Tea Party

Will she in Waukee?

I don’t know who these nice folks are, but you can find them on the city of Waukee, Iowa home page.

Waukee is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state of Iowa. Think of it as Wasilla, with Des Moines as Anchorage.

Don’t these young Christian patriots look all set to welcome Sarah to their home town on September 3, when she’ll arrive to speak at a Labor Day weekend Tea Party rally?

Her kind of people, fer sure. “Rill” Americans with small town values, not the motley assortment of colors and creeds to be found in demon-infested cities. According to a 2004 special census, Waukee was more than 96 percent white. Just the sort of place, in other words, to provide the perfect backdrop for, say, the announcement of a presidential candidacy by a politician whose supporters are also more than 96 percent white?

Does anybody remember September 3, 2008? Just three years ago? When a previously unknown governor of a state with only three electoral votes electrified a political convention with a speech that launched a thousand nightmares?

Sarah places great stock in symbolic dates. The third anniversary of her Republican convention speech comes only eight days before the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

So will Sarah seize the day?

Waukee, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Why my next book will be about Bruce Springsteen

No, I’m not happy about the concessions President Obama is making to the right wing in a last, desperate attempt to save us all from a constitutional and financial meltdown whose consequences most of us can’t even imagine.

The belligerent–and (though I think it’s juvenile to make fun of people’s names) boehnheaded Republican leadership represented by John Boehner (and cheered on from afar by newly-minted millionaire Sarah Palin, who wants to keep all she’s got) would be willing to sink the ship on which we all find ourselves in 2011 in order to drown the president in 2012.

There’s a word for that. The word is “treason.”

President Obama has been forced to abandon his hopes of moving us forward. Now it’s all hands on deck to save us from drowning.

Among those whom I’d guess are sickened by the way the Republican right has dragged us all into this Sargasso Sea of self-destructive selfishness is Bruce Springsteen.

It was my admiration for the way Springsteen has maintained his artistic integrity over forty years–even as he matured and came to see that rock and roll was not in and of itself a cure for the human condition– that first interested me in writing about him.
Not to mention my flat out love for his music, both with and without the E Street Band.

But what’s come to interest me about him more, the more I’ve learned, has been my growing awareness of his unwavering concern about the gap–now a chasm–between the glorious promise that America once offered and the sordid reality of 21st century capitalism and the blighted political system that supports it.

The extraordinary journalist/essayist Mikal Gilmore interviewed Springsteen almost twenty-five years ago for a story included in Night Beat: A Shadow History of Rock & Roll.

Here’s what Bruce Springsteen said, in 1987:

“The idea of America as a family is naive, maybe sentimental or simplistic, but it’s a good idea. And if people are sick and hurting and lost, I guess it falls on everybody to address these problems in some fashion. Because injustice, and the price of that injustice, falls on everyone’s heads. The economic injustice falls on everyone’s head and steals everyone’s freedom. Your wife can’t walk down the street at night. People keep guns in their homes. They live with a greater sense of apprehension, anxiety, and fear than they would in a more just and open society. It’s not an accident, and it’s not simply that there are ‘bad’ people out there. It’s an inbred part of the way that we are all living. It’s a product of what we have accepted, what we have acceded to. And whether we mean it or not, our silence has spoken for us in some fashion.”

How much worse is it now, almost twenty-five years later?

Boehner says sink the ship and Sarah says reload.

And even those of us who can converse on the internet are not the real victims.

The real victims are those who cannot.

Guns, Guns, Guns: They kill more people than nuclear weapons. UPDATE//Sarah’s record in Wasilla


Crazed gunman kills at least 80 teenagers at summer camp on island near Oslo.

Why is a deranged person able to assemble his own arsenal, anywhere in the world?

I’ll leave it to the Norwegian government to answer that question in their own terms, after they bury their innocents.

But I’ll tell you why it happens in the USA: because our politicians are cowed by the gun lobby and the GOP, and any
crazy person who wants one can have himself or herself a gun almost overnight. And that’s legally.

Every time an innocent person is gunned down by a lunatic with a gun, spatters from the blood fall on the hands of U.S. political figures who blindly shout about “the right to bear arms,” as if this was 1776, not 2011.

Naming names? Who has been more outspoken about this than Sarah Palin?

Is she directly to blame for the catastrophe in Norway? Of course not. No more than she was directly to blame for the near-assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson.

But do she and her followers, who preach the virtues of private citizens owning firearms, have at least metaphorical blood on their hands every time a new madman shoots innocent people, whether children or adults?

You bet they do.

Will the Norwegian catastrophe change attitudes in the USA?

Might it move Sarah to say that maybe private citizens should not be allowed to build their own arsenals?

You bet it won’t.

Sure, people kill people. But crazed people armed with guns are killing more and more, every day, every month, every year.

Who’ll stop the rain?
11 Who’ll Stop the Rain


As I write in the THE ROGUE, during Sarah’s first campaign for mayor of Wasilla, she was in favor of two things:  allowing Wasilla bars to stay open until 5 a.m., instead of closing at 2 a.m., and allowing concealed weapons to be carried in bars and banks and on school grounds.

During her first term as mayor, she signed an administrative order that permitted the open carrying of weapons in the town library and in city hall.

Just so it’s clear:  Sarah has been talking her gunslinger’s talk and walking her gunslinger’s walk right from the start.

“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.”


The Problem Sarah Can’t Solve: Sarah Palin

She speaks with forked tongue.

And she can’t keep herself from stepping on both forks.

Consider just recently:

–her comments after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was almost assassinated in Arizona.

–her idiotic bus tour, which culminated in her astonishingly ignorant remarks about Paul Revere.

–her insistence that she had been right about Paul Revere: yes, really, he was shooting his gun and ringing his bell to warn the British that the Americans were coming!

–her embarrassing cancellation of the rest of the bus tour.

–her insistence that she had not cancelled the bus tour.

–her cancellation of her trip to Sudan because of nonexistent “jury duty.”

–her support for the hugely embarrassing movie about herself. “The Undefeated” could be the worst movie ever made about a politician, which is fitting, because she could be the worst political figure ever to etch her way into the national consciousness. Only fitting that it was made by a guy who made his money at Goldman Sachs, ripping off real Americans while he enriched himself. And they have the gall to call themselves populists!

The list could go on, and Sarah herself will assure that it does.

It also goes way back in time. Trust me, Sarah’s history of stepping all over her forked tongue all her life is documented in THE ROGUE.

I’ll never forget the first time I heard her voice. I was considering a new book about Alaska, a sequel to GOING TO EXTREMES. I heard that Alaska had a woman governor. That intrigued me. I googled her. Then I youtubed her. Fifteen seconds after first hearing her voice, I knew she wasn’t somebody I wanted to write about.

Then McCain chose her as his running mate. Which meant that this blithering idiot came close to holding a national office that could have been the Presidency.

And so I felt I had to write about her.

I still tremble when I think about that. Do any of you realize how close we came to the destruction of the United States of America, and its replacement by the Christian States of America? For those of you who believe in him, thank God for Barack Obama. May we never have to learn what he saved us from.

Every day for the rest of our lives every one of us should let John McCain know what a traitor he was to the country he once served so bravely.

Meanwhile, Sarah lives on as a national political figure, enabled by the very mainstream media that ridicules her.

Breathlessly, the Beltway Bunch awaits her decision…

Sarah has already laughed all the way to the bank.

Now she may swoop in again and try to steal our country and present it to her cult–the Christian Dominionists, whose top priority is to destroy separation of church and state.

Sarah tried that in Wasilla. It didn’t work. That doesn’t mean she’s not planning to try it again, on a much larger scale.

With every word her forked tongue allows her to utter, she tries to play down her ties to Evangelistic Extremism, but in her heart she knows they’re right.

Actually, God is getting the last laugh here.

Because with every word she utters in live time (and this excludes her ghost-written Facebook posts), she trips all over the tongue God gave her but forgot to tell her how to use.

In THE ROGUE, I write about my visit to John Stein, the man Sarah unseated as mayor of Wasilla in 1996.
You can read about Stein’s integrity and honesty and self-effacing sense of humor in the book, but I’ll include this brief exchange with him here to give you a sense:

“My question about Sarah,” he says, “is if God wants her to be president, why didn’t God equip her with education enough to have at least basic knowledge of geography, science and social systems?”

“You mean so she wouldn’t say she could see Russia from her house?”

“She never said that,” he says, smiling. “She said she could see rush hour.”

“The Oft-Defeated” a Box Office Bomb & Zero-rated at Rotten Tomatoes

Oh, well, they tried.   But it looks like Stephen Bannon is out the million bucks he spent translating his worship of Sarah Palin into film.

Bannon’s balderdash, in fact, achieved an unprecedented “Double Zero”: 0 percent favorable ratings at Rotten Tomatoes and 0 members of the public sitting through the whole thing as it debuted in the city of Orange, in the county of Orange, California, at 12:01 a.m. today, PDT.

The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf unselfishly interrupted his vacation–and stayed up past his bedtime, too–to bear solitary witness to the fiasco in Orange County. We should all be grateful to him for his front-line report.

Even though the theater was only ten miles from the Richard Nixon Museum in Yorba Linda, not a single Palinite was willing to stay up past midnight to view the premiere.

Wasn’t so long ago that thousands queued through the night to get Sarah’s autograph.

But last night’s score: Harry Potter 5,000–Sarah Palin 0.
Can’t say I’m sorry about not being in Phoenix for the 5 p.m. showing today.

Doing My Part

Palin supporters (hello? are there any left?) are being urged to pack the movie theaters on July 15 for the premiere of “The Undefeated.”

I guess the theory is if Sarah sees there are still a few thousand people around the country willing to sit through a two-hour glorification of herself, she might just decide run for president after all.

Well, I might be in attendance myself at the July 15 showing in Phoenix. Summer weather just wonderful, with temps above 115 and massive dust storms (see photo above showing conditions yesterday.)

I’m thinking of writing a Kindle Single to be called “Sarah Palin’s Arizona,” which could go on sale at amazon.com in late August.
Maybe ten thousand words about the state Sarah is making her new home. I could spend a bit of time in North Scottsdale, swing by Maricopa, and head down to Tucson, where Gabrielle Giffords almost died and where Sarah’s political career, in fact, did.

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!


Meet the new Sarah Palin: Nikki Haley of South Carolina

As Sarah’s free-fall into political irrelevance accelerates, Bachmann has already replaced her as the right-wing Republican woman who might matter in 2012. But it’s Nikki Haley (pictured with Sarah above) who threatens to erase all memories of the Wasilla Weirdo.

[By the way, thanks to commenters and others who worry that nobody will care about THE ROGUE when it is published on September 20. Worry not. My publisher, Crown, is not concerned. In fact, the people at Crown are wildly excited about the book’s prospects, and growing more so every day. THE ROGUE contains enough startling new revelations–as well as my first-person account of what it was like to live next to Sarah last summer–to assure the sort of national interest that previous books about Sarah did not achieve. Major national media attention is already guaranteed, although I’m not permitted yet to get specific.]

But think longer term: Bachmann will burn out this year and next because she’s just as dopey and as enslaved to Dominionist Christianty as is Sarah.

Obama should be so lucky as to have Bachmann as his 2012 opponent. (No, he couldn’t possibly be so lucky as to have Sarah to wipe up the floor with next year: if he did, he might win all fifty states.)

No matter who it is, he’ll be reelected. Yes, you heard it here first. No matter how short the odds, bet Obama in 2012.

Current odds from Ladbrokes in the UK:

Barack Obama
Mitt Romney
Tim Pawlenty
Rick Perry
Jon Huntsman
Michele Bachmann
Sarah Palin
Rudy Giuliani
Herman Cain
Ron Paul
Newt Gingrich
Rick Santorum
Gary Johnson
Thaddeus McCotter

If you bet $1,000 on Obama to be reelected, you’d receive $1,500 the day after election day, 2012.
That’s a fifty percent return on your money in sixteen months.

I personally, of course, do not endorse wagering in any form.

Nonetheless, you might be interested in Ladbrokes’ take on the GOP nomination:

Mitt Romney
Tim Pawlenty
Rick Perry
Michele Bachmann
Jon Huntsman
Sarah Palin
Rudy Giuliani
Herman Cain
Newt Gingrich
Ron Paul
Rick Santorum
Gary Johnson
Thaddeus McCotter

Rick Perry, who hasn’t even said he’ll run, is 5/1, while Sarah, slipping fast, is 14/1 for the nomination.

But let’s look beyond the easy money Ladbrokes is putting on the table. Let’s look to 2016, by which time Sarah will be only that bad taste you might burp up if you ate too much pizza last night.

The GOP/Tea Party/hot chick meme will still be out there. There will be no incumbent President.

Beware Nikki Haley of South Carolina. The New York Times has just anointed her as the future of the Tea Party here.

And the Haley piece was written by Kim Severson, formerly of the Anchorage Daily News.

So she knows how this stuff can happen.


It’s not only Sarah Palin who cares about you.

Sarah sinks ever lower: will sign “books” with Bristol at Minnesota mall

So desperate is Sarah for cheap and easy publicity–and a few extra bucks–that, as Associated Press reports, on Wednesday, she’ll be horning in on her daughter’s first “book” tour appearance at the Barnes & Noble in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Pure coincidence, of course, that Michelle Bachmann (aka “The Sarah Palin of 2011/2012”) is from Minnesota.

Someone less cynical about the Palins than I am might look at this as a manifestation of motherly love and show of support for a daughter whose “screw & tell” memoir hasn’t even cracked the amazon.com top 500 list despite Bristol’s appearance on Good Morning America today.

As I’ve made clear in earlier posts, I simply do not care about Bristol. Nor about any of Sarah’s other children, except for continuing to wonder who really gave birth to Trig.

I care about the phenomenon of Sarah only because–by many light years–she was the least qualified and most deranged person ever nominated for the presidency or vice presidency of the United States, and because she continues to successfully seduce the Beltway chattering class.

“To be or not to be,” is no longer the question. Now it’s, “Will she or won’t she?”

Like water, however, trash seeks its own level. Sarah’s appearance alongside her no-talent daughter at a Minnesota shopping mall is the clearest indicator yet that the 2008 Republican candidate for vice president of the United States is finally becoming not the national leader she never could have been, but part of our national landfill.

And in case you were wondering, no, I won’t be bringing Levi along on my own tour for THE ROGUE in September and October. (Media appearances already arranged in New York, Washington, Toronto, Alaska, Seattle and Los Angeles.)

Honestly, I’m not desperate enough to sit behind a table in a Minnesota shopping mall.

Although I willingly appeared on Fox & Friends with my son, Joe McGinniss Jr., when his novel, THE DELIVERY MAN (soon to be a major motion picture) was published in 2008.

Here’s a difference between McGinniss books and Palin “books.” Joe Jr. and I write our own: Sarah and Bristol aren’t able to do that.

And here’s another difference: neither my son Joe nor I would ever use/abuse a child the way Sarah did Trig at her Going Rogue signing at The Villages, Florida, in November, 2009.

I was there, in the company of my great friend Ray Hudson, of Newcastle, England, who after a brilliant career as a soccer player has become the world’s best soccer announcer for whom English is a first language. In his recent extraordinary profile of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Jere Longman of the NYTimes made clear how Ray and only Ray can transliterate Messi’s genius into English. If anyone thinks world-class soccer is boring (I readily concede that the sub-standard version played in the U.S. is yawn-inducing), please check out this one clip among dozens on YouTube wherein Ray Hudson demonstrates that it’s not. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyEls-EqdOY

Ray flew up from Fort Lauderdale so I wouldn’t have to endure the Palin appearance at The Villages, an hour north of Orlando, on my own.

And thank God he did. Even in his great company, it was an ordeal.

But I snapped out of my torpor and into parent/grandparent mode when I saw how Sarah mistreated Trig.

As I write in THE ROGUE:

She emerges [from her bus], holding Trig. Once the TV cameras and still photographers have had their fill, she hands him off to an assistant, who soon puts him down on the asphalt parking lot and lets him crawl. The lot is covered with broken glass, cigarette butts, and old chewing gum, and Trig is barefoot. Eventually, Piper comes along and puts him in a stroller.

This is almost the full monty, family-wise. Chuck and Sally and old Aunt so-and-so, plus Piper and Trig. Chuck and Sally work the crowd. Leaving Trig in the stroller, so does Piper. She’s eight years old and has the fake smile of a ten-term congressman. For some reason this sticks with me as the saddest sight I see all day.

And now, on Wednesday, in a Minnesota shopping mall, patrons will get a twofer: Sarah and Bristol showing off their fake, smarmy smiles side by side as they peddle their fake books.

Sarah: where’s Trig?

Bristol: where’s Tripp?

Can either of you care about anybody but yourselves?

p.s. I’ve said I don’t care about Bristol or Levi and I don’t. But when they start poaching on my turf–taking up space in book stores with their whiny, self-aggrandizing, adolescent tripe–I’d be remiss not to point out the difference between thoroughbred race horses (i.e. Geoffrey Dunn and myself) and the steaming piles of shit said horses leave on the ground behind them (i.e. Sarah, Bristol, etc.)