Alaskan Author Don Rearden will be visiting the Haines Public Library on Friday March 14th to...
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Sarah Palin fired up thousands of conservative activists who came to hear her give the closing speech of the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C. this weekend.
Palin hasn’t held elected office since she resigned as Alaska governor in 2009. But at this gathering of 11,000, she was an A-list star. The wind-up included a video montage of her greatest hits and tributes, and an introduction by NRA Executive Director Chris Cox.
“Does anybody here love Sarah Palin?” Cox asked, getting a loud cheer. “Now, if I walked out there and asked 100 of you why you love Sarah Palin, I’d probably get 100 different answers.”
He suggest a few but barely mentioned her stint as governor of Alaska. Even her run for the vice-presidency, which first put her on the national stage, is not her claim to fame now. Instead, the introduction focused on her superstar clout, her ability to raise the profile of far-right candidates like Ted Cruz of Texas, who says he owes his seat in the U.S. Senate to her. Her celebrity, and how she uses it, is itself celebrated.
Then Palin took the stage, and for 45 minutes, she slammed President Obama and all he stands for, as well as mainstream Republican members of Congress who she says ran from the fight. The crowd rose to its feet over and over. Some fans, too far away to see the stage clearly, took pictures of the room’s video monitors when her face came on the live feed.
Way in the back, one hand waved a tri-corner hat in approval. William Temple, of Brunswick, Georgia, came dressed head to toe as a solder from the Revolutionary War.
“I LOVE Sarah Palin,” he gushed. Temple admitted he had an ulterior motive for coming to the gathering. He wants Palin to sign the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag he carried into the convention center on an 8-foot flag pole. He’s been trying for years.
“They spirit her out of the room every time I get close. They secrete her out of the room. And I understand that. But yes I desperately need her signature on my Tea Party flag,” he said.
Chelsey Riehl, a student from Grand Rapids, Michigan, says she appreciates Palin’s frankness, her lack of filter.
“I think she definitely has more passion than other people and doesn’t really hold back on her opinion. And I think that’s part of the reason why some people do look down on her, but why so many other people really enjoy her as well,” Riehl said.
But Palin’s speech left Anna Chapman of Columbia, South Carolina, skeptical. Chapman says it was funny, in a late-night comedy kind of way.
“I don’t think she made a whole lot of sense, though. I’m going to be honest. I love her. I think she’s a good role model, a good face for the Republican Party. But I just think she sounded a little too kooky,” Chapman said.
Judging by the crowd reaction, it seems hers was minority view.
The 2014 Iditarod is Jeff King's race to lose. History shows that the hour separating King and second-place racer Aliy Zirkle may be too much to overcome on the home stretch to Nome.March 10, 2014
Former Gov. Sarah Palin whipped up thousands of the faithful this weekend, as the closing speaker of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.
Palin’s 45-minute speech was part rallying cry, part stand-up comedy as she landed one zinger after another.
“I love coming back here because there are always so many young people, or, as you’re know by the folks across the river, ‘ObamaCare suckers,’” she said.
She scoffed at Democrats and President Obama, but she also lobbed harsh words at the mainstream Republicans in Congress. She says they betrayed the Tea Party voters who won them seats in 2010. She also says she’s optimistic about the election this fall.
“In this awakening, eyes are open, we’re stronger now, we’re wiser now, and God knows, we are hungry and there aren’t enough low-information voters in the country to save the other side this time, if we don’t retreat,” she said.
Palin isn’t just a political figure these days but also a reality show celebrity. To the audience at this conference, her star never fell. When she referred to the 2016 presidential race, the crowd started chanting.
“I should have, I didn’t get to run this morning, I was so busy man. I did some hot yoga,” Palin said as the crowd shouted, “Run, Sarah, run.”
Her new show starts next month on the Sportsman Channel. It’s called “Amazing America,” a name she teased into her speech.
After taking the lead from Aliy Zirkle early Monday morning, Jeff King has extended his Iditarod lead to nearly an hour, rolling into White Mountain at 7:02 a.m.
Zirkle checked into White Mountain at 7:59 a.m. with 11 dogs to King’s 12.
2012 champion Dallas Seavey round out the top-3, arriving in White Mountain at 9:48 a.m.
Martin Buser, Mitch Seavey, Sonny Lindner, and Joar Leifseth Ulsom are all approaching White Mountain.
Mushers were met with an unforgiving trail as they pushed up the coast from Unalakleet to Koyuk, Sunday. They battled wind, miles of glare ice and more snow free trail.
They’re also battling extreme fatigue and grappling with how best to cut rest and maintain speed as they close in on Nome.
The blinding sun was no match for a biting wind as Aliy Zirkle‘s team did it’s best to navigate a road into Koyuk that is completely covered in smooth, thick ice.
Zirkle says she and her dog team slid and stumbled all the way from Unalakleet.
“There were a lot of holes they could have stepped in and they stepped in so I don’t know if we were a little off our game or something,” Zirkle said.
She says her sled tipped over multiple times.
“And your wheel dogs get it worse because your sled goes all the way over and hits a snow berm and flips,” she said.
There’s very little loose snow on the trail north along the coast, so dogs are having a hard time with hydration. Zirkle says their noses are rubbed raw.
“They’re having a hard time dipping snow. That’s what they do to stay hydrated,” she said. “The snow is so hard a crusty that they’re dipping and they’re cutting their noses so you have to stop periodically to let them eat snow in spots where the snow is good.”
Zirkle pulled at her chin as she looked over her team. Her main leader, Quito is a little sore.
“Oh we’re good, our speed is just going to go down,” she said. “I just have to rub her down. I don’t think she’s out I just think she’s sore.”
As she repacked her sled and cook a hot meal for her team, Zirkle taunted Jeff King who was parked about 10 feet away.
Zirkle: “Jeff you speedy demon!”
King: “What demon…. I thought you said did you see the demon?”
King came in to the checkpoint right on Zirkle’s heels. He very well may have seen a demon as he tried to steer his team across the uneven, icy, snow free trail.
“There were moments it was reminiscent of the gorge and riding my brake and my leg was tired from pushing my brake so hard,” King said. “It’s not my idea of fun mushing at all. It’s hard, hard, hard, hard surface and it’s not that smooth. It’s uneven and hard.”
A lead dog named Barnum was having a tough time finding his footing, so King switched him out for a dog named Skeeter. She’s a go-to leader King says he’s been saving for days.
“You have to let the dogs make some of the decisions and they made a decisions that encouraged me to switch Barnum and Skeeter and she was just dead on perfect find scratch marks where we needed to go and maneuvering,” King said.
King believes his team has the kind of speed all mushers are looking for right now, but he will have to fend off fast teams coming from behind. Late in the afternoon, Dallas Seavey’s dogs trotted across the ice into Koyuk. He made a big move back in Unalakleet. His is the only team that didn’t rest in that checkpoint.
“You don’t always exactly have it planned,” Seavey said. “You just have to be a little bit of an opportunist, keep your eyes open and set those things up. You have to put yourself into position, so I was working on that one from Takotna.”
But, as a stiff, cold wind blew through the dog yard, Seavey told the race judge he made a big mistake in Shaktoolik.
“I made a huge mistake when I left there,” he said. “I planned to stay four, and daylight savings time … I laid down, got up bootied and left on three… oh well, they did great. These dogs handle even my mistakes. That’s pretty impressive.”
An extra hour of rest may not have been necessary. Sonny Lindner’s team came in just after Seavey with wagging tails and perky ears. The musher himself looked a little bleary-eyed.
“I always like when Dallas goes by though,” Lindner said. “Running, ski poling, full blast. I needed to see something moving.”
Teams were warned in Koyuk about some logistical changes in Elim. An elder in that village passed away last week, so the checkpoint has been moved and there are few volunteers to help.
Once they reach White Mountain, teams will rest for a mandatory eight hours before they push on for Safety and the burled arch in Nome.
Jeff King overtook Aliy Zirkle early Monday morning in the 2014 Iditarod. King took off from Elim about 1 a.m. and Zirkle, who had battled King and Martin Buser for the lead, left less than 10 minutes later.
Dallas Seavey, who won two years ago, jumped into third place and was out of Elim about 2:52 this morning. While Zirkle, and King had spent more than an hour in Elim, Seavey was in and out of the checkpoint in minutes.
As of early Monday morning, the leaders looked liked this:
King. Zirkle. Dallas Seavey.
Mitch Seavey had passed Buser. Sonny Lindner was racing right behind Buser.
All were out of Elim.