Patterico's Pontifications

9/19/2008

The Power of the Jump™: Sarah Palin’s “Road to Nowhere” Actually Might Be a Road to a Ferry

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:41 am

(Note: “The Power of the Jump”™ is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Times’s use of its back pages to hide information that its editors don’t want you to see.)

Memo to those people in the media who keep trying to tell us that they are just trying to tell us the facts: You guys want to know why we don’t trust you? It’s because of stories like the one I’m about to describe.

A front-page story in our beloved Bible of fact, the Los Angeles Times, reveals the shocking news:

Wow. She supported a “road to nowhere.” Why would a Governor spend $26 million on a “road to the nonexistent bridge”? I can conceive of no rational explanation.

Except for the completely exculpatory and eminently reasonable explanation offered on Page A23 — namely, the road might connect to a much-needed ferry service.

Turn with me — won’t you? — allllll the way back to Page A23. That’s the burial ground for inconvenient facts that must be published out of “fairness” — but that the editors really don’t want you to see.

Read past the allegations of deception. Past the descriptions of the project as a “dead-end road.” Past the descriptions of the letter-writing campaign begging Palin to stop this pointless insanity.

Keeeeeep reading. Make your way down to the 31st paragraph of this 33-paragraph story. There it is!

State officials said alternatives to the $398-million bridge could include improved ferry service or less costly bridges that would link to the Gravina road. “Gov. Palin understood that a more cost-efficient, sensible solution could still be implemented” in place of the original bridge plan, said Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for Palin’s campaign.

I remember the original debate on the bridge to nowhere. The argument was that, because the island has so few residents, the cost of the bridge wasn’t justified. Yes, the residents should have an alternative to the bridge, so that they didn’t have to get on an airplane just to get to the mainland. But it didn’t have to be a bridge; an expanded ferry service would do.

But even a ferry service requires a road, so you can get to it. That’s what this is.

It’s not necessarily a road to nowhere. It’s not necessarily a dead-end road. Palin isn’t necessarily being deceptive. And you can learn all these facts — if you turn to Page A23 and read down to the 31st paragraph.

Of course, if you don’t bother getting your fingers dirty, you’ll be left with the false impression that Palin wasted money on a pointless multi-million dollar project. And that’s precisely what the editors want you to think.

So, media types, keep pushing the line that you’re doing a fair job. Keep telling us you’re not out to do a hatchet job on Sarah Palin.

It’s just another lie you’re telling us.

Why does John McCain have it harder in this election? Simple.

Barack Obama has only to fight John McCain.

John McCain has to fight Barack Obama and a wholly deceptive media that is in Barack Obama’s pocket.

UPDATE: Some of you argue in the comments that Sarah Palin’s defense — that the road may lead to improved ferry service or lower-cost bridges — is clearly bogus, and therefore it’s okay for the paper to bury that defense in paragraph 31 of a 33-paragraph story. I explain why this story is still irresponsible in this post — with the aid of a former L.A. Times reporter who agrees with me.

169 Responses to “The Power of the Jump™: Sarah Palin’s “Road to Nowhere” Actually Might Be a Road to a Ferry”

  1. “John McCain has to fight Barack Obama and a wholly deceptive media that is in Barack Obama’s pocket.”

    True

    The Democrats say that if Obama doesn’t win, it will show how racist we are. Well, if McCain loses it will be due in part to bias coming from the LA times. They will be very proud of that.

    tyree (7a25f8)

  2. But even a ferry service requires a road, so you can get to it. That’s what this is.

    Nuh-uh. The “less costly bridges” would “link to the Gravina road.” The Gravin road isn’t leading to the “improved ferry service.”

    In order to be “improved” there has to be ferry service already. Which means there’s already a road to that service, a road that will still be there when the service is improved.

    Until these “less costly bridges” are built, the Gravina road is, in fact, a road to nowhere.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  3. Phil – We are just trying to kill, torture, jail, or oppress some people.

    JD (41e64f)

  4. Anonymous, I’m not sure what you’re saying, but whether or not “roads connect to ferries” I think it’s cheaper to have ferries connect to roads. In other words, you don’t need to build a long new road to the point where you’d build a bridge. A ferry can easily sail to whatever point on the shore where roads already lead.

    The idea that you have to build a road to meet a ferry is absurd based on what we know so far. unless there’s some special current, or magical reason that the point where the bridge was going to land is also the most wonderful spot to land a ferry, there’s no need to build this road in order to improve ferry service.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  5. Even if you take Palin literally, this is all highly speculative. There might be a ferry service. Or perhaps a lower-cost bridge. But that offhanded remark isn’t a plan. Where is the money going to come from?

    Palin keeps repeating factually unsupported stories of her alleged pork-fighting prowess, so the media is wise to be skeptical. Admit it, if a Democrat supporting Obama played fast and loose with the facts like this, you’d be all over it.

    Show where Palin ever turned down a lot of money Congress offered, and I’ll become a believer.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  6. Forget it JD, whatever will allow you to keep worshipping Palin must be true.

    I don’t disagree that most of the media has its lips stuck to Obama’s behind. But that’s not an excuse to be used to defend Palin.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  7. The issue is economic development. We all know that there are only 50 some residents on the island – along with an international airport. Perhaps that is a grandiose designation for the landing strip as it currently exists, but it is an international airport never the less. The project is designed to boost the economy in that part of the state. The current ferry service is not adequate for the hoped for traffic – its kind of like “if you build it, they will come.” It is a tried and true governmental modus operandi that some would like to deny to the Governor. Once again the left sets up a straw man and successfully burns it to the ground.

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  8. Palin’s actual record as governor is positive, if a bit thin at less than two years. She battled a corrupt Republican establishment, got more money for the state from the oil companies, and began to let Alaskans know that they were getting a bad reputation as pigs at the federal trough.

    But Palin and McCain have inflated these credentials far beyond the evidence. McCain’s doubly false claim that Palin sold the state jet on eBay and made a profit is an example. Palin’s claim that she told Congress Alaska didn’t need the Gravina Island bridge is another. The truth is more modest, but at least it’s the truth.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  9. The current ferry service is not adequate for the hoped for traffic – its kind of like “if you build it, they will come.” It is a tried and true governmental modus operandi that some would like to deny to the Governor.

    We’ll stopy denying it to the governor if she stops saying she said “thaynks but no thaynks” to make it look like she denied it herself.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  10. A ferry can easily sail to whatever point on the shore where roads already lead.

    the well known ferryman speaks

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  11. But Palin and McCain have inflated these credentials far beyond the evidence.

    Rather like the entire record of the empty suit at the top of the dems’s ticket. It’s politics. Having said that, there is more truth to claims of Palin’s accomplishments than the community agitator organizer’s.

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  12. Wow, phil knows nothing of nautical engineering.

    True, Phil there may be “other roads” on the coast, but do they lead to PROTECTABLE HARBORS, SAFE NAVIGABLE WATERS, COST EFFECTIVE COURSES, and other such minor matters.

    Techie (631ee6)

  13. quasi,
    The project is designed to boost the economy in that part of the state.

    That’s all very nice, but why not let the private sector fund the project, if it’s such a good idea? Or the state of Alaska, which is not exactly hurting for money IIRC. The federal government’s own finances are far more shaky.

    When government money comes into play, the hard-headed economic considerations that private developers have to consider goes out the window. After all, it’s free money. Moreover, each community that grabs for the pork provides a rationalization for other communities to vie for their share.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  14. quasi
    Having said that, there is more truth to claims of Palin’s accomplishments than the community agitator organizer’s.

    I agree with that entirely. My point is that Obama’s complete lack of economic credentials (such as the money pit of the Annenberg Challenge) is not an excuse for Palin to make unsupported claims about her own record.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  15. Oh come on, Techie. Everyone knows the waters around Alaska are always deep, calm and clear with fair weather and good visibility. Put that ferry where ever the roads go – no problem.

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  16. More importantly, in showing the duplicity of the LAT in the manner in which they have reported this story, it is a re-inforcement of Evan Thomas’ (Managing Editor-Newsweek) claim prior to the ’04 election, that what the media does is worth 15% in the final tally for Democrats.

    As long as the “press” is going to insert itself into the partisan battle for political control, I am becoming more and more uncomfortable with their claimed protection afforded by the “press clause” of the 1st-Amendment. Their insertion into the process is incompatible with a “free and un-fettered press” ensuring American’s right to know what is happening in our government.

    Another Drew (909672)

  17. why not let the private sector fund the project, if it’s such a good idea?

    fair question:

    1. Roads, bridges, and the like are usually the province of the state.

    2.My guess is that the return on investment is too low for private money to be attracted, so it’s like rural electrification or other government projects that benefit people over the very long run but cannot be justified short windows required by banks.

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  18. really poor sentence above but I think the idea is clear

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  19. Ouch!!!

    Andy B (ebd07f)

  20. The contract for the Gravina Island Highway aka “the road to nowhere” was let by Palin’s predecessor, Frank Murkowski. In fact, the contract was signed the week before Palin’s inauguration In December of 2006.

    BTW, the federal money ($220 million+) for the “Bridge to Nowhere” had been turned over to Alaska prior to Palin assuming office. Murkowski began to spend it on the Gravina Island Highway as a form of fait accompli, in hopes of keeping the bridge project alive.

    belloscm (36d6f2)

  21. “McCain’s doubly false claim that Palin sold the state jet on eBay”

    Bradley – I’m not aware of this claim. The only claim I have seen Palin make is that she put it on ebay. Do you have a citation for this? You have had problems distorting claims relating to Palin before. I’d check this one.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  22. Another Drew,
    The press in the early days of this country was more openly partisan than today, with newspapers taking openly Federalist or Republican stances. Take a look at the newspaper calumnies that were leveled against Jefferson and Adams in 1796 and 1800.

    This stuff is mild by comparison.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  23. So, we have Palin’s defense: the road to nowhere might, at some undetermined future time, connect to something. We’re not sure what that something is yet, though.

    jpe (08c1dd)

  24. I see the LA Times has really jumped on that e-mail hacking story. You know how much liberals bitterly cling to their Right to Privacy.

    Oh, yeah, it depends on whose ox is being gored doesn’t it?

    Alta Bob (e70400)

  25. The contract for the Gravina Island Highway aka “the road to nowhere” was let by Palin’s predecessor, Frank Murkowski.

    The term that describes this kind of situation is “efficient breach.”

    jpe (08c1dd)

  26. daleyrocks,
    Here is The Politico on McCain’s misstatement:

    But McCain, retelling the story, misstated it today:

    “You know what i enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor and sold it on eBay — made a profit,” he said, introducing Palin.

    Well, no. And the state sold it at a loss of half a million dollars.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  27. “That’s all very nice, but why not let the private sector fund the project, if it’s such a good idea? Or the state of Alaska, which is not exactly hurting for money IIRC.”

    Bradley – Did they spend the $400 which was earmarked for the two bridges to nowhere but then unearmarked and approved by Congress anyway? You said you were going to investigate that.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  28. I remember the original debate on the bridge to nowhere. The argument was that, because the island has so few residents, the cost of the bridge wasn’t justified. Yes, the residents should have an alternative to the bridge, so that they didn’t have to get on an airplane just to get to the mainland. But it didn’t have to be a bridge; an expanded ferry service would do.

    There is already a ferry service. It is incorrect to state the residents would need an airplane.

    Moreover, the road was designed to carry the amount of cars that could be carried by the gigantic Gravinas Island bridge. It will have huge excess capacity. I find it hard to believe Palin would have built the bridge if Alaska taxpayers were paying for it.

    Russell (c2db8a)

  29. I am becoming more and more uncomfortable with their claimed protection afforded by the “press clause” of the 1st-Amendment. Their insertion into the process is incompatible with a “free and un-fettered press” ensuring American’s right to know what is happening in our government.

    Yikes. I think at this point I’d rather let the Dems work with a 15 point advantage than gut the 1st amendment. So far the public is well enough educated to see through it fairly often. The problem will only become worse in the future though. Education is getting worse as families decay and the schools are deliberately not teaching anything that could be mistaken for American culture or civics.

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  30. Bradley – So McCain screwed up telling the her story. BFD. Has he kept repeating it? Has she lied?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  31. daleyrocks,

    As for my “distorted” statements about Palin, I’ll retract them if you can show me where Palin rejected an offer of money from Congress for the Gravina Island bridge, telling Congress that Alaska didn’t need it. That’s what Palin said she did.

    Give me the cite, and I’ll issue my retraction and apology to Palin and her supporters.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  32. “You know what i enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor and sold it on eBay — made a profit,” he said, introducing Palin.

    Well, no. And the state sold it at a loss of half a million dollars.

    Maybe he was using federal government accounting rules … you know: when the rate of increase decreases, it is a cut. So in this case, if she sold if for more than they thought they would get, they made a profit…

    just a thought. it’s how the government works and people buy it all the time

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  33. the well known ferryman speaks

    I found that interesting as well – he seems to know all about the permafrost problems that Alaska has always had to deal with (not), along with many other subsoil instability issues that would be mind – boggling to anyone living in the lower 48. I would suggest he read up on the building of the Alaskan Highway during WWII, or maybe a description of the conditions encountered during the construction of the pipeline – but never mind, he knows all about those seminal events.

    The press in the early days of this country was more openly partisan than today,

    Very true, Bradley – but the one factor that drives so many of us to distraction is that the press today pretends to be objective, whereas the rags of the past were obvious about their intentions. That’s all I’ve ever wanted from the MSM in this country – to admit that they’re human, they harbor biases, and that those predelictions are inevitably going to seep into their “objective” news coverage.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  34. My point is that Obama’s complete lack of economic credentials (such as the money pit of the Annenberg Challenge) is not an excuse for Palin to make unsupported claims about her own record.

    Comment by Bradley J. Fikes

    Bradley’s point is than he will keep on his theme that Palin is lying no matter what facts you call to his attention. The facts are that she sold the jet and she did list it on eBay. An overenthusiastic McCain staffer got that twisted a bit and I haven’t heard that claim since the first two days.

    The ferry “experts” are going on with zero information. The fact is that Ketchikan is the largest town in southern Alaska and there has been considerable effort over the past 15 years to shift the capital to Wasilla. Because of Alaska politics, heretofore corrupt, that effort has failed.

    Much of the fake outrage about Palin’s per diem expenses had to do with the fact that a governor who really tries to govern has to spend much of the time in Anchorage, where the population and economic activity are. Murkowski chose to fly around in a state jet. Palin did most of her business in an Anchorage office and lived at home unless she had to be in Juneau. By doing so, she saved the state millions, not even counting the 18 pages of budget vetoes she sustained.

    Don’t look to the LA Times or Bradley Fikes for accurate information on Palin. Both have irrational agendas. I can understand the Times but not Bradley. It may have something to do with sainthood.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  35. daleyrocks,
    Palin didn’t lie about putting the jet for sale on eBay. But it didn’t sell there, a fact Palin didn’t mention. Palin told a half-truth; the whole truth was far less impressive.

    Politicians tell half-truths all the time, but Palin is supposed to be more than just another politician.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  36. Mike K.
    I respect you very much, but you appear to be so committed to Palin that any attempt at impartial analysis seems biased. That’s a pity.

    The usual bickering aside, I hope you had a great time at Blogworld!

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  37. The press in the early days of this country was more openly partisan than today,

    Very true, Bradley – but the one factor that drives so many of us to distraction is that the press today pretends to be objective, whereas the rags of the past were obvious about their intentions.

    Just so. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that most towns have only one newspaper left There is no competing voice for balance. In TV land, where there is room for competing voices, they don’t compete – most of them work from the same play book. There is more balance in a place like this because the other side comes in and states their POV and occasionally even has a fact to back it up and add nuance (libs love nuance)

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  38. quasi,
    Why do you think I hang out here? :-)

    Patterico has an openly admitted point of view, but he puts facts first. I am waiting to see what Snopes does with the error he pointed out.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  39. there has been considerable effort over the past 15 years to shift the capital to Wasilla

    I should get out more. I never heard this one before. I thought Fairbanks was the shift site but perhaps that is (very) old info.

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  40. The thing that Bradley does not fully appreciate is how the press does not apply his careful attention to full accuracy and detail to the front page of the LA TIMES or the MSM.

    Thus, his efforts–in the absence of balanced reporting by the MSM, on both sides, with the same level of critical analysis—makes him actually work against one candidate despite his fair-mindedness. That is not how Bradley feels, no, but that is the accurate result.

    There is utterly no chance of getting Bradley to see this point, but it is still true. At least until I see front page stories in the LA TIMES detailing Biden’s relationships to lobbyists, his long term plagiarism, his many gaffes, and double dealing with Supreme Court nominees.

    And I haven’t even started on how the MSM covers Obama.

    But as I say, my opinion is not shared by many.

    Eric Blair (81e599)

  41. “Palin didn’t lie about putting the jet for sale on eBay. But it didn’t sell there, a fact Palin didn’t mention. Palin told a half-truth; the whole truth was far less impressive.”

    Bradley – I disagree. The impressive point is that she sold her predecessor’s jet because it was wasteful. The method used to sell it is irrelevant. Saying she put it on ebay adds a easily identiable touch for everyone to the story. People who want to nitpick her background and record to death can’t see the forest for the trees in this case as well as the bridge to nowhere where Alaska did indeed get the money and she decided to use it elsewhere. For some reason you’re still hung up on the facts on that project.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  42. Funny I know more about a tiny town of Wasilla in Alaska right now than I do about Obama’s community organizing projects and he is the Presidential candidate. Hilarious I tell you. While they are butchering trees daily in newspapers across the country to investigate a governor firing an employee that works for her , I have yet to see one story in any paper detailing the 3 weeks of ever-shifting lies Obama told about his association with Rev. Wright. I am glad that topic is now off limits to all except avowed racists.

    Mr. Pink (eae12c)

  43. My best friend (who’s a native New Yorker) called me up last night, and knowing of my past appreciation of McCain, asked “what’s happened to him over the last two years?” Since we don’t usually discuss politics (he’s wayyy left), I then had to listen to every meme that the MSM has been saying about McCain recently, and I had to explain to him that McCain hasn’t changed one iota, but now that he has a chance to win, the MSM hates his guts.

    I then attempted to tell him why I’ve never liked Obama, that his Chicago past has clearly demonstrated what a load of crap the whole “changey/hopey” mantra has always been. His classic response? “But how come we’re not aware of any of this?” God bless him, that pretty much says it all at this point. He’s still going to vote for The Messiah, but at least he’s aware of what he’s actually going to be voting for, and not some type of myth.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  44. You are right about one thing, patterico……

    Obama isn’t running against Palin. Palin is running against McCain.

    “Much can be learned about the Palin Administration’s family values from reviewing their spending priorities. Former Chief of Police Irl Stambaugh included forensic rape kits (up to $1,200 per kit) in his budget requests. He was fired by Palin in 1997. In her termination letter, Palin wrote, “…I do not feel I have your full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla. Therefore I intend to terminate your employment. . . ” Staumbaugh headed the police department since it was created in 1993. Before that, he served 22 years with the Anchorage Police Department rising to the rank of captain. Sarah Palin hired Charlie Fannon as the new Wasilla Chief of Police and said it was one of her best decisions as mayor. Fannon ELIMINATED THE FORENSIC RAPE KITS FROM THE BUDGET Though the number of rapes weren’t reported, Fannon claimed it would save Wasilla taxpayers $5,000 to $14,000 a year.

    http://alaskareport.com/news98/x61620_rape_palin.htm

    Fiscal responsibility. The watchword of the McCain candidacy……..

    Semanticleo (412e34)

  45. If you look at Ketchikan on Google Earth, you’ll see a town crammed up between mountains and water, with this big inviting island just across. If only there was way to get there.

    The whole line about “only 50 residents” is intentionally misleading. With a bridge of any kind that number jumps into the thousands in short order. Which was pretty much the plan, and still is.

    Besides, if you’ve ever been to Alaska you’ll understand why building roads is such a big deal up there.

    Might as well talk about building freeways to Orange County in the 50′s — what’s the point, it’s nothing but orange groves. Freeways to Nowhere. And just as lame a comment.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  46. Should I hold my breath for the LA Times to do a front page story on all the people Obama “helped” in his community organizing days and how far they have come since he “helped” them?

    Mr. Pink (eae12c)

  47. Bradley…
    I respect your views, and I acknowledge that the press in the early years was highly partisan, a partisanship that was self acknowledged.
    As has been stated by others, today’s press does not meet those same standards, claiming impartiality when they are not.
    If they were truly impartial, for instance, they would assign two reporters to cover each campaign, one pro, and one con – self-identified, and let the readers/viewers sort it out.
    They don’t do that, they try very hard to obfuscate their relationship to the candidates/parties, and that is what we resent.

    As to the “plane”:
    We know what the State of Alaska paid for the plane do we not?
    We know how many hours were on the air-frame and engines, do we not (these would be factors in determining the market value of a plane)?
    We know what Alaska was asking for the plane on ebay, do we not?
    We know how much the plane sold for through a broker, do we not?
    Taking all of the above into consideration, has anyone actually looked up/asked what the “Blue Book” value of this plane was when offered for sale?
    And, what were comparable planes selling for in relation to “Blue Book” (street value is not the same as blue-book value – bb value usually lags to the market)?

    For the rest of us who find your emphasis on this particular issue problematic (not wrong, mind you; but just a bit compulsive, perhaps?), answers to the value questions in real info, not vague opinions, would go a long way to dispell some of the rancor that has been generated over this issue.

    Just asking?

    Another Drew (909672)

  48. Fikes: Show where Palin ever turned down a lot of money Congress offered, and I’ll become a believer.

    As Governor of Alaska, it isn’t Palin’s job to turn down Congress’ money. Her job is to take care of her state.

    If Congress is stupid, and attempting to correct that stupidity would be tilting at windmills, then her job is to let Congress be stupid, and get the best result for her state under the circumstances.

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  49. there has been considerable effort over the past 15 years to shift the capital to Wasilla

    I should get out more. I never heard this one before. I thought Fairbanks was the shift site but perhaps that is (very) old info.

    Comment by quasimodo

    The effort actually goes back 40 years but the most recent was in 1994.

    Nov. 8, 1994 93MCAP – Relating to changing the capital to Wasilla
    This initiative would amend state law to change the state capital from Juneau to Wasilla as of January 1, 1997.

    The problem is the rivalry between Fairbanks and Anchorage. Fairbanks always blocks the move even though having the capital in Juneau is ridiculous. It is a relic of gold rush days when Alaska was a fiefdom of Seattle. Read Mitchener’s book sometime. When I took all my kids to Alaska in 1993, I gave them each a copy.

    My complaints about Bradley’s dogged antipathy to Palin is his fixation on otherworld ethics. She is not a candidate for sainthood. He is doing everything he can (fortunately not much) to elect Obama because she and McCain are not perfect. I like Bradley but this side of him detracts from his talents as a reporter.

    I think the Palin choice was inspired. I didn’t think McCain had the juice to step outside the envelope. I also was in favor of Meg Whitman although she has never held office. Once Obama passed on Hillary, it was very important for McCain to choose a woman and he did.

    I have not been a supporter of his this year, until now, but he has sure shown amazing skill and a light touch in the TV ads. I think he can win and, fortunately, Bradley can’t do much about it except annoy his friends.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  50. The Obamabots are so far in for The One that even routine governmental activities are to be denied to Governor Palin. Wait until The One calls his ‘Bots out to protest that the State of Alaska operates a fleet of luxury yachts for the use of the Governor to move people, cars and goods around a state with sparse settlements and even more sparse roads. Wait until The One calls the ‘Bots out to protest the fact that as citizens of Alaska, Governor Palin’s mother and father and her whole family are eligible for the annual Alaska Permanent Fund distribution, a fund under the control of the Governor — talk about your scandal.

    Just you wait evil Governor, just you wait.

    John Steele (44f0bd)

  51. Mike K…
    As much as I respect most of what Bradley brings to the table, he does suffer from an underlying Libertarian fault: The demand for the perfect, at the expense of the good.
    That, and their almost compulsive need to decriminalize drugs, will be why they never attain political power through the ballot box.

    Another Drew (909672)

  52. I’m gonna say cause I’ve been trying to find dirt on this woman and every accusation has been refuted. I’m not saying something won’t be found, but EVERY accusation I’ve studied over the net has turned out to be a lie. Isn’t there any REAL dirt on this terminator?

    Is is too premature to call Sarah Palin our first Teflon Vice-President candidate?

    Tom (332829)

  53. Are Fed. taxes for state roads an example of “nanny state”, “socialist” policies? Why can’t Alaska (or any other state) pay for its own roads and bridges?

    If they can’t get the money then they need to raise taxes or borrow it (they need to be pretty sure of “if they build it they will come” to borrow it) or go without the roads right?

    If businesses don’t want to go to some states because they are expensive and difficult to live in then the towns in those states or in hard to get to areas in those states should be allowed to shrink or die (like thousands of Ghost Towns all across the old west) right?

    The problem is that all those phrases are easy to say, they may even make sense in theory, but the reality of it is lost jobs, lost investments, lots angry miserable people, and hungry new politicians calling incumbents “incompetent” or “anti-growth” or “out of touch”.

    Thus we get bridge to “nowhere” money being turned into road to “nowhere” money and “conservatives” turning into “socialists” to bail out lenders and insurers (if they are big enough) and eating a whole lot of idealogical words about “free markets” all in the name of what some people would call “jobs” and others “decency” or even “good government in a crisis” and cynics would call “self preservation”.

    Sarah Palin was just doing her job as Gov. which was creating jobs and attempting to spur growth by increasing services to one part of her state.

    Nothing wrong with that but is it a “conservative” “free market” thing to do? Would the Republicans have been smarter to run her as a really good negotiator and job creator rather than as a reformer?

    EdWood (c2268a)

  54. I’m all for the road, the brigde, nope; it’s just too much. I’m all for the economic development of this area and believe it’s necessary for a number of reasons. Do we need the road now? I think yes. Will we need the bridge in 10 years? Probably not. Will we need the bridge in 50 years? I would say most probably. Will we need the bridge in 100 years? Definately.

    The above has absolutely no relation to the failing theory of AGW.

    Jason Coleman (a44014)

  55. “The demand for the perfect, at the expense of the good.”

    There! Mike K just put out the tricky balance, the hard “tough love” question. And in way fewer words.

    How far do governments take ideology at the expense of human misery. It’s a very important question for the non-wealthy and well connected since we are the ones who do the actual suffering.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  56. If businesses don’t want to go to some states because they are expensive and difficult to live in then the towns in those states or in hard to get to areas in those states should be allowed to shrink or die (like thousands of Ghost Towns all across the old west) right?

    The problem here is that Alaska is not like any other state. It has huge military bases that most of you never heard of. It is our frontier defense against Russian attacks. Then there is the oil. It is sparsely populated and huge but a critical national asset. We need the workers there to supply infrastructure for the military and the oil pipeline and fields. One reason why ANWR drilling is important is that the oil flow through the pipeline is declining. The North Slope fields are declining in output. There will probably be Arctic oil drilling, if Obama doesn’t get elected, and that plus ANWR will keep the Alaskan economy going.

    The oil trust payments, by the way, only go to natives, like Palin’s husband, or to those who have lived there for a minimum time. We can’t allow Alaska to stagnate in population because the other facilities are so critical. For example, roads in the northern part of the state are on permafrost. That takes very special methods of roadbuilding.

    Obama is the old Chicago machine with a cute costume. Better to find out now than too late. The latest McCain ads are devastating.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  57. It’s making me ill. The way the press is gone-the free press in this coutnry is gone- is making me ill. I’ve never seen anything like the overt partisanship the press is betraying. If Obama gets into office we’re screwed. He’s so not ready. If Palin had dithered about AIG like Obama did, she’d be crucified for it; it would be proof that she’s “stupid” and “not ready.” Today Obama says he’s not going to cite his economic plan. Right. He’s “present.” It scares me to death that this idiot might end up being our president.

    Vite (a78307)

  58. I was wondering if the possibility of a Real Estate development was at the root of this whole Gravina Island issue. Not having any firsthand information, I can only question the decision to put an airport on a island that’s hard to access. But once the airport’s there, a road and connecting bridge would be built and development of homes and small business could begin. Anyway, that sort of question was on my mind.

    Just now, my neighbor tells me that Ketchikan is surrounded by high mountains and has no flat spaces large enough for runways. So, putting the airport on Gravina was the only real option.

    Ropelight (b9f273)

  59. He’s “present.” It scares me to death that this idiot might end up being our president.

    We should all be scared, either way.

    We get to choose between socialism/big-brother-style coddling for the poor and middle class along with higher taxes and penalties for global expansion for businesses (Obama/Biden)

    versus

    socialism for the rich and the military-industrial lobby, along with no safety net for the poor (well, they can join the military, and have great benefits until they’re wounded/killed), with a nice dose of book-banning christianism thrown in (McCain/Palin).

    Frankly, I’m dreading the future, no matter who gets elected.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  60. Comment by Ropelight — 9/19/2008 @ 9:31 am

    Most people who comment on AK have never been there and have no real idea of which they speak.
    It is a state of awsome natural beauty, and is a cruel test of survival, even in the built-up areas.

    Another Drew (909672)

  61. Hey, phil…
    When was the last time that a poor person on welfare asked you to come and work for them?

    Another Drew (909672)

  62. Fickes: Well, no. And the state sold it at a loss of half a million dollars.

    I guess planes are like cars and boats, you usually sell them for less than you paid.

    I would guess that amount would be recaptured pretty quickly in tax losses and the elimination of operating expenses and debt service, if any.

    PC14 (ec0516)

  63. Ketchikan is squeezed between the mountains and the sea. The airport is on precious flat land on the island. It’s not rocket science, but this seems to be rarely mentioned.

    Gary Ogletree (8bb289)

  64. Comment by Gary Ogletree — 9/19/2008 @ 9:41 am

    Well, the Dem Party (and to be redundant, the MSM) seems to be seriously lacking in rocket-scientists.

    Another Drew (909672)

  65. When was the last time that a poor person on welfare asked you to come and work for them?

    I’m self-employed, and I sell my services to whoever wants to buy them. Poor people’s welfare money is just as good to me as rich people’s welfare money.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  66. And so, how much of your income is derived by providing goods/services to those in the bottom 20%, v the top 20%?

    Another Drew (909672)

  67. I am among the first to knock the media in this country, as my various columns over the past seven years will bear out. But your criticism of the Times story, like so much criticism of the press, shows a fundamental lack of comprehension of newswriting and journalism in general. News is conflict. The conflict aspect of the story is that the road was built because of the planned bridge—not the ferry service you cite. The bridge was cancelled, the road remained. That’s a news story, period. The fact that the road might also be eventually useful for ferry service is incidental in terms of importance—to this story. You think you have found great evidence of press bias, but in fact, you have simply revealed an all-too-common lack of understanding of the fundamentals of journalism.

    Rip Rense (462e19)

  68. There really is a lot of comment on Palin from people who have never been to Alaska. One good thing is that a lot of reporters are going up there and, when they don’t find the dirt on Palin they hope for, might actually learn something. I think it is interesting that there has yet to be a mention of the fact that she is a pilot. She did mention the super cub that is moored behind her house in the Hannity interview. Nobody else mentioned it. I guess it might be a positive for her.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  69. And so, how much of your income is derived by providing goods/services to those in the bottom 20%, v the top 20%?

    I couldn’t tell ya specifics. Let’s assume that I get more from the top 20 percent; I still hate welfare for the rich and for the poor. My point was, whichever side gets welfare, it’s welfare, not some sort of productivity or efficiency increase that creates a net gain.

    And encouraging rich corporations to be failures, by propping them up when they fail, is just as destructive as encouraging poor people to be failures by propping them up with they fail. It just creates an illusion of success, by shifting the burden of their failures from them to the taxpayers.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  70. Hey, Rip… Wake Up!

    The criticism was placing the truth about the road in the second to last paragraph,
    after carping over a bunch of lies/obfuscations for the first 30 graphs.
    All our host is seeking is the truth – a commodity that is quite rare in the MSM thesedays,
    and almost non-existent in the LAT.

    Another Drew (909672)

  71. phil…
    The Fed Govt had a moral obligation, as I see it, to do what they have done re the financial sector over the past few days since it was the policies proscribed by the Gov’t that precipitated the failures that you describe.
    What was it that the Left was fond of saying in criticizing our involvement in Iraq:
    If you break it, you have to fix it!
    Well, welcome to Wall Street. Now you get to fix that, too!

    Another Drew (909672)

  72. “If Obama gets into office we’re screwed. He’s so not ready.”
    Comment by Vite — 9/19/2008 @ 9:24 am.

    So very true. Even worse, the people behind Obama are “tanned, rested and ready” to exert their malicious policies through this empty suit in the Oval Office.

    C. Norris (b78bf6)

  73. I think Bradley Fikes’ skepticism is justified. The LAT story has a map inset that shows the route of the road being built on Gravina Island. Google Maps offers a satellite view (prior to construction).

    A look at the geography shows that there is no way that the Gravina Island Highway could be used to facilitate improved ferry service to the island or its airport from Ketchican. That is a post hoc excuse.

    The road makes sense as the connector to a bridge across Pennock Island…

    AMac (c822c9)

  74. Patterico,

    I thought no one read the dead tree edition of the paper anymore. Hell, I subscribe and only read it once or twice a week in paper form. Since most people will be reading this online, where this jump does not occur, I think your argument is pretty weak. Sure, a little funny business by the not-relevant-anymore part of the paper, but in the grand scheme, who cares? The only people who read the article will read it online.

    bode (2e8328)

  75. Do you mean to say bode, that the truth of the road is still buried in Para-31 (out of 33)?

    Another Drew (909672)

  76. The Fed Govt had a moral obligation, as I see it, to do what they have done re the financial sector over the past few days since it was the policies proscribed by the Gov’t that precipitated the failures that you describe.

    Fine. Using your reasoning, then:

    The government precipitates obesity and heart disease, because it doesn’t sufficiently regulate fast food and other unhealthy products that cause obesity and heart disease; further, the government precipitates lung cancer because it doesn’t sufficiently regulate tobacco use. And therefore the government has a moral obligation to pay for the cost of treatment of lung cancer and heart disease.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  77. Bridges to Nowhere….recollections of an old fart…

    In Long Beach CA, in the late 40′s/early 50′s, they built a bridge over some mud-flats near Belmont Shore, without a road connection on either end. The construction was financed with Tidelands Oil funds that had to be spent for waterfront-related uses.

    It was years before the City could come up with the rest of the funding needed to complete roads to the bridge, and the thing it was supposed to span: Welcome to the “2nd Street” bridge over the Los Alamitos Bay Marina channel leading to Coronado Lagoon.

    Another Drew (909672)

  78. Why can’t Alaska (or any other state) pay for its own roads and bridges?

    Cuz the feds suck so much out of each and every state? Just a guess.


    Poor people’s welfare money is just as good to me as rich people’s welfare money.


    It ain’t welfare unless it is greater than their tax payments. If not, it’s a lie to call it welfare. Same goes with the lib’s “corporate welfare” meme. Corporations do not and cannot pay a tax. Only people pay taxes.

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  79. phil…
    apples and oranges.
    Govt policy vs personal activity…
    and dont try telling anyone that tobacco isn’t regulated.
    Apples and Oranges!

    Another Drew (909672)

  80. Bradley J. Fikes wrote: McCain’s doubly false claim that Palin sold the state jet on eBay and made a profit is an example.

    Look, Brad, I have already gone on record as saying that her “Thanks, but no thanks” line regarding the Bridge is deceptive, but your statement that McCain’s misstatement about Murkowski’s plane is deceptive as well.

    The crap-tossing flying monkeys unleashed by Daily Kos et al (and endorsed yesterday by Mr. “Hope & Change IN YOUR FACE!”) are lying about the jet having been sold. They are determined to beat into the electorate the idea that EVERYTHING positive about Palin is a fabrication.

    Fact-checking Palin has to be done, but don’t become an unwitting maitre d’ in the Obamatron/MSM feeding frenzy.

    L.N. Smithee (ecc5a5)

  81. I think Bradley Fikes’ skepticism is justified. The LAT story has a map inset that shows the route of the road being built on Gravina Island. Google Maps offers a satellite view (prior to construction).

    It isn’t Bradley’s “skepticism” that is the point. It is his dogged and irrational antipathy to Palin, constantly saying she lied about the bridge when that has been debunked repeatedly and by Alaskan sources. You may well be right about the road. There may also be other factors, such as a desire to move the ferry terminal out of the downtown Ketchikan area.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  82. With comment No. 49, Daryl Hebert makes the most relevant point in this entire discussion.

    As governor of Alaska, Palin is a STATE official, not a NATIONAL official.

    Thus, her responsibility is/was to her constituents in Alaska. It wasn’t her job to determine how FEDERAL tax funds were allocated.

    Bubba Maximus (456175)

  83. ARRGH!

    This SHOULD read: Look, Brad, I have already gone on record as saying that her “Thanks, but no thanks” line regarding the Bridge is deceptive, but your statement that about McCain’s misstatement about Murkowski’s plane is deceptive as well.

    L.N. Smithee (ecc5a5)

  84. Another drew, are you saying that the government policy actually CAUSED this crisis, as opposed to failing to regulate sufficiently to prevent it?

    Because otherwise, it’s not apples and oranges at all. In both scenarious, people take risks, get hurt, cry to the government that it’s not their fault, there should have been better regulation, and the government bails them out. What’s the difference?

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  85. and…
    the contract for the road was let by Murkowski, not Palin, if the info above is accurate.
    And, has anyone inquired as to the plans for the ferry terminal (unlike phil, I do know that a ferry terminal can’t be sited just anywhere)?
    Have EIR’s been contracted for?
    Who is/are the architects?
    What comment has the CofC made on this subject in their newsletter to members?

    There are a lot of questions that need to be asked and answered before we start scheduling a “Joan of Arc” event.

    Another Drew (909672)

  86. Yes, phil…
    The sub-prime mortgage crisis was caused by the policy of Congress to eliminate red-lining at all costs, and their direction to FM2 to facilitate a wide-spread, sub-prime market. These policies go back at least 15 years, and even have roots in legislation signed by Carter in the late 70′s.

    Another Drew (909672)

  87. #69, #71

    Great Comments.

    Thank you Rip Rense for a comment on the journalism business. I guess all those journalists out there aren’t some sort of Machiavellian agents for either the Heritage Foundation or some Maoist Insurgency.

    …..now the “media” with all its “commentators” and “entertainers”… well…. who knows?

    EdWood (c2268a)

  88. and furthermore, Congress has consistently blocked any effort to effectively oversee the activities at FM2. Why else would FM2 be larding campaign contributions and lobbyist money to Capitol Hill?
    It is not for nothing that Chris Dodd, Ch of the Sen Banking Cmte is the largest recipient over 20 years of FM2 loot; followed by Obama (#2 on the list in $’s) but accomplished in only 4-yrs vs Dodd’s 20+.

    Another Drew (909672)

  89. no one here has claimed the media are agents of a Maoist insurgency … but now that you mention it…

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  90. Bradley J. Fikes —

    Where is the money going to come from?
    – Concerning yourself with money issues in states where you don’t live, are you? How ’bout you drop the small potatoes of Alaska and help work on the $1 billion deficit here in AZ? or the governator’s mess in CA?

    Palin keeps repeating factually unsupported stories of her alleged pork-fighting prowess, so the media is wise to be skeptical.
    – State of the State Address, Governor Sarah Palin, PRESENTED TO THE 25th Alaska Legislature, Second Regular Session, January 15, 2008:
    We can and must continue to develop our economy, because we cannot and must not rely so heavily on federal government earmarks. Instead, let us power up and produce for Alaska and America. We can do this – we’re 50 years old now, and it’s time!
    From the March, 2008 edition of Governor Palin’s “Putting Alaska First” newsletter; within a Q&A with John Katz, Director, Washington D.C. Office of the Governor:
    This year, President Bush and the Congressional leadership have said that the total dollar amount and number of earmarks must be reduced significantly. Recognizing the Constitutional authority of Congress to formulate the federal budget, Governor Palin has responded to this direction by reducing the total number of State earmark requests from 54 last year to 31 and from $550 million to less than $200 million.
    – There is no “con job” going on here; she talks the talk and walks the walk. She NEVER NEVER NEVER said that she wants all earmarks, every last one of them, eliminated. She has said that they need to be reduced AND she has worked to make that happen — period. No lies, no hypocrisy. Palin and McCain are pledged to making things better. They don’t throw out pie-in-the-sky “we can make things perfect,” platitudes the way that Obama bin Biden do.

    McCain’s doubly false claim that Palin sold the state jet on eBay and made a profit is an example.
    – On the first part he made a mistake (Horrors!); the second part is a misstatement, but not an intentional attempt to deceive.

    Palin’s claim that she told Congress Alaska didn’t need the Gravina Island bridge is another.
    – What about your false claim that this is what she said?

    That’s all very nice, but why not let the private sector fund the project, if it’s such a good idea?
    – I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the private sector generally shies away from funding public access roads.

    Or the state of Alaska, which is not exactly hurting for money IIRC. The federal government’s own finances are far more shaky.
    – The federal government’s finances are “far more shaky” than that of an individual state? Really?

    When government money comes into play, the hard-headed economic considerations that private developers have to consider goes out the window. After all, it’s free money. Moreover, each community that grabs for the pork provides a rationalization for other communities to vie for their share.
    – Very good! And since the other ticket are the kings of pork, your decision on who to vote for is clear. Good for you.

    My point is that Obama’s complete lack of economic credentials (such as the money pit of the Annenberg Challenge) is not an excuse for Palin to make unsupported claims about her own record.
    – That’s the excuse she has given, is that it? Citations, please.

    The press in the early days of this country was more openly partisan than today . . . This stuff is mild by comparison.
    – It isn’t as bad as it used to be, therefore it is acceptable? Maybe in your low-standard universe it is.

    And the state sold it at a loss of half a million dollars.
    – Have you ever sold a car? one that was not a collectible? Ever hear of depreciation? The money the state received for selling that plane ($2.1 million) is money it otherwise would not have in its coffers; not to mention the storage, maintenance, and operating expenses. It sold for less than the asking price ($2.45 million) and less than the purchase price ($2.7 million). Compare that to buying a used car for $2700, driving it for a couple years, putting a For Sale sign on it for $2450, and accepting an offer of $2100. The seller no longer has the car, but has $2100 that he otherwise would not have.

    Palin didn’t lie about putting the jet for sale on eBay. But it didn’t sell there, a fact Palin didn’t mention. Palin told a half-truth; the whole truth was far less impressive.
    – Straight out of the bullshit liberal blog talking points. “She implied that she sold it on ebay.” Sounds like you are spouting the same contempt for the intelligence of the average voter that they display on a daily basis.

    Politicians tell half-truths all the time, but Palin is supposed to be more than just another politician.
    – Oh, good show! Turn around the “Obama turned out to be just another politician” line and use it against Palin. NewsFlash, binkie: They’re ALL “just another politician” when it comes to running a campaign; anyone who EVER believed otherwise is a fish-eyed fool. What counts is what they do IN OFFICE.

    Patterico has an openly admitted point of view, but he puts facts first. I am waiting to see what Snopes does with the error he pointed out.
    – Didn’t we just have a discussion, initiated BY Patterico, about the suspect reliability of Snopes?

    Icy Truth (225b9d)

  91. Check out this PBS poll – Do you think Sarah Palin is qualified to serve as Vice President of the United States?
    http://www.pbs.org/now/polls/poll-435.html

    I must have missed the poll on whether Obama is qualified to serve as President.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  92. Icy, I appreciate your comments. Bradley Fikes is a good guy, but he is a serious Third Party type. He puts candidates under a microscope, because he expects them to be perfect…and the idea of “less bad” is a concept he does not like. But it is all politics has ever had, including Third Party types (over which you have to add the harsh truth that voting Third Party is actually a vote for the actual winner in our current system).

    Don’t get him started on voting Third Party.

    Again, he tries to hold both candidates to high standards, but I believe that Senator Obama is far more duplicitous than Governor Palin. I suspect Bradley thinks so, too, but is trying to sound “fair.”

    But in the current MSM mix (a Palin Pile-on), “fair” means something different than he intends, to misquote Inigo Montoya.

    Eric Blair (2708f4)

  93. #81 – Another Drew

    Apples and Oranges!

    – That’s Apples and Rocks, my brutha! Apples and Rocks. Just like the comparison between black and white brains.

    And don’t let nobody tell you no different.

    Rev. Jeremiah Wright (225b9d)

  94. Icy…
    Well said, as usual.
    Bradley has stated that he won’t vote for McCain, and by his appearant standards couldn’t vote for Obama;
    so, that just leaves the question:
    Paul or Barr?
    (((shudders)))

    Another Drew (909672)

  95. The sub-prime mortgage crisis was caused by the policy of Congress to eliminate red-lining at all costs, and their direction to FM2 to facilitate a wide-spread, sub-prime market. These policies go back at least 15 years, and even have roots in legislation signed by Carter in the late 70’s.

    Ah, you’ve gotta get partisan about it, don’t you. Keep molding history to make it clear that YOUR party has GOOD big government, and the other party has the BAD big government.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  96. About the only real news is on-line. Dead tree journalism and broadcast news have been eclipsed by a faster and more nimble technology.

    That’s part of why MSM is so resistant to change, it’s why MSM can embrace the phony “hope and change” mantra, when in reality they have no hope and change is the last thing they want.

    Ropelight (b9f273)

  97. Dead tree journalism and broadcast news have been eclipsed by a faster and more nimble technology. That’s part of why MSM is so resistant to change, it’s why MSM can embrace the phony “hope and change” mantra, when in reality they have no hope and change is the last thing they want.

    Funny . . . that’s exactly why I think that McCain has also embraced the “hope and change” mantra, and copied virtually everything else that worked for Obama (“I have a young, inexperienced non-white-male on my ticket, too! And you’re discriminating agains US! And YOUR candidate is an elitist entrenched politician, too!”.

    These damn candidates are basically fighting desperately to become each other, to capture each other’s voters. And together, they’ve formed a single, repulsive monster.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  98. Eric Blair — He puts candidates under a microscope, because he expects them to be perfect…and the idea of “less bad” is a concept he does not like.

    – Hence, my comment on McCain’s mistake (“Horrors!”). The problem with someone expecting a candidate to be perfect is that unless that person is, a) going to sit out the election, b) going to write-in “Mickey Mouse” or some such, c) prepared to defend the “perfect” status of their chosen third-party candidate, or, d) going to write-in their own name on the ballot, this supposed quest for perfection becomes nothing more than an exercise in bashing everything that doesn’t meet ones pie-in-the-sky expectations. It turns into slamming humanity for original sin, so to speak. And in conjunction with support for a (yes) flawed third-party candidate, it can come off sounding like a call to anarchy. After all, if none of them meet our impossibly high expectations, we might as well do away with representative government altogether and just rule ourselves.

    Icy Truth (225b9d)

  99. Icy,
    As for as what you say is my false statement: “Palin’s claim that she told Congress Alaska didn’t need the Gravina Island bridge is another.”

    Here’s one link.

    I told the Congress “thanks, but no thanks,” for that Bridge to Nowhere.

    If our state wanted a bridge, we’d build it ourselves.

    And here is McCain
    McCain said Palin has “stopped government from wasting taxpayers’ money on things they don’t want or need. And when we in Congress decided to build a bridge in Alaska to nowhere for $233-million of yours, she said, we don’t want it. If we need it, we’ll build our own in Alaska. She’s the one that stood up to them.”

    Perhaps that is McCain once again just innocently garbling what Palin said. Funny, though how all the misstatements run in the same direction of puffing up her credentials.

    And I am disappointed that Mike K. thinks I have an antipathy to Palin, which it is her and McCain’s exaggerations and false statements that I object to.

    Bradley J. Fikes (a18ddc)

  100. Well put, Icy. Actually, Mike K.’s comment about perfection versus possible is spot on.

    I always thought that there should be Prevarication Quotient, where there is a nice list of this sort of thing. The more a person “lies,” the less trustworthy they would be, I think.

    The issue of focus is thereby put into context.

    Notice that MSM still isn’t talking much about Obama and Biden’s issues. Sure, sure, everyone knows about their problems; that’s the reason the MSM is sneering at Palin so much.

    “That’s the ticket,” I say, in my best Jon Lovitz impression.

    Eric Blair (2708f4)

  101. With politicians, maybe more than any other profession, words are words — actions matter. When Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire” there was a hysteria of horrified reactions from people convinced that what he said was guaranteed to make things worse. In the annals of history, the only things that matter are the actions he took and the result of those actions.

    I couldn’t possibly care less what any of these people say in order to get elected — I care about what they will do once they are in office. They have all (and that includes Biden’s Gaffe-Speak Express™) said things that are tweaked to give a positive spin to the one saying it, and a negative impression of the opposition. That’s the game. While I have found plenty to dislike in what Obama has said, the reasons why I won’t vote for him are ALL contained in those policy PDF’s on his website. Yes, it disturbs me that he ONCE AGAIN trotted out the “funny name” line, as well as a variation on his wife’s “America is a downright mean country” routine, at that $28k-per-plate dinner the other night. But when I go into the voting booth that won’t be on my mind AT ALL; the billions of dollars in new and increased spending he has promised, that will be on my mind.

    Icy Truth (2bcd19)

  102. #-87 Another Drew,

    The Gravina Access Highway project, according to the Alaska DOT, was contracted out at a cost of $25.7 miilion on December 1, 2006 (3 days before Palin’s inauguration). The contract was let by the previous administration under Murkowski. The Gravina Highway was permitted by the Army Corps of Engineers on December 20, 2006, nearly three weeks after the contract was given to a company from Anchorage, Alaska. This info was found on a website that promotes opposition to the project.http://www.tongassconservation.org/gravina.html

    belloscm (cf0c5e)

  103. Bradley,

    We all have our tipping points but what bothers me about your position is that the Alaska press has clearly stated and provided support that Palin’s views on earmarks have changed over time: That she believes earmark reform is needed and has acted accordingly. And that while we can disagree on what motivated Palin’s earmark decisions, I don’t think we can disagree that her position has evolved closer to Senator McCain’s.

    Like it or not, political races are run and won with soundbites. I agree those soundbites should be accurate and that it’s fair game for opponents to point out inconsistencies, but ultimately the point is whether the statements communicate the candidates’ positions on the issues. I think the McCain-Palin quotes communicate where they stand on earmarks.

    DRJ (0754ed)

  104. Hello DRJ.
    Yes, the Alaska press has documented how Palin’s views on the bridge have changed over time, and her position has evolved over time to be closer to that of Sen. McCain. And had Palin stated her views in those terms, I would be fine with it.

    Too perfectionist? Perhaps. But those who wish to downplay exaggeration and inaccurate sound bites should think of how they would judge similar statements by Obama.

    One of the things I like about Patterico is when he takes a really controversial statement, asks us to judge it, then reveals who said it and the context. For example, Larry Johnson’s repugnant comment about Karl Rove’s mother committing suicide. I would like to see more such discussions of questionable statements in a similar fashion.

    BTW, I think Obama is completely unfit to be president. His friendship with unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers alone is enough to disqualify him, IMO. There are many other reasons.

    But Obama’s unfitness is not related to the truth or falsity of McCain or Palin’s statements, although lamentably most people seem to act that way. Their side gets a pass and the other side gets pounded.

    Bradley J. Fikes (a18ddc)

  105. Another interesting about this is that the money($26 million) Murkowski committed to the access road was from a $35 million earmark that remained within the $223 congressional allocation. This earmark directed that the expenditure of the $35 m be related to the Gravina Island Bridge project.

    It was “use or lose” money. Alaska used it to build the access road. Why doesn’t the LAT mention this?

    belloscm (cf0c5e)

  106. #101 – Bradley J. Fikes

    As for as what you say is my false statement: “Palin’s claim that she told Congress Alaska didn’t need the Gravina Island bridge is another.” [followed by links]
    – Where, in ANY of those links, does she “claim that she told Congress Alaska didn’t need the Gravina Island bridge”? Where? Is this gonna be another one of those “well, she didn’t say it, but she implied it” moments?

    Perhaps that is McCain once again just innocently garbling what Palin said.
    – In the very quote you cite, he says “And when we in Congress decided to build a bridge in Alaska to nowhere for $233-million of yours, she said, we don’t want it.” Well, guess what? McCain voted against it. Did he make a mistake? or is he using the collective “we”? Can we be sure one way or the other?

    Another thing, just to remind everyone: Obama brings up this supposed hypocrisy out on the trail without a hint of irony regarding the fact that both he and Biden voted FOR IT.

    Icy Truth (3b614c)

  107. Bradley,

    Has McCain gotten a pass here on issues like immigration, McCain-Feingold, or the Gang of 14?

    I appreciate your devotion to analyzing the details, and I applaud your fact-based criticism of McCain-Palin for exaggerating. But to me these are misdemeanor exaggerations, not the felonies of hypocrisy, misdirection, or misstatement.

    DRJ (0754ed)

  108. Some of you are arguing that Palin’s defense is weak. That may or may not be; I didn’t look at the map and can’t until I get home. But if that’s true, it doesn’t change the fact that the defense should have been mentioned (and, if poor, debunked) before the third-to-last paragraph.

    Rip Rense, I see from your site that you are dismissive of Obama and Palin, and so it doesn’t surprise me that you find my post unconvincing. As for your argument from authority: I was sent this by a veteran journalist who was appalled. You’re not appalled — not because you’re experienced and I’m not, but because you’re a partisan.

    Patterico (4f1a59)

  109. “I appreciate your devotion to analyzing the details, and I applaud your fact-based criticism of McCain-Palin for exaggerating. But to me these are misdemeanor exaggerations, not the felonies of hypocrisy, misdirection, or misstatement.”

    DRJ – I agree and Bradley seems incable of objectively looking at the substance or facts of issues surrounding Palin even when they are smacking him repeatedly in the face. Normally he is a rational observer, but something has gone missing in his analysis of Palin and you can see from the comments of others, I am not the only one to notice it. It’s not us Bradley, it’s you.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  110. I mean dismissive of McCain, not Obama.

    Patterico (4f1a59)

  111. Icy Truth,
    We’re obviously going to have to agree to disagree on this. I’ve given my evidence that Palin misrepresented her stance on the bridge, you don’t want to accept it and object over semantics.

    I wouldn’t have even brought this up except that our esteemed host is accusing the LA Times of bias for its story. In this case, I think Patterico goofed. He built an entire post denouncing the LAT on an offhand remark about a possible ferry. And the mind-reading tone of the post was especially objectionable. The whole post was a cloud of conjecture.

    Bradley J. Fikes (045b80)

  112. The mis-direction of the Obamabots on this subject is simply hilarious.

    This is a very simple issue:

    Gravina Island has 50 residents. It also had a lot of empty flat land upon which to build an airport, so they did.

    Ketchikan, Alaska, approximately has about 7500 year round residents, but its also is a major destination for visitors to Alaska because of its abundant nearby hunting and fishing.

    The Bridge was to connect Ketchican to Gravina Island, for the benefit of Ketchican, not Gravina Island. The BTNW was to get people to the aiport from Ketchikan, and visitors arriving at the airport to Ketchikan.

    The enhanced ferry service will do the same thing. The current ferry service is outdated. But an enhanced ferry service will require a better roadway on the Gravina Island end.

    Think of it this was — just how good do you suspect the roads were on Gravina Island prior to the airport being built? It had 50 people living there, and there was no reason for people from Ketchikan to go there.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  113. One point that I’ve never seen addressed in any of these criticisms of Alaska’s spending of Federal money is the fact that the Federal Government owns HUGE tracts of Alaska.

    As far as I’m concerned, asking the Feds to help out with money for road projects in Alaska would be like taxing the biggest landowner in a City to help pay for the City’s new sewage treatment plant. If the Feds don’t want to send highway dollars to Alaska, then I’m sure that the State Government would be MORE than happy to take title to all that land for themselves.

    This should take away any Libertarian’s arguments that Alaska is suckling on the Federal teat. They’re just sending their biggest landowner a bill for local government services when they ask for Federal money.

    Russ from Winterset (208079)

  114. As must be self – evident by now, Bradley is a person who revels in playing the Cassandra regarding most issues; he reminds me of Hitchens with his dogmatic approach to being the contrarian at any party. And give him this as well – he was for Ron Paul in the worst way during his campaign, yet changed his mind when evidence was released showing his acceptance of monies from racist/hate organizations. So even Bradley will go after his own sacred cows, if the evidence points in that direction. He takes a gimlet eye to everything he covers – whether you agree with him or not, he doesn’t play favorites, although he may go overboard in that regard at times.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  115. We’re obviously going to have to agree to disagree on this.
    – Which is no excuse to avoid the debate.

    I’ve given my evidence that Palin misrepresented her stance on the bridge, you don’t want to accept it and object over semantics.
    – YOU are the one insisting that words matter. I clearly stated that the exact wording used by candidates is NOT of critical importance to me; despite that, you told DRJ “those who wish to downplay exaggeration and inaccurate sound bites should think of how they would judge similar statements by Obama.” You wrote: “McCain’s doubly false claim … is an example. Palin’s claim that she told Congress Alaska didn’t need the Gravina Island bridge is another.” This isn’t a matter of semantics; prove what you said or else retract it.

    Icy Truth (2bcd19)

  116. Dmac -

    whether you agree with him or not, he doesn’t play favorites, although he may go overboard in that regard at times.
    – That’s right. He never has a favorite, or never keeps one for very long, because he holds everyone up to the impossibly high standard of “perfection”. He’s like The Beatles becoming disillusioned with the Maharishi when they found out he was hitting on the girls who came to study with him. We aren’t nominating someone for sainthood here.

    Icy Truth (2bcd19)

  117. I agree, Icy – once he gets on his ear about something, he won’t let it go. But that’s the role he likes to play, and I accept it (not that I agree with him all the time).

    Dmac (e639cc)

  118. I think Patterico goofed. He built an entire post denouncing the LAT on an offhand remark about a possible ferry.

    – Remind me, are reporters supposed to make offhand remarks within a newspaper story?

    Icy Truth (2bcd19)

  119. Icy Truth,
    McCain claimed the jet was sold on eBay for a profit. The jet was not sold on eBay, and was not sold for a profit. That’s false on both counts.

    I challenged Palin’s claim that she told Congress Alaska didn’t need the bridge. In her acceptance speech she said “If our state wanted a bridge, we’d build it ourselves. ”

    So okay, Palin said “wanted” instead of “need”, but the meaning is the same — Alaska doesn’t need the bridge. Are you going to quibble over that?

    And McCain explicitly said Palin told Congress Alaska didn’t need the bridge.

    Now here’s what Palin said at the time.

    “Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it’s clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island,” Governor Palin added. “Much of the public’s attitude toward Alaska bridges is based on inaccurate portrayals of the projects here. But we need to focus on what we can do, rather than fight over what has happened.”

    In her own words at the time, Palin attributes killing the bridge to Congress’ lack of desire to fund it.

    Since you are so keen on proof or retraction, now let’s see you find a statement by Palin to Congress that shows she turned down bridge funding because Alaska didn’t want it.

    Bradley J. Fikes (7a4664)

  120. Like a devil’s advocate who never supports any cause or person.

    Icy Truth (2bcd19)

  121. Bradley J. Fikes wrote: [...] Obama’s unfitness is not related to the truth or falsity of McCain or Palin’s statements, although lamentably most people seem to act that way. Their side gets a pass and the other side gets pounded.

    Consider what Carly Fiorina learned on Tuesday: You should strategize the way you express yourself so that you will not be deliberately misinterpreted by your opponents.

    The Obama camp sent emails with a sound byte of Fiorina in an earlier radio interview saying she didn’t think Palin or McCain could run a major corporation. Of course, her statement was Dowdified — she went on to mention Obama and Biden as incapable as well in her next breath. But Obamaniacs didn’t hear that part. Likely, they will be repeating that half-truth into in their neighbors’ faces.

    It may be bothersome to couch valid criticism in a way that doesn’t aid the other side, but it’s vital in this case, because criticizing others’ records is the totality of what the pro-BO’s have got going for them.

    L.N. Smithee (0931d2)

  122. I’m pointing out blatant contradictions between claims by a candidate and the facts. That’s what supposed to be done during a political campaign. And I understand that playing this role with candidates of both parties wins me no friends. There is no political interest group or party interested in just getting the facts, no matter who it hurts or helps.

    Thanks for the kind words, Dmac. We miss you in the Swamp.

    Bradley J. Fikes (7a4664)

  123. Ah, the jet thing is like the war for oil claim because McCain said it once and got it wrong.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  124. McCain claimed the jet was sold on eBay for a profit. The jet was not sold on eBay, and was not sold for a profit. That’s false on both counts.

    He’s old, he forgets. Give him a break.

    jpe (08c1dd)

  125. L.N. Smithee,
    I agree that context in doing criticisms has its place. If I only criticized McCain and Palin, even accurately so, that would be a form of bias. But I have said repeatedly that Obama has lied about his record, befriended people who hate America, and so on. Obama chose a plagiarist liar as his running mate.

    I have said these things not just here, but on my own blog.

    As for Palin, inevitably there has to be a hard look, because she’s new on the political scene. My initial impression of her was favorable, but her pattern of distorting her accomplishments needs to be called out.

    Again, I have no doubt that Palin played a reformist role as governor, and is more qualified to be president than Obama. But that’s an awfully low standard, because Obama has a history of seeking out friendships with those who hate the United States, including Ayers, who says he has no regrets about his terrorist bombings. Obama is absolutely unqualified to be president. He cannot be trusted.

    Frankly, I’d be more inclined to vote for Palin than McCain, because she has executive experience, and more economic savvy than does McCain. The latter’s calling for the firing of Chris Cox from the SEC was deplorable scapegoating.

    Bradley J. Fikes (7a4664)

  126. “I’m pointing out blatant contradictions between claims by a candidate and the facts.”

    Bradley – No, you’re telling exactly the types of half truths you accuse Palin of telling with respect to your description of the Bridge to Nowhere saga. You refuse to acknowledge that Congess allocated exactly the money requested for the bridge but due to adverse publicity did not want to earmark it specifically for the bridge. I think you are being as duplicitous in your description of events as you believe Palin is because of your bias.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  127. So okay, Palin said “wanted” instead of “need”, but the meaning is the same — Alaska doesn’t need the bridge. Are you going to quibble over that?
    – YES, because you are the one insisting that precise language matters, except for when it regards your own assertions of course (“you don’t want to accept it and object over semantics”). What a surprise (NOT!) to find that the answer to my question — “Is this gonna be another one of those “well, she didn’t say it, but she implied it” moments?” — is YES. Semantics matter because YOU (not me, YOU) insist that they do.

    And McCain explicitly said Palin told Congress Alaska didn’t need the bridge.
    – Yes or No question: Is that a legitimate reason not to vote for him?

    McCain claimed the jet was sold on eBay for a profit. The jet was not sold on eBay, and was not sold for a profit. That’s false on both counts.
    – Regarding McCain saying it was sold on eBay, same question as above. Regarding “profit”, did it show up as $2.1 million on the revenue side of the state budget? Yes or No.

    Since you are so keen on proof or retraction, now let’s see you find a statement by Palin to Congress that shows she turned down bridge funding because Alaska didn’t want it.
    – When did I EVER assert that such was the case? Sorry, you’re going to have to limit your challenges to things I’ve actually said, as I have done with you.

    Icy Truth (2bcd19)

  128. daleyrocks,

    I understand your contention that Congress allocated money that could be used for the bridge, but wasn’t given that name. However, that runs up against the explanation Palin herself gave that there of a $329 million funding gap Congress was unwilling to fund.

    Was Palin’s explanation inaccurate?

    Bradley J. Fikes (7a4664)

  129. I understand that playing this role with candidates of both parties wins me no friends. There is no political interest group or party interested in just getting the facts, no matter who it hurts or helps.

    – The problem with this is that it makes it look like you don’t believe in anything or anyone. You come off as a non-partisan Media Matters, or a hateful version of FactCheck.org — constantly playing “gotcha” but never expressing a political opinion of your own; that is, unless you WANT all of us to conclude that your opinion boils down to this: THEY ALL SUCK.

    Icy Truth (2bcd19)

  130. Icy Truth,
    When did I EVER assert that such was the case? Sorry, you’re going to have to limit your challenges to things I’ve actually said, as I have done with you.

    I never said you made that assertion. I asked you to find a cite. And you would profit from taking your own advice.

    Bradley J. Fikes (7a4664)

  131. Icy Truth,
    Libertarians tend not to suck. If Ron Paul had not consorted with racists, I’d have been for him.

    Bradley J. Fikes (7a4664)

  132. Bradley – I have to assume Palin’s explanation is not inaccurate, but your quote is wrong. The correct quote is:

    “Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it’s clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island,”

    Nowhere does it say, as you do, that the entire funding will come from federal sources. You had promised you would check into that, remember. The linked article actually says the Alaska legislature authorized $90 million in funding for both bridges to nowhere in 2006 out of the federal money, which would make the Gravina shortfall reasonable given an approximate $400 million price tag.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  133. I never said you made that assertion. I asked you to find a cite.
    – Not my job to do your research for you. I don’t defend Governor Palin as being infallible; I support the McCain/Palin ticket, warts and all.

    And you would profit from taking your own advice.
    – Non sequiters bore the shit out of me. Either specify where I attributed something to you that you did not say, or drop it.

    Libertarians tend not to suck. If Ron Paul had not consorted with racists, I’d have been for him.
    – I consider myself to be a conservative-libertarian — small “l”; the Libertarian Party platform goes too far, in several areas, for me to support. Ron Paul’s embrace of the party’s isolationist stance made it impossible for me to support him.

    Icy Truth (3b614c)

  134. I think Bradley’s fealty to the truth is admirable. It’s his lack of perspective — practically pissing himself over pedestrian truth-stretching by the McCain-Palin camp while engaging in pro forma throat-clearing about the sins of the Obama-Biden camp — that makes him a a tedious douchebag.

    BC (abe920)

  135. As a former L.A. Times journalist and as a reader, I have a hard time understanding why Palin’s side was buried near the end of the story.

    Once the basic accusation is laid out, the obvious question is: “How does Palin justify the road?” But we don’t find out until the third to last paragraph. And even then, we’re not given enough info to judge whether her defense is valid. e.g., We see a map that shows an existing ferry line, but we aren’t told whether that line could be expanded. If it can, then one of Palin’s arguments for the road is clearly bogus.

    I agree with journalist Rip Rense’s comment that this is a legitimate news story, but I disagree that Palin’s explanation is “incidental.” It’s actually central to the story and should’ve been dissected at length.

    Roy Rivenburg (ae5405)

  136. daleyrocks,

    I did not say or mean to imply federal funds would pay for the entire Gravina bridge project. Federal funds were sought for the vast majority of the project. I haven’t found anything more in my reading of the funding sources, but that much is clear from the press release. Palin was hoping to build the Gravina bridge and the other projects. Congress wasn’t going to go along with the whole package, so Palin had to cut something out.

    Icy Truth,

    Either specify where I attributed something to you that you did not say, or drop it.

    My remark was in response to this:
    When did I EVER assert that such was the case? Sorry, you’re going to have to limit your challenges to things I’ve actually said, as I have done with you.

    I asked you to find a citation backing up Palin’s claim. I did not claim you had made such an assertion. You appeared to think that was the case. If I have misconstrued your statement, I apologize.

    Sorry for not answering everything now, but I’ll be back this evening.

    In the meantime, here’s some reading you might approve of.

    Bradley J. Fikes (7a4664)

  137. Hey Pat, why don’t you do the LATimes one better and link to the Alaskan DOT plan? Oh wait, probably because that would cause you to issue a retraction for this post.

    Here, I’ll do it for you:
    http://dot.alaska.gov/stwdplng/projectinfo/ser/Gravina/images/alternative_11x17_v4.pdf

    As you can see, none of the proposed ferries connects to the actual Gravina Road south end, hence, the LATimes did not err by mentioning the ferries after the jump.

    People are right in saying that it was “use it or lose it” money. However, Palin had every chance to turn that money back to the federal piggy bank…it was still taxpayer dollars. Instead, she went ahead with a road that connects to nowhere, unelss they build a scaled down version of the original Nowhere bridge.

    Shodo (dbfcb4)

  138. that makes him a a tedious douchebag.

    Totally uncalled for.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  139. R0y @137 – The article I linked in #134 makes it clear that the three mile road was started by Murkowski, Palin’s predecessor as governor. What’s unclear is why she didn’t stop it when she killed the bridge in 9/07, except for some speculation about aiding logging and development on the island with the road.

    daleyrocks (faf71b)

  140. People are right in saying that it was “use it or lose it” money

    Shodo – Please explain. What money was use it or lose it?

    daleyrocks (faf71b)

  141. Totally uncalled for.

    I’m sorry you think so. I’ve simply seen him go on and on and on and on and ON about the McCain-Palin campaign’s truth-stretching, as if it’s some uniquely grave affront to honesty, truth, justice, and the American Way — when in reality it’s approximately the level of distortion that normal people call “politics”, and has occurred in about every political campaign since the dawn of time.

    Meanwhile, when he can be bothered to criticize the sins of the Obama-Biden camp at all, it’s, as I said, pro forma throat-clearing typically accompanied with a “but this doesn’t exculpate McCain-Palin,” as if he’s about to be savagely beaten with lead pipes etched with the words “tu quoque”.

    It’s tiresome and it’s stupid.

    BC (abe920)

  142. daleyrocks @ 141:

    My guess? Palin didn’t stop the construction project that had already been let to construct the road because the contractor would have been able to sue the state for damn near the entire cost of the project. They could claim that they were owed reimbursement for the time spent in bidding the project, and they could also claim that their firm passed up on opportunities to perform other jobs in order to get this one.

    I’m no lawyer (I’m a Civil Engineer, so I just might know a thing or two about construction projects), but I would think that this case would NEVER see the inside of a courtroom. The State of Alaska would have paid the contractor the majority of the money allocated to perform the job, while getting squat in return.

    The fact that Murkowski signed the conracts BEFORE Sarah Palin became Governor tied her hands in the matter. Even Libertarians have to acknowledge that money spent on a road with less use than you originally anticipated is a better result than spending 75% or more of that money to make the contractor go away satisfied – and not even getting anything for your money in that case.

    Russ from Winterset (3c01f1)

  143. Thanks Russ, but she’s a woman, can’t she change her mind (ducks flying objects)?

    daleyrocks (faf71b)

  144. Been out for a while, but I need clarrification on two points…
    1-Shodo @ #139….
    Do we know whether or not the contract let by Gov. Mulkowski had any clause on cancellations that would cost the taxpayers of AD?
    You know, roads usually are useful, particularly in areas that planners would like to encourage developement. So, the basic question is:
    If Gov. Palin had cancelled the road contract, how much would Alaska have to pay the contractor?

    2- Bradley, I will ask this for the final time:
    Do you have an appraised value on the jet at the time it was sold, and/or listed for sale?
    Yes or No?

    Another Drew (909672)

  145. Bradley J. Fikes wrote: Libertarians tend not to suck.

    But when they do….hoo boy.

    L.N. Smithee (0931d2)

  146. Sorry, did not intend to type AD, but AK; and when I typed this, Russ’ comment had not come up yet – I think he answers the road question quite well.

    Another Drew (909672)

  147. 2- Bradley, I will ask this for the final time:
    Do you have an appraised value on the jet at the time it was sold, and/or listed for sale?
    Yes or No?”

    AD – I know whether it was sold at a gain or a loss seems to be an issue for Bradley and the libs. I fail to see why. The purchase was a sunk cost presumably. Whatever the Alaskan government could recover was gravy, but obviously the more gravy the better.

    daleyrocks (faf71b)

  148. daley…
    You realize that, and I realize that; I just ask about appraised value because it gives us a baseline as to what someone in the market thought the damn thing was worth. No legitimate broker would accept the listing without getting an appraisal, and no buyer would look at the plane without having a copy of the appraisal in his hand.

    And, does anyone have the numbers on what this plane was costing the Gov’s office in annual costs? Now, if this was a privately owned plane, part of that cost would be depreciation, a cost that I’ll throw out of the pot since govt seems incapable of utilizing it in their planning. But there are many factors:
    Pilot salaries;
    Mechanic salaries;
    Hanger fees;
    R & M;
    Fuel;
    etc.
    Now, I don’t care one way or the other whether AK has a plane or not – that is a decision to be made by the Gov, and/or the people of AK; and, I think that Gov. Palin listed the damn thing on ebay (whether or not it sold there) says a lot about her desire to do something substantial with the responsibility she had been handed, and not be just another pol seeking perqs and the good life.
    It seems to me she thinks she has a pretty good life already in her little corner of the state.

    Another Drew (909672)

  149. Reply to Daleyrocks (#141): Yes, the overriding question while reading the LAT story is “Why didn’t Palin kill the road when she killed the bridge?” It’s even spelled out in paragraph 13:

    [Ketchikan Mayor Bob] Weinstein need only glance across the salmon-rich waters separating his city from Gravina Island to see what he believes are millions of dollars being spent unnecessarily. Why, he asks, didn’t she stop that?

    That would have been a good spot (if not sooner) to insert Palin’s answer. Instead, we have to wait another 13 paragraphs, and we never get any analysis of whether her defense holds up.

    Roy Rivenburg (ae5405)

  150. [Ketchikan Mayor Bob] Weinstein need only glance across the salmon-rich waters separating his city from Gravina Island to see what he believes are millions of dollars being spent unnecessarily. Why, he asks, didn’t she stop that?

    What did the critical mayor do to stop this unnecessary spending? Did he lay in the path of the construction equipment?

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  151. I just got home and I’m running out the door, but I want to note that I updated this post and wrote a whole new post in response to the criticisms that Palin’s defense is bogus. Check the update above, or the top of the main page.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  152. Another Drew, Winterset/re: cancelling the construction: That’s a good point, maybe there was a clause there that prevented from doing it outright…though IIRC, the contract was awarded by Palin’s predecessor just three days before she took office…so I doubt any actual construction had taken place.

    The bottom line is that the road, as built, currently goes nowhere and the only way to salvage it, according to the DOT plan, is to build a smaller version of the original Nowhere bridge (this would cost at least $200 million)…the proposed ferry routes do not connect to where the road dead ends.

    Shodo (dbfcb4)

  153. #142- daleyrocks:

    The money($26 million) Murkowski committed to the access road was from a $35 million earmark that remained within the $223 congressional allocation. This earmark directed that the expenditure of the $35 m be could only be used for construction related to the Gravina Island Bridge project.

    Thus: “use or lose” money

    belloscm (36d6f2)

  154. Correction:

    …remained within the $223 million congressional allocation.

    If the earmarked funds had not been used for a Gravina Island Bridge-related purpose, this money would have been returned to the feds.

    Btw- How many jobs and locally-procured materials does 26 million buy?

    belloscm (36d6f2)

  155. #152-
    Mayor Weinstein seemed to like the bridge idea when he thought that it would be of economic benefit to Ketchikan. He is clearly miffed that Palin pulled the rug out from under him and other proponents of the bridge when she cancelled the project.

    #154-
    Construction didn’t actually start until June of 2007. By allowing construction to proceed, she avoided contract termination issues and fracilitated the construction of, at a later date, a more affordable bridge.

    belloscm (36d6f2)

  156. er, …facilitated the construction of…

    belloscm (36d6f2)

  157. Bradley has seriously jumped the shark on Palin-McCain. He had another post today attacking McCain’s economic knowledge when McCain has been almost singlehandedly warning about Fannie Mae for years. He even co-sponsored a bill with Dick Gephardt in 2002. Remember that stuff about bipartisanship ?

    Bradley is probably Bob Barr’s only supporter in the press.

    Mike K (b74f82)

  158. Another Drew has a great point in #150, in that, the costs maintaining a jet like the one Palin had sold approximates 1700.00 per flight hour.

    Over a three Month period during Murkowski’s Governorship, the jet racked up 195 hours of time, most of it flying prisoners.

    Thats 195 x 1700 = 331,500.00. For three months.

    The profit or loss of the jet purchase price and resale pales, like cell phones, in comparison with the airtime costs to actually use them.

    I would say that Palin has saved Alaska some serious cash, and that McCain’s profit statement is closer to the truth than not.

    As for Bradley J. Fikes, he argues intelligently, cites evidence, and conducts his arguments in a civil manner. That is what Patterico.com needs, and which is why I agree with Dmac that calling him a douchebag was completely out of line. I don’t have to agree with someone to respect how they conduct themselves. I would rather disagree with a Bradley J. Fikes than agree with a Levi or JAR.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  159. “If the earmarked funds had not been used for a Gravina Island Bridge-related purpose, this money would have been returned to the feds.”

    belloscm- There was no specific fed earmark for the bridge. The funds were available for Alaska to use as hey wished for transpotation projects. You may want to check your facts on this.

    daleyrocks (faf71b)

  160. daley…
    I know you’re right about the bridge funds proper, but I don’t think we have all of the info on the road project funds; ie, were they general-funding, or a specific earmark.

    The most important change IIHO that we could get through Congress, would be to have the Budget, and all Appropriations bills posted on-line where everyone could see what is in them (redactions for Black Projects, and perhaps for the entire National Intelligence funding, too).

    Another Drew (909672)

  161. AD – What troubles me about Bradley’s approach to Palin is he seems willing to believe the worst without investigation, whether it was on the original Bridge to Nowhere story, this story and others. That’s not the objective approach he claims.

    daleyrocks (faf71b)

  162. Yeh, he seems just a bit obsessive on this!

    Another Drew (909672)

  163. with a nice dose of book-banning christianism thrown in

    I have a certain appreciation for people’s complaints about campaign-trail lies until I see things like this. It’s not just the candidates doing the lying.

    Slartibartfast (101ae6)

  164. daleyrocks,
    There is no evidence Palin told Congress what she said she did. And Palin’s press release about killing the Gravina Island bridge contradicts what she claimed to have said. It’s that simple.

    People here have made all sorts of ingenious contortions to gloss over that contradiction. But if their arguments are right, Palin’s press release has to be wrong.

    And when I ask them for evidence that Palin actually told Congress what she said she did, I am personally vilified. It’s increasingly reminding me of my brief, unpleasant foray into Sadly, No!

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  165. I hope that “personally vilified” comment is in reference to what others said, and not me. I don’t know what you’re complaining about, anyway. You became the big star of this thread yesterday.

    Icy Truth (fbc22c)

  166. “There is no evidence Palin told Congress what she said she did.”

    Bradley – Grow a pair and stop looking for literalism. Does she have to say the exact words on the floor of Congess to satisfy your infantilism on these issues?

    You’ve turned into a freaking Koz Kid.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.5062 secs.