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Obama birthers; Gov. Sarah Palin's 3rd-to-last picnic; flu-fighters flock

July 24, 2009 |  2:22 am

Alaska Cariboua not too close to Mt. McKinley

In Case You're Counting

We once asked an Alaskan friend what they do way up there in the brief summertime. "Well," he said, "if it comes on a Saturday, we have a picnic."

Today's a Friday, but Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is gonna have a picnic anyway in Wasilla. Such outdoor gubernatorial affairs with food, music and games are annual events in Alaska. There's another one tomorrow in Anchorage. And a third one on Sunday afternoon in Fairbanks. (The community of Kotzebue is apparently on its own.)

In Fairbanks, Gov. Palin will formally turn over the state caribou antlers or whatever it is outgoing govs there officially give to their successors, in this case, fellow Republican Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who won't be nearly as much fun to chronicle.

The good news for bloggers and Palin fans is that thanks to SarahPAC, her political fundraising arm, SP is likely to be spending a good bit more time in the lower 48. That's what Alaskans call the continental U.S. since the current president's original home state doesn't really count. And according to the birthers, he might well be from Kenya or somewhere foreign. More on that in the video below.

Bad poll news, however. A new Washington Post poll out this morning shows ...

... 53% of Americans view her negatively while only 40% think of Palin positively.

Meanwhile, before we leave Wasilla, we recommend a well-documented -- and impassioned -- article this week over at, a website where moms write about moms, in this case, probably the nation's best-known hockey mom. 

He's baaaack

West Virginia's Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd, who has spent 52 of his 91 years in the U.S. Senate, is back at work. Or at least back from the hospital where he went in May with a stubborn infection. 

Byrd's legislative longevity -- he actually entered the House six years before the Senate -- makes him the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history. And as his homestate's top political blogger, Don Surber, puts it, "Byrd will outlive us all."

Byrd arrived just in time to cast his vote in favor of continuing the F-22 fighter program, which lost.

Alaska Republican Governor Sarah Palin jogging with her son Trigg

If they sneeze, shoot them all

In direct defiance of Vice President Joe Biden's controversial flu-fighting advice to his family and the world to avoid crowded places, thousands of alleged flu experts will gather at Washington's Hyatt Regency Aug. 19-20 to talk about what to do to combat this fall's scheduled swine flu outbreak.

Public and private delegates from across the nation and 32 foreign countries will be bringing their germs to the nation's capital for the two-day International Swine Flu Conference (ISFC) in a dramatic example of what not to do to avoid spreading the H1N1 illness come autumn.

More news jobs wanted

In yet another consolidation of the news business, Roll Call, the Capitol Hill publication that's been a legislative must-read for 54 years now, has purchased another D.C. must-read, Congressional Quarterly.

Roll Call was acquired in 1992 by the Economist Group. A company statement said the editorial products and voices will remain separate for now, but added, "The great majority of the CQ staff will join the merged organization."

Which is Washington-speak for, "There will be layoffs."

Do you know where your original birth certificate is?

Besides spending a state-load of money, his TelePrompter, love of basketball and all kinds of reform, one of the trademarks of the 6-month-and-4-day-old Obama administration has been the persistent pitch by a vocal minority that his presidency could be illegitimate because maybe perhaps the ex-senator wasn't really born in the United States as the Constitution requires.

The Ticket has written about it a few times involving Pat Boone's published questions here and over here and over here. And Alan Keyes made an inflammatory video published here.

The courts and Congress have all decided that Obama is native-born. But, you know, they could all be part of the conspiracy. Birthers, as some call them, pop up everywhere  They're still leaving comments on a Ticket item from June 2008. And they'll no doubt be leaving comments below here in a few minutes.

The controversy centers around a copy of the Obama birth certificate published by The Ticket from the Obama campaign from the state of Hawaii, which has a law that requires originals can only be released to the person involved.

So, the conspiracists ask, if he's really made in the U.S.A., what does Obama have to fear by releasing an original birth certificate? Here's a video of a recent constituent meeting of ...

... Rep. Mike Castle, a Delaware Republican who says Obama is the legitimate president.

Watch and see the fervor with which the birthers hijack the meeting to make their case.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Runners World