Thursday, September 30, 2010

Can Sarah Palin Dance?

Last Saturday, I opened a new front in the war on Sarah Palin by questioning her ability to dance.

This picture purports to show her dancing at her inaugural ball in 2007; however, we still aren't certain she can dance.

The picture is but one moment out of the many moments that comprise Sarah Palin's life. Unless we see additional photo evidence, we cannot be sure that she was actually in motion -- dancing -- when the picture was taken. And we would like a lot of other information about any pictures that may appear: camera make, focal length of the lens, distance from camera to subject, camera angle, lighting ... the list goes on.

Of course, Sarah must have been irked by our doubts. Now she may be scheming to prove she can dance by showing us video. How? By dancing on Dancing With the Stars!

Yes! In "Will Another Palin Go 'Dancing' Next Season?" I was amazed to read:

Sources tell me that Sarah Palin had such a fantastic not-booed-at time on 'Dancing With The Stars' Monday night that she's itchin' to return to the ballroom herself next season.

"Sarah was overwhelmed with what a great time she had at the show," an insider who was at the show tells me. "In fact she enjoyed herself so much that she mentioned to producers who greeted her that she would be open to competing herself next season."

But until we see it, we'll remain doubtful that she can dance.


Fight fire with fire: one conspiracy theory with another?

It happened serendipitously. I doubted Sarah could dance out of mean-girl orneriness. After I hit 'Publish Post,' I remembered that there was a picture of her dancing at the inauguration, so I posted it in the comments, along with a babygate-style argument.

"Babygate" is a dead issue. Its loss may disappoint, even anger, some, especially Sarah Palin. It was her oxygen: whether she talked about it or her enemies did, it rallied her fans.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sarah Palin Misunderstands the First Amendment

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent wrote:
During the 2008 Election, Sarah Palin adopted a tragically common interpretation of the First Amendment, that her critics were violating her right to freedom of speech by criticizing her. The basic idea is that freedom of speech applies to her, but not her critics.
The American Prospect article, linked by Sargent, points out that Rush Limbaugh shares Palin's view on the First Amendment. Sarah Palin's attorney has also expressed the view that criticism of Palin violates her rights: "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, ..."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Obama in Command: The Rolling Stone Interview

By Jann S. Wenner
Sep 28, 2010 7:00 AM EDT

The following is an article from the October 15, 2010 issue of
Rolling Stone.

We arrived at the southwest gate of the white house a little after one o'clock on the afternoon of September 17th. It was a warm fall day, but the capital felt quiet and half-empty, as it does on Fridays at the end of summer, with Congress still in recess. Rolling Stone had interviewed Barack Obama twice before, both times aboard his campaign plane — first in June 2008, a few days after he won the Democratic nomination, and again that October, a month before his election. This time executive editor Eric Bates and I sat down with the president in the Oval Office, flanked by busts of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. The conversation stretched on for nearly an hour and a quarter. The president began by complimenting my multi-colored striped socks. "If I wasn't president," he laughed, "I could wear socks like that." ...

The President answered these questions, among others:

When you came into office, you felt you would be able to work with the other side. When did you realize that the Republicans had abandoned any real effort to work with you and create bipartisan policy?

How do you feel about the fact that day after day, there's this really destructive attack on whatever you propose? Does that bother you? Has it shocked you?

What do you think the Republican Party stands for today?

What do you think of the Tea Party and the people behind it?

What do you think of Fox News? Do you think it's a good institution for America and for democracy?

More questions than these were asked during the interview -- it runs to seven pages! -- and The President answered all of them thoughtfully.

Click the post's title to read Rolling Stone's entire article.

Tea & Crackers: How corporate interests and Republican insiders built the Tea Party monster -- by Matt Taibbi

By Matt Taibbi
Sep 28, 2010 7:01 AM EDT

This is an article from the October 15, 2010 issue of
Rolling Stone, available on newsstands on October 1, 2010.

t's taken three trips to Kentucky, but I'm finally getting my Tea Party epiphany exactly where you'd expect: at a Sarah Palin rally. The red-hot mama of American exceptionalism has flown in to speak at something called the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, a gospel-music hoedown in a giant convention center filled with thousands of elderly white Southerners. Palin — who earlier this morning held a closed-door fundraiser for Rand Paul, the Tea Party champion running for the U.S. Senate — is railing against a GOP establishment that has just seen Tea Partiers oust entrenched Republican hacks in Delaware and New York. The dingbat revolution, it seems, is nigh.

"We're shaking up the good ol' boys," Palin chortles, to the best applause her aging crowd can muster. She then issues an oft-repeated warning (her speeches are usually a tired succession of half-coherent one-liners dumped on ravenous audiences like chum to sharks) to Republican insiders who underestimated the power of the Tea Party Death Star. "Buck up," she says, "or stay in the truck."

Stay in what truck? I wonder. What the hell does that even mean? ...

Click the post's title to read Rolling Stone's entire article.

"The Tea Party is many things at once, but one way or another, it almost always comes back to a campaign against that unsafe urban hellscape of godless liberalism we call our modern world."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Palin Family Circus News - Monday, September 27, 2010 -- Updated !!!!!!!

From the AP:

LOS ANGELES — Sarah Palin may be outspoken, but she kept her opinions to herself on "Dancing With the Stars."

The former vice-presidential candidate was in the ABC ballroom Monday to cheer on her daughter, whom she called "Bristol the pistol."

Palin had only good things to say about her daughter's competitors and the show's three judges when interviewed briefly by show host Tom Bergeron.

Palin praised the "courage, joy and exuberance" of the dancers and kept mum about the judges, saying, "It's like a hockey game. You're not going to chew out the refs before your team is up." [emphasis added]

Leave it to Mama Sarah Palin to cheer on her favorite daughter Bristol, or as she likes to call her... Bristol the Pistol. Look for this on T-shirts in the very near future.. natch.

Did Sarah Palin Just Get Booed on Dancing with the Stars? ... Celebrity Cafe has a story, too.

The NY Times' Arts Beat blog provided the post's photo and has a story about Sarah Palin's "interview."

Update: From USA Today:

Highlights and scores of the night:

- Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said, "Bristol, you remind me of one of my favorite dancers - Kelly Osbourne." ...

- Jennifer Grey's energetic jive only earned a 24 from judges, despite Carrie Ann saying, "You were amazing from start to finish!" and Len declaring, "It was full-on fabulous." The audience booed when the 8, 8 and 8 score paddles went up. She deserved higher. [emphasis added]

The leaderboard:

Jennifer Grey 24
Audrina Patridge 23
Kyle Massey, Bristol Palin 22
Rick Fox, Brandy and Kurt Warner 21
Florence Henderson 19
Margaret Cho, The Situation 18
Michael Bolton 12

Think Michael Bolton's going home? On Tuesday's results show, look for Seal and Janelle Monae to perform.

Update: Washington Post's The TV Column has a story about the booing. Were they booing the judges or Sarah Palin?

Update: CBS has a story quoting one of the judges:
The judges said Bristol needed to engage the audience more in her performance. "It's not quite there," judge Len Goodman told Bristol. "It was neat and precise, it's just needs a bit more flair....You've got to take chances if you are going to win 'Dancing With the Stars.'"

Update: E! Online writes:
Bristol Palin, meanwhile, kept her nerves in check even though mama bear was in the audience and continued to represent. Her quickstep wasn't as polished as Audrina's, but she's just as enjoyable to watch—if not more so.

Update: The Daily Mail has a story with a lot of pictures, and offers some evidence that Sarah Palin can't dance:
It [Bristol's appearance] was introduced with a clip showing her visiting the family's home in Wasilla with partner Mark Ballas.

Bristol is asked how she likes Los Angeles compared to home.

'It's like a night and day, the difference,' she said. 'I like it, but I like Alaska better.'

After standing by a stunning lake, Ballas is greeted with a bear hug from Sarah as they walk into the family home's enormous living area.

With husband Todd and a baby visible in the background, the politician screams out to Ballas: 'I'm so star struck! How are you? It's nice to meet you, thanks for taking care of my girl.

'We had so much fun watching you, we were just whooping and hollering!'

To laughter from the audience, she then attempts to copy her daughter's shimmy of the arms and shoulders from last week's performance, saying: 'I thought, "how did she do that?"'

Update: LA Times' Show Tracker asks whether Sarah was booed.

Update: The NY Daily News wrote, in part:
Prior to the 19-year-old taking the stage, ABC aired footage of Bristol's highly publicized trip with her partner to Alaska last week. In the clip, the 19-year-old explained that she took Ballas home with her to thank him for being such a great teacher - and to introduce him to her mom, his biggest fan.

"I'm star struck," Sarah Palin said as she welcomed the dance pro into her home. "Thanks for taking care of our girl."

She told Ballas that her family had been "whooping and hollering" during the show's premiere as he and Bristol danced to "Momma Told Me Not to Come."

She later tried to get him to spill the beans on their dancing techniques.

"How does she do that…" the politico said as she lifted her arms up and down and made a pigeon sound.

Asked if she was embarrassed to watch her daughter strip off her clothes on camera, the 46-year-old responded that, on the contrary, she was "proud" of Bristol for being able to cut a rug in front of 20 million people.

Her daughter then hit the dance floor to perform a quickstep to Diana Ross' "Can't Hurry love." Bristol wore a more reserved costume this week - a lavender dress with silk gloves up to her elbows - as she and her partner shared numerous Eskimo kisses, no doubt a nod to the teen mom's hometown.

Her mother watched with glee, swaying to the music and clapping.

Bristol and Ballas scored a respectable 22 out of 30 (up from 18 last week) and the judges agreed that the ex-governor's daughter was disarmingly relaxed and unaffected.

After hearing her scores, Bristol told host Brooke Burke that she was "so glad" her mom could be there and Ballas added that he was "proud" of his partner before hugging and kissing her.

"Dancing with the Stars'" results night airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

The video:

Sometimes there's a party, and you might just as well go and have a good time.

The Fox Primary: Sarah Palin In Hiding

Politico has an interesting article about the consequences of Fox employing four of the five top contenders for the Republican presidential nomination:
... With the exception of Mitt Romney, Fox now has deals with every major potential Republican presidential candidate not currently in elected office.

The matter is of no small consequence, since it’s uncertain how other news organizations can cover the early stages of the presidential race when some of the main GOP contenders are contractually forbidden to appear on any TV network besides Fox.

C-SPAN Political Editor Steve Scully said that when C-SPAN tried to have Palin on for an interview, he was told he had to first get Fox’s permission — which the network, citing her contract, ultimately denied. Producers at NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC all report similar experiences. ...
But, is this an entirely bad thing? Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution observed:
... In effect, though, Fox and its candidate/stars are condemning themselves to an ideological ghetto. By not appearing on other outlets, the candidates not only lose access to a broader audience, they also aren’t forced to develop a broader message. Fox and its audience becomes their entire universe, and the only way to compete for popularity within that universe is to get more and more conservative.

The emphasis on party purity and loyalty intensifies. The circle gets tighter, the echoes get louder, the island gets smaller. ...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beating Sarah Palin and The Party of No

Stephen Goldstein, writing about Florida's senate race, may have hit on an effective way to campaign against the party of no. He begins with:
Are you actually going to drink the Kool-Aid and commit social suicide in November? Seriously, are you really going to let clones of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck kill the middle class? They claim to channel the "original intent" of our founding fathers, but they're nothing but a bunch of four-flushers, shilling for corporate fat cats — and laughing all the way to the bank.

Now that the party of Lincoln has been taken over by the tea party, Palin, Beck, and Limbaugh, their candidates vow to go to Tallahassee and Washington to destroy the Obama health reform legislation, rob the middle-class of millions of dollars the Democrats are saving them, and increase big-business profits.
Then Goldstein actually lists the ways in which Florida residents will be harmed if candidates who have vowed to repeal health care reform are elected. The list is full of pocketbook items of concern to every Floridian.

To see what is at stake in your state, visit Putting Americans In Control of Their Healthcare, where you can select your state from a list of state-by-state fact sheets.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Palin Family Circus News - Saturday, September 25, 2010

There are so many ways to dance. Matthew Gilbert of wrote, today:

Bristol Palin’s dance — and PG striptease— this week was her first on “Dancing With the Stars.’’ Palin, who described herself as “a pubic advocate for teen pregnancy prevention,’’ was clearly happy to be doing some shaking and shimmying (with dance partner Mark Ballas). She began in a conservative, Sarah Palin-esque dress complete with a flag pin, then tore it off to reveal a fringed red mini-dress. ...

... [Bristol's] [r]ebellion ignored: From Alaska, Mama Palin tweeted, “Over-the-moon excited and happy for Bristol! Cheering her on @ DWTS party in the Palin living room,’’ ...

Bristol is going to speak at an anti-abortion fundraiser in Visalia, California. A lot of clucking hens cannot comprehend why Bristol should be chosen to speak, but April Kesterson, executive director of Tulare-Kings Right to Life, which is the Visalia event's sponsor, said, "She had the baby. That's our primary concern. Everything else is secondary."

In the same article, Bill Albert, a spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, said, "There's no doubt that her [Bristol's] celebrity helps to promote abstinence. She is the most famous unwed teen mother in the world today."

Bristol is returning to DWTS! The Hoff is off! Will Sarah Palin make an appearance? Can she dance?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Americans For (Whose?) Job Security

Mike McIntire of The NY Times has written, "Hidden Under Tax-Exempt Cloak, Political Dollars Flow," which describes the activities of Americans for Job Security (A.J.S.). A.J.S. was founded by Michael Dubke, who operates two Republican consulting firms, Crossroads Media and Black Rock Group.

From the article:

... Probably the most extensive look at the operations of Americans for Job Security came during the inquiry [of the Alaska Public Offices Commission] in Alaska. Through a public information request, The New York Times obtained records from the investigation, including the group’s internal e-mails and memorandums, as well as the sworn testimony of Mr. Dubke and others.

The group ended up in Alaska through Mr. Dubke’s work for opponents of the proposed Pebble Mine, led by an Alaska financier, Robert Gillam, whose private fishing lodge could be affected. The opponents said the mine would endanger commercial fishing and pushed a ballot initiative aimed at imposing clean-water restrictions on it; its backers said the mine would create jobs.

Mr. Dubke’s work for Mr. Gillam was called Operation Trenchcoat, documents show, and involved finding out who was behind a pro-mine Web site called Bob Gillam Can’t Buy Alaska. Mr. Gillam testified that he spoke with Mr. Dubke about Americans for Job Security, and decided to join by giving $2 million in “membership fees,” and that he “had high hopes” the money would be used to oppose the mine. (The ballot initiative ultimately failed.)

State investigators found that the advocacy group quickly passed almost all the money to another nonprofit, Alaskans for Clean Water, set up to campaign for the referendum by a group that included Art Hackney, a local Republican consultant and board member of Americans for Job Security. Mr. DeMaura told investigators that while he may have talked to Mr. Dubke about the mine issue, he decided to spend the money “based upon his own research and judgment,” and that there was no prior agreement with Mr. Gillam or Mr. Dubke.

The Alaska Public Offices Commission’s staff report called this “completely implausible” and concluded that Americans for Job Security had violated state law by acting as an improper conduit. It also took a shot at the group’s explanation that it protects its members’ identities so they can speak out without fear of reprisals.

“One would hardly expect reprisals for ‘promoting a healthy and vibrant economy,’ ” the report said.

The group’s lawyers accused the staff of making “reckless and baseless” accusations and of “misrepresenting a respected entity like A.J.S., known nationally for its skill and sophistication in conducting educational and issue-related campaigns.” In a legal filing, they also worried that the allegations could be noticed “by the local, and potentially national, press.”

Americans for Job Security eventually paid a $20,000 settlement without admitting guilt and agreed not to help anyone make anonymous contributions in an election in Alaska — with the condition that its pledge “does not apply to any other jurisdiction which may have laws dissimilar to the state.”

Well! the allegations have certainly been noticed "by the local, and potentially national, press.”

There is much more to be learned by reading the entire article. Whose job security does A.J.S. protect?

Palin Family Circus News - Friday, September 24, 2010

The Washington Post's Stephen Stromberg offers a dose of common sense on Palin/2012:

... Anyway, in Palin's case, it's all meaningless for now. She's saying and doing some of the things that indicate presidential ambitions. But if she's just in it to enhance her influence on a segment of the electorate and/or make lots of money, she would be doing the same things. No matter what her real intentions, she has to keep America wondering if she will actually run. The prospect, however remote, of Palin in the White House is critical to her unusual marketability. Supporters are even more motivated to listen -- and buy -- when there's a chance she will one day represent their views in high office. Detractors pay attention out of concern she'll do just that. Journalists meet demand from both groups by reporting on pretty much anything Palin-related, and pollsters take time to conduct surveys testing her viability. It all feeds her mystique -- and fills up her bank account.

If she's smart, she'll keep this up as long as she can, then announce she's not running. She couldn't win, since so much of the country thinks she's simply unqualified. But she could try to play kingmaker as a leader of the Tea Party, her endorsement swinging a portion of the GOP primary electorate behind her chosen candidate.

Sarah was "scared to death" when Bristol went on DWTS, but Bristol returned victorious to Wasilla -- with dance partner Mark Ballas -- where they were welcomed with a "huge rally." A video and short story are at ET Online.

DWTS' Mark Ballas Finally Meets Sarah Palin!

Sarah texted Bristol, "We are so proud of you. Congratulations! It looked like you were having fun!" Bristol, 19, told Tuesday.

Up next for the teen pregnancy activist? The quickstep!

"I'm looking forward to a dance that's more proper and pretty," Bristol said. "I won't have to shake my hips so much!"

The source of Us' picture is "Me and Mama Palin."

Kelly Osbourne tells People that she is upset that no one from the Palin family was in the audience when Bristol danced on DWTS:

"I have a real soft spot for Bristol Palin. I really do. I think she's going out there and trying, and to not have a family member in the audience is the hardest thing in the world," Osbourne, 25, says in an interview set to air Thursday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Osbourne adds: "Half of that show is family support, and to go out there that first week and not have anyone there, and having everybody looking at you the most – I give her so much credit."

Tina Fey has weighed in on Bristol's DWTS performance:

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Tina Fey may not have had a reason to do her Sarah Palin impression lately, but the “30 Rock” star is still interested in the former vice presidential candidate and her family, including Bristol, who made her debut earlier this week on “Dancing with the Stars.”

“I thought she was a pretty good dancer,” Tina told Access Hollywood in New York City on Thursday. “I thought she did well.” ...

See? Stephen Stromberg is right! Even a comic book is trying to cash in on will she run? The Today show's Rick Schindler wrote about the Archie cover, here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sarah Palin's 'Wild Ride' - Part I

I went to Wikipedia in order to be clear about what a tall tale is, and I have adapted some of their text:

A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual. Some such stories are exaggerations of actual events, fish stories ('the fish that got away') such as, "that fish was so big, why I tell ya', it nearly sank the boat when I pulled it in!"

The tall tale is a fundamental element of American folk literature. The tall tale's origins are seen in the bragging contests that often occurred when the rough men of the American frontier gathered. The tales of legendary figures of the Old West owe much to the style of tall tales.

Sarah Palin is -- or would have you believe that she is -- one of the rough women of the Alaskan frontier, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find at least one instance of an exaggeration -- a brag? a tall tale? -- by Sarah Palin.

Palin Family Circus News - Thursday, September 23, 2010

E! Online asked a D.C. insider about Palin's chances in 2012:

... Like, could she really stand a chance to unseat Obama?

Not really, according to our bipartisan insider:

"I can't imagine for one minute that the national party leaders would be OK with it. That said, [Palin] could very likely pull a Ross Perot and run on her own, which would be a freaking nightmare for both parties, actually. It all makes my head hurt, and kinda makes me want to pull the covers over my head and never leave the house." ...

... After all, this beauty-pageant moose-hunter really does come straight from the Reese Witherspoon cut—way crafty and you really wouldn't know it. Sure, Reese does it with a perky smile while Sarah does it with a Paris Hilton dumb-dumb attitude, but the media-manipulating is something Sarah P has picked up and learned to do quite well. Clearly, she didn't entirely realize these powers back when she ran alongside John McCain, but, she does now.

Tom Diemer of Politics Daily wrote:

[I]n response to a question from Fox News' Greta Van Susteren: What would be a reason for her to run in two years?

"If nobody else wanted to step up, Greta, I would offer myself in the name of service to the public. But I also know that anybody -- anybody -- can make a huge difference in this country without a title, without an office, just being out there as an advocate for solutions that can work to get the country on the right track."

Palin [...] said she was currently in a "comfortable place" in her private role. Palin, since resigning as Alaska's governor midway through her term last year, has emerged as a sought-after public speaker, television personality and successful endorser of Republican candidates she considers "common-sense conservatives" or, in the case of like-minded females, "mama grizzlies."

E! Online also tells us that Mama Palin (!) will be there -- where? -- DWTS, where else?

Usually, producers save the big guns for the end of the season, but Dancing With the Stars' string-pullers are wasting no time in capitalizing on Bristol Palin's family connections, as her Very Special Homecoming episode is, from the looks of things, airing Monday night.

Finally. Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco -- Batman and Robin, if you will -- have answered the question mainstream media refused to touch. Not because it was scandalous, but more likely because nobody gave it a thought until it was raised on "The T. Ocho Show."

Whatever, it's out there now and the Bengals' wide receivers give their measured takes on this very serious topic: Sarah Palin: In the White House or in Playboy?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why the DSCC Loves Sarah Palin

It’s mind-boggling how the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hasn’t shown up for Scott McAdams, Alaska’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

They’ve had weeks to help secure a now open seat they didn’t think they had a prayer to take. Why aren’t they fighting for Alaska? Lisa Murkowski asked McAdams where his DSCC support was. When it didn’t show, she threw back in as a write-in candidate.

The front page of their website features a picture of Sarah Palin. Fear of her brand of crazy has been an ATM for the DSCC. They’ve raised millions off of Palin word salads with guano dressing. The DSCC website also has a link to Palin’s anointed Alaskan proxy for US Senate, Joe Miller, but they haven’t supported his opponent.

Alaska is the cheapest place in the country to run a campaign. One hundred dollars of campaign money in such a small market is equivalent to $2,000 for a race in Texas. With Palin’s negative numbers over 50%, her candidate, Joe Miller, is vulnerable. The Tea Party is recruiting people with “Lisa M” type names to run a write-in, and every Murkowski vote will be challenged by their attorneys. It will make the Franken/Coleman recount look like play-dough hour in kindergarten.

52% of Alaska’s voters are registered independent or undeclared. Nate Silver thinks Murkowski could win a write-in campaign? He’s wrong about Alaska – again. Ask NOT-Congressman Ethan Berkowitz. Silver projected Ethan would best incumbent Don Young in 2008. He didn’t.

Nationally, both Democrats and Republicans are underestimating Sarah Palin. The DSCC and others do this at their own peril. There is a chance to drive a political stake through the heart of the Palin king-maker meme. I realize Palin is a money maker, but neutering her politically by electing a Democratic Senator in Alaska is priceless.

Please help Alaska take our state forward. Save yourselves. Support Scott McAdams for U. S. Senate. Contribute to Scott McAdams campaign.

Call the DSCC and ask them to FINANCIALLY support Alaska’s democratic candidate. 202-224-2447 Email them at

Mudflatters – I don’t often make a direct ask of you. I know time and energy is valuable, and not everyone finds it easy to pick up a phone and make a call. But I am asking. Alaska bloggers work hard to make a difference, and this time we need your help. We need EVERYONE to pick up the phone and call. And then email too. And if you haven’t done it yet, donate to Scott McAdams at the link above in the text.

Also, if you have a blog, cut and paste this. If you have a Facebook account, share it. If you have a Twitter account, tweet it. If you have a progressive email list, email it. We need all hands on deck. Thank you so much.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Republican Party Puts Speedbumps, Roadblocks, Tollbooths and Detours Along Sarah Palin's Path To The Nomination

Walter Shapiro of Politics Daily attended Sarah Palin's recent address at the annual Ronald Reagan Dinner in Iowa, then wrote an interesting article about Palin's prospects for winning the Republican nomination should she decide to run. Shapiro wrote, in part:
... A little-noticed change in Republican Party rules for the 2012 presidential season may play a role in shaping Palin's ultimate decision [on whether to run].

Palin's most likely path to the nomination would depend on sweeping the Iowa caucuses (made-to-order for a high intensity candidate in a multi-candidate field), surviving a probable setback in New Hampshire (those pesky independent voters) and then roaring back to win the all-important South Carolina primary (the Kingmaker State whose likely next governor, Nikki Haley, was one of the first Mama Grizzlies). After that, Palin would have a serious shot at sweeping a series of major state (California, Texas, New York) winner-take-all primaries or winner-take-all by congressional district, even though she probably could never hit 50 percent in a contested race.

But that theory exploded when the Republican National Committee recently voted to switch to proportional representation (the system that was used by the Democrats during the protracted Obama-versus-Hillary Clinton battle) for all primaries held during the first two months of the 2012 season. What that means is that it will very difficult for a divisive candidate like Palin to sweep the table before the party establishment (buffeted though it may have been recently) can regroup. ...
Awarding delegates proportionately makes it much more difficult for Palin to get the nomination. The winner-take-all approach might have helped her to the nomination, like it helped her reach Alaska's governorship with less than fifty percent of the vote, with a plurality rather than a majority. Now, Palin will have to try to appeal to moderate Republican primary voters, which, if she does, is guaranteed to turn off her fans.

Shapiro came up with the three-state plan nearly a year ago, and since then that plan has become "common sense" among Palin's fans. It became so ingrained in their thinking that this Republican strategist still believes in it:

The Democratic strategist, Karen Finney, appears to be more realistic than her Republican counterpart. Finney doesn't think Palin is running for anything more than a payday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Palin Family Circus News - Monday, September 20, 2010

Bristol can dance!

ABC News has a brief article, here.

The NY Daily News has an article, with video and pictures of Tripp, here.

CBS has a story about ABC's show! here. They say, from Access Hollywood, that Sarah Palin will be in the audience.

Bristol and her partner dancing on DWTS can be seen on YouTube. ABC will probably have better video available, later, after it's aired in the west.

Update: From Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stripping off an office power suit, the daughter of conservative politician Sarah Palin performed a short parody of her mother in launching her bid to win television's "Dancing with the Stars" on Monday. ...

... Her sparkling grey office suit imitated the style worn by her mother, but it was soon stripped off to reveal a short, red dress with tassels.

Sarah Palin did not attend the taping on a Los Angeles soundstage. Instead, she hosted a viewing party at her home in Alaska, and declared on Twitter that she was "over-the-moon excited and happy" for her daughter. ...

Update: Better video (H/T Gryphen):

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sarah Palin Isn't Running, Or Is Poorly Advised, Or is Lazy

When Sarah Palin was in Iowa to deliver a speech at the annual Ronald Reagan dinner, she spent her free time jogging, not running. Jeff Zeleny of The NY Times tells us in more detail what she failed to do while in Iowa:

... It [a joke about running] was an efficient way for Ms. Palin to address the elephant in the room. Yet if she really had made up her mind whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, she may have spent her afternoon here a bit differently.

Republicans in Iowa, as in many places these days, believe they are on the cusp of resurgence. The party is hoping to take back the governor’s office, which 12 years ago Democrats won for the first time in a generation.

It is the season when candidates — and their events — are everywhere, but Ms. Palin spent little of her time with them. She did not appear at a rally, impromptu campaign stop or closed-door one-on-one meetings with party activists. The few Republicans who did get a moment of private time with her had to wait in a photo line at a small reception.

When politicians accept speech invitations at party occasions, particularly outings like the annual Ronald Reagan Dinner, they often do a host of behind-the-scenes events. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement. But Ms. Palin declined to do any additional appearances. Instead, she went for a run.

The reception Ms. Palin received on Friday evening from a crowd of 1,500 people was enthusiastic and polite. She was greeted and sent on her way with standing ovations. But she did not carry the crowd with her through the entire 33-minute speech. When she talked about the beauty of the Tea Party movement, the party activists in the room barely responded. ...

Karl Rove Challenges Sarah Palin To Demonstrate Her Power and Influence by Campaigning in Delaware

From Raw Story:
Republican strategist Karl Rove is calling for Sarah Palin to prove her political prowess by showing up in person in Delaware to support Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell.

Rove told Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday that if Palin wants to run for president in 2012 then she needs to show her political skill now. He also said O'Donnell made a "smart decision" by canceling her appearances on Sunday talk shows, following the revelation, via talk show host Bill Maher, that she had "dabbled in witchcraft" in her youth.

"I frankly think she made a smart decision by not getting on the Sunday shows this week," Rove said. "She shouldn't have accepted in the first place. But she needs to talk to the people of Delaware."

Of Palin's potential presidential ambitions for 2012, Rove said, "I don't know if she is the front-runner. ... There are several geological ages to come and go before that race shapes up.

"Look, if Sarah Palin wants to demonstrate her power and influence, she ought to -- where we started was Delaware -- she ought to go to Delaware and campaign for her favorite Christine O'Donnell," he continued. ...

The conservative Power Line blog had this to say after learning that Christine O'Donnell had dabbled in witchcraft:

... Lest there be any doubt, if I were a resident of Delaware, I would vote for O'Donnell. That is because she is far preferable to her "bearded Marxist" opponent. But O'Donnell is, nevertheless, a lousy candidate. I'm sorry, but politics is not about snatching random people out of the crowd and making them one of 100 United States Senators. Those who seek high office need to be qualified as leaders. They must be thoughtful and intelligent; they must have accomplishments in the public, or, better yet, the private sphere.

Christine O'Donnell has none of the above qualities. If the best we can say about her is that her "dabbling in witchcraft" is excusable, I rest my case. She will be a laughingstock for the next six weeks, I fear, and then will be clobbered in the general election. Whether this is better or worse than having Mike Castle as a Senator is a legitimately debatable point. But I don't see how any conservative can deny that it would be better if the Republican Party had nominated a stronger and more qualified conservative to represent Delaware in the Senate.
And Gawker knows how Sarah Palin started the Rove/Palin feud:
How are you liking Sarah Palin now, GOP? Her endorsement of wacky Christine O'Donnell clinched her primary victory, which will cost the GOP a safe Senate seat. And now Palin has some words for a furious Karl Rove: "Buck up!"

Palin wants Rove and other establishment Republicans to show party "unity" now that the primaries are over, and a Republican candidate's been picked. But shouldn't Sarah Palin give the establishment at least a day or so to be really pissed off about the Senate seat Sarah Palin just helped Republicans throw away?...

Values Voters Do Not Want To Give Sarah Palin The Keys To The Car

Republican and Democratic strategists are talking about Palin/2012. Here are two of them. It's clear the Republican strategist doesn't know what he's talking about when he expresses the view that Sarah Palin could win the nomination, because, he says, three states, Iowa, New Hampshire and S. Carolina, decide the Republican nomination:

ABC News has a report about yesterday's Values Voter Summit, which was attended by Republican activists who will play a large part in deciding who will be the Republican nominee:

Conservatives came out in full force Saturday at the Values Voter Summit to hear the speeches of several rising Conservative stars and cast their ballots for who they think should head the 2012 Republican presidential ticket. The results of that straw vote might surprise you.

There has been a lot of speculation about Sarah Palin's prospective run. ...

... But while all the hype has been about Palin and the Tea Partiers, she came in fifth place in Saturday's straw poll, with just 7 percent of the vote.

Instead, the social conservatives at Saturday's event favored Rep. Mike Pence, a seemingly low-profile Congressman from Indiana who -- despite flying under the national radar -- struck a chord with those in attendance by speaking their language.

"I am a Christian, a Conservative and a Republican -- in that order," Pence promised the cheering crowd. ...

The article continues with a list of issues important to Values Voter attendees.

ABC News provided a video summary of their report:

Does the Value Voter poll tell us who the nominee will be? The LA Times noted:

Straw polls such as this one are hardly reliable predictors of a potential candidate's viability as a presidential hopeful. Other Republicans seen as potential candidates lagged in the field; Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who did not attend, asked that his name be removed from the ballot.

Palin did not attend, choosing instead to deliver the keynote speech Friday at the Iowa Republican Party's Reagan Dinner.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

OMG! One of Mama Grizzly's Cubs Dabbled in Witchcraft.

From Crooks and Liars:

Good grief, the footage coming out of now Delaware Republican Senatorial candidate just gets stranger by the day. From Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill says he's got footage from 22 episodes of Politically Incorrect of Christine O'Donnell and said if she doesn't come on his show he's going to play a clip every week until she does.

The clip he showed tonight is from Politically Incorrect, Oct. 29, 1999:

O'DONNELL: I dabbled into witchcraft, I never joined a coven. But I did. I did. [...]

I didn't join a coven. I didn't join a coven, let's get this straight. [...]

But that's exactly why...because... because I dabbled in witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I'm not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do. [...]

One of my first dates was with a witch was on a satanic altar and I didn't know it and there was a little blood there and stuff like that. [...]

We went to a movie and then like had a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar.

Maher wrapped it up with this:

I'm just saying Christine, it's like the hostage crisis. Every week you don't show up, I'm going to throw another body out.

I'm sure Fox News will welcome Christine O'Donnell with open arms if she loses her race for the Senate. And I'm sure her supporters won't care about any of this since she's welcomed Jesus into her heart and all is forgiven and nothing she ever did before matters. That and she's already got that Palin victim card role down pat. They'll just think the evil liberal media is picking on her. This stuff makes me wonder if I should laugh or be terrified that these folks are not being marginalized to the fringes where they belong.

There is video of O'Donnell on Maher's show, at the link above.

This wreaks havoc with the 'Christian Nation' meme, doesn't it? Will Sarah rear-up on her hind legs to defend her cub or will she discipline her? Be careful, Christine, Mama's got sharp claws.

Sarah 'Judas' Palin Betrayed The Constitution and The Troops In Iowa, Last Night

Politico's Ben Smith, in "Sarah Palin tells GOP to get behind insurgents," wrote:
... The thrust of her speech, however, was a broad and confrontational rallying call to Republicans across the country.

The media came in for particular scorn, and Palin suggested repeatedly that reporters whose anonymous sources have characterized her falsely were betraying not just her, but also American soldiers who fight to protect the First Amendment.

That is why, Palin said, “I’m so hot on this lamestream media issue.”

“It’s not fair to our troops willing to sacrifice all for your freedom, journalists,” she said.
First of all, her premise is incorrect: Palin has not shown that any anonymous source has characterized her falsely. Even if she ever does, the First Amendment does not protect her from being characterized falsely.

Secondly, Palin has expressed her longstanding, erroneous belief that the First Amendment immunizes her from criticism, that if she is criticized her First Amendment rights are violated. But last night, in Iowa, she repeatedly expressed the view that criticism of her amounts to a betrayal of the troops. Why? Because the troops are fighting to protect something that protects her, if you believe the lie that the troops are fighting to protect Sarah Palin from criticism.

Angry Palin Is Running Against America

"Sarah Palin as Iowa GOP Headliner -- Passionate, Angry and Cryptic" has an assessment of Palin's appearance last night:

DES MOINES, Iowa – Let the word go forth: Sarah Palin is definitely running – against Vanity Fair profile writers, the "lame-stream media," political experts who underestimated her hand-picked Senate primary candidates and Republican "elites" who still doubt that Christine O'Donnell can win Delaware in November.

Palin's Friday night speech to 1,500 GOP faithful paying $100 a head at the Iowa party's annual Ronald Reagan fund-raising dinner provided few clues about her 2012 political intentions, but it underscored how much fun she intends to have toying with her decision about seeking the presidency. ...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Alaska's Senator Murkowski To Run As Write-In Candidate

By Sean Cockerham and Erika Bolstad
McClatchy Newspapers

With the slogan "Let's Make History," Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced Friday she'd pursue an unprecedented write-in bid to recapture the Senate seat she lost to Joe Miller in the August Republican primary. ...

... No one has been elected to the U.S. Senate as a write-in candidate since Strom Thurmond in 1954, ...

... She'll be boosted by the $1 million left in her campaign account, but it was clear Friday she wouldn't have support of the national Republicans political machine. Some, like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, made it clear they'd continue to support Miller.

"It's a futile effort on her part, it really is," Palin told reporters in Des Moines, after a speech at the Iowa Republican Party's Ronald Reagan dinner. ...

... The campaign will be a massive undertaking, not only to convince voters to support her but also to educate them on what they need to do for the vote to count. ...

We can be sure that Joe Miller doesn't have to worry about placing second anymore. He may finish third!

Much more can be read by clicking the post's title, which will take you to the paper's article, and don't miss Nate Silver's post at the NY Times' 538 blog, which explains how Murkowski could win as a write-in candidate. And, from CNN, the tea partiers are surprised. Finally, see The Mudflats' "Murkowski’s Write-In Campaign–What Are Her Chances?"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mutant Creatures Have Risen From Republican Party's Ashes

Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra battle Ghidora, a three-headed monster, in the 1964 Japanese film Three Giant Monsters: The Greatest Battle on Earth.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Inside Palin's Life in Alaska

Shushannah Walshe, who co-authored with Scott Conroy Sarah From Alaska: The Sudden Rise and Brutal Education of a New Conservative Superstar, has posted "Inside Palin's Life in Alaska" at The Daily Beast, which provided this promotional:
Sarah Palin's influence on the Tea Party candidates in today's primaries is just the beginning of her firepower—but could her new life in Wasilla derail a presidential run? Shushannah Walshe spoke exclusively to Palin's parents; friends who recount her nasty streak; and explores how life has dramatically changed for her.
In the piece The Daily Beast:

• Talks to Sarah Palin’s parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, about whether she'll run

• Shows how her life in Wasilla has changed from a mom about town to rarely seen Republican rock star (she drives a Jetta to avoid being spotted and has Bristol do the shopping!)

• Speaks to Palin foes and former allies about a “mean streak” that spares no one; one describes her style as “taking a nuclear bomb when a fly swatter would have dealt with the issue.”

• Reveals her ambitions for the White House even in her early Wasilla days—before she was McCain’s VP.

• Has new details about her upcoming reality show on TLC, Sarah Palin’s Alaska (think caribou hunting, gold-mining, and dog-mushing)

• Plus, friends explain why she gave up the governorship citing the lure of money as much as the piling ethics complaints compiled by detractors

Eddie Burke, a Palin family friend, thinks she probably quit the governorship for money. Walshe wrote:
On one hand, “you can’t do anything because everybody’s watching when you go to the bathroom,” says Eddie Burke, a Palin family friend who says he lost his job as a radio talk-show host after skirmishing with a Palin critic who worked at the same station. On the other, Burke says, she’s facing the allure of big-money book deals. “So did she leave for money? Probably so.”

Walt Moneghan personally experienced Palin's vindictiveness during Troopergate. Walshe wrote:
[He] knows what it’s like to have friction with the Palins on the grand scale. His firing as Palin’s public safety commissioner led to the Troopergate investigation. Monegan is still struggling with the fallout years later. The former Anchorage police chief still breaks down in tears when reminiscing about his time on the beat. If Palin does make a bid for the presidency, Monegan is sure to be held up by opponents as a case study in how she can wield power vindictively. He strongly cautioned against a future President Palin.

“I think it’d be a train wreck. You need to have a thick skin in public service, especially if you’re going to be a boss of any sort. People are very opinionated; they will go up and tell you what they think about you, where you’ve gone wrong. You have to listen to them. You don’t shut them off, you don’t turn your back on them, and you certainly don’t attack,” Monegan said. “In her case, she is not mature enough or doesn’t understand that or she has such a large goal that she feels she knows what’s best for everybody, doesn’t really need any other input.”

Troopergate concerned Walt Moneghan's refusal to fire Sarah Palin's brother-in-law, Alaska State Trooper Michael Wooten. Troopergate was illustrative of Palin's inability to separate the State's interests from her personal interests. The Anchorage Daily News' "Troopergate report: Palin abused power" states:
A legislative investigation has concluded that Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power in pushing for the firing of an Alaska state trooper who was once married to her sister, by failing to prevent her husband Todd from doing so.

The report by investigator Steve Branchflower was made public late this afternoon by a bipartisan 12-0 vote of the Legislative Council, which authorized the investigation.

Branchflower's report contains four findings. The first concludes that Palin violated the state's executive branch ethics act, which says that "each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust."

Branchflower was investigating Palin's involvement in an effort to get state trooper Mike Wooten fired. Wooten was involved in a nasty divorce from Palin's sister. Palin and her husband, Todd, have accused Wooten of threatening Palin's father. ...

The initial complaint against Wooten was filed by Gov. Palin's father, Chuck Heath, before she was elected governor in 2006. ...
Newsweek's "Warned by the Court" provides background information about Wooten's divorce from Palin's sister, Molly, which was at the root of Palin's desire to have Wooten fired. The judge warned that he considered the Palins' disparagement of Wooten child abuse.

But, apparently, disparagement may have continued, albeit in a different custody case: In the recent custody agreement over Bristol's son, Tripp, "the parties agree[d] 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." The Hollywood Gossip reported that Levi and Bristol agreed not to "speak badly about the other parent in front of the child ... or to allow anyone else to speak badly about the other parent or members of their family in front of the child," with the penalty for a violation of that agreement set: "The parties shall not allow the child to visit with, or interact with, any family member who publicly ... or in front of the child, criticizes the other parent or the other parent's family." [emphasis added]

Monday, September 13, 2010

Palin Family Circus News - Monday, September 13, 2010

An Irish bookmaker, Paddy Power, gives 8-1 odds that President Obama will beat either Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney in 2012:

The odds seem to favor one of two former governors — Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin — being the next Republican nominee for president, according to the Irish bookmaking agency Paddy Power.

But either would lose to President Obama, the odds-on favorite at 8-1 to win a second term in the White House, according to the betting so far at Paddy Power, which has, at various times, been spot-on and awful as a predictor of American presidential elections. ...

"Bristol Palin Going Against the Odds on 'Dancing With the Stars,'" covers another bet:

When Bristol Palin premieres on "Dancing With the Stars" next Monday, she'll be fighting the odds, costume criticism and rumors of troubled practice sessions.

Sports bookies (really? really!) have
put Bristol above "Brady Bunch" mom Florence Henderson, who's picked to finish last. But that's not saying much. The teen mom, who was thrust into the spotlight two years ago when her own mom (you know, Sarah Palin) became John McCain's running mate, is predicted to finish 11th out of the 12 celebrity contestants by two different bookmakers. Her odds of winning: 20-1. ("Dirty Dancing" star Jennifer Grey is the early fave.)

Meanwhile, there are reports that
Bristol and professional partner Mark Ballas missed several practice sessions last week because of a variety of conflicts. ...

"Mark Ballas Fears Bristol Palin Will Be "Embarrassing" on Dancing With the Stars," includes a practice session photo.

PETA is confirming that Bristol won't be wearing any real fur on DWTS. (I don't think that writer likes her, at all.)

Shades of the Cold War: Sarah Palin says moles are sneaking into her speeches! But -- wait a minute! -- a Missoula Editor article describes how its reporter and photographer got into yesterday's event in Missoula, Montana.

Sarah Palin will announce her candidacy on the 'Bob & Mark' show? Seriously? WTF?

It was a surprise to read this at CBS News, in an article about Sarah Palin's appearance with Glenn Beck in Anchorage:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin appeared with conservative television personality Glenn Beck in her home state on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of 9/11. In what was her first major speaking event in Alaska since resigning as governor, Palin was coy about a future presidential bid.

Palin didn't directly answer when Beck asked her if she would run for president, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Instead, she said she'd make any announcement on an Alaskan talk radio show.

"If there is going to be some big national announcement I'm going to do it where it's most worthy," Palin said. "I'm going to do something big, even bigger then Glenn Beck." Referring to the Alaska morning radio show, she said, "It's going to happen on the Bob and Mark show."

Beck was more forthright, knocking down any speculation he would run. ...

So, is she going to run? The Anchorage Daily News article, cited by CBS' article, may be a little clearer, because it quotes all of Palin's words together, rather than interspersing them with sarah-saids, and provides more context:
At Saturday night’s show Palin and Beck mocked Internet speculation that they would be making an announcement about a 2012 presidential run together. "I'd like to announce that in 2012, we will both be ... voting," Beck said.

Beck asked Palin if she was going to run. She didn’t answer, instead responding by asking him if he was going to run.

Palin said she’d make any announcement on a KWHL drive-time talk radio show.
"If there is going to be some big national announcement I’m going to do it where it’s most worthy. I’m going to do something big, even bigger then Glenn Beck. It’s going to happen on the Bob and Mark show,” Palin said.
What to make of it? I have no idea, but will speculate that Sarah meant, "If there is going to be some big national announcement, it's going to happen on the Bob and Mark show," with a couple tangential or circumstantial thoughts thrown in the middle: "I'm going to do it where it's most worthy," and "I'm going to do something big, even bigger then Glenn Beck." Sarah has been criticized for her "word salad;" what she said might have been better punctuated:
If there is going to be some big national announcement -- I’m going to do it where it’s most worthy -- I’m going to do something big, even bigger then Glenn Beck -- it’s going to happen on the Bob and Mark show.
Is it possible that Sarah has set her sights set on a career like Glenn Beck's? But bigger and better? He does make a lot more money than she does. Sarah knows that her star doesn't shine as brightly as Beck's, and she may admire and envy him: The crowd in Anchorage "welcomed Palin politely with loud applause, and then went ballistic when Beck hit the stage." Beck's entertainment career began on radio, on a morning zoo. As presidential candidates often return to their roots to announce their candidacies, so Sarah may return to hers to announce ... what?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beck/Palin Anchorage Show: Big Nothing Burger

Craig Medred's story, "With special guest Sarah Palin, the Glenn Beck show rolled into Anchorage," comes with an interesting slideshow and begins:

Fresh from the Capitol Mall in Washington, D.C., the Glenn Beck American revival show rolled into Anchorage Saturday night with special guest Sarah Palin.

What little real news there was came quickly. Palin, the half-term former governor of Alaska and unsuccessful though much-loved Republican candidate for vice-president, will keep the country waiting on whether she plans a bid for the presidency in 2012. Not so for Fox News star Beck. "No, I'm not going to run," he said point blank when asked by Palin, on the stage, about his presidential aspirations. ...

So, it was a nothing burger in terms of an announcement. Nobody should have had to ask Beck whether he was going to run -- Hello, Sarah? -- because he very clearly said -- last month! -- that he wouldn't run. Beck went to Alaska for a vacation and to raise some money by selling expensive tickets to his show.

Alaska Dispatch's story is interesting, nonetheless. Did you know that Glenn Beck was once a girl?

Update: Mudflats has a story about Palin's appearance in Anchorage, and Grypen has a story about her appearance in Wasilla.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11: Nine years later - There was a 'mosque' in 2 WTC

Steven Weber bills himself as an "actor and wise-ass," but may have summed up Sarah Palin best:

"My favorite low-brow bromide is that Sarah Palin "terrifies the Left." The truth is she (and her ilk) terrify all sensible, thoughtful people on the Left and on the Right, let alone every civilized nation on Earth. That a personality less qualified, less able, less educated should ascend so rapidly (and clearly with the help of an opportunistic media on both sides of the ideological divide) speaks to the depths this nation has sunk in terms of selecting viable, wise leadership. [...] Terrified? You betcha."

Today, on the ninth anniversary of 9/11, Weber has posted "Historiphobia," which describes some of our own history and how a public ignorant of its own past may be easily exploited:

Remember attacks on German Americans during World War 1? How about more of the same in World War 2? The Japanese internment camps? The perennial demonization of Jews? Gays? Catholics? Not to mention those who toiled and died in slavery and lived lives of humiliation under Jim Crow.

It's all there in the history that seems to have been almost purposely mislaid by those who know too well that a public which knows its own story knows itself; it is an activist public, educated and energized against forces which inevitably seek power through oppression and division.

Like a recalcitrant child who refuses to see the lesson of its past imperfect behavior, the mobs who lately decry Islam and discharge their fatuous bile are only the latest in a long line of porous intellects railing against convenient scapegoats and destined to replay an episode that, were history a requisite part of this nation's diet (instead of just another quaint castoff from the pre-IPhone era), would surely have evolved out of existence. ...

In "Muslims and Islam Were Part of Twin Towers' Life," we're told that there was a Muslim prayer room in the southern tower of the World Trade Center:

... On any given day, Mr. Abdus-Salaam’s companions in the prayer room might include financial analysts, carpenters, receptionists, secretaries and ironworkers. There were American natives, immigrants who had earned citizenship, visitors conducting international business — the whole Muslim spectrum of nationality and race. ...

Media Matters has created a timeline of the past year's anti-Muslim demagoguery.

President Obama has condemned the demagogues:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Update: Crooks and Liars' "On This 9-11 Anniversary, It's Just Us," has transcribed President Obama's response to a Fox reporter's question:

"We are not at war against Islam. We are at war against terrorist organizations that have distorted Islam or falsely used the banner of Islam to engage in their destructive acts. And we've got to be clear about that. We've got to be clear about that because ... if we're going to successfully reduce the terrorist threat, then we need all the allies we can get. The folks who are most interested in a war between the United States or the West and Islam are al Qaeda. That's what they've been banking on.

"And fortunately, the overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world are peace-loving, are interested in the same things that you and I are interested in: how do I make sure I can get a good job, how can I make sure that my kids get a decent education, how can I make sure I'm safe, how can I improve my lot in life. And so they have rejected this violent ideology for the most part, overwhelmingly.

"And so from a national security interest, we want to be clear about who the enemy is here. It's a handful, a tiny minority of people who are engaging in horrific acts -- and have killed Muslims more than anybody else.

"The other reason it's important for us to remember that is because we've got millions of Muslim-Americans, our fellow citizens, in this country. They're going to school with our kids. They're our neighbors. They're our friends. They're our coworkers. And, you know, when we start acting as if their religion is somehow offensive, what are we saying to them?

"I've got Muslims who are fighting in Afghanistan, in the uniform of the United States armed services. They're out there putting their lives on the line for us, and we've got to make sure that we are crystal clear for our sakes and their sakes: They are Americans. And we honor their service. And part of honoring their service is making sure that they understand that we don't differentiate between 'them' and 'us.' It's just 'us.'"

Update: Alaska Dispatch has a report (with slideshow) of today's event at Wasilla's Menard Sports Center. Sarah Pallin and about 300 people attended.