Friday, March 30, 2012

One More Reason to Fight the Right Wing’s War on Women - The Portrayal of Women in Advertising and on Television Through the Decades

Guest Post by Ebbtide

After writing my post on the ongoing, escalating War on Women being waged through legislation at all levels, on all fronts, by the Right Wing, I was asked to make a presentation to my political peeps relating to Women’s History Month.

Knowing the wingers are always talking about “taking back our country” to those halcyon days of the 1950s (or, in Rick Santorum’s case, the 1650s), I looked into how women were portrayed in advertising and on television through the decades.

I’ve been involved in advertising throughout my career, but some of these ads shocked me with their condescending, insulting attitude toward women. I now invite you to stroll through the decades with me to further impress upon everyone how important it is for women (and the men who truly care about women) to move FORWARD, not back.

In the 1950s, women didn’t have much of a voice. Most were stay-at-home moms, and those who were in the workforce were primarily in subordinate positions to men.

On television, women were homemakers, wearing shirtwaist dresses and pearls as they went about their daily housewifely duties on such shows as Father Knows Best, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It to Beaver, The Honeymooners (nothing says respect like Ralph saying, with clenched fist, “To the moon, Alice”), Make Room for Daddy.

Advertising at the time, had basically two ways to portray women—The first was as dim-witted, emotional housefrau.

Those early “Mad Men” thought women would be delighted receiving appliances for gifts, and when it came to medicating women, two products stood out in my search that truly caused me to gasp.

One was this wonder drug that could get that pregnant, puking with morning sickness, mother-to-be out of bed and back to where she belonged, cooking for her man.

The other was a whole series of ads for Lysol, which was recommended (I kid you not) as a feminine hygiene product.

Even when 1950s women weren’t in the kitchen, they were suffering all sorts of indignities

And, if they had the audacity to enter the workforce…

The actual text in the Pitney-Bowes ad tells the tale of a secretary who fought progress that her super-smart boss was suggesting. Once she realized his superior intelligence, she welcomed the machine with open arms, saying, “Kinda cute, ain’t it…now the mail is out early enough so I get to the girls’ room early enough to hear all of the dirt.”

THE 60's
The 1960s was a tumultuous decade, with the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations, the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the rise of the hippie counterculture and the beginning of what is termed the “second wave of feminism” more concerned with equality and ending discrimination against women than with voting issues.

On television, many 50s shows continued, and were joined by popular shows where women could only succeed by having magical powers, like I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched. Then there was Julie on the Mod Squad, That Girl (a career girl, but still so reliant on her boyfriend, Donald, and her dad) and finally, in 1968, a woman of color (and a single, employed mother) as a lead character who was not a servant,  when Julia hit the airwaves.

But Madison Avenue was a bit behind with ads like

THE 70's
The 1970s brought us Watergate, Nixon’s resignation, Jim Jones—Jonestown, Microwaves, VCRs, the Sony Walkman and the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment (which legalized female suffrage). 1972 was the year of the Equal Rights Amendment (passed both houses, but not ratified by enough states—thanks, Phyllis Schlafly), and 1973 brought Roe v Wade. Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” became somewhat of an anthem for feminists, and TV women had careers, lived alone and were single mothers as shows The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Alice, Maude, One Day at a Time, Laverne and Shirley and Rhoda became popular.

In advertising, the 70s got off to a slow start in the portrayal of women…

But by the end of the decade, women were beginning to be portrayed as capable, competent forces to be reckoned with.

THE 80's
In the 1980s, we experienced yuppies, personal computers and the startup of MTV (great bit of trivia—the first video on MTV was “Video Killed the Radio Star.”)
There were more women in the workplace than ever before, and women keeping their maiden names became more popular.

Women on television shows were professionals like Cagney & Lacey (although it took 8 years to get that show on the air after they fired the first Cagney for not being feminine enough), strong, capable Vietnam War nurses on China Beach, and lawyer Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show. Women’s supportive relationships were portrayed on such shows as Kate and Allie, Designing Women and the Golden Girls. And there was the ultimate strong woman in the character of Murphy Brown.

Aside from the mostly terrible hairdos, women were featured in advertising as having come into their own, and women of color received recognition as achievers.

The 90's
In the 1990s email became popular for communication, more and more people had cell phones and the Spice Girls sang about girl power. The Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas imbroglio as well as Clinton and Monicagate put focus on the trials of women in the workplace, and a record number of women were elected to high office in the US.

However, in 1992, the "Year of the Woman," when President George H. W. Bush was asked when his party might nominate a woman for President he said "This is supposed to be the year of the women in the Senate. Let's see how they do. I hope a lot of them lose.”

Women on television were lawyers (Allie McBeal), judges (Judging Amy), self-supporting actresses (Cybil) and self-empowered individuals (Ellen.)

Although women were still often portrayed in bikinis, they were held up as smart and capable (and even able to buy their own Rolexes.)

The 2000's
This decade is fresh in our minds—Hillary Clinton made a serious, realistic run for President (OK—that other thing did set us back with her vice-presidential nod), Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House, and Lilly Ledbetter brought the whole issue of pay inequality to life.

In advertising, appliances no longer tied women to the kitchen, and they were portrayed as enjoying leisure and “adult beverages” just like a man.

But as that decade and the new one we’re currently in progressed, for every
Gilmore Girls, Harry’s Law, The Good Wife and The Closer, there’s America’s Next Top Model, The Bachelor, Jersey Shore, all the Real Housewives franchises, and horrors like the Duggars and that other ridiculous show that took place in Alaska.

And, (with apologies to those who love it—I personally can’t stand the show) Mad Men. As Marie Wilson, wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post "it is difficult and painful to see the ways in which women and men dealt with each other and with power. It's painful because this behavior is not as far back in our past as we would like to think. Our daughters continually get the messages that power still comes through powerful men. And unfortunately being pretty is still a quality that can get you on the ladder-though it still won't take you to the top." (see Palin, Sarah for further reference!)

Two Steps Forward—How Many Steps Backward?
And now, as I wrote in my earlier post on the subject, there is a multi-front, full throttle War on Women going on, brought to you by ALEC and their wingnut representatives in Washington and in state governments across the country.

So, in honor of Women’s History Month, I ask every woman, and every man who cares about women, to spread the word and share the power—to shout from the rooftops that we’ve come a long way, and we’re not about to go back to being second-class citizens.

To repeat the sentiment of my original post:

Note by Kathleen

Thank you Ebbtide -- this is an excellent post to round up Women's History Month. 

If you haven't done so already, and Ebbtide's thoughtful and revealing post has stirred you into action, please do not forget that on 28 April, 2012 you can stand up against the recent blatant attacks on women by joining in actions which are taking place in every state across the USA to say "Enough is Enough".

More information can be found about actions in your own state at the following links:

Unite Against the War on Women

Facebook Unite Against the War on Women

Overseas Americans can join this group.

WOW - Overseas Supporters on Facebook

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Palling Around with Radicals and Terrorists: President Obama vs. Sarah Palin

by Sunnyjane

There are approximately 5,400 hours to live through before Americans cast their votes in the November 6 elections, and Republicans will use every second of those hours to hurl another nasty epithet, half-truth, outright lie, invented controversy, fairy tale scandal, and tail-wagging-the-dog accusation at President Obama that they can manage.  This is perfectly reasonable, of course, because according to Sarah Palin (the most poorly vetted politician ever to stumble into an election campaign), Barack Obama was never properly vetted by the news media in 2008, and she intends to make up for that grievous omission -- you betcha!

Anyone who thinks Palin has become irrelevant in GOP and national politics hasn't been paying attention.  Reports from CPAC in February tell us that conservatives believe she gave a speech electrifying the Conservative Political Action Conference with one of the most rousing and effective political speeches of recent years.  From her bully pulpit on Fox News and her ghost-written screeds on Facebook, she is capable of reaching her base of Obama-hating, Fox-informed, under-educated voters who believe any and all of her screech-fests.  And whether the current crop of GOP wannabe-the-nominee gang and leaders of the Republican Party like it or not, Sarah Palin is doing her usual in-your-face routine with the American public.  

So once again it is necessary for Politicalgates to conduct a thorough and objective examination of these two individuals' backgrounds and decide for ourselves, as Shakespeare’s King Lear asked, Which is the justice and which is the thief? 

An Investment in...Learning?

An investigation into a person's life would be sorely lacking without a reference to their education, for it has a great influence on how their opinions and beliefs are shaped, and how they ultimately conduct themselves throughout their lives.

Sarah Palin took an any-of-them-all-of-them route to obtain one college degree in either communications or journalism -- we can't be certain because we've never seen a diploma, no one remembers her at any of the four colleges she attended over six years, and Palin keeps changing her story.   

When she wasn't attending college during this period, she was winning and losing local beauty contests in hopes of earning scholarship money.

After deciding she had labored through all the formal education she needed, Palin returned to Wasilla in 1988, performed only "passably" as a TV sportscaster, married Todd at the end of August, and had her first child, Track, in mid-April 1989.  (It's perfectly acceptable to use your fingers and do the math.) 

It is true that it took Barack Obama considerably longer than Palin to complete his formal education.  However, he was earning advanced degrees over this period of time, not just trying to complete one program.  He graduated from Columbia University in 1983 with a degree in Political Science.

In 1988, Obama entered Harvard Law School, becoming president of the Harvard Law Review a student-run organization whose primary purpose is to publish a journal of legal scholarship.  He graduated from Harvard magna cum laude in 1991.

After Columbia, Obama chose not to do any fancy pageant walking, deciding instead to work in business for two years in New York. Returning to Chicago in 1985, he worked on the South Side as a community organizer for low-income residents in the Roseland and Altgeld Gardens communities.  And he had "real responsibilities."   

After graduating from Harvard, Obama returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer, joining the firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland. He also taught at the University of Chicago Law School, and helped organize voter registration drives during Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign.  In October 1992, he married Michelle Robinson; their first child, Malia, was born in 1998.  (No need to exercise your fingers in this instance.)

So Who's Been Palling Around with Whom?

Barack Obama went on to teach Constitutional Law at one of the ten most prestigious law schools in the country, the University of Chicago Law School, as well as being a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer.  He was associating with bright young law students and respected law professors, while at the same time...  

...Sarah Palin was working hard (or hardly working) as a member of the Wasilla City Council, spending much of her time it seems, reading John Birch Society propaganda  literature, the New American Con-Con Call.  (An interesting but unconfirmed connection here, but one that makes us go Hmmmm...  is that the father of the Koch brothers, Fred, was a founding member of the John Birch Society.) One dubious member of the JBS was Westbrook Pegler, whom Palin quoted in her 2008 convention speech with the line, We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity.   Pegler has been described as the ultraconservative newspaper columnist whose widely syndicated columns targeted the New Deal establishment, labor leaders, intellectuals, homosexuals, Jews, and poets.  Does anyone else find it rather odd that Palin failed to mention John Birch Society literature when Katie Couric wanted to know what she read on a regular basis that helped shape her world view?

Politics from the Pulpit

Obama and Jeremiah Wright
Barack Obama came under intense criticism during the 2008 presidential election for a video showing his home-church pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright telling his congregation that African Americans should not sing, God bless America, but God damn America!   Rev. Wright had officiated at the marriage of Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama, had baptized their two daughters, and was considered a friend as well as spiritual leader.  In defending his family's twenty-year relationship with the pastor, Obama saidThis is a pastor who is on the brink of retirement who in the past has made some controversial statements. I profoundly disagree with some of these statements … Here is what happens when you just cherry-pick statements from a guy who had a 40-year career as a pastor.  However, after Wright later appeared at the National Press Club and said,, among other controversial statements, that the recent criticism surrounding his sermons were "an attack on the black church," Obama had clearly had enough.  At a press conference in  North Carolina, Obama stated, The person I saw yesterday was not the person I met 20 years ago.  His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but they end up giving comfort to those that prey on hate. 

John McCain had consistently warned his campaign staff that the Wright issue would not be used against his Democratic opponent under any circumstances, even after it appeared in a campaign ad that was funded by an independent support group.   So frustrated by the campaign's refusal to attack Obama via Wright, that Sarah Palin blatantly disregarded McCain's order and sat for an interview with Bill Kristol in which she said with childlike perplexity, To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn't discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn't get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.

Palin and Thomas Muthee
Sarah Palin might not have been quite so keen to attack Obama's religious associations had the McCain campaign done a proper vetting of her and knew what  extreme sermonizing and rather bizarre rituals go on at the Wasilla Assembly of God, where she was baptized and had been a member for twenty-five years. The church’s Senior Pastor, Ed Kalnins, has preached that critics of President Bush will be banished to hell; questioned whether people who voted for Sen. John Kerry in 2004 would be accepted into heaven; and preached that the Sept. 11 attacks and the war in Iraq were part of a world war over Christianity.  He also preached that "I believe that Alaska is one of the refuge states... in the Last Days, and hundreds of thousands of people are going to come to this state to seek refuge. And the church has to ready to minister to them.    (It is worth noting that after interest in Palin's church peaked in 2008,  hundreds of Pastor Kalnins's sermons disappeared from the church's website.  Just sayin...)

One of the more radical ceremonies conducted at the Wasilla Assembly of God was that which took place in 2005.  It was on this day that visiting Kenya minister Rev. Thomas Muthee anointed then-Alaska gubernatorial contender Sarah Palin, praying over and blessing her to advance her bid for the Alaska governorship and protect her from a "spirit of witchcraft."   He also called on faithful Christians to "infiltrate" a number of key areas of secular society including Banking and finance, schools and education, media, politics and government.   That's right, dear readers, forget the United States Constitution's First Amendment affirming the country's separation of church and state; it has no standing in far-right religions such as Sarah Palin's. 

An excellent look at Sarah Palin's radical religiosity can be clearly seen in this excellent 2008 article by retired Baptist minister Pastor Howard Bess, who wrote a book that Wasilla Mayor Palin wanted banned and who fought her on abortion and gay rights, and why he believes the country should fear her election

Terrorist vs. Terrorist: Who's the Bigger Threat to America?

John McCain gave his campaign the go-ahead to attack Barack Obama for his close association with the 1960s Weather Underground (Weathermen) activist Bill Ayers.  The Weathermen, a less violent off-shoot of the Students for a Democratic Society, bombed buildings and monuments, including the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol building, to protest America's ever escalating involvement in the Vietnam war.  Nobody was killed in these bombings, due to the Weathermen issuing warnings that the targeted buildings should be evacuated.  However, three of the group's members were killed accidentally when a homemade bomb exploded in their apartment.

The McCain staff ran campaign ads saying that Obama was lying about his close association with Bill Ayers, and Sarah Palin went on the stump with her newly-minted line that their Democratic opponent is someone who would pal around with terrorists!   Palin got a lot of traction with this pot-stirring demagoguery, and no doubt felt she had finally been unleashed from the stifling bonds of the McCain campaign staffers.  The world was suddenly her perfect Camelot, that idyllic place where she could employ suggestive rhetoric and false claims to feed the prejudices of her base.   It didn't matter, of course, that a close association between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers was a less-than-perfect attempt to find something, anything, with which to stop the Obama campaign in its tracks.

After an extremely thorough examination of all of the McCain campaign claims, concluded: Voters may differ in how they see Ayers, or how they see Obama’s interactions with him. We’re making no judgment calls on those matters. What we object to are the McCain-Palin campaign’s attempts to sway voters – in ads and on the stump – with false and misleading statements about the relationship, which was never very close. Obama never “lied” about this, just as he never bragged about it. The foundation they both worked with was hardly “radical.” And Ayers is more than a former "terrorist," he’s also a well-known figure in the field of education. 

During the eternity that the Bill Ayers/Barack Obama story was running non-stop on every television station in the country, Sarah Palin was haranguing McCain campaign chief Steve Schmidt about published reports that Todd had been a member of the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP), whose platform calls for the secession of Alaska from the the United States, i.e., to become and separate and independent nation.  Palin insisted via email that Schmidt  get in front of that ridiculous issue and release a statement contradicting the charges. Schmidt refused to issue one, knowing Palin was lying. He knew that Todd Palin had been an AIP member and that secession was the central AIP platform issue.  Geoffrey Dunn, in a great article, proves that Todd Palin had registered THREE TIMES as an AIP member. 

In his greatest moment of glory, Joe Vogler, the murdered founder of the AIP, was to appear in 1993 before the United Nations to denounce United States “tyranny” before the entire world and to demand Alaska’s freedom. The Alaska secessionist had persuaded the government of Iran to sponsor his anti-American harangue.  As Salon wrote in October 2008, That’s right … Iran. The Islamic dictatorship. The taker of American hostages. The rogue nation that McCain and Palin have excoriated Obama for suggesting we diplomatically engage. That Iran.   What is particularly noteworthy here, is that the Chairwoman of the AIP, Lynette Clark, said in the same article that Sarah Palin was her kind of gal.  “She’s Alaskan to the bone … she sounds just like Joe Vogler.” 

A lengthy post could be written just about Sarah Palin's close association with the AIP, but that won't be done here.   Suffice it to say that not only was Todd a member for seven years, but that AIP Chairman Mark Chryson helped Palin's campaign for mayor and governor, and has stated that when she was mayor, "Every time I showed up her door was open,” said Chryson. “And that policy continued when she became governor.”  And of course, there is Governor Palin's March 2008 video addressing her good pals at the AIP with Keep up the good work and God bless you.  (It showed admirable restraint, I believe, that the Obama campaign did not exploit Palin's very close association with the AIP in 2008.  It is highly likely that they knew of its existence, even if the McCain did not.  Now, who wasn't properly vetted, Sarah?)

Here a Radical, There a Radical, Everywhere a Radical Radical

There is a very good reason why a photo of Barack Obama palling around with Saul Alinsky does not exist: Alinsky died when Obama was ten years old.   While there is every reason to believe that Obama read Alinsky's book, Rules for Radicals, there is little evidence to show that he used the same tactics as Alinsky in his community organizer days.  Where Alinsky called for sweeping social change, Obama focused on practical assistance for the poor and disenfranchised in specific Chicago neighborhoods.'s review of Rules for Radicals describes the book as Saul Alinsky's impassioned counsel to young radicals on how to effect constructive social change and know “the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one.” Written in the midst of radical political developments whose direction Alinsky was one of the first to question, this volume exhibits his style at its best. Like Thomas Paine before him, Alinsky was able to combine, both in his person and his writing, the intensity of political engagement with an absolute insistence on rational political discourse and adherence to the American democratic tradition.

But lack of just a smidgen of analytical research on a specific topic never stopped Newt Gingrich's desperation for votes in the current GOP primary from scaring the bejesus out of his few followers, nor Sarah Palin's hailing him for doing it.  Even Fox News was somewhat disdainful of the Gingrich/Palin push on the subject, writing[Alinsky] died in 1972, at the age of sixty-three, a marginalized figure in his own obscure field and seldom mentioned outside of it.  But to close followers of the topsy-turvy GOP presidential primary, the late Saul Alinsky is suddenly becoming a household word. This is due, in large measure, to the mantra-like repetition of the name by Newt Gingrich, who invokes it every day on the campaign trail as part of his stump-speech indictment of President Obama.

(In a snort-inducing, guffaw-producing bit of irony, HeraldNet reported in late January 2012 that Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals," a primer on confrontational social activism, has been adopted by political activists on both ends of the spectrum, including members of the "tea party." James O'Keefe studied it before creating his 2009 undercover "sting" against the community activist organization ACORN.)   

(A personal analogy, if I may:  Reading a cookbook by Julia Child might give me cooking tips and techniques, but it doesn't make me a world-renowned chef.)

Referencing his pet weenie operative James O'Keefe is the perfect segue into the right-wing activism of Andrew Breitbart.  (It is with some small degree of petulance that, while doing research for this post, I noticed that "social reformers" for the conservatives are most always activists, while social reformers for the liberals are most always radicals.)   After his harsh, deceptive, and devastating attacks against Shirley Sherrod, ACORN, and Anthony Weiner failed to bring down the republic, Breitbart went after the Big Guy himself: (drum roll, please) President...Barack...Obama!

At February's Conservative Political Action Conference, Breitbart gave a take-no-prisoners speech, emphasizing his unrelenting fight with the progressive left and their “bullshit” Alinsky tactics  and that he had tapes of Obama from when he was in college that will expose how he and his radical buddies plotted while the rest of us slept.   

I've got videosBreitbart told the excited attendees. This election we're going to vet him...To show why racial division and class warfare are central to what hope and change was sold in 2008. 

But while the far-right practically vibrated with excitement anticipating the political execution of the President, Andrew turned up toes and died on them.  Oh woe unto us, the Teabaggers surely must have felt.  All hope is lost.  But, dear readers, when Breitbart failed to rise again on the third day, it was Sean Hannity to the rescue!   It's well known by now that the Prof. Derrick Bell bombshell video was a complete and total yawner to all but the most ardent Obama haters, so there's little need to resurrect that particular issue.  Let's just say that as Breitbart's legacy shocker-to-end-all-shockers, it was a total dud.  (Andrew's untimely death was probably for the best, as he'd likely have died of embarrassment after the ho-hum reaction anyhow.)

Never one to let a void in Hater's Haven go vacant for long, Our Lady of the Lifeless Lake filled it with some of her ghost-written garbage in homage to Dumbfart Breitbart by invading his BigGovernment website.  As Politico wrote:  "With the death of Breitbart, the conservative movement didn’t just lose a General — we lost an entire Special Forces Division,” Palin wrote in a piece published on Big Government late Thursday. “But he didn’t leave us without the tools and the knowledge we need to fight. This website — Breitbart 2.0 — is the culmination of his study of the technology and aesthetics of new media ... “Breitbart’s most immediate mission was the belated vetting of Barack Obama. This obviously is an issue very near and dear to my heart,” she said, accusing the media of having reported “breathlessly” about her tanning bed while they “couldn’t be bothered” to properly investigate President Barack Obama’s past record.


“Our sitting president was not vetted,” Palin told Sean Hannity in early March. “Our president is one who is trying to divide our country. He is not in this to unify America and to solidify our place as the exceptional nation in the world. He is trying to divide us based along lines of gender, of religion, of income, even of race.”

I Don’t Think About Sarah Palin

the President answered in a 2010 interview shortly after the mid-term elections, when Barbara Walters asked him about Palin's statement that she could beat him in 2012.

I'm pretty sure the President maintains that sentiment today.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mercede Johnston: "Time To Speak Up Again" New Bristol Palin Photo Taken In November 2007. Is She Pregnant?

By Leadfoot_LA

It appears that my future sister-in-law has been a busy beaver, er, busy as a bee working on securing a second Playboy shoot.  Earlier this month, she posted this photo to Facebook and commented that "This is the Playboy Studio West in LA."

But even more interesting, and perhaps more revealing, was a recent tweet Mercede sent on March 23, 2012: 

Expect to see "Playboy, The Sequel - The Next Revelations" on a magazine stand near you sometime in the not too distant future. 

Now we know from Bristol's blog that access to Tripp still seems to be rather sporadic. The Johnstons saw him in February, so visits are happening, but probably not as frequently as Mercede would like.  So it is possible that her tweet may also refer to her intent to speak out about Bristol breaking the custody agreement.  But a girl can hope, right?  In my dreams, Mercede will tell the truth about Bristol's FIRST pregnancy.

Mercede seems to be a smart girl.  By now she has to have pieced together the real reason Bristol didn't come in from the car on Christmas Eve, 2007.  Levi claimed it was because she had just had surgery.  UM.......could this surgery have also involved a breast reduction? Was the chin surgery claim the truth? Was the claim that she had had surgery at all the truth? Or could it be that the real reason that Bristol could not let the Johnstons see her was because she was obviously pregnant? Regardless, here is a photo of Bristol nine months later.

(Sept. 2008)

Mercede must also think it was odd that Bristol was apparently seen driving a truck with a license plate that said "Tripp" early in 2008, long before her nephew Tripp was born.

And she really must wonder why Bristol was sent to live with Aunt Heather in Anchorage in early 2008, supposedly with mono, yet Levi was still allowed to visit Bristol and never contracted mono. (He did, however, conceive a second baby, so we know he was in close enough proximity to have contracted it. Ahem.)

So let us hope that when she says she is ready to talk, that she means she is REALLY ready to talk.  I'm losing faith that the Johnstons will ever reveal the truth, but I'll always hold a glimmer of hope.  Mercede could make MILLIONS off the truth.  (Girl, call me, I can help set that up!)  Oh, and Mercede, if you are reading this, can you please do something about this?

(Levi and Sunny, March 25, 2012)

Please retweet:

Mercede Johnston to appear in second Playboy shoot? She says it is time to speak out again.…



Here is the photo that we received yesterday. We are still discussing it. The person who sent the photo claims that it was taken in November, 2007. What do you think? We would be grateful for your input.



Thanks to our reader KAO we have an interesting progression of photos taken of Bristol Palin.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dusty's Corner - The Republican's Very Own Liars Club

Well it seems Michele Bachmann has re-surfaced once again to offer her warped opinion on all things republican. Too bad she refuses take a few minutes to actually think for herself and look around to see that it is HER party that is dividing our country and she is just a pawn in their game by spewing her own special brand of misinformation. Michele will never realize that she actually has the right tools to do some good in this country and reverse the attacks for the woman’s rights. 

In other Bachmann news that just isn’t getting the attention it deserves is Michele’s campaign for President is over $1 million dollars in debt. Yes folks the woman who repeated incessantly that if elected SHE would go to Washington and rein in the out of control spending and balance the budget has left her campaign $1 Million dollars in debt. Sorry republicans but if you can't manage your own spending how in the hell do you expect to manage the nation's budget? 

Ah so Ricky Santorum won the LA primary. What a surprise- NOT.  In case anyone missed it here is a great link to his 1994 Campaign The Opposition File  Huffington Post also has a searchable database of the memos here.

I read a few of the memos, what got my attention is Ricky’s views and world opinion hasn’t changed much since 1994 the man is living in the past and believes he can change the United States of America to be a utopia of peace and love, rainbows and sunshine 24/7 if people would just anoint him President. His utopia is a place where men will be men aka make all the decisions for the household, sleep with whomever they choose and make all the money while woman will be woman you remember, barefoot and pregnant, silent until spoken too, long hair, skirts down to the floor, will never speak above a whisper and god forbid there would any enjoyment in the act of making love. Women will be responsible for hearth and home, bouncing the 10th baby on her knee while preparing the household meals and then attending to her husband’s evening bath. Oh gag me!  

I have one thing to say to every man or woman whom supports Rick Santorum: Are you out of your freaking mind? Seriously, what in your life is so bad that you would to give up the most basic human right that of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to support a man who is openly stating as fact he will take away the most fundamental right if elected President? If President Obama's skin color bothers you that much then maybe you all need to pick a new church and come up out of the basement and join those of us out here in the sunlight where skin color, sexual preference and social status don't mean a thing. We won't bite but we also won't tolerate your narrow minded and outdated prejudices.

Mitt Romney is the man who hasn’t met a lie he'll not only retell but will gleefully retell as if it is the god’s honest truth until the next lie comes along that grabs his attention. You just have to wonder if every time the “Oh Woe is Me Perpetual Victim” aka Sarah Palin goes on Fox News and climbs up on the her rhinestone bedazzled cross to endlessly retell how everyone was and still is so mean to her and her family that Mitt isn’t screaming at the top of his lungs “WTF lady, Every single pundit uses the phrase or a variation of the phrase “Anyone but Mitt’ when referring to me on every single political show every single day all day long!!!!!”

Gotta love that "Frontier Lady" Mitt. Not only in her mind can she swear like a man, she can plow alongside her man, hunt like a man and fish like a man but by goodness in reality she climbs up on her cross every time she feels threaten to pseudo hang like a man also and too [sic], bless her heart. Got to admit it Mitt, that "Frontier Lady" can out lie you any day of the week and still get more media attention than you while retelling the same lie you've been retelling over and over again while both of you claim to be 'Christian'. Funny in my bible one of the 10 Commandments is Thou Shalt Not Lie. What does yours say? Thou shalt lie if for the betterment of one's pocket?  

Umm, Sarah one tiny thought regarding your latest ghostwritten FaceBook Frontier Lady Fable- Me thinks thou doth protest too much! Darlin, you can't play the victim day after day after day whining that people are mean to you and then claim to be a tough old bird who is single handily taming the last frontier that is Alaska. Yes we've all seen your show, the endless news clips, the movie Game Change all of which proved you aren't, never were and never will be a Frontier Lady. You are either a victim or you are a tough old bird! Your choice either continue playing the victim or climb down off your cross and toughen up you can't be both at the same time not even in the Republican's Liars Club of which you have earn a lifetime free membership alongside Michele, Mitt and Ricky. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekly Roundup, March 19-25, 2012

By Blueberry T

PoliticalGates is the proud winner of the 2011 Bloggers Choice Award for Best Political Blog – congratulations to our whole team of writers, researchers and readers!!

March 20, 2011
I wish I could say I was surprised to learn that such an extremist as Pastor Dennis Terry of the Greenwell Baptist Church was praying over and urging his flock to support Rick Perry. I’m disgusted, but I’m not surprised, at the flagrant violation of prohibitions against churches supporting candidates for public office; the unvarnished bigotry against liberal or non-Christian beliefs; and the overt Dominionism. Kathleen’s excellent post also delves into the extreme homophobia that Santorum and his supporters share. I found a clip recently on Daily Kos that may be the best antidote to gay-bashing: “If you’re homophobic, you’re probably gay.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Women of America Unite! (And Men, Too.)
Kathleen alerts us to rallies being organized around the country on April 28th to protest the GOP’s War on Women. It is time to fight back against the attacks against the rights that women have won, after great struggle, over the past century. If you need further inspiration to be motivated to get out and march for women, here is a link to Ebbtide’s recent guest post, including many links regarding the GOP’s extremist efforts to undo women’s progress. It seems like a depraved competition to see who can come up with the most outrageous ideas of how to turn back the clock on women’s rights. Get out to a march near you on April 28th (or organize one!). Be there or be square. Let’s have lots of Politicalgates boots on the ground.

Thursday, March 22, 2012
Sunnyjane offers her usual brilliant combination of relevant, timely information and inspired snark. In this post, she disputes the GOP’s convenient but false claim that President Obama is responsible for increasing gas prices. She offers a terrific, very clear one paragraph primer on the factors that do influence gas prices, and then presents the who’s who of GOP information-distortionists (aka liars) on this subject. Sarah Palin, America’s top expert on energy (according to John McCain and NOBODY else on the planet), offers her own inimitable punditry and word salad about “fungible commodities,” leaving some of us to wonder whether we should laugh or cry. (Okay, we laughed.) Numerous experts have come to President Obama’s defense recently, but let’s not fool ourselves. The American Petroleum Institute took out a full page ad in the Sunday Boston Globe (and I’ll bet other papers too) urging people to call their Senators to oppose President Obama’s efforts to end tax breaks to Big Oil. This will be a very tough fight.

Saturday, March 24, 2012
Kathleen is on a roll this week! She highlights another in a long series of blatant, easily proven lies by Sarah Palin – this one, her claim that President Obama insulted Special Olympians and didn’t apologize for it. He did say something that he regretted, but, true to his classy persona, he immediately contacted Tim Shriver of the Special Olympics to offer his sincere apologies and express his support and admiration for the Special Olympics and the wonderful athletes who participate. The post includes a video clip that Patrick put together, including Palin’s dishonest claim juxtaposed with the report of the President’s apology. Her mean spirit and her slipping wig are in clear view in the Hannity interview.

Some Comments and Links:
JCos: Perhaps I missed it, but has Israel ever offered to abolish its own nuclear program if Iran does too?
Cheeriogirl: So let me see if I have this straight: first, conservatives want to make sure you get pregnant by limiting access to birth control, then force you to have the baby by limiting access to abortions, then if you get fired for taking time off to have the baby, you have no right to recourse for being fired. Great. All these things that have been litigated decades ago and established as basic rights have been inverted.
Leadfoot (responding to HopeforAmerica’s report of polls showing Palin might do well in a brokered convention): Who did they poll for that?! The home for the criminally insane?
Maelewis: One more word about health care, especially the well orchestrated program of humiliating women who want birth control information and medication, abortions or any kind of health care (mammogram, pap smear): The Republicans (and their kissing cousins, the Tea Party) have one meme, "Get big government off my back and out of my life. And, cut costs, too." For a group who does not want government interfering in their lives, they certainly want to poke their noses and vaginal ultrasound wands in some pretty intimate places. Their programs of forced sonograms would add unnecessary cost. I don't think they are even considering the ultimate cost of the increased population that would result from less birth control and no abortions. Who is going to absorb the cost of feeding all of those extra mouths? Food stamps won't. They are placing an added burden on the working class that is already struggling with the rising costs of everything. When they picked women as their target for their culture war, I don't think that they even considered the consequences of what they were doing.
Older_Wiser: As a working class woman, I generally tend to think like a Marxist but act like a social democrat. Like a good lawyer, I know that you always ask for more than you think you'll get because in praxis (implementing theory into practice), you are dealing with human beings, not robots. This is something that politicians and bureaucrats often forget, whether in a communist state or a republic. Thus, whether I was working in the civil rights movement, the women's movement, the union movement, I tended to think about what tactic was more likely to bring about the best results for everyone with the least amount of damage. Personally, I can be quite fierce in my convictions, but bloody revolution and war are not conditions I see myself promoting to achieve those goals. Destruction and bloodshed aren't necessary to promote ideas of equality and justice for all, but patience, perseverance and preservation of all life are. It is easier and faster to pick up the gun and destroy ourselves as a species, but it takes more discipline and patience to rock the cradle of civilization.
Cheeriogirl pointed out this on 20 experts who say more drilling won’t lower gas prices; she also linked to this on the same topic.
sunnyjane highlighted an interesting message from a GOP Congressman: women, give money to Democrats. Brave man.
Do Not Miss This (found on Twitter).
HonestyinGov found this – Republican bill has language supporting Obama Administration’s position on health care reform, justifying ACA.
CacklinRad pointed out this interview proving that Palin knew she was on McCain’s short list in early March 2008.
I have to include this Rachel Maddow commentary on the Ryan budget that Romney loves.
Here is the great collage that PalinStuff made at HopeforAmerica’s request – well done!