Palin's Last Minute News Dump

Hours before the polls open, Sarah Palin hopes to silence questions about her health and ethics. In a two page letter released yesterday, Palin's doctor proclaims her physically fit to do whatever it is that a Vice President Palin would do (shudder). Andrew Sullivan thinks the late disclosure represents "a giant finger to the press."

Palin's ethical fitness is a stickier question. A report conveniently released yesterday by Alaska's Personnel Board found that Sarah Palin violated no ethics rules when she fired the state police commissioner.

[more ...]

At a routine meeting this afternoon, the State Personnel Board, which is appointed by Palin, surprised attendees by announcing that its investigator would release his findings today.

Board members appointed by Palin chose an investigator, at Palin's initiative, to prepare a report and then "surprised" everyone by releasing the report, which coincidentally exonerates Palin, the day before the election -- barely leaving voters with time to recall that the state legislature's bipartisan investigation came to the opposite conclusion. With more time, voters might actually examine the evidence and arrive at their own opinions.

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    No surprise there (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Amiss on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 01:42:12 AM EST
    with either her report or the findings.

    Who had questions about her health? (5.00 / 6) (#2)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 02:45:40 AM EST
    seriously! Isn't she a runner? And quite frankly, for birthin' 5 babies, she looks like she maintains good health and fitness beyond what many do.


    We need documentation to verify the last pregnancy: the amniocentesis results with Sarah Palin's name on them, for example, would be readily available and easy to disseminate, and would help raise awareness of Down Syndrome. So why not give us something? All we have in this literally last minute letter is Baldwin-Johnson's name. We had that already.

    I can't believe you are even linking to this "guy". Where are Obama's records? Latest lung xrays? Prostate exam anyone? How about his latest colon screen? He is getting "up there" . . .

    ...about Palin's health?  Anyone who has done the most rudimentary research on Down Syndrome knows it's caused by a chromosomal abnormality, the incidence of which increases markedly when the mother is over 40, regardless of her health.  Sullivan is simply trolling to keep the rumors alive about Trig's purported parentage.  It's sleazy, and unnecessary.  There are plenty of reasons to oppose Palin without it.

    Unbelievable (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by MoveThatBus on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 08:54:33 AM EST
    Sullivan is simply trolling to keep the rumors alive about Trig's purported parentage.  It's sleazy, and unnecessary.

    ...and TChris/TalkLeft is only too happy to make sure its readers don't miss the article.

    The report that clears Palin is as valid as anything every candidate has released about their actions.

    What bothers me the most is that all this manufactured stuff against Palin has the hidden meaning there is nothing of substance to use against her. She's more of a threat to the other ticket than she is to the office of VP based on the concocted outrages that have been reported non-stop here.


    What bothers me (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by liminal on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 09:09:23 AM EST
    is the precedent the made-up stuff against Palin sets, for female candidates in the future.  There are plenty of substantive reasons to object to her, but the fact that she had a baby with Downs syndrome is not one of them.  

    And the next time the right wing starts demanding personal records from a female Democratic candidate's ob-gyn in furtherance of a grotesque smear, well, our moral authority to object to the same will be substantially diminished.

    I find it really disheartening.  


    Precedent? (3.50 / 2) (#17)
    by TChris on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 09:47:51 AM EST
    Precedent?  You didn't notice any "made up" stuff about Barack Obama in this election?  Or about Kerry four years ago?  What does gender have to do with it?

    This post, of course, reports no "made up" stuff at all.  But I continue to be amazed at the commenters who think the other three general election candidates for president and VP are fair game, but Palin should be immune from criticism.

    The point of the post, and the point on which I quoted Sullivan, is that Palin resorted to a news dump on the day before the election to release health information that could have been released a month ago when voters would have had time to subject it to fair scrutiny.  That criticism is well founded and has nothing to do with Palin's gender.


    Palin is certainly open to criticism. (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by liminal on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 10:08:04 AM EST
    Fair criticism.  Sully's trolling about the news dump over her health records is trolling, and I'm really disappointed that you can't see that.  Your point about the ethics report was fair and reasonable; your point about her ob-gyn records (and that, ultimately, is what Sully is demanding, essentially) is absolutely not.  There is absolutely no earthly reason to demand medical records regarding Sarah Palin's pregnancy with Trig, other than to keep those rumors alive.

    Is your defense honestly "Republicans do it too!"?  Because I think that Republican rumor-mongering is deeply wrong, too.  The thing is: I expect it from them.  I don't expect Democrats muck about spreading rumors about parentage and personal lives, and demanding an opponents personal, private records regarding a difficult pregnancy.  


    My point? (3.50 / 2) (#28)
    by TChris on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 10:34:46 AM EST
    I made no point about Palin's ob-gyn records, and my post does not call for Palin to release them.  Nor does my post endorse or reference anything in Sullivan's post beyond his observation that Palin is playing games with the media by waiting until the last instant to make a long-promised disclosure.

    My post does not spread rumors about Palin's personal life, a subject that has always been off limits at TalkLeft.


    You're right. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by liminal on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 11:17:58 AM EST
    It's one of the things I like about TalkLeft - those sorts of rumors are not allowed.  I should have edited my criticism of your post.

    With that said, I think that you are trying to splice the issue too finely.  There's nothing negative - at all - in that letter.  Aside from some negative (and sexist) rumor-mongering, there was no reason for the campaign to hold that back.  You may not agree with Sully's position otherwise, but in order to characterize Palin's release of a letter offering her a perfectly clean bill of health as a "news dump," you have to embrace, on some level, the rest of Sullivan's, uh, concerns regarding Palin's, uh, health records, which I find illegitimate, and yes, sexist.  The two are closely intertwined.  

    Absent some very disappointing behavior from certain folks allegedly on our side, the health information would never be considered a "news dump," as it is entirely positive.  


    You're talking around the issue. (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by TChris on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:06:25 PM EST
    Palin promised to release her medical records.  The campaign finally said "something" would be coming last week.  Nothing came.  Why wait until the day before the election to release information that other candidates managed to release long ago?

    Why are the rules different for Palin than for any other candidate? The other three released information long ago.  Palin waited until the last second. It's fine if you think "news dump" only refers to bad news, but to me it refers to news that the dumper is trying to bury.  If Palin wanted to avoid criticism she should have released the information at a meaningful time.

    Palin's belated decision to honor her promise is "intertwined" with rumors only to the extent that Palin's unexplained failure to keep her promise in a timely manner raises suspicions about her motive for doing so.  I am not interested in Sullivan's particular suspicions, but Palin has only herself to blame for fueling them by ignoring for so long her promise to release her records.


    Sigh. (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by liminal on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:58:59 PM EST
    Palin has only herself to blame for fueling them by ignoring for so long her promise to release her records.

    Sullivan's "particular suspicions" reflect on Sullivan, not Palin, and she is not to blame for his grotesque choice to traffic in the same.  He would do so regardless of the timing of the release of information, regardless of the content, and regardless of the completeless of the same.  He frames it as he does just so he can roll around in it a bit longer.

    And, for what it is worth, the rules aren't different for Palin than for other candidates, either.  If there has been a hue and cry for Obama, Biden, and McCain to release their obstetrical records - and let us be clear, that is what Sullivan seeks, those are the "serious questions" he has about her health history, and the only "serious questions" he has about her health history - I am completely unaware of it.


    Your post may not spread rumors (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 11:32:59 AM EST
    with your writing, but you do link to someone who does. Kinda walkin' the line there using someone like him to support your "news dump" thought process. There wasn't a more credible person who agreed with you?

    Asking for any information regarding the pregnancy is just wrong, imo. There is absolutely no reason for it. Linking to that "request" for whatever reason is almost as sleazy, imo.


    Chris, I just saw a bunch of youtube clips (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by hairspray on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:54:30 PM EST
    about Sarah in bikinis, compromising positions, etc.  The lewdness of these clips have gone viral.  You can't tell me this stuff doesn't create a picture of a "brainless bimbo" not only with the young who are totally in the tank for Obama and who are being touted as the future of the Democratic party.  Just show me some youtubes of Obama that are as sexually explicit and humiliating as these and I will change my mind. They did the same with Hillary.  I NEVER saw Obama in whips and chains and looking lewdly at women, etc.  McCain was doctored to be lusting after Sarah in one clip.  PLEEEZE.
    Sarah Palin has done a decent job in Alaska and yet that is not the picture of her from the left.

    Youtube videos? (2.00 / 0) (#51)
    by TChris on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 01:59:58 PM EST
    There are offensive youtube videos of Palin just as there are offensive youtube videos of Obama.  Neither racism nor sexism should be condoned (or, for that matter, unfavorable treatment because of sexual orientation, national origin, and other characteristics that have nothing to do with ability).  The social problem of intolerant prejudice is serious and enduring.  It is also beyond the scope of the post.

    Palin made herself look "brainless" by failing to come up with the name of a single newspaper she reads, by trying to bluff about her knowledge of the "Bush Doctrine," by claiming expertise in foreign affairs because Alaska is near Russia, and in a dozen other ways.  She didn't need the assistance of fabricated youtube videos to accomplish that task.

    But the post is about Palin's last-second release of her medical information and her administration's "coincidental" last-second release of a report prepared at her request that purports to clear her of ethical violations.  My criticism of Palin's timing of the release of both documents (and of her attempt to counter the legislature's investigation with one instigated by her own administration) has absolutely nothing to do with offensive youtube videos or the social problem of prejudice.

    Whether or not Palin did a "decent job" in parochial Alaska is questionable. Her unfitness to hold national office is certain.  That has nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with her words, beliefs, and actions.


    Actually, (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by andrys on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 03:59:30 AM EST
    the bi-partisan group had, as manager, Senator French, a Democrat who's an Obama supporter and predicted early on there might be an "October surprise" for Palin (before they started investigating) and another member who talked to press a lot and a couple of them were photographed as Obama supporters (including Monegan).  

      Since Palin was known for challenging Republicans and whatever corruption and the Republicans were ousted and she unseated the leading Republican, for Governor, and has set up obstacles to then-Senate President Lyda Green's multiple attempts to get anti-abortion bills into session, Republicans are not automatically friendly to her situation.

      The 3-member personnel board: 2 of them were chosen by the former governor.  To get a bit more credibility (they are the one with the proper authority for investigation and penalties), they hired an independent consultant, Timothy Petumenos.  Newsweek's Michael Isakoff wrote in the Oct. 11 edition that Petumenos is

    "an aggressive Anchorage trial lawyer... McCain aides were chagrined to discover that Petumenos was a Democrat who had contributed to Palin's 2006 opponent for governor, Tony Knowles."

      I link to Petumenos' reasons given for the difference in the report results -- having to do with (he says), the legislative group using the wrong statute as a basis for their conclusions and the incomplete material they had on file at the time.

      As for silencing questions about her medical history, Obama submitted merely a page and a half summary from his doctor, to say that over the last 21 years or so he's been very healthy, and the summary given was undated.

    Thanks for some sanity (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by joanneleon on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 07:56:10 AM EST
    and for an honest account of the situation.  

    I'd like to beat McCain and Palin the honest way.  We don't need to stoop to this level.  There's plenty of accurate information that makes people run like heck from this ticket.  


    By "incomplete material" (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by TChris on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 09:54:36 AM EST
    are you referring to Palin's refusal to cooperate with the legislative investigation despite pledging her cooperation?  Palin initiated the Personnel Board investigation.  I think everyone would like to have the opportunity to chose the forum in which their alleged misconduct is investigated.  

    For a person who finds problems with (none / 0) (#49)
    by hairspray on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 01:11:08 PM EST
    many different kinds of "investigations," I find it interesting that you are not the least bit suspicious of a commission composed heavily of Democrats supporting Obama and then politicizing an investigation.  Finding ethics violation can be extremely subjective if the rules and circumstances were vague. It seems that pressure is a difficult quality to pin down. The way I read it, the Palins tried to reopen the case after Sarah became the Governor, and Monegan would not.  The Palins resubmitted their concerns about the "light" rebuke this officer was given and asked if Monegan as a new police commissioner wasn't alarmed at the kind of person that was on the police force, and rightly so.   They made their case quite heatedly.  So what?  That was all that came of it until months later when Monegan was asked to be reassigned. So  What???

    do not post false information here (none / 0) (#56)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:47:43 PM EST
    I just deleted a followup comment to this by andrys and this comment by hairspray is probably going to go as well. It's filled with spinning of the facts to where they become untruths. I don't want this kind of misinformation associated perpetually in Google on my site. Take it to a freeper site.

    Jeralyn, I replied to TChris's question (none / 0) (#57)
    by andrys on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:05:54 PM EST
    and referred him to the links of the full report by the independent counsel who IS a Democrat, which pertains to the points that the 3-person board serves at the governor's pleasure.

      Since that is probably 'spin' to you, I'll not give the link this time, but the full report is googleable and the link and the surrounding circumstances on all sides should be discussable without you referring to me or to hairspray as freepers' types.

      I also linked to newspaper reports which explained that the legislative team did not have the authority to do penalties.

      The bit involving support for Obama is much written about and never denied.  It was considered not germane.  But if there are circumstances that make you suspect the Personnel Board's decision as wholly unreliable, I don't see why, on a progressive board, we can't respond to that point.

      I am worried about what we CAN post if it disagrees at all with points here by co-hosts.  I back up everything with links to sources which are mainstream or which are court documents.


    I don't get this either (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Mikeb302000 on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 06:38:37 AM EST
    I agree with the last commenter.  I'm exhausted from all I've read about Palin, and I've contributed myself.  Thank goodness it's over now.

    OT, but the miraculous Zogby shift (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 07:14:21 AM EST
    was just reported.  Obama picked uo 4 in his poll just yesterday!!! Final number: Obama 54 McCain 43.

    BTD and andgarden called it - Zogby is a hack.  Kept his numbers artificially close for weeks, then shifted at the end so he can say he called it right.

    Andrew Sullivan (5.00 / 7) (#10)
    by ding7777 on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 07:37:10 AM EST
    ...supported Bush over Gore in 2000

    ... was a typical anti-Hillary mud-slinger during the 2008 primary

    Hopefully, once the election is over, Talkleft will no longer reference Andy!

    I linked (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by TChris on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 09:59:48 AM EST
    to Sullivan because he drew an important distinction between Obama's limited disclosure of his health information when there was plenty of time to scrutinize it, and Palin's last second limited disclosure of her health information, timed to prevent any serious scrutiny.

    I don't subscribe to the notion that if I disagree with something (even most things) a writer says, I must ignore them when they get something right.


    What questions about her health? (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by joanneleon on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 07:48:20 AM EST
    This is nonsense, and embarrassing for a site with any credibility.  You know as well as anyone else why the pregnancy records were requested.  

    Right down to the very last minute, we're still getting these obsessive posts about Palin here?  


    Last gasp? One may only hope. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 09:33:54 AM EST
    Obsessive? (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by TChris on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 10:10:03 AM EST
    She's running for a position that could make her the nation's president.  You don't think she deserves the same scrutiny and criticism as her running mate? (The post, by the way, has nothing to do with her pregnancy.)

    The article you linked to (none / 0) (#52)
    by joanneleon on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 02:27:56 PM EST
    by Sullivan had the pregnancy as the dominant issue.

    We have been given no actual records of the last pregnancy, or any reccords at all, although we are told by the elusive Dr. Catherine Baldwin-Johnson that labor was at 35 weeks - not as premature as previously believed (if you research the average weight of full term DS babies, you find, by the way, that Trig was not underweight). There is no time for any reporters to ask any questions, of course, or any time for the questions raised by the pregnancy to be aired in the press. I doubt Baldwin-Johnson will respond to further queries.

    well TChris, (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by cpinva on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 09:01:23 AM EST
    With more time, voters might actually examine the evidence and arrive at their own opinions.

    that would kind of explain why it was dumped at the last minute.

    sorry, the gov. controls the board that "investigated" her. this is a no-brainer conflict of interest. the report should be taken with all the seriousness it deserves, none.

    as for gov. palin's health, i wasn't aware there were even any questions about it. for someone who's had 5 kids, she looks in pretty good shape to me.

    the "questions" surrounding the actual parentage of her newborn are spurious, in the absence of any real evidence to the contrary. there isn't any.

    so stop it already!

    The post (3.50 / 2) (#20)
    by TChris on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 10:01:37 AM EST
    is about the last minute news dump, not about the parentage of her youngest child, which has never been an issue at TalkLeft.

    But a news dump is for bad news (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 10:22:10 AM EST
    She released a physician's letter that says no more or less than the physician's letter released some time ago by Sen. Obama. If the letter contained some indication of a serious health condition, it would qualify as a news dump at the last moment intended to prevent full disclosure. But it doesn't. It is just as uninformative as Sen. Obama's letter.

    A news dump (2.00 / 0) (#35)
    by TChris on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:16:46 PM EST
    is for news the dumper wants buried.  Palin's unexplained timing strongly suggests she wanted this buried.

    Could you explain (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:32:30 PM EST
    why you think she might want it buried, considering that there is nothing negative in the report?

    It's illogical (none / 0) (#50)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 01:27:45 PM EST
    TChris can speak for himself obviously, but IMO, he is drawing an illogical conclusion. I'm all for valid criticism of any candidate regardless of sex, race, age, or party. But I can't wrap my head around illogical arguments. My brain doesn't work that way.

    The "dump" does (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Amiss on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:57:57 PM EST
    draw suspicion, whether there is reason for it or not. It makes it "appear" that there is something hidden in her medical files that she does not want to make public, whether there is or not. I feel it is as important for men in their 50's or 60's to have prostate health included in their report as it is for a woman to have her gynecological history in theirs.

    Pleasant discourse or not, it is important that we are informed of the health of the persons we are voting for the highest offices in the land.


    sorry TChris, (none / 0) (#54)
    by cpinva on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 06:31:09 PM EST
    that last comment wasn't aimed at either you or talkleft, i should have made that clearer. it was aimed at those who would make it an issue, something neither this site, or any of the contributing posters, have done.

    Any further mentions of her youngest child (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 10:18:45 AM EST
    will be deleted. Take it elsewhere. That's not the part of Sullivan's post that TChris is referencing and And I agree with TChris's post.

    Keep your comments on topic.

    As to the personnel board, do not post misinformation here. It serves at her pleasure. She can fire them. Now they don't have to worry about that. She does have a long history of firing people.

    Sullivan's article (none / 0) (#53)
    by joanneleon on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 02:37:20 PM EST
    Jeralyn, more than 50% of Sullivan's article is about the pregnancy.  I think it's easy to see why people took offense, because it's clear from the article that Sully's main point was about not getting the information they wanted regarding the pregnancy, and continuing to raise questions about the pregnancy.

    A sense of humor helps (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by wurman on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 10:24:06 AM EST
    Gov. Palin seems to be taking a news dump simply to generate some ink & air on election day.  "Did they spell my name right?"  Now she can blissfuly join Rep. William Miller as a footnote to some exhaustive history of USA elections. Perhaps she'll get an American Express advertising gig at some point in the future.

    Bye-bye, Sarah.  Have a nice life.  We'll call if there's ever another opening.

    Kind of confusing. Doesn't (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:03:51 PM EST
    "new dump" mean the dumper is trying to hide unfavorable news?

    Yes. (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:10:10 PM EST
    TChris is PDSing. He does it periodically.

    When women tear Palin (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:13:54 PM EST
    limb from limb, I call that the "queen bee syndrome."  I haven't figured out what to call it when men do the same thing to a strong female.  

    The timing (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by TChris on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:22:46 PM EST
    of Palin's news dump has nothing to do with Palin's gender.

    Most commenters here have no objection to strong criticism of John McCain and do not assume that he is being criticized because of his gender.  The prevailing assumption that any criticism of Palin (whether it comes from a man or a woman) must be gender-related is remarkable.


    The "prevailing assumption" (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:26:44 PM EST
    here is Palin is fair game.  

    Of course she is. (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by TChris on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:44:46 PM EST
    As is John McCain, Ted Stevens, Dick Cheney, George Bush, and every other conservative who wants to use political office to further a right wing agenda.

    Go for it. (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:54:13 PM EST
    I guess I'm just frustrated because J doesn't want criticism of Obama here.

    of course she is (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:55:30 PM EST
    I have done my best to defeat her since she was nominated. This is hardly a neutral site.

    absolutely correct! (5.00 / 0) (#55)
    by cpinva on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 06:34:59 PM EST
    The "prevailing assumption"
    here is Palin is fair game.

    and why shouldn't she be? as long as the criticisms have to do with her issue positions and public actions while in office, so what? treating her deferentially, solely because she's female, would be, well....................sexist.


    it's always easier to try to tear down someone who stands up for something than it is to stand up for something yourself.

    You just retired, surely you spent much of your life in biz meetings?

    imo, here's how they too often go:

    1. a problem is identified
    2. an idea for a solution is offered
    3. the rest of the people at the meeting spend every effort looking for reasons why the idea won't work.

    Some people, however, seem to be able to naturally engender support instead of opposition.

    Those who can't/don't - regardless of sex - get torn down, by both sexes, in my experience.


    I did just retire, but, fortunately, (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:41:07 PM EST
    neither of my careers involved sitting in very many mtgs.  Good thing.  

    Lucky u. (none / 0) (#42)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 12:43:34 PM EST
    As long as we move on without Palin. (3.50 / 4) (#21)
    by TChris on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 10:07:22 AM EST