I wish more people had more things to say about Sarah Palin.
w/ Brad & Desi
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Guest Blogged by Frank Schaeffer
I grew up in a fundamentalist missionary family that in the 1970s and 80s morphed into my father's activity as one of the founders of the Religious Right. We would hobnob with Republican leaders from Ronald Reagan to Gerald Ford and the Bush family, Jack Kemp and many others. One day it dawned on me that the far right of the Republican Party --- in other words its base --- actually hates America.
The Religious Right reveled in rising crime statistics, "family breakdown" statistics, failing public schools and so forth. As I explain in my book Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism), if crime started going down, or public school test results started going up --- without the country "turning back to Jesus" --- then that would prove that somehow "we" were wrong.
We wanted our country to fail because it had "turned away" from what we believed to be true.
Combined with the fact that we began to lose parts of the culture war, when it came to other Americans beginning to recognize gay rights, expanding women's rights, abortion rights and such, the Religious Right and the Republican Party infected gun-toting America with a chip on its shoulder about a mile wide. This led to the myth that "they" (fill in the blank, gays, Jews, blacks, liberals --- whatever) are "taking away our country from 'us'"...
Who could have predicted the one man on the ballot with a weekly show on the Republican News Channel (RNC, nee: Fox "News" Channel) would win the 2012 Presidential straw poll at the 2009 (anti-American) Values Voter Summit this weekend?
(By the way, be sure to catch's Mike's latest not-ironic-at-all column at the Republican News Channel (RNC)'s website on the "The Death of Journalism"!)
No doubt the Republican News Channel (RNC), recently seen on video-tape "stage managing" the Teabagger protests they sponsored last week in D.C., is very proud. Though perhaps they missed an opportunity by not putting Glenn Beck into the poll? With a show five days a week on the RNC, and on your public radio airwaves --- unlike Huckabee, who's only seen on weekends (though he does do a short syndicated daily essay on your public airwaves in 500 radio markets) --- it's likely he would have been a shoo-in! Why waste all that valuable air time, Fox, when you could be using it to put your superstar in office?!
This weekend's summit in D.C., as in previous years, celebrated far-rightwing liberal interpretations of the Constitution and extremist judicial activism, such as the promotion of big government intrusion into the lives of American citizens, the "right" of that government to come between patients and their doctors, and other anti-American values such as ignoring the Rule of Law, and the Constitutional right to equal protection under the law for same sex couples who wish to be recognized by the government as married, just like their heterosexual counterparts.
The winners and losers, out of 597 votes cast in the straw poll, were reported to have been Huckabee with 28%, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a distant second at 12%, followed by Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, with the celebrity community organizer and former Alaskan Governor who aborted her term earlier this year, Sarah Palin tying with Indiana's U.S. Rep. Mike Pence for fourth/fifth.
Congratulations to them all! You're all both winners and losers in our eyes!
I was taking a few (merciful) hours off yesterday, so missed Ms. Palin's farewell, as she completed her first term gubernatorial abortion to become America's premiere celebrity community organizer. But if you, as I, missed her speech, AKMuckraker kindly provides the transcript (Immoral Minority offers the video, if you prefer it) reinforcing the old saw about the 'difference between George W. Bush and Sarah Palin: Lipstick'. Oh, and speech writers.
Much of her theme throughout the weekend's "word salad" speeches, was the old "support our troops" strawman. She repeated over and over, that our military protects our freedoms. It is, perhaps, futile to point out, yet again, that our Military does not protect our freedoms. Our Constitution does. Our Military is supposed to defend it. So are folks like Palin, Bush, Cheney, Obama etc. who swear an oath to do so, but too often end up doing just the opposite.
Suffice to say, Washington's Farewell Address --- which, as EarlyAmerica.com describes, extolled the benefits of the federal government; noted the necessity of taxation; warned against the party system, permanent foreign alliances and "overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty" --- Palin's long "goodbye" was not.
Of the passages which jumped out at me for various, sometimes inexplicable, reasons:
So with another thanks to Mudflats (and sincerest apologies to our own Jeannie Dean), here are a few priceless photos for the scrapbook from Saturday's Governor's Picnic in Anchorage, one of the last stops on her Farewell-for-Now Tour...
[Update 7/24/09: I chatted about the issues in this article with noted Mudlflats blogger & Huffington Post contributor AK Muckraker --- an expert on all things Palin --- while Guest Hosting Thursday's Mike Malloy Show. Listen to the interview right here. Select Hour 3 audio archive. Interview begins about 10 minutes into the archive.]
A brief, two paragraph statement [PDF] by the private attorney of Alaska's very-soon-to-be-former Gov. Sarah Palin was posted on the governor's official public state website on Monday.
Attributed to "THOMAS VAN FLEIN --- Personal Attorney for Governor Palin," the statement posted to the Governor's officially run state website at www.gov.state.ak.us decries the latest ethics complaint filed against Palin --- alleging the improper disclosure of gifts and the receipt of free services --- as an abuse of the state Ethics Act.
That the official state website would be used to publicize the private response of Palin on Monday to another ethics charge is somewhat ironical, given Tuesday's leak of a preliminary independent report [PDF] from a state ethics commission investigator finding "probable cause" that Palin's "official" legal defense fund violated the Ethics Act in that it made use of her "official position for personal gain."
Citing Alaska Statute 39.52.120(a) which states that a "public officer may not use, or attempt to use, an official position for personal gain," the state's independent investigator, Thomas M. Daniel notes that "personal gain" is defined by law as "a benefit to a person's or immediate family member's personal interest or financial interest."
Does the use of the state's website to publicize Palin's personal attorney's response to an official ethics complaint constitute the use of "an official position for personal gain"? Was the complainant allowed to post her attorney's response to the complaint, or to Palin's personal response to it, on the official Alaska state website? Of course not.
Perhaps one more ethics complaint needs to be filed in Alaska before Palin quits her job as Governor this weekend.
We came across Monday's publicly posted private response via a Monday night tweet on Palin's personal Twitter page which linked to it:
7:23 PM Jul 20th from web
But, as still more irony would have it, Palin and/or her attorney may have also committed a legally actionable act of defamation in their response to the leak of yesterday's confidential "probable cause" finding....
We hate to pile on, but we've been on the roll much of this week, and haven't had time to post this until today. But it's worth noting it here, if only for the historical record.
The soon-to-be Community Organizer, then Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, in March 2008, was critical of then Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's complaints about perceived unfair media bias against her. Here's what she had to say about it back then (video above right):
Because, again, fair or unfair, it is there. I think that's reality. And I think it's a given. I think people can just accept that she is going to be under that sharper microscope. So be it. I mean, work harder. Prove yourself to an even greater degree that you're capable, that you're going to be the best candidate and that, of course, is what she wants us to believe at this point.
So, it bothers me a little bit hearing her bring that attention to herself on that level.
Palin seems to have had a change of heart since her video-taped apperance early last year criticizing Clinton for not sucking it up in the face of "fair or unfair" media scrutiny, since she is now "bring[ing] that attention to herself on that level" by "whin[ing] about that excess criticism, or maybe a sharper microscope put on her" by media, and even local bloggers, who she has now threatened with defamation lawsuits in a statement issued by her private attorney on the Fourth of July.
We don't think it bodes well for her, a statement like that, or for her passion for changing the status quo also.
The once-great ABC News' Nightline decided on Monday night's show that they would take a look at the possible reasons for Sarah Palin's decision to cut and run from her first term as Alaska Governor. They promised to take a look at the leading theories, so as to help "separate fact from fiction."
How did they do it? First, they asked two of Palin's friends who both generally agreed she decided to abort the job largely because she was tired of it. Then, they presented five possible theories that have been floated.
"Those explanations from people who know Palin haven't been enough for Internet bloggers and conspiracy theorists," Nightline's Vicky Mabrey reads over screenshots of The BRAD BLOG, The Daily Beast, and others sites that reported on the possibility of a criminal investigation. "They've had a field day over the holiday weekend, speculating on a host of other theories why Palin would leave office"...
Wayne Barret, the Village Voice reporter who wrote the original investigative report on questions surrounding the contracting of Sarah Palin's house on Lake Lucille and the concurrently contracted Wasilla Sports Complex, responds to the weekend legal threats issued by Palin's attorney Thomas Van Flein...
Talk about waving a red flag in front of a bull.
Van Flein's famous client had announced her upcoming resignation as Alaska's governor the day before, and the attorney wanted everyone to know that Palin's sudden and unexpected withdrawal had nothing to do with our story, 'The Book of Sarah' [October 7, 2008] which, of course, made many wonder just the opposite.
Barret goes on to offer point-by-point rebuttal to Van Flein's legal jujitsu, which the Voice reporter says, "does not challenge a single fact actually presented in our story"...
Recently related at The BRAD BLOG...
• 7/3/09: Is Palin's Resignation Due to a Federal Investigation?
• 7/4/09: Palin Responds, Takes Offensive, Issues Legal Threats
• 7/5/09: AK Bloggers Push Back, Scoff at Outgoing Gov's Threats
• 7/6/09: Fox Discusses 'HouseGate'; Will Palin Sue Them?
Will Palin now have to threaten a lawsuit against Fox "News" too?! Oh, the tangled webs...
By way of reminder, Palin's private attorney, Thomas Van Flein, had issued a legal threat on the 4th of July to those in the media (seemingly only the perceived left-leaning media) who discussed questions about the Palin's contracting of their house in Wasilla, and the Wasilla Sports Complex, both built while the state's soon-to-be-former Governor was mayor of the small Alaskan town.
"This is to provide notice to [Alaska blogger and radio host Shannyn] Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law," Van Flein wrote for Palin over the weekend.
Of the outlets named above, only MSNBC had actually discussed the controversy (video here), during a telephone interview with Moore following her Huffington Post blog item referencing a potential "iceberg scandal," and the further details we followed up with on that here.
When asked why the other outlets, which hadn't reported on the matter, had been targetted as well in the statement,"Van Flein said he believed they were asking questions," according to the Anchorage Daily News. "What I've been informed is that they've been interviewing people in Wasilla about this, and have tried to interview the governor's parents about it," Palin's attorney told the paper.
For her part, Moore quickly shot back in her own defense, against the Van Flein/Palin legal threats, assailing the outgoing Governor as "a coward and a bully."
So does Fox "News" now need to lawyer up too?
Alaska blogger and radio host Shannyn Moore isn't taking the attempted strong-arming by soon-to-be-former Governor Sarah Palin lightly. Moore shot back quickly on her radio show and in the mainstream media on Saturday, in response to Palin's Fourth of July Declaration of Litigation.
Palin's legal threat, issued for her by her private attorney, Thomas Van Flein, earlier in the day, was itself in response to Moore, and other Alaska constituents, who publicly detailed long-whispered local rumors of a federal investigation and/or impending indictments against the former Republican Veep nominee.
The BRAD BLOG broke details of those allegations, citing Moore as one of our sources, on Friday, following Palin's manic press conference in which she announced plans to cut and run from her elected position of public service, a year and a half early --- seemingly to become a community organizer.
Alaska bloggers quickly circled their wagons in defense of Moore, who spoke out herself over the weekend, describing Palin as a "coward and a bully" whose defamation lawsuit she would welcome, at a press conference in front of the Governor's Anchorage office...
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin marked the Independence Day holiday by firing back at "false and defamatory allegations" made over the past twenty-four hours; noting limits on the "right of free speech"; declaring herself a victim; and issuing threats of potential litigation against a number of journalists and media outlets.
Through her private attorney, Thomas Van Flein, Palin issued a statement on Saturday in response to stories concerning suggestions of a federal investigation into the contracting and building of her house on Lake Lucille in Wasilla and the Wasilla Sports Complex, both constructed during her tenure as Mayor of the small town.
The four page response [posted in full at the end of this article] rebuts allegations as discussed on this blog and other news sites on Friday following the former Republican Vice Presidential nominee's surprise announcement that she would be resigning from office with a year and a half still remaining in her first term as Governor.
The defiant statement includes a warning "to provide notice" to journalists and media outlets that she "will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation."
The statement opens by charging that following her stunning, and often beguiling, hastily called press conference at the beginning of the holiday weekend, "several unscrupulous people have asserted false and defamatory allegations that the 'real' reasons for Governor Palin's resignation stem from an alleged criminal investigation pertaining to the construction of the Wasilla Sports Complex."
Also, late tonight, the Los Angeles Times has filed a short article featuring a response from an FBI spokesperson in Alaska who denies that the agency is investigating the Palins on those matters...
[See update below for exclusive source details from Alaska...FURTHER UPDATE now added below: AK sources say 'embezzlement' scandal related to Palin's house, federal indictments may be in offing. MUCH MORE now added below... UPDATE 7/4: Palin issues rebuttals, legal threats... ... UPDATE 7/5: Moore, local bloggers, push back at Palin threats]
Palin resigns. She was to have been in office until 2010. Something else is going on here above and beyond what she's saying, though I don't know what yet. Josh Marshall seems to agree, noting in his "first signs of what happened" coverage:
I'd expect another shoe to drop very soon here...Looking into it...More shortly...
UPDATE: Alaskan Sarah Palin authority (and occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger) Shannyn Moore, who broke the news at HuffPo today, tells me she believes, with good reason, that there is an "iceberg scandal that's about to break. She's doing damage control."
She says Palin is "resigning as part of damage control" due to a scandal that is "not of a family nature." ...
Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.
Within hours after Election Day 2008 was over, the punditocracy had moved on to speculation about 2012 and the political future of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, whom many conservatives consider to be the next GOP frontrunner.
If history is a guide, however, chances are next to nil that Palin will survive the primaries in four years, and even if she does, her odds of winning the presidency are even slimmer. In fact, based on past performances of losing vice presidential nominees over the last 180 years (see chart below), Sarah Palin's chances of becoming president at any point in the future are 45 to 1, at best.
Guest blogged by Shannyn Moore
ANCHORAGE - It doesn't bother me to have fundamental differences with people. If it did, I'd never get out of bed. The person I most respected growing up, my Pop, was and is a conservative ideologue. I'm crazy about him. Disagreeing with facts is fair and healthy. Arguing from a place lacking intellectual curiosity is quite another as nothing is learned nor gained.
Since my first post questioning the voter turnout and other anomalies in Alaska's election, I've been accused of all sorts of things. I have been misquoted in the Anchorage Daily News. They claimed I wrote the election was "stolen." I wrote "Stolen Election in Alaska?" It wasn't the word, it was the punctuation.
But there is good reason to be concerned. A lawsuit filed in 2006 in State Superior Court to release the Diebold GEMS Software from 2004 revealed the database had been tampered with. Unfortunately, the user log-in and password were set to the default settings so it was impossible to tell who had edited the software numerous times post election, since all entries were made by "administrator" with password: "password". So it's not too outrageous for anybody to believe it's important, this time, to pay very close attention to the results of last Tuesday's election...
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