Sarah Palin – Progressive on Gay and Lesbian Issues? Don’t Believe It.

The Assocated Press reported that Sarah Palin “opposes gay marriage — constitutionally banned in Alaska before her time — but exercised a veto that essentially granted benefits to gay state employees and their partners.”

David Brooks, NY Times columnist and regular on the Lehrer News Hour, said. “she’s evangelical, but she’s pretty progressive on gay and lesbian issues.” He didn’t elaborate or give any supporting information.

The truth is that Sarah Palin did veto state legislation that would have denied spousal benefits to same sex partners. However, she vetoed it because her attorney general told her she would be violating her oath of office if she signed the bill.

A little history – in 2005 the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that denying spousal benefits to same-sex partners was unconstitutional. In 2006, the court ordered the state to begin granting the benefits by January 2007. In response to the 2005 ruling, in 2006, the state legislature passed a bill that would deny these benefits to same sex couples. When she vetoed the bill she issued this statement, “The Department of Law advised me that this bill, HB4001, is unconstitutional given the recent Court order of December 19th, mandating same-sex benefits,” said Governor Sarah Palin. “With that in mind, signing this bill would be in direct violation of my oath of office.” Additionally, she wrote, “I disagree with the recent court decision because I feel as though Alaskans spoke on this issue with its overwhelming support for a Constitutional Amendment in 1998 which defined marriage as between a man and woman. But the Supreme Court has spoken and the state will abide.”

So, gentle readers, I’ve yet to find evidence that indicates Sarah Palin supports gay rights – if you have information, please let me know.

Sarah Palin – "Bridge to Nowhere" Media Correction

If you don’t know who Sarah Palin is then you need to get your head out of the sand and start looking around. John McCain just announced yesterday that Sarah Palin will be his VP running mate. As the big news media is apt to do, it has gotten some information not quite correct.

Today’s topic will be about the “bridge to nowhere” – and if you haven’t heard about this then you need to do some homework. The media, in particular, the AP, has reported that Palin essentially told the federal government “thanks, but no thanks” regarding building the bridge. It makes it sound as if she saw that this was a waste of taxpayer money and she wasn’t going to waste it in her state. Well, this story isn’t exactly accurate. This bridge, which was to be built between Ketchikan, Alaska, and Gravina Island in September 2007 was supported by her during her gubernatorial run and while she was governor.

What actually happened was that the federal government changed the amount of money allotted to it and it became too expensive for the state. So, Governor Palin decided that the money allotted for it should be spent elsewhere as it was clear they would not have enough money to pay for it because the federal government had no intention of increasing its amount. Originally, the state was going to have to pay about $160M, but after changes by Congress, the state became responsible for $329M or about 80% of its cost.

Readers, I don’t really know the merits of the bridge and whether it was really a “bridge to nowhere”, but I do know that one of the reasons the federal government changed the amount of money allotted was to divert that money to the Katrina catastrophe. And it’s not whether the bridge was a legitimate project or not. It’s the fact that her actions have been spun by the RNC as throwing money back into the federal government’s face – and that could not be further from the real truth.

So, had Governor Palin received the money from the federal government that she needed for the bridge, she would have built it.

Here’s the link to the press release from her office when she said that the bridge was not going to be built: Press Release

Doesn’t sound like she thought the bridge was a bad idea, does it?

Yes We Can

Wow! What an acceptance speech! I have to say that over the past few days I have heard some fantastic speeches – and last night Barack Obama’s speech was awesome. If you weren’t moved by his speech and if you didn’t feel more hopeful about the future then you’re either dead or have an ice cube as your heart.

Then I read in the paper this morning that Gov Crist has appointed Charles T. Canady as a Florida Supreme Court justice. Canady was Jeb Bush’s top legal counsel and Dennis Baxley, the president of the Christian Coalition of Florida, praised the appointment. When Dennis Baxley praises anything you better watch out because it ain’t good.

No wonder we sometimes feel powerless and frustrated – we need Barack Obama to take back America from these right wing nuts – si se puede – yes we can!

Death in the Afternoon (or Ode to a Squirrel)

For those of you sensitive to death – the image below may contain material too graphic for your senses.

Picture this – Gainesville, late afternoon, blue skies, birds chirping at the feeder, Peanut on the deck – waiting and watching – suddenly you hear a squeal – “oh, shit!” you whisper – you jump up from the dinner table and rush out the door —

Death came quickly to the squirrel – mercifully. This kill was number two for the week – the first kill being a rat stalked several nights earlier. You ask yourself, “Why does she kill?” and “Why do I have to bag it and dispose of it?”. Then you realize – this is a valuable skill – Peanut might finally earn her keep. We will advertise her as a “rat terrier” or “squirrel terrier” – aren’t there some who would pay to rid their yards and gardens of rodents?

Peace is at hand once again – dinner is lukewarm – a glass of wine will wash it down nicely…

It’s Sunshine Sunday

The sun finally came out today. I took a picture to prove it.

We might still get some rain today. Yesterday, the rain was incredible – a deluge – and it came on fast – we saw the clouds and heard the thunder and knew we’d get some shortly – but 30 seconds later it was raining cats and dogs – it happened so fast – incredible.

Peanut and I went for a walk this mornning – still working on trying to get her to stop pulling – we use a gentle leader which helps a lot – but she still pulls. I could notice a slight improvement as we walked – but this little doggie is dense. I tried changing directions when she would pull and also tried stopping until she turned around and gave slack. But she really does not seem to get it. I’m still on board for a lobotomy. Sometimes, no, lots of times, I really do think she is a crack baby.

Mir had to work this morning – she should be home shortly. I went out and picked up Peanut’s “crazy pills” – okay, her medication – also got some poop bags and some pictures printed. I think it’s sometimes easier and maybe cheaper to have the professionals print the photos. Ink and photo paper are not cheap. Now, I’m home and boiling some eggs for a tuna salad I’m going to make.

The students are back. It’s so busy everywhere now. And next week is the start of football season here in Gator town. I hope they win – everyone is so much happier when they do.

Go Gators!