RED SHIRTS, BLUE SHIRTS: Here's a sampling of coverage of the Anchorage Assembly's public hearing on the proposed gay-rights amendment on Tuesday:
> Philip Munger at the Progressive Alaska blog has put together a roundup of firsthand accounts by pro-amendment bloggers - including The Mudflats and Immoral Minority and some lesser-knowns -- plus a post with his photos.
> Anti-amendment commentator Andy Clary of The Alaska Standard says religion played too big a role in the public testimony.
> Amanda Coyne of Alaska Dispatch writes of red shirts (anti-amendment) and blue shirts (pro) and recalls an epic public hearing on the same subject in 1992.
> Video coverage from KTUU.
PALIN SMACKS DOWN LETTERMAN (Politico): SEE UPDATE BELOW -- Gov. Palin took a second swipe at David Letterman today, calling the CBS "Late Show" host's jokes about one of her daughters [14-year-old Willow] "disgusting" and "sexually perverted." ...
Riffing on Palin's trip to New York last weekend, Letterman joked in his monologue Monday night that during the seventh inning of a Yankees game "her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez." Letterman followed up on the line Tuesday night, joking that "the toughest part of her visit was keeping [former New York Gov.] Eliot Spitzer away from her daughter."
"I doubt he'd ever dare make such comments about anyone else's daughter," Palin said in her statement.
During a radio interview Tuesday, Palin responded to another Letterman line, calling him "pathetic" for joking [in his nightly Top 10 segment] that during her trip she "bought makeup at Bloomingdale's to update her 'slutty flight attendant look.' " ALSO:
> LETTERMAN RESPONDS TO PALIN CHARGES (Entertainment Weekly): Taping tonight's episode of "The Late Show," David Letterman responded to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who this week called his jokes about her and her family "pathetic," "disgusting" and "sexually perverted."
"We were, as we often do, making jokes about people in the news and we made some jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter [Bristol]... and now they're upset with me..." Letterman says on tonight's show. "These are not jokes made about her 14-year-old daughter. I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl.... Am I guilty of poor taste? Yes. Did I suggest that it was okay for her 14-year-old daughter to be having promiscuous sex? No."
Saying he hopes he's "cleared part of this up," Letterman extended an invitation to Palin to come on the show as a guest.
THE SEAFOOD EATER'S CONUNDRUM (The New York Times): Seafood from distant waters - caught and processed by giant factory ships - is now available everywhere. But that means environmentally conscious consumers find themselves confronted with scores of fish to avoid, either because they have been overfished or because certain fishing methods endanger other species. At the same time, fish farming has become a far more diverse industry, with different practices and opposing factions. Some retailers are labeling the origin of the fish they sell.
How are consumers to weigh these concerns? Should they avoid eating most fish unless they have the time to keep track of changing conditions around the world?
SATIRE: SEND CAPTURED TERRORISTS TO KETCHIKAN (Dave Kiffer, Stories In the News): It's 2017. Sarah Palin is president, Wayne Ross U.S. attorney general. President Sarah Palin announced this morning a plan to locate America's newest maximum security "terrorist/enemy non-combatant" permanent holding facility in Ketchikan. "Some may see it is as 'maverick' to locate such a facility near a populated area," Palin announced. "But I think that 'Guantanamo Cove' is an idea whose time has come."...The president also noted that, unlike many communities, Ketchikan's residents were definitely in favor of the facility. "Let's face it, the entire population is already on board with 'waterboarding,' otherwise they wouldn't live there," she added.
THE PALIN PARADOX? WOMEN MORE LIKELY TO BE ELECTED IN MALE-DOMINATED DISTRICTS (FiveThirtyEight.com): Although women are still having a relatively tough time getting elected in general -- they represent just 17 percent of the members of the U.S. Congress - congresswomen are more plentiful in areas where the male-to-female ratio is higher.
Alaska isn't the first place you'd expect to see a woman elected to higher office. With its harsh climate and reliance on traditionally male-dominated industries like fishing, mining, and oil extraction, it has the most male population in the country: 106 men for every 100 women. Things are a bit worse still for the guys on Alaska's single scene -- the ratio of unmarried men (15 years or older) to unmarried women is 114:100. ...
And yet, Alaska is one of just five states to have elected a female governor -- the irrepressible Sarah Palin. One of its two senators, Lisa Murkowski, is also a woman. But Alaska is a quirky state, and presumably this is highly irregular behavior. Except that -- it really isn't.
ANCIENT CARIBOU-HUNTING CAMP MAY LIE AT BOTTOM OF LAKE HURON (Canwest News Service): Scientists probing an underwater ridge 125 feet deep in Lake Huron - and running 100 miles across the U.S.-Canadian border - have found what they believe to be 9,000-year-old traces of an ancient caribou-hunting camp used by some of the earliest inhabitants of North America.
PALIN'S DYSFUNCTIONAL ORGANIZATION MAY BE HER UNDOING (Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post): Sarah Palin, GOP "It" girl, can warm up the Republican base like a hot toddy in a duck blind. But further inside the party organization, the air is a little nippy. What happened? In a word, bungling.
Everyone seems to have a Sarah Palin story of ignored calls, mishandled invitations or unanswered e-mail. Disorganized is how one might charitably describe the Palin operation.
"Basically, it's just rude," says one political operative who is a Palin fan. "They've been running the great snub machine. That's the reason the boys in the Republican Party are unhappy with her." ALSO:
> Kathleen Parker answers reader questions about Palin (WashingtonPost.com)
> Palin sideshow spotlights cracks in the GOP (Washington Post): It's a measure of the Republican Party's problems that its members managed to turn their biggest fundraising event this year into a circus highlighting their own differences. The question of whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would show up eclipsed virtually anything said about President Obama or the party's vision.
> Washington Post to correct misquote of Palin interview (Conservatives For Palin)
FOR A 2012 PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER, SOME ADVANTAGES IN LEAVING OFFICE (The New York Times): If you want to run against President Obama in 2012, are you better off as a sitting governor - the insider with the large megaphone but all the attendant burdens of running a state -- or as an ex-governor, weighing in on the sidelines. The question has taken on particular resonance given the heavy representation of present or former Republican governors considering a race for the White House in 2012. ALSO:
> Potential gubernatorial candidates weigh running in 2010 (Anchorage Daily News)
> Giuliani on Eddie Burke radio show, discussing Palin (Conservatives For Palin)
PALIN ECONOMICS LESSONS REVIEWED (Conor Clarke, The Atlantic): Clarke examines Gov. Palin's recent remarks on rising oil prices and the effects on the state budget and finds evidence of hypocrisy: Does she want higher oil prices and the resulting revenue boost for the state budget, or would her constituents be better off with cheap fuel? Earlier, Clarke -- remarking on comments Palin made about Obama economic policies in her speech last week introducing Michael Reagan in Anchorage -- also said he finds it hypocritical of Palin to decry federal spending while Alaska accepts more federal spending per capita than any other state.
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