Its a cold Sunday evening, and I am reading the Troopergate report.
To read it in its entirety go here (it makes for some riveting reading.)
The report finds that Gov Palin did abuse her position in attempting to get Trooper Wooten fired. The report highlights the Palin's repeated efforts to get the investigation into Trooper Wooten (the investigation that was investigated and finalized under the previous administration) reopened. The report talks about the Palin's frustration with the fact that Wooten simply received a "slap on the wrist" and that "people" were "protecting him." When it was explained to Todd that the matter was over, and there was no reasonable grounds to open it up again, without exposing the Palin's, other individuals and the State to possible litigation, Todd Palin continued to make a fuss about other issues - the infamous moose hunting, the alleged use of a snowmobile while on a workers' compensation case, and using his vehicle to drop off his children at school. With each incident the complaints were dismissed. Most telling with the moose incident was that if the state were to press charges other people such as the Governor's sister, and her father would also be implicated. On the Workers' compensation issue, that Wooten had received medical clearance to snow mobile, and finally the issue of using a state patrol car to drop off his children he had received his supervisors permission to do so.
What I find astonishing is the role of Todd Palin. It is apparently quite okay for Todd Palin, the so called First Gentleman to use the Governor's office as his own, and to seemingly be very involved in the day to day running of the Governor's office. Simply astonishing.
The Second finding of the report is that the Commissioner's refusal to reopen the investigation to get Trooper Wooten fired, was not the sole reason that the Commissioner was fired but was a "contributing factor." Hypothetically what if Commissioner Monegan had done what he was being told to do and fired Wooten? Would he still have his job today despite his other "problems"?
Well I guess we will never know... but I am deeply skeptical.
What I find so astonishing is that the ethics Palin has demonstrated are the very "cancer" that McCain is against. Ethics in Government is the foundation behind the McCain - Feingold Reforms. Oh McCain! What were you thinking!?
As promised, Kevin and I are diligently reading up on McCain.
I have 2 books that I am currently reading, reviews pending.
1. Citizen McCain
2. The Myth of the Maverick.
Over at Moderate Voice is an interesting blog on how McCain could win (*gasp*)
Here's how (according to Moderate Voice):
John McCain has roughly three weeks to turn his campaign around. If he can clearly articulate concerns about one-party government and the combination of over-extended federal involvement in over-reaching social policies, and find a more widely-appealing running-mate (preferably one with some gravitas this time), I think he’d have a real chance at the presidency.
I recently bought the iPod iTouch 8GB. My local Apple Store had a program where you could bring in your old iPod (I had one of the older version Nano) and they would give you 10% discount on your new purchase.
One of the coolest features on the iTouch is the Apple Apps. Amazing Apps - business, finance, fitness and my absolute fav - games.
1. Labyrinth Lite Edition
This was the first app I downloaded - it is free. It consists of 10 different levels, and is a very cool "pin ball" with a cool (and ultra sensitive) tilt mechanism. Easy to use, and addictive. Score: free, easy, good graphics, but simple. ***
You need to make sure you have your WiFi access for this one. I haven't had much time to review this. So review pending. (o did I mention that it is free?)
3. Space Monkey (free)
Simple touch screen technology makes the space monkey spin and grab space junk, and avoid the nasty batteries. Not bad, also easy to use. Graphics are cute, but average. ***
4. Sudoku Lite (free version) www.mmggames.com
Easy to use, clear simple graphics. Also ***
5. Shanghai Free
Took a while to "get" what this is about. Nice graphics, although some times the pieces are too small to see. Again ***
6. Facebook App - Review pending
7. Chimps Ahoy
There is a Chimps Ahoy Lite (the free version) and Chimps Ahoy (pay $2.99) Trouble is I can't remember which one I got. I think I may have paid the $2.99. This is ultra cute, cool use of touch screen technology. Ultra addictive. Score: ****
8. Toy Bot Diaries
There is a free version or you can pay $3.99. I spent the bucks. There are some downsides - it gets annoying that there are "loading" breaks between the different actions. I have only managed to get to the 2nd level. The controls take a little getting used to, but once you are familiar with them this really is an amazing use of iTouch technology. To move the Bot tilt the iPod. Touch metal objects to hoist the bot and tap for free fall. Bot also can have his boots magnetised - handy if you want to carry some spare change. I am still a little mystified at some of the functions - what is the function of "memory" and "chapters"? Still a little bit in the dark. Score - very cool, instructions/ how to would be helpful. ****
9. Flick Bowling
This is quite fun for 99 cents.
I am a very bad bowler in real life. And I am about the same with this app. But it is fun, and I don't have to worry about ultra heavy bowls, or smelly shoes.
10. Motor Chaser
I bought this one also for 99 cents. I am a disaster with motor race games. I was convinced to buy by some interesting reviews and I also wanted to see the technology in action. Very cool
11. Mouse About.
Buy for $2.99. I've just started with this. Very cute. Mouse has a huge appetite, and you have to watch out for the cat. SCore ***
Cost: $2.99. Also a free version
Other app I am still test driving is the Edibles - Health and Lifestyle app - supposed to be a calory/ carb/ point counter for stuff you eat, and whether you exercise. I also picked up a pay for version of Sudoku called Amazing Sudoku. Graphics are super super cool. Haven't done a run yet. Review to come.
Kevin and I TiVo'd this debate like the others. I thought that McCain did better at this debate than in the first debate (which was dreadful.) Unlike most of the bloggersphere I think that McCain did better than what they think. Both candidates often avoided the questions - that really annoys me. But I thought McCain did a good job at answering the questions without sounding deranged (and completely ancient.) He was strongest on foreign policy, and on his voting record. Weakest on the economy - I mean why must we renegotiate the principle on mortgages? Isn't that socialism? Supply and demand will determine the cost/ value of a home. Where people need help from govt is renegotiating the terms of the repayment not the amount of the loan. (Why should taxpayers essentially "buy" down market values simply because people paid too much for their homes?) I also don't like his health care plan - really awful.
I also think, again contrary to most of the pundits, that Obama actually came out weaker in this debate than Debate #1. Debate is not his strong point. He is much more comfortable with speeches and lecturing - the comfortable "professor" approach. Again - as I pointed out after the DNC - I get the overarching themes of an Obama Administration - but please give me specifics. I thought he did good on Health care.
Both he and McCain were merely average on the economic woes.
So I went into Debate #2 leaning in favor of Obama. If I was deciding my vote solely on Debate #2 I would be undecided, and be seriously giving McCain a second look. (I know - gasp, shock horror, gasp, gasp.) But I want more from Obama - give me details. Here's what I would like to see in Debate #3- Obama - strong, calm with respect to foreign policy. Don't be afraid of sticking up for USA interests. USA foreign policy should not be governed by a delusional popularity contest, but about putting USA interests first. (Everyone else does that so why not the USA?) I think Obama would also win kudo's from me if he could balance out the optimistic dreamer side with some reality. Is govt the solution to every aspect of our financial woes? Realistic answer - no. We are going to have to feel some more pain people before things come right.
Bottom line: McCain is not out of the race yet. Don't count him out. (Now if he could get rid of that awful Palin woman he would be a serious candidate.)
My ballot has arrived - I have signed up for the mail in ballot mainly because of the convenience, and also because I am quite suspicious of our auto correction devices (electronic voting machines.)
Can't wait for the next debate. Bring it on.
The one and only VP debate is over. I was dreading watching Sarah Palin - she has been quite cringe inducing. But I was pleasantly surprised. I thought she did good. Did she do enough to make me change my mind? No.
Joe Biden did well too - he managed to control himself, he came across as authoritative, experienced and rational. And no, he did not come across as patronizing. Palin did her folksy thing - which I think while charming can be annoying when overdone. I liked that Biden mentioned Kosovo and Darfur. I think he came across as strong on foreign policy. Actually I found the Veep debate more entertaining and interesting than the Obama/ McCain debate last week. Interesting.
I also think Biden did well on criticising McCain's voting record, and correcting Palin on some of her assertions. Of course the blogs will pick it apart, and make sure that he was accurate on some of his accusations. (Right now I am simply taking the debate on face value.)
I liked Biden's answer about when he had to change his view concerning supreme court justice picks. I found Palin's winking (she did it a few times) annoying. Once charming and sweet, twice - not. I got quite choked up listening to Biden talk about the loss of his wife and tragedy to his family. It made him seem more approachable.
Despite the flap over the moderator, I liked her. I thought she kept the debate moving along nicely, and didn't seem to want to share the spot light like some moderators we've seen.