Palin Moves Past “Joke” Territory, Heads Toward “Cliche”

There’s a couple Sarah Palin stories that I want to get out of the way, much like history will do with her candidacy.

First I’ll mention how the McCain /Palin Campaign pre-emptively cleared Palin from wrongdoing (much like Bush pre-emptively invaded Iraq).   Then I’m going to mention the actual Branchflower Report, which found she had abused her power in an unethical manner [available here in PDF form].

After that I’ll talk about her reality-denying interview regarding the Alaskan probe.  Then I’ll point out who she really blames for the problem.  Finally I’ll point out how her recent, insane rhetoric has backfired, how her tone has allegedly changed, and how it’s still a joke.

First: The McCain / Palin Campaign clears themselves of any wrongdoing.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska [Thursday] October 9, 2008 (AP)

Trying to head off a potentially embarrassing state ethics report on GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, campaign officials released their own report Thursday that clears her of any wrongdoing.

Lawmakers are expected to release their own findings Friday. Campaign officials have yet to see that report — the result of an investigation that began before she was tapped as McCain’s running mate — but said the investigation has falsely portrayed a legitimate policy dispute between a governor and her commissioner as something inappropriate.

“The following document will prove Walt Monegan’s dismissal was a result of his insubordination and budgetary clashes with Governor Palin and her administration,” campaign officials wrote. “Trooper Wooten is a separate issue.”

“I just hope that the truth is figured out,” Monegan told The Associated Press on Thursday. “That the governor did want me to fire him, and I chose to not. You just can’t walk up to someone and say, ‘I fire you.’ He didn’t do anything under my watch to result in termination.”

[full story]

Nice move.  Very Bush-like.  Hmm, how’d that work out for us?

Well, let’s see what the ACTUAL report says.  This one is easily illustrated with th e picture below , and this soundbyte.

Palin Probe Reveals Ethical Lapses

Palin Probe Reveals Ethical Lapses

 Here’s the relevant parts of the interview… I’ll go ahead and put the obvious bullshit in italics.

[Opening Statement]

Palin: OK cool.

Well, I’m very very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing … any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that.

[Todd] did what any – I think — any rational person would do so again, nothing to apologize there with Todd’s actions and again very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing.

[First Question]

ADN: Governor, finding No.1 on the report was that you abused your power by violating state law. Do you think you did anything wrong at all in this Troopergate case?

Palin: Not at all and I’ll tell you…

So no, not having done anything wrong, and again very much appreciating being cleared of any legal wrongdoing or unethical activity at all.

[Second Question]

ADN: Have you read the whole report? (No response; Stapleton [Palin’s Aide] invites question from KTVA reporter).

KTVA-Channel 11: … The report that came out yesterday, do you think that the end result is partisan?

 Yes, you read that right.  They cut off the reporter who was asking the simple follow-up…”Did you read the report?”  The reporter asked this because Palin stated something that was completely the opposite of what the report just said, much like their pre-emptive report did.   She then contines to do so, after blaming everyone else for her ethical lapse.

She did single out one person, above all else, to blame for this mess….here’s the focused version…from a comment on Fark…

whizbang Quote 2008-10-12 08:45:28 PM  
Well, it’s certainly consistent with their First-Dude-Takes-the-Heat defense strategy:

Todd did what anyone would have done given this state trooper’s very, very troubling behavior and his dangerous threats against our family.

Todd did what I think any Alaskan would do. And he,

Todd did what the state’s Department of Law Web site tells anyone to do if they have a concern about a state trooper. And that’s you go to the commissioner and you express your concern. And

Todd did what our personal detail asked him to do. Bob Cockrell early on as I was elected and was asked are there any threats against you, and

Todd brought the concern as I did to Commissioner Monegan about the state trooper’s threats.

He did what any – I think — any rational person would do so again, nothing to apologize there with

Todd’s actions and again very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing.

 Note also that thinking it is “rational” and normal for someone to use the Governor’s office to call directly and talk to a commissioner directly about their ex-brother-in-law is completely insane.  The access that Sarah gave Todd makes it plenty evident that she drew no boundaries regarding his access to her personnel and her authority as Governor.  It is idiotic to try and argue that it was without her knowledge and not part of her agenda.  But that’s their argument.

To go and get caught red-handed and then throw your own husband under the bus…all the while denying you did anything wrong?

C’mon, Plain [sp], give us a break.  No wonder you got booed.


So that’s one example of how detached this person is.    Let’s look at one more example to put this argument to bed. 

Sarah begins…

[quotes taken from this article]

“It’s not negative and it’s not mean-spirited in a campaign for me to ask you to check out our opponent’s record, and I would ask you to check out our opponent’s record ….”

And you know she’s going for the Ayer’s thing, right?  Like she did last week, right?  LIke how she said Obama was hanging around with terrorists?  You folks remember this, right?  Because that’s not what happend at all…

“…check out our opponent’s record on a couple of the legislative opportunities that Barack Obama has had to reflect his feelings on the same issue that I just talked about,” Palin said. “I’m not being negative, not mean-spirited, but please check out his record on partial birth abortion and on the Child Born-Alive Act, and I’ll let you judge for yourself.” 

Oooh, good one.  Going for the “Obama is a Baby Killer” argument.  Nah, that’s not negative or mean-spirited.

And neither is this…

“All across America, I know that there’s a lot of anger right now,” Palin said.

Right, right, I know, people are pissed the “Arab” terrorist might win the election, right?

What? No? Then what is it?

“There’s anger about the insider dealing of lobbyists and anger at the greed of Wall Street, and anger about the arrogance of the Washington elite. And with serious reforms to change Washington, John McCain is going to turn your anger into action.”

Aaah, I see.  People are mad the “Washington elite”.  You know.   People born and bred in Washington. The sons of Admirals and Vice Presidents.   Ya know…those elites…Republican presidential candidates.

She goes to talk about the good guys and bad guys.

“Help me Ohio to help put John McCain in the White House,” Palin said. “He understands… For one thing, we know who the bad guys are, OK? We know, we know that in the war, it’s terrorists, terrorists who hate America and her allies and would seek to destroy us, and the bad guys are those who would support and sympathize with the terrorists. They do not like America because of what we stand for: liberty, freedom, equal rights. Those who sympathize and support those terrorists who would seek to destroy all that it is that we value, those are the bad guys, ok?”

This is toning it down?  Last week she says that Obama sympathizes and pals around with terrorists.  This week she says that the terrorist are the bad guys (along with lobbyists like a young John McCain and “Greedy Wall Street” types, i.e. jews).

Her followers know what she really means.  Obama is the Bad Guy.

I guess when you are completely ignorant of, or just flat out ignore history and facts and such.  And don’t feel the need to “look to the past” as she’s so fond of saying….you can make such ridiculous claims in public with a straight face.

When you study history and know that the term “Founding Fathers” is damn near synonymous with “Elitist Lawyers” and then look at what this country has had to go through to get to where it is, I don’t think you could.

Many of the men who started this country were out-of-the-closet INTELLECTUALS.  And LIBERAL ONES too.

I completely understand that the “liberal” and “conservative” of over 200 years ago bears little resemblance to that of today, but this culture war against knowledge and history and science needs to stop.  This thinly vieled argument that Barack Obama is a Terrorist Who Hates America really needs to stop.

This kind of politics needs to stop now.  If it doesn’t, we can make absolutely sure this kind of politics stops in a few weeks, when we get a chance to exercise the power that a bunch of rich, elitist, patriotic laywers and slave-owning intellectuals decided in their slightly-less-than-infinite wisdom to give to the common people.

Infinite wisdom is reserved for the Almighty and I think we can all agree now, as Americans, that Almighty we are not.

The Astronaut and Jill Six-Pack

I’m of the general opinion that this is “joke week” for the ’08 Presidential Election.  The crumbling of the U.S. economy has pretty much negated any real campaign news and with three senators and a guv’ner involved in the campaign they represent 3% of 50% of the legislative body.   Which is to say, they’ve all been made mostly irrelevant except for three (3) votes they might cast.

That being said, they are still out there talking.  Everyone is waiting in high anticipation for the Vice Presidential debate tomorrow at Wash U in Saint Louis  [previous Wash U mention here, in a curious personal tangent].  Palin’s supporters can’t wait for her to show her real stuff and Obama’s people are waiting for a bloodbath.  No one is really pulling for McCain or Biden in this debate, curiously enough.  Yes, I know it’s strange, but that’s the kind of week it has been.

So, continuing with the strangeness, here’s the latest gaff-a-palooza (which is a chiche I like better thant -gate).

“So, with due respect, I strongly disagree with your premise that she doesn’t have experience and knowledge and background,” he said. “I fundamentally disagree, and I’m proud of her record.”

Later, after continuing to counter Palin’s critics, he pointed to what he called a divide between the press and the public on their view of the Alaska governor. “…You and I just have a fundamental disagreement and I’m so happy that the American people seem to be siding with me,” said McCain [1].

When editors pointed to similar recent assessments from conservatives, McCain responded “Really? I haven’t detected that,” [2] attributing those sentiments to the “Georgetown cocktail party” circuit.

“Some people allege that others may have spent too much time inside the Beltway, and too much time not out in touch with the American people,” said McCain. “Some people that know that Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn’t address the American people on television.” [3]*

[full story]

Can someone please forward this website’s URL to Senator McCain?  I’m going to try and help him out here.  Maybe jar some memories loose.

First. No, the American people haven’t sided with you regarding Governor Palin’s readiness to lead.  If you read this site you would know that.

Second. Yes, you are freaking conservatives out.  If you read this site you would know that.

Third. Not only did Franklin Delano Roosevelt address the American people on television, he was the first President to do so.  If you are reading this site, now you know this.

The Question:

Who was the first president to give a televised speech? My daughter answered FDR but her teacher says Truman. I have found several web sites, including The History of Television, that says FDR. I need a definitive answer. Please help.

The Answer:

We’ll do our best to set the record straight.

According to our sources, Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to speak on television. Roosevelt spoke at the opening session of the New York World’s Fair on April 30, 1939.

Perhaps this is the source of your confusion: The first presidential address broadcast from the White House was Harry S. Truman’s speech about food conservation and the world food crisis on Oct. 5, 1947.

We hope this helps.

So not only did FDR address the American people on TV, Senator, and I really want to stress this point, HE DID SO DURING YOUR LIFETIME!!!!11!!!911!!!1!

John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936) is the senior United States Senator from Arizona and presidential nominee of the Republican Party in the 2008 presidential election.

whew. That was tough to get out…wait till you see the video version…

Look, I understand McCain was trying to get in a quick barb at Biden, but the fact that he missed so horribly, and was so historically inaccurate, and that it reveals just how damn old the guy is…this should all mean something…I mean…it’s hilarious.  It’s a joke.  A really funy one.

Even funnier than this next one, as a matter of fact, which is itself a doozy.  This one loses a bit bit of humor, however, because of how frighteningly revealing it is.

Asked later if he had benefited from taxpayer-subsidized health care his entire life, McCain replied that the question had no relation to his ability to understand the concerns of those Americans who had not.

“You know that’s an interesting statement, isn’t it?” he responded. “And I have never been an astronaut, but I think I know the challenges of space. And I have never done a lot of things in my life that I think I am familiar with.”

So here’s a guy who’s family has been in the military as long as the U.S. has existed.  He’s a real life Lt. Dan.  Everything he every grew up with, or around was paid for by the U.S.  This is just how it works.  It’s a job.  You work and get paid.  By taxpayers. For fighting.  That’s the deal.

This also apples to military universities.  Once you get in and make the commitment, it’s paid for.  Including that whole health care thing.  Then he goes to war, gets caught, comes back, and goes to Congress.  And now, seventy-something years later, he’s never once been off the dole.  Ever.

And in order to communicate how this experience has given him the opposite knowledge, that he does, in fact know what it feels like to have absolutely no support from anyone (against the complete support of the most powerful nation on earth) he mentions that he isn’t an astronaut but knows what it feels like to be one.

I’m waiting, on pins and needles, for Palin to defend his astronaut experience by mentioning how much space you can see from Arizona.  Because, you know, you can see space from anywhere, but, I’ll tell you what, those Arizonians, they see a lot of space.

Speaking of Jill Six-Pack, here’s her latest nuggest of commonality.

Palin linked herself to the financial situation many Americans now face, telling Hewitt: “I know what Americans are going through. Todd and I, heck, we’re going through that right now even as we speak, which may put me again kind of on the outs of those Washington elite who don’t like the idea of just an everyday, working-class American running for such an office.” The governor of Alaska received a salary of $112,895 in 2007, according to  The McCain campaign has not released the Palins’ financial records.

[full story]

It should be noted that they will most likely not be releasing those records.  From the background I’ve read on Todd and his native ties, he is tied by blood into a very wealthy tribe [note: price of oil], and they have plenty of cash on hand.  It’s a big part of how she ran for Governor and took on the OBC, so to speak.   That didn’t stop her from getting favors to sell her house, but I digress.

Palin goes on to tell this “non-mainstream news source” [more on that in second] how she’s just a regular gal running for VP.

Palin was asked in the interview about her reaction to “extreme hostility” from the media. “I think they’re just not used to someone coming in from the outside saying you know what — it’s time that normal Joe Six Pack American is finally represented in the position of vice presidency,” she said. “And I think that that’s kind of taken some people off guard, and they’re out of sorts, and they’re ticked off about it, but it’s motivation for John McCain and I to work that much harder to make sure that our ticket is victorious.”

Umm, I dunno about that.  After all, we just had a Joe Six Pack (literally) coming from outside to take over the Presidency in 2000.  My guess would be that some of the suspicion is coming from that direction and recent barrage of wisdom regarding selecing leaders.  BTW, “extreme hostility” is in quotes because it was a bullshit question asked by the notoriously biased Hugh Whoit?

Whoit? represents a “non-mainstream news [MSM]” source that is third in line behind Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric for the best media get of the month.  Hannity doesn’t count because he, like all right wing commentators that rail on the liberal media, are not part of the media themselves.  Once anyone with right wing tendencies is excluded from the concept of “the media” is easy to see how liberal “the media” really is.

And so it goes, for one more day.


Where You Can See Russia From Alaska

The island is called Little Diomede. It looks like a rock plopped into the Bering Strait. Only about 150 Alaskans live on the whole island. And just about two miles away; in full view of every single house on the island is the nation of Russia. Specifically, it is the Russian Island of Big Diomede which sits about 25 miles from the Russian Siberian mainland (which you can also see from the American island.) Most everybody on Little Diomede had relatives who lived on Big Diomede.

But decades ago, the Russian government sent them all to the mainland, and today, Big Diomede is limited to a Russian military presence. It’s also a full day in front of Little Diomede because it’s on the other side of the International Date Line. Little Diomede is fascinating. It looks like the moon would if you built a lunar settlement. It’s full of rocks, dirt, and craters. We were curious if Sarah Palin has ever visited this island. According to the natives, the answer is no.

As a matter of fact, no Alaska governor in the state’s nearly 50 year history has ever visited the remote outpost that still has little running water. We were curious what the Little Diomeders thought about Palin’s claim of foreign policy experience because of the proximity of Siberia. Interestingly, many of these Alaskans had no idea who Sarah Palin was! It turns out they have no TV on the island, and therefore, many don’t follow the news.

The island’s mayor has heard of her though. No American mayor resides in a city closer to Russia than Andrew Milligrock, and he says being two miles from Russia doesn’t give him any foreign policy expertise.

Anderson Cooper 360: Blog Archive – You CAN see Russia from here! « – Blogs from

This, sadly, is actually in depth reporting into the claims of one of the Vice Presidential candidates, if you can believe it.

I’ll bet someone who woke up from a two-month-long coma today couldn’t, to be honest.

This latest revelation about the technical accuracy of Sarah Palin’s claim regarding the physical reality of Russia probably won’t do much to help her polls numbers…although it might help explain them.

The Sarah Palin pick has not worn well with North Carolina voters, as her net favorability has gone from +8 to -3 in the course of three weeks, for a negative shift of 11 points.

She is particularly unpopular with independents in North Carolina. 46% of them now say her selection makes them less likely to vote for John McCain compared to just 36% who say her spot on the ticket makes them more inclined to support him. Even among Republicans enthusiasm for her has dropped from 75% to 67%.

[full post]

UPDATE: Umm, not to worry.  Sarah Palin, it turns out, reads *every* newspaper and magazine regularly in order to keep in touch with Washington, D.C. while living in Alaska.  We are also informed that Alaska is not. I repeat *not* a foreign country [watch Katie Couric roll her eyes at this one].  This is despite the fact that you need a passport to get there over land and their current governor’s husband was a member of a secessionst political party.

Anyway, on with the clip.

O.k. raise your hands…who thought that was Tina Fey in the clip making fun of Palin?

Palin Problem by Kathleen Parker on National Review Online (?!)

As we’ve seen and heard more from John McCain’s running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.

Yes, she recently met and turned several heads of state as the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York. She was gracious, charming and disarming. Men swooned. Pakistan’s president wanted to hug her. (Perhaps Osama bin Laden is dying to meet her?)

And, yes, she has common sense, something we value. And she’s had executive experience as a mayor and a governor, though of relatively small constituencies (about 6,000 and 680,000, respectively).

Finally, Palin’s narrative is fun, inspiring and all-American in that frontier way we seem to admire. When Palin first emerged as John McCain’s running mate, I confess I was delighted. She was the antithesis and nemesis of the hirsute, Birkenstock-wearing sisterhood — a refreshing feminist of a different order who personified the modern successful working mother.

Palin didn’t make a mess cracking the glass ceiling. She simply glided through it.

It was fun while it lasted.

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

Palin Problem by Kathleen Parker on National Review Online.

Jeez, ya think?

I had originally predicted that the Palin nomination would lead to a 10-point Obama lead within the week.  It took a couple weeks longer than what I thought (our media is pretty slow at expressing the blindingly obvious…but it usually still gets there), but here we are (9 points in one poll…plus the margin of error).

I don’t think things will change that much in McCain’s direction now, especially with the latest “suspended” campaign idiocy.  Yea…right…you are so important you can’t possible take a couple hours to sit down with the guy you are running against.    What a load of crap.

I’ll have another post on that, which will probably include a bit of the debate as well.

[On] Palin Progaganda on Fox

Talk show host Sean Hannity and Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin came together for what Fox News Channel promoted as an exclusive interview.

But, in truth, what viewers saw was a carefully staged display of partisan political theater — from the executive-office backdrop to the non-stop stream of smiley-faced softball questions Hannity served up with great servility.

In TV terms, the imagery was impressive, with an American flag over her left shoulder, a richly appointed china cabinet off to the side and thick carpeting throughout. Every table had flowers in a fine vase. It was all supposed to remind viewers of the White House while sending the message: Look how comfortable and natural she looks here.

Typical of their staged conversation was the following exchange:

Hannity: “Senator Obama yesterday was attacking Senator McCain for saying the fundamentals of the economy are strong. Do you believe the fundamentals of the economy are strong?”

Palin: “It was an unfair attack on the verbiage… because he (McCain) means our work force, of course, and that is what’s strong… So, that was an unfair attack.”

[ed. yes…it’s unfair to attack people for what they say….wait, what? And also…as you seemed to have missed the question…this kind of stuff is considered “fundamentals of our economy“. Our “work force” is aging and uneducated. Luckily that’s only one piece of the puzzle.]

Z on TV: Hannity all smiles and servility in Palin interview – Sun critic David Zurawik writes about the business, culture and craziness of television –

They had a few of these questions on the Daily Show last night (e.x. “Two part question, why are your opponents so scummy and why are you so awesome and beloved?”)

Whenever I see Fox trip over completely into propaganda mode I kind of chuckle. I chuckle because I know throughout history that various governments have used powerful propaganda to get their people to move against their own interests and do horrid and evil things.

I chuckle because I always thought that if I was in one of those countries, I could point out the lies and show the proof and the people would rejoice, see the light, and “catapult the propaganda“.

I chuckle because I’m reminded of Zbig talking about how the Chinese Communists have studied, and copied, Fox for their national channel.

And I chuckle because I know how futile it is to talk to those who drink of the font of knowledge that is Propaganda (capitalized). They don’t see the world the same way because they have been taught it is different. They don’t have the skills to process information because it is always processed for them. They don’t have the desire to change a system that, the news says, is working great for them and has their best interest at heart.

They are so committed to their lifeblood of world knowledge, and watching it makes them feel so right about the world, as it constantly re-inforces their worldview., to challenge the whole of it would be unthinkable.

And now they have their hero. The ultimate Fox Girl (minus the blond hair).

No real knowledge of the world, but daaamn, she can read good and think a bit and look incredible on camera. That sense of humor and stell just flies right through the lens. It’s like she’s been trained to be in front of a camera. She so good at it, it’s almost like she learned about it in college. Maybe even six of ’em.

Being on camera is much more fun that learning about icky polices and “how government works” and boring stuff. It’s much more fun to go with the “people love me and I love them” mode of governing that worked so swimmingly in that movie I saw the other day.

So I chuckle.

It keeps me sane.

Also, and on a wider note, it’s hilarious (I’m getting more than a chuckle) watching McCain and Palin all of sudden try and look like Big Government Regulators that Interfere with THE HOLY MARKET and Are the Root Of All Evil (according to standard Republican dogma). What they are trying to avoid from becoming general public knowledge is that the guy who wrote the legistation that deregulated the banks was McCain’s former chief economic advisor.

That would have been some “change” sending Phil Gramm back to Washington to finish the job, wouldn’t it?

UPDATE: I was looking for a transcript of the interview and I found this transcript generator. It can be used to generate an interview for each loyal viewer. Awesome.

In case you missed Sean Hannity’s interview with Sarah Palin, you haven’t missed much. You can generate a close approximation of the transcript of the interview using this simple generator:

Step 1) Sean Hannity states typical right wing talking point (fill in yourself).

Step 2) Hannity says, “Don’t you agree Sarah.”

Step 3) Palin agrees, repeats same talking point

Step 4) Repeat Step 1

[full post]

Paging Mrs. Palin, Mr. Medvedev, the President of Russia (which you can see from Alaska) Called You Out

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president, has said Georgia’s attack in August on the pro-Russian breakaway region of South Ossetia was his country’s equivalent of the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

The president made the comments at the annual meeting of the Valdai Club, a group of political analysts and Russia experts, in Moscow on Friday.

He told atendees: “Immediately after the events in the Caucasus, it occurred to me that August 8 was for us almost what 9/11 was for the United States.”

Medvedev also said that he would have sent in Russian troops regardless of how closely tied Georgia was to Nato and that he would do so again if needed.

Al Jazeera English – Europe – Russia: S Ossetia ‘was our 9/11’.

Why is this calling Palin out?  In her first interview granted to her adoring public she mentioned this situation to dislay her vast grasp of the nuances of international negotiations.

GIBSON: Let me ask you about some specific national security situations.

PALIN: Sure.

GIBSON: Let’s start, because we are near Russia, let’s start with Russia and Georgia.

The administration has said we’ve got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?

PALIN: First off, we’re going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain’s running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we’ve got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable and we have to keep…

GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.

PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals.That’s why we have to keep an eye on Russia.

O.k.  In the interests of reality, I’m going to have to link a few stories here.   This is the backstory for this and it’s important to comprehend to appreciate the complete…jaw-dropping ignorance Palin displayed in the interview.

Georgian military commanders confirmed an invasion began in the early hours of Friday morning, raising fears of a serious diplomatic crisis between the country’s western allies and Moscow.

The United States swiftly called for calm, but appeared to apportion more blame on Moscow and the separatist forces it supports for taking the volatile region to the brink of war.

“We’re urging Moscow to press South Ossetia’s de facto leaders to stop firing,” a US State department official said. “We’re urging Tbilisi to maintain restraint.”

Just hours after Mikheil Saaskashvili, Georgia’s pro-western president, declared a unilateral ceasefire, his armed forces began an artillery barrage against Tskhinvali, the rebel capital.

[full article]

And I have to mention this as well…

The Bush administration is not happy with Russia’s decree. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Russia’s move “regrettable.”

But there is strong support for independence in the regions, including South Ossetia. And the decision to recognize them as independent came much more quickly than the South Ossetians expected.

After the Russian parliament’s decision, South Ossetians drove through the streets, waving Russian and Ossetian flags and spraying champagne to celebrate. Their goals — independence, then marriage with Russia — suddenly seemed within reach.

[full story]

So.. to summarize, an attack that Sarah Palin didn’t think happened is being treated by Russia as a terrorist attack similar to 9/11.  The civilians who were attacked by Georgia don’t want to be a part of it (hence “rebels”), and would rather join their brethren in North Ossetia, which is a part of Russia proper. 

Many considered themselves to be rescued, rather than invaded.  Part of the issue here is that there is a distinct racial difference between Georgians and Ossetians.  And their history is different.

So, to some up…Russia is basically ready to go to war after their 9/11.  Sarah Palin doesn’t even think it happened.  She’s in complete denial, or in complete ignorance.


PALIN: And, Charlie, you’re in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They’re very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.

GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?

PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along. [ed note: that’s a pass on the question, BTW]

I guess she didn’t literally “see” Georgia shelling civilians, so it didn’t happen.  This is unfortunate, as you can’t see 99.99999% of Russia from Alaska.

I don’t think we are going to keep good relations with Russia if our Vice-President denies their “9/11” ever happened.  How will that work?

And with statements like…

GIBSON: Under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

PALIN: Perhaps so. That is the agreement. When you are a NATO ally, is, if another country is attacked, you are going to be expected to be called upon and help.

…you have to be scared.  Too be so..dismissive..about the prospect of nuclear war, after displaying complete ignorance of the perspective of the adversary, and the situation…

…and then you think about who is educating Palin on these issues…(hint: he’s currently being paid by Georgia for “security consulting” and is a card-carrying Neocon).

Randall J Scheunemann is an American lobbyist. He is the President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which was created by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), of which he is a board member. He was Trent Lott‘s National Security Aide and was an advisor to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq. He is a paid lobbyist for the country of Georgia and is 2008 Presidential candidate John McCain‘s foreign-policy aide. He lives in Fairfax Station, Virginia.

This is who is teaching Palin about the world.   No wonder she missed an entire side of the argument and is ready to start a war at the drop of hat.

NOTE: Because of the general fucked-upedness of the Georgian situation and my general unfamiliarity with the region, I don’t think this situation is as black and white as it has been presented in the U.S. media.  Just reading through these few articles probably made your head spin a bit (it did mine), but to assert so strongly that an event the PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA called their 9/11 didn’t happen…this isn’t someone I want anywhere near a negotiating table.