Tag Archives: Huffington Post

Vanity Fair Discovers Sarah Palin is Loud and Secretive

Excellent detailed piece on Sarah Palin by journalist Michael Joseph Gross in the October 2010 issue of Vanity Fair


Sarah Palin: The Sound and the Fury

Former Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin speaks at the "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on August 28, 2010.

Even as Sarah Palin’s public voice grows louder, she has become increasingly secretive, walling herself off from old friends and associates, and attempting to enforce silence from those around her. Following the former Alaska governor’s road show, the author delves into the surreal new world Palin now inhabits—a place of fear, anger, and illusion, which has swallowed up the engaging, small-town hockey mom and her family—and the sadness she has left in her wake.

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Tea Party Hysteria Rooted in Racism

Tea Partiers & Birthers continue to claim their movement is not based on racism.

Tea Partiers & Birthers continue to claim their Tea Party movement is not based on racism, dispute all the evidence to the contrary.

I was going to open this piece with an analogy about the tea party groups and why they’re treated seriously by the press and the Republicans. The analogy would go something like: “Imagine [insert left-wing activist group here] getting a serious profile in a mainstream newspaper, and imagine serious Democratic politicians appearing at their convention.”

The problem is, when I really evaluated what the various far-left activist groups are all about and compared them with the tea party movement, there really wasn’t any equivalency. At all.

Because when you strip away all of the rage, all of the nonsensical loud noises and all of the contradictions, all that’s left is race. The tea party is almost entirely about race, and there’s no comparative group on the left that’s similarly motivated by bigotry, ignorance and racial hatred.

I hasten to note that I’m taking about real racism, insofar as it’s impossible for the majority race — the 70 percent white majority — to be on the receiving end of racism. That is unless white males, for example, are suddenly an oppressed racial demographic. But judging by the racial composition of, say, the Senate or AM talk radio or the cast members playing the Obamas on SNL, I don’t think white people have anything to worry about.

This isn’t an epiphany by any stretch. From the beginning, with their witch doctor imagery, watermelon agitprop and Curious George effigies, the wingnut right has been dying to blurt out, as Lee Atwater famously said, “nigger, nigger, nigger!”

But they can’t.

Strike that. Correction. TeaParty.org founder Dale Robertson brandished a sign with the (misspelled) word “niggar.” So they’re not even as restrained as the generally unstrung Atwater anymore.

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Thank You, Glenn Beck!

Van Jones is an environmental advocate, civil rights activist, attorney and author, who served for several months in 2009 as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in the United States before resigning on September 6, 2009 amidst political controversy stirred up by right wing extremist Glenn Beck.

Van Jones is an environmental advocate, civil rights activist, attorney and author, who served for several months in 2009 as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in the United States before resigning on September 6, 2009 amidst political controversy stirred up by right wing extremist Glenn Beck.

Thank you, Glenn Beck. By helping force the resignation of Van Jones, you have done a great service to your country. But in the exact opposite way than what you intended.

Your vile and vicious smear campaign has helped reverse one of the worst examples of miscasting since John Wayne took on the role of Genghis Khan in The Conqueror.

Don’t get me wrong: Van Jones was the best person for the job he just gave up. But the job was not the best use of Van Jones.

Contrary to the media caricature, the real Van Jones is a thoughtful leader who knows how to use words to move people to action. To stick him behind a desk, working out the details of tax credits for green jobs — incredibly important though the job is — was never the best use of his unique and abundant skills.

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Drill, Baby, Drill: Palin Spends Last Days in Office Twittering about Oil

As the seas of controversy – and climate change – rise around her, Sarah Palin spends her time Tweeting about oil and the ANWR.

As the seas of controversy – and climate change – rise around her, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin spends her time Tweeting about oil and the ANWR.

In Sarah Palin’s own mind, she’s a fierce mother bear, acting on a guttural raw instinct to protect and provide for her young – who apparently include not only her own children but all of the “real Americans” out there who share her conservative views. But Palin no longer sees politics as the best way to do this – or so she says. As she leaves office this weekend, her next step remains unclear, but one thing’s for sure: She’s not letting go of her pro-domestic-oil-drilling stance anytime soon.

The embattled soon-to-be-former Governor of Alaska has been implicated in an ethics violation concerning her use of a legal defense fund in the 19th such complaint against her, but she doesn’t appear to be too concerned. Indeed, Palin is spending her last days in office penning half-baked op-eds on climate change legislation and Twittering about the amazing qualities of mother bears, drilling for oil and freedom-related song lyrics.

Palin’s editorial appeared in the July 14th edition of The Washington Post, slamming Obama’s “cap and tax” energy plan without ever mentioning the phrases ‘global warming’, ‘climate change’ or ‘carbon emissions’. The op-ed was eviscerated by climate experts, journalists and Palin’s fellow politicians for being long on oft-repeated falsehoods and short on actual knowledge about climate, with The Huffington Post wondering whether The Washington Post can ever recover from this hit to its reputation.

Congressman Edward Markey, co-author of the energy bill that Palin was attempting to discredit, took to The Daily Beast to clear up a few things in a piece titled “Palin vs. The Planet”. Noting that Palin’s beloved home state is on the front lines of climate change in America, Markey takes the governor to task on her apparent failure to understand what the bill is about.

“The governor does not understand that Waxman-Markey is not a tax bill—as we explicitly rejected the carbon tax option in favor of a smart cap on pollution with price protections for consumers and businesses that will grow our economy and create jobs.

She argues for more drilling as a solution to our energy crisis. But that math doesn’t add up. The United States possesses only three percent of the world’s oil reserves, yet we consume 25 percent of the world’s oil. OPEC, in contrast, controls two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves. Geological reality, not Waxman-Markey, is what is making energy “scarcer and more expensive.”

That is why we need to develop American-made alternatives to our nation’s current foreign dependency. No matter how hard she looks, Gov. Palin is not going to find enough oil in Alaska to feed our country’s insatiable appetite for energy.”

But even as Palin prepares to leave office she continues to talk up a natural gas pipeline in Alaska that may or may not ever be built, as well as the virtues of drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, in strings of semi-connected tweets that sometimes take up to thirty minutes to complete. On July 23rd Palin used her Twitter account to trump one of her final acts as governor – signing a resolution she describes as “pro-ANWR/pro-Alaska/pro-Energy Independence.”

Palin’s scattered, rambling tweets resemble nothing so much as the incoherent ramblings of a certain famous rock widow – which is probably not the effect that one of the nation’s most notorious political figures should be aiming for. Luckily for her, another conservative governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, used Twitter to post a video message in which he talks about the budget crisis while waving around a two-foot knife, making her look a little more balanced.

And what does Palin care, if she truly has no intent to stay in politics? As conservative media figures like Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly have proven, sometimes shrill, fact-challenged rants and incoherent ramblings can translate into big ratings. If the mysterious venture that Palin is about to dive into involves becoming an even bigger conservative celebrity – which seems likely – she’s already primed for stardom.

Stephanie Rogers
Mother Nature Network

Palin Charged Per Diems For Fox News Interview, Phone Call With Elizabeth Dole

On Wednesday, Governor Sarah Palin was informed that she owed income taxes on the per diem reimbursements she racked up while living at her home in Wasilla. The revision of her tax compliance, which came after the governor requested a review, will cost Palin an additional $17,000. It also spurred questions about the Alaska Republican’s accounting practices in general.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Now, the Anchorage Daily News has put online the expense reports that Palin submitted for the last two months in 2008. Tucked in there are some filings that, while perfectly within the realm of officials gubernatorial business, seem either a bit high in cost or curious in purpose.

The Governor, for instance, charged the state of Alaska a $60 per diem expense for an appearance on Fox News on November 9, 2008. A few weeks later, she billed taxpayers another $60 for a “phone call with Sen. Elizabeth Dole.” (Dole had lost her reelection bid weeks earlier). On the 26th of November, Palin again turned in a $60 meal/incidental expense per diem report for “Phone call with Gov. Rendell, interview.”

Here is the November report, and here is the December report.

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Half-Baked in Alaska: Palin’s 11th Hour “Troopergate” Exoneration Was a Lie

Award-winning journalist Geoffrey Dunn, writing for the Huffington Post, examines the unanswered questions left by the differening investigative findings into the Troopergate scandal of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. 

It was surely an odd bit of timing on Monday, November 3–just hours before one of the biggest presidential elections in American history–that the Alaska State Personnel Board issued a finding by its chief investigator, Timothy J. Petumenos, that Republican vice-presidential candidate and Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, did not breach state ethics laws when she fired Alaska public safety commissioner Walt Monegan in July of this year.

This last minute finding appeared to exonerate Palin of any legal culpability in the so-called “Troopergate” scandal that dogged her throughout her ill-fated, two-month run on the Republican ticket. Palin boldly claimed it a “vindication,” while headlines throughout the world declared that she had been “cleared” of any wrongdoing.

That was hardly the case. Composed entirely of political appointees–and all Republican–the Personnel Board was hell-bent on clearing Palin from the get-go. Its findings were neither final nor impartial. And they leave many questions about her behavior, along with that of her husband’s and her staff’s, unanswered.

Perhaps the most significant questions that remain are whether or not Governor Palin and her husband, Todd, committed perjury in their sworn affidavits to the personnel board.

There is significant circumstantial evidence that they did.

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Palin Shocker: McCain Won’t Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Coal burning smokestacks emitting pollution

Coal burning smokestacks emitting pollution

Given Senator John McCain’s past Senate voting record AGAINST clean energy, it should come as no surprise to anyone that if he and Republican vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin are elected on November 4th, a McCain-Palin administration does not plan to regulate greenhouse emissions in an effort to reduce global warming.

Voters who care about either global warming or clean energy have only one choice — and it isn’t McCain-Palin.

It’s time to stop trying to guess whether the latest McCain campaign gaffe revision on global warming means the Arizonan has walked away from his previous support for mandatory government control of greenhouse gases. He has.

That should have been clear from McCain’s repeated rejection of the word “mandatory” to describe his program, his choice of a global warming denier for vice president, and his failure to even mention global warming during his acceptance speech. Most recently, his chief economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said on Sunday that McCain does not agree with the Supreme Court decision that labels carbon dioxide a pollutant and requiring EPA to regulate it. He labels Obama’s decision to obey the Supreme Court decision “a draconian regulatory approach.”

Now the McCain campaign has decided to eliminate the ambiguity entirely in the desperate and erratic final days of his campaign. In her big greenwashing energy speech at an Ohio solar energy company, Palin was as blunt as possible in her prepared (and delivered) remarks:

And we will control greenhouse gas emissions by giving American businesses new incentives and new rewards to seek, instead of just giving them new taxes to pay and new orders that they must follow — “so says government”.

GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin delivers energy policy speech

GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin delivers energy policy speech

The final three words were ones she added, but the prepared text alone leaves no room for doubt. A McCain-Palin administration will not be issuing new orders that businesses must follow to control greenhouse gas emissions. It will use a voluntary or incentive-based approach, one that has never worked in any country to restrain emissions growth.

McCain and his campaign have made a concerted effort to reassure conservatives he’s not going to take strong action on climate, while hoping that moderates would be fooled just like some Bush voters were in 2000 ignore all this talk, which itself is a core campaign strategy of doubletalk (see “Memo to media: McCain doubletalks to woo conservatives and independents at the same time“).

The Palin speech was the last piece of the puzzle. For one last time, let’s consider the increasingly sorry history of the McCain campaign on climate and clean energy:

Remember, it was Bush’s Vice President, Dick Cheney, who called Bush’s promised to regulate utility carbon emissions “a mistake” in March 2001, and Cheney is probably the main reason Bush walked away from his commitment.

So perhaps we should start listening to McCain’s VP choice, as well as McCain himself, and all of his advisers, on climate and clean energy issues.

If you care about global warming, the gravest preventable threat to the health and well-being of all Americans, and if you care about clean energy, the greatest potential source of new jobs and new industries in the coming decades, then you must vote Obama-Biden.

Palin Shocker: McCain Won’t Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions