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."


Rationalist said...

Good morning! Thanks for the new post!

cs said...

as always SPOT on Audrey..

and again, a plea.. please start twittering! if only to send a tweet when the blog is updated...

we can disseminate much wider with twitter..

please please please

wes_ben said...

Good job in stepping back and looking at the big picture. You're right...this was not in her plan.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, Audrey! All signs point to that speech being a very hasty decision. Something happened!

The more I reflect upon it, I am convinced that whatever happened that pushed her to resign - and she was darn angry at something/one - was a personal/family issue.

Sure, I think she has all sorts of corruption issues regarding her office. But I think she would have fought through that with the same dogged conviction that she proclaimed she was exonerated from any wrongdoing in Troopergate. That whole mess didn't give her any pause.

She would have spouted that any investigation was politically motivated dirt-digging by her opponents.

No, I think something in her personal life gave her that push.

Maria said...

Excellent summation, Audrey.

There's a poll on Twitter that may be of interest to PDers: :

Do you think Gov. Sarah Palin's decision to resign will help or hurt her chances of becoming the GOP's presidential contender in 2012?

Latest results: Total: 2693 votes

Help [ 22% (586 votes) ]
Hurt [ 71% (1903 votes) ]
Other [ 8% (204 votes) ]

Half Sigma said...

It's possible that Palin is just quitting to make more money in the private sector. The talk about her legal costs is just an excuse/positive spin for wanting to use her celebrity to make lots of money on TV.

Her speech could have sucked for the simple reason that the people who wrote her speech for the Republican convention are no longer working for her. The babbling speech is how she LIKES to talk.

Anonymous said...

While it is definitely possible that SP plans to go make as much money as possible from her book, speaking fees, tv, etc., she would have organized a more deliberative departure. And she was extremely tense giving that speech. Not at all her usual confident, cocky self. Which she had been just the week before - I watched that speech she gave to the troops in Kosovo and she was quite relaxed and chipper.

On Friday she was losing it bigtime. And yes, I listened to CNN replaying it about six times! The tension in her voice was off the charts.

NakedTruth said...

"We are not investigating her," FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez told the paper. "Normally we don't confirm or deny those kind of allegations out there, but by not doing so it just casts her in a very bad light. There is just no truth to those rumors out there in the blogosphere."

O.K. the FBI is not investigating Sarah. Could they be investigating Todd or other Palin family members? Why would this FBI agent comment on a Holiday weekend? Could this not wait until Monday? What's his connection to the Palins? Just find it strange that Sarah's attorney could reach an FBI agent on a Holiday weekend and manage to get an on-the-record comment.

carolyn said...

Fascinating post, Audrey. Also, she seemed so not-in-control of her own announcement -- as if she were giving it reluctantly, almost under duress, in a state of resentful, not quite subdued hysteria. I am guessing GOP big shots who have definitive dirt on her told her it was time to go or else they'd blow the whistle, call the press in, etc. Only a deadline imposed from outside can account for the sudden, hasty, improvised air of the decision and the event. Also think that it does have something to do with Levi's book deal, too, and the (I think) faked pregnancy.

mlewis said...

To Audrey: I admire how you analyzed every email, twitter and public comment to show that even quite recently, Sarah was conducting business as usual. Either this was a long time in coming and she is one great actress (hah!) or something caught her by surprise.

I vote surprise by the breathless, disjointed speech, the fact that Todd had to fly in at the last minute, even family was not available, all the points that you raised.

I've been reading whatever is circulating on the internet and there seem to be several issues that could cause this kind of panic (disclaimer: these are all internet RUMORS!)
Linda is finally going to get a look at the emails, and there's someting good in there.
Sarah's high school friend, Kristen Cole had been put in charge of that fund that distributes checks to Alaska citizens based on oil revenue taxes. Under her watchful eye, the computer crashed destroying all records and it all had to be reinstated by hand. There are suggestions of embezzlement here; Kristen's mother may have been involved in another unrelated embezzlement scheme.
There is talk that there is quite a wad of money in Sarah's legal defense fund and PAC, yet as a sitting governor, she is not allowed to profit by any other money making enterprise while in office. With huge legal bills and the money to pay them, she may have been made the quiet kind of offer that allowed her to take the money to pay her debts in return for resigning.
Sarah has received alot of tempting offers to make money (which she can't do if she is governor): TV show, speeches (gag, based on that last one?),book deal, higher calling=ministry? Being governor is such a drag compared to this good stuff. And, the offers come with travel, wardrobe, other expenses. (Doubtful, because that would not have produced a hurried reaction).

These are some of the good rumors that I have been reading about. Audrey, with your contacts in Alaska, I hope that they will give you some input as to which are real possibilities and which are dead ends. We all agree that Babygate by itself won't bring down Sarah, but when it all starts falling down around her, people may finally be free to talk and resolve the questions raised in this website. Never a dull minute!

hrh said...

Mebbe we'll soon be hearing:


mel said...

A most excellent little phrase in the third 'graf of this NYT piece: "Trig's parentage":

Morgan said...


CS, your plea has been heard. Audrey now has a new Twitter account:

It is linked in the sidebar. We'll also make sure the post is updated to reflect this change for those who want to start following.

Aaron said...

Part of the timing that seems curious is the "resignation" of the AK Health Director. Pretty vindictive to can someone on your way out. The rest of her staff probably wants to duck and cover until her last day in office.

wrisky said...

It might be insightful to do a comparison of Sarah and Bristol.

Sarah ... hyper religious, ruthlessly ambitious, attention junkie(not just loves attn, requires it), controlling, type A personality

Bristol ... teenager, likes to party, is 18 now(an adult), apparently uncomfortable in Sarah's reflected spotlight

A point I would make is that Bristol seems like she is beginning to see that she will have a life to live outside of Sarah's political career. She is now waking up and smelling the coffee and thinking that Sarah's
in the kitchen cooking up stuff she doesn't like. Throw in that Bristol is now an adult and free to decide for herself what her life choices will be.

Teen rebelliousness is a common thing we all go through to some degree or another. Some suffer a severe case of it but most of the time it just a mildly uncomfortable stretch as a young person comes to grips with their looming majority. Considering the pressure cooker environment in the Palin household the last year(or two, three or more) it seems to me that Bristol could have accumulated plenty of grudge material and resentment towards her mother. Having one's social life cut off, being used arbitrarily as a campaign prop and having her personal life laid open for the world to pass judgment on must be tremendously difficult for a teen age girl to deal with.

Bristol realizes that she has the power to make it all stop. What holds her back ? Family loyalty seems like the only thing now. As the pressure mounts and Bristol feels increasingly put upon and used would she have the maturity to handle the situation with finesse ? It seems pretty likely that would just let it all pile up inside until all the BS Sarah keeps piling on her with would just cause her to pull out the big gun and threaten to pull the plug on the whole thing.

Babygate is still out there waiting to be resolved, we know that. Perhaps Palin et al were too loose on the accounting for this or that skating rink, house, dairy, pipeline project thats just garden variety Alaska muck. Babygate is the one matter that could poison her in the eyes of the hardcore Palinistas. If they go so does all that anticipated book/speech income, Fox News gig and fundraising ability. That would scare Sarah out of office.

KaJo said...

Mel, that New York Times opinion piece is just so much more Palin-apologist sympathy baloney, even if it DOES make reference to "Trig's parentage".

Did you see who wrote it? Yeah, Ross Douthat, "conservative author and blogger".

This excerpt from one paragraph is a good example of a typical conservative writer twisting the truth:

"In this sense, she really is the perfect foil for Barack Obama. Our president represents the meritocratic ideal — that anyone, from any background, can grow up to attend Columbia and Harvard Law School and become a great American success story.

But Sarah Palin represents the democratic ideal — that anyone can grow up to be a great success story without graduating from Columbia and Harvard."

More baloney.

Anyone who's followed Sarah Palin for the past 10 months and delved into her background knows that what she USED TO represent is the plutocratic ideal -- someone who wiggled into the power structure and wormed her way up to the top -- charming money out of the plutocrats (oh, yeah, and the "base", dazzled into sending their money into the charmer's pot) until she garnered enough power to have money of her own and joined their ranks.

Yeah, that was then...

What I think we see NOW is Sarah Palin as the kleptocratic ideal.

(from Wikipedia: "...the plutocracy can easily collapse into a kleptocracy, "reign of thieves", where the powerholders attempt to confiscate as much public funds as possible as their private property. A kleptocratic state is usually thoroughly corrupt, has very little production and its economy is unstable. Many failed states represent kleptocracies."

V. said...

Great to see you're on twitter. I sent you a welcome from my business account. It's a great way to get info broadcast quickly.

And, though OT, I think you'll all enjoy this as much as I did. It's the Sarah Palin Random Resignation Speech Generator. Every time you refresh you get a new speech. Very funny.

Also rather unsettling because some of the sentences sound better than her actual speech!

jasonmix said...

As long as we're speculating, don't forget that the RNC job is possibly going to be open very soon. If Bill Kristol or some other mentor has assured her that a job offer is imminent, she could be resigning now to avoid the appearance of abandoning Alaska to further her political career.

Neil' said...

I don't see much reporting on which people may have advised SP on her strange move, and about what they said. It's usually about her and what she might be up to. But of course other people had to have something to do with it - any more scoop on that? I haven't heard anyone mentioned as "he/she put her up to it, suggested it might be a good idea" etc.

Dee said...

It is hard to know what would be a "normal" process for a Govonor deciding to step down from office on their own, for no apparent reason, because to the best of my knowledge it has never happened before. Govonors have resigned to accept the appointment or election to a Federal office or position. Govonors have resigned under pressure due to actual or suspected illigal or unethical behavior. Poor health is another acceptable reason, but I don't recall a Govonor having done that. But stepping down because you just aren't that into the job anymore, I think this is a first.

The only thing we can compare this to is the occassional US Senator or Representative who has resigned mid term because they know they have no chance of being re-elected and have been offered a huge salary elsewhere where can they trade on their connections. This has always occurred after they announced they would not seek re-election and rumors about their resignation have swirling for months, along with rumors of huge legal bills. Oh, and they know this means they can kiss any idea of being involved in the political process goodby for the rest of their life.

I agree this was an abrupt and weird decision. Either something is brewing or Sara is even crazier than anyone suspected.

onething said...

Looks like something happened on Wednesday.


Someone quoted Wiki:
"...the plutocracy can easily collapse into a kleptocracy, "reign of thieves", where the powerholders attempt to confiscate as much public funds as possible as their private property. A kleptocratic state is usually thoroughly corrupt, has very little production and its economy is unstable. Many failed states represent kleptocracies."

Damn. That sounds uncomfortably familiar. And I don't mean Alaska or Sarah Palin.

blog bytes man said...

can you really blame either Bristol or Levi from cashing in. they're young and a million or two each for spilling the beans in a joint co-op book would be devastating; though i don't know how they've kept quiet this long.
cash in time.

Virginia Voter said...

As usual Audrey, your insight is better than 90% of the talking heads on radio and TV. Sarah was not planning on stepping down, no power hungry megalomaniac like her, Blago, or Sanford does unless they are forced to...and she was absolutely forced to because of some personal revelation. She would never give up her "title", and anyone who says different like those conservative pundits is only trying to save face or is clearly as delusional as Sarah.

At this point, I am going with Levi(baby)gate, Celtic Diva's emailgate, or some type of IRS gate. Remember, only the FBI put out a statement, not the US Attorney General, DOJ, the IRS, or state or local authorities.

A commenter on Immoral Minority had posted a couple of times about some video evidence of Sarah Palin allegedly having an affair, and blackmail ( DISCLAIMER, ONLY A RUMOR), but I think this is BS.

Anyway, time will tell. You know I would have given up poting and reading about Sarah if her resignation speech was sincere, and apologetic. But, Sarah turned it into more preening and pandering to her fanatical base, and blamed it on everyone but herself. No one resigns with 18 months into their term as governor for no good reason, claiming they don't want to be a lame duck, and milk the system. If that was the case, governors in my state of Virginia would be lame ducks from the day they are sworn into office, since they are constitutionally limited to one term.

I call bullsh+t

midnightcajun said...

I don't see her as frantic or nervous; I think she is just very, very angry--that's why she's shaking. It's pure adrenaline rush. She makes a lot of nasty, condescending expressions in that speech--normally she hides them better. What she's really thinking is written all over her face and what she's showing is contempt, not fear.

This woman is so self-confident and delusional she'll still believe she can get out of any legal "gate" even after they've slammed the prison doors on her. Therefore, I can't believe she's resigning ahead of a scandal. I think something did happen on Wednesday that precipitated this, perhaps an ethics complaint she's been told her board can't protect her from (perhaps without opening themselves up to legal action, which they wouldn't be willing to do for her).

I think she resigned in a fit of pique--if you won't play by my rules I'll just pick up my toys and go play someplace else. I think she's mad at Alaskans for not worshipping her the way they used to. She's decided she doesn't need them any more, she can make lots of money and do her campaigning in the lower 48 where they still cheer her and where she won't have to put up with those dang ankle-biters.

Her claim--that she's resigning for the sake of Alaska so they don't have to spend all that money defending her against "frivolous ethics complaints" is a joke. Few reporters are buying it and are looking for the real reason. I hope for once they actually do some digging, see that the ethics complaints didn't cost millions, that many weren't frivolous, and expose her for the ugly fraud she is. But I'm not holding my breath.

Jeanette said...

Great post Audrey,

This is a long response, but I did this to organize my thoughts so thought I would post it. Here is what I think we know about the screech and Juneau

The resignation was a very sudden decision

Since Parnell was told about the resignation on Wednesday night, the decision was likely made Tuesday or Wednesday, I would guess Wednesday.

Todd was called while he was fishing and told about at least some of what was going to happen, so it doesn’t look like he was involved in the decision.

Todd called his father while he was fishing and asked him to come so they, or least Todd, really wanted family around.

Sarah did not want much press there, particularly TV since only about two hours notice was given for a press conference the Friday before a long weekend.

Bristol and Willow were not there or at least not seen on camera. If they were in Wasilla, it seems that they would have been standing beside their mother unless they had had a part in forcing her to resign.

Sarah seemed extremely angry so it unlikely that she resigned to make money or had chosen to resign to further her presidential campaign

Todd, Sarah and Trig left shortly after the screech to fly to Juneau

It has been reported that Sarah was supposed to speak at the Juneau celebration and she did not show up and that she had been asked to ride in the parade and not only did she not do so, she didn’t tell them wasn’t going to ride. That sounds pretty dysfunctional.

Sarah, Todd and Trig were at the parade in Juneau on Saturday. Todd had a beard.

A woman and a baby identified as Bristol and Trippe were at the parade although her hair seems long and she seems to be heavier than Bristol has been lately. I didn’t think she looked particularly happy but had a determined look. However that was just one picture.

There is a picture of Sarah and Trig reportedly on the streets of Juneau on Friday. A man identified as Todd was with them pushing the double baby carriage. However he did not have a beard and was wearing a T shirt that said “Yonkers Bulldogs”. That can’t be Todd unless he grew a beard overnight. Who is it?

The women identified as Bristol and Willow were walking behind Sarah and whomever and it is pretty much impossible to identify them. What can be seen fits their sizes.

Do we know if that picture was printed anywhere else other than on C4P? The picture was taken by a photographer who lives in Juneau and does a lot of military type photography for magazines, I am wondering if it was actually taken on July 3rd? If it is Todd, it wasn’t taken on the 3rd unless he had a fake beard on Saturday. It seems as though C4P would recognize Todd. They probably have an interest in showing that there was just one big happy family in Juneau.

We don’t know the timing of where Bristol and Willow were when. I think by Friday they were already in Juneau either because they wanted to get away from the house or they went there because they or the family had planned to have guests in Juneau for the 4th. I think they wanted to get away from the house since it seems someone really wanted family at the screech.

We don’t know where Piper was and there were no reports that she was in Juneau. This seems strange for a family outing.

So if it was a family issue, it likely came to a head on Tuesday or Wednesday and there are rumors of Bristol having a huge fight with her mother around that time.

pearlygirl said...

Can't resist! My WV is "impen" as in impending doom?

Anonymous said...

@Jeanette - Awesome roundup of what we know.

Also, Levi was in NYC all week. And I did read a comment on some blog from someone claiming to have been in Juneau and seeing about 15 people watching fireworks from the balcony of the Gov mansion - did they have the whole family down there?

And still no tweets from her today - what the heck is she doing? I hope she's working hard at governing AK these last few days (yeah, right).

Morgan said...

Andrew Sullivan answers a reader who can't bring himself to believe Sarah's wild ride:

Silver said...

Another comment on the lack of press. The Anchorage Daily News only has screenshots of the resignation. Did they not send a representative? You know, your governor has said she's making a major announcement. Even on short notice, you think they would have seen someone.

Though it was broadcast and certainly Sarah wanted that, it seems as if the less press, the better.

cs said...

yea!!!! tweeting!
thx you audrey

B said...

Audrey, thanks for putting the facts together. Seems Palin decided Wednesday and then announced it as soon as she could get Todd home.

Probably there was a Wednesday trigger -- but she is impulsive. (Just like she didn't seem to give much thought before strapping on a fake belly in early March.)

It's possible that all that happened Wed. was it dawned on her that she could just go on and quit, announce it when she announced she wasn't running for reelection, and that she decided impulsively and acted.

I wish that at least one TV "journalist" would mention that the panel deciding against the 13 ethics complaints is made of Palin appointees, and that she was so certain they were behind her that she herself filed their most expensive ethics complaint to try to counteract the legislature's Troopergate findings: guilty.

wayofpeace said...

GREAT SUMMARIES, MC, VV and jeanette:

this blog has more deductive savy than most of the best newspapers in the nation. no wonder they are all going bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, we may never know why Queen Sarah resigned from the throne.

Because she may have been forced into it to buy silence.

Obviously her announcement was rushed and no one ever has anything good to say on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend.

Someone may have dirt on Palin and threatened to go public with it unless she resigned - so we may never know why. That would be sad.

Jeanette said...

I have found a second picture of the Palins at the parade in Juneau and I think this is Willow over to the left but I am not very good about identifying people. Here is the link. Can someone confirm for me it that that is Willow.

Hardball just had a pretty shallow report from Andrea Mitchell reporting from Wasilla. Bottom line, she is convinced that there is nothing behind the resignation other that all the terrible things people were doing to her.

She even mentioned that Sarah had had a commissioner rejected that was unprecedented. She never mentioned WAR's background and belief's.

Since she was reporting from Wasilla it looks like she just talked about folks from Wasilla and either didn't search out or quote those people who have concerns about Sarah. She obviously had talked with Sarah's lawyers.

Andre and everyone else keeps quoting the $500,000 legal bills without mentioning that most of it was for legal bills relating to troopergate and how could she run up bills for the ethics complaints when most were thrown out before they reached court?

Andrea and everyone else keeps talking about all the complaints that have been thrown out without reporting on how strange and biased towards the governor the process is and even with that bias she had to pay money for her children's travel.

IMO Andrea has seemed to be struggling lately with her reporting and this is just one more example of that.

carolyn said...

Andrew Sullivan's post this afternoon
makes the same point as my earlier comment.
@midnight cajun:
I agree that Palin seemed angry because she'd been backed into a corner, and saw no alternative but to comply. Her petulant remarks were all very much beside the point, as she couldn't speak directly to what and who had made her so angry.
My guess is that Levi's book deal might be behind this. Recall his People Magazine (or was it GQ?) interview in which he said that he and Bristol were being being "homeschooled" together at the Palins' house, a full year before she became pregnant with the second baby -- during the same time that Bristol had disappeared from school and that Palin herself was supposedly pregnant with Trig.

LisanTX said...

Jeannette--I was also surprised to see the man pushing the double stroller; it is not Todd. It doesn't look like the guy who used to be Sarah's security guy, but maybe she has a new security guy or this one is the backup or Juneau security (or none of the above).

Also, I keep remembering that SP said that she could do anything she wanted until a court told her not to (paraphrased). Only something as powerful as a court would make her resign.

LisanTX said...

midnightcajun--I agree with you---I saw a very angry Sarah giving her resignation speech. You mentioned micro-expressions on another blog. Most people do not know about microexpressions and thus don't pick up on all the subtleties. (Plus, a good number of people, esp. Sarah's fans, believe everything she says, literally, like they believe every word in the Bible--literally.)

It's amazing how much of the press (and everyone actually) project their own thinking on her and try to "make sense" of her actions. As many have mentioned on this blog, SP doesn't think like most people and you're wasting time trying to "make sense" of what she says and does.

Exciting times. The role of the MSM is changing big time. They've missed the boat on covering Sarah.

Bo said...

Love your blog. Love, love, love it.

And now I'll take issue with something you said :)

With the FBI out of the picture, you conclude the only other federal agency that could be breathing down the Palins' necks would be the IRS. I think you're overlooking an arm of the Justice Department that isn't the FBI: the SEC.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, for folks not familiar with it, has an enforcement division that looks in to violations of laws surrounding stock market transactions. Most of these involve insider trading.

Now being a state governor, you would be privy to all kinds of information prior to it being available to the public. What firm is about to be awarded a large contract, or a valuable lease of some public land.

Use that information for a stock trade, and you've broken federal (civil, not criminal) law.

If you lie about it, as Martha Stewart did, it escalates to a criminal case and is referred to the U.S. Attorney's office for prosection.

Speaking of which, the U.S. Attorney is a part of the Justice Department, and while they often use teh FBI to conduct investigations, that isn't always the case. IIRC Fitzgerald dug in to Tom DeLay's money laundering without using FBI resources.

So there you are, a couple of other possibilities. People forget that Justice is a huge department, with a whole alphabet soup of commissions, divisions, etc. The FBI might not have a file marked Palin, but some other part of the bureaucracy easily could.

And, I think, should.

Ivyfree said...

"Seems Palin decided Wednesday and then announced it as soon as she could get Todd home.

Probably there was a Wednesday trigger -- but she is impulsive."

Who did she see on Wednesday? Does she have an official schedule for that day?

Jeffrey said...

I have to disagree with anyone that believes Sarah is quitting for any reason other than because something is going to come to light.

Her staff was only informed less than 2 days before she announced, the lt. gov only 2 days before, Todd has to be flown in from fishing AND to me the most telling is: WHERE she did her speech.

Not at the Governor's Office in Anchorage or Juneau with her staff, but at her home, surrounded by 'family'.

Anything other than a major bombshell would have made her either not quit when she did and how she did...Like even finishing out the year... or even the full month of this woman wants out and wants out NOW!

I've given longer notice to an employer than she is and she's the governor of a state.

This is a rash and probably unavoidable decision that she is being forced to make before the shoot really hits the fan.

bring it on!

wayofpeace said...

did MSNBC pull the punch today on their PALIN coverage, or what? HARDBALL was awful! it was all PALIN BS.

ANDREA MITCHEL's softballs were lame, and JAY from TIME was just rehashed talking points. i just hope KEITH is IN tonight and kicks it up.

wayofpeace said...

JEANETTE, that's not WILLOW. i zoomed in to make sure.

the other girl may be BRISTOL.

Micky-T said...

I think Sarah has opened the door to a "feeding frenzy" from the blogosphere. It's like we all just started this wild ride to bring her down.
If the MSM can get up the guts to start asking the questions that NEED to be answered, we'll end this once and for all.
This woman has NO PLACE in American politics.

Punkinbugg said...

Wayofpeace, you should have seen the guy that's on right before Hardball... David Shuster.

He, along with his pretty Michelle Obama look-alike cohost were ROASTING anybody who tried to spin the Palin story to the right.

They had the Newsweek clip of her in Los Angeles on a hair-trigger, and played it ANY time somebody mentioned the media was too "harsh"... (that's the clip of Palin saying Hillary Clinton should stop whining -- about the media.)

I hope K.O. does better tonight, too.

wayofpeace said...

i CANNOT believe it: FOX NEWS gets it right: watch:

wayofpeace said...

ABC News:

In the weeks before Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced her resignation, she spoke privately with a range of prominent Republican officials -- including former Vice President Dick Cheney and former mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

trish in SW FL said...

That serving of word salad was the worst I think I've seen/heard from her. This resignation was not something that had been in the works for "a while" at all.

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel said...

Thank you, everyone, for the succinct summaries of SP's actions. I tend to agree with Virginia Voter as to:

"At this point, I am going with Levi(baby)gate, Celtic Diva's emailgate, or some type of IRS gate. Remember, only the FBI put out a statement, not the US Attorney General, DOJ, the IRS, or state or local authorities."

On the other hand (and there are always several "other hands" when dealing with SP), she may not genuinely intend to step down on July 26. That's a whole two and a half weeks off! Who knows what could happen between now and then?

Also, does anyone know what Alaska law governs the stepping-down of a governor? Did she submit a letter to the Lege? Did they accept it? Is it possible, or legal, that SP might say, "I changed my mind. Want my job back," when nothing particular lucrative/appealing turns up in the next two weeks?

Martha said...

I'm a card-carrying Palin Deceptionist, and I believe all the above. I did the Tower Deception thing and laughed the whole way.

With those credentials, I read Stanley Fish's article ( with wide eyes.

For one of the first times, I feel compassion for her. She may be a lot of things, but part of me at last feels sorry for (part of) her.


sg said...


You've made an excellent point about the SEC as a possible investigative agency. I haven't read that on any blog, so you may be the first to mention it.

Two small points:

- The SEC isn't actually part of the DoJ. It's an independent agency. It has civil investigative authority, like the IRS. It can arrange settlements when the remedy is repayment of ill-gotten gains plus a fine.

- However, there are criminal securities law violations which go beyond simple lying (e.g., Bernie Madoff). SEC cases involving criminal matters are handed off to the US Attorney for potential indictment and prosecution.

mlewis said...

Some comments about Sarah's resignation speech: In some of her other speeches, Sarah is in charge, composed, and relishes saying her favorite lines, "I said Thanks but No Thanks." Keith Olbermann played Sarah Speech highlights, and it was interesting to watching the unguarded Sarah, flustered and trying to answer Charlies Gibson or Katie Couric. There was the controlled, composed Sarah we saw at the Republican Convention. She paused and clearly enjoyed delivering her zinger, "What's the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom?"

That wasn't the Same Sarah that we saw last Friday. So many people commented about hearing her loud breath; she was breathless. It was described as if she ran up a big hill to the event. She delivered her garbled lines at twice the normal speed. And, it seems as if the speech was thrown together in quite a hurry; it really didn't make sense.

At the risk of incurring one of Sarah's famous law suits, I'm going out on a limb here to suggest that either Sarah drank 15 cups of coffee over her limit, ran up the hill, or took too much medication. On other websites, people with experience in the field have offered their guess as to what that medication might be.
Given the number of health experts that we find here at PD, I cordially invite your best guess. To keep all of this legit, and not get Audrey in trouble, let's all agree that it's only idle gossip, and we're not reporting facts. Agreed.

B said...

Jeannette and wayofpeace, I too was so very disappointed in Andrea Mitchell's Palin coverage on Hardball. Not only was she dismissing all the ethics claims as baseless, but she explained away Palin's do-nothing performance in the past AK legislature as the work of the Democrats, because Palin had been a Republican attack dog for McCain. She could have made her point -- that Palin may have quit because she got tired of it all -- without regurgitating nonsense.

Leadfoot said...

Well here is something:

wayofpeace said...


i found this at BUZZFLASH:

by Eric.Arthur.Blair

She resigned as mayor of Wasilla to run for Lieutenant Governor,

she resigned as member of a petroleum board ethics panel,

and she also never completed more than three semesters at any one college:

After graduating from high school in 1982, she enrolled at Hawaii Pacific College in Honolulu. She left after one semester and transferred to North Idaho College, a community college in Coeur d'Alene and spent two semesters as a general studies major in 1983.

In 1984, Palin won the Miss Wasilla Pageant, then finished third in the 1984 Miss Alaska pageant and won a college scholarship and the "Miss Congeniality" award.

In August 1984, she transferred to the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, where her older brother, Charles W. Heath, was majoring in education.

After two semesters at UI, Palin returned to Alaska and attended Matanuska-Susitna College, a community college in Palmer, for one term in the fall of 1985.

She returned to the University of Idaho in January 1986, where she spent three semesters completing her bachelor's degree in communications-journalism, graduating in May 1987.

trev said...

I agree this is sudden, it is obvious. She had to do this on July 3rd, why? I think she got a job in Texas, that is why she was calling Cheney.
In any case, what is the iceberg? I don't have access to Alaska gossip, there must be something going around. If she is out fishing is she waiting for the iceberg to hit while she is not around?
Oh, now another ethics charge hits, per diem money, haha, I wonder if she is getting per diem to go slay some salmon?

Jen said...

My brain hurts. Sarah Palin hurts my brain.


Gwynedd said...

Apparently Fox has an interview scheduled with Palin at 9am Eastern on Tuesday--

Jeanette said...

I emailed the photographer who took the picture since I could only find it on C4P and a “parenting” site who had taken it from C4P. He said he had taken it and that the man was Todd. From his web site it doesn’t look like he is a Palin supporter. I emailed back asking when it was taken since Todd clearly had a beard the next day but haven’t heard back from him yet.

I don’t think the mystery man is a security person or at least hope he isn’t. It doesn’t seem as though a security agent should have both his hands wheeling a carriage.

ProChoiceGrandma said...

Saw this comment and just had to share:
Palin should remember that you don't fart and then complain about the smell.

Dinky P. said...

If I remember Sherry Johnston's next court date is July 27th the day after Sarah's last day as Gov. I think that is a coincidence?

I commented back whan Rex Butler came on the scene that he would not use Levi's info until Sherry was guaranteed NO jail time. So Rex would save the info and use it as leverage at the right time.

Another conincidence is Levi and Tank in NYC last week. Turns out they were shopping for a book deal. Perfect time to bring out the story about Sarah or NOT if they would negotiate a deal so Sherry does not get jail time and Sarah's Lies stay silent.

I am sure Levi does not want his mom going to jail.

Also remember right after the election there were rumors that Sarah might have been the main force in getting Sherry arrested to silence her!

What was telling to me that there is something wrong and troubling regarding Sarah was her fathers look the day of her speech. At the end of the speech his head was hanging low and his clap was dead like something died.

Rationalist said...

WV: noctre, as in good night everyone - one more chuckle before I go to sleep.

From CNN:

"No legal 'bombshell' or personal scandal lies behind Palin's resignation, but off-color jokes by talk-show host David Letterman contributed to her decision to step down", Thomas Van Flein said.

I knew Letterman was powerful, but wow. (This is the woman whose experience being in charge of Alaska's National Guard prepared her if "Putin reared his ugly head"?)

But here's the kicker: "The governor needed a break after being "on duty now for two and a half years solid," he said.

She is so ready for 2012!

Bo said...

sg - Re your correction of my post. You are 100% correct, thank you for pointing out my error.

Headtrip Honey said...


This picture makes it pretty obvious to me that it is both Bristol and Todd. Bristol does look a little heavier, but I bet this is her "natural" figure, not the super svelte she probably had to work so hard on for the Candies campaign.

Morgan said...

Just watched her being interviewed by Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. She as at some fishing village on a lake with poor Piper and Trig drug along on the windy shore as props.

My favorite line was when Andrea Mitchell asked her if quitting as governor meant she couldn't handle the nitty-gritty of politics.

Palin (incredulous): "Nitty gritty? You mean like this fish slime?"

So apparently if you're tough enough to touch a dead fish you're tough enough to be governor.
Not for all four years, but you're tough enough to be governor.

Truthseeker2 said...

I think this would be the opportune time to redo the home page of both the main web site and the blog to show only the MOST CONCLUSIVE photos of Sarah NOT pregnant within a month of the reported birth date of Trig. I suspect that you are getting some new traffic in light of all the publicity about Sarah, and the photos on the website do not make a very effective case. Perhaps include links to the best statements and evidence. Do not complicate it -- just show the most compelling evidence. Just a suggestion.

B said...

Maybe Sarah's timing was less to bury the story and more to get the word out before she went on her annual family vacation. Maybe she stays on vacation most of July, almost until the Gov's picnic, which she thought was a good time for a swearing-in.

Perhaps the news won't "progress" the truth until the end of July, after Sarah is out, Sherry is sentenced, Levi has his book deal, etc. There's lots of coverage now but little news to Audrey's readers. The MSM is discovering that Palin had a bad legislative session and is erratic and impulsive. News? The MSM is not discovering the truth behind the bad legislative session or the Palin appointees making ethics rulings or calling Palin on her claim that she and her family have been treated worse than any other politician ever. Frustrating.

I look forward to part 2 of Audrey's answer to Nurse Thompkins.

Rogue said...

Interesting that this happened the week that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are on break. Can you imagine what they would have done with this?

Also, seen on a t-shirt at a tea party at Southfork Ranch: A photo of Palin in hunting gear with the caption, "I shot J.R."

Hammer and a Feather said...

Audrey and Team ~

I read in the comments from another article that her 3-man ethics panel had informed her that

A) It was fixin' (that means 'soon') to come to light that she has been dippin' into her PAC for UN-PAC related activities;

B) They were sorry, but there was nothing they could do (remember, these three folks were hand-picked by her) and her best bet was to resign so she could be considered a Private Citizen;

C) She'd better hurry.

I'll try to find the link to the comments page and post it so you can read it for yourself.

UNanonymously promulgating rumors,
Tina Nelson

sandra said...

Jeanette: I couldn't find that picture on the other site. I think it's been taken down. I agree that a security person shouldn't be the one pushing the carriage.

Headtrip: I don't know how you can see Bristol well enough to comment on her weight. Maybe you are looking at the picture with SP in the yellow sweater.

Headtrip Honey said...


I was referring to the picture I linked to in my post.

And yes, Sarah is in a yellow sweater.

wayofpeace said...

i could not stomach hearing her new speches this morning but i read in the HUFFPOST's comments section that she still sounds ANGRY as hell!

Rationalist said...

I agree with Trusthseeker2. It would be great to have a cheat sheet - a VERY simply-laid-out summary of the key points and the key pictures. That one with the contrast adjustments is kinda busy looking and has a lot of information in really small font.

The Vanity Fair flow chart is a nice model. Something like that with three or four key pictures. Anyone good at graphic design?

wayofpeace said...

a quote from WAPO psted by williamg at HUFFPOST:

"Perhaps the explanation for this [tsunami of scorn] lies in the final part of one of Palin's statements: that "Washington and the media" cannot understand her decision because 'it's about country.'

"In other words, for the past nine months, Palin has avoided difficult questions, preferring Runner's World to another Katie Couric interview; she has dragged her family into the spotlight when it suited her (baby Trig was in Runner's World, too) and grown angry when the spotlight became too strong; she has eschewed reason and logic (not to mention spelling and grammar), yet reacted in horror when her critics were unreasonable and illogical in response.

"Then, after all that, she smugly asserts the right to decide who is a patriot and who is not. It's not about 'country,' in other words, it's about hypocrisy. And Sarah Palin is full of it."

--Anne Applebaum

Hammer and a Feather said...

This is the ethics complaint that possibly requires her to become a Private Citizen to avoid prosecution:

Unanonymously promulgating rumors,
Tina Nelson

Jeanette said...


It seems that C4P did take the picture that supposedly was taken on July 3rd down. That is interesting.

Here is the only other place I was able to find it.

Does anyone know who the person is that is pushing the carriage? Was there a recent time when Todd did not have a beard? He had a beard the next day.

Jeanette said...


This is the picture that we said couldn't be Todd if it was taken on Friday night. Todd had a beard on Saturday night.

Jeanette said...

Who would have thought Fox News would have someone on slamming Sarah. This is a fun video with Liz Trotter laying it all out and the show's host trying to moderate what Liz is saying. Here is the link.

Anonymous said...

I think I've said this before, so I apologize if I'm repeating myself. I really don't think the man in the gray tshirt is Todd. There is the beard issue, but I also don't think he has the right face shape. Not that I have any clue who he is.

Also, I don't know if this is helpful in any way, but I did attempt to make a slideshow with the relevant photos:

I agree there are just a few of them with the key dates that really nail the story.

B said...


That picture is too indistinct to tell for sure if the guy has a beard, especially with the shadow across his face. Could be Todd, could be Chuck Jr., could be Bristol's new boyfriend, etc.

I don't think we have any hint of a problem with Sarah and Todd's marriage. "He's still crazy about her and she's still crazy." (I can't recall the name of that Wm. Hurt movie, but I loved that line.)

If Sarah wants some news to be overlooked, she could have it come out today, while the media is so obsessed with Michael Jackson.

wayofpeace said...


Rachel Weiner / HUFFPOST

Sarah Palin and her defenders have cited numerous ethics complaints against the Alaska governor as a practical reason for her resignation. Fighting the claims, Palin told the Anchorage Daily News Monday, was immobilizing her: "I'm not going to let Alaskans go through a year of stymied, paralyzed administration and not getting anything done."

Naturally, skeptical observers have wondered how Palin would handle being president if some ethics complaints are enough to make her unable to run a state. Palin's answer: if she was president, the Department of Law would protect her.

Palin said there is a difference between the White House and what she has experienced in Alaska. If she were in the White House the "department of law" would protect her from baseless ethical allegations: "I think on a national level your department of law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we've been charged with and automatically throw them out," she said.

There is no Department of Law.

johnie2xs said...

It's no "news", to just about anyone who has paid even a modicum of attention, that the Rethuglican ideology, now, is the complete destruction of the Democratic Party. Along with that, it seems their additional desire is to also relieve us of any semblance of Democratic ideals, in this country.

The wholesale deliverance, to Corporate America, of every last bit of pluralism to these vultures, is their sworn "AGENDA". To help proffer this fascistic "PROPAGANDA" to the N'th degree, they are looking at putting in place their "Mistress of Media Mayhem", Sarah Palin. She will be seated as their newly crowned lead disseminator, (i.e. "High Priestest of PROPAGENDA"), of Rethuglican distortions and prevarications on a 24/7 basis.

With her now being a free agent, the Rethugs will see fit to promote her brand of "Fascistic Family Fundamentalism", on the country at large, with the "Sarah the Media Star" compliance of the media in general, and Rupert Murdoch and FOX in particular.

wayofpeace said...

GRYPHEN raises the question that is truly unanswered:

"You know if the goal was to show some kind of family unity to dispel rumors that there were "Other problems to cause her to resign" perhaps they should have had more children in the video then just Piper and Trig. Didn't Palin "tweet" that her kids were in Bristol Bay during her emergency press conference? (As has been the case for decades, family is commercial fishing in Bristol Bay-I look forward to joining the work crew for 1 day picking fish) Where are they?"

wayofpeace said...

a tease in IM's latest post:

By the way there is another rumor swirling as to why Palin quit. If it turns out to be valid it will be a doozy. Stay tuned kids.

Morgan said...

WOP --another hint?? I can't stand it! Oh well. I've waited this long.

Sarah's actually inspired me to blog again. For months I've neglected The Token Hippie to help Audrey with this. Today I just couldn't take it anymore. I had to do something while waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I feel better now.

Rationalist said...

Bree Palin - your slideshow is really helpful. If I have time, I'll try to narrow it down to a pdf and post that.

Moomerz said...

All good comments, but I can think of one other reason that would prompt a hasty decision. Put on your thinking caps, guys!

sg said...

Hammer and a Feather:

That 4/22 Sondra Tompkins complaint has already been dismissed, according to the Newsminer:

It's No. 17 on their list.

AFAIK, the complaint dealing with the Alaska Fund Trust is still pending, as is the per diem one filed this week.

There may be a few others.

Rationalist said...

Moomerz said...
All good comments, but I can think of one other reason that would prompt a hasty decision. Put on your thinking caps, guys!

- - -
My thinking cap is TIRED. What's your theory?

Jeanette said...

I didn’t mean to imply that there was any problem between Sarah and Todd. Audrey has suggested that it is likely a family issue that caused Sarah and I agree. Unfortunately, we may never know because the ultimatum may have been “resign now or this will come out.” Since she resigned, the issue may not come out.

What I have been trying to do is to find out where Bristol and Willow are or maybe just as important, where they are not. They were not seen at the resignation screech. There are no clear pictures of them in Juneau and we all know how often their relations are mistaken for them, particularly if Sarah wanted to present a happy family. I have seen no pictures of Piper in Juneau and it seems they would not have taken her there if they were trying to pass off other relatives as Willow and Bristol.

I have found three pictures of at least part of the family in Juneau over the weekend. Two pictures were taken of them at the parade by Claire Richardson. The first is Sarah, Todd, Trigg and another woman who may or may not be Bristol. It sure looks to me that Todd has a beard in this picture. Here us the link

The second taken by Claire clearly shows Todd, Sarah and Trigg. There is the woman who may or may not be Bristol. To the left of the picture there is a young woman that I thought might be Willow but others on this blog have said it is not her. If you click on the picture to enlarge it another woman is shown more clearly. Is that Sarah’s sister. I am really terrible at identifying people.

The third picture is one taken by a photographer in Juneau. It was posted on C4P and has now been taken down. It is still here The caption said it was taken in Juneau Friday night, July 3rd The man pushing the carriage is identified as Todd, but he clearly does not have a beard. The only people clearly identifiable are Sarah and Trig. If this person is not Todd, in my mind it increases the chances that this picture was not taken on the 3rd. There are two people behind Sarah identified as Bristol and Willow and while they seem the right size to be them, it is impossible to identify them.

I haven’t looked at them all the video but it has been reported that they were not in the videos taken at Bristol Bay.

So where are they. If they are not with the rest of the family where are they?

Anonymous said...

ADN columnist Michael Carey was just on Terry Gross's "Fresh Air." It was a good, commonsensical interview about Palin's resignation. Carey said nothing new, but when asked what the biggest change he had noticed in Palin in the course of her short governorship, he said that she had become a "professional at being the victim."

He also said that whatever her reason for resigning, it would be, from his experience of her, something that would benefit her and her alone and not the people of AK or the US.

Punkinbugg said...

Alex at 1:57 said "ADN columnist Michael Carey was just on Terry Gross's "Fresh Air." It was a good, commonsensical interview about Palin's resignation. Carey said nothing new, but when asked what the biggest change he had noticed in Palin in the course of her short governorship, he said that she had become a "professional at being the victim."

He also said that whatever her reason for resigning, it would be, from his experience of her, something that would benefit her and her alone and not the people of AK or the US."

Oooooh SNAP. Michael Carey is the guy who TRIED his darndest to tell the world about Trig at the RNC, but the reporter was too nervous or excited or WHATEVER to ask him a follow-up question.

HERE is the link to that video.

Good catch, Alex!

Eileen said...

Truthseeker 2 said:
I think this would be the opportune time to redo the home page of both the main web site and the blog to show only the MOST CONCLUSIVE photos of Sarah NOT pregnant within a month of the reported birth date of Trig. I suspect that you are getting some new traffic in light of all the publicity about Sarah, and the photos on the website do not make a very effective case. Perhaps include links to the best statements and evidence. Do not complicate it -- just show the most compelling evidence. Just a suggestion.

July 7, 2009 5:36 AM

I agree so much with this statement and have for over six months. The site doesn't do the blog justice.

The photos are actually complimentary to Palin when they should be a photographic microcysim (sic)of her fraud to friends and family. Before and After and DURING photo trail is what every true marketing campaign pushes-wight loss, blemish medicine etc.
We needed twitter just to alert us to new posts and to capture new vewers who search"Palin..." and look how much she now tweets so that will generate new viewers too as they arrive at your site but didn't intend to. So, thanks.
Great-Andrew Sullivan is back-thanks for including link. Almost MSM..Michael Carey and ADN need to step it up.
Jeez-Rachel Maddow and others were on vacation just as this hit. Not that they weren't asleep during the past ten months when this issue needing investigating.

Gotta say it in true Conspiracy fashion-Piper sure had a billowing, ballooning red dress on before she hid behind Trig when she started to lug him at the announcement. Okay, pure snarky. Put me on the Nixonian enemy list already.
Isn't Cathy B.-THE doctor-someone who specializes in child sexual abuse issues? What can I say, I thought it was refered to here months ago. Seen stranger things out in the bush. Annoncement and its rationalization too abrupt even for Sarah.
All I know it the actions of this Wasilla whole in the head gang don't reflect good governing or family values. Better stick to slinging fish slime and not political mud-slinging.

CAC said...

I agree that the homepage should be redone. I would like to direct friends and family to the site to read a concise explanation of all the evidence, especially the basic challenge to the Wild Ride story and the absence of any documentary proof of the birth. The pictures should be shown as supplementary evidence. And although, it is all cited many times on the blog, it would be nice to be able to send them a link to one page making the case.