Sunday, September 07, 2008

Pallin’ with Palin

In a relentless bullying march toward more campaign money, Obama thunders the following challenge in a rodeo-like fundraiser with each participant ante-ing above 30K dollars each to the pot:

"We're not going to be bullied, we're not going to be smeared, we're not going to be lied about,.."

Right. But as far as I can tell, I see a smallish self-avowed Alaskan hockey mom who is out there stumping against him. So now irritated by the pit bull in lipstick?

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So you do not have to bother craning your necks searching all over the place, this site has collated all the rumors spread so far about Gov. Sarah Palin.

I am stealing (I hope I merit forgiveness) the complete list so you do not even have to click to the site above. So let’s all read this to the tune of “Getting To Know You” from the King and I:

Palin Rumors

1. Yes, she is Governor of Alaska. No, she’s not the Lieutenant Governor. No, she’s not currently Mayor of Wasilla. Yes, she was Mayor of Wasilla, some years ago.

2. Yes, as Governor of Alaska, she’s the Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard. And yes, her professional military subordinate is quite impressed with her in that role.

3. And yes, the New York Times says the job of Governor of Alaska is one of the harder, and more powerful, jobs in state government.

4. Yes, there are people in Alaska who think she’s too liberal.

5. Yes, she did giggle when someone called Lyda Green a “bitch.” Yes, it was the same Lyda Green who tried to force a scheduling conflict that would make Palin miss her son’s high school graduation. Yes, this would also be the Lyda Green who complained no one had asked her about Palin during the vetting process.

6. Yes, she did push for and approve the Wasilla Sports Center. Yes, it did cost a lot of money. (People keep saying $20 million, that article says $14.5 million, but then they also added a $1.2 million dollar food service/kitchen piece. This year, after Palin was out of office as Mayor.) Yes, the city went into debt to do it (how did you buy your house, bunkie?) and raised the city sales tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent to pay for it. Yes, the city is paying it off early.

7. Yes, she did want authority to have wolves culled from the air, because they were taking too many moose and caribou. Which people hunt for food in the back country in Alaska. No, she isn’t shooting them herself. I mean, not that she couldn’t, but I’m sure she doesn’t have time. (Thanks to bluemerlin in the comments.)

8. No, the Downs baby (Trig) isn’t Bristol’s kid, and no, the kid wasn’t born with Downs because (a) Palin flew on an airplane (b) went home to have the baby after an amniotic leak (c) because he was the result of incest between Todd Palin and Bristol.

9. No, Track (the kid who is leaving for Iraq) didn’t join the NG because he was a drug addict. He may have joined the NG because he was tired of people saying his Mom was getting him into the good hockey leagues. (Yes, that one was original reporting. I’ve got sources in Wasilla.)

10. No, Willow and Piper aren’t named for witches on TV. Among other things, Willow was born before Buffy came on TV, and Piper was born before Charmed.

11. Yes, Trig’s name may be misspelled. Isn’t it usually “Tryg” as in “Trygve”? In any case, I doubt he’s named for the Secretary General of the UN (1948-1952), either. But at least that was before he was born, unlike the others.(Thanks to Chris, via his blog

12. Yes, it appears that she has a Big Dipper tattooed on her ankle. She lost a bet.

13. No, she’s never been in any porn as far as anyone can find (and God knows I get enough google hits on those very topics.) I would think the Big Dipper tattoo would be a giveaway.

14. No, no one seems to be able to even find swimsuit pictures of her from her beauty queen days; God knows I looked. The bikini pictures that are around are photoshopped, just like the Vogue cover I have up.

15. No she wasn’t a member of the (wild-eyed libertarian) Alaska independence Party, although her husband once was

16. No, neither the (Canadian) National Post, nor Marc Armbinder at the Atlantic have troubled themselves to issue a correction. Yes, the New York Times did finally correct their story of September 1 — on September 5. This was after Elizabeth Bumiller was quoted by Howard Kurtz as saying she was “completely confident about the story.” Yes, that was after the New York Times’s source retracted the story. Yes, this should embarrass the Times, Bumiller, and Howard Kurtz. No, there have been no signs of embarrassment.

17. No, she was never a Pat Buchanan supporter; even when Buchanan claims she was, she was on the board of Steve Forbes’a campaign in Alaska.

18. No, she’s not anti-semitic. In fact, she has an Israeli flag in her office. (Contrary to popular belief, the usual Evangelical thinks Israel has a right to exist, granted by God.)

19. No, I don’t think she’s being “indoctrinated by Lieberman and AIPAC as we speak”; I don’t get the feeling that being indoctrinated is something that Palin does well.

20. Yes, it seems unlikely that she’s going to be in hiding for the next two weeks seeing as she’s been in rallies twice in the last two days. Or at least it’s going to be real rough, given that she has three media interviews scheduled today (6 September) alone.

21. Yes, it does appear that Palin’s local pastor preached about an end time when God will judge everyone, even Wasilla, Alaska, and the United States. Duh. This is called the Book of Revelations, and while I don’t believe it personally, I don’t see it as a disqualifier for the hundred million or so Baptists, Methodists, Evangelicals, Episcopalians, Catholics, Assembly of God, Presbyterian, Lutherans (traditional and Missouri Synod), African Methodist, and so on Christians in the US.

22. Yes, I do sometimes wonder about the state of Andrew’s health.

23. No, she’s doesn’t believe that the Iraq War was directed by God. Yes, she did pray that proceeding with the war was God’s will: “they should pray ‘that our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God, that’s what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that plan is God’s plan.’” (Ever hear the phrase “Not my will, but Thine, be done”?) Yes, this apparently freaks some people right out.

24. No, Buchanan doesn’t support her now; in fact he’s supporting Obama. (Buchanan did think her speech was amazing, but then so do 80 percent of the people who saw it.) Or maybe not. Buchanan sure doesn’t like McCain though.

25. Yes, she was apparently pregnant when she got married

26. No, so far there’s no confirmation she had an affair while she was married, and they’ve denied it pretty strongly. No, she wouldn’t be the first Christian woman who got a little on the side, if it were true.

27. No, she wasn’t named as a co-respondent in a divorce; there’s no evidence she had an affair with her husbands’ business partner. The partner tried to have his divorce records sealed because he was being harrassed by journalists who used them to get his phone number.

28. Yes, barring immaculate conception virgin birth (whatever), Bristol appears to have had sex with her fiancee. No, Bristol didn’t receive only “abstinence-only” sex ed.

29. Yes, I have it on reliable report that Sarah Levi’s mom has been heard screaming “Way to go Levi!” at her future son-in-law son. No, it doesn’t appear to have been when Bristol broke the news to her family.
Note: I originally understood this story to be about Sarah, not Levi’s mom, in the context of hockey games. As such, it’s shouldn’t be in a Sarah Palin Rumors story, but I like the story too much to delete it.

30. yes, her 17 year old daughter is pregnant; no, the baby’s father is not an eighth grader; no, having sex at 16 is not statutory rape in Alaska. And no, there’s no way that a 17 year old can be 5 months pregnant as a result of having sex before she was 16. Learn to count for God’s sakes.

31. yes, she did fire the public safety guy — but he said in the Anchorage paper that, for the record, she never, and no one else in her administration ever, tried to make him fire her ex-brother-in-law

32. and yes, the state trooper (her sister’s ex-husband) she was worried about did: tase her 10 year old nephew; drive his state patrol car while drinking or drunk; did threaten to “bring her down”; and did threaten to murder her father and sister if they dared to get an attorney to help with the divorce.

33. yes, the state trooper was suspended when he was put under a court protective order

34. no, the trooper wasn’t fired

35. yes, she did fire the Wasilla Chief of Police as Mayor; yes, it was because he was lying to the City Council.

36. Yes, she did try to cut her own salary as Mayor by $4000 a year; yes, she had voted against the $4000 a year raise while on the City Council.

37. No, she didn’t cut funding for unwed mothers; yes, she did increase it by “only” 354 percent instead of 454 percent, as part of a multi-year capital expenditures program. No, the Washington Post doesn’t appear to have corrected their story. Even after this was pointed out in the comments on the story.

38. No, she didn’t cut special needs student funding; yes, she did raise it by “only” 175 percent.

39. yes, she did try, clearly unsuccessfully, to get Bristol married off to her fiancee before the story came out

40. yes, she did ask the librarian if some books could be withdrawn because of being offensive; no, they couldn’t; yes she did threaten to fire the librarian a month later; no, that wasn’t over the books thing but instead over administrative issues; no, the librarian wasn’t fired either; yes, the librarian was a big supporter of one of her political opponents; yes, the librarian was also the girlfriend of the Chief of police mentioned above; no, this is not the first time in the history of civilization that someone has been threatened with being fired over a political dispute

41. No the list of books she wanted to ban that’s being passed around isn’t real; among other things, it includes a number of books published after her time in office there.

42. No, that hasn’t actually deterred people from claiming it really is true even if the list isn’t correct. For example:
“This list might not in fact reflect the books Sarah Palin wanted banned. As more than one person in Comments has pointed out, some of them were not published when Palin was in office. It is my hope that the mainstream media will not let this story drop and that at some point an actual list will surface. The very thought of having someone who once advocated book-banning possibly occupying one of the highest offices of our land fills me with profound dread. It should fill you with dread too.”

43. No, I don’t understand why a fake list is supposed to fill me with dread, either.

44. no, it wasn’t won’t be [bad tense, hasn't happened yet] a shotgun wedding; Bristol and Levi been engaged for a good while according to Levi’s mother. It was either an accident or just an unconventional order.

45. yes, she’s an was an Assembly of God Holy Roller. No, she doesn’t attend an AoG church now. Yes, she did leave the AoG because they were getting too weird for her.

46. No, she’s not anti-Mormon. No, not all AoG churches are anti-Mormon. (AoG is even more hard-core about allowing each pastor and congregation to make their own decisions than the Baptists are.) (Thanks to AnonAmom in the comments.)

47. No, she’s not from another planet. No, I haven’t actually heard that one yet, but you wait. Okay, I have now heard it.

48. yes, she apparently believes in some variant of Intelligent Design

49. no, she didn’t try to force the schools to teach it; she said if someone brought it up, it was an appropriate subject for debate.

50. No, she doesn’t believe in “abstinence only” education. Yes, she thinks abstinence is an effective way of preventing pregnancy. Duh. Yes, she believes kids should learn about condom use in schools.

51. Yes, she did smoke marijuana, when it was legal in Alaska. Yes, she apparently did inhale.

52. yes, she kills animals and eats them, and wears their skins

53. yes, she was a beauty contest contestant

54. yes, she was once a sportscaster

55. yes, she has a college degree in Journalism, but I won’t hold that against her, as she seems to have found honest work as well

56. yes, she sometimes wears her hair up; no that’s not a “beehive”

57. yes, her husband is Not A White Person (he’s a Yup’ik; an Eskimo but not an Inuit as my Inuit cousins have taken some pains to explain)

58. yes, she has on occasion, as Mayor, tried to get money from the federal government.

59. yes, she did finally turn down the money for the bridge. Yes, that meant changing her mind about it.

60. yes, she was vetted extensively, not just in three days — I’ve got links to press reports about people coming to Wassila on 29 May, and we had her on our Veepstakes at PJM from the first day we ran it.

61. yes, she want to a bunch of colleges before getting a degree. No, that’s not illegal. Yes, she seems to have made something of herself anyway.

62. no, they didn’t talk to a lot of the R’s power structure during the vetting; that probably has to do with the fact that she beat them in elections and sent a bunch of them to jail.

63. Yes, Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech was written by a speechwriter. Duh. No, none of Obama’s, McCain’s, nor Biden’s speeches were impromptu off the cuff things either.

64. Yes, she did put the Governors plane on eBay. No, that’s not how it was finally sold. Yes, McCain did say it wrong. Bad McCain.

65. No, Sarah Palin doesn’t have such control of Alaskans that people are afraid to say bad things about her. (What, are you nuts? Look at this list.) No, I don’t think it’s likely that she called Obama “Sambo”. (Good God, man, I’m ten years older than she and I barely remember “Little Black Sambo.”) Yes, it seems unlikely to me that she’s be real racist and marry a Yup’ik (or a part Yup’ik.) But yes, people are capable of amazing things. Yes, I’m sure there are people who don’t like her — I’ve talked with some myself. And no, I don’t think this waitress would have been thrilled to be called an “aboriginal”. And yes, if she called Hillary a “bitch”, I’m pretty confident is wasn’t the first time anyone in politics has said that.

66. No, she’s not a “global warming denier”, and when the crush dies down remind me to explain why the very phrasing “global warming denier” is anti-scientific, anti-intellectual, and a clear sign of a desire to impose your beliefs by coercion. But in the mean time, while I do believe that she has expressed some skepticism that warming is wholly human-caused, the existence of the Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet and the Alaska Climate Change Strategy work demonstrate that she’s considering the problem and has brought together people more expert than she to advise her.

67. Yes, Todd Palin did have a DUI. Twenty-two years ago. Get a grip.

68. No, Sarah Palin’s brother isn’t in jail. No matter what the commenter at Anderson Cooper’s page says. (Thanks to Galynn in comments.)

69. Yes, Sarah Palin’s pastor apparently does believe that gays can “repent” and be cured of homosexuality. No, believe it or not, even fundamentalist Christians don’t have to believe every litle thing their pastor believes. Yes, Palin seems to be more libertarian about this.


UPDATE:


70. Yes, contrary to press reports, Sarah Palin’s mother-in-law plans to vote for her and the R ticket (when interviewed on Inside Edition.)

71. No, the fact that some 17 year old was arrested for malicious mischief at the right time doesn’t mean Track Palin was. One of the actual perpetrators was interviewed by the New York Daily News, and he says unequivocally that Track wasn’t involved. The National Enquirer says “unnamed judicial sources” say otherwise. You pick which you believe.

72. No, she didn’t try to charge rape victims personally for rape kits. This is one of those complicated ones with a tiny hint of truth behind it. First, the Chief of Police in Wasilla (not Palin) did apparently have a policy of asking a victim’s health insurance to pay for the rape kit as part of the ER visit. This, it turns out, is policy in a number of states, including Missouri and North Carolina. Second, the way this became an issue was after the then-governor of Alaska signed a bill forbidding it; this law was signed before Palin was Governor and no one tried to reverse it while she was Governor. Third, what the CoP in Wasilla wanted to do was charge the perpetrator as part of restitution.

73. Yes, she did say that she figured if “under God” was good enough for the Founding Fathers, it was good enough for her. No, in context I don’t think that means she thinks the Founding Fathers wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.

74. No, she didn’t violate operational security when she mentioned her son was to be mobilized for iraq on 11 September. That was an announced, public departure ceremony. The way this works is you’re mobilized, then go to a US base for conditioning and final training,and then actually go overseas.

75. Yes, she is apparently against an expansion of casino gambling in Alaska. No, she hasn’t tried to make home gambling illegal.

76. No, Palin didn’t institute a “windfall profits” tax on the oil companies. She modified the existing severance tax, which works more or less like a sales tax on resources taken out of the ground. (A windfall profit tax, of course, is based on profits.) Just by the way, how is it she’s both “in the pocket of the oil companies” and supposedly instituting a windfall profits tax anyway?

77. Yes, Todd Palin works for BP Oil. There is a rumor around that he was some kid of executive; it’s not true. He was originally a plant supervisor, and after the concern about conflict of interest, voluntarily was reduced to be a night shift plant operator, a regular technician job. In any case, he took leave from BP when Sarah became Governor, since she would be negotiating with BP, in order to remove the potential conflict of interests.

78. No, British Petroleum/BP wasn’t the sole sponsor of her inaugural. It was among 20-odd sponsors. In any case, they certainly didn’t get their money’s worth if they were trying to use the inaugural to buy influence; Palin’s renegotiation of the severance tax cost them a pile of money.

79. No, Palin didn’t eliminate or “void” the Alaskan WIC program as Newsweek claimed. Warren Throckmorton explored this in detail; the truth is that the WIC funding increased during Palin’s time in office; what was cut was a $15,840 separate line request for office supplies and literature. Based on his work, Newsweek was forced to issue a clarification.

80. No, Trig isn’t an alien either.

81. No, Sarah Palin doesn’t think that dinosaurs walked the earth with Adam and Eve 4000 years ago, In fact, this was a purposeful satire that comes from a post actually entitled Fake Governor Palin Quotes. This has, however, kept neither Matt Damon nor Maureen Dowd from propagating them as fact.

81. No, Palin never said she and Todd would kill as many as 40 caribou at a time. That was from the same damn collection of fake quotes. No does it make any sense: can you imagine field-dressing 40 caribou?

82. No, she did not cut the Special Olympics funding in a recent budget, except in the Washington sense of “didn’t increase it as much as someone wanted.” Warren Throckmorton shows is was actually a 10 percent increase over the previous year; voxitar in the comments gives a link to the previous year’s budget of $250,000.
These have gotten sort of silly, though: she has a line-item veto power, and every last one of the cuts she made can be spun, by a political opponent, to say that she is hurting something that sounds good. She cut a new fire station building; she must be against fire departments. She cut an audio system for a grade school; she must be against education.But then, if she cut nothing she wouldn’t be a fiscal conservative, would she?

83. Yes, she did bill the Alaska State Government for per diem on days when she was “home.” This is how it works: she is maintaining two households. The state law defines her official residence in Juneau as “home”, so when she’s up in Wasilla, she’s “traveling”. That’s the way the law is written, and it appears that she has documented and handled her expenses legally and appropriately, even if it seems odd. And yes, her expenses have been anywhere from a third to a fifth of the expenses of the previous Governor. The Washington Post suggests this calls into question her claim to be a fiscal conservative; personally, I think cutting expenses by 70 to 80 percent seems like a pretty good claim to the title.

Dr. Laura Takes Exception

Dr. Laura expresses disappointment with the selection of Sarah Palin as VP, but..:







I am extremely disappointed in the choice of Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate of the Republican Party. I will still vote for Senator McCain, because I am very concerned about having a fundamental leftist, especially one who is a marvelous orator, as President.
As usual, Dr. Laura does not mince words and will not compromise principles the she has admirably shown and supported in her show that has been on air forever, in order to please her audience and fans.

However, I too take exception. And I find my justification from the very quote above from Dr. Laura.

Real solution to the real world. Because in a perfect world, Dr. Laura is undeniably spot on – critical motherhood comes first for a mother who has freely chosen to be one!

Before one can be a soldier or a martyr for a cause, a just and noble cause like for love of country, for honor, etc., one has to take care of one’s personal commitments and responsibilities. Though Christ did exult that he who looks back before following me is not fit to be my disciple. Or that if one has to take care of family business before following me better just stay home. Or words to that effect.

But for the same reason that Dr. Laura will still vote for McCain (which she does not particularly prefer, as implied) primarily because the gravity and urgency of the problem of the presidency – the possibility of “having a fundamental leftist, especially one who is a marvelous orator” urges and demands that extreme measures must be taken to preclude our fears becoming a reality.

And what would that extreme measure to assure election be? - Picking Romney? Lieberman? Pawlenty? Me? Prevailing wisdom would most probably shake its head.

But as we know now from the unexpectedly loud and overwhelming responses around the country, Palin was that extreme measure needed to give McCain can even, or maybe just a yeoman’s, chance to overhauling the considerable advances that Obama’s charismatic but substance-free candidacy have garnered.

So Dr. Laura, real solutions for the real world – for once.

Are we shunting aside the role model aspect inherent in this selection?

Personally, I believe her own compelling life experiences are more than sufficient to uphold and promote that idea of being our role model – because in many ways she is also like one of us! One who has outstandingly shown remarkable fortitude and balance in meeting and resolving her many challenges. Maybe challenges more daunting and numerous than the typical person. She has shown she can do it, honorably and responsibly.