Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What Was She Thinking Of? Really.

A question was raised in a comment to a previous post that I wanted to address.

One person commented: "On the one hand, one would think it couldn't possibly be true because no one, not even Sarah Palin, would be so reckless to accept the VP nomination if it were true.

On the other hand, none of the details about the birth add up. In addition to the other details that don't add up, I find it especially perplexing that the birth wasn't listed on the hospital website with the other births that day (especially after Sarah Palin made such a big deal about having the baby at that hospital and no other hospital) and that suddenly the doctor is no longer affiliated with that hospital."

If everything I am postulating is true, I think that the Palins had managed to convince themselves that the story was dead. The people in Alaska who had had their doubts had said, "Who knows, but I am not going to worry about it anymore," and it was - in Alaska - last week's news.

In comes the McCain campaign and is about to make this small-state governor who barely managed to graduate from college the most amazing offer of her life. We KNOW that his vetting process was minimal. They never reviewed the newspapers in Wasilla from the time she was mayor because they are all on microfiche and to do it someone would have had to have gone to the office and sit there, and no one did. This has been confirmed by the paper in Wasilla.

My guess is that they did NOT uncover this rumor, or if they did they did not understand how deep it had gone or that a lot of people had actually believed it. (Curiously, McCain had also been accused of a "baby-related" rumor (that was completely FALSE! let's be clear here) that his dark-skinned adopted daughter was really a "love child with a black woman." So they may have tended to be very sympathetic to a "ridiculous" baby rumor, if they had heard about it.)

So what's she supposed to say at this point? "Well, sir, I'd love to be your VP candidate except I can't because, oh, gee, I faked my pregnancy last winter." So everyone hoped for the best, and hey, so far, except for a few holdouts, like ME, for example, they seem to be getting away with it.

As far as the baby's birth being announced. Two facts. First, not all babies are announced. I have spoken to the hospital and they do about 60 births a month . About 45 seem to make it up on-line (on average.) So not being on the website in and of itself doesn't mean all that much. But here's the rub. By manipulating the Google cache, we can prove that he was on the website at one point and the announcement was taken down! Now why would someone do that?

I have read several places that Cathy Baldwin Johnson's name was "dropped" from the staff list at Mat-Su. All I can confirm is that it's not there now. I can't track down when it was there, or when it disappeared. This whole odd story with the doctor is really one of the strangest aspects of a saga that is already utterly bizarre. Several people have said that she's "MIA." I don't know if that is true, but I'll tell you, she's like B'rer Rabbit: She's sure layin' low.

More Amnio Weirdness from Sarah Palin

Several readers have commented or written to me in email about the most recent revelations from Gov. Palin - that she had her amniocentesis done at 13 weeks. I think this is more spin.

No one should lose sight of JUST HOW MUCH of this woman's story does not make sense. I covered this to a certain extent in the blog post I did some days ago about amniocentesis, but I had not heard the "thirteen weeks" at that point. I thought she had had it done in December, but now frankly I can't remember if I read that somewhere or if I just assumed it, based on the timetable of the pregnancy and knowing the typical time to do it.

The reason to do it earlier (as early as thirteen weeks instead of the more standard sixteen to eighteen), would be to allow someone who is already worried about something (usually something more like a family linked genetic disorder) and knows that they will abort in the face of certain results to get those results earlier. But it is both more dangerous and less reliable at this point in pregnancy.

Most pro-life women choose to forgo the test. Those few who do choose to do it will prefer to have it done later rather than sooner, when it's both safer and more likely to give accurate results.

Let me give you my read on this. It's yet another fable. We are definitely rewriting the whole story in an attempt to make sure there are no inconsistencies. (However, when you can't remember what you said six months ago, you get into trouble.)

Palin's failure to reveal her pregnancy until seven months is being explained by her needing to adjust to the Down's diagnosis and her concerns that the people of Alaska would have that the governor would not be able to do the job. And you know, the idea that she might have waited until four, or even five months to make a public announcment, I can buy that. But to not tell anyone in her family? Come on.

If she had had amnio at the regular time (around 17 weeks, say, with a ten day wait for results) and had known she was pregnant at a normal time (say around 6 weeks after conception - so eight weeks of pregnancy) this leaves a time frame of more than two months, before she knew about the Down's diagnosis, when she should have known she was pregnant but told no one! We are to believe she did not tell her MOTHER during this time? Her mother that she is supposedly close to who watches her kids all the time? That she had not a single close friend with whom she shared the "happy news?"

I think this is one reason that the amnio is now being "shifted" to the earlier time frame, to account for this two and half month period during which she told no one she was pregnant, not even her parents. But they may have opened a bigger can of worms, because in fact there is NO believable reason for a pro-life woman who would not choose to terminate under any circumstances to have an amnio that early.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Still spinnin'

Yet another example of Sarah Palin's spin machine reared its ugly head today. As I was reviewing the very helpful transcript that I had prepared of Palin's long interview with the Anchorage Daily News on 4/22 ( you can find it on my website, here) I ran across the following exchange.

Reporter: In the family statement that was issued by… it said through early testing you knew you would have some special needs.

Palin: Right…

Reporter: Can you explain?

Palin: Right, yeah, well, He’s got that extra chromosome, he has Down’s Syndrome. And, um, ya can’t tell at this stage by looking ya know but, um, there are some characteristics there that I think will become more apparent...

Did you catch that? "You can't tell at this stage by looking." Really?

Here's what Palin said in early September about the scene at her hospital bedside.

As Todd and their three daughters gathered around the bedside (Track, an Army private, listened in by phone from his base in Fairbanks), Willow said of the new arrival, "He looks like he has Down syndrome."

Palin, who says her own qualms were laid to rest "the minute [Trig] was born," felt a lump in her throat. "If he does, you know you will still love him, Willow. It'll be okay."

Willow pressed: "But why didn't you tell us?"

Palin admitted she didn't know how to break the news. "I was a little shocked," says Willow "but I don't care – he's my brother and I love him."

Actually, come to think of it, "spin" is when you sort of shade reality to suit your purposes, put a different slant or interpretation on something. When you tell someone in April that your son had no visible signs of Down's at birth (which IS accurate; sometimes it's really hard to spot) and then in September, you're relating touching stories of siblings at a hospital bedside, that's not spin. That's a lie.

Thanks to Alert Readers...

We have a few interesting things to post this morning. Over the last few weeks I've gotten a lot of mail containing speculation about aspects of this whole situation. Some it has been frankly pretty odd, but yesterday two separate emails came in both pointing out things I had not thought of that I wanted to pass on.

Both of these things are simply something to think about it. I am not drawing any conclusions, but I would sure like to hear other's read on these things. Both, however, are sort of related to each other.

The first is Palin's refusal (which many women consider the oddest thing about all of this) to take any - repeat - any maternity leave. She was back in her office in Anchorage for at least a couple of hours on Monday, April 21st. The long interview on this page of the website was done in that office on that day. Then, she gave a speech (we have photographs) I believe either the next day or the day after. The email I received suggested that her refusal to do this stemmed from a concern that the story might not hold and that then, having taken a paid maternity leave, it would constitute fraud. This is a very good point.

The second concerns the wording of the Palin family statement which supposedly announces Bristol's current pregnancy. Here it is:

We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.

There's absolutely nothing in this statement (with the exception of the Palins saying they have five children) that could NOT be also interpreted as referring to a pregnancy that already happened. No where does it actually say that Bristol Palin is pregnant now. According to my correspondent, that statement came solely from the McCain campaign. I have not verified this.

I have been surprised at how many people have written to me expressing their doubts about the current pregnancy. I have always assumed that it was true... just not as far advanced as has been stated. I may well be proved wrong about this. Only time will tell.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sarah Palin's Birth Story: A Work in Progress

Sarah Palin was in Texas on April 17th 2008, when according to her own statements, her amniotic sac began leaking during the early morning hours. According to multiple sources, around 28 hours later, at approximately 6:30 a.m. on April 18th, Trig Palin was born at Mat-Su Regional Hospital in Palmer Alaska. The events of that 28-hour period as Gov. Palin made her way from Texas back to Alaska comprise the core that has fueled virtually all the continued speculation about this birth. The trip was unavoidably public and documented, and many of the details were questioned within days of the birth. Without the concrete time frame of this trip, very little could now be pieced together about the sequence of events.

Sarah Palin's version has changed numerous times. They story has been shaded and spun. Details are still changing. The point of this post is to document this "work in progress," in all of its forms, in one place.

Palin is relying, I believe, on a couple of factors that allow this story to stand. First, birth is personal. It involves an extremely private event that a woman should be able to share only with those of her choosing. It seems really rude to call her on some of these details. Second, a lot of people frankly don't know much about human childbirth. Although this story feels wrong to many, they don't quite have the medical knowledge to know how or why. Third, knowing the end of the story as we do (i.e., she did not give birth on an airplane) it's hard not to let that color our interpretation of the story. All's well that ends well.

Here are my responses to these three points: This woman is candidate for vice president of the United States. There are credible questions about whether or not she actually gave birth to a child that she is claiming as her own, a child with a medical condition that has become part of her political persona. While we don't want to invade anyone's private life, when she accepted that nomination she needed to understand that ordinary rules don't apply to her, and that the American people can ask for and expect reasonable answers. She's counting on the fact that people will not really confront her on the specifics. She's counting on the fact that the mainstream media can't figure out how to pursue this without looking like they are "dishing dirt." So far, she appears to be right.

Second, a lot of people don't know much about birth, but plenty of people do. Numerous doctors, midwives, and OB nurses have commented on the story on multiple boards and forums, and, to a person, have stated that this story makes no sense, not from the mother's view, and not from a physician's view. No one seems to be listening to them.

Third, we must look at this story from the point of view of someone that does not know the outcome. Sarah Palin, leaking amniotic fluid and having one or two contractions an hour could not have possibly known when she got on an airplane that she wouldn't begin "gushing" amniotic fluid and having one contraction every three minutes within twenty minutes of take-off. Her argument now seems to be that because she didn't have the baby on the plane, the decision was correct. I can let my two year old run across the highway and he might not get hit by a car, but that doesn't mean it's a correct decision.

So what really happened?

(4/19) The first official statement from the state of Alaska is as follows: Palin's "labor began Thursday [4/17] while she was in Texas at the governor's energy conference, where she gave the keynote luncheon address, but let up enough for her to travel on Alaska Airlines back to Alaska in time to deliver her second son." (Comment: Let up? So she was having more active labor, or more amniotic fluid leakage, or something else that just "got better?")

(4/21) From an article in the Anchorage Daily News : Palin was in Texas at a Republican Governors Association energy conference last week when early signs of labor began. She said she called her doctor early Thursday morning after some amniotic fluid began to leak. She talked over what was happening with her doctor, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, and they consulted about what to do. (Comment – she and her doctor "consulted." Doesn't that mean she got her doctor's input? But see below.)

She gave the keynote luncheon address; then she and Todd caught an Alaska Airlines flight back to Alaska. She said was never in full-blown labor on the plane but was having a contraction or two every hour.

"By my fifth child, I know what labor feels like," Palin said. That wasn't labor, she said.

(Comment: Right. But just because you're not in labor now, doesn't mean that you won't be in "full blown labor" ten minutes from now. A long labor for someone on her fifth delivery would be ten hours. I personally had a fourth child three hours after I cooked lunch for eight people.)

(4/22) From an article in Anchorage Daily News: Palin said she felt fine but had leaked amniotic fluid and also felt some contractions that seemed different from the false labor she had been having for months. (Comment: Leaking amniotic fluid and contractions that are different from false labor = "real" labor.)

"I said I am going to stay for the day. I have a speech I was determined to give," Palin said. She gave the luncheon keynote address for the energy conference.

Palin kept in close contact with Baldwin-Johnson. The contractions slowed to one or two an hour, "which is not active labor," the doctor said. (Comment: Again, it may not be active labor now but that says nothing about what might happen in one minute or one hour.)

"Things were already settling down when she talked to me," Baldwin-Johnson said. Palin did not ask for a medical OK to fly, the doctor said. (Comment: But hold it? Didn't Gov. Palin say she'd called her doctor as soon as she felt something going on at 4 AM? And "settling down" from what? More active labor that had slowed down temporarily? Palin did "not ask for a medical OK to fly?" Well, then what did they talk about? The weather in Wasilla? If you're talking to your doctor about potential early labor and you're out of town, what's the topic of conversation? I would think it would be whether you're safe to travel!)

"I don't think it was unreasonable for her to continue to travel back," Baldwin-Johnson said. (Comment: More than one medical professional has stated that if she really said this to a 44 year old woman who was a) on her fifth pregnancy, b) leaking amniotic fluid c) in pre-term labor with d) a known Down's baby who e) was contemplating taking two four hour plane rides, she should lose her medical license.)

So the Palins flew on Alaska Airlines from Dallas to Anchorage, stopping in Seattle and checking with the doctor along the way.

"I am not a glutton for pain and punishment. I would have never wanted to travel had I been fully engaged in labor," Palin said. After four kids, the governor said, she knew what labor felt like, and she wasn't in labor. (Comment, again right. But labor happens fast for women on a fourth or fifth delivery. At times really fast. At any point Palin could have become "fully engaged in labor," and once that happened she could easily have given birth within an hour or two. )

But another report from 4/22 contains direct contradictions: "The governor, eight months into her pregnancy, noticed amniotic fluid Thursday morning prior to giving a keynote luncheon address at the Republican Governor’s Energy Conference in Texas. After wrapping up the speech, Palin and her husband consulted with her physician about possibly flying home on an earlier flight. After being granted permission from her doctor, she and her husband proceeded with the trek home.

At that point, Palin was only having minor contractions and was not showing signs of active labor, Sharon Leighow, the governor’s spokeswoman, said on Monday." (Comment: Elsewhere she said she did not get an "OK" from her doctor. Did she or didn't she? And the governor's spokeswoman stated that she was not showing signs of active labor. If her amniotic sac had ruptured, she was in labor. Saying anything else is just not accurate.)

Here are comments from the transcript of a "in-person" interview that was done on 4/22: :
Reporter: Just a clarification – you flew commercial Alaska Airlines?
Palin: Yeah, yeah.
Reporter: And did -- This was something else I think I heard your father say I just wanted to clarify. Did you have to hide your pregnancy because you were so far along?
Palin: Well, you know I never felt nor do some people say I ever looked like I was that far along, um, so no purposeful way or need to hide that I was pregnant. Um, some, I know that some airlines would have uh, some hesitancy on letting maybe a nine month pregnant person get on board but it wasn’t nine months so, um, it was…
Reporter: And you didn’t tell them you were feeling something when you came back on the plane?
Palin: No need to because I wasn’t feeling at all like I was in labor in fact, you know I wasn’t having one or maybe two contractions an hour that felt just like Braxton-Hicks which I’d been having for months. That doesn’t constitute labor, so…

Comment: This seems almost blatantly to contradict what has been said elsewhere. First, she said specifically elsewhere that the contractions were different from the "false labor" (i.e, Braxton-Hicks contractions) she had been having for months. Here they are "just like" Braxton-Hicks. And when she's asked point blank about whether she felt the need to tell the airline anything, she says "no need," basically because she wasn't nine months pregnant, and because she wasn't "feeling" like she was in labor. Of course, the fact that she also was leaking amniotic fluid doesn't seem to be relevant here, I guess because she's only eight months pregnant. What? Did she really say that?)

And now, months later, the story is being spun even more firmly. In the New York Times article which has been widely republished, when she's questioned about her decision to travel, it is stated categorically that "Around 4 a.m. on the day of her presentation, Palin stirred in her hotel room to an unusual sensation. She guessed she was leaking amniotic fluid, she …called her doctor back home. Go ahead and give the speech, said the doctor, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, who declined to comment for this article." But then, the article goes on to say, "In fact, Palin was not yet in labor, and her doctor thought she had time."

(Comment: Which doctor thought she had time? The one who would not comment on the article? So.. then... who said Palin wasn't in labor? Palin?)

The entire saga from the time it allegedly began at 4 AM on Thursday April 17th until when the birth occurred at 6:30 AM on Friday April 18th is full of holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions. Much of the time, the story reads like the efforts of people who don't have their stories straight and have to keep backtracking. (For example, Palin saying she called her doctor as soon as she felt something happening, and the doctor saying by the time Palin called her, things had "settled down." These are in direct contradiction to each other.) And, perhaps most glaring of all, is Cathy Baldwin Johnson's utter lack of any decisive statements about the birth whatsoever. Never once has this physician gone on record to say that "Sarah Palin is Trig Palin's mother," or even that she was actually at the birth. She has not spoken to anyone about this since the few very tepid statements she gave to the press in April. Now she won't comment at all.

The one thing, however, that is strikingly constant in this whole thing, and that is Gov. Palin's single-minded determination to reach not Alaska, not a familiar doctor, but Mat-Su Regional Hospital in Palmer, Alaska. Guess they must have really nice birthing rooms. Or maybe there was something else there.

Alaska Air

I am getting considerable traffic, and I know that lots and lots of people are reading this blog.

I've been asked repeatedly about why "someone" from the hospital has not spoken out. We have, in this country, a law called HIPAA. This stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act. (Correction: This stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.) I deal with HIPAA every day and, while I believe it was well-intentioned, it has compliance issues that are staggering.

Violating HIPAA carries criminal penalties. Revealing any confidential health information at all can carry a fine of up to $50,000 and one year in jail. Even, for example, a nurse coming forward and saying, "No one was in the room when Sarah Palin gave birth except for one doctor." would be a violation. (Note this is an EXAMPLE. No one has stated this! Please be clear on this point.) The bottom line is that it is against the law for anyone at the hospital to talk about this matter, and that includes everyone from the janitor to the billing clerks to nurses. And the problem is that not only revealing the information is against the law, possessing it is as well. Let's say that someone would send me anonymously a medical file. I would destroy it immediately, because just my possessing it could send ME to jail for a year! This is serious, and unfortunately because of the laws, not a path we can pursue.

However, we have some first hand witnesses that could shed some light on the situation who are not bound by HIPAA, and these are the flight attendants who saw Gov. Palin on flights from Texas to Anchorage on the night of April 17th. Although we have Alaksa Air's official statement - that the "stage of her pregnancy was not obvious" and that she did not appear to be in "distress" - I suspect that the actual flight attendants might have a bit more to offer.

So... this is a plea. Surely, someone reading this blog, has a friend who used to date a girl whose roommate's sister is a flight attendant for Alaska Air... or something. I hope that one of these attendants will be willing to come forward and just give a factual first-hand account of what happened on one of those two LONG flights. My email address is info@palindeception.com


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Please be aware...

I know I've posted about this before, but I am going to repeat myself, because we're getting a lot of new people reading this blog in the last few days, and many of you have written to me. One thing is obvious to me, and that is that a lot of you who are coming in via a link to the blog do NOT realize that there is a large, and very thorough website affiliated with this blog. (In fact, the blog was an afterthought. I'd never done a blog, but when my daughter saw the website, she said, "But...where's the blog?" Frankly, I never even considered doing one or needing one, but I decided to add it.)

Anyway, back to the main point. I am SO appreciative of all the mail I am getting, tips and thoughts and analysis on this. However, the reason I mention the website is that a lot of people are not ever going there and checking it out, but then are taking the time and energy to send me things I already have. I probably received at least fifteen pieces of mail today containing links to things that are on the site already. Since I do want to acknowledge each piece of mail, this is not a good use of your time or mine. So please, be aware of the site, read it, and then, if you have something that's not already on the site, by all means send it on!

Here's a link to the main page of the site. You can always also get there by clicking the "Site Home Page" link of the left!

Thanks so much...


Did anyone else catch that when "The First Dude," Todd Palin was giving his lengthy interview with Fox News reporter Greta Van Susteren, he was asked how many of their children traveled to the announcement of Gov. Palin's nomination, he says, "Three." Then, he corrects himself and says, "Four."

Ooops, First Dude. Did we forget about one there?


Friday, September 26, 2008

Help on this photo

This photo is currently posted on the website. It's the one main photo I have that I am still unable to obtain a source or date for. I got it from a source that claims it was in the Anchorage Daily News on March 8, 2008, but I can find no evidence for that. This is obviously Gov. Palin with Piper, but I have only seen it one place, and can't get any additional information on where it was taken or when. If anyone can give me info, I'd appreciate it.

UPDATE: Thanks to an alert reader, we have identified this photo. It dates from February 2007 and thus has NO relevance to our investigation.

You Might be a Dimbulb If...

You might be a dimbulb if...

you send me one more piece of email pointing out that "there are pictures of Sarah Palin when she was pregnant."

I know there are pictures of Sarah Palin appearing pregnant.

Apparently these folks are the ones who don't get it. The ALLEGATION is that Sarah Palin faked a pregnancy to cover for her teenaged daughter. That's the premise. That's what this website is about.

How do you fake a pregnancy? Well, just telling people about it is not going to work long-term. By the time a woman delivers, she's carrying around baby, amniotic fluid and placenta that weigh considerably more than your average bowling ball. Eventually ... are you ready for this?... if you're going to pull it off, you're going to have to LOOK PREGNANT.

So the fact that there are now pictures of her LOOKING pregnant is utterly meaningless. It tells us nothing. We would expect there to be such pictures.

Take it out of the pregnancy realm. Let's say you wanted to fake a hurt leg to get out of doing something. So you buy yourself some crutches and an ace bandage and gimp around for a few weeks. Later, questions are raised about your actions. So... you "prove" you had a hurt leg by showing people pictures of yourself with your crutches. Simple. "Look," you say, "I definitely had a hurt leg. Here's a picture of myself with CRUTCHES!"

Now, let's move it back to the pregnancy realm. Let's say you wanted to fake a pregnancy to accomplish something. So you buy yourself a fake belly and some maternity clothes and wear them for a few weeks. Later, questions are raised about your actions. So... you "prove" you were pregnant by showing people pictures of yourself with a belly. Simple. "Look," you say, "I definitely was pregnant. Here's a picture of myself with a BELLY!"

People are trying to prove Sarah Palin did NOT fake a pregnancy by pointing to the very thing she would have done TO fake a pregnancy.

And you might be a dimbulb if you don't realize that.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pregnancy myths debunked

I have seen posts on other blogs and comment boards about this issue. Two pregnancy related fallacies seem to be repeated with unfortunate frequency. I thought I'd take a minute here to debunk both of them, so that if any readers come across them, you'll have the right info.

The first is that one of the reasons that Sarah Palin never looked pregnant was that "Down's babies are small." What's the reality here? It is true that Down's babies do have a slightly lower average birthweight when compared to non-Down's babies. But, it's not all that much, and, in this case, doesn't even appear to apply. Trig Palin weighed 6 lbs 2 oz at birth, at 36 weeks gestation. This is actually a very normal and even a bit above average weight for 36 weeks. Babies gain approximately 1/2 lb a week during the last four weeks of pregnancy. If Trig had gained at that rate, his term birth weight would have been right at 8 lbs. He was "normal for dates" so anyone using this to prove that that's why she wasn't showing much just doesn't have their facts straight.

The second oft-repeated mistake is that because "more Down's babies are born to older mothers, that proves that Trig must be Sarah's." In one place, I read the glib assertion, "There's almost no chance a 17 year old would have a Down's baby." These statements are so wrong in so many ways, I hardly know where to begin, but I'll give it a shot.

Women over 40 have approximately a 1 in 40 chance of giving birth to a baby with Down's. Women under 20 have a 1 in 1600 chance. However, 80% of the Down's babies born in the US are born to women UNDER 35 simply because that age group has so many more babies born to it. Yes, it is more likely that on a given pregnancy a woman over 40 will have a Down's baby as opposed to a younger woman, but "more likely" does not equal "true." It is more likely that you won't win the lottery if you buy a ticket, but that does not mean that it is "true" that you won't win the lottery. People win the lottery every day.

Let me repeat that one more time: 80% of Down's babies in the US are born to women under 35. Knowing that Trig Palin has Down's allows us to draw NO conclusions about who his mother is.

Sarah Palin Pregnancy photo confirmed

As anyone knows who reads this blog and looks at my website, I am trying to be extremely careful to document everything. I think this is one reason that I am actually getting as little "hate" mail as I am, because people can't challenge what I am saying.

There's a photo that has been circulating since the beginning of this that purported to show Gov. Palin in a previous pregnancy. I could never figure out where it came from, or if it actually was Gov. Palin. Here's the photo.

I have confirmed the source of the photo. It was actually in a group of family photos that the Heath family (Palin's parents) released after her VP nomination. I have not however been able to confirm the date on this photo. Most Internet sources have claimed that she was pregnant with Track (her first son) which would have put this in 1989 when she was 25 years old, and sources also identify the other woman as her sister Heather. However, the AP website says that this photo is "undated" and does not name the other person. This is clearly a pregnant woman, and now we know for sure this is Sarah Palin.

This is what a normal woman looks like late in pregnancy. This is what SARAH PALIN looks like late in pregnancy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How Sure Am I?

Well, today was a banner day for Audrey. I got my first hate mail. I guess that's a good sign, as I can see that my traffic is going up and I am starting to get some real interest in the website. I also got some very complimentary mail today, so that made me realize that people are reading and thinking, which, after all is the whole point.

But this one very negative piece of mail was a good thing, because it made me think. It's been just over one week since I launched this site, in the face of utter bafflement that the mainstream media had dropped this story that seemed to me to still have so many unanswered (REASONABLE!) questions. And before I go on to the main point of this post, I will reassure everyone that I am working this story just as hard as I can. I promised everyone a bit more information on Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, but that is taking longer than I had expected, and I am not going to make statements that I can't back up. I have some new commentary on Sarah Palin's behavior vis a vis her daughter's pregnancy rumors from Jan - Feb. 2008.

But tonight, I want to comment only on the one question that this person asked me, "How can you be so sure?" (That's not all this person said, but it's all I"ll repeat here. (Christians sure know some bad words.))

Here's the answer: I'm not sure. Not at all. I have no infallible knowledge about what happened in Wasilla and Palmer Alaksa on April 18th, 2008. And I will be the first to admit that there are many troubling inconsistencies, things I just can't wrap my head around. But here's what I DO know.

The story that Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, has told the world regarding the management of her pregnancy and birth has holes large enough to drive a dump truck through. Some of it is just "curious," and some of it is an outright lie. No 44 year old woman, pregnant for the fifth time with a special needs child would behave as she did. No responsible physician, given the same parameters, would be party to it. THAT I am sure of.

And given that starting point, THEN you start looking at the other issues. You have to. Like the "coincidence" that Gov. Palin never looked pregnant in the least until after she announced her pregnancy at seven months. The "coincidence" that there were rumors that her daughter WAS pregnant, both before Gov. Palin announced her pregnancy in early March 2008, and after that - in late March and April 2008. The "coincidence" that Gov. Palin knew about the rumors, yet never did the logical and easy thing to disprove them, which was appear with Bristol in public. The "coincidence" that Bristol was taken out of school. The "coincidence" that beyond some very noncommittal statements given to the press in April 2008, Palin's physician has never been willing to talk to the press. The "coincidence" that there exists not a single photo of the Palin family together at the time of Trig Palin's birth.

COULD all of these coincidences have some very logical, plausible, and reasonable explanation? Of course. Would any ONE of these things garner any more than brief notice and a shrug of the shoulders? No.

But everything together does not add up. And that I am sure of.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Who is Sue Williams?

The easiest answer to that question is that she's a caterer from Wasilla. And a quick gander at her website tells me I'd love to hire her for MY next party, if only she weren't 4000 miles away.

The more complicated answer is that she is one of the few people from Wasilla who has ever been willing to post publicly regarding Sarah Palin, and her family from the perspective of someone who actually lives in Wasilla and knows things first hand. She posted at the Mudflats blog some really eye-opening stuff, right at the height of national attention on Babygate, 8/30 to 9/1.

Here's a link to a compilation of the quotes, which were published by the Seattle Examiner. I am also posting a cached copy of this page on my website, in case it mysteriously disappears.

It's worth reading by anyone who is following this story, not only because there are some very relevant bits of info regarding the main issue of this website (which is, in case anyone has forgotten, discovering the truth about the Sarah Palin pregnancy story) - which I will be discussing further below - but also because she is blunt about how Gov. Palin and her family were regarded in Wasilla. I won't go into most of that here... it's not relevant to the questions I am trying to address on this website, but you can read it for yourselves. And anyone who is bought into the media hype about what a wonderful mother she is - and how she can have it all and do it all and be VP and a good mom at the same time - you should take a good long look.

The first thing that's interesting is that, initially, Ms. Williams is emphatic concerning the fact that Trig Palin is Sarah Palin's child. Although she's perfectly willing to give lots of other info (and a lot of it not very flattering), her main reason for posting initially was to refute the rumors. However, by the third of three posts - and remember - what you're reading on the Examiner article is the compilation of Ms. Williams' posts - if you want to see everything, including what people said back to her, you'll need to go to Mudflats blog and wade through almost 1000 comments - she has conceded that What do I care if Trig is Bristol’s baby? Maybe he was and now she’s pregnant again. I don’t know.

Ms. Williams seems to base her initial insistence that Trig Palin was born to Sarah primarily on the fact that no one in Wasilla seemed to question it. And since she's perfectly willing to report on other gossip that she heard (more on this later) this does bear scrutiny. The problem is that I can't figure out from her posts how anyone in Wasilla really knew anything first hand.


Because Gov. Palin's schedule demonstrates that between the time she announced her pregnancy (March 6th) and the time she gave birth (April 18th)- 47 days exactly or just slightly under 7 weeks - she could only have been in Wasilla for a few days at the most. And remember, Wasilla is 800 miles from Juneau, so it's not like a lot of folks from Wasilla were dropping down to Juneau for coffee.

Although there have been tons of allegations that "Where's Sarah?" was a common refrain in the state government, the fact is that she WAS in Juneau for the legislative session, which ran from January 15, 2008 to April 13th 2008. Perhaps she came back to Wasilla some weekends, but, then, we know she was in Texas by April 16th. I have not been able to find out if this conference was a one-day, two-day, or three-day event, but she must have traveled there NO LATER than the 16th, and may have gone down a day or two earlier. My point is that after announcing her pregnancy on March 6th, I can't see how she could have spent any significant time in Wasilla. So, therefore, anyone in Wasilla who was commenting on her pregnancy, was almost certainly doing it MORE from a "I heard this." standpoint, rather than, "I saw Gov Palin at the Food Mart, and wow is she ever preggers." standpoint. However, I encourage everyone to read Ms. Williams' comments, and if anyone has a different POV or interpretation of what is said, please feel more than free to disagree with me!

However, the real eye-opener in Ms. Williams' comments is the fact that she informs us that "A" Bristol Palin pregnancy was common knowledge in Wasilla in April 2008. Here's the quote: Look, all I can tell you is Bristol is pregnant. Have you never lived in a small town? When one hears this “rumor” (and okay, I admit, I never heard it straight from Sarah’s mouth) but have heard it from close to 20 people who are all long time friends of the family. Maybe they are all lying - and have been lying since April of this year when Willow’s boyfriend (Willow is the 8th grader) wouldn’t shut up about how Bristol was pregnant.

Now, I want to be very clear here: when Ms. Williams first mentions it, she's claiming that the pregnancy she is talking about is Bristol's current pregnancy, and that she is NOW in her "third trimester."

I've done some deep thinking about these comments, and here is my analysis.

First, for the sake of discussion, I am going to accept as "case fact" that Ms. Williams' is telling us the truth, and that there was talk in Wasilla Alaska in April of 2008 that Bristol Palin was expecting. This does not necessarily mean that she WAS pregnant, but only that Ms Williams is not making up the fact that it was being said. Secondly, for the sake of discussion, we are going to stipulate that she is expecting now. As to the duration of the current pregnancy, again, that is open to discussion, but she IS currently pregnant.

So... given those two "case facts," what are our possibilities?

A. She was not pregnant at all in April; the gossip was false.
B. She was pregnant with her current pregnancy in April.
C. She was pregnant in April, gave birth, and is now expecting again.

Option A is what the McCain campaign and the Palin family are claiming. (To be perfectly accurate, they are claiming that she BECAME pregnant in April with her current pregnancy, so strictly speaking she WAS pregnant, but there is no way it could have been of long enough duration that it would be common knowledge.)

Option B is what Sue Williams is telling us, and she's very dogmatic in her post: It was well known Bristol was pregnant in April, and Bristol is into her third trimester as of September 1, 2008. Let's do some granny finger counting here. If her pregnancy was common knowledge among eighth graders in April, we HAVE to assume that she became pregnant no later than February, which would give us a due date around the middle of November. Could it be true? Looking at photos of this young woman at the RNC, in my professional opinion, she does not look as if she's into her third trimester, but some young women do NOT show much at all until late in pregnancy so I don't think that's conclusive.

But more importantly, why would the McCain campaign lie? The MORE pregnant Bristol is, the better it is for them, because with every additional week, the MORE impossible it becomes that Bristol could have given birth in April. The campaign had to know that, when they said she was five months pregnant, there would be people (like yours truly) who would say, "Well hold it. Maybe she's only three and a half or four..." But if it had been announced that she was, say, seven months, and due in November, that would be absolutely irrefutable unequivocal proof (once she actually gave birth, that is) that she could not have given birth in April: I can see no reason why the McCain campaign would not have used it. The fact that they did NOT suggests to me very strongly that she's NOT in her third trimester.

So where does that leave us? Ironically with Option C, and now, in my opinion, with additional proof. There was chatter - apparently considered quite credible - in Wasilla in April of 2008 that Bristol Palin was pregnant. And if she was not pregnant with her current pregnancy (and the clock is rapidly winding down on that possibility), it had to be... a different pregnancy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Spin, Baby, Spin

Sarah Palin appears quite aware of how poorly some of the information regarding her pregnancy and birth "plays" when subjected to any sort of critical scrutiny. But she has a solution... we're going to rewrite history. We're going to spin, baby, spin. And because everyone is so afraid of the hot potato baby story, no one is calling her on it.

We saw several very good examples of this "history-morph" in two places in the last two weeks: the article in People magazine in the September 22nd issue and a long article published in the Dallas Morning News. For the first time, Gov. Palin speaks at length about why she waited so long to announce the news of her pregnancy publicly and did not even tell her immediate family she was carrying a Down's baby. In the "People" article, she repeats her prior statement that she knew Trig had Down's in December. However, while in numerous previous articles (published in April and May) she speaks only of being briefly "sad" at the news, now, we get lots more info: to People and the article in Dallas Morning News, she describes months of angst as she acclimates to what it will be like to have a special needs child, angst that prevented her from telling anyone (other than Todd) that she was even pregnant! I quote, "Not knowing in my own heart if I was going to be ready to embrace a child with special needs... I couldn't talk about it."

And from this, comes our second spin... the reason that no one noticed she was pregnant. I thought it was because SHE DIDN'T LOOK PREGNANT, but apparently not. Now we learn it was because she was CONCEALING it with "an elaborate game of fashion assisted camouflage," via scarves, shawls, loose-fitting blazers and "artfully-draped" accessories. (Hmmm. Here's the picture taken on Super Tuesday, in early February, 2008, when she would have been 26 weeks pregnant. Just a flat-chested no-tummy Gov. Palin in a running suit, with nary a shawl, scarf, blazer, or accessory, artfully-draped or otherwise, in sight.)(Unless you count the Blackberry. That's kind of an accessory. Maybe her tummy is hiding behind that.)

We're told that at the Vogue photo shoot on Wednesday, December 12th, she was photographed wearing an "enormous green parka." She would have been 16-18 weeks pregnant at this point. Huh? The Super Tuesday picture, above, was eight full weeks later. Why would she have needed a parka, enormous or otherwise? Is she trying to suggest now that she looked MORE pregnant on December 12th, than she did on February 5th?

Here's another photo taken when she would have been around 32 weeks. (Boy, that's some impressive pregnancy-concealing scarf. When I was 7-8 months pregnant with my fourth child and looked like a whale, I sure wish I could have had one of these!)

And then, our third spin. Why did she finally reveal the pregnancy? According to the Dallas Morning News, because "Alaskans were beginning to talk," i.e., speculate that she was pregnant. Really? In every news report from every paper and TV station in Alaska that we can still retrieve, the statement is the same: utter shock, complete disbelief, astonishment. Staffers being quoted that they had no idea. A state legislator who was also pregnant saying the same thing. No one, other than Sarah Palin herself, has ever suggested that people were beginning to notice. Here are two quotes from fellow state legislators, both saying the same thing. No one knew or even suspected. And it would be reasonable to assume that if anyone had heard gossip or rumors, it would be folks in the legislature, who worked with her professionally on a regular basis.

""Really? No!" said Bethel state Rep. Mary Nelson, who is close to giving birth herself.

"It's wonderful. She's very well-disguised," said Senate President Lyda Green, a mother of three who has sometimes sparred with Palin politically. "When I was five months pregnant, there was absolutely no question that I was with child." "
(Of course, note that this is a misspeak on the part of Ms. Green... Palin was actually representing herself to be SEVEN months pregnant at this point, NOT five.)

Spin, baby, spin.

More to come!

I've spent the entire day researching some more information on Cathy Baldwin-Johnson (the physician who allegedly delivered Trig Palin) and Mat-Su Regional Center, and frankly I have uncovered some very eye-opening and significant information which has not been put anywhere else on the Internet. I'm not quite ready to post it yet, so please check back tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I realize today via some emails I have received that some people hitting this blog don't understand that there's a very large, detailed, and well-documented website affiliated with it. The website is the bulk of my work; this blog is just where I comment and keep people up to date with what I am working on.

So... please check out the website. It's easy to do... just click the link for "Site Home Page" in the side bar on your right!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Old Switcharoo: Bristol Palin, Under the Bus

There are many amazing things in this saga, some that I've already tried to point out, and others that I will continue to pursue in the future. But as I think about this, really, one of the most amazing things is the neat switcharoo that the McCain campaign pulled when the questions were raised, beginning on August 30th. It's almost impossible now (nearly three weeks later) to put together a really accurate timeline of how the rumors started and when, but it seems that the "big" hit came when a diarist named ArcXIX posted an expose to the liberal website Daily Kos around lunch time on August 30th. (These posts have been pulled down and were gone from the Google cache before I started collecting my data. I am still trying to get a hold of them, at least from some screen shots.) The summary of the Daily Kos post was - exactly comparable to what I am saying on this blog and website - that many details of the Sarah Palin pregnancy and birth story did not add up, and that the MOST logical explanation (and an explanation that had been floating around Alaska for months) was that she was covering for her daughter.

The story became huge - until it was shut down abruptly with the announcement two days later that BRISTOL Palin was now five months pregnant.

What? Hold it. I thought we were talking about Sarah Palin.

The question is Did Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, give birth to Trig Palin on April 18th, 2008? The question is NOT: Did Bristol Palin NOT give birth to Trig Palin on April 18th 2008? The McCain campaign wants us to focus on this question, but it's not the core question.

To repeat: The pivotal question is "Did Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska give birth to Trig Palin on April 18th 2008?" Saying that Woman B did NOT have a baby proves nothing about Woman A, no matter how cleverly the "spin" might be crafted.

Twenty two years ago I gave birth at home to a son. If someone walked through my door a minute from now, within four hours I could provide substantial and irrefutable proof that I gave birth to him, proof outside my immediate family. I would have the testimony of a credible and experienced midwife whom I am still in touch with. I would have the eye witness testimony of an additional 3-4 women who were physically in the room when I gave birth. All of these women would be delighted to tell anyone who asked that the idea that I had not given birth was ridiculous. I would have the testimony of many people who saw me hugely pregnant before the birth, and scores of people who saw me breastfeed him at one point or another, many of which I could still get in touch with. I have birth photographs. I could provide all of this within hours. And this is a home birth - twenty two years ago.

Now... let's go back to Gov. Palin. We have no photographs, no eyewitness testimony. We have one fairly tepid statement from her physician that she "did not think it was unreasonable for her to fly back," given to the Anchorage Daily News on April 22nd, and then, nothing else. (Which of course, if one REALLY wants to read between the lines, was 100% true. It would have been completely reasonable for her to fly back to Alaska if she wasn't pregnant!)

In spite of rumors that were extant in Alaska both before and after the birth, and then, of course, the incredible scrutiny given this situation since late August, Dr. Cathy Baldwin Johnson, as far as I can see, has never been willing to stand up in front of a camera, and say, "This is nuts. Of course, Sarah Palin had the baby. I was there." Ditto any nurses. Ditto any other women who were at Mat-Su simultaneously. No Susie Smith smiling on camera for CNN saying, "Of course, we ALL knew Gov. Palin was there at the same time I was having Johnny. It was very cool to have my baby at the same time as she did." Nothing. The silence is deafening.

(Actually, this is not accurate. We have one alleged statement given by one woman who was there simultaneously who has stated that she did NOT see Sarah Palin - she only saw "Todd in the hall," and that when they did see Gov. Palin "several days later," it did "not look like she had just had a baby." Links to these statements can be found on my website proper.)

My speculation? There exists a small but real number of "inner circle" people who know the truth. There must have been some "plan" as to how this birth was going to be managed, a plan that went down the tubes when Bristol Palin went into labor 4-5 weeks early with Sarah Palin inconveniently out of town. None of them are willing to lie by "commission" (i.e, go on camera and say they were at the birth) because of the very real fear that at some point the truth might come out, and then they look, at best, like lying idiots, and at worst, criminals. For example, if it ever does come out unequivocally that Sarah Palin did not give birth to Trig, whatever doctor signed that birth certificate would surely lose his/her medical license and might, quite literally, go to jail. So what they are all doing at this point is lying by "omission," praying no one else talks, and holding their breath.

And, then, the switcharoo. The McCain campaign (obviously with the complicity of Bristol Palin's parents) in panic mode, quite literally threw a 17 year old child under a bus. It's simple. The way we "prove" that Sarah Palin DID have a baby is to (supposedly) "prove" that Bristol, now "five months" pregnant, could not have.

Honestly, this is amazingly slick. The McCain campaign managed to lay to rest most doubts about whether or not Sarah Palin gave birth without ever discussing Sarah Palin OR the birth. Not one tiny "real" detail about Sarah Palin or Trig Palin that was not already known was released. And, by framing it in these terms, they get a second benefit. Since this has now become "about Bristol," pursuing it any farther becomes "going after families." Of course, again, the fact that they released the info that she was pregnant in the first place is conveniently ignored.

What? Did this really happen?

The only thing crazier than that they did this is that the news media and the Democratic National committee has allowed them to get away with it.

Alaskan Geography 101

One of the concepts I will continue to focus on on this website and this blog is the long series of implausible and inappropriate choices that Gov. Palin made regarding her pregnancy and birth. Although I have mentioned her choice of physician a few times before, it didn't hit home to me how really curious this choice was until I started looking in detail at a map of Alaska, and realizing just how far it really is from Juneau to Anchorage.

Like most folks in the "Lower 48," my sense of Alaskan geography is not very good. (I apologize for this.) I know Alaska is big. Really big. And that's about it. Here's a map to help us in our review.

And here's another that shows the relationship between Anchorage, Wasilla, and Palmer.

Most of us remember (or at least should remember) from grammar school that Alaska's capital is Juneau. This is where the governor's mansion as well as the state capitol buildings are located. This is down on a little "neck," mostly surrounded by Canada, and hell and gone for the bulk of Alaska. Sarah Palin is from Wasilla, a town about sixty miles from Anchorage. Anchorage is about 800 miles by road (a bit less by air) from Juneau. To put this into perspective, this is about the same distance as it is from Richmond VA to Chicago IL, or Philadelphia PA to Atlanta GA. No matter what map you look at, it's flippin' far.

Unlike being a state legislator (where in most cases, the legislators only come to and live in the capital during legislative session) being Governor is a full-time job. Sarah Palin's official residence once she accepted that job was in Juneau. Although she spent a lot of time at her home in Wasilla (and apparently billed the state for a per diem when she did so) at least theoretically, Sarah Palin was supposed to be living in Juneau.

So what did she do when she became pregnant with her fifth child at age 43? Did she seek out prenatal care where she lived - the choice that virtually every pregnant woman in America makes? There's absolutely no evidence that she did. She should have known by October 2007 at the latest that she was pregnant and has stated that she had an amniocentesis in December. But considering the "shock" that her staff expressed at the time of her announcement in early March 2008 (a staff that would, routinely manage her calendar and appointments,) it seems very unlikely she was seeing a doctor in Juneau.

Instead, throughout her entire "pregnancy," even once she allegedly knew that her child had Down's, thus putting her pregnancy into a HIGH RISK status, she apparently continued to consult her family practice doctor in Wasilla / Palmer - an HOUR from Anchorage which is itself two hours by plane (twenty hours by car) from Juneau! Did she intend to commute from Juneau to Palmer bi-weekly beginning at 32 weeks and then weekly at 36?

Who did the amniocentesis? Family practice doctors don't do them; usually they are done by obstetricians though occasionally they might be done by radiologists. Once she knew the baby had Down's, and of course, had made the decision to continue the pregnancy, it would be recommended for her to have at least one - and possibly two - special ultrasounds that are capable of visualizing fetal heart defects. Who did these exams? Where? When? Not a family practice doctor in Palmer Alaska, I can promise you that.

Although a woman who had a good "obstetric" history in the past has every expectation that the current pregnancy will be trouble-free, common sense intervenes. No woman assumes that just because all of her previous experiences were good, that this one will be as well. What was Sarah Palin planning if she'd gone into premature labor in February or March (dead of winter in Alaska) while in Juneau? Did she intend somehow to fly to Anchorage and then drive to Palmer, maybe in the middle of the night? Or was she going to just present herself at an E.R. in Juneau and hope for the best?

Of course, none of these prenatal choices can even compare to the claim that a 44 year old woman, who is supposedly in preterm labor with a Down's baby, bypassed NICU equipped facilities in three cities (Dallas, Seattle, and Anchorage) ultimately to give birth with a family practice doctor at a small community birthing center in Palmer Alaska. (And, according to some websites, (though I personally have not been able to confirm this) Dr. Baldwin Johnson, HAD PRIVILEGES at the hospital in Anchorage that has the NICU, Providence.)

But STILL Gov. Palin landed in Anchorage, 12 hours after her amniotic sac allegedly started leaking, and then bypassed this hospital (six miles from the airport) and drove to Palmer. On some websites her reckless behavior once in labor has been excused with the statement that she's such a staunch Alaskan that she was willing to take risks to make sure her baby was born on Alaskan soil.

But her choice to bypass Anchorage, where her doctor had privileges, in favor of Wasilla shows that "Alaska" was not the issue, nor even a favorite doctor. She was desperate to get to Mat-Su Regional Hosptial in Palmer Alaska. Why? What's there? Are their birthing rooms really THAT nice? Ummm, probably not.

Granted, not all births are likely reported on the Mat-Su Hospital's website. But it looks like on most days, there are only 1 or 2 births... it's a small facility. Could it be that the greatest attraction of the facility was its utter privacy, combined with the fact that Dr. Baldwin-Johnson was a long-time friend and acquaintance, who had Sarah Palin to thank for an appointment to the Alaskan Health Council in May of 2007?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I still can't swallow this one...

One of the sections in the website proper speculates about the odd lack of any photos from the hospital around the time of the birth, which would have been an incredibly easy way of dispelling ALL rumors about "Who's Your Mommy?" In fact, all details of the birth have always been a bit "thin." But just recently, Gov. Palin shared with People magazine some touching new info about the birth that has never been shared before. Allegedly, Bristol, Willow, and Piper all did in fact gather "around the bedside" of their new brother, and Willow, according to her mother, noticed that Baby Trig had Down's even though she had not been told beforehand.

As I stated, I by no means am expecting any explicit birth videos. But I know that the vast VAST majority of families in America today choose to take photographs at their births, and many shoot video. (Heck, even the Amish women who give birth at our small local birthing center ask the nurses to snap a few pictures!) The lack of any photos of the whole Palin family at the time of the birth is one of the things that has just made me go "yeah, sure" from the very start of this. It's so utterly implausible, and has become more so now that it's been confirmed that in fact they were supposedly all there! What proud Papa would NOT want a photo of his three beautiful daughters, lovely wife, and new son? What normal teen would not snap a photo of new baby bro with her cell phone? Especially considering that there's a big brother who is far away and whom, we've been told, was participating BY CELL?

But no. Guess no one thought of it. And isn't that just too bad, because this left the McCain campaign only one other option for "proving" that Sarah Palin is "really" Trig's mommy: telling the entire country that 17 year old Bristol is pregnant now.

Yeah right.

The Smoking Gun

(UPDATE: April 8, 2009: Welcome any new readers who are joining us from a link on Gawker. Unfortunately, the author chose to link to this blog post which is now over seven months old, and quite outdated. Two days ago, another photo taken at the same time as the photo in this post was released on the Tyra Banks program. It had never been seen before. In it, Levi Johnston is holding Trig Palin. Please read that post by clicking here.

(Update: It has now been confirmed that this picture was taken in the Palin kitchen. The date is unknown.)

A photo exists that could be the single most problematic piece of evidence in this whole sad saga. Unlike some of the other information on this website, (photos of Gov. Palin at various times last spring, photos of Bristol Palin, news reports of the sequence of the birth) this photo has been entirely ignored by the mainstream. Even the Daily Kos posting (which has since been removed) which started much of the scrutiny, did not include mention of this photo.

This photo was originally posted to the MySpace page of a young woman who is known as either Mercede or Sadie Johnston who is the sister of Levi Johnston, who has been publicly recognized as the father of Bristol Palin's (current) pregnancy. In photos on Levi Johnston's myspace page the same girl is identified as his sister. I don't think that the girl's identity is in question.

The photo was published with the caption "Mommy Inlaw Trig and Myself." In it, Sadie / Mercede is holding a very young infant who is identified as "Trig" and in one other photo "TriggyBear." Is this verified to be Trig Palin? Again, there's no way without some sort of advanced analysis to prove it one way or another, but if it's NOT Trig, if the pictures are not real, then it would follow that they are hoaxes, or fakes.

And, in fact, that HAS been suggested about this photo, based on, among other things, the fact that this photo is sepia while all the other photos on the page are in color, including the ones obviously taken at the same time. And I agree, this is odd. I do not have anywhere near the photoshop skill to look at this photo and draw a conclusion as to whether it is fraudulent. To my eye, however, other than the fact that it is sepia, it looks real. The lighting is consistent, the shadowing is consistent, Sarah Palin's body seems perfectly proportional to and hidden behind the chair.

Let's think about the hoax issue. Why does one create a hoax, or a scam? In most cases, it's because the hoaxer wants something. One of the most famous scientific hoaxes of all time occurred in England early in the 20th century when someone faked some fossils that were supposed to be "missing links." The hoax (known as Piltdown Man) was finally revealed in the 1950s. To this day, no one knows who did it or why. It's been suggested that the hoaxer was so convinced that Darwin was correct that he faked fossils to prove it. Another possibility was that a man who owned a small local museum just wanted more customers. Whatever the truth, the bottom line is hoaxers want something: money, fame, recognition, who knows, but something. A hoax doesn't work if no one knows about it.

Now, back to our photo. These photos appear to have been posted on an obscure Alaskan teenager's MySpace page last spring, with no fanfair and no comment, months before Gov. Palin received anything but the most minimal national attention. This can be dated reliably as "prom photos" and other photos from the spring and summer were posted later. The photos remained untouched and unnoticed until this story broke two and a half weeks ago, at which point the page was either removed or "made private." (Sorry, I don't know enough about MySpace to really know exactly how that works.) So what's the agenda? You don't create a hoax or a scam and then just "hope" someone finds it... and then, when they do, try to cover it up! This makes no sense.

There are certainly a lot of things we do not know about this photo. Where was it taken, by whom, when? It has been suggested on one website that the location is a Birthing Room at Mat-Su Regional Center, the hospital where the birth occurred. It's impossible to say since the "Virtual Tour" of the Birthing Center on the Mat-Su Regional Hospital website has been mysteriously not working for the last two weeks. It looks like it might be a hospital room, but at this point I don't think that can be stated with confidence. I will also point out that the baby is NOT wearing any sort of hospital bracelet. I think anyone looking at the photo will agree however, that the baby is very young.

All these questions, however, pale in comparison to the biggie: Why is Governor Sarah Palin identified as "Mommy InLaw"? It's a simple question. And you know, it should be a simple answer. Sadie Johnston is a real person in a real town. She lives in a real house and she speaks English. Why can't we just ask her? Why can't someone just show her this picture, and ask: "Who took this picture? When? And why, pray tell, is Gov. Palin referred to as "mommy inlaw?""

But of course, that's not going to happen. The phone at the Johnston house has been disconnected. Reporters in their driveway have been ignored. No one's talking. What a surprise.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why Amniocentesis?

As I have stated several other places on the website and blog, I find Gov. Palin's series of inexplicable - even bizarre - choices made during the birth of Trig Palin on April 17th and 18th extremely troubling. At no point from the start of the process until the end did she behave like someone who was in labor (or "maybe" in labor) with a fifth child and one who had allegedly been diagnosed prenatally with Down's Syndrome.

It's been stated in numerous places that she knew through "early testing" that Trig had Down's Syndrome. Immediately after the birth, articles only stated "early testing," but in an article published in May (links to all of these are available in the website proper) she stated that the testing was done in December.

So why did she have an amnio done? No where on the Internet that I can see has this question been addressed. Without getting too long-winded, there are three basic reasons a family would have amniocentesis performed. The first is to obtain a prenatal diagnosis on a couple fairly common birth defects, specifically Down's Syndrome (trisomy-21)and spina bifida. The second is to test for lung maturity in a case where there is premature labor. The third is to test for specific genetic disorders that might be unique to that family, tests that would not be done routinely. Obviously reason two is out as this was supposedly "early testing." No one can know if in the Palin family there is any genetic problem that would require testing but considering the birth of four healthy children prior, it's probably not likely. This leaves the first reason - routine testing for Down's and spina bifida, and it's pretty routinely recommended for all women over 35.

There is a heated debate in the pro-life community regarding this testing. The majority of strongly pro-life women actually chose to skip the test, regardless of age, since it does increase the risk of miscarriage slightly. (About 1 pregnancy in 200 will miscarry - (official medical term: abort) directly because of the amnio.) For a pro-life woman who will not terminate even if she learns that her child does have Down's, any increased risk is considered unacceptable. Obviously, given Palin's stated beliefs, she falls into the group of women who would never have chosen to terminate a pregnancy.

So then, why do the test? The ONLY reason at that point is to diagnose Down's or spina bifida, two conditions that would push the birth into a higher-risk category, thus allowing the mom to PLAN HER BIRTH ACCORDINGLY!

But not Gov. Palin. What we are now expected to believe is that she had a test done, a test that does carry the risk of miscarriage, for the sole purpose of diagnosing certain conditions that would definitely move her pregnancy into a high risk category. Yet, after RECEIVING this diagnosis, she does... well... nothing. She IGNORES the results completely. We are expected to believe that she continues plans to give birth with a family practice doctor (not an OB) who practices in a rural community hospital 800 miles from her official residence. She goes into some sort of pre-term labor in Dallas, Texas a city with two NICUs (one at Baylor, and one at Presbyterian Hospital) flies to Seattle (a city also with two high risk facilities) flies to Anchorage (with a hospital that has Alaska's ONLY level III NICU) then drives an hour out into the country to give birth in Palmer. Oh, and if this is not enough to swallow, we are supposed to believe that the doctor approved of all of this.

So... I repeat my question. Why did she have the test done in the first place?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Home Watching TV

If anyone has gotten this far (and it will be interesting to see if that's the case) welcome. It's valid for anyone reading this site - and this blog - to wonder why I am doing this.

A week ago - two weeks ago - the thought of doing a website like this would not have crossed my mind. Actually, I am a fairly apolitical person - I've never campaigned for a candidate in any race, Republican or Democrat. I tend to think that they are all uniformly disappointing and out of touch.

But the very first day - when I heard the brief news blurb about how Gov. Palin had traveled twelve plus hours supposedly with ruptured membranes with her fifth child, I could not believe it. My first thought was that it probably was not true... just another media story written by someone who doesn't really understand basic biology or childbirth - because, after all, no one really would do that. Then when the story persisted, my opinion changed to: was she effing nuts? Something is really wrong with this picture.

In my labor coaching and childbirth experience, I have personally seen one (fifth) baby born after two hours or so of "leaking" amniotic fluid followed by ONE contraction. And while this is admittedly an extreme example, I've seen MANY third, fourth, fifth or more (I worked for awhile among the Amish community) babies deliver after just an hour or two of "active labor." It's NOT uncommon. And the moment that amniotic sac ruptures (whether it's a "leak" or something more dramatic) believe me the clock starts clicking. The whole story just "bugged" me on some level... and this was long before I'd seen any references to the "baby swap." Then, when THAT hit the Internet, I had an "aha!" moment.

And then - just as quickly - the story is gone, evaporated in the face of the announcement that the daughter in question is pregnant now. And the spin put on it is that to pursue it any further is just (take your pick) a)tasteless, b)cruel, c)disrespectful, d)picking on families, or e) all of the above.

The mainstream media's total reluctance to revisit this in any sort of thorough, honest, or deliberate way is flabbergasting to me. When I first conceived of doing this website, I scoured the Internet. "Surely," I told myself, "there's something obvious out there I'm missing. Some website that I have just overlooked. Some interview with a credible source in Alaska who was willing go on record and say, 'Hey, this whole thing is just nuts. I know for a fact that Sarah Palin had that baby and this is why...'" But, in fact, there's nothing but the same two proofs over and over: a couple of photos in which Gov. Palin appears pregnant and the fact that Bristol Palin is allegedly pregnant now, backed up of course by the PC mantra that any additional questioning is somehow picking on Bristol.

It's a bit like this. Assume for discussion's sake that there was a convenience store robbery in a community, and five people identified John Smith as the robber. Duly, the police would interview Mr. Smith. But Mr. Smith looks at the police and says, "Oh no, officers. I could not have committed this crime. I was home watching TV." Now, assume that the officers simply walked away from Mr. Smith's house, saying... "Who knew? Guess we were wrong. He was home watching TV." And not only do they not pursue Mr. Smith any longer, they begin attacking and attempting to discredit the witnesses!

Obviously, this is a ridiculous scenario, right? But it's exactly what we have here. We have "witnesses" in the form of lots of little niggling details that do not add up about this pregnancy and birth. The photo evidence that Gov. Palin showed no signs of pregnancy until seven months, that no one in her life even suspected she was pregnant, her daughter's alleged "disappearance" from public for months, the fact that there were rumors in Alaska BEFORE the birth that Gov. Palin was NOT pregnant, yet nothing was done to counteract the rumors, and most of all, one implausible choice after another at the time of the birth. These are our "witnesses."

And now what do we have? The functional equivalent of "home watching TV:" The Palin family's announcement that their daughter is now pregnant. And the press has walked away, saying "Who knew? Guess we were wrong."

What? That's it? Ridiculous, right?

And that's why I'm doing this.