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How To Deal With Wingnuts Ranting About That “Fucking Fascist Commie Chavez”

1:00 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

WTBP 5-30-09 - NWO coat

I live in Wasilla, so have gotten used to dealing with wingnuts.

There didn’t used to be so many of them, but their women get pregnant early and often.  Many have families with over ten children.  Between the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends (12 X $1,600), and state assistance for home schooling seven of the kids (7 X $2,700), a typical large wingnut Christianist family of twelve pulls in over $38,000 per year in tax-free state assistance, even if both mom and dad are working.  And they’re fixing to make it better for them, you betcha.

I call it evangelical welfare.

Today I’m in the waiting room at the local medical clinic, waiting to have the packing pulled out of a wound I’ve been dealing with.  The TV announces Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ demise.

People actually cheer.

The guy reading a year-old issue of Guns & Ammo in the chair next to me loudly mutters “Good riddance, you fucking commie fascist!”

He looks vaguely familiar – perhaps from one of the Tea Party events I’ve covered in Wasilla.

“Did he do something to you?” I ask.

“Didn’t you see Red Dawn?  That was about him!”

“The old version of the movie, or the new one?” I return.

“Whaddya mean, old – new?  It’s all the same.”

“OK.” I reply.  ”You don’t think he was a very good president, do you?”

“Fucking president!?  He was a goddam fucking dictator.  Do you know how many people he killed?”

“A lot?” I ask.

“You don’t know shit, do you?”  He’s trying to scope me out at this point.

“Maybe I don’t know as much as you do,” I retort, “but I speak Spanish and read articles in the Latin American press. Was Chavez worse than the guy he replaced?”


I reiterate, “Was Hugo Chavez worse than President Larrazabal?”

“Uh, Goddam right he was….”

“How about President Chalboud?”

“Did Chavez kill him too?” the guy asks.

“I doubt it.  But maybe al Qaeda killed Chalboud and Larrazabal, to make way for Chavez?  You wouldn’t put it past them, would you?”

“Hey!  I’m beginning to like you.”

Someone at the reception desk calls my name.  I get up and shake the hand of the Chavez critic.  ”Who do you think would be a good successor of Chavez for Americans?”

“What…..success … or.. what….?” he queries.

I finish with “Nice talking to you,” as I amble off to get my blood pressure taken.

Anyone have a similar story?

flickr  image by Philip Munger

My Annual Tax Day Wasilla Tea Party Poll – With Interesting Results

1:34 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Mat-Su Democrats voting for Obama - April 14, 2012

Saturday April 14th brought the intersection of two seemingly irreconcilable groups of political activists in the hometown of Sarah Palin (it is also my hometown, since 1985).  On Saturday morning, the Mat-Su Democrats, easily the most progressive area Democratic Party organization, held their presidential choice caucus, and met in their legislative district groups (for the last time, as statewide redistricting will fragment them by the end of June).  Saturday afternoon, the Conservative Patriots Group Tea Party of Wasilla, easily the most regressive area Tea Party organization, held their annual tax day protest less than a mile from where the Democrats were winding down their caucus.

I attended the Mat-Su Democrats’ caucus as a party member (and past district and area officer).  I was questioned by the State Central Committee Treasurer – a dear friend of mine – as soon as I came in.

“You’re not going to object to the nomination of Obama, are you, Phil?”

I hadn’t thought of what I might do when motions were presented.  I asked, “Why?”

“Every other area caucus has endorsed the President by acclamation, and by unanimous consent.  If you object, we would be the only group that didn’t do that.”

“Do you want me to STFU?”

“What does ‘STFU’ mean?”

A friend interjected, “It means ‘abstain,” I think.”

“In that case, yes,” replied the statewide treasurer.

I decided to not make waves on the issue and said “Sure.”

I brought a poll with me.  I had four questions I wanted to ask both the Wasilla Democrats and Wasilla Tea Party Patriots.  I polled 18 of the 78 or 79 people there.  I attended my district caucus of 22 people, voted on resolutions for the upcoming state convention in Fairbanks, and signed up to be a delegate.

After the scheduled events were over, I drove over to Wasilla Lake, where the Tea Party event was about to start.  I had polled this annual tax day protest in 2009 and 2010.  I missed 2011 because of a work schedule conflict.  I polled 20 of the 350 people there with the same questions I’d posed to the local Dems.  The poll results for both groups are below the fold. [cont'd] Read the rest of this entry →

Watching “Game Change” with Katie Hurley and Friends in Wasilla

1:53 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Wasilla 4th of July 2009 – Katie Hurley Grand Marshall – image by PA

More like watching the movie near Hatcher Pass.

Saturday late evening, Judy and I went to a potluck-movie showing of Game Change held by the Mat-Su Democrats.  There were enough people to keep two big screens in big rooms full of long-time progressives.

Many attending have known Palin far longer than me.  I’ve known her for over 20 years.  One of her high school teachers was there.  A woman who had taught in the same school as Palin’s dad.  And so on.

Katie Hurley, one of the very few players in the formation of the Alaska Constitution still among us, was  animated.  Hurley was the first highly successful woman in Mat-Su Valley politics.  The comprehensive story of her relationship with Palin hasn’t been written yet.  Hopefully, it will be.

Katie was LOL about fifteen times in the flick.  She caught some of the inner campaign operation jokes in the movie more quickly than any of us, some a third her age.

Overall, the audience thought the movie to be fair.  The portrayal of John McCain was thought to be too sympathetic.  Harrelson’s portrayal beat Moore’s in a hand count I held in the room I was in.  The inaccuracy of the accent was what did Moore in in Wasilla, by people who have had to put up with Palin’s antics and statements for a long, long time.

The movie’s portrayal of the Palins as a family struck me as deft.  If the Palins complain about what appears to be an earnest effort to explain them, it won’t surprise me, but they don’t really have a case.

FDL Book Salon Preview: The Rogue – By Joe McGinniss (The Hate Continues)

1:41 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

The Rogue - Searching for the Real Sarah Palin

The Rogue - Searching for the Real Sarah Palin

[This is the extended version of the preface to Sunday's Firedoglake Book Salon, which was limited to about 1,000 words.]

I. Longtime journalist and award-winning author Joe McGinniss’ newest book, The Rogue, is the latest – but by no means last – book about Sarah Palin.  Palin is not only the most famous Alaskan in history, she has uniquely combined political activity, celebrity, motherhood, grandmotherhood, a spousal relationship, borderline religious beliefs, professional victimhood, the American gossip universe, pop culture, legal obfuscation, new media and social networking.  Increasingly known for being thin-skinned and somewhat lacking in spatial awareness,  Palin, more than any American politician in a generation or so, almost begged McGinniss – or any investigative author – to move next door.  As I wrote here last year, a couple of days after McGinniss was able to do just that:

[A]uthor Joe McGinnis, who is writing a critical book about Sarah Palin, was looking for a place in Wasilla to rent this summer, as he continues his research. He was offered the house next door to the Palins’ Lake Lucille cult compound-in-progress. He wasn’t looking for the place. It came looking for him. What would you do?

Having spent time with McGinniss at the crucial point between when he moved in, and the Palins’ reaction to their new neighbor set in concrete the scene for how the book played out, I can say that Joe really was hoping to be able to just be their next-door neighbor.  He did not want to make waves, and was hoping to sit down with Sarah and Todd socially, perhaps professionally, and go through notes with them as work proceeded.  I’m not kidding.

What ended up happening was another over-reaction by Sarah, similar to many those of us who had been watching her for a long time had witnessed before.  Her facebook people went all professional victim for her and, to quote Palin in another context – “Game on!” Read the rest of this entry →

Comparing Four Books That Critically Address Sarah Palin

4:32 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Four Palin Books

[I'll be hosting author Joe McGinniss here at the firedoglake book salon next Sunday, September 25th.  This is not the introductory review, but rather a comparative assessment]

I. I finished reading Joe McGinniss’ new book about Sarah Palin, The Rogue, last night.  It is due to be released Tuesday, after having gotten more pre-release coverage than any of the other books critical of Palin had managed to garner.

Since the end of the 2008 presidential election, four critical books that either solely addressed Palin’s shortcomings, or devoted a portion of the volume to them, have struck me as outstanding in one way or others:

Bloggers on the Bus by Eric Boehlert
Going Rouge edited by Richard Kim and Betsy Reed
The Lies of Sarah Palin by Geoffrey Dunn
The Rogue by Joe McGinniss

Blind Allegiance by Frank Bailey, with Jeanne Devon and Ken Morris, seems to have fallen flat, though, mostly because it is a dull read, and when one finishes it, one suspects the collaboration didn’t manage to gel into something that could have combined the strengths of the authoring partners, but mushed instead into a poorly disguised coverup for what Bailey didn’t want us to know, and a wounded representation of what might actually be in those emails.  Geoffrey Dunn, who reviewed Blind Allegiance for The Anchorage Press in late August, is even more critical of the book’s shortcomings:

Like Palin in Going Rogue, Bailey leaves out some critical information in Blind Allegiance – information that he had most certainly access to, because it’s information that involved him. And in so doing, he made me realize that Blind Allegiance, for all its inside revelations is, in fact, a second, albeit more subtle, cover-up involving Troopergate.

Dunn goes on to describe material that was leaked to him “subsequent to completing my book.”  He writes:

The documents were records of statements given during the Petumenos investigation by Bailey and his sidekick Ivy Frye, and, taken with the findings and conclusions of the Petumenos report, point to a conspiracy of sorts in framing the collective response by Palin’s inner circle to the Troopergate investigation in the late summer and early fall of 2008.

Dunn then lays out aspects of the conspiracy in such a way that one can’t but wonder why Devon and Morris could have felt they had clean hands while working with Bailey.  After all, the two collaborators have supposedly seen thousands of the emails that didn’t make it into Blind Allegiance.  Whether they were merely incurious, or accommodating in helping Bailey in what Dunn seems to indicate may be a possible criminal coverup, we may never know.  Based on Andree McLeod’s findings in going through the emails released by the State of Alaska, I’ve believed for some time that this may be the case.

Dunn questions the honesty of Bailey, regarding the latter’s sworn testimony to the Petumenos Inquiry:

When the Petumenos Report was released on November 3 – the day before the national election – Bailey says “I welcomed what I eventually came to understand was undeserved vindication.” Say what? “Eventually came to understand?” Bailey knew at the time it was undeserved.

According to Bailey, in finding that there was “no probable cause Governor Palin violated the state’s executive branch ethics act in her dismissal of Walt Monegan,” Petumenos “relied predominantly on [Palin's] testimony to arrive at this conclusion.” But Petumenos made no such claim in his report. In fact he cited the testimony of several witnesses who “gave sworn depositions to independent counsel” – among them (guess who?) Frank Bailey, who made no mention of this deposition in his book. In fact, Petumenos specifically identified Bailey (page 36 of the Petumenos Report) as providing corroborative testimony that Palin knew nothing about activities being directed by her husband and Bailey against Wooten.

In fact, Petumenos devoted significant attention to Bailey in his report. He goes over in detail Bailey’s now notorious conversation with Lieutenant Dial. Bailey’s testimony, according to Petumenos, directly contradicted that of Walt Monegan and also Colonel John Glass of the Alaska State Troopers. Bailey makes no mention of this in his book, either. Moreover, Petumenos noted that “Bailey also corroborated the Governor’s assertions with respect to her concern about the Commissioner’s lack of progress on trooper recruitment as part of discussions regarding replacing Commissioner Monegan with Mr. Kopp in July of 2008.” Again, no mention of this in Bailey’s book – the fact that he was a corroborating witness to Palin throughout the investigation.

Dunn goes on to tackle that subject. He details Petumenos’ attention to Bailey’s relationship to Palin administration emails, raising this question in conclusion:

Again, no mention of this Petumenos finding in Blind Allegiance. But it raises the obvious question: Does Bailey have access to any other relevant emails that were not provided Petumenos and which are relevant to Troopergate? Certainly the October 3, 2006, email had direct probative impact on the scope of the Petumenos investigation and was not included in the “exhibits” of evidence provided as a formal addendum to the Petumenos Report. Are there others?

Of course there are.  Essentially, many feel the authors of Blind Allegiance have a lot to answer for before that book can be fully assessed historically.

Bailey’s book pays scant attention to bloggers in Alaska or elsewhere.  It leaves out a lot of previously known information about Palin’s absorbtion in new media and social networking tools.

II. All the way back in early 2009, Eric Boehlert’s look at how such tools, particularly those of the netroots blogging community, Bloggers on the Bus, gave national readers a glimpse of what was then a tightly knit community of progressive new media writers here who were openly sharing information with the journalists, videographers, writers and others, who flocked north in the fall, to begin reporting on the startling pick of the McCain campaign for a running mate.

At the time, Boehlert and others were skeptical of the meme that Sarah Palin might not be the birth mother of TriG Palin.  He constructed Chapter 13 of his book around a contrast between bloggers like me, who he felt reported about that issue and others responsibly, and those who he felt had not, naming the chapter after my long series on Palin here, Saradise Lost.  By the time his book came out, I was more skeptical of Palin’s story than I ever had been, and wrote Eric about that, including pictures that had surfaced since his publication, indicating Palin may well have faked the pregnancy.

More important than the TriG coverage in Boehlert’s account, is his understanding in the book that new media and social networking tools have changed political communication irreversably.

III. The Lies of Sarah Palin, which I reviewed in detail in May, takes up a lot of room describing the 2008 campaign, and paints it vividly, with remarkable detail and vignettes.  Author Dunn brings up Boehlert’s attention to Alaska bloggers on page 213:

Independent voices from the internet “influenced and altered the road to the White House” in ways never before imaginable.  Moreover the intrepid band of bloggers from Alaska did the public vetting of Sarah Palin that the media failed to do.  They were ahead of the curve every step of the way.

Dunn’s assesment of Andree Mcleod as an “Anchorage-based good-government activist” is the most thoroughly symaptheic portrait of her yet penned.  Where Bailey et al seem to demonize McLeod, Dunn managed to put McLeod into the context of bipartisan political activists in Alaska who truly do want, and – as in McLeod’s case – demand good government.  Both Bailey and Dunn contribute to the huge volume of material that shows Palin’s claim to have been such an activist to be the smelliest kind of bullshit.

IV. The Rogue is a helluva read.  It is the fifth book by the author I have read, having read The Selling of the President and Going to Extremes multiple times.

Although McGinniss’ book, like Bailey’s contains no index (Dunn’s has a superb one), I’m almost willing to forgive that.  Bailey’s book looks from inside a gubernatorial administration mostly.  Dunn’s concentrates largely on the 2008 presidential campaign from August 28, 2008 on.  McGinniss’ book is largely about Wasilla, where I live.  As with the community, the book is populated with many, many of my friends and adversaries over the years.

I feel almost too close to a lot of the content to be able to review the volume.  It does bring up, once again, a subject Judy and I have discussed fairly frequently over the past three years – how much we’ve forgotten about Palin, that we knew, and that we knew was really awful.  McGinniss addresses the climate of fear the Palin camp has created in the Wasilla area since the mid-1990s, better than anyone else has.  Far better.  He lived through it.

Here’s one example.  My longtime friend (since 1974, in Seattle, before he moved to Alaska), Dewey Taylor, used his truck to bring some chairs over to McGinniss’ new rental next to the Palins.  Apparently, some of Palin’s advocates took note:

Then I hear that at about four o’clock this morning somebody shot out the driver’s side window of Dewey Taylor’s truck, which was parked in his driveway

I call him and offer to pay for a new window.  “Don’t be reidiculous,” he says, “it was probably just a coincidence.”

“How long have you lived there?”

“About twenty years.”

“Ever had a problem with a vehicle parked in your driveway before?”


“I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”

A couple of interesting things should be noted here.  I see Dewey a lot.  He’s never discussed this incident with me.  Strange, eh?  Maybe not, as three months earlier, Palin-loving vandals (a week after this incident) had drained the oil from my Subaru (probably using a Jabsco pump), cut the oil warning light wire, and cost us $3,500.00.  And I’ve never shared that with Dewey.  We’re both “I’ll move on” kinds of people – Dewey more than I – but did fear of even dwelling on the vandalism help us keep our mouths shut?

How many other stories like that are there out here in the Mad Zoo?  The climate of festering fear or immediate retribution here – not just from the Palins, but from the nutty right-wing and Christianist zealots – should not be underestimated.

For those who complain about how McGinniss was purported to have taken advantage of informants in Going to Extremes, there won’t be much that I’ve found in this new book which will bring that back up.

McGinniss is even more scathing than Dunn in his assessment of the failures of Alaska’s main media outlets during Palin’s rise and short reign at the top of Alaska politics.  And, far more than Dunn, he observes Palin’s ability to play the media – and the media’s inability to shake itself of the Palin habit – up to the date of publication.

Six months ago, I would have totally disagreed with this McGinniss assessment of new media and blogs:

I sometimes wonder why anyone bothers to blog.  Almost nothing anyone writes changes anyone else’s mind.  Most people who read a blog already agree with the writer’s point of view.  The others read so they can write quick, nasty comments in response.  The whole blogosphere sometimes seems like one vast game of verbal paintball.

I’m not in total agreement with McGinniss on this, mind you.  And perhaps he hasn’t played paintball in the right setting yet, as it can be very enjoyable.  I learn something every day at one blog or another.  Blogs which Joe list at his own blog can be the way he describes - Palingates, Politicalgates, and The Imoral Minority, for instance.  Yet even at those places where the commenting communities are so predictably like Joe’s description, one can learn valuable information.  Others McGinniss lists, like The Daily Dish and Glenn Greenwald, are among the most valuble resources for reliable information anywhere (The Daily Dish does not publish comments).  And I’m tired, as Joe must be, of the pettiness commenters often show toward people and situations they show themselves to know little or nothing about.

Like Going to Extremes, The Rogue gets into amazing detail of daily life here, in this case from his perspective of spending the summer of 2010 on Lake Lucille.  A lot of what he writes about has been covered before, but his decriptions of the Heath and Palin families, along with the other assorted characters of this seemingly never-ending soap opera, are rife with raw humor.

He gets much more into the conflicts in the minds of central characters than any other author.  Sarah Palin’s predecessor as Wasilla mayor, John Stein, intially didn’t want to talk to or meet McGinniss.  I know, from having stayed in John’s house in Sitka, that Going to Extremes is in the library there.

Joe kept after John, who finally relented and invited the author over.  Their discussions are by far the best to cover Stein’s relationship with the young politician he was mentoring through the early 1990s.

The book has been criticized for leaving out interviews with Palin supporters.  However, as in Dunn’s book, one doesn’t need to be further illuminated in the goofiness of Palin’s devotees than we already have been.

The book concludes looking back at Palin’s very bad early 2011, particularly since her insanely self-centered respose to the January shootings in Tucson.  McGinniss is wary of not only the symbiotic relationship media has come to rely upon regarding Palin, but of his own, with the book coming out and campaign seasons ramping up:

This may be a strange thing to say in [opening] the last chapter about the star performer of the circus.  But no matter how much my book sales might benefit from a Palin presidential campaign in 2012, I sincerely hope that the whole extraveganza, which has been unblushingly underwritten by a mainstream media willing to gamble the nation’s future in exchange for the cheap thrill of watching a clown in high heels on a flying trapeze, is nearing its end.

The Rogue may be the best close look at how a small town in America related over a period of 20 years to a politician who had an uncanny ability to draw upon hatred, superstition, gang organizing and media incuriosity since Sinclair Lewis’ novel of 1935, inspired by Huey Long, It Can’t Happen Here.

Regarding the dustup over McGinniss’ role in the release of manuscripts of Blind Allegiance back in February, and how that might have had an impact on the Bailey book’s sales prospects, I’ll just say that with Bailey coming out of hibernation now to talk about comparisons, McGinniss book looks like it will help Bailey’s sell more copies, just as stores and the publisher were about to remainder Blind Allegiance.

note – the author of this article is referenced several times in The Rogue

My 2011 April 15th Tea Party Rally Questionnaire – You Can Help Write It

9:47 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

I.  I attended the 2009 and 2010 Tea Party Tax Day rallies in Southcentral Alaska. I questioned people attending them. In 2009, I decided once I got to the rally at the park by Lake Wasilla, to poll a few people as to their political affiliation:

13 Libertarians
9 non-partisan
6 Republicans
2 Alaska Independence Party

In 2010, I attended both the Anchorage and Wasilla tax day Tea Party rallies. I sought to poll more deeply. I was able to get 63 of over 70 people I polled to provide information:

What Party are you registered in?


18 – GOP
16 – Independent/unaffiliated
3 – Libertarian
2 – Democrat
2 – Alaska Independence Party
1 – wouldn’t disclose


12 – Independent/unaffiliated
8 – GOP
1 – Democrat


28 – Independent/unaffiliated
26 – GOP
3 – Democrat
3 – Libertarian
2 – Alaska Independence

Who did you vote for in the 2008 presidential contest?

31 – McCain
6 – Obama
2 – wrote in Ron Paul
1 – wrote in Baldwin


19 McCain
1 Obama
1 – wrote in Dick Cheney


50 – McCain
7 – Obama
2 – Paul write in
1 – Cheney write in
1 – Baldwin write in

How old do you believe the planet earth to be:


17 – billions of years
5 – millions of years
3 – 6,000 years
16 – didn’t know or refused to answer


1 – billions of years
3 – millions of years
3 – in the hundreds of thousands of years
9 – less than 10,000 years
2 – refused to answer
3 – I neglected or chose not to ask

How would you rate these politicians for the leadership they are exhibiting right now, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being highest (average of all who answered):


Palin – 6.2
Obama – 1.8
Begich – .9


Palin 8.7
Obama – 1.3
Begich – 2.6

Who, currently active in American political affairs and dialogue, inspires you the most right now:

10 – Ron Paul
5 – Michelle Bachman
3 – Sarah Palin
3 – Mitt Romney
3 – George W. Bush
2 – Glenn Beck
2 – Ralph Nader
1 – Barack Obama
1 – Denis Kucinich
1 – Alan Grayson
1 – Mike Huckabee
1 – Sean Hannity


6 – Sarah Palin
3 – Glenn Beck
2 – Michelle Bachman
2 – Ron Paul
2 – Newt Gingrich
1 – Sean Parnell
1 – Mike Huckabee
1 – Bill O’Reilly
1 – Rush Limbaugh
1 – Paul Ryan
1 – Rick Perry


12 – Ron Paul
9 – Sarah Palin
7 – Michelle Bachman
5 – Glenn Beck
3 – George W. Bush
3 – Mitt Romney
3 – Newt Gingrich
2 – Mike Huckabee
2 – Ralph Nader
…… and so on

II. Here’s my proposed poll for 2011:

April 15 2011 Tea Party Questionnaire:

1. How many tea party events have you been to?
2. Are you a registered voter?
3. How are you registered?

4. To which branch of the tea party do you belong?

a.Tea Party Patriots
b.Tea Party Express
c. Tea Party Nation
d. National Tea Party Federation
e. Americans for Prosperity
f. FreedomWorks
g. American Tea Party for Jesus
h. The Original Tea Party

5. Do you contribute to a tea party organization?
6. Which one?
7. Do you know who the Koch Brothers are?

8. Which one of these figures inspires you most:

a. Ron Paul
b. Sarah Palin
c. Mitt Romney
d. Andrew Breitbart
e. Glenn Beck
f. Michelle Bachman
g. other ________

9. In 2010, in the Alaska US Senate race, who did you vote for:

a. Joe Miller
b. Scott McAdams
c. Lisa Murkowski

10. Is Islam a religion?
11. What religion is Barack Obama?
12. Was Barack Obama born in the United States?
13. Who do you hope will be the next US president?

I’m hoping to poll at least 100 people this year. Do you have any other suggested questions, or ideas about how to streamline the poll to get more meaningful information, more quickly than how I’ve got this configured?

Sarah Palin and Joe the Teabagger to Lead 9-11 Motorcade from Wasilla to Glenn Beck Rally in Anchorage

8:29 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

It may not be the November 9, 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, but how about a Wasilla-Anchorage 9-11-2010 rehearsal?

According to Palin-centric progressive Alaska blog, The Immoral Minority:

Supposedly both Sarah Palin and her butt boy Joe Miller are going to attend this event in the sports center named after the man that she coveted for most of her young life, and then afterward they are going to drive in a giant motorcade from Wasilla to Anchorage to attend the Glenn Beck event at the Dena’ina Center.

Which means that apparently much of Beck’s audience will be made up of these wingnuts from the Valley who will be arriving in MY city on 9-11 to "commemorate" the death of 3,000 Americans in New York.

Beck is scheduled to hold his own rally at Anchorage’s new, downtown-located Denai’ana Center at 8:00 p.m on Saturday, September 11th, so I’m not sure how the Wasilla people can proceed so slowly for 50 miles, over the course of the end of the Palin-Miller affair in the Mat-Su Valley, and the beginning of the Beck Rally, seven hours later.

And how does Beck feel about the real victims of September 11th, 2001?

Teabagger, Joe, meanwhile, is continuing his lessons on how to master Sarah Palin’s phenomenal ability to blame everyone but herself for everything. Alaska blogger, Linda Kellen Biegel nailed it today at The Mudflats:

So, let me get this straight…according to the article (and I called to verify its accuracy) Miller was the FIRST TO HIT ANOTHER VEHICLE (driven by Raisis) who was stopping behind the car making the left turn (driven by Lewis). Miller’s rear-ending of Raisis caused HIM to rear-end Lewis.

As a matter-of-fact, Mr. Lewis shared with The New York Times that Mr. Miller and he share the same insurance company. That company determined that Joe Miller’s policy should pay for the accident!

Yet, Joe Miller is the victim here? And, not only is he the “victim,” but he is basically accusing the Alaska State Troopers of bias?

I’ll be the first to admit that the accident itself is a trivial matter. However, in light of all that we now know about Palin, you can see where a Senatorial-hopeful feeling the need to blame our Alaska State Troopers for his behavior set off some warning bells.

Plus, what we already know about Miller makes the Palin comparison even scarier:

–Joe Miller touts that he is “pro-life” and “pro-family.” Yet the campaign for this divorce attorney from Fairbanks called SOMEBODY (either a sitting U.S. Senator or the Alaskan Libertarian Party) “a whore” during the primary.

–Joe Miller is a Yale law school graduate, yet completely ignores the most basic tenants of law…both STATE and FEDERAL…to tow the Tea Party line.

–Joe Miller is “loose with the truth” when it comes to his bio…unneccessarily so.

–Joe Miller QUIT his job with the Fairbanks Northstar Borough because according to his resignation letter they told him he had to miss “an elk hunt” in order to prepare for a court case.

And for me, the most damning comparison of all:

–Joe Miller has held at least six different jobs in 15 years.

See Linda’s original article for much more, and for links to many articles on the Palin-Teabagger Joe "victim" MO.

The Palin-Beck-Teabagger Joe Rally-procession-Rally, like attempting to co-opt one of America’s most positive icons – MLK’s 1963 speech at the Washington Monument – is another example of a sick, perhaps terminal media addiction to these skilled nihilists:

It will take much more than your standard 28-day program to cure this disease.

My Wasilla Lunch with Joe McGinniss

12:04 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Last winter, author Joe McGinnis, who is writing a critical book about Sarah Palin, was looking for a place in Wasilla to rent this summer, as he continues his research. He was offered the house next door to the Palins’ Lake Lucille cult compound-in-progress. He wasn’t looking for the place. It came looking for him. What would you do?

As Joe recounted this and other details of what has gotten him to be next-door-neighbor to the most bizarre political joke in American history (move over, Aaron Burr), I was laughing so hard in Wasilla’s Mekong Restaurant, that my bean-thread noodles were getting all over the place.

What WOULD you do?

Joe had met earlier in the morning with Wasilla’s current mayor, Vern Rupright. Apparently, they both laughed a lot at the sight of the hasty, 15-foot tall fence addition the Palins impetuously and somewhat clumsily erected Tuesday along the lot line.

The lot line problem is an example of how the Palins sometime create their own complications. The lakeside lots of both the properties McGinniss is leasing, and the Palins’ own, are wide by local standards – almost 200 feet of beach. The house McGinniss occupies is 10 feet from the lot line of the Palins’ property. Joe’s place was on the lake for many years before the Palins built theirs ten feet from the adjoining line, 20 feet from what is now Joe’s office.

Why did the Palins build so close to their neighbors that a headache might crop up at an inconvenient time in the future? Who knows?

Joe’s here to do a job: write a book about the political milieu from which Palin emerged. It might end up being the best book yet about Alaska. His Going to Extremes is the most durable of the spate of books that attempted to describe the gold rush atmosphere in the far north, as the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was being built.

If investigative reporting is snooping, then that’s part of the territory. How would we have gotten some our best books on politicians, were it not for brazen reporting? All the President’s Men, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Screwed, and Dude, Where’s My Country? – all involved a bit of snooping, as have many other great books about politicians’ lives.

We’re all used to the Palin modus operandus of throwing her family members out onto the national stage, one by one, or in various combinations. As long as she and her handlers feel they are in control of the pandering, there is no limit to how sleazy of a venue she will find for them. OK, maybe there is a limit – she likes to get paid when she pimps out the family.

She likes to get paid a lot.

Maybe that was part of why Palin went all Pamela Gellar on facebook about her new neighbor:

Spring has sprung in Alaska, and with this beautiful season comes the news today that the Palins have a new neighbor! Welcome, Joe McGinniss!

Yes, that Joe McGinniss. Here he is – about 15 feet away on the neighbor’s rented deck overlooking my children’s play area and my kitchen window. Maybe we’ll welcome him with a homemade blueberry pie tomorrow so he’ll know how friendly Alaskans are.

We found out the good news today. Upon my family’s return this morning from endorsement rallies and speeches in the Lower 48 states, I finally got the chance to tackle my garden and lawn this evening! So, putting on the shorts and tank top to catch that too-brief northern summer sun and placing a giddy Trig in his toddler backpack for a lawn-mowing adventure, I looked up in surprise to see a “new neighbor” overlooking my property just a stone’s throw away. Needless to say, our outdoor adventure ended quickly after Todd went to introduce himself to the stranger who was peering in…

Joe announced to Todd that he’s moved in right next door to us. He’s rented the place for the next five months or so. He moved up all the way from Massachusetts to live right next to us – while he writes a book about me. Knowing of his many other scathing pieces of “journalism” (including the bizarre anti-Palin administration oil development pieces that resulted in my Department of Natural Resources announcing that his work is the most twisted energy-related yellow journalism they’d ever encountered), we’re sure to have a doozey to look forward to with this treasure he’s penning. Wonder what kind of material he’ll gather while overlooking Piper’s bedroom, my little garden, and the family’s swimming hole?

Welcome, Joe! It’ll be a great summer – come borrow a cup of sugar if ever you need some sweetener. And you know what they say about “fences make for good neighbors”? Well, we’ll get started on that tall fence tomorrow, and I’ll try to keep Trig’s squeals down to a quiet giggle so we don’t disturb your peaceful summer. Enjoy!

Sarah Palin

Palin neglected to write about Todd’s encounter with Joe the Writer, in which Todd berated McGinnis for his long article early last year, which took apart what Sarah Palin still claims to be her major achievement as governor of Alaska – AGIA, her increasingly unlikely scenario for construction of a trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline, a project blogger and former legislator Andrew Halcro calls "the great white whale in the room."

After my Wednesday lunch with Joe, we went down to the Wasilla Lowe’s, and purchased some security equipment for the rental house. I went over and helped him set some of it up. He showed me how Todd had started remodeling the upstairs of the house, when Todd wanted to have it rented out to somebody, probably from Newscorp. Todd never got around to remodeling the part of the home, down in the basement, from which a meth lab had operated next door to the Palins for months, if not longer. Here’s Shannyn Moore’s description of some of the house’s pre-Joe the Writer history, and Palin’s weird reaction:

The home Joe McGinniss is renting used to be an Oxford House from 2005 until 2008. The tenants were men recently released from prison who were recovering addicts. What? No fence to protect sexy Sarah in her tank top? Dear God! Who was lurking in that house watching her children play?

The Palins themselves rented the home McGinnis is staying in for six months in 2009, but weren’t interested in purchasing it. They didn’t want to spend the money. Last October they were “done with the house”. During the election, the Secret Service guarded the Palin home from the backyard now occupied by Mr. McGinnis. Here’s a hint, Sarah – if you want to dictate who lives in the house, you should have probably bought it first.

It’s predictable Palin.

Sarah has a habit of shooting down hill. One of my daughter’s friends has a black eye from shooting down hill while bear hunting. It’s not just a proverbial lesson, it’s a literal one.

Last week, she attended a funeral with her youngest daughter. I called her daughter a “human shield”. Sarah validated my metaphor with her attack on Joe McGinnis. She evoked provocative images of herself, then accuses a respected journalist of “peering” at her young daughter. “I’m hot! He’s a pervert!”

Ask David Letterman how accusations of pedophilia work out. Initially, Dave looked like he’d gone too far with his tasteless joke. But her strike back about having to protect her fourteen year old daughter from David Letterman? No one was buying her manufactured outrage. She quit a three weeks later.

Todd’s unfinished carpentry upstairs looked to me to be better-than-average trailer court kitsch. In other words, like a lot of Wasilla remodel jobs. And like a lot of Wasilla remodels – unfinished.

Even though I’ve lived in Wasilla for over 25 years, I’d never been this close to the Palin cult compound. During the period between Palin’s selection as John McCain’s 2008 running mate and her July 3rd 2009 resignation, I must have been asked a couple dozen times by various people if I had been there, or if I wanted to go over there for some announcement or another. I stayed away. Having seen the place up close now, though, I can only say that the pictures one sees do not do the brazen, in-your-face aura of this set of unfinished, partially finished and weirdly realized buildings anything close to justice. The property reminds me of nothing else around here. It is more reminiscent of the Branch Davidian complex in Waco – before the fire – than anything in Wasilla.

And Joe is set up to work on the book. With the fence looming over the south-facing windows, the Palins can, from the top floor of the main house, look down on Joe, typing away on his MacBook Pro, even if he can’t see them. No doubt they’re already installing, probably with Newscorp help, instruments in the cult compound that can decipher Joe’s keyboard strokes.

I did have the satisfaction, while helping Joe deal with a stream of intruders coming down his driveway, of watching my dog, Strider, go over to the Palin’s yard and leave a present. I gave him an extra treat when we got home.