Do you have to live in Alaska to join the Alaska Independence Party? If so, I think it's about time to start a Lower 48 auxiliary. First they gave us Sarah Palin. Then they returned America's two most ghoulish legislators to Washington, despite one of them having just been found guilty of seven felonies. And now comes word that something fishy may have happened to Alaska's election-day ballots--a suitably banana-republic explanation for why turnout seems to have dropped despite the tight reelection races of Ted Stevens and Don Young, and  the first-ever presence of an Alaskan on the national ballot. Isn't there a certain point where we decide that no amount of oil and Denali National Park commemorative wall-plates are worth the ignominy of sharing a country with this kooky kleptocracy? A southern wing of Todd Palin's former party would be the "you're fired" to the original AIP's "I quit." Afterwards, we might even let them join NAFTA, bringing the bloc's membership many was that again?

--Michael Schaffer