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Palin tells the Alaskan Independence Party, whose goal is a vote on seceding from the US, to ‘keep up the good work.’

The Alaskan Independence Party was formed with the ultimate goal of seceding from the U.S. Its current short-term goal is winning a vote on whether to secede. From the AIP Web site:

The Alaskan Independence Party can be summed up in just two words:

ALASKA FIRST!

Until we as Alaskans receive our Ultimate Goal, the AIP will continue to strive to make Alaska a better place to live with less government interference in our everyday lives.

The Alaskan Independence Party’s goal is the vote we were entitled to in 1958, one choice from among the following four alternatives:

# Remain a Territory.
# Become a separate and Independent Nation.
# Accept Commonwealth status.
# Become a State.

According to the AIP’s Web site, founder of the party Joe Volger said, “I’m an Alaskan, not an American. I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions” and “The problem with you John Birchers’ is that you are too damn liberal.”

The John Birch Society is a right-wing group that has opposed the Civil Rights Act, the United Nations, and evolution, and describes itself on its own Web site as “ultraconservative.”

Palin made a video saying she was “delighted” to welcome delegates to the 2008 convention and praised the AIP, saying they play “an important role” in Alaska’s politics. She told the AIP delegates, “Good luck on a successful and inspiring convention, keep up the good work and God bless you.”

Here is Palin’s video address to the 2008 convention:

Walt Monegan: is you is or is you aint strong at rural alcohol abuse issues?

Palin’s decision to fire the police commissioner, dubbed Troopergate, was an ongoing issue when John McCain selected her as his running mate. It was alleged that she fired him because he refused to fire a state trooper who was divorced from her sister. At a press conference called to contend the allegations, Palin said she fired him because:

“I was concerned also that we were not doing enough on continuing alcohol abuse issues that I wanted to see tackled, including the bootlegging issues out in rural Alaska.”

But two weeks before, she said the exact opposite when telling the media she had offered him a job as the Director of the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. She said said she offered him the job because:

“I recognize that Walt’s interests and strengths certainly could be put to good use as he could concentrate exclusively on a couple of issues that were his interests – that being bootlegging and alcohol problems in rural Alaska."

View the video here:

On October 10, the members of the legislative commission voted to release the report on their findings. It stated that Palin abused her power by violating the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act, although she did not violate any laws.

You can view the report here.

Palin on video said earmark reductions were because of Obama and McCain, not her

Since being selected, Palin has claimed she was a leader on Congressional earmark reform.

In this July press conference, Palin said she did not lead but instead reacted to Congressional pressure. She said her positions on earmark reductions have come “from seeing the writing on the wall” that Obama and McCain oppose earmarks and “dealing with” the fact that “changes are coming.”

In her time as governor, Palin has sought and received more than double the number of earmarks than any other governor in the country.

Click here to read an in-depth report on her record on earmarks.

As of July 31st, Palin did not know what the vice president does

Even people who watch Saturday Night Live, Leno or Letterman, and pay no attention to politics know the running punch line that Cheney is jokingly more powerful than Bush.

Besides not knowing if the vice president is productive, Palin also seems to say she would only be VP if the position could benefit Alaskans:

Introduction to the country by John McCain: first speech in Ohio

First speech after being selected along with introduction by McCain:

View the transcript here.

Palin says her proposed $30 billion pipeline project is 'God's will'

Palin was asked to address the graduating class of students at her one-time church, Wasilla Assembly of God. In the speech, she says God’s will was to build her proposed $30 billion pipeline, saying God’s will “has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that.”

She gave the speech as governor, not as a private citizen, according to her spokesperson. Palin charged the state $639 for meals and a quick round-trip ticket from Juneau to Wasilla, where she gave the speech.

She said:

I can do my part in working really, really hard to get a natural gas pipeline, about a $30 billion project that’s going to create a lot of jobs for Alaska. … [but] I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said. “I can do my job there in developing our natural resources, in doing things like getting the roads paved and making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns, and making sure our public schools are funded. But really that stuff doesn’t do any good if the people of Alaska’s hearts aren’t right with God.”

Here is the video:

How many pigs with lipstick are there in America?

TIME reported the McCain campaign released a Web ad that alleged Obama referred to Palin as a “pig” at a campaign stop.

He was in fact using an old expression to say that he thought McCain was similar to Bush. Research has found that McCain has twice used the expression in his run for president and Dick Cheney used it in 2004:

Palin criticizes Hillary for complaining about sexist coverage; after being nominated, flip flops and says Hillary handled it well

The McCain-Palin campaign has complained dozens of times about sexist media coverage since Palin was chosen. In the spring, Palin criticized Clinton and her campaign for complaining about tough media coverage. After being selected, Palin appeared to change her mind, saying Clinton handled the “tough shots” fired in her direction well:

Palin skits on Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live brought a bit of levity to the campaign September 13th with a parody skit of Palin and Hillary Clinton:

Tina Fey reprised her Palin impression two week later in a skit about Palin’s interview with Katie Couric:

You can view the Katie Couric interview, as well as her interviews on Fox and ABC, in our section on “Major speeches and interviews since being selected.”

Fey returned for the third time in four weeks as Palin in a parody of the vice presidential debates between Palin and Biden:

Palin herself finally appeared on SNL on October 18, first in the opening sketch with Alec Baldwin and SNL producer Lorne Michaels:

Then, Palin made an appearance on the Weekend Update segment:

The Associated Press reported that her appearance on SNL drew big ratings, with 17 million watching the first half hour. It was the most-watched episode in 14 years.

Will Ferrell reprised his Bush imitation in a skit where the sitting president meets Palin.

Palin incorrectly claims Alaska has accounted for 'much progress' towards U.S. energy independence

In the vice-presidential debate, Palin claimed that under her direction as governor, Alaska has accounted for “much progress towards getting our nation energy independence.” She also stated that Alaska is “a huge energy producing state:”

This is inaccurate on many fronts. The U.S. has not made much progress towards energy independence. Both McCain and Obama have stated that lack of progress has been the problem.

Secondly, Alaska’s share of domestic energy production is only 3.5 percent, according to the official figures kept by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, making it far from “huge.” Alaska’s production accounts for only 2.4 percent of all the energy consumed in the U.S. It is behind Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and five other states.

Thirdly, in its main area of energy contribution, oil, Alaska’s production has dropped significantly under Palin.

The Washington Post:

While Alaska is a leading producer of crude oil, it produces relatively little natural gas, hardly any coal, and no nuclear power. Its share of oil production has been declining sharply, and now ranks lower than Texas and Louisiana. As the following table shows, Alaska is the ninth largest energy supplier in the United States, accounting for a modest 3.5 percent share of the nation’s total energy production.

Oil production has fallen sharply in Alaska during her governorship. The state’s share of total U.S. oil production fell from 18 percent in 2005 to 13 percent this year, according to the EIA.

Palin also said Alaska is “building a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline, which is North America’s largest and most expensive infrastructure project ever to flow those sources of energy into hungry markets.”

This is not quite accurate. Alaska has only given a license to a Canadian company with $500 million in seed money to begin the costly process of getting a federal certificate to do it. Start of construction of the pipeline is at least several years away, and may not occur at all. Palin has said it is not a “done deal.” Canadian tribes have said they will block the project, which would have to cross native lands to reach the lower 48 states.

The Canadian company, Trans Canada Corp., is not under contract to do the project and can walk away. It still needs to get the 3 gas companies, BP, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil, that control most of Alaska’s natural gas reserves to join it. Those companies have plans to do their own pipeline separate from Palin’s.

U.S. New and World Report:

Earlier this year, BP and ConocoPhillips got together and formed their own pipeline company, Denali, to build a competing Alaska natural gas pipeline. “It is clearly in our interest as gas lease holders and prospective shippers to make sure this line is done right and managed efficiently,” says a BP spokesperson.

The upshot is that there are now two natural gas pipeline projects in Alaska, and analysts say that only one of them will get built. Some critics see the Palin-TransCanada plan as a gamble, because, to succeed, it will need the cooperation of the big oil companies that have the gas—in other words, their competitors.

Palin has said that “God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built” and asked Alaskans to pray for it:

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