Saturday, October 11, 2008

Before we get to news from the good Palin (Michael), is there any chance the Troopergate report will make the bad one (Sarah) disappear?


Who's out to get Safety Bear? Gov. Sarah "Danger Moose" Palin freaked out when she heard that her archenemy the infamous Trooper Wooten would be at the 2007 Alaska State Fair when she attended. Turns out he was volunteering, as he often did, to play the ever-beloved-by-children Safety Bear. (Thanks to Blue Tidal Wave for the photo.)

by Ken

So it's official. According to investigator Stephen Branchflower's report to Alaska's Joint Legislative Council, as released yesterday, the governor (and now GOP vice presidential candidate) abused her powers. Howie has gone over the ins and outs of the report in some detail in his post below.

In the end, the thugs who run the McCranky campaign would probably have done better to leave the thugging to the locals, who at least know the territory. The McCrankyites, channeling the bipartisan spirit of Genghis Rove, brought in their squadron of city-slicker goons for the express purpose of clamping the lid on the legislature's originally bipartisan investigation into the Palin Gang's Troopergate abuses, but as usual with the McCranky campaign, they screwed up. Oh, the GOP slickers produced their usual quotient of intimidation and left their expected amount of carnage. But mayhem is about all the present McCranky brain trust seems capable of creating.

True, many of the potential witnesses suddenly decided not to bear witness, but the ones who mattered had already given their testimony, and it doesn't seem to have been especially difficult for Branchflower to piece together what seemed pretty clear from the evidence already made public: that the Palin Gangsters routinely lie, cheat, and steal -- and above all bully anybody who gets in their way, under the delusion that they're marauding in the name of some psychotic, satanic God -- because that's who they are. Ignorant, megalomaniacal ideological wackos.

Of course neither the Palin Gang nor their new Rovian masters in the Lower 48 will accept the Blanchflower findings. As true 21st-century Republicans, it's not just their right but virtually their obligation to make poopy on the truth. These people, after all, have a "higher truth," which they imagine is delivered to them by their gargoyle of a God, who would presumably smite them if they ever acted in accordance with the dictates of truth, decency, or authentic morality.


My weekend plans include trying to catch Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, a documentary that I'm hearing from all sides not only is remarkable in its own right, helping us understand the life's work of the father of modern gutter-style campaigning -- and guru to slimemaster Rove -- but is invaluable for understanding the kind of campaign we're seeing now being thrown up against the wall by McCranky campaign "genius" (and Rove disciple) Steve Schmidt.

Lee Atwater is best remembered for "Willie Horton"-ing the 1988 presidential campaign of Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis into oblivion. It's also remembered that during his terminal struggle with a brain tumor, he saw and repented of the evil he had done in his professional life.

So naturally they bellow like wounded hippos about shameful partisan politics! This is what happens when ultra-partisan right-wing loons look in a mirror. They're the ones who reflexively behave in accord with shameful partisan politics. Or should we say shameless politics? Because these people are surely incapable of shame. Quite possibly in their degraded brains they really believed they were doing the Lord's work when they did everything in their power -- well, actually well beyond their lawful power -- to settle their score with Governor Sarah's former brother-in-law, Trooper Mike Wooten.

Now I'm prepared to believe that Trooper Wooten isn't a great guy, although I have to say that when all the evidence comes from the mouths of the Palin Gang, its total evidentiary value is roughly zero. But the measure of their ruthlessness and truthlessness isn't what they did, or tried to do, to the hapless trooper. It's their single-minded devotion to their only discernible Guiding Principle: Getting What We Want When We Want It. Which meant that they had to mow down the man who stood in the path of their vengeance, doing his job. State Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, who appears to be as upright and universally admired as you'll find in public service, steadfastly resisted the relentless (and, he believed, illegal) pressure from First Dude Todd Palin and assorted other Palin Gang henchpersons to fire Trooper Wooten. And so, eventually and outrageously, he had to be fired himself.

I suppose I should qualify that description of Monegan as "universally admired." That was the case before the invasion of the GOP slickers, who promptly set about sliming him. Of course you realize that as spiritual heirs of Karl Rove they had no choice. One gaping hole the cover-up could never cover up was the absence of a remotely plausible reason for Monegan's firing. The serial lies put out by the governor became increasingly more pathetic.

But that's why Rove disciples never travel without vats of slime. You get the feeling they take special pleasure in trashing the reputation of a good man. So, everyone in Alaska knew Monegan to be both competent and principled, eh? For low-lifes like the Palin Gang and the McCrankyites, that probably just adds to the satisfaction of bringing the sumbitch down.

Poor Walt has been vindicated but still faces the task of picking up the pieces of his reputation. Rachel Maddow asked him about this when he spoke to her on her show last night, and he really didn't seem to know how he's going to do this.

I realize how crazed and hyperbolic I sound talking about the right-wingers as, effectively, spawns of Satan. I sound as crazy as I'm accusing them of being. The only difference is that they really are.

In other words, I'm stuck in the same position I was not quite a month ago when I wrote a post called "Can we really have a presidential election in which one side does nothing but lie? (Apparently so.)"

I expect that many people who read the piece assumed I was being hyperbolic or metaphorical, if not downright hysterical, in proclaiming that new-school Republicanism requires total abandonment of truth, substituting what we would like to be true or in some cases what we think ought to be true. Alas, no, as the Rs have continued to demonstrate since I wrote the earlier piece, they are entirely off the truth standard.

Meanwhile our beloved Infotainment News Media, as always, report this as a case of "both sides exaggerating," or "both campaigns stretching the truth." So when it comes to sliming, "both sides" are doing it, and never mind that the charges against McCranky are pertinent and true, while the vilifications of Obama are psychotic tissues of lies, innuendo, and irrelevance.

Now, of course, the insanitization has reached the point of actively fomenting violence, to the point where even dead-to-the-world McCranky felt obliged to pull back. Make no mistake, though: He is the candidate of hatred, ignorance, bigotry, criminal thuggery, and outright violence. And the people who support him are doing everything in their power to turn the country into an ungovernable cauldron of ignorance and hate.

There's a tendency among pundits to minimize the significance of the Troopergate charges. Of course now we know conclusively that this charge of political abuse in Gov. Danger Moose's administration is true. And the more we look at the Palin Gang's track record at both the local and the state levels, this wasn't an isolated instance -- it's the way the gang does business. Most important, the whole stinking mess is a function of the appalling judgment of the pathetic McCranky, clutching desperately at his last chance for the presidency.

Electorally speaking, however, none of this matters much. In all likelihood, the Troopergate report is just another nail in the coffin of the McCranky-Danger Moose ticket, courtesy of the economic catastrophe brought on by decades of the kind of governance Young Johnny has fought for so passionately for so long. It's looking highly unlikely that the Crankyman will be spending any extended time in the White House.

But does that mean Gov. Danger Moose is going to sink back into the much she crawled out of? Or that the crusade for ignorance and thuggery of which she has become the perky heroine will magically disappear? I wish it were so, but I don't think so.


I know I'm not the only one who did a double take on first encountering the name of Alaska's scumbag governor. The only other Palins I've heard tell of are the family of legendary Monty Pythonite (and more recently master traveler, having invented his own genre of travel film and book) Michael Palin, one of the globe's more treasured inhabitants.

Of course it seemed improbable that there was any connection. But for a lot of us "Palin" is a brand name that stands for something. It came as something of a jolt to discover that our Michael has been been undergoing a sort of identity crisis himself.

For his far-flung network of fans, Michael sends out too-infrequent but periodic e-mail updates (you can get information and sign up on the Palin's Travels website,, and one just went out yesterday, presumably occasioned by news of his latest travel project -- 80 Days Revisited, a return journey ("the first I've ever attempted") after 20 years in which he will attempt to find as many shipmates as he can from --
one of the best-remembered sequences of any of my travel adventures, the dhow journey from Dubai to Bombay, episode three of Around the World in 80 Days. As we sailed agonisingly slowly down the Persian Gulf on board one of world's oldest surviving traditional sailing ships we formed a unique relationship with our Indian crew. Mutual incomprehension gradually gave way to friendship and affection, as we accepted the fact that our lives, and the success of our journey Around the World in 80 Days was in the hands of this band of ragged, under-paid sailors from Gujerat.

Now that's the serious-news part of the new e-mail. Easing into the news, Michael tell us:
I'm conscious, as ever, that a lot of water has flown under the bridge since my last message. Since then I've been working hard at an edit of my Diaries 1980 -1988 in time for publication next year, whilst watching Archie grow up and trying to come to terms with my identity theft by a hockey mum in Alaska. And no, Sarah Palin is not my sister, daughter or alias. And I'm Sahara Palin not Sarah.

In case you don't know, Michael did a fascinating trek across the Sahara which produced the series and book of that name.

By the way, the new project ("currently called 80 Days Revisited") "will hopefully be shown as a one-hour special on BBC-1 around Christmas." Which means we'll get it, well, goodness knows when and where. There's also a revised edition of the Around the World in 80 Days book in the works.

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At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GREAT post Keni, it's GOT EVERYTHING, Rove and Palin bashing and even Bears and Michael Palin!

kkkKen, are you trying to kkkkill me?!!!

At 7:43 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Thanks, Bil.

I love Michael Palin as much as I hate . . . that other person. Just look at how differently they relate to people. Michael P seems to have an insatiable curiosity about them, and has an almost compulsive need to find what makes the people he meets tick. Whereas . . . the the other person just brings out all that bigotry and hate.


At 7:52 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Sarah Palin is, IMHO, a very dangerous person. It's no so much her lack of experience -- the GOP likes to flip the question to "what about Obama's experience?!?!" If experience were measured in terms of duration, it'd be a draw.

No, Palin is dangerous because her breadth of experience is about as expansive as an Alaska minor who's spent the last 10 years in the mountains panning for gold.

The danger comes not so much in her ignorance, but her ignorance of being ignorant. She won't blink to make a bad decision and regardless of the outcome will believe she was right. She has the typical binary point of view of deeply right-wing Christians: there's good guys like us, and the rest are bad guys; are you a sinner or a saint; heaven or hell; there's right (what we do) and wrong (what we don't do); there's believers in our God, and the rest are expendable ignorant fools.

I can see Palin launching a few nukes and then announcing in her state of the nation speech: "You gotta break'a few eggs if you're gonna make an omlet <wink wink>"

The fact that the tone of her voice is offensive (fingernails on a chalkboard) isn't what gets me about Palin -- it's that she's an ignorant ignorant who thinks it's okay to be a plastic Barbie doll and say whatever she needs to say to get the job done, that she really isn't interested in fixing any problems but is VERY interested in being VP and eventually President just because the idea and notoriety, and that she presents the very real possibility of being a worse-than-Bush cowboy who'll wage world wars to "take it to the bad guys."

God save us from the rabid pit bull in lipstick!

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

keninny, looks like the only bigotry and hate in here is from you! I haven't heard Palin (any of them) talk about hate. Way to go!

raddog58c, I'd argue that Obama is a more dangerous person. Palin and Obama both have a lack of specific experience. However, what experience Obama does have scares the living daylights out of me!

The danger here isn't from Obama's ignorance, it is from his disguise. He takes the form of whatever his audience needs to see and hear. And the drones believe in what he has to say because of a slick and sharp tongue. The man has proven himself a liar over and over again. Sure, he can shake it off and say "now hold on a minute" and try to change the subject, but it doesn't change his past or present. He is associated with known bigots and terrorists. Fact, whether you want to hide it or not. He is deeply associated with known radical groups like ACORN. Sure, he'll keep distancing himself from these groups now in order to get elected, but what happens if he is elected? I'd bet the roaches come back into the light.

Want to talk about the finger on the button? At least Palin would be pointing it at actual American enemies. I'm not so sure where Obama's aim takes place. Domestic terrorism, sit downs with Iran, anti-Israeli comments, going after Pakistan, etc.

Talk about lipstick on a pig!


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