Palin Indicates Support for Federal Marriage Amendment

Palin Indicates Support for Federal Marriage Amendment
Nearly 60 percent of Americans oppose writing discrimination into U.S. Constitution

By: Human Rights Campaign

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2008 – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP nominee for vice-president, has indicated in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network that she would support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution excluding gay and lesbian couples from marriage. The so-called Federal Marriage Amendment has faced bipartisan opposition in both houses of Congress, both of which have voted the FMA down twice.

“Sarah Palin is out of step with the majority of Americans, nearly 60 percent of whom are opposed to writing discrimination into the U.S. Constitution,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Her view stands in stark contrast to the ideals that make America great: freedom, opportunity, and equality. These are the tenets upon which our nation was built.”

An August 2008 poll from TIME Magazine shows that 58 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. Constitution should not be amended to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The Human Rights Campaign PAC, the political action committee of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, previously released an online video in response to comments made by Palin in which she stated that she believes homosexuality is a choice. The video released by HRC PAC is narrated by Michael Cole, senior manager of HRC’s media center, who flew to Alaska with a video production crew to talk with Wasilla’s LGBT community.

The video can be viewed at

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.



The Other Joe: McCain and Palin Resurrect McCarthy’s Attacks

The Other Joe: McCain and Palin Resurrect McCarthy’s Attacks

Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 07:30:03 AM PDT

Just over fifty years ago, Joseph McCarthy attacked Edward R. Murrow with some of the exact same language that John McCain and Sarah Palin are using today to attack Barack Obama.

In these chilling excerpts originally broadcast on Murrow’s own show, McCarthy accused the CBS newsman of defending “traitors” and associating with a “terrorist organization”:

McCain and Palin want to return to Joe McCarthy’s America. It’s up to us to stand up and say no.

To Avoid Being ‘Depressed,’ Palin Skimps on Campaign News

To Avoid Being ‘Depressed,’ Palin Skimps on Campaign News

By Juliet Eilperin
GREENSBORO, N.C. — No wonder GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin harbors such hostility toward the mainstream media: her staff imposes limits on her access to it.

During a fundraiser here that raised $800,000 last night, Palin admitted that her aides often dissuade her from tuning into televised coverage of the presidential campaign.

“So North Carolina, I appreciate you all so much, who are here who already get it. You know, maybe I’m preaching to the choir a little bit here, but being here encourages me because I know that I’m not alone and I’ll send this message back to John McCain also. At those times on the campaign trail when sometimes it’s easy to get a little bit discouraged, when, you know, when you happen to turn on the news when your campaign staffers will let you turn on the news,” she said, prompting laughter from the group. “Usually they’re like ‘Oh my gosh, don’t watch. You’re going to, you know, you’re going to get depressed.'”

She added that while she doesn’t always appreciate the way reporters portray the GOP ticket, she’s been bolstered by the prayers of many of the campaign’s backers.

“But yeah, sometimes you do get depressed watching what it is that they’re reporting and the spin and some of the distortion of what our message is and what we stand for. Sometimes that, that gets draining,” she continued. “But it’s at events like these and our rallies that we are so energized and inspired and we know that we are not alone. We feel your strength and we feel the power of prayer, so many of you tell us that you are praying for us and praying for our country and that’s why we so appreciate you being here.”

Giving credit to a higher power for the day’s poll ratings, the Alaska governor told the roughly 500-person audience that things might be changing. “We even saw today, thank the Lord,” she said, looking upwards and raising her fist, “We saw some movement.”

Palin has continued to shun the national print and television journalists who follow her on a daily basis, instead courting local reporters and Republican-affiliated journalists. Today she did short interviews with reporters from Bangor, Me., as well as Greensboro and Raleigh, N.C., along with a 15-minute session with Weekly Standard reporter Fred Barnes.

But Palin paid homage to one new mainstream media star — Joe Wurzelbacher, the plumber John McCain repeatedly referred to during Wednesday night’s debate. The Alaska governor mentioned Joe the plumber during both her public rallies yesterday, but she confessed at the fundraiser that even she was sick of mentioning him. Then she proceeded to talk about him at length.

“And I, I begged our speech writers, ‘Don’t make me say ‘Joe the Plumber,’ please, in any speeches.’ And I was asked, ‘Just one time, just at this fund raiser,'” she recounted. “Just make sure people understand that we know what Joe the Plumber was talking about when he was confronting Barack Obama and saying, ‘Wait a minute, aren’t you going to take my money, take my earnings and give it to somebody else who maybe hadn’t worked as hard as I have worked?'”

“What about this reward for strong work ethic, isn’t that what capitalism is all about? Isn’t that what the American economy should be based upon? And so when I mention Joe the Plumber, know that that’s why I do mention it. Because we understand what his concerns were as he spoke to Barack Obama there in that rope line,” she added. “We will be working for Joe the Plumber and working for the small business owners and those who wish to own business, those who have that entrepreneurial spirit and want to grow business and create jobs, hire more people and take care of their families. And with millions of American struggling to sustain a small business right now, I hope that business owners especially across this great nation are paying very, very close attention to the differences in the candidates.”

Palin also made a point of mentioning that she loved to visit the “pro-America” areas of the country, of which North Carolina is one. No word on which states she views as unpatriotic.

An obvious candidate might be California — a state Palin has campaigned in — because, as she told the audience, she and McCain have encountered problems enlisting famous performers in their cause.

“In fact, we were on the bus today, we were making a list of who are some celebrity singers who could come out and help us and gosh, for the life of us, the pickins were slim there,” she said. “Who’s quasi-conservative out there in the celebrity land?”

Palin proceeded to then thank country singers Hank Williams Jr. and Lee Greenwood for appearing on her behalf: Greenwood had belted out “God Bless the USA” at her rally in Bangor, Me., yesterday morning, while Williams sang his “McCain-Palin Tradition” tune in the afternoon in Elon, N.C.

Palin loses bid to block beluga whale protection

Federal government declares population off Anchorage ‘endangered’

Beluga whale
All beluga whales in U.S. waters are in five distinct populations off Alaska. One of those, the Cook Inlet population, has been declared endangered after failing to recover despite earlier protections.

WASHINGTON – The federal government on Friday determined that a species of beluga whale native to an inlet off Anchorage, Alaska, is endangered and will require additional protection to survive.

The finding could even have presidential implications: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain’s running mate, had questioned scientific evidence that the population was declining.

The listing has the potential to affect major Alaska projects including an expansion of the Port of Anchorage, additional offshore oil and gas drilling, a proposed $600 million bridge connecting Anchorage to Palin’s hometown of Wasilla and a massive coal mine 45 miles south of Anchorage.

The state does have serious concerns about the low population of beluga whales in Cook Inlet and has had those concerns for many years, Palin said in a statement. “However, we believe that this endangered listing is premature,” she said.

Palin in April successfully lobbied for a six-month delay in a listing decision until a count of the whales this summer could be included in deliberations. That count showed no increase over 2007 numbers — 375 whales, compared with a high of 653 in 1995.

‘Whales are not recovering’
“In spite of protections already in place, Cook Inlet beluga whales are not recovering,” James Balsiger, assistant administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, said in a statement.

The population declined nearly 50 percent between 1994 and 1998, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which runs the fisheries service.

“NOAA scientists estimated the Cook Inlet beluga population at 375 for both 2007 and 2008,” NOAA stated. “Estimates have varied from a high of 653 belugas in 1994 to a low of 278 belugas in 2005.”

Acting on a 2006 request for listing by the Center for Biological Diversity and several allies, NOAA in April 2007 proposed that the population be listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Friday’s action represents the final determination to list the Cook Inlet belugas.

“Despite restrictions on Alaskan Native subsistence harvest of Cook Inlet belugas starting in 1999, the population is still not recovering,” NOAA added. “Between 1999 and 2006, Alaska Native hunters took a total of five Cook Inlet beluga whales for subsistence. No beluga whales were harvested in 2007 or 2008.”

Cook Inlet belugas are one of five beluga populations in U.S. waters. The others, all off Alaska,  inhabit Bristol Bay, the eastern Bering Sea, the eastern Chukchi Sea, and the Beaufort Sea.

“The Cook Inlet population is considered to be the most isolated, based on the degree of genetic differentiation and geographic distance between the Cook Inlet population and the four other beluga stocks,” NOAA said.

Obstacles listed
Potential obstacles to recovery, NOAA said, include:

  • Beach strandings of beluga whales;
  • Continued development within and along upper Cook Inlet and the cumulative effects on important beluga habitat;
  • Oil and gas exploration, development, and production;
  • Industrial activities that discharge or accidentally spill pollutants;
  • Disease;
  • Predation by killer whales.

NOAA said that within a year it would identify habitat essential to protecting the belugas.

Palin had opposed the endangered listing — as well as one decreed for polar bears due to melting summer sea ice — in part by questioning the science and saying the listings would hinder oil and natural gas drilling.

The Interior Department has proposed making available oil leases in the Cook Inlet as early as next year and in 2011, saying the waters have an estimated $1.38 billion worth of energy resources. Protection of the whale could hinder some of those activities.

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The polar bear listing came with a caveat that it should not hinder economic development — a move being challenged in court by environmentalists.

But no such caveat came with the beluga whale listing. “Listing the Cook Inlet beluga whales means any federal agency that funds, authorizes, or carries out new projects or activities that may affect the whales in the area must first consult with NOAA’s Fisheries Service to determine the potential effects on the whales,” NOAA stated. “A federal action must not jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species.”

Friday’s action came after the Center for Biological Diversity accused the Bush administration of stalling, stating that federal law required the listing and identifying critical habitat by last April.

Cook Inlet stretches 180 miles from the Gulf of Alaska to Anchorage. It is named for Capt. James Cook, the British explorer who sailed into the inlet in 1778 on a quest to find the Northwest Passage.

Beluga whales feed on salmon and smaller fish. They can also eat crab, shrimp, squid and clams. During summers, the whales, which reach a length of up to 15 feet, often can be spotted from the highways leading away from Anchorage, gathered at river mouths, chasing salmon that have schooled before a run to spawning grounds.

Beluga whales’ natural enemies are killer whales, but something else has been keeping their numbers down in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.

Craig Matkin, an independent biologist who has worked in south central Alaska for 25 years, said the delay in the listing had held up a comprehensive research plan to find out why the population had not recovered after subsistence hunting was curtailed.

The concern is not just in numbers, he said, but in distribution. Whales in recent years have been staying in northern Cook Inlet near Anchorage.

“They’re just gone from these areas,” he said of his own home near in Homer, near the tip of the Kenai Peninsula and about 100 miles from Anchorage. “Why they aren’t coming down into this habitat is a question I’d like to answer.”

Future development won’t be helpful to the recovery, said Brendan Cummings, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, starting with the noise and pollution associated with industrialization of the inlet, which includes oil rigs off the Kenai Peninsula.

Global warming, changing ocean conditions and higher temperatures in salmon streams may be another factor, Cummings said.

The Port of Anchorage, helped by congressional earmarks secured by Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young, has embarked on a $500 million project to double the port’s size and replace its aging docks.

Environmental groups also have expressed concern about a planned coal mine 45 miles from Anchorage across Cook Inlet, where developers propose to mine 300 million metric tons of sub-bituminous coal, roughly equal to the energy of a billion barrels of oil, over 25 years. That would mean noise and boat traffic associated with building and operating a mine, a potential effect on salmon streams and more warming.

Lawsuit to Stall Troopergate Investigatioin Fails!

Lawsuit to Stall Troopergate Investigatioin Fails!

2 10 2008

Sorry to interrupt the Republican “Non-Implosion is Victory” party, but there was some breaking news in Anchorage tonight that came out a couple minutes before the debate.

An Anchorage judge today refused to halt the Legislature’s investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin and denied the state attorney general’s attempt to throw out legislative subpoenas.

Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski heard arguments from both sides this morning and ruled just before 5 p.m. this afternoon.

“I think it’s great. It’s a big day for the state of Alaska,” said Peter Maassen, the lawyer representing the Legislative Council, which ordered the investigation.

Maassen said he expected the other side to attempt a last-minute appeal to the state Supreme Court.

It’s last-minute because the investigator hired by the Legislative Council, Steve Branchflower, is to present his report in a week. Branchflower is looking into Palin’s dismissal of her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, and whether she improperly pressured him to fire a state trooper divorced from her sister. There is intense national interest in the outcome now that Palin is the Republican nominee for vice president.

Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg said he didn’t know whether he’d appeal or if he’ll now advise the subpoenaed state officals to cooperate with the investigation. He said he needed to consult with them.

“I’m going to talk to the clients before I talk to you,” he said.

Five Republican state legislators sued to stop the investigation, and Colberg, a Palin appointee, asked the judge to throw out the legislative subpoenas. The governor’s husband, Todd, and nearly a dozen state officials have refused to honor the subpoeanas ordering them to testify, and they face the threat of possible jail time.

Thomas Van Flein, the Anchorage attorney representing both Todd and Sarah Palin, watched the court hearing today. He said in an interview afterward that, if the judge refused to throw out the subpoenas, he would expect Todd Palin to testify after all.

“Short of appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court, which no one has talked about, I don’t see why we wouldn’t just have Todd testify,” he said.

Palin shows her animosity towards Mother Earth

NFIC Columnists Doug George Kanentiio

By Doug George-Kanentiio©
News From Indian Country 9-08

georgedoug-for-web.jpgWhen Skennenrahowi walked among the Iroquois 850 years ago he sought not only to bring an end to war through the creation of the Great Law of Peace but also created a society in which women were assured of their natural liberties as free human beings.

He acknowledged that women were the lifegivers of the planet and as such carried a great responsibility to nurture and protect our sacred mother earth for all time to come. Along with this status came great political and spiritual powers for it was the women who cultivated the land and it was they who determined how its resources were to be distributed.

Along with this came the task of overseeing all of our political activities for it was they who selected our leaders and when necessary impeached them for breach of duty.

The world of the Haudenosaunee was decidedly feminine. The original being was a female and from her came all subsequent humans. The spiritual lives of the Iroquois revolved around grandmother moon and much of our music celebrated women.

Skennenrahowi was wise enough to see that men, as lifetakers, needed balance so he created a system whereby Iroquois women held veto authority over war and peace. It was they who decided on all issues involving the taking of human life.

Iroquois women were, and are, strong in their defense of this heritage.

They have become advocates for the protection of other species as well for they know we exist only insofar as we are sensitive to our dependency on plants, animals, wind and water – all of which have spiritual substance and the right to exist beyond human designs.

So it comes as a great sorrow to see many Americans celebrate the rise of the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, to a position of unique power.

This person has largely discarded her feminine duties as a lifegiver so she may “succeed” in a masculine oriented society.

As a governor she has endorsed the murder of animals such as wolves and bears by shooting them from airplanes as a depraved type of “sport.” Her administration has offered $150 for the limb of a wolf, much as Americans used to give rewards for the scalps of Native men, women and children.

Palin believes that wolves are effecting the number of “game” animals such as moose and elk. Her big game hunter supporters hate wolves and are ready to slaughter them by the thousands using airplanes, poison bait or traps.

Anyone who has seen film as to how wolves are pursued by airplanes to the point of exhaustion then shot with a high caliber rifle has to be sickened by this practice just as they must be when they learn the State of Alaska wants to apply the same methods to bears including cubs. This so the “hunters” can affix the heads of their trophy catches on rec room walls.

Palin is also an advocate for drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge so Americans may have a few days worth of oil for their cars and trucks. Such drilling will enrich the very oil companies she boasts of having defeated for control of the Alaskan legislature.

She derides government officials in Washington but eagerly seeks federal funds for projects ranging from a sports complex to the massive construction of a natural gas pipeline from the north shore of Alaska to the port of Valdez. This will be paid for with U.S. taxpayer dollars even while she claims that, if elected, the Republicans will curtail this kind of spending.

Palin also supported the infamous “bridge to nowhere” in which U.S. Senator Ted Stevens sought $250,000,000 from the federal government to connect an island of 50 residents with the town of Ketchikan. Palin only dropped her endorsement when the bridge became the object of ridicule.

Another example of environmental callousness at odds with her duties as a lifegiver is her support for open pit mining, in particular one to be built near Bristol Bay. Opponents maintain the mine will pollute the waters which feed into the Bay and bring great harm to the coastal fishing regions.

Then there is her denial that human beings are the primary cause of global warming. She acknowledges there is climate changes but adheres to the radical Republican stance that this event is not urgent enough to require immediate action such as protecting species which will be greatly effected by the warming of Alaska. She has opposed laws which will place the polar bear on the endangered species list.

Palin has also sought to interfere in the rights of Alaskans to read what they will by seeking to ban books she considers offensive to her political and spiritual beliefs.

She seeks an absolute ban of the right of women to choose except in instances when the survival of the mother is at stake. If you are the victim of rape or incest you will have the bear the fetus regardless of the trauma of such an experience.

Under Haudenosaunee procedures Palin would be excluded from leadership not only for her callousness towards the earth but her violations of natural law. She demonstrates self righteousness and anger, promotes fear and distorts the truth.

Governor Palin is no friend of those Indigenous peoples who retain their sensitivity towards a world in need of healing, to those who seek to address the ecological threats under which we all live.

McCain-Palin – How Low Will They Go?

McCain-Palin – How Low Will They Go?

28 09 2008

With every day bringing new cringe-worthy gaffes, inadequacies, and (R)evelations (Biblical and otherwise), the McCain campaign is getting desperate.  They’ve tried just about everything to postpone, or lessen the carnage of the looming bloodbath that will be the Vice Presidential debate this Thursday night.Plan A – Change the rules of the debate.  Give the candidates less time to talk, and less time to talk TO each other.  If Palin has 25% less time to talk, she will embarrass herself and her party…..25% less.  That’s the theory anyway.  Plan A has been implemented.Plan B – Economic meltdown.  Play it so that John McCain is “the only one” who can solve the crisis, and suspend the campaign so he can. Push for the Presidential debate to be moved forward to take the place of…..wait for it…..the Vice Presidential debate!  This allows for the VP debate to be postponed indefinitely!  It’s so crazy, it just might work…  Except it didn’t.  Barack Obama called McCain’s bluff, showed for the debate and forced McCain to participate or risk being upstaged by a nationally televised Obama Town Hall meeting.  (McCain campaign lifting collective fist to the sky…”Noooooooo!”)Plan C – While looking for another way to stall the debate, giving Palin more time to memorize those index cards of talking points, create a diversion for the press.  Because right now, the press is not a friend to the McCain campaign.  The Couric interview was an epic disaster. Obama won the first Presidential debate, according to most Americans.  McCain is looking dangerously physically run-down.   Even Alaskans have had it with their governor, and were out in droves Saturday, protesting the stonewalling of her ethics investigation. Op-ed pieces from the left and from the right have been unflattering to say the least. Hmmm….how to divert all this negative press coverage….*lightbulb*

In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one — the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancé before the November 4 election.

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider.  “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”

Because, as we all know, that’s the definition of a “fantastic” wedding.


Awwww…..Don’t they just look so in love….freaked out and miserable?  And there’s something about a tattooed engagement ring…

So, if Plan C is indeed a shotgun wedding, what does this mean?  Will the press, as the McCain campaign hopes, make this the Alaskan hillbilly version of the Prince Charles/Lady Diana nuptials?  Will they have to suspend the campaign so the parents of the bride can participate?  Will that shotgun fit under Todd’s tuxedo without looking conspicuous?

But more importantly, if  the press does turn its lascivious, million-eyed focus on the young lovers, will this actually be a good thing for McCain and Palin?  Or, will the nation have its head held, and be forced to watch as these two young people, who never asked for this kind of attention, become a sideshow attraction as they are paraded in front of cameras, and become political pawns in a chess game they don’t want to play?  This plan may backfire.

How does the proud papa-to-be, Levi Johnston,  feel about the situation?

The ice-hockey player wrote on his MySpace page he was a “f***ing redneck” and stated, “I don’t want kids.” But a McCain insider predicted he would marry Bristol whenever his future mother-in-law wanted. “It’s a shotgun wedding. She kills things,” the source joked.

Ha ha. Let the marital bliss begin.

Although several sources are already reporting on this, no one has speculated yet about where this wedding might take place. We all recall how Sarah, wile pregnant and in labor with her infant son Trig, admitted that she hopped two commercial airline flights, and bypassed hospitals in Dallas, Seattle, and even in Anchorage, so she could deliver the high-risk baby in her home town of Wasilla, Alaska.  “First Dude” Todd Palin explained jeapordizing his wife and unborn child’s safety by stating, “You can’t have a fish-picker from Texas.”

So where do we suppose the wedding will be?  Todd?  Can you have a shotgun wedding in D.C.?  Can we Alaskans expect yet another media circus for the “Bristol ‘n Levi” wedding?  Join me as we spiral our way down into further depths of the painfully tacky, brutally opportunistic, Machiavellian nausea that is the McCain campaign.

*h/t to Crooks and Liars for the photo.