2.11.2009

Another One Bites The Dust

Another day, another Alaska public official resigns. Michael Stotts, the mayor of Barrow (pretty much the northernmost spot in the AK) resigned amid charges that he improperly ran up about $17,000 $28,000 in personal charges on a city-owned credit card. Including, this is the best part: bail when he was arrested for a DUI and his subsequent legal defense fees. I didn't even know you could post bail with a credit card! And this guy thought it would be a good idea to put it on the company card. Nicely done. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Pitchers and Catchers Report

Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in just 2 days. As far as I'm concerned, when strung together, "pitchers and catchers report" compose some of the most beautiful words in the English language. My love of baseball and the time and energy I spend thinking about it may be irrational, but I am far from alone. I know that at the very least Doris Kearns Goodwin is with me. She explains our infatuation much better than I can: "In my own life I shall always be grateful for having found a form of play in my irrational love of baseball which allows me from the beginning of spring training to the end of the fall to have something to occupy my mind and heart other than my work." Word, Doris. Word.

Nate Silver is with us too. And now that the elections are over, he can finally get back to the important stuff: analyzing baseball statistics. And so far, so good. He's got the Mets winning the NL East by 5 games. I only hope he's as right about this as he was about the electoral college.

2.10.2009

Oh, Talis

Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg resigned today. Remember "Troopergate," that little dust-up from last fall where the Alaska State Legislature investigated Sarah Palin for possibly firing Walt Monegan, the State Public Safety Commissioner, because he refused to fire Mike Wooten, an Alaska State Trooper who was also Palin's ex-brother-in-law? The Legislature sure does. And in the wake of that body resolving that Todd Palin and a bunch of other folks were in contempt for failing to comply with legislative subpoenas issued during the investigation, and questions about Talis's actions during that time bubbling up, TC called it quits. [1] I can't really blame him. Talis was a really nice guy, but he never seemed cut out for Alaska politics.


I met Talis once. We were both on a panel discussing legal careers with high school kids. Well, I was on the panel and he gave the introductory remarks. Actually, now that I think about it, Lisa Murkowski gave the introductory remarks via video [2] and then Talis spoke about Dracula. I'm serious. He talked about the story of Drcacula (the one from the novel) and how Count D never got a trial and that's why lawyers and the American system of justice are so important (or something very similar to that). We chatted for a few minutes before he got up to speak and what I remember most about our conversation was that it was really hard for me to come up things to talk about, and that really frustrated me because after all, he's a high-ranking government official, and isn't schmoozing part of his job? Guess not. We wound up talking about the weather and about his mom and about what his mom thought about the weather.

[2] This turned out to be quite awkward. The panelists were all sitting on the stage in an auditorium. A screen came down behind us and Senator Murkowski's message was projected onto it. The screen was behind us and above our heads, so we couldn't see it. But all of the kids in the audience were looking at it and we had to just sit there and watch them as they watched the message. I decided to move my chair and turn it around so I could face the screen and watch the message too (and not stare uncomfortably at a room full of kids trying not to stare uncomfortably at me). I whispered this plan to the panelist next to me, but she wasn't into it. Neither were the others. End result: I'm sitting on the stage with my back to the audience watching Lisa F. while everyone else on the stage is facing forward. This is my life.

Here's a question: SP recently instituted a hiring freeze for state employees. Does this preclude her from hiring a new AG? That would be hilarious.

2.08.2009

It Fell Pretty Far From The Tree

Mom: I don't understand how you can live without a TV. How do you know what's going on in the world?
My Brother: I listen to NPR all the time.
Mom: What's NPR?

2.02.2009

Monday Procrastinatory Assistance