Monday, 4 October 2010

Palingates Weekly Roundup - September 27 to October 3

By Blueberry Tart

It’s Kathleen’s birthday, and Regina is treating her (and us) to a serenade, a beautiful painting and poem and some luscious treats! Palingaters send Kathleen lots of ((((♥♥♥)))). Let’s all sit back and enjoy a special recording of Leonard Cohen with vocalist Julie Christensen, who joined us in the comments in wishing Kathleen a happy birthday: “Happy Birthday Kathleen! I'm new to your blog, but a friend has been talking with me about it for a while. I love this clip of Leonard's ‘Democracy’ and am proud to be one of the gals singing it with him. Have a great day! Yours Truly, Julie”
Democracy is coming to the USA

Sarah Palin often begins her speeches by shrieking “Do you love your freedom?” In this post, Patrick brings us back to the subject of freedom, illustrated by his brilliant black & white photos of Berlin still divided in the late 1980s. He reminds us how easy it is to be distracted by the trivial aspects of Sarah’s Palin’s celebrity, while her extremist political views and divisive persona attract minimal scrutiny. The post also reports on recent raids and intimidation of peace activists by the FBI in Minnesota, Chicago and North Carolina, and a report by the National Lawyers Guild on “The Policing of Political Speech.” Patrick reminds us that if Sarah Palin or her ilk were in power, this would be an even more dangerous scenario. His core purpose in writing this blog is to help preserve peace and freedom, which are under threat in America today.

Alan Grayson’s ad spotlights “Taliban Dan Webster’s” extreme ideas about women, which would take American women back to the “good old days” before we had rights. Among Webster’s positions: preventing women who have been raped from having an abortion if they become pregnant; considering battering a “pre-existing condition” (often) exempted from health care coverage, and, yes, that women should “submit” to their husbands. Contessa Brewer of CNN takes Grayson to task for taking that last quote out of context, but Grayson points out that she herself takes the narrow point about the clip out of context and that Webster’s speech, other statements and associations show that the clip accurately reflects his beliefs. (Also, PolitFact, which Brewer cites, has a detailed comment indicating that the spirit of Grayson’s ad is accurate.) The post highlights Webster’s deep ties to extreme religious fundamentalism as a 30-year member of the Institute of Basic Life Principles (submit, obey). To lighten things up, Grayson had some fun at Sarah Palin’s expense after she jumped into the fray (via Twitter). Enjoy a little laughter with the Kimmel clip at the end.

Saturday’s post is a great example of Palingates’ continuing work to expose the radical right-wing in America and its inroads to achieve power and influence. The post includes many segments and updates, so I will deal with it in several parts.

Anderson Cooper of CNN reports on Andrew Shirvell, a Michigan Assistant AG, who is stalking Chris Armstrong, the first openly gay president of the Michigan Student Assembly at UMich. As Cooper says in a fascinating interview with Shirvell, “it appears you are obsessed with this young gay man.” Cooper points out that Shirvell’s actions meet the Michigan definition of cyber-bullying and the dictionary definition of a bigot. Shirvell replies that he is not a bigot but “a Christian citizen exercising my First Amendment rights.” As CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin notes, this is really about Mike Cox, the conservative Republican AG, who is “very tied in to evangelical groups.” Toobin’s opinion is that these ties are the reason that Cox hasn’t fired Shirvell, not because of First Amendment rights, which protect his right to speak but do not protect his tax-payer funded job as a representative for all the people of Michigan. The post includes several sick, anti-gay Shirvell emails that Patrick found.

The post has many updates, delving into Andrew Shirvell’s cyber-bullying (admitted by AG Cox) and obsessive behavior, and his connections to Cox. They include revelations that Shirvell attempted to remove a Congresswoman from the bank’s board because of her pro-choice position, and his use of his role as Asst. AG to intimidate a college student at MSU. Let me go out on a limb here and say this guy is the lunatic fringe, possibly hiding his own “issues” by attacking others, as we see so often from fundamentalist Xtians. He is an example of what whack jobs are capable of, when they are put in positions of power. Anderson Cooper continues his excellent reporting on this issue with further explorations of Shirvell’s ties to Cox ($$$) and of the limits of free speech, particularly as applied to public employees.

The updates include several video clips and other documentation of AG Cox’s attendance at an orgy at the Detroit mayoral mansion, and claims that Cox was not only “intimately involved,” but that he also was implicated in a cover-up of the investigation of the party and the subsequent murder of one of the key witnesses. Did I mention Cox’s adultery scandal? The corruption is staggering.

The post also includes an important documentary, White Power USA, by Rick Rowley and Jacquie Soohen (H/T to Vera City). I urge everyone to watch this. It is disturbing, but important to see how the white supremacist movement is moving from the margins to the mainstream, largely through the Tea Party and groups like the Council for Conservative Citizens. The white supremacist movement’s influence is far greater than its numbers, as it exploits divisions in our society. The “perfect storm” of a poor economy, a black President and a Democratic Congress has fueled a surge in hate crimes and murders, and right-wing extremists are “the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the U.S.” The anti-immigrant movement is a key bridge to the mainstream, disguising a “mindset of hate” based in racism. The number 88 is code for HH: Heil Hitler. The “National Socialist Movement” is at the core of the white supremacist movement; it is a rebirth of the “National Socialist German Workers Party” led by Adolf Hitler. (The NSM’s website is They believe they are “fighting for the survival of the white race” and that this is a “racial holy war.”

Last word for the week: The writers and researchers for Palingates do this work out of our personal commitment to expose the truth about Sarah Palin, her associates and the dangerous politics they represent. This is a labor of love: love of peace, freedom and tolerance. Patrick and the research/writing team donate huge amounts of time to ensure that the posts are accurate and relevant. Please make a donation today to help defray the costs of running this blog. Also, if you haven’t already, please cast a vote for Palingates for Best Political Blog in the Bloggers Choice Awards.

Comments of the Week

Lilybart: …we can't stop greed, we can only mitigate the effect on us.

Jimmy Kimmel: "Will Bristol make it all the way through the competition this year without getting pregnant?

Veryvery: Bristol's future can go two ways: (1) She is smart enough to realize that her "15 minutes" of fame will come to an end fairly soon (just like it does for most young pop stars and child actors, etc.), and she will live a happy, quiet life in relative comfort off of the money she saved and invested while she was a celebrity; or (2) She will become dependent on her current lifestyle and when her 15 minutes are up she will crash. This could result in various, not so good, outcomes such as alcohol/drugs, loneliness, crime, general weirdness.

Forgotmyname: I'm sure they take pleasure in confusing and misleading what is really going on in the family in every possible way. [BBT: exactly]

Sdilmoak: I loved when Sarah comes to the door and giggles like a teen that she is "ALL starstruck" and hugs on Mark. She pays no attention to Bristol in the beginning and then..... that extremely awkward hug between Sarah and Bristol. Sarah hugged Bristol like you would hug a rock. I just was not normal. Fake, fake, fake........

SC_gnomie noticed: And I thought I saw another sighting of the Menard Sports Complex railings in the Palin's house. Notice the stairwell's panels..hmmm...

Guest: …What the heck was that whole nasty exchange about "celebrity" with that teacher all about, then? Why did they bother to question her use of that word when they were planning for Bristol to go on a show that uses the word "stars" even for folks who couldn't be remotely considered as such?

Joe Christmas: Spalin has at least four immature, but often used, defenses in line whenever she is wrong or caught in one of her incessant, insulting lies -- which is pretty much the whole of her life. (In no particular order.)
1.) Continue lying and denying.
2.) Play the victim.
3.) Stonewall.
4.) Word salad.

Sunnyjane: This has gone from ridiculous to stupid. Who in the hell would blame ABC if the audience WAS booing Sarah Palin?...It's the LIE that pisses people off. When questioned if the audience had been booing Palin, ABC should have said, "It appeared so." End of story...move on to another subject. But like most issues surrounding Palin, lying in the aftermath is the worst of the situation.

Cheeriogirl (from Letterman): "Yesterday it was so hot in LA, Sarah Palin was glad to get such a chilly reception on DWTS's,"

Mrsgunka had a wonderful post, including this: You have opened our minds of what can happen if we stray off course. Sarah is just a mirage to throw us off course in the big picture we cannot see for the fog.

Ocliberal: Bravo Patrick! Thank you for nailing exactly what it is that so many of find repugnant about Palin and her ilk. It isn't her clothes, her classless twittering , her bad mothering, her ridiculous hair, her low-class values, her obnoxious grifting or her blatant money-grab that makes her so reprehensible. It is her complete and total disrespect for what makes our county, this county that I love so much, the United State of America, so great. It is our diversity, our melting pot of hundreds if not thousands of different groups and religions and beliefs and ethnic backgrounds coming together to cherish our freedom, not just white middle-class, Sarah Palin bigoted freedom, but all our freedoms.

Many Palingaters shared the life lessons learned from living in Germany or elsewhere abroad.

Brian: Every time I hear a teapartier equating modest efforts to improve health care or regulate out of control banks as socialism or communism I get livid. Sarah Palin and her ilk have never seen real authoritarian communism, and have no understanding what it is like to live in that kind of society. When she exclaims "Don't you love your freedom!" I just think how lazy and complacent we are about our freedom. Never take it for granted. It's always in danger of slipping away.

Igetit2 and others urged folks to support Senator Russ Feingold, who is in a huge fight against a “slimebucket.”

Sickntiredofpalin had an excellent post on Thursday about WWII internment camps in the U.S.; other readers added insightful comments to this mini-thread.

AnonPoster: Insert Palin's name in her own tweet about Grayson:
"Palin's twisted campaign ad adds to "media distrust" problem;she blatantly lies in vile rant,but greedy media run it anyway w/no fact check" Funny how the defense mechanism of projection works, eh? Mirrors her own reality.

Molly_WI: If Mercede told the truth, Bristol did it on purpose, and now she is being applauded for having the baby! This makes no sense in trying to be an advocate to prevent teen pregnancies, and maybe also this is another reason why Bristol said that abstinence was totally unrealistic--because she had no intention of preventing a pregnancy.

D lusia had an excellent comment on surveillance and intimidation of political activists (Thursday).

Psalm 73: …I got Sarah in my head singing: "Climb every ladder, Plan every scheme, follow all the dollars, til my winks lose steam"

Lilly-lily picked up this, which I had missed: …half baked Alaska as Alan Grayson has called her…

JCos: think they're already planning a reality series, entitled "Bristol Plus Three, Minus Two, Equals One". In Episode One, Bristle confronts young women outside an abortion clinic and explains how they can become virgins again with Wite-Out.

Sharpie: Dear Andrew Shirvell, The Closet. You're standing in it. xoxo, Sharpie

Zane1: Listening to Anderson Cooper interview Andrew Shirvell I only wish that he & other reporters would use this investigative style to interview others. [BBT: me2]

ProChoiceGrandma found that James Dobson is behind the Alliance Defense Fund, which according to Shirvell, put out an alert about Armstrong.

Igetit2: One thing that absolutely jumped out at me is that Shirvell got his law degree from Ave Maria School of Law. This is a law school endowed by the extremely right wing founder of Domino's Pizza. It basically exists to create socially conservative/reactionary lawyer activists.

Kasha Knish pointed out: The International Day of Non-Violence is marked on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

Links of the Week

AView999, with thanks from BBT for finding so many great links; here are but a few:

Sullivan on The Foundation Obama has Quietly Built

Nobody wants SP to be President

from Bloomberg on Obama bouncing back

on CO’D’s non-profit not filing the required forms

Annettek linked to Andrew Halcro on Dairygate and to AK Dispatch on Joe Miller trying to block the Troopergate investigation

Micmac alerted us to the latest developments in the Tim Crawford scandal unfolding in Ohio courts and Patrick later reminded us of micmac’s post HERE

PalinLies and MrsTBB linked to ADN article on Jeremy Morlock

Sdilmoak, Malachi7608, disquxus and others linked to reports that Sarah was booed on DWTS

Sickntiredofpalin: …the president of the Samford Young Republicans…responded without equivocation: "I can't stand Sarah Palin."

on claim that the boos were not for Palin

this on whether Sarah “changes the equation” for GOP presidential race

Aview 999 found that Jezebel weighed in on DWTS

From BBT: I am not a DWTS fan and so didn’t really know how to compare, until I saw the Apolo Ohno-Julianne Hough quickstep – so if you haven’t seen it yet, kick back and enjoy a really great performance, courtesy of BellPeppery:

Sunnyjane linked to Leah Burton on mid-term elections

CaliGirl22: Software to rig the vote

Game of Life linked to Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone on “Tea and Crackers”

Patrick linked to Politico on Max Baucus calling for an investigation of non-profit groups that are funding GOP candidates

Brian had a great link to his book of incredible photos

ProChoiceGrandma linked to Ennealogic on babygate

Ella: Sarah wants to compete on DWTS

and Jake Tapper on Sarah’s reaction to Pete Rouse as Chief of Staff

Dusty17: Plouffe says “We don’t spend much time thinking about Palin”

Mrs TBB linked to TPM on Christine O’D’s lies about her education and suggests that they investigate Sarah’s educational credentials

Vilca highlighted the coup attempt in her country, Ecuador

BellPeppery had some interesting links: Don't miss this article on David Barton (with connections to Webster, Marco Rubio, Glenn Beck, Palin?)

and an earlier article by Barton - "Palin is an easy sell, particularly because of the recent birth" [BBT: In case anyone forgot why babygate is still important]

The link to Ellen DeGeneres’ emotional plea

Wes in Oregon lightened things up with a link to Leno

Juicyfruityy linked to these from Malia Litman: HERE and HERE

Mxm: …The xtians in state governments are working with these haters to interfere with passing laws against anti-gay bullying…

Igetit2 linked to ACLU to support anti-bullying legislation

Check out Progressive Alaska, which has several interesting posts, most recently about Berkowitz’ call for an investigation of Joe Miller

Tweets of the Week

PCG: Why are people “jealous” of @SarahPalinUSA’s looks?? and Good question.

And later: @dscc Why investigate #COD’s fake college creds but not @SarahPalinUSA’s secret college creds? Demand equal look.

@SarahPalinUSA YOU dare mention fact check?? MSM lazy not to fact check U: babygate, college? Muthee 7 mtns #p2

PalinCellulite RT @SamSeder: Odd coincidence: @ChristineOD seems to have lied about attending almost as many colleges as Sarah #Palin quit. @c4palin #p21

Dusty17: I wish we could get a restraining order to keep @SarahPalinUSA and her family away from us h/t Wes. #palin @palingates

Cheeriogirl: @sarahpalinUSA Alaskan media asleep on the job since 2008 re: your claim to be Trig's "birth" mom. For shame!

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