Saturday, July 04, 2009

The annotated Sarah Palin resignation speech:

2008 photo from video of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, former running mate to John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, giving Thanksgiving speech as live turkeys are slaughtered behind her, epitomizing her cluelessness on a cosmic scale.

Following are excerpts from the July 3, 2009, resignation speech of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who announced in a rambling 20 minute address to reporters that she is resigning, effective in "a few weeks."

PALIN: "... a member of President Abe Lincoln's cabinet, William Seward, providentially saw in this great land, vast riches, beauty, strategic placement on the globe, and opportunity. He boldly looked "North to the Future". But he endured such ridicule and mocking for his vision for Alaska, remember the adversaries scoffed, calling this "Seward's Folly"."

FACT: Lincoln was assassinated April 14, 1865, and was succeeded by his Vice President, Andrew Johnson.

FACT: Seward's most famous achievement as Secretary of State was his successful acquisition of Alaska from Russia. On March 30, 1867, he completed negotiations for the territory, which involved the purchase of 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km²) of territory (more than twice the size of Texas) for $7,200,000, or approximately 2 cents per acre (equivalent to US$95 million in 2005). The purchase of this frontier land was alternately mocked by the public as "Seward's Folly," "Seward's Icebox," and Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden." Alaska celebrates the purchase on Seward's Day, the last Monday of March.

PALIN: "Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me – sports… basketball. I use it because you’re naïve if you don’t see the national full-court press picking away right now: A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket… and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can WIN. And I’m doing that – keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities – smaller government, energy independence, national security, freedom! And I know when it’s time to pass the ball – for victory.

FACT: A point guard in basketball does not leave the floor after passing the ball to a team mate, but continues playing until the coach removes him or her from the game or the game ends.

PALIN: In the words of General MacArthur said, “We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

FACT: MacArthur never made the statement and the quotation actually uttered by a Marine Corps general (O. P. Smith), has never been mistakenly attributed to him- until now. During the Korean War, in November of 1950, U.S. forces were surrounded by Chinese troops in the area of the Chosin Reservoir in what is now North Korea. When asked if the Marines were retreating, Major General O.P. Smith, commander of the 1st Marine Division and associated forces in the Chosin area explained that their fighting withdrawal through Chinese lines did not constitute a retreat. His explanation was abbreviated into the famous misquote, "Retreat? Hell, we're attacking in a different direction!"

PALIN: "And one chooses how to react to circumstances. You can choose to engage in things that tear down, or build up. I choose to work very hard on a path for fruitfulness and productivity. I choose NOT to tear down and waste precious time; but to build UP this state and our country, and her industrious, generous, patriotic, free people!

Life is too short to compromise time and resources... it may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: "Sit down and shut up", but that's the worthless, easy path; that's a quitter's way out. And a problem in our country today is apathy. It would be apathetic to just hunker down and “go with the flow”.

Nah, only dead fish "go with the flow".

"I've never believed that I, nor anyone else, needs a title to do this - to make a difference... to HELP people. So I choose, for my State and my family, more "freedom" to progress, all the way around... so that Alaska may progress... I will not seek re-election as Governor."

FACT: Governor Palin was not just announcing that she would not seek re-election in 2011 (her term ends in two more years), but quitting her job as governor, with her resignation effective this month.

PALIN: "And so as I thought about this announcement that I wouldn’t run for re-election and what it means for Alaska, I thought about how much fun some governors have as lame ducks… travel around the state, to the Lower 48 (maybe), overseas on international trade – as so many politicians do. And then I thought – that’s what’s wrong – many just accept that lame duck status, hit the road, draw the paycheck, and “milk it”. I’m not putting Alaska through that – I promised efficiencies and effectiveness! ? That’s not how I am wired. I am not wired to operate under the same old “politics as usual.” I promised that four years ago – and I meant it.

It’s not what is best for Alaska."

FACT: There is no requirement that Alaska's governor must stop doing her job, must "milk it" while drawing a paycheck, and must start making travel junkets at State expense rather than performing her official duties.

PALIN: I have given my reasons candidly and truthfully..."

FACT: Here are the reasons, in quotes, she gave for quitting now instead of serving out her term:

"... nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska. Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine."

"Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I've been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations – such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters’ questions.

Every one – all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We’ve won! But it hasn't been cheap - the State has wasted THOUSANDS of hours of YOUR time and shelled out some two million of YOUR dollars to respond to “opposition research” – that’s money NOT going to fund teachers or troopers – or safer roads. And this political absurdity, the “politics of personal destruction” … Todd and I are looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn’t cost them a dime so they’re not going to stop draining public resources – spending other peoples’ money in their game.

It’s pretty insane – my staff and I spend most of our day dealing with THIS instead of progressing our state now. I know I promised no more “politics as usual,” but THIS isn’t what anyone had in mind for ALASKA. "

FACT: Governor Palin was found by an official investigation to have violated State ethical rules when she and her husband pressured the head of Alaska's Department of Public Safety to fire a state trooper who was Governor Palin's former brother-in-law and who had been embroiled in a bitter child custody dispute with the governor's sister.

Palin dismissed Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan on July 11, 2008, citing performance-related issues, such as not being "a team player on budgeting issues." Monegan said that he had resisted persistent pressure from the Governor, her husband, and her staff, including State Attorney General Talis Colberg, to fire Palin’s ex-brother-in-law, state trooper Mike Wooten; Wooten was involved in a child custody battle with Palin’s sister that included an alleged death threat against Palin's father. Monegan stated that he learned an internal investigation had found all but two of the allegations to be unsubstantiated, and Wooten had been disciplined for the others—an illegal moose killing and the tasering of an 11-year-old. He told the Palins that there was nothing he could do because the matter was closed. When contacted by the press for comment, Monegan first acknowledged pressure to fire Wooten but said that he could not be certain that his own firing was connected to that issue. He later asserted that the dispute over Wooten was a major reason for his firing. Palin stated on July 17 that Monegan was not pressured to fire Wooten, nor dismissed for not doing so

On October 10, 2008, the Alaska Legislative Council unanimously voted to release the Branchflower Report, in which investigator Stephen Branchflower found that firing Monegan "was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority," but that Palin abused her power as governor and violated the state's Executive Branch Ethics Act when her office pressured Monegan to fire Wooten . The report stated that "Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda, to wit: to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired." The report also said that Palin "permitted Todd Palin to use the Governor's office [...] to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired.

PALIN: "My choice is to take a stand and effect change"

"In fact, this decision comes after much consideration, and finally polling the most important people in my life - my children, where the count was unanimous... well, in response to asking: "Want me to make a positive difference and fight for ALL our children's future from OUTSIDE the Governor's office?" It was four "yes's" and one "hell yeah!" The "hell yeah" sealed it - and someday I'll talk about the details of that... I think much of it had to do with the kids seeing their baby brother Trig mocked by some pretty mean-spirited adults recently."

FACT: Many of wounds on the Palin family were self inflicted. The media focus on the Palin family resulted from their injection of family members, including her then pregnant 17 year old daughter Bristol, Levi Johnson, the father of Bristol's baby, and, later on, the baby (Tripp), into the national spotlight during and after the 2008 presidential campaign.

FACT: In 2008 the governor posted a statement at her official website saying, ""The road ahead for this young couple will not be easy, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy. .. When Bristol and Levi first told us the shocking news that she was pregnant, to be honest, we all at first looked at the situation with some fear and a bit of despair. Isn't it just like God to turn those circumstances into such an amazing, joyful blessing when you ask Him to help you through?"

FACT: On January 2, 2009, media reports surfaced that Governor Palin had called numerous national news organizations to complain about coverage of her daughter and the daughter's former boyfriend/fiance:

"Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has gone on the attack to defend her daughter Bristol against charges of being a high school dropout.

CBS reports that Palin has "personally contacted People Magazine, the Associated Press, and the Anchorage Daily News" to complain that they are publishing "erroneous information" about her daughter and Bristol's boyfriend Levi Johnson.

Palin even left a personal phone message with People on New Year's Eve, stating, "You need to know that both Levi and Bristol are working their butts off to parent and going to school and working at the same time. They are certainly not high school dropouts.""

FACT: from an April 05, 2009, news story titled "Palin camp responds to Levi Johnston"

Bristol Palin's ex boyfriend and father of her baby, Tripp, went on the Tyra Banks show this week and spilled secrets, including that he thinks Sarah Palin knew the two were together in the biblical sense. This, obviously, did not go over well with the Palin camp who released the following:

"Bristol did not even know Levi was going on the show. We're disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention, and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration, and even distortion of their relationship," says the statement from the Palin family rep, Meghan Stapleton.

"Bristol's focus will remain on raising Tripp, completing her education, and advocating abstinence," the statement continues. "It is unfortunate that Levi finds it more appealing to exploit his previous relationship with Bristol than to contribute to the well being of the child."

The statement ends, saying, "Bristol realizes now that she made a mistake in her relationship and is the one taking responsibility for their actions."

FACT: from an interview with Levi Johnson followed by related news stories:

When asked by Rodriguez what the biggest misconception about his family is, Levi replied with,

"Probably that my family's white trash."

Both Bristol Palin and Levi Johnson made national news on the issue of abstinence from sex for teenagers, with Bristol Palin endorsing it and Johnson dismissing it as

On the Palins' 'snobbery' regarding Bristol Palin's child with Levi: "I mean, look what they're doing. They're lying, trying to save theirselves. And they're the one that asked for it. They brought [Tripp] to the campaign. They should have known what was coming. They can't, you know, turn around and try to take it back now."

And what about Sarah Palin's denial that Levi ever lived with the family?

Says the father of Tripp: "They said I didn't live there. I stayed there. I was like, OK, well, whatever you want to call it. I had my stuff there. So, if you want to call it staying there, that's fine, but…"

"He was living there. I didn't see him for two months. He lived there. They can't say, oh, no, he just stayed. That's an absolute lie," Johnston's sister added.

While Bristol Palin has recently paired with young Hollywood’s Hayden Pannettiere to promote abstinence, Johnston calls the “just-say-no” approach to birth control “unrealistic” in the article. And he also has some harsh words for his ex-girlfriend’s family.

“I know that her parents didn’t want us together. I really don’t think they did,” Johnston told the magazine. “So they probably put a little pressure on her.” He even revealed that Todd Palin offered to buy his daughter a new car if she’d dump Johnston--numerous times.

At this point, Johnston says he doesn’t think he’ll ever get back together with his son’s mother, adding that visiting the Palins’ house “makes me pretty damn uncomfortable.”


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