right wing

NYTimes update on Norwegian madman: Sarah, are you watching, listening or reading?

“OSLO, Norway — The Norwegian man charged Saturday with a pair of attacks in Oslo that killed at least 92 people left behind a detailed manifesto outlining his preparations and calling for a Christian civil war to defend Europe against the threat of Muslim domination, according to Norwegian and American officials familiar with the investigation.

“As stunned Norwegians grappled with the deadliest attack in the country since World War II, a portrait began to emerge of the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, 32. The police identified him as a right-wing fundamentalist Christian, while acquaintances described him as a gun-loving Norwegian obsessed with what he saw as the threats of multiculturalism and Muslim immigration.”

Calling Sarah Palin and Franklin Graham: can either or both of you demonstrate that this man’s beliefs differ from your own?

Will either or both of you do so?

Sarah, are you awake? Are you human? Can you feel?

Or do you think that, like Tucson, this has nothing to do with your rhetoric?

Can’t you see how much you’ve done to create a climate of intolerance and hate?

Well, maybe you can. Maybe you have. You’ve had nothing to say since the Norwegian catastrophe, but maybe you’ve at least Twittered about it, or had your Facebook ghostwriter draft a comment in your name?

Oops, guess not.

Here’s her most recent:


How about the rest of you “Christians?” Anything to say?

How come it’s racist, xenophobic, right wing “Christians” who go around murdering innocents in the name of their God?

When’s the last time a Buddhist slaughtered innocent people?

When’s the last time a Jew did?

Agnostics don’t leave a trail of blood behind them.

How come it’s organized religion–whether Christianity or Islam–that inspires hatred and violence?

“The Oft-Defeated” may be the stake Sarah drove into her own heart

No, I haven’t seen it, and now that I’m not going to use a viewing in Phoenix as the kickoff to the e-single that would have been Sarah Palin’s Arizona, I don’t intend to.

But it’s the same as reading Bristol’s “book,” or Levi’s upcoming “book”:  I don’t have to view or read to know how appalling these products are.

Many years ago, when I contacted the late William Safire to try to arrange an interview about his impressions of Teddy Kennedy, he courteously declined, saying, “I don’t kick ’em when they’re down.”

I’d feel the same way about Sarah, Bristol and Levi–The Unholy Trinity–except that they refuse to admit that they’re down yet, and mass media, as personified most recently by the revolting Jay Leno, keep them propped up, trying to squeeze the last dollar out of pretending to take them seriously, even as these unholy three try to squeeze the last dollar out of their Wasilla Hillbilly act.

See Leno disgracing himself here, and also enjoy Gryphen’s commentary. For once, the squalid Don Rickles was in his element.

Talk about marriages made in hell.

We can, however, cut the kids some slack. After all, Bristol learned only from her mother (certainly never at school,) and Levi (who still doesn’t have a high school degree) woke up one day to find he’d won the Impregnation Lottery, and why shouldn’t he try to make an easy buck, since he has no skills that would enable him to earn an honest one?

But Sarah is different.

In THE ROGUE, I write about Sarah’s close association with a Christian Dominionist leader named C. Peter Wagner, who founded an organization called Global Harvest Ministries.

Wagner’s goal–and the goal of Sarah Palin–is to end the separation of church and state in America, and to turn our country into a Christian Dominionist theocracy.

Before Global Harvest Ministries, Wagner co-founded, with Ted Haggard–later disgraced when it was learned he’d used crystal meth during homosexual trysts–an outfit called
the World Prayer Center, in Colorado Springs, CO.

As I write in THE ROGUE:

The center has been described in Charisma magazine as “a spiritual version of the Pentagon”—the command center for Wagner’s worldwide campaign against demons.

Trust me, you’ve never heard lunacy like this.

I lay it all out in THE ROGUE, but I can offer one brief excerpt here:

Members of Wagner’s Third Wave/New Apostolic Reformation are convinced that their prayers can literally destroy individuals whom they’ve identified as demonic. Among those for whose deaths they claim credit are Mother Teresa and Princess Diana.
Wagner taught his followers that a female mega-demon whom he called…“The Great Harlot of Mystery Babylon” lurked near the summit of Mount Everest…One of Wagner’s leading apostles in Mexico was a woman named Ana Mendez, a former witch in a Haitian voodoo cult…she led a team of twenty-six intercessors to Mount Everest in an assault she called, “Operation Ice Castle.” She and her elite force launched highly targeted intercessory prayers directly at the Great Harlot…Apparently, the prayers found their mark, killing the Harlot Queen.

This is the stuff Sarah believes and acts upon. But you won’t see it in the new movie about her.

Even so, the new movie is so awful as to be laughed off the screen by professional reviewers of all political persuasions.

See this from Politico (not exactly a left-wing site.)

Sarah encouraged this poor sap Bannon to spend his millions in an attempt to save her from her own banality, ugliness, and freaky Christian Dominionism.

That he fell flat on his face  has now become painfully apparent.

Not that there was any way he could have succeeded.

After all, when your subject is a sow’s ear (aka “The Great Harlot of Wasilla”), it’s tough to make a silk purse.

Sarah would have been better off keeping her distance from this farce. But by showing up in Iowa for its very first public showing, she tied her future to its credibility and its success.

As is now evident, it has neither.

Hoping for even more silk for her purse, she’s managed only to drive a stake–if not through her heart–at least through her own sow’s ear.

Yet one more defeat for “The Oft-Defeated.”


Bachmann Overdrive Leaves Sarah in Dust UPDATE:// UK bookies say Bachmann twice as likely as Palin to win 2012

As The New York Times reports, Michele Bachmann electrified a July Fourth crowd in Clear Lake, Iowa yesterday.

The excitement surrounding Mrs. Bachmann rivaled the attention paid to most candidates in recent years, including in 2007 when Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived with her husband in tow…One week after Mrs. Bachmann declared her candidacy in Iowa, where she lived until age 12, her campaign has swept through New Hampshire and South Carolina, drawing bigger crowds than any of her Republican rivals.

A year ago, I’m sure Sarah Palin supporters would have envisioned the exact same scene, but with Sarah as the center of attention.

It was not to be. All Sarah could muster for the holiday was a typically stale, banal tweet:

“Let Freedom Ring! Happy Independence Day… thank God for America, thank God for our troops.

Sarah may still be asking herself, “To be or not to be?” but the answer matters less with each passing day.

The GOP circus train has moved on, leaving Sarah stranded at the Wasilla depot with nobody even caring any more.



UPDATE: The UK betting agency, William Hill, which is seeking approval to take presidential bets in Las Vegas next year, has posted their current odds on the 2012 race.  Why is the chart below a valuable guide to what’s actually likely to happen, as opposed to what partisans hope for?  Because William Hill couldn’t care less who wins.  As long as they adjust their odds to stay ahead of the curve, they make their profit regardless of the outcome.  Thus, their take on 2012 is something hard to find in U.S. media and on blogs:  expert and dispassionate.

William Hill odds don’t differ significantly from those recently offered by Ladbrokes, which I posted here, but they are more current.

Take a look:

Next US President

Barack Obama
Mitt Romney
Tim Pawlenty
Rick Perry
Michele Bachmann
Jon Huntsman
Sarah Palin
Ron Paul
Marco Rubio
Hilary Clinton
Joe Biden
Rudy Giuliani
Rick Santorum
Herman Cain
Newt Gingrich
Jeb Bush
Randall Terry


Bachmann at 14/1 offers only half the reward that a bet on Sarah at 28/1 would return–the surest sign yet that God has grown tired of holding open the door.

Of course, Obama at 4/9 suggests that a bet on any Republican would be putting “trickle-up” economics into action (i.e. your money will trickle up into William Hill’s already bloated coffers.)

p.s.  William Hill offering 9/4 on Brazil to win the Copa America (South American championship) currently being played in Argentina.  Having watched all first-round matches (Univision/Telefutura have great HD broadcasts) I’m tempted…also tempted by the 10/1 currently offered on Brazil’s Pato to wind up as individual high scorer.

But not at all tempted by 28-1 on Sarah What’s-her-name.

FULL DISCLOSURE:  In 1999, The Miracle of Castel di Sangro was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.  In the end, the award went to a bedridden “septuagenarian knight” for his social history of English cricket. I congratulated Sir Derek by telephone soon after the presentation. He was utterly charming and I’m glad his final days were brightened by the award.

Anyway, how’s a Yank named Joe gonna beat out a septuagenarian knight for a London book prize?

The William Hill people made the awards ceremony a splendid event, and as second prize I received a £750 credit to the new wagering account they established for me. No need to tell you how long it took me to run through that!


Bachmann Steals Sarah’s Thunder: Sarah Quits Again & Lets Her Take It

It’s tough to catch lightning in a bottle.

Equally tough to recapture the sound of thunder once someone else has spirited it away.

Sarah Palin’s endless, erratic dithering about her 2012 intentions has created a vacuum on the evangelical right that Michelle Bachmann has been quick to fill.

Who was all over the Sunday talk shows today? Bachmann. Suddenly, the press is all about her.

Just look at this.

Through her fear of engagement with America’s opinion-makers, and movers and shakers, Sarah has painted herself into a corner at which fewer and fewer people even bother to glance.

Bachmann has effortlessly slid into the groove that Sarah once occupied.

Suddenly, it’s Bachmann who is the “serious” female candidate for the GOP nomination.

Suddenly–or not so suddenly–Sarah has been shoved to the sidelines, from which her shrill cries can barely be heard.

I start the last chapter of THE ROGUE by writing:

The time has come to strike the tent.

That may seem like a strange thing to say in the last chapter of a book 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 extravaganza, which has been unblushingly underwritten by a mainstream media willing to gamble the nation’a future in exchange for the cheap thrill of watching a clown in high heels on a flying trapeze, is nearing the end of its run.

Someone who knows Sarah better than I do told me recently that the only thing that would propel her into the 2012 race would be a credible Michelle Bachmann candidacy. Because Sarah couldn’t bear to yield the limelight to another woman.

Yet it’s happened. I’d always thought Sarah would run for president because to not do so would destroy her credibility even among the cretins who would have supported her.

But she just didn’t have the guts, or the commitment, to do so. She’s always been a phony and a bully.

Because of John McCain’s desperate and deeply unpatriotic inanity, she got in over her head in 2008.

She’s been treading water ever since. Now she’s about to sink out of sight.

To switch the metaphor back to the circus, she’s skulked away from the center ring, conceding it to Bachmann without a fight.

A venal, lying, avaricious quitter she always was, and a venal, lying and avaricious quitter she’ll always be.

Goodbye, Sarah, “The Oft-Defeated.” We knew ye all too well.

Increasingly Desperate, Sarah Palin Supporters Pin Hopes on New Movie

As they see even what used to be her base losing interest in Sarah as Queen Esther–and as a presidential candidate–her shrinking hard core of unblinkingly blind zealots is praying out loud that the propaganda film made by one of their own can somehow overcome all that Sarah herself has done over the past two-and-a-half years to make herself irrelevant, laughing all the way to the bank.

The serious neo-cons, such as Kristol, Barnes and Krauthammer, whom she so successfully seduced in 2008, have abandoned her.

To them, she’s become a dirty joke they wish they hadn’t told.

Most of the Tea Partiers have given up on her, too, transferring their affections to Bachmann, while dreaming of Perry.

This leaves Sarah increasingly isolated, no more a “Mama Grizzly,” but a polar bear marooned on an inexorably shrinking ice floe (but one, she will assure us, that isn’t melting because of man made global warming.)

God used to open doors for her.  Now she needs a deus ex machina just to keep herself afloat.

The dwindling few who still proudly proclaim themselves as cult members see “The Undefeated” as their last best hope.

See this frantic call to arms–or at least to the box office–at The Daily Caller.

Or listen to the last gasps of the drowning at Conservatives4Palin, such as this and this.

As if a propaganda film could save her now.

For the record, Sarah Palin is not undefeated. She was not only defeated as McCain’s running mate in 2008, but she was defeated in her race for lieutenant governor of Alaksa in 2004.

“The Twice-Defeated” would be a more accurate title.

Not that accuracy has ever mattered to Sarah.

CBS political correspondent: “Sarah Palin is either running for President or she should be” UPDATE//Chris Wallace chimes in

I see from the comments here and at my Facebook page that some people think I’m only pretending to take Sarah semi-seriously in order to hype advance sales of THE ROGUE.

Listen, folks, I’m not makin’ stuff up.

A photo of Sarah waving from the back of a Harley took up the entire top of the front page of The New York Times “News of the Week in Review” section today.

Also today, CBS political correspondent Jan Crawford posted a piece on the CBS News website under the headline:  “Palin:  Is ‘The Undefeated’ Running for President?”

Crawford’s piece is essentially a rave review of the forthcoming two-hour feature film, “The Undefeated,” produced with his own money by an independently wealthy Palin supporter.

The film, which Crawford has seen, left her with “the distinct impression [Sarah’s] presidential candidacy is not only possible, but inevitable.”

She writes, “Regardless of where you come down [about Palin], here’s one thing both sides should agree on:  it certainly looks like Palin is running for President.”

Go ahead, call Crawford a Kool-Aid drinking right-wing shill.  And remind yourselves again that Sarah is just too stupid, or too greedy, or about to be engulfed by too many scandals to mount a serious campaign for the Republican nomination next year.

But Crawford’s piece was published today by CBS, not C4P.

The bus tour?  The movie?  The move to Arizona?  Can you not hold a finger to the wind and feel the breeze?

As I said to a commenter on my Facebook page, just wishing she’d go away–or pretending she already has–won’t make it so.


Chris Wallace, who interviewed Sarah on Fox today, later said this:

I’ve interviewed her a bunch of times now over the past two years, and I have never seen her as good, as impressive, I mean she’s always been an entertaining interview, but I have never seen her as good, as specific as she was, whether it was the debt or the state of the economy, or the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. I don’t think any fair minded person could look at that debate and not say that she is potentially a serious candidate for President of the United States. Now that doesn’t mean she’s gonna run, but this is the first time that I looked at her and I thought, she could be real player in a 2012 election.

Howard Dean Warns: Sarah Palin Can Beat Obama








We can laugh–and we do–but others worry.

Howard Dean says, “I think she could win.”

Meanwhile, at Daily Beast, former Bush and Rumsfeld speechwriter Matt Latimer opines that Sarah has already won her war against mainstream/lamestream media, and that her victory could herald big things in next year’s GOP primaries.

Latimer writes:

Last week saw yet another example of the Alaskan’s unmatched skills in media manipulation. All Palin needs do is get on a tour bus and head east and Washington’s most elite scribes fall over themselves to find out where she’s headed, what she’ll say, what she’ll do. All of it was meaningless, of course…

Unfortunately, it’s not meaningless if MSM coverage leads the great unwashed (i.e. those of us who are merely citizens, and not members of the elite Beltway press corps) to believe it has meaning.

It’s a nasty, sordid back street affair that mainstream media is having with Sarah.

As I just wrote in the final chapter of THE ROGUE,

SARAH PALIN practices politics as lap dance, and we’re the suckers who pay the price. Members of our jaded national press corps excitedly stuff hundred dollar bills into her g-string, even as they wink at one another to show that they don’t take her seriously.”

We sneer at her and write her off now.

And we might still be sneering–but also fearing–as Sarah rides a Harley up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, in January, 2013, to be sworn in as President of the United States.

Yeah, right, we all say: and pigs can fly.

But Howard Dean has actually played the game, not just commented on it from the sidelines.

Laugh him off–and Sarah–at your peril.

Sorry, make that “our” peril. I live here, too. And I’m not laughing.

Piper back in Wasilla, smiling again, thanks to Britta//UPDATE-CORRECTION




A Wasilla correspondent lets me know that Piper was back home this afternoon, unwinding by enjoying a visit to a local coffee shop/ice cream parlor with Track’s new bride, Britta.

I’m told that Piper was smiling and that Britta and Piper “were just hanging out.”

From all I know of Britta, described to me as “a sweet girl from a solid family,” it would be just like her to take poor, road-weary Piper out for a treat.

Someone who’s known Piper all her life said she came in and “waved a little wave” and, when asked how she was doing, smiled and said, “Okay.”

And now, despite all her mother has done to strip it from her, let’s give Piper her privacy back and hope that the rest of her summer will be better than the start.

And let’s be happy that in the person of Britta Hanson the Palin children finally have a female family member who cares about them.


I’ve heard from so many people–and have now seen video to back it up–that poor Piper, in fact, did not make it back to Wasilla today for a happy, end-of-tour ice cream with Aunt Britta.  I have no doubt that my correspondent’s first-hand report is correct as to what happened, but perhaps I misunderstood when it occurred.

A difference between a blog and a book is that misunderstandings about who, what, when, where and why don’t get published in a book.

Wherever Piper is tonight, let’s hope—for her sake–that we neither see her nor read about her again until she’s at least eighteen years old and able to make choices about privacy for herself.

Let’s also hope that in Arizona somebody will post a sign designed to protect her that’s similar to the one I posted  on my property line last summer after the first time Todd trespassed, which of course is described in THE ROGUE.





Tornadoes Kill, Wreak Havoc in Massachusetts, State of Emergency Declared: Will Sarah Palin Care?//UPDATE: Oslo’s Okay!











Tornadoes ripped through central/western Massachusetts just south of where I live today.

I was out and about and came home to find my wife prudently taking cover in our basement.

Our twelve-year old Norwegian elkhund, Oslo, was out when the storms hit and we still can’t find him.

Yet we were spared. Look at what happened in Springfield and surrounding towns.

As The New York Times reports, at least four were killed and damage was horrendous.

The Sarahbus en route from New York to Boston made it through unscathed, as did the media scrum following in its wake.

The question now is whether Sarah will change her itinerary in order to “comfort” victims here, as she did in Alabama last month.

Two reasons why I doubt it:

1) Sarah could never win our state’s electoral votes.

2) Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Pursestrings’ film crews are not on hand to record her offering a helping hand, as they were a month ago in Alabama.

No doubt, she’ll continue on to New Hampshire tomorrow, for her seashore clambake with Republican leaders there.

That’s okay. We don’t need her or Graham’s religious-right wing “charity,” whose purse strings go both ways (mostly emptying directly into his pocket.)

Maybe Sarah’s dad, Chuck Heath, could use his tracking skills to help us find Oslo, who ran into the woods behind our house at the first sound of thunder, but that’s okay, too.

I have no doubt the old boy will make it back home on his own, once he knows the storms have passed.

But we get hit with tornadoes for the first time in decades, just when Sarah’s bus is passing through?

Please, Sarah:  stay away from my back yard and I promise I’ll never move in next door to you again.

Also, take mercy on poor little Piper and don’t drag her along on the next leg of your “family vacation” from hell.


OSLO turned up this morning, wondering where his breakfast was.  Seems none the worse for wear.  Had no comment on where he’d spent the night.  Thanks from Nancy and me to all of you who so graciously expressed such concern.

Actually, this is getting old fast…//UPDATE: Piper hits the wall, Sarah runs straight through it









I was thinking of writing a piece for The Daily Beast about a Palin appearance in New England this week.

But I’m not going to play hide-and-seek.  So, Sarah, you can relax–at least until Sept. 20 when THE ROGUE will be published.

Seriously, how far does she think this “Close your eyes and count to twenty, then catch-me-if-you-can” approach will take her?

Actually, knowing her, and knowing MSM, I’m sure she thinks–with some justification–that it can take her all the way to the White House.

Even still, I feel sorry for the reporters assigned to the bus tour beat.

And I have an idea for MSM editors: un-assign them.

There’s a lot of talent out there chasing after ephemera.

And, as with the dog chasing the school bus, it’s only worse if you catch it.

Here’s something else, and uglier:  Sarah used Trig as her photo-op prop on her Going Rogue tour in the fall of 2009.

Now, almost two years later, that poor Down Syndrome child is neither so photogenic nor so manageable, so he’s off (or under) the bus.

So it’s Piper who has to fill in.  Do you think that poor girl had a choice?

Last summer, Sarah complained long and loud that I’d moved in next door because I wanted to peer at Piper through her bedroom window.

Her hot-to-trot flunkies like Beck and Van Susteren made that slanderous accusation into a right-wing meme.

But the notion was so silly and sick that I couldn’t even get mad about it.

I do, however, have granddaughters who are just about Piper’s age.

Their mothers and fathers have nurtured them since birth, and continue to do so.  I can’t wait to see them again in July.

But what about poor Piper, reduced to a photo-op, and with no chance to opt off the bus?

The only time I saw Piper—I never laid eyes on her last summer—was at a Sarah book-signing at The Villages, Florida, just before Thanksgiving, 2009, when I reported on the event as part of my research for THE ROGUE.

I was appalled to see the poor girl ushered up to a FOX News platform for makeup before Sarah brought her on camera during an interview with one of the Fox blondes about what a swell Thanksgiving they were all going to have.

Trig, at least, was too young and too Down to know how he was being used.

Piper was being taught to love it.

And it’s only going to get worse.

In the end, there are three things to remember about Sarah:

1)  Everything she says and does is fraudulent.

2)  She cares about no one but herself.

3)  She believes that God has told her that 1) and 2) are okay and that any harm she does to her children is merely collateral damage.



Here’s one of the great things about kids: they can upstage even the Ultimate Upstager.

End of her first day on the bus, and poor little Piper is pissed.  As Michael D. Shear reports for The New York Times:

The youngest Palin daughter looked none to happy to be delayed by the press corps, and repeatedly tugged at her mother’s arm during the questions. At one point, she said, “Mom, let’s go.”

After all this, I wouldn’t be surprised if in ten years Piper Palin joins Al Qaeda.