Monday, September 01, 2008

Dirty Laundry

You have to either be insane or a masochist to want the job of President of the United States.

It turns out that Sarah Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant out of wedlock. And her husband was convicted of DWI. In 1984. And Barack Obama did inhale, and John McCain, war hero, has a nasty temper he can't control and five or six houses, he can't remember which, in various parts of the country.

Screw ups, one and all. So let's villify them, mock them, and divert attention away from, you know, relevant issues, by digging up the dirt. I'll bet that within the next few days we'll also find out that Sarah Palin inhaled too, back in her college days, and that Joe Biden once attended a college fraternity kegger and passed out on the couch.

It's just good investigative journalism, right? Because we, the American people, have a right to know. Never mind that, even though we won't admit it, we're also Pharisaical prudes.

I have a crazy idea: let's apply the same standards to journalists that they apply to politicians. For every breathless story written about a politician's foibles, some other journalist gets to write a breathless story, after doing a solid background check and thorough vetting, of that journalist's past. I know. It will never happen because nobody really cares about what a journalist might have done a quarter century ago. Exactly.


anchors said...

I long as there are no Don Henley lyrics brought up.

Scott Meek said...

I don't agree with you most of the time when it comes to politics, but on this, you couldn't be more right!

Buckley Wheatish said...

We can only hope more folks keep saying the same thing, to the same deaf ears... not because it will change anything but because it just needs to be said over and over.

Ruben said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

She already admitted she inhaled:

"Counterbalancing McCain’s reputation as a political dinosaur, Palin smoked pot when it was legal in Alaska, admitting, “I can’t claim a Bill Clinton and say I never inhaled”, and her children, Track, 19, Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, Piper, 7, and Trig, four months, have hippie-sounding names."

hallga77 said...


As one of our local djs used to say during one of his bits, "we being Geraldo-Rivera-kind-of-guys that follow the journalistic credo- "YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW SUPERSEDES YOUR RIGHT TO EXIST."


Anonymous said...

What you fail to point out is the fact journalists don’t go around claiming to be morally superior to the rest of society like many Christian conservatives in the GOP seem to do constantly.. He who casts the first stone usually ends up in a bathroom stall in Minneapolis.

When does the far right of the GOP stop claiming the moral high ground and bloody realize they’re as human and as tragically flawed as the rest of us?

All the crap about family values is just a bunch of lip service. Please stop already. You’re not fooling anyone.

Oh and by the way, how’s that abstinence program working up in Alaska, Mrs. Palin?

That said..

I, for one, am happy VP candidate Sarah Palin is a member of the NRA.

It will make it much easier for her to facilitate her own daughter’s shotgun wedding.

Jon in Long Beach

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it gets worse. The Daily Kos publicized a sick rumor that the Downs syndrome baby born to Sarah Palin was actually born to the currently pregnant daughter. They are now backtracking, perhaps due to Obama's admirable admonitions to lay off families and especially children.

It's sad when folks think it's OK to destroy those with whom they disagree. It reminds me of the day of the assassination attempt on Reagan, and I heard students on the campus where I worked at the time cheering the news and hoping he was dead. When I objected to the sentiment, they responded that they didn't realize I was such a fan of Reagan's. I remember being dumbfounded by their cluelessness. I can only hope that eventually they got it, and felt ashamed.

Andy Whitman said...

Well, Jon, I'm all for everybody abandoning the moral high ground and admitting that they are screwups. I actually think that's a pretty healthy start.

I also think that compassion is a reasonable response, maybe even a good response, in this situation. I think that partly because, as a parent, I'm well aware how easily this could have been one of my kids, and partly because I think it has not one iota to do with Sarah Palin's ability to govern, or lack thereof.

You might infer from that that I'm a proponent of Sarah Palin or John McCain. But you'd be wrong.

anchors said...

lip service...kind of like the lip service that the dems constantly give to being the party of the working people, etc. please. joe biden, friend of the working man, lol. and as i say that, don't ever get the idea that i will pulling any levers for McCain (or Barack). Both parties are hypocritical.

Anonymous said...

You mean compassion like this:

The Washington Post is reporting that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.

Because clearly Mrs. Palin is a compassionate woman. Right? Right?

Jon in Long Beach

Pilgrim said...

The media's treatment of the Palin family is a disgrace to this country.

Andy Whitman said...

Jon, I have no idea if Sarah Palin is a compassionate human being. And if you disagree with her priorities, and with the policies she supports, then vote for Obama. Truly, go for it.

I think I'm called to be compassionate in this situation. What she does with compassion is up to her. I do know that her teenage daughter's pregnancy is not a reflection on her ability to parent. Teenagers tend to have minds and wills of their own. And that pregnancy is certainly not a reflection, one way or another, on her ability to govern. Bristol Palin is none of my business. Sarah Palin's funding of a shelter for pregnant teens might be, and at least tells me something about how she governs and where her priorities lie.

Anonymous said...

ATTN: Jon in Long Beach

Be honest, dude.

This is an increase over previous years. See prior funding.
IRS Form 990

2006 REVENUE for Covenant House Alaska

Contributions $1,667,796
Government Grants $1,194,788
Program Services $0
Investments $67,947
Special Events $271,980
Sales $0
Other $11,139
Total Revenue $3,213,650

Gov. Palin didn't slash anything from anybody. In fact, it seems that cutting from $5.0MM (Proposed) to $3.9MM (actual) wasn't too bad a deal for Covenant House Alaska, seeing that in 2006 their revenue from the govt was only $1.2MM.

Anonymous said...

Dear Hayseed. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it looks pretty clear to me.

See here:

"After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, (Mrs.)Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation -- "SP" -- Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers."

Jon in Long Beach

jackscrow said...

Actions do speak louder, which is why anyone who wants to lecture should be held to example.

However, sometimes well-meaning folk with high morals who should be talking about the issues are afraid to speak up, simply because of the intense scrutiny anyone undergoes who takes any kind of public stand.

If they have ever made any missteps, have even the skinniest skeleton in the closet, they will be accused of hypocrisy.

So, relativism reigns, Jerry Springer becomes the (lack of) national conscience, the Carlyle Group runs the nation, Ann Coulter becomes the voice of reason (ok, reaching a bit there) and passing lies off as political spin becomes the norm.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jon:

How is it that changing a PROPOSED amount to an actual amount that is 3 times the previous year's budget can be considered "slashing funding?"

If my boss walked in and said they'd considered raising my pay to 4 times the amount I currently make but closer examination of the budget meant they could only afford 3 times what I currently make, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't say they "slashed my raise."


Anonymous said...

Dear Hayseed,

Are you suggesting Alaska couldn't afford the extra $1.1 mil?

I'd suggest a bit more research on that point. The state is swimming in money.


Anonymous said...


I'm not "suggesting" anything. I'm saying directly that in no way did Sarah Palin "slash funding" for the Covenant House as you insinuated. I'm not taking your bait and I'm not trying to convince you to support her. I'm simply saying that you are being dishonest when you say she "slashed funding" for them.


Anonymous said...

She line-item-vetoed funding down from 5 mil to 3.9 mil.
Sorry "slash" offends you.
She "cut" funding for the program.
That better, Hayseed.


Andy Whitman said...

What you seem to be missing, Jon, is that the 2006 budget was 1.2 million. So Palin "cut" or "slashed" or whatever term you want to use the proposed 2007 budget down from 5 million to 3.9 billion. Whipping out the ol' calculator, that's still a 325% increase over the previous year's budget. Good luck trying to convince anyone why a 325% funding increase for a teen pregnancy center should be viewed as an example of cold heartlessness.

There may be other, legitimate issues for which Palin should be criticized. This is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

You're right. She's very compassionate.

Truth is, Covenant House is expanding. The plans are described in the 2009 Alaska capital budget proposal - look them up.

State funding will assist Covenant House to relocate and construct a new Crisis Center for Covenant House in downtown Anchorage. $22 million is needed to complete the expansion. Covenant House asked the Alaska legislature to provide $10 million, the legislature answered with $5 million in the 2009 budget. Governor Palin cut the figure back to $3.9 million. Covenant House will either have to get more from the state in a future year and/or increase the amount from private donations to make it happen.

You're right. She's very compassionate. The state has more money than it knows what to do with and she makes it harder for this faith-based organization to do more for the community.

So very compassionate.

Andy Whitman said...

Jon, how 'bout dem Buckeyes?

Anonymous said...

I'm a Cornhusker!

Jon in Long Beach, CA

Anonymous said...

<< The state has more money than it knows what to do with and she makes it harder for this faith-based organization to do more for the community.>>

She INCREASES the state budget to the center by 325% and this person who refuses to sign their name snidely suggests that she's not compassionate??? She can't win here, can she? Keep this in mind: COVENANT HOUSE IS NOT A STATE INSTITUTION. How 'bout a little gratitude and appreciation for what she's doing???

Some people...

Anonymous said...

You're not getting this are you, Hayseed?

Covenant House asked the Alaska legislature to provide $10 million, the legislature answered with $5 million in the 2009 budget. Governor Palin cut the figure back to $3.9 million.

Are you aware of the amount of money Alaska has in its coffers? What was her explanation for cutting the amount the legislature approved? Is it possible she had a personal problem with pregnant teens and then later the chickens came home to roost? Karma, Kramer?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm getting it, Person-who-will-not-take-responsibility-for-their-words. I think YOU are the one not "getting it."

Covenant House can ask for the moon. It doesn't mean anything.

What DOES mean something is that Sarah Palin's budget INCREASED their budget contribution to Covenant House by 325%.

What DOES mean something is that COVENANT HOUSE IS NOT A STATE INSTITUTION. It is not the responsibility of the state to support a private entity.

Their request for $10M or $20M creates no obligation on the state to fund them AT ALL! An increase of $2.7M is no small thing!

I swear, I don't know that I've ever seen such a bald-faced sense of entitlement!

Anonymous said...


How compassionate of you.

Jon in Long Beach, CA - the guy who you say didn't sign his name (I forgot a couple of times).. do you want my SS#, address, and bank accounts too?

Andy Whitman said...

Jon, it's time to let this go. The funding for the Alaska teenage pregnancy crisis center has been explained, multiple times, and there's no more to say. If a 325% raise in one year is evidence of cold heartedness and lack of compassion, then I fervently hope and pray I can work for the meanest son of a bitch on the planet.

And you've now apparently got little more to say than that people who disagree with you have no compassion. Enough. I want people, including people who disagree with me, to comment here. But there *is* a limit to what I'll allow to appear here, and personal insults are crossing that line. Don't do it again.

I know Hayseed. I don't know you. In addition to being a truly compassionate human being, he's a wonderful singer and songwriter. Take some of your admirable energy and passion and use it to buy his albums. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Anonymous said...

There was no 325% increase. The $3.9 mil was not for yearly funding, it was the final amount Palin would approve for funding the relocation and reconstruction. Didn't you read what I wrote? Did you do any follow up investigation?

The point of your blog post, I'm assuming, was that we should all be compassionate towards Palin and her family. My point was to show you she hasn't always been compassionate herself.

I'll let it go. Can't wait to check out Hayseed's music. I'm sure it's great.

Jon in Long Beach