Wednesday, July 29, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

I have been a bit scarce the last week due to a death in my husband's family. And it was a big week - with Gov. Palin becoming again plain old Mrs. Palin.

I've got some interesting things in the works. First, an update:
1. We have been working to date the shots of Former Gov. Palin walking across her office. We have NOT abandoned this, but it is proving much harder than we thought.
2. I do intend to finish the series I began "Response to Progressive Alaska." When finished, I will move all parts of the post to the website proper as well.
3. Here's a teaser: We have some interesting material from October 2007 that no one has ever seen. No more hints, but it's coming soon.
4. I have promised for months that we would do a post concerning the Heart Association Luncheon in Fairbanks on February 15th, 2008, which was supposedly attended by Then Gov. Palin and all three of her daughters. There are numerous questions and discrepancies that have come to light about this event, and another that occurred the same day. I - and my researchers - are frankly at a dead end with this, so we intend to post what we have (which is actually quite a bit and rather amazing) and hopefully someone in Alaska will help us fill in the blanks.

But... for tonight... I offer a summary of what I consider the best videos. I am sure that many of you have seen some (or most) of these, but if you have not, here you go:

First, from our friends at BreePalin. This is a very good summary. Pass this on to as many people as you can.

Second, from our friends at Palingates.

I think that John Stewart's video on Palin's resignation is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Put your drink down before you watch it. (Be sure to watch all the way to the end, where Stewart discusses Don Lemon's CNN coverage of Palin. The quote of the century is found here, in response to Lemon's request for some "positive" comments on Palin. (Apparently they weren't getting many.) The clincher: You want a positive comment on Palin? I'm positive she's an idiot.)

For some reason I cannot get this video to embed on blogger, but here is the link:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Exit stage right

What did she say? Nothing, really. And it took her twenty minutes to do it.

I did find this one quote rather amusing:

I took the oath to serve you, I promised…remember I promised to steadfastly and doggedly guard the interests of this great state like that grizzly guards her cubs, as a mother naturally guards her own. And I will keep that vow wherever the road may lead. Todd and I, and Track, Bristol, Tripp, Willow, Piper, Trig…I think I got ‘em all
She thinks she got 'em all? Well let's hope so. We'd hate to see any of Mommy's Little Props left out.

And then to use a maternal analogy in regards to Alaska? Given what we've seen of Sarah Palin, Alaskans may want to say, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A tale of two birth certificates

It’s 5:30 in the afternoon and I’m sitting here watching MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews. The topic – for the third day in a row: Barack Obama’s birth certificate, and whether or not it is genuine.

It wouldn’t surprise me if I flipped over to another one of the networks and find they are covering the same story. They were yesterday. FOX had it. CNN had it. Lou Dobbs was practically salivating. This "issue" - which has been floating around now for nearly two years - is suddenly more popular than swine flu.

Was Barack Obama born in the United States? Inquiring minds want to know. And even though commentators insist that this is nothing more than a theory kept alive by some persistent bloggers, they continue to respond to the people who’ve refused to let it go.

And I’m wondering how these bloggers got so lucky. Maybe their blogs are more stylish or they have snazzier widgets. Maybe their blogs play music or something. Frankly, I don't know.

After all, we’ve been working on a conspiracy theory of our own here at Palin Deceptions.

When questions were posed to Obama, he said, “Here, look at my birth certificate. This proves I’m not lying.” When questions were posed to Palin, she said, “Here, look at my knocked up unwed teenage daughter. This proves I’m not lying.” has verified that Obama’s birth certificate is genuine. The Honolulu Advertiser birth announcement, placed nine days after Obama's birth, has also passed muster. Obama traveled abroad as a young child, and had to get an American passport at an early age. Was his birth certificate already "fake" then? This seems extremely implausible. 

Regardless, whatever the truth, the "deception" would have had to have happened nearly fifty years ago and the principal players, (mother, father, doctor) are now all dead. IF - and I am saying IF - there was some irregularities with Obama's birth, he certainly had nothing to do with it.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, refused to produce a birth certificate for Trig, a child supposedly born a scant four and 1/2 months prior to her V.P nomination nod, still as of this writing less than a year and a half ago. Her doctor, very much alive and kicking, would not give a simple press conference when the rumor reached crescendo level on August 31. Even the birth announcement Palin sent out had no date of birth. Has anyone else here ever seen a birth announcement without a date? I haven’t.

Palin has been far less forthcoming with information. Her main defenses have been two: "Bristol can't be Trig's Mom so that means I have to be" AND "I shouldn't have to answer that question."

And let’s not kid ourselves. She got close to power. Very close, thanks to the GOP. If she lied to her constituents about her pregnancy then that’s nearly as significant as what Obama’s critics are trying to pin on him.

As one of our researchers pointed out today, she can lay her hands on her child’s birth certificate at any given moment if she needs to. Any birthmother can. Showing Trig’s, while not providing absolute proof (see our previous post on Alaska birth certificates and adoption) could potentially at least verify that he was born on the date that has been claimed. They have not even done that.

Why? And why isn’t the same media that now exploring the truth behind Obama’s birth exploring the truth behind Trig’s?

Yes, Obama is president. But if McCain had won, Palin would have been just one malignant melanoma away from the same office.

Those of you who have followed this blog know the amount of evidence we’ve amassed. In light of the renewed interest in the Obama birth story some of you have expressed the same frustrations and have wondered aloud how the media can give so much airtime to one story while ignoring another.

I wish I had an answer for you but I don’t. I’m as baffled as you are. And all we can do is continue to ask the questions the media won’t.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More on... Who are these Folks?

Earlier today, I posted several screen shots of people meeting with Sarah Palin in her office that we are trying to identify? Why? Because we'd like to date the meeting.

Here's the background. Last winter, as we reviewed myriad videos, we noticed a brief segment in a Canadian Broadcast Company report that they had done on Palin - and quite explicitly - the Trig baby question way way back on September 3rd. I had watched the video countless times back in September of '08, as my investigation was just beginning but I had not watched it, as of last winter, in months.

However, as we were going through old material looking for something - anything - we might have missed, the segment jumped out at us, because we realized that Gov. Palin was wearing what we had come to call "scarf chic," her standard "pregnancy" uniform, yet it was footage we had never analyzed or dated. We were pretty sure it had to be from 2008, due to the star in the window (indicating that she has a child in service) because Track had not yet enlisted in the winter of 2007. It's also her office in Juneau - we're sure about that. But when during that winter?

Here's the CBC segment. The entire thing is worth watching - it's uncanny how the questions about Trig's birth were laid out so fully by the CBC back on September 3rd. However, the footage we were interested in is roughly between 2:10 and 2:20.

Here are some screen shots from this footage:

This is from the 2:11 point in the video. Note that the furniture behind her is visible between her jacket and her scarf.

Here's another shot:

Again, it's clear there's no sign of impending motherhood here.

Unfortunately, we were never able to date this footage from available sources, and it got pushed to the back burner.

Until today. Why? Well, footage from the same date turned up very prominently at the beginning of Keith Olbermann's segment on Sarah Palin last night.

Now, this struck me as odd. A curious choice to say the least. Why would a network, with access to literally hundreds of hours of stock footage of Gov. Palin from the election and since, as part of a major segment on a major show (Countdown with Keith Olbermann) use obscure and outdated footage of her from another network? And place it quite prominently IN the show? I don't have an answer. But to say that I find it intriguing is an understatement.

Here's a screen grab from this footage:

I think it should be obvious to everyone why we'd like to date this meeting.

So Who are These Folks?

In the past, on several occasions, I've posted a photo and asked my alert readers for help in dating and/or placing the event. I have always been astonished at the speed in which we've gotten answers.

I have one today. These four people were present with Sarah Palin at a meeting at her office in Juneau we believe at some point during the winter of 2008. We have so far been unsuccessful in dating the meeting.

If any of our readers can identify any of these people it will help us date the meeting.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"The Governor's not a liar."

The source of that succinct quote? Bill McAllister, Palin's former press secretary. The quote came from an article in the Anchorage Daily News on August 31, 2008, as reporter Kyle Hopkins tried to summarize the current "Baby Drama."

McAllister was an Anchorage TV reporter before working for Palin. He said Palin once approached him - before people knew she was pregnant - assuming he'd been hearing rumors.

"She said it's not true about Bristol," McAllister said.

At the time, the rumor would have been that Palin's daughter was pregnant.

How does McAllister know it's not true?

"The governor's not a liar....

Here, specifically, Gov. Palin is speaking directly to the rumors that Bristol had been pregnant and was Trig's mother (which - to digress - I have always wondered about Sarah Palin's thought process here, since in general it's a REAL bad idea to answer a question no one has asked, and McAllister was clear - Palin had approached him...). However, in general this has been an almost universal response to allegations that there might be "something" to the baby story. It's the fallback position, the ace in the hole. Can't explain why we have scores of pictures on which she doesn't look pregnant at all?

Sarah Palin is Trig's mom because Sarah Palin wouldn't lie.

Or how about: Can't explain how a stage of pregnancy that can only described as quite large on one set of photos was nevertheless described by flight attendants not even a week later as: not apparent from observation.

Sarah Palin is Trig's mom because Sarah Palin wouldn't lie.

Or how about: Why has no birth certificate ever been released? Why was the only "official" statement ever released by Cathy Baldwin Johnson a lame piece of crap put out by the campaign less than two hours before midnight on the last day of the election?

Sarah Palin is Trig's mom because Sarah Palin wouldn't lie.

Except she is a liar. I think this is so well-established now that no one can or will even attempt to call me on this.

With Palin's resignation - now ten days ago - some of the more glaring examples had been put on the back burner, but in the week period prior to her resignation she'd been called on the carpet, twice, for what could only be called "whoppers." And not only do these lies show a basic disregard for the truth, reports of them show a bizarrely blase attitude towards the truth once she was confronted. In both cases, Gov. Palin persisted in wanting to stick with the lie, even when she was informed by the campaign that they knew what was really going on.

The first has been widely reported: CBS has released emails between Palin and campaign staffers. Her supporters haven't really been willing to discuss this one; mention is oddly absent from C4P and some of the other pro Palin sites. Why, you ask? Well, in this case we have the actual email. We have Palin's written words, basically telling a big fat honkin' fib. No wigglin' out of this one, folks.

This exchange involved Todd's involvement in Alaska's "Independence Party," or AIP for short. (The AIP's basic raison d'etre is to encourage Alaska to secede from the Union. Period. Although I guess most Alaskans can be pretty cool about this (and, to be fair, apparently there WAS a bit of skulduggery back fifty years ago when the original vote went down, which a lot of good folks in Alaska have never forgotten), in the lower 48, the whole idea is a bit, as my kids say, "sketch." And down here south of the Mason-Dixon line, while all too many might still harbor some secret support for our comrades up north, here's a little tip for y'all: secession didn't work out too well for us. In fact, to be perfectly frank, it worked out right poorly.)

Apparently, Palin had seen a critical CNN report on TV one morning, and then later in the day there was a heckler and a sign or two at a rally. She shot off an email demanding that the campaign do something about it, a suggestion that was rebuffed: it was a non-issue. Why attract attention to something that wasn't really getting much press? In addition, this was all happening on the day of the final debate, a day in which the campaign planned to launch their "big weapon:" Joe the Plumber. So obviously they didn't want anything to distract from that hotly-anticipated moment.

However, that response didn't satisfy Ms. Barracuda, who shot back another email again insisting that something be done - and at this point tried to fudge the story in order to get her way. Todd, you see, wasn't really a member of the AIP for seven years - he'd just checked the wrong box. I mean, that's plausible, right? Could happen to anyone. He thought he was checking a box which said he was "independent" (i.e., unaffiliated with a political party) instead of a member of the Alaskan Independence Party.

Except it was a complete fabrication. According to multiple sources, the box which Todd checked SAYS "Alaskan Independence Party," not, for example, "Independent" or something similar which would be easy to confuse. The campaign staffer who wrote back to Palin stated baldly that "Todd was a member for seven years. If this is incorrect we need to understand the discrepancy. The statement you are suggesting be released would be inaccurate."

At this point, Palin dropped the exchange, and no more was said. Todd remained a secessionist, and Palin remained a ... well, you know.

The second incident was strikingly similar. However, reports of this incident contain a little "Easter Egg" that so far I have seen no one else comment on.

In order to appear in tune with every-day folk, Palin - early in the campaign - told at least one interviewer that she and Todd had not had health insurance early in their marriage. During debate prep, she brought this up again, wanting to practice it as a debating point. However, the campaign then checked with Todd who set the record straight: they'd always had catastrophic insurance. What IS catastrophic insurance? It's regular insurance just with a really high deductible.

When confronted, initially, according to Vanity Fair, Palin stuck to her guns. Catastrophic insurance wasn't "real" insurance, and therefore didn't need to be revealed.

This slippery slope tale is similar to the first story regarding the AIP. Caught in a lie? No problem. Just keep lying - with a handy little rationalization at the ready in case you're called on it.

But what I find really interesting, what jumped off the page at me (and so far I have seen no one else comment on this) is the fact that someone in the campaign, after being told something by Sarah, went and DOUBLE CHECKED WITH TODD. I mean, how 1950s. "Let's just ask your husband, dear, shall we?" I mean, WTF? Am I the only one who finds this really really odd?

Read between the lines here: By the time of Palin's debate (first week in October), the campaign was already so concerned about her truthfulness and reliability, that a simple statement ("We didn't have insurance when we were first married,") which should have been able to be taken at face value, was fact-checked WITH HER HUSBAND. They must have had profoundly serious doubts about her.

Yet, to the outside observer, it was business as usual and smiley faces and glad hands: the Republican Party and John McCain continued to reassure the American people that this person whom they had apparently stopped trusting on even very simple statements was someone that we should still consider a credible candidate for vice president, qualified and ready to take over should something happen to McCain.

And now - since the resignation - yet another obfuscation. It's been covered so many places, (Huffington Post for starters) that I will rehash only briefly. In short, one argument Gov. Palin made for resigning was that all the ethics investigations were costing the citizens of Alaska money. According to Palin, money was being taken away from: troopers and roads and teachers and fish research.

OK, when you stop laughing about that improbable list, read on.

The fact is, it's completely false. State of Alaska Department of Law attorneys and employees are paid a salary. They get their pay checks whether they are dealing with Sarah Palin's ethics complaints, consumer protection issues, mine rulings, or even if they are sitting at their desks with their thumbs up their rumps playing World of Warcraft.

So while it is fair to say that these lawyers are spending their time on ethics complaints instead of something else (possibly in Alaska's better interests), it is patently false that these ethics complaints are diverting funds from troopers or roads or fish research.

So tell me again how we know Trig is Sarah's...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

When I was Living There...

On July 9th, Levi Johnston gave a press conference in his lawyer's office in Alaska.

He states clearly and explicitly that he was living with the Palins before she was selected as McCain's running mate. What? BEFORE late August 2008? Why would he be living there then?

1. He's lying. Palin's spokesperson, Meghan Stapleton, has already released a statement claiming this.
"It is interesting to learn Levi is working on a piece of fiction while honing his acting skills," Palin family spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

The Palins have steadfastly denied that Levi ever "lived" with them, though it's been reported in numerous publications, including People magazine, which has over the months tended to be quite favorable to Palin.

2. He's telling the truth. So why would he have been living with the Palins prior to August 2008? Because they liked Levi and were cool about Levi and Bristol's relationship and openly allowed their daughter's boyfriend to spend the night? OR Because Levi and Bristol were jointly caring for a child who was not born on December 27, 2008?

Since Levi began going public in spring of 2009, thing just have not added up. There have been lots of little slip-ups. Sherry Johnston described to People magazine on (or around) January 5th how Levi and Bristol had spent their first "weeks" as parents. Only problem was that, as of January 5th, Tripp supposedly was barely a week old, had not even been home from the hospital a full week, and simultaenously the Anchorage Daily News was reporting that Levi was not even IN Wasilla.

When Levi was describing to Larry King how they told Sarah that Bristol was pregnant, he very clearly slips up and starts to say she was sixteen... then quickly corrects it to say "eighteen." Except she was neither, IF the Tripp pregnancy was "as reported." If Tripp was born December 27th 2008, and Levi stayed with the Palins to care for him, Bristol would have been 17 when she got pregnant. Here's the video... watch to around the four minute point. Look at Levi's eyes when he makes the slip up. He knows exactly what he said.

It's been stated in numerous places that Levi was actively involved with the Palins after the campaign right up until after Tripp's birth in late December. But then other places, Levi has stated that things started to fall apart "right after the campaign." And when Sarah Palin was interviewed in her home by Matt Lauer on November 11th, he asks her point blank about Levi and Bristol's plans. She won't even answer the question and is so cold to the topic that it's as if a door has slammed. It's more than clear that things were already off - way off - between Bristol and Levi as of that point. Yet ... he lived there - in December - prior to Tripp's birth?

Things that make you go HMMMM...

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.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Going Out on a Limb Here

Like most of us who have followed Sarah Palin's rise (and now fall) over the last ten months (joining our colleagues in Alaska who have been watching more or less in horror for two additional years) the events of the last seventy two hours have taken our breath away. My good friend at Mudflats tried to post a summary of all that has happened, and ended up concluding:

Between the news of Palin’s resignation, the reaction of the mainstream media, the blogosphere, the Tweets, the Facebook updates, the threats of legal action against bloggers and the press, the statements from attorneys, and all the rest, I don’t think a single person on the face of the Earth could do a real wrap-up.

She's right of course.

But I am going out on a limb here. Something doesn't add up for me. I know that yesterday I was in there with the rest of them talking about Housegate and IRS and FBI and, to make it clear, I think there is some sort of investigation on-going. Rumors are rarely complete fabrications (where there's smoke, there's either fire or smoke, so it's usually something) and the rumors of a financial investigation into Palin have been so loud and so persistent coming from Wasilla that it's hard for me to believe personally that there is not something there.

But that having been said, again, somethin' just ain't right. Palin assured us that she had been planning this for weeks, but if that was the case, why did Todd leave town for the fishing season and then have to fly home to be there on Friday? (Sarah says this in her speech, though that line is not in the official transcript.) Why did Sarah "Tweet" as recently as 3:53 PM on June 29:

I dont support Waxman-Markey bill; I'll work w/AK Senators & others to address concerns, lacks flexibility needed to protect enviro & develp

and at 10:59 AM on Jul 1:

Congratulations to Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan as he is sworn in today! I look forward to working with him.

Does this sound to you like someone who is on the verge of resgining? It doesn't really to me.

Consider the following:

1. Todd himself was not back in Wasilla until Thursday night. Here it is in Palin's own words: "And I'm thankful that Todd flew in last night from commercial fishing grounds in Bristol Bay to stand by my side, as always."
2. Meghan Stapleton, Palin's poodle, who has been at her side almost continually for months was not even in Alaska on Friday. She was in New York.
3. Sarah had just hired a new press secretary in the past month, long time friend (and author of great reads "Why Men Hate Going to Church" and "How Women Help Men Find God") David Murrow. Snark aside, reading Murrow's info, he seems like a pretty straight-forward up-front nice guy. How bizarre, even cruel, that she'd bring someone new on if she were seriously contemplating leaving within weeks. Murrow posted to his own social networking site on Wednesday that he was "contemplating life's ironies."
4. Family members got no notice until the night before. According to People magazine, Todd called his father on Thursday night, and asked him if he could be at the Palin's home for a press conference on Friday, but even he was not told - the night before - that Sarah was resigning. Jim Palin declined, stating he had another commitment (which appears to be "fishing" from the People article, but hey, this is Alaska).
5. Senator Mark Begich who met with her on Wednesday for 45 minutes has stated she gave no indication whatsoever.
6. Sean Parnell, the Lieutenant Governor who will be taking over for her on July 26th, was not informed until Wednesday evening. Again, if this was in the works for weeks, how bizarre it would be for him not to be in the inner circle.

All of these things tell me one consistent story. The decision was abrupt, very abrupt. I am speculating that there was a "trigger" of some sort, and that trigger was sudden and very recent. Her closest inner circle, even her family members, were in the dark until the final hour. And I - and many others - have observed that at the news conference, she appeared ragged, disjointed, almost frantic. She gasped. Her speech delivery, which is never the best, was positively scary.

And at least once, she reminded us that she was being truthful. What? Who had suggested that she wasn't being truthful?

So why? What is it?

There are rumors of a fight between Bristol and Sarah in the previous week over Bristol's unwillingness to continue to do publicity "tours." Is this code for unwillingness to continue the charade about Babygate?

Fellow blogger Celtic Diva had finally raised the $5000.00 plus dollars required by the state for "photocopying costs" associated with receiving Palin's emails and has turned in the official request. A lot of people (myself included) have wondered if there is something in those emails that will be the nail in the coffin, even though, interestingly, Ms. Diva herself doubts that that is the case.

And last - but I don't think least - Levi Johnston is in New York, in the final stages of negotiating a book deal. I have been assured privately that once the deal is inked new information will be made available. I do not know what that information is, but I can make some real good guesses - and so can all of you.

I think this might be a very big week.

Tweet, tweet! I've succumbed to calls to join Twitter and have now linked it in my sidebar on the right hand of the page.
The username is palinsdeception
Thanks for those who've urged me to do this and to readers like Mel, who pointed to the NYT op-ed I just referenced in my second official "tweet."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Some Musings for a Sunday Morning

It just gets more and more interesting. Yesterday, Gov. Palin's legal counsel released a sharply worded statement denying that the Palins were under federal investigation for criminal wrongdoing. I am sure of few of this blog's readers are wondering if I know anything about this.

Here's my answer:

I have over the months developed numerous contacts in Alaska. Over the past 6-8 weeks, I have heard a very consistent story. Palin was under investigation, and it had nothing to do with "babygate." It was big, it was federal, and it was financial. Is this true, or is it a rumor, spread from one source, designed to harm the Palins? I don't know. I will, however, add the following comments.

1. I have received many tips during the time I have been running the blog and website. Some have been worth following up, most have been nonsense. But three separate contacts stand out, and that is why, IF this turns out to be something to do with the building of the house, I will not be at all surprised. These three were all surprisingly similar. They were all Wasilla/Palmer/"Valley" residents. I know they are not the same person three times, since in all cases, the people were not only willing but EAGER to provide me with all personal information, name, address, phone number, where they worked. Hell, they would have given me shoe size if I asked, I suspect. All three checked out. And all three told me basically the same thing. They could not help me with the baby story, but what I needed to look at were the issues surrounding the building of the house. At least one of these tips came in before the election in November.

Here's a quote from an email in February. "Forget Trig. The house will put her in jail."

In each case, I thanked the person for the information, but told them that the baby story was my focus, and that I felt I did not have the time, financial resources, or geographic ability to look into this. I referred them, in each case, to someone in Alaska that I felt could help them. If anything came of any of these people, I do not know.

But I can say, with absolute certainly, that long before June 2009, Wasilla residents were willing to go on record - with their real names and phone numbers and personal info - that there were irregularities, and serious ones, about the building of the Palins' house in 2002. Whether they were lying, I do not know. Whether they were wrong, I do not know. But this issue is not some fantasy, created by pajama clad bloggers, after Palin's resignation two days ago.

And this, going on record with a real name, is something I have never been able to get anyone in Wasilla who knows anything about the baby to do.

2. However, the rumors that I have heard have all consistently said that the investigation is federal. Irregularities with building materials and permits in Wasilla would not be federal, it would be state, as far as I can see, though I am not a lawyer or an accountant and perhaps there is something I do not understand. The F.B.I. has released a statement saying that they are not investigating Palin. This, theoretically, would leave the I.R.S. True? Not true? I don't know, and I want to make it clear that I do not, but that's the bottom line. If it IS federal, and the FBI is not involved, then the only plausible alternative is I.R.S.

Here's a second musing for Sunday morning:

I find it beyond curious that after nearly ten months of myself and others stating, with various degrees of certainty, that Palin's birth story was bogus, not one person has ever even been threatened with any sort of legal action. (There were rumors that Palin threatened the Anchorage Daily News with a lawsuit in January, but as far as I know that was never confirmed, and she certainly never had her legal counsel release any sort of public statement on the matter.) Numerous people have gone so far as to call Sarah Palin a liar openly.

And for those who say that it's because the birth story is below Palin's radar, I say, that's a load of horse hooey. Palin has referred to it in interviews numerous times. It is very clear that these stories have bothered her a great deal.

Truth is an absolute defense against libel. You can't just "sue for libel," and state that the other party is lying. You have to prove it. The Palins would be forced to produce a birth certificate, medical records, and probably a DNA test. The defense would be able to subpoena Cathy Baldwin Johnson (YAY!), the flight attendants on the airplane, possibly school records for both Bristol and Willow, any and all previously unreleased photos and video from the conference in Texas... lots and lots and lots of wonderful things.

Perhaps all of the rumors about criminal investigation and Housegate are false. Maybe Sarah Palin did resign as governor simply because, as she said, the negative media scrutiny had pushed her family over the edge and she believes that because of it she can no longer be effective for Alaska.

But sue anyone over "Babygate?" I'm waiting.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Palin quits. We won't.

Sarah Palin's unexpected and bizarre announcement that she is resigning her office as Governor of Alaska has raised many questions. Is she quitting because she can make more money in the private sector? Is she quitting because - unable to take the heat from pajama clad bloggers - she is fleeing the kitchen? Could it be Levi's book deal? Or - as some have indicated - is she is quitting ahead of a looming legal scandal

Our loyal readers have been abuzz pondering these questions. And they've had one for us, too: Does Sarah's resignation mean the search for the truth behind Trig Palin's birth is over?

The answer to that question is a resounding "No!"

Here's why: Covering criminal scandals is squarely in the media's comfort zone. After all, shady accounting and redirected funds - should that be the case - are far easier to question and report on than gestational and birth issues. They involve adults doing bad things, not children manipulated and victimized by power-hungry parents.

I and many others are convinced that elements of the mainstream media either have known or strongly suspected the truth about Trig's birth all along and have become strange bedfellows with conservative elements of the GOP who also know the truth. 

The media and even some Republicans will likely both breathe a sigh of relief if the current rumor turns out to be true. Criminal activity will be the death knell of their rising-star-turned-party-embarrassment.  She will be done, without their having to wade into that other scandal - the one I'm convinced they know about but are too squeamish to reveal.

But as Sarah weakens, I'm convinced that those who feared her will become more bold, more willing to tell what they know about her claims of birthing Trig. If they do, at some point the media will no longer be able to ignore it. And I think it will prove to be a far bigger scandal that even the one we're hearing rumors about now.

Criminal activity is one thing; passing off someone else's baby as yours for political gain is something else. If it can be proven that Sarah did not give birth to Trig, then the question will then be "What did the GOP know and when did they know it?" 

That's a whopper of a question, and the answer might not only irreparably tarnish Sarah Palin, but also destroy the careers of those who selected her and glibly reassured the nation that she had the experience, character and temperament to lead.

If that's the case, the rumored criminal charges may be the tip of the iceberg; the really damaging part may be what's beneath the surface, that thing they're still refusing to see: Babygate.

That's why we won't quit, even if Sarah has.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Palin Resigns

It is surreal. She's resigning.

I am watching Palin's speech. She is hanging on by the ragged edge. She's babbling, gasping, rambling, making no sense whatsoever. I've been watching Palin for ten months. She has never sounded more unhinged to me.

"The world apparently needs more Trigs." is among some of the more bizarre things she said.

Now we've switched from the basketball analogy to the football field. No hockey analogy yet.

Updates will follow.

I think the iceberg is about to hit.


Here's Sarah Palin's  official announcement from the governor's Web site, from which she also gleaned much of her speech. 

Here is the press release.


Meg Stapleton weighs in and all I can say is, with friends like these does Sarah really needs enemies? This makes two rambling, bizarre explanations of Sarah's decision.

The videos are now uploaded to YouTube