Entries tagged as ‘sarah palin’

Bachmann update

January 30, 2011 · Leave a Comment

The jury is in.  SNL did a Bachmann spoof.  Bachmann is the new Sarah Palin.

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Palin a Distant 4th to Front-Runner Romney

January 23, 2011 · Leave a Comment

In the latest sign of Palin’s eroding popularity, Mitt Romney received 5 times the support of Sarah Palin in a New Hampshire straw poll.  ABC News polled 273 of the 400 delegates in attendance at the New Hampshire Republican meeting (where a tea party activist defeated a more traditional Republican for leadership of the State party).  Certainly Romney, who was Governor of next-door Massachussetts, has a bit of a home court advantage in New England, but the poor showing by Palin is still remarkable.


Mitt Romney          35%
Ron Paul                   11%
Tim Pawlenty          8%
Sarah Palin               7%
Newt Gingrich         3%
Mike Huckabee        3%

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Will Sarah Palin Accept Daily Show’s Invitation?

January 22, 2011 · Leave a Comment

Always hilarious and dead-on funny, Jon Stewart takes Palin to task for playing the victim, and invites Sarah Palin to be a guest on the Daily Show.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

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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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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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Bristol Palin and Family Values

March 14, 2009 · Leave a Comment

Bristol Palin is a teenager who now finds herself in a difficult unplanned situation. She’s a single teenage mom. She doesn’t deserve to be getting as much press attention as she is. She needs to have safe space with loving supportive family and friends as she navigates the difficult path to growing up while raising a baby. We wish her the best.

Here’s why it’s relevant – and fair – to talk about her situation at all.  Because her mother Sarah Palin brought it up.  Sarah of the abstinence only sex education.   Sarah of the “real America” has “real American” rural white heartland God-lovin’ gun-shootin’ Bush-votin’ values.  Sarah who shouts for all to hear “look at my superior family values.”  Sarah who thinks that gays are “destroying the very foundations of society.”

“Values politics” was created by the Republican party as a way to try to keep fundamentalist, evangelical and pentecostal Christians happy and in the party tent.  It was and is a codeword for those to whom it was meant to appeal without being so transparently divisive and off-putting to the majority of those whom it was meant to exclude or condemn.

The “values” arguments usually go something like this:

America was founded as a God-fearing Christian nation.  Our rich wonderful beautiful history and culture was that of thrift, hard-work, monogamy, church-attendance, strong morality which resulted in people of superior character.  But then all these weird people either (a) got their freedom (blacks), (b) moved here – sometimes “illegally”, (c) came out of the clost – and these new influences have simply ruined the Garden of Eden.  These people with their other languages, their different beliefs, their sexual freedom, their irresponsibility.  That’s the source of all of our problems.  If only we could keep our borders closed, force the gays back into the closet, legislate morality – we could return to that once idyllic promised land.  And God in heaven would smile, prosperity would return, and all things wrong in the world would be good again.

The unstated appeal to those who cling to it is that this patently false mythological past is also primarily white.   Certainly the appeal of such a vision, even though based on a multitude of falsehoods about the past and the present, can be understood for those whose self-righteousness is exceeded only by their own self-delusion.  But it’s simply false.

And that’s why Bristol Palin is relevant.  The “Values Politics” of Sarah Palin are stripped naked in the face of the realities of a young girl living life under the roof of someone espousing such rhetoric.

Leave the girl alone, but reject with prejudice (irony fully intended) the false and harmful Values Politics of her mother, Sarah Palin.

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Baby Beluga in Palin’s Cross-Hairs

January 21, 2009 · Leave a Comment

Sarah Palin announced recently that she would file suit against the federal government to try to overturn the recent addition of the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale to the endangered species list.

In the 1980’s around 1,300 beluga whales lived in Cook Inlet, while today the population has plummeted to around 375. The species is genetically distinct from four other beluga species found in Alaska.

Her opposition to the inclusion on the endangered species list is driven by opposition by the oil industry who sees the inclusion as limiting their flexibility in creating new oil extraction facilities.

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Palin Adds Pre-Inauguration Good Wishes to Barack Obama

January 21, 2009 · Leave a Comment

Sarah Palin added her good wishes to President Barack Obama, whose judgment and associations she savaged during the campaign as the Republican vice presidential candidate.

“I’m proud of where our country is today, and I look forward to the optimism and to the promise that … his administration will help to usher in,” the Alaska governor said on Fox News Channel’s “Glenn Beck” program before the inauguration.

“I’m very optimistic as to what he is going to provide our nation, but at the same time, I don’t want to put all the pressure on one individual,” she adds, according to excerpts released by Fox.

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Palin's Home Church in Suspicious Fire

December 14, 2008 · Leave a Comment

In a fire that officials are calling a likely arson, Sarah Palin’s church in Wasilla suffered serious fire damage on the evening of Friday, December 12th. Early estimates of $1 million worth of damage have been made for the fire at the Wasilla Bible Church. There are reports that five women were in the church at the start of the blaze, but fortunately no one has been reported injured.

There is no evidence yet that the fire was linked in any way to Palin or her run for office, but the event does seem highly suspicious given the new high visibility for Palin.  We hope that the fire turns out to have been nothing more than an accident.  Sadly there are some seriously disturbed people in the world too ready to commit acts of violence.  Our thoughts are with the people of Wasilla and members of the church after this cowardly act.

Palin gave a statement:

“Gov. Palin stopped by the church this morning, and she told an assistant pastor that she apologizes if the incident is in any way connected to the undeserved negative attention the church has received since she became a vice-presidential candidate on Aug. 29. Whatever the motives of the arsonist, the governor has faith in the scriptural passage that what was intended for evil will in some way be used for good.”

The church planned to meet in temporary quarters for the Sunday services.

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