Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sarah Palin Babygate flashback - February 15, 2008: When Sarah Palin was supposedly six months pregnant, but was also the slimmest person in the room!


By Patrick

Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy with Trig is a topic which simply is impossible to "forget" - although "officially", the faked pregnancy did never occur. The large majority of the media decided to bury the subject and branded it a "conspiracy theory" - but they were wrong, as we reported in great detail in the past. Sarah Palin did indeed fake her pregnancy with Trig, and many people in Alaska know it.

The days between Christmas and the new year are always a good time for reflection, so I am thankful that some of our readers highlighted in the comments of our last post a set of pictures which shows Sarah Palin, as well as her daughters, at the "Go Red American Heart Association" Luncheon in Fairbanks, Alaska, on February 15, 2008.

On February 15, 2008, Sarah Palin was supposedly six months pregnant. However, the public didn't know it at this point, because Sarah Palin had not announced her pregnancy yet. This happened only on March 5, 2008, when Sarah Palin announced to the great surprise of Alaskan journalists that she is seven months pregnant.

The journalists were flabbergasted, and not just them: In late 2009, I had a phone call with Republican politician Lyda Green, former Alaska Senate President, and talked to her specifically about Sarah Palin's pregnancy with Trig. Lyda Green told me that she herself was present in the room on March 5, 2008 where Sarah Palin announced her pregnancy, and Lyda Green said to me that Sarah Palin "did not look pregnant" on this day.

But the national media quickly buried the story, when lots of questions were raised about the pregnancy after Sarah Palin had been nominated as the Republican VP-candidate in August 2008. We have unique access to the "thought process" of the liberal media in this matter back in August and early September 2008, due to the leaked "Journolist-Emails."

Back then, influential journalists like Ezra Klein feared that the story could backfire - and the political consequences were their only concern, not accurate reporting:

Ezra Klein Aug 30, 2008, 10:15am

Seriously, folks? Best case scenario, what’s your outcome here: Her daughter, hounded by the tabloids, breaks down that it was her child, and her mother heroically took on the burden and welcomed the disabled boy as one of her own? Palin’s relationship with her children — however they may have come to her — strikes me as pretty far out of bounds. By all accounts she’s a wonderful mother, and devoted to her fifth son. Leave this be.

But Ezra Klein is wrong. Nobody "heroically took on the burden." Someone just wanted to find the easy way out of an embarrassing situation. Now, where the Palins have lied about this issue over and over again, in books and interviews, there is no way they would be able to "look good" if this came out. Bristol even claimed in her book that Levi took her virginity.

Oh, memories! For years we and others have been writing about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy, and in teamwork we for example discovered many damning pictures, unearthed incriminating emails, documented vicious attempts by Sarah Palin lawyers to shut down "babygate" critics, discussed laughable attempts by the Alaska media in 2011 to get rid of the pregnancy controversy, exposed Sarah Palin's unbelievable "wild ride" from April 17, 2008, reported when other people like Joe McGinniss and Andrew Sullivan raised questions about the pregnancy, and so forth. We also discovered that Alaskan journalists quickly got wind of the fact that Sarah Palin may have faked the pregnancy, and that they had already in 2008 heard from sources in Alaska that Palin's faked pregnancy was indeed a true fact.

But it was never enough.

The photos from February 15, 2008 are another piece of "circumstantial evidence." They were uploaded to flickr (click for link) by the American Heart Association, and they were uploaded only about three years after the event, on January 11, 2011. The "new" design of flickr is a real pain to use, and with the new design it is also hard to see when the photos were uploaded. However, looking through my files, I realized that I had already seen these photos quite a while ago and had also taken some screenshots, still with the "old" flickr layout:




So let's take a closer look at the photos of the Governor who was supposedly secretly six-month pregnant on February 15, 2008 (click on pictures to enlarge):

This photo is really amazing - six women, and the slimmest one is the Governor who is supposedly six months pregnant:


For the purpose of documentation - here is the Exif-data for this photo, viewable via flickr (the same is possible for every photo from this set):


More pictures from this event, posted by the America Heart Association:




Bristol, Willow and Piper were bored to death:


Look at this - Sarah Palin and "Miss Alaska" are the same size!


Sarah Palin supposedly is highly pregnant - but she is leaning with her belly against the metal podium:



Finally, from the same event - there you can see a woman who REALLY was pregnant, unlike the faking Governor:



Just for the purposes of documentation, here is a screenshot of the official schedule of Sarah Palin from February 15, 2008, mentioning the event in Fairbanks, obtained in early 2009 through a FOIA-request (click to enlarge):





Also, three days earlier, Sarah Palin's office told her what she is supposed to say in her speech, as usual (in this collection from page 61):




Interestingly, this event already made headlines in October 2008:

In addition to the commercial flights, the children have traveled dozens of times with Palin on a state plane. For these flights, the total cost of operating the plane, at $971 an hour, was about $55,000, according to state flight logs. The cost of operating the state plane does not increase when the children join their mother.

The organizer of an American Heart Association luncheon on Feb. 15 in Fairbanks said Palin asked to bring daughter Piper to the event, and the organizer said she was surprised when Palin showed up with daughters Willow and Bristol as well.

The three Palin daughters shared a room separate from their mother at the Princess Lodge in Fairbanks for two nights, at a cost to the state of $129 per night.

The luncheon took place before Palin's husband, Todd, finished fourth in the 2,000-mile Iron Dog snowmobile race, also in Fairbanks. The family greeted him at the finish line.

When Palin showed up at the luncheon with not just Piper but also Willow and Bristol, organizers had to scramble to make room at the main table, said Janet Bartels, who set up the event.

"When it's the governor, you just make it happen," she said.

The state is already reviewing nearly $17,000 in per diem payments to Palin for more than 300 nights she slept at her own home, 40 miles from her satellite office in Anchorage.

So this is our little reflective tale about a Governor who was supposedly highly pregnant, but who was also the slimmest person in the room. She fooled (almost) everyone - and she certainly fooled the national media, who already decided in the infamous "Journolist" email discussions from 2008 right after Sarah Palin's nomination as Republican VP-candidate that this highly inconvenient issue should be buried.

They allowed Sarah Palin to continue to play the professional victim - up until today.

Finally, a reminder - this is what "six months pregnant" really looks like, in the real world, and not in the fantasy world of Sarah Palin:



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We wish everyone a lovely celebration for the new year! Viva 2014!


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UPDATE:

KAO made a brilliant comparison of two photos from 2007 and 2008, which are both dated by the photographer (also h/t to mellybel). On the second photo, Sarah Palin is supposedly five months pregnant. It truly was an invisible pregnancy!




Link to the photo from 2007

Link to the photo from 2008

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I still have a little bit of hope left that the media will eventually expose Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy, that they will expose her as the fraud she is.

Because ultimately, Sarah Palin still does a lot of damage to the liberal media. Not only got she Martin Bashir fired and has the power to make journalists (and others!) apologize. Not only that, but her usual "mantra" that the "lamestream media" cannot be trusted already did a lot of damage, because the conservative base was ready for this message. They don't want their right-wing heroes to be besmirched by "facts" or "logic" or "reason." They only want to believe in flawless right-wing heroes, who kick the butts of the liberals.

So her message that the liberal media simply cannot be trusted became incredibly popular. I am convinced that virtually any right-winger you talk to will tell you immediately that he/she won't believe a word that the liberal media says. This is also the work of Sarah Palin, because she hammered this message home like nobody else, with much more force than anyone else. She also did this, of course, in order to discredit any revelations about herself, coming from liberal sources. I would say that this strategy worked pretty well. Even some "liberal" journalists for example had difficulty to believe the revelations by Joe McGinniss in "The Rogue." They could not believe that "Saint Sarah" (Newsweek) actually wasn't a saint at all.

So possibly the journalists will realize in the end that they have only one choice (because Sarah herself will NEVER shut up): To finally write the truth about Sarah Palin.

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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, December 25, 2013

Christmas just isn't Christmas without Sarah Palin comparing herself to Jesus and without Sarah Palin still not reading "the papers" - Here comes the Politicalgates Christmas lunacy edition, teaching vital lessons - BONUS: The "Save Christmas" Sarah Palin Album and her "War on Christmas Message"


By Patrick

Kathleen and I had a wonderful Christmas Eve, with family and friends. Kathleen cooked a wonderful dinner, and we really enjoyed ourselves. It is great to finally relax after a very busy year!

There is one person this year who ferociously tried to hijack Christmas for political gain: The Queen of know-nothingness, Sarah Palin.

There is no doubt that the huge majority of Americans is sick of Sarah Palin. There are a few facts to mention, however:

1. No, she won't go away.

2. Yes, if there is a controversy surrounding a "conservative" issue which promises quick, catchy headlines, she will be there. After all, she is, as Matt Taibbi recently explained in Rolling Stone, a "professional media ambulance-chaser." 

3. No, she is not a problem for the Democrats. They learned to love Sarah Palin for being the perfect tool for fundraising. Alaska Senator Mark Begich probably prays every day to every god or goddess imaginable that Sarah Palin will get involved in the upcoming Senate race in Alaska, as nothing else would strongly improve his chances for re-election.

4. Yes, she still is a huge problem for the Republicans, because she continues to personify the "Party of Stupid."

So why bother? Well, maybe for sanity sake. And for the fact that she continues to try to force her fundamentalist Christian beliefs onto the world, while distorting the message of Jesus Christ to the point where it becomes virtually unrecognisable, and, as so often before, spreads hate and division. In fact, she turns the message of Jesus into the complete opposite. "Hating others" suddenly becomes "cool" when the perpetrator is a right-winger. Besides, "hating her enemies" is basically Sarah Palin's hobby.

Also, we probably shouldn't ignore her for the fact that she is a walking insult to human intelligence.




Her latest interview with Greta Van Susteren was really remarkable in several respects: After forcing a prolonged discussion about free speech on the country (defending the right to say hateful things, but only if they come from a right-winger), Sarah Palin was now stupid enough to admit that she didn't even read the interview in question at GQ with Phil Robertson. This classic Palinesque example of ignorance in combination with stupidity and a stunning dose of "Palin-chutzpah".

Raw Story reports:

Fox News host Greta Van Susteren pointed out to Palin on Monday that some “people” were misusing the term “free speech, meaning that you jump someone for saying something and that you don’t jump others.”

“But if the market wants to be such that people don’t want to watch someone, then so be it,” the Fox News host said.

“That’s right,” Palin replied. “That’s why I say attorneys can discuss and argue whether it’s a legal free speech issue or not.”

“It’s one thing to express your opinion,” Van Susteren noted. “Do you have any problem, you know, about the manners of how he said it. We don’t talk about it on television much, but if you actually the read article, there’s a rather and offensive — at least, I think — offensive description of it. You know, there are two ways to say different things, and in the article and I know he’s a graphic type guy, but do you have any objection on the manners aspect, how he said it?”

“I haven’t read the article,” Palin admitted, clearing her throat. “I don’t know exactly how he said it. But, Greta, what he was doing was in response to a question about a lifestyle that he disagrees with. And yet he has said over and over again, he doesn’t hate the person engaging in a lifestyle he disagrees with. But in response, he was quoting the Gospel.”

“So people who are so insulted and offended by what he said, evidently, are offended by what he was quoting in the Gospel. So that’s another interesting aspect in all of this.”

This admission by Sarah Palin may come as a surprise to others, but of course not for anyone who followed Sarah Palin closely since she appeared on the national scene. Sarah always had everything written for her - speeches, articles (the infamous "op-eds"), books, just anything. So it's no surprise that she doesn't even bother to care about the details of the issues which are being discussed in her name on"her" facebook posts, the posts that her highly paid consultants put up for her.

Here is the full interview with Sarah - the remarks quoted above start at around 1:50:




This interview in its entirety is actually very interesting and revealing, as Sarah not only implies that her ilk should have the constitutional right to hate speech without facing any repercussions whatsoever, not even "criticism" or "mockery", as she puts it. Funnily, the right to hate speech should only apply to right-wingers. If liberals or even atheists (God forbid!) dare to express their opinions, Sarah believes that such actions are reprehensible and insulting. But logic and reason was never her strong suit.

She also has no hesitation to compare her (supposed) actions in regard to whether Bristol should or should not marry Levi Johnston to the actions of Jesus, starting at around 7:00 in the above clip. Palin, in yet another of her world-famous word-salads, now explains her own "humbleness" in supposedly accepting that Bristol should not marry Levi...

..."has a lot to do with that humbleness of Jesus being born in a manger not as some lofty king who came down amongst privilege and in your face kind of lecturing of everybody else in the culture in which he was a part of and much of the spirit of Christmas has to do with being humble enough to accept that and have that child-like faith to know that it was real."

I actually have no clue what exactly she is talking about here, or what exactly she wants to express, but she uses the word "Christmas", so I guess that will be enough for her fans. Listening to these sentences, I really wonder whether Sarah shouldn't switch to a new dose of lithium, because the old dose apparently isn't working too well. But what do I know! :-)

But it's good to know that Sarah Palin's admission that she actually couldn't be bothered to read the GQ-interview with Phil Robertson was picked up immediately by many websites - including a few right-wing websites. I get the impression that especially after Martin Bashir lost his job because of Sarah Palin, the online-media became much more interested again in Sarah Palin's actions.

So her remarks about not having read the interview were reported for example by Politico, New York Magazine, Wonkette, Daily Caller, Business Insider, Gawker, Jezebel, Yahoo, MSNBC, TMZ, The New Civil Rights MovementThe Daily Banter and Raw Story.




From our comments at the previous post:

JCos:


"I disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
- Voltaire, French writer/philosopher

"I have no idea what you said, but I condemn whoever disagrees with you"
- Palin, Alaskan quitter/dumbass

VinnieF:


I usually don't watch her interviews just because it's so unpleasant. But I watched this one. You are right. This is just awful. Shouldn't the people they put on TV have something intelligent to say? I guess not on Fox News. She adds nothing of interest to the topic at hand.

I love how right after she says she didn't read the article she talks as if she knows what Phil said. She claims that all he's doing is quoting scripture and people are offended by that. No, quoting scripture is not what people are complaining about. I don't recall any quoting of scripture in his rant.

"War on Christmas is the tip of the spear on a war on expression of faith." (Paraphrasing)

Greta: Why? (harshly)

"We're not the center of the universe."

"We should be serving something greater than self (i.e. our creator)."

"Man can't do that."

"We are so fallen we need a savior."

"A lot of us look to God for that."

So, this is really what's it's all about for her. Should we have a society where man tries to solve his own problems? Or should we 'humble ourselves' and rely on God to fix our society? She faults people (politicians and the media?) for trying to solve society's issues themselves without a religious angle.

I am so glad I live in a country where religion and government are separated. Palin is implying that this form of government is wrong. This is basically another form of Tea Party, small government thinking. (Why should the government get involved in anything when we have God looking over us?)

It's incredible how ancient and ignorant this kind of thinking is.

Maelewis pointed out the obvious contradictions in Sarah Palin's "latest" timeline:

First of all, the wigs are getting worse. (Hey, where's willow?) You can see Sarah's hairline. My favorite part is the second half of the interview, where Sarah describes the argument that she and Todd had after Bristol told them that she was pregnant. Sarah wanted them to get married, but Todd said no, and Sarah had to humble herself because Todd was right. (I don't think that Sarah has had one humble moment in her life. Even when she lost the election in 2008, she was set on turning that moment into her 2012 campaign speech. Humility? Humble? Sarah?

The problem with that story is that it works in terms of Trig's birth, but not for Tripp, because Sarah proudly announced that Bristol (whose pregnancy was announced at the 2008 Republican Convention) and Levi WOULD be getting married. Then, Greta read from Sarah's book, regarding how the baby melted into their arms and melted their hearts. That baby became the foundation of their family. That story makes no sense if he's Tripp. Tripp is hardly the foundation of anything except Bristol's blog (guess who visited me in school today?). Trig WAS the foundation of the Palin Family Values Image-- at least as far as getting the VP nomination was concerned-- and the 2008 campaign. After that, he served his purpose for a book tour, and then....the occasional photo op (poor kid). I thought that interview was very telling because Sarah stammered, and was so, uh, um, so unprepared.



We may not be fully aware of it, but Sarah Palin is actually a real Christmas gift. Not only is she loved by many Democratic fundraisers all over the country, but she also shows us, again and again, what we should not become. Hate is not the answer. This applies in all directions - and this is the real message of Christmas, and one of the most important messages of Christianity. People should try to love each other, and accept each other, just the way they are. The world can be a friendly, pleasant place where people from different backgrounds live in harmony with each other, if one group doesn't try to force their beliefs on others. The teachings of Jesus were not about hate.

Sarah Palin claims to know the "gospel"...well, I guess, "all of them, any of them." So just as a reminder, here are two quotes for Sarah from the new testament - and for us:

Matthew 5:43-48  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 6:24-25  ”No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Sarah, why is this so difficult to understand?

Let's conclude with this nice cartoon (sorry, no Sarah here, because she wasn't invited):


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BONUS:

Looking for some brand-new Sarah Palin parody? Don't look further, because "Lipstick Liberal" created the announcement for the Sarah Palin "Save Christmas" album:




There is also a second offering, and it seems that this one is even more popular - Sarah Palin's War on Christmas Message:



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BONUS 2:

This is for our reader Sleuth, whose husband is away over Christmas, fixing the lines (h/t disqusux):


Monday, December 23, 2013

Run-up to Christmas - December 23


By Patrick

It's Christmas time! We love it! The time of the year that even someone like Sarah Palin is not able to mess up for us, as hard as she tries! Kathleen and I are travelling this Christmas, and it already started very well. Fortunately we have good access to the internet, too. So we are ready for the run-up to Christmas!

There is one item I would like to share with you all- yesterday at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, there was a wonderful moment when an excellent female vocal group called "The Triolettes", three singers who specialize in classic swing arrangements, were singing Christmas songs for the travellers in the transit area. (UPDATE: This also was a TV-news story in the Netherlands). I made a sweet little recording, which you will surely enjoy, with 2 1/2 songs, so to speak. The little kids enjoyed it as well, as you can see! At the end, they sing "Let it Snow" and "Silent Night":




So that was a really nice surprise. Our travel went smoothly, we have bought our presents (just need to wrap them), and so we are almost ready for Christmas day!

Here at Politicalgates, politics is never far away. And did we ever have a more "political" Christmas than this year, what with all the fuss over a "white Santa" and with Sarah Palin neatly dividing the country into the real American god-fearing believers and the unreal American ungodly atheists?

Interestingly, a new poll was published a few days ago which clearly shows that for Americans, neither the "Happy Holidays" greeting nor the "white Santa" are actually a big deal. It turns out the 75% of Americans are not bothered whether they are greeted with "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays", and only 32% of Americans believe that Santa was "white."

PPP reports:

Christmas brings Americans together. 87% have a positive opinion of it to only 7% with a negative view, and 85-89% of Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike see it in a positive manner. (...)

Perhaps one reason Americans are less concerned now about the War on Christmas is that they're really not that concerned about the whole Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays thing. Certainly they prefer Merry Christmas- 51% say that's their greeting of choice to 8% for Happy Holidays and 41% who say it doesn't make a difference. But few Americans are actually offended by being told Happy Holidays- just 22% are with 75% saying it's not a big deal.

Of course there's a new issue dividing us this holiday season, and that's whether Santa is 'verifiably white.' Only 32% of Americans think he is, while 36% say he is not and another 32% say they aren't sure. The high level of indecision may be owing to only 43% of Americans saying they believe in Santa Claus to 50% who don't. Those numbers are down from 52% saying they believed in him a year ago, and surely some sociologist can explain to us what happened this year to make us lose our faith.

Sorry, Sarah! But we still wish you a Merry Christmas as well as Happy Holidays! :-)

In order to get into the Christmas spirit, there is one classic which is just great every Christmas - "Do They Know it's Christmas" by Band Aid from 1984:




Brings back memories, doesn't it?

We have to go to buy food for the Christmas dinner now, as we want to get this out of the way before dinner  with friends this evening. I conclude this little post with a great cartoon I found, featuring Sarah and Bill - see you again soon!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Politicalgates Recipes For Christmas 2013.

By Kathleen

It's time to get ourselves into the Christmas spirit and that means sharing our favourite festive season recipes with each other. 

Share your tried and tested Christmas recipes in the comments and I will choose some of them to feature in this post as an update. 

Here is a Christmas Florentine recipe that I came across yesterday while reading The Guardian Lifestyle section. It is super easy and perfect as a last minute homemade present or as a snack after your Christmas Day Meal (if you have any room left, that is). Warning. They are very addictive. 

Ruby Tandoh's cranberry and chocolate florentines recipe:



Makes 16

40g flaked almonds
80g unsalted butter
60g light brown soft sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
40g plain flour
A large a pinch of salt
100g dried cranberries
50g mixed peel
200g dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Toast the almonds on a baking tray for about 10 minutes, or until they have turned golden.


ruby bakes melting butter

While the flaked almonds are being toasted, melt the butter over a low heat. Add the sugar and orange zest, stirring to combine. Remove the almonds to cool, but leave the oven on.
In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, cranberries, peel and almonds, tossing to coat the fruit with flour. Add this to the butter mixture and combine.

Line a large baking tray with parchment. Using two teaspoons, heap small mounds of the mixture on to the sheet and flatten each one a little. Space them well apart, as they'll spread in the oven. You'll be able to make about 16 florentines with this recipe, so I'd recommend doing them in about three batches – the mixture won't suffer for waiting around.

Cook each batch for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of each florentine are lacy and golden brown. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the tray, gently pushing them into a more circular shape, then slide on to a cooling rack. They'll seem fragile, but as they cool the edges will become crispy while the centre remains gloriously chewy.


ruby bakes melted chocolate for the florentines


Break the chocolate into pieces, place in a bowl and heat over hot water until melted. Brush the underneath of the biscuits liberally with the chocolate and leave to set. You can always artistically drizzle any leftover chocolate on top, too, if you want.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

'Groundswell': Stirring the Pot of Congressional Dysfunction

by Sunnyjane

But before I do that, my king-sized Sippy Cup needs a Merlot refill!
It's no secret that the House of Representatives is the most malfunctioning organ in the body politic of the United States government.

There's a history, of course: In 2008, John McCain lost and Barack Obama won.  And things haven't been quite the same since.  The new President's first -- and last -- highly significant legislation to pass into law was the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, which he signed in March of 2010.

The Taxed Enough Already movement (the Tea Party) was already making noises about government spending and lower taxes.  Then they got co-opted by the shrilling extreme right and their message turned to social issues.  Thus, by the November mid-term election, they ushered in a bunch of the most contemptible anti-Americans ever to enter that hallowed chamber.  Thus we -- and John Boehner, who became the Speaker of the House -- were cursed with the most Do-Nothing legislative body in history.

Boehner not only has the Teabaggers to endure, he also has to put up with outside groups -- yeah, they're lobbyists, regardless of what they call themselves -- who threaten dire election consequences for Republicans who go against them.  So now, to steal a quote from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, they are engaged in a great civil war for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.  Or something like that.

Is it any wonder Boehner drinks?  (Oh, there's no truth to the rumor that Boehner limps because of an old football injury.  He actually fell off his stool in a sports bar.)

What is Groundswell and Why Does it Matter?

Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, wife of Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarance Thomas, is the maker and shaker of Groundswell, a super-clandestine group of far-far-right Tea Partiers who see the Obama administration through the foggy lens of tyranny!  That is not hyperbole, dear readers; this group consists of such teabagging luminaries as former ambassador (thank God) John Bolton, former (ditto) GOP representative Allen West, journalists (huh?) from Breitbart.com, and a top aid to Sen. Ted Cruz.  Are you getting the picture here?

As David Corn of Mother Jones reported last summer, the Groundswellers have launched a
30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation.  How will they win this war?  With what they hope is persuasive messaging, of course.  Like Reince Priebus, it's not their policies that are losing voters, it's the message, stupid!  And they know their audience well, using phrases such as the low-information voters, writing their propaganda on a 4th grade level, and using images like Humpty Dumpty that voters can identify with to get their points across.  (How sad is this, I ask you!) 

Immigration Reform and the Spanking of Marco Rubio

I didn't mean to take a LEFT, honestly I didn't!
Groundswell has a lot of hissy-fit issues with President Obama and Democratic lawmakers, of course, but none is as critical to them as Immigration Reform: If we lose on immigration, we lose on every other issue. The key to defeating this bill is Sen. Rubio.

Marco Rubio was one of the Gang of 8, a bipartisan group assembled in late January 2013 to tackle Immigration ReformBeing from Florida and of Cuban ancestry, Sen Rubio seemed a perfect choice to take on this important task -- particularly in light of the stiff-arming the GOP got from Latinos in the November 2012 general election.   But the Republican was in a quandary, you see, because the teabaggers got him elected and they want nothing to do with immigration reform.  It is interesting (ahem) what Rubio did in March: he actually donated $30,000 from his leadership PAC to Jim DeMint's Senate Conservative Action group, which is closely connected to Groundswell!  

The Immigration Reform bill put together by the Gang of 8 was passed in the Senate in June.  However, Boehner said it would never be brought to the House without major redo because he thinks immigration reform should come in steps.  

My, my, my!

Groundswells' War on Karl Rove


Uber-GOP Strategist Karl Rove is pretty sick of his party losing winnable elections because the most unelectable candidates were selected to run against their Democratic opponents.  Still smarting from the 2012 election, in February Rove put together a group called the Conservative Victory Project, which plans to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.  (Translation: Forget about those Tea Party candidates like Christine O'Donnell, Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock!) 

Groundswell, however, has an entirely opposite goal.  They'll most likely end up embracing such people as Tea Party extremist Dr. Greg Brannon of North Carolina, who is for all the most radical positions in America today.  To whit, he's against public education because it dehumanizes students; he doesn't believe that states have to follow Supreme Court decisions; he thinks that bipartisan compromises enslave Americans; he believes the late Jesse Helms was a modern hero; and he supports secession so that to achieve a free and independent Southern republic.  Oh, yes, and he's been endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul.

Good luck with this, Karl.

End Note



  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mitch McConnell: The Pesky 2014 Challenges He's Facing (Heh)

by Sunnyjane

 Did you say I'm facing a Democrat, a Tea Partier, and an Independent?  Gawd!
When Mitch McConnell easily won a fifth term in the U.S. Senate in 2008, the next six years were supposed to be, shall we say, orgasmic: make that uppity Barack Obama a one-term president, become Senate Majority Leader, elect a Republican president in 2012, and glide easily back to the Senate in 2014 with his turtle-smirk firmly affixed.

Needless to say, McConnell's highly arousing plan was a bit, um, ejaculation praecox.  President Obama is still the president, the Democrats still control the Senate, his disapproval rating at home is fifty-one percent, and he is up against a variety of challengers in the My-Old-Kentucky-Home state.

Curses!  Foiled again.

McConnell: The Tea Party is Ruining Conservatism! 

Isn't it awkward when you invite a bunch of crazy people into your home and they start ransacking it and trying to throw you out at the same time?  Well, meet the 2010 Republicans, those who decided to bring some of the most ideologically divisive individuals into their tent just to show President Obama a thing or two!  And then they continued it in 2012 -- don't know why, but Ted Cruz comes to mind.

Well, there's another Tea Partier who is anxious to take Mitch McConnell's job in the Senate in 2014 because he believes that the Minority Speaker is not conservative enough.  Meet Matt Bevin, whose political experience consists only of giving money to conservative politicians and the Republican Party of Kentucky.  Whoo hoo!  Now that's just top-notch governing experience for you.  (Shades of Rand Paul, whose only political experience before he Tea-Partied himself into the Senate was giving campaign speeches for his do-nothing father.

Of course, Mitch cannot be happy that his Tea Party challenger has recently been endorsed by Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund:  Matt Bevin is a true conservative who will fight to stop the massive spending, bailouts, and debt that are destroying our country.  He is not afraid to stand up to the establishment and he will do what it takes to stop Obamacare.  (He'll do what it takes to stop Obamacare?  Snort!)

The McConnell campaign sniffed their disdain by retorting, Matt Bevin now has the dubious honor of standing with a self-serving D.C. fundraising group that made its name by recruiting and promoting unelectable candidates that ensured Barack Obama a majority in the Senate. They clearly care less about Kentuckians than they do about their reputation for supporting laughably bad candidates.

So while Bevin is touting himself as THE conservative in the race, Mitch has to straddle the line between being ultraconservative and blaming others for being TOO conservative.   (I know, it's hard to keep up with these fools, isn't it?)  I'm sure we'll hear more about Mr. Bevin as the campaign gets hotter in early 2014; Mitch knows how to find out stuff about his enemies, you know.  Doesn't it make you giddy with anticipation of watching this freak show?

Obamacare's Roots and Branches  (It's Complicated)




While Mitch declares that the Republicans will not shut down the government again over the Affordable Care Act, he intends to get enough conservative butts in the Senate by 2016 to take Obamacare apart by it's roots and branches because it's hurting Americans, is a catastrophic failure, and is not fixable. 

Kentucky's Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, begs to differ, and went to Washington recently to say so -- rather strongly: There is a tremendous pent-up demand in Kentucky for affordable health care.  People are hungry for it.
 
It seems Governor Beshear is correct.  Citing statistics for Kentucky's exchange website, more than 550,000 people have visited Kentucky’s Obamacare site since its Oct. 1 launch. More than 180,000 have called into the healthcare call center, meanwhile, and about 69,000 people — 41 percent of whom are under the age of 35 — have signed up. 

And Then There's The Democratic Challenger 
     
Alison Grimes:  If Mitch McConnell had a kidney stone, he wouldn't pass it.
Although Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes will have at least two primary challengers, it is presumed at this point that she will become the Democratic nominee against McConnell in November.

She has a lot of good backing, including family friend former President Bill Clinton.  But as the Daily Beast pointed out recently, she's got to get out there and talk about what she stands for.  It seems that, at this point, she's been somewhat wishy-washy on several issues, including gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act.

We'll see.  Mitch McConnell -- the GOP obstructionist-in-chief, really needs to be retired from the United States Senate.

End Note

 

Friday, December 6, 2013

The GOP and Another Year of Doing Nothing -- But Expertly!

by Sunnyjane


Official conclusion:  NO HEART DETECTED.   And the year went downhill from there.

Thirteen months ago, Barack Obama won and Mitt Romney lost.  It was a humiliating loss, one that many in the GOP have not yet gotten over.  But National Republican Committee chairman Reince Priebus declared that his party would undergo a political autopsy to see how it could expand its base to be more, ahem, inclusive for those demographics that voted for Barack Obama.

About all that came out of that autopsy was that the Republican Tea Party's policy were sound, but the messaging was lousy.  Of course, shortly after that, Priebus told the party that it should embrace uber-conservative Mike Huckabee as its model.   Great message, Reince; that outta do it!

O GOP, O GOP, Wherefore Art Thou, GOP?

All clowns, regardless of race, gender, or religion are welcome to enter.
The Grumpy Old Partisan party is terminally ill and, no, it's not one of those conditions covered under Obamacare.  This self-inflicted malady is known as Policy Messaging in the Crapper and occurs when you allow the body politic to be overrun by any faction  -- however looney -- who just might vote for you or vote against you.  The losers who fawn over Sarah Palin are a prime example: they're the ones who think fine art is a tattoo of Jesus brandishing an AR-15.  

Full disclosure: I'd be against -- and write about it with glowing disgust -- almost any policy the GOP came up with.  The problem is, I have no earthly idea WHAT their damn policies are!  And I believe that this is exactly the issue:  they cannot announce a policy because of the sizable -- and divisive -- forces making it impossible to develop any significant policies.  So, in the absence of an agenda based on their plans to govern, they just say NO to anything the President or the Democratic-held Senate proposes.

As the President said to Congressional leaders on December 4, You owe it to the American people to tell us what you are for, not just what you’re against.

Immigration Reform, Amigo?  No problemo!
Senor, mi papa es loco!  No se lo digas a nadie!
TranslationSir, my father is crazy!  Don't tell anyone!  The House says it will pass immigration reform -- probably not the Senate's version -- later next year.   See, if they pass it this year, or too early next year, the Latino voters they'd like to get into the tent might forget about it by the election in November.  Couldn't have that, now could we?

Frankly, they don't realize that they have at their fingertips the best argument against immigration reform: Rafael Cruz, father of Canadian Senator Ted Cruz (H/T Martin Bashir).  One could easily make the case that no one who is this spiteful towards our country, given the lies and crazy things he's spewing forth to his ignorant followers, should be granted citizenship.   But the GOP can pretty well expect their efforts to be a bust; Latinos know well who is responsible for wasting precious time on an issue that is near and dear to them, just as African Americans will not likely forget that Sen. Cruz said earlier this year  We need 100 more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate.

And leave it to John Boehner to kick himself in the ass by refusing to meet with the Fasting 4 Families group who camped out in front of the Capitol; even when they went to his office,  Boehner refused to see them.  Said his spokesman, The Speaker remains committed to a step-by-step process to fix our broken immigration system.

However, the President and the First Lady -- that would be the Obamas -- went to the Fasters and met with them in their tent.  Do ya see, John, why Barack Obama is the President of the United States of America?

  

Of course, John Boehner is behind the 8-Ball on this one: if he passes immigration reform he loses the racists; if he doesn't pass immigration reform, he's certain to lose the Latino vote.  Added to that, he could lose his Speaker of the House position when the 114th Congress convenes in January 2015; no doubt Eric Cantor haunts Boehner's wine-fueled dreams nightly.

(It's not that John Boehner drinks too much; it's just that he hates to enter the cocktail hour totally sober.)

Iran Nuclear Treaty Causes GOP Heartburn

Peace through diplomacy over war through stupidity.

While the rest of the world breathed a sigh of relief when Iran and six major powers around the globe agreed to a six-month treaty to keep that Middle East country from further developing nuclear weapons, with some sanctions restored, the GOP went -- in typical fashion -- absolutely batshit crazy.

The first to display his ignorance and loathing was John Cornyn of Texas, who decried the deal as an Obamacare distraction.

He is wrong, of course.  Now, you're hearing this for the first time, but I happen to be privy to the truth!  Yes, dear readers, this Politicalgates writer has had her ear to the ground and it so happens that it was not the Iran thingy that the President used to distract from the issue the healthcare website.  It was -- don't repeat this -- his clever manipulation of the calendar to ensure that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah occurred at the same time!


GOP: Healthcare Website is Obama's Katrina




It's very true that the healthcare website got off to a less than stellar beginning.  As of December 1, however, it seems to be working quite well, and many Americans are signing up.   That's good news for the entire country.  As of December 3, more than 1.5 million people have signed up.  According to a new report, the ACA is expected to cost billions of dollars less than originally projected.  Wait for GOP heads to explode.

And, President Obama has never uttered the phrases Mission Accomplished or Heckova a job, Brownie!

Something to think about before we leave this subject:  If the healthcare website works only 114 days next year, it will be longer than the House of Representatives will work.

End Note -- The 2013 GOP Sequester