Sunday, August 31, 2008

President and Vice President Job Duties

There is a lot of discussion about whether Sarah Palin has the experience to be President. Many people seem to be reacting emotionally, based whether they want McCain or Obama to win. They aren't doing what most organizations do when they look at candidates for a job: review all the experience of the candidate against the duties of the job. Of course, Palin has been selected by McCain to be his vice presidential running mate. But for every vice presidential candidate, we must ask if she can also step in as President.

So I decided to look up the job duties of the President and Vice President in the US Constitution . Just looking at the Constitution (see the excerpts below) the President doesn't have all that much to do compared to the Legislature. The Vice President only presides over the Senate and votes when there's a tie.

Based on that Palin is certainly qualified to be Vice President. But so am I and most other Americans.

Oh yes, and there's the part about becoming President. What rereading the Constitution reminded me was how much the Presidents of late have essentially usurped the power of the Legislature. Our real focus should be on recalibrating the power balance between the executive and legislative branches.

I tried to pick out what the Constitution says about the President, Legislature, and Vice President, but I readily admit I may have missed some things. Here's what I did find:

What does the President do?

Article II: The Executive Branch
Section I
Clause 1:

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Clause 8:

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section 2

Clause 1:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Clause 2:

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

Clause 3:

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section 3

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

That doesn't look like too much. So who's supposed to do all the work? If we look at the Legislative section of the Constitution we see:

Article I: The Legislative Branch

Section 2:
Clause 6:

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Section 8

Clause 1:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Clause 2:

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

Clause 3:

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

Clause 4:

To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

Clause 5:

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

Clause 6:

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

Clause 7:

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

Clause 8:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

Clause 9:

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

Clause 10:

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

Clause 11:

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Clause 12:

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

Clause 13:

To provide and maintain a Navy;

Clause 14:

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

Clause 15:

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

Clause 16:

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Clause 17:

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

Clause 18:

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

And while we're at it, we should look at the duties of the Vice President.

Section 1

Article I: The Legislative Branch

Clause 6:

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office,10 the Same shall devolve on the Vice President,

Section 2:

Clause 4:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Driving Around Oregon

Our original plans for the day got scuttled. So we had breakfast in a logger pizza place.

And then wandered slowly toward the ocean. Past lots of little rivers.

It was sunny, with a steady breeze, in the low 60s F. (about 16C)

I tried to do some homework on this slug. I don't think it's a banana slug, but I couldn't find a picture that would match this one. It's about three inches long.

He just stood there looking as we went over a nearby bridge. It didn't really look deep enough to jump from that high. He was still there when we came back.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Day in Portland

We had lunch with Masami and Shpresha and Sharon, people I knew when I was a guest faculty member at Portland State University for six months in 2003-4.

After lunch they put me in my old seminar room to work on a few things and catch up with all the hits coming in about Palin. Like other Alaska blogs, apparently, this was my second highest hit day - 563 right now.

Later we walked around downtown before meeting friends for dinner. The sky was very blue, temps in the low 70s, as we passed the Art Museum.

In a little park area between streets the Oregon Ballet Theatre was practicing in a tent.

A costume store.

One of the great book shops in the United States. Powell's is room after room after room on several floors or used and new books. A favorite place of our when we lived here.

We had dinner here with Gary and Roxanne who we knew from Anchorage and from when we lived here. It was great to see them again.

We checked the tram station near Marty's yesterday. It's about a 20 minute walk home from the end of the line. But both ticket machines at the stop were broken. We turned down Gary and Roxanne's offer of a ride home (way out of their way) and decided to board without tickets. The guy with the beard told us to push the emergency button and tell the driver who said we could ride free then. Then the two Obama canvassers got on. As we were pulling into one station we heard screaming at the other end of the train (about four cars away.) The driver came onto the loudspeaker calling for police. Who boarded immediately as we entered into the station. A young black woman and a young white woman slipped quickly off the train. The police - Wackenhut Security guys - stayed on the train to the end of the line where we got off. At the end we heard the driver reporting the incident - a white guy had been yelling racial epithets at a white girl and black girl sitting together.

Palin's Speech Made Biden's Speech Look Lame

As an Alaskan, I couldn't help but feel good about our Governor's speech accepting the vice presidential nomination. Well, she's only been announced. The nomination comes next week. But she was pure Palin. For those who are wondering, this is real. She's poised, comfortable, and speaks honestly. It was a real contrast to the older man standing next to her with the shit-eating grin on his face.

Palin has become a strong, confident speaker. Her nomination and, even more, her speech will is going to totally change this election. The Republicans did a great job of pointing out all her best points.

The Obama people better be careful when they attack Palin. I'm in a household here in Portland that's got Fox News on. They reported that the Obama people said Palin was in the pocket of big oil. If that's their research, they're in big trouble. She is clearly NOT in the pocket of big oil. But, as I said, I'm getting my news from Fox, so I have no idea if the Obama people really said that.

I did notice that when McCain introduced her and said that she'd stood up to vested interests, he left the oil companies off his list. But Palin didn't leave them off her list. And that has been her biggest coup.

I would say from what we've seen in Alaska, Palin is honest, serious about doing what's right, takes on anyone who she thinks is wrong. And she took on the big oil companies and so far she's won. But the Monehan firing also reveals some lack of experience and lack of sense of the protocol. The video is the first few minutes of this morning's speech.

For another video of Palin, see her introducing a several day workshop for legislators and the public on AGIA (Alaska Gasline Inducement Act).

There will be lots of contradictions in this race. The McCain folks have been blasting Obama for lack of experience. It isn't just about being governor for 18 months, it's also her exposure to different ideas and different people. She spent time outside of Alaska when she went to the University of Idaho. Other than that, I suspect she's spent more time outside of Alaska as Governor than she did since she moved to Alaska as an infant. I don't that she's been outside the US besides Canada. These gaps should cause concern. But who knows what the glamor and the media can do?

Marty and Jake

Fox Says its Palin for McCain VP

Photo at induction of Rabbi Michael Oblath October 2007.

"ARE ANY OF THE ALASKANS UP? McCAIN PICKED PALIN" is what woke me up this morning, 15 minutes ago.

My mind is spinning. Sure, we've heard her name was in the ring for VP, but it all seemed so far fetched.

The first time I saw her was a small group of people at the University of Alaska Anchorage when she was just starting to run for governor. Her hair was piled up on her head, she was in scuffed snow boots. She spoke openly and directly. A real person, not a politician. I liked her, but thought she was in way over her head. She said she didn't know to a number of things and even asked if the audience had suggestions. I knew at the time that she'd stood up the Randy Ruedrich, the Republican Party Chair of Alaska, and resigned from the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission very publicly saying it was because Ruedrich had a conflict of interest and she couldn't continue to serve. That was pretty gutsy.

Then, to many people's surprise, she actually beat sitting Republican Governor Murkowski in the primary. Well, by the time of the election, I think we'd all seen the polls so we weren't that surprised. But when she started to run it was a real long shot. The party stalwarts were all against her. She certainly was helped out when it came out the FBI had searched the offices of several prominent Republican officials.

As governor, as I've said in previous posts, she was the right person at the right time. She stood up to the oil companies on the Petroleum Profits Tax (also known as Petroleum Production Tax) and got it raised. Then she stood up to the big oil companies over AGIA (Alaska Gasline Inducement Act). After the previous governor had negotiated privately with Conoco-Phillips and BP to build a natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48. She had reinstated the commissioner of Natural Resources who'd resigned because of how Murkowski was negotiating. They set up conditions the State insisted on and put out a Request for Proposal requiring them. The big oil companies didn't turn in any proposals. But an pipeline company from Canada did. Then the oil companies put in a proposal after the deadline, which didn't meet the state requirements. Palin was able to get the legislature, in special sessions over the summer, to approve Trans Canada's bid to get a license.

Meanwhile she's been on the cover of Vogue magazine and did other such national publicity work. Her biography came out and the book was simply a PR job on the sweet but strong willed girl who grew up in Wasilla. I found it hard to stomach. This was not a serious book.

And now we're seeing some of the inexperience coming to the surface in the way she handled the firing of the head of the State Troopers. It has come out that her staff and family have been pressuring him to fire one of the troopers - who just happens to be her ex-brother-in-law.

This is a woman with a lot of internal strength. She also has very limited experience outside of Alaska and in public office. She was mayor of a town of about 74,000. She's been governor almost two years. She's floated on a bubble of strong moves against the oil companies, supported by the FBI's investigation into oil related corruption in Alaska and three ex-legislators convicted and a number of other people indicted and/or pleading guilty. Her physical beauty has certainly been a major attention getter - she's been called the hottest governor in the USA. She has a son serving in the Middle East and a newborn child with Down's Syndrome. When he was born in April, she said she had her family to take care of and was not a candidate for Vice President.

I think this is a woman with a lot of smarts and strengths. But she also has had probably the least experience of any Vice Presidential candidate in my lifetime. If, in ten years, she proved her mettle, I'd say she'd be a long shot candidate. She'd have been through the rough and tumble. Right now, she's only had amazing successes. The Monehan firing has been the only bump. She isn't used to failure.

But the US and Republican image machines can make a lot of this woman and they will. I'd like to say she could surprise us. But I have to say she also has a huge amount to learn. She hasn't been tested in the rough and tumble of national politics or even the primaries.

No one can say American presidential politics is dull.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Martini Glasses Then and Now

Marty has been educating us on a lot of things. I finally caught one important then-and-now history lesson on video.

Alaska Dominates Menu

Went to a Seafood place tonight in Portland.

Google Searches

I continue to find interesting ways people got to this blog.

  • doing' it to it like pruitt used to do it to it
    • lots of people, mostly from towns that have McClatchy papers, have been checking on Gary Pruitt. But what is this one about?
  • why do i know things before they happen
    • I'm sure this person didn't find the answer here
  • meaning of wild hair up his butt
  • gary pruitt needs to go
  • how can you know if a person is wearing a wire
  • battered Gary Pruitt
  • yak a mai noodles (Lisbon)
    • Google seems to first look for the whole phrase. They it looks for the words in a post. Then on the blog as a whole. So this person got the post on Yak and Yeti restaurant. There have been various posts on noodles. How Google decides which post to send the person to I have no idea.
  • where do the japanese flight attendants eat sushi in anchorage?
    • This actually got them to Yamato Ya where the Japanese flight attendants go. But the post didn't say that. But it had a picture of their sashimi.
  • charlie in on golden pond
    • Charlie, who own's Charlie's Bakery, used to own a restaurant called Golden Pond. This is explained in the post so all those words were in one post. But it wasn't what the searcher seems to have in mind. A few South Africans have checked out Charlie's Bakery. I think there must be one there too.
  • downey gunk in my washing machine
  • what do hfh look like?
    • This person got to the Habitat for Humanity post (same as Yak and Yeti post.) If that's what they meant by hfh, then they got a picture of what HfH housing looks like. At least one project.
  • buy companies that can be run by gary pruitt (Fresno Bee)
  • fly horses fairbanks to seattle (Lemon Lima)
    • I reviewed a short movie called Dear Lemon Lima that was set in Fairbanks. They were going to film the long version in Seattle. I suggested if the French crew that filmed Crossing Alaska With Horses could do it in Alaska, the Lemon Lima team could too. I don't think that's what they were looking for.
  • how to resign because of inability to do job
  • are thoughts sin
  • fire gary pruitt
  • us marshals polo shirts
    • Here's what the Google preview on this one looked like:
      "... almost everyone had on a yellow polo type shirt with a royal emblem on the chest. ... US Marshals Flying Vic Kohring To California Monda…"(Yahoo search)
  • if i was born in 1908 how old would i be?

House Boats

Now these are really HOUSE boats.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dems Viewed from Portland

Various Alaska bloggers are covering the convention from Denver. Celtic Diva, Alaska Raven, Dennis Zaki are blogging. Delegate Kimberly Pace has been sending reports to Bent Alaska.

I'm getting to watch bits and pieces here at Marty's condo in Portland, Oregon.

This whole convention extravaganza is starting to look unseemly to me. Part of it is the media highlighting any hint of controversy over and over again. But all the flash and partying seems so wrong when the Dem message is that the economy is hurting so bad. And all those corporate sponsors. What happened to campaign finance reform?

Were the ADL Ballots Legal?

  1. The Alaska Primary elections had ballots that combined candidates for the Democratic Party, Alaska Independent Party, and the Libertarian Party of Alaska. The Republicans had separate ballots.
  2. By combining two or more parties onto one ballot, the primary is no longer a contest between the two party candidates for the nomination of their party. The percentages of vote for candidates that are not running against each other makes no sense at all.
  3. The state law says "The director shall prepare and provide a primary election ballot for each political party." To me, that sounds like a separate ballot for each party.
  4. The Division of Elections Media Guide says that "In Alaska, the political parties determine which candidates will have access to their ballot and which voters are eligible to vote their ballot."
    1. Both the Libertarian Party and Alaska Independent Party by-laws call for what is known as a 'blanket" ballot which lists all candidates for all offices. That makes sense since they don't have more than one candidate for any office. Between the two parties, I could only find a total of three candidates in only the US House and Senate races. They have provisions for other options if the other parties do not allow blanket ballots.
    2. I couldn't find the Democratic by-laws, but their Plan of Organization says, " The Alaska Democratic Party’s primary election is open to all registered voters." That doesn't say open to all other parties.
It all seems to hinge on whether the Democratic Party by-laws call for an open primary or a blanket primary.

The Post

Alaska Statutes on Primary Elections say:



Sec. 15.25.010. Provision for primary election.

Candidates for the elective state executive and state and national legislative offices shall be nominated in a primary election by direct vote of the people in the manner prescribed by this chapter. The director shall prepare and provide a primary election ballot for each political party. A voter registered as affiliated with a political party may vote that party's ballot. A voter registered as nonpartisan or undeclared rather than as affiliated with a particular political party may vote the political party ballot of the voter's choice unless prohibited from doing so under AS 15.25.014 . A voter registered as affiliated with a political party may not vote the ballot of a different political party unless permitted to do so under AS 15.25.014 .

However, the State did NOT provide a ballot for each party. The Republicans had a separate ballot. But the other parties had all their candidates combined on a single ballot called ADL.

So, for the US Representative, Democrats and Alaska Independent Party were combined. This means, that people voting here did not choose between Diane Benson and Ethan Berkowitz, which is what is supposed to happen in a primary, but they chose between Benson, Berkowitz, AND Don Wright, the Alaskan Independence Party candidate. So, the election results percentages are also skewed. While the two Democrats were in competition with each other and Wright was NOT in competition with anyone, Sean Parnell's Division of Election put them all in competition with each other.

So, Berkowitz and Benson's votes add up to 59,487. The race between Benson and Berkowitz really should be
Benson 40.9%
Berkowitz 59.09%

Wright should have 100% of his party vote.

The same problem exists for the US Senate race. All the parties except the Republicans are combined. But they weren't all running against each other. The statewide elections have winners with significant enough votes that it probably doesn't matter. But suppose the Democratic house race were as close as the Republican. From what it looks like to me, the ballot would be very challengeable.

I did a quick scroll through the election results for the State House and Senate races and there do not seem to be any candidates other than Republicans and Democrats in those races. But my initial reading of the Alaska Statute suggests that there should have been ballots for

Alaskan Independents

The first two ballots would have had slates for all the offices and propositions.
The Alaska Independent ballot would have had one candidate for the US Senate and one for the US House and the propositions.
The Libertarian Party ballot would have had one candidate for US Senate and the propositions.

The Republicans closed their primary several years ago to only include people, if I recall correctly, who were not members of another party and Republicans. According to the Division of Elections Media Packet (p. 14):
In Alaska, the political parties determine which candidates will have access to their ballot and which voters are eligible to vote their ballot. Based on the political party by-laws, the below table outlines the 2008 Primary election ballot choices.

People with no party affiliation could have chosen any ballot.

Democrats, Alaska Independents, and Libertarians could all have chosen a Libertarian, Alaska Independent, or Democratic ballot.

OK, I've been doing more searching and have come up with interesting results. I can't find the Democratic Party By-Laws on line. However, they do have a Democratic Party Plan of Organization. I could find this statement about primary elections:


Section 10) The Alaska Democratic Party’s primary election is open to all registered voters.
This isn't explicit, but implies that there should be a Democratic primary election, which is open to all voters. That is different from open to all parties.

HOWEVER, the Libertarians and the Alaska Independents both want their candidates to be in primaries with all the candidates.

Alaska Independent:


The Alaskan Independence Party believing in the principle of voting for the individual, does establish an open primary election which lists all parties' candidates for office.
9.01 Primary Election Electors

Any registered voter who has not voted another primary ballot may vote in the Alaskan Independence Party primary.

9.02 Non-Disqualification of Electors

The fact that a voter has voted in the Alaskan Independence Party Primary Election shall not disqualify that voter from voting in the primary election of any other political party or parties, where that voter's participation in the primary election of the Alaskan Independence Party is authorized or permitted by the rules of the other party, or by the statutes of the United States.

The Libertarian Party of Alaska doesn't believe in Primaries:


a. The Alaska Libertarian Party maintains that primary elections are a waste of taxpayers’ money, and serve only as free advertising for candidates in a process wherein, for all practical purposes, the winners have already been decided, or, as is often the case, only one candidate per political party is in a primary election for a given post. We have also seen examples of candidates undesirable to a given party winning the primary election. But, until that happy day when government-sponsored primaries are abolished, and we may nominate all our candidates at our own convention, we recognize the hard realities and expediencies of politics, and consent to have Libertarian candidates for elective public office appear on a primary ballot which has the following two characteristics:

(1) The primary ballot also lists the candidates of all (or some) other political parties which are willing to have their candidates appear on a combined primary ballot; and

(2) The primary ballot is available to any voter, regardless of party affiliation, who wishes to select that combined primary ballot, as long as that voter has not also selected a different primary ballot.

b. When it is not possible for Libertarian candidates to appear on a primary ballot which complies with the requirements set out above, the Alaska Libertarian Party will, whenever possible, have its candidates for elective public office appear on a primary ballot which has the following two characteristics:

(1) The primary ballot also lists the candidates of all (or some) other political parties which are willing to have their candidates appear on a combined primary ballot; and

(2) The primary ballot is available to any voter who wishes to select that combined primary ballot, as long as that voter has not also selected a different primary ballot, and is not registered as being affiliated with a political party which does not appear on the combined primary ballot.

c. When it is not possible for Libertarian candidates to appear on a primary ballot which complies with either of the alternatives set out above, the Alaska Libertarian Party executive committee shall choose between any primary ballots which may be available for Libertarian candidates.

It makes sense for parties that only have one candidate in each race to want to be combined with other parties. It gains more visibility for their candidates.

I also checked Wikipedia on the various types of primary elections. The Republicans clearly had a closed primary, which they chose to do a number of years ago. But I thought the Democrats wanted an open primary (see below), but what they got was a blanket primary according to Wikipedia:

  • Closed. Voters may vote in a party's primary only if they are registered members of that party. Independents cannot participate. Note that due to the use of the word "independent" in the names of some political parties, the term "non-partisan" is often used to refer to those who are not affiliated with a political party.
  • Semi-closed. As in closed primaries, registered party members can vote only in their own party's primary. Semi-closed systems, however, allow unaffiliated voters to participate as well. Depending on the state, independents either make their choice of party primary privately, inside the voting booth, or publicly, by registering with any party on Election Day.
  • Open. A registered voter may vote in any party primary regardless of his own party affiliation. When voters do not register with a party before the primary, it is called a pick-a-party primary because the voter can select which party's primary he or she wishes to vote in on election day. Because of the open nature of this system, a practice known as "raiding" may occur. "Raiding" consists of voters of one party crossing over and voting in the primary of another party, effectively allowing a party to help choose its opposition's candidate. The theory is that opposing party members vote for the weakest candidate of the opposite party in order to give their own party the advantage in the general election. An example of this can be seen in the 1998 Vermont senatorial primary with the election of Fred Tuttle for the Republican candidate.
  • Semi-open. Each voter may vote in any single primary, but must publicly declare which primary she will vote in before entering the voting booth. Typically this declaration is accomplished by requesting a ballot. In many states with semi-open primaries, election officials record each voter's choice of party and provide the parties access to this information.
  • Blanket. This system allows voters to vote for one candidate per office, regardless of party affiliation.
  • Run-off. A primary in which the ballot is not restricted to one party and the top two candidates advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation. (A runoff differs from a primary in that a second round is only needed if no candidate attains a majority in the first round.)
Since I didn't find the Democratic by-laws, I'm not sure what they say. Their Action Plan says their primary should be open to all voters, but doesn't say open to all candidates. That would seem to leave the question unanswered until someone can find the specific language in the Democratic by-laws that says whether they intended to have an open or blanket primary.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

To Portland

My wife and son took off in the rental truck at 6:30am headed for Half Moon Bay. I waited at my daughter's house, doing some writing, til she got up for breakfast. Then, for the first time in many years, I walked my daughter to school. On the way we passed the shoe tree. I think people should have fun and not be overly serious all the time, and this tree is unique. But I also couldn't help wondering about how rich some people are, that they can simply throw good shoes up into a tree, while other people in other parts of the world can't afford shoes.

If I got this right, this is Savery Hall being rehabbed. My daughter's department has been moved out while they are working on it inside. The University of Washington campus is full of big old brick buildings and huge trees and a surprising amount of activities given school doesn't start for a while.

Then I drove south, stopping at the Olympia home of old Anchorage friends Don and Joan where I managed to be just in time for lunch. Really, Don, that wasn't planned. Their home is a beautiful spot at the end of Puget Sound and we ate overlooking the water. And the sun was out for lunch! It was nice to see Don and Joan (who came home for lunch) after maybe four years.

Now I'm at Marty's on Hayden Island, just across the bridge from Washington State. Marty is another former Alaskan and we did a lot with Marty and his wife Ellen the six months we lived in Portland five years ago. Ellen had been on dialysis for years and died just over a month ago. She was an very talented, bright, and beautiful woman whose smile lit up the room. Marty was devoted to Ellen throughout her long illness. I'm glad we're able to spend some time with Marty now and maybe distract him a little.
They had finally found a home they both really enjoyed out on Janzten Island. Marty and I had dinner out on one of the many docks.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Celtic Diva's Conventioning, I'm Moving Boxes

First meet the kids for breakfast at Portage Bay Cafe in the University district.

Then we drive to the truck rental place.

Then to where J and C have had their stuff stored for the year. It was all in these three large units.

Here's the truck still mostly empty.

The unit is finally empty!!!

The truck is almost full, just the mattresses to buttress the end.

The view from the storage building looking at the end of the truck at the dock.

One of the workers at the storage place. Lots of tatoos.

On the way back to M's. The skies opened.

Then off to dinner at Galeria on Capitol Hill - meet a former student and her husband and a good friend of J.

Galieria's Jose Cuervo collection.

Tomorrow J and J drive the truck to San Francisco.

From Dry to Wet

We left a cloudy, but dry Anchorage about 7:30pm.

And arrived at cloudy and wet Seattle about midnight.