Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How to Lie with Statistics: Response to Progressive Alaska Part 2

With Sarah Palin's resignation, the direction of this blog has taken a temporary detour. It has been impossible over the last five days to keep the focus on "Babygate," and ignore the larger implications of her resignation and the "hoopla" surrounding it. And I don't think anyone wants me to.

Is Sarah Palin still a viable national entity? I do not believe so. Her history of quitting is quite striking: she quit as mayor of Wasilla to run for Lt. Governor of Alaska (a race she lost.) She quit a major Alaskan appointment, that of chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Although a great deal has been made of this "protest" resignation, the reasoning is eerily similar to her resignation as governor. She could be more effective from outside of the commission than actually on it. But numerous people in Alaska have put a more mundane spin on this resignation. The job was reportedly a real full-time job with real full-time work. She was expected to produce, not just be a figurehead; she just was not up to it.

And now - with a year and a half left as governor she quit for reasons that she stated as mostly personal: things like adults being mean to Trig. (Whether her stated reasons are all there are is of course open for question, but for now let's take her at her word.)

But that still leaves us with the initial question of this blog, and as I said in the "Sarah Quits; We Won't" post several days ago, I do not intend to let this issue slide. I believe that there still is enough of a chance that Palin might emerge on the national stage that the truth about Trig's birth must come to light, once and for all. I still believe that the elements of the Republican Party that gave us Sarah Palin and kept her on the ticket (while - I strongly suspect - becoming aware at some point in the campaign that she had faked the pregnancy) must be held accountable.

I am continuing now with the multi-part post I began last week, before the resignation, in which I am attempting to consider a very long post written by Lee Tompkins, a labor and delivery nurse, last January, and reprinted several weeks ago by the blog Progressive Alaska.

I have received some criticism for doing this, including a comment from someone I respect, accusing me of doing nothing but "addressing nonsense arguments from a moron first posted months ago." But I disagree. These "nonsense arguments" form the basis of why some very reasonable people, who I do not think ARE morons, and who do not support Gov. Palin in general are still not on board with the idea that she faked a pregnancy, duping both Alaskans and the American people. And the topic of today's post - the Down Syndrome "proof" that Trig must be Sarah's - is one of the cornerstones of this.


Here's the link to Part 1 in case I have new readers who have not seen it.

This is the second part of my very long post, addressing the points raised in Lee Tompkins' article. In this installment, I intend to (try to) debunk one of the most persistent (and incorrect) assumptions in this whole issue: that Trig's Down Syndrome virtually proves that Sarah is his mother. I do apologize for all the math and numbers here, and realize that at times it's difficult to follow. But the problem is that this statistical proof is cited so often without anyone even understanding the numbers, that they only way to reasonably confront it is with the calculators on the desk.

A couple of Google searches and it's not difficult to figure out that the likelihood of a Down's pregnancy in a 44-year old woman is 25 times greater than that of a teenager. Of course, overall more Down's babies are born in the younger age groups but that is reflective of the greater numbers of pregnancies occurring in younger women than older women. That statistic alone should be convincing enough, but it is probably not.

The writer's opinion here is clear. This statistic (i.e, that Sarah had a 25 times greater chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome) alone should virtually prove to us that Trig must be Sarah's.

This "proof" of Trig's parentage has haunted those of us searching for the truth since day one. Often people who appear to know virtually nothing about the "Who's Your Mommy?" controversy (except perhaps that there is one), all can unfailingly summon this one "fact": Trig MUST be Sarah's because older women have babies with Down Syndrome. I've seen it a thousand times in comments on blogs, gotten hundreds of emails that say the same thing. Trig has Down Syndrome; this proves Trig is Sarah's. Case closed.

What is the reality?

It IS more likely, much more likely in fact, that a woman over 40, on a given pregnancy, will conceive a child with Down Syndrome than a woman less than 20. No dispute. But every year in the U.S. about 300 babies with Down Syndrome are born to women under 20. Not a huge number, but not insignificant either. This is about the same number as babies born deaf to women under 20 (who have no family history of deafness.) Would we disbelieve the story if we are told that a teen mother would have a deaf child?

Furthermore, those who repeat this statistical argument ignore another, equally powerful one in the opposite direction, one that I have never heard confronted head-on, with real numbers, regarding this situation, and that is that Sarah Palin, at 43, had a far FAR lower chance of ever having a baby at all.

Natural fertility drops sharply after age 40, a fact that is now nearly lost in the perception of the general public. Every week, it seems, yet another celebrity well into her forties has a baby. Several in the last few years (Geena Davis and Nancy Grace to name two) have been quite near, even at, fifty. But many - probably the majority - of these women have had these babies with fertility assistance: injections to stimulate ovulation, hormonal support after conception to compensate for a body that is really too old to be having children, and in many (perhaps most) cases where the mother is over 42 or 43, the use of donor eggs. However, these private details are typically not made public, so the public knows only that a baby has been born. They have no realistic clue just how difficult and expensive it was to achieve that.

In addition, women are routinely counseled to stay on contraceptives into their late forties, yet are only rarely advised by their physicians as to how low their actual chances of becoming pregnant are. Because of this, the erroneous perceptions that older mothers conceive often and easily and that pregnancy after forty is likely are firmly ensconced into our national consciousness. (This is much to the dismay and sad disappointment of many women in their late thirties and early forties, who have delayed childbearing and are now discovering that the effects that aging has on fertility often cannot be overcome even with help.)

In reality, what are the chances that a 43 year old woman, who is presumably practicing some sort of contraception and who is not "trying" to get pregnant, in fact will get pregnant at all and then carry that child to near term? The odds are actually extremely poor.

Women who are over 40 face a double whammy: fertility drops every year, and simultaneously rates of miscarriage rise.

Consider the following:
1. At age 40, a woman who is demonstrably fertile still only has a 1 in 20 chance (5%) of getting pregnant in any given cycle. A teen has a 20-30% chance of getting pregnant in a given cycle. And that's age 40. Sarah Palin was 3 1/2 years older than this.
2. At age 40, even using in vitro fertilization, (involving medical assistance with precise timing and hormonal support) the pregnancy rate per cycle is only 10%.
3. The chances of a woman over 40 who is trying to get pregnant via in vitro using her own "old" eggs is one/sixth of that of getting pregnant with younger "donor" eggs. In fact, most clinics will not even use the eggs of women over 40 because the failure rate is so unacceptably high.
4. 50% of pregnancies in women 42-43 years of age end in miscarriage, compared with only 10% for women less than 30.
5. By age 40, 33% of previously fertile couples are infertile, and this rises to 90% by age 45. At age 43 1/2 (the age at which Sarah Palin is alleged to have become pregnant) the chances of her even still being fertile at all were only about 1 in 3. Read that again. Statistics tell us that Sarah Palin had a 66% chance of not being able to get pregnant at all.

Plus - the Palins have been clear that the pregnancy was unexpected, that their baby-having days were over, and that they were not trying to have a child. This can only mean one thing: some sort of family planning method was being used. This would have cut Sarah Palin's already-low chances of becoming pregnant much farther. Oral contraceptives are 95% plus successful in preventing pregnancy. Even condoms are supposedly 85-90% effective in preventing pregnancy if used correctly.

So let's whip out the calculators here. For this little calculation, I am going to ignore the issue of contraception. We can't know what sort of birth control anyone in this equation was using or how consistently and rigorously it was used. So, to simplify things, I am going to, using statistics, attempt to answer the following question. If you have a 43 year old woman and a 17 year old woman who are both "letting nature take its course" (i.e., both sexually active and neither using contraceptives) , what are the relative chances that, in a given single month, each will get pregnant and carry the baby to term?

In a given monthly cycle, at age 40, a fertile woman has a 5% (1 in 20) chance of conceiving. I could not find a comparable statistic for a 43 year old, so we'll use 5% while stipulating that the actual number is certainly lower for a 43 year old. However, don't forget that this is a fertile woman. By age 43, 2/3rds of previously fertile woman are infertile. This reduces that ACTUAL monthly chances of conceiving for a 43 year old to 5% x .33 or 1.66%. A random sexually active 43 year old woman not practicing contraception has only a 1 in 60 chance of getting pregnant each month.

A 17 year old has a 20-30% chance of conceiving per month. For simplicity, let's split that down the middle and say 25%. A random sexually active 17 year old woman not practicing contraception has a 1 in 4 chance of getting pregnant per month.

In other words - the seventeen year old's chances of getting pregnant in a given month are 15 times higher.

But that's not the end of the story because now, the much higher rates of miscarriage come into play.

The 43 year old has at least a 50% of chance of miscarrying the baby. This cuts the success rate in half, to .8%. The chance that a 43 year old woman will get pregnant in a single month and carry the child to term is less than 1 in 100.

The 17 year old, meanwhile, has a 7% chance of miscarriage. (Sources cite numbers any where from 5% to 10% - I am splitting the difference.) This gives us a successful pregnancy rate per month for the 17 year old of 23%. The chance that a 17 year old woman will get pregnant in a single month and carry the child to term is 23 in 100.

.8% for the 43 year old versus 23% for the 17 year old. 29 times more likely. Ironically, quite close to the often quoted statistic that Down Syndrome is 25 times more likely in the older mother. So read that again. Understand what it really says. Yes, Down Syndrome is 25 times more likely in an older mother, but SUCCESSFUL PREGNANCY is 29 times more likely in the younger mother.

And don't forget, this result is for women NOT using contraceptives (Palin almost certainly was) plus this result was obtained using fertility rates for 40 year olds ( Palin was 43.) Both of these factors would reduce this already - low number even farther in this specific case.

Younger women can have babies with Down Syndrome, though it's rare. Older women can have babies with no medical assistance or support, though it's rare. But what the statistics do show is that those who USE Down Syndrome rates to argue that Trig must be Sarah's are totally missing the other bus: We could just as easily use overall fertility rates to argue that Trig must be Bristol's.

So return to the paragraph I quoted from Lee Tompkins article to start this post, now rewritten:

A couple of Google searches and it's not difficult to figure out that the likelihood of a pregnancy carried to term in a 17-year old woman is 29 times greater than that of a 43 year old. That statistic alone should be convincing enough, but it is probably not.
Feels funny when the shoe is on the other foot, doesn't it?

Now, to be explicitly clear: statistics are merely a guideline. Statistics do not prove anything either way. Trig has Down Syndrome. This in no way proves he is Sarah's. Trig exists. This in no way proves he is Bristol's (or any other younger mother's.)

And that's what needs to be taken away from this post.



herkimer said...

I believe it was in one of these comment sections (on PD) that someone posted the possible similarity in appearance of a DS infant and an infant w/ fetal alcohol syndrome.

I know SP has said TriG has DS -- is there any voice with authority/ truthfulness, and "no dog in the fight" who has stated that TriG's condition is truly Down syndrome?


Moshea bat Abraham said...

Someone told me that it would be "impossible" for Bristol to have a Down's Syndrome baby at her age.

Great post. Interestingly, the two most recent posts from one of the other blogs I follow are about exactly the topics in this one: Sarah Palin and fertility in older women.

B said...

A million thanks, Audrey, for creating a post we can point to the next time (and it has happened regularly since September) a commenter uses Sarah's age to "prove" a Downs Syndrome child belongs to her and not Bristol.

Molly said...

Great post, but taking exception to one thing: that Sarah would most likely have been using birth control. You just never know. However, the chances per month based on age are significant enough w/o taking into account whether anyone was using birth control.

But you didn't need to convince me; I've been sold since August 29th of 2008, when this rumor first broke. It all made sense then, and nothing since then has convinced me otherwise.

PS Wouldn't it just beat all if it could be shown that Todd had been "snipped" after Piper was born? (NB: this is mere speculation based on further speculation that Piper may have already been the "bonus" child, evidenced by the close births of Track, Bristol, and Willow, followed by a big gap and then Piper....and a vow by Sarah and Todd that Piper would be their last! Snip snip......just speculatin'!!)

B said...


Check out this comment made to Audrey's Oct. 1, 2008 post:

Anonymous said...
I am a pediatrician and there should be absolutely no doubt that Trig Palin (no matter who his mother actually is!) has Down Syndrome.

He has the classic DS facies, the flat feet (photos of Levi's sister holding Trig soon after birth clearly show his flat feet--typical shape for a Down's infant) a large tongue that frequently protrudes, and most of all the very poor tone of a Down infant.

Down Syndrome babies are very 'floppy' their first year of life, and often require physical therapy to better enable them to meet developmental milestones. Frankly, I'm not sure how Palin is managing to do that, dragging Trig around as a political prop.

Watch any Palin family member hold Trig, and note that he does not hold himself up at all -- even as a 5 month old he is floppy as a doll, and not much more active than a newborn.

Fetal Alcohol Effects/Syndrome infants in actuality do not look like Down infants all that much, and tend to not have the same problems with tone. They tend to be learning delayed, and have a different facies: wide set eyes, flattened midface and wide/smooth philtrum (the area between the nose and mouth).

* * *

--An anonymous pediatrician in AZ (who is NOT a McCain/Palin supporter)

October 6, 2008 1:07 AM

B said...


Sarah having had her tubes tied was one of the possible reasons we speculated for her not revealing medical records. Even if she did, sometimes the surgery fails.

Morgan said...

Molly, I'm 43 but I still use birth control. I'm afraid to go off of it. I'm too busy to even take that 1 in 100 chance at getting pregnant. And I'm not even a governor.

Molly said...

Morgan, I'm 44 and I still do too--I'm just sayin' you never know.

Ennealogic said...

Certainly seems Trig was a miracle baby of some kind...

Thank you again Audrey for a careful, logical post. In my college statistics class the first thing we learned is that you can "prove" just about anything depending on which statistics you quote.

Molly said...

B--I am aware of the tubal ligation speculation, and the fact that even that can sometimes fail. I am speculating that perhaps Todd got snipped instead. Or not.

You never know.

herkimer said...

Thank you "B" -- for re-posting the comments of the pediatrician. This (DS/ FAS) has been a lingering question for me.

Many thanks to Audry and Morgan for their voices, veracity and commitment -- for not quitting!


Thinks Too Much said...

Another way to look at it? Maybe?
"Baby X has Down syndrome. What is the probability that Baby X's mother is under 20? What is the probability that Baby X's mother is over 40?"

Jen said...

It's not just that you always have such common sense, Audrey, it's that you are so articulate.



mdlw56 said...

Many years ago, the local high school had 13 girls pregnant one year...one with a spina bif (can't spell it) and one with DS. And I worked with a lady who was in her late 30's that finally was able to bring a baby to term, and that baby had DS (proudest mother you have ever seen, that baby was so blessed). So, I know age really doesn't matter. Of course, there are those who grasp for straws which is why your post is excellent!

Audrey, remember when Palin put that tanning bed in the Governor's mansion for her girls? And she has one at house in Wasilla as well? I read articles about them back last fall.

Well, check the internet for tanning beds and DS. There is a lot of information that links the two. Of course, it doesn't provide any clear answer of "who", but the information should also be considered. Palin signed a bill or something back 2007 about tanning beds and teens, but it's been a while, so I don't remember exactly what the bill said.

Thanks, Audrey & Co, for all the good work and I am very glad you will continue the quest. I, too, want Palin outed for the liar she is.

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel said...

Molly, ever since SP's "pregnancy" with TriG hit, I've been asking myself your comment:

"PS Wouldn't it just beat all if it could be shown that Todd had been 'snipped' after Piper was born?"

Or, just as likely, if SP had? Even though tubal ligation is a more invasive procedure than vasectomy, some men don't like the idea. Certainly that would have shown up on SP's medical records, as would have a hysterectomy, had she undergone one.

Those remain open questions, along with TriG's and TriPP's actual dates and places of birth, and TriG's actual diagnosis and prognosis, performed by a team of eminent neonatologists. When I was a very little girl, I remember poring over the lengthy press details of the premature birth and death of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy in 1963. The only source of Palin "medical" information has been the family itself, faulty as their details are known to have been, and the McCain campaign staff, intent on damage control.

SP claims that "the media" drove her out of politics. What she simply refuses to see is that she can't just pull a fact out of her *ss, say it, and expect people to accept her statements on faith, especially when so many of her remarks contradict one another.

Thanks for your handy-dandy statistics, Audrey. I for one do not believe SP is going an-nee-where, as long as she can get television time to air her many grievances.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you have made this point. I'm sure we all know someone who has had one of these spontaneous 40+ pregnancies, right now I have a friend with a surprise pregnancy at 41, but overall they are quite rare.

I wish I could remember where I read an article, as least a year ago, pre-Palin, about how misleading all the celebrity 40+ babies are regarding fertility. It made the same point about how these very rarely occur without reproductive assistance, and certainly well past 40 occur with a younger woman's eggs. As I recall, not only does a woman's fertility drop precipitously at 40, but it continues to drop precipitously every year thereafter so that by age 45 it is quite bleak indeed. So 43 was quite a bit less likely than 40.

As well, I once worked in an office where one staff member and the wife of another staff member both gave birth on the same night in the same hospital. One woman was 40+ and had a perfectly healthy baby, and the other was 30 yrs old and had a baby with Down's Syndrome.

The statistics are hardly conclusive, but this is what I thought about when I first learned about this curious pregnancy on the last days of Aug. It was awfully unlikely for SP to have gotten preggers.

trev said...

I found the fetal alcohol baby much more likely because it happens to alot of teens that do not realize they are pregnant while they binge drink. We do not have proof of the Down's nor do we know for sure that Bristol had the baby. We do not know where this baby came from although Bristol does act like she is the mother. Do we know the affects of oxycontin or meth on a developing child? What if Bristol was impregnanted by an older man? What drugs has Levi taken? Couldn't all this factor into the baby's development?
Again, there are so many questions without medical records available. One thing that is certain is that it is not Sarah's baby nor was it born in April.

Kyra said...

Your post is awesome. I've tried to explain statistics on my blog in relation to polling, particularly push polling, but your explanations are so clear and simple, I wish you'd taught all my graduate school stats classes!

SunSweet said...

I've been a special ed teacher for over 25 years. In my experience, the majority of my students were NOT born to older mom's. Early in my career, this surprised me, because I thought this happened to older mom's, not younger ones. A high percentage of my students were born to teenaged mom's.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Audrey. Well written - Easy to follow.

I agree that all the statistical averages are stacked against Sarah being the mother.

Anyone know how long Todd is gone when he's fishing at Bristol Bay?
Any way of finding out his whereabouts during the time when Sarah was suppose to be getting pregnant with Trig? What would that be? About Aug '07?

Dangerous said...

0% of non-pregnant women have DS babies. Put another way, you have to be pregnant first to have a DS baby.

Interestingly, 0% of the evidence proves SP was pregnant.

Sp saying so: consistent with a faked pregnancy as a real one.

Andrea Gusty photo: as consistent with a faked pregnancy as a real one.

Medical records: none. Consistent with a faked pregnancy, inconsistent with a real one.

Anyone can argue conjecture, as Lee Thompkins did, to try to show that SP might have been pregnant, but that's hardly convincing in the face of the evidence that's only consistent with a faked pregnancy, such as:

1) SP's admission to disguising her condition;
2) SP's admission that she didn't tell anyone;
3) SP admission that she didn't look pregnant when she would normally be, both in March and on the airplanes during the wild ride;
4) SP admission to what would be utterly reckless behavior (if true) that she went into labor in Texas but gave birth in Alaska without a medical exam.

I could go on, but that's why I don't take Ms. Tompkins or other SP defenders seriously. That's why I wrote Audrey an email suggesting that arguing with moronic arguments is a waste of time.

Have Lee Thompkins and others affirmatively proved SP is Trig's mother? No. Should it be easy for them to do so? Yes. The best they can say is that SP might be Trig's mother if all these bizarre circumstances and direct evidence are considered just so, no matter how unlikely.

Anonymous said...

Here's a weird thing I just put together. Last week Levi was in NYC meeting with publishers. Also, all the reports mention that SP's political spokesperson and one of her long-time closest aides Meg Staplewhatever was also in NYC on Friday during her screech in Wasilla. Coincidence?

midnightcajun said...

Very well reasoned out, Audrey. Funnily enough, I was talking with a woman just last night who told me her sister had a DS baby in her early 20s (yeah, I know some will see that as believable as the women we've had on here claiming they never showed with their 5th pregnancy, but I thought it was interesting).

I've been so frustrated by the number of articles about Palin I've read in the last few days who referred dismissively to the "silly" rumors that Sarah wasn't Trig's birth mother. When will it occur to a journalist that, given how much she lies, they ought to take a second look at some of these issues.

Kyra said...

I don't much believe in coincidence. The fact that Meg was in NYC, however, does suggest strongly that this has not been in the works. If it had, Meg would have been there, as well as the rest of the family.

BTW. Where were Bristol & Willow? Later video of "family" up in Dillingham for photo ops - only Piper and Trigg. hmmmm.

onething said...


I read that paragraph that you quote here in the prior post and found it puzzling at the time. It wasn't clear at all. First, they say that more babies with DS are born to younger mothers, and then they say that a 40+ woman is 25 times more likely IF PREGNANT, to give birth to a DS baby. Then, it says, this statistic should be adequate to prove the case.

Say what? Which case? I thought the paragraph proved precisely nothing, except that it was perfectly plausible for Bristol to be the mother of a DS baby.

(Or Willow!)

Chip said...

Audrey: You write that "about 300 babies with Down Syndrome are born to women under 20." What's the hard number for women over 40?

According to 2006 CDC data linked in the Wikipedia article on DS, there are around 5429 DS births in a given year and 80% of such births are to mothers under the age of 35. That leaves roughly 1100 DS births for the 35-up group, but raw stats would decline with each successive year due to decreased fertility (with yet half a decade till 40). Once you get past the bias of focusing on individual age-relative risk, the actual incidence of DS births for the over-40 group might well be on par with the under 20 figure of 300. Perhaps lower.

mlewis said...

When we were first married, we had neighbors with a DS boy. They were college sweethearts, so the boy was born to parents in their early 20's. Following his birth, they had three more boys, all without any disabilities.

(I also have to add that at the time, there were few resources to deal with DS kids. She did a heroic job working that boy every day and bringing out all the best of his abilities.)

If Sarah is truly looking for the right magic door, she could do a great service both for herself, for Trig and for disabled kids by "progressing" that cause and bring money and awareness to the issue. But, that would require selfless devotion, and Sarah is selfish, thinking more about herself. Still, there are alot of people on the other side of that door waving to her and hoping that she'll look in their direction.

Amy1 said...

Excellent post, Audrey. It's always bothered me too, these blithe statements, so confidently stated, so annoying un-rebutted, and ABSOLUTELY FALSE.

Having lived through (and obssessively researched) the exact stats you are citing in my own efforts to get pregnant from 40 to 50, I can say you are 100% correct on all points.

Two small additions (which show you to be even more correct than you say):

1. The decline in fertility is geometrical rather than linear. In other words, you do not decline in fertility each year after 30 by 1%, 2%, 3,%, 4%, 5% (in year 5). Instead, the drop (actually starting in one's 30s) goes 1%, 2%, 4%, 16%, 256%, 65,000%, etc. (Not sure of the actual numbers but their geometric nature is the point.)

In other words, the drop-off in fertility is huge each MONTH for older women. So the difference in fertility from 40 to 43 is very very large. In general. We bear in mind that this is a statistical concept, so a given individual might (very rarely) be different.

2. The other tiny point I'd make is concerning contraception -- which you ruled out of your calcs, but ruling it back in only makes your conclusion more compelling. If we are to simple-mindedly think about contraception (any kind) and its use by an older woman vs a teen, which group do you think would be more careful about it? And which group do you think would be the more experienced users, and thus less error-prone? In both cases, ruling contraception back in again makes Audrey's point even stronger.

But, as we have also said in this blog, statistics gives us the odds, looking forward. It does not offer PROOF in looking back at an unlikely event that happened. Because unlikely events DO happen (although rarely).

None of the foregoing has mattered to me in my conclusion that SP did not give birth to Trig: that is proved to me totally by the non-pregnant, flat-as-a-board photos only weeks from the supposed birth. It's all strongly supported by (although not proved by) the mountains of circumstantial data that we are all too familiar with.

CAC said...

Audrey, Although I agree with your basic point about statistics and the case you´ve made convinces me of Trig´s origin, I know you have a high standard for accuracy so I´d like to point out that I believe
the reasoning in this paragraph is faulty:

"In a given monthly cycle, at age 40, a fertile woman has a 5% (1 in 20) chance of conceiving. I could not find a comparable statistic for a 43 year old, so we'll use 5% while stipulating that the actual number is certainly lower for a 43 year old. However, don't forget that this is a fertile woman. By age 43, 2/3rds of previously fertile woman are infertile. This reduces that ACTUAL monthly chances of conceiving for a 43 year old to 5% x .33 or 1.66%. A random sexually active 43 year old woman not practicing contraception has only a 1 in 60 chance of getting pregnant each month."

I think the 5% figure for women aged 40 already takes into consideration a drop in fertility at that age and overlaps with the 2/3 infertile women at age 43. Considering at both ages, women are still menstruating and/or ovulating but may not be considered fertile. Thus you cannot directly multiply these rates of conception to get the rate of pregnancy in a given month at age 43. I have no idea what the real statistic would be....obviously less than the 5% rate at age 40.

abirato said...

As you say Audrey, statistics are mere guidelines. However, I did find an interesting article on the subject.

This from Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford:

What is the risk of parents of a child with Down syndrome having another child with Down syndrome?
In general, for women under 40 (after having one child with Down syndrome), the chance of having another baby with Down syndrome is 1 percent. The chance for Down syndrome is also known to increase with the mother's age and, after age 40, a mother would simply have the risk based on her age at delivery.

It is important to know that about 80 percent of babies with Down syndrome are born to women under 35. This is due to the fact that women under 35 have more babies than women over 35. Your physician may refer you to a geneticist or genetic counselor who can explain the results of chromosomal tests in detail, including what the recurrence risks may be in another pregnancy and what tests are available to diagnose chromosome problems before a baby is born.


NY tabloid chick said...

Great post and analysis as always.
Two things: This issue has always had a touch of irony for me; my mom married at 40 and had two healthy* children between 10 months post-marriage :) and age 45, no testing at all (this was in the early 70s). So most of my life I've had to be the living proof that over-40 moms can indeed produce healthy* babies. (The * is for my brother, who was a preemie with hyaline membrane syndrome (JFK and Jackie lost a baby to this in the 60s); he is now a strapping 6-foot-plus picture of health.) So when the babygate story started to be widely known, I constantly had to remind people that just because an 'older mom' has a baby, it won't necessarily have Down syndrome. That was of course immediately before I would let them know that SP didn't give birth to Trig anyway!
And second: When you account for the first dud's work schedule (he's away for weeks at a time), you are pretty much cutting the odds of an SP pregnancy in half again, also.

Locasta said...

Just to throw a wrench in. keep this in mind:

From wiki:

"A 2002 literature review of elective abortion rates found that 91–93% of pregnancies in the United States with a diagnosis of Down syndrome were terminated.[29] Data from the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register in the United Kingdom indicates that from 1989 to 2006 the proportion of women choosing to terminate a pregnancy following prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome has remained constant at around 92%"

This would mess up the statistics if there is a difference between abortion rates for younger vs. older moms. It certainly explains why there are only about 300 per year in that younger group.

wayofpeace said...

the original WONKETTE, ann marie cox will be on RACHEL MADDOW show, commneting on SP quitting!

Leadfoot said...


"Sarah Palin's bombshell that she will resign as Alaska governor actually has boosted her a bit among Republicans, a nationwide USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds..."


wayofpeace said...

this is a HOOT:

EVERY BREATH SHE TAKES: a video of her resignation, edited to just the gasps for air! HILARIOUS!


Audrey said...

A few additional comments: It is almost impossible to get accurate statistics on the incidence of Down Syndrome birth by age in the US because, currently, the vast VAST majority of Down Syndrome babies are born to younger mothers. Why? Because women over 35 are encouraged to have amniocentesis and a very high percentage of fetuses with Down Syndrome of mothers in that age group are aborted (90% by some reports). This leaves women under 35 (who don't have amnio routinely) giving birth to an even higher percentage of the Down Syndrome babies.

So very few Down Syndrome babies are actually being born to over forties, but what's important for our discussion is rates of conception not live births.

Secondly that figure of 5% of forty year old women conceiving per month was from a fertility website and this was a statistic supposedly applying to women who were "demonstrably fertile" (i.e, who could be proved to be ovulating.) So I certainly could be wrong as I cobbled this together from about thirty different sources (!) but I believe my calculation of conception rate per month for a 43 year old of 1.66% is correct. I took this per month conception rate for fertile women (5% per month) and multiplied it by the fact that 2/3rds of women at 43 are not fertile.

Mary G. said...

A very educational post. I think there is too much emphasis on the age issue. And, even though it doesn't really belong here, I will state one of my pet peeves--it takes two to make a baby! Dad's genetic material and, to a certain extent, lifestyle choices, will have an impact on the baby and the baby's health.

MadcityKaren said...

I've not read the other comments yet, so hopefully I'm not being repetitive.

It's often been my conviction that Trig's Down Syndrome was a "surprise": I find it pretty unlikely that someone as pro-life as GINO would bother with having genetic testing (CVS or amnio) or even the nuchal fold scan (ultrasound) and/or quad-screening (blood test) to check for increased risk of DS. These are tests oftentimes offered to pregnant women of advanced maternal age(AMA; 35 years and older). I guess that I've never understood the point of having any genetic testing done if one definitely would not consider terminating the pregnancy. So, that's one reason that I don't buy that GINO knew in advance that Trig would have DS. (The other reason that I don't buy it is that I don't believe that she was pregnant!)

Now, in the case of a fertile 17 year old, these same tests are not routinely offered as the risk of DS is considerably lower for her age (non-AMA). While it's entirely possible that something could have shown up on an ultrasound that warranted further investigation, it generally is not routine to have any genetic testing done in the non-AMA population. I don't believe that anyone knew that Trig would have DS until he was born.

Chaseman said...

So amazing when the facts are laid out in a clear manner. Keep up the good work, Audrey. I've been following ou since the beginning and I continue to be encouraged by your efforts.

REALLY enjoyed Going Out On a Limb Here!

Morgan said...

Rationalist, if you want to email that to me then you can do so at thetokenhippie@gmail.com

We'll review it and try to get it up on the site.

NakedTruth said...

FUNNY! Maureen Dowd gets it right again.

Sarah's Secret Diary


wayofpeace said...


John Ridley of National Public Radio says she has the potential to be a Republican "kingmaker."

"She was never going to be president of the United States. But who's got all the sway in the Republican Party right now? It's the political pundits; it's the talk show hosts; it's the people who are not responsible to an electorate," he said. "I would not be surprised if around 2011 people are circling around Sarah Palin, saying, 'please, anoint us for the road to the White House.'

"She's never going to be president but possibly a kingmaker."

NakedTruth said...

O.K. This is a long post but worth reading. Maureen Dowd did a really funny post called "Sarah's Secret Diary".

It's right here:


The post is funny but read a comment made by Eva from California. She said:

"Maureen, I would be so grateful if you would use your extraordinary talent and insight to actually interview some of the many women who are fans of Sarah Palin.

(For the record, I am not among her fans.)

But I fear that we are only deepening the divide by mocking her... all the while failing to address the issues faced by the people who actually find meaning in Sarah Palin.

Their issues are quite different from ours. Their educational level is different. Their incomes are different.

Sarah Palin was not just a phenomenon because she is attractive or a has a certain rubbernecking train-wreck appeal.

Sarah Palin was in large part a phenomenon that arose because of the split nature of this country - we whom they call "elites" (about one-third of Americans actually have a college degree, as I understand it) - and the people who feel shunned by said elites and want someone like themselves to have a say in government. (Thusly, George Bush.)

The more we trash Palin instead of respectfully engaging and communicating with her fan base, the more power we give her."

I found this comment interesting because I think Eva has a point. The more we trash Palin about the way she talks or the way she dresses or her and Todd's level of education we empower her fan base to possibly recruit others that just may feel sorry for an attractive female/mother being picked on. What I just really don't get is why so many of these people tend to give her a pass for the lies that she continues to tell. This is why I think exposing the lies associated with Babygate may not help the blind to see but will definitely open the eyes of those that can see but chooses to close their eyes on Sarah's lies.

Anonymous said...

help me out here and this is totally OT: but the amount of press SP has gotten-- the sheer amount of it (every other post on Huffington Post!) is staggering. She's eclipsed the Obama trip to Moscow, the G8, AND Michael Jackson.

Unless there is scandal, won't this have the perverse effect of cementing her as a household name, like the bad kid who sucks all the energy out of a family so that the family focus stays square on him/her?

By that metaphor I mean that she DOES take over the republican party by being omnipresently horrible. It's a "tactic" straight out of a sci-fi novel or James Bond.

Remember your mom at the dinner table saying, "If you'll just ignore your little brother, he'll stop all that," but of course we never did and your little brother is totally a brat today and your parents favorite.

Reassurance, please! Even if it's just you, MOrgan, cracking your whip.

Rogue said...

MadCityKaren - I'm an over 35 mother who opted for the quad test even though I knew I was carrying the child to term no matter what. I wanted to be mentally and emotionally prepared if I was expecting a child with special needs, rather than be surprised at a time when hormones are raging out of control. I chose the blood testing because it had practically zero risk of harming the baby. That's why I always wondered why Palin would even opt for amnio when there were less risky testing methods available.

B said...

Calling arguments moronic is one thing. Calling people who make those arguments "morons" is unnecessarily hostile.

Often the strongest argument you can make against an opponent is to assume her own words are true, even if you know they aren't, and still make your case. Then you've had to argue only the logic and not the facts as well. So Nurse Tompkins did a good deed to lay out how the Wild Ride, as described by Palin herself, showed Palin to be a reckless and dangerous desision-maker.

However, Nurse Tompkins was wrong to disparage those of us arguing that Sarah wasn't pregnant when she said we wanted to believe the worst about Palin. Quite a few of us said repeatedly that we wanted the truth, whether it helped or hurt Palin's political career. In fact, the best way to hurt Palin for President would have been to keep the truth hidden until she was the Republican candidate and did not have time to recover from the revelation that she lied about TriG. That's not what we've done.

It's damning to Palin if either the Wild Ride is true or she lied about being pregnant. It's good to have both sets of arguments out there. But for those of us seeking the truth, rather than just arguing against Palin, Audrey et al. have shown and continue to show the true facts, photos, logic.

B said...

Re: tanning beds and such, this from the Mayo Clinic:

Trisomy 21. More than 90 percent of cases of Down syndrome are caused by trisomy 21. A child with trisomy 21 has three copies of chromosome 21 — instead of the usual two copies — in all of his or her cells. This form of Down syndrome is caused by abnormal cell division during the development of the sperm cell or the egg cell. There are no known behavioral or environmental factors that cause Down syndrome.

Don't the mother's egg cells develop before she herself is born? So Bristol's behavior could not have caused Trisomy 21. The father's sperm is freshly made, however. So couldn't his behavior contribute to this genetic defect, although no connection is known? Also, from this decription, I don't see how having related parents could cause DS, since those abnormalities arise from the combination of egg and sperm with similar weaknesses or defects.

B said...

p.s. - I guess the fact that the chance of DS increases with the mother's age would mean that Trisomy 21 can happen to a previously normal egg as time passes. Otherwise the probability of DS would remain constant as the mother ages. So maybe alcohol, drugs, tanning beds could do it?

NakedTruth said...

Another interesting article:


Headtrip Honey said...


Love your post, as usual.

Could you, however, do a post analyzing the differences between DS and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

This is a persistent piece of "evidence" that is only damaging to the true argument. Much like those who point to the family portraits as "evidence" that Bristol had a bump, those who say that he could have FAS because Bristol who partied a lot are only damaging those of us who argue with the real facts.

midnightcajun said...

Naked Truth makes a very good point: the more we snicker at Sarah's idiocy, the more the idiots of the country rally around her. I don't know what the answer is, because she shouldn't be given a free pass to spout nonsense and treated as if she's making sense.

Sarah knows this is her strength--she appeals to everyone who ever felt marginalized by their provincialism, their lack of intelligence or education, their lack of polish. Someone over at Mudflats pointed out that when she was mayor of Wasilla, the paper complained constantly about her lies, her lack of ethics, her arrogant refusal to follow the law, her constant whining about the press and her enemies smearing her because she wasn't about politics as usual. It's frustrating to realize if someone in the Valley had had the balls to have her indicted for her nonsense back them, we'd now be spared the specter of the GOP imposing on us a W redux.She obviously learned it worked then; she used it as gov of Alaska, and now she's taking her Playbook of Pageant-Style Politics to the lower 48.

Short of a federal indictment or sex tapes on the internet, I think babygate is the only thing that could stop her. The problem is, without a credible inside source, no one will touch this story. Our only hope really is Levi. Surely he realizes he could sell this book he's shopping for ten times as much if he spilled the truth about Trig?

Our function is to have everything documented, linked, and illustrated to serve as a source for the lazy press when and if the story does break.

Kyra said...

From the perspective of a counselor, just a couple of comments that have occurred to me as I read these.

In addition to the chances of a 43-year old woman carrying a pregnancy to term, regardless of the health of the child, there have been some comments about Todd's absences.

I'd like to add that the sex life of a teenager is also quite different than that of a long-married 43-year old whether or not her husband is at home or not. Statistically, frequency for most couples changes significantly depending on 1) length of marriage, 2) number of children in the home, 3) stresses i.e., work, finances, etc. Here's a couple who have been together since their teens. I've heard this is a very private family, but I also see no evidence of affection in any of the hundreds of photos/videos. Even in "posed" political couples, if there is true affection and/or sexual attraction, if there is enough footage or photos available, you see it. You can't hide it from someone who knows what to look for.

Also, statistically, sexually active teens, especially teens who have the tacit permission of their parents, (Levi apparently was allowed access to Bristol's bedroom) are very active.

Just a thought.

Molly said...

I am becoming more and more convinced that the only thing that will make people finally see the light about Sarah Palin is the truth about Trig--that she was not pregnant with him.

Every other thing she does she is given a pass for. I think the one thing that would finally show her to be the hypocrite we all here have concluded she is would be for it to be shown that Trig is not her biological child, and that, even though it might have been compassionate of her to adopt him as her own IF SHE HAD JUST TOLD THE TRUTH, her repeated lies about him and her attempt to use him as her pro-life credentials show her to be a conniving manipulative "public servant" who was willing to continue with that lie to gain access to the White House to further her agenda to make this country into a theocracy of her own "servant's heart" choosing. She does not respect the US Constitution, she does not respect native American populations and their way of life, she does not respect or have any need for African Americans in her administration or as her neighbors (I'm speculating on that latter one), and she does not have respect for the truth. She feels she can justify lying in order to attain what she feels is the greater good, and that is never a proper mode to a moral life. She is a menace to society and her way of doing things must be condemned.

hrh said...

Naked Truth, did you notice the little gem at the bottom of the page of the Double X article? It reads:

Does Sarah Palin Have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

No. But she’s still vindictive, dishonest, and unjustifiably self-righteous.


wv: rantho (I ain't touching that one!)

Molly said...

So, GINO does not have the US Prez race in her immediate future, but she does intend to remain in public service, and GOPers are not sure they want her "help" with their upcoming campaigns. Oh, and a latest tweet says to follow your conscience and take risks and blah blah.

So, at this moment, I'm thinking either a) she'll take some kinda job in the pro-life movement (but that's not being a public servant, I don't think), or b) she's hoping for a groundswell movement among the uber-bible whackers to have her run for Prez, but why she'd want to be Prez of a foreign country I'm not sure, or c) she will run for head of the AIP, and declare herself President of Alaska, since that would be "in the best interest of Alaska".

When she talks about Alaska, it's as if she is talking about it as a separate country anyway, and she thinks the "feds" are terribly presumptuous in trying to send money their way ('cause, the US, being a foreign country, might make AK beholden to them), and really, she'd like just to be able to ignore the native peoples and their problems and instead rape the land of it's natural resources, which, as you know, "God" has put in AK for them (the white people, of course) and AK doesn't need no stinkin' foreign country with a foreign president (Obama) telling them what to do about ANYthing. AK can decide everything for themselves, since they are a sovereign nation. Is tht about right Sarah?

Filled out the wrong box on the application my eyebrows!!

NakedTruth said...


"Playbook of Pageant-Style Politics"

I love it!!! I must borrow this from you and use it again.

wayofpeace said...

sarah's answering machine messages.


bike said...

I agree with Kyra: I do not/have not see/seen any affection between Sarah and Todd and not much between the children for that fact. Dragging them around doesn't count.

On the other hand, the Obamas seems to have genuine affection for each other.

vw= hunce as in i got a hunch

sg said...

Molly said:

"GOPers are not sure they want her "help" with their upcoming campaigns."

I'm not so sure about that. See Politico's new article:

"Republican insiders see value in Sarah Palin's move"


Someone must have given Sen. Murkowski a "talking to," as she is now backpedaling from her initial negative comment:

Politico reports:

"On Tuesday, Murkowski said Palin "absolutely" could be a viable 2012 candidate, could effectively stump for 2010 GOP candidates and has an "incredible ability to galvanize people, to motivate people, to inspire people." Murkowski said an "awful lot of people" think Palin could do more to raise her national profile by leaving Alaska -- and Murkowski said her initial sour reaction was based on how Palin's resignation could affect the state and on the fact that she was speaking from a satellite phone and could not go into detail."


Given how much SP loves the roar of the crowd, I think that next summer for her will be like a rock band on a reunion tour. SP will run around the country (er, "lower 48") stumping for local GOPers, singing all of her old hits to huge crowds: "Drill, Baby, Drill!," "Pitbulls on Parade," "He's Pallin' Around with Terrorists," "All the Mavericks in the House: Put Your Hands Up!" and "Dazed and Confused" (OK, I doubt SP will sing that last one. But one can hope!). Gretchen Wilson will join SP to sing "Redneck Woman," with the Palin girls forming a special "Hell, yeah!" chorus.

GVS will travel along with the band and do "behind the scenes" stories that will air nightly on Fox "News." However, the "Morning Joe" crowd on MSNBC will complain that they're not getting good enough access to the band members, and were given lousy seats at the concerts. The MJ frat boys will admit, though, that SP is still lookin' fine. To which Mika will respond with an icy stare.

I know it sounds like a nightmare. But it's not that far-fetched!

Elizabeth said...

Today's NY Times re: pizza. It has "a Palin-esque power to polarize." Thought you'd like the phrase!

Rationalist said...

Check it out:


Starts at #76 - if anyone can find #s 1-75, please tell me where they are!

WV: otodicat - The next ethics scandal, due to wearing apparel bearing the logo of Todd's new snow machine venture...

Lori said...

Palin lied in part of her resignation speech....


Bretta said...

I read and understood a version of this analysis when news about TriG came out at his birth.

It was my contention then, based on the web pages produced by Sadie Johnston, and Track's anger at his sister's extracurricular activities, that Bristol was very much 'into' drugs and/or alcohol abuse at the time she *may* have become pregnant with TriG (if she is a contender for being his mother).

I believe when you factor drug/alcohol use into a teenager's pregnancy potential, the chances of a chromosomally challenged fetus skyrocket.

Even a male who abuses drugs or alcohol can damage sperm NINE weeks prior to ejaculation (or fertilization) to cause a damaged fetus.

I have been on this soapbox for at least 20 years: that 80 percent of mental retardation in the USA is 100 percent preventable BECAUSE it is caused by drug and/or alcohol abuse.

**That means only 20 percent of mentally-damaged fetuses are from natural effects.**

If you factor the 20 percent with the age of SP, there is even less chance she was the birth mother, presuming she did not use drugs.

Now, I'm not sure she doesn't use a methamphetamine, based on the last few TV appearances (jaw-grinding, rushed speech, etc.)

However, I am still positive SP did not birth TriG.

Joe Christmas said...

Anybody notice that Maureen Dowd referenced Spalin's Narcissistic Personality Disorder in her July 5th Op-Ed piece? As I diagnosed her back in October, being a physician and having a mother w/ NPD. I also stated she would put her moose crap encrusted foot in her mouth, she is unreeling. David Lettermen looks like he'll finish her off.

Anonymous said...

any stats on men over 40 and their sperm?

midnightcajun said...

OT, but I'm wondering at the timing of something that most people probably haven't noticed. The Daily Beast just reported that Palin got $4 million for her book deal. Yesterday I heard from one of NY contacts that she actually didn't get more than $3.5. Since advances are frequently inflated, I suspect the truth is closer to the $3-3.5 range (she has an expensive agent; he'll take 15-20% of that). HC managed to keep the amount quiet for months, but now it's out. Why? Probably because they just cut the first check (for 1/3 of the amount).

Now, I know when her book deal was first announced a few months ago, people assumed she got the money right away. I said no, it doesn't work that way, the contracts won't even be signed yet. Several people posted to say I didn't know what I was talking about--the news articles said she "signed" an agreement--so I let it slide. But let me say it again: agents post deals in the Pub Lunch (I saw it there at the time myself) when a verbal agreement is reached; they don't wait for the contracts to be generated. After the initial agreement, the contracts department draws up the contracts. There is some back and forthing over details before they're ready to be signed, and then word is sent to cut a check. This takes time, even if you're dealing with a seven figure advance. I know. i have writer friends who sign seven figure contracts. Even when they're just renewing a contract it still takes months. HC is one of the worst.

So why is this significant? Sarah Palin loves money. Imagine a girl from Wasilla suddenly having a check for a million dollars land in her mailbox, with the promise of more. Now, what if that check lands in her mailbox at exactly the same time that something happens that makes her royally pissed off at Alaska? I can see Sarah thinking, I don't need this governor BS any more and quitting in a pique to go off and make more money and run for POTUS,

It could all be a coincidence, of course. But I doubt it. I think getting her hands on that money gave her the cojones to make her little leap of faith.

The funny thing is that, depending on how the contract is worded, if she does get hit by an iceberg, she could lose her book contract.

James said...

I'm looking into my crystal ball....

I see a cute, young, brown-haired guy in NYC with a juicy book deal. He wasn't too happy before, but I see him with a huge smile on his face now.

And I also see that as soon as the book contract ink is dry, the first "detail" about the book that will leak out, is that Sarah Palin did NOT give birth to Trig.

I really think this is the massive shoe that's about to drop. And when it does, I will pop my champagne bottle for Audrey, Morgan, and EVERYONE here who believed in the truth and didn't give up in seeking it out!


herkimer said...

@ Rationalist:

The article is divided as indicated next:

Part 1: 100 Reasons We’ll Miss Sarah Palin
Part 2: 100 Reasons Sarah Palin Should Leave Politics
Part 3: 100 Reasons Why Palin is the Queen of Idiocracy
Part 4: 100 Reasons Why Sarah Palin Quit

Click on the link at the bottom of each section). It appears from a cursory look that each of the 4 parts contains 25 "...Reasons...", for a total of 100.


Jeanette said...

this is an interesting find since it provides the documentation of how Sarah is arriving at the “millions” figure and you can download it. It is short on detail but interesting anyway in that it makes it clear this is not all ethics issues. They even added in “responding to media”. The Dept of Law is fairly detailed but the Governor’s office just lists a fairly substantial amount without any justification (now isn’t that a surprise). I bet someone’s head will roll for releasing it. One quote is particularly interesting as well:

“In response to our questions, the Governor’s office provided us with a detailed breakdown of the millions Palin has claimed has gone to defending against ethics complaints. It does list roughly $1.9 million in expenditures.

But Murrow, the spokesperson, acknowledged to our reporter, Amanda Erickson, that this total was arrived at by adding up attorney hours spent on fending off complaints — based on the fixed salaries of lawyers in the governor’s office and the Department of Law. The money would have gone to the lawyers no matter what they were doing. The complaints are “just distracting them from other duties,” Murrow said.”

It is too bad the MSM isn’t doing reporting like this rather than running out to have meaningless interviews with Sarah fishing when she told them she would give them 10 minutes. They were really her pawns in that one and simply looked foolish. And most of the reporters let the anchors congratulate them for their “chasing” Sarah down.

Here is Lori’s link. http://tinyurl.com/ntmkkf

wayofpeace said...

Key reason Palin gave for quitting may be false... Developing... a RAW STORY headline.

wayofpeace said...

i found this interesting comment:


Sarah Palin believes it’s no big deal that she quit in the middle of her first term. Happens all the time, right? As it turns out—no.

On a hunch, I reviewed online lists of all the men and women who’ve been elected governor of their state since 1900.

Pored over them for a few hours. Over 1200 politicians have taken that first-term oath of office. Some soon died in office.

Many resigned to accept other positions in government, including Spiro Agnew who was “tapped” by Nixon after being the Governor of Maryland for about five minutes.

On a handful of occasions, a first-termer was dragged off to the slammer or impeached. One was incapacitated by a nervous breakdown and one left just as impeachment came knocking on his door.

So—how many out of over 1200 just up and quit before the end of their term?

Three: Jim McGreevy, Eliot Spitzer and Sarah Palin.

Can anyone say “other shoe?”

Anonymous said...

RE: the resignation

One headline I read said, "Palin First Post-Modernist Politician?" I didn't read the article but I knew what it meant.

Think of the new, young work force. I saw it when I taught school. I hear it from my chef husband about his kitchen. The "post-modern" workforce is very different from the boomers: time is irrelevant, days off are taken freely, technique and skill are scoffed at ("So what if I don't know what a sentence is? Nobody cares anymore."), and my husband says that young kitchen staff think they know everything the minute they walk in the door.
He's hired people who last a day.

Sarah Palin, I'm sad to say, may represent the future. While a true elite will be able to read and write and think-- the average American will not be able to before long. I saw it as a teacher. Probably 75% of my high school students couldn't read past 5th grade level.

In her world, as Michael Carey said on Terry Gross's Fresh Air (NPR) a few days ago, any decision made is a decision in Sarah's favor. And any criticism of Sarah victimizes her.

This is what I saw as a high school teacher in CA. This is what my husband sees in the work force. And this is why uneducated people can identify with her. She's achieved so much with so little.

Which is the new American Dream.

wayofpeace said...

a thought just came to me:

what IF in the upper echelons of the GOP, they came to the realization that SP was toxic to their already catatonic party.

they've come to see that they got disasters of their own making on 2 fronts:

they have cultivated for the last 30 years or so the most ignorant political base in the history of the nation. AND they've groomed and brought to the forefront a 'politician' who is as ignorant as the base is and that IT adores loopy SARAH.

so what is a dying party to do in order to undo what will definitely cost them 2012 if she is a candidate for the primaries: she could win several of them in the redest of states.

so what is the party to do, if they also KNOW that a certain rumor is true and they have the proof? the first thing they'd do is make a friendly call and suggest she gets the hell out of politics.

it's curious that her resignation came JUST as 2 of their shinning stars flamed out: ENSIGN and SANDERS, who may have been the GOP's firewall to SARAH!

i have not thought this all the way thru but i thought i would get it out before i go to work...

wayofpeace said...

ALEX, you just scared the HELL out of me because what you said is so TRUE! WOW and YIKES!

Anonymous said...

wayofpeace - Thanks so much for researching the quitting governors - fascinating - great company SP is in!

midnightcajun - I also would bet that first check hit her account - she was fed up w/ Gov job, she had a great time on her NY trip, great poll numbers - the big check gave her the freedom to fly off on her "higher calling".

Anonymous said...


I prefer to think you're right. But I'm afraid I am.

I quit teaching 4 mo. into my third year. Quit. Like Sarah. I couldn't do it anymore. I had an escape route: my new husband said he'd happily support my freelance writing career.

AND I admit, I quit defiantly. It was exciting to tell the students I was leaving. HA HA, you think you run things. Well I'm outta here. Suddenly the kids got nice. My last week of teaching was the best.

I tell that story because I'm afraid our iceberg may be wishful thinking. And in many things, SP reminds me of myself. I'm grandiose, narcissistic, and often play the victim.

However, I know my childhood created the person I am-- and I know where my neuroses come from.

Long-winded way to say: THANK GOD for AUDREY and the bloggers! If justice is served, it will be due to Citizen Journalism, forcing the systems of justice to work.

mlewis said...

My favorite article this morning is in the Huffington Post, written by Sam Stein. "Pullin' a Palin" is now in the Urban Dictionary, with the first definition: "Quitting when the going gets tough, abandoning the responsibility entrusted to you by your neighbors for book advances and to make money on the lecture circuit."

He concludes by telling us: "This type of small-bore snark is good fodder for the partisans. For the sober-minded Palin supporters, the worry has to be that the soon-to-be-former governor will be permanently defined as the butt of the political joke."

In addition to Letterman, now Conan is making jokes about Sarah. Did she really think that if she quit it would all go away? Frankly, she confirms our worst suspicions: How could anyone think that they could pull off a Pregnancy Deception? I don't think that she is capable of giving anything serious consideration before acting.

Quiet1 said...

Alex, for a long time, we've had dull and incurious leaders. We've definitely gone through a period of dumbing down in America. I think one of the truly exciting things about our current President (and the people he chooses to aide him) is that he IS educated, articulate, and curious. He has been an outspoken advocate of the importance of education--even learning a second language! It's definitely going to be a long haul, but finally we have something to actually aspire to! Sure, there are always going to be dim wits out there, and it's going to take a long time to get our educational system back on track, but given the chance, I honestly can't believe that the majority of Americans prefer to live their live as a mindless dolt.

Amy1 said...

SUCH GREAT POSTS here this morning!

Bretta: Yes, I too think the effects of substance abuse have been neglected in thinking about Trig's birth circumstances. Not that it caused the DS, but as part of the reason the hoax idea was so compelling to SP. Part of the big secret she is hiding.

WoP: good to know this fact you spent the time to research.

MidnightCajun: I stand corrected on my earlier guesstimate of double that amount for the book deal, and I can see you must be right about the v interesting timing of the check arriving in the mailbox. ANd I wonder and chuckle about the effect of a Levi book spilling the most interesting of the beans -- I wonder if anyone thought to put a clause in SP's contract that SP better hurry and tell all before someone else does. I do notice that almost every article I see on the book deal neglects to mention that Zondervan the bible publisher is part of this deal, so no matter what SP puts out, it is almost guaranteed big sales (if only as a result of purchase and give-away by deep-pockets Zondervan).

And Alex and others who still see SP as a threat: I do too.
I use Hitler as my model. What a jerky little nobody, no education, many repulsive personal, ethical characterisics -- but a big crowd-pleaser, charismatic wihout a doubt. In the service of all that is bad in us humanoid beans. And I just see SP as the same. Still lots of potential to succeed and destroy a lot. Like a v bad virus -- you confidently think you got it, and BOOM, it's back even bigger and now not controllable.

And yes, Quiet1: Yes to Obama and his wonderful package of skills and abilities and moral compass. YES. (And think of the alternative we almost got. Think Palin/Bachman in 2012 for a heart attack.)

So, yes, we must keep at it. This AM, especially, I am just really grateful for this team of bloggers here, created by you, Audrey. And I send my thanks to you all.

Paula said...

try not to vomit.


wayofpeace said...

ALEX, i agree that you're correct.

this video validates your argument. watch this and imagine discontent and despair reaching tipping-point proportions due to the economy not improving by 2012....


Punkinbugg said...


Michael Carey of the ADN is THE GUY at the RNC who *almost* got to spill the beans about the faked pregnancy.

He was being interviewed by PBS, and the reporter was either not listening or "didn't want to go there", but he didn't ask the all-important follow-up questions.

Link to video:


wayofpeace said...


i teach at a state university at the graduate and undergraduate levels: so i see them coming and going.

in a recent project, where i asked them to read and be inspired by americans writers; the majority did not know of WHITMAN nor EMERSON, and not even KEROUAC.

so, we must do a lot of remedial work. the GOOD news is that once they are introduced to substantive / compelling ideas, they act like they've been starving for years.

so, i do see hope that while their creativity and intelligence has been dulled and underdeveopped, it has not been damaged permanently.

but there's no doubt that this generation--often referred to as THE MILLENIALS or the INDIGO CHILDREN (i have 2 of them, 21 and 24)--are like a different human species. google the term and you can see what they are about. a sense of ENTITLEMENT is one of the primary characteristics.

Susan said...

I'm surprised to see Sally Quinn (of Ben Bradlee and WaPo fame) weigh in so heavily about Palin's irresponsibility. This makes for a good read.


mlewis said...

@Midnightcajun: You seem to have independent information as to the amount of Sarah's advance. I heard by the (reliable) MSM that Dick Cheney was offered $2 million for his book. Does Sarah beat Dick? Is she really going to be hot much longer? Whatever she puts in the book will be at odds with the truth. And the truth is bound to come out eventually. (I'm hoping. Then, the book won't be worth that much.

The other part of the question is the check. Can she receive payment in any form while still governor? I thought that was another no no. But, if the check is in the mail (and she doesn't open it, ha ha), could that be an underlying reason? Better a million in the bank, while she lounges around all day telling her side of the story to the writer, with a few paid speaking engagements on the side.

I recall reading one (of a whole lot of unsubstantiated opinions) that she had done something so unethical that even her own board said they couldn't let it go. She'd be allowed to keep the money in question (it might have involved taking unauthorized money from her PAC) and she could walk away, just resign, no harm no foul. If we have to just make a wild guess, I am torn between "take the money and run" and "IRS is breathing down her back."

mel said...

Susan said: *I'm surprised to see Sally Quinn (of Ben Bradlee and WaPo fame) weigh in so heavily about Palin's irresponsibility. This makes for a good read.


I encourage everyone to go to the WaPo to comment on Sally Quinn's article. In the course of laying out SP's hypocricy, Quinn recounts the wild ride story and extends the lie of Trig's parentage. Please tell her what we believe and know.

wayofpeace said...


Stormy wants pow-wow with Palin
By Nathan Stubbs

Porn star Stormy Daniels, the “pro-condom” potential U.S. Senate candidate currently on a listening tour across Louisiana, says she’d love to sit down and pick the brain of former Alaska Gov. and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin before launching a campaign. From Politico:

"As a woman who is often criticized and dismissed by the media, I obviously can relate to Governor Palin on many levels,” Daniels said in a statement. “Given this, I am very interested to hear what she has to say about the challenges women like ourselves who are not afraid to display our sexuality face when it comes to being taken seriously as leaders.”

Stormy, who plans to make an official decision regarding her campaign at the end of the summer, added that she hopes to get a meeting set up with Palin sometime in August.

“Only through the exercise of personal responsibility can we prevent government from impinging on our rights and intruding in our lives,” Daniels said. “I am looking forward to taking the opportunity to discuss with Governor Palin --as one strong woman to another -- how we can best restore responsibility to our families and to our nation.

Suprisingly, no word yet on the meeting from Palin’s camp.

Duncan said...

How appropriate...

My WV is, liers.

midnightcajun said...

mlewis, my source was shocked when she heard the figure, since she's the one who'd earlier told me that a million, a million and a half max is all that would make sense and even that would never earn out. That's why I suspect it's an underhanded campaign contribution from old Rupert.

She got a ruling that she could get paid for the book while governor, so I've no doubt she's already cashed the check. My hope is that if enough dirt comes out soon they'll drop her. So go, Levi, go!

NY tabloid chick said...

I found this old Psychology Today article while googling around today:


Definitely worth a read!

Also too, while I don't believe that a check alone would get SP to quit, I think the combo plan of Levi "goin' rogue" with all of the investigations and something up with WP and BP (very noticeably not standing by Princess Crazytalk at her presser) AND a check is what made her snap.

The amount being floated right now is higher than I'd been hearing, so my guess is that the extra is from Uncle Rupert and perhaps the Christian publishers.

Anyone else weirded out by hearing her verbal snap at Andrea Mitchell? "You're not listening to me..." and zero followup from the MSM.

I'm soooo looking forward to a big Naughty Monkey shoe dropping soon....

onething said...

Way of Peace,

You have written a couple of excellent posts! What fun I had googling Eliot Spitzer and Jim McGreevy!

I, too, have had the thought that surely those in the Republican party who are in a position of some power and who have some brains are aghast at the prospect of Sarah, and might take her out of the running.

Of course, I'm one who never thought she had much chance at a win, but she could divide the party in the primaries and weaken what chance they do have.

I'm afraid Sarah's going to try something different and new, like being the national prophet or something.

Bretta: I don't think any research has linked drug or alcohol use to Trisomy 21.

wayofpeace said...

SALLY QUINN's wise words that SARAH would never heed:

She could have stood up in front of her family and said one thing that everyone would have understood and everyone would have applauded. It would be the greatest cliché of all time and for once it could have been true.

She could have said, simply, "I'm leaving so that I can spend more time with my family." And she could have elaborated. She could have said that from now on she would use her immense celebrity, her power, her charisma, her popularity among a huge base of Christian conservatives to educate people and advocate for children with special needs.

It might seem exploitative of Trig to some who are so cynical about her that they believe everything she does is for self-aggrandizement. So what? But if she really did it she could change the our culture and the way our world views those with disabilities. She would not only be helping millions of people around the world, but her own child as well.

Leaving her job because it's better for "the state" or to pursue her interest in energy or national security is laughable.

Sarah Palin should live up to her self-proclaimed Christian "family values" and do what she says is the moral thing to do: put her family first and help those who cannot help themselves.

peony said...

Audrey and everyone,

I've been following this blog since the beginning, but never felt the need to add my two cents... until now. I tried to add this earlier, but my log-in wasn't confirmed, so it got lost... Now I see the point made (incompletely) in another blog. Oh well.

The "QUOTE" by Palin of what MacArthur supposedly said (meanwhile making an analogy between herself and a general of vague fame) was actually stated by General Oliver P. Smith who led the Chosin Reservoir campaign in Korea in 1950. My father was there, driving a tank, and trying not to get frostbite. If he hadn't made it out, under General Smith's leadership, I would not be here.

What General O.P. Smith actually said was "Retreat, Hell! We are just ATTACKING in a different direction." not "advancing."

The Marines give the General Oliver P. Smith Award annually for brillant military leadership, for he was a brilliant leader, while MacArthur was an asinine primadonna who surrounded himself with yes-men. He got all kinds of intelligence information that the Chinese was there in huge force, and he ignored it. He got American forces into a deadly quagmire, and was too much of an egotist to listen to anyone else.

Just for the record...

Also, wikiknowlege on this is sub-par. Palin ought to read a book.

cf : http://www.3rdmarines.net/Marine_Quotes.htm

wayofpeace said...


There are other Palin books coming out within the year, but of all of them, perhaps the one she fears the most is the campaign tell-all by self-proclaimed McCain adviser Martin Eisenstadt.

Titled I Am Martin Eisesenstadt: One Man's Wildly Inappropriate Adventures with the Last Republicans, the book is due for release at the end of this October through publisher Farrar, Straus, Giroux.

You'll recall that Eisenstadt is the controversial pundit who claimed to be the source for the FoxNews story that Sarah Palin didn't know Africa was a continent.

Kyra said...

NY Tabloid Chick: Interesting article, but Lowen is really old school and while interesting, the fact that the article's author is using diagnoses not used in years is a little suspect. A personality disorder? Definitely! More likely histrionic/narcissistic which falls within the antisocial cluster so probably some of that as well. But, I'd hesitate to say for sure unless I could sit down with her which believe me, I would totally love to have the opportunity to do a diagnostic eval!

Amy1 said...

Mel, I'm sure you know that Sally Quinn has a special needs child, and she has taken a great deal of time away from a career she might easily have had to tend to his needs. I would bet anything that she knows all about PalinHoax (in nano-tiny part because I sent her an email about it, with my tired old graphic, way back; no response).

With all Sally Quinn's smarts, her special access to all news stuff; her special perspective as a Mom familiar with learning disabilities, and as a non-fan of SP, my bet is that she is laying the groundwork for the next column, the "but wait! . . ." column.

Amy1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wayofpeace said...

Levi Johnston talks about Gov. Palin's resignation

Associated Press -
July 9, 2009 9:23 PM ET

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The former fiance of Gov. Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter says he believes he knows why the Alaska governor is resigning - concerns over money.

Nineteen-year-old Levi Johnston, whose wedding to Bristol Palin was called off earlier this year, says he thinks the governor is resigning over personal finances.

Johnston says he lived with the Palin family from early December to the second week in January. He claims he heard the governor several times say how nice it would be to take advantage of the lucrative deals that were being offered, deals that included a reality show and a book.

Johnston made his comments at a news conference Thursday at his lawyer's office.

trev said...

I hope I'm not off topic but Levi is talking now and says Sarah resigned because of money:

Johnston says he lived with the Palin family from early December to the second week in January. He claims he heard the governor several times say how nice it would be to take advantage of the lucrative deals that were being offered, including a reality show and a book.

"I think the big deal was the book. That was millions of dollars," said Johnston, who has had a strained relationship with the family but now says things have improved.

How could Levi overhear anything when he didn't live there? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


mlewis said...

I thought that Sally Quinn just nailed it! I'm hoping that more MSM will cover Sarah critically and honestly. She has already been called to task by the Anchorage Daily News when the reasons she gave for leaving office (saving Alaska all that money) turned out to be untrue.

Geoffrey Dunn is another author with a book coming out about Sarah Palin in 2010. He will be looking at her role in American politics, to be published by Macmillan/St.Martin's. He posts regularly at Huffington. He wrote a keen analysis on Sarah's Resignation.

sg said...

That Sally Quinn article must have touched a raw nerve: GVS dedicated a whole segment on her show Thursday night trying to rebut it.

sg said...

Way of Peace:

Martin Eisenstadt is a proven hoax.


Here's his "blog:"


Google "Martin Eisenstadt" "hoax" for more links.

It was revealed last fall sometime. I'm surprised HuffPo fell for the hoax again this late in the game. Doesn't speak well for their research team.

When I viewed his web site last fall, one tell was ME's association with some fictional "Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy":


Knowing that Warren Harding's administration was one of the most corrupt and inconsequential since the Civil War, I had a good chuckle out of that.

I've got to hand it to the guy, it's a very, very clever ruse.

That having been said, ME videos are quite entertaining. If you can find them on youtube, I'd definitely recommend viewing them.

wayofpeace said...

thanks, SG!

excerpts from a great article:

Palin: How she gained control and then lost it
Donald Craig Mitchell

An Australian friend of mine has theorized that Sarah's odd behavior suggests that she has been afflicted since childhood with Reactive Attachment Disorder, a rare psychological condition that is described in volume four of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders. Many of the symptoms do seem to fit: superficially engaging and charming, lacks cause and effect thinking, inappropriately demanding, engages in lying, lacks a conscience, has poor impulse control, has abnormal speech patterns, etc. But I am not a psychiatrist. So I don't know if that's Sarah's problem.


Sarah Palin's celebrity no longer is dependent on her status as Governor. And second, because from the moment she was sworn into office Sarah has demonstrated over and over and over and over again that she has no idea what she's doing. And when she's in over her head, Sarah's instinct is to find a face-saving way to make her way to the nearest door marked "Exit."


B said...

"Johnston says he lived with the Palin family from early December to the second week in January."

By the official birthdate, that means he stayed until TriPP was two weeks old.

If Levi is telling the truth then I'm wrong that TriPP was really born in late January. But he could be just sticking to Palin's script. Or TriPP could have been born mid-Jan. and then Sarah finally let Levi go home, since he could no longer give away that TriPP had not been born yet.

btw, Willow turned 15 Tuesday. Maybe her birthday gift is that she no longer has to appear in photo ops to have people comment on her body or clothing or sex life or Letterman's joke (about Bristol). Maybe she gets to be a normal teen for a while. I hope.

Amy1 said...

Ooops, I gave the wrong link, so am reposting this (and have pulled the previous one):

Just to show how much work we have yet to do, can you believe that this key video -- "Michael Carey (ADN columnist) about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy with Trig" -- shows only 2754 hits!

Start at 2:30, where he says outright that a v smart laywer told him it was a fake pregnancy.

Truthseeker2 said...

Here is a good piece from Salon that minces no words about holding McCain and company accountable for inflicting Sarah Palin on the nation: http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2009/07/10/palin/

These guys were practically criminal in their negligence, and the only reason that their knowledge of babygate and other matters has not been made public is that they are covering their rears so people won't know how negligent they were. So much for putting country before self.

Kyra said...


"Many of the symptoms do seem to fit: superficially engaging and charming, lacks cause and effect thinking, inappropriately demanding, engages in lying, lacks a conscience, has poor impulse control, has abnormal speech patterns, etc. But I am not a psychiatrist. So I don't know if that's Sarah's problem."

Just wanted to correct the record, as I've noted here and on other blogs my opinion of SP's mental state or at least the beginning of a differential diagnosis.

After your posting your friend's comment, I went back and double checked my memory of the DSM-IV, and the section on Reactive Attachment Disorder lists none of the symptoms your friend provides under that category.

Reactive Attachment Disorder is uncommon (although, unfortunately, it was very common in the Romanian orphanages under Communism as many American families found to their dismay after adopting these infants). However, it is related to "Grossly pathogenic care" in infancy. "Nevertheless, no direct link between Reactive Attachment Disorder and 'affectionless psychopathy' has been established." [quotes from the DSM-IV] And yes, I am qualified to make a diagnosis from the DSM-IV although I am only stating my opinion based on what I see and read, just as everyone else is. I'm just as likely to be wrong as only an in-person evaluation can really provide an accurate diagnosis.

I will however, continue to comment, as I have, that SP definitely has a personality disorder, likely within the cluster consisting of antisocial/histrionic/narcissistic/borderline, most likely with histrionic the dominant feature, and I will also state, that personality disorders are created.

With the hundreds of hours of video, speeches, and hundreds of photos, there is sufficient evidence to have concern for her children and concern for our nation should she ever actually reach the presidency.

midnightcajun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wayofpeace said...

thanks for clearing that out and your insights, KYRA.

here are some excerpts from PEGGY NOONAN's column:

In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them.

She couldn't say what she read because she didn't read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity.

She experienced criticism as both partisan and cruel because she could see no truth in any of it. She wasn't thoughtful enough to know she wasn't thoughtful enough.

Her presentation up to the end has been scattered, illogical, manipulative and self-referential to the point of self-reverence. "I'm not wired that way," "I'm not a quitter," "I'm standing up for our values." I'm, I'm, I'm.

In another age it might not have been terrible, but here and now it was actually rather horrifying.

McCain-Palin lost. Mrs. Palin has now stepped down, but she continues to poll high among some members of the Republican base, some of whom have taken to telling themselves Palin myths.

The elites made her. It was the elites of the party, the McCain campaign and the conservative media that picked her and pushed her. The base barely knew who she was. It was the elites, from party operatives to public intellectuals, who advanced her and attacked those who said she lacked heft. She is a complete elite confection. She might as well have been a bonbon.

.... She makes the party look stupid, a party of the easily manipulated.

... What the mainstream media wants is not to kill her but to keep her story going forever.

She hurts, as they say, the Republican brand, with her mess and her rhetorical jabberwocky and her careless causing of division.

Really, she is the most careless sower of discord since George W. Bush, who fractured the party and the movement that made him. Why wouldn't the media want to keep that going?

Tina in CA said...


Comments from Levi on why Sarah resigned.

JJ said...

National Enquirer....

Kyra said...

I don't have much use for Peggy Noonan but I love her (and other right-wingers) occasional articles re SP. I'm glad you included the "self-referential" comment. I write a lot of assessment reports usually read/used by laypersons. When I include that term, they usually skim right on by, not understanding that it is my signal to the professionals who will see it that this is an individual they need to really pay attention to (at least in the population that we are dealing with). In my clients, it would include persons with schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, etc. It is not something you want a mental health professional to use when referring to you in a mental health report.

B said...

So the National Enquirer says Levi's book caused Sarah to resign.

wayofpeace said...

LOL the PEE ZOO is going nuts over the PEGGY NOONAN column:

... for an intellectual superstar like Noonan, these rules don't apply. Which means she doesn't actually have to know the governor, let alone speak to her, before making statements like 'Palin doesn't read anything' and seems 'proud of it'.

The fact that Palin describes herself as a 'voracious reader' would perhaps suggest otherwise, but hey: facts are for suckers, right? Noonan is an Olympian, she doesn't need facts to tell her that Palin is 'bad for the republic'.


V. said...

OT but for those of you familiar with C4P and would like to give a public account of their actions, you might want to comment over on US News & World Report. There's an article talking it up as if it's a fair and balanced Palin info site. I couldn't stand reading about how they allow open chat about Palin issues. If you're interested, head over to: http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/washington-whispers/2009/07/09/full-service-palin-site-conservatives4palincom/comments/

Sorry for being OT but this one really bothered me.

Dangerous said...

Regarding NE's story about Levi's forthcoming "tell-all" books, there's little doubt that Levi Johnston is in a position to know lots of things about the Palins, including the truth about Trig.

It could be that he held out telling the truth waiting for a big payday in this way, and that's why he hasn't said anything regarding Trig. There is a consistency of motive in that regard, however unscrupulous those motives may be.

But that can be the only explanation of why he never said anything about Trig earlier. If he's going to trash SP and the Palins -- G-d knows they have it coming -- there would be no further reason for him to hold back from claiming Trig as his and Bristol son, if true. Therefore, if you are all disappointed -- as I suspect you will be -- when his book comes out and there's nothing to contradict the Palin story re: Trig, then you'll have to conclude he's not Trig's father and either doesn't know the truth about Trig or has motivations beyond money to keep it secret.

Rationalist said...

You're right, Dangerous. Levi's book is kind of the clincher for this whole thing, one way or another. Unless, somehow, he doesn't talk about Trig at all.

Punkinbugg said...

Just read the Noonan article. I agree with a lot of what she says, especially the dumbing-down of her party.

However Noonan says, "Ten months ago she was embraced with friendliness by her party. The left and the media immediately overplayed their hand, with attacks on her children"

Attacks on her children?

SARAH PALIN is the one who threw Bristol under the bus, to mathematically prove that she was TriG's mother.

Except that it didn't because Bristol didn't produce that child (for photography) until January.

Truthseeker2 said...

I'll weigh in with my 2 cents worth about Levi. I was pretty interested to read that he held a press conference at Rex Butler's office for ADN, the NY Times and the AP. I would be very surprised if the only subject of that semi-exclusive news conference in his attorney's office was Levi's opinion that Sarah was resigning so she could take the money. Maybe I'm projecting my own wishful thinking, but it may just be possible that there was an embargoed portion of this meeting that covered other topics, not to be publicized until he gives the word.

As to why Levi didn't spill the beans earlier -- he was clearly in an awkward position at first -- father of a DS baby, no job, etc. -- and he was in love with Bristol, so probably wanted to have the relationship with the Palins be positive, for his son's sake and his own. Then he got caught off-guard by the RNC gig and campaign, which he said was surreal. Even after the election, he thought he and Bristol could make a go of it, and I'm sure he wanted the best for his boys.

But then Sarah's truly nasty nature got the best of the situation as she characterized Levi and his family as trash. I think more than any other single act on Sarah's part, her particular nastiness toward Levi is most telling of her true character -- making an enemy of the father of her own grandchildren, instead of trying to maintain a positive relationship. I'm sure Levi felt that the kids were vulnerable, but perhaps Rex has helped him better understand how he can assert his own rights as their father. So that gives him more freedom to tell what he knows. And, of course, he needs the money.

Windy City Woman said...

If Sarah resigned because she is afraid of what is going to come out in Levi's book, why resign now? When is the book coming out? Or did she want to resign now, so she can hurry up and score deals of her own, before Levi's book makes her unsellable?

jwoolman said...

If you check the oddly carefully worded statement by Palin's physician released the night before the election, she specifically mentions Trisomy 21, so there is confirmation of sorts.

Comparing Palin quitting with other governors might be less significant than comparison with other mayors of small cities (or big towns). Indianapolis (definitely not a big city, more like a big town) has more people than Alaska, just not spread out so much. Likewise when talking about any legislative platforms etc. she may or may not have had -- Alaska just isn't in the same league as even the big cities in the lower 48.

Since someone mentioned the problem of Reactive Attachment Disorder in Romanian orphanages "under Communism", I feel compelled in pursuit of accuracy to point out that this was more precisely "under Ceausescu" - a strange fellow who outlawed abortion AND birth control for women unless they had 5 children before the age of 45. Women who were not producing the required number of children were actually suspect and monitored... This certainly had nothing to do with "Communism", but one weird dictator and (as always) too many people who went along with the weirdie for cultural and historical religious reasons. This promoted abandonment of children in orphanages when times were tough, and the orphanages were (and still are) awful.

The same problems with orphanages have been rampant in cultures in that area of the world for a long time (not that they don't happen elsewhere and in other times, we have our own horror shows in our history). I'm most familiar with Russia, which in general has never dealt kindly with orphans or the disabled with or without Communism. They still have many such problems today, as they did long before the Revolution (like many Americans, the Russians have always enjoyed the sport of blaming the government for everything, but that doesn't mean we have to believe them...). In the case of Russia, I know that alcoholism is a major factor in all of it, which means kids in the orphanages are often afflicted with fetal alcohol syndrome as well as abuse and neglect by alcoholic parents. Alcoholism is a big problem for us in the USA also, but we look like a nation of teetotalers in comparison! Must be those long, cold winters... In other words - cultural factors are far more important than any particular form of government or economic system.

NoMore said...

OK. I just wanted to make one comment: IN PRINT, they say Levi said he lived there at the Palins house from mid-December to mid-January. IN VOICE, though, he says he lived with them BEFORE the election...

onething said...

"She might as well have been a bonbon."

Very funny, and true (that she was a creation of party elites).

One thing I am perplexed about. Supposedly Noonan has iterated yet again that the media was mean to Sarah's kids.

When did this EVER happen? When? I saw nothing but respect and restraint, and from People magazine, worship.

LisanTX said...

I just listened to Levi's press conference:

He said "When I lived there EVEN BEFORE MR. MCCAIN HAD PICKED HER TO RUN, you know....."

That's news, folks. Seems the MSM left out that part in the written reports.

The clip is here on youtube:



Check it out; what do you make of it?

Kyra said...

you're absolutely right and I should have been more specific. the focus of my comment was the disorder and my comment on the orphanages was illustrative only but I should have been more careful. thanks for pointing that out.

B said...

LisanTX said...
He said "When I lived there EVEN BEFORE MR. MCCAIN HAD PICKED HER TO RUN, you know....." That's news, folks. Seems the MSM left out that part in the written reports. ***

He has said this before, hasn't he? Seems it came up when Mercede was on TV. Maybe he did spring '08 -- then also fall '07 when they homeschooled together?

During the earlier living together(s), Sarah wasn't talking about making money with book deals and TV shows, though. That was relelvant to the MSM's why-she-quit story, so they quoted it.

Thanks Lisan, will listen later.

wayofpeace said...

i heard ANN MARIE COX last night on RACHEL say that SARAH is like an ice sculpture, that the more she is exposed to the elements the quicker she will melt. let's hope so!

wayofpeace said...

ALEX, here's a great NEWSWEEK article that addresses your thesis, re PALIN and her appeal to resentful, undereducated americans AND mine (that the GOP throw her off the bus). will post here excerpts in 2 posts and the link.

Beyond the Palin

Why the GOP is falling out of love with gun-toting, churchgoing, working-class whites.

Rick Perlstein
NEWSWEEK / Jul 20, 2009

The conservative opinion elite is divided—irreconcilably so—about Sarah Palin's decision to quit the Alaska governorship. One faction says good riddance: The Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer had already judged her unfit for national office 24 hours before her announcement, and The New York Times's Ross Douthat now refers to her "brief sojourn on the national stage" in the past tense.

On the other side, the Post's William Kristol called Palin's quitting a "high-risk move" designed to catapult her to greater public prominence. Taking the longer view, though, the clash is symptomatic of the deepest strategic debate in Republican circles since the disciples of the Reagan revolution captured Congress in 1994.

For decades it has remained a Republican article of faith: white, lower-middle-class, "heartland" masses, fundamentally socially conservative, were an inexhaustible electoral resource. ... And in 2008 the somewhat aristocratic John McCain seemed to regard bringing these folks back into the Republican fold so imperative that he was moved to make the election's most exciting strategic move: drafting churchgoing, gun-toting unknown Sarah Palin onto the GOP ticket.

But beneath the surface, some Republicans have been chafing at the ideological wages of right-wing populism. In intel-lectual circles [they are] lamenting.. that "the face of the Republican Party had become Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber. Conservative intellectuals had no party."

Such discomfort has been dormant for some time. Under the influence of philosophical gurus like Leo Strauss and Irving Kristol, the sotto voce tradition arose of flattering the sort of voter who drove a pickup truck even if he wasn't the sort you might want to socialize with. ... Palin has raised the "class" question publicly among conservatives as seldom before.

wayofpeace said...


Another thing that makes some elite conservatives nervous in this recession is the sheer level of unhinged, even violent irrationality at the grassroots.

In postwar America, a panicky, violence-prone underbrush has always been revealed in moments of liberal ascendency. In the Kennedy years, the right-wing militia known as the Minutemen armed for what they believed would be an imminent Russian takeover. In the Carter years it was the Posse Comitatus; Bill Clinton's rise saw six anti-abortion murders and the Oklahoma City bombings. Each time, the conservative mainstream was able to adroitly hive off the embarrassing fringe while laying claim to some of the grassroots anger that inspired it.

Now the violence is back. But this time, the line between the violent fringe and the on-air harvesters of righteous rage has been harder to find. This spring the alleged white-supremacist cop killer in Pittsburgh, Richard Poplawski, professed allegiance to conspiracist Alex Jones, whose theories Fox TV host Glenn Beck had recently been promoting. And when Kansas doctor George Tiller was murdered in church, Fox star Bill O'Reilly was forced to devote airtime to defending himself against a charge many observers found self-evident: that O'Reilly's claim that "Tiller the baby killer" was getting away with "Nazi stuff" helped contribute to an atmosphere in which Tiller's alleged assassin believed he was doing something heroic.

At least in the past, those who wished to represent their movement as cosmopolitan and urbane could simply point to William F. Buckley as the right's most prominent spokesman. Now Buckley is gone, and the most prominent spokesmen—the Limbaughs and O'Reillys and Becks—can be heard mouthing attitudes once confined to the violent fringe.

for the rest http://www.newsweek.com/id/206098

Amy1 said...

So regarding the two pieces of info Levi released re his living at the Palins:

--before McCain had picked SP
--from Dec 08 to Jan 09

Although we had already pieced that together here on this blog, I am wondering about some of the details implied in his confirmation of these two co-habitations.

1. The offers for SP could not have been such a big feature of the earlier 08 stay, so he must be referring to the 08-09 period for that piece.
2. During the 08-09 stay, he would have been an eye-witness to the comings and goings of Track, in his Xmas vacation from the military -- the dates of his arrival/departure, plus what he did with his time. That info re Track is pretty interesting to some of us.
3. I would think that Levi's earlier 08 stay would have been because he and Bristol were a couple? Why and when were they a couple at that point? -- because of co-parenting Trig? in spite of Trig having a different Dad?* Because Levi was comforting Bristol through the rigors of her pregnancy with Trig? Without Bristol being pregnant? (as SP would have it -- but in that case why would Bristol have a live-in boyfriend at that point?)?
4. Can we date Levi's earlier stay with the Palins?
5. The idea of Levi openly living with the Palins seemed okay when we thought it was clear that he was the dad of the baby, but what was the "family-values-Palin" logic for having Levi live with the Palins during that earlier period, when it was supposedly SP who was pregnant with Trig??? That's why I think identifying when that earlier period was will be another piece of the puzzle.

Sorry this is not the clearest post, but once again, with each new "confirmed" bit of info, new questions.

*Let's say they were in love again, B pregnant, and Levi would make such a better dad -- if all unraveled and it became clear to others that SP/Todd were not the bioparents of Trig?

MimiC said...

Yes, Levi unequivocally says that he was living at the Palins' house before Palin was picked as VP candidate. There's only one reason why the family would allow him to live there -- to take care of his already born infant.

wayofpeace said...


Saturday Rumor Wrap Up with your Uncle Gryphen.

After a week of playing phone tag, and having appointments made and broken repeatedly, I finally had a face to face with my favorite source. And it proved rather interesting.

Now because my source is still staying out of the public eye, these revelations will not make it past the rumor stage......yet. But I am hoping that I can get some things on the record with named sources in the near future. Trust me I worked very hard on that....

for the rest, go there!

Amy1 said...

MimiC: yes, that would be a reason to allow Levi to live there.

But I have another possible reason: what if the actual paternity issue for Trig is such an unholy mess that SP and Bristol roped Levi in to think he was the Dad (the real dad being unacceptable to family values). Levi might have believed (at that time) that he was the dad of Trig, or he might not have believed it, but he took on the role, or at least the role of loyal boyfriend, so others could draw whatever obvious conclusion they wish.

And although SP was holding fast to the PalinHoax that she was the birth mother of Trig, within the family we have a back-up plan that explains the Bristol pregnancy without having to deal with the actual paterniy of Trig, which was so awful that SP needed the amnio results to confirm for her the awful truth, upon the learning of which then she decided to do the hoax so she could stay in the political game.

And if you read IM right now, I bet silence about this specific awful truth is what Gryphon is talking about re the big financial obligations the Palins are/were facing.

Truthseeker2 said...

Some cartoons for your enjoyment:


WV: coning (in honor of Sarah the con artist)

sg said...


I'm having a hard time understanding your two most recent posts.

Who exactly do you think are Trig's parents?

Truthseeker2 said...

Since my WV is "judge" I have to post!

My thought is that there should be one more ethics complaint against Palin before she leaves office -- this one should say she used the governor's office and resources to perpetrate a hoax on the Alaskan people about the birth of Trig Palin. Why not? It would certainly get some more attention to the issue, and while she will undoubtedly cast all sorts of slurs about it, this is literally the last chance to make this case before she leaves office. I don't see that it hurts, and could shine a light on the issue. I hope one of the folks living in AK will consider it.

Bretta said...

@July 9, 2009 1:15 AM midnightcajun said...
"" OT, but I'm wondering at the timing of something that most people probably haven't noticed. Sarah Palin loves money. Imagine a girl from Wasilla suddenly having a check for a million dollars land in her mailbox, with the promise of more. Now, what if that check lands in her mailbox... I can see Sarah thinking, I don't need this governor BS any more and quitting in a pique ...""

This totally makes sense because I've seen her lyin' but I haven't seen her cryin' wisgr

B said...

Amy1's speculations don't go to the issue of DS. They go to why a public figure would make the extreme choice to fake a pregnancy just to cover up someone else's pregnancy.

Bristol and Levi having a baby just doesn't seem that extreme. Was there an "awful truth" instead?" Was Levi made to believe TriG was his to cover that truth?

I'm inclined to believe that TriG was born secretly and Sarah decided to adopt him for both altruistic and political reasons, i.e., no "awful truth" needed.

Amy1 said...

sg: I think Bristol is the Mom. We have never known who the Dad is. Few people have even speculated, beyond assuming with zero data that it is Levi.

I am suggesting that the dad is someone the Palins did not want as the Dad. I am not suggesting who it is. I don't know. But I see no evidence that Levi is the Dad, and I explain his tenderness toward Trig (in RNC pix) as the love of a good man for his (beloved, at that point) girlfriend's baby, which she had under difficult circumstances, through which he helped her, thus bonding with her baby.

I AM suggesting that it was not merely a teen pregnancy that caused SP to do her hoax -- we saw how easily she could handle a teen pregnancy at the RNC. I'm suggesting that the hoax was to cover up something REALLY compromising, so much so that it would have stopped SP's career right then and there. Dare I say it would have stopped it in its tracks? No, I don't dare say that.

I am suggesting that the puzzling fact of the amnio -- an odd test to do on a teen, and also odd to do it at 13 weeks (although SP said it was done on SP herself at 13 weeks, but we do agree by now that SP was not pregnant, don't we? So with all the criss-cross lying, was there ever an amnio at all? Not sure, but if there was, . . . ) I am suggesting that this amnio was done to confirm/deny the distressing identity of the dad of Trig. The dad that Bristol told SP it was. SP just could not believe it, so she used the amnio to get pre-birth in-utero genetic material so she could do her paternity test. When she learned the results, she decided to hoax the pregnancy, claim it to be her own, to conceal the actual facts.

Who is Trig's dad? I don't know. But I do think his identity is the secret the hoax was intended to conceal.

I think Levi might have been asked to assume the role of Trig's dad, or he might have just fallen into it because he was Bristol's boyfriend at several (perhaps almost all?) points in her pregnancy with Trig. He might have known the score then, or he might not have. Surely after Trig's birth, some cheek swabs or hairs or nail clippings were sent for paternity testing to rule out or rule in the most obvious dad suspects (obvious to the family/friends, not necessarily obvious to us). Wouldn't you want to know for sure -- if you were living in this nest of vipers? It sure would be worth a few hundred dollars to me. Esp if I (or others) thought the dad might be me.

(to be continued)

Amy1 said...

(continued from preceding)

There are two versions of what happened when Brisol told her parents she was pregnant.

--One was a quote from Bristol when asked by Greta on video, and Bristol said it was "worse than labor." She said she needed to have a girlfriend with her to get the words out.

--The other version was a quote by Levi's mother in a British tabloid -- that Bristol announced her pregnancy by waving the urine-test stick around, laughing, SP laughing too -- not at all a disaster of an announcement.

Doesn't it make sense that the "worse than labor" announcement was for the first pregnancy? And the "giggles all around" announcement was for the second, after all they had all been through, and when it was certain that Levi was the dad.

This dual announcement fits with the unacceptable-dad idea for the first pregnancy, and it fits with the "what could have been so bad that SP had to fake a pregnancy?" question.

It would be easy at this point for SP to say "okay, I confess, I hoaxed the pregnancy to save my daughter the embarrassment." She could say there was no amnio and she didn't know there would be DS; so she was not trying to defraud on insurance.

Except there's a problem: Trig's genetics will be the same all his life. It will be relatively easy for any good reporter (if there are any left in the MSM) to take a hair or a cheek swab from Trig and the dad that is officially announced for Trig. This will confirm/deny his parentage -- no matter if you do the simple $100 test or the confirmed-chain-of-custody expensive test that can be used as evidence in court.

And it fits the rumor that Gryphen just announced today, of there being some expensive blackmail afoot, costing the Palins a lot.

It fits some other data points, too, but isn't this enough?

Jeanette said...

I understand that money may have had a big part it Sarah’s resignation but if it was only money, she would not have been so angry and it seems even she would have had a better speech prepared. If it was only about money, there would have been no reason that Bristol and Willow were not at the resignation speech or at Bristol Bay. There really are not even clear pictures of them at Juneau.

Pressure on Sarah to resign may have been coming from more than one place, but I feel one of those places was from Bristol and Willow.

Levi talking about how he feels Sarah resigned because of the money may fit well with Sarah’s views and maybe is even done at her request. Resigning because she wanted the money is certainly more benign than some of the other rumors going around. Now the focus is on Levi and that theory and the MSM will not look for other reasons.
I am questioning whether Levi is in league with Sarah on this one and I have never felt that way before.

NY tabloid chick said...

I'm interpreting Levi's time at the Palin house to be rather fluid: It sounds to me as if he was able to sleep over pretty much whenever he wanted, while having his toothbrush and clothing there at varying times.

Levi seems to think that SP will now be following up on reality shows and other moneymakers that would take her out of AK, perhaps for much of her time.
If SP leaves AK, BP, Tripp AND Trig go as well.
If the babies leave the state, Levi's visitation will be severely limited.
If Levi writes a book, he'll be in a better position to support his children. No one cares about his half-incoherent musings except as they pertain to hypocrisies in the Palin home. So a book from Levi without Palin dirt is of no value to a publisher.
What an uncomfortable bind for SP! She knows that a Levi who spills the beans on the Palins would
-have money to pursue custody;
-be able to request/demand DNA testing on both children;
-cut into SP's ability to tell her story for money, especially since most of her appeal seems to come from the 'at least she didn't have an abortion' camp.
Timing of her resignation and Sherry's sentencing seem to me to be rather coincidental. Can't wait to see what sentence Sherry gets...

wayofpeace said...

NYT OP-ED She Broke the G.O.P. and Now She Owns It / FRANK RICH

In the aftermath of her decision to drop out and cash in, Palin’s standing in the G.O.P. actually rose in the USA Today/Gallup poll. No less than 71 percent of Republicans said they would vote for her for president.

That overwhelming majority isn’t just the “base” of the Republican Party that liberals and conservatives alike tend to ghettoize as a rump backwater minority. It is the party, or pretty much what remains of it in the Barack Obama era.

That’s why Palin won’t go gently into the good night, much as some Republicans in Washington might wish. She is not just the party’s biggest star and most charismatic television performer; she is its only star and charismatic performer.

Most important, she stands for a genuine movement: a dwindling white nonurban America that is aflame with grievances and awash in self-pity as the country hurtles into the 21st century and leaves it behind. Palin gives this movement a major party brand and political plausibility that its open-throated media auxiliary, exemplified by Glenn Beck, cannot. She loves the spotlight, can raise millions of dollars and has no discernible reason to go fishing now except for self-promotional photo ops.

The essence of Palinism is emotional, not ideological. Yes, she is of the religious right, even if she winks literally and figuratively at her own daughter’s flagrant disregard of abstinence and marriage. But family-values politics, now more devalued than the dollar by the philandering of ostentatiously Christian Republican politicians, can only take her so far.

The real wave she’s riding is a loud, resonant surge of resentment and victimization that’s larger than issues like abortion and gay civil rights.


wayofpeace said...

SPENCE commenting in RICH's column:

I’m certain that Ms. Palin will be the poster girl for a vocal and divisive minority who will reap snarling headlines and sound bites for years to come.

They will continue to demonize people they don’t like or understand. But, she will not be a serious contender for the presidency next time around.

The smart money in the GOP is already planning to marginalize her, let her do her tour, make tons of money, write her book, but never be the party’s standard bearer. They know that such an event would doom them. In future years she will be a curious footnote to history as forgotten as Dan Quayle.

So the soon-to-be former governor will get to trot around her dog and pony show, get media time to shoot off her half-baked ideas and then she will go back to Alaska to work on the state’s secession from the union with the soon-to-be former First Dude. At least that will keep her off the streets so the grown ups may, perhaps, salvage something from the mess George Bush left us.

Ivyfree said...

"I'm inclined to believe that TriG was born secretly and Sarah decided to adopt him for both altruistic and political reasons, i.e., no "awful truth" needed."

If that was the case, she could have milked it with a tear-laden announcement... this poor DS baby, mother in difficult circumstances, yes I'm extremely busy but Todd and I can't help but open our hearts and follow our beliefs and put our shoulders to the wheel and our eyes on the stars...

She could have had nonstop press attention without the risk of faking a pregnancy. At some point, and I agree Sarah's not a deep thinker, but at some point, faking a pregnancy looked like the smart choice. You can see it in her comments. "I was only pregnant a month." "It was my easiest pregnancy." She enjoyed saying that and thinking she was putting something over on people, because she doesn't realize that there are people smarter than she is out here.

"understand that money may have had a big part it Sarah’s resignation but if it was only money, she would not have been so angry"

Nothing I've read about Sarah Palin leads me to believe she thinks of money as "only." I can't think of anything more apt to make her furious than losing money.

trish in SW FL said...

July 11, 2009 7:14 PM Amy1 said...
I AM suggesting that it was not merely a teen pregnancy that caused SP to do her hoax -- we saw how easily she could handle a teen pregnancy at the RNC. I'm suggesting that the hoax was to cover up something REALLY compromising, so much so that it would have stopped SP's career right then and there. Dare I say it would have stopped it in its tracks? No, I don't dare say that.

Amy1, I think you nailed it right there!

I think when the truth finally comes out (and it WILL!), it's going to be just that.

The true identity of the father is the real ICK-factor, and the real reason for all the lies.

I have no proof, and will not offer up a name--this is just my thoughts swirling around, trying to make sense of the lies.

ProChoiceGrandma said...

Trish in SW FL, now you are understanding WHY the HOAX.

ProChoiceGrandma said...

Amy1, good job! You know I concur.

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel said...

Way to go, Amy1! Although we all hate to go there.

See, if you give your kids real names, they don't lend themselves to puns as easily. "Stops them dead in the Daniel"? "Stops the rumor dead in the Ezra"? See how easy?