Tag Archives: Sarah Palin

Prematurely plowing: Palin seeking open door

Premature: adj. happening, arriving, existing, or performed before the proper, usual, or intended time

Plow: v. to cleave the surface of or move through

Sarah Palin was interviewed yesterday on Fox News. Here’s what she said when asked if she’d run in 2012:

Palin said she will rely on faith. “Putting my life in my creator’s hands — this is what I always do,” she said.

“This is what I always do. I’m like, O.K., God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I’m like, don’t let me miss the open door. Show me where the open door is. Even if it’s cracked up a little bit, maybe I’ll plow right on through that and maybe prematurely plow through it, but don’t let me miss an open door. And if there is an open door in ‘12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I’ll plow through that door.”

I’m like, OK, God, if Sarah Palin tries to plow through another national door, I’m like, ya know, may it be made of 12″ thick concrete.

Pile on Palin: “Wasilla Hillbillies” even offend McCain aides

Pile on: v. slang  To dump insults on someone

New book in the works: “Sarah and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” (Apologies to Judith Viorst who is a devoted Democrat.)  It’s been a bad 24 hours for our Sarah…

First she lost her chance to be President.  (I know she said she was running for Vice, but you don’t think McCain would survive long with her in the building unless he hired himself a food-taster, do you?)  At the concession speech she didn’t look sad, she looked PISSED OFF.

Next, Newsweek uncovers a nasty addendum to the $150,000 wardrobe story:

NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin’s shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain’s top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy.

One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family–clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill.

Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent “tens of thousands” more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost.

An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as “Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast,” and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.

Ouch! But wait, there’s more.

Fox News’ (yes, I said Fox!) Shepherd Smith and Carl Cameron share the behind the scenes Palin temper tantrums, stupidity and willful ignorance. This is pretty devastating:

And Cameron says there’s more dirt where that came from. I so wanted never to have to write about this horrid woman again.  But I’d rather drive a stake into her heart now, so that maybe she won’t re-rear her head (like Putin over Alaska) on the national stage again. BYE BYE, Sarah – Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

Pants-off panicked by Palin pick; plumber plummets too.

Polls are showing that Sarah Palin is now a serious drag on the MCain campaign, as 59% of those polled by  CBS/NYTimes say she’s not qualified to be VP.

Because she used so many P-words, and because I love this NY Times columnist even if she used no P-words, here’s what Gail Collins said today:

The polls also suggest that Sarah Palin has, in two short months, managed to scare the pants off large portions of the population. Confidence seems to be plummeting not only in her own qualifications but in McCain’s overall ability to pick good assistants. These concerns were probably not allayed by the candidate’s promise to take Joe the Plumber to Washington with him.

Meanwhile, a different hockey mama prefers Obama:

Primping at a price: Palin pays for polish

Primp: v. to dress, adorn, or arrange in a careful or finicky manner

Price: n. the terms for the sake of which something is done

Polish: n. a highly developed, finished, or refined state

Whatever else her defects (ignorance, shamelessness, dishonesty, bully tactics, racism, tax cheat, etc etc), Palin’s personal grooming habits should put her out of the running. America cannot afford this expensive a doll in or near the White House.

A few days ago we heard about her $150,000 wardrobe. Today we learn about how much it costs to keep her face and hair looking so perfect. From today’s NY Times:

Who was the highest paid individual in Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign during the first half of October as it headed down the homestretch?

Not Randy Scheunemann, Mr. McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser; not Nicolle Wallace, his senior communications staffer. It was Amy Strozzi, Gov. Sarah Palin’s traveling makeup artist, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday night.

Ms. Strozzi, who was nominated for an Emmy award for her makeup work on the television show “So You Think You Can Dance?”, was paid $22,800 for the first two weeks of October alone, according to the records. The campaign categorized Ms. Strozzi’s payment as “Personnel Svc/Equipment.”

In addition, Angela Lew, who is Ms. Palin’s traveling hair stylist, got $10,000 for “Communications Consulting” in the first half of October.

Right.  “Communications.”

Now that I know what it takes to be a VP candidate, I think I could do it too – and I could do it for half the price.  Even though I’m not as young as Palin is, I’d still look like a million bucks. Who wouldn’t???

Poetry poking fun at McPalin: PFAW’s haiku contest

People for the American Way is having a McPalin Haiku contest. Go to the website and pick your favorite. Here were a few I thought were worthy.

Habeas corpus
And that pesky Bill of Rights.
Who needs’ em? WINK. WINK.  — Jean Hall

Do you want McCain
To choose a Supreme Court judge
Like he chose Palin?  — Scott & Susan Hanway

Palin knows nothing
About the Constitution.
Puppets don’t have to.   — Madeleine Kane

Dust thick on text books.
Evolution was a fad.
Science dead? You betcha.  — Laura Welch

The Constitution
Now in the toilet by Bush
McCain will flush it   — Karl Kauffman

Parsimony: not for Palin

Parsimony: n. the quality of being careful with money or resources, thrift

Sarah Palin has been looking pretty plummy on the campaign trail. Hair, makeup, glasses, and outfits snappy enough to get notice from the fashion mags. This look doesn’t come cheap, however, and makes John Edwards’ $400 haircut seem pikerly.  From Politico yesterday:

The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.

The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

The cash expenditures immediately raised questions among campaign finance experts about their legality under the Federal Election Commission’s long-standing advisory opinions on using campaign cash to purchase items for personal use.

One could argue that Palin only bought all this stuff at the RNC’s urging. However she also needs to explain a similar extravagant streak in personal expenses she charged to Alaska’s taxpayers:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters’ 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls….

In October 2007, Palin brought daughter Bristol along on a trip to New York for a women’s leadership conference. Plane tickets from Anchorage to La Guardia Airport for $1,385.11 were billed to the state, records show, and mother and daughter shared a room for four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House hotel, which overlooks Central Park. …

Elsewhere I read that they only spent five hours at the conference although they stayed five days in Manhattan.

The state is already reviewing nearly $17,000 in per diem payments to Palin for more than 300 nights she slept at her own home, 40 miles from her satellite office in Anchorage.

Meanwhile Our Man Obama resoles his shoes.

Piggyback: who’s running for Pres?

Piggyback: n. carried on the shoulders or back

A picture says a lot. What kind of campaign is this anyway??

Propaganda: Rovian fear and loathing

Propaganda: n. ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause. Comes from same root as:

Propagate: v. to actively spread or multiply, as in horticulture

It does not matter how clever it is, for the task of propaganda is not to be clever, its task is to lead to success….No one can say that your propaganda is too crude or low or brutal, or that it is not decent enough, for those are not the relevant criteria. Its purpose is not to be decent, or gentle, or weak, or modest; it is to be successful.  — Joseph Goebbels

The McCain/Palin campaign, aware that it’s in a very weak position on the economy, has decided to distract voters from this fact by launching increasingly aggressive attacks on Obama. They’re reading directly from Karl Rove and Frank Luntz’s Republican playbook, using propaganda techniques.

In at least one regard propaganda differs from pornography, of which a judge famously said: “I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.”  Propaganda is subtle. The message and/or its delivery system insidiously attempt to cut us off from rational consideration of the issues as it seeks to influence our behavior or beliefs.

Wikipedia has a terrific article describing these techniques. I’d go as far as to say it’s a MUST READ as we get into campaign dirty season.

The most effective propaganda technique: Appeal to fear – because fear is our most powerful and least rational emotion – Fear of terrorism (mushroom clouds!!, William Ayers=Obama’s best friend!!!), fear of people different from us (black people!! (the shadow)), fear of loss or harm (higher taxes!!! they’ll take away your GUNS!!!), fear of the unknown (new ideas!!!). Fear taps into the reptilian brain where survival is the #1 issue.

Frank Luntz explained in a Frontline interview a few years ago why his polling and field research seeks words that move people to act on an emotional level:

80 percent of our life is emotion, and only 20 percent is intellect. I am much more interested in how you feel than how you think. … My job is to look for the words that trigger the emotion. We know that words and emotion together are the most powerful force known to mankind.

Both parties use the technique of partial truth and quotes out of context, but from my perspective, the Republicans do it so much more disingenuously so as to completely change the intent of the statement.

Another propaganda fav: volume and frequency. Get a message heard in as many places as possible, and as often as possible. The repetition reinforces the idea and helps exclude any alternative ideas. Frank Luntz again, from that same interview:

Regarding consistency, there’s a simple rule: You say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and then again and again and again and again, and about the time that you’re absolutely sick of saying it is about the time that your target audience has heard it for the first time. And it is so hard, but you’ve just got to keep repeating.

President Bush even admitted doing it when speaking to a Republican audience:

See, in my line of work, you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapault the propaganda.

Blogger Triptych wrote an hilarious but brilliant post a couple of days ago pretending he was teaching a class to neophyte bloggers on propaganda techniques at “Rove University”. Here are a few examples:

Okay, the next one is appeal to authority – the concept is pretty much in the name. Very good, MOVEONfromMoveOn – McCain and Palin do often bring General Petraeus into the picture. It’s easy to say what he thinks and just quote the parts we like, because he’s never actually on stage to speak for himself! See how that works?  Now, if you can, try to bring in a military man or a Nobel laureate – those are the best. Remember, you just need one to say your economic plan is “backed by Nobel prize winners” – no need to mention that many more of them support your opponents plan.

Now listen up, because the next one is a very important concept, appeal to fear. This is probably the best one we’ve got – Remember, Americans live by the motto “Better safe than sorry” – not “Better sorry than bored” or “Better sorry than stupid” or even “Better sorry than unjust”.  So if you’re going to describe your opponent’s plan for foreign policy, what word should you use? … That’s right NUKE-EM! The opponent’s plan is dangerous. We can always get away with this because all foreign policy plans are dangerous to some extent – I mean, you can’t rule out that there could be a war in the future, right?

Okay, on to appeal to prejudice.  John McCain and Sarah Palin have been relying heavily on this one. Can you idiots name any prejudices in the electorate that we’ve been exploiting? Yes, DontMessWCheney, Obama is black, but I would have expected a three year old to be able to name that one. Clearly we’re not going to let that go by unnoticed. What else? Come on, people, I’ll give you a hint – it kind of sounds like “smiley medicated”.  That’s right, STOOPIDS4SARAH, he’s highly educated! and that makes a lot of people suspicious. Sorry, what, libRULZdrool? How do we get people to think he’s both a shiftless lazy black man and an elite overschooled smarty pants at the same time? How do we get people to think he’s a scary African who will rape our white women as well as thinking he’s an effeminate pansy Democrat who will turn our country over to the terrorists? Easy! Write this down : the subconscious is illogical. If we do it right, people will see in the opponent whatever they distrust most….

Allright, who has an example of the Black and White Fallacy? Good grief, DEMSWILLMUGYOU, you’re not supposed to take it literally. We’re not talking about the color of the candidates skin here – is everything about race with you? We’re talking about suggesting that if you’re not for something 100%, you’re 100% against it. We saw a lot of this used to great effect after 9/11 – if you weren’t for dropping some bombs on defenseless civilians, you wanted the terrorists to blow up more American buildings. Gotit? So who has seen some examples in the campaign?

Wow, look at all those hands. Very nice. We’ll start with you, IcuddleCoulter. Either you want to be in Iraq for as long as McCain says, or you’re raising the white flag of surrender? That’s pretty good, and I’ll tell you, that one works wonders for us. No one wants to be seen as raising the white flag, and most people don’t understand that that notion doesn’t even make sense in the context of this war.  Let’s keep it that way.  Who else? Yes, outstanding, protectWHITES, to bring up the drilling issue again, we have framed the conservation as “you’re either for offshore drilling, or you’re for dependence on foreign oil and consequently on our cities being blown up.” The left keep bringing up this cute idea of “alternate forms of energy” – when they start talking like that I just like to hum “Camptown Races”….

We’ll end for the day on a technique we had no idea would be so successful, but has been working wonders for us. It’s called Common Man and it revolves around using subtle cues to make the people think the candidate is one of them. We’ve taken it even farther this election and made it even less subtle than we have the last two with Bush.  You don’t know what I’m talking about, JOE6PAK? Did you watch the VP debate? Do you think we didn’t choose Palin for a reason? That folksy talk is great, but the winking is genius, it’s genius! We really know how to reach those dirt picking numbskulls.

Your homework, children, is to read the Wikipedia entry on propaganda techniques and the rest of Triptych’s post, and then keep your eyes and ears and emotions ready for the McCain/Palin Propaganda Onslaught.

“Pom-pom palaver”: Palin’s patois

Pom-pom: n. a handheld usually brightly colored fluffy ball flourished by cheerleaders

Palaver: n.  idle talk, misleading or beguiling speech

Patois: n.  a dialect other than the standard or literary dialect; uneducated or provincial speech (from the French)

OK. At the moment I’m sorry I bashed Maureen Dowd for being a piranha. She is on fire today over the Palin person’s use of language. Palin comes from a long line of Republican manglers of the English language, but is even worse than GW and Poppy Bush.

With her pompom patois and sing-songy jingoism, Palin can bridge contradictory ideas that lead nowhere: One minute she promises to get “greater oversight” by government; the next, she lectures: “Government, you know, you’re not always a solution. In fact, too often you’re the problem.”Talking at the debate about how she would “positively affect the impacts” of the climate change for which she’s loath to acknowledge human culpability, she did a dizzying verbal loop-de-loop: “With the impacts of climate change, what we can do about that, as governor, I was the first governor to form a climate change subcabinet to start dealing with the impacts.” That was, miraculously, richer with content than an answer she gave Katie Couric: “You know, there are man’s activities that can be contributed to the issues that we’re dealing with now, with these impacts.”

Hundreds of pithy comments ensued. A selection:

When I listen to her I feel like I put the car radio on SCAN and I am skipping from station to station in 3 second intervals. I believe that the way a person uses language is indicative of their thought and decision-making processes — muddled language, muddled decisions. If her ability to make sound, evidence-based decisions is reflected in her use of language (as I witnessed it last Thursday), God help us if she ever attains a position of real power.

The fact that Palin had to cram for a week just to become (vaguely) familiar with current affairs should automatically disqualify her from the race. Would you hire a doctor or lawyer with such a lack of understanding?

The Rovian minions take advantage of all of this and continue to package ruin in a palatable and unassuming way. Many distracted people seem all too willing to eat it up.

A columnist hardly has to write anything around the actual quotations of Governor Palin. They are comprised of folksy vocabulary strewn in with the absolutely inane stringing together of words in hopes that no one will notice that they really make no sense. But they certainly provide an accurate sense of who she is… It reminds me of what my old social work professor once said: “We don’t demand enough of attractive people. It’s almost enough for us that they are simply attractive.”

Isn’t a “team of mavericks” an oxymoron?

Perhaps this part of the McCain/Palin healthcare plan: why have expensive doctors (who spent years studying) when you can get someone off the street to read up on the surgery the night before.
Governor Palin has already accomplished a seemingly impossible feat by making George W. Bush sound like William F. Buckley.

At another point, she channeled Alicia Silverstone debating in “Clueless,” asserting, “Nuclear weaponry, of course, would be the be-all, end-all of just too many people in too many parts of our planet.” (Mostly the end-all.)

Bob Herbert continues in a similar P-word vein: Palin as punctuation to the Bush years:

Sarah Palin is the perfect exclamation point to the Bush years.We’ve lived through nearly two terms of an administration that believed it could create its own reality:  “Deficits don’t matter.” “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job.” “Those weapons of mass destruction must be somewhere.”

Now comes Ms. Palin, a smiling, bubbly vice-presidential candidate who travels in an alternate language universe. For Ms. Palin, such things as context, syntax and the proximity of answers to questions have no meaning.  …

If Governor Palin didn’t like a question, or didn’t know the answer, she responded as though some other question had been asked. She made no bones about this, saying early in the debate: “I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you want to hear.”

The problem with Ms. Palin’s candidacy is that John McCain might actually win this election, and then if something terrible happened, the country could be left with little more than an exclamation point as president.

After Ms. Palin had woven one of her particularly impenetrable linguistic webs, Joe Biden turned to the debate’s moderator, Gwen Ifill, and said: “Gwen, I don’t know where to start.”

Of course he didn’t know where to start because Ms. Palin’s words don’t mean anything. She’s all punctuation.

Programmed Palin, part 2

This diagram took blogger Adennak half the night to create, but it was worth it. He said:

The truth is that Palin didn’t answer any questions she didn’t want to tonight, and she said she’d do exactly that at the start of the debate. She had a hand full of index cards and a brain full of buzz words, and it was her job to say them all in front of the camera. Actually, it was her job to say them while looking at Joe Biden for five seconds, then looking at the camera for five seconds, and then looking back at Biden to start over again. It was like she was on a timer. One of the many things she’d probably been coached on after the whole flap about McCain not looking Obama in the eyes.