Tag Archives: trig

TLC and Ann Coulter Help to Highlight Sarah Palin’s True Character

This week former VP candidate Sarah Palin’s eight episode campaign commercial series on TLC will come to end. The two hour finale is set for Sunday evening and should tie up any loose ends as to what we know about Sarah Palin.

There’s been a lot of commentary and discussion in the political and entertainment world as to just how well Sarah Palin presented herself to America with this experiment. Most have come to the conclusion that Sarah did a great job of showcasing who she is and it turns out she’s nothing like she’s presented herself over the last several years both to Alaskans and those in the lower 48.


Hunter becomes the hunted as Palin critics say she can’t shoot:

Not only did this week’s show portray field-sports in an ugly light, say critics; it also fuelled scepticism about whether she actually knows one end of a rifle from another.

Ms Palin took no fewer than five shots to hit the beast which wandered on to the hillside where she was eating blueberries with her 72-year-old father, Chuck Snr. However it was her lousy field-craft, rather than wonky shooting, which raised the most questions about whether she really ought to call herself a “lifelong hunter”.

The Conservative blogosphere, usually a forum for cheerleading on behalf the Palin cause, was awash yesterday with suggestions that her outdoorsy image is an elaborate charade.

“I turned on Sarah Palin’s Alaska and she just shot four maybe even five times at a caribou and missed,” noted a typical comment on the Fox News host Sean Hannity’s website. “Needless to say I’m not impressed with her ability to handle a firearm let alone aim it and hit.”

Among the basic items of protocol blithely ignored by Palin as she set off into the wilderness in a Rambo-style headband was her failure to take practice shots, or check the sights of the rifle, which duly turned out to be off-kilter. She failed to carry her own weapon, relying on her elderly father and his companion, Steve, to lug it around. When a beast eventually wandered into range, Ms Palin left Chuck Snr to load the rifle, and discharge spent bullet casings.



“What a joke,” wrote one viewer on Palin’s Facebook page. “I was a fan before the show. No one who is a true hunter lets others carry their rifle or can’t load their own shells. Sarah, you are a phony.”

The Awl, a website which collated reactions to the episode, noted that, while being passed the firearm, Ms Palin immediately moved her finger inside its trigger guard, a breach of basic safety rules. After missing the caribou several times, she then appeared to panic and shot at the beast while it was still moving, a technique usually avoided by all but the very best marksmen.

On leaving her hunting camp one morning, Ms Palin pointed to the horizon and declared “Let’s go west.” There followed an awkward pause. “That’s east,” noted her father.

The cognoscenti was meanwhile perturbed that the fact that Palin seemed scared by her weapon, a small gun described by Chuck Snr as a “varmint rifle”. Several times during the episode, she anxiously asked: “Does it kick?”

Even Chuck Snr’s handling of his weapons drew criticism. “I was surprised to see him using the gun as a walking stick,” noted one user on the Free Republic website.

“I do like the woman but think she needs some serious range time. I had the impression it was her first time firing a rifle.”

What Palin’s show says about us

From the opening credits, Palin’s not actually leading, as the show’s stirring theme song (Follow Me There) suggests. Instead, she’s tucked far under the wings of professional guides, friends, or family members — in a curious subtext, almost all males.

They instruct and coddle her along, at one point literally hauling Palin uphill on the end of a rope. Even post-production editing can’t hide a glaring, city-slicker klutziness.

Most of the show’s escapades bear scant resemblance to the activities of most outdoors-oriented Alaskans. In fact, about half of the Palins’ “adventures” are guided trips aimed at mass-market tourists. You won’t find many Alaskans on those theme park rides, which require no skills beyond a pulse and the ability to open your wallet.

Of course, there are sequences that feature Palin tagging along with working Alaskans. However, posing for hands-on scenes guided by loggers or commercial fishermen (including her husband, who’s obviously a top notch outdoorsman) doesn’t help. Alaskans would be a lot more impressed if she proved she could gut a caribou or set a gill net on her own — skills at which many bush-wise Alaskan women excel — and still keep those immaculately manicured French nails intact.

The caribou hunt episode provides a centerpiece of the series’ excesses, as well as Palin’s ineptitude. According to script, it’s Palin’s turn to replenish the family’s dwindling freezer with wild meat — from an Alaska point of view, all good. But the logistics of the trip defy common sense. Instead of hunting within reasonable distance of home, her party flies 600-plus miles to a remote camp in multiple chartered aircraft. This isn’t subsistence but the sort of experiential safari popular among high-end, non-resident sport hunters. For all that, Palin ends up with a skinny juvenile cow caribou. Boned out, we’re talking maybe 100 pounds of meat, at a staggering cost per pound.

Faced with that hapless animal, this darling of Second Amendment supporters nervously asks her dad whether the small-caliber rifle kicks. Then, even more astoundingly, her father repeatedly works the bolt and loads for her as she misses shot after shot before scoring a kill on the seventh round — enough bullets for a decent hunter to take down at least five animals. (Given Palin’s infamous tweet “Don’t retreat, reload,” we can infer she plans to keep her dad close by.) Later, Palin blames the scope, but any marksman would recognize the flinching, the unsteady aim and poor shot selection — and the glaring ethical fault of both shooter and gun owner if the rifle wasn’t properly sighted. Instead of some frontier passion play, we’re rendered a dark comedy of errors.

When Sarah Palin took us on a hunting/camping trip with her dad Chuck Heath on the latest episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska, she said hunting was necessary to “fill her freezer!”:

“For many people in remote areas of Alaska, there’s no grocery store nearby, we just got to get out and hunt,” enthused Sarah.

HollywoodLife.com researched the logistics and cost of Palin’s hunting trip which resulted in a bagged caribou, and discovered that it was a mighty expensive way to feed the Palin family, at $42,400 for the trip.

The grand total to charter a Dehavilland Dash plane from Era Alaska to travel round trip from Wasilla’s Palmer airport to Deadhorse, Alaska was $37,600. In Deadhorse, the Palins switched to a 6 seat Cessna C207 Skywagon which they flew into the Kavik River Camp, at $1200 for the round trip, according to Lori Goodman, director of sales and marketing of Era Alaska, the company which chartered the planes for the Palins. Once in Kavik, the Palins spent two nights at the Kavik River Camp at $250 a person per night, for a $750 total.

Finally, the Deltana Outfitters flew them individually on a Piper Supercub airplane from Kavik into their hunting spot at a cost of $350 per hour for three hours each way, for a total of $2100, according to Deltana.

The grand Palin total to bag a caribou and get it back to the Palin homestead added up to $42,400, or $141.33 per lb. of caribou meat. Sarah shot and killed a female cow which may have weighed up to 300 lbs.

Just to put this is perspective, the Palins could have filled their freezer with ribeye steak at $10.99 a lb. from Alaska’s Mr. Prime Beef, which is based in Anchorage and ships anywhere in the state.

She Can’t Fish Or Shoot A Gun, Ctd

Sarah Palin’s attempt to cast herself as a true Alaskan, in love with the outdoors, fishing, hunting, is, of course, a lie. Her first ever appearance in the Alaskan press, long before she was governor or even Mayor, was in the Anchorage Daily News. It tells you all you need to know about a woman who wanted to be a beauty queen rather than the wife of a fisherman in the boondocks:

    Sarah Palin, a commercial fisherman from Wasilla, told her husband on Tuesday she was driving to Anchorage to shop at Costco. Instead, she headed straight for Ivana. And there, at J.C. Penney’s cosmetic department, was Ivana, the former Mrs. Donald Trump, sitting at a table next to a photograph of herself. She wore a light-colored pantsuit and pink fingernail polish. Her blonde hair was coiffed in a bouffant French twist. ”We want to see Ivana,” said Palin, who admittedly smells like salmon for a large part of the summer, ”because we are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.”

    Desperate for glamour and culture. That’s not exactly Palin’s message today, is it? But what she realized between then and now is that she could use Alaska as a means for her to gain “glamour and culture.” Notice how she admits she smells of salmon and wants to get past it to something Trump-like. Well, she has now, but only by exploiting the mythology of where she was born. How many beautiful clothes can she now buy with TLC’s moolah? More than she could steal from the RNC. Levi got her exactly:

“She says she goes hunting and lives off animal meat – I’ve never seen it,” said Mr Johnston, 19. “I’ve never seen her touch a fishing pole. “She had a gun in her bedroom and one day she asked me to show her how to shoot it. I asked her what kind of gun it was, and she said she didn’t know, because it was in a box under her bed.”

Levi’s Vindication: The Self-Exposure Of Sarah Palin

From the opening credits, Palin’s not actually leading, as the show’s stirring theme song (Follow Me There) suggests. Instead, she’s tucked far under the wings of professional guides, friends, or family members — in a curious subtext, almost all males.

They instruct and coddle her along, at one point literally hauling Palin uphill on the end of a rope. Even post-production editing can’t hide a glaring, city-slicker klutziness.

Sarah Palin Breaks the Law and Has No Common Sense

In Sarah Palin’s Alaska, her TLC TV show, the children are clearly unrestrained in moving vehicles — in clear noncompliance with the statutes of the state of Alaska. The reality of her show is that Sarah Palin is a lawbreaker. What she so contemptuously shows is that she and her family are above the law. She has demonstrated values that are illegal, nonsensical and reckless.

Alaska law says that a driver may not transport children under 16 in a motor vehicle unless the child is properly secured according to state child passenger safety law. Children who are not yet one year old or who do not yet weigh 20 lbs must be properly secured in a federally approved rear-facing car seat.

It is quite clear that from 4.12 onwards that Piper is jumping up and down in the RV while the vehicle is in motion, so she cannot be safely belted up. From 11.07 Trig is also seen standing on the sofa seat without a seatbelt.

There is no doubt that Palin has disregarded state law — and it is a primary offense. Glaringly, arrogantly, and unapologetically. She can argue, if she wants, that seat belt laws are burdensome and intrusive — but maybe she should have changed the laws before she quit as governor! Aren’t commonsense conservatives all about the rule of law? Does this mean because I don’t like speed limits I can do 125 mph in school zones? Or I won’t pay taxes because I don’t support endless wars?

As far as I am concerned she has been caught red handed. But it’s not the first time. Fellow reader, mxm, pulled this little excerpt from the September 7, 2008 edition of the Washington Post:

    WASILLA, Alaska — One Friday in June, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin joined the chief of the state prison system on a tour of the Point MacKenzie Correctional Farm, a 90-minute drive north of Anchorage. It was a routine visit but for the presence of the governor’s infant son, Trig.

    Palin held her baby in her arms as the warden drove a short distance around the facility, said corrections director Joe Schmidt, who sat next to Palin. A few days later, the governor got a warning from her public safety commissioner that someone had complained that she did not strap Trig into a car seat for the ride.
    Palin dismissed the complaint as petty, and the commissioner, whom she appointed, took no formal action. But the incident shows the degree to which family and politics are bound together in Palin’s career.

So we come to conclusion that Sarah Palin’s show doesn’t necessarily show her behaving in the manner of an experienced fisher, hunter, hiker or grizzly-mama or even law abiding citizen but instead as someone who’s rather uncomfortable in those settings, nor does it appear much experience. Wasn’t a surprise here, but anyway……now others know too. But we also have other ways to judge Mrs. Palin’s true character and cojones. Does she really walk the walk of not only a special need’s mother but also that of an advocate for those with special needs?

An issue that has been recently overlooked is that another conservative commentator has publicly used the word retard to criticize a reporter they disagreed with this past week. The GOP’s own verbal agitator Ann Coulter posted the insult Dec 30th on her twitter while encouraging people to watch Republican Christopher Barron be interviewed by a “retarded” MSNBC host.

“Great video: head of GOProud interviewed by retarded person on MSNBC,” Coulter wrote, providing a link to this interview, in which Barron of Republican gay rights group GOProud defends the group’s conservative credentials to Cenk Uygur, after invitees of the Conservative Political Action Conference boycotted the event over the inclusion of Barron’s organization.

As Business Insider points out, Coulter’s use of the “r-word” — which she leveled at Uygur after he questioned Barron’s decision to identify as Republican — may put former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose youngest child, Trig, has Down Syndrome, in a tight spot.

Palin called for Rahm Emanuel to be fired earlier this year after he addressed a group of people as “f*cking retards.”

“I would ask the president to show decency in this process by eliminating one member of that inner circle, Mr. Rahm Emanuel, and not allow Rahm’s continued indecent tactics to cloud efforts,” Palin said.

Following Rahm’s comment, Rush Limbaugh also fired off an attack using the word, an action that earned him a (much less passionate) rebuke.

Yet so far not a word from Mrs. Sarah Palin. Wasn’t even mentioned during her recent radio spot on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. Not a word. Laura didn’t ask and Sarah didn’t bring it up. Wonder why?

Can we assume that Palin hasn’t heard about this?

Or do we assume that again Sarah Palin only has criticisms for those on the other side?

Should we assume that Sarah Palin might be afraid to counter someone like Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter because she’s afraid of their power?

Should we assume that Sarah Palin thinks Ann Coulter used this word as satire, therefore making it ok by Sarah’s standards?

What about when she criticized Down Syndrome actress Andrea Friedman’s portrayal of an independent woman with Down Syndrome on the show The Family Guy?

Was that only because her character’s mother was also portrayed as the Governor of Alaska so Sarah thought they were really making fun of her?

Why does Ann Coulter get pass?

Why does Sarah Palin talk about the joy of having Trig, but never what it is like to raise him?

Just what does it take to raise a special needs child Sarah?

Does she know?

Why does Rush Limbaugh get a pass?

Why was it so easy for Sarah Palin to leave town for five days immediately after Trig had surgery?
That she has gone so far as to use and thereby abuse a child with Down Syndrome whose interests are clearly in seclusion, careful nurturing and care, and constant parental attention, tells you a huge amount. So does this:

    Her young son, Trig, was to have an operation — routine but still worrisome — on the Friday before [mid-term] Election Day, and so the mother was loath to commit to anything. Trig’s procedure went well. That evening, Palin’s political adviser, Andrew Davis, pulled an all-nighter arranging for her to make a Saturday drop-in on behalf of John Raese, the West Virginia senatorial candidate who was trailing the Democratic nominee, Joe Manchin, the popular governor. Raese’s wife, Elizabeth, had issued a personal plea to Palin to save the day.

Yes, she left her two-year-old with Down Syndrome after a “worrisome” operation to campaign half the world away the next day, to save a far right candidate who lost. But she didn’t leave Trig behind on a late-night stop in her red-state tour to promote her last book.

Why is Sarah Silent on this?


Alaskans Crawling Out from Under Sarah Palin’s Rogue Bus

The Blackberry addict & former Palin aide John Bitney, host Shannyn Moore, the town crank Anne Kilkenny, and the effete young chap Andrew Halcro. Courtesy of Moore Up North

It has already been established and is well documented that former Alaska Governor and losing VP Candidate Sarah Palin has a very hard time telling the truth in her book Going Rogue.

While she’s running around the country lapping up the adoration of the teabagger crowd, many in Alaska are crawling out from under the bus, while many are still under the wheels.

Voices from the Flats – Palin Critic’s Attorney on Being “Named” in Going Rogue:

Sarah trashes Nick Carney (the Wasilla city councilman who recruited Sarah into politics), John Stein (Sarah’s predecessor as mayor of Wasilla), Anne Kilkenny (a Wasilla resident whose viral email educated the nation to Sarah’s lackluster record as mayor), an unnamed City of Wasilla librarian, Frank Murkowski (Sarah’s predecessor as Governor of Alaska), Gregg Renkes (Frank’s Attorney General), Lyda Green (the former President of the Alaska Senate), Hollis French (the chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the Alaska Senate), Steve Schmidt (John McCain’s campaign manager), an unnamed KTUU television cameraman, Walt Monegan (Sarah’s Commissioner of Public Safety), Randy Ruedrich (the chairman of the Alaska Republican Party with whom Sarah worked at the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission), Bill Allen (the corpulent head of the oil field services company VECO, a odious scum bag whose reputation as the bag man for Big Oil in the state capitol had been a matter of common knowledge in Alaska for a generation when Sarah went with her hand out to Bill for the campaign contributions she used to launch her statewide political career), Mike Wooten (Sarah’s ex-brother-in-law), unnamed executives of the Exxon-Mobil, British Petroleum, and Conoco-Phillips oil companies, Pete Rouse (a former Alaskan who was Senator Barack Obama’s chief of staff), Rahm Emanuel (President Barack Obama’s chief of staff), Kim Elton (a former member of the Alaska Senate who is Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s Special Assistant for Alaska), unnamed members of the McCain campaign staff who prepped Sarah for her television debate with Joe Biden, John Bitney (Governor Palin’s liaison to the Alaska Legislature), Levi Johnston (the hockey-playing, Playgirl modeling impregnator of Bristol Palin).

That’s not the complete list. There’s no index and I’m tired of typing.

Of all the individuals on the Going Rogue enemies list, the two firsts among equals are Andrew Halcro and Andree McLeod.

Halcro is a former Republican member of the Alaska House of Representatives who ran as an independent candidate against Sarah Palin in the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial election. After the election he started a website that he used to become one of Governor Palin’s most articulate and factually well-informed critics.

It was Andrew Halcro who broke the story that Governor Palin had fired Walt Monegan, her Commissioner of Public Safety, because Walt had refused to fire Mike Wooten, Sarah’s ex-brother-in-law, from his union job as an Alaska State Trooper. That news led to the Troopergate investigation of Sarah (and Todd) Palin’s misuse of the Office of the Governor. In the Troopergate report that Sarah touts as clearing her of wrong-doing, the investigator, a former prosecutor with whom (unlike the Legislature’s investigator) Sarah cooperated, implies that during his investigation either Walt Monegan committed criminal perjury or Sarah Palin committed criminal perjury. But the Legislature had no stomach during the remainder of Sarah’s tenure as Governor to determine whether she was the felon.

In Going Rogue Sarah describes Andrew Halcro as “a wealthy, effete young chap who had taken over his father’s local Avis Rent A Car, and he starred in his own car commercial. He would go on to host a short-lived local radio show while blogging throughout the day, all of which were major steps up from a previous job as our limo driver at Todd’s cousin’s wedding.”

Andree McLeod is where I come in.

Short, smart, politically committed, and tenaciously energetic, Andree McLeod is a Republican political activist of Armenian heritage who had once been a personal friend of Sarah Palin’s, who Sarah had endorsed when Andree ran in the Republican primary for a seat in the Alaska House of Representatives.

When I went to her home in east Anchorage to have my cup of coffee I found Andree sitting at her dining room table surrounded by two-foot-high stacks of paper print-outs of several thousand emails that the Office of the Governor had given to her in July in response to a request she had filed in June pursuant to the Alaska Public Records Act. The request had asked for emails that had been sent to or received by employees of the Office of the Governor who Andree suspected had been engaging in partisan – i.e., Alaska Republican Party – political activities during their public employee workdays. Andree submitted her public records request three months before anyone other than those of us in Alaska had ever heard of Sarah Palin.

The reason I had been invited to meet with Andree was that one of the things she had discovered by reading the emails was that when Governor Palin assumed office she had set up a private back-channel email system so that she and her senior staff could communicate with each other about state business without the content of their communications being “captured” by State of Alaska computer servers, and hence being available for public inspection pursuant to the Alaska Public Records Act. The Washington Post, The New York Times, and other national media would later report that story. To read more visit Alaskan site The Mudflats.

The month after the McCain-Palin ticket lost the presidential election, again representing Andree McLeod, on December 8, 2008 I filed a second lawsuit against Governor Palin when a further review of the emails that Andree had been given revealed that the Office of the Governor had given to Todd Palin, a private citizen who was an employee of British Petroleum, copies of emails that it was withholding from public inspection on the ground of deliberative process privilege.

That litigation is ongoing. The legal questions of first impression that they present for decision are important enough that my expectation is that both lawsuits will end up in the Alaska Supreme Court.

What does any of that have to do with me and Going Rogue?

Prior to me agreeing to represent her in the two lawsuits above-described, Andree McLeod had begun filing what became a series of complaints against Sarah Palin with the State Personnel Board that alleged ethical transgressions unrelated to the lawsuits. Other Alaskans did the same thing. According to Going Rogue, those ethics complaints have driven Sarah Palin flat-out full-crank nuts.

After trashing Andree McLeod at page 354 of Going Rogue Lynn Vincent aka Sarah Palin moves on to me. Here’s what Lynn and Sarah say:
We always suspected that someone was funding and directing Andree’s efforts. During the spring of 2009, she was actually still begging my administration for a job and led others to believe she hadn’t worked for a couple of years. Yet somehow she had enough time or money to turn harassment of the governor’s office into a full-time vocation. Over time, the wording of her ethics complaints became more and more sophisticated, and we later found out why: prominent liberal attorney Don Mitchell was advising her. As early as September 2008, weeks before the presidential election, Mitchell had already detailed the ethics attack strategy in an article in the Huffington Post. Later he sat with Andree as her counsel at one of her hearings.

I wish my late mother was still alive. Because I know how proud she would be that I made the Going Rogue enemies list and have been mentioned by name in a book whose first printing is 1.5 million copies. (Because he is not named, the mother of the KTUU cameraman who posed Sarah in front of the turkeys can take no such pride.)

But my number is listed in the Anchorage telephone book. If that failed, Lynn and Sarah could have googled “Donald Craig Mitchell.” And if that had failed, since Meg Stapleton, the increasingly strange combination of Sancho Panza and Odd Job who works for Sarah, and I have mutual friends, Meg could have found me quite easily.

Had Lynn Vincent, Sarah, or Meg called me before Lynn had finished writing Going Rogue, I would have told her that in a single paragraph Lynn/Sarah got almost every one of their facts about me, other than that I am an attorney, wrong.

While I probably once was, I haven’t been a “prominent” attorney in Alaska in years. While I am a registered Democrat, my personal politics are hardly “liberal.” To the extent anyone cares, I am a social libertarian who is an Eisenhower era deficit hawk who agrees with Teddy and Frank Roosevelt that the principal responsibility of government is to save capitalism from itself. And while during the presidential campaign several of my ‘Governor Girl Reports’ were posted by individuals other than me on the Huffington Post and Atlantic Monthly web sites, none of those musings “detailed an ethics attack strategy.”

But most importantly, not only have I never advised Andree regarding her ethics complaints, to the best of my recollection I have never read an Andree McLeod ethics complaint. Had Lynn, Sarah, or Meg called me, I also would have told them that neither Andree McLeod nor I have been paid a nickel by anyone for anything (although if I win either of my lawsuits I intend to send the Office of the Governor a bill for my attorneys fee, which under Alaska law I am permitted to do).

It is true, however, that, as Going Rogue reports, because she asked me to, I did accompany Andree to her interview with Tim Petumenos, the former prosecutor the State Personnel Board hired to investigate both the complaint Sarah filed against herself regarding the Troopergate affair and a complaint Andree filed against Sarah and Frank Bailey, Sarah’s Director of Boards and Commissions, for violating state civil service rules in order to give one of Sarah’s campaign supporters a job for which he was not qualified. Again to the best of my recollection, I have never read either complaint. And if he is asked, I think Tim will say that during his interview with Andree I pretty much just sat there.

It also is worth mentioning that the State Personnel Board found the ethics complaint that Andree McLeod filed against Frank Bailey meritorious.

Why should anyone care about any of that? The reason they should care is that if Lynn Vincent aka Sarah Palin got as many of the facts, asserted and implied, about me in Going Rogue as wrong as she did, what does that say about the validity of the many other, much more important, “facts” in Sarah’s book?

It’s fully fine by me that billions of federal tax dollars are being spent annually to invent an AIDS vaccine. But it is just as important to someday invent a Pinocchio serum.

If the world had one, before a faux celebrity like Sarah Palin writes a book, doctors from the CDC could roll up the celebrity’s sleeve and inject him or her with a jolt of the serum. And a serum also would have other important uses.

For example, on page 214 of Going Rogue Lynn Vincent reports that when the McCain campaign vetted Sarah, she confessed to Steve Schmidt, the manager of the campaign, that “the one skeleton I’d kept hidden in my closet” (my emphasis) was that she had gotten a D in a college course.

Had Sarah been shot up with Pinocchio serum prior to the vetting, the immediate growth of the length of her nose would have tipped off Schmidt that the more truthful answer to the one skeleton in the closet question would have been, as The National Enquirer subsequently reported with no push back from Team Sarah, “cuckolding Todd when he was working on the North Slope by hooking up with Brad Hanson, Todd’s business partner in the Polaris snow machine sales business Brad and Todd owned in Wasilla.”

The Anchorage Daily News Reports today that one former Palin aide isn’t too happy about being referred to as a Blackberry Video Game Junkie who can’t seem to keep food off of his tie.

Portrayal in Palin book irritates former aide:

Former Gov. Sarah Palin’s book, “Going Rogue,” blames her first legislative director for moves early in her term that helped poison her relationship with state lawmakers. But the ex-aide, John Bitney, calls Palin’s account a fabrication and said he wishes his former boss would leave him alone.

“I’m just pilloried right and left and turned into the big bad wolf here for stuff I didn’t do,” said Bitney, who is now an aide to Valdez Republican Rep. John Harris. “It’s like I’m this fictional character that she’s decided to make me out to be this sort of incompetent slob.”

Palin’s lawyer, Tom Van Flein, responded in an e-mail that Bitney and others have been talking about “their perceptions of, and distortions about” Palin for more than a year, since after she was chosen as Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential running mate.

” ‘Going Rogue’ is Sarah Palin’s book to set the record straight. It is her right to speak about the events that occurred in her administration and neither Mr. Bitney nor anyone else has the right to stifle that speech,” Van Flein said. “The statements in ‘Going Rogue’ speak for themselves, and it is Sarah Palin’s turn to get the truth out there after a year of misrepresentations, half-truths and dissembling by her critics.”

Palin’s writing about Bitney is her most detailed description yet of incidents that helped shape her relationship with legislators. Her bad blood with top legislators of both parties began not long after she took office. By last spring, relationships with many lawmakers from both parties had soured to the point that feuds with the governor overshadowed much of the other legislative business.

Bitney joins a list of people slammed in the book who are calling it fiction, including McCain’s former campaign manager, Steve Schmidt. Bitney, though, has a far deeper relationship with Palin than the others. He was a high school classmate of Palin’s from Wasilla who played a key role as an adviser in her successful 2006 campaign for governor.

Palin’s dealings with Bitney are described on several pages of her memoir, although he is never named and there are no details of his work on her 2006 campaign. Palin refers to him as “my first legislative director” and he comes in for some of the harshest criticism of anyone in the book. That includes observations on his personal grooming, such as, “He turned out to be a BlackBerry games addict who couldn’t seem to keep his lunch off his tie.” Later, in describing one encounter to discuss the budget, Palin writes, “The fact that his shirt was buttoned one button off and his shirt tail was poking through his open fly didn’t exactly inspire confidence.” But Palin’s larger point is that Bitney bungled her relationship with legislators.

Bitney is now swinging back hard at Palin, agreeing to appear over the weekend on a television show hosted by one of the former governor’s most vocal critics in Alaska, blogger Shannyn Moore. Bitney was on a panel of others slammed in “Going Rogue” that included Palin nemesis Andrew Halcro and Anne Kilkenney, who wrote a long e-mail critical of Palin’s leadership in Wasilla that was forwarded around the country during the presidential campaign last year.

Moore asked Bitney if Palin is sane. Bitney’s response: “Is a sociopath sane?”

‘ADULT IN THE HOUSE’
One turning point between Palin and Alaska lawmakers came in 2007 after her first legislative session. Legislators complained that Palin blindsided them with the scope of her budget vetoes and she rubbed it in by saying there had to be an “adult in the house.” Legislators saw it as a slap in the face and the remark was not forgotten.

Palin writes that it was Bitney who advised her to tell lawmakers that they were in need of adult supervision. In fact, she writes, he told her, “Trust me, I know this stuff, they want to hear it.”

Palin writes that she followed his advice and had a “come-to-Jesus meeting” with legislators. But, as it turned out, that’s not what they wanted to hear. She writes that “when the fallout began after that meeting, I looked at the legislative director. He looked at the ground and shrugged as if to say ‘Wasn’t me.’ ”

Bitney said in an interview that he joked with Palin in her office about how there needs to be an adult in the room when it comes to the state budget, but he said he never advised the then-governor to say it to anyone. He said Palin then made the comment in an interview with the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial board — not in a “come-to-Jesus” meeting with legislators as she recounts in her book.

Bitney left the governor’s office in July 2007 in what Palin’s spokeswoman initially said was an “amicable” termination in which it was mutually agreed that he would leave his post for personal reasons. When reporters raised questions about it during the presidential campaign, the reason given by Palin’s office was “poor job performance.”

Bitney has told reporters he was fired after Palin was informed he was having an affair with the wife of a friend of Palin and her husband, Todd. Bitney, who has since married the woman, has said he was not forthcoming with Palin about it and understands why he had to go.

Palin’s only reference to that in her book is that “later we learned the legislative director had been too busy with his personal affairs to attend to much state business.”

‘LEAVE ME ALONE’
Bitney has influential defenders in the Legislature, including Sitka Republican Sen. Bert Stedman, who has been critical of Palin and said he won’t read her book because she is “entertainment and not news.” Stedman said Bitney is qualified and that he did a good job dealing with the Legislature for Palin. He said he told Bitney at one point to let him know if he was ever looking for a job.

Palin writes that she told Bitney to send a letter to legislators about what sort of spending she would approve but that he didn’t do it. She said he indicated lawmakers were fine with budget vetoes that were coming but it became clear otherwise when they howled about being blindsided. “It soon became obvious just how little the legislative director had done to inform the legislature this was coming,” she writes.

Bitney said it was another staffer in the governor’s office, not him, who was requested to send the letter. The letter asked legislators for suggestions on which of their projects to cut, Bitney said, and not surprisingly they did not rush to answer Palin.

Bitney said he did meet with the four co-chairs of the state House and Senate finance committees to tell them about the coming vetoes, and reported back to Palin that three of them felt that was her prerogative and only one became angry.

But Palin staffers had only identified about $100 million worth of cuts by that point, about half of the final total. Bitney said the following day was when his “troubles” with Palin began. He said he was pulled from the governor’s budget work, and fired soon after. In the meantime, he said, Palin staffers kept cutting beyond what he had told legislators but he didn’t have authority to talk to them about it.

Palin uses Bitney in the book to illustrate a point about government. Bitney had years of experience as a legislative staffer and lobbyist before joining her team. “So much for my idea that I needed to hire an ‘insider.’ Lesson learned,” she writes.

Bitney said he tried to be fair to Palin when national media kept “crawling up my backside” over the past year to interview him about her. But the book is too much, he said.

“I’ve had it. Enough. Just enough; leave me alone,” he said.

The Wealth Effet Young Chap Andrew Halcro’s take on his mention in Going Rogue.
Monday Comment: Digging Two Graves November 16, 2009:

On Friday after they received an advance copy of Sarah Palin’s new book, the Associated Press called me to get a response from the two hundred plus words that Alaska’s former 1/2 term governor dedicated to me.

My favorite passage as read to me by Rachel D’Oro at the AP was when Palin referred to me as an “effete chap.”

An effete chap? Who am I, Nick Carraway in the Great Gatsby?

And by the way, when did Palin start using 17th century Latin in her dialogue?

According to the brief excerpts I’ve heard, the book seems like it’s less about her and more about blaming everybody around her for all of her short comings. From her lack of intelligence to the word getting out about her pregnant daughter, no matter what the problem or criticism, it’s always somebody elses fault and never hers.

This in and of itself is rich in irony.

After all, how many real rogues complain about being hemmed in by the actions of others?

Isn’t that the antithesis of a rogue?

However, once the book is on the street beginning Tuesday, those throughout Palin’s 413 page pity party that suffer the wild blows of her imagination will come forward with guns blazing to refute the revisionist history Palin has penned.

From the brief passages that Palin has written about me in her book, the terms unmitigated lies, narcissistic delusions and libel came to mind first.

Obviously she never learned the timely Confucius warning:

“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

Beginning Tuesday…the people whom Palin has attacked in her book will start reaching for their own shovels.

After perusing the articles on Andrew’s site I would feel confident in my assessment of what really bugs Sarah about Andrew…………….he’s smart, does his homework, works hard and cares about Alaska.

Alaskan Radio Host Shannyn Moore recently begin filming her new show Moore Up Northabout political and state issues. Moore Up North was taped before a live audience at Bernie’s Bungalow Lounge in Anchorage. Last weeks guests included: Rick Steiner, Anne Kilkenny, Andrew Halcro and John Bitney. As expected they discussed the Sarah Palin they know.

View the rest of the segments Moore Up North here.


Sarah Palin’s Private Right to Life Speech: Trig Pregnancy Version III

Sarah Palin was in Milwaukee Friday Nov. 6th to speak before the Wisconsin Right to Life group. At the end of her speech she presented the group with a check for $1,000 and encouraged attendees to join her new club Sarah’s Rogues to donate $1,000 too. Certainly most of them have an extra $1,000 sitting around right now and would be more than thrilled to be one of Sarah’s Rogues.

Although the event was closed to the press and attendees were told no cameras, no cell phones, no electronic devices and no note taking, no laptops, no audio recording devices and so on, we were still able to pick up from various sources the bulk of Sarah’s speech. One thing that seems to be a common theme for Palin when speaking to these right to life groups is to remind them that she had a difficult choice to make when she learned of her son Trig’s Down Syndrome.

While most would expect if she is so pro-life what choice or decision she had to make. If she’s pro-life all the time, then she wouldn’t have needed to consider a thing, correct?

But we learned for the first time at her speech to the Indiana Right to Life group that she did have a choice to make. She told the Indiana crowd that she had to choose to keep her baby, that yes thank the lord she has the right to choose whether to proceed with her pregnancy or to terminate the pregnancy. She chose to proceed (although many now believe she was never pregnant with Trig in spite of the MSM saving the bombshell for bigger times)with her pregnancy.

Yes, you heard right Sarah had a choice. Just like the choice she would like to see removed for any other woman in the country, but for Sarah having a choice meant everything.

milwaukee

Sarah Palin speaking in Milwaukee, WI 11/06/09

But each time Palin decides to share with another pro-life group her experience as a woman carrying a child with a permanent and challenging disability the story never appears to be told the same way twice. In Indiana she tells the group she was out of town at a gas and oil conference when she first discovered she was pregnant (yet didn’t know she was pregnant with a ds baby) that right then and there she contemplated ending the pregnancy. Not once she discovered her child would be born with an extra chromosome that would make his health and life and a challenging one, but before that moment.

As reported in Indiana:

“I had found out that I was pregnant while out of state first, at an oil and gas conference. While out of state, there just for a fleeting moment, wow, I knew, nobody knows me here, nobody would ever know. I thought, wow, it is easy, could be easy to think, maybe, of trying to change the circumstances. No one would know. No one would ever know.

“Then when my amniocentesis results came back, showing what they called abnormalities. Oh, dear God, I knew, I had instantly an understanding for that fleeting moment why someone would believe it could seem possible to change those circumstances. Just make it all go away and get some normalcy back in life. Just take care of it. Because at the time only my doctor knew the results, Todd didn’t even know. No one would know. But I would know. First, I thought how in the world could we manage a change of this magnitude. I was a very busy governor with four busy kids and a husband with a job hundreds of miles away up on the North Slope oil fields. And, oh, the criticism that I knew was coming. Plus, I was old . . .

“So we went through some things a year ago that now lets me understand a woman’s, a girl’s temptation to maybe try to make it all go away if she has been influenced by society to believe that she’s not strong enough or smart enough or equipped enough or convenience enough to make the choice to let the child live. I do understand what these women, what these girls go through in that thought process.”

A Wisconsinite that attended the speech this past Friday noted that Palin made these remarks to the Wisconsin group:

“Two years ago I had an ultra sound. I was 12 weeks along. The technician said she saw boy parts. I was like, yes, what could be better than a little baby boy? Then she said the baby’s neck was thicker than usual. I was like yes, that’s great. Then I thought, oh oh. I recall the fear, knowing what a thick neck may mean. More tests. My baby had Down Syndrome. What is amazing is who this child is. My family’s life is so much richer because of this beautiful baby boy named Trig. He’s awesome! Groups like this affirm the value of every life.

That is what I had to hold onto – that seed of faith—when I was afraid.

We know that 80-90% of Down Syndrome babies are aborted. They’re aborted because they live in a society of some people’s idea of perfection, not God’s.

Today I thank God for all of these circumstances. I never thought I’d be asked to walk the walk. It took me a while to get there through my pregnancy. I asked God and I asked Todd, “Why us?” Todd said, “Why not us?”

I want to help you help people to be less afraid and make this world more welcoming for every baby.”

But interestingly enough neither of those versions meet with the version she and Todd told reporter People reporter Lorenzo Benet who interviewed the Palin family before Sarah Palin was selected by John McCain as his running mate. She and Todd spoke to him about the circumstances of the pregnancy, diagnosis of Trig’s condition and how the family dealt with. Benet then went on to write the book Trailblazer based on the several interviews he’d done with Palin and her family. People magazine was Sarah Palin’s preference for press announcements and articles about her family so one can assume it was quite easy for him to begin collecting information.

In “Trailblazer”, starting on page 181, Benet said:

“Sarah kept mum about the pregnancy until October.

Todd had figured it out but was discreet enough not to say a word. When Sarah finally gave him the great news, she said with a shrug, “Life is full of surprises”, she told People magazine. Todd was ecstatic. He had already wanted another son, friends said, and his oldest boy had just signed up for a stint in the Army, and the country was in the middle of a war. There was no telling what might happen if Track were called to serve in the theater, which he eventually was.

For the next five months, Todd and Sarah kept the pregnancy a secret. Any thoughts of breaking the news early to their kids were scuttled when Sarah learned her baby had Down syndrome after having amniocentesis at thirteen weeks. Todd was away working when her family doctor, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, called with the news. Sarah drove over to Johnson’s office, discussed the implications, and received some reading material on the disorder. Then she headed home to ponder her fate.

Over the next couple of days, she read everything she could on the disorder. (…) Some children cannot speak until age four, and half of the infants are born with a hole in the heart, as was the case with Trig. If the holes don’t close, surgery is often required (Trig, fortunately, avoided surgery).

(…) There was never any question about keeping the baby, and Sarah explained later that the one reason she did amnio was simply to be prepared for any eventuality. It was time, she said, to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

When Todd returned from his trip, she broke the news to him gently during a quiet moment at home. Tears welling in her eyes, she said: “The good news is we have a boy. But we have a challenge.” Unwavering in his support, Todd said: “Awesome! I am getting another boy.”

It may not have been part of their plan, the couple believed, but certainly it was part of a greater plan. “Why not us?”, Todd said. Sarah continued keeping her secret from the public and her children. Not discussing the pregnancy with her daughters, she felt, would shorten the process for them and spare them from unwanted attention. “I didn’t want Alaskans to fear I would not be able to fulfill my duties”, she told People.”

So the first time we hear about having an ultrasound is in Wisconsin and a technician not only felt comfortable enough to tell her the baby was not only a boy, but that it also had a thick neck which they could see at 12 weeks gestation. In the interview with Benet she gives the impression that Todd knew she was pregnant before any of the testing was done, yet in Indiana she gives a different version where Todd doesn’t know, nobody knows, yet she knows by 12 weeks that the baby will be born with down syndrome?

And despite all of the security restrictions someone was Tweeting the entire thing somehow.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Bill Glauber was at the event:

The speech marked Palin’s re-emergence on the national scene. The event was emceed by WTMJ-AM radio personality Charlie Sykes. The Journal Sentinel purchased a ticket to cover Palin’s speech.

Security was tight at the Wisconsin Exposition Center. Spectators were told beforehand that prohibited items included cell phones, recording devices, video and still cameras, as well as strollers and car seats. A line stretched across the length of the facility and out to a parking lot as spectators waited patiently to pass through security.

Once they got inside, spectators didn’t have to wait long for what they came for – Palin’s speech. The address began with Palin asking for a moment of silence to remember those killed in Thursday’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas.

As was Politico’s Jonathan Martin:

She then got a standing ovation from most of the crowd, but a few had begun to leave before she even finished and within seconds of her concluding, scores more got up and put on their jackets as they walked away.

In addition to the suggestion that government officials would consider hastening the death of the infirm or handicapped, she began her remarks with a puzzling commentary on the design of newly minted dollar coins.

Noting that there had been a lot of “change” of late, Palin recalled a recent conversation with a friend about how the phrase “In God We Trust” had been moved to the edge of the new coins.

“Who calls a shot like that?” she demanded. “Who makes a decision like that?”
Coins

She added: “It’s a disturbing trend.”

Unsaid but implied was that the new Democratic White House was behind such a move to secularize the nation’s currency.

Maybe someone should have directed Sarah Palin to the internet to the site World Religious News here she would have learned the following about the change in coins that was reported in 2007:

The national motto “In God We Trust” will move from the edge of new dollar coins honoring U.S. presidents to the front or back of the currency. A provision in the $555 billion domestic spending bill for 2008, which President Bush signed into law on December 26, calls for the change to take place “as soon as is practicable.” Greg Hernandez, a spokesman for the U.S. Mint, said the change will occur in 2009.

Even Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic while not at the event, wants to know why Sarah always has such trouble telling the same story twice about the baby she so desperately wanted to give birth to. Most mother’s never forget the moment they learn they’re pregnant and would certainly never forget the moment they were informed their precious child would be born with condition of down syndrome.

Some remaining questions: When exactly did Todd find out about the pregnancy? And when did he discover that his son had Down Syndrome? Or were those two pieces of news delivered simultaneously? Why did the Palins make no attempt to prepare their other children for Trig’s special needs when they had so long to do so? Why on earth did Palin believe that the mere fact of her pregnancy would elicit criticism and disdain – “Oh, the criticism that I knew was coming” – when it would obviously actually redound to her credit as a working mom and governor?

Maybe her “book” will resolve these and other empirical questions about the logic and detail of her pregnancy and labor stories. Maybe someone will even ask her to clarify the chronology of the critical reason for her enduring appeal. It would, you know, be relevant, if not deferent.

Something doesn’t quite add up, but with Sarah Palin there is no simple math, no logical findings, no balance and the story is never the same twice.

Wonder what the next version will be.


%d bloggers like this: