Wednesday, April 16, 2014

When Will Alison Grimes Declare 'Game On!' Against Mitch McConnell?

by Sunnyjane

Since you asked, Mitch:  Repealing the Second Amendment, Defending Obamacare, Ending the War on Clean Energy, and Protecting the Living. There.  How's that?
In about seven months, Americans will vote to keep or replace their congresspeople, all four hundred and thirty-five of them.  There are also thirty-three gubernatorial races and thirty-three senate races to be decided on November 4. Personally, with the 2012 general election, Virginia's gubernatorial election in 2013, and this year's election, I feel like all I do is vote

While the University of Virginia professor and director of its Center for Politics Larry Sabato dismisses the Kentucky senate race as hardly one worth watching -- he believes there's no way McConnell can lose -- there are plenty of others who disagree. 

Waaa...I Wanna be the Senate Majority Leader!

All right, Mitch, you had your fun, now let go.  Stop it!  I said, LET GO OF THE GUN!
Perhaps Grimes is waiting to see what happens in the Republican primary election in May between McConnell and his loudest opponent, Tea Party darling Matt Bevin before she starts fighting in earnest.  Bevin has support from all the right places (pun intended), including Jim DeMint's Senate Conservative Fund.  The McConnell campaign seems less than impressed by this support: Matt Bevin now has the dubious honor of standing with a self-serving D.C. fundraising group that made its name by recruiting and promoting unelectable candidates that ensured Barack Obama a majority in the Senate.  (Ouch!)  The Bevin-McConnell kerfuffle is more than just a newbie trying to oust a long-time senator: it's a battle between the Tea Party and the establishment Conservatives.  The Tea Party  big-wigs would support a maggot-infested Twinkie if they thought it would send another Ted Cruz/Rand Paul/Mike Lee, etc., to the Senate.

McConnell also faces the likelihood of being ousted from his Minority Leader position if the GOP does not win control of the Senate.  Even if they should somehow gain control, an even bigger threat is that he would not be allowed to become Majority Leader.  That would leave a bruise.  Mitch has a lot of issues facing him this election and his campaign is going to have to navigate each one of them.

So, Alison, time to get serious.  It's not like there's nothing in Mitch's legislative record to criticize.  And giving him a poke about how he holds a gun -- KY women do it better -- ain't gonna cut it.

Running in Place -- Backwards

OK, Turtle-head, which part of "paycheck fairness" don't you understand?  The "paycheck" part or the "fairness" part?

That Sen. McConnell is a leadership-weenie is hardly worth my typing that fact.  The Tea Partiers in the Senate ignore him, and he has little following from so-called regular conservatives.  He follows before he leads.

And such was the case with the Paycheck Fairness Act when he harrumphed that  At a time when the Obama economy is already hurting women so much, this legislation would double down on job loss, all while lining the pockets of trial lawyers. It's just another Democratic idea that threatens to hurt the very people that it claims to help.  This is, of course, so much bullshit balderdash.  President Obama did win the gender gap in 2012 by eighteen percentage points, after all, and has done everything allowed by law to make women's lives easier.  The same can hardly be said for the Tea Party Republicans.

We Can't Afford to Give Those Slackers More Money!

Yeah, so $4.9 trillion for real important stuff.  But the President is trying to bankrupt the country!
After trying -- but failing, fortunately -- to add an amendment to the unemployment benefits extension that would, ahem boost job growth by approving the Keystone XL pipeline, reducing taxes on small businesses, and eliminating the 30-hour workweek rule in Obamacare, the Senate passed the bill on April 7 and sent it to an empty House; they decided to go on vacation until April 28.  Great work if you can get it, I suppose, to do nothing while earning $174,000 a year.  Now, has it occurred to anyone on the Hill that this could have been done last December?  No, I suppose not.  They don't give a damn anyhow.  Makes you wonder if they understand that part of their mission as elected representatives of the people is to Promote the General Welfare.

Obamacare is a Disaster, Too Expensive, and Must be Repealed!

HUH?  You're telling me Obamacare is working?  Even in KENTUCKY?
Not only is the Affordable Care Act working -- yes, even in Kentucky -- it is becoming more, well, affordable.

The Tea Party-run GOP has been all over the place on the ACA.  Ted Cruz is beginning to sound like a badly stretched 8-track tape with his We'll repeal every word of Obamacare! mantra.  This, of course, is one of the brilliant people who said two years ago that Americans don't need health insurance because that's what Emergency Rooms are for.  Now, he's joining forces with those who are pushing the idea that ERs should turn away people without health insurance, but offers no solution as to how they would obtain that health insurance.  OK, I know this makes no sense, but indulge me: we're talking about the Tea Party here.

Alison Grimes has welcomed the support of former president Bill Clinton, who told Democrats back in March that they should not run away from Obamacare in the 2014 elections.  But even though Kentucky has signed up almost four hundred thousand of its citizens for the ACA,  Grimes seems bent on taking the advice of Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, who cautions: Don’t defend Obamacare.  Say it was flawed from the beginning, and we’re going to fix it.

If Alison Grimes cannot stand in front of her supporters and stick up for a program that has allowed four hundred thousand Kentuckians to be enrolled in the ACA and Medicaid, perhaps she shouldn't be running for the U.S. Senate after all.

Maybe she's seeking counsel from the horoscope column in her local newspaper.  I dunno.

Fortunately, There is GOOD News for Grimes

Just before publishing this post, there came late-breaking news that Grimes is taking in a good amount of money -- she's topping the Turtle -- through her grassroots campaign.  Looks like Kentuckians really do hate Mitch McConnell.

End Note


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

On Ukraine: The Gospel According to Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney

by Sunnyjane

 A Hymn to Her:  Mouth Almighty, Tongue Eternal
Hi ya, John!  I'll be able to see Putin rearin' his head in Ukraine some day!
Dear Quitter Half-Term Governor Palin:

Congratulations on proving once again that you can be wrong more often than a stopped clock.  That's quite an accomplishment, and one for which you should be commended.  Your heart-stopping prediction that Vladimir Putin would invade Ukraine if Barack Obama became president in 2008 turned out, typically, to be an abject FAILURE.  You made this statement when, in August of that election year, Putin took over Georgia.  And what did then-President George W. Bush do to combat that situation?  He went on a two-week vacation to Crawford, Texas, and cleared brush off his ranch, or something like that.  Did you mention that during the campaign?  No, I didn't think so.   But you insisted that Sen. Obama's indecision and moral equivalency would embolden Putin to try the same thing in Ukraine.  (Since moral equivalency makes no sense whatsoever, I'll help you out here: I'm pretty certain that you meant moral equivocation.  There, fixed it for ya.  You're welcome.)

In your characteristic frequently-wrong-but-never-in-doubt style, you took your I Told Ya So victory lap a tad prematurely on Facebook and Fraud News.  Instead of advocating a military solution to every regional ruckus in the world, the President has spent the first five years of his two terms (he was, you'll remember, reelected in 2012) building peaceful coalitions around the world, including NATO and the European Union.  As a result, he was able to quickly bring those parties together to sanction Putin -- and threaten more and tougher sanctions should that need arise.  Not a nuke was fired, there was no military intervention, no war, not even a squirmish, as you so astutely screeched. So much for that communications-journalism-just-showed-up-for-classes degree you claim.

Eleven days after President Obama initiated sanctions against Russia, Putin called him to ask for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis.  Sanctions, Sarah, get it?  Not one U.S. soldier had to deploy to a foreign country.  No one got wounded, maimed, or killed.  See how it works when you have an intelligent adult in the White House?

Can we hear some more about how President Obama is gutting our military?
When the foreign press calls you a traitor, Quitter, you know you've got problems.  Even Pravda can't stand you, as you may recall from late 2010: To attack the President of the country at a time when the USA needs to close ranks and stand together to consolidate the enormous strides President Obama’s intelligent and respectful approach has achieved in building bridges, when her party’s period in government bombed them, ...Sarah Palin comes across as a pitifully inadequate anachronism from the times of the Far West. 

So why don't you just stick to endorsing losers like the hog nut-cutter from Iowa.  Considering Ernst's record for not being present to vote in the state Senate, it seems to me that Iowa might be better off sending the ball-less swine to Washington.  He'd fit right in with his fellow Tea Party Republicans.

A Hymn to Him: Lord, Hear Me While I Bray

Romney:  What Bush did was the right thing for the country!
Dear Former Governor Never-Ever-going-to-be-president Romney:

Congratulations on possessing such an outstandingly negative sense of timing.  Combined with a decided lack of geopolitical savvy, a Romney presidency would have set this country back to the George W. Bush era, when he was the most unpopular president in modern history.  In 2012, two months before the election, your shoot-first/aim-later timing on the situation in Libya was so premature that President Obama had to rebuke you for not understanding how important it is to make sure the statements a president makes are backed up by the facts, and that he understands the consequences before he makes them.  You were running for his office and you didn't understand that?

So when the Ukraine situation came along, you obviously decided to take the President's schooling to heart; bad timing again.  On March 23, you appeared on Face the Nation and criticized President Obama for his naiveté in not understanding Putin's intentions regarding The Ukraine.  (Actually, that country has not been The Ukraine since 1991, when it declared its independence; do try to keep up.)  You also intimated that had Obama taken strong military action in Syria, Libya, and Crimea, the situation in Ukraine might not have happened, and further added that our international reputation was the worst it has ever been.  It took Sen. Dick Durbin to dispel you of that particular notion: Governor Romney's suffering from political amnesia. Does he remember the reaction of the rest of the world to our invasion of Iraq? The fact is that many of our stalwart allies of the past thought it was a terrible decision. What President Obama has done is restore working relationships.  You see, the President had been working to clean up the mess W made and as a result, NATO and the European Union were behind the President one hundred percent.  Oh, yeah, and the G8 is now the G7.

And then, in all your wisdom, you said that the President should use strong sanctions against Russia.  Well, you're still not in the game, Governor; the President did that on March 17.  And guess what?  Five days later, Putin called President Obama and asked for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine.  See, this is called being a 21st Century president.  George W. Bush didn't understand that either, and look where it got us.

I love firing people.  I love trees that are the right height.  I love pissing off the Brits.
Like Sarah Palin and John McCain, you haven't learned a damn thing about leadership -- or statesmanship -- since running for high office.  Your little trip abroad in 2012 should have taught you how unqualified you are to be President of the United States.

Hardly had the wheels of your airplane tucked themselves into their little hidey-hole when one of your advisers told a British newspaper reporter that Obama has not been an effective partner for Britain because he doesn’t “fully appreciate” America’s “Anglo-Saxon heritage."  What a stupid, racially provocative thing to say, especially since many Americans are not of Anglo-Saxon heritage.   Not to mention that President Obama has an excellent rapport with the U.K.

In London you managed to insult our closest ally by questioning their preparedness for the Olympics.  And you committed a major diplomatic faux pas by telling the press that you had met with the head of MI6.  This is simply not done in the UK, Mitt, and you should have known that.

It got worse -- if possible -- in Israel.  Even with Sheldon Adelson along to hold your hand, you managed to schedule a $50,000 per plate fundraiser on one of the holiest days in Israel, Tisha B'Av, a national day of fasting.  Then again, speaking to a group of donors, you managed to insult the Palestinians -- and further irritate the Israelis -- by saying that there was a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality between the Jewish state and the occupied territories because of their culture.

Finally getting that fiasco behind you, you went to Poland where one of your staff told a reporter to Kiss my ass.  Now I know it's sometimes difficult, especially after such an already awful trip, not to feel like telling someone to kiss my ass.  But in front of an international press corps?  Not too smart.

Oh, some worse news, Mitt:  Your test for Foot-In-Mouth Disease came back positive.  There's no cure.

End Note

Thursday, April 3, 2014

First court order in new custody case between Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin: None of Levi's motions have been dismissed, trial setting conference scheduled, evidentiary hearing required, court notes that "a best interest finding" in regard to their son Tripp has never been made in the past

Parental expert Bristol Palin: 
The custody trial she thought would never happen

By Patrick

Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston: The custody trial, part 2, is taking shape. While the new proceedings have been ignored by the media this time around, in sharp contrast to 2009/2010, when the media was all over it, we here at Politicalgates kept a watchful eye and published all the new exchanges between the attorneys. 

Levi's lawyer Darryl L. Thompson presented three new motions, and Bristol's lawyer John J. Tiemessen (who also is Sarah Palin's lawyer) responded to them, with both parties presenting new affidavits. We reported about the new proceedings in great detail and published all the documents HERE, HERE and HERE.

Being challenged with facts and hard-hitting legal arguments in court is obviously not the favourite activity of the Palin-camp, and that's probably why, in a rather bizarre move and apparent "pre-emptive strike", the Palin-camp in January this year leaked the false fact to the media that Levi "lost" the custody case - at a time when the newly opened case hadn't even begun.

But now things are under way, as they should be. Superior Court Judge Eric Smith scheduled a trial setting conference on May 2, 2014 and made clear in his new court order from March 31st, 2014 that all of Levi's motions have legal validity, but as the facts are disputed, an "evidentiary hearing" on all the issues is required.

A very inconvenient fact for Bristol Palin, explained at the end of the order: A "best interest finding" in regard to Tripp's custody has never been made in the previous custody trial! There is also another interesting, and rather inconvenient remark: "The court also notes that the parties entered into the stipulation nearly four years ago when the parties' son was one year old, and it appears that they have not adhered to the agreement since its inception."

Well, that's only too true, as Levi could call himself lucky if Bristol allowed him to Tripp.

For example, during the last six months, while Bristol was in Arizona, Levi hardly saw Tripp less than a handful of times.

In the voluntary stipulation from August 2010, it was agreed that Levi should get access to Tripp twice a week.

But the court now also notes: "The court never approved this agreement."

So from this new court order it is more than obvious that things will now start over again. At the end of the proceedings, there should be a solution that really is in the best interests of Tripp. This is all that matters.

Things are looking good for Levi, and this comes as no surprise. What did surprise us however is the fact that the media not only published false facts before the trial even begun, but that up until now, virtually keeps total silence about it.

Therefore, we will continue to keep a watchful eye on the proceedings.

Here is the new court order from March 31st, 2014:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ted Cruz publishes facebook poll, then unwillingly creates one of the most powerful "pro-Obamacare" messages ever, as Americans tell Ted Cruz what they really think!

By Patrick

Notable political rascal Senator Ted Cruz, who himself receives luxury health insurance through Goldman Sachs, recently had a great idea for using the power of Facebook for political gain. Ted Cruz, who is famous not only for causing the $ 23 billion dollar shutdown, but also for his extremist father Rafael Cruz, on March 24 posted on facebook a simple question to his audience, writing:

"Quick poll: Obamacare was signed into law four years ago yesterday. Are you better off now than you were then? Comment with YES or NO!"

The Senator from Texas, who just recently declared that "Obamacare", the Affordable Care Act, is the "the most unpopular law in the country" and that Republicans still have a chance to repeal “every single word” of Obamacare, apparently believes his own propaganda and also seriously thinks that Americans believe what he believes.

But Ted Cruz was proven wrong.

In one of the most memorable political facebook moments ever, Ted Cruz received a clear overwhelming response from many American people, who said:


He received more than 40.000 responses to his question, and I don't think that this number includes all the numerous, individual replies to these responses.

A look at the "top comments" reveals a general picture that Ted Cruz surely didn't expect. Yes, "Obamacare" is actually very, very popular, and many people are very thankful for this first step in helping to solve healthcare issues in the USA.

At least Cruz does not censor his facebook page like his close friend Sarah Palin has already done for years, but she might now fell compelled to give him some advice, you never know! :-)

Here are the first 49 "top comments", the screenshots were only taken a few minutes ago, for your viewing pleasure. The people have spoken, loud and clear, and Democrats should stop being insecure about the ACA. Yes, citizens want decent healthcare, and they also want Ted Cruz to shove off:

Trying to please his teabagging fans, Ted Cruz instead inspired a powerful response PRO Obamacare.

See also the earlier, very good report at "Addicting Info."

Thank you, Ted, for being so foolish, and thank you, Americans, for being so outspoken!



In a new advert, Ted Cruz also says that he wants to "abolish the IRS."

Demagoguery at its finest.

Hail Anarchy!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Female Republicans Wage Paycheck Fairness War on Their Own Gender

by Sunnyjane

Three-fourths of a penny for your thoughts.

On January 29, 2009, newly inaugurated President Barack Obama signed into law the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  Fast forward to 2012: When Mitt Romney was supposed to ensure that Obama became a one-term president, his campaign staff was asked if their candidate supported the Lily Ledbetter Act.  Now it's not as if these fools had been asked to find the length of the hypotenuse in a right triangle using the Pythagorean theorem.  It was a simple Yes or No question.  But, living up to very low expectations, a rather lengthy silence ensued before they finally responded, Um...we'll get back to you on that.  (Note: Romney refused throughout the campaign to answer that question, even after Ann assured the ladies at the Clint-Eastwood-infested convention that We love you women!)

It should come as no astounding revelation that Republican men in the House and Senate have historically voted against any legislation that would ensure income equality for women, regardless of how badly they need that particular demographic at election time.  But in the time-honored conservative manner of allowing the males to run the show, the female lawmakers (and I use that term loosely) have also refused to allow their own gender adequate protections to ensure that they receive equal pay for equal work.  'Tis a head-scratcher, but I assure you that the ladies have some excellent reasons.  Susan Collins believes that the Paycheck Fairness Act could impose a real burden on small businesses due to excessive litigation that might occur.  (Memo to Sen. Collins: There would be no litigation if small businesses were paying equal salaries for equal work.)  Never one to hide her ignorance by keeping her mouth tightly shut, good old North Carolina Rep. Virginia Jared-Loughner-was-a-liberal-communist Foxx thought the Act was a liberal plot to strengthen Democrats' accusations that Republicans are anti-women.  Well if the shoe fits, honey, just go on and hit yourself upside the head with it. (Memo to Rep. Foxx:  You're as stupid as the Wingnut from Wasilla.)  There are some folks who are hoping that Ms. Foxx will run against Kay Hagen for the Senate.  I hope so, too; it's the last we would see of Foxxy. 

Last June, Tennessee Congressman (yes, she insists on being addressed as congressman) Marsha Blackburn appeared on Meet the Press.   When asked about her vote against the Paycheck Fairness Act, she responded in word-salady language that women don't want equal pay laws, they just want to be recognized as having gotten the job because they were the most qualified.  Or something like that.  Of course, it never occurred to David Gregory -- or any of the other men on the roundtable -- to ask the Congressman a rather relevant question:  So, Congressman Blackburn, are you saying you would be perfectly satisfied if you were being paid $40,000 less than your male counterparts in the House of Representatives? This same question should be asked of every female who votes against paycheck equality.  The sound of silence would be deafening.

That was 2013.  What are Republican women doing now to advance the cause of equal pay for women?

Oh, Stop Your Silly Whinging, Ladies

Making twenty-three cents on a dollar less than a man might not seem like a big deal to Republican women, until they start realizing that over a forty-year career, they could be cheated out of almost half-a-million dollars.  That not only hurts their current quality of life, but it dramatically affects their Social Security and any pension fund plans they may have.  This sort of ignorant defiance is akin to purposely shooting yourself in the foot and claiming Stand Your Ground defense when asked why you did such a stupid thing.  (Think about it.)

According to one state representative, Minnesota women are whiners for wanting laws to protect them against income equality.  This whining absolutely disgusts Rep. Andrea Kieffer because -- wait for it -- ...these bills are putting us backwards in time. We are losing the respect that we so dearly want in the workplace by bringing up all these special bills for women.  

Uh huh.  Well, who would have ever guessed that a law requiring that women be paid the same salary as men for the same work would be putting them backwards in time and causing them to lose respect?  Whose respect might that be, Rep. Kieffer?  Yeah, that's what I thought -- the respect of the same men who advocate paying a woman less because, after all, she's just a woman.  Makes perfect sense.  New hash tag:  #Makes Perfect Sense if You're a Republican.

Dysfunction Junction Deep in the Heart of Texas

Q: How many Republican women in Texas does it take to change a light bulb?  A: None; they're too busy still making candles for the men folk.

Or so we've been led to understand.  The executive editor of Red State Women -- which has just started a PAC for Greg Abbott, by the way -- said recently that while Texas women certainly want and deserve equal pay, the Lily Ledbetter Act was not the answer to the situation.  But when asked by the interviewer what would resolve paycheck inequality, she was at a loss.  Thus, Ms. Cari Christman decided it was because women are too busy to worry about equal pay laws: If you look at it, women are… extremely busy, we lead busy lives.  And times are extremely busy. It’s just — it’s a busy cycle for women, and we’ve got a lot to juggle.  #Makes Perfect Sense if You're a Republican. 

Then cometh the executive director of the Texas Republican Party to chide women for trying to seek their silly little paycheck justice through the courts and simply become better negotiators#Makes Perfect Sense if You're a Republican.

Fortunately, Wendy Davis was having none of it, and snapped back at this lunacy, and pretty much told Greg Abbott to come out from behind the skirts of his staff and surrogates and speak for himself on the issue of paycheck equality.  It hasn't happened yet! 

End Note


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Meet Sarah Palin's new boss - Major Democratic donor and business tycoon Leo Hindery Jr. - The surprising connections in America's media industry - UPDATES: The announcement of Sarah Palin's show causes havoc on facebook at "Guns & Ammo"

This man, Leo Hindery Jr., seems nice and supports Barack Obama and the Democrats - 
and he is now ultimately Sarah Palin's new boss

By Patrick

We have great news for Sarah Palin: If her upcoming, already widely ridiculed new show on the "Sportsman Channel" fails ("Jackass for Conservatives"), she could blame it on the Democrats. How fantastic is that! We are sure Sarah will be thrilled. After all, the right-wing nutjobs love nothing more a good conspiracy explaining how "Obama-evil-muslim-Kenyan-socialist" and his minions want to take over the universe and destroy Sarah Palin.

Kathleen and I today wondered who really is "in charge" of Sarah Palin's new employer, Sportsman Channel, who really is running the show, so to speak. Coming from an European perspective, we are used to the fact that the media world is broadly divided into "liberal" and "conservative" organizations. On the "liberal" side, there is for example the German media giant Bertelsmann who is also active on the US-market via the publisher Random House.

In the USA however, the situation is much more complicated. Despite the myth that there is a "liberal" media existing in the USA, also widely supported by Sarah Palin herself through her "lamestream media" claims, the truth is far more complex. Just yesterday, "Buzzfeed" published an article about the fact the mainstream ("liberal") media years ago discovered right-wing authors as a good source for profit. Apparently, there is not much money to earn these days through the sale of books - however, in the recent past, "liberal" media organizations in the USA had no hesitation to sign up right-wingers, putting profits over politics, as Buzzfeed explains:

The conservative book business has seen better days. Ten years ago, the genre was a major source of intellectual energy on the right, and the site of a publishing boom, with conservative imprints popping up at industry giants like Random House and Penguin. But after a decade of disruption, uneven sales, and fierce competition, many leading figures in the conservative literati fear the market has devolved into an echo of cable news, where an overcrowded field of preachers feverishly contends for the attention of the same choir.


The challenges afflicting the market are varied, but in interviews with BuzzFeed, several editors, agents, and executives faulted the same trend they were celebrating in 2003, when mainstream publishers began elevating conservative editors, like Adam Bellow and Adrian Zackheim, and luring high-profile Republican figures like consultant Mary Matalin into the book business. At the time, many on the right welcomed this development as the sort of victory that had eluded them in Hollywood, academia, and the mainstream press — a mass influx of conservatives that would wrest the industry from the hands of liberal elites, and work to reverse the tide of the culture wars.

The gutting of the conservative book market could mark the end of a cycle that began in the summer of 1987, when a roomful of bemused Manhattan publishing types gathered at the offices of Simon & Schuster to toast Bloom, a University of Chicago philosopher whose new book, The Closing of the American Mind, condemned the American higher education system for having “impoverished the souls” of its students. The volume had become a surprise mega-hit, eventually selling more than a million copies by channeling a popular sentiment on the American right that few in the literary class could relate to.

Roger Kimball, a conservative critic present at the party, recalled meeting Simon & Schuster publisher Joni Evans. Kimball said Evans was “pleased as punch” to have a runaway bestseller on her hands, but seemed perplexed by the book’s success. “It was clear she had never opened the book,” he said. “She had no idea what was in it.”

Books might be dead, as Buzzfeed believes, but cable TV, internet and social media are flourishing, and the same hard core right-wing audience still promises to deliver big profits. They love God and Guns and they ardently hate liberals - and they have lots of dollars to spend.

So who really runs the show at "Sportsman Channel", Sarah Palin's new employer? We searched, and the final results were rather surprising. The owner of Sportsman Channel is the "InterMedia Outdoor Holdings, Inc.", which also owns no less than 17 hunting, fishing and shooting magazines ("Guns & Ammo", "Gun Dog", "Handguns", "Petersen's Hunting", "Rifle Shooter" etc.). This company therefore has the right-wing audience squarely in its sights, and it comes as no big surprise that they signed up Sarah Palin, the infamous right-wing starlet.

However, the connections in the background are still incredibly interesting, and also shine more light on the structures of the American media industry.

Let's take a look first at the people who are in charge of the operations at Sportsman Channel, and who are the producers of Sarah Palin's show. These people are not difficult to find, as they recently proudly posed with Sarah Palin:

Gavin Harvey, CEO:

He presents himself as a big hunter and clearly knows his audience ("community of opt-in true believers"), and he can look back at a long career of executive media positions. He also appears to have excellent connections to cable giant "Comcast."

Craig Piligian, executive producer of Sarah Palin's show:

Craig Piligian is the President and CEO of "Pilgrims Film & Television", a company which describes itself as "A National Treasure", and they now proudly present Sarah Palin's show as part of their portfolio:

What is really interesting is the fact that in 2012, Craig Piligian was voted by "The Hollywood Reporter" to be the "18th most powerful person" in reality TV. Never say that Sarah Palin doesn't have influential friends any more, because that's clearly not the case.

Funnily, Craig Piligian also has no hesitation to "hang out" with Sarah Palin's archnemesis Kathy Griffin. It's Hollywood, after all! I guess somebody should explain to him that Sarah Palin neatly divides everything which is alive on this planet in friend and foe, and that she is very serious about it (h/t HopeforAmerica):

However, the real surprise is the business connection behind the owner of Sportsman Channel, the already mentioned "InterMedia Outdoor Holdings, Inc." Who is in charge there? The company is owned by the "InterMedia Advisors, LLC", also known as "InterMedia Partners", a private equity investment firm.

Wikipedia explains:

The firm, which was founded in 2005 by notable private equity investor Leo Hindery, is based on the 48th floor of the Chrysler Building in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Among the firm's most notable investments are Thomas Nelson, Universal Sports, Control Room, Aspire, BlackBook Media, @Home Network, InterMedia Outdoors, Sportsman Channel, Cinelatino, Soul Train Holdings,Vibe Lifestyle Network, Up, and Puerto Rican station WAPA-TV.

But that's not everything. The real surprise is the fact that the Managing Partner of the company, business tycoon Leo Hindery Jr. is a major Democratic supporter, and he also is a close friend to Tom Daschle, who is an advisor for the company. Wikipedia notes about his political views:

In 2004, his name was floated as a possible successor to Terry McAuliffe as head of the Democratic National Committee.

Hindery served as Senior Economic Policy Advisor for presidential candidate John Edwards from December 2006 until February 2008. He is currently acting as an economic advisor to Barack Obama. On the withdrawal of Bill Richardson as nominee for Secretary of Commerce on January 4, 2009 it was suggested that he might be a suitable replacement.

On January 30, 2009, it was reported that Hindery's friendship and business partnership with former senator Tom Daschle might cause problems for the latter's Senate confirmation for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration. Daschle has been a consultant and advisor to Hindery's InterMedia Partners since 2005, during which time he received from Hindery access to a car and chauffeur. Daschle did not declare this service on his annual tax forms as required by law. (He reportedly paid the three years of owed taxes and interest in January 2009.) According to a Daschle spokeswoman, the former Senator "simply and probably naively considered its use a generous offer" from Hindery, "a longtime friend. On February 3, 2009 Daschle withdrew his nomination.

Interestingly, the right-wingers also quite recently discovered Leo Hindery's deep involvement in  "pro-gun" magazines and TV-channels, and the Daily Caller in an article from February 2013 seriously claimed that Hindery is "in the process of consolidating all of America’s leading gun-culture media outlets and stripping them down to virtual destruction." Did I already mention that right-wingers love nothing more than outlandish conspiracy theories...?


Employees of Obama donor Leo Hindery Jr.’s media conglomerate Intermedia Partners, which now owns most of the top gun-culture media outlets in the country, believe that Hindery plans to gut and destroy all of them as part of a business plan that has already led to numerous layoffs and the virtual shuttering of prominent television production facilities in Minnesota and Montana.

Hindery, who was in consideration to be President Barack Obama’s secretary of commerce, is managing partner of Intermedia Partners. The New York-based media private equity fund owns Intermedia Outdoor Holdings, which publishes 17 hunting, fishing, and shooting magazines, including Guns & Ammo, Handguns, Gun Dog, Rifle Shooter and Shooting Times.

InterMedia Outdoor Holdings purchased the pro-gun hunting and fishing network the Sportsman Channel in 2007, and is now in the process of acquiring the Outdoor Channel, pending the federal government’s approval of last month’s merger between InterMedia Outdoors and Outdoor Channel Holdings.

InterMedia employees believe that Hindery, a Huffington Post blogger who has contributed to numerous Democratic politicians including Andrew Cuomo and Elizabeth Warren, is in the process of consolidating all of America’s leading gun-culture media outlets and stripping them down to virtual destruction.

Leo Hindery Jr. is very outspoken about his political views, he is not hiding in the background. He is a blogger at Huffington Post, and he is actively involved in political discussions. His portfolio of posts at Huffington Post shows his profoundly Democratic views - excerpt:

Just a month ago, he was also named as one of five "business tycoons who want to close the wealth gap", next to other prolific multi-millionaires like Warren Buffet and Nick Hanauer.

Deseret News reported:


Leo Hindery Jr., the New York City media and investing mogul, is one of hundreds of wealthy people directly asking Congress to raise their taxes as a member of Patriotic Millionaires. The group was formed in 2010 to advocate for the end of Bush-era tax cuts for people making more than $1 million a year. Hindery is also a member of Smart Capitalists for American Prosperity, and he was among a group of entrepreneurs who went door-to-door in the halls of Congress in early February asking for a higher minimum wage.

A managing partner of the media industry private equity fund InterMedia Partners, Hindery was previously chief executive of AT&T Broadband and of the YES Network, the cable channel of the Yankees. He says he's turned down raises to ensure that he never makes more than 20 times the salary of his employees. He is also one of the biggest Democratic fundraisers in the nation.

The 66-year-old argues that giving rich people tax breaks makes no economic sense because people like him don't put their extra dollars back into the economy.

"Do you think I don't own every piece of clothing, every automobile? I already have it. You spend money. Rich people just get richer," he told the AP.

Hindery credits his Jesuit upbringing with giving him the tools to look beyond his own economic advantages.

"How can we believe in the American dream when 10 percent of the people have half the nation's income? It's immoral, I think it's unethical, but I also think that it's bad economics," Hindery said. "The only people who can take exception to this argument are people who want to get super rich and don't care what happens to the nation as a whole."

The USA could surely need more people like Leo Hindery Jr., and one can safely conclude: He seems nice.

At the same time, we also have to note that he manages the investment company which controls Sarah Palin's new employer, Sportsman Channel - and that his investment company purposely, with a broad range of magazines and TV-shows, targets a clearly defined right-wing audience.

What should we make of all that? As described above, it already seems to be an established mainstream media strategy to target the right-wingers, in order to generate profits from them. In the end, this is money before politics. This strategy once popularized right-wing demagogues like Ann Coulter, and now a highly controversial figure like Sarah Palin seems to be good enough to create revenues. But what about the moral side? Should there be moral considerations as well, or is it all just "business"?

There is another thought: Now that a lot of powerful people (not even counting Fox News!) have a real interest in Sarah Palin's "success", does this mean that critical mainstream articles about Sarah Palin are a thing of the past? I believe that this is a valid question, and yes, Sarah Palin already was treated with kid-gloves by large parts of the mainstream in the past. It was brave people like Joe McGinniss, Geoffrey Dunn, Andrew Sullivan and a few others who showed the world the "real" Sarah Palin, and they have been harshly criticized for their efforts. The mainstream largely kept quiet after the 2008 election, with just a few exceptions like the article by Michael J. Gross in Vanity Fair from October 2010.

But isn't it just wonderful for Sarah Palin: If her endeavour fails, she can always blame her political enemy, LOL! And judging the hilarious "over-the-top" marketing by the Sportsman Channel, failure is virtually guaranteed.

Yesterday it was reported that Sarah Palin will have a co-host, Mark Christopher Lawrence, and a pro-Palin blog reported that there will even be a second co-host, Jerry Carroll.

Interestingly both co-hosts are comedians. That is rather telling, is it not.

Mark Christopher Lawrence

Also, the pro-Palin people posted more over-the-top marketing which comes actually close to parody, and they love it, needless to say:

So good luck, everyone! Hopefully the profits of the series will go directly to Democratic candidates. Wouldn't that be sweet? Still, I wish that intelligent people would stop trying to earn money with dangerous right-wing nonsense, in a country in which gun-culture is on the rise and is responsible for thousands of tragic deaths every year.



There are even three-co hosts!

Benny Spies announced at his facebook that he will also appear in the show. His fans are not exactly pleased! The comments are stinging (h/t mealewis):



More fun! Sarah Palin also caused havoc on the facebook page of "Guns & Ammo." Note: Not every gun enthusiast loves Sarah Palin. Many don't like her at all. Her poisonous influence always works wonders (h/t Myrtille2).

Some screenshots:

NOTE: "Shelly Dankert", the pro-Palin commenter in the above screenshots became a little internet celebrity after she posted an epic, unhinged rant in 2012 on youtube, slamming her right-wing friends for not "sharing" her videos, and therefore causing Barack Obama to get re-elected. Gawker had a field day with this back then. This clip really has to be seen to be believed. Shelly Dankert was one of the founders of the "Sarah Palin earthquake movement" in 2011, urging Sarah Palin to run for president.