Monday, September 29, 2014

Values Voter Summit 2014: Bombastic Hatefest on the Potomac

by Sunnyjane endeth the Gospel According to Nobody.  Amen.
Don'tcha just love it when two thousand bigots are gathered together in God's name to affirm  their hatred for all the real values America stands for?  You know, like those life...liberty...pursuit of happiness thingies?
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Family Research Council -- which proudly sponsors this annual confab of far-right religionistas -- is a hate group that makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science in order to fight same-sex marriage, hate crime legislation, etc; you get the drift.  A prime example of this homophobia is the guy who actually came in second in the VVS straw poll.  That would be Dr. Ben Carson, who not only has stated on different occasions that Obamacare is worse than slavery and worse than the 9/11 tragedy, but offered his opinion on same-sex marriage by stating that No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [North American Man-Boy Love Association], be they people who believe in bestiality ... they don't get to change the definition of marriage.  Yeah, that guy.
Since the Republican Tea Party has no cohesive agenda around which to unify, the only thing left is to urge their base to vote for their religious extremism so that we can finally have a Constitution based on God’s laws, not man’s laws.  Cause, you know,  our rights come from On High, not from mere mortals.  Thus, it seems that the Founding Fathers had no business writing that darn document in the first place!  No, it doesn’t make one iota of sense, but there you have it.

Well gee, it must be an election year, because they seemed to have been keeping their homophobia in the closet last weekend.  Even Michele Bachmann decided that talking about gay marriage is boring.  Maybe she's finally tired of hearing herself talk; I dunno.  One does wonder what Tony Perkins, Homophobe-in-Chief at the FRC, thought of that.  So absent the occasion to spew vitriol over Teh Gays, the speakers used up most of the oxygen in the room ranting about President Obama.  Nothing new there.

A Few Scraps from the Hate Heap

-- Ted Cruz played a rollicking good game of Deflection at the Hatefest by calling the Democrats an extreme, radical party that wants to take away the rights of Americans.  (Snort!)  In an effort to fling every arrow in his own fanatical quiver, the Canadian senator pontificated on every topic he could think of, including Obamacare, gun rights, and the persecution of Christians around the world.  He then went on to berate President Obama on Iran's nuclear proliferation negotiations, saying that the Iranians are sitting down swilling Chardonnay with the Americans... and that we needed a president who would take a tougher stand. This prompted Andrea Mitchell, in one of her more astute moments, to respond that perhaps we need a president who knows Iranians don't drink.  Cruz won the straw poll for president with twenty-five percent and the poll for vice president with twenty-two percent.

-- Sarah Palin let us know that there's no truth coming out of the venerable Willard Hotel situated at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue; I'm certain the Willard appreciated that a lot.  Palin tried to press every tired old button in her already limited arsenal, including the fact that seeing military  veterans gives her goose bumps.  (Is that something we needed to know?)  But, of course, she's afraid that America isn't going to survive the dense, liberal elite and their Orwellian leaders who want to control other people's livesSurely it must have been an oversight that she didn’t explain how Republican’s advocating government regulations over women’s health decisions, people’s right to marry the person they love, and free and open voting doesn’t constitute controlling our lives.  Right?  Out of 901 votes in the straw poll, Palin garnered only nine.  It's interesting to note that Write-In Candidate beat her with thirteen votes.  Better pick up the pace, Sarah.

-- So bored with gay marriage is Michele Bachmann that now she is advocating taking our military back to the 1980s when, you know, we had Peace through Strength! with Ronald Reagan at the helm, and we didn't lose four Americans in Benghazi!  She's right; we actually  lost 250 servicemen at an embassy in Beirut.  Bachmann also wants the President to declare war with Islam.  So, at the direction of Secretary of State John Kerry, the Pentagon is reconfiguring its computer models to locate the elusive country of Islam about which Ms. Bachmann speaks; so far, there’s only a lot of earlobe-pulling and head-scratching going on in the War Room.  Dick Cheney, ever anxious to drop a bomb anywhere in the world, is doing his part by snarling at his computer monitor because has let him down again.   No word as to when he’ll appear on Fox to berate the President for not yet declaring war with Google.  Bachmann only managed to get eleven votes in the straw poll.   

-- Rand Paul is still trying to retrofit his image.  President Obama is an arrogant autocrat.  The President acts like a king.  There's a spiritual crisis in America.  We've got to rediscover our mojo.  We've arrived at the day of reckoning.  Yada, yada, yada.  Zzzzzzzzz... Rand Paul pulled in sixty-three votes.

-- Rick Santorum's shtick is so old and tired -- protecting marriage, the glue that holds the family together...  Oh, never mind.  You've heard it all before.  But he did manage to rake in (heh) eighty-seven votes to be the Republican candidate for President of the United States.

End Note


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Boots-on-the-ground at the People's Climate March in NYC

by BlueberryT

Climate change is a global crisis that is also emerging as the unifying issue of our time. Slow to become visible and the subject of a deliberate disinformation/denial campaign, nevertheless most people now recognize that all life on the planet is affected in some way – and "there is no Planet B.” This is obviously a huge challenge and threat, but also offers a remarkable opportunity to unite causes that have not worked together before, but are now recognizing that this is a common cause.

Climate change and its impacts are very complex. The earth's oceans are acidifying and warming, adversely affecting shellfish and ocean ecology and affecting climate patterns in complex ways that we don't yet fully grasp. Deforestation and melting permafrost release even more heat-trapping gases, creating adverse “feedback loops.” Glaciers that keep rivers flowing are disappearing, threatening ecosystems and the water supplies of many millions of people. Those living on islands and along coastlines are in danger of massive “superstorms,” storm surges, rising sea levels and saline encroachment into drinking water. Tornadoes and microbursts are frequent, severe and widespread. Indigenous people see their ways of life destroyed by intensive resource extraction and pollution. Farmers are experiencing severe droughts that may last decades. Wildfires threaten public lands and private property. Excessive groundwater pumping is depleting critical aquifers and causing shifts in the land. Native plant and wildlife communities are disrupted. Invasive plants and animals are spreading. So is disease. (More here on disease.) No area on earth is immune from adverse impacts.

No one is immune from impacts, either. People like our dear friend nycgirl, who lives in the Rockaways in New York, have already felt the brunt of this slow-moving global disaster. Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call – horrors, even Wall Street was underwater! Our friends in California are in the midst of an extreme drought, affecting crops and water supply and worsening wildfires, with the increasing probability that this may evolve into a very long-term "megadrought."  In my own region, the five most extreme floods ever recorded on our rivers have occurred since 1987; one was ~30% higher than any prior flood, causing several deaths and extensive damage. We also have experienced numerous severe microbursts and even tornadoes, which are a new phenomenon in this area. Extreme weather is not unusual any more; it is becoming the norm. Many communities in the midwest “tornado belt” have been flattened. And that's just in the U.S. - the damage in countries around the world is just as extreme, if not more so.

There were early warnings of the crisis; most were ignored. In the 1970s and 1980s, scientists reported on climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed in 1988, but in 1989 the fossil fuel industry formed the deceptively named “Global Climate Coalition” to undermine confidence in scientific findings about global warming. IPCC's first report in 1990 stated that the globe was warming and future warming appeared likely. In 1992, the UN developed a Framework on Climate Change, but the U.S. Blocked meaningful action. In 1995, the IPCC issued their second report, expressing with more certainty that global warming was occurring and would accelerate in the coming century; this coincided with reports of the Antarctic ice sheet beginning to break up, attracting more public attention to the issue. The Kyoto Protocol in 1997 set emissions reduction targets, but the U.S. did not join the protocol. In 2000 the Global Climate Coalition dissolved as corporate interests began to split on the issue; for example, insurance companies recognized that increased storm damage represented a threat to their interests. The next year, the third IPCC report was even more conclusive, putting an end to the “debate” about climate change except among those who have a vested interest in denial.

Over the past decade, scientific findings have expressed increasing confidence and consensus not only that climate change is real, but that human activity is a significant contributing factor and that the need to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases is urgent. Many reports, books, videos and films as well as organizations and websites have brought the issue into the mainstream; Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth played a key role in educating the public. Public awareness was also galvanized by huge, impossible-to-gloss-over events like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. The most recent IPCC report used the most urgent language yet, indicating that anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) is fully upon us and will dramatically worsen without immediate, effective action.

At the same time, the issue has become increasingly politicized as right-wing media and fossil-fuel interests implemented a strategic disinformation campaign to undermine the science and thwart global action. Due largely to our political dysfunction, the U.S. has until recently been the biggest impediment to meaningful action at a global scale. President Obama is trying to change that. It is my hopeful speculation that the politicization will bite the GOP where it hurts (in the voting booth), as it becomes increasingly apparent that they are promoting a fringe, extremist position.

Thankfully, there is a growing convergence of world leaders, businesses, environmentalists, peace and economic justice activists and others working together on this issue. Bill McKibben, Al Gore and other climate change activists are now joined by an increasing number of local, state, national and international leaders, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, whose call-to-action was a key driver of the People's Climate March. Equally important are those whose names we don't know – the millions of indigenous people, farmers, fishermen, students and teachers, cab-drivers, waitresses, medical professionals, linesmen, emergency responders, parents and grandparents, and grassroots activists – all those who care about the future enough to take to the streets of New York or other cities, towns and villages around the world to bring the “debate” about climate change to a close and move forward with truly bold action to reduce and address its consequences.

Of course, as the movement to address climate change broadens and enlists more of the power elite, it runs the risk of being co-opted, papering over core issues such as resource exploitation and pollution, and mixing positives and negatives in what might be presented as a “balanced approach.” 

I credit the President Obama for addressing several plenary sessions on climate change, promising bold action, presenting a plan to address climate change and implementing far-reaching executive actions to move forward without Congressional action, which is blocked by GOP obstruction. His message at the United Nations this week was powerful and provocative.  (Here is the video.) He touted significant progress in the United States to reduce emissions while also taking responsibility for our role in creating these problems and committing to lead efforts to address these problems. He called for a strong international effort and pushed China to take more responsibility to reduce emissions. I am very gratified that he explicitly acknowledged the marchers and said that "we cannot pretend that we don't hear them." Yes! It was a strong speech, stating definitively that the U.S. is committed to combating climate change. 

However, we cannot ignore the fact that his administration has also facilitated fracking, expanded drilling, including in sensitive off-shore environments, and re-subsidized nuclear energy. Let's be frank: these policies inherently conflict and attempt to offer palliatives to all interests, which serves none of us well. The President and his administration need to stop supporting these dirty energy sources, to bring their actions in line with their rhetoric.

Despite these conflicts and the risks of co-opting climate change, there is real progress. This is a truly international issue and effort, and the shift to renewable energy (RE) is accelerating; some countries are achieving remarkable results. Germany, for example, now produces 28.5% of its energy from renewables with short-term RE production at new record highs.  In the U.S., the percentage of new power generation from renewables is growing fast; this is also true internationally. Energy efficiency standards are helping to bring down emissions in the electricity, water, transportation and building sectors. Because money interests are behind the exploitation of fossil fuels, divestment is key. Thus the news this week that the Rockefeller Foundation is divesting of its fossil fuel industry holdings sends a really important message. As with other divestment campaigns, this is gaining steam and goes to the heart of the underlying financial interests that have so much power. Here is more on how college students have propelled the divestment campaign. 

Climate change is also now an issue with some seriously wealthy backers who have the resources to challenge the Koch Brothers. Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg has been an outspoken advocate and financial supporter, and helped build a coalition of mayors to fight climate change. Tom Steyer has also put his money where his mouth is, and worked to bring others into the fray, directly fighting back against Koch Brothers dollars. 

The People's Climate March was a huge event and will hopefully represent a “political tipping point,” which was the intent of people from Bill McKibben to Ban Ki-moon.  I'll recap my experience below, but first I want to mention that there were so many climate change actions in New York last week and this week that it was amazing! There were several “plenary sessions” with grassroots leaders from around the world. There were programs focusing on indigenous people, women as leaders of climate change action, corporatism's role in climate change, the nexus of climate change with social and economic justice, the role of faith-based organizations, and many more. This was an amazing organizing feat; kudos to and others who handled the logistics. Not only is the United Nations convening its summit on climate change, but the Clinton Foundation's Global Initiative is holding a series of programs on this issue as well. There are also protests, including civil disobedience, at Wall Street and at the U.N. to challenge corporate interests that underpin fossil fuel/big energy and that exploit the environment and the world's most vulnerable people. More here  on all the actions during “Climate Week.” Not to mention all the events in other places around the world!

Now to the march itself. It was epic, with estimates of 400,000 in NYC and hundreds of thousands more in marches around the world. Thousands of organizations took part, uniting in a call-to-action regardless of whether their core interests were religious, environmental, economic justice, peace, public health, water supply, farming, fishing – it was a display of unity that I thought I would never live to see.  There are some great photos here.  

In NYC, the “official” starting point was Columbus Circle (Central Park West and 59th Street). Our group gathered farther uptown, at CPW and 77th Street, as the march was generally arranged according to the core interests of all the groups involved, spreading a very broad umbrella:
  • "Frontline" groups, including those people who are first and most impacted by climate change, including indigenous peoples, environmental justice organizations and other communities (59th-65th St)
  • Generational groups including labor organizations, families, students, elders, etc. (65-72nd St);
  • Environmental groups, including renewable energy, food and water justice and environmental organizations (72nd-77th St);
  • Protest groups including anti-corporate and peace and justice groups (77th-81st St);
  • Scientists, interfaith groups and related organizations (81st- 82nd St) [I found it interesting that science organizations were coupled with interfaith groups]
  • Miscellaneous groups ("To Change Everything, We Need Everyone"), located between 82nd and 86th Street a includes LGBTQ groups and various geographic entities, including NY boroughs and communities, other U.S. city and state groups and groups from other countries.
There was an amazing level of organization, staying within the boundaries and barriers set up by the NYPD. In the end, the assembly area was longer – I was told it extended all the way along Central Park West, up to Frederick Douglass Circle at 110th Street - more than 50 blocks! There were also some feeder groups coming in from downtown locations. The prediction a few days before the march was for 100,000 people, but at least four times that many people actually marched.

As a result, it was a very long wait from the time we assembled (at around 10:30) to the time we got moving, about 3 hours later. At this point, there was a great cheer, but we only moved about 20 feet - this was because so many people were joining the march! We didn't get to see Ban Ki-moon, Bill de Blasio, Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, Jane Goodall, Al Gore, Leonardo di Caprio, Sting or other well-known people who marched, but unbeknownst to us, we had a wonderful treat in store. Some musicians began setting up right behind us, and it turned out to be Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary – along with his daughter, son-in-law and grand-daughter. They led us in singing some great old march songs, including “We Shall Not Be Moved” and “This Land is Your Land.” Peter added some “verses” by singing out the words on the posters and banners, including my sign! He also kissed one of my friends on the cheek when she told him how much the music meant to us.

Amidst such a huge crowd, it was hard to imagine that the organizers could pull off a moment of silence at 12:58 p.m., in observance of all the people who are already victims of climate change. I thought it might not work, but it did. This was a crowd that was very energetic, at times boisterous, but also very disciplined and intent on sending a serious message to the “powers that be.”

Once we finally got moving, progress was slow at first, but we began making steadier progress toward Columbus Circle – the official starting point (!), which we reached about 2:45. Then, we headed east to 6th Ave, then south to 42nd Street, then back west to 11th Ave and south to 34th Street. All together, the march route is about 3.5 miles, but we didn't get to the end until 5 o'clock – almost 7 hours after we had gathered! All along the way, people lining the route or passing by gave us thumbs up and were very supportive.

The atmosphere, at least where we were, was as much street theater and block party as it was protest march. We were accompanied all the way by a marching band, made up mostly of young musicians and dancers dressed in red and black and full of energy and enthusiasm. Even toward the end of the march, they were dancing, jumping, spinning, and keeping the rest of us from obsessing too much about how much our feet hurt!

There were some great signs and costumes; here are just a few:

The biggest impression I had is that climate change is emerging as an issue and cause that transcends the divisions that affect many political causes; instead we now see that it unites people across the globe. The march was the most diverse political event that I have been part of since the Vietnam War - actually even more so than Vietnam. Most impressive: there were so many young people!! Many, many in their teens and twenties. Lots of college students. Many grey and white hairs too, and all ages in between. People of color – all colors. Gay and straight. Families with kids in strollers. People in wheelchairs. Artists, musicians, dancers. Organizations that ran the gamut from very old conservation organizations like the Appalachian Mountain Club, Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund (just to name a few that were in my area of the march) to the New York Society of Architects, American Friends Service Committee, Workmen's Circle, Californians, Floridians, Peruvians, Brazilians, many faith-based groups, vegans, organic farmers, groups that fought nuclear power in the 1970s and 1980s and reconvened for this event – and many, many more.

After the march, I spoke to a number of New Yorkers – cab drivers, a cleaning person, several waiters and shopkeepers – and they all were so supportive of us marchers. Some had taken part themselves; others said they wanted to take part but had to work. All were full of smiles when they saw my friends and me with our signs.

To paraphrase Rosa Parks, my feet are tired, but my soul is rested. We feel proud of what we did. We think it made a difference in the political calculus. Now we need to get back to work - there's so much more to do!

Update: More good news on financial divestment from dirty energy/investment in clean energy.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Don't Mess With the Chef: How the McDonnells Cooked Their Own Goose

by Sunnyjane

That old My Wife's a Crazy Bitch defense doesn't work -- even in Virginia
On the same news program where conservative columnist David Brooks called Sarah Palin a joke back in March 2010, he went on to say, We've just had a guy elected Virginia governor who's probably the model for the future of the Republican Party, Bob McDonnell...   Well hey, at least he nailed it on Palin, right? 

And for Your Appetizer Today, We Have...

January 2010:  Who in the hell talked me into this stupid photo op?
When newly inaugurated Gov. Bob McDonnell hoisted his wife over the threshold of  Virginia's two-hundred-year-old Governors Mansion, he did so with the confidence fed by a far-right Christian higher education at Pat Robertson's Regent University, and too many gulps of the milk-and-honey largesse of the Koch Brothers.  During his years in the Virginia House of Delegates, he had honed to a fine point his theocratic, moralistic views that working women were detrimental to the family; that government policy should favor married couples over cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators; and that the Supreme Court should never have legalized contraceptives for unmarried couples.  And those are just some of his dominionist views.  Not only did he omit to mention slavery during his Confederate History Month proclamation because he didn't feel it was significant enough (huh?), but at one time he proposed reinstating a 1940s book that promoted eugenics back into the state's public schools. 

Such was the jubilation in the GOP that he had turned the Commonwealth back to red after the 2008 election, that just seventeen days after being inaugurated, the-golden-haired-boy McDonnell was chosen to give the Republican rebuttal to President Obama's State of the Union Address.  While he did not embarrass Virginians the way some rebutters have in recent years, it would come to pass that eventually he would suffer the same curse of the rebuttal as others of his ilk had.

With his equally narrow-minded Christian attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, at his side, the two wasted no time in attempting to put into action their 1950s views on how Virginians should conduct themselves. Unfortunately, they had some success.

And then like a wormy apple, heaven's manna began to rot from the inside out.

Cooking the Books and Robbing the Cookie Jar

Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Todd Schneider didn't particularly want to be the Governors Mansion chef.  He had both a successful catering business and a popular restaurant in Richmond.  The catering business had often done events for many politicians, including the Obama campaign and the Bushes Thanksgiving dinner in 2007.  But his most frequent clients became the McDonnells, who knew they could always depend on him for an outstanding performance.  So when the pleas to cook full-time for the McDonnell family kept coming, he decided to do itI thought it would look good on my résumé. 

Schneider and Maureen McDonnell became quite close, so close in fact that he had a bar stool moved into the kitchen so that she could hang out with him while drinking a glass of wine and complaining, I didn't ask for this job.  The role of cooking for the family quickly morphed into catering events and parties at the mansion, frequently on little notice and often without the proper food to meet last-minute demands.   On such occasions, Todd would call his catering service or restaurant and have them rush over the required provisions.  He then started billing the mansion, but was told it was a conflict of interest for him to invoice mansion funds and was told, Well, why don’t we do this? We’ll do a barter system. You can take back what we owe you in food and we’ll call it that.

Much of Schneider's problems with too few supplies was the brassiness of the five McDonnell children, who pilfered mansion resources like uninhibited grifters.  (Is this what all Republicans mean by free-market principles?  I dunno.)  The chef would come back to the mansion on Mondays and find that the kids had stripped the kitchen and pantry of food, glassware, garbage bags, etc.  When the twins moved out of their dorm at the University of Virginia, Maureen used mansion supplies to help furnish their apartment.

And then one day in February 2012, the FBI and the state police arrived on Todd Schneider's doorstep at 7:30 in the morning.

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold

Would you care for a serving of karma before you go to the Gray Bar Motel?
Seems someone had anonymously used the state's waste, fraud, and abuse hotline to report that Schneider was embezzling from the Governors Mansion.  The chef explained the bartering system -- which was proven through court documents to be true -- that he had with the mansion's director and the FBI and staties left satisfied, or so Schneider thought.  However, two days later, they arrived at the mansion and escorted him off the premises.  The fact that the McDonnells could easily have come to his defense at that time, by explaining an honest misunderstanding, proved to be their downfall.  

Todd Schneider would not be that easily manhandled.  He had a file that not only included a copy of the $15,000 check from Star Scientifics' CEO Jonnie Williams for the McDonnell daughter's wedding, but photos of Costco-size hauls of snacks the McDonnell kids had lifted from the mansion.  And he took that file to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who was not remotely moved by this evidence, and charged the chef with four counts of felony embezzlement; this was later reduced to two counts of misdemeanor charges, for which Todd Schneider was forced to pay $2,300 in restitution.  Federal prosecutors, however, were extremely interested in Todd Schneider's little file, and used it to start their investigation into Bob and Maureen McDonnell's corruption activities.

And the rest is history.  Karma is a bitch:  Cuccinelli lost the gubernatorial  election in 2013; Jonnie Williams was forced to resign from his own company; and Bob McDonnell will never have a personal chef at the White House.

End Note

Bob: guilty of 11 out of 13 counts of corruption.  Maureen:  Guilty on 9 out of 11 counts of corruption.

Note to America’s Republican Governors:  Karma works in mysterious ways, its  wonders to behold.  When you take away people’s rights, you risk losing your own under particularly ignominious circumstances.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Marc and Matt McKenna, give Eric Thompson his job back! You made your fortune with money from the taxpayer, receiving large public contracts for your paving company, now do not fire Eric Thompson for exercising his constitutional rights! - UPDATE: Eric Thompson set up a GoFundMe page to pay for living expenses and lawyer fees, please support him!

Matt and Marc McKenna: They got rich from the taxpayer, 
fired Eric Thompson for speaking out to ABC News as witness for the "Palin Brawl" 

By Patrick

+++ UPDATE October 9th, 2014: Read the newly released 
police report about this incident - it's simply epic, 
and also confirms our reporting, 
as well as the statements by Eric Thompson +++

+++UPDATE October 25, 2014:

During the last days, the USA and the rest of the world learned all the juicy details about the ugly "Palin Brawl", with big headlines in all major US media outlets, after the Alaska blogger Amanda Coyne originally broke the story. On Saturday, September 6, 2014, the whole Palin-family (absent only Piper and Trig) drove with a stretch hummer limousine to the 40th birthday party of Marc and Matt McKenna, owners of "McKenna Brothers Paving" and Palin's Iron Dog "snowmachine buddies".

According to our own sources in Alaska, a lot of members of the Iron Dog community were present at the party, and the number of attendees varies in the reports between 70 and 100 people. In any case, it was a very large party, hosted at the home of Korey Klingenmeyer in Anchorage, with lots of food, lots of drinks, and a band which was hired for the occasion.

Korey Klingenmeyer, the host of the party which now became infamous as the "Palin-brawl", is an employee with McKenna Brothers Paving, the company owned by Marc and Matt McKenna (their facebook page is here). He threw the birthday party for his bosses. According to our information from Alaska, he is the operations manager there, having a well-paid job.

Another employee at McKenna Brothers Paving is Eric Thompson. He also works there in the office, as we exclusively revealed in our previous post, or let's just say, he did work there. Because after speaking on the record to ABC News as an eye-witness about the Palin-brawl, in a major news report which then was aired all over the USA, is has been reported that he got fired from his job at McKenna Brothers Paving.

So why did he get fired? What exactly were the reasons? No official statement has been made, but we can guess - and it is not very difficult to come up with possible reasons. However, these guesses do not put the McKenna twins into a good light.

It is well known in Alaska that the McKenna brothers are close friends to the Palin-family. This is also easily confirmed if one for example takes a look at the facebook page of Matt McKenna, I cannot find the page now, maybe it's gone, I don't know, but during the last days, we were still able to find it (EDIT: THE PAGE IS HERE) and took the following screenshot:

Yes, that's Marc McKenna, together with Sarah Palin. This photo was actually taken in 2013 at a car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, There is a youtube clip with more pictures from this event, also with another picture of Sarah Palin with Matt McKenna:

Screenshot from the video clip:

That's a Shelby Cobra Roadster, by the way, in case you wondered. :-)

So the assumption that the McKenna brothers fired their employee Eric Thompson because he was, well, "embarrassing" their big friends, the Palin-family, with his witness account on ABC News, is more than obvious to us.

In addition, it appears to us that the firing of Eric Thompson also serves as a warning to Korey Klingenmeyer, the host of the party, who was repeatedly punched by Bristol Palin, as several witnesses confirmed. Korey is also their employee, as explained above, and from what we have heard from Alaska, Korey was seriously considering filing charges against Bristol Palin.

In our opinion, the firing occurred as retaliation against Eric Thompson, and as a threatening warning to Korey Klingenmeyer.

Relationships in Alaska, which is an incredibly small society, can be very complex, as we learned over and over again during the previous years.

What is particularly outragous in regards to the McKenna brothers and their recent action towards Eric Thompson is the fact that their paving company made their fortune through public contracts: They got rich through the taxpayer. Even a quick online search reveals multiple public contracts for their company in Alaska, and certainly there are many more. You will see familiar names there - for example Republicans Diane Keller and Verne Rupright, in their capacity mayors of Wasilla.






For McKenna Brothers Paving, bad PR is definitely not good PR. 

Let's tell the brothers that Eric Thompson needs his job back. Let's stop with the culture of "if you speak out against the Palins, bad things will happen to you" in Alaska. Yes, this culture does exist, as we and others have heard from sources over and over again during the previous years - and many authors and journalists heard the same when they talked to Alaskans!

Many Alaskans believed that, after Sarah Palin resigned, that the Palins were not a "problem" for Alaska any more, and they slowly started to forget about them. Sarah Palin herself focused on the "Lower 48" and very rarely got involved in Alaskan politics. However, the outrageous behaviour of the Palin-family at the "Palin-brawl", and the fact that the Palins still have the ability to do even more damage to people, that they still have the power to "get people fired", shows that the Palins are still a problem for Alaska. Their mafia-like behaviour should not be tolerated in Alaska any more.

Tell the McKenna brothers to give Eric Thompson his job back immediately!

Contact details HERE.

Their facebook page is HERE.

(The reviews on their facebook, commenting on the firing, are already damning!)

Official company business filing HERE.

They want money from the taxpayer? Then tell them to acknowledge the constitutional rights of Eric Thompson. Do not allow them to intimidate others on behalf of the Palins!




I really want to hear this with a proper rock band! :-)



Eric Thompson is an honest and straightforward man from Alaska, who was punished for telling the truth about the Palin-brawl. Now he needs our help!

In a youtube-clip which he today published himself, he explains that he was "fired within an hour" from his job after the airing of  his interview at "Good Morning America." He has living expenses and lawyer fees to pay.

He set up a "GoFundMe" page and asks for donations.

All we can say is: Give him all you can spare! He is a brave man who really deserves our support.

Here is the clip in which he explains his situation:


UPDATE 2 (by Kathleen):

Earlier I reached out to Eric Thompson and suggested that he set up a paypal account for those who do not wish to use the GoFundMe site. 

Eric wrote to me and thanked me for the suggestion and support. 

For those wishing to donate by paypal Eric's new paypal address is



New video interview with Eric Thompson by the Alaska Dispatch News (see the article about the interview here).



Websites which linked to this post:

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