Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Palin Family Circus News - Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In case you missed it, here is last night's big announcement:

Did Bristol take a style cue from Michelle Obama? The belt? What will the palinbots think of that?

Bristol isn't going to be wearing any skimpy outfits. No."Bristol plans to wear the 'most modest outfits' on DWTS," has:
Bristol Palin might be stepping out of her comfort zone this season on Dancing With the Stars, but she won’t be stepping into any of the show’s skimpy costumes.

“I think I will be the most dressed [contestant and have] the most modest outfits for sure because that’s who I am,” she told PEOPLE Monday night in Los Angeles at the announcement of the show’s new cast. ...

... “I have no experience in dance,” [Bristol] says. “But I come from an athletic background, so I’m thankful for that. [I played] basketball, volleyball, soccer, everything.” As for temporarily relocating from Alaska to Los Angeles for the show, Bristol is still adjusting. “I feel like I’m melting,” she says. “It’s so hot here and there’s so much traffic.” –Melody Chiu

The Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog has posted a video, writing:
The web site Funny or Die has made excellent comedic use of footage of Sarah Palin playing the flute to create a segment of “Betwixt the Music” that focuses on an imagined collaboration between Alaskan singer/songwriter Jewel and the state’s former governor. As told by the “Behind the Music” narrator, the pair met at a venue in Wasilla called The Crab and Coffee and were soon jamming at “The Dojo,” Palin’s storage shed/rehearsal studio decorated with posters of Bob Marley and Ronald Reagan.
Here it is:

Meghan McCain's book about the 2008 campaign is out. In "Sarah Palin caused 'stress, drama, panic' on campaign trail, says John McCain's daughter Meghan," we read:
... In her new book "Dirty Sexy Politics," Meghan McCain says Palin brought "stress, drama, complications, panic and loads of uncertainty" to the campaign.

"She was not just an overnight success or even a political Cinderella story," McCain writes in an excerpt obtained by ABC News. "She was a sudden, freakishly huge, full-fledged phenomenon. It seemed too much. And it seemed too easy."

Speaking out about the former Alaska Gov. for the first time, McCain admits she once wondered if her father's loss "was Sarah Palin's fault." ...

Meghan McCain appeared today on "Good Morning America." She has a website, McCainBlogette, and she is a columnist for The Daily Beast, here.

Breaking News: Lisa Murkowsi concedes to Joe Miller. The Anchorage Daily News has a story, too.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Palin Family Circus News - Monday, August 30, 2010

Tonight! We'll learn whether Bristol is going to be on "Dancing With The Stars." Isn't it exciting? Even the Washington Post's readers are interested:

ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," which has recently become an "American Idol"-esque ratings behemoth, is going to announce its celeb dancers Monday -- and appears to have outdone itself. At a televised press conference scheduled for Monday night (which will be live-blogged by the TV Column) show co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke are expected to announce former GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's daughter, Bristol, will be among the high-steppers. ...

... Bristol is more than ready for coronation of Queen of Reality TV, reports The Post's Emily Yahr, as the 19-year-old mother has been a tabloid favorite since her mother ran for office in 2008 and subsequently, Bristol's pregnancy -- and relationship with the baby's father, Levi Johnston -- became A Big Story.

The announcement should occur between 8:00 and 10:00 PM, presumably eastern time, and an announcement will be posted at the paper's TV Blog.

The Post hasn't updated its blog. Bristol will be on the show, according to People magazine. Now, for some more suspense: the celebrity/professional pairings will be announced Wednesday. Are we being played?

The Post's readers want more than news of Bristol. The paper's Reliable Source column posted something with an interesting title, "The Palin paradox: What's real and what's reality show?" What an interesting question. Why would anyone pay Sarah Palin to do a reality show when people can watch her gaffes and pratfalls for free? The paper calls it a "three-ring circus," starring Sarah, Bristol, and Levi. The article has video of Levi's recent appearance on the "Early Show" and Sarah's recent encounter with a teacher in Homer, Alaska.

There is "No chance of a Beck-Palin ticket in 2012, Glenn Beck says he has 'zero desire' to be president:"
President Obama said Sunday he's not going to worry much about false rumors - and "can't spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead."

Obama, who is dogged by boneheaded but persistent accusations that he wasn't born in the U.S., told NBC's Brian Williams, "I will always put my money on the American people" and that he doesn't focus on misinformation.

The President said he didn't watch Glenn Beck's rally Saturday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial but was not surprised that the Fox News host was "able to stir up" people during difficult times.

Meanwhile, Beck told supporters Sunday that a Glenn Beck-Sarah Palin ticket in 2012 is off the table.

"I have no desire to be President of the U.S., zero desire," Beck said on "Fox News Sunday." "I don't think that I would be electable."

Plus, he's not smart enough, Beck said.

"There are far too many people that are far smarter than me to be President," Beck said. "I'd like to find one with some honor and integrity. I haven't seen them yet, but they'll show up."

Sorry, Sarah. Glenn Beck has apparently ruled you out. He may think you're smart, but he's still looking for someone "with some honor and integrity."

It probably wouldn't work with Palin at the top of the ticket either. "Sarah Palin would be an ineffective president, say 6 in 10 Americans, according to new poll," has the bad news:
Sarah Palin is a force to be reckoned with, but the majority of Americans don’t think she’d make an effective President.

A new 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll released Monday found that despite her star status, 59% of Americans don't think Palin would be a hit in the White House.

Even among Republicans, just 40% said the former vice presidential candidate would make an effective President. ...

... Results showed 75% of Democrats and 63% of independents did not feel she would be effective in office.

Only 26% of those surveyed said they felt confident she would be a successful President, including 47% of Republicans, 12% of Democrats, and 21% of independents.

So there you have it. All of today's circus news.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Joe Miller: Alaskan Secessionist?

The entire country is interested in Alaska's primary for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. A tea partier, Joe Miller, primaried an incumbent Republican, Lisa Murkowski, and may win the nomination. The race is close and will be decided by absentee ballots, which may not be counted for another two weeks. Of course, another thing driving the attention is that Sarah Palin endorsed Joe Miller. CBS' Bob Schieffer had Joe Miller on "Face The Nation," this morning, and he seemed skeptical that Miller could win the general election:

During the interview, Miller brought up the idea of a land-for-cash swap:
"I think Alaska ranks about second per capita of the amount of federal dollars that come in to the state," host Bob Schieffer said. [According to statistics by the Brookings Institution, for FY 2008 Alaska received $2,574.68 in Federal dollars per capita, behind only Vermont and the District of Columbia.]

"You've said that we can't afford all that federal money that's pouring into Alaska. Should Alaska get less money from the federal government?" Schieffer asked.

"I don't think anybody can [claim] - sitting at $13.3 trillion in absolute debt, by some estimates $130 trillion in future unfunded obligations - that we are in any way in a good financial state," Miller said.

"The answer to this is to basically transfer the responsibilities and power of government back to the states and the people. That is really the only answer, I think, out of this crisis," Miller said. [emphasis added]

"As we continue to tighten our belts because fiscally that's critical for the economic solvency of this nation, we also transfer it to the states more power. That means more ownership of lands. It's not a situation where you just yank the financial plug, but at the same time you're transferring over discretion over the use of the resource base," Miller said. [emphasis added]

"In this state, two-thirds of it is owned by the federal government. There really isn't a good constitutional basis for that," Miller said. "It's our position that as the money is restricted, the lands are transferred." [emphasis added]
Does Miller consider the federal dollars an entitlement?

What about the team? Isn't Alaska part of the U.S.? How would a land transfer, which amounts to a resource transfer (And to whom? Miller doesn't say.), from the federal government help the rest of the country? Isn't this a selfish position?

If Alaska's resources are as great as he seems to believe, how would the transition of ownership work? How would the state survive with raw land in exchange for federal payments? Can the resources be developed overnight?

Miller claims that there isn't a good constitutional basis for the federal government's ownership of Alaskan land; however, there may be and probably is a legal basis. States other than Alaska divided land between the state and federal government as a condition of statehood.

The legal basis for federal ownership of Alaskan land is the Statehood Act which admitted Alaska. Some excerpts:

Section 4: As a compact with the United States said State and its people do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to any lands or other property not granted or confirmed to the State or its political subdivisions by or under the authority of this Act, ...

Section 5: The State of Alaska and its political subdivisions, respectively, shall have and retain title to all property, real and personal, title to which is in the Territory of Alaska or any of the subdivisions. Except as provided in section 6 hereof, the United States shall retain title to all property, real and personal, to which it has title, including public lands. [This is simply a recognition of existing title]

Section 6 of the Act describes how some land that was not owned by the state could become state owned: a) For the purposes of furthering the development of and expansion of communities, the State of Alaska is hereby granted and shall be entitled to select, within twenty-five years after the date of the admission of the State of Alaska into the Union, from lands within national forests in Alaska ... b) The State of Alaska, in addition to any other grants made in this section, is hereby granted and shall be entitled to select, within twenty-five years after the admission of Alaska into the Union, not to exceed one hundred and two million five hundred and fifty thousand acres from the public lands of the United States in Alaska ...

Joe Miller is a graduate of Yale Law.

Updater: Article IV, Section Three gives the Congress authority to admit new states: "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress."

Will Joe Miller continue to claim that there is no good constitutional basis for federal land ownership in Alaska? The Constitution gave the Congress certain authority ... with which Congress wrote the Statehood Act ... The Statehood Act declares ...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Martin Luther King's Dream vs Glenn Beck's Nightmare

The Week's "Glenn Beck's 8/28 Rally: An instant guide" explains the rally by asking and answering several questions:

Why is Beck holding a rally?

Who is speaking?

Wait, Sarah Palin is speaking? I thought this was non-political.

How many people will be there?

Are people angry about Beck's choice of date and place?

How does Beck explain the choice of date?

What do pundits make of it?

The magazine also has a "Glenn Beck Under Fire" section, which contains several articles about Beck.

Palling Around with Beck

Sarah Palin will appear at a Glenn Beck event on the National Mall, today. From Forbes Magazine of April 26, 2010:

... Beck insists that he is not political: "I could give a flying crap about the political process." Making money, on the other hand, is to be taken very seriously, and controversy is its own coinage. "We're an entertainment company," Beck says. He has managed to monetize virtually everything that comes out of his mouth. He gets $13 million a year from print (books plus the ten-issue-a-year magazine Fusion). Radio brings in $10 million. Digital (including a newsletter, the ad-supported Glennbeck.com and merchandise) pulls in $4 million. Speaking and events are good for $3 million and television for $2 million. Over several days in mid-March Beck allowed a reporter to follow him through his multimedia incarnations, with one exception, his 5 p.m. daily show on Fox News, which attracts just under 3 million viewers. ...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Palin Family Circus News - Thursday, August 26, 2010

Breaking news: "Levi Johnston says he's never lied before:"

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Levi Johnston, the father of Sarah Palin's grandson, says he wishes he hadn't apologized for telling lies about the former Alaska governor because he's "never lied about anything."

Johnston says in an interview on CBS' "The Early Show" to air Friday that he wishes that he hadn't issued the apology to Palin. He acknowledged last month that he told lies last year about Palin and her family after splitting with Bristol Palin, Palin's daughter.

The apology came after the two became engaged for the second time. Shortly after the apology, the couple split again.

Johnston says the apology made him sound like a liar.

We may hear more when Levi appears on "The Early Show," tomorrow.

Bristol Palin is still in the news. E!Online is reporting:

It's the Dancing With The Stars casting that no one saw coming!

We can report to you exclusively that Sarah Palin's 19-year-old daughter Bristol Palin has been cast on the 11th season of DWTS, set to premiere Sept. 20, according to sources. ...

"Is Bristol Palin Dancing Her Mother's Presidential Prospects Into Oblivion?"

... Just one problem: the family. Palin can’t seem to control it. As she conceivably gets set to tango with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee for the chance to lead the free world, her daughter will be hoofing it with David Hasselhoff. Meanwhile, Levi files to run for mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin's old job. ...

... if she wants to run for president, this mama grizzly needs to start getting tough with her own cubs.

CBS has a report, 'Sarah Palin Will "Go Down in History like McCarthy," Says Labor Leader,' about AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka's speech in Alaska:

When it comes to Palin, he plans to say, according to prepared remarks released this morning, "you just have to laugh -- but it's not really funny." ...

... "Quite frankly, America works because lots of people contribute lots of ideas--that's good--even when some of them are just plain wrong," he will add. "But people need to come to the table in good faith. That's not Sarah Palin. She'll go down in history like McCarthy. Palinism will become an ugly word." ...

Sarah Palin is now claiming that Massachussetts Republican Senator Scott Brown wouldn't be tolerated in Alaska. (video at the link.) But Scott Brown's spokeswoman has responded. "Senator Brown's votes are based on what's in the best interests of Massachusetts and he has made his priorities job creation, controlling spending, and reducing the deficit," Gail Gitcho said in a statement. "All Republicans can agree on that."

Finally, California State University, Stanislaus, says it cannot comply with a judge's order to release Sarah Palin's contract to speak at the university, because it doesn't have the contract. But here is is: An article with a link to the contract. "No Plexiglass or thin lecterns, please. If Speaker is seated on-stage at a table (sic) customer to ensure that the table is skirted."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Palin Family Circus News - Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The NY Daily News has "Levi Johnston, ex-beau of Sarah Palin's daughter and mayoral hopeful campaigns at gun shop in Alaska:"

Levi Johnston is gunning for a win.

The former boyfriend and baby daddy of Sarah Palin's daughter made his first official stop on the campaign trail . . . at a gun shop, TMZ reported. ...

... And he wasted no time. The hunting loving, limelight seeking candidate stopped into Wasilla's Chimo Guns with a full camera crew over the weekend. He shook hands with customers and turned the visit into a photo op.

Johnston scoped out a few weapons of his own — including a $2,000 Weatherby Ultra Lightweight hunting rifle. In the end, he made no purchases. ...

Wasn't it guns and abortion that propelled Sarah Palin to victory in Wasilla? You know, it's interesting how some people win local races on issues that aren't decided locally.

Lisa Murkowski is going to wait until the votes are counted. If she loses and doesn't run without a major party's backing, then the seat could be picked-up by Democrats. Wouldn't that put egg on Sarah Palin's face? I agree with Gryphen's assessment that it was not Sarah Palin but Ballot Measure 2 that drove turnout. The Associated Press' Becky Bohrer wrote an interesting article about the race and came to a different conclusion.

Breaking News: Californians Aware is claiming that California State University, Stanislaus, has been ordered by a judge to release its contract with Sarah Palin and "any documents related to the use of university property or services during her visit." Palin spoke at the university in June.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Palin Family Circus News - Tuesday, August 24, 2010

From "Bristol Palin to Earn $14,000 Speaker Fee; Levi Johnston Files Candidacy Form":

... The 19-year-old daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will earn $14,000 when she speaks in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 8, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. The occasion is a fundraiser to benefit Lifehouse, a home for single mothers. Bristol knows the topic well: Her 2008 pregnancy drew the national spotlight when her mother campaigned for vice president as John McCain's running mate. She gave birth to son Tripp in December of that year and has had a highly publicized on-and-off relationship with Levi Johnston, the toddler's father. ...

... As for Johnston, he's back in the spotlight this week too: TMZ.com reports that the 20-year-old has filed a "letter of intent" with the Alaska Public Offices Commission to run for municipal office in 2011, presumably for mayor of Wasilla, a post once held by Sarah Palin. The move is apparently part of Johnston's effort to land a reality-TV show.

ABC News tells us that Levi has filed a letter of intent without specifying an office, which would permit him to run for a seat on the city council. An Associated Press article has Tank Jones, Levi's manager, stating that he is interested in running for city council or mayor.

A man videoed Todd and Sarah Palin at the Valdez airport recently. Mediaite is calling it a rorschach test:

The website Palingates has posted an amateur video, by an Alaska skateboard/espresso mogul named “Hawk,” of a bizarre encounter at Alaska’s Valdez airport. According to the site, the video shows Sara Palin husband Todd “bullying” a Valdez citizen.

In reality, the incident isn’t so one-sided, and will likely act as a sort of Palin Rorschach test, confirming whatever the viewer already feels about Palin. Taken together with this video from a few weeks ago, however, a pattern of passive-aggressive behavior toward the Palins’ fellow Alaskans emerges. ...

A local radio station has identified "Hawk:"

Hawk Pierce, a local small busines owner, attempted to video Sarah and Todd Palin at the Valdez Airport on August 17th but was met with opposition from the Palin's and the Fox News crew that accompanied them.
Sarah Palin visited Valdez last Tuesday with her Fox news team to shoot about the pipeline with Prince Willaim Sound as the backdrop. ...

CBS News has a story, too, where you can easily compare the Valdez video with an earlier video made in Homer.

Finally, and more seriously, NPR's Political Junkie has some information about the primaries in Alaska. Polls are still open!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sarah Palin's shortsightedness

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, being primaried by a tea partier endorsed by Sarah Palin, has made a cogent argument for another term:
Seniority actually means something in the Senate.
Joe Miller, her opponent, says of her:
"She has a very liberal voting record and that also reflects her views of government as being the answer to all ills," he said. "That kind of perspective isn't going to pull the nation from the course we're on."

But the Associated Press' Becky Bohrer writes:

Murkowski makes no apologies for her voting record, acknowledging that while she's not a guaranteed Republican vote, she votes "with Alaskans' interests 100 percent of the time."

Palin's endorsement of Miller is typical of the sort of throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater thinking of Sarah Palin and ideologues like her. We see it in many of her other endorsements, and in her haste to score a point over an Islamic cultural center in New York, to the detriment of the war in Afghanistan, something she has supported in the past.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ground Zero Victory Mosque to soar 5600 ft and be capped with solid gold dome!

From The UK Guardian's "'Ground Zero mosque'? America needs a reality check. Really" by Charlie Brooker:

Things seem awfully heated in America right now; so heated you could probably toast a marshmallow by jabbing it on a stick and holding it toward the Atlantic. Millions are hopping mad over the news that a bunch of triumphalist Muslim extremists are about to build a "victory mosque" slap bang in the middle of Ground Zero.

The planned "ultra-mosque" will be a staggering 5,600ft tall – more than five times higher than the tallest building on Earth – and will be capped with an immense dome of highly-polished solid gold, carefully positioned to bounce sunlight directly toward the pavement, where it will blind pedestrians and fry small dogs. The main structure will be delimited by 600 minarets, each shaped like an upraised middle finger, and housing a powerful amplifier: when synchronised, their combined sonic might will be capable of relaying the muezzin's call to prayer at such deafening volume, it will be clearly audible in the Afghan mountains, where thousands of terrorists are poised to celebrate by running around with scarves over their faces, firing AK-47s into the sky and yelling whatever the foreign word for "victory" is. ... [There is much more at the link, above.]

The cartoon appeared with today's Frank Rich op-ed in the NY Times, "How Fox Betrayed Petraeus," which referred to an important article by Salon's Justin Elliot, "How the 'ground zero mosque' fear mongering began."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Interest in Sarah Palin: Flatline! Code Blue!!

So, how is Sarah Palin faring in Google's search? Is interest in her decreasing? Increasing? Here are three charts from Googles' search insights: the first is for the last ninety days; the second for the last year; and the third shows 2004 to the present. The chosen category was News/Current Events in the U.S.

Last 90 days:

Last 12 months:

2004 - Present:

The long-term trend isn't looking good, folks. There was a lot of interest when Palin was selected to be John McCain's running mate in 2008, then brief spikes of interest when she quit and did her book tour.

During the last twelve months, again, there was a lot of interest during the book tour, then a spike during January — Rahm Emanuel's use of retarded? — then another spike during February — "Family Guy?" — but since then Palin hasn't been as effective in generating interest. Could it be that people began to tire of her over a retarded controversy?

During the last ninety days, Palin has been able to generate some interest once each month, but has not been able to sustain the interest.

Each chart should have links to Google's search analytics. There you can see additional information, like the search terms that were popular. You can also see how interest is distributed geographically; the interest in Alaska is greatest.

Breaking News: A candidate for governor in Alaska has made an "I promise not to quit" pledge.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sarah Palin puts her ignorance on parade each time she spouts her peculiar view of the First Amendment

Sarah Palin has expressed the notion that criticism of what she says violates her First Amendment rights. She has done so at least once each year since 2008.

It began in the 2008 campaign, when she was criticized for speaking about then-Senator Obama's association with Reverend Wright. In "Sarah Palin speaks on the First Amendment," Glenn Greenwald wrote in Salon:
Somehow, in Sarah Palin's brain, it's a threat to the First Amendment when newspapers criticize her negative attacks on Barack Obama. This is actually so dumb that it hurts:

In a conservative radio interview that aired in Washington, D.C. Friday morning, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin said she fears her First Amendment rights may be threatened by "attacks" from reporters who suggest she is engaging in a negative campaign against Barack Obama.

Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."

... The First Amendment is actually not that complicated. It can be read from start to finish in about 10 seconds. It bars the Government from abridging free speech rights. It doesn't have anything to do with whether you're free to say things without being criticized, or whether you can comment on blogs without being edited, or whether people can bar you from their private planes because they don't like what you've said.

If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press. Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.

This isn't only about profound ignorance regarding our basic liberties, though it is obviously that. Palin here is also giving voice to the standard right-wing grievance instinct: that it's inherently unfair when they're criticized. And now, apparently, it's even unconstitutional.

According to Palin, what the Founders intended with the First Amendment was that political candidates for the most powerful offices in the country and Governors of states would be free to say whatever they want without being criticized in the newspapers. In the Palin worldview, the First Amendment was meant to ensure that powerful political officials such as herself would not be "attacked" in the papers. Is it even possible to imagine more breathtaking ignorance from someone holding high office and running for even higher office?

In 2009, Palin published her fictional memoir, Going Rogue. When the book was criticized by John Bitney, who disagreed with how Palin had characterized him in the book, saying, "I'm just pilloried right and left and turned into the big bad wolf here for stuff I didn't do. It's like I'm this fictional character that she's decided to make me out to be this sort of incompetent slob," Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein said, "Going Rogue is Sarah Palin's book to set the record straight. It is her right to speak about the events that occurred in her administration and neither Mr. Bitney nor anyone else has the right to stifle that speech, ..." -- Anchorage Daily News.

Now, in 2010, we have Dr. Laura Schlessinger who decided to quit her radio program in order to "regain [her] first amendment rights." Sarah Palin then thought -- does she think? -- she could capitalize on Dr. Laura's predicament and began Twittering her ignorance:
"Dr.Laura:don't retreat...reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence"isn't American,not fair")."
Later she added,
"Dr.Laura=even more powerful & effective w/out the shackles, so watch out Constitutional obstructionists. And b thankful 4 her voice,America!"
There is something about this story that hasn't been widely reported:
After the N-word broadcast aired, Dr. Laura apologized for using the racial epithet. "I articulated the N-word all the way out -- more than one time," Schlessinger said. "And that was wrong. I'll say it again -- that was wrong." She said she "realized I had made a horrible mistake, and was so upset, I could not finish the show."
Is it possible? Could it be that Sarah Palin and others who claim that their First Amendment rights are being violated when their speech is criticized are remorseful? Or realize what a mistake they've made? Or what a fool they've made of themselves? But instead of admitting their mistake, they've got to throw up a "my rights are being violated" smokescreen in an attempt to divert attention from what they said. They really aren't so proud of what they said, are they?

Sarah, when you are criticized for something you have said, you can say it again! That's proof that your rights are intact. You can even say something more disgraceful, shameful and hateful if you'd like. You could even man-up -- grow some cojones? -- and apologize.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Who gets the car?

From Politico, Carol E. Lee – Wed Aug 18, 4:43 am ET, via Yahoo! News.

SEATTLE — It started out simple enough. There was a car (the economy). And a ditch (the recession). Republicans had been driving the car (were in power) for eight years. It went into the ditch. And now that Democrats have dug the car out (won power and passed a bunch of economic recovery policies), the Republicans want back the keys (power).

The first time President Barack Obama used the metaphor at a Democratic fundraiser in April, he spent exactly four sentences on it: “And yet, after driving our economy into the ditch, they decided to stand on the side of the road and watch us while we pulled it out of the ditch,” Obama said at the Los Angeles event for Sen. Barbara Boxer of California. “They asked, ‘Why haven't you pulled it out fast enough?’ ‘I noticed there's, like, a little scratch there in the fender. Why didn't you do something about that?’”

Read the rest of the article to learn how useful this metaphor has been and may continue to be.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

EMILY's List to take-on Sarah Palin's reactionary candidates and backward-looking agenda (Updated with VIDEO! Mama grizzlies turn on Sarah Palin!)

(Click image to enlarge it)

A link to the press release.

EMILY's List homepage.

EMILY stands for "Early Money Is Like Yeast" (it helps the dough rise).

EMILY's List has produced a video, featuring Real Mama Grizzlies!!! Save YOUR cubs from Sarah Palin!

The story is also getting some "lamestream" attention: Politico, NBC, and CBS.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Palin/Johnston agreement prohibits trash talking

ABC News has posted a summary of the agreement:

... Under the terms, Palin, 19, will have primary custody of the toddler, while Johnston, 20, will have just two days a week to visit his son. According to the agreement, his Saturday visits must be between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and his Wednesday visits can start at noon and go no later than 6 p.m.

Johnston will pay child custody calculated from his current salary, which is estimated at about $72,000 a year, according to court documents

"If Levi were to make substantially more [money], that would call for a larger amount of child support," said Toby Kleinman, attorney at the Center for Protection of Children.

The court documents also address a particularly contentious aspect of the Palin-Johnson relationship: trash talking.

According to the custody agreement "the parties agree that the child shall receive positive reinforcement about each party and that the child has the right to be free of negative comments by one parent about the other." That includes comments in the media. That may be easier said than done for Johnston, who has leveled harsh accusations about his former girlfriend's famous mother, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. ...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Another cub abandoned -- Mama Grizzly skips an appearance

Sarah Palin has given Republican Curt Didier's Washington State senate primary campaign $5000 and taped a robocall for him, but he was expecting much, much more. From The Seattle Times' "Didier's hopes of a Palin visit fading:"

Republican Clint Didier has been trying to get former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to headline political rallies or fund-raising events for him since she endorsed the former NFL player's U.S. Senate candidacy in May.

In June, Didier campaign advisers told POLITICO that Palin described herself as "all in" for Didier. They hoped to schedule two Palin events, one in Eastern Washington and one on the west side.

Last month, when I visited Didier on his farm near Pasco, he said he still expected Palin would do an event for him before the primary. That could have given his underdog campaign a needed boost to get past GOP establishment favorite Dino Rossi and take on Sen. Patty Murray in November.

But with just a few days before primary ballots are counted Aug. 17, a Palin visit isn't looking likely.

Didier had been trying to get Palin to commit to an event Saturday.

But Didier campaign consultant Kathryn Serkes told me via e-mail today that event "looks like a no... we can't wait any longer to plan, so will plan without her."

In an interview Wednesday, Serkes attributed the difficulty to Palin's hectic schedule. "She gave her word and she's doing the best she can. We know that," Serkes said.

Serkes said Palin did agree to record a personal message that Didier can use in statewide robo-calls to voters.

Today? Two days before the count? Palin lends Didier her voice.

When will Mama Grizzly go into hibernation?

Bears hibernate, right? So, when can we expect Mama Grizzly, a.k.a. Sarah Palin, to go into hibernation? She needs the rest. We could use a break.

It turns out there is some debate as to whether grizzly bears actually hibernate. From Wikipedia's Grizzly Bear entry:

In preparation for winter, bears can gain approximately 400 lb (180 kg), during a period of
hyperphagia, before going into a state of false hibernation. The bear often waits for a substantial snowstorm before it enters its den, such behaviour lessening the chances that predators will be able to locate the den. The dens themselves are typically located at elevations above 6,000 feet on northern-facing slopes. There is some debate amongst professionals as to whether grizzly bears technically hibernate. Much of the debate revolves around body temperature and the ability of the bears to move around during hibernation on occasion. Grizzly bears have the ability to "partially" recycle their body wastes during this period. In some areas where food is plentiful year round, grizzly bears skip hibernation altogether.

Oh, no. Her food -- she thrives on attention -- hasn't been scarce this year, so Mama Grizzly may not need to hiberate! It's a disappointment, I know. Better luck next year?

The Wikipedia article contains a lot of information about ursus arctos horribilis (latin for horrible arctic bear); for example, its range used to extend into Mexico and the midwest, but is now limited, with the exception of Montana in the lower 48, to western Canada and Alaska.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sarah Palin comes out swinging for unconstitutional, federal interference in local affairs

She's hit one out of the park, folks. She wants President Obama to do something about a private property use issue in New York City. She loves big government, doesn't she? You can read her tweets, here.

It's about the "mosque," of course.

Everyone, remain calm. The President will not respond to her.

Here is President Obama's earlier statement on the matter:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Update: What is Sarah Palin squawking about? There is already a mosque nearby! Warning: that link goes to Wonkette, known for its irreverence and snark (but there is a mosque nearby).

Social Security is 75 Years Old

With Republicans planning to enrich themselves and their banking cronies by privatizing it, President Obama, today, praised Social Security and warned against Republican schemes to bankrupt the middle class.

From The NY Times:

WASHINGTON — President Obama has taken the lead in a Democratic offensive on Social Security, warning that Republicans will revive efforts to privatize what is perhaps the government’s most popular program if they seize control of Congress in the November elections.

“I’ll fight with everything I’ve got to stop those who would gamble your Social Security on Wall Street,” Mr. Obama said on Saturday in his weekly national address. “Because you shouldn’t be worried that a sudden downturn in the stock market will put all you’ve worked so hard for — all you’ve earned — at risk.” ...

And, from The Voice of America:

President Barack Obama says the United States cannot afford to privatize Social Security, which he says would tie senior citizens' benefits to the ups and downs of the stock market.

In his weekly address, Mr. Obama said Social Security is a cornerstone in the foundation of the country's middle class, and gives seniors a chance to retire with dignity. He spoke on the program's 75th anniversary, saying he will fight against privatizing Social Security while he is president. ...

The President's Weekly Address:

Weekly Address: Honoring Social Security, Not Privatizing It from The White House on Vimeo.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Palin Family Circus News - Friday, August 13, 2010

Watch these Jimmy Kimmel videos for some insight into Sarah Palin's family life. Levi is done buying rings. Levi and Bristol are taking a break. Ma & Pa Palin found out about the engagement from a magazine, and that was Bristol's idea! Aren't they just like the rest of us?

Levi's run for Mayor of Wasilla should make a mockery of Sarah Palin's experience as mayor. People are going to say that Levi can do just as good a job, possibly a better job than Sarah.

Breaking: TMZ (Palin family news outlet) is reporting a child custody deal.

Mama Grizzly Abandons Cubs

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mama Grizzly Is A Wuss

Just two days ago, Sarah Palin said, '[Karen] Handel would "fight like a mama grizzly" and help usher out the state's "good ol' boy network."'

'"Are you ready to elect a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, commonsense constitutional conservative, who will fight like a mama grizzly for you and the values that you hold dear?" Palin asked a cheering crowd in a hotel ballroom.'

Last night Handel trailed Nathan Deal, her opponent in Georgia's Republican gubernatorial runoff, by less than 1% of the vote, which would have qualified her for an automatic recount under Georgia law.

This morning, Handel skipped a Fulton County Republican unity breakfast and conceded defeat, before military and overseas ballots had been counted. "She's got a lot of things going on," said Shawn Hanley, chairman of the county party. "I'm not too concerned. A lot of her supporters might want to take a day off."

"Taking a day off was exactly what Republicans could not afford to do, said House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, when he addressed the 200-plus crowd of party stalwarts in the ballroom at 103 West on West Paces Ferry Road."

What happened? Why didn't Sarah Palin encourage Handel to count every vote? Paul Bennecke of the Republican Governors Association said that Deal's ideas are what Georgia needs. "[Palin's] choices in governors’ races have hewed closely to preferred candidates of the Republican Governors Association," according to a recent NY Times article.

Sarah Palin bowed down and kowtowed to the Republican Governors Association; Mama Grizzly sat down and shut up.

This post was informed by several articles, here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Levi Johnston: Mr. Mayor!

Guess what? Levi Johnston is going to run for Mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin's old job. I am not makin' this up; The NY Daily News has a story, "Levi Johnston for mayor?! Bristol Palin's ex to make Alaska gov run for reality show."

Apparently, Levi is going to make a reality show: 'Titled "Loving Levi: The Road to the Mayor's Office," it will chronicle Johnston's dual pursuits in Hollywood and his "red-neck" life as a single dad, skilled hunter, avid biker and wannabe politician looking for love and success back home in Alaska, ... .'

Another story, "Levi Johnston signs reality TV deal days after breaking off engagement to baby mama Bristol Palin," appeared in The NY Daily News yesterday afternoon.

People magazine has a story, too, "Look out Wasilla: Levi Johnston Eyes Run for Mayor."

What a hoot, huh?

And, if a Palin would run against Levi, we would have Johnston vs. Palin, the election of the century!

But some caution is in order, because The Hollywood Reporter has a story which states that a pilot is being filmed and that the production company is pitching the show to the networks, not that it has been sold yet.

Here's Levi, at the recent 2010 Teen Choice Awards:

Monday, August 9, 2010

Alaskan teacher reminds Sarah Palin that she quit on Alaska.

Sarah Palin's Homer Moment-D'Oh!

The video originally appeared in Shannyn Moore's article at The Huffington Post. It has also appeared in stories at New York magazine, mediaite, and Media Matters. The video is interesting, because it provides a glimpse of Sarah Palin in a rare, unscripted moment.

A lot is at stake here. Some insist that the girl with Palin is Willow, rather than Bristol, and there is a golden opportunity for people to project their own feelings onto Palin as they speculate about her state of mind and body language while the camera is running. Mediaite may have the most informative story, which ends with "Watch [the video]. Or you can probably just wait until the cablers track down [Kathleen] Gustafson and she pops up on a slew of shows in the next few days."

It would be interesting to see an interview, although Gustafson said something like, "I'm a stills person, rather than video person," when Palin asked her to turn toward the camera. She might have more insight into whether Palin rolled her eyes when she told her she was a teacher. Whether the girl is Willow or Bristol matters to some heavily invested in a rumor that Bristol is pregnant. The girl in the video does not appear to be pregnant.

Wonkette has a story: "'Worst Governor Ever' Ruins Sarah Palin's TeeVee Show, Results In Weird YouTube Conversation"

Newsweek has a story: "Sarah Palin Gets Snarky on a Schoolteacher:"
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's carefully crafted image as a regular hockey mom has taken a few hits since her unsuccessful vice presidential bid. Starting with her bizarre decision to quit the governorship in the middle of her term, which New York's Gabriel Sherman later compellingly argued was a move to freely cash in on her celebrity, there's also been the ruckus caused by her massive speaking fees at events such as the Tea Party convention in Nashville and at nonprofit institutions such as universities. ...

... But all those who wonder whether revelations of her personal prima donna qualities will damage her image are proceeding from an assumption that she does, in fact, disguise her self-centered side well in managed environments. I've long disagreed with that assessment, because her famous Facebook postings often have the tone of a nasty, snotty, slightly dense but popular high-school girl. ...

... Well, Palin's dark side came out in full effect this weekend, and this time the victim was not President Obama but a schoolteacher in small-town Alaska. ...

Update: Sarah Palin has weighed-in, inveighing against — what else? — wait for it! — lamestream media. She does, however, have a little snark to offer:
The LSM has now decided to use this brief encounter for another one of their spin operations. They claim I – wait for it – “appear to roll my eyes” when the lady tells me she’s a teacher. Yes, it’s come to this: the media is now trying to turn my eyebrow movements into story lines. (Maybe that’s why Botox is all the rage – if you can’t move your eyebrows, your “eye rolling” can’t be misinterpreted!)

Sarah Palin: Twisted Sister?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is live-blogging Sarah Palin's appearance on behalf of Karen Handel in Georgia. Some of the updates:
Update 11:34 a.m.: Palin is in the building. Repeat, Palin is in the building. In about 25 minutes Palin and Handel will take the stage and we’re told that the two will walk to the stage to the 80s metal anthem “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” by Twisted Sister. Check out the original video below.

Update 10:51 a.m.: The Georgia Democratic Party has taken note of Palin’s presence and are using it to raise money. This just in from party chairwoman Jane Kidd:

“You may not have heard, but half-term governor, Fox News personality and tea partier Sarah Palin is in Georgia today.

Republicans see the writing on the wall- Georgia is going to elect Roy Barnes for Governor this November, and Republicans are pulling out all their tricks to prevent our victory.

Why is Palin fighting so hard in our state? Because the Democratic Party registered over 200,000 new voters in 2008 …”

Twisted Sister? We're Not Going To Take It Anymore:

At one point, the blog noted that some of the Palin/Handel fans are "older," at least the ones occupying chairs. The venue accommodates about 3000 people. Coffee, water or a soft drink can be had for $3.00.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A bird is about to bite the hand that feeds it

In Steve Almond's article at Salon, we're informed:

It’s not exactly a shocker that Sarah Palin loves to tweet. Indeed, Twitter seems to have been invented expressly for the former Alaska governor, a public figure whose prodigious need for attention is matched only by her microscopic attention span. ...

... Palin has every right — even an obligation, as a possible presidential candidate — to critique Obama’s positions on vital issues such as immigration. But her tweets don’t do that. On the contrary, they offer up talking points meant to shift the focus from an honest debate of policy to public recrimination. ...

Twitter, like Facebook, is ideal for Palin, because it's a one-way medium. Is it any wonder that it's a demagogue's preferred medium?

Sarah Palin will appear with Kate Gosselin in a special episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska." Is that going to be any different than "My Alaska" or "Your Alaska?" The show is set for eight episodes, beginning November 18th on TLC. It will be interesting to see whether Gosselin can get along with Palin well enough to be Palin's running mate in 2012. Here is a Fox story about the show.

From an LA Times article: "We examined whether money given to a [California State University, Stanislaus] charitable foundation was handled appropriately, but found no violation of law," [California Attorney General] Brown said in a statement. "However, the foundation board has agreed to make changes to improve oversight of its funds."

The LA Times' article has a picture of Sarah Palin wearing a halo and monster pearls. The same picture, credited to Debbie Noda of The Modesto Bee, can be seen here. It was used in a post on June 26th, and is one of this blog's most downloaded pictures.

Speaking of The Modesto Bee, that paper published a story about the investigation, too, and their story may be more informative than the LA Times' story.

I am not sorry that there isn't more Palin news.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Could This Be Sarah Palin's Next Lie?

Here, we see Sarah Palin, thinking, however briefly, "Rats! Foiled again!"

Imagine it: Innovative thinking on taxation and the deficit; A bold, new proposal from the right.

Wisconsin's Representative Paul Ryan has just the plan, and Sarah Palin is sure to climb aboard, as soon as she figures out how to make the plan hers. It's Ryan's "Roadmap for America's Future," and promises, like all Republican plans, to slash taxes and slash the deficit! It must be so! The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Ryan's plan would cut the deficit in half by 2020!

But before we get too excited, let's hear from Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman:
But the budget office has done no such thing. At Mr. Ryan’s request, it produced an estimate of the budget effects of his proposed spending cuts — period. It didn’t address the revenue losses from his tax cuts.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has, however, stepped into the breach. Its numbers indicate that the Ryan plan would reduce revenue by almost $4 trillion over the next decade. If you add these revenue losses to the numbers The Post cites, you get a much larger deficit in 2020, roughly $1.3 trillion.

And that’s about the same as the budget office’s estimate of the 2020 deficit under the Obama administration’s plans. That is, Mr. Ryan may speak about the deficit in apocalyptic terms, but even if you believe that his proposed spending cuts are feasible — which you shouldn’t — the Roadmap wouldn’t reduce the deficit. All it would do is cut benefits for the middle class while slashing taxes on the rich.

And I do mean slash. The Tax Policy Center finds that the Ryan plan would cut taxes on the richest 1 percent of the population in half, giving them 117 percent of the plan’s total tax cuts. That’s not a misprint. Even as it slashed taxes at the top, the plan would raise taxes for 95 percent of the population. ...

... The Ryan plan is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America’s fiscal future.
Ryan's plan is ready-made for Sarah Palin: Squeeze the middle class harder and provide the rich with more tax cuts they don't need.

Can't you just hear Sarah Palin bleating, "But tax cuts create jobs?" Nonsense. Jobs are created when businesses expand because they have more orders for their goods and services.

If spending is going to be cut, there are more opportunities for savings in the defense budget. Why harm the middle class, which pays the taxes that pay for defense spending? If the middle class is destroyed, there won't be any money at all for defense spending. The best answer is to let the Bush tax cuts expire this year, as President Bush agreed that they should. Another source of revenue is to raise the cap on earnings for social security payments.

Just as Sarah Palin doesn't give a rat's ass about immigration, she doesn't care about the deficit. She's just looking for an issue to demagogue, one that will let her appeal to the uninformed and prejudiced, which is how demagogue's operate.

President Obama warned against the demagoguery of the likes of Palin, recently:
President Barack Obama said he understands frustration over the hot-button issue of illegal immigration, but warned against local authorities' "patchwork" attempts to enact reform on their own.

"I understand the frustration of people in Arizona. But what we can't do is demagogue the issue," Mr. Obama told "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith in an exclusive interview. "And what we can't do is allow a patchwork of 50 different states, or cities or localities, where anybody who wants to make a name for themselves suddenly says, 'I'm gonna be anti-immigrant and I'm gonna try to see if I can solve the problem ourself.'"
There, you have it. Sarah Palin in a nutshell. Demagogue extraordinaire.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sarah Palin Lacks Faith in Americans

Published: August 5, 2010

CHICAGO — Against a backdrop of American-made cars, President Obama cast his Republican critics on Thursday as having lost faith in the American people, part of an emerging campaign strategy to try to turn the country’s populist mood against his opponents

Visiting his third auto plant in the last week, Mr. Obama portrayed his efforts to save the industry as an act of patriotism, and the opposition to them as a fundamental expression of pessimism in the country. Even more than he did during a swing through Michigan last week, he suggested that his adversaries lacked confidence in the resilience of American workers and the American economy. ...

... The White House plans to make the auto bailout a prime talking point as Congressional elections approach. Ford, Chrysler and G.M. are all profitable again, the industry added 55,000 jobs over the last year and its exports were up 57 percent in the first four months of this year. The president’s speech was filled with appeals to American pride, with phrases like “made in America” and “being No. 1 again.” ...

You can read the entire NY Times article by clicking the post's title.

Palin Family Circus News - There really is a sucker born every minute.

Here, we see Sarah Palin, thinking, momentarily, "Darn! They're onto our tricks."

In today's column, "TV show is the price of love for Palin, Johnston," Bill Zwecker of The Chicago Sun-Times wrote:

Could Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston quietly be doing a bit of news manipulation -- in order to fatten their bank accounts?

A source very close to Johnston insists that the whole ''We're Getting Married'' story -- sold for a reported $100,000 to Us Weekly -- was all about the ex-couple negotiating a deal for a reality show that would have paid them even more big bucks.

''That emotional story about how Levi and Bristol had resolved their differences and had rediscovered the love that brought them together originally was a lot of baloney,'' said the source. ...

There is more to the story. About Bill Zwecker: "From the top stars of Hollywood to Chicago's best-known celebrities like Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey, Bill Zwecker is the expert when it comes to knowing the scoop on the rich and famous. The Chicago Sun-Times columnist -- who is also the entertainment reporter and film critic for WBBM-TV (CBS) in Chicago -- covers the globe finding out the latest news about celebrities for his readers and viewers."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

As Palin Nation mob grows more transfixed, everyone else grows more disillusioned with her.

Greg Sargent, who writes the Washington Post's The Plum Line, has written about a new Pew Research poll that found more Americans than not consider a Sarah Palin endorsement of a Congressional candidate negatively. He then goes on to cite some other recent polls, which, he says, tell the larger story about a Palin presidential candidacy:

... Palin is a major draw among GOP primary voters. But the larger story here -- one that goes directly to the heart of her presidential aspirations -- is that she's successfully tightening her emotional grip on her devoted legions of supporters at the expense of just about everyone else. Far more see her as a turn-off than as a turn-on.

Palin supporters get very, very angry when you point this out. But the evidence is overwhelming at this point:

* A recent NBC/WSJ poll reached the same conclusion as today's Pew poll: It found that a majority of adults nationwide would look negatively on candidates endorsed by Palin.

* A recent Gallup poll noted a striking disconnect in public attitudes towards Palin: While her favorability rating is far higher among Republicans than that of all the other 2012 GOP contenders, she's also far and away the least liked of all the 2012 hopefuls among Americans overall.

* A recent poll of New Hampshire voters from the Dem firm Public Policy Polling found that 51 percent say they're less likely to back a Palin-endorsed candidate. Tellingly, among moderates that number jumped to 65 percent.

* Multiple other polls have found her negatives on the rise with the broader electorate.

This all supports what I've argued here before: That Palin is better off staying in her current role of celebrity quasi-candidate. This has allowed her to insulate herself from direct media cross-examination and to communicate directly to the Palin Nation mob, which is growing more transfixed. But the rest of the world continues to sour on her. It's hard to see how she'll succeed if she ever steps outside the bubble she's crafted for herself.

There's a tremendous amount of media discussion about whether Palin will run for president and about how much of a political "rock star" she has become. It's odd that the larger and arguably more important story about what she has wrought for herself never enters into the conversation.

It's interesting to read of things that make the Palin Nation mob angry. The relationship between Palin and her mob is like the relationship between a medieval queen and her knights. They feel as though Palin's honor has been besmirched whenever anyone says or writes anything about her with less than the fawning obsequiousness they believe she's entitled to. It is the negative reactions of the rest of us that fuel their ardor for their queen.