Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘alaska’

Unusual avalanche rescue

Posted by Richard on January 5, 2015

ICYMI, this is a great avalanche rescue story from Alaska. What the rescuers did is remarkable. The behavior of the victim is even more remarkable.

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MSM anoints Murkowski, Miller says not so fast

Posted by Richard on November 18, 2010

Lisa Murkowski has been declared re-elected by the New York Times and other MSM outlets. But Joe Miller hasn't thrown in the towel, and his campaign is raising serious issues regarding the fairness, accuracy, and honesty of the current count (emphasis added):

In order to ensure the integrity of the election results, the Miller campaign has requested, and the Division of Elections has now granted, the opportunity to review some precinct logs from throughout the state. Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto said, “Our campaign has sworn affidavits identifying unsecured ballot boxes, other precincts where numerous ballots appear to be in the same handwriting, others where there is 100% voter turnout and still other precincts where the ballots were sent to the Division of Elections presorted by U.S. Senate candidate. These and other irregularities give our campaign pause. Alaskans must be able to trust the results of its elections.”

One important step in reviewing the results of the election is ensuring that the number of voters signed in the precinct logs on Election Day matches the number of votes being recorded from that precinct and that there is no evidence of voter fraud. Further verification of these totals will have to come from the tapes that the voting machines produce with a tally of the number of voters and the break down between candidates. So far the Division of Elections has failed to respond to the Miller request for these tapes.

Additionally, the Murkowski write-in ballots have undergone a hand count review where spoiled ballots are being counted for her, whereas the Miller ballots have all been counted by machine with many valid ballots not being included.

I have no way of judging the validity of the Miller campaign's allegations. It's possible that Murkowski won fair and square — possible, but not likely. If there was no funny business, why has the Alaska political establishment gone to such lengths to block reasonable, legally sanctioned efforts — like matching the machine tallies against the number of votes recorded — to ensure that the counts are accurate? When people go to great lengths to hide things, it strongly suggests they have something to hide.

I've made another donation to the Miller campaign to fund their ongoing efforts to ensure a fair count. Please consider doing the same.

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Silencing dissent

Posted by Richard on October 30, 2010

Lisa Murkowski is a full-fledged member of the bipartisan ruling class that Angelo M. Codevilla described so well in his critically important American Spectator article. As such, she believes not only that she's entitled to rule, but that her subjects don't even have the right to make fun of her. Free speech be damned. 

Murkowski doesn't have access to SEIU goons to do her dirty work, so she relies on $1000/hr. lawyers to intimidate and silence her critics. On Friday, Sarah Palin told the tale on her Facebook page (emphasis added): 

Yesterday, Lisa Murkowski’s hired guns threatened radio host Dan Fagan, and more importantly, the station that airs Fagan’s show, with legal action for allegedly illegal “electioneering.” The station, unlike Murkowski, who is flush with millions of dollars from vested corporate interests, does not have a budget for a legal defense. So it did what any small market station would do when threatened by Beltway lawyers charging $500 to $1000 an hour – they pulled Dan Fagan off the air. 

Does all this sound heavy handed? It is. It is an interference with Dan Fagan’s constitutional right to free speech. It is also a shocking indictment against Lisa Murkowski. How low will she go to hold onto power? First, she gets the Division of Elections to change its write-in process – a process that Judge Pfiffner correctly determined had been in place without change for 50 years. She is accepting financial support from federal contractors, an act that is highly questionable and now pending before the FEC. And today, she played her last card. She made it clear that if you disagree with her and encourage others to exercise their civic rights, she’ll take you off the air.  

The concept of “electioneering” involves several issues, but typically refers to campaigning at the polls, which is appropriately banned. Under federal law, it can also mean paying for advertising on broadcast media during a federal election cycle, and it requires disclosures if done by groups and corporations. Fagan used satire to mock Murkowski’s write-in efforts and encouraged Alaskans to run as write-in candidates. That is not illegal. That is free speech.

Individuals like Dan Fagan have a fundamental right to speak their minds without threats from the incumbent Senator from Alaska. It is hard to find a constitutional right Americans cherish more than the right to free speech. This was a right Joe Miller, as a decorated combat veteran – a tank commander tested in battle, was willing to die to defend. Dan Fagan has not always agreed with me, but I will gladly defend his right to speak freely on his radio show, which he has often used to criticize me. In fact, Fagan has actually used his radio show to attack and insult me, my husband, my children, and my family in just about every way possible. He was especially insulting to my son, who left for a war zone to defend Fagan’s right to attack our family. But when I was his governor, I never would have dreamed of threatening his right to free speech. I support him in this fight because this D.C. Beltway thuggery, as exemplified by Lisa Murkowski’s latest threat, is ruining our country. The powers that be want ordinary Americans to sit down and shut up and let the ruling class ride us right off the debt cliff we’re heading towards with Obama, Pelosi, and Reid steering the nation’s car. We can’t let them. Now is the time to put aside our past differences and stand up to the establishment powers.

This whole episode confirms again why we need to elect Joe Miller. Lisa, you can sue me if you want (you won’t be the first). But I will not be intimidated from speaking my mind. Your intimidation just empowered us liberty-loving Alaskans. Are you really that out of touch?

Fortunately, Murkowski's thugs in pinstripes were too late. With some help from Dan Riehl's post at Big Government (which tells the story of the shameful election law subversion that led to this effort) and various bloggers, Fagan's call for more write-in candidates had the desired effect before he could be silenced. Riehl has the complete Alaska Division of Elections list of candidates for Senate and the story of how it came to be so large in a matter of hours just before the deadline.

Murkowski may have succeeded in getting election workers to distribute a list of write-in candidates to voters, but her name will be one of 148 on that list. Heh, indeed. 

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Murkowski and the Combine

Posted by Richard on September 20, 2010

Lexington Green doesn't think Lisa Murkowski is running as a write-in candidate out of anger, animosity toward Joe Miller, or other personal reasons. He thinks she's protecting The Combine and the long-standing game its members of both parties play. Interesting read.

UPDATE: Sen. Murkowski defended her decision on CNN today with lots of double-talk and obfuscation. Since this is CNN, she wasn't asked about her pledge before the primary to support the Republican nominee. She also wasn't asked specifically what she meant when she claimed there was a "smear campaign" against her by Tea Party Express. I helped fund those ads and know for a fact that she was "smeared" by having her own votes brought to the attention of Alaska voters.

I'm still not certain whether her write-in candidacy is motivated by personal peeve and animus or by allegiance to "The Combine," as Green alleges. Either way, it's contemptible.

(HT: Instapundit)

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Another wake-up call for the Republican establishment

Posted by Richard on August 26, 2010

I awake from my recent hibernation to shout "whoohoo!" at the stupendous Alaska Senate primary result. It's not official yet, due to absentee ballots, but it looks like unknown challenger Joe Miller has defeated incumbent Republican (in name only) Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski, of course, had the entire GOP establishment firmly behind her, despite her atrocious record (she supported cap-and-tax and all the bailout and porkulus packages, for starters).

In June, Murkowski had an "insurmountable" 35-point lead in the polls. Then Sarah Palin endorsed Joe Miller and the Tea Party Express began running ads for him (I helped fund those ads). Murkowski's lead began shrinking precipitously, but it was still 10 points a week or so before the election. Final tally (minus absentee ballots): Miller 50.9%, Murkowski 49.1%. I repeat, "whoohoo!"

Jim Treacher took delight in pointing out that Slate's Alexandra Gutierrez (among others) ended up embarrassing herself with her election eve story predicting an "embarrassing defeat" for Palin and the Tea Party Express when Murkowski "trounced" Miller. That turned out not to be reporting or analysis, but wishful thinking.

Whoohoo! 

UPDATE (8/27): Another RINO who doesn't want to accept a "No" from the voters. Check out the latest in the comments. 

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Sarah’s media smack-down

Posted by Richard on July 28, 2009

Here's a great couple of minutes from Sarah Palin's farewell speech in Fairbanks on Sunday, delivering a double smack-down to some ("only some") members of the media:

[YouTube link]

If you've got 20 minutes to spare, watch the whole speech in these two 10-minute clips: [Part 1] [Part 2] (If you've only got 10 minutes, watch part 2.)

Here are a few quotes I liked: 

Be wary of accepting government largess. It doesn't come free and often, accepting it takes away everything that is free, melting into Washington's powerful "care-taking" arms will just suck incentive to work hard and chart our own course right out of us, and that not only contributes to an unstable economy and dizzying national debt, but it does make us less free.
 

We don't have to feel that we must beg an allowance from Washington, except to beg the allowance to be self-determined.
 

We're no longer a frontier outpost on the periphery of the world's greatest nation. Now, as a contributor and a securer of America, we can attain our destiny in the promise of our motto "North to the Future." See, the pressing issue of our time, it's energy independence, because there is an inherent link between energy and security, and energy and prosperity. Alaska will lead with energy, we will prove you can be both pro-development and pro-environment, because no one loves their clean air and their land and their wildlife and their water more than an Alaskan. We will protect it.

The entire transcript is here.

The critics in the elite media (Republican and Democrat), the Eastern intelligentsia (Republican and Democrat), urban sophisticates everywhere (Republican and Democrat), and the Hollywood hip (Democrat and left-of-Democrat) continue to demean and dismiss this woman — in much the same way that the same groups scoffed at Ronald Reagan 30 years ago. History does have a way of repeating itself…

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Arctic oil and gas bonanza

Posted by Richard on June 3, 2009

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists is meeting in Denver next week. One of the featured sessions looks at a recent re-appraisal of arctic oil and gas potential that significantly increased previous estimates:

The session will be co-chaired by Don Gautier and David Houseknecht, both with the U.S. Geological Survey, and will follow-up on a USGS report released in late May that said 30 percent of the world's undiscovered gas and 13 percent of its undiscovered oil are estimated to be located north of the Arctic Circle.

The study, presented by Gautier and colleagues, is the first detailed, peer-reviewed and geologically based assessment of natural resources in that region. Most of the undiscovered oil and gas will be found underwater, on continental shelves, the researchers said.

The USGS study was recently published in Science magazine, but is only available for free to AAAS members/subscribers. There's a brief overview (heavy on concern for the poor creatures of the Arctic and somewhat dismissive of the value to us humans) at ScienceNow

Some of the richest Arctic oil fields are likely to be off the Alaskan coast in the Bering, Beaufort, and Chukchi Seas. A lease auction last year in the Chukchi area brought in over $2.6 billion. Many of the promising parcels there are comparable in size to the North Slope field (Prudhoe Bay) that's fed over 15 billion barrels of oil down the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in the past 30 years. 

Unfortunately, on April 17, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Appeals Court vacated the Alaskan leasing program and ordered the Interior Dept. to "conduct a more complete comparative analysis of the environmental sensitivity of different areas…" Fortunately, the ruling was fairly narrow, and the court dismissed plaintiffs' arguments that Interior needed to consider the "climate change" impact of burning any oil found. Interior Secretary Salazar is at least giving the impression that he wants to "move forward and fix the shortcomings," not scrap Alaskan offshore development completely. No suggestion that they might appeal, though. I suspect he's delighted by the ruling and won't seriously try to reverse it.

With oil (and gas) prices on the rise again, it's high time the government stopped standing in the way of increased domestic oil production. That's especially true in the Alaskan Arctic, where — as Investor's Business Daily pointed out — if we don't go after those resources, others will:

It ought to be reassuring to Americans that energy can be developed here. Americans are environmentally conscious, and Palin herself has a good record on balancing development with ecology.

The alternative isn't reassuring: If we don't drill, the Russians will. Situated over on the eastern end of the Chukchi Sea, they have global ambitions of dominating the energy trade and no qualms about muscling in on the U.S.

Drill Chukchi. Drill now. Pay less.  

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Palin sounds like a great pick

Posted by Richard on August 30, 2008

McCain isn't called a maverick for nothing, and he's not averse to taking chances. Gov. Sarah Palin is a daring, but risky choice. Her name recognition must be in the single digits, and an Alaska politician doesn't bring a lot of electoral votes to the table.

But everything I've read suggests Palin is bright, articulate, hard as nails — and a genuine fiscal conservative who's done a lot to clean up Alaska's politics. Since she became governor in 2006, her approval ratings have been mostly in the 90s and have never dropped below 80% — astonishing numbers. That means most of the people who voted against her think she's doing a great job.

The Club for Growth PAC really likes her:

“At a time when many Republicans are still clinging to pork-barrel politics, Governor Palin has quickly become a leader on this issue,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. “She is a principled reformer who understands how badly wasteful spending has marred the Republican brand.”

Governor Palin has proven herself to be a reformer unafraid to take on the establishment, which she did early on when she took on the incumbent Republican governor of Alaska in 2006. Only nine months in office, Governor Palin instructed the state to abandon the notorious pork project secured by Alaska’s politicians, the $223 million “Bridge to Nowhere.” While many Republicans in Congress are afraid to antagonize Washington’s biggest porkers, Sarah Palin stood strong for fiscal responsibility. Palin is also a persistent advocate of drilling in ANWR and expanding America’s domestic oil supply in general.

Sounds like a fine choice for veep. I'm with Zombyboy, who said "it’s a choice that I like almost regardless of outcome." Me too. If Obama wins and replicates the disastrous Carter presidency, I can see the Palin 2012 stickers already.

UPDATE: For that matter, given McCain's age, Palin 2012 is a strong possibility regardless of what happens this November. 

(Oh, yeah — don't miss the picture at Babalu Blog that Zombyboy linked to!) 

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Ron Paul endorsed porkmeister Young

Posted by Richard on August 26, 2008

Ron Paul turned me off some time ago, but it wasn't because of economic or fiscal issues. On those, I thought he was solid. So I'm more than a little surprised and quite disappointed that he's pimping votes for one of the GOP's sleaziest congresscritters:

Former Republican presidential contender Ron Paul has endorsed Don Young in his bid to win an 18th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Paul, the 72-year-old congressman from Texas whose maverick presidential bid drew wide support in Alaska, sent out a letter to his supporters here urging them to vote for Young.

“Don and I have served together in Congress for many years, and I consider him a friend,” Paul wrote in the letter. “Don has been an outspoken voice against environmental extremists over the years and has strongly opposed the types of federal regulatory overreach advocated in the name of environmentalism.”

What about Young's federal spending overreach, Ron? What about his earmark overreach? What about his support for a gas tax increase? What about his pork projects that benefit campaign contributors in another state? Are you endorsing those, too? Can you tell us what portion of the Constitution authorizes the building of bridges to nowhere, Dr. No?

As I noted last week, I've contributed to Young's primary opponent, Sean Parnell. I think I'll make another contribution to him in "honor" of Ron Paul's endorsement of Young. Please join me in contributing to Sean Parnell's campaign today. You can do so at his website, or better yet, join the Club for Growth and contribute through them.

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Defeat Don Young!

Posted by Richard on August 18, 2008

Rep. Don Young of Alaska is one of the House's chief porkmeisters and the poster child for why the Republican Party is no longer trusted as the party of fiscal responsibility. Along with the now-indicted Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, Young pushed through the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" earmark, and that's only one of many pieces of pork he's promoted.

Young doesn't limit himself to pork for Alaska, either. Check out the new Club for Growth PAC ad against Young revealing that he pushed through a $10 million earmark for an interchange in Florida (opposed by local officials) that benefits a Florida developer who raised $40,000 in contributions for Young. 

Young is facing a stiff primary challenge from Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, a solid fiscal conservative who, according to Pat Toomey, "led the fight for lower taxes and spending in the state legislature, and joined Gov. Sarah Palin in pushing for reform in the state."

A recent email from the Club for Growth indicates that Parnell is poised to defeat Young in the Aug. 26 primary, given sufficient funds (emphasis in original):

A new poll done for Sean Parnell in his Alaska Republican primary race against the "Bridge to Nowhere" congressman, Don Young, shows Parnell with a four point lead, but the race is within the margin of error of the poll, so we must leave nothing to chance.

Now is the last chance to get rid of Young, who recently voted with Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats to raise income taxes.

Now is the last chance to defeat Young, a three-time winner of Citizens Against Government Waste's "Porker of the Month" award.

Read what Don Young said to Republican budget cutters on the House floor last year: "This constant harping on this floor about cutting monies from other areas under the guise of balancing the budget, I say shame on you, too. I say shame on you because we are not doing the legislative process any good. . . . And like I say, those that bite me will be bitten back."

Don Young embodies what's wrong with too many Republicans today. Fortunately, we have an excellent chance to replace him with economic conservative Sean Parnell.
… 

Sean Parnell is a different kind of politician. He is the polar opposite of Don Young in both philosophy and temperament.

Before Sean Parnell became lieutenant governor in 2006, he served two terms in the state House (1993-1996) and two terms in the state Senate (1997-2000), compiling a solid record as a fiscal conservative. During that time, he fought against several attempts to raise taxes and increase spending. Sean supports permanent repeal of the Death Tax, making the tax cuts permanent, curbing government spending and drilling for more oil and gas. Sean has also taken a pledge to oppose tax increases.

Along with Alaska's extremely popular governor, Sarah Palin, Parnell is viewed as a reformer who wants to clean up Alaska's image, making it free of corruption and pork-barrel abuses.

Regardless of your party affiliation (or lack thereof), if you're disgusted by the culture of corruption in Congress, by the fiscal irresponsibility and the endless flood of pork and graft, please join me in contributing to Sean Parnell's campaign today. You can do so quickly and easily on this Club for Growth page. Nothing would send a stronger reform message to Washington than the primary defeat of Don Young.

While you're there, consider contributing to some of the other Club for Growth candidates, the Club for Growth itself, and the Club for Growth PAC (just keep scrolling). 

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