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Tag: "Sarah Palin"

This is excellent news!! For Palin!!

[ 5 ] March 10, 2010 |

For whatever reason, Google Reader’s “Explore” option recently started lumping all political sites together irrespective of orientation, which means that even time I try to find new, interesting voices, I’m bombarded with new, interesting-for-the-wrong-reason-but-potential-blog-fodder voices. For example:

We believe the TV show [Sarah Palin]’s producing with Mark Burnett on the wonders of Alaska will be Reaganesque in its reach of regular people.

For something written by “such good writers,” that sentence is uglier than it is stupid. The majority of Americans won’t appreciate a show about “the wonders of Alaska” for the simple reason that Americans only watch things about Alaska when its bears eat tourists. Don’t believe me? Consider Christopher Nolan’s career:

Batman Begins: $205,343,774
Insomnia: $67,263,182
The Dark Knight: $533,316,061

When his films take place in Alaska, their domestic gross drops, on average, very large numbers because Americans don’t believe that states whose moose-caribou population density (1.11/sq. mi.) outstrips its population density (1.03/sq. mi.) count as America. The idea that a successful Palin campaign could be initiated by a show about 700,000 moose and caribou picked to live in a state and have their lives taped to find out what happens when they stop being polite and start getting real—there’s wishful thinking, then there’s whatever that is. This too:

If [the show is] informative, well-produced, and showcases Palin’s Alaska, we believe it will become a cultural phenomenon. We foresee Alaskan imagery everywhere in 2011. Which is a wonderful setup for the Palin brand in 2012. Late 2010-early 2011 is also when Palin’s next book is due: a policy book on American Virtues. That will be coupled with a book tour that should end round about February 6th, 2011, the day we believe Palin will announce her presidential run. Essentially, the tour bus she uses for the book [American Virtues] will just be slightly rebranding as PALIN 2012, instead of American Virtues. Chances are, “American Virtues” will actually be her campaign motto. We can see the branding and marketing already at work.

These people should not be mocked for claiming 1) that Palin will write a book by her lonesome, 2) that it will be policy-oriented, or 3) that people can write policy books about virtues: they should be pitied for the wistful tones in which they imagine the subtle repurposing of a tour bus in terms of branding, because people who daydream in ad lingo about campaign slogans are the saddest people in the world. Then there’s the fact that, on principle, dreamers this dumb deserve pity:

Palin’s playing 11th dimensional chess that RedState’s not seeing, because it’s so focused on Romney, or dazzled by his Mattel-produced hair. She’s operating a fully-formed multimedia strategy designed to counter Dr. Utopia’s razzle dazzle and media darling status.

Follow that RedState link and you’ll find a discussion of a post at the Daily Caller that warms my heart:

[I]t is very important to point out that something like this may already be Palin’s plan (for the record, I have shared almost all of these thoughts with her via her personal e-mail but have received no response). So far, I have not seen one shred of legitimate evidence indicating that she has decided to run and some serious indications that she won’t.

Wait—Palin decide to ignore this asshole? Excellent. Anyone with any sense would distance herself from people like him, wait—did I just suggest that Sarah Palin is a person with sense? Maybe she is playing 11th dimensional chess.

Sarah Palin’s Murphy Brown Moment?

[ 0 ] February 20, 2010 |

Of course, it’s Family Guy, not Murphy Brown, which is suitable for the new century.

Like any right minded curious individual with a shred of a sense of humor, I’m a big fan of Family Guy. Indeed, for my first 18 months or so on facebook, Brian was my profile picture (because, well, I guess I identify with a cynical, lecherous alcoholic dog, but at least he talks) until my partner insisted that I have a picture of me instead of some cartoon dog. What was she thinking?
I’m not going to weigh into this more than superficially, but in my quick read, the balance of sympathy is squarely with the cartoon, and not the cartoonish ex governor of Alaska.

The Dean Has A Crush!

[ 0 ] February 11, 2010 |

There has already been a lot of good commentary about the latest from Fred Hiatt’s crayon scribbler emeritus. I think this the key part:

Her lengthy Saturday night keynote address to the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville and her debut on the Sunday morning talk show circuit with Fox News’ Chris Wallace showed off a public figure at the top of her game — a politician who knows who she is and how to sell herself, even with notes on her palm.

Yep, 2012 is going to be 2000 all over again, with a not-very-bright reactionary governor portrayed as “authentic” against elitist Democratic phonies. Kill me now.

Who Knew?

[ 0 ] February 7, 2010 |

Alaska, apparently, is a great beacon of hope to oppressed people everywhere.

We Can’t Get on Any of the Best Enemies Lists…

[ 0 ] December 25, 2009 |

How is Noon not on this list?

H/t GC.

Things that will suprise no one

[ 0 ] December 20, 2009 |

Hey, it looks like Sarah Palin is just making stuff up again:

Former Gov. Sarah Palin, who has had a rocky relationship with the state’s capital city, says in her book there were some ugly threats made against her daughters while they were attending Juneau schools.

Those threats reportedly caused daughter Willow Palin to be removed from the Juneau School District.

Palin said it ended the “honeymoon” for her kids in their new role as children of the state’s governor, though she admitted the honeymoon had already ended for her.

The alleged threats made against Palin’s daughters are raising questions among officials who would likely have been made aware of them at the time, had they been made or had Palin taken them seriously. . . .

Palin provided no details about where the Internet site was, how seriously she took the threats, how she knew it was posted by students, or what steps she’d taken to ensure her family’s safety.

Former Juneau School District Superintendent Peggy Cowan was superintendent during the period in question and said she never heard of such concerns. . . .

Juneau Police Chief Greg Browning similarly said his department has no record of ever being alerted to such threats.

His department’s school resource officers are in Juneau schools daily, and would likely have been alerted to such threats, had they been made, he said.

The Alaska State Troopers provide a security detail for Palin, but trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said the first they heard about the allegation was from Palin’s book.

“AST has no record of a report like that being made to our agency,” Peters said. “Additionally, we have no way of determining if a report of that nature was made to another agency.”

I figured someone would report on this sooner or later. Juneau is a small town in many ways, and of the many stories I’ve heard about Palin’s kids — especially the two older ones — this one had never come up. And now I suppose we know why.

I’ve pretty much given up on trying to plumb the psychology of someone like Palin. But as far as this latest fable goes, it seems possible that she invented it to add greater (albeit fabricated) detail to the outrage she expressed over David Letterman’s tasteless joke about her daughter being impregnated by A-Rod. More likely, I suspect, the story is one more aspect of Palin’s deranged relationship to Alaska’s capital. Describing Palin’s relationship with Juneau as “rocky” would qualify as a major understatement. Her loathing for the city was palpable during the brief periods she actually spent in residence, and her absence from the capital city during legislative sessions (especially 2008) was the stuff of legend. Her book is almost completely uncomplimentary about Juneau, which she portrays as a swamp of political corruption and extramarital affairs. She congratulates herself for living in the governor’s mansion for a few months (and for firing the chef), but about the only thing we learn about the people of Juneau is that she was happy to annoy her neighbors by installing a trampoline in the front yard. (As an aside, I’ll note that I have acquaintances who live in that neighborhood, and no one recalls her putting a trampoline there. Nor would anyone have given a shit if she had.)

With that in mind, I’m not surprised that Palin would make up stories about her imperiled kids to justify her decision to leave Juneau and take a state per diem for living in Wasilla. Palin ranks among those Alaskans — most of whom live in the Anchorage region — who would prefer to remove the capital entirely from Southeast Alaska, where it’s been since the Russian purchase in 1867. (Juneau has been the capital since 1906.) Over the past decade, the loss of government jobs in Juneau has been a source of growing concern; the past several administrations have relocated significant positions (including commissioners’ offices) to the Anchorage area, producing a phenomenon known as “capital creep.” Several formal efforts to move the capital — most recently a ballot referendum in 2002 — have failed, but the informal process continues to be a problem. As everyone knows, the departure of government entirely from Juneau would absolutely wreck the region, hacking away a quarter of its economy at the very least. And Sarah Palin was the sort of person who seemed to believe that outcome would be completely acceptable.

So is Sarah Palin the sort of person who would make up stories about threats of gang rape to provide literary cover for her personal and political aversion to her state’s capital city? I dunno. Her fabrications usually have such a random quality to them, it’s hard to imagine she’s operating with much of a method. Like a Zen koan, Palin’s lies can only be understood by relinquishing the quest for understanding.

Saturday Night Science Debate

[ 0 ] December 20, 2009 |

Do anthropogenic factors play a role in climate change? Some say no:

(CNN)– In a late night posting on her Twitter feed, Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin continued to blast climate change believers Friday, calling the talks in Copenhagen, Denmark a representation of man’s “arrogance,” for believing people have an impact on nature.

“Arrogant&Naive2say man overpwers nature,” Palin tweeted.

“Earth saw clmate chnge4 ions;will cont 2 c chnges.R duty2responsbly devlop resorces4humankind/not pollute&destroy;but cant alter naturl chng,” the former Republican vice presidential nominee wrote.

More reputable experts argue that history shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men:

"Wilding"

[ 0 ] November 28, 2009 |

Dave linked to this outburst below. It’s worth noting that when American Thinker Robin from Berkeley describes what she calls the “wilding of Sarah Palin,” she fails to mention that the original “wilding” — the infamous rape of the Central Park jogger in 1989, resulted in the wrongful convictions of six teenage boys, who collectively ended up spending several decades in prison for a crime they didn’t commit.

Going Rogue, chapter 5

[ 0 ] November 25, 2009 |

In the 16th and early 17th centuries, English Puritans developed a method of Biblical and historical interpretation known as “typology.” In its simplest form, typology involved the discovery of Old Testament precursors — events, people, rituals and other elements of scripture — that foreshadowed or prefigured similar details in the New Testament. According to Puritan interpretation, Old Testament “types” were recycled and fulfilled in the works of Christ, the somewhat awkwardly-termed “antitype.” (Puritans also used Old Testament “types” to make sense of their own historical situation, as when they interpreted Native Americans as anti-types for the people of Canaan, heathens whom the Puritans — as anti-types of Israel — needed to drive from the new holy land.)

Reading the last few chapters of Going Rogue, we can see how Puritan theology supplies a useful tool for understanding Sarah Palin’s political development, and especially her bizarre decision (on my birthday, no less) to leave the governor’s office. For instance, here’s a “type” from chapter 1, in which a young Palin and her friend Chuck are beleaguered by by a state trooper:

It was Christmas Day; we were out in the middle of nowhere, a couple of kids on a snowmachine up against a big dude with a gun and a badge. I couldn’t help wondering about his priorities, if he really didn’t have more important things to do, like catching a bad guy, or maybe helping a poor plady haul in her firewood for the night. Looking back, maybe this was my first brush with the skewed priorities of government.

And three decades later, the “anti-type” as Palin whines about the eighteen ethics complaints filed against her since the summer of 2008:

We never imagined our critics would be so unscrupulous as to make a mockery of a serious issue like the ethics act. My state had been rocked by real ethical violations. We had lawmakers taking bribes and going to prison, the former administration’s chief of staff pleading guilty to a felony, and oil service executives ready to go to the clink. But now partisan operatives were using the reformed ethics [sic] to level charges against me that were as trivial as they were absurd — charges that were eagerly reported by the press as though they were actual news.

What a bass-ackward way of doing the people’s business.

The book is loaded with similar type/anti-type pairings (e.g., the biased reporting of the local Wasilla paper prefigures the antics of Katie Couric and Andrew Sullivan; her resignation from the oil and gas board prefigures her swan dive from the governor’s office; her loss in the 2002 lieutenant governor’s race prefigures her loss with McCain in 2008; and so on). But since Palin’s book is fundamentally a tale of martyrdom and apotheosis, she’s able to ennoble her decision to quit the very job that supposedly qualified her to serve as Vice President. The dozen-plus ethics charges, the heinous fabrications of left-wing bloggers, the endless FOIA requests from reporters — all of these are merely the stations of the cross as Sarah Palin lumbers toward Golgotha.

Financial hardship is painful but bearable. Loss of reputation I can take. But I could not and cannot tolerate watching Alaska suffer . . . .

I prayed hard because I knew that if I resigned, it might very well end any future political career.

But then I thought, This is what’s wrong with our political system. Too many politicians only consider their next career move. They don’t put the people they are serving first.

I don’t suppose it’s worth arguing about the degree of triviality bound up with these complaints (though several of them, including the ones related to the Walt Monegan fiasco as well as the complaint involving travel funds from Palin’s kids, are exactly the sorts of problems that state ethics boards should be investigating). Similarly, there’s no sense in wondering if the accusations against Palin were more or less flimsy than the campaign-season accusations she herself made about Barack Obama and Bill Ayers (or the ones she explains in the book she wanted to make about Obama and ACORN). It’s probably also not worth pointing out that while Palin compares her own ethics ordeal with Netw Gingrich’s during the mid-1990s — I wish I were making that up — our maverick savior doesn’t pause for a moment to reflect on the much costlier (and less substantiated) investigations launched into the financial transactions of the fellow who happened to occupy the White House at the same time.

At the end of the day, if Palin truly wanted to “put the people [she was] serving first,” she would have been a better governor. Instead, she returned from the campaign trail with a chip on her shoulder after ticking off nearly everyone she’d need to work with in the legislature. She embarked on an ideologically-motivated, fact-free campaign to reject federal stimulus funds, resulting in a protracted pissing match that gobbled up time better spent on serious policy questions; she spent months fucking with the people of Juneau, nominating an array of unqualified goofballs to fill our vacant seat in the state senate; and she spent most of her time acting as if the job she had was interfering with the job she wanted. Ethics complaints might have caused the state a bit of hassle and expense, but they didn’t stop Palin from wasting valuable time on her own petty obsessions.

As Palin herself might say, what a bass-ackward way of doing the people’s business.

This totally would have worked on the "Half Hour Comedy Hour," though…

[ 0 ] November 24, 2009 |

As promised, here are the passages from Palin’s book in which she and the “B-Team” make a go at vaudeville. When we join our heroine, she has just agreed to appear on a mid-October episode of SNL as the self-parody to Tina Fey’s parody. After musing that a September appearance on the show might have “had a shot at evening the odds with the SNL crew,” she recalls her mounting concern that no one from the show had bothered to provide the campaign with a script. “What if it’s raunchy?” she wonders. “Worse, what if it’s not funny?” Not to fear, of course. This is Sarah Palin we’re talking about; she’ll write the fucking jokes herself.

So, finally, we B Teamers started brainstorming. What about a skit where I pretended to be a journalist and asked Tina condescending questions: “What do you use for newspapers up in Alaska–tree bark?” “What happens if the moose were given guns? It wouldn’t be so easy then, eh?” “Is ‘you betcha’ your state motto?” We sent our ideas up the line, and somebody smacked ‘em down.

See? It’s just like the campaign. She couldn’t even use her bestest burns on Alec Baldwin.

Alec Baldwin also guested on the show that evening. The big-wigs haggled back and forth over my appearance . . . . We put our heads together and sent the producers a counteroffer. Alec would get his barbs in, then I would say, “Hey, Baldwin, weren’t you supposed to leave the country after the last election?”

Uh…no, producers said.

We tried another idea . . . . “Hey, Alec,” the proposed line went, “I saw Stephen at a fund-raiser last week and asked him when he was going to knock some sense into you.”

Uh…no.

What’s that line about being able to dish it out?

It’s a good thing that Palin has her unintentional comedy career to fall back on.

Going Rogue, Chapter 4

[ 0 ] November 23, 2009 |

Oh, fucking hell. It’s the presidential campaign. I’d forgotten about this part.

Fortunately for me, there’s not much to say, really, about chapter 4 that hasn’t already been written about a thousand times already. We have to endure more bullshit about Bristol’s pregnancy, the wardrobe “controversy,” Katie Couric, and the teleprompter in Minneapolis St. Paul (oops!), which she continues to insist malfunctioned so badly that she was forced to deliver her convention speech from memory. There are a few moments of levity — as when Palin groans about not being allowed to give more substantive answers during debate prep, or when she receives a friendly visit from Holy Joe Lieberman before squaring off against Biden. We’re also forced to read (for several agonizing pages) about the one-liners that Palin and her campaign staffers submitted — to no avail — to the writers of Saturday Night Live prior to Palin’s late-October appearance on the show. (If prodded forcefully enough in comments, I will post these “jokes” separately. You have, however, been warned.)

But the essential weight of the chapter, however, centers on the way she was mishandled by nearly everyone around her. From what I gather, a lot of folks expected this section of the book to have something like the following effect on the people who managed the McCain campaign:

Sadly, the chapter merely amplifies grievances about campaign strategy that Palin has either hinted at or voiced directly on numerous occasions since last November. At the bottom of it all, Palin accuses the McCain people of stifling the political instincts that helped her win the governor’s race in 2006. Then, as she recounts in the previous chapter, Palin “wanted to shake every hand on the trail” and meet everyone in the entire goddamn state. And because she was driving herself and her kids around in sub-zero weather — guzzling sugar-free Red Bulls and sticking her head out the window (as any responsible parent would) to fend off sleep — Palin was able to campaign as she saw fit. But in her account of the 2006 gubernatorial race, she tells a story that effectively sets up the rift that would emerge between her and the McCain team.

On one return trip . . . we stopped late at night in the middle of nowhere to drop off a campaign sign. Todd had spotted the unmarked dirt road we needed to take, and we rumbled down a narrow lane lined by tall, spindly black spruce until we came to a tiny wooden cabin hidden in the woods. The elderly couple who lived there had called in to a political radio show and voiced their support, so we’d looked them up and promised to deliver them a yard sign, even though you wouldn’t be able to view it from the main highway.

The old people stuff them with pie, and the Palins drive away, listening to LL Cool J and the Black Eyed Peas as they ponder the “hardworking, unpretentious and patriotic people” who want to see them elected.

When Palin gripes about the way she was hemmed in by campaign officials during the 2008 race — the fact that she wasn’t allowed to hang around on the rope lines for hour after needless hour, “really connecting with voters” who were already going to vote for the Republican ticket, or the fact that she was thwarted in her effort to make a pointless visit to Michigan after the campaign wisely yanked the plug on their efforts in that state — all we need to remember is that Palin believes that campaigns are defined in no small part by their willingness to deliver yard signs in the middle of the night. Throughout the chapter, Palin relishes the attention of core GOP voters who drag their knuckles through the boglands of America to listen to her speak. She wants to “take the gloves off” and drive the base of the party into a white-hot fury over Jeremiah Wright. She wants to sit down at kitchen tables with millions of people and explain to them that John McCain is “bold” and “thinks outside the box,” while Barack Obama consorts with terrorists and doesn’t have a child with Down Syndrome.

But the fat, chain-smoking meanies in the campaign won’t let her, and on November 3 God shows them who’s the boss of whom.

To sum up, here’s chapter 4:

I’d have compared her to Edward Gibbon, but then again I’m prone to wild and ignorant exaggeration…

[ 0 ] November 22, 2009 |

Americaneoclown is seeing starbursts through the pages of his book:

I should add that I’m reading the book now, and I’m finding it as an extremely satisfying account of the everywoman’s tale of American exceptionalism. That is, Sarah Palin is our 21st century Frederick Jackson Turner, who was the author of the seminal account of the American political culture, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History.” With Palin we have our modern-day political scribe of the frontier existence, the rugged pioneer of traditionalism who rejoices in the Alaskan harvest of the great remaining bounty of the nation’s magnificent destiny.

Wow. That’s a mighty chain of prepositions there. But has Donald even read the Turner essays? I have no idea what a phrase like “the pioneer of traditionalism” is supposed to mean, but Turner’s argument — which historians and political scientists have pretty much rejected for the past half century — is that “the frontier” destroyed tradition, particularly the cultural inheritances that European settlers brought with them to the perimeter of settlement (e.g., western Massachusetts, the Ohio Valley, the Mississippi Valley, etc.)

In any event, Turner’s argument is that the social life of the frontier produces a laboratory of sorts in which democratic ideals can be rejuvenated and then retained as the frontier becomes progressively more “civilized.” For the frontier thesis to work, in other words, the frontier in question needs to produce democratic modes of life that are actually worth emulating. Given that Alaska’s entire political and social order depends upon gobbling up more federal resources than the state can deliver in tax revenues, I doubt there are altogether that many Americans who would find this an agreeable model. Palin’s notion that the state can wean itself from the federal teat by drilling from now until the End of Days is also a decidedly non-Turnerian fantasy, unless I missed the parts in which he celebrated the massive transfer of real estate and political power into the hands of corporate speculators.

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