Friday, September 30, 2011

Review of The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin. Don't Expect An Announcement From Palin Soon As The Undefeated Morphs Into The Undecided

Guest Post by a Politicalgates Reader

Joe McGinniss surpasses my expectations for this long-awaited book, which documents his return to Alaska--site of his 1976 best-seller, "Going to Extremes"--this time to explore the state's Idaho-born ball of thermonuclear fission that is named Sarah Heath Palin. Those who've been following the linguine-like tangles of the Palin saga still will find a great deal of new and fascinating information, presented in McGinniss' engaging, can't-put-it-down fashion. Even if you haven't been paying attention to Sarah Palin at all, The Rogue will knock your socks off.

McGinniss speaks to many of the individuals on the record who have been bent, folded, spindled, and mutilated by Palin in power, including former Wasilla mayor John Stein, former Alaska public safety commissioner Walt Monegan, and ex-Alaska state senator Lyda Green (Chuck Heath Sr. reportedly inquired winsomely of Green before her retirement, "Why don't you quit now, you fat old cow?"). From his first days in Wasilla, McGinniss experienced first-hand the reign of terror and lunacy that was set into action by Palin's election as mayor in the mid-'90s. He also recounts dozens of acts of hospitality and kindness, having been offered a WELCOME sign, state flag, keys to the houses of total strangers, blueberry pie ("I figure Sarah Palin didn't get around to it yet," which she hadn't), freshly caught fish, festive dinners of yak burgers and yak loaf, and innumerable firearms. McGinniss declined only the guns. The state of Alaska is a character in this book as well, described with tenderness and exasperation, like a family member. It's easy to see why people fall in love with the place--and why so many residents, documented by McGinniss, are disgusted to have the image of their state co-opted by someone who quit her job to cash in on being a semi-professional Alaskan.

The lack of an index is my only quibble about this fine contribution to my Palin shelf. Read it alongside Geoffrey Dunn's "The Lies of Sarah Palin" for as close to a complete look at a unique American figure that one can find... as of this writing.


By Kathleen

Joe McGinniss writing at his blog reveals that he has been on a tour of the USA via satellite radio. He also discloses that his publisher backs both the the publication of The Rogue and its author. Many readers here at Politicalgates believe that it would be a good thing if Sarah Palin actually does dare to sue the publisher as "discovery" would be a great thing.

In an effort to appease her rabid fans, last night Sarah Palin announced that she still hasn't made a decision as to whether she is running or not, and don't expect a decision in the next 24 hours from her either. Sarah Palin does not keep her promises, even to her fans -- are we surprised? No --- she imposed the deadline and now seems unwilling to keep to it. Typical dithering Sarah. Still, the longer she takes in her deliberations the crazier her fans will become and that can only be a good thing.

Of more concern during the interview Palin further distances herself from the two main parties which she regards are embroiled in the politics of "crony capitalism". A concept that she is not exactly unfamiliar with as our contributer Nomadic View has already outlined in a previous post. For Palin "crony capitalism" is just another popular sound bite that she has embraced alongside "American exceptionalism", "The Little Guy", "Commonsense" and even more recently the resurrected slogan "I'm a maverick". If she runs I believe that she will run as a third party candidate because the GOP doesn't want her and it is also my view that her rejection by the GOP was probably engineered by none other than Palin herself.

Palin has sensed the mood of a sizeable number of Americans who feel flattened by a poor economic climate and she smells blood in the air. Distancing herself from the decision making that has led to the present situation may certainly do her no harm. I also expect that Palin thinks that a lot of the negative issues that presently surround her will have quietly faded into the distance by the time the actual election period commences. In the meantime the problem Palin faces is how to make herself relevant in a positive sense rather than a negative one. Can she do that? I don't think so.

Note what Palin says at the end of the interview:

"Whatever it takes to retire this permanent political class that has embraced it (crony capitalism) we're gonna do it."

That sounds as if it could get ugly to me.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Suppose the “Extreme” Were to Become the “Norm”

Guest Post by Sunnyjane

We have all witnessed the radical positions put forth by the Republicans, who have embraced the far-right wing Tea Party and welcomed them with open arms into the GOP tent. But suppose their Dominionist ideologies become the standards by which we must all live?

An America as envisioned by the far-right wing GOP and Tea Party faithful is as frightening a prospect as a forced-to-watch television anthology of Sarah Palin’s speeches and Fox News analyses.

At this very moment, the GOP heartily supports an America where executions are cheered, letting people die because they have no medical insurance is applauded, and taking away a woman’s right to make choices for her own body is considered good Christian governing.

Think about an America where clergy and corporatists rule with the single mindedness of dictators, enriching their coffers, strengthening their powers, and mandating stifling restrictions on those who practice another religion, those who practice no religion, and those Christians who are deemed “not the right kind.”

We have discussed the on-going threat of the far-right’s determination to turn the United States into a Christian theocracy. It does not take a lot of imagination to predict the highly negative consequences to our way of life should such a horror come to pass.

Under a Theocratic Government, Imagine an America where…

Your drivers license has a space marked Religion_______________

On every form you fill out, you must put an X next to: Christian? YES___ NO___

There is a different tax structure for non-Christians, and it is NOT be favorable to the tax payer.

Only Christians are approved for loans.

Only Christians are allowed to serve on juries.

Crimes against non-Christians are justifiable.

All media is controlled by Dominionists.

Schools, from PK to college, accept applications only from Christians. Teaching all science is forbidden and only Creationism is taught.

Christian church membership, regular attendance, and tithing are mandatory; non-compliance is subject to a fine and/or imprisonment.

Non-Christians must attend Christian indoctrination classes.

Non-Christian literature is censored.

Conception control (erroneously referred to as “birth control”) is outlawed.

And these are just the FIRST restrictions that would be forced on American citizens.

The Only Solution

We must continue the battle to ensure that Separation of Church and State remains the foundation of our Constitution.

Otherwise, America will become a nation where liberty and justice for all is reduced to a quaint artifact under the heading, “The Failure of an Ill-Conceived American Experiment.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sarah Palin: Fooling Some of the People

by Nomad
Back in March of 2001, speaking at the Gridiron Club dinner, George W. Bush made this remark, presumably in an attempt at humor. "You can fool some of the people all the time... and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." Perhaps nobody, since that time, has put those remarkably un-funnny sentiments into practice better than Sarah Palin.
Palin is an instructive example of how a demagogue can collect enough of a following to become something of a phenomena in American politics. The techniques she has used have been effective for a small percentage of the population but seem now to have reached a kind of limit of diminishing returns. The Palin package, which has been sculpted and revised since the moment she was chosen as McCain's running mate, is a triumph of modern-day political marketing. Sadly, outside of the bloggers and their followers, practically the only challenge or threat the marketers, press agents and handlers ever faced was Sarah Palin herself. This is a person who obviously has a lot of skeletons scratching at her closet doors. Like a majority of politicians perhaps. More importantly, Sarah Palin's larger problem is her own behavior when challenged. The techniques she has developed to deflect criticism- or even sensible questions- reveals so much about her character and the kind of people she has collected together under her circus tent.

Like most egomaniacs, Sarah obviously believes that one effective means of silencing critics is to lash out hard and in the most hyberbolic way she can muster. It's a type of shock and awe defense. And when all else fails she then threatens to deprive the world of Sarah Palin’s grace and glory by withdrawing from her one-person crusade. Of course, this kind of irrational diversion, essentially bullying, isn't what we expect from mature people and certainly not from those running for any high office.

The book, "In Sheep's Clothing- Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People,"" by George Simon, Ph.D, gives a list of defense mechanisms used by aggressive personality types. Remarkably enough, her "Blood Libel" speech debacle- really, the turning point in Palin's rise and fall- applied nearly every item on the list, from denial to projecting the blame to shaming (this time her old whipping boy, the main stream media) to playing the victim to to playing the noble role. Only guess what, this time it backfired because people instinctively knew that it was inappropriate timing and the message was merely a denial of any possible responsibility. The speech had very little to do with the tragic events and everything to do with Sarah Palin.
However, in 2006, it was another story. When a local conservative radio host, Scott Heyworth, began to discuss rumors that Todd Palin was not the father of her first born, Track, Sarah took the unusual step of confronting Heyworth directly in this email.

From: Sarah

To: Scott Heyworth
Cc:Todd Palin
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2006 10:19 AM
Subject: Todd’s son
Todd just told me you had spoken with him awhile back and reported that some law enforcement friends of yours claimed some dumbass lie about Track not being Todd’s son? This really, really disgusts me and ticks me off.
I want to know right now who said it, who would ever lie about such a thing this is the type of bullshit lie about family that WILL keep me from running for Governor. I hate this kind of crap. I thought it was bad enough that my kids have been lied about recently regarding illegal activities that they had NO part in whatsoever. But a stupid claim like one of our kids isn’t fathered by Todd?
I want to know NOW what this latest b.s. is all about because I want to get to the bottom of this garbage rumor mill. People who lie like this may know me well enough to KNOW THAT I WILL ALWAYS PUT FAMILY FIRST, AND IF UGLY LIES LIKE THIS ARE BELIEVED BY ANYONE AND ADVERSELY AFFECT MY HUSBAND AND KIDS I WILL PULL OUT OF THE RACE BECAUSE IT’S NOT WORTH IT—AT ALL—TO LET MY FAMILY BE VICTIMS OF DARK, UGLY POLITICS LIKE THIS.

The message for the radio show host was, basically, "stop asking questions I refuse to answer or I will quit the race and THEN you’ll be sorry." Surprising how effective that elementary school gambit actually was.
In that one email, it’s all there. The hysteria and the over-reaction, the incendiary language, (dumbass, crap, garbage, bullshit, lies, stupid) the wild capital letters, capped off with the final possibility of withdrawal.
And was this threat to quit an idle one? Quite possibly, because in her heart, she was convinced that, if she followed through on the threat, the world would take up arms, there would be rioting in the streets and the children would weep. In any case, she, at least, left herself that option. (As we all know, she has quit before.)

Once again, she made good use of her family to provide cover. Still, It all rings hollow when Sarah was quite happy to expose her family to the public in whatever crazy publicity stunt she was offered. From reality TV shows to a nationally televised dance contest.
Besides, whoever Track’s father is/was and whoever Trig’s parents really are, why should that reflect negatively on anybody but Sarah Palin? Track seems to have been just another good-looking wild kid that has managed to get his life straightened out with next to no help whatsoever from his parents. And Trig, a baby that has been used as a prop more than a rubber chicken on a vaudeville stage, is a child who is utterly blameless. The pity for Trig comes not from his affliction, but from how he has been used.
Aggressive personality types use manipulative strategies because these techniques have worked for them in the past. That's the bottom line. Wasilla and Anchorage were her testing grounds. You can, if you desire, go back to early childhood, looking for a bullying father and submissive mother, or you can dive into deep psychology and Freud, what-have-you, but in the end, the fact remains that manipulative people would not apply these methods if they didn't achieve their goals by using them.

Instead of the rational approach, instead of laying out her case in an mature manner, or citing opposing evidence, instead of simply ignoring the challenge as an adult would do, Palin would always resort to arm-flailing and grandstanding. It was, after all, as in the example above, simply a matter of answering the questions and providing evidence.

However, instead of obtaining and issuing independent conclusive DNA evidence, she resorted to her usual methods of deflection. In the case of Track’s paternity, the matter could have been resolved in a week and would be a dead subject forever. The matter of Trig’s parentage is the same. A birth certificate and a DNA test and that’s the end of that rumor. After providing the appropriate verifiable evidence to the public, if anybody refuses to accept it, then let them fall into the so-called "tin-foil hat brigade" like the Obama birth certificate faux-controversy.

It is simply not enough to bluster with vindictive outrageous accusations against your challengers, and say, "How dare you! How absurb!" Regardless how many friends you may have a Fox News to shield you , there comes a time when issues must be faced directly. (Unless you cannot.)

Time and time again, Sarah would give the clarion call and her supporters rush in to defend their heroine and the doubters would scatter in all directions. The doubts, however, remained and would continually re-surface. As time has passed, the number of people willing to rush to defend Palin seems to have dwindled to a precious few.

By applying the Palin method, the rumors linger - despite the so-called Lamestream media’s attempt to paint it as just another “conspiracy theory” - as if conspiracies are all figments of our collective imagination and never happen in the real world. In fact, as Professor Scharlott has recently pointed out, it has become verboten even to ask questions and doubt the official story. There are some things, according to that reasoning, that are simply too personal, or too unbelievable or too distasteful to even question. “Let’s not go there” was the mantra.

The question remains, of course, that if the matter is important enough to react with such hostility and bombast, if the rumor is so disgusting to cause Palin to threaten to remove herself from the public eye, then surely it is also important enough for her to do all she could to put it rest forever. That is the critical flaw in the Palin method and it is one she can never overcome. She is quite capable of fooling some of the people some of the time and that’s about it.

Sarah Palin's refusal to answer honestly the nagging questions about her past- as well as, her use of some fairly sophomoric diversions and manipulations- have really become her undoing. It shows everybody the true nature of her character. And that's not the caliber of character most voters would like to see in their leaders. Or even in their next door neighbor.

When excerpts of Joe McGinnis’ book, The Rogue, began leaking out, the reaction from the Palin camp was similar to the email. Todd Palin issued an inflammatory press statement calling the books lies and personally attacking the writer, implying sexual deviancy of one kind or another. This, despite the fact that the Todd had most likely not even read the book, at that point.

“This is a man who has been relentlessly stalking my family to the point of moving in right next door to us to harass us and spy on us to satisfy his creepy obsession with my wife. His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears. Even The New York Times called this book ‘dated, petty,’ and that it ‘chases caustic, unsubstantiated gossip.”
Reading the book, as far as Todd was concerned wasn’t necessary. Anything contrary to the well-crafted image of Sarah HAD to be lies. Evidence need not be provided to refute the claims made in the book. So, once again, the unquestioning faith of her core supporters was tested. Once again, they were being asked to rely on their own blind obedience to scatter her “attackers.”
While McGinniss was her neighbor, writing his book about her, her true nature was once again revealed. Not the hockey mom, or the astute political reformer, not the loving wife and especially not the devout Christian. What was revealed was a kind of bullying manipulative personality. Throughout the book, Palin's reaction to McGinniss' presence as her neighbor, in page after page, demonstrates how easily she can swing from playing the role of a victim, to bully, to absolute menace. Even if one ignored the other content- the tales from Palin's past or the juicy stories from those that know her best-, Palin's behavior when faced with the perceived threat McGinniss represents in her mind is, in itself, a proper indictment of the woman.
Here's an example.
With guest call-ins on Glenn Beck's radio talk show and increasingly manic Facebook entries, she attempted to use every weapon in her arsenal. She was quite willing to lie and smear the author at every opportunity.
At one point, after making a series of wild and imaginary allegations against McGinnis on a live radio broadcast, Beck asks her, "Do you feel, as a woman, feel violated?"

"I feel more protective than ever in terms of my kids. Any mom would. Just wantin' to bring your family even closer and wrap your arms around 'em and not let the infringement on their rights and privacy be so overwhelming as to make us not enjoy our life up here."
The threat wasn't to her family. Clearly, the threat was to Palin herself. And the name of that threat was exposure. As long as she could control the message, Sarah Palin was content with the publicity. Otherwise, it was something akin to an attack.
Later in the interview, Beck becomes more provocative. "I don't wish anybody harm, but I think Todd deserves a medal for why he doesn't go over there and punch that guy in the face. I mean, that is not the way to handle things but as a man, and you are screwing with my wife and children.. it would take everything in me not to do that."
Palin's reaction? Does she understand that the interview is drawing very close to inciting violence by actively urging a physical attack against a particular individual. Does she disregard Beck's comments as unethical or immoral? No.
"Well, amen, yeah, but that's what he wants. He so wants a reaction like that from Todd so he can jot it down or he can call the cops and jot that down as a chapter in his book."
Had the concept of right and wrong tempered her response? No. Not at all. It was merely the risk of being caught in the act and being further exposed.

Still later, Fox News has a discussion about whether McGinniss can be prosecuted for stalking and harassment. The debate centers around a blurry photo taken by Todd or Sarah of the writer holding a pair of "binoculars." (In fact, the photo shows him speaking on the phone to his wife.) Other Right-Wing online sites pick up the Fox cue and continue to stir the cauldron until the comments seem hardly any better than shouts from a lynching party.
"Any bets McGinniss disappears in the Alaskan wilderness" One commenter remarks. A few others are a bit more detailed but silly, such as a "fool-proof method" to provoke a grizzly bear attack on the writer. Others however are more credible and frightening involving midnight raids, beatings by masked men. These are the kind of people that are apparently attracted to the Palin cult.
And exactly what dastardly crime had McGinnis done to Palin? He had moved in next door. He had sat on his own balcony- even looking the opposite direction. That's it. For that, Palin's solution was to label him a pervert, a creep and a pedophile. This is the Palin style. Pretended panic, wild accusations, imagined threats, emotive rhetoric, irresponsible attempts to stir up a reaction in her fans, even to the point of violence.
Sarah Palin is, what some people call, a serial bully. One online resource from the UK, gave a list of the traits of a serial bully and it was uncanny how accurately it described Sarah Palin's persona. (It's worth a look.) One quote stands out:
It is a key identifying feature of a person with a personality disorder or psychopathic personality that, when called to account, they will accuse the person who is unmasking them of being the one with the personality disorder or psychopathic personality from which they (the bully) suffer.
It has been becoming more and more obvious that, even among her flock, the Sarah Palin cult is waining, the doubts are beginning to creep in and the patience was reaching its breaking point. Meanwhile she continued to play the role of the candidate, taking donations as though she were actually running for high office without explicitly stating it. She would turn up, quite accidentally, to share the limelight in Iowa, without actually moving any further in her political career. Even now, she continues, as long as there are credulous supporters ready to fork over some cash to her pretend crusade.
As far as the claims in books written by Dunn and McGinniss and others: if the information was inaccurate or libelous, then why not settle the matter as adults do? Our legal system has suitable means to seek redress for defamation by lies. The two main prerequisites are, quite naturally, that proof is shown- and confirmed- that the statements in question are untrue AND that writer was acting maliciously. Unlike many countries, the defamation laws in the United States lean more in favor of the defendant - that is, the writer. Public figures are expected to be a bit less thin-skinned when entering into the political arena. With all the perks of fame, this is considered a serious drawback. You cannot control what people say about you. You can, however, go to court and prove that the allegations are false.

And that was the problem for Palin. It could not be done. When given the chance to defend her honor against the so-called lies, Palin refused. She would have liked to have portrayed this strategy as not “dignifying the claim” or as “taking the high road,” but given her character, she just couldn’t quite pull that act off.
Taking the low-road came much more naturally to the Palins. It was so much easier to accuse McGinniss of being a pedophile or a peeping tom. It was so much more dramatic to use wild rhetoric to stir up her fans into a frenzy. (In fact, in light of Todd’s statement to the press, McGinniss probably has a better case for slander and libel against Todd than Sarah Palin has against the writer).
Palin had always relied on the outrage and bluster, the swell of support from her fans, (even when that support was supplemented with hired staff masking as fans). There was also Greta and Sean at Fox (and so many other reputable news broadcasters) to allow her a one way conversation to the public, dodging any serious questions. She could also always shame the mainstream media whenever she felt it necessary by claiming a liberal bias. She could claim an imaginary bias against her as a woman. She could use her family as a shield or as a prop. Finally, when all else failed, she could flirt.
It had always worked and, she told herself, it would always work. For Sarah, there are three areas of focus in her life: self-interest, self-aggrandizement and self-preservation. Nothing else really matters.
It doesn’t seem to be working now. The charade appears to be coming to its inevitable conclusion. The profit-motivated farce is nearly over. With her very dodgy history which she refuses to address and disprove, Palin cannot survive the intense scutiny of a presidential campaign. Sooner or later, she will have to confront those issues and she is presently unable to move forward until she takes that dangerous step into darkness..
In the end, after amassing a size-able fortune on the personality cult that surrounded her, she will use McGinniss’ expose to announce that for the good of her family she will not enter the campaign for 2012. It will be a humiliation for her, no doubt, but she may have the temporary comfort of her sycophants and paid staff to massage her ego with vague dreams of a “Draft Sarah” movement at the Republican Convention.

Because history, along with journalism, appears to be another one of those subjects, Sarah Palin managed to avoid in the various colleges she attended, I will close with the Lincoln original statement, so badly maligned by George W. Bush, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you CANNOT fool ALL of the people ALL of the time"

This is the lesson that Sarah Palin had to learn by experience.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sarah Palin threatens Joe McGinniss's publishers Crown Publishing to sue them, sends them useless lawyers letter in apparent publicity stunt

By Patrick

No day without the usual Palin drama! Is this going to continue forever? Will the madness ever stop? Now we have another new development: ABC News reports that Van Flein's old law firm sent the publishers of "The Rogue" a legal letter, saying they might sue them. Maybe they will sue if they are in a really bad mood? Or will they toss a coin? In any case, here is the letter:

Lawyers letter 1

Lawyers letter 2

Well, I very much doubt that Joe McGinniss will be afraid of Sarah Palin's lawyers.

Two reasons:

First, for example in the recent Firedoglake Book Salon, Joe McGinniss explained how carefully this book was vetted by Random House. Joe McGinniss wrote:

Bottom line: not only my editor, but Random House attorneys verified every source, in some cases speaking directly to the sources themselves. I have dozens of hours of recorded conversations. Random House attorneys listened to them all, then made an independent judgment about the trustworthiness of the sources. No material from an unverified source is included in the book. Many details were omitted for that reason. Obviously, any writer would like to be able to name every source. In this case, the climate of fear the Palins created in and around Wasilla made that impossible. After seeing how Sarah reacted to my moving next door, many people became afraid for their own safety and said they’d talk to me only if I guaranteed confidentiality. When I felt I had to, I did. Anonymous sources have a long and honorable tradition in U.S. journalism. Look at Woodward and Bernstein and “Deep Throat.” Just last week, the NY Times had a story about the Mets third baseman and quoted an anonymous source. In twelve books written over 42 years, I’ve never been through a legal vetting like this one. It lasted for months.

We can therefore assume that every factual statement in the book is absolutely bullet proof.

Second, as far as I can see, the letter is completely worthless. It appears to be one of the typical "Palin publicity stunts." We have seen so many of them over the years.

It's not difficult to find out what's missing in this letter. Taken from an article called
"How to Use a Cease and Desist Letter to Stop Slander and Libel":

Write the Cease and Desist letter yourself. There are many free templates online. You can also use a plain letter format and make sure to include all applicable details.

1. Include sender and recipient information in the letter head; names and address. In the reference line write the words: "Demand to Cease and Desist ". Date the letter.

2. Request the party to stop making the false statements and describe each statement.

3. Describe how each false statement affects your business, job and reputation.

4. Inform the party that if the actions are not stopped and retraction is taken you will file a law suit.

"Describe each statement"

We can stop right there. In this ridiculous legal letter, not one statement is mentioned in particular. Sarah Palin's lawyer apparently want to assert that the "whole book" is a lie. This is ridiculous and legally unsubstantiated, and nobody in the legal world would take such a letter seriously. Wait for the scathing reply from Crown Publishing/Random House to this letter.

So, apart from being a publicity stunt in order to entertain Sarah Palin's bots who just love the fantasy of their Mama Grizzley fighting against her enemies, is there a more serious purpose behind the letter? The lawyer specifically threatens that they would be entitled to review Joe's email correspondence. I cannot believe that there is any validity to such a claim, especially as Sarah Palin's lawyer is not able so far to name even one false statement in particular.

Just for the record: The "Trig Truthers" were never ever threatened by a lawyer. There only has been a long silence. It's a fun fact - and also not surprising, as there is nothing to threaten us with. "Babygate" is a fact, as we have said many, many times before. Sarah Palin faked her pregnancy, and no lawyer in the world could change that.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekly Roundup, September 19-25, 2011: What a week!

by Blueberry T

Monday, September 18, 2011

The Rogue, Chapter Nineteen

March 14, 2008 Photo from ADN

Joe McGinniss’ book is finally out! Thanks to Crown Publishing, I got a small headstart reading it, and dove into Chapter 19 immediately. For someone who is “Trignostic,” Joe does an excellent job of presenting Sarah’s tale of her pregnancy and Trig’s birth so that the implausible aspects of the story are clear to the many people who are reading about this for the first time. He bolsters the case for the hoax by quoting a doctor who points out how her tale, if true, would amount to practically criminal negligence; he also says many Alaskans thought the story was fabricated or that, at the least, Palin was eminently capable of such a hoax. This is a MAJOR step forward for our work – kudos for Joe for taking this issue on and holding up under enemy fire. Main complaints: photos would have made this chapter even more effective (see update to the post), and attribution for Politicalgates would have been nice, too. (Joe has acknowledged the archives here, albeit not in the book.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Levi Lies to Leadfoot (and everyone else)

Levi kissing Trig at RNC

Leadfoot has reason to be even more disappointed than the rest of us about Levi’s participation in the Babygate coverup – he looked her in the eye and told her she would LOVE this book! Well, we don’t love the part dealing with Babygate, that’s for sure. But, in fairness, many of us feel that the Palins have Levi over a barrel on this subject, so that it is unrealistic to expect that he can divulge the truth about Trig. Many theories abound about why… [to be continued]

Blogging The Rogue

One thing that struck me about this book is how much we already knew of what Joe wrote – and he is a renowned investigative journalist who spent months living in AK next door to Palin and worked on this book for more than a year! So we should all take a collective bow for having helped expose so many of Sarah’s secrets. I think the book will be shocking and powerful for those who are new to the subject. Joe shows over and over again that Sarah is an utter fraud whose image is the opposite of who she really is. Some highlights: many stories, often by people who were willing to give their names, show that Sarah and Todd are mean and vindictive “because they can” and the only things they truly inspire are fear, hatred and violence. The family is completely dysfunctional and the marriage is a sham. The fear of an investigation of perjury during Sarah’s Troopergate testimony may have played a role in her decision to resign. One recurring theme that may take people aback is that Sarah’s religious beliefs and associations, which are at the root of her political career, are far more extreme and disturbing than the MSM has reported.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sarah Palin, The Crone of Crony Capitalism

Nomad’s excellent post gave us a brief respite from the book reading club this week, as he looked closely at Palin’s new favorite term, “crony capitalism.” The epitome of this political-corporate intercourse is of course GWB, Dick Cheney and Halliburton, so it is ironic that Palin and Bachmann have taken up this term – except that projection inoculates them against being accused of exactly what they are blatantly doing. [How often this tired trick still works reminds me and other readers of Lucy and Charlie Brown.] Of course Palin’s cronyism is not at the scale of Bush and Cheney, but in the small pond of Alaska, she appointed unqualified friends to many positions as both mayor and governor. Nomad also ties her to Bill Allen of VECO, whose crony capitalism and sex scandals rocked Alaska several years ago. Nomad neatly brings the story full circle by showing Cheney’s connection to the oil pipeline deal and the key players in AK. Great post! Patrick added the video clip of Joe McG’s appearance on The View to this thread – I thought it was great that he said all this before a national audience, and it was interesting that both Barbara Walters and Joy Behar had no trouble coming up with motives for Sarah to fake the pregnancy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Levi’s Publicity Tour Begins

Patrick jumps in to explore the question of what Levi knew about Babygate and when he knew it. He thinks that Levi was duped by the Palins into believing that Sarah was actually the mother of Trig. Here’s probably one of the few times that most of us disagree with Patrick. ;-) His PR tour is proving very interesting, what with all the different accounts, and the occasional awkward moments when he looks like the kid who is caught with his hand in the cookie jar (but still denying it’s really there…). He sure is cute, though!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dear in the Headlights?

Levi is lying about Trig, but Leadfoot forgives him because in other respects, his book is a good and believable story about a young guy from a small town who was thrust in the middle of a whirlwind, not of his own choosing. There are some choice tidbits; my personal favorite is that Levi says the McCain campaign did not know that Bristol was pregnant until after they announced Sarah as VP candidate. Our regularly scheduled programming was upstaged by Bristol’s latest homophobic incident.

Some Comments and Links:

Marieke02: Projection has become a Republican lifestyle. And as a political tool it's very effective: you inoculate yourself by accusing your enemy (not opponent now, enemy) of what you yourself are doing. But Palin's reflexive use of sexual innuendo, accusation and/or slander every time she feels angry or threatened is far more than that. A good guess would be a classic case of cognitive dissonance: she knows those early experiences are way wrong, but is far too fragile and still so enmeshed with Chuckles that she just can't free herself of it. So it leaks out all the time, kind of like a default setting.

Sunnyjane: When my son was four years old, he and his pre-K class went to a local farm petting zoo. That afternoon I asked him if he had a good time, and he shook his head sadly and said, "That was a very disappointment experience." I was trying so hard not to laugh that I couldn't correct him on "disappointment." But I feel the same way about Levi's book: a very disappointment experience. [Later] You know, if there were a Hypocrisy Tax in this country, we could fund health care, subsidize job creation, and wipe out the national debt. Tomorrow!

Buffalogal: What woman knows that she's leaking a drop or two of amniotic fluid? You're constantly peeing by that point. Even if you did notice a few stray drops of liquid, you'd assume it to be urine. What a totally ridiculous point to try to pass off as true.

That entire birth story is spin. I suppose it would be in his interest to lie and keep the secret if he was complicit in one of the grand hoaxes of our day. He may have been told " If I go down I'm taking you with me"

IWanttheTruth: I haven't read the comments yet but I just want to say, I think all this lying is a strategy. Imagine a puzzle box and you dump out all the pieces. Eventually it would all fit together. Now imagine you throw in a bunch of other pieces from a similar puzzle. It's almost impossible to find the picture. This strategy works only when you avoid any questions from the press which might clarify which pieces of the puzzle are genuine and when you do get asked you throw in more red herrings. I can imagine it would be quite amusing to watch people struggling to make it ALL fit into a cohesive picture.

Jame: I wonder if she has any INKLING of the degree to which Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch just 'go into orbit' over obtaining tidbits of lurid gossip about politicians and celebrities and how, though they are backing her financially, they would find some of the things exposed by McGinniss to be not only highly amusing (they are sexist – and elitist – males, after all), but also titillating. I further wonder if it has ever occurred to her that Ailes and McGinniss could be occasional drinking buddies? And that McGinniss, but not she, may regarded by either or both of them as a friend? And that there may have been some two-way report-back going on between them and McGinniss all along – with her as a topic?...

Peacepax: I think the AMA needs to speak up, not because they were involved, but because they were not involved. The Palins have left many innocent young women in America with the false impression that leaking amniotic fluid is no big deal. Sarah was not pregnant, so for her it was no big deal. But others might ignore leaking amniotic fluid, and think it is no big deal based on what the Palins, and now Levi, have said. If even one drop of fluid can get out, then bacteria can get in. There can be thousands of bacteria cells on the head of a needle,and not be visible to the naked eye. If ignored, Leaking amniotic fluid can cause an infection that can be fatal. WORDS HAVE CONSEQUENCE. Sarah, do you have your next 'blood libel' speech ready?

HelenNPN found hope in Mike Lofgren (former Republican Congressional staffer), who has broken away from the lunacy of GOP fold.

sunnyjane found this great piece: Jesus Christ files lawsuit against GOP.

rollingingraves pointed out this excellent review of The Rogue by Andrew Sullivan in The Australian.

Patrick found more from Andrew – whoa, great stuff!

Brad Scharlott’s excellent, updated paper was published by Business Insider.

Here’s an excellent review of The Rogue from Sarah Jones at politicususa.

Kathleen linked to this important post on Alternet with Rachel Maddow and Michael Moore; also, who knew that Roseanne Barr would step up as she did on Wall St.?

The Last Word: Older_Wiser found this from Margaret Thatcher: "There will be a time when loudmouthed, incompetent people seem to be getting the better of you. When that happens, you only have to be patient and wait for them to self-destruct. It never fails.” - Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Investigation into Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy with Trig - Team effort results in Palin birth "Truthometer"

"Babygate" has been covered in more detail in previous posts. You can find all this information here:

Palin-biographer Joe McGinniss: "I think the Politicalgates archives are the best single available resource for anyone wondering why questions are still being asked about Sarah really being Trig’s birth mother." (from August 28, 2011)
Kathleen Baker, editor of Politicalgates, writes in the UK "Guardian" about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy: "Sarah Palin, unreliable narrator"
Read all posts at Politicalgates about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy with Trig - FOR THE COLLECTION, CLICK HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE,HERE AND HERE.

Download the research paper regarding Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy and the role of the media, written by Brad Scharlott, Associate Professor for Journalism at Northern Kentucky University - CLICK HERE.

Brad Scharlott's revised version of the paper has also been published by "Business Insider."

Read the old post at Palingates about the faked pregnancy with the pictures still intact in hardcopy HERE.

Read the old posts at Palingates online HERE (useful also for watching the video clips which were published with the posts).

In addition, please don't hesitate to watch the excellent video-documentaries about "babygate" which our reader Lidia17 created - HERE, HERE and HERE.

We break the "Spiral of Silence" - Read the details about the "biggest hoax in American political history!"

Guest post by Prof. Brad Scharlott, Northern Kentucky University

The very talented and intelligent behind-the-scenes regulars at Politicalgates can take a bow. It is thanks to their efforts that the Palin Birth Truthometer came into being.

First, Leadfoot had the brilliant idea of offering a $10,000 reward for proof that Palin gave birth to Trig. The first reaction of many people upon hearing that idea was, “Who’s putting up the $10,000” – and then laughter, as they realized it would be impossible to provide proof of something that never happened.

So while I personally am backing that $10,000, it’s mindboggling imagine circumstances requiring me to pay it. Only a fraudulent document could support Sarah’s crazy birth story, and any fraudulent document would not be “verifiable and irrefutable,” as the reward poster requires. For example, it someone sends a doctored birth certificate, I would require verification by the state of Alaska – and if Palin refuses to give permission for that, then sorry, no reward.

Presumably most of you saw the poster when it appeared here earlier this week. While the text may seem straightforward, the writing of it benefited from the help of many. My first draft was disingenuous in a snarky way, but that soon got ironed out.

After we finished it, I placed the reward poster at, and Leadfoot and I sent out the PR release to ensure wide coverage. See

Sarah Palin - $ 10,000 reward for proof of Trig pregnancy!

Then, the generosity of readers here and elsewhere inspired ACT II. With no prompting, several of you sent me pledges of additional amounts to add to the reward total.

That’s when it became obvious that I could open up the floodgates and simply request pledges. But I needed a handle for this idea, and Truthometer is what sprang to mind. And I also needed an artist.

That’s when I turned to the artistically gifted regular here, Lidia17. I let her know what I needed, and she produced the clean, attractive design you see below:

Palin Truthometer - picture

As you can see, the total is now over $22,000, and I will keep updating every day or two – so as new pledges roll in, the mercury will climb.

It doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to see where this is going. As the mercury in the thermometer gets higher, the Truthometer will get more and more newsworthy. When the total reaches $100,000, the current limit, I will change the calibrations to go up to a million dollars. THEN it might become very tempting for some news (or “fake” news) program – such as the Colbert Report – to report on the Truthometer.

If you think that sounds crazy, let me share this with you: a producer for the Colbert Report called me last spring about flying to New York to be on the show, but at the last minute they got cold feet. The Truthometer might spark their interest again, especially given the current publicity surrounding Joe McGinniss’s book.

So hats off to the PoliticalGates Irregulars (to adapt a moniker from the Sherlock Holmes stories) for showing that many brains working together can give Sarah yet another reason to reach for her pills.

And, by the way, anyone who wants to pledge, just sent your pledge amount and your postal address to me at One or two people have already told me they are not comfortable sending me their postal addresses. If you feel that way, then in lieu of a postal address, please send me a back-up email address – either a second one that you use, or your spouse’s or another relative’s. The point is, email addresses sometimes change, and as a good faith matter, I should try to make sure I have a way to get hold of you.

I’ll keep any information you give me private, unless someone specifically asks that I put their name and amount on an “Honor Roll” list. That’s another idea a reader sent me.

If you do pledge, the odds that you will have to pay are roughly the same as those for Des Moines, Iowa, being destroyed by a tsunami this month.


Note by Patrick:

Many thanks for Professor Brad Scharlott for this post, and his persistent efforts to put pressure on the media so that they start reporting about "Babygate." We are proud of the team effort, and we will continue to push on!

On another topic, the right-wing blog "Hillbuzz" posted photos of a large poster for "The 12th World Knowledge Forum", which will take place in South Korea. Basically as a representative for American politics, the photo of the world's most famous quitter, billed rather vague as "Politician of the United States of America", is being prominently displayed. Is she going to bash President Obama at the event, her most favourite "target?" I would say: "You betcha."

World Knowledge Forum Poster

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Open Question and Answers Session With Lois and James Cowan Ghost Writers of Deer in the Headlights by Levi Johnston - 5.00-6.00 EST

Guest Post by James and Lois Cowan

Photo credit: Shawna Gauthier

We—ghostwriters of Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin’s Crosshairs—have been asked by politicalgates to write something about our experience, how we got involved with the project.

Like everyone else who follows politics, we’d read about Levi and had seen him on TV. We are parents to seven kids and have six grandchildren, and this fellow, Sarah Palin's almost son-in-law, looked to us like he could have been one of our own, a bit shy, personable, respectful. We knew Governor Palin was fond of him—before she began to talk trash about him. Others had joined in, suggesting this teen was a slug—ignorant, a deadbeat dad, an uncaring father. The opposite view was out there, too, like Bristol saying Levi loved their baby and saw Tripp every day.

People who disliked Sarah discounted everything that came out of her mouth….unless her comments were about Levi. These were accepted by donkeys and elephants and every horse’s ass in between—including the media. What had this boy done to generate such animosity? Was there a culture-wide anti-male, anti-father bias? Was there some antipathy to country boys more interested in hunting than man caves. Was there a story there?

And what exactly was Sarah’s beef?

We two—authors who write together—read everything we could find about Levi and still had trouble understanding why he was hated. It seemed worth pursuing. We knew there was a character named Tank Jones flitting around Levi. We’d seen the Wonderful pistachios TV ad campaign, with this huge, well, Tank in the background. We found Tank’s address buried in Google’s history and shot him an email query.

Once the electronic missive was on its cyberflight to Anchorage, one of us said to the other:

Do you think we’ll ever hear anything?


Me neither.

The phone rang. A deep voice, the kind you’d expect a Tank Jones to have, said,

Hello. This is Tank Jones.

It took a three-week stay in Alaska for us, for our agent at Sterling Lord Literistic, for Levi, Tank, and attorney Rex Butler to hammer out a collaboration agreement, then for us to sit down and get to work with Levi in his living room with his cat, Trigger, mewing in the background, playing with Tripp's toys. Levi made an outline of his experiences and then talked as we recorded and listened, taking him to places he didn’t wish to go.

He edited with us...added, subtracted, clarified.

At the end of a second month-long trip to Wasilla, Levi read and approved the manuscript.

It’s just like me, he told us.

A photographer was flown from Manhattan to shoot the jacket art. The manuscript went into production at Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone imprint. Done. We thought.

Bristol Palin's book emerged; we knew nothing about it at that point. Levi was asked to answer her most outrageous comments and he did so, in a 2-page addendum.

With the book’s publication, with that "And One More Thing" addition, you, the public, have a chance to see if you agree with our assessment of this young man.

We found Levi to be honest, self-deprecating, fair-minded. He could be any eighteen-year-old who happened to come of age just as his life was caught up by the swirl of national political events and a woman—Sarah Palin—whose complex relationship with him, with her family, and with the country are illuminated by Levi’s telling. This story is an Alaskan tale told from Levi's fresh perspective with insight and passion. Read it and let us know if you agree.


Instructions for the Q & A Session with James and Lois Cowan.

James and Lois Cowan will join us today for a live question and answers session between 5 and 6pm EST to answer questions about Deer in the Headlights and Levi's reported life with the Palin family. As two people who worked closely with Levi Johnston I am sure that they will have much to say.

Please be respectful and remember that the book deals with many issues regarding Levi's interactions between himself and the Palin family. Although you will have questions about Trig etc, and I am sure that James and Lois will try to answer those as much as they can, the book isn't just about Trig.

Also, please bear with us because we have never attempted a session like this before. We will do our best.

Just ask you question any time between 5 and 6pm and James and Lois will answer in the comments as best they can. One question at a time please.

Also please do not add general comments/links/remarks between 5 and 6pm EST as they will be deleted in order to facilitate the Q & A session. Thanks.



For the start of the Q&A - "The Ghosts are reading the book." ;-)



You had the chance to talk to some authors today, and you will have the chance to talk to another author tomorrow!

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Joe McGinniss, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin

Author: Joe McGinniss

Sunday, September 25, 2011 1:55 pm Pacific time (4.55 om EDT)

Welcome Joe McGinniss, and Host Phil Munger “EdwardTeller”, (Progressive Alaska)

The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin


That should be a lot of fun as well! :-)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Book Review: Deer in the Headlights - UPDATE: Sensational heckling incident during filming of Bristol Palin's reality show - "Your mother is a whore"

By Leadfoot_LA
I have finished Levi Johnston’s book, and, despite my previous post, I am glad I read the whole thing. I’m officially changing its name to Dear in the Headlights.
Ok, so Levi didn’t tell the truth about Trig. But he has almost made me forgive him (and no, not because he mentions me in the book on page 6!) because he doesn’t go easy on the Palins. In fact, he confirms Joe McGinniss’s version of Palin family life on every point except Babygate. The Palins are horrible parents and do just the bare minimum required of them to keep their kids alive. They thrive on threats, revenge and vendettas.
Levi seems like a good-hearted kid with a love of nature and a good sense of humor. He loves his family and respects his elders. And he really, really, truly did love Bristol. He has stumbled along the way, but now he is trying hard to be a good dad to Tripp.

Throughout the book, he gives the reader a good sense of what it was like to grow up in Alaska, and how that makes him different (not better or tougher, Sarah, just different) from the rest of us. He uses cute and fun wilderness analogies and stories to help himself understand some of what he is going through.
Some interesting tidbits:

  • Sarah used to tell Levi he was her best friend. (ewww)
  • Bristol never had mono. She just switched schools -- from Wasilla to Juneau then to Anchorage – three times in one year.
  • He says, “For the record, she wasn’t pregnant then.” (Fall/Winter 2007-2008)
  • He thinks the rumors that Bristol was Trig’s real mother are “too crazy for words.”
  • Levi stresses that he can't imagine how Palin got pregnant because he never saw any affection at all between Todd and her. Todd was always in the garage and she was always hidden away in her bedroom.
  • Bristol’s announcement of her pregnancy sounds like entrapment. She was supposed to be on birth control pills. He had seen them in her bathroom but she wasn't taking them.
  • He claims that Sarah was on her treadmill two weeks after Trig’s “birth,” and they had to text her to get off the treadmillso they could tell her they were pregnant. Aren’t you supposed to rest for a month after giving birth?
  • When Levi tells of Sarah insisting upon adopting Tripp, he throws in a new detail – she had already had Thomas Van Flein draw up adoption papers.
  • The McCain campaign did not have any clue Bristol was pregnant until AFTER they had already announced Sarah was the running mate.
  • Levi did, in fact, live in the Palin home fromAugust 2008 until January 2009.
  • It made Levi sick to see Trig “displayed like a designer bag, then passed off to a nanny.”
  • Just prior to Tripp’s birth, Levi brought Bristol a brand new Ford truck.
  • Bristol was not registered to vote, so she did not cast a vote for her mom.
  • Levi supported Obama in his heart, but voted for Sarah’s ticket.
  • Levi kept the $80 Versace socks the campaign bought him.
  • Bristol grew to hate Levi’s family and he regrets keeping his mouth shut and not defending them. He isn’t proud of his behavior.
  • Levi bought Christmas presents for all the Palins in 2008. They bought him nothing.
  • Levi was not invited to Tripp’s first birthday party.
  • Levi has had his Bristol tattoo covered over by another, larger tattoo of the Alaska state map, to erase her name from his body.
  • Levi only got paid $50,000 to pose in Playgirl.

I do recommend that you all read the book. It only takes a day or two, and it is light hearted and funny. Levi does a great job of helping us step into his shoes over the past 3 years. And all the pictures certainly don't hurt either.
Last thing, our very own Kathleen is also mentioned, and thanked, BY NAME on page 288.
Photo credit: Nina Washawanny

Thank you leadfoot for this review.
I have already hinted in the comments that we will host a special event on Saturday. I don't like leaving our readers dangling for too long and in any case I need to give advance warning to make sure that no-one misses out on what we have arranged for you all.
So, without delay I am happy and pleased to say that we will host two very special guests here at Politicalgates on Saturday, 24th September, between 5.00pm and 6.00pm EST. for a live blogging event.
Our guests are Lois and Terry Cowan, the ghost writers of Levi Johnston's book, Deer in the Headlights. I hope that you will agree that this event offers Politicalgates readers a unique opportunity to ask questions of the two people who not only became close to Levi but who also spent a substantial period of time living in Wasilla in order to do so.
So please, make Lois and Terry welcome on Saturday. In the meantime put on your thinking caps and consider your questions carefully. Make the most of this event and above all have fun. I know that Lois and Terry are really looking forward to sharing their thoughts and experiences with us and that they want to hear what you have to say about Levi's book.
No day without breaking news! TMZ reports that a video clip was just published, showing a sensational heckling incident in a bar where Bristol Palin was filming for her reality show. A man stepped up and started to shout at Bristol: "Your mother is a whore", "She is evil" etc.
Bristol replied, "Is it because you're a homosexual and that's why you hate her?"

The man responded, "Pretty much ... and why'd you say I'm a homosexual?"

Bristol shot back -- "Because I can tell you are."
Bristol then confronts the man shortly afterwards again when he is sitting at the bar together with friends, and he says to her"fucking bitch" and "fucking white trash from Wasilla."
Bristol freaks out and storms out of the bar.
Oh boy!


Leadfoot_LA just commented that this incident with Bristol happened at the "Saddle Ranch", which is a gay bar. Surprised to meet any "homosexuals" there, Bristol? The heckler was very vicious, but Bristol's reaction was, as others have observed as well, very 1950's.



Totally off-topic - Kathleen and I are on holiday for a few days, and we are staying at a rather unusual place. Well, the interior is just a little bit "different", and we thought we should share some pictures with you, to give you an impression.

I like to play with the "real" star wars light sabers - but I am not Darth Vader, even if some people out there mistakenly believe that I am the second coming of the "Dark Lord" (not kidding you):

Patrick with light-sabers

Look at this sweet puppy outside:

Puppy picture

Yes, somebody is homosexual, PARDON ME, gay, here - but it's definitely not Kathleen or me:

Somebody is gay

More Star Wars fetish:

Woman with Darth Vader mask

The first remote controlled ape I have ever seen:

Ape remote controlled

Feels a bit like being in Hollywood. ;-)



The "bar brawl" between the heckler and Bristol Palin which happened last night was not staged. That's what I thought all along, because there is no way that Bristol would have agreed in advance to have such a heated argument. Her skin is just as thin as the one of her famous mother, and Bristol absolutely hates criticism. This has been proven before in Bristol's "facebook insult affair" from November 2010, when a teenager made a critical comment about Sarah Palin's reality show on his own facebook page and was then confronted by Bristol and Willow Palin, who started to respond and wrote insults after insults, as they were outraged that he criticised their mother. Basically, they heckled him. Read the PDF with the messages.

TMZ now identified the heckler from yesterday as Stephen Hanks from LA, and Stephen shows that he is well informed about Sarah Palin and is also not afraid to speak out:

Sure, the Palinbots will go nuts now, but if you are the daughter of one of the most divisive and polarizing politicians in the USA with an extreme right-wing hardcore fan-base, and then try to become famous yourself just for the fact that you are the daughter, you should not be surprised about incidents like this one. Especially if you have a big mouth yourself and for example tried to bully this teenager on his facebook, not even a year ago, with messages like this:

Bristol nasty remarks on facebook screenshot