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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The hacked Palin emails, plus Campaign Reflections in the mirror of lies: Palin is all stump and no tree

""There's nothing wrong with small towns. In fact, I think all the best people in the world I know come from small towns."* Part 1: Now dated comments on the hacking of Sarah Palin's Yahoo email. Part 2: How McCain and Palin are proving to be transparently obvious compulsive serial lying liars whose adoring acolytes don't seem to have the gray matter to discern the truth.

“”There’s nothing wrong with small towns. In fact, I think all the best people in the world I know come from small towns.”*

Part 1: Now dated comments on the hacking of Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email.

Part 2: How McCain and Palin are proving to be transparently obvious compulsive serial lying liars whose adoring acolytes don’t seem to have the gray matter to discern the truth.

Sarah Palin’s personal email hacked

Someone hacked Sarah Palin’s private email accounts and published “screen shots” of some of the correspondence. The reports say that subsequently all the accounts were deleted, and that this could lead to a charge of destroying evidence if they become part of a criminal investigation.

CNET NEWS notes that “there was some evidence that Gov. Palin conducted work business via personal e-mail — perhaps as a way to avoid divulging data in response to a subpoena or request made under Alaska’s open government laws.”

The New York Times published an article on Sunday saying:

Her inner circle discussed the benefit of using private e-mail addresses. An assistant told her it appeared that such e-mail messages sent to a private address on a “personal device” like a BlackBerry “would be confidential and not subject to subpoena.” Ms. Palin and aides use their private e-mail addresses for state business. A campaign spokesman said the governor copied e-mail messages to her state account “when there was significant state business.”

On Feb. 7, Frank Bailey, a high-level aide, wrote to Ms. Palin’s state e-mail address to discuss appointments. Another aide fired back: “Frank, this is not the governor’s personal account.” Mr. Bailey responded: “Whoops~!” (Reference)

Of course this could be a hoax (now we know it isn’t) although the McCain campaign has taken it seriously enough to involve the FBI (link) If it is a hoax, it is a damn good one, especially considering it would have come from Democrats who would have trouble pulling a rabbit out of a hat even if the entire leporid population of Australia lived there.

Here’s what the officials are saying:

“This is a shocking invasion of the Governor’s privacy and a violation of law,” Rick Davis, McCain-Palin campaign manager said in a statement. “The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these e-mails will destroy them. We will have no further comment.”

FBI spokesman Brian Hale said, “The FBI is aware of the alleged hacking incident involving Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and is coordinating with the United States Secret Service on the matter.” (reference: Wired News)

If this is genuine and not a well crafted hoax, nobody already knows better than Palin herself since they are supposed to be to and from her. It is VERY noteworthy that the hackers say they haven’t YET found anything politically significant but if they do they will post it.

If they were smart enough to hack into the accounts no doubt they’d copy everything before publicizing what they did. They just may not have finished reading what they have.

Palin, in her haste to have all them deleted, may not be quite sure if anything in the email exchanges implicates her in wrong doing, or politically explosive shenanigans.

If there’s anything there, or anything she thinks might be there, the woman won’t be resting easily tonight.

Two hours after I wrote this the Washington Post put the story online (here).

From WaPo:

Andrée McLeod, the activist who filed the FOIA request, said Wednesday evening that Palin should have known better than to conduct state business using an unsecured e-mail account.

“If this woman is so careless as to conduct state business on a private e-mail account that has been hacked into, what in the world is she going to do when she has access to information that is vital to our national security interests?” she asked.

Now let’s see if the story moves beyond the media of the elites to the pap purveyors voters smitten by the pretty president wannabe pay attention to.

My hunch is that it will end up as a minor story reinforcing that she’s just the kind of ordinary folksy person who uses Yahoo just like them, the kind lots of people want to vote for, unless of course that there’s something of substance in the emails.

Reflections on the campaign so far: Palin is all stump and no tree

The candidates, to significantly varying degrees, are trying to score votes by pandering to the voters and engaging in hypocrisy. Instead of running on who they are, they construct different personae aimed at particular voting groups.

Obama tries to hide his brainy elitist side and emphasize that intellectuals can shoot hoops, care about people, and be a loving family man because he knows how uncomfortable many voters are with professorial types. They don’t want to hear a theological discourse on when life begins when a candidate is asked when life begins (“above my pay grade”).

But Obama isn’t comfortable with the one-liners so he persists in trying to be the teacher, witness his two minute lecture in the form of his ad on the economy. This approach is risky because he can only win if he beats McCain among those who never went to college (see article).

It may turn out to be an accumulation of the little things about the candidates that will count. That is, the three that are running because I exclude Biden since he barely seems part of the ticket now.

The Yahoo email news will probably disappear, but something like the revelation that Palin seems to have caught the design cloths bug from Cindy McCain could diminish her engaging hockey mom image:

“Hockey mom Sarah Palin not only wore lipstick to the Republican National Convention, the vice-presidential candidate wore a shantung silk Valentino jacket worth $2,500. Insiders tell Page Six Palin has a secretive circle of stylists who dress her for events. For her big speech in St. Paul, where she accepted the GOP’s vice-presidential nod, this fashion-conscious team encouraged the Alaska governor to splurge on a $2,500 jacket from Saks Fifth Avenue designed by Valentino Garavani. … Presidential nominee John McCain’s wife, Cindy, recently took some heat after Vanity Fair itemized the cost of her wardrobe during her RNC speech with Laura Bush to a whopping $300,000 worth of designer wear and diamonds.” Reference

Swing voters may also get fed up with dishonest statements and ads. Instead of thinking that it doesn’t matter that both sides do this they might compare the exaggerations of the Obama side with the bald faced lies coming from McCain/Palin.

I also don’t see them actually comparing the knowledge and intelligence of the candidates. For example how many will ever hear of the new McCain gaff, which makes one wonder about his slipping brain power, that just about every European is now aware of: “Bizarre McCain Remarks Appear To Reject Spain As Ally” LINK. Like his running mate, he seems to rely on set talking points which may or may not fit the questions posed.

Palin was deft in answering a question in her town hall meeting (LINK) saying she’d play stump the candidate on foreign affairs but then wouldn’t allow a follow-up question.

No doubt she’s been studying hard but I bet I could look at BBC News and find a question that would reveal that she’s all stump and no tree.

If only blogs like this “MOO: People should stop picking on vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin because she hired a high school classmate to oversee the state agriculture division, a woman who said she was qualified for the job because she liked cows when she was a kid” could be translated into powerful sound bites that would get through the haze of Republican propaganda that has clouded the minds of those enchanted by the McCain/Palin mystique.

Unfortunately I don’t see much chance that these voters will ever grasp that the actual positions and beliefs of the two sides are as different as night from day.

* “There’s nothing wrong with small towns,” she said in Michigan. “In fact, I think all the best people in the world I know come from small towns.” ” from Washington Post article.

39 thoughts on “The hacked Palin emails, plus Campaign Reflections in the mirror of lies: Palin is all stump and no tree”

  1. To bad this wasn’t a speech – from Paul Krugman’s blog:

    Here’s what McCain has to say (in an article) about the wonders of market-based health reform:

    “Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”

    So McCain, who now poses as the scourge of Wall Street, was praising financial deregulation like 10 seconds ago — and promising that if we marketize health care, it will perform as well as the financial industry! LINK

    I’d like to see this in an Obama ad.

  2. ‘All stump, no tree’. I really like that one. Its just as good as the Texas saying about gwb that he is ‘All hat,no cattle’

  3. The irony of it all Hal, is that is was the same Republicans that attempted to remove Clinton from office for lying. Now they are the ones lying every time they open their mouths.

    They have lied about terrorism. They have lied about Iraq. shall I continue?

    And Palin fits right in with all her lies.

  4. Want to scream liar! McCain live on TV presents two condemnations of Obama. First hits Obama for the head of his VP search team (James Johnson) being a former Fannie Mae CEO caught up in scandal, but fails to say Obama had him resign. Then he hits him for having another former Fannie Mae chief executive, Franklin Raines, as an economic adviser when this is NOT true.

    The Obama camp responded to the new McCain TV ad linking Obama to ex-Fannie Mae head Franklin Raines. Raines issued this statement: “I am not an adviser to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters.”

    And spokesman Bill Burton chimed in: “This is another flat-out lie from a dishonorable campaign that is increasingly incapable of telling the truth. Frank Raines has never advised Senator Obama about anything — ever. And by the way, someone whose campaign manager and top advisor worked and lobbied for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shouldn’t be throwing stones from his seven glass houses.” LINK

    Raines is black, and being used in a new McCain attack ad followed by a picture of an elderly white woman. Aside from the fact that Raines isn’t an Obama economic adviser, even if he was, there are a good half dozen other economic advisers Obama has all of whom are white and several like Warren Buffett, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, former Treasury secretaries Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers and Paul O’Neill, much better known.

    Some are suggesting this ad has a racial slant. LINK

  5. Sounds like a female version of Dick Cheney to me.

    So now it’s complete. We can have 4 more years of Cheney/Bush in the way of Palin/McCain. OR NOT!

  6. What Palin finds funny:

    A typical dispute occurred in January when Palin asked to deliver her State of the State address on the legislative session’s opening day at 6 p.m., an hour earlier than the custom, because she had to catch a flight to attend the graduation of her eldest child, Track, from boot camp. When Green, the state Senate president, said the request would conflict with the chamber’s schedule, the governor’s office threatened that she might deliver her speech only to the House.

    In the end, the legislature and the governor agreed on a 4 p.m. start for her 25-minute remarks. Still, Palin called a local radio show to express her displeasure. The host, Bob Lester, sided with her. He twice said that Green, a survivor of breast cancer, was “a cancer” on Alaska’s progress, and he called her a bitch. On an audiotape of the show, Palin is heard giggling at the expletive. (from long new article on Palin’s style of governing in WaPo)

  7. Humor as perspective has served me well also Hal but I’m increasingly leaning towards lunacy as I watch this ever unfolding masquerade/charade.

    I’ve always thought Bugs,Daffy,Elmer and the crew were quite relevant then and remain so when it comes to poking the so called royalty with a stick.

    We really do need a man with a can of Spinach as we face these Tofu times.

    >>comments continued on page 2

  8. Humor, Freud said, was the highest level defense mechanism. Sharing humor is a warm fuzzy, Bryan, much needed as we approach Nov. 4th.

    If Palin/McCain win I may have to lock my TV on Nick, Disney and the other kids stations – maybe spend the next four years watching old Looney Tunes cartoons.

    Too bad I gave a big stack of 10 cent comic books away when I outgrew them as a kid. Aside from the fact that they’d be worth thousands today, I could reread all of them instead of the news.

  9. Watching Palin put herself first saying the Palin and McCain administration for the fourth or fifth time it just occurred to me that I doubt she has a complete grasp of what it would mean to be president.

    I think she, like, wants to be president, like, because it’s, like, really cool, like wicked cool, better than being, like, prom queen and even better ,like, better than winning Miss America. The only difference from a beauty contest, like, is that the question and answer part of the competition is, like, that the questions are, like, way harder.

  10. I sure as hell didn’t raise my kids to set their sights on the hardware business as being the epitome of success.You want screws with that?

    What an arrogant neocon expletive.Bush is no match for this harpy from the Frozen Heart land of Alaska.Move over Lucifer.

    Johnny had better get more than a stomach pump on the bus and lose that deer in the headlights look.

    She could care less about email hacking as she is to lying as Bush is to subversion of the law.

    Can you imagine the tidal wave of signing statements when Frau moose hunter takes over?

  11. Not sure of the law, but I think there is something on the books about it being illegal. Is was quite easy do do as this article in PC Magaizine explains.

    Whoever set up her account could have kept it secure by making up answers to all the questions Yahoo uses to ascertain you are who you say you are.

    Hey, pretty amusing… she’s used to lying and would have done well to lie there.

    Email servers don’t actually require your answers be truthful. You can say you were born in Hades and your first pet was named Beelzebub and Yahoo wouldn’t care. Besides there’s nobody there to care, it’s just a computer.

  12. I’m referring to a subgroup of people that don’t think with their heads but react with their guts (or other parts of the anatomy).

    Also, just to keep definitions clear without getting pedantic, I think you mean welfare state or society rather than socialist policies. Note HERE that there are many kinds of socialism and none of them fit what Obama advocates.

    This fits much better:

    * the provision of welfare services by the state.
    * an ideal model in which the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. This responsibility in theory ought to be comprehensive[citation needed], because all aspects of welfare are considered and universally applied to citizens as a “right”. Welfare state can also mean the creation of a “safety net” of minimum standards of varying forms of welfare. Here is found some confusion between a “welfare state” and a “welfare society” in common debate about the definition of the term.
    * the provision of welfare in society. In many “welfare states”, especially in continental Europe, welfare is not actually provided by the state, but by a combination of independent, voluntary, mutualist and government services. The functional provider of benefits and services may be a central or state government, a state-sponsored company or agency, a private corporation, a charity or another form of non-profit organisation. However, this phenomenon has been more appropriately termed a “welfare society,” and the term “welfare system” has been used to describe the range of welfare state and welfare society mixes that are found.[1]

    Calling this socialism, or even as some do communism, is a Republican ploy used to scare people. Most people, if they understand what a welfare society is, wouldn’t give up the many aspect of it which they count on like Medicare and Social Security.

    Noone advocates class warfare, another scare tactic.

    All democracies redistribute wealth some more equitably than others.

    Free enterprise coexists with welfare societies in all western democracies and even countries like China and Russia are integrating capitalism into their economies.

    Playing fair and working hard are the ways to get ahead but government has a role in making the playing field as level as possible.

    There is a place for “handouts” because some through no fault of their own can’t make it on their own. Who (except Bush) would deny assistance for disabled veterans, for the severely mentally ill, or from a purely selfish viewpoint, for drug addicts who need to get clean so they don’t steal from YOU.

    Self-respect is always worth a great deal and someone dependent on the state for welfare shouldn’t be denied it.

    Robin Hood stole from the rich who stole from the poor and by giving it back he was a fictional hero.

    But please let’s not get into this debate here.

  13. Hmmm, all the hacker did was copy the emails and then put them on the internet for all the world to see. He didn’t delete anything? How can that be stealing? Impersonating, yes. Stealing? That’s a fine line. If I was on a jury, the hacker would not be convicted.

  14. The hacking method, which is one of the easier ones you can find on a Google search, is interesting to me. It is easier than hacking into someone’s computer and searching their hard drive for passwords. The legal culpability of the hacker is also of some interest to me since all he did was use trickery to get the password but didn’t defraud anybody. He stole, read and published private email.

    But these are side issues.

    What is really important are the other points you make.

  15. Actually, Hal I don’t think you have this one right:

    Unfortunately I don’t see much chance that these voters will ever grasp that the actual positions and beliefs of the two sides are as different as night from day.

    I believe most voters do see the difference quite acutely, and that is why McCain was essentially done before Palin. Without her there was not enough Republican energy to effect their agenda, thus Obama was winning by lethargic default. Sarah has turned up the fire… which always excites believers – and she has energized others who didn’t like either candidate before.

    Unfortunately – and setting aside the lies and disingenuity – I think those who gravitate to McCain/Palin are those who do not adhere to the socialist policies that Obama seems to represent.

    Current republican socialist policy to the contrary… class warfare and redistribution of wealth are as unAmerican as it gets, and most Americans still believe in free enterprise and the notion that playing fair and working hard are the ways to get ahead. Handouts are for those who just can’t make it on their own. Self-respect is still worth something.

    Being seen as Robin Hood, Obama has a long way to go to overcome that kind of thinking…

  16. Latest Update:

    Hacker impersonated Palin, stole e-mail password

    Details emerged Thursday behind the break-in of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s e-mail account, including a first-hand account suggesting it was vulnerable because a hacker was able to impersonate her online to obtain her password.

    The hacker guessed that Alaska’s governor had met her husband in high school, and knew Palin’s date of birth and home Zip code. Using those details, the hacker tricked Yahoo Inc.’s service into assigning a new password, “popcorn,” for Palin’s e-mail account, according to a chronology of the crime published on the Web site where the hacking was first revealed.

    Again, dumb, dumb, dumb. This is why you don’t use unsecured emails to conduct business.

    The question that pops up in my mind again and again, is that if she was using a yahoo account in lieu of her state gov account (a secured account) because her emails could not be subpoenaed, what does she have to hide? I mean why would you worry about emails being subpoenaed unless you had something to hide.

    Honest people would not think that way.

    And the other thing is that if she uses a yahoo account with sarah and gov (short for governor)in the email address, would that not indicate it was govt business, and couldn’t that still be subpoenaed?

    And since he didn’t hack the account but just impersonated Palin, how can he be prosecuted for anything except impersonating a govt employee?

    And doesn’t Yahoo bear some responsibility?

    Details of this week’s break-in, if authentic, were consistent with speculation by computer security experts who said Yahoo’s “forgot-my-password” service almost certainly was exploited. The mechanism allows customers to retrieve or change their password if they can verify their identity by confirming personal information such as birthdate, zip code and the answer to a “secret question,” such as a childhood pet’s name or school mascot.

  17. I don’t want dumb from Obama, I don’t want one-liners. I just listened to his economy ad again HERE and it is amazing, especially with McCain on TV right now giving his latest attack against Obama saying he is cheer leading the economic crisis. What a contrast!

    Here’s an unrelated observation. I’ve been recording and watching old Twilight Zones and I’ll be damned if Obama’s voice when he’s conversing, not giving a speech, sounds very much like Rod Serling’s. Listen here and see what you think.

    The irony is that this election is like an actual episode of The Twilight Zone.

  18. I gotta be honest, Austin, I didn’t remember the exact line either but you got me curious about what is was from, so I looked it up. Imagine, from black-face entertainers being acceptable to Obama running for president.

    I long for an electorate that would vote for people on the issues and whether they can deliver on their promises. The only personality characteristics I care about in candidates are honesty and openness to criticism.

    I don’t care that much if Hillary or McCain are screamers, Obama is flummoxed because people don’t believe he’s different, and Biden lacks an internal censor between his brains and mouth, and believe it or not, if Palin’s only flaw was robot-like repetition of talking points if they were true I would care.

    I was thinking about your points about the campaign surrogates today watching McCain puppet Puffenstuff (I don’t want to bother looking up the spelling), and she does what most of them do, though the Republican more than the Democrats. Asked a direct question which puts her on the spot because the answer makes McCain look dishonest, she essentially filibusters by changing the subject and launching into a barely related talking point. By the time the reporter (Nora McDonald in this case) could try to get her to answer the question, they were out of time.

  19. Hal, touché!

    My memory is getting a bit skewed with age. Jolson’s saying…in the case of what we are most likely to experience in days to come…either phrase would work. But, I think even in my misquote all gets the gist of my point.

    Palin is twisting, McCain is twisting, Biden is twisting, Obama is twisting. I think it’s time to call in an expert by the name of “Chubby Checker”.

    Speaking of twisting. I see more and more in the news, “Aide (advisor, surrogate, etc.) said that McCain, Palin, Obama, or Biden meant to say Blah, Blah, Blah instead of Blah, Blah. Or, “That’s not what they really mean”. That goes on with both sides of this presidential contest. Without being too biased, it seems a bit more prevalent with the GOP side as of late.

    But as the campaign goes on….

    Obama seems to be stuck in playing the daily game of, “Hey, I’m a different kind of cat. I’m not kidding folks, I really am.”

    McCain is scratching his head frequently trying to figure out what he said the day before that has raised so much ruckus with something he’s saying today.

    Hillary is screaming, “Which way did she go, which way did she go?”

    Biden is streaming his subconscious thoughts out loud and he must be constantly saying to himself, “Did I say that out loud? Gezzzzzzzz, I gotta stop that!”

    Palin is like a robot repeating her “bridge to nowhere nonsense” and “oh yeah baby, I’m ready” at every stump stop.

    I’d like to email them all and tell them…hmmmm, well, can’t do that now that they’ve terminated all of their email accounts.

  20. “But Obama isn’t comfortable with the one-liners so he persists in trying to be the teacher, witness his two minute lecture in the form of his ad on the economy. This approach is risky because he can only win if he beats McCain among those who never went to college”

    –I have to disagree with the above thoughts because ANYONE, no matter what their educational level, can understand the simple sharing and the simple proposals that Obama is putting forth.

    He cannot “talk dumb” or “act folksy” because that will come off as disingenuous and people will spot it in a minute, so if Obama’s gift for being well spoken bothers some people then maybe they are part of the problem. This is one last chance to find out if there are any awake and thinking people left in America, and that is the reason I am so caught up in this election.

    I’ve always voted but this election seems to have more in the balance than any in recent memory. I disagree strongly with quite a few of Obama’s key political views but deep down I can see that he has some clear headed ideas which will do our nation some good.

  21. If they catch the hackers they should face the justice system. Obviously this should be for whatever law they broke. My understanding is that hackers do so for several very different reasons. One is to prove they can. Related to that is to demonstrate system vulnerabilities so they can be fixed.

    A few may do it for purely personal reasons, like to find out if a spouse is having an affair.

    Some, like perhaps these, may do so to be whistle blowers, but they still break the law.

    The hackers that generally have the book thrown at them (if they can be caught) are those who commit fraud for profit.

  22. The gov’t breaks the law every day and gets away with it.

    There cannot be 2 standards…one for the rich and elite and one for everyone else.

    Besides, is it breaking into someone’s house if they leave the door open? I don’t think so. You might get charged with home invasion but not breaking and entering.

    So if she leaves her door open in the way of an unsecured email account, well, you can’t expect people to just walk on by.

    If she is dumb enough to do busines on an unsecured email account, she’s too dumb to be POTUS.

  23. I guess it must be legal for a group or individual to hack an email account. Or do we just set aside that part of the story because we now have the real dirt on a politcal candidate.

    Would I be excused for breaking into my neighbor’s house, provided I also happened to find a “smoking gun” in the process?

  24. Indeed! Although the actual quote from The Jazz Singer is “you ain’t heard nothing yet”

    Jolson’s first vocal performance, about fifteen minutes into the picture, is of “Dirty Hands, Dirty Face,” with music by James V. Monaco and lyrics by Edgar Leslie and Grant Clarke. The first synchronized speech—uttered by Jack to a cabaret crowd and to the piano player in the band accompanying him—occurs directly after that performance, beginning at the 17:25 mark of the film. Jack’s first spoken words—”Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet”—was well-established stage patter of Jolson’s. He had even spoken very similar lines in a 1926 short, Al Jolson in “A Plantation Act.”[5] The line had developed as something of an in-joke: he had recorded the song “You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet” in 1919.[6] In a later scene, Jack talks with his mother in the family parlor; his father enters and pronounces one very conclusive word. In total, the movie contains barely two minutes worth of synchronized talking, most of it improvised. The rest of the dialogue is presented through the caption cards standard in silent movies of the era. Still, the songs and live-recorded dialogue sequences, fueled by Jolson’s charisma, were enough to create a sensation among moviegoing audiences. LINK

    Meanwhile, Austin, dear Sarah is twisting the truth again today, accusing, mocking, Biden for suggesting it would be patriotic for those making more than $250,000 a year to pay more taxes. Of course she makes it sound like Biden wants to raises everyone’s taxes.

  25. This campaign reads more and more like a screenplay to “Revenge of the Mo-rons” every day. When intellect, hard work, accomplishment, knowledge and decency are thought to be character flaws, by the “regular folk”, what hope is there? We are in a heap o’ trouble. Or in the words of Joe Sixpack, we’re f*&^#d.

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