Tag Archives: Bridge to Nowhere

Palin’s Cunning Sleight of Hand

Sarah Palin’s Sleight of Hand

Sarah Palin’s Sleight of Hand

Liberals had a blast mocking Sarah Palin last weekend when she was caught addressing the Tea Party Convention with a cheat sheet scrawled on her hand. Even the president’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, couldn’t resist getting into the act and treated a White House briefing to a Palin hand gag of his own.

Yet the laughter rang hollow. You had to wonder if Palin, who is nothing if not cunning, had sprung a trap. She knows all too well that the more the so-called elites lampoon her, the more she cements her cred with the third of the country that is her base. Her hand hieroglyphics may not have been speaking aids but bait.

If so, mission accomplished. Her sleight of hand gave the anti-Palin chorus another prod to deride her as an empty-headed, subliterate clown, and her fans another cue to rally. The only problem is that the serious import of Palin’s overriding political message got lost in this distracting sideshow. That message has the power to upend the Obama presidency — even if Palin, with her record-low approval ratings, never gets anywhere near the White House.

The Palin shtick has now become the Republican catechism, parroted by every party leader in Washington. Their constant refrain, delivered with cynicism but not irony, is this: Republicans are the anti-big-government, anti-stimulus, anti-Wall Street, pro-Tea Party tribunes of the common folk. “This is about the people,” as Palin repeatedly put it last weekend while pocketing $100,000 of the Tea Partiers’ money.

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Recap of Sarah Palin’s Many, MANY Lies

Sarah Palin

The many lies of Sarah Palin continue to emerge in "Going Rogue: An American Life."

The lies of Sarah Palin are different from any other politicians’. They are different because they assert things that are demonstrably, empirically untrue; and they are different because once they have been demonstrated to the entire world that they are untrue, Palin keeps repeating them as if they still were true or refuses to acknowledge that she was wrong.

Once again … here are the lies I mean. Go through them. See if you think they are Clintonian type parsings of the truth or artful political hedging or anything like what we find in most pols. They really are not. They are functions of delusion and a worldview that wants things to be a certain way and cannot absorb that they are not. If you find the slightest error or come across a fact that we should add to this list of current lies, please let us know. We want this list to be as accurate as Palin is delusional. We want to create some template of easily-accessible reality as some kind of guard against the fantasies and fabulisms of our post-modern and fundamentalist age.

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The Pit Bull in the China Shop

Sarah Palin vs. Pit Bull

Sarah Palin vs. Pit Bull

At last the American right and left have one issue they unequivocally agree on: You don’t actually have to read Sarah Palin’s book to have an opinion about it. Last Sunday Liz Cheney praised “Going Rogue” as “well-written” on Fox News even though, by her own account, she had sampled only “parts” of it. On Tuesday, Ana Marie Cox, a correspondent for Air America, belittled the book in The Washington Post while confessing that she couldn’t claim to have “completely” read it.

Going Rogue” will hardly be the first best seller embraced by millions for talismanic rather than literary ends. And I am not recommending that others follow my example and slog through its 400-plus pages, especially since its supposed revelations have been picked through 24/7 for a week. But sometimes I wonder if anyone has read all of what Palin would call the “dang” thing. Some of the book’s most illuminating tics have been mentioned barely — if at all — by either its fans or foes. Palin is far and away the most important brand in American politics after Barack Obama, and attention must be paid. Those who wishfully think her 15 minutes are up are deluding themselves.

The book’s biggest surprise is Palin’s wide-eyed infatuation with show-business celebrities. You get nearly as much face time with Tina Fey and the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in “Going Rogue” as you do with John McCain. We learn how happy Palin was to receive calls from Bono and Warren Beatty “to share ideas and insights.” We wade through star-struck lists of campaign cameos by Robert Duvall, Jon Voight (who “blew us away”), Naomi Judd, Gary Sinise and Kelsey Grammer, among many others. Then there are the acknowledgments at the book’s end, where Palin reveals that her intimacy with media stars is such that she can air-kiss them on a first-name basis, from Greta to Laura to Rush.

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Sarah Palin’s First Ten Lies from “Going Rogue: An American Life”

"Going Rogue: An American Life" presents Sarah Palin's distorted view of reality.

"Going Rogue: An American Life" presents Sarah Palin's distorted view of politics and reality.

Excerpts from Sarah Palin‘s Going Rogue have been released by several news agencies and other sources who have received advanced copies. Here are the first ten lies from Palin’s memoirs:

  1. The Cover Byline: Palin didn’t write the book by herself. Most books with known ghostwriters list their co-author’s name on the cover. In this case it was Lynn Vincent (a well-known homophobe). Going Rogue does not.
  2. The Subtitle: An American Life. Aside from her infancy, Palin has really spent very little time outside of Alaska, and according to John McCain‘s campaign advisors, was shockingly unfamiliar with American geography and American history. “Alaska,” as John McPhee noted in his resplendent Coming Into the Country, “is a foreign country…Its nature is its own.”
  3. Going Rogue features Palin’s obsession with Katie Couric and characterizes the CBS anchor as “badgering.” Palin refused to prep for the Couric interview because she was more concerned about her popularity in Alaska than about what was best for the campaign. Was it really badgering to ask what books or periodicals Palin read? Palin further claims that Couric suffered from low self-esteem. In fact, according to those close to Palin, it’s the former governor who suffers from low self-esteem and frequently projects that onto other women.
  4. Palin asserts that there was a “jaded aura” around McCain’s political advisors once she entered the campaign. In fact, McCain’s aides bent over backwards to protect Palin and to try to get her up to speed on international affairs. In addition to not knowing whether or not Africa was a continent, according to sources in the McCain campaign, Palin also didn’t understand the difference between England and Great Britain. And much, much more.
  5. Palin contends to have been saddled with legal bills of more than $500,000 resulting from what she calls “frivolous” ethics complaints filed against her. The lion’s share of those bills resulted from the ethics complaint she filed against herself in a legal maneuver to sidestep the Troopergate charges being brought against her by the bipartisan Alaska Legislative Council.
  6. Palin rather astonishingly claims that she was saddled with $50,000 in bills for the legal fees associated with her vice-presidential vetting. A) She was not vetted; B) A McCain campaign advisor says this is “categorically untrue.”
  7. Palin states that she found out only “minutes” before John McCain’s concession speech that she would not be allowed to make remarks of her own introducing McCain. In fact, she had been told at least three times that she would not be allowed to give the speech and kept lying about it in the hopes of creating some last-minute chaos that would allow her to assume the dais.
  8. Palin asserts that her effort to award a license for a natural gas transmission line was turning a “pipe dream” into a pipeline. Although she claimed otherwise in her speech at the GOP convention, there is no pipeline. It remains a pipe dream.
  9. Palin implies that the McCain campaign intentionally bungled the release of information regarding her daughter Bristol’s pregnancy and refused to let her rewrite it. In fact, the McCain campaign allowed her to rework the draft, but the original version went out accidentally. Palin reportedly accepted the recalcitrant staff member’s apology for the mistake, then when she left, ordered her immediately dismissed of her duties.
  10. Palin complains that McCain’s senior advisors, most notably Steve Schmidt, forced her to “stick with the script” they provided her. In fact, Schmidt & Co. were encumbered with the task of keeping Palin from lying and misleading people throughout the campaign, from her well-documented lies about the “Bridge to Nowhere” to her duplicities about her husband Todd’s assocation with the Alaska Independence Party. Palin’s lying to those in the McCain campaign was so troubling to them that they cringed every time she went “off script.”

And that’s just for starters.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn’s book The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power will be released by St. Martin’s Press in spring 2010.

Geoffrey Dunn
The Huffington Post

Sarah’s Secret Diary (Video)

Just a trip down memory lane … classic photo-op interview with Sarah as she explained how her resignation helped Alaska and that fishing with her children teaches them not to be ‘divas’ while waving her freshly manicured nails in Andrea Mitchell’s face … “One term was enough … You’re not listening to me!

Sarah Palin Truth Squad

Dear Diary,

No one understands me. It’s like I’m speaking some Eskimo dialect or something. Andrea Mitchell follows me all the way to Kanakanak Beach and I get a French manicure and set up this huge photo op for her, even though she spooked the salmon.

Todd and me are in our cool fishing bibs. Piper’s helping out on the boat. It’s an amazing day that shows how our Creator favored my beloved Alaska, gatekeeper of the continent, and makes a great shot for all the network reporters up here to milk. This progresses me away from my image as some kind of flaky “rogue diva” and back to my image as a tough huntin’ and fishin’ gal.

But Andrea makes such a darn big deal about how I’m quitting in the middle of my term.

“You’re not listening to me!” I snap.

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Sarah Palin’s Real Estate Impropriety (Video)

By popular demand, I am reposting this story about Mayor Sarah Palin eliminating building permits before her personal home AND the Wasilla Sports Complex were constructed in Wasilla, Alaska.  The post originally appeared on the Sarah Palin Truth Squad back in October 14, 2008.

The original title was The Book of Sarah (Palin): Contractors Awarded Wasilla Sports Complex Contract Built New Palin Family Home.”

Although this is old news, it’s good to remember the personal ethics of Sarah Palin as she moves forward into her latest career.

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Sarah Palin winking to the cameras.

Sarah Palin winking to the cameras.

Wayne Barrett, investigative journalist and senior editor for the Village Voice, published a brilliantly illuminating exposé on Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the building of her new Wasilla family home by the same contractors awarded the contract to build the new, multi-million dollar Wasilla sports complex. Also, throughout Sarah Palin’s political career, she has worked closely with lobbyists, promoting the interests of big business and oil corporations. Barrett was interviewed by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Countdown as to the possible conflicts of interest these connections might have posed for Gov. Palin.

Along with the winks and folksy “doggone” moments early in her debate with Joe Biden last week, Sarah Palin repeated her familiar claim to the title of “maverick,” declaring that “as a governor and as a mayor,” she’s had a “track record of reform” and has now “joined a team of mavericks.”

Despite the free fall that her polling numbers went into after her disastrous interviews with Katie Couric, that branding as a “reformer” has been resilient. Introduced skillfully before tens of millions during an intense surge of interest six weeks ago, it’s been hammered home with repeated soundbites.

But the label doesn’t hold up under close scrutiny. From the controversy that catapulted her to the governorship, to her ties to the indicted patriarch of Alaska’s GOP, to the multilayered nexus of lobbyists and Big Oil interests around her, and, finally, to the Wasilla sports complex that capped her mayoral career, the myth of Sarah Palin, reformer, withers under inspection.

Wasilla, Alaska Sports Complex

Wasilla, Alaska Sports Complex

PALIN’S CLAIM to fame as an Alaska reformer-that she risked her career to expose the chairman of the state GOP-is revisionist. In fact, Palin supported the methane-drilling project that helped sink GOP boss Randy Ruedrich before she later decided she was against it-a mirror of her flip-flop on the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. And her reversal had more to do with seizing a political opportunity than following her conscience.

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Pallin’ Around With The Liberal Media

Exiting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Exiting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

On Monday, Eric Boehlert highlighted Time‘s upcoming cover story on Sarah Palin, titled, “The Outsider: Where is Sarah Palin Going Next?” While Palin has certainly received her share of bad press, a great deal of it has been the inevitable result of her own statements and actions. Interpretive articles like this one, however, are different and provide journalists with the chance to use their judgment to put past actions and ongoing trials in a broader context that will help readers better understand the subject at hand.

Which is why this article is so problematic. In it, Time‘s David Von Drehle and Jay Newton-Small go to immense lengths to create a story out of thin air. In this case, it’s “The Renegade,” a tale about an unconventional politician making waves with her unpredictable behavior. The piece is deeply flawed, advancing conservative narratives without challenge and ignoring obvious realities about Palin, her home state, and the problems she faces. It’s an account that flies in the face not just of progressive criticisms of the governor, but of a growing chorus of conservative ones as well.

And it is exactly the kind of ratings-driven journalism that is, ironically, making magazines like Time less and less authoritative at a time when serious journalism couldn’t be more needed.

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