Who changed America?

sarah palin

Sarah Palin firing up the troops/Gage Skidmore,Wikimedia Commons

Love her or detest her, maybe it’s time give former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin her due as a figure who changed American history.

There is simply no denying her role in creating the partisan mess that is U.S. politics today. She provided the template that helped President Donald Trump win election in a post-truth society.

She was quick to recognize that in the enlightened days of internet communication emotion can still be exploited to trump reason only now at light speed.

And thus began a trophic cascade in the political ecosystem.

There is now a line that runs from Palin through the mainstream media and Trump to the Covington Catholic boys on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to Empire TV star Jussie Smollett, who is in all kinds of trouble at the moment for reporting what the media was all too quick to embrace as a “hate crime” targeted on a gay, black man.

Before we can examine that case now burning up the tubes, however, we have to go back and review the history of Alaska’s most famous polebrity and what she wrought.

With her woodsy wisdom, Palin was able to grasp that in modern times as in ancient ones what people desire to believe is more important than what is true, and if you tell people what they want to hear is the truth, they will believe it no matter how untrue.

It’s only common sense as Palin has said so often. Good, old-fashioned common sense.

A universal wave

Some would have you believe Palin’s pitch only resonated with the now almost forgotten Tea Party. They are wrong. The Tea Party was only the wave that started across the pool, hit the other side, rebounded and came back to leave the whole pool covered in waves.

Old ways disappeared beneath the maelstrom never to resurface.

On a whole lot of fronts – forget the Tea Party, the Palin-effect has now gone way behind on that – what people wanted to believe became a defining, societal reality in this country.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, R-New York, is a direct, political descendant of Palin. The only real difference between them is that one is on the left and the other is on the right, and one is the city mouse and the other is the country mouse.

On their own, neither has any real power, either. They need their enablers.

Enter the lamestream media as Palin liked to call those who once dominated news coverage. Palin quickly learned how to play them like hungry bass. Put a sound bite on the hook, toss it into the pond, and “fish on!”

Remember how the media spent the summer of 2011 all gaga in pursuit of her East Coast motorhome vacation intended to boost sales of  her book?

“Sarah Palin kicked off her “One Nation” bus tour with reporters in tow, and as Jan Crawford reports, the direction of the trip was kept confidential leaving the media to wonder where she will go next,” CBS News reported, as if the outlier from the outback was the second-coming of the Beatles.

Already labeled by Palin, the news hounds chasing the bus did everything they could to help make the lamestream designation stick with their pursuit of Palin for no reason other than that she was the hottie of the moment.

Granted, the mad pursuit for internet clicks predated Palin boarding her bus, but it accelerated after. Along the way, media coverage just kept sliding from reasoned criticism and healthy skepticism toward what would turn into full-blown hysteria under Trump.

The Palin assaults on President Barack Obama during his second term now look like minor skirmishers before a war that is defining almost everything along lines of good and bad that don’t always track party lines of Democrat and Republican, but most assuredly hue to the tack of political correctness.

That the country generally avoided this chaos in the last of the Obama years despite Palin lobbing a political grenade now and again can largely be attributed to the fact the lamestream and Obama were pretty much on the same page in the Playbook of the Ruling Elite.

When Obama came to Alaska on his 2015 global-warming tour and participated in a whopper of a charade wherein he pretended to partake of a salmon that reality TV show host Bear Grylls had found discarded by a real bear along an Alaska stream, the media dutifully played along.

Imagine the reaction if Trump tried a stunt like that. It certainly wouldn’t be this:

“Mr. Obama has…seized the opportunity to become the ultimate tourist,” the New York Times gushed, “methodically setting aside time to marvel at the world’s most spectacular sights, seemingly soaking up every experience. (Want proof? Watch the episode of “Running Wild With Bear Grylls” in which the president joins the host in eating some salmon already munched on by a bear.)

“‘It’s a Jeffersonian impulse. He’s intellectually curious,’ said Jon Meacham, a presidential historian, who compared Mr. Obama’s penchant for sightseeing to Thomas Jefferson’s travels through France from 1784 to 1789, though that was before Jefferson became president.”

Reality TV

Oh how things changed even before Trump was elected. The major media was clearly not inclined to dance cheek-to-cheek with Trump the way they had with Obama.

It was in August of 2016 – three months prior to the vote – that Times reporter Jim Rutenberg posed this question:

“If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?

Rutenberg went on to label Trump an “abnormal and potentially dangerous candidate” and observe that “you have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century, if not longer, and approach it in a way you’ve never approached anything in your career. If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, nonopinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable.”

Courage, the author Ernest Hemingway once observed,  is nothing but “grace under pressure.” Rutenberg flunked the test. Or maybe, considering that he was a journalist, it was more a test of trust than of courage – a test in a reporter’s belief in the idea that if journalists do their job and cover the news fairly and accurately, the masses will figure things out come election day.

That’s supposed to be the basis of American democracy. But we’ve strayed a long way from that standard into a world where reporters, along with almost everyone else it seems at times, feel obligated to pick a side.

That an angry Palin can be credited with starting this is downright ironic given that upon obtaining her first political position of note – that being governor of Alaska – she delivered an inaugural speech about nothing so much as unity.

“Let us be united with one heart…putting political pettiness aside…we can show a new direction,” she said. “And it can inspire a world.”

Sadly the measured calm then shielding the high school basketball player they called “Sarah Barracuda” wouldn’t survive the journalistic heat of her bid for an even bigger political office.

As the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 2008, she stumbled through her first major, television network interview with the suggestion that Alaska’s nearness to Russia gave her some foreign policy chops,  went from stumble to fumble with a bizarre reference to protecting the U.S. from  “Putin’s head”  as she tried to recover from her first misstep, became a Saturday Night Live punchline – “I can see Alaska from my house!” words she never uttered – and afterward decided she was going to let loose those barracuda teeth and bite back.

No one knew it at the time, but this was the first salvo in a war. Palin and the late John McCain lost the election. Palin went home to Alaska. National media thought she was history. She only looked to be more so when she unexpectedly resigned as governor only seven months after returning to Alaska.

And then she rose like a phoenix, or maybe more like a zombie version of that pit bull with lipstick she’d joked about being during the presidential campaign to rally middle Americans against an elitist, smart-than-you, lamestream media in love with the country’s first black president.

Palin set the fires that would light Trump’s path to the White House. Democrat Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton poured a little gasoline on the flames with her reference to how half of Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables,” and off we went. 

By the time Trump was elected, the nation was pretty well split between those with  “Make America Great Again (MAGA)” fever and those with  Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Chemical reactions

Trump, Dr. Robert Lustig, emeritus professor of pediatric endocrinology and a member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California San Fransisco has hypothesized, not only got into people’s heads, he managed to alter their brain chemistry.

“Many have remarked that Trump operates out of his ‘lizard brain’, Ludwig wrote at the website MedPage. “Rather, I would argue that Trump has turned our brains reptilian. The two emotions that belie this effect — greed and fear — are the same two emotions that govern Wall Street’s behavior. No surprise.

“Greed drives dopamine action in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), the reward center deep within the limbic system, the emotional part of the brain (Freud called it our id). Appealing to our avarice with promises of ‘good jobs’ and ‘healthcare for everyone’ and ‘tariffs on our competitors’ and ‘better trade deals’ and ‘tax breaks’, Trump jacks up our dopamine the same way a roller coaster does. Thrills in both directions, up and down. When the NAc goes into hyperdrive, it translates into ‘I want more.’ The problem with the dopamine response is it’s a bell-shaped curve — there is an optimum below which people are lethargic and above which they become irritable.”

Ludwig believes Trump Derangement Syndrome is real and chemical. You may know someone who has it. You can find them still clinging to the idea a Russian scandal is going to unseat a president now more than halfway through his term.

That Trump remains in office grates on some people. That Trump supporters embrace his call to Make America Great Again grates on others.

And that brings us back to Jussie Smollett, a Chicago actor who told a story a little too hard to believe from the get go:

He pulled on his fur coat at 2 a.m. on a 4 degree below zero night and went out to visit the Subway in one of Chicago’s better, camera-filled downtown neighborhoods. And then, on the way home, while talking to his manager on the telephone, he was accosted by two men who recognized him from the fading television show on which he appears, assaulted him, threw some liquid on him, put a rope around his neck, and then fled for reasons that never were explained.

He then got up and retrieved his phone and his Subway order (or he somehow hung onto them during the assault, which was never made clear), walked back to his apartment with the roping hanging around his neck, spent 40 minutes talking with a friend about what to do (with the rope still hanging around his neck), and finally called Chicago Police (with the rope still hanging around his neck).

“Totally not fishy” were the three words atop the link a veteran reporter forwarded me almost immediately after the first TMZ story about this bizarre attack hit the tubes.

“‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett was brutally attacked by 2 men who beat him up, put his head in a noose and screamed, ‘This is MAGA country,'” the story said.

“The 2 men — both white and wearing ski masks — viciously attacked Jussie as he fought back, but they beat him badly and fractured a rib. They put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and as they left they yelled, ‘This is MAGA country.'”

In a photo, Smollett appeared to have suffered a small wound on his right cheek, which raised an immediate question: Why did his assailants leave? The horrible history of racist and homophobic attacks in this country is not of someone getting punched a time or two and the assailants leaving, it is of people suffering serious beat downs or death.

As I messaged back and forth with that fellow reporter, the pondering began: So these guys are “wearing ski masks and carrying rope and bleach on the off chance he’d decide to get a hankering for Subway at 2 a.m. Seems totally plausible. Also, how the hell can you tell a white person from say, and Asian, if they’re in a ski mask?

“‘This is MAGA country!’ Does that sound even remotely like something a real Trump supporter would say? Even his most racist ones? Color me skeptical, but I’m betting hard on this being some kind of hoax.”

The reporter is not being named here because the text messages were personal and because the reporter might well end up in trouble at work for making these comments. Healthy skepticism is not highly valued at most news organizations these days, and the reporter is a skeptic:

“Hoax, cover-up, whatever. It just doesn’t add up. But once again the media is running with the hate crime angle before even talking to a single actual witness. All the majors have already picked it up.”

More than two weeks later, one of those majors – CNN – finally got around to wring its hands over how the Smollett cased “warranted skepticism from the very start.”

“Commentator Kmele Foster put it this way on ‘Reliable Sources’ on Sunday: ‘Two in the morning, almost the coldest night of the year, you were attacked and someone conveniently had a rope? My heart goes out to anyone who gets attacked, but it’s totally appropriate to exercise a bit of skepticism and to exercise a bit of patience in waiting for the facts to develop around this story,'” reporter Brian Stelter wrote.

There was no mention of why that skepticism wasn’t exercised or what exactly happened instead.

Run with it

Twenty-four hours after the attack, the Washington Post had the story all figured out: “Analysis: The Jussie Smollett attack highlights the hate black gay Americans face.”

My friend the skeptical reporter was still skeptical.

“…How gullible do you have to be to get pulled into something like this?” came the question. “This story was so clearly ‘off’ from the beginning, yet everyone went all in. Nancy Pelosi tweeted about it. Shaun King is ‘f—ing furious and crushed.”

There was plenty of furious going around. There were a lot of people happy to believe Smollett’s story. There appeared many attached to Clinton’s idea that a goodly segment of Americans occupy that basket of deplorables.

There were, and there are, too many somehow under the impression violent racists and homophobes are something of the norm in this country, not outliers. The Post “analysis” had the numbers to definite the reality, but didn’t crunch them:

“According to a recent FBI report, there was a 17 percent increase in hate crimes in 2017 — the third consecutive year such crimes increased. That year, there were 7,175 hate crimes reported by federal law enforcement agencies. Nearly a third targeted black Americans; 16 percent were aimed at people based on their sexual orientation,” the newspaper reported.

Even one assault on someone because of their race or sexual orientation is horrible, but let’s break this down. A third of 7,175 is about 2,392 attacks on an U.S. population of about75 million people.

Thus, if you are black American, there is a 1 in 31,346 chance you will become a victim of a racist attack in any given year. Zero would be much better, and these, of course, are annual odds.

If you divide them by the average lifespan of 78.6, the odds drop to something like 1 in 399 for a lifetime risk, which sounds bad until you compare it to all the bad things that happen every day.

Your lifetime odds of dying in an automobile accident, according to the National Safety Council, are 1 in 114; in a fall, 1 in 127; by drowning, 1 in 1,188; and by suicide, 1 in 95. 

If you are a black American, you are three and half times times more likely to be killed in a car crash than to be assaulted in a hate crime, and you are four times more likely to kill yourself than to be assaulted by someone of a different race.

If you are gay, the chances that you will be assaulted because of your sexual orientation are even smaller, about half the chance you will be attacked for the color of your skin.

If you are person of color, the odds of your being a victim of a hate crime are about three times greater than those for a heterosexual, American white, but the overall odds remain low.

Your odds of dying from heart disease are 1 in 7. Do you worry about it? Do you eat right and exercise daily to improve your odds? Or have you decided it doesn’t matter because you’ve been led to believe America is a country full of crazy, dangerous, racist honkies more dangerous than any disease?

That is not the case. America is a country where those people are rare.

We might still have an over abundance of racists. Racism of all sorts from all directions is all over in this country. And we might have a lot of people unhappy, uncomfortable or religiously opposed to any sexual orientation other than that specifically designed by biology for procreation.

But  this is not Chechnya where the government just last month killed two people while persecuting dozens of homosexuals, according to the  Guardian. This is not Iran where British officials believe 4,000 to 6,000 gays and lesbians have been executed since the 1979 revolution for the crime of being homosexuals, according to the Telegraph. 

Racist and homophobic attacks in this country are uncommon. That a TV star would become the victim of such an attack would go beyond uncommon into the realm of rare.

That, of course, immediately makes it news. It should also so make it news the media should handle carefully and especially so when the circumstances surrounding the attack are downright bizarre.

Did media do that? Hell no. There were “news” stories claiming the attack had been “confirmed” by the Chicago Police Department because police listened to Smollett’s story and wrote it down in their report.

Yes, there were rare reporters who showed some courage. Rafer Weigel at WFLD in Chicago stood out. The CPD investigation had barely begun before he was warning it “might be best to tone down the outrage on the #JussieSmollett story until more evidence comes in to suggest it actually happened.” 

Almost no other media seemed to be listening to that advice, however. They had their story, and they were running with it. Why?

Well,  some in the media agree with Clinton that a sizeable number of Americans belong in that basket of deplorables, and it shapes the way they cover the news. And other reporters are well, maybe scared isn’t the right word to describe their fear of pushing for a more objective treatment of the news, but then again maybe it is.

That reporter friend again: ‘Try going on social media and questioning this account. You’ll get branded every name in the book. You’ll be a Nazi….If you’re skeptical in any way of this obviously bullshit story, you’re immediately branded a racist.

“Believe all victims.”

This wasn’t true everywhere, of course. There were conservative outlets – National Review and, of course, Breitbart – challenging the story Smollett told fairly early on, as well as some black media. Joe Budden at HipHopDx was seriously not buying the Smollett tale.

But the mainstream media was acting an awfully lot like it had become the liberal media it was once accused of being.

In the wake of the Covington Catholic School fiasco on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where an innocent teenager was smeared for wearing a MAGA hat, you could almost believe some in the mainstream wanted it to turn out that Smollett had been attacked by somebody associated with MAGA, wanted evidence to support the claim that Make America Great Again is a racist statement, wanted proof for everyone that the anti-MAGA forces are on the right side of the nation’s huge political divide.

On this one, it was almost like there was a liberal politician-media feedback loop to hype the story. The media jumped to conclusions. The politicians fired off angry Tweets based on those conclusions. The media reported on the Tweets. And hysteria erupted.

Who taught everyone to play a stupid, nationally destructive game like this?

Yup, you got it. Our Sarah Palin.

She had no hope of becoming president, but she had a pretty good chance of blowing up politics and journalism as they existed before she arrived on the stage. And with the help of Trump, she did.

Correction: An earlier version of this story miscalculated the odds of being the victim of a hate crime in the U.S.


111 replies »

  1. I gotta stop reading these comments. It’s enough to make your brain melt. So much for humans being an evolved form of life. Including Palin in an article like this just shows her legacy of racing to the bottom continues in America.

    • We are more a Corporate Oligarch these days and just like Sweden, Norway and Venezuela; we have VERY Socialized programs in place.
      55 percent of total spending goes to military and weapons budget.
      A great deal more of U.S. tax dollars goes to prop up all the Businesses that are “too big to fail” like the banks & airline industry and “health care”.

  2. 84 comments Craig! Is that a record? It certainly is an indication of reader’s interest in what you write.

    • i don’t think so. but there is a huge interest these days in how the media works. what it is influenced by. why it does what it does. how much it can be trusted. and more.

      i should probably write about it more especially locally given that none of the media here covers the media.

    • Bryan, after Katie Couric interview the world knew Palin was stupid (along the lines of Trump). She didn’t read anything (or at least couldn’t remember reading anything), similar to how Don gets his information (from Faux TV perhaps).

    • Bryan,
      Check out this story…
      Coast Guard Lieutenant…
      EX Marine…
      National guard…
      Hates liberal Democrats and Media…
      Wants to advance neo nazis agenda…
      Your typical rants aimed at the left are also part of the “disease” and Not the Cause or Cure for this divided Nation.

      “Breivik encouraged identifying targets and traitors. In recent weeks, they said, Hasson developed a spreadsheet of targets that included top Democratic congressional leaders and media personalities. The list includes “JOEY,” what prosecutors say is a reference to former Rep. Joe Scarborough, R-Fla., who works for MSNBC; “cortez,” an alleged reference to freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York; and “Sen blumen jew,” presumably about Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.”

      • First off Steve, the speaks the truth. Everybody on his list is an anti-American who at one time or another in our history would have met their fate from a noose. Secondly, comparing him, ONE person, to the millions of radical leftists who would take pleasure killing out-of-the-womb babies or are just insane is just silly.

      • Bryan your statement may be bit over top even if accurate. Here’s the thing about brevik . He had not hurt anyone yet . It’s a fine line to assume he would. That would be considered thought policeing . Pretty hard to say if he would have followed through. It’s been years since he exibited mental symptoms. Can only prosecute for his illegal actions- whatever they are . He obviously needs mental help if he’s using drugs ect . He can’t even be classified as Just right wing nut . He is just a nut . He’s not right wing solely because he simply appears to want chaos and pain for everyone- per his statements provoke both sides . Use of biological ect means damage to right and left everybody . Also his reference to eleminating most humans says the man is not politically motivated he’s just plain arsed crazy lunatic. Or mentally unstable. A media that makes an attempt to pigeon hole him as anything else is inaccurate and just creating a divisive narrative which is being pushed pretty hard on this thread among posters . which means people are missing the point of our nations real problems. We need to come together and quit letting ourselves be divided by an idealogical media . They are leading us around like sheep. Playing to our weaknesses as we seek out arguments and information that only reinforces what we already believe. They are programming us very thouroghly intentional or accidentally it’s creating similar results. Lack of careful information acquisition and careful analysis. People are jumping to conclusions quickly that support their suppositions. We are being divided and conquered. Let’s listen more carefully to each other.

      • Opinion, you seem confused about Hasson and Breivik. Hasson hasn’t hurt anyone yet but Breivik has (in spades). And Bryan is almost always over the top.

      • Opinion, this guy (Hasson) wasn’t just using drugs but was using tramadol-perhaps we now know who doped Dallas’ dogs. Heheh!

      • I always find it strange when people seemingly delight in this kind of madness, not 3 weeks ago there were people falling all over themselves the moment a gay black man was seemingly assulted on the streets of Chicago. The Synagogue shooting near Pittsburgh is another example. I believe it was only few short years ago an Army Major by the name of Hassan shot up a bunch of others in the Army and many during the initial stages of reporting got it wrong. Now this case with Hasson might be different than an Islamic extremist shooting up fellow members of the Army, but there is a lot to be found out and making judgments off of news reports that are time and time again, and ever increasingly so, incorrect is beyond asinine.

        This guy shouldn’t be celebrated or used as a political talking point. He should be shunned, scorned, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for any and all laws he violated.

      • Yessir Steve-O, but did you want to wait for his conviction before that shunning and scorning? I suspect there will be much of that (scorning and shunning) before this guy even goes to trial, based on what evidence is produced.
        Perhaps I missed it but was there any delight (other than from Bryan which doesn’t count) posted on here?

      • Bill,

        You can do whatever you want to do, you are a grown man. I know your default position is to argue, that much is painfully obvious, but now you are just arguing with yourself. “Heheh!”

      • Boy Steve-O for someone who is accusing someone else of arguing, you sure sound like one to pick up one. My comment was not meant as you took it but you specifically suggested a particular method of treatment that needed some clarification IMO. And I can see why you would want to change the subject here, too as your suggestion was frankly unclear as to when it was to occur. Further, you haven’t answered the bit about whom was “delighting” in this that you also referred to-is this not clear to you Steve-O??
        Clarification is all that’s needed here, Steve-O-no arguments.

      • Bill,

        I’m not arguing with you or looking for an argument, unlike you. I don’t know what to make of your last comment, I didn’t suggest “a particular method of treatment”, didn’t change the subject, and honestly have no clue what you mean when you say that my”suggestion was frankly unclear as to when it was to occur”.

        I can hopefully clarify one point for you, on my original post on this subject I didn’t suggest that anyone here was delighted by this. What I said that “I always find it strange when people seemingly delight in this kind of madness”. After you asked the last time you might have noticed that I quoted “Heheh!”, so Bill I would suggest that specifically you are a poster here who seems to delight in this kind of madness. Hopefully that clears it up for you.

        On a side note, and I know we’ve been over this before, but when you quote what people say or write you need to put the actual words they use in quotes. You can’t quote somebody and insert your own words in their place that’s just not how quoting somebody works.

      • Well Steve-O, my mistake for thinking you were referring to something on these posts as “delight” when you may have meant something else. I’ll just chock it up as something coming from someone who has done too much skiing without their helmet.
        Since we still are unsure of what this madness is that you speak of, maybe you’ll clarify that, or not. Heheh! By the way, that was my first “heheh” but perhaps you were just anticipating it. Do you really think anyone, besides yourself, is concerned with the difference between delight and delighting? Don’t answer that as it might cause you some grief. Heheh! And I tend to use that “heheh” as something akin to saying it’s a joke and not to be taken as seriously as you seem to do. Perhaps that’s how you intended yours but it didn’t sound like it, to me.

      • Bill,

        It’s basic grammar, when you quote someone the idea is that you use their exact words…it’s not rocket science you just write what the person wrote and put quotation marks around it. And I know we’ve been over this before too, but maybe if you spent less time writing and more time reading you would be better at both or either, what are you on post number 54 on this comment section? Once again you are a grown man and can do whatever you want. I’m just trying to help you not look like an idiot.

        By the way look ^ up there and read what you already forgot you wrote and couldn’t be bothered to read, even though it was less than 2 hours ago. Here it is again…

        Bill Yankee
        February 21, 2019 at 4:55 pm
        Opinion, this guy (Hasson) wasn’t just using drugs but was using tramadol-perhaps we now know who doped Dallas’ dogs. Heheh!

        Delight; the merriam-webster dictionary describes that as: 1. a high degree of gratification or pleasure 2. something that gives great pleasure

        I don’t know what wikithis or wikithat says, but maybe you can wiki the dictionary and see what it says about that?

        Have a goodnight Bill, please consider some of the things I’ve said here.

      • Steve-O, that was my first “heheh” to you. I very well may have used it several times in conversation with others but that is something that you just misunderstood. I suspect that is something you do often. As far as the rest of your comment-it’s just gibberish.

    • Graduated cum laude from BU, second prize for her project in International Science and Engineering fair. More qualified than the current Cheeto-in-Chief I’d say. Why are you so afraid of her? Anti-education? Against calling out corruption?

      • Scared of AOC? Because she is an idiot “socialist”, who like Bernie, will make millions in Congress while spouting Maduro talking points. She just just another Soro’s finger pupoet like Obama was. Another fraud. Only thing I’d tell that fraud to do is go make me a sammich.

      • Using tax dollars for healthcare and education make you a socialist, but using them for a useless “wall” does not? You support a racist corrupt shady businessman (long known before 2016), but you don’t support someone with morals. Got it. The only thing Trump is good at is conning (a minority of) the masses and slapping his name on buildings (and not even so good at that, as tennants have wanted to rip his name off their building lately).

      • Ya Doug, we love AOC. A bartender that shows how stupid she is every time she opens her mouth. More qualified than Trump? A billionaire who earned his money unlike some bartender living now off kickbacks. How many jobs did she lose for NY? Guess it doesn’t matter, AOC said we all were going to die in 12yrs.

      • Doug, stop drinking the Kool-Aid. Your president has spoken. Lkve that guy… Right again..MAGA!!!
        “President Trump on Thursday slammed actor Jussie Smollett after police accused him of orchestrating a “bogus” hate-crime attack, saying the “racist and dangerous comments” insulted his supporters.

        “@JussieSmollett- what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA,” Trump tweeted Thursday.

      • Doug how you perform in school has very little provable coralation with provable president qualifications. What we do know is occasio is legally not even qualified age wise to be president. So your argument is mute and shows you didn’t think to hard about it . She technically therefore has zero qualifications for the job . Trump on other hand is old enough and has a lifetime of trial and errors under his belt . Proving he has some qualifications.

      • “Trump on other hand is old enough and has a lifetime of trial and errors under his belt.”

        And racking up the errors every day!
        With trials to come…already with indictments of many he surrounds himself with!

      • Opinion, those age limits are a requirement and not a qualification. Nice try, though!

      • Bill look up qualification under Merrium Webster dictionary online . 3- b it explains usage of word qualification. I used word correctly. Occasio not qualified becouse she has not met age qualifications. Also a requirement to be considered as qualified for the job. In this rare case I’m right. But sincerely thank you for catching my major boo boo on my other post !

      • Bill to Be qualified you must meet conditions. Therefore she’s not qualified becouse age condition not met . Age is a qualification factor. The link you gave helps clarify this item . Oacaiso Cortez not qualified becouse she has not met an age condition . they go together but in this case don’t cancel or conflict. I used 100% correctly.

      • Opinion, what is it about plain english that you don’t understand??
        Age is a strict requirement as in necessity or prerequisite!
        Do you really want to quibble over such garbage-you made a blunder, just accept it and move on. It’s not like we are talking rocket science here but there is a distinct difference between requirement and qualification.

      • Doug are you so perfect that a out of control corrupt political and justice system could find or create nothing on you ? Every citizen is in danger under our corrupt vicious system. Trump is no anjel but a huge portion of the lawsuits/ indictments ect he and supporters deal with are nothing but political vendettas and destraction . Basically smear the president and tie up his time . Pick a better future candidate than Cortez . I might back it . Cortez has done nothing of note . Created nothing and only destroyed job potentials for newyorkers . She has no viable life experience. She has shown a proclivity for dishonesty in self representation as well as huge immaturity during state of union address. Her allies are questionable characters who both recently promoted racism and hate . Cortez has shown no skills at basic math and economics in the large picture. Her first rollout of a plan is a nightmare. She should not yet enter politics period . Maybe after she has built a buisness balanced a budget can afford her appartment rent and raised a family. (Trump is mostly successful in that area -kids-which says a lot . Proof in the pudding) Even caring for adopted children teaches life lessons and develops personal maturity. Cortez has done nothing and built nothing. Her main suggestion so far has been take from others . Rob peter pay Paul. Surely democrats can pick a brighter star or we are doomed:)

      • Bill didn’t mean to step on your toes . Not sure why you think one thing on it and I think another. I don’t believe I blundered but you are welcome to see it how you wish . According to all tests I’ve taken I have excellent English comprehension skills. So I trust myself on this . Perhaps I’m wrong but not according to how I read the dictionary. If I believed I was wrong I would own up to it . Sure wouldn’t be my first mistake in life. I will get out a dictionary and re read to determine. Perhaps someone more enlightened than I can weigh in . Thanks

      • Bill see Webster’s 3 rd new international dictionary. (qualification)1- something that qualifies or restricts:limitation. (qualification)Look under 3 b: a condition precedent that must be compiled with ( as for the attainment or privilege) that’s verbatim from dictionary. In this case dictionary clearly says to attain the privilege of being considered as qualified for president -Cortez must meet age requirements. She’s not qualified without meeting age requirements or however you wish to say it . Bill I can’t help you any more on this . Maybe later .

      • Qualifications and requirements can be ambiguous, and can depend on context. Qualifications can be subjective. There are only two requirements for the office of POTUS. We attempt, hopefully, to elect the most qualified candidate. Requirements aside, AOC is more qualified than the huckster. She’ll meet the requirements in (I think) 2024.

      • Well Opinion, the constitution does not use “qualified” but rather “to be eligible.” The difference in meaning between requirement and qualification is pretty clear and the few things necessary to become president are a strict requirement IMO. Anyway, to not split any more hairs, here is the difference between eligible and qualified:

      • By the time Socialist hypocrite AOC reaches 30yo.
        “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a self-described socialist who recently announced his bid for the 2020 presidential election as a Democrat, has amassed a personal fortune that includes three homes and millions of dollars in the bank.”
        Wasn’t Bernie’s wife going to jail?

      • Actually Doug ,Cortez is currently not qualified because she has not met the age the requirements . Trump is qualified because he met age requirements and was born in America. There is no ambiguity. Nor 2+2= 5 . In 2024 Cortez May become qualified under age requirements ( if she’s old enough) will she be considered a valid choice at that time only her future mental growth and experience ,actions will tell . Don’t hold your breath. People do change though. I say look for a more rational choice who has proven abilities through fire or shown beyond their years mental ability and maturity. That’s not Cortez .

      • Bill I will take your concept it has a point . I understand what you are trying to say which is more important than a technical definition. Keep in mind wiki differences is just some random self appointed persons opinion of how it works. Everyone has an opinion but doesn’t make them right . The dictionary is the source so it’s far more accurate than wiki difference. That’s why I know I’m right about that specific usage . Now as to your tie in of eligible- that’s for another discussion you could be totally on track . I truly appreciate you looked up how constitution words it . Good man . I will look into when I get a moment . Talk another time .

  3. “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of Liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist Program, until one day, America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. I no longer need to run for the Socialist Party of America, the Democrat Party has adopted our platform.” Norman Thomas

  4. Baboons are cool primates. As such, I have a lot of respect for them as I do for all life forms. However, they are not presidential or vice presidential material.

    • True is your statement but perhaps while you were hiding your beautiful mind behind a veil of snark you missed the toxic political and justice landscape where only a primate would be foolish enough to present themselves for office, therefore limited choices. Our lobbying system needs remade or banished along with a complete transparency of where and how each politician receives anything beneficial before during or after office in any way from anyone remotely a special interest. Purity of office needs brought home . As well as transparency on who pays the attackers of a politician or their supporters. When that’s done perhaps our system will start to heal itself

      • Opinion,
        Thanks for making me laugh…
        You wrote:
        “Purity of office needs brought home.”
        Well, with the GOP super pac that put Dunleavy in office…
        The same National Pac that played on Palin’s loud mouth appeal…
        Is now responsible for the Austerity “Budget Bomb” we currently face in AK.
        “Dunleavy’s chief architect of the proposal, Donna Arduin, is just-off-the-plane from the Lower 48, the type of tourist surprised to learn we use American dollars, who doesn’t know the difference between Seward and the Seward Peninsula, and wants to see the aurora in the summertime. She has only been here for two months and is already proposing the elimination of public institutions and programs that for generations — long before Prudhoe Bay — have been fundamental to our social, political and economic infrastructure.”
        Stay tuned as we are in for a fight to retain the “Alaska” us residents have worked so hard to maintain.

      • Our current Governor is going to keep, the raw fish tax %, that AK coastal municipalities, have been getting, from the AK seafood processed in their town, for many years. Already the small coastal communities are suffering, due to decreased state spending, over last 4 years, while Anchorage & Mat-Su borough get it all.

  5. Bryan posted a link near bottom that’s worth scrolling through comments to find . A conservapedia link . Gets thinkers toes into water on truth of what’s really going on . FBI and Doj have been weaponized by Clinton and her donors . They have been using bait and frame technique on trump supporters because trump supporters/ his policy’s and movement mess up big money status qoa and power structure. Citizens who are analyzing the lawsuits court filings carefully will see this is true . Not a good precedent for a prior administration to set . They use msm and anger frustration to blind rational thought. Creating citizens into sheep.

    • The real reason mueller wants roger stone is so he can get info on Wikileaks their sources and methods . Wikileaks basically took down the Clinton cabal by posting the truth. Wikileaks deserves full free press protection. They are a danger to the monied power mongers . Wikileaks has never published false info and is uncontrollable. Thus they are bigger target than trump . As trump is temporary. All good citizens must recognize the surveillance states danger and steps they use to destroy our democracy

      • Amen Opinion.. That story is a “National Emergency” and should be investigated and exposed by the unbiased. I have said it before but, good story to report on Craig. This is huge, huge news. ALL true Americans should be alarmed. I am talking pitchforks ready. Ok, maybe AR ready. Weaponizing the FBI, CIA, and IRS to go after citizens, opponents, or the president over a fabrication is not only unconstitional but, criminal. A crime and soft coup instigated by the heads of our government and law enforcement. Heads need to roll.

  6. Sarah Palin also showed us how much women hate women. It was mind boggling the number of rabid and angry women that showed up with their pitchforks to take on Palin. Women that were offended that a strong woman would speak their mind publically. How dare she! Moore, McLeod, the network talking heads … US women are an angry and hateful species.

  7. “Lunch bucket” Joe the groping pedophile or Sarah “Smokin” Palin???? Come on guys. She was a galvanizer. Hope that wasn’t sexist.

  8. Yes Craig, I too believe Sarah was a pivotal figure in our history. You probably stole the idea from one of my previous comments. Sarah’s nomination put McCain/Palin ahead of Obama/Biden in the polls. They would have won except for the economic collapse in 2008 engineered by the Bush family. Palin might have succeeded to the presidency considering McCain’s fragile health. She was instrumental in galvanizing the Tea Party and enabling the Trump victory. Of course the Socialist/Communist faction foresaw this and did everything in its power to destroy her. Numerous frivolous lawsuits were filed against her and the State would not pay to defend her. Discretion being the better part of valor she resigned to help the State move on from the distraction. Of course the liberals launched a final assault labeling her a “quitter”. Today, you will not find one anti-oil taxer to give her credit for raising taxes on the oil companies in wake of the Corrupt Bastards Club findings.
    To your point about today’s factionalism: It is driven entirely by the new media standards where truth and objectivity comes second to selling a story. How can we even blame the reporters who themselves have been brainwashed by popular ideology?. Up is down and black is white in our cowardly new world.
    Next up for your amusement – interest rates will eventually rise to levels where 50% of the U.S. Budget is interest on the National Debt!

    • Palin came to Cordova and we all liked her, enough to vote for her. Then John picked her, it went down from there. She has no one to blame but herself and her self serving family. “I can see Russia from my home”, “drill baby drill”, “how’ that working for you now”.
      BTW, how many “tea party candidates” are still in office. One trick pony!

      • But James, Palin never said “I can see Russia from my front porch”. Usual leftist SNL garbage. “Hands-up don’t shoot” ring a bell? NEVER HAPPENED!!!

      • Even if she didn’t say it, it is a beautiful metaphor.
        Except SE AK, all of the rest of Alaska is a lot closer to mainland Russia than the contiguous 48 states.
        Yes – had she said it – she could have made it better by referring to us as Russian America.
        Anchorage to Anadyr is a couple hour flight – little over 1,000 miles – 400 miles closer than Seattle. And Anadyr is hundreds on miles further West of the closest points between US/Russia.


        “Drill Baby Drill” worked out pretty well, actually. So much so the current lament on the Left has shifted from “we want to steal other countries oil for our own use,” to “we want to prevent them from competing.”

        Standard Social Justice goalpost moving, their critical theory BS ideology can’t be wrong, so just memory-hole the disproved claim and make another.

  9. Strange time we live in for sure.

    Former reality television star is President.
    Political leaders think that walls do not work.
    Other political leaders think that killing a newborn is abortion.
    That same political leader has a picture of him (or not him) in blackface or in a klan outfit in his yearbook from the 70’s and that is a bigger story than the fact he was talking about killing a newborn baby.
    Some political leaders think we need a balanced budget.
    Others think we need to spend more.
    All of the Russian collusion was on the part of Hillary but that gets overlooked.
    Barack Obama told Putin once he got reelected he could work with him.

    Many in this nation are definitely post fact, well some are, unfortunately they are the ones “leading” us or providing us with skewed information. Being skeptical of what you read or hear on tv only shows you have a brain.

    Strange times when group think from an insane group of people is what we are supposed to believe unquestionably.

      • Anytime, Chris. Did you want to weigh in on your interest rates comment? I look forward to it, unless it’s just a wet finger into the wind.

      • Sure Bill. I would be interested in your opinion and suggestion on what to do next about the National Debt. Default and stiff the Chinese? Or simply allow inflation to devalue our debt, including that owed to ourselves?

      • Chris, are you going to give your reasonings on your interest rate comment, or not??
        There is a great political cartoon in the Juneau Empire today that shows a large dragon labeled the national debt with Mitch McConnell telling another Senator that no worries, the creature is only dangerous when a Democrat is President.
        Frankly, the national debt doesn’t become a problem until it’s greater than a certain amount relative to the GDP. And the national debt is actually a positive for a lot of folks (widows and orphans, local govts. investing their money in T-bills short term, etc.) What makes you think that we may need to default on it?
        The real problem in funding is the debt owed to Social Security and will need to be paid out of general funds when it’s no longer paying for itself. That money was spent years ago (for some pretty good things, by the way) and that IOU that’s in place of the money will need to be repaid someday. See why Republicans are so hell-bent on getting rid of SS?

    • “Political leaders think that walls do not work.”

      Dumb simpleton statement that has somehow caught on and become a dumb stupid meme.
      Sometimes they do.
      Sometimes they don’t.
      Sometimes they do until they don’t.
      And sometimes they’re a waste of money.

      • Doug,

        Good points. Walls eventually fall down and stop working, I mean they had to rebuild some sections of the Great Wall of China so tourists could go and see how it used to work before it fell down and stopped working. They also left some sections in disrepair since that wall was no longer needed, some sections didn’t even need repair or the expense of repairing it.

        Walls are dumb, they have proven throughout history to be dumb, just like every inanimate object ever. Especially the immoral inanimate objects, they are the dumbest!

        If walls are dumb is your biggest gripe with what I wrote, I will sleep well tonight since we are in complete agreement.

  10. Palin and Trump are not the cause, but they are symptoms of the disease.
    Corporate Cronyism that looks for egotistical politicians that are easy to buy off so the Oligarchs can continue Austerity Measures for the masses and further erode the free market economy that truly made this country Great.

    • Correct, Palin and Trump are not the cause. They are a market correction.
      Both also have incredible political instincts.

  11. I classify Palin as a SILF…somebody I’d like to forget. She was chosen because folks thought Hillary was to be the Dems vp choice. Whether she helped or hindered the election is debatable, but her bizarre bombastic bimboisms certainly stirred the pot.

    The current trend toward fringe candidates is worrisome. The real secret to Americas success has been epluribas unum, and this is a fastly disappearing reality.

    Given the current propensity to grow the debt , combined with a shrinking middle class, the future is iffy indeed. I can see socialism from my overtaxed house.

    • Well Andy, it’s pretty well documented that Sarah initially helped John McCain in the polls but the Katie Couric interview happened and showed her to be just some eye-candy thrown as a “Hail Mary” when John was down in the polls. No debate there IMO but she did stir the pot.

    • Once again another testament to superb decision making of late Sen McCain…
      That said, I believe Biden had already been nominated (so it wasn’t a preemptive move against Billary). McCain picked Palin because he thought genitalia might neutralize skin pigmentation. The left and the press (but there I go again repeating myself) freaked out that it could work and prevent the ascension of Dear Leader.
      We had some well qualified VPOTUS candidates (Cheney was a lot more qualified than Bush), but about half were no worse than Pallin. Was she really any less qualified than meathead Tim Caine or actual VP Dan Quayle?

      • Erak,

        Good catch. Biden was nominated a week or so before Palin. So I am baffled why he chose an outsider. That was a mavericky move.

  12. Yes, yes its Palin fault crazed neo-Marxists lie and get caught 12 years after her run for second banana with the now deceased epitome of the RINO and member of the establishment single party Repubocrat who went to Syria and called future ISIS members “good guys”. LOL!

  13. Good article Craig. Some good highlights.
    Alexander Cortex is a fraud, who lived a charmed lifestyle, and was nothing more than a bartender with an econ “degree” in Socialism. An utter moron. Every time she opens her mouth she shows how worthless her education is.
    The rest of your article illustrates how insane the Democrat Party really is. Chemical imbalance is right. THEY ARE NUTS AND SHOULD NOT BE IN ANY POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY.
    Just today, more outstanding journalism:

    • Hi Bryan. I think that Craig was also saying that the super trump supporters are also chemically imbalanced. You know, 180 degrees from the trump haters but still ‘nuts’… What kind of nut are you? ;>)

      Cheers to all!

      PS – I’m the nut that’s traveling 90 degrees away from all of you nuts!

      • Amen Jack. Who else is there besides Trump? I mean you have the Democrats who are insane and corrupt and you have the GOP who are sane and corrupt. They both feed off each others corruption. Right now, Trump is all we have exposing that criminal Oligarchy. So, when a billionaire takes no salary, takes a beating from the media and both parties daily, has withstood withering assualts by the FBI, IRS, and CIA, and has nothing to gain from the position – he receives my vote.
        Talk about crazy people and they aren’t Trumpers.

      • Bryan,
        Thinking that Trump will expose the criminal Oligarchs is like thinking a “kleptomaniac” will expose Thieves.
        Trump is an American Oligarch and that is why he was chosen for the job.
        His wife’s clothing label is produced in sweatshops where workers cannot even afford to live with their own children.
        “The reality of working in a factory making clothes for Ivanka Trump’s label has been laid bare, with employees speaking of being paid so little they cannot live with their children, anti-union intimidation and women being offered a bonus if they don’t take time off while menstruating.”

      • I agree with your post above 100%. This one not so much. Google is the enemy of the people and you quote their usual anti-Trump screed BS. Trump chosen by the “Secret Society” – Deep State? Bit of a stretch. I mean, remember the bogus “Russian Collusion” story by the DNC, Hillary, and Fusion GPS with the help of the FBI? Trump for sure is exposing this cancer.
        McCabe and Comey should be hung in the town square for sedition until dead, dead, dead…

      • Bryan,
        This has nothing to do with Google or any deep state.
        This is about a U.S. president’s family making clothing for huge profits in an several Asian sweatshops.
        And Donald claims he is against Globalists?
        How could anyone believe his shit?
        The Guardian is a very reliable source.
        “The Guardian has spoken to more than a dozen workers at the fashion label’s factory in Subang, Indonesia, where employees describe being paid one of the lowest minimum wages in Asia and there are claims of impossibly high production targets and sporadically compensated overtime.
        The workers’ complaints come only a week after labour activists investigating possible abuses at a Chinese factory that makes Ivanka Trump shoes disappeared into police custody.”
        China and Indonesia…
        Golf course in Ireland.
        Trump hotels and casinos.
        This is an Oligarch Family of the modern era.

      • Steve, has everythimg to do with the Deep State and Globalists.

        James, come on, you aren’t actually standing up for Comey or McCabe ans gang are you? Sheesh!!! If there ever were treasonous, lying rats…

      • Bryan, I have no idea who the “James” you are referring to but, in case you just made a blunder (of many), the only proven liar here(and probably treasonous rat) is Don Trump.

      • Sorry Bill, my blunder. Meant BILL..damn cellphones.. Bill, I am just going to assume you watch CNN and MSDNC. Bill, I am hoping someday you get weened off the FAKE NEWS…. But, I do enjoy your input. Certainly entertaining.

      • Bryan, would you have us believe that James for Bill was a typo?
        More likely just needing to blame it on anything but yourself-remind you of anyone?

      • Bill, looks like Cardi B Blames Chicago Police For Jussie Smollett Hoax. Damn corrupt police. Forgot to include them earlier.

      • Yes Bill.. it was an honest mistake. My cell only shows so much of the comments, so please do not read anymore into it. But, NOW we all can (even though some of us knew weeks ago) blame Jussie Smollett can’t we?

      • Bryan, I thought you were talking about McCabe and Comey being treasonous, lying rats and now you are bringing up that it’s a Jussie Smollett is to blame??
        Is there some connection here or are you trying to change the subject?
        I didn’t want to pick nits on that blunder but you did the same thing in another article (mistaking a James for me) so I thought I’d find out what the issue was.

      • Bill, I apologize on the name mix-up. Not intentional. 1,000 pardons. I will not make that mistake again.
        But yes, I think Comey and McCabe are some pieces of treasonous rat filth. Still pushing a soft coup on a sitting president. “Hang em high”!!!

      • Bryan:
        McCabe was asked by Lindsey Graham why he wanted to investigate the president and McCabe’s answer was that “we are the FBI and we investigate if we believe criminal behavior was involved.” That was a paraphrase, by the way.
        And Graham was a member of the “Gang of Eight” Hill leaders who were given a briefing on what was going on at the time-nobody objected at the time (obviously including Graham).
        Graham is now heading the Senate Judiciary Committee and has suggested they may investigate this issue. Just my opinion, here, but I don’t think that there is a chance in a carload that this investigation goes anywhere near this issue. Last thing Trump needs is a hearing that looks into this issue in any meaningful way IMO.

      • Well said Bryan. Please get the truth out how unelected officials tried to frame an incoming president through false propaganda with money ties to Hilary soros and big money donors. They were also planting bad apples in trump rally’s trying to incite violence. Similar to Jussie Smollet effort. Not b.s look it up . Irregardless of trumps character you have a very corrupt dem party via Hilary – Obama using doj and fbi as political weapons clear as day . Interferance run by msm . As propaganda tool to fool our good American citizens. All parties

      • Bryan and Opinion, prove it! With Republicans controlling both houses of Congress it would have been done by now if there was any truth to what you say. It’s all bullshit!
        Nothing more to be said.

      • Bill it’s impossible to prove something to someone who has closed their mind . Therefore it’s up to you . Seek and you will find . I know you can do it . Hint . Many Republicans are as bad or worse. A veil . Don’t watch the hand .

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