Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BREAKING - The heat is on: Levi Johnston files for joint custody and asks court to hold Bristol Palin in contempt and return Tripp to Alaska - UPDATE: Read Levi's new court filings! Levi asserts that Bristol took Tripp out of state against a court order, seeks a court ruling about the custody, provides detailed affidavit

The happy time was not to last - 
but now Levi wants to make sure that Tripp has a father as well

By Kathleen
UPDATE MAY 2014: Mentioned below are all our posts in which we reported the details of the new custody proceedings between Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin concerning their son Tripp. We published the complete legal exchanges between the parties, including the new affidavits and court orders. Almost all of these documents have never been published elsewhere.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BREAKING - The heat is on: Levi Johnston files for joint custody and asks court to hold Bristol Palin in contempt and return Tripp to Alaska - UPDATE: Read Levi's new court filings! Levi asserts that Bristol took Tripp out of state against a court order, seeks a court ruling about the custody, provides detailed affidavit


Thursday, March 13, 2014

New filings in the custody case between Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin - Exchanging legal arguments and new affidavits, and Bristol is on the defensive: No sign of necessary "written consent" by Levi to remove Tripp from Alaska, just the opposite


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Custody trial Levi Johnston vs Bristol Palin, the next round - Levi's lawyer tears Bristol's legal arguments apart and shows that Alaska case law is not in Bristol's favour - "A child is not a chattel to be bargained away for consideration"


Thursday, April 3, 2014

First court order in new custody case between Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin: None of Levi's motions have been dismissed, trial setting conference scheduled, evidentiary hearing required, court notes that "a best interest finding" in regard to their son Tripp has never been made in the past


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Levi's and Bristol's custody trial is now scheduled not just for one, but two days!

It has been a long wait, but now things are getting serious: Levi Johnston wants Tripp to have a father who is able to see him on a regular basis. In addition, he wants to stop Bristol taking Tripp away, often for months, whenever it pleases her.

A court battle against a member of Palin family is not something which most people would fancy. You don't just fight against Bristol and her lawyer. You also fight against Sarah, who doesn't like to be challenged and also hasn't hesitated to call Levi a "deadbeat dad" in public, and you also fight against Sarah Palin's propaganda machine with lots of fake "grassroots" blogs and a group of fanatic, rabid fans who are willing to trash anyone in posts and comments on the internet who dares to challenge their Queen.

But Levi doesn't care. He is not a coward, and he's fighting for his child, as any good father would do.

The motions are now available in the public court records. To see the filing, one has to visit the website for the court records, then click on "Search Cases Since About 1990", then give in Levi Johnston's name in the search mask, then click on case number "3PA-09-02261CI", and the scroll down to see these latest filings:

The Palin-family has an atrocious track record when it comes to custody trials. After Sarah Palin became the Republican nominee for Vice President, the media discovered court records which put members of the Palin-family, and Sarah Palin in particular, in an awful light - as well as their lawyers. A judge went so far as too severely criticize the members of the Palin-family for their terrible behaviour during the trial.

Newsweek reported in September 2008:

An Anchorage judge three years ago warned Sarah Palin and members of her family to stop "disparaging" the reputation of Alaska State Trooper Michael Wooten, who at the time was undergoing a bitter separation and divorce from Palin's sister Molly.

Allegations that Palin, her husband Todd, and at least one top gubernatorial aide continued to vilify Wooten—after Palin became Alaska's governor and pressured state police officials to take action against him—are at the center of "Troopergate," a political and ethical controversy which has embroiled Palin's administration and is currently the subject of an official inquiry by a special investigator hired by the state legislature.

Court records obtained by NEWSWEEK show that during the course of divorce hearings three years ago, Judge John Suddock heard testimony from an official of the Alaska State Troopers' union about how Sarah Palin—then a private citizen—and members of her family, including her father and daughter, lodged up to a dozen complaints against Wooten with the state police. The union official told the judge that he had never before been asked to appear as a divorce-case witness, that the union believed family complaints against Wooten were "not job-related," and that Wooten was being "harassed" by Palin and other family members.

Court documents show that Judge Suddock was disturbed by the alleged attacks by Palin and her family members on Wooten's behavior and character. "Disparaging will not be tolerated—it is a form of child abuse," the judge told a settlement hearing in October 2005, according to typed notes of the proceedings. The judge added: "Relatives cannot disparage either. If occurs [sic] the parent needs to set boundaries for their relatives."


In a press release issued last week by her new lawyer, Palin continued to attack the character of Wooten—still serving as a state trooper in Palin's hometown of Wasilla. The release repeats allegations that Wooten had threatened members of her family, including her father, with violence; that Wooten had threatened to "bring" Palin and members of her family "down;" and that Wooten had once been the subject of a court-imposed domestic-violence protection order. A court filing by Wooten's lawyer indicates that within months of being issued, the violence protection order was dismissed.

There was a court-imposed domestic-violence protection order against Wooten in place, Sarah Palin's lawyer claimed in September 2008?

A very bold claim indeed! We at Politicalgates reported about this particular chapter of Sarah Palin's history already in a detailed post from June 2012It turned out that the judge dissolved the order immediately after he discovered that he had been lied to, and even scolded Sarah Palin's sister Molly for keeping Wooten's kids away from him.

This was explained in detail in an old post by (former) Alaskan blogger Andrew Halcro, which is still available today via the Wayback Machine:

In a statement released on September 2 through her attorney Thomas Van Flein, Palin once again shows how her propensity for a misrepresentation of the facts got her into trouble to begin with.

Palin is attempting to get the investigation moved into the executive branch so it is reviewed by the personnel board.

In her statement, Palin writes, "In 2005 and early 2006, State Trooper Mike Wooten was the subject of a court-imposed Domestic Violence Protective Order."

As has been the governor's history with this issue, she offers up another twisted fact.

In 2005, Palin and her sister Molly went to the Palmer Courthouse while Mike Wooten was in Portland with his stepson. They convinced a judge to grant Molly a domestic violence restraining order against Wooten. This was done so Molly could retain full custody of the children.

When Wooten returned from Portland, he realized that there was a order prohibiting him from seeing his kids. Three weeks later, Wooten was granted an appearance in front of the couple's divorce judge.

In front of Judge Suddock, Molly testified that Wooten never hit her or never physically abused her or ever touched the children. She told the judge she was feeling pressure from her family to file the order.

Suddock immediately dissolved the order because there was no proof of any domestic violence and called the order an abuse of the legal system. He then scolded Palin's sister for keeping Wooten's kids away from him.

This appears to be Palin's classic approach to deflecting attention away from situations she has created; blame the other person.

Money quote:
"In front of Judge Suddock, Molly testified that Wooten 
never hit her or never physically abused her or ever touched the children. 
She told the judge she was feeling pressure from her family to file the order."


So we do hope that Levi Johnston will not be subjected to the same type of awful treatment, but that the Palin-family finally will have the best interests of Tripp in their minds. One can only hope!



The gossip-website "TMZ" today published a very short piece about the new motions filed by Levi Johnston's attorney, however, the accusations by Levi Johnston against Bristol Palin are much more serious than it appears from this short article at "TMZ."

First, let's correct some false information which was recently spread around the media: Levi Johnston did not "lose his custody case." I don't know if Bristol and Sarah Palin wanted to believe this, and therefore leaked this false piece of information to the media, but the facts are as follows: Levi Johnston filed for custody on October 19, 2013. This case was closed, but only because this "new" case was consolidated by the Alaska court with the "old" custody case, which was started in April 2009 and was closed due to "lack of prosecution" in July 2012. The 2009 case has now been reopened.

Screenshots from the Alaska Court Records website:

So clearly there was a good deal of "wishful thinking" involved on the part of the Palin-family or people close to them. In addition, they were clearly caught completely "off-guard" by Levi Johnston new filings. Levi has finally found a lawyer who truly represents his interests, which unfortunately appears to have not been the case in the past. Now the time has come to correct mistakes - and the new court filings show that Levi means business! He's fighting for the right to see his son, and rightfully so.

There are two separate motions which were filed by Levi Johnston's attorney, Darryl L. Thompson in Anchorage:

- First, Levi's attorney asserts that Bristol Palin is in contempt of a court order, which does not put Bristol Palin in a good light, as she clearly completely ignored the order, and removed Tripp from Alaska without Levi's or the court's WRITTEN CONSENT, as she was obliged to do..

Let's take a look at this motion (the "first" motion, "Motion For Order Shortening Time") by Levi's attorney. "TMZ" rather surprisingly did not publish the original court filings by Levi's attorney, in contrast to 2009, when Bristol filed for custody. Fortunately we had already utilized our well developed network in Alaska to get hold of the original documents. (Many thanks!)

This first motion has already been granted by the Alaska court on February 25, 2014 (see the above screenshot)!

The first motion:



Screenshot of the first page:

Regarding the legal background of this motion:

On October 19, 2013, the court issued a "Court Domestic Relations Pretrial Order", which is standard procedure in these cases.

This official Alaska website explains the exact content of these standard "Domestic Relations Procedural Orders" (in addition, see here).

Bristol very conveniently overlooked this part of the order:

A. Neither party shall allow the removal of any child who is the subject of this action from the State of Alaska without written consent of the other parties or an order from the court.

Screenshot from the official website:

As Levi's attorney explains in the second motion, Bristol Palin removed Tripp from Alaska after October 2013 against Levi's will (and of course also without his "written consent", we might add). Bristol not only took Tripp away from Alaska for days, but for several months!

Therefore Bristol Palin obviously "in contempt" of this court order, and that's why Levi's attorney asks in this motion that Bristol Palin should

"...appear in court and show cause why she should not be held in contempt and for sanctions for her failure to comply with the Court Domestic Relations Pretrial Order in Case No. SPA-13-0251 1 CI dated October 19, 2013 and for fees associated with having to file the motion as a sanction."

So let's now take a look at the second motion which was filed by Levi Johnston's attorney.

The second motion:



Screenshot of the first page:

This second motion, "Motion for Interim Custody Schedule", is much longer and includes an incredibly interesting and also very moving affidavit by Levi Johnston.

Screenshots of Levi Johnston's affidavit:

Levi's affidavit is self -explanatory and Levi explains at length why he is seeking joint custody of his son, Tripp. We believe that Levi has an excellent case, and we stand with him. He is a great father, and he has a right to see his son, just as any father has. As shown above in detail, fighting against a member of the Palin-family is not a very pleasant thing, but the law is on his side.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Rand Paul: Pre-2016, He's Dumpster Diving and Trash Talking

by Sunnyjane

I did NOT have plagiarized sex with my hair!  That was my OWN idea!
There is a major chapter in Reince Priebus' 2016 Republican Tea Party playbook titled When You're Desperate, Just Spout Stupid Shit.   In Rand Paul's copy, this particular section has been referred to so often that it's become thoroughly thumb-spit-moistened and dog-eared. (I understand that the Centers for Disease Control is considering classifying it as an infectious disease carrier.)

Just one of about three hundred or so Republicans who are planning to run for president in 2016, Senator Paul (RTP-McConnellville) is searching high and low (mostly low) for a solution in need of a problem.  And because he's up against some tough competition for the top Tea Party spot in the Governors v. Congress Cretins race to the bottom, he intends to get the publicity he thinks he so richly deserves: I want to be part of the national debate, so whether I run or not, being considered is something that allows me to have a larger microphone.

So anxious is the senator for that larger microphone, that he actually gave a pre-taped response to President Obama's 2014 State of the Union address.  In it, he began with the Godhead we discussed in a recent post, Ronald Reagan.  I  kid you not!  If you're up for it, you can watch Paul's less-than-riveting rant for nine minutes and thirty seconds.  Personally, I decided I didn't have enough time left in my life to waste more than sixty seconds on him.

Obamacare:  BAD Thing!  Freedom to Die:  GOOD Thing!

Even though Ted Cruz has pretty much co-opted the Affordable Care Act for his own Down-With-Obama project, Rand Paul has had to take a stand against it, too; his Tea Party backers demand it.   Sen. Paul has said that Obamacare will kill women, kill seniors, kill children...oops, sorry, wrong Tea Party hack.  What he really said about the ACA was equally stupid:   Just because a couple of people on the Supreme Court declare something to be "constitutional" does not make it soThe whole thing remains unconstitutional.  Gosh, why didn't the Democrats come up with that argument after the Citizens United decision?  Although it is definitely not true that President Obama injured his knee when he fell on the floor laughing at this statement, there may be some truth to the rumor that the Supreme Court has sent the esteemed senator a fifth-grade United States Government textbook with the chapter on Role of the Supreme Court in American Democracy prominently highlighted.

Since the upstanding Sen. Paul admitted to an audience in October 2013 that while he never lies or cheats, he sometimes spreads misinformation.  It's a great tacticMisinformation can be very important, it should come as no surprise that he spread a little misinformation about his son's being signed up for Medicaid against his will.  Turned out, not surprisingly, that it  was a lie.

Even weakling Wolf Blitzer, who rarely if ever challenges a Republican's veracity, pummeled Paul on his statements about the Affordable Care Act:  [President Obama is] making the point that if you have health insurance you're going to be healthier, presumably, because you'll be going to doctors. You're a physician; you understand that.  Senator Paul's response was a spin that's definitely snort-worthy: It doesn't necessarily equate. Now, good behavior, exercise, and diet may prevent illness. Going to the doctor doesn't necessarily prevent illness.  (Gosh, I don't believe I've seen the senator speak out in support of a similar initiative that is championed by the First Lady.  Hmmm...)  Besides, if this is his philosophy -- good behavior, exercise, and diet may prevent illness -- I wonder why he hasn't told his Medicare and Medicaid patients that these practices would prevent their glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.  Perhaps then he could avoid accepting that awful government socialized medical insurance.

Paul's war on Obamacare seems to be a losing one, as the latest figures show that over three million people nationwide and more than two hundred and thirty thousand citizens of Kentucky have signed up, thirty-five percent of whom happen to be under age thirty-five -- a significant number for the push to insure young people.  In addition, six Republican-run states (Florida, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin) are expected to meet or exceed figures they had originally projected.         

Keep digging, keep digging...

Extending Unemployment Benefits Makes Jobless People Lazy

Go to hair school and I'll let you give me Mohawk.  I've gotta pow-wow with Native Americans.
When the Republicans left Washington in late December to enjoy their bounteous holidays with their families, they did so with a Let-them-eat-fruitcake disdain for 1.3 million Americans who, because they remain jobless due to the GOP's refusal to pass a jobs bill, are now without unemployment benefits. 

Using Tea Party Libertarian logic, Sen. Paul had no compunctions about this unfairness at all because ...the longer you have [unemployment benefits], it does provide some disincentive to work and there are many studies that indicate this.  And just which study did he rely on to back up his idiocy?  Welllll...he chose a paper by economist Rand Ghayad, who upon hearing this bit of news, said that Rand Paul was a colossal idiot had completely misread his work.  In a rebuttal article, Ghayad said, There's no reason to cut unemployment benefits.  People aren't long-term unemployed because they prefer getting benefits. People are long-term unemployed because there still aren't enough jobs. 

Well, at least he didn't plagiarize Mr. Ghayad's work, right?  And speaking of which...

I Challenge Thee to a Duel!
Too many laws and regulations!  Stealing other people's work shouldn't be a crime!
Like another Tea Party ignoramus we could easily name, Rand Paul hasn't learned to keep his mouth shut when he's called out for his political ignorance and his various transgressions.  And he certainly should not pick a fight with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow; that is one he'll never win.

Maddow has been all over Paul about his little plagiarizing habit, so much so that he'd like to shoot her or stab her -- if dueling were legal in Kentucky of course, because people who call him out are haters and hackers.  Maddow's responseThere is nothing wrong with the reporting.  You can try to make this about me, but how about addressing the substance?  Responding to the person rather than to the charge is a time tested tactic. Honestly, it is a symptom of immaturity in our political discourse that it's expected that this is part of the way he'll respond.

It has also come to light that for his book, Government Bullies, the senator lifted three pages almost verbatim from a Heritage Foundation paper without a proper citation. 

Snarling Little Ankle-Biter Goes After Beloved Big Dog

Before the interminable Benghazi hearings even began, little Rand Paul was hot-footing it around the country telling anybody who would listen that Benghazi should disqualify Hillary Clinton from ever again holding high office.  Then, during the hearings, he told her directly that If I were president, I would have relieved you of your post.  I'm not certain, but I believe I saw former Sen. Clinton stifle a grin.

Well, that whole thing didn't turn out too well for the GOP or Rand Paul, and it was delightful to read General David Petraeus's praise for the former Secretary of State:  Hillary Clinton would be a tremendous president. Like a lot of great leaders, her most impressive qualities were most visible during tough times. In the wake of the Benghazi attacks, for example, she was extraordinarily resolute, determined, and controlled.  Ouch!  That certainly must have put a crimp in Sen. Paul's colon.

Further demonstrating his acute economy of good sense, the flapping yapper has decided to attack the Big Dog.

The senator initiated this bit of argle-bargle when he decided that Bill Clinton's 1998 peccadillo with then twenty-five-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky was somehow germane sixteen years later.  It gets a little confusing here, dear readers, so bear with me: Randy thinks that is important now because the Democrats insist that the Republicans are waging a war on women and Bill's predatory behavior and being a serial philanderer and people who benefited when Bill raised money for their campaigns should be ashamed and should give it back and if they don't they have a lot of explaining to do because Bill used his authority to take advantage of a young woman in the workplace and even though he's not so sure what all of this has to do with Hillary running for president, it's hard to separate Bill from Hillary 

Jesus!  Did you get all that?  (I continue to be perplexed by the GOP's definition of what is timely news and what is not.  Scott Walker seems to think that his emails from 2010 are old news not worthy of discussion, while Rand Paul thinks that the 1998 Monica Lewinsky issue is pertinent and must be rehashed immediately.)

While I cannot think of one person who condoned Bill Clinton's behavior, it's important to understand a little of Ms. Lewinsky's less than savory sexual history.  She was having an affair with a married man when she decided to become a political intern.  In fact, she told the wife of the guy she was screwing that I'm going to the White House to get my presidential knee pads.   So it's difficult to put her in the category of a sweet young thing who was an innocent being taken advantage of by a powerful man.  

Oh, you do remember that Rand Paul called Newt Gingrich, who had an affair with his twenty-seven-year-old intern at the same time he was trying to get Bill Clinton impeached, a sexual predator and a serial philanderer when Newt was running for president in 2012, right?  No, I don't remember that either.  Didn't happen.

Karl Rove, whom you will remember is trying very hard to keep Republicans from being verbally asinine (and losing the battle), said recently that Rand Paul spending a lot of time talking about the mistakes of Bill Clinton does not look like a big agenda item for the future of the country.  Snort!

But Reince Priebus, who's never been accused of being the sharpest pair of scissors in the tailor's shop, thinks it's all fine and dandy, telling Andrea Mitchell earlier this month, Hillary Clinton provides a lot of opportunity for us.  Everything's on the table for 2016.   

Trust me, that particular statement will come back to haunt the GOP during the upcoming presidential campaign cycle.  Everything's on the table for 2016 cuts both ways.

End Note

HELP!  I'm stuck ass-up in here, a rat is eating my face, and I still haven't found a scandal!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sarah Palin's new trailer - "I will do anything for money" - PARODY

Graphic created by KatieAnnieOakley

By Patrick

Have you ever heard of the "Sportsman Channel"...? Nope, we neither. But this channel is at least as important as CBS, really! Sarah Palin, she is now much bigger than Katie Couric once was, you betcha!

So you can already tell that this is a satire post. SATIRE. PARODY. That's what Americans and others crave these days, because reality can be so...unreal. Especially if you take a look at Sarah Palin's new trailer for her new ├╝ber-patriotic show. You are only a real American if you wear the flag on your shoes!

So it is only too appropriate to ridicule the money-grabbing former Queen of Alaska.

Our reader "disqusux" created a first version of this video, but it got axed by youtube, totally against fair use rules! Booooooo!

Our reader "KatieAnnieOakley" had a nice idea for the title.

Here it is again, beautifully polished in HD - only the best quality for our readers:

Hey, "Sportsman Channel" - please read:

Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship.

But then, Sportsman Channel, you have employed Sarah Palin...she also doesn't really understand copyright laws. I guess you belong together, you two.



Again many thanks to our reader disqusux for the idea! :-)



It's just too much fun - our reader disqusux created this graphic:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Funny quotes and fascinating revelations about Sarah Palin in Gabriel Sherman's new book about Roger Ailes: Producers at Fox News called Sarah Palin "The Bitch" and Todd Palin "The Eskimo", Roger Ailes said that Sarah Palin "couldn't get elected to anything", believes that she is an "idiot"

By Patrick & Kathleen

Gabriel Sherman's new book "The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News - and Divided a Country" has been highly praised by many reviewers, and rightly so: Never before have we seen a book which so convincingly provides a detailed account of the rise of the right-wing propaganda machine, a network called "Fox News." At the centre of this organization stands Roger Ailes, who was hired by Rupert Murdoch to create the network in 1996 and has been the boss of Fox News ever since. His personality is carefully explored in Gabriel Sherman's book, and it is fascinating to discover how this man achieved his aims by determination, hard work, bullying, smears, threats and manipulation.

However, this book by Gabriel Sherman is much more than a just biography about Roger Ailes. It provides comprehensive background information about the history of Fox News, of other media personalities who became famous through Fox News, and about the people who pull strings in the background, for example Karl Rove and the right-wing billionaires like the Koch Brothers. Ultimately, the subject matter is also the GOP itself - with Fox News as its very own "media wing."

The book is extremely carefully sourced and documented. Gabriel Sherman uses more than 100 pages just for notes about his sources. This is something we would have liked to see in previous books about various other political topics as well. Such extensive documentation significantly increases the credibility of any book which deals with controversial subjects.

Gabriel Sherman's writing is excellent. In our opinion his book provides much higher quality information than for example a successful book like "Game Change."

Among the many incredibly interesting facts which are revealed in Sherman's book is also the rather surprising revelation that Roger Ailes himself was at some point an "anonymous blogger" - he secretly was the mastermind behind a mysterious blog called "The Cable Game" in which enemies of Fox News were being attacked.

From the reviews of Gabriel Sherman's book - "The Globe and Mail" wrote:

Remarkably, The Loudest Voice In The Room doesn’t resort to this same level of cynicism. It’s not the nastiest book about Ailes – that’d be 2012’s The Fox Effect, by David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt of media watchdog Media Matters. But Sherman’s book distinguishes itself in its diligent characterization of Ailes as something more than just some political P.T. Barnum.

Despite the book’s backhandedly praiseful subtitle and constant references to its subject’s “bluster,” Sherman develops an image of Ailes as something more than a showman. Scarier, and more importantly, The Loudest Voice in the Room posits Ailes as a real-deal ideologue: someone who actually believes all the stuff Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck (“Fox News’s id made visible”) spout on his network. (Or most of it, anyway.) This is a man who called the president of Fox-owned cable channel FX and told him not to air a movie about the Pentagon Papers because “It’s bad for America.”

From "SFGate":

By the 1980s, though, Ailes had settled into the role of "the most successful political consultant of his generation," Sherman writes. "Between 1980 and 1986, Ailes propelled thirteen GOP senators and eight congressmen into office." In dealing with clients, his counsel was wide-ranging and often very specific. Ailes, Sherman writes, had particular concerns about George H.W. Bush's clothes, telling the presidential candidate, "Don't ever wear that shirt again! You look like a f- clerk!"

Ailes has presided over Fox News since its inception in 1996. The Clinton-Lewinsky saga, the 2000 court fight over hanging chads and butterfly ballots, the rise of the Tea Party - Sherman carefully chronicles the network's role in shaping these and other developments, but inevitably some of this material reads like a rehash.

On the other hand, his behind-the-scenes anecdotes are enlightening and entertaining. Sherman's Ailes is a gifted media operator who's alternately menacing, catty and suspicious.

One episode concerns a Wall Street Journal staffer who wrote a story that angered Ailes. When they subsequently met at a social function, Sherman reports, Ailes threatened her: "You've had your chance. ... Now I have the rest of my life to get back at you."

Interesting insights are also provided by the review of the book in "The New York Times".

The book provides a lot of facts which are rather alarming, as it is quite terrifying to see how efficiently the American public is being manipulated by Fox News on a daily basis. However, the book also raises an interesting question: Has Roger Ailes and Fox News actually done more harm than good for the Republicans? Before Fox News had been created, when there was only the "mainstream media", Republican candidates were far more successful in presidential elections than they are today.

It is very possible that Fox News, while successfully preaching to the base, was also unwillingly quite successful in driving people away from the Republican Party. More and more US citizens realize that they are being manipulated, and citizens also witness on a daily basis how the GOP becomes more and more extreme - a development which again was supported by Fox News by giving a voice to characters from the "fringe" like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and of course Sarah Palin.

Therefore, let's turn our attention to Sarah Palin, whose rise and fall we have watched so closely over the years. Today, Sarah Palin does not get much air time on Fox News any longer, and when she does, "accidents" can easily happen, like her crazed and widely ridiculed word-salad on Megyn Kelly's show from October 2013. The quitter from Alaska also gets quite a lot of attention in Gabriel Sherman's well-researched book. Sherman also benefited from the fact that he already published a major expose about Sarah Palin in April 2010 in "New York Magazine", with the headline "The Revolution Will Be Commercialized - Sarah Palin is already president of right-wing America—and it’s a position with a very big salary" (click HERE for the full PDF-version of the original print article in "New York Magazine").

However, times have changed. Today Sarah Palin surely isn't the "president of right-wing America" any more. These days, her publicity stunts and her trademark moronic remarks and word-salads only continue to damage the GOP, a party which so badly wants to get rid of "stupid party" label.

The new revelations in Sherman's book about Sarah Palin reveal just why the ex-Governor ultimately became a liability - and why she joined Fox News in the first place.

First, the most hilarious revelation. It will come as no surprise to anyone who followed the career of Sarah and her business associate/husband Todd closely, that some producers at Fox News created their very own nicknames for the illustrious couple from Alaska: "The Bitch" and "The Eskimo".

Excerpt from pages 342 and 343:

In the control room, the Palins entertained producers with their private reality show. Fox staffers, chuckled watching Sarah and husband Todd on the video link Fox had installed in her Wasilla office. “On the internal feed you see everything. Someone should tell her that. Todd does the camerawork. She barks at him big time. ‘Todd, what are you doing!’. It’s embarrassing,” one person explained. Fox producers came up with names for their characters: “The Bitch” and “The Eskimo”.

A very interesting new revelation is also the fact that Sarah Palin rejected the idea to appear in front of a live-audience. Again, not too surprising for anyone who followed the career of the mentally ill, bipolar Sarah Palin, who has the constant need to control the potentially hostile environment around her.

Excerpt from page 342:

Fox was on track to generate a billion dollar profit. (...) But Ailes's biggest stars - Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin - were burning hot – too hot – which posed new problems.


Palin also ruffled Fox executives’ feathers. In the winter of 2010, tensions between Palin’s camp and Fox arose over a prime-time special that the network wanted her to star in. Nancy Duffy, a senior Fox producer wanted Palin to host the show in front of a live studio audience. Duffy hoped to call the programme Sarah Palin’s Real American Stories. Palin hated the idea. She complained to her advisors that she didn’t want to be a talk show host. She wanted to just do voice overs. More important, she didn’t want Fox to promote her name in the title of the program. Not that it mattered: Palin’s ratings were starting to disappoint Ailes anyway. Fox did not schedule any additional specials.

Already quite well-know from other reports is the reason why Roger Ailes started to distance himself from Sarah Palin - the infamous "blood-libel" response which she published against his advice - from page 343:

Ailes began to doubt Palin’s political instincts. He thought that she was getting bad advice from her kitchen cabinet and saw her erratic behaviour as signs that she was a “loose cannon.” A turning point in their relationship came in the midst of the national debate over the Tucson shooting massacre.


Palin ignored Ailes's advice and went ahead and released her controversial "blood libel" video the morning Obama traveled to Tucson. For Ailes, her decision was further evidence that she was flailing around off-message. "Why did you call me for advice?" he wondered aloud to colleagues. "He thinks Palin is an idiot", a Republican close to Ailes said. "He thinks she's stupid. He helped boost her up. People like Sarah Palin haven't elevated the conservative movement."

Gabriel Sherman's book also provides a very detailed description how Sarah Palin and Fox News got in touch in the first place - and confirms that Greta Van Susteren's husband John Coale was instrumental in kick-starting Palin's "post-2008-election" career.

From pages 340 and 341:

For Sarah Palin, the months since Election Day had been a letdown even bigger let down than the loss to Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Being governor, she found, was drudgery compared to her media stardom. “Her life was terrible” one advisor said. “She was never home, her (Juneau) office was four hours from her home. You gotta drive an hour from Wasilla to Anchorage. And she was going broke.“ Her sky high approval rating in Alaska – which had topped 80 per cent before McCain picked her – had withered to the low 50s. She faced a hostile legislature, a barrage of ethics complaints, and frothing local bloggers who reveled in her misfortune. All this for a salary of only $125,000? The worst was that she had racked up $500,000 in legal bills to fend off allegations that she had dismissed Alaska’s public safety commissioner because he refused to fire a state trooper who was her ex-brother-in-law. She needed money and worried about it constantly.

Partly because her embarrassing campaign interview with Katie Couric, and partly because of her outlandish family life and moose shooting habits, Palin was a massive American celebrity. In November 2008, John Coale, tagged along with his wife, Greta Van Susteren, on a trip to Alaska to tape an interview with Palin for Fox News. Later, the Fox camera crew, Van Susteren, and Coale, gathered around the Palin’s kitchen table for some moose chili. After dinner Coale and Palin retreated to the pantry and sat on stacks of boxes and talked for the next hour about her Troopergate dilemma. Palin confessed that she didn’t know what to do about her legal bills. Coale assured Palin he would figure something out.

Whatever one thought of her intelligence she was more than shrewd enough to see that there was money to be made from her newfound national profile, and she hadn’t been the one making it. Planning quickly got under way for a book. Conservative pundit Mary Matlin introduced Palin to Washington superlawyer Robert Barnett, who helped Palin land a reported $7 million book contract with HarperCollins. Two former Palin campaign aides were hired to plan a book tour with all the trappings of a national political campaign. But there was a hitch: with Alaska’s strict ethics rules, Palin worried that her day job would get in the way. In March, she petitioned the Alaska attorney general’s office, which responded with a lengthy list of conditions. “There was no way she could go on a book tour while being Governor,” is how one member of her Alaska staff put it.

On the morning of July 3rd, 2009, in front of a throng of national reporters, Palin announced that she was stepping down as governor. To many, it seemed a mysterious move, defying the logic of a potential presidential candidate, and possibly reflecting some hidden scandal – but in fact the choice may have been as simple as balancing a checkbook.

Once she resigned from the governorship in July, the race was on to sign her up on television. Producers had already put out feelers. Weeks after the 2008 election, Mark Burnett, the creator of Survivor, called Palin and pitched her on starring in her own show. Then, in September 2009, Ailes arranged for Palin to fly on a private jet when she needed to travel between San Diego and New York to meet with her editors at HarperCollins. During the visit, Murdoch met Palin at a charity dinner hosted by his wife, Wendi, at Cipriani 42nd street, and that only increased the network appetite. Ailes deputized Bill Shine to land her.

Negotiations dragged out over the next six months. Palin made it clear to fox that she wouldn’t be willing to move to New York or to Washington. Fox offered to build a remote camera hookup in her Wasilla home. Palin also told Fox that she didn’t want producers hounding her for interviews. She wanted all her interviews to have to go through Shine personally. In January, 2010, Palin finally had her $1 million-a-year deal. Shine was responsible for making sure that the various Fox personalities got equal booking time, to maximise her ratings appeal across the network. “Obviously there needs to be a sense of fairness” Shine explained.

Karl Rove, who is no fool, soon realized that a person like Sarah Palin doesn't help the Republicans. From page 343:

"Why are you letting Palin have the profile?" Karl Rove said to Ailes in one meeting. "Why are you letting her go on your network and say the things she's saying? And Glenn Beck? These are alternative people who will never be elected, and they'll kill us."

Another interesting revelation is the fact that Shushanna Walshe, in 2008 a young producer at Fox News, was sidelined by Roger Ailes after the criticized the Palin-team during the 2008 campaign. From pages 324 and 325:

On September 3, a day after confronting Murdoch, Ailes, watching the Republican convention, was riveted by the appearance of an exotic political creature, Sarah Palin. “She hit a home run,” he told executives the next day. Her gleeful establishment bashing made her a perfect heroine for a new Ailes story line – and Fox’s ratings soared to a cable news record. During Palin’s speech, Fox attracted more than nine million viewers, eclipsing every other news network, cable or broadcast. “At least people care now,” Ailes told his team.

He was intensely interested in the Alaska governor. Palin had some how managed to graft the old western myth of the self-reliant frontiersman onto a beauty pageant face and a counterpunching, don’t tread on me verbal style – a new kind of character, and a remarkably compelling one. A few weeks after her convention speech, Ailes secretly met with Palin during her swing through New York, when she toured the U.N. and had a photo op with Henry Kissinger. That afternoon, Shushannah Walshe, a young Fox producer who was covering Palin's campaign for the network, had gone on-air and criticized McCain's staff, which had prevented reporters from asking Palin questions during her U.N. visit. “There's not one chance that Governor Palin would have to answer a question,” Walshe said on camera. “They're eliminating even the chance of any kind of interaction with the candidate – its just unprecedented.”

Ailes didn't know Walshe, but he was angry when he heard her comments. Liberal media outlets like The Huffington Post were using her words to make it appear that Fox was turning on Palin. He called Suzanne Scott and demanded Walshe be taken off the air. “It's not fair-and-balanced coverage,” an executive later told Walshe. Walshe was allowed to continue covering Palin but was barred from future on-camera appearances. She soon left Fox.

Shushannah Walshe afterwards wrote her own book about Sarah Palin's campaign, titled "Sarah from Alaska."

Finally, quite unexpectedly, in the "Note on Sources" at the end of his book, Gabriel Sherman has another revelation which Sarah Palin and her fans surely won't appreciate very much. On page 404 of his book, Sherman reports about a personal meeting with Roger Ailes, an encounter from April 11, 2012, which took place during a party hosted by The Hollywood Reporter at a restaurant in Manhattan.

Gabriel Sherman quotes from a verbal exchange between him and Roger Ailes which happened during this evening, an exchange which can hardly be disputed by anyone, because as Gabriel Sherman explains, CBS president David Rhodes was present and also took part in this conversation.

Gabriel Sherman writes:

Rhodes's stab at humour did not lift Ailes's mood. Ailes took a step back. It was unclear now who he was addressing. "Let's look at this for a minute: Sarah Palin? She couldn't get elected to anything. Huckabee? He says to me, 'I couldn't raise a nickel.' Santorum? When we hired him, no one, I mean no one, knew who this guy was. And Gingrich has been working here for a long time. So the idea that I'm somehow propping up these candidates is just absurd."

Yes, that's very true. Sarah Palin couldn't get elected to anything indeed. That's why she hasn't been elected to anything since 2006, and why her career now mainly revolves around a pre-taped TV-show at a third rate sports channel. Apart from that, she continues to damage the GOP-brand through public appearances like her upcoming speech at CPAC 2014. Which suits us just fine. Sarah Palin once was a serious political contender, which is almost hard to believe, but due to her own blunders, she has been reduced to a running joke.

Gabriel Sherman's book surely will play a role in how Sarah Palin will be remembered in the future, but other chapters of "Palin history" still have to be written. But there's a lot time left for this - and time does not favour Sarah Palin.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Selling the Myth: GOP Bashes Obama for Policies Reagan Endorsed

by Sunnyjane

All must worship at the alter of the Godhead of the Conservative Party!

When general election time rolls around, every Republican who desires to be the GOP candidate for president must firmly adhere to  Reagan's conservative credoGovernment is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem!** Now, in their hearts souls minds (I'll get it right in a minute, don't rush me!) corrupt craniums, they all know that in today's world of Republican Teabagger Party rule, most of the fortieth president's policies would never get him anywhere near the White House.  (Clarification: Conservatives have never attributed the above Reagan quote to President Obama.)

But invoking Reagan's name appeals greatly to conservatives who have no knowledge of what policies he actually supported; those who believe anything they hear from flap-yapping conservative maws; and those who continue to wish upon the Legendary Chicken Fairy for election results.  Or, all of the aforementioned.

Let's just jump right in and examine a few of Ronald Reagan's policies for which President Obama now finds himself being crucified on a daily basis. 

Oh, Ronnie, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Us?

Here endeth the Second Lesson.
It is always great sport for the far-right God-botherers -- both leaders and followers -- to do a little mouth-foaming and lament that Obama has a war on Christianity because he's a Kenyan-Muslim-Anti-Christ-Communist-Nazi-Marxist-Socialist sonofabitch.  Or, words to that effect; choose one or all.  In truth, President Obama says very little about the Separation of Church and State doctrine.

The late President Ronald Reagan, however, had a great deal to say, and basically he was all for it.  In a 1984 speech, the Gipper said, ...we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.

Now, about Obama's war on Christianity?

Holy Guacamole Dip, Sports Fans!

Carl J. Friedrich: To be an American is an ideal, while to be a Frenchman is a fact.  
The very mention of immigration reform gives the right-wingers a bad case of acid reflux.  They accuse the President of everything from mongrelizing America to claiming that birthright citizenship would enable pregnant terrorists to come to America, deliver their babies, and raise them as sleeper agents.  No, seriously

St. Ronnie would never have approved of such nonsense as immigration reform!  Would he?  Actually, he did! 

I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally, Reagan said in a 1985 speech. 

In a 2010 interview with NPR, his former speechwriter said, It was in Ronald Reagan's bones — it was part of his understanding of America — that the country was fundamentally open to those who wanted to join us here.


Lawless Obama Subverts Congress!  

Um, welllll...
Lying vice-presidential loser Paul Ryan is about the umpteenth Republican to claim that President Obama's use of Executive Orders is leading to an increasingly lawless presidency and is creating a dangerous trend which is contrary to the Constitution.

Not only do the facts speak for themselves, but let's review ONE...MORE...TIME:  President Barack Obama is a Constitutional Law scholar and a former Constitutional Law professor.  I do believe he knows a thing or two about what is and what is not contrary to the Constitution. 

Note to self:  Deep breaths, take deep breaths.

Socialized Healthcare Will Make You Sick!

Why yes, yes it is going to work.  Thanks for acknowledging that.

Ever hear of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act?  No, me either.  And obviously neither has the current group of bobble-headed goons in the Capitol Building.

Ronald Reagan signed this act in 1986, and it is socialized healthcare.  Briefly, the law requires hospitals to treat patients in need of emergency care regardless of their ability to pay, their citizenship, or even their legal status. It applies to any hospital that takes Medicare funds, which is virtually every hospital in the country.  Translation: the Government picks up the tab, which means the taxpayer pays the bill.

The Affordable Care Act, on the other hand, requires that a covered person pay for some of his or her healthcare insurance.

A Little Hypocrisy on  the Side, Please

Can you say sniveling lying bitch?  Yes, I thought you could.

If anyone cares to read about Sir Ronald's sordid Iran-Contra scandal, including all the indictments and convictions of Reagan's people and the subsequent full pardons granted by President H. W. Bush, be my guest.  I have absolutely nothing to add.

History will record that on this day in 2013, a Marine was forced to hold an umbrella.

So one day in May, it began to rain.  It rained at the White House.  It rained on President Obama and the Prime Minister of Turkey.  And because it rained, the President of the United States asked someone -- specifically, the Marine sentries right behind him -- to hold umbrellas over his and the Prime Minister's heads for a few minutes.  

Cue the hysteria from conservatives.  And, of course, Sarah Palin had to take to Twitter and voice her spoutrage: Mr. President, when it rains it pours, but most Americans hold their own umbrellas.

And which Americans might those be, Mrs. Palin?

These two Americans?

This American?

Or this small-minded American?
Just to clarify the role of the Marine Sentries who stand to post behind the President: their only official  duty is to open the door for anyone entering or exiting the West Wing, where the Oval Office is located.  That's it!  So when the President of the United States, who also happens to be the military's Commander in Chief, asks his door handler to hold an umbrella for a few minutes, the door handler damned well does it.

Besides, as one young sentry joked, With this on my resume, I'm sure I could land a job at New York's Waldorf Astoria.  See?  The position provides excellent job training.

Oh, and speaking of Palin's spoutrage, I must have missed the part where she slammed Ann Coulter for calling the President a word she claims offended her deeply.  You remember, when she went off on Rahm Emanuel for using the same word?   Well, after the third presidential debate between the President and Mitt Romney in 2012 -- which the President handily won, according to instant voter polls -- Coulter tweeted I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.   

I guess to Palin that was just, um, some more conservative wing-nuttery satire, right?

And the Award Goes to...

"And the Oscar for Best Overt Racism and Blatant Hypocrisy goes to...Fox News!" the First Lady never, ever said.
Michelle Obama was invited to reveal the Academy Award for Best Picture during the 2013 Oscar presentations.  She accepted, and in a short appearance from the White House, announced that Argo had won the award.

Of course, the conservatives once again went into absolute apeshit-crazy-mode.  Todd Starnes of Fox Noise tweeted that Tonight was supposed to be about Hollywood – but Mrs. Obama made it about herself.   Never one to miss an opportunity to bash an Obama, Michelle The Mouth Malkin sent a tweet, too: Can POTUS and FLOTUS just relocate the White House to Hollywood and be done with it?   Jennifer Rubin, the right-wing political screecher at the Washington Post, said that the First Lady feels entitled and that both the president and the first lady seem small and grasping. 

They didn't have a whole lot to say when presented with the fact that both First Lady Laura Bush and President Ronald Reagan had made short appearances on Oscar night.

A Little of This Fact and a Little of That Fact

**End Note


My grateful thanks to BuffaloGal for allowing me to hijack her idea -- and modify the approach -- to toss out some of Ronald Reagan's middle-ground policies, attribute them to President Obama, and watch right-wingers' heads explode.

As always when I snatch an idea for a post from a Politicalgater, I hope I have done the topic justice.

Thanks again, BuffaloGal!