Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Breaking Sarah Palin Cancels Iowa Tea Party Talk. Sarah To Speak At New Hampshire Tea Party Express On Labor Day. Freedom Works To Protest Mitt Romney

By Kathleen

Graphic by Daryl Cole MSNBC

UPDATE: hat tip to Adrian.

It seems according to Scott Conroy that Sarah Palin will no longer address the Tea Party of America rally on Saturday.

Retweeted by and 22 others

Is Palin annoyed that Christine O'Donnell has been reinvited -- is there room for only one diva at a time? Did the revelations at Mudflats cause another meltdown? Has news been leaked regarding the contents of Joe McGinniss's book, The Rogue? Maybe Levi has the goods?

Scott says that there is more information to come and that Palin will still be in Indianola, Iowa whether she participates in the rally or not.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Palinbots: We keep telling you that she does not care one little bit about you. How many of you booked hotels and flights to see Palin at the event? It is quite clear that she just does not give a hoot about any of you.

Thanks to everyone who has emailed me about this. A big hat tip to you all.



Now the suggestion is that Sarah will appear after all. What a mess. Not that we should be surprised when there are so many thin skins involved.

No doubt she will blame it all on the impulsive media. The wait until I say it myself excuse.....



This is delicious:

Tea Party of America pres. tells “I had to cancel O’Donnell” & am hopeful Palin will now be at the event; will know for sure soon

Someone please give that tea party guy a medal! Palin may well cancel now.


Sarah Palin will address a second Tea Party crowd in the major early primary state of New Hampshire on Labor Day.

The announcement that Palin will make "brief remarks" to the rally on Monday came hours after reports that Romney has rearranged his schedule to enable him to attend an event in South Carolina hosted by South Carolina's junior senator, Jim DeMint on Labor Day.

It would seem from his sudden change of heart that Romney may be a little concerned at the poll numbers that Rick Perry has recently produced. Especially those placing Perry in front of Romney.

The debate will give Romney and the other contenders the opportunity to answer questions in depth and at length from a three man panel which will consist of US Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Representative Steve King (R-IA) and Dr. Robert P George Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. All of whom have strong right wing views.

Anyone wondering whether Romney will shift even further right should catch a clue from his answers on Monday. The debate should also allow Romney the chance to pitch his views against Perry's, even if they are not up face to face.

In addition, Romney's appearance on Sunday at an event organised by the Tea Party Express in Rollins Park, Concord, New Hampshire is to be met by a protest from the group Freedom Works. Freedom Works is unhappy that Romney has been given a platform to speak by the Tea Party Express as it considers that it has to "defend our brand against poseurs." Freedom Works was previously affiliated with the Tea Party Express and will now end its participation of the present tour.

As for Palin's "brief hello" in New Hampshire, is this further proof that she really is considering a run? The results of the New Hampshire delegate selection primaries have often shaped the direction in which other State primaries follow, therefore New Hampshire is a state where Palin needs to make an impact if she does intend to run. The tentative date for the New Hampshire primary is Tuesday 24th January, 2012, though this may change.

The clock is ticking Sarah.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sarah Palin And The Presidency

By Kathleen

Yesterday, in an interview with Washington Street Journal editor Jason Riley, National Review correspondent Robert Costa discussed Sarah Palin and the likeliehood that she would jump into the 2012 Presidential race. They both agree that Palin has been teasing long enough but they are not sure when it will end. Costa believes that it could end this weekend in Iowa.

Assuming that Palin does jump in Costa thinks that while she may shake up the field he doesn't think that she improves the current field because the block that she represents, such as the tea party and evangelicals, already have numerous candidates like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and others who have already made an impression in the polls. Riley observes that if Palin enters then the right wing vote could be split leaving the field open for Mitt Romney.

Both Riley and Costa say that Perry is more concerned than any one else about Palin entering the race because they have been political allies in the past and have a similar political perspective therefore each of them appeals to a similar demographic voter. Palin would have the advantage of jumping in after Perry and even though his poll numbers are quite high at the moment this could change with the entry of a new face on the scene. Costa makes the point that if Perry's rating could jump so quickly then so possibly could Palin's. Bachmann's poll figures were also high immediately following her entry into the foray.

All eyes will be on Iowa this weekend and whilst I think that she will jump in all guns a blazing and barrels pointed towards President Obama she will stop short of announcing her entry until nearer the end of September/beginning of October. If she announces during her speech in Iowa I will be surprised.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Why When Sarah Says Vote For Anyone But Obama It Is Yet Another Display Of Her Willful Ignorance Of American History.

Guest Post By Dusty

The very first United States Presidential election was held in 1789 after the ratification of the US Constitution in 1788.

There was only 13 States at this time and 3 States did not cast any votes, North Carolina, Rhode Island and New York. With a few exceptions only white men with property could cast a vote.

Columbus discovered America in 1492 and 298 years later in 1790 the US passes it first naturalization law, which ties the right to vote to citizenship status, to grant citizenship to white men and some woman who had lived in the US for 2 years or more. Then in 1798 the law is changed to increase the time to 14 years before an immigrant could become a citizen and earn the right to vote. The law was rewritten to try and control the activities of foreigners before an impending war but in reality it was a law aimed directly at the Irish and French immigrants.

15 years later in 1804 the 12th Amendment was ratified which required each voter to select a President and a Vice President together. The United States now has 17 States. It took another 16 years in 1820, before the property laws were repealed but a white male still had to pay a poll tax or be able to read and pass a religious test. Then an additional 20 years later in 1840, the poll tax, literacy taxes and religious tests were repealed but still only white men can vote. The United States now has 26 States.

We are now up to 1870- 61 years after democracy has come to the United States when the 15th Amendment was passed giving black males the right to vote 5 years after slavery was abolished in 1865. The United States now has 37 States.

In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for the Telephone. In 1879 Electricity was invented and between the years 1880-1890 it became widely available along with the telephone. World War 1 began in 1917.

Then 50 years later in 1920 women are finally given full rights to vote the same year that Radio stations began broadcasting. The United States now has 48 States.

Then in 1924 Native Americans are permitted citizenship but still aren’t allowed to vote. Hard to believe isn’t it they were born here but not given citizenship until 1924 but still not allowed to vote? The Emergency Delivery of the Diphtheria Serum to Nome AK via dog sled happened in 1925. The Second World War would begin Dec. 7, 1941.

In 1943 Chinese immigrants are eligible for citizenship 83 years after they helped build the Transcontinental Railroad. 1946 Filipino are granted the right to citizenship and in 1952 first generation Japanese immigrants can become citizens. While it wasn’t until 1948 that regular commercial television would gain popularity in the United States. The Korean War began in 1950 and would not end until 1953. In 1959 the United States is up to 50 States with Alaska and Hawaii the last to join and the Vietnam War has begun and will not end until 1973.

Finally in 1965 the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is enacted to ban literacy tests in the Deep South. I find it ironic that this bill was written for those in the Deep South but was also aimed at Alaska which had only became a State 6 years prior. It takes 5 more years to ban the literacy test in 20 more States and then in 1971 the 26th Amendment is passed giving voting right to 18 yr. olds.

Why the history lesson you may ask? Take a good look at the dates above, it took 172 years for the United States to recognize all its citizens and give them voting rights without poll taxes, literacy tests and religious tests. The people of the United States had electricity and telephones before women were granted full rights to vote. I’ll repeat that, it took 172 years for democracy to be applied to all the people who lived in the United States with no regard to race, religion, sex or creed. 172 years! I am appalled that a country that was discovered by immigrants and built by immigrants would turn around and pass laws that impacted those who followed after them and those who were here before them.

The first time I had seen or heard the phrase Vote for Anyone but… was in 2010 while I was traveling in Nevada.

I had posted this comment at Palingates that night:

This week I have been traveling through Nevada. I am seeing signs that say Vote for anyone but Reid. I asked a person who lives in Nevada what those signs are all about and I got a very interesting response. This person said those sign are due to Harry R's being a Mormon and due to how long he has been in office. Since this person was willing to talk I asked about thoughts were about Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle running against Harry R. This is where it gets downright amazing.

This person claims to have much respect for Harry R but will not vote for him or support him in public. Re: Sharron Angle who is running against him- doesn't care that she wants to privatize SS nor is a total idiot.

This person said they voted for McCain/Palin for 1 reason only- Voted Repub out of respect for a former employer who was a lifelong die hard Republican. No other reason...even though there was great concern regarding his health and her obvious lack of noticeable skills.

Then a fear of Pres. Obama was mentioned and how they have noticed that bi-racial folks in their area are now acting all big and bad now that Obama is in office. I was stunned. I asked how is this Pres.O's fault. He is not responsible for individual's manners. Next mentioned was how Pres.O hasn't done anything and how he is leading this country down the tubes. I asked if ever watched Rachel M. To which I got a very firm NO! I replied that is too bad as she just did a segment that listed all his many accomplishments so far.

Keep in mind Harry Reid has always been a member of the Mormon faith and he was easily reelected in 2004. But in just six short years there were people in Nevada advocating to their neighbors to vote for anyone but Harry Reid due to his lifelong religious beliefs and time in office for a person who wanted to privatize Social Security and basically shut down government. They weren’t concerned that their vote would impact the entire Nation not just Nevada.

Fast forward to 2011 and now Sarah Palin is quoted as saying she will vote for anybody but Obama. The media once again gave her a pass on this oh so immature comment but you don’t have to. American history is not one of Sarah’s strengths but wouldn’t you think that a person who wants to have any influence in American politics would have studied our history enough to realize that the right to cast a vote in a United States election was not granted to everyone in 1798.

Who you choose to vote for is your business but when you voice your opinion or attempt to influence other’s opinion as Sarah Palin does, then just maybe you need to review the history of this nation and understand that others fought so that you would have the right to vote and it took 172 years before everyone in this county was granted the right to vote. Your vote does matter and in a national race your vote impacts the entire nation and yes sometimes more often than not it seems like the choice is the lesser of two evils.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekly Roundup, August 22-28, 2011

By Blueberry T

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Who is Behind the Tea Party of America?

EbbtideMB led a team of our intrepid readers in trying to uncover the roots of the Tea Party of America, which is organizing Sarah Palin’s September 3rd gig in Iowa. Ebbtide reviews the “four horsemen” and finds several had close relationships with other campaigns. So, to recap Teaparty of America—one of the co-founders was already a big Teaparty name in Iowa, and was working for Herman Cain when he got involved. One had been a big player for Huckabee in 2008, then worked for Cain, then Pawlenty and now found it easy to get Sarah to participate in their little event. This for a group that just started a few months ago. Something just doesn’t seem right. Any thoughts?” Can I say how much I love it when our readers get going on a subject like this, and all help out uncovering what is going on… it’s one of the great things about Politicalgates – great teamwork!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is Romney a Closet Environmentalist?

Mitt Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts was surprisingly “green,” at least for the first two years of his term. His appointees to the leadership positions in state government were by far the best in the past two decades, and his Administration took on some challenging issues that had been ignored or defied resolution for years. His managerial style was very focused and goal-oriented. He was also open to innovative approaches. As time went on, as with other issues, his tone shifted as his presidential aspirations became more overt and he began pandering to the conservative wing of the Republican party. As several readers noted, it’s too bad that being reasonable is a liability if you are running in the GOP.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Karl Rove Interview -- Unedited

Fascinating. Patrick and Kathleen found that Fox News had cut out much of the interview that Greta Van Susteren did with Karl Rove. Rove repeatedly criticized Palin’s thin skin, pointed out that she could end speculation about whether she is running or not by announcing her intentions, and commented on how weird it is for her to focus so much attention on Iowa, if she is not trying to garner attention about a possible candidacy. Fox News cut off the second half of the interview, in which GVS tries in vain to steer Rove to criticize the media’s fascination with Palin, and he doesn’t take the bait, instead focusing on Palin’s confusing signals and thin skin. And in case you missed it, he thinks her thin skin will be a liability in a presidential campaign. Much as I hate to agree with Rove, he is right on this, and he would know. If she thinks she’s being attacked now, just wait.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Those of us on the East Coast had more important things to think about than Sarah Palin this week, what with the earthquake on Tuesday and then Hurricane Irene bearing down on us. Patrick put together a great set of resources to track the storm – as good as anywhere on the web. It is great to see how our readers help and watch out for each other! I’m going to bump Dusty17’s perfect comment up here: I think Irene was misnamed. She should have been called Sarah. Same impact, same destructive path, full of wind with no positive outcome.”

Some Comments and Links (very few this week as my real life intervened):

Smoked_Salmon: Maybe more and more people every day are deciding they don't want to support someone who doesn't even know what their correct shoe size is.

CaliGirl22 made a good point: Anyone think it is very strange that Palin is in another court battle with a teenager? How many other politicians have had detailed legal battles with teens? Something is very weird? Everything about Palin is weird.

Conscious at Last! (on Ebbtide’s post): This is an important post. Despite all the sound and fury, the Tea Party is not as cohesive as we might think. It is partially a media creation (Fox), partly a bought and paid for astro-turf front($$Koch Bros, Dick Armey etc.) and partly the release valve for unexamined anger and other emotions. There are also entrepreneurial elements trying to make money on the name and concept-- just as individual street peddlers sell flags at parades. When we break it down like this, it becomes a lot less frightening and a lot more understandable.

SCmommy Stolen, but I wish I'd written it: "Due to the unusual severity of the quake that hit DC, the GOP representatives in the House called an emergency session and adopted a bill to rename the fault that runs under the Capital. It will now be known as Obama's Fault."

Sunnyjane cracked us up when she decided not to color her hair: Nope. I've decided I'm going to "Pray Away the Gray."

Leadfoot_LA pointed out 24 policies that Republicans were for before they were against.

Cheeriogirl linked to this on Grover Norquist.

ProChoiceGrandma let us know of more GOP Congressmen using intimidation tactics against those who dare to question them.

Older_Wiser and others found that the Republicans are politicizing the disaster response; here is one example.

Smoked_Salmon Shocker: Anti-Gay GOP State Senator Caught With His Pics on Gay Hook Up Site! [To which Marieke02 replied: Are there any straight male Republican politicians?]

Let's end with Azure Ghost's new, brilliant poster, inspired by Sunnyjane.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Don't brace yourself for Sarah, brace yourself for Irene - Maps with path of the hurricane, video clip from space, special hurricane twitter tracker

By Patrick

Sarah may have decided that she doesn't want to play with the big boys yet, but Irene apparently wants to leave a really big impression, without much delay. So what does the situation look like right now?

Below are a few of the latest images (click on all pictures in the post to enlarge).

This satellite picture was taken just about an hour ago, at 16.32 EST:

Click HERE for the latest satellite picture, provided by NASA.

This is one of the latest pieces of information from the National Hurricane Center:

Almost the complete East Coast could be affected:

However, the detailed forecast provides a glimmer of hope - it seems relatively unlikely right now that Irene will develop into a category 2 hurricane - however, the probability for a category 1 hurrican seems to be quite large:

The team at Politicalgates hopes that you all will be fine and that nothing serious will happen in the end. I myself have never experienced a hurricane, so I really have no idea how much damage a category 1 hurricane could cause for example in a large city. From what I have heard, the cities at the East coast are in general not as well prepared for hurricanes as for example the cities in Florida. But hopefully, with all possible precautions and some luck, it won't be so bad in the end.

We have a lot of readers in the affected areas, so please keep each other updated in the comments. Our thoughts are with you, even from 10.000 miles away.



I just saw in the comments of our last post that our reader marieke02 linked to two excellent hurricane tracking maps, which are constantly being updated.

It seems at the moment that the hurricane will cross right through the entire East coast!

That's doesn't look very pretty. Take care, everybody.



Please note that the Weather Channel has a very good interactive radar of hurricane Irene!

EDIT: Here is another radar map, which I think is even better, as it's faster moving.



I just read an article at the major German news website "Spiegel Online" about hurricane Irene. They write that although nobody can predict how it will turn out in the end, the outlook especially for a city like New York is just frightening.

Translated excerpt:

According to the "New York Times", a category two hurricane could be enough to cause damage in New York of approximately $ 100 billion. In case the storm passes New York City with the current strength of 80 kilometers per hour, it is still expected to cause damage in New York of about of $ 25 billion. Between the skyscrapers the wind could accelerate, windows could be ripped out.

Let's all hope that these terrible predictions won't become reality, however, "Spiegel Online" also posted something else which doesn't inspire much confidence: A video clip with breathtaking views of expanding hurricane Irene from space! This clip should remove the last doubt that something really bad could very well happen, but let's hope that the worst can be avoided (on youtube you can also watch the clip in HD):

The view from space doesn't inspire too much confidence:



New extensive statement by New York City mayor Bloomberg:



There appears to be good news and bad news.

The good news is that Irene is predicted to turn into a category one storm:

This is the latest map with the expected path of the hurricane:

The bad news: If you zoom in into the map, you can see that the "eye of the storm" is still heading straight to New York City - I created this comparison (CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE):

So right now, according to this updated information, the hurricane is expected to reach New York City Saturday late evening - with winds of 75-80 mph and gusts of 92-98 mph.


The New York Times has an excellent hurricane live tracking map.

In addition, somebody created a very good new website specifically for hurricane Irene with all kinds of up-to-date information (incidents, power outages, latest news etc.).



I thought I "panicked" - but look at this new clip from CNN with worst case scenarios:


Very good coverage about the hurricane on the weather channel livestream!



Tips how to prepare for the hurricane:





I created a new video with the situation today at 17.00 EDT - several NASA satellite views of hurricane Irene.




I looked for webcams in NYC, and there seem to be quite a lot of them.

These are the best ones I could find so far - from ""earthcam", for example:

(you can choose between three different cameras there, click on menu under the main picture - the fourth one doesn't appear to work)

Here is a list of webcams in New York, provided by "earthcam."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fox News censor Karl Rove's highly critical comments about Sarah Palin on Greta Van Susteren's show - Transcript and broadcast exclude 2 1/2 minutes!

By Patrick

Some stories become suddenly much "bigger" while you are working on them. Today, my plan was to publish a post about Karl Rove's interview with Greta Van Susteren from Wednesday, in which he slammed Sarah Palin in connection with the latest statement which was published by SarahPAC on Tuesday. In this short statement, which was written in Palin's typical "shoot-from-the-hips-and-take-no-prisoners" style, SarahPAC wrote on their website:

Three years ago DC pundits predicted with glee the demise of Sarah Palin's political career. This past weekend their tune changed, citing false information that she has made a decision and set a date regarding a future campaign. Any professional pundit claiming to have "inside information" regarding Governor Palin's personal decision is not only wrong but their comments are specifically intended to mislead the American public. These are the same tired establishment political games that fuel the 24 hour news cycle and that all Americans will hopefully reject in 2012, and this is more of the "politics-as-usual" that Sarah Palin has fought against throughout her career.

This harsh statement at the SarahPAC website is assumed to be directed at Karl Rove, who recently said on Fox News Sunday, according to CBS News:

"I'm not much of a gambler, but I'd put a little bit more money that she gets in than she doesn't," the former strategist for George W. Bush said. Of her upcoming schedule in Iowa, which includes a Tea Party speaking event on September 3, Rove said it "looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity."

Yesterday Karl Rove fired back at Palin on Greta Van Susteren's show, and although it was Greta herself who brought the issue up, it seemed to be a bit like an ambush, as Greta was clearly surprised by Karl Rove's very harsh and extensive remarks. Karl Rove accused Sarah Palin of having an "enormous thin skin" and in general slammed Palin's strategy, when he for example said:

"So, if she doesn’t want people, if she doesn’t want people to speculate that she might be a Presidential candidate she’s sure got a funny way about going about killing the speculation. (...) By showing up in a surprise appearance at the Iowa State Fair and running a television ad saying “I’m looking forward to being back in Iowa” and then going and speaking at a big rally in Iowa. I thought that part of that was that she wanted to get more attention to herself but I guess, I guess that’s wrong. I guess that she wanted less attention so she did those things. I don’t know. It’s weird. Very odd."

And now begins the "story in the story": In the clip of the interview as it was published on the Fox News website, Greta Van Susteren and Karl Rove talk during the first 13 minutes about President Obama - therefore I thought it would be a good idea to create a youtube clip with Karl Rove's remarks in order to make these remarks more accessible - and so I did:

However, when I afterwards checked the transcript which was published on the Fox News website, I encountered a huge surprise. I almost couldn't believe it when I saw this on Greta Van Susteren's website:

"END VIDEOTAPE"? No, there were still more than 2 1/2 minutes in the interview to go!

So the last sentence in the published transcript of this interview at Fox News is: "I mean, that's not going to be a pretty sight if she's as thin-skinned in the fray as she is on the edges of it."

In the above clip, Karl Rove says this sentence at the 3:15 mark. The rest of the interview apparently doesn't "officially exist", although strangely, the full interview is available on the website - and you could find the missing remarks if you actually bothered to watch the whole clip.

But could this have been a simple mistake? I did some research and found an article by the Fox News watchdog-site "Newshounds", which in my opinion confirmed that Fox News deliberately excluded a part of the interview, because in the actual broadcast, Fox News suddenly cut-off the interview with Karl Rove, as the clip of the broadcast proves, recorded by "Newshounds" - the news about Steve Jobs was suddenly much more important for Fox News than Karl Rove mouthing off about Sarah Palin - watch:

In the actual broadcast, the remaining 2 1/2 minutes of Karl Rove deliciously slamming Sarah Palin were actually not shown at all! The last sentence which was broadcast was also the last sentence in the official transcript - but there was no hint given anywhere that the conversation with Karl Rove discussing Sarah Palin afterwards went on for another 2 1/2 minutes, with some harsh and important remarks by Karl Rove about Sarah Palin. Therefore it was ensured that only a tiny amount of people would notice the additional remarks, as they were also not included in the published transcript.

Fox News in my opinion actually brilliantly proved Karl Rove's point in the interview that Sarah is "enormously thin skinned", as it's apparently not wise to confront Sarah Palin and her fanatical followers with the full interview, conducted with the most important Republican strategist.

The full remarks are apparently quite difficult to swallow for Sarah Palin, a politician who infamously doesn't cope very well with criticism - and in addition it appears that the Fox News audience apparently also shouldn't be bothered with too many negative remarks about their star Sarah Palin.

Did this strategy of excluding the remarks work? Well, if you look at the reports of this interview, it apparently did work! Take for example the report of the conservative "Daily Caller" about this interview - the quoted remarks there also end with the sentence "I mean, that is not a pretty sight if she is as thin-skinned in the fray as she is on the edges of it", so it doesn't appear that anyone at the Daily Caller bothered to watch the full tape of the interview.

Therefore we regard it as our duty to publish the full transcript of the interview - Karl Rove, whatever you might think of him in general, deserves to be heard, and Fox News deserves to be slammed for their cowardice.

FULL UNCENSORED TRANSCRIPT (many thanks to Kathleen for transcribing the "lost" second part!):

VAN SUSTEREN: In anticipation of talking to you today, I did some research. And in the last five days, every time practically the name Rove comes up, it comes up with -- about a comment you made about Governor Sarah Palin. What is it about Sarah Palin, Governor Sarah Palin, that if anyone says her name, you know, or someone like you, that it just explodes? Is that the media or is that Governor Palin or what is -- or is that Karl Rove?

ROVE: No, no. That's Governor Palin. Look, the head of grass roots organization on her behalf in Iowa said roughly the same thing I did, which is not knowing any inside information, it looks to us like -- both this fellow in Iowa and to me -- that she's more likely to be a candidate. The things that she's doing in Iowa, showing up at the Iowa state fair, running this ad, saying, I'm looking forward to being back there on September 3rd, attending a big rally on September 3rd, all signal to me that she's likely to be more -- more likely to be a candidate at some point.
I've never said she's going to declare on the 3rd, but I've said this schedule looks more like the schedule of somebody who wants to be a candidate...

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, why is -- why is...

ROVE: ... than somebody who's just a celebrity.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why is everyone so -- but why is everyone...

ROVE: You know what? Here's...


ROVE: I'm mystified. Look, she is all upset about this, saying I'm somehow trying to sabotage her -- sabotage her in some way and that how dare I speculate on her future. Look, if she doesn't want to be speculated about as a potential presidential candidate, there's an easy way to end the speculation. Simply say, "I'm not running."

But instead, every time she pops up into the public eye, like she did on CNN on -- at the Iowa state fair a short number of days ago -- she said, I haven't made a decision. I'm just speculating that the kind of schedule she's keeping leads me to believe that it's more likely than not that she's going to be a candidate.
Now, I said I wouldn't bet a lot of money on it because I -- it's a close thing and I'm not privy to her thought-making process. But it is a sign of enormous thin skin that if we speculate about her, she gets upset. And I suspect if we didn't speculate about her, she'd be upset and try and find a way to get us to speculate about her. So...

VAN SUSTEREN: I actually -- I actually -- I actually don't know if it's Governor Palin or not. I don't know anything about that. I was merely reflecting on the fact that the media, is you mention the name Governor Palin, I mean, no matter what you say or Governor Palin -- I mean, I don't -- I have no idea whether -- whether she has -- even knows -- I assume she knows that you said something about her. But why -- what is it about Governor Palin that even the media can't let go of it?

ROVE: Yes. Well, first of all, I do assume she -- she -- when her -- when SARAHPAC issues a statement, I assume that Governor Palin authorized the statement. So she knew exactly what SARAHPAC was going to say. But look, here's the deal...

VAN SUSTEREN: I didn't even know about, but OK.

ROVE: Oh, yes. Yes, that's where -- that's where -- that's where her comment came from was a statement put out by SARAHPAC. But look, she's a big -- she's a potentially big factor in the presidential election. If she were to get in, she'd be a "contenda," as they would say. She was the vice presidential nominee in 2008. She maintains a following.

There are people who want her in and there are some people who would be deeply concerned if she did because she'd be eating into their -- into their ranks. But she's a player. And so if she doesn't want to be speculated about, then end the speculation by saying, "I'm not going to be a candidate."

Until then, I would just recommend she might get a slightly thicker skin because if she's got this thin a skin now, when people are saying, Well, I think she might be a candidate, what kind of -- how's she going to react if she does get into the campaign and gets the scrutiny that every presidential candidate does get? I mean, that's not going to be a pretty sight if she's as thin-skinned in the fray as she is on the edges of it.


VAN SUSTEREN: I, I, I, the SarahPAC thing I don’t know anything about. I don’t know whether she wrote it or the PAC wrote it or not. but it is just so extraordinary that I don’t get it how...

ROVE: (tries to interject)

VAN SUSTEREN: (continues) her name gets mentioned...

ROVE: Yeah.

VAN SUSTEREN: ...her name gets mentioned and everyone says that she’s still a contender it’s the most unusual political story.

ROVE: Yeah. Well look, it came from her PAC and I assume that since it’s a small group of people who run the PAC and run her operation and I assume that she was aware that they were going to go out there and say things in her name, SarahPAC, that basically said “Don’t speculate about me and if you are then you are an establishment elitist with no inside information.”

And I mean I just thought that it was a very odd way to react and and frankly you know - OK fine: If you don’t want us to speculate about you don’t be doing the things you are doing. By showing up in a surprise appearance at the Iowa State Fair and running a television ad saying “I’m looking forward to being back in Iowa” and then going and speaking at a big rally in Iowa. I thought that part of that was that she wanted to get more attention to herself but I guess, I guess that’s wrong. I guess that she wanted less attention so she did those things. I don’t know. It’s weird. Very odd.

VAN SUSTEREN: Could she, could she get the nomination?

ROVE: You know, she’s very……Yes. Sure, sure she could. You could, you could find a path to get there. Could she be a player? Absolutely. Will she be a big influence in Iowa? Look, think about it. If she were not interested in being a candidate why does she keep going back to Iowa?

She premiered her film in Iowa. She took and did a couple of stops on her book tour in Iowa, at the very beginning of her book tour. She went there and talked about…she showed up at the Iowa State Fair. She was the premier speaker last year at their fundraising dinner in September of last year and she’s going back there to speak at a Tea Party rally on the 3rd September. I’m sure that there are a lot of other states in the union where she could have previewed her film, conducted her, launched her book tour, and spoken to a tea party event during labor day 2011 but it’s Iowa which ironically enough is…. the first contest in the Republican Presidential sweepstakes. The Caucuses is the first week of February.

So, if she doesn’t want people, if she doesn’t want people to speculate that she might be a Presidential candidate she’s sure got a funny way about going about killing the speculation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Should or do you think that Governer Romney and Governor Perry are courting her right now for her influence?

ROVE: Oh, anybody who is smart would be courting her and courting her people. Absolutely. In the event she doesn’t run she can, she can be a big influence if she decides to endorse somebody.

VAN SUSTEREN: Karl, thank you.

ROVE: You bet. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is Mitt Romney a Closet Environmentalist?

by BlueberryT

Is Mitt Romney a closet environmentalist? Now that he is among the front-runners for the GOP nomination for President, I thought it might be interesting for everyone to learn a little about what he did on environmental issues while he was Governor of Massachusetts. I suspect that some (on both sides of the aisle) will be quite surprised or even shocked, as I was when I learned this. I want to acknowledge and thank my (anonymous) source who provided me with the information for this post.

As is typical, Romney’s appointments to environmental leadership roles gave the first inkling of where he stood on environmental protection. We have seen often enough from recent history that many Republicans appoint those who seem more likely to undermine or thwart environmental protection than to advance it. Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, was an early example of this phenomenon. Since then, it has become common to appoint anti-environmentalists to key roles, both at the state and federal level. Gale Norton is another good example, and the incompetent Bureau of Minerals Management under G.W. Bush, which helped pave the way for the Gulf Oil Spill last year, showed the cost we all pay when key environmental protections are weakened. This has been all-too-common under Republican leadership, in my opinion.

That is not what happened in Massachusetts under Romney’s Administration. Instead, he appointed some of the foremost environmentalists in Massachusetts to top posts in the environmental agencies. His was the best environmental team of any administration in the past two decades, including the current administration of Democratic Governor Deval Patrick. Romney appointed Douglas Foy, a tireless and effective environmental advocate who headed up the Conservation Law Foundation for 25 years, as the head of a new Office of Commonwealth Development (OCD). This was a unique office formed to bring together the often-warring factions of environment and development. Among other things, the office developed a system to rank projects according to their environmental impacts, and tied state approvals and funding to this scoring system. The Romney Administration also advanced “low-impact development,” which as the name implies, preserves natural features of a property and uses a range of techniques to reduce damage to the environment.

Romney’s other appointments included Robert Golledge as the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (and later as Secretary of Environmental Affairs). Golledge was one of the strongest environmentalists ever to hold either of those positions, and initiated several long-overdue reforms. Romney also appointed Stephen Burridge, another environmental advocate from the Conservation Law Foundation, and Katherine Abbott, a leader in land conservation, to other leadership roles in the environmental agencies. This was a strong leadership team.

In addition to forming the innovative OCD, Romney’s Administration took on several key issues that had long languished. For example, his Administration pulled together a diverse stakeholder group that developed the Massachusetts Water Policy. This was done very effectively with a minimum of politics, while adhering to a very tight timeline; it was one of the best examples of Romney’s no nonsense goals-timelines-get-things-done managerial style in action. His Administration also took on the update of the Massachusetts Water Conservation Standards, which were at that point very out-of-date, and developed a policy and guidelines to manage large water withdrawals that had been improperly managed by the state for decades, leading to a number of Massachusetts rivers being pumped dry on a regular basis. I'm sure these issues seem a little mundane, but this is the nitty-gritty of environmental management, and Romney's team had some excellent early successes.

Of course, not all was positive. Facing a budget crisis early in his tenure, he cut important environmental programs, including at least one that was considered a national model, and eliminated most discretionary environmental funding. He cut staff in several agencies and tried to eliminate programs that were only saved due to public outcry. Later in his one-term Governorship, as it became increasingly apparent that Romney had his sights on the Presidency, his tone on the environment (as on many other issues) began to shift toward a much more conservative approach. One of the first victims of this was Commissioner Kathy Abbott, who was forced to resign after Romney blamed her for a freak plowing accident that occurred during a snowstorm in Boston; many thought that the real reason she was ousted was because she was planning to marry her long-time female partner, which would be embarrassing for Romney among the conservatives he was trying to court. Even some of his Administration’s signature accomplishments in protecting the environment were weakened in the last two years of his term, as he began catering to more conservative voices. Given his recent pronouncements on other issues, it seems that he might even deny or disavow his Massachusetts record; after all, you can’t have a Republican candidate for President being a closet environmentalist, now can you?


Here is a link to the excellent (but long) Boston Globe profile on Romney, which begins with the infamous "dog on the roof" episode that he is now trying to repackage by claiming the dog loved to ride on the roof. Sure he did.