Saturday, 30 October 2010

Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" - Reports and pictures from the ground - UPDATE: The "musical battle" with Yusuf/Cat Stevens etc. (VIDEO)

Today is the big day! More then a dozen of our faithful Gaters are supposed to meet up in Washington D.C. today, in about half an hour, actually. The organization so far went very smoothly.

We hope to receive some reports and pictures in real time, and we will constantly add new information to this post.

Kathleen just spoke to Mrs. TBB on the phone, and she said that the atmosphere there is simply wonderful.

We also received a message from from NYCgirl two hours ago, who wrote:

"Arianna greeted the bus crowd at 5:30AM.
She is stunning in person. She let me give her a kiss on the cheek.

We are finally on the bus. I hardly slept but I don't care.
Love you guys. Please post.

Live, Laugh, Love"

NYCgirl with Arianna Huffington:

NYCgirl with Arianna - new 2

So far, I found the following live streams to the rally:

The "official" live stream from Comedy Central is HERE.

Washington Post has another live stream.

The live stream of C-SPAN is HERE.


I just spoke to Comeonpeople and VirginiaVoter on the phone, and everybody is in great spirits. It's a huge crowd there, and they are all very excited. We hope to receive pictures from our Gaters soon.


We received a picture of some of our Gaters at the rally - look at the great Palingates scarves! :-)

Pic 1









VirginaVoter sent us more photos from the rally:


Great sign, seen on twitter:




The epic "battle" between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Ozzy Osbourne and the O'Jays is already on youtube:


I would like to include the famous "home version" of "Peace Train" - what a beautiful song, what a great idea by Jon Stewart to invite him:



Kathleen and I just spoke on the phone to several of our Gaters, and they had interesting stories to tell. First I talked to Joe Christmas who just drove back with his children. He lives close to Washington D.C. and said that he has never ever seen a crowd like that. It was impossible for them to reach the Mall, because the Metro was completely flooded with people, and there was the longest line to the ticket counter he has ever seen (see also the picture below!).

Then Kathleen and I managed to talk to CaliGirl22, Vera City and PCG. Kathleen also earlier talked to Mrs TBB and VirginiaVoter. They all had a great day, but they said that the crowd apparently hugely exceeded the expectations. In the back of the crowd, people could neither hear nor see, because the speakers weren't loud enough. It's apparent that the organizers wildly underestimated the number of visitors while they planned the event.

Some of the Gaters will return tonight, and especially Very City has a long way, she will drive back with the bus tonight, which will take about 12 hours to Canada. Others are staying in D.C. over the night, we are trying to hook up CaliGirl22 together with Comeonpeople for the evening, not sure if we were successful so far. ;-)

They all think that there were far more than 250.000 people, probably around 400.000. And don't forget that there was probably a significant number of people who didn't even make it to the Mall, like Joe Christmas!

It was a memorable and exciting day for everyone!

A very strong statement by modern America was made today, against hate, fear and bigotry.

Here are some pictures I found earlier on twitter:

PIC - teabaggers leave bad taste


Pearlygirl sent more pictures. These are particularly interesting, because they show very well how tightly the crowd was "packed." Pearlygirl wrote: "A very tall man offered to put me on his shoulders so I took some overhead shots of the crowd."

rally 4

rally 6

rally 5

rally 7

I had some fun with one of the signs which were photographed at the rally - Pearlygirl also sent me a picture of a woman who moved away from Alaska about a year ago and who was wearing a t-shirt with exactly the same slogan. I guess she knew why...

Palin - Voldemort 2012 - edited



I tried to get a better comparison between the "Beck rally" and the "Stewart rally" from an "overhead" perspective. Therefore I diligently reconstructed the areas in which the crowds were present.

Here is a picture from the Beck rally, as seen from the Washington Monument:

Glenn Beck rally

And here is a picture of the rally today, also seen from the Washington Monument, with another picture next to it in order to get a better feel for the area:

MALL - comparison

If you mark these areas on the map, accurately and without distortions, from the stage to the end of the crowds, you get this picture (download the map as PDF):


There is of course the long "Reflecting Pool" within the "Beck rectangle." Also, my impression is that the audience at Jon Stewart's rally today was much tighter packed. So hopefully this is an interesting comparison.

Here is a great "close-up" shot of the crowd, taken from Washington Monument:

Rally overhead - close up from Washington Monument


Our reader comeonpeople sent more pictures, with more sweet signs:








Buzzfeed has a great collection of "The 100 Best Signs At The Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear", although there were certainly hundreds, if not thousands another excellent signs.

Included in the collection is a really funny one about the Alaskan Ice Queen:

Palin - Palin 2012 - new

Friday, 29 October 2010

Diplomacy in the age of the Twitler - Why Sarah Palin has no place in mainstream US politics

Palin - Couric Interview

Sarah Palin has been on the "little twittering thing" again.

The former homemaker from Wasilla, Fox News contributor, highly paid screecher and renowned foreign policy expert, spotted two tweets by Philip J. Crowley, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.

Crowley tweet 1

Crowley tweet 2

As should be apparent to virtually any human being with a properly functioning brain, Crowley was trying to be diplomatic in order to try to solve the current US hostage crisis in Iran. The two hikers Joshua "Josh" Fattal and Shane Bauer detained by the Iranian authorities since July 31, 2009.

Crowley was walking a fine line: The "friendly" first tweet was immediately followed by a much more nuanced second tweet. It seems unlikely to me that the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was very pleased, even though the tweets were not aggressive.

I think we can all agree that Crowley was exercising diplomacy in order to try to solve the current US hostage crisis in Iran - over twitter, which seems to be quite a novel way to handle the situation.

"Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states. It usually refers to international diplomacy, the conduct of international relations through the intercession of professional diplomats with regard to issues of peace-making, trade, war, economics, culture, environment and human rights. International treaties are usually negotiated by diplomats prior to endorsement by national politicians. In an informal or social sense, diplomacy is the employment of tact to gain strategic advantage or to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common challenge, one set of tools being the phrasing of statements in a non-confrontational, or polite manner."

In a "non-confrontational or polite manner." Seems reasonable, does it not?

Not if you ask Sarah Palin. Her Neocon advisors like Randy Scheunemann who has the blood of more than 100,000 Iraqis on his hands have taught her well.

Sarah Palin tweeted twice as a response:

Palin Iran - tweet 1

Palin Iran - tweet 2

Sarah "Twitler" Palin doesn't want diplomacy. She wants war. It's as simple as that. No "kowtowing" to anyone for Palin.

These tweets by Sarah Palin are even more embarrassing in light of the fact that it seems to be a tradition in Iran to pardon prisoners on birthdays of leaders as well as on national religious observances.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has signed a decree to pardon 708 political, military and civilian prisoners, the official news site of Ayatollah "" reported. Head of the Iranian judiciary system Sadig Amoli Larijani appealed to the Supreme Leader with a letter requesting to pardon 708 prisoners in connection with the birthday of Imam Ali - June 26.

Pardons are common occurrences on national religious observances in Iran, and Wednesday marked the birth of Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, a revered figure in Shi'a Muslim tradition.

Maybe the homemaker from Wasilla should just stay out of international affairs, an area that she clearly has no clue about.

It's also not surprising that in 2008 Sarah Palin already believed that the USA is at war with Iran:

But there is another incredibly interesting point, which some of our readers also pointed out in the comments today:

Todd Palin, as is well documented, was a member of the Alaska Independence Party from 1995-2002. Sarah Palin tried to cover up this fact and demanded from the 2008 campaign that they deny it. This famously led to a fight with Steve Schmidt - CBS reports:

Palin blasted out an e-mail with the subject line "Todd" to Schmidt, campaign manager Rick Davis and senior advisor Nicolle Wallace, copying her husband on the message (all of the e-mails are reprinted below as written).

"Pls get in front of that ridiculous issue that's cropped up all day today - two reporters, a protestor's sign, and many shout-outs all claiming Todd's involvement in an anti-American political party," Palin wrote. "It's bull, and I don't want to have to keep reacting to it ... Pls have statement given on this so it's put to bed."

Her reference to a single protestor's sign and "many shout-outs" was indicative of Palin's occasional tendency to take anecdotal evidence of a minor problem and extrapolate it into something far more menacing. The final of the three presidential debates was just hours away, which would mark the unveiling of the soon-to-be canonized Joe The Plumber.

The Joe The Plumber narrative was the Republicans' secret weapon -- the last chance to put a chink in Obama's seemingly impervious armor. It was not a time for distractions, but the campaign was compelled to deal with the drama that seemed to follow Palin wherever she went.

Schmidt hit "reply to all" less than five minutes after Palin's e-mail was sent. "Ignore it," he wrote. "He was a member of the aip? My understanding is yes. That is part of their platform. Do not engage the protestors. If a reporter asks say it is ridiculous. Todd loves america."

This clear cut response from the campaign's top dog carried an air of finality, but it did not satisfy Palin. She responded with another e-mail, adding five more names to the "cc" box, all of whom traveled on her campaign plane. They included her senior political adviser Tucker Eskew, senior aide Jason Recher, the lone traveling aide from her Alaska office Kris Perry, press secretary Tracey Schmitt and personal assistant Bexie Nobles.

Palin's insertion of the five additional staffers in the e-mail chain was an apparent attempt to rally her own troops in the face of a decision from the commanding general with which she disagreed. Her inclusion of her personal assistant was particularly telling about her quest for affirmation and support in numbers, since the young staffer was not in a position to have any input on campaign strategy.

"That's not part of their platform and he was only a 'member' bc independent alaskans too often check that 'Alaska Independent' box on voter registrations thinking it just means non partisan," Palin wrote. "He caught his error when changing our address and checked the right box. I still want it fixed."

Palin was attempting to bend the facts ever so slightly to fit neatly into her version of events. In truth, the box that Alaskans have the option of checking when registering to vote states the full name of the party, "Alaskan Independence Party," not "Alaska Independent," which would make an error by uncommitted voters more plausible.

Clearly irritated by what he saw as Palin's attempt to mislead her own campaign and apparently determined to demonstrate that the ultimate authority rested with him, Schmidt put the matter to rest once and for all with a longer response to everyone in the e-mail chain.

See also the report in Salon by Max Blumenthal and David Neiwert.

Why is this relevant in respect to Iran? Because it's a little known fact that in 1993, the Alaskan Independence Party found an illustrious sponsor: The Islamic Republic of Iran.

Vogler's greatest moment of glory was to be his 1993 appearance before the United Nations to denounce United States "tyranny" before the entire world and to demand Alaska's freedom. The Alaska secessionist had persuaded the government of Iran to sponsor his anti-American harangue.

That's right ... Iran. The Islamic dictatorship. The taker of American hostages. The rogue nation that McCain and Palin have excoriated Obama for suggesting we diplomatically engage. That Iran.

AIP leaders allege that Vogler, who was murdered that year by a fellow secessionist, was taken out by powerful forces in the U.S. before he could reach his U.N. platform. "The United States government would have been deeply embarrassed," by Vogler's U.N. speech, darkly suggests Clark. "And we can't have that, can we?"

The prospective sponsorship by the Islamic Republic of Iran happened in 1993. What did Sarah Palin do the following year, in 1994, just after the infamous AIP leader Joe Vogler planned to denounce the "tyranny" of the United States of America at the United Nations? She attended the annual AIP Convention!

That's Todd and Sarah Palin for you. American traitors - and liars through and through.

Why the mainstream continues to ignore these damning facts, only God knows.

ScarahPlainUSA tweet

Apart from that, Sarah Palin says it herself - it's perfectly ok to be judged by your associations:

It's only ignorance and forgetfulness which makes diplomacy in the age of the Twitler possible. Sarah Palin shouldn't be allowed to get away with her warmongering and her lies. She herself was shaped by extreme political forces, and should have no place in mainstream US politics.

Palin - Iran Cartoon



Thursday, 28 October 2010

Blinded by Sarah Palin: Why David Brock and others shouldn't expect responsible behavior from Sarah Palin - UPDATE!

Sarah Palin & David Brock

David Brock, CEO of "Media Matters for America", is an expert as far as right wing hypocrisy and propaganda is concerned. Many of you will know his fascinating life story. He was a part of the right-wing attack machine in the 1990's, when he rose to fame with the publication of the propaganda book "The Real Anita Hill." He wrote for the "Washington Times" and the "The American Spectator", before he recognized the true nature of his actions and converted in the most convincing manner:

In July 1997, Brock published a confessional piece in Esquire magazine titled "Confessions of a Right-Wing Hit Man", in which he recanted much of what he said in his two best-known American Spectator articles and criticized his own reporting methods.

Brock directly addressed the right-wing "machine" in his 2004 book, The Republican Noise Machine, in which he detailed an alleged interconnected, concerted effort to raise the profile of conservative opinions in the press through false accusations of liberal media bias, dishonest and highly-partisan columnists, partisan news organizations and academic studies, and other methods.

He tells his personal story in his memoir "Blinded by the Right" and criticizes the "conservative media machine" in his book "The Republican Noise Machine." His work on the latter book led him to found Media Matters for America, a non-profit organization that describes itself as a "progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."

"Sourcewatch" reports:

In his book The Republican Noise Machine, Brock writes that in the last 30 years hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in building a right-wing media infrastructure that "has penetrated, pressured, co-opted, and subdued the mainstream media into accommodating conservatism."

He continues: "A deliberate, well-financed, and expressly acknowledged communications and deregulatory plan was pursued by the right wing for more than 30 years--in close coordination with Republican Party leaders--to subvert and subsume journalism and reshape the national consciousness through the media, with the intention of skewing American politics sharply to the right. The plan has succeeded spectacularly."

I wanted to give this short introduction, because David Brock made a personal plea - to Sarah Palin. If somebody like David Brock makes a personal plea, a person who knows the viciousness of the right-wing machine through experience, who admitted his mistakes and has since worked tirelessly to correct them (comparable for example with Frank Schaeffer) is it obvious that he is dead serious.

David Brock said on October 26, 2010 in an interview with Laurence O'Donnell on MSNBC:

"Sure, yes. I mean, the concerns that we raised in the op-ed that you cited today, one, Glenn Beck incited an attempted assassination plot against innocent employees of the Tides Foundation in San Francisco.

But that`s not all. There`s a history here as Ilyse said -- he has attempted to poison in effigy Nancy Pelosi on his set. That led to a death threat by a guy in San Francisco who threatened to burn her house down. That guy`s mother said he gets all his ideas from FOX News.

And let me give you a personal one. Dick Morris is on the air every night on FOX News raising money for his political activities. One of his consultants after "Media Matters" fact-checked one of their ads and found it false tweeted that our staff should be curb-stomped. OK?

So, there`s a whole pattern here what`s going on. And I think the question is what to do about it.

So, I think there -- this is how we get to Sarah Palin. Basically Beck, Beck`s erratic, he either won`t or can`t control himself even after he loses a hundred advertisers, so you can`t go there.

(...)So, Sarah Palin, right now, in our view, needs to step up. She needs to step up because she`s a leader of the Republican Party, of the conservative movement. She`s a Tea Party favorite. She is the one person in this country right now, today, who in the national interest, just in the moment to put partisanship aside, could pull this country back from the precipice of another Oklahoma City. And that`s what a real leader does, that`s what we`re asking.

As you know, you know, Bill Buckley, back in the `60s, divorced the conservative movement from the John Birch Society, and called it idiocy and paranoia. So, there`s precedent for this.

And Sarah Palin is a leader. We`re now going to find out what kind of leader, what she`s made of, and whether she`s going to do it. And I`m telling you, we`re going to find out.

We published this piece this morning. We heard nothing today. I hope she`s watching the show tonight.

If we hear nothing in the morning, I am personally going to call Sarah Palin. I`m going to ask Michael Keegan of PFAW to join me on that call and we`re going to make a personal plea to her to stop this insanity."

To which Laurence O'Donnell responded:

"David, what you just laid out sounds to me like an absolutely brilliant political strategy, political posture for Sarah Palin to adopt at this moment in this kind of atmosphere. She would get so much credit for a move like that without, I think, costing her anything from her right wing base."

I knew exactly what I was going to write even before I read that Sarah Palin responded:

It's obvious that even the most critical people in the media out there still have not understood the true nature of Sarah Palin.

That might sound quite harsh, and of course we cannot expect from David Brock in a public plea to expose all his deepest "inner thoughts" about Sarah Palin. In addition, it's apparent that this was also an attempt to "draw Sarah Palin out in the open."

But still: The first mistake here is that he tries to talk to Sarah Palin as if she is an intelligent and rational human being. Sarah Palin is anything but that.

Sarah Palin is a person who through an almost impossible set of coincidences was thrown in the national spotlight, when John McCain made the fateful decision to choose her as his running mate. Palin then appeared to be a "hockey mom" to many people - a folksy woman who had insufficient knowledge about political issues, but who to some people still might have seen to a certain degree "likeable", "approachable", and as her followers love to obsess about, "real."

The depiction by Tina Fey of Sarah Palin as a folksy, naive country girl might not have helped Sarah to win the election, but it certainly helped Sarah to hide her true nature - which even afterwards wasn't discovered by some people after Sarah barricaded herself behind facebook, twitter and Fox News. In reality, Sarah Palin is an enthusiastic, self-obsessed redneck who always chose the right-wing fringe as her allies, and whose viciousness and vindictiveness became legendary in Alaska.

This is not a person who will distance herself from the right-wing fringe. Sarah Palin is the EMBODIEMENT of the right-wing fringe, concealed by a "pretty face", and that's why she is so dangerous.

Her "answer" to David Brock today on the Glenn Beck radio show therefore was utterly predictable - she told Glenn Beck that she "stands by him":

Transcript via Media Matters:

BECK: We have Sarah Palin coming on in just a few minutes, just to respond to the gauntlet thrown down by Media Matters on I think a cable access program last night. And it is an amazing thing because this is somebody taking care of you and having to protect you every step of the way.

Of course you can't, you're not smart enough to figure things out on your own. So George Soros, and Media Matters, and the Tides Foundation, and all of them are here to help you. Because you're a danger. You're a danger to the country. Bring Sarah up. Is Sarah on the phone? Hi Sarah, how are you?

PALIN: Hey, good morning Glenn. How are you?

BECK: Good, where are you?

PALIN: I am at my kitchen table in Wasilla.

BECK: I don't know how you travel. I mean, it's crazy the amount of travel that you do.

PALIN: How do I travel, yes. Airplanes.

BECK: Okay, I don't think you need-- Okay, really. All of a sudden, Bill Maher, talking down to me. Okay. Sarah, I want you to hear this. This is the head of Media Matters, and I just -- I want to give you the opportunity to distance yourself. Here it is. No, here it is.


BROCK: Basically, Beck, Beck's a radical. He either can't or won't control himself, even after he loses a hundred advertisers, so you can't go there. Murdoch was asked at a shareholder's conference a couple weeks ago about Beck, shareholder concerns about Beck, he said he doesn't agree with everything that goes on the Fox News Channel, but he's standing with Beck. Ailes recruited Beck to do this. He's standing with Beck.

So that leaves you with sponsors. So People For [the American Way] has backed up a Tides Foundation call with Media Matters called Drop Fox to ask for advertisers to take responsibility for this rhetoric. I was recently told by a member of the Murdoch family that if you could effect the bottom line, you might get attention by the News Corp. board.

But the truth is, we can't wait for that, so Sarah Palin, right now, in our view, needs to step up. She needs to step up because she's a leader of the Republican Party, of the conservative movement, she's a Tea Party favorite. She is the one person in this country, right now, today, who in the national interest, just in the moment, to put partisanship aside, could pull this country back from the precipice of another Oklahoma City. And that's what a real leader does, that's what we're asking.


BECK: Sarah? As the leader now, of the GOP, as a Tea Party favorite, as somebody that they don't always agree with, but they respect, as a real leader: It's time. It's time to make choice.

PALIN: Well these silly and ironic men. This is ironic, that they're the same folks that are insisting that, you know, that I should be ignored because I am the irrelevant hockey mom--


BECK: No, no, no, no, no, you are, as an American citizen, for the national interest, you are the only one that can do this.

GRAY: That can stop him.

BECK: That can stop me.

GRAY: You've got to stop him, Sarah.

PALIN: Okay, okay, so Glenn. From my kitchen table in Wasilla, here's the deal.

BECK: Yeah.

PALIN: Now, we know, Glenn, you're up against one of the richest and self-suggested most powerful men in the world--

BECK: Spooky dude.

PALIN: George Soros, right?

BECK: Spooky dude.

PALIN: Yeah. The extreme left-wing king is, with many, many minions, that's what he is.

BECK: Yes.

PALIN: So, you know, when I speak of your love of our Founding Fathers, and how you are helping to educate Americans about respecting our nation's history so that we don't lose what makes America exceptional, and the far, far left mouthpieces, they're twisting and perverting that message. No, what I do, I go back to what Abraham Lincoln said about standing with anybody who stands right. You stand with him when he stands right, you part with him when he goes wrong. I stand with you Glenn.

BECK: No, no, you've got to stop. You're the only one. You're like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sarah Palin, you're our only hope.

PALIN: Yeah.

BECK: Did you ever think you'd see the day, Sarah, when Media Matters would be calling you the only hope for America? I mean, that's incredible. It's sad. We were deciding-- We were trying to decide if it was laughable or kind of sad, pathetic, kind of like that smelly kid in third grade that everyone looked around and looked at and went, "That's kind of sad."

PALIN: Yeah, it's a little bit of both, I think. I see more humor it in though, and it shows, though, how pathetic their argument is that they would be that desperate as to reach out to me to say, you know, that you need to stop Glenn Beck, you know, you need to stop what they perceive as incitement to violence. Glenn, you know I abhor violence. I know you do. Hating war, hating civil war, and praying for peace, and wanting peace and freedom for our kids in a civil society. That is the mission here, is explaining to Americans what the threats are to our peace and to our opportunities and to our freedoms in America.

BECK: Yeah.

PALIN: That is what I see you doing, and that is why I support what you are doing.

BECK: Sarah, I can't tell you how disappointed I am in you. I really - I thought you were going to take this moment to lead. I really did. But now, now Sarah -- and I want you to understand this -- now Media Matters is going to come out against you and they're not going to like you anymore. They like you so much, but now they're going to have to isolate you too. Oh boy.

PALIN: Yeah because here's the [inaudible] They were on my side.

BECK: They've been on your side. It's like the -- it's like that abortion doctor said on TV the other day. Women only have abortions because they care about motherhood. They're only destroying you or trying to destroy you because they love you so much.

PALIN: There we go with the Orwellian -- up is down, twisted around

BECK: Two plus two equals six.

PALIN: There you go and I'm the idiot. Yeah.

GRAY: Sarah, if you change your mind, we have David Brock's number over at Media Matters. He's waiting for phone call -

BECK: He doesn't have a lot to do.

David, it's time to expose the REAL Sarah Palin. She is not a "leader." She is not a rational, intelligent person to talk to. It's time to end the great charade.



"On Tuesday, I asked Sarah Palin to use her influential voice to stop attempted incidents of domestic terrorism incited by right-wing extremists like Glenn Beck. By telling Beck, 'I stand with you,' Palin -- Fox News' star contributor -- now associates herself with acts of violence and the insane conspiracy theories and hate speech behind them.

Rather than seize the opportunity to act in the national interest and do her part to prevent a major tragedy like the Oklahoma City bombing, Palin called into Beck's show to call me 'pathetic.' While Palin and I don't agree on much, I honestly believed we shared the view that the incitement to violence by a powerful media outlet was a national crisis that transcends the partisan divide. Sadly, I was wrong."

In addition, "People For the American Way" president Michael B. Keegan, who joined Brock in asking Palin to repudiate Beck, said:

"For someone who was so quick to smear Obama for 'palling around with terrorists,' Sarah Palin doesn't seem to take threats of violence too seriously when they're generated by her own pals and allies. Even the last few days have seen disturbing thuggery in states around the country. This shouldn't be a partisan issue. Democrats, Republicans, independents and even tea party members should be able to agree that inciting listeners to violence isn't acceptable. It's profoundly disappointing that someone laying the groundwork to run for president doesn't agree with that."

These are very good and necessary statements.

It's time for people to wake up and recognize the real character of Sarah Palin. This could be the beginning.




Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Joe Miller's files with Fairbanks North Star Borough released - The bizarre "computer scrubbing incident!" - UPDATE: Medical behavioral problems?

Joe Miller's "secret" file with Fairbanks North Star Borough has been released, and the main documents can be downloaded HERE. In addition, a directory of the documents released and withheld and a manifest of the e-mails has been published.

There is quite a lot in these 60 pages of emails, and some points have to be carefully "deciphered", especially the details regarding Joe Miller's medical issues.

However, the "computer incident" which lead to Joe Miller's resignation is included in great detail, and the behavior of Joe Miller is utterly bizarre and foolish. What a dolt! Come on, Alaska, this shouldn't be your next Senator!

Here is the description of this incident, from the documents:

Computer incident - Joe Miller - 1

Computer incident - Joe Miller - 2

Computer incident - Joe Miller - 3

Computer incident - Joe Miller - 4

Computer incident - Joe Miller - 5

Computer incident - Joe Miller - 6

Computer incident - Joe Miller - 7

We will update the post when we have further details about the content of the documents.



A highly "suspicious" letter points to serious health problems, maybe even substance abuse:

Magellan letter Joe Miller

What field does Magellan specialise in?

Headquartered in Avon, Conn., Magellan Health Services, Inc., is a leading specialty health care management organization with expertise in managing behavioral health, radiology and specialty pharmaceuticals, as well as public sector pharmacy benefits programs. Magellan delivers innovative solutions to improve quality outcomes and optimize the cost of care for those we serve. Magellan’s customers include health plans, employers and government agencies, serving nearly 60 million people nationwide in our behavioral and radiology benefits lines, more than 40 payors in our specialty pharmaceutical benefits segment, and 25 states and the District of Columbia in our Medicaid Administration segment. For more information, visit

This press report also provides more details about some aspects of the work of Magellan:

Magellan Health Services, Inc., (Nasdaq: MGLN) an industry leader in behavioral health care management, announced that Daniel P. McCarthy, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief clinical officer of the company’s Commercial Behavioral Health unit, will be presenting at the World Research Group’s upcoming conference. The "Integrating Behavioral Healthcare & Chronic Care” conference, taking place Oct. 26-28 in Chicago, will bring together industry thought leaders to discuss the challenges faced by health plans, providers and employers in improving coordination and integration of behavioral and medical care for the chronically ill.

During his presentation, Dr. McCarthy, a licensed clinical psychologist, will explain the merits of using medication-assisted treatment approaches among individuals with substance use disorders to achieve and maintain recovery goals and avoid relapse, citing data collected through several pilot programs conducted by Magellan.

Based on the initial success of these pilot programs and supported by organizational data, Magellan recently launched a new national medication-assisted treatment intervention that incorporates the appropriate use of proven medications as part of the discharge treatment plan for individuals completing inpatient treatment for a primary Alcohol or Other Drugs (AOD) diagnosis.

While we don't know exactly what Joe Miller's problem were are maybe even still are, but it is apparent that serious "behavioral health" or "pharmaceutical" problems could very well be involved.

Joe Miller clearly has a lot to answer for. After all, he is running for the third most important office in the USA.


Borough officials initially considered whether what Miller had done was a crime -- a felony as well as a misdemeanor -- but settled on disciplining him for violating ethics rules. Miller offered to resign. He was placed on administrative leave March 13 and then suspended for three days without pay at the end of the month. He was ordered to complete mandatory employee counseling and was placed on six months probation. Miller was told that any further infractions would result in his immediate termination.


Yes, there are more documents which cast SERIOUS doubt on the ability of Joe Miller to handle any kind of job with a greater responsibility!

First, here is the text of the Disciplinary punishment that Joe Miller received.

Disciplined - Joe Miller 1

Disciplined - Joe Miller 2

However, what is even more revealing are the notes that a colleague or superior made about the conversation with Joe Miller about the bizarre computer incident:

Notes about incident - Joe Miller

"Lapse of judgement"..."total screw up"...."I was an ass"...."I was beyond stupid"..."out of character"..."failure"..."flaw"..."extreme."

So Joe Miller apparently gets "out of character" when he is under stress. That is NOT the type of person you want to have as US Senator!


This is Joe Miller's written statement about the incident, in which he admitted that he lied:

Joe Miller - admission that he lied


One of our readers thankfully made a summary of the sequence of events surrounding Joe Miller's resignation, which incredibly helpful.

I would also like to point out that within 35 of the released emails, redactions had to be made due to confidential medical information, according to the directory of documents released. This again is a clear indication that Joe Miller suffers from serious medical issues, which he ought to disclose to the public. The voters have a right to know.


Sequence of events for the leave issue that resulted in Joe Miller’s resignation:


Joe = Joe Miller - Assistant Borough Attorney
Rene = Rene Broker – Borough Attorney – Joe’s immediate supervisor
Jill = Jill Dolan – Assistant Borough Attorney (Jill was the HR liaison for the legal department at the borough)
Diane Thomas – Personnel / Payroll Manager

Tuesday, August 25, 2009:

- (p. 5) Joe advises Rene that he is seeing the VA doc in Anchorage on Thursday (Aug 27) for an unknown (redacted) medical procedure scheduled for Monday (Aug 31). He advises that he won’t know how long a recovery period is required until after he sees the doc on Thursday.
- (p. 5) Rene says okay, sounds like this is something there is no choice about. When you get into the office, fill out the leave form and put your return date as unknown. Sounds like it would be classified as FMLA leave, get HR to send you the form.
- (p. 5) Joe says he got the form and it needs a doctor’s certificate. He will see the doc on Thursday. There are other attorneys in the office to cover and he will complete the work he’s doing now tomorrow, so how about he puts in a leave form for Thursday (Aug 27) through Friday next week (Sep 4). He will fax the doctor’s statement on Thursday. If okay by Rene, he will put in leave request form to Jill on Aug 26.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009:

- (p. 4) Rene agrees so long as it complies with whatever the FMLA personnel rules are.
- (p. 4) Joe emails Diane to ask if he can complete regular leave request and then fax in the doctor’s note with FMLA leave form on Thursday. He carefully notes that the regular leave request is in compliance with the legal department rules that there be no more than 2 attorneys absent at a time.
- (p. 4) Diane responds that this will be no problem – 15 days to get the form in. She provides a confidential fax number for him to use.
- (p. 4) Joe says okay then he will get the form to her after he gets back from Anchorage.
- (p. 47) Jill asks Joe if the leave request (Aug 27 to Sep 4) he just gave her is pending FMLA approval by personnel.
- (p. 47) Joe says it is a regular leave slip that will convert to FMLA leave depending on the doctor’s responses. It is consistent with what Diane has emailed.
- (p. 47) Jill says, okay, she just wanted to confirm that the whole time Joe requested was for the redacted medical procedure and not personal leave. She will sign it as FMLA pending personnel approval.

Friday, August 28, 2009:

- (p. 53) Joe emails Rene to advise the VA doc schedules him back to work on Sep. 22. As he is taking personal leave for 2.5 weeks starting on Sep. 23, what does Rene want to do? (Presumably he means should he come in on Sep. 22 as it is only one day). He also advises that he has faxed the FMLA form to Diane.
- (p. 53) Rene responds saying with so much leave in September, October and November, Joe won’t be able to help with the annexation and it really needs attention. So, Rene is cancelling Joe’s 2.5 weeks personal leave starting on Sep. 23.
- (p. 53) Joe responds saying when the annexation hearing was rescheduled to during his November leave (Afognak bear hunt with son) Rene told him she would handle it if Joe didn’t voluntarily return early for it. Joe wants to know how the FMLA leave changes that. He also advises that he doesn’t want to cancel out on his other two sons’ elk hunts (which were scheduled during the 2.5 weeks Rene says she is cancelling).
- (p. 35 - 36) Joe wrote a long resignation letter to Rene. His resignation will be effective Sep. 23.
- (p. 3) Rene responds via email accepting the resignation effective Sep. 23.

Monday, August 31, 2009:

- (p. 17) Jill emails computer services to notify them that Joe has resigned on August 28th. His resignation date isn’t until Sep 23 but he is on leave until then and she and Rene have discussed that they want to suspend his computer access as he isn’t doing any borough business while on leave. Jill notes that they disabled Joe’s key card access on Friday and are getting the code changed for the door to the department.
- (p. 16 and 15) a series of emails to/from computer services about disabling Joe’s email account and the disposition of files in his personal directories on the server. (note that there is a continuation on Sep. 9 regarding what appears to be missing computer files)
- (p. 41-42) Diane emails Rene to say she just heard from Joe's doc that the redacted medical procedure has been cancelled.
- (p. 41) Rene says she assumes Joe will show up for work on Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009:

- (p. 41) Jill emails that she only signed Joe’s leave slip saying it was FMLA leave pending personnel approval. So, his absence on Monday was without approved leave. She hopes Joe plans to be there today and through to Sep. 23.
- (p. 41) Rene and Jill question if it was all a ruse to not have to come in to work because the doctor said Joe was the one who cancelled the procedure. Jill asks Diane to call Joe and find out what is going on.
- (p. 2) Joe emails Jill to say his resignation is now effective today. He says Jill has changed his leave from personal to FMLA leave. Diane has told him that if he is on FMLA leave, he has to report for work today. He is trying to reschedule redacted medical procedure with a different doc (Wade) and has appointment on Thursday. He refuses to come in before then.
- (p. 40) Rene and Jill say they read it as he quit without notice.
- (p. 2) Rene responds to Joe, accepting his resignation and advising that the lack of notice affects his rehire status at the borough.
- (p. 2) Joe disagrees that it should affect his rehire status. He says he originally asked for personal leave and that it was changed (to FMLA) without his request or approval.
- (p. 1) Rene recaps her understanding: Joe represented that he needed immediate leave for redacted medical procedure. Thus there was no choice but to grant it. Joe cannot expect to keep the leave that was granted on that basis when the circumstances that gave rise to it have changed significantly. Joe did not show for work today and when he was requested to do so, he resigned effective immediately. Rene asks Joe to let her know what is missing from her facts and advises that if he does explain why he disagrees, she will reconsider rehire decision.
- (p. 1) Joe responds to Rene. His argument is that he original asked for personal leave (not FMLA). He thinks he would have been granted it as there was nothing going on in the office at that time and it complied with the not more than 2 attorneys away at a time policy. If they had treated his leave slip as regular leave, there would have been no issue with him not coming in today. The borough should not have initiated and insisted upon the FMLA process. Besides, from a practical standpoint, Rene already accepted his Aug 28 resignation that would not have seen him coming back to work (because he had leave until the Sep 23 resignation date) so he sees the rehire decision as a retaliatory act.
- (p. 46) Jill and Rene discuss that it is unwise to continue conversation with Joe and they should just document events for his file.



Please also read the new updates on Alaska Dispatch with a very good summary of the case:

In the short span of time the employees were trying to get to the bottom of what had happened, Miller lied no less than four times:

--He told them he'd had to use another computer because he couldn't access the website he needed to get to on his.
--He claimed he had to clear the cache or the website might block his access.
--He initially denied being on more than one computer
--And he claimed he was visiting a professor's website at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

In a written account of events offered by one of Miller's co-workers -- identifed in an earlier redcords release as "employee 3" but now known to be Jill Dolan, Miller's acting supervisor at the time -- Dolan states that the office staff felt none of what Miller was saying made any sense and that he was acting bizarre.

(...) About a year and a half after Miller was in trouble for politicking, employees would again report behavior they felt was bizarre and deceitful. It would be the end of the line for Miller, who ended up resigning without notice after disagreements with his boss and others in the office.

"My blood is boiling at his continued misrepresentations," wrote Dolan to Broker in an e-mail Sept. 1, 2009, the same day the borough accepted Miller's resignation.