Palin Power: Fresh Face Now More Popular Than Obama, McCain

This poll, taken just after the Palin acceptance speech, demonstrates how severely she has been underestimated. This story is from Yahoo News

Palin Power: Fresh Face Now More Popular Than Obama, McCain
Fri Sep 5, 12:04 PM ET

A week ago, most Americans had never heard of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Now, following a Vice Presidential acceptance speech viewed live by more than 40 million people, Palin is viewed favorably by 58% of American voters. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 37% hold an unfavorable view of the self-described hockey mom.

The figures include 40% with a Very Favorable opinion of Palin and 18% with a Very Unfavorable view. Before her acceptance speech, Palin was viewed favorably by 52%. A week ago, 67% had never heard of her.

The new data also shows significant increases in the number who say McCain made the right choice and the number who say Palin is ready to be President. Generally, John McCain’s choice of Palin earns slightly better reviews than Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden.

Perhaps most stunning is the fact that Palin’s favorable ratings are now a point higher than either man at the top of the Presidential tickets this year. As of Friday morning, Obama and McCain are each viewed favorably by 57% of voters. Biden is viewed favorably by 48%.

There is a strong partisan gap when it comes to perceptions of Palin. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Republicans give her favorable reviews along with 33% of Democrats and 59% of voters not affiliated with either major party.

She earns positive reviews from 65% of men and 52% of women. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that Obama continues to lead McCain among women voters while McCain leads among men. The Friday morning update — the first to include interviews conducted after Palin’s speech–showed the beginning of a Republican convention bounce that may match Obama’s bounce from last week.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Americans believe that most reporters are trying to hurt Palin’s campaign, a fact that may enhance her own ratings.

The Palin pick has also improved perceptions of John McCain. A week ago, just before he introduced his running mate, just 42% of Republicans had a Very Favorable opinion of their party’s nominee. That figure jumped to 54% by this Friday morning. Among unaffiliated voters, favorable opinions of McCain have increased by eleven percentage points in a week from 54% before the Palin announcement to 65% today.

Although my opinion of McCain is as far from favorable as I can imagine, this bold move did improve my opinion of him. Not much, but for him to pick any woman after Obama declined that opportunity shows he is not as stuck on playing it safe. Jo Freeman wrote an interesting article thanking McCain for putting women back on the front burner.

Sarah Palin: A Risky Move and A Gift to the Women’s Movement

Thank you, John McCain!

Never thought I would say those words, but McCain’s selection of Alaska governor Sarah Palin was a godsend to the women’s movement.

With Hillary out of the picture, there was a serious possibility that women and women’s issues would be ignored in the 2008 election. After all, there are so many other concerns fighting for air time from the candidates. Iraq, Afghanistan, the economy, housing, climate change, budget deficits ….the list goes on and on. The Bush Presidency has left us holding so many problems that “women” could well have dropped to the bottom of the list.

Not now.

Women have been roughly 60 percent of the Democratic base since 1980. Since anyone who looks at the platforms of the two parties knows that women’s interests (well … the feminist view of women’s interests) are best served by the Democrats, the Party has tended to take the women’s vote for granted.

There’s been a lot of talk in the last few years about how the Democrats need to appeal to men more, because white men are more likely to vote Republican. McCain’s selection of a woman as a running-mate puts the women’s vote into play.

His choice for VP indicates that he thinks he can shave off a piece of that population who are still unhappy with how Hillary was treated. It’s a small piece, but a small piece of a large population is still a lot of votes. It was a bold choice. A brilliant choice. A risky choice.

Like Hillary’s 2008 run for President, Ferraro’s 1984 run for the second spot brought all sorts of sexism out of the closet. It was an eye-opener for everyone. In the end, this bold, risky choice didn’t seem to affect the outcome. The exit polls showed that having a woman on the ticket was a prime concern for only a few. These voters about equally divided between those who told pollsters that they voted for a woman and those who said they voted against one.

Ferraro’s candidacy had a bigger effect on those who answered the annual polling question (in a different poll): Would you vote for “a well-qualified woman of your own party for President”? After Ferraro a party gap appeared. Republicans were 50 percent more likely than Democrats to answer “No.” Republicans have continued to say they would not vote for a well-qualified (but unnamed) woman for President at a much higher rate than Democrats.

Wonder what they will tell the pollsters this year?

If this Rasmussen poll is any indication, Republicans have closed that gap. Eight out of nine Republicans gave Palin favorable reviews after her speech. Democrats underestimate her at their peril. They may believe Bush is so unpopular that Obama will win by a landslide, but far more people do not view McCain as a Bush clone than Democrats would like to believe. McCain agrees with Bush on most issues, but Obama does not represent the kind of change his followers want to believe. On issues such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Georgia, Israel, Hamas, clean coal, nuclear power, agrofuels, the medical procedure so misleadingly termed partial-birth abortion, genetic engineering, free trade, it is not easy to distinguish Obama from Bush or McCain. Is that just a matter of strategy, or is that what Obama means by ending the partisan divide, working with Republicans?

45 Responses to “Palin Power: Fresh Face Now More Popular Than Obama, McCain”

  1. Aletha Says:

    With so many issues to choose from, one strange insinuation making the rounds about Gov. Palin is that she favors abstinence-only sex education. In a debate during her gubernatorial campaign, she said otherwise. This is from the Los Angeles Times

    Palin appears to disagree with McCain on sex education
    By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    September 6, 2008

    Teen pregnancy and sex education were thrust into the spotlight this week when Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin revealed that her 17-year-old daughter is five months pregnant.

    Palin’s running mate, John McCain, and the GOP platform say children should be taught that abstinence until marriage is the only safe way to avoid pregnancy and disease. Palin’s position is less clear.

    In a widely quoted 2006 survey she answered during her gubernatorial campaign, Palin said she supported abstinence-until-marriage programs. But weeks later, she proclaimed herself “pro-contraception” and said condoms ought to be discussed in schools alongside abstinence.

    “I’m pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues,” she said during a debate in Juneau.

    Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella said the governor stands by her 2006 statement, supporting sex education that covers both abstinence and contraception.

    Palin’s statements date to her 2006 gubernatorial run. In July of that year, she completed a candidate questionnaire that asked, would she support funding for abstinence-until-marriage programs instead of “explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?”

    Palin wrote, “Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.”

    But in August of that year, Palin was asked during a KTOO radio debate if “explicit” programs include those that discuss condoms. Palin said no and called discussions of condoms “relatively benign.”

    “Explicit means explicit,” she said. “No, I’m pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I am not anti-contraception. But, yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids. I don’t have a problem with that. That doesn’t scare me, so it’s something I would support also.”

    It seems her position on sex education is not as far from that of Obama as Democrats would like to believe. He also supports abstinence education. The distortion seems to be a conflation of abstinence with abstinence-only. Democrats are going around saying Governor Palin opposes teaching children about contraception. Democrats need to get their facts straight, but they prefer to cast her as an extremist and deny that sexist attacks are being lavished on her. In some ways she is an extremist, but not on the issue of sex education, evidently. Those who doubt she is the subject of sexist attacks should read some of this thread I started at the Randi Rhodes Forum, Name Calling: Does it help your cause?, in response to Ms. Rhodes deriding Governor Palin as a bitch and a breeder. That was tame, compared to the revelry in sexism on that thread. One commenter wondered why there was a double standard, since racist remarks are grounds for banning, but sexism, hey, no problem. I warned them they risked turning off supporters of Senator Clinton, and that if they could not stick to the issues, they deserve to lose.

    Edited to add, the original Eagle Forum questionnaire referenced above had been taken down, but has been reposted here.

  2. Aletha Says: is putting together a video to post on and on Youtube, “that features American moms (military moms, soccer moms, nervous-in-front-of-a-camera moms, ballet grandmoms, etc.) explaining their own reasons why they do not want Governor Palin one heartbeat away.” Cafe McMullen has posted an announcement on the Free Soil message board.

  3. Aletha Says:

    Heart posted a comment on Hint: Sarah Palin is Not the Presidential Candidate, citing a damning CNN exclusive interview on YouTube of Trooper Mike Wooten, ex-brother-in-law of Governor Palin and the subject of the Troopergate investigation. As Heart says,

    What a winner Wooten is.

  4. Aletha Says:

    Anonymous, presumably the same bunch of Internet hoodlums that forced this site off the Internet last summer, has hacked into personal email accounts of Governor Palin. Some of their gleanings were posted at, though I have not been able to access that site, probably overloaded with traffic. Here is one story from the Washington Post

    Palin’s Yahoo! Account Hacked
    Updated 8:37 p.m.
    By Michael D. Shear and Karl Vick

    A group of computer hackers said yesterday they accessed a Yahoo! e-mail account of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, publishing some of her private communications to expose what appeared to be her use of a personal account for government business.

    The hackers posted what they said were personal photos, the contents of several messages, the subject lines of dozens of e-mails and Palin’s e-mail contact list on a site called That site claimed that it received the electronic files from a group identifying itself only as “Anonymous.”

    “At around midnight last night some members affiliated with the group gained access to governor Palin’s email account, ‘’ and handed over the contents to the government sunshine site,” said a message on the site.

    Rick Davis, the campaign manager for Sen. John McCain, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon condemning the incident.

    “This is a shocking invasion of the Governor’s privacy and a violation of law,” Davis said. “The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these e-mails will destroy them. We will have no further comment.”

    It is an illegal invasion of privacy, but hardly shocking to anyone familiar with Anonymous, which has let Palin off easy, at least so far.

  5. Aletha Says:

    More interesting details have surfaced. This story is from the Channel Wire blog

    Palin Yahoo Account Hacked With Reset Password

    News emerged Thursday regarding the hack of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s private Yahoo account, after an individual posted details of how he allegedly reset her password.

    A first-hand account of the hack was briefly posted to the 4chan forum, in which the individual claimed that the hack involved guessing Palin’s personal information. Rather than hijacking the account, the individual claimed to infiltrate Palin’s e-mail account with Yahoo’s “Forgot My Password” reset feature, which prompts a user to answer a “secret question,” such as name of their first pet or grade school, before allowing them to reset the e-mail account password.

    “i am the lurker who did it and i would like to tell the story,” the blogger wrote.

    The individual, known on the blog post as Rubico, said that he was able to determine that Palin met her husband Todd in high school, along with her date of birth and zip code from Internet searches on Wikipedia and Google. Altogether, the hacker said that the process took no more than 45 minutes by experimenting with different word combinations until deriving at the correct word order.

    “I found out later though [sic] more research that they met at high school, so I did variations of that, high, high school, eventually hit on ‘Wasilla high,'” he said. Once the right combination was achieved, the hacker changed Palin’s password to “popcorn,” he said. The hacker said in the posting that he had hoped to find something to “derail her campaign” but admitted that there was nothing incriminating.

    “I read though the emails ALL OF THEM before I posted, and what I concluded was anticlimactic,” said Rubico in the posting. “There was nothing there, nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I had hoped, all I saw was personal stuff, some clerical stuff from when she was governor. And pictures of her family.”

    The self-proclaimed hacker said that what had started out was a prank was thwarted when he realized that breaking into the Alaska governor’s account constituted a federal offense. He claimed he realized the likelihood of being investigated due to the fact that he used only a single proxy server to mask his location.

    Nothing incriminating could be found? Perhaps Governor Palin is extremist, but not a crook. What a concept! And she had good reasons for wanting Trooper Wooten fired! What a shock! And she favors sex education that includes information about contraception! Imagine that! I am being just a bit sarcastic here, if anyone is confused. The spite aimed at the governor from Obama partisans is so far beyond the pale, it makes one wonder how they can expect to be taken seriously.

  6. Aletha Says:

    The hacker has been almost certainly identified as the son of Democratic Tennessee state representative Mike Kernell. This story is from TG Daily

    Proxy server trail leads FBI to Palin email hacker

    By Humphrey Cheung
    Friday, September 19, 2008 21:44

    Anchorage (Alaska) – FBI agents are using proxy server logs to track down the hacker who broke into Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email account. The hacker gained access to the Republican Vice Presidential candidate’s account by resetting the password. He then posted details of his adventures up on a popular online forum, but that information is now leading reporters and federal investigators to the suspect – a Tennessee university college student and son of state democratic representative Mike Kernell.

    But aren’t proxy servers supposed to anonymize your information? Yes and no. Dan Goodin over at The Register talked to Gabriel Ramuglia, the owner of the proxy server that Rubico allegedly used. Ramuglia is upset about the ordeal because his service was never meant to be used for illegal activies and says Rubico definitely broke his site’s terms of service. Ramuglia added that every incoming IP address is logged with the time and destination website.

    Ramuglia told Goodin that he hasn’t a chance yet to examine his logs, but added that there is a good chance that it will lead to the hacker. Since the interview, he’s received a call from the Anchorage Alaska FBI field office and agents there are highly suggesting that he not lose the logs.

    But it gets even better. White hat hackers didn’t even need proxy information to find the culprit because they discovered that the Rubico forum handle was linked to A few searches on Google and YouTube further links this email address to 20-year-old David Kernell, a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. His father is Democratic Tennessee state representative Mike Kernell.

    Talk about a prank gone awry. This clown is in big trouble, all for nothing. Some Obama fans claim this is more evidence of how incompetent Governor Palin is. It may be true that she should have expected this and made her account more difficult to hack, but Internet security is notoriously unreliable. Hackers from China have hacked into Pentagon computers. If the Pentagon cannot protect itself from determined hackers, how can this incident be blamed on carelessness or incompetence of Governor Palin? This just goes to show how low some Democrats will go to try to destroy her. Her popularity rating has come back down to earth. No mainstream politician deserves an ounce of credibility, so that does not surprise me at all, but some of the more vicious attackers are crowing over that, taking credit as if their attacks are carrying the day.

  7. Aletha Says:

    One cheer for Sarah Palin, from an unexpected source, the editors of CounterPunch in the August 2008 newsletter. I do not think this is available on the CounterPunch site, though it is posted as an editorial at The Eureka Reporter and It does demonstrate that some radical men can see through the hype of the Obama machine.

    One Cheer for Sarah Palin

    But the liberal attacks on Palin are absurd to the point of lunacy.

    Experience Given the highly experienced maniacs who have been destroying this country and the rest of the world decade after decade, one would have thought that the E word would be an immediate disqualification.

    At its best, American populism is irreverent to power and never more bracing than when suggesting that one of the regular ordinary folk could do it better. That’s the constituency in Alaska that responded to Palin and put her in the governor’s mansion.

    Much of the venom against Palin is clearly class-based. Sarah and her husband Todd — a quarter Yu’pik — are working class. So, from the elites, we get endless sermons on the theme that somehow McCain’s choice is “an insult” to American women, particularly feminists. Why wasn’t the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, the most endlessly submissive and humiliated wife in the nation’s political history — at least on the public record — derided as “an insult” to feminist aspirations?

    So, someone opposed to Choice might become vice president. What about all the politicians nominally favoring choice, who have made it virtually impossible since Roe v. Wade for working women to have practical, effective choice? The liberals attack Palin for her position on sex education. But when Jocelyn Elders, Clinton’s surgeon general, spoke publicly about the merits of masturbation and condoms, she was immediately fired. There are postures, and there are principled positions. We prefer the latter.

    Interesting questions. Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair are radical leftists, so their questioning of Democratic conventional wisdom is hardly unusual. They often call attention to Democratic hypocrisy on environmental issues. One ironic point is that, liberals attacking Palin on sex education vastly distort her position, not realizing how close that is to that of Obama. See above. The next issue of CounterPunch has articles reaming McCain on several fronts, one devoted to his absymal behavior towards the women in his life, so nobody should confuse this cheer for Palin with support for the Republican ticket. Likewise, nobody should confuse the defenses Heart and I have undertaken against the lies and sexist crap thrown at Palin with support for the Republican ticket.

  8. Aletha Says:

    Is Wooten a good trooper is an in depth investigation by the Anchorage Daily News published two months ago. Those who scream about Troopergate ought to find out a little about the man they think Governor Palin unfairly targeted. He should have been fired long ago, but apparently the union has stood behind him.

  9. Aletha Says:

    Another myth of the raving lunacy of Sarah Palin has been exploded by the latest installment of the interviews with Katie Couric. This is from the Washington Post

    Asked about the morning-after pill, Palin appeared to argue that it is wrong because it takes effect after conception, while not stating that it should be banned as a matter of policy. “Well, I am all for contraception. And I am all for preventative measures that are legal and safe, and should be taken. But Katie, again, I am one to believe that life starts at the moment of conception,” Palin said. She added that that “isn’t a McCain-Palin policy.”

    Another nail in the coffin of those clueless pontificators claiming the pregnancy of her daughter Bristol shows how well that abstinence-only belief works for the Palin family.

    Palin proposed teaching creationism alongside evolution during her campaign for governor but has not pressed the issue while in office, a position she seemed to adhere to in the interview. Evolution “should be taught in our schools. And I won’t deny that I see the hand of God in this beautiful creation that is Earth,” she said. “But that is not part of the state policy or a local curriculum in a school district. Science should be taught in science class.”

    This is not a controversial position, and refutes the claim that her religious fervor would lead to creationism replacing evolution in schools. Perhaps the responsibility of being governor has moderated her stance.

  10. Aletha Says:

    I am sure the haters of Governor Palin will find some way to maintain their stance that she is a blithering idiot, but she held her own in the VP debate. Joe Biden had the audacity to claim he had always supported clean coal! He also denied Obama said he would meet with the President of Iran. I wonder why Democrats think they can rewrite history and get away with it.

    Sandra Bernhard got cut from the annual benefit of Rosie’s Place, a Boston shelter for women, because of her recent comedy skit in which she warned that Gov. Palin would be “gang-raped by my big black brothers” if she visited Manhattan. This story was covered by the New York Daily News Gossip page two weeks ago. Now according to an AP story she is saying she was taken out of context, denying she used the words rape or gang rape. A likely story, about as likely as the allegation by Randi Rhodes that one cannot say anything about Gov. Palin without being called sexist. No, but nice try to obfuscate the rampant sexism directed against the governor.

  11. Aletha Says:

    From the Randi Rhodes site

    Palin IS a pit bull with lipstick. She was bred to be an attack dog. It’s all she knows. Hunt and kill. I suspect an argument with Sarah would be the most frustrating thing I would ever be put through. You can’t argue with an ignorant person who repeats Talking Points and cant’ think for herself.

    The page features a picture of a pit bull smeared with lipstick. Thanks, Ms. Rhodes, for showing how a smart liberal woman can suspend her own thinking to maintain her stance that Gov. Palin is a blithering idiot. As an attack dog, the governor has nothing on Ms. Rhodes. Same old BS, Republicans cannot think for themselves. Ms. Rhodes is capable of thinking for herself, but sometimes she sounds like a broken record parroting Democratic propaganda. Like Ms. Bernhard and Margaret Cho, Ms. Rhodes thinks because Palin is a political enemy, she deserves the worst they can throw at her, no matter how sexist. This gem from Ms. Cho takes the cake. She also posted this at her WordPress blog

    And now with Sarah Palin at his side, they have actually become the worst ticket imaginable. The only way it could be worse would be if Satan were running with Chuck Norris as his VP. Actually, Lucifer-Norris sounds better than McCain-Palin.

    But even though I would never, ever vote for Palin, I am kind of obsessed with fucking her. She is sexy and hot in a MILF/Cougar way. Like you could have that real mature, straight to the point, adult, over forty, gonna cum multiple times with a big, oversize t-shirt on and nothing else and “I don’t care what I look like cuz I am gonna bust nuts in your curl” kind of fucking with her. I want to steam up those glasses and show her what a pitbull with lipstick really needs – doggy style!

    Seriously – I wanna eat her Alaskan pussy from behind. Like an Eskimo. What?! I’m just trying to keep warm!

    Although you know that thing is frozen and my tongue would probably stick.

    This is supposed to be funny, and not at all sexist? Yeah, Ms. Cho, I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you. This is what a feminist looks like? These allegedly feminist crudely clever woman-bashers give feminism a bad name.

  12. Aletha Says:

    The Anchorage Daily News reports on a student movement to mandate comprehensive sex education in high school.

    Now (Amber) Sawyer, a junior at the University of Alaska Anchorage, wants to do something about it. She, with other politically minded Anchorage college students and even some local high schoolers, are banding together to reform the way sex education is taught around the state. They’re reversing roles and telling their parents and school administrators that kids need more safety talk, not less. Their goal: mandatory comprehensive sex ed in high school.

    It would be a radical shift from the hands-off approach Alaska takes, which leaves sex ed to individual school districts. The result of the way it is now, Sawyer argues, is hit or miss teaching on the sensitive subject. “I met one girl from the Bush who didn’t even know what a condom was,” she said.

    So, if Governor Palin is so determined to enforce abstinence-only sex education, why does she leave it to individual school districts? If children grow up uninformed about contraception in Alaska, blaming it on the governor is blithering idiocy. Each school district has discretion, but apparently some teachers are too embarrassed or prudish to follow the guidelines of their school districts. Alaska has a history as a relatively freewheeling libertarian state, so it not surprising the state defers to local control on what kind of sex education will be taught. This may not be wise, but it would be up to the state legislature to mandate comprehensive sex education, as the state of Washington did last year. Unless the suggested program was too graphic for the governor, I somehow doubt she would hesitate to sign such legislation. I noted some clueless commenters on the Margaret Cho site proclaiming that same nonsense about Gov. Palin promoting abstinence-only and how well that worked out for her family. How easy it is for liberals to distort the convictions of a devout Christian Republican like the governor of Alaska. How easy it is for them to slip into grotesque misogyny, of which the comments on those posts of Margaret Cho I linked above are chock full. I am as skeptical of religion as anyone, but I know enough about it to know that the governor being a devout anti-choice fundamentalist Christian woman does not force her to be as foolish as the Pope. Even most Catholics ignore the opposition of Catholic dogma to birth control.

  13. Aletha Says:

    Hillary Clinton showed some class commenting on the VP debate. She was quoted by the ABC News Political Radar blog

    “I think she’s very good,” Clinton said, praising Palin on Ryan Seacrest’s Los Angeles-based radio show, Friday morning. “It’s amazing: she’s been thrust into the national spotlight with very little preparation and I think that, all things considered, you saw a very composed and effective debater last night.”

    According to the London Times Online

    HILLARY CLINTON, Barack Obama’s defeated opponent in the Democratic primary, has infuriated his supporters by praising Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, for her performance in last week’s television debate.

    According to the Long Beach Report, Governor Palin appeared at a rally in Carson, California this afternoon, introduced by Shelley Mandel, President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Organization for Women, though apparently she was speaking for herself, as the national leadership of NOW has endorsed Obama.

    There has been speculation that the Clintons want McCain to win so Hillary can run next time around. No doubt her lukewarm praise of Gov. Palin will fuel that speculation. Some people just do not know when to quit harping on nonsense. The ire directed at both Palin and Clinton has been so far out of proportion, denying the misogyny in it is laughable.

  14. Aletha Says:

    Todd Palin and seven aides who had been contesting subpoenas in the Troopergate investigation have agreed to testify. This story is from Reuters

    Palin’s husband, aides to testify at inquiry
    By Yereth Rosen

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s husband and seven aides will answer questions from a legislative inquiry into abuse-of-power allegations against the U.S. Republican vice presidential candidate, state and campaign officials said on Monday.

    Palin is being investigated for her dismissal in July of the state’s public safety commissioner, a move that critics of Palin allege was part of a personal vendetta against a state trooper who is the governor’s former brother-in-law.

    Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg said Palin’s chief of staff and six other aides will stop fighting subpoenas that were issued last month by the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee. That decision came after a state Superior Court judge on Thursday upheld the legality of the subpoenas.

    “Despite my initial concerns about the subpoenas, we respect the court’s decision to defer to the legislature,” Colberg, who was appointed by Palin, said in a statement.

    Todd Palin has agreed to provide written answers to questions posed in the legislative inquiry, Meghan Stapleton and Ed O’Callaghan, representatives of Sen. John McCain and Palin’s campaign, told a news conference in Anchorage.

    “The Palins hope that this response will finally demonstrate that they are an open book and have nothing to hide in this matter,” Stapleton said.

    The investigation remains on track. A final report by Steve Branchflower, a former state prosecutor hired by lawmakers to investigate the allegations, will be delivered on schedule on Friday to the Legislative Council, according to Hollis French, chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Obama partisans have been screaming for blood over this supposed scandal. It is peculiar what kind of man they rally to defend, as if he has been wronged by the governor. It must be the enemy of my enemy is my friend mentality. Mike Wooten is certainly far from a shining example of a police officer. Whoever stood in the way of firing him should be fired. Whoever thinks Gov. Palin should be ashamed of her actions in this matter should be ashamed of themselves.

  15. Aletha Says:

    Today Mr. Kernell was indicted for hacking the email account of Gov. Palin. This story is from Reuters

    Tennessee man indicted for hacking Palin e-mail
    Wed Oct 8, 2008 6:34pm EDT
    By Andy Sullivan

    WASHINGTON, Oct 8 (Reuters) – A Tennessee man has been indicted for hacking into Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

    David Kernell, 20, of Knoxville, turned himself in and will appear before a U.S. judge on Wednesday, the Justice Department said. He faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted.

    According to the indictment, Kernell accessed Palin’s account,, on Sept. 16 after correctly answering a series of personal questions.

    Yahoo allows users to change their passwords if they confirm personal information such as their birth date and ZIP code and correctly answer a personal question such as the name of their first pet.

    Kernell then posted some of the account’s contents, along with the password, to the online message board, the indictment says.

    Kernell, known online as “rubico,” also posted family members’ cellphone numbers and e-mail addresses online, the indictment says.

    Kernell is the son of a Democratic state legislator, according to local media reports. The legislator, Mike Kernell, did not immediately return a request for comment.

    Five years in prison? This does not seem like such a lulzy prank now, does it?

    Last month NOW President Kim Gandy wrote an interesting comparison between the sexist attacks on Gov. Palin and Sen. Clinton.

    Have Conservatives Discovered Sexism?
    Below the Belt: A Column by NOW PAC Chair Kim Gandy
    September 5, 2008

    Hey, have you heard? Conservatives have discovered sexism in the media!

    Let’s start with the positives: For the first time in this country, a major political party has nominated an African-American candidate for president of the United States. Democratic Senator Barack Obama’s achievement truly is historic, a marker of real progress in our nation. Palin should be applauded as well for becoming the first woman to appear on a Republican presidential ticket, a ceiling Geraldine Ferraro cracked for the Democrats in 1984.

    All this excitement started with a primary season in which a female candidate for president, Senator Hillary Clinton, came closer to winning her party’s nomination than any woman before her. She garnered 18 million votes while facing more than a year of rank sexism and open hostility from the media, something Sarah Palin is currently getting a crash course in.

    Why is that highest glass ceiling so hard to break? One factor, quite simply, is the fact that some in our society still feel uncomfortable with and threatened by women in the workplace — particularly ambitious, strong women competing in male-dominated arenas. Women leaders continue to be a minority, a strange “other” that makes many men (and some women) uneasy.

    Starting way back in March of 2007, NOW took on the misogyny hurled at Clinton by the media, and it had nothing to do with an “incompetent” campaign. We did it because, first of all, we believed that Clinton deserved to compete on an even playing field with the male candidates.

    But even more importantly, we did it because public prejudice impacts all women. As long as the media get away with it, no woman is immune from the injustices and cruelty of sexism. So, we spoke out over and over, eventually creating an online Media Hall of Shame. This project grew to include instances of sexism and racism targeting Michelle Obama, who we knew the media would move on to eventually.

    Which brings us back to Sarah Palin, who, as I write this, has been McCain’s VP choice for less than one week, and already has faced an onslaught of double standards and condescension. The sexism aimed at Palin might not look exactly the same as the sexism directed Clinton, but it originates from the same biased place nonetheless.

    Let me offer full disclosure before going any further: In all honesty, I think a McCain/Palin administration would be TERRIBLE for women’s rights. McCain has referred to Palin as his “soul mate” and on issues like reproductive rights, economic justice and equal marriage, I couldn’t agree more. Not to mention the fact that picking Palin was a transparent attempt to woo disgruntled Clinton supporters. She’s turned out to be a vitalizing force for the GOP, but I have a hard time imagining McCain choosing Palin as his running mate had Clinton been on the Democratic ticket.

    Over the next two months, NOW will be working to educate voters about the dangers of sending McCain and Palin to the White House. We will be posting information about their records and platform on our website. But we also will monitor the media and call them out for their sexism directed at Palin. A woman slurred, regardless of her party or stances, is a woman slurred.

    Right out of the gate the media questioned whether a mother of five (including a new baby) should be running for the second highest office in the U.S. and putting herself in the position of having to assume the presidency should something happen to McCain. CNN’s John Roberts put it this way: “The role of vice president, it seems to me, would take up an awful lot of her time, and it raises the issue of, how much time will she have to dedicate to her newborn child?”

    The Washington Post’s Sally Quinn said on CNN: “…everyone knows that women and men are different and that moms and dads are different and that women — the burden of child care almost always falls on the woman. But I think, when you have five children, one a 4-month-old Down syndrome baby, and a daughter who is 17, who is also a child and who is going to need her mother very much in the next few months and years with her own baby coming, that I don’t see how you can not make your family your first priority. And I think if you are going to be president of the United States, which she may well be, I think that’s going to be a real stretch for her.”

    The media are not doing themselves any favors by questioning the priorities and abilities of moms who work outside the home. Juggling work and family responsibilities is a major issue for women, and many women don’t have the option of staying home with their children full-time. Many people made an issue of the fact that Palin only took a few days of leave after giving birth at age 44 — but I don’t hear concerns that mothers on welfare are forced to go back to work right away, or the majority of female workers who have no right to Family and Medical Leave.

    And anyway, would they be asking whether a man with five children should be running for high office?

    Palin also has been portrayed as a lightweight in a way that men of similar experience rarely are. Radio host Ed Shultz called Palin an “empty pantsuit” who has set off a “bimbo alert.” The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen called her a “sitcom of a vice presidential choice and a disaster movie if she moves up to the presidency.” It’s even been suggested that Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic VP nominee, might need to ease back on his aggressive style when facing off against Palin in their forthcoming debate.

    The revelation that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant, has become a predictable distraction for the media, who love obsessing about the reproductive status of women, particularly young women. I do want to note that I’m pleasantly surprised that a pregnant teenage daughter is not an automatic disqualifier for Palin to be on the conservative ticket. Of course, the shame that once surrounded single and young moms has dissipated because of the hard work of feminists, not the judgmental rhetoric from the right wing.

    I feel for Palin, and for all women struggling to be taken seriously in a man’s realm; the desire to have people discuss your policies, not your hair or hemlines; the conviction that you have every right to raise your family as you see fit, including taking on a demanding job outside the home; the entirely reasonable expectation that you are the peer of your male colleagues and deserve the same treatment and opportunities that they receive.

    If only the commentators and Republican talking heads complaining about the treatment of Palin had had the same reaction when Hillary Clinton was on the receiving end of sexist pundit pronouncements.

    These struggles will continue for Palin and Clinton and all the women that follow them, if the media continue clinging to their outdated notions of gender stereotypes and rigid sex roles. We can get them to stop, but we have to do it together. The media are nothing without us — their viewers, readers, listeners — so we have to make sure they hear us loud and clear.

    Why? Because we should defeat anti-women’s rights candidates like Sarah Palin based on their merits and their positions, not their gender.

    This is a reasonably balanced view. I applaud Ms. Gandy for keeping some sense of perspective. NOW has made a rare endorsement in this election, however, deciding it was important to endorse Obama/Biden. Robin Morgan and Starhawk have also endorsed the Democratic ticket, but their arguments were far less balanced.

  16. Aletha Says:

    The Sarah Palin Is A Cunt T-shirt is making the rounds. The New Agenda posted pictures of proud wearers of this trash, one of whom decorating a profile at (since removed). Allegedly none of these people are Democrats.

    Then there is the Drill Baby Drill T-shirt on sale at various sites, for instance Threadpit. This is supposedly a parody. This is humor? No, just same old misogyny. If McCain had picked Mitt Romney, would there be T-shirts for sale saying Mitt Romney is a prick, or showing McCain screwing Romney?

    Not to be outdone, the Huffington Post ran an uncritical advertisement for a porn spoof of Palin, titled “’Nailin’ Paylin’ Photos: Pictures from the Set of The Palin Inspired Porn”.

    Anything goes to put down Governor Palin, apparently.

  17. Aletha Says:

    The BUST Magazine blog is promoting a mock baby shower for Bristol Palin, all donations to be given to Planned Parenthood of Alaska in the name of the governor. This is supposedly to make a point about how abstinence-only sex education does not work. A few commenters on that blog entry pointed out that the governor favors contraception, but the majority were having none of that, no inconvenient truth could be allowed to mess up their merriment.

    Heart uncovered a disgusting video also on the BUST blog called La Pequeña Sarah Palin.

    I know I will probably burn in HELL for posting this video, but you have to admit it’s funny. This election is really bringing out everyone’s creative side!

    It is not funny or creative, just more asinine misogynist trash posing as political parody. There is plenty more where that came from.

  18. Aletha Says:

    This video, Sarah Palin Family Meeting, might be the most disgusting I have seen so far. Was that supposed to be funny? That was one of the companion videos to the relatively tame spoof The Real Sarah Palin, played by Obama Girl, posted by the co-editor of CounterPunch, Jeffrey St. Clair.

  19. Aletha Says:

    Some clowns in West Hollywood have created a Halloween display of a mannequin dressed to look like Governor Palin, hanging by a noose around her neck. The creator defends this tasteless display as art befitting the Halloween season. He says there is not a comparable charge on a white woman hanging as there would be on a black man. It may be true lynchings were not as far in the past as the Inquisition, but otherwise that is trivializing all the horrors men have subjected women to throughout history.

  20. Laur Says:

    Hey Aletha,

    I just wanted to drop by and say “hi.” It seems this election really shows how important it is for women to work together on political and social issues.

    Does Free Soil have plans for the future?

    Hopefully we can get a dialogue started; there are so many great articles posted and pieces of writing here!

  21. Aletha Says:

    This election certainly shows how hard it is for women to work together. As usual, men play us off against each other. When will women call that bluff? Plans, you ask? Much depends on developments, but the general plan I see is to get some radical women into Congress. I think Obama will win, but when people realize he represents politics as usual, he and his party will become nearly as unpopular as Republicans are now.

  22. Aletha Says:

    Some supporters of Hillary Clinton are not at all pleased with the latest Obama ad

    The spot begins with soft music and a photo of McCain. Then quotes from McCain appear.

    “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.” Wall Street Journal 11/26/05

    “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.” Boston Globe Political Intelligence 12/18/07

    “I might have to rely on a Vice President that I select for expertise on economic issues.” GOP Debate 11/28/07

    “His choice?” flashes up on the screen followed by slow moving video of Palin. Winking.

    These are some comments from Hillary Clinton supporters:

    Shelly Mandell, President of Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women: “I am outraged by the new ad put out by Barack Obama. It is sexist and demeaning to women. These tactics started with Hillary Clinton and continue, growing even more disgusting with Gov. Palin. I was a Hillstar for Hillary and an avid supporter. Trashing two women clearly in a sexist manner in one election is an outrage and must be identified and stopped. There must be consequences. Let female Obama supporters take a good look at this and still believe their candidate supports women’s rights and women’s dignity.”

    Prameela Bartholomeusz, DNC Platform Committee Member: “I am once again stunned at the personal and sexist attacks by the Obama campaign against Gov. Palin. This latest ad is sexist and offensive. The Gov. of Alaska has been managing and balancing a budget of $10 billion; I think she knows a bit about economics. Sen. Obama never spoke up against sexism during the primary season, and is not speaking out against misogyny during this phase of the election season — he is contributing to it. I have no confidence that Sen. Obama will fight for women’s issues if elected. This sets women back decades.”

    Several Obama supporters commented, saying they saw nothing sexist or unfair about the spot. People will see what they want to see. The attacks on Palin are sexist? Perish the thought! Palin deserves no respect, and there is nothing sexist about saying so! As if the attackers dismissing her as a vapid Caribou Barbie are really attacking her on the issues. Give me a break.

    This is from an editorial from the Philadelphia Inquirer

    Palin deserves our respect
    Helen McCaffrey is the director of Women’s Watch Inc., a nonprofit women’s advocacy group based in Cape May

    I cannot predict who will win the presidential campaign, but I already know who will lose big: all women.

    I realized this when I saw a 20-something male student who attends a class in the community college where I teach, wearing a T-shirt that read, “Sarah Palin is a C-.” He wore it in public, in broad daylight, and without shame or even consciousness of what he was doing.

    Most of my adult life has been spent working for civil rights for all Americans, as a lawyer defending constitutional rights and now as a college teacher and director of a nonprofit advocating for the rights of women.

    Not since I told myself I could lose weight on the pizza and cheesecake diet have I been so self-deluded. This election cycle has been like stepping on the scale.

    It was the encounter with the young man that woke me up, but there were signs all along the campaign trail. First, with the candidacy of Sen. Hillary Clinton, who won 18 million popular votes from the people of the United States and was ridiculed, marginalized, and put in her place when she wasn’t even offered the vice presidency slot.

    But the really big attack on women occurred when John McCain selected only the second woman in history to be on a major-party ticket. He chose a governor of a state critical to our energy crisis. She is a very popular governor with an 80-percent approval rate. She was elected on her own merit without previous political ties. She is her own political creation, not the wife, daughter, sister or mistress of a politician.

    I thought Americans would be proud of her nomination, whether we agreed or disagreed with her on the issues. Was I in for a shock.

    The sexism that I believed had been eradicated was lurking, like some creature from the black lagoon, just below the surface. Suddenly it erupted and in some unexpected places.

    Instead of engaging Palin on the issues, critics attacked attributes that are specifically female. It is Hillary’s pantsuit drama to the power of 10. Palin’s hair, her voice, her motherhood, and her personal hygiene were substituted for substance. That’s when it was nice.

    The hatred escalated to performers advocating Palin be “gang raped,” to suggestions that her husband had had sex with their young daughters, and reports that her Down syndrome child really was that of her teenage daughter. One columnist even called for her to submit to DNA testing to prove her virtue. Smells a little like Salem to me. I was present at an Obama rally at which the mention of Palin’s name drew shouts of “stone her.”

    “Stone her”? How biblical.

    All this is at a time when women are regularly being raped as they try to cross the border into the United States; bloody, broken women haunt the emergency rooms of hospitals; and abuse and disrespect for women and girls is rising faster than bank bailouts. That is the atmosphere in which people, including women, choose to attempt to destroy a woman who is a legitimate political leader.

    Agreement on issues is not required, but Palin merits respect.

    It is dismaying that misogyny and sexism are so excessively marbleized into our daily interactions that some of us cannot even recognize their existence when confronted with it or when staring at it directly in the mirror.

    It is my fervent hope that those who purport to be intellectuals begin to engage in argument and not resort to their baser selves or the easy exercise of personal and biology-based attacks.

    Mockery and vilification of women such as Palin should become just as taboo as race-based slams. Until then, women are the real losers.

    This editorial got many hostile comments from Obama supporters who see nothing sexist in the attacks on Governor Palin, not realizing how they made her point about misogyny being so endemic it cannot be recognized. The selection of Palin is such an insult, she must be insulted in the basest terms to prove how insulting her candidacy is? Politics is a nasty business, but if racist slams are beyond the pale, why are sexist slams acceptable?

    At least the hanging effigy of Governor Palin has been taken down. The mayor of West Hollywood appealed to Mr. Morrisette, who realized things had gotten out of hand.

  23. Laur Says:

    Yup, women have to call one another out on this crap. I’m not sure how women can really deny that certain things they are saying are sexist, but they do! Really amazing! It’s a way for men’s values to seep in and split us apart, even in all-women groups.

    The way both conservatives and many people on the left are playing up the possible Obama presidency, well, I’m just surprised they don’t know better. I do hope you are right, and it gets people, especially women, thinking out of this rigged two-party system.

    BTW, the essay from the Philadelphia Inquiry is absolutely excellent; I forwarded it to some women who have been sending out the usual anti-Palin nonsense.

  24. Wordsmith Says:

    After reading thru the above, is there nothing about Palin’s stances that concern you as women?

  25. Aletha Says:

    Wordsmith, could you possibly ask a stupider question? I doubt it. There is hardly anything about her stances that does not concern me, but what concerns me more than what I would expect from any Republican, at least for the purposes of this thread, are the distortions, lies, hatred, and sexist nonsense directed her way by people who claim to care about feminist ideals. The Free Soil Party is a feminist revolutionary party, about as far removed from the stances of Palin, McCain, Obama, and Biden as one could imagine. A pox on all their warmongering greenwashing pseudo-feminist houses.

    Laur, why are you surprised people do not know better? People have pinned their best hopes or worst fears on Obama. The truth is somewhere in between. He is a centrist, so most of those hopes and fears are not well founded. The system tends to blow everything out of proportion, so a candidate is portrayed as either a demon or a saint. I think Obama is a lot like Bill Clinton, a slick charmer and master triangulator.

    It seems Governor Palin scares many women, so they think she is fair game for putdowns. When a woman is insulted, it is easy to slip into sexist language without realizing it, since that language is so heavily entrenched into the culture. It is much easier to throw sexist taunts at Palin than to stick to the issues. Though there is no shortage of issues with her stances to argue about intelligently, that takes thought, unlike sexist taunts, or stretching her stances into the worst extremes one can imagine. The lie that she opposes contraception is a good example of that. Explicit sex education apparently means something to her she finds objectionable, but whatever it is, it has nothing to do with contraception. People jumped all over that, assuming she meant she opposes contraception, like the Pope.

  26. Wordsmith Says:

    Wordsmith, could you possibly ask a stupider question? I doubt it.

    No, now – don’t be too sure. Gimme time.

  27. Aletha Says:

    I doubt it because you do not seem to be a stupid person likely to so completely miss the point. I suppose if you only read this thread, you might get the idea I like Palin Power. I think it is an interesting paradox, but many of the reactions have been disgusting, reminding me progressives can be as sexist as anyone. I do insist she deserves respect, and that she is not some dimwit freak from the worst hells of fundamentalism. This does not mean I agree with her policies, though I find some of her observations amusing or ironic, for example her idea of the Bush doctrine, which was closer to the requirements of international law than the Bush doctrine. If only the Bush doctrine were like that, there would be no war on Iraq. If she meant and understood what she said, that war did not qualify. There is irony in that, in my eyes. Neither war Bush started met the requirements of international law. 9/11 changed everything, so Bush said, and Democrats, for the most part, went along for the ride.

  28. Aletha Says:

    The Alaskan State Personnel Board has reversed the earlier finding that Gov. Palin violated ethics rules in the Troopergate matter. This story is from the Washington Post

    Alaska Board Clears Palin in Trooper Case
    By James V. Grimaldi
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, November 4, 2008; Page A04

    Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin did not violate state ethics rules as governor when she fired her state police commissioner and allegedly tried to engineer the firing of her brother-in-law from the Alaska State Troopers, an investigator for Alaska’s State Personnel Board found in a report released on the eve of the election.

    The exoneration by the State Personnel Board contradicts the findings of an Alaska state legislative investigator, who ruled last month that Palin abused executive power when she and her husband engaged in a campaign to oust Mike Wooten, her former brother-in-law, from state trooper payroll.

    “There is no probable cause to believe that Governor Palin violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act by making the decision to dismiss Department of Public Safety Commissioner Monegan,” said Timothy Petumenos, investigator to the personnel board. “There is no probable cause to believe that Governor Palin violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act in any other respect in connection with the employment of Alaska State Trooper Michael Wooten.”

    The legislature’s investigator, Stephen Branchflower, found evidence that Palin actively joined her husband, Todd, in pursuing a personal vendetta against the trooper and that she used state employees to try to settle a score in a bitter family feud.

    Petumenos said his findings are different because “the wrong statute was used as a basis for the conclusions contained in the Branchflower report” and Branchflower “misconstrued the available evidence.”

    This is all a matter of interpretation, but I still find it unbelievable that Governor Palin has been raked over the coals for trying to fire Mike Wooten, who clearly does not belong on the police force, and might be dangerous to his ex-wife. Palin has enemies in the legislature, and the State Personnel Board was picked by her, so it seems likely the results of both investigations were skewed by political considerations. Regardless, Troopergate was much ado over nothing. The real scandal is why Mike Wooten is still a state trooper.

  29. Laur Says:


    I’m not sure where to post this, but is there any information on this site about the herstory of the Free Soil Party or where it is headed now?



  30. Aletha Says:

    There will be a strategy thread somewhere soon, either here or at womensspace. I have been thinking for awhile that Obama will show his true colors soon enough, which will make the Democrats in Congress quite vulnerable in 2010. The Women’s Campaign Forum started a blog, which has been quiet for awhile. Heart volunteered to blog there, but apparently they got swamped with volunteers, and are still deciding what to do with the blog. Heart and I will be networking, trying to convince more women we need a party of our own to represent us.

    As for the herstory, the two About articles here are for that purpose. I wrote an article for Google Knol recently, which is also here at
    About Free Soil Party . The old one is About Aletha and this blog

  31. Aletha Says:

    The blame game is in full swing in the Republican camp. The wardrobe controversy has escalated, and Gov. Palin is countering with her version of the story. This is a hit piece from Newsweek, gleefully cited by Randi Rhodes today. Accompanying that story is a gallery, ‘Caribou Barbie’ Goes Couture. This story is from ABC News

    Palin Aide Offers Strong Rebuke to Criticisms
    November 06, 2008 9:42 PM

    ABC’s Kate Snow reports: A longtime aide to Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is lashing back at anonymous critics within the McCain-Palin presidential campaign, telling ABC News they are attacking the former vice presidential candidate with distortions.

    Meg Stapleton offers an explanation of some of the more stinging criticisms that have come out in recent days since the McCain-Palin defeat.

    Regarding the $150,000 worth of clothing the campaign bought Palin, Stapleton says a New York stylist was given a blank check and told to go and make Palin look presidential.

    According to Stapleton, Palin saw a price tag of $3,500 on one outfit and said she didn’t want to wear it. Stapleton says Palin was simply presented with her wardrobe and staff. Palin was told “here’s your people, here are your clothes.”

    According to Stapleton, the campaign said, “‘this is what you need as a VP candidate.’ It was the campaign and/or the RNC … But it wasn’t the governor saying this is what she needs.”

    Stapleton says $150,000 was the original bill for the clothing, but after some merchandise was returned, the cost went down to $107,000.

    There was also a directive to buy any and all clothes before Sept. 4, the day the Republican convention in St. Paul ended, so that it could be buried as part of other convention costs. The campaign also bought clothing for the children, so they, too, would look nice, Stapleton added.

    Regarding another stinging criticism, Stapleton claims that the Fox News report Thursday — that quoted unnamed sources inside the now defunct McCain campaign, saying Palin didn’t know Africa is a continent — was taken out of context.

    Stapleton says that during a briefing session, someone asked Palin to explain the McCain-Palin stance on an issue, and as she was responding, “in the middle, she said, ‘country of Africa’ and somebody instantly wrote it down, and said, ‘Oh, my God, she thinks it’s a country.'”

    But Stapleton insists, “She knows it’s a continent. It was just a human mistake, just like Obama saying 57 states. I don’t think anyone ever doubted that Obama knows there are 50 states.”

    Stapleton adds that a McCain-Palin campaign speechwriter was flown in to write a speech for Governor Palin to deliver Tuesday night after the election results were in. But after a discussion, aides decided Palin would not give a speech that evening — only McCain would speak.

    Stapleton says Palin didn’t understand why they would bring in a speechwriter and then not use the speech they wrote for her which was complimentary of McCain.

    Of course the disgruntled anonymous McCain aides are telling a different story. In the blame game, believing either side is generally a mistake. Randi Rhodes, though rarely believing anything the McCain campaign said, seems perfectly willing to believe what these anonymous snipers are saying now, because it suits her agenda of trashing Governor Palin. Palin is an ambitious politician, bound to ruffle feathers among her enemies and allies both. It is no surprise that attacks on her have been way out of proportion and bear little resemblance to the truth. That is politics as usual, but the attacks took on a particularly virulent and barbaric tone, because she is a woman. That prominent feminists took part in this is a great shame that will be hard to live down. Yes, she is a political enemy, but these feminists should soon realize, if they take their blinders off, so is Barack Obama.

  32. Laur Says:

    I’m glad to hear the Freesoil party will continue, and I look forward to the planning thread.

    This site is so huge; there is so much to check out and comment on re: current events, as well as the free soil party platform.

    After Obama’s victory, I had hoped against my better knowledge that he would turn out to bring change–from what I have heard re: his picks for cabinet so far, that doesn’t look to be the case at all. Still if people were willing to work this hard to bring Obama into office, we could work this hard to bring radical women into office, right? As you so aptly pointed out, Aletha, women were willing to work to get Hilary into office, with much-less-than-stellar politics; think how hard women would be willing to work if we had a *viable* radical feminist candidate! (No offense to Heart–it’s just that it seems folks aren’t willing to vote third party much anymore, unfortunately).

    But then, maybe “viable” means “viable to malestream politics.”


  33. Aletha Says:

    Viable means viable to malestream politics, according to political reality, which is a tenacious myth, but a myth nevertheless. Women are already grumbling about Obama, and not just on radical feminist blogs. I expect that to escalate greatly, especially if Lawrence Summers gets selected for Treasury Secretary. That he is under consideration at all is a slap in the face. But then, what should women expect from Obama?

    The Free Soil network is growing, slowly but surely, and Heart deserves a great deal of the credit for that. Almost nobody took the party seriously before Heart decided to run. Nowadays it may seem nobody takes third party politics seriously, but I think that is largely due to the disastrous 2004 Green Party strategy, along with the novelty of this Democratic primary, with neither of the top contenders a white man. People who might otherwise have abandoned the Democrats because of their broken promises from 2006 gave them another chance. When people see that those broken promises were no fluke, and had very little to do with Republican filibusters, Democrats will be in hot water.

    This blog has over 400 news stories now, but I doubt I will ever catch up to Heart. I have an idea for restructuring the news section so related stories will be easier to find.

  34. Aletha Says:

    More murky water surfaces about Palin mistakenly calling Africa a country. Pranksters thought up a plan to create a fake McCain adviser with a big mouth, Martin Eisenstadt, who claimed to be the source of the leak about the Palin gaffe. The real culprit is still hiding in anonymity. This story is from the New York Times

    A Senior Fellow at the Institute of Nonexistence

    It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.

    Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.

    Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.

    And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months. MSNBC, which quickly corrected the mistake, has plenty of company in being taken in by an Eisenstadt hoax, including The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times.

    Now a pair of obscure filmmakers say they created Martin Eisenstadt to help them pitch a TV show based on the character. But under the circumstances, why should anyone believe a word they say?

    “That’s a really good question,” one of the two, Eitan Gorlin, said with a laugh.

    (For what it’s worth, another reporter for The New York Times is an acquaintance of Mr. Gorlin and vouches for his identity, and Mr. Gorlin is indeed “Mr. Eisenstadt” in those videos. He and his partner in deception, Dan Mirvish, have entries on the Internet Movie Database, But still. …)

    The pranksters behind Eisenstadt acknowledge that he was not, through them, the anonymous source of the Palin leak. He just claimed falsely that he was the leaker–and they say they have no reason to cast doubt on the original story. For its part, Fox News Channel continues to stand behind its story.

    Mr. Gorlin and Mr. Mirvish say the blame lies not with them but with shoddiness in the traditional news media and especially the blogosphere.

    “With the 24-hour news cycle they rush into anything they can find,” said Mr. Mirvish, 40.

    Mr. Gorlin, 39, argued that Eisenstadt was no more of a joke than half the bloggers or political commentators on the Internet or television.

    An MSNBC spokesman, Jeremy Gaines, explained the network’s misstep by saying someone in the newsroom received the Palin item in an e-mail message from a colleague and assumed it had been checked out. “It had not been vetted,” he said. “It should not have made air.”

    But most of Eisenstadt’s victims have been bloggers, a reflection of the sloppy speed at which any tidbit, no matter how specious, can bounce around the Internet. And they fell for the fake material despite ample warnings online about Eisenstadt, including the work of one blogger who spent months chasing the illusion around cyberspace, trying to debunk it.

    Eisenstadt became an adviser to Senator John McCain and got a blog, updated occasionally with comments claiming insider knowledge, and other bloggers began quoting and linking to it. It mixed weird-but-true items with false ones that were plausible, if just barely.

    The inventors fabricated the Harding Institute, named for one of the most scorned presidents, and made Eisenstadt a senior fellow.

    In July, after the McCain campaign compared Senator Barack Obama to Paris Hilton, the Eisenstadt blog said “the phone was burning off the hook” at McCain headquarters, with angry calls from Ms. Hilton’s grandfather and others. A Los Angeles Times political blog, among others, retold the story, citing Eisenstadt by name and linking to his blog.

    Last month Eisenstadt blogged that Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, Joe the Plumber, was closely related to Charles Keating, the disgraced former savings and loan chief. It wasn’t true, but other bloggers ran with it.

    Among those taken in by Monday’s confession about the Palin Africa report was The New Republic’s political blog. Later the magazine posted this atop the entry: “Oy — this would appear to be a hoax. Apologies.”

    Now if only all the other people who have lied about Governor Palin would apologize… I know, it is not going to happen. Many want to believe the worst about her, so many of the lies have found a receptive audience who prefer to keep believing the worst, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Governor Palin is a Republican conservative woman, not some whackjob extremist bent on taking away women’s rights. She may be naive about the company she keeps in her party, and she may have more common sense than political savvy. She is not especially skillful at hiding her ignorance when she is stumped. It is not difficult to stump most politicians, but most of them are better at pretending they know more than they do know.

  35. Aletha Says:

    Heart posted about a poll on how women feel about the sexism on display during the election campaign. One encouraging finding she cited was

    61 percent of women saw gender bias in the media’s treatment of the candidates. Only 48 percent of women thought Hillary Clinton was treated fairly by the media, and only 29 percent believe Sarah Palin was treated fairly. By contrast, nearly 8 in 10 voters thought the press treated Obama and Biden fairly.

    As an example of a man who should know better, but could not see the problem with the media treatment of Governor Palin, Peter Hart at FAIR had this to say in his story Top Troubling Tropes of Campaign ’08

    3. The ‘Smearing’ of Sarah Palin

    The myth of a “liberal” media is primarily the work of right-wing pundits and activists who have for years “worked the refs” (Extra!, 10=11/92), complaining about media bias in order to try to get the press to take their arguments more seriously, or to cow journalists into backing off. With the nomination of Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, this technique has been perfected; almost as soon as she was introduced to the public, her supporters (inside and outside the McCain campaign) began railing against an elitist media that has supposedly maligned her experience, looks and family background.

    The crusade is remarkable because it rests on so little actual evidence. When former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift held a press conference to denounce the media smearing, L.A. Times reporter James Rainey asked her to name the offending outlets. She singled out one blog–Daily Kos–and then wandered away (L.A. Times, 9/4/08).

    But media seem to buy the notion that there’s something unusual about all of this: “No national candidate in modern history, not even Hillary Clinton, has ever been lambasted and lionized in quite the way Palin is,” wrote Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz (9/15/08). In reality, Palin has been treated critically primarily over her decision to repeat, over and over again, the claim that she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere project–which is a lie.

    Good old clueless liberal men. What planet was he living on? Of course he could not see Democrats as treating Palin unfairly; that would be right-wing paranoia, with so little actual evidence! This from the organization Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting? What is fair or accurate about this account?

  36. Aletha Says:

    The Wasilla Bible Church was set on fire Friday night. Arson is suspected. Heart blogged about this yesterday. This story is from

    Palin church badly damaged in suspected arson
    by Leyla Santiago
    Saturday, December 13, 2008

    WASILLA, Alaska — Investigators say arson caused a fire that badly damaged the former church of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin late Friday night and into early Saturday morning.

    The blaze at the Wasilla Bible Church broke out as a group of women made crafts inside. It is not yet known if the church was targeted because of Palin’s affiliation. Palin’s spokesperson, Bill McAllister, issued a statement on her behalf after she visited the church on Saturday.

    “(Palin) told an assistant pastor that she apologizes if the incident is in any way connected to the undeserved negative attention the church has received since she became a vice presidential candidate on Aug. 29. Whatever the motives of the arsonist, the governor has faith in the scriptural passage that what was intended for evil will in some way be used for good.”

    Presumably the arsonist is trying to send a message to Governor Palin, but what might that be? She has made plenty of enemies, from liberals who hate her politics to fundamentalists who hate her for showing that a fundamentalist woman can have a life outside the home. Many would like to intimidate her so she would shut up and go away. If that was the purpose, the arson was a wasted as well as criminal effort. Gov. Palin is not the kind of woman to be easily intimidated or shunted aside.

  37. Aletha Says:

    Randi Rhodes today opined that the remarks on television by the father of the child of Bristol Palin, of which she played an excerpt on her show, illustrate the lack of leadership of ex-Governor Palin. Randi did not explain just how she expects Palin to muzzle Levi Johnston, but apparently her inability to do so shows Randi what kind of horrid leader Palin is! Mr. Johnston is bitter and capitalizing on his enmity toward Palin. What is she supposed to do about it, give him a stern lecture? As if he would listen? Is she supposed to muzzle the TV station? Johnston is much in demand because he supposedly has the inside scoop on the despised governor. Is Randi actually implying a true leader would find a way to stifle the free speech of her critics? I am rather offended by such blatant partisanship, but I cannot believe that of Randi Rhodes. She values free speech too highly.

    Randi did say she does not know if the accusation by Mr. Johnston that Palin refers to her youngest child as her retard is true. I suppose Palin should be grateful for small favors? If that is true, Palin should be shamed, but a man with a grudge against the grandmother of his child has no credibility. Why is Randi giving him any? Because it serves her agenda, no doubt, which is to trash the prospective opponent of her beloved President Obama any way she can imagine.

  38. newsflx Says:

    Sarah Palin does have a rather large supporter base. Its hilarious when some of them are interviewed and cannot explain why they support her.

  39. Aletha Says:

    I listened to that video, which was presumably edited to make the interviewees sound as bad as possible, but heard almost nothing to justify this statement by the poster:

    On the other hand, they were all worried that President Obama has been doing enormous damage to the country. However, again, specifics eluded them.

    Ironically, I would have no trouble giving specifics about that. Not that I support Palin, but Obama is not doing much to reverse the damages done by the previous Administration. In fact, in many ways, he and his party are exacerbating the damage. His economic, war, and environmental policies are nothing to write home about, and what about that disgusting Stupak-Pitts amendment? If anything like that survives in the final bill and Obama signs it, it will make a total mockery of the Democratic litany of fearmongering about how Republicans will stack the Supreme Court to outlaw abortion.

  40. Aletha Says:

    As the approval rating of the President steadily declines, that of his potential challenger is ascending, and if the trend continues, will eclipse him. This story is from the Los Angeles Times Top of the Ticket blog

    Shocker polls: That Sarah Palin-Barack Obama gap melts to 1 point
    December 8, 2009 | 2:42 am

    A pair of new surveys revealing that President Obama is still declining and has hit a new low in job approval among Americans just 56 weeks after they elected him with a decided margin.

    First, el jefe. Facing double-digit unemployment, rising spending, deficits and Afghan war casualties plus a keystone but stalled healthcare reform effort that caused a rare Sunday presidential visit to Capitol Hill, Obama recently fell below 50% job approval for the first time.

    Then, last week’s deft dance of rhetoric over sending reinforcements to Afghanistan but, on the other foot, bringing them home quickly maybe gave him a brief boost. That, however, collapsed with equal rapidity.

    Obama’s new Gallup Poll job approval number is 47%. Last month it was 53%.

    Regular Ticket readers will recall how in this space in late November we pointed out that Obama’s closely watched job approval slide was coinciding with Palin’s little-noticed rise in favorability. And it appeared they might cross somewhere in the 40s.

    Well, ex-Sen. Obama, meet ex-Gov. Palin.

    The new CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows Palin now at 46% favorable.

    Palin critics — and, by golly, there still are some, believe it or not — say that she’s a polarizing political figure.

    And they’re dead-on correct: 46% like her (including eight of 10 Republicans), 46% don’t (including seven of 10 Democrats) and only 8% are undecided (no doubt including many who’ve been living underground since John McCain unveiled his VP GOP running mate in Dayton, Ohio, some 15 months ago).

    But here’s the fascinating, little-noticed catch:

    The very same polarization now holds true for Obama, the fresh fellow from the old Chicago Democratic machine who was supposed to bring hope and change to a nation tired of divisive politics and the harsh partisan tone of Washington.

    Fully 83% of Democrats approve of him, but only 14% of Republicans do.

    Among independents, who provided the crucial winning boost for the Democratic ticket in November 2008, Obama’s support has melted to 42% today, in large part over immense spending and deficit concerns.

    And as political veteran Dave Cook points out over on the Vote blog, just since last month, 3% of Obama’s own Democrats have abandoned his ship, another 4% of Republicans and fully 7% of independents.

    Other recent polls have shown Republicans leading for the first time this year on the generic congressional ballot and self-identified Republicans closing the gap with self-identified Democrats.

    How could Republicans, so thoroughly disgraced by the disastrous previous Administration, be making a comeback so soon? It appears the 2008 landslide made Democrats overconfident, and since the promised changes have proved largely illusory, disillusion is rife. Republicans do not deserve to benefit from the failings of Democrats, but neither did Democrats deserve to benefit from the failings of Republicans. Their policies are too much alike, in general, and the specific issues on which they differ are hyped beyond the actual implications of those differences. For instance, Democrats love to scream about how dangerous Republicans are on the abortion issue, but Obama could not be bothered to ask his Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, where she stood on the issue. This was no fluke; this health insurance reform debacle has demonstrated that abortion rights are too low a priority to be allowed to stand in the way of getting some kind of reform passed. Likewise, Democrats tout their dedication to the environment, but their energy bill is a sick joke that will do virtually nothing to abate the greenhouse effect. Both parties are too beholden to corporate interests to force big business to clean up its act.

    Democrats have only themselves to blame for this loss of public approval, and if they lose most or all of their majorities in Congress, that would be the usual result befalling a party that does not deliver on its promises. Governor Palin made a big splash when she came onto the national political scene. She had some bad moments that for awhile made it seem that she was just a flash in the pan, soon to disappear into oblivion, but that was just the hope of overconfident Democrats. Their landslide was primarily the result of the economic meltdown and the ability of Obama to raise the hopes of people desperate for change, but he has dashed those hopes, and it appears the usual midterm losses for the party in power are in the cards yet again. If Obama and his party do not shape up fast, Obama will probably be a one-term President. Palin would certainly not be my choice for the first woman President, but if she is, in a way, it would serve the Democrats right, for trashing her, making fun of her, lying about her, scoffing at her, and generally thoroughly underestimating her.

  41. Aletha Says:

    This is from a New York Times Op-Ed last Friday

    A Palin of Our Own
    Published: August 28, 2010

    TWO years ago today, Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee, introduced the world to his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska. Chosen by Mr. McCain’s campaign strategists as a cynical rejoinder to the ill-starred presidential bid of Hillary Clinton, Governor Palin was a historic pick: the second woman to run for vice president on a major party ticket and the first Republican woman in history to do so.

    In the 24 months since her appearance onstage in Dayton, Ohio, Ms. Palin has enthralled pundits and journalists who devote countless television hours and column inches to her every Twitter message and Facebook update, while provoking outrage and exasperation from the left. Case in point: Ms. Palin, now a Fox news contributor, and her cable colleague Glenn Beck planned a rally for Saturday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, 47 years to the day after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, a wily usurpation of an anniversary cherished by progressives and civil rights activists.

    The left should be outraged and exasperated by all this — but at their own failings as much as Ms. Palin’s ascension. Since the 2008 election, progressive leaders have done little to address the obvious national appetite for female leadership. And despite (or because of) their continuing obsession with Ms. Palin, they have done nothing to stop an anti-choice, pro-abstinence, socialist-bashing Tea Party enthusiast from becoming the 21st century symbol of American women in politics.

    It’s easy of course, for liberals to laugh off Ms. Palin’s “you go, girl!” ethos and increasingly aggressive co-optation of feminist symbols. We progressives discount her references to the women’s movement — not to mention her validity as a candidate — by looking down on her as a dim, opportunistic, mean-girl prom queen, all spunk and no policy muscle.

    The left’s failure to nurture and celebrate female politicians has had a significant effect on its policies. In recent years, Democratic majorities and progressive legislation seem to have been built on steady trade-offs of reproductive rights, culminating this year when the first female speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, was forced to push through health care reform with a compromise on abortion financing.

    An older generation of female Democrats, including Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Pelosi, are about as eager to mount a Palin-style girl-powered campaign as they are to wear a miniskirt on the House floor. For them, proudly or aggressively touting one’s feminist credentials (if you’re actually a feminist, that is) is taboo. It’s considered too, well, female.

    But as women of a different generation — of, gulp, Sarah Palin’s generation — we wonder if Democrats shouldn’t look to her for twisted inspiration, and recognize that the future of women in politics will be about coming to terms with (and inventing) new models.

    Imagine a Democrat willing to brag about breaking the glass ceiling at the explosive beginning, not the safe end, of her campaign. A liberal politician taking to Twitter to argue that big broods and a “culture of life” are completely compatible with reproductive freedom. A female candidate on the left who speaks as angrily and forcefully about her rivals’ shortcomings as Sarah Barracuda does about the Pelosis and Obamas of the world. A smart, unrelenting female, who, unlike Ms. Palin, wants to tear down, not reinforce, traditional ways of looking at women. But that will require a party that is eager to discover, groom, promote and then cheer on such a progressive Palin.

    If Sarah Palin and her acolytes successfully redefine what it means to be a groundbreaking political woman, it will be because progressives let it happen — and in doing so, ensured that when it comes to making history, there will be no one but Mama Grizzlies to do the job.

    “Progressives” have let a great many mockeries of what they supposedly stand for happen. Under Barack Obama, with solid majorities in both houses of Congress, women were sold out to pass health insurance “reform,” and that sellout shows no sign of abating. NARAL is trying to get signatures on a petition to oppose this addition of insult to injury:

    Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the Obama administration’s decision today to exclude abortion coverage from newly created high-risk pools wrongheaded and inexplicable.

    This Administration has also greatly escalated the “war on terror,” though that appellation has gone out of favor, even as Obama crows about keeping his promise to end the war on Iraq, which just means the remaining troops and mercenaries have officially relinquished their “combat mission.” The sellouts in environmental policy keep on coming, as Obama continues to promote “clean coal,” a new generation of nuclear power plants, and genetically engineered biofuel crops as his answer to climate change. His coddling of British Petroleum during the oil spill disaster has been nothing short of shameless. So the Democratic snubbing of their base is comprehensive, not just a slap in the face of feminists. The left has been critical, but ineffective in slowing down the tide of betrayals. So the phenomenon of someone like Sarah Palin becoming the face of a “groundbreaking political woman” is no surprise to me, as the truly groundbreaking political women have gotten such halfhearted support, if not derision, from Democrats, progressives, and leftists.

  42. Aletha Says:

    Emily’s List is up in arms because Palin said on Twitter a “cackle of rads” hijacked feminism. They produced an ad in which a number of people deny being radical, as if Palin had insulted them. No doubt she meant to do so, but why is radical considered an insult by Emily’s List? It is inaccurate to call them radical, since they are staunch Democrats, but it seems peculiar to me that they would so uncritically buy into the demonization of radical feminists. Many of the early feminists were quite radical in their views, especially for the time. Not to mention, radical really means going to the root. Is Emily’s List so moderate that they see no need to delve into the root of issues? I suspect most of its members do see no such need, otherwise they could not support the Democratic Party.

    EMILY’s List responds to Palin’s “cackle of rads” comment in the second installment of its “Sarah Doesn’t Speak for Me” series, highlighting the media attention the ad received and the positive responses it received from supporters around the country. Several men and women then address Palin, taking issue with her calling them “radicals.” “You’re calling me a radical because I want to protect our wildlife and hold corporations like BP accountable?” asks one young woman.

    This woman ought to realize the Democratic Party is not doing much of anything to protect wildlife or hold BP accountable. Not to mention the pathetic performance of Obama and his party in tackling climate change. Rhetoric aside, to do what it would take to actually protect wildlife and hold oil companies accountable is far too radical a concept for either of these mainstream parties.

  43. Aletha Says:

    Sexist attacks on Sarah Palin are still proliferating. Here is one especially egregious blog post.

    Why I Will Not Fuck Sarah Palin
    By DJ Pangburn Thursday, October 28, 2010

    Sarah Palin is a very sexy woman that all men want to sleep with, except for me

    In honor of Sarah Palin’s quasi-admission on Entertainment Tonight (of all places) that she will run for President “If there’s nobody else to do it, then of course I would believe that we should do this,” I present a piece of imaginative reality distortion, conjuring various ways in which Mrs. Palin might meet her end before she brings us to the end times that will surely attend her election as President. Why? Well, President Obama has demonstrated that he might just be unelectable in 2012.

    A Study of Sarah Palin’s Make-up
    Mirroring the CIA’s attempts on Fidel Castro’s life, freedom fighters take advantage of Palin’s obsession with image and beauty. A group uses weaponized make-up and aerosol to disfigure Palin’s face and make her hair fail out. No beauty = no air time. Her candidacy crumbles in the dissolution of what she perceived to be her greatest assets.

    A Palin Phantasmagoria
    Had a dream of Sarah Palin’s annihilation, her disintegration into the Biblical dirt whence she came fully formed as a Moose Mother. She’s up in the air in a chartered jet and there is an explosion, a twisting of parts and fusing of metal into her flesh. The plain is careening down and the wings are ripped off into the air. The fuselage now a missile headed for Mother Earth and an explosive penetration.

    A Roadside Attraction
    Candidate Palin dressed in fetishized combat fatigues, breasts perky, Jesus Christ in repose on the cross and nestled in between the cleavage. On a tour of the streets of Iraq hoping to boost her National Defense credentials, as her Alaskan view of Russia just will not do. Palin walks amidst a phalanx of Marines as if a gang bang is imminent. The soldiers imagine taking her from behind and in various other positions in a re-enactment of Abu Ghraib. There is silence, broken by a mound of dirt exploding beneath the group’s feet. A pink mist drifts out of the particles of brown Earth. Just another roadside attraction in Iraq.

    Perpetual Motion Machine
    Man challenges Sarah Palin to a sex marathon, convinced of his virility and she of her relentless stamina in all matters public and private. This stud claims extraordinary sexual energy. Endless, in fact. Shows Palin a diagram of his heart and its artificial ventricles and valves. He is, for lack of a better term, a machine — a flesh-covered dildo. Palin’s eyes grow wide as discs and she prematurely wets herself. A stripping of clothes and the two commence reproductive maneuvers. The Man is an agent for radical parties that will go unnamed, and screws Palin so hard that her heart gives out and she collapses in exhaustion. The Man’s unit retracts into his pelvis and he leaves.

    Words fail me. This man must think he is so clever. Get a clue, asshole, political disagreements, no matter how severe, cannot justify this kind of sexist garbage posing as satire.

  44. Aletha Says:

    Sarah Palin is being tarred and feathered for misusing the term blood libel in her reaction to being accused of inciting the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, because of some of her rhetoric and the map she had posted with bullseyes over the Congressional districts of people she wanted voted out of Congress. She was not the first to term such accusations blood libel. Glenn Reynolds wrote an editorial for the Wall Street Journal two days after the shooting spree, The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel. So Palin was hardly the originator of the idea that blaming the purveyors of inflammatory rhetoric for the tragedy was an example of blood libel. She was not the worst example of those creating a “climate of hate,” as Paul Krugman and others put it; she just made a convenient target. As this blog entry demonstrates, there are plenty of haters of Sarah Palin creating their own climate of hate.

    This is not to say Palin is off the hook; her reaction was defensive and not appropriate to the occasion, but it is curious how some of her detractors will jump on any excuse to blame her for the problems of this sick culture. She is a reflection of that sickness, not its cause.

  45. Aletha Says:

    Frank Bailey, a close aide of Governor Palin, has blasted her in a forthcoming book, reports the Anchorage Daily News, based on a leaked copy of the manuscript. However, it appears on at least one easily checked matter, Bailey has his facts wrong.

    Former aide rips Palin in leaked book manuscript
    Anchorage Daily News
    Published: February 19th, 2011 10:16 PM

    A leaked manuscript by one of Sarah Palin’s closest aides from her time as governor charges that Palin broke state election law in her 2006 gubernatorial campaign and was consumed by petty grievances up until she resigned.

    The unpublished book by Frank Bailey was leaked to the media and widely circulated on Friday.

    The manuscript opens with an account of Palin sending Bailey a message saying “I hate this damn job” shortly before she resigned as Alaska’s governor in July 2009, less than three years into her four-year term. The manuscript goes on for nearly 500 pages, a mixture of analysis, gossip and allegation.

    Copies of the manuscript were forwarded around Alaska political circles on Friday. The Daily News received copies from multiple sources, the first from author Joe McGinniss, who is working on his own Palin book. McGinniss didn’t respond to a message asking where he obtained the manuscript and the reason he circulated it.

    Bailey, a political insider who joined Palin’s 2006 campaign for governor and became part of her inner circle, has never before told his version of the Palin story. Bailey has consistently refused requests for interviews and did so again Friday. The book was co-written with California author Ken Morris and Jeanne Devon of Anchorage, who publishes the popular anti-Palin website Mudflats.

    Devon wrote on her website that the “draft manuscript” was leaked without the knowledge or permission of the authors. She said they are shocked and horrified.

    Bailey wrote in the book that he and his co-authors put together the manuscript with the help of more than 60,000 e-mails he sent or received while working for Palin.

    Pam Pryor, a spokeswoman for Palin’s political action committee, said she didn’t expect Palin to react. “Doubt she will respond to this kind of untruth,” Pryor said in an e-mail.

    Bailey remained a member of Palin’s inner circle after she was elected governor. At one point Bailey was the subject of an ethics investigation into whether improper influence was used to win a state job for a Palin campaign supporter. Bailey had an “improper motivation” to get the supporter a job, concluded investigator Tim Petumenos, who recommended Bailey get ethics training.

    Bailey suggests in the book that one of Palin’s picks for the Supreme Court was colored by her animosity against Wooten. He wrote that Superior Court Judge Morgan Christen ruled in favor of Palin’s sister in her custody dispute with Wooten, and that Todd Palin raved about how Christen raked Wooten over the coals.

    Christen later applied for the state Supreme Court and was picked by the Alaska Judicial Council as one of the two candidates for Palin to consider appointing. Bailey wrote that he warned Palin it would be a conflict of interest, but she wasn’t interested.

    But a spokeswoman for the Alaska Court System said Bailey got his facts wrong. Christen was never the assigned judge in the Wooten custody case, didn’t make any rulings in favor of either party, and played a “very limited role,” according to Christine Johnson, administrative director for the court system.

    Johnson said prior to applying for the Supreme Court Christen conducted a conference in the case, where both sides agreed to a settlement. Wooten and Palin’s sister later had a dispute over what they’d agreed upon in the settlement and asked Christen to resolve it, Johnson said. But Christen sent it to another judge because she’d applied to the Supreme Court and had a conflict.

    Bailey was sympathetic to the Alaska Family Council, an anti-abortion group fighting Christen’s appointment. Bailey wrote that Palin turned on Alaska Family Council head Jim Minnery, and later backed out of an event with him to promote a ballot measure aimed at making it illegal for teens to get an abortion. Bailey speculated that Palin didn’t come because she was working on her book.

    “When Sarah turned on Jim Minnery and his/their cause, for the sole purposes of making money and causing him embarrassment, I saw how blind I’d become. Finally, Sarah Louise Palin’s petty ways and butchered priorities would set me free,” Bailey wrote.

    How intriguing. Bailey saw how blind he had become because Palin decided not to participate in an event to promote a ballot measure to make it illegal for teenage girls to get an abortion? Perhaps the Governor had second thoughts about the measure? But to Bailey, this is an example of butchered priorities, that Palin wanted to put Judge Morgan Christen on the Supreme Court despite the fact a rabid anti-abortion group opposed her? Feminists might be shocked to learn Palin backed such a judge. But Bailey alleges she backed this judge because she had come down hard on Trooper Wooten, when in fact she was only involved peripherally in that matter. It appears to me Mr. Bailey has an axe to grind against his former boss, and did not let facts get in the way of his vendetta. As the story says, the book is “a mixture of analysis, gossip and allegation.” Naturally any attack on Palin will appeal to those who hate her, but this book appears to me to deserve no credibility at all, just another hatchet job by a bitter ex-insider.

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