Monday, 21 June 2010

Palingates Weekly Roundup - June 14 to June 20

By Blueberry Tart

Let’s start with a round of applause for RPK and their secret photographer, who revealed last week that Levi was spending time at Bristol’s condo, leading to numerous stories and a link from Andrew Sullivan this week. Could B&L’s attempt to have a more normal relationship in raising Tripp have anything to do with Sarah’s anger, jutting jaw and jabbing finger on O’Reilly Tuesday night? Only her hairdresser knows for sure.

“Will she or won’t she?” Regina’s excellent post explored the likelihood that Sarah Palin will run for President in 2012, and theorizes about how she constantly creates enemies and battles, big and small, to ensure that she stays in the public eye. While Palingaters may respectfully disagree about how serious the threat is that Sarah could be elected, there is no doubt that she is a force in American politics. After what seemed like the end of her political aspirations when she quit last summer, Sarah is rising again (think Voldemort), represented as both a celebrity and an expert on energy and politics. So much for earning real credentials through education and hard work; the new paradigm is to simply have some fools call you an expert, and voilá!

The photo of Sarah just after her unforgettable “I’m not a Quitter so I’m quitting” speech is priceless. The “Well, I sure showed them!” look on her face brings back fond memories of middle school ;-). Taken in the context of the blathering idiocy that had just sprung from her mouth, it is a brilliant illustration of her mental instability and ambition run amok. As Regina reminds us, “We live in a world where the cult of celebrity is all pervasive and it has spilled into politics. We live in a world where politics is almost the synonym of dirty tricks and in America, corporations are citizens.”

This post exposes how the former half-term governor has inflated her résumé as well as her bustline. The post (with hat-tips to Truthout, Mudflats and Shannyn Moore) belies her claims that she was a crusading governor who reformed oil industry operations to protect against spills. For example, the oversight measures and gap analysis ordered in 2007 did not actually occur on her watch, and BP cut costs and raised profits in Alaska by cutting safety measures. The state’s new role as shareholder gaining from the oil industry’s profits conflicts with its role of holding the industry accountable to ensure that operations do not cause damage to the environment.

Money quote:

“After two serious oil spills and other mishaps, the BP employees fingered a long list of safety issues that have not been adequately addressed, making the Prudhoe Bay oilfield vulnerable to a devastating accident that potentially could rival the havoc in the Gulf.

"The condition of the [Prudhoe Bay] field is a lot worse and in my opinion a lot more dangerous," said Marc Kovac, who has worked for BP on Alaska's North Slope for more than three decades… "We are totally unprepared for a large spill."

The post includes Bill O’Reilly’s interview with Palin, which followed President Obama’s speech about the Gulf oil leak crisis. If you haven’t seen the video, you really should get an adult beverage and get comfy so you can be entertained – it almost rivals the Quitter speech in its incoherence, lunacy and angry drivel! Another classic Sarah Palin rant, complete with jabbing fingers, interruptions and nasty, self-satisfied smirks. There is notta lotta love lost here on Palingates for O’Reilly, but he earned some grudging admiration this week, first for asking Sarah a few tough questions, second for barely containing his disdain while letting her blather on, and third, for stating unequivocally that Sarah Palin does not know how to stop that leak. Best line from Sarah: "The Dutch, they are known, and the Norwegian. They are known for — for dikes (dykes?) and for cleaning up water and for dealing with spills.” OMG – priceless, vintage Sarah!

h/t to StephiLou273 for this cartoon:

Patrick’s first update debunked Palin’s lie that the U.S. would not accept any help from other countries; WaPo reported the opposite on Monday. The second update showed that Sarah lied when she said she started the Alaska pipeline oversight initiative; actually, Governor Frank Murkowski did this in 2006 (Sarah’s administration apparently changed the name and took the credit). This subject also hearkens back to this earlier PG post.

This post received a lot of attention and was updated by Patrick and Regina as new connections were spotted, so the next post didn't appear until later in the week.

Kathleen’s excellent guest post highlighted BP CEO Tony Hayward’s evasive and non-responsive testimony before Congress, and the inane apology by Republican Joe Barton of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The circus on Capitol Hill diverted attention from Hayward’s refusal to acknowledge the massive negligence of BP, which had ample evidence prior to the disaster that there were serious problems with the well. The post includes an incredibly moving video by Lea Morris, who speaks for her Gulf Coast neighbors about the destruction of their world, and appropriately lambastes Queen Sarah for her mantra, “drill, baby, drill.”

Thankfully, we have a few moments of respite from the storm of Palin-mania, and enjoy some fun times together, also2…Saturday was Regina’s birthday, so Kathleen, Patrick and we readers wished her happy birthday in multiple languages, had cyber-cake and joined the Beatles in a birthday serenade!

Patrick found an important documentary about the Exxon Valdez oil spill and drew some parallels between what happened then and what's happening now in the Gulf of Mexico. Were any lessons learned or is the safety of clean-up workers and local populations still secondary to money saving/making? This topic will not go away in a hurry. We're faced with the worst environmental disaster in the history of the US and deserve some answers.

Comments of the Week (culled from 3577 and counting):

maelewis: “I am sorry that our media seems to focus on style over substance and sound bite over intelligent speech. Sarah is a born natural at one thing, attracting attention for herself, day after day, for all of the wrong reasons.”

BanditBasheert: “She won't apologize. True sociopathic personalities are unable to either sense the need to apologize, or accept responsibility for their own actions and words. She is not mentally able to admit wrong for anything.”

saskcat: “...I would like to make a toast to the PG community and its perseverance, intelligence and overall kindness.”

AKRNC quoting Claire Berlinski: “Thatcher was a brilliant, pioneering, fearless, open and ethical conservative. Palin is a proudly ignorant, cowardly, secretive, unethical, know-nothing populist.”

maelewis has a wonderful first-person account of her time in Moscow during the last days of the Soviet empire, and the rotting from within that led to its collapse.

caligirl22: “She may run, but she can NEVER win. Even many of the Republicans will do everything in their power to bring her down. They know she is not mentally stable, she can't even control her tweeting, more less her finger on the red button.”

ThanksabunchJohn quotes Chris Matthews: "To those who fear her and those who love her, take heed. This Sarah Palin thing is not a drill. At least in her head, it's real and it's in a candidate's head that campaigns are conceived and committed to."

BfromC: “… We can't underestimate what the puppet masters (and her ego) will get her to try. I pretty much expect she will get to the point of tossing her hat in the ring and soaking up the excitement for a while...When the going gets too tough for Palin, and the meds no longer work and some kind of breakdown ensues, then she will quit, and it will be reality show time…”

Patrick quotes Andrew Sullivan: "She creates the situation she wants to gripe about. It's intentional. It's a way of appearing faux "feminist" while also displaying the wares that got every golddigger in history a sugardaddy. It's a way of controlling her product messaging."
Andrew also shares an interesting email exchange with the author of the Newsweek article, Lisa Miller, who acknowledges that she never investigated whether Sarah's Trig story is true "because we never found any reason to doubt Palin's truthfulness regarding the circumstances of Trig's birth." (I'm guessing they didn't try too hard!)

Older_Wiser: "Nevermind if you don't have a first class mind, a depth of consciousness about the world, a studious approach to problems--You Are Woman! This is the rightwing rebranding of feminism--not organic, but shaped to the rightwing ideology. Most women won't buy it, but men sure will; after all, she has the blessings of the Authoritarians."

Mrs. TarquinBiscuitBarrel: "I know I've said this before, but as a girl, I heard people dismiss the future presidential prospects of both Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. $P is nuttier, more dangerous, more divisive than either of them. We 'rill Amerkins' can't let this happen."

minnesotamud: "I think she has a big money machine behind her, directing her, so money won't be an issue to stop her. As Regina says, there may be/are puppetmasters pulling all the strings. This is the scary part if it is true: it is organized and planned with a lot of money and insiders calling the shots. Otherwise, she would have fallen by the wayside a while ago."

turuk: "I think we all know SP cannot win beyond the Republican primaries. She would have to produce medical records, answer questions that aren't Fox's Nerf-Ball underhand pitches, and talk to Katie Couric, etc. etc. Not a chance. However, this does not mean that she is not extremely dangerous… Rational discourse is of no avail. The only hope is disclose the skeletons in her closet and unveil the hypocrisy…”

BanditBasheert thinks she'll run and be torn apart in the primaries; Helen: “Agree, agree, agree. When she runs, if she gets anywhere at all she'll consider herself constantly ‘attacked’ and get to quit as the ultimate political victim, the first conservative mom to run for President. She'll be able to milk that for the rest of her life…”

mxm: "How will the puppet masters control the psychopath?"

BanditBasheert: "A straight jacket and unlimited ampules of thorazine."

bluerinse (on the Thatcher-Palin meeting): "True meeting of minds"

espresso4me: "'Nightmare on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue' with she who will not be named because the-thought-of-her-occupying-that-space...scares the living daylights out of little ol' me. Oy vey gifelta fish!"

kathleenpalingates: "Timothy Crawford has connections to the people behind the Diebold machines." [Crawford is a consultant for SarahPAC.]

ella (with H/T to Bluebear at DU): …the faux Palin (Pietra Sardelli, wearing Palin glasses and a casual smirk) dismissed rumors she underwent breast "augmentation." "I will not comment on things I cannot spell," she boasted.

cheeriogirl: "Sarah , routinely and rather masterfully, mixes in truths she doesn't want to grow legs, with tales of her victimization, thus mixing them up in the public eye...She's watering it down, BEFORE the MSM's even accused her of faking Trig's pregnancy. Now THAT'S a walkback!"

wayofpeace: “a MUST read regarding the issue SCARAH's eligibility: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle –Chris Hedges. A large part of the nation is SO easily manipulated by the SPECTACLE INDUSTRY, and that includes the 'news' programs!”

Elizabeth44: "I am one who is becoming increasingly concerned about the "puppet masters" and their intentions…. Her every tweet and twitter is breathlessly reported by the MSM as if they are pearls of wisdom. Are we laughing at her or making her sound credible due to repetition?”

Fawn218 coined a great new name, “Silicon Sarah,” and Turuk and sunnyjane had some fun coming up with "stump the candidate" questions for the Queen.

kilob was on a roll with: "Mr President, please telephone Sarah Palin on how to stop the leak, because oil is just like amniotic fluid!" and later: "... In Sarah Palins world, if you've ever pumped your own gasoline, you have energy experience to lead a nation."

Fawn218: "... Just remember sometimes when God opens the door for you its the one with the red EXIT over the doorway..."

frsbdg: "She was in full 'carpool mom with Tourettes' mode there.”

turuk: "And bring in the Dutch? WTF! Does she think a blonde kid with a bowl haircut and wooden shoes is going to swim down and stick his finger in the well?"

Teutonic13: "She was all over the map in this interview, and she was either on some sort of amphetamine, or she is incredibly manic and filled with rage."

espresso4me: "Oh my! Her syntax is showing. The words just thoughtlessly fall out of her obscene oral orifice while her tiny, shriveled brain thinks she is a genius. Throw in a few big words, forgo any sensibilities in the English language and show what a uneducated, narcissistic, nincompoop this faux woman truly is.”

JCos: "Too bad they didn't complete the Bridge to Nowhere, and let Palin be the first to cross it."

Kasha Knish found a good comment by cheeriogirl on huffpo: "What a surprise, huh? While Obama's been hard at work on dealing with the whole crisis, and cutting a deal FOR the American people, Sarah's been caught LYING, AGAIN!" (with link to Palingates – H/T)

Ennealogic has a wonderful acrostic – bottom line, Palin is an idiot.

Finny has a new candidate for the Urban Dictionary: “She's a celebritician”

kilob: “Sarah Palin has a twisted fixation with all things padded.

Padding her glorious resume as the Alaskan CEO
Belly padding to fake a pregnancy
Wearing a well oversized padded bra at the Belmont Stakes to stir bloggers into commenting.
Padding her SarahPAC disbursements to get that 5% cash back bonus
Padding her Going Rogue sales numbers
Padding expense records as AK CEO”

juicyfruityy (quoting ozmud): “By waging a non-stop verbal war against the winning administration, Sarah Palin reveals her own shortages. Poor sportsmanship and grudge-bearing pop out with every disparaging remark she aims at the president. Ignorance and a complete lack of understanding how the world works screams each time she refers to cap & trade as cap & tax. Her mean girl tendency bleeds through her recent interviews about the oil spill in the Gulf in which she criticizes the White House for not consulting her as an oil spill expert, while unable to proffer a single idea towards actually containing the spill.”

sick of Sarah: “Sarah, like the Deepwater Horizon, has a failed Blow Out Preventer.
She is spreading toxic waste everywhere, also too”

SoCalWolfGal: “This is my favorite :) Thatcher: ‘It is always important in matters of high politics to know what you do not know. Those who think they know, but are mistaken, and act upon their mistakes, are the most dangerous people to have in charge.’ I think that sums up Sarah Palin about as well as anyone will.”

Mrsgunka eloquently pled for civility in our comments; many readers agreed.

StephiLou273 has an interesting insider view of the Obamas that is worth a read (10:04 am Friday)

ProChoiceGrandma: “…Halliburton always rises to the top making mega billions of profit from the misery wrought upon others…”

Ennealogic: “…’You don't mess with Mother Nature’ keeps ringing in my ears.”

Notmensa: “Hayward was absolutely prepared for today. He went in knowing that he was/is BP's scapegoat and would wear the humiliation and wrath of congress and the media. BP is taking the full brunt of the world's fury when even at this early stage in the investigation it seems that Transocean, Haliburton, MMS and Marshall Islands all made decisions that contributed to it.”

BluedogAK posted a tweet from Roger Ebert: To @SarahPalinUSA: If only prayer can fix the Gulf Spill, then it was out of Obama's hands, so lay off of him already.

Commenters leave several excellent links, so we'll start a new section.

Links of the week

Juicyfruityy linked to Jason Easley’s smackdown of Darth Cheney.

Deb posted a link to Rachel Maddow’s excellent debunking of “energy independence.”
(Gist: the problem is our dependence on oil, not where it comes from.)

Rachel as “fake president” earned mixed reviews from ‘Gaters.

Patrick linked to Geoffrey Dunn’s article on HuffPo:

One interesting quote: “Palin's currency in American politics is not her faux expertise on energy resources -- it's her inner rage. And those who share it with her tap into that common anger and see her as their leader. It is as ugly as it is dangerous.”

Malia Litman wrote a brilliant “Letter to Sarah from the Netherlands”.

CDNpotpourri and Kasha Knish posted Joe Biden's response to Barton's apology to BP:

Patrick posted some more great links:

Democratic Underground:

"THIS may be the most singularly credulous piece of national reporting I've ever read… This is not journalism. This is Plan 9 From Outer Space…her complete lack of knowledge about any aspect of what she was talking about gobsmacked, of all people, Bill O'Reilly, whose gob is not easy to smack…"

The Nation:

“…So the idea that her spiritual life is any deeper than her political philosophy—and that includes what I, in my constitutionally protected opinion, believe is that complete fairy-tale about the dark night of the soul that Palin experienced after finding out she was pregnant, an episode that this piece finds so revealing—requires a offer of proof far beyond her simple say-so…”

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