Election Smackdown

As the clock ticks things are getting nastier. Some are stoking the embers of "troopergate" and Sarah Palin’s decision to dismiss Alaska’s public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, who says he was dismissed for refusing to fire Palin’s former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, a state trooper. But Monegan said that he never received explicit orders to fire Wooten, but that this was the implication during discussions, which he said included suggestions that Wooten was unfit for his job. Some are hoping to cause a blaze of controversy. Personally I think it's all in vain.

The we have "email-gate". (Is anyone else tired of the 'gate" use every time feathers get ruffled?) Someone hacked into Sarah Palin’s personally email account. Just about any teenager could probably pull this off but bloggers have alleged that David Kernell, 20, is the one who has claimed responsibility for breaking into the Alaska governor’s e-mail account.

Who is David Kernell? He is a student at the University of Tennessee Knoxville and the son of a Democratic politician, State Rep. Mike Kernell.

The FBI and Secret Service have launched an investigation. For anyone all excited about some juicy secret to be revealed, sorry to disappoint you. A person using the e-mail address
rubico10@yahoo.com posted a message to an online forum about how he used Yahoo Mail’s password-recovery tool to obtain Palin’s password.

“I am the lurker who did it, and I would like to tell the story,” rubico10@yahoo.com wrote on the Web site.

The hacker later explained how he reviewed Palin’s e-mail messages one by one: “I read though the emails … ALL OF THEM … before I posted, and what I concluded was anticlimactic, there was nothing there, nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I had hoped, all I saw was personal stuff, some clerical stuff from when she was governor. … And pictures of her family.”

The hacker used easily available information about Palin to answer questions Yahoo! Mail uses to verify identity. The hacker answered the first two questions easily — birth date and ZIP code. The third question — “Where did you meet your spouse?” — required the hacker to research the answer until he found the correct one, Wasilla High. “It took seriously 45 (minutes) on Wikipedia and Google to find the info”

Yet it will take the FBI and Secret Service months and thousands of dollars to figure this all out.