Tag Archives: death panels

Palin: I’m Not the Biggest Liar of the Year

Sarah Palin at a recent book signing for "Going Rogue"

Sarah Palin continues to draw negative attention to herself.

There’s an old story that occasionally makes the rounds in Washington. In the 1970s, a magazine (now long defunct) named New Times reported that Sen. William Scott, a Virginia Republican, had been ranked the “dumbest” senator in a survey conducted by a public interest group. Subsequently, Scott held a press conference to deny the charge — thereby proving he was pretty darn dumb. After all, he only called more attention to the accusation.

Sarah Palin has taken a Scott-like position.

Earlier this month, PolitiFact.com, a project of the St. Petersburg Times, awarded Palin the not-so-coveted “lie of the year” award for claiming last summer that President Obama‘s health care reform initiative would set up “death panels” run by bureaucrats who would decide if seniors and disabled citizens “based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society’ ” would be “worthy of health care.” PolitiFact.com explains:

On Aug. 10, PolitiFact rated Palin’s statement Pants on Fire [its highest — or lowest — rating]. In the weeks that followed, health care policy experts on both the right and the left said the euthanasia comparisons were inaccurate. Gail Wilensky, a health adviser to President George H.W. Bush, said the charge was untrue and upsetting.

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Lie of the Year: ‘Death Panels’

And the "Lie of the Year" winner is ... Sarah Palin!!

Of all the falsehoods and distortions in the political discourse this year, one stood out from the rest.

Death panels.”

The claim set political debate afire when it was made in August, raising issues from the role of government in health care to the bounds of acceptable political discussion. In a nod to the way technology has transformed politics, the statement wasn’t made in an interview or a television ad. Sarah Palin posted it on her Facebook page.

Her assertion — that the government would set up boards to determine whether seniors and the disabled were worthy of care — spread through newscasts, talk shows, blogs and town hall meetings. Opponents of health care legislation said it revealed the real goals of the Democratic proposals. Advocates for health reform said it showed the depths to which their opponents would sink. Still others scratched their heads and said, “Death panels? Really?”

The editors of PolitiFact.com, the fact-checking Web site of the St. Petersburg Times, have chosen it as our inaugural “Lie of the Year.”

PolitiFact readers overwhelmingly supported the decision. Nearly 5,000 voted in a national poll to name the biggest lie, and 61 percent chose “death panels” from a field of eight finalists. (See the complete results.)

This is the story of how two words generated intense heat in the national debate over health care.

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UK on US: Has God Really Chosen Sarah Palin to Lead Our Country??

To millions of Americans, Sarah Palin is the one person who can save the US from the perils of communism, gay marriage and gun control. But can she ever win the White House, or will she destroy the American right?

Sarah Palin pressing the flesh in Grand Rapids, on her three-week-long, 14-state promotional book tour.

Sarah Palin pressing the flesh in Grand Rapids, on her three-week-long, 14-state promotional "Going Rogue: An American Life" book tour.

It is a freezing night in Indiana. A light drizzle is turning to ice as a crowd of 1,000 people shiver and huddle under umbrellas in a shopping mall car park outside the small Midwestern town of Noblesville. But no one is complaining.

“I came to hear the truth get told,” says Roy Hendrickson, a moustached 66-year-old retiree from the town of Lebanon, about 30 miles away. “I want to see her go rogue!”

She, of course, is Sarah Palin, and Going Rogue is the name of her autobiography. The event tonight is the third stop on one of the most audacious book tours in the history of publishing. It is a 14-state, three-week-long trek through the heartland of America that has already drawn tens of thousands of fans. No other figure on the right of American politics can pull in crowds and generate excitement like Palin. Like Obama with Democrats, people believe in her. But Palin World is a very different place from Obama Nation. In Palin World, America is succumbing to the foreign ideology of socialism, and the lifeblood of the free market is being squeezed by Big Government. The threat of “death panels” haunts the elderly. It is a nation of whispered conspiracies that Obama wants to take away people’s guns, and where communist appointees plot secret internment camps and the forced indoctrination of innocent American youth.

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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: Is She Really Serious About Politics?

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

Recently, I asked a GOP consultant, who must remain nameless here, this question: Who advises Sarah Palin? His answer: No one. Really? I asked. Yes, he said, really.

So that explains it.

Palin’s actions keep defying rational explanation. Her sudden retreat from her job as Alaska governor made her seem a quitter — especially when she couldn’t coherently justify the resignation during her surprise July 4 weekend announcement. Even if Palin’s pullout had been a reasonable decision, it seemed as if she had not consulted anyone with PR or political sense on how best to handle the controversial move.

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Meg Stapleton: Bob McDonnell Personally Asked for Sarah Palin’s Help, then Changed His Mind

Republican gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Attorney General, Bob McDonnell along with his daughter Jeanine, during the 2009 Virginia State Republican Convention.

Republican gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Attorney General, Bob McDonnell along with his daughter Jeanine during the 2009 Virginia State Republican Convention.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell repeatedly and personally asked former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for help this summer in his campaign for Virginia governor, a Palin spokeswoman said.

But by late August, Palin learned that the McDonnell campaign no longer wanted her assistance, Palin adviser Meg Stapleton said in an interview tonight.

Earlier this week, McDonnell reacted with a bit of sarcasm when asked whether Palin would be campaigning with him. “There was a time earlier on when she was governor when I thought she would come here,” he said. “But I think she seems to be busy with books and other things like that. We’ve still got about 20 different events scheduled down the road and she’s not one of them.”

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Mangling Everything In Her Path, Typhoon Sarah Blows Into Asia

Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, criticized for her lack of foreign policy experience, emerged in Asia on Wednesday to share her views from "Main Street U.S.A." with a group of high-flying global investors.

Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, criticized for her lack of foreign policy experience, emerged in Asia on Wednesday to share her views from "Main Street U.S.A." with a group of high-flying global investors.

Grotesque, unprecedented, bizarre, unbelievable. Sarah Palin was all of that in Hong Kong yesterday. And more. Dressed in a cutesy virgin-white blouse and black skirt with the infamous bee-hive hairdo, she was a blessing to every predicting spectator.

“There’ll be one or two self-deprecating remarks, a reference to healthcare, taxation, out-of-control spending and a poorly told joke,” my investor companion muttered when the lady walked on to the stage of the Hyatt conference room. All he forgot was the bit about Islamic terror. Alas, she did not fail us. “No recording, no photography, no video tapes, no mobile phones,” they kept shouting over the public address system. And you could see why.

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