Palin cleared in over-hyped ‘Troopergate’

“There is no probable cause to believe that the governor, or any other state official, violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act in connection with these matters,” the personnel board’s report said.


I wonder if this will get wall-to-wall media coverage? Wouldn’t matter anyway for all the paranoid folks who believe McCain/Palin are planning on ushering in some fascistic police-state…

Anti-Palin Astroturfers, You Just Got Dominated

Astroturfing in American English is a neologism for formal publirelations campaigns in politics and advertising which seek to create the impression of being spontaneous “grassroots” behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.”Wikipedia

Here’s the intro from Michelle (or you can skip this and read the full outline here):

A collaborative investigative effort by our friends at The Jawa Report to expose an apparently astroturfed, anti-Sarah Palin smear campaign seems to have caused late-night panic in Barack Obama-linked p.r. circles.


First, read this. Read the whole thing. Rusty Shackleford — with help from Jane of Armies of Liberation, Stable Hand, the Jawa team, Dan RiehlAce of Spades, and Patterico – traced a Palin-bashing YouTube video to a Democrat public relations firm, Winner and Associates, and one of its employees, Ethan S. Winner. They believe the voiceover for the ad — which spreads the lie that Sarah Palin belonged to a fringe third party, the Alaska Independence Party — was done by a professional whose voice they believe was also featured in several Obama ads and other spots produced by Obama top strategist and astroturfer extraordinaire David Axelrod’s firm. 

The Bottom Line from the Rusty’s investigation:

While not conclusive, evidence suggests a link to the Barack Obama campaign. Namely:

* Evidence suggests that a YouTube video with false claims about Palin was uploaded and promoted by members of a professional PR firm.

* The family that runs the PR firm has extensive ties to the Democratic Party, the netroots, and are staunch Obama supporters.

* Evidence suggests that the firm engaged in a concerted effort to distribute the video in such a way that it would appear to have gone viral on its own. Yet this effort took place on company time.

* Evidence suggests that these distribution efforts included actions by at least one employee of the firm who is unconnected with the family running the company.

* The voice-over artist used in this supposedly amateur video is a professional.

* This same voice-over artist has worked extensively with David Axelrod’s firm, which has a history of engaging in phony grassroots efforts, otherwise known as “astroturfing.”

* David Axelrod is Barack Obama’s chief media strategist.

* The same voice-over artist has worked directly for the Barack Obama campaign.

This suggests that false rumors and outright lies about Sarah Palin and John McCain being spread on the internet are being orchestrated by political partisans and are not an organic grassroots phenomenon led by the left wing fringe.

Here’s the best part: IT’S A TRAP!!! Blogger Ace of Spades tipped the Obama campaign that a major story was about to drop about astroturfing:

Barack Obama and the DNC watch this blog. And I’ve put them on notice since this afternoon that a story about them was coming.

Within an hour of the story being posted, the videos began coming down. Within 90 minutes they were all down.

That’s a pretty fast response time. I didn’t mention Winner & Associates in my hints. So why would they be on notice?

I only mentioned Axelrod and Obama.

Fedpapers sums up the great ‘dissapearing’:

Ace warned about a major story breaking from Rusty, and even tipped people off to the approximate time it would be published. All they did was sit and wait for the expose. AJ’s right. They read it, realized they got caught, and immediately set about the task of covering their tracks. The problem is that people like Ace, Dan Riehl, andMichelle Malkin are night owls when it comes to major news. If this had been pure conjecture with no back up evidence, they would have shut their computers off and gone to bed. But the evidence Rusty provided was enough to prompt them to keep an eye on the YouTube accounts. At 12:42 AM Ace noted that “eswinner” logged into his YouTube accountBy 4:38 AM, all of the “winner” accounts were gone. Ace even noted that he didn’t mention Winner and Associates in his initial report of the scoop coming out. Obama campaign people were obviously watching to see which one of their stealth cronies was about to get exposed. Ace also notes that the KosKiddie who urged the scorched earth viral video astroturfing has been busy scrubbing the DailyKos diaries of his/her suggested strategy. Searching for it on the Kos site is futile because it’s gone. Um, note to the KosKiddie “geekesque” — you can delete the diary, but you can’t delete the cached page

New kind of politics, anyone?

In the race to adulterate Christ…

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) is leading by a nose:

Other contenders:

  • Pat Robertson
  • Robert Tilton
  • Jesse Jackson
  • Don Miller (added recently)

Bonus – Uh Oh! Extremely knowledgeable political analyst Matt ‘America’s fighting class‘ Damon doesn’t know much about Sarah Palin – but compares her life to a bad Disney story:

I want to know if Matt Damon knows what a book is? How about a website? He could try to start, who completely pwned this ludicrous notion that Palin banned books, among others:

Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn’t cut it at all. In fact, she tripled per-pupil funding over just three years. 

She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a “What if?” question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin’s first term.

She was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She’s been registered as a Republican since May 1982.

Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president. She once wore a Buchanan button as a “courtesy” when he visited Wasilla, but shortly afterward she was appointed to co-chair of the campaign of Steve Forbes in the state.

Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska’s schools. She has said that students should be allowed to “debate both sides” of the evolution question, but she also said creationism “doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”


Man – that was really difficult Matt. It almost took longer to run a google search on that information, than your whole scary-disney-dead-mccain-book-banner-dinosaurs quote there. And there’s good news: you don’t have to poop your pants in fear – Here’s a book about Sarah (and, ooooh boy – it’s even illustrated).

You know what else I was wondering Matt? Since you bring up some really important political issues like dinosaurs – I was wondering if you find science’s empirical method of knowledge-acquisition reliable and logically justified? For instance, Matt – can you show empirically that knowledge can be acquired through sense experience? Have you shown that a physical world exists and that our perceptions of it can be trusted, or are you simply assuming empiricism without justification?

    Mark Steyn on Palin and the Media

    I would like to thank the US media for doing such a grand job this last week of lowering expectations by portraying Governor Palin – whoops, I mean Hick-Burg Mayor Palin – as a hillbilly know-nothing permapregnant ditz, half of whose 27 kids are the spawn of a stump-toothed uncle who hasn’t worked since he was an extra in Deliverance.

    How’s that narrative holding up, geniuses? Almost as good as your “devoted husband John Edwards” routine?


    Glad to have you back, Mark.

    Read all his stuff at

    P. Diddy comments on Alaska

    Oh wait – that’s just a gargling stink-hole. My bad – here’s the clip:

    Content Warning: Couple of f-bombs:

    Such an in-depth, cutting analysis of American politics.


    I bet da Gata’ boyz know what he talkin’ ’bout:

    All That’s Fit To Be Shoveled Down Your Throat

    The New York Slimes Times – aka. the ivory pinnacle of journalistic integrity, objectivity, and self proclaimed ‘All that’s fit to print’ – is running three front page stories today on Palin’s teen daughter’s pregnancy. Be sure to note how totally negative balanced each headline and lead is: 

    1. In Political Realm, ‘Family Problem’ Emerges as Test
      Republicans rallied around Gov. Sarah Palin, but the disclosure of her teenage daughter’s pregnancy brought uncertainty. 
    2. A New Twist in the Debate on Mothers
      Gov. Sarah Palin has set off a fierce argument among women about whether she has the time to take on the vice presidency. 
    3. Palin Disclosures Raise Questions on Vetting Process
      “The disclosure that Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughter was pregnant was one of several revelations that called into question how well John McCain had screened her.” 

    Since there is such a short amount of time before the formal debates start – it’s important to fire-hose Palin with fecal matter as widely and rapidly as possible – especially with nearly every local paper picking up NYT stories.

    By the way NYT – how are things going in Iraq? What? – Anbar province has been handed over to the Iraqis!? Is a major step towards successfully ending a war worthy of 3 front page stories? Oh – I guess this story on a dispute over how many civilians may have been accidentally killed in a U.S. air raid was more noteworthy…

    I’ll quote an earlier post:

    Of course, if you don’t know – it’s probably because the NYT has refused to print positive stories about Iraq, or anything that might actually show that we are making progress there – instead favoring 32 days straight of front page articles to cover what a few jackasses did in Abu Ghraib.

    ht: Drudge

    McCain Palin [video]

    McCain picks Sarah Palin.


    The best indicator of the effectiveness of the pick was the Obama Team’s first response:

    OMG! We should have picked Hillary!!!!

    Yeah – duh… No – actually it was this:

    “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same.”

    Ouch. I must have hit her them pretty close to the mark to get her them all riled up like that, huh, kid? – Solo 

    Later they realized that probably seemed a little knee-jerk and issued the damage control reaction:

    “We send our congratulations to Governor Sarah Palin and her family on her designation as the republican nominee for Vice President. It is yet another encouraging sign that old barriers are falling in our politics. While we obviously have differences over how best to lead this country forward Governor Palin is an admirable person and will add a compelling new voice to this campaign.”

    Like I said above, interesting choice – certainly mixes things up with many pros and cons. Ed has a great rundown here. This is no doubt, one crazy election year!