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Tag: "Sarah Palin"

Palin on "Endurance"

[ 0 ] July 3, 2009 |

The now funniest line from Palin’s ridiculous Runner’s World interview:

I betcha I’d have more endurance. My one claim to fame in my own little internal running circle is a sub-four marathon. It wasn’t necessarily a good running time, but it proves I have the endurance within me to at least gut it out and that is something. If you ever talk to my old coaches, they’d tell you, too. What I lacked in physical strength or skill I made up for in determination and endurance. So if it were a long race that required a lot of endurance, I’d win.

Of course you would.


Economics is hard

[ 0 ] June 5, 2009 |

I’m not sure which of Sarah Palin’s five colleges actually instructed her in the “principles” of Economics 101, but I’d think that someone who reads so many newspapers would at some point have discovered a coherent explanation of Keynesianism. Yes, this is the American press corps we’re talking about, but JFC, it’s not as if we’re asking her to understand how oil gets to market.

Sarah Palin Crash-and-Burn Watch

[ 0 ] April 15, 2009 |

I’m starting to think my governor might actually be mentally ill:

Gov. Sarah Palin surprised lawmakers Tuesday by forwarding the names of three appointees to the single open state Senate seat. Two of them, Tim Grussendorf and Joe Nelson, have already been rejected by the Senate Democrats.

Palin said the third, Alan Wilson, is a “successful small businessman and active in the community.” He is a former president of the Alaska State Home Building Association and is currently president of Alaska Renovators, a Juneau remodeling company. Wilson only became a Democrat on March 4. He was previously registered nonpartisan, and Juneau Democratic Party officials are opposing him, as they did Nelson and Grussendorf.

Palin appears to have ditched the weird legal theories on which she was relying a few weeks back, when she argued that a 22-year-old legal memo provided sufficient basis to nullify a state law governing the selection of replacement legislators. Now, however, she’s apparently discovered a new way to read the law and — rather than submitting a single name (customarily selected from a list provided by local party officials) — she’s decided to submit a list of her own, indicating that among other things she doesn’t understand the meaning of simple parts of speech like “a,” “the,” or “another.” Tellingly, Palin’s misogynist and homophobic attorney general nominee believes the senate Democrats should stop arguing about whether the governor’s actions are “legal or illegal” and just accept someone to fill the seat.

Meantime, Palin seems wedded to the belief that the state’s capital city deserves unqualified, inexperienced representation in the upper house of the legislature. Tim Grussendorf, like Alan Wilson, had recently changed his party affiliation to qualify for the senate nomination; Wilson’s primary qualification appears to be that his wife sold her some shoes when John McCain decided to end the presidential race two months early she was named as McCain’s running mate. Joe Nelson’s party credentials were reputed to be similarly thin (though I’ll outsource the details there, since Nelson happens to be an administrator at a certain fine public university that has yet to grant me tenure.)

Some of this is rooted in Palin’s widely-known disregard for Juneau — a city she doesn’t believe should be the state’s capital to begin with — and some is surely part of the fallout from the Troopergate investigation (along with earlier conflicts with the legislature over line-item budget cuts). The rest of it is simply a function of Sarah Palin being a uniquely awful executive.

Sarah Palin is a terrible governor, part 458

[ 0 ] April 4, 2009 |

Steven Taylor:

[Calling for Sen. Begich’s resignation because the Bush administration employed shitty prosecutors] reinforces the notion that she isn’t a statesman or a leader, but rather focused very specifically on partisan success to the exclusion of reasonable behavior. She isn’t concerned about the dubious nature of such a move, the cost of a special election, nor the temporary denial of her state of a Senator. No, she is worried that a corrupt member of her party, who lucked out of seven convictions it would seem, should have an opportunity to return to office. Or, if we assume that Stevens wouldn’t run, she wants to give a member of her party a shot at winning back the seat.

The only logic to support such a position is partisan logic, and while I fully understand that there is a very real role for party competition for office and in party behavior in office, there does come a time when the focus should be governing.

I’d agree with this, with the proviso that Palin’s “partisanship” is not oriented toward the success of her party so much as the advancement of her own political fortunes. This is why Palin not only refrained from endorsing Stevens but went so far as to call for his resignation when a jury convicted him on corruption charges a week before the November election; for quite sensible reasons, Stevens was a pariah among Republicans outside Alaska, and in the interest of preserving her fake maverick credentials, Palin sought as much distance as possible between herself and a renowned crook whom half the state (to its national embarrassment) was willing to return to the Senate. With the DoJ’s decision to drop the charges against Stevens, Palin — who is up for re-election next year and will likely have to deal with a few primary challengers — has apparently realized that her re-election chances would be served better if she could expunge the whole not-sucking-up-to-Uncle-Ted thing.

Meantime, Palin is engaged in a less nationally-visible effort to deny a state senate appointment to a highly popular and competent state house member — Juneau Democrat Beth Kerttula — who happened to voice the uncontroversial view last August that Palin was “not ready” to be Vice President. When state Sen. Kim Elton resigned last month to take a job with the US Department of the Interior, Palin was obligated by state law to name a registered Democrat to replace him; the local party organization forwarded Kerttula’s name to Palin as its sole recommendation — a decision that was reasonable, given Kerttula’s surpassing qualifications for the job and given the near-certainty that she’ll win the seat outright next year during the fall elections. Palin, however, opted instead to nominate a conservative legislative aide, Tim Grussendorf, who had actually switched his party affiliation to qualify for the job. Palin wasn’t required by law to accept the local party’s recommendation; by the same token, the senate Democrats weren’t required to accept her choice. And so yesterday, the senate Democrats rejected Grussendorf by a majority vote in closed session.

Palin, however, is now insisting that an obscure, 22-year-old legal memo requires legislators to follow a completely different process than the one laid out by the relevant statute, and she’s rejecting the senate democrats’ rejection — a decision that not even her party colleagues in the legislature agree with. It’s an unbelievably petty dispute, for which the governor deserves the blame. While the legislature is trying to get access to federal stimulus funds that the governor stupidly rejected, Sarah Palin seems determined to provoke a court battle to defend her ongoing, grudge-driven administrative style.

Pandering to non-Alaskan voters? You betcha!

[ 0 ] March 19, 2009 |

Pain rejects half of Alaska’s stimulus money.

Gov. Sarah Palin just told reporters that she’s accepting only 55 percent of the federal economic stimulus money being offered to Alaska. The governor said that she will accept only about $514 million of the $930 million headed to the state.

“We are not requesting funds intended to just grow government. We are not requesting more money for normal day-to-day operations of government as part of this economic stimulus package. In essence we say no to operating funds for more positions in government,” Palin said.

The biggest single chunk of stimulus money that Palin is turning down is $160 million for education. There’s also $17 million in Department of Labor funds (vocational rehabilitation services, unemployment services, etc.), about $9 million for Health and Social Services and about $7 million for Public Safety. The full list and the specifics aren’t available from the governor’s budget department yet.

The state’s aspiring teachers and state troopers, unemployed ConocoPhilips and FedEx employees will be delighted by the news. Perhaps they can all join the governor at Galt’s Gulch Wasilla, where the recession-immune crystal meth industry remains a vibrant part of the local economy.

2012 Too Early for Huntsman?

[ 0 ] March 2, 2009 |

Jon Huntsman certainly has an interesting strategy for making it through the 2012 GOP primary; it seems to be based on the assumption that the Palin-Huckabee-Jindal crazy wing of the party (which seems to represent ~70% of the party) will be divided enough to allow Huntsman to win several of the early primaries by occupying the center. Because of the structure of the Republican primary system, he could potentially build up a nice little delegate lead. Alternatively, Huntsman could just be hoping that the party establishment, perhaps chastened by additional losses in 2010, comes to its senses regarding the rightward drift.

There are several potential problems with the strategy. The first problem is that Huntsman won’t be the only candidate to occupy what passes for the centrist position in the 2012 primary; Mitt Romney will by all accounts be there, and Mitt will once again bring the money. The second is that, in all likelihood, the crazy wing will burn down to one candidate pretty quickly, and whomever that candidate is will then proceed to crush Huntsman (or Romney) for the rest of the primary season. And while I do think that the establishment will eventually rein the crazies in, I don’t think it’ll happen until 2016 at the earliest; the mantra for 2012 will still be “we lost because we’re not conservative enough”.

Then again, I’m glad I never published the post I wrote in 2005, with the excerpt “Wes Clark should coast to victory in the 2008 Democratic primary, but can he beat George Allen in the general?”

The endless whine of Sarah Palin

[ 0 ] February 24, 2009 |

Please make it stop.

Looking back on her interview with ABC News’ Charles Gibson, in which Palin seemed unsure of how to define the Bush doctrine, the Alaska governor said she was disrespected in a way that another candidate would not have been.

“I’d have to say there would be much more respect shown to the subject, yes,” she said.

I don’t want to interfere with Sarah Palin’s apparent need to develop an alternate history of the 2008 campaign, but Charlie Gibson interview was predictably — and appropriately, I suppose, given the responses he received — lightweight. This is why the McCain campaign agreed to grant him the interview. There were any number of difficult questions that a journalist might have posed to the vice presidential nominee, but Gibson — because he’s not a useful journalist — didn’t bother to ask them. Instead, he served up two species of questions during their sessions together: (1) those anyone with a basic literacy in current events should have been capable of answering; and (2) those allowing Sarah Palin the chance to elaborate on her general suitability for office.

Some of the questions were delivered in a condescending tone of voice, but the claim that Palin received no “respect” is transparently silly. If anything, the interview revealed for the first time the McCain campaign’s open contempt for its potential supporters, whom they evidently believed were prepared to fall for someone with a substantively weak appreciation for the issues that had been dominating the campaign (and would continue to do so for another week or so, before the necrotic economy took over). Most telling was Palin’s inability to coherently discuss — or, for that matter, even recognize — the foreign policy that was responsible for her son’s deployment to Iraq, which took place the very day the Gibson interview first aired.

The problem was not, as Palin defenders like to argue, that she was depicted by the press as a moron — as if Not A Moron were an adequate starting point for this sort of thing. Rather, the problem was that she revealed herself to be a profoundly incurious person with terrible baseline notions about how to approach an array of policy problems. These traits aren’t guaranteed to interfere a candidate’s ascent to office — see “Bush, George W., the elections of 2000 and 2004” — so it’s a testimony to Palin’s unique deficits that she came out so badly in all of this.

The most expensive governor in the country

[ 0 ] February 8, 2009 |

Always remember that the free market is always vastly more efficient and less wasteful than government:

New state gift disclosures show it cost Liberty Legal Institute and the two law firms working with it $185,000 to represent six Alaska legislators in an unsuccessful lawsuit to halt their colleagues’ “Troopergate” investigation.

The legislators listed a $25,000 gift of services from the Texas-based Liberty Legal Institute. Liberty is the legal arm of the Free Market Foundation, which is associated with evangelical leader James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, and lists its guiding principles as limited government and promotion of Judeo-Christian values. The lawmakers also disclosed a $120,000 gift of services from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, a national firm that appeared at hearings on behalf of Liberty Legal.

Anchorage attorney Kevin Clarkson represented the six legislators in the case as well, and turned to Liberty Legal for its constitutional expertise. The lawmakers reported a $40,000 gift of services from Clarkson’s firm.

That brings the total bill for their lawsuit to $185,000.

This seems awfully bizarre. The lawyer retained by the Legislative Council earned just under $30,000 for the effort. Ordinarily, I’d be delighted to learn that a right wing legal defense organization had just blown a couple hundred thousand dollars, but I’m assuming there’s a sizable tax advantage to be gained from such a venture — not to mention the wingnut public relations/donor utility that would come from trying to protect Sarah Palin from the godless socialists who opposed her right to abuse her office. I’d imagine the $185G will prove to be a fairly good investment in the long run. Can anyone make me feel better by showing how wrong I am to assume this?

You betcha, etc.

[ 0 ] January 28, 2009 |

This is great news for me:

SarahPAC . . . was registered Monday night with the Federal Election Commission. The Web site went live Tuesday, said Pam Pryor, who worked as a liaison between the McCain-Palin presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee. Now, Pryor is serving as a volunteer spokeswoman for the new PAC.

The goal of the committee, according to its Web site, is to “make it possible for Gov. Palin to continue to be a strong voice for energy independence and reform. … SarahPAC will support local and national candidates who share Gov. Palin’s ideas and goals for our country.”

I can think of few other sights as grand as a litter of Sarah Palins, snouts to the soil like truffling hogs, trying to discern the “ideas and goals” that might win the approval of their would-be patron. I suppose Joe the Plumber will probably make the cut. Mabe they can hang out and read von Mises together.

Pathetic Governors Who Lie

[ 0 ] January 13, 2009 |


Sarah Palin fired a new salvo in her war on the media, unloading in a new interview on her home state paper and “bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie.”

The Alaska governor, who has granted a steady stream of interviews since Election Day, also told an Esquire reporter that she wishes she had told McCain campaign advisors she’d be “callin’ some of the shots.”

“Bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie annoy me… I’ll tell you, yesterday the Anchorage Daily News, they called again to ask — double-, triple-, quadruple-check — who is Trig’s real mom,” she said, in an interview to be published in the magazine’s March issue.

At least we now know the name of at least one of the newspapers that Palin reads in her daily quest to peruse “all of them.” But for the record, here’s the ADN editor explaining — in a late December e-mail to the governor herself — why the paper had a reporter calling her office about the story.

You may have been too busy with the campaign to notice, but the Daily News has, from the beginning, dismissed the conspiracy theories about Trig’s birth as nonsense. I don’t believe we have ever published in the newspaper a story, a letter, a column or anything alleging a coverup surrounding your maternity.

In fact, my integrity and the integrity of the newspaper have been repeatedly attacked in national forums for our complicity in the “coverup.” I have personally received more than 100 emails accusing me and the paper of conspiring to hide the truth (about Trig’s birth.)

. . . .I finally decided, after watching this go on unabated for months, to let a reporter try to do a story about the “conspiracy theory that would not die” and, possibly, report the facts of Trig’s birth thoroughly enough to kill the nonsense once and for all.

Lisa Demer started reporting. She received very little cooperation in her efforts from the parties who, in my judgment, stood to benefit most from the story, namely you and your family. Even so, we reported the matter as thoroughly as we could. Several weeks ago, when we considered the information Lisa had gathered, we decided we didn’t have enough of a story to accomplish what we had hoped. Lisa moved on to other topics and we haven’t decided whether the idea is worth any further effort.

Even the birth of your grandson may not dissuade the Trig conspiracy theorists from their beliefs. It strikes me that if there is never a clear, contemporaneous public record of what transpired with Trig’s birth, that may actually ensure that the conspiracy theory never dies. Time will tell.

Elsewhere, Eric Boehlert offers a natural history of the rumor, proving once more — as if further proof were required — that Sarah Palin simply has no idea what she’s talking about.

Separated at Birth?

[ 0 ] January 9, 2009 |

Huh. Has anyone ever seen Olbermann and Poe in the same room?

I’m hoping this guy wins the nomination next year, if for no other reason than to freak Palin out on a daily basis.

Palin Summary

[ 0 ] November 13, 2008 |

What Sully said.

This bears particular emphasis:

The Palin nightmare also happened because a tiny faction of political professionals has far too much sway in the GOP and conservative circles. This was Bill Kristol’s achievement.

It was a final product of the now-exhausted strategy of fomenting fundamentalist resentment to elect politicians dedicated to the defense of Israel and the extension of American military hegemony in every corner of the globe. Palin was the reductio ad absurdum of this mindset: a mannequin candidate, easily controlled ideologically, deployed to fool and corral the resentful and the frightened, removed from serious scrutiny and sold on propaganda networks like a food product.

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