Sunday, 30 May 2010

Palingates Weekly Roundup - May 24 to May 29

By Blueberry Tart

This past week got off to a glorious start, as Palingates revealed Sarah Palin's secret speaking fee paid by CSU Stanislaus. The information was received from reliable sources and many news outlets in California and elsewhere linked to Palingates in their reports. CSU Stanislaus Foundation president Matt Swanson tried to dismiss our claims as political grandstanding, but didn't dispute the figure of $75,000 paid to the Washington Speakers Bureau in two instalments. Senator Leland Yee published a press release with this comment: “If these figures are accurate, clearly CSU got a bad deal and Sarah Palin gouged California students. Celebrities should not be trying to line their own pockets at the expense of students, especially at a time when our public higher education system is in such dire straits.” The newspapers called Palingates an "anti-Palin" blog, but Sen. Yee had a better description: "Sarah Palin watchdog" site. The LA Times confirmed the amount a few days later, citing two unnamed sources within the university. Patrick was taking a break from all things Palin, but that didn't prevent him from writing three excellent posts in the past few days. Whenever one of the team takes a break, things tend to happen!

The excitement continued, with the news that author Joe McGinniss has rented the house right next door to Sarah’s family compound on Lake Lucille! We learned this wonderful news from none other than Sarah herself, in a Facebook rant extraordinaire, in which she managed to insinuate that McGinniss is a peeping Tom, titillate her fan base by describing her plans to mow the lawn in shorts and tank top, and, sadly, cast blueberry desserts in a bad light! (We later learned that Sarah had stiffed her neighbor for the cost of renovations she requested while renting the property; apparently once the Palins bought the other adjacent lot, they no longer needed the rental house and reneged on their agreement with the house owner, who subsequently sought out McGinnis as a tenant... in short, karma is a bitch.) The comments fantasized about potential weekend guests (Maddow, Olberman, Stewart, Dunn, the Johnstons, etc.) and speculated about why Sarah seems to have a thing about her daughters being the object of some imagined sexual perversion. Other comments highlighted the numerous media outlets that picked up the CSU speech cost revelations (later confirmed by LA Times), critiques of Sarah’s real estate conference speech, and a hilarious spoof of her FB rant copied by Palinoia from HuffPo comments.

The next post was straight out of the theater of the absurd. Bristol and Tripp, along with Willow, are featured in a glossy spread in Harper’s Bazaar, with the girls wearing elegant evening gowns while in the kitchen of Bristol’s condo (and outside wearing gown and rubber boots). Of course, Tripp is the barefoot baby prop du jour; it seems a Palin trademark to exploit their children for personal gain. One of the photos is of a make-believe tea party, with silver teapot and china service and many elegant cakes. This photo shoot was taken during the last week of the Tea Party Express bus tour, perhaps inspiring the theme. As several commenters noted, it would have made more sense if the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit made an appearance, since we know that the Queen-without-a-Heart was working behind the scenes. The only semi-sane interpretation I could muster about this truly absurd photoshoot is that it was a none-too-subtle spoof of Bristol’s utter hypocrisy about being a hard-working single unwed mother with a tough life (gag me). Either Harper’s was mocking her and she was too dumb to know (my take), or else they should really change the spelling to Harper’s Bizarre.

Sunnyjane offered us a sobering guest post about right-wing authoritarianism in the U.S. She reviewed John Dean’s 2006 expose, Conservatives Without Conscience, which draws heavily from the work of psychologist Dr. Robert Altemeyer. This post focuses on the takeover of the Republican party by right-wing extremists who bear close parallels with other authoritarian regimes (both fascist and communist). The leaders of the radical right-wing have social dominance traits and their followers are submissive to authority, self-righteous, ultra-moralistic, dogmatic, prejudiced, hypocritical, punitive bullies. This, combined with personality disorders, makes Sarah a rich subject for psychological profiles. The post also deals with one of the most interesting characteristics of the ultra-right – that they preach morality and attempt to impose their religious views on others, but they are often woefully immoral themselves; the author explains that they are able to shed their guilt through “cheap grace.” The post aptly describes how Sarah wields her religion to foster division in this country, all under the guise of righteousness that plays into this extreme authoritarianism. I can’t begin to do justice to this interesting post or the 540 comments.

Regina followed with an interesting post on a topic brought up in the comments: how Sarah makes her daughters the objects of her imagined sexual innuendo. The question is whether this reflects Sarah’s own disturbed psyche (“mentally unstable” per the McCain-Palin Campaign) and/or whether it is a tactic to divert attention from unflattering news. There is a long list of bad news for Sarah recently, and her over-the-top reaction to Joe McGinnis next door has diverted attention from the list of losers whom she backed in recent primaries and the scandals floating around some of the candidates she endorsed. (Mother Jones has a good article on this as well.) Patrick then updated the post with the fascinating information that the same house that McGinnis rented served as a rehab center for recovering addicts for several years, apparently without generating any reaction by the Palins about the need to build a barrier. Fencegate reminds us that whining and making slanderous insinuations about Sarah’s perceived critics is her art form. She has used this technique repeatedly to garner sympathy and put her critics in a defensive position.

Regina easily debunked Sarah’s faux outrage about McGinnis being able to peer in her kitchen window by showing four different photo shoots in the Palin’s kitchen. In all, the blinds are closed at the only kitchen window on that side of the house. Also too, there does not appear to be any easy way to view Piper’s window from the house next door. Perhaps fencegate is yet another of Sarah’s many tempests in a teapot, meant to play the victim card, generate sympathy about all those who are out to get her, put her critics in a defensive position and distract and divert attention from her numerous candidate endorsement failures and other bad news (as Regina had posited earlier). Through the comments, we also learned that McGinnnis had notified Wasilla’s mayor to say that he would be renting the house next to Sarah’s. Several readers speculated that the mayor, an ally of Sarah’s, most likely called the Palins right away with the news, and that the whole righteous indignation and outrage thing was most likely planned and staged in advance.

Patrick (still on holiday...) made another appearance with his excellent post on the Nikki Haley scandal. Haley is another candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin, who almost immediately after Sarah’s kiss of death, became the subject of claims of an extra-marital affair. What did Sarah do? Shut her mouth until the facts were known? Nah! Instead, she took to Facebook to defend Haley and decry the media for reporting the affair. Except that the affair was actually reported by Haley’s paramour himself, who has provided substantial documentation that what he is saying is true. But Sarah would never let the facts get in the way of a good story, and no one is more experienced in cleverly flipping the truth on its head to cover up her brazen deceptions. Haley seems to be taking Sarah’s advice in how to deflect investigations of a scandal – deny deny deny and refuse to provide any documentation of her claims. Hey, it has worked for Sarah (so far). Nikki, maybe not so much.

Comments of the Week

I picked out a few favorites from the past week’s mother lode of more than 4000 comments, for your reading enjoyment (I confess that I have not even gotten through all of the comments yet, so there are undoubtedly more hidden gems among them – this is just to whet your appetite if you have not read the comments yet.) .

Posted by Consciousatlast:

Matriculate, Gesticulate, Winky-Gate, But did she GRADUATE??
The ICE QUEEN-Making of a Divisive, Vindictive and Incompetent Politician
Who's Your Daddy? -- A Menard a Trois!
Fakin' Bakin' a Bun in the Oven -- OR-- This Little Triggy went to the Book Tour and That Little Triggy stayed Home

Posted by More_Cowbell:

I've used this example before but she reminds me so much of Mark Twain's great essay on how unbelievable Fenimore Cooper's books were: "Of course a man who cannot see the commonest little every-day matters accurately is working at a disadvantage when he is constructing a "situation."..... the inaccuracy of details throw a sort of air of fictitiousness and general improbability over it."

Posted by Patrick (quoting from another site; forgot which – referring to Bristol)

1 Fans
She's a beautiful girl and if more single moms got off their butts and worked instead of going on welfare we would all be better off. Libs don't like her because she didnt have an abortion and is not an elitist. Congrats for taking resonsibility!!!!

kejia 1 minute ago (12:02 PM)
16 Fans
Wow, for a second I thought you said Bristol had acted responsibly. Then I realized you had created a new word:

Resonsibility [rɪˌsɒnsəˈbɪlɪtɪ]
n pl -ties
1. the state or position of blaming everything on Lame Stream Media
2. a person who makes money preaching what she did not practice
3. the ability or authority to be at home without supervision, and to choose to have premarital unprotected sex during that time.

Now that makes sense!

Finally, a few snippets: grasshopper dubbed Sarah “HerHeinous” and another poster reported that people are suggesting that the Gulf be renamed “Lake Palin.”

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