Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Republican Tea Party: Equal Opportunity Haters

by Sunnyjane

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Hardly had President Barack Obama gotten through his repeat swearing-in ceremony in 2009 when newly elected RNC Chairman Michael Steele (the Republican's we'll-show-you! retort to a black Democrat in the White House) issued a stern warning that he would torpedo the public perception that the Republicans are "a party unconcerned about minorities, a party that's unconcerned about the lives and dreams of average Americans."  Well, that may have been Mr. Steele's intention, but it obviously was not on the GOP leadership's agenda, and his torpedo turned out to be a dud.  And speaking of duds, the RNC ousted Steele and installed Reince Priebus.

Hey, forget what we stand for; we gotta sound "reasonable."
Fast Forward to early 2013.  Election over.  President Obama inaugurated to serve a second term.  Republican/Tea Party/Libertarian heads explode.  Recriminations and finger-pointing ensue: the GOP candidate was too conservative... or the GOP candidate was not conservative enough.  Karl Rove's fantastical fractured figure finagling blamed. 

Studies follow:  Ground game ineffective.  College Republicans conclude that the GOP is closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.  And even though no one asks him for his opinion, in January Bobby Jindal tells an audience of Republicans, We must stop being the stupid party  ...  We must stop looking backward ... We must stop insulting the intelligence of voters.  It's rather good advice, actually, but...

...less than two months later, Priebus confirms for the country that there's little chance of a change in the GOP by saying that Mike Huckabee should be a model for a lot of people in our party.  Yes, indeedy, the same man who supported Todd Akin, says homosexuality is a sin and leads to polygamy, is against abortion for any reason, and believes that a breeder should be at home with one baby on her hip, one at her breast, and one in her belly.  That Mike Huckabee.   

Conclusion:  GOP business as usual.

What War on Women???
The little GOP bitch in pink thinks rape kits have magical abortion powers.

The far-right in this country badly need a war -- any war will do -- to alleviate their own insecurities, and one of the easiest ones to win seems to be their hostility towards women.   They've become very successful at destroying a woman's constitutional right to choose what's best for her, her family, and her own body.  If all goes according to the GOP's plan, Texas will enact* the most far-reaching and restrictive anti-choice laws in the country this week.  It will bring to nearly seven hundred the number of similar laws passed in just the past three months.

*Update: During a nail-biting special session of the Texas legislature on Tuesday, the bill failed.  However, Rick Perry has called for a second special session of the legislature to push the same restrictive anti-choice bill because Texans value women's lives so much that, according to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst...

In Texas, we believe in regulating vaginas instead of fertilizer plants.
Oh, and since Gov. Oops will probably run for president in 2016,  he's gotta shore up those family-values creds, dontcha know.  [Do you think the far-right Christianistas realize that they actually worship a Jewish liberal?] 

While Texas is hell-bent on ruining life for many women in the second most populated state in the country, Iowa legislators have given Gov. Branstad (a far-right pro-lifer) the final decision on whether Medicaid will pay for a woman's abortion.  [Legally, Medicaid can only be used to pay for abortions resulting from rape, incest, danger to the life of the mother, or a fetus so malformed that it would not survive outside the womb.]  So, after the abortion for one of these situations is performed, the governor will be presented with the details and make the decision on whether Medicaid will pay the bill.  Oh, Branstad has assured the citizens of Iowa that he plans to be very thoughtful in making his decisions, even though there appear to be no guidelines whatsoever for him to follow.  Bottom line:  Iowa has completely lost its fucking mind and they're obviously not aware that politicans are lousy doctors.

GOP governors are irrationally fixated on women's bodies and what they do with them.  Over in Wisconsin, Scott Walker thinks it's a dandy idea to perform transvaginal sonograms on first-term pregnancies.

There is no truth to the rumor that I want to prevent the next virgin birth from being aborted.
The governor has no problem with these invasive, medically unnecessary procedures and saysI think most people think ultrasounds are just fine.  And which most people would that be, Governor?   It wouldn't be most men, now would it?  Just asking.  Oh wait, I get it!  Since Rush Limbaugh never got to see videos of Sandra Fluke having wild sex, I guess Scotty-boy is going to send his good buddy Rush videos of women having transvaginal sonograms.  Perhaps it's the only way Limpballs can get a stiffie going, huh?

But perhaps the most jaw-dropping bill being proposed against women at the moment is the one in Ohio that will require women who want birth control pills to undergo ultrasound procedures and wait twenty-four hours.  You cannot make this shit up.     

How about these states pass a law requiring a transpenile procedure for any man wanting a vasectomy or a prescription for Viagra or Cialis?
The Supreme Court Has Just Trod on My DOMA!

Q: How will DOMA repeal affect traditional marriage?   A: Ummm...
With a shrug and a Who cares?, Nancy Pelosi dismissed a reporter's question regarding Michele Bachmann's rant after the high court announced its decision on DOMA and Prop 8 in California: This decision is one that is profound because the Supreme Court not only attacked our Constitution today… Well, that's all you really need to know, because Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) had to school Ms. Bachmann and reporters on that little thingy called Separation of Church and State.  And he did it beautifully.

And in other far-right reactions on the DOMA repeal, Justice Scalia swallowed his legalized argle-bargle gargle by re-ranting his homosexual sodomy argument while Rand Paul believes that the DOMA decision could lead to bestiality.  No, seriously.  As Americablog points out, Rand just compared Mary Cheney’s relationship to sodomizing your pet.  Sweet.

And not to disappoint his faithful followers, the model for the GOP (see above) Mike Huckabee tweeted My thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same sex marriage is okay: "Jesus wept."   Of course, the phrase Jesus wept has absolutely nothing to do with gay marriage, but hey, so what so long as it gets the far-right in a lather?

The Supreme Gutting of the Voting Rights Act

While the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (known as the formula section), it made Section 5 (the pre-clearance section) virtually null and void.  As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote in her scathing dissenting argument,  Section 5 is now "immobilized" without a working coverage formula.  Chief Justice Roberts said that it was the duty of the Congress to address the coverage formula; well, good luck with that, CJ.

I don't know where the Chief Justice was during the 2012 general election, but his ruling that racial minorities no longer face barriers to voting in states with a history of discrimination is naive at best, and deceitful at worst. Our country has changed, he wrote. While any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.  Current conditions, Mr. Chief Justice?  It only took Gov. Perry two hours after the decision had been announce to declare that Texas may now implement the will of the people without being subject to outdated and unnecessary oversight and the overreach of federal power.  You can bet your sweet bippy that there will definitely be racial barriers put up for the folks in the Lone Star state.  As John Oliver pointed out, It takes Texas less time to disenfranchise voters than to barbecue a pig.

End Note 

We Americans have our work cut out for us.  Stopping the regressive and repressive actions of the Republican Party and its far-right cohorts will take all of us working hard together.  We must believe that we can do it.

As Nelson Mandela once said:

 It always seems impossible until it's done.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

TV-review: Celebrity Wife Swap with Bristol and Willow Palin and Joan Rivers - No actual wives in sight

Remember: Plastic surgery can change the outside, but not the inside

By Leadfoot_LA and Bella, age 10

We’re baaaack! Bella and I watched Celebrity Wife Swap, much to our chagrin, to recap it for the Politicalgates family. The episode featured the 2 women who will literally do ANYTHING to be on reality TV – Joan Rivers and Bristol Palin. Both have been “stars” of their own reality series, along with appearing on other reality shows such as The Apprentice (Joan) and Dancing with the Stars (Bristol). We are, frankly, sick to death of them. But here we go…

Joan lives 3-days-a-week with Melissa and her 12-year old grandson, Cooper in Melissa’s house in Los Angeles. They also have a full time nanny and housekeeper. Joan is “very formal” and insists they sit down to a nice dinner every night. They focus on Cooper’s education and we see clips of him playing various musical instruments.

Bristol is introduced as a “medical assistant” – it actually says that on the screen. (Dear Bristol, we’re sure you’re reading here. If you’d like to email me a copy of your medical assisting degree, I will happily post it. Otherwise, you are a LIAR.) Then she says she was introduced to the world when she was “pregnant at 17.” For those who live in REAL reality, she was pregnant at SIXTEEN. She lives in Alaska with her son Tripp and her sister Willow, who just graduated from cosmetology school.

The shots of the interior of Bristol’s home show no less than a dozen crosses on the living room wall. (Dear Bristol, if you are THAT Christian, maybe you should tell the world the truth about your first pregnancy.) Willow says that Bristol “doesn’t feel the need for a manager or an assistant or anything like that.” Why would a “medical assistant” need a manager and an assistant?! Ugh. My head hurts already.

Bristol says, “My parenting style sucks. My son owns me. Tripp gets away with murder.” They use popsicles to bribe him to follow the rules. Bella says, “that boy is a brat!”

Bristol explains that in Alaska they are outdoorsy, wear boots and coats, don’t care about fashion, and are not “camera ready” all the time. (Dear Bristol – Only someone who IS obsessed with being camera ready all the time would even use that phrase!)

On the morning of the switch, Bristol asks Tripp “are you going to miss me?!” He doesn’t even look up from his video game as he answers “no.” As she drives away, she says, “no cussing” and watches as Tripp hits Willow several times. Oy. That boy doesn’t need Melissa Rivers. He needs Dalton Reform School for Boys!

Bristol arrives in LA, and says she has been here a few times, but never ventured out to where the beach is. Huh?! She lived here for months and never went to the beach!? Bristol explores the house and figures out from family photos that it belongs to Joan Rivers. She immediately says Joan has criticized her weight a few times and gets nervous about how Joan will treat her. (Dear Bristol, where is that “tough skin” you are always crowing about?)

Melissa, meanwhile, explores Bristol’s house and reads her household manual, which says “welcome to my modest home.” Melissa rolls her eyes and says “this is not a modest home!” Reading on, she has to stop and says, “I’m sorry, I am just so completely nauseated by this” when she gets to the line, “moose and caribou are constants in my freezer.” (Dear Bristol, we know you didn’t finish high school, sweetie, but did you really have to have your mom write your household manual for you?!)

Bristol reads Melissa’s household manual and gets upset because “fashion is not her life.” Truer words have never been spoken. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a family with more fashion “don’ts” than hers!

Melissa meets Willow and Tripp and immediately sees that Tripp has behavior issues and sees that he knows there will be no consequences. Tripp won’t shake Melissa’s extended hand, and says “she’s a fake mom, not a real mom.”

Bristol meets Joan and Cooper, who extends his hand and says “nice to meet you.” Joan gives Bristol a warm hug. Joan says that any jokes she made in the past were “just business.” Bristol snottily says “really?!” Joan, in the diary room out of earshot from Bristol, says that Bristol is insecure. Bella gives me a look that is half, “this is going to be fun” and half, “this is going to be painful.”

Melissa and Willow prepare moose liver for dinner, and then both try to choke it down, while Tripp sleeps on the sofa. Melissa spits it into the trash. Willow gets it down, but doesn’t look happy about it. Tripp wakes up at 10 pm, full of energy. Willow says that Tripp decides when he is going to go to bed.

Back in L.A., Bristol oversees Cooper’s cello practice and is quite sweet to him. Then they pull her into a production meeting for Fashion Police. Bristol says she can’t help because she doesn’t know anything about fashion. She says she feels mean and doesn’t like to criticize people (bwahahahahahaha!).

Todd drops by to pick up Tripp for the day and Tripp’s whiny, bratty demeanor instantly changes. You can see that he loves his grandpa, and my guess is because Grandpa Todd is probably the only person who provides any discipline to Tripp.

Bristol is supposed to be replacing Melissa as the producer of Fashion Police, but she tells Joan, “I think I’m just most comfortable observing.” She says there are more important things in life than criticizing what others are wearing. (Dear Bristol, this wasn’t about fashion! It was about you getting offered a priceless opportunity to show your leadership skills and learn how a TV production works! And you quit before you even started.) Besides, the show also offers the “5 best looks of the week” and other positive fashion advice. But Bristol chose to only see the negative.

Melissa goes “mudding” on four-wheelers with Willow and really enjoys it. Willow talks about her future plans to open her own salon. They take Tripp out to dinner and he colors with crayons on Melissa’s sweater and is basically a complete terror the entire time.

Bristol helps Cooper with homework, then attends a formal dinner party that Joan threw to welcome her. Joan tells all the guests to please “be very gentle on her” before Bristol comes downstairs. Bristol doesn’t know how to eat her lobster and Joan has to teach her. They are asking her silly questions like, “Are there gay bars in Alaska” and “Was there a school slut?” They ask about her mom and she says “I have no desire to discuss politics.” Bristol says they are “on the attack.” (Dear Bristol, they were not on the attack AT ALL. Give me 5 minutes in a room with your insecure, uneducated, Levi-bashing, two-baby-having butt and I will show you what “on the attack” looks like!)

Joan says that she will help and support Bristol “even though I’m a democrat.” HA! She tells Bristol to quit playing the victim. Bristol has many advantages that she doesn’t even appreciate. In Joan’s generation, Bristol “would have been known as the little whore down the block that had to go to Reno to have her baby.” Oh, Joan, Joan, Joan. Times haven’t changed much in Alaska. Bristol faked mono for 5 months, doncha know?! Then her mom stole her first baby and claimed it as her own.

It’s time for the ladies to provide new rules for their new homes. Bristol tells Joan that the house has to become less of a production studio and more of a family home for Cooper (not bad advice!). They will have dinner that is not prepared and served by staff. They will dress down and not be so formal. Finally, they will go on a fishing trip.

Melissa tells Willow that Tripp needs structure. A sticker chart will provide rewards for positive behavior. From now on he will sleep in his own bed. Melissa is also going to help Willow get experience to further her career.

The new rules seem to be going well. Bristol makes macaroni and cheese (that is all!) and serves it on paper plates. Joan says it is delicious. They go on a fishing trip in some rickety old pickup truck that Bristol borrowed. They catch fish, Bristol fillets it, and they grill it on the spot. Everyone enjoys it. Bristol and Joan do each other’s nails. Bristol makes Joan play lacrosse with Cooper. Joan says that she really likes Bristol.

Melissa and Willow take Tripp to dinner and try to teach him table manners. Willow caves right away when he starts misbehaving and Melissa says, “you realize you are the adult, right?” Melissa helps Willow feel empowered to be an authority figure to Tripp. He actually starts to behave. Melissa then tells Willow that she got her an opportunity to do hair for a local TV anchor. Willow wimps out and refuses to do it.

All four women meet up to discuss their experiences. Joan and Melissa both talk about how they tried to get work experience for the Palin girls and how neither one of them had the confidence to just jump in and try it. Then they discuss the dinner party and Joan says, “really? You felt attacked?! You must have thought, ‘that bitch set me up!’” Bristol answers, “yah, no kidding.” WOW. (Dear Bristol, what happened at that dinner party is called making conversation. You have GOT TO stop being so sensitive or your life is going to be extremely difficult. Who CARES what some random people at a dinner party think of you?!) Even Bella understands this, and looks at me and rolls her eyes.

They discuss how much better Tripp has been behaving since using the sticker system. Melissa says Willow and Bristol have to stop being a buddy to him and start acting as disciplinarians. From the looks on their faces, this plea goes right over both of their heads. Bristol does say that she admires how Cooper behaves and she’d like Tripp to act more like Cooper. Melissa and Joan say that will take Bristol’s advice to loosen their schedules and lessen their formality a bit. They all hug and say goodbye. Melissa says the Palins are welcome any time, and that she “can see Catalina from her house.” LOL!!!

Bella could not be happier that the show has ended. “I am so sick of these people,” she says. Me and you both, kid. Me and you both.


By Patrick:

Thank you so much, Leadfoot and Bella! You tortured yourself again for our pleasure. What more can we ask for from true friends!

Anyone who fancies a bit of that herself/himself - the complete episode is already on youtube.

EDIT: I had to exchange the video, because the original clip was removed by the user.

Here is part 1 (of 6) of this episode:

The other remaing parts can be found here.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Steve Flesher aka "snorp73", founder of "" and author at "conservatives4palin", insults Kathleen online with a gay slur - what a douche! Bonus: Steve Flesher aka "snorp73" falsely claims that the "Palin pregnancy pictures" from March 26 and April 13, 2008 cannot be dated properly

By Patrick

Once upon a time...there was a female politician in the lonely and cold state of Alaska, a place many people did not care too much about. She wanted fame and power, and although some people thought she was quite dumb, our politician had realized something very important: In politics, it's all about building a movement for yourself. You need fans - and the best thing is: They will do the work for you, sometimes "dirty" work (if that is what you really want). If they are fanatic enough, they will lie and cheat for you and insult others. You don't even have to do it yourself. Often, they will even do it for free.

Sarah Palin's "rise to power" in Alaska has been well documented, as well as her "downfall." However, it is very interesting to note that fascinating revelations about exactly how Sarah Palin rose to power in Alaska recently were published by unlikely sources: By her father, Chuck Heath Sr. and her brother, Chuck Heath Jr. In their 2012 book "Our Sarah", they explained how Sarah Palin at a very early point had realized that you need an "online brigade" to drum up support for you - and how such a group of people, often volunteers, can be used with great effectiveness.

They write (pp. 167 and 168):

Finally, in October 2005, before a packed living room at her home, Sarah announced her decision. She was running for governor. (...) Sarah's announcement came early, which gave her an advantage. She also had a volunteer network already in place from the lieutenant governor's campaign. They hadn't been formally organized during the interim, but they were just the same. They went to work immediately. (...)

They also began an Internet group that operated on its own, apart from the campaign. Members of that group manned their computers and searched for blogs and news sites with articles about the governor's race. Using multiple e-mail-accounts, and sometimes multiple computers, they made it their own personal mission to post responses to every news article that touched on the issues and candidates. They diligently and relentlessly countered every negative comment and encouraged every positive response, not just with partisan invective but with well-researched facts. (...)

They conclude this chapter on page 173 and write:

On February 2, 2007, Adam Brickley, a student at the University of Colorado, created a blog entitled Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President. His first entry offered an argument for why she should be named as the vice presidential running mate for Rudy Giuliani, at the time the front runner for the Republican nomination for president in the 2008 election. Don (Benson) and the pro-Sarah Internet group learned about the blog a few days later and immediately began organizing support for a push to get Sarah on the ticket.

As they had done during the gubernational campaign, they searched the Internet for related blogs and news sites, where they posted comments and directed users to Brickley's blog. They located websites that invited users to vote in vice presidential preferential polls and made sure they voted for Sarah. With polls that did not include her name, they posted comments suggesting her as an alternative to others then being considered and encouraged sites to add her name to the list. Their help moved Sarah's name up in several of the informal polls, not all the way to the top but high enough to get noticed. That, in turn, generated discussions about her among news outlets. Before long she wasn't just the first female governor of Alaska. She was on the short list of names mentioned as a potential Republican vice presidential candidate.

Chuck Heath Jr. and Sr.: Their book wasn't so boring after all

Therefore Sarah Palin experienced the benefits of have a large group of supporters who defend you online and, ideally, shout down the opposition in online forums with lies, insults and heavily distorted or made-up "facts" - Scientology-style. Because that is what can be witnessed today on virtually every article which is posted online about the Quitter, with the supposedly "independent" website "Conservatives4Palin" (C4P) at the heart of this ugly "movement" for Sarah. Her online "mini-me's" imitate the "Governor" perfectly: They are mean, they play dirty and they surely don't let facts get in their way.

"Conservatives4Palin" have rather murky beginnings when at some point in early 2009, three supposed "grassroots activists" founded the website (see their "official story" about the start of the website). If you believe that this was an "independent" start-up, you might as well believe in Santa Claus. Co-founder Rebecca A. Mansour ("RAM") secretly vanished from the site later in 2009 with virtually no trace remaining, so to speak - until we at Palingates "found" her again in an exclusive revelation on February 1, 2010, when we reported that Rebecca A. Mansour secretly had become one of Sarah Palin's highly paid advisors.

That claim that "Conservatives4Palin" is independent from Sarah Palin has long been exposed as a lie. I recently wrote in my post about the practice of banning even mildly critical commenters from "Conservatives4Palin":

It is a website which claims to be independent from Sarah Palin and her official organizations, but Sarah Palin's former top-aide Frank Bailey inconveniently revealed in his book "Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin" that Conservatives4Palin received their talking points from Palin-aide Meg Stapleton in 2009 in order to discredit Juneau-resident Chip Thoma (p. 323). As a result of the communications between Meg Stapleton and C4P, their writer Joey Russo published a bogus-story about the invented fact that Thoma wanted to "close down Piper Palin's lemonade stand."

So what fun fact have we got to report today? We recently wrote about Steve Flesher, a leading author and moderator at C4P, who is also the founder of "" Steve Flesher proved just as "ban-happy" as "RAM" back in the old days. Anyone who "disrespects the Governor", which according to Steve Flesher also includes asking the question why Palin is silent on immigration issues, will get the boot from "Conservatives4Palin" - the fan club does not want to be disturbed.

It is therefore understandable that Steve Flesher does not like us too much. However, that is not very surprising, as his internet history proves that apart from being one of the most important authors at C4P, he has been one of Sarah Palin's most rabid and vicious "online defenders" during the recent years as well. Many people might not be aware of the fact that the very vocal pro-Palin online-commenter "snorp73" is actually Steve Flesher. He never identifies himself in the comments, but his sign-up history is partially online - you find it with a simple google-search:

In the meantime, Steve deleted his "snorp73" twitter account, but still uses his disqus-profile for combative and mostly insulting pro-Palin comments on blogs and articles (despite having a disqus-profile with his real name as well).

When my dear wife Kathleen recently left a comment on the "Atlantic Wire" article about John Olivers wonderful segment about Sarah Palin, Steve Flesher aka "snorp73" shot back with a remark which is more than eyebrow-raising in its hilarity, or might I even say "hypocrisy" - the conservative gay activist Steve Flesher, founder of "", attacked Kathleen with a "gay slur." He responded to Kathleen:

"Low standards, mister-sister."


Even for Steve Flesher, this has to a new low.

In some older comments "snorp73" actually mentioned that his is gay:

The "urban dictionary" has this to say about the phrase "mister sister".

Could you also say "hypocrisy?" 

Funnily, that is what justifies banning commenters at "Conservatives4Palin", according to Steve Flesher:

To conclude, there are two other comments by Steve Flesher aka "snorp73" which are worth mentioning. But before doing that, I would like to point out the following - Steve Flesher aka "snorp73" is no stranger to check out other people's comment histories as well and commenting about it:

First, it is particularly interesting to note that Steve Flesher found it necessary to dismiss the allegation that Sarah Palin faked her pregnancy with Trig (which is, of course, a true fact and not just an allegation) with a flat out-lie.

On a Palin-related article at "The Hill" the commenter "nolaredhead" posted the following photo comparison in the comments, a photo-comparison which was originally created by our reader "Lidia17":

Steve Flesher aka "snorp73" responded to this photo with a very revealing comment:

"Nobody can prove that they correspond with the dates they claim to be taken on"...?

You really want to believe that, am I correct, Steve?

So let's make the fact-check. That's always great fun as far as Sarah Palin is concerned, did you know that, Steve?

Let's start with the picture on the right, taken on April 13, 2008. It's a real pleasure to confirm that authenticity of this photo, because you know, Steve, there was even a TV-report done about this photo, by KTVA-reporter Andrea Gusty, who interviewed Sarah while the photo was taken.

This is the TV-report about the photo, from April 2009:

This is the original photo, in the highest resolution available (click on photo to enlarge):

There was also a second photo published together with this one:

When were they published? Well, anonymously, on August 31, 2008, on flickr, by videographer Dan Carpenter, as we know today. He used the the flickr-account named "erik99559." This account has long been deleted, but the screenshots survive, as well as the original photos:

News of the anonymously posted picture spread suspiciously fast, because just one day later, on September 1, 2008, HuffPost writer Lee Stranahan, who today writes for Breitbart, used this photo to debunk that fast spreading claim that Sarah Palin faked her pregnancy:

See our post from April 17, 2011 with more facts and documentation about the "Gusty-pictures."

So I think we confirmed that authenticity of this photo, won't you agree, Steve?

Let's get to the second photo, from March 26, 2008, when Sarah Palin was only three weeks away from "giving birth" to a baby weighing more then six pounds.

There are actually several pictures existing from this day. The one in the picture-comparison above only came to light in August 2011 after they had been released by photo-agency Polaris (see our major post about these photos from August 2011).

Here is it again in its full glory:

Well, apart from the fact that we have a professional photo-agency website dating the photo on March, 2008...

...we also have several other pieces of documentation, as explained in great length in this post.

Originally, we had found a different picture from March 26, 2008 at a much earlier point, already late in 2008.

This was the original "nail in the coffin" picture from March 26, 2008 (click to enlarge), which was posted on flickr by the user "surfdaf":

The picture was taken on March 26, 2008, in the Alaska State Museum in Juneau where Palin signed Bill HB 259. Here is a news report from this event:

Here is a screenshot of Sarah Palin's official diary from that day, which was obtained through a FOIA request (click to enlarge):

Sarah Palin's complete official schedule from late 2007 and early 2008, which was obtained through a FOIA request, can be found HERE.

In addition, here is a screenshot from a news report about this event in the "Juneau Empire" - already including a picture which was taken by Brian Wallace:

The picture links to this short story - written by Brian Wallace, whose additional pictures from this event now appeared on the agency website virtually "out of the blue":

The "wayback Machine" also saved the official press release of the Governor's office for this event at the Alaska State Museum which took place on March 26, 2008.

The "nail in the coffin" picture with Palin's flat belly was upload to flickr on April 15, 2008, three days before Trig was officially born, by the user "surfdaf". It's not the only picture she uploaded from this event. There were several others as well.

Here are the original screenshots from flickr:

I even made PDF-hardcopies of the flickr-pages on November 30, 2008. You can access the PDF-document with the "nail in the coffin" picture HERE.

While "surfdaf" made the famous "nail in the coffin" picture private shortly after it was discovered, the other pictures are still online, "embedded" in a huge batch of other pictures from Alaska which were also uploaded to flickr on April 15, 2008.

So I guess we have this picture covered as well.

What do you say now, Steve? Where is the baby weighing more than six pounds which was presented only three weeks later on April 18, 2008? Where was it hiding? Because one thing is certain: On March 26, 2008, it certainly was not "there."

This was the situation on April 18, 2008:

Steve, maybe the answer to all these questions can be found in your own comments.

On June 27, 2011, when Sarah's fan, you included, were still certain of a presidential run, you commented:

You wrote:

"If she doesn't run, she irritates a massive following of people requiring her to at least give it a shot. She has to -- even if she loses --- to stay in the mix."

Actually, I agree with you here, Steve. If Sarah Palin had been aspiring to become the US President, she definitely should have attempted a run - even if she lost.

So why didn't she run, Steve?

And let me add: Why will she never run for anything else again, Steve?

You should think long and hard about these questions, Steve. Sometimes it's too hard to see the wood if there are too many bears and popes around, you know.

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 HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HEREHERE, 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).

Listen to Sarah Palin's own description of her unbelievable "Wild Ride" from Texas to Alaska, which happened on April 17, 2008: Sarah explains how she decided to make the trip, despite of the fact that her "water broke" the night before.

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Mole on Patrol: 'An Atheist in the FOXhole'

by Sunnyjane

There's tremendous power in television news. With a well-positioned negative word ... you can make the most powerful people on earth tremble.         
Bill O'Reilly, from his 2004 novel Those Who Trespass
At twenty-two years old, Joe Muto found himself working at Fox News for the most time-honored reason: he desperately needed a job.  Having beer-kegged his way through the University of Notre Dame via its Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, he graduated with a less than stellar grade point average of 2.8.  It's not terribly surprising then, that his applications to the TV and print media organizations in New York with which he would have been proud to be associated went unanswered.

Muto's book is interesting for its inside look at how television news is produced.  Briefly, the talking head of each show holds a daily pitch meeting with his or her staff of producers whose job it is to suggest stories that are breaking or continuing to be talked about, so long as Fox can report it with their own conservative slant.  

Fox News is not really into breaking news, per se; they leave that up to MSNBC and CNN, their chief ratings rivals.  Since this is Joe Muto's story, I won't bother to provide much commentary, except where I simply cannot help myself!  

The real story to most readers, of course, is likely to be... 

The On-Air Hosts and Other, um, Fox Talent

Absurdly blessed with a $20,000,000 annual salary, the top dog at Fox News is Bill O'Reilly, the moody and ill-tempered host of the 8:00 PM The O'Reilly Factor.  It took less than three years for the liberal-thinking mole to be offered a job on the staff of Papa Bear's now-defunct radio show -- a job Muto took because it was a promotion.  In early 2009, it was back to television as a Factor producer.

Muto shares some of the lessons he learned on how to successfully pitch a story to O'Reilly, including:  Make sure to demonstrate how the host can stoke the fires of outrage in his viewers; establish a villain; and where possible, show him how he can make it about sex.  And so on.

The author writes several examples of funny parodies on how he would have pitched historical and Biblical stories to O'Reilly.  On the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties:  Bill, radical black activists in the South are carrying out a campaign to damage the teeth of police dogs.  Or this on Adam and Eve: Bill, a liberal feminist extremist tricked her husband into consuming drugs, and then told authorities that a talking snake told her to do it.

The most notorious story about holier-than-thou Bill O'Reilly is the sexual harassment suit brought against him in October 2004 by one of his female producers, Andrea Mackris.  In the $60,000,000 law suit, Mackris alleged that Papa Bear had made unwanted sexually explicit phone calls to her, even describing his, um, family jewels to her (big!).  Further, he suggested that she should use a vibrator and told her the sexual fantasies he was having about her.  At one point he must have gotten really hot and bothered by his own words, because in an ignominious twist of the tongue, he began calling the loofah he wanted to rub between her legs falafel.  (Think about it...ewww!)

The suit was settled in less than two weeks.  O'Reilly paid her some money, but the terms of the settlement remain confidential.  The word falafel was never to be used at Fox News headquarters thereafter. 

That Hack, Hannity

Leading the pack as Fox lost its fucking mind after the election of Barack Obama in 2008 was none other than Sean Hannity.  Having rid himself of his liberal partner, Alan Colmes, and getting the prime 9:00 PM slot all to himself, the Hack jumped the new president at every opportunity.  When President Obama went to a burger restaurant in Washington several months into his first term and asked for spicy brown mustard, something like that, or a Dijon mustard, Hannity sneered, I hope you enjoyed that fancy burger, Mr. President!  From that point forward, everything from teleprompters to foreign policy were fodder for Sean Hannity's twisted concept of what constitutes news.

Joe Muto says in his book that he once overheard a discussion between a very conservative producer and a tech: Goddamn, Hannity is completely unwatchable lately while the other responded, You're acting like it was ever watchable in the first place.
As Sirius Left host Richard Bey said recently, I worked at ABC Radio with Sean. He doesn't know anything about history. He knows what they give him on the talking points.  

And, according to Muto, Bill O'Reilly can't stand Hannity, the feeling is mutual, and the two do not speak.

Just Plain Greta

Neither as bombastic as O'Reilly nor as professionally untalented as Hannity, Greta Van Susteren appears almost boring.  Not only does she not fit the good-looks mold as a Fox News female personality, but her On the Record segment at 10:00 PM deals primarily with legal and crime issues.  

Describing what I assume is the unofficial criteria for female talking heads, Muto provides a handy list:*

     -Ability to string two words together
     -Ability to summon outrage and berate a guest at length
     -Conservative views (or the ability to convincingly fake them)
     -Journalistic credentials

While Greta could hardly be thought of as hot and her conservative views might be suspect, she's very intelligent and her's is rated the third most-watched show on Fox News, behind Hannity at #2 and O'Reilly at #1.  Muto actually had little interesting to say about her.

*See She's Hot and She Gets Good Ratings, below.  (Heh)

There's Gotta be a Conspiracy in Here Somewhere!

Even given what Fox News usually considers the dead-zone time slot of 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, it didn't take Glenn Beck long to start reaching -- and in many cases overtaking -- the ratings of the Big Three, O'Reilly, Hannity, and van Susteren.  O'Reilly decided the best way to handle this was to give Beck a small segment on the Factor.   Van Susteren and Hannity wanted nothing to do with him.  It didn't take long for O'Reilly to get tired of Beck's craziness and he gave up on the idea.

The problem with Beck was that in the beginning, they all thought he was performing on his show.  When they finally realized that he actually believed all that shit he was spouting, alarm bells went off everywhere, even at the Ailes' level.

While there have been differing theories as to why Beck departed Fox News after little more than two years into his three-year contract, Muto contends it was because advertisers were leaving in droves.  If so, that was it: Ratings are good, but advertising makes the news business go round, and Roger Ailes does not endure losing money.

She's Hot and She Gets Good Ratings
Ith Othma...Oblama...Obama sthill the prethident?
Such was the excitement surrounding the entrance of Sarah Palin onto the Fox News stage in January 2010 that the Big Three were falling all over themselves trying to be THE ONE to score the first interview with her.   (Naturally, #1 was awarded that honor and in my opinion, this first interview set the stage for things to come between O'Reilly and Palin.)

She was a perfect fit for the network, writes Muto, beautiful, feisty, and controversial, inspiring utter devotion from her fans and blind outrage from her critics, and, hopefully, the theory went, high ratings for the network.  

Popular opinion on the Second Floor was that all they had heard about Palin's being vacuous, ill-informed, and thin-skinned certainly had to be liberal slander ... How dumb could she be?

It didn't take long for Fox News to see that Palin's critics were right:  Her abilities as a pundit left much to be desired.  She conversed entirely in shallow, empty platitudes, as if she'd just memorized a list of talking points instead of actually boning up on whatever issue was on her plate.

Two more interviews with O'Reilly sealed the deal; he was done with her.  The first was on immigration, during which he kept asking her for opinions on different aspects of the issue and she continually responded with keep it simple and whatever it takes.   The interview on entitlement programs brought it to a screeching halt, where O'Reilly was concerned.  This is where, in an effort to actually have her give rational policy suggestions on entitlement reform, he interrupted her and Palin snapped back at him.

Recently asked by a Twitter follower for his opinion on Fox News rehiring Palin for another stint, Muto tweeted back:

I just can't believe they hired her back. I'd be LESS surprised if they hired ME back.

Author, Author!

By early 2012, Joe Muto had grown weary of Fox News.  Eight years with the network had given him enough experience and insight to understand what it would be like working there during the general election campaign, as the network tried to ensure that President Obama would not win a second term.  A prime example of the kind of crap he predicted was the attack ad against Obama that was so roundly denounced that Fox had to remove it from their website.

He began writing an anonymous column for Gawker as the liberal mole working for Fox News.  He may well have never been caught had he not also provided his handlers with video from the Fox News archives, one of which is an amusing look at Callista Gingrich styling Newt's hair before his on-air interview with Bill O'Reilly.

Muto was a lousy mole; the IT crew at Fox caught him within twenty-four hours.  A permanent job at Gawker did not materialize and he was charged with attempted unlawful duplication of computer material and attempted criminal possession of computer material, to which he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to community service.

His book is good, and it is not as mean-spirited as one might think.  Muto is as hard on himself as he is on the people at Fox News.

End Note

We all knew, from the liberals to the most conservative producer in the building, that 'Fair and Balanced' was a sham ... We used to call it 'stirring up the crazies,' because the angrier they were, the more they would watch.

Joe Muto, in an interview on June 14, 2013