BS:  Laura, a friend on mine on the West Coast said she sees a similarity in looks between Mike Wooten, Sarah Palin’s former brother-in-law, and Trig. So that got me looking at their online photos, and I made the following composite, which shows their heads at the top, and then a close-up of the ears below. (I’ve lightened and sharpened the ear images.) Tell me what you think:

LN: I think ‘Oh My Goodness. Will this family never cease to amaze?’

BS: When comparing the ears, keep in mind that, if Trig and Wooten are related, Trig’s ear would represent a less mature version of Wooten’s; thus, you should try to picture Trig’s ear with the thickening and deepening that naturally would come with age. The more I look for points of correspondence, the more I am struck by the similarities between the ears.

And it’s not just the ears that are similar. The chins look alike too in the above photos. So that got me looking for more photos displaying their chins. Here is a side-by-side comparison:
You have to look closely, but don’t you think there is something very distinctive about the shape of both those chins? Almost a round knob shape at the end of the chin?

LN: Um, yup, I see it. I didn’t want to see it. I never thought I’d see it. But it’s not a stretch.

BS: One thing that looks somewhat dissimilar is the shape of the head, with Wooten’s being fatter around the jowls. But his ex-wife testified in the divorce proceedings that he had been taking steroids, which can result in a fattening of the face. (Just compare a photo of the young Roger Clemons with the current, steroid-puffed-up one.) If you can imagine Wooten’s face slimmed down a bit, then he and Trig would seem to have quite similar blockish head shapes.

If we assume, for the sake of argument, that that Wooten might be related to Trig, how does that work out with what we know?

LN: I don’t think the timing of Trig’s birth (year, not month, whatever month that might be) works out in terms of the Palins’ obsession with Wooten. But I do want to comment on uber-author Joe McGinniss. His writing is so subtle in The Rogue. The irony of Joe's stay on Lake Lucille combined with the factual history of Sarah’s life in public office makes for very good reading. He does not hit the reader over the head, but I was floored nevertheless by the passages on the Palins and Mr. Wooten.

And what struck me, Brad, is how truly fixated, obsessed and confused the Palins were about this man. He might very well have been a “bad guy,” but their focus on him was so overweening as to suggest deeper meaning. And by that I mean, yes, we’ve probably all disliked someone our sibling dated or married. Yet, this vendetta went well beyond that. A judge scolded them. Monegan admonished them. Yet the Palin’s drive to somehow separate this man, Wooten, from their family suggested a deeper pathology because no amount of professional advice or threat (from the judge) could stop Todd and Sarah.

BS: First, let me say that while the physical similarities are suggestive, in themselves they mean nothing. As far as I know, half of all Alaskans might have rounded bumps on their chins. But what makes this interesting, as you point out, Laura, is the level of hatred the Palins seemed to harbor for Wooten. Why? It could simply be because Wooten and Molly, Sarah’s sister, had a messy divorce in 2005, with ensuing battles over visitation rights, child support, etc.

But the venom Sarah and Todd exhibited for Wooten does suggest something deeper. They were engaged in a campaign to get him fired, and if they succeeded, that might have actually hurt Molly and her kids, because without a job Wooten would not be able to pay child support.

Whatever it was that caused that hatred may have precipitated the divorce, and whatever it was may have continued after the divorce. But whatever that something was that inspired Sarah’s hatred, I don’t feel comfortable speculating out loud about it. But it does make me want to do more digging.

As to whether Wooten and Trig might be related, keep in mind there’s more than one way that could happen.

LN: A few months ago, when we were looking at the montage of Trig and Levi that a reader put together for me, I discussed it personally with a regular reader of this blog. I said that if Levi looked like Shaq, we would not even be having this discussion. Little did I know how ironic that comment would turn out to be given what we now know from Joe’s thoroughly researched book on Sarah, that she had reportedly slept with a black basketball player.

My point being that curiously, all of these folks resemble one another. No, we are not pointing to someone who looks like Shaq and wondering if he might be Trig’s father. We are looking at a person who, once again, exhibits facial features that are not that far off from this sweet boy’s.

Other people are also seeing resemblances between people who have fraught, tense, and publicly volatile relationships with the Palins. So you are right not to speculate about the cause of Sarah and Todd’s obsession. But it does suggest something beyond a sister being unhappy or poorly treated. What do our readers think?

Writer and frequent commenter, Viola-Alex, penned this essay prior to the new Joe McGinniss Rogue-ography being released. It is interesting to read it again now and see even more clearly how we each could "spot" Palin in our own way. I was not surprised to read in Joe's book about the absolute absence of any religion in the Palin home - both structured Christianity and from-the-heart-humanism.

In April Franklin Graham told ABC News' Christiane Amanpour that Sarah Palin doesn’t like politics and wouldn’t run  for President,  although she does enjoy “speaking on the issues.”  Palin was scheduled for a trip to the Sudan with Graham’s Christian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse but cancelled at the last minute.

Last year Phyllis Schlafly,  the famous anti-feminist and founding  member of the Council for National Policy and a woman so conservative she loathes the presidencies of both Bushes,  was asked if she thought this country would ever elect a woman president.   She answered that a governorship might be the best route and that Sarah Palin “is the total package. She's got a cute husband. She's got a lot of kids."  But when asked if she thought Palin was ready to be President, Schlafly said unequivocally, “I don’t think so.” 

In 2009 it was Schlafly who had advised Mrs. Total Package ex-Governor Palin  to follow Ronald Reagan’s example after his governorship:  lay low, build skills, and concentrate on  select speaking engagements.  We all know how that turned out.

Born-again Christians fill my address book.  I actually was one for about 37 minutes.    In fact, getting saved was de rigueur for all the oil rich in my East Texas hometown.   Before the 1960’s, religion was for poor people and Catholics.  The Born-Again Movement, which caught fire in California, changed all that.

In 1966 my mother took me to see Billy Graham--in London where we stayed at a 5-star hotel and alternated nights at the Crusade with theatre and shopping.  (The most entertaining part of the Crusade was when Vietnam Protesters snuck in a banner  in pieces  and sewed it  together during Billy’s sermon.) These days my entire hometown is born-again, as is a lot of Texas.  My best friend from high school, a Jewish man who’s a partner in James Baker’s law firm, sends his daughter to a Baptist private school.

For me, nothing about Sarah Palin’s supposed Christianity is familiar.  I was surprised when Bristol dropped this bombshell in an interview with Christianity Today about the Palin family’s churchgoing.  “You know, we do on and off in Alaska but our schedule is so hectic right now that we haven't really been able to sit down at a church consistently every Sunday,” said Bristol.

Sit down at a church?  Was that poor child confusing the House of God with Burger King?

The born-again Christians I know belong to churches.  They tithe.  Hell, they shed their diamonds for missionary work in Africa so they can post the photos on their Facebook pages.  They even send their children to Ivy League schools.  Phyllis Schlafly has a law degree from Washington University, a Master’s in Political Science from Harvard--and has called the Tea Party “futile.”

For these people, appearance matters.  Going to church was the least Palin could have done to make them think she was just like them.    Instead, she wore a giant Crucified Jesus rhinestone rodeo belt with her low-rise jeans and called it good.

The born-again power elite probably aren’t keen to push a frowsy fishwife (ie Not One of Christ’s finest) through the Eye of The Needle.  That’s why Palin is down to angry folks in lawn chairs.  Bud Paxson and his cohort may have tapped her for greatness once upon a time --and may have even engineered her sudden rise --but I’ll bet my red-letter King James Bible that Palin’s bid for Queen Esther is finished.

Or maybe not.

What about the Born-Again Under-Class who finds Palin’s messy volatility a perfect match for minor Old Testament prophecy?

According to Mudflats, a former classmate of Palin’s has described how the Assemblies of God kids ruled Wasilla High School.  Call me a snob, but that fact alone would be enough to skew a girl’s world view, to grow up believing that talking in tongues and having one’s demons excised by an African voodoo priest are behaviors of a social elite. In the lower 48, Pentecostals are not exactly members of the ruling class. (Pentecostalism is booming in third world countries.The largest single Pentecostal church in the world is the Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea.)

Which brings us to what may be the real issue that fuels Tea Party mob rage and vaunteth up Sarah Louise Palin. 

It damn sure isn’t religion. 

It’s Class. 


Laura, with your permission I would like to share with your readers a letter I sent to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, the facility where Palin claims she gave birth to Trig. Last month I sent the hospital a copy of my article on Palin and the press, along with a cover letter, seeking comments. (You may recall that on Oct. 3, 2008, Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson – or more likely, some lawyer writing on her behalf – had artfully referred to Palin’s “home community hospital,” a seeming reference to Mat-Su that nonetheless made it possible to avoid naming any hospital as Trig’s place of birth.)

My letter reached Mat-Su on August 12, per the USPS tracking number. I addressed it to the hospital’s director of marketing (i.e. head of PR), Sterling Grover. Here is the letter:

Dear Mr. Grover,

I have attached a copy of an article I will probably publish in the next month. I am sending it to you as a courtesy.

As you will see, Mat-Su Regional Medical Center looks in the article as if it may have been (possibly inadvertently) involved in a hoax relating to the alleged birth of Trig Palin by Sarah Palin on April 18, 2008, at your hospital.

I am aware that HIPAA regulations prevent you from commenting without a patient’s permission on any lawful activity that occurred. On the other hand, it may be that such regulations would not apply in the case of fraud.

Please answer the following questions, even if the answer is “no comment” or some variant of that. For convenience, please feel free to send your responses to me by email at

              .         1.            Can you state unequivocally that no employee of the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center participated in fraudulent activity relative to the alleged birth of Trig Palin by Sarah Palin on April 18, 2008?

              .         2.            Can you state unequivocally that no employee or board member of Valley Hospital Association participated in fraudulent activity relative to the alleged birth of Trig Palin by Sarah Palin on April 18, 2008? [VHA largely runs Mat-Su.]

              .         3.            Can you state unequivocally that no physician then on active status at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center participated in fraudulent activity relative to the alleged birth of Trig Palin by Sarah Palin on April 18, 2008?

              .         4.            Is it possible a former board member of Valley Hospital Association could have stayed in a room of your hospital on April 18, 2008, without your staff being aware of it? In other words, is it possible for a former board member to obtain a room at your hospital without going through the usual check-in procedures?

Changing directions here, on April 28 of this year Dave Weigel posted the following at

Yesterday … I called up Mat-Su Regional Hospital, where, according to contemporary media reports, Trig Palin was born. I was patched through to the family birthing center. The director had left for the day, sadly, so I spoke to a unit clerk who answered my questions but politely asked for me not to use her name.

Why'd I call the hospital? One of the original concerns Sullivan had with the Trig Palin story – one that's based on an absent fact, and not on innuendo – was that Mat-Su Regional did not list Trig Palin's birth on its website. There's a portion of the web site, the baby nursery, where newborns are listed. Trig, born on April 18, 2008, is not there. And that's somewhat curious. So: Is every baby born at the hospital listed on the web site?

"No, it's not automatic," said the clerk. "Truth be told, we do take security photos of all the babies, but if the parents want their babies listed on the web site, they can request it. We're really sensitive about it, though. I think the hospital took up the policy not to publish names automatically because of possible baby kidnapping issues."

The clerk, realizing that Washington, D.C. reporters don't typically cold call her hospital, asked me if this call was about "our former governor." It was. Was Trig Palin born there?

"Oh, that's not even a question," she said. (If my reception was better I could have heard her eyes rolling at this point.) "Yes. Everybody here remembers that. Yes, this is where the Palins come -- this is their family hospital."

So, an employee of your hospital apparently said it’s “not even a question” whether Trig was born at your hospital, adding; “Yes. Everybody here remembers that. Yes, this is where the Palins come – this is their family hospital.” Please answer the following:

              .         1.            Is it the policy of your hospital to allow clerks to anonymously make statements like the one Mr. Weigel says a clerk made to him?

              .         2.            Do your employees receive instructions or training concerning giving out patient information that may violate HIPAA regulations?

              .         3.            Do you confirm the veracity of the statement Mr. Weigel attributed to your clerk concerning the birth of Trig Palin at your hospital?

              .         4.            If not, what is the hospital’s position on the question of whether Trig Palin was born at Mat-Su?

              .         5.            Do you believe Mr. Weigel wrote truthfully about what he alleges happened?

I ask that you answer each question I have posed. If you do not answer each question specifically, I will feel free to write that you “failed to answer” or “choose to ignore” or some similar construction. I am requesting all the above information under relevant Alaska and federal Freedom of Information statutes.

Thank you so much.

Sincerely yours, [etc.]

I wasn’t counting on getting a response, so I wasn’t devastated by the fact that I did not get one. I’m guessing Mr. Sterling passed the letter and article on to the hospital’s legal counsel, who instructed him not to say a word.

But let’s just examine what Mat-Su’s silence here implies. In my first set of questions, I essentially ask Mr. Sterling if he can state that no one connected to the hospital engaged in fraudulent activity on the day Trig was reportedly born. How depressing it must be for a PR flack to not be able to deny wrongdoing by his employer. But I hear his silence loud and clear.

Mr. Sterling’s silence concerning the second set of questions, relating to Weigel, is just as dismaying. The head of PR can’t even defend his people from a charge of gross violation of HIPAA rules, which is what happened if that clerk truly said what Weigel alleges.

Also, I have to say that if Weigel told the truth about what the clerk told him, then I think he got played. He claims he made a cold call, but I simply don’t believe it was totally “cold” – I would bet someone recommended he call the hospital around a certain time, and that the scenario he described then followed a script. (Of course, Weigel could have lied, but why would he do so?)

So, Laura, I am interested in what your readers make of Mat-Su’s role in all this, and of the hospital’s silence to my letter.

One more thing: that letter was not my first effort to get a comment from the hospital. Several months ago, I sent similar questions via a questions box at the hospital’s website; I got no response then either. So, Mr. Grover, for the third time, I am now asking you to respond to the questions raised in this post.

My copy of The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin by Joe McGinniss has arrived. 

I just tore through Chapter 19.  I will read the rest of the book as soon as I can this weekend. 

For now, I'm glad to see Andrew Sullivan given the credit he deserves for vociferously and repeatedly questioning the very questionable story of Baby Trig's delivery. 

I am reassured to read that those who knew Sarah the most, believed her the least. 

It is also, too, good to know that real Americans possessing common sense will see the details that we've followed so closely these three years. What did YOU think of this chapter? And the rest of the book? I look forward to this discussion of any of 'em, all of 'em books about Mrs. Todd Palin.  

The fog has lifted. Not only on our damp, grey Bay Area summer  (87 degrees and sunny today folks!) but on our Sarah Palin.

The long awaited book from one of my favorite investigative  journalists/authors, Joe McGinniss, is soon to land in my mailbox. Gryphen has already dug in, so remember to refresh there often. His first take on The Rogue is an excellent piece of writing.

Professor Brad Scharlott has some tricks up his sleeves. And even Levi Johnston has a book about to hit the shelves.

The sky is blue. Fall is here. As McGinniss said on his blog:  Let the wild rumpus begin!

Consider this a wide open thread to discuss any of 'em, all of 'em.

UPDATE:  Brad Scharlott's newest research paper is now up on Business Insider. It's well written in the way that only a true scholar like Brad could do.  A commenter there links to this PoliticalGates post from yesterday. Also, too, so well written, comprehensive, and thorough in the way that has set those researchers apart from the start. 

Still waiting for my book to arrive. But in the meantime, PoGates and Brad have a lot to offer!!

BS: Laura, what better place to start our interview about your book than with the phrase “Sarah Palin with a penis!” Wow! The floor is all yours!

LN: That is actually my favorite sentence in my novel!  I have a pivotal character that speaks in word salad much of the time. He is in over his head in many situations and resorts to talking in scrambled sentences and with a loftier tone than the occasion requires. So, my protagonist, Clari Drake, at one point narrates that he is “Sarah Palin with a penis. I could have told anyone that.” I cracked myself up with that one.

BS: Congratulations on the publication of your novel on Amazon Kindle. I found it to be a great read, full of laughs and suspense and compelling characters. You are racking up fabulous Five Star REVIEWS on Amazon with heaps of praise and enthusiasm for your book. It is a very impressive debut for you in the world of fiction. How exciting is this?

LN: You have no idea! Or maybe as a writer and PhD who has published lengthy articles, you do understand. But I am very, very excited to be on Kindle. My book has wide appeal, especially to this blog community. 

BS: Let’s talk about Finding Clarity. There is much that reminds me of our own struggle to “out” Sarah Palin over the past 3 years. Am I imagining that?

LN: Not at all. The last three years of work on Finding Clarity dovetailed with my following the blogs and the turmoil surrounding Palin. Coincidently, I had already crafted a plot with these basic themes:  you can’t always trust people in power to do the right thing; people are not always who they pretend to be. I also like the idea that life is full of quirky people who sometimes follow false leads and suffer slow starts but are determined to right wrongs and see the truth prevail. That reminds me a lot of our blogging community.

BS: The long title is fascinating:  A Mom, A Dwarf and a Posh Private School in the People’s Republic of Berkeley. It’s really what made me want to read the book. But subtitles aren’t common in fiction. How did you decide on that?

LN: This book is about a fish-out-of-water woman, coming of age in her 40’s, who decides to try and become the hot-shot reporter she once was. With a rag tag posse, she sleuths out the wrongs and tries to make them right at her son’s posh private school in Berkeley, where the elite, who in theory aren’t supposed to exist, are up to no good. Those factors are worth teasing on the cover of the book.

BS: Clari Drake suspects that the wealthy power brokers running her son’s little corner of Berkeley are going to destroy the world she loves to hate. Financial malfeasance, dubious hiring choices, ill timed firing of a beloved employee…Clari’s all over it. With her odd, misfit friends, she goes for broke trying to reveal the truth and bust the bad guys. You’re right, this sounds so familiar!

LN: Right on! It truly is as if I wrote a book about me and you and the many commenters here and at the other blogs who have been walking into a head wind for 3 years, digging into documents, listening in on conversations, observing liars and cheats. It’s in my blood to love a story that stinks and want to dig like a dog for a bone until I can figure out the truth. Clari Drake is no different.

BS: A major theme of the book, as you said, is that people aren’t always who they appear to be. And things aren’t always as they seem. Again, it sounds like Palin land to me.

LN: You’re absolutely right. There are so many similarities to what we’ve been doing on these blogs and what goes on in Berkeley in my book. Some people honestly aren’t yet sure who they are in this life, or what they are supposed to be. Others live lies and will do anything to mask the truth. Sarah Palin is a metaphor for all of that.

BS: You’ve spent your career as a journalist – that is, a writer of nonfiction. How difficult was it for you to switch gears and start creating stories instead of reporting them?

LN: It is the antithesis of my training, you’re right. How great it is to be able to make stuff up (much to Mrs. Palin’s chagrin.) There is real freedom to writing fiction. You don’t think the priest would really have said that to Clari? Well, I do. You don’t think the Board of Trustee meeting would have gone quite like that? Hang in there, and see how it all plays out. Unlike in real life, I don’t have to be fair to these characters. I have to breath life into them. There’s a big difference.

BS: But did you like your characters? I found them so loveable and complicated. Even Dick DeNutti, bad guy extraordinaire. Only it gets much more complex than that doesn’t it?

LN: When I finished the final draft, I said to a friend, “Wow, I miss them all.” I had spent so many years with these characters, getting inside their heads, dressing them in their various wardrobes, knowing what they stare at when they are in bed or how they hold their fork. They became real to me and I liked them all. Even the ones I hated!

BS: In real life, we know that people really are composites. No one is any one way all the time. Are these characters representative of people you know? In particular, how much of Clari Drake is you?

LN: The characters are total creations in terms of their personalities and actions. As far as appearances go, one looks a little like an old boyfriend. Elspeth Waldron is fashioned after my 7th grade English teacher who was a state teacher of the year and the most wonderful woman who really encouraged and channeled my energy and abilities. The Goth is drawn from someone I once sat next to on a train. I wanted to create a story for that person. Really, no one is any one person I know. But the science book incident in the beginning? That really happened. I still see her at the grocery store.

BS: And Clari? She’s the star of the show. The super sleuth who goes on to be in other mysteries. Does she remind you of anyone?

LN: Clari and I both passionately love our families. We are devoted mothers, wives, school moms, and volunteers. We hate bullshit and phonies. We seek the truth and want things to be right. And we’ve both made mistakes in our lives. I only wish I had her sass and ability to say what I am really thinking! And we both grapple with trying to accept that we are decidedly mushier, more fragile women than we were as young reporters in our 20s and 30s.

BS: And related to that, how much of the novel is based on stuff that really happened? Is your son, really a dwarf?

LN: No, my son does not have achondroplasia. But I once worked with an editor whose child was a little person. The mother was one of the nastiest woman I’ve ever worked with. A truly disagreeable person. I wanted to re-write that story and make her loving and loveable. I also want to show Zach as a big person in a little body. His beauty shines from the inside out. My son, on the other hand, had serious medical complications inside his body, but looked perfect on the outside. I decided to play those two themes off one another with the understanding that any mother, no matter who she is as a person, suffers tremendously when her child is suffering.

BS: You also touch on all the hot topics of the day:  gender, race, and religion. You weren’t afraid to go there.

LN: Gay issues, racial slurs…the horrible things people say and think are all over this book. It is important to me to highlight the ignorance that I see even among the wealthy. Just because people are progressive or elite doesn’t always mean they are always right or proper. Clari sees through them and does her best to undermine their ignorance.

BS: Your characters are so colorful! They jumped off the page. How did you do that?

LN: I saw them so clearly. Sydney is Queen Latifah hands down. Her voice, stature, movements were in my head the entire time I wrote. Same for Dick DeNutti. He’s James Gandolfini. I wrote that part entirely with his voice and mannerisms in mind.

BS: What’s up next for Clari Drake?

LN: Well if her writer could sit still in the chair and keep writing…I have about 100 pages of Murder at the Mailbox already written, and the rest of the story mapped out on a huge board. All the characters are color-coded and the plot is pretty much worked out. Question is, how much of that first draft do I want to keep and how soon can I get to work on it! What time is it anyway?

BS: Again, I’m very excited for you, Clari Drake and all the crazy characters at the Bidwell-Coggin school in Berkeley. I hope everyone here will buy a copy HERE and spread the word to their own social network. Independent authors like you need the word to go viral. And anyone who has enjoyed dissecting the Sarah Palin birth story, will love to see how Clari Drake finds clarity, and hilarity, in Berkeley, the city everyone loves to laugh at.

LN: Thanks so much, Brad, for inviting me to talk about Finding Clarity. I’m so glad you liked the book and laughed out loud. It’s meant to be a fun ride.

BS: And the ending? It blew me away. Never saw it coming. And that alone is worth the price of admission. 

Kindle is available as a fast, free download for Mac, PC, iPad etc. Buy Finding Clarity in seconds, or send to someone as a gift.

This post is comprehensive and complicated. Take your time reading it. H/T to Palinoia for sharing her expertise in the insurance industry. These are her views and her assumptions. But she has built this post like a page-turning mystery. Take it away, Palinoia:

Who paid for Trig's Medical Costs? Some possible answers, and as always, more unanswered questions (surprise!), Part I

Presented by Palinoia who has worked for the past 27 years in some area of healthcare, with most of those years within the range of health insurance benefits and coverage in the following settings:

Acute care / hospitals; skilled nursing facilities; case management and discharge planning; major insurance carriers and insurance brokerages dealing with insurance benefits, eligibility, authorizations, claims, and sales.

Updated Insurance Info, September 2011.

Original research completed: January 2009.

To date, I don't believe there has ever been a comprehensive deep-dive examination of the insurance questions around Trig. I believe that insurance coverage or lack thereof, may have played a significant factor in the birth of the pregnancy hoax - which is the only birthin' Sarah did, in my humble opinion. When you are done wading through this very lengthy post, I think you'll see WHY no comprehensive posts have been made regarding the insurance and coverage questions!

Before diving into the potential unpaid medical bills and the AFT connection, the bulleted information below is the basis on which this connection rests. There are some things to remember as you read along (supported by photographic evidence and preponderance of circumstantial evidence, and well documented statements by Sarah Palin that strongly contradict reality):

1. Sarah Palin did not give birth to the child known as Trig Palin on 4/18/2008, nor any other date.

·       Review all the shape shifting photos of the 3 week pregnancy

·       Review the ludicrous "Wild Ride" story

·       Review all of Sarah's revisions to the "Wild Ride" story

2. Sarah Palin appears to lie with ease, proven time and time again, even over inconsequential things (like the weather!)

·       Way too many instances of lying to document fully/reference here

3. Sarah Palin seems incurious and uninterested in learning, and routinely makes up her own reality of any given situation, including Paul Revere's Ride.

4. Sarah Palin has a sense of entitlement and no regard for ethics, personal boundaries, laws and regulations, i.e., "I'm the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can't."

·       Again, way too many instances to document here

Assumptions (based on the preponderance of circumstantial evidence)

1. Bristol Palin may have given birth to child known as Trig Palin.

·       Rumors of her being pregnant during the suspect time frame, well ahead of Palin's VP candidacy

·       5 month absence compatible with pregnancy time frame of Trig

·       Proof per her My Space comments and her own ghost written narrative of being sexually active starting at age 15.

2. Trig Palin was likely born much earlier than the stated 4/18/2008 DOB. Possibly January, February, or early March. I lean towards a late January / Early February 2008 date of birth, prior to Bristol's auto accident 2/8/08.

·       We now have proof that Sarah "pre-wrote" her "Heavenly Creator" Trig letter, well before his stated date of birth. She wrote it and sent it to herself on 4/7/08, 11 days before he supposedly arrived. This lends more credence to her knowing all the details and his condition prior to 4/18/08.

·       I believe she knew his condition because he was already born, not because of pre-natal testing.

3. Trig Palin was born prematurely, and possibly very premature, and may have had significant health issues, requiring an NICU stay.

·       It would not be hard to believe the pre-maturity assumption if "Ruffles" was the original baby born to Bristol, based on his/her delicate fragile appearing condition, and birth defect ear.

·       One photo seems to show the lines of a nasal canula on Trig, and it appears this is a photo of the baby called "Ruffles".

4. Trig Palin may have been adopted by Sarah & Todd Palin (or not).

·       Levi says she "nagged" him and Bristol about adopting their child. He states she wanted to adopt Tripp, but there may be reason to believe it was actually Trig she was trying to adopt, since the timing of a Tripp adoption didn't make sense to many of us.

·       Sarah may have had insurance reasons to adopt Trig, aside from all the political bonus points of faking the pregnancy, explained later in this document.

5. Neither here nor there, but my assumption: if Bristol is the birth mother, then I also believe she did not know of the DS diagnosis prior to his birth, and it came as a surprise to all.

·       It would not be common to have anything other than the routine pre-natal testing done due to Bristol's age and certainly not an Amnio.

·       Hardly any of Sarah's DS diagnosis narrative lines up re: ultrasound thick neck statement; having an Amnio at all, much less at 13 weeks, etc.

With the assumption that Bristol is the birth mother and that Trig was born prematurely prior to 4/18/08, I'll outline how I arrived at the possibility of large uninsured medical bills for Trig. Not everyone will buy into this line of thinking but after a very long career in health insurance, I feel I have at least some level of expertise in reading insurance summaries, requirements, etc. I will reference all the documents and/or web links so you can read for yourselves.

First, I will talk about "industry standards" for health insurance, particularly employer group insurance. Even though group insurance contracts and benefits can vary from state to state, there are some common elements to every group insurance contract. It is VERY common for employer group insurance to provide maternity benefits (some/most states require this for group coverage). Because of that, plans that cover maternity also cover maternity/delivery costs for pregnant dependents. This means that when your 16-year-old daughter turns up pregnant, their maternity and delivery will be covered by your group plan, provided she is already on the plan as your dependent child. What 99% of insurance contracts will NOT allow is adding the newborn of your daughter (or son for that matter) to your coverage without you, the grandparent, having legal custody/guardianship/adoption of said grandchild. In my entire career, I have yet to come across an individual medical plan or employer group plan that allows adding grandchildren as eligible dependents absent the legal arrangements outlined above. Granted, there could be some plans in some states that would allow it, but it would be way outside what the industry standard is for definitions of eligible dependents. Please remember, also, too, Trig was born before the healthcare reform bill, so none of that would have applied at the time Trig was born (like requiring coverage to age 25, etc).

With that said, I did lots of research in early 2009 regarding the potential health insurance coverage options for Trig if he was born to Bristol.  I'm not going to bore you with the full on details, as you'd probably go cross-eyed reading it all and probably will anyway. I investigated the following potential insurance coverage for him: 

  1. Todd’s Union BP/USW Coverage (United Steel Workers)
  2. Medicaid / DenaliCare
  3. ACHIA (Alaska's State High Risk Pool)
  4. IHS / Native coverage
  5. Sarah’s State of Alaska Health Insurance Coverage
What follows is the shortened version of my findings, and outstanding questions.

1. Todd's BP/Union Coverage via United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial & Service Workers International Union (USW) (multiple sources via Google cite Todd Palin as a member of this union):

We simply do not know if Todd had their children covered on his plan. I did find documentation that he took a leave from BP when Sarah started her Half-Governorship, but he returned to work later in 2007, so I think it is safe to guess that if he didn't waive coverage in lieu of pay, he was probably covered by his Union plan. That still doesn't answer whether the kids were covered on his plan or not. I was able to find the USW (the main parent union of his subset union) plan document, and in it, the definition of “dependent”, Article I, Section 1.05, Page 3. It clearly does NOT include “grandchild” as an eligible dependent, so even if Bristol was covered on his plan, they could not have added Trig to his plan without some kind of legal action such as an adoption:

I also just found some more information right on BP's own website regarding their employee medical plan, which is probably what Todd's Union/BP coverage is patterned after. Since at least 2003, BP has contributed 80% of the premium cost towards employees and dependents, with the employee having a cost share of 20%. Additionally, I found more information on eligible dependents on BP's website, which does include grandchildren, but in this narrow circumstance:

"A grandchild who lives with you in a regular parent/child relationship for at least half the year and receives at least 50% of his/her financial support from you. This includes only a grandchild related to you by blood, marriage or domestic partnership whose parents do not live with the child and for whose daily care and guidance you are legally responsible."

That would seem to preclude adding Trig to Todd's coverage as a grandchild, since Bristol did live with them, and one could guess that BP would require proof of the grandparent's legal responsibility for their grandchild.

2. Medicaid / DenaliCare:

This option would appear to be a dead end, as Bristol would have been a minor child, wherein family income guidelines to qualify for coverage would be followed. Without question, SP & Todd’s income level would disqualify Bristol from coverage, even if pregnant, and is evident if one reads the income guidelines shown here (2009 shown, but 2008 income levels would have been the same, or lower, not more):

3. ACHIA (Alaska Comprehensive Health Insurance Assoc) State High Risk Pool

Trig would not have had coverage through ACHIA due to their clear 6-month pre-existing condition language and his lack of eligibility under the Federally Defined Eligibility rules (Federally Defined Eligibility requires 18 months prior coverage, impossible for a newborn) that would have waived the pre-existing condition waiting period. Sourced from the ACHIA website eligibility guidelines.

4. IHS (Indian Health Services) Federally Sponsored Native Coverage


This section was the MOST difficult to research of all. More information has since come to light since I did the original research, namely the statement in Bristol's custody paperwork that Tripp is an enrolled member of the Curyung Tribal Council, and his medical is covered by IHS and the Alaska Native Medical Center. Of course, we would hope that this coverage for Tripp is factual since it was in legal documents, but who really knows? Sarah and Bristol didn't seem to have any problem with perjury (my opinion) when it came to Troopergate and the Kernell trial, so I have to wonder whether this was a true statement or not, in spite of being in court submitted legal documents.

We could assume that if Tripp (Bristol's son) is a tribal member, and Trig was also her son, then he could have also been a member and entitled to medical services. There is much to research about tribal membership / quantum blood requirements, etc. I have seen comments in one blog that there is no quantum blood requirement for membership in the Curyung Tribal Council if the dependent is a lineal descendent of a tribal member.  Maybe someone could actually research and get the definitive answer. If that isn't true and if there IS a quantum blood requirement, how much is required for membership in this tribe? Even so, would IHS / ANMC have covered Trig on a retroactive basis if he was entitled to IHS coverage as a tribal member, if it wasn't found out until later that he couldn't be added to any other coverage and was then added to tribal membership?

We have it fairly well documented that Todd is 1/8 Yup'ik per his own grandmother (ADN article quote). That would make Bristol 1/16, and Trig, if born to her, a mere 1/32nd. Many tribes require a minimum 1/4 Quantum Blood on a CIB card from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for membership. The requirement is up to the individual Tribal Councils. Again, is this a requirement or not, and if so, what is the Quantum Blood requirement for the Curyung Tribal Council? If they do have a Quantum Blood requirement requiring a CIB card from IHS, how long does it take to get a CIB card?

In spite of the questions regarding the native coverage outlined above and Tripp's apparent enrollment, I actually feel fairly safe in saying Trig was not covered by IHS, at least not initially, even if he was eligible. Why do I say this?

Let's go back to Sarah's work history for a moment, and Todd's as well. They both (prior to Quit Date) have a fairly long work history in the private / government sector that afforded each of them employer group medical insurance. Per IHS rules, ANY other insurance will be primary over the Native Coverage, including Medicaid. That means that IHS coverage is always the last to pay if there is other insurance. One also has to seek care from an IHS facility or get approval from IHS to go to a contract facility. Let's not forget Sarah's anti-Native stance, and underlying racist tendencies. She only threw out Todd's native heritage as a political ploy to paint a different image of herself, per her usual M.O. I think her record towards anything to do with the Native population is clear and the reality is much different than the image she has tried to put forth (think cookies on a plate).  I can completely see Sarah using hers or Todd's employer group insurance for Bristol and the rest of their children to avoid having to use anything that was "Native". Given this, and the likelihood that either (or both) her State plan or Todd's plan was covering Bristol's maternity care as a covered dependent, she would never have utilized the IHS coverage.

Let's also review Sarah's sense of entitlement and incuriosity and how that factors into the whole equation. Having spent so many years in health insurance, every year I get at least 2-3 calls wanting to know how policy holders can add a grandchild to a policy. "My daughter just had her baby", or "my daughter is pregnant and about to deliver, will she be able to add the baby to my policy", often at the last minute or after the baby is delivered when the claims start being denied. Many parents just assume that their insurance carrier will add the newborn for them, even if it isn't a grandchild, and is their own child - not true!  It varies by plan/insurance carrier, but to add your own child to your plan, at least a phone call at minimum is required, and more often than not, a dependent enrollment form is required. Again, that is when it is your own child, not your grandchild.

Why do people think they can add a grandchild? Because their daughter's maternity has been covered for the duration of the pregnancy, per plan benefits, and people just assume since the pregnancy/delivery is covered, so will the baby. Also, few people ever really read their insurance contracts/evidence of coverage (imagine Sarah reading her plan documents...yeah, I didn't think so...). The catch is that said baby has to be an eligible dependent to be added to the coverage. It just isn't that far of a reach to think that Sarah would assume she could add her first grandchild to her policy and not check into it before hand. Add in an unexpected premature birth and complications on top of it, and I am surmising that IHS/Native Coverage was never involved initially, and Sarah didn't worry about adding the baby until later...much later, once she found out there was a pile of unpaid medical bills and by then, to align with her official stated date of birth for Trig and cover her fake pregnancy.

On a side note, Alaska Native Medical Center does have an NICU, but I believe given the probable use of private insurance, Trig was not born at ANMC. He may have been born at Providence instead which also has an NICU. And if Providence or any hospital other than ANMC is where he began his life, then IHS probably didn't enter the picture until much later, if at all. I believe that Providence would be considered a CHS facility (Contract Health Services) and according to IHS, even eligible members have to contact their home tribe within 72 hours of emergency admittance to a CHS facility. How many of us think Sarah (or Bristol) would have done that if they had every intention of using private insurance? I think that may answer the retroactive coverage question. It could be they tried to enroll Trig much later than his birth (based on unpaid medical bills) to try and get IHS to cover the outstanding bills to no avail if they didn't notify within the 72-hour period.

See more info in the FAQ's here, the 72-hour notification information is in bold in the Health Care Away From Home Reservation:

5. Sarah Palin’s State of Alaska Health Insurance


After scouring the web, I actually came up with pretty definitive proof that Sarah,Todd, and their children were covered on her State of Alaska medical insurance.

You can see the proof of their coverage in an excel spreadsheet that is still publicly available on the State's website. It is the Request For Proposal for the state's health insurance contract for 2009. This RFP was posted on 10/16/2008, along with a current census of state employees, their birthdates, and zip codes.Follow the link below and the document to open is on the right hand side attachment 9-1 TPA Census-Active - Redacted.xls  You'll find Sarah as employee number #3161, date of birth 19640211 (YYYY/MM/DD), Zip 99654, in the center list for Standard Medical. She also appears in the Dental and Vision tabs also, but with different employee #'s. Website linked below:

Also, I located the actual premiums that Sarah would have paid from July 2008 to July 2009 for her medical, dental, and vision family rates. Important note: These premium cards (URL's are linked below) and the excel spreadsheet above are PROOF that her children were covered on her medical plan. Originally I was bummed because the Excel Employee Census above did not have dependents shown so I couldn't be sure if Todd and Sarah's children were covered on her plan or not, but then I noticed something else when reviewing the State's premium cards/rate information. Note that all premiums are for Employee AND family. There is only one single rate for the whole family and no other option. Some health plans (many or even most, in fact) would list an Employee only rate, Employee + Spouse rate, Employee + Child(ren) rate, and then the Family rate, for example. It is very clear that the State of Alaska does not offer employees any other choice than the whole family rate, which proves that Sarah would have had all of her children plus Todd on this coverage! I hate to even admit how long it took me to "see" this extra tiny little detail. I can't stress the importance of repeatedly going over every aspect of this pregnancy and unbelievable story, because you never know when you'll finally find something really important (like ears for example, or family rate only premiums) that you missed the first, second, third time around.

Her medical alone would have been $953.00 per month for the Standard medical plan. The rate for Standard Dental was $105.00 per month, and the Standard Vision was another $33.00 for a grand total of  $1091.00 per month for her family's medical, dental, and vision benefits. You can see the premium card for July 2008 to July 2009 showing the exempt/executive employee cost on the Wayback Machine (URL below). I could not locate the 2007/2008 Premium Card for exempt/executive employees, which is what she would have been paying at the time of Trig's arrival. I did find the 2006/2007 premium card and the total would have been $1054.00 for medical/dental/vision, so we can assume that 2007/2008 premiums would have fallen somewhere between the $1054.00 and $1091.00 amounts.

I also located the amount of benefit credits Sarah received from the state towards her benefit package. She received $851.00 per month in 2007/2008 as an exempt/executive employee (linked in the WayBack URL below). If the 2007/2008 premium costs were the same as the 2008/2009 premiums, she would have had to pay $240 out of her own paychecks to cover the difference. This would have been deducted on a pre-tax basis. Hey, think about it: this could have been yet another reason she collected so many days per diem for working in her house. That per diem money certainly would have helped offset most, if not all, of her extra benefits cost. Things that make you go hmmm....

Now we'll continue looking into Sarah's actual benefits, and eligibility requirements on her State of Alaska coverage.

When I originally researched this option back in January 2009, I did find on the SOA (State of Alaska) website, actual eligibility requirements and required documentation to add dependents. In that document, it clearly stated that children added due to adoption, had to have their legal adoption paperwork submitted with their enrollment.  It also stated that natural children required a birth certificate. That document, as a stand alone document, disappeared from the SOA website a long time ago. Just as many readers remember there being a lot more photos on the SOA website that disappeared, I distinctly remember this document being on the website as well. Unfortunately, I didn't record the link I found it on, so I can't locate via the WayBack Machine. I did find the document again in two other locations. One was embedded to the state's special open enrollment paperwork for same sex partners; the other place was embedded to enrollment paperwork for Alaska Teachers.

Not too long ago, Blade at Sarah's Scandal's revisited the requirement of a providing a birth certificate to enroll Trig into Sarah's medical plan in a couple of blog posts. Several posters there doubted that a birth certificate was required because the Dependent Verification Document form was embedded to other documents, when I finally relocated it. See discussions at these links:

Yes!!! I just finally found the link where I originally found this Dependent Verification Form as a stand alone document, not embedded to any "special enrollment" forms. I believe originally it was right in the same section of the state's website that had the dependent enrollment add/change form. I had to scour Palin's Deceptions for my original "anonymous" post there and I actually did link to the document when it was a stand alone document on the SOA website. I originally posted it on Palin's Deceptions on January 11, 2009.

Using the WayBack Machine, you can view it here:

I fully believe, still to this day, that the SOA DID require birth certificates (in addition to the enrollment form) to add newborns and legal paperwork plus a birth certificate for adopted children, and that is why the State emailed Sarah for a birth certificate. More on the birth certificate requirement coming up in Part II. Let's review the rest of what I found with regard to Sarah's state health plan and whether Trig could have been covered if she had tried to add him as her own, as her grandchild, or as an adopted child.

First we will start with the language on the Dependent Enrollment Form for AlaskaCare SelectBenefits, the state’s health insurance.

“Your dependent children up to 23 years of age only if they are:

➢ Your natural children, stepchildren, children of your same-sex partner, foster children placed through a State foster

child program, legally adopted children, children in your physical custody and for whom bona fide adoption proceedings

are underway, or children for whom you are legal, court-appointed guardian (if the child is not your or your same-sex partner’s natural born child, please include a copy of the adoption paper work or court orders);

➢ Unmarried and chiefly dependent upon the employee for support;

➢ Living with you in a normal parent-child relationship”

This language for dependent eligibility is stated on page 2 of the enrollment form here:

Located via wayback machine here:

Clearly, the language does not include “grandchild” or “dependent’s child”. Based on this, Trig is not eligible to be added to Sarah’s plan if he was really Bristol's baby, unless he was adopted, or had adoption proceedings in process, or court appointed guardianship by Sarah and Todd.

Also, there is a 30-day enrollment opportunity based on a “qualified event” in addition to the plan’s annual open enrollment period. The State of Alaska annual open enrollment is in May/June, for a July 1st effective date every year. The point being, if Trig was not added in the original 30 day period (from when he was supposedly born) where he would have been given a retro effective date starting with date of birth, the next available enrollment date would have been under the annual open enrollment for coverage that would begin on July 1st, 2008, subject to the same eligibility criteria for dependents as stated above.

“Qualified Events” are explained in the Enrollment Guide here on Page 2:

I also located the State’s SelectBenefits Insurance Handbook, and in it is some VERY interesting language. Page numbers referenced are the Adobe PDF page #’s, not the actual document page numbers.

From page 24 pdf / Page 4 document page number, Dependent Eligibility:

Your eligible dependents for health insurance benefits


• Your spouse. You may be legally separated but not


• Your children from birth up to 23 years of age only if they


— your natural children, stepchildren, foster children

placed through a State foster child program, legally

adopted children, children in your physical custody and

for whom bona fide adoption proceedings are underway,

or children for whom you are the legal, court appointed


— unmarried and chiefly dependent upon you for support;

—    living with you in a normal parent-child relationship;

This further confirms the information for dependent eligibility included on the Dependent Enrollment form. Grandchildren and dependents of dependent children are not allowed to be added to coverage, without benefit of formal adoption or legal guardianship.

From Page 66 pdf / Page 46 document page number, Pregnancy:


Pregnancy and childbirth are covered like any other medical

condition as long as you are covered under the medical plan.

No pre-existing conditions limitations are applied.

Coverage is provided for a hospital stay for childbirth for at

least 48 hours following a normal delivery or 96 hours following

a cesarean delivery.

This clause means that Bristol, as a legally covered dependent on Sarah’s plan would have had her maternity and delivery costs covered, even if there were complications. This would have applied to Todd’s union coverage as well. It is standard insurance fare for dependent children’s maternity to be covered, if maternity coverage is provided by the plan and is not a plan exclusion.

From Page 67 pdf / Page 47 document page number, coverage of Newborn Care:

Newborn Care

Newborn care provided within the first 72 hours after birth is

covered. This includes nursery charges, physician’s services

and other routine care for a newborn child and is limited to 72

hours following the birth. Newborn services provided after 72

hours are not covered.

Charges for a newborn who has suffered an accidental injury,

illness, premature birth or other abnormal condition are

covered like any other medically necessary services.

This clause provides for Newborn Care / Coverage for 72 hours, including complications, even if the newborn is NEVER added/enrolled on the plan. So, this would mean that at most, Trig would have had 72 hours of coverage, provided the insurer didn’t enforce non-coverage because he was the “dependent of a dependent” vs. a dependent of the employee or employee’s spouse. The only way to get continued coverage for him after the 72 hours is over, is to have officially added him to coverage within the 30 day qualified event period.

This next section is where things get the most interesting of all. This next statement is HUGE, even if Sarah and Todd legally adopted Trig, or had legal guardianship.

From page 39 pdf / Page 19 document page number (and lots of other places in this document) regarding “Start of Coverage” (emphasis mine in the excerpt below).

New Dependents (emphasis added)

If you add new dependents, they are eligible for benefits immediately

unless they are confined in a hospital or a similar

institution (except for newborn natural children). Coverage

then begins when they are released from the facility.

So if you read this carefully, and JUST exactly as stated, imagine…. you have a premature baby (grandchild), whom you plan on adopting and who will be in the hospital facility for some time due to premature birth….Down Syndrome…jaundice…hole in his heart…and he is not your “natural” child…coverage would not begin until release from the facility…it sounds like a big fat unpaid hospital stay to me. If Trig was very pre-mature, this could have been hugely expensive. To read more about pre-mature NICU costs, here is a good case study and the cost involved to the family:

As stated in the employee insurance handbook and according to AlaskaCare’s guidelines, coverage does not start until after discharge from the facility - “EXCEPT FOR NEWBORN NATURAL CHILDREN”. This clause clearly does not say natural OR adopted children, or children for whom one has legal guardianship. Only the words newborn “natural” children appears as the exception to this rule. This is extremely important language, because even if Sarah and Todd legally adopted Trig so they could add him as Sarah’s dependent, he would NOT be their “natural child”, and therefore coverage would not start until he was discharged from the facility. Just how long could he have been in the hospital? Do we believe Sarah’s version of events? Or something closer to the probable reality of a birth earlier than April 18th, with a longer hospital stay (possibly MUCH longer) including NICU time? Even if they had all the adoption paperwork in place almost immediately after his unexpected pre-mature birth, he would still not be covered until his release from the facility. OUCH!

I'd like to insert some additional food for thought here as well: Levi's claim that Sarah and Todd wanted to adopt Bristol's baby. If he was really talking about Trig (rather than Tripp), the fact that Sarah's grandchild could not be added to her policy without benefit of adoption could have been a compelling factor in her quest for adoption, especially if adopting would allow insurance coverage for otherwise uninsured medical bills. Again, I have to re-iterate here, once Sarah found out that the grandchild couldn't be added to her policy, and she needed to adopt instead so she could add him to coverage, this very well could have led her to start thinking up a fake pregnancy. This would allow her to present said infant as her own, save face of having an unwed teen daughter while she was on the short list for VP, as well as her reinforce her "pro-life" creds with the right wing since she knew of the DS after the birth. Also, too, the timing just makes sense. If Trig appeared late Jan/Early Feb, or prior to Valentine's according to Anon238, Sarah started her scarf wearing on 2/19. Just about the time she would have started finding out there was no coverage for Trig. Suffice it to say, I still can't see Sarah reading and interpreting the CLEAR language in her benefits booklet with regard to Start of Coverage and the requirement around "newborn natural child" vs. coverage starting upon release from facility, once she figured out the grandchild couldn't be added. I surmise she viewed the adoption piece as the be-all-end-all to get these bills paid...but as unaware as she is, she wouldn't have realized that wouldn't have worked until Trig was on his way home from the facility, after who-knows-how-long, still leaving her with a big pile of unpaid medical bills.

You can read all of these passages here in the SOA SelectBenefits Insurance Information Booklet. Please note, at the beginning of the document, all of the amendments made to benefits or language in this booklet since 2001 are listed. Nowhere in these amendments does it reflect any language change regarding the “start of coverage” clause with regard to the words “newborn natural children”. There is no evidence that this clause ever read anything else, so we can safely assume that it had the same language in 2008 just as it does now:

My final conclusions regarding insurance coverage of Trig, provided he is Bristol's baby:

1. Based on documentation, Bristol's maternity and delivery costs would have been covered by either or both Sarah's or Todd's employer plans as a covered dependent.

2. Trig could not be added to either Sarah's or Todd's plans as their grandchild unless they made legal arrangements for guardianship or adoption.

3.  Trig would have had at most 72 hours of coverage per Sarah's insurance coverage.

4.  Even if Trig were adopted, coverage would not have started until he was released from the hospital.

5. There is every potential for some very large uninsured medical bills, depending on how pre-mature Trig was.

That's it for now. I truly apologize if your heads are swimming, but I'll leave final blame with Sarah herself for that, since we all KNOW she could have stopped all the questions a long time ago. Part II will be a dissection of the "birth certificate" email from the State to Sarah, and the possible AFT connection.

Thank you again, Palinoia, for sharing your expertise, and for taking us through your thesis carefully and methodically. Palinoia will be checking in to comments to converse with everyone. 




In 1966, the nefarious SMIRK organization, headed by the cave-dwelling Green Goose, hired two agents, Ali and Bo Bo, to kill an American spy hot on the trail of the Goose’s weapon of genocide.

I try to imagine myself clutching my six year-old knees and laughing in delight as this news was delivered from our black-and-white television set. Fred Flintstone was the special agent hired by our prehistoric government to take out the Green Goose. Fred was thrilled to become “a spy…a double zero guy.” He lured Wilma onto a pterodactyl-powered airliner to pursue his bellicose opponent in far off Eur-rock.

“I wish we were already there Fred. I feel a little nervous,” Wilma fretted in First Class.

“Nonsense, honey, there isn’t a safer place in the world than right here,” Fred chortled.

From a few rows back, Ali seethed, “Let ‘em have it” as he hurled a machete into the forward cabin, nearly scalping Fred before slicing through a curtain marked “PILOT” and coming to rest in the captain’s hat.

In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, I watched this film relic alongside my six-year-old son who was recovering from bilateral leg surgery. It was his 13th surgery, and this time he suffered from horrendous nighttime panic attacks. We were mentally and physically depleted while my husband was stranded close to ground zero. I chose to rely on some humorous family films to prevent reality from penetrating our household.

My son remained oblivious to the unfolding tragedy back East. Laid up in double casts, he was delighted with our laugh fest. Ali is the tiny, dark skinned man, he explained to me. Bobo was the big guy wearing the Fez. I was mortified by Hannah-Barbera’s prescience but mimiced my son’s spontaneous laughter. Before he returned to school, I lied blatantly, telling him that two bombs had exploded in New York City. Then to overcompensate, I waxed about the beauty and magic in our world until my child interrupted me by pointing to the TV: Fred Flintstone had captured the evil Green Goose inside a torture chamber. The deadly missile was aimed into space where the warmonger would explode.

“What a terrible way to go” Fred lamented just before the credit roll.

By day, my son attended school in a wheelchair. By night, he was tortured by demons in surgical scrubs holding him down under his surgical gas mask. One day after school, he met me with a “this just in” voice to say that two planes had crashed in New York City. He saw no relationship to my earlier lie and I refused to connect the dots for him. His psychic world was damaged enough. The word in the playground was about some bad Middle Eastern guys, “like the ones in Indiana Jones,” he punctuated.

After school, I would heave my child onto the daybed to return to Hollywood as soothsayer. Four men wearing Fez hats chased Indie. One Arab leaned in close to our American hero, a heartbeat away from death, and said “My soul is prepared, how is yours?” My son was spellbound while I chewed my cuticles. “The brotherhood has been prepared to do anything to keep the covenant safe,” another Arab told Mr. Jones.

The film concluded, uncannily, in a cave hugged by inhospitable mountains. The final scenes were cluttered with bad guys in Nazi hats and turbans. There was even a man wearing a turban under a red fez - the proverbial cherry on top - holding a machine gun to Jones’ back. Again, the American hero won. Not just because he chose the real Grail but, as the wizened knight points out, because he found “illumination.”

Our repertoire of Hollywood hysteria was beginning to run thin. I still hid the newspapers and kept news sources turned off because our nights were a hellhole of anger and panic. By day, we laughed uproariously as Sonny Bono purchased a clumsy bomb from the airport drug store to tote on board the Lunar Shuttle. I recalled Airplane II as a laugh-riot in the '70s. How could I not remember the impotent, bomb-clutching Bono as he threatened to blow the flight to smithereens before Ted Striker, handsome American hero, and other passengers, closed in on him? The relevance was mercifully lost on my child, as it was in an earlier scene when an elderly lady was grabbed at gunpoint from the x-ray machine while four bazooka-toting guerillas in flack jackets and army fatigues breezed through. On the verge of a primal scream myself, I emitted an audible gasp when a young boy took control of the computer console at the lunar shuttle command center and forced a plane to crash. 

My husband returned home and my son eventually walked again. On this anniversary, I am busy analyzing my former taste in humor. Why was it we we have always been collectively ready to laugh at the loser, the impotent, the swarthy guy who chose the wrong Grail? I am tripped up by the hypocrisy that made this okay. When anniversaries warrant it, we still embrace the rhetoric of standing united, but just look at the script we ourselves wrote, repeatedly, across so many decades.

Really, though, I digress when what I need to do is rewind last night’s video. This is the Bill Murray spy farce where some aged sleuths try to re-ignite the Cold War in spite of the loser who works for Blockbuster Video.

“New weapons, new poisons!” the British spy chief exults. “Happy days…happy days.”

It is always so nice to receive an email like this from a regular commenter and great thinker like Jeff. I felt it was worth sharing his essay with all of you. Jeff's trenchant thoughts didn't deserve to lay idle in my inbox. Thank you for this guest post, Jeff.  Take it away...then let's discuss!

Sarah Palin is a fascinating study in human behavior and I've become enamored with her story. But my own curiosity leads me to wonder if she is performing merely as the distraction for what's really going on outside the media spotlight. This leads me to wonder what the awareness level of Sarah's real role is among the professional media. Do you think journalists like Ezra Klein see and understand more of the back-story and realize they must play along by turning a blind eye to the power plays occurring behind the scenes in order to remain semi-relevant?  

I agree with the theories on what's happening behind the curtain with the power brokers and king makers. But my feeling is that the attention span of folks is so short that their eyes will glaze over before they get to the point of understanding how power is centralized in our society among a small group who use the political process to further their agenda. Sarah is just a tool. She's a tool because she's been compromised so many times over throughout her political career. I believe that she might really think sometimes that she's in control of her mission, but to believe that she has to deny her limitations and why they exist. Or maybe she really is that "slow".

Regardless, Sarah is more of a symptom instead of the problem though, but I do hope she can be exposed for what she is at some point, because any political power she welds is in the hands of a crazy, erratic person without scruples. But in the big picture, if it is not Sarah, I'm afraid that it will be Rick Perry playing the same role on behalf of the same "powerful elite". In other words, the beat goes on and we can only do what we can do. 

I don't understand all of the dynamics of politics and power by any means, but I do know that in the economic/political power game, everyone acts out of their own self-interest, and that there is power in the hands of a relatively small group in our country and the world.  As our country's economy becomes more and more inter-dependent on the geo-political situations in other regions, the lines become more and more blurred as to what is right/wrong in terms of what is "best" for our country vs what's fair to all involved.  It's disheartening to me when I see that in order for our country's economy to thrive, that other regions and peoples of the world must pay the price of living in substandard conditions under a strongman of the choosing of our country's powerful elite. But it's naive to ignore that during the times of our economic growth and prosperity, dictators supported or propped up by our military are essentially raping their own countries of its resources and the US is a direct beneficiary. 

I'm sure that this stuff has gone on for as long as man has been around--- the exploitation of the many for the benefit of the few--- but I wasn't aware of the scope of it until I became interested in politics in the late 70's. Then again, to that point I was more focused on who I was taking to the prom or who our next game was against. Anyway, I was shocked when Reagan picked Bush as his VP running mate, because these two men were so far apart ideologically.  The more I've read and researched on what brought about their unholy alliance is what has given me a somewhat cynical or jaded view of politics and power today. 

Bottom line is that I wonder if our efforts are well-placed in terms of allocating our time and energy expended in bringing Sarah down.  She has been essentially neutered politically already. I can see why she would be a good puppet to have because she has such a low-level of self-awareness.  Actually, I believe she has an aversion to reality.  Anyway, when she's gone for good, IMHO, there will be someone else to plug into her place.  Whether Sarah realizes it or not, she (along with Michele B) has, in effect, been a stalking horse for Rick Perry. I don't know that has been the case all along, but that's where we are now. Perry is just about as inept and as compromised as Palin is, but the main difference is the awareness of the public to Sarah's weaknesses vs ignorance to Perry and all his warts. Perry has already been to the Bilderberg Group and Koch Bros. meetings, and they say that's where the kings ---and queens, almost (Hillary)--- are made.  IMHO, the Kochs are just a small, visible subset of the all the power brokers in the game.

President Obama appears to be vulnerable right now, but I can't see anyone on the GOP roster beating him. My gut tells me that unless he really digs in his heels on repealing the Bush tax cuts, that he'll "get a pass" in 2012. But if he makes that a major part of his platform, it's going to be very, very ugly. But that's the best we can hope for, because without some relief for the middle class, things will continue to spiral downward.  I was shocked, and disappointed, when he caved in and extended those tax cuts for 2 years in 2010.  I just hope I'm not completely naive in that extension of the tax cuts were in the plan all along. I can understand having to make a compromise, but I'm also aware that Pres. Obama has the same pressures made on him as every other candidate for national office. Hence, both he an Hillary had to have the blessing of the Bilderberg Group, et al., before either became a viable candidate. 

I grew up in Massachusetts not far from the New Hampshire border, and I visited the granite state fairly often. The waves were better up there than on our local beach. A few of our favorite ski resorts were not too far a drive (nor was the Kangamangus Highway, if you catch my drift.)  And the "packies" (Package Stores) were open on Sunday for those (high school boys) who wanted to buy booze and not pay tax. 

As a dyed in the wool New Englander (until I learned to see the light out here) I understand how crusty folks "back home" can be. New Englanders are no nonsense patriots. And rightly so, otherwise they'd freeze to death in the winter and fall for flaky political candidates who just want to litter the land with sloppy slogans and used running shoes.

So, it was with great delight that I read THIS ARTICLE that displayed evidence of mounting frustration at Mrs. Todd Palin for waltzing into town to shriek a whole lot of nothin': 

"Once again it is time to determine-- are you here to sell books or are you here to run for president of the United States?" asked Corey Lewandowski, state director for Americans for Prosperity, a tea party ally. "The people of New Hampshire deserve to know, are you serious? And if you are serious, then welcome to the race. And if you're not serious, get out of the way because we're going to elect a new president."

Thank you, Mr. Lewandowski for that heart-felt smack upside the head (she is there to sell books, BTW.) It is sooooo refreshing to finally see someone stand up to this shrill shill. 

Problem is, not everyone in New Hampshire is as fed up as Mr. Lewandowski. Take these folks taking part in a bit of online sparring at the Manchester Union Leader


If Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann faced off in a brain teaser contest which one would you bet the farm on to win?
(Report Abuse

August 31, 2011 2:31 pmAllan Trombley said:

Gee Duncan that would be a tough one, They both graduated very high in their class from very good colleges with very good degrees? I would definitely bet the farm on them against you, and both are more qualified and intelligent than the present inhabitant of the White House.
(Report Abuse

August 31, 2011 2:45 pm

I suppose one could always argue that the folks reading the UL are local yokels who might not be quite as in tune to Mrs. Palin's politics in Alaska. Or the difference between her alleged academic credentials and those of President Obama. Except, further down in the comments, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this, ah, essay. It's worth reading because it shows how differently someone from Alaska can view Mrs. Palin, compared to me who is from Massachusetts via New York City via San Francisco with stops in London and Leningrad (and the Kangamangus Highway) in between. Perhaps we could make the argument that the commenter knows a lot more than I do about his former half-term governor. Or we could argue that no matter what we investigate or turn up or decide about the mysterious runner in Iowa, some folks from Alaska to Manchest-ah will always believe in Mrs. Todd Palin. Take a look and let's discuss:

Bob Paulding said:

You know its kinda funny. Everytime I see something about Sarah Palin in the UL, all these critics come out of the woodwork. I never see any substance to there criticism. The closest thing I ever see is the remark about quitting. Never why? I generally identify with ones accomplishments. Before moving back to my native NH 3 years ago, my wife and I had lived in Alaska for 12.5 years. There we saw a younger and energetic mayor of a small AK town. She helped to transform that town into a bustling little community. Yes the town with her approval hired a government lobbied who in turn steered a lot of grant money for use on road improvements and infrastructure. After creating a busisness friendly environment, many business from Anchorage expanded to Wasilla. Business tax revenue started to flood into the town treasury. What she did next puzzled many. Instead of spending the new revenue, she and the town council cut the individual property tax rate by 3/4. The only tax that I know of that was imposed or raised was a .5 percent sales tax on the already existing 2% sales tax. Go figure, a politician who wasn't anxious about spending others money.
Quitting could be referred to her governors position or when she was the oil and gas commissioner. After serving her terms as mayor, then governor Murkowski appointed her as oil and gas commissioner. The same governor also appointed the state's republican party head (Randy Reudrich), to also serve on the same commission. While serving in her new position, she witnessed Mr Reudrich on occasion doing party business on state property and using state resources. I can't tell you how much a big no-no that is. After multiple complaints to the attorney general then gov Murkowski himself, no one did anything. The gov was buddies with Reudrich. Feeling frustrated, she resigned. (High Ethics)
As governor she was frequently sued by virtual nobody's. Many of these suits were dismissed as frivilous and baseless. A large part of these were later discovered to be partisanship driven. She had to frequently leave the state capital to address these issues. About the time she had decided to resign as governor, she and her family had paid almost $500,000 in legal fees. Also state resources had to be constantly used for retrieving documents, giving statements, etc. Alaska state law doesn't protect certain elected officials from being sued and no state monies can be used for defense purposes. So many there were rather upset that she resigned but these largely democrat driven lawsuits were causing her to become an inefficient governor. That said, what many there won't say is they're glad she did as these suits were delaying various government actions in the capital and tying up some of the state's resources. This whole thing was no fault of hers and I don't know many if any politicians that would fall on their swords and give up the state benefits from that position in order to better serve the people of Alaska.
So after reading so many strange, sometimes weird and uninformed comments about the former governor, I thought maybe, just maybe, a former Alaskan should inform some of you as many seems to be getting their information by watching either Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz or Cris Mathews. I can't tell you how wrong that is!!! Hope this helps some.
(Report Abuse