Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue (Encore Post)

True, I don’t care for Governor Palin (at least her politics and social attitudes) but I’d like to back up what I say. Hence, I’ll included a list of quotes that back up what I say; this will be lengthy so I’ll append these at the end of this article.

Here is what I think, in brief:

What I liked: insights to Alaska’s unique geographical challenges, discussion on some oil issues, persona life stuff, observations on the Inuit fishermen, running stories. She gave a shout out to endurance swimmer Lynn Cox who swam between an Alaskan island and a Russian one (though her joke “you can swim from Alaska to Russia is a bit misleading; Lynn Cox can and someone else did so in a wet suit; but it would kill most of us).

I was amused by her observation on Joe Biden physically stretching prior to their debate.

She also spoke correctly about the widely circulated “list of books that Sarah Palin tried to ban” and
gave a good explanation on how Alaska chooses judges: the legislature creates an “approved pool” and the governor has to select out of that.

She also explains her being unfairly tagged as having some sort of messianic view of the Iraq war. This is what she said:

which really is in line with President Lincoln’s saying that we should pray that we really are on God’s side.

One note of current interest This is from page 153:

Prior to the election it had been revealed that BP had been trying to save money for years by cutting corners on oil pipeline maintenance on the North Slope. This was very serious: leaks and spills from corroded pipelines were all too common and harmed the environment plus led to production slowdowns. So one of my first priorities (as governor) was to establish the Petroleum Systems Integrity Office…

Note: she said one thing in her book, and something different as governor:

Remember the Exxon Valdez disaster and settlement? This is what happened:

The Supreme Court handed corporate America a major victory this week when it sharply reduced the amount of money Exxon Mobil has to pay in punitive damages for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. An Alaskan jury had initially ruled Exxon should pay five billion dollars in punitive damages but in 2006, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court cut the award of punitive damages in half. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court cut the amount of punitive damages again and ordered Exxon Mobil to pay just $500 million in punitive damages – one tenth of the original jury’s ruling.

This is what then Governor Palin said:

So what does she say in her book? Page 62:

Exxon Mobil’s litigation compounded the suffering, especially for the Cordova and Valdez fishermen. Court challenges stretched on for two decades. It took twenty years for Alaska to achieve victory. As governor, I directed our attorney general to file an amicus brief on behalf of palintiffs in the case, and, thanks to Alaska’s able attorneys arguing in front of the highest court in the land, in 2008 the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the people. Finally, Alaskans could recover some of their losses.

Hmm, she sure paints a rather different picture in her book than she did in the video, no? 😉

What I didn’t like: most of it was boring Fox News talking points, much of which is either false, misleading, or baseless. The policy arguments were breathtakingly shallow and not backed up by facts.

But the worst part of it was the incessant whining and self-pity: her interview disasters were always the fault of the interviewer and she was always the one being unfairly picked on.

It appears to me that she has a huge inferiority complex (well deserved in some cases) and that she attracts others who have such complexes.

Though she whines about unfair attacks, she constantly disdains “liberal elitists”, “Berkeley graduates” and those who wear Birkenstocks and drive hybrids.

If you are the type who thinks that Fox News is “fair and balanced”, who thinks that your understanding of the Constitution rivals that of a law professor and that your understanding of the economy is on a par (or superior!) to that of a Nobel Prize winning economist, and that your “common sense” makes you a better judge of scientific facts that professional scientists, then you’ll love this book.

It is a pity because there are good things in the book, but they are scattered in a sea of boring repetitive Fox News boiler plate and self pity.

The details

Instances of resentment, name calling

p. 36: “Todd was shy and quiet in demeanor, typical of Yupik men, who, unlike some others, don’t feel the need to fill up the air around them with words all the time.”

p. 45 She whines about being ridiculed about attending so many colleges and taking so long to graduate. She claims: that it took 5 years because “she paid her own way” even after admitting that she didn’t pay enough attention to her studies on page 42. Still, why 4 different colleges?

p. 48: “For many in Alaska, being green isn’t about wearing Birkenstocks and driving a hybrid”.

p. 76-77: she attempted to insult someone by saying that they were a “Birkenstock and granola Berkeley grad”

p. 95: she argued that her husband really wasn’t “in bed” with the oil industry because he worked in the field and didn’t make executive decisions. That is fine. But she goes on to say: “I told Alaskans, “Todd’s not in management. He actually works.” (emphasis hers).

p. 99: she whines and justifies quitting her Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission post.

pp 107-108: she speaks with contempt about “Andree the Gadfly”, ironically noting that she attempted to get a license to sell homemade chickpea sandwiches. Such regulation is government intervention into the free market, isn’t it? 🙂

pp. 116-117: whines about Andrew Halcro, Andree McLeod (she calls the “falafel lady”) and the “Wasilla “town crier” being used as Palin references.

p. 134: “I had plenty of backup when telling Hollywood liberals what I thought of their asinine plan to ban guns.”

p. 151: “The fact that his shirt was buttoned one button off and his shirttail was poking though his open fly didn’t exactly inspire confidence”

Does she really want to bring up “inspiring confidence”? We’ll get to some things later. But note how superficial she is.

p. 181: Palin calls decorated combat veteran John Kerry an “elitist loon”.

p. 183: she whines about the press coverage she was getting.

pp. 185-187: she wrote a letter from God to herself. Yes, this idea might be ok to do in private. But when you publicize is, you open yourself to ridicule. Of course, she whines about getting ridiculed.

p. 201: she called a Public Safter Commissioner behavior “insubordination”; evidently she saw herself as his boss.

p. 207: whines for the first time about her being questioned about “what she reads”; after all, “she” has written op-eds for several newspapers. I wonder why she didn’t just list those newspapers? Why did she see that question as insulting anyway? After all, some might enjoy commentary type magazines (The Nation, National Review); others might prefer policy publications.

p. 214: she was talking about her knowledge of the Iraq war; she had just been selected as the VP candidate. She then says “I knew the history of the conflict to the extent that most Americans did.” That is supposed to be acceptable?

pp 217-218: she justifies her creationism here; she points out that her dad taught elementary school science and:

His lessons spilled over to the dinner table. We ate together every night and I just assumed that every kid learned clever acronyms for planet alignments and the elements of the periodic table between forkfuls of caribou lasagna. Didn’t every family talk about what differentiated a grizzly from a brown bear?

She then talks about William F. Buckley’s belief in a divine origin for mankind and called him a “world class intellect” (??? above average yes; world class: not even close)

Her “knowledge” of science can be gauged from this:

Note: personally, I love the way Maddow mocks and ridicules her. What I got is that this really gets under Palin’s skin. But it would be bad for a politician to do it this way; in my opinion many people have inferiority complexes about their intelligence (despite their bluster).

p. 221: “We felt our very normalcy, our status as ordinary Americans, could be a much-needed fresh breeze blowing into Washington D. C.”

This brings us to two big points:
1. She brags about how Alaska is so different and the challenges are so hard…that isn’t “ordinary”, isn’t it? I suppose “ordinary” is good when it suits her?
2. She appears to think that “ordinary American” means “being like her and her supporters”. That might be why she made statements like this:

We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. We believe” — here the audience interrupted Palin with applause and cheers — “We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans. Those who are running our factories and teaching our kids and growing our food and are fighting our wars for us. Those who are protecting us in uniform. Those who are protecting the virtues of freedom.”

Not sure how much this helps Palin out. Is the VP candidate saying that small towns are more authentically American than, say, suburbia or cities?

As Eilperin writes: “The upshot? Washington D.C. is neither ‘real America’ or ‘pro-America.’ Other parts of the nation? It’s unclear, but if you live in a small town, you’re probably patriotic from Palin’s point of view.”

227: Claims that Obama didn’t say much during his speeches. I’d respond that she didn’t understand what he was saying…that might be closer to the truth.

232: claimed that her candidacy would draw “unprecedented onslaught of rumors, lies, and innuendo” brought on by how she was “packaged”. I wonder if she remembered the Clinton or the Dukakis campaigns?

236: complained about the “black suited laptop-toting flatlanders” as well “a defeated former opponent, a maniacal blogger, the falafel lady and the Wasilla town crank”

p. 242: “I just knew that even though the other ticket had looked down on my small-town mayor creds, the convention delegates clearly knew that national leaders are nurtured in the cradle of local service”.

p. 254: She complained about the McCain campaign keeping her from talking to the Alaska media: “Ultimately, this hurt the campaign to a degree the “experts” could never grasp.”

p. 269: She takes issue with Michelle Obama’s statement about “feeling proud of her country for the first time” and bellowed about the so-called “Blame America First” canard.

p. 270-278: this is a long protracted whine/rant about her interviews. She had a quip about Charles Gibson: “he peered skeptically at me over his bifocals like a high school principal.”


But she saves most of her spleen for Katie Couric (271-278): though she admits that she “had bad moments”, she mostly blames the line of questioning, that she is being condescended to and complained that Biden’s gaffe didn’t receive enough media coverage (that President Roosevelt calmed the country on TV after the 1929 stock market crash; Roosevelt wasn’t elected until 1932 and the mode of communication was radio at that time).

But how can she possibly blame anything other than her gross incompetence for this:

The reading question:

The Supreme Court decision (remember that she complained about the Exxon Valdez decision as governor):

The “Russia” comment:

Fareed Zakaria got it exactly right:

pp 280-285: basically a series of complaints about the McCain camp, debate prep, and the expectations of her debate:
“Weeks out, pretty much the entire Washington New York media constellation was predicting that I’d make a complete fool of myself in the VP debate.”

(psst: they were right).

p. 287: she pulls the “I’m a girl” card and complains that Hillary Clinton was mistreated in the media. She did issue a bit of an apology for this though:

She wrote in her book: “I wasn’t really accusing her of whining. Still, before criticizing her on this point, I should have walked a mile in her shoes”.

Great line Governor. But you can apply that “should have walked a mile in their shoes” to many others as well, including those who accuse of not being real Americans because they don’t think like you. And maybe you should appreciate some of the racism that Barack Obama and his former pastor (Rev. Wright) experienced.

page 288: she calls Senator Biden’s idea for partitioning Iraq “hare brained”. Really: she feels comfortable being condescending to Biden but whines and bellows when she gets condescended to?

page 292: She felt that the VP debate “went well, from my perspective anyway.”
Really? Here is the full 92 minutes:

Here is my take (with clips).

I also got immediate feedback (not from the unscientific internet polls)

CBS poll of undecideds: 46 Biden, 21, Palin, 33 a tie.

CNN poll of all viewers:

Who did the best job in the debate?

Biden 51
Palin 36


Is Palin qualified to serve as president?

Before debate: 42
After debate: 46

Before debate: 54
After debate: 53

Update Media Curves

Independents: 69-31 Biden
Democrats: 87-11 Biden
Republicans: 80-19 Palin

Kathleen Parker ( a Republican) said this:

Well, darnit all, if that dadgum girl (wink, wink) didn’t beat the tarnation out of Joe Biden. Maverick Sarah Palin fersure surpassed expectations and said everything under the sun, also. And Biden smiled and smiled.

Palin is a populist pro. She hit all the notes that resonate with non-elite Americans: family (Hi Mom and Dad!), “Can I call ya Joe?” personal responsibility, Wall Street greed, children with special needs. Her most effective technique was speaking directly to the American people and letting Joe know that’s what she was gonna do, doggonit.

Stylistically, she used the language of the people to great effect. And, you know what? If you want to know what the American people care about, you can go to a kid’s soccer game on Saturday and ask parents how they feel, and “I’ll betcha you’re going to hear some fear.”

I’ll have to go to the transcript to figure out what Palin actually said and try to figure out whose facts were right. But there’s no question: She won the debate on popularity. She did her homework, studied hard, and delivered with spunk. Still, I had the uneasy feeling throughout that I was witnessing a data dump from a very appealing droid. Even the winks and jaw juts seemed slightly programmed. And the question remains: Is she ready to be president should the need arise?

I guess that counts as doing well? 🙂

pp. 304-306: she seems upset the people actually fact-checked the stuff that “Joe the Plumber” said about himself and looked into his background. She also talks about a campaign character that I didn’t know about; by then I had tuned out this sort of silly stuff (Tito the Builder):

p. 354: This is part of her build up to rationalize her quitting the governor’s job midway through. She complains “As per the left wing playbook, disgruntled personal operatives twisted the the ethics reform process that I had championed into a weapon to use against me.”

The “left wing playbook” remark is laughable enough, but this leads to a larger point: one has to carefully craft legislation so it can’t be misused; this “good old ‘merican common sense” doesn’t cut it.

p. 368: Palin whines about the 2006 midterm campaign: “It’s the story of how the Illinois congressman, now President Obama’s chief of staff, had crafted and executed the ruthless 2006 campaign strategy and won back Congress for the Democrats.”

Talk about pots and kettles…gee how pathetic is that? Has she ever heard of Karl Rove?

p. 370: “One does have to wonder though, what did Kim Elton did to earn his new job in Washington.”

p 373: more whining about the liberals; she mentions that personal legal bills were mounting and said “The liberal mentality is that if a charge doesn’t stick, personal bankruptcy has to eventually.” This is more build up as to her quitting her job.

p 378: “Left wing bloggers began feeding stories to their friends in the major media that the FBI was investigating me”.

p. 379: “Secretly, I must admit that I really wanted to see the likes of Andrea Mitchell on my home turf witnessing how happy and at peace my family was”.

385. “I do not believe I am more moral, certainly no better, than anyone else, and conservatives who act “holier than thou” turn my stomach. So do some elite liberals.”

But some Americans are “more American” than others, Governor? 😉

p 392. “The personal computer revolutionized our economy, but the “experts” didn’t see it coming.”
True, but perhaps “experts” and elitist developed the technology that made computers possible to begin with and invented the computer? 🙂

Instances of questionable accusations or statements

pp. 12-13: discusses Secretary of State Seward’s purchase of Alaska. She correctly points out that Seward was ridiculed. But then: “And so, decades later, he was posthumously vindicated, as purveyors of unpopular common sense often are.”

Uh, Seward went against the common wisdom of the time, that is why he was ridiculed.

p. 28: “In those days, ACLU activists had not yet convinced young people that they were supposed to feel offended by other people’s free exercise of religion.”

Wrong. The ACLU doesn’t oppose things like extracurricular Bible study groups, so long as they are treated the same as other kinds of study groups. What the ACLU opposes are things like prayers “lead from the podium” at graduations. Why? People have a reasonable expectation to attend a graduation but no one has the right to a captive audience for such things.

p. 29: talked favorably on title IX (the law that made government funded schools provide equal opportunities for women). Note: this is a liberal idea; e. g., the federal government telling local schools what to do.

p. 45: Gave Reagan credit for getting the hostages released. Technically, the release was negotiated while Carter was president and occurred 20 minutes after Reagan was sworn into office.

p 46: She has a long paragraph about how great President Reagan was which included: “I knew the previous administration had left a legacy of soaring unemployment, sky-high taxes and rampant inflation. Regan’s plan for growing our economy made common sense:….”

Fact: Paul Volker was the federal reserve chairman who got credit for reducing inflation; he was appointed by President Carter and had began his program while Carter was in office! Oh yes, he backed Obama during the 2008 election and continues to work with him today.

p. 67: She discussed the Exxon Valdez Supreme Court Ruling. In the book, she said that this was a victory and gave herself credit for it. When she was governor and spoke about it, she played a much different tune:

p. 100: she says: “The Democrats and the media both praised my efforts, but obviously only because it was the GOP getting hammered in that episode.” She doesn’t back this statement up.

p. 114: “we ran on small donations from all over the state, mostly from first-time political donors and we turned back some large checks from big donors if we perceived conflicts of interest.”
This appears to be false:

THE FACTS: Of the roughly $1.3 million she raised for her primary and general election campaigns for governor, more than half came from people and political action committees giving at least $500, according to an AP analysis of her campaign finance reports. The maximum that individual donors could give was $1,000; $2,000 for a PAC.

Of the rest, about $76,000 came from Republican Party committees.

She accepted $1,000 each from a state senator and his wife in the weeks after the two Republican lawmakers’ offices were raided by the FBI as part of an investigation into a powerful Alaska oilfield services company. After AP reported those donations during the presidential campaign, she said she would give a comparative sum to charity after the general election in 2010, a date set by state election laws.

p. 134: she supports the shooting of wolves from planes because they would “cause Native people to starve” and that they were “decimating the moose and caribou herds”.

I don’t have the background to asses this claim, but for those who are interested, here is a detailed, scientific report from the National Academy Press (1997) on that topic. Interestingly, enough, this attack ad against Palin was very effective.

p. 140: she described Juneau as “being a lot like Animal House”..but then went on to say: “In short, it was a lot like Washington DC”.
How would she know? On what basis does she say that?

pp 167-168: she talks about her son having an injured shoulder and how he needed parental consent to receive any treatment at all. She then goes on to talk abortion notification laws without mentioning the real problem: some of these abortions occur due to parental abuse, or occur when a parent can’t be located at all. She seems to think that the typical family is in a “Leave it to Beaver” situation; reality is much different.

p. 181: Concerning Senator John Kerry’s remark:

I recalled Senator John Kerry’s comment to California college students in 2006: “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
What a loon, I thought. What an elitist loon.

(emphasis hers)

Right after this happened, Senator Kerry told people that he was joking about President Bush.

Kerry stirred controversy when he told a group of California students two days ago that individuals who don’t study hard and do their homework would likely “get stuck in Iraq.” Aides said the senator had mistakenly dropped one word from his prepared remarks, which was originally written to say “you end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.” In that context, they said, it was clear Kerry was referring to Bush, not to the troops.

It is true that this was a huge political gaffe when it happened in 2006 But remember that Palin’s book came out in 2009. And one can also remember that this “elitist” served in combat; Govern Palin did not.

pp 196-208: she went on and on about her “success” with the oil pipeline. A fact check can help here:

PALIN: She says her team overseeing the development of a natural gas pipeline set up an open, competitive bidding process that allowed any company to compete for the right to build a 1,715-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48.

THE FACTS: Palin characterized the pipeline deal the same way before an AP investigation found her team crafted terms that favored only a few independent pipeline companies and ultimately benefited a company with ties to her administration, TransCanada Corp. Despite promises and legal guidance not to talk directly with potential bidders during the process, Palin had meetings or phone calls with nearly every major candidate, including TransCanada.


PALIN: Criticizes an aide to her predecessor, Gov. Frank Murkowski, for a conflict of interest because the aide represented the state in negotiations over a gas pipeline and then left to work as a handsomely paid lobbyist for ExxonMobil. Palin asserts her administration ended all such arrangements, shoving a wedge in the revolving door between special interests and the state capital.

THE FACTS: Palin ignores her own “revolving door” issue in office; the leader of her own pipeline team was a former lobbyist for a subsidiary of TransCanada, the company that ended up winning the rights to build the pipeline.

237: her is her oft repeated “bridge to nowhere” story, which she calls a lie. The facts:

In her nationally televised speech accepting the job as John McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she “championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress” and opposed federal funding for a controversial bridge to a sparsely populated island.

“I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ on that bridge to nowhere,” Palin said Friday in Ohio, using the critics’ dismissive name of the project. “‘If our state wanted a bridge,’ I said, ‘we’d build it ourselves.'”

While running for governor in 2006, though, Palin backed federal funding for the infamous bridge, which McCain helped make a symbol of pork barrel excess.

p. 270: She claimed that “90 percent of the newspeople covering the debate were liberal”; she used this as an excuse for people thinking that Obama won the first debate. Never mind this was a poll taken immediately after the debate (before the so-called post debate spin) from people who watched the debate themselves.

p. 278: “And the real extremism came from those who supported partial-birth abortions, those who didn’t believe that parents should have a say in whether their minor daughters underwent abortions, and those, like Barack Obama, who opposed laws that would protect babies born alive after botched abortions.”

This is either a flat out lie or a statement from an ignorant or rather stupid person. Here are the facts:

As Obama and other opponents noted, criminal code already prevented killing of children. In attacking Obama, Palin joined other conservatives in misleadingly referencing Obama’s opposition in the Illinois legislature to legislation that amended the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975. Opponents of the bill noted that the legislation was unnecessary, as the Illinois criminal code unequivocally prohibits killing children, and said that the bill posed a threat to abortion rights. When tasked by the Illinois attorney general’s office with investigating allegations that fetuses born alive at an Illinois hospital were abandoned without treatment — the alleged incident that inspired the “Born Alive Act” — the Illinois Department of Public Health reportedly said that it was unable to substantiate the allegations but said that if the allegations had proved true, the conduct alleged would have been a violation of existing Illinois law. The Obama presidential campaign subsequently cited specific provisions of the Illinois Compiled Statutes in stating that the “born alive principle was already the law in Illinois.”

p. 288: she calls Joe Biden’s idea to return Iraq to a three country system of Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites “hare brained”. Really? Why? Does she even know that the current country is not a natural unit but rather made up by the British? From here:

Ottoman rule over Iraq lasted until World War I when the Ottomans sided with Germany and the Central Powers. In the Mesopotamian campaign against the Central Powers, British forces invaded the country and suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Turkish army during the Siege of Kut (1915–16). After the war the Ottoman Empire was divided up, and the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was established by League of Nations mandate. Britain imposed a Hāshimite monarchy on Iraq and defined the territorial limits of Iraq without taking into account the politics of the different ethnic and religious groups in the country, in particular those of the Kurds and the Assyrians to the north. During the British occupation, the Shi’ites and Kurds fought for independence.

p. 307. She stands by her “Obama pals around with terrorists” claim but provides no basis for it. Where did it come from? Once, while running for State Senate, he had a fund raiser at Bill Ayres home and Ayers gave 200 dollars. Another time, they served on a same board. That’s about it.

p. 317. She whines about the reporting on her clothes and bitterly complained about the McCain staff. As far as her clothes, no one in the McCain camp backs up her version of events:

For that reason, Palin has devoted a dismayingly prominent chunk of her book to scapegoating communications aide Nicolle Wallace for supposedly forcing her to wear designer clothes. This claim is preposterous. No one aspiring to be vice president of the United States takes orders from a communications aide. The purchases themselves are fully documented in RNC records, including $75,062.63 at Neiman Marcus and $49,425.74 at two Saks locations. Wallace, a former spokeswoman for George W. Bush, has no history as an outfitter. No one close to the campaign backs up Palin’s version.

“Totally fabricated,’’ said Wallace.

“Total fiction,’’ declared McCain’s campaign adviser Steve Schmidt.

“Petty and pathetic,’’ said John Weaver, McCain’s former strategist.

If this were a normal politician – say, Mitt Romney – blaming an aide for a misstep would be laughable. It would seem cruel. Back in the ’60s, critics dissected Richard Nixon’s otherwise stately “Six Crises’’ memoir for excessive bile. But Palin puts the bile up front. She claims victim status for herself. Her narrative requires that she be a neophyte in perpetual war with the political pros. Kicked around by the vicious media (for her family!), straitjacketed by the McCain campaign, forced to wear fancy duds, Palin is the Pitiful Pearl of her tale.

The subsequent pages deal with other whines.

p. 348 She complains of “left wing bloggers” coming out with false porn pictures of her. Yes, the people who did that were disgusting. But why does she call them left wing?

p. 357 She complains that Obama’s stimulus package “defied the lessons of history and common sense.”
Really? Paul Krugman (who “only” won a Nobel Prize in economics) said that the stimulus was too small. He pointed out that WWII spending is what finally got us out of the great depression (President Roosevelt had an economic stall when he tried to balance the budget too soon) and that our current debt is a smaller percentage than our post WWII debt.

Lessons of history? Well, take Palin’s word over Krugman’s if you like. 🙂

Oh yes, she seems to indicate that President Obama could learn from her daughter Bristol.

p. 360: “I wish we had talked more about them (Ayers) and about Obama’s close relationship with ACORN, the voter-fraud specialists.”

I don’t know how to describe this statement: stupid and unethical?
Here is a non-partisan fact check:

The McCain-Palin campaign accuses ACORN, a community activist group that operates nationwide, of perpetrating “massive voter fraud.” It says Obama has “long and deep” ties to the group. We find both claims to be exaggerated. But we also find Obama has understated the extent of his work with the group.

o Neither ACORN nor its employees have been found guilty of, or even charged with, casting fraudulent votes. What a McCain-Palin Web ad calls “voter fraud” is actually voter registration fraud. Several ACORN canvassers have been found guilty of faking registration forms and others are being investigated. But the evidence that has surfaced so far shows they faked forms to get paid for work they didn’t do, not to stuff ballot boxes.

o Obama’s path has intersected with ACORN on several occasions – more often than he allowed in the final debate.

The “fraud” consisted of some drunks signing up “Donald Duck” and “Mikey Mouse” as registered voters so as to pad their statistics and get paid more. ACORN flagged these cards and there is zero evidence that Mr. Duck or Mr. Mouse voted. 🙂

page 363: she complains that she got a bill after the campaign which included 50,000 dollars for her being vetted. Is that true?

But what appeared to upset her most was that about $50,000 of the legal bills was her share of the expenses for being vetted to become McCain’s running mate, Palin writes.

In her book — which is due to be released Tuesday, but which the Associated Press purchased Thursday — Palin said that no one had informed her she would have to take care of any expenses related to the selection process.

Palin writes that when she asked officials at the Republican National Committee and the McCain campaign if they would help her financially, she was told that the bills would have been paid if the Arizona senator had won the presidency, but since he lost, the bills were her responsibility.

Trevor Potter, general counsel for the McCain campaign, told the Associated Press that the campaign had never asked Palin to pay a legal bill.

“To my knowledge, the campaign never billed Gov. Palin for any legal expenses related to her vetting, and I am not aware of her ever asking the campaign to pay legal expenses that her own lawyers incurred for the vetting process,” he said.

Potter said that if Palin’s personal lawyer billed her for any work related to her vetting, “we are unaware of it. It was never raised with the campaign.”

p. 364: she takes up for Newt Gingrish: “instead of defending their own, Republicans on certain committees forced Newt to concede to one charge”.


In his final opportunity to defend his client Friday night before the House ethics committee, an attorney for Newt Gingrich conceded that the speaker had made “glaringly inconsistent” statements to the panel’s investigative subcommittee about a politically oriented college course financed with tax-exempt funds.

The concession was among the most dramatic of any Gingrich representative. The speaker in December admitted to having provided inaccurate information to the ethics panel. The full ethics committee on Friday voted 7 to 1, just two hours after the comments by Gingrich attorney J. Randolph Evans, to recommend a $300,000 penalty and a formal reprimand of the Georgia Republican, concluding a week of partisan wrangling that convulsed the Capitol. The committee vote is likely to be followed by approval of the sanctions by the full House when it votes on the recommendation Tuesday.

The ethics panel’s subcommittee originally accepted special counsel James M. Cole’s proposal that Gingrich be charged with submitting information he “knew or should have known” was false. But in exchange for Gingrich admitting his guilt, the panel altered the charge, deleting the word “knew,” in what amounted to a plea bargain.

A review of the committee’s toughly worded 214-page report and of a six-inch stack of investigative documents released yesterday shows that Gingrich repeatedly declined to acknowledge the inaccuracies in statements he made to the ethics subcommittee until last November — weeks after the panel had announced publicly that it was expanding the inquiry to include the veracity of his answers to investigators.

The documents released yesterday also contain new references to the importance Gingrich placed on using a college course he taught, called Renewing American Civilization, to further his grand plan to win a Republican majority in the House. And they disclose that one foundation used to fund an earlier televised town meeting transferred to GOPAC, the political action committee Gingrich then headed, $42,500 more than it had borrowed. The subcommittee was unable to interview the accountant involved because she asserted “a constitutional privilege,” the committee report said.

p 365. “I had spent less on travel and personal expenses than my last two predecessors, despite having a much larger family”. Sure, but even if she meant “over two years compared to their average two years”, she spent much of the time on the 2008 campaign trail. Duh. Then there is this:

PALIN: Says she made frugality a point when traveling on state business as Alaska governor, asking “only” for reasonably priced rooms and not “often” going for the “high-end, robe-and-slippers” hotels.

THE FACTS: Although travel records indicate she usually opted for less-pricey hotels while governor, Palin and daughter Bristol stayed five days and four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House luxury hotel (robes and slippers come standard) overlooking New York City’s Central Park for a five-hour women’s leadership conference in October 2007. With air fare, the cost to Alaska was well over $3,000. Event organizers said Palin asked if she could bring her daughter. The governor billed her state more than $20,000 for her children’s travel, including to events where they had not been invited, and in some cases later amended expense reports to specify that they had been on official business.

p. 388: “The mortgage crisis that triggered the collapse of our financial markets was rooted in a well-meaning but wrongheaded desire to increase home ownership among people who could not yet afford a home”.
Actually, it was packaging risky mortgages into other investments and selling them as bonds is what caused it, as did some very bad assumptions (if a home owner defaulted, the value of the home was assumed to be worth more that what was owed…and that ceased to be true in many cases).

p. 388: “President Obama put the United States on track to double its already staggering national deficit.”

I think that she meant “national debt” and if she said that, it is true but:
1. Obama is using more honest accounting.
2. Much of the future projected debt was from obligations made under President Bush.

p. 391: Palin claims that President Reagan faced a worse recession. False, though this avoided the “pants on fire” rating.

Instances of “attitude”
Note: I am not saying that these are negative, but rather pointing out the tone of the book:

p. 15: “…my life truly began. I became a mom.”

pp. 18-19: says that all Alaskan animals “have a place: right next to the mashed potatoes.”

p. 67: was amused when a male politician appeared to be uncomfortable with her breast feeding.

p. 111: “Kris is a kick-butt, tell-it-like-it-is soccer mom” (eyeroll)

p. 145: “The guy was right about this much: a few of our forty representatives and twenty senators did appear to need adult supervision.”

p. 287 she quotes Margaret Thatcher: “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman”.

(yeah right…I wonder where most science and engineering advances came from? 🙂 )

page 43:
Palin talked about some of the beauty pageants that she entered. She said that she was reluctant at first:

Linda also reminded me that the scholarship money was generous, especially if I won individual competitions within the pageant, in addition to the Miss Wasilla crown. I enlisted the advice of a fomer pageant winner, my friend Diane Minnick. Then I shocked my friends and family, put on a sequined Warrior-red gown, danced the opening numbers, gave the interview, and uncomfortably let my butt be compared to the cheerleader’s butts. I played my flute and I won. In fact, I wond every segment of the competition, even Miss Congeniality.

Author: oldgote

I enjoy politics, reading, science, running, walking, (racewalking and ultrawalking) hiking, swimming, yoga, weight lifting, cycling and reading. I also follow football (college and pro), basketball (men and women) and baseball (minor league and college)

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