Transparency Hypocrisy: Assange Outraged That His Police Files Leaked

Dec 21 2010 Published by under Featured News

Transparency Hero Julian Assange

Leaks leaks everywhere a leak. A condom leak, cable leaks, police file leaks, Expressen leaks. One of these things has been justified as transparency, the rest have been dismissed as revenge.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has a problem. Well, he has many problems but right now we’re focused on the matter of his value system. Mr Assange claims to stand for transparency, which is a noble mission, and under the guise of said transparency did last month release hundreds of secret diplomatic cables. Mr Assange was then hailed as a hero by the Left and a villain by the Right, with some crossover as high-ranking Democratic officials labeled Mr Assange a terrorist.

Then came the leak by the Swedish newspaper Expressen of two women’s reports to the police alleging that Mr Assange had had unprotected sex with them both and refused to take an AIDS test. This leak was denounced as being part of an agenda to destroy him for the cable dumps. So this leak was not OK.

Mr Assange was subsequently charged with rape of two women by Swedish officials for what was deemed “sex by surprise” or having sex with a broken condom or no condom when use of a condom had the condition of the women’s consent. Since then, the Left and Right came together to denounce these women and these charges as set-ups, mocking the women, and engaging in what can be deemed internet harassment by leaking their names and personal information which are supposed to be protected and private in rape cases.

In acts of blatant misogyny and hypocrisy, the women were called “honeypots” for the CIA and worse. This kind of simplistic thinking leaves no room for thoughtful realization that a person can be both a political hero and a rapist. Power often begets abuse of power.

But no one called foul on that leak. It seems the rights of these women were to be disregarded and dismissed as the public tried them and found them guilty of being revenge-seeking men haters. My, that’s new. I’m bowled over by the progressive nature of such attacks.

Naturally, I’m compelled to rejoice in the consistency of the liberal agenda which allows patriarchal fables to dominate its thinking while claiming superiority over the patriarchs running the world. White men coming after other white men and throwing women in the garbage who get in the way of their agenda because they’re the good guys. See, you’re supposed to just believe these guys when they tell you these women are evil. No need for leaks or facts here because there’s a cause at stake. Who cares if a few women get raped or not raped or humiliated and shamed internationally before the facts are even out. These are the same people who denounce our role in Afghanistan in part due to the horrific rapes of women there. So, are we pro-rape or anti-rape? Or is it that we get to decide who is a rapist and who isn’t based upon whether or not we agree with other things they’re doing?

Stop me when this blows your mind.

Then came the leak of Mr Assange’s police files by the Guardian UK, which provided proof of more damning evidence against him, wherein it’s alleged that he held one woman down in order to have sex with her and had sex with the other while she was sleeping. In both cases, the matter is complicated by previous sexual consent or consent predicated upon the use of a condom.

UK Press reports that the charges consist of:

“Gemma Lindfield, for the Swedish authorities, told the court Assange was wanted in connection with four allegations. She said the first complainant, Miss A, said she was victim of “unlawful coercion” on the night of August 14 in Stockholm.
The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.
The second charge alleged Assange “sexually molested” Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her “express wish” one should be used.
The third charge claimed Assange “deliberately molested” Miss A on August 18 “in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity”. The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on August 17 without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.”

And on December 18, 2010 the New York Times reported:

“But the details in the police report and dozens of interviews in recent months with people in Sweden linked to the case suggest that the Swedish case could be less flawed than Mr. Assange’s supporters have claimed.”

And then today, on Yahoo:

“Assange said the leak of the Swedish police report “was clearly designed to undermine my bail application.” He added: “Someone in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison.”

(Guardian investigations editor) Leigh defended (Guardian reporter Nick) Davies on Twitter Monday night, suggesting that The Guardian reporter actually kept out specific details from the police report while publishing what was deemed necessary for the story. That runs counter to Assange’s view that The Guardian treated him unfairly in how the paper covered the allegations.

“Nick left out a lot of graphic and damaging material in the allegations because he thought it would be too cruel to publish them,” Leigh said by phone.”

But this leak was denounced as part of an agenda and revenge seeking. Mr Assange accuses the Guardian UK of “selectively publishing” the facts. Where is the value of transparency now? How can Mr Assange decry the release of his police files and yet justify his release of hundreds of diplomatic cables? Mr Assange claims that the police files do not contain all of the facts. That is most likely true, but those facts will be presented in a court of law and ruled upon hopefully based on their merit. But is he suggesting that the cables he leaked tell the entire story? Did he release every single cable, the back-story and the motives of the authors or did he simply release the cables he was given and let the public decide for themselves?

The same argument that Mr Assange is using against his accusers (both of whom a friend of Mr Assange claims did not want to go to the police, they simply wanted him to take an AIDS test but he refused and then when he finally consented, the clinic was closed and the women went to the police) can be used against him. Mr Assange called for the resignation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton right after the cable dumps. This could be seen as him having an agenda and using the cable dumps to accomplish it. This can also be dismissed as revenge against the US foreign policy or even a further attack on women if I can be given the same free rein as supporters of Mr Assange give attacks against his accusers. No, I’m not really making that argument, but it serves to demonstrate the outlandish belief that we can assign intent to people we don’t know before we even have the facts.

The fact is that we do NOT know the truth here. What we do know is that Mr Assange has performed a valuable service in the name of transparency but now seems to be anti-transparency when it’s his own reputation on the line.

We do know that the line of defense Mr Assange and his supporters are using against these women is nothing new. Their pictures have been leaked and they’ve been referred to as honeypots – the evil Eve seductresses out to get a good man. This tired, misogynistic and patriarchal attitude does nothing to discredit the allegations in my mind – if anything, hearing Mr Assange make these accusations makes me wonder more about his attitudes toward women.

We do know that we don’t have all of the facts here, and wise people would wait until we did before ruining the lives of two women or Mr Assange. But so eager are we to defend the Transparency Hero that we denounce the humanitarian’s approach to women’s rights and we justify, dismiss and discredit rather serious charges. We are so eager to defend this man that we throw these women under the bus, make jokes about “sex by surprise” and still somehow manage to call ourselves liberals.

Rape is not an uncommon event. Rape among people who know each other is even more common. This fact makes rape a complicated, messy charge and very difficult to prove. Does that mean it didn’t happen?

There are women that you know right now who are interacting with someone who raped them and acting like nothing happened. It’s called conditioning. Part of the reason rape is so under-reported is because women see other women like Mr Assange’s accusers being put through character assassination slaughter and they think better of going public. Many women say that reporting a rape is like being raped all over again. No one likes a whistle-blower, and isn’t that what a woman who has the courage to stand up to rape – especially by someone she knows – is? She’s blowing the whistle on a patriarchal belief system that her body doesn’t belong to her.

Having sex with someone without a condom when they require a condom is not OK. Painting these women out as sexy, agenda-driven Machiavellian spies is akin to putting black face on them. I’ll not denounce Mr Assange as a rapist because that would be incredibly unfair. That is for the court’s to decide. But the Left’s automatic defense of Mr Assange and resulting crucifixion of these women is a betrayal of our value system, a betrayal of women’s rights, and indicative of a childish mindset that can only conceive of people in black and white.

Statistically, you know several rapists and a few child molesters. You don’t know who they are, but you know them and they often do lots of great things for their community. They are often very powerful men. They often employ a lot of people. None of those facts exonerates them from abusing their power and treating a woman’s body like a depository for their need to exert their power and dominance.

It is not outside the realm of possibility that these charges are real. If you read the statements by the police and by Mr Assange’s own colleagues and friends, it’s difficult to dismiss them as a joke. It’s hard to take anyone seriously who automatically plays defense with something this serious while championing Mr Assange for his role in transparency and then denouncing the leaks of the reports against Mr Assange. If you’re going to have a value system you want taken seriously, it had best be consistent. In that regard, this debacle has been an utter fail on the part of many liberals and most certainly a failure in Mr Assange’s asserted value system of transparency.

Updated: Dec 21 10:35 PM with Yahoo Cutline quote

41 responses so far

Busted! Sarah Palin Exposed as a Teleprompter Using Fraud

Dec 20 2010 Published by under Featured News, Republican Party

Sarah Palin and Her Teleprompter

Sometimes our life experiences come in handy. This is one of those times.

Who can forget Ms Palin’s endless mocking of President Obama for using a teleprompter and her cutesy way of referring to her hand notes (her three ideas for America were apparently hard enough to recall that they had to be written down for her) as the “poor man’s teleprompter”. And on every forum where some brave fool dares to write about Palin in a less than salivating manner, regardless of the actual issue at hand, a Palin fan comes to mock teleprompters.

At a Tea Party speech, Ms Palin mocked the President by saying, “This is about the people, and it’s bigger than any one king or queen of a Tea Party, and it’s a lot bigger than any charismatic guy with a teleprompter.” You must fill in the requisite sneer for full effect. The implication is that the President is a moron for using a teleprompter. This is made clear by the Right’s gleeful picking up of this meme and running with it at every turn, especially when they have nothing relevant over which to criticize the President.

Before we get any further into this story, I need to preface it by referring to my own work experience in film and TV. Some of that experience was behind an anchor’s desk, so I share Obama’s great sin in having used a teleprompter though I don’t recall turning into a Commie directly after it. Perhaps it’s too soon to tell.

So anyway, last week while watching “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”, I could have sworn I saw a teleprompter on her home studio camera, but I didn’t care enough to do a screen grab. After all, there are so many lies to deconstruct and so little time. But then last night, as I was watching the latest episode (which I must confess is now a fun distraction from her tweets), she was showing us her studio in the house she built next door to her home on Lake Lucille. Sarah and Todd were making a show of how it was just the two of them putting on her little show. And while she made cute and Todd told her her hair was above his pay grade, I saw the evil socialist machine staring me down, clear as day. So clear that I could read the logo. Yes, a teleprompter.

Close up of Sarah Palin's teleprompter

Who makes Ms Palin’s teleprompter? Autoscript. The number one selling teleprompter. The gold standard in teleprompters. The elite, if you will, of teleprompters. The farthest cry from the “poor man’s teleprompter” as you can get. You know, the one that the evil lame stream media use at no less than NBC studios:

“Autoscript is currently facilitating NBC with studio and portable on-camera teleprompter systems with high-bright LED backlit monitors, as well as WinPlus-NX news-prompter software, during the network’s coverage of the Vancouver Winter Games….

Autoscript also designs all of the different software packages that drive its teleprompter systems. Autoscript teleprompting software features multi-tasking functions, including the ability to simultaneously prompt and edit, run multiple scripts, change the run-order, mix fonts, and change the font size. Autoscript’s WinPlus-NX news-prompter software provides seamless integration to all major newsroom-computer systems.

WinPlus NX software can operate in a number of modes, depending on the design of the newsroom-computer system it’s being used with. Autoscript’s software also works with a variety of control devices, enabling prompter operators to control the system using a desktop control, foot control, wireless hand control, or Autoscript’s unique Voice-Plus voice-activated software to pace the script. WinPlus NX software can also send the prompted text to a Closed Caption encoder.”

Now what in heaven’s name can a paid contributor who is only on the air for a scant few minutes and who’s been given the questions in advance need a teleprompter for? Yes, Ms Palin requires that all questions be given in advance. And of course, the teleprompter kinda gives that away because it would be impossible to load it up with a script if Ms Palin didn’t know what she was going to be asked in advance. Um, well, here’s what happens when Sarah Palin doesn’t have a teleprompter. Notice how she can’t remember her three ideas for America so she has to check her hand:

And her hands reads: “Energy, Budget Tax Cuts, Lift American spirits.”

Or perhaps because one is attempting to avoid another embarrassing moment like the Couric interview or the Gibson interview, during which Ms Palin froze and the flop sweat broke out on her upper lip as she stammered for a non-answer. A teleprompter covers the sputtering non-answer and allows Ms Palin to converse about topics she knows little about.

Palin flop sweat:

And for those who don’t know, when using a teleprompter there are all kinds of neat tricks to help the talent: you can have the names of Iraqi officials phonetically spelled out, you can have smiley faces put in when you’re supposed to be happy, you can have text bolded to place emphasis on it. In fact, there are so many tricks that you can almost read the script for the first time on the air if you choose. If you’re good at it, that is. Although most professionals will at least do a cursory glance to get the flow of the piece before taking to the air and those with a work ethic will want to understand the topics they’re speaking to their audience about.

This might be a good time to take a walk down memory lane to the 2008 RNC convention.

US News & World Report reported:

“ST. PAUL—Interesting bit of myth-making, mistaken reporting or both. Did Sarah Palin’s TelePrompTer malfunction? A very little bit, but not much.

RedState is reporting that Sarah Palin’s TelePrompTer broke last night, scrolling “significantly from where Governor Palin was in the speech.” Politico’s Jonathan Martin disputes the report. “Perhaps there were moments where it scrolled slightly past her exact point in the speech,” Martin writes. “But I was sitting in the press section next to the stage, within easy eyeshot of the Teleprompter. I frequently looked up at the machine, and there was no serious malfunction. A top convention planner confirms this morning that there were no major problems.””

Myth making indeed. That is a talent Ms Palin has developed to a finely honed skill. Like the myth that little poor Ms Palin, the hockey mama, doesn’t use a teleprompter. She’s too “real” for that.

As for the RNC teleprompter myth, little hiccups are normal — especially because on the older systems, whoever is running prompter had to anticipate the speaker’s rhythm, so if the speaker changes or pauses, the prompter operator might need a second or two to catch up or slow down. I’ve also been responsible for running a teleprompter; and I can attest that things don’t always go smoothly. Software can malfunction or the computer can just pause for a second. But of course this happens to everyone who uses it, not just Ms Palin – and so far, no one else has been hailed as a mythical warrior for managing to ride it out.

This is one reason why it helps if the person is somewhat familiar with their script, and why it helps if the person can talk freely about the subject at hand. The teleprompter can help a speaker who’s under a lot of pressure remember words, key phrases, and jog their memory or it can be used as a complete crutch when you don’t know your script. It’s simply a tool, and a ridiculous criticism to hurl at someone. Only people who aren’t in the business would even buy this as a criticism. But of course, that’s Ms Palin’s audience.

Not only does this put a wee dent in Ms Palin’s constant mocking of Obama for using a teleprompter, but it should also be noted that the myth she sold on her show of just she and Todd doing her little show is simply not possible. Here’s the deal (and probably one reason why she didn’t want Joe McGinness to see over that fence): It takes at least three professionals to run the small set-up they have: A camera operator (who will also adjust lights even if the lights are pre-set as they are in most studios), a prompter op, and someone in the control room (like a producer) to watch the monitors for problems, monitor the sound, and make sure the talent doesn’t go off script.

And this doesn’t cover the professional make up artist and hair stylist, or the wardrobe stylist. Or the production assistants. And it is very obvious that Palin is getting her hair and make up done, at the very least. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s simply another thing she’s not being authentic about. Even the ex First Dude can’t do all of those jobs simultaneously, assuming he could magically learn all there is to learn about running a camera and loading the prompter and getting it to flow with the speech patterns of the speaker (lord help whoever is running hers).

Frankly I couldn’t care less if she uses a teleprompter. It’s a good tool for on air talent and politicians and there’s nothing wrong with it. What I have a problem with is that once again, Ms Palin is selling a myth that simply isn’t true and in the process she mercilessly mocks a good man, who has every reason to use a teleprompter because he’s a bit too busy running the country to memorize speeches, although I deeply suspect he spends more actual time writing and editing his speeches than does Palin. And goodness knows, Palin has free time on her hands now since she quit her job as governor to pursue her TV career.

The unveiling of this lie goes to the content of her character. And once again, Ms Palin flops when it comes to accuracy, integrity and honesty.

169 responses so far

Joe Scarborough Squeals Over Trickle-Down Con Man Chris Christie

Dec 20 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party

Chris Christie the reverse Robinhood

Joe Scarborough has a man-crush on Chris Christie. And who can blame him?

“The day of reckoning is here!” Announces New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in a theatrical voice dripping with doom. Joe Scarborough loves him for it, squealing that Chris Christie makes him feel like a 14 year old girl at a Beatles concert. Ah, Republicans. You gotta love them. Against gay rights but very pro man crushes especially for the dooms-dayers because nothing spells GOP recovery like a suffering American economy. And nothing says desperate party like pushing Chris Christie as the next great white hope.

Today on “Morning Joe”, Scarborough jumped the Chris Matthews “Thrill up my leg” shark when reacting to a clip of Republican Governor Chris Christie dramatically suggesting that the day of reckoning was here, that he had no more money, that no one has any more money and that they just can’t spend anymore. Joe “loves this guy” because he’s the only guy “telling the truth”. And sure when you listen to Chris Christie he sounds reasonable. He’s saying we spent too much. We sure did. Notice I said when you listen to him, because if you look under the hood, things are not rosy for the middle class under Christie. But one wonders if Joe Scarborough doesn’t “love this guy” because Chris Christie is the Alan Grayson of the Right and Joe is desperate to find a Presidential candidate for Republicans who isn’t crazy and/or boring?

Watch Joe squeak words of love about Chris Christie courtesy of Media Matters:

See, Christie is busy making a national name for himself as a true “fiscal conservative,” which in modern day Republican parlance means keeping taxes on the rich very, very low and saying you’re going to fix the budget problem with spending cuts. But as we all know, sayin’ ain’t doin’.

What Joe doesn’t tell you is the cost of Christie’s playing fiscal conservative while making a show of refusing to raise tax rates. Because it turns out some people in his state will have their taxes raised. Guess who? Think really hard now. Who do the Republicans represent and what do they care about? That’s right, at this delicate time in our economy, we can’t have the rich paying taxes or businesses paying taxes, but you know who can pay for this fiscal conservative show? The working poor, homeowners, university students, and the state pension fund because nothing says Republican like hitting the working poor, struggling homeowners, education, and of course pension funds. reports:

“A close look at the $28.3 billion budget Christie signed to much fanfare in June, however, finds a more complicated storyline than the one the governor and his acolytes have articulated since Christie took office in January.

Some of Christie’s budget fixes look a lot like tax hikes to the people on the receiving end of them. They include the working poor who will pay higher income taxes due to reductions in the state earned-income tax credit; homeowners who didn’t get their customary rebates on property taxes this year; transit riders who are paying substantially higher fares; and university students who must pay higher tuition. And although Christie promised in March to “not shove today’s problems under the rug only to be discovered again tomorrow,” his plan leaned heavily on the familiar Trenton budget trick of skipping a required payment to the state’s pension fund, which is already $48 billion underfunded.

What’s more, some of Christie’s spending reductions aren’t as clear-cut as they might seem. As Stateline reported last week, Christie’s budget assumes tens of millions of dollars in savings from privatization that has yet to occur.
The budget cuts he has ordered for municipalities and school districts have muddied the waters further. Many local jurisdictions, faced with the sudden evaporation of state aid that propped up their own budgets, say they will raise property taxes in response. Christie’s budget cuts to municipalities amount to “de facto tax increases,” says Sharon Schulman, executive director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton College.”

Does this surprise anyone? His plans are no different than what the Republicans have been doing for years now – refusing to pay for things by increasing our main source of revenue. This is the equivalent of suggesting that instead of getting a job, people should stop buying things like food. But this failed strategy allows the Republicans to kill every social safety net necessity they can get their grubby hands on which is a win win in the long term for them, because the more people suffer the less engaged they are in politics and the less education they have the more likely they are to vote Republican.

And the best part is that while robbing the public, they win the war of perception. After all, it takes years to see the effect of such approaches and the public is much too misinformed to understand why they are less well off than before. I imagine Fox News will find a way to blame the central government for the inevitable property tax hikes resulting from Christie’s showy budget slashing. It should be noted that Christie did not keep taxes low. He kept them low for the rich. The working will have a tax increase under Christie.

But aside from the fiscal shell games these boys play, we mustn’t forget that this scenario of doomsday is something the Republicans are working very hard to maintain for Americans. After all, if the economy recovers the GOP won’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of taking 2012 and at the rate they’re going according to recent polls, they’ll lose the House too. Yes, contrary to what the Republicans tell Americans they want, Americans actually tell us in polls that they didn’t want the rich to continue to get the lowest tax rates in history.

Americans thought it might be nice if the rich paid their share and helped get us out of this mess that the Republicans and their wealthy corporate friends got us into by playing fast and loose with regulation and then coming crying to us for a bailout when their big spending ways and borrowing didn’t work out so well. But boys like Christie want the working poor to foot this bill too. After all, if we’re going to climb outta this mess someone has to pay and it can’t be the “job creators”! I mean, look where that trickle down theory got us. Why not beat our head into that brick wall a bit longer, just to make sure it really did fail.

Joe obviously sees in Christie a man who can sell this crap and come off like a populist but not an embarrassment like Palin because poor Joe is so desperate to take back his party from the nutjobs who’ve hi-jacked it that he has obviously decided to use his show to push any relatively reasonable (I say relatively because if you compare Chris Christie with Sarah Palin, well, he looks reasonable) Republican he can. But what Joe isn’t saying is that Christie has only been in office for a year. A year into Palin’s term, she was the state’s most popular governor. She quit two and a half years into her term when she couldn’t cope with the mess she’d made and the fame that came a-callin’ looked like it would be so much more fun.

“As Christie’s budget cuts force tax hikes at the local level and many residents begin to recognize that they are paying more for less state government, Christie’s next three years in office could be more challenging than the first.” Maybe Scarborough is hoping that if Chritie pulls a Palin and runs for President just two years into his term, the full effects of his huge budget slashes and tax hikes on the middle class will remain hidden and allow Christie to run a populist campaign of fiscal conservatism that appeals to the very rich corporate donors he’ll be needing.

Gee, I feel like a 14 year old girl at a Beatles concert who just got told that as a result of “spending being out of control” (translation, the Republicans don’t want their corporate multi-millionaire friends to have to pay taxes) my school just got hit with a 64% reduction in aid, my parents can no longer afford their home, I can’t afford to go to college and by the way, that pension is gone. Chris Christie is the conservative reverse Robinhood, stealing from the middle class to subsidize the rich.

Sure the day of reckoning is here. But for whom, that’s the question.

5 responses so far

On GMA, Sarah Palin Hints at Her Plan to Transform America

Dec 17 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party

Constitution? What constitution?

Ms Palin has spent years avoiding the “lame stream media” (ironically of which she is a part), but recently she’s started spreading her wings, albeit to softball media such as her appearance this morning on “Good Morning America”. During her interview with GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts, Ms Palin responded to criticisms regarding her rather dismal current poll numbers were she to run against President Obama in 2012. Ms Palin’s response put to bed notions that she isn’t running as she extolled the virtues of “debating ideas” in competitive primaries.

Anyone who is in doubt about Ms Palin running for President had best grab the smelling salts. She is and it’s uncertain if the GOP can stop her without alienating her Tea Party evangelical base.

Here’s a clip from the interview:

From ABC’s website: When asked about her plans for 2010, Ms Palin replied, “It’s a prayerful consideration because, obviously, the sacrifices that have to be made in order to put yourself forward in the name of public service is, it’s brutal.”

If Ms Palin were taking an interview with a hard-hitting news journalist, she might have been asked at this point about her decision to quit on her vow to Alaskans to serve them as a public servant for four years and if perhaps she just hadn’t prayed enough before taking that job, since she quit claiming that she was being brutalized with ethics complaints by citizens — the majority of whom were Republicans, contrary to her claims.

While Ms Palin’s references to prayer may not seem odd in this country, if we take a look under the hood there are causes for alarm. Ms Palin is a Dominionist Christian, a sect whose goal is to transform America into a theocratic state resembling fascism in many ways. Ms Palin has made numerous references to her belief that the constitution is based upon the bible and that our laws are also based on the bible. She seems to still be laboring under this misinformation, perhaps because it is her belief and no fact will alter her belief. This should set that alarm bell a clankin’.

Furthermore, while running for mayor of Wasilla, Ms Palin’s Dominionist leanings opened the door further to her fruitful relationship with the Alaskan Independence Party, a secessionist movement, which originated during her tenure on the City Council. The AIP worked on her behalf to get her elected.

Salon reported:

“Chryson boasted that he and his allies urged Palin to focus her campaign on slashing character-based attacks. For instance, Chryson advised Palin to paint Stein as a sexist who had told her “to just sit there and look pretty” while she served on Wasilla’s City Council. Though Palin never made this accusation, her 1996 campaign for mayor was the most negative Wasilla residents had ever witnessed.

While Palin played up her total opposition to the sales tax and gun control — the two hobgoblins of the AIP — mailers spread throughout the town portraying her as “the Christian candidate,” a subtle suggestion that Stein, who is Lutheran, might be Jewish.”

(John Stein, her mayoral opponent, claimed,) “This same group [Stoll and Chryson] also [publicly] challenged me on whether my wife and I were married because she had kept her maiden name,” Stein bitterly recalled. “So we literally had to produce a marriage certificate. And as I recall, they said, ‘Well, you could have forged that.'””

Gosh that sounds like familiar campaigning tactics from the woman who has suggested that it is reasonable to ask for President Obama’s birth certificate, even though said birth certificate has been available online and has been verified by authorities on numerous occasions. It’s hard to sell this kind of campaigning as anything other than appealing to the worst in people, and ginning up hate and division based upon religion, ethnicity, and any other charge of doubt Ms Palin can lob at her stunned opponents.

This was just the beginning of Ms Palin’s tight relationship with the AIP, whose sole purpose is for Alaska to secede from the union. The AIP also has ties with the theocratic US Constitution Party. The Constitution Party has adopted the ideas of a militant form of Christian Dominionism known as Dominion Theology. The Constitution Party platform reads, “It is our goal to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions and to restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations.”

In 2008, Chip Berlet, co-author of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort (Guilford, 2000) wrote:

“The AIP has placed the candidate of the U.S. Constitution Party on the Presidential ballot in Alaska in the 2008 race. Let’s be clear, the U.S. Constitution Party would impose a form of theocratic neofascism in the United States. And I am not a person who tosses the term fascism around lightly.”

The AIP called Ms Palin an example of their successful infiltration into the Republican Party. In 2006, Dexter Clark, vice chairman of the Alaska Independence party, said:

“Our current Governor, the one we were hoping would get elected, did get elected…There’s a lot of talk of her moving up. She was an AIP member before she got the job as a mayor of a small town — that was a non-partisan job. But you get along to go along — she eventually joined the Republican Party, where she had all kinds of problems with their ethics, and well, I won’t go into that. She also had about an 80% approval rating, and is pretty well sympathetic to her former membership.”

It should be noted that unlike her husband Todd Palin, Ms Palin was never registered as an AIP member according to Alaskan voter registration records. However, Dexter Clark’s claims of Palin being a successful infiltrator of the Republican Party bears some credence due to the open door policy Ms Palin had for leaders of the AIP while mayor and governor, going so far as attempting to appoint a member of the AIP to a city position while mayor, only to be shot down. Ms Palin also made changes to the state constitution that coincidentally fulfilled part of the AIP agenda.

Salon reported:

“During the 1990s, when Chryson directed the AIP, he and another radical right-winger, Steve Stoll, played a quiet but pivotal role in electing Palin as mayor of Wasilla and shaping her political agenda afterward. Both Stoll and Chryson not only contributed to Palin’s campaign financially, they played major behind-the-scenes roles in the Palin camp before, during and after her victory.

Palin backed Chryson as he successfully advanced a host of anti-tax, pro-gun initiatives, including one that altered the state Constitution’s language to better facilitate the formation of anti-government militias. She joined in their vendetta against several local officials they disliked, and listened to their advice about hiring. She attempted to name Stoll, a John Birch Society activist known in the Mat-Su Valley as “Black Helicopter Steve,” to an empty Wasilla City Council seat. “Every time I showed up her door was open,” said Chryson. “And that policy continued when she became governor.””

Indeed, one of the many ethics complaints filed against Ms Palin related to her refusal to live in the Governor’s mansion and yet still charging the Alaskan citizens a per diem for food and expenses while living in her home in Wasilla and commuting to the state Legislature in Juneau (or not: buttons reading “Where’s Sarah?” began popping up around this time, reflecting her consistent pattern of not being around in Juneau). While Ms Palin claimed that she wanted to be near her family (whom usually move to the governor’s mansion with the governor), Palin did endorse and may have been implementing Chryson’s initiative to move the state Legislature from Juneau to Wasilla. At any rate, their initiative was unsuccessful.

The AIP also has numerous ties with the KKK, white supremacist groups classified as hate groups, and militia movements across the country. They are closely aligned with evangelical Dominionists as well, such as Christian Exodus, which advocates creating an all white homeland. Chryson also wrongly claimed that the Civil War was not about slavery but about states’ rights. Chryson was known to accuse Democratic leaders (such as Ms Palin’s mayoral opponent) of being “socialists” over issues of public education and city planning. That’s not just Right, it’s far, far fringy Right.

When Ms Palin was running for Governor of Alaska, not only did she appoint previous AIP member and then Republican Walter Hickel as her campaign co-chair, but also her church flew in a witch doctor from Kenya to bless her. For these reasons, when Ms Palin refers to prayer, it raises questions that Americans need answered if indeed she’s running for President. In fact, even were Ms Palin to bow out of the 2012 elections, her determination throw gasoline on any political match she sniffs should be reason enough for the main stream media to begin asking some important questions about Ms Palin’s agenda, her associations, her church, and her disconcerting and inaccurate beliefs about America and the Constitution.

However, it doesn’t appear America will be spared a Palin candidacy. When asked about her poor poll numbers, Ms Palin came out punching like a 2012 candidate. “A poll number like that, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, that doesn’t look really pretty today,’ but a primary is months and months in the process, and there are thankfully many debates,” she said. “And if I were to participate in that contested primary — you know, it — I would be in it to win it.”

It would be most interesting to see Ms Palin debate any of the other Republican candidates. Ms Palin has always held the notion that getting elected is a popularity contest rather than a knowledge contest and she was proven correct in this assessment in Alaska. She also successfully implemented (with the help of the John Birch Society and the AIP) campaigns of such vicious negativity and misinformation that her opponents were often left stunned as she cheerily gave non-answers in debates and yet sailed right past them to get elected.

Fox News will be handling several of the primary debates for the Republicans, which may assist elevating Ms Palin’s brand of populism and create a disadvantage for her opponents, none of whom enjoy the same level of star treatment Ms Palin does on Fox News.

Ms Palin then went on to accuse President Obama of wanting to fundamentally change America. Phrases like this are thinly veiled jabs at his patriotism, his religion, and imply that his ideology is something un-American, meant to provoke doubt and fear about the man, much like Ms Palin did to her mayoral opponent in Wasilla.

Ms Palin’s unwillingness to be honest about her own record and her unfailing attempts to smear her opponents with baseless accusations of their being somehow less Christian and less American than she only serve to prove that she can’t win on ideas or her record. It also proves that she does not appreciate that the Founders most decidedly rejected the notion of a religious test for office, thereby casting further doubt onto Ms Palin’s version of America.

Does Ms Palin plan on transforming America like she did Wasilla and then Alaska? Will the AIP have an open door to a Palin White House? Will fringe hate groups like Christian Exodus have access to Ms Palin or will she denounce these groups and explain her associations to nervous melting pot Americans who most certainly don’t share the group’s vision of an all white Christian nation.

If that isn’t enough, Ms Palin’s reign of terror in Alaska should give pause to anyone who values their freedom. Ms Palin quite literally ran Wasilla like a dictator, cutting off the press and ordering her staff not to speak to press as she proceeded to fire beloved city employees claiming she doubted their loyalty to her. This continued as Governor, as the Palins terrorized Alaskan citizens who disagreed with them and went to incredible lengths to punish them, using the power of Ms Palin’s office to do so on many occasions, through appointments, firings, and governmental harassment.

One such victim was the trooper in Troopergate (contrary to Ms Palin’s claims, she was found guilty of abusing the power of her office in the bi-partisan report which predated the inquiry she ordered helmed by her appointees) who refused to help the Palins continue their vendetta against Ms Palin’s ex-brother-in-law — a vendetta that had years before been labeled as “child abuse” by a judge who ordered Ms Palin to cease and desist her harassment of the children’s father. Another example lay in the AIP’s claims that she fired someone they had a long standing grievance with, boasting about how this payback only cost them a thousand dollars in campaign donations. Another victim down.

Is this the America Ms Palin sees; an all white Christian country over which she reigns with absolute authority, authorized by none less than God himself?

When Ms Palin accuses President Obama of wanting to “fundamentally transform America” (one assumes she means implement liberal ideology which is not actually a transformation but a continuation of a very American liberal agenda), reasonable people must ask themselves if she’s projecting. And then they must take stock of what a Palin-transformed America would look like. The dingy hockey mom populist America is being sold on is not the real Sarah Palin. Ms Palin isn’t stupid; she’s been indoctrinated to a very extremist Right wing view of America.

While many dismiss Ms Palin as being un-serious, I do not. Ms Palin is deadly serious about amassing power. The real question is, to what end?

Updated: Corrected bumper stickers to buttons 3:54 PM

54 responses so far

Joe Scarborough Blasts Republicans For Throwing Baby Jesus Under the Bus

Joe Scarborough Comes Out Guns A Blazin' After Republican Obstructionists

Joe Scarborough and his entire panel in this morning’s “Morning Joe” came out shooting as they blasted Senate Republicans for using the baby Jesus for political posturing. Senate Republicans are disingenuously using Christmas as a reason not to work in the weeks leading up to the holiday, and Joe’s entire panel was outraged by the hypocrisy and the obvious failure to appreciate that our troops are working over the holiday, as are many average Americans. The entire panel agreed that “these (Republicans) are not serious people”, but Joe was particularly offended by Senator Kyl suggesting that Senator Reid wasn’t a Christian because he wanted to work close to Christmas, which caused Joe to point out that when the Republicans were trying to impeach President Clinton on December 19, 1998 they weren’t so worried about Baby Jesus.

Here is the video from MSNBC:

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Scarborough said, “It’s offensive that people would use Christianity for political leverage with an argument that is so baseless. I gotta say my breath is taken away. For so many reasons, do we want to start with the obvious one about who else is not going to be home on Christmas Day…troops in Afghanistan. Are they disrespecting a holiday by continuing to vote to keep them in Afghanistan? I don’t know. Mike Barnicle, there are a lot of working class people that i guess the Senator doesn’t know, the senators don’t know that work late into Christmas Eve, wake up still a few hours with their children and go back to work on Christmas Day. Are their employers disrespecting Christmas. Does Jesus not live in Washington, D.C.? Can they not worship Jesus in Washington, D.C.? To be sanctimonious and to use that is just — it is offensive. The Republican Party has the upper hand in so many ways. In these areas they need to shut their mouth. They’re embarrassing themselves.”

Mike Barnicle added, “We’ve been saying the same thing on several occasions with regard to issues like this and rhetoric like this, these are not serious people. They’re not serious people. I don’t know whether Senator Kyl and Senator DeMint either inject themselves with Novocain in the cheeks or soak their faces in cement. How I don’t can say that without bursting into laughter, it’s so absurd. It’s so offensive; I don’t know how they do it.”

But the coup d’ grace came as Joe pulled out the trump card: Republicans tried to impeach President Clinton over the Christmas holiday. I guess the lame duck session wasn’t so lame then, eh? Christmas wasn’t so sacred as to prevent them from working when they had an agenda they wanted passed.

Scarborough accused Senate Republicans of throwing baby Jesus under the bus, “To be self-righteous. Do we want to go through bible verses? But questioning Harry Reid’s Christianity suggesting he’s blasphemous… I remember we were voting on impeachment on December 19th or 20th back in 1999 (sic). No one was throwing baby Jesus under the bus that year…”

Scarborough called on Sens.DeMint and Kyl to apologize to Harry Reid, “I don’t usually say this, but I do think that senator DeMint who I know and like and respect and Jon Kyl owe Harry Reid an apology. I will say that. I will go there. It is unchrist-like to judge another man’s faith in the way they have judged Harry Reid’s faith, a devout Mormon, a devout Christian. There is nothing biblical about that. Nothing.”

It deeply disturbed Joe and Mica that the Republicans would not vote on the START treaty and that they were asking for it to be read on the floor (the START treaty is a 17 page PDF), demonstrating yet again that they were not serious about legislating for America’s best interest.

The entire panel felt that the Republicans may have blown it with this un-Christ-like behavior wherein they judged another man’s faith and suggested that this may be a Newt Gingrich moment. “Do they really think Americans are this stupid?” These boys haven’t even taken their majority yet and they are already acting like drunken frat boys, rolling in the inherited privilege of their daddy’s wallet. They show absolutely zero seriousness about governing and doing what’s best for this country.

When Joe Scarborough, who served in the House of Representatives and certainly can speak about the responsibilities with expertise, accuses you of being un-serious and says that Senators Kyl and DeMint owe an apology to Senator Harry Reid for being “un-Christlike”, the Republicans have jumped the obstruction shark before they even took their majority. Nothing says co-operation, Christmas and love for the Prince of Peace like accusing your colleague of not being Christian all because he’s asking you to secure the nation before you go home.

Joe Scarborough serves as somewhat of a measuring stick for how preposterously right the Republican Party has moved. Back in the 1990’s, he was a staunch family values conservative, fast forward a decade, and Scarborough isn’t far enough right for his party. It is deplorable that these Senate millionaires would dare bellyache about the prospect of working near or through the holidays, that is, if you consider what these men do to be considered work. Between all of the fundraisers and golf outings they can barely find the time to do any actual legislating.

These same Republicans were willing to cut off unemployment benefits for two million of their fellow Americans by Christmas. How dare they complain about the privileged lives that they enjoy while so many Americans are doing without? Joe Scarborough’s criticism should be the least of their concerns. Jesus would not approve. Welcome to the true meaning of Christmas, the rich, white entitled Republican way.

14 responses so far

Children First: the Underground Railroad War Against Women’s Freedom

Dec 14 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party

Show Your Support For Killing Women's Freedom

Children First: the Underground Railroad War Against Women’s Freedom

Back in April of 2009, anti-women’s freedoms groups won the approval for specialized license plates reading “Choose Life” in 18 states. A few states were holding out, continuing the legal fight. One of those states, New Jersey, just gave in last week to stop the financial bleeding of the endless court battles.

The “Choose Life” plate is sold through “Children First”, which sounds innocuous enough, and indeed, the folks behind it claim it stands for adoption. I mean, who is anti-life, right? Yes, that’s the beauty of right wing framing, because as we’ve come to expect, where there’s the money to fight legal battles across the country, there’s a dishonest, bait and switch agenda beneath the sweet child-like drawing of two children adorning the “Choose Life” license plates.

According to their website, “Choose Life, Inc is an IRC 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax deductible. Contributions and profits from the sale of promotional items are used to help Choose Life, Inc. promote the sale of the real Choose Life License Plate which raises funds to support adoption efforts of Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Maternity Homes and not-for-profit adoption agencies.”

Sounds OK still. I mean, I’m pro-all life, including women’s (which makes me “pro-choice”), so I may not agree with these folks but I’ve got nothing against people advocating for their moral beliefs. But that’s not what these folks are doing. Upon closer examination, those Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC) are actually bait and switch operations that go to any lengths to shame and intimidate pregnant women into not having an abortion, including marketing themselves as a crisis pregnancy clinic, often listed in under “abortions”, using scare tactics and untruths to force women into having babies they do not want to have.

These CPCs used to be funded privately. But one day in 1997, a bright young Republican County Commissioner named Randy Harris got the idea to form an anti-abortion organization called Choose Life Inc that would be a state-sponsored fund-raising vehicle using the “Choose Life” license plate. This means the state would be an agent for promoting and funding a religious viewpoint.

And lucky for Randy, although his first attempt to sell this ingenious trickery got vetoed, in 1999 Jeb Bush was the governor of Florida and he concurred with Randy that the state should help fund these CPCs and as you know, Jeb had no compunction about mixing church and state. So, for each $22 tag sold, $20 is returned to the county of purchase, where the board of commissioners distributes the funds to CPCs. If Muslims were pulling this off in this country, we’d be hearing shrieks of such outrage we’d all be in the Fox bunkers of fear hunkering down till the Beck gale passed. But when the Christians/Catholics do it, for the “children”, a cowed nation looks the other way.

Orlando Weekly reported in “Choose Lies”:

“In order to qualify for the funds, the “Choose Life” statute specifies that the money may go only to “nongovernmental, not-for-profit agencies” for the purpose of “meeting the physical needs of pregnant women who are committed to placing their children for adoption.” Seventy percent of the funds must be applied to “provide for the material needs of pregnant women who are committed to placing their children for adoption.” None of that money can be spent on children already awaiting adoption.

Advocates of the plate consistently claim that it is meant to promote and support adoption. Yet the actual “Choose Life” statute, No. 320.08058(26), is replete with anti-abortion language: “Funds may not be distributed to any agency that is involved or associated with abortion activities, including counseling for or referrals to abortion clinics, providing medical abortion-related procedures, or pro-abortion advertising.” The Choose Life Inc. website even promotes the tag as a way to “speak up for the unborn.”

Barry Silver is a Boca Raton attorney who has been making legal challenges to the “Choose Life” tag since its inception. He notes that the tag’s catch phrase comes from the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 30:19, a passage abortion foes have long cited as a Biblical condemnation of abortion: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”

“The slogan ‘Choose Life’ sounds innocent,” says Silver, “but in fact it is the rallying cry and mantra for a movement that resorts to death threats, arson, bombings and even murder to achieve their agenda.” Silver says of CPCs and their sponsors, “They say, ‘You’re a sinner, but we have the cure.’ It’s a way of manipulating [pregnant women’s] guilt. But, once the kids are born, they don’t care about them anymore.””

Not sounding so innocent anymore and it’s obviously not about children. These centers are the Underground Railroad in the war against women’s freedom. They use fraudulent tactics to scare women into not having an abortion, including referring to themselves as counselors (when they are not) and lecturing the women about a myriad of diseases and mental problems they falsely attribute to abortion. And while they attempt to terrorize women about the physical dangers of abortion, in fact giving birth is more dangerous to women than having an abortion.

So this isn’t about the children. It’s about maintaining control over a woman’s body and using the Christian/Catholic religion to do it. Religion has, of course, been used for this purpose more often than not – which makes sense since the Christian religion is run by and large by men. And that’s why anyone with any stake in maintaining their freedom is more than grateful to the founding fathers for their wise separation of church and state insistence as well as to the Supreme Court for holding that the constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s decision to have an abortion and that states can not restrict a woman’s right to an abortion IN ANY WAY in the first trimester. It seems that the state-agented CPC’s are indeed attempting to restrict a woman’s access to abortion in the first trimester as well as infringing upon her right to privacy.

If any doubt still remains as to the nefarious intention of the “Choose Life” slogan, Silver says that he suggested alternate slogans to the Choose Life advocates, such as “Adopt a Child”, but they held firm that it must read “Choose Life”.

So, where’s all of the state-agented money going? Is it going to help pregnant women? Well, 30 percent of it can go to advertising, in other words, propaganda, bait and switch ads and those horrid blood fests you see on the billboards across the country. But we don’t know how much they spend since their tax returns don’t itemize how they are spending the government’s money. These are the same people who preach “small government”, “fiscal conservatism” and “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps”.

So our tax dollars are being used to fight women’s rights on the freeways across America and what is the counter response?

USA Today reported:

“License plates are not the place to have a thoughtful conversation about reproductive rights,” says Steve Trombley, president of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. Planned Parenthood has objected to the plates in numerous states for varying reasons. In some cases, legislatures approved a Choose Life plate but rejected a Choice plate, Trombley says. In addition, the plates typically raise funds for crisis pregnancy centers that the organization says provide “medically inaccurate and misleading information.”

Ah but we’re not having thoughtful debate, Steve. We’re selling Americans morality in three words or less as they speed down the highway of life.

While Steve is correct here, he is not going to win the war like that. Pro-all lifers (that would include people who support children after they are born, people against the death penalty, people against unnecessary wars, people who are pro-women’s lives, etc) need to find a way to use government to fund a counter message war advocating for their legal freedoms.

Using secret routes funded or aided by government money to go after women’s freedoms is a big business. It’s very important to some people and yet they realize that they can’t be honest about it because the American people wouldn’t like it if they knew that they were lying to vulnerable, scared, sick or desperate women looking to exercise their rights over their own bodies. Abortion is personal and it has been decided that the government can’t force women into acting as breeders.

So the next time you see a “Choose Life” license plate whizzing past you on the freeway, know that behind that cute drawing of children lurks an agenda to steal women’s freedoms away by any means possible……and they’re getting the state government to go along with this.

Hat tip to Feministing

16 responses so far

President Obama Embraces the Liberal Spirit of Christmas

Dec 13 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, White House

President Obama reminds Americans to have empathy this holiday season

President Obama Ties Christmas in With Liberal Ideology

President Obama spoke at the Christmas in Washington celebration last night at a performance to benefit the Children’s National Medical Center, during which he tied the Christmas holiday to the liberal themes that we are all our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and that Christmas is a time to remember those in need as well as to celebrate.

President Obama spoke movingly about the Christian themes of charity, compassion, and goodwill, tying these tenets of faith to the notion that as Americans we have a responsibility for our neighbors.

Video courtesy of the Whitehouse Blog:

“This season reminds us that more than 2,000 years ago, a child born in a stable brought our world a redeeming gift of peace and salvation. It’s a story with a message that speaks to us to this day — that we are called to love each other as we love ourselves, that we are our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper, and our destinies are linked.

It’s a message that guides my Christian faith and it focuses us as we think about all those whose holidays may be a bit tougher this year. We pray for our troops serving far away from the warmth of family and homespun traditions. We remember those who are out of work, or struggling just to get by. We hold in our hearts all those who’ve fallen on hard times this holiday season.

Because while Christmas is a time to celebrate, a time to sing chorales and exchange gifts, it’s also something more. It’s a time to rediscover the meaning of words like “charity” and “compassion” and “goodwill”; to do our part for our neighbors; to serve God through serving others. So from our family to yours, happy holidays, everybody. Merry Christmas, and God bless you all. And God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.”

Cue the right wing head’s exploding as the President ties the core foundation of Christianity to the liberal notions of compassion, charity and goodwill. I can hear the flag pins popping over at Fox as I type.

As the President struggles with the obstructionism of the Republicans on one hand and the betrayal of his Democratic Senate on the other, his words serve to remind us that at the end of the day, the unemployment benefits he salvaged for those in need this season represent a core value of our democracy – the value of empathy. Indeed, while it may be a nasty business to negotiate the public theft of tax breaks for the rich in order to provide a social safety net for the poor, it is not only our moral mission but also our patriotic duty to act on behalf of the least among us.

It is this spirit of civility and empathy that represents the best of America, it’s what motivated millions to work tirelessly to get President Obama elected, and it is ultimately the place we need to rediscover as a nation. We need to abandon the sports mentality of a win for us a loss for the other team, we need to set aside the tea party selfishness along with our own grievances, and we need to stand up as the mighty Americans we are and take ownership of the tremendous spirit of this land.

We may have been kicked around for years and abused by corporate interests, we may be battered and enraged and feeling helpless as we look around this great country at the state of our infrastructure (e.g., education), but we can overcome this together. We can keep our eye on the eternal rightness of the American cause as we support this President in his goals of long-term paradigm shifting regarding the role of government as a government that cares about the least among us.

The American people support the concept of a social safety net. The American people want those among us who are suffering to be afforded some protection. They want a government that will not do for them, but will protect them from the for profit motive of corporations in a balancing act between capitalism and democracy. The American people want a government that will protect and empower them to be their best.

We can do this if we remember who we are.

We can do this by working for the good of the whole. We do this by softening our hearts to anger and injustice for long enough to look behind us and acknowledge the suffering of others. And instead of turning a cold shoulder as we raise pitchforks to the corporatist rapers of the American dream, let’s take this battle to a place where we can win our democracy back, one step at a time.

It all starts with remembering who we are as a country. Compassion, charity, goodwill and a fighting, can-do spirit. Regardless of your spiritual or religious beliefs, these timeless values inform the foundation of liberalism and of American patriotism. This holiday season, we can embrace the positive, highest aspects of our beliefs and own them proudly.

While there are philosophical differences in the way the left and right approach these problems, no serious person can say this country did not intend to provide a social safety net for its people and yet here we are, the left forced into the street to argue and defend the absurd premise that it’s un-American to not hand all of our hard earned money over to the top 2 percent, as they grift and steal from the people. We’ve gotten so far off course as we’ve been forced further and further off the cliff that we’ve forgotten who we are.

We are the only people out there fighting for the least among us. Let’s not forget that this holiday season. How long I waited to have a President who could and would remind us of the best in ourselves, who would use the holiday season to bring us home to our core values, who shared my beliefs regarding the role of government. And he’s here now. Imperfect, perhaps, but still leading the soft charge forward to a better America.

5 responses so far

Community Organizer Sarah Palin Calls Ravaged Haiti Joyful

Dec 11 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party

Community Organizer Sarah Palin Earning Her Foreign Cred

Community Organizer Sarah Palin Goes to Haiti for the Joy

Ms Palin finally did something that may have a positive impact somewhere in the world, or at the very least, wasn’t a rage filled episode of non-nonsensical tweeting meant to start WWIII. Small things to be grateful for these days, friends. Perhaps the social democracy of Haiti rubbed off on the social Darwinist. It’s almost Christmas, so you never know.

Community organizer Sarah Palin braved exposure to the wild world of people who are not white today, when she accompanied fellow grifter (a million and some in salary to manage this charity work) Franklin Graham as he toured the area, followed by her fan club leader, Greta Van Susteren, and the Fox Propagandists TV crew.

The 2010 Haiti earthquake left 230,000 people dead and 1.6 million homeless. In October 2010, there was an outbreak of Cholera, in November Hurricane Tomas hit, flooding Haiti and then this month they suffered riots from a contested Nov. 28 presidential election. Needless to say, what the Haitians most needed was a visit from a community organizer like Sarah Palin.

We are still waiting to hear if she brought cookies (or as Samaritan’s Purse calls them, “food parcels”) like she did to the starving and freezing Native Alaskans who tried desperately to get their Governor’s attention whilst she perused the aisles of the lower 48’s Neiman Marcuses. They had only to hang on for a month before their patron saint of sacrifice returned to her state with a plate of cookies for them and prayers. Oh, the joy!

Now Palin brings this same winning combo of common sense conservatism to Haiti, where I’m sure her bump-it and Hollywood sunglasses will generate much trickle-down morale boosting, if not food, shelter, safe elections, and clean water. Even Angelina Jolie doesn’t look quite this Ricky Hollywood when she visits the less fortunate. Oh, zee glamor!

The AP reported:

“Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began a tightly stage-managed visit to Haiti on Saturday in which she visited cholera clinics while avoiding crowds and the press. Palin, who traveled in part by helicopter, provided access on her tour solely to the U.S. cable network Fox News.
Graham’s organization, Samaritan’s Purse, refused to discuss Palin’s itinerary with other media and asked Haitian and American reporters to leave its compounds, citing a “security lockdown.”
Associated Press television journalists saw Palin talking with foreign aid workers. She wore cargo pants, a T-shirt and designer sunglasses on her first trip outside the United States since speaking to investors in Hong Kong last year. That speech was also closed to the media
“It would be good if she came, because we could tell her that we need medicine and jobs,” said Roseline Frederique, a 21-year-old resident of the capital’s Cite Soleil slum who is being treated for cholera symptoms.”

Um, who is going to tell Roseline that Palin doesn’t believe in free medicine that comes with strings or job creation? However, we should all give great thanks to the Lord above for generating income for all of Ms Palin’s security entourage who were employed to make the Sainted One’s visit as pleasant as a visit to a Cholera clinic can be. Talk about job creation. Too bad about the Haitian press, but then Ms Palin can’t be expected to help everyone.

Samaritan’s Purse reported on their website:

“Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham arrived in Haiti Saturday to survey our work with cholera patients, hand deliver Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts to hurting children, visit shelter communities we built in the aftermath of the January earthquake, tour our rubble removal activities, and debrief with staff on water, sanitation, shelter, targeted feeding, training programs, and 2011 needs.

After arriving, the group toured a shelter community where Samaritan’s Purse has built temporary houses for people who lost everything in the earthquake. 

“I’ve really enjoyed meeting this community,” Gov. Palin said. “They are so full of joy. We are so fortunate in America and we are responsible for helping those less fortunate. Samaritan’s Purse is still here doing the tough work.””

She enjoyed meeting “this community” and “they” are so full of “joy”. Shuffle shuffle Miss Daisy. Them people are always smiling and so good at basketball too. Oh, no, I kid. I kid. We’re lucky she didn’t accuse the Haitians of being limp, impotent and weak as is her wont (see Barbara Walters interview). But, bonus time, she did come bearing every socialist’s tool: a push up bra. Double points for morale boosting.

Good news is that Palin now says we are responsible for helping those less fortunate and this is a great turn around. Pretty soon she’s really gonna deserve at least a teabag’s worth of community organizing cred. It seems like just yesterday that Palin was saying they were supposed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps like Palin did, but without the government cheese and pork because, like, healthcare for everyone was a bad thing….

Since she’s only there for a day, and has no plans to get dirty helping out with actual work, bestowing the beauty of her visage upon the deprived and desperate Haitians is all we can expect from the goddess of charity.

Nothing says Presidential like waiting a year to show up in Haiti — a year spent trying to destroy your own country’s democratically elected president no less. But no worries, Palin is in Haiti now, getting her picture taken by Fox News to sell herself in 2012 as Someone Who Has Been to Other Countries, also, too. Now, the real question is will the prolific tweeter find time to at least tweet out a call to help the Haitians, or will the miser in her overwhelm any urge of Christmas spirit, knowing as any teabagger does that there’s only so much to go around and she’s still got loads of books to sell?

There are no real solutions needed, and this isn’t about the Haitians, it’s about Sarah Palin. As always. I’m just super impressed that she actually got off the plane for her photo op. Let’s hope she left the witch doctor at home.

Mission Accomplished!

To help for real, go to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

80 responses so far

The DDoS Attack That Wasn’t: Sarah Palin’s Operation Payback Lie

Dec 10 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues

Sarah Palin likes to tell stories about herself

In an attempt to show her dashing ability to thwart off DDOS attacks, Sarah Palin told ABC News she had been the victim of a DDoS attack from Operation Payback but that she had been prepared for the “backlash” and hence warded it off. All of the above turned out to be….untrue.

When I first read Ms Palin’s email to ABC about her victimization (the only thing Ms Palin has yet to quit, it seems, is her vision of herself as Joan of Arc) at the hands of the Evil Wikileaks people (whom she called to be treated like the traitors she thinks they are, even though they aren’t American citizens), I shook my head in pity for poor Jake Tapper.

One day, these folks will learn not to simply publish everything Ms Palin tells them without doing cursory diligence of their own. For Ms Palin has an allergy to the truth, whether lying about the weather or about being found guilty of violating the ethics laws in Alaska, when Ms Palin speaks, one must fact-check every word lest one trip on the banana peels of false narratives Ms Palin litters the political landscape with.

Here’s the original report from ABC:

“Hackers in London that the Palin team believe to be affiliated with “Operation Payback” – a group of supporters of Julian Assange and Wikileaks – have tried to shut down SarahPac and have disrupted Sarah and Todd Palin’s personal credit card accounts, SarahPAC aide Rebecca Mansour said.

“No wonder others are keeping silent about Assange’s antics,” Palin emailed ABC News. “This is what happens when you exercise the First Amendment and speak against his sick, un-American espionage efforts.”

A technical aide said that the “DOS attackers, a group loosely known as Anon_Ops, used a tool called LOIC (Lower Orbit Ion Cannon) to flood The attackers wanted us to know that they were affiliated with through an obscure message in our server log file.”….

Added Mansour, “the governor voiced her opinion knowing full well that she was speaking out against a shady disreputable organization with no regard for laws or human life. This is how they operate. The world should not be intimidated by them.”

Mansour added that Wikileaks supporters claim to be “in favor of free speech yet they attack Sarah Palin for exercising her free speech.” She said was not harmed because Palin’s staff was able to move quickly to protect the site.”

So Ms Palin managed to do what MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and Wikileaks couldn’t. This is the sort of lore best swallowed with KookAid. And what jumps out at the person who’s been paying attention to the way Ms Palin’s mind works is that she is the heroine of this story. Ms Palin’s the only person who called out Assange, anticipated his counter-attack and warded it off! My goodness. Those are some cojones.

I’ll not even address the credit card claims ( she claimed her credit card number was released and it wasn’t) or the hubristically blind nattering on about freedom of speech from a supposed communications major who fails to understand important rulings such as the Pentagon Papers. In Ms Palin’s world, the only person who has freedom of speech is her and she’s quite certain that anyone who doesn’t agree with her is violating her freedoms. This notion is troubling to anyone who loves America and comprehends our country’s core principles.

The problem I had with her statement is that PoliticusUSA has been DDoS attacked and so I know a bit about it. We were told that this attack might kill our site for good. It was a very unpleasant and sobering experience (coincidentally, our website was brought down in a coordinated attack after an article I wrote about Ms Palin and her actions of stoking violence in Alaska). A DDoS attack bears little resemblance to being hacked, and yet Ms Palin’s story reads more like a five minute attempted hacking than a DDoS attack.

For example, one doesn’t know immediately that they are under DDoS attack and neither does their server host, because it appears to be a flood of traffic. The pattern becomes clear over time, however, as a denial of service attack lasts for weeks and months, as it is meant to shut down a site all together.

So as Ms Palin was nattering on in her email to ABC about her freedom of speech being attacked, my Palin hackles were immediately raised.

See, Ms Palin is rather infamous for her projections. Whatever she accuses others of doing is what she has or will do herself. From death panels to accusing the President of not loving his country, Ms Palin suffers from a painfully obvious inability to deal with her own transgressions without projecting them onto others.

And I suspected this latest Palin Myth with its dashing heroine didn’t come from her imagination, it came from her need to project onto others her own modus operandi. Because you see, the story Ms Palin fed to ABC has already been debunked. The group of activist hackers admitted targeting, PostFinace, Visa,, and others but deny ever targeting Sarah Palin. reported:

“A group who refers to itself as Anonymous has as taken credit for a recent string of high-profile cyber attacks against the websites of businesses, banks and politicians that have either spoken out against or stopped doing business with WikiLeaks.

Cyber attacks, dubbed Operation Payback, targets those who have caved into US government pressure to shun the whistleblower website that recently released thousands of classified US diplomatic cables.

“We have been DDoS’ing sites,” he explained. “We have been flooding them with traffic so other people cannot use them and they have been taken down like this and they cannot operate like this anymore. We’ve been attacking them, we’ve been DDoS’ing them so people can’t buy things, people can’t make transactions.”..

Although the media had reported the group planned coordinated attacks on, the groups representative said they do not have any malicious plans to take on Amazon nor had they attempted to. He also said the group was not responsible for any coordinated attacks or hacks on Sarah Palin, although she claims to have been a target…

“We don’t really care about Sarah Palin that much, to be honest. I don’t really know what she’s trying to accomplish or what attention she is trying to gain. We personally don’t care about Sarah Palin,” he added.

Yes, see, they don’t even care about Ms Palin. And why would they? She is no one. She has no power to harm Assange or Wikileaks, in spite of her own refusal to comprehend American laws, borders and most significantly, freedom of the press.

Not only did Ms Palin and her sidekick Rebecca Mansour call a DDoS attack a DOS attack (usually a much less sophisticated attack, but no matter as Operation Payback admits to perpetrating DDoS attacks, not DOS attacks), but also they obviously have never experienced a real one and sadly, Ms Mansour lacks the skills one would have thought a wannabe screenwriter would have at least cursory knowledge of (before you write a fictional account of a dramatic experience, interview someone who has gone through it). Steeped in their ignorance of the real thing, Ms Mansour and Ms Palin obviously thought a DDoS attack was like hacking and that like the Jedi Warrior she is, Ms Palin could step in with her frontier gal spirit and stop a DDoS attack with her feisty sayings and a few nasty kicks to the “gutless” “anonymous” terrorists taking away her freedom thereby showing us all what a great President she’d be.

Credit is due for a great story premise and one that would have perpetuated the Palin myth nicely, except that anyone who’s been through a DDoS attack knows better. Ask Julian Assage. The fight isn’t over in five minutes. And Ms Palin made a fatal mistake when she asked thinking people to accept that she knows more about keeping her SarahPAC site online than Julian Assange does about keeping Wikileaks online (Wikileaks has been suffering under DDoS attack since revealing the cables dump). Nope. Warrior Princesses can’t stop DDoS attacks, just like they can’t stop pesky citizens from asking questions about their illegal trust funds or stop citizens from writing about their calls for violence.

Ms Palin is obviously exceptionally deluded into believing that she can sell these lies to anyone and we will all believe her. The failure of our media in fact-checking Ms Palin has only allowed her belief in her ability to sell us whatever she wants us to believe to grow into now monstrous proportions, and this is only adding to her brazen willingness to play chicken with the truth. Ms Palin’s real enemy here is her own ego and her inability to see reality as it really is. Her latest foray into fiction should be enough to convince American journalists that she is not well. No sane person would be so paranoid as to believe they were under attack when they weren’t nor would they believe they could manufacture this utter fiction to ABC, no less, and get away with it.

But what is even more interesting is that in the wake of this humiliating exposure of her allergy to truth and shoot-first mentality, Ms Palin will show no shame. And that is what I find most disconcerting. Shame, after all, is the mechanism we use to moderate behavior and keep some semblance of humanity ruling. Shame fills in the gaps between our laws; it’s a form of punishment for bad behavior in Western societies.

Shame reflects a decrease in our stature while pride is the emotion that is supposed to reflect an increase in stature. Perhaps Ms Palin’s lack of shame indicates something troubling about her own standards regarding the truth.

Ms Palin has enough pride to fill the galaxy, but it’s built upon self-aggrandized, mythical, fictional accounts of herself that have no bearing to reality. From claims to being a huntress to claims of fiscal conservatism to claims of being a reformer to claims of hating pork, Sarah Palin is a self-produced legend in her own mind.

Self-respecting journalists had best take Jake Tapper’s hard learned lesson to heart. When reporting on Ms Palin, if she tells you the sky is blue where she is today, you would be well served to double check. For Palin, if it makes a good story and dramatizes her into an all-American heroine, she’ll say it. She’s as reckless with the truth as she is with calls for war. And that’s pretty darn reckless. This is the person the GOP is selling as their best and brightest for 2012. Shoot first, ask questions later, and truth be damned.

53 responses so far

Glenn Beck Defends Julian Assange From Sex By Surprise Charge

Dec 07 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues

Today on Glenn Beck’s radio show he and his friends were discussing the Assange situation with all of the seriousness we have come to expect from them. Cue the frat boy Sex by Surprise! chortling amongst other profound analysis. It turns out that Sex by Surprise is a GOOD thing! Sure, it may or may not involve continuing sex after a condom breaks even as the woman asks you to stop, but we can’t let the Nanny state tell us what to do! Turns out, nothing says pro-family like a little Sex by Surprise!

Courtesy of Media Matters:

Beck opened his show today by talking about Julian Assange being arrested on a charge of sex by surprise. Beck said, “I was gonna say that sounds kinda good to me. Sex by surprise- why is that illegal? Surprise! We’re having sex!”

Pat Gray: “Oh, that’s always a surprise”.

Beck:“How true it is…So sex by surprise apparently what this means if this isn’t the ultimate nanny state- if you aren’t prepared, you don’t have a condom with you, I guess you can claim sex by surprise and you really wanted to have sex with a condom. It’s very unclear at the moment. It sounds a little shady especially when you see the woman involved, and we’ll get into that because we’re still verifying a couple things that I just don’t want to go to the air with until we have a little bit more to back this up.”

Beck’s co-host pointed out that Assange and the woman had sex before.

Stu and Pat: “Sex by surprise rape or whatever I guess…It’s just so comical- it’s like tax evasion of every one of these guys. It always comes down to something like this. It’s these guys taking down world governments and huge empires and yet they’re always taken down by the fact that they wanted to hook up with two chicks on two different nights. That’s what it always comes down to doesn’t it?

Beck then added the conspiracy element insinuating that Assange was set up by the CIA, “The CIA, in one of their most famous cases of what’s called HoneyPot, which is, which is this. The Chinese are big in Honey Pot, which is you get somebody hot, and go up against a guy, and they will give you anything, then you have blackmail.” Beck and crew claimed that Assange was set up because the woman involved was too attractive for him. They asked, “What are the odds that was set up in some way?”

What are the odds that there are many women who would not like Sex by Surprise? Oh, I kid. Certainly we womens are happy to give up our freedoms if it pleases Mr Liberty Tears.

Aside from gathering a wee bit too much info on Beck et al’s non-existent sex lives, we learn that sex by surprise is not only not a bad thing, but it’s desired. This is a bit more information about the “Year of the Conservative Women” we were promised by the Right. So far, I’m super impressed.

AOL reported:

“True, one of Assange’s accusers sounds tailor-made for those who think Assange is being set up in Sweden by dark CIA-backed operatives who want him smeared or silenced for his document dumping with WikiLeaks. She’s a 31-year-old blond academic and member of the Social Democratic Party who’s known for her radical feminist views, once wrote a treatise on how to take revenge against men and was once thrown out of Cuba for subversive activities.

But others say Assange, who denies any wrongdoing and says the sex was consensual, may have just run afoul of Sweden’s unusual rape laws, which are considered pro-feminist because of the consideration given issues of consent when it comes to sexual activity — including even the issue of whether a condom was used.

In fact, the current prosecutor, Marianne Ny, who re-opened the case against Assange, has been active in the proposed reforms of Swedish rape laws that would, if passed, involve an investigation of whether an imbalance in power between two people could void one person’s insistence that the sex was consensual….

‘The New York Times today quoted accounts given by the women to police and friends as saying Assange “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”‘

Much as I hate to interfere in the frat boy fun, here’s the legal argument: Consensual sex that started out with a condom ended up without one, ergo, the sex was not consensual. Perhaps the women wanted to protect themselves from a sexual disease or unwanted pregnancy since the baby daddy so clearly might not be around.

Beck and his buddies are anti-choicers and yet they are all for a man not using a condom and having sex with a woman he’s not married to, but they are against unwed mothers and abortion and divorce. Got it.

If indeed these women did ask Assange to stop after the condom broke and he didn’t (we don’t know the truth yet, it’s true this could all be a set up, but that’s no reason to defend Sex by Surprise), I don’t care if he’s your Sacred Hero, that’s rape. A cute funny phrase doesn’t make sexual assault OK. Or are Beck and his buddies suggesting that if a man yells “Sex by Surprise!” as he penetrates without a condom against a woman’s will it’s all fun and games?

As much as Beck and the Right despise Julian Assange and think he needs to be executed, it seems that when they’re forced to pick between defending the patriarchy and attacking Assange, they’re more concerned about bashing any notion of women’s equality and rights, because notice that there was no qualifier as they chuckled about how great Sex by Surprise is and this argument wasn’t predicated upon the notion that Assange was set up. Days ago the Right was calling Assange a horrid rapist, but now they’ve determined that if he just had sex with a woman after a condom broke and she said no, well, that’s the Nanny state telling men what they can and can not do. So when the right screams about liberty and freedom, we must remember that they mean for the white man, not for women or any other annoying radical group who also wants freedom.

11 responses so far

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