Entries categorized as ‘Palintology’

On Hate

January 18, 2011 · Leave a Comment

Given the national grieving over the shooting tragedy in Arizona and the healthy resulting discussion on the tone of political discourse, I thought it worthwhile to talk about running a site like hatepalin.com.

When this site was first launched, I received a lot of comments about it being inappropriate to hate anyone (including from my mother).

Let me be perfectly clear: we do not condone violence of any kind against anyone based on their political beliefs.  You will not see here hyperbolic screed designed to inflame readers.  You will not read violent or militaristic metaphors when describing Sarah Palin or the battle with her ideas.

What we hope you see is the bright light of truth, thoughtfulness and intelligence applied to what we believe are naive, simplistic and wrong-headed policies and approaches to life and politics.  As we said on our “About” page from the start, we don’t really HATE Sarah Palin, but we do hate her policies and what she stands for, and we think that her points of view are not only inconsistent with a healthy democracy, but are simply bad for America.

We will continue to collect tidbits that highlight Sarah Palin’s interaction with the world and why we think she is bad for America as long as she has a national stage which amplifies her radical views.  But please always remember that while we hate Palin the political operative, we bear no hard feelings toward Sarah Palin the person.  We actually wish her well.  Just not on the national stage.

Categories: Palin · Palintology · Politics
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Tone-deaf Palin’s Political Future in Peril

January 18, 2011 · Leave a Comment

Yesterday Palin gave a live interview to Sean Hannity on Fox News which revealed both how politically tone deaf she is, and he reactions from within the GOP demonstrate that she is on the outs with most of the leaders of that party. This incident shows starkly why she does not have the political intelligence for a role in national politics.

Palin was very quickly dragged into the national discussion about how the divided and rancorous tone of political discourse might cause unstable people to acts of violence following the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and others in Arizona. She waded in full force, but instead of rising above the argument that her words (and maps with crosshairs, and frequent “reload” messages) should be held partially responsible, she made it all about Sarah Palin. That’s all she knows how to do.

So she played the victim of powerful media, someone who was being silenced. She even chose to release a poorly timed video statement on the very day that President Obama gave a widely praised speech about unity and the national character. But Sarah’s speech was all whine and victim and playing to her base. It did not reach out to the whole nation, it reached back to her base.

She also accused her critics of participating in blood libel a reference that was both incorrect in its application and deeply offensive to Jewish people.

But Sarah had some time for introspection and good advice.  She could have anticipated questions – even from the friendly Hannity/Fox News corner – and prepared for them.  But it did not appear that she did any of those things.  Predictable questions were fumbled with inadequate answers.  She came across as defensive, angry and whiny.

At a time when even Roger Ailes and Glenn Beck seemed to sense the mood of the nation and make conciliatory gestures toward healing and unity, Sarah Palin continues to attack her critics and seems to miss the greater themes brought out by the Arizona tragedy.

Following her performance on Hannity many normally supportive voices within the GOP are distancing themselves from Sarah Palin.

Business Insider even published a piece titled “It’s Time to Bid Goodbye to Sarah Palin’s Presidential Ambitions.”  We can only hope.

Categories: Palin · Palintology · Politics
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Is Palin a quitter?

July 11, 2009 · Leave a Comment


Levi Johnston is probably right.  Palin took a look around, saw her popularity continue to sink, and decided that getting a ghost writer (who could actually construct sentences in English) and job as a Fox pundit sounded a lot better.

I do have to admit that Alaska’s ethics laws makes it easy to tie up an elected official with a huge burden defending against claims – both in legal bills and in energy and focus.  But we also have to look at why those claims were made.  And it’s not just because of political differences, although that surely plays a part.  Palin’s style was to go in both barrels blazing, shooting from the hip.  And she made a lot of bad decisions.  Like taking the daily stipend when she was staying at her own home.  Like having the RNC fund a shopping spree for the whole family.  Like using government money to pay for her spouse and children to travel with her.  Like using the levers of government to work through a personal vendetta against her ex-brother in law (Alaska’s own Troopergate – cool!).

So, yes, Palin brought the trouble on herself.  Now the long knives are out.  Now even the delusional Bill Kristol (thanks so much for the Iraq war, Bill) can only rise to calling her resignation a “high risk strategy” after so many months of promoting her political career.  The intellectual branch of the Republican party was never on board with her Jesus and guns anti-intellectual populism.  That fissure will continue to wrench the party so long as it entertains even the possibility that someone like Palin who has such meager capabilities and, as we now see, lacks the steady temperament to be in politics.

I’m sure the grand old party will comeback.  But it won’t happen as long as they party has to kowtow to the religious right.  And what must they be thinking as those christian-claiming members continue to reveal not only hypocrisy but bad judgement – a la South Carolina’s Mark Sanford, or Nevada’s Jim Ensign – or even Florida’s Mark Foley.  They must be grateful for the ridiculous amount of coverage given to Michael Jackson’s death, which has pushed them out of the news cycle.  Let’s hope for their sake that they, and the GOP, find a better path to redemption than MJ.

Categories: Palin · Palintology · Troopergate
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Dick Cheney Defends Witch Trials

April 25, 2009 · Leave a Comment

In a shocking and unprecedented development a former Vice President speaks out publicly against the administration that replaced him.  Even more shocking to many is that Dick Cheney, uniquely famous for his claims of both executive and legislative privilege and his unprecedented demand for secrecy, is now asking for the release of secret witch trial documents.

His demand is centered around one argument – not that the witch hunts were legal or desirable, but simply that they were effective.

Prior evidence of the man’s paranoid demands for secrecy abound.  Cheney developed his own secrecy stamps with an invented category “Treated as Top Secret/SCI,” in an attempt to supersede traditional secrecy standards.  The man kept a man-sized safe in his office.  He invented a pseudo “fourth branch” of government arguing that he could not be held accountable to the standards of either the Executive or Legislative branches.

Here’s an extended passage from “The Next Hurrah” that adds some context to Cheney’s secrecy:

That the Bush “administration,” and in particular the Office of the Vice President, have been extraordinarily secretive is, ironically, no secret. But in a story first reported by Mark Silva of the Chicago Tribune back in April 2006, details of the extent of the secrecy practices — if they can be called that — emerged to reveal something even darker and more disturbing than previously imagined:

As the Bush administration has dramatically accelerated the classification of information as “top secret” or “confidential,” one office is refusing to report on its annual activity in classifying documents: the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. A standing executive order, strengthened by President Bush in 2003, requires all agencies and “any other entity within the executive branch” to provide an annual accounting of their classification of documents. More than 80 agencies have collectively reported to the National Archives that they made 15.6 million decisions in 2004 to classify information, nearly double the number in 2001, but Cheney insists he is exempt. Explaining why the vice president has withheld even a tally of his office’s secrecy when offices such as the National Security Council routinely report theirs, a spokeswoman said Cheney is “not under any duty” to provide it.That Executive Order is #13292, which:

prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information, including information relating to defense against transnational terrorism.And how is the order to be implemented? Section 5.1(a):

The Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, under the direction of the Archivist and in consultation with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, shall issue such directives as are necessary to implement this order. These directives shall be binding upon the agencies.And who are “the agencies?” Section 6.1(b):

“Agency” means any “Executive agency,” as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105; any “Military department” as defined in 5 U.S.C. 102; and any other entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information.So what’s the problem? Well, perhaps you recall the story reported by TPM Muckracker a few weeks ago, in which Justin Rood revealed that Cheney purports to have exempted his office from the requirement of disclosing the number of political appointees in the OVP, for a directory of all executive branch positions known as the “Plum Book.” Instead, what appears in place of that required disclosure is a three paragraph statement, beginning thus (PDF):

The Vice Presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch, but is attached by the Constitution to the latter. The Vice Presidency performs functions in both the legislative branch (see Article I, section 3 of the Constitution) and in the executive branch (see Article II, and amendments XII and XXV, of the Constitution, and section 106 of title 3 of the United States Code).You read that right. The Vice Presidency is now “a unique office,” a fourth branch, if you will. If you will. But you shouldn’t. And in fact, ISOO won’t:

In an extraordinary internal challenge to the unruly Office of the Vice President (OVP), the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) has formally petitioned the Attorney General to direct the OVP to comply with a requirement that executive branch organizations disclose statistics on their classification and declassification activity to ISOO.But what, specifically, moved ISOO to call for this ruling? The OVP’s bizarre conception of itself as somehow exempt? Well, yeah. That, and this:

For the last three years, Vice President Cheney’s office has refused to divulge its classification statistics to ISOO, despite a seemingly explicit requirement that it do so. Prior to 2002, such information had routinely been transmitted and reported in ISOO’s annual reports to the President.

Now, in a stunning turn of events, Dick Cheney is demanding that the White House release documents that support his claim that the witch trials were effective.

Cheney said “Ah, well, we know that the trials had their intended effect because reported evidence of vivisection and nighttime flying went down.  Now tell me, do you think that’s a coincidence?  Of course not.  The trials not only removed dangerous witches from our midst, but served as a deterrent to witches not caught in the dragnets or turned in by their neighbors to go into hiding and cease their witchery.  I say to you now, we prevented another witch on a broomstick from flying a suicide mission into your house.  And you should thank me for that.”

When asked if innocent people might have been caught up in the mass hysteria, he said, “The world is not perfect.  Why don’t the loony lefties just admit that the world is a harsh nasty place, and it needs harsh, nasty people to protect everyone from that nastiness by being just as harsh and nasty or even harsher and nastier than the world already is.  Sure some innocent people were drowned or burned at the stake.  But that’s a small price to pay for your and my freedoms.  Sometimes we have to violate our principles and hurt innocent people in order to uphold our principles and way of life.  That’s just the way it is.”

When asked if witch hunts were consistent with American ideals, Cheney pointed to their historical precedence.  “Just like marriage has always been between a man and a woman since antiquity, so have witch hunts occurred.  Anything with that long a history has to be right, and has to be protected.  You probably don’t know this, but our witch trials have a long and sacred tradition.  Punishments for witchcraft date back to the first recorded laws in the Code of Hammurabi in the 18th Century BC.  They’re in the Twelve Tables of Roman Law, and of course in the Old Testament.  And then of course there were what I like to call the “tapas years” of the Spanish Inquisition.  You’ve got to hand it to them, they really perfected things with thumb screws and flaying.  So don’t try saying this was a one-time Salem kind of thing.”

He went on to say, “Why even that lovely thing Sarah Palin had to have her church pray over her so that she didn’t get infected with witchery.  And they brought in an African to do it, because if anyone knows about witches, it’s those Africans.  My god, I’d even say that Obama has cast a spell over most of America – but not REAL America, thank god.”

When asked what he said to people who said that under Cheney the nation had abandoned its principles, broken domestic and international law, lost international moral standing, and sunken to uncivilized levels unlike any before since the nation’s founding, he said those people could “go fuck themselves.”

The persecution of witches, torture.  When we act in collective hysteria we do not act as our better selves.  No, Dick Cheney, the ends do not justify the means.  And it’s unclear if the ends are any better because of the use of torture.  For certain the abandonment of our ideals has left us poorer as a people.

The arguments now being made to defend the use of torture by the United States in Guantanamo and Black Sites are so patently ridiculous that I can’t imagine that any thinking person of any decent morality who spends time understanding the situation would  attempt to make them.

It appears that most of the torture was conducted under the supervision of the CIA under specific direction of Dick Cheney and Condoleeza Rice, with now discredited legal opinions issued or overseen by the likes of John Yoo, David Addington and Alberto Gonzales.  The FBI had the good sense to realize the atrocities that were occuring and refuse to participate.  And the use of torture to extract actionable reliable intelligence, according to those closest to the subject, is NOT effective.  But even if it were, if it violates our principles and our laws and costs us our soul, puts our own service people in danger of similar treatment, and sacrifices our moral authority in the world.  It must be repudiated with full force.  Let the investigations and the recriminations and the prosecutions begin.   NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.

And as for the argument about not going after the people on the ground who did the actual torture, we need only look to the Nuremberg trials.  “Just Following Orders” ( “Befehl ist Befehl”, literally “order is order”)   is no defense or excuse for the commitment of atrocities.  We put people to death after World War II for “just following orders.”  We also put Japanese soldiers to death for waterboarding our POW’s.  Why did the Japanese waterboard our men?  Because they were afraid of an imminent attack using WMD’s (which, of course, did come).  How eerily similar to our own circumstance.

Obama’s desire to “move forward” is understandable but wrong.  All crimes occur in the past.  Do we just forget them and “move forward?”  How ridiculous.  Full accounting is required by the law, by justice, and by basic human decency.  Let blowhards like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck bluster, let Dick Cheney fulminate.  And then let’s determine who knew what when, who did what and how, and what their punishments will be.

Categories: Palin · Palintology · Politics
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Katie Couric Wins Walter Cronkite Journalism Award for Palin Coverage

April 18, 2009 · Leave a Comment

Last week Katie Couric won the coveted Walter Cronkite award for excellence in journalism for her election coverage last year.

The increasingly wacky-looking right (did you get a load of the Fox-orchestrated “grass roots” tax protests on April 15th, complete with wig-wearing Revolutionary War re-enacters and posters of President Obama as Hitler, and lots of comments about tea-bagging?  Weird) was not content to let this award pass without taking advantage of the opportunity to try to draw attention to themselves.  “Documentarian” and fringe character John Ziegler was on hand, uninvited, blocking access and interfering with the entrance of attendees.  When asked to move he refused and had to be arrested and escorted away.  That’s probably exactly what he wanted so that he can now claim victim-hood.

It’s a sign of how unpracticed at being out of power the Right Wing has become that they have completely fallen apart in the few short months since the election.  Not being able to always get their way, they have been behaving like spoiled infants, whining, crying and throwing temper tantrums.  I’m not sure if it’s actually to their benefit or not, but Fox News has been more than willing to broadcast these temper tantrums regardless of how ridiculous they make the infants and Fox News.

That’s not the way out of the wilderness, guys and girls.  Come up with some principled solutions.  Stand FOR something, not just against something.  And pick better smarter leaders than Rush Limbaugh or Michael Steele, or your days of wandering in the wilderness will be long and lonely.

Categories: Current Facts · Palin · Palintology · Politics
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Palin Vetter told McCain of Palin’s "High Risk, High Reward"

April 18, 2009 · Leave a Comment

Arthur P. Culvahouse was one of the vetters of those on the short list of consideration to be the Vice Presidential running mate of John McCain.

On Friday he talked about the advice he had given McCain, and the mistake he made in how he couched that advice, which helped result in McCain’s damaging choice of Sarah Palin.

He said that he told McCain in no uncertain terms that:

“I told John, she wouldn’t have been ready on January 20th .”

But his other comments may have played right into McCain’s love of risk and impetuous decision making, saying:

“The mistake I made — and we’ve laughed about it since — after giving him that advice, he said, ‘Well, what’s your bottom line?’ I said, ‘John. High risk. High reward.’ And his response, ‘You shouldn’t have told me that, I’ve been a risk-taker all of my life.'”

Categories: McCain · Palin · Palintology · Politics
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Palin AWOL in Crucial Final Days

April 17, 2009 · Leave a Comment

Does a football coach leave the game with the score tied in the final two minutes of the game so that he can beat the rush out of the parking lot?

Does a General leave his position of command in the final moments of a battle so he can catch a little R&R?

Heck, No!

But Alaska Governor Sarah Palin saw fit to leave Alaska for the final two days of the legislative session so that she could be the keynote speaker at a county anti-abortion fund raiser in Indiana.  She said their persistence in inviting her, and promising her chocolate and all good things that Vanderburgh County Right To Life has to offer made her accept this request from the big pile of ones she’s received.  In fact, she said “You had me at ‘chocolate’.”

She seems to be oblivious or indifferent to the growing frustration with Alaskans that she is more concerned about her national profile and aspirations than she is about the great state of Alaska.

While she was gone, her ultra-conservative and homophobic (who wrote that gays and lesbians were “degenerates” to the state bar) pick for Attorney General went down in flames as 9 Republicans crossed the aisle to join Democrats to defeat the nomination?

Leadership?  I think not.

Ambition to stay in the national eye?  You betcha.

Categories: Palin · Palintology · Politics
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Palin Gives In Public, Violating Entreaty of Gospels

March 7, 2009 · Leave a Comment

Why do so many who claim to be Christian behave in ways that contradict traditional Christian teachings?

In this latest example, Governor Sarah Palin together with evangelist Franklin Graham (of Samaritan’s Purse) showed up in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta complete with full press retinue to make sure that their very public act of giving to people in distress would be recorded and broadcast. True giving or PR stunt?

Here are some words from Matthew against which to judge her actions:

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

“Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” – Matthew

Others chose the more noble route, and did their giving more discreetly.

This latest partnership was prompted by a letter from Nicholas Tucker of Emmonak, who alerted Alaska that some folks in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta faced the prospect of choosing between food and fuel this winter. Many Alaskans rose to the occasion. Donations came anonymously, without fanfare, from individuals and tribal, political, nonprofit and religious organizations to regional authorities like the Bethel-based Association of Village Council Presidents, who saw that aid got to the right people. At the request of Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, the BIA has discreetly provided a huge amount of assistance.

But Samaritan’s Purse chose a different path.   (Alan Boraas, Anchorage Daily News)

I’d encourage you to read this full coment here.

By all means do good deeds.  Give to those in need.  But do it for its own sake, not to feed your own ego, or improve your public image, or to make some cockamamie political point about state-faith partnerships in ill-conceived “faith-based initiatives.”


Categories: Palin · Palintology · Politics
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Bored, Pathetic, Anonymous Bloggers Who Lie

January 14, 2009 · Leave a Comment

In an interview with Esquire magazine that has gotten a lot of press over the last two days, Palin took a swipe both at her home town newspaper and bloggers, who she blames for repeating the rumors that Sarah is not the true mother of her son Trigg.

When I first read the headline I thought – “Oh no, does she mean us?”  But upon reading the full quote, it was clear she was talking about the unsubstantiated rumors that have indeed been out in the blogosphere.  Specifically she was upset that a fact checker had called about the issue of determining Trigg’s mother.  What she didn’t mention was that the story was to have been specifically about busting myths that persisted despite any hard evidence.  In other words, the story was going to try to lay to rest the rumor about Trigg’s “real” mother, as well as other rumors.

I’m finding Sarah’s claims of being victimized by anyone she doesn’t like unstateswomanlike, boring and disingenuous.  I can’t tell if she’s playing the media or really lacks even the self-awareness of an average human.  The liberal media, Tina Fey, Katie Couric, Obama, bloggers – wow, talk about a persecution complex.  And I thought that Alaskan politics were rough and tumble.

Mrs. Palin, whining does not become you.

And in a final note, Meghan McCain was willing to talk about anything (including her appreciation for Marilyn Manson’s ex-wife Dita Von Teese).  Except Sarah Palin.

I think you have to read into that refusal some bad blood.

Lesson:  pick your running mates carefully.  Meet with them more than twice, and for more than a few hours.  A decision like who you choose as a running mate is hugely important.  Personally I’m very glad that we were spared an impulsive decision-maker in the oval office.

Categories: McCain · Palin · Palintology · Politics
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Republican Sends Out Racist CD

December 26, 2008 · Leave a Comment

Tennessee Republican Chip Saltsman apparently doesn’t understand the difference between satire and poor taste.   Saltsman is (or was, prior to this gaffe) a candidate for the RNC chairmanship.  He sent out a CD with “humorous” songs including “Barack the Magic Negro,” “Ivory and Ebony,” and “The Star Spanglish Banner.”  Are you kidding me?

The self-destructive streak in certain Republicans as power slips away is truly remarkable.  Or perhaps Tennessee is so in the grips of decades-old good-old-boy thinking that this type of behavior is not seen as reprehensible or outside the norm.

Is Saltsman just some anonymous buffoon?  Well, he’s not anonymous.  He was that national chairman of Hillbilly Huckabee’s presidential campaign, and worked on staff for Bill Frist.


Here’s what CNN had to say:

(CNN) — A candidate for the Republican National Committee chairmanship said Friday the CD he sent committee members for Christmas — which included a song titled “Barack the Magic Negro” — was clearly intended as a joke.

The title of the song about President-elect Barack Obama was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column.”

“I think most people recognize political satire when they see it,” Tennessee Republican Chip Saltsman told CNN. “I think RNC members understand that.”

The song, set to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon,” was first played on conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in 2007.

Its title was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column that suggested President-elect Barack Obama appealed to those who feel guilty about the nation’s history of mistreatment of African-Americans. Saltsman said the song, penned by his longtime friend Paul Shanklin, should be easily recognized as satire directed at the Times.

The CD sent to RNC members, first reported by The Hill on Friday, is titled “We Hate the USA” and also includes songs referencing former presidential candidate John Edwards and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, among other targets.

According to The Hill, other song titles, some of which were in bold font, were: “John Edwards’ Poverty Tour,” “Wright place, wrong pastor,” “Love Client #9,” “Ivory and Ebony” and “The Star Spanglish Banner.”

Saltsman was national campaign manager for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s presidential bid in 2007 and 2008. Before that, he held a variety of posts, including a number of positions under former Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee.

Categories: McCain · Palin · Palintology
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