 10.11.2008 11:00pm remain unchanged so the worth of his arguments is clear to any looking it up. It really the worst that can be done to him, and frankly, I'm of a mood to see it.

Thank you, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.12.2008 12:17am
PC:
It is comforting to see more mainstream conservatives hopping on the "Wake Up Sheeple!" train. Glenn Beck talking about the New World Order.
10.12.2008 12:23am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

you left out that the Grimes letter stated that the Lanes liked Wooten, which would seem to be a relevant piece of information


Sorry, but I don't see how that's relevant or credible. Of course they're going to say they "liked Wooten." They need to explain why they were silent about the incident until Molly filed for divorce. Then they magically recovered the memory of something that had happened almost a year earlier. Pay attention to how close these people are with Palin's father: "Adrian Lane was a student of Chuck Heath's in Idaho when he was a child and they have been close friends ever since."

In the letter to Wooten, Grimes cited two specific issues in regards to Wooten consuming alcohol … Grimes cited two separate incidents, not (as you assert) "with regard to one incident: carrying a beer can into his car".


You're either very confused, or you have a very peculiar notion of the word "incident." And it's a notion that doesn't correspond with Grimes' understanding of that word. Why don't you start by taking another look at her letter. On the first page, you can see the following words, in bold:

Use of Alcohol (one incident)


If you're trying to tell us that two beers were mentioned, that's true. But that doesn't make it "two separate incidents." You are falsely claiming that "Grimes cited two separate incidents." She didn't. How do I know? One very large clue is her language: "one incident."

This one incident is described in two places: Grimes suspension letter, and Wall's Memorandum of Findings. In both accounts, what we understand is that Wooten was at their house, and he had a beer. And then he opened another beer, and got in the car and drove about a mile to his house. The witnesses did not claim they actually saw him drinking inside the car. The witnesses did not claim he was intoxicated.

Please notice something about the first beer. Do we know the amount of time that elapsed between the time he consumed it, and the time he got in his car? Or the amount of time he spent consuming it? No. Therefore it's not very relevant. There's nothing wrong with having a beer, and then driving, provided enough time has elapsed. We don't know how much time elapsed, so we're not in a position to claim that there was something improper about the first beer. That's why I'm treating that first beer as immaterial.

By the way, have you seen Wooten? He's huge. One or even two beers would probably have a minimal effect on his BAC. A BAC calculator can be found here. If he had two beers over a period of an hour, and he weighed 160 lbs, his BAC would be .02. That's negligible. The legal limit is .08. If he weighed 240 lbs, his BAC would be .01. That's the lowest reading this calculator can display.

And keep in mind that the witnesses didn't say he drank two beers and got into the car. They said he drank one beer and got into the car. He could have consumed the second beer during the first 1/4 mile, or he could have saved the second beer for after he got home. We don't know.

All these factors are probably why the original Memorandum of Findings treated this allegation as "Not Sustained."

By the way, I'm not saying it's proper to drive with an open container. It's not. I'm just saying it's a good idea to describe facts accurately. People like Power Line are making hysterical claims about how he "had quite a drinking problem." Those claims are unsubstantiated.
10.12.2008 12:25am
Tom Perkins (mail):
jbn, I made no insults. I made a point which you have not refuted.

Then you made sarcastic, dismissive, off-topic, and ineffective posts in reply.

You can make a counterargument if you can, you can make an A$$ of yourself more thoroughly--clearly you're up to it--or you can obey the first rule of holes and quit digging.

Maybe you can think up something else.

I don't care which.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.12.2008 12:25am
Mac (mail):
jbn,

Tom did not cuss nor refer to your child with a vulgar expression. You are disgusting. Go over to Kos. Just because Tom tweaked you, he kept it at a level that was appropriate and decent. You did not. You owe him an apology and you need to grow up. "He did it fiiirrrssst" does nothing to suggest you are in any way an adult. Pointing to others bad behavior does not justify your own, anyway, even if you are right, which you are not.

PC,

What do you think they did with all those sub prime loans? They sold them to Freddie and Fannie who were veery happy to get them so "poor people could by homes". Who do you think relaxed the lending rules? Franks, Dodd et al.

Who fought regulation and tightening? Ditto. Bush pushed for this since 02 and got nowhere. Clinton has complained that he tried to tighten regulation of Freddie and Fanny and was blocked by, you got it, Barney Franks and the Democrats. Ditto, McCain's bill in 05, although the Reblicans could have been more helpful as well. It was known in what, 03 that FM/FM was cooking the books. This whole thing rested on banks lowering lending requirements to "help" poor people and because they were intimidated by accusations of red lining. Of course, with FM/FM there to pick up the stinking loans, it made it a lot more palatable. So, taxpayers got stuck. If you don't understand the problem and it's cause, you will be doomed to repeat it. Just as they should take a hard look at the Great Depression. If they make the same mistakes FDR made and the same power grabs this could last until 2033 or longer if we get a repeat of the 193-'s.
10.12.2008 12:31am
Tom Perkins (mail):
jukeboxgrad, you are claiming that drinking and then driving state property is no big deal. It should be a firing offense on the first offense unless it is an entirely singular blemish on an otherwise clear record, and then mandatory suspension and counseling is in order. Wooten's record is not otherwise clear, and far from it.

He should be gone.

Monhegan's failure to make him so is an indictment of his leadership, and his insubordination WRT to Palin's budget plans is certainly itself grounds for his reassignment at the least. He was never fired.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.12.2008 12:33am
Mac (mail):
1930's
10.12.2008 12:33am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

you're wrong


You're still trying to claim that "this is NOT the 'Alaska legislature's report.' " You should take up your complaint with the ignorant moonbats at WSJ, who have labeled their link for the report as follows:

Read the full report from the Alaska State Legislature


Then you need to talk to the ignorant moonbats at the Washington Times, who started their article as follows:

Seeking to pre-empt a potentially damaging report from the Alaska State Legislature …


But you're not done yet, because you should also talk to that prominent leftist James Joyner:

The Republican-dominated Alaska legislature released its Troopergate investigation results last night


Even that poor deluded crew at Fox News can't get it straight:

The January 2007 meeting was part of a long pattern of pressure that she and her husband applied on state officials to try to get the trooper fired, according to an Alaska legislative report released Friday.


You've got your work cut out for you.
10.12.2008 12:41am
David Warner:
"Are commenters on VC really making fun of other commenters for demanding proof?"

To refute a presumption of guilt? Absolutely. Care to join in?

MarkField,

"Will no one rid me of that meddlesome priest?!"

And yet Wooten lives. Employed in the same capacity, no less. Will the reign of Palin terror never cease?

Are you entirely sure you want to be on the not-so-thin blue line side of this one? Did you see the convention protests? Are you aware of the relative approval of police/military and our elected representatives? Does this bode well?

Juke,

I'm glad you found someone worth defending. The body politic is flooded with white blood cells already. The reds could use your energy and focus.
10.12.2008 12:44am
PC:
"Between 2004 and 2006, when subprime lending was exploding, Fannie and Freddie went from holding a high of 48 percent of the subprime loans that were sold into the secondary market to holding about 24 percent"

"During those same explosive three years, private investment banks — not Fannie and Freddie — dominated the mortgage loans that were packaged and sold into the secondary mortgage market. In 2005 and 2006, the private sector securitized almost two thirds of all U.S. mortgages, supplanting Fannie and Freddie"

"In a book on the sub-prime lending collapse published in June 2007, the late Federal Reserve Governor Ed Gramlich wrote that only one-third of all CRA loans had interest rates high enough to be considered sub-prime and that to the pleasant surprise of commercial banks there were low default rates. Banks that participated in CRA lending had found, he wrote, "that this new lending is good business.""

------

Seriously Mac, go read the article.

Besides what's presented in the article, CRA loans accounted for 23% of the subprime loans. CRA loans were also 50% more likely to be held by the originating bank, meaning they weren't bundled and shuffled out into the secondary market.

Yes, Fannie and Freddie were a moral hazard. No, you can't blame poor people for this mess.
10.12.2008 12:47am
David Warner:
Loki13,

Your scenario is a compelling one. As is this one. I'm able to put both into perspective and still support both candidates (I even have some sympathy for Ayers' Annenberg efforts). Are you?

BTW, both involve taking on powerful unions who do not always act in the public interest, to put it mildly...
10.12.2008 12:50am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

As to your comment that Branchflower DIDN'T say he was out to get Palin--Where's your EVIDENCE? Where's your PROOF that he didn't? You said I was wrong. But you have NO PROOF AT ALL that he didn't say so.


It's not just that he "DIDN'T say he was out to get Palin." It's that he didn't say "October surprise." Those are the words you ignorantly put in his mouth.

But let's put that aside, and play the game you're suggesting. It sounds like fun. Did you hear what McCain said? He admitted that for years he regularly rapes nuns and tortures puppies. What? You say he didn't say that? Where's your EVIDENCE? Where's your PROOF that he didn't? You have NO PROOF AT ALL that he didn't say so.

Anyway, it's nice to see you continuing your practice of inventing facts, and then refusing to take responsibility for doing so. Branchflower didn't say what you claimed he said, and Timberg didn't write what you claimed he wrote.

The scary part is that you teach history. Have you ever considered switching to fiction?
10.12.2008 12:51am
jbn (mail):

jbn, I made no insults.

Actually you made some pussified insults, talking about "ilk" how my post had become "vapid blather." Maybe that's how your mom talked to you when you were growing up so you don't actually think it is an insult or something. But that's not my way. I am all about the straight talk.


I made a point which you have not refuted.

That's because I agreed with it 110%.

You can make a counterargument if you can, you can make an A$$ of yourself more thoroughly

You see, tdp, right there, that is an insult. Or, I should say, that's the way some limp dicked keyboard warrior tries to make an insult.

So why don't we get back to the subject matter and talk about what a danger Barack HUSSEIN Obama presents to our Republic?

Yours, JBN, mofo, bdass, &xyzpd.
10.12.2008 12:52am
Jim at FSU (mail):
PC, private lenders only made those loans because they could then resell them to Fannie and Freddie priced as if they had been lent to individuals who could repay them and secured with a properly priced piece of real estate.

Additionally, private lenders had to relax their standards because of the leverage that the CRA gave the government and citizens groups (read ACORN) over banks that were restructuring or expanding. If the government felt they weren't making enough loans to poor people (especially minorities) the banks had their merger or expansion plans frozen indefinitely and could be subject to fines.

When Freddie and Fannie bought those loans, they packaged them up sold them to investors. Of course, they hid the true riskiness of the loans and this deceitful valuation trickled out into other areas like the Credit Default Swap market where again, people assumed the loans and the mortgage backed securities were (as Fannie and Freddie told them) completely safe. As a result, no one bothered to hold on to enough money to cover the CDSes when everything failed.

Add in the Sarbanes-Oxley mark to market rule and it was pretty much inevitable.

Lack of regulation my ass. This mess was caused by regulation- bad regulation. The solution is not to apply more, but to get rid of the bad stuff.
10.12.2008 12:57am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
stash:

the report recommends that some avenue for private persons complaining of trooper's actions to monitor and be informed of disciplinary actions be established … the Palins, like every other citizen of Alaska, has no existing formal method to inquire about and follow-up on a complaint about the conduct of a trooper


I'm not sure, but it seems possible that you've been suckered by Palin's claim that she never knew that Wooten had been disciplined. That claim is false. For details, take a look at the wiki article.

Indeed, the inquiry remains confidential and shielded from public view and criticism.


By "inquiry," you mean the investigation of Wooten, in 2005/2006. Your statement is incorrect. In 7/08, Wooten released documentation of that investigation. Many of the statements I'm making are based on those documents. Like police interviews of Sarah and her relatives.

But even before Wooten released those documents, Palin knew that he had been disciplined.
10.12.2008 1:01am
PC:
:sigh: Too late. The lie has reached zombie status and it's biting other lies (like ACORN) along the way. Now is it not only Fannie and Freddie's fault, apparently ACORN infiltrated Moody's, Fitch and S&P and forced them to up rate the CDOs.

Limbaugh has been working overtime on this one, hasn't he?
10.12.2008 1:03am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
observer:

[Obama] attended New Party events


One of the Power Line posts you cited makes that claim. However, I can't locate where they present even a shred of evidence to support that claim. Can you?
10.12.2008 1:07am
PC:
Let me make an addition to this new zombie lie: George Soros is the cause of negative savings rates in the US.
10.12.2008 1:09am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mac:

She had every right to fire the guy and the whole thing would not even have happened if she had not been picked as McCain's VP.


I think someone else already corrected you. But in your usual style you seem to be ignoring the correction, so I'm going to correct you again.

Palin fired Monegan on 7/11. On 7/28, the Legislative Council (8 Rs and 4 Ds) voted unanimously to investigate her. McCain picked Palin on 8/29.

Maybe you should explain what you mean by "the whole thing."
10.12.2008 1:15am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mac:

But you point out really bad people that Obama has … gotten earmarks for


I think you're regurgitating GOP Talking Point #89923487, that Obama obtained earmarks for his wife's employer. Trouble is, he didn't. That earmark was never approved.

Another important fact you may not know: also on Obama's list were earmarks for about eight other Chicago hospitals. And most of those other earmarks were larger.

If he really wanted to help his wife's career, he wouldn't be doing so much to support the institutions that compete with her employer. The facts show that he was advocating for health care in general, and not for one hospital.

Also, you might want to explain why you think that the folks running hospitals in Chicago are "really bad people."

When you mention anything, no matter how factual, you get ridiculed just as PC has done.


No. You get ridiculed when you make shit up.
10.12.2008 1:21am
Stash:
Palin's acts may have been morally excusable or even justified, but they were still an illegal exercise of her power under the statute. This can be seen simply by removing all the extraneous facts. If the Palins and the staff had engaged in the same behavior simply because they wanted to get the former in-law fired, absent any misconduct on his part, it would clearly violate the statute. Or think if pre-divorce, the Palins were "frustrated" that the brother-in-law was being wrongly disciplined, and brought in stacks of exculpatory evidence to reverse the decision.

But adding the (alleged) misconduct back in doesn't change the fact that pressure was brought bear that should not have been exercised. The pressure may have been to do a good thing, but it was still a violation. If you "fix" a traffic ticket, it doesn't matter that you weren't guilty of the infraction and should never have been given it the first place. You broke the law despite your justified moral outrage at the unjust citation.

No fair reading of the evidence can lead to any conclusion except that pressure was brought to bear. The meetings, phone calls and emails were not just idle expressions of frustration. Further, no employee, who could be fired at will, would take his employer's specially and repeatedly communicated "frustration" that something had not been done within his purview, as anything else than pressure to do it.

If the characters in this little drama were Able, Baker and Charlie instead of the named players, there would be no disagreement on this issue. And those who answered "facially ridiculous to even suggest an issue" would flunk the exam.

That doesn't answer the question whether Palin should be deemed "unethical" or blameworthy. The public ended up not blaming Clinton for lying about Lewinsky, and I think there is a far, far, far, far (add a couple hundred more fars) better reason not to blame Palin in this case. And I do not think they will or should (unless it comes out that the charges against Wooten were trumped up and false). From a political standpoint, I think this is non-issue and in that sense is "thin gruel." But the finding, and the report, from a legal standpoint, seem to me to be right on. If it was a political hit job, it was a poor one. This leads me to believe it was not. I see no unreasonable legal stretches in this report. I will be interested to see how members of VC analyze the issue.
10.12.2008 1:22am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
guest:

the only voice you allow is yours


You mean I can prevent people like you from posting here? Really? I had no idea. Where's the secret button I need to push?

The amazing thing is that you post rant after rant over on your blog at Kos


The amazing thing is that I've posted this many diaries there, in the last 12 months: one. Haven't I told you a trillion times to stop exaggerating?

That fact that practically no one reads you at Kos


Several of my diaries there have achieved front-page status, which is something that about 1% of diarists manage to accomplish. I'll have to settle for that.

Anyway, could you please point out something I've said that's incorrect? Please? Pretty please? One itsy-bitsy little thing? What if I ask really, really politely?
10.12.2008 1:29am
M:
jbn: "I'm not the sort of cowardly little pissant that tries to pussify my insults."

Are you implying women are cowardly little pissants? Careful. There are still some pissed off Hill supporters who will wear your balls as earrings for that sort of language.
10.12.2008 1:31am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

Notice that jukebox runs for the hills when his own "standards" are applied to his posts?


Really? "Runs for the hills?" You said that exactly 69 minutes after I had posted a comment. I take a break for barely an hour and you call that "runs for the hills." Gosh, that's funny. Meanwhile, roughly this many minutes have elapsed since I pointed out your phony claim about Timberg's book: 66,000. Now that's what I call "runs for the hills."
10.12.2008 1:36am
M:
jbn: "Actually you made some pussified insults, talking about "ilk" how my post had become "vapid blather." Maybe that's how your mom talked to you when you were growing up so you don't actually think it is an insult or something. But that's not my way. I am all about the straight talk." . . .
"Or, I should say, that's the way some limp dicked keyboard warrior tries to make an insult."

My my. Someone has some issues with women, mommy, and the equipment.
10.12.2008 1:37am
Mac (mail):
Jim at FSU,

Thank you Jim. Yurs is an excellent and accurate explanation. Of course, PC and others won't listen, but that is exactly what happened. I have a little money in some FM/FM stuff. I am very conservative as an investor. I was really shocked to find out that the AAA stuff I thought I was buying may have been BBB- junk bond stuff repackaged as AAA. I am waiting to see if I've got junk or something decent.

PC, I am really ticked that I and millions of others could have gotten hoodwinked in this manner. One thought one could trust the government when it came to financial instruments. I don't appreciate the possibility that I was had.



In a book on the sub-prime lending collapse published in June 2007, the late Federal Reserve Governor Ed Gramlich wrote that only one-third of all CRA loans had interest rates high enough to be considered sub-prime and that to the pleasant surprise of commercial banks there were low default rates. Banks that participated in CRA lending had found, he wrote, "that this new lending is good business.""


OK, PC. You are quoting this article as accurate. Uh, doesn't this statement alone tell you how inaccurate this is?



The ratings agencies did fail. An article in the WSJ this past week which was identifying the sequence of events and who was at fault, also mentioned the LAWYERS, gasp! There are going to be some lawyers in big trouble for writing the prospectus so poorly that this important information was buried in p. 47 somewhere. I hope they get their behinds sued.

I further hope some politicians as well as money men go straight to jail and ACORN needs to be there with them. However, I don't see Franks, Dodd and Schummer behind bars even though, of all people they belong there.
10.12.2008 1:37am
Mac (mail):

Several of my diaries there have achieved front-page status, which is something that about 1% of diarists manage to accomplish. I'll have to settle for that
says JBG.

You just confirmed everything I always thought about the Kos.
10.12.2008 1:40am
Mac (mail):
Yurs. Yikes. I am going to bed. Yurs. Can't believe I did that. Sorry. Goodnight.
10.12.2008 1:41am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mac:

So he posts at the Daily Kos and is upset at how Republicans treat Obama? Wasn't that the same outfit that was happy Tony Snow had cancer? They must be ecstatic now that he is dead. Also, the group that was hoping Cheney would have a heart attack?


Kos is the busiest blog in the world. It has daily traffic of about 500,000 visits. It hosts millions of comments. If you try hard enough, you can probably find a comment saying anything about anything. And if you can't, you can register and post the comment yourself. So making sweeping claims based on cherry-picked (or planted) comments is pretty silly.

Then again, you might prefer a place like Power Line forum, where Holocaust denialists are welcomed as longstanding members of the community.
10.12.2008 1:48am
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Juke:
Re New Party. The links Observer listed show Obama meeting with New Party reps, if picture authentic, then this probably counts as an event. The accompanying article mentions Obama invited them to join his task force on voter education (i.e. seems, if anything, like Obama is co opting them. I think these are "the events".
10.12.2008 1:52am
Psalm91 (mail):
Tom Perkins:

Do you know without a Google search where the term TANSTAAFL originated and why it applies only in that context?

Fat Tony:

"RPT: I'm not complaining about lack of evidence, just observing that it seems to be lacking. As promised, I'll look into it. Chill."

The time to develop and present exculpatory evidence is before the case is closed and the report drafted. The McCain-Palin decision to refrain from producing documents and testimony warrants a presumption that the withheld documents and testimony would be adverse o their position. Sorry for talking like a lawyer.
10.12.2008 2:02am
loki13 (mail):
David Warner,

Breezed by and saw your post. As I wrote above, I view it from the lens of someone who summered in a family court. I think what Palin did was wrong and was a lapse in judgment, but it would not (nor should it) keep me from voting for McCain/Palin ticket if I was so inclined. I am very tired of the whole 'gotcha' politics and the associations game. But as I remarked before, I have lost the respect I once had for McCain. I live in a major battleground state. I see both campaigns' ads constantly. I can say this::

It seems that every Obama ad is a positive one (go see my economic plan, I'd like to talk to you about the economy etc.). Conversely, I cannot remember the last time I saw a positive McCain ad. In all seriousness, other than the tag line (I am John McCain, and I approve this message), it's almost like he's not running. It's just Obama vs. Evil Caricature of Obama. While writing this, I was trying to remember, seriously remember, the last positive McCain ad I saw, and I can't. I don't even know if they exist. Then again, I only watch sports and noggin (kids- yo gabba gabba, DJ Lance). Since there aren't any commercials on noggin, I have to figure McCain hass ceded the sports market to Obama and is only contesting, um, Lifetime? Oxygen? Logo, perhaps?
10.12.2008 2:18am
loki13 (mail):
Mac,

Jim at FSU is full of it, and by it I mean a generally incoherent understanding of what happened. If you really want to know how this mess has unfolded, try to read and understand what PC wrote and linked to, or do some independent research (go to economics sites, for example, not political ones, and read what the economists say, not random anonymous posters from a third-rate party college with a fourth-rate football team).

But before you begin your exploration of the fun that is the TED spread, or the CDS market, or tranching of CDOs, just use a little common sense. Would a provision that changes how mortgages are given to poor people crater the entire financial industry? Really? Is that why all those high-end condos in South Beach aren't being sold? And the Lehman Brothers backed developments in the Mojave desert that are just a two hour commute (without traffic) to LA that remain strangely forlorn? Was there anything in the CRA that caused mortgage originators to accept liar loans, or would even incentivize them to? Why are the institutions that are in the most trouble the institutions that weren't even affected by the CRA? Sometimes, you can just start by thinking critically about an issue. But seriously, read up a little before you keep repeating this.
10.12.2008 2:28am
Borealis (mail):

If a newly elected Governor had personal knowledge about a State Trooper, what should she do?

She is responsible for the State Troopers, and the press would certainly roast her if she didn't do something and the bad trooper did something newsworthy later. On the other hand, trying to do something based upon personal knowledge does run the risk of looking like a grudge.

Kind of a Catch 22.....
10.12.2008 2:41am
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Borealis:
the point is the disciplinary process was complete by the time Palin became governor. She provided no new knowledge. Punishment had been handed down.
No catch 22.
10.12.2008 3:07am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
senator:

They key is not to read his comments (and others like him). They aren't arguing honestly


Could you please point out something I've said that's incorrect or dishonest? Please? Pretty please? One itsy-bitsy little thing? What if I ask really, really politely?
10.12.2008 4:02am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
loki:

I am looking forward to officially kicking off The Ace after the election.


You and lots of other people, but it won't happen. He's already been banned.
10.12.2008 4:02am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

not because that one person disagrees with me, but because of how s/he goes about it


Here's how I go about it: using facts to show that you've been making things up. No surprise that you don't like this.
10.12.2008 4:02am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
perkins:

Palin shredded the GOP establishment in her reformist's rise to the governor's office, so they are out to get her


I guess she didn't do a very good job of shredding them if they still represent 100% of the GOP lawmakers on the Legislative Council. They're quite alive and well, and voting to investigate her, and voting to release the report. I guess she needs to hurry back home to find out why the folks she shredded don't look at all shredded.

You might want to consider the possibility that these lawmakers are paying attention to what they're hearing from their constituents. Monegan is respected and popular, for good reason.

By the way, maybe you didn't notice that two courts also just ruled against her, including the Alaska Supreme Court. They're also "out to get her," right? After all, who isn't?
10.12.2008 4:03am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dave:

according to the chronology the last time anyone in the Palin Administration hinted to anyone that they were upset about Monegan was at the end of February


Wrong. How could you overlook the very humorous matter of Police Memorial Day?

it looks like frustration on the Palins' part--not any kind of directive


Sure thing. Palin cancelling her appearance at an event because she was upset about seeing Wooten's picture isn't any kind of signal that she wants Monegan to get rid of Wooten.
10.12.2008 4:03am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mac:

They have a lot in common about their ideas of America except this guy doesn't seem to throw in a hatred of Jews as well.


True, I have no idea if Vogler hated Jews. For that connection, we need to turn to the person Palin happily quoted in her RNC speech: "Westbrook Pegler, the mid-century Hearst columnist famous for his anti-Semitism, racism and violent rhetorical excess."

Or we could turn to Palin's witchhunter who talked about "the Israelites" and the "wealth of the wicked." Shortly before he gave her an anti-witch blessing.

according to the news this pm, the whole troopergate thing is over. Dead on Arrival


On what planet can that news be seen? Here on this planet, I haven't seen it. Maybe you mean the news that Obama is leading in VA and NC, and McCain's lead in WV is down to 2.2%. In the last 80 years, the only Ds to win VA and NC are LBJ, FDR and Truman. And those three also took WV, so maybe that's an omen.

I further hope some politicians as well as money men go straight to jail and ACORN needs to be there with them.


Funny that you would put "ACORN" and "jail" in the same sentence again. A while back you said that ACORN "has a lot of it's members in jail for voter fraud." When I challenged you for proof, you ducked. This is your cue to duck again.

There is no place here for that language or expressions.


Naturally. This isn't the kind of place where you would see folks say something like this:

where is your patriotism, asswipe?
10.12.2008 4:03am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Palin has now said that she "very much appreciating [sic] being cleared of any legal wrongdoing or unethical activity at all."

I guess she didn't read the report.
10.12.2008 4:03am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
jbn:

And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America.


Thanks, that's great stuff. I think it's time for a flashback. It was McCain's pal Gordon Liddy who said this (on a show called Hardball, oddly enough):

here comes George Bush ... he's in his flight suit, he's striding across the deck, and he's wearing his parachute harness ... —and I've worn those because I parachute—and it makes the best of his manly characteristic ... run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman's vote in the United States of America ... all those women who say size doesn't count—they're all liars. Check that out ... he's coming across as a -- well, as women would call in on my show saying, what a stud ... and then guy -- they're seeing him out there with his flight suit, and he's -- and they know he's an F-105 fighter jock. I mean it's just great.
10.12.2008 4:03am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
perkins:

you are claiming that drinking and then driving state property is no big deal


I had a drink yesterday. I'm going to be "driving state property" tomorrow. Is that a "big deal?" Obviously not, because there is an interval separating the two events. Tell us what the proper interval is, and then tell us what the interval was in the incident regarding Wooten.

He should be gone. Monhegan's failure to make him so is an indictment of his leadership


The incident was investigated, and discipline was applied, by Monegan's predecessors. He wasn't on the job, at the time. Are you seriously claiming that it would have been proper for Monegan to retroactively apply new discipline, even though there was no new misconduct?

By the way, I notice you haven't bothered trying to explain why it's OK with you that Palin spent the last several months lying about this.
10.12.2008 4:03am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
david:

And yet Wooten lives. Employed in the same capacity, no less.


No thanks to Palin. Wooten still has a job only because Monegan has integrity.
10.12.2008 4:04am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
stash:

unless it comes out that the charges against Wooten were trumped up and false


It's been known for a long time that most of the allegations Palin made against Wooten were "trumped up and false." Look at the list of claims that she made in her email to Grimes (8/10/05), and then compare it with what was summarized in Wall's Memorandum of Findings. And she's still making claims that are "trumped up and false." See the wiki article for a nice list. Example: she repeatedly cites the DVPO as proof that Wooten is violent, even though the DVPO was promptly dissolved because there was no proof of violence. And even though Molly told police that Wooten never abused her.

This is aside from the fact that she's been telling a bunch of lies about the effort to get Wooten fired. Like this one: "no pressure was ever put on anybody to fire anybody."
10.12.2008 4:04am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
johnny:

The links Observer listed show Obama meeting with New Party reps, if picture authentic, then this probably counts as an event


Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place. When I look here, I see a photo of Obama standing next to some people. The caption does not claim or prove that this was a New Party "event." But maybe you're talking about a different photo.
10.12.2008 4:04am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
borealis:

If a newly elected Governor had personal knowledge about a State Trooper, what should she do?


Formally convey everything she knows, in a clean, documented way, and then recuse herself from the matter, trusting her people to do the right thing. Or at least take their word for it when they tell her the case is closed and there is no new misconduct that justifies reopening the case. Like Johnny said.

What Palin did is very, very different. Even before you start to take into account the coverup and stonewalling.

the press would certainly roast her if she didn't do something and the bad trooper did something newsworthy later


As long as she did the "something" I just described, there would be no basis to gripe about her.
10.12.2008 4:04am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
This thread has a nice collection of the fictional statements that are being used to defend Palin, so let's highlight another one:

Democratic state Senator Hollis French, started promising an "October Surprise" and embarrassment for John McCain before one witness had even been deposed


(Emphasis in the original.) French's remark was published on 9/2. As of that date, Branchflower had taken statements from this many witnesses: 11 (see the Branchflower report, p. 2-3). Most of those were sworn statements, of one kind or another. After that time, he took statements from 8 more witnesses. In other words, most of the witnesses had already been heard from, as of the time that French spoke (aside from 7 other witnesses who originally ignored their subpoenas, and then provided statements too late to be included in the report). Ed's claim is quite distant from reality.

Did any of his erudite commenters notice this and speak up? Fat chance. After all, the relevant data is impossible to find unless one actually takes a look at the first 3 pages of the report. Note that Ed starts by making this claim:

I've read through the Troopergate report


Let's also notice that Ed said this:

French further clouded the investigation by interfering with subpoenas, blocking one for a witness to a meeting in which all other attendees had been subpoenaed


That talking point is outrageously bogus. I explained why here.
10.12.2008 5:02am
davod (mail):
"Most disturbing of all is the fact that Obama and Ayers served on some committee that was funded by Annenberg and also had a couple of bank presidents and CEOs. That sort of get together smells like trilateralists!"

Most of the money was directed not to schools, but to community activist organizations.

$150 million dollars and no appreciable change in the education in Chicago schools.

Imagine what Obama could do with the your tax dollars.
10.12.2008 7:24am
Public_Defender (mail):
The real lesson of this report is not that Palin abused her power without violating criminal law. The real lesson is that Palin and McCain will go to great lengths to squash even tempered criticism. That's not the instinct of real democratic (small "d") leaders.

If Palin/McCain would go into a full-out assault that would make Putin or Nixon proud over a report like this, what would they do if they saw something stronger coming their way?

Palin/McCain supporters have a country they can move to with a leader that fits their leadership style--Russia. I guess that's one irony of the post-Cold War world.
10.12.2008 7:48am
David Schwartz (mail):
1. Palin did not fire Monegan solely over his handling of Wooten.

2. Palin could legally fire Monegan without cause.

Putting 1 &2 together, Monegan's firing (or undesirable reassignment) was legally permissable.

But that isn't the end of the story. The report also claims that the state ethics law forbids acting in an offiial capacity for personal benefit broadly construed. The prosecutor is of the position that Palin's acts and omissions in pressuring Monegan to "do something about" Wooten amounted to a use of her official position for purely personal benefit.


This argument is logically inconsistent. If Palin did not fire Monegan solely over his handling of Wooten, then how could her pressure by for purely personal benefit? Was there some other way Monegan's firing personally benefited her, other than Wooten?
10.12.2008 7:52am
Tom Perkins (mail):


That talking point is outrageously bogus. I explained why here.


Except there is nothing there that invalidates the point.

Alaska is run by the Republicans, they are the overwhelmingly dominant party. Sara Palin is a Republican. She ran for governor and lost, and was given a consolation prize by the man she lost to, the governor she later unseated.

The consolation prize she received was a seat on the ethics commission. She resigned when she discovered they weren't terribly concerned with maintaining ethics. She went public with her evidence and as a result these people have been made to resign and /or pay fines (record fines)--Randy Ruedrich and Gregg Renkes. Renkes is a former (Republican) Alaska Attorney General, and Ruedrich was, wait for it, chair of the Republican Party in Alaska.

To do that, she invited the cooperation of Democrat Eric Croft.

These may be unfamiliar to you, jukebox. These are facts.

Then she beat the incumbent Republican, Murkoswki, taking the governor's office.

Yes, Sarah Palin is a clean government reformist. Yes she beat up on the old boy network, the Republican establishment, to get where she is.

There is in fact no finding in this report that any laws were broken by Sarah Palin or by any person associated with her in the matter of the resignation of Monhegan. The first finding nullifies the second finding, which 2nd finding is also suspect in and of itself because it was manifestly to the benefit of the Alaskan public for State Trooper superiors who whitewash behavior by troopers such as Wooten be fired.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.12.2008 8:50am
Jerry F:
jukeboxgrad: "Then again, you might prefer a place like Power Line forum, where Holocaust denialists are welcomed as longstanding members of the community."

What an ironic statement considering that at least one of the three Powerline bloggers is Jewish and all three have consistently been huge supporters of Israel (and have consistently defended Israel against its Leftist critics). It really shouldn't reflect poorly against blog administrators if some regular commentators say occasionally say nutty things, especially if they discuss other topics 95%+ of the time. On the DailyKos, commenters state every single day how they wish that famous conservatives with health issues (e.g., Dick Cheney, Laura Ingraham) would die or suffer horribly. This level of hatred is almost nonexistent on conservative blogs.
10.12.2008 9:51am
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

(in regards to comments concerning the Lanes and Wooten)

Sorry, but I don't see how that's relevant or credible. Of course they're going to say they "liked Wooten." They need to explain why they were silent about the incident until Molly filed for divorce. Then they magically recovered the memory of something that had happened almost a year earlier.

You can offer up explanations on why the Lanes waited as long as they did to report the incident, but Director Grimes conducted an investigation which concluded that Wooten has been drinking alcoholic beverages prior to operating a marked patrol vehicle and drinking alcoholic beverages during the operation of a marked patrol vehicle

You're either very confused, or you have a very peculiar notion of the word "incident." And it's a notion that doesn't correspond with Grimes' understanding of that word. Why don't you start by taking another look at her letter. On the first page, you can see the following words, in bold:

Use of Alcohol (one incident)

If you're trying to tell us that two beers were mentioned, that's true. But that doesn't make it "two separate incidents." You are falsely claiming that "Grimes cited two separate incidents." She didn't. How do I know? One very large clue is her language: "one incident."


LOL, I provided the specific excerpt of the letter from Grimes to Wooten that described two issues:

1) drinking alcoholic beverages prior to operating a marked patrol vehicle;
2) drinking alcoholic beverages during the operation of a marked patrol vehicle

based on two events (drinking alcoholic beverages prior to operating and during the operating of a marked patrol vehicle). And these were ultimately the basis for finding of Use of Alcohol (one incident).

Please note that I was responding to your original post where you incorrectly stated:

"Palin made a bunch of allegations about that, and the original Memorandum of Findings sustained this many: zero. Grimes decided to overturn that, with regard to one incident: carrying a beer can into his car"

and where I then noted that the determination by Grimes was not (as you wrote) "due to carrying a beer can into his car" but for two separate issues noted by Grimes.

Please notice something about the first beer. Do we know the amount of time that elapsed between the time he consumed it, and the time he got in his car? Or the amount of time he spent consuming it? No. Therefore it's not very relevant. There's nothing wrong with having a beer, and then driving, provided enough time has elapsed. We don't know how much time elapsed, so we're not in a position to claim that there was something improper about the first beer. That's why I'm treating that first beer as immaterial.

By the way, have you seen Wooten? He's huge. One or even two beers would probably have a minimal effect on his BAC. A BAC calculator can be found here. If he had two beers over a period of an hour, and he weighed 160 lbs, his BAC would be .02. That's negligible. The legal limit is .08. If he weighed 240 lbs, his BAC would be .01. That's the lowest reading this calculator can display.

And keep in mind that the witnesses didn't say he drank two beers and got into the car. They said he drank one beer and got into the car. He could have consumed the second beer during the first 1/4 mile, or he could have saved the second beer for after he got home. We don't know.


Thank for this explanation, but it's not relevant and not specific enough (e.g. how "huge" is Wooten?). Grimes letter did not discuss any mention of BAC, etc. The Grimes letter concluded that Wooten had been drinking alcoholic beverages prior to operating a marked patrol vehicle and drinking alcoholic beverages during the operation of a marked patrol vehicle and noted:

"The issue of drinking alcoholic beverages (beer) prior to operating, and (emphasis added) then during the operation of a marked patrol vehicle not only exposed the Department to liability, but further demonstrates your lack of judgment and a profound disrespect for the responsibilities of a law enforcement officer."


All these factors are probably why the original Memorandum of Findings treated this allegation as "Not Sustained."

See above.


By the way, I'm not saying it's proper to drive with an open container. It's not. I'm just saying it's a good idea to describe facts accurately. People like Power Line are making hysterical claims about how he "had quite a drinking problem." Those claims are unsubstantiated.

Agreed. Those comments are inaccurate and misleading.

Again, please note jukeboxgrad, if you are going to hold people to a certain standard of posting on VC (which I believe you do), there are going to be some people who hold you to that same standard. It's nothing personal.
10.12.2008 10:04am
loki13 (mail):

On the DailyKos, commenters state every single day how they wish that famous conservatives with health issues (e.g., Dick Cheney, Laura Ingraham) would die or suffer horribly. This level of hatred is almost nonexistent on conservative blogs.


Jerry F.,

I would not condone the outrageous writings of anonymous posters on a 'left-wing' (supports Democrats?) board. But this statement is so divorced from reality that I cannot even muster the perspective to be sarcastic. It effectively satirizes itself.
10.12.2008 10:07am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
davod:

Imagine what Obama could do with the your tax dollars.


Do you think he might do what Bush, McCain and the GOP did? Which is bankrupt us by spending money we don't have on a war we don't need? That's quite a record, and it would be hard to top. Unless we hire the guy who likes to sing songs about bombing Iran.
10.12.2008 11:03am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
schwartz;

If Palin did not fire Monegan solely over his handling of Wooten, then how could her pressure by for purely personal benefit?


There are two problems with your argument. The first is that pressuring Monegan to fire Wooten is a separate matter from firing Monegan. Claiming or proving that the latter act is not "for purely personal benefit" does not indicate anything about the former act. In other words, it's entirely possible that the act of pressuring Monegan to fire Wooten was an act "for purely personal benefit," while the act of firing Monegan was not.

The other problem with your argument has to do with the word "purely," which you emphasized. The person you're responding to used that word, but I think it was incorrect for them to do so. Branchflower did not use that word, and the statute does not use that word. In other words, Branchflower does not need to prove that the pressure to fire Wooten was an act "purely" for Palin's personal benefit. The relevant words from the statute are here:

each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust


The statute does not say 'official action taken purely to benefit a personal interest is a violation of the public trust.' It says, essentially, 'official action taken to benefit a personal interest is a violation of the public trust.' It's common sense to understand that this is a reference to a situation where the personal interest is a substantial factor, or a primary factor. That's different from "purely."
10.12.2008 11:04am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
perkins:

Except there is nothing there that invalidates the point.… she beat up on the old boy network, the Republican establishment, to get where she is


You're behaving just like Palin in the debate. You're completely ignoring the specific issue that was raised, and simply regurgitating your stale talking points.

Let's review. I pointed out that Hot Air was making a fuss about the fact that Tibbles was removed from the witness list. This is a standard GOP talking point, these days Earlier I explained why this talking point is bogus. You have said nothing to address this.

Let's review the question, which you and all your pals have not made even a pretense of answering. How is it possible to construe the decision to not subpoena Tibbles as a partisan act that is unfavorable to Palin? Tibbles is free to testify, whether or not subpoena is issued. Why did he refuse to do so? And this is putting aside the fact that it was Ramras (R) who made the request to remove Tibbles from the list.

she beat up on the old boy network, the Republican establishment, to get where she is


Palin got rid of the old batch of cronies so she could install her own set of cronies. Read the report to get some entertaining insights into how this gang operates. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

it was manifestly to the benefit of the Alaskan public for State Trooper superiors who whitewash behavior by troopers such as Wooten be fired.


Then you should explain why she said this:

No pressure was ever put on anybody to fire anybody.


If Wooten really deserved to fired, as you claim, then there is nothing wrong with the fact that Palin pressured Monegan to fire Wooten. So why did Palin falsely claim that no one did that?

Also, have you noticed that Monegan's successor hasn't fired Wooten, either? If "it [is] manifestly to the benefit of the Alaskan public for State Trooper superiors who whitewash behavior by troopers such as Wooten be fired," then shouldn't Monegan's successor be fired, too? Why is Palin tolerating another DPS commissioner who is willing to "whitewash behavior by troopers such as Wooten?"
10.12.2008 11:04am
loki13 (mail):
Jukeboxgrad-

Really? The Ace was banned? Could you point me to the thread- I must have missed it since I have been avoiding many political topics and/or those started by Prof. Bernstein because of the quality of the discourse this close to the election. I am very disappointed if that is the case- I was looking forward to being able to win my bet and ban him myself.

(We had a bet- if McCain wins more than 65% of the white female vote, I would leave Volokh forever; if not, The Ace would. He made the bet in the midst of Palin-mania. *chortle*)
10.12.2008 11:31am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
jerry:

What an ironic statement considering that at least one of the three Powerline bloggers is Jewish


Yes, it is ironic that hindrocket et al tolerate offensive speech at their forum. It wouldn't be the first time that a human has done something surprising or ironic. It wouldn't even be the first time that a Jew has condoned anti-Semitism. Imagine that! Yes, it has actually happened.

It really shouldn't reflect poorly against blog administrators if some regular commentators say occasionally say nutty things


It does indeed "reflect poorly against blog administrators" when offensive speech is brought to their attention and they respond by sitting on their hands. That's what happened. If you looked at the proof I presented, you would know this. But it seems like you didn't bother.

On the DailyKos, commenters state every single day how they wish that famous conservatives with health issues (e.g., Dick Cheney, Laura Ingraham) would die or suffer horribly.


Really? "Every single day?" Then it should be no trouble for you to show us today's examples. And you should also show an example where Holocaust denial is brought to the attention of administrators, and they do nothing. Show us where this has happened at Kos. Because I have shown you proof that this is what happened at Power Line.
10.12.2008 11:48am
Brian Mac:
Jukeboxgrad:

14 posts in a row. Get out much?
10.12.2008 11:54am
MarkField (mail):

Really? The Ace was banned? Could you point me to the thread- I must have missed it since I have been avoiding many political topics and/or those started by Prof. Bernstein because of the quality of the discourse this close to the election. I am very disappointed if that is the case- I was looking forward to being able to win my bet and ban him myself.


Sorry, but Prof. Kerr beat you to it. I can't remember the thread.
10.12.2008 12:07pm
MarkField (mail):

MarkField,

"Will no one rid me of that meddlesome priest?!"

And yet Wooten lives. Employed in the same capacity, no less. Will the reign of Palin terror never cease?


Someone asked how Palin's conduct -- making constant complaints about Wooten to her subordinates -- could constitute "pressure". I gave an historical example. Clearly I didn't mean that Palin had Wooten killed (she didn't), but that subordinates take the complaints of their bosses as orders to act. This is well known and I think Palin both knew and expected this.

I think her conduct was wrong and the findings in the report justified. Is it the world's worst ethical violation? Hardly; the Bush Administration has pretty much cornered the market on those. Does it show Gov. Palin to be petty and vindictive? Yeah.
10.12.2008 12:21pm
loki13 (mail):
Okay- thank you Mark Field. General request; could anyone point me to the thread where The Ace was banned? I would truly enjoy the pleasure of post hoc rubbernecking, and I don't have the time to work my google-fu with work, family, and setting my fantasy football teams up (note- priorities might not be in that order).
10.12.2008 12:28pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

Grimes conducted an investigation which concluded that Wooten has been drinking alcoholic beverages prior to operating a marked patrol vehicle and drinking alcoholic beverages during the operation of a marked patrol vehicle


You're being lawyerly and obtuse. Let's review some facts.

There was one incident involving beer. Let's call it The Beer Incident. This incident involved two cans of beer. Let's call them Beer #1 and Beer #2. You are correctly pointing out that Grimes made a fuss about both of them. That doesn't mean there were two incidents. It only means there were two beers. If you want to be this lawyerly, you should use words more carefully. According to Grimes, there was one beer "incident." You shouldn't contradict her on that point. You did.

I provided the specific excerpt of the letter from Grimes to Wooten that described two issues … based on two events


When you claim there were two "events," or two "incidents," a reader would be likely to think that the two beers were consumed on separate days, or in separate places. But that's false. They weren't.

It's true that Grimes made a fuss about two beers, and she discussed them in two separate clauses (not even separate sentences), one clause focusing on the idea of consuming alcohol prior to driving, and the other clause focusing on the idea of consuming alcohol while driving. Nevertheless, you are inviting confusion, and you are contradicting Grimes' own language, when you claim there were two "incidents."

I was responding to your original post where you incorrectly stated


I already explained why I think the first beer is immaterial, or at least questionable. I realize that Grimes made a fuss about Beer #1. I'm pointing out why I think her judgment in this regard is questionable. And you haven't really addressed what I said about this. For example: how much time elapsed between Beer #1 and getting into the car? We don't know, and I think Grimes doesn't know, and I think this means her judgment in this regard is questionable. Grimes isn't perfect. It's appropriate to examine the facts and make our own evaluation of her decisions and statements.

it's not relevant and not specific enough (e.g. how "huge" is Wooten?)


The issue of BAC is indeed relevant to making a common-sense assessment of whether Wooten was truly endangering himself and others. If we take the Lanes' testimony at face value, that means he broke the letter of law. But the actual severity of the violation is going to rightfully influence our evaluation of his judgment, if we're interested in being objective and fair. Having one or two beers is not the same thing as downing a case of vodka. Driving one mile to his house, while off-duty, is not the same thing as starting a work shift doing traffic enforcement. These are relevant distinctions.

Video of Wooten is here. Scroll to 1:03, where you can see him standing. Watch for another minute or two and you can see him from behind. He's huge. I estimate at least 200 lbs. What's your estimate? One or two beers inside this person would create a negligible BAC. This is relevant in assessing the magnitude of his misconduct.

drinking alcoholic beverages during the operation of a marked patrol vehicle


Yes, I know that Grimes charged him with drinking during the operation of the car. However, it's important to notice that this exact charge is not supported by what the witnesses said. Their statements are recounted in two places, by Wall and by Grimes. In both accounts, both witnesses said only that they saw Wooten carry the open container into the car. They did not say they saw him drinking inside the car. They did not say they saw him drinking while driving the car. I realize this is what Grimes said, but it's not what the witnesses said. At least as far as we can tell by what we are told, by Grimes and by Wall, who did their own separate interviews.

I realize that according to the letter of the law, it's a problem that he had the open container in the car, even if he didn't take a sip inside the car. But that distinction is nevertheless relevant when we try to make a common-sense assessment of the magnitude of his misconduct.

if you are going to hold people to a certain standard of posting on VC (which I believe you do), there are going to be some people who hold you to that same standard


I appreciate the fact that you actually go to the trouble of making your complaints specific. A lot of people here just whine.
10.12.2008 1:48pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
brian:

14 posts in a row. Get out much?


Do you really have nothing better to do than count posts you don't want to read? Pot kettle black much?

A couple of people who don't want to read my posts have expressed appreciation for the fact that I put them together. And there are other obvious and non-obvious reasons why I do it that way.

Anyway, it's nice to know that you have no substantive rebuttal to anything I've said, and all you can do is whine. I appreciate the reverse endorsement.
10.12.2008 1:48pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
loki:

could anyone point me to the thread where The Ace was banned?


See here.

I am very disappointed if that is the case- I was looking forward to being able to win my bet and ban him myself.


Good point. I understand completely. I remember the bet.
10.12.2008 1:53pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Yes, Fannie and Freddie were a moral hazard. No, you can't blame poor people for this mess."

Of course we can blame poor people. They're the deadbeats who failed to pay what they owed. Think anyone will ever lend to that bunch again?
10.12.2008 1:54pm
EH (mail):
Loki13: Here you go.

Google-fu: site:volokh.com the.ace*ban orinkerr
10.12.2008 2:03pm
davod (mail):
"Do you think he might do what Bush, McCain and the GOP did? Which is bankrupt us by spending money we don't have on a war we don't need? That's quite a record, and it would be hard to top. Unless we hire the guy who likes to sing songs about bombing Iran"

I am a migrant to this country and even I know that the Congress has to approve the budget. So just how has Bush and McCain bankrupted the country?
10.12.2008 2:52pm
loki13 (mail):
Wow!
After everything.... everything... everything that The Ace has slung around here, he got banned on a post about Agnece France Presse?

Boy, I wish I could have seen the original post before it was deleted. It's almost like he was trying to get banned after looking at the polling numbers and seeing the writing on the wall. In the end, The Ace couldn't even give me the satisfaction of chasing him away. *sigh* I have mixed emotions about him being banned before our bet coming to fruition- sort of like watching your mother in law back off a cliff in your new Mercedes.
10.12.2008 3:02pm
davod (mail):
"Hardly; the Bush Administration has pretty much cornered the market on those. "

Hardly: What about Schumer (D) causing a run on a Californian bank, Reid (D) causing causing panic in the Insurance market. Both contributed to desatbilizing the market. Jackson Lee (D), lying about receiving campaign donations from FM. Rockefeller (D),the DNC, and the Democrats on the intelligence committee deciding to politizise the Intelligence process. "The One" (D) trying to coerce the Iraqis into not proceeding with a status of forces agreement. To name just a few.
10.12.2008 3:03pm
Hoosier:
I don't know where people on VC got the idea that I am a "history teacher."

I have never made a secret of the fact that I am V. S. Naipaul. Is there any who didn't know that?
10.12.2008 3:51pm
LM (mail):
Time does fly. If it's JBGDS season already, can the holidays be far behind? I keep telling you guys, as soon as you feel yourself wanting to blame Jukeboxgrad for the latest tracking poll or for your vanishing 401(k), here's what you have to do:

1. Disable your internet connection.

2. Pull away from the computer.

3. Pour yourself a stiff one. And keep the bottle handy.

4. Spend the rest of the day watching South Park. Or, for you highbrow David Brooks types, The Hills.

If you feel irresistibly compelled to be clicking a mouse, you can pull up some of your favorite threads from the VC archives. (For me, the Obama LSAT stuff never disappoints. YMMV.) But whatever you do, please do not click POST COMMENT. It's just common courtesy. JBGDS is now recognized as so contagious that when even one of you brings it into the thread, before you know it everyone's got it. And this is no time of year to come down with something that nasty. Especially for those of us whose hands will soon be full working on the new Caliphate.

Your consideration is deeply appreciated. :)
10.12.2008 4:17pm
Hoosier:
LM--Especially for those of us whose hands will soon be full working on the new Caliphate.

Are they interviewing people with humanities degrees? If so, when and where?
10.12.2008 4:29pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
davod:

So just how has Bush and McCain bankrupted the country?


I realize that I need to seriously acknowledge the possibility that English isn't your first language, and that you have problems with reading comprehension. Please note that I didn't say "Bush and McCain." I said "Bush, McCain, and the GOP."

Hardly: What about … To name just a few.


I learned here and here that only a fool would take you seriously. Fool me once etc. Your track record shows that you're an excellent source of fiction. I already know where to find lots of that.
10.12.2008 4:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
loki:

sort of like watching your mother in law back off a cliff in your new Mercedes


I don't think I've ever said this before, and I'm only saying it because it's true. LOL.
10.12.2008 4:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

I don't know where people on VC got the idea that I am a "history teacher."


It might have something to do with the fact that you said this:

My income as a history teacher …


But maybe that's something you made up.

I have never made a secret of the fact that I am V. S. Naipaul.


The problem with making lots of statements that are unintentionally funny is that it tends to undercut your ability to use humor intentionally.

Are they interviewing people with humanities degrees? If so, when and where?


I've heard some people suggest that Muslims are inherently untrustworthy (link, link, link, link); if they're right you might actually fit in very well.
10.12.2008 4:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
lm:

I enjoyed that, thanks.

as soon as you feel yourself wanting to blame Jukeboxgrad for the latest tracking poll or for your vanishing 401(k)


Yes, it's true, I'm responsible for all that. You let the cat out of the bag. I'm also part of the "conspiracy to elect Obama so he can enact Sharia law and make everyone get gay abortions" (H/T to PC).
10.12.2008 4:43pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

(Regarding Beer1 and Beer2)


We are going around in circles here, perhaps we agree on the outcome, but not on the wording of what led to the outcome.

It should be noted that for the matter of Wooten drinking alcoholic beverages prior to operating, and then during the operation of a marked patrol vehicle, the finding of violations in regards to that issue/issues are noted in Grimes 02/01/06 memo:

Unbecoming conduct
Personal Conduct
Conformance to Laws
Use of Alcohol
Operation to be Prudent and Lawful


When you claim there were two "events," or two "incidents," a reader would be likely to think that the two beers were consumed on separate days, or in separate places. But that's false. They weren't.

and:

It's true that Grimes made a fuss about two beers, and she discussed them in two separate clauses (not even separate sentences), one clause focusing on the idea of consuming alcohol prior to driving, and the other clause focusing on the idea of consuming alcohol while driving. Nevertheless, you are inviting confusion, and you are contradicting Grimes' own language, when you claim there were two "incidents."

To reduce reader misunderstanding, I provided the link to the letter from Grimes to Wooten in my initial post concerning this matter on this thread, and referred back to that post in a subsequent response to you.

I already explained why I think the first beer is immaterial, or at least questionable. I realize that Grimes made a fuss about Beer #1. I'm pointing out why I think her judgment in this regard is questionable. And you haven't really addressed what I said about this. For example: how much time elapsed between Beer #1 and getting into the car? We don't know, and I think Grimes doesn't know, and I think this means her judgment in this regard is questionable. Grimes isn't perfect. It's appropriate to examine the facts and make our own evaluation of her decisions and statements.

and:

The issue of BAC is indeed relevant to making a common-sense assessment of whether Wooten was truly endangering himself and others. If we take the Lanes' testimony at face value, that means he broke the letter of law. But the actual severity of the violation is going to rightfully influence our evaluation of his judgment, if we're interested in being objective and fair. Having one or two beers is not the same thing as downing a case of vodka. Driving one mile to his house, while off-duty, is not the same thing as starting a work shift doing traffic enforcement. These are relevant distinctions.

You're correct, and we have not seen all the investigative notes in regards to this matter. We do have the Grimes memo dated 02/01/06 overturning Wall's findings, which includes a report on the interview of the Lanes by Grimes. I find Grimes conclusions reasonable and measured.

I don't believe the distinctions you raise are relevant. First, Grimes did not mention the issue of Wooten "truly endangering himself or others" - that's a phrase you used. Here is what Grimes wrote (in part):

"If you had been involved in an incident or an accident immediately following, your actions would have not only involved criminal liability, but also exposed the Department to great discredit, embarrassment, and additional civil liability."

Seems pretty straightforward.


Video of Wooten is here. Scroll to 1:03, where you can see him standing. Watch for another minute or two and you can see him from behind. He's huge. I estimate at least 200 lbs. What's your estimate? One or two beers inside this person would create a negligible BAC. This is relevant in assessing the magnitude of his misconduct.

Sorry, I don't agree with your reasoning, for the reasons noted previously above. His BAC is not a relevant issue in regards to the findings of Wooten violating Alaska Law and the relevant OPM sections. If you believe this is the case, I'd appreciate a reference that backs up your assertion.


Yes, I know that Grimes charged him with drinking during the operation of the car. However, it's important to notice that this exact charge is not supported by what the witnesses said. Their statements are recounted in two places, by Wall and by Grimes. In both accounts, both witnesses said only that they saw Wooten carry the open container into the car. They did not say they saw him drinking inside the car. They did not say they saw him drinking while driving the car. I realize this is what Grimes said, but it's not what the witnesses said. At least as far as we can tell by what we are told, by Grimes and by Wall, who did their own separate interviews.


Grimes indicated that the Lanes were re-interviewed. Then the information was obviously studied, and a decision rendered. The conclusions that Grimes reached are reasonable (at least in my opinion).

Lastly, you mention in several places that Grimes was making "a fuss" about the matter of Wooten consuming alcohol prior to and during the operation of a marked patrol vehicle. It should be noted that it was enough of a "fuss" that Wooten was disciplined in part for his use of alcohol noted in the 03/01/06 letter from Grimes and was put on notice:

"This discipline is meant to be a last chance to take corrective action."

Clearly, Wooten has had a documented history of "continued misconduct" and I hope he can work things out.
10.12.2008 5:00pm
NH (mail):
Libertarians LOVE getting rid of bad cops, especially when they admit they are wrong to threaten to kill others... geesh.

Palin rocks~!

And now the trooper supports HER. So this is a non issue.
10.12.2008 6:04pm
Hoosier:
I am V. S. Naipaul. And so is my wife.
10.12.2008 6:08pm
NH (mail):
Personal benefit? yeah, like he was a liability to the state... geesh.

Not like she got money from it..
10.12.2008 6:09pm
Mac (mail):
Officer, you are making such a fuss about that open can of beer in my car. Now, really, I just now opened it and only took a few swigs. That is nothing to make a fuss about, don't you agree?

Ironically, a young friend of mine's now ex-boy friend, got stopped with an open can of beer. He had just opened it and had just taken a few swings. He passed all sobriety checks.

Would you car to guess how much of a fuss the cops made over this?

Suffice it to say that after his night in jail and the posting of bond by his family, he is in a world of hurt.

He also lost the girl. Sort of a final straw of stupidity sort of thing.

Now, this is Arizona. Are we to presume this felllow's fate would have been different in Alaska?
10.12.2008 6:11pm
LM (mail):

Hoosier,

Are they interviewing people with humanities degrees?

Good luck getting an interview without one. You didn't hear it from me, but the next Secretary of Education? Jacques Derrida.

If so, when and where?

Don't worry about it. We'll contact you. If you've received any scam e-mails from Africa, we have your information.
10.12.2008 6:12pm
David Warner:
Loki13,

"I live in a major battleground state. I see both campaigns' ads constantly."

I do too. All I hear (while driving, I don't waste much time in front of the boob tube) is stem cell/healthcare demagoguery (from the perspective of one who values life/liberty on par with pursuing happiness) which is at pains to portray McCain as a fundamentalist insurance lobbyist. It is kind of funny when they pop up in the breaks of local "right-wing"* talk radio. Same stuff on the music/sports stations.

* - more smart-assed nihilism lately than right-wing.
10.12.2008 6:12pm
NH (mail):
10.12.2008 6:14pm
LM (mail):
jbg,

I'm also part of the "conspiracy to elect Obama so he can enact Sharia law and make everyone get gay abortions"

Thanks for the reminder. That's two more things for my to do list:

1. Get gay.

2. Get gay abortion.
10.12.2008 6:16pm
David Warner:
MarkField,

"Clearly I didn't mean that Palin had Wooten killed (she didn't), but that subordinates take the complaints of their bosses as orders to act... Does it show Gov. Palin to be petty and vindictive? Yeah."

I didn't intend to be pendantic. I think the analogy breaks down on your own terms.

Petty would be going after the girl who beat Palin for Ms. Alaska. Henry's beef with Becket was anything but petty. Clearly Palin believed, rightly or wrongly - I'm a child of divorce, I know how these things get twisted, that Wooten was unfit for his current profession and was working out how that fit in with her new responsibilities as governor.

If JBG's theory that she was conspiring with her sister to deprive Wooten of custody rights is true, that's not petty, that's grand. If you've got that smoking gun, then we've got a story.

Likewise, very much unlike Becket, Wooten posed no threat to Palin or her authority, so I see no evidence there of vindictiveness. Monegan did openly challenge her authority on several matters, and so he was reassigned very openly by Palin herself.
10.12.2008 6:30pm
David Warner:
LM,

"Good luck getting an interview without one. You didn't hear it from me, but the next Secretary of Education? Jacques Derrida."

Thanks LM, Pinot noir completely right out of my nose, and I wasn't even drinking it!
10.12.2008 6:50pm
Hoosier:
Is a "gay abortion" anything like the "public lesbian" that was mentioned yesterday?

You didn't hear it from me, but the next Secretary of Education? Jacques Derrida.

Swell. Jacques the Ripper as Sec Ed. With any luck, he'll consider his budget nothing but a social construct. And so he will spend his office time making up names for imaginary kittens.
10.12.2008 6:59pm
LM (mail):
DW: Pinot noir completely right out of my nose, and I wasn't even drinking it!

Sounds like a business opportunity.
10.12.2008 8:00pm
Pauldom:

DW: Pinot noir completely right out of my nose, and I wasn't even drinking it!

Sounds like a business opportunity.

Thanks for this, and the many other witty comments on this site, that keep me reading VC.

(Along with the insightful blog posts themselves, of course)
10.12.2008 8:03pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

perhaps we agree on the outcome, but not on the wording of what led to the outcome


I agree that what we've been talking about is semantical, to a great extent. As far as "outcome," it depends what you mean by that. If you're talking about how Wooten was suspended for (in part) bringing an open container into a car, I don't have any huge gripe about that. That's one way to understand the "outcome." But another aspect of the "outcome" is that Power Line et al are saying Wooten "had quite a drinking problem." That's wrong, and I know you agree.

These are relevant distinctions.


You're correct … I don't believe the distinctions you raise are relevant.


You seem to be contradicting yourself.

Grimes did not mention the issue of Wooten "truly endangering himself or others" - that's a phrase you used.


I know. I'm just claiming that as a matter of common sense, not all acts of drinking and driving are equal, and an observer is rightfully interested in making a judgment about how much the person is "truly endangering himself or others."

His BAC is not a relevant issue in regards to the findings of Wooten violating Alaska Law and the relevant OPM sections.


You're correctly pointing out that he violated the letter of the law, regardless of his BAC. I'm simply saying that it's appropriate for us to take his apparent BAC into account when we make a judgment about his character and judgment. I also think it's appropriate for Grimes to take his apparent BAC into account when deciding what his penalty should be. And maybe she did so.

Anyway, anyone who is a stickler about this violation of the law by Wooten should also be a stickler about Palin's violations of the state ethics law. And if someone is concerned about the safety issues of what Wooten did, they should also be concerned about the safety issues of Palin having an infant on her lap while riding in a truck.

The conclusions that Grimes reached are reasonable


Grimes and Wall reached different conclusions, on this point. They also differed regarding the alleged death threat. In each case, I think it's reasonable to examine and criticize their reasoning, which is what we've been doing.

Wooten has had a documented history of "continued misconduct" and I hope he can work things out.


I think it should be noted that prior to the divorce, his record was pretty clean (even though Palin issued a statement making a blatantly false statement to the contrary). And it seems to be pretty clean since then, even though Todd has been chasing him all over the state with a camera.
10.12.2008 8:20pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nh:

Libertarians LOVE getting rid of bad cops, especially when they admit they are wrong to threaten to kill others


Your remark is a little opaque, but I hope you're not claiming that Wooten made some kind of admission about a death threat. He didn't. He denies all allegations regarding threats. And no one outside the family has ever heard him threaten anyone.

now the trooper supports HER


I don't think Wooten has exactly endorsed her. I think he has only said that he has no ill will and he wishes her well.

Wooten Supports Palin


What he actually said is this:

He added that McCain's choice of Palin as his running mate was "absolutely wonderful for the state of Alaska."


That's a bit ambiguous. He could be saying it's nice for Alaska to be getting lots of attention. He could also be saying it would be great for Alaska if Palin moved far away, to a different job.

Personal benefit? … Not like she got money from it..


There are a number of aspects to the "personal benefit." Aside from the simple issue of pure revenge and vindictiveness, there is the issue of child custody. A long list of filings in their custody battle is here. It seems to be ongoing.

If Palin could get Monegan to fire Wooten, that could create a likelihood that Wooten has to move to get another job. Maybe to another city, or another state. This obviously creates an advantage for Molly in the custody battle.
10.12.2008 8:20pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mac:

a young friend of mine's now ex-boy friend, got stopped with an open can of beer


One difference is that in your anecdote, there is an unbiased witness. In the Wooten situation, the witness is a guy (and his wife) who knows Heath since he was a kid. And the witness was mysteriously silent for a year, until Heath's daughter needed help with a custody battle.

Are we to presume this felllow's fate would have been different in Alaska?


Alaska does indeed seem to have its own way of doing things. After all, they elected Palin.
10.12.2008 8:20pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
david:

If JBG's theory that she was conspiring with her sister to deprive Wooten of custody rights is true, that's not petty, that's grand.


Regardless of the goal, the pettiness is apparent in the things they made a fuss about. Like Wooten's picture on a poster. Or Wooten's presence at an event while dressed up as the Safety Bear. Or whining that Wooten was carrying kids in his patrol car, despite the fact that he had permission to do so.

Anyway, there is very strong circumstantial evidence that she was indeed "conspiring with her sister to deprive Wooten of custody rights." Branchflower did a nice job of proving that they weren't genuinely afraid of him.

Wooten posed no threat to Palin


I agree, but Palin has repeatedly claimed that he did. It's a bit confusing that you're contradicting her on this point.
10.12.2008 8:21pm
David Warner:
LM (with apologies to Pauldom),

"DW: Pinot noir completely right out of my nose, and I wasn't even drinking it!

LM: Sounds like a business opportunity."

Snot likely.
10.12.2008 9:59pm
David Warner:
Juke,

Sorry, out of quarters. That, and I tremble at what you'd come up with if I became the next victim on your list. Take Sarah, just spare our village!
10.12.2008 10:04pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
david:

Sorry, out of quarters


Promises, promises.

I tremble at what you'd come up with if I became the next victim on your list.


You already know what I came up with. Actually, it's more like what you came up with.

Take Sarah, just spare our village!


Is that like "take my wife, please?" No thanks.
10.13.2008 12:21am
David Schwartz (mail):
The statute does not say 'official action taken purely to benefit a personal interest is a violation of the public trust.' It says, essentially, 'official action taken to benefit a personal interest is a violation of the public trust.' It's common sense to understand that this is a reference to a situation where the personal interest is a substantial factor, or a primary factor. That's different from "purely."
And this test is very easy to do in an objective fashion when the benefit is financial. Do cash benefits accrue to the actor that don't accrue to a large number of similarly situated people?

It's incomprehensible in some cases where the benefit is non-financial. What if a person works hard and well because they want to be promoted? That might even be a personal financial benefit. Surely it's not unethical to work well so you can get a better paying job?

A rational interpretation of these kinds of laws is not as simple as you might think. There was one case recently where a person was charged with criminal violations of ethics laws because she bent some procedural rules to save the government money, and personally benefited financially from a resulting promotion.

This is in one of those gray areas, and to know whether her actions were justified or not, we need to know information that we don't have. If she genuinely believed that Wooten was dangerous and unstable, then her actions are completely justified, whether or not she can prove that to anybody else.
10.13.2008 12:23am
David Warner:
Juke,

"You already know what I came up with."

(found a quarter under the cushions)

If the first time is tragedy and the second farce, what's the fourth time?

You're beyond help.

So ends this episode of feeding the troll. Apologies to all concerned - I'm a bleeding heart.
10.13.2008 12:40am
LM (mail):

If she genuinely believed that Wooten was dangerous and unstable, then her actions are completely justified, whether or not she can prove that to anybody else.

If he is in fact dangerous, we should all want him gone, which is one reason the statute is designed to keep her out of the process. Self-interested involvement not only corrupts the office; the appearance of impropriety clouds and thus undermines the chances of reaching the right result in the personnel matter.
10.13.2008 12:52am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
schwartz:

If she genuinely believed that Wooten was dangerous and unstable, then her actions are completely justified, whether or not she can prove that to anybody else.


If it's true that "she genuinely believed that Wooten was dangerous and unstable," then she could have and would have made a formal complaint. But she has admitted that after 2005, no one ever made another formal complaint. That's because there was no further misconduct. Instead, she used a back-door approach. Instead of making a formal complaint, she applied pressure via Todd and others. And they made vague claims about new misconduct, even though there was none. And she is still making those claims.

Also, if "she genuinely believed that Wooten was dangerous and unstable," there would have been no need for all the hiding and denying. She said this: "no pressure was ever put on anybody to fire anybody." That was a brazen lie. Why lie? The reason is obvious: what she was doing was wrong, and she knew it.

Anyway, the question is not what she "genuinely believed." The question is whether her efforts to fire Wooten were primarily motivated by her personal interest in the matter. It's clear that they were. For example, Branchflower does a nice job of explaining that her claims of being afraid of Wooten were not genuine. There's no sign that Palin had any interest in fixing the disciplinary process that led to an allegedly inadequate punishment for Wooten. There's no evidence that Palin showed any interest in rooting out other allegedly substandard cops, other than Wooten. All the evidence indicates that Palin had a personal interest in specifically punishing Wooten. Even though he had already been punished, and even though there was no new misconduct.

By the way, what if I "genuinely believed" that non-Christian cops generally don't do a very good job? Or cops with curly hair? Or cops who weren't nice to me in high school? Is my pressure to get rid of them "completely justified," regardless of whether I can prove to anybody else that my action is proper? I don't understand how "genuinely believed" became the relevant test.
10.13.2008 1:40am
David Schwartz (mail):
Anyway, the question is not what she "genuinely believed." The question is whether her efforts to fire Wooten were primarily motivated by her personal interest in the matter.
Suppose the only reason she ever tried to be a good governor was the hope that one day she would be nominated to higher office, with the attending personal benefits. Would that make all of her actions as Governor ethics violations? No, that's not what the question is.

Even if all of her actions were motivated solely by personal interests, that would not show that any of them were ethics violations. Not under any rational standard.
10.13.2008 1:53am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Suppose the only reason she ever tried to be a good governor was the hope that one day she would be nominated to higher office, with the attending personal benefits.


That comparison doesn't hold water. It's understood that if I use my power to benefit the public interest, that this makes me a "good governor," and ultimately this will lead to personal success and benefits. The important thing is that the public interest comes first. It's OK for me to experience the personal benefit, and to be motivated by it, provided that it comes as a consequence of serving the public interest.

Consider the relevant language:

each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust


What you're saying is just like saying this: that every time I do my normal work and earn my salary, I have violated the law, because I have applied "effort to benefit a … financial interest through official action." Because getting a paycheck is in my financial interest, right? Common sense is required to understand that is not what the law means. Using "official action" to earn my salary is fine, because I get that salary as a result of serving the public interest. Again, the important thing is that the public interest comes first. The personal benefits I enjoy come as a result of serving the public interest.

On the other hand, if I pressure Monegan to fire Wooten, because I want to help my sister feel good, then I'm using the power of my office to derive a personal benefit that is not the result of serving the public interest. That's why it's an ethics violation.

Even if all of her actions were motivated solely by personal interests, that would not show that any of them were ethics violations.


If being motivated by personal interest, in the manner I described, is not the test for an ethics violation, then what is? The test you suggested ("genuinely believed") seems to make no sense, and I explained why.
10.13.2008 4:39am
David Schwartz (mail):
Common sense is required to understand that is not what the law means. Using "official action" to earn my salary is fine, because I get that salary as a result of serving the public interest. Again, the important thing is that the public interest comes first. The personal benefits I enjoy come as a result of serving the public interest.
Is the test for whether the public interest comes first subjective or objective? She genuinely believed that Wooten was a threat and that acting to get him fired benefits the public interest.

Suppose my son was killed by a convict who was released early. I campaign for Congress on a platform of preventing early release for violent convicts. I get elected, and push through this law. Suppose, subjectively, my primary goal the whole time is the personal vengeance for the death of my son. Have I violated the ethics rule?

I understand how you are trying to construe this rule, I just think it's insane. If an act is actually in the public interest, in your opinion, it makes no difference how much or how little it benefits you personally, assuming we're not talking about a direct financial benefit or anything akin to it.

The benefit of seeing a dangerous man removed from official power is akin to the benefit of being promoted or being respected for doing a good job. It's a benefit that's collateral to achieving the public interest. Public officials are, and must be, free to let their personal views and goals set their priorities.

I don't have to be the pro-choice representative if I don't want to be. If I, for personal reasons, want to pursue drug deregulation, then I can do that. That is part of the discretion that officials at this level have.
10.13.2008 9:33am
David Schwartz (mail):
"[E]ach public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust."

I don't have the list handy, but one court listed some great examples of how a reading of this law precisely the way people in this thread want to read it leads to absurd conclusions.

It's Friday. A judge is supposed to continue his court until 5:00 PM. But he wants to get plenty of sleep before his Saturday morning golf game. He calls a recess for the weekend at 4:30.

Ethics violation?
10.13.2008 9:52am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
schwartz:

She genuinely believed that Wooten was a threat


There's plenty of evidence that Wooten was a threat to no one, and that Palin knew this, and that her claim that she was afraid was bogus, and an afterthought:

Governor Palin has stated publicly that she and her family feared Trooper Wooten. Yet the evidence presented has been inconsistent with such claims of fear. The testimony from Trooper Wheeler, who was part of her security detail from the start, was that shortly after elected to office, she ordered a substantial reduction in manpower in her personal protection detail in both Anchorage and Juneau, an act that is inconsistent with a desire to avoid harm from Trooper Wooten or others. Moreover, assuming that Trooper Wooten was ever inclined to attack Governor Palin or a family member, logic dictates that getting him fired would accomplish nothing to eliminate the potential for harm to her or her family. On the contrary, it might just precipitate some retaliatory conduct on his part. Causing Wooten to loose his job would not have de-escalated the situation, or provided her or her family with greater security.

Finally, it is noteworthy that in almost every contact with subordinate employees, Mr. Palin's comments were couched in terms of his desire to see Trooper Wooten fired for reasons that had nothing to do with fear. His comments were always couched in terms that he was a bad Trooper, that he was not a good recruiting image for AST, that his discipline amounted to nothing more than a slap on the wrist, that nothing had happened to him following the administrative investigation, and so forth. According to interview notes from the Attorney General who interviewed former Chief of Staff Mike Tibbles, Mr. Palin even sought to obtain information about Trooper Wooten that was confidential by law ["T. Palin asked for Wooten's file," "wanted Grimes report," "refused to give it him"]. The words selected by Mr. Palin, and his actions, give insight into his motivation and that of his wife, Governor Palin.

I conclude that such claims of fear were not bona fide and were offered to provide cover for the Palins' real motivation: to get Trooper Wooten fired for personal family related reasons.


More:

Gary Wheeler received a commission with the Alaska State Troopers in 1981. He worked on Governor Murkowski's protection detail, and later on the security detail for Governor Palin. He met with Governor-elect Palin and Todd Palin during mid- November or early December 2006 to outline his duties and the functions of their security detail. The meeting lasted 15 or 20 minutes and occurred in their Anchorage campaign headquarters. Part of the reason for the meeting was to obtain from them any information on individuals or things that the security detail should be concerned about as far as threats or physical or health issues they needed to be apprised of.

When I asked Wheeler, "And did you specifically inquire of them whether they perceived any threats from any individual or were afraid of any individual?" Mr. Wheeler responded "I did. And I got a negative response, meaning that there - - they basically said no."


(Emphasis added.) Yup, it's clear that "she genuinely believed that Wooten was a threat." That's why they didn't even mention it, when specifically asked about threats.

The idea of painting him as a threat came later.

It's Friday. A judge is supposed to continue his court until 5:00 PM. But he wants to get plenty of sleep before his Saturday morning golf game. He calls a recess for the weekend at 4:30. Ethics violation?


A small one, yes.

Let's use another analogy. Someone mentioned the idea of potholes. I'm the governor. There's a pothole on my street. I make a call to get it fixed. This is fine, because it's a public street, and smooth streets are in the public interest, right? No problem there.

But let's say it gets out of hand. Let's say I'm obsessed about tiny little potholes on my street. Let's say I let everyone know that I expect them to make those little potholes a high priority, even though it means they're ignoring lots of other potholes elsewhere. An ethics violation? Obviously.

It takes some judgment and common sense to evaluate a situation like this. It also requires paying attention to the underlying details. Palin and her supporters have consistently falsified and exaggerated the details of Wooten's misconduct, in order to create the idea that he's a public hazard, even though he's not.

Lots of examples of those falsehoods are documented on the wiki page.
10.13.2008 5:25pm
David Schwartz (mail):
But let's say it gets out of hand. Let's say I'm obsessed about tiny little potholes on my street. Let's say I let everyone know that I expect them to make those little potholes a high priority, even though it means they're ignoring lots of other potholes elsewhere. An ethics violation? Obviously.
Not so obviously. An ethics violation if, and only if, your "letting everyone know" constitutes official action under a sensible standard by which going to the bathroom during work hours is not an official action.
10.14.2008 11:06pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
a sensible standard by which going to the bathroom during work hours is not an official action


In the other thread I made some comments about how to understand whether something is or is not "official action."
10.15.2008 1:06am
David Schwartz (mail):
Yes, a completely unworkable standard that finds no support in the law itself or in common sense.
10.15.2008 8:12pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
I answered you here.
10.16.2008 3:12am