All other news was dwarfed by the January 12th earthquake in Haiti. Our wonderful reader CR46 was an early medical responder to the massive tragedy and gave us an eyewitness report a few weeks later. We later heard from Bandit Basheert http://tinyurl.com/2fb64b6 and others telling of medical teams that went to Haiti to help save and rebuild lives. Ironically, this subject became a “Palingate” in December, when Sarah Palin offended many people by exploiting the tragedy for political gain.
Other January highlights:
Palingates started the year with a list Sarah’s greatest accomplishments of 2009 (Lie of the Year, Horrible Celebrity Parent, Hypocrite, Douchebag, etc.). Hmmm. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Scott Brown shook the political landscape by taking Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. Brown distanced himself from Palin, “forgetting” that he had spoken with her. Sarah apparently found Brown’s nude centerfold acceptable, but not Levi’s.
The publication of Game Change, along with interviews of the authors and Steve Schmidt, highlighted Palin’s lack of vetting, bizarre behavior and “mental instability.” How does the VP candidate being considered mentally unstable by her own campaign NOT warrant any follow up by the media? This media misfeasance is why Palingates’ work is so necessary. Schmidt also said Palin’s book was “100% fiction” and that her RNC clothes bill was upwards of $250,000.
The Palins blitzed the media that they love to hate, as the custody battle with Levi heated up. He (again) promised a tell-all book; Bristol the born-again virgin promoted abstinence; Palinbots threatened the judge in the custody case. Palin appeared on Oprah with Nellie Olsen hair, and flopped in her debut as a pundit on Fox News.
Palin’s critique of the TV cartoon “Family Guy” led to a powerful comment by Andrea Friedman, the actress in the show whose character has Down Syndrome. Palingates published the full text of Friedman’s email critique of Palin, including this statement that had been omitted by the NYTimes: “My mother did not carry me around like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.” This story evoked a huge reaction, bringing many new readers to Palingates and “casting a cloud over her credibility” as a spokesperson for people with special needs. Time Magazine noted that Andrea Friedman had outflanked Sarah, the “master of identity politics.”
Other February highlights:
Palingates revealed that Rebecca Mansour is Sarah Palin’s secret messenger, writing the Facebook and Twitter pearls of wisdom over which the media fawns.
Following up on a Mudflats story, Palingates explored Palin’s failure to pay property taxes on her vacation houses, and Regina began itemizing all the expensive toys that the Palins owned even before her book deal made her wealthy.
MSNBC released thousands of emails, revealing among other things Todd Palin’s role as “shadow governor.”
Palin wrote notes on her hand that she used during her Nashville Teabag appearance. Proving how juvenile and shameless she is, Palin then repeated this middle school behavior over and over and over and over and over, ad nauseum.
An account in Going Rogue telling of Todd’s months-long fishing expedition in 1988 and the harrowing journey back so that he could marry Sarah indicates that he was away fishing when Track was conceived.
Palingates followed up on information published by The Immoral Minority, dating the Triggy Bear photos to May 3, 2008 and showing that the occasion was a birthday party for Levi at the Palin’s, belying Palin’s claim that Levi had not spent time there.
In March, the Congress passed the health care legislation that Sarah Palin had tried so hard to thwart. That month, her negative and violent rhetoric heated up. After she screeched, “Do you love your freedom,” hecklers were forcibly removed during her speech with John McCain in Arizona. Palin doubled down on the “don’t retreat – reload” message, combined with a map showing campaign “targets” in the “crosshairs.” Her violent message offended even some of her most loyal apologists. This occurred against the backdrop of increasing incidents of violent rhetoric and threatening actions by militias, with recent publicized arrests in Massachusetts (of a Sarah Palin fan) and Michigan.
Other March highlights:
Was the “wild ride” reckless behavior or fraud?
Todd Palin’s IronDog team is sponsored by Mystik Lubricants, a subsidiary of Venezuelan oil despite Sarah’s criticism of Hugo Chavez.
Palin’s grifting in Hollywood (“they were like locusts…”)
Remember Palin’s Fox network show, “Real American Stories”? I didn’t think so. Its much-heralded debut fizzled badly, after the trailer showed LLCoolJ and Toby Keith, implying that they had agreed to be included in the show, which they disputed.
We learned about Sarah’s deal with TLC for Sarah Palin’s Alaska, upon which we have been gagging (double entendre) recently. Regina “found” this preview.
April (and the coming months) was dominated by Deepwater Horizon explosion; I need not recount the devastation it caused, but instead want to link to a recent NYT article on the explosion. Palingates was fortunate to have regular commentary by Eye on You and other readers who followed this disaster closely. The Gulf disaster also led to numerous idiotic statements by our antihero over the coming months, culminating in her infamous interview by Bill O’Reilly where she invoked Dutch and Norwegian dike-builders to stop the leak, as BO’R visibly winced.
April was also the month of the David Kernell trial. Palingates raised the issue of Sarah Palin apparently committing perjury, based on the reports of her testimony; this was picked up by many blogs and Keith Olbermann. (As covered later, Bristol also lied under oath.) Fox News reported that Bristol referred to seeing photos of her newborn son on the internet in fall 2008 (the transcripts indicated she referred to her brother; oh, to have the tapes!). The trial ended with Kernell’s conviction on one of four felony counts, and one misdemeanor. Of course, the Palins were not held accountable for lying under oath.
Other April highlights:
Micmac and Palingates exposed the infiltration of NOW by people paid by the McCain Campaign and SarahPAC. Micmac also reported on Palin’s connection to Scientologists and on SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford.
Palin’s upcoming speech at California State University Stanislaus blew up into a political scandal, with the discovery that the CSU trustees lied, obfuscated and shredded the contract that they had claimed did not exist; fortunately, two intrepid students found key pages. State Senator Leland Yee led attempts to hold the university trustees accountable. Patrick posted on the threatening messages sent to Senator Yee. [ Patrick’s excellent post on the incredibly foul and disgusting, threatening messages received by California State Senator Leland Yee ]
We had boots on the ground covering Sarah’s screeches at the Boston Common and Eugene, OR along with Bill Hess’ coverage of the Wasilla TP rally, and Tildama suffered through transcribing one of her more unintelligible speeches. Finny had several excellent guest posts, showing a remarkable ability to get inside SP’s skull.
Palingates explored parallels between the movie “Juno” and Sarah’s faked pregnancy.
A continuing theme is the toll that Palin’s ambition takes on her children.
The biggest stories in May were the continuing investigation into the CSU Stanislaus coverup and Joe McGinniss becoming Sarah’s next door neighbor. Palingates first reported the $75,000 speaking fee, plus expenses, for the CSU Stanislaus speech; this story was picked up and linked to by numerous MSM and blogs. Patrick investigated further, showing that the CSU trustees had deliberately tried to prevent bad PR and highlighting the links of CSU to Republican/right-wing politics.
In an extraordinary Facebook rant, Sarah disclosed that author Joe McGinniss rented the house right next door to Sarah’s family compound on Lake Lucille; this led to “Fencegate.” As we’ve seen on SPAK, she still can’t let it go, and in fact shows that it is she who is the intruder. Patrick found that the same house served as a rehab center for recovering addicts for several years, apparently without the Palins building a fence.
Other May highlights:
Bristol, Tripp and Willow were featured in a glossy spread in Harper’s Bazaar. Bristol also reportedly signed with a speakers’ bureau and is writing a book. Adequate snark fails me at present.
Sunnyjane offered us a sobering guest post about the takeover of the Republican party by right-wing extremists who bear close parallels with other authoritarian regimes.
Sarah aligned herself with and endorsed candidates in Arizona and elsewhere who would deprive people of their civil rights.
We learned that she charged much less for a Republican fundraiser and the NRA than for the CSU Stanislaus speech, and she charged even more ($100K plus expenses) for a speech to a charity serving developmentally-disabled adults.
Her luggage got lost a lot. Her memorable tie-dye outfit and the “borrowed clother” schtick reminded us of her RNC shopping spree, which Susan Eisenhauer and others criticized.
Mickey7 had a great guest post on Sarah’s reactionary positions regarding health care.
Sarah sent condolences by Twitter when Wally Hickel died; it’s just how she rolls.
The big story in June was the Gulf oil disaster. Sarah went on a tweeting rampage in June, urging Governor Bobby Jindal to build berms to avoid a “ravished coast,” trying to blame President Obama and/or the “greens” for the oil spill and claiming that “drill baby drill” was really a nuanced call to expand drilling in “safe” places like the ANWR.
Palingates showed how Alaska’s tax on oil makes drilling offshore more profitable and joined Rachel Maddow and others in drilling home Sarah’s big lie, as she made lame excuses to try to deflect any responsibility for the oil spill from herself and her Giddings, TX cohorts. She also lied about her actions in Alaska and ignored the history of spills that have occurred there.
Palingates also posted on the toxicity of the dispersant used by BP, and later highlighted the work of Dr. Riki Ott, who blew the whistle on the dispersants in Alaska after the Exxon Valdez spill, and is working now to educate people about what is happening in the Gulf.
The Bill O’Reilly interview of Palin was another classic Sarah Palin rant, complete with jabbing fingers, interruptions and nasty, self-satisfied smirks. Best line from Sarah: “The Dutch, they are known, and the Norwegian. They are known for — for dikes and for cleaning up water and for dealing with spills.”
Other June highlights:
Ethics investigations were another big story in June. Sarah’s slush fund, AKA the Alaska Fund Trust, violated Alaska law by using Sarah’s position as Governor to solicit funds that could be used for her personal benefit. In the blink of an eye, a new fund was in operation. Palingates highlighted the work of Andrée McLeod to hold Palin and other public officials accountable and to promote transparency in government.
Palingates unveiled the Babygate Summary, providing a condensed version of all the information amassed over the past 21 months of investigation of the many, many discrepancies in Sarah’s pregnancy story.
The latest development in the Sarah-CSU speech scandal was that Homeland Security was training local police and firefighters to break up demonstrations at the event.
Later, Palingates had its first (?) live-blogging party, covering the CSU Stanislaus speech and the open-mike comments afterward.
Palingates and its secret photographer revealed that Levi was spending time at Bristol’s condo, leading to numerous stories and a link from Andrew Sullivan.
Regina had a wonderful post on several families whose beautiful, happy children have special needs showed us the sharp contrast between the loving care that these children receive and the cold and distant way Sarah treats little Trig.
July was a big month to look more closely into Palin family dysfunction. There was Bristol’s announcement (via tabloid and on TV) of her re-engagement to Levi (but respect her privacy!). Palingates had a big push on Babygate, with a narrative summarizing the facts
and Lidia17’s brilliant videos, showing clearly that Palin’s pregnancy with Trig was a hoax. Patrick had two excellent interviews with Nicole Sandler: HERE and HERE and put together an interesting post regarding the Morlocks and Palins, Bristol’s pregnancies and Track’s parentage.
The disclosure of “Journolists” emails proved that Babygate was not an invention by bloggers; several in the MSM raised good questions about Sarah’s implausible tale, but were intimidated into not writing/publishing on this topic out of fear of that it was too “unseemly” or might even be a dirty trick. (Perhaps a similar dynamic is playing out regarding Bristol now.) Kilob guest-posted on why Trig was essential to Sarah’s selection as VP candidate and there were many links to and fro with Andrew Sullivan and other bloggers writing on this theme, along with some arrogant, lackadaisical commentary from Dave Weigel.
Other July highlights:
We celebrated Quitter Day! This memorable moment from 2009, complete with word salad supreme, hyperventilation and the accompaniment of honking geese, is forever enshrined in cyberspace for our entertainment and to steel our determination to put an end to Sarah’s political future.
Regina retired as the “owner” of the blog, but as we now know, she is still involved, thankfully!
Kathleen wrote about the dangers posed by the Pebble Mine, and Jon Corbett of Dillingham took the opportunity afforded by the filming of Sarah’s TV series to promote protecting the fish of Bristol Bay. Sarah’s people tried to silence him, but he refused to sit down and shut up.
Palingates revisited National Enquirer reports of Sarah’s affair with Brad Hanson, Track’s Oxycontin addiction, his vandalism of school buses, Bristol’s drug use and promiscuous behavior, her time banished to Aunt Heathers, etc. These are all the more interesting in light of Sarah’s recent comment, seemingly verifying the NE reports of her children’s mistakes.
Eye on You posted on Palin’s dangerous lie about the “Ground Zero Mosque.”
August was the month when the Palins bullying was shown on video for the world to see. The backdrop was the filming for SPAK, which was supposed to show the Palins in a positive light but, instead, led to several “incidents” in which their vindictive nature was on full display. Shannyn Moore posted a video of a confrontation between the Palins and Kathleen Gustafson, a teacher who dared to hang up a banner proclaiming Sarah the “Worst Governor Ever.” It shows the Palins surrounding and intimidating Kathleen physically and Sarah rolling her eyes on finding out Kathleen is a teacher. There were many links and nods from other blogs to PG’s post with slo-mo eye-roll. Later in August, she did the eye roll thing again at Senator Stevens’ funeral. Then, Todd tried to intimidate Hawk at the airport in Valdez, putting on full display the Palins’ mean streak.
Other August highlights:
Patrick spread the word about Sarah Palin’s true character and about the Babygate hoax during his interview by Verna Avery Brown on the radio program “What’s At Stake” on Pacifica Radio.
Politifact.com rated Sarah’s claim about President Obama’s position on tax cuts as a “pants on fire” lie and her/RAM’s later juvenile rant-buttal as “false.”
Did Sarah Palin’s endorsement cost Karen Handel the nomination for Governor of Georgia? It seems so, as Handel went from holding a comfortable lead to losing the runoff — and for the mere cost of $100,000 that Palin charged Handel’s campaign.
The controversy about building an Islamic Center several blocks from Ground Zero heated up; Palin was called out explicitly by 40 religious leaders for her fear-mongering about the Islamic Center controversy.
Idaho Vandal presented an excellent guest post on Sarah Palin’s “college collage”: the journey through five colleges before reportedly receiving a degree in 1987 in journalism. Or was it communications? As with all things Palin, her college story is hard to follow and doesn’t add up. She knows that this works well to cover up lies.
Palingates covered the Beck-Palin “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington D.C. Many readers contributed to the posts, and Kimba provided boots-on-the-ground views and photos.
The CSU Stanislaus contract was finally officially released to the public, proving that the Trustees lied when they said they could not produce it and also validating the information that
September began with a bang, with the publication of Michael Joseph Gross’ excellent article on “Sarah Palin: The Sound and the Fury” in Vanity Fair. Despite planning to write a complimentary piece, his research convinced him that Palin is a constant liar and fraud, and extremely vindictive to those who dare question or cross her. The article highlighted several stories that Palingates broke, and acknowledged Palingates and other blogs that have done the heavy lifting by investigating Sarah’s many “gates.”
Later in the month, others in the media challenged Palin’s claims.
Palingates continued its excellent work to expose the radical right-wing in America and its inroads to achieve power and influence. Patrick had several excellent posts on this subject. He showed his photos of a divided Berlin and reminded 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. He also covered the Forbes Magazine smear of President Obama and critiques of the Forbes article by the Columbia Journalism Review and The Economist. He reminded us of the influence of the Koch Brothers and parallels to the rise of the Third Reich.
Other September highlights:
Palingates honored 9/11 by posting a documentary on the NYFD by Jules and Gedeon Naudet. This is a powerful, emotional memorial to all those who lost their lives, and to all those who braved the horror in the days and weeks after 9/11 to “see what we can do to make this situation better.”
In contrast, Sarah and Glenn Beck attempted to exploit the September 11th anniversary, which was all the more disgusting in light of Beck’s outrageous comments disparaging the families of 911 victims.
Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO likened Palinism to McCarthyism offered a blunt critique of her hypocrisy, lack of accountability and poisonous rhetoric. Patrick expanded on this theme in an excellent piece on how investigative journalists exposed Joe McCarthy, leading to his downfall.
Both Sarah and Bristol Palin made comments that were inconsistent with their prior statements relating to their pregnancies. On Jay Leno’s show, Bristol said she did not attend her prom because she was pregnant. She previously stated that she didn’t know she was pregnant until May, and the prom was in mid-April. Oops! Sarah said that Trig was born at 7½ months, not 8½ months and that a doctor, not a technician, performed the ultrasound. Bristol also debuted on DWTS.
Palingates looked more closely at two of the candidates Palin endorsed: Joe Miller and Christine O’Donnell. Palingates raised the question of whether Miller is involved in an illegal scheme to coordinate with the Tea Party Express. The post connected the dots to funding by the Koch brothers. O’Donnell’s insane comments made for an interesting post about another apparently mentally unbalanced Republican candidate.
Lidia17 produced another brilliant video, showing how the Wild Ride is a travesty, a lie and a hoax.
Palingates explored Sarah’s connection the extremist New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). The influence of Engle and his ilk on Sarah Palin and a host of other Republicans is frightening, and should be a wake up call about the insidious influence of the ultra-right-wing NAR.
Palingates scooped the media in announcing Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign.
October was Miller time…time to shine a light on Sarah Palin’s candidate for U.S. Senate. Now that we know how that all turned out, we can breathe a sigh of relief that Gestapo Joe did not prevail. In October, it looked like he might win, until inconvenient truths about Miller came. Thanks to Alaska Dispatch and others, his breach of ethics case was made public.
We also learned of Miller’s close ties to the extremist Alaska Citizens Militia and Alaska Independence Party, a secessionist organization to which Todd Palin belonged for seven years. There are maybe two degrees of separation between Sarah Palin and the Michigan Militia movement that trained Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols and other terrorists. Joe Miller extolled the “success” of the Berlin Wall and recommended that we build a similar wall on the Mexican border. (Palin has recommended this repeatedly, as well.) Patrick posted moving photos of the young Germans who lost their lives seeking freedom.
Another major Palingates theme in October was how the independent media has been co-opted and is now at the heart of political corruption. We saw (in two excellent videos) how the media is controlled by a handful of multinational corporations, determining which politicians get on the air, who gets funding, covers politicians instead of politics, and focuses on the spectacle rather than the information that voters need to understand what choices are in our interests. A second video shows how The News Corporation uses sophisticated manipulative techniques to deliberately blur the line between news and opinion.
Palingates also featured David Brock and Media Matters and their efforts to expose how extremists have captured the media and skewed U.S. politics far rightward.
Patrick had two excellent posts on the influence of the Koch Brothers and Americans For Prosperity, which they formed to fund right-wing groups and oppose regulation of their energy and other industrial activities. The second post reports on the relationship between the Kochs and other right wing power brokers, the media and others, including justices Scalia and Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Other October highlights:
Palingates covered Anderson Cooper’s investigation of Andrew Shirvell, the Michigan Assistant AG who stalked the president of the Michigan Student Assembly at UMich; Shirvell was later fired. The post had many updates and included an important documentary, White Power USA, showing how Right-wing extremists are “the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the U.S.”
Palingates’ eyewitness reported that Sarah actually flew to LA, rather than going by motorhome as she had claimed; and we also learned of her fondness for Baileys.
We looked into the roles Mat-Su Regional Health Center and Dr. Baldwin-Johnson played in the Palin birth hoax. If the myth were true, then both Mat-Su and CBJ practiced medicine beyond what they are certified to do. But their malpractice insurers would not allow them to carry out a high-profile birth with 7 high-risk factors. Palin’s birth myth would have represented a breach of Mat-Su’s own policies, ergo, Palin did not give birth to Trig at Mat-Su (or anywhere else, for that matter).
Margaret Thatcher’s biographer Claire Berlinski ridiculed the idea of Sarah as a presidential candidate, and Aaron Sorkin jumped into the fray as well: “Sarah Palin’s an idiot. Come on. This is a remarkably, stunningly, jaw-droppingly incompetent and mean woman.”
October’s finale was the report by our Palingaters at the Rally to Restore Sanity!
Palingates had several momentous posts in November, most notably the worldwide scoop on America by Heart, which led to many, many links and mentions by MSM and other blogs. She criticized Levi, American Idol contestants, Hollywood, President Obama, Mrs. Obama, etc., and presented a classic case study in psychological projection.
Sarah Palin rails in her book “America by Heart” against “American Idol” contestants, praises her family, slams Levi Johnston and Hollywood
Sarah Palin’s next grand slam: Hollywood filmmakers “disparage the war effort”, “trash what the troops fight for”, show “reflexive anti-Americanism”
The MSM and other blogs also picked up Patrick’s post about Sarah’s support of extremists. She “favorited” a tweet about President Obama being a Taliban Muslim, and when Patrick’s post went viral, she blamed the “favoriting” on her Blackberry.
Palingates had another scoop that didn’t get as much attention, providing the firmest proof to date that Palin is planning to run for President. PG linked Sarah’s Facebook page administrators with the new Sarah Palin 2012 Facebook group, showing that Palin approved the creation of the new group promoting her 2012 candidacy.
Other November highlights:
Patrick threw down the gauntlet, stating conclusively that Sarah faked her pregnancy with Trig and dared her to prove Palingates wrong. [Update: crickets.] Palingates also published a letter from Alaska Airlines confirming that flight attendants (on four separate flights) did not notice Palin’s advanced pregnancy nor any signs of distress.
The fake reality show garnered much attention.
Shockingly, we learned from Sarah herself that the show is laced with political messages.
David Kernell was sentenced to a year and a day at a halfway house. Palingates examined the sworn testimony of Bristol and Sarah Palin, showing that it included false statements and exaggerations. The post also showed that Palin deliberately circumvented the public records law by using private email accounts for state business.
mxm reported on numerous deficiencies in Sarah’s FEC filing, and also detailed the “who’s who” of Sarah Palin’s braintrust and how much she pays them. Questions abound. Hopefully the FEC will stay on the job.
The Brits see right through Sarah; one said that the idea of Sarah as POTUS “terrifies me rigid” and another thought that “Michael Palin would do a better job.”
Sarah blatantly lied to excuse Bristol’s and Willow’s foul-mouthed Facebook rants.
The “lame stream media strategy” was a recurring topic in December. “…When your voice contradicts reality and truth, the only way to create space for it is to discredit reality and truth.” We saw the MSM again give free rein to Palin to create her own narrative, when Time Magazine “interviewed” her by email and bought into the foolish notion that Sarah actually writes her books and op-ed pieces.
Fortunately, more Republican pundits are saying out loud that she is not presidential material.
And more people are challenging the lies, like Margaret Cho, who stood by her report about Sarah pressuring Bristol to do DWTS to win back fans for Sarah. Alaska Dispatch and many others pointed out how unreal “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” was and many, including hunters and outdoorsmen/women, weighed in about what a novice Sarah is and how her show is all staged…in short, SPAK has proven to more and more people that Sarah is a fake.
The good news is that the more people know about Sarah Palin, the less they like her. With her media saturation strategy, people are apparently becoming really, really sick of her. Her favorable to unfavorable numbers show a steady decline in her appeal, and a steady increase in the number of people who view her unfavorably and would not vote for her under any circumstances. There is hope for us yet!
Palingates showed that the fake pregnancy was not a rumor put out by blogs after Palin’s nomination, but was widely discussed and given credence in Anchorage months before Palin’s selection as the VP candidate.
Kathleen looked at Sarah through a Vonnegut lens, as a personable person with a psychopathic personality who has no conscience.
More fake reality, through Leadfoot and Bella’s clear eyes. Many thanks to them, austintxx and many others who sacrifices themselves to spare the rest of us!
The Palins’ Ghostwriter Strikes Back. All criticism of the Palins must be redudiated!
Palin proved to most anybody with any common sense that she has none at all, by allowing her kids to be unrestrained in moving vehicles. Even folks who are apolitical recognize an irresponsible parent when they see one. Palin is Exhibit A.
The topping on the 2010 cake: Palingates is Bloggers Choice Best Political Blog for 2010 — WOOHOO! Many thanks to our readers and our whole team for these successes!
(Clicking on the month above the photos will take you to all the posts for that month.)