Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Who's not your mama?

(Note - this post has been updated twice ... scroll to the bottom.)

If a picture is worth a thousand words then this graphic is worth ten thousand.

Amidst all the discussion over who Trig's mother may be, some of our readers have stepped forward to gently remind us that a crucial message may be lost in the debate - the one message upon which this blog was founded. That message: Given the evidence, it is highly, highly suspect that Sarah Palin gave birth to the Trig Palin.

So to prove that we are still on message, we would like to halt the debate over who Trig's mother is and observe a moment of silence as we reflect upon who is not. The debate, we are sure, will resume. And that is fine just so long as we don't lose sight of the original message.

A special thanks to long-time reader and contributor Way of Peace for this awesome graphic.

Update: In response to many requests, Way of Peace has provided an alternate graphic. Let us know what you think. (Remember, click on them to make them bigger.)

Second update: In response to many MORE requests, we've also prepared one with the "Nail in the Coffin" photo. (Also, I re-read my post on this photo just this morning. If you are new to the blog and have never seen it, you should read it. If you are not new, but have not looked at this in awhile, you need to read this post again - if I do say so myself.

A candidate to the second highest office in the United States lied about being pregnant. I strongly suspect she must have had help in maintaining the deception. The MSM's failure to pick up this story in December, after the discovery of this photo, is nothing short of a criminal failure to the American people.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Cornerstone - Questions and Answers

One question that has come up repeatedly in comments is the idea that Bristol was breastfeeding and some sort of forced weaning could have accounted for that amount of enormous breast change she evinced OR she was padded so heavily to hide any leakage.

Here's my read on that. This is something I feel very confident discussing since I worked as a lactation consultant for fifteen years and also nursed four children of my own.

Considering the number of bottles you see around Trig (there seems to be one in virtually every photograph) I doubt very much if he was breastfeeding as of August 2008. Someone, however, may have been pumping breast milk and bottle feeding it to him. This is not uncommon for Down Syndrome babies, who typically have a very hard time learning to nurse, and often seem to "forget how" between feedings.

Could that lactating mom have been Bristol? Possibly but more importantly, could that account for the enormous bust we see on the night of September 3, 2008? Here's my answer: I doubt it. When mothers who are nursing stop abruptly, breasts do swell and leak, but most importantly become very sore and tender.

I foolishly once separated myself from my 2 1/2 year old nursing toddler for about 40 hours. I should have known better since I was already a Lactation Consultant, but you know what they say about shoemaker's kids. I had to go to a funeral, it was two flights each way, then driving in cars, then mom is crying, and the idea of doing all that with a 2 1/2 year old was daunting. He'll be fine, I reassured myself. And he's not nursing that much. No problem.

Well, HE was fine. I, however, was not. By the time I got back home, about 40 hours after I left, I ached so badly that I could barely lift my arms to drive the car. The least jounce of the country road was excruciating. I had tried to express milk, most notably in an airport restroom stall (didn't want to shock anyone by trying to do it into a sink) but with limited success. (And this was all the more ludicrous since I rented electric breast pumps in conjunction with my LC practice so I had any equipment I could have desired to take with me already in my house.)

Contrast again these pictures, this one of Bristol taken on (or around) August 24,

Then this one, taken around September 1,

with this one taken on September 3rd.

There is no way that weaning, no matter how forced or abrupt could account for a change in breast size of this magnitude. Furthermore, I have watched every video I can find of this night. Bristol moves easily and naturally, waves at people, hands Trig to her mother then takes him back again with ease. She seems happy and comfortable. There is NO sign of any extreme discomfort. Believe me if your breasts had suddenly turned into hot tender rocks, you wouldn't be waving to the crowd with a smile on your face.

What about padding? Your typical breast pad, worn by most new mothers to prevent leaking, is about three inches across and is made of very absorbent material. They are small, discrete and effective. It's called "leaking," not "rupture." Unless they padded her with bath towels, there is no plausible way to account for this amount of sheer "mass."

The question of the dates.

Numerous people have suggested that Bristol was padded or enhanced in some way to make her look MORE pregnant. Here's the problem with that line of thinking.

Bristol Palin appeared in public on Sunday February 8th, 2009. While she definitely looked as if she might have had a baby "recently," it's hard to imagine her being less than ten days "post partum." So let's assume just for the sake of conversation, that Bristol Palin had actually given birth to Tripp on January 30th.

Why lie about this being her due date? January 30th was still too close to April 18th to allow Bristol to be the mother of both children. If this was her real actual due date there would have been no reason to lie about it.

According to one medical text I consulted, the shortest recorded time between birth and ovulation is 27 days. The mean time is 70 days (so more than two months) for non nursing women and 190 days (more than six months) for nursing moms. However, most texts I looked at agreed anything less than six weeks for a non nursing mom is pretty rare. Just for discussion, let's assume that a baby was born on April 18th, and then the mom ovulated 42 days later. That would have given a due date of Feb 21st. (Yes, there are reports of babies being born much closer than that... but in those cases, the second baby is premature.)

But we know for a fact that Bristol was not pregnant on Feb 7th, and was out and about in public. Furthermore, journalist John Ziegler states he saw Bristol in the Palin home on January 7th and states she was post partum. I believe he would know the difference between "post partum" and nine months pregnant and ready to pop. I also believe that while some journalists have shown themselves willing to not see things or just not ask the right questions, I find it difficult to believe that Ziegler would actually lie about something like that. The consequences of blatantly putting forth an untruth for a journalist would be career-ending. So therefore I tend to believe that John Ziegler did see Bristol on Janaury 7th, and to his eye she was not pregnant at that point.

So, I believe it's implausible that they padded Bristol to make her look MORE pregnant, just as it was unnecessary that they lie about the second birth date. If she was due to deliver any time before Feb 1, they did not need to. Why take the risk, either risk? Any birth before about the 15th of February would have "proved" that Bristol could not be the mother of both children.

One other comment mentioned these three additional shots of Bristol, all from during the campaign. I left them out of the first post primarily because of length but will add them here.

They are:

This was taken when Sarah visited a Wal-Mart on October 14th.

This was taken the following Saturday, October 18th.

This was taken the morning of the election, November 4th.

Again, I don't feel that they show a very solid "progression" of pregnancy, but that is my opinion alone, and I will be the first to concede that this proves nothing.

I don't know what to tell people about this mystery. I think I've made it clear that my jury is out on this whole issue. I am NOT saying that Bristol Palin's pregnancy in late 2008 was faked. I am NOT saying even that it was not exactly as reported.

I am saying that photographic evidence shows a pregnancy that does not appear to progress normally. Photographic evidence shows unequivocally that her bustline was padded at an event where there would be no plausible or rationale reason to do so. Common sense screams that something is wrong with the whole way the birth was presented.

It all makes my head hurt.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Cornerstone Part 2

In this section of this major post I will go over the primary evidence that makes me wonder if Bristol Palin's pregnancy during the campaign in the fall of 2008 was "as reported." I wish to be very clear that I am totally baffled by this.

As I said in my previous post, some of the evidence that points to everything being exactly as represented is very compelling. Yet, there is more - presented here - that just makes you go "Whoa!"

(Most every picture in this post can be made larger by clicking on it.)

Evidence which raises questions concerning whether Bristol Palin was actually pregnant, commencing in late spring 2008 and culminating with the birth of Tripp Johnston on December 27, 2008.

1. The open secret: One of the first "proofs" that Bristol was pregnant was an article published within 48 hours of the announcement that Palin was going to be the running mate that took a sort of "happy-go-lucky" spin on the Bristol pregnancy. Purporting to have interviewed several "locals" in Wasilla, the pregnancy was termed "an open secret." But there is in fact considerable evidence that the "open secret" was not all that open and was a lot more of a secret than has been put forth with that casual ("It's no big deal.") announcement.

First, we have the teens' MySpace and Facebook pages. Many pages are private, but many are not. (Or at least were not months ago – some have since gone private.) My research assistants have poured over the comments on scores of pages. There is not a single mention of Bristol being pregnant anywhere. If the secret was really nothing to fuss over, if the couple was openly together, if at least one set of parents were "happy" about the news, the absence of any mention regarding this open secret concerning the impending parenthood of these two popular kids seems impossible to explain.

Some kids in Bristol's circle have literally thousands of comments on their MySpace pages in 2-3 years. Many girls have babies, and chatter about baby showers and pregnancies, while maybe not exactly commonplace, is also not rare either. Levi's sister, Mercede, also was a very popular young lady. Yet not even a mention by the soon-to-be auntie that her brother, someone she is close enough to to have his name tattooed on her wrist, was going to be a daddy? Nope. Not a one.

This would make sense if the Palin family had asked the Johnston family to keep the news quiet, but, to repeat, the newspaper article published on takes the diametrically opposite position: that the news was an "open secret," and no big deal. This group of kids regularly posts photographs of themselves engaged in blatantly illegal behavior. In the past, Levi's relationships with other girls had been discussed, in sometimes "TMI" detail. In the face of this, the absence of a single acknowledgment or comment from a single Wasilla teen of the Levi / Bristol relationship OR pregnancy seems odd to say the least.

Second, I have in my possession emails which prove that an ADN reporter was still looking into the questions concerning Trig's origins in July 2008. The timing of this has always been significant to me, because it is well before Sarah Palin was picked as VP nominee, yet nearly three months after Trig's birth. There's no evidence whatsoever that the ADN reporter who was actively looking for information about the birth story in Wasilla ever heard that Bristol was pregnant, even though by mid-July she would have been four months. Certainly, when the story broke in September, ADN made no reference to the fact that they had already had the information.

Third, former ADN editor Michael Carey gave an interview with PBS on September 2nd. This is not some pajama-clad blogger in his parents' basement. This is a well-connected former editor of the Anchorage Daily News who had been sent by the ADN to Minnesota to cover the convention. He's asked point blank about Bristol being pregnant and he's very matter of fact.

Had HE ever heard that Bristol Palin was pregnant? No, Carey had not heard that Bristol was pregnant as of September 1 at all. But he had heard that Sarah had faked a pregnancy to cover for Bristol the previous spring. And he'd heard it LONG before the news broke on the Internet, at this point about four or five days previously.

I think his comments are so important that I am going to include them here verbatim.

MICHAEL CAREY: Well, I'm not there; I'm here. And I have not -- I'll give you an example of how this took people by surprise. On Friday, I went into work and started working on this particular story about the -- about Palin becoming vice president. But in the middle of the afternoon, the editor, Pat Doherty, said, would you like to go to Minneapolis? I said, yes. That's about what I knew at that point and none of us knew that Bristol Palin was pregnant. We didn't know anything.

I mean, I think there have been in the Daily News and some other reporting sort of the thought that, oh, yeah, this was common knowledge among certain people in Wasilla. People have said that, that being the governor's hometown. But I don't think that -- in a newsroom, as interested and gossip and good stories as ours, I did not hear this. I heard the other story, which is the fake pregnancy story. And maybe you want to go on to that at some point.

RAY SUAREZ: Well, that --

MICHAEL CAREY: The other part of the soap opera.

RAY SUAREZ: Well, that seems to have been what smoked out the Bristol Palin story, the attempt to put the first story to rest that came. Tell us more about the first one, which I guess was highlighted on the Daily Kos website.

MICHAEL CAREY: Yeah, that's been -- that story has been around for quite a while. I first heard it when a lawyer who I like very much and is a very smart guy presented this to me as the absolute truth.

RAY SUAREZ: That is, that Governor Palin was not pregnant?

MICHAEL CAREY: No, and that the whole thing was faked because she was covering up for her daughter who was pregnant. And the daughter was having the child and Sarah claimed it was her child and faked the pregnancy so as not to embarrass the daughter and not to create I guess political backlash for some kind of conservative values concern.
He is calling seriously into question the idea that it was "common knowledge." He specifically states that he does NOT think it was common knowledge based on the fact that, in their newsroom, he never heard it.

2. Bristol's appearance raises questions. Before I continue I need to say categorically that I am not happy that I am having to sit here, analyzing the potentially pregnant body of a 17-18 year old girl. Bristol Palin is younger than my own daughters and I find this very distasteful. But … I believe that it is precisely this emotion that the Palins had hoped to engender by "throwing Bristol under the bus," i.e., that reporters would be just too squeamish to ask the hard questions about and to take a good long look at the physiology of a pregnant minor.

First, Bristol's bust on the night of 9/3/2008 was padded or enhanced in some way. Analysis of many high quality photographs show this unequivocally, and she's padded so heavily that it borders on the ludicrous. Whoever dressed that MINOR, that CHILD that night should be put in prison. I mean that quite literally.

Contrast to this picture, which at first glance seems like a shot of John McCain, with Gov. Palin and Piper. Yes, but look at the background. It's a perfect profile shot of Bristol, emerging from behind Levi's body. Her bust is literally larger than her head. There is no way, based on other photographs of her, that this can be natural.

She is not only much larger that night than she was just ten days earlier (in spite of having a windbreaker on in this picture,

it's clear that the bust is not there), in several shots it appears as if the padding has slipped and that she is actually lopsided.

My experience with my own pregnancies and the pregnancies of countless other women is that bust size typically increases early in pregnancy ("bigger boobs" is often the first sign of pregnancy women report, far earlier than any discernable "tummy") and then stays more or less consistent until quite late. Photographs of Bristol from July (when she would have been 17-18 weeks pregnant)

and late August (only ten days prior to the RNC - see above) show no evidence of a bust anywhere close to the size on 9/3. Photographs of her from later in pregnancy (we don't have many but we have a few) also show that "bolster bosom" is gone.

Why would you pad/enhance the bust of a young woman who is genuinely pregnant? It is what it is. If she's really pregnant, why would it even occur to anyone to make her look more pregnant? If Bristol pregnancy was "as reported" on September 5th, in due time, the baby would be born, the veracity of the Palin/McCain's statements to the press would be born out. But putting any sort of padding or artificial enhancer on her at all can only have one goal: to give the appearance of something that is not true. So what would that be?

Second, we have very few photographs / screen shots of Bristol Palin during the campaign. She does not appear to have traveled with campaign nearly as extensively as Willow, Piper, and Trig, but she was present on at least a couple of occasions. In one brief sequence filmed, we believe, around the 15th of October, Bristol is shown some time apart on the same day. The size and shape of Bristol's pregnancy appears to change between the time of the two shots. In addition, the motion of her body as she deplanes seems odd. Pregnant women in their seventh months go down stairs slowly, leaning back slightly, protecting their bellies. Bristol bounces down the stairs. (Watch for the very brief clip beginning around the :35 point.)

Watch the motion of the belly as she moves. I cannot say that it appears natural, though it's hard to put my finger on just exactly what is "wrong."

Now look at the screen grab of her as she gets back off the bus to get on the plane.

To my eye, the belly seems to have increased in size – rather significantly. Although I do not know who far apart in time these two shots were taken, it hardly matters if it's half an hour or three hours. Based on Bristol's clothes, I believe it is the same day.

Third, in one additional quick shot of Bristol that is available, she is shown walking into church services on December 10th.

She would have been in her ninth month of pregnancy, approximaly two weeks prior to Tripp's birth. Look at the screen grab carefully. It appears as if she could push the vest, which does not appear to be a maternity jacket, closed easily.

She is certainly NO bigger than she was in this shot,

two months earlier, and may be smaller which defies all laws of pregnancy physiology. (Can that vest be pushed closed? I don't think so.)

She does not move like a pregnant woman. Pregnant women have a very distinctive "gait" due to connective tissue in the pelvis softening and loosening in response to late pregnancy hormones. This has nothing to do with age or the number of children a woman has had, though in subsequent pregnancies, the effect is usually apparent sooner. But not Bristol. She's really hoofin' it over the icy path, and when she sees the cameras she almost starts to run. Contrast her gait with some of the people (who presumably are not pregnant) walking into church ahead of the Palins. They walk gingerly and catiously over the ice. In my opinion, Bristol Palin does not appear as if she is nine months pregnant here, two weeks away from giving birth.

3. The announcement of the birth itself was handled to a way that can only be termed bizarre.

First, on Monday December 29th, People Magazine broke the story on the website: According to Bristol's great aunt, (so it would be the great great aunt of the child) the child had been born in Alaska. The aunt lives in Washington state and had learned of this by email. Initial reports had several different weights and dates, but finally consensus seemed to agree on 12/27. Numerous other news outlets, including the Anchorage Daily News followed suit on the announcement by quoting the People source. As far as I can tell, to this day, not a single media source ever verified the information in Alaska independently.

Read this again: The news that Tripp Palin was born came from a great-great aunt who had learned of it via email, had never seen the child, who lived in another state, and who had been cold-called by a national publication, which then posted it on their website. No hospital was ever named as his place of birth. No happy fellow Wasilla resident ever mentioned anywhere that "Bristol Palin had her baby the same day as me, and isn't that cool?" Hospital staff are bound by privacy regulations, but other patients are not. Not one word ever leaked to the press that Bristol had given birth, even though Palins and Johnstons and other of Bristol's friends should have been trouping in and out of the hospital for 1-2 days. But no one was ever spotted by anyone.

Second, then the Governor's Office refused to give an unequivocal statement on the birth for another 48 hours. Citing "privacy" they would not confirm or deny that the birth had even taken place. Privacy? PRIVACY???? Good God! This is coming from the woman who told about six billion people that her seventeen year old daughter was pregnant in the first place, instead of, oh, having her doctor give a news conference or releasing a birth certificate on September 1st. It's an absurd hypocritical construct, and she should have been called on it on the spot. Instead, everyone in the press just sort of hung around, dumbfounded.

Tripp's birth was – as I said – the Cornerstone of Sarah's "I'm Trig's mom" campaign. This was her BIG PROOF. This should have been a HUGE moment for her on a HUGE day. She's vindicated! And then the baby is born, and they won't even discuss it?

Critics will point out that it was Bristol's baby and she WAS entitled to privacy. There's no dispute there when it comes to personal details of the birth and photographs of the child: It's Bristol's call. But considering just how much was riding on this for Sarah, the fact that she did not give a personal simple statement to the press as new grandmother standing in the hall of a hospital, (even if the baby was never shown) is odd at best.

Sarah could have done this on her own, regardless of Bristol's wishes. Even if Bristol did not want her baby shown, would it even have occurred to Bristol to tell her mother she could not stand in the hall of the hospital, and pronounced herself, "Happy, tired, and proud."? Considering how on many other occasions Sarah has behaved like the pitbull she calls herself – on steroids - Palin's keeping herself completely out of the public eye in the days after Tripp's birth was very inconsistent with her general behavior. At least with Trig's birth, we got Chuck and Sally Heath in the hall of Mat-Su hospital holding a baby. With Tripp we got nothing.

4. No one outside the family has ever come forward to say they saw the baby prior to the Greta Van Sustern interview on February 18th, almost seven weeks after the birth.

Initially the explanation was that no photos could be taken because Bristol was negotiating with several publications for "first photos." But like so many other stories, this one was just dropped. Was this nothing but a delaying tactic? No publication appears to ever have gotten the touted "first photos." Bristol was possibly paid something by People for the photos of her and Tripp connected with her graduation… almost five months later… but the fantastic price tags that had been used to explain why there were no early photos of Tripp with either Sarah or Bristol, well, that story just faded into oblivion.

John Ziegler, who did an interview with Sarah Palin on January 7, would not confirm that he had seen (or even heard) a newborn in the house. He stated that he saw Bristol, and mentions specifically that she was post-partum, but when asked by me point blank if he ever saw a baby, would not say he had. I have always personally found it inexplicable that Sarah didn't at least show the baby to Ziegler that day, and possibly have a photo taken of her holding her new grandson, even if they chose not show the baby's face.

5. There was a significant discrepancy that has never been followed up concerning Levi Johnston's whereabouts in the days after the birth. The Anchorage Daily News reported on January 5th that Levi's lack of either high school diploma or GED rendered him ineligible for the electrician's apprentice job he had, and that he had quit and according to his father, that evening (Monday night, i.e., January 5th) was flying back from the North Slope. But according to Levi's mother he had spent the entire first week plus after Tripp's birth on 12/27 at the Palin home taking care of newborn Tripp. So where WAS Levi? With Tripp and Bristol? Or at work hundreds of miles outside of Wasilla? Seems like the ADN placed him, with eyewitnesses, on the North Slope. So... what's the real truth here? (Of course, all this indicates is that Levi was not in Wasilla the first week in January, 2009. Since in other places, it's already been alleged that things were off between Levi and Bristol before the birth, it's entirely possible that the "lie" is that Levi was actively involved with the baby, at the Palin's home, after the child was born. However, what that still leaves us with is that a whole lotta fibbin' is going on somewhere.)

5. Levi seems to have a curious lack of photographs of himself with Tripp. When asked for one, on March 16th (more than 2 1/2 months after the birth announcement) as he sat in front of his house in his truck if he had a photo of Tripp, he produced an ultrasound.

When on the Tyra Banks show in April to discuss presumably his relationship with Bristol and his son, one of the photos provided to the Tyra Banks show was of Levi holding, not Tripp, but Trig the previous spring (almost a year earlier.) No photo of Levi, with Bristol and Tripp has ever been released, even though according to the official "line," the young couple's breakup did not occur until well over a month after the baby was born.

6. It is inexplicable to me that Sarah Palin, given her family values philosophies, has never chosen to do any sort of informative, positive media event on the fact that she and her daughter had babies less than a year apart, with both of them having made difficult decisions. Ladies' Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, or one of the Christian family publications would have been thrilled to have the opportunity to do a sit-down with Bristol and Sarah jointly. So what's the problem? Sarah has never shied away from publicity (she certainly used Trig relentlessly during the campaign), and Bristol has shown herself open to media as well: she agreed to the GSV interview on Feb. 15, and did interviews and appearances for Candies in April. The silence is deafening.

There are other discrepancies as well. Sarah's own demeanor towards Levi was very very cold in an interview less than two weeks after the election, even though the official line is that everything was fine between the young couple and with the families until after the birth. In several interviews, Sherry Johnston as well as her son, can't seem to get basic details straight. You get the sense with Sherry on numerous occasions that she's talking about a baby... but not the baby that was supposedly born on December 27. She tries to do time frames, and she never quite gets it right. And Levi, how old WAS Bristol when she got pregnant? 16 no uhh 18. (If Tripp's pregnancy was as reported, she would have been 17.)

All in all, what's the old saying? "A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." I think that so many people have told so many lies for so long that I wonder if anyone knows the truth.

Bristol Palin's pregnancy, like the one Sarah presented to the world in early 2008, does not add up. Unlike Sarah's, which I am sure was not "as presented" I honestly do not know what to conclude about Bristol's. Photographic evidence, prior to the announcement of the pregnancy, seems to indicate she WAS pregnant. It also shows clear indication of obfuscation: bolster bust on the night of September 3, 2008. Palin's behavior around the time of the "birth," seems inexplicably disinterested in what should have been a huge event for her, yet there is a baby who appears to be the right age for having been born around the end of 2008.

You decide. It's all I can say.

The Cornerstone Part 1

It's been a busy few weeks as this blog and many others have followed the resignation of Sarah Palin from the governorship of Alaska. At times, inevitably, we've strayed from the central purpose of this blog and website, which is to document, analyze and archive the considerable extant evidence that Ex-Gov. Palin faked a pregnancy in spring of 2008.

But all pendulums swing back. I have numerous posts in the "in the works," but something I read yesterday made me put aside all the other things I am working on and write this. On another site, I ran across a reference to this blog, and, specifically, a reference to me. Audrey, it was claimed, is a "nutbar." And why? Because apparently, according to this individual, I have continued to pursue the baby story even though the birth of Tripp Johnston PROVES that Bristol Palin cannot be Trig's mother. And that, in turn, PROVES that Sarah must be.

It occurred to me that this really is the cornerstone of everything. Just as Bristol's pregnancy during the campaign "proved" that Sarah is Trig's mother, now Tripp's existence proves the same thing. I'd like to use this post to look at this "cornerstone" in great depth. Before I even start, though, I do want to apologize for the length of this post. It's quite long, with a good deal of embedded video and pictures. Although the final section is the most critical, I have made the decision to split it into two sections. The second section will be published tomorrow.

The premise, that the existence of Tripp Johnston proves that Sarah must be Trig's mother, is absurd. Just off the bat, this statement ignores three other possibilities.

First, Bristol always was (and I believe remains) the most likely possibility for the "other mother" for numerous reasons that have been discussed extensively elsewhere. However, I have never taken the position that Bristol was the only option and I still don't.

Second, numerous people have commented that Trig Palin appeared older than 4 ½ months at the RNC in September 2008. I am not willing to go "on record" saying I agree with this, but I certainly do not disagree. In photos of him from the RNC, he does look large and mature for a 4 ½ month old baby, born five weeks early, particularly given that – in general – Down Syndrome babies have poorer muscle tone and slower development than non Down Syndrome babies.

I was struck by this again when watching the video that Sarah Palin did for the Special Olympics some time last January: Trig, to me and many others, looks older than nine months.

This opens the possibility that Trig Palin was born earlier than announced. If true, this would allow Bristol to be mother to both children.

Third, the possibility must be considered that the entire pregnancy during the campaign was not "as reported" and it is on this possibility that I wish to focus this post. I believe that while there certainly is "proof" that Bristol was pregnant during the campaign and now has a child named Tripp Johnston in her care, I also think that a careful analysis of the evidence raises valid questions and, shall we say, curiosities. I know – I can hear the screams from here. Holey MOLEY! Now she thinks Bristol's pregnancy was faked? She's gone off the deep end.

Frankly, I don't know what to think. But in my thought process the other day, as I realized that Tripp Johnston's birth date and existence is the "cornerstone" of the "Trig is Sarah's" camp, I decided to take another look – a long look – at all the evidence, pro and con, regarding Bristol's pregnancy which allegedly culminated in the birth of Tripp Johnston on 12/27.

The initial response among many of my readers regarding the pregnancy, after all, was a great deal of skepticism. Many wrote to me asserting that it was faked, a position that, at the time, I did NOT agree with (thought I believed it was not as far along as it was stated.) Once Tripp showed up, we simply buried everything that was wrong with the "Bristol is pregnant" story from the beginning. We ignored the discrepancies with the birth story, the extremely fortuitous timing, everything that had been bothering a lot of us all along.

While there certainly is evidence – very hard to ignore evidence – that Bristol was pregnant and had a baby, there is also evidence to the contrary that is just plain puzzling and does not add up.

I am going to list the evidence – as I see it. As I have said so often in the past, you will need to decide. Is Audrey really the "nutbar" she has been made out to be, or just might there be something here?

Evidence which supports Bristol being pregnant, commencing in spring 2008 and culminating with the birth of Tripp Johnston on December 27, 2008.

1. There is a baby, who has been presented to the media on numerous occasions as Tripp Johnston. He appears to be the correct age (more or less) for having been born on 12/27/08. This is obviously very compelling. However, it must be pointed out that it is possible to obtain a baby other ways, first (legally and permanently) via adoption and second, via borrowing a child on numerous occasions. Both scenarios would be very risky in terms of being exposed. But either one is POSSIBLE, and that is a fact.
2. Photographs of Bristol Palin, taken on the day that John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate show an appearance consistent with her being in early pregnancy, though in many photographs she is covered with a baby blanket so it's difficult to ascertain accurately. (Of course, just the fact that they covered her would also tend to prove the point.) As no announcement had yet been made, this is very persuasive.

3. Levi Johnston has appeared in photographs taken in 2009 with a baby who appears to be the same baby that Bristol has appeared with on numerous occasions.
Just last week he has confirmed the outlines of the timing of Bristol's pregnancy with the Anchorage Press. If one is going to allege that there has been any fraud regarding Bristol's pregnancy, Levi Johnston is in on the deception and is actively maintaining it at this point.

4. Photographs of Bristol taken mid- February, 2009 show a midsection consistent with a "post partum" appearance.

5. A Washington Times blogger reported seeing Bristol Palin poolside on the day after the election, appearing quite pregnant. The blogger, someone whose other work shows no great interest in, support for, or dislike of Sarah Palin, mentioned it seemingly randomly. This non-scripted sighting of Bristol is very credible. It's hard to imagine a teen agreeing to appear at a pool wearing only a t-shirt in some sort of pregnancy "appliance."

Evidence which I believe is "inconclusive" in supporting the pregnancy.

Numerous people in Wasilla reported knowing that Bristol was pregnant. But the dating in and of itself is more problematic. If one is going to use "people in Wasilla knew Bristol was pregnant" (more on this below) as proof of the reported Tripp pregnancy, it's hard to justify picking and choosing among the reports that she was pregnant much earlier, reports that would disprove the Tripp pregnancy.

In fact, reports, in Wasilla, of Bristol being pregnant go back into 2007. One rumor was posted publicly to the Internet on April 8, 2008, and outlines the story exactly: Bristol was pregnant and not in school, Sarah was not pregnant, Sarah was faking to cover for her daughter. Based on a due date of 12/27, there is no way that that pregnancy could have been known in Wasilla as early as early April.

Sue Williams, a Wasilla caterer, reported to the press that Bristol was pregnant before it was announced by the McCain campaign, so I believe she must be taken seriously. The problem is that her dates do not jibe with what was later claimed (i.e, a pregnancy that could not be known publicly prior to May, 2008.) In fact, her "dating" corresponds exactly to the reddit report, above: she claimed to have heard that Bristol was pregnant in early April (and it was, at this point, not whispers from adults but being bandied about by a middle-schooler.) She makes a point of saying that this meant that Bristol and Sarah were pregnant simultaneously, and she asserts that as of the RNC, Bristol was late in her third trimester and almost ready to deliver. Obviously, that did not turn out to be true.

Sarah Palin herself mentioned the "Bristol is pregnant" rumors to Bill McAllister, then a KTUU reporter and later her press secretary, before March 2008. She denied them, but she did know about them and talk about them to someone else.

Coming tomorrow: The evidence that raises questions about Bristol Palin's pregnancy.

Link Submissions

I'm going to be putting up a links list in the sidebar of the Palin's Deceptions blog today. Since this blog began, a number of our readers have become inspired to start their own Web sites and blogs. The latest is Amy1's very creative contribution.

If you would like your Web site included in the Links List please email Morgan at

Include your Web site/Blog name and its URL.

PD Moderator

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Go Ahead. Make my Day

The title, as I am sure you all know, is not mine. It belongs to Harry Callahan (a.k.a. Dirty Harry) and is from the 1983 film Sudden Impact. It's probably one of the most famous single movie quotes ever.

"Go ahead. Make my day."

Approximately five days ago, Gryphen on his Immoral Minority blog reported that he'd been told by a source in Wasilla that Sarah and Todd Palin were splitting up. He also reported several other pieces of info, including:
1. Sarah Palin had purchased property in Montana.
2. Sarah Palin had pitched her wedding ring into a lake.

Within hours, Dennis Zaki had stated that he was able to confirm Gryphen's information (at least the splitsville part) with a former Palin staffer.

Within a few hours more, Gryphen had received a letter from Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein, which threatened to sue him and asked him (oh so politely) if he'd rather be served papers at home or at the "kindergarten where he works." Since school is not even in session it was a ludicrous question asked for one reason only: to threaten and intimidate him.

Since then, numerous right-wing fundamentalist blogs have delighted in republishing Gryphen's private information. Not only that, but at least one has contained explicit allegations (claiming first hand knowledge) that Gryphen is a pedophile, warnings to parents to keep their children away from "this demon," and (helpfully) providing the blog's readers with the email addresses of many of Gryphen's fellow teachers so that they, too, could be contacted and presumably warned about the MONSTER in their MIDST.

This is all incredibly disgusting. Sarah Palin drew far more attention to the story by squawking about it than Gryphen ever could have. And, somewhat lost in the entire shuffle is of course, the fact no suit has been filed.

Palin has threatened to sue bloggers before. One, Shannyn Moore responded by standing in front of Palin's office in Anchorage, with a group of reporters and said, "Ok, so sue me." I'm sure you're all waiting with baited breath to find out what happened that time. Yup, you guessed right. No suit that time either.

But at least these guys got threatened. But what I find even more interesting are the issues she's never even threatened to sue over. Is there a pattern there? I think so.

There've been a couple of these. National Enquirer claimed during the campaign that they'd watched a video of 15 year old Bristol smoking pot and laughing about her mother being the future governor. They made very explicit statements about Track's involvement with drugs as well. These were not only fairly serious allegations, involving illegal behavior, (which divorce is not) but also involved two of Mama Grizzly's cubs. Threats to sue the National Enquirer? Not a mention. Could it be... gasp... that there really IS a video tape? That the info about Track was accurate?

Ditto for allegations that Sarah OR Todd OR both have had affairs. That's not gonna play too hot with the family values crowd, but again not a whisper of legal action. Another gasp. Maybe there really were some affairs?

And then, we have the elephant in the room: The topic we have come to call Babygate. The allegations that Sarah Palin faked a pregnancy in the spring of 2008 and did not give birth to Trig Palin on April 18, 2008.

Unlike the stories about Bristol smoking weed and Sarah and/or Todd looking for a little strange, (neither of which I believe Ex. Gov. Palin has ever mentioned or addressed) she's mentioned the allegations about Trig many times. She's brought the "answer" up in interviews even when no one asked the question. I have made very strong statements. I and others have accused her flat out of being a liar. Yet neither I nor numerous other bloggers who have looked at the discrepancies in her story has ever been threatened in any way.

Even her fans have noticed this. On numerous boards and forums that support Sarah Palin, many people have wondered and commented. "Why doesn't she sue?" "It's time to sue." "Why doesn't she do something about these crazies?" "Why doesn't Sarah DO something about this?"

Ummm, let this crazy give you a little clue. Truth is an absolute defense against libel. If Gov. Palin sues someone concerning allegations that her pregnancy was not "as reported," the burden of proof is on her (as plaintiff), not on the defendant. She would have to prove she gave birth to Trig. And just saying, "Trig is mine because I say he's mine and I wouldn't lie" might be a closer for Team Sarah, but it isn't going to cut it with a judge.

The defendant would have the right to subpoena just about anyone he wanted for depositions. Sarah and Todd for starters, but the list might soon be long (and most impressive.) Use your imagination. Who would you like to talk to? Cathy Baldwin-Johnson? Definitely. Andrea Gusty? Oh yeah. Flight attendants on the two four hour flights she took from Texas back to Alaska with her water leaking the whole time? You betchya.

In addition, she'd have to produce medical records and, of course, produce a certified copy of an official state birth certificate. Maybe even a DNA test. And, as I have been saying for months, she either can't or won't produce any of this.

For starters, does anyone here really think that Dr. Baldwin-Johnson will risk her medical license by lying under oath? So far, she probably (probably) has only skirted the edge of medical ethics issues. But if she's subpoenaed, she's going to fold like a K-Mart lawn chair. Palin knows that...

So, in the words of that great sage, Harry Callahan, "Go ahead. Make my day."

Saturday, August 1, 2009

No Todd Left Behind

I had a post prepared for today updating all this blog's readers on an interesting new discovery regarding Willow Palin (via photographic evidence, she's been finally and almost certainly disproved as a possibility for Trig's mother) plus some updates on some other things we've been working on. And I will come back to that. But the breaking news is just too hot to ignore.

About four hours ago, on Alaska blog Immoral Minority, the news comes: Sarah and Todd Palin plan to split. The Alaska Report follows suit.

I too have sources in Alaska. Over the last week, I have also heard rumors of things not being quite right at the Palin abode. I have said from the moment of her resignation that things did not add up, like really didn't add up, like nine plus nine equaling twelve million... something along those lines.

Palin's speech announcing her plans to resign was sloppy and rushed. Quit if it's all too much, fine, but quit in a way that preserves at least some chance of a future. Her horribly-written, terribly-delivered, gasping, incoherent (and that's a compliment) dishonest speech on July 3rd pounded nails in her own coffin. From the inside. Something more than being a lame duck governor was up. Big time.

Her speech in Fairbanks on the 26th was better, but not by much, and then, absurdly, bizarrely, she drove off and left Todd standing. Todd managed to joke about it with reporters ("No car for Todd.") but I know I certainly have never left my husband standing on a street corner by accident. I lose sunglasses from time to time, but hubby?

And then - in spite of having well in excess of 100,000 followers on Twitter - she has not set up her new EX Governor account - in what, five days? The adoring faithful over on Team Sarah are losing their minds. What does it take to set up a Twitter account? Five minutes? No one wastes this kind of political capital. She's been announced as a no-show at a Republican Woman's event at the Reagan Library, and now - as has been the strategy in the past - Poodle Stapleton denies that she ever agreed to attend in the first place.

No car for Todd indeed.

But does this have anything to do with the central theme of this website and blog?

It might.

Stay tuned.

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.